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cies as these in one's noddle ;-but, on for a mere jeu-d'esprit,---for my friend
, money, and articles of wearing appa
we only conversed about the utility of such rel. But all at once it entered his
a work, without doing any thing farther: brain, that, by putting him to death mention it to Mr Thomas Pringle ; when
At length, among others. I chanced to in a sharp, and clever, and mysterious I found that he and his friends had a plan manner, and seeming also to rob him in contemplation of the same kind. We of an immense number of bank notes, agreed to join our efforts, and try to set it the city of Edinburgh would be thrown a-going ; but, as I declined the editorship into a ferment of consternation, and on account of residing mostly on my farm there woulj be no end of the “public at a distance from town, it became a puz; emotion," to use his own constant ling question who was the best qualified phrase on occasions of this nature. among our friends for that undertaking. The scheme succeeded to a miracle. We at length fixed on Mr Gray as the He stabbed Begbie to the heart, rob- fittest person for a principal department, bed the dead body in a moment, and and I went and mentioned the plan to Mr escaped. But he never used a single found, had likewise long been cherishing a
Blackwood, who, to my astonishment, I stiver of the money, and was always plan of the same kind. He said he knew kind to the widow of the poor man, nothing about Pringle, and always had his who was rather a gainer by her hus- eye on me as a principal assistant; but he band's death. I have reason to believe would not begin the undertaking, until he that he ultimately regretted the act; saw he could do it with effect. Finding but there can be no doubt that his him, however, disposed to encourage such enjoyment was great for many years,
a work, Pringle, at my suggestion, made hearing the murder canvassed in his out a plan in writing, with a list of his own presence, and the many absurd supporters, and sent it in a letter to me. he could have overthrown by a single Pringle and he came to an arrangement theories broached on the subject,
which enclosed it in another, and sent it to Mr
Blackwood ; and not long after that period, word,
about commencing the work, while I was Mr wrote the Chaldee Manu- in the country. Thus I had the honour script precisely on the same principle of being the beginner, and almost sole inon which he murdered Begbie ; and stigator of that celebrated work, BLACKhe used frequently to be tickled at wood's MAGAZINE.” hearing the author termed an assassin. Hogg here says, he declined the " Very true, very true," he used to say editorship of Blackwood's Magazine. on such occasions, shrugging his shoul. This happened the same year that he ders with delight, “ he is an assassin, declined the offer of the governor-gesir; he murdered Begbie;"--and this neralship of India, and a seat in the sober truth would pass, at the time, cabinet. These refusals on his part
prevented his being requested to be- Adam Smith has perhaps been more come leader in the House of Commons, fortunate on the whole than the Scotsto overawe Brougbam and Macintosh. man; and while you yourself, ChrisIn short, Blackwood tells me, that all topher, have, by the merest accident this story is a mere muddled misre- in the world, become the best of all presentation. Ebony is no blockhead; imaginable editors, only think what and who but a supreme blockhead must be the feelings of Taylor and would make Hogg an editor!
Hessey, as they look on that luckless This long letter will cost you dou- ass with the lion's head! It is the ble postage, my dear friend. - Look at same in the fine arts. What a lucky
dog was Raphael in his Transfigura
tion; and who does not weep for the “ That same year, I published the
BROWNIE OF Bodsbeck, and other accident that befel Mr Geddes in handt. E Tales, in two volumes. I got injustice in ling the Scottish regalia ? In philoso
the eyes of the world, with regard to that phy, by some casualty never to be satale, which was fooked on as an imitation tisfactorily explained, the fame of of the tale of Old Mortality, and a coun. Lord Bacon has eclipsed that of the terpart to that; whereas it was written long latest of his commentators. We in
ere the tale of Old Mortality was heard of, deed live in a strange world ; but these ber and I well remember my chagrin on find. things will be all rectified at last in a
ing the ground that I thought clear pre- higher state of existence. There, BlackFile si occupied, before I would appear publicly more very possibly may get Milton to
, and that by such a redoubted cham- clean his shoes ; Virgil may stand bepion
. It was wholly owing to Mr Black. hind the chair of Dr Trapp; and Lon- wood, that the tale was not published a year sooner
, which would effectually have ginus gaze with admiration on William er freed me from the stigma of being an imi
Hazlitt. tator, and brought in the author of the But I bridle in my struggling muse in vain, Tales of My Landlord as an imitator of That longs to launch into a nobler stain.
me. That was the only ill turn that ever et i Mr Blackwood did me; and it ought to be In page 75, you will observe a list
a warning to authors never to intrust book of Hogg's works. Es sellers with their manuscripts.”.
Vols. " I was unlucky in the publication of
The Queen's Wake
1 pas my first novel, and what impeded me still Pilgrims of the Sun.
1 farther, was the publication of Old Mor
Hunting of Badlewe tality; for, having made the redoubted Mador of the Moor. Burly the hero of my tale, I was obliged Poetic Mirror. to go over it again, and alter all the traits Dramatic Tales in the character of the principal personage, Brownie of Bodsbeck substituting John Brown of Caldwell for
Winter Evening Tales
out Clavers, but I found this impossible. Jacobite Relics of Scotland
15 the bad luck which attended the efforts of another."
Now, if the man had absolutely
written fifteen volumes in seven years, The Brownie of Bodsbeck shall, death would be infinitely too good for God willing, never be read by me; him; but his enormities, though nubut I have been forced to see bits of merous and great, do not amount nearit in corners of the periodical works, ly to fifteen volumes. The Hunting and they are, indeed, cruelly ill-writ- of Badlewe is reprinted in the Drama ten. There are various other instances tic Tales,—therefore, strike off one of good and ill luck," as Mr Hogg volume for that. The Pilgrims of the calls it, in literary history, besides
this Sun, and Mador of the Moor, may one of Old Mortality and the Brownie. sleep in one bed very easily, and the Milton, for example, has been some- Sacred Melodies and the Border Garhow or other a much luckier writer land may be thrown in to them. This than Sir Richard Blackmore. Homer most fortunately cuts off threevolumes. made two choice hits in the Iliad and The Poetic Mirror must, I fear, be Odyssey, that have raised his name allowed to stand very nearly as a sort above that of Professor Wilkie, the of volume in its way. But, pray, did anlucky author of the Epigoniad. Mr Hogg write all the Jacobite relics?
No, for the notes either. They are all ries, may change theke characters, so as to cribbed out of books, without even the disgrace the estimate at which I have set grace of inverted commas. Destroy, them, and my social companions may alter therefore, these two volumes. The their habits. Of my own productions, I
have endeavoured to give an opinion, with Winter Evening Tales “ were written in early life, when I was serving as a
perfect candonr ; and, although the parshepherd-lad among the mountains," the preceding pages, yet I trust every ge
tiality of an author may be too apparent in -50 charge not against an elderly nerous heart will excuse the failing, and man the sins of his youth. This yields make due allowance.” the relief of two volumes. His guilt, therefore, lies within the conspass
Heaven knows that I had no intenseven volumes, or a volume per year when I began this letter ; but I have
tion of subjecting you to double postage, since the 1813.
The swineherd frequently alludes to been led on, drivelling away paragraph a larger work, of which the present is after paragraph, in my good natured only an abstract, or rather a collection old style, till there is not above an inch of “ elegant extracts.” He concludes of candle left, vapouring away in the
socket of the save-all. The truth is, the present autobiography thus :"s In this short memoir, which is composed ness for Hogg; and, to shew, how
that, after all, I have a sneaking kindof extracts from a larger detail, I have confined myself to such anecdotes only, as re.
completely free I am, of all malicious
thoughts, I late to my progress as a writer, and these
you I intend continuing from year to year as
out to him this Letter by the Selkirk long as I live. There is much that I have carrier, and oblige, written that cannot as yet appear; for the Ax OLD FRIEND WITH A NEW FACE. literary men of Scotland, my contempora
[Courteous READER,—If thou art one of the numerous family of “ The SMALLs," the consternation which thou hast suffered in reading the foregoing epistle, can receive no alleviation from any palliative in our power to apply. But if thou art, as we believe the generality of our readers are, a person endowed with a gentlemanly portion of common sense, and can relish banter and good humour as well as curry and claret, thou wilt at once discover that the object of this “ deevilrie,” to use an expression of the Shepherd's, is to add to the interest which his life has excited. Indeed if the paper has not come from Altrive Lake itself, it has certainly been written by some one who takes no small interest in the Shepherd's affairs ; for, in the private letter which accompanies it, the virtues and talents of Hogg are treated with all the respect they merit; and a hope is most feelingly expressed, that by this tickling the public sympathy may be awakened, so as to occasion a most beneficial demand for his works, and put a few cool hundreds in his pocket. At all events, if the Shepherd himself is not the flagellant, we may forthwith expect such an answer as will leave him quits with the writer, whoever he may be ; and certainly, as his autobiography sufficiently proves, his fame can be in no hands more friendly than his own. Let us not, however, be misunderstood. To those who will, “ with lifted hands, and eyes upraised,” regard this as one of those wicked, and we-know-not-whatto-call-them, things, which afflict the spirits of so many of our co-temporaries, we can offer nothing in extenuation of the playful malice of this “ attack.” But seriously we do think, that among all those whom it must constrain to laughter, none will “ rax his jaws" more freely than the Shepherd himself.
C. N: THE MODERN BRITI'SH DRAMA.
THE FATAL UNCTION.
A Coronation Tragedy-By LAELIUS *******, M.D. erer We have great pleasure in doing our Do wreak their wrath upon the stedfast utmost to bring this singularly beau
hills." tiful production into notice. It has After some further conversation of redeemed, in our opinion, the literary this kind, the archbishop sayscharacter of the age from the impu
“ But why, my good Lord Count, are tation of the players, to whom we may The spark of life in Carlo Aurenzebe
you thus shaken? now confidently assert a true dramatic
Is surely not eterne. He is a man : genius does exist in English literature. Not only is the subject of this tragedy At any time, my lord, at any time,
The posset or the poniard may suffice chosen in an original spirit, and the To give him his quietus.” fable constructed with the greatest “ Peace, fool, peace," is the abrupt skill, but the versification and dialogue and impassioned reply of Count Butero are equally entitled to unqualified to the archbishop, and then the folpraise.
lowing animated colloquy ensues :The plot is founded on the unhappy 66 Årchb. I am no fool, you niisapply coronation of Carlo Aurenzebe, King
the term ; of Sicily, a prince of the Austrian dy- I ne'er was such, nor such will ever be. nasty, who was put to death during Oh, if your Lordship would but give me the solemn ceremony of the anoint- hearing, ment, by the conspirators substituting I would a scheme unfold to take him off, a corrosive oil, of the most direful na
That ne'er conspirator devised before. ture, instead of the consecrated oint
Count Butero. Thy hand and pardon. ment; and the medical author, with a
'Tis my nature's weakness rare felicity, has accordingly called
To be thus petulant; ah, well you know, his tragedy“ The Fatal Unction." As My Lord Archbishop, for I oft have told
you, the story is well known, we think it Told in confession how my too quick ire unnecessary to say more respecting it, Betrays me into sin. But thou didst speak than that the Doctor, with a judicious of taking off, hinting at Aurenzebe fidelity to historical truth, has stuck What was't thou wouldst unfold ? close to all the leading incidents, as they Archb.
To-morrow, Count arenarrated in Ugo Foscolo's classichise Look round. tory, in three volumes quarto, a tran
Count Butero. There's no one near. slation of which, with ingenious anno
Archb. Heard ye not that ? tations , may speedily, we understand,
Count Butero, 'Twas but the mountain It be expected from the animated
pen of nd: Sir Robert Wilson, the enterprizing Rumble his bellyful, nor thus disturb
Pray thee proceed, and let the choleric hill member for Southwark.
The wary utterance of thy deep intents. The play opens with a grand scene What would you say ? in a hily country, in which Mount Archb. To-morrow, my dear Count,
Ætna is discovered in the back ground. The Carlo Aurenzebe, your sworn foe, ET. Butero, who had a chief hand in the And our fair Sicily's detested tyrant, plot, enters at midnight, followed
by the Holds in Palermo, with all antique rites, Archbishop of Palermo, whom he ad- His
royal coronation. dresses in the following spirited lines,
Count Butcro. I know that. his right hand stretched towards the Archb. And 'tis your part, an old timeburning mountain.
honour'd right, * There
, spitting fires in heaven's endur. To place the diadem upon his brow.
Count Butero. Proceed-go on.
Archb. And 'tis my duteous service
To touch and smear him with the sacred oil. The vengeance of the foe he so insults
Count Butero. I am all ear what then ? For what to him avails the thunderbolt ?
Archb. What then, my lord ? what It cannot harm his adamantine head,
might not you and I Nor lavish showers of rain his burning to free the world of one so tyrannous ?"
In that solemnity perform on him, quench :The wonted arms with which the warring
The traitorarchbishop then proceeds skies
to develope the treason which he had
hatched, and proposes, instead of the some political reflections, rather of a consecrated oil, to anoint the King with radical nature, are made on the Sicia deadly venom, of which he had pro- lian government and road trustees. In vided himself with a phial. Occasional the end, however, as the poor woman borrowed expressions may be here and is quite bankrupt, by the sinking of there detected in the dialogue ; but, in her quadruped Argusey, Gaffer Curioso general, they only serve to shew the persuades her to go to the city, where variety of the Doctor's reading; we fear, she may perhaps gather as much mohowever, that the following account ney by begging
in the crowd assembled of the preparation, which the arch- to see the coronation, as will enable bishop ħad procured, must be consi- her to set up again with another ass dered as a palpable imitation of the and baskets. The whole of this scene history of Othello's handkerchief ; at is managed with great skill, and the the same time, it certainly possesses breaksandsparklings of natural pathos, much of an original freshness, and of here and there elicited, are exceedingthe energy that belongs to a new con- ly beautiful. The little incongruity of ception.
making the Sicilians converse in our · The stuff in this (shewing the bottle] be deemed a blemish; but when it is
doric dialect, may, perhaps, by some, a gypsey
prepare From a decoction made of adders' hearts,
considered, that the different high And the fell hemlock, whose mysterious characters in the piece speak in Engjuice
lish, the propriety of making those of Doth into mortal curd knead the brisk the lower order talk in Scotch, we are blood,
convinced, must, upon serious refleca Wherein the circling life doth hold its tion, appear judicious and beautiful.
When the peasants, with the gypsey, A friar saw her sitting by a well,
have quitted the stage, the scene is again Tasting the water with her tawny palm,
shifted, and we are introduced to Carlo And bought the deadly stuff.”
Aurenzebe, the King and the beautiful The count and archbishop having
Splendora, his royal consort, in their agreed “to infect with death” their bed-chamber. His majesty has been lawful and legitimate monarch, while he is undergoing the fatigues of his up some time, walking about the room,
anxious for the coming of his Lord inauguration, then go to the palace on Chamberlain, whose duty it was, acpurpose to confer with certain others
cording to ancient custom, in such a of the rebellious nobles ; and the scene morning, to dress him; but the Queen changes to a narrow valley, and pea- still presses her pillow asleep; in this sants are seen descending from the situation, the King happens to cast his hills, singing “God save the King,” eye towards the bed, and forgetting being then on their way towards Pa- his own anxious cares about the im. lermo to see the coronation,
pending ceremony of the day, addressHaving descended on the stage, and finished their loyal song, one of them, touching verses:
es her in the following tender and Gaffer Curioso, sees an old gypsey wo- “ How like a rose her blooming beauty man, the same who sold the poison to
presses the friar, standing in a disconsolate
The smooth plump pillow, and the dent i posture, and going towards her, he makes gives her a hearty slap on the back, Is as a dimple in the gujleless cheek and says, in a jocund humour, - Of some sweet babe, whose chubby inno
“ What's maķing you hing your gruntle, ļucky, on sie a day as this ?
Smiles to provoke caresses. O, my lovethe Gyp. Och hon! och hon!
But let her sleep-too soon, alas! too sooi Gaffer Curi. What are ye och-họning She must be roused, to bear her heavy par för?
In the great business of the coronation.” Gyp. Do ye see that bell in the dub there? His majesty then, in the most af Gaffer Curi. Weel, what o't?
fectionate manner, steps towards thi Gyp. It's a'that's left me for an ass and bed, and stoops twa creels."
“ to taste her cheek, The carlin having thus explained the That, like a full-ripe peach, lures the foni cause of her grief, namely, the loss of lip.” her ass and paniers in the mire, a con- In the attempt he awakens her, anı versation arises respecting the bad and she leaps out of bed, startledand alarm neglected state of the roads, in which ed, exclaimingas