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of the thing having once been known, or my most innocent sallies, watching with supposed to be known, we continue to act jaundiced eye for faults in me which my heart upon that reason, without insisting that it did not recognise, and blasting that sweet should be submitted to an examination per complacency, in which a virtuous mind is petually to be repeated. But when Mr. delighted to plunge itself and to play. Bradford, no longer seated in the chair of “ I know there are rugged and brutal nathe pedagogue, issued his imperious man- tures, who would interrupt me here, and cry dates of Go there, or Do this, whenever out, that there is an easy remedy for all this. what he required related not to my abstract The boy whose thoughts are here described, advantage, but to the common usefulness of was too much indulged; an effusion of life, my spirit refused to submit ; I felt con- wbolesome severity would soon have disvinced that I was treated in a manner unbe persed these clouds of the mind, and bave coming and unjust; and, my neck never caused bim to know, that there was nothing having been bowed to the condition of a but ground for congratulation, where he slave, my whole soul revolted at the usur- found so much occasion for complaint. And pation. Hilkiah saw something, but imper- let these brutal natures go on in the exercise fectly, of the state of my mind on these oe- of their favourite discipline! There will alcasions; but, instead of modifying and ways be crosses and opposition, and mortifiadapting bis proceedings to my tone of feel. cations enough in the march of human life, ing, he took the contrary course. He beld from the very principles upon which society it for “stuff of the conscience,” that he is built, and from the impatience our impershould subdue my refractoriness, and bring fect nature is too apt to conceive, of the imdown a stabbornness of soul, so opposite, puted untowardness, and absurd judgments, as be imagined, to the temper of a true Chris. of those that are placed under our control. tian. Alas, good man, he little understood But let those of happier spirit know, that this the tendency and nature of the task be had imperious discipline is not the wholesome undertaken! My pride was not perhaps so element of the expanding mind, and that the great, that it would not have yielded to se. attempt to correct the mistaken judgments of vere calamity, or to ferocious and vomiti- the young by violent and summary dealing, gated tyranny; I cannot tell. But there was can never be the true method of fostering a no power that could be exercised by Hilkiah, generous nature; in a word, that to make who was a man substantially of a gentle tem- the child a forlorn and pitiable slave, can per, and under the roof of my nearest rela- never be the way to make the man worthy of tion, that had any chance of rendering him freedom, and capable of drawing the noblest victorious in this contest. I submitted indeed use from it." outwardly, for my nature did not prompt me Mr. Godwin has given credit to our to scenes of violence; but I retained the countryman C. B. Brown for the hint of principle of rebellion entire, shut up in the this novel, which he derived from his chamber of my thoughts. If at any time I manifested tardiness, and how could it be
Wieland. We should never have deotherwise, when the soul was averse ?) this tected the plagiarism; or, if we had, called down from my preceptor a bitterness should never have thought of censuring of remark, or a dryness of irony, that filled Mr. Godwin for borrowing a thought my bosom with tumults, and was calculated from one who had borrowed his style to make me understand something of the from him. Of the merits of Mr. Brown temper of a fiend. Hilkiah, as I have said, we hope to find some opportunity to speak felt disposed to multiply bis esperiments in proportion as he found me restive. And it which Mr. Godwin has bestowed, in
at large. He is well entitled to the praise grieves me to confess, that this ill-contrived and senseless proceeding at length drove me
terming him a man certainly of distininto a rooted aversion of heart from this good guished genius.” man, to whose industry and care, I owed so
We have neither leisure nor disposition much, and the purity and zeal of whose in to point out the verbal errors and gramtentions entitled him still more to my regard. matical inaccuracies of which Mr. GodIt was Hilkiah, that first made me acquainted win has been guilty in this performance. with the unsavouriness of an embittered soul He is generally an incorrect, though an From time to time he filled all my thoughts eloquent writer. Ourjuvenile readers must with malignity. I can scarcely describe the beware that the glitter of his periods, his frame of my temper towards him. I would not have hurt him ; but I muttered harsh re: piquancy of epithet and gorgeousness of sentment against him in sounds scarcely arti expression, do not blind them to his culate ; and I came to regard him as my evil faults. genius, poisoning my cup of life, thwarting
ART. 7. Rob Roy; by the author of " Waverly,” “ Guy Mannering," and " The
Antiquary.” New-York. Kirk & Mercein. James Eastburn & Co. Philadelphia. M. Thomas. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 591.
as been gratified, and we have been per- so ably discussed, that an elaborate ana. mitted to regale ourselves with the perusallysis of them at this time would be superof Rob Roy. After the time appointed for fluous. We shall only, therefore, on this its appearance had gone by without bring- occasion, briefly recount such of their ing the promised gratification, with what qualities as we conceive to be character eager impatience did the city renew her istic, and hasten to the consideration of daily inquiries, and how were the doors of Rob Roy. In the first place, then, we the publishers thronged as soon as the an- think the productions of this very adticipated pleasure was known to be lying mirable writer are distinguished from all in boards upon their stalls ! What is it in other works that bear the name of nothe productions of this writer that has so vels, inasmuch as we do not find in them charmed the world, and that, spreading any particular passion, proposed to be units influence over every description of folded, and on which the story is to hinge, readers, has given society a fine impulse, nor any particular system of opinions to and filled every hand with garlands to be attacked or defended, with a series of heap upon his temples, the moment he incidents invented to illustrate their nashall step forth from the shade that con- ture and exhibit their tendencies. Doubt*ceals him? We feel, indeed, that a supe- less a variety of passions are brought rior nature has descended near us, but, into exercise, in the course of the several while he remains enveloped in his cloud performances, and the practical results we shall not know how to choose an ap- of many modes of thinking and many propriate offering, nor with what peculiar systems of opinion are exhibited, furrites to testify our homage. When he nishing a variety of instructive lessons in departs, however, the veil will doubtless human nature, as well as numerous and dissipate, and we shall catch a glance of accurate tests of divers principles of conhis immortal visage, and hear the rattling duct ; but these occur by the way, in the of his polished quiver.
progress of the narrative, and do not
constitute the specific objects of the Sic orsus Apollo, Mortales medio aspectus sermone reliquit.
writer in undertaking his task. The
works of our author are styled historical Agnovere Deum proceres divinaque iela novels,---and so are Miss Porter's, for Dardanidæ, pharetramque fugâ sensere sonantem. example. But the resemblance is found Virg. Æ. lib. 91h. ver. 656.
in little else than the name. For, without • The concealment of an author's name, considering the immeasurable distance when sending forth bis first production to between the talents of the two writers, the world, is an every day occurrence; Miss Porter has uniformly selected a but when effort, after effort, has been hero and a heroine for her scenes, who crowned with applause, and the anticipa- are swayed by some master passion or tion of yet further offerings from the principle, which it is her main design to same hand, is hailed with delight, the exalt, and round these prominent personcontinued suppression of the name for ages all the others move in subordinate which so many honours wait, argues a spheres. All the incidents introduced strength of resolution in resisting the en- into her plots are designed to contribute ticement of self-complacency, or a pe- principally to the interest to be excited culiarity in the mode of gratifying it, toward her leading characters; and when very rarely to be found. But whether it their individual fortunes are decided, the be that the author of Waverly is prone scene closes---the chain of events has to hoard his praises in secret, or that he come to an end—the machine has comis too proud to be flattered, or that, with pletely run down. But in the series of a self-denial unusual with the prosperous works under survey, no hero, strictly in any undertaking, he would try the ex- speaking, is chosen; the fate of no single periment how far talent can be rewarded individual is proposed as the leading obfor its own sake—whatever may be his ject of the narration, to whose weal or motive for concealment-certain it is woe every thing that takes place is to be that no writer of this, or any former age, conducive, and who is to be conveyed has more reason to be satisfied with his along on the current of events, and extrireception by the public. His works are cated from his difficulties for the express so familiar to the reading world, and purpose of bringing him to some predetermined and stipulated end. The per- nary history, however ably written. Histosons, from whose names these books ry for the most part relates only the affairs either derive their titles, or, who are spo- of government—the acts and the policy ken of, in common parlance, as the he- of the few who bear the rule, and how roes, are in fact rather spectators than full soever may be its record of public actors, in the technical use of language; transactions, and how profound soever they are invented characters, of little or may be the sagacity with which it traces no necessity to the progress of the action, the connexion between events affecting but introduced for the purpose of enabling the condition of the state; still, it can conthe writer to relate, with ease and pro- vey little more than a general idea, leavpriety, what was transacted in the region ing the mind occupied with vague imwhere the scene is laid. So slight is their pressions of the extent, population, wealth intrinsic connexion with the scenes into and grandeur of the nation, without givwhich they are conducted, that the action ing any definite conceptions of the docould as well proceed without them as mestie condition of the families and indiwith them; for, at whatever period either viduals of which the great community is of them might be removed, it would composed. But in works like “Waverly" merely be omitting to speak of one, who, we see how the public acts affect the priwhen he first made his appearance, only vate citizen-we learn how the members came among a number of people already of the community think and feel and act engaged in an important enterprise. The toward cach other and toward their gowork was begun, the actors were fervent vernment; in the perusal of them, we at their labour, before he arrived, and he insensibly identify ourselves with the mixes with them that he may gratify the people of whom we read—we sympathise feelings excited by the new circumstances with them,—with them we rise against the in which he finds bimself, and relieve that smiting of the tyrant, or rally round the irksomeness which would be the conse- standard of loyalty and independencequence of inactivity in a place where all are and are enabled accurately to judge of busy. No-Waverly is not the hero, nor governments by the only useful test, the Morton, nor young Osbaldistone, but Scot- happiness or misery of the people, not land. The situation of the country—its the extent and splendour of the sovemanners, customs,—its religious and poli- reignty. Which of the accounts of our tical opinions,--the fierce contests of its own war of independence is half so well sects and clans,and all the varying accidents calculated to give the present generation, of its civil and social condition, form the and posterity, adequate conceptions of subjects on which this writer has exercis- the state of things, at that great juncture ed his fine talents, and around which he -of the peculiar character of those has caused the light of his genius to “ times that tried men's souls"-as would stream. His object is to furnish a supple- be a narrative constructed on the plan of ment to the history of Scotland-and a “ Old Mortality," one of the “ Tales of supplement he has furnished more de- my Landlord ?" In such a work, the wrilightful in the perusal than the general re- ter would not give us mere dry details of cord, and at least as profitable to the read- what befel, in that epoch of grand exciteer. If invention has come in, on any oc- ment; but, earnestly contemplating the casion, with a number of feigned inci- sublime posture which the American dents, it bas been for the purpose of giv- world then exhibited, inhaling the influing symmetry to the work, and more ences of the period, and catching the temfully illustrating the internal
, domestic per of the people, what warm and breathcondition of the people. Those incidents, ing pictures would his rapid pencil exemoreover, are all of a kind so level with cute of the actors in that day of decisivo probability—so near akin in their nature conflict! What a gallery would he furand complexion to the authenticated nish of the portraits of our American fatruth, as to leave the reader without ex- thers ! Unfolding, with impartial fidelity, cuse if he fail of acquiring an accurate the grievances of which the colonies knowledge of the Caledonian character; complained; and tracing, with a just disand the whole work claims the attentive cernment of the character of the coloexamination of all who are curious to nists, as well as of their political instituknow how other times and other people tions and civil habits—the effects producdiffer from their own, or whose business ed upon the mind of the country, from the it is to estimate the influence of opinion beginning of remonstrance to the coming upon a nation's welfare.
on of the memorable crisis, when the banThere is an advantage in the perusal of 'nersofindependence were first uplifted and works like “Waverly," not found in ordi- the patriot buckledon his sword, with what VOL. 11.No. vi.
clearness of delineation and power of elo- The dramatic talents of the author of quence would he bring out the grand re- “ Waverly," are, likewise, singularly sult! If some one of our native sons- great. His dialogues are managed with a some lineal disciple of that old school of skill not surpassed by any of the great heroes, could be found, equal to such a writers for the stage. The language, work, the execution of it would consti- which he puts into the mouths of his intute the fairest monument he could erect terlocutors, is adapted, with the nicest to his own fame, and the richest legacy perception of fitness, to their various chahe could leave his countrymen.
racters, and all along maintains the same Another circumstance, by which the admirable consistency that distinguishes works of this admirable writer are distin- their conduct. Nor is it suitable merely guished, is a variety, both of matter and to the general character of the actors; manner, almost boundless, and unequal- while, in this respect, it preserves the Jed since the days of Shakspeare. Indeed, strictest propriety, it does not tire the in the perusal of no productions, with reader with its sameness, but is varied, which we are acquainted, are we so con- with happy facility, to suit the change of stantly reminded of the great dramatist. scene and the difference of occasion. It There is the same wonderful accuracy of flows on, like a clear stream, hastening or observation evinced by both, in all their delaying its current with every alteration notices of the habits of life and modes of of its bed, and visiting, in its continued thinking, in every social system and eve- course, every variety of landscape ; now ry class of society upon which they moving with gentle strength through the touch. Both manifest ihe same surpris- plains and vallies, reflecting from its glasing facility of identifying themselves with sy surface each bordering object
, and every description of character---of enter- now roughening its waters as it pours ing into men's bosoms and looking out, with noble energy down the declivities. as it were, through the medium of the sen- The manner in which the prominent perses and perceptions of others, upon the sonages in these works are introduced is whole scheme of things, and the varying also in the finest style of dramatic effect; incidents of life, so never to forget the and the precision with which their persituations in which they have placed their sons and characters are described-the personages, but always to maintain, with perfect definiteness of each portraitureentire and minute propriety, the consis- places the individual right before the tency of their representations; and though reader's eyes, with full kuowledge of his 'no writers have filled their scenes with talents and propensities and principles of such a number and diversity of actors, action, leaving no painful uncertainty in the all strongly drawn and standing out in mind as to his general conduct, or what high relief, they are, at the same time, may be expected from him in any emershaded with so nice a discernment of gency. what is congruous, that each individual Among the striking beauties of our auis preserved undeviatingly steadfast in thor, moreover, are his descriptions of his individuality. There is a comprehen- natural scenery. So definite and comsiveness, also, in their views of men and plete are his pictures of this kind, that a things, and an extent in their representa- landscape painter might fill a port-folio tions, peculiar to these kindred spirits. with sketches from his pages; and the With all their variety, there is no confu- man who should travel into Scotland to sion; they take for the subject of their ascertain the different localities of the pens, not individuals here and there cull- narrative, might take them for his guide ed from the mass of the community, nor with almost as much confidence as he merely a single walk of life, but the whole would a map. society-all ranks and professions-a Our author has been some times charge whole nation is arrayed before you, ani- ed with deficiency of skill in the epnmated by all its jostling interests and struction of his plots. It should be 'rewarm with action. The ease and free- membered, however, that it was not his dom of manner, the fullness of know- object to put forth “cunningly devised ledge, and the fine enjoyment of the so- fables,” filled with artificial and ingenious ciai principle, with which they represent difficulties and marvellous extrications ; the multifarious pursuits of peace and the his objects are of a far higher kind. He comforts and cares of domestic life, are seeks to represent a people as they actų. not more conspicuous than the fervour of ally existed, in certain periods of their language and the genuine martial enthu- history; and if he can succeed in making siasm with which they detail the opera- his reader as well acquainted with their tions of armies, and describe the onset of condition, character, customs, pursuits
and manners, as if he had been an eye- ly had in view “ Waverly," " The Tales of witness of every fact recorded, (and be has my Landlord,” (for we cannot but believe succeeded in making his reader even bet- that works so much alike in all their dister acquainted with all these things than tinguishing traits, must have been written a man of ordinary capacity could become, by the same hand, notwithstanding the if left to his own observation,) he cares implied negation of this supposition in the little about the rules of plot and episode. preface to Rob Roy,) and "Rob Roy;" Shakspeare has been often railed at for though, if some qualification be made on the same thing, and most unmercifully account of the nominal subjects, and hereprehended for neglecting the unities, as roes of the stories, they will apply in all they are called. But the unities of time other respects to Guy Mannering," and and place are idle things, and in regard to “The Antiquary." unity of action, the charge is for the most In regard to * Rob Roy,” the celebrapart groundless. For ourselves, indeed, ted outlaw of that name gives title to: although we would not speak scorningly the work, and is the principal actor in the of any thing that has been advocated by story, though young Francis Osbaldistone erudite men, and corroborated by long appears to be the hero, according to the time, yet we must say that we would not common mode of estimating a technical exchange any one of the fine scenes of hero ; inasmuch as all that is done, though Shakspeare, for which, we are indebted he achieves but little of it comparatively, to his neglect of narrow rules, nor give is made to operate upon his fortunes as up one of the noble excursions of his the individual in whose ultimate fate se muse, for a legion of unities;" It was my are to be chietly interested. turquoise, I would not have parted with The story is related by Osbaldistone in it for a wilderness of monkies."
person, after he has arrived at an advancIf the author of “Waverly” had under- ed age, to Will Tresham, who, though taken to construct stories of pure inven- considerably younger than himself, was tion, with the specific purpose of analys- the friend and companion of the latter ing some particular passion-or of unfold- part of his life. ing some particular moral principle, for Osbaldistone, the narrator, is the son of the regulation of individual conduct-or an eminent inerchant of the house of Osof tracing, by strong catenation of cause baldistone and Tresham, and Will Treand effect, the miserable consequences of sham is the son of the other partner of some particular vice, to serve as warning the house. The narrative commences beacons along the paths of private life--. with the return of young Osbaldistone, at then, the charge of unskilful management the age of 20 years, to London from Borof his plots might be made with more deaux, where he had been living in the propriety, and we should feel more inclin- counting-house of a wealthy corresponded to aquiesce in it as just. But it was ent of the firm of Osbaldistone and Trenot his part nor office to devise a series sham, by the name of Dubourg, for the of incidents, and make them conelude in purpose of being initiated into all the ara well-adapted catastrophe of his own cana of trade and commercial negotiation, contrivance, exhibiting the consequences in order that he might be prepared to en: of every instance of good or ill conduct ter as a partner into the house in London. set forth in the narrative. His business But it seems that the young gentleman was to give a faithful transcript of what had but little inclination to engage in the he had seen, or read of, in the character toils and cares of commerce; and having and bistory of the people and country written to his father an elaborate letter for which he selected for his subject. He the purpose of softening the refusal of his was obliged to speak of things as he found father's proposal to become a partner them, and if there does appear to be any with him in trade, which he determinincongruities among them, it is the fault
, ed to give and persevere in, he received not of the author, but of contrarient influ- a summons from his father to hasten ences acting upon the persons and events home. Upon his arrival the proposal of which he treats. He could not warp was renewed and again declined, notPecorded truth to suit the requirements of withstanding the persuasions of the headcaptious rules, but, taking his station on clerk, Mr. Owen, who was strongly atthe margin of the great current of events tached to “Mr. Frank," and who backed that swept over Scotland, during the pe- his exhortations by golden accounts of riods to which his narrative refers, he has the prosperity of the firm. His father described all that he saw, as it was born deeply chagrined at his son's conduct, past him by the mighty lapse.
but inflexible in his purposes, determined In making our remarks we have chief- on dismissing him from his home, and