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and shouting, “Deliverance for mankind,” for “the worstthe second fall of man." Yet I have endured all this marching and countermarching of poets, philosophers, and politicians, over my head, as well as I could, like "the camonioil, that thrives the more 'tis trod upon.” By Heavens! I think I'll endure it no longer.' The insane extravagance of this rhapsody almost disarms our anger. It is however remarkable, that in all the ravings of all the maniacs of this description,—from Ensor to Lady Morgan inclusive,--the word legitimacy appears to be uttered with a scream of terror, as the war-whoop of the tribe. Yet what is its import? Lawfulness. Applied to kings, it designates those who are entitled to that dignity according to the laws wisely made to prevent usurpation, and the manifold evils of disputed succession.
The heaviest discharge of Radical artillery, however, is reserved for the doctrine laid down by Mr. Canning in a passage of his celebrated speech to his constituents at Liverpool.
My lot,' says Mr. Canning in the conclusion of his address, ' is cast under the British monarchy. Under that I have lived; under that I have seen my country flourish; under that I have seen it enjoy as great a share of prosperity, of happiness, of glory, as I believe any modification of human society to be capable of bestowing; and I am not prepared to sacrifice, or to hazard the fruit of centuries of experience, of centuries of struggles, and of more than one century of liberty, as perfect as ever blessed any country upon the earth, for visionary schemes of ideal perfectibility, for doubtful experiments even of possible improvement. This paragraph, to which every sober-minded Englishman will subscribe, as the sound and wise resolve of genuine patriotism, is characterized by the Slang-whanger as common-place; and he supposes, that, in giving his refutation of it, he cannot be accused of falling into that extravagant and unmitigated strain of paradoxical reasoning, with which he has already found so much fault.' So, then he exclaims, here are cepturies of experience, and centuries of struggles to arrive at one century of liberty!' As though the having enjoyed the prize for the term stated, was all that had been obtained by those struggles. He seems not aware, or wilfully resolves not to see, that we are still in possession of the blessing so acquired. The people of England nevertheless see and feel it; and, in spite of this crazy gabble, will exert all their efforts to retain and transmit it to their posterity.
The Essayist next charges Mr. Canning with inconsistency, because in the paragraph quoted,he throws down a bar to all change, to all innovation, to all improvement. He says, we are arrived at the end of our struggles; and yet he tells us in another part of his speech, that our struggles are not at an end, but that a crisis is at
band, hand, where every man must take his part, for or against the institutions of the British monarchy.' What is there inconsistent in the assertion, that our ancestors have, by their struggles, acquired a sufficient degree of rational liberty, and that the present race will as resolutely oppose all the attempts of a democratic faction, which, at the period of Mr. Canning's address, appeared to be hastening on the crisis to which he alluded? The good sense of the country, though it sometimes reposes, wants only such spirit stirring appeals to it, as those of Mr. Canning, to be raised into emotion : surrounded as it has been, during the last twelve months, with a more than usual store of inflammable matter, it has acted like the safety-lamp of Sir H. Davy; and, under Providence, prevented, and we trust will continue to prevent, a perilous explosion. Mr. Hazlitt concludes what he calls his simple and mitigated strain of paradox’, by an exquisite illustration of the qualifications of the Right Honourable Member for Liverpool, in the course of which he informs us, that whilst he shows off his rhetorical paces by his ambling, and lisping, and nicknaming God's creatures, he would change liberty into slavery, and cause us to anchor, through time and eternity, in the harbour of passive obedience and non-resistance !'
Our Slang-whanger exults exceedingly in the production of these choice flowers of eloquence. He claps his wings, and crows over his prostrate foes without stint, or mercy: nay, in the pride of recent victory, he seems persuaded* that nothing can withstand his potent perseverance ;-when, in an unlucky moment, an incidental glance at the transcendent talents of the Indian jugglers throws him once more into a fit of humility, and he sobs out the following confession of the true scope of his own abilities :
• What have I been doing all my life? Have I been idle, or have I nothing to show for all my labour and pains? Or have I passed my time in pouring words like water into empty sieves, trying to prove an argument in the teeth of facts, and looking for causes in the dark, and not finding them? I can write a book: so can many others who have not learned to spell. What abortions are these Essays ! What errors, what ill-pieced transitions, what crooked reasons, what lame conclusions ! How little is made out, and that little how ill! Yet they are the best I can do.'
Tandem Phoebus adest: morsusque inferre parantem
* Essay on Thought and Action.
Art. VI.-Rob Roy, Tales of my Landlord, 2d Series,
(Heart of Mid Lothian), Tales of my Landlord, 3d Series, (Bride of Lammermoor, Montrose), Ivanhoe, Monastery, Abbot, Kenilworth. THE
IE reader may expect an apology for our having delayed no
ticing the works that compose the long list prefixed to this article. We are disposed to apologise for noticing them at all. And, certainly, most of the motives which direct us in the selection of writers to be reviewed, are in this case wanting. We cannot propose to draw the public attention to works, which are bought, and borrowed, and stolen, and begged for, a hundred times more than our dry and perishable pages. We have little expectation that the great author, who tosses his works to us with such careless profüsion, will take the trouble of examining our strictures—and still less that he will be guided by them.
Our praise or blame cannot well be heard among the voices of a whole nation. It is by these motives, or rather by this absence of motive, that our silence has been principally occasioned. But it cannot be persisted in. One of our duties is, to give a literary history of the times we live in—to tell those who follow us what were the subjects and the writers which chiefly engaged the attention of our contemporaries.-And it would be a strange omission if we were to pass over the works, which, from their number, their merit, their originality, and their diffusion, have more influence than is exercised by any others within the whole scope of our literature.
Our deliberation has been quickened by feeling that this really is no case for further delay. We have suffered three years to elapse since we reviewed the first series of the Tales of my Landlord -and in that interval a line of three-and-twenty new volumes has covered our table. A sight which, as we sit with it before us, might alarm even German diligence. It is in some measure a compensation, that we consequently address readers who are masters of their subject, and may engage in criticism without previous exposition. Our present situation has all the advantages over our ordinary one, which the comedian in Athenæus attributes to tragedy over his own ait.
In every sense
“ The madman, is it not, that slew his mother?"
Now we poor Comedians
May boggle by prerogative forsooth. But to business. First, in order of time, comes Rob Roy. We never rejoiced more in the circumstances which exempt us from endeavouring to relate our author's plots: for though we have this instant closed the last volame, and though one of the objects of our re-perusal was to make out the story, we are by no means sure that we have succeeded. Nothing but the novel's being in the first person, so that the author appears bound only to relate the events which bis hero saw and heard, without detailing the steps by which they are brought about, could have enabled him to make it hang together, even with the small portion of plausibility which it now possesses. He must have been sorely puzzled, if he had been forced, in his own person, to account for the influence which constrained Rashleigh to produce Campbell, in order to extricate bis hero at Justice Inglewood's, or for the success of such an extraordinary proceeding. It is equally difficult to account for the interposition of Rashleigh's political friends, to oblige him to give up the assets, which he had taken in order to forward (though in a most unintelligible way) their views as well as his own and for the effect of that interference, at a time when he had determined to quit their party. Indeed, the whole business of the assets—what they were -the objects for which they were taken the manner in which they are recovered, is one mass of confusion and improbability. The author himself, as he goes on, finds himself so thoroughly involved in the meshes of his plot, that seeing no legitimate extrication, he clears himself at last by the most absolute, we had almost said the most tyrannical, exercise of the empire which authors must be acknowledged to have over their personages and events, which we recollect, even in the annals of that despotic class of sovereigns. C'est un vrai coup d'état--and one which we should have expected rather from an Asiatic writer, than from a novelist in this free country. He had resolved that his hero should, after the custom of heroes, enjoy the family estate and marry the heroine. But the estate is in the hands of an uncle, with six healthy sons; the heroine is pledged either to marry one of them or to take the veil. Opposuit Natura alpesque nivemque. First comes the estate. An
ordinary ordinary novelist would have felt that his hero could not have it; or, if he had set his heart upon giving it him, would have made out some story of an old entail, or a forged will, or have tried to find some other expedient, by which, with a resemblance to the common course of events, he might obtain it. It would not have been easy to do it well, and we cannot find out any plan by which it could have been done tolerably. One plan only, we can confidently say, he would not have adopted. He would not have killed all the six sons by different violent deaths, and the father of a broken heart for their loss; within the space of six months. If the sudden death of one person
is a most inartificial mode of bringing about a catastrophe, what shall we say of this literary execution of a whole family?
But the marriage was as difficult a business as the succession. Diana was opposed to the hero in religion and in principles; she was under the absolute influence of her father, and he is determined, at their last appearance, Vol. III. p. 316, and p. 345, with her apparent acquiescence, to dedicate her to God.' " It appears, from a hint in p. 345, that our author had thoughts of recurring to his old method, and killing Sir Frederick Vernon before his daughter should be irrevocably vowed to the cloister, and then making her change her mind and marry. Whether the clumsiness of these expedients disgusted him when he came to put them into execution, or whether, when in sight of land, he was too anxious to scramble ashore to wait for the ordinary means, we are not informed-but, in fact, he has left the difficulty as he found it. He tells us indeed that Diana Vernon became Mrs. Francis Osbaldistone and he tells Will Tresham that he knows how it took place, but he does not tell the reader. We recollect, when we were beginners in chess, our indignation at the abrupt ends of some of Philidor's games, in which, the pieces and pawns appearing to our ignorant eyes pretty well balanced, we were told, The white King wius in seven moves. When we played out the game, times the white king won in four moves, sometimes in twenty, sometimes he was checkmated in six moves, and sometimes he gave a stale mate in five. But what were the seven moves thus obscurely indicated, we could not for our lives find out. How Mr. Osbaldistone sped in his wooing' is still more mysterious.
The characters are, as usual, admirable. The best, perhaps, of the men is the Baillie. Nothing can promise less originality or interest than the portrait of a conceited, petulant, purse-proud tradesman; full of his own and his father's local dignity and importance, and of mercantile and presbyterian formalities, and totally without tact or discretion, who does nothing in the story but give bail, take a journey, and marry his maid. But the courage, the generosity, and