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For which, and other things as bad,
But that he'd none to hurt or lose.' p. 277. We should fatigue our readers, were we only to make references to the instances of this editor's gross and coarse taste, with which this volume abounds. Some songs and prose quotations seem, indeed, selected for no other merits than their vulgar ribaldry. Why else, for instance, is the passage from the mock funeral oration on Hugh Peters given at p. 257? Not surely to display the editor's acquaintance with history, which is so great that he stops to inform his readers who Hugh Peters was, and speaks of him as a person wholly unknown.
But another principle of selection is much more apparent throughout the book. The text is filled with songs, and the notes with extracts, the only merit of which is their virulent abuse of the Hanoverian or Constitutional party, or, as they are generally denominated, the Whigs. And, as the old Whigs of the Covenant are vilified under the same name, Mr Hogg manifestly indulges in the insertion of attacks upon them, with the hope that the great body of persons now known by that denomination may share the odium or the ridicule scattered by those obsolete lampoons. We must pass over the vile and filthy attacks upon George I. and his favourites, because we cannot, without offence to all propriety, cite them; but, as a specimen of the rancour which dictates Mr Hogg's selections, we would refer to the several songs against Bishop Burnet, which are utterly destitute of either poetry or wit, and do not even pretend to be of Scotch origin. In scurrility and barefaced falsehood, however, they make ample amends for all their other defects; whereof take one instance. The Bishop is not only represented as having had ' a spice of every vice,' but his greediness of gold is particularly specified. In the notes on these pieces, Mr Hogg says not a word to contradict this notorious untruth; though, with singular ignorance of the subject, he does say that he was always a moderate man.' Dr King, in his Memoirs (and he was a staunch Jacobite), while he truly represents him as a furious party man, and easily imposed upon,' adds, that he was a better pastor than any man who is now seated on the bench of bishops;' and praises him for his exemplary disinterestedness and carelessness of gain, which was so great that he only left his children their mother's fortune, deeming it cri. minal to save a farthing of his Episcopal revenues. After this
the reader will be the less surprised to learn, that the Duke of
These bonny boys convey'd him to Edinburg ;
The same fate ever wait
To crown the rebel's pate, And all such traitors as dare oppose the state.' p. 177. Not a syllable is added by Mr Hogg on the vile and dull scurrility of this excellent Scotch song,' as he is pleased to term it-not a word upon the detestable oppression here dignified with the name of " the state ;' and to oppose which is held so foul a crime. Yet it relates to the man of whom Mr Fox, in his History, has closed the biography in these memorable words Such were the last hours, and such the final close
of this great man's life. May the like happy serenity, in such "dreadful circumstances, and a death equally glorious, be the • lot of all whom tyranny, of whatever denomination and de
scription, shall in any age or country call to expiate their vir'tues on the scaffold !' p. 211. And with reference to whom, as if with a prophetic knowledge of the sort of persons who were likely to join in crying down so illustrious a martyr to liberty, he afterwards remarks, that our disgust is turned into
something like compassion for that very foolish class of men whom the world calls wise in their generation.'
One of these songs, professing to give the character of a Whig, we are told by the critic, was a great favourite with (the Tory clubs of Scotland during the late war, in detestation 6 of those who deprecated the principles of Pitt;' and he observes, that it is the most violent of all the party songs, bitter • as they are.' For this reason alone is it here inserted; for its dulness is at least cqual to its violence. Of its correct application to the Whigs of our day, the reader may judge, when he is told that it begins with describing them as saintly hypocrites. All this, however, suits Mr llogg's nice and cleanly palate
mightily; and that we may have enough of so good a thing, he subjoins the prose character of a Whig, drawn by the celebrated Butler,' and which sets out with stating him to be the
spawn of a regicide, hammered out of a rank Anabaptist hyo pocrite ;' and forthwith becomes too indecent to be further transcribed. We will here just mention, for the edification of Mr Hogg, that the celebrated Butler,' who, among many other vituperations, compares a Whig to the nettle, because
the more gently you handle him, the more he is apt to hurt
you,' is well known to those who know any thing of literary history, to have lived in the family, supported by the bounty, of Sir S. Luke, one of Cromwell's captains, at the very time he planned his Hudibras, of which he was pleased to make his kind and hospitable patron the hero. Now we defy the history of Whiggism to match this anecdote, or to produce so choice a specimen of the human nettle.
That we may not close this article without a specimen of the good songs which the book contains, we shall extract the one which, for sly characteristic Scotch humour, seems to us the best; though we doubt if any of our English readers will relish it.
Donald's gane up the hill hard and hungry;
.* Donald Macgillavry is here put for the Highland Clans generally
Push about, in and out, thimble them cleverly.
ART. VIII. The Sketch Book. By GEOFFREY Crayon, Gent.
2 Vols. 8vo. London, 1819, 1820.
Though this is a very pleasing book in itself, and displays
I no ordinary reach of thought and elegance of fancy, it is not exactly on that account that we are now tempted to notice it as a very remarkable publication,-and to predict that it will form an era in the literature of the nation to which it belongs. It is the work of an American, entirely bred and trained in that country-originally published within its territory-and, as we understand, very extensively circulated, and very much admired among its natives. Now, the most remarkable thing in a work so circumstanced certainly is, that it should be written throughout with the greatest care and accuracy, and worked up to great purity and beauty of diction, on the model of the most elegant and polished of our native writers. It is the first American work, we rather think, of any description, but certainly the first purely literary production, to which we could give this praise; and we hope and trust that we may hail it as the harbinger of a purer and juster taste the foundation of a chaster and better school, for the writers of that great and intelligent country. Its genius, as we have frequently observed, has not hi* therto been much turned to letters; and, what it has produced in that department, has been defective in taste certainly rather than in talent. The appearance of a few such works as the present will go far to wipe off this reproach also; and we cordially hope that this author's merited success, both at home and abroad, will stimulate his countrymen to copy the methods by which he has attained it; and that they will submit to receive, from the example of their ingenious compatriot, that lesson which the precepts of strangers do not seem hitherto to have very effectually inculcated. *
But though it is primarily for its style and composition that we are induced to notice this book, it would be quite unjust to the author not to add, that he deserves very high commendation for its more substantial qualities; and that we have seldom seen a work that gave us a more pleasing impression of the writer's character, or a more favourable one of his judgment and taste. There is a tone of fairness and indulgence and of gentleness and philanthropy so unaffectedly diffused through the whole work, and tempering and harmonizing so gracefully, both with its pensive and its gayer humours, as to disarm all ordinarily good-natured critics of their asperity, and to secure to the author, from all worthy readers, the same candour and kindness of which he sets so laudable an example. The want is of force and originality in the reasoning, and speculative parts, and of boldness and incident in the inventive :--though the place of these more commanding qualities is not ill supplied
* While we are upon the subject of American literature, we think ourselves called upon to state, that we have lately received two Numbers, being those for January and April last, of · The North American Review, or Miscellaneous Journal,' published quarterly at Boston, which appears to us to be by far the best and most promising production of the press of that country that has ever come to our hands. It is written with great spirit, learning and ability, on a great variety of subjects; and abounds with profound and original discussions on the most interesting topics. Though abundantly patriotic, or rather national, there is nothing offensive or absolutely unreasonable in the tone of its politics; and no very reprehensible marks either of national partialities or antipathies. The style is generally good, though with considerable exceptionsand sins oftener from affectation than ignorance. But the work is of a powerful and masculine character, and is decidedly superior to any thing of the kind that existed in Europe twenty years ago.
It is a proud thing for us to see Quarterly Reviews propagating bold truths and original speculations in all quarters of the world ; and, when we grow old and stupid ourselves, we hope still to be honoured in the talents and merits of those heirs of our principlos, and children of our example.
VOL. XXXIV. NO. 67.