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From the Book of the
Comprizing the Historie and Gests
NOTA BENE.-By default of the decypherer, we are forced to leave the blank space before "Numeris" unfilled; a part of the work, we fear, still remaining in the Encephalic character, a sort of SANS-SCRIPT, much used, we understand, by adepts in the occult sciences, as likewise for promissory notes. We should also apologize for the indiscretion of our author in his epistolary preface (seduced by the wish of killing two birds with one stone,) in shutting up vis a vis, as it were, so respectable and comprehensive (not to say synodical,) a personage as THE READER with Dick Proof, corrector-of what press, we know not, unless, as we grievously suspect, he is in the employ of Messrs Dash, Asterisk, Anon, and Company. Nor is this all; this impropriety being aggravated by sundry passages, exclusively relating and addressed to this Mr Proof, which have an effect on the series of thoughts common to both the parties, not much unlike that, which a parenthesis or two of links, made of dandelion stems, might be supposed to produce in my Lord Mayor or Mr Sheriff's gold chain. In one flagrant instance, with which the first paragraph in the MSS. concluded, we have, by virtue of our editorial prerogative, degraded the the passage to the place and condition of a Note.-EDITOR.
SEVERAL circumstances concur in impressing us with the belief that our miscellany will form the subject of ge neral discussion during the ensuing month, and this, perhaps, even to a greater extent than it has ever yet done.
In the mean time, let us be excused for saying a very few words about ourselves. That we have committed various acts of imprudence, we do not deny-we freely admit that we have done so : and we wish to know, if all the Conductors of Periodical Works now extant were assembled in one room, which of them it is that durst hesitate to make a similar confession? Haste, and vivacity of spirits, and the enjoyment of a joke, are things the effect of which every candid person may in some measure appreciate,—and if there be people so very wise as to make no allowance for such matters, we are at least sure of this, that these sages were never, themselves, capable of doing anything quickly, nor visited by one impetus of social glee, nor guilty of one witticism since they first shook their heads in their nurse's arms. For us, we are certainly of a very different temperament; and such is universally felt to be the case. Indeed, one of the best jokes, one of the greatest jokers of the age has to answer for, sets this matter in a very striking point of view. "I wish," said a learned Whig M. P. one day in a certain shop in Albemarle Street," I wish to God this fellow North were dead."" That," replied another of the same class," would do us little good; he has bred such a race of tormentors, that we shall never have peace while we live-Depend on it, Sir J, his ghost will walk."-"Walk!" quoth R," by Jupiter, if it does anything, it will trot."
The simple truth of the affair lies in a nut-shell. For a series of years, the Whigs in Scotland had all the jokes to themselves. They laughed and lashed as they liked ;— and, while this was the case, did anybody ever hear them say that either laughing or lashing were among the seven deadly sins? People said at times, no doubt, that Mr Jef