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From a very pretty poem called “Hope,” the production of a respectable clergyman of the name of Bowles, the following elegant description of Fancy is transcribed. That reader, who thinks of this specimen of the author's genius as favourably as we do, will be likely to praise the whole poem.
His fine eye flashing an unwonted fire,
Then Fancy o'er the glade delighted went;
Or gaz'd upon the rolling element;
The various landscape lovelier than the life;
And so well mingled was the color's strife,
As loose it flow'd, such colors did display
Or the moist rainbow's radiant arch inlay;
And now he trippid, like fairy of the wood,
And seem'd with dancing spirits to rejoice;
Meantime, O Hope, he listen'd to thy voice;
FOR THE MIRROR OF TASTE. I must confess, Mr. Editor, that, toiling so hard to gain the applause of posterity, I should be very proud of your assistance. Let me say, sir, that I have looked over the editorial department of your Mirror with inexpressible anxiety for a compliment, and, to my utter confusion and despondency, have found none. I look upon these editorial sugar-plums as what every writer is intitled to obtain as a matter of right. You have already been acquainted with my determination to write for posterity only. Now would it not be a neighbourly office in you to apprise them of the fact?-I give you this fair warning that, unless a compliment is speedily manufactured, I will resort to an action at law for damages. Other writers are told, that they transcend all Greek and Roman fame; while the poor solitary Simon is suffered to keep the harmless tenor of his way. If you knew how comfortable I should feel in perusing an editorial paragraph of this description, you could not have the conscience to refuse me that pleasure:-“We now present to our readers the profound and erudite lucubrations of Simon Shadow, Esq. We are fearful of injuring the modesty of this writer, when we undertake to declare, that for splendor of imagination, profundity of research, chastity of style, nervous, bold and impassionate language, grace and novelty of diction, this writer has been exceeded by no one, ancient or modern."
Now, as the alternative proffered is either a compliment, or an action at common law, you must see that I am disposed to an amicable adjustment; that I have been kind beyond example in giving your opinion by proxy. I beseech you to have an eye to the press, and not to incorporate the above compliment with this communication, as this would jeopardize my reputation for modesty.
I will now, sir, state the cause of my present mortification. So sure was I of a compliment that, previous to my perusal of the last number, I invited a friend of mine home, for the purpose of reading the many handsome things you had said. He accepted of my
invitation; and with an air of self-importance, I brought the Censor from my library, and deposited the book in his hands. I was mus. ing on what attitude of countenance I ought to assume when he should read aloud the precious passage that was to promulgate my glory. After deep contemplation, I concluded that a composure of aspect indicating a familiarity with applause would become my dignity the better. I watched his eye as it coursed along your pages, with the most painful solicitude and impatience, for the sequel: and you may judge of my surprise and chagrin, when he quietly laid the book upon the table and told me that you had not said one word to my advantage. I declare I have been so ashamed ever since, that it requires an uncommon effort for me to look a gentleman full in the face and inquire the time of day.
In requital for this anticipated compliment, suffer me to introduce to your acquaintance my much esteemed cousin, James SHADOW, Esquire.-Without entering into an analysis of his life, so gratifying to an idle curiosity, it is sufficient to say, that he was one of that class who believe that natural genius is every thing-study and industry nothing. This opinion he formed from the amazing difficulty with which he was able to comprehend any subject whatever. While at school, he was perfectly familiar to all the various gradations of honour; and he passed through the various stages with a fortitude becoming his high character. In the first place, he was the birch scholar. This powerful stimulant had been often administered, and with so much fidelity and emphasis, that my cousin could seldom sit down without making wry faces. After his apprenticeship to the birch had expired, he was next put to the discipline of the ferule. And here I beg leave to correct an error into which some of his relations have fallen-that his hard hand was evidence of his early industry. Sir, it was no such thing: the firm and solid texture of his hand resulted from the rigid scholastic discipline he underwent. The preceptor of the academy then made philosophic experiments upon my cousin's ears. All these, however, served only to increase his horror of his book; and I have heard him declare, that he never since can look upon a volume without the most painful sensations: he calls it his old persecutor, and avers that his exterior postern, his hands, his ears, all rise in rebellion at once.
At length he was declared to be the only proper candidate to receive the honours of the academy. A large cap was therefore made
of white paper, to which tassels of the same substance were append. ed, whose height extended nearly to the ceiling. This was fitted exactly to the form of his head; and never did my cousin appear to such distinguished advantage. He looked around upon his fellows with an air of conscious and placid superiority; shut up his book with the most dignified contempt. Methinks, sir, I can see his calm philosophic front erected above his fellows in majestic preeminence; the wind rustling the tassels of his dignity as if anxious to proclaim to the world the glory of the Shadows. My cousin was therefore returned to his parents, with this marked and distinguished encomium, as a boy whose mind could receive no advantage from instruction. He then, for the first time in his life, set his brains to work to solve this mysterious problem: how it should happen that he had received the first honours of the academy when it was a fact admitted by others, and boasted of by himself, that of all the scholars he indisputably knew the least. After this problem had undergone many considerations, he came to this sage conclusion that bounteous nature had done for him what hard study had done for others. So well was my cousin convinced of the justice of this solution, that he preserves the memorial of his academic honours to the present day pendent from the ceiling in the hall of his ancestors; but somewhat profaned by the flies who have not had the same reverence for this badge of early genius. As I am a thorough convert to the faith of my cousin James, I beg leave to state one anecdote of his subsequent life in illustration of its justice. He was, sir, desperately enamoured with a female beauty, who bears the poetical name of MIRA. All his tender looks, passionate exclamations, ecstatic apostrophes, went for nothing; she stedfastly refused the honour of his hand. James at length heard, fortunately for his peace, that love made a man a poet. He found in the family record preserved in the bible, that he had now arrived at a time of life to which law affixes discretion; he was therefore, in legal phraseology, a man competent to transact his own business. That he was a lover also, he knew to his sorrow. He was, therefore, a lover and a man; and, according to that sage apophthegm, a poot. He was resolved to try his hand accordingly at a sonnet; and let it be said to his honour, that in six weeks he produced the following delicious morceau which, as a specimen of beautiful simplicity, stands unrivalled:
as if anxious y cousin was
distinguish. no advantage - life, set his ow it should che academy I by himself, . After this = to this sage 7 what hard inced of the norial of his e ceiling in e flies who rly genius. n James, I illustration h a female der looks
nothing at length
Pardon me, sir, if on the present occasion, and not withstanding all my apathy, I am compelled to shed tears on the perusal of a sonnet abounding in such exquisite simplicity and pathos. It commences with a declaration of his passion in a beautiful apostrophe to Cupid, who, as my cousin said he was credibly informed, was a sort of god in such matters; it tells Mira that she was the cause of his grief; that her beauty, to which a compliment is paid, had fascinated his eyes; and ends with a declaration that she had rejected his passion; and that his death would be the consequence. All this is comprised in the space of fourteen lines!--Notwithstanding this pathetic appeal, the little ingrate resisted his addresses; and my cousin at last found consolation in the thought, that if the most tender love and the most fervid poetry united, could not take her heart by storm, it was not worth the pains or hazard of a conquest. I produce, sir, this incident as a proof of the principle, that nature can do for a great genius more than study is capable of doing, consequently that the honours of the academy were well conferred on my worthy cousin, James Shadow.
; he was nsact his row. He
CURIOUS COMBAT. Two gentlemen of high birth, the one a Spaniard and the other a German, having rendered Maximilian II. many great services, they each for recompense demanded his natural daughter, Helena Scharfequinn, in marriage. The prince, who entertained equal regard for them both, could not give either the preference; and after much delay, he told them, that from the claims they both had to his