The Challenge of Thalestris, has, like barm in a beer barrel, set the wits of our correspondents a-fermenting, and produced us some flagons of excellent liquour, which will be quaffed with pleasure, though some sickly palates may fancy, it does not possess the genuine flavour of Helicon in the highest degree. But while we praise the verses we are sorry to find the ladies appear to have so few real friends among our contributors for their faults have engaged much more attention than their virtues and the most favourable of the authors we suspect to be little better than snakes in the grass.
The ladies however will now have an opportunity of confuting their enemies by their mildness and moderation, at this irritating moment, for when the Attic Chest is unlocked like the famous box of Pandora (hereafter described from the old Grecian) such a legion of ills will burst forth that if the ladies are so irascible, as these writers affect to believe we may be enable to furnish another scene to the Bacchae of Euripides. While we were under the apprehensions created by the first reading, we applied to an ancient friend of cool understanding for advice, as to the precautions necessary to defend our limbs, and looking glasses, who bluntly answered, “It is all a hum, for the women were at bottom very good creatures. Only let them have their way — and depend upon it, they will do no harm; save peradventure they may pull a few noses, and burn a few wigs, which will be for the good of their country you know. The slitting a few noses will give employment to the surgeons and the burning a few wigs will increase the consumption of hair and the amount of the tax on that article and in this way all riots operate to the good of the community.” I bowed assent, and in deference to his sober judgment the ladies will perceive that the drawing room exhibits its usual appearance.
We shall open our reading with a Query, and an elegant attempt at English verse, by a foreigner. These will be followed by a Hymn to Apollo from the Greek and some beautiful verses to Lycidas on his forsaking the lyre, signed Dora, which the Editor had almost vanity enough to believe were intended for him though he has no pretensions to boast of “leading captive every female heart”, nor has he forsaken the lyre, that now and then he awkwardly fingered in days of yore; but had he been dispose to resume it on this occasion he is persuaded that its strings would refuse to make music on such an ungrateful subject, in which invention must be employed to falsify truth and produce deformity.
After these will follow the Thalestrian contributions in the following order.
1st A translation fo the second ode of Anacreon by Thyrsis.
2nd To Incognita by 1810
3rd To Thalestris by Tancred
4th The faults of Woman Kind by Lysander
and last. Woman, by, we know not who.
We beg the ladies will listen with patience and shew themselves worthy of praise, by despising the malignity of poets who only abuse them because they are strangers to their merits.