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· When Lord Sedley repairs to the North in the shooting season, Olinda spends two months at Treganna-a penance in memory of her fault !'-p. 103. Her fault :— The quiet sarcasm of this conclusion appears to us perfect. We are not surprised to hear that the ladies in general abuse • Aims and Ends.' Which of them (as Lord Byron asks) ever liked · De Grammont ?'
The tale of Oonagh Lynch,' which occupies the third of Mrs. Sheridan's volumes, is much less to our taste. Indeed, we do not understand what it is meant to illustrate. The scene is laid alternately in a dismal castle on the shore of Connaught, and in the as dismal court of James II. at St. Germain-en-l'aye. There is enough of dark priests– Italian spies-concealments, disguises, à German of the Dousterswivel race-in short, all the materies of the Minerva-press ; but so little either of intelligible character, or of probable incident, that we suspect Mrs. Sheridan has had little more to do with Oonagh Lynch,' than Mrs. Sullivan with · Warrene.' What interest there is, depends on the heroine's losing her father's estate, in consequence of his jacobite intrigues ; which, as he died before trial, could have had no such effect. A lady should consult her solicitor before she makes her novel turn on a point of law.
There occur, however, some very beautiful passages on the deyotion of the Jacobite exiles to their unhappy master; and we shall conclude with quoting a paragraph on James Il., which deserves equal praise :
• It is strange that James, whose errors, though great, were only those of opinion, (for none can question the sincerity of one who proved it by such signal sacrifices,) of all monarchs, seems to obtain the least sympathy from those who read the details of his history; while many more faulty characters are eulogized and be wailed. Yet he possessed many good qualities. Turenne rated his valour so high, as to observe, “ If ever man was born without fear it is the Duke of York ;" and the most remarkable proof of the constant and effectual operation of his religious belief was, that his naturally harsh and severe disposition became entirely changed in the latter years of his life, to a mildness wholly unusual at an age, and in a situation, so much more likely to irritate and embitter it. He sacrificed his all (and the stake was not mean) to bring his people to the faith he considered necessary to salvation : if he failed, we may blame his judge ment, but we must respect his intention,-a homage due to all, whatever their conduct may be, who are not guided in it by any selfish consideration, or hope of personal advantage.
• While the lute, the poetry, the grace and loveliness of the beauteous Mary of Scotland, are accepted as claims for forgiveness for her violent and changeful passions, thirst of vengeance, and entire absence
of principle, even by those generations who never could hear her gracious greeting, and on whom her matchless face has only faintly smiled in fading canvass; the harsh reserve, unbending determination, and ungraceful coldness of James the Second, have failed to obtain a pardon for his licentious youth, his bigoted maturity, and even for his devoted and truly religious age. Perhaps there never were produced two more striking examples of the impression derived from personal qualities, having so long survived their possessors !-vol. iii. pp. 128-9.
The passages which we have extracted will, we hope, form our best apology for again returning, at such length, to the Novels of Fashionable Life. In our opinion Mrs. Sullivan has produced two really brilliant tales, full of proofs that she inherits much of the dramatic talent of her richly gifted mother, and affording every promise of her ultimately obtaining a classical reputation—either as a writer of novels, or of comedies, according to her choice-or of both. Nor can we doubt that if Mrs. Sheridan should combine in one romance, both her tragic passion, and the caustic of her satire, she also might assume a high and permanent rank in this department of the English Library. Miss Austen is gone-Miss Edgeworth appears to be determined on silence--and Miss Ferrier wisely adheres to Scotland: the press groans under the burthen of weak, and clumsy, and fantastic trash; it is therefore no trifle to have to announce the appearance of two new female novelists, really capable of tracing with taste and discrimination the more delicate features of English manners.
Art. XIII.--Piozziana ; or, Recollections of the late Mrs. Piozzi
With Remarks. By a Friend. 8vo. London. 1833. WHIS little work has disappointed us.
It is known that Mrs. THI
Piozzi kept a diary of the greater portion of her life; and of her early and better days, when, as Mrs. Thrale, she lived in the society of Murphy, Cumberland, Goldsmith, Reynolds, Johnson, and Burke, such a record might be entertaining and interesting —when we saw Piozziana announced, we hoped it might be this diary--but 'tis no such thing. The volume consists chiefly of extracts from a couple of dozen of letters written during her last residence in Bath, between the years 1817 and 1820, to the editor, who, at the conclusion of each extract, has added a kind of commentary on the several topics alluded to by his correspondent —the topics being in general temporary and trifling, but the commentary still more so. As the lady was seventy-six or seventyseven when this correspondence commenced, and was living the trivial routine of a Bath life, we have no right to complain that her notes to a neighbour are very unimportant, but we are really
not a little surprised that the neighbour should have thought such
Then follows the commentary, in which the editor confesses that he knows nothing about the principal person in question, but, en revunche, he treats us with extracts from an old newspaper, about the other impostor.
'Miss Mc. Evoy was, it is presumed, one of those common cheats, who succeed with the common world, because no-body could suppose that any-body could be so astonishingly impudent, &c.! We help to delude ourselves; and that was the case in the affair of the female rogue, Carraboo, to whom she alludes. An almost incredible instance of knavery on one part, and dupism on the other. The pitiful jade who.performed the character of "Carraboo, princess of Javasu," was an infamous female of low condition, who passed herself on the Bath and Bristol public for an Indian princess, &c., and when detected, which she speedily was, proved to be a certain Mary Baker, who had been in jail, and suffered whipping for theft. Among the victims of the deceit she practised was (but for a day or two only) a Bath physician, &c. &c.'--p. 58.
Again, Mrs. Piozzi writes :
Poor, old Mr. L. Doctor G. attends them, I know; but what can even dear Doctor G. do, when a man's hand is turned black with mortification, I suppose; or with palsy, which immediately precedes it? They can only try to keep him ignorant of his own danger, in which attempt I see neither friendship nor good sense; and beg earnestly that you, dear Mr. will never practise such deception on your H. L. P.'— pp. 147, 148.
On this the editor gravely remarks :
• Mrs. Piozzi's opinion as to the cruelty of keeping the sick in ignorance of their danger may be disputed. For my part, I should say that, generally speaking, it is the bounden duty of a discreet and tender friend to encourage the invalid to the final moment; and to leave him,
if possible, at least the consolation of hope. In her own case, I certainly should not have complied with her injunctions, had I been so unfortunate as to have witnessed her dying hour; but I escaped the misery which such a scene as that of her departure would have caused, by the accident of leaving Bath, just at the time of her being taken ill at Clifton.'-pp. 149, 150.
Half the volume is taken up with this kind of very ordinary twaddle; but it is occasionally diversified, if not enlivened, by very extraordinary blunders ; most of which, we confess, we are inclined to attribute to the inaccuracy of the editor, though some are undoubtedly those of the lady-quas incuria sudit in the levity of familiar conversation, or hasty notes.
• “ So you liked," she writes, “ the scenery in my wild counties of Merioneth and Caernarvon ? It is very bold and very grand; and looking back upon those mountains from Gwindie in old Mona, Mr. Piozzi said, was finer than Chamouny; inasmuch as the ocean contributed to its superiority." '
Upon this the commentator, though he had lately visited the scene, makes no remark, and we therefore conclude that he concurs in Signor Piozzi's opinion, that the addition of the ocean makes the prospect from Gwindie 'finer than Chamouny.' Now, if we recollect right, Gwindie is a little inn in the flattest and most desolate part of Anglesea, with hardly a tree in sight, and the mountains thus exalted above the Alps are at most about three thousand feet high, and must be near twenty iniles distant; and not only is the ocean’ not visible, but even the little strait that separates Anglesea from Carnarvonshire is as much out of sight from poor dreary Gwindie, as it is from Chamouny itself.
The editor descants largely on Mrs. Piozzi's ' erudition,' and tells us that she not only read and wrote Hebrew, Greek and Latin, but had for sixty years constantly and ardently studied the Scriptures and the works of commentators in the original languages.' (p. 7.). And he gives us the following proof of her scholarship, in which the reader will observe that she speaks with more modesty and truth of her classical acquirements :Dear Sir,This is how the epigram stands in my book : “Lumine Acon dextro, capta est Leonilla sinistro,
Et poterat formâ vincere uterque Deos.
Sic tu cæcus Amor, sic erit illa Venus." Quære, would not the epigram have gained in value, had a mother and son been represented as each of them one-eyed ? It would certainly have been more classical to have substituted the word PARENTI for SORORI; but I am never sure of my prosody. One could then have translated it thus
Leonilla said-lend me that eye-to her son,
And you'll be blind Cupid, whilst I shall be Venus. * The writer of this epigram was Cornelius Amaltheus, who printed a collection of poems at Amsterdam, in 1685. A Protestant, I believe, though born in Italy; and who parodied, in Latin verse, the Catechism of the Council of Trent.'—pp. 105, 106.
All this was very well in a hasty answer to an accidental inquiry, and is even more erudite than we could have expected from Mrs. Piozzi ; but a person who assumes the dignity of a commentator should at least consult some Biographical Dictionary. Amaltheus could not have printed his poems at Amsterdam in 1685, as he had then been near an hundred years
dead. But that is a trifle—the edi. tor also acquiesces in the statement that he was a Protestant who parodied the Catechism of the Council of Trent.' Indeed! we had always understood that Cornelius Amaltheus was a papist, so renowned for orthodoxy as to have been employed with Manucius by one of the Popes to latinize (not by way of parody our readers will believe) the Roman Catechism, which was printed,
with extraordinary magnificence, at the papal press in the said Pope's palace, in 1566. But after all, it was not Cornelius who wrote the epigram in question, but his brother Girolamo (Jerome) Amaltheo. And, finally, as to the proposed alteration of sorori into parenti, we are sorry to be obliged to inform the editor that he will find this important reading already established in that recondite and very learned work commonly called the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. XV., p. 327.
The modern lore imputed by the editor to his friend seems equally accurate and important !
• Louis XIV. And Corneille.-The King knew he had killed Cor. neille with unkindness: the poet had presumed on his Majesty's attentions, and wished to give political advice, which Louis would not endure.'--p. 189.
This we suspect to be a verbal misnomer of the editor's own. Mrs. Piozzi must have known that it is of Racine that this anecdote is told ; that it occurred about 1697, many years after the death of Corneille; and that although no doubt the king's rebuke may have very much affected Racine, he was killed, not by unkindness, but by an abscess of the liver, after a long illness, Again :
• OBSCURITY.—Burke said it was a source of the sublime.'-p. 195. We have a kind of confused idea that Burke wrote something to the same effect, and we cannot but suspect that Mrs. Piozzi may