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E admit the following communication of original po
etry, into our Magazine, with very considerable reluctance; because it treats with, by far, too much severity, a little book, which is a very great favourite of ours; and which, we do not, for a single moment, hesitate to say, abounds in wit, humour, finely pointed ridicule, elegant irony, gentlemanly, forcible satire, such as would do honour to the pen of Addison, or of Swift.
The hudibrastic poem, however, we cannot, well refuse to insert, because the writer thereof, as he himself confesses, holds too distinguished a station in the republic of letters, for us to presume to withstand, or to contradict him, with any hope of success, or any probability of escaping censure.
We, therefore, admit the communication of this terrible poet, without farther excuse, notice, preface, commentary, introduce tion, remark, surmise, conjecture, thought, circumlocution, apology, or reflection.
The poem is accompanied with the following note: To the Editors of the Monthly Register, Magazine and Re
view, of the United States. GENTLEMEN, The following jeu d'esprit of mine you will please to insert in your periodical publication for March, 1807.-As, very probably, the little, foolish book, lashed in my poem, may be thought by you to be very clever, I wish you to remember, that, as yet you are but young writers, and.not sufficiently, established to set up your opinion against mine; for I have long been well known, as the most powerful, and the most severe writer in the United States. You may receive it, as an indisputable fact, upon my own bare assertion, that I have within the last six months, caused three women to miscarry; thrown four children into fits; compelled old alderman to throw his wig into the fire, and, with his wig, all his sen
ses ;--and made Ding-dong cry, and roar, and weep, and bellow, and blubber, and stamp, and curse, and swear, and, otherwise, incommode himself, for full two hours.-All which, to say truth, is wondrous pitiful, and pity 'tis 'tis true.
My design, in the following poem, is to establish just three ideas :-first, that the author of Salmagundi is a block-headsecondly, that hudibrastic poetry, and doggrel, are two different things; and thirdly, that the custom of reading aloud in Sargeant's reading-room is not to be borne ;--this is practised by a great many people, who think themselves very fine readers; whereas, they are only like drums, empty, and hollow, and sound the louder the more they are beaten :-this custom is, certainly, better honoured in the breach than in the observance; it is a nuisance, which must be abated.
To conclude, if you are not sufficiently' acquainted with my character, just look at all the best European Reviews, and you will find, that they all acknowledge me to possess a large quantity of genius, wit, learning, depth, sublimity, humour, satire, argumentation, reasoning, invective, ridicule, abuse, cogitation, abstraction, fire, fury, fancy, fun, and lamentation. Yet, with all their sagacity, these gentlemen reviewers, with their little monthly blue-books, cannot discover to what country I belong ;-some say, that I am a Scotsman, --some, a Russian,--some, a Dane,-some, a German, some, a Turk,—some, an Irishman,--some, an Englishman ; most, that I am a Dutchman ;-but none of them give the least guess, that I am an American,—which, however, I really am, let the world think, as it will, about the matter:
If your Magazine continue to please me, I shall, occasionally, send you a poem, like the following ;--if not, I shall, immediately, attack it, and write it and you down, without any remorse, or compunction.
I am your's truly,
DIGGORY DOGGREL. We beg leave to remark, that, notwitstanding, the threat, contained in Mr. Diggory Doggrel's letter, we entirely subscribe to the opinion of that celebrated critic, Dr. Bentley,-namely,--that no man, ever was, or ever can be written down, except by himself. Our chief care, then, shall, always, be, to
endeavour not to write ourselves down ;-and, if we succeed in that effort, we shall not entertain the smallest fear or anxiety that we can ever be written down by Mr. Diggory Doggrel, or any, or all, of Mr. Diggory Doggrel's friends.
But, now, for this same marvellous poem :--
by Diggory DOGGREL, Esq. A. S. S.
From these opinions both I differ,
So this same book, called Salmagundi,
He says, that I've discharg'd, of late,
Says, that's a pill will not go down ;
But, as this Salmagundi's phiz
But bating that, we'll go together,
For reasons two I write this Latin, First, that I may shew I'm pat in
The Roman tongue, and well discerning
Wherefore, I'll lay a half a dollar,
that they don't know it.
Then, who says doggrel's hudibrastic,