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summary of an introduction of sixty tive middle aged lady, whose beauty pages, and of 180 pages of the work, a is on the wane, the novel would lose proof of the exceedingly discursive none of its interest by the total omisstyle of our author's composition. sion of all the female characters.
At this period of the narration, However, Isabelle de Croye has fed the political connection between the Court of the Duke of Burgundy, Louis and his haughty and detested in order to defeat the Duke's intenCousin of Burgundy stands upon tions of forcing her to marry one of the most precarious foundation. The his friends and courtiers, and the object of Louis is to abridge the fugitive Isabelle with her garrulous power of his vassal, but dreading aunt, and a female attendant, are his martial character, the number induced by the intrigues and proof his forces, and, above all, dread- mises of Louis to throw themselves ing his alliance with bis Brother- under the protection of that moin-law, Edward IV. of England, narch. They arrived at Plessis, in Louis's schemes are to prevent an Tourraine, where Louis then held open rupture by every possible fi- his court, just at the juncture when nesse of policy, whilst he inflicts the King had fallen in with Quentin the utmost injury upon the Duke, Durward. But Louis, dreading the by exciting rebellion amongst his resentment of the Duke of Burgundy, subjects in Flanders, the population had given these ladies a reception of which country having become little suited to their rank, or to his rich by trade, were impatient of the professed hospitality, by which they control and tyranny exercised over had been induced to make his Court them by their feudal sovereign. their asylum. He had, in the first But all the forbearance and mastery instance, received and accommodated of his passions, by the wily Louis, them in a paltry inn, in the village had been nearly rendered of little adjoining to Plessis, and, in the avail to him, and war was on the character of a merchant, entertainpoint of being kindled between him ing Quentin with a breakfast, our and his adversary by the circumstance hero is made to witness the lovely of the Countess Hameline de Croye Countess Isabelle de Croye, attend. and ber neice, Isabelle de Croye, ing upon the disguised monarch, having fled from the Court of the herself in the simple garb and chaDuke of Burgundy, and taken re- racter of a servant. The Countess, fuge in that of Louis. Isabelle de however, is at length admitted into Croye is the heroine of the piece, the palace of Plessis, but, although but the author scarcely condescends her reception has been contrived to pay much attention to the deve- with apparently the utmost caution, lopement of her character, and al- the place of her retreat has been though she is often on the scene of divulged to the Duke of Burgundy; action, and the whole interest of the who has sent the renowned Marshal novel arises from the difficulty of of his Palace, the Count de Crevedisposing of her hand, and of her cæur, peremptorily to declare war large domains, yet she is almost as against Louis for numerous offences, passive as the heroine of the novel the climax of which is his encourag: of Ivanhoe; there is no individuality ing the flight of these ladies, and of character given to her, and the his offering them a place of refuge. whole of the events and every por. In this dilemma, the unprincipled tion of the novel in which she is and intriguing King contrives a connected, arise solely out of the scheme to avert at once the impendcasual circumstances in which she is ing war, and to gratify his malice placed, and not from any peculiar against the Duke. He positively features of her character. The novel, and openly denies his having instiindeed, may be said to be without any gated the Countess to flight, and heroine, or female character of in- at the same time he resolves to get terest ; the ladies in this production rid of this source of contention, by have been treated discourteously apparently sending her to the Court by the Novellist, and, excepting the of her cousin, the venerable Bishop humorous sketches of the LadyHame. of Liege; but forming, at the same line de Croye, a silly, vain, and talka- time, a most unprincipled deep-laid
scheme, to have the lady intercepted much of amusement to our readers. in her journey by a powerful mili- After Quentin's sagacity having tary marauder, sirnamed the Boar avoided the snare laid for his interof Ardennes, and who, by forcibly ception they arrive at Liege, and, marrying the Lady Isabelle, will immediately after their arrival, the rid the King of France of all appre Castle of the Bishop of Liege, their hension of her being united to any host, is assailed and captured by the vassal of the Duke of Burgundy, rebellious citizens of Liege, assisted who, by the acquisition of her de- by the redoubtable erratic knight and mesnes, may augment the power of ruffian sirnamed the Boar of Arden. bis master. The Countess with her nes. The scene of this contest, and aunt is sent on this journey to Liege, of the conduct of Quentin Durward, under the protection of Quentin Dur- the revel after the capture of the Case ward, accompanied by three military tle, and the murder of the good and assistants and a guide. But one of venerable Bishop of Liege, are all the numerous and endless schemes painted in the author's best style. of the King of France, is to unite The mixture of drunken debauch, his nephew, the Duke of Orleans, to and the ferocious cruelty displayed his second daughter. But the young at the banquet, at which the Bishop Duke entertains a thorough antipa- falls a sacrifice, are given with conthy against the Princess, and, more- siderable force; but the fact is, that over, falls in love with the Countess the whole scene is nothing more than Isabelle during her short sojourn at
a mere modification of the scenes of the Court of Louis.
barbarous revelry which are found. At length the Countess and her in all this author's preceding novels. aunt and female attendant, with In the mean time Louis, instigated Quentin Durward and his compa. by a crafty astrologer, in whom this nions at arms, leave the Court and superstitious monarch was wont to Castle of Plessis for Liege. After a put his trust, resolved to throw himshort journey they are pursued by self upon the honor and hospitality two knights richly caparisoned, in of the Duke of Burgundy, and to this case of necessity our hero Quen, repair with confidence to his Court, tin finds that of his three well-equip- in the hopes of over-reaching the
ped companions, two are craven at Duke, and obtaining his objects heart, and he can only induce the of policy by dint of his superiothird, a brave old Gascon, to assist rity of intellect and his taet at him in defending the trust confi- intrigue. This extraordinary conded to his courage and prudence. fidence in an enemy, at an age Quentin and the Gascon encounter when the laws of honour and the these antagonists; Quentin unhorses rights of hospitality were but feeble bis adversary, but the Gascon bad barriers against the passions and in the very tirst onset been laid dead interests of princes, might however at the feet of his opponent, who now have succeeded according to the turns to defend his fallen companion
wishes of Louis, but in the very from the assault of Quentín. Amidst of his entertainment by the combat ensues between these parties, Duke, the news arrive of the insurwhen they are interrupted by a body rection of the citizens of Liege, and of the king's horse, and the denoue of the murder of the Bishop, with ment exposes to the reader that the the capture and sacking of his casassailing knights are no other than tle. These events are immediately at the young Duke of Orleans, and his tributed to the craft, and intrigues, friend the Count de Dunois, then and maneuvres of Louis, who, in the bravest and most distinguished consequence, nearly falls a sacrifice knight of France. This rencontre to the resentment of his choleric host terminates by the young Duke and, the Duke of Burgundy. The interhis friend Dunois being led back ruption of the banquet by the arrival prisoners by the guard of horse, of the news, and the fiery altercawhilst Quentin Darward and his tion and scarcely pervented contest charge are directed to continue on between the Duke and his guest, are their road to Liege. We cannot say, painted with great force; but we that the journey of our hero and the doubt whether the Duke's being fair Countess is calculated to allord ultimately pacified, and his allow.
ing his guest to depart although a the same description, and a feudal prisoner, are at all in keeping with Duke of violent temper, with several the extravagant violence of his tem- of the diversities of the military chaper. Louis is confined a prisoner by racter, with which the reader of this Burgundy, and in the course of the class of novels has long been so next day the Countess de Croye, hav- thoroughly well acquainted. Added ing been rescued from the tumult and to this, we have reiterations of the dangers at Liege by the prudence old descriptions of chivalrous as well and bravery of Quentin Durward, as of less knightly rencontres, of miand in herescape from which, she had litary equipment, of mounting and been captured with Quentin by the relieving guard, of donjon keeps, of Count de Crevecæur, now arrives at pallisadoes, and of all the means of the Court of the Duke of Burgundy. defence and security peculiar to the Her examination with that of Quen- middle ages. tin Durward tends to exculpate Novels of this description will Louis from being the immediate always acquire popularity for an aucause of the revolt of the Liegeois. thor from the pleasurable excitement The Duke, however, still imposes they are calculated to produce by hard conditions upon the captive their specific nature, independent of monarch ; their enmity is likely to any excellence of execution; and be unabated, they by chance although there are some of the nohappen to unite in sympathetic en- vels of this author, such for instance joyment at the sufferings of a miser- as Waverly and the Heart of Mid able envoy from the Boar of Arden- Lothian, that will acquire him lastnes, whom the Duke had ordered to ing fame, we doubt whether many be chaced and torn by the hounds. of them will not fade from the This sympathy of pleasure at the public esteem, after having ensame object brings about a reconci- joyed a violent but short-lived liation between Louis and the Duke, reputation similar to that which which otherwise appears to have attended the once popular, but now been hopeless. At length terms of almost forgotten, romances of Ho. accommodation are settled between race Walpole, of Mrs. Radcliffe, and the King and the Duke of Bur others of that class, and to which we gundy, upon the basis of their may add the poems of this very auuniting their forces to subdue the thor, the praises of which were as inhabitants of Liege; and the Duke violent as they were ephemeral. of Burgundy eventually consents to Certain it is, that every publication bestow the land of the fair Isabelle by this author tends rather to dimiupon the knight who may succeed nisl than to increase his reputation in slaying the renowned freebooter, with sound judges; for each work is the Boar of Ardennes, then at the scarcely more than a new arrangehead of the revolted Liegois. The ment of the materials of his former armies march against Liege, and productions; and even the seenes Quentin Durward having learnt some which do not amount to plagiarism intended stratagems of the Boar of are so closely in association with Ardennes, by communicating them similar scenes in his preceding noin time, enables the King of France vels, that no reader of discernment to frustrate their object, and himself can go through a new work without and uncle, the archer of the Scotch experiencing considerable impatiguard, succeed in personally van- ence or even irritation. To support quishing the freebooter of the Ar- these two opinions, we may ask what dennes, and the hand of Isabelle is reader can peruse the military chabestowed upon Quentin Durward. racter of Balafré, without immedi.
It is obvious that this plan admits ately recognizing Captain Dalguetty of no diversity of characters. We and Michael Lambourne? Or who can have an astrologer and gypsies as read the arrival of the envoy Crevewe have in all this author's works; cæur at Plessis, without identifying of the utter inanity of the female him with the envoy Campbell, sent characters we have already spoken, by the Duke of Argyle to Montrose, the remaining characters are nothing in the novel founded upon the hismore than a crafty, pliant and un- tory of the rising of the Jacobite principled statesman, a monarch of Clans under the latter vobleman?
Upon the second part of our obser- of a more disciplined army, and the vation we may ask, will not the lordly chief of his panoplied host, playful yet masterly superiority and are for ever thrown out upon the confidence of the disguised Louis canyass-et ex uno disce omnes. over the sagacious but youthful But in this novel before us, there Quentin Durward, on their first
are many scenes of distinguished meeting, recall to the reader the brilliancy, and some passages of meeting of Julian, Peveril and Gan- considerable humour, but there is Jasse, on the road from Liverpool to not the slightest attempt at pathos Derbyshire? and is not the shooting or at moving the feelings; every of the leader of the enemy's patrol thing is addressed to the imaginaby Quentin, at the assanlt upon tion of the reader. But there are to be Liege, a direct and exact copy of found, interspersed in various parts the scene of the highland centinel of the novel, isolated passages conin the novel of Waverly? But it is taiping important moral truths, almost trifling with the reader to acute observations on life and manpoint out such instances of plagi- ners, or caustic satire, expressed arism and association of characters, with great smartness and dazzling and of incidents; they are so nu- brilliancy. merous and palpable.
Perhaps it is hardly fair to judge It may be observed of Fielding, by too high a standard an author, as it has often been observed of who supplies the hook-market with Shakspeare, that there is an exclu- such bulk of matter, and with such sive individuality in all his charac- prodigious rapidity. Taking Quenters, and that, when he had done tin Durward as an aspirant to the with one character, we hear no more supremacy of the novel season of the of him, and no other character re- year, we do not think its pretensions sembles lim in the least, or in any can be disputed, at least if we allow degree to recall him to our recol. that amusement and not knowledge lection. His parson Adams, Thwac- is the legitimate object of this spekum, and Harrison, are as distinct cies of composition; but, viewing it beings as the mad Lear and the pre- as a candidate for permanent celetended madman Edgar. His Par- brity, its pretensions we think are tridge is a character resembling no- by no means as high as many of the thing else in his novels, and his author's previous works, and cerheroes Jones, Joseph Andrews, and tainly not higher than many of those Booth; his Colonels, James, and novels that are now known to the Bath; his Squires, Weston and world, rather by the fame of their Allworthy, are all as distinctly former days than by any present marked as the most opposite cha circulation amongst novel readers, racters in real life ; nor is there
or by any recurrence to them by the any one scene in his novels that re- learned or by people of intellect. minds the reader of any incident in We must repeat an observation that bis preceding volumes. In this con- we have before made upon this ausists the test of real genius for the thor, that it is rather lamentable creation of diversified characters, that a person so highly endowed and the supporting of them with dis- with imagination and sagacity, tinctness through numerous events should not condescend to subject is the most difficult of all literary himself to more patient thoughts and labours ; and the surprising talent his works to more careful revision. of this description forms the most “ To bridle in the struggling muse," solid pedestal of the fame of Shak- as Addison terms it, is a very diffispeare.
cult, but a very necessary task, and Very different is it with the author this author's works, with all their of these novels; for, as we have merit, often compel us to reflect upon already observed, every new work the well-known coupletpresents us with old faces and old acquaintances in new garbs, and « Ev'n copious Dryden wanted or foroften in garbs that can hardly be got called new. The gigantic, furious, The last, the noblest art—the art to and ferocious freebooter ; the athle
blot." tic, sensual, and mechanical captain
The Innkeeper's Album, arranged his Alchemist, that glorious reflecfor Publication, By W.F. Deacon, tion of the light of other times—and 8vo. pp. 429.
if the early Italian poets on the res
toration of literature in the south The unprecedented success of the had descended in obscurity to the “Sketch-Book” has produced, within tomb, the Paradise Lost would have a few years, a herd of imitators, been shorne of its most splendid some few of whom have attained the beams. Nay, even in our own days we humour, others the pathos, but none see from experience, how much of an the refinement of their master spirit. Ovid, Catullus, and Anacreon is neIndeed the mantle of the prophet is cessary to constitute a Moore, and not to be caught by every star-gazer.
how the dramas of Beaumont and The public attention has in conse- Fletcher serve to excite the emulaquence been directed to those plea- tion of Barry Cornwall. Of this sant ephemerides, better known by species of imitation then we profess the name of essays, which, as they ourselves not merely tolerators but require little thought to compose, admirers, and it is this enlarged and still less to read, are admirably species of imitation that has led us calculated to suit the meridian of a to the consideration of the “ Inn"reading public.” Master Geoffry keeper's Album." Crayon has much to answer for at This miscellaneous volume
prothe tribunal of literature. Not only fesses to be the composition of an among a certain class of readers has author, who from certain pecuniary he introduced a style of writing exigencies (no unusual phenomenon) popular, both from its facility to has been compelled to deposit it with author and reader, but, " like Cæ- the grasping Innkeeper of a Welsh sar's spirit raging for revenge," be village : by him it is destined to see has called “havoc and let slip the the light, and the schoolmaster of dogs of war” in the shape of innu. the hamlet is, with some difficulty, mcrable wițlings, who have drugged induced to undertake the editorship. the town even to satiety with vo- Mr. Deacon accordingly hastens lumes of miscellaneous matter, to London for the combined pur
But while we thus contumeliously poses of profit and publication, and, designate the countless imitators of in a preface remarkable for its chathe American artist, we would not racteristic quaintness, details the be supposed to include all in so explanatory intelligence which we sweeping a censure. Some few there have thus simply abridged. From are who, captivated by the surpas- the desultory nature of the volume, sing delicacy of their original, have it will be impossible for us to give merely condescended to borrow his it a methodical review. most striking felicities of thought The “ Coachman" is a very lively and expression, which they have re- characteristic sketch, and evidently modelled in the graceful impress of drawn from the remembrance of their own style and intellect. Now one particular individual. The tale such a species of imitation is not of Twm. John Catty is a very only liberal but laudable. The sole interesting and spirite object of reading is to gain ideas, It is principally discriptive of the and hence the master spirits of every freaks of this Welsh Rob Roy ; who age bave (with few exceptions,) been was at last overpowed in bis strong, those who have been the most devoted holds at Cardigan. The death of to study. Had the divine writers of his newly betrothed wife Elinor, the Greece and Rome never existed, Ben Lady of Llandisent, is strikingly Johnson would never have composed affecting.