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[John Scott]
The Lion’s Head.
London Magazine  Vol. 2  No. 11  (November 1820)  476.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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No XI. NOVEMBER, 1820. Vol. II.


Valiant as a lion, and wondrous affable.——Shakspeare.

Leo is for once proud of his Keepers—though he would be sorry to be thought so surly as they have shown themselves in their Article on the Reekie Magazine.* Be it for them to roar indignation: his forte, he feels, lies in the softer tones, which have won him a correspondence with the gentler sex, have made even rejection agreeable to unfortunate authors, and subjected him (he is proud to say) to a charge of making love by insinuation. In respect of the last circumstance, he flatters himself, that he stands alone amongst his species.—He begs also to acknowledge several invitations to dinner, sent in pure friendliness excited by these Notices; but The Lion seldom goes into company, and never but to tea. He finds wine heating,—and, during his connection with the Magazine, deems it prudent to abstain from butcher’s-meat. He begs, however, not to be confounded with the Lion of the Old Monthly.—But why is The Lion of the London proud? He will modestly say why. For himself, he is neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet; but he admires prophecy, and more particularly he does so when his keepers manifest themselves distinguished by the gift. Many people can argue, and most people can reproach, but very few people indeed can predict. What ought to be said then in commendation of those who can do all three? Surely, at the very least, “expressive silence ought to muse their praise.” Now the article on the Reekie Magazine seems to The Lion to include this rare union:—it reasons (well or ill); it reproaches (justly or unjustly)—and, folded in its tail, lurk both the spirit and the substance of prophecy: for, lo and behold! a new Number of the smoked Publication has just come to hand—strong as kipper—in time for The Lion, though too late for his keepers,—and there we find already actually done—achieved—all that the aforesaid tail anticipated the Reekie folk would certainly do! Can any thing be more truly surprising! To be smoked before birth is treatment against which even hog’s-flesh would indignantly protest!

We shall be happy to insert in our next Number the Address of the Five Gentlemen who have an eye to their country’s interests. Yet it appears to us, we must say, that one eye amongst five people, so directed, is little enough in all conscience. Have they not ten, besides spectacles, turned towards their own affairs? It is, however, but due to these Five Gentlemen to state, that their address leaves us with a notion of their resemblance to the celebrated Miss Roe

She had but one eye—but that was a piercer!

* Reekie is an expressive Scotch word for smoked. It also means the capital of Scotland. Hence nothing can be more proper than to entitle the work in question the Reekie Magazine, for it is published in Edinburgh, and has been smoked in London. We hope to learn, on the return of our travellers from the North, that the loungers in the streets of Edinburgh are overheard talking to each other in a style something like this:—“Well, the Reekies have been at the Cockneys again! Soot-bags against Dandies! Filth the favourite. The Fortunate Youth seems to improve at Abbotsford. He is stronger than ever in Criticism this month:—under the head Fine Arts, we hear of Haydon’sgreasy hair,’ and in his strictures on poetry he tells us Keats walked the hospitals! Scotland may well be proud of this reeky school of reviewing: it forms a new era in her literature.“