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Title: The Scribbler 1822-03-21 Volume 1, Issue 39

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Nov. 18, 2019

Date last updated: Nov. 18, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20191133

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


Montreal. Thursday, 21st, March 1822. No. XXXIX.

Lusus animo debent aliquando dari

Ad cogitandum melior ut redeat sibi.——Phædrus.


Alternate sports are needful for the mind,

Study and pleasure oft should be combined.

Utinam sic sient, male qui mihi volunt.——Terence.

    Let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise

my hurt.

Psalm XXXV.



Recueil de Chansons choisies, Montreal, 1821, printed by James Brown, 18 mo. pp. 216, price 2s. 6d.

This collection of French sonnets appears a judicious one, and exhibits most of the airy graces for which the light poetry of France is justly celebrated. Tenderness, vivacity, and point are its characteristics. I recognize many old acquaintances in this little book, sung on the banks of the Rhone and the Rhine, and in the gay circles of Brussels and of Paris; and some that are quite new to me. It would have been a desirable addition to have named the sources whence these trifles have been drawn. I extract the following as a specimen.



Air, Reveillez vous, belle endormis.


Un jour la Beauté vaine et fière

  Reçut avis que la Douceur

Lui disputait l’honneur de plaire

  Et le don de parler au cœur.


Soudain, jalouse et furieuse,

  Elle porte sa plainte aux cieux;

L’affaire devint sérieuse;

  Ou la plaida devant les Dieux.

Auprès du tribunal céleste

  La Beauté fit un grand éclat;

Un doux langage, un air modeste,

  De l’autre furent l’avocat.


Le Destin, leur juge et leur maître

  Tout entendu, trois fois toussa;

Puis son bon sens se fit connaître,

  Par cet arrêt qu’il prononça:


Sans vous deux, l’amour ne peut être;

  Ses jours seraient mal assurés:

Vous, Beauté, vous le ferez naître;

  Vous, Douceur, vous le nourrirez.

Letter to the Solicitor-General on the seizure of papers, by S. H. Wilcocke, Montreal, 1821. 8vo. pp. 14.

The motto prefixed to this pamphlet is a quotation from Palingenius, a minor Latin poet of the sixteenth century.

Vos quibus imperium est, qui mundi fræna tenetis,

Ne tantum tolerate nefas, hane tollite pestem;

and contains a forcible appeal to the rulers of the earth who suffer oppression to stalk at large, and injury to be clamorous for redress:

“Ye to whom empire is given, ye who hold the reins of the world, suffer not such gross iniquity to exist; and remove the pestilence of such oppression from amongst us.”

The writer, who it is well known to all Canada, has been infamously used, grossly oppressed, and falsely accused, by the persons at the head of the ci-devant North West Company, has assimilated that part of his case, which relates to the seizure and detention of all his papers, to the celebrated cause of Mr. Wilkes, in which very heavy damages were given, and it was declared from the Bench that the seizure of papers, excepting in cases of high treason, is illegal. This pamphlet was published so far back as April 1821; the papers had then been for six months detained; and, the public will scarcely believe it, ARE STILL DETAINED IN DEFIANCE OF ALL RIGHT AND OF ALL LAW; nor does there seem to be any remedy; for here more than in any other place in the world,

“The privilege that great men have in evil,

Is that they go unpunish’d to the devil.”[1]

[1] Tho. May’s Old Couple, Act V.

It is understood that in the notes to the abstract of his trial which Mr. Wilcocke is about publishing, the scandalous usage he has met with both from his persecutors and the police-magistrates will be fully detailed; which renders further remark superfluous at present.

The following is the most correct account I am enabled to furnish of the operations at Fort Stark, from the various reports that have reached head-quarters.

At an early hour on the evening of the 1st the fort was attacked by a body of troops, chiefly irregulars and volunteers from the neighbourhood of the Haymarket, led on by their gallant commander, General Alexander, and his aid Captain Welldone. Commodore Rogers and Major Kissem brought up the rear. At the commencement of the engagement some confusion arose from the paroles and countersigns not being understood[2], but order was soon restored. About twelve a cessation of arms was agreed upon, for the purposes of refreshment, the troops on both sides having endured great fatigue. The interval was consecrated to hilarity and comfort, and a list of toasts that were given on the occasion is in circulation.[3] Upon the recommencement of hostilities the drums and fifes struck up “Yankee doodle,” and shortly after prodigies of valour were performed by Volunteer English, who succeeded in getting through a hornwork (hornpipe) after having been foiled seven different times. Towards the close of the engagement the governess of the fort herself was called into action, and General Alexander, Major Kissem, and Captain Welldone were successively opposed to her, but the immense body of troops she brought into the field compelled the ranks to open on all sides, and to occupy a double space so as to give them fair play. It was not till between six and seven in the morning that the battle ceased, the assailants were repulsed, and made a precipitate retreat through the bad roads, in which they met with a few upsets but no material injury. The casualties are, as follows; a severe wound in the ancle of one of the officers who by the aid of a Cushion for his support was conveyed to the hospital on the Haymarket; Major Kissem was obliged to take shelter under a straw thatched Shed; and several officers are reported to be missing, but are expected back upon parole to join their regiments, as there is no doubt that Aunt Peg will find them good quarters should they stop at her cottage.

[2] Some confusion arose at this party by the numbers drawn not being in unison with the previous engagements made by ladies and gentlemen for dancing. In my younger days, when I was a manager and master of the ceremonies to the assemblies that were held in the second place in England, Liverpool, I had the satisfaction of introducing a regulation in this respect that tended greatly to break down the spirit of separation and party that existed there almost as much as it does here. Number 1 was presented to the first lady that entered the room, No. 2 to the second, and so on, and corresponding numbers were drawn by the gentlemen present; each gentleman was then introduced by name (if not previously acquainted) to his partner by the master of the ceremonies, and the first two dances thus produced an intermingling of society and a blending of parties, that, although afterwards each was allowed to fulfill the engagements they might have formed, was productive of that mutual introduction, mixture and familiarity which ought to form the soul of all assemblies; whilst the impartial mode adopted in the first instance insured the early attendance of the ladies.

L. L. M.

[3] Of the toasts given the principal are reported to be; by Captain Welldone, “Free and easy.” Song, There was a merry miller. By Mr. Tonnelier, “Try to please you.” Tune, Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle. By Mr. Ditch, “May the ladies who this evening honour us with their attendance never feel the glow of shame which at this moment suffuse my vermillion cheeks.” Song, Barney leave the girls alone. By Mr. Rose (whose lady was conspicuously elegant in a magnificent striped pink dress.) “Aunt Peg, and Fort Stark.” Tune, Nancy Dawson.

Mr. Scribbler.

I have barely time to give you the following Sketch of the Panet Street Gala on the 5th.

This entertainment, which was one of the best conducted of any that have graced the annals of the Montreal beau monde this season, gave universal satisfaction. All the great folks were invited, and as all who move in a certain circle attended, as comfortable a squeeze was exhibited as could well be expected. The handsome mansion of the learned host and the fashionable hostess, was really well distributed to entertain the company. At nine o’clock dancing commenced, Mrs. Drugwell and a gentleman of the staff corps leading off with the appropriate dance of Calypso,[4] and was kept up with much spirit. At twelve o’clock the company partook of an elegant entertainment, and I am sure the lady of the mansion is not above receiving the praise which is her due of appropriate comfort, variety, and hospitality in all the arrangements, however much this may otherwise interfere with the ambition she entertains of shining as a fashionable extravagante. She need not blush at its being known that she danced only one dance, her assiduity to attend to the satisfaction of her visitors not allowing of her partaking more of that amusement to which she is otherwise much devoted. But her innate affability, and her politesse de cœur, generally conquer the politesse de cour, and affectation of fashion, that is perhaps nothing more than a mask put on to comply with the habits and manners of the place. In the course of the evening a lady from the States (perhaps to test[5] the politeness of her partner, a British naval officer) called for “the white cockade.” It is remarkable, considering the station occupied by the learned host, that so few gentlemen of the long robe attended. The Loverule family, excepting the head of the clan, were all present, and endeavoured as usual to rule the roast. Upon the whole there have been few entertainments more unostentatiously, and yet more handsomely given, or more elegantly, and yet more comfortably, conducted, in Montreal this winter than the Panet Street gala.


[4] Calypso was a sorceress who had the power of transforming men into swine, and swine into men, &c.

[5] To test, yankee, verb active; to prove, to try.

It is much to be regretted that the Social Assembly in this town has absolutely dwindled down to nothing. At the last meeting not a single lady attended. This has been by some who wish ill to the Scribbler attributed to the fear of their being taken notice of by me; yet nothing could be farther from my wishes than to discourage or intimidate such parties as are really Social—those that are Anti-Social are such as I deprecate, such as I wish to hold up to ridicule. In this soi-disant social assembly, there were two or more parties never uniting, but always clashing, like oil and vinegar. It was the circumstance of a certain set of second-rate-would-be fashionables keeping themselves apart from the rest of the company that disgusted the bulk of the ladies who came, and determined them not to attend. Be it so, however, let them who keep themselves apart, be set apart; let them be sent to Coventry; and they will soon be converted. All distinctions of rank, respect, or wealth, ought to disappear in a ball-room, and all ought to be on a perfect equality. Shame to those who think or act otherwise. Something too may be attributed to the choice of managers, and when such men as Hawksbill N. Shaw Esq. are considered adequate to such a situation it is no wonder that, there is no attendance.

L. L. M.



     Money versus Love.


And couldst thou then forget so soon

  Thy plighted troth, to me?

And couldst thou then forget so soon

  Thy vows of constancy?

The tender sigh, the melting kiss,

  Love’s thrilling extacy;

Canst thou forget those scenes of bliss,

  And prove so false to me?


’Twas filthy lucre’s sordid sway,

  (Curse on its potent charms!)

Made thee the fondest faith betray,

  And bless my rival’s arms.

Think not—attempt not, to disown

  A truth, ah me! so killing;

He, damn him, gives you half a crown

  For what cost me a shilling!


Jeremy Tickler, Rob-Roy, Larry O’Brien, and other favours are unavoidably postponed, as well as the continuation of the Pulo Penang letters. So much indeed has the press of matter grown upon the editor, and his circulation increased, that he has thoughts of issuing his paper twice a week, and requests the opinion of his well-wishers on the subject.


Tristram Quilldriver is under consideration. Necromancer and others are reserved for the next No. of the Domestic Intelligencer. The editor begs to return his personal thanks to A Friend for his intelligence, which he may find means to profit by.


Just Published, and for sale by James Brown. A Letter to a Friend in Nova Scotia on Banking Institutions in Canada. By Maurice Mask, Esq. price 2s. 6d.


Ladies and gentlemen are requested not to send and subscribe to the Scribbler in such numbers, as they should consider that if all Montreal subscribes, the editor will be so loth to offend his patrons there will be no body left but the incorrigibly big Dons, and conscienceless North Westers to make game of, and with those he is engaged in a war ad internecionem.


Amateur Theatre. The performances have been postponed till Monday the 25th instant, when the tragedy of the Revenge will be performed, with the musical afterpiece of the Purse or Benevolent Tar. Tickets of admittance, 5s. each to be had at all the principal hotels and taverns in town. Doors open at 6, and curtain rises precisely at 7 o’clock. Colonel Andrews has handsomely offered the attendance of the regimental band.


I can not encourage S——, whose Reflections on visiting the tomb of Maria are received, to continue his devotion to the muses, for, although he possesses real feeling, and evidently writes from the heart, his language is full of blemishes, and his versification incorrect. Sad Cyprian shade, is a sad mistake indeed, and conveys a totally different idea from what the author meant. I have little doubt, however, that if he will study our best elegiac poets and endeavour to imitate them, his productions may in future aspire to rank amongst the minor poetry of the day. I have said thus much in reply to the ingenious diffidence with which he appeals to my judgement, and assure him I respect his modesty as much as I do the genuineness of affection that is displayed in his lines.

L. L. M.


Peto, Marplot, An Observer, and Humanitas are just received; they all claim, and will receive, attention.


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 1822-03-21 Volume 1, Issue 39 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]