Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

This order was brought by one Fepishe, but was himself dangerously wounded. a relation of Tabar Fenishe, who had This induced the governor still further been, some years before, ambassador 10 to delay the execution ; baviog now the court of St. James's. The govere ascertained that the order was obtained nor, however, suspecting that the or- by a stratagem of malicious and ill-disder had been issued in a moment of ir- posed people. The next day news ritation, delayed its execution, in the came that the emperor suffered extremehope that it might be countermanded ; ly from a ball in the upper part of the or, in the hope that the result of a bat- ihigh, which the surgeons could not extle would render it unnecessary to be tract. The emperor, in a fit of frenzy, put in execution.--Soon afterwards, from pain or passion, took his ( kumaya) Dews arrived at Mogodor that the two dagger, cut open the wound to the ball

, armies had met, bad fought, and the and expired soon after. Thus were the emperor had vanquished his antagonists, merchants of Mogodor saved provideowbo bad more than double his force, tially from an untimely death."

FEMALE LITERATURE OF THE PRESENT AGE.

From the New Monthly Magazine, MADAME D'ARBLAY. deeper scenes, like that at Vauxball, of THERE NHERE is no work from a female Mr. Harrell's suicide, are, in the highest

pen which more invites and more seose of the word, tragic; wbile the lubaffles enquiry, than the first produc- dicrous scenes vacillate from the airiest tion of Madame D'Arblay's genius. comedy to the lowest farce. Agonies We can, in some degree, understand and practical jokes weave a fantastic how a youthful poet, who finds in the round about us, and keep us giddy by majestic wonders of the universe the fit marvellous turns and pleasureable sur objects of his sympathies, is able, at prises. The great fault of these novels once, to astonish and to charm the world. is, that their distresses frequently arise But how a young lady, little accustomed from mere inattentions to the forms of to the varied manners of society, should society, from provoking combinations have produced a work, not only rich in of petty circumstances, or from some character, sentiment, and humour, but finely attenuated delicacy out of place full of the nicest and exactest delinea- and reason. These things fret and rex tions of the most opposite classes of life, the reader, who feels that the whole is is to us a mystery. We can imagine “much ado about nothing," and innojoy fuller and deeper than that which stead of sympathizing,only longs to ex. she must have felt, when her father re- plain. There is nothing so vasatisfacturned from London, and brought with tory as a mere game at cross purposes him Evelina, declaring that nothing else in fiction. We endure the spectacle of was talked of, but little thinking that the real anguish which springs out of inernew favourite of the Town was his itable and mighty causes, from the optrembling child. Nothing can be bold. position of high passions to each other, er or more original than the whole cast or the struggling of the will with fortune. of her novels. We are one moment But we cannot bear to see a man fooled convulsed with laughter, and the next out of his senses by some mistake drowned in tears; our breath is almost wbich a word might do away for ever. taken away by the quick and brilliant Such a thing may happen in fact, but succession of images grotesque, beauti- never should occur in fiction, because, ful, or agonizing: " from the sublime we feel, that the author has supreme to the ridiculous there is bot a slep;" power to put the person and bis readand another brings us back from the ri- ers out of the pain which he has so diculous to the sublime. Some of the needlessly brought on them. This,

"not to speak it profanely," is the middle class of vulgar life, which is blemish of Othello, where an error pregnant with materials only for the luabout a handkerchief causes all the suf- dicrous. The Braughtops are almost fering. Who has not felt, on the rep- too contemptible to be laughed at; but resentation of this tragedy, provoked as Mr. Smith, the fine gentleman of the well as affected? Who, when “the city, who‘apes the rakish, and aspires cunding of the scene” has been most after the genteel, who is the admiration perfect, has not longed to call out to the of the women and the envy of the men, Moor that the napkin was stolen, and and who half resigns in favour of Eveliso prevent the catastrophe ? Let any na his aversion to matrimony, is hit off one contrast the effect on the feelings of with admirable skill. In Cecilia the Caleb Williams, where the interest ari- interest of the plot is deeper, the serious ses from the irreversible error of a noble characters are of a more exalted cast, nature, and the struggle and conflict of and the humour itself becomes romantwo high characters—or of any great tic. Aristocratic dignity was surely work where the cause is as mighty as never attempered with such sweetness the result--with that which springs from eas in Mrs. Delvile. The cold and paltry misconceptions, like those in baughty Mr. Delvile; the laconic miser Camilla ; and he will feel how more Briggs; the inimitable schemer Monckdeep, yet more calm and tranquillizing, ton; and the proud, impetuous, and the first is, than the last. The defect, generous Mortimer; are conceived however, to which we have alluded, is with great felicity and in complete keepshared by Madame D'Arblay with ma. ing. In Camilla, there is the good Sir ny writers of the highest genius. We Hugh, whose delightful simplicity does do not agree with the general opinion the heart good to think on; Sir Sedley respecting the relative merits of her nov- Clarandel, the prince of witty loungers ; els. Wonderful as Evelina is, consid- Mrs. Alberry, whose gaiety and eccenering her youth at the time of its com- tricity are but glittering masks for deep pletion, we like it the least; chiefly be- feeling; and, not to enumerate all cause it is the shortest. We do not where all are excellent, Camilla berself, mean this merely as an expression of wbo in real fascination is surpassed by general delight in her works, but because no heroine of modern novels. The we feel that, if a novel has any interest, scene where she plights her faith to Edit should not be brief. A number of gar beneath an old oak, is one of the short tales, however exquisite, is not so fullest and most overflowing rapture. satisfactory as a long romance; because In the Wanderer there is no evidence the characters become our acquaint- of decay of faculty ; but the subject is ances, and when once we know the se- unfortunate, and the story conducted crets of their hearts, we do not desire to with little skill. It is, however, by no leave them even for brighter or more ex means to be regretted, except in so much alted company, Hence it is seldom as it afforded occasion to some of the pleasant to end, and unless our expec- popular critics to bestow treatment on tations are very bigbly excited, scarcely its author, ill-befitting one who has ever to begin a novel. Clarissa and opened new stores of delight so rich Sir Charles Grandison are not tedious and so ample as the works of Madto us, and we should wish them twice ame D'Arblay have afforded to the their length, only that we can begin world. again and find them as fresh as ever

MISS BURNEY. “run the great circle, and be still at If the works of Miss Burney bave bome.” We preser, then, Cecilia to not so decided an originality as those of Evelina, and Camilla to Cecilia-part- her celebrated relative, they belong to ly, though not merely, because each is the most pleasing and genial class of longer than the preceding. The most modern fictions. They do not display striking characters in Erelina, though all the nice observation, all the felicitinimitably drawn, are taken from that ous invention, or all the keen sense of

the ludicrous, which the novels of Ma

LADY MORGAN. dame D'Arblay exhibit; but their in Lady Morgan's novels breathe of all terest is more equable and pervading, the peculiar tastes and feelings of her and their style of more uniform elegance. country, softened by the gentleness of Her last tale, “Country Neighbours,” her sex. They give us a view of Irish is her best, and its heroine, Blanch, one nature, as seen by female eyes. Their of the most exquisite creations of female style, manner

, sentiment, and passion, genius. It is not that this lovely being are characteristic of the land of her births is of the most perfect beauty, nor that and her affection. There is in ber she is endowed with the gentle heroism works all the boldness of outline, with which women so often exercise ; for all the delicacy of touch-the quickness these qualities are shared by a thousand of perceiving truth and beauty, with the common-place characters; but that occasional adoption of their contraries there is in all her words and actions, a --the proud carelessness of some porsimplicity the most unafiected, a cordi- tion of a work, and the exquisite finishality the most genial, and a temper the ing of others—which may so frequently most frank and engaging. She charms be observed in the best productions of more in the little speeches and every- Irish genius. She differs from Miss day occurrences of life, than by her Edgeworth, as she has more beart and conduct on great and trying occasions. less judgment; deeper glimpses into the Her considerateness is a virtue, not of soul and less consistent views of superfithe understanding, but the heart; hercial character ; more passion, and less frankness seems more gentle than the prudence ; higher power to abstract us duplicity of others. With all her per- from the world, with less of practical fection, she is a real person of flesh and wisdom to direct us in it. Her O'Donblood, a creature with whom we claim net and Florence Macarthy are the best kindred,

works which she has yet produced;

and, as these are among her latest, we For human nature's daily food." may reasonably hope for yet more per

fect specimens of her genius. There is We have also a particular liking for a wild grandeur about the first of these all the members of the family of which —especially in its earlier scenes which Blanch becomes a member. We seem

are laid among the magnificent varieties to know the gentle, manly, and kind- of the northern shore of Ireland—which hearted Sir Geoflery--the mother, so makes an awful and indelible insarcastic, yet so generous and almost pression on the reader. The latter is romantic at heart—and Miss Stavor- more rich in the observation of manners dale, who relates the story-as really as and of character ; but disfigured by though they had been our “Country personal allusious, and by caricatures of Neighbours," and we had personally ihose from whom the author conceives observed all the nice shades in their she has received insult and injury. We characters. The latter, who belongs do not deny that she had ample cause to the class of old maids, is really an of complaint in the gross and unmanly ornament to that very respectable, attack on her feeliogs and her fame by though unfortunate, species. Her own the Quarterly Reviewers,

But she character is disclosed by herself in the might have chosen some other mode of pleasantest and most unconscious man- taking vengeance on her Gothic foes, ner; and while we admire ber real un- than ihat of turning a romance for their pretending disinterestedness, her admi- sakes into a kind of intellectual pillory. rable sense, and affectionate feeling, we The spell of the most enchanting fiction feel the slight peculiarities and occasion- is broken for ever by the introduction al inequalitios of temper as realizing the of vindictive satires on real or imaginarelator, and giving an air of truth to all ry offenders. Lady Morgan's “ France," her garratives.

which called forth the criticisms to which she thus was unfortunately

not too bright or good,

tempted to reply, is, with all its blem

MRS. TAYLOR. isbes, a very lively picture of a very Mrs. Taylor, of Ongar, rather late in lively people.

life,has commenced a successful literary MISS AUSTEN.

career, which we hope will be of long

duration. Her work is very shrewd, We turn from the dazzling brillian- intelligent, and pointed; but, as might cy of Lady Morgan's works to repose be expected, wants something of that on the soft green of Miss Austen's fine bloom wbich the first productions sweet and unambitious creations. Her of a youtbful aspirant wear.

Her “Sense and Sensibility,” “ Pride and daughters have long been known to the Prejudice," “ Mansfield Park," and world; one of them at least as the au“ Northanger Abbey," have a simple thor of ingenious tales, and all as conelegance, which is manifestly the natur- tributors to popular collections of poetal and unlaboured result of a singularly ry for children. These little works are harmonious mind. There is a moral among the most varied, simple, and hartenderness pervading them all—a seri- monicus, which have ever been penned ous yet gentle cast of thought shed over for the benefit and delight of infancy. them--which disposes to pensive mus. But there is something of a higher cast ing, and tranquillizes every discordant than these-and, indeed, than any poemotion. She has, alas ! been taken ems for the same most interesting and from the world in the very midst of her important class—in the little volume course, as she was beginning to enjoy by the author of Mrs. Leicester's school. the gratitude of those for whom she had These while they are perfectly easy for laboured, and to feel that the mild in the childlike comprehension, are imbued fluences of her powers were extensively with a deeep humanity, which cannot diffused to purify and to soften. fail to ourture and to mellow the openAUTHOR OF RHODA.

ing heart, to render its seriousness sweet

er, and its joy deeper and more lasting. This gentle-minded lady has happily From the most ordinary occurrences left behind her one of kindred taste, and, and the simplest feelings, the poetry at least, equal talent; the author of gently and naturally expands into imag“ Things by their Right Names,” and inations wbich are beautiful and “ Rhoda.” The writer of these works stately, and which thus enrich the young may be justly regarded, not only as fantasy and kindle the young affections. one of the most pleasing, but one of the most useful of modern novelists; for MISS PORDEN, MISS HOLFORD, &c. she is not contented with exposing There are several female poets of those errors and criines from which the great and original merit, comparativemind naturally revolts, but traces the sad ly little known to fame. Miss Porden's results of mere weaknesses, and of those “Veils” is a poem of singular richness; foibles and mistakes which are usually but its deficiency in human interest, and accounted trivial. In this aim she fol- the perpetual effort which it displays to lows Miss Edgeworth; but her moral- combine things which are of qualities ity is of a nobler cast, and her rebukes the most opposite-imagination and are given in a gentler spirit, than those of chemical science—have prevented it the dazzling satirist whom, in her de- from acquiring the popularity which sigo, she imitates. A genuine vivacity, more felicitous arrangement of its splensportive yet not boisterous nor malig- did materials must have commanded. pant, plays tenderly through all her Miss Holsord's Margaret of Anjou, narratives. Sometimes, perhaps, her and “ Wallace, or the Fightof Falkirk," object to instruct or amend is rather too entitle her to a very high station among direcily and frequently avowed; but romantic bards. If the latter has not even those whom the idea of sermoniz- the exceeding vividness of Sir Walter ing alarms, must allow that she is one Scott's best poems, it has more of a of the most elegant of moralists. stern grandeur, a tragical carnestsecs,

and fulness of style. In the creations poems by Miss Nooth, which unite of the great Scottish poet, all objects are something of a French airiness with true seen through an atmosphere of golden English feeling, and are at once deep light, which sets the minutest object in and sparkling. We should be happy clearest vision before us; while in those to dwell on the excellencies of others; of Miss Holford clouds of awful pore on the felicitous expression of Miss teot brood over the scenes, and vast Aiken ; the exceeding ingenuity of masses of deep shadow fill us with a Mrs. Shemmelfenning; the sportive pleasing awe. Miss Beetham's “ Lay fancy of Miss Rowden ; the admirable of Marie," on the other hand, is a light good sense of Mrs. Huoter; the gentle and exquisite poem of the elder time, in piety of Mrs. West; and the rare and which the delicacies of chivalry are se- varied endowments of Miss Benger, lected with a pure and feminine taste, who is as accurate in her biography as and most gracefully blended. There she is fanciful in her works of fictionare many other female authors on whose but that our time and our space would works we should be happy to dwell, fail us. Here, then, we pause for the but their merit consists rather in the present; but with the food hope that harmony and proportion of their works many opportunities will be afforded to than the preponderant attraction of one us by the production of new works, to individual quality ; and, therefore, they enlarge on the powers of those whom afford little room for criticism, Among we have now passed too lightly over, these we must particularly mention Mrs. and that many new female aspirants Strutt, whose novels are as equably may arise in our time, whose appearbeautiful, and as completely finished in ance we shall eagerly hail, and whose all their parts, as those of any living au- advances we shall rejoice to celebrate. thor. Nor must we forget a volume of

THE WITCH OF AE.

Extracted from Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. * A pawkie auld kimmer wons in yon glen, in glory before me, glancing in the light Nane kens how kimmer can fight and fen';

of the half risen sun. The stream dived Kimmer gets malt, and kimmer gets meal,

into the earth where I stood, and leapAnd canty lives kimmer right cozie and hale ; Kimmer gets bread, and kimmer gets cheese, ed down a tremendous precipice of And kimmer's uncannie e'en keep her at ease. sandstone to the depth of eighty feet. Kimmer can sit i' the coat-tail o' the moon, Its descent into this den was screened And tipple red wine in Brabant brewn ; Kimmer can sit, and say, " E'en be it sae !"

and hid by a profusion of dwarf trees, And red rows the Nith between banking and brae; chiefly rowans and hazels, which shot I creeshed kimmer's Joof wi' howdy fee,

out on all sides from the perpeodicular Else a cradle had never been rocked for me."

cheeks of the rocks, and made their way

to the level of the brown moor. Be. THE stream of the Ae, which low the scene soon assumed a softer

had bitherto flowed broad and more alluring character, the agitaand slow, began to contract its waters, tion of the stream subsided, the glea like that beautiful bird, the first of the opened wide, and sloped back into game, the heron, before it pounces green and wooded declivities,cord fields down on its prey in the lake. The glanced yellow at a distance, and the banks became more shagged abrupt, and smoke ascended curling and blue from the waters, limiting themselves to a the abodes of men. The termination channel such as an active man might leap of the moorland was so abrupt, that I over, rushed smoothly on with silent sought in vain for a pathway to the and amazing rapidity. At length I beautiful vale of Ae; at last I boldly reached the head of the linn, and the seized hold of a hangiog hazel, and whole unrivalled scene was spread out swang myself down the front of the

« VorigeDoorgaan »