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and other Tales and Poems (1842) is another attempt works. His naval commander, Captain Savage, of our author to achieve poetical honours: we can- Chucks the boatswain, O'Brien the Irish lieutenant, not say a highly successful attempt; for, in spite of and Muddle the carpenter, are excellent individual poetical feeling and fancy, the lines of Sir Edward portraits--as distinct and life-like as Tom Bowling, Bulwer are cold glittering conceits and personations. Hatchway, or Pipes. The scenes in the West His acute mental analysis is, however, seen in verses Indies display the higher powers of the norelist, like the following:
and the escape from the French prison interests us
almost as deeply as the similar efforts of Caleb Talent and Genius.
Williams. Continuing his nautical scenes and por. Talent convinces-genius but excites ;
traits, Captain Marryat has since written about This tasks the reason, that the soul delights.
thirty volumes—as Jacob Faithful (one of his best Talent from sober judgment takes its birth,
productions), The Phantom Ship, Mr Midshipmde And reconciles the pinion to the earth;
Easy, The Pacha of Muny Tales, Japhet in Search one Genius unsettles with desires the mind,
a Futher, Poor Jack, Frank Mildmay, Joseph Rusko Contented not till earth be left behind;
brook the Poacher, Masterman Ready, Percival Kerne, Talent, the sunshine on a cultured soil,
&c. In the hasty production of so many volunes, Ripens the fruit by slow degrees for toil.
the quality could not always be equal. The nautical Genius, the sudden Iris of the skies,
humour and racy dialogue could not always be proOn cloud itself reflects its wondrous dyes :
duced at will, of a new and different stamp at each And, to the earth, in tears and glory given,
successive effort. Such, howerer, is the fertile Clasps in its airy arch the pomp of Heaven!
fancy and active observation of the author, and his Talent gives all that vulgar critics need
lively powers of amusing and describing, that he From its plain horn-book learn the dull to read ;
has fewer repetitions and less tediousness than Genius, the Pythian of the beautiful,
almost any other writer equally voluminous. His Leaves its large truths a riddle to the dull
last work, Percival Keene' (1842), betrays to From eyes profane a veil the Isis screens,
falling-off, but, on the contrary, is one of the most And fools on fools still ask-'What Hamlet means ! vigorous and interesting of his . sea changes.' 'Cap
tain Marryat,' says a writer in the Quarterly ReBulwer's own works realise this description of view, 'stands second to no living novelist but Miss genius: they unfold 'an Iris of the skies,' in which Edgeworth. His happy delineations and contrasts are displayed the rich colours and forms of the of character, and easy play of native fun, redem a imagination, mixed and interfused with dark spots thousand faults of verbosity, clumsiness, and coarse and unsightly shadows—with conceit, affectation, His strong sense and utter superiority to and egotism. Like his model, Byron, he paints atiectation of all sorts, command respect ; and in his vividly and beautifully, but often throws away his quiet effectiveness of circumstantial narrative, be colours on unworthy objects, and leaves many of his sometimes approaches old Defoe. There is less of pictures unfinished. The clear guiding judgment, caricature about his pictures than those of any con: well-balanced mind, and natural feeling of Scott, are temporary humorist-unless, perhaps, Morier; and wanting; but Bulwer's language and imagery are he shows far larger and maturer knowledge of the often exquisite, and his power of delineating cer- real workings of human nature than any of the tain classes of character and manners superior to band, except the exquisite writer we have just that of any of his contemporaries. Few authors have named, and Mr Theodore Hook, of whom praise is displayed more versatility. He seems capable of equally superfluous.' This was written in 1839, achieving some great work in history as well as in before Charles Dickens had gathered all his fame; fiction; and if he has not succeeded in poetry, he and with all our admiration of Marrynt, we should! has outstripped cost of his contemporaries in popu- be disposed at present to claim for the younger larity as a dramatist.
novelist an equal, if not superior—as clear, and a
To vary or relieve his incessant toils at original This popular naval writer--the best painter of composition, Captain Marryat made a trip to Amesea characters since Smollett-commenced what has rica in 1837, the result of which he gave to the proved to be a busy and highly successful literary world in 1839 in three volumes, entitled A Diary career in 1829, by the publication of The Naval in America, with Remarks on its Institutions. This Officer, a nautical tale, in three volumes. This was flying at higher game than any he had prework partook too strongly of the free spirit of the viously brought down ; but the real value of these sailor, but, amidst its occasional violations of taste volumes consists in their resemblance to parts of and decorum, there was a rough racy humour and his novels-in humorous caricature and anecdote
, dramatic liveliness that atoned for many faults. shrewd observation, and lively or striking descripIn the following year the captain was ready with tion. His account of the American navy is valuable ; other three volumes, more carefully finished, and and so practical and sagacious an observer could not presenting a well-compacted story, entitled the visit the schools, prisons, and other public instituKing's Own. Though occasionally a little awkward tions of the New World, without throwing out on land, Captain Marryat was at home on the sea, valuable reflections, and noting what is superior or and whether serious or comic-whether delineating defective. He is no admirer of the democratic a captain, midshipman, or common tar, or even a government of America: indeed his Diary is as carpenter, he evinced a minute practical acquaint- unfavourable to the national character as the pre ance with all on board ship, and with every variety vious sketches of Mrs Trollope or Captain Hall of nautical character. His vivid and striking But it is in relating traits of manners, peculiarities powers of description were also displayed to much of speech, and other singular or ludicrous charac: advantage in this novel. Newton Poster, or the teristics of the Americans, that Captain Marrynt Merchant Service, 1832, was our author's next work, excels. These are as rich as his fictitious delineaand is a tale of various and sustained interest. It tions, and, like them, probably ove a good deal to was surpassed, however, by its immediate successor, the suggestive fancy and love of drollery proper to Peter Simple, the most amusing of all the author's | the novelist. The success of this Diary induced the
CAPTAIN FREDERICK MARRYAT.
author to add three additional volumes to it in the and the two little hoes for the children ; but he says following year, but the continuation is greatly in that he can't make a spade.' ferior.
. Then I'll take his warrant away, by heavens, since he does not know his duty. That will do, Mr Cheeks.
I shall overlook your being in liquor this time; but [A Prudent Sea Captain-Abuse of Ship Stores.] take care.
Send the boatswain to me.' (From The King's Own.')
A few other authors have, like Captain Marryat, Well, Mr Cheeks, what are the carpenters about ?' presented us with good pictures of maritime life
and adventures. The Naval Sketch - Book, 1828 ; "Weston and Smallbridge are going on with the Sailors and Saints, 1829; Tales of a Tar, 1830; Land chains the whole of them will be finished to-morrow.' Sharks and Sea Gulls, 1838; and other works, by
• Well?' *Smith is about the chest of drawers, to match the the sea, and display a hearty comic humour and
CAPTAIN GLASSCOCK, R. N., are all genuine tales of one in my Lady Capperbar's bed-room.
rich phraseology, with as cordial a contempt for Very good. And what is Hilton about? • He has finished the spare-leaf of the dining-table, Bound, or a Merchant's Adventures, by Mr Howard,
regularity of plot! Rattlin the Reefer, and Outward sir; he is now about a little job for the second-lieu
are better managed as to fable (particularly Outtenant.' A job for the second lieutenant, sir! How often have not the same breadth of humour as Captain
ward Bound,' which is a well-constructed tale), but have I told you, Mr Cheeks, that the carpenters are Glasscock's novels. The Life of a Sailor, and Ben not to be employed, except on ship’s duty, without my Brace, by CAPTAIN CHAMIER, are excellent works special permission.' * His standing bed-place is broke, sir; he is only and humour. Tom Cringle's Log, by Michael Scott,
of the same class, replete with nature, observation, getting out a chock or two.'
Mr Cheeks, you have disobeyed my most positive and The Cruise of the Midge (both originally puborders. By the by, sir, I understand you were not lished in Blackwood's Magazine), are also veritable sober last night?
productions of the sea-a little coarse, but spirited, * Please your honour,' replied the carpenter, I and showing us things as they are.' Mr Scott, who wasn't drunk-I was only a little fresh.'
was a native of Glasgow, spent a considerable part "Take you care, Mr Cheeks. Well, now, what are
of his life in a mercantile situation at Kingston in the rest of your crew about?'
Jamaica. He died in his native city, in 1835, aged Why, Thomson and Waters are cutting out the about forty-six. pales for the garden out of the jibboom ; I've saved the heel to return.'
Very well; but there wont be enough, will there? "No, sir; it will take a hand-mast to finish the and fashionable novels. Her first work (published
This lady is a clever and prolific writer of tales whole.' "Then we must expend one when we go out again. taining two tales, The Lettre de Cachet, and The
anonymously) was, we believe, a small volume conWe can carry away a top-mast, and make a new one out of the hand-mast at sea.
In the meantime, if the Reign of Terror, 1827. One of these relates to the bawyers have nothing to do, they may as well cut the times of Louis
XIV., and the other to the French palings at once.
Revolution. They are both interesting graceful And now, let me see-oh, the painters must go on shore to finish the attics.'
tales-superior, we think, to some of the more “Yes, sir; but my Lady Capperbar wishes the jea- elaborate and extensive fictions of the authoress. lowsees to be painted vermilion ; she says it will look In 1830 appeared Women as they Are, or the Manmore rural.'
ners of the Day, three volumes--an easy sparkling 'Mrs Capperbar ought to know enough about ship's narrative, with correct pictures of modern society stores by this time to be aware that we are only allowed much lady-like writing on dress and fashion, and three colours. She may choose or mix them as she some rather misplaced derision or contempt for
This pleases ; but as for going to the expense of buying 'excellent wives' and 'good sort of men.' paint, I can't afford it. What are the rest of the men
novel soon went through a second edition, and Mrs about?'
Gore continued the same style of fashionable por“Repairing the second cutter, and making a new
traiture. In 1831 she issued Mothers and Daughters, mast for the pinnace.'
a Tale of the Year 1830. Here the manners of gay * By the by--that puts me in mind of it-have you life-balls, dinners, and fêtes—with clever sketches expended any boat's masts ?'
of character, and amusing dialogues, make up the Only the one carried away, sir.'
customary three volumes. The same year we find " Then you must expend two more. Mrs C has Mrs Gore compiling a series of narratives for youth, just sent me off a list of a few things that she wishes entitled The Historical Traveller. In '832 she came made while we are at anchor, and I see two poles for forward with The Fair of May Far., a series of clothes-lines. Saw off the sheave-holes, and put two fashionable tales, that were not so well received. pega through at right angles—you know how I mean?' The critics hinted that Mrs Gore had exhausted her
Yes, sir. What am I to do, sir, about the cucum- stock of observation, and we believe she went to ber frame? My Lady Capperbar says that she must reside in France, where she continued some years. have it, and I haven't glass enough. They grumbled at Her next tale was entitled Mrs Armytage. In 1838 the yard last time.'
she published The Book of Roses, or Rose-Fancier's must wait a little. What are the Manual, a delightful little work on the history of the armourers about?'
rose, its propagation and culture. France is cele* They have been so busy with your work, sir, that the brated for its rich varieties of the queen of flowers, arms are in a very bad condition. The first-lieutenant and Mrs Gore availed herself of the taste and expesaid yesterday that they were a disgrace to the ship.' rience of the French floriculturists. A few months Who dares say that?
afterwards came out The Heir of Selwood, or Three 'The first-lieutenant, sir.'
Epochs of a Life, a novel in which were exhibited 'Well, then, let them rub up the arms, and let me sketches of Parisian as well as English society, and know when they are done, and we'll get the forge up.' an interesting though somewhat confused plot. The The armourer has made six rakes and six hoes, 1 year 1839 witnessed three more works of fiction
• Mrs C
from this indefatigable lady, The Cabinet Minister, and she regarded it as a propitious dispensation of the scene of which is laid during the regency of Providence to her parents and to herself, that the George IV., and includes among its characters the comparative proved a superlative-even a high sherii great name of Sheridan; Preferment, or My Uncle of the county, a baronet of respectable date, with ten the Earl, containing some good sketches of drawing. thousand a-year! She felt that her duty towards! room society, but no plot; and The Courtier of the herself necessitated an immediate acceptance of the Days of Charles II., and other Tales. Next year we dullest 'good sort of man' extant throughout the have The Dowager, or the New School for Scandal; three kingdoms; and the whole routine of her after. and in 1841 Greville, or a Season in Paris; Dacre life was regulated by the same rigid code of moral of the South, or the Olden Time (a drama); and The selfishness. She was penetrated with a most exact Lover and her Husband, &c. the latter a free transla- sense of what was due to her position in the world; tion of M. Bertrand's Gerfaut. In 1842 Mrs Gore but she was equally precise in her appreciation of published The Banker's Wife, or Court and City, in all that, in her turn, she owed to society; nor, from which the efforts of a family in the middle rank to her youth upwardsoutshine a nobleman, and the consequences result
Content to dwell in decencies for ever ing from this silly vanity and ambition, are truly had she been detected in the slightest infraction of and powerfully painted. The value of Mrs Gore's these minor social duties. She knew with the utmost novels consists in their lively caustic pictures of fashionable and high society. The more respect-course or an entrée-the number of dinners which
accuracy of domestic arithmetic-to the fraction of a able of her personages are affecters of an excessive Beech Park was indebted to its neighbourhood-the prudery concerning the decencies of life-nay, occasionally of an exalted and mystical religious feeling. maintenance of its county dignity--the aggregate of 1
complement of laundry-maids indispensable to the The business of their existence is to avoid the pines by which it must retain its horticultural preslightest breach of conventional decorum. What cedence. She had never retarded by a day or an ever, therefore, they do, is a fair and absolute hour the arrival of the family-coach in Grosvenor measure of the prevailing opinions of the class, and Square at the exact moment creditable to Sir Robert's may be regarded as not derogatory to their position senatorial punctuality ; nor procrastinated by half a in the eyes of their equals. But the low average second the simultaneous bobs of her osteutatious standard of morality thus depicted, with its con- Sunday school, as she sailed majestically along the ventional distinctions, cannot be invented. It forms aisle towards her tall, stately, pharisaical
, squire the atmosphere in which the parties live; and were archical pew. True to the execution of ber tasks it a compound, fabricated at the author's pleasure, and her whole life was but one laborious task-true the beings who breathe it could not but be univer- and exact as the great bell of the Beech Park turretsally acknowledged as fantastical and as
mere clock, she was enchanted with the monotonous musie monstrosities; they would indeed be incapable of of her own cold iron tongue; proclaiming herself the acting in harmony and consistence with the known best of wives and mothers, because Sir Robert's rentlaws and usages of civil life. Such as a series of roll could afford to command the services of a firstparliamentary reports, county meetings, race-horse rate steward, and butler, and housekeeper, and thus transactions, &c. they will be found, with a reason insure a well-ordered household; and because ber able allowance of artistic colouring, to reflect accu- seven substantial children were duly drilled throust, rately enough the notions current among the upper a daily portion of rice-pudding and spelling-book, and classes respecting religion, politics, domestic morals, an annual distribution of mumps and measles! All the social affections, and that coarse aggregate of went well at Beech Park; for Lady Lilfield was the dealing with our neighbours which is embraced by excellent wife' of ' a good sort of man!' the term common honesty.** Besides the works we So bright an example of domestic merit- and what have mentioned, Mrs Gore has published The De- country neighbourhood cannot boast of its duplicate! sennuyée, The Pecress, The Woman of the World, The -was naturally superior to seeking its pleasures in Woman of Business, The Ambassador’s Wife, and the rapid and varying novelties of modern fashion, other novels. She contributes tales to the periodic The habits of Beech Park still affected the dignified cals, and is perhaps unparalleled for fertility. Her and primeral purity of the departed century. Lady works are all of the same class--all pictures of ex- Lilfield remained true to her annual eight rural isting life and manners; but the want of genuine months of the county of Durham ; against whose feeling, of passion, and simplicity, in her living claims Kemp town pleaded, and Spa and Baden models, and the endless frivolities of their occu- bubbled in rain. During her pastoral seclusion, by pations and pursuits, make us sometimes take leave a careful distribution of her stores of gossiping, she of Mrs Gore's fashionable triflers in the temper with contrived to prose, in undetected tautolony, to suc which Goldsmith parted from Beau Tibbs— The cessive detachments of an extensive neighbourhood, company of fools may at first make us smile, but at concerning her London importance--her court dress last never fails of rendering us melancholy.' --her dinner parties—and' her refusal to visit the
- ; while, during the reign of her [Character of a Prudent Worldly Lady.]
London importance, she made it equally her duty to
bore her select visiting list with the history of the [From Women as they Are.']
new Beech Park school-house-of the Beech Park
double dahlias-and of the Beech Park pririlege of Lady Lilfield was a thoroughly worldly woman--a worthy scion of the Mordaunt stock. She had pro- heads of the rival political factions-the Bianche
uniting, in an aristocratic dinner party, the abhorrent connexion with him was the best that happened to county palatine of Durham. By such minute sections present itself in the first year of her debut-the best of the wide chapter of colloquial boredorn, Lady match' to be had at a scason's warning! She knew that Lilfield acquired the character of being a very charnshe had been brought out with the view to dancing ing woman throughout her respectable clan of dinner at a certain number of balls, refusing a certain num
giving baronets and their wives ; but the reputation ber of good offers, and accepting a better one, somewhere between the months of January and June;
of a very miracle of prosiness among those
Men of the world, who know the world like men * Athenæum, 1839.
She was but a weed in the nobler field of society.
Among the other female novelists may be men- nally of French origin, had resided since the revocationed Miss LANDON (Mrs Maclean), authoress of tion of the edict of Nantes. She has herself ascribed Francesca Carrara, and Ethel Churchill—the latter her taste for literary pursuits to the extreme delicacy a powerful and varied English story: Miss ELLEN of her health in childhood; to the infirmity (deafPICKERING, whose novels, Who shall be Heir, The ness) with which she has been afflicted ever since, Secret Foe, and Sir Michael Paulet, 1841-42-evince which, without being so complete as to deprive her great spirit and liveliness in sketching scenes and absolutely of all intercourse with the world, yet obcharacters.
liged her to seek occupations and pleasures within In humorous delineation of town and country herself; and to the affection which subsisted between manners and follies,_the sketches entitled Little her and the brother nearest her own age, the Rev. Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians, by MR John James Martineau, whose fine mind and talents are Poole, two volumes, 1839, are a fund of lively well known. The occupation of writing, first begun satire and amusement. The Ingoldsby Legends, or to gratify her own taste and inclination, became Mirth and Marvels, by Mr THOMAS INGOLDSBY, afterwards to her a source of honourable indepen1840 ; and My Cousin Nicholas, by the same author, dence, when, by one of the disasters so common in 1841, are marked by a similar comic breadth of trade, her family became involved in misfortunes. humour. Mr Douglas JERROLD, author of Men She was then enabled to reverse the common lot of of Character, three volumes, 1838, has written several unmarried daughters in such circumstances, and amusing papers in the same style as the above, but cease to be in any respect a burden. She realised has been more successful in writing light pieces for an income sufficient for her simple habits, but still the stage. Mr Jerrold now edits a periodical—the so small as to enhance the integrity of the sacrifice Illuminated Magazine. Mr W. M. THACKERAY has which she made to principle in refusing the pension published (under the Cockney name of Michael offered to her by government in 1840. Her motive Angelo Titmarsh') various graphic and entertaining for refusing it was that she considered herself in the works—The Paris Sketch-Book, 1840; Comic Tales and light of a political writer, and that the offer did not Sketches, 1841; and The Irish Sketch-Book, 1842. The proceed from the people, but from the government, latter is the most valuable ; for Titmarsh is a quick which did not represent the people.' observer, and original in style and description.
[Effects of Love and Happiness on the Mind.] MISS HARRIET MARTINEAU.
[From Deerbrook.') Miss HARRIET MARTINEAU, an extensive miscel
There needs no other proof that happiness is the laneous writer, published in 1832 and 1833 a series most wholesome moral atmosphere, and that in which of Illustrations of Political Economy, in the shape of the immortality of man is destined ultimately to tales or novels. One story represents the advantages thrive, than the elevation of soul, the religious aspiraof the division and economy of labour, another the tion, which attends the first assurance, the first sober utility of capital and machinery, and others relate to certainty of true love. There is much of this rerent, population, &c. These tales contain many
ligious aspiration amidst all warmth of virtuous affecclever and striking descriptions, and evince much tions. There is a vivid love of God in the child that knowledge of human character. In 1837 Miss lays its cheek against the cheek of its mother, and Martineau published the results of a visit to Ame- clasps its arms about her neck. God is thanked (perrica, and a careful inspection of its institutions haps unconsciously) for the brightness of his earth, on and national manners, under the title of Society in long been parted, pour out their heart-stores to each
summer evenings, when a brother and sister, who have America. This she subsequently followed up by other, and feel their course of thought brightening us a Retrospect of Western Travel. Her first regular
it runs. novel appeared in 1839, and was entitled Deerbrook. his children have won, or looks round upon their in
When the aged parent hears of the honours Though improbable in many of its incidents, this nocent faces as the glory of his decline, his mind work abounds in eloquent and striking passages. rererts to Him who in them prescribed the purpose The democratic opinions of the authoress (for in all of his life, and bestowed its grace. But religious as but her anti-Malthusian doctrines Miss Martineau is is the mood of every good affection, none is so devoa sort of female Godwin) are strikingly brought for- tional as that of love, especially so called. The soul ward, and the characters are well drawn. Deer. is then the very temple of adoration, of faith, of holy brook' is a story of English domestic life. The next purity, of heroism, of charity. At such a moment the effort of Miss Martineau was in the historical ro-human crcature shoots up into the angel; there is
The Hour and the Man, 1840, is a novel or nothing on earth too defiled for its charity-nothing romance founded on the history of the brave Tous- in hell too appalling for its heroism-nothing in saint L'Ouverture, and with this man as hero, Miss heaven too glorious for its sympathy. Strengthened, Martineau exhibits as the hour of action the period sustained, vivified by that most mysterious power, when the slaves of St Domingo threw off the yoke union with another spirit, it feels itself set well forth of slavery. There is much passionate as well as
on the way of victory over evil, sent out conquering graceful writing in this tale; its greatest defect is, and to conquer. There is no other such crisis in that there is too much disquisition, and too little human life. The philosopher may experience unconconnected or regular fable. Among the other works trollable agitation in verifying his principle of balancof Miss Martineau are several for children, as The ing systems of worlds, feeling, perhaps, as if he Peasant and the Prince, The Settlers at Home, How to actually saw the creative hand in the act of sending Observe, &c. Her latest work, Life in the Sick-Room, the planets forth on their everlasting way; but this of Essays by an Invalid, 1844, contains many in- philosopher, solitary seraph as he may be regarded teresting and pleasing sketches, full of acute and amidst a myriad of men, knows at such a moment no delicate thought and elegant description.
emotions so divine as those of the spirit becoming The following notice of our authoress appears in a conscious that it is beloved—be it the peasant girl in recent publication, 'A New Spirit of the Age::— the meadow, or the daughter of the sage reposing in
Harriet Martineau was born in the year 1802, one her father's confidence, or the artisan beside his loom, of the youngest among a family of eight children. or the man of letters musing by his fireside. The Her father was a proprietor of one of the manufac- warrior about to strike the decisive blow for the tories in Norwich, in which place his family, origi- liberties of a nation, however impressed with the
solemnity of the hour, is not in a state of such lofty fortune. Some of the incidents in this work are resolution as those who, by joining hearts, are laying exaggerated, yet the lives of Gerald Griffin, De their joint hands on the whole wide realm of futurity Maginn, and other literary adventurers, contained for their own. The statesman who, in the moment of almost as strange and sad varieties, and the author's success, feels that an entire class of social sins and own experience doubtless prompted some of his de. woes is annihilated by his hand, is not conscious of lineations. About the same time Mr Miller pub80 holy and so intimate a thankfulness as they who lished a volume of poems—a collection of pieces are aware that their redemption is come in the pre- contributed to different periodicals, and, like his sence of a new and sorereign affection. And these prose works, simple and natural in feeling and deare many--they are in all corners of every land. The scription. One of these really beautiful effusions we statesman is the leader of a nation, the warrior is the subjoin :grace of an age, the philosopher is the birth of a thousand years; but the lover, where is he not?
The Happy Valley. Wherever parents look round upon their children, there he has been--wherever children are at play It was a valley filled with sweetest sounds, together, there he will soon be—wherever there are A languid music haunted everywhere, roofs under which men dwell, wherever there is an
Like those with which a summer ere abounds, atmosphere vibrating with huinan voices, there is the From rustling corn and song-birds calling clear, lover, and there is his lofty worship going on, un
Down sloping-uplands, which some wood surrounds, speakable, but revealed in the brightness of the eye, With tinkling rills just heard, but not too near; the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of Or lowing cattle on the distant plain, the discourse.
And swing of far-off bells, now caught, then lost again.
So bright the sky, so soft the streams did flow;
Such tones came riding on the musk-winged gale, Thomas Miller is one of the humble, happy, The very air seemed sleepily to blow, industrious self-taught sons of genius. He was And choicest flowers enameled every dale, brought up to the trade of a basketmaker, and Flushed with the richest sunlight's rosy glor; while thus obscurely labouring 'to consort with the It was a valley drowsy with delight, muse and support a family,' he attracted attention, Such fragrance floated round, such beauty dimmed the first by his poetical effusions, and subsequently by a sight. series of prose narratives and fictions remarkable for the freshness of their descriptions of rural life. The golden-belted bees hummed in the air, and English scenery. Through the kindness of Mr The trees slept in the steeping sunbeam's glare,
The tall silk grasses bent and wared along; Rogers, our author was placed in the more congenial situation of a bookseller, and has had the gratifica- and took its own free course without a care:
The dreamy river chimed its under-song, tion of publishing and selling his own works. Mr Miller's first prose composition was, we believe, A Until the valley throbbed beneath their lays,
Amid the boughs did lute-tongued songsters throng Day in the Woods, which was followed (1839) by And echo echo chased through many a leafy maze. Rural Sketches, both being somewhat in the style of Bloomfield's poetry-simple, picturesque, and cheer- And shapes were there, like spirits of the flowers, ful in tone and spirit. His first novel was Royston Sent down to see the summer-beauties dress, Gower, 1838, which experienced such a reception And feed their fragrant mouths with silver showers; as to induce the author to continue novel-writing.
Their eyes peeped out from many a green recess, His second attempt was hazardous, from the asso- And their fair forms made light the thick-set bowers, ciations it awakened, and the difficulty of painting The very flowers seemed eager to caress historical characters of a distant age; it was entitled Such living sisters, and the boughs, long-leaved, Fair Rosamond, or the Days of King Henry II. Clustered to catch the sighs their pearl-Aushed bosoms There was an evident improvement in the author's
heaved. style, but the work, as a whole, was unsatisfactory One through her long loose hair was backward peeping, and tedious. In 1840 he plunged again into a remote
Or throwing, with raised arm, the locks aside; era of English history, requiring minute knowledge Another high a pile of flowers was heaping, and practised skill to delineate with effect: his Lady Or looking love askance, and when descried,
Jane Grey, a Historical Romance, is defective in Her coy glance on the bedded-greensward keeping; plot, but contains some interesting scenes and cha
She pulled the flowers to pieces as she sighed, racters. • There is,' says one of Miller's critics, .a Then blushed like timid daybreak when the dawn. picturesqueness in the arrangement and colouring Looks crimson on the night, and then again's withof his scenes—an occasional glimpse, now of pathos, drawn. now of humour, quaint and popular, but never vulgar-an ease in the use and combination of such few One, with her warm and milk-white arms outspread, historical materials as suffice for his purpose, which
On tip-toe tripped along a sunlit glade; put to shame the efforts of many who have been Half turned the matchless sculpture of her head, crammed in schools and lectured in colleges—and af
And half shook down her silken circling braid; ford another evidence that creative power is like the Her back-blown scarf an arched rainbow made; air and the sunshine-visiting alike the cottage and skimming the wavy flowers, as she passed by,
She seemed to float on air, so light she sped; the mansion, the basketmaker's shop and the literary With fair and printless feet, like clouds along the sky, gentleman's sanctum.' Miller's next appearance, in 1841, evinced still more decided improvement: One sat alone within a shady nook, Gideon Giles, the Roper, is a tale of English life, With wild-wood songs the lazy hours beguiling; generally of humble characters, but rendered inte | Or looking at her shadow in the brook, resting by truthful and vigorous delineation. In
Trying to frown, then at the effort smiling, 1842 Mr Miller came forward with another novel - Her laughing eyes mocked every serious look; Godfrey Malverin, or the Life of an Author, detailing 'Twas as if Love stood at himself reriling: the adventures and vicissitudes of a country youth She threw in flowers, and watched them float away, who repairs to London in quest of literary fame and then at her beauty looked, then sang a sweeter lay.