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the younger son picks up acquaintance with advocates for a general division of property, advocates for the English government and people feeding all Ireland in perpetuity ; Orangemen, who would have driven all the Irish further even than Cromwell proposed to do ; and all the thousand and one regenerators, pacificators, and quack doctors, that are to be met with for every one steady, sober, and industrious pe sant or citizen, in the gem of the ocean.
Ireland was exchanged for France. This was in '92, at the time when the Duke of Brunswick's manifesto and invasion of the French territory had aroused the patriotism of the young Republicans to its highest pitch. The narrative assumes at the same time a less genuine character than heretofore. The sack of the Tuileries, the destruction of the Swiss guards, and the rise of the Girondists to power, are not told with either the detail, the vividness, or the feeling of a looker-on, as the younger son assumes to be. The soirées of Madame Roland, the evening star of the Girondists, attended by Vergniard, Louvet, Pétion, Brissot, and Barbaroux, the French Antinous, are a little better, and the engagement in the Argonne defiles is really well told.
Henry Domville returned from republican France imbued with a wide embracing philosophy, such as he had not in his innocence previously formed an idea of, and he was especially in favour of the great republican principle of equal rights among sons. A short sojourn in Ireland with his regiment, brought the loves with “the Brereton," to the climax of an engagement. This accomplished, the land of ire is exchanged for active service at Toulon, at that time besieged by the Republicans. As in the case of the first great days of the Revolution, the defence of Toulon wants warmth and energy, and the subsequent imprisonment of younger son, and his
escape, effected under precisely the same circumstances as that of the true hero of Toulon-Sir Sidney Smith-by a simulated removal from one prison to the other, has the aspect of an historical plagiarism. This was the last of the younger son's feats of arms. The accidental death of his elder brother, establishes his social position as a man of rank and wealth; the red coat is abandoned at a rather remarkable time for so great a patriot, and the now elder son, is equally resigned to be urged to the altar by a metaphysical Cupid, as by a philosophical Plutus, and to give up at the same time, dreams of equal rights, equal divisions, irrational liberty, and impracticable freedom. But on the question of the law of primogeniture, he asserts, that he abides by the principles of his youth.
THE HALL AND THE HAMLET.* A GRACEFUL and charming simplicity pervades these scenes and sketches. They are in every way worthy of their author's reputation. The “ Yorkshire Family,” the longest and most elaborated story, and which occupies one, out of two volumes, possesses a very strong interest.
The narrative is vivid; the portraiture of actual life admirable. Marcus Welstead, Esq., a jovial country gentleman, sixty years of age, active, hearty, honest, and hospitable, had but one fault, that he spent his whole life in looking after other people's affairs rather than his own.
The Hall and the Hamlet ; or, Scenes and Characters of Country Life. By William Howitt. Two Vols. Henry Colburn.
This tendency--the overflowing of an active, kindly, mind-induces the old man to devote more attention to the property and affairs of his neighbour, Sir Thomas Borringdon, an Indian nabob, with a French wife, than was good for the prospects of his own lands. This act of neighbourly kindness has also the effect of bringing other persons into contact with one another. Marcus has three grown-up sons, to two of whom, Charles and Philip, we are introduced in a truly characteristic manner, felling trees, cutting timber, &c., in order to restore a ruinous mill, the working of which was, according to their sanguine notions, to support the one during his law studies, for that was the profession which he had selected, and the other, who was intended for the church, at college. George, the elder, was farmer par excellence. He could read Fielding or Smollet, but preferred his gun or planting and draining:
Sir Thomas Borringdon had two daughters, Clara, beautiful and serious, and Frederica buxom, gay, and pretty.
There was also a consumptive son called David, who entertained strong feelings of friendship for Charles aud Philip Welstead. The young people were almost constantly together, and a strong attachment grew up where such might have been naturally expected.
But the various rides in which they were met did not fail to attract observation, nor were people wanting to observe upon it to Sir Thomas and Lady Borringdon. The consequence was an immediate rupture between the aristocratic nabob and the kind-hearted old Marcus, and the departure of Philip for Oxford, and of Charles for his chambers in London, not however, till after vows of affection and constancy had been exchanged between the young people. The law of nature being made to assert its supremacy over that of art, and the hamlet for a time to claim tribute from the hall.
The career of the young gentlemen is not exactly such as the simplicity of their education and manners, and the earnestness of their first affections, would have led us to hope for. Charles became intimate in London with a Mr. Frodsham, a solicitor, who has an only daughter, an intelligent dark beauty, who soons falls desperately in love with Master Charles. The author would have us believe that the young lawyer to the last, knew nothing about it, but our belief in “simple stories” does not extend quite so far as that. This intrigue soon involved him in disaster. Harriet Frodsham boldly claimed him as her own, on the strength of prolonged, albeit, innocent attentions, and Clara is prepared to give him up, but first love triumphs and Charles abided by his rightful allegiance. As to Philip, he ran, what has become an almost characteristic Oxonian career-he ran over head and ears in debt, but his good, kind-hearted Frederica came with others to his aid and rescue.
The death of Sir Thomas and of the good young David Borringdon, having left Clara possessor of “the Hall,” she soon called Charles to participate in the enjoyment thereof; and Philip led his Frederica to the altar the same day.
It was more happiness than the hamlet can be said to have fairly merited. The sacrifice has been all along on the part of the hall. In strict moral and political justice there should have been incorruptible intregity on the part of the hamlet and unhesitating generosity on that of the hall. At, or about the same time George, the farmer, married the repudiated Harriet Frodsham, a dénouement which seems more like a desperate attempt to make all parties happy, than an act of justice necessary to the progress of the story.
The second volume contains several shorter sketches of less refined and more humorous and colloquial character. The characteristic goodness of heart of English rustics is pleasant to read of, but its mouth-rolling jargon is not so much so. Descriptions and narrative, however, so far supersede the conversational illustrations of rural life, that the interest of these excellent sketches and stories cannot be said to flag from an unavoidable peculiarity.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS. * Ellis Bell and Acton Bell appear in the light of two names borrowed to represent two totally different styles of composition and two utterly opposed modes of treatment of the novel, rather than to indicate two real personages.
They are names coupled together as mysteriously in the literary, as the sons of Leda are in the asterial world ; and there is something at least gained by being mysterious at starting. “ Wuthering Heights,” by Ellis Bell, is a terrific story, associated with an equally fearful and repulsive spot. It should have been called Withering Heights, for any thing from which the mind and body would more instinctively shrink, than the mansion and its tenants, cannot be easily imagined. “Wuthering," however, as expressive in provincial phraseology of “the frequency of atmospheric tumults out of doors” must do, however much the said tumults may be surpassed in frequency and violence by the disturbances that occur in doors. Our novel reading experience does not enable us to refer to any thing to be compared with the personages we are introduced to at this desolate spot-a perfect misanthropist's heaven.
Agnes Grey,” by Acton Bell, is a story of quite a different character. It is a simple tale of a governess's experiences and trials of love, borne with that meekness, and met by that fortitude, that insure a final triumph. It has an advantage over its predecessor, that while its language is less ambitious and less repulsive, it fills the mind with a lasting picture of love and happiness succeeding to scorn and affliction, and teaches us to put every trust in a supreme wisdom and goodness.
THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.T The tramp of an iron-footed tyranny upon a bigoted and chivalrous nation, during the palmiest days of that nation's existence, sounds from the pages of ordinary history with an impress quite as deep as can ever be imparted to it by fiction or romance. The biography of Antonio Perez, for example, portrays the fearful times of Philip II. quite as vividly under their one aspect of secret, inflexible persecution, as the career of Gil Blas does the general immorality that pervaded at the same time all ranks of Spanish society. Scribe has lately given sketches of the same epoch in his “Piquillo Alliaga,”—the Luis d’Alliaga of Le Sage's novel—with a degree of truthfulness and talent, that will be better appreciated some day, than has been, hitherto, the case. The “ Oath of
* Wuthering Heights, a novel in two volumes; by Ellis Bell; “ Agnes Grey," a novel, in one volume, by Acton Bell. T. C. Newby.
† The Oath of Allegiance : a Tale of the Times of Philip II. By Mrs. Ann Rolfe. 2 vols. Saunders and Otley.
Allegiance” has no claims beyond such as are of the most ordinary complexion. It lacks not of powers of invention. Incidents and events succeed one another at a rapid pace.
rapid pace. Reckless nobles and trusting fair ones, are opposed to jealous lovers and to incautious duennas. There are combats, fires, and murders, and the Inquisition is made to play its hated part. But the style of composition is peculiarly that of a bye-gone school of romance. Imagine, for example, the Prince of Asturias bribing a duenna to be allowed a sight of the Donna Isabella's features, which has such an effect upon the maiden that she faints away. The cavalier expresses
and offers his assistance. Isabella is surprised and distressed, but is led by imperceptible degrees to listen to his conversation, which was at once “refined, copious, and instructive ! !" This at a moment's stolen interview in the streets !
Apart from these slight blemishes, the “ Oath of Allegiance" will amuse those who are fond of the bustling, mysterious, high-sounding
The perplexity of the story imparts to it no small amount of interest, and the unravelling of mysteries, brings the story cleverly and skilfully to a satisfactory conclusion.
THE TRIUMPH OF WOMAN.* This is a sparkling, magneto-mesmeric, story.
Dr. Astercop, the celebrated German astronomer, is busy exploring the planet Neptune. The Christmas goose is ready, the guests are waiting, Mrs. Astercop is rampant, and the fair Angela suppliant; but the astronomer is detained in his red worsted night-cap, by the rapid approach towards earth of a planetary body. The meteor descends upon the garden grass-plot. He (that is the meteor) is a person not fashionably attired, but strikingly elegant, and with very blue eyes. The planetarian (or man-meteor), steals the German language, by mesmeric process, from the astronomer's brain, and is invited to supper. With a magnet he transforms the baser metals into gold, and with his blue eyes he wins the fair Angela's heart. But during the repose of night, a peasant robs him of the magnet, the possession of which conferred the power of planetarian locomotion, leaving to him only the power of terrestrial locomotion. By virtue of this power, Zarah, the man-meteor, visits various European countries, in search of his talisman, supplying himself with languages and gold by the exercise of the same occult powers. At Gottingen he is, through woman's prying, imprisoned for coining ; but the same woman's heroism is employed to obtain his liberty. At Rotterdam he is beset by a buxom Dutch widow.
In Paris he is delivered into the hands of robbers by a beautiful young lady in affliction. In the same city he saves a child in a conflagration, and is rewarded by being pilfered and arrested for want of a passport. In a village of France he becomes the accidental witness of a scene of fickleness, jealousy, and bloodshed. In Madrid, more blood and revenge. At Naples, husbands poisoned by their wives. At Constantinople, he sees females thrust into sacks, and lords of seraglios stifled beneath the shawls and cushions of their own harem. At length the planetarian recovers his talisman in England, and wearied with the fickleness and frailties of the sex he hurries back to his own planet, where women have
The Triumph of Woman ; a Christmas Story. By Charles Rowcroft. Parry and Co.
no abode. Solitude and reflection soon, however, convince him that woman's virtues predominate largely over their frailties; and, like a fallen angel, he quits his planet for ever, for the sake of Angela Astercop. The blue eyes of the angel, the story of two Englishmen clinging to a mast for three days and nights and not speaking to one another, because they had not been introduced, and the description of the effect of the first sight of an English newspaper, give internal evidence of a German origin, to some portions at least, of this amusing Christmas story.
WILLIS'S POEMS.* This is not an opportune moment for entering into a disquisition upon the poetry of Willis. He has obtained a European reputation. His claims as a poet have been recognised by the highest critical authorities, and there is no doubt that posterity will award to him a not inconsiderable share of fame, as one of the brightest ornaments of a dawning national literature. But we hasten with pleasure to announce this new edition of Mr. Willis's poems, as a truly handsome specimen of Philadelphian paper, typography, binding, and illustration. Curious enough, as the author's religious poetry is decidedly the sweetest and the best, so the classical illustrations are infinitely superior to those which portray subjects of every-day life. The latter want natural ease. But apart from such trifling drawbacks, the whole volume is a goodly and a sumptuous tome ; one that heralds forth the author's beautiful versification in a dignified and decorous form, and in a manner that is highly creditable to the press of Philadelphia.
THE PICTORIAL BOOK OF BALLADS.T “ What hast here ? Ballads ?” Yes, and a most interesting collection, too, derived from familiar as well as ancient sources, from the Kæmpe Viser to Blackwoods Magazine, from the “Nut Browne Mayde” to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With the assistance of J. H. Dixon, Esq., an active and zealous member of the Percy Society, of J. 0. Halliwell
, Esq., of Thomas Wright, Esq., and others, the editor has been enabled to present the public with a choice epitome of the ballad literature of the country, profusely ornamented by clever and appropriate woodcuts, and sufficiently illustrated by notes and explanations, without any superfluous display of antiquarian accomplishments.
NOTICE. We are obliged to omit notices of many books that have come to hand. Among others, “Henry Domville, the Younger Son;" “ The Reformation in Europe,” by Cesare Cantù ; “Revelations of the Beautiful,” by Edwiu Henry Burrington ; “Observations on Imitation," by R. Snow, Esq.; “ Charles Boner's Book ;" “ My Own Annual ;" “Shakespeare's Proverbs ;" “ The Family Jo : Miller;" “A Plot and a Peerage;" &c., &c., &c.
Poems of Early and After Years. By N. P. Willis. Illustrated by E. Leutze. Carey and Hart, Philadelphia.
† The Pictorial Book of Ballads, Traditional and Romantic. With Introductory Notices, Glossary, and Notes. Elited by J. S. Moore, Esq.