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ous, if under such circumstances, an author, along with the rest of the world, ventures to lay his humble offering at the feet of beauty ;—to render his slight homage to the chosen favourite of the tragic muse-to pay the poor tribute of his praise to her,
“Who, while she plucks the poet's bay,
In turn, inspires the poet's lay.” Nor is this all the claim to your indulgence that we could put forth. We do not wish to relate the particulars of our flat refusal to dedicate this work to either of the great men, at the head of the opposite parties in this country, although we had good reason to think that General Jackson and Mr. Clay, and .we might add, Mr. Calhoun, if we chose, would have been highly gratified to see their names at the head of an “ Epistle Dedicatory.” We do not mean to charge positively upon either of those distinguished personages that they instigated, or were privy to the attempts that were made upon us by their respective friends for that purpose. But we do charge, and challenge either of them to deny it if they can or dare, that they did not, in the slightest degree, discountenance those attempts. However, they must very soon have discovered that they stood no chance whatever of success. Our prompt and final answer to the importunate friends of the gallant General was, “ If we dedicate to any body, we shall dedicate to Miss Fanny Kemble. We have every respect for the Hero of New Orleans, but “ cedant arma togæ:" 66 The warrior's arms must give way to the lady's gown.” And to the friends of the Orator and Statesman of the west, our reply was equally firm and decisive, We admire his eloquence-we admit his profound statesmanship, but “laurea concedat palmæ :" “ The laurel on the Statesman's brow, must yield to the palm of the daughter of Melpomene." There might have been some difficulty in deciding to which of the rival candidates it was our duty to inscribe these pages; but when the muses brought forward theirs, our vote was instantly recorded for her,
And now, fair lady, if our excuses are not yet sufficiently rendered, we have one more in reserve that cannot but be received. We must therefore acknowledge, that in what we have stated to the public in our first chapter, about the why and wherefore of our writing this work, we have omitted one material circumstance, and that the real truth of the matter is, entre nous, that we wrote it on purpose to have the pleasure of dedicating it to yourself, and for no other purpose whatever. If, after this candid confession, you are not willing to pardon us, but still reproach us with,
“O wicked, wicked Mister Smith,
You've used me ungenteelly!" Why, then, we are ready to make the “ amende honourable,” on the first notice, in whatever manner you may be graciously pleased to prescribe.
In the mean time, since we have ventured so far, we may as well incur the whole risk—"neck or nothing,” at once. are not used to be afraid of anything, and we therefore beg leave to hint that we are by no means averse to receiving a “ dedication fee ;” and that we humbly request that it may consist of one-only one kiss upon that lily white hand. When we receive that favour, we shall be better able to express the profound respect with which we have the honour to subscribe ourselves,
Your obedient servant,
For us and for our tragedy,
WE have, these several years, threatened to make, at our earliest leisure, three grand experiments; viz.—first, to write a novel :-secondly, to fall seriously in love :-and, thirdly, as a corollary and legitimate consequence, to get married, if our love was fortunate.
But " circumstances beyond our control," as the phrase is, had kept us so occupied as to leave us little time to think of, much less to execute, these great designs. We had not even digested plot" for either of them, at the commencement of the very last summer. In fact, we had begun to think of renouncing the first, until both the others had been perfected,--of leaving the second to time and accident, and to give ourselves no further trouble about? the third, until we should be in danger of incurring that bitter reproach of Dr. Young's upon procrastinators
fool at forty is a fool indeed." We had a snug term of years yet to intervene before that period; and we were going on to the old tune, « Vogue la galère,” when our drifting bark was sud
denly becalmed, and we had thrown upon our hands more of the leisure, which we thought till then, we had sincerely coveted, than we knew how to dis
“ Deus hæc nobis otia fecit," The Cholera-that dreaded visitor--reached our city; and though we were among the few who were not alarmed by the devastations of the disease, still when we found all our friends and acquaintances deserting, one after the other, we saw that it was impossible for us to remain in the dreary solitude of the city, and we packed off to a village in the interior, at a respectful distance from the seat of the pestilence.
When we were snugly settled in our country quarters, the precise locality of which is of no importance, we began to deliberate upon the means of filling up the period of our exile. We found there several very agreeable people of our acquaintance, of both sexes, but society was quite out of the question, when every body was thinking and talking of nothing but the cholera! We could not bear to ride alone, although we had one of the best pieces of horseflesh of our own at command ; and as the gentlemen and ladies were all of opinion, that riding on horseback was a predisposer, it was impossible to get a companion unless we bribed the hostler. As to falling in love--though we saw one lovely creature that might, under other circumstances, have inclined us to it, yet where was the use of it? while matrimony, upon the high authority of Dr. Broussais, was proscribed as a predisposing cause of cholera ! (qu? choler.)
In this extremity we happened once more to think of the novel for which the indulgent public had so long been kept waiting. Our conscience was smit