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tion, and as each consists of two words, he very sagaciously divides them into the proper couples, and wisely informs us that coeur méchant is the etymon of Curmudgeon—that is, “caur," unknown, and “ méchant,” a correspondent! Profound lexicographer! Sage etymologist !!!

To suppose, however, that the learned author of Grammatical Institutes, could really have been guilty of such vile and gross stupidity, would, in my opinion, be nearly as absurd as the blunder itself. Dr. Ash certainly never could have been so egregiously dull ; and I think, without being too extenuating, the mistake may fairly be imputed to one of the underling drudges, whom Dr. Ash, or rather more probably the bookseller, employed. This palliation, however, is paying a compliment to his talents, at the expense of what is infinitely more important-his principles ; and he had better have been stupid as the above would declare him, than so fraudulent, (which in the other case we are forced to conclude) as to let pass and be circulated under his name, what is really not his production. Such kinds of literary impositions are not uncommon; and a name once acquired, has often, by booksellers’ gold, been made to shield words of dullness which its possessor not only did not write, but perhaps never read.

I know of no fraud that deserves severer reprehension ;—and were I a member of Apollo's Parliament, there is none for which I would

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propose a more signal punishment. Perhaps, however, some of your readers may differ from me here, and consider the crime of prosing as still more heinous. Not to offend them, therefore, I conclude,

Your humble servant,

COMMON PLACE-Book..

Note. The above error is only to be found in the earlier

edition of Ash's Dictionary.

REPLY TO THE CRITICISM ON THOMSON.

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SIR-I cannot coincide with your correspondent 'Zoilus,' in his “ Criticism on Thomson's Episode of Palemon and Lavinia.” The introductory remarks are fair and candid, but, in citing the lines, I think the passage should have been quoted at greater length: otherwise, the sense becomes altered or lost, and the poet is guilty of what may be termed an Hibernicism.

“He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanced beside his reaper train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye;
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick,
With unaffected blushes, from his gaze:
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
Her charms, by downcast modesty concealed.”

The critic asks, how could he see that which was concealed ? For my part, I see no contradiction; “The charms her downcast modesty concealed,” were not merely personal, although, as in the following lines, I am willing to allow the latter their due share :

“ Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves, unstain'd and pure
As is the lily, or the mountain snow.”

This is an enchanting description, and even here, it appears to me, the poet was right in saying, “ he saw not half the charms,” &c.—they were concealed, or, if the critic prefers the term, “ veiled,” by modesty, diffidence, and humility. But the superior, the more fascinating beauties of the mind,—“the modest virtues mingled in her eyes,”

,"_“th' enlivening sense,”—“ the smiling patience in her looks,”—these, in a great measure, lie hid from common observation; the rustic, although he may be alive to the more palpable, the grosser objects of our sense, observes them not-nor would he find himself like Palemon

“ With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,

Above the vulgar joy divinely raised.”

The fair Lavinia, sheltered from the world by virtuous poverty,—“but more by bashful modesty concealed,”—shrinks abashed before the fond and ardent gaze of a stranger, the young, generous, rich Palemon. It is true, those charms, the poet contemplates, those softened beauties, modest virtues, were in part revealed to Palemon, at his first interview; but the artless innocence, the bashful reserve and timidity of an unprotected orphan, concealed the rest.

If thus much is granted, I may add, the preceding part of my quotation fully explains the latter, and that the discovery or concealment alluded to, chiefly depended on the judgment of the lover.

In arguing this point so strenuously, I can only plead the attachment I feel to the author of the “ Seasons ;"—probably the critic may recollect, that many of the Roman ladies wore a slight veil, solely for the purpose of concealing their beauty, and, by leaving something to the imagination, enhanced the idea. The modern belles will probably dispute the policy of this conduct, and deem it one of those antiquated notions, which have been long ago exploded : whatever they may determine, I shall not venture to anticipate their opinion, or to trouble you any further with mine.

Yours, LYSANDER.

A PERSIAN REPARTEE.

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SIR,—There is no place more appropriate for Persian bon-mots than an Indian Miscellany-allow me then to beg your insertion of the following.

There was a Jester named Rubbee, who was a very profligate character, but possessed of considerable keenness and readiness of wit; the flashes of which he darted most unsparingly on all around. Among others he once chose to attack a Poet who was in company; and, after sporting. his wit in various shapes at his expense, ended with turning his name into several ridiculous forms :-and then triumphantly challenged him to retort. The Poet immediately wrote

دم خر بر سر مقلوب عيب است

inverted, is عيت بیع

that is—“ it is the tail of an ass at the head of an inversion of the word) Vue "* (ayb).—To understand this, an explanation is necessary: the tail or end of jó (khur) is the letter , (r)—and

,

now, (r) being put at the head of this, gives Rubbee the jester's name; who, it scarcely need be added, was severely discomfited by the repartee, and made as speedy an exit as possible, amid the hootings and hissings of all present.

ربیع

* Ayb, an Arabic word, signifying, blemish, defect, vice, &c.

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