* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a https://www.fadedpage.com administrator before proceeding. Thousands more FREE eBooks are available at https://www.fadedpage.com.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: The Scribbler 1821-08-09 Volume 1, Issue 27

Date of first publication: 1821

Author: Samuel Hull Wilcocke (1766-1833) (Editor)

Date first posted: June 29, 2019

Date last updated: June 29, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190655

This eBook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, David T. Jones, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net


Montreal. Thursday, 27th December, 1821. No. XXVII.

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona

Multi; sed omnes illacrymabiles

    Urgentur, ignotaque longa

    Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.——Horace.

        Heroes there many lived before old Homer sung,

        Some worthy of a crown, some worthy to be hung;

But since by bards and chroniclers they all have been forgotten

Unfam’d they died, and, bless their souls! their bones are even rotten.

——Ut unda impellitur unda,

Urgetque prior venienti, urgetque priorem,

Tempora sic fugiunt pariter, pariterque sequuntur;

Et nova sunt semper.


As wave to wave succeeds, each pressing each,

And press’d in turn behind, so flit our years,

The present pressing on the last, and prest

By that which comes; the same, yet ever new.


Montreal, 20th Dec. 1821.

Mr. Scribbler,

It has been remarked by Horace that many illustrious names before the time of Agamemnon have been lost to posterity for want of a bard to transmit them in immortal song. Now I conceive the fashionables in Montreal are much in the same predicament with respect to their entertainments, balls, and parties; they are lost to the public for want of a proper chronicler; the newspapers seldom taking any notice of these interesting topics. In order, therefore, to remedy this defect, and that you may set the negligent editors an example, and furnish them with a model, I inclose you for insertion in your next publication in any way you shall think best, an account of a grand Fête that took place last Tuesday, drawn up in the style of the London Morning Post, which I take to be the true pattern for all such compositions. The Beau-monde can not but be highly pleased with the prospect of having their splendid doings thus blazoned in print, and must feel grateful to you for beginning so useful a practice. In London, next to giving a party, the highest gratification is to have it known; this is doubtless also the feeling here.

I am, Sir, your obdt. servant.


The Countess of Oldjoseph Starewell’s Grand Fête.

This fashionable lady last night opened her splendid mansion in the worst part of St. Paul’s Street, to all the leaders of ton in Montreal. It is not within the compass of language to convey by description any idea of this sumptuous enterment—the very acme of elegance and taste. That magnificent suite of apartments on the ground floor, where art has exhausted itself in embellishment, was thrown open for the reception of company. The grand entrance, stair-case, and ball-room, were decorated by a profusion of shrubs and evergreens, giving them the appearance, and shedding the fragrance, of an Eastern grove; at the same time diffusing a coolness inconceivably pleasant at this season of the year, when the ground is covered with snow two feet deep, and the thermometer several degrees below the freezing point. The supper consisted of every delicacy in and out of season, catered in the market by the munificent host himself, and it is even said, though we will not vouch for its truth, that he gave last Friday morning 4s. 6d. for a couple of ducks. The wines were of the rarest and choicest flavour.

Carrioles, sleighs, berlins, traineaux, and every description of vehicle on runners, continued to arrive and set down from half past eight till half past nine. Precisely at nine dancing commenced by a quadrille, led off by the following well known elegant votaries of Terpsichore:

  The Countess     andBaron Grunt;
  Mrs. LonglassBaron Loftystone;
  Miss Carolina Wilhelmina}Capt. Le Sly;
    Amelia Loverule
  Miss HogsfleshDr. Drugwell;

and continued with an alternation of country-dances till two, when supper was announced, and by five the whole of the beau-monde had withdrawn.

We regret to say that an accident equally unforeseen as never-to-be-sufficiently-lamented and irreparable, eclipsed in a great degree the brilliancy of the arrangements. An immense number of the most tastefully variegated lamps[A] had been provided, but when they came to receive the Promethean touch of the lighter it was found impossible to kindle them into flame; whether this was owing to inexperience, bad materials, or an awkward attempt at imitation beyond the possibility of execution, we can not pretend to determine, but this agonizing failure cast an obscuration over the festivity of the evening, which not all the sparkling wit and well known convivial talents of the elegant host, nor the enchanting fascinations of his accomplished lady could dispel. Among the fashionable crowd we noticed

  Ladies                      a very few, namely; (here unfortunately my inkstand fell over the manuscript, and obliterated all the names of the distinguished guests with which I am therefore not able to oblige the public. The Amateur of Fashion I trust will excuse this accident and favour me with his occasional reports of what is going forward in the little great world of Montreal which can not fail to be gratifying to the entertainers, and highly amusing to the entertained.)

The ladies’ dresses were of the most superb and costly description; the gentlemen were chiefly à la militaire. The Count himself appeared in a fancy coat of the most unique and singularly tasteful cut, and seemed in the best health.

Montreal, 19th Decr. 1821.

[A] Rumour with her hundred tongues states that these lamps were the same that on His Majesty’s birth day 12th August, last year, 1820, decorated a house in St. Laurent Suburbs, which the newspapers of the day celebrated as exhibiting a blaze of light; and which were borrowed both for that and the present occasion.

L. L. M.

Christmass week. Whoever looks around him during the present season, may entertain some doubt whether the upper or the lower ranks are most civil. Certain it is that all the outward signs of civility are now wonderfully apparent. Never surely was precept better kept than “servants obey your masters in all things,” for eight or ten days. There is no occasion to ring the bell above once, and no disputes are heard as to whose business it is to answer it; the distance between the kitchen and parlour appears to be shortened, and no one supposes what is wanted before they go to enquire. Early rising, considering how cold and dark the mornings are, is practised with surprising alacrity and cheerfulness; a cheerfulness imparted to the very fire, which blazes most comfortably as soon as it is wanted. The breakfast is got ready all together. There is no waiting for the toast when the tea is ready, nor any deficiency of water when the tea pot is exhausted. Not a saucy word in reply to a command, nor a humph nor a hum to be heard. Dinner is served up to a minute, and done to a tittle. Nothing is forgot, nothing of that lamentable want of memory complained of at other times, and the usual plea, “I did not think of it,” is itself not thought of. In the house work every thing is done before it is ordered, instead of a month or six weeks after. There is plenty of wood always ready for the stove, and abundance of coals in the scuttle. There is no delay in errands, and doors open and shut as gently as if they could not express any passion. Letter-carriers are remarkably attentive in delivering their letters punctually and with dispatch, and the newspapers come in with the hot rolls at breakfast. Even the very printer’s devils stir about like merry imps, and I know I shall not have half so many errors of the press to correct in the proofsheet of this Scribbler as I shall have for a twelve month to come.

Christmass boxes and New Year’s gifts are customs of very universal usage, and of ancient standing. New Year’s gifts were not unknown to the Romans, and traces of them are to be found even in the fragments of Sanchoniathon’s Phœnician history. I had intended to have enlarged this week on the good old custom observed in this country of visiting each other on New Year’s day. But I must defer that intention to my next, as I can not omit giving a place to the following


Now dark December, with his stormy hand,

Hath closed the circle of the rolling year,

That rearward glides along the length of ages,

And yields his place to coming months which spring

                  New from the lap of time.


Sad was the scene; no incense-breathing gales

Caught his last sigh; no choral groves their hymns—

Of joy and love, gave as he quit, the scene,

Nor genial suns, with love inspiring ray,

                  Shone on his parting hour.


But sullen winter with congealing touch,

Seal’d first his eyes; and howling Boreas blew

His fiercest blast, and hurl’d the snowy shroud

Furious around him, and flung o’er his grave

                  An icy monument.


Nature convulsed, confest the parting pangs,

And, as the year sunk in the grave of time,

She travail’d with his son and heir, and lo!

The midnight hour received the new-born babe,

                  Cradled in wintery storms.


And we, frail mortals, hail’d th’auspicious hour

That told the coming of another year,

With light and life, and all the blessings he,

The sire of being, gives; and grateful hearts

                  Our joyful bosoms swell’d.


Offspring of time! thrice welcome to our world!

Tho’ storms obscure thy birth, and Winter hold

His iron sceptre o’er thy wide domains,

Yet Spring succeeds them, and her virgin-charms

                  Shall warm thee into life.


The peeping violet on its grassy couch,

Each fairy flower, the dew-bespangled mead,

The forest clothed in green, the joyous birds

That tune their throats to love; all that hath life,

                  Their all shall bring to thee.


The fervid suns that Summer’s long arch sweep,

The thunder-cloud that wets the teeming earth,

The beauteous harvests rising on the plain,

The gales that fan them; all conspiring, shall

                  Thy ripening manhood fill.


Matured with Autumn, thou shalt with her too

Decline; and as she sheds her honours round,

In mellow age thy manly self shalt sink,

And pale October’s latest sun shall shine

                  Upon thy lockless brow.


And, like thy sire, hoar Winter’s heavy hand

Thou shalt confess, and feel the blasting storms

That shook him from his hold of earthly things——

And, as he gave thee place, so shalt those cede

                  Unto another year.


Frail man! behold a picture of thyself——

Thy life is but the circle of a year,

Which death will surely close——Then, to the work

Thou hast to do! that, when thy year’s complete,

                  Life may be thine hereafter.


Port Talbot, Upper Canada.

[B] I have to acknowledge the other poetic favours of Erieus, which will receive due attention, as the pressure of other matter will allow. The delicate compliment which accompanies his request for the insertion of “The battle of Lundy’s lane,” is a bribe that my vanity would with difficulty resist even were the verses less entitled to a place than they are from their extrinsic brilliant merit. They will appear in an early succeeding number, with the alterations he suggests.

Mr. Scribbler,

A paradox of yours says (see No. 6.) “No woman can be perfectly agreeable without a spice of the devil in her composition.” Divines solve this paradox by affirming that mankind are naturally corrupt, and were women without this spice they would be angels, and of course not perfectly agreeable to men. But do tell me, dear Scribbler, how it happens that a woman can sometimes gorge the spice-box and all its contents? In your recondite and extensive readings did you ever meet with such an instance recorded? Or in your travels did you ever know a woman appearing to be without a spice, who all at once shewed herself to be in possession of the whole box, filled to overflowing, and like the widow’s cruse inexhaustible?

I pray you, Mr. Scribbler, to point out, if you can, the antidotes to the devil’s spices, and by so doing you will kindly relieve the wounds and bruises of perhaps many a suffering husband, but particularly the pelted head of your devoted



Mr. Tremble’s case appearing to be an urgent one, I will take it into consideration next week, and in the mean time, pendente lite, I do order and direct Mrs. Tremble to abstain from the use of her hands and nails, as well as of all tea-cups, wine-glasses and other missile weapons, in contention with her husband, and moreover not to exalt her voice above c flat basso and to begin and end her speeches with “my dear”; until further orders. Witness my hand.


The Scribbler is published every Thursday by James Lane, St. Paul street, price 6d. per No. or 6s. per quarter, 11s. 6d. for six months, or 22s. per annum. Sent postage free to any part of the British American dominions. Letters, and advertisements relating to literature or the arts (which are inserted gratis, modified or curtailed at the option of the Editor,) to be addressed to Lewis Luke Macculloh, Esquire, Post Office, Montreal, or left at the Printer’s.


“That is to say they are a trading copartnery, to do the devil’s business without mentioning his name in the firm.”

Kenilworth, vol. 1, ch. 4.

S. H. Wilcocke hereby gives notice to the North West Company, and others whom it may concern, that, if they do not publish a report of his trial at the late Court of Oyer and Terminer, upon the false and scandalous charge of forgery brought against him, he intends to publish an abstract of the same with remarks on all the witnesses and their evidence and his defence at large. He will give them till the second week in January for revising their minutes, after which he will say with the psalmist:

“These things hast thou done and I kept silence, thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself, but I will reprove thee and set them in order before thine eyes.” Ps. L. v. 21.

Errata in No. 26, p. 207, 5th line from bottom, for Connty read Country.
203, 13th do. do. for Magazine read Review.


Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.


[The end of The Scribbler 1821-08-09 Volume 1, Issue 27 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]