صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][ocr errors]

almost every work of this author; cessory to the Popish Plot, by the and we regret that he cannot re famous Col. Topham, the bloodmember the sensible observation, hound of Parliamentary persecutions. passed by Dr. Johnson in his ad- His efforts to rescue his parents are mirable critique upon Macbeth, that fruitless; they are conveyed prihe who should now introduce fairies, soners to London, and himself is witches, ghosts or spirits in scenes consigned to the custody of Major relating to common life, would justly Bridgenorth, who had just foreclosed meet with the contempt of adults, his mortgage upon the Peveril estates. and be consigned to the amusements At Major Bridgnorth's he unexpectof the nursery.

edly finds Alice, whom he had just The appearanee of Bridgenorth in left in the Isle of Man, for the Authe Isle of Man was, in consequence thor has a thorough contempt of all of revengeful schemes promoted at probability, in conveying his chacourt by the brother of the executed racters from one place to another. Colonel Christian, to dispossess the Julian discovers the profligate GanCountess of Derby of her property lesse at the Major's table, under the of the Isle of Man, which in that disguise of a puritan, and in spite of event would devolve on the Duke of his fervid remonstrances finds that Buckingham, in right of his wife, the father of Alice is resolved to the daughter of General Fairfax. send his daughter to town in care of The bold and vigilant Countess dis this abandoned hypocrite. Julian is covers her danger, and to defeat rescued from the cnstody of Major these machinations sends young. Pe Bridgenorth, and proceeds to Lonveril with despatches to London, don. In an inn upon the road he carefully sewed within his inner gar- accidentally discovers that those, ment. Julian arrives at Liverpool, by whom he had been entertained and on his road to London, via Der. on the way to Derbyshire, were the byshire, he falls in with a man named gay Lord Saville and Chiffinch, the Ganlesse, whose characterand talents celebrated pander of King Charles's are sketched with spirit and judg. debaucheries, who had been brought ment. This traveller, in spite of down to that neighbourhood by Col. Julian's prudence and resentment,

Christian (Ganlesse) for the purpose continues to dog him on his road, of entrapping his piece Alice, whom and eventually, to poor Julian's sur this uncle Christian designed as a prise, gives him convincing proof temptation to the King to detach that he is acquainted with his name himself from the influence of the and family, and with his being the celebrated and intriguing Duchess bearer of dispatches from the Coun- of Portsmouth. Julian in this inn tess of Derby to her partisans in overhears Chiffinch in a fit of intoxiLondon. This explanation induces cation divulge the whole scheme reJulian to become the compagnon de lative to Alice, as well as the robvoyage of the stranger, who, amidst bery of the dispatches; these he the wilds of the borders of Derby- subsequently recovers by assaulting shire, introduces Julian to a lonely Chiffinch on the high-way, and evenhouse on the way-side'; where, as if tually arrives in London. By a sort by magic, he is set down to a superb of hocus-pocus contrivance the Audinner, served upon plate, and with thor makes Julian fall in with the companions evidently of the highest Dwarf Fenella, who, by playing description. The scene of this ban gambols in St. James's Park before quet, and of the gay conversation of the King, is the means of introducthe profligate hosts is spirited and ing Julian to his Majesty; and this entertaining. Julian's champaigne outré sort of introduction enables is drugged by his entertainer, and, Julian to rescue Alice from the rudejo the sleep produced by the narcotic, ness of the Duke of Bukingham, and his dispatches are taken from him,and from the unhallowed intentions of blank papers are substituted in the

the amatory monarch. The contriseal-skin case which enveloped them. vance of all these rencontres is The next morning he proceeds on clumsy in the extreme, and we need bis way to Derbyshire, and arriving not expatiate upon the dearth of inat the Peak, finds his father has been vention of an author, who evuld arrested on a charge of being ac devise no better method of rescuing

his heroine than by introducing his the King by the dwarf Fenella's conhero to a King, by means of a dwarf's trivance of sending the male dwarf, playing antic tricks before his Ma Sir Geoffrey Hudson,into the palace, jesty in the public walks of St. shut up in a violincello-case, the James's Park: Julian, in rescuing case being with great probability Alice, wounds a bully of the Duke carried up into his Majesty's drawof Buckingham, and is conveyed to ing-room, and unpacked or opened Newgate. A description of New- in the presence of the assembled gate is now given to us by this care company. Sir Geoffrey, of course, less author, which every reader will walks out of the fiddle-case to the immediately recognize to be servilely astonishment of all present, and reborrowed from the Beggar's Opera, veals to the Sovereign the mighty and from the more admirable narra- mischief which is hatching against tive of Booth's introduction to New- his royal person. The denouemens gate in Fielding's Amelia. In this now of course take place. The Duke prison, Julian Peveril is confined in of Buckingham' is tirst reproached, a cell with another dwarf, the famous and then pardoned by the Monarch. Sir Geoffrey Hudson; and, as if the Fedella resumes her voice in the full author were determined to reach the company, proves to be the daughter very depth of fatuity, he introduces, of Christian, and to have been emevery dark night, into this hermeti- ployed by him about the Countess cally closed cell of Newgate the of Derby's person for the purposes original female dwarf, whose dumb- of treachery, assuming, by his order, ness turns out to have been all ficti- both the defects of dumbness and tious; for “ in a soft, silvery voice" insensibility to sound, with a view she endeavours in the dark to induce of aiding his designs. She and Julian to abandon bis love for Alice, Christian are banished to America of course as a preliminary step to by the King. Julian Peverih of his bestowing his affections on this course, espouses Alice Bridgenorth, Elfin miniature of womanhood, and the estates of the two families are Except in the Fairy Tales or in the united, and all is restored to harArabian Nights, where such scenes mony and enjoyinent. and creations of fancy are legiti- . The talents of this author are conmate to the nature of the works, we fined to insulated description; and do not think that our language can the present work confirms the obserprodace any thing more trifling, or vation that his plots are invariably more out of taste and judgement, confused, and inconsistent. The than this agency of the deaf and dumb character of Fenella is supposed to dwarf; and the author is unpardon. have been suggested by that of the ably culpable as he has already tried celebrated dwarf impostress Carabos, the public opinion upon such a fic- who was eventually confined in the tion in his novel of the Pirates, and prison of Devonshire. It is drawn has met with the severe and just with talent, and would have been a castigation of the able critic of his good creation of fancy for the Castle works in the Edinburgh Review. of Otranto, or for one of Monk Julian and his father are tried before Lewis's tales, but is out of all keepthe infamous Scroggs, the Judge of ing with the delineation of real life Charles the Second's reign; but the and manners in so recent an era as the character of the notorious Oates, the reign of Charles. Her long assumpperjured witness of the times, was tion of want of speech, and of hearnow on the decline, and the Peverils ing, is unnatural in the extreme; and are acquitted. The lodgings of the her ardent passion for Julian Peveril, Peverils, opportunely for the au- who is described as scarcely less thor's story, happen to be under the mighty of limb than old Sir Geoffrey, roof where the fanaticism of Major appears both ludicrous and absurd. Bridgenorth has led him to contrive The reader may recollect that we a plot for the attack of the palace. have recently had one dumb dwarf Colonel Christian is the wily' agent in the novel of the Pirates, an Elfin of the Duke of Buckingham, and dwarf in the Lay of the last Minsprocores the Duke's participation in trel. Another dwarf in Kenelworth. the scheme. The plot is revealed to A black dwarf in the novel of that

[merged small][ocr errors]

name, and now in this one novel of if irregular or unequal in its parts,
Peveril of the Peak, we have two is, as a whole, a splendid production
dwarfs, both of mighty agency in of a mind of no ordinary powers.
the conduct of the plot. We must
observe that the scene between Ju-

December Tales. London, 1823.
Jian and Deborah, the vexatious

12mo. 231.

pp. old nurse of Alice Bridgeworth, is a palpable plagiarism of the scene We are inclined to think that between Juliet and her nurse on her there is a misnomer in the title of return from the lady's message to this little volume ; for, if it be well -Romeo.

adapted to the object thus avowed, Having thus in the spirit of can or at least implied in its baptism, did criticism animadverted upon the that of cheering the December fire faults of this novel, we have now side, we much doubt whether it will left to us but the pleasure of dwell not be often selected as the compa. ing upon its brilliant merits. There nion of the summer ramble, and may be little or no pathos in the become the associate and friend of work and nothing to excite breath- the rural loiterer. Were the great less anxiety, nor is there much of critic of the Rambler now alive, and wit; but there are numerous scenes were he to put his usual question, drawn with admirable spirit and “have you, sir, read it through," we truth to nature, and diversified cha- should certainly be able to answer in racters conceived with the creative the affirmative, in spite of that inquipowers of genius, and the individu- sitorial tone which would imply the ality of which is preserved in a Doctor's habit of impatience in manner evincing the nicest talent of getting through a work, and the discrimination. Neither the hero doubt that others could be more nor heroine are much indebted to persevering than himself. The the author's pencil ; they, excite volume before us would, however, comparatively, but little interest. prove no such tax on our patience ; Sir Geoffrey Peveril, however, with for we have perused it with pleasure, the character of Major Bridgeworth, and have been induced to read it are in fine keeping; and the saga- with more than usual attention by city, prudence, and kindness of Lady the amusement it has afforded us. Peveril render her an object of so We have here eleven tales of diverlicitude to the reader to the last of sified description, in which the the novel, although she is brought author is often amusing, often paforward but little after the action of thetic, always interesting, and never the piece becomes material. The prolix or dull. The style is natural, great powers of the author are most but we are prompt to deny it the displayed in his characters of Gan- praise of elegance, because we think lesse or Christian, and in that of the that whatever defects there are, profligate, vacillating, magnificent either in the style or in the stories, Duke of Buckingham. In the in- they arise not from a want of natural terviews between these personages, power or of acquirements in the the acute villainy and shrewd dex- author, but evidently from want of terity of Ganlesse, in contest with For instance, the author sucthe court tact of Buckingham, are ceeds in his first story, Mary Stukepainted with the hand of a great ley, in creating a mixture of pathos master; whilst the voluptuous maģ- and curiosity in the reader with a nificence of this royal favourite useful excitement of impatience ; but equals in description the gorgeous the effect of it is rather marred, fictions of imagination, which have and the reader leaves the story with rendered eastern stories so captiva- less of satisfaction, from the improting to every taste. Peveril of the bable and unaccountably sudden Peak approximates in its class of death of Mary, and still more so, merit more to the Fortunes of Nigel from the abrupt disposal of the other than to any other work of this au female character. In the beautiful thor,but it is useless we apprehend story of the Falls of Ohiopyle, the to draw comparisions between the abrupt transition from his convalesseparate novels; the work before us, cence to his marriage makes an

care

unpleasing chasm, and the reader gency scarcely atoned for their freeregrets that a hand that paints so dom and boldness, which I did not well should have hurried the pic- altogether admire.”

Who does not ture to its termination. The Eng see in these few words the full lisher's story displays a similar length portrait of the mens masculina fault; it is beautifully told, but the in femina, with its ordinary unpleacatastrophe is too trite and novel sant effect upon the other sex. like; and in the Test of Affection, Again, speaking of the same chathe naturalness of the tale is injured racter the author observes, “Her by carrying the ghost-scene too far faults (perhaps I am making use of into the regions of nursery fiction. too lenient an expression) were We think, indeed, that the author those of a strong mind, unrestrained has in his literary disposition some by prudence or the force of early little love of the romantic, and a restriction." This is well in keeptinge of what has been called Monk- ing with the first observation : our Lewisism, although his good sense gallantry will not allow us to assert prevents his carrying them to too that the application of the passage great a length. We must, however, can be made more frequently to inretract our praise for good sense, tellectual ladies than to gentlemen; and decidedly condemn the author's but who is there that has kept litebart taste and want of judgment in rary and intellectual society, who his praise of his literary companions has not often had to observe the in the piece entitled " The Theatre." effects of “a strong mind unresIndependent of a probable differ trained by prudence," - so often ence of opinion in the public, the perhaps as almost to lead to the praise of contemporary and monthly supposition, that there is a natural writers seems like an invitation to repugnance between prudence and be praised in return; or, at best, that peculiar cast of intellect, which will be viewed by the public as the is usually meant by the expression injudicious expression of individual strong mind.” We are conpartiality. Interspersed in these vinced that there are two or three Tales are many jadicious and ad very eminent characters at this momirable observations, uttered with a ment, to whom every reader will be freedom from affectation or even of able to apply the remark. - Our design, which gives them a more limits oblige us to take leave of our striking and pleasing effect. For author; we leave him, however, with instance, in the first story of Mary the anticipation that we shall have Stukely, speaking of Eliza, whose to renew our acquaintance; for he, character is admirably sketched, the who has been able to write the voauthor observes, “ her discoure was Tume before us, will not be long interesting, fluent and animated, before he again challenges the atperhaps too inuch so, for it was in- tention of the critic, and establishes terspersed with remarks whose ge- his claim to the public approbaneral truth and well directed pun. tion."

of a

• When we first received “ December Tales," we hesitated to review them, doubting the propriety of passing judgment on tales, some of which have already appeared in our Magazine ; Boxerer, not to omit doing justice to the youthful and vigorous pen of the author, and at the same time to do our duty honestly as public servants, we sent the volume to a Critic who knew not that any part of it had appeared in our Magazine, and on whose judgment and impartiality we could rely. We hope the author will resume bis pen ; and, under his lately-adopted name of Cinna, soon favour us again with his esteemed effusions. Ed.

LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE,

FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.
AMERICA

that the liberty of the press, although Mons. de Venancourt, a Captain in so recently established in that vast the French Navy, and Governor of the country, has had such an extensive Establisbment at Terra Nuova, was effect, that at the last celebration of ordered, in 1821, to survey the coasts the great Idol Juggernaut there were of that island. In the fort of St. George so few pilgrims, that there was a diffihe found two tribes of Indians of about culty in drawing the car of the Idol ; 100 families. The first had originally and the Bramins were consulting about come from Cape Breton, and the other the removal of the image to districts from Labrador. These savages lived farther from the dissemination of knowby the chace and by fishing, and the ledge, tribes were respectively known by the

SANDWICH ISLES. names of Miomaks and Montagnards. Mr. Ruggles, a Missionary from the They were all Catholics, of mild dis United States of America to the Sandpositions, and were attached to the wich Islands, relates the following French. Amongst them were the de anecdote of Athoi, the King of one of scendants of many fishermen from Les the islands, who had learnt from the Basques, (Gascony,) who had been left whites to drink ardent spirits, but who on the coast when the French carried had recently reclaimed himself from on their fisheries in these seas, Mons. the habit. “Suppose," said the King de Venancourt speaks of their extraor to the Missionary, “ you were to hold dinary attachment to their religion, and 4,000 dollars in one hand and a glass of their even refusing to eat meat on a of ruin in the other, and were to say, Friday. This officer attended their drink the rum and I will give you the place of worship and found them chant. noney-I would not drink it; and it ing the mass out of a book written by you then said, I will kill you, still I themselves. It is supposed that some would not drink it." Missionaries must have translated for

EGYPT. them the principal prayers of the Ca-' The Pacha of Egypt, Mahomed Ali, tholic service. They have an altar who constructed the great canal Mahwith an image of Christ, and have also mudie, now purposes to restore the a portrait of the King of France, and a canal anciently constructed under Dapainting of the Marriage of the Duke rius and Ptolemy, and which will form of Berry. Mons. de Vegancourt taught a junction between the Nile and the them the Domine salvum fac regem.

Red Sea. According to the last Census, the The late Mr. Rich, the English Con18th Congress of the United States of sul at Bagdad, had drawn a plan of America consists of 212 representa the Ancient Nineveh, and had discotives, and 48 members of the Senate vered the ruins of the palace and garor Upper House.

den of Sardanapalus. SOUTH AMERICA.

All persons who travel in this counThe Gaeta de Columbia, published try agree in attributing to the Viceroy at Bogota, computes that there are all the qualities of a statesman. The 2,644,000 inhabitants of the Seven pro Chrisiians living under his laws owe vinces of Orepoes, Venezuela, Sulia, him many obligations, and men of all Bayacca, Cundinamara, Cauca, and religions and of every nation may now Magdalena. These provinces, which travel through Egypt with a security formerly composed the province of before unknown in the Ottoman domiQuito, now return 28 sepators and 93 nions. The fortifications of Cairo are representatives to the Legislature of still in progress; Alexandria is surthe Republic.

rounded by a second enclosure of walls

and with a large deep ditch. This There have been erected in the dis place is defended by strong bastions trict of Kala, on the coast of the White upon the accessable points, as well by Sea, two light houses ; one on Cape land as sea. The rock Aboukir and Orloff at 66 fathoms, the other on Cape the coast conducting to the cisterns of Pulongue at 125 fathoms from the Marabuth, whence the ships in the port shore; the base of the latter is 42 feet of Alexandria take in water, are now above the level of the sea. These two fortified in the European style. The towers are painted white.

army of the Viceroy is only 45,000

strong, infantry, cavalry, and artillery The newspapers of India inform us, included. His navy is composed of

WHITE SEA.

INDIA.

« السابقةمتابعة »