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EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CIX.

FEBRUARY, 1826.

VOL. XIX.

Contents.

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BIRDS,

105 MOORE'S LIFE OF SHERIDAN,

113 The QUARTERLY REVIEW OF Dr MACMICHAEL ON CONTAGION AND THE PLAGUE,

130 To my BIRDIE,

131 NUGÆ LITERARIÆ. No. I. Grattan-Duke of Wellington-- Most Offensive of Monuments-Ambergris. The Plague–The Devil's Walk,

133 THE COUNTRY Curate. Chap. IV. The SHIPWRECK,

137 CHAP. V. THE FATALIST,

143 ON THE DRAMATIC POWERS OF THE AUTHOR OF WAVERLEY,

152 The MAN-OF-WAR'S-MAN. CHAPS. XVIII. AND XIX.

161-165 HORÆ ITALICÆ. No. II. ARISTODEMO; BY VINCENZO MONTI,

176 AXEL. A TRANSLATION FROM A Swedish Poem, by Esaias TEGNER,

184 LECTURES ON PRANDIOLOGY. LECTURE I.

195 ON CANT IN DRAMATIC CRITICISM. Miss Kelly's LADY TEAZIE,

197 The French GLOBE AND BLACKwoon's MAGAZINE,

205 Noctes AMBROSIANÆ, No. XXIV.

211

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EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, No. 17, PRINCE'S STREET, EDINBURGH ;

AND T. CADELL, STRAND, LONDON ;

To whom Communications (post paid) may be addressed.
SOLD ALSO BY ALI, THE BOOKSELLERS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM..

PRINTED BY JAMES BALLANTYNE & CO, EDINBURGII,

BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH,

I.

In One Volume 8vo,

PROSPECTUS

OF

A COURSE OF MORAL INQUIRY.

By JOHN WILSON,
PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH,

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« What's the Laird doing, Jock ?”

“ Doing! what should he be doing! but sitting on his ain louping-on stane and glowring frae him ?"-Sage Sayings of Jock the Laird's Man.

BY THE AUTHOR OF

ANNALS OF THE PARISH, " " THE ENTAIL," ETC.

III.

In One Volume post 8vo,
THE EXPIATION.

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By the Author of “ LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF Scottish Life,

TRIALS OF MARGARET LYNDSAY," “ The FORESTERS," ETC.

IV.

In a few days,
ELEGANTLY PRINTED IN A POCKET VOLUME,

THE OMEN.

Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer cloud,
Without our special wonder!

SHAKESPEARE.

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With the sound of our Preface It is surely needless, at this time of yet ringing in their ears, our many day, to point out the surpassing excelmyriads of readers will open this Num. lence of such a character as this in any ber in hope and fear of some tremen- public and periodical personage, whedous explosion. The very least we ther in heaven or on earth. We cheercan do, after last month's volcano, will fully acknowledge that many of the be to blow up both Houses of Parlia- other Magazines are tiresome to a dement !-No such thing. The great gree, of which those who have never beauty of our character—that which read them can form not even the most 80 rivets the affection of our friends, inadequate conception; and yet it and so perplexes the hatred of our ene would be cruel to call them bad Ma. mies,-is its apparent inconsistency. gazines. We believe them to be good We are never the same Magazine for Magazines. But what is a cold abstract two months together. The moon here belief without accompanying emotion? self, high as she stands for changeful. We do not feel them to be good Maganess, is, in comparison with us, a most zines ;-of which there cannot be a steady periodical. During the harvest, stronger proof than this, that when especially, she seems always a well we chance to fall asleep during the pepleased planet, as if a cloud had never rusal of even one of their most interest crossed her face. Nay, astronomers ing articles, we never dream about it and shepherds pretend to understand never, so help us heaven !—but in our much of her behaviour all the year slumbers as utterly forget them as if round, and to predict when the fair such productions never had been borne. editress is about to favour the public Now, no sooner do we sink into repose with a brilliant Number. But where over an article in Blackwood, (we is the astronomer or shepherd, (even adopt the common phraseology,) than he the Chaldean,) who shall venture that Periodical pursues us into the to prophesy whether in a troubled or land of Nod, and haunts us in the serene heaven will rise the effulgence shape of a dream. We hear an unof our next month's horns ? Science certain sound like the rustling of herself is baffled, and imagination con- wings; and then a countenance, Hucfesses herself at the wall. The nations tuating from sternness to suavity, smiles see the day of our rising advertised, or frowns upon us is it that of George and wonder if, with fear of change, or Christopher-of North or Buchawe are to be perplexing monarchs, or nan-of Socrates or Solomon :- Into merely diffusing our gentle radiance whatever imaginary scene fancy may over the paths of literature, and bright- have wafted the contributor, he seems ening the privacy of domestic life. to ascend steps like the very steps VOL. XIX.

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of No. 17, Prince's Street ; he sees hints that Sheridan was no wit,---and, the same long vista of vestibule, front on parting, proposes a supper at Amshop, intermediate saloon, (where sits brose's. that same one eternal reader of the It is our fixed determination this Courier,) and remoter den, till he sinks month to do the agreeable. We shall, down in “ Rabelais' easy-chair" in the therefore, not suffer any argumentaSanctum Sanctorum.

tive contributor to open his mouth. You may have observed something We shall not hurt a fly or a worm. like this, not merely in literature, but Article shall vie with article in good in life. Think of any remarkable man, humour and philanthropy. We shall whom you may chance to know-any strive to make it impossible for the man of genius. Why, one day is he most sensitive subscriber or non-subnot grim and gruff as a bear, and if scriber (the two great divisions of our he condescends to growl, did you ever race) to take OFFENCE. Should we, see such tusks ? Ănother day, he is nevertheless, fail in such avoidance, more like a tiger basking in the sun, and, by some unlucky monosyllable, with eyes

of playful ferocity,and claws, (for occasionally one word of ours, so three inches long, sheathing and un small perhaps as to be invisible to sheathing themselves in a sort of eager readers without spectacles, appears a but careless instinct within the velvet very mountain of mischief,) raise up of his stot-felling paws. Now he is all the whole world against us, we shall the world like a very absolute lion- make the amplest apology that ever marvellously imitating the part of the graced the pages of a periodical work. king of beasts !-Anon, he is like the Yes ! Should the complainant be even unweaned lamb, sporting on the sun the acknowledged Idiot of the poet's ny knoll-gentle as the cooing dove corner of a Cockney newspaper, we si weak as is the breaking wave, shall, in our apology, cheerfully and voiced like Zephyr, or the Lady-Echo. unequivocally express our belief,

We insist on knowing whether, nay, knowledge,--that he is the Auamong all your numerous acquaint- thor of Waverley. ances, there be a single one whom you We had once intended to entitle love so dearly as this bear, tiger, lion, our leading article, " Characters of lamb, dove, zephyr, and echo? To our Living Poets.” We have written day you have sworn to speak to him no it, but are quite at a loss what to do more,--for he has just cut you, as you with it; for James Ballantyne informs think, on the street, or eyed you as us that it would occupy twenty sheets, kance with leer malign,

-that is, about three numbers of the whelmed you with such a flood of Magazine. There are, we find, exidea'd words, that you, in your slow actly 103 Living Poets of magnitude prosing way, have been unable to slip in this free and happy island; and an in one of your long-treasured truisms, average of three pages a-piece cannot -or with one kick he has smashed, surely be thought unreasonable.like so much crockery, an argument What, then, we ask once more, is to that you had been constructing, as you

be done with the said article? We are supposed, with frame-work of iron, determined not to fritter it down into instead of wood, -or, with the touch piecemeals. Will any publisher, Murai of his little finger, he has let down the ray, Longman, Hurst, Constable, card-built edifice of one of your rejected Blackwood, or Oliver and Boyd, offer articles to Blackwood. To-morrow, Five HUNDRED Pounds? he proposes an arm-in-arm walk round After dashing off the concluding the Calton Hill,-inquires kindly after words of our Essay, (“ the most gloyour wife, your sore throat, or your rious age of British Poetry,”) our rheumatism,-asks your opinion of a thoughts began to wander away, by book or a man,-expresses his concern some fine associations, into the woods and surprise that you do not confirm of our childhood, “ Bards of Scotland ! the opinion held of you by all your Birds of Scotland!” and at that very friends, by giving to the public some moment, we heard the loud, clear, work worthy of your talents, genius, mellow, bold song of the BLACKBIRD. and erudition,-wonders you did not There he flits along upon a strong go to the bar,-requests you to repeat wing, with his yellow bill visible in that most exquisite story, complains distance, and disappears in the silent of a pain in his side at your last pun, - wood. Not long silent. It is a spring

or

over

day in our imagination,-his clay-wall wisdom to be charmed with what is nest holds his mate at the foot of the charming, to live in it, for the time Silver-fir, and he is now perched on being, and compare the emotion with its pinnacle. That thrilling hymn no former emotion whatever - unwill go vibrating down the stem till it less it be unconsciously in the work, reaches her brooding breast. The ing of an imagination set a-going by whole vernal air is filled with the mur. delight. Who, in reading this Magamur and the glitter of insects,—but zine, for example, would compare or the blackbird's song is over all other contrast it with any other Periodical symptoms of love and life, and seems under heaven ? You read it—and each to call upon the leaves to unfold into article is felt to be admirable or exebeauty. It is on ứnat one Tree-top, crable-purely for its own sake. You conspicuous among many thousands love or you hate it, as the, not as a on the fine breast of wood, where, Magazine. You hug it to your heart, here and there, the pine mingles not or you make it spin to the other end unmeetly with the prevailing oak,- of the room, simply because it is that the forest-minstrel sits in his in- Blackwood's Magazine, without, duspiration. The rock above is one ring the intensity of your emotion, which we have often climbed. There remembering that Colburn's, or the lies the glorious Loch and all its islands Monthly, or the London, or the Eu-one dearer than the rest to eye and ropean, or the Ladies', or the Gentleimagination, with its old Religious man's, exists. No doubt, as soon as House,-year after year crumbling the emotion has somewhat subsided, away unheeded into more entire ruin! you do begin to think of the other Pea Far away, a sea of mountains, with all riodicals. On stooping to pick up the their billowing summits distinct in the Number that has so aroused your sky, and now

uncertain and changeful wrath, you say, “ I will subscribe to as the clouds! Yonder Castle stands the New Monthly,”-yet no sooner well on the peninsula among the trees have the words escaped your lips than which the herons inhabit. Those cop- you blush, like a flower unseen, at pice woods on the other shore stealing your own folly. Your own folly up to the heathery rocks, and sprinkled stares you in the face, and out of counbirches, are the haunts of the roe ! tenance-You bless your stars that noThat great glen, that stretches sul body was in the room at the timelenly away into the distant dark. You re-read the article, and perceive, Ness, has been for ages the birth in your amended temper, that it is full and the death-place of the red deer. of the most important truths, couched Hark, 'tis the cry of an eagle! There in the most elegant language. You he hangs poised in the sunlight, and dissolve into tears of remorse and penow he flies off towards the sea. nitence,-and vow to remain a faithBut again the song of our BLACKBIRD ful subscriber on this side-at least os rises like a steam of rich distilled of the grave. perfumes,” and our heart comes back Although, therefore, we cannot say to him upon the pinnacle of his own that we prefer the Thrush to the BlackHome-tree. The source of song is yet bird, yet we agree with you in thinkin the happy creature's heart-but the ing a most delightful bird. Where song itself has subsided, like a moun a Thrush is, we defy you to anticitain-torrent that has been rejoicing in pate his song in the morning; He is a sudden shower among the hills ; the indeed an early riser. By the way, bird drops down among the balmy Chanticleer is far from being so. You branches; and the other faint songs hear him crowing away from shortly which that bold anthem had drowned, after midnight, and, in your simpli, are heard at a distance, and seem to city, may suppose him to be up, and encroach every moment on the si- strutting about the premises. Far lence.

from it ;-he is at that very moment You say you greatly prefer the song perched in his polygamy, between two of the Thrush. Pray why set such de of his fattest wives. The sultan will lightful singers by the ears? We dislike perhaps not stir à foot for several hours the habit that very many people have of to come,; while all the time the Thrush, trying everything by a scale. Nothing having long ago rubbed his eyes, is on seems to them to be good-positively his topmost twig, broad awake, and -only relatively. Now, it is true charming the ear of dawn with his

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