* 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 1822-07-25 Volume 2, Issue 56

Date of first publication: 1822

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

Date first posted: July 14, 2021

Date last updated: July 14, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210731

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


Vol. II.]Montreal, Thursday, 25th July, 1822.[No. 56.

Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes

Flumini amem sylvasque inglorius.      Virgil.


Me, rural scenes, inglorious, riv’lets, lofty trees,

Green glens, and woody dales, and limpid waters, please.

          I must have liberty

Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

To blow on whom I please; for so fools have:

And they that are most galled with my folly,

They most must laugh: and why, sir, must they so?

The why is plain as way to parish-church:

He, that a fool doth very wisely hit,

Doth very foolishly, although he smart,

Not to seem senseless of the bob: if not,

The wise man’s folly is anatomised

Even by the squandering glances of the fool.


ShakespeareAs you like it.


For the Scribbler.

Journal of a day’s journey in Upper Canada,

in October, 1816.


  No longer could I bear to stay,

But up the river bent my way,

And sought the old, paternal spot

Where first existence frail I got,—

Where first the breath of life I drew,

And first my mother’s kindness knew,

Serene in mild effulgence drest,

The sun was sinking down the west,

And Erie murmur’d on his shore

A gentle, dying, soothing, roar.

The well known sound I quickly knew—

My boyish rambles rose to view,

Distinct in idea, though away

On time’s swift flight full many a day.

In youth how often did I lave

My limbs in Erie’s limpid wave,

Or sat me down upon the shore

To hear the tumbling billows roar,

Or have I climb’d the hill and stood

To view the tempest-beaten flood

Or frolick’d round in wanton play,

Or chaunted to the woodland lay!

But ah! those happy days are past—

For me a different die is cast—

The silver lake remains no more—

The sandy beach—the pebbly shore—

They all are fled—and manhood brings

A thousand cares upon his wings:

The chequer’d paths of pain and woe

Engross my steps where’er I go,

While clouds of error gather round

Impenetrable, dark, profound.

Alas! frail man! it is thy lot,

And sure thou canst avoid it not.

But for these troubles all combined,

Can we no consolation find?

Is there nought in this world below

But toil and trouble, pain and woe?

O yes! A cure for every wound

Has our adored Creator found:—

He’s told us friendship, love, and truth

Should guard us, up to age from youth,

And meek religion’s heavenly ray

Direct us to eternal day.

  I pass’d the wood, where, when a lad,

With cudgel arm’d, and buck-skin clad,

With faithful Gunner by my side,

On such emergencies oft tried,

I’d venture forth to seek the cows,

And drove them home at night from browse,

Led by the tinkling of the bell,

Which welcome news to me did tell.

Oft have I sought and sought in vain,

And luckless turn’d me home again,

Retraced my steps with eager bound,

Yet watch’d, alarm’d at every sound;

For then the sun had sunk to lave

His disc in Huron’s purple wave.

Oft then, as I remember well,

The owl began his evening yell,

And hooted from his hollow tree,

Gods! how his screeches frightened me!—

Gunner I’d call, yet scarce could spare

A whistle or a breath of air,

And keep him closely by my side,

For on his courage I relied.

Bears, wolves and foxes, dreadful foes,

In my imagination rose,

And all the formidable train

Terror could picture on my brain.

When’er I heard the bushes crack

I thought them bouncing on my back,

And twitch’d about my head to see

What monster was attacking me!

But ah! how would my bounding heart

Within my bursting jacket start,

When thro’ the opening trees I saw

The fields, the house, the barn and a’

Then courage kindled in my breast,

And boldly I defied the beast

That howled so hideous in my rear,

And made my body quake with fear.

Around the evening fire I’d tell

Of the terrific, frightful yell,

And having just escap’d the claw

Of monster that I never saw.

My listening brothers gather’d near,

Intent my every word to hear,

Believed the stories that I told,

And wondered how I was so bold.

  But now I see the fields arise

And greet my long desiring eyes—

My father’s fields—where early day,

My boyish years I pass’d away.

There stand, deep rooted in the soil

The stumps, memorials of my toil:—

There have I swung the axe around

And fell’d the tall trees to the ground,

And listened to the echoing roar,

The fields resounding o’er and o’er:

There have I often held the plow,

And mark’d the field with furrows thro’:—

And here my father once did crack

The oxgoad smartly round my back,

because I did refuse to do

What he was pleased to bid me to,

There oft, beneath that plumb tree’s shade,

I’ve loll’d a summer’s day and play’d—

Or early at the rising morn

I’ve scar’d the black-birds from the corn,

Arm’d with a sling, and nimbly thrown

Amidst their flocks the whizzing stone,

And forced the thief to quit his prey,

And spread his wings and flit away.

There old Van Hoozer once went by,

And caught me treading down the rye:—

He call’d—I ran—he broke a switch—

But I was quickly out of reach.

There oft, beneath the burning sun,

The sharp, the keen-edged scythe I’ve swung,

Or spread the new-mown swathe to dry,

While Phœbus glowed in southern sky.

Oft have on this same ground I tread,

My inexperienced fingers bled,

When first I did the sickle wield

To reap the harvest off the field:—

But what for that?—the golden year

Brought the reward of labour near,—

The sheaves upraised their heads around,

And joy and pleasure did abound.

  But cease!—my journey’s at an end—

Out bounces Gunner—good old friend!—

With hearty welcome home once more

He turns to lead me to the door:—

My parents are alive and well,—

Then think the rest—I can not tell.


Port-Talbot, U. C.

Quebec, 29th June.

Mr. Scribbler,

Looking over some newly imported caricatures the other day, I was much struck with a series of etchings, by one of the best masters in that art, representing the progress of a Scotchman, through life, from Dumbarton, where the first scene lay, up to the very court of King George the IV. What drew my attention particularly, was that the backgrounds and scenery of several of the pictures, though labelled as representing different places in London, seemed to have been drawn on the spot, for corresponding parts of this city; and this circumstance raising in my mind the suspicion of some hidden meaning which I could not fathom, I determined on sending you a list of the pictures that you may explain the mystery, if there is any.

Caricature the 1st. represents a groom bare-legged and kilted, carrying a huge bible before a portly clergyman, leering as he goes by at the lassies that are washing clothes in a muddy stream, à la mode d’Ecosse, by stamping them with their feet, with their coats lifted full high enough for decent exposure. It is inscribed Willy Winway’s apprenticeship to godliness and the flesh. The 2d. shews Willy, in the habit of a pedagogue, fustigating the posteriors of half a dozen cherry-cheeked urchins, with a strapping red-haired wench supplying him with rods, and grinning at the exhibition. The 3d. is called a scene in a counting-house in the Strand, London, but looks very much like one in the Lower-Town, Quebec, in which Willy is immured & quilldriving with all his might. But there is little that is remarkable in this or the three or four following plates, which only display a kind of regular humdrum progress from an inferior clerk’s situation, to that of a partner of a flourishing concern. In the 8th plate we are introduced to Willy, dancing Malowny’s jig with two young ladies and an old one, in a tavern said to be on Tower-hill, London, but the exact counterpart of which I am sure I have seen somewhere in this town where I have been to play at billiards; in a separate compartment Willy appears as having selected one of the young ladies as his partner in a pas de deux to the tune of the black joke.

In the 9th Willy, now become William Winway, Esq. is drawing bills, dispatching ships, etc. amidst bales, invoices, and rum-casks; whilst the lady of his selection is amusing herself in a room behind the counting-house with two of his clerks; in the background Willy is seen kicking the clerks off, one appears decorated with a rose, the other is falling into a ditch.

The 10th is entitled “Willy sets up a bagnio;” in a saloon strewed with broken glasses, empty bottles, etc. the hero is seen dancing with his lady, and five or six other —— ladies; but their attitudes are so indecent and the words appearing to come out of their mouths are so obscene, that my modesty would not let me examine this plate too closely. In the saloon hung several pictures, entitled “Sunday amusements, for gentlemen blackguards,” in which Willy appeared, shooting, fishing, cockfighting, drinking, brawling, or performing some other devout exercise. The two last plates which completed the dozen, were the chef d’œuvres. In one called “a breeze in Wapping,” there appeared a parcel of jack tars, who having enquired for a house of ill fame had been directed to Wm. Winway’s Esq. by a sly fellow in the corner. The sailors knocking with all their might, Willy makes his appearance in a night-cap, he is knocked down; the lady of the house descends, “by george here comes the beauty of the knocking shop herself,” says jack, and immediately seizes her in his arms; out come the clerks, try to make peace; a croud assembles; and the lady is forced to endure the hugs of drunken jack till she can be extricated from his embraces. The other represents Willy at the Court of St. James’s, which looks for all the world like the drawing-room at the castle of St. Lewis. He addresses the king as “your grace’s honour,” and speaking to a countess he calls her “madam;” perceiving a friend in the circle who burnt for shame at Willy’s awkwardness, he makes up to him, in doing which he upsets a set of china ware; stooping to pick up the fragments, remembering the old saying “save the pieces,” he gets saluted rather unceremoniously by an officer who mistakes him for an awkward servant; and, in the words engraved at the bottom of the last caricature, “so ends the farce.”

If you can make any thing out of this, do so, and let the world know what it means. If you can, you will probably have some further bones to pick from.


Quebec, 3d July.

Mr. Macculloh,

By publishing the following letter you will at once do a service to the public, and oblige your old correspondent. The world I hope, will not call me vain when I say that the labour of an individual so humble as myself, will be able to do it a service. It is not from elegance of composition, or from strength of argument, (for to these I can lay no claim,) that I expect it to derive a benefit, but from the mere knowledge of the facts and character I shall bring to light. Though you may consider the correction or folly rather than that of absolute knavery your proper office, I hope the latter is not wholly out of your province. Fear not knaves because they are powerful and “honourable men,” nor think them too dangerous marks for your shafts of ridicule. Trust me, we have passed the Rubicon; the arrow is sped, and still rankles in the heart of the worthy to whom my letter is addressed. The system which it reprobates has been for years employed by many here, and the secret workings of this cabinet have been hidden from vulgar gaze and profanation, with almost religious observance. It has been reserved for me to lift the veil, which, with your assistance, I will do, and consign the members of this divan to the contempt and obloquy they have so long merited.

T. B.

To Mr. Justice Intrigue.


Confiding in the dignity of your station, and expecting impunity, from reproach, on account of the extent of your power, you have braved the world these last twenty years, careless of character, heeding no reproach when unattended with danger: desirous of power, and not scrupulous as to the means by which you attained it, you have been a wonder and a bye-word to all your contemporaries: they admired your policy, and have acknowledged your talents, and some few have followed, at an humble distance, you, their great master in the art of political adventure.—Supple by nature, cringing through education, habit, and character, endowed with talents truly discriminating where self-interest is concerned, you have with the most dexterous policy, trimmed your sail to every wind, until your conscience has become so pliable, that you “can turn and turn, and yet go on, and turn again,” Bred to the law, you were not one who wished to “creep from crime to crime,” but you started, full ripened all at once, a finished knave,

Who will, for you, may boast of sense,

Your better guard is impudence;

Your front, with tenfold plates of brass

Secured, shame never yet could pass;

Nor, on the surface of the skin,

Blush for that guilt which dwelt within.

Craft has to you become a second nature, and is used upon all occasions; it supplies the place of courage, and hides the cowardice that lurks about your heart: the oily smoothness of your tongue, the humble bending of your body, and the implacable spirit of your revenge, would almost persuade us that you were bred at St. Omers. Fortune with you has played with contraries: unfit to govern, she has made you almost a legislator; a lawyer, when you ought to have been a priest; and to sum up all, she has made you a judge, instead of one to be judged. It has been your fortune to have coped only with men of moderate abilities, to have been the first in talents, as well as in power, and thus, by your political shrewdness, you have outwitted your contemporaries, and placed yourself, with little trouble, in the high situation you now fill. This has arisen from a happy combination of circumstances rather than your own merit. Had you met a man of equal abilities, (few or none could have less courage, and all must have had superior integrity,) you would have found yourself baffled in your wily arts, your schemes of preferment would have proved abortive, and you would now have been treading the humble path of life for which nature intended you. You have, however, attained power, place and profit by a series of acts that it would now be useless to enumerate. One, indeed, of late date, I will trouble you with the reminiscence of, more especially as it tends to foster the young brood, which your prolific malice has cast upon the world: it receives additional interest also, as three of your honourable rank were concerned in it, and for the same laudable purpose; your worthy associates share your labours in office, they wished to go one step farther, and share also your profits.

A certain officer, holding a situation of emolument, by an unlucky accident, brought himself under your notice. Did you not, (I ask you the question,) did you not hurry on his defence, give judgement against him, and, by the next post, ask for his place? and, did not your two “co-mates and brothers,” aid you in this worthy deed? and have they not opposed you by a counter-application for the same place? Glorious triumvirate! Like those of old, you first conquered your enemy, and then fought for the spoils. They contended for the world and you for a shrievalty. One asked it for his son, ready to fill the situation, the other for one yet a child, so that the young gentleman might be educated on the profits of the place, and succeed to it as to an hereditary fortune.[1] If either of these applications should succeed, every poor condemned criminal might have this singularity attend his death, that he would be tried, judged, condemned, and executed, all by one family. And this is the system that has been pursued by you and your party, since this unhappy country has been afflicted by your rule. You have drawn round you a magic circle, which none but your dependants may pass; made every instrument of government your tool, so that it has become a complicated piece of machinery, which you alone have the power to direct. Every innovator, every reformer, is doomed to destruction, is hunted down with unwearied diligence; all are raging, all are ravenous, until the devoted wretch, is, like an hunted beast in the hour of death, tugged at by all, his limbs torn piecemeal, and his whole carcass shared by the hungry pack.

Do you expect that you can continue to carry on your practices without reproach? or do you think that we shall still bow to you “with deferential honour”? Allow me to undeceive you: the time is now passed, the charm is dissolved, and your impunity is now gone for ever. I have dared thus far to scrutinize your character, and how well it has borne my investigation, the world will judge. Be alone, commune with your own breast, and you will find I have left “an arrant knave with your worship.”

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


[1] The evils arising from the appointment of Sheriffs in these provinces for life, or even during good behaviour, with large profits and salaries, have been many, notorious and almost universally acknowledged. The departure that is evinced in this system from the principles that regulate that part of the constitution of the mother country, is, however, the less to be wondered at, since it encreases the weight of patronage and favouritism, which, though unacknowledged and disowned, are the main objects of all colonial governments. A Sheriff, ought, as at home, to be a man of independence, and one who takes the office solely as one of honorary distinction, and by no means one of emolument: until, however, annual, or at the most biennial, or triennial, appointments of Sheriffs take place, there can be no chance of seeing the enormous abuses that every day teaches us exist in the Sheriffs’ departments in Canada, remedied, and real justice done to individuals and to the public by those truly important officers.

L. L. M.

Montreal, 4th July.

Mr. Scribbler,

I am one of those unfortunate beings termed bankrupts, a class numerous enough in these hard times, and likely to become more so, if a material change does not take place in our commercial horizon.

Previous to the fatal event which procured me my present dignified appellation, my friends and acquaintances were numerous and respectable, my reputation unsullied, and my credit extensive. With such advantages, you will think it surprising that I could not succeed, yet so it was, sir, that although my expenditure was moderate enough, my exertions unwearied, and my habits of living regular and temperate, I found, after a trial of several years, that, (to use a commercial phrase,) I could not get on. I resolved on calling a meeting of my creditors, and, judging from the friendly reception I met with, whenever I purchased goods of any of them, I expected they would be satisfied upon my giving up all I had, and give me a discharge.

The meeting took place, but, instead of the commiseration which I expected, I met with nothing but reproaches and abuse. One gentleman, remarkable for his liberality and feeling, asked me very humanely, if I wished to hang myself, and that he would be at the expense of a halter; another requested me to look in my books, and see at what date I sold the goods from his store; and a third, distinguished for the elegance of his manners, and the politeness of his address, hinted, though rather delicately, that I lived at his expense, and that the coat I had on my back, was his property: this last delivered his remarks, interrupted at intervals by a hum and a haw, occasioned no doubt by his reluctance to hurt my feelings, as his eloquence is too well known to suppose it to proceed from any natural defect; indeed his oratorical powers fit him eminently for presiding at meetings of creditors, church-committees, and bible-societies; and the manly and energetical style which he generally makes use of, excites unbounded applause. In cases where he may differ from any person present on such occasions, instead of the cowardly mode of observing that he is sorry that his views do not accord with those of the gentleman’s in question, this true disciple of Cato, with clenched fist, and contracted brow, pronounces his opponent a liar, disdaining to use any subterfuge, but giving him, as he himself terms it, the solemn truth. I could fill pages with the accomplishments of this hero, but as I find I have already exceeded the bounds I had prescribed to myself, I will no longer trespass on your patience; and will defer giving you an account of the settlement I have made with the worthy gentlemen my creditors, untill another opportunity.


Frind Macculloh,

Every one to his place, as Kit Ryan said when he kick’d his dog. So say I to many a two-legged animal in this blessed city. In my own swate country a jontleman, that is, I mane a rale jontleman, could aisily enough be differed out from the rubbage around him; but here, Devil flay me! if they are not all jontlemen alike. The lousy spalpeen of a taylor who measures ye in morning will in the afternoon take the wall of ye nate enough. The half-penny shaver that, but an hour before, trimmed your wig, and took the rough off yeur countenance, ye will see strut about with the air of a thousand a year; and a paltry gossoon of a shop-boy who spends his week in measuring out pen’orths of tape and sich like gentale occupations, will, on a Sunday, be like one o’ the best in the land. The marchants, (they call ’em shop-keepers where I comes from) are pretty looking fellows, sure enough, and bates the devil and all for dashing away, till that great big jontleman wid the red handle to his face, lays his ugly paws on them, and makes ’em sing, “Och, grammachree Molly.” Now I havn’t mintion’d lawyer’s clerks, nor doctor’s printices, nor dandy stitch-louses, nor jontlemen cobblers, nor— Och! bad luck to my sowl! if I can riccollect the tinth part of the would-be-jontlemen of Montrehall.—So I’ll be after axing you, by way of postscript, here am I to look for the rale thing, for divil burn the bit of it, can be seen by

Your owld camrogue,


As for rale jontlemen, Larry, Montréhall is like dame Cicely’s plum pudding, where there was here and there a plum, but you might have a dozen slices before you saw the sweet face of either a currant or raisin.

L. L. M.

Maister Mac,

Ye maun ken I ha’ just cumm’d fra’ the land o’ cakes, and am queet a stranger in these foreign parts, whilk induces me to speer at you for a wee bit counsel. Ye see I left my ain country an her bannocks an kail, to be a gentleman, or sic like in this, as many a score o’ ma countrymen ha’ dune afore me, some o’ whilk wha had scarce a tatter’d breeken to their hurdies, or a plack in their pouch when they landed, but now fashmagary about the streets like so many lairds, and wad turn up their noses at a cog o’ sowens, or a bicker of aitmeal porritch, or sic like bra’ spoon-meat they feeded on in their ain country, gin they were offered them. Now, my dear fren’ gin ye cude direc’ mein the precees gait these chiels tuke to be great men, ye wad confer a favor on Yours till command,


Boo, mon, boo! ye maun boo! it’s aw dune by booing, Sawney!

L. L. M.

Montreal, 8th July.

L. L. Macculloh, Esq.

There is a lady in this town who seems to possess such a fund of good humour and risibility particularly when there is a cue for it, that it is not to be restrained even in church. Being in the English church the other day, and seeing an elderly gentleman coming up the aisle who wore a wig with a bob-tail, or rather a bob-wig with a tail to it, my attention was attracted by a giggling behind me, which, upon looking round, I found proceeded from the accomplished Mrs. —— (but never mind her name, she will take the hint,) and was occasioned by the said gentleman’s queue.


N. B. There are some ladies who might take warning by this, and not giggle at church when they chance to see a long nose. All these gigglers should meditate upon what Sterne says in his chapter upon large noses, and that which he intended to have written upon long tails.

Montreal, July 1822.

L. L. Macculloh, Esq.

Taking the mail-coach from Kingston to Montreal a few days ago, I had the fortune, (whether good or bad I leave you to judge) to find myself in company with a gentleman of the Lovatt family and his lady, from Three Rivers, (I have not found any other name for that place in the Scribbler’s gazetteer yet, and I am obliged from sterility of invention in myself, to give it plump:) I think he was a notary public, or a proteus-notary, some such notorious character, for I heard him observe that you had, in your private capacity, written him a letter requesting him to record a deed, in the discharge of his official duty, as a public functionary, but that he considered you, the editor of the Scribbler, as so despicable and abandoned a character, that he did not deign even to answer it, and that for his non-compliance expected a severe castigation from your polluted pen! Is not this a tolerably fair average sample of the Jacks in office, and little great men in this province? I am not fond of attacking the ladies, and yet I can not help adding that madam, who appeared to me to be a compound of ignorance, pride, calumny and vanity, and who chimed in with the learned gentleman’s observations respecting you, would be the better for a few lashes from your pen. In passing the mouth of the Little Chateauguay River, the tawny trumpeters of the neighbouring swamps pouted in true unison with her monotonous croaking, which was continually exerted in cursing county accommodations.

A straw-thatched roundabout bumboozled flint of a fellow (of and from Brockville) was also in the mail, as his effeminate mistress was pleased to call their method of travelling. Now this mistress, you must know, is a married wife of old Bamboozle, and one too whom he has thrice advertised as having left his bed (board I believe he seldom had for her) and the honest public were warned not to satisfy her on his account.

An Old Friend.

I am obliged to my old friend for this anecdote about one of the prothonotaries at Three Rivers. Altho’ I much wondered I never got an answer, I had no idea of the truly gentlemanly, liberal, and highminded motives, that prevented official notice from having been taken of an official letter. But how came his colleague in office, Mr. C. T. (to whom the letter was jointly addressed,) to coincide in this departure from the line of their duty to the public? Whether the same noble and upright motives weighed with the registrar of the vice-admiralty court at Quebec, whom I addressed in his official capacity, some time ago, to take no notice whatsoever of my letter, can not be known, tho’ they may be guessed at, especially as the application was preparatory to implicating a great man in a very serious criminal charge.—But many letters and documents of this nature, will, one day or other, find their way to the public eye.

L. L. M.

Kilmarnock and Thom will appear the first opportunity; so will the substance of Tim Takenotice’s communication from Coteau-du-lac. A FRIEND TO CANDOUR, in answer to Bopeep, next week; as also, probably, Bopeep’s second communication. Naomi, will see her intelligence has been availed of. Old Trudge’s second letter, Pudor, and several others are reserved for the next number of the Domestic Intelligencer. Skimmerhorn’s lines on two women fighting; tho’ possessing much of his usual humour, present too disgusting a picture, and one of very rare occurrence, unnecessary to be exhibited; they are therefore suppressed in hopes he will exert his poignant wit, on some other less objectionable subjects.


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 title edited by Samuel Hull Wilcocke]