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The Club having met, and all the preliminaries being disposed of, MR. COURTENAY proceeded, as usual, to describe to us the reception of our last Number. But upon this point, in order to avoid the charge of puffing, which has been brought against us, I was desired to hold my tongue. I had a great mind, out of pure spite, to write down, that No IV. was a failure, and that our writers were falling off, and our repute decreasing. But every one would know that these things are false.
Mr. Courtenay concluded amidst loud applause, which rather increased than diminished when Mr. OAKLEY rose to reply. After the usual number of items from the Hon. Member, and the usual quantum of endeavours on the part of the President to procure silence, Mr. Oakley began :
MR. OAKLEY'S CENSURE OF N° 1. Sir - You have told us that our work is still successful; our writers still improving; our readers still indulgent. To each, and to all of these assertions, I answer, “No! no! no!' -(Laughter.)-I maintain that our work is growing dull, our writers growing idle, and our readers growing severe.
not one of those who bring forward charges without evidence to support them.—(Hear, from Sir F. Wentworth.)-I am prepared to argue in behalf of all these accusations. "First, Sir, I affirm the work is growing dull. I will not
* address myself to your own judgments, because prejudice and absurdity—(loud cries of order, in the midst of which Mr. Sterling rose, and appealed forcibly to the Chair,) – but I hold in my hand a great many letters, bearing testimony to the fact. First here is one from a Collegian, who has found a marvellous stupid paper on the Asyndeton !' Next, here is one signed Lucilla,' complaining of the number of pages we devote to Ladies, and Love, and Nonsense. Next, here is one from •Levitas,' who begs me to inform Mr. Sterling, that no one wishes, or expects, to read Sermons from the pen of a schoolboy. Next, here is an epistle from 'Joseph Trebatius," who wishes to know how it concerns “The Etonian,' whether the Critics clapperclaw Wordsworth, or Wordsworth clapperclaws the Critics. Next comes an admonition from a Winchester friend, who is sure we shall never bear a good name in the world, as long as we continue to murder his Founder's. Next, here are a few lines of censure from · Leonora,' who is thunderstruck at our ignorance of court etiquette, What! the Ladies dressed in leno, and kissing his Majesty's hand ! Mon Dieu !' Next, here are the opinions of Isaac Mucklethrift,' who deposes that the work is twice as long as it ought to be. Finally, here is, in propria persona, Michael Oakley,' who is convinced—(here the voice of the Hon. Gentleman was thoroughly drowned.)
“ Next, Sir, I affirm that our writers are growing idle. There is Mr. Lozell fast asleep-('true' from Mr. Lozell.) Mr. Le Blanc, to my certain knowledge, took all his irons out of the fire, the moment his . Essay on the Bituminous Quality of Coals’ went into it.--Martin Sterling, I am credibly informed, made a resolution to give up writing, when his · Address to the Whigs' was burnt by mistake with the bundle of old Couriers.—Sir F. Wentworth has been in dudgeon, ever since Golightly stole his Ode to the Queen,' from the President's box, and sent it to the Old Times ; and Golightly
; himself, the gay, the witty, the satirical, the amusing-hear, ,
from Mr. Golightly,)-has not spoken a word, or written a line, since Miss Harrison converted his song into threadpapers.
Next, Sir, our readers, I said, are growing severe. I shall very shortly be able to demonstrate this, by-(here the Hon. Gentleman was stopped for some time by disapprobation.) -I shall first support my assertion by reading to you a letter from a Gentleman, who"-(Order, order.)
Mr. Oakley produced a long letter which he endeavoured to read. The disapprobation continuing, Mr. Oakley returned the letter to the inside-pocket of his brown great-coat. The Secretary caught a glimpse of the signature, which began with “ Metius,” but whether the next word were ‘Tarpa," signifying accuracy, or “Talpa," signifying blindness, Mr. Secretary was unable to ascertain. Mr. Sterling then rose, and said, that the Members of the Club had heard themselves calumniated, without offering any interruption, but that they really could not sit still to listen to abuse of their friends. Mr. Oakley accordingly sat down.
Mr. COURTENAY then rose to reply :
“I do not intend, Gentlemen, to trespass on your time, by going through all the arguments which the Hon. Gentleman has brought forward ; because the censures which he quotes light upon trivial blemishes, and have no reference to the general merits of the work."-(Mr. Oakley here vociferated in great wrath, "Perhaps the President will tell me that my head has no reference to my shoulders.")—"The Collegian, who writes about the Asyndeton, has, I hope, more regard for the quality of Essays, than he has for the quantity of Syllables. I can only say, that I hope he is not an Etonian. Lucilla's strictures we must allow to be just, if she will concede that Ladies, and Love, and Nonsense, are synonymous. Leonora's remarks have really astonished me. Can she suppose that his Majesty of Clubs, sitting on his own throne (an arm-chair of five feet high), wielding his own sceptre (a goose-quill covered with the concretion of the last month's ink), and surrounded by his own guards (writers, readers, compositors, and devils), is bound or influenced by the regulations of the court of any Heathen or Christian Prince or Potentate? Indeed it is in contemplation, that upon the next grand ceremony the court-dress is to be a quire of wire-wove; and • The Etonian,' Vol. I. is to be laid on the footstool, that the visitors may salute, not his Majesty's hand, but the works of it.—(Hear, hear.)
"Mr. Oakley," continued the President, "imagines that our writers are growing idle. He will therefore be equally glad with myself to hear that we have a new candidate for admission into the King of Clubs ; upon whom we may repose some part of our burthens.—(Hear, hear, hear.)
“I have to apologize to you, Gentlemen, and to the other supporters of “The Etonian' for the postponement of several articles which were intended for insertion, but which a miscalculation in the printing compelled me to omit. Among, them are · An Essay on the Writings of James Montgomery; Tancred and Sigismunda ;' and 'The Serenade.'
“ I have now only to inform you that the first Volume of “The Etonian’ will be completed with the Fifth Number; and that an Index and Title will be prepared for the accommodation of those who wish to have their copies bound.”. (Hear, hear.)
VIOLATION OF RESOLUTION X.
Mr. STERLING, after moving that Resolution X. be read, suggested to the President that “Girolamo and Sylvestra," inserted in No IV., came within the restriction there laid upon all Translations.
Sir F, WENTWORTH inquired whether Mr. S. were not intended for the Church?
Mr. STERLING replied in the affirmative.
Sir F. WENTWORTH recommended to the Honourable Gentleman not to be the first to object to Translations.
Mr. STERLING said, that being a Churchman, and also a Member of the Club, he had no more objection to Translations than he had to Bishops; but he thought there was a proper time and place
for both. He did not like to see Etonian" professing one thing and doing another.
Sir F. WENTWORTH disliked inconsistency as much as his