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tague, occupied the seats nearest | the higher or the more humble rethem, and were at intervals ply- | treats of literature, and wbether their ing their needles, and listening to imaginings are put forth under the the remarks elicited from their com- name of poems or of romances; for panions, and occasionally enliven- I hold all works of imagination to ing them by their own naïve and || partake of the nature of poetry, appropriate sallies. The vicar oc whilst they aim to instruct and incupied his easy chair, which was nocently amuse. I do not agree with placed so as to give him a command those of my reverend brethren who of the prospect from without; and denounce fictions and imaginative Counsellor Eitherside, Mr. Mathews, writings in the gross; on the contrary, Mr. Montague, and myself, took I have read many in which I could chairs on each side of him, a little in not discover the least harm, whilst the rear of the ladies. We were a they would serve to kindle in the happy group; and I verily believe heart a love of virtue and a detestathere was not one amongst us who tion of vice, and to animate all our was not at peace with himself and better feelings, all our more noble with the world. We had a long de passions into active exertion or pasultory chat, but not of sufficient tient endurance, as the occasion might moment to record; and I shall take call for the different direction of up our conversation from the follow- those faculties with which the Suing remark of Dr. Primrose: preme Being has blessed us, equally
I think we have had few new pub- for our own benefit and for that of lications of much value lately, ex- others. cept works of imagination in prose Mr. Mathews. It is Lord Bacon, I and verse. The higher walks of li- think, who says, that fiction “ raises terature appear to be neglected; and the mind by accommodating the imaI fear the present age will produce ges of things to our desires, and not, few standard works in the more ele- like history and reason, subjecting vated sciences. In history, for in the mind to things." stance, we are likely to be sadly de- Dr. Primrose. It is. But I differ, ficient.
with all due respect, from that mighty Counsellor Eitherside. We are genius, when he says, that fiction, not altogether without works of that “ upon a narrow inspection, strongly class either; but if they are not so shews, that a greater variety of things, numerous as those of imagination, a more perfect order, a more beaudon't you think the taste of the age tiful variety, than can any where be must be blamed-if blame there be found in nature, is pleasing to the --for this paramount direction of the mind." I do not mean, that our intellectual pursuits of our highly minds are never so warped from their gifted writers?
|| true biąs as not to admire and be Dr. Primrose. I do not mention | pleased with things which have no it altogether as matter of blame, but prototype in nature, but I deny that more as matter of fact; since, for my, a " greater" or " more beautiful vaown part, I do not blame those vota- riety," or a " more perfect order," ries of the Muse who follow her de- can exist, than the God of Nature vious windings, whether they lead to has presented to us in his works, which every where meet our won- || conventional rules, nor cowed by the dering eyes; and, certainly, for me, overbearing laughtiness of any perworks of fiction possess the greatest | former, who, with true meanness of charm, when they more closely ap- | intellect and littleness of mind, not proach to, than when they widely || being able to “ bear any rival" in po. depart from, the natural order of || pular favour, insists that every chathings.
racter in a drama, except his own, Mr. Montague. And undoubtedly shall be cut down into a mere nonenthose which take nature for their tity. I have, however, read some guide have been not only more po- modern dramas, which were never pular in their own day, if I may so represented, but which possess more call it, the period when they were of real dramatic genius, than the written; but have also descended to whole of the new tragedies produced posterity with the approving fiat of at the inetropolitan theatres for years each succeeding generation upon past. Bird's“ Cosmo Duke of Tusthem; whilst those that invert the na-cany," is one of these;" The Duke of tural order of things have, however | Mantua," which, from a silly device they may have surprised and asto- in the title-page, was attributed to nished for a time, soon descended Lord Byron, but which I have reainto the stream of oblivion.
son to believe is written by a friend Reginald. Many of the produc-of mine, one of the most popular potions of this age, both in prose and ets of the day, is another: “ The Itaverse, will, I think, stand a fair chance lian Wife," and " Babington,” by the of reaching our grandchildren at same author, though perlaps not er least, before they will be forgotten. actly fitted for representation, evince England can now boast of a splen- great dramatic genius. But what did galaxy of literary talents, which, man of talent will write for the stage, in my opinion, more justly entitles when he is compelled to bow to the this to the epithet of the Augustan caprice and ignorance of the actors age of our literature than any form who fret their hour upon it, and then er period.
are heard no more? The Counsellor. I think so too; Dr. Primrose. There is a good in poetry, in particular, there was deal of truth in your remarks; and never a period when we possessed I perfectly assent to the assertion, more highly gifted writers. . that the present age is one of the
Mr. Mathews. Except in the de- | brightest in English literature: if, in partment of the drama.
the department of history, or the Reginald. There I grant you the higher walks of philosoply, we have writers of the Elizabethan age are few adventurers, these few will be our superiors. Shakspeare, Marlow, | distinguished to the end of time. Jonson, Beaumont, and Fleteher Works illustrative of history, meare indeed names of high renown, moirs and papers, however, abound; before which our Shiels, our Proc- voyages and travels are more numertors, and our Knowles sink into ut- ous still; in biography, we cut a veter insignificance. But when these Il ry respectable figure; and in poetry, great men wrote, their genius had its novels, and tales, we are unrivalled. full sway; it was neither cramped by Mrs. Primsose. I liked a novel
which I read the other day, called quent perversion of justice by the .“ O'Hara," uncommonly.
magistrate: the latter evil, however, · Reginald. It is said to be the pro- and a grievous one it was, is one of duction of a clergyman, a chaplain which I hope to hear little in future, of the Marquis of Sligo, and is cer- under the new regulations that have tainly a clever work. Of late Ire- recently been introduced. land has attracted a good deal of the Miss Primrose. A very interestattention of our novel-writers. Mr. ing scene in “O'Hara," is that of the Banim, author of " The Celts' Para- duel between the youth of that name dise," has begun well in his “ Tales and Felton. Shall I read it? of the O'Hara Family;" and if he Mr. Mathews. If you please. I proceeds in the same strain, he will have not seen the tale. do as much for that ill-fated isle as Miss Primrose. The occurrence Sir Walter Scott, or whoever is the took place during an election. Great Unknown, has done for Scot- The place where affairs of honour were land. Mr. Crowe's “To-Day in Ire- | usually deci land" is also an amusing work, though
of the town. It was a level meadow surhe has introduced individual charac
rounded by rising grounds, and afforded ters in a way which is highly inde.
ample accommodation for the hundreds fensible. My eccentric, but warm
who had focked to witness the decision hearted friend, Sir Harcourt Lees,
of the quarrel, with the same composure figures under the cognomen of Sir
with which they would have crowded to
a cock-fight. Three or four of O'HaStarcourt Gibbs; and in Dick
ra's friends were waiting for him, and M'Loughlin we cannot fail to re
they accompanied him through the speccognise Mr. Martin, whose efforts in
tators, who were all decorated with the the cause of humanity, though some- insignia of their respective parties, until what characterized by that propen they reached the scene of action: it was sity of blundering so natural to his the centre of the field, and marked by a countrymen, ought to preserve him gentle undulation of the surface. Here from ridicule. Both these works several lives had been forfeited at the must be read with several grains of shrine of mistaken honour, and a few allowance for the prejudices and par- || stones pointed out the exact spot where tialities of the authors. Mr. Ba- one had lately
one had lately fallen. At this little monim, in my opinion, belongs to that
nument Henry awaited the approach of party who have taken a wrong view
Felton and his friends: they were not of the causes which have led to the
long absent, and the seconds retired a anomalous state of Ireland. Mr.
few paces to arrange preliminaries. Crowe draws a more faithful picture,
If there be a moment when the duellist and one much more accordant with
feels agitated, it is in this trying time. truth, when he represents the Ro
Amidst the dead silence of the specta
tors, the stepping of the allotted distance, man Catholic ascendancy over the
and all the usual preparations for the afpeasantry of Ireland as the main,
fair, were quickly transacted. Henry felt cause of the evils which afflict them; neither trepidation nor dismay, and his whilst he does not affect to disguise antagonist looked on with equal indifferthose which spring from the oppres- ence: their feelings, however, were vesion of the landlords, or the too fre- i ry dissimilar; with one a chivalrous de- Vol. VI. No. XXXIII.
votion had sent the son to battle for the || now be over! A man standing on a high parent, and substitute his own person to wall called out, that “both were on their protect that of his gallant father. The legs.” He rode madly on, if possible, to other's was the cold blooded hardihood prevent the fire from being repeated. , of a practised homicide ; he stood as he i His appearance, however, precipitated, had frequently done before, and, without what he was so anxious to prevent: a pang of remorse, prepared to hurry his again a murmur of the mob told, that the youthful opponent from existence. parties were ready, and again there was
The seconds had assigned the respec- an awful silence. His further progress tive situations to each principal, when a was impeded by a gate, and he sprang buzz amongst the distant crowd turned | from his horse to open it: at that instant the attention of the parties to the road, the pistols were discharged. O'Hara's and a horseman was seen rapidly advanc. || limbs almost failed him ; his eye grew ing. Some persons having called out dim, while a kind of murmuring groan “The sheriff is coming !" the seconds in- burst from the crowd. "He's down, by stantly placed the pistols in their friends' G-d!” cried one of the spectators. He hands, retired, and gave the signal. Hen staggered for support against the gatery fired without hesitation, but Felton de- | pier. “ Felton's done for!" roared anliberated for a few moments. “ Shame! other voice exultingly; and such had murder!” began to be muttered when he been indeed the result. Henry escapdischarged his pistol: the ball passed ed unhurt, and his savage opponent was through Henry's hat, and Felton, with a stretched upon the field. savage oath, muttered something to mad Mr. Montague. How anxiously Andy, accounting for the failure of his my heart beat for the fate of the fire. The weapons were again prepared, young O'Hara! How I felt for the. when Thornton came up, and implored agonizing grief of his father! . O'Hara to aim steadily, and not let the Rosina. What a savage custom is ruffian take his life. Felton's conduct,
duelling! I could not love the man, however, had already awakened him to al let him he in every thing else great sense of his danger, and he observed him cautiously while awaiting the expected
and good, who would raise his hand
against his fellow-creature's life in signal. The horseman had now approached ||
murderous combat. sufficiently near to be distinguished, and
| Reginald. Yet there are occasions one glance told him it was his father. |
when the voice of honour, the dread With a strong exertion he mastered the |
of censure, the fear of being brandagitation his presence caused, and coolly ed as a coward, o
ed as a coward, or a keen sense of prepared for the moment of action. those injuries and insults which are
Major O'Hara was on the hustings of a nature never to be forgotten, when a rumour reached bim, that his son impels a good and honourable man had gone out with Felton. With a groan || to expose his life“ upon the hazard of horror he rushed into the street, and of a die," and to place himself in the called loudly for his horse. A young peril of committing no, I cannot gentleman instantly tendered his, and the call it murder! distracted parent galloped to the scene of Dr. Primrose. But the laws of combat. The crowds on the road made | God will call it so, my dear young way for him; and as he reached the friend, and with every good man. high ground that overlooked the field, a
held, a they should be paramount to the laws discharge of pistols told him that all might |
of honour. Let me conjure you ne
sombreinald. Miss Pri
- ver, by any dread of the world's badour,"Mr. Sotheby's“Poems," and contumely, to risk a breach of that Dr. Southey's “ Tale of Paraguay." emphatic command of the divinity - | Mrs. Montague. Well, and what “ Thou shalt do no murder;" for he | do you think of them? assured the sin will be heinous, and Reginald. I think Miss Landon is one which deep and sincere repent- in great danger of being spoiled by ance only can obliterate: if, indeed, her injudicious friends. The praise any repentance can obtain pardon bestowed on her former volume, “The for cutting off a human being in the Improvisatrice," was far beyond its very commission of an act at vari- | merits, though they were certainly ance with all laws, human and di- great; and no doubt urged by the vine, and sending him to stand be. very natural feeling which we all fore his judge, “unanointed, unan- mustexperience, of elation and pride, nealed, with all his imperfections on at the very high encomiums awarded his head,” But the subject is too her, she has again ventured before sombre; let us change it.
the public with a production, which, Reginald. Willingly. We were, I I candidly confess, I do not think think, before Miss Primrose read equal to the former. Still there are that touching extract, adverting to some beautiful verses in it. And I the tales of Irish life recently pub- hope Miss Landon will not be dislished: those are not the only ones pleased at my preferring trutlı to gulwhich have attracted my notice. To | lantry. I will read you two passayou, young ladies, I should recom- \ges I marked as possessing high memend“ Husband-Hunting" as a very rit. excellent novel; “My Grandmother
5, Where is the heart that has not bow'd and her Guests," " Reine Canziani,” |
A slave, eternal Love, to thee · and London in the Olden Time, Look on the cold, the gay, the proud, will also afford some amusement; 1 And is there une amongst them free? cannot say much for “ Massenburg The cold, the proud, oh! Love bas turu'd
The marble till with fire it burn'd; and Lochandu.”
The gay, the young, alas! that they Mr. Mathews. Has the author of should ever bend beneath thy sway! “ The Lollards" produced nothing Look on the check the rose might own, lately?
The smile around like soushine thrown;
The rose, the smile, alike are thine, Reginald. His last novel was “The
To fade and darken at thy shrine. Witch-Finder;" and a very excel And what must Love be in a heart, ·lent one it is. It displays an inti | All passion's fiery depths concealings mate acquaintance with the manners
: Which has in its minutest part
More than another's whole of feeling? and customs of our ancestors; and
Miss Primrose. Why, Reginald, the account of the state of the dra- ||
that is downright heresy ! ma during the time of Cromwell's
The gay, the young, al...! that they usurpation is extremely curious. Should ever bend beneath thy sway!
Rosina. Have you not any poetry Why, you surely do not mean to for us, Reginald? I know you gene- say, that it is a pity Love should ever rally read most of the productions of aim his arrows at other hearts than our poets as soon as they appear. those which are enshrined in cold,
Reginald. Within the last month sombre, and aged bosoms? I have read Miss Landon's “ Trou- ! Reginald. Oh! no, I do not: hut