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Title: The Scribbler 1822-05-09 Volume 1, Issue 46s

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Mar. 1, 2021

Date last updated: Mar. 1, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210302

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


Montreal. Saturday, 11th May, 1822.


Sunt mihi semidei, sunt rustica numina fauni,

Et nymphæ, satyrique, et monticolæ sylvàni.——Ovid.


Behold where demi-gods, and rustics swell the croud,

Nymphs, satyrs, witches, imps, and all the motley brood.


Et modo tam celerea mireris currere lintres,

  Et modo tam tardes funibus ire rates:

Et nemus omne satas intendet vertice silvas,

  Urgetur quanti Caucasus arboribus.——Propertius.


“Go view the rapid steamboats cleave the tide,

Or drawn by cords the barges slowly glide;

View the tall trees their cultured ranges spread,

Like woods that burthen’d Caucasus o’ershade.”


I have been favoured with the following communications by country-correspondents, and insert them (as I may continue to do similar accounts) under the head of


Thursday se’night the town of Backbite was enlivened by the long promised masquerade, ball and supper of Mrs. Cotty O’Giggle, formerly the admired miss Pimento of Woollyhead island. This elegant, and, in this part of the world, novel, entertainment, was given at Rifleman’s Lodge, near the romantic spot known as Mount Sunk Hulk. The band of the neighbouring garrison of Fort Formidable, viz. drum and bugle, attended, with that celebrated violin Monsieur Petite Maundry and his assistants, forming altogether a most respectable orchestra. The internal arrangements, decorations, &c. at the lodge were under the direction of Padreen Priest, and the whole went off with surprising éclat. At eight o’clock the grand saloon, 21 feet by 18, was thrown open for the reception of the masks. As usual on such occasions, as well as on others, many of the guests assumed characters they could not by any means support. A few, however, were spiritedly kept up, and of these we particularly noticed the following. Col. St. Matthew (the sage Nestor of the place) supported Sir Anthony Absolute in fine style: the testiness, squaretoes, and manege of the cane, were of the chaste and genuine old school. Mrs. St. Matthew (whom even the unsparing gossips allow to be an exemplary woman) sustained Lady Priory in “Wives as they were” very respectably. Mrs. Clack-too-fast Fickle, of Steeple-field, was quite at home in the fidgetty Lady Mary Oldboy, squalling most admirably at “the spider on her petticoat.” Mr. Jack Foot-att, as Sir John Brute, attracted considerable notice, he changed his dress, and afterwards appeared as Captain O’Cutter, and, tho’ he unfortunately was deficient in the brogue, made the most of the part; talked a deal of his own courage, delicate Mrs. O’Cutter, (who, by the bye, he declared had a right high spirit of her own, being one of the knock-down family,) and the children at home: adding “that the one on the stocks, had lately been launched; and that the Reverend Proser M’Glutherum had played all fours, got drunk, and danced Malowney’s jig at the christening, in token of a perfect reconciliation of their old quarrel; because why, damn his eyes,[A] in his passion he had bid the clargy get out of his house, by reason he wouldn’t just certify black was white, purely to oblige him, as one gentleman ought to have done to another”; but ’twas all over now, a raking pot of smuggled hyson to the women, with a bottle and a guinea to his reverence, had “set the wind to the right point at last.” Mrs. Matchwell, as consort to the “worthy Cawdor,” was particularly great in the sleep-walking scene, rubbing her lily hand, and ejaculating “out, out! damn’d spot!” with the finest effect imaginable: suddenly throwing off her night-robes, and appearing as priestess of Hymen, she seized the hands of a charming Sylvia, and her newly animated Cymon, and the gay trio danced off to the lively reel of “there’s braw kailbrose in Moffattown.” Mrs. Sandy Flat as Lydia Languish, was irresistibly ridiculous; by overacting the character she lost cue completely, but gave, as a succedaneum, several literal speeches from the novels of “the Delicate Distress,” and “Excessive Sensibility:” she led, by a tartan ribbon, an animal of the Scotch mongrel breed, who smelt as strongly of drugs and chymicals as if he had newly escaped from a laboratory in full work; a suspicious look with an involuntary grin induced several persons to keep aloof, but the fair leader assured them that “little Lancet was a most sagacious creature; and gentle as a turtle dove cooing to its mate.” Mr. Archy McTickletail, who by some means or other, contrived to edge himself into this circle of fashionables, (probably in the wake of his clerical patron, whom we discovered during the night in a variety of characters, to wit Dicky Gossip, Father Paul, a News-carrier vending jest-books, puns and conundrums, etc.) grievously tormented all who came within reach of his corner for solutions of mathematical problems: we do not exactly know whether poor Archy represented Newton, Copernicus, or Tycho Brahe, but some wicked wag or other succeeded in fastening a pair of gilt antlers on the cap of the unfortunate philomath, while Daddy McHumming, as the ghost of John Knox, stood at his elbow, bitterly upbraiding him for “outward desertion of auld holy mither kirk for sak o’ filthy siller, and aye draining the mutchkin stoup wi’ Martin’s unclean gownsman, and Peter’s graceless reprobates.” Mr. McScrape was eminently successful in the Double dealer. Colonel Dash-at-all, from the isle of Bullfrogs, was an excellent Caleb Quotem, and in addition displayed a basket of small wares, tracts, pamphlets, etc. viz. “Military tactics simplified, or oak-cudgels applicable to drill duty,” “Lay sermons, with Crumpler’s (German) commentary,” “Magistrates Vade mecum,” “a Maiden speech, never delivered,” electioneering puffs, &c. &c: poor Caleb was terribly annoyed by a fair one who clung to his coat skirts, compelling him to listen to the old song of “Who’s the fool now?” with a hurdy-gurdy accompaniment. The “Founder of the feast,” habited as Alexander the Great, strutted about as if Darius in chains followed in his rear, but he forgot the dignity of Ammon’s son, and instead of sending old Clytus to the shades, he most unheroically tweaked the nose of a liquorish servitor whom he found in a nook devouring the “cakes and sweeties” before, their appointed hour, actually oversetting in this sudden explosion of his passion Mr. Jeune Bois, and Miss Yankee-doodle, as Romeo and Juliet in their way to Friar Lawrence’s cell. We have not room for a description of the ragmen, emperors, sultans, milk-maids, pedlars, flower-girls, and smugglers who crouded the rooms. Just as a sonorous flourish on the bugle announced to the weary promenaders and dancers the glad tidings of supper, at the very witching time of midnight, an inimitable mask, (old Mrs. Thundertongue of Peltry Place, sur le Rapide) made her unexpected appearance as the Witch of Endor; she carried a sort of portable phantasmagoria, raising shades, and calling up characters, both of the dead and of the living: terror seemed the predominant feeling of the goodly company as she kept possession of the door-way; many had to undergo a painful ordeal, before they could escape to the supper-room. We give one of the least offensive of her incantatory verses, as a specimen:

Rise! “Bourbon March-on,” man of letters! tell us,

What’s on the anvil now? Who blows the bellows?

What wight from bailiff’s grip dreads close embargo?

What house in town expects a smuggled cargo?

Who’s on the flit? Who’s deep in marriage treaty?

Who’s credit’s sick? and who’s done up completely?

Tell, for thou canst, great man of wax and wafer,

Things wonderous strange committed to frail paper!

The shades of several defunct grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, etc. were raised to the horrible annoyance of their respective descendants and relations. Corporal Lavender, Mr. Honesty Hooper, and some others from an adjacent town came in dominos; one of these gentlemen, creeping behind the awfu’ witch, imagined that by imitating the crowing of a cock he should succeed in banishing her before her time; but, woeful mistake! he only drew forth her vengeful regards; and she raised in a trice three shades, first Corporal Lavender, with a satchel at his back, vending milk and matches on his way to a day school; next Mr. Honesty Hooper using a broom to clean the way thro’ “dirty places” for a great man, getting the sweepings for his pains; and the last was the mock-cock, with a watch, a horse, an old soldier, and a horsewhip, grouped in rather a curious situation. At the third crow, however, of a real chanticleer, the witch vanished into thin air, giving ease to many a palpitating heart; and dancing was resumed, and kept up till “Aurora undrew the rosy curtains of the East.”


[A] A favourite expletive of this polished personage.

Mr. Trip in sending me this admirable descriptive and humourous sketch, desires to inculcate caution both in me and my correspondent as “spies abound, and letter-openers can not be too severely castigated.” I have myself suffered so much by the infamous actions of a set of prying scoundrels in that way, that I will lash with scorpion-whip, all intercepters and openers of private letters whenever they come in my way.

Mr. Trip has the merit of practicing what he preaches; he says; “The hypocrites, the insolent official characters and placemen; the mushroom gentry who devour all the good things in these colonies are fair subjects for animadversion, and when a man of abilities applies the lash of ridicule, all who are in any degree able should contribute their mite to strengthen his army.” I hope his example will excite extended emulation.

Fort Chambly, 17th April.


    The most effectual way, no doubt, to ensure success in any public undertaking is at first to endeavour sedulously to conciliate the minds and win the regards of those upon whose countenance or favourable report rests the chief reliance for support. A motive similar to this, probably influenced the present manager of the steam-boat De Salaberry to invite a party of his neighbours a few days ago to enjoy an excursion of pleasure as far as St. Denys. The party was small, but as I have received an account of it from one of the happy few, I will give it you in nearly the same words. We departed from the basin at ten o’clock, and, with the advantage of the rapid current of the Richelieu, the water-waggon cut through the liquid element as swiftly as a bird flits through the atmosphere. As we passed the scattered hamlets that rise on the banks of this noble stream, the welcome appearance of the boat, like a harbinger of summer, drew crouds from their houses, which afforded a pleasing and entertaining sight to those on board, as all objects on land appear inverted in the unrufled bosom of the water; men, women and children, in approaching to, and receding from, the river, in stumbling haste, all seemed fantastically dancing on their heads. We soon arrived at our destination, a filthy muddy something of a village, but which is adorned by an elegantly built church, where we remained about half an hour. In the course of the voyage some of the ladies indulged us with a few songs in the cabin, amongst whom the fascinating miss Lark, and the substantial miss Lucre were distinguished for sweetness and compass of voice. Dancing too formed part of the amusements, and miss Raven, miss Jiggle, and miss Skillet, toed it as lightly and trippingly as queen Mab. On the return rather large libations of Jamaica, and the enlivening juice of the grape were made, and one intoxicated Lobcock caused a temporary interruption to the hilarity of the company. He was soon however brought into proper subjection, and confined in a suitable cell; and all was cheerfulness and conviviality. The manager, good soul, perceiving the complete gratification of the passengers, wisely determined to exact a small charge from each to defray the expense of firewood, and the demand, which was reasonable enough was cheerfully complied with. Night now came on apace, and when she had thrown her sable curtain round us, we were all safely landed near the house of my old neighbour, the frank, the open, the affable, Mr. Valley, all highly pleased with the enjoyments of the day. We anticipate from this conveyance a source of amusement during the ensuing season, bringing frequent arrivals from the metropolis. We also expect a concourse of fashionables from the regions of Pigland, of which due notice will be taken, and transmitted for your miscellany.

I am, Sir, etc.


Major Rankem having solicited an appointment as forager to the Scribbler, a commission has issued from my office for that purpose; as witness my hand.




    “Hush, hush, hush!” Rosa cried

    As I sate by her side

And I said many tender things to her;

    “Hush, hush, hush! every word,

    Is perhaps overheard,

For there’s Emma a listening I’m sure.”

    “Very well, let her, dear,”

    I exclaim’d, “let her hear,”

For, in sooth, love, I care not a feather.

    “Hush, hush, hush!” she replies,

    “We may talk with our eyes.”

And we then kept our lips closed together.

A Traveller’s second report is thankfully accepted; so is the offer of my intelligent correspondent from St. Maurice, from whom I shall be glad to hear again, and the substance of whose communication will appear next week; there was no occasion for her being so particular in sending a dollar to pay postage. Pluto may rely that the offence he points out will be reprobated the first opportunity. Rob Roy is received. Titus Elbow and Tatler, under consideration. Timothy Huginbottom, next week. The Friend unknown is informed his letter; with its inclosure, has been received.

L. L. M.


Two pence a piece will be given for every copy of the following numbers of the Scribbler that are not soiled or torn, by Mr. Alexander Downie, Grocer, Notre Dame Street, viz. Nos. 5, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, and 32.


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 1822-05-09 Volume 1, Issue 46s edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]