« السابقةمتابعة »
fhather's house on the hill of Drumfhamdrum, and they return to the dimer-table. Macneil was always asked will kit their phull for te saiffi tły of himn.”
for a song, and he always good. bumouredly complied; It seems to mean, “ Did any person see a little horse, generally breaking forth, with his rough voice and gleewho had crossed the Dee six days ago; ou his back three ful face, into the well-known Jacobite song, Whar hae pecks of harley meal, two of pease meel, ten bens, five you been a' the day, bonnie laddie, Highland laddie.” and-twenty herrings, and five bard fish." The terms of Macneil made several additions and improvements to this the reward I do not understand. *
The last verse is entirely his own composition,
and it is assuredly one of the best verses. In the second RECOLLECTIONS OF THE DEAD.
last verse, the devils eat up the Duke of Cumberland
thus : No. II.
Then they pat him on a spit
An' roasted him frae head to feet;
They ate him up baith stoop and roop,
An' that's the way they served the Duke. ANOTHER individual, who is well entitled to be the sub- But Hector Macneil thought, and very justly, that some jeet of one of these reminiscences of my boyhood, is Hec
reason ought to be assigned for using his Royal Hightor Macneil, the well-known Scotch poet, and highly- ness so ill no reason having been given throughout the esteemed author of “ Will and Jean, or Scotland's Scaith.” | song; and so he added this crowniug verse : What Maeneil's personal appearance may have been in
The deils themselves could na digest, the early years to which I shall presently allude, I cannot
The bloody heart o' this vile beast,-tell very different, no doubt, from the figure that now
Each stomach sickeping, loathed it sair, stands before me. My farthest stretch of memory finds
FOR A COLLODEN'S CRIMES WERE THERE. him already near the foot of the hill, -and I see him go There are some most admirable points in this verse, down-down to his grave. It might be four or five years previous to his death, when I first knew him : his though to very delicate ears, it may perhaps seem some
what coarse. tall and very spare figure was then slightly bent; but less,
There is, first, the idea of the devils being I think, under the burden of years, than of sorrows; for unable to digest the Duke after they had eaten him : of these he had his full share, In graving the deep what a morsel mast that be which even the very devils wrinkles that lay upon his hollow cheeks, time had been loath! Next, we have the heart selected, as the part assisted by anxiety and bitter fancies; and yet, seldom which they were unable to digest--that part, which, in was his countenance seen unenlivened by a smile,
common parlance, is supposed to be the seat of the affecful, good-humoured smile—not assumed, though little tions. Then there is the choice of the word bloody, which, cause had he to smil-but the offspring of a benevolent besides being in agreement with the common notion of a mind,—and borrowing, perhaps, some of its radiance heart, is typical of the blood-thirsty character of the posfrom recollections of far-past days, awakened by the hila- sessor ; and lastly, we have in the last line, rity around him. Upon the last day of every year, for
For a' Culloden's crimes were there, some years previous to his death, I regularly met with a perfect summing-up of the whole story, and a vindicahim at one of those annual meetings of friends and relation of the proceedings upon the principles of justice; and tions, so religiously observed by some. This was a great all this contained in oue line of great power, and full of event in my mind ; for it was one of the few occasions
poetry. upon which I was permitted to go out to dinner; and, I have often, since those days, listened to this song ; being a holiday besides, it was next in importance to New but never sung with the same effect as Hector Macniel Year's Day, upon which I used to receive a crown to gave to it; peculiarly comic was the expression of his spend as I liked. I distinetly see my mother in her silk face in singing the line gown, and my father with his nicely-powdered hair, and
The deils ne'er saw sic fun before. Florentine silk breeches, and silk stockings ; and I feel myself in the coach that conveys us; and I see the large
Macneil's reputation as a poet, rests mainly upon “Will
His blazing fire in the drawing-room, and the ladies seated in and Juan,” and in some degree upon his songs.
latest poem, a semicirele, and the gentlemen standing in groups talk
Bygane times and late come changes," is ing over the news_and every one impatient for dinner, certainly of inferior merit, though it contains many pas
I have heard Macneil and then, what a sight to a hungry boy was the groaning sages of great pith and point. table,—the goose—the mince-pie, and the syllabub in sing several of his own songs, which never appeared in
print ; but I am unable to present the reader with more that huge crystal dish!
Macneil was one of a Hector Macneil was always one of the party; and few than a single one of these relics. men enjoyed a good dinner and agreeable society more party made to visit Hawthorndean, and after dinner at than he did. I fear, alas ! that his table at home was
Roslin, he sang a little ballad, which was greatly ad. but scantily provided; and that, in his latter days, when mired, but which, he said, was not suited to his hoarse he the most needed attention, his company was but little voice; and he afterwards sent a copy of it to a young
Of the sought; because declining health and poor circumstances lady, who sung it in a very pleasing manner.
tune I have not the least recollection :had cast a damp over those spirits that, in his earlier days, as I have been told, were wont to " set the table in a roar." But even when I knew him, he was, in company Come, Jessy, come to the rowan bower, at least, what I would call a jocose old man ; an agreea- When the bonnic sang o' the mavis is ower; ble companion ; his conversation sprinkled with anecdote, Come, Jessy, to me, when the sun is takin' and moderately seasoned with wit. He then lived up His nightly rest, and the stars are wakin.' four pair of stairs in James's Square --not with the comforts around him that bis infirmities needed, and his Lang, lang bae I loo'd ye, though silent I've been, genius merited--and too mueh neglected by those even But though little ye've heard, oh! muckle ye've seen ; who professed to be the patrons of letters. Edinburgh, And maiden, they say, can tell to a tittle, vhiel has been christened, or which has christened itself, Wha loos her weel, and wha loos her little. Modern Athens, certainly resembles the ancient city in its too frequent neglect of illustrious citizens. But to When the gloamin is round us, and nane pryin' near,
I'll whisper saft things in your maidenly ear ; The meaning seems to be ;-" Let any one who has seen him. But a hand link'd in mine, and your breath on my cheek, come to my father's house, and he will be allowed to eat his fill for We odings"-Ep.
I doubt I'll be blate-for what mair could I seek.
Yet, come, Jessy, come, my tryst I'll be keepin', immediate observation, the following will probably be Wi' the first o' the stars that aboon us is peepin',- deemed not uninteresting by the lovers of the mysterious. And, soon come the time, when, in place o' the mirk, Many years ago, I was awakened one night from an Our tryst, my dear Jessy, be made in the kirk ! unquiet sleep, by a feeling of acute pain, and a disagree
The whole tenor of Macneil's life was altered by one able thrilling throughout my whole frame, with the exunguarded kiss. He was bred in an extensive mercantile ception of my forehead, which felt singularly chilly, and house; and when bis apprenticeship was ended, he still
as if pressed upon by a dead cold weight. I became continued to reside in his master's family, and by degrees immovalle, and at a loss what to think. After several
strangely alarmed; and remained for several minutes became so valuable an assistant, that there appeared every ineffectual attempts to feel whether there was any object prospect of his being one day admitted into partnership. His master had married a lady greatly younger than him of terror near, my hand at length encountered, and fell self, and of extraordinary personal attractions ; and young trembling and powerless upon another hand—strange, Macneil was upon terms of equal intimary with the lady motionless, cold, clammy hand! My flesh crept upon as with her husband. It so happened, that upon an evil my bones--my hair felt like writhing needles ou my day, Macneil, who was then scarcely one-and-twenty, was
head-an icy perspiration started out from every pore seated upon a garden chair beside the lady while she was
of my body. I made a violent attempt to screain; my reading, and from looking upon the page along with her, tongue, however, clove to the roof of my mouth, and, his eyes were insensibly withdrawn from it, and fixed shutting my eyes, I gave myself up to despair. But do upon her face; and, the devil tempting him, as I am
spair, however it may for a time remain inactive, hath bound to believe, he suddenly snatched a kiss. Thus far its energies--energies which nothing short of hopelessness the story might serve as a counterpart to the story of Ri
can arouse; and mustering my resuscitated powers, I mini ; but, unless that “ that day they read no more," the struggled to remove the horrid hand, for I felt it palpably, resemblance goes no farther. The lady, in virtuous anger, piercing shriek, fell exhausted on my pillow and fainted.
in all its cold reality, within mine, and, giving a long and and notwithstanding the protestations of young Macneil that the offence was unpremeditated, acquainted her hus- On coming again to myself, I found my bed surroundband with the audacity of his protege, and the immediate ed by the whole household, with lights and various weaconsequence was, the dismissal of Macneil, and a termi- pons of defence; and when, to their hasty enquiries
, I nation to the prospects that were brightening around him. shudderingly answered, that a strange and icy hand, the His life was ever afterwards nearly allied to penury; and hand of death, was beside me, and had been upon my I have reason to know that he did not leave behind him forehead, an instantaneous roar of laughter burst upru wherewithal to pay the expenses of his funeral. I was
my astonished senses. Starting up, I looked round, and about to finish this reminiscence with the words « Poor found that a stoppage in the circulation of the blood had Macneil ;" but who knows that the pleasure he felt in the that the hand, the awful and mysterious band that had
deadened my left arm, upon which I had been lying, and composition of " Will and Jean," which, but for that unguarded kiss, might never have been written, did not
occasioned all my terror, was my own!
W. B. H. more than compensate for all the privations he experienced—for many a gloomy solitary hour and sorry
THE DRAMA. dinner?
We are credibly informed that Braham is upwards of
sixty-five, in which case his voice is the next thing to 8 TUE MYSTERIOUS HAND.
miracle. In speaking of it, however, we have one didi
culty to contend with. For thirty years Braham bas by Or all the mental infirmities of my fellow-beings, there universal consent ranked at the very head of English are none that I am less inclined to laugh at, and, in fact, singers ; and if we only put the question,-- Is he entitled more disposed to respect, than a belief in apparitions and
to this eminence when considered in comparison with a fear of the supernatural; and one reason is, that al- others ? we shall not hesitate to answer that he is. But though a decided sceptic in those matters, I have never
another question forces itself upon us, which, we regtet been able entirely to divest myself of the superstitions of to say, we cannot, after the maturest deliberation, answer my youth; and another, that even at an advanced age, I
so satisfactorily. It is this ;—granting that Braham is have been placed in situations, both at home and abroad, superior to all competitors, is he quite as splendid a singer where reason,
as it was at all reasonable to expect the last thirty years “ That column of true majesty in man,"
should have produced in England ? To this question we
cannot help answering—No,—or, in other words, that we has been prostrated, for a time, before what seemed the had imagined that the powers of the human voice in sorte most appalling realities, and J have experienced all the solitary instance, during so long a period, would have doterrors of my childhood revived with undiminished power veloped themselves in a still more remarkable and sur-the groundlessness of my fear being only made mani- passing degree. Mrs Siddons, John Kemble, and Kean, fest by some desperate effort of courage, or the most pa- have done all that we hoped from tragic actors; Munden, tient subsequent investigation. Despite the march of Fawcett, Mathews, and others, have left us nothing to wish intellect, rapid as it is, such a belief will always more or for in the display of comic humour. But when we hear less prevail; and I am not sorry that it should ; for, be- Braham, though we are of course delighted—astonished, sides the poetry of the thing, I have always been of opi- yet we are continually saying to ourselves Is this all the nion, that it has a beneficial effect at least, if not a reli- human voice can do ? Braham's natural gifts as a singer gious one, upon the credulous and thoughtless, by impress are great, and by means of indefatigable study, and with ing upon them, if nothing else will, the absolute certain- the aid of science, he bas turned them to the utmost pros ty of a future state, between which and the present spirits sible advantage. Still there would be no difficulty in must be considered by them as the messengers and con- pointing out several imperfections against which he has necting link; and, by consequence, lead them, through always had to contend." The chief of these is, that all bis their fears
, to abstain from many sins in which they high notes are on a falsetto pitch, and though in general might otherwise indulge. Be this as it may, there are his tine taste enables him to soften them down wonder many things that occur out of the common course of fully, they yet inevitably want the full clear sweetness of events
, having so much the appearance of the supernatu- natural tones, for which, if we are correctly informes ral, that, if not rationally accounted for, will produce the Incledon was conspicuous. We conceive this to be the most superstitious effects upon the strongest minds. Out great cause why we are not perfectly satisfied to see of several instances that have occurred under joy own Braham reigning alone upon the throne of song. Were
his treble equal to his tenor, which is the finest we ever withal somewhat vulgar. But these, with such a man heard, we should own ourselves at once one of his most as Braham, are minor considerations. leal and willing subjects. At the same time let it not Miss Phillips, who accompanies Braham, has a sweet, for a moment be supposed that we desire to undervalue clear voice, but thin, feeble, and of little compass. А Braham's powers. We are delighted both with his science great deal of pains has evidently been taken with her, and and his voice; and what we desiderate, is something per- she labours to do all she can; and what is better, she haps too near perfection ever to be realized by mortal or- knows what she should do, though she cannot always gans, and must consequently exist for ever a beau ideal in accomplish it. Were she to confine herself to simple naour own fancy.
tional airs, either Scotch, English, or Irish, there can be It is in his bravura songs that Braham chiefly excels. no doubt that she would seldom fail to please ; but in atIn softer melodies, though he imparts to them a thousand tempting to sustain the principal female parts in opera graces, which no one but himself ever thought of, and with Mr Braham, she is beyond her depth. Her“ Even which are yet totally distinct from superfluous ornament, as the Sun," which Miss Noel used to sing so successfully, there is a frequent want of that clear, rich, bell-like into- and in which she was always encored, was quite ineffecnation often heard in female voices, and which, in our tive, because her voice wants volume. It strikes us also mind, gives to such airs, when coming from the lips of a that Miss Phillips' power of intonation is deficient. She man, half their charm. Thus, for example, we have sings too much merely from the mouth and throat ; she heard Moore's beautiful ballad, “ ( the days are gone,” gives out her notes with too small a quantity of breath. better sung in private, although, we confess, by only one Could she not correct this error ? She is pretty, and is a gentleman, who is now dead, than it was sung by Braham modest, and rather a promising actress. en Wednesday evening. Not that Braham did not feel The Theatre closes this evening till after the Novemmost deeply the sentiment of the song, and in one or two ber Sacrament. We advise Mr Murray to get a few new passages gave it a beauty which we did not know before scenes painted during the interval ;--- he needs them.— We it was capable of possessing, but because there was every agree with several correspondents, that the style in which now and then a slight buskiness, and a recourse to a fal- some of the Edinburgh critics were pleased to speak of setto, which jarred upon our feelings. Let us pass, how- Madame Vestris cannot increase our opinion of their inever, to Braham's own peculiar ground,—to such songs dependence. But the subject is somewhat stale, and we as, “ Here's to the King, God bless him,"_“ The Aus- have no desire to recur to it. trian Trumpet's bold alarms,”—“ The Last Words of
Old Cerberus. Marmion,”-or the national melody of “ Blue-bonnets over the Border.” Here we shall find him reigning su
ORIGINAL POETRY. preme. He knows his power, and be sports with it as it were. The delightful energy with which he pours forth, in one breath, a whole volume of tone, which rolls
THE NEW POETIC MIRROR. upon the ear like thunder that has been set to music, is
NO. II.-MR T-M-.* at once spirit-stirring and overpowering. Were Braham suddenly to start up among a party of the veriest radicals
By the Ettrick Shepherd. that ever breathed, universal suffrage men, with their
On the banks of the Liffey I lay, whole souls fixed upon liberty and equality— were he to
And look'd in its waters so bright, start up and sing “ Here's to the King, God bless him !"
For oft I had heard lovers say, every man in the company would by that irresistible
That there, at the noon of the day, spell be metamorphosed into an ultra-royalist. In the * Death of Marmion,” how splendidly does he give the
They could see the stars basking in light. words “ Charge, Chester, charge !" and when did ever
There, far on a heaven below, conqueror upon the field of battle, even in his first burst
I saw the light clouds lie at rest; of wild joy, shout out “ Victory!" as Braham in this
And though of a sweet sunny glow, song shouts it to the crowded theatre? The effect is elec
They were pure as the first early snow tric; there is not a man who hears it who could not at that moment throw himself headlong upon a host of foes,
As they slept on that sky's lowly breast. and die imagining that he had conquered. In “ Bluebonnets over the Border," although we think that in one
My soul was to softness subdued,
And in languor I lay and gazed on; or two places, instead of the prettinesses introduced by
Some thoughts of delight I pursued Braham, a manly simplicity would have been better, yet
As the depths of that heaven I view'd, is it utterly impossible ever to forget it after once listening to his enunciation of the line,
But planets or stars I saw none. 6 Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow."
At length, there appeard unto me Were it only to hear this single line, Braham is entitled
Two bright little stars in the tide, to draw crowds every night wherever he may appear
They were nigher than stars wont to be, throughout all broad Scotland. The song was of course
And sweeter and fairer to see rapturously encored on Wednesday evening ; but encoring
Than aught in those heavens beside. was not enough, it should have been twice encored. When
Sinclair was here he was made to sing three times almost I gazed till my eye-sight grew dim, E every night, that silly vulgar tbing, “ Hey the bonny
For I almost believed I beheld breast-knots ;" why should not Braham be called upon
A form so enchantingly slim, for a third repetition of that far nobler and more national So lightsome of air and of limb, song, “ The Blue-bonnets over the Border ?"— As to Bra
That in nature was never excell'd. har's acting, it is enough to say that he is the best singing actor with whom we are acquainted. Minute criti
I saw the lips ope with a smile, eism upon it is of course out of the question. It is in
And the breast of the rose was their hue, the fervid energy and ever-varying expression of his songs
And the twin stars shed blushes the while, that his power lies. To be properly appreciated, he must
Enough any heart to beguile be heard. He is a stout, rather short man, and his per
That ever loved beauty to view. son is by no means particularly elegant. His features, though their expression is pleasing and intelligent, are
Query-Thomas Moore ?-ED.
O stay, lovely vision! I eried ;
Flowers of the Desert, by W. D. Walke, are announced; also, O stay and depart not away,
shortly, the Child of Thought, and other Poems, by the same auI will quickly be there by thy side,
thor. For I'll plunge in the depth of the tide
Tales of iny Time, by the Authoress of " Blue Stocking Hall," The form I love dearest to stay.
will appear in a few days.
The Memoirs of the Court of Louis XVIII., by a Lady, said to
have been in the confidence of his Majesty, will be published in a Just as I made ready to bound,
few days. In ecstasy none can divine,
Lieutenant Hardy's Travels in the Interior of Mexico are on the A shriek in my ears did resound,
eve of publication. He has, it appears, explored many parts of that And fair arms enclosed me round,
country never yet visited by any tiareller. With a dear grasp I could not untwine.
Paralel Miracles; or, the Jews and the Gipsies, is announced by
Samuel Roberts, who undertakes 10 pruve, that the latter tribe are I turn'd, and the maid of my heart,
the descendants of the ancient Egyptians denounced by the Projets
Isaiah. Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
Stories of a Bride, by the Authoress of “The Mummy," are an-
nounced for speedy publication. And, her fears for my life to divert,
The following works are in the press : Tales in Verse, illustrative My love and my vision confess'd.
of the several petitions of the Lord's Prayer, by the Rev. W. F. Lyte,
-Tales of Four Nations, -The Correspondence and Diary of Raph 1 said that her form I had seen,
Thoresby, by the author of the “ History of Leeds."
PORTRAIT OF OLIVER CROMWELL-We have seen a very spirited
engraving, by Wilson of Edinburgh, of a highly characteristic por.
trait of Oliver Cromwell, painted by Walker, the fellow-student and And her eyes were so bright and so sheen,
contemporary of Jameson, the Scottish Vandyke. It is decidedly That I ween'd them the twin stars of love.
superior to Lely's portrait of the Protector, and cannot fail to give
additional interest to the forthcoming volume of Dr Russell's Life of And whenever these sweet eyes I view,
Cromwell, for which work it has been engraved by the proprietors of
THE SCOTTISH ACADEMY.-It was generally understood some time
ago, that a misunderstanding had taken place between the greater And the stars of that mild lowly heaven.
body of the artists belonging to the Royal Institution and its Directors.
The consequence was, that twenty-four artists, asscciates of
the Royal Institution, instruc.ed the'r agent, Henry Cockburn, TO EGERIA.
Esq. advocate, to address a le-ter to George Watson, Esq., President By Henry G. Bell.
of the Scottish Academy, intimating their aesire to be united with the Nay, blame me not, love, should I sometimes seem cold, Academy, and their willingness to suhject themselves to all its rules When you find me engaged with my book and my pen;
The Academy, having taken this proposal i to consideration, appoint
ed John Hope, Esq. Soliestor-General, as their referee, lo cunter with There's a charm in iny studies that may not be told,
Mr Cockburn upon the subject, and it wis mutually agreed, that A magic that links me with mightier men.
whatever was recoinmended by these gentlemen should be acceded
to by both parties. A copy of their " Award,” which has just been Though dearer to me be the love of thy heart
printed, and which has been unanimously approved of at a gene Than all my ambition's wild fancies have sought, ral meeting of the members of the Scottish Academy, has been put There are moments when even, all dear as thou art, into our hands. By this document, we find that Messrs Hope and Thou art lost in the blaze of some loftier thought. Cockbura are of opinion that the twenty-four artists who have recer
ded from the Royal Institution, should be joioed to and becane O! deeply I ponder, and brightly I dream,
members of the Scottish Academy, as at present constituted; and that On all that the soul of man longs most to know;
as the Academy now unites so many men of the highest genius, of
established reputation, and of undoubted energy and perseverance is I hang o'er the words, and I burn o'er the theme,
the cultivation and pursuit of the profession which they have cho Where the minds of the dead still undyingly glow.
sen, the building or adaptation of Rooms should be commencet im.
mediately, “on a scale suited to the plan of the Academy, so as there 'Tis my spirit's vocation-my nature's delight
by to be a pledge to then selves and to the public of the spirit with From the cares of the world to turn with a smile; which the objects of the Academy will be promoted, and of the great And, as others press on for the wrong or the right,
and splendid prospects for the cultivatior and progress of the line To sit by the footstool of Knowledge the while.
Arts, which the union so formed holds out to the public of Scotland."
We shall take an early opportunity to state at some length our owa To sit by her footstool, and list to the words
views and feelings upon this interesting subject. Meanwhile, *e
must bestow the highest praise both upon Messrs Hope and Cock Which flow from those lips where philosophy dwells ;
vurn for the liberal and gentlemanly spirit in which they have entete And sweeter to me than the songs of the birds
ed into the affairs of the Scottish Academy, and upon the Acade Is the music she breathes, and the truths which she my itself for its clear perception of, and ready acquicsense in, what tells.
was most conducive to the best interests of Scottish Art,
EDINBURGH SURGICAL HOSPITAL.-Till the commencement of Then blame me not, love, that I cannot recall,
the present year, there existed only one Surgical Hospital in EdisIn moments like these, my far-wandering mind;
burgh. At that period Mr Syme, whose talents are well known to I am lost in my dreams I have broken the thrall
the Medical profession, determined uion instituting a new Surgical That bound me in chains to the rest of my kind.
Establishment upon a respectable scale. With this view, he took a lease for ten years of Minto House, a large and commodious build
ing, situated in a quiet and healthy part of the city, and in the immeBut like dove to the ark, or like bee to the flower,
diate vicinity of the University. The first quarterly Report of the Like ship to the harbour, or spring to the lea,
new Hospital is now published, and we are glad to perceive by it that Believe me, the spell will at length lose its power, its concerns are already in a prosperous condition. A highly respet!. And my soul, re-inspired, will return back to thee! able body of directors has been appointed, the public has contributa!
liberally towards the support of the Hospital, the vacaveies for house LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
surgeons have been well filled up, more clinical students have applied
than could be received, and there is good reason to hope that the colo A TREATISE on the Law of Prescription in Scotland, by Mark lege of Surgeons will speedily recognise attendance upon alr syne's Napier, Esq. advocate, is preparing for publication.
Hospital as a qualification for obtaining their diplom. During the Mrs S. C. Hall, the Editor of the " Juvenile Forget-Me-Not," an- first three months, seventy patients were admitted, thirty operat10:18 nounces for early publication a volume for the Young, under the were performed, and only two deaths took place. This Establishtitle of “ Chronicles of a School Room ; 01, Characters in Youth and ment has our best wishes, and under its present able superiotcadete Age."
its success seems certain.
ving superior genius altogether out of the question, Sir
Walter's traditionary lore has been accumulating in his True Stories from the History of Ireland. By John mind since his childhood; it has been revolved by him till James M'Gregor, author of a “History of the French it has assumed a finished and compact form ; it has been Revolution,” &c. &c. Second Series, containing the cherished in his bosom till it has inhaled vitality. No Memorabilia of Ireland under the Tudors. One vo- wonder, then, that his stories have a stirring life about lame, 12mo. Pp. 412. Dublin. William Curry, jun. them which those of men, wbo, fired by his example, had & Co. 1829.
first to set about collecting their materials, want. The Unpublished.
inferiority is scarcely greater than may be traced in some The great object in the education of children is, to novels of Sir Walter, the materials of which he sought store the mind with such facts as afford exercise for their hurriedly in books not very familiar to him, (as his Anne awakening powers of reasoning and reflection,-materials of Geierstein,) when compared with his Waverley, Old whereon their young feelings and imaginations may work. Mortality, and the Heart of Mid-Lothian, which had It is of the utmost importance that the mind be allowed lain treasured up in his mind for wellnigh half a centufor a while to shoot forth freely. All attempts to incul- ry:
Mr M'Gregor has nevertheless executed his task cate priuciples, however right in themselves, at a period with great ability. We could perhaps have wished the When the intellect is not sufficiently developed to appre- book to have a little less of the air of a common history, hend them, are dangerous ; all attempts to cultivate the with its connected series of unimaginative generalities; we sentiments equally so. The former produce the sham- could have wished that the thread of narrative had been bling, rickety motions of a go-cart, the latter a nerveless less prominent, and that the stories it is meant to connect overgrowth; the former freeze up and deaden the mind, had more frequently a strong and individual interest. the latter make of it the rich juicy shoot of an over-for- There are, however, enough to convey to a child such an ward season, doomed to be nipped by late frosts, or to impression as it is capable of receiving of the state of sowither in the adust heats of summer.
Give children ciety, and the characters of the leading men in Ireland, something whereon to exercise and evolve their faculties. during the period to which this series refers. As to the spiLet there be something to educate, before you begin edu- rit in which the work is composed, it is impartial and uncating. The veriest fool of a gardener will tell you, that compromising, but tempered with gentleness. We subthe seedling must have a stem and branches before you join one or two of the anecdotes which have struck us can train it.
most forcibly : It is because we entertain this opinion that we think An Irish Chief-The Earl of Kildare.—“ But Sir Walter Scott_and we mean any thing but disrespect King Henry (VII.) in the interval, perceived that the Earl to him when we say so—the most proper person alive to was a man of an open temper, and of unrefined and simple write books for children. He has no first principles, and manners, rather than a cunning intriguer or dark conspirahe has no power of reasoning upon or from them; or, if tor ; and that the crimes charged against him were only such he possess both, he has a most marvellous knack of hiding and faction as Ireland had lately been; he therefore resolved
as were likely to take place in a country so torn by turbulence them. Facts arrest his attention, and remain in his
to confront his captive with his adversaries, and thus give mind by the hold they take upon his feelings and imagi- himn a fair opportunity of defending himself. When the nation ; not, as is the case with some meri, according as day of trial came, Creagh, Archbishop of Cassel, and Pain, they are subservient to a theory, or serve to fill up a chain the Bishop of Meath, stood forth as his principal accusers. of argument. They arrange themselves in his memory The
Earl at first appeared unable to answer a charge brought under the categories of relation in time and space, and of against him by the Bishop of Meath, that after Plunkett similarity alone. His pictures of the workings of the hu- and his followers had been slain by him in an action near man mind--Day, his larger compositions, in which he re
Trim, he followed the Bishop into a church with a drawn
sword, and dragged him from bis sanctuary. The King, presents the state of society at a particular period, are true perceiving his noble prisoner perplexed, gave him his choice to nature ; for he has a wide range of vision, a keen of any counsel in England, and time to prepare his defence. glance, and just feeling. But he blunders egregiously, Grant me that,' said the Earl, and I will answer to-moror is delivered of the most arrant commonplace, when he row ; but I doubt I shall not be allowed that good fellow I attempts to reason about either one or other. In his own
would choose.' The King gave him his hand in assurance sphere, he is a giant, and “ we little men walk under his that he should, and his Majesty asking him when he would huge legs,” like the Lilliputians looking up in wonderment left to his choice.' – Thou liest, Bralagh bald Bishop,' re
choose his counsellor, ‘Never,' cried the Bishop, 'if it be at Captain Gulliver ; when he ventures out of it, he is torted Kildare angrily; as soon as thou wouldst choose to only a common man—perhaps more justly a blind Poly- break thy vow of chastity, and that would be within an phemus, sublime even in his weakness. There is some hour.' The King and his lords were convulsed with laughthing amiable in the greatness of this character which ter at this uncourtly charge against the ecclesiastic, and fits it admirably for sitting down beside a child, adapting Henry asked Kildare if he said true? · By your hand, its words and thoughts to his capacity, and, by the gentle replied the Earl
, laying hold of the King's hand, there is warmth of its kindness, expanding the buds of thought incontinent person, thau yon shorn priest is. I know him
not in London a better mutton-master (glutton,) or a more
well enough, and have three tales to tell your Majesty of It is no discredit to say of Mr M'Gregor, that his him, that I dare swear will make every body present laugh stories are not equal to those of his great prototype. Lea- I will now tell you a tale of this vicious prelate,' or