Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

proach Eva as her destined hus- arrived, and in a frenzy of passion he band.

entreated to accompany her. She Unfortunately, this young man was yielded,—but would not immediately no less volatile than passionate, and accept of his offered hand. She would as obstacles to the success of his try him for a year,--they were to wishes were removed, he began to be travel together like brother and sisless ardent for the attainment of their ter, and if he continued to love object. Several circumstances gra- her, they were then to marry. In đually occurred to cool him a little this manner they went to Paris totowards the lovely Eva,--the tedious gether,--where new objects attracted pertinacity of the family to make him the wandering mind of De Courcy,a convert to their own peculiar opi- and he was wearied of the constant nions,-her apparent coldness, which restraint under which the exactions of arose merely from her previous igno- Zaira's love kept him. Her eye for rance of passion, and the dread of its ever pursued him,-she seemed for sinfulness ;-all this wearied and wore ever fearful of the distraction of his him out, and prepared him for the affections,- and she lost them the fatal change in his affections which sooner from her constant dread of loswas speedily to happen. A most fas- ing them. He formed the resolution cinating opera-singer appeared on the to return home to Eva, who, he heard, Dublin stage, a woman of the greatest was dying ;-and, although Zaira's atbeauty and accomplishments, quite a tempts to detain him were very painCorinne in short, admitted into the ful to him, he at last broke away. first circles, or rather one whose so There is something very affecting in ciety was courted as the highest dis- the detail of her despair, and of the tinction. De Courcy became constant fatal path' into which it hal nearly beat her parties, and she soon took a trayed her. In the weakness of her warm interest in him. Zaira (so mind, she listens to infidel arguments, she was nained) deceived herself so which, in her better days, she would far as to imaginé, that her attachment have despised. She had the religion to him was pure friendship, and she of warm feeling, and of intellectual even pleased herself with the idea, glorying ; and had believed also in that she would be delighted with Revelation, though without much forming the minds of him and his knowledge of the grounds of her beyoung wife, an object which, after a lief. All her natural bulwarks fell severe disappointment she had just down in the hour of her misery, she met with, seemed necessary to give fluctuated for a time between superher an interest in existence. This stition and doubt, and at last summost delightful and amiable woman moned all her resolution to the act of (for she really was very amiable) had suicide. From this purpose, howethe effect, however, of gradually es ver, she is diverted by a strong imtranging him from Eva, who suffered pulse to return to Ireland ;she does wofully in comparison with her. The s0,—and remains in the neighbour• contrast is admirably exhibited be- hood of De Courcy without his knowtween the shrinking timidity and in- ing of it. She at last accidentally efficiency of the one, and the fine ease discovers in the old mad wornan, from and splendid genius of the other. It whom, in the beginning of the book, was scarcely possible for De Courcy De Courcy had rescued Eva,-her own not to be captivated,—though there mother,-and, more wonderful still, were occasions when his soul was a that she herself is the mother of Eva. gain Eva's, and with a little more She rushes to the house of the Wentforce of character she might have fix- worths,—but barely in time to see the ed him hers for ever ; but she was eyes of her daughter Eva closed. She too holy and retiring to comprehend and De Courcy again meet at the fuhis ardours,—yet her affection for him neral, but, as is most strikingly statwas deeper and more powerful than she ed, without the slightest emotion from herself knew or could tell. It was each other's presence. The thoughts preying secretly on her vitals, indeed, of each were now absorbed in the sad under the feeling of his inconstancy. coffin before them. The young man, Zaira at last was to depart, and De not long after, was buried by the side Courey came to her to take his last of his lost bride, and, at the early age farewell,—but they found it impossi- of 19, finislied his tumultuous course ble to separate when the sad moment of disordered passion. Zaira continu

my child.”

ed to live, but a monument of de- yet his best characters are all among spondency and woe, and was ever af- this order,-and, although their fater heard to utter the melancholy culties are cramped and depressed by words, “My child, I have murdered the narrowness of their creed, they are

still eminent examples of the power The catastrophe of this tale may of genuine piety. Take the instance seem very strained and unnatural, of Mrs Wentworth. but it is really less so than our “ She appeared about fifty years of age ; bare and imperfect sketch makes it her person was plain, but her clear comappear to be.

There is something, manding eye, the severe simplicity of her no doubt, radically extravagant in its manners, and consciousness of perfect sinconception, but it is much better co- cerity accompanying every word she utterloured over than could well be looked ed, and communicating itself irresistibly to for; and it is, perhaps, a piece of ar- her hearers, made one respect her the motifice in our author to make the out- ment they beheld her, and love her a very set of his story singularly blundering recollected from the embarrassment of the

few moments afterwards. Withdrawn and and confused, like a man writing on preceding night, her manner appeared without knowing what he is to say comparatively cold, but it was rather the next, that we miay be the more satis- coldness of habit than of character; there fied with its final winding up.

was more, too, of the measured and limitNon fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare ed phraseology of the Evangelical people lucem

in her conversation, but when she conCogitat : ut speciosa dehinc miracula pro

tinued to speak for any time, one easily mat.

saw that the range of her mind was far

more extensive than that of the objects to The tale, indeed, abounds with which it was confined. She herself ap"miracula ;" and we are not sure that peared to feel this self-imposed constraint, they can always be called “ speciosa.and to escape from it, from time to time, There are in it visions, dreams, and but soon returned again, and the final imimpulses, in abundance,--besides the pression which she left was that of strong mad woman, who is a kind of pro sense, rigid rectitude of principle and conphetess in her lunes, and starts up duct, and a temper and heart naturally every now and then, dancing before warm, but subdued by the power of relius in a way to make us giddy. She

gion.” is not a very happy invention, but is Her husband is an admirable con. a sort of decoction of Meg Merrilies, trast. the old wicked woman in the Anti

“ Calvinism, Calvinism was everything quary, and all Miss Edgeworth's wild with hiin ; his expertness in the five points Irish women distilled together into would have foiled even their redoubtable one “hell broth.” Indeed, we like refuter Dr Whitby himself; but his theoour author least when he does not logy, having obtained full possession of his draw from his own stores. It is true head, seemed so satisfied with its conquest, he has not disfigured Corinne, but that it never ventured to invade his heart. has given a new and editying view of His mind was completely filled with a sysa mind like hers under the terrible

tem of doctrines, and his conversation with feeling of religious desertion. Zaira tered mechanically, but sometimes with a

a connexion of phrases, which he often utis thus original, though an imitation ; force that imposed not only on others, but and is, we conceive, not greatly infe

on himself. In this state he was perhaps rior to her model. The evangelical as happy as he could be, for he had a gracharacters are all admirably imagined, tifying sense of his own importance, and -the pure Eva,--the conscientious his conscience was kept tranquil by listenMrs Wentworth, — her controversial ing to or repeating sounds, which to him husband, -and all the gang of preach- had all the effect of things. Never was ers and elect who assenuble within his Mirabeau's acute remark, that " words doors. Indeed, we cannot well con are things,” more strongly verified, than ceive any thing better than the tem- in the case of Mr Wentworth's religion.” perate and discriminating manner in The death-bed of the sainted Eva which our author has walked over this made him at last feel the distinction. delicate ground. He exposes, with a

She entreated her aunt that she might powerful hand, the follies of the me die in private, and not surrounded by thodistical system, and its bad effects preachers. on the minds both of its professors and “ Wentworth, who was in the room, of those who are merely lookers on; did not like her last sentiments ; he could

not bear that a niece of his, brought up in play of thought, and indulgence of afthe very strictest sect of Evangelical reli fection, she would have fixed her logion, should thus depart without leaving

ver,-become a valuable and beloved & memorable article for the obituary of wife,--and none of the misery which an Evangelical Magazine. He had ex.

followed from his wandering would pected this at least from her. He had

ever have befallen ! (unconsciously in his own mind) dramatized her whole dying scene, and made a

While our author is thus at home valuable addition to the testimony of those in all the bad and the good of who die in all the orthodoxy of genuine evangelical religion, (our readers, we Calvinism. “My dear Eva,' said he, apo trust, will see that we are using proaching her bed, and softening his voice the terin according to the cant acto its softest tones, “ I trust that I am not ceptation of the age, not in its origito discover, in your last words, a failure nal sense, for in that sense it can infrom the faith for which the saints are de- clude nothing but what is good,) he sired to contend earnestly, and to resist even unto blood. I trust that your ap: losophical religion of Zaira in her best

no less admirably represents the phiproach to the valley of the shadow of death does not darken

your view of the five points, days,-the atheism of some of her those immutable foundations on which the Parisian associates, and the sad defoundation of the gospel rests, namely,'— pression of her spirit amidst doubts and Wentworth began reckoning on his and misery. In all this nothing is ofingers ; Mrs Wentworth in vain made verstrained, but all is most naturally signs to him,-he went on as far as im- and candidly exhibited. Her bursts puted righteousness,' when Eva, lifting her of natural piety are beautiful, but they wasted hand, he became involuntarily sie float upon the surface of her soul ; lent. • My dear uncle,' said the dying

even the arguments of infidelity are Christian, the language of man is as the given fairly and without any attempt dust in the balance to me now. I am on the verge of the grave, and all the wretch to distort them ;--but how Áne is the ed distinctions that have kept men at war

result of the whole! With all Zaira's for centuries, seem to me as nothing. I powers of mind and hershining virtues, know that salvation is of grace through she has, in the hour of misfortune and faith,' and knowing that, I am satisfied. disappointment, no anchor upon which Man may disfigure divine truth, but never her soul can steady itself, while the can make it more plain. Oh, my dear une simple Eva, educated in the darkest cle, I am fast approaching that place where and most contracted views of Christithere is neither Jew or Greek, barbarian or anity, yet finds its blessed consolations Scythian, bondman, or free, but Christ is smoothing her passage to the grave ! all in all. Speak no more of points which In this representation, we really think I cannot understand ; but feel that the religion of Christ is a religion of the soul,-service to the cause of true religion.

our author has done an invaluable that its various denominations, which I have heard so often discussed, and with so He keenly satirizes the follies which little profit, are of light avail, compared disfigure 'it. He pourtrays, in all with its vital predominance over our hearts their most dazzling and brilliant coand lives. I call,' said she, collecting her lours, those qualities of mind which hollow voice to utter the words strongly, seem able to stand without its sup• I call two awful witnesses to my appeal, port, and upon their own strength the hour of death, and the day of judg- and enduring stability ;-yet, in the ment; they are witnesses against all the hour of trial, all these meteor glories souls. Oh, my dear uncle, how will you vanish, and Religion is left alone to stand their testimony? You have heard much of the language of religion, but I support the trembling soul as it is fear you have yet to learn its power. She sinking in the waves of darkness paused; for dim as her eyes were hourly and of death. We must now, howegrowing, she could see the tears running ver, give a specimen or two of the fasfast down Wentworth's rugged cheeks," cinating Zaira. Take her first apa &c.

pearance. Nothing can be more beautiful and

6. The curtain rose, and a few moments affecting than all this scene, and the after she entered. She rushed so rapidly whole character, indeed, of this ami- whelming

cataract of sound on the ear, in

on the stage, and burst with such an over. able girl,-yet there is a fine mo

a bravura that seemed composed apparently ral in the representation of the bad

not to task, but to defy the human voice, effects, even upon her mind, of the that all eyes were dazzled, and all ears contracted system in which she had stunned, and several minutes elapsed bebeen educated. With a little more fore a thunder of applause testified the as

tonishment from which the audience ap- Courcy's heart. And when the sweet and peared scarcely then to respire. She was powerful voice of Eva sustaining the upper in the character of a Princess, alternately part, dwelt on the ascending notes, repeatreproaching and supplicating a tyrant for ing • King of Kings, and Lord of Lords,' the fate of her lover ; and such was the while all the other parts continued the perfect self-possession, or rather the force ceaseless solemn iteration, for ever and with which she entered into the character, ever,'De Courcy felt as if he listened to the that she no more noticed the applauses that songs of angels. There was nothing around thundered round her, than if she had been him to disturb or divide the impression on the individual she represented ; and such his senses or his mind ; no crowds, no brawas the illusion of her figure, her costume, vos, no glare of lights, no stifing, and yet her voice, and her attitudes, that in a few intoxicating heat. He was alone, almost moments the inspiration with which she in darkness, and the figures so far above was agitated was communicated to every him, the light falling on them alone, and spectator. The sublime and sculptor-like the unearthly music, cxalted him for some perfection of her form,—the classical yet un moments beyond himself. He saw Eva studied undulation of her attitudes, almost separated from him high in a region of conveying the idea of a Sybil or a prophet- light and harmony, uttering in these awful ess, under the force of ancientinspiration, words a last farewell, and returning to that the resplendent and almost overpowering God from whom her rash and unhappy lustre of her beauty, her sunlike eyes, her love had divided her for a season. "Am ! snowy arms, her drapery blazing with dia- then losing her?' he exclaimed with horror. monds, yet falling round her figure in For ever and ever,' repeated the voices, folds as light as if the zephyrs had flung · for ever and ever." it there, and delighted to sport among its wavings,-her imperial loveliness, at once

We are quoting, we are well aware, attractive and commanding, and her voice too much ; and we have run off from developing all that nature could give, or Zaira without intending it. We have art could teach,-maddening the ignorant seen her in her glory, take her in her with the discovery of a new sense, and dar- wretchedness. ing the scientific beyond the bounds of expectation or of experience, mocking their

“ She was found stretched on the earth, amazement, and leaving the ear breathless. drenched in her cold tears, colder than the All these burst at once on Charles, whose dew that drenched her garments from head heart, and senses, and mind reeled in in- to foot. They bore her to her apartment, toxication, and felt pleasure annihilated by but for several days she was very ill, and its own excess.

even deranged. Her intellects (those in

tellects so powerful, so worshipped) were Poor Eva, too, was a musician, but sunk below infancy, even as wild and weak in a different way. One night, after as dotage. The struggle of religion and leaving the theatre, De Courcy wan- love was obviously predominant in the dered into the Evangelical meeting- wanderings of her intellect. Strange and house, where a hymn was in recita- rich fragments might be picked up amid tion.

the burning ruin, as the conflagration of

Corinth produced the extraordinary me " The congregation had dispersed, (all tallic amalgamation known by the name of but the private singers, who remained to Corinthian brass. She called for the cross, practice ;) the lights too, except a very few and Madame St Maur, who, since the renear the organ where the singers stood, turn of the Bourbons, had become une tres were all extinguished, so that the building bonne Catholique, inquired for a crucifix was very dark. Round the organ there among the servants. One was produced. was a strong blaze of light, strunger from • Hold it near me,' cried Zaira, • let the the contrast

. Charles could see all the fi- blood drop on me; one drop will purify gures distinctly, though quite invisible to my heart. They held it close to her, then them from the darkness that filled the bo- she mistook the figure on the cross for that dy of the chapel. They sung some hymns, of De Courcy; she kissed it in that agony and their solemn quiet harmony, without of devotion which love produces when applause, the echoes dying through the mingled with the sentiments of religion. empty aisles, soothed and solemnized him. It was frightful to see her. At one time It was like a fine twilight after a burning she implored it to pray for her as the repreday. The music suddenly changed ; they sentative of Christ, at another time she sung the Hallelujah chorus from the Mes- prayed to it as the image of De Courcy.” siah. The solemnity of the well selected words, the sublimity of the harmony, the

We have now done ; yet we are saawful repetition of the sounds for ever tisfied that we have given a very tame and ever-Hallelujah, Hallelujah!' forcing and imperfect view of this powerful the idea of eternity on the mind by their and instructive novel. Mr Maturin endless recurrence, thrilled through De has at last found his great powers, and

their legitimate use. He has still, lore which heightens so much the inno doubt, many excrescences and terest of scenes on which great actions effervescences to remove and to work have been performed ; yet he has not off, but these he will discover for him- suffered this to divert him from an acself. Let him continue to have in curate picture of their present condiview, as we think he has in this work, tion. In short, there are few indeed the improvement of mankind in their of this class of travellers whose quahighest capacity, as intellectual, moral, lifications can be compared to those of and religious beings,-let him still Dr Neale. The interest of the jourregulate his genius by the love and ney is greatly heightened by its lying the spirit of truth, and he will find so much out of the common route. and keep his place among the genuine The public has long been, and prolights of our age !

bably will long continue to be, glutted

with tours over the beaten plains of Travels through some parts of Germa- Poland, and

the vast plains watered

France and Italy; but the forests of ny, Poland, Moldavia, and Turkey. By Adam Neale, M. D. by the Danube, are very seldom visitlate Physician to the British Em- ed by such an observer as Dr Neale. bassy at Constantinople, Physician

In prosecuting this journey, our to the Forces, and Member of the author first landed on the Danish Royal College of Physicians of Lon- coast, and proceeded by Altona,

Hamdon. London. 4to.

burgh, and Schwerin, to Berlin;

1818. PP. thence by Dresden and Prague to 295.

Vienna, and from that capital directTRAVELLERS may be divided into ed his course through Polish Gallitwo classes ; one of professed travel- cia, Moldavia, and along the coasts of lers, who undertake the journey for the Black Sea, to Constantinople, the purpose of describing the country The coast of Holstein, on which Dr through which it is to be made ; the Neale first landed, is so flat, as to be other, that of gentlemen travellers, defended from the inroad of the sea or those who, journeying for amuse- by dikes, not of that powerful dement, or professional avocations, sit scription which preserve Holland from down to describe, en passant, the inundation, but formed of 'earth, leading objects by which their route bound together with straw ropes. has been diversified. Different laws The mode of employing this singular apply to these two species of travel- cement is thus described. lers. From the one we demand a systematic and elaborate description " The workmen having a bundle of of the countries visited; but from the straw near them, kneel down on the exother, our claims are more moderate. ternal slope of the dyke, and having twistIf they communicate a detached se ed a rope of about two inches in thickness, ries of curious and useful information, thrust it into the earth of the embank. or, if they even serve to enliven á ment to the depth of several - inches, by leisure hour, their modest pretensions

means of a forked chisel. To the remainare amply fulfilled. Often, indeed, ing end of the rope, they twist more straw, these lighter sketches, when drawn vals of six or eight inches, proceeding it

and again press it into the earth at interby a masterly hand, possess a greater this manner regularly along the dyke from charm, and excite livelier images, top to bottom, each straw rope being laid than elaborate delineations. close to the preceding, as regularly as the These observations will be found ap- bands of a beehive. The grass speedily plicable to Dr Neale, who, both in springing up between these ropes, binds the letters from Spain, which have the whole surface together with its roots, already made him advantageously and presents a yielding elastic cover to the known, and in the present work, be

waves of the sea, against which they prolongs to the class of gentlemen tra

duce little effect. The quantity of straw vellers. Led by circumstances to tra- consumed annually in these repairs is, no vel through countries that lie out of doubt, immense, as it is necessary to renew

these ropes whenever they become decayed, the usual tract, he has traced, in a

but such is the amazing fertility of the inmanner at once gay, agreeable, and closed soil, that the farmers are speedily intelligent, the leading objects which repaid, and the roofs of the barns and farmoccurred in his route. He shews him- houses being all thatched with bog-reeds, self master of that historic and classic which are extremely durable, the straw

more

« AnteriorContinuar »