SIR WALTER SCOTT'S WRITINGS IN THE SPECTATOR. IN the 274th
page of the SPECTATOR for the year 1829, amongst va- rious morceaux, culled and cooked with our ordinary judgment and taste, appears the following :- " St. James's is gladbecause our good Monarch has returned to his ancient halls; which none of even the most renowned of his predeceSsors ever trod with more grace and dignity. It is gratifying to us to record, and it must be gratifying to the King to wit- ness the friendly eagerness with which the young and the old—the gay and the grave— the Duke of sixteen quarters and the humble esquire with a shield of the unassuming- colour of the mind of Mr. Vice-Presideut Courtenay—press forward to pay to him the homage of their devoted respect. The Levee and the Drawing-room were gay and attrac- tive ceremonials. There may be, and there must be, on such occasions, some defect in the details. Even in the presence of George the Fourth—who'while he forgets not the gentleman in the king, with equal propriety remembers the king in the gentleman, for none can more effectually repress the bold, while none can more condescendingly encou- rage the timid—even in his presence some one or other, whose zeal is more conspicuous than his wisdom, may casually intrude. We notice, forinstance—it must be confessed he is a bold fellow, and for the last three months he has been a very troublesome one— a certain gentleman named FROST* pushing into the very thick of the crowd ; which, on most occasions that we have previously observed, he has sedulously eschewed ; and not only does he appear to have braved the melting influences of the circle, but even ventured to approach the lingers of Majesty, surrounded by the elite of the empire. The same personage on Wednesday paid his respects to many more than our gallant Kiss; for we believe that there was not a cheek—to say nothing of a hand—of all the grouper that assembled to witness the gay pageant, that Master Frost did not venture to salute. But although fools will rush in where angels (1. e. young ladies) fear to tread,' nothing can be imagined more imposing, taken as a whole, than a levee such as that of Wednes- day, unless it be such a Drawing-room as that of Thursday."
" * Mr. John Frost, the Director of the Medico-Botanical Society, to present his last oration before that body, dedicated, by permission, to his Majesty; upon which occasion Mr. Frost kissed hands."—court Circular.
Our most respectable contemporary the Edinburgh Weekly Journal, who sometimes copies and compliments us, saw fit, in making up an account of the splendid solemnity of which it treats, to give our description a place in his columns. He added no name,— concluding, perhaps, that the paragraph itself would sufficiently indi- cate to the initiated its gifted source. It is meet that a prophet should be honoured save in his own country and among his own people. When the Journal, however, omitted to notice the origin of the para- graph it had borrowed, it did not foresee that such an omission was to lead to the discovery of our greatest secret. If there be any matter which more than another we make conscience of, it is the keeping con- cealed the names and dignities of our contributors. It is a common boast with our weekly rivals, that this great man and that great woman (Dr. A., Sir Charles B., Lady C.) lucubrate in their columns; but we, who have contrived to engage in our service every particle of talent in the metropolis and in the provindes, to say nothing of our Continental and Transatlantic coadjutors, are content that our lights should shine in their own acknowledged brilliancy, and that our readers should be fancy free while they endeavour to trace their origin. We have been betrayed, however, for all our caution !—the secret, the grand secret which we had locked up in our desk under the guardianship of a Brox:16h finished by the hands of the great patentee himself, is a secret no more. Had it been broached by any ordinary twaddler—by any every-day vender of old news, false facts, and foolish reasons, we should have denied it. But what can we say to the great and grave authority who appends the following annonce to the paragraph above quoted?
" From the Edinburgh Weekly Journal, supposed to be contributed by Sit Walter Scott I" (EXAMINER OF SUNDAY LAST.) " Supposed ?" the ingenious rogue !—well does he know how the public estimate such a hint. Supposed !—why did he not assert it in plain language at once ? We applied to a legal friend with a view to ascertain whether an action would not lie in the case ; but he doubted if it would. " Xesides," my dear Spec., " said he, with the smile of a successful attorney," where would be the use ? Your mighty secret is in every one's mouth !" " Secret!" exclaimed we, in unfeigned per- turbation ; " it is a most false, scandalous, abominable —" "Hush, my good fellow," returned our Mentor; " why should you be so much alarmed at a charge that the proudest of your brethren would go out of his small wits to have preferred against him? And what credit would the world give to your denial of the soft impeachment ? Does not every individual of your ten thousand three hundred and twenty- six subscribers know the reason why Blackwood, the Quarterly, and you are so fond of eulogizing Sir WALTER? Is it not from a hope that the warmth of your panegyric may procure you a few of those literary crumbs which he is so bountiful in scattering? Where, now, did you get the materials of that notice about the Waverley Novels the other day? We are aware of the diligence of the Gazette, and yet, with all his telescopes, and stars, and God-knows-what, you were eight days before him. Would you have us suppose. that if J. had once got his fingers on " Green Breeks," he would not have parted with his own breeks sooner than have slipped such a subject? If the quota- tion of which you pretend to ceraplain had appeared in the Chronicle, I should have said that Dr. EADY and Mr. COLBURN were beaten at last in a department of literature where they had been previously un- approached. It would have been indeed a fine specimen of the puff recherche. But I know the Examiner is above these things, and that you could not more certainly insure a whipping than by attempting to purchase its praise." Now, notwithstanding this long speech, which for incoherence might suit a member on the state of the country, we should soberly and solemnly protest that the Examiner wronged us, were it not that, after such a. reception of our disclaimer by a friend, we feel it would be useless to repeat it to the public. They may therefore draw what con- clusions they will. Animam nnstrarn liberavimus. •