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with himself. Philosophy could not have done 80 ties overtake me—and I have had my share it cone much with a thousand words.
fers a dignity on my affliction, so lifts me above the It was now evening, and the good peasants were world. Man, I know, is but a worm, yet methinks I about to depart, when a clock was heard to strike am then allied to God! It would have been inhuman seven, and the hour was followed by a particular in our philosopher to have clouded, even with a doubt, chime. The country folks who had come to welcome the sunshine of this belief. their pastor, turned their looks towards him at the His discourse, indeed, was very remote from metasound; be explained their meaning to his guest. physical disquisition, or religious controversy. Of all * That is the signal,' said he, ‘for our evening exercise ; men I ever knew, his ordinary conversation was the this is one of the nights of the week in which some least tinctured with pedantry, or liable to dissertaof my parishioners are wont to join in it; a little tion. With La Roche and his daughter it was perrustic saloon serves for the chapel of our family, and fectly familiar. The country around them, the mansuch of the good people as are with us.
If you choose
ners of the village, the comparison of both with those rather to walk out, I will furnish you with an at- of England, remarks on the works of favourite authors, tendant; or here are a few old books that may afford on the sentiments they conveyed, and the passions you some entertainment within.'By no means,' an- they excited, with many other topics in which there swered the philosopher, ‘I will attend Mademoiselle was an equality or alternate advantage among the at her devotions. ‘She is our organist,' said La speakers, were the subjects they talked on. Their Roche ; 'our neighbourhood is the country of musical hours too of riding and walking were many, in which mechanism, and I have a small organ fitted up for Mr -, as a stranger, was shown the remarkable the purpose of assisting our singing. ''Tis an addi- scenes and curiosities of the country. They would tional inducement,' replied the other, and they walked sometimes make little expeditions to contemplate, in into the room together. At the end stood the organ different attitudes, those astonishing mountains, the mentioned by La Roche; before it was a curtain, cliffs of which, covered with eternal snows, and somewhich his daughter drew aside, and placing herself on times shooting into fantastic shapes, form the termi& seat within, and drawing the curtain close, so as to nation of most of the Swiss prospects. Our philosopher save her the awkwardness of an exhibition, began a asked many questions as to their natural history and voluntary, solemn and beautiful in the highest degree. productions. "La Roche observed the sublimity of the Mr - was no musician, but he was not altogether ideas which the view of their stupendous summits, insensible to music; this fastened on his mind more inaccessible to mortal foot, was calculated to inspire, strongly, from its beauty being unexpected. The which naturally, said he, leads the mind to that solemn prelude introduced a hymn, in which such of Being by whom their foundations were laid. They the audience as could sing immediately joined ; the are not seen in Flanders,' said Mademoiselle with a words were mostly taken from holy writ; it spoke the sigh. “That's an odd remark,' said Mr —, smiling. praises of God, and his care of good men. Something She blushed, and he inquired no farther. was said of the death of the just, of such as die in the 'Twas with regret he left a society in which be Lord. The organ was touched with a hand less firin; found himself so happy; but he settled with La Roche it paused, it ceased, and the sobbing of Mademoiselle and his daughter a plan of correspondence; and they La Roche was heard in its stead. Her father gave a took his promise, that if ever he came within fifty sign for stopping the psalmody, and rose to pray. He leagues of their dwelling, he should travel those fifty was discomposed at first, and his voice faltered as he leagues to visit them. spoke; but his heart was in his words, and his warmth About three years after, our philosopher was on a overcame his embarrassment. He addressed a Being visit at Geneva; the promise he made to La Roche whom he loved, and he spoke for those he loved. His and his daughter on his former visit was recalled to parishioners catched the ardour of the good old man ; his mind by a view of that range of mountains, on a even the philosopher felt himself moved, and forgot part of which they had often looked together. There for a moment to think why he should not. La Roche's was a reproach, too, conveyed along with the recollecreligion was that of sentiment, not theory, and his tion, for his having failed to write to either for several guest was averse from disputation; their discourse, months past. The truth was, that indolence was the therefore, did not lead to questions concerning the habit most natural to him, from which he was not belief of either; yet would the old man sometimes easily roused by the clairns of correspondence either speak of his, from the fulness of a heart impressed of his friends or of his enemies; when the latter drew with its force, and wishing to spread the pleasure he their pens in controversy, they were often unanswered enjoyed in it. The ideas of his God and his Saviour as well as the former. While he was hesitating about were so congenial to his mind that every emotion of a visit to La Roche, which he wished to make, but it naturally awaked them. A philosopher might found the effort rather too much for him, he received have called him an enthusiast; but if he possessed a letter from the old man, which had been forwarded the fervour of enthusiasts, he was guiltless of their to him from Paris, where he had then his fixed resibigotry. “Our father which art in heaven !' might dence. It contained a gentle complaint of Mr —'s the good man say, for he felt it, and all mankind want of punctuality, but an assurance of continued were his brethren.
gratitude for his former good offices; and as a friend You regret, my friend,' said he to Mr when whom the writer considered interested in his family, my daughter and I talk of the exquisite pleasure de- it informed him of the approaching nuptials of Maderived from music, you regret your want of musical moiselle La Roche with a young man, a relation of powers and musical feelings; it is a department of her own, and formerly a pupil of her father's, of the soul, you say, which nature has almost denied you, most amiable dispositions, and respectable character. which from the effects you see it have on others you Attached from their carliest years, they had been are sure must be highly delightful. Why should not separated by his joining one of the subsidiary regithe same thing be said of religion! Trust me, I feel ments of the canton, then in the service of a foreign it in the same way--an energy, an inspiration, which power. In this situation he had distinguished him. I would not lose for all the blessings of sense, or en-self as much for courage and military skill as for the joyments of the world; yet, so far from lessening my other endowments which he had cultivated at home. relish of the pleasures of life, niethinks I feel it The term of his service was now expired, and they exheighten them all. The thought of receiving it from pected him to return in a few weeks, when the old God adds the blessing of sentiment to that of sensa- man hoped, as he expressed it in his letter, to join tion in every good thing I possess; and when calami- | their hands, and see them happy before he died.
Our philosopher felt himself interested in this event; flow from the throne of God. 'Tis only from the bebut he was not, perhaps, altogether so happy in the lief of the goodness and wisdom of a Supreme Being tidings of Mademoiselle La Roche's marriage as her that our calamities can be borne in that manner which father supposed him. Not that he was ever a lover of becomes a man. Human wisdom is here of little use; the lady's ; but he thought her one of the most amiable for, in proportion as it bestows comfort, it represses women he had seen, and there was something in the feeling, without which we may cease to be hurt by idea of her being another's for ever, that struck hin calamity, but we shall also cease to enjoy happiness. he knew not why, like a disappointment. After some I will not bid you be insensible, my friends, I cannot, little speculation on the matter, however, he could I cannot, if I would (his tears flowed afresh)—I feel look on it as a thing fitting, if not quite agreeable, too much myself, and I am not ashamed of my feeland determined on this visit to see his old friend and ings; but therefore may I the more willingly be his daughter happy.
heard; therefore have I prayed God to give me On the last day of his journey, different accidents strength to speak to you, to direct you to him, not with had retarded his progress : he was benighted before empty words, but with these tears ; not from specuhe reached the quarter in which La Roche resided. lation, but from experience; that while you see me His guide, however, was well acquainted with the road, suffer, you may know also my consolation, and he found himself at last in view of the lake, You behold the mourner of his only child, the last which I have before described, in the neighbourhood earthly stay and blessing of his declining years ! of La Roche's dwelling. A light gleamed on the Such a child too! It becomes not me to speak of her water, that seemed to proceed from the house; it virtues; yet it is but gratitude to mention them, bemored slowly along as he proceeded up the side of cause they were exerted towards myself. Not many the lake, and at last he saw it glimmer through the days ago you saw her young, beautiful, virtuous, and trees, and stop at some distance from the place where happy : ye who are parents will judge of my felicity he then was.
He supposed it some piece of bridal then-ye will judge of my affliction now. But I look merriment, and pushed on his horse that he might be towards him who struck me; I see the hand of a a spectator of the scene; but he was a good deal father amidst the chastenings of my God. Oh! could shocked, on approaching the spot, to find it proceed I make you feel what it is to pour out the heart when from the torch of a person clothed in the dress of an it is pressed down with many sorrows, to pour it out attendant on a funeral, and accompanied by several with confidence to him, in whose hands are life and others, who, like him, seemed to have been employed death, on whose power awaits all that the first enjoys, in the rites of sepulture.
and in contemplation of whom disappears all that the On Mr—'s making inquiry who was the person last can inflict. For we are not as those who die they had been burying, one of them, with an accent without hope ; we know that our Redeemer livethmore mournful than is common to their profession, that we shall live with him, with our friends his seranswered, then you knew not Mademoiselle, sir? you vants, in that blessed land where sorrow is unknown, nerer beheld a lovelier.' 'La Roche!' exclaimed'he, and happiness is endless as it is perfect. Go, then, in reply. 'Alas! it was she indeed!' The appear mourn not for me; I have not lost my child: but a ance of surprise and grief which his countenance as little while and we shall meet again, never to be sumed attracted the notice of the peasant with whom separated. But ye are also my children: would ye that he talked. He came up closer to Mr -; 'I per- I should not grieve without comfort ! So live as she ceive, sir, you were acquainted with Mademoiselle La lived ; that when your death cometh, it may be the Roche.
Acquainted with her! Good God! when- death of the righteous, and your latter end like how-where did she die? Where is her father?' his.'
She died, sir, of heart-break, I believe; the young Such was the exhortation of La Roche; his audience gentleman to whom she was soon to have been mar- answered it with their tears. The good old man had ried, was killed in a duel by a French officer, his in- dried up his at the altar of the Lord ; his countenance timate companion, and to whom, before their quarrel, had lost its sadness, and assumed the glow of faith he had often done the greatest favours. Her worthy and of hope. Mr followed him into his house. father bears her death as he has often told us a Chris- The inspiration of the pulpit was påst; at sight of tian should; he is even so composed as to be now in him the scene they had last met in rushed again on his pulpit, ready to deliver a few exhortations to his his mind; La Roche threw his arms round his neck, parishioners, as is the custom with us on such occa- and watered it with his tears. The other was equally sions : follow me, sir, and you shall hear him. He affected ; they went together in silence into the parfollowed the man without answering.
lour where the evening service was wont to be perThe church was dimly lighted, except near the formed. The curtains of the organ were open; La pulpit, where the venerable La Roche was seated. Rozhe started back at the sight. Oh! my friend,' His people were now lifting up their voices in a said he, and his tears burst forth again. Mr— had psalm to that Being whom their pastor had taught now recollected himself; he stept forward and drew them ever to bless and to revere. La Roche sat, his the curtains close; the old man wiped off his tears, figure bending gently forward, his eyes half-closed, and taking his friend's hand, ' You see my weakness,
up in silent devotion. A lamp placed near him said he ; 'tis the weakness of humanity; but my threw its light strong on his head, and marked the comfort is not therefore lost.' 'I heard you,' said the shadowy lines of age across the paleness of his brow, other, 'in the pulpit ; I rejoice that such consolation is thinly covered with gray hairs. The music ceased : yours.' 'It is, my friend,' said he, “and I trust I La Roche sat for a moment, and nature wrung a few shall ever hold it fast. If there are any who doubt tears from him. His people were loud in their grief. our faith, let them think of what importance religion
was not less affected than they. La Roche is to calamity, and forbear to weaken its force; if they arose: “Father of mercies,' said he, 'forgive these cannot restore our happiness, let them not take away tears; assist thy servant to lift up his soul to thee; to the solace of our affliction.' lift to thee the souls of thy people. My friends, it is
Mr —'s heart was smitten; and I bave heard good so to do, at all seasons it is good; but in the him long after confess that there were moments when days of our distress, what a privilege it is! Well the remembrance overcame him even to weakness ; saith the sacred book, “Trust in the Lord; at all / when, amidst all the pleasures of philosophical dis. times trust in the Lord.” When every other support covery, and the pride of literary fame, he recalled to fails us, when the fountains of worldly comfort are his mind the venerable figure of the good La Roche, dried up, let us then seek those living waters which I and wished that he had never doubted.
lapse of more than a century, have had no superiors, and only one equal.
The decline of the tragic drama was accompanied
SAMUEL RICHARDSON. by a similar decline of the heroic romances, both being in some measure the creation of an imagina
SAMUEL RICHARDSON was born in Derbyshire in tive and chivalrous spirit. As France had been the 1689, and was the son of a joiner, who could not country in which the early romance, metrical or afford to give his son more than the ordinary eleprosaic, flourished in greatest perfection, it was from ments of education. When fifteen years of age, he the same nation that the second class of prose fic was put apprentice to a printer in London ; and by tions, the heroic romances, also took its rise. The good conduct rose to be master of an extensive
busiheroes were no longer Arthur or Charlemagne, but ness of his own, and printer of the Journals of the a sort of pastoral lovers, like the characters of Sir House of Commons. In 1754 he was chosen master Philip Sidney’s ‘Arcadia,' who blended modern with of the Stationers' Company, and in 1760 he purchivalrous manners, and talked in a style of conven- chased a moiety of the patent of printer to the king, tional propriety and decorum. This spurious off-which greatly increased his emoluments. He was spring of romance was begun in the seventeenth a prosperous and liberal man-mild in his manners century by an author named Honore d’Urfe, who and dispositions—and seems to have had only one was followed by Gomberville, Calprenede, and Ma- marked foible--excessive vanity. From a very early dame Scudery.' D'Urfe had, episodically, and under period of his life, Richardson was a fluent letter. borrowed names, given an account of the gallantries writer: at thirteen he was the confidant of three of Henry IV.'s court, which rendered his style more young women, whose love correspondence he carried piquant and attractive; but generally, this species of on without any one knowing that he was secretary composition was harmless and insipid, and its pro- to the others. Two London publishers having urged ductions of intolerable length. The Grand Cyrus' filled ten volumes! Admired as they were in their own day, the heroic romances could not long escape being burlesqued. The poet Scarron, about the time of our commonwealth, attempted this in a work which he entitled the Comique Roman,' or ' Comic Romance' which detailed a long series of adventures, as low as those of Cyrus were elevated, and in a style of wit and drollery of which there is hardly any other example. This work, though designed only as a ludicrous imitation of another class of fictions, became the first of a class of its own, and found followers in England long before we had any writers of the pure novel. Mrs Aphra Behn amused the public during the reign of Charles II. by writing tales of personal adventure similar to those of Scarron, which are almost the earliest specimens of prose fiction that we possess. She was followed by Mrs Manley, whose works are equally humorous, and equally licentious. The fictions of Daniel Defoe, which have been adverted to in the preceding section, are an improvement upon these tales, being much more pure, while they, at the same time, contain more interesting pictures of character and situation. Other models were presented in the early part of the century by the French novelist Le Sage, whose “Gil Blas,' and 'Devil on Two Sticks,' imitating in their turn the fictions of certain Spanish
Richardson's House, Parson's Green. writers, consist of humorous and satirical pictures him, when he was above the age of fifty, to write of modern manners, connected by a thread of adven- them a book of familiar letters on the useful conture. In England, the first pictures of real life in cerns of life, he set about the composition of his prose fiction were given by Defoe, who, in his graphic Pamela, as a warning to young people, and with a details, and personal adventures, all impressed with hope that it would turn them into a course of readthe strongest appearances of truth or probability, ing different from the pomp and parade of romance has never, in his wn walk, been excelled. That writing.' It was written in about three months, walk, however, was limited: of genuine humour or and published in the year 1741, with such success, variety of character he had no conception; and he that five editions were exhausted in the course of paid little attention to the arrangement of his plot. one year. “It requires a reader,' says Sir Walter The gradual improvement in the tone and manners Scott, to be in some degree acquainted with the of society, the complicated relations of life, the grow- huge folios of inanity, over which our ancestors ing contrast between town and country manners, yawned themselves to sleep, ere he can estimate the and all the artificial distinctions that crowd in with delight they must have experienced from this unexcommerce, wealth, and luxury, banished the heroic pected return to truth and nature.' Pamela' beromance, and gave rise to the novel, in which the came the rage of the town; ladies carried the passion of love still maintained its place, but was volumes with them to Ranelagh gardens, and held surrounded by events and characters, such as are them up to one another in triumph. Pope praised witnessed in ordinary life, under various aspects and the novel as likely to do more good than twenty modifications. The three great founders of this volumes of sermons; and Dr Sherlock recommended improved species of composition—this new theatre it from the pulpit!' In 1749 appeared Richardson's of living and breathing characters—were Richard second and greatest work, The History of Clarissa son, Fielding, and Smollett, who even yet, after the | Harlowe ; and in 1753 his novel, designed to repre
sent the bean ideal of a gentleman and Christian, masters, because, like Pamela, they may rise to obThe History of Sir Charles Grandison. The almost tain their hand in marriage. unexampled success and popularity of Richardson's *Sir Charles Grandison' is inferior in general inlife and writings were to himself disturbed and terest, as well as truth, to either of Richardson's clouded by nervous attacks, which rendered him other novels. The 'good man' and perfect gentledelicate and feeble in health. He was flattered and man, perplexed by the love of two ladies whom he soothed by a number of female friends, in whose regarded with equal affection, is an anomaly in nasociety he spent most of his time, and after reaching ture with which we cannot sympathise. The hero the goodly age of seventy-two, he died on the 4th of of Clarissa,' Lovelace, being a splendid and acJuly 1761.
complished, a gay and smiling villain, Richardson The works of Richardson are all pictures of the wished to make Sir Charles in all respects the very heart. No man understood human nature better, opposite: he has given him too little passion and or could draw with greater distinctness the minute too much perfection for frail humanity. In this novel, shades of feeling and sentiment, or the final results however, is one of the most powerful of all our of our passions. He wrote his novels, it is said, in author's delineations—the madness of Clementina. his back-shop, in the intervals of business; and must Shakspeare himself has scarcely drawn a more affecthave derived exquisite pleasure from the moral ing or harrowing picture of high-souled suffering and anatomy in which he was silently engaged-con- blighting calamity. The same accumulation of deducting his characters through the scenes of his tails as in “Clarissa,' all tending to heighten the ideal world, and giving expression to all the feelings, effect and produce the catastrophe, hurry on the motives, and impulses, of which our nature is sus- reader with breathless anxiety, till he has learned ceptible. He was happiest in female characters. the last sad event, and is plunged in unavailing grief. Much of his time had been spent with the gentler This is no exaggerated account of the sensations prosex, and his own retired habits and nervous sensibi- duced by Richardson's pathetic scenes. He is one of lity approximated to feminine softness. He well the most powerful and tragic of novelists; and that repaid the sex for all their attentions by his cha- he is so, in spite of much tediousness of description, racter of Clarissa, one of the noblest tributes ever much repetition and prolixity of narrative, is the paid to female virtue and honour. The moral ele- best testimony to his art and genius. The extreme ration of this heroine, the saintly purity which she length of our author's novels, the epistolary style in preserves amidst scenes of the deepest depravity and which they are all written, and the number of mithe most seductive gaiety, and the never-failing nute and apparently unimportant circumstances sweetness and benevolence of her temper, render with which they abound, added to the more enerClarissa one of the brightest triumphs of the whole getic character of our subsequent literature, have range of imaginative literature. Perhaps the climax tended to cast Richardson's novels into the shade. of her distress is too overwhelming—too oppressive Even Lord Byron could not, he said, read •Clarissa.' to the feelings-but it is a healthy sorrow. We see We admit that it requires some resolution to get the full radiance of virtue; and no reader ever rose through a fictitious work of eight volumes ; but from the perusal of those tragic scenes without feels having once begun, most readers will find it difficult ing his moral nature renovated, and his detestation to leave off the perusal of these works. They are of vice increased.
eminently original, which is always a powerful re* Pamela' is a work of much humbler pretensions commendation. They show an intimate acquaintance than Clarissa Harlower' it is like the domestic with the human heart, and an absolute command tragedy of Lillo compared with Lear or Macbeth. over the passions; they are, in fact, romances of the A simple country girl, whom her master attempts heart, embellished by sentiment, and as such possess to seduce, and afterwards marries, can be no very a deep and enchaining interest, and a power of excitdignified heroine. But the excellences of Richard-ing virtuous emotions, which blind us to blemishes son are strikingly apparent in this his first novel. in style and composition, and to those errors in taste His power of circumstantial painting is evinced in and manners which are more easily ridiculed than the multitude of small details which he brings to avoided in works so voluminous confined to domestic bear on his story-the very wardrobe of poor Pamela, portraiture. her gown of sad-coloured stuff, and her round-eared caps-her various attempts at escape, and the conveyance of her letters-the hateful character of Mrs Jewkes, and the fluctuating passions of her master, Coleridge has said, that to take up Fielding after before the better part of his nature obtains the as- Richardson is like emerging from a sick-room heated cendency—these are all touched with the hand of a by stoves into an open lawn on a breezy day in May. master. The seductive scenes are too highly coloured We have felt the agreeableness of the transition: for modern taste, and Pamela is deficient in natu- from excited sensibilities and overpowering pathos, ral dignity; she is too calculating, too tame and to light humour, lively description, and keen yet submissive ; but while engaged with the tale, we sportive satire, must always be a pleasant change. think only of her general innocence and artlessness; The feeling, however, does not derogate from the of her sad trials and afflictions, down to her last con- power of Richardson as a novelist. The same senfinement, when she hid her papers in the rose-bush sation may be experienced by turning from Lear to in the garden, and sat by the side of the pond in Falstaff, from tragedy to comedy. The feelings canutter despair, half-meditating suicide. The eleva- not remain in a state of constant tension, but seek tion of this innocent and lovely young creature to be relief in variety. Perhaps Richardson stretches the bride of her master is an act of justice ; but them too violently and too continuously; his porafter all, we feel she was too good for him, and wish traits are in classes, full charged with the peculiarishe had effected her escape, and been afterwards ties of their master. Fielding
has a broader canvass, united to some great and wealthy nobleman who more light than shade, a clear and genial atmohad never condescended to oppress the poor and un-sphere, and groups of characters finely and natufortunate. The moral of the tale would also have diversified. Johnson considered him barren been improved by some such termination. Esquire compared with Richardson, because Johnson loved Bashould have been mortified, and waiting maids strong moral painting, and had little sympathy for tanght not to tolerate liberties from their young wit that was not strictly allied to virtue. Richardson,
too, was a pious respectable man, for whom the critic the squires in his neighbourhood. In three years he entertained great regard, and to whom he was under was again penniless. He then renewed his legal obligations. Fielding was a thoughtless man of studies, and qualified himself for the bar. His pracfashion—a rake who had dissipated his fortune, and tice, however, was insufficient for the support of his passed from high to low life without dignity or re- family, and he continued to write pieces for the spect; and who had commenced author without any stage, and pamphlets to suit the topics of the day. higher motive than to make money, and confer In politics he was an anti-Jacobite, and a steady amusement. Ample success crowned him in the supporter of the Hanoverian succession. In 1742 latter department ! The inimitable character of appeared his novel of Joseph Andrews, which at once Parson Adams, the humour of road-side adventures stamped him as a master, uniting to genuine English and alehouse dialogues, Towwouse and his termagant humour the spirit of Cervantes and the inock heroic wife, Parson Trulliber, Squire Western, the faithful of Scarron. There was a wicked wit in the choice Partridge, and a host of ludicrous and witty scenes, of his subject. To ridicule Richardson's 'Pamela, and characters, and situations, all rise up at the very Fielding made his hero a brother of that renowned mention of the name of Fielding! If Richardson and popular lady; he quizzed Gammar Andrews and
made the passions move at the command of virtue,' his wife, the rustic parents of Pamela, and in conFielding bends them at will to mirth and enjoyment.trast to the style of Richardson's work, he made his He is the prince of novelists—holding the novel to hero and his friend Parson Adams, models of virtue include wit, love, satire, humour, observation, genu- and excellence, and his leading female characters ine pictures of human nature without romance, and (Lady Booby and Mrs Slipslop) of frail morals. Even the most perfect art in the arrangement of his plot Pamela is brought down from her high standing of and incidents.
moral perfection, and is represented as Mrs Booby, HENRY FIELDING was of high birth: his father with the airs of an upstart, whom the parson is com(a grandson of the Earl of Denbigh) was a general pelled to reprove for laughing in church. Richard in the army, and his mother the daughter of a judge. son's vanity was deeply wounded by this insult, and
he never forgave the desecration of his favourite production. The ridicule was certainly unjustifi. able ; but, as Sir Walter Scott has remarked, how can we wish that undone without which Parson Adams would not have existed ?' The burlesque portion of the work would not have caused its exten sive and abiding popularity. It heightened its humour, and may have contributed at first to the number of its readers, but 'Joseph Andrews' possessed strong and original claims to public favour, and has found countless admirers among persons who knew nothing of 'Pamela' Setting aside some ephemeral essays and light pieces, Fielding's next works were A Journey from this World to the
Next, and The His tory of Jonathan Wild. A vein of keen satire runs through the latter, but the hero and his companions are such callous rogues, and unsentimental ruffians, that we cannot take pleasure in their dexterity and
The ordinary of Newgate, who administers consolation to Wild before his execution, is the best character in the novel. The ordinary preferred a bowl of punch to any other liquor, as it is nowhere spoken against in Scripture; and his ghostly admonitions to the malefactor are in harmony with this predilection. In 1749 Fielding was appointed one of the justices of Westminster and Middlesex, for which he was indebted to the services of Lyttel
ton. He was a zealous and active magistrate ; but Henry Fielding.
the office of a trading justice, paid by fees, was as
unworthy the genius of Fielding as Burns's proviHe was born at Sharpham Park, Somersetshire,sion as an exciseman. It appears, from a statement April 22, 1707. The general had a large family, made by himself, that this appointment did not and was a bad economist, and Henry was early fami- bring him in, of the dirtiest money upon earth,' liar with embarrassments. He was educated at Eton, £300 a-year. In the midst of his official drudgery and afterwards studied the law for two years at Ley and too frequent dissipations, our author produced den. In his twentieth year his studies were stopped, Tom Jones, unquestionably the first of English novels.
money-bound,' as a kindred genius, Sheridan, used He received £600 for the copyright, and such was to say, and the youth returned to England. His its success, that Millar the publisher presented £100 father promised him £200 per annum, but this, the more to the author. In 1751 appeared Amelia, for son remarked, “any one might pay who would !' which he received £1000. Johnson was a great The same sum came to him in a few years by the admirer of this novel, and read it through without death of his mother, from whom he inherited a small stopping. Its domestic scenes moved him more estate of that amount per annum. He also obtained deeply than heroic or ambitious adventures; but the £1500 by his marriage with Miss Cradock, a lady conjugal tenderness and affection of Amelia are but of great beauty and worth, who resided in Salis-ill requited by the conduct of Booth, her husband, bury. Having previously subsisted by writing for who has the vices without the palliation of youth posthe stage, in which he had little success, Fielding sessed by Tom Jones, independently of his ties as a gladly retired with his wife to the country. Here, husband and father. The character of Amelia was however, he lived extravagantly ; kept a pack of drawn for Fielding's wife, even down to the accident hounds, and a retinue of servants, and feasted all | which disfigured her beauty; and the frailties of