We are greatly obliged to Alopex for his notes of Mr Bakewell’s first lecture on Geology, though they are written in such a strange manner that to render intelligible the science veiled in his hieroglyphical pothooks we have been under the necessity of transcribing the whole. As this gentleman has assumed the character of Prose Writer to our Society we think him in this instance a little careless of his reputation especially as he has laid some stress on his expected emoluments from this office in his letter to the advertising lady. We think the honour of such an appointment a sufficient remuneration; but were the Society inclined to give a salary to our Prose Writer it would be considerably reduced by the wages of his deputy. We however value his communications so highly that we can forgive the trouble of writing these lectures if he will furnish the materials though his letters should be with or without hair strokes and in form as clumsy as the Cadmoean characters or any characters not absolutely intelligible.
By encouraging the practice of versification we had in view the improvement of the younger members of our Society in the use and command of language; but not to make them poets. The writer who composes in verse is necessarily compelled to select and arrange his words both as to perspicacity of sense and euphony of sound. In searching for words to suit his purpose he must examine many and insensibly become more intimately acquainted with their meaning than he would otherwise have been and on all future occasions have a greater number at command. That in our object we have been successful the many well versified poems that have been read from the Chest will testify and many of them may justly lay claim to higher merit. We shall now endeavour to call the attention of the Society to the cultivation of historical and scientific knowledge in which we hope that the ready made essays and dissertations in the work shop of Alopex will be particularly serviceable. We think the lecture to be read this evening a fair specimen.
The first poem we shall read on the exchange of hearts we think possesses both wit and humour but we with becoming diffidence take the liberty of observing that we fear the author has taken the heart for the head. We have not in the course of a long life and much reading to the best of our recollection met with a heart stuffed with Greek and we have always understood that in needle work and pastry the head and hands were the principal organs employed. However as we may be mistaken we submit this to the judgment of our audience.
The poems which will follow as well as the two letters to the advertising lady must be left to speak for themselves.
The 5th Book of the Restoration will conclude the amusement of the evening and we flatter ourselves that at our next meeting the first sketch of this long philosophical romance will be completed.