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Anecdotes of Cobbelt.

[Aug. 1, the lowest state of poverty and public subscription: yet no person of great reestimation, or in the highest prosperity; spectability attended it: and not more but his place is between the two extremes, than forty put down their names, at the preponderating towards the latter. head of whom was Mr. Wm. Bardin, his

Many of the citizens of New York landlord, an Irish refugee, well known are ignorant of his residence amongst in Dublin during Emmett's attempt at them, so little has the fame of this rebellion in 1804. The walls were giant leader of British mobs befriended placarded, buts not one paper in New him in America, and those who do know York would insert his advertisement, of him speak of his political character which he complains most loudly, declarwith the most sarcastic contempt.

ing he neither would publish nor give a The National Intelligencer, the best reason for declining, except in private, written paper in the United States, has to each subscriber. In point of fact done more to bring Cobbett into notice the reason was, no one would advance by its censures than even all the abuse the subscription money, and he was perhe has lavished on the country to fectly sure the sale would not pay the which he is now indebted for expense of printing. Periodical works asylum.—“We should have thought, have not that extensive sale in America (says the editor), that a silent refuge they have with us; and in a room contains amongst our woods and forests would ing forty or fifty people there will be but have been gratefully acknowledged by a one paper, which he who first touches peaceable demeanour and becoming hu- must read aloud for the benefit of the mility in this unfortunate wanderer, in company. There are, however, no lack stead of which we find • The Porcupine' of what the Spectator calls “ coffeeissuing from his retreat, and again shoot- house politicians," proud of exhibiting ing his quills dipt in the bitterest gall as oracles on these occasions, and every into the very bosoms which have shel room has a reader. I should think tered him; but alas, now they fall harm- Cobbett, from his figure, his less, destitute of point; they show the “ Throat of brass and adamantine lungs” will without the power to wound, and well qualified for this office, though his give us an opportunity of shewing our magnanimity in bearing with mute con- and most despicable class in society.

hearers would assuredly be of the lowest tempt the puny efforts of his inflamma- What were his readers latterly in Eng. ble hostility.” Cobbett made a proposal directly to

land—the same, and in his opinion we

knowthe President for establishing a govern: ment paper, or Register at Washington, "Twere better to reign in hell than serve and one in every state, over all which in heaven.” he wished to preside ascensor. He The National Intelligencer admitted a received a reply certainly, but one which philippic of his into its columns, merely must have been mortifying to his feel- for the purpose of replying to it. Cobings as a man and a writer. The bett's letter was a tissue of falsehoods as Republic possesses native talent of her to the land he had left, and praises of own, and has no occasion for the aid America, flattering the atheists by gross of a foreign pen; besides the govern- abuse of Lord Sidmouth; but the bait ment and the people are so identified would not take. I regret much havthat one paper serves alike for both." ing no copy of the reply, which was Thus terminated Mr. Cobbett's scheme

a masterly one, and completely silenced of becoming Director of a Republican Cobbett, who heard unmoved the calls press, for which I was confidently told of other journalists upon him for retahe bad packed up his materials in expec- liation. He rents a small house, near the tation of an immediate summons to town, of 2 stories, to which are attached court. There are many writers of his stables, out-houses, and about ten acres level in America, vulgar and persevering; of land in grass : he keeps cows, a horse, while in England his vulgarity rendered and a poney, no vehicle of any

kind but him singular, and he for a time became a cart, and is much occupied in his garan object of public attention. In the Ame- den; he walks generally twice a week into rican prints vulgarity is so common that town, one day to the library and the next it ceases to astonish the most common to the club in Third-street. This club mind.

consists of (perhaps) one hundred memA meeting was called by Cobbett in bers, Irish and Scotch emigrants : the New York, before whom he laid propo- name of the chairman is Dennis Calsals for printing a Register weekly by laghan, a man of independent fortune ;

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1818.] The Quarterly Reviewers and Mr. Leigh Hunt.

11 and the object of the meeting is to smoke, The late Dr. Priestly, who in a fit of drink, and discuss politics. I did not spleen at a whole nation because he had hear that Cobbett had gained any ascen- suffered from a mob, became a deterdancy over the minds of the members, mined citizen of America ; and notwiththough he is celebrated as the longest standing a reputation in England nearly and loudest orator on the list. The equal to that of Franklin preceded his arworthy Mr. Randolph, an excellent rival in the States, where he wrote and orator, was in the habit of occasionally published, with distinguished ability, he mingling in this company, but has be was scarcely noticed by those whom he come a secedor.* Mr. Randolph ob- expected to idolize him, and he died at served to a friend of mine, “ I had heard last expressing regret at quitting a home much of Cobbett, and never was more where his talents were duly appreciated. disappointed when I came to know the Such will not be the fate of Cobbett, as man. Sir, his effrontery is quite dis- he makes no secret of his resolution gusting; and what you call his oratory, to return and sleep in peace in the nothing more than talking very ill.” Ad- land of his fathers; though if there ded to this • Crownershield,' who shone are any obstacles to his return 'tis to be so conspicuously on the Non-Intercourse hoped they will never be removed. I Act, and whom Cobbett had flattered in bear no personal enmity to the man but the Register, said publicly on Change, abhor his principles, or rather bis total

the fellow's merit consists in telling lies, want of principle, which renders him but he has not sufficient delicacy to gloss almost unworthy of this notice, did not them over so as to become palatable.' common curiosity justify inquiry for the I believe these are the general opinions sake of instruction, into the punishments of all the well-informed in New York as at length visiting this restless and conto our mighty Cobbett, and sorry am I temptible being. to say that his moral reputation is con

I am, &c.

J. M. sidered pretty much on a level with his literary one. There can be no doubt but he heartily repents of his emigration, and wishes himself here again in the midst of all those miseries he says he

SIR, fled from.

A valuable and learned friend of mine The misery of being treated with in- has frequently observed of the journal difference, contempt and neglect, even by the mob, he never experienced be much discredit to yourself and mischief

which you have long conducted with so före; and to one of his arrogant and to the public, that it is impossible to peassuming nature these must be perpetual thorns in his side.

ruse the political portion of it without

casting away the paper, disgusted with He sometimes gives dinners to his club-friends on the lawn before his door, nant at the pernicious principles which

your over-weening arrogance, and indig, or at a tavern in town, and lives very re- it propagates; and that he has, for that spectably in point of expenditure. The reason, long abstained from reading any tales of his poverty are all untrue, but of those nonsensical lucubrations. In the rank he holds as a literary and poli- his opinion I concur so fully, that, unless tical character cannot be estimated at too I were perfectly à loisir, I would not low a rate.

Cobbett ought to have give myself the trouble of rising from foreseen the reception he has met with ; my chair to reach it, if it lay before me. as he had the example before him of a Being, however, on Sunday last, at a great, and in some respects, a good man.

coffee-house where I usually dine, and

feeling that weariness and depression of was told Mr. Randolph quitted the spirits which is sometimes relieved not club in consequence of Cobbett being per

more by a glass of good wine than by a mitted to disturb the company

with his long laugh at something absurd and preposlast visited New York he passed Cobbett terous, I called for the Eraminer; for it without noticing him. Mr. Crownershield suggested itself to me that I should protold him once, that if he could only talk bably find something in which your of himself he had better reserve his elo- egregious and superabundant vanity quence for his family, and let others speak might so far preponderate over your who understood the subject which they had perverseness and profligacy, that the met to consider,"

feelings excited might be those of merri




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The Quarterly Reviewers and Mr. Lcigh Hunt. (Aug. 1, ment and contempt rather than of ill. accuse you of labouring with the same humour and anger. I was not disap- malignant zeal as that writer to sap

the pointed; for the first article which foundations of christianity, and of emchallenged my attention was a very acri- ploying what abilities you do possess to monious, but harmless, attempt to be promulgate such obscene blasphemies severe upon the Editor of the Quarterly and horrible impieties as those which Review. I found several things therein were diffused by him and his associates. which were extremely amusing ; but I This would, perhaps, be an unwarrantwas particularly entertained with the able judgment. But I do not know if it idea thrown out that the editor of the might not be made a question, whether, Quurterly Review is jealous of the pre- when we consider the bitter and entensions of the editor of the Eraminer; venomed attacks which it has sustained and that the writer, under whose cen from your pen, we may not fairly consure you are wincing and crying out so clude, that if it have not found in you piteously, is a dull, stupid man. But all quite so deadly an adversary--if you this, when coming from you, sir, is too have not proceeded to such daring common to be dwelt upon.

lengths— that forbearance is to be asOf those animadversions of the Quar. cribed to the reluctant respect which terly Reviewer, which have caused in you you have been compelled to make to the such an extreme overflowing and ex national character of the British people, pectoration of bile, I have no hesitation who have not yet acquired a diseased apwhatever in saying that they are not petite for the impurities which generated more creditable to the talents of their such a pestilence in France. Consewriter (whether they are or are not the quently, I do not know that I should feel production of Mr. Gifford) than honour- inclined to inflict upon you a punishable to his feelings as a man. As a critic, ment so ignominious as that which Mrs. he has performed no small service to Carter thought due to the destructive the cause of literature, even by his too industry of Voltaire. But I think it is lenient reprehension of the childish bab- not saying too much to declare that the blings, the uncouth doggerel, and the sentence which the Quarterly Reviewers insane extravagancies which you dignify have recorded against you, if weighed with the appellation of poetry. As a against the magnitude of your offences, member of society, he has promoted its will be found to be mild and merciful in best interests, even by the very gentle the extreme. “ A wicked writer,” Mrs. exposure which he has made of the per- Carter well observes, “is a much worse nicious tendency of the doctrines which character than even a wicked man. The you are incessantly inculcating, and by re- temporary example of the latter may probating (certainly not with great sèvc- murder a few individuals, but the other rity) the unnatural rancour, the mon- poisons a river, and diffuses infection strous ingratitude, and the horrid im- through whole kingdoms: the current of piety of those whom you are so proud to time rolls it to successive generations, denominate your friends: by shewing, in and there can be no guessing when the short, that your writings are alike cal. force of the venom will be spent.” But culated to vitiate good taste and to cor- your self-love and self-admiration, fed, rupt good principles.

even to a plethora, by the fulsome flatYou complain of the treatment which tery of partial and undiscerning friends, you have received from the Quarterly which protrude themselves in every Review. Pray, sir, if you have ever con- page of your flimsy compositions, are descended to peruse the letters of Mrs. very naturally inflamed with rage at the Carter, do you remember the warmth of Quarterly Review, although it has adexpression in which that learned and ex ministered so gentle and moderate a emplary lady condemned the infamous corrective to the fever of your intoxicaexample of mis-applied talents which tion. Voltaire and his infidel brethren held Your dereliction of principle and your out to the world ? She says: “If I devotedness to a disgraced and defeated happened to be accidentally in a room faction have been frequently visited with with Voltaire, I do not believe I should a wholesome chastisement, much more think it necessary to run out screaming unsparing than that under the smart of fire and murder; but, certainly, from which you are now grumbling and every society in which I had a casting fuming so outrageously. When pruvote, such a wretch would be infallibly ex dence has not whispered in your ear the cluded." I am not quite sure but that I expediency of silence, you have, hy a should do you some wrong, were I to fretful snappishness, by churlish effusions

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1818.] The Quarterly Reviewers and Mr. Leigh Hunt. 13
of malignity, and by any random recri- wit or understanding ;" that" he is not
mination that happened to be thrown a genius ;" that he has only “ a meagre
appermost in the effervescence of your reputation for wit;" and that “ the col-
distempered imagination, evinced an in- lating (of) points and commas is the
ability to contend with sound rea- highest game his literary ambition can
soning and manly sense, and to with- reach !” Does it beconie you, sir, who
stand the attacks of your accusers, and a have a genius little elevated above the
very uncomfortable consciousness that capacity for scribbling a paltry libel, to
their reproaches were just and merited. deny its genuine inspiration to the
You have not made, because you could powerful satirist who penned the Baviau
not make any better replication than that and Mæviad? Is it decent in a versifier
of scurrilous generality. This is the who “ has brewed Horace and Homer
hole into which you creep, as a cur saves into English and made small beer of
his posteriors from the kick of a pas- them,” to speak so contemptuously of
senger whose heels he has bitten, when the elegant and spirited translator of
you are fairly turned round upon. Al- Juvenal and Persins? Is any proof,
though every fibre were sensible of the either “of wit or understanding,” af-
lash which truth and justice have ap- forded by mis-calling one of the best
plied, prudence would have dictated a specimens of editorship in our language
quiescent submission; but your irrita collating (of) points an commas?"
tion and temerity will urge you on to Your zeal for the interests of literature is
incur fresh contempt, and to create fresh like the love which you profess for your
mirth by publicly breaking your shins country, and seems to consist in the de-
against the adamant of the Quarterly preciation of its dignity.

There is nothing more common, I You are charged with profaneness, have observed, than to find a man, rewith sedition, and calumny. And what markable for his disingenuousness, inis your defence ? Nothing but an at- vesting his antagonist with the very tempt to cover your own shame by attri- qualities which are most peculiarly chabuting to the highly eminent person who racteristic of himself. How natural is it, conducts that admirable work, which you then, that you who have contributed and your brother-libellers find so pun- more than any other writer to convert the gent a thorn in your sides, every thing press into an engine of destruction to that is most base and despicable in hu- those principles and feelings which are man nature. He is, at once, when the cement of society--whose trade it is “ turned the wrong side out" (as Shak- to stimulate the passions, and to flatter speare has it) by you, a liar, a hypocrite, the foolish and dangerous prejudices of and an ignoramus: he is a prey to jea- the rabble-should represent Mr. Giflousy, he is utterly destitute of principle, ford to have but one object in view and his feelings are perfectly callous!! “ to flatter the folly and rices of the There is no reading your invective with- great and powerful," that you, whose out feeling the force of the remark made self-conceit is proverbial, and whose inby the Quarterly Reviewer—that you terest is identified with popular delusion, are “a pitiable man.” You have not should prate of the number of sacrifices good sense enough to perceive-your he is obliged to make of common sense to anger is too precipitate to allow you to his interest and self-conceit;" that you, see—that such abuse as this can wound whose pages abound with a garrulous no man, because it is self-refuted. It pertness and a Aippant petulance which vilifies nobody but yourself. “ The really turn one sick, should ascribe to dirt which (vour) malevolence throws is him “ the smartness of a lady's waitingordure, and sticks to (your) own fin- woman;" that yo'l, who are employed in gers."* Don Quixote, attacking a wind removing from the minds of the popumill, cuts a less ridiculous figure than lace the discriminating marks of truth you, for you are beating the wir with and error, should tell us that “the disyour blind rehemence.

tinction of truth and falsehood is lost It required an “ effrontery" as upon" Mr. Gifford. These opprobrious "shameless"-a “want of principle" as terms, which are gross slander when ap" bare-faced” as your own, to assert, plied to that gentleman, are so applicable without blushing, that a man of Mr. to yourself that I would wish no other to Gifford's high attainments is “ without express the estimation in which I hołd

you and your worthless productions. * Espriella.

I should, perhaps, ask yoll, who bring


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Mr. Mitford on Sea Serpents.

[Aug. 1, these heayy charges against the Quar. have been well pointed out to you in the terly Reviewer, particularly that of flat- humane and judicious instructions of the tering “ the folly and vices of the great Quarterly Review. That you may avail and powerful,” where the examples of yourself of them, sir, is rather the wish this literary prostitution are to be dis- than the hope of your

humble servant, covered ? if it were not obvious that June 18, 1818.

ANGLICANUS. those charges are nothing but “ driblets of spleen and impertinence.” And every man of sense acquainted with the Ex- MR. EDITOR, aminer will attend “ not to what you SOMETHING extraordinary is alshall say, but to what you shall prove." ways making its appearance in America, Your commendations alone can shake and accounts of the same generally apthe character of the Quarterly Review. pear in the English journals grossly exThe hostility of foes such as Mr. Hunt is aggerated. I am one of those who from one of the most decisive testimonies in experience have learnt the caution nefavour both of its excellence and of its cessary to be observed before placing imsuccess.

plicit confidence in the relations of our The very useful hints which are trans-atlantic brethren, and am old kindly thrown out for your reformation enough to remember the sensation by its writer will, I fear, be unavailing. caused by the supernatural appearances “ The itch of cavil festering to disease," on the Apalachian mountains; the with which you are afflicted, is, I am glory by which they were surrounded, afraid, an incurable malady. It is not dispelling the darkness as the morning to be doubted that you will still remain sun triumphs over the clouds of night; conspicuously eminent among our“ over- the vision lasted until some fanatic aspolitic and notable men,” who, by shew serted it was the “ descent of the New of concern for the public, and great in- Jerusalem," when reason prevailed, and sight into intrigues and cabals, labour to we heard of the inhabitants and them bring the government into suspicion, and no more.* Lately we have had “ more to alienate the hearts of the people from ing stones” in Carolina, but which ceastheir prince. Your vocation of traduced their motion when Dr. James, of ing what is respectable, and of exalting New York, set on foot an enquiry conwhat is despicable-of insulting the reli- cerning them. What I at present wish gion of your forefathers-of unsettling to observe upon is, the account of the faith and of undermining the piety of “ huge Sea Serpents," lately said to your countrymen by your profane and have been seen along that wonderful ribald levity — of prophesying, in the coast; my intention however is not to midst of prosperity, our irrecoverable enter into any disquisition whether or poverty-of " shewing the people dan- no they are of the same species with gers and enemies round them when none those of antiquity—those which destroymean to hurt them"-of affirming the ed Laocoon and yet figure in sculpture, extinction of freedom, when our worst that which proved the youthful nerves and prevailing complaint is a spirit of of Hercules, or the more sagacious one licentiousness :- this vocation is, in the which foretold the death of Julian, and present day, too profitable, I apprehend, thereby proved itself a good christian. to be laid aside. Boasting of the su- This I will leave to my American breperior liberality of your own creed, of thren who are well qualified for such your superior enlargement of thought, researches. I merely intend to state and of your freedom from bigotry, you that the Serpents of the Ocean, such as will continue, to the last, an obstinate they are described in the accounts from

bigot to laxness."* To use your own America, are no novel appearance, but language, “ your understanding will be- have been seen in the Mediterranean. come more distorted, and your feelings I happened to be on board the Philomel, more callous ;” and you will “ drivel on one of his Majesty's brigs of war, comwith prostituted impotence and shame- manded by Captain Guison; having ful effrontery."

joined her on the 12th of December, Should, however, any“ compunctious visitings" incline you to amend the error * Those luminous appearances on the of your ways, the means of improvement Apalachian mountains were ascribed to the

particular state of the atmosphere. Some of An emphatical expression of the ve- the American philosophers even travelled nerable Johnson.

from Philadelphia to observe them.

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