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but poor Le Fevre and his boy the whole time he smoked it. It was not till my uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe that Corporal Trim returned from the inn, and gave him the following account. “I despaired at first, said the corporal, ‘of being able to bring back your honour any kind of intelligence concerning the poor sick lieutenant. ‘Is he in the army, then?” said my uncle Toby. “He is, said the corporal. ‘And in what regiment?” said my uncle Toby. “I’ll tell your honour, replied the corporal, “everything straightforwards as I learned it. ‘Then, Trim, I’ll fill another pipe, said my uncle Toby, “and not interrupt thee till thou hast done; so sit down at thy ease, Trim, in the window-seat, and begin thy story again.' The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak it—Your honour is good. And having done that, he sat down, as he was ordered; and begun the story to my uncle Toby over again in pretty near the same words. ‘I despaired at first, said the corporal, ‘of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour about the lieutenant and his son; for when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing everything which was proper to be asked’—(“That's a right distinction, Trim, said my uncle Toby)—‘I was answered, an' please your honour, that he had no servant with him; that he had come to the inn with hired horses, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed—to join, I suppose, the regiment—he had dismissed the morning after he came. “If I get better, my dear,” said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man, “we can hire horses from hence.” “But, alas ! the poor gentleman will never get from hence,” said the landlady to me; “for I heard the death-watch all night long: and when he dies, the youth his son will certainly die with him; for he is broken-hearted already.” “I was hearing this account, continued the corporal, ‘when the youth came into the kitchen, to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of “But I will do it for my father myself,” said the youth. “Pray, let me save you the trouble, young gentleman,” said I, taking up a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to sit down upon by the fire whilst I did it. “I believe, sir,” said he, very modestly, “I can please him best myself.” “I am sure,” said I, “his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.” The youth took hold of my hand, and instantly burst into tears.’ “Poor youth !” said my uncle Toby; “he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in : ears like the name of a friend; I wish I had him ere.” ‘I never, in the longest march, said the corporal, ‘had so great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company. What could be the matter with me, an' please your honour?’ ‘Nothing in the world, Trim, said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose, “but that thou art a good-natured fellow.’ “When I gave him the toast, continued the corporal, “I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour, though a stranger, was extremely concerned for his father; and that, if there was anything in your house or cellar’— (“And thou mightst have added my purse too, said my uncle Toby)—“he was heartily welcome to it. He made a very low bow, which was meant to your honour; but no answer, for his heart was full; so he went up stairs with the toast. “I warrant you, my dear,” said I, as I opened the kitchen door, “your father will be well again.” Mr Yorick's curate was 'smoking a pipe by the kitchen fire, but said not a word, good or bad, to comfort the youth. I thought it wrong, added the corporal. “I think so too, said my uncle Toby.
'W', the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack
and toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen to let me know that in about ten minutes he should be glad if I would step up stairs. “I believe,” said the landlord, “he is going to say his prayers, for there was a book laid upon the chair by his bedside, and as I shut the door, I saw his son take up a cushion.” “I thought,” said the curate, “that you gentlemen of the army, Mr Trim, never said your prayers at all.” “I heard the poor gentleman say his prayers last night,” said the landlady, “very devoutly, and with my own ears, or I could not have believed it.” “Are you sure of it?” replied the curate. “A soldier, an' please your reverence,” said I, “prays as often of his own accord as a parson; and when he is fighting for his king, and for his own life, and for his honour too, he has the most reason to pray to God of any one in the whole world.”” ‘’Twas well said of thee, Trim, said my uncle Toby. “But when a soldier,” said I, “an please your reverence, has been standing for twelve hours together in the trenches up to his knees in cold water, or engaged,” said I, “for months together, in long and dangerous marches; harassed, perhaps, in his rear to-day; harassing others to-morrow; detached here; countermanded there; resting this night out upon his arms; beat up in his shirt the next; benumbed in his joints; perhaps without straw in his tent to kneel on ; must say his prayers how and when he can. I believe,” said I—for I was piqued, quoth the corporal, “for the reputation of the army—“I believe, an' please your reverence,” said I, “that when a soldier gets time to pray, he prays as heartily as a parson, though not with all his fuss and hypocrisy.”’ ‘Thou shouldst not have said that, Trim,' said my uncle Toby; ‘for God only knows who is a hypocrite and who is not. At the great and general review of us all, corporal, at the day of judgment, and not till then, it will be seen who has done their duties in this world and who has not; and we shall be advanced, Trim, accordingly.” “I hope we shall, said Trim. “It is in the Scripture, said my uncle Toby; ‘and I will shew it thee to-morrow. In the meantime, we may depend upon it, Trim, for our comfort, said my uncle Toby, “that God Almighty is so good and just a governor of the world, that if we have but done our duties in it, it will never be inquired into whether we have done them in a red coat or a black one. “I hope not, said the corporal. ‘But go on, Trim, said my uncle Toby, “with thy story.’ “When I went up, continued the corporal, ‘into the lieutenant's room, which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes, he was lying in his bed with his head raised upon his hand, with his elbow upon the pillow, and a clean white cambric handkerchief beside it. The youth was just stooping down to take up the cushion, upon which I supposed he had been kneeling; the book was laid upon the bed; and as he rose, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away at the same time. “Let it remain there, my dear,” said the lieutenant. ‘He did not offer to speak to me till I had walked up close to his bedside. “If you are Captain Shandy's servant,” said he, “you must present my thanks to your master, with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me.” If he was of Levens's, said the lieutenant. I told him your honour was. “Then,” said he, “I served three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him; but ’tis most likely, as I had not the honour of any acquaintance with him, that he knows nothing of me. You will tell him, however, that the person his good-nature has laid under obligations to him is one Le Fevre, a lieutenant in Angus's. But he knows me not,” said he, a second time, musing. “Possibly he may my story,” added he “Pray, tell the captain, I was the ensign at Breda whose wife was most unfortunately killed with a musket-shot as she lay in my arms in my tent.” “I remember the story, an’t please your honour,” said I, “very well.” “Do you so?” said he, wiping his eyes with his handkerchief; “then well may I.” In saying this, he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a black ribbon about his neck, and kissed it twice. “Here, Billy,” said he. The boy flew across the room to the bedside, and falling down upon his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kissed it too; then kissed his father, and sat down upon the bed and wept.' ‘I wish, said my uncle Toby, with a deep sigh—“I wish, Trim, I was asleep.’ ‘Your honour, replied the corporal, ‘is too much concerned. Shall I pour your honour out a glass of sack to your pipe?’ ‘Do, Trim,' said my uncle Toby. “I remember, said my uncle Toby, sighing again, ‘the story of the ensign and his wife, with a circumstance his modesty omitted; and particularly well that he, as well as she, upon some account or other, I forget what, was universally pitied by the whole regiment; but finish the story thou art upon. ‘’Tis finished already, said the corporal, ‘for I could stay no longer; so wished his honour a good night. Young Le Fevre rose from off the bed, and saw me to the bottom of the stairs; and as we went down together, told me they had come from Ireland, and were on their route to join the regiment in Flanders. But, alas !” said the corporal, “the lieutenant's last day's march is over.’ “Then what is to become of his poor boy?’ cried my uncle Toby. It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honour—though I tell it only for the sake of those who, when cooped in betwixt a natural and a positive law, know not for their souls which way in the world to turn themselves —that, notwithstanding my uncle Toby was warmly engaged at that time in carrying on the siege of Dendermond, parallel with the allies, who pressed theirs on so vigorously that they scarce allowed him time to get his dinner—that nevertheless he gave up Dendermond, though he had already made a lodgment upon the counterscarp—and bent his whole thoughts towards the private distresses at the inn; and except that he ordered the garden gate to be bolted up, by which he might be said to have turned the siege of Dendermond into a blockade, he left Dendermond to itself, to be relieved or not by the French king as the French king thought good, and only considered how he himself should relieve the poor lieutenant and his son. That kind Being, who is a friend to the friendless, shall recompense thee for this. ‘Thou hast left this matter short, said my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed; ‘and I will tell thee in what, Trim. In the first place, when thou mad'st an offer of my services to Le Fevre —as sickness and travelling are both expensive, and thou knowest he was but a poor lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself out of his pay—that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself.’ ‘Your honour knows, said the corporal, ‘I had no orders. “True,' quoth my uncle Toby; ‘thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier, but certainly very wrong as a man. “In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse, continued my uncle Toby, “when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house, thou shouldst have offered him my house too. A sick brother-officer should have the best quarters, Trim; and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him. Thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim ; and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once, and set him upon his legs. In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby smiling, “he might march.' ‘He will never march, an' please your honour, in this world, said the corporal. ‘He will march, said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed with
one shoe off. “An' please your honour, said the corporal, “he will never march, but to his grave. ‘He shall march, cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch —‘he shall march to his regiment. ‘He cannot stand it, said the corporal. ‘He shall be supported, said my uncle Toby. “He'll drop at last, said the corporal; ‘and what will become of his boy?’ ‘He shall not drop, said my uncle Toby firmly. ‘A-well-o'-day, do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point, ‘the poor soul will die.’ ‘He shall not die, by G—,' cried my uncle Toby. The Accusing Spirit, which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in ; and the Recording Angel, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever. My uncle Toby went to his bureau; put his purse into his breeches pocket; and having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, he went to bed and fell asleep. The sun looked bright the morning after to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's. The hand of death pressed heavy upon his eyelids, and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle, when my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and without preface or apology, sat himself down upon the chair by the bedside; and independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother-officer would have done it, and asked him how he did—how he had rested in the night—what was his complaint—where was his painand what he could do to help him. And without giving him time to answer any one of the inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him. ‘You shall go home directly, Le Fevre, said my uncle Toby, “to my house, and we’ll send for a doctor to see what’s the matter; and we’ll have an apothecary, and the corporal shall be your nurse, and I'll be your servant, Le Fevre.’ There was a frankness in my uncle Toby—not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it—which let you at once into his soul, and shewed you the goodness of his nature; to this there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him. The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back; the film forsook his eyes for a moment; he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy; and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken. Nature instantly ebbed again; the film returned to its place; the pulse flutteredstopped—went on—throbbed—stopped again-movedstopped. Shall I go on ? No.
[The Starling-Captivity.] [From the Sentimental Journey.]
And as for the Bastile, the terror is in the word. Make the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but another word for a tower, and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of Mercy on the gouty' for they are in it twice a year; but with nine livres a day, and pen, and ink, and paper, and patience, albeit a man can't get out, he may do very well within, at least for a month or six weeks; at the end of which, if he is a harmless fellow, his innocence appears, and he comes out a better and wiser man I had some occasion—I forget what-to step into the court-yard as I settled this account; and remember I walked down stairs in no small triumph with the conceit of my reasoning. Beshrew the sombre pencil I said I vauntingly, for I envy not its powers which paints the evils of life with so hard and deadly a colouring. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has magnified herself and blackened : reduce them to their proper size and hue, she overlooks them. ‘'Tis true,' said I, correcting the proposition, “the Bastile is not an evil to be despised; but strip it of its towers, fill up the fosse, unbarricade the doors, call it simply a confinement, and suppose ’tis some tyrant of a distemper and not of a man which holds you in it, the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint. I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained ‘it could not get out. I looked up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman, nor child, I went out without further attention. In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and looking up, I saw it was a starling hung in a little cage; ‘I can't get out, I can't get out, said the starling. I stood looking at the bird; and to every person who came through the passage, it ran fluttering to the side towards which they approached it, with the same lamentation of its captivity: “I can't get out, said the starling. ‘God help thee!’ said I, “but I'll let thee out, cost what it will; so I turned about the cage to get the door. It was twisted and double-twisted so fast with wire, there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to pieces. I took both hands to it. The bird flew to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head through the trellis, pressed his breast against it as if impatient. “I fear, poor crea: ture, said I, ‘I cannot set thee at liberty,’ ‘No,' said the starling, ‘I can't get out; I can't get out, said the starling. I vow I never had my affections more tenderly awakened; or do I remember an incident in my life where the dissipated spirits, to which my reason had been a bubble, were so suddenly called home. Mechanical as the notes were, yet so true in tune to nature were they chanted, that in one moment they overthrew all my systematic reasonings upon the Bastile; and I heavily walked up stairs, unsaying every word I had said in going down them.
than he went in.
‘Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery, said I, ‘still thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account. 'Tis thou, thrice sweet and gracious goddess, addressing myself to Liberty, “whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till nature herself shall change; no tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chemic power turn thy sceptre into iron; with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven!' cried I, kneeling down upon the last step but one in my ascent, “grant me but health, thou great bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion, and shower down thy mitres, if it seem good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.’
The bird in his cage pursued me into my room. I sat down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination. I was going to begin with the millions of my fellow-creatures born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me, I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture. I beheld his # half wasted away with long expectation and
confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish; in thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood; he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time, nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice; his children—but here my heart began to bleed, and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait. He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the furthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed: a little calendar of small sticks lay at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there; he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down, shook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh: I saw the iron enter into his soul. I burst into tears: I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn.
[A French Peasant's Supper.]
A shoe coming loose from the fore-foot of the thillhorse, at the beginning of the ascent of Mount Taurira, the postilion dismounted, twisted the shoe off, and put it in his pocket. As the ascent was of five or six miles, and that horse our main dependence, I made a point of having the shoe fastened on again as well as we could; but the postilion had thrown away the nails, and the hammer in the chaise-box being of no great use without them, I submitted to go on. He had not mounted half a mile higher, when, coming to a flinty piece of road, the poor devil lost a second shoe, and from off his other fore-foot. I then got out of the chaise in good earnest; and seeing a house about a quarter of a mile to the left hand, with a great deal to do, I prevailed upon the postilion to turn up to it. The look of the house, and of everything about it, as we drew nearer, soon reconciled me to the disaster. It was a little farmhouse, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, about as much corn; and close to the house on one side was a potagerie of an acre and a half, full of everything which could make plenty in a French peasant's house; and on the other side was a little wood, which furnished wherewithal to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house; so I left the postilion to manage his point as he could, and for mine, I walked directly into the house.
The family consisted of an old grayheaded man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law and their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them. They were all sitting down together to their lentil-soup; a large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table; and a flagon of wine at each end of it promised joy through the stages of the repast; ’twas a feast of love. The old man rose up to meet me, and with a respectful cordiality would have me sit down at the table; my heart was set down the moment I entered the room, so I sat down at once like a son of the family; and to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, I instantly borrowed the old man's knife, and taking up the loaf, cut myself a hearty luncheon; and as I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest welcome, but of a welcome mixed with thanks that I had not seemed to doubt it. Was it this, or tell me Nature what else it was, that made this morsel so sweet; and to what magic I owe it, that the draught I took of their flagon was so delicious with it, that they remain upon my palate to this hour? If the supper was to my taste, the grace which followed it was much m0re 80,
When supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, to bid them prepare for the dance. The moment the signal was given, the women and girls ran altogether into a backapartment to tie up their hair, and the young men to the door to wash their faces and change their sabots; and in three minutes every soul was ready, upon a little esplanade before the house, to begin. The old man and his wife came out last, and placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a sofa of turf by the door. The old man had some fifty years ago been no mean performer upon the vielle; and at the age he was then off, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sung now and then a little to the tune, then intermitted, and joined her old man again as their children and grandchildren danced before them.
It was not till the middle of the second dance, when, for some pauses in the movement, wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity. In a word, I thought I beheld Religion mixing in the dance; but as I had never seen her so engaged, I should have looked upon it now as one of the illusions of an imagination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said that this was their constant way; and that all his life long he had made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to Heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay. Or a learned prelate either, said I.
family in the north of England, and printed at Naples in the black-letter in 1529. “I wished it to be believed ancient, he said, ‘and almost everybody was imposed upon. The tale was so well received by the public, that a second edition was soon called for, to which the author prefixed his name. Though designed to blend the two kinds of romance—the ancient, in which all was imagination and improbability, and the modern, in which nature is copied, the peculiar taste of Walpole, who loved to ‘gaze on Gothic toys through Gothic glass, and the nature of his subject, led him to give the preponderance to the antique. The ancient romances have nothing more incredible than a sword which required a hundred men to lift it; a helmet, that by its own weight forces a passage through a court-yard into an arched vault, big enough for a man to go through; a picture that walks out of its frame, or a skeleton's ghost in a hermit's cowl. Where Walpole has improved on the incredible and mysterious, is in his dialogues and style, which are pure and dramatic in effect, and in the more delicate and picturesque tone which he has given to chivalrous manners. Walpole was the third son of the Whig minister, Sir Robert Walpole; was born in 1717, became fourth Earl of Orford 1791, and died in 1797;
having not only outlived most of his illustrious contemporaries, but recorded their weaknesses and
Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham; the residence of Horace Walpole.
failings, their private history and peculiarities, in his unrivalled correspondence.
CLARA REEW E.
An early admiration of Horace Walpole's romance, The Castle of Otranto, induced Miss CLARA REEvE (1725–1803) to imitate it in a Gothic story, entitled The Old English Baron, which was published in 1777. In some respects, the lady has the advantage of Walpole; her supernatural machinery is better managed, so as to produce mysteriousness and effect; but her style has not the point or elegance of that of her prototype. Miss Reeve wrote several other novels, ‘all marked, says Sir Walter Scott, “by excellent good sense, pure morality, and a competent command of those qualities which constitute a good romance.’ They have failed, however, to keep possession of public favour, and the fame of the author rests on her Old English Baron, which is now generally printed along with the story of Walpole.
O LIVER GO LDSMITH.
In the spring of 1766 came out a tale of about equal dimensions with Walpole's Gothic story, but as different in its nature as an English cottage or villa, with its honeysuckle-hedge, wall-roses, neat garden, and general air of beauty and comfort, is from a gloomy feudal tower, with its dark walls, moat, and drawbridge. We allude to Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield. Though written two years before, and sold for sixty guineas, the bookseller had kept it back, doubtful of success, till the publication of The Traveller had given Goldsmith a name. Its reception by the public must have been an agreeable surprise. The first edition was published on the 27th of March, a second was called for in June, and a third in August of the same year. What reader could be insensible to the charms of a work so full of kindliness, benevolence, taste, and genius? By that species of mental chemistry which he understood as well as Sterne, Goldsmith extracted the essence of character, separating from it what was trite and worthless, and presenting in incredibly small space a finished representation, bland, humorous, simple, absurd, or elevated, as the story might require. The passions were equally at his bidding, within that confined sphere to which he limited their range; and a life of observation and reading —though foolish in action-supplied him with a pregnancy of thought and illustration, the full value of which is scarcely appreciated on account of the extreme simplicity of the language. Among the incidental remarks in the volume, for example, are some on the state of the criminal law of England, which shew how completely Goldsmith had anticipated and directed—in better language than any senator has since employed on the subject—all that parliament has effected in the reformation of our criminal code. These short, philosophical, and critical dissertations, always arise naturally out of the progress of the tale. The character of the vicar gives the chief interest to the family group, though the peculiarities of Mrs Primrose, as her boasted skill in housewifery, her motherly vanity and desire to appear genteel, are finely brought out, and reproduced in her daughters. The vicar's support of the Whistonian theory as to marriage, that it was unlawful for a priest of the Church of England, after the death of his first wife, to take a second, to illustrate which he had his wife's epitaph written and placed over the chimney-piece, is a touch of humour and individuality that has never been excelled. Another weakness of the worthy vicar was the literary vanity which, notwithstanding his real learning, led him to be imposed upon by Jenkinson in the affair of the cosmogony; but these drawbacks only serve to endear him more closely to his readers; and when distress falls upon the virtuous household, the noble fortitude and resignation of the principal sufferer, and the efficacy of his example, form one of the most affecting and even sublime moral pictures. The numberless little traits of character, pathetic and lively incidents, and sketches of manners—as the family of the Flamboroughs, the quiet pedantry and simplicity of Moses, with his bargain of the shagreen spectacles; the family picture, in which Mrs Primrose was painted as Venus, and the vicar, in gown and band, presenting to her his books on the Whistonian controversy, and which picture, when completed, was too large for the house, and like Robinson Crusoe's longboat, could not be removed—all mark the perfect art as well as nature of this domestic novel. That Goldsmith derived many of his incidents from actual occurrences which he had witnessed, is generally admitted. The story of George Primrose, particularly his going to Amsterdam to teach the Dutchmen English, without recollecting that he should first know something of Dutch himself, seems an exact transcript of the author's early adventures and blundering simplicity. Though Goldsmith carefully corrected the language of his miniature romance in the different editions, he did not meddle with the incidents, so that some improbabilities remain. These, however, have no effect on the reader, in diminishing for a moment the interest of the work, which must always be con:ed one of the most chaste and beautiful
In the same year with the Vicar of Wakefield, the first two volumes of a domestic novel, ultimately extended to five volumes, The Fool of Quality, were published by a countryman of Goldsmith, HENRY BRookE (1706–1783), who was the author of several dramatic pieces, and of a poem on Universal Beauty, which anticipated the style of Darwin's Botanic Garden. The poetry and prose of Brooke have both fallen into obscurity, but his novel was popular in its day, and contains several pleasing and instructive sketches, chiefly designed for the young. Several social questions of importance are discussed by Brooke with great ability, and in an enlightened spirit. He was an extensive miscellaneous writer —a man of public spirit and benevolent character. In the early part of his career, he had been the friend of Swift, Pope, Chesterfield, and other eminent contemporaries. His daughter, CHARLoTTE BRookE, published in 1789 a volume of Reliques of Irish Poetry, and a collection of her father's works, four volumes, 1792.
h ENRY MACRENZIE.
The most successful imitator of Sterne in sentiment, pathos, and style; his superior in taste and delicacy, but greatly inferior to him in originality, force, and humour, was HENRY MACKENzIE, long the ornament of the literary circles of Edinburgh. If Mackenzie was inferior to his prototype in the essentials of genius, he enjoyed an exemption from its follies and sufferings, and passed a tranquil and prosperous life, which was prolonged to far beyond the Psalmist's cycle of threescore and ten. Mr Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh in August 1745, and was the son of Dr Joshua Mackenzie, a respectable physician. He was educated at the High School and university of Edinburgh, and afterwards studied the law in his native city. The legal department selected by Mackenzie was the business of the Exchequer Court, and to improve himself in this he went to London in 1765, and studied the English Exchequer practice. Returning to Edinburgh, he mixed in its literary circles, which then numbered the great names of Hume, Robertson, Adam Smith, Blair, &c. In 1771 appeared his novel, The Man of Feeling, which was afterwards followed by The Man of the World, and Julia de Roubigné. He was, as we have previously stated, the principal contributor to the Mirror and Lounger, and he wrote some dramatic pieces, which were brought out at Edinburgh with but indifferent success. The style and diction of Mackenzie are always choice, elegant, and expressive, but he wanted power. It may seem strange that a novelist so eminently sentimental and refined should have ventured to write on political subjects, but Mackenzie supported the government of Mr Pitt with some pamphlets written with great acuteness and discrimination. In real life, the novelist was shrewd and practical: he had early exhausted his vein of romance, and was an active man of business. In 1804 the government appointed him to the office of comptroller of taxes for Scotland, which entailed upon him considerable labour and drudgery, but was highly lucrative. In this situation, with a numerous family—Mr Mackenzie had married Miss Penuel Grant, daughter of Sir