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to their discursive habits. The rest, and tales of love troubles were numerous, and by far the larger portion of their time is it was customary to give them a sort of open to the indulgence of idleness or plea- scandalous tendency, by suppressing, under sure ; which is still more in conformity initials, the supposed names of the chief with their tastes, and in consideration of actors, in order that the credulous and which they are not unwilling to compound innocent public might be led to believe for all that is irksome and toilsome in that the story was true, and that the editor their duties. But we do not find them in had delicately concealed the personalities any of the plodding professions, where un- out of respect for the noble persons inremitting attention is indispensable, and volved. All this, if course, only made pecwhere industry and judgment are requisite ple more curious, and, in proportion, infor the attainment of eminence.
creased the patronage of this sly old periThe country that produced an Usher odical. Then there were deaths, births, (one of the most learned men of any age), and marriages out of number; news of a Swift, a Sterne, a Goldsmith, a Sheridan, the fleet, in a couple of lines headed in à Flood, a Grattan, a Ponsonby, a Curran huge capitals, that engrossed more space -has never been able to support a maga- than the intelligence they introduced ; elazine! A few magazines were attempted borate accounts of street accidents, printed within the lasty fifty or sixty years ; but in large type,-picking pockets being they exhausted the pockets of their pro- at that time considered one of the black jectors, and were speedily abandoned. arts; and singular discoveries in geology, We will glance at them for the purpose of mineralogy, and astronomy, which sciences shewing the sort of materials of which were then and there esteemed to be almost those brief literary speculations were
above the reach of the human intellect. The composed.
“ Gentleman's Magazine” passed away like The earliest of which we have been able a shadow-noiseless, and leaving no imto discover any trace is the “ Gentleman's pression behind. How long it lived we Magazine.” Such of our readers as may know not ; nor do we believe, unless by happen to have seen any of our old reposi- accident some copies may yet be found in tories, in which wonderful voyages, strange the lumber rooms of family houses, that anecdotes about dogs and bears, curious a single copy of the work is now in facts in natural history, letters upon the existence. powder tax, and “ original poetry” are to The next magazine in order of time was be found, may form a tolerably correct a miscellany entitled 66 Walker's Hibernotion of the contents of the “Gentleman's nian Magazine, or compendium of enterMagazine." It fairly represented the taining knowledge." It is fifty years since fictitious manners of the day, and was as this work flourished, and yet to this hour vapid, maudlin, sentimental, and jejune as stray copies of it are to be met with in could be desired. Its good-natured readers auction rooms, and in private houses ; for, were delighted every month with little en- antiquated as it is in shape, in substance, gravings of lady T
lord S- and in style, the Irish people seem to relooking at each other through two circles, gard it with a sort of lingering pleasure. intended to give the effect of locket-frames, It was published by the keeper of a lottery their eyes staring out straight forward with, office, who, as appears by the following out a ray of thought or emotion, their appropriate doggerel verses, dispensed alike hair combed and pomatumed back, and their the gifts of Fortune and the beauties of regular features exhibiting the most placid Literature. These stanzas afford a fair tone of inanity. Underneath the ambi- exemplar of the poetry which formed part guous couple was printed some such mys- of the staple of the work:terious announcement, as
66 The Delicate
Not only Entertainment flows, Intrigue," '-or more probably, “ The Con
In pleasing verse, instructive Prose,
But Wealth, from Fortune's store, scious Lovers!' Occasionally the plates
Descends to those who seek them all, were varied by the introduct.on of a new And for their friendly succour call muslin pattern spread over a whole
At Walker's lucky door.
In vain shall Envy curl each snake, sheet, the interest of which was usually
And raging Fury strive to break heightened by some anecdote about the
The union that is found, fashions, or an account of the reception of
'Twixt sweet Amusement, and the charm
That every generous Heart can warm a certain macaroni at court. The slender
In full Ten Thousand Pound!
A string of these verses is stitched up with in common by Protestants and Catholics. an appendix to a volume of the magazine The yeomanry of the day—or, more pro“ for the year 1787.” The reader will not perly, the militia, who were domiciliated in fail to observe with what consummate in- the villages, and mixed up with the people, genuity Walker contrived to make his two from amongst whom they were drawn withoccupations assist each other; how the en- out distinction of creed-discharged their tertainment is blended with the wealth, and annual feu de joie over the sculptured figure how the “ sweet amusement,” which he of William III., to the great delight of the takes it for granted the reader must derive populace; and as they stood in their gay from his magazine, is connected with the uniforms, side by side, making military “ten thousand pound,” which is to be the holiday, they never paused over their firecertain prize of the purchaser of a ticket. locks to inquire into the nature of the In those days, primitive as the people were, triumph they celebrated, or how far their they seem to have had a very clear concep- interests were concerned in its results. tion of the art of puffing ; and it is doubtful With discussion, however, came dissention; whether in later and more refined times, so and, after nearly a century of tacit acquiespalpable a method of forcing a sale either cence in forms which neither of them of books or of lottery tickets would have understood, the Catholic began to think been attempted. We certainly can hardly that he was cheated of his rights by violated associate any of our defunct lottery-office treaties and unredeemed pledges; and the people with literature, except it be that of Protestant to assert an ascendency which the many-coloured placards, with vignettes rendered the positive advantages of his of fat boys blowing trumpets, and Fortune position at once invidious and insecure. clapping her hands over a wheel. It would The doctrines proclaimed by the Americans require a great stretch of imagination to were rapidly spread amongst the people ; suppose the existence of such a periodical popular writers compared the situations of
Sivewright's Universal Repertory," America and Ireland in relation to the
Bish's Compendium of Entertaining mother country,drawing deductions favourKnowledge.”
able to the establishment of national indeAn odd volume of Walker would be a pendence; and the whole frame of society treat to the lover of old magazines. It was was soon convulsed by civil feuds. England, filled with the usual varieties—crude sugges- alarmed at the growing disaffection of the tions in materia medica—cases of hydro- Irish, which was not wholly confined to the phobia (at a time when they used to smother Catholics, but which was shared by some the patient between two feather beds) members of the Established Church, and -original anecdotes,-essays, transcending by almost all the Presbyterians, consented Theophrastus, upon human character,- to make concessions. The Free Trade had prophecies, legends, epigrams, anagrams, been already procured by the indefatigable and acrostics. But the most remarkable, perseverance of Grattan, and the elective and, perhaps, the most valuable part of the franchise was now bestowed upon the work, consisted in occasional criticisms on Catholic population. A measure that connew works, with copious extracts, which ferred political rights upon the uneducated furnish on the whole a tolerably satisfac- classes, who were the most likely to abuse tory view of the state of literature in them, while it excluded the educated who Ireland at the close of the last century. would have been the most likely to exerThe results are not very flattering, but they cise them with discretion, could hardly fail prove that at that time a great number of to increase the discontent of the people. To books were published, and that there existed grant to the Catholics the power of choosesome encouragement, however slight, for ing representatives, and, at the same time, the labours of authors. This fact, taken in to refuse them the privilege of representing connection with the domestic politics of the themselves, was to begin conciliation at period, is worth consideration. We find the wrong end. The Catholics were disthat previously to the general agitation satisfied with the imperfect amount and consequent upon the American war, works vexatious nature of the concession ; while of fiction were frequently published in the Protestants were just as much exaspeIreland, and supported by a respectable rated at it as if it included the whole boon reading population. The anniversaries of of civil and political equality. Enjoying by the revolution were at that time celebrated prescription the whole patronage of the government, and controlling hitherto all the party in England opposed the “glorious constituencies, they regarded every favour revolution” as long as there existed a hope extended to the Catholics as an encroach- of the restoration of the Stuarts, and that ment upon their own privileges. In the they did not adopt the political faith of the North, where the Protestant interest is adherents of the House of Orange, until strongest, these demonstrations of resistance they had driven the Whigs from office, and to the tardy policy of the English Cabinet found it expedient to take up with the broke out with the fiercest fury; and here Revolution. There is, therefore, no histoit was that the Orange association was ori- rical continuity in the profession of belief: ginated. As this fact—which we treat and the Orange Society was no more than historically—has been wholly overlooked an after-thought, and had as little right to in the investigations that have, of late years, the title it assumed, as the Whigs of the been instituted in reference to the Orange present day have to be considered as the system, it may be as well to state it circum- descendants of the Whigs of the reigns of stantially. Numerous parties of Protestants Queen Anne and George I. Indeed both assembled, from day to day, in the North, parties changed sides, and the retention of and, assailing the Catholics wherever they their old names is a palpable blunder. were to be found at wakes, patterns, and These circumstances, however, deeply affestivals, frequent conflicts took place; on fected the interests of literature in Ireland. which occasions the Protestants, being better Before the excitement produced by the armed, practised, and organised, were usually American war, and the sanguinary example victorious. In the county of Armagh, one of the French revolution, books were freof these petty battles, called the Battle of quently published, and had a remunerating the Diamond, occurred; and such was the sale. After that time, the publication of severity of theonslaught, and so bravely was original works almost wholly ceased, and the triumph contested, that the Protestants when
their circulation was formed themselves into an association upon languid and disheartening. the spot, in commemoration of the event, But revenons à nos moutons. Walker's selecting William, Prince of Orange, as miscellany was, for its day, a clever and their patron,” in opposition to the St. spirited work. Its classification was not Patrick of the Papists. This was the first destitute of utility, and its subjects were Orange lodge that was ever formed; it was various, exhibiting an amusing diversity of held on the day of the fight, the 21st of styles. Some of the writers emulated the September, 1795, and was the nucleus of well-poised, redundant, and antithetical that powerful confederation which subse- pomp of Johnson, which was then the quently expanded itself over the whole fashion; while others, struggling out of island. It would be hardly worth while to the mode, attempted new flights of the enter into these particulars, were it not that most fantastic description. The most cuscarcely one Orangeman in every hundred rious trait in the magazine was the absence is cognisant of the circumstance, that it is of a presiding mind and uniform manner. generally believed that the Orange associa- It was evidently working between two tion dates its origin from a much earlier tides. It marks the period of a transition period, and that the fact itself, trifling as in the prevailing taste, without embodying it is, proves that the Orange league sprang the full spirit of the change. The poetical out of an accident, and was at first intended department was, as it is in almost all magato celebrate only a particular occurrence, zines, the worst. The Sylvias, and Delias, instead of being, as it has been asserted, a and Chloes, exhibited their usual tinsel and deliberate union of individuals associated morbid finery in its columns, and with the for the protection of the national interests exception of a few extracts from the ribald and the defence of the king's government. and sarcastic muse of Peter Pindar, imWhat the memory of the Prince of Orange ported fresh from London, the rhyming had to do in the matter, or how his princi- corner was thoroughly unreadable. The ples of religious freedom, which he came most popular division of the magazine was over to this country to vindicate upon the dedicated to legendary tales and romances, invitation of the people, after having suc- which appear to have formed its chief cessfully maintained them in Holland stock in trade. These pieces describe themagainst Louis XIV., is more than we can selves : the horrors of the Radcliffe school, conjecture. But certain it is, that the Tory the mysteries, the profuse euphuism of
that delectable spring of wonders, were more accomplished and advanced age. It carried in them to the last point of extra- administered, of course, to the taste of the vagance. One of the most memorable of the day, against which it would have been fictions which were first given to the world vain to run counter, and surrendered a in the pages of Walker's Magazine, was the portion of its space to idle and frivolous Romance of the Pyrenees, which has since matter; but it rescued many important antibeen published in four or five volumes. It quarian researches from oblivion, and drew was continued for a series of years through into its pages nearly all the available ability the magazine, and actually prolonged its within the reach of its influence. Some life beyond its natural term, in despite of embellishments which it presented to the a waning connection, and many general public at intervals, attest the advance that causes of depression ; until, at last, after an had then been made in the art of engravexistence of twenty or thirty years, as fluc- ing in Ireland, since sadly fallen away ; tuating as the lottery itself, the readers of while its political pieces were selected, Walker's Miscellany suddenly found their on the whole, with some care and judgshares turn up blanks !
ment. One division of the work was dediThe demise of this pleasant old twaddler cated to the solution of mathematical prowas followed by a magazine entitled the blems. Such a feature in a magazine Anthologia Hibernica, which exhibited a now-a-days would weigh it down like lead; hundred fold its claims to public patronage, but it must be remembered that extraorand which lived only through two years. dinary advances have been made in that It was commenced in 1793, the year when department of science since the time when some of the most oppressive parts of the the Anthologia flourished, and that people Penal Code in reference to the Catholics had not then such facilities of acquiring were repealed. Previously to that time, knowledge of that kind as we possess. The the office of the Roman Catholic priest was principal contributor of the mathematical discharged under the terrors of the law, conundrums, was a gentleman who always Catholics were not allowed to hold pro- printed his name in full, Daniel O’Reardon. perty, nor to possess educational founda- He took the greatest delight in announcing tions. It was a period of considerable himself to the public as the author of the excitement, but the Anthologia was esta- mysterious papers filled with diagrams and blished with a pledge of neutrality, which, profound calculations; and enlarged with however, at such a season it was almost commendable pride upon elaborate explaimpossible to fulfil. Accordingly we find nations of things, that to the vulgar were incidental traces of a political tendency, wondrous strange, but that every young which, with an instinct natural, perhaps, gentleman of fifteen years of age could. to genius in want of patronage, ran through- have elucidated quite as clearly as Mr. out in favour of the government. By the Daniel O’Reardon. Poor O’Reardon used way, the editor had some very strange to consider himself the first mathematician notions
upon the subject of parliamentary in Europe. He had a share in shortening reform; for, at the foot of an elaborate the days of the Anthologia, which drooped table of parliamentary patronage, which under the weight of his solemn rodomonmust have cost him some labour in the tade. But his glory was not to be eclipsed compilation, he innocently inquires, “what by the death of the periodical through inconvenience had arisen to the country which he illuminated the world. He surfrom the state of its representation ?" and vived it many years, to the ineffable satisin that very table he shows, without reser- faction of his numerous pupils. O’Rearvation of names or places, that of a Par- don's employment was that of preparing liament consisting of 300 members, 94 students in the “ mathematical line” to members were nominated and influenced enter college. He generally had the good by 53 commoners, and 134 members were fortune to obtain pupils who had money to nominated and influenced by 54 peers, spend, who did not care how they spent it, leaving to the people the election of only and who had no desire whatever to learn 72!-Yet the editor asks what incon- any thing. This exactly suited O’Rearveniences had arisen to the country from don : he was a bon-vivant of the first the state of its representation !
water—not gay, not witty, not even musiThe Anthologia was a work of ability cal— but he could drink deeply, could and would have reflected credit upon a listen conscientiously, enjoy any mischief
ON HER CHARGING THE AUTHOR WITH WRITING TOO
MUCH ON LOVE.
that was going forward, provided he was will survive as long as our language is allowed to get drunk, and he possessed the spoken or read. Those poets were Derart of talking blarney in perfection. His mody and Moore. The first verses that pupils — wild Irish roystering rogues—were are known to have been published by enchanted with so lax a master of the Moore appeared in the Anthologia, and mathematics, and accordingly the evenings are, no doubt, some of the earliest he were usually appointed for giving lessons, ever wrote. As there is always attached when O’Reardon might drink as much as to such reliques a greater or lesser amount he liked, and his élèves might learn as of curiosity, we will present the lines to little as they thought fit. Had they taken our readers exactly as we find them in the O’Reardon of a morning—when his head pages of the Magazine, with the note, inwas cloudy, and his humour dull—the troductory and deprecatory, to the editor. whole business would have been a mere
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ANTHOLOGIA waste of time, for, in fact, the bibulous
HIBERNICA. O’Reardon knew nothing more of mathematics than its bare forms. To be sure it
Aungier Street, Sept. 11, 1793. was a waste of time as it was, but as the
Sir, – if the following attempts of a night advanced O'Reardon could make the youthful muse seem worthy of a place in most of what he did know, talk thick and your Magazine, by inserting them you will loud, expatiate grandiloquently upon single much oblige a constant reader, phrases, and confound the arch pupils so
TH-M-s M- -RE. admirably that they felt a sort of wicked
TO ZELIA, pleasure in paying him for getting up so much fun. When he once fell into a
'Tis true my muse to love inclines, mood of talking it was impossible to stop And wreaths of Cypria's myrtle twines; him ; then it was that the inward vanity Quits all aspiring, lofty views, of the teacher broke out; then it was that,
And chants what Nature's gifts infuse;
Timid to try the * mountain's height, with a rich Irish brogue which confiscated Beneath she strays, retired from sight; all the parts of speech with the most con
Careless, culling amorous flowers,
Or quaffing mirth in Bacchus' bowers. fusing rapidity, he was wont to assert that
When first she raised her simplest lays no man in the British dominions spoke In Cupid's never ceasing praise,
The god a faithful promise gavepure, vernacular English ;' and
That never should she feel love's stings, then, too, it was that he would propose to Never to burning passion be a slave, his scholars to teach them Latin, in addi- But feel the purer joy thy friendship brings. tion to the mathematics, premising that he
The argument, it must be confessed, is knew all its depth as intimately as his
not very satisfactory ; but the tone of this mother tongue. This was O’Reardon's
little poem, and its epigrammatic terminafavourite subject when he became very tion, indicate the character of the writer's obtuse over his liquor : and on such occasions he was in the habit of illustrating ambitious and brilliant displays. To this
genius, subsequently developed in more his knowledge of Latin, by the following piece was added the following :familiar quotation, which he gave with a rich flood of voice, and a sinister twinkle
Ah, Celia! when wilt thou be kind? of the eye that cannot be made intelligible
When pity my tears and complaint ? in description : “ And Horace said to his
To mercy, my fair! be inclined, mother, Do you drink punch ?" "No, my For mercy belongs to the saint. son," said she, “ nemo mortalium omnibus Oh ! dart not disdain from thine eye ! Horace caput !” We give this literally as it Propitiously smile on my love!
No more let me heave the sad sigh, was rendered by O’Reardon. Poor fellow!
But all cares from my bosom remove! his end was like his life-he went out in
My gardens are crowded with flowers, the same state of mental oblivion in which
My vines are all loaded with grapes ; it was his glory to live !
Nature sports in my fountains and bowers, But there were other contributors to the And assumes her most beautiful shapes. Anthologia who have since acquired a The shepherds admire my lays, wider fame than our thirsty mathema
When I pipe they all flock to my song;
They deck me with laurel and bays, tician. It is worth recording, that the
And list to me all the day long. Anthologia Hibernica first introduced to the public two poets, one of whom at least