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-And our infirmities, not being mortal at present, we must not render so without special warrant less pleasurable.

And therefore, last not least, adieu also, watchmen!

Farewell, the tranquil box! Farewell, "good nights :"
Farewell, your drowsy stoop; and the big coats
That make you so much lumber.


To frequent the theatre is not in our bond: night-time we have not undertaken to illustrate; but all the rest of the world is before us, from six in the morning: and then we dine, and are the reader's humble servant for any topic of conversation with which books, or newspapers, or town and country, can furnish us. We do not mean to give up our old books. The spirits in them would leap out of their shelves at us, if we did: at least we hope so. But new books will be welcome, if good; and plenty of extraordinary things are always occurring. There is the Roué' for instance; or Don Miguel, who means to be one before his time; or Vesuvius, which has conveniently broken out for us; or the ground which lately became inflammable, like an author's head, "after boring for salt;" or the subterraneous whispers which have lately frightened the Durham people; or the horse in flower, who has six legs, and is budding two more; or "respectable" people, going about picking and stealing, out of pure want of ideas, and inability to have but one at a time; or the Greenwich holidays; or the Hyde Park holidays; or the correspondence between Mrs Diana Beaumont and my Lord Howden, in which his Lordship seems to understand well the sympathy between those apparently remote places, and says, he "cannot bring himself to consider" the consequences as "an inexpiable offence;" only he thinks it would be insane in a man to be lively in the vicinity of Diana.*

* "We extract," says the Examiner, "from the report of an action for slander (Northern Circuit) two letters curiously illustrative of the character of polite morals. The first is from Mrs Beaumont, the convicted offender, against whose husband a verdict was found for 1,700. Mrs Beaumont, by virtue of her name of Diana, takes cognizance of a certain alleged incontinency in her agent, the plaintiff, Mr Horsington; and here we have to remark on a curious point in morals, namely, that the gravamen of his sin seems to have been entirely geographical. The corpus delicti was what the lawyers would call the venue. Mrs Beaumont clearly indicates that such is the main substance of the grievance

We are mistaken if the following remarks, in the Atlas newspaper, upon a criticism of Sir Walter Scott's, are not by the same hand. We know not whether we are trenching on any newspaper delicacies; and whatever might be thought to the contrary from our own connexions, are really not aware whether the author has any regard for ourselves; nor did we ever so much as see him; but unless somebody here has been catching his style, he is the only prose author (now writing) whom we look upon as a man of wit in the good old sense of the word,—and who makes us laugh. Elia, it seems, will write no longer, though we have not given up all hopes of his throwing in an eleemosinary joke or so to this our Companion. Mr Hazlitt makes us think and feel; puts our faculties to the utmost; and renders dishonest critics and politicians very contemptible: but he is not a man of wit, nor does he make us laugh for laughing's sake. Sir Walter Scott (and we have now named the only three writers to whose volumes we are in the habit of turning, for the pleasure of reading them again and again) can paint humorous characters, at which we laugh; but neither is he a man of wit; his sentences do not tell after the manner of Swift and others; his ideas are not laughable, unconnected with the whole history of a man's character and behaviour: they are not happy in themselves and from immediate juxta-position; and indeed he abounds as little as any man in quotable sentences, whether serious or comic. There is perhaps no man of genius that ever wrote (unless it be Smollet) from whom you can less extract mottos or pithy sayings: and the reason is, that he is nothing except as a painter of what has gone before him, and a writer of narrative. He is a

in her letter; and Lord Howden, a tolerant nobleman enough, in his reply concurs so completely in the sentiment as to say, 'Situated as the world is, and with so much of the same going on in every direction, among the very highest as well as those of an humble class, I cannot bring myself to consider it as an inexpiable offence; but had he done what you suspected that he had-brought and fixed the person in your village, as it may be said at your very door, I should, as you did, have deemed it a crime and an insult not to be pardoned-an act of insanity scarcely to be conceived.'

"From this position we may arrive at some mathematical conclusions in morals. The crime in question increases in direct proportion to its propinquity to the great lady's house. At her door it is unpardonable; a league off, the way of the world. It is thus, according to two exalted authorities, argued as entirely a matter topography, and the degree of peccability is regulated by the distance from the mansion of the mistress of the estate."-Rationale of Polite Morals.

very great novelist; a very mediocre poet; and to our thinking, no critic at all. He is so great a man in one way, that he cannot but interest you in any. Let him talk ever so wide of the mark, he talks agreeably; but his criticism, we think, is nothing but agreeable talking, and that of nothing new. He lives entirely in the past; and cannot think, feel, or hope anything, that is not made up of the great mass of conventionality; the very shadow of which haunts and holds him in like a talisman; so that he cannot laugh but there is something melancholy at the bottom of it; nor feel anything but the anger of timidity and hopelessness, at those who seek for an enlightenment of the darkness. It is curious to find him, in the passage here criticised, expressing his opinion, that mankind at large-the inhabitants of his "vale of blood and tears," (as he has called it)—are more sensible of the comic than the pathetic. We should fancy there was more at the bottom of this mistake, than appears at first sight; but it is only one of the sure and certain errors which he commits, when he undertakes to be critical. He has been taking some other mistake for a principle to go upon, and made an erroneous deduction, accordingly. It would be enough for him, for instance, to consider that Molière was more popular in the world at large than Racine; and from this circumstance, as if Racine and pathos were the same thing, because there are pathetic things in that author, he would conclude that comedy is more popular than tragedy.—But to our extract.

"Sir Walter Scott, in an article on Molière, in the Foreign Quarterly Review," says our pleasant critic, "affirms that the sense of the comic is far more general among mankind, and far less altered and modified by the artificial rules of society, than that of the pathetic; and that a hundred men of different ranks, or different countries, will laugh at the same jest, when not five of them perhaps would blend their tears over the same point of sentiment. Take, for example, the Dead Ass of Sterne, and reflect how few would join in feeling the pathos of that incident, in comparison with the numbers who would laugh in chorus till their eyes ran over at the too lively steed of the redoubtable John Gilpin.'

"It may be conceded that a hundred men of different ranks and different countries will laugh at the same jest, when not five of them perhaps would blend their tears over the same point of sentiment '-simply because

it is not the habit of men to indicate their sensibility by tears, and it is their habit to manifest their mirth by laughter. The test proposed is therefore a false one. Newspaper editors indeed 'shed a tear' over the distress of Ireland, and the ravages of Greece, or the troubles of Portugal; but we are aware of no other class of men who make a boast and parade of their larmoyant propensities; and we have considerable doubts whether the said editors are as good as their word when they make these shed-a-tear professions. For this we can vouch, speaking from some experience, that we never caught one of them in the act of weeping over the woes of the world when composing; and we have often wished them to inform us of the opportunity they take to drop their tear.-We use the word in the singular, as the newspaper establishments in their collective capacity (expressed by the WE) only club a tear.

"So much for the test of weeping.

"The example we consider as faulty as the test. Few may, we grant, join in feeling the pathos of the incident of the Dead Ass in Sterne, while many will laugh in chorus at the performances of John Gilpin; but will this observation tend to prove that the comic is more generally apprehended than the pathetic? Are we quite certain that the Dead Ass of Sterne is as true to the pathetic as the adventures of John Gilpin are to the comic? Our own opinion is, that genuine pathos will be felt by a greater number of persons than genuine comedy, and naturally with increased intensity. In youth, tragedy is preferred to comedy; and it is only as we acquire knowledge of the world that our delight in tragedy gives place to a relish for comedy. Of the million who live, and breathe, and see, and hear, without acquiring this knowledge, or acquiring only a slender portion, the large majority retain their admiration for tragedy. Ask the vulgar which they prefer, a tragedy or a comedy, and we are persuaded that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the answer will be tragedy. We are ready to concede to Sir Walter Scott his Dead Ass; we admit that John Gilpin will ride triumphantly over it; and we think that if he meets Maria washing on the road, he will prove too much for her also, and her pockethandkerchief to boot; but we will match Le Fevre against even John Gilpin and here is the less doubtful pathetic placed in comparison with the true broad comic.

"From his portable form, Gilpin has an advantage which is scarcely fair over most prose instances; but, in his own metrical lists, we would pit against him, as a candidate for popularity, the ballad of the Babes in the Wood.

"Sir Walter Scott has, we think, erred in his comparative estimate of

the sensibility to the pathetic and the comic, from attaching an undue weight to the outward indications. Men generally feel pathos more than they choose to express it, and express more mirth than they feel. The indication of deep feeling is repressed as a weakness, while that of merriment is rather volunteered as a sign of good humour. For this reason, independent of other reasons of equal force, we may, as Sir Walter says, find a hundred men to laugh together at a joke, while it is almost impossible to beat up two or three Billy Lackadays to blend their tears over the same point of sentiment. Weeping is, however, not the test of sensibility."

This is a long extract for our small work; but our Companions must imagine we are reading it to them at table. It is not the first time. The "other reasons of equal force," which are numerous, we shall endeavour to supply in a future article; unless we can get a friend of ours, a true critic, and of the first order, to do it better. Sir Walter has forgotten, among forty other things, that comedy itself is founded in manners and sophistications, and is the greater in proportion as it illustrates some contradiction to what is natural; whereas the pathetic has to do with the whole circle of humanity, in savage nations and civilized, and in the shape, not only of sorrow and mortality, and every tragic experience that is common to us, but of hope, and even joy, and everything beyond the artificial.


[The title of Roué by the bye is surely a mistake,-meaning rather a worn-out old libertine, broken on the wheel of his bonnes fortunes, than a young one in full possession of it.]

We have got among the good things of our neighbours this week, and know not where to leave off. This comes of reading the papers. We only wish we had nothing to do but to make extracts every week, and comment upon them. We quote the following passage however from one of the above newspapers, to object as well as agree. The writer praises the new novel for its "intellectual vigour and literary mastery," but thinks it dangerous. Now there is surely no literary mastery in it. It is constantly missing the word proper to

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