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of “ The Two Boys of Florence” inculcates so skill in tragedy; slaughter comes 'natural to him,
The Monk of Cimiés. By Mrs. Sherwood.
We have some doubts whether this Monk is not
quite as bad in one way, as his more celebrated of teaching the English language, is the only predecessor was in another. Mrs. Sherwood's parallel we can find for the author of the Outcast.
object in this story, is to establish the purity of the The Irishman, who undertook to teach English to
Protestant faith by one revolting example of the the French, forgot that he was totally ignorant of
errors of Popery; and to vindicate the doctrines of the French language ; and the author of the Out
original sin and justification by faith alone through cast, when he undertook to write a poem, appears a fictitious narrative which contains so many imto have been equally ignorant of the fact, that he
probabilities, that, in point of fact, it proves nothing knew nothing whatever of the nature and constitu.
at all-except the ardent zeal of the writer. We tion of poetry. He might as well have undertaken
should be glad to see Protestantism defended by a voyage to the moon. The work is an outrage
means less open to objection, and better sustained upon English grammar, common sense, and mere
by a logical foundation. Mrs. Sherwood's Monk metrical propriety. It is difficult to conceive, that
is a creature of her own invention-a man who, any human creature should have been organised
after a life of iniquity in the Roman Catholic with so defective an ear for the common music of church, returns to his early faith, and becomes an the commonest measure in verse. Here are two
earnest disseminator of Gospel truth. What is all examples :
this worth in the discussion of controverted doc
trines ? Does it lead us one step nearer to truth to Thither my way I led-as I drew Nearer, less indistinct it grew
find an imaginary hypocrite outraging all laws So on the canvas we may see
human and divine under the disguise of the cowl ? An indistinct imagery
May not the offended Roman exclaim that the Then her--my sister-all at once
Monk of Cimiés is a preposterous libel upon his They rushed upon my remembrance.
faith, which he leaves exactly as he found it? We Of the prosaic, one specimen will be quite enough :
agree upon all points with Mrs. Sherwood, in her
cstimate of the purity of the reformed faith : we More wildly glared his eye, and his
repudiate, as strongly as she does, the convenient Features more plainly spoke disease.
doctrine of “ good works," although we are bound There are a multitude of such lines as these, in
to admit that it has its utility in its influence over which the author having found a jingle for the fag
the majority of its professors: we condemn as unend of the line, believes that he hus fulfilled the sparingly, the vices that are committed under the whole demands of the verse. Vulgarity of expres
impunity of the sacred office--but we desire to see sion is another characteristic of this production.
our own faith sustained, not by recriminations
against an antagonist church, but by proofs of its own Doubting, I've paused amid her reign
sufficiency. These proofs are abundant—they may
be traced, if needs be, through the writings of the
early fathers—they are to be found in the reluctA picture of a horrible catastrophe that happened ant acknowledgments even of distinguished Roman to the hero—why, or wherefore, is a matter of no Catholic prelates, Bossuet, Fenelon, and Ganganelli; moment—will give a tolerably accurate notion of and, above all, they may be seen in the imperishthe poet's powers in the delineation of the fiercer
able spring of truth-the Scriptures, from which emotions.
all Christians alike derive their creeds. Why then My joints grew weak-my eyes grew dim;
adopt a less decisive method of asserting them-a A dizzy faintness seized my head;
method objectionable in spirit, and conceived in a A palsy shook my every limb
vicious taste ? The flesh upon my back grew dead !
The lashes fell with weight of lead! A fiery throe of pain would dart,
Spartacus ; or, the Roman Gladiator. A As through my vitals, to my heart;
Tragedy in Five Acts. By Jacob Jones,
Esq., Barrister at Law. London, 1837.
This is, in all points, a better tragedy than Dr.
Bird's founded on the same subject, and is more
effective in its construction than the Louginus of
the same author. The story of the insurrection of Recited by such an eminent actor as old Grimaldi, the gladiator’s is very clearly told; the dialogue is these lines would produce an irresistible effect upon energetic and true to nature, the more prominent the stage. We recommend the author to try his features of the event are skilfully drawn out, and
the conclusion of the whole is replete with a wild Times to the Police Gazette-he has already filled grandeur which, however tumultuous and doubtful a larger“ space than any other individual to whom it might appear upon the stage, fills the imagination attention was attracted simply by the force of his of the reader with a sense of greatness worthy of own merits. Yet the subject is not yet exhausted, the subject. It must be observed, however, that and there remains behind the fullest and most cirMr. Jones seriously hurts the dignity of the play cumstantial biography, which is now in course of by frequent references to the action, which inter- publication, and into which, no doubt, all the rupts the natural progress of the scene, and shatters scattered memoranda of his contemporaries will the dialogue into fragments. We can hardly ven be collected. It is worthy of observation, that ture to judge how this accumulation of melo the facilities which exist for procuring materials of dramatic effects would succeed in the theatre; but this nature in the present state of literature, exall experience in such compositions would lead us hibit a remarkable contrast to the obstacles that to suspect that it would lower the tone of the piece impeded all such inquiries, even so lately as fifty considerably, and reduce it much below the level
years ago. When auy distinguished person dies of legitimate tragedy. The subject was, in itself, now, every body who has any thing to relate of sufficiently exciting and picturesque without these him, if it be only an incidental conversation, or a numerous accessories of the bye-play; and the day spent in his society, hurries forward to conlabour of the author ought to have been directed, tribute it to the general stock : there is always a not to heighten the irrepressible bustle of the plot, newspaper or a magazine open to receive the prebut to subdue it by a larger infusion of mind. cious reminiscences, and so a multitude of details Spartacus was susceptible of a more dignified cha are brought out that, half a century back, would racter than he has received either from Dr. Bird or have been altogether lost to the world. Then Mr. Jones ; both of whom have described him as the biography of a celebrated individual was una hero of muscles, animated by the pride of freedom dertaken with great diligence, as a work beset with and courage--but little more. The passion of impediments, and it was usually executed after all liberty might have been more nobly expressed in with an indifferent mastery of the subject; so exhis person, and his wife would have been better tremely difficult was it to obtain the necessary inemployed in the exercise of her feminine and formation. Take, for instance, “ Murphy's Life softening influences, than in directing the course of of Garrick," a work written by one who was inhis ferocious passions. The contrast would have timately acquainted with his hero during the best given increased beauty and power to the entire part of his life, who was interwoven with his proconception. As it is, the surface of the play is agi- fession, and who possessed excellent opportunities, tated, from the beginning to the end, by the convul. we have reason to suppose, for collecting data. sions of the civil war ; there is no interval of repose That book hardly deserves to be called a biogra-no gleam of tenderness or remorse-the stage is phy of Garrick. Any person who had been in filled with clamour—and a vivid colouring falls the habit of frequenting the theatres might have over the whole. That Mr. Jones possesses decided written it from the play-bills. It contains nothing requisites for dramatic composition--that he has more than a record (by no means a full one either) little more to do in order to secure success, than to of the pieces brought forward by Garrick from time cultivate a turn for tranquillity in his muse-is to time, with occasional criticisms of a very infeapparent throughout this piece; which, whatever rior order upon the performances. Then take a may be its faults on the score of rigid taste, is contemporary of Garrick's—the inimitable Goldconstructed with tact, and written with ability. smith. Bishop Percy was expected to have underThe characters are boldly individualised the senti taken his biography, but he postponed it day after ments are forcible and just—the transitions are day, and it was not until the indefatigable Mr. Prior, sternly marked and striking, both morally and with great disadvantages, and after a considerable pictorially; and the general impression which the lapse of years, devoted himself to the task, that the perusal of the drama leaves upon the mind, is that public obtained the long desired memoir. of high power somewhat superabundantly displayed, Mr. Lockhart is, perhaps, the most competent and requiring to be restrained and regulated for
person living to write the Life of Scott. His conhigher efforts in the difficult pursuit which the
nection with him not only gave him constant author has selected.
access to his privacy, but afforded him unlimited
power to make use of all his papers, and to instiMemoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott. tute such necessary enquiries amongst his imme
By J. G. Lockhart. Vol. i. Edinburgh : diate relatives and friends, as might be useful to Cadell. 1837.
the purpose in hand. He is in fact his literary executor.
So far as this volume goes, he appears There is no man of our century, except Napo to have dedicated himself industriously.to his leon, about whom so much has been written, and labour of love, and we are satisfied, from the is likely yet to be written, and concerning whom specimen it affords of the whole, that the work so much may be written, as Sir Walter Scott. will abundantly repay the curiosity of the public. From the highest periodical to the lowest from Fortunately for the world, Sir Walter Scott put the Quarterly Review to the Mirror—from the together a short sketch of his own life, which Mr.
VOL. X.-N0. IV.—APRIL, 1837.
Lockhart discovered in time to insert in the open. Ermangarde discharges with exemplary kindness. ing of this volume. The autobiographical frag A year and a half elapse, during which time the
was written in 1808, but about the year wife and son reside with the ill-treated lady ; 1826, Sir Walter added a few elucidatory notes to when the forsworn knight suddenly appears. The it here and there, that enhance its value in no report of his death was erroneous, and he has reslight degree. It is much to be regretted that turned to thank the good Ermangarde for her this sketch is so short, for the candour and bounty to his wife.
Some time passes away very bonhommie it evinces are so delightful as to make pleasantly, all three living together as happily as us feel that nobody else could have compiled a possible : but at last the wife becomes jealous, memoir of Scott with so much fidelity as he (not, we suspect, before she had good cause), and would have done it himself. There is more of the Ermangarde pines sadly, and at last dies in the character of the man in this brief paper, than there act of saying her prayers before her father's tomb. could be in a thousand volumes from the pen of Such is the tale, the versification of which is in all the ablest, and best informed of his contemporaries. respects worthy of the singular incidents it records. Mr. Lockhart's narrative, however, is valuable on We looked through the volume for the Royalist account of the great number of particulars it in Lyrics, announced in the title-page. but could not cludes—its pains-taking research into all matters find them. We perceive, however, that Eliza connected with Scott's first steps in life – his first Heywood, wbo, of course must know more about love and disappointment—his marriage-his pro the matter than the governments of France and gress at the bar—bis translations from the German
England, recognizes Don Carlos as King of Spain, - his first play—his Border Minstrelsy_his con and that she is strongly opposed to the Irish tributions to the Edinburgh Review—and the pub- Municipal Corporation Bill. These are the prinlication of his Tristrem, with which event this cipal points of interest in this lady's volumevolume terminates. As it would be impossible for us to the verses they come for the most part in the limited space to which we are unavoidably within the description of that happy species of confined, to enter into details with any advantage composition, called either to our readers or ourselves, we must dismiss the work with this general indication of its charac The History of Party, from the rise of the ter, postponing, until the whole shall have been
Whig and Tory factions in the reign of issued, such observations as the subject may sug Charles II. to the passing of the Reform gest. But we cannot close the book without com
Bill. By George Wingrove Cooke, mending it earnestly to our readers. It promises
Esq., Barrister at Law, author of to afford a complete review of the life of our northern Ariosto ; not merely a correct and cir
“ Memoirs of Lord Bolingbroke,” &c. cumstantial account of incidents, but a develop
Vol. II. London: J. Macrone, 1837. ment of the progress of his studies, his projects, The period embraced in this volume of Mr. and his literary proceedings. Mr, Lockhart has Cooke's work is one of considerable interest in our performed his arduous labour with a skill and domestic history ; it includes the eventful inassiduity commensurate to its demands, and the terval between 1714 and 1762, from the accession work is fairly entitled to take its place amongst of George I. to the celebrated administration of the best biographies in our language.
Lord Bute under George III. The public men
who flourished during those fifty years would be Ermangarde, a Tale of the twelfth century. enough in themselves to give importance to the
Royalist Lyrics; and other poems. By record ; but the struggle of principles, and the
political changes that took place, are even of still
higher moment. Mr. Cooke exhibits a very imIf there be nothing else curious in the poem of
partial review of facts, and a just estimate of the Ermangarde, the story at least is of an uncommon
characters of the principal politicians of the time; kind. The scene is the Rhine :-one of the tur
he dissects with ability the intrigues of both parties, retted crags is assailed by a robber chieftain, one
and traces with clearness and without prejudice of that fierce band whose depredations led to the those influences that led, year after year, to that formation of the Hanseatic league (at least we
complete change of sides which renders the history presume so, for the narrative is not very clear of the Whigs and Tories a practical homily upon upon that point): the castle is burned, and its
the corruption of human nature. But it must not master perishes in the affray ; but an infant son be supposed that this work introduces the reader to is saved, aud he lives to go to the wars himself,
the progress of public opinion, and the formation of and become a count of the empire :- he falls in
distinct parties amongst the people at large. It love with Ermangarde, the daughter of his patron; gives no more than the history of the leaders, of they exchange vows, and he goes to the Holy the political cliques, of the ignoble contention of Land ;- but in a few months she learns that he
the few to appropriate to themselves the offices of has proved unfaithful, and married a Jewish girl, emolument and power. He shows the machinery under very dishonourable circumstances, that he behind the curtain—how certain effects were prodied in battle, and bequeathed his wife and son to duced upon the stage, the squabbles of the greenher care. This rather extraordinary legateeship room, the casting of the parts, the malicious jests
of the shelved actors to put the performers out, the at last broke into fierce opposition, carrying his prompter's stool, the property man's room, the hostility so far as to join in a crusade against them rehearsal, and the full play. But the audience is with Bolingbroke, who had just then returned left in shadow, looking on at the drama, excited from France, and renounced his own principles. Even occasionally at a distance, but seldom betraying Marlborough was a Whig only by accident ; it any strong symptoms of either censure or applause. was because they supported him in his wars that he In this respect, perhaps, some readers will be dis embraced their doctrines, after having previously appointed with the book ; but we believe, not with been a Tury. Of the instability of Bolingbroke, standing, that it offers a very philosophical solu. his infidelity, his recklessness and abandonment tion of the real meaning of the word party, which, of all shew of honesty, it is superfluous to speak : instead of representing a large mass of the people, his character is to the full as well known as the is, in truth, no more than the title of those knots versatility of his genius. To politicians of this of individuals who agitate in the name of the stamp, the administration of the affairs of the Mr. Cooke's work, therefore, will in this
country was entrusted during the first years of the single point of view help to clear the eyes of Hanoverian dynasty, when the king could scarcely Englishmen of a great delusion, and confirm them
speak Euglish, and the court was under a foreign in their advances towards that conclusion at which
influence, very uncongenial to the spirit of the all reflecting minds are now rapidly arriving—that people. The vices that crept into the government the interest of the nation is an interest totally dis
were manifold and degrading, and the House of tinct from that of the Whigs and Tories, and all
Commons was converted into an arena for the other factions of every denomination.
display of those unworthy tactics, which used to be The series of intrigues presented by the succes
exhibited at elections in the rotten boroughs, when sive administrations that occupied the half century
the candidates, figliting for victory alone, were which immediately followed the accession of the
perfectly indifferent to the means or the instruments House of Hanover, cannot be paralleled during they employed. The elevation of Pitt to power any similar period of time in our history. The
suddenly checked this downward progress of minisleaders were utterly regardless of principle; they terial policy. Unsupported by connections, free even sacrificed the outward virtue of keeping
from the chains of party, and sustained solely by up appearances. Their whole object was
the strength of his own resolutions, and the get and to keep office. The opposition re
purity of his intentions, he dismayed the venal venged themselves upon the ministry, what
courtiers that surrounded him, and had sufficient ever might be their professions, by uncompromising confidence in the attachment of the people to bring hostility, sometimes at the cost of the most sbame
forward his militia-bill-a measure which was met at less apostacy, and always with undisguised, con
the moment with well-feigned horror by his advertempt for consistency. The Tories, tired of being
saries. The removal of Pitt to make way for Lord kept out of place, and finding that there was nothing Bute, was one of those mistakes of which so many more to be hoped for from the Stuarts, made no
were committed in the reign of George III., scruple of turning round, or abusing the kingly glorious in the accumulation of fortunate accidents
. office as an instrument of despotism, and of main
At this point, the second volume of Mr. Cooke's taining with even more furious ardour than the history teminates; and the industry that has been Whigs, the principles of the “ glorious revolution.”
bestowed upon its treatment entitle it to the Nor were the Whigs much better, whenever it
attention of all classes of readers. Whigs and suited their purpose to shift their opinions; but Tories will alike find themselves faithfully rehaving had a longer tenure of office, and a continua
flected in its pages. tion of accidents having given them a lengthened
1. Crichton. By W. H. Ainsworth, Esq., ascendency, they were, by the force of circum
author of “ Rookwood.” 3 Vols. Lonstances rather than of the integrity inherent in
don : R. Bentley. 1837. themselves, more consistent than their opponents. But neither of them, considered as a party, acting
2. Abel Allnutt. By the author of “ Hajji in combined movement, and labouring to impress
Baba.” 3 Vols. London: R. Bentley. their principles upon the age, are entitled to the 1837. respect of posterity. And even taken individually, 3. Picciola ; or Captivity Captive. By M. few of their members can be regarded with im de Saintine. 2 Vols. London: H. Colplicit admiration, Chatham alone stands aloof burn. 1837. from the corruption of the times. He was a pure 4. The Divorced. By Lady Charlotte Whig of the old school, and party was dignified in
Bury, authoress of “ Flirtation,” &c. It was Walpole who first said that
2 Vols. London: H. Colburn. 1837. every man had his price; and he conducted the
5. Manuella ;
When government strictly upon that doctrine.
the Executioner's Pulteney was out, Walpole hoped to purchase his
Daughter. 3 Vols. London: R. Bentsupport by a place in the household; but Pulteney, ley. 1837. who was one of the most eloquent, and least scru We place these works of fiction together, not pulous men of the day, relaxed by degrees from his for the purpose of instituting comparisons amongst slight connexion with his former colleagues; and them, but for the sake of brevity. We will take
them in the order in which we have enumerated 2. Mr. Morier's former novels hardly prepared them above, and give the result of a careful exa us to expect a work so simple, pure, and truthful mination of each in as short a compass as possible.
as Abel Allnutt. In this fiction he ventures upon 1. The circumstances of the life of Crichton are a field totally different from that which he occuinvolved in considerable doubt. Until the ap- pied with so much success in Hajji Baba, where pearance of the Memoir by Mr. Francis Tytler, the oriental diction supplies so large a portion of there was very little known concerning him. The the vraisemblance of the story. The tale of Abel received opinion of his extraordinary versatility was
Allnutt is thoroughly English—incidents, chahardly more than conjectural; nor did Mr. Tytler's racters, and reflections, are all derived from the native researches satisfactorily establish as facts those soil of Great Britain. Abel is a country gentlenumerous legends of his genius that have descended man, who is tempted to sell out stock (his whole
It has even been questioned whether such worldly substance) for the purpose of investing it a person ever lived: the place of his birth has in the Mexican mines : but the mines fail, and he been disputed, although it is now generally ad
and his family are ruined. Your true novelist, mitted to have been Scotland : and some erudite however, always has some expedient in store to commentators have endeavoured to prove, upon
rescue the virtuous before he comes to the close of testimony that was, to themselves at least, con
bis third volume, and by such an expedient a clusive, that the attributes of several persons were
pretty niece makes a rich and happy match, and concentrated in one to make up that ideal of ex
Uncle Abel and his single-hearted sisters are once cellence known as the “ admirable Crichton.” Mr. more restored to prosperity. In this outline of the Ainsworth, in a preface that burthens and spoils principal features of the narrative, there is not much the spirit of the romance, labours to establish a action : but the truthfulness of the novel lies in its single point beyond Mr. Tytler's discoveries—the admirable delineations of the individuals who move affiche of Aldus the younger : but there is a diffi. through it. Aunt Barbara is a portrait, every lineaculty about the date, which carries him into a ment of which is faithful to the life; and, indeed, long dissertation of no earthly interest: and so
all the persons of the drama are distinguished by parthat which really constituted the charm of the ticular strokes of truth that make an immediate story-its uncertainty and mystery—is in a mea
impression upon the mind of the reader. We do sure taken away by the pains which the author has not hesitate to say that this novel is one of the best employed to shew that it is no romance after all.
that has been produced for many years past. It is His treatment of the subject, however, exhibits
written with requisite ease-its scenes are painted abundant proof that he believes the whole matter by the hand of a master who knows how to heighten to be apocryphal, for he surrounds Crichton with the expression without exaggerating it—and, alsnch a group of theatrical personages, and places though in these times of calculation and enquiry, him in such a labyrinth of improbabilities, that the
such innocent people as the Allnutts are not to be most credulous reader must close the work, mar
found, or but rarely, we are not yet so far advanced velling whether such events ever happened. The
into the age of utility as to be incapable of apprecourt of Henri Trois, the brilliant and gallant ciating the primitive elements of which their natures
are composed. knights of that day, the heartless Catherine de
3. The temptation which the translator of M. de Medicis, conspiring against her own son, the gentle
Saintine's novel of Picciola seems to have had for Margaret de Valois, and the wonderful Crichton, rendering that work into English was, its total fill the canvass with figures of absorbing interest.
dissimilarity from French novels in general. Now But the actual thread of story is very slight, and
that appears to us to be hardly a sufficient reason were it not for the boldness of the colouring, the
for undertaking so troublesome a task, unless, in extravagance of the incidents, and the richness of
addition to its freedom from the vices of the the costume, there would be very little in the work
French school, it possessed peculiar merits of its to sustain the attention of the reader. It is written, however, with ability, the conception is good. Picciola in this country will not repay the pains
We suspect that the reception of the the filling in is undoubtedly wild, but clever; and
which the translator has evidently bestowed upon it has the merit all throughout of exciting curiosity.
it. The tale is too scanty—the purpose too It takes up the life of Crichton when he has at
common-place and sentimental-to satisfy the tained the meridian of his triumphant youth, in a
taste of our day, which craves stronger stimulants disputation at the University of Paris, and leaves
than this very amiable story. A French Count, him on the eve of marriage. This section of his
who, having a large fortune, and nothing to do, career was enough for the purposes of romance becomes a free thinker in sheer idleness, and, his learning and his gallantries would have over
embarking in a conspiracy against the government, loaded the page, and Mr. Ainsworth has judiciously
is cast into prison. His loneliness is cheered by a restricted himself to a few points of his many-sided solitary flower—the Picciola—which springs up character. Several lyrics are interspersed through amongst the stones of a little court yard. The the chapters—but few of them are of much value.
universal truth that we must have something to The Literary Gazette says, that they are transla
love, is exemplified in this instance by the affection tions of poems written by Crichton. Would the
which the count lavishes upon this flower. The learned critic be good enough inform the public stones impede its growth, and the count, whoso upon what authority he makes that statement ?
mind appears to be a little shaken by confinement,