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and though the philosophy of Rome cried it down, Plato himself confesses it to have been the moving spring of the philosophy of Greece.
Here then we discern the proper province of works of fiction ; for novelty and surprise (as · Bishop Warburton defines them) are the infe
parable attendants of imposture; and the very, time, when strong attractions are required to draw men to their books, is the time for such
productions to appear, and the strength of 1 their attraction will depend upon the writer's È care and talents. Now, though novelty and i furprise are what we aim to treat our readers
with, we are no otherwise impostors, than those fair-dealing jugglers are, who candidly warn their spectators before hand, that their tricks are nothing more than mere Night of hand, the effect of nimble art and practised adroitness, by which they cheat the sight, but aim not to impose upon the understanding ; like them, the Novelist professes to deal in ingenious deceptions, but deceptions fo like truth and nature, that whilst his performances have all the vivacity of a romance to excite admiration, they have the harmony of a history to engage approbation. Monsters, and prodigies,
and every species of unnatural composition are not to be admitted into a novel, for these tend only to raise wonder in the ignorant and superstitious, and are a sort of black art, now universally exploded. A writer of romances, in the present age, cannot make so free with the credulity of his readers, as Herodotus or even Livy did with their's, though profest historians.
A novel may be considered as a dilated comedy ; its plot therefore should be uniform, and its narrative unbroken: episode and digression are sparingly, if at all, to be admitted; the early practice of weaving story within story should be avoided; the adventures of the Man of the Hill, in the Foundling; is an excrescence that offends against the grace and symmetry of the plot: whatever makes a pause in the main business, and keeps the chief characters too long out of sight, must be a defect. In all histories, whether true or fictitious, the author cannot too carefully refrain froin speaking in his own person, and this is yet another reason to be added to those already given, why policical discussions should never be admitred in a novel, as they are sure to be set down to the author's account, let him assign
them as he will. It is not necessary that the leading character of a novel should be honest and amiable, but it is indispensible it should be interesting and entertaining; and every writer, who wishes to endear man to man by pleasing pictures of human nature, or, in other words, by presenting virtuous characters in amiable lights, will let the good preponderate over the evil; he will not take his maxims from Rochfoucault, nor shape his fellow-crea. tures after the models of Hobbes or Swift ; the spirit of the author will be seen in the general moral and tendency of the piece, though he will allot to every particular character its proper sentiment and language; the outline will be that of nature, and fancy will dispose the group into various attitudes and actions, but the general colouring and complexion of the whole will reflect the peculiar and distinguishing tints of the master,
1. Vol. II.
'A terrible Encounter, in which our Hero is totally
W HILST our hero had been occupied
ir at the cottage, Sir Roger had concluded his conference with Lord Crowbery. Nature had endowed the worthy Baronet with an evenness of temper, that was a great sheather for the ill humours of those he had to deal with. On this occasion, however, matters passed better than he had laid his account for; not that the conversation went off without some mutterings on the part of the Peer, but they were such as rather thewed his fullenness than fero
The reception given to Henry at Manstock House was touched upon, with a kind of contemptuous sneer at the weakness of Sir Roger for admitting such a guest." But perhaps," added my Lord ironically, “ you find all those charms in his elegant society that my Lady your niece did ; or, if you yourself don't immediately discover them, your fair daughter perhaps may, for prejudices are apt to run in
families; and, I dare say the young gentleman well knows how to profit by such prejudices; but you, no doubt, have weighed these matters well before you made an inmate of him.”
Sir Roger, who was no dealer in fide speeches and insinuations, took little notice of this trash, and turned the subject to his niece's illness. My Lord replied, that she was certainly much indisposed, for which, in fact, she had to thank herself; that for his own part he had done, and should continue to do, every thing in his power for her recovery; change of climate had been suggested to him, and by authority he was much inclined to defer to. His neighbour Blachford had called down a : very eminent surgeon from London, and he had taken his advice in Lady Crowbery's case; it was the very Mr. L- , who had made so wonderful a cure of Sir George Revel, after his duel with Arundel in Flanders. " I confess to you,” said the Peer, “ I am charm'd with him; he talks to the understanding, and I comprehend what he means; but he will not let us decide on what he recommends without a reference to the faculty, and it seems we are to have a consultation of physicians in London,