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most annoying ;” but the tiger at home know that Shakespeare read the romances would be a great sight, — from an earth- of his time, and turned his reading to skimmiog balloon, or Prince Hassan's account, much to the world's profit. By. carpet. As in Corea, so in the Malay ron enjoyed anything in the shape of a peninsula, the tiger is an object of great story without regard to its literary merit. dread and reverence. The Malays speak Coleridge detested" fashionable" novels; of these animals in whispers only, believ- but he heartily admired the robuster proing that souls of men departed dwell in ductions of Marryat and the author of them; and in some places they will not "Tom Cringle's Log." Crabbe was not kill a tiger, unless he is a very mauvais 31. at all particular as to style or subject, and jet indeed. The Malay's version of the rarely let a day pass without devoting an wehr-wolf myth is that some men are ti- hour or two to novel-reading. Leigh gers by night and men by day. They Hunt, too, owns to a gluttonous appetite wear tigers' claws to avert disease, use of the same kind, his taste being so caththe liver, dried and pounded, as a medi. olic, that he goes into raptures over the cine, which is worth twice its weight in exquisite refinement of heart exhibited in gold, and set the centre of the “terrible the Chinese novel “In Kiao-Li," when eyeballs” in gold rings to be worn as sending it to his friend Dr. Southwood charms. Whether one liked or did not Smith, winding up his eulogium with: like the ape as an inmate would regulate “The notes inarked T. C. are by Carlyle, one's enjoyment of the domestication of to whom I lent it once, and who read it that animal in the Malay country, but that with delight." it is a wonderful creature is not to be de. Gray, who was fond of novels, thus nied. The Malays are passionately fond wrote of them: “However the exaltedof pets, and of all the nice things which ness of some minds - or rather, as I travellers and residents in their peninsula shrewdly suspect, their insipidity and have told us of this interesting people, want of feeling or observation — may nothing is more charming than this testi- make them insensible to these light things, mony of Miss Bird's: “They have great I mean such as paint and characterize skill in taming birds and animals. Doubt nature, yet surely they are as weighty, less, their low voices, and gentle, supple and much more useful than your grave movements, never shock the timid sensi. discourses upon the mind and the pas. tiveness of brutes. Besides this, Malay sions, and what not.” Cowper held novchildren yield a very ready obedience to elists to be writers of drivelling folly; but their elders, and are encouraged to invite even he confessed that the “ Arabian the confidence of birds and beasts, rather Nights" afforded himself and Lady Hes. than to torment them.”
keth a fund of merriment, never to be forgotten.
Writing in her old age, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu tells her daughter she
is reading an idle tale; not expecting wit From Chambers' Journal.
or truth in it, but thankful it is not meta. THE CHARM OF FICTION.
physics, to puzzle her judgment, or bistory, WHEN Lord Beaconsfield's Madame to mislead her opinion. Mrs. Thrale's Phæbus expresses her belief that nothing daughter liked her judgment to be puzin the newspapers is ever true, her sister zled, loving metaphysical works better adds: “And that is why they are so pop thao romances. Dr. Johnson pronounced ular, the taste of the age being so decid- her choice as laudable as it was uncomedly for fiction." So decidedly, indeed, mon, but would have had her like what that we wonder a society for the suppres. was good in both. Johnson himself, in sion of fiction has not been started by this matter, preached as he practised. those who deem romance-reading to be a Although the prince consort declared vile, pernicious indulgence. Perhaps the he should be sorry that his son should Gradgrinds are in the right. It may be look upon the reading of a novel, even one foolish, it may be wrong, to waste one's of Scott's, as a day's work, yet he thought sympathy on the joys and sorrows of his tutor should allow him to read a good imaginary heroes and heroines; but those novel, as an indulgence. For himself, nov. who do so have the consolation of sinning els of character, rather than incident, had in an admirable company of poets, priests, an irresistible charm. The early master. and philosophers; of men who write his pieces of George Eliot took great hold of tory, and men who make it.
Prince Albert's imagination and memory, Litua though we know about him, we and he delighted in quotiog Mrs. Poyser,
wbenever apt occasion offered. So highly Mrs. Radcliffe and Miss Porter were did he appreciate “ Adam Bede,” thai he the beloved romancers of Thackeray's sent a copy to Baron Stockmar. “It will young days. “O . Scottish Chiefs,' amuse you," wrote the prince, “by the claims he," did we not weep over you ? fulness and variety of its studies of hu- o • Mysteries of Udolpho,' didn't I and man character. By this study, your favor. Briggs Minor draw pictures of you?” ite one, I find myself every day more and Smollett and Fielding were so much to more attracted."
After reading Charles Thackeray's mind, that he held even their Kingsley's “Two Years Ago,” the prince imitators dear; but his love for bygone wrote to his daughter the princess Vic: novels did not prevent bim appreciating toria : "The poet is only great by reason those of his contemporaries. that he is great as a philosopher. Two nounced the production of the “ChristYears Ago,' a book which you, I think, mas Carol” to be not only a personal have read, has given me great pleasure, kindness to every man and woman readby its profound knowledge of human na ing it, but a national benefit; a compliment túre, and insight into the relation between Octave Feuillet would not have deemed at man, his actions, his destiny, and God.” all extravagant, holding as he did that
Many statesmen and politicians have good novels and pure novels went hand in wooed and won forgetfulness of public band in the history of nations; a good cares in the pages of a novel. Fox, novel often exercising the functions of a Burke, and Canning loved fiction wisely literary thunderstorm, clearing the atmoand well. Guizot acknowledged to a sphere of noxious vapors, and turning the weakness for novel-reading, preferring thoughts of a misguided people into betabove all others the stories written by ter channels. No wonder the enthusiastic English women, and comparing Miss Aus- Frenchman pitied the young ladies of anten and her successors to the galaxy of cient days, and thought they must have dramatic poets of the great Athenian age; had a dull time of it, with only the bexwhile Sir William Molesworth found for ameters of Virgil and Ovid to satisfy their eign novels more to his liking, and was craving for literary recreation. Yet there never tired of perusing them. Fenimore are people who think the writing of a Cooper's imaginative portrayals of Indian novel something of which a man should life bad a never-fading charm for Presi. be ashamed. “ Haven't you written a dent Adams; while Daniel Webster was novel ?” asked a Taunton voter of the all for Charles Dickens, and enthusiasti. opponent of a newly appointed official, cally told his countrymen that his favorite eliciting the stinging reply: "I hope there author had wrought more good in England is no disgrace in having written that which than all the statesmeo Great Britain had has been read by thousands of my fellowsent into Parliament.
countrymen, and which has been trans. Even novelists themselves have been lated into every European language. I keen devourers of works of fiction, not trust that one who is an author by the for the sake of gathering hints therefrom, gist of nature, may be as good a but out of pure love for such reading. as one who is master of the mint by the Scott could not leave a word upread of a gift of Lord Melbourne.” What manner book with a story in it; he was a devout of novels the author of " Vivian Grey” worshipper of Miss Edgeworth ; and de. wrote is known to most. clared Jane Austen's talent for describing Literary preferences, like love preferthe involvement, and feelings, and charac- ences, are unexplainable. We like beters of ordinary life, was the most won- we like. Macaulay's biographer derful thing he ever met with. He could, says of him that the day on which be he said, “do the big bow-wow business detected, in the dark recesses of a Holhimself with any one; but the exquisite born bookstall, some trumpery romance touch which rendered commonplace things that had been in the Cambridge circulatand commonplace characters interesting ing library in the year 1820, was a date was beyond his powers." Washington marked with a white stone in bis calenIrving deprived his nights of sleepless. dar. He exulted over the discovery of ness of their tediousness by the aid of a wretched novel called “ Conscience," Anthony Trollope. Miss Mitford never which he owned to be execrable, as trilost her love for the romances of her umphantly as if it bad been a first folio youth. As a boy Dickens revelled in edition of Shakespeare with an inch and “ Gil Blas” and “Don Quixote;” and in a half of margin. Why is it?” he asks his manhood he read Hawthorne with de in his diary, " that I can read twenty times light, and had plenty of praise for George over the trash of and that I cannot Eliot.
read Bulwer's works? It is odd; but of
all writers of fiction who possess any tal- But Mr. Froude notwithstanding, it is ent at all, Bulwer, with very distinguished not only young imaginations that yield to talent, amuses me least.” Bulwer, how the beguilements of romance. Eldon was ever, conquered him once, for he sets as interested in sentimental stories when down : "On my journey through the Pon- he had gained the goal of his ambition, tine Marshes,' I finished Bulwer's · Al as when he was young enough and roice.' It affected me much, and in a way mantic enough to compass a runaway which I have not been affected by novels marriage. To the last, Romilly delighi. these many years. Indeed, I generally ed in the romances of Charlotte Smith. avoid all novels which are said to have Jeffrey was well on in years when he much pathos. The suffering which they cried over Paul Dombey's death, blessed produce is to me a very real suffering, Paul's creator for the purifying tears and of that I have quite enough without he shed, and declared he had been in them.” Theodore Hook relished nothing love with him "ever since little Nell,” better with his wine than novels of a seri- and did not care who knew it. Nor was ous cast; and was so fond of “Gil Blas,” Daniel O'Connell a callow youth when he that he made a point of reading it every vowed never to forgive Dickens for killyear. He would cross-examine Sir Henry ing the heroine of the “Old Curiosity Holland's children in the most minute Shop.". It must, however, be conceded details respecting Sir Charles Grandison that Dickens possessed a power of rais. and Miss Byron, and could have done the ing a personal attachment for his characsame with regard to the “ Pride and Prej. ters that was unique.
series, of which he said there were no compositions in the world ap. proaching so near to perfection; a eulogium Whately and Whewell would readily have indorsed.
From The Academy. Bishop Thirlwall's greatest pleasure A CONTEMPORARY NOTICE
BOROUGH was reading a novel in an open carriage while travelling. Dr. Hook was ready to
Ipswich: July 24, 1883. read one anywhere and under any condi- In searching the files of the Ipswich tions. Mackintosh soothed himself “be. Journal for some particulars as to the fore court” and refreshed himself after it picture referred to in my letter in the by reading “ The Old Manor House;" Academy of July 21, I came upon the and so dreaded arriving at the end of De Staël's “ Corinne,” that he prolonged his following brief history of Gainsborough. enjoyment by swallowing it slowly that he From Sir Philip Thicknesse's “Life of might taste every drop. Sir William Gainsborough we learn that the then Hamilton preferred novels of the Rad- proprietor and editor of the Ipswich cliffe type; while Mary Somerville in the Journal was an intimate friend of the sunset of life spent ber evenings over great artist; and, as the subjoined article conversational stories, “her tragic days
was in all probability written by him, it being over;” in accordance with Mr. Froude's dictum, that as we grow old, the will have a special value and interest at love-agonies of the Fredericks and Doro- the present day. The extract is verbatiin theas cease to be absorbing, as the pos. from the Ipswich Journal of August 9, sibilities of such excitements for our. 1788.
WM. KING. selves have set below the horizon, and painful experience of the realities of week- Memoirs of the late Mr. Gainsborough, jy bills and rent.day induce us to take the
the celebrated painter who died on Satparental view of the situation.
" A novel
urday last, aged 61, of a cancer in his which can amuse us in middle life," he Neck, caught by a Cold a few months says, “must represent such sentiments,
since, whilst attending Mr. Hastings's such actions, and such casualties as we
Trial. encounter after we have cut our wise- Mr. Gainsborough was born at Sudteeth, and have become ourselves actors bury in Suffolk, in the year 1727: his in the practical drama of existence. The father, on his outset in life, was possessed taste for romance is the first to disappear. of a decent competency; but a large famTruth alone permanently pleases; and ily, and a liberal heart, soon lessened his works of fiction which claim a place in wealth to a very humble income. The literature must introduce us to characters son, of whom we speak, very early disand situations which we recognize as fa- covered a propensity to painting: Nature miliar."
was his teacher and the woods of Suffolk
his academy; here he would pass in soli- possession, and several others of a like tude his mornings, in making a sketch of description, give him a very peculiar charan antiquated tree, a marshy brook, a few acter as an artist over every other disciple cattle, à shepherd and his flock, or any of the pencil. The landscape of the other accidental objects that were pre- Woodman in the Storm, finished about sented. Froin delineation, he got to col. eighteen months since, and now at his oring; and after painting several land rooms in Pall Mall, for expression, charscapes from the age of ten to twelve, he acter, and beautiful coloring, is of inesti. quitted. Sudbury, in his thirteenth year, mable worth. His Majesty's praises of and came to London, where he commenced this picture made Mr. Gainsborough feel portrait painter; ar:d from that time never truly elate; and the attention of the cost his family the least expense. The Queen, who sent to him soon after, and person at whose house he principally re- commissioned him to paint the Duke of sided, was a silversmith of some taste; York, were circumstances that he always and from him he was ever ready to con- dwelt upon with conscious pleasure and fess he derived great assistance. Mr. satisfaction. Gravelot the engraver was also his pa- His mind was most in its element tron, and got him introduced at the Old while engaged in landscape. These subAcademy of the Arts, in St. Martin's jects he painted with a faithful adherence Lane. He continued to exercise his pen- to Nature; and it is to be noticed they cil in London for some years, but marry are more in approach to the landscapes ing Mrs. Gainsborough when he was only of Rubens, than those of any other mas. nineteen years of age, he soon after took ter. At the same time we must remark, up his residence at Ipswich; and after his tree, foreground, and figures, have practising there for a considerable period, more force and spirit; and we add, the went to Bath, where his friends intimated brilliancy of Claude and the simplícity of his merits would meet their proper reward. Ruysdael appear combined in Mr. Gains. His portrait of Quin the actor, which he borough's romantic scenes. The few picpainted at Bath about thirty years since, tures he attempted that are stiled sea. will ever be considered as a wonderful pieces, may be recurred to in proof of his effort in the portrait line.
power in painting water; nothing certainly The high reputation which followed, can exceed them in transparency and air. prompted him to return to London, where But he is gone! and while we lament him he arrived in the year 1774; after passing as an artist, let us not pass over those a short time in town not very profitably, virtues which were an honor to human his merits engaged the attention of the nature.! Let a tear be shed in affection King. Among other portraits of the Royal for that generous heart, whose strongest Family, the full length of his Majesty at propensities were to relieve the claims of the Queen's house will ever be viewed as poverty, wherever they appeared genuine ! an astonishing performance. From this If he selected, for the exercise of his period, Mr. Gainsborough entered into a pencil, an infant from a cottage, all the line which afforded a becoming reward to tenants of the humble roof generally par. his superlative powers. All our living ticipated in the profits of the picture; and Princes and Princesses have been painted some of them frequently found in his by him, the Duke of York excepted, of habitation a permanent abode. His lib. whom he had three pictures bespoken: erality was not confined to this alone, and, among his later performances, the needy relatives and unfortunate friends head of Mr. Pitt, and several portraits of were further incumbrances on a spirit that gentleman's family, afforded him that could not deny; and owing to this gratification. His portraits will pass to generosity of temper, we fear, that aftlufuturity with a reputation equal to that ence is not left to his amiable family, which follows the pictures of Vandyke ; which so much merit might promise, and and his landscapes will establish his name such real worth deserve. on the record of the fine arts, with honors such as never before attended a native of this isle.
He was frequently fond of giving a little rustic boy or girl a place in his land.
IN AN OLD PALACE. scapes: some of these possess wonderful “Yes, darling, I will rest a while beauty: bis Shepherd's Boy, the Girl and Upon this ancient window-seat, Pigs, the Fighting Boys and Dogs, the This wide old-fashioned, brown recess, one with Figures in Sir Peter Burrell's And watch the pictured loveliness
From All The Year Round.
That decks the chamber round;
She touched my wounds with balm divine, Each gay grand lady's courtly smile.
She poured therein love's oil and wine, Her full free glance of witchery sweet,
And closed my heart's wide rent. And curling tresses all unbound.
My love was dead, but I was free,
And could be faithful. Was it wise ? “Or I will wander soft and slow,
God knows; she said she was content. As suits me best, from room to room, Again to ponder, as I trace
And I was faithful, if one call The features of Loyola's face,
That faith, which no desires assail; The secret of his power.
I could not give her love for love, Or mark the veiled pathetic woe
But still, I held her far above In Charles's eyes, that spake of doom
Her younger, lovelier peers. Before the storm began to lower.
And when, in aftertime, the call
Of death came with an infant's wail, “ But go thou, sweetest, gaily out,
God knows I made her grave with tears. And sun thyself this sunny day, Go find again thy favorite nook
But ah, the babe! the little child ! Where, babbling like a country brook, The wailing, wee, unmothered one, Great Thames goes plashing by ;
How closely to my heart hath crept Or roam the wide old place about
The daughter since the mother slept ! In thine own mood, in thine own way,
She is my own, my own, And smile beneath the azure sky.
The one clean thing and undefiled,
Life holds for me beneath the sun, “Go forth and banish from thine eyes,
And she is mine - as yet - alone.
I look from out my window-seat,
To see my dainty daughter pass; Blown flower and changing leaf.
Fair as the world's first morning time, Let girlish laughter quench thy sighs,
Just rounding to the tender prime Let Nature's balsam comfort thee,
Of girlish blossoming. Go to, thou dost but play at grief.”.
A sight that makes my old heart beat;
She stands like Flora on the grass,
By the white statue of the Spring.
And must I lose her? Can I give
My tender maiden from my side? My little girl was born.
And to his son - mine ancient foe, But yesterday, a snowdrop white
The man who wronged me years ago? She blossomed in the wintry air
My daughter, it is hard ! Of wedded life, long past its morn.
How much the heart can bear, and live,
How much forego of hate and pride,
Lest its one darling's life be marred.
Fate wills it so, my little dove,
I will not part thy love from thee; And keep me true to thee.
His noble face is full of truth, But love had made and marred my lot
The unspent heritage of youth Before we met, and one less true
Lies yet within his band. Than thou, had changed the world for me. The father took my early love,
The son will take my child from me,
Nor sire nor son could I withstand.
Ah well, he hath his mother's face,
And his dear mother's grave is green, Our parting was so swift.
And since the father, too, lies low, Love one day ours, and all life's field
And since the wrong was long ago, A-bloom with hope — then forced apart
My heart says, “I forgive." By wider widths than death's drear drift.
The lad is worthy of our race, Then I went mad, and mocked at life,
His heart is brave, his hands are clean, And jeered at all its precious things,
If love be life, then let them live.
She glides across the oaken floor,
And in the ancient doorway stands : I stood with all the world at strife,
I look around the pictured wall,
No stately lady of them all
And one comes with her through the door But in the end there came to me
With eager eyes and outstretched hands, An angel in a woman's guise,
Her lover. Child, I am content.