We commence our readings this evening with a short poem called “Love and Wine, or Matter and Spirit” a title that is not exactly fitted to the poem and we doubt whether the author clearly knew his own meaning either in writing the verses or fixing the title. There are, however, some glimmerings of humour which may excite a smile. The Riddle which accompanies it is sufficiently enveloped in obscurity to exercise the sagacity of our auditors.
The verses entitled the Frown and the Smile addressed by Donald to Amanda, notwithstanding the short note annexed to them as from a new candidate “for admission to the Attic Chest and the honours of the sitting” we believe to be produced by the same hand, as the Lines to Amanda read on a former night. A writer of such taste and poetic sensibility would do honour to any society.
The Receipt in Full is a proof that wit and genius can adorn the most trifling occurrences. The allusions to the imaginary beings which have lately exercised the fancy of many of our correspondents is peculiarly happy. From the Song by J.P.L. we are convinced that the author is over head and ears in love, not only because he tells us so, but because the few verses he has sent us are a happy exemplification of that confusion of ideas which is said to distinguish those who are infect with that malady. In a single stanza he tells us that love is a fell snare and a poison, and the heaven of the soul. We have been told of the pleasing pain, or painful pleasure of love, but we never heard its contradictions so boldly characterized before. We learn by those verses that the lover is imprisoned, put to death, and sent to paradise, in an instant. Who would not undergo his sufferings to meet with such a speedy and permanent reward.
The Lady who advertises for a Husband seems desirous of obtaining this heaven without passing through even so short a purgatory. We heartily wish she may succeed and that her partner may possess a head of adamantine hardness, which one of her friends good naturedly hints is a qualification that may be useful in preventing him from being sent to the Celestial Region before his time. We know not whether the poor gentleman who wrote the Rondeau that will follow has encountered this same advertising lady on not, but it seems that his mistress is also a relation of Xantippe, and has doubtless been taking lessons at some of the polite academies for perfecting young damsels in the milling art.
“The Remonstrance” which will follow this Rondeau does not count the pugilistic art among the accomplishments of the ladies but places their perfection in the gentler graces of the female character. We give this poem our hearty praise both for its intrinsic excellence and the happy use of the Scottish dialect which by its apparent simplicity frequently gives novelty and humour to common thoughts and has a charm in its rusticity that will give delight wherever it is understood in spite of all that can be urged against it by Beattie and other admirers of classic elegance.
The lines on the projected alterations of the uniform of the British Cavalry possesses much poetic and patriotic merit of a lofty order.
We have received a letter from a person who signs himself Alopex recommending himself as prose writer in ordinary to the Attic Society. We might distrust such recommendation and if the office were perpetual refuse to accept the services of one who produces no other; but as the place can only be held during our good pleasure we shall cheerfully allow him to prove the justice of his pretensions. We shall not however take upon us to give titles to any of the essays which he says he keeps by him like clothes in a slop-shop to be fitted to any subject that offers; but leave the stuff and the fashion entirely to his discretion reserving to ourselves a veto on their merits. The 3d Book of the Restoration will conclude this evening’s reading.