We feel some concern for the health of the advertising lady, who in the last communication appeared to be in a desponding way and from her silence since we fear the gentleman for whom she expressed so much partiality has not yet entered his name in the list of her admirers. If reason could ever argue to my purpose against love we should advise her to forget the man who had proved himself insensible to her merits and select a husband from those who have shown themselves better disposed to unite with her in holy matrimony among whom we think the author of the verses address’d to her which will be read this evening has a fair claim to her notice. He reviews with spirit and humour the pretensions of his rivals and makes good his own with tolerable effect. We however have no desire to influence her decision but leave the choice to her own unbiassed understanding.
As to poor Alopex he is too far gone. All he says and all he does is inconsistent with a sane mind. He sends us sober and sensible lectures on geology and then denies them. He accuses us of deceiving him with regard to the emoluments of Prose Writer to our Society and attributes all his misfortunes to us. We appeal to all our audience whether we have not constantly asserted that honour was the only motive that should actuate our correspondents and esteem the only reward we could bestow upon them. In a paroxysm of frenzy he challenged the Editor to meet him with sword and pistol and expresses a melancholy hope that if he should fall, the fair lady will weep over him as the victim of her charms. Poor Alopex! He shall live for us. We shall leave him to his fate but must decline having a hand in it, and we still flatter ourselves that he will live and that in his lucid intervals he will send us more lectures.
The lecture with which our readings will open will in truth be rather more methodical than his letter, for we would confess that the little order it can pretend to we have given it in transcribing from his desultory notes.
The Verses to the West Middlesex Water Company are not without humour and would be of public utility if they could induce the Company to mend their ways. The verses “To Mary” and the other small poems have their respective merits. The reading will terminate with four last Cantos of the Sylphiad which will conclude the adventures of Henricus and the fair Maria which have exercised the talents and fancy of some four most industrious associates and afforded abundance of amusement to the Society and its visitors. The present poem has, like the Restoration, many bad verses and several faulty passages but it is superior to the Restoration in unity of design. We recommend to the authors of both poems a careful revisal of them as they are possessed of beauties of more than temporary value.