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H AT is gone with the cages with the IVN climbing squirrel, and bells to them,
which were formerly the indispensable 2 appendage to the outside of a tinman's shop, and were, in fact, the only live signs? One, we believe, still hangs out on Holborn ; but they are fast vanishing with the good old modes of our ancestors. They seem to have been superseded by that still more ingenious refinement of modern humanity; —the tread-mill; in which human squirrels still perform a similar round of ceaseless, improgressive clambering, which must be nuts to them.
We almost doubt the fact of the teeth of this creature being so purely orange-coloured as Mr. Urban's correspondent gives out. One of our old poets—and they were pretty sharp observers of Nature—describes them as brown. But perhaps the naturalist referred to meant “of the colour of a Maltese orange,” which is rather more obfus
? Fletcher in the “Faithful Shepherdess.” The satyr offers to Clorin,
Grapes whose lusty blood
cated than your fruit of Seville or St. Michael's, and may help to reconcile the difference. We cannot speak from observation ; but we remember at school getting our fingers into the orangery of one of these little gentry (not having a due caution of the traps set there), and the result proved sourer than lemons. The author of the “Task” somewhere speaks of their anger as being “insignificantly fierce;" but we found the demonstration of it on this occasion quite as significant as we desired, and have not been disposed since to look any of these “gift horses” in the mouth. Maiden aunts keep these “small deer,” as they do parrots, to bite people's fingers, on purpose to give them good advice “ not to adventure so near the cage another time.” As for their “six quavers divided into three quavers and a dotted crotchet,” I suppose they may go into Jeremy Bentham's next budget of fallacies, along with the “ melodious and proportionable kinde of musicke" recorded, in your last number, of a highly-gifted animal.
ESTIMATE OF DE FOE'S SECON
B M T has happened not seldom that one
U work of some author has so transcenla dently surpassed in execution the rest of
y his compositions, that the world has agreed to pass a sentence of dismissal upon the latter, and to consign them to total neglect and oblivion. It has done wisely in this not to suffer the contemplation of excellences of a lower standard to abate or stand in the way of the pleasure it has agreed to receive from the masterpiece.
Again : it has happened, that from no inferior merit of execution in the rest, but from superior good fortune in the choice of its subject, some single work shall have been suffered to eclipse and cast into shade the deserts of its less fortunate brethren. This has been done with more or less injustice in the case of the popular allegory of Bunyan, in which the beautiful and scriptural image of a pilgrim or wayfarer (we are all such upon earth), addressing itself intelligibly and feelingly to the bosoms of all, has silenced, and made almost to be forgotten, the more awful and scarcely less tender beauties of the “Holy War made by Shaddai upon Diabolus,” of the same author,-a romance
less happy in its subject, but surely well worthy of a secondary immortality. But in no instance has this excluding partiality been exerted with more unfairness than against what may be termed the secondary novels or romances of Defoe.
While all ages and descriptions of people hang delighted over the “ Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,” and shall continue to do so, we trust, while the world lasts, how few comparatively will bear to be told that there exist other fictitious narratives by the same writer,-four of them at least of no inferior interest, except what results from a less felicitous choice of situation! “Roxana,” “Singleton,” “Moll Flanders,” “Colonel Jack,” are all genuine offspring of the same father. They bear the veritable impress of De Foe. An unpractised midwife that would not swear to the nose, lip, forehead, and eye of every one of them! They are, in their way, as full of incident, and some of them every bit as romantic; only they want the uninhabited island, and the charm that has bewitched the world, of the striking solitary situation.
But are there no solitudes out of the cave and the desert? or cannot the heart in the midst of crowds feel frightfully alone? Singleton on the world of waters, prowling about with pirates less merciful than the creatures of any howling wilderness, -is he not alone, with the faces of men about him, but without a guide that can conduct him through the mists of educational and habitual ignorance, or a fellow-heart that can interpret to him the new-born yearnings and aspirations of unpractised penitence? Or when the boy Colonel Jack, in the loneliness of the heart (the worst solitude), goes to hide his ill-purchased treasure in the hollow
tree by night, and miraculously loses, and miraculously finds it again,-whom hath he there to sympathize with him? or of what sort are his associates ?
The narrative manner of De Foe has a naturalness about it beyond that of any other novel or romance writer. His fictions have all the air of true stories. It is impossible to believe, while you are reading them, that a real person is not narrating to you everywhere nothing but what really happened to himself. To this the extreme homeliness of their style mainly contributes. We use the word in its best and heartiest sense,-that which comes home to the reader. The narrators everywhere are chosen from low life, or have had their origin in it: therefore they tell their own tales (Mr. Coleridge has anticipated us in this remark), as persons in their degree are observed to do, with infinite repetition, and an overacted exactness, lest the hearer should not have minded, or have forgotten, some things that had been told before. Hence the emphatic sentences marked in the good old (but deserted) Italic type ; and hence, too, the frequent interposition of the reminding old colloquial parenthesis, “I say,” “ Mind," and the like, when the story-teller repeats what, to a practised reader, might appear to have been sufficiently insisted upon before : which made an ingenious critic observe, that his works, in this kind, were excellent reading for the kitchen. And, in truth, the heroes and heroines of De Foe can never again hope to be popular with a much higher class of readers than that of the servant-maid or the sailor. Crusoe keeps its rank only by tough prescription. Singleton, the pirate ; Colonel Jack, the thief; Moll Flanders, both thief and harlot; Roxana, harlot and something worse, -would be