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Title: The Scribbler 1822-02-07 Volume 1, Issue 33

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Sep. 16, 2019

Date last updated: Sep. 16, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190936

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, February, 7th, 1822. No. XXXIII.

Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptus,

Gaudia, discursus, nostra est furrago libelli.


        Within this little varied book you’ll find

        Whatever agitates the human mind;

Sweet love and shivering fear, red wrath, and joy most jolly,

Wisdom’s attractive robe, and motley coat of folly.

In my younger days, when travelling on the continent of Europe, I was often much amused by the performances of the wandering Savoyards, who with guitars, hurdy gurdys, songs, stories, and magic lanthorns, afford a fund of entertainment to the population of France and Germany. They are collectors and retailers of anecdotes, political, public, and domestic, and some of their exhibitions are pregnant with satire on the reigning follies, the evil practices, or remarkable personages, of the countries they visit. I often made notes of what appeared interesting in their performances. Amongst others, at a town in Switzerland, situated, as Chambly is in this province, on a smooth bason formed by the waters of a turbulent and rocky river, I encountered, some twenty years ago, a Savoyard who had attracted a crowd around him, and was haranguing them in his patois; his manner, and the ready application which was made by his auditors of the traits of character he exhibited, to their neighbours and acquaintances, attracted my particular notice. Ladies and gentlemen, said he, (I translate his jargon into English) I have followed this profession full thirty years, and have travelled over a great part of the world with my magic lanthorn, and I can say, without vanity, that my exhibitions have every where been liberally rewarded.——Nannette, hand round the tambourine, said he to a rosy, arch looking short-petticoated girl who was one of his attendant group. Ladies and gentlemen, I know your liberality will take the hint. Thank ye sir—thank ye ma’am.—From the knowledge of the world I have acquired by experience among the various nations I have visited, and most especially by the potent assistance of my lanthorn, I am able to pronounce upon the temper and dispositions of most people without the advantage of a particular intimacy, or even mixing in their society. Accordingly I hold up to public view their good or bad qualities as I discover either to be predominant; and if even the foibles and evil ways of those who behold their imperfections in the mirror of my lanthorn, are not influenced, or mended, or should there be even some merit in sparing them for lenity’s sake, yet it must be allowed that there is more in thus affording the means of shaming and deterring others from imitating them. But, ladies and gentlemen, I perceive you are impatient for a trial. Well, as it is now dark enough, now you shall see what you shall see—So, range yourselves all on this side;——now look with all your eyes upon this magic reflection. There you see first a swarthy man of little stature with spectacles on nose: it is but a few years since he made his debut in this neighbourhood. He is no keeper of secrets, but one, namely, how he obtained the respectable situation he got into, he has never divulged, and this is perhaps the only secret he has ever been known to keep. We will call him corporal Lavender, and you will know him by his loquacity and officiousness. Observe now, how he impertinently accosts that fine looking personage on his right hand, and is relating with mixed gravity and rage, how the housekeeper flung the dish-clout in his face. But the gentleman, a man of discrimination, listens to him only through complaisance, and laughs in his sleeve at his pragmatic propensities. Now you see he torments his lady, who is an amiable woman, with his silly stories, and sagely observes to her that if her favourite boy were whipped he would inevitably cry. Gentlemen, now you see before you an odd character, that baffles even my powers of description; his reputed father received a mortal contusion in endeavouring to climb a steeple, and his grand father, poor man, broke his neck in robbing a hen-roost. Mr. Snatchlove, however, has been more successful in life than either of these, for, warned by their fate, he always creeps before he climbs, and instead of stealing his hens, coaxes the poultry into his coop. Now ladies and gentlemen, I will transport you to the chief town of this canton; now again you shall see what you shall see. Behold where the august “Sittings of Discord” are held, which in this little Swiss republic you know take place four times a year. You there see the bench of Judges, and I will give you some account of them. First, you see the Marquis of Argentcourt who presides; his integrity and independance are such that his manly spirit disdains to cringe to either party or power; the great possessions which he inherits from a long line of illustrious ancestors put him far beyond the reach of temptation, and the poor apple-woman and the wealthy merchant come before him with equal pretensions to his justice: now listen to his address to the Jury on opening the Court; it is a master-piece of judicial eloquence; hear him! hear him! “Altho’ ” says he, “you have the right of making presentments against whomsoever you may see occasion; should any accusation be brought against any of the component members of this Court, so confident am I of their immaculacy, that you should reflect most deliberately before you listen to them.” This address must make a lasting impression on the hearers as it is so well calculated for the meridian of Mount Royal, whilst it is delivered in the most impressive tone and with peculiar emphasis. Next on the bench you see the redoubted Mr. Von Slachterem, who possesses in an eminent degree all the qualifications (with the trifling exceptions of a clear head, a sound judgement and a good heart) which constitute the great lawyer and the upright magistrate. This gentleman’s intimate acquaintance with civilized life, and his having never been engaged in party, render him a great acquisition to the bench. Besides, gentlemen, you will readily perceive that being himself still under bail to take his trial for atrocious crimes, no person could be fitter to sit in judgement upon petty offences. The third is a merchant (this republic follows the representative system even in their Courts) who by his industry, economy and stability has acquired a princely fortune; having successfully managed his own affairs, he now allows the public the benefit of part of his wonderful abilities, and, retiring from the pursuits of commerce, he fills one of the most honourable, though not the most lucrative, offices in the country.[1] The last personage on the bench is Monsr. L’Eperron, who it is but justice to say, with moderate talents and little brilliancy, acts his part with sound judgement, and the good will of all. If he has a fault it is that he hunts not after place or employment, and pins his faith on no man’s sleeve; but leads a life of otium cum dignitate which all men strive for, and which so few attain, at his seat of Mount single-blessedness. Now, ladies and gentlemen, it is getting late; Nannette run after that gentleman who is sneaking away, here boy, take my hat and go round; so ladies and gentlemen, I thank you kindly and wish you all good night till I see you again.

[1] Here the orator was interrupted by a shrill female voice, crying “buy any eggs! Want any butter? Butter and eggs, ho!”

Proposals have been made to me for publishing an occasional paper to be called “The Domestic Intelligencer,” and specimens have been sent, of which I insert some to see how they will be relished.

Jan.  They write from the south that in endeavouring to make Social harbour, the main-sail of the Mackshamram luffed the type-boom of the Racer, and caused both to run aground: the Baggage however was saved, which constituted the best part of the cargo.

New year’s day, or rather Old year’s eve was celebrated in Social harbour by the decoration of all the vessels with their flags, and streamers, which had a grand effect. The squadron under the command of the Venus and Cupid fired their artillery in great style, particularly the Nightingale, the Eve, the Lodi, and the Jack; but many poor fellows are said to have been wounded about the region of the heart by the flashes of the bow-guns, and the round shot from the breast works on the quarter galleries.

The mail from that quarter is hourly expected with intelligence of the action of the 14th.

St. Paul Street.  It is reported that at a party lately held in this neighbourhood, several ladies were looed, and rose considerably minus from the card-table. It was much regretted that quadrilling, or rather drilling for quadrilles, could not be practised, as the drill-sergeant, though sent for, could not attend, being engaged that night to teach the figures to seven misses, three married ladies, and four widows.

Pro bono publico; for the benefit of the public.  As a recipe against the ennui of winter-evenings, at the same time that they promote that inter-mixture of society which is so desirable an object in this place, we recommend the balls that are given by Mr. Vestris Altior. Last Thursday’s was opened by that elegant young couple, Miss Reaper and Mr. Falcon, with the country-dance of “the West end of the Town.” The set was shortly reinforced by baron Loftystone, captain Coldspring, and several other officers. Mrs. Col. And. Merry made a great display, and looked like a gallant seventy four amidst a fleet of frigates, luggers and bum-boats. Her tasteful crimson dress, and magnificent sable plumes, recalled the days of chivalry tournament and Otranto. At twelve God save the King was sounded as a retreat, and the company retired to take their suppers at home. All was harmony and decorum, save that one gentleman after staggering through one dance, fell most comfortably asleep, under the joint influence of Bacchus and Morpheus.  Communicated.

           POET’S CORNER.


The Tandem, or a turn out not to be sneezed at.


A patch’d up sleigh, its make of date not recent,

And which, in truth, looks any thing but decent,

Drawn by a pair of titivating blacks,

Quite comfortable easy-going backs,

That ne’er about precedence disagree,

Fer one is lame, and t’other can not see:

With such fine points, it matters not of course,

Which is made leader, or install’d shaft-horse:

A make-shift harness, which, if it don’t shine,

Good master brick-dust, is no fault of thine,

Yokes to the car these dashing bits of blood,

Fish-jolter like, though not by half so good.

Ensconced in thread-bare drab their master sits,

And drives in statu quo his shuffling tits,

Handles the ribbons with a stylish air

And makes the simple dos blancs gape and stare:

Reckless of looks, he drives about at random,

And cuts a figure with his DASHING TANDEM.



News from the House.  The butchers and bakers bills were brought in and ordered to lie on the table. A report from the committee of the wood-yard was read and ordered to be printed; it appears that there will not be firing enough to last the winter if the quarterly subscriptions are not more regularly collected and paid. New member admitted: Mr. Justice D. who has taken this method of silencing opposition-railers, and convincing the scribblers who write against him that he has more sense than wiser men, and can relish a joke better than Dr. D.

N. B. It is hoped others will follow his laudable example.



Kitchen.  Head-cook for the ensuing week; Mrs. Dripping.
Larder.  Proveditor for the ensuing week; Mr. Goosey Gander.[A]
Stables.  Manager for the ensuing week; Timothy Whipemup.[A]
Laundry.  Directress for the ensuing week; Miss Foresight.[A]
Drawingroom.  Presidentess for the ensuing week; Mrs. Ogledem.

Printed and published by Dicky Gossip at the sign of the Tea-table.

[A] Mr. Gander and Miss Foresight are and have been for some time out of town, and Mr. Whipemup is expected to be off immediately, but that is nothing; their names come in course in imitation of our most stupid and needless bank-notices &c. in which half the time the directors named are not in town; and which in fact can not serve any earthly purpose, but to blazon such and such would-be great men as bank-directors, visiting members, etc; and to spend the public money in ridiculous parade. L. L. M.

Thus far under a mask, and now, in propria persona, an apology is due to my readers for a want of literary consistency, for which I have a great regard, which may appear to exist between my profession in the outset of never deviating into personality, and the idea that has been formed that several of my late papers contain a number of personal allusions. This apology I shall illustrate by the story of the mayor of a small town in French Flanders, who, when the Prince de Conde, passed through the place, waited upon him at the head of the corporation, to excuse their not having fired a royal salute required by etiquette on the occasion of a visit of a Prince of the blood royal; for which, said he, we have thirteen reasons, the first of which is, that we have no guns to fire; on which the Prince assured him he was perfectly satisfied with the first and would wholly excuse their detailing the twelve other reasons. Now, in like manner, I have thirteen reasons for deviating in the respect mentioned from my original plan, the first of which is that I sell ten times as many Scribblers by so doing; and after that I am convinced that all the good people of Montreal will dispense with the other dozen.

L. L. M.

To be sold by auction, at the office of Mr. Doucet, N. P. Montreal, on the 13th February, a collection of 1200 Volumes of valuable books being the Library of the late J. B. Gatien, Curate of St. Eustache, being chiefly French, on religious, historical and miscellaneous subjects.


Correspondents will perceive that their communications have been availed of. Each will know his own offspring. Gesticus is received, Sandy is under consideration. Abelard’s verses next week. A Sorrel Blaceguaud would do no good.


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 1822-02-07 Volume 1, Issue 33 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]