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According to her, Burns spent that day, though labouring Whiles owre a bush wi' downward crush, under a cold, in the usual work of his harvest, and appa
The doited beastie stammers; rently in excellent spirits. But as the twilight deepened, Then up he gets, and off he sets, he appeared to grow very sad about something,' and at
For sake o' Willie Chalmers. length wandered out into the barn-yard, to which his wife, in her anxiety for his health, followed bim, entreating him “I doubtna, lass, that weel-kenn'd name in vain to observe that frost had set in, and to return to the
May cost a pair o' blushes; fireside. On being again and again requested to do so, he I am nae stranger to your fame, always promised compliance, but still remained where he
Nor his warm-urged wishes. was, striding up and down slowly, and contemplating the Your bonnie face, sae mild and sweet, sky, which was singularly clear and starry. At last Mrs
His honest heart enamours; Burns found him stretched on a mass of straw, with his And faith ye'll no be lost a whit, eyes fixed on a beautiful planet, that shone like another
Tho' waired on Willie Chalmers, moon,' and prevailed on him to come in. He immediately, on entering the house, called for his desk, and wrote, ex- “ Auld Truth hersell might swear ye're fair, actly as they now stand, with all the ease of one copying
And Honour safely back her, from memory, the sublime and pathetic verses
And Modesty assume your air, • Thou lingering star, with lessening ray
And ne'er a ane mistak' her: That lovest to greet the early morn,
And sic twa love-inspiring een, Again thou usherest in the day
Might fire even holy Palmers; My Mary from my soul was torn.
Nae wonder, then, they've fatal been
To honest Willie Chalmers.
“ I doubtna Fortune may you shore, Hearst thou the groans that rend his breast ?' &c.
Some mim-mou'd pouther'd priestie,
Fu' lifted up wi' Hebrew lore, The following simple and touching verses refer to the
And band upon his breastie; approaching separation of the lovers. They ought imme
But oh! what signifies to you diately to be set to music, and are well calculated to take
His lexicons and grammars; their place among the popular songs of their lamented
The feeling heart's the royal blue,
And that's wi' Willie Chalmers. author : VERSES,
“ Some gapin' glowrin' countra laird By Robert Burns, when about to leave Scotland.
May warsle for your favour; O'er the mist-shrouded cliffs of the lone mountain straying,
May claw his lug, and straik his beard, Where the wild winds of winter incessantly rave,
And host up some palaver. What woes wring my heart while intensely surveying
My bonny maid, before ye wed
Sic clumsy-witted hammers, The storm's gloomy path on the breast of the wave.
Seek Heaven for help, and barefit skelp
Awa' wi' Willie Chalmers.
“ Forgive the Bard ! My fond regard Where the flower which bloom'd sweetest in Coila's green
For ane that shares my bosom, vale,
Inspires my muse to gie'm his dues,
For de'il a hair I roose him. The pride of my bosom, my Mary's no more.
May powers aboon unite you soon,
And fructify your amours, No more by the banks of the streamlet we'll wander,
And every year come in mair dear And smile at the moon's rimpled" face in the wave;
To you and Willie Chalmers.” No more shall my arms cling with fondness around her, For the dewdrops of morning fall cold on her grave. To Mr James Burnes, of Montrose, the poet's cousin,
Mr Lockhart has been indebted for five unpublished letNo more sball the soft thrill of love warm my breast, ters of Burns. Two of these we shall extract. The I haste with the storm to a far distant shore ;
first was written in 1789, just after his marriage and Where, unknown, unlamented, my ashes shall rest, establishment at Elliesland. Considering the circumAnd joy shall revisit my bosom no more.
stances which led to his union with Miss Jean Armour, We may here mention, that we are aware of the exist- and the scandalous stories which were circulated at the ence, and have perused, in his own handwriting, one other time, it cannot fail to be read with much interest : unpublished poem by Burns. It is addressed to Clarinda,
“(Elliesland, 9th Feb. 1789. / Wby I did not write you and was lately in the possession of Mr Syme of Dum- long ago, is what, even on the rack, I could not answer: fries. It is not, however, one of the poet's most success- If
you can in your mind form an idea of indolence, disi. ful efforts. Mr Lockhart has likewise recovered an in-pation, hurry, cares, change of country, entering on untried teresting poetical epistle, by Burns, which has never be- scenes of life-all combined, you will save me the trouble of fore been given to the public, and which will form not
a blushing apology. It could not be want of regard for a the least valuable addition to bis new volume. He thus esteem which has much increased since I did know him;
man for whom I had a high esteem before I knew bim-an introduces it to the notice of his readers :
and, this caveat entered, I shall plead guilty to any other in“ It was at this time, (1787,) I believe, that Burns indited dictment with which you shall please to charge me. a lively copy of verses, which have never yet been printed, “ After I parted from you, for many months my life was and which I find introduced with the following memoran- one continued scene of dissipation. Here, at last, 'I am bedum, in a small collection of MSS., sent by the poet to come stationary, and have taken a farm, and
a wife. The Lady H. Don. Mr Chalmers, a gentleman in Ayrshire, farm lies beautifully situated on the banks of the Nith, a particular friend of mine, asked me to write a poetical | large river that runs by Dumfries, and falls into the Sot epistle to a young lady, his dulcinea. I had seen her, but way Frith. I have gotten a lease of my farm as long as I was scarcely acquainted with her, and wrote as follows:'- pleased; but how it may turn out is just a guess, as it is “ Madam,
yet to improve and enclose, &c.; however, I have good
hopes of my bargain on the whole. “ Wi’ braw new branks in mickle pride,
My wife is my Jean, with whose story you are partly And eke a braw new brechan,
acquainted. I found I had a much-loved fellow-creature's My Pegasus I'm got astride,
happiness or misery among my hands, and I durst niet trifle And up Parnassus pechin;
with so sacred a deposit. `Indeed, I have not any reason to printed dimpled. We prefer rimpled, as more expressive and less intend the version of this stanzı already published, this word to repent the step I have taken, as I have attached myself to a
very good wife, and have shaken
myself loose of a very bad commonplace.-Ep.
“ I have found my book a very profitable business, and ther company in the same tavern, Burns immediately adwith the profits of it have begun life pretty decently. dressed himself to the chair, and demanded a bumper. "The Should Fortune not favour me in farming, as I have no president thought he was about to dedicate his toast to the great faith in her fickle ladyship, I have provided myself in distinguished absentee : I give,' said the Bard, • I give you another resource, which, however some folks may affect to the health, gentlemen all, -of the waiter that called 'my despise it, is still a comfortable shift in the day of misfor- Lord out of the room.' tune. In the heyday of my fame, a gentleman, whose name “He often made extempore rhymes the vehicle of his sarat least I daresay you know, as his estate lies somewhere casm: thus, for example, having heard a person, of no very near Dundee, Mr Graham of Fintry, one of the Commis- elevated rank, talk loud and long of some aristocratic festisioners of Excise, offered me the commission of an Excise- vities in which he had the honour to mingle, Burns, when officer. I thought it prudent to accept the offer; and ac- he was called upon for his song, chanted some verses, of cordingly, I took my instructions, and have my commission which one has been preserved : -by me. Whether I may ever do duty, or be a penny the
• Of lordly acquaintance you boast, better for it, is what I do not know ; but I have the com
And the dukes that you dined wi' yestreen, fortable assurance, that, come whatever ill fate will, I can, Yet an insect's an insect at most, on my simple petition to the Excise-Board, get into em
Though it crawl on the curl of a queen.' ploy.
“ I believe I have already alluded to Burns's custom of The other letter is of a later date, and of a more melan- carrying a diamond pencil with him in all his wanderings, choly nature. It was written to Mr Burnes shortly be- and constantly embellishing inn-windows and so forth with fore the poet's death, when he was alike oppressed by his epigrams. On one occasion, being storm-stayed at Lasickness, poverty, and the pride of independence : mington, in Clydesdale, he went to church ; and the indig“ My dearest Cousin,-When you offered me money as
nant beadle, after the congregation dispersed, invited the atsistand little did I think I should nt it so soon. A tention of the clergyman to this stanza on the window by rascal of a haberdasher, to whom I owe a considerable bill, which the noticeable stranger had been sitting : taking it into his head that I am dying, has commenced a *As cauld a wind as ever blew; process against me, and will infallibly put my emaciated A cauld kirk, and in't but few; body into jail. Will you be so good as to accommodate me, As cauld a minister's ever spak; and that by return of post, with ten pounds? O, James ! Ye'se a' be het or I come back.' did you know the pride of my heart, you would feel doubly “ Sir Walter Scott possesses a tumbler, on which are the for me! Alas! I'am not used to beg! The worst of it is, following verses, written by Burns on the arrival of a my health was coming about finely. You know, and my friend, Mr W. Stewart, factor to a gentleman of Nithsdale. physician assures me, that melancholy and low spirits are
The landlady being very wroth at what she considered the half my disease ; guess, then, my horrors since this business distigurement of her glass, a gentleman present appeased her, began.' if I had it settled, I would be, I think, quite well by paying down a shilling, and carried off the relic. in a manner. How shall I use this language to you? O,
• You're welcome, Willie Stewart, do not disappoint me! but strong necessity's curst command!
You're welcome, Willie Stewart; I have been thinking over and over my brother's affairs, and
There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May, I fear I must cut him up; but on this I will correspond at
That's half sae welcome's thou art. another time, particularly as I shall want your advice. Forgive me for once more mentioning, by return of post.
Come, bumpers high, express your joy, Save me from the horrors of a jail ! My compliments to
The bowl we maun renew it; my friend James, and to all the rest. I do not know what
The tappit-hen gae bring her ben, I have written. The subject is so horrible, I dare not look
To welcome Willie Stewart. it over again. Farewell!
“ R. B. * July 12th, 1796."
May foes be strang, and friends be slack, In addition to these relics of one so dear to his native
Ilk action may he rue it; country, and so much admired everywhere, Mr Lock
May woman on him turn her back, hart has collected a good number of new anecdotes con
That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart.' cerning him, some of which he has given in a cluster, “ Since we are among such matters, perhaps some readand others are scattered up and down the volume. We ers will smile to hear, that Burns very often wrote his have gleaned the most of these, and shall now place them
name on his books thus- Robert Burns, Poet ;' and that all in juxta-position for the benefit of our readers :
Allan Cunningham remembers a favourite collie at Ellies
land having the same inscription on his collar. ANECDOTES OF ROBERT BURNS.
“ Even to the ladies, when he suspected them of wishing " It may naturally excite some surprise, that of the con
to make a show of him, he could not help administering a vivial conversation of so distinguished a convivialist, so few little of his village discipline. A certain stately peeress sent specimens have been preserved in the memoirs of his life.
to invite him, without, as he fancied, having sufficiently The truth seems to be, that those of his companious who cultivated his acquaintance beforehand, to her assembly. chose to have the best memory for such things, happened Mr Burns,' answered the bard, will do himself the
of also to bave the keenest relish for his wit and his humour honour of waiting on the
provided ber when exhibited in their coarser phases. Among a heap of ladyship will invite also the learned pig.' Such an animal MSS. memoranda with wbich I have been favoured, I find
was then exhibiting in the Grassmarket. bat little that one could venture to present in print; and
“ One of the Dumfries volunteers thought fit to affect the following specimens of that little must, for the present, particular civility to Burns, and inter alia seduced him one suffice.
day into his house, where a bottle of champagne was pro“A gentleman who had recently returned from the East duced, and a sinall collection of arms submitted to the bard's Indies, where he had made a large fortune, which he showed inspection. Burns well knew the gentleman's recent hosno great alacrity about spending, was of opinion, it seems, tility, and appreciated the motives of his courtesy. Do one day, that his company had had enongh of wine, rather tell me, Mr Burns,' said he, what do you think of this sooner than they came to that conclusion : he offered ano pair of pistols ?'— Why,' said Burns, after considering them ther bottle in feeble and hesitating terms, and remained with all the gravity of a half-tipsy connoisseur—' I think I dallying with the corkscrew, as it in hopes that some one may safely say for your pistols what nobody would say for would interfere and prevent further effusion of Bourdeaux. the great majority of mankind-they're a credit to their Sir,' said Burns, losing temper, and betraying in his mood maker.' something of the old rusticity-Sir, you have been in Asia,
"I may mention here, that during the later years of his and for aught I know, on the Mount of Moriah, and you life, his favourite book, the usual companion of his solitary seem to hang over your tappil-hen as remorsefully as Abra- rambles, was Cowper's Task. It is pleasing to know that ham did over his son Isaac-Come, sir, to the sacrifice ! these illustrious contemporaries, in spite of the widely dif
" At another party, the society had suffered considerably ferent circumstances under which their talents were devefrom the prosing of a certain well-known provincial Bore loped, and the, at tirst sight, opposite sets of' opinions which of the first magnitude ; and Burns, as much
as any of them, their works express, did justice to each other. No English although, overawed, as it would seem, by the rank of the writer of the time eulogised Burns more generously than nuisance, he had not only submitted, but condescended to Cowper. And in truth they had much in common, applaud. The Grandee being suddenly summoned to ano- • The stamp and clear impression of good sense;'
the love of simplicity; the love of nature; sympathy with | in Nasmyth's sketch, given as a vignette in Lockhart's the poor ; humour; pathos ; satire; warm and manly. Life, is on the head, and casts a partial shade over the hearts; the pride, the independence, and the melancholy of
countenance, genius. Some readers may be surprised to find two such and as to the likeness, means have been taken to obtain
The colouring is soft and harmonious ; names placed together otherwise than by way of contrast. Let it not be forgotten, that Cowper had done little more the opinions of those persons best qualified to judge, and than building bird-cages and rabbit-hatches, at the age when their sentiments are decisive upon the point. We have the grave closed on Burns."
seen letters from Sir Walter Scott, Mr Syme of Dumfries, Our readers will now perceive that Mr Lockhart has Mr Peter Hill, Mr Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Mr not trifled with his new edition, but that it is a bona fide David Bridges, junior, Mrs Burns, Mrs Maclebose (Claenlargement and improvement of the two which have rinda), Mrs Janet Thomson (formerly Miss Jess Lewers), preceded. As such, it will meet with a ready sale where and Miss Dunlop, all of whom agree in speaking of this ever the name of Burns is held in the estimation it de- portrait as amazingly like the original. Sir Walter Scott
expresses himself in these terms: Passing from this subject to one not less interesting “ Sir,—I was much gratified by the sight of the por. and intimately connected with it, we have no small plea- trait of Robert Burns. I saw the distinguished post sure in being the first to announce the existence of a ge- only once, and that many years since, and being a bad nuine and original portrait of Burns, which has hitherto marker of likenesses and recollector of faces, I should in remained altogether unknown, but which there is every an ordinary case have hesitated to offer an opinion upon reason to believe is a still more striking likeness than the the resemblance, especially as I make no pretension to only portrait of him with which the public bas been yet judge of the Fine Arts. But Burns was so remarkable made acquainted—that, namely, which was taken by Na- a man, that his features remain impressed on my mind smyth. The new portrait was painted by the late Peter as if I had seen him only yesterday; and I could not heTaylor, an artist of considerable celebrity at the time Burns sitate to recognise this portrait as a striking resemblance made his first appearance in Edinburgh in the year 1786. of the Poet, though it had been presented to me amid a Mr Taylor was then a very young man, but was looked whole exhibition. I
am, sir, your obedient servant, upon by competent judges as destined soon to rise to the
“ Walter Scorr. very head of his profession as a portrait-painter. Buchan, “ Edinburgh, 14th Nov. 1829. Bonnar, and Nasmyth, were his contemporaries, and entertained the highest respect for his abilities. He fell into tell me the Proprietors intend putting to the engraving,
“ P. S.— I will accept of the inscription which you bad health, and was ordered to the south of France, where he died at an early age. He was of an enterprising spirit,
as a great honour," possessed of fine taste, and celebrated for the accuracy of The postscript refers to the intention to dedicate the his likenesses. It is recorded of him, as a collateral cir- | Portrait, when engraved, to Sir Walter Scott. In lile cumstance, that he was the first who introduced the wax- manner Mrs Burns says,—“ I am requested to give my cloth manufactory into Scotland. Taylor and Burns opinion regarding the Portrait of my late husband, paintwere very intimate, the latter often visiting the artist ed by P. Taylor. I was not aware that another original and his wife. We have it on the authority of Mr Wild portrait had been taken but the one in my possession by liam Taylor, merchant in Leith, the present possessor of Nasmyth. After seeing this one, I have no hesitation in the portrait, that on one occasion, when Burns was at stating my belief that it is original. The likeness to the the painter's house, Taylor said to him,—“ Robie, if upper part of the face is very striking."— The letter from you'll sit to have your picture drawn, I will do it.” The Clarinda is still stronger. We subjoin it: poet agreed, and the picture, after a good number of sit
“Sir,- I return you the fine portrait of Burns, taken tings, was completed. It is a reminiscence of the Et- from the life by the late Mr Peter Taylor, his early trick Shepherd, that upon one occasion, when calling on friend. In my opinion it is the most striking likeness of Mrs Taylor, along with Gilbert Burns, she informed them the poet I have ever seen ; and I say this with the inore that Burns used to come pretty frequently to breakfast, on confidence having a most perfect recollection of his apwhich occasions the picture in question was produced. The
pearance. With best thanks for your polite attention in portrait, it appears, never went out of the artist's hands, calling to show it to me, and your obliging present of the and upon his death became the property of his widow. second edition of the Life, I remain, sir, your obliged serShe had an extraordinary regard for it, and would scarcely vant,
“ AGNES MACLEHOSE. permit any one to see it, much less to borrow it. Once,
“ Edinburgh, 14, Calton Hill, 28th October, 1828.” however, she allowed it to go out of her custody for a short time, on the earnest application of the Earl of Buchan, After perusing such testimonials in favour of this perwho, about sixteen or eighteen years ago, was anxious to trait, our readers will be glad to learn that it has at length show it to the late Duchess of Gordon. His Lordship been put into the hands of Horsburgh, one of the best of afterwards offered forty guineas for the loan of it a se- our Edinburgh engravers, and very little inferior to soine cond time; but Mrs Taylor, having been displeased by of the best in London. He will require about six months his keeping it a day or two longer than he bargained for to do it full justice ; and as soon as it is ready, it is to be before, refused to listen to any terms. All applications published by Messrs Constable & Co. For our own parts, from other quarters for permission to have it copied or en- we sincerely rejoice that a treasure of this kind should graved were uniformly negatived. In 1828, Mrs Taylor thus be brought to light; for, by tending to perpetuate bequeathed the portrait to her relative Mr William Pay- that feeling of individuality which we are ever anxious to lor, of Leith.
attach to the illustrious dead, it cannot fail to give to the Our readers will do us the justice to believe that we genius of Burns a more lasting and endearing dwelling state these facts thus minutely, from a full conviction of place in our bosoms. their fidelity. The portrait does not come to us from the hands of any professional picture-dealer, in which case, aware as we are of the practices of such people, we Memoirs of the Life and Times of Daniel De Foe; CORshould have looked upon it with more suspicion. We taining a Review of his Writings, and his Opinions have ourselves seen it, and as far as our opinion goes, can safely pronounce it an exceedingly interesting, well
upon a variety of Important Matters, Ciril and Ecde
siastical. By Walter Wilson, Esq. of the Inner Tempainted, and delicately-finished portrait, in a fine state of
ple. 3 vols. 8vo. Pp. 482, 527, and 685. London. preservation. It is a cabinet picture, and is what paint- Hurst, Chance, and Co. 1830. ers call a two-third likeness. The hat, of a broad-brimmed clerical shape, similar to that which the poet wears Tue greater part of these volumes is filled with reviews
of De Foe's works, chronologically arranged ; accompa- which Mr Wilson, in his anxiety to prove that he never nied with such notices of the politics of the day as the was a hosier, defines to be an intermediate agent between author has thought were necessary, in order to explain the manufacturer and dealer in stockings. Later in life, the origin and aim of each. Some original letters of De he became a merchant-adventurer ; and in that capacity Foe are inserted, for the authenticity of two of which the is understood to have made several voyages to Spain, vouchers seem to us scarcely sufficient. The personal France, and perhaps the Netherlands. He afterwards anecdotes of De Foe, which Mr Wilson and his prede- conducted, with considerable profit, a tilery in Essex, the cessors have been able to rescue from oblivion, are, though first attempt to introduce that manufacture into Britain, interesting, not quite so numerous as we could have wish- but which was ruined by his confinement to Newgate for ed; for a complete account of that restless spirit, his asso- one of his political offences. Subsequently to this event, ciates, and their domestic habits, would be one of the most he seems to have supported himself by his literary labours, welcome and instructive chapters in a history of English aided, at two brief intervals, by a small pension from the
We proceed to share what we have learned Crown. A speculative disposition led him into serious concerning him with our readers, and shall also suhjoin a embarrassments, from which he afterwards retrieved brief sketch of his literary character-giving (cavillers may himself. He appears originally to have inherited some say)
our store of little to that which hath too much." landed property; and a short time before his death he was Daniel de Foe was born in the parish of St Giles, in possession of a country estate, and a snug villa at Cripplegate, London, in the year 1661. His ancestors Stoke-Newington. He joined the Duke of Monmouth in seem to have been substantial English yeomen ; his father his ill-fated invasion, and appears to have retained to the had settled in the metropolis, and embraced the profession last his belief in the legitimacy of that rash young man, of a butcher. The family were non-conformists, and, at and consequently of the validity of his claims to the the time of Daniel's birth, attended on the ministry of crown. He was more than once consulted by King William, Dr Samuel Annesly, an ejected Presbyterian divine, of and seems to have enjoyed the favour of Queen Mary. whom he has drawn a most pleasing character. The old | During the reign of Queen Anne, he was protected and gentleman, who was in easy circumstances, gave his son employed by both the rival statesmen, Godolphin and a tolerable education. He was placed, in his fourteenth Harley. He was several times dispatched by the latter year, at a private academy at Newington Green. There in secret missions, and was an accredited agent of the gowere, at that period, many such institutions among the vernment at Edinburgh during the transactions by which Dissenters, who had recently been driven to establish the incorporating Union of England and Scotland was them, on their being refused admission to the Universi- effected. ties, and who counted among their number many men We have already noticed his steady adherence through who had highly distinguished themselves at Oxford and life to the principles and communion in which he was Cambridge. The master of the academy to which De educated. He retained to the last a pious abhorrence of Foe was sent, was among the most celebrated of their the theatres ; and regarded May-poles as so completely teachers; but the chief benefit which his pupil seems to simultaneous in local and temporal existence with the two have derived from him, if, indeed, he had not inherited great bug-bears of his life, Toryism and Prelacy, as to it from nature, was a habit of continuous and universal render it difficult to determine whether they were the reading.
cause or the consequence of these evils. These two trifles, De Foe was, of course, educated in the Puritan tenets, however, set apart, De Foe was neither a narrow-minded and his writings evince that they adhered to him to the nor a gloomy man. In his early life he seems to have last. At the same time, if we can place any reliance upon paid considerable attention to his dress, and was a frehis reminiscences of his boyish years, he was early dis- quent, as well as a welcome visitant at the city feasts. tinguished by those sallies of an untamed spirit through in politics and in polemics, he held the even tenor of his the restraints of sectarian discipline, which we find to way, unshackled by the party with which he generally be invariably a characteristic of every Dissenter who acted. And we have the testimony of an enemy in fahas raised himself above his fellows. He reverts, even
his clear head, courage, honesty, and independin age, with pleasure to the recollection of his boxing ence. In the latter part of his life, he seems, in the infeats; and one anecdote he tells, which is peculiarly cha- tervals of sickness, to have sought refuge from domestic racteristic. During the Popery panic under Charles II., annoyances in the management of his garden. His faculseveral of the honest Dissenters, fearful that it might soon ties, notwithstanding an attack of apoplexy, remained become unlawful to possess a copy of the Scriptures in entire till his death ; although, perhaps, a little tinged by the vulgar tongue, set about copying the Bible in short- the querulousness of age, and the passion for money hand. To this task young De Foe applied himself like- which seems to gain upon men exactly at the time when wise, and “worked," he tells us, “ like a horse, till he they are about to cease to need it. He was married, but had written out the whole Pentateuch, when he grew so to whom is not known : he had sons and daughters, tired, that he was willing to risk the rest. This is just whom we know only by name. He died on the 24th of what we see in every boy, from whom any thing is to be April, 1731. This is nearly all that is known of the author hoped in future life ;-the passionate enthusiasm prompt- of Robinson Crusoe, a work which exercises, or perhaps, ing him to undertakings, the tedium of which can only we should rather say, exercised, a wider sway over Bribe endured by the matured patience of manhood—the tish intellect than any book except the Bible. gradual cooling of his zeal, and light-hearted reversion De Foe was one of the best authors of a class which, so to the joyous idleness of youth.
far as we know, has existed only in England, and even Our author, who, like all men of true republican prin- there only since the Revolution. The essence of their ciples, is very anxious to prove that his hero was a gen- being is democracy, not as existing for itself, but as called tleman, and educated for one of the learned professions, into active and fierce exertion by the opposing claims of seems rather to have failed in this attempt. There is no
the privileged classes. This character could be found noproof that his parents ever entertained any such ambi- where else, for in no other country is the citizen of such tious views respecting him ; nor will the circumstance of weight as with us, except in America, and there he has his boasting in after life that he understood several lan- no aristocracy to come into collision with him. De Foe guages, which he might have picked up in his commercial was one of the first of this class, as he still remains the voyages, supply the want of evidence, and the strong pre- best specimen of it. Since his day there has never been sumptions to the contrary, arising out of the style and wanting some one to fill his place with more or less abimatter of his writings. Let him, however, have been lity. Among the numerous competitors in this line, originally intended for what he would, it is certain that whom we at present possess, the great Coryphæus is unhe commenced business early in life as a hose-factor, | doubtedly William Cobbett, a man equal to De Foe in
his natural and graphic details, and, perhaps, as much his by Charles Lamb, in a communication to the author of superior in native vigour, as he falls short of him in these volumes, that we borrow his words : honesty and consistency. We look upon this class of “ In the appearances of truth, in all the incidents and writers as the organs and representatives of the British conversations that occur in them, they exceed any works of democracy; and while we see and confess how dangerous fiction that I am acquainted with. It is perfect illusion. they have often proved, we confess that we have a sneak
The author never appears in these self-narratives, (for so ing kindness for them, and are proud to acknowledge they ought to be called, or rather autobiographies
, ) but the
parrator strains us down to an implicit belief in everything them as countrymen. Their style has little polish ; but he says. There is all the minute detail of a log-book iu it. perhaps, from their want of classical education, has ge- Dates are punctually pressed upon the memory-facts are nuine English freshness about it, which we often miss in repeated over and over in varying phrases, till you cannot the writings of more accomplished authors. Every thought choose but believe them. It is like reading evidence in a bears the impress of the society amid which they have court of justice. So anxious the story-teller seems that the grown up,—is tinged not only with the peculiarities of truth should be clearly comprehended, that when he has their nation, but of their caste. They see every thing down he repeats it, with his favourite figure of speech, I
told us a matter of fact, or a motive, in a line or two further from one point of view, and through one medium. We
say, so and so, though he had made it abundantly plain be. are not to look to them for comprehensive and statesman- fore. This is in imitation of the common people's way of like views; but they discuss any single question that speaking, or rather of the way in which they are addressed comes within their reach with shrewdness and sagacity, by a master or mistress, who wishes to impress something
- they turn it on every side, they anatomize it, they ex- upon their memories, and has a wonderful effect upon mathaust it. They finish their business in a workmanlike ter-of-fact readers. Indeed, it is to such principally that he manner. They often see things that more scientific spe. homely. Robinson Crusoe is delightful to all ranks and
writes. His style is everywhere beautiful, but plain and culators overlook in the pride of their learning. They will classes ; but it is easy to see that it is written in a phraseology succeed at times by a lucky hit in unloosing a knot about peculiarly adapted to the lower conditions of readers. Hence which the most delicate and dexterous fingers have puzzled it is a special favourite with seafaring men, poor boys, serin vain. Their power, however, is bounded—it is re- vant maids, &c. His novels are capital kitchen-reading, sistive, not creative. They are useful when, "sitting at while they are worthy, from their interest, to find a shelf in the fireside, they talk of what is done i' the Capitol.” the libraries of the wealthiest and the most learned. His They keep alive the broad sturdy spirit of our populace, | into a long relation of common incidents, which might hap
passion for matter-of-fact narrative sometimes betrayed hiru and convey their biting jeers to the ears of their rulers.
pen to any man, and have no interest beyond the intense They are prompt critics ou public transactions, and keep appearance of truth in thein to recommend them. The public men on the alert. Bat woe to the country, when, whole latter half, or two-thirds of Colonel Jack,' is of in the clashing of embittered factions, power comes to be this description. The beginning of Colonel Jack is the lodged in their hands.
most affecting natural picture of a young thief that was We find all the excellences of this class, with a very tree, and finding it again when in despair, and the being
ever drawn. His losing the stolen inoney in the hollow small portion of their errors, in De Foe's political wri equal distress at not kvowing how to dispose of it, and se tings. It is true, we do not look upon him as the fault-veral similar touches in the early history of the Colonel
, less monster which Mr Wilson, taking him at his own evince a deep knowledge of human nature ; and putting out word, has represented him ; but considering him as a de- of question the superior romantic interest of the latter, in magogue, which he undoubtedly was, and reflecting, | my mind very much exceeds Crusve. Roxana (first editoo, on the fierce, petty, brawling characters among tion) is the next in interest, though he left out the best part which he lived, we say that he had fewer faults than any of his friend Southerne. But Mou Flanders, the account
of it in subsequent editions, from a foolish hypercriticism man of his occupation mentioned in history. It is certainly as a political author that we are to consider De Foe same stamp of character.”
of the Plague, &c. &c., are all of one family, and have the during by far the greater portion of his career; for it was pot until late in life that he began the composition of those varied and delightful works of fiction upon which Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in North bis fame now entirely rests. The De Foe of his contem
America ; including the United States, Canada, the poraries, and our De Foe, are two entirely different per
shores of the Polar Sea, and the Voyages in search of The former is a busy, bustling, bold, and uncom
a North-west Passage ; with Observations on Emigrepromising disputant; the latter is the unknown author tion. By Hugh Murray, Esq., F.R.S. E. 2 vols. of some of the most peculiar and charming works in our
8vo. London. Longman, Rees, Orme, & Co. Edinlanguage. This fact, it may be premised, goes far to ex
burgh. Oliver & Boyd. Pp. 530 and 556. tenuate the injustice of Pope and Swift to De Foe.
We are inclined to flatter ourselves that we improved can excuse their blindness to the merits of a mere politi- upon the practice of our predecessors, when we laid it cal antagonist ; had he been earlier known to them as the down as a rule, always to read a book before we reviewed author of Robinson Crusoe, the task would have been it. The advantages accruing to the public and to the more dificult.
author, from this new and original plan, are too obvious It would be doing injustice to De Foe to omit men- to need explanation. As to the waste of time which it tioning his “ Scandal Club,” a department of a paper not unfrequently occasions to the reviewer, that is anpublished twice a-week, which was conducted, and al- other matter. Our steadfastness, we confess, has more most entirely composed by him, during a period of nine than once been put to a sore trial, but we bave still reyears. The Scandal Club consists of a collection of religiously adhered to our resolution. We never see a very marks on men and manners, which seems to have sug- large book, however, without trembling, for we are aware gested to Steele the idea of his Tatlers. They are inte of the task we have to perform ; and if the road be a rough resting in this point of view, and many of them are not or a dull one, Heaven knows, our situation is not one of unworthy of De Foe's ingenious successor, Isaac Bicker- the most enviable. To Mr Hugh Murray we owe our staff
, Esquire. A re-publication of this portion of the best thanks. His book, though a large one, in compliperiodical (eight volumes of which are in the possession of ance with the comprehensive nature of his subject, is
, a friend of the author now before us) would make a neat nevertheless, one which we have gone through with as and not a very bulky book, would be an acceptable pre- much facility and pleasure as if it had been a small duosent to the lovers of this branch of literature, an addition decimo. This is partly to be attributed to the interestto the history of English literature, and a piece of justice ing materials of which it is composed, and partly to the to the memory of Daniel De Foe.
able manner in which those materials are arranged. We now come to De Foe's works of fiction ; but what It is utterly impossible that we can pretend to give we would say on this score has been so much better said any thing but a very general idea of the merits of a work