Atticus Scriblerus to the Editor

Mr Elliott

Justice! Justice!! Justice!!!

Once more, Justice!!!!

Yes, Sir, once more, compelled by wrong
I must epistolize in song;
Once more approach, with suitor’s air
The Attic Editorial Chair;
Once more intreat you not to foster
A quack, a cheat, a bold impostor.
No sooner one device had fail’d
My fame and fortune that assail’d
And I, from fear of rivals free
In fancied fond security,
Invok’d the Muse, and ’gan to write,
To please my friends, my foes to spite;
When (Oh the weight of ills and care
A poet’s doom’d by fate to bear!
And oh the various plans to plague us!)
Uprose the vile Electrmagus,
Denied th’ originality
Of genius’ flame that burns in me,
Pretended his electric skill
E’en dullness’ self with soul could fill,
And his machine the genuine source
Of sense and wit and mental force.
But Mr Editor beware
You fall not in this artful snare!
This pseudo-genius-giving sage
I much suspect in science rage
Has formed a diabolic plan
To decompose at once a man
Fuse him by force Voltaic t’earth,
Or see what metals gave him birth;
Or else some nymph, by scribbling’s itch
Lured to his toils, he would bewitch
By touch electric — ’trivance dark
To choose him for her fav’rite spark.
Oh let not love of science press
To ruin’s brink our gentle Editress!
Oh save her literary friends
From all the ill Electromage intends!

But should you not believe the tale
That spark material can avail
To kindle in the world of mind
Etherial fire of wit refin’d — 
True genius is of different mould,
It shines but burns not, or if bold
Aspiring bards of deathless name
Must be conceived the sons of flame,
’Tis like the hallow’d fire that burn’d
The wondrous bush, when Moses turn’d
To marvel on the mystic power
Of flames that burn, but not devour.

Let then this fond electric elf
Be left to operate on himself,
And if Castalia’s fount no more
With inspiration bubbles o’er,
Or few like Byron’s restless lord
To reach Parnassus can afford;
Yet still a chosen few shall meet
On Attica in Berners Street.
There slyly from the crystal vase
The bard shall sip in Ellen’s place
Of purity’s inspiring stream
That clears his thoughts, refines his theme;
For manly strength he shall resort
To sandwich, porter, gen’rous port;
Sweetness from custard’s luscious streams;
Smartness and point from lemon creams,
Meet impudence from “Busbys” gain
From “Courtship” learn a tender strain,
And, last not least converse polite
Shall teach him how he ought to write.
For ’tis with minds like flint and steel,
Collision’s sparks their powers reveal;
And truest inspiration’s found
Where wit, remarks and verse go round.
’Tis thus “my friend the member” gains
The spirit that his Muse sustains;
And, did not honor rule my heart,
And secrecy I could impart
Whose hand th’ inspiring cates conveyed
This strain vindictive to aid,
For oft I’ve gained a mighty power
From cate that came in happy hour,
By secret means from Berners Street — 
Gods! how I’d eat and write, and write and eat!

Oh! then dismiss Electromage,
And study the instructive page
Of cook’ry’s art from Attic pen,
Of which I send a specimen.
You judge so kindly and so well
I’m sure of justice — Sir, farewell!

Atticus Scriblerus