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THE LION'S HEAD.
A WORD OR TWO TO OUR FRIENDS. This is New Year's Day-for we of course presume that our Readers are cutting open our leaves on the first day of January; and it is generally expected that Editors should take this annual opportunity of speaking satisfactorily of what they have achieved, and prophesying lustily of what they intend to do:—they refer to their past pages;—they boast of their added talent;-in short, they would have good easy readers believe, that they have already produced the best possible Magazine,—and that they are on the very eve of producing a better. It is no unusual case that this prophesied amendment is all that the reader ever sees :- It is truly “ a flourish of trumpets, and enter Tom Thumb.” Now although this be the New Year-it shall be no year of promise with us.-We will tell none of your naughty Editorial lies for the sake of any custom ;—not we. We will be no deceptive showmeng-hanging up a gorgeous portrait of our Lion's Head—with a mane like a muff,--and then taking the money, and exhibiting a mastiff. We can only say, at a word, that we have lost none of our old Writers, that we have gained several new ones,—and that we have added very considerably to our readers. Our pens are keen, our spirits are good and with the hearty old wish of “ a happy New Year” to our friends,-we plunge at once into all the treasures of 1824.
A.-(no-that's not it-get out of the way, T. T. L-Thy verses are always in the way!) A.-is brief but dull:—Thus is poor Merit suffocated.
maubremeni Dingen angelegen penn DAB
We are obliged to Philo-Cant for his letter from Cambridge, although we can make no use of it. It is quite clear that he has not yet resolved himself into a style ; for such a little pleasant wilderness of prose we never yet endeavoured to disentangle. Colleges, Proctors, Blue Devils, Buggies, Bullies, Bricks, Books, cum multis aliis, mix together confusedly like Peers, Patriots, and Mechanics at a public meeting.
The letter is a full mad sheet of memoranda,-which, although amusing to an editor who knows how to extract a single nut from a heap of husks, would poze the inexperienced. If PhiloCant could let his spirit leave off dancing, and take to the decency of order, we think he might tell us something about Cambridge that would suit the Editor and his Readers too.
The Verses in bad English, with a motto in worse Latin, are sent, per post, “ to the place from whence they came.”
Vita in Animâ, who defends “ the appearance of the Ghost during the interview between Hamlet and the Queen,” would do more if he were to attempt the defence of his brother for earwigging him in the garden, and making him a ghost at all. We never heard of any particular objection to his appearance, except by those persons who were not favourable to the sort of prize show of ghosts which the managers have endeavoured to make it.
Mr. Raymond, Mr. Pope, Mr. Egerton, and all the stall-fed gentlemen of the theatre, have invariably introduced their fatness in blue tin, to the great ruin of the ethereal, and “ all that sort of thing." Ghosts should not weigh more than fifteen stone, we think, and then they may enter a room at any time.
Some of our modern versifiers might reap benefit, we think, from reading the following clever translation, which is at once light, simple, and fanciful, without owing any thing to the poor hard-used flowers, and dews, and roses of the every-day Muse. The translator is a stranger to us.
Translated from Benedetto Menzini.*
This life were mere vexation,
Had love indeed been slain;
The soul of our creation !
The antidote of pain !
Air, sea, earth, sans his presence, Will joy to hear it of him!
Would lose their chiefest pleasance.
But his immortal mother
His suffering chanc'd to see;
First this band, then the other,
She cut and set him free.
He vengeance vow'd, and kept it ;
And thousands since have wept it.
For being no forgiver,
With gold and leaden darts
He fill'd his rattling quiver,
And pierc'd with gold the hearts
Of lovers young, who never
Could hope, yet lov'd for ever.
With leaden shaft, not forceless,
'Gainst happy lover's state
He aim'd with hand remorseless,
And turn'd their love to hate.
Their love long cherish'd, blasting
With hatred everlasting.
Ye fair ones, who so often
At Cupid's power have laugh'd,
Your scornful pride now soften,
Beware his vengeful shaft!
His quiver bright and burnish'd
With love or hate is furnish'd.
N. 0. H. I. * Born 1646. Died 1704. Vide his Works, Volüi. p. 74. Edit. 1734.
Our Chesterfield Correspondent J. S. shall be attended to in our next Number.
The fate of the Stray Students—W. C. D— The Mercian PrincessThe Devil Sick-On Sculpture, &c.—The Midwatch—The Present Times, &c. &c. may be learned at our War Office, if their friends are curious enough to inquire:—But we pursue the same course that other great Ruling V Powers adopt, and do not gazette the dead privates.
There is a large body of out of the Emperor Julian's labourers bestanding problems in history, great fore Jerusalem? of the burning of the and little, some relating to persons, Alexandrian library? &c. Who wrote some to things, some to usages, some the Eικων Βασιλικη ? Who wrote the. to words, &c. which furnish occasion, Letters of Junius? Was the Fluxional beyond any other form of historical Calculus discovered simultaneously researches, for the display of exten- by Leibnitz and Newton; or did sive reading and critical acumen. Leibnitz derive the first hint of it from 1. In reference to persons, as those the letter of Newton ?-3. In refewhich regard whole nations ;-e. g. rence to usages; as the May-pole What became of the ten tribes of and May-day dances-the Morris Israel? Did Brennus and his Gauls dancers—the practice (not yet expenetrate into Greece ? Who and tinct amongst uneducated people) of what are the Gipseys?--or those, far saying “ God bless you!” on hearmore in number, which regard indi- ing a person sneeze, and thousands viduals; as the case of the Knights of others.—4. In reference to words Templars-of Mary Stuart—of the as whence came the mysterious LabaRuthvens (the Gowrie Conspiracy). rum of Constantine? &c. Among -Who was the man in the Iron the problems of the first class, there Masque? Was the unhappy Lady of are not many more irritating to the the Haystack, who in our own days curiosity than that which concerns the slept out of doors or in barns up and well-known order of Free-masons. In down Somersetshire, a daughter of our own language I am not aware of the Emperor of Germany? Was Per- any work which has treated this queskin Warbeck three centuries ago the tion with much learning. I have theretrue Plantagenet ?* 2. In reference to fore abstracted, re-arranged, and in things ; as—who first discovered the some respects, I shall not scruple to say sources of the Nile? Who built Stone -haveimproved, the German work on henge? Who discovered the com- this subject, of Professor J. G. Buhle. pass? What was the Golden Fleece? This work is an expansion of a Latin Was the Siege of Troy a romance, or Dissertation read by the Professor in a grave historic fact? Was the Iliad the year 1803 to the Philosophical the work of one mind, or (on the Society of Göttingen; and, in respect Wolfian hypothesis) of many? What to the particular sort of merit looked is to be thought of the Thundering for in a work of this kind, has (I beLegion? of the miraculous dispersion lieve) satisfied the most competent
• There can be no doubt that he was. But I mention it as a question which most people suppose to be yet sub judice. Jan. 1821.
judges. Coming after a crowd of the conduct of the question, or one other learned works on the Rosicru- more confused in its arrangement, I cians, and those of Lessing and have not often seen. It is doubtless Nicolai on the Free-masons, it could a rare thing to meet with minds sufnot well fail to embody what was ficiently stern in their logic to keep most important in their elaborate re- a question 'steadily and immovably searches, and to benefit by the whole. before them, without ever being Implicitly therefore it may be looked thrown out of their track by verbal upon as containing the whole learn- delusions: and for my own part I ing of the case as accumulated by all must say that I never was present former writers in addition to that in my life at one of those after-dinner contributed by the Professor himself; disputations by which social pleawhich, to do him justice, seems to be sure is poisoned (except in the higher extensive and accurate. But the and more refined classes), where the Professor's peculiar claims to distinc- course of argument did not within ten tion in this inquiry are grounded minutes quit the question upon which upon the solution which he first has it had first started—and all upon the given in a satisfactory way to the seduction of some equivocal word, or main problem of the case - What is of some theme which bore affinity to the origin of Free-masonry? For, as the main theme but was not that to the secret of Free-masonry, and its . main theme itself, or still oftener of occult doctrines, there is a readier some purely verbal transition. All this and more certain way of getting at is common : but the eternal see-sawthose than through any Professor's ing, weaving and counter-weaving, book. To a hoax played off by a flux and reflux, of Professor Buhle's young man of extraordinary talents course of argument is not common in the beginning of the 17th century by any means, but very uncommon, (i. e. about 1610—14), but for a and worthy of a place in any cabinet more elevated purpose than most of natural curiosities. There is an hoaxes involve, the reader will find everlasting confusion in the worthy that the whole mysteries of Free- man's mind between the two quesmasonry, as now existing all over tions-What is the origin of Freethe civilized world after a lapse of masonry? and what is the nature and more than two centuries, are here essence of Free-masonry? The condistinctly traced : such is the power sequence is that, one idea always exof a grand and capacious aspiration citing the other, they constantly come of philosophic benevolence to em- out shouldering and elbowing each balm even the idlest levities, as am- other for precedency-every sentence ber enshrines straws and insects ! is charged with a double commission
Any reader, who should find him- -the Professor gets angry with himself satisfied with the Professor's so- self, begins to splutter unintelligibly, lution and its proof, would probably and finds on looking round him that be willing to overlook his other de- he has wheeled about to a point of fects: his learning and his felicity of the argument considerably in the rear conjecture may pass as sufficient of that which he had reached perand redeeming merits in a Göttingen haps 150 pages before. I have done Professor. Else, and if these merits what I could to remedy these infirmiwere set aside, I must say that I have ties of the book; and upont
the whole rarely met with a more fatiguing it is a good deal less paralytic than person than Professor Buhle. That it was. But, having begun my task his essay is readable at all, if it be on the assumption that the first chapreadable, the reader must understand ter should naturally come before the that he owes to me. Mr. Buhle is second, the second before the third, celebrated as the historian of philo- and so on,-I find now (when the sophy, and as a logic-professor at a mischief is irreparable) that I made great German University. * But a a great mistake in that assumption, more illogical work than his as to which perhaps is not applicable to
* I believe that he is also the Editor of the Bipont Aristotle: but, not possessing that edition of Aristotle myself, I cannot pretend to speak of its value. His History of Philosophy I have: it is probably as good as such works usually are ; and, alas !--no better.
Göttingen books; and that if I had loaded with a superfetation of eviread the book on the Hebrew principle dence; and conclusive beyond what -or Bespópydovấor had tacked and the mind altogether wishes. For it traversed or done any thing but sail is pleasant to have the graver part of on a straight line, I could not have one's understanding satisfied, and yet failed to improve the arrangement of to have its capricious part left in my materials. But after all, I have possession of some miserable fragso whitewashed the Professor-that ment of a scruple upon which it may nothing but a life of gratitude on his indulge itself with an occasional spe part, and free admission to his logic- culation in support of the old error. lectures for ever, can possibly repay In fact, coercion is not pleasant in me for my services.
any cases; and though reasons be as The three most triumphant dis- plenty as blackberries, one would not sertations existing upon the class of either give or believe them “on comhistorico-critical problems which I pulsion.” In the present work the reahave described above are-1. Bent- der will perhaps not find himself unley's upon the spurious Epistles as- der this unpleasant sense of coercion, cribed to Phalaris ; 2. Malcolm but left more to the free exercise of Laing's upon Perkin Warbeck (pub- his own judgment. Yet upon the lished by Dr. Henry in his Hist. of whole I think he will give his final Great Britain); 3. Mr. Taylor's upon award in behalf of Professor Buhle's the Letters of Junius. All three are hypothesis.
CHAPTER I. Of the essential Characteristics of the Orders of the Rosicrucians and the Free-masons.
I deem it an indispensable condi- church; projecting itself, like that, tion of any investigation into the from the body of the state; and in origin of the Rosicrucians and Free- idea opposing itself to the state, masons—that both orders should be though not in fact : for on the consurveyed comprehensively and in the trary the ties of social obligation are whole compass of their relations and strengthened and sanctioned by the characteristic marks; not with refe- masonic doctrines. It is true that rence to this or that mythos, symbol, these orders have degrees—many or asage, or form : and to the neglect few accordingly to the constitution of this condition, I believe, we must of the several mother-lodges. These impute the unsuccessful issue which however express no subordination in has hitherto attended the essays on this rank or power: they imply simply a subject. First of all therefore I will more or less intimate connexion with assign those distinguishing features the concerns and purposes of the inof these orders which appear to me stitution. A gradation of this sort, universal and essential : and these I corresponding to the different stages shall divide into internal and external of knowledge and initiation in the --accordingly as they respect the mysteries of the order, was indispersonal relations and the purposes pensable to the objects which they of their members, or simply the out- had in view. It could not be advisward form of the institutions. able to admit a young man, inex
The universal and essential cha- perienced and untried, to the full racteristics of the two orders, which participation of their secrets: he come under the head of internal, are must first be educated and moulded these which follow:
for the ends of the society. Even elder 1. As their fundamental maxim men it was found necessary to subject they assume-Entire equality of per- to the probation of the lower degrees sonal rights amongst their members in before they were admitted to the relation to their final object. All dis- higher. Without such a regulation tinctions of social rank are annihi- dangerous persons might sometimes lated. In the character of masons have crept into the councils of the the prince and the lowest citizen be- society: which in fact happened ochave reciprocally as free men-stand- casionally in spite of all provisions ing to each other in no relation of to the contrary. It may be alleged civic inequality. This is a feature that this feature of personal equality of masonry in which it resembles the amongst the members in relation to