« السابقةمتابعة »
We understand that Messrs Blackie, Fullarton, & Co. of Glasgow, will publish next week, the Second Series of the Casquet of Literary Gems, in two vols. 12mo. It will consist of upwards of three hundred and sixty articles, embracing extracts from many old writers, and from books not generally to be met with, as well as copious aud hitherto unappropriated specimens from the works of the best Novelists, Essayists, and Poets of the present day, and will be illustrated by eight fine engravings.
NEW SCOTS MAGAZINE.-We observe that the first volume of this
spirited and useful periodical is now completed. From the approved talents of its Editor, and the highly respectable manner in which he conducts the work, we should suppose that its success will be ultimately commensurate with its deserts. It has our best wishes for its future prosperity.
SEAT OF WAR IN TURKEY.-A neat and cheap Map of the Seat of War in the East, will appear in a day or two. The places most frequently mentioned in the Papers are distinguished by colouring. The map is done up on cloth, for the pocket, and admits of being easily taken to and from the News rooms. It is similar in size and price to those of Scotland, England, and Ireland, just published by Mr Lothian, and advertised in to-day's JOURNAL.
To those interested in the Corn Laws we would recommend a Catechism on the Corn Laws, with a list of Fallacies, and the Answers,a pamphlet, which contains a great deal of interesting matter upon this subject, and has been favourably alluded to by members of both Houses of Parliament. Next session the Corn Laws will probably attract much of the public attention.
LECTURES AGAINST CHRISTIANITY.-Taylor (who was tried for blasphemy) and his coadjutor, Carlile, are at Leeds, delivering "orations" in defence of their well-known opinions, but to very thin audiences. A public discussion on the truths of Christianity lately took place in the United States, between Mr Owen (of Lanark) and a Mr Campbell. At its termination, Mr Campbell, lest the silence preserved by the audience should be construed favourably to Mr Owen's doctrine, called upon all those who thought with him (Mr C.) to stand up. Nearly all the persons present (at least two thousand) immediately rose; on the question being put the other way, only four or five stood up.
EDINBURGH INFANT SCHOOL SOCIETY.-We understand that upwards of L.100 has been already subscribed by benevolent individuals in this city, towards commencing an establishment under Mr Wilderspin's superintendance, for the moral training and education of infants. We believe L.600 or L.700 will be required before any efficient steps can be taken. The object appears to be a laudable one, and has the support of many philanthropic and enlightened persons. A DIFFICULT UNDERTAKING.-M. Cæsar Moreau, the late French Vice-Consul at London, has undertaken to prepare a sort of Library of Reference of all the Works of interest in the libraries of Paris, for the use of the young Duke of Bordeaux. There are in these libraries about six millions of volumes of books, and two millions of manuscripts; and M. Moreau intends to analyse them all, so as to take about one million of the best books, and about half a million of manuscripts, of which he will make a Catalogue of Reference, so that the young Prince may, at a glance at the titles, be able to turn to the work of every author of note, on whatever subject. For this purpose a room is to be prepared, fitted up with drawers, on each of which will be pasted the title: each drawer will form a division, and within will be the subdivisions and sections, with the heads: for instance, the word Population will be placed on a drawer, in which will be found cards of reference to every author, ancient and modern, who has written on the subject, with notes by M. Moreau; and so with every other title.
ROYAL PHYSICAL SOCIETY, 30th JUNE, 1829.-The first part of the public business was an exhibition of a Terrestrial Globe, adapted to the tuition of the blind, by Mr Richardson, illustrated by the attendance of a female, who gave the strongest proofs of the utility of this ingenious contrivance, as she went with certainty and facility to the utmost extremes of the globe, and solved several difficult problems, with a greater degree of quickness than we remember to have witnessed even by a person with the advantages of sight. Mr Chester, as president, complimented Mr Richardson, from the Chair, on the value and importance of his method of teaching the blind, and recommended a continuance of his exertions, which could not fail to obtain for him the thanks of his country, and the heartfelt gratitude of those who had the misfortune to be deprived of sight. The President also communicated to Mr Richardson a vote of thanks from the Society for his extremely interesting exhibition.-Mr Mackeon then read an Essay on the Functions of the Brain, and Nervous System; the object of which was to overturn the phrenological doctrines. His views were combated by Dr Holland, in his usual eloquent manner. Theatrical Gossip.-Both the large Theatres are now closed, and the season has been far from profitable to either; but Drury Lane has had the best of it. There have been twenty-seven new pieces produced between them, sixteen at Drury Lane, and eleven at Covent Garden. The star system has exercised a most baneful influ
ence upon both houses. Whenever a popular piece was performed, from sixty to a hundred pounds was sure to be divided among three or four performers, and then came the regular nightly expenses. In addition to this, let it be considered that the rent paid by the lessee of Drury Lane is L.12,000; and we shall scarcely be surprised that the establishment is not in the most flourishing condition.-The French Theatre in London has also closed for the season, after a rather indifferent campaign.-The Italian opera is still open. Madame Malibran has played Romeo to Sontag's Giulietta in a manner which appears to have delighted all mankind." It gives us real pleasure,” tends to make her appearance on the English stage as the representasays the Court Journal, "to report, that Madame Caradori Allan intive of regular English characters, and that she is now acting and singing in the provinces, for the express purpose of qualifying herself for this task. We confidently predict that she will meet with brilliant success. As an Italian singer, she has been over-praised. Though! a sweet and graceful singer, and an accomplished musician, the style of her voice and the character of her powers are not of a description to shine in the first class of Italian music,-which, to give it due effect, requires to be accompanied by a passionate force of expression, which Caradori never did and never can reach. But as a singer of English music to English ears, she is all that can be desired; and as she is accustomed to English habits and modes of feeling, from having long been married to a native of our country, we anticipate in her a perfect English singer, and one who will create a more lively and universal sensation in some of our English pieces, the Beggar's Opera,' for instance, and Love in a Village,'-than any singer has done since the early days of Miss Stephens."-Madame Vestris has been performing in Dublin, and is to have L.700 for her trip.-A son of the celebrated Incledon is about to appear at the Haymarket, in the character of Macheath. The name of Incledon excites hopes which are rendered doubly earnest, when we consider the pitiable state of the English stage at the present moment, so far as relates to male singers. With the exception of Braham, we have not had a single song sung by a tenor voice on the English stage, in a manner at all satisfying to a cultivated ear and taste, since Incledon was lost to us.-Poor Terry died a few days ago. He had been long a severe sufferer, and was cut off at last by an attack of paralysis. The better portion of his life was spent in Scotland, where he married Miss Nasmyth, the daughter of the celebrated artist, and herself eminent as a landscape painter. He was much esteemed, and long enjoyed the intimacy of Sir Walter Scott, and other leading literati in this city. His Mephistopholes, in the Opera of "Faustus," was one of the most peculiar and powerful representations ever seen few evenings ago, when" John Bull" was played, the principal parts upon the stage.-The company at Liverpool is strong at present. A were sustained by Dowton, Vining, Vandenhoff, Rayner, and Miss F. H. Kelly. We hear of some defections in the Edinburgh Company against next season, which we regret. We are to lose that most useful actor Pritchard; and we are not quite sure whether Miss Tunstall and Mason will not be struck off the list also. A person of the name of Barton is engaged, we believe, for the first line of business; ker, too, at present at the Caledonian, is to be transplanted, we hear, and we shall also have probably a visit from Miss Foote. Miss Stoto the Theatre-Royal. It is rather premature to speak of his arrangements yet, but we advise the Manager to show in them all the
spirit and enterprise in his power.
Books recently published.-Smith's Medical Witnesses, fep. 8vo, 5s. bds.-Medical Transactions, Vol. XV. Part I. 8vo, 10s. 6d. bds.Shepherd's Poems, fcp. 8vo, 6s. bds.-Harleian Dairy Husbandry, 8vo, £1, 1s. bds.-Brown's Italian Tales, &c. 8vo, 7s. 6d. bds.Bucke's Classical Grammar of the English Language, 12mo, 3. bds. -Head's North America, post 8vo, 8s. 6d. bds.-Mawe's Journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic, 8vo, 128. bds.-Castle's Botany, 12mo, coloured, 12s. 6d. bds.-The Chelsea Pensioners, 3 vols. post 8vo, £1, 11s. 6d. bds.-King's Life of Locke, 4to, £2, 2s. bds.-The Indian Chief, 3 vols. 12mo, 10s. 6d. bds.
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.
"A Sailor's Tale" is well written, but is deficient in novelty and interest.-"The Short Campaign" is in somewhat the same predicament, and serves only to illustrate a very old and well-established fact, that minute and apparently accidental circumstances often materially influence the future destiny of individuals.-We cannot give a place to the communication of “Qidoμadns.”
"The Triumph of Love" is not one of its author's best compositions.-We shall probably find room for "Auld Janet Baird."-The verses by "A. G. G." and by "A. B." will not suit us.-The Song by "F." of Dundee, shall, perhaps, have a place.
In the announcement in our last of a posthumous volume, by the Reverend Archibald Gracie, for "sacerdotal" read “ sacramental."
EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL;
WEEKLY REGISTER OF CRITICISM AND BELLES LETTRES.
SATURDAY, JULY 11, 1829.
The Loves of the Poets. By the Author of the "Diary of an Ennuyée." Two volumes. London. Henry Colburn. 1829.
"That queens hereafter would be proud to live
"THE Loves of the Poets!"-we like the name, and could very easily fall into a rhapsody upon it. A poet's love ought to be, and is, something worth living for. Look at the great mass of marriages which take place over the whole world;—what poor, contemptible, commonplace affairs they are! A few soft looks, a walk, a dance, a squeeze of the hand, a popping of the question, a purchasing of a certain number of yards of white satin, a ring, a clergyman, a stage or two in a hired carriage, a night at a country inn, and the whole matter is over. For five or six weeks, two sheepish-looking persons are seen dangling about on each other's arm, looking at waterfalls, or making morning calls, and guzzling wine and cake; then every thing falls into the most monotonous routine; the wife sits at one side of the hearth, the husband at the other, and little quarrels, little pleasures, little cares, and little children, gradually gather round them. This is what ninety-nine out of a hundred find to be the delights of love and matrimony. But the hundredth is a poet! and poetry is power. It cannot change the essential attributes of things, but, like natural objects seen through a prism, it can clothe them in colours invisible to the naked eye. A poet's love is the twin-sister of a poet's genius. They play into each other's hands, and "each gives each a double charm." The littlenesses, the technicalities, the mere mercantile principles, which are too frequently allowed to degrade la belle passion, have no place upon his lips or in his heart. Pure himself, and high-souled, he singles out for the object of his earthly adoration a being no less so, or, if less, elevated by his own glowing imagination to something far more than she really is, surrounded with the same glory that encompasses himself, and so distinguished in the eyes of the world,
We learn that the authoress of "The Loves of the Poets," and of the "Diary of an Ennuyée,” (a very pretty sentimental volume,) is a Mrs Jameson, a native of the Emerald Isle; but we are alike ignorant of her person and farther history. The book before us is the matured execution of a rather happy idea; and the subject being one of general interest, we have no doubt it will meet with a pretty extensive circulation. It contains notices of a considerable proportion of the most celebrated poets of all countries, in so far as they had any thing to do with affaires du cœur, and intermingles with lively descriptions of their amourettes, numerous pleasant quotations from their poetical works, whether in French, Italian, or English. "These little sketches," says Mrs Jameson in her preface," are absolutely without any other pretension than that of exhibiting, in a small compass, and under one point of view, many anecdotes of biography and criticism, and many beautiful poetical portraits, scattered through a variety of works, and all tending to illustrate a subject in itself full of interest, the influence which the beauty and virtue of women have exercised over the characters and writings of men of genius." The praise due to a very graceful compiler, we willingly bestow; and as no more is asked, we need not stop to discuss the question, whether more could be with propriety given. The first volume is devoted to the loves of the Classic Poets; of the Troubadours; of the Italian Poets, Dante, Petrarch, Lorenzo de Medici, Ariosto, Tasso, and others; and of the English Poets, Chaucer, Surrey, Spenser, Shakspeare, Sydney, Milton, and other celebrated persons belonging to the court and age of Elizabeth. The second volume speaks, among many more, of Waller's Sacharissa; of Doctor Donne, Lord Lyttleton, Klopstock, Monti, and their wives; of Swift's Stella and Vanessa; of Pope, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and Martha Blount; of various French Poets, and of some poetical old bachelors.
" And how have women repaid this gift of immortality?" "O, believe it," says the authoress before us, "when the garland was such as woman is proud to wear, she amply and deeply rewarded him who placed it on her brow. If, in return for being made illustrious, she made her lover happy; if, for glory, she gave a heart, was it not a rich equivalent? and if not-if the lover was unsuccessful, still the poet had his reward. Whence came the generous feelings, the high imaginations, the glorious fancies, the heavenward inspirations, which raised him above the herd of vulgar men-but from the ennobling influence of her he loved ?"
This is a remarkably pleasing view of the subject, but it must not carry us too far. There is, we suspect, a slight per contra, to which we think it incumbent on us to direct attention; but, before doing so, we may as well state the precise nature of the work we are reviewing.
Now, we have one remark to make,---that, though love is no doubt a very delightful thing, it is rather a ticklish subject to write about, especially for a lady. See how that very good girl and sweet poetess, Miss Landon, has been talked of, simply because she spun a few long yarns about the boy-god, and innocently prattled of beating hearts and broken vows. Yet, nevertheless, here is Mrs Jameson boldly sitting down to write two volumes in prose, all about that captivating sensation which men call ---love. We believe it was Mrs Jameson's reverence for the lyre that first prompted her to the task, and she has certainly gone through it with much delicacy and gentle feminine enthusiasm; but still the question recurs, and we are afraid the sober critic must not blink it, what is the general impression which will be left upon the mind by a perusal of her book? We feel confident that, in far the majority of instances, especially where the temperament is in the slightest degree ardent, the work is calculated to awaken in the female breast a soft voluptuous languor, and to generate a conviction that, provided the man who loves her be a poet, every excess of passion is pardonable. This is a serious and startling consideration, which very possibly never entered the fair author's mind,
gradually proceeding, as she would do, from one sketch to another. But, if we be correct, the evil is one against which it is our duty to guard the reader. To a very great extent, we believe the fault to rest with Mrs Jameson's subject, for it is well known that poets too often are, or at least consider themselves to be, a set of " chartered libertines ;" and, in talking of such men as Lorenzo de Medici, Ariosto, Ronsard, Voltaire, and Rousseau, it was impossible to avoid touching upon topics of a delicate and dubious nature. But the subject, we must say, has not the whole blame. In her vast admiration for a true poet, our authoress seems almost to fancy that he can do no wrong; and she leads us to believe that she would much rather
be a peasant, beloved in any way by a poet, than a king's daughter wedded to an emperor. Many a high-born dame," she "who once moved, goddess-like, upon says, the earth, and bestowed kingdoms with her hand, lives a mere name in some musty chronicle. Though her love was sought by princes, though with her dower she might have enriched an emperor,-what availed it?
"She had no poet, and she died!'"
In a similar, but still more dangerous spirit, she apologizes for the licentious habits of Lorenzo de Medici :"United," she remarks, 66 at the age of twenty-one, to a woman he had never seen, residing in a dissipated capital, surrounded by temptation, and from disposition peculiarly sensible to the influence of women, it is not matter of astonishment if Lorenzo's conjugal faith was not preserved immaculate,---if he occasionally became the thrall of beauty, and (since he was not likely to be caught by vulgar charms) if he sighed, par hazard, for one who was not to be tempted by power or gold." Hear also the careless manner in which she glosses over the tempting immorality of Ariosto:---" Of Ariosto's amatory poems, so full of spirit, grace, and a sort of earnest triumphant tenderness, it is impossible to doubt that the objects were real. Neither are we quite pleased with the following sneer at Spenser's first love :---" At a late period of Spenser's life, the remembrance of this cruel piece of excellence, ---his Rosalind---was effaced by a second and a happier love." But perhaps the most objectionable passage in the whole book is the following, which we, at the same time, regret to say is not very much out of keeping with the Our authoress is talking of Lucy Harrington, Countess of Bedford :---" I know not," she says, "what her ladyship may have paid for the following exquisite lines by Ben Jonson, but the reader will agree with me, that it could not have been too much." Good God! Mrs Jameson, is there nothing which a woman should not give
for a sonnet?
We are aware that, to certain minds, few things can be more painful than to have a charge brought against any production of theirs like that which we are inclined to make against "The Loves of the Poets;" and we well know that, conscious of the integrity of her own heart, a lady will sometimes write and say what may produce, upon one less pure in thought, a very different effect from that which was intended. We do not wish, therefore, in the present instance, to implicate the authoress. mean to do is, to enter our protest against the notion being either taught or received, that poets are entitled to one whit greater latitude in their loves than other men. The value of a true poet's love every woman should know and feel; but he is either no true poet, or has no true love, who offers his genius as an excuse for breaking the commandments of heaven and the solemn enactments of men. The puny whipster, who pours forth amatory effusions into the lap of milliners, or, with a crow quill, scratches sonnets on the blank leaves of an album, may riot in the vulgar vices of seduction and infidelity; but he whose mind is attuned to a far higher pitch, knows that the whole wealth of his deep affections must rest for ever with her on whom they are first bestowed, and can say with the noble Italian,
"Forse avro di fedele il titol vero,
Let not maidens of sixteen, therefore, just budding into
Such a woman as his
Some of the most interesting Chapters in the work before us treat of those poets who entered into the matrimonial state, and were, for the most part, happy in it. Among these are to be included Ovid and Burns, two persons whom one would have thought scarcely calculated to make very domestic men. The late Italian poet, Monti, seems also to have been particularly fortunate in his family. When a mere boy, he married Teresa Pichler, a beautiful girl, and the daughter of the celebrated gem engraver. They lived constantly together till the poet died, upwards of seventy, in the year 1828, leaving his wife and daughter, who now reside at Milan, to mourn his loss. Some of Monti's finest minor pieces are addressed to his wife, for whom his affection continued unabated to the very last. But the man whom we envy above all others in his selection of a wife, is Klopstock, the author of the "Messiah.' Meta was worth all the universe,-lovely, devoted, tender, almost perfect. It is impossible to conceive a union of two hearts more complete, more holy, or more blessed. "All the sweetest images," says our authoress, eloquently," that ever were grouped together by fancy, dreaming over the golden age; beauty, innocence, and happiness; the fervour of youthful love, the rapture of corresponding affection; undoubting faith and undissembled truth ;--these were so bound together, so exalted by the highest and holiest associations, so confirmed in the serenity of conscious virtue, so sanctified by religious enthusiasm ; and, in the midst of all human blessedness, so wrapt up in futurity,-that the grave was not the close, but the completion and the consummation, of their happiness." We could dwell long on this part of the work, but space forbids. One thing we shall never forgive Klopstockthat he married again! No wonder Mrs Jameson exclaims,
"And such is man's fidelity !"
After all, we believe those poets are the wisest who trouble their heads as little about the fair sex as possible. What a crowd of annoyances and anxieties they avoid! what heart-burnings, what fears, what jealousies, what sorrows, what disappointments, what partings! There is an amusing Chapter on Poetical old Bachelors, to whom, however, it can scarcely be expected that a lady would do full justice. Nevertheless, as we think it will be read with interest, we subjoin it almost entire :
POETICAL OLD BACHELORS.
"There is a certain class of poets, not a very numerous one, whom I would call poetical old bachelors. These are selves, without sharing their celebrity with any fair piece such as enjoy a certain degree of fame and popularity themof excellence; but walk each in his solitary path to glory, wearing their lonely honours with more dignity than grace: for instance, Corneille, Racine, Boileau, the classical names of French poetry, were all poetical old bachelors. Racine le tendre Racine-as he is called par excellence, is said never to have been in love in his life; nor has he left us a single verse in which any of his personal feelings can be of a cold bigoted woman, who was persuaded, and at length traced. He was, however, the kind and faithful husband persuaded him that he would be grillé in the other world, for writing heathen tragedies in this; and made it her
boast that she had never read a single line of her husband's fill up the period which intervened between the death of works! Peace be with her!
Pope and the first publications of Burns and Cowper-all died old bachelors!"-Vol. II. pp. 308-16.
And O! let her, by whom the Muse was scorn'd, Alive nor dead, be of the Muse adorn'd!'
"Our own Gray was, in every sense, real and poetical, a cold, fastidious old bachelor, who buried himself in the recesses of his college-at once shy and proud, sensitive and selfish. I cannot, on looking through his memoirs, letters, and poems, discover the slightest trace of passion, or one proof or even indication that he was ever under the influence of woman. He loved his mother, and was dutiful to two tiresome old aunts, who thought poetry one of the seven deadly sins et voila tout. He spent his life in amassing an inconceivable quantity of knowledge, which lay as buried and useless as a miser's treasure, but with this difference, that, when the miser dies, his wealth flows forth into its natural channels and enriches others-Gray's learning was entombed with him; his genius survives in his Elegy and his odes-what became of his heart, I know not. He is generally supposed to have possessed one, though none can guess what he did with it; he might well moralize on his bachelorship, and call himself 'a solitary fly,'
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
"Collins was never a lover, and never married. His odes, with all their exquisite fancy and splendid imagery, have not much interest in their subjects, and no pathos derived from feeling or passion. He is reported to have been once in love; and as the lady was a day older than himself, he used to say jestingly, that he came into the world a day after the fair. He was not deeply smitten; and though he fel, in his early years, a dissipated life, his heart never seems to have been really touched. He wrote an Ode on the Passions, in which, after dwelling on Hope, Fear, Anger, Despair, and Pity, and describing them with many picturesque circumstances, he dismisses love with a couple of lines, as dancing to the sound of the sprightly viol, and forming with joy the light fantastic round. Such was Collins's idea of love!
"To these we may add Goldsmith-of his loves we know nothing; they were probably the reverse of poetical, and may have had some influence on his purse and respectability, but none on his literary character and productions. He also died unmarried.
"Shenstone, if he was not a poetical old bachelor, was little better than a poetical dangler. He was not formed to captivate: his person was clumsy, his manners disagreeable, and his temper feeble and vacillating. The Delia who is introduced into his Elegies, and the Phillis of his Pastoral Ballad, was Charlotte Graves, sister to the Graves who Wrote the Spiritual Quixote. There was nothing warm or earnest in his admiration, and all his gallantry is as vapid as his character. He never gave the lady who was supposed, and who supposed herself, to be the object of his serious pursuit, an opportunity of accepting or rejecting him; and his conduct has been blamed as ambiguous and unmanly. His querulous declamations against women in general had neither cause nor excuse; and his complaints of infidelity and coldness are equally without foundation. He died unmarried.
Before closing these volumes, we add one other short passage upon a subject of national interest. It is the opinion of our authoress upon the different characters of Elizabeth of England, and Mary, Queen of Scots :
"This is no place to settle disputed points of history, nor, if it were, should I presume to throw an opinion into one scale or the other; but take the two queens as women merely, and, with a reference to apparent circumstances, I would rather have been Mary than Elizabeth-I would rather have been Mary, with all her faults, frailties, and misfortunes,-all her power of engaging hearts, betrayed by her own soft nature, and the vile or fierce passions of the men around her,-to die on the scaffold, with the meekness of a saint, and the courage of a heroine, with those at her side who would gladly have bled for her,-than I would have been that heartless flirt, Elizabeth, surrounded by the Oriental servility, the lip and knee-homage of her splendid court, to die at last on her palace floor, like a crushed wasp -sick of her own very selfishness-torpid, sullen, and despairing, without one friend near her, without one heart in the wide world attached to her by affection or gratitude." -Vol. I. pp. 275-6.
On the whole, we have read the "Loves of the Poets" with considerable interest. It is better than a book of mere gossip; it is full of pretty sentiment and interesting anecdote. What we conceive to be its leading fault, we have already pointed out, perhaps fully as strongly as there was any occasion for. After a very slight caution, which, in many instances, would not be necessary, we should not object to place it in the hands of any young lady who might pay us the compliment of allowing us to direct her reading.
"When we look at a picture of Thomson, we wonder how a man with that heavy, pampered countenance, and awkward mien, could ever have written the Seasons,' or have been in love. I think it is Barry Cornwall who says strikingly, that Thomson's figure was a personification of the Castle of Indolence, without its romance. Yet Thomson, though he has not given any popularity or interest to the name of a woman, is said to have been twice in love, after his own lack-a-daisical fashion.
"Hammond, the favourite of our sentimental greatgrandmothers, whose Love Elegies' lay on the toilets of the Harriet Byrons and Sophia Westerns of the last century, was an amiable youth,- very melancholy and genteman-like, who, being appointed equerry to Prince Fre deric, cast his eyes on Miss Dashwood, bedchamber woman to the Princess, and she became his Delia. The lady was deaf to his pastoral strains; and though it has been said that she rejected him on account of the smallness of his fortane, I do not see the necessity of believing this assertion, of sympathizing in the dull invectives and monotonous lamentations of the slighted lover. Miss Dashwood never married, and was, I believe, one of the maids of honour to the late Queen. "Thus, the six poets who, in the history of our literature,
Portugal Illustrated. In a series of Letters by the Rev, W. M. Kinsey, B. D., &c. Embellished with a map, plates of coins, vignettes, modinhas, and various engravings. Second Edition. London. Published for the Author, by Treuttel & Wurtz, Treuttel, jun. & Richter. 1829.
So far as externals go, this is a work of great value. The author professes to give a satisfactory geographical, statistical, and historical detail of Portugal, and to set, in a very rich frame work, his own travelling experiences, like a precious stone in a gold ring. We doubt not but the book-with its apparatus of quotations from Byron and Shakspeare, its beautiful paper and printing, its elemultifarious contents will maintain its place on the bougant engravings, highly finished but incorrect map, and doir table. Moreover, as we hold Johnson's opinion, that any man may make an amusing book by merely writing down his own experiences, we are resolved to undertake, for our reader's sake, the task of searching out Bachelor Kinsey's good things. We listen to him with pleasure, when he tells us what he has himself seen, for though he be not a first-rate story-teller, he sometimes picks up a stray fact that has escaped other observers, and sometimes gives additional testimony to what others have told before him.
The author's travels seem to have occupied him for a considerable portion of the year 1827. He landed at Lisbon, where he made a short stay, and visited Cintra. He afterwards sailed along the coast to Oporto. From that city he made an excursion to Valencia, on the borders
of Galicia, coming back to the Douro by a more inland route, and sailing down to Oporto. He returned through Coimbra, Leiria, and Torres-Vedras to Lisbon, where he staid about a week, and then embarked for England. This tour embraces the three most important cities of Portugal-Lisbon, its capital,-Oporto, the chief seat of its commerce,and Coimbra, its university. The traveller managed also to pass through some of the most interesting scenery of the country. We shall go over these subjects in succession.
LISBON. Our author is most eloquent (in common with all other tourists) on the hills, dogs, filth, and beggars of Lisbon. Indeed, such a prominence does his intense feeling give to these features of the city, that we were for some time impressed with the feeling that thing else was to be seen there. But after the vivacity of our first impressions had worn away, it occurred to us that Lisbon, besides a very picturesque situation, had some fine buildings, and a somewhat peculiar state of society. The first thing, of course, that any man of sense enquires after is the appearance of the women:
shape, said to be imported from Holland, and called cheese; a small quantity of very poor wine; abundance of water; and an awful army of red ants, probably imported from the Brazils, in the wood of which the chairs and tables are made, hurrying across the cloth with characteristic indusno-try;-such are the principal features of the quiet family dinner-table of the Portuguese who reside at Lisbon."
"The women are really often very pretty of the young, I think, the look is commonly pleasing. The faces of the Lisbonians form an indisputable improvement on the Maderienses. Their features, though small, are of a more delicate chiselling; their complexions decidedly finer; now and then, indeed, we have seen the most beautiful skins, exquisitely clear and smooth, with the slightest and most delicate tinge of carnation on the cheek that one can fancy. The skin of a Lisbon belle, when fairest, has a warmth of tone, the farthest possible remote from fadeur, or insipidity; and when shaded by thick black curls, and animated by eyes not so large and full, perhaps, as those we had left at Madeira, but of a longer shape, shadowed by a richer fall of lash, and partly, perhaps, from that circumstance, more soft and intelligent in their expression. They are seldom tall. Their feet, we are assured, (the ' feet of fire,') are often very beautiful, and they set much by the advantage, sparing no care or expense in the due ordering of their chaussure. With all their beauty, they still want the dignity and the force of character that mark a highly cultivated and intellectual female in England. They may have vivacity of eye, but certainly not the spiritual elevation, the mental energy, and the chaste gaiety, which distinguish the higher class of females in our own country. In all respects, as to themselves, their personal obligations, feelings, and attractions, they are, as upon first sight one has found them, lovely but unsatisfactory specimens of the weaker vessel."
The gentlemen do not get so easily off:"Nature seems to have done her worst here for men of the better classes in life; and to talk of the 'human face divine' in Lisbon, would be a libel upon the dispensations of Providence. The Jews and Indians must surely have intermixed with the Portuguese gentry in marriage, and thus have transfused into Lusitanian physiognomy the strength of their own peculiar features, which are here beheld in so unpleasing a conjunction. Now, of all animals in creation, the Lisbon dandy is by far the lowest in the scale of mere existence. I have been haunted in my dreams by visions of ugliness since the first time I beheld a small, squat, puffy figure. What was it? could it be of a man?-incased within a large packsaddle, upon the back of a lean, high-boned, straw-fed, cream-coloured nag, with an enormously flowing tail, whose length and breadth would appear to be each night guarded from discoloration, by careful involution above the hocks. Taken, from his gridiron spurs and long-pointed boots, up his broad blue striped pantaloons à-la-Cossaque, to the thrice-folded piece of linen on which he is seated in cool repose; thence, by his cable chain, bearing seals as large as a warming-pan, and a key like an anchor; then a little higher to the figured waistcoat of early British manufacture, and the sack-shaped coat, up to the narrow-brim sugar-loaf hat on his head, where can be found his equal?-with a nose, too, as big as the gnomon of a dial-plate; and two flanks of impenetrably deep black brushwood, extending under either ear, and almost concealing the countenance, to complete the singu lar contour of his features."
"The arrangement of rooms in a Portuguese house is, we have observed, extremely intricate; the whole of the interior being cut up in small rooms, approached by narrow and awkward passages. The bedrooms generally have their wainscots lined, about four feet above the surbase, with painted tiles, for the sake, it is to be presumed, of greater coolness; but the floorings also of all the apartments ought to be overlaid with them, instead of being, as they are in frequent instances, boarded and thickly carpeted, the effect of which is to promote the breed of fleas, and generate greater heat.
The public places of amusement are the theatre, (of which our author does not speak very favourably,) the opera, which is good, the different promenades, and the churches! The wealthier part of the community pass the hot months at Cintra, and the autumn at Caldas da Rainha. Cintra has been made sufficiently familiar to the British public, to excuse our describing it here. The author speaks in strong terms of the inefficient police of Lisbon, but admits that murders are by no means of such frequent occurrence as has been represented.
We have extracted so fully on the subject of Lisbon, that we must defer the rest of our picture of Portugal till next week. In Lisbon, Mr Kinsey speaks of every thing peevishly. Every thing was new to him; and he was there in the midst of the intrigues and agitations which preceded the arrival of Don Miguel, when society was not likely to be over pleasant. As he gets on, his good-humour revives. The succeeding part of his work is, to that which treats of Lisbon, like the country in the long vacation, (we borrow our comparison from a popular lawyer,) after the din, heat, and dust of the Parliament House.
With regard to their manner of living on ordinary occasions, our author frankly confesses he had no opportunity of making himself acquainted. He proceeds, however, to describe their dinners at second-hand :
The following passage gives us an idea of the interior of their houses:
"A dish of yellow-looking bacalhaō (salt fish), the worst supposable specimen of our saltings in Newfoundland; a platter of compact, black, greasy, dirty-looking rice; a pound, if so much, of poor half-fed meat; a certain proportion of hard-boiled beef, that has never seen the salting-pan, having already yielded all its nutritious qualities to a swinging tureen of Spartan broth, and now requiring the accompaniment of a tongue, or friendly slice of Lamego bacon, to impart a small relish to it; potatoes of leaden continuity; dumplings of adamantine contexture; something in a round
The New Forest. A Novel. By the Author of "Brambletye House," &c. In three volumes. London. Henry Colburn. 1829.
MR SMITH, independently of his being a man of very correct taste, is one of those rare persons whose imaginative and moral character has sustained no injury from long and active professional avocations. In general, the etherial freedom in the mere literary character, so pleasing to contemplate and converse with, is unaccompanied by that concentration, that habit of self-control, which is requisite for the successful conducting of business. There is a promptitude and decision, a power of keeping in striet subordination all the mental faculties, and directing them to the attainment of one object, a readiness and self-possession in the most unforeseen emergencies, which, in most instances, falls only to the lot of those whose natural disposition has been assisted by long practice of the Under what constellation Mr Smith duties of active life. may have been born, or what happy temperament may have enabled him to obtain this command over himself, while he kept his heart free from the hardening influence of the world, and his fancy unstiffened by being yoked to its drudgery, we are not now going to enquire; but we rejoice in this living proof, among others which we could name, of the indestructibility of that part of our nature which raises us above the earth.
Mr Smith, besides his poetry, serious and lively, is known as the author of some successful historical romances. We do not institute any comparison between them and the works of the great champion of this field of literature. We think it an invidious way of estimating the merits of any production to try it by comparison with another of the same class, and one, moreover, not