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apparitions, upon which the author probably in- of a Scotch cow-feeder might not be supposed to tended to ground some important parts of his de- say or to do-and scarcely any thing indeed that moment; but his taste luckily took fright: the is not characteristic of her rank and habitual ocaparitions do not contribute to the catastrophe, cupations. She is never sentimental, nor refined, and they now appear in the work as marks ra- nor elegant; and though always acting in very ther of the author's own predilection to such difficult situations, with the greatest judgment
ace, than as any assistance to him in the way of and propriety, never seems to exert more than machinery.
that downright and obvious good sense, which is The Heart of Mid-LOTHIAN, is remarkable for so often found to rule the conduct of persons of containing fewer characters, and less variety of her condition. This is the great ornament and Beident, tban any of Sir Walter's former produc- charın of the work. Dumbiedikes is, however, fans :- and it is accordingly, in some places, an admirable sketch in the grotesque way;-and 'cumparatively languid. The Porteous mob is the Captain of Knockdander is not only a very rather heavily described; and the whole part of spirited, but also a very accurate representation George Robertson, or Staunton, is extravagant or of a Celtic deputy. There is less description of unpleasing. The final catastrophe, too, is need scenery, and less sympathy in external nature in Bexly improbable and startling; and both Saddle- this, than in any of the other tales. true and Davie Deans, become at last rather tel The Bride of LAMMER VOOR is more sketchy and lions and unreasonable; while we miss, through-romantic than the usual vein of the author-and ast, the character of the generous and kind loses, perhaps, in the exaggeration that is inciSaarted rustie, which in one form or another, dent to the style, some of the deep and heart-felt bites such spirit and interest to the former sto interest that belongs to more familiar situations. Tie But with all these defects, the work has The humours of Caleb Balderstone are, to our busha beauty and power enough to vindicate its taste, the least successful of this author's attempts like to a legitimate descent from its mighty fa-at pleasantry,-and belong rather to the school I ther-and even to a place in the valued files of French or Italian buffoonery, than to that of of his productions. The trial and condemnation English humour;-and yet, to give scope to these of the Deans are pathetic and beautiful in the farcical exhibitions, the poverty of the master of its bighest degree; and the scenes with the Ravenswood is exaggerated beyond all credibility, Deke of Argyle are equally full of spirit; and and to the injury even of his personal diguity. Strangely compounded of perfect knowledge of Sir William Ashton is tedious; and Bucklaw and
and strong and deep feeling. But the great his captain, though excellently drawn, take up harest of the piece, and the great exploit of the rather too much room for subordinate agents. acher, is the character and history of Jeanie There are splendid things, however, in this work kes, from the time she first reproves her sister's also. The picture of old Ailie is exquisite-and Instions at St Leonard's, till she settles in the beyond the reach of any other living writer. mane in Argyleshire. The singular talent with The hags that convene in the church-yard have wch he has engrafted on the humble and some all the terror and sublimity, and more than the let coarse stock of a quiet and unassuming pea- nature of Macbeth's witches; and the courtship mal girl, tbe powerful affection, the strong sense, at the Mermaiden's well, as well as some of the mal lofty purposes, which distinguish the heroine immediately preceding scenes, are full of dignity -7rather the art with which he has so tem- and beauty. The catastropbe of the bride, though ered and modified those great qualities, as to it may be founded on fact, is too horrible for make them appear noways unsuitable to the station fiction. But that of Ravenswood is magnificent
onlinary bearing of such a person, and so or- --and, taken along with the prediction which it Seted and disposed the incidents by which they are was doomed to fulfil, and the mourning and death led out, that they seem throughout adapted, of Balderstone, is one of the finest combinations and native, as it were, to her condition, is su- of superstition and sadness, which the gloomy gefler to any thing we can recollect in the his- nius of our fiction ever put together. any of intention; and must appear to any one, The LEGEND OF Montrose is also of the nature by attratively considers it, as a remarkable of a sketch or fragment, and is still more vigourszaph over the greatest of all difficulties, in the ous than its companion. There is too much, Select of a fictitious narrative. Jeanie Deans, perhaps, of Dalgeity--or, rather, he engrosses too
the course of ber allventurous undertaking, great a proportion of the work; for, in himself, *s our admiration and sympathy more pow. we think he is uniformly eniertaining; - and the Ally than most heroines, and is in the highest author has nowhere shown more affinity to that bette both pathetic and sublime ;-and vet she matchless spirit, who could bring out his Falstaffs ter says or does any thing that the daughter and his Pistols, in act after act, and play after with their various tempers and dialects, cara
us orations, we have plays, poems, ar ceive the full merit of those rapid the
letters of the former period; while of 11 teristic sketches; but it require al
we have only some vague chronicles, si knowledge of human patur
tous legends, and a few fragments of fi must be faithful copies from a
e romance. We scarcely know indeed wh and to be aware of the extraord
awguage was then either spoken or written. Y flexibility of hand which
with all these belps, how cold and conjectural stance, with such discrimin
thing would a novel be, of which the scene w rious gradations of the
laid in ancient Rome! The author might ta savage imperturbability
with perfect propriety of the beauties of the F stalks grimly about w
rum, and the arrangements of the circus-of il shoulder, without
baths and the suppers, and the canvass for offic to the lively unpro
er and the sacrifices, and musters, and assemblie the coarse unreflect
speeches He might be quite correct as to the dress, furu Evan Maccombich
F isti- ture, and utensils he had occasion to mention gance, and on
nuot and might even embody in his work various and lower class of
e in a very dotes and sayings preserved in contemporary a vulgarity of
geous and thors. But when he came to represent the d Jinker is po
ak Argyle's tails of individual character and feeling, and as the pris
out-though delineate the daily conduct, and report ihe ord the depic
S ounds of proba- nary conversation of his persons, he would fit sole
pirit and effect; himself either frozen in among barren gener of a
acident and situa- lities, or engaged with modern Englishmen in d rican
al business, and the masquerade habits of antiquity.
give a life and inter- In stating these difficulties, however, we real She story, which belong mean less to account for the defects, than to e
hance the merits of the work we are treating Landlord we must pass For though the author has not worked imposs al romance of IVANHOE, bilities, he has done wonders with his sulijed tively English, and the and though we do sometimes miss those frel
the reign of Richard I., and living pictures of the characters which les of which age are less know
know, and the nature with which we are familia the thighlanders and camero- and that high and deep interest which the hou
This was the great diffi- scenes of our own times and owo people cou
of the subject with which he that he has made marvellous good use of u
of the actual way of life, and them out both by the greatest skill and dexteri N ome ancestors in the year 1194. in their arrangement, and by all the resoura more prominent outlines of their that original genius could render subservient
losthood, and their villanage, such a design. For this purpose he has laid b
tà antiquaries, or even to gene- scene in a period when the rivalry of the vict w all the filling up and details, rious Normans and the conquered Saxons had n can stive body and life to the picture, been finally composed; and when the court
since effaced by time. We have petulance and chivalrous and military pride imation, in short, of the private life the one race might yet be set in splendid opp Wation of any class of persons in that sition to the manly steadiness and honest b Well, and, in fact, know less how the homely simplicity of the other; and has, at t wamen occupied and amused themselves same time, given an air both of dignity and rea ay talked abont-how they looked-or ty to his story, by bringing in the personal pray
mually thought or felt, at that time ess of Cour de Lion himself, and other personag med than we know of what they did or of historical fame, to assist in its developmen
Home in the time of Augustus, or at Though reduced in a great measure to the vulga in the time of Pericles. The memorials staple of armed knights, and jolly friars an w of those earlier ages and remoter na- woodmen, imprisoned damsels, lawless barda a neatly more abundant and more fami- collared serfs, and household fools, he has mad
than those of our ancestors at the dis- such use of his great talents for description, au mo ar seven centuries. Besides ample histories invested those traditional and theatrical person
rth so much of the feelings that are of all ages thor of Marmion, or the Lady of the Lake, than and all countries, that we frequently cease to re- of Waverley or Old Mortality. pard them (as it is generally right to regard them) Without disputing the general verdict, which * parts of a fantastical pageant, and are often places the Monastery below the rest of our auhrsaght to consider the knights who joust in pa- thor's works, we shall endeavour to ascertain the maple in the lists, and the foresters who shoot grounds on which it may be supposed to be de with arrows, and plunder travellers in the founded. We believe the principal deficiency mok, as real individuals, with hearts and blood lies in, what is usually our author's principal exbeating in their bosoms like our own-actual cellence, the female characters. In general, his misizoces, in short, into whose views we may men add to the boldness and animation of the renconably enter, and with whose emotions we scene, but his women support almost all its inare bound to sympathise. To all this he has | terest. Perhaps this must always be the case added, out of the prodigality of his high and in- where both are equally well drawn. We sympai Fentive genius, the grace and the interest of some thize more readily with simple than with comkety, and sweet, and superhuman characters, for pound feelings; and therefore less easily with whicha, though evidently fictitious, and unnatural those characters, the different ingredients of a any stage of society, the remoteness of the which have, by mutual subservience, been mouldscene on which they are introduced may serve as ed into one uniform mass, than with those in n apology, if they could need any other than which they stand unmixed and contrasted. Couwhat they bring along with them in their own rage restrained by caution, and liberality by sublimity and beauty.
| prudence, loyalty, with a view only to the ulti| In comparing this work then with the produc- mate utility of power, and love, never forgetting
lies which had already proceeded from the same itself in its object, are the attributes of men. Buster-band, it is impossible not to feel that we Their purposes are formed on a general balance tre passing in some degree from the reign of na- of compensating motives, and pursued only while taze and reality to that of fancy and romance, their means appear not totally inadequate. The * ad echanging for scenes of wonder and curio- greater susceptibility, which is always the charm,
ey those more homefelt sympathies, and deeper and sometimes the misfortune, of women, deteches of delight, that can only be excited by prives them of the same accurate view of the the people among whom we live, and the objects proportion of different objects. The one upon at are constantly around us. A far greater which they are intent, whether it be a lover, a proportion of the work is accordingly made up parent, a husband, a child, a king, a preacher, a #slendid descriptions of arms and dresses, ball, or a bonnet, swallows up the rest. Hence mated and massive castles, tournaments of mail- the enthusiasm of their loyalty, the devotedness
champions, solemn feasts, forinal courtesies, of their affection, the abandonment of self, and and other matters of external and visible pre- the general vehemence of emotion, which, in fic. entment, that are only entitled to such distinction as well as in reality, operate contagiously Sin as connected with the olden times, and novel on our feelings. But our author has, in the by virtue of their antiquity; while the interest | Monastery, neglected the power of representing ed the story is maiutained far more by surprising the female character, which he possesses so emiBrentores and extraordinary situations, the nently, and, in general, uses so liberally. The tarling effect of exaggerated sentiments, and heroine is milk and water, or any thing still more Siz strong contrast of overdrawn characters, than insipid. Dame Glendinning and Tibbie are the by the sober charmıs of truth and reality, the common furniture of a farm-house; and Mysie Egunite representation of scenes with which we Happer and poor Catherine, though beautiful, are te familiar, or the skilful development of affec- mere sketches. tons which we have often experienced.
But the great merit of the Monastery is, that it These bright lights and deep shadows-- this is a foundation for the Abbot. This not only estision of brilliant pictures, addressed as often relieves, in a great measure, the reader from the by the eyes as to the imagination, and oftener to slow detail, or the perplexing retracings and
e sagination than the heart—this preference éclaircissemens which detain or interrupt him in Sarking generalities to homely details, all be- a narrative that is purely fictitious, but is an imby more properly to the province of poetry provement on some of the peculiar advantages La of prose; and Ivanhoe, accordingly, seems of one that is historical. In the latter, the hard be much more akin to the most splendid of and meagre outline of his previous knowledge Dodern poems, than the most interesting of mo- seldom contains more than the names and mutual Sa novels; and savours much more of the au- relations of the principal personages, and what they had previously done, with very little of described, or fiction invented, a character inori what they had previously felt. But where one truly tragic than Queen Mary. The most frait fiction is founded on another, we are introduced ful imagination could not have adorned her wit| not merely to persons who are notorious to us, more accomplishments, or exposed her to greate but to old acquaintances and friends. The extremes of fortune, or alternated them wit| Knight of Avenel, the Abbot Ambrosius, and the greater rapidity. And the mystery which, afte Gardener Blinkhoolie, are the Halbert, and Ed- all the exertions of her friends and enemies, stil ward, and Boniface, into whose early associations rests on her conduct, and which our author ha and secret feelings we had been admitted. We most skilfully left as dark as he found it, prevent meet them as we meet, in real life, with those our being either shocked or unmoved by her fi whom we have known in long-past times, and in nal calamities. The former would have been th different situations, and are interested in tracing, case, if her innocence could have been establish sometimes the resemblance, and sometimes the led. We could not bave borne to see such a bein contrast, between what has past and what is pre-plunged, by a false accusation, from such happi sent; in observing the effect of new circum-ness into such misery. The latter would hay stances in modifying or confirming their old feel- followed, if she could have been proved to 1 ings, or in eliciting others which before lay un- guilty. Her sufferings, bitter as they were, wel perceived. We view with interest the fiery free-less unmixed than those of Bothwell. He to dom of Halbert's youth ripened into the steady endured a long imprisonment, but it was in and stern composure of the approved soldier and desolate climate, without the alleviations whid skilful politician; and when, as Knight of Arenel, even Elizabeth allowed to her rival, without th he sighs for birth and name, we recognize the hope of escape, or the sympathy of devoted a feelings that drove him from the obscure security tendants : such was his misery, that his rease of a church vassal, to seek with his sword the sunk under it. And though his sufferings wel means of ranking with those proud men who de- greater than those of his accomplice, if such sl spised his clownish poverty. And when Ambrose were, his crime was less. He had not to bret acknowledges that, bent as he is by affliction, he the same restraints of intimate connexion and has not forgotten the effect of beauty on the sex. But nobody could read a tragedy of whid heart of youth-that even in the watches of the his misfortunes formed the substance; becau night, broken by the thoughts of an imprisoned we are sure of his guilt, they will excite no i queen, a distracted kingdom, a church laid waste terest. While we continue to doubt hers, Mary and ruinous, come other thoughts than these sug- will be intensely affecting. gest, and other feelings that belong to an earlier Though KENILWORTH ranks high among of and happier course of life; a single allusion sends author's works, we think it inferior, as a whol us back through the whole intervening time, and to his other tragedies, the Bride of Lammermod we see him again in the deep window-recess of the historical part of Waverley, and the Abbt Glendearg, and Mary's looks of simple yet earnest | both in materials and in execution. anxiety, watching for his assistance in their | Amy Robsart and Elizabeth occupy nearly t childish studies. The allusion would have been same space upon the canvas as Catherine Seyti pretty, but how inferior if Ambrose had been a aud Mary. But almost all the points of intere new character, and we had been forced to ac- which are divided between Ainy and Elizabet count for it by some vague theory as to his for-historical recollections, beauty, talents, attra mer history. The Abbot has, however, far greater tive virtues and unhappy errors, exalted rai advantages over its predecessor than those, great and deep misfortune, are accumulated in Mar as they are, that arise from their relative situa- and we want altogether that union of the lot tion. We escape from the dull tower of Glen- and the elegant, of enthusiasm and playfulne dearg, with its narrow valley and homely inınates, which enchanted us in Catherine. Amy is to Edinburgh, and Holyrood House, and Loch- beautiful specimen of that class which long a leven Castle, and the field of Langside, and to furnished Desdemona: the basis of whose chara high dames and mighty earls, and exchange the ter is conjugal love, whose charm consists in obscure squabbling of the hamlet and the con- purity and its devotedness, whose fault sprin vent for events where the passions of individuals from its undue prevalence over filial duty, al decided the fate of kingdoms, and, above all, we whose sufferings are occasioned by the perverti exchange unintelligible fairyism for human ac- passions of him who is the object of it. Elizabe tors and human feelings.
owes almost all her interest to our early associ It is true there is a sorceress on the stage, but tions, and to her marvellous combination of u one endued with powers far greater for evil or for male and female dispositions, in those points i good than the White Lady. History has never which they seem most incompatible. The r
presentation of such a character loses much of The Pirate is a bold attempt to make out a its interest in history, and would be intolerable long and eventful story, from a very narrow cirm pare fiction. In the former, its peculiarities cle of society, and a scene so circumscribed as we softened down by the distance, and Elizabeth scarcely to admit of any great scope or variety of appears a fine, but not an uncommon object-a action; and its failure, in a certain degree, must pai, upamiable sovereign; and the same pecu- in fairness be ascribed chiefly to this scantiness Lanties shown up by the microscopic exaggera- and defect of the materials. tian of fiction, would, if judged only by the rules The FORTUNES of Niger is of an historical chaof faction, offend as unnatural; but supported by racter, and an attempt to describe and illustrate the authority of history, would be most striking. by examples the manners of the court, and, ge4 portrait might be drawn of Elizabeth, uniting nerally speaking, of the age of James I. of Engthe magnanimous courage, the persevering but land. poveruable anger, the power of weighing distant Without asserting the high excellence of SAINT against immediate advantages, and the brilliant Rowan's Well, we may venture to affirm that it apzinst the useful, and of subjecting all sur- does not deserve the contempt with which it has rounding minds, even the most manly, to her been treated by some critics. The story, indeed, inigence, with the most craving vanity, the most is not very probable, and there are varioưs inconmitable jealousy, the meanest duplicity, and the sistencies in the plot; the characters, though apmost capricious and uurelenting spite, that ever parently intended to be completely modern, are 1 degraded the silliest and most hateful of her sex. in some instances more suitable to the last gene| Sir Walter has not, we think, made the most ration; the hero's portrait is feebly drawn: the af bis opportunities. He has complied with the moral tone of the work is less correct and legitibus of poetical consistency, without recollecting mate than that which pervades our author's prethai, in this instance, the notoriety of Elizabeth's ceding productions, and the impulses of feeling bistory warranted their violation. Instead of and humanity are less natural and forcible; but pushing to the utmost the opposing qualities that it is still a work which bears the marks of a maskermed her character, he has softened even the ter's hand, the interest is well sustained, the inmudents that he has directly borrowed. When cidents are related with spirit, many of the dialzcester knelt before her at Kenilworth, ere she logues are lively and pleasant, and not only the raised him she passed her hand over his head, so characters of the heroine, but also those of the Dear as almost to touch his long curled and per- landlady of Touchwood, are drawn with a discrihased hair, and with a movement of fondness minating and powerful pencil. that seemed to intimate she would, if she dared, Io the historical novels of ReDGAUNTLET, QUENare made the motion a slight caress. Listen to tin DURWARD, and Woodstock, the author disAr James Melvil's account of the occurrence. plays a truly graphic power in the delineation
I was required to stay till he was made Earl of characters, which he sketches with an ease, Leicester, which was done at Westminster, the and colours with a brilliancy, and scatters about peen herself helping to put on his ceremonial, with a profusion, which but few writers, in any le sitting upon his koees (kneeling) before her age, have been able to accomplish. With spells eith great gravity; but she could not refrain of magic potency, and with the creations of a artea patting her hands into his neck, smiling- rich and varied fancy, so skilfully has he stolen kickling him, the French ambassador and 1 us from ourselves, with such exquisite cunning tanding by. Then she turned, asking me how I has he extracted a kind of poetry from the com
him?. Again, when she discovers Leices- mon incidents of life, with such an extent of leles conduct, in which every cause of personal gendary knowledge, he has displayed so wondermitation is most skilfully accumulated, she pu- ful an aptitude in drawing from historic research malas him only by a quarter of an hour's restraint those minute traits of manners and modifications under the custody of the earl-marshal.
in social life, which, by reason of the wide range When, at a later period, and under circum- which it traverses, and the rapidity with which it aces of much less aggravation, she detected moves along, are in history too general and inla marriage with Lady Essex, she actually impri- distinct; that it would be worse than affectation semed kom. Our author has not ventured on the to stand aloof from the general feeling, and to fall vehemence of her affection or her rage. But, refuse our humble proportion of those « golden ter all, his picture of the lion-hearted queen, opinions be has bought from all sorts of men,» Ragh it right perhaps have been improved by and which have fixed him in so high a rank in be admission of stronger contrasts, is so vivid, the literature of his country. add to magnificent, that we can hardly wish it The Tales Of The CRUSADERS have not been
received with that enthusiasm of delight which
other than it is.