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Title: The Scribbler 1822-03-14 Volume 1, Issue 38

Date of first publication: 1822

Author: Samuel Hull Wilcocke 1766-1833 (Editor)

Date first posted: Nov. 10, 2019

Date last updated: Nov. 10, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20191115

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


Montreal. Thursday, 14th March, 1822. No. XXXVIII.

“Better stand in the pillory than not be noticed at all.”

                      Notoriety.——A Comedy.

Ibi tot pueri et puellæ; ibi juventus multa et omnis ætas, et graves viduæ, et virgines anus:——St. Augustine.

There were girls and boys, youths and maidens, men and women, wives, widows, and old maids.

Spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici.——Horace.

For pity’s sake, laugh not at such poor fools.


I hasten to make the amende honorable, by an early publication of the following letter.

Mr. Scribbler,

As I know you do not wish to give offence to any of our fashionables, and particularly not to a distinguished member of the driving club, I beg to remind you that there is such a person as Mr. Commy Coachee, of Clement’s Inn, Kent road, belonging to that club, whom you have most seriously offended, by not once mentioning him in your paper, and unless you make some extraordinary exertion to bring him into public notice, I fear you have no hopes of his forgiveness. Perhaps, Sir, this celebrated character may have escaped the notice of your reporter, from his modesty in never handling the ribbons during the excursions of the club: scandal, always ready on such occasions, asserts that his motive for declining that honour is the fear that his dexterity might induce passengers to bid him stop and take them into the stage. But it is even more remarkable that you have not noticed this exalted personage in the quadrille-parties, as he has always been punctual at drill, and with the assistance of a remarkably long pair of legs, equally adapted for mounting a coach-box and dancing quadrilles, has acquired an almost unrivalled proficiency. Your reporter can not excuse himself for his neglect by alleging a want of conspicuousness on the part of Mr. Coachee, for I will vouch that he can not name a more conspicuous commissary amongst the whole battalion. Let him but look out for a figure a little shorter than Nelson’s pillar[1], as stiff as if he had swallowed the pole of a coach, and hair combed the exact reverse way to that which nature designed, so as to appear “like quills upon the fretful porcupine,” and he can not avoid recognising the gentleman. By inserting this you will not fail to effect a reconciliation with Mr. Coachee, and will oblige your obedient servant,


[1] For the information of my readers who are not locally acquainted with Montreal, Nelson’s pillar is a handsome column, surmounted by a statue of the hero of Trafalgar, erected at the top of the New Market, directly facing one of the most frequented hotels kept by Mr. Sheriff Brute, who entertains his guests with all that urbanity, politeness, and humanity, for which his character is so well known, as he himself says.

The fair writer of the letter that follows has paid me a compliment on my descriptive abilities which my modesty suppresses, but I beg to assure her that her own powers in that line are such as to incline me to hope she will often favour me in a similar way.

To L. L. MACCULLOH, Esquire.

As your paper is becoming quite the go, permit me to furnish you with the materials for a paragraph every way worthy of your miscellany. Being the other day on a visit to congratulate a young friend of mine on her good fortune in having made a conquest of a dashing young American nabob, in the first week of her marriage, which our former intimacy authorized me to make, altho’ it was generally understood that visits of ceremony were not expected, or received, till the week after, I was not a little diverted with a description of the interested manœuvring of a certain medical gentleman and his lady, who, altho’ they were given to understand that the young couple were not prepared to receive general visits, were loth to lose their time, expectations, and labour by a cold not at home, and altho’ no species of connection or intimacy subsisted between the parties, gained admittance under the pretence of a sans ceremonie visit. The young couple were taken by surprise, and for some time a truly ludicrous scene took place in forced politeness on one part, and profuse expressions of the highest regard from the visitors to the visitees. But to be brief, these manœuvring gentry were made of such adhesive materials that they stuck to the young folks like wax, and could not be shook off till it became absolutely impossible to avoid inviting them to dinner: the object being so far accomplished, the doctor excused himself under professional engagements, and left madam, as the more expert hunter, to make sure of the game, which her bewitching rhetoric had no great trouble in effecting, and by the time the doctor returned in the evening, it was perfectly understood that he was to be formally appointed *  *  *  !!!!!!!




Laprairie, 2d March 1822.

My dear Scrib,

Famed as your city is for routs, assemblies, reviews, field-days, tandem-driving, pride and ostentation, it is scarcely superior to this place. In many particulars our Bluebeards, Cockroaches, Ollapods, Old Bucks, Brushes, Mittimusses, &c. might keep pace in lowness of character with your little great, and great little, people. In fact hardly any thing is wanted but a Drillman, no person here being able to lead the shuffling manœuvres but Mr. Sellgood’s negro. Mr. S. himself is a tolerably good shuffler, and sometimes puts blacky out of countenance, but his numerous other affairs call him away too often to allow of his punctual attendance at rehearsal. If you think proper I will give you an account of all their movements, and from the many curious characters belonging to the company, have no doubt but you will derive a fund of entertainment for your readers from this side of the Styx, through your faithful forager.


Mrs. East’s grand ball took place on the 25th ult. at the Hotel de Ville, and was attended by a very numerous and mixed company. At an early hour the avenues were crowded, and I am pleased to record it that full two hundred persons of both sexes patronized the exhibition by their presence. The intermixture of classes[2] was, next to the really meritorious exertions of the lady for whose benefit the ball was given, as agreeable a circumstance as any attending it. Although some little indecorum and an unpleasant fracas occurred, I am certain that the repetition and multiplication of such meetings will be productive of the best effects in this, yet nearly antediluvian town. Mrs. East’s scholars did the highest credit to their tuition, and their fancy dances, particularly the grand garland-dance, were truly elegant. When these were finished, some of the high-bred peoples of town, such as the Reverend Mr. Rantall, cum suis, withdrew, considering it no doubt as contamination to join hands with plebeians. Country-dances were begun by the lively and admired Miss Caleche and Mr. C. Wilful; some foolish disputes took place with regard to precedency, which are better forgotten: and there was much contention for the honour of Mrs. East’s hand; indeed one gentleman squeezed it so hard (to keep hold of it no doubt) that she was obliged to cry out. Of the numerous displays of beauty and ornament, there was none more remarkable than Mrs. T. Rivet’s sixteen rings, two on each finger: they absolutely tore her partner’s kids bought for the occasion.

[2] The encouragement I wish to give to all mixed companies, whereby the stiff and anti-social manners of the place may be broken down, prevents me from availing of the comic song sent me, to the tune of “four and twenty tailors all of a row,” stated to have been sung on the occasion; which has, however, not a little merit as a parody, and may perhaps be introduced some future opportunity.

A wag has sent me the following account which my readers will peruse cum grano salis, i. e. allowing for the seasoning.


I beg to inform you of the performances at the Hotel de Ville on the 25th; Mrs. Roundabout, manager, (for she wears the breeches, if we may judge by the drawers, which every body could see.) On the entrance of the heroine, in full opera costume, she was greeted by loud shouts from all parts of the house. On this occasion she selected a variety of performances never before exhibited in this city, some of which deserve particular notice; such as: The grand entrée and strapping dance, performed in true thundering style: the minuet de la cour and gavott, by Mr. and Mrs. Roundabout in which the lady displayed great parts: a hornpipe by the French clown, who enacted several feats as other clowns do, taught him by his master: Parisot’s hornpipe by Mrs. Roundabout in which “attitude was all.” Amongst the general performances that followed, the amusing farce of Pull-nose was acted. The evening’s entertainment finished with a pas de deux à la Fuller. About two o’clock the performers danced off; after which was added the drunkard’s ride to——St. Paul, and Notre Dame streets.[3]


[3] I again give notice that I will not scruple to publish the name of every person, who may in future commit the inexcusable offence of appearing in a state of inebriation at any ball, assembly, or dance: for this time I spare the two gentlemen above alluded to.

“And dwell such mighty souls in little men?”—Pope.

Dr. Catapult Puff’s tragi-comical farce.

The first lecture given by this learned itinerant was accompanied at its commencement by the deep groans of a sympathetic auditor, placed on the sofa behind him, perhaps as a prompter, echoed by the doctor himself, who had evidently added to the spiritual connection between his body and his soul by emanations from the material vinous vehicles of exaltation of mind. The thick array and confused profusion of the doctor’s words exciting little else than ridicule amongst his numerous audience, a medical gentleman of deserved repute here, wishing to make the matter more intelligible, put a question to the lecturer which he refused to answer in a most contemptuous manner. Several gentlemen stood up in defence of their townsman, and the Reverend Mr. Steady of Goodland was very properly warm in his behalf; but now came “the tug of words,” for “who shall decide when doctors disagree,” and all shortly became a “hubbub wild.” The ladies withdrew. Dr. Catapult honoured his audience with some very polite epithets, such as an Irish mob, etc. and then asked them to go and drink as much wine with him as they pleased. Amongst other absurdities vented, he said that the ladies ranked next to the devil; that the purse was the soul of man; that there was an intimate connection between the soul of man and the muscles of the heart; that he had discovered that most of the corporal diseases in the United States proceeded from the demoralization of their souls; that all virtue was sucked in with our mother’s milk; and a deal of such “skimble skamble stuff.” He laughed, cried, stamped, stormed, and raved alternately, and exhibited upon the whole the most ludicrous caricature of a philosophical lecture that was ever known.

On the following morning (2d March) he issued a manifesto, against speculators and scribblers, by which, (if any thing intelligible can be made of it, for, like his puffs and advertisements it is full of bad English, bad construction and bad grammar,) he insinuates that his opponents are neither learned nor pious. His other lectures, I am told, went off pretty well, though there were a number of laughers, notwithstanding the Loverule association; and with respect to those parts of them, which relate to pathology and anatomy alone, the man does not appear to disadvantage. If he will but leave out his incomprehensible sublimity, (which perhaps I don’t comprehend because, with all humility, I must confess that neither in Europe, or America, did I ever hear of the celebrated Doctor or his learned works, till he advertised them in the papers here,) they may perhaps be of some utility.

And now for you, my most learned, enlightened and honourable, the directors of the Montreal Library; hold up your hands at the bar of the public while you listen to the indictment preferred against you.


You, Count Oldjoseph Starewell, you Simple Jarret Esquire, you McRobem McKillem McSlaughterem, Esquire, and you Mrs. Slipslop McRope, stand indicted for that, not having the fear of the Scribbler before your eyes, you wilfully, corruptly, and of malice aforethought, did conspire and combine to prevent his paper from being perused by the subscribers to the Newsroom, and did resolve that it should be discontinued and no longer received therein; and that you caused it to be discontinued accordingly to the great injury and inconvenience of all the frequenters of the said room, and against the peace of the united monarchs Apollo and Momus, their crowns and dignities.

Take notice; before you plead to this indictment, that you will be allowed to enter a justification, and if you do not plead, you will be pelted to death by weekly pellets from the Scribbler.

By the Court.

It is truly ridiculous to perceive this mean ebullition of spite in the very liberal, wise and discreet persons above named, among whom Count Oldjoseph, with his accustomed vulgar arrogance, was the most conspicuous, issuing his personal mandates on the subject, and even directing the Scribbler to be put into the stove. Little do these simple Simons suppose that the very measure they adopt is calculated to increase the sale of my paper; for many were the persons who declined subscribing because they could read it at the Newsroom; besides the natural effect which prohibition and persecution have in making any work popular. But poor souls, they are to be pitied, they know no better.

L. L. M.

It is with reluctance the account of the Fort Stark operations on the 1st. an Amateur of Fashion’s sketch of the Panet Street gala; the Social Volunteer muster, under Hawksbill N. Shaw Esq. when not a single lady attended; a review of publications; and Letter VI. from Pulo Penang; are postponed for want of room. Something from the pen of Jeremy Tickler will appear next week, when Mack-Beth’s wishes will receive attention. The lines under the signature Cassis futissima virtus never came to hand before, which confirms the suspicion of interception, it will be obliging if the writer will mention how he sent the first copy: the subject is good, but their faulty execution will prevent their insertion unless they may be remodelled.


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 1822-03-14 Volume 1, Issue 38 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]