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From the North British Review.

first rude idea of the trial and condemnation of The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. Fagin the Jew; in " the Parish Beadle” we reBy CHARLES DICKENS. London, 1844.

cognize the original of Mr. Bumble, and in one A Christmas Carol in Prose, being a Ghost Story of the delectable Mrs. Gamp.

corner (vol. i., p. 33) we trace the distinct outline of Christmas. By CHARLES DICKENS. London, 1844.

The Sketches, however, would soon have been The Chimes- A Goblin Story. By CHARLES

lost in oblivion had they not been followed up by DICKENS. London, 1845.

“The Pickwick Papers.” There, amidst an infi

nite diversity of fun and frolic, of merry satire and The career of Mr. Dickens has been a singular biting sarcasm, of serious description and the and splendid one. Ten years ago he was toiling broadest farce, the genius of a master has drawn obscurely in the service of the London daily press; the inimitable portraits of Pickwick and Sam but a series of sketches, contributed to the columns Weller. They are depicted with the most perfect of a newspaper, and afterwards published in a truth, consistency, and humor; and while they separate form, received so much praise that their represent general classes, stand before us in the author was stimulated to greater efforts. The clearest individualily. Who does not know Mr. Pickwick Papers at once established his reputa- Pickwick, his bald head and circular spectacles, tion, and ensured for him fame and affluence in a and those tights and gaiters, which, had they literary career. He has now given to the world, clothed an ordinary man, might have passed withbesides smaller compositions, six voluminous out observation, but which, when Mr. Pickwick works of fiction, each nearly twice as long as clothed them, inspired involuntary awe and reWaverley. These have been circulated by tens spect ?" who is not fond of this simple-hearted of thousands at home, and have been translated man, so unsuspicious of vice and imposition, but into foreign languages. They have been eagerly so unaffectedly indignant at them when disread by all classes of his countrymen, from the covered ; so indomitably sincere, that when, to polished lady of rank to the astute man of busi- vent his anger at Dodson and Fogg, he attempted, ness, from the grey-headed philosopher to the for the first time in his life, to call up a sneer, he schoolboy. They may be seen, not only in every failed most signally to accomplish it; so fond of drawing-room, every club, and every tavern, but personal comfort, yet so ready to forego it to do a lying unhidden on many a merchant's desk, and service to any human being; placed in so many lawyer's table, and student's shelf, and even lurk- ridiculous situations, and getting into so many ing in the chamber of the judge, and the closet of laughable adventures, and yet always retrieving the clergyman. They have relieved, with the himself by his persevering kindness, delicacy, and play of fancy and feeling, the gloomy languor of honor? Yet who would recognize Mr. Pickwick many a sick-room. Their author has been honored without the faithful Sam Weller as his attendant, and caressed ; criticism has never worn a frown ; whose attachment to his master is perhaps the best the great and learned have assembled in festive feature in the character of both ? 'This model of halls to do him honor, and the voice of praise from the ready-witted, impudent, imperturbable, Lonhis native land has been loudly echoed from the doner of the lowest class, is thrown into a hundred other side of the Atlantic.

various situations, and is equally cool and ready in It can scarcely be doubted that, with so large them all. With scarcely any coarseness, he has and so enthusiastic an audience, his works are ex- the most racy peculiarity of dialect, and the most ercising very considerable influence; and it is not diverting variety of jest and banter. Whether, perhaps surprising that Mr. Dickens, perceiving as at his first appearance as boots at the White this, should, in his later publications, have assumed Hart Inn, he describes the company in the the tone of a public monitor and moral teacher, house :with somewhai too ostentatious and dictatorial an “ There's a vooden leg in number six, there's air. It may be interesting, therefore, as it is now a pair of Hessians in thirteen, there 's two pair of several months since his last work of any magni- halves in the commercial, there's these here lude was circulated, to glance rapidly over his painted tops in the snuggery inside the bar, and writings, dwelling chiefly on the most recent, and five more tops in the coffee-room. Stop a bit ; endeavoring to estimate iheir influence, as a class, yes, there's a pair of Vellington's, a good on the public taste and tone of feeling.

deal vorn, and a pair o' lady's shoes, in number The “Sketches by Boz” are written by one five”well acquainted with every phase of the low life or telling stories of the rogueries and follies of his of London, and are graphic, lively, and varied ; venerable parent-a topic on which he runs on, he but they are nearly all of an unpleasant cast—they tells us, “like a barrow vith the vheel greased;" depict chiefly vice, vulgarity, and misery. The or as a witness, foiling Sergeant Buzfuz; or drunken clerk “making a night of it;" the de- copying with Job Trotter; or inditing a lovegraded and desperate female convict ; the aban- letter ; or communicating to Bob Sawyer his doned drunkard hurrying on his own fearful end ; theory of dead donkeys and post-boys ;-- he is the retired shopkeeper making a fool of himself by never once tiresome or dull. About all the other falling in love ; the contemptible squabbles and numerous characters there is great life and energy; intrigues of a city boarding-house ; the over-tasked and the whole book, although having little story youth expiring in the arms of a widowed mother; or plot, is full of animation, except some occasional ---such are the principal subjects of his pencil. tales, which, we venture to say, no one ever read But his lighter wit is also sometimes conspicuous, a second time. We have some glimpses into the as in the very amusing description of a balloon haunts of London wretchedness; but the chief ascent from Vauxhall. It is interesting to find merit lies in the pleasantry of the numerous playhere the quarry from which he has since dug the ful caricatures or parodies, where the absurdities material for all his best figures, and to light on and humors of provincial politics, the courts of many a rough block, since hewn and squared. law and dishonest attorneys, lionizing ladies, and Thus, in a scene at the Old Bailey, we have the scientific societies, are shot at in the election, the

38

LIX.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. V.

trial, the fête champêtre, and the club, with contrasted; while it yields to none in the vigor pointed, but not envenomed, shafts of ridicule. and power with which many of the scenes are There have been few happier hits than Mr. Blot- drawn. But, on the other hand, the main interest ton of Aldgate's apology :

is made to depend on the most debased and villan“ He had no hesitation in saying he had used ous agents; and the work has done much towards the word in its Pickwickian sense. Personally, creating in the public a morbid interest in such he entertained the highest regard and esteem for heroes and their mode of life. A relish for such the honorable gentleman; he had merely con- writing speedily becomes a craving, and the pubsidered him a humbug in a Pickwickian point of lic learn to demand an insight into the haunts of view."

crime, and to desire a familiarity with the habits The still life and scenery are painted with quaint and adventures of the profligate and brutal. With accuracy, not descending to extravagance; as the what an array is the reader here brought into conlarge melancholy parlor at the Great White Horse, tact! Fagin, and his den of thieves and cutIpswich, where “a small fire was making a throats; the ferocious Sikes, with his crimes of wretched attempt to be cheerful, but was fast sink- violence and blood; the wretched Nancy, and her ing beneath the dispiriting influence of the place.” dreadful life and shocking fate; the melo-dramatic There is a vein of good, manly, and flexible, if not villain Monks, with the sensual Noah Claypole, elegant, English writing, which we wish the and the selfish Bumble, are the prominent figures, author had continued to cultivate. It is not and are minutely described with all the author's wonderful that this work was hailed with a burst ability and power. If we laugh at all, it is at the of admiration, and we may safely class it as comic adventures of Master Charley Bates and the a most original and valuable addition to our litera- Artful Dodger. We almost imagine the author ture.

an incipient Eugene Sue, and that Oliver Twist is In his next publication—"Nicholas Nickleby” but the English version of “The Mysteries of -Mr. Dickens turned his power of graphic and Paris.” There is some pleasant writing in the humorous description to good account, by awaken- other parts of the book, and some pretty little ing sympathy for the unhappy inmates of certain touches of pathos in the scenes between Oliver Yorkshire schools. His portraiture of Wackford and Dick; but none of the good characters are Squeers and his amiable family was so happy, the remarkably graphic, or indeed above mediocrity, internal economy of Dotheboys' Hall, and its while Mr. Grimwig, who is always threatening 10 weekly distribution of brimstone and treacle, so eat his head, is rather below it. Oliver is a nice inimitably depicted, and the story of poor Smike enough little boy-very unlike what would be told with so much delicate and touching pathos, natural amid such scenes, and very perversely, by that while his readers laughed and cried almost in his persevering goodness, doing credit, contrary the same breath, we rejoice to believe that the to the author's intention, to the training he had author's purpose was attained in the exposure of received under Mrs. Mann and the “parochial authe shocking system, and that he has earned the thorities.” Mr. Dickens' prejudice against these blessings of many an emancipated little victim. personages has, it must be owned, much the air But although Squeers and his academy formed the of an unreasonable and narrow-minded antipathy; principal and most original feature in this tale, it but there are some excellent scenes in which they abounded with other spirited delineations. Who are satirized—such as the pauper's funeral, and can forget Mrs. Nickleby, the garrulous, sense- the consternation at the workhouse when “ Oliver less, yet withal respectable, English matron of the asks for more. middle ranks ; or her generous and dutiful son ; The names of " Master Humphrey's Clock" and or her daughter, the gentle, assiduous, and high- the “Old Curiosity Shop" bring with them the minded Kate? Who would pass over the brothers recollection of litile Nell. It is, perhaps, hard to Cheeryble-although, as characters in a fictitious call her unreal, when we know that she was meant narrative, they have the fault of being too truly to represent the once living and beloved object of individual portraits, and have, it is to be feared, no the author's affection ; but we cannot conceal that, class to correspond to them ; or the eccentric non- to our mind, there is something vague, undefined, descript, Newman Noggs? Can any one repress and abstracted about this little heroine. It is difa smile at the remembrance of the rare fun with ficult, indeed, to give individual character to the which the Mantalinis are described ? and Mr. description of children in romance, and Mr. Crummles, with the infant phenomenon, and the Dickens has here scarcely done more than embody, rest of his company of strolling players ? The in a shadowy form, the general qualities of youth, more sunny passages stand in pleasant contrast to innocence and sweetness. Nell is too good and the dark shade thrown by the grim, iron-hearted pure-there is a want of human passion and imRalph Nickleby, and the profligate Sir Mulberry perfection ; and while we weep, and admire, and Hawk, with his patron and victim, Lord Verisopht. love, we refuse to conceive the object of our feelThere is sometimes, however, a little prolixity, ings as a living thing of the same earthly mould. and the mere dull vulgarity of the Kenwigs She might be an allegoric Una, or a Peri from an family, Miss Petowker, and Mr. Lillyvick, and aërial paradise ; but not a sister child of clay. the low baseness of Arthur Gride and Peg Sli- Nevertheless, there are many beautiful passages, derskew, are blemishes on the work. There where the strokes of the same magic pencil which is much less playful caricature and quaint satire so often moves our laughter, melt us in unbidden than in the Pickwick Papers, but more earnestness tears ; such as the anxious watching of the child and a higher tone, with the same good, expressive, over her grandfather when lured away by the unaffected style of composition.

gamblers, and the sad but peaceful scene of her “ Oliver Twist” is the shortest of these tales, deathbed. The gradual ebbing of mortality in the and the most compact. It has fewer traces of old man is also touched with a feeling hand, and having been written in monthly portions. The we are compensated for much that is painful and story makes more regular and rapid progress, and even unnatural in his feverish and wild career. the characters are more strikingly grouped and Quilp, still more unreal than his poor victim Nell,

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is a grotesque monster, an impossible incarnation covert and convenient seeming," and to enjoy the of fiendish attributes. Yet the plots hatched by humor with which the adventures of this " false this strange wretch, with Sampson and Sally and simular man of virtue" are described, without Brass, have some attractions for the taste that has critically and nicely examining under what catelearned to be pleased with Sikes and Fagin. But gory he ought to be placed. We cannot help how shall we characterize Dick Swiveller? or observing, however, in passing, that the world, fathom the fun that lurks in his tipsy gravity, his already suspicious enough, has no great need to delicious mock heroics, his “ prodigious talent in be put on its guard against deliberate hypocrisy, quotations ?” How can we remember gravely his and that the conscious and crafty hypocrite is not despondency when eclipsed by the market-garden- very likely to profit by the exhibition of himself. er, which he soothes by playing " Away with It would be a more useful task for the novelist to Melancholy" on the flute all night ; his adventures expose with kindness and candor that unconscious with the small servant, and his happy discovery hypocrisy, the right name of which is inconsisthat “there had been a young lady saving up for tency, and which is practised, perhaps, by all men him after all.” But we fear that the inimitable in a greater or less degree, and certainly by multiDick is a dangerous character, for his vices are tudes who are perfectly sincere, but whose practice, forgotten or even loved in the excessive diversion for want of self-discipline and self-control, does not he affords us.

keep pace with their principles—who are worse What train of villanous shapes have we next than they think themselves, but better than their crossing the stage like a dance of the seven captious enemies would make them out to be. deadly sins ? The chief actors in “ Barnaby Tom Pinch is placed at the opposite pole of the Rudge.” The polished, selfish, unprincipled Sir moral world from Pecksniff, and is the most simJohn Chester, the detestable hypocrite Gashford, ple-hearted, unselfish, affectionate creature imaginthe murderer Rudge, the savage Hugh, the vile able. He is devotedly attached to his master hangman Dennis, the contemptible but wicked Pecksniff, whom he believes to be his benefactor, Sim Tappertit, and the loaihsome Stagg-a and to be all that he pretends to be. He “steeps goodly regiment. They are brought before us the Pecksniff of his fancy in his tea, and spreads again and again with tedious repetition, and the him out upon his toast, and takes him as a relish horrors of the riot of 1780 are detailed with sick with his beer," and is supremely happy in his creening minuteness and interminable length, under dulous dream. But the truth is flashed on him by pretence of teaching a useful lesson against “ one unequivocal circumstance, and then he suffers religious cry." Mr. Dickens is as little at home acutely. on the ground of history and philosophical politics, “His compass was broken, his chart was de. as on that of natural scenery and rustic manners. stroyed, his chronometer had stopped ; his masts There is little in the other characters to relieve the were gone by the board, his anchor was adrift (?) monstrous tissue of horror and villany. Indeed, ten thousand leagues away.”—P. 371. Barnaby's raven, Grip, is much the most sensible But his sister Ruth is presently committed to and spirited personage in the whole piece. The his charge, and "now that he had somebody to tale has certainly some redeeming points; but it rely upon him, he was stimulated to rely a little dragged its slow length along from week to week, more upon himself,” and his blundering honesty until the public, and we dare say, the author too, bears him through. There are some charming were heartily sick of it.

scenes between Ruth Pinch, her lover John In the “ Life and Adventures of Martin Chuz- Westlock, and her simple-hearted brother; and zlewit,” Mr. Dickens has a more definite and we fancy we see her sticking a sprig of geranium important moral aim, which is to expose the vice in Tom's button hole, which she is obliged to fasof selfishness in various forms, and, in some ten there, because otherwise “ the dear old fellow cases, exhibit its cure. In his hero, young Mar- would be sure to lose it.' Tom Pinch teaches us tin, he has been very successful, and has drawn many a quiet and useful lesson of self-denial, a most instructive character. He is represented cheerfulness, and kind considerateness; but ceras a young man possessed of many good quali- tainly more by his example than by the stilted ties, and capable of strong and permanent attach- and scarcely intelligible jargon in which the ments ; but so habitually selfish, that even in friend- author sometimes pauses to apostrophize him. ship and love he regards his own comforts, his Such efforts as the following to moralize his. own wishes, and his own sacrifices—for he can lale,” remind us not a little of the “moral crackmake sacrifices-exclusively. There is greaters" which he puts into the mouth of his Peck.. merit in the development of this feature of sniff, and teem with every possible fault of comMartin's character, and in the interest the reader position. is made to take in it, and in its discovery and " There are some falsehoods, Tom, on which cure, although the principles upon which his men mount as on bright wings towards heaven. conversion takes place are not very intelligible or There are some truths, cold, bitter, taunting satisfactory.

truths, wherein your worldly scholars are very Mr. Pecksniff, the sentimental hypocrite, may apt and punetual, which bind men down to earth be intended for a portrait, but is undoubtedly a with leaden chains. Who would not rather have caricature. The author may have meant to draw to fan him in his dying hour, the lightest feather a probable and consistent person to represent a of a falsehood such as thine, than all the quills class, like Mr. Pickwick and Mrs. Nickleby ; but, that have been plucked from the sharp porcupine, if so, he has failed, chiefly because he has of late reproachful truth, since the world began?"-P. spoiled his hand for so delicate a task, by drawing 162. Quilps and Dennises, and Sim_Tappertits. But “ Tom, Tom, the man in all this world most we are content to accept Mr. Pecksniff with his confident in his sagacity and shrewdness ; the man

moral crackers,” as a grotesque exaggeration in all this world most proud of his distrust of other of a very amusing kind, tending to deepen our men, and having most to show in gold and silver horror at the knavery which hides itself “ under as the gains belonging to his creed; the meekest

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favorer of that wise doctrine,' every man for him-alties which furnish him employment. Surely self, and God for us all,' (there being high wisdom Mr. Mould is as well entitled to feel satisfaction in the thought that the eternal Majesty of heaven in earning his bread honestly and usefully, as the ever was, or can be, on the side of selfish lust and lawyer is, who grows rich because men quarrel love !) shall never find-oh never find, be sure of and oppress ; or the physician, who thrives bethat, the time come home to him when all his wis- cause they grow ill and die; or the novelist, who dom is an idiot's folly weighed against a simple amasses wealth and fame, because the rich have heart.”—P. 462.

their foibles, and the poor their distresses. Jonas Chuzzlewit is scarcely worthy even of We must also find fault with the American the pencil that drew Sikes, and Quilp, and Sir scenes, clever and amusing as they are. These Mulberry Hawk. He is a mean, cowardly villain, chapters are an unaccountable excrescence, and with no speck of goodness for the eye to rest on, while they add to the bulk, mar the unity and without one redeeming quality-for even his cra- effect of the book as a work of art. They are, in ven fear cannot awaken the sympathy of the fact, a book of travels dramatized, and not in the reader. He is too hideous and revolting an incar- best or most candid spirit; they form a new and nation of evil. The account of his misdeeds and more pungent edition of the American Notes, but evil qualities composes one of the most monstrous with only the harshest censures distilled over and dishes on which an undiscriminating public ever concentrated.* They have no connexion with “supped full with horrors.” Not but that there the rest of the story, although at first we imagined is often much power in the delineation. Mr. it might be the intention of the author to trace the Dickens nnot write feebly : for instance how influence of selfishness in disfiguring a national much truth is there in the description of the mur- character. In a series of figures with ugly names, derer’s conduct when he first meets his family Diver, Scadder, Chollop, Pogram, and several after the crime

others, the well known faults of social life in the “In his secret dread of meeting his household United States are powerfully, but somewhat too for the first time after what he had done, he lin-coarsely, and bitterly satirized; and then these gered at the door on slight pretexts, that they personages vanish finally from the stage. might see him without looking in his face ; and There is much clever description throughout the left it ajar while he dressed, and called out to have book, but our limits do not admit of many quotathe windows opened, and the pavement watered, tions. We may instance the opening scene and that they might become accustomed to his voice.” the amusing personification of the wind and its

gambols. One paragraph we may quote :Nothing can be more clumsy than the plot “ It was small tyranny for a respectable wind to which leads to the death of this worthy. He go wreaking its vengeance on such poor creatures thinks that he murdered his father, although he as the fallen leaves; but this wind, happening to did not; he murders his associate in other vil- come up with a great heap of them just after ventlanies to prevent him revealing this fact, which, ing its humor on the insulted dragon, did so dishowever, is known to others, and is not true after perse and scatter them, that they filed away, pell:all. A great deal of machinery is employed to mell, some here, some there, rolling over each prove him guilty of his father's death, which is in- other, whirling round and round upon their thin stantly disproved; the real murder, however, edges, taking frantić fights into the air, and playcommitted solely to conceal the imaginary one, is ing all manner of extraordinary gambols in the brought home to him, and in his vexation and de- extremity of their distress. Nor was this enough spair he attempts to cut his throat, but has not for its malicious fury; for, not content with drivcourage to do it, and immediately after swallows ing them abroad, it charged small parties of poison.

them, and hunted them into the wheelwright's Revolting as Jonas is, he is not so offensive and saw-pit, and below the planks and timbers in the intolerable a personage as Sarah Gamp, a mid- yard, and, scattering the saw-dust in the air, it wife, or “monthly nurse," in whom the selfish- looked for them underneath, and when it did ness and greediness of attendants on the sick are meet with any, whew! how it drove them on and coarsely satirized. Her dialect is doubtless copied followed at their heels!"

“ Being very faithfully from nature, but her cue is to en- by this time weary of such trifling performances, tertain the reader with a succession of jests, the the boisterous rover hurried away rejoicing, roampoint of which always lies in sly allusions to the ing over moor and meadow, hill and flat, until it events and secrets of her particular calling. She got out to sea, where it met with other winds seems such a favorite of the author that we meet similarly disposed, and made a night of it.”—Pp. her at every turn, even in the preface, till we are 7, 8. almost provoked to laugh in spite of our disgust. The storm at page 488 is also finely imagined,

The author, as usual, luxuriates in the delinea- and the following extract from the description is tion of vulgar people, and in the imitation of the an exquisite piece of fancy :London dialects and idioms. We have not space “ The heavy rain beat down the tender branches to criticize minutely this part of the work ; yet we of vine and jessamine, and trampled on them in its cannot pass without observation, a very uncalled fury; and when the lightning gleamed, it showed for, and, we will say, un feeling attack on a re- the tearful leaves shivering and cowering together spectable class of tradesmen, in the person of Mr. at the window, and tapping at it urgently, as if Mould the undertaker. He is satirized, not for beseeching to be sheltered from the dismal night."

individual vices, but for the unavoidable pe- P. 489. culiarities of his indispensable craft. His offences are, that when conducting funerals, he wears a * The shrewd suggestion of Mr. Weller, senior, seems grave, serious countenance, (ah, hypocrite!) al- not to have been thrown away upon the author himselfthough feeling no real sorrow, and that he is let him come back and write a book about the 'Merrihappy and comfortable in a thriving business, (ah, kins, as 'll pay all his expenses and more, if he blows selfish wretch !) in spite of the mournful casu- | 'em up enough."Pickwick Papers, p. 485.

any

The following is not a bad imitation of Sterne :

-work.” “It was a monstrous comfortable cir“A Dragon man came stamping up the stairs cumstance.” “ Martin was monstrous well-disand made a roguish bow to Tom (to whom in posed to regard his position in that light," and so common times he would have nodded with a grin) on. It is surely improper for an author of estabas though he were aware of what had happened, lished reputation to give his sanction to this vicious and wished him to perceive it made no difference habit of speaking, which naturally leads to an in him. It was clumsily done; he was a mere exaggerated way of viewing trivial things; and waterer of horses; but Tom liked the man for it, he ought not to degrade these important words and felt it more than going away.”—P. 377. from their appropriate functions to the perform

It is however in incident and character that Mr. ance of the meanest services in a light and laughDickens excels; we have just room to insert his ing page. But he goes further, and offends grievportrait of Mr. Pecksniff, which is no bad speci- ously against the rules of grammar; catching the men of some of the faults as well as merits of his infection from his own actors, he adopts their present style :

forms of expression, and offends the shade of “ It has been remarked that Mr. Pecksniff was Lindley Murray with such barbarisms as “ It had a moral man. So he was. Perhaps there never not been painted or papered, had n't Todgers', was a more moral man than Mr. Pecksniff; es- past the memory of man.' “ She was the most pecially in his conversation and correspondence. artless creature, was the youngest Miss Pecksniff.” It was once said of him by a homely admirer, that "Nature played them off against each other; they he had a Fortunatus' purse of good sentiments in had no hand in it, the two Miss Pecksniffs.” Inhis inside. In this particular he was like the girl in deed, Mr. Dickens seems often purposely to cast the fairy tale, except that, if they were not actual his language into the mould of the vulgar characdiamonds which fell from his lips, they were the ters he represents, and as it were, io fondle their very brightest paste, and shone prodigiously. He phrases, idioms, and ideas. He makes occasional was a most exemplary man; fuller of virtuous use of the interjections " bless you !” “ heaven precepts than a copy-book. Some people likened knows !” &c. He speaks of a place where" black him to a direction post which is always telling the beetles got mouldy and had the shine taken out of way to a place and never goes there ; but these their backs by envious mildew;" of a grimace of were his enemies—the shadows cast by his bright- Master Bailey as "an easy, horse-fleshy, turfy, ness; that was all. His very throat was moral. sort of thing to do ;' of a boorish action at a You saw a good deal of it. You looked over a Yankee table as having “a juiciness about it that very low fence of white cravat, (whereof no man might have sickened a scavenger," and thus dehad ever beheld the tie, for he fastened it behind,) scribes the Miss Pecksniffs' contrast of character :and there it lay, a valley between two jutting “ To behold each damsel in the very admiration heights of collar, serene and whiskerless before of her sister, setting up in business for herself on you. It seemed to say on the part of Mr. Peck- an entirely different principle, and announcing no sniff, . There is no deception, ladies and gentle connexion with over the way, and if the quality men; all is peace: a holy calm pervades me.' of goods at that establishment don't please you, So did his hair, just grizzled with an iron-gray, you are respectfully invited to favor me with a which was all brushed off his forehead, and stood call.”-P. 10. bolt upright, or slightly drooped in kindred action Slang, also, seems to come naturally to his lips, with his heavy eyelids. So did his person, which for he founds a cumbrous joke in the first chapter was sleek though free from corpulency. So did on the words my uncle, and gives his readers credit his manner, which was soft and oily. In a word, for knowing them to be slang for the pawneven his plain black suit, and state of widower, broker; he describes some young ladies as having, and dangling double eye-glass, all tended to the" in the figurative language of the day, a great same purpose, and cried aloud, ‘Behold the moral amount of steam to dispose of;' and Mr. PeckPecksniff.''-P. 10.

sniff as getting a bruise" on what is called by fancy We said the faults of the present style of Mr. gentlemen the bark' on his shin ;” and the head Dickens; and certainly no one can read even a of one of his American heroes as shaking involsingle chapter of Martin Chuzzlewit without per- untarily, as if it would have said, in the vulgar ceiving a very striking declension from the purity tongue, on its own account, no go.' and unassuming excellence which marked his It is impossible not to contrast this style with that earlier compositions. This is apparent, first, in of Sir Walter Scott, who, in the homeliest scenes, various impurities of expression, and even some and amidst the lowest company, never allows us gross offences against the English language. For to forget the difference between ihe gentleman who instance, many words, in themselves good and is narrating and the persons of whom he tells, and classical, are used in such a collocation, that to whose own allusions, similes, and even jokes, are make any sense of them at all, we must suppose refreshing and instructive, because deeply imthat the author has imported some new meaning bued with his rich store of historical and literary of them from America during his transatlantic knowledge. trip. Thus, we have impracticable nightcaps, im- The deterioration of style is further observable possible tables and exploded chests of drawers, in the descriptions. Mr. Dickens was always famedi mad closets, inscrutable harpsichords, undeniable for giving life to inanimate scenes, and catching chins, highly geological home-made cakes, remote the little characteristic traits of conduct and charsuggestions of tobacco lingering within a spittoon, acter; but he now carries minute description to an and the recesses and vacations of a toothpick. excess that sometimes, indeed, degenerates into Then again we have the pages bristling over with mere extravagance-his interiors are often invenvarious strong words employed in their improper tories rather than pictures. Here is one :colloquial usage—such as tremendous, terrible, “ The drawing-room at Todgers' was out of the monstrous, desperate, frightful, awful, horrid, common style ; so much so indeed, that you

would horrible, unearthly, appalling, dreadfil, enormous. hardly have taken it to be a drawing-room, unless "No doubt a tremendous fellow to get through his you were told so by some one who was in the se

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