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Tales just adverted to, can answer any beneficial purpose, it is well; and their unpleasing character becomes in that case a consideration wholly subordinate; but as poetry, a person must have a strangely modified taste, pot to say, a sensibility a little the worse for wear, who can experience in the perusal, any of that pleasure wbich works of taste are adapted and designed to awaken. The same remarks will apply, with some qualification, to the remaining stories of William Bailey, the Cathedral Walk, and Smugglers and Poachers. In the last, however, there is more of the poet displayed in the vivid description of the work. ings of imagination, and the strong beatings of the naked

human heart. The subject is the very reverse of pleasing, but the terror and gloom which hang over it, have charms for the imagination, which supply the deficiency of other sources of interest.

We have reserved for our concluding extracts, the story of Sir Owen Dale, to which we referred as an exception to the inferior character of the second volume. It is one of the best in the work, and its moral tendency is excellent. Sir' Owen has resolved upon a singular method of revenging himself, but, as the parties are circumstanced, an efficient one, upon à fair coquette who had first tempted, and then rejected, the offer of his hand. While bent upon the execution of his plan, be calls upon a tenant who had had far more ample provocation to vengeance, in his wife's infidelity; and from him, Sir Owen receives a lesson which sends bim home determined to revoke his purpose, thankful that the object of his old attachment had not been stolen from him after her band had become his,

The character of Ellis, the easy, not refined, but affectionate and unsuspicious husband, is very true to life. He,' a thriving

man,'- would sometimes quit the parlour fire for the town inn, while his wife, left to muse at home in sullen discontent, soon began to yield to the wish that some social spirit would come to the farm to relieve her solitude. One of kindred miod at length presents himself, in a young man placed with a neighbouring farmer in order to learn the business. He finds in farmer Ellis, a man of information and sense; in bis wife,

A lovely being who could please too well;
And he was one who never would deny
Himself a pleasure, or indeed would try.

Early and well the wife of Ellis knew
Where danger was, and trembled at the view.
So evil spirits tremble, but are still
Evil, and lose not the rebellious will.'

6

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• Friendship with woman is a dangerous thing-
Thence hopes avowd and bold confessions spring :
Frailties confess'd to other frailties lead,
And new confessions new desires succeed ;
And, when the friends have thus their hearts disclosed,

They find how little is to guilt opposed.' With steady and delicate hand, Mr. Crabbe traces the steps by which the domestic happiness of Ellis is for ever blasted, not forgetting his own just remark, that there are crimes which

they almost share who paint them well.' Vice is never fascinating in his pages, nor does the description supply an impulse at variance with tbe moral of the Tale.

- While the Farmer read of public crimes,
Collating coolly Chronicles and Times,
The flight was taken by the guilty pair,

That made one passage in the columns there.? Sir Owen's visit to his tenant, is supposed to happen some years after the event, and he goes in expectation of bearing from bim a tale of vengeance. The picture which Ellis draws of the abject misery in which he, two years after, discovered the lost pair, is horrible and loathsome, such as Mr. Crabbe excels in enabling the reader to realize, and such as in this instance he may be forgiven for delighting to paint, on account of the lesson it supplies.

• " What indeed I meant
“ At first was vengeance ; but I long pursued
“ Tbe pair, and I at last their misery view'd
“ In that vile garret, which I cannot paint
“ The sight was loathsome, and the smell was faint ;
" And there that wife,—whom I had loved so well,
“ And thought so happy, was condemned to dwell;
“ The gay, the grateful wife, whom I was glad
" To see in dress beyond our station clad,
“ And to behold among our neighbours fine,
“ More than perhaps became a wife of mine ;
“And now among her neighbours to explore,
“ And see her poorest of the very poor !
“ I would describe it, but I bore a part,
Nor can explain the feelings of the heart;
“ Yet memory since has aided me to trace
“ The horrid features of that dismal place.
“ There she reclined unmoved, her bosom bare
“ To her companion's unimpassioned stare,
" And my wild wonder:-Seat of virtue, chaste
“ As lovely once! O! how wert thou disgraced !
“ Upon that breast, by sordid rags dehled,
“ Lay the wan features of a famish'd child ;
“ That sin-born babe in utter misery laid,
« Too feebly wretched even to cry for aid;

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« The ragged sheeting o'er her person drawn,
“ Served for the dress that hunger placed in pawn.
“ At the bed's feet the man reclined his frame:
“ Their chairs were perished to support the flame
That warm'd his agued limbs; and, sad to see,
“ That shook him fiercely as he gazed on me.
“ I was confused at this unhappy view :
“My wife ! my friend ! I could not think it true;
“My children's mother,-my Alicia,- laid
“On such a bed ! so wretched,—so afraid !
“ And her gay young seducer, in the guise
“ Of all we dread, abjure, defy, despise,
“ And all the fear and terror in his look,
“ Still more my mind to its foundation shook.
“ At last he spoke : • Long since I would have died,
“* But could not leave her, though for death I sigh'd,
". And tried the poison'd cup, and dropt it as I tried.
“ • She is a woman, and that famished thing
“«Makes her to life, with all its evils, cling :
« • Feed her, and let her breathe her last in peace,
"And all my sufferings with your promise cease!'
“ Ghastly he smiled : -I knew not what I felt,
“ But my heart melted-hearts of Aint would melt
“ To see their anguish, penury, and shame,
“ How base, how low, how groveling they became :
“ I could not speak my purpose, but my eyes
“ And my expression bade the creature rise.
" Yet, O! that woman's look! my words are vain
“ Her mixed and troubled feelings to explain ;
« True, there was shame and consciousness of fall,
“ But yet remembrance of my love withal,
“ And knowledge of that power which she would now recal.
“ But still the more that she to memory brought,
“ The greater anguish in my mind was wrought ;
“ The more she tried to bring the past in view,
“ She greater horror on the present threw;
“ So that, for love or pity, terror thrillid
“ My blood, and vile and odious thoughts instill’d.
*

*
" And you relieved ?"

“ If hell's seducing crew
Had seen that sight, they must have pitied too."
“ Revenge was thine-thou hadst the power, the right;
“ To give it up was hcaven's own aci to slight.”
“ Tell me not, Sir, of rights, and wrongs, or powers !
“I felt it written-Vengeance is not ours !”.
“ What didst thou, man?”

I brought them to a cot
« Behind your larches,-a sequestered spot,
6 Where dwells the woman : I believe her mind
“ Is now enlighten'd I am sure resign'd:
“She gave her infant, though with aching heart
“ And faltering spirit, to be nursed apart.
" And that vile scoundrel"

“ Nay his name restore,
" And call him Cecil,- for he is no more :
“ When my vain help was offer'd, he was past
6 All human aid, and shortly breath'd his last;
“ But his heart open'd, and he liv'd to see
“ Guilt in himself, and find a frieod in me."
“ But, Ellis, tell me, didst thou thus desire
To heap upon their heads those coals of fire?"
“ If fire to melt, that feeling is confest,-
“ If fire to shame, I let that question rest;
“ But if aught more the sacred words imply,
“ I know it not-no commentator I.”
“ Then did you freely from your soul forgive!"
“ Sure as I hope before my Judge to live,
« Sure as I trust his mercy to receive,
« Sure as his word I honour and believe,
6. Sure

the Saviour died upon the tree
“ For all who sin,—for that dear wretch and me,
“ Whom never more on earth will I forsake or see." .

Vol. II. pp. 39–46. Passages such as these, make us the more deeply regret that the Author should ever have lost sight of the noble purpose to which his extraordinary talents might, with so much honour to himself, and so much advantage to his readers, have been uniformly dedicated.

Compared with Mr. Crabbe's former volumes, the Tales of the Hall, exbibit, we think, no marks of decay or exhaustion of faculty, and they are, upon the whole, less obnoxious to criticism than some of his productions. A few inadvertencies, and an oceasional negligence of style, may have been noticed in our extracts; but upon these, we have deemed it perfectly unnecessary to remark. The Author is himself too old a practitioner to stand in need of hints from any of our profession, relative to the minutiæ of composition; and, of all the writers of the day, he is the one the least likely to tempt into a reproduction of his faults, a tribe of imitators. Although a mannerist, his manner is not of a kind to seduce a copyist : it is, in general, too cool, too dry to take even with bis admirers as a model, nor would it be endurable at second hand. But what places Mr. Crabbe peculiarly beyond the reach of imitation, is

not so much bis manner, as his style of thought, and his materials for thinking. Few poetical writers are more entirely free from egotism, or seem to have their own feelings and concerns so little implicated in their productions; and yet, there are few whose works bear more decided marks of indivi. duality of character. To be the author of these Tales, a man must have passed through a noviciate of no ordinary kind, must have been subjected to the modifying process of circumstances which serve to account for whatever is morbid in his feelings, and for much that is excellent in his faculties; and he must have lived long, and seen much of life, in order to have acquired that treasure of good and evil knowledge from which Mr. Crabbe draws bis, seemingly inexhaustible materials.

On all these accounts, we deem bim safe from the impertinence of imitation; and an originality of this substantial nature affords, perhaps—the best security for the permanence of a Writer's literary existence.

Art. III. The Connexion between the Sacred Writings and the Litera

ture of Jewish and Heathen Authors, particularly that of the Classical Ages, illustrated, principally with a view to Evidence in Confirmation of the Truth of Revealed Religion. By Robert Gray, D.D. Prebendary of Durham and of Chichester, and Rector of Bishop Wearmouth. Second Edition, 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 368, 504. Price 21s.

1819. IT T is not often that the Dedication of a work attracts so much of our attention as to detain us in the examination of

any

of its sentiments or statements. Nor should we, in the present instance, notice the pages in which the Author pays his acknowledgements to his patron, the Bishop of Durham, but for the sake of shewing bow eflectually the doctrine of the following passage is invalidated by a declaration of the learned Prebendary, wbich occurs in the body of “ The Connexion."

It is impossible,' says Dr. Gray, 'not to be convinced, that we must look to those who early imbibe sound knowledge under institutions in which a due regard is paid to religious instruction, for that firm and cordial defence of our constitution, both in church and state, which is necessary, when there is often so much cause to lament a vague latitude of opinion, as to doctrines essential to the preservation of truth; and a coldness with respect to institutions sanctioned by the example of the purest ages, compacted with the frame of our constitution and laws, and indispensable to the maintenance of our civil and religious interests.'

We do not mean to examine this passage for the purpose of determining how far a due regard to religious instruction is paid, in the institutions alluded to; or whether a vague latitude

of opinion as to doctrines essential to the preservation of trathi,'

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