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life, and regardless of the remonstrances of his rival, he drew, and attacked him with desperate fury. Both swords were sheathed at once in the breasts of the combatants. Clutterbuck died on the spot: his antagonist lived but to be carried to the house of his implacable enemy, and breathed his last at the feet of his mistress. The dying words of Gubblestones, the succeeding frenzy and death of Gubbins, the relenting sorrow of their parents, with a description of the tomb in which Gubbins, Gubblestone, and Clutterbuck, were laid, finish the piece, and would leave on the mind of the reader the highest degree of melancholy and distress, were it not for the unfortunate sounds which compose the names of the actors in this eventful story: yet these names, Mr. Mirror, are really and truly right English surnames, and have as good a title to be unfortunate as those of Mordaunt, Montague, or Howard.
• Nor is it only in the sublime or the pathetic that a happy choice of names is essential to good writing. Comedy is so much beholden to this article, that I have known some with scarcely any wit or character but what was contained in the Dramatis Personæ. Every other species of writing, in which humour or character is to be personified, is in the same predicament, and depends for great part of its applause on the knack of hitting off a lucky allusion from the name to the person. Your brother essayists have been particularly indebted to this invention, for supplying them with a very necessary material in the construction of their papers. In the Spectator, I find, from an examination of my notes on this subject, there are five hundred and thirty-two names of characters and correspondents, three hundred and ninety-four of which are descriptive and characteristic.
Having thus shewn the importance of the art of name-making, I proceed to inform you
for assisting authors in this particular, and saving them that expense of time and study which the innvention of names proper for different purposes must occasion.
• I have, from a long course of useful and extensive reading, joined to an uncommon strength of memory, been enabled to form a kind of dictionary of names for all sorts of subjects, pathetic, sentimental, serious, satirical, or merry. For novelists, I have made a collection of the best sounding English, or English-like, French, or French-like names; I say,
the best sounding, sound being the only thing necessary in that department. For comic writers, and essayists of your tribe, Sir, I have made up from the works of former authors, as well as from my own invention, a list of names, with the characters or subjects to which they allude prefixed. A learned friend has furnished me with a parcel of signatures for political, philosophical, and religious essayists in the newspapers, among which are no fewer than eighty-six compounds beginning with philo, which are all from four or seven syllables long, and cannot fail to have a powerful tendency towards the edification and conviction of country readers.
• For the use of serious poetry, I have a set of names, tragic, elegiac, pastoral, and legendary; for songs, satires, and epigrams, I have a parcel properly corresponding to those departments. A column is subjoined, shewing the number of feet whereof they consist, that being a requisite chiefly to be attended to, in names destined for the purposes of poetry. Some of them, indeed, are so happily contrived, that by means of an easy and natural contraction, they can be shortened or lengthened (like a pocket telescope), according to the structure of the line in which they are to be introduced ; others, by the assistance of proper interjections, are
ready made into smooth flowing hexameters, and will be found extremely useful, particularly to our writers of tragedy.
• All these, Sir, the fruits of several years' labour and industry, I am ready to communicate for an adequate consideration, tó authors, or other persons whom they may suit. Be pleased, therefore, to inform your correspondents, that, by applying to your publisher, they may be informed, in the language of Falstaff, “ where a commodity of good names is to be bought.” As for your own particular, Sir, I am ready to attend you gratis, at any time you may stand in need of my assistance; or you may write out your papers blank, and send them to me to fill up the names of the parties. I am yours, &c.
The Editor has to return thanks to numberless Correspondents for their favours lately received; he begs leave, at the same time, to acquaint them, that, as many inconveniencies would arise from a particular acknowledgment of every letter, he must henceforward be excused from making it; they may, however, rest assured of the strictest attention and impartiality in regard to their communications. As to the insertion of papers sent him, he will be allowed to suggest, that from the nature of his publication, the acceptance or refusal of an essay is no criterion of its merit, nor of the opinion in which it is held by the Editor. A performance may be improper for the Mirror, as often on account of its rising above, as of its falling below, the level of such a work, which is peculiarly circumscribed, not only in its subjects, but in the manner of treating them.
The same circumstance will often render it necessary to alter or abridge the productions of Correspondents ; a liberty for which the Editor hopes their indulgence, and which he will use with the utmost caution.
No 8. 'SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1779.
Inspicere, tanquam in speculum,
It was with regret that the Editor found himself under the necessity of abridging the following letter, communicated by an unknown correspondent.
To The EDITOR OF THE MIRROR. •SIR, * As I was walking one afternoon, about thirty years ago, by the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, in the neighbourhood of Babelmandel, I accidentally met with a Dervise. How we forthwith commenced acquaintance; how I went with him to his hermitage; how our acquaintance improved into intimacy, and our intimacy into friendship; how we conversed about every thing, both in heaven above, and in the earth beneath; how the Dervise fell sick, and how I, having some skill in medicine, administered to his recovery; how this strengthened his former regard by the additional tie of gratitude; how, after a space, I tired of walking by the Red Sea, in the neighbourhood of Babelmandel, and fancied I should walk with more security and satisfaction by the side of Forth; are circumstances, that, after you shall
be more interested in my life and conversation, I may venture to lay before you.
i In the mean while, suffice it to say, that my part.ing with the Dervise was very tender; and that, as a memorial of his friendship, he presented me with a Mirror. I confess frankly, that, considering the poverty of my friend, and his unaffected manner of offering it, I supposed his present of little intrinsic value. Yet, looking at it, and wishing to seem as sensible of its worth as possible, “ This,” said I,
may be a very useful Mirror. As it is of a convenient size, I may carry it in my pocket, and, if I should happen to be in a public company, it may enable me to wipe from my face any accidental dust, or to adjust the posture of my periwig.” For, Sir, at that time, in order to command some respect among the Mussulmen, I wore a periwig of three tails.
“ “ That Mirror," said the Dervise, looking at me with great earnestness, “ is of higher value than you suppose: and of this, by the following account of its nature and uses, I am sure you will be fully satisfied. Of Mirrors, some are convex, and represent their object of a size considerably diminished: accordingly, the images they display are extremely beautiful. A company of people represented by this Mirror, shall appear without spot or blemish, like a company of lovely sylphs. Now, my good Christian friend, mine is not a convex Mirror. Neither is it concave : for concave Mirrors have just an opposite effect; and, by enlarging the object they represent, would render even the Houri in Paradise as hideous as the Witch of Endor, or a Pagan Fury. In short, it is a good plain Mirror, intended to represent things just as they are, but with properties and varieties not to be met with in common glass. Whenever," continued he, you