Page images

and since that period, have been walking over the same paths, hand in hand together; nor shall we separate, until we arrive at the last stage of our wayfaring.

Notwithstanding the sad and sober brow with which he makes his début on the stage, Lyttleton Honeysuckle is one of the merriest philosophers that I ever knew. It is his pride to be distinguished for gaité de cœur; and Fortune has seldom found him at spiteful odds with her, although the jilting dutchess has played upon him many a deceitful juggle. Like Zoroaster and the king of the Bactryans, he was born laughing, and like sir Thomas More, he is determined to die in the same good humour. Brisk animal spirits are better than all the drugs of pharmacy, and a light heart will do incalculably more than Esculapius or Hippocrates himself. The alchymists were long and vainly puzzled to discover the grand elixir, whereby life was to be preserved immortally. Honeysuckle does not pretend to know more upon the subject than they, but he has actually made arrangements to live as old as the most venerable of the Patriarchs. His pulse have never been touched by one of the faculty, since he came to years of discretion, and it is more than probable, that they will remain forever inviolate. Ninon de L'Enclos, we are informed, enjoyed spirits, and consequently health to a very advanced age, and her only physician (except once or twice the accoucheur) was a little yellow lap-dog. He attended his mistress to all places of entertainment, and at table was placed in a basket near her plate. Whatever viands Raton rejected, she likewise refused, and as he was the very opposite of Apicius or his own countryman Darteneuf, the lovely courtezan made Temperance her companion, and was wedded to Cheerfulness.

Almost all the deaths that fill up the obituary, are either immediately or indirectly occasioned by spleen and choler, according to my friend's doctrine. Whatever therefore may engender those disagreeable qualities, should be carefully avoided. On this account smoking houses and scolding wives are particularly inveighed against. He accounts it most marvellous that Socrates should have lived to be poisoned, whan he had a help


mate, endowed with a tongue, more insalubrious than any baneful mineral under the stars; and Rumford is considered as the first philanthropist of the age, for his new-constructed chimneys.

Lyttleton may now be placed in the rank of old bachelors. He has remained single however, not from any dislike to the holy state of matrimony, or from a predilection towards celibacy. No he is passionately devoted to the fair sex, and could he serve them by the journey, would joyfully bind up his loins in sackcloth, and walk barefoot to Palestine. Indeed I never knew a heart more sensible to the touch of beauty and virtue. When young, the shafts of Love came thick about him, and proved the boy of Ida, a brave toxopholite. I have heard him confess, that at one period, he was enchained to no less than a leash of damsels; which was precisely the predicament of poor Tasso. They were indebted to nature, for every charm of person, and to education for all the graces of the understanding. Yet like the Roman triumvirate, this coalition was soon dissolved, and he yielded the undivided supremacy, to the merriest and wittiest of his conquerors. She maintained her dominion for a great while, by a constant vein of mirth and gladness, and it is. supposed would, in turn, have been willing to surrender her liberty. But he never had the boldness and forehead to make any acknowledgment of his passion. She was afterwards trucked away by her parents, to a wealthy Virginian grandee, and our amorous devotee bade a short good-night to his sallies of pleasantry and merriment. During this brain-sick interval, he laboriously finished two stanzas of "mincing poetry," which, indeed, have all the gloom of the Penseroso about them. Before, he had never wandered within fifty leagues of Parnassus.


-Dulce est desipere in loco. Hor. Od. 12.

Farewell vain hopes, that tissue Pleasure's maze,
With sunny vistas, and hesperian ways;
Those charms, which polished Ruin e'er displays,
In serpent guile,

No more shall lure me, with their golden rays
And treacherous smile.


The Paphian bowers, that bloom to Fancy's eye,
Where smiling Ariels, all their arts apply,

Where Eros prompts the enamour'd youth to die
With jealous love,

Are as a summer's noon-tide sky,

And fleeting prove.




The author intended to have written an ode somewhat after the model of "The Lament;" but his spirits rallying, he threw the incomplete effusion into his escrutoire, and has not been in a proper mood one moment since to conclude it.

The worst consequence of laughter, is that a broad grin, or even a smile, nay a little dimple will produce more hostility than good will; and plunge one into a hedge of thorns and brambles, when he had in prospect, a path variegated with amaranths and primroses. Honeysuckle found this event too true, and has frequently vowed to be as grave and sobersided as any judge on his wool-sack; yet the thing was impossible. He was once challenged, and compelled to take the field, on account of an affair of my godmother Tabitha's. Miss Tabitha Tweedle, being possessed of ten pieces of gold, which were carefully reposited in an old woolen sock at the bottom of her trunk, and moreover holding a pretty large packet of the ancient continental currency, which was carefully put away in her oak chest of drawers, attracted the devotions of Romeo Augustus Ferdinand Peter Bull, esquire. This gentleman was the very rose of chivalry in those times; and wore the most heavenly, sorrel-coloured, bagtailed wig throughout Christendom. My venerable aunt had a heart of the finest frame, and the most lively sensibilities. It surrendered at discretion. They plighted their troth, and were to have been married, on the very day that York-Town was delivered up to our brave defenders. Previous to the happy morn, however, a party of soldiers pillaged her of the ten pieces of gold in the woolen sock, and à gluttonous horde of rats, breakfasted upon the continentals. Good Heaven! what a series of mischiefs followed. She flew for condolence to her affianced lord, and he had the hardihood to turn up his nose, and dissolve the treaty. Honeysuckle hearing of the incident, passed an innocent gibe upon the gallant, gay Lothario, which Malice whis

pered in his ear and wrought up into a crime, that demanded blood. Bull, of course, insisted upon reparation; and all the protestations of the harmless jester served more to irritate, than pacify. A fool, if he saith he will have a crab, he will not take an apple. My friend although he was principled against duelling (which was very customary among the haut ton), and had as niggardly an opinion of fashionable honour, as honest jack Falstaff himself, yet after having failed in overtures, he resolved for once, to follow the bleating of Jeroboam's calf in Dan and Bethel.

The combatants met. Bull was boiling over with wrath, whilst Honeysuckle remained as cool as a cucumber in midsummer, or as Julius Cæsar at the battle of Pharsalia. Every preliminary arranged, the signal was given for battle, when the challenger discharged his pistol; but giving it too much elevation, the ball lodged in the hollow of a sycamore tree, about four feet above the head of his antagonist. A screech-owl, which had been a tenant of the aforesaid hollow, from time immemorial, was at that period performing incubation. Alarmed and wounded, she attempted to fly; her strength however, was too much exhausted, and she came in a diagonal line, plump against the face of the redoubtable Bull. Never until that moment, did his mind misgive him. He imagined that he was pinked in the diaphragm, and that the king of terrors was at hand, to take advantage of the breach. Under the pressure of this thought, he sunk pale as ashes, and lifeless as marble, upon the earth. Honeysuckle, (who, by the by, had not touched his trigger) ran quickly up to him, and after rubbing his temples for a good while, restored him from the lethargy of fear.

Thus much I have thought necessary to give of Lyttelton Honeysuckle, who will frequently hereafter appear in The Salad.



I HAVE just finished reading in your valuable miscellany the excellent discourse delivered by Mr. Hopkinson before the Academy of Fine Arts, and most heartily do I subscribe to his sentiments with regard to the importance of such institutions to our rising country, and the necessity of affording them every aid and encouragement. I hope his appeal to the patronage and liberality of his fellow citizens will not prove to have been unavailing, and that in a reasonable time such support will be derived to the infant establishment in your city, as to do away the fears of its friends for its ultimate success. I congratulate them and the United States at large on the circumstance of its foundation, as an event which promises more than any other to promote the advancement of our country in the road to good taste, and to wipe away the undeserved stain affixed by conceited and ignorant foreigners upon our national character. The indignation displayed by Mr. Hopkinson at the unfounded as well as ungenerous aspersions of the European pedant, and fastidious dilettanti, and his just vindication of American talent and taste, entitle him to the thanks of his countrymen.

We labour however under some disadvantages with respect to the means of cultivating the fine arts, which do not exist in the older countries of Europe, where superior wealth and greater opportunity have, in the progress of time, collected and preserved monuments in every branch of art, which serve as models for imitation or comparison from age to age, and consequently contribute in a considerable degree to the formation of the general taste. The first essays of the early Italian painters were rude and ungraceful; and it was only by dint of imitating the correct design found in the remains of Roman and Grecian sculpture, that a just taste was formed. It was in this way that Raphael first corrected the dry and stiff manner which he had caught from his master Perrugino, and afterwards, by studying the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo, still fur

« PreviousContinue »