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Title: The Scribbler 1822-04-27 Volume 1, Issue 44s

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Feb. 7, 2020

Date last updated: Feb. 7, 2020

Faded Page eBook #20200217

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


Montreal. Saturday, 27th, April 1822.


——Multa agendo, nihil agens.



Busied for ever, but still nothing doing.


Prima dedit fruges, alimentaque mitia terris.



The first spring-radishes she sells, or sallad.


O primavera Gioventù dell’ anno

Bella madre di flori.

D’erbe novelle, e di novelli amori:

Tu torni ben, ma teco

Non tornano i sereni,

E fortunati di delle mie gioje.


O Spring! youth of the year, sweet parent of gay flowers,

Of buds, and shooting herbs, and love-exciting hours!

Return’d thou art indeed, but not with thee return’d

My long-lost happy days, and nights with joy that burn’d.


I will devote this Supplement to bringing up some of my arrears with my correspondents whose favours merit insertion. I prefer giving as many of their letters as I can, in a form as nearly approaching to the originals as my plan and propriety will admit, because they exhibit both more variety and more individual character than if they were marshalled in rank and file, and embodied in dissertations of my own. To some periodical writers the very convenient articles of addresses, dates, conclusions, and spaces are a great object, as the epistolary form of writing contributes largely to fill a page; but that to me is more objectionable than otherwise, as I am rarely able to croud into one of my weekly papers even one half of the matter on hand, which must be accepted as an apology by those of my friends whose communications I defer noticing or inserting, as well as for my delay in fulfilling the various engagements I have come under.

L. L. M.

The following Sketch of the times appears to be drawn by one who, notwithstanding his homely language, guesses considerable middling well.[1]

[1] In illustration of this yankee phraseology, may be quoted the answer of a Genesee farmer, to the question; “Have you had a good crop of wheat this season?” “I guess I have got a pretty considerable middling few.”

Mr. Scribbler,

When I see young men strolling about the town, and not attending to their employers’ business, I guess they have easier times than me. When I see young misses sitting at their windows with a white handkerchief in their hand, I guess it will be some time before it is hemmed. When I see men of business driving around town, and allowing their wives to get silks and satins, I guess they won’t stand it long. When I go ten times a day to a big bug every day and receive an answer to call again and he will pay it, I guess it will be on the day of judgement. When I see “Wanted for one man two hundred, and for another, one hundred shares of bank stock,” I guess they want to make people believe it in earnest. When I see one man put another in limbo when he sees he can not pay the debt, I guess he likes to pay a dollar a week better than me. When I see one man challenging another to fight a duel, and go across the river, when they might fight here in five minutes, I guess it is all a hoax. When I see that my yarn is spun to a good length, I guess it is time to stop.



Mr. Macculloh,

The fashionable world are not a little astonished that the select and elegant weekly parties given by Mrs. Long-one, at her mansion in St. Jabee Street have hitherto escaped your notice. These routs, as they are called, exhibit the very quintessence of bon ton, and exquisites of all descriptions, dandies, and dandizettes, when assembled in the spacious saloons of the accomplished hostess, form a coup d’œil of the most enchanting kind. Quadrilles, music, cards and flirtation are by turns the amusements which constitute the attraction of these entertainments. The last in particular is enjoyed with great zest. Parties à deux are generally made each time; Miss Newark has a train of admirers, and amongst the foremost are Captain Moresco, and Mr. Hal Foresight, but the gallant Lieutenant Colonel Michilimackinac there is no doubt will carry the day. By the bye, Captain Moresco is so great a friend and admirer of your writings that he declared one day they were so infamous he would not spend a sixpence on them, for which reason he rather chose to copy out the whole account of the Countess of Oldjoseph’s grand fête than buy the number. Amongst the fashionables who frequent these fashionable parties are further to be ranked Mrs. Desarcs, Misses Fitzjohn, Michilimackinac, Hogsflesh, etc. Dr. Drugwell, Messrs. Staw, Le Sly, B. Cannon, Huggs, etc. The last named, who has attained great experience in every branch of the fur-trade, it is said aspires to the honour of receiving the fair hand of Miss Long-one.

Of all the balls too, it is surprising that that given by the Staff-corps on the 9th instant, which was very numerously attended, has not yet been chronicled in the rolls of fame through your widely diffused paper. All the officers repaired early in the day to the temples of Adonis, and receiving the finishing curls to their whiskers, were equipped for ravishing all female hearts to a hair. The ball was opened by Captain Moresco and Miss Fitzjohn; Lieutenant Sycophant led his fair conquest, the widow Ogledem, through the mazes of five dances, whilst the Countess and Miss Loverule monopolized a par nobile fratrum belonging to the staff. The Loverule family, as usual, took up the whole of the mirror at the head of the room, in which a beautiful display of backs was observable by the adorers who were bowing at the shrine of,——I was going to say beauty—but, where wealth and pride abound, all other graces and attractions fade and become extinct. The embattled ranks, however, of idols and worshippers, were so impenetrable that many of the military beaux could not approach the mirror at all to adjust their hair, and were obliged, particularly Lieutenant Charlie, to have recourse to their pocket looking-glasses. After supper there was a game of romps in the undressing room between two ladies, who made choice of each other to display their manual wit, the one, probably because there were no men there to romp with, and the other, because the men would not romp with her.

I am, Sir,



12th April.

Mr. Scribbler,

Being what is termed a new-comer in this country, and having been informed previously to leaving Old England that the earth in Canada was not relieved from its snowy mantle until the month of May, I have remarked with much surprise the great quantities of early vegetables, radishes, lettuces, etc. publicly and plentifully offered for sale in the markets and hawked about by old women. Chance threw one of the latter in my way, and I asked the good old dame which of the market-gardeners had been able to produce the early specimens of their art she had for sale. Imagine to yourself my surprise, Mr. Scribbler, when I was informed that they came from the garden belonging to the Sheriff of Montreal, and were to be disposed of on account of his sisters! A friend of mine coming up at the time, I expressed my astonishment to him. “Why, good Sir,” replied he, “though this seems strange to you, I could mention a dozen of the most respectable persons in and about this city who make it a business to vend their garden-stuffs the year round, to the great prejudice of the professional gardeners, so that the young ladies of the Sheriff’s family by no means stand alone; amongst others they are kept in countenance by Mr. Rivers, Mr. Guy Fox, Mrs. Flat, Angus Cat, Esquire, and some other cast-off rat-catchers, etc. etc.” I shrugged up my shoulders, and reflected how unlike these half-crown gentry of Montreal are to the liberal hearted gentlemen of good Old England, who, instead of entering into competition with market-gardeners, and becoming retailers of cabbages, onions, and carrots, are willing to encourage the horticulture of the country by generous subscriptions, and by giving themselves very liberal prices for early vegetables; whilst if their own hot-beds or green-houses produce a surplus beyond their consumption, it is distributed amongst their friends, or bestowed gratuitously upon their poorer neighbours. More anon.

Yours respectfully,



Mr. Macculloh,

Walking down Notre Dame Street the other day I chanced to be an eye-witness of a scene which would have disgraced the capital of Dahomy, much more the noble, the enlightened, the extremely civilized, city of Montreal. Two young men had enticed an unfortunate individual of the canine species into the yard attached to their master’s premises, and there tied a kettle to his tail and a collar of old mugs round his neck. Decorated in this manner, they turned him out with three cheers, and he dashed up the street in great style, yelping and affrighted at the adornments he carried, to the great satisfaction of the blackguards who had played the trick. I expected to hear some one of the many who witnessed the circumstance, commiserate the animal’s case, but no such thing, nothing but peals of laughter could be heard on every side; and when the poor brute had nearly reached the parish church, a certain doctor, remarkable for his attachment to fun, let it come in what shape it may, stood on a step, and as it passed him gave a glorious halloo which might have been heard a mile off, and which served to increase the speed of the persecuted quadruped. But I had forgot to mention that ere he had reached thus far, he came in contact with the pretty legs of a prettier girl, who vainly endeavoured to get out of his way, and threw her down; but decency requires my drawing a veil over what made this part of the fun more boisterously welcomed than any other. A military sprig of laurel, who was strutting along, green as a summer’s leaf, hearing the dreadful clatter which was evidently drawing nearer and nearer, (he has since sworn he thought it was a charge of cuirassiers,) bolted into a shop in a tremendous flurry, and did not recover his spirits till he had taken some drops of hartshorn, a noble cordial, by the bye, for a soldier, and which I would recommend to some few of a certain regiment who are troubled with delicate nerves.






For six long months did fate ordain

  I should from her I love be parted,

I was, of course, like a true swain,

  Dying with grief, quite broken-hearted.

According to establish’d rule,

  I raved ’bout eyes, and lips like rubies,

And hearts,——in short, I play’d the fool,

  Like many other love-sick boobies.


Fortune at length more kind did prove,

  Granted from grief a short cessation,

And swiftly on the wings of love,

  I homeward sped, all expectation.

Eager fond raptures to renew——

  The thought e’en now my brain amazes;

Quick to the well-known spot I flew,

  And found my love——as drunk as blazes!




Confined by malignant and unjust creditors.


And have I bid a last farewell

To each green field, and woody dell?

And have I ta’en a last long look

Of leafy grove and wandering brook?

No more to climb the mountain’s brow,

And view the spreading scene below,

Never to hear the sweet birds sing,

Nor see the mountain floweret spring;

Never more on the ocean shore,

To listen to the surges’ roar;

Never to catch the kindly rain;

Or fann’d by western breeze again?

I dart my hand through bars and wall,

To feel the pattering rain-drops fall,

But massy thickness thwarts the wretched;

No drop can reach the hand outstretched.

Ah, hopeless state of human woe!

Longing for luxuries of snow,

Of raging tempests, rattling hail,

To beat upon this body frail,

Rather than sheltered in this gloom,

Houseless tho’ housed, home, without home!——

No more to join the jovial throng,

Or mix the gay or grave among——

No more the mazy dance to lead;

Never more mount the prancing steed;

No more to stem the rippling tide;

Ne’er sit around dear home’s fireside;

For ever changed the smiling hearth,

Study’s retirement, social mirth;

For gaoler’s growl and felon’s oaths,

And foul controul that manhood loathes.

Love’s fond delights, and blithesome strains,

For grating hinge and clanking chains.

The free air of yon distant sky,

For rank polluted misery.

  Well fare my heart, but thou art proof;

Thou canst not break, thou art too tough;

Nor shalt thou burst, tho’ injuries

Have swell’d thee to a giant’s size.

Lo! there forlorn Althea stands,

With tearful eyes and wringing hands,

That injured, that insulted, fair,

Who all my misery fain would share.

But thrice barr’d grates, and brutal ’hest,

Forbid to clasp her to my breast.——

Foul shame befall the ruffian crew

That from her eyes those tear-drops drew

Those bold bad men of wealth and power,

The sordid pageants of the hour,

From dunghill sprung, to dunghill tending,

Fast to their native muck descending;

The scum of earth, outcasts from heaven,

Th’oppressed’s curse right thro’ them driven,

Be they for ever held in scorn,

Hooted by all both night and morn,

Pointed at by each passer-by,

So let them live, so let them die,

At crouded burse, or funeral knell,

Detested as the gates of hell.

                                 L. L. M.

Paul Crimps, Tom Bowling, Baron Harpax from Chambly, and Mr. Honeycomb, and Veritas from Quebec, are received, and will be availed of in some shape or other: the last should have paid the postage. Amicus is thanked for his information. My ingenious correspondents at Quebec, who are no doubt impatient at the unavoidable delay that has taken place, are requested to give me an account of the Battle of the Bridge there.


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 1822-04-27 Volume 1, Issue 44s edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]