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LETTER VIII.

ravenous fish had gorged the swan's The subject continued. head and part of his neck, and the swan Anecdotes illustrative of the voracity of the

and the pike were both dead. " Pike-Instances of their extraordinaryä.

That pikes will devour any of the size A French dish recommended.

finny, or the feathered race, and even

each other, are facts so well ascertained As the pike is the fiercest and the ihe

that they require no proofs of their truth. most voracious of our river fish, Pope An old 'angler informed me, that as he has thus well described the species :

was playing a roach in deep water in the « And pikes the tyrants of the watery plains." river Wensum, a small pike seized it, With reference to the well-known pro- and as he was playing this small pike a perties of other animals, they may be much larger one did the like. The ancalled water - wolves, or fresh - water gler added, that if his companion had sharks. Fishes of prey seem designed been alert with the landing-net, all three by nature to consume the superabun- fish might have been caught. I assure dant produce of the waters, and parti- you I met with a similar occurrence cularly the sickly and the feeble; and when fishing in Blenheim Lake. as they are unlike the human race, who A Yorkshire gentleman assured me are designed to endure a course of trial that he had caught a pike of a good size and probation with reference to another with an artificial fly. I told him I world, they are best removed immedi- knew so much of his general voracity, ately out of the way by these ravenous in taking any thing that moves upon the devourers.

surface of the water, whether ducks, or I proceed to give you a few well-at- frogs, &c. as to have no doubt of the fact. tested anecdotes, to confirm the opinion In the fishing-tackle shops in London you may have formed of the pike as the I have been shewn some large gaudy greatest glutton of all the inhabitants of artificial flies; the wings were made of fresh water :

the eyes of peacocks' feathers, and the The Glym I have before mention- tails of pheasants' feathers, and they ed as one of the streams that feeds were armed with large hooks. There is Blenheim Lake. It meanders round a demand for them in Scotland and the beautifully situated vicarage-house Wales, where the anglers will find the at Glympton. There the worthy rec- pikes will take them greedily when the tor nourished a brood of ducks, and weather is dark and windy. anticipated the pleasure of seeing them But of all the proofs of the accomone day adorn his table with the deli- modating appetite of a pike, surely no cious accompaniment of green peas. But one can exceed the following :As a how fallacious are the hopes of man! It worthy brother of the angle was fishing was observed for several mornings, that for roach with red paste in the Thames the old duck had one less of her brood above Godstow-bridge, he caught a than she had the day before. This gra- small jack with that bait. I was predual decrease induced a gentleman, on a sent, and unhooked the fish. Was this visit to the rector, to watch the place the effect of hunger, squeamish appefrequented by the ducks; and on looktite, or wantonness? ing at the spot brightened by the sun- You will determine how unjustifiable shine, he saw a large pike basking. He it is to kill very small pikes, when you shot the pike, and when it was opened are told the size they will reach. They the disappearance of the ducklings was are taken in Whittlesea Meer of twenty easily accounted for, as two were found pounds weight. Two very large ones in his belly undigested, and it was easy in the course of one summer were to conjecture in what way the others found dead, floating on the surface of had been disposed of, and what fate Blenheim Lake, each weighing twenty awaited the old one..

pounds. One that was 45 inches long, The fisherman at Trentham, the seat and weighed 22 pounds, was taken out of the Marquis of Stafford, saw the body of a piece of water near Nacton in Sufof a swan with its neck and head under folk, March 27, 1780, by Mr. Stanley. water. This position did not at first He seized a small pike by the middle, surprise him ; but as he observed the that had been hooked in trolling, and swan in the same place and the same which he would not quit, but suffered position the next day, his curiosity was himself to be drawn to the bank, and awakened-he rowed his boat to the was taken out with an iron hook that place, and to his astonishment saw a was stuck into his side. Pike of the large pike adhering to the swan, The great weight of 35 pounds have been

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taken in Winander Mere. Daniel, in ing-net admitted only the nose !! We his Rural Sports, says, " that pike are in are much indebted to the French for great perfection in Lochdee in Kircud- many additions to the luxuries of our bright, they grow to the size of 20 to tables, exclusive of ragouts and fricasees. 30 pounds, and one of 57 pounds has They highly esteem various kinds of been caught. They bite at the fly, or cold, fish, and particularly cold pike. line baited with burntrouts, or frogs." You will find it excellent, whether you

To coinplete the climax of pikes eat it a-la-Française with oil, or with comes Colonel Thornton. He describes vinegar only. It has much of the favour one he caught trolling in Loch Alva, of cold: turbot, or sole, and will be that was five feet four inches long, and highly gratifying to your taste as an epiweighed nearly 48 pounds. He says it cure, particularly if you have caught the was so monstrous a fish that his land- pike yourself. Experto crede. Farewell.

ON AMERICANISMS, WITH A FRAGMENT OF A TRANS-ATLANTIC PASTORAL.

" Our mountains are Andes, our rivers are grandees,
Our country abounds with diversified wonders."

American Song "I SUPPOSE, Sir,” said a London countries so far distant from each other, shopkeeper to the Earl of Marchmont, though united by the same government, “I suppose, Sir, you are an American.” could have preserved the extensive and “ Why so, Sir?” said his lordship. constant intercourse on which a com“Because, Sir," replied the shopkeeper, munity of language must always depend. "you speak neither English nor Scotch, The independence of America accelebut something different from both, rated the change ; and amongst the which I conclude is the language of other privileges which her inhabitants America." . .

claim, as the consequence of such This is related by Boswell; and since emancipation, is the right to make new that time, the Americans have been words. gradually making a decided progress The Americans have accordingly towards the formation of a separate thought proper to exercise their ingelanguage.

nuity in this manner; and it will not Amongst all the mutable things of perhaps be unentertaining to trace the earth, language is perhaps the most progress they have made in the imunstable. Governments, manners, fash- provement of the English tongue. The ions, rise, flourish, and fade, but they task has certainly been begun, and will revive again, the same in form and as certainly proceed, till the day arrives mould: a language once changed or when Englishmen will read the works perished, can never resume its original of some descendant of Cadwallader character, or live again in its ancient Colden, done into English from the shape. The change in language is cer- original American : or according to the tainly very gradual, but it is very sure; anticipation of Mr. Pickering, in his and though this progress may be acce- Essay on Americanisms, “ when Amelerated by adventitious circumstances, ricans shall no longer be able to undercenturies may frequently intervene be- stand the works of Milton, Pope, Swift, fore we perceive any radical alteration. Addison, and other English writers, Where the people who have formed justly styled classical, without the aid one nation become divided into separate of a translation into a language that is states, these discrepancies in language to be called at some future day the become the more remarkable like the American tongue." It is not necessary waters of a large stream, which flowing to say who would be the losers in such through the same channel are of one ani event. hue and clearness, but when separated The Aniericans have not, however, into different courses become tinged confined themselves to the coinage of with various colours, according to the new words, but they have retained the nature of the channels through which use of many which are obsolete amongst they pass. Had America still conti- us, and to others they have attached nued a colony of England, the change new meanings. The taste for these would have been more gradual, but useless innovations is said to be on the still it would have taken place; for we decline. It is only from the literature cannot suppose. it possible that two of a nation that a correct idea of the

language can be formed; for the conver- Half the enemy were killed, and the sation of any class of society will not be balance taken prisoners.” What a spea sufficient criterion. In the warmth cimen is this last sentence of the attachor carelessness of friendly dialogue, ment of the Americans to commerce! words are used which the better judg- Besides giving a new sense to old words, ment of a writer in the retirement of the Ainericans have been very ingenious his closet would reject; and there is no in the invention of new ones, some of class which is exempt from a certain them formed on the basis of old words, slang, either of fashion or vulgarity. and others of a completely novel nature. The “ Lancashire dialect” would not Thus, for diminish, Mr. Jefferson uses afford a very accurate specimen of the belittle ; an author is called a composuist; English language, and it will not there- instead of a country being compromised, fore be just to insist on certain repre- it is compromitted; so we find Christiasentations which some travellers have nization, constitutionality, consternated, given of the conversational language of customable, governmental, deputize, guberAmerica. The dialogues which Mr. natorial, happifying, lengthy, and a Fearon has recorded, are certainly very thousand other similar improvements. facetious, but an American would col. At the meaning of these words, howlect without much difficulty, in almost ever, we can make a tolerable guess, any county in England, sentences for we hear something like them at equally ridiculous. In England, now. home; but when we hear of reluct, ever, our authors seldom fail to produce and scow, and slangwhanger, and squigwhat may be fairly termed English; but gle, and clush, and squirm, it certainly the language of the American writers is makes us look very awful, Anglicè, we not always entitled to the same deno- feel somewhat surprised. We are at mination. The use of words by some the same time reminded of Mr. Leigh persons in a particular sense, to which Hunt's ship which swirls into the bay; others attach a different meaning, has but more respecting our own naturali. sometimes a very ludicrous effect. In zation of these barbarisms another time. this manner the word awful is used in The lines which follow, and which America to signify any thing which are unfortunately only a fragment, will creates surprise ; and we rather think give a tolerable idea of a few of the that in the Scotch dialect a similar slight peculiarities of trans-atlantic meaning is attached to it. Pickering, in phraseology. Should we be enabled to his Vocabulary, tells us that in New complete our copy, and to obtain the England many people would call a dis- remainder of the eclogues, which we agreeable medicine awful; an ugly are told amount in number to twelve, woman, an awful-looking woman; a we intend to publish them with Souter, perverse child that disobeys his parents of St. Paul's Church-yard, who imports would also be said to behave awfully. American books. We have heard that Indeed every thing that creates surprise in one of these bucolics, the interlocutors is awful. What an awful wind ! aivful are Mr. Birkbeck and all the Five Nahill! awful mouth! awful nose! In a tions; while in another, Mr. Flower, similar manner they pervert the word a young Chikasi squaw, and a large balance, (and, if we are to believe their brown bear contend for the prize of commercial rivals, the thing itself,) using skill in the discovery of honey. We it for remainder : thus they would say, have with much labour and research I spent a part of the evening at a added some explanatory notes to the friend's house, and the balance at home. pastoral.

FRAGMENT OF AN AMERICAN ECLOGUE.

"A Backwoodsman and a Squatter.
? On Susquehana's banks, where timber brash
3 Slumps in the flood with many a hideous crash,

The people who inhabit to the westward of the Allegany mountains are called Backwoodsmen. Squatters, sometimes called Lumberers, are people who enter on your lands, and don't find it convenient to leave them, like morning visitors who are fond of sitting too long.

We think this opens almost as beautifully as the first stanza of Gertrude of

3 « To sink or fall into the water or mud'through ice, or any other hard substáncc. *-* Wel's Dict.

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Where boatable, she pours her waters bland
1: Thro' prairies i green, and muggy bottom-lands,

And waters in her course the sloshy swamp
That yields sweet meals of succotash and samp 6,
Two guessing Yankies met 7, slang-whangers 8 both,
And men of gumption they , and nothing loth
To squale to loose jaw, and slam an angry oath;
One a backwoodsman, who with axe and glut 11
Had built himself a handsome 19 clapboard 13 hut;
The other was a squatter, who was bent
From off his neighbour's land to tote a cent 14:
Both kedge and sprigh 15, and men that in a scrouge
Could jeopardize their foes, and neatly gouge 16.
Leaving his chore 17, thus the backwoodsman spoke :
B. So, Jonathan, a very pretty joke!
Are then my bottom-lands so rich and fat,
That you must come and on my prairie squat ?
Once in a while 18 it perhaps were no great matter,
To give some mush 19 to some poor likely squatter ;
But you're too clitchy 20, so I must confess
1 fain would obligate you to progress.
S. Progress ! you think a squatter may be trounced,
And patiently from post to pillar jounced.
But I'm a Yankee too, and to your loss
I'll shew you speedily you're not my boss 2.

8

A Gallicism–so say the Edinburgh Reviewers. 5 A very expressive word, signifying damp or wet, of which Dr. Johnson gives the following example

“ Cover with muggy straw to keep it moist." Bottom-lands, rich flat grounds, sometimes called interval land.

Samp, boiled maize for feeding little Copper Indian children. ? Generally called “ nasty guessing Yankies.”

A slang-whanger is properly a newspaper writer, but it signifies any noisy, bullying writer or talker : thus we should say “the slang-whangers of Blackwood's Magazine."

9 A fine old word signifying intellect.

10 Very similar to the author of Rimini's favourite word swale. It is to throw any thing horizontally.

" A large wooden wedge.-See Rees's Cyclopædia. '12

Every thing is handsome in America. 13 A narrow board used to cover buildings.-Wel's Dict. + 14 To carry off something. ,115 Words of infinite meaning. Kedge signifies brisk and lively; er.g. How are you to-day? I guess I'm pretty kedge. Sprigh, we apprehend, is a contraction of sprightly. viis used by a Columbian bard in the following manner.

“ Now I chace the butterfly,

Tho' he thinks himself so sprigh.” 18 To gouge is an elegant and captivating amusement, on which wc'may shortly promise Ourselves an article in Blackwood, when pugilism is exhausted. The art consists in dextrously "twisting the forefinger in a lock of hair near the temples, and tuming the eye out of the socket with the thumb-nail, which is suffered to grow long for this purpose." -Lambert's Travels, vol. 2. p. 300.-We believe a similar practice used to exist a few years ago in the northern parts of England; but we hope it is now nearly obsolete, unless it be revived by some “ young gentleman of the fancy."

17 “ A small job, domestic work."-Web's Dict.

18 In referring to our friend Pickering for an explanation of this phrase, which we find means sometimes, we were struck with another instance of American ingenuity. A writer in the Cambridge Literary Miscellany, proposes a new preposition (onto) to be used in such phrases as these : « an army marches onto a field of battle; a man leaps onto a fence.” How this new preposition would have pleased Horne Tooke ! 19 “ Food of maize, four and water, boiled.” -Wet's Dict.

Clitchy, is clammy, sticky, glutinous, like a poor friend in want of a dinner.

This word has baffled the discriminating faculties of the ablest etymologists and lexicographers, and even all the acumen of the Quarterly Review has been thrown away upon it in vain. We presume our friend Pickering omitted it in his Vocabulary from absolute despair. The curious inquirer will see some remarks on this word in Ms. Fearon's Sketches. At the first view it seems undoubtedly to be derived from the Latin, and we

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Is't not enough to waste my strength and cunning,
Trying to get a scanty mcal by gunning,
Wading thro' dismal swamps, and nearly spent,
But you must grudge your countryman a cent?
I'd have you know it's well I ask no more,
For Mister Jackson, when he gets the floor za
In Congress, tells us that we all are men
And every Yankee is a citizen.

(Cælera desunt.)

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LETTER OF THE LATE SIR HERBERT CROFT, THE BIOGRAPHER OF DR. YOUNG,

IN JOHNSON'S LIVES OF THE POETS. Îr is well known that the late Rev. that idea was probably not relinquished Sir H. Croft was the author of the life of when he wrote this letter. It is ado Dr. Young, among. “Johnson's Lives of dressed to George, H- Esq. at the Poets.” An intimacy with Frederick Husum in Denmark, and is dated Liste; Young, the son of the author of the Tuesday, June 5, 1804 ; the writer being

Night Thoughts,” enabled Herbert at that time resident in France, among Croft, at that time a young man study- the English detained there at the com ing the law, to learn particulars respect- mencement of hostilities in 1802. ing the Poet, which Johnson, it is probable, had no mcans of obtaining from any

other source. The Memoir furnished It is most certain that, during fifteen by Croft, being deemed by the biogra- or sixteen years at least, we have always pher sufficiently correct for publication, had to say—The present moment i he gratified the ambition of his young more extraordinary than any of winich friend, and his own indolence at the history tells ;"-and, behold, we still same time, by giving it to the world as find ourselves, on the present 5th of he received it from the writer. The June 1804, in the incredible moment in following extracts from a letter of Sir which we make use of exactly the same Herbert Croft, independently of their wondering language. Bonaparte said, coming from the pen of a man of learn- during the revolution of the 18th Bruing, which he undoubtedly was, furnish maire, “Rien, dans l'histoire, ne ressome other circumstances relative to semble à la fin du 18me siècle," and Young; and an anecdote of the late every hour since has proved the truth of Lord Camelford, which is not uninterest- his words, applied to the beginning of ! ing. Every incident relative to departed the 19th century. We feel, day after genius is deservedly dear to the public; day, like Pope's traveller in the Alps, in and there is naturally a disposition to that exquisite and just simile in his cherish such, in hearts open to the de Essay on Criticism," which Johnson, lightful impressions produced by the in Pope's life, calls “the best comparilabours of the poet. A melancholy son that English poetry can shew :" pleasure is always felt on reading or and perhaps even now, after all that we hearing any thing new regarding a genius have seen for so many years after wanwho is “ gathered to his fathers.” The dering amidst such moving rocks and researches of

many
curious

persons who yawning precipices, and meeting, at endeavour to rescue from oblivion a

every turn, new and loftier mountains, jeu d'esprit, a stanza, or some trifle in which, if their heads touch the skies, itself of little moment but for its con may often be said to take root in Tartanexion with a great name, afford rus our aching and astonished sight society a pleasure, or at least harmless has still to discover fresh wonders, and entertainment.

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mountains more gigantic and more It appears that Croft at one time pro- threatening than those which have so jected what he denominated a Tour of repeatedly frozen the boldest blood. Utility, during which he meant to have Alas! my friend, may no overwhelming addressed letters to particular friends avalanche detach itself

, in mighty ruin, touching the history of the times; and from these projecting Alps, and bury, immediately recur to the “bos piger," but nothing can be farther from the fruib. as: does not signify a bullock, but a master; thus an American servant would say, Boss, I shall dine with you to-day."

n This expression is equivalent to our parliamentary phrase of « Getting possession of the House."

me truth, as it

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