* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a https://www.fadedpage.com administrator before proceeding. Thousands more FREE eBooks are available at https://www.fadedpage.com.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: The Scribbler 1822-06-06 Volume 1, Issue 50

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Apr. 7, 2021

Date last updated: Apr. 7, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210409

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


Montreal. Thursday, 6th June, 1822. No. L.

“When Butler or Cervantes were composing their Quixotte or Hudibras, they were as grave, and applied as laboriously to their page, as Homer or Milton; yet how many imagine that the ludicrous compositions of the former authors, were written in as ludicrous a vein, and as easily, as they appear to the world. A modern comic writer was one day seriously thoughtful; being asked by a friend, why he was so, he replied; I am making a joke for Mrs. Jordan.”


A celebrated Italian theatrical buffoon, and who never appeared on the stage without keeping the whole audience in an incessant roar of laughter, was constitutionally subject to the most oppressive fits of melancholy, to a depression of spirits that verged at times upon a despondency, and rendered his life miserable. He was advised to apply to a celebrated physician in a neighboring principality, who, when he had heard the particulars of his case, being unacquainted with his name and person, asked him where he came from; from Milan, was the answer; O! my good friend, said the physician, though I have no medicines that can cure your distemper, you have a remedy within your own reach; go every night to the theatre at Milan, when Carlo Buffa performs, and I will warrant you will lose every symptom of the hypochondriac melancholy that possesses you. Alas! sir, rejoined the patient, I am that very Carlo Buffa himself, and whilst I excite the most ungovernable mirth in others, am at those very moments a victim to the most morbid feelings of misery and wretchedness, groundless I will allow, but as invincible as they are unaccountable. So fares it at times with the writer bound to furnish forth his regular courses of amusement, of instruction and of satire to the public; his solid meats, his piquant sauces, his flavoured wine, and solacing fruits. So it is with me, and labouring, as I do, under great depression of spirits and infirmity of body, “at the time of this present writing,” not, however, “hoping it may be the same with you,” gentle readers, I luckily recollect that I am under promise to Messrs. Rigdum Funnidos & Co. to give them an occasional collection of anecdote, jest and epigram; and being just now fit for nothing else but, like the Italian buffoon, to make others laugh, whilst I inwardly prey upon my own melancholy thoughts, I will serve up an entertainment, in which I hope there will be found both flavour and variety.

L. L. M.

George, Lord Lyttleton, was a man rather melancholy in his disposition, and used to declare to his friends, that when he went to Vauxhall, he always supposed pleasure to be in the next box to his; at least that he himself was so unhappily situated as always to be in the wrong box for it. This anecdote Dr. Johnson has not got in Lord Lyttleton’s life.

A traveller passing through the city of Burgos in Spain, was desirous of knowing who were their most learned men, and applied to one of the inhabitants for information. What, replied the Spaniard, who happened to be a scholar, have you never heard of the admirable Brandellius, or the ingenious Mogusius? one the eye, the other the heart, of our learned university, known all over the world? Never, cried the traveller, but pray inform me what Brandellius is particularly remarkable for? You must be very little acquainted with the republic of letters, says the other, to ask such a question; Brandellius has written a most sublime panegyric on Mogusius. And, pray what has Mogusius done to deserve so great an honor? Why, he has written an excellent poem in praise of Brandellius.


’Twixt woman and wine,

  Man’s lot is to smart;

For one makes his head ache,

  And t’other his heart.

Cries Hodge in a pet, O Jove, befriend me,

And quick another helpmate send me;

O let, cries Kate, his prayers prevail,

But let that helpmate be a male.

A person of the name of Millot wrote a treatise which he called Megantropogenésie, or the art of procreating wise children. ’Tis a pity, said Retif de la Bretone, that the author’s father did not understand that art.

Fuller in his “worthies of England,” calls a negro, “the image of God cut in ebony.”

Lieut. Santena, who had obstinately defended a small fortress against the army of Marshal Catinat, when he invaded Piedmont, was, upon his final surrender, invited to dine with the marshal. At table some French officers upbraided Santena on account of the Duke of Savoy’s having formed a league with heretics against the most Christian king. Santena remained silent for some time, till he at last asked the marshal whether he would allow him the freedom of speech? Catinat assuring him he might freely express his sentiments, he replied, that his master had indeed for self-defence, taken up arms against the king of France, and had entered into an alliance with heretics, such as the English and the Dutch; nay had intended to do what was worse, and had actually sent to Constantinople to negotiate a league with the Turks, but his most Christian Majesty, had been unluckily beforehand with him there. Catinat laughed at the officers who had forced this keen repartee from Santena, saying, this might teach them not to insult brave men under misfortune.

Mr. F. going out one day from his chambers in Gray’s Inn, Holborn, wrote on his door in chalk, “I shall not be at home till midnight, if it is too dark to read this, borrow a light in the opposite chambers.”

Authentic copy of a letter from Sir John Lesley, to Sir Thomas Riddle of Gateshead, upon the siege of Newcastle by the Scots in 1640, preserved in the Antiquarian Repertory.

Sir Thomas,

Between me and God, it maks my heart bleed bleud, to see the warks gae thro soe trim a garden as yours. I hae been twa times wi my cousin the general, and sae shall I sax time mare afore the wark gae that gate; but gin a’ this be dune, sir Thomas, yee maun macke the twenty pound thretty, and I maun hae the tag’d tail’d trooper[1] that stands in the straw, and the little wee trim gaeing thing[2] that stands in the neuk o’ th’ ha’ chirping and chiming at the noon tide of the day and forty bows[3] of beer[4] to say the mains[5] witha’; and as I am a chevalier of fortune, and a limb of the house of Rothes, as the muckle maun kist in Edinburg, auld kirk can weel witness for these aught[6] hundred years bygane, nought shall skaithe your house within or without, to the validome of twa penny chicken.

I am your humble servant,


[1] Horse.

[2] Clock.

[3] Two bushels.

[4] Barley.

[5] Low lands.

[6] Eight.

Major-general and captain over sax score and twa men and some mare; Crowner of Cumberland, Northumberland, Murrayland and Fife, Baillie of Kirkaldie, Governor of Burnt Island, and the Bass, Laird of Libertine Tilly and Wolly; Siller-tacker[7] of Sterling, Constable of Leith, and Sir John Lesley, knight to the boot of a’ that.

[7] Collector of Land-tax.

Foote on his return from Scotland, being asked by a lady whether there was any truth in the report that there were no trees in Scotland? “A very malicious report, indeed, my lady,” said he “for as I was crossing from Port Patrick to Donaghadee, I saw two blackbirds perched on as fine a thistle as ever I beheld in my life.”

Inscription in the City Tolbooth (Prison) at Edinburgh.

A prison is a house of care,

  A place where none can thrive;

A touchstone sure to try a friend;

  A grave for men alive.

Sometimes a house of right,

  Sometimes a house of wrong,

Sometimes a house of whores and thieves,

  And honest men among.

Syllabus of a course of lectures on intellectual Philosophy.

Introductory address.

The beginning of eternal and indissoluble affections between grown misses.

The end of eternal and indissoluble affections between grown misses.

Confidential female dialogues from the age of fifteen to nineteen.

Letter writing, with specimens.

Books, their use and abuse.

Thoughts critical, tragical, comical, and pastoral, on circulating libraries, with a small catalogue of books generally found in those sensible and scientific repositories.

An essay on toilette-reading, with observations on waiting maids.

Vanity considered with slight thoughts on dress; and a comparison between the outside and inside of a fashionable woman’s head, or a dissertation on caps and brains.

Dialogue between a mask and a mirror.

The comparative merits of a rouge and carmine, with some secrets relative to wigs, and artificial bosoms.

The deformity of beauty, and the charms of ugliness, with a comparative view of both.

A dissertation on elastic garters and silk stockings.

Love considered in all its descriptions, its rise, progress and fall.

Flirtation defined, its pleasures and dangers considered; with reflections on courtship.

Thoughts on friendship without end, and ends without friendship.

An endeavour to prove that they are one and the same thing.

Comparison between a slave-trader and a child-trader; or the selling of slaves in the West-Indies, and the disposing of daughters in Europe and America.

An enquiry into the different kinds of reputation, the good, the middling and the bad; and an easy method proposed of attaining the two latter.

A comparative view of the golden and iron ages, with some bold remarks on the brazen one.

Grave strictures on laughter, with a lucubration on smiles, smirks and leers.

Merry hints respecting gravity, with a receipt to get rid of frowns.

An account of the history of human failings, published by Scandal, Falsehood, Interception, & Co. in ninety-nine volumes imperial folio, with a slight sketch of human virtues and merits on the margin of the last page of the stupendous work.

The conclusion, with a treatise on amens and sobeits.

When Mrs. Macauley published a pamphlet called “loose thoughts,” several ladies (blue stockings) who were assembled at a party reprobated the title as very improper for a woman, “Not at all, ladies,” said a wit, who was admitted to their coterie, “the sooner a woman gets rid of such thoughts the better.”

A lady who had made several fauxpas in life being afterwards married very happily, a company of friends were talking over the circumstances, and mentioning that she had had the frankness to tell her husband before marriage, all that had happened, added “what candour, what honesty she must have had.” “Yes,” cried the same wit, joining in the general praise, “and what an amazing memory too!”

Lady S—, who had lived in great health and spirits to the age of ninety-two, was asked about ten years before, at what time of life the passion of love generally fails. “That” said she, “is a question of experience, which I can not at present determine.”

Foote being asked his opinion of Churchill the poet, he said that Lilly the grammarian, had already given his character in one line with great accuracy;

Bifrons atque custos, bos, fur, sus, atque sacerdos. Which line Mr. Gosling a clergyman of Canterbury, parodied in the following humourous manner;

Bifrons—not living as he preaches;

Custos—of all that in his reach is;

Bos—when amongst his neighbors’ wives;

Fur—when a gathering in his tythes;

Sus—sitting at a parish feast;

Sacerdos—last, a finish’d priest.

An Irishman going past St. Paul’s church in London, compared his watch with the clock, and burst into a fit of laughter. Being asked what he laughed at, he replied, “And how can I help it when here is my little watch that was made by Paddy O’Flaherty on Ormond-quay, and which only cost me five guineas, has beat your big London clock there, a full hour and a quarter since yesterday morning.”

Those gentlemen to whom the Scribbler has been sent for their approbation or return, and who have neither returned it, nor intimated their intention of becoming subscribers, are respectfully informed that it will be discontinued to be sent to them after the first vol. is completed, unless they request its continuation by letter, directed to L. L. Macculloh, Esq. Post-Office, Montreal.

The editor solicits the continuation of the favours of his several correspondents, as before, through the Post-Office, and trusts they will continue to afford him their valuable assistance in rendering his miscellany worthy of that distinguished patronage it has met with.


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 1822-06-06 Volume 1, Issue 50 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]