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Title: The Scribbler 1822-03-07 Volume 1, Issue 37

Date of first publication: 1822

Author: Samuel Hull Wilcocke 1766-1833 (editor)

Date first posted: Oct. 29, 2019

Date last updated: Oct. 29, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20191064

This eBook was produced by: Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net


Montreal. Thursday, 7th March, 1822. No. XXXVII.

——Amoto quæramus seria ludo.——Horace.

From gay to grave, we turn, from grave to gay.


Dic mihi, si fias tu leo, qualis eris?——Martial.

If thou a lion art, thou art a droll one.


——Quid opportet

Nos facere, a vulgo longe lateque remotos.Horace.

Far from the vulgar herd removed, we care not,

Do as we like, or do what others dare not.


In fulfilling the duties of a reviewer I labour under a considerable disadvantage which those who follow the same path of literature in other countries do not. There, a number of literati contribute to the monthly critiques of new publications, and each takes in hand those works, which his peculiar profession, pursuits, or taste render him best adapted to investigate. Being as yet here the sole arbiter literarum, I derive no assistance from others, and consequently can not enlarge upon, or probably do justice to, such works as come not within the immediate scope of my studies or experience.[1] The two first pamphlets that present themselves for observation are on subjects that I profess to know little about, beyond what a general education and occasional information bestow upon an inquisitive mind. Chymists and divines must therefore excuse the briefness of my remarks on those subjects; and in general, I trust the same apology will be accepted by all other professions, if my observations on literary subjects connected with them, be found either too concise, or even irrelevant.

[1] The continuation of the review of Harmon’s journal from No. 25 has been delayed in expectation of receiving some information from England as to the Act of Parliament which was smuggled through the house by the manœuvres of the honourable, disinterested and patriotic men whose avaricious and time-serving purposes it is intended to sanction and promote.


Traduction libre et abrégée des leçons de chymie, données par le Chevalier Humphrey Davy à la Société d’Agriculture de Londres. Printed by James Lane, Montreal, 1820. 8vo. pp. 123. price 4s.

Captain Douglas, who, in a neat dedication to the Agricultural Societies of Canada, announces himself as the translator of Sir Humphrey Davy’s chymical lectures applied to agriculture, has performed a very beneficial service to the French inhabitants of this province. The introductory and theoretical part of the work is perhaps too abstruse for the comprehension of the generality of Canadian cultivators, but the practical part, especially that which after explaining the component substances of vegetables, directs the modes for extracting and separating them, and that where the operation of the various soils, and manures are detailed, can not fail to be instructive and advantageous. On the subject of manures Sir Humphrey does not appear to have sufficiently distinguished between those which actually afford a pabulum, or nourishment, to vegetables, and those which act principally as vehicles for the conveyance of that nourishment, or as levigators, in adapting the soil to receive and foster the roots of different plants. The translator has added several valuable notes: that (page 68) accounting for the Mosaic account of the creation on modern chymical principles, is curious, novel, and well worthy of the consideration both of the divine and the geologist.


A sketch of the ancient and modern clergy. By H. Lloyd, merchant, Montreal, 1821. pp. 23. 12mo.

This little desultory tract evinces the good intentions of the author, although some may consider it as not shewing equal good sense either in the principles upon, or the manner in, which he attacks all those who “become religious teachers, for gain or livelihood.” Certain it is, however, that the following picture is too true.

“Avarice is equally chargeable on dissenters, (many of whom are such because they can not get into the establishment,) who to obtain a party enter on the crafty stratagem of declamation against this or that practical error in others; and preach up their partition-tenet, perhaps baptism, independant church-government, patronage, the covenant, or something else, generally any thing but the truth concerning Christ. This would not answer, this would not gather a multitude that, from collections and seat-rents would yield a sum sufficient to maintain the minister in the station of a gentleman. No, the ungodly sordid motive could never be gratified by copying Apostolic doctrine, while something vastly different from Apostolic practice is the moving cause of the procedure: on the contrary, in public, the feelings are wrought upon by the fervour of the preacher; in private, the wealthier part of the audience are visited, and almost suffocated by the designing adulation of the incense-bearing minister. To receive honour from such a quarter is gratifying to the palate of conceited man; an interest is generated; certain persons are united as managers; they gather subscriptions, borrow money, for which they unite in a bond; a house is built; it is advertised that if ye pay rent for a seat, you will get leave to hear the gospel, or come as a poor person, and you will get leave to hear for nothing. A ‘man whose person is held in admiration because of advantage,’ is advertised to preach, at which time collections are to be made at the doors. Every means which avarice can dictate or mercenary cunning devise, is employed by what are called preachers. What is called a church are gathered, and the uniting bond, the Queen-bee of the hive, is the minister, the study and consideration of the scriptures is left to him, ‘that is his business, he is paid for it’; and the people come to church as to a religious theatre.”

Mr. Macculloh,

I have just arrived in Montreal, on mercantile business, from the wilds of the Upper Province, and whilst in conversation with a merchant, my attention was attracted by a moving figure; upon which my friend, seeing my astonished looks, informed me it was one of the Lions of Montreal. The head was like a cauliflower, the shoulders like a pair of yankee saddlebags stuffed, a waist like a spider, and legs for all the world like sacks of potatoes. Such a lusus naturæ, after the homespun figures we have seen at home, you may naturally suppose was sufficient to produce the effect my friend perceived in me. How this creature was able to breathe or speak I know not, but from constantly making prodigious efforts to look through the handle of a key at his lower extremities, which the stiffness of his neck greatly impeded, and from the flush of his countenance, his respiration appeared to me to resemble a young beginner running the half notes on a cracked violin. What, said I again, a Lion do you call this? Why yes, replied my friend, this is really what we can exhibit as a shew to you gentry from the woods, but the term usually applied to this production is a Dandy. Well rejoined I, you Montrealists have a most happy appropriation of name for such objects of curiosity and commiseration, for they certainly are a very good sample of the Dandelion[2] tribe. Now, I should like to know whether there is any exclusive patent for the manufacture of these figures, or if not, where models in miniature might be had, that my wife may wear one round her neck, with the same object in view as the heroines of ancient Rome when they wore the image of a little boy round theirs; for, although I may say, I am out of the world, yet times may alter as civilization and fashion advance towards our wilderness, and my youngsters might repine at having had so old fashioned a father as your humble servant.


I forgot to say that the Dandelion had a tremendous helmet fur-cap on, in shape like an inverted cone, the upper horizontal surface actually overshadowing even his immense stuffed-out shoulders; I am apt to believe that this arises from a Canadian cross-breed, and will be a distinctive mark of the species produced in this country.

[2] Dens leonis, the dandelion, vulgo, pissabed.


Lady English’s first drawingroom (not twenty miles from Hospital Church) was brilliantly lighted on Thursday evening the 21st instant with long sixes, for the express purpose of receiving a select party chiefly from Campbelltown, and the other side of the Styx. In utter defiance of the associated informers, there was an elegant display of Tory Loverule’s prohibition-dresses. One of them, or the lady who wore it, our reporter could not distinguish which, unfortunately captivated the gallant Mr. Rooster[3], whom the daughter of the fair hostess had marked for her own; this occasioned some little disturbance which was not allayed without cutting of laces and other feminine modes of shewing off. Our reporter adds “The extra display of tin and pewter on this occasion, reminded me of my aunt Peggy’s country dairy-room in Connecticut.”

[3] Genealogists have not determined whether this gentleman’s name is derived from Rooster, a fowl (Scottice, fool) that perches, or Rooster, Dutch, for a gridiron.

In addition to the account of general Drillman’s ball and supper, an eye-witness should have stated that the ball was opened by Miss Noates, a very promising young lady of 14 years of age and Mr. Do-girl. It is also rather surprising that he took no notice of the dashing Miss Stout, whose triumph over other votaries of Terpsichore, was not trifling when she danced with General Drillman. One gentleman was rather the worse for wear, owing to the smell of the wine-bottle. This is a growing evil, and the offence of entering a ball-room in a state of inebriation is so very reprehensible that it will in future be visited by naming the parties.


We give the following intelligence as we received it, without vouching for its authenticity, apprehending our correspondent has made a mistake in the date, the 24th having been Sunday.


Mr. Editor,

Of all the engagements you have noticed, and the persons who have distinguished themselves in action, none deserve more to be recorded than the gallant exploits of Lieutenant Mich. Old-deil, in an action which took place on the 24th ultimo, under the command of General Allspice at Castle Tiletoodelum. The brave lieutenant bore a conspicuous part in the engagement, and had the direction of the sappers and miners in making a breach in the lower works of the castle, which were defended by Brandy, Gin, Jamaica, the renowned Madeira, the invincible Claret, and other chieftains potent in arms. He was the first to enter, glass in hand, and with his gallant followers soon reduced them. The enemy’s light troops were very numerous in the upper works; but after hard fighting they were soon subdued, gave way on all sides, and surrendered at discretion. When the time came for disposing of the captives, three of the most considerable were entrusted to the care of Lieutenant Old-deil to deliver to their respective guardians. He accordingly took them in charge but had hardly left the field of battle before he met with a post[4] strongly planted,.....[missing text]...... for one of the enemy’s. Attacking.........[missing text]......... style he had however the misfortune to.....[missing text]........ ranks broken; though he made no impression on the post, he upset the world, turned aside the course of the sun like another Joshua, lost his helmet and wig, and was dragged round the castle by his steed taking fright, to the great concern of both armies. His three prisoners were prostrated on the ground, and the lieutenant, groping in the dark for his wig, laid his hands upon two, neither of which were his own, not being by any means so sleek and smooth. In a short time, however, he recovered his wig, order was restored, and the captives, having received no injury, he again secured them, and the march was continued.


[4] It was not a sign-post, but nevertheless displayed for ensign, a globe, surmounted by a sun-dial.

        POET’S CORNER.




If at backgammon you would play,

Pray from that lady keep away,

For she’s of such a virtuous calling,

She far prefers sweet sofa-lolling.

She’s such an enemy to vice,

She’s sure to pocket both the dice;

And if ta’en from her vi et armis,

No one can say there any harm is;

Mars’ gallant sons no mischief do

To ladies e’er above their shoe;

And if a foot that’s light up flies

In struggling, all’s smooth in a trice;

But those that can not take a joke

Should not be worse than other folk.

            PARTIE QUARRE’E.



A number of partners, clerks, interpreters and others returning from the interior, whose services are no more wanted. They will be rather apt to grumble, but if well ground down and soaped a ....[missing text]......very serviceable to ratcatchers ....[missing text]....taking up the business.

Eight or ten commissions of the peace, as private wars are set aside in which they were chiefly wanted. Not much the worse for wear, being only a little soiled with thumping oaths and arbitrary commitments. It is thought if they are not wanted any where else, they will do for exportation to the Cape of Good Hope, to serve to keep the Hottentots and Caffres in order, in case an exclusive company should get into the fur-trade there.

A variety of other curious articles to be mentioned in future advertisements.   Apply to


P. S. We are exceedingly sorry to understand that the celebrated Dr. Catapult’s carriole was completely overturned on Friday evening last by a Sleigh; if this sleigh continues to run as rapidly as it bids fair for, we much fear that many others may be upset before it is stopped.

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

I am unavoidably compelled to postpone till next week the account of Mrs. East’s ball, Dr. Catapult’s tragi-comedy, the operations at Fort Stark etc. The comunications of No-Body and Cassandra will be availed of next number. Rob-Roy from La Prairie, will appear; and I accept his offer with many thanks, as any village or parish where I can have a foraging party must sooner or later come under my dominion. Mach-Beth’s polite favour is acknowledged and will be attended to. Timothy Hickinbottom may rely that I will severely reprimand Count Oldjoseph in my next.    L. L. M.


Amateur Theatricals. A few young gentlemen of the town propose to perform the tragedy of the Revenge with the farce of Love a la Mode, on Wednesday evening next the 13th March, at Mr. Roy’s, New-Market. Admittance 5s. The proceeds to be applied to charitable purposes.


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 1822-03-07 Volume 1, Issue 37 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]