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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 showmen,-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.
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.*
Listen, ladies, listen;
His hands behind him tied:
That flow'd in wanton rings. He could not choose but languish, While writhing in such anguish. They to an oak-tree took him,
Its sinewy arms that spread,
This life were mere vexation,
Had love indeed been slain;
Air, sea, earth, sans his presence,
His suffering chanc'd to see;
With gold and leaden darts
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. O. H. I.
Born 1646. Died 1704. Vide his Works, Vol. iii. 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 ▼ Powers adopt, and do not gazette the dead privates.
INTO THE ORIGIN
ROSICRUCIANS AND THE FREE-MASONS.
of the Emperor Julian's labourers before Jerusalem? of the burning of the Alexandrian library? &c. Who wrote the Εικων Βασιλικη ? Who wrote the Letters of Junius? Was the Fluxional Calculus discovered simultaneously by Leibnitz and Newton; or did Leibnitz derive the first hint of it from the letter of Newton?-3. In reference to usages; as the May-pole and May-day dances-the Morris dancers-the practice (not yet extinct amongst uneducated people) of saying "God bless you!" on hearing a person sneeze, and thousands of others.-4. In reference to wordsas whence came the mysterious Labarum of Constantine? &c. Among the problems of the first class, there are not many more irritating to the curiosity than that which concerns the well-known order of Free-masons. In our own language I am not aware of any work which has treated this question with much learning. I have therefore abstracted, re-arranged, and in some respects, I shall not scruple to say
THERE is a large body of outstanding problems in history, great and little, some relating to persons, some to things, some to usages, some to words, &c. which furnish occasion, beyond any other form of historical researches, for the display of extensive reading and critical acumen. 1. In reference to persons, as those which regard whole nations;-e. g. What became of the ten tribes of Israel? Did Brennus and his Gauls penetrate into Greece? Who and what are the Gipseys?-or those, far more in number, which regard individuals; as the case of the Knights Templars-of Mary Stuart-of the Ruthvens (the Gowrie Conspiracy). -Who was the man in the Iron Masque? Was the unhappy Lady of the Haystack, who in our own days slept out of doors or in barns up and down Somersetshire, a daughter of the Emperor of Germany? Was Perkin Warbeck three centuries ago the true Plantagenet?* 2. In reference to things; as-who first discovered the sources of the Nile? Who built Stone--have improved, the German work on henge? Who discovered the compass? What was the Golden Fleece? Was the Siege of Troy a romance, or a grave historic fact? Was the Iliad the work of one mind, or (on the Wolfian hypothesis) of many? What is to be thought of the Thundering Legion? of the miraculous dispersion
There can be no doubt that he was. people suppose to be yet sub judice. JAN. 1824.
this subject, of Professor J. G. Buhle. This work is an expansion of a Latin Dissertation read by the Professor in the year 1803 to the Philosophical Society of Göttingen; and, in respect to the particular sort of merit looked for in a work of this kind, has (I believe) satisfied the most competent
But I mention it as a question which most
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 ré- 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 upon 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 read the book on the Hebrew principle —or Buspóøndov-or had tacked and traversed or done any thing but sail on a straight line, I could not have failed to improve the arrangement of my materials. But after all, I have so whitewashed the Professor-that nothing but a life of gratitude on his part, and free admission to his logiclectures for ever, can possibly repay me for my services.
The three most triumphant dissertations existing upon the class of historico-critical problems which I have described above are-1. Bentley's upon the spurious Epistles ascribed to Phalaris; 2. Malcolm Laing's upon Perkin Warbeck (published by Dr. Henry in his Hist. of Great Britain); 3. Mr. Taylor's upon the Letters of Junius. All three are
loaded with a superfetation of evidence; and conclusive beyond what the mind altogether wishes. For it is pleasant to have the graver part of one's understanding satisfied, and yet to have its capricious part left in possession of some miserable fragment of a scruple upon which it may indulge itself with an occasional speculation in support of the old error. In fact, coercion is not pleasant in any cases; and though reasons be as plenty as blackberries, one would not either give or believe them "on compulsion." In the present work the reader will perhaps not find himself under this unpleasant sense of coercion, but left more to the free exercise of his own judgment. Yet upon the whole I think he will give his final award in behalf of Professor Buhle's hypothesis.
of the essential Characteristics of the Orders of the Rosicrucians and the Free-masons.
I deem it an indispensable condition of any investigation into the origin of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons-that both orders should be surveyed comprehensively and in the whole compass of their relations and characteristic marks; not with reference to this or that mythos, symbol, usage, or form and to the neglect of this condition, I believe, we must impute the unsuccessful issue which has hitherto attended the essays on this subject. First of all therefore I will assign those distinguishing features of these orders which appear to me universal and essential: and these I shall divide into internal and external -accordingly as they respect the personal relations and the purposes of their members, or simply the outward form of the institutions.
The universal and essential characteristics of the two orders, which come under the head of internal, are these which follow:
I. As their fundamental maxim they assume-Entire equality of personal rights amongst their members in relation to their final object. All distinctions of social rank are annihilated. In the character of masons -the prince and the lowest citizen behave reciprocally as free men-standing to each other in no relation of civic inequality. This is a feature of masonry in which it resembles the
church; projecting itself, like that, from the body of the state; and in idea opposing itself to the state, though not in fact: for on the contrary the ties of social obligation are strengthened and sanctioned by the masonic doctrines. It is true that these orders have degrees-many or few accordingly to the constitution of the several mother-lodges. These however express no subordination in rank or power: they imply simply a more or less intimate connexion with the concerns and purposes of the institution. A gradation of this sort, corresponding to the different stages of knowledge and initiation in the mysteries of the order, was indispensable to the objects which they had in view. It could not be advisable to admit a young man, inexperienced and untried, to the full participation of their secrets: he must first be educated and moulded for the ends of the society. Even elder men it was found necessary to subject to the probation of the lower degrees before they were admitted to the higher. Without such a regulation dangerous persons might sometimes have crept into the councils of the society: which in fact happened occasionally in spite of all provisions to the contrary. It may be alleged that this feature of personal equality amongst the members in relation to