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sion, to the mental intoxication of poetry, painting, music, and above all, to the new fascination of a lovely and accomplished girl, the poor young priest becomes first entranced in delight, and then deeply, wretchedly enamoured of the fair being, who is so immeasurably superior to all that he had ever seen, or dreamt of, in woman. Miss Letty, on her part, is captivated by the handsome and modest student, who proves as full of amiable and intellectual qualities, as he had evinced himself courageous and active in the preservation of her uncle. Difference of station is disregarded or forgotten in the equality of intercourse; difference of creed prevents her from fully comprehending, that the young priest has already taken the first of those vows, by which he should irrevocably abjure all the affections of the world, and devote himself to the exclusive service of religion. But John, at least, is conscious of his danger, though he remains until too late, spell bound, and unable to fly from that ruin of his peace, which is fast overwhelming


Mr. Frank, meanwhile, is a watchful observer of the lovers, with the diabolical purpose of encouraging their passion to their destruction, that he may gratify a twofold scheme of avarice and profligacy. His excellent uncle has settled his whole property jointly upon Letty and himself: her ruin, or disgraceful marriage to an apostate priest, will leave him to inherit it alone. He has himself dishonourable designs upon the person of Peggy Nowlan by entangling her beloved brother in an attachment forbidden by his calling, he hopes that the threat of exposing him to his bishop will terrify her into compliance with his vicious suit. Such is his double plot, in which another agent conspicuously figures. This is the wretched Maggy Nowlan, whose seducer Mr. Frank had been, and who joins with him in one part of his design from hatred to John Nowlan; while she burns with the yet deeper detestation of jealousy towards Peggy, as the new object of attraction to her libertine admirer. On the other hand, the story is also of course provided with a sort of good genius, to counteract these agents of evil, in the person of Peery Conolly :-a quondam suitor of Peggy, whom her rejection, and certain deep potations of the "cratur,' have together converted into a half crack-brained, half lucid compound of extravagances; but who always retains method enough in his madness, to work out every denouement for which the novelist sees occasion.

It is unnecessary to go through the details of this part of the story. In analyzing it we do not discover any room for admiration, either in the construction of the plot, the machinery of the action, or the probability of the incidents. The business of the plot is influenced chiefly by the iniquity of Mr. Frank; and this is altogether of the monstrous and unnatural character, which belongs only to the hacknied villain of the common-place novel. The coarse delineation of such utter depravity, is the ordinary and stock



resource of inferior fiction-mongers; who labour to make up, by thickening and deepening the naked horrors of their plots, for the want of interest with which they otherwise lack the ingenuity to invest their narratives. The author before us should have felt above resorting to this clumsy expedient. That a brother, with smiles and accents of tenderness on his lips, should deliberately, and in cold blood, plan the disgrace and ruin of his sister, for the mere sake of procuring her disinheritance, is in itself sufficiently atrocious to startle our credulity. But when we find this brother described as the heir to a splendid fortune, on whom all the advantages of a modern education had been carefully bestowed; as a young gentleman of elegant manners, classical attainments, and accomplished tastes-when we are told all this, and are then required to believe him the practised associate of swindlers, blacklegs, and common thieves, the accomplice in highway robberies and housebreaking, who, in the vulgar slang of the lowest tramper, boasts his share and calculates his profits in a swag,-the reason at once revolts at a contradiction so palpable and absurd. Scarcely less incredible, too, are the deeper shades of his guilt: his suggestion to an accomplice to dispatch his excellent uncle, the benefactor who had reared and cherished him; and his premeditated scheme for the murder of his innocent wife, and her unborn babe. There is no keeping in such a portraiture. That the gentleman of refined habits and intellectual accomplishments, may yet be a vicious man, is, we know, unhappily but too true :-but his vices must still shew some relation to his caste. He may be a Lovelace, or a Joseph Surface: but he will scarcely prove a Jonathan Wild, or a Thurtell.

But, with the first detection of Mr. Frank's crimes, the story should in any case have ended; and all the subsequent incidents of the second volume, appear as so many ill appended after-thoughts of the author. The latter adventures and escapes of Peggy, in which she is compelled to be the secret and unshrinking eye-witness of a frightful murder—a scene, by the way, certainly painted with very great power-are quite unnecessary to the completeness of the tale: but our author has always an irresistible passion for multiplying his catastrophes. No accidents are too wonderful, no coincidences too strange, to be pressed by the novelist into his service at need; and "rakin' Peery Conolly," in particular, is always most unaccountably at hand in every emergency of the flagging plot. In this, and several of the other characters, as well as in some of the incidents of the tale, it is again forced upon us to observe the author's same broad imitation of Sir Walter Scott, which we remarked in one of his former productions. Peggy Nowlan, the most interesting of his females, is the double of Jenny Deans; in a mendicant friar, we have a kind of Edie Ochiltree; and the cast-away Maggy Nowlan, and her more infamous mother and brother, are converted in the sequel, with a transformation as rapid as the changes of a pantomime, into such agents of iniquity as the

author of Waverley has frequently delighted to imagine. Mr. Banim has certainly persisted-unconsciously it may be-in borrowing largely from the storehouse of Sir Walter's machinery. .. Perhaps the character of John, is the only part of the mere construction of the story, which deserves to be mentioned with praise. The author has certainly succeeded in giving a very painful interest to his fortunes: while the picture of his peculiar trials is altogether new in our tales of fiction; and the writhing agony of the mental struggle under which he falls, is depicted with a vivid energy and knowledge of human nature, which must make every bosom thrill with commiseration and dread. But, as we have already said, the greatest merit and the most easy charm of these tales, as in those of the former series, consist, not in the business of the narrative, but in the sketches, sometimes grave, sometimes humourous, and ever most lively and faithful, which they offer of genuine Irish life. To the story of Mr. Aby Nowlan, we have referred for one example of these sketches; and there is another fully equal to it, though in a very different style, describing a thriving and managing family of very opposite qualities. We mean the description in the first volume, (pp. 255-276), of Magistrate Adams' and his family, and of a dinner party given by these people ;-the representatives of a whole class who, in the sister kingdom, wound the "kibe" of aristocracy by their ridiculous pretensions, and support a scanty 'gentility' by mingled thrift and display ;-who, exercising the lower grades of political and judicial office, maintain their petty state by mean grasping extortion and insolent tyranny over the poor, and by ostentatious entertainment of their equals and superiors.

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The story of Peter of the Castle,' which occupies the third volume is, in the unity of its plot and design, far superior to the other. In fact, this tale has all the elements of a very good romance; and we should not be surprised to see it adapted to the stage of one of the lesser theatres. It is, like all our author's stories, somewhat wild and melo-dramatic in its cast; but, with a few alterations, it might easily have been expanded into a novel of three volumes. Though contained in a single one, there is abundance of business and incident in the plot, that would well bear enlargement; and the denouement may be said-no common fault -to be but too rapidly evolved. It would need only a good deal more of the filling in and finishing" of our author's inimitable tints of national manners. In this respect, the composition is, as it stands, rather meagre but there is one excellent scene in it, (pp. 106-132), the celebration of a marriage in an Irish cabin, which it is impossible to read without exquisite amusement, or to pass without hearty commendation. For minute characteristic and humourous detail, it may put to nought the ballad of the farfamed "Wedding at Ballyporeen." We love not to turn from this warm eulogy, to a conclusion of chilling criticism: yet we cannot


but complain that, in this tale again, we should be fated to encounter the old plague of imitation. There is a conversation between some aged beggars, (p. 98), whose unearthly expression of delight in prophesying the untimely end of a heartbroken girl, we defy any reader to peruse, without pronouncing it a palpable copy from the celebrated scene of the same nature in the Bride of Lammermoor.

ART. III. Recollections of Egypt. By the Baroness Von Minutoli. 8vo. pp. 279. 9s. London. Treuttel and Würtz. 1827. EGYPT and its antiquities have already had so many, and such able describers, that we fear the Baroness Von Minutoli, enjoys but a slender chance of attracting attention to her recollections' of that splendid and mysterious country. Indeed what remains to be said of Alexandria, Cairo, the Pyramids, the Nile, Thebes, the temples and ruins of Upper Egypt, which has not been already told by a multitude of authors, in every language of Europe? To do the Baroness justice, she appears to have written her little volume under a full impression of the difficulties attending her subject in this respect; and in her preface she modestly expresses her hope that, if her recollections do not tend to enrich science and archæology, they may perhaps interest persons of her own sex, who, when they learn that a woman has visited, under fortunate auspices, those distant regions, as far as the tropic, will not be averse to follow her in her excursions, and to accompany her in the contemplation of so many wonders of ancient civilization.'

In truth, there is not an inconsiderable degree of pleasure to be derived from observing the effect, which the wonders of Egypt may have produced upon a female mind. The stronger sex may often work themselves up to the admiration of objects of ancient art, which education and study have taught them to estimate highly, and the actual contemplation of which could not have been attained without difficulty and danger. But of such objects, woman, even if she be well read in their history-generally judges from instinct. She treats of them in a desultory and popular manner, and though her criticisms may not be recondite or exact, yet they seldom fail to convey a clear and natural impression of the thing described.

The chief attraction of these recollections' however, consists not in elaborate details of Egyptian antiquities, but in the personal adventures of the fairauthor. To these she has judiciously assigned a prominent position, and by dwelling so much on them, she has not only given variety to her work, but a certain air of romance, which greatly enhances its interest. She informs us that her husband, adding to the love of the sciences, and the study of antiquities, a very natural desire to visit Egypt, resolved to take

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advantage of the happy influence which the power of Mahomet Ali exercises in that country.' Being newly married, she readily acceded to the Baron's first proposal for the journey, very naturally happy to avoid a separation painful to her heart; and, at the same time, to gratify that lurking feeling of curiosity, which is seldom absent from the female breast. She owns that, on setting out, she had but a superficial knowledge of the countries she was about to visit, and that she endeavoured to repair her deficiency in this respect, by diligently reading Herodotus, Volney, Denon, and other authors, during the voyage by sea, and the expedition to Upper Egypt. She appears to have made but a few notes during her journey, and, indeed, to have been prevented by protracted illness, from committing her impressions at any length to paper, until three years after her return from Egypt to Germany. Her translator assures us, that her work has been already well received on the Continent; an assertion which we the more implicitly believe, as the volume is written in a very agreeable style. We may add, that the English version now before us, does the original full justice.

The Baroness arrived at Alexandria, in September 1820. The impressions made upon her by the first view of that city, are told in a picturesque and lively manner.

It would be difficult to express the sensations which I experienced, when, for the first time, I passed through the streets of Alexandria. It would require the talents of a Hogarth, to paint all the various scenes of this magic lantern. What bustle, what confusion, is in these narrow streets, continually blocked up by an innumerable multitude of camels, mules, and asses; the cries of their drivers, incessantly calling to the passengers to take care of their naked feet; the vociferations and grimaces of the jugglers; the splendid costumes of the Turkish functionaries; the picturesque habit of the Bedouins, their long beards, and the grave and regular countenances of the Arabs; the nudity of some Santons, round whom the crowd throngs; the multitude of negro slaves; the howlings of the female mourners, accompanying a funeral procession, tearing their hair and beating their breasts, by the side of the noisy train of a marriage; the cries of the Muezims from the tops of the minarets, summoning the people to prayers; lastly, the afflicting picture of wretches dying with misery and want, and troops of savage dogs which pursue and harass you ;-all this every moment arrests the progress and attracts the attention of the astonished traveller! As for myself, stunned by this extraordinary noise, and overcome with fatigue, I at length reached, though not without incredible exertions, the okel of France, very happy at being able to take some hours' rest'.—p-p. 57.

The character and policy of Mahomet Ali, his commercial monopoly, the characters of his ministers, and of the principal persons residing at Alexandria, such as Mr. Drovetti and Mr. Salt, are too well known to detain us in that filthy city. Neither shall we follow our author in the details of her observations on Cairo. There is

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