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Title: The Scribbler 1822-07-04 Volume 2, Issue 53

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: Apr. 25, 2021

Date last updated: Apr. 25, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210467

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


Vol. II]Montreal, Thursday, 4th July, 1822.[No. 53.

Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.


’Tis not to all men given to reach this height.



Vela te, et verte in varias formas; ubicunque vera virtus non est, vitium subsequitur, et ex eo inquies in animo, aut timor.

Justus Lipsius.

Cover thyself up, transform thyself into all shapes; where true merit does not exist, vice and folly will shew themselves; and thou wilt ever be afraid of the scourge.


Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati.


Our name is legion, and we are born to devour all the

good things of the earth.


When travellers, who have to perform a long journey, arrive at the summit of any commanding eminence, they generally make a pause, and, turning round, survey the road they have come, and the regions they have traversed. Under some shady tree, or on some jutting and lofty rock, they sit and converse, communicating to each other the different impressions they have received in the former part of their travels, and anticipating those which may be made by the scenes they have before them for the future.—The weather, the little accidents of the way, the manners of the inhabitants and treatment they have received, mingled with reflections on their own immediate pursuits, all form topics for conversation, during the leisure they are indulging in, and whilst taking the refreshments their wallets, afford them. Looking forward to an extensive tract of country before them, to rich vales, & nodding woods, to occasional patches of desolate heath, or dreary pine-barrens, to the distant range of mountains over which they purpose to pass, they are equally alive to the hopes of comfort and enjoyment, and the apprehensions of difficulty and fatigue. As, in the outset of my labours, I compared my readers and myself to fellow-travellers, so now I hope, my good friends, we have like travellers who keep together during a long peregrination, become thoroughly acquainted with each other; that we can put up with each other’s foibles, and peculiarities, and perhaps enjoy our journey the more, from the variety which a diversity of opinions and feelings create. If we have trod on each others toes in the stages, or have been accidentally jostled too hard against each other, still those little rubs ought only to make us jog on more cosily and good-humouredly together. The commencement of a second volume, is a resting-place upon a proud eminence, which in the early part of my career, my own hopes, though sanguine, considered more like

“What may be pointed at, but not possess’d;”

whilst the expectations of my friends, and the predictions of my enemies, alike foreboded a stoppage in my journey, sooner or later, either from the want of physical stamina, and pecuniary ability, for encountering the dangers, and defraying the expenses of the road, or from the

“Moving accidents by flood and field,”

which I might naturally be apprehensive of, in the so often attempted, but never hitherto accomplished, path of a literary periodical publication in Canada. When I take a retrospect of the perils I have encountered, and the difficulties I have surmounted, a friendless, persecuted, pennyless individual, whose life even has been attempted to be taken by the vilest species of assassination,[1] whose character has been endeavoured to be blasted by gross falsehoods, and exaggerated statements of his failings and errors, whose enemies are the powerful, the wealthy, the strong, the respected, the oligarchy of Montreal, I am penetrated with sensations of gratitude to that public, through whose patronage the Scribbler has risen to a rank, unequalled in reputation, and extent of circulation, by any production that has hitherto issued from the press in the British North American Dominions. The elevated spot we have attained, courteous readers, my worthy fellow-travellers, has, it is true, been gained, by a rough, a rugged and laborious uphill journey, ever since we broke down in that dirty Lane you know of; but only look to the prospect before you, nay, the fresh painting and varnishing of our carriage, the new covering we have got, and the greasing of our wheels (which by the bye, I know you will cheerfully pay for) and our new good-humoured and clever driver, who presses on with expedition and accuracy, will ensure a pleasant journey through that extensive region that now lies before us—But, hola! here’s a messenger to tell us the horses are put to, and all is ready (for the printer’s devil has come for copy,) so let’s turn in quick and be off. Hey, boys! hey! get along there, Captain! Billy, come up! That’s your sort, my hearties! Hey! Tickler, stick to it! Don’t flag, Tom! and so we bowl away.

L. L. M.

[1] The editor of this work was, in November 1821, tried for his life upon a false and infamous charge of forgery. His acquittal, and the loud and protracted applause which followed the verdict, in a most crowded court, have covered with disgrace, tho’ not with shame, his wicked, and perjured prosecutors.

Mr. Macculloh,

Your friend Trip’s account of the masquerade at the town which he has christened Backbite, (a name, by the bye, which in moral geography, might, like the Jeffersons, the Madisons, the Washingtons, and the Franklins, in the physical geography of our neighbours on the other side of line 45° be given to hundreds of villages, towns and districts,) brought to my recollection the programma of a similar entertainment which was intended to have been given last winter in Montreal, but which, for some cause or other, perhaps for fear of the Scribbler, (for between you and I and the post, the proudest amongst them stand in no little awe of you,) was postponed sine die. I forthwith rummaged amongst my papers, but could not find it, until having been recommended by my friend Dr. Bolus to pay frequent visits to a small wooden temple at the bottom of my garden, I discovered it cut into square fragments which my provident housekeeper had threaded upon a bit of twine and hung upon a nail there for obvious purposes. Its mutilated state prevents me from giving it you entire, but several of the characters intended to have been sustained by the great folks who projected the entertainment, having escaped the eager hands of those who perform their sacrifices in that temple, I send you such as I could make out. I hope the ladies and gentlemen who make a fuss about precedency will not be offended, at my taking up the characters by chance as they occur, since in that abode of equality to which they had been condemned, the fragments got so intermixed that it was impossible to restore them to their pristine order.

Uncle Toby will for that night forget casting up fractions of beef and pork, and will exhibit his talent of paragraph-writing, in the character of an Editor of a newspaper. He means to distribute printed specimens of his ability in that pursuit, which it is expected will go near to rival the performances of the celebrated Mr. Drybrains.—He will be a little cramped in the exertions of his genius, however, by the notion prevalent amongst the good people here, that editors of papers are bound to be the tools of certain great folks alone, and that so far from being the servants of the public, they ought to be the lickspits of a particular set. Uncle Toby’s modesty it is expected will receive a rude shock, should he be applied to by any lady, whom he may consider it as inconvenient to be seen speaking to, even though she only brings an advertisement for insertion. He would be more afraid of coming in contact with the Dutchess of Kent, than his prototype of Shandean memory, was of Widow Wadman’s attack upon him in the centry box.

Mr. Giles Lightfoot, as a cavalry-officer, will satisfy the longing desire he has to sport his grand uniform. It is recommended to this gentleman to make his debut on horseback, as it will be a novelty.

Major Henpeck Meek, will cut no despicable figure, as a French cook, as he understands the order of the kitchen much better than the order of the day.

Old Monsoon, being well primed with a jorum of his own brown stout will straddle away at a great rate in the smock-frock of a drayman. It is expected he will bring a steam-engine in his pocket, being a great connoisseur in the mechanical arts. No man, however, will be able to cover so much real utility, with so uncouth a garb of eccentricity, as this curious rough old Trojan.

Mr. Jeo-pardy, intends to give specimens of the peculiar sweetness of his voice as a Ballad-singer: he will sing, by particular desire, the pathetic old song of “Love in a hollow-tree,” and is expected to acquit himself in capital style.

The miserable famine-struck figure of Major Devils-net, will completely correspond with the habiliments of a Miser, which he purposes induing; to make it more perfect he must not forget to bring the scales and weights with which he weighs out to his ill-fated domestics, their scanty allowance of mouldy bread and rotten cheese.

Mons. D. B. De Longnez, will exhibit as Scrub in the Miser. He has a wardrobe so wonderfully well adapted to the character that he will both look and act it to admiration. Being saved the expense of providing a new dress, is said to be the principal inducement that influenced his choice.

Counsellor Grunt, intended to have come in the character of lawyer Dowling, in Tom Jones, who is always wishing himself cut in twenty pieces that he might be in twenty places at once, in order to attend to the multiplicity of business accumulated on his hands, but was prevented by the wounds he received in a foolish duel with a brother-lawyer, Mr. Sabrecut Bluesmile.[2]

The Missees Grunt, will take the costume of vestal virgins, whilst their sister Mrs. Edgeware, will keep to her own becoming dress of a widow in her weeds, in which she will continue to enchant folks with her fascinating smiles. Having lately been heard to indulge in a laugh, this lady is conjectured to intend changing her sable vestments, for a spick and span new bridal dress.

The two Miss Armytinkers are to appear as flowergirls, and will sell roses and lilies in bunches of a copper a piece. Their worthy brother Sir Frederick, is to personate a woman-hater, for which purpose he is to correct the natural sweetness of his countenance with verjuice.

Tommy Changeling, will take several characters. He will first be a Quidnunc, a most talkative politician: next he will distribute countless numbers of flashnotes as the pompous personifier of the president of the bank: then he will come in as a news-carrier, and blow his horn most lustily, dispensing around him every thing but impartiality and independence.

Mr. Macculloh will divert the company with the eccentricities of Cadwallader in the farce of the author: he will afterwards change his dress and appear in a new suit (wonderful to relate) as the prisoner at large.

The honourable Capt. Due-merit, will, from the great opportunities he has had of studying it in its greatest perfection, be quite nattrel in his specimens of the delicate slang of a Bridewell-bird. He will sing for the amusement of the party, the following stanza from an old ballad.


“My peepers! who’ve we here? Why, this is sure black Moll;

Why, ma’am, you’re of the fair sex, and welcome to mill doll;

The cull with you who’d venture into a snoozing-ken,

Like blackamoor Othello should—put out the light, & then—

                                Sing fal-de-ral-al-fal-al.”

Mr. Morelong’s personal beauty will be set off to the greatest advantage in the character of a knife-grinder; poor Mrs. M. is quite alarmed at the undertaking, fearing that her dear noodle-dum-dee of a husband will prove so attractive as to cause his being ravished by some fair lady or other.

Major-General MacHairy, will come as Joseph Surface in the School for Scandal. Mrs. MacHairy’s sylph-like form, her taste in dress, her pliancy of manners, and native hilarity, will be displayed to advantage as Ariel in the Tempest.

Lieutenant Sponge (if not called away to new paint his house at Royal-town in the Upper province, which he bought with the money he so hardly earned by his eminent services to a late Rat-catching company) will take the part of the Parasite in Ben Jonson’s Volpone.

Mr. Foresight will, for that night, drop the character of a gentleman, which is to be regretted as there are so few others that can sustain it, and assume that of a plough-boy,

whistling as he went, for want of thought,”

and will moreover entertain the company with the chorus of the celebrated song “There was a bee sat on a wall, he gave a hum-m-m-m-m-m-m, and that was all.” His elegant and accomplished daughter, will figure as Terpsichore the goddess of dancing.

These are all I have yet been able to patch together, if I can make any others out from the torn slips, I will send them to you another time.

Yours truly,      JEREMY TICKLER.

[2] Jeremy has here let the cat out of the bag, and by an evident anachronism has betrayed that his story of the square fragments of paper and the programma of a masquerade intended for last winter, is all a fiction; for the duel he alludes to took place only the other day. Amongst other matters to write an essay on which I have in my purview when I have leisure, is that of the detestable and indefensible practice of duelling, to which the anathema of the Council of Trent ought to be applied in all Christian systems of legislation:

Detestabilis duelliorum usus, fabricante diabolo introductus, ut cruenta corporum morte animarum etiam perniciam lucretur, ex orbe penitus exterminetur.

Concil. Trident. Sess. 25, cap. 19.

“The detestable practice of duelling, introduced by the instigation of Satan, in order that by the bloody death of the body, he may likewise be the gainer of the soul’s utter perdition, let it be wholly exterminated from the face of the earth.”

Chambly, 4th June, 1822.

Mr. Macculloh,

The re-appearance of your spirited miscellany in this village a few days ago, has already partially dispelled the clouds of gloomy dulness that hovered over, not only the phlegmatic, but even the volatile, tempers of a majority of its inhabitants, and which its temporary interruption had raised: every body now again wears a countenance of broadfaced mirth, and good-humoured inquisitiveness. Through its absence, like that of the sun, it may be said that we have lost a month of active and pleasurable life. From the constant and anxious enquiries concerning it, it would appear that the folks here possess a longing desire of being enrolled in the pages of the Scribbler, and whether it records their praise, or perpetuates their folly, is a matter of indifference to many of them. In compliance with their wish, I purpose in this letter to commence a brief description of the leading beaux and belles amongst us, and to continue doing so until I shall have traced out their several pedigrees, etc. and indeed many of them boast, in the most extravagant terms, of the antiquity of their families, etc. As I believe it is customary amongst your reporters to begin with the most remarkable characters, I will first introduce to your notice, Mr. Thunder, the high priest of coxcombs: this egotist is originally from a small town in a certain island famed from time immemorial, where his father had, for some years, the care of a few of the best faces in the neighbourhood. At his decease he left two sons, whose guardians were the whole parish, at whose expense they were educated accordingly. In time, the elder of these became a wily itinerant ratcatcher, the other a celebrated cow-doctor, eminently successful in curing all distempers incident to the whole race of quadrupeds, but more especially in removing the effects of “the evil eye,” by which he greatly enhanced the credit of his family, which now began to rise from obscurity. When this man of magic in his turn paid the debt of nature, he left behind an only son, the subject of the present memoir, whom the father, when living, carefully initiated in the mysteries of his unrivalled art, but, conceiving an aversion to his father’s profession, in which he too, at first, was gaining some celebrity, and being of an aspiring turn of mind, young Thunder accumulated a little money, no matter by what means, and set off for a great college, notoriously known for the indiscriminate liberality with which it distributes its honours, provided the candidates pay their fees, where he obtained an instrument conferring on him the freedom of a practitioner in his new avocation; and now Mr. Thunder has dubbed himself M. D. with scarcely the abilities of a farrier, and struts about with the airs of a man of consequence and fashion, with hardly the politeness of a groom.

A young gentleman, commonly ycleped Solomon Macandre, whose genealogy I intend to sketch out some other time, is hereby admonished in a friendly way, to guard against letting a large serpent-Eel that frequents a neighbouring stream, glide into his cave, especially in the morning, or he may possibly repent it, as it is commonly said there is danger even in treading upon a hungry worm. I am, Mr. Macculloh,

Yours truly,

Billy Murray, O. S. R.

Laprairie, 15th June.

To Inspector General Macculloh,

I beg to congratulate your Excellency on the resumption of your command; which I have indeed found a circumstance “devoutly to be wished,” for as soon as it was rumoured that the Scribbler was to appear no more, the irregularities and enormities that prevailed in my battalion exceeded all bounds. They swore like troopers, got drunk, and appeared dirty on parade, utterly disregarding all discipline. I expostulated in vain, for they exclaimed to a man; we may now do as we please, the Scribbler is gone! Huzza, for the Bluebeard-faction! A fig for the Scribbler! etc.

“Ah! luckless word, and bootless boast,

For which they’ll pay full dear;”

For, notwithstanding the many bitter invectives that have been uttered against the Scribbler, nothing has proved of greater utility in curbing, if not correcting, the chief follies and vices, which it attacks. Convinced of its moral tendency, I shall therefore continue, and commence my duties anew, with a word of advice to one of my sapheaded neighbours, Mr. Booby Nabson, and tell him that it is not by cringing flattery he can gain the esteem of a friend, or keep one by calumny. Fawning gestures and subservient humility may prosper for a time, but will neither deserve, nor bring, ultimate credit and respect in their train. Do, my dear sir, endeavour to avoid meddling with other people’s concerns, and try not to talk nonsense, though that, I am afraid, would be too hard a task, and would condemn you to utter silence.

The new steam-boat has begun to ply between this place and Mount-Royal, in opposition to the old concern. There are upwards of sixty proprietors who of course compose a very heterogeneous company. So much has the expansive force of steam operated on the shallow brain of Squire Bluebeard, that it is nothing strange to see him walking, as serious as a grave-digger, with a pigdriver or scavenger, soliciting his custom for the season to take a passage in the boat of which he is proprietor. So much for the regular morning’s occupation of the agent of a Seignory.

Mr. Newyork endeavours to display his consequence by promenading with the merry andrews of the village, until he is fairly tired: I would advise him to mind the ladies less, and his business more. Mr. Billytap, whom I have before recommended to your notice, unluckily got so much, how come you so, a few days ago, that to the great dismay and chagrin of all the ladies in his suite, he fell off the wharf into the river: the ducking, however, did not do him much good, for as he saw nobody, he imagined nobody saw him. In private theatricals, this gentleman continues to play Osman in the Sultan, or a peep into the seraglio, with the song of “O the sweet violet.”

Mr. Larrygoat should look to both sides of the question before putting such puffs in the papers, as £25—reward, for a barrel of potash, which, it is currently reported, was by mismanagement taken over in his boat, instead of being feloniously stolen. Besides he might have bought another barrel for 30 dollars,[3] and no one would have laughed at him.

Doctor Dearmud, like Lampedo in the Honeymoon, lately tried a dose of his physic on a dog which died instantly, and gave the doctor such hopes of future fame as an extinguisher of life, that he started, quite elated, for Mount-Royal, to procure a license to exterminate mankind; but alas! he returned with the mortifying intelligence that asses were no longer allowed to pass the board. He was so much shocked that he could not help upbraiding his mother for making him study physic, when his talents were so eminently fitted to shine at the bar, as he exemplified by the oratorical powers he employed on the occasion.

I could say much more, but defer further particulars till my next report; concluding, in allusion to many around me, who lead a dirty life

......“here I could shelter them

With noble and right reverend precedents;

And shew, by sanction of authority,

That ’tis a very honourable thing

To thrive by dirty ways......”

Your Excellency’s BOPEEP.

[3] My reporter is wrong here, for a public spirited man might, with great propriety, offer a reward much above the value of an article is missing for the sake of bringing an offender to justice.

L. L. M.

If you think the following jeu d’esprit, worthy of a place you are welcome to insert it.

An Alphabetical recapitulation of the principal personages who have figured in the Scribbler.

A was an Argencourt, a spruce Jerry Diddler;

B was old Bluebeard, as drunk as a fiddler;

C, Mr. Coachee, fond of holding the reins;

D stands for Dash-at-all, also Drybrains;

E was judge Eubulus, likewise Earl Stalker;

F was a Flagstaff, a wonderful walker;

G was Goddamnhim, obscenity teaching;

H was Harkforward, the pugilist, preaching;

I, Justice Intrigue, at rank and power reaching;

J, limberjoint Jarrett, surnamed the simple;

K was a Kissem, who loved a sweet dimple;

L was a Loverule, a Lightfoot, a Lamb;

M, Macs in abundance most scarce worth a damn;

N, admiral Nul, whose wife rules the roast;

O was an Old-deil, who once his wig lost;

P, Moral Police, a kiss-breech reverend;

Q, a Quilldriver, whom shop-clerks offend;

R, gay Harriet Rattle, a Valentine true;

S was a Shylock, that honest old jew;

T was Tom Allspice, who built Castle Folly;

U, the grand Union, ’tween Ratcatchers jolly;

V, Lady Viceroy, sing tumble-down-derry;

W, Will o’ the Wisp, with his verses so merry;

X, St. Xavier’s prior, a going to marry;

Y, Mrs. Yeanay, who at home would not tarry;

Z went unowned, with and-per-se-and

For ’twas not one Zany, was found in the land.

          From your faithful forager


For the Scribbler.


The angler puts a little fish

Upon his hook, to serve as bait,

In hopes some prize may make a dish

Such as he should prefer to eat,

And a plump salmon or fat trout

Within his basket plump and flout;—

But if, thro’ want of proper skill,

He fails the wish’d-for prize to kill;

If his reflected figure fright

The fishes that approach to bite;

Or if (still worse) it so befall

That none approach to bite at all;

Then, if his appetite be great,

And he have nothing else to eat,

Compell’d by an unfurnish’d shelf,

He cooks the little bait itself.

  Thus we may see a cruel girl,

Her poor but ardent lover hook

Upon suspense, and view him twirl,

With frigid calculating look,

Not caring for his pains a whit,

To lure on some rich favourite;—

But should her manners (meant to be

Attractive) prove the contrary;

If her form can not tempt to loiter

The beaux who come to reconnoitre;

Or if none think it worth their while

To notice her inviting smile;

Then, when her hopes are nearly gone,

And years roll formidably on,

She condescends to trust her fate

To him she meant at first for bait.

  Let weak men be content to stay,

In hopes they may at length be taken;

The strong prefer to break away,

And to forsake than be forsaken.

                WILL O’ THE WISP.

The following advertisement in the Upper Canada Herald, possesses so much originality, and is so humourous, and accurately descriptive, that it is considered worthy of a better place than amongst the perishable and neglected columns of advertisements with which our provincial papers are so overloaded.

The subscriber offers for sale SEVERAL THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND situated in well-settled front townships, in lots to suit purchasers.

Particulars about location,

May be known by application.

For quality of soil, and so forth,

Buyers to see on nag must go forth.

Thus much I’ll tell ye plainly,

Of big trees you’ll see mainly.

’Bout butter-nut and beech,

A whole week I could preach;

But what the plague’s the use of that?

The lands are high, low, round, and flat:

There’s rocks and stumps no doubt enough,

And bogs and swamps, just quantum suff,

To breed the finest of musquitoes,

As in the sea are bred bonitos;

No lack of fever or of ague,

And many other things to plague you.

In fact they’re just like other people’s

Sans houses, pigstyes, barns or steeples.

What most it imports you to know

’S the terms on which I’ll let them go.

So now I offer to the buyer

A credit to his own desire;

For butter, bacon, bread, and cheese,

Lean bullocks, calves, or ducks or geese,

Corn, taters, flour, barley, rye,

Or any thing but punkin pye;

In three, four years, aye, five or six;

If that won’t do, why let him fix;

But when once fix’d, if payment’s slack,

As sure as fate, I’ll take ’em back.

                   THOMAS DALTON.

Kingston Brewery.

To Correspondents and Subscribers,

The enlarged plan of this work will now admit of what has frequently been contemplated, namely, the occasional introduction of articles descriptive of local scenery, as well as characters; of geology, mineralogy, natural history, and topography, as well as of manners, customs, and passing events. In particular, communications from scientific observers in the more unfrequented parts of Canada will be highly welcome, and are respectfully solicited by the editor, who hopes to make his miscellany thereby more acceptable for its variety and utility, through a wider extent, and to more distant times.


The dialogue between the widow Ogledem and Lord Goddamnhim, concerning which Nestor, Arethusa, and others enquire, will not appear. Its interest was merely temporary, the widow having sent for his lordship to entreat him to bring about an event which has since been accomplished without him. The only point of view in which its non-appearance may be regretted, will be partly shewn, when it is stated that the dialogue (a real one) displayed the most remarkable contrast between the amiable disposition of the lady, (whose foibles, truth to tell, are infinitely outnumbered by her excellencies) her good heart, her vivacity, and winning sweetness, and the brutal and rancourous temper, blasphemous conversation, and pestilential breath (which almost suffocated her) of the fellow she condescended to beg a favour of. Jack in the corner, will accept this as an apology for non-insertion.


Flora will perceive that her former favours have been partly availed of; as will the rest, also her verses to Edwin, when occasion will permit. I hope to hear shortly again from St. Maurice; and should be likewise much gratified by having a further supply from the inexhaustible budget of the Friend to the joly Scribbler. I sadly want a correspondent at Terrebonne; and during the summer season intelligence from Kamouraska, rising as it is in reputation as a fashionable watering place, will be very desirable.


Sappho’s very acceptable favour is received, and will appear, with some alterations. Merna’s intelligence, she will see has been partly anticipated, the rest is taken note of. Anecdotes and information like those contained in Timothy’s letter from Quebec, are highly useful; they must however be made a discreet use of: the truth must not be told at all times.


Communications may be sent, as beforesaid, to L. L. Macculloh, Post-Office, Montreal; left at No. 26, St. Laurent Street; or forwarded direct per post to S. H. Wilcocke, Burlington, Vermont.

To Trip.—Yes! at the Post-Office, Montreal.  T. W.


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 1822-07-04 Volume 2, Issue 53 edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]