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very striking colors. There is not, how- consolation in the voices of nature or ever, more variety of character than of the mysteries of romance; they have style ; the serious reflection of the become the petty stings and the falling tasked mind succeeds some even po- drops, the irritating and vesing littleetical bursts of the imagination; and nesses of life; they have neither dig. if there be much of grave and serious nity on the one hand, nor delusion on converse, it is companioned by the the other. One by one they cling most lively wit. In making our ex- around us, like bonds of iron ; they tracts we will open the page and take multiply their links; they grow over our chance. The following passage our hearts; and the feelings, once too is a beautiful specimen of the author's wild for the very earth, fold their more serious style :
broken wings within the soul. Dull « How little, when we read the and heavy thoughts, like dead walls, work, do we care for the author! close around the laughing flowers and How little do we reck of the sorrow fields that so enchanted us of yore ; from which a jest has been forced, or the sins, the habits, the reasonings of the weariness that an incident has the world, like rank and gloomy fogs, beguiled! But the power to fly from shut out the exulting heavens from feeling, the recompense of literature our view; the limit of our wandering for its heart-burnings and cares, the becomes the length of our chain ; the disappointment and the anxiety, the height of our soarings, the sumınit of cavil and the 'censure sharp,'-even our cell. Fools—fools that we are, this passes away, and custom drags on then, to imagine that the works of our the dull chain which enthusiasm once later years shall savor of the freedom so passionately wore! Alas, for the and aspirations of our youth ; or that age when, in the creation of fiction, amidst all which hourly and momentawe could lose the bitterness and bar- rily recals and binds our hearts and renness of truth! The sorrows of spirits to the eternal «self,' we can youth, if not wholly ideal, borrow at give life, and zest, and vigor, to the least from the imagination their color imaginary actions and sentiments of and their shape. What marvel, then, another!” that from the imagination come also It is said a few short sentiments best their consolation and their hope ? But eluecidate the mind of a man—we will now, in manhood, our fancy consti- see what they will do for an author. tutes but little of our amictions, and “We have often thought that prinpresents to us no avenues for escape. ciple to the mind is what a free conIn the toil, the fret, the hot, the un- stitution is to a people : without that quiet, the exhausting engrossments of principle, or that free constitution, the maturer years, how soon the midnight one may be for the moment as goodlamp loses its enchantment, and the the other as happy ; but we cannot noon-day visions their spell! We tell how long the goodness and the are bound by a thousand galling and happiness will continue. * grinding ties to this hard and unholy There is no dilemma in which vanity earth. We become helots of the soil cannot find an expedient to develope of dust and clay ; denizens of the pol- its form; no stream of circumstances luted smoke, the cabined walls, and in which its buoyant and light nature the stony footing of the inhospitable will not rise to float on the surface. world. What now have our griefs And its ingenuity is as fertile as that with the moonlit melancholy,' the of the player who (his wardrobe algentle tenderness of our young years ? lowing him no other method of playCan we tell them any more to the ing the fop) could still exhibit the woods and waterfalls ? Can we make prevalent passion for distinction, by for them a witness of the answering wearing stockings of different colors," sea, or the sympathizing stars ? Alas! How finely, but how truly, are the they have now neither commune nor ensuiny varieties of ambition drawn !
“ The ambition of Clarence was like that of Epirus, is often left not that of circumstances rather than to him who has the noblest genius, character; the certainty of having to but the sharpest sword.' "Ah!' carve out his own fortunes without cried Mr. Perrivale, tbe wit of a sasympathy or aid, joined to those tirist is like invisible writing : look at whispers of indignant pride which na- it with an indifferent eye, and, lo ! turally urged him, if disowned by there is none ; hold it up to the light, those who should have protected him, and you can't perceive it ; but rub it to allow no breath of shame to justify over with your own spirit of acid, and the reproach : these gave an irresisti- see how plain and striking it beble desire of distinction to a mind na- comes. * * * turally too gay for the devotedness, “Our first era of life is under the too susceptible for the pangs, and influence of the primitive feelings; too benevolent for the selfishness, we are pleased, and we laugh ; hurt,
of ordinary ambition. But the very and we weep; we vent out little pas· essence and spirit of Warner's nature sions the moment they are excited ;
was the burning and feverish desire of and so much of novelty have we to fame; it poured through his veins perceive, that we have little leisure to like lava; it preyed even as a worm reflect. By and by, fear teaches us upon his cheek; it corroded his natu- to restrain our feelings : when disral sleep; it blackened the color of pleased, we seek to revenge the dishis thoughts ; it shut out, as with an pleasure, and are punished; we find impenetrable wall, the wholesome en- the excess of our joy, our sorrow, our ergies, and enjoyments, and objects, anger, alike considered criminal, and of living men; and taking from him chidden into restraint. From harshall the vividness of the present, all the ness we become acquainted with detenderness of the past, constrained his ceit: the promise made is not fulfilled, heart to dwell forever and forever upon the threat not executed, the fear the dim and shadowy chimeras of a falsely excited, and the hope wilfully future he was fated never to enjoy.” disappointed; we are surrounded by
systematised delusion, and we imbibe « But as we have seen that that pas- the contagion. From being forced sion for glory made the great charac- into concealing the thoughts which teristic difference between Clarence and we do conceive, we begin to affect Warner, so also did that passion ter- those which we do not : so early do minate any resemblance which War- we learn the two main tasks of life, ner bore to Algernon Mordaunt. to suppress and to feign, that our With the former, a rank and unwhole- memory will not carry us beyond that some plant, it grew up to the exclu- period of artifice to a state of nature sion of all else : with the latter, sub- when the twin principles of veracity dued and regulated, it sheltered, not and belief were so strong as to lead withered, the virtues by which it was the philosophers of a modern school surrounded. With Warner, ambition into the error of terming them innate. was a passionate desire to separate himself by fame from the herd of oth- “As the petty fish, which is fabled er men ; with Mordaunt, to bind him- to possess the property of arresting self by charity yet closer to his kind: the progress of the largest vessel to with the one it produced a disgust to which it clinys—even so may a single his species; with the other, a pity prejudice, unnoticed or despised, more and a love : with the one, power was than the adverse blast, or the dead the badge of distinction ; with the calm, delay the Bark of Knowledge in other, the means to bless! * * the vast seas of Time. * *
** Satire is a dwarf, which stands - Never get a reputation for a upon the shoulders of the giant Ill- small perfection, if you are trying for Nature ; and the kingdom of verse, fame in a loftier area : the world can
50 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
only judge by generals; it sees that opinions which now startle as well as those who pay considerable attention astonish, may be received hereafter as to minutiæ, seldom have their minds acknowledged axioms, and pass into occupied with great things. There ordinary practice. We cannot even are, it is true, exceptions; but to ex- tell how far the sanguine theories of ceptions the world does not attend.” certain philosophers deceive them,
Both for its intrinsic excellence, when they anticipate, for future ages, and because it illustrates the admira- a knowledge which shall bring perfecble character of Mordaunt, we select, tion to the mind, bafile the diseases of in conclusion, the ensuing passage. the body, and even protract, to a date
«I believe,' answered Mordaunt, now utterly unknown, the final destithat it is from our ignorance that our nation of life : for Wisdom is a pacontentions flow; we debate with lace of which only the vestibule has strife and with wrath, with bickering been entered; nor can we guess what and with hatred; but of the thing de- treasures are hid in those chambers, bated upon, we remain in the pro- of which the experience of the past foundest darkness. Like the laborers can afford us neither analogy or clue."" of Babel, while we endeavor in vain We could have wished to introto express our meaning to each other, duce that most exquisite picture of the fabric by which, for a common childhood, the daughter of Isabel St. end, we would have ascended to hea- Leger; some of Lord Aspeden's diven from the ills of earth, remains for- plomatic quotations and compliments; ever unadvanced and incomplete, and some of Mr. Brown's presents : Let us hope that knowledge is the but our limits have already rather universal language which shall re-unite been devoted to the Disorned in a us. As, in their sublime allegory, the proportion due to its superior excelRomans signified, that only through lence, than according to our usual virtue we arrived at honor, so let us scale of novel reviewing. We must believe, that only through knowledge therefore content ourselves with pointcan we arrive at virtue!' ' And yet,' ing attention to the admirable collosaid Clarence, 'that seems a melan- quies between Talbot and Clarence, choly truth for the mass of the people, and, above all, to those in which Alwho have no time for the researches gernon Mordaunt takes a part. The of wisdom.' "Not so much so as at last scene in which the latter appears first we might imagine,' answered is almost a perfect specimen of imagiMordaunt : the few smooth all paths nation working up reality to the most for the many. The precepts of know- intense pitch of interest. Such being ledge it is difficult to extricate from er- the prominent characteristics of this ror; but, once discovered, they gra- publication, it must command a far dually pass into maxims : and thus bigher and wider scope of readers what the sage's life was consumed in than the ordinary class of novel deacquiring, become the acquisition of a vourers, though even for these it posmoment to posterity. Knowledge is sesses every possible attraction. In a like the atmosphere, -in order to dis- word, we have no hesitation in acpel the vapor and dislodge the frost, knowledging the author to be one of the our ancestors felled the forest, drained foremost writers of our day; and his the marsh, and cultivated the waste; works to maintain not merely a very and we now breathe without an effort, elevated, but a very original station, in the purified air and the chastened as far removed from the class of fashclimate, the result of the labor of ionable novels as they differ from generations and the progress of ages! those founded on historical data. As, to-day, the common mechanic may Altogether, if Pelham justly raisequal in science, however inferior in ed for its author a very high characgenius, the friar whom his contempo- ter, the Disowned will raise it far raries feared as a magician,-so the higher.
LETTERS FROM THE WEST.*
The author of this elegant and amus- sures of retaliation.” We should say ing, if not instructive, volume, has that all such prejudices as our author for some time possessed the flattering exhibits ought to be left solely to the opinion of the literary and ingenious vulgar; although we must confess, part of the North American Republic, that persons paramount in our periodiand his pretensions to a successful cal literature, have shown themselves cultivation of classic and elegant lite- by far more iniquitously vituperative rature have been acknowledged by against America, than Judge Hall is European critics. But Judge Hall's jocosely detractory of England. But acquirements and propensities are the much of what Judge Hall sets down, very reverse of what we are accustom- is useful, sterling sense, though a cered to behold in English judges. He tain part of John Bull's family may has contented himself with what is call it prejudice. Thus, speaking of elegant, and has not sacrificed his re- the settlers in America, he says, pose, or injured bis health in diving “Here is no holy alliance, no trafinto the profound, or piercing the in- ficking in human blood, no sceptre to tricacies of study. An English judge, be obeyed, no mitre to be worshipped. moreover, is seldom seen to travel, Here they find not merely a shelter, except on the circuits, or from his but they become proprietors of the chambers to Westminster Hall, and soil, and citizens of the state. he looks the beau ideal of saturnine The following is the author's dewisdom. The American judge, on scription of the “ Scenery of the the contrary, is absolutely erratic and Ohio."-" The heart must indeed be peregrinacious; he thinks no more of cold that would not glow among scenes a journey of a thousand miles over like these. Rightly did the French pools and swamps, and through wilds call this stream La Belle Rivière, (the and deserts, to the western country, beautiful river.) The sprightly Cathan an English judge thinks of his nadian, plying his oar in cadence with progress through the blind alleys and the wild notes of the boat-song, could crooked paths of his profession to a not fail to find his heart enlivened by peerage and a provision for his family the beautiful symmetry of the Ohio. Our author's style, to our sober Eng. Its current is always graceful, and its lish tastes, is by far too flowery and shores every where romantic. Everyornate. He luxuriates in tropes and thing here is on a large scale. The figures, and is as redundant of epithets eye of the traveller is continually reas honest Sancho was of his proverbs. galed with magnificent scenes. Here But Judge Hall is strongly embued are no pigmy mounds dignified with with innumerable transatlantic preju- the name of mountains, no rivulets dices against the land of his sires. swelled into rivers. Nature has workHe is every inch an American. We ed with a rapid but masterly hand; can partially forgive him his preju- every touch is bold, and the whole is dices, because many of them have af- grand as well as beautiful ; while room forded us much mirth; and of the is left for art to embellish and fertilize whole of them we may say, what Mr. that which nature has created with a Rose said of the Orders in Council thousand capabilities. There is inuch which brought the two nations to hos- sameness in the character of the tility, “ that though unjust in them- scenery; but that sameness is in itself selves, they were justifiable as mea- delightful, as it consists in the recurrence of noble traits, which are too ed, gave to the whole more the appleasing ever to be viewed with indif- pearance of a permanent residence ference; like the regular features than of a caravan of adventurers seekwhich we sometimes find in the face ing a home. A respectable-looking of a lovely woman, their charm con- old lady, with spectacles on nose,' sists in their own intrinsic graceful, was seated on a chair at the door af ness, rather than in the variety of their one of the cabins, employed in knitexpressions. The Ohio has not the ting; another female was at the wash. sprightly fanciful wildness of the Nia- tub; the men were chewing their tegara, the St. Lawrence, or the Sus- bacco; and the various family rocaquehanna, whose impetuous torrents, tions seemed to go on like clock-wort. rushing over beds of rocks, or dashing In this manner these people travel at a against the jutting cliffs, arrest the ear slight expense. They bring their own by their murmurs, and delight the eye provisions ; their raft floats with the with their eccentric wanderings. Nei- stream, and honest Jonathan, surround" ther is it like the Hudson, margined ed with his scolding, grunting, squalling at one spot by the meadow and the and neighing dependants, floats to the } village, and overhung at another by point proposed without leaving his own threatening precipices and stupendous fire-side." Our author thus describes mountains. It has a wild, solemn, his passage over the falls of the Obio. silent sweetness, peculiar to itself. “The business of preparation creates : The noble stream, clear, smooth, and sense of impending danger; the pilot unruffled, sweeps onward with regular stationed on the deck, assumes coinmajestic force. Continually changing mand; a firm and skilful helmstran its course, as it rolls from vale to vale, guides the boat; the oars, strongly it always winds with dignity, and manned, are vigorously plied to give avoiding those acute angles, which are the vessel a momentum greater than observed in less powerful streams, that of the current, without which the sweeps round in graceful bends, as if helm would be inefficient. The utmost disdaining the opposition to which na- silence prevails among the crew; bat ture forces it to submit. On each the ear is stunned with the sound of side rise the romantic hills, piled on rushing waters; and the sight of wares each other to a tremendous height; dashing and foaming and whirling and between them, are deep, abrupt, among the rocks and eddies below, is silent glens, which at a distance seem grand and fearful. The boat advances inaccessible to the human foot; while with inconceivable rapidity to the head the whole is covered with timber of a of the channel, takes the chute, and gigantic size, and a luxuriant foliage seems no longer manageable among the of the deepest hues. Soinetimes the angry currents, whose foam dashes upon splashing of the oar is heard, and the her deck ; but, in a few moments, she boatman's song awakens the surround- emerges from their power, and rides ing echoes ; but the most usual music again in serene waters.” is that of the native songsters, whose Judge Hall's work is interspersed melody steals pleasingly on the ear, with amusing descriptions, characterwith every modulation, at all hours, istic anecdotes, narratives of incidents, and in every change of situation.” and reminiscences of local history and
* Letters from the West; Containing Sketches of Scenery, Manners, and Customs; and Anecdotes connected with the first Settlements of the Western Sections of the United States. bolic Hon. Judge Hall. 8vo. London, 1828.
Of the emigration to the back coun- personal adventures. There are also try, the author says, “ Each raft (on facts of a nature to awaken serious rethe Ohio) was eighty or ninety feet flections in the European politician; and long, with a small house on it, and on Judge Hall's nationality, though often each was a stack of hay, round which ridiculous, is never offensive; for it is several horses and cows were feeding, accompanied with much truth, an hiwhile the ploughs, wagons, pigs, child- larity of spirits, a vivacious manhood, ren, and poultry, carelessly distribut- and it is without personal rancor.