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A FABLE. TN the dead of the night, a Sorceress entered into a
I a wood to exercise her infernal arts; a large circle was made, which was to inclose the scene of her terrible machinations; a dreadful hurricane was pretentiy raised, the timber of the forest was seized with convulsions, a pestilence went abroad among the folds, the moon was drawn down from her orbit, and legions of fpirits appeared before the Sorceress, and demanded her pleasure ? « Only (says she) shew me where is my little dog that has run away from me."
MORAL. Would the reader wish for a better picture of a modern democrat?
He has been passed over in the list of preferments; he is rich, and unrewarded with nobility; he is a lawyer, and has not obtained a filk gown; he is a member of parliament, and his predilection for fome, favourite measure has been crossed; or, he has lost a borough by the opposition of government; he is a country gentleman, and his vote has not gained him a place; he is a person of feeling, and has received a supposed flight from a man in power; he is a merchant, and has lost a vessel for want of a convoy; he has not been received into the loan; he is a mechanic, and his invention for burning the enemy's fleet has been ill received. Any one of these disappointments is enough to make a democrat; that is to say, a man who, to gratify his resentment, would willingly involve this country in the ruin of France, break up all the peace and prosperity of the land, and bring misery and desolation upon the fairelt kingdom which the nations of the earth have exhibited.
[St. James's Chronicle.]
TERRORIST NOVEL WRITING, SIR,* I NEVER complain of fashion, when it is confined I to externals-to the form of a cap, or the cut of a lapelle ; to the colour of a wig, or the tune of a ballad; but when I perceive that there is such a thing as fashion even in compofing books, it is, perhaps, full time that some attempt should be made to recall writers to the old boundaries of common sense.
I allude, Sir, principally to the great quantity of novels with which our circulating libraries are filled, and our parlour tables covered, in which it lias been the fashion to make terror the order of the day, by confining the heroes and heroines in old gloomy castles, full of spectres, apparitions, ghosts, and dead men's bones. This is now so common, that a Novelist blushes to bring about a marriage by ordinary means,
* It is easy to see that the fatire of this letter is particularly levelled at a literary lady of considerable talents, who has presented the world with three novels, in which she hat found out the secret of making us " fall in love with what we fear to look on.”---The system of terror which she is adopted is not the only reproach to which she is liable. Besides, the tedious inonotony of her descriptions, the affects in the most disgufting manner a knowledge of languages, countries, customs, and objeets of art of which she is lamentably ignorant. She suspends tripods from the cieling hy chains, not knowing that a tripod is a utensil standing upon three feet.---She covers the kingdom of Naples with India figs because St. Pierre has introduced those tropical plants in his tales, of which the scene is laid in India---and she makes a convent of monks a necessary appendage to a monastery of nuns. This fhews how well a lady understands the wants of her sex. Whenever the introduces an Italian word it is sure to be a gross violation of the language. Instead of making a nobleman's servant call him Padrone, or Illustrissimo, she makes him address him by the title of Maestro, which is Italian for a teacher. She converts the singular of Lazzaroni into Lazzaro, &c. &c. &c.
This lady's husband told a friend that he was going to Germany with his wife, the object of whose journey was to pick up materials for a novel. I think in that case answered his friend, that you had better let her go alone!
but but conducts the happy pair through long and dangerous galleries, where the light burns blue, the thunder rattles, and the great window at the end presents the hideous visage of a murdered man, uttering piercing groans, and developing shocking mysteries. If a curtain is withdrawn, there is a bleeding body behind it; if a chest is opened, it contains a skeleton; if a noise is heard, somebody is receiving a deadly blow ; and if a candle goes out, its place is sure to be supplied by a flash of lightening. Cold hands grasp us in the dark, Itatues are seen to move, and suits of armour walk off their pegs, while the wind whistles louder than one of Handel's chorusses, and the still air is more melancholy than the dead march in Saul.
Such are the dresses and decorations of a modern novel, which, as Bayes says, is calculated to “ elevate and surprise;" but in doing so, carries the young reader's imagination into such a confusion of terrors, as must be hurtful. It is to great purpose, indeed, that we have forbidden our servants from telling the children stories of ghosts and hobgoblins, if we cannot put a novel into their hands which is not filled with monsters of the imagination, more frightful than are to be found in Glanvil, the famous bug-a-boo of our fore fathers.
A novel, if at all useful, ought to be a representation of human life and manners, with a view to direct the conduct in the important duties of life, and to correct its follies. But what instruction is to be reaped from the distorted ideas of lunatics, I am at a loss to conceive. Are we come to such a pass, that the only commandment necessary to be repeated is, « Thou shalt do no murder ? Are the duties of life so changed, that all the instructions necessary for a young person is to learn to walk at night upon the battlements of an old castle, to creep hands and feet along a narrow pale fage, and meet the devil at the end of it? Is the corporeal frame of the female sex so masculine and hardy, that it must be softened down by the touch of dead bo
dies, clay-cold hands, and damp sweats? Can a young lady be taught nothing more necessary in life, than to sleep in a dungeon with venemous reptiles, walk through a ward with assassins, and carry bloody daggers in their pockets, instead of pin-cushions and needlebooks?
Every abfurdity has an end, and as I observe that almost all novels' are of the terrific cast, I hope the insipid repetition of the same bugbears will at length work a cure. In the mean time, should any of your female readers be desirous of catching the season of terrors, she may compose two or three very pretty vou luines from the following recipe: Take-An old castle, half of it ruinous.
A long gallery, with a great many doors, some se.
Noises, whispers, and groans, threescore at least. Mix them together, in the forın of three volumes, to be taken at any of the watering places, before going to bed,
· TINTINNABULOUS INTREPIDITY,
OR scenes of BELL-RINOING. T AST week the Society of Treasury Youths rang a 1 peal of 6469 majors, bob-majors, and triple-bobs, consisting of the following changes : - I. Glory of Old England-exertions by sea and land mglorious victories.
Exertions by sea and land-glorious victories and glory of Old England.
Glorious victories--glory of Old England—and exertions by sea and land.
II. Honour of the nation--permanent peace and - ample security.
Permanent peace-ample security—and honour of the nation.
Ample security-permanent peace and honour of the nation.
III. Our advice to the Admiralty--a line of squadrons--and the hints we threw out.
The hints we threw out-a line of squadrons and our advice to the Admiralty.
A line of squadronsmour advice to the Admiraltyand the hints we threw out.
IV. Famine in France-war in La Vendee-safe landing of the Emigrants.
Safe landing of the Emigrants-famine in France and war in La Vendee. · Warin La Vendee-safe landing of the Emigrants and famine in France.
Jacobins Democrats—Traitors. Which they performed with astonishing skill, for a wager of some money, and a quantity of bread and beer.
CRITICISM ON AN ANCIENT BALLAD.
SIR, TO point out to public notice the merits of a
1 Poem, is confefiedly the noblest, as well as the moít agreeable part of criticism. Dennis may hunt the errors of Cato, while its illustrious author is employed in immortalizing Chevy-Chace, by praises which will probably out-live the subject of them. Antiquity presents us with many commendatory critics, and the writers of Greece and of Rome have almost all found some one to applaud what, if they had writ