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sion in a lady's dress.” We should be both unable and unwilling to discover, but for these things, to what state of earthly humiliation this virtuous Celestine might have been reduced. Fortunately for her honour and fame, after eight years absence, his features were more gross, his complexion more sombre, and his mouth “ was rendered frightful by mustachios;" and in this barbarous and barberless state of things, she thus justifies her conduct by a comparison of her real with her ideal lover.
“ But this Eugene Beauvois was not the Eugene Beauvois my imagination had pictured as the very pattern of every mental and personal
it was Eugene Beauvois; and, therefore, if my imagination chose to deck him in such brilliant colours, my imagination alone was to blame. Yet, far as it had carried me, the illusion could not endure beyond the moment when I again beheld him after eight years absence. These eight years, I now found, had been de. voted by me to the creation of an ideal being-a being so perfect, that I again became reconciled to myself, in considering, that the mind which could engender it must be of a superior order, and could never yield a preference to one who did not resemble this offspring of enthusiasın. I felt relieved beyond measure in making this compromise with my weakness, and at once yielded up the image of Eugene Beauvois; yet retaining and exulting in the exalted object of my favourite meditations." (p. 202—203, vol. i.)
She afterwards philosophizes on the distinction of signs and things signified, and observes with much apparent satis, faction: “ Eugene must from habit still continue the name of my
mind's idol, but not Eugene Beauvois !” We presume, her husband was in no way displeased at this incorporeal substitution; and if romantic ladies will thus condescend to interchange names for things, there may be some hope ultimately of their returning to truth and nature, and abandoning all their fanciful and sensual idolatry.
This was precisely the situation of the fair Celestine; the mere name of Eugene served only as a sort of poetic anagram; it became like one of those pieces which may
be called fugitive, because, affecting the head, without touching the heart, they soon take their departure; and at the conclusion of the story, she seems likely to become as good a humdrum wife as any that might be selected beneath the expanded shade of St. Paul's, or Notre Dame.
Among the characters incidentally noticed is a French Abbé, who, it seems, has been the tutor of the hero; and he is one of those accommodating prieşts, who is under no great uneasiness for the morals of his young friends. “I žiever considered,” says he, “ Stefanie (the mistress of his married pupil) other than as the plaything of your leisure hours; then how could she prove any interruption to your rational enjoyments?" Emma Parker, these are poisonous weeds from the French nursery; and we do not wish them to become indigenous on British ground. The Abbé, not contented with this oblique praise, compliments his élève in direct terms, guilty of most disgraceful aberrations; “ You have acted,” he proceeds, “under the influence of the staunch principles of delicacy and honour implanted in your breast.” Seriously, Madam, of what “ rational enjoyments” could šuch a state of Mahometan licentiousness be susceptible ? and where is “ the delicacy and honour” that can consort themselves with this grossness and infamy? But the clergyman prescribes some bounds to his liberality in such matters. Stefanie, not contented with having the undisturbed possession of the person of the husband, whether in the capital of France or Prussia, had the insolence to require that the wife should become her friend and associate. Scorn and indignation awakened in the insulted female, she repelled this áttempt. Here the good priest interposes; and in the most familiar manner says to his ward, “You are quite rightStefanie would indeed be an ill-assorted companion for your wife : had you endeavoured to have promoted such an intimacy, I could no longer have esteemed you.” Venerable instructor! how incalculable must be the value of thy esteem! Pastor! parent! with what filial love and obedience must thy counsels be regarded! Clerk! confessor! what perfect whiteness and sanctity must thy ablutions and absolutions confer !
There are many peculiarities in the style and composition on which we are unwilling to dilate, as the authoress may consider it an excellence to produce a correspondence between the languages, as well as the morals, of the two countries ; and as she would not be rigid in the latter, she is not precise in the former. Under these circumstances, we shall only say generally, that she is an amateur in fine words; that she is fond of disturbing the sentiments of Euclid, Demosthenes, Thucydides, and other “old Ro. mans;" and that there is a pretty sprinkling from the learned fountains of antiquity, in every part of the work.
We have seen some novels, like some sermons, with as little reference to the title or text as if they had been selected for contrast; but this is not the case with the production before us; yet the “ Self-Deception" is not of an uncommon kiod, or very much diversified in the circumstances : the three happy couples deceive themselves as to the existence of the affection they bear to each other, two of them in the usual way, before marriage, and the other afterwards.
It is to the commendation of Miss Parker, that in the course of her work, there are none of those tantalizing pauses with which we are occasionally tormented; especially when, in imitation of Richardson, as here, the epistolary form is resorted to. When this is the case, every letter is frequently an episode, and the narrative is so painfully in terrupted, that the pleasure you occasionally receive is no sufficient compensation for what you endure from the intermittent fever under the irritation of such disappointments, But we complain, that not one character awakens our sensibility and regard : the ladies are either simple misses, or learned enthusiasts; and the gentlemen either mere chevaliers or profound metaphysicians; and whatever may be the advantageous opportunity some of these dramatis personæ may
afford to Miss Parker to exhibit her erudition, we can assure her the public is much chagrined, when they find, in such compositions, the gravity of the school, instead of the playfulness of the saloon; and the frigidity of the head, instead of the pathos of the heart. The province of novel. writing, like that of poetry, is not to instruct, but to delight; and if the one be blended with the other, it must be in such a dexterous way, that the leading purpose be never abandoned.
After all we have said, we admit this work to be above mediocrity. The lady has published, besides the several effusions noticed in the title-page, “ Elfrida, or the Heiress of Belgrave,” in tour volumes, and, in as many,,“ Virginia, or the Peace of Amiens;" so that she has had considerable practice; and from the retreat of Fairfield House, in the benign atmosphere of Denbighshire, we may expect yet more amusement of the same kind. We shall not fail, if our hopes be realized, to resume our remarks; but one purpose of them will be frustrated if the writer should derive from our observations no benefit. Her intentions are good, -and to say that the felicity of the execution is not equal to the merit of the design, is asserting of her that which we must at all times affirm of the most estimable persons, whose performances invariably fall short of their wishes.
Art. IX.- Gulzara, Princess of Persia, or the Virgin
Queen. Collected from the original Persian. London,
John Souter, 1816. 8vo. pp. 248. A STRANGE contradiction generally attends political ro, mances: at the time they are published they are well under stood, but commonly little read; and if they happen to float on the top of the stream of time, and are picked up in some distant generation, they are little understood, but often much read: they then become curious and entertaining, as giving an insight into the events and manners of the times in which they were written, and they afford opportunities to learned and industrious commentators to unriddle the mystery, and explain the allusions. In spite of himself almost, Rabelais has been crowded into this class of authors, though in the Prologue to La vie, faicts & dicts heroiques de Garagantud, he vehemently protests against any such construction, asking if Homer were to be accused of allegory; or if the assertion of an ignorant lubberly friar were to be believed, that Ovid, in writing his Metamorphoses, meant covertly to allude to the sacraments of the Church? Yet we know, notwithstanding, that an indefatigable Dutchman, M. du Chat, spent no less than forty years of his life at Amsters dam in writing notes, to ascertain and make known the dark references contained in the learned discussions upon the breeches of the hero, and his disastrous conflicts with the bun-bakers of Lerna. The Argenis of Barclay has been attempted to be illustrated in the same way, by several able writers of this and other countries, and doubtless, however vain the inquiry as to its result, the world has been much benefited by the ingenuity displayed, the learning employed, and the discoveries they have jointly effected.
The work before us is a political romance, and though, of course, we do not by any means rank it even with the last named of the above performances, we should do the author great injustice if we did not admit that it is entertaining, and interspersed with sensible and acute observations upon events and their consequences. Excepting that it is an effort of greater talent, it resembles the mass of works of the kind that the reign of Charles II. brought into the world, in which libidinousness was lashed, and ty. ranny tortured, with little danger to the anonymous authors, Thus, in the publication of the work before us, the government of the Prince Regent possesses an additional feature
of resemblance to the reign of the royal adept in luxury and licentiousness.
Gulzara professes to be collected from the Persian : this expedient is the clumsiest part of the performance, and a litile too stale to be of advantage to the volume in its sale: the title also has not much of novelty, and by the generality of readers would be mistaken for one of those idle productions so rife in our day, in which events war with probability, and words with sense. The object of the author of Gulsara is to point out, without more than necessary offence, the vices, follies, or impolicies, of the times, and of those who live in them; and if he have taken too gloomy a view of public affairs, he is at least not singular in his opinions. The mode he has adopted of cloaking his remarks, takes a little from their apparent severity; and since it is not always safe to call things by their right names, or to describe persons by their true characters, he has ingeniously contrived a story and invented personages, to whom he can more freely apply his censures and offer his advice. Thus the war between England and France is represented by hostilities between Persia and Tartary : Buonaparte is called the enchanter Noureddin; and who is intended by “ Ali the Magnificent," our readers will probably collect from the following extract.
“ Such was the Princess Gulzara, when the Prince her father undertook to wield the sceptre, in the name of the great Abbas. He quickly displayed his capacity for government by measures of extraordinary energy and vigour: so great was his application, he absolutely re-modelled the dress of the whole army in the first six moons, and devised six-and-thirty kind of turbans for the royal guards in particular. For many weeks the avenues to the palace were crowded with tailors, feather-makers, and artificers in gold, in silver, and in brass. Six hours every day did the magnificent Ali dedicate to these important functions of roya'dy; and his great soul was so entirely engrossed by them, he wholly forgot, when the twelve moons were expired, that his ministers were not of his own choosing, and continued to afford them his august protection. His mother, the venerable and munificent Gulzara Lelamain, who befriended them, was delighted with her son, and used her powerful influence to preserve in him the same happy forgetfulness of friendship and of injury. Aided by a magnificent festival, she completely succeeded : the Viceroy retired to his closet, called his most faithful counsellors around him, and worked night and day at the plan for three months, during which interval he found it quite impossible to attend to minor affairs. Astonished at so much assiduity, the ministers gave him an Aga to tie up his papers, appointed him master of