« ПредишнаНапред »
Lady Morgan, too, chose to abandon more strikingly developed in that the exercise of the fancy for the sober which we have now to introduce to task of observation; and instead of our readers. veiling the sad realities of life in á
These volumes contain ample evidrapery of alternately gay and solemn dence, nay a direct confession, that the colouring, applied her powers to the author is an Irishman residing in detections of the varietie of national France. His continental associations character, and the exposure of the hol- give a flavour and delicacy to his Hilowness of superstition and tyranny. bernian enthusiasm without reducing Thus England and Ireland seemed left its strength. The gaiety, the innowithout a fair or strenuous asserter of cent joyousness, and the blameless their independent rights, and exposed vanities of the French peasantry, without protection to the incursions of have extended the sphere of his pleathe great Scottish marauder. In his
surable sympathies, yet have not weakown country, indeed, a race of imita- ened his sad 'recollections of horne. tors started into existence, and acquir. There are many Irishisms in his ed some reputation by gleaning in the works; but they are chiefly those of fields over which he had hurried ; but feeling rather than of taste; for, exuntil lately, with the single exception cepting an occasional rotundity and of Maturin, England and Ireland could plethoric fulness of style, there is hardly boast a novelist.
scarcely any thing overstrained or ex. The plan of the First Series of travagant in expression, through the <<
Highways and Byways” was new, whole series. He somewhat resembles and possessed advantages which could the great novelist of Scotland in the hardly fail to render it popular. Its healthful feeling which breathes through author assumed the agreeable part of his delineations, in the vigour of his alluan observant stroller through interest- sions to natural scenery, and in the abing countries, and professed to give the sence of cant and exclusive prejudice. little bistories which he incidentally Both, whatever may be their political discovered, with the fidelity of one who creed, are right Catholic of imaginareceives his intelligence immediately tion, and free of every society where from the actors and sufferers. An air manly spirit, heroic self-devotion, and of truth was thus thrown over his nar- gentlemanly bearing, are permitted to ratives, which, to sustain the illusion, flourish. Our author does not attempt are given with the caution and ear to compass and to master so great and nestness of a witness. He seems to unwieldy portions of human affairs, mingle unobtrusively among the inter nor has the same majesty of outline esting scenes to which his fortune con or breadth of colouring ; but he fills ducts him, qualified to become a spec- up more completely the circle in which tator and a party by an honest and un- he is contented to move, and traces pretending sympathy with the joys and more continuously the inward worksorrows of his fellows. His sketches ings of the soul and the gradual develare obviously taken from life, and have opment of character in action. There all the vigour and freshness which a is an occasional lightness and airiness pedestrian traveller might be expected of touch, a vivacity in the relief given to confer on his pictures of objects to his scenes, which is evidently inspirwhich came within his personal re- ed by the vine-coloured hills and view. There is no sickly sensibility; blue mountains of France." '. We have no vague indistinct dreaming ; no mo- sometimes, in reading his works, fanral paradox; but his characters are of cied that they bear the same relation real flesh and blood, and his incidents to the best productions of Sir Walter, generally such as might well happen which light Bourdeaux wine does tó " in the broad highway of the world.” strong Scotch ale; and who would Merits like these, set of by considera- quarrel with the first because it is not ble elegance of diction, conferred 'a the very best thing in the world? speedy popularity on the former se The first of these tales-Caribert ries of tales; and willy we think, be the Bear-hunter is perhaps the most
perfect of the series. The scene is father mistakes for the glow of valour, laid in the central Pyrenees, and the and which the fonder mother trembles peasants of that magnificent and as she looks upon. The rest of this secluded region are its actors. A day's adventure must be told in the young girl, whose exquisite sensibili- author's own words--for none other ty gives to her a charm than beauty can do the least justice to his daring dearer," is timidly wooed by a gentle conception. mountain swain, whom she is begin.
" Soon after Caribert and his father had ning to esteem, when a daring untrac- quitted their home, the morning, which had table lad, the hero of the story, comes, only just broke, began to be more looks, is smitten, and conquers. As commonly
snow shower, the connexion is known to be hostile mixed with rain, assailed them ere they to the views of the old smuggler, whom reached the Pic du Midi ; and the piercing
cold of the air, added to the sleet beating the fair Aline honours with the name cuttingly into his face, brought on, with of father, it is prosecuted in secret, at Caribert, repeated attacks of violent and all manner of risks, and at sad cost of alternate fever and shivering When they honesty and honour. This is common
arrived at the den of the bear, which was
formed of a cavity in the western side of enough ; but the picturesque delinea- the mountain, close to that terrific precition of Caribert the false friend and too pice which I have already endeavoured to faithful lover, and the way in which describe, they were both benumbed, and he falls off from all which gave him scarcely capable of exertion ; but the old distinction, till his very courage fails, for the onset, approached the cave, and
man, rousing up all his wrath and courage or only breaks out in desperation and with loud shouts of defiance, endeavoured madness, are exceedingly affecting and to stir up the savage animal's rage. The real. Noble by nature, generous, and
summons was no sooner heard than ansincere, he is drawn by his fatal pas- the recess, was followed by the appearance
swered. A horrible growl sent out from sion to dissemble with his friend, to af- of the bear, which rushed forth as if in confect love to that friend's sister (a very scious recollection of yesterday's triumph. piquant little coquette), and, whers At the appalling sound and sight, Pero, the
Claude detects him at the pine his former ally; and having his share of poor
faithful and courageous dog,unsupported by grove where he meets his mistress, brute remembrance too of the late renconbreaks out into rage, and slanders the tre, hung down his head, dropped his tail, girl he had cheated! What follows and fled yelping down the mountain. Old seems to us very finely conceived, and Larcole grasped his pike firmly, and ad
vanced. The hideous monster reared itexecuted with great power. During self up on its hind legs, stretched out its this moral and intellectual estange- fore paws, and as, with its jaws yawning ment, poor Caribert, once the most wide, its fearful tusks displayed, and growlfearless of hunters, 6 has foregone all ing with horrid energy, it was in the very custom of exercises,” and gradually, ter stepped close up, and anned a thrust,
of springing forward, the veteran hun: by disappointing, has enraged his with no finching strength, right at his enefather, whose very existence depend- my's heart. He was not far wide of that ed upon his skill and strength in the vital spot. His pike pierced the left breast, chace. The day before the nocturnal dered frantic by the pain, the bear bound
and went out clearly at the shoulder. Renencounter in wbich he is discovered to ed up, flung itself full upon its -undaunted be treacherous and provoked to be un assailant, and fell upon him to the earth. just, he has suffered bitterly from the The old man, barying his head under the reproaches of the old man, who had body of his foe, received on the back and
sboulders of his doublet its upavailing efbeen wounded in a solitary attempt to forts to penetrate the thick folds of armour kill a bear in bis den, and has promis- with tusks and nails. He tugged at the ed the next day to accompany him as pike to extricate it from the body, but his of yore, and give him vengeance over
position was such that he could not sucthe tyrant of the wilds. He comes in give issue to the thick stream of blood
ceed, and every new effort only tended to fevered, aguish, with incipient madness which flowed from the wound. During obscuring his mind, and, after a night this frightful struggle, the yells of the bear of terrible fancies, goes out clad in Yond execrations of the old man. The lat
were mixed with and smothered by the his hunting-dress, flushed with the ex
ter, at length, gave up the hope of recov. citement of disease, which the fond ering his pike, but strove fairly next to get
rid of bis terrific burden. He succeeded so Caribert, of course, becomes insane far as to get one leg clear, and with his after this terrible catastrophe, and is nervous grasp, entwined round the body of watched with unwearied tenderness by the brute ; he was rising on his knee, and called out, "Now, Cacibert, now! To his Aline. But we will not further spoil hearts-to his heart the death-blow, now! the pleasure of our readers by disclosstrike, strike ! --but Caribert struck not! ing the author's secrets. There are He stood gazing on the scene-panick
two comic parts in the tale, one of struck-fixed to the spot with emotions not fathomable to man,-a terrible but not sol. which is capital, and the other a blemitary instance of the perilous risks run by ish. The first is a young mountainmental courage, as well as by human vir- eer, whoin the writer drags out of his tue. I do not inquire into the mystery
cave at night by the heels, and who, but there he stood, its horrible and shud. dering illustration !
with a noble instinct amidst his stupid" The old man
was now getting clear, ity, quaffs off a whole glass of brandy, but the bear had his hold in turn. His and goes reeling and laughing about huge paws were fastened with a dreadful the mountain ; the second an English force round one of his victim's thighs; and dandy, with effeminate manners and a recovering from his sprawling posture, he began to draw him backwards, evidently in generous heart—a union which rather the design of regaining his den. The old comes within Mr. Puff's favourite man's courage rose with his danger, for he range of combinations which though alertly drew his knife from his belt, opened met with every day, might, by the blade, and plunged it repeatedly into the body of the bear. The latter leaped possibility, happen.” This fantastical and bounded with agony; and Larcole re- gentleman, too, is out of place among covering his feet once more, succeeded in the grandeurs of Nature, and breaks in grasping the savage in his arms. But the
on the deep and powerful feeling which trial could not be prolonged. He was
the serious incidents are calculated to drooping under the dreadful gripe. Breathless and faint, he could only utter some ter
awaken. rific curses against the recreant who had The second and longest tale, entiabandoned him : and while Caribert gazed, tled “ The Priest and the Garde du his brain on fire, his hands outstretched, his tongue cleaving to his mouth, but his limbs Corps," is a history of an Irish Catho trembling, his heart sunk, and his feet lic Priest and a young Irish soldier ; rooted to the earth, he saw the white locks one enrolled among the French clergy, of his aged father floating over the neck the other enlisted in the Royal Guards, of his destroyer : while the dying animal, in his blindness, not knowing what he did, during the early periods of the French had retreated to the very edge of the pre- Revolution. Our author's sympathy cipice, slipping at every backward plunge with the Royalist party, in their strugin the slough formed by the snow and his gles and sufferings, was manifest in his own heart's blood, by which it was dis- former publication, and is here the solved. The old man, seeing his terrible fate, seeined to acquire for an instant the vital principle of his narrative. But it gigantic energy of despair. Throwing one cannot be regarded as a servile feeling, glance across the horrid space on the hor even by those who do not share it. der of which he stood, he screamed in a Though its regrets chiefly follow the voice of thunder, 'Caribert ! Caribert !' The terrible expression conveyed in this misfortunes of greatness, it is an indehoarse scream, struck on the mind of his pendent and manly impulse, which sun with an electrical shock. Suddenly does not induce its possessor to palliate roused from bis stupor, he recovered for an the crimes of prosperous tyrranny, or instant all his recollection and his courage. He uttered a cry of corresponding fiercc
even to pass them over in prudent siness,--swung his brandished pike-rushed lence. He who enthusiastically adforwards with open arms to seize his father, mires the Queen of France, and exand snatch him from his destiny, but it tends his pity to her vacillating huswas too late! The monster touched on the band, execrates the invasion of Spain extreme edge--lost his footing—plunged instinctively forward-took another back
as a freeman ought, and parcels out to ward step, and just as Caribert believed he the meanest of his villains a shameful had grasped his father in his outstretched death in the accomplishment of that arms, both man and bear were lost to his sight, and their groans came mingling in great felony. There is something the air, as they went crashing down be about the very name of the French low,"
Revolution, which, at first, créates re
pugnance to read or hear any thing than the rest of the volumes, and forms connected with its events; for the an agreeable relief from the serious world has 6 supped full of its horrors,” and ingrossing interest they frequently and been wearied out with the eternal excite. Its scene is laid in Normandy, commonplaces to which its partial where it traces the history of a lovely failure has given occasion in houses little girl, dedicated (happily for a limwhere dulness has a privilege, and in ited time) to the Virgin, up to that pelower places where it has a prescrip- riod when the romance of life ceases, tive right. But this natural disgust and its real cares and struggles begin ought not to extend to our author; and where, generally speaking, novwho has touched the subject lightly, el-writers end, much to the satisfaction and has chosen those scenes which of their readers. Its plot is not worth were illuminated and softened by the abstracting; but it has considerable beauty, the fortitude, and the weak- merit, both characteristic and descripness of Maria Antoinette, whom it tive. Mons. Sukerville, a wealthy pleased Burke to deify. His hero is French manufacturer of inflexible hondesperately enamoured of the unhappy esty and invincible gratitude, and his queen ; fights a black captain for abus- jolly dame, are speaking portraits; and ing ber; pretends to be a Jacobin for a dull and gross physician, with just her sake; exhausts all his fortune in glimmering of sense epough to be a plans for her rescue; and finally, after rogue and a mayor, is worthy to sit her execution, returns to his desolate beside them. We do not greatly adhome on the coast of Ireland, to see mire the artifice by which a young his father expire, and commit suicide. American, who rather oddly falls in In spite of this last rash and somewhat love with a lady whom he has not seen, unnecessary act (for he might have wins the affections of the heroine, in been disposed of in fifty other ways), the disguise of a gouty gentleman, of he is a fine spirited lad, and does hon- middle age, with a yellow complexion, our to his country. But we cannot matted hair, and green spectacles; nor extend our praise to the old Priest, the vagaries of Monsieur Hippolite whose name is Father O'Collagan, Emanuel Mirasse de Choufleur; nor and who is worthy of the name—a di- the incident of the author being arrested vine with a tolerably flippant tongue for the murder of a man who turns out and an intolerably warm heart; mix. to be only dead drunk. It is not in ing up classical quotations with half- the comedy of manners that our auruffian phraseology, and wearing us thor can hope to succeed. He has out with his noisy patriotism and riot- humour, but it is chiefly excited in asous virtue. Ample amends, are, how- sociation with strong feeling, and alever, made for this uproarious speci- ways happily applied to the oddities of men of the Irish priesthood, in the nature rarely to the caprices of arscenes attendant on the downfal of tificial life. Let him continue to graproyalty in France, which are sketched ple with the passions and affections as with a rapid, yet firm and dexterous he has done in the far larger portion of hand.
these volumes, and his triumph will be The last tale, entitled “ The Vouée signal and lasting. au Blanc," is of a lighter character
A SUBSTITUTE FOR OAK BARK IN TANNING has been found in New South Wales, in the making by Mr. T. Kent, under the patronbark of two species of Mimosa trees, age of the Society of Arts, to condense, in which is much used at Sidney, and some New South Wales, the active principles of other places in that colony. In England, the mimosa bark, into a soft or solid ex. the supply of oak bark is so inadequate to tract. Two tons of such extract have been the demand, that the tanneries, in the vi. imported, and it has been, found, by Mr. cinity of London alone, use, annually, from Brewin, and other Bermondsey tanners, 7 to 8,000 tons of foreign bark from France that a given weight of minosa extract, will and the Netherlands, at the expense of tan as much leather as four to five times the about £14 per top ; attempts are therefore same weight of oak bark of average quality.
THE IMPROVISATRICE. By L. E. L.
Continued from p. 395.
THE CHARMED CUP.
AND fondly round his neck she clung ;
soul felt sick to see
The slight blue scarf, of simplest fold,
Alas !—the tale is quickly told-