It is with much pleasure that we again welcome our assembled friends, and sincerely do we hope that no unfavourable accident may again interrupt the Attic Meetings. While we trust that to the shortness of our notice alone, we have to attribute that the Chest is less abundantly stored than it has been at the commencement of former seasons.
The contributions from Positive House are, as usual, numerous and excellent. It is so long since the commencement of Electromagus’s communications that perhaps it may be necessary to recall to the minds of our members, the origin and objects of this Institution. Electromagus having devoted his life to the study of science, and particularly to the branches connected with chemistry and electricity, and perceiving the wonderful agency of the latter on the material world, was induced to believe that its influence on the mind was not less powerful. Dr. Darwin M. Carmoy, the two Roziers, Bartholon and others, were of opinion that electricity promoted the germination of vegetables, and was so far instrumental in stimulating the vital principle, that eggs when electrified were hatched much sooner than others under precisely similar circumstances, but not electrified. Electromagus extended still farther the operations of this wonderful fluid, and imagined that the sparks of the machine, or the strokes of the battery, were capable of exciting to stronger mental exertion, and particularly to inducing poetical inspiration. Whether our members may or may not be infected with this Electromania, we cannot determine, but we think in other cases at least they will not be inclined to deny to Electomagus the reputation of a man of sense and science.
The munificent patronage of Lord Aircastle enabled Electromagus to make full trial of his scheme. Six pupils, three gentlemen and three ladies, were placed under his tuition in Positive House, and his hopes were most sanguine, of beholding them thro’ his exertions, the ornament of their age and country. How far they may have merited this title, or rather, how far Electromagus may have been instrumental in developing and improving a natural taste for poety, our audience must decide.
We cannot pretend to give here even a slight sketch of the different pupils, or the adventures to which they have given rise, but we trust they are not forgotten, and the numbers shall be laid upon the table. Many of the letters display considerable scientific knowledge, and even those whose object appears merely to excite a laugh, seldom lost sight of electricity, or the more immediate objects of the Institution. In the letters now in the Chest, the characters of the several pupils seem to be supported with all their former spirit. Philemon retains his moody philanthropy, and Sir Pertinax his humorous egotism, while Electromagus is more profoundly scientific than usual. Indeed his letter on the materiality of heat, with those that he promises on light and electricity, seem rather distinct essays than connected with Positive House; and tend further to prove what we have advanced, respecting his general knowledge and acuteness; tho’ many of our members will perhaps be surprised at the boldness with which he attacks the opinions upheld by so many great names — the darling tenets of what has been called the English School of Chemistry. Yet justly dear and respected as are the names of our enlightened philosophers, we ought never to forget the apophthegm that “Science is of no Country.” Indeed Electromagus is rather reviving the doctrines supported by our own Newton, than from broaching any of his own. We shall be happy to receive the sequel of his subject, and as he invites discussion, we hope that any of our members who may not be inclined to subscribe to his opinions, will not delay to answer them.
Mr Beauclerc’s Estrella is of a more serious cast then the poems usually offered to the Chest, and perhaps it dwells rather too long on scenes of which we regret the necessity, and are willing to forget the existence, but other passages are of a lighter and more pleasing character, and for their sake we trust it will be kindly received.
We are amused by the advertisement from the Hermit’s Dale for one of their members, stolen away, and at the plagiarism of which they accuse some person or persons, supposed of Positive House. We really feel much concern at the complaints we perpetually hear of the depredations of authors.
The sixth Brother’s Tale seems to have a strong allusion to that of the fifth, but who the seventh brother is, who is supposed to have found refuge in the Attic Society, we cannot imagine. We are not aware of having seen any such lost mutton.
The readings will commence with a pleasing little poem which announces that our ears shall this night be greeted by a concert from the most celebrated warblers of the feather’d race, as the beams of Apollo, concentred in the Chest, as the Laputan philosopher supposed them to be in cucumbers, will be so far diffused as to induce them to ring out of season in defiance of frost and snow.
The Acrostic has more merit than usually belongs to this species of trifle. We have another by the same hand, which will be read at our next meeting.
The Vale to Eton, we are sorry to say, will not appear to all due advantage in consequence of some imperfections in the copy. We have endeavoured to supply them, but we cannot hope with much success.
The Epistle from Gormo, private secretary to the King of the Blue Mountain, is in lofty strain, but we do not yet know whether the lady did or did not accept the gem.
The Puff indirect of Chevalier Ruspini is a pleasing Jeu d’Esprit, and we shall recommend him to the custom of all our circle.
Riddles 1st and 2d, the Voltaic Battery, Darcy, &c. &c. are deferred.