Imágenes de páginas

(Imperial Magazine, Nov.) TN the annals of literature of the with an equal proportion both of mo1 lighter order, I mean novels, per- desty and self-denial. It is certainly haps there never has occurred a cir- of rare occurrence, that the same writcumstance so extraordinary as that the er should excel, both in prose and poetauthor of Waverley should have still ical composition : many of our best remained undiscovered ; or that, after poets have acquired but little fame out such unbounded applause as his works of the sphere of poetry; perhaps Guldhave met with in all quarters, the write smith is the one that succeeded most, er should continue to publish anony- in both kinds of composition. mously, instead of avowing his name, Dr. Johnson has written more in the and enjoying the fame which his works spirit of poetry, in the Rambler and have acquired him. Many have been Rasselas, than will be found in the fetthe conjectures respecting his individu- tered verse of Irene ; in proof of which, ality, but the most general, perhaps too I will only instance the opening address the best founded opinion, is, that Wal- in his beautiful work of Rasselas, ter Scott is the author.

though many other passages might be Mr. Constable, the publisher, has quoted more apt and striking to justify stated in company, the sum of money the preceding observation. he has paid Mr. Scott, which, from the Ye who listen with credulity to amount, can only be inferred as in the whispers of fancy, and pursue with cluding the price of these popular eagerness the phantoms of hope, who works. Still, however, a part of that expect that age will perform the prommoney might have been paid on ac- ises of youth, and that the deficiencies of count of the anonymous writer, and the present day will be supplied by the Mr. S. might have been the receiver morrow, attend to the history of Rasgeneral.

selas, Prince of Abyssinia !” Mr. Scott, too, when Waverley first Here you have a harmony in the acquired fame, was passenger in one words, and an expression so purely poof the Leith smacks, and expressed his etical, that verse might perhaps shacopinion of these works to a person un- kle, but could scarcely improve the known to him, in such terms of appro- sentence. But if Walter Scott be the bation, as were somewhat inconsistent real author of the works in question, with the idea of his being the author of how much then has he excelled every them himself. Besides which, it is predecessor who has written in both very likely from his well-known libe- kinds of composition; it may then, inrality of sentiment, that he may, from deed, be said of him, as the great colossome motive or other, have, in the first sus of literature wrote in the epitaph of instance, become the vehicle of their his friend Goldsmith,“ that he has left publication.

no species of writing untouched, or unA Mr. Mc. F. an episcopal bishop, adorned, by his pen,” for these works in Scotland, has also been pointed at embrace almost every subject and as their author with much appearance of mode of writing. probability, partly from the conspic. The author of these histories, more uous talents he is allowed to possess, properly than novels, is evidently one but more particularly by having been that is eminently versed in the living heard to relate the leading stories, long and dead languages ; Greek and Latin before they were given to the public. seem as familiar to him as his own

Whoever the eminent man may tongue. French, Spanish, Italian, prove to be, the works are of that cha- German, Gaelic, indeed all the lanracter, as to form a prominent feature guages of Europe, are not only known in the literature of the present age, and to him, but his quotations indicate a the author 'must be acknowledged a perfect acquisition of them; whilst hisperson of most extraordinary talents, tory and science display the lights of a

mind beyond measure comprehensive, every reason to suppose he would only and refined from the dross, both of pe- have classed in the rear of Shakspeare. dantry and prejudice.

In reading these fine works, one cirThese works will certainly be read cumstance bears strongly against the and admired, when the poetry of Wal- common opinion of their being Water ter Scott will have become obsolete, Scott's; namely, that all the poetry and his materials forgotten : they pos- terspersed in the text, is any thing but sess the advantage over these poems, resembling that great poet's works, te of describing events of more recent ing entirely of the plaintive patbetit date, of manners more genuine and au- kind, whereas Mr. Scott's principal thentic, and they abound with many feature and excellence is on the de minute circumstances of character, (na- scriptive lyrical style. tional, religious, and political, which, In making this observation, I do not by reflecting the image of the times allude to the introductory quotations they describe, render them more amus. at the commencement of each chapter, ing in some respects, and more instruc- which are as various as the author's tive in this particular, than the works own genius; but to the poetry of the of the general historian. The author, work itself. In fine, whoever the too, possesses such dramatic power in writer may be, no author in that spa the creation, support, and contrast of cies has escelled him, in exciting is his characters, that had he chosen the terest, in producing effect, or in przereal drama for his work, instead of the tising that maxim, of mixing the stie imitative form of the novel, there seems dulci."

Sketches of Society.



To Russell Powell, Esq. THE kind interest which all your towns and country revels. How often,

family took in the letter which I Russell, have we ejaculated wishes to addressed to your sister, descriptive of each other, when standing at a wrestthe Coronation, has rendered the task ling match, or looking upon the lads of of writing to any one of you the most single stick, or, when walking over the delightful amusement of my evening most celebrated houses " for miles hours; and I have now a double plea- round,”-that we could see and admire sure in witnessing the various scenes those higher and more exciting strug. which make up the great drama of life gles and combats of the great city, in this metropolis, from a knowledge of those theatres, temples, and palaces, a the gratification I shall have in describ- which we had so often read, even to ing them, and the interest you will feel dreaming—that we could watch and in hearing them described. I love to wonder at the workings of that tremenvisit the great national buildings, which dous hive, into which,rash drone as commemorate either the country's taste, I am! I have at length ventured to or the country's charities and wealth ; creep. I am now, my dear Russell, - I love to behold the revelries, the seeing all that can be seen,-insinuatglories, the pastimes, of the rich and ing myself into scenes and amongst the great;-) take a deep interest in characters which half of London even the amusements, the rude sports, the know only by hearsay, -wanderung noisy vivacity of the poor. You know amongst the noblest buildings around that my knowledge of London had me,-harvesting, in truth, within the previously arisen principally from the granary of my mind, food enough to books which I had read, and that my last your hungry spirits through the actual experience of life had been gain- winter. Russell! strange and oppo ed chiefly from the small life of market site have been my researches of late.


I have been to the green-room of a lively and gallant tints of your own principal theatre, and witnessed all the imagination. I shall merely offer you craft, hate, and envy, “ found only on the family in outline, after the style of the stage,” as my Lord Byron well ex- Retsch's Faust, being convinced that presses it in his sweet nuisance, Don none but a masterly hand can safely Juan ;—and I have penetrated into all venture upon a minute finishing. Mr. the heartless eagerness, guileful feroci. Morton, the father, is one of those genty, and desperate spirit of the cock-pit. tle and silent characters, which are Greenwich Hospital has opened to my rather spirits of the household, than eyes its majestic, enormous, and beau- active and common mortal portions of tiful charities ;-and the bear-garden it :-never mingling in the petty strifes has made me familiar with its strange, and light joys of the moment,,but antique, and brutal mysteries. I have softening and quieting the former with beheld the costly state and fineries of a a bland and pleasant placidity, and court,—the strife, the terrors, the ap- heightening the latter by a cheerful and palling fierceness of a bull-fight,the generous regard. His age I should pictorial wealth and stately formalities guess to be about fifty-six; you may of Hampton palace,-the beautiful and perceive that Time is beginning to exciting conflict of two great pugilists. write a few faint lines upon his fore

The buildings, the theatres, the head, and that his eye begins to show court, will have gaiety and beauty that patient wisdom which only comes enough to interest the ladies' minds; of the light of many years. His hair for what female heart is proof against (which Mrs. Morton tells me was a pointed lace, or can contemplate ruffles raven black “ when they were marwithout einotion ?-while the rougher ried,” and of which she has one prediamonds of the cock-pit, the bear-gar- cious lock, neatly folded in fragrant den, and such rude mines, will be rich paper, and kept in the innermost recess jewels in the cap of your curiosity. I of her pocket book) is just dashed with have, indeed, a scene in store which a glossy white, which seems to light will be brighter and costlier than all upon him more like the glory than the the rest; but I dare not hint at it yet, waste of age, and brightens, if possible, lest I ruin my chance of being taken to the serene sweetness of his forehead. it at all, or rashly endanger my safety He speaks very little, but he looks as while there :-rest, rest, perturbed Rus- if his thoughts ran on with the radiant sell! until I shall in my wisdom see fit solemnity of a river. His observations, to exhibit this brilliant and matchless indeed, when they do come forth, are gem to your wondering, your delighted remarkable only for their simplicity eyes.

and humane gentleness ;-and you feel I should not omit to inform you, that convinced that they are, as the old play Mrs. Mallinson's letter of introduction hath it, killed with kindness. His to the Mortons has been to me most thoughts remain with him, but his feelserviceable and successful, for they ings come forth and speak, and you have taken me by the hand with the may ever perceive that his mind disutmost friendship and liberality, and courses silently and with itself, while have obtained for me the sight of many his heart is the active and eloquent London lions :-indeed, they appear minister to his tongue. I wish, Rusto me to have access to all the chief sell, you could see him sitting at his cazes of the city, and the Hectors and table, or at his fireside, and lighting the Fannys of this marvellous metropolis conversation with his pleasant looks. are familiar to them as household All customs, all pleasures, all regulawords. To render my letters the more tions, take their exactness from his preintelligible to you, as the Mortons will sence, and I never saw order wear so make the principal dramatis personæ attractive a garb as that in which Mr. of my epistolary drama, I will attempt Morton clothes her. He has the most as clear a description of them as I can precise and quiet mode of taking his accomplish; relying upon your inge- seat, or reading the newspaper (and nuity for colouring my sketch with the quiet as he naturally is, he is yet deeply interested in the political agitations years, and has a face still eloquent with which ever disturb the heart of his beauty. The dark eye,-the happy country,) or stirring the fire, or put- forehead,- the pale cheek,- the mouth, ting on his spectacles. He goes to an made ever pleasant by a thousand amiaoffice somewhere in the city daily, but ble smiles, seem still to retain the sweetI do not see that his merchant life dis- er virtues of youth, and enforce the tracts his home contorts, or molests wisdom of experience by giving it a his morning thoughts ; whether it be charm which experience seldom posthat his peculiar temperament places sesses. Mrs. Murton is admirably well all commercial luctuation in a mild read in all the sound authors of our and softening atmosphere, or that he language, and can converse on subjects meets not with those temporary diffi- which seldom come under the consideculties and perplexities which call daily ration of women. She is mistress of at the most obscure and dusty dens of the learned enthusiasm, holy poesy, business, and afilict the nerves of the and breathing piety of Bishop Taylor, oldest and most staid merchant, I know and can lead you through the quaint not; but the rise and fall of stocks periods of Sir Thomas Browne's rich the intricacies of the markets—the un- and antique philosophy. Shakspeare certainties and dangers of the shipping and Spenser are familiar to her, in their

the more polished difficulties, and deepest fancies, and most curious ex. changes, and higher mysteries of the cellences; and she is skilful in her court, abide not with Mr. Morton. He knowledge of the works of the most hears the din of the nation, and it stuns eminent painters. She enlightens comhim not :-he sees the great game of mon walks, the idlest evening rambles, the world played, and heeds not its with talk, all breathing information, rogueries, its ruin, or its fascinations. and pleasure, and truth. The distant His heart is in his home, and in his gloumy landscape reminds her of this family, and he does not ever look to or that picture, and she points out the the winners and the losers elsewhere. disposition of the lights and shades Such is Mr. Morton. To me he is which frames the resemblance. She unusually loquacious, which is a sure never delivers her opinions authoritamark of his regarding me kindly ;- tively, or with a consciousness of powand the other evening lie took particu- er, but suggests wisdom for the adoplar joy, during our rubber, in always tion of others ;-and often so expresses having a king for my queen, and laugh- an ingenious thought, that her husband, ed outright in detecting a revoke which by a word or two, seems to originate I committed; which was the most rather than confirm it. It is her chief gratifying sign.-He, in general, pities desire to make Mr. Morton appear suthe objects of his triumphs, and silently perior to herself, and to that end, ber pines over his own success, which he voice and her manner are gentle and ever thinks “ runs too much on one subdued in his presence, as though she side.”

took all her feelings, thoughts, and Mrs. Morton is a woman of the most wishes, from bis heart and mind : superior mind and admirable manners; though to those whose observation is and I never hear her mentioned, even acute, it is evident that her knowledge by friends, without expressions of the is far more profound than she chuses to most untainted endearment. The si. lay open. By an ease of manner pelence and worldly inaptitude of her life. culiar to herself she accommodates her partner have called forth the powers of mind to that of every person with her mind, and given a constant exercise whom she converses, and never offends to her fine judgment. She has the an inferior capacity with the least sign most pleasing way of insinuating plain of superiority. With all these higher advice that I ever beheld ; and I be- qualifications of mind, she is at heart a lieve it is impossible to disregard the very woman, and has all the delicate sweet persuasion and delicate earnest- tenderness, and unfailing love, of her ness of her voice and expression. She sex. The lock of hair which she preis younger than Mr. Morton by some serves with the youthful mystery of a girl, awakens early pride and young ment, was broken in upon by the perjoy within her, and sets her dreaming verse arrival of two brothers into this over Mr. Morton's marriage dress and breathing world, Miss Prudence More manly person, and calls up the mode ton, I repeat her name, is a decided of his hair, and the astounding colour of Blue, at least as far as youth and its his coat. “Your uncle was dressed in established foibles will permit her to bright blue, and had ruffles of this be. She is tall, and has dark earnest breadth measuring a width upon her eyes, which at evening parties go sleeve, that never fails to exalt all the through and through you in search of female eyebrows in the room,) I think literary information. She loves to sehe was certainly the handsomest man cure to her own reading the person and of his time !-I wore that dress which the attention of some young gentleman you now and then contemplate in my in the sonnet line, and to extract all the drawer, and I cannot say I think the sweets from his brain as store for the brides of the present age dress so be- cells of her own pericranium. She comingly as those of my own day.” sits at him. She so disposes her attiSuch womanly reminiscences as these tude, that his bodily retreat is rendered are always said with a mellowed tone impracticable. ller eyes are levelled of voice, and with a glisten of the eye, against him, and she steadily fires down which show how much the devoted na- upon his helpless ears the twenty-poun

ture of the sex triumphs over the ac- ders of her heavy interrogatories.· quired formalities and tastes of life. “ Have you seen Campbell's song in Mrs. Morton sits at her table like a the last New Monthly, and is it not queen. in the true dignity of grace, and charming?"_“()! What is Lord ByI am happy to say, Russell, that I stand ron about ? Mr. — (naming some well at her drawing-rooms and domes- literary name) tells me that he is writtic court.

ing a tragedy, I think Marino Faliero, This excellent couple are without horrid! Mr. — (naming an actor) children of their own, but they have assures me it would never get up! taken to their bosoms two nieces and a Have you read Don Juan? I have not: nephew, the daughters and son of Mr. but I think it abounds with beautiful Morton's brother, whom they cherish passages, though it is a sad wicked as their own, and upon whom they book. O! what do you think of lavish all those paternal endearments - 's prose? Is it not flowery and which, in the want of an object to rest beautiful ? You never know whether upon, so often irritate and embitter the it is poetry or prose, which is so vastly married life. The eldest of these young delightful.”—This is a slight and mealadies is naturally of a good heart, I be- gre sketch of the style of Prudence's lieve; but she has so many acquired conversation, which I must, as usual, faults, so many lady-artifices and stu- leave to the powers which you possess died prettinesses, that I never know of making a miserable description opile when she is thoroughly interested or lent. She has great good nature, the earnestly moved. She is a polite adorer eternal palliative of all disagreeable of literature and the drama,-and fol- qualities, and can at a quiet fireside lows the stage more like a religion than make herself amusing and intelligent, a light and occasional amusement. but a stranger at tea, or an extra wax From certain connexions she has be- candle in the sconce, is the never-failcome intimate with some of the per- ing destroyer of all her natural free formers, and the consequence is, ihat dom. And she straightway exalts her! a jorning visit from any tragedian is self into the wary, the wise, the literaa sure forerunner of seriousness for the ry Prudence. Some of her sayings are day, a support and a stay to her pen- remembered, but considering the plansive looks, which she leans upon with tiful crop of her conversation it is wona most dignified reserve. Miss Fru- derful that a few scaniy ears only are deuce Morton she was the first of an preserved. When her form is at its intended series of the cardinal virtues, height she, like the lovely Niarcia, which, to her mother's deep disappoint “ towers above her sex," and that con

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