BETA

A crowd gathers in a street to watch a rampaging bull. The bull charges headifirst into a sign that reads “Kirk of Shotts.” Number 30 of Blackwood’s Magazine is tied to the bull’s hind leg. The July 15, 1820 issue of the Scotsman is tied to the bull’s front leg. On the left, a crowd of adults and children gather at the entrance of a building under signs that read “Blackwood,” “N 17,” and “Pollock”. On the stairs and in the centre of the left-side crowd, a figure watches the bull while smiling. He stands with his legs wide and his hands on his stomach. On the right, a smaller crowd gathers beneath a brick-lined archway with 3 windows. In the centre of the right-side crowd, a figure wearing boots with stirrups watches the bull with an open mouth. He stands with his legs wide and raises a rod above his head. Full-page illustration.

The Testimonium,

A Prize Poem.

&c. &c. &c. &c. &c.
&c. &c. &c. &c.
&c. &c. &c.
&c. &c.
&c.

Advertisement.

The Literary and Philosophical Society of Glasgow, having this year se-
lected, as the subject of their Prize Poem, “ Blackwood’s Magazine,’
the following composition, given in with the motto, “ Palmam qui meruit
ferat
,” was unanimously judged worthy of the Dargavel Medal. We are
the more highly gratified by the compliments paid us in these beautiful
verses, because they are now acknowledged as the production of our own
excellent friend and valued correspondent, Dr Scott.
We have to return our best thanks for the honour the Society has done
us by permitting us to enrich our pages with this masterpiece of Western
Genius.





[...]
Aristophanes.
——————— ego sanus ab illis,
Perniciem quæcunque ferunt : mediocribus et queis
Ignoscas, vitiis teneor.—Ubi quild datur oti,
Illudo chartis. Hoc est mediocribus illus
Ex vitiis unum : cui si concedere nolis,
Multa poetarum veniat manus, auxilo quæ
Sit mihi ; (nam multo plures sumus.)
Horace.
Stand upon thy guard,
and see if all the skill of fencing France,
Or thy Italian practice, cowardly Bravo,
Can ward this flash of lightning from thine eyes.
Wilson.
It is a shame for any man that dislikes Whiggery and Infi-
deflity not to assist us. Do give us an article, Doctor.
Morris.

Testimonium.

I.

Our celebrated Jurist, long ago,1
Coined twenty rhymes in praise of Mr Packwood ;2
But for a worthier name my verse shall flow,3
And every sounding stanza end with Blackwood.4

II.

Fierce brushy hairs on chins that bristled big,5
Jem Packwood’s razor shave off smooth and smack would ;6
But for each bristling hair, a bustling Whig ;7
Sinks ’neath the keen victorious sweep of Blackwood.8

III.

Long ruled a Tyrant Fiend the Northern sky,9
Impious and cruel, whom no hand attack would ;10
Till pitying Heaven a stern Avenger, high11
And bold, upreared in thee, illustrious Blackwood !12

IV.

No cautious war thy hand would deign to wage,13
At once thy spunck the fortress storm and sack would,14
With sheer close thrust the tyrant to engage,15
Alone might suit the energy of Blackwood.16

V.

At first high-seated in his old pavilion,17
Fain scorn the unwonted foe the fiendish quack would,18
And pass for pride before the subject Million,19
The fear that made him shun the wrath of Blackwood.20

VI.

But soon, I knew, thou’dst strip the thin disguise ;21
I knew—not long so crouse the Tyrant crack would,22
Exposed in batter’d plight to vassal eyes,23
All bleeding from the vulture beak of Blackwood.24

VII.

The coxcombries of their blaspheming cant,25
Full soon I knew to earth he hew and hack would,26
And on the ruins of the unrighteous plant27
The godly trophies of the march of Blackwood.28

VIII.

I knew thy thumps to quell the vauntings priggish,29
Of pert and impious upstarts find the knack would,30
And paleness mantle every visage whiggish,31
At the bare echo of the name of Blackwood.32

IX.

I knew the weight of thy o’ermastering digs,33
Soon teach the pompous Swells to shout alack ! would ;34
I knew they soon, (these infidels and whigs)35
Not blue and yellow look, but blue and black would.36

X.

I knew thou would’st run Leslie such a rig,37
That he no more, like some fierce Don Cossack, would38
Against the tongue of Moses shake his wig,39
Cow’d into reverence by the rod of Blackwood.40

XI.

I knew thou’dst find a whip for such a pig,41
I knew full soon he stop his impious clack would,42
And be constrained to dye his whitening wig,43
By chemic tricks disguising dread of Blackwood.44

XII.

I knew he—(grant for once he were a chemist45
As great as Thomson, or as Gay Lussac) would46
Ne’er make his ugly bristles look the trimmest47
I knew the world would smell his funck for Blackwood.48

XIII.

The Galovegian Stot, (I mean Macculloch)49
I knew your nose the monster’s progress track would,50
I knew you’d find a blinker for the Bullock,*51
And for his cloven hoof a clog of black wood.52

XIV.

I knew the captive brute, compelled to stand,53
Foam in his fury like a cataract would,54
Braying and bellowing, tearing up the sand,55
And howling to the winds for sport to Blackwood ;56

XV.

Till, weary of the din, the Master’s sign57
The Baiters’ wrath unwearied counteract would,†—58
Leave the base Beast at freedom to recline59
In his own bed of dirt, and growl at Blackwood.60

XVI.

I knew your fist would be the end of Brougham,61
I knew you’d pummel him, and may-be smack wood,62
Till both should yelp in terror for the doom63
That waits the victims of victorious Blackwood.64

XVII.

To shew how Harry, in his early days,65
Gladly on all their Whiggery turn his back would,66
And for Pitt’s pudding give great Pitt his praise ;—67
Such glamour-might is thine—I thank thee, Blackwood !68

XVIII.

How Pitt the Renegado scorned, and swore69
That such Upholders ne’er his banner lack would70
How Addington the fine French letter tore71
The world had never known—without my Blackwood.72

XIX.

Watch, jealous Guardian of old Scotia’s weal !73
How dance these lads (enfeebled were thy thwack) would !74
Watch, hero ! with thy righteous rod of steel75
Let nought decrease thy vigour, peerless Blackwood !76

XX.

If any doubt my deep prophetic strain,77
Right glad a pound I bet against a plack would,78
That time will shew my words were not in vain,79
When I foretold the widening sway of Blackwood.80

* Vide Frontispiece.
† Such publications do not speak the sentiments of the people of Scotland, or
the people of England. God forbid. If the energies of the country were once
roused, the loyalty of the great mass of the people of the empire would soon crush
and annihilate all the vile disturbers of the public peace and their publications.
I cannot help pointing out to you, my lads, one newspaper, teeming with un-
constitutional principles, industriously circulated throughout the nation, and high-
ly calculated to mislead the people, and to excite them against the higher orders of
society, and the legitimate government of the country : the paper I allude to is call-
ed the Scotsman ; written, I know not, and I care not, by whom, but certainly
not by a thorough-bred Scotsman, because I never have been able to detect in it
one sentiment of genuine loyalty to the King, or any symptom of genuine respect
for the blessings of our happy constitution. I do therefore, my lads, as your
colonel, recommend this paper to your special contempt.”—Marquis of Lothiam’s
Speech to the Edinburgh Militia.

XXI.

The Edinburgh Review has now no sale81
Friend Constable’s spare copies build a stack would,82
While on, prevailing still and to prevail,83
The certain circulation moves of Blackwood.84

XXII.

Judicious people banish from their houses85
Much sooner Æsop, Gay, or Telemaque would,86
Than not enrich their children and their spouses,87
With monthly stores of loyal wit from Blackwood.88

XXIII.

Luxurious people rather want Champaigne,89
Lafitte, Hocheimer, Grave, Sauterne, Barsac would,90
Than on the glorious twentieth gape in vain91
For the rich treat of treats that streams from Blackwood.92

XXIV.

The ancient Damsel in her elbow-chair93
Less miss her tea and toast (or Cogniac) would,94
Less ball and route would miss the younger fair,95
Than the gay cordial of the page of Blackwood.96

XXV.

The poorest Shepherd on the Yarrow-hill97
Much rather want his mouthful of taback would98
Caddies themselves would sacrifice their gill,99
Rather than hear there was no more of Blackwood.100

XXVI.

Were the whole nation poll’d, I dare to say101
The brightest mark in Britain’s Almanack would102
Be placed against the Twentieth—the glad day103
That gives the longing world the page of Blackwood.104

XXVII.

Nay, Ebony’s great fame the channel crosses :105
German Professors rather bivouack would,106
Than want the monthly versions which the Vosses107
And Müllners publish of the cream of Blackwood.108

XXVIII.

Parisian Incroyables also read him109
The run at Galignani’s table slack would110
Could that superb Traiteur no longer feed ’em,111
(I mean their minds)—with tid-bits à la Blackwood.112

XXIX.

I might enumerate more names with ease :113
The bearded Russ himself, and shorn Polack would114
Rebel against their Autocrat’s decrees,115
If his tariffs should check the sale of Blackwood.116

XXX.

I’m told he’s now republish’d at New York;117
And in Savannahs read, and swamp, and back-wood,118
Even Indian tribes, that munch sans knife and fork,119
Have taste enough to like the jokes in Blackwood.120

XXXI.

There are some utter idiots, and I know it,121
These most the merest balderdash attract would ;122
These Burns of Paisley prize above the Poet,123
And Baldwin’s John above the James of Blackwood.124

XLV.

To Fearman, though I think he trick’d us basely,125
What answer better far than “ Pontefract would126
I will point out for once— “ Old Tales or Leslie;”— 127
That “ Series” I’ll review myself in Blackwood.128

XLVI.

And though his Jedediah is no genius,129
Sagaciously he such a work redact would ;130
If he declined, Knowles, author of Virginius,131
Perhaps would try, lured by the praise of Blackwood.132

XLVII.

But vainly Fearman with John Ballantyne,133
Essay another hazard of tic-tack would ;134
Impostors seldom in the upshot shine,135
Witness your foes, O Ballantyne and Blackwood.136

XLVIII.

’Twas said, some weeks ago, that Ballantyne137
Hop off in some affection iliac would ;138
But, thanks to Dr Baillie’s skill and mine,139
John’s now quite well—though not so stout as Blackwood.140

XLIX.

Should John depart, how all “ the genial Muses141
Lament that grievous blow, that hopeless wrack would !142
Not often such a man our planet loses143
All edged with black would issue the next Blackwood !144

L.

I could find rhymes for twenty stanzas more,145
If I look o’er some book prosodiac would ;146
Our tongue is not so thankless nor so poor147
As to give only fifty rhymes to Blackwood.148

LI.

And as for subjects, I, from what has been,149
Is, and shall be, with ease my song protract would,150
Lashing the dolts, who’ve read the Magazine,151
Yet joined the base Whig splutter against Blackwood.152

LII.

True, though some fearful tricks I knew, I ne’er153
The archives of remembrance old ransack would,154
To drive some paltry creature to despair ;—155
We’d smile at ‒——’s feckless spleen, my Blackwood.156

LIII.

Nor would I mention Hypocrite-Trepanners,157
What Sandy calls his Head though that distract would ;158
No ! I would ne’er offend against good manners ;159
But wish your foes were all as weak, my Blackwood.160

LIV.

In short, however great might be my zeal,161
Not willingly I come into contact would162
With bodies that have not the sense to feel163
Such gentle skelps as are bestowed by Blackwood.164

LV.

Such “ an idea I would reprobate,165
I never gibbet a small spruce gim-crack would ;—166
The “ only literary Bailie’s”* pate167
I would just touch it with your fan, Miss Blackwood !168

* “ I am the only man of letters in the Council, and all Europe knows it.”
Ipse, Dixit.

LVI.

Yet I would hang a symbol up before him,169
That make him half a hypochondriack would170
An Ebon Switch to dangle in terrorem,171
And make such geese not cackle about Blackwood.172

LVII.

In future years, if men, not yet begot,173
Sons of our sons, with equity exact, would174
Assign their proper stations to James Scott,175
And other famous bards that write in Blackwood.176

LVIII.

All, I’m quite sure, that relish what is pleasant,177
Applaud my prosody elegiac would ;—178
Especially what I’m about at present,179
My testimonium— Blackwood.180

LIX.

I do not mean that closely coincide181
With all my sentiments they snick-for-snack would,182
But my pure verse and skill they’d laud with pride,183
And Bipliopoles unborn would envy Blackwood !184

LX.

Each wish he had of Wits a band as strong,185
Beneath his banner, in some snug barrack would ;186
And burn, new ages and new tribes among,187
To fill once more the glorious shoes of Blackwood188

LXI.

Which are (sub rosa) any thing but slippers189
Few covet, of that post, a lengthened tack would ;190
Among Field Marshals look, or Greenland Skippers,191
If you’d find nerves to match t‚he nerves of Blackwood ;192

LXII.

Or ’mong the Lavenders and Vickerys look,193
With Radicals that scorn the least compact would ;194
That Thistlewood’s base gang so bravely took,195
Just as the Barber’s must be seized by Blackwood.196

LXIII.

But stop ! though rhymes on rhymes would come like butter,197
I fear you take me for a maniac would,198
Should I go on—whereas no stuff I utter,199
Sound Solid Sense inspired this hymn to Blackwood.200

Postscript.

If any Whig dispute my word, right willing201
I with that Sceptic gentleman contract would,202
To furnish him a stanza, (price one shilling)203
Each day for twenty years in praise of Blackwood.204

Note by the Editor.

Approving much this novel style of song,205
We’ve promis’d Doctor Scott “ a mint o’ siller,”206
To make another, by next Month, as long,207
Each stanza to conclude with “ Bobby Miller.”208