The attractive influence of the Spring, which draws the fashionable circles to the various amusements of the Metropolis and at the same time invites the admirers of Nature to behold her in her loveliest attire, has this Season had an early affect on our Society, and we have this evening to regret the absence of our most valuable members, who have already withdrawn to the contemplation of rural Beauty. Like Fairies however they have left tokens of their beneficence behind and we trust, tho’ our Circle may be small, that our reading will not be found deficient in Spirit.
Mr Atticus Scriblerus is in flourishing condition but like our old friend Alopex he complains loudly of some caitiff who for the base purpose of defrauding him of profit or of fame has usurped his name, and ascribed to him a breach of confidence. Really this is very unhandsome behaviour but Mr Scriblerus must console himself with remembering that persons seldom imitate what they do not admire and consider this attack as a fresh proof of his merit. We approve the method he has taken to establish his identify and warn all persons to beware of counterfeiting his signature in future, as the solicitor to the Society has orders to proceed legally in case of such delinquency. But perhaps his best method would be to take out a patent for the manufacture of verse for sale.
We have received further advices from Tabby Hall. The Society appears to have been thrown into great confusion by Miss Botherham and the unfortunate upholsterer. Really, young ladies ought to have some compassion for the heads if they have none for the hearts of their admirers, and the fair philosophers should pause to consider what will be the probable result of their experiments. As to hemlock, we see no reason why it may not be as good a cure for love as Leucate’s leap. But there is another recommended by two critics which the exertions of Mr Scriblerus will fortunately put into the power of everyone to obtain. At the beginning of his eleventh Idyll (we will not trouble our audience with the Greek) Theocritus says
“There is no other remedy against love, O Nicias, with which as it appears to us it may be sprinkled or anointed, but the Pierides. And this is a remedy sweet and pleasing to men, but it is not easy to find it. But I think thou knowest it well, being a physician eminently loved by the Nine Muses.”
The reply from Celia to Laura is exceedingly short and tells us little respecting her rural amusements. If the badness of the weather has abridged the number of them, it ought to have allowed more time for writing.
The Canzonet from Orlando Disperato is beautiful. This same Orlando has long been known to our Society for the elegant despondency of his amatory effusions, but from the present communication it appears that the lady has either changed her name or he has changed the lady — which, the sagacity of our hearers must determine.
We need not say anything on the moral beauty and elegant versification of the ancient fragment but it will be felt by all our hearers.