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day-that of publishing too care
check to the abuses of the press is
would call such excellent keeping-
racters, of scenery, and of incidents High-ways and By-ways; or, Tales so felicitous, that we felt that a
of the Road-side, picked up in the more lengthened description of the
These tales are dedicated to the
distinguished author of the Sketch In the course of our professional Book, and of Bracebridge Hall; duties, it is often our lot to encoun and they are written in the closest ter the opinions of individuals of imitation of that polished and elewhat is called the old school-men gart writer. They have all his chawho complain of the too great diffu- racteristic beauties and defects, the sion of letters, and, anticipating copy is seldom below the original, every evil from the dissemination of and in many points contains beauknowledge amongst the lower orders, ties which even Geoffrey Crayon exultingly point to the days of their himself might be proud to own. The youth, when a London newspaper general complexion of the work is, would contain scarcely the adver as to style, what the most polished tisements of a dozen new books dur manners are to society; indicating, ing a season. For our parts, we perhaps, no natural excellence, but must confess, that in this particular the highest culture and the most at least we are disciples of the new familiar acqnaintance with the best school, and view the multiplicity of models. In his delineations of chabooks which yearly issue from the racter and of circumstances he never press as an infallible indication of fails to interest his reader, or to leave an improved and happier state of a strong and permanent impression society. We are glad to see all or on the mind; but his effect is proders of men won from the joys of duced, not by bold and decisive sense to those of intellect, and we touches of genius, but by nice discriagree with those great writers who mination and elaborate finish ; and, have maintained that morals and like his prototype, his only fault is decorum are in ratio to the diffusion that of dîlitation, arising, we should of knowledge, and that the best conceive, not from any effort at booke
making, but rather from his cha- anarchy as from the crimes and des. racter of intellect.
potism of the old regime. M. Le Our author with his dog and gun, Vasseur is painted with some inconand with the more necessary but sistancy; he is an unbending stoick, less pleasing accompaniment of a and yet permits much of the dissipaknapsack, makes a pedestrian tour tion of French manners to be practhrough the southern provinces of tised under his own roof. He abjures France; and his volume consists of Christianity, and yet allows his four tales, in which he relates all children to be brought up in the that he has experienced and all that Catholic superstition. Some excelhe has heard on his journey. In lent observations are made by the his avant-propos, he announces the author upon French society, and design and plan of his intended tour, upon the moral or rather immoral and evinces a disposition and a tact effects of their old religious and which might well be a passport of political institutions. The eldest any, pedestrian into the association daughter at length falls a prey to of the inhabitants amongst whom he the laxity of female sentiments in might choose to sojourn; and we France,-she is seduced,—and her conclude this prefatory intimation of subsequent anxiety and remorse, the his designs and plans with some conflict in the bosom of her seducer, thing bordering on a wish that we his triumph over his stronger inclihad been his compagnon de voyage. pations, and his marriage of the
The first story is entitled " The object of his seduction, the father's Father's Curse," a name we think affiction and wounded pride, and his the selection of which is in bad taste. final reconciliation with his child, Our anthor, in an elegant and in are all painted in the highest style teresting manner, recounts his intro. of interest. But at length Agnes, ducing himself into the family of a the second and favourite child of Le country gentleman in the district of Vasseur, marries against her father's Le Perigord. The family is in consent with the son of a poor mourning ; every thing, evinces re royalist, who had returned with the cent grief, but present festivity. It Bourbons. Le Vasseur's cup of misery was one of those observances of a is now full, he bears his misfortune custom coinmon in France, of the with philosophic sternness, but he neighbours assembling in the house abstracts himself from human symof a friend to shew their attachment pathy : refuses to see his Agnes, and to dissipate his grief for some who lives with her husband in terrecent misfortune. Our author is rible poverty, proudly refusing every hospitably invited to join the as assistance. The mother visits this sembly, the whole of which he de daughter in her retreat, and, returnseribes with great pathos ; and 'in ing home, endeavours to persuade his way home from the house, the Le Vasseur to forgive his Agnes, physician of the neighbourhood re and acquaints him with her preglates to him the occasion of the nancy. He dispatches a servant with meeting and the misfortunes of the a letter to the cottage which all his family. M. Le Vasseur is a well- family imagined contained the pardescended country gentleman, liv. don of his child. It contained deing on a good estate, happy and be- nunciations of his vengeance,-his loved by all around him: but the curse. Agnes was momentarily exexcess of crime and folly in the old pecting her confinement: the shock Bourbon government had super- of this letter threw her into convulindaced upon that class of persons sions, which terminated her existin France habits of reflection, and a ance. It was the meeting of the spirit of inquiry; and M. Le Vas- family and neighbourhood after this seur, amongst the rest, had became catastrophe to which our author had a republican and a philosopher. He been invited at the introduction of had fled Paris with horror at the ex. the tale. cesses of the revolationary party, Our limits do not allow us to make and was residing in the country, fose any extracts, and it is doing the tering the hope that a governinent author great injustice to give the mere might be established as free from outline of his tales, for his principal
merit lies more ia filling up that out. Valperga; or, the Lifeand Adventures line than in the outline itself. Some of Castruccio Prince of Lucea. By of his scenes are exquisitely wrought,
the Author 'of “ Fraukinstein.” and the meeting of Madame Le Vas 3 vols. 1823. seur with her unfortunate Agnes is of this description.
We congratulate the literary pubThe second story is of a more lic on the fulfilment of that early varied description; but it is dread. promise of talent, which was given fully dilated, and ought to be reduced by the fair author of the work before to half its present size. It contains us in her first interesting, though many excellent passages, and wants somewhat extraordinary production. little but abridgement to render it of The life of Castruccio, while it equal interest with the rest. We must comprises incidents of peculiar in. observe, that the author's abandon- terest, and such as engage the deepment of the noble stranger, so uni est attention, displays also a picture versally beloved, on his discovering of the habits and sentiments of the that he had been one of the many two great factions which for many who had voted for the execution of years divided and distracted Italy, Louis XVI., appears to us extrava- and is, therefore, no less important gant and childish. We abhor blood- in an historical point of view. The shed, and pity that weak and un character of Castruccio, the powerful fortunate king, but, considering the Ghibeline, is skilfully drawn; and, frenzy excited at the moment, it as a personification of all that can savours little of good sense or of be said or conceived of Tyranny, is christian charity to be fostering en beautifully contrasted with his mismity and prejudices upon the sub tress, Euthanasia, who might stand ject after a lapse of thirty years. Con- for the mortal representative of the sidering also the general aspect of goddess, “ Sweet Liberty.” The the times, it might be more bene style is elegant, yet bold; and though ficial to the human race, to teach to our taste the descriptions are too moderation and meroy in revolution abundant, we are not disposed to revolutions which may, perhaps, be deem a failing which “ Jeans to unavoidable.
virtue's side.' The following ex The third story, “ The Birth of tracts will convey some idea of the Henry IV." is of little interest, but author's manner, as well as of the it is introduced by a pastoral scene main spring of the story, and the dion the Pyrenees, and a sketch of a versity of principle, of sentiment, Spanish guerilla and smuggler, interest, and habit of mind between which no author of the present
day the two lovers. could surpass.
“The winter passed away, and The book concludes with the story with the summer the toils of the of “La Vilaine Tete," and relates to soldier began. Castruccio left Lucthe horrors perpetrated in La Ven ca and joined the army of Uguccione dée, by religious fary on one side, against the Florentines. He took and by the revolutionary mania on leave of his lady ; yet she neither tied the other. This story is of so high the scarf around him nor bade him an interest that it would alone make go and prosper. Florence was her the volume acceptable to the public, native town, and love of their and we regret that we cannot give a country was a characteristic of all sketch of it to our readers.
Florentines, Euthanasia was brought We would advise this author to up in the midst of pablic discussions, depend more upon his talent for dis- and of expressions of public feeling; crimination, and upon his natural the army of the Florentines congenius than upon his acquirements, tained her best friends, the comhowever those acquirements may be panions of her youth, all among of the highest order; and above all men whom she had esteemed and things, let him compress his matter, loved; how then could she bid her and his writings will unquestionably lover go and prosper, when he went be a source of fame to himself, and to destroy them?" of improvement to his countrymen. Castruccio was however victorious,
and the news of her country's defeat quiet death-bed to be the necessary is carried to Euthanasia.
consequence of a religious life, pro“She bad spent the period, that ceeds to a support of revelation, by had elapsed since the departure of a collection of matter much of Castruccio, in utter solitude. Her which is unfounded, much is quesanxiety, and the combat of feelings tionable, and the remainder is either which she experienced, destroyed all totally irrelevant to the point to be her peace : she dared not give her established, or, if true and appliprayers to either side; or if, follow- cable,
cable, is put by the author in a ing the accustomed bent of her in manner by no means superior to clinations, she wished success to her that in which it has been used by townsmen, the idea of Castruccio his numerous predecessors, We defeated, perhaps killed, turned all
express our opinions thus strongly, her thoughts to doubtful bitterness. from a conviction that the cause of Yet, wlien the Florentines were in Christianity has been serionsly indeed defeated, when messenger after jured by the many impotent works, messenger brought intelligence from which weak, but well meaning, men her terror-stricken friends of the have lately published in its defence. sad losses they had sustained, when With those who are firm in their the name of Castruccio as the slayer faith, a work like the present is was repeated with fear and curses useless; to those who are wavering by those whom she tenderly loved, or sceptical, its style would render then, indeed, the current of her it repulsive and ridiculous, whilst, to feelings returned with violence to the reader of reflection, its badness its accustoñrred channel; and bitterly of reasoning would make it an obreproaching herself, for having dared ject of contempt. The great injury to hesitate in a cause where her done by such works is amongst the country was concerned, she knelt half learned, who judge a cause to down, and solemnly and deliberately be weak from the weakness of its made a vow, sanctifying it by an advocate ; and the very extensive appeal to all that she held sacred in diffusion of infidelity through every heaven and upon earth ;-she made rank of life may in a great 'measure 2 deep and tremendous vow, never be traced to three causes ; that of to ally herself to the enemy of Flo- attracting the public attention to reace."
infidei writings by the indictment of publishers; that of exciting sympathy for those publishers by sen
tences unreasonably severe, and, Sequel to an unfinished Manuscript finally, by the want of discrimina
of Henry Kirke White. London, tion and of reasoning faculty in hy. 1823. 12mo. pp. 142. Price 48. far the greater number of those who
write in the defence of Christianity. We have always considered the The Hore Pauline of Dç. Paley, duties of a critic to be of the 'inost or the Analogy of Bishop Butler, serious nature. His judgment, if and works of similar depth of ingepartial, must either injure the fame nuity, can be alone"-useful where and property of a writer; or unjus- publications like the present have tifiably benefit them at the expense so long ceased to be objects of resof the public; and, if his judgment pect even to the most illiterate. be erroneous, he may injure society by the suppression of useful matter, or, on the other hand, by contributing to the diffusion of what is per-' Letters from'a Lady to her Niece ; nicious. We regret when these con containing practical Hints intendsciencious views of our fanctions ed to direct the Female Mind. compel us to pass severe and un Edinburgh, 1822. 18mo. pp. 142. qnalified censure on works which, like that now before us, are pub WE doubt not that the author of lished with the best intentions to this little volume is a lady of atwards the cominunity. This little tainments and of very good intenvolume, after a preface containing' tions, but we much question the the pious fraud of asserting the utility of her letters to a public Eur. Mag. March, 1823.
already in possession of Mrs. Cha- An Historical Account of his Majespone's Letters, of Dr. Gregory's ty's Visit to Scotland. Fourth ÉdiAdvice to his Daughters, of Miss tion. 8vo. pp. 338. Price 88. 6d. Edgworth's writings, and indeed of Edinburgh, 1822. so many other works of a similar description. Her letters contain the It would perhaps be presumptuous current good advice of all didactic in a critic to pass any, numerous books of morals for young ladies, or material censuręs upon a work, but it appears to us that her precepts which has already received the pa. and counsel are given in terms too tronage of the public to the extent general and diffuse to be practically of four editions in the short space of useful, whilst she has neglected that as many months; but it may be well moral painting of character and de- to inform our readers that the volume scription of incident, which render before us has owed its circulation to Miss Edgworth's juvenile works at local circumstances and to the nationonce so impressive and attractive to al feelings of our fellow-subjects of young minds. The present volume the North, and not to its own importe is hardly intended for an age which ance or to any intrinsic merit what. would render it fair in us to do any
It is a collection of the most thing more than to observe, that it minute' and trifling, as well as of the does not evince that characteristic most material, facts relating to his union of elegance and fervour so Majesty's late visit to Scotland ; and conspicuous in Mrs. Chapone's Let of which it is scarcely necessary
for ters, or the descrimination and prac us to observe, that the greater part tical good sense which pervade Dr, have already appeared in the daily Gregory's Advice to his Daughters. papers. We have here printed, in The lady, in giving her reasons for the imposing form of an octavo, all limiting the reading of novels, has the fleeting and contradictory rus prescribed a moral test by which no mours of his Majesty's intentions novels, except the prolix, dilated relative to his visit to Scotland; we works of Richardson, could bear to have accounts of the preparations, be tried ; and she appears to have for his reception, even to the hangoverlooked that the greatest of all ing of a mirror in Dalkeith House, reasons against novel reading is, (the Duke of Buccleuch's) with the that the excitement novels produce ballads which were sung about the indisposes the mind of youth to other streets, the orders of different proand more important works, which cessions, and even the names of must of necessity be comparatively dishes and their arrangements upon dull and irksome. But surely some the royal table, and the volume is oral supplementary advice is neces further eked out by lists of all who sary to that direction of poetical stu were at the levee at Holyrood Palace, dies, which would send a young lady and by a description of the caps and of fifteen to an indiscriminate perusa! petticoats of the ladies. This work of Shakespeare, or which would di might possibly be of use as a book, rect that age to the perusal of the of reference and for precedents at mature sublimity of Milton, and to some future visit of our monarchs the ponderous epics of Southey, for to Scotland, but for any other purgetting the fables of Gay and Dry- pose it appears to us tedious and den, the visions of Cotton, the bril. trifling in the extreme. The book liancy of Pope, the pathos of Crabbe,' contains several plates, all of which or the fervid eloquence of Byron. represent his Majesty so surrounded The work is written with much with guards, that he seems rather to affection, and with the best inten- be entering a captured or a hostile tions towards her to whom it is city, than to be visiting a body of addressed,