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A more serious charge has been brought against us by a third individual, which, for aught we know, might have laid us under the suspicion of offence against the highest authorities in the kingdom, and procured His Majesty's Advocate for our correspondent. It is no less than for having transformed treasonable practices into reasonable practices, by the casual omission of the letter t. The little difference between treason and reason,—a single letter, which accident might break, as it has unfortunately done in this case, shows how cautious one ought to be in hastily attributing motives to another, which were perhaps never entertained. For our own part, our known loyalty and attachment to the best of governments, holding, moreover, the useful office of one of the extraordinary constables of our native city, would make most of our readers pause before they suspected us of any design to lower their reverence for the British constitution; but, to please our worthy correspondent, we have no objection to add the necessary erratum-for reasonable practices be so good as read treasonable practices.
A similar typographical slip has occurred in printing stale policy for state policy, which, though neither noticed by the editor, nor remarked by any of our readers, we beg, for conscience sake, to correct, as we never venture on giving an opinion on matters which our pastors inculcate as being so much above common comprehension, and are too good subjects to allow even our errors to mislead those whom our miscellany monthly instructs:-for stale policy, in the Parliamentary debates, read state policy.
Another error which caused us some alarm, was the inadvertently printing military farce in place of military force in our account of a late district review of the troops. We can conscientiously acquit ourselves, however, of any design to lower the reputation of the conquerors of Bonaparte; and humbly beg pardon of all the warriors present on that occasion, from the field-marshal to the drum-boy, for the unintentional mistake.
We also beg to put it on record, that when we printed debased in place of debated, in reference to an important question lately before the House of Lords, we had no intention to cast any reflection on the proceedings of that Most Honourable House; and that, though in one instance Acts of Parliament happened to be misprinted Arts of Parliament, we were guiltless of all allusion to the alleged practices of either one party or the other in influencing the voters in these assemblies. The word printed courtier, in Mr Denman's speech, should likewise be read courier,-for the terms, though nearly allied, as it would seem, are not yet agreed upon by grammarians as being perfectly synonymous.
Another charge brought against us, viz. for having printed infernal administration in place of internal administration of burgh funds, we by no means wish to excuse; and should have attended to the emendation the moment it was pointed out to us, by the correction in the next number-for infernal administration read internal administration --had we not been afraid of giving offence to many respectable officebearers in the royal burghs, whom we are proud to number among our most constant readers, and who might justly have taken it into their heads, that we meant to exercise our wit at their expence, and add to the clamour which at present prevails against these worthy administrators of the civic funds.
The author who accuses us of satirizing him in the review of his book, by calling it a godly octavo in place of a goodly octavo, will please accept our apology for the omission of the offensive letter. We must have mislaid our spectacles, when we read the proof sheet which contains the displeasing word, for we were quite aware, that very few godly octavos are to be expected from the Press, in this age of infidelity and wavering of opinions.
To the heritors of the county of Fife we owe an apology, for having titled the account of their assemblage in our Index by the term Fife Meeting, which an anonymous correspondent has chosen to understand as if it were a meeting of fifers, in place of a regular and legal meeting of county gentlemen;-and the young lady, who is so angry with us for having married her in 1720 in place of 1820, will please be informed, that we shall have more care in this particular in future, should it ever be her good fortune to have a second husband.
We beg to apologise to the witness, whom our compositors made sweat before the High Court of Justiciary in place of swear; to the writer of the loving verses to Laura, for having transformed his angel into an angle; and to the author of a very meritorious essay, for having made him conclude his lucubration with the words, all is variety! instead of the emphatic phrase-all is vanity!
The angry inhabitant of the Gorbals may rest assured, that we had no intention of depreciating the property in that quarter of Glasgow, by printing, as our compositors confessedly did, contagious houses for contiguous houses, and would undoubtedly have corrected the misprint on receipt of his letter; but, like many other mistakes of printers, the emendation would only have been an aggravation of the original offence.
When we printed fine-men for fire-men,-classic love for classic lore, --wind for wine, we beg to say, that they were merely current and common errors of the Press, and are by no means to be attributed to our wilful neglect. If we have transformed the origin of things, in a very profound dissertation, into the organ of things, we hope the unintentional mistake is not material. The author of the Ode to Chloe may be assured, that we had no malice against the object of his choice, by printing female vice for female voice, or against himself in turning his beautiful simile into ridicule, by substituting nose for rose; and those very respectable individuals, who have the charge of the bodies of his Majesty's lieges in the prisons north of the Tweed, will please be convinced, that we had no intention of raising a laugh at their expence, by printing turkeys for turnkeys.
Finally, Gentle Reader, having thus done our endeavour to prevent the errors we have committed from being hurtful to ourselves or others, we take leave of thee for the present, trusting that thou wilt excuse, or correct with thy pen, any other mistakes which we may not have adverted to in our List of Errata. And we venture to indulge the hope, that all our readers, who may unintentionally have made aberrations from the path of duty, whether their faults have proceeded from the impetuosity of youth,-the confidence of manhood, or the imbecility of age,-will (after our example) endeavour to amend them, as far as in their power, by a conscientious Errata, before the last page of the book of human life be finally closed, and their errors be registered, where the possibility of correction occurs no more.
REFLECTIONS FOR A NEW YEAR.
My song is sad, for I have heard The steps of the departing year. LEYDEN.
WHO, capable of reflection, and' susceptible of the endearing charities of life, has ever been conscious of the departure of this important and measured period of human existence without a solemn thrill, produced alike by painful recollection and fearful anticipation? We except the very young, who are led on by a sanguine expectation of something better in prospect, to a speedy oblivion of the past. This is wisely ordered, for if they looked back on the past, and anticipated the future of human life with the calm and pensive view which is induced by experience, the prospect would cloud the gaiety, and chill the ardour, necessary to supply the vigour of enterprise-the eagerness of activity and firmness of purpose requisite to enable the actors on the great stage of the world to sustain their parts. Once entered on the selected path, though the freshness and beauty of the morning should be overcast, though the rain should drench, and the sun scorch the weary traveller, he will still proceed with moderated expectations, but increased experience and ripened judgment. Though their early hopes should, in many instances, fail, they will be apt, if aware of the importance of their highest duties, to say like Madame de Valiere in her convent, "I am not happy, but I am content." Even in this case, their experience of disappoint
ments may lead them to look on the departure of another year with resignation, if not with complacency, as bringing them so much nearer to a state where periods of time are no longer measured out, and hope is no longer deceitful. In general, whether the past years have been prosperous or adverse, a new one brings much to awaken solemn reflection in every thinking mind and feeling heart;
To each their sufferings, all are men
Even the most favoured do not find every succeeding year add to the stock of domestic bliss-to fortune or to fame. But what year passes without taking away, even from these, something that they loved and cherished at home, or something that they admired and valued abroad? Though a year should pass without blasting those blossoms of hope which we fondly contemplate in our children, or without depriving us of those we have long regarded with filial love and veneration,-though the narrow circle of private friendship should at the end of the year be found entire, still there are, during that period, costly tributes paid to mortality, that should call up from the depth of the heart thoughts fitted to make us " sadder and wiser" than the last anniversary found us. During the year now elapsed, a British prince, distinguished for noble and estimable qualities in public life, and endeared to those who had access to know him aright, by that sterling worth which
only intimacy can appreciate, received
is only felt by the truly virtuous, which fame or prosperity cannot give, and which adversity or the reproach of fools cannot take away.
This was a national feeling universal as beneficial. Even in the narrower limits of our own city, the last year has taken from us what we can scarcely hope future years will speedily replace. During that period two of the chief stars of science, whose light, not confined to us, was spread over all Europe, whom we justly boasted of as the ornaments of our country, are to us for ever extinguished. It is not merely our pride in our native Scotland, and the splendid names that do it lasting honour ;-it is not only the calm and benevolent sage, whose candour and simplicity made the path of science easy-it is not only the eloquent philosopher who strewed flowers in the way that led through the most intricate recesses of metaphysical lore, that we regret. In general society these losses are in. a different view irreparable. The mild temperate wisdom, the bland suavity of manners which made Playfair the delight even of the young and gay with whom he condescended to mingle-the sparkling wit, the fertility, variety, and playfulness that brightened every circle where Brown diffused the rays of his intellect,these social graces we can never hope to meet again combined with the high talent and deep research which not only gave celebrity to their own names, but reflected lustre on the city honoured by their residence.
These breaches in society create a general feeling, which comes home to the bosom of every one capable of calculating the width and depth of those chasms created by the departure of the usefully great. But there are silent and secret wounds near the heart, peculiar to the individual,—wounds which, though time may cicatrize, but
There is here a slight anachronism, with respect to Mr Playfair. The memory of that much lamented individual is still, however, so fresh in the minds of all those who enjoyed his society, that they will easily sympathise in the mistake of the excellent and eloquent writer of this paperin supposing that it was during the course of the last and not the former year, that we were deprived of his genius and vir tues.-ED.
which, on certain stated times or anniversaries, are apt to bleed afresh. These reminiscences are not the less painful for being concealed, or even hid, under the mask of assumed cheerfulness. Let not those who see the master or mistress of the house on such a day receiving their guests with smiles of welcome, or encouraging the cheerfulness of their assembled family, suppose them forgetful or heedless of the breaches death has made among those once dearest to them. If a little assumption of what is not inwardly felt is at any time pardonable, it is in such circumstances, when prompted by the desire of leaving the enjoyments of others undiminished, of avoiding to pour the bitterness of our secret recollections into the cup of cheerfulness, or cloud the brow of youth with ill-timed sadness. Let not those, I say, who witness the success of such an effort conclude that all is calm within, or that those sensations which are not communicated are extinct. What bereaved parent can see the board arranged for the annual festivity without recalling the forms of the be oved of his heart who were wont on such occasions to grace his table, some fair vision caught away in the bloom of infant innocence,-or some" shadow like an angel with bright hair" mercifully called from the abode of sin and sorrow when nearly advancing to maturity, raised up by the occasion to hover in dim perspective over the festivity of the living? Their absence, in such mo⚫ments, renews those feelings which Time had apparently subdued, and then, more particularly in the midst of laughter, the heart is sad. This annual tribute claimed by the depart ed, and duly, though silently, paid by the survivors, is one of the many salutary forms in which sorrow approaches us, coming to repeat and enforce the lesson we are daily taught by the death of others, who, arriving later at this scene of trial, were yet earlier summoned from it.
This ought to be a season doubly hal lowed to every serious mind-hallowed by a profound sense of gratitude for the mercies of the last year, (and who has not such to recollect?) as well as by the many failures on our part, and actual offences against the Divine law, which it is our duty with deep remorse to call up in order before us on the so
lemn occasion of beginning another year. This exercise of the memory, if gone about in a proper spirit, cannot fail to make us more humbly conscious of our weakness, and the uncertainty of our best purposes. After a thorough self-examination in regard to what we have done, and what, notwithstanding of what we thought our best intentions, we have left undone, the necessary result of such a scrutiny will be self-accusation and self-distrust, leading us to more humble and fervent earnestness in imploring the Divine aid to strengthen and support us in our future endeavours to prepare for the change which may take place before the return of this anniversary, and must take place before many more such returns. The revolution of years makes new demands upon our vigilance, and either increases or diminishes that faith in the Divine mercy and hope of a blessed futurity, which are the only cordials of declining life, and our only sure reliance for comfort in sorrow and solitude, when the world, as it generally does, leaves us before we leave it, and new actors crowding the stage regard us as an incumbrance. When I say that our best hopes and best endeavours regarding futurity must be found increased or diminished with revolving years, the painful certainty must and ought to alarm every candidate for a blessed immortality who feels en tangled by the eares or seduced by the pleasures of this fleeting period of existence,-this noviciate of the everliving spirit. Who, without being overawed, and forced to look inward, can contemplate the course of Nature, or of her feeble imitator, art, that process continually obvious to his senses, which is going on around us all? Nothing remains stationary. All things are either improving, or tending towards destruction. Can we then suppose ourselves the only visible work of God remaining stationary? Can we think that we are neither advan cing towards, or receding from that perfection to which we are invited to aspire, of which the Great Author of our religion, during his pilgrimage upon earth, left us the example? Can any rational being, blest with the light of Christianity, look back on the past. year, and find on the review, that that period has been worse employed than the former, without self-condemning