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of Rip Van Winkle and the Sleepy Hollow are perhaps the finest pieces of original fictitious writing that this century has produced, next to the works
of Scott. In 1822 Mr Irving continued the same style of fanciful English delineation in his Bracebridge Hall, in which we are introduced to the interior of a squire's mansion, and to a number of original characters, drawn with delicacy and discrimination
The Sketch-Book, but he afterwards doubled the sum. For Bracebridge Hall, the same publisher gave 1000 guineas; for Columbus, 3000 guineas; and for the Conquest of Granada, £2000. On these last two works, the enterprising publisher lost heavily, but probably the continued sale of the earlier works formed a compensation. Mr Irving was born in New York, April 3, 1783. His family was originally from the island of Orkney. He now lives in dignified retirement at a countryseat." Sunnyside, on the banks of the Hudson.
equal to those in his former work. In 1824 appeared another series of tales and sketches, but greatly inferior, entitled Tales of a Traveller. Having gone to Spain in connection with the United States embassy, Mr Irving studied the history and antiquities of that romantic country, and in 1828 published The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, in four volumes, written in a less ornate style than his former works, but valuable for the new information it communicates. Next year appeared The Conquest of Granada, and in 1832 The Alhambra, both connected with the ancient Moorish kingdom of Granada, and partly fictitious. Several lighter works have since issued from his fertile pen-Astoria, a narrative of American adventure; A Tour on the Prairies; Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey; Legends of the Conquest of Spain; Adventures of Captain Bonneville; a Life of Goldsmith (1849); Mahomet and his Successors; a Life of Washington, &c. The principal works of Mr Irving are his Sketch-Book and Bracebridge Hall; these are the corner-stones of his fame, and likely to be durable. In all his writings, however, there are passages evincing fine taste, gentle affections, and graceful description. His sentiments are manly and generous, and his pathetic and humorous sketches are in general prevented from degenerating into extravagance by practical good sense and a correct judgment. Modern authors have too much neglected the mere matter of style; but the success of Mr Irving should convince the careless that the graces of composition, when employed even on paintings of domestic life and the quiet scenes of nature, can still charm as in the days of Addison, Goldsmith, and Mackenzie. The sums obtained by Mr Irving for his copyrights in England form an interesting item in literary history. Mr Murray gave £200 for
Washington Irving's Cottage,
[Manners in New York in the Dutch Times.]
The houses of the higher class were generally constructed of wood, excepting the gable-end, which was of small black and yellow Dutch bricks, and always faced on the street; as our ancestors, like their descendants, were very much given to outward show, and were noted for putting the best leg foremost. The house was always furnished with abundance of large doors and small windows on every floor; the date of its erection was curiously designated by iron figures on the front;
and on the top of the roof was perched a fierce little weather-cock, to let the family into the important secret which way the wind blew. These, like the weather-cocks on the tops of our steeples, pointed so many different ways, that every man could have a wind to his mind; and you would have thought old AEolus had set all his bags of wind adrift, pell-mell, to gambol about this windy metropolis; the most stanch and loyal citizens, however, always went according to the weather-cock on the top of the governor's house, which was certainly the most correct, as he had a trusty servant employed every morning to climb up and point it whichever way the wind blew. In those good days of simplicity and sunshine, a passion for cleanliness was the leading principle in domestic economy, and the universal test of an able housewife; a character which formed the utmost ambition of our unenlightened grandmothers. The front door was never opened except on marriages, funerals, New-year's days, the festival of St Nicholas, or some such great occasion. It was ornamented with a gorgeous brass knocker curiously wrought, sometimes into the device of a dog, and sometimes of a lion's head; and was daily burnished with such religious zeal, that it was ofttimes worn out by the very precautions taken for its preservation. The whole house was constantly in a state of inundation, under the discipline of mops, and brooms, and scrubbing-brushes; and the good housewives of those days were a kind of amphibious animal, delighting exceedingly to be dabbling in water, insomuch that a historian of the day gravely tells us, that many of his townswomen grew to have webbed fingers like unto a duck; and some of them, he had little doubt, could the matter be examined into, would be found to have the tails of mermaids; but this I look upon to be a mere sport of fancy, or, what is worse, a wilful misrepresentation. The grand parlour was the sanctum sanctorum, where the passion for cleaning was indulged without control. In this sacred apartment no one was permitted to enter excepting the mistress and her confidential maid, who visited it once a week for the purpose of giving it a thorough cleaning, and putting things to rights, always taking the precaution of leaving their shoes at the door, and entering devoutly on their stocking-feet. After scrubbing the floor, sprinkling it with fine white sand, which was curiously stroked into angles, and curves, and rhomboids, with a broom, after washing the windows, rubbing and polishing the furniture, and putting a new bunch of evergreens in the fireplace, the windowshutters were again closed to keep out the flies, and the room carefully locked up until the revolution of time brought round the weekly cleaning-day. As to the family, they always entered in at the gate, and most generally lived in the kitchen. To have seen a numerous household assembled around the fire, one would have imagined that he was transported back to those happy days of primeval simplicity which float before our imaginations like golden visions. The fireplaces were of a truly patriarchal magnitude, where the whole family, old and young, master and servant, black and white, nay, even the very cat and dog, enjoyed a community of privilege, and had each a prescriptive right to a corner. Here the old burgher would sit in perfect silence, puffing his pipe, looking in the fire with half-shut eyes, and thinking of nothing for hours together; the goede vrouw on the opposite side would employ herself diligently in spinning her yarn or knitting stockings. The young folks would crowd around the hearth, listening with breathless attention to some old crone of a negro who was the oracle of the family, and who, perched like a raven in a corner of the chimney, would croak forth for a long winter afternoon a string of incredible stories about New England witches, grisly ghosts, horses without heads, and hairbreadth escapes, and bloody encounters among the Indians.
In those happy days a well-regulated family always rose with the dawn, dined at eleven, and went to bed at sundown. Dinner was invariably a private meal, and the fat old burghers shewed incontestable symptoms of disapprobation and uneasiness at being surprised by a visit from a neighbour on such occasions. But though our worthy ancestors were thus singularly averse to giving dinners, yet they kept up the social bonds of intimacy by occasional banquetings, called tea-parties. These fashionable parties were generally confined to the higher classes or noblesse—that is to say, such as kept their own cows, and drove their own wagons. The company commonly assembled at three o'clock, and went away about six, unless it was in winter-time, when the fashionable hours were a little earlier, that the ladies might get home before dark. I do not find that they ever treated their company to iced creams, jellies, or syllabubs, or regaled them with musty almonds, mouldy raisins, or sour oranges, as is often done in the present age of refinement. Our ancestors were fond of more sturdy substantial fare. The tea-table was crowned with a huge earthen dish well stored with slices of fat pork, fried brown, cut up into morsels, and swimming in gravy. The company being seated around the genial board, and each furnished with a fork, evinced their dexterity in launching at the fattest pieces of this mighty dish, in much the same manner as sailors harpoon porpoises at sea, or our Indians spear salmon in the lakes. Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast of an enormous dish of balls of sweetened dough fried in hog's fat, and called dough-nuts, or oly koeks; a delicious kind of cake, at present scarce known in this city, excepting in genuine Dutch families. The tea was served out of a majestic delf tea-pot, ornamented with paintings of fat little Dutch shepherds and shepherdesses, tending pigs—with boats sailing in the air, and houses built in the clouds, and sundry other ingenious Dutch fantasies. The beaux distinguished themselves by their adroitness in replenishing this pot from a huge copper tea-kettle, which would have made the pigmy macaronies of these degenerate days sweat merely to look at it. To sweeten the beverage, a lump of sugar was laid beside each cup, and the company alternately nibbled and sipped with great decorum, until an improvement was introduced by a shrewd and economic old lady, which was, to suspend a large lump directly over the tea-table by a string from the ceiling, so that it could be swung from mouth to mouth—an ingenious expedient, which is still kept up by some families in Albany, but which prevails, without exception, in Communipaw, Bergen, Flat-Bush, and all our uncontaminated Dutch villages. At these primitive tea-parties the utmost propriety and dignity of deportment prevailed. No flirting nor coquetting—no gambling of old ladies, nor hoyden chattering and romping of young ones—no self-satisfied struttings of wealthy gentlemen with their brains in their pockets; nor amusing conceits and monkey divertisements of smart young gentlemen with no brains at all. On the contrary, the young ladies seated themselves demurely in their rush-bottomed chairs, and knit their own woollen stockings; nor ever opened their lips, excepting to say yah Mynheer or yak ya Vrouw to any question that was asked them; behaving in all things like decent well-educated damsels. As to the gentlemen, each of them tranquilly smoked his pipe, and seemed lost in contemplation of the blue and white tiles with which the fireplaces were decorated; wherein sundry passages of Scripture were piously portrayed: Tobit and his dog figured to great advantage; Haman swung conspicuously on his gibbet; and Jonah appeared most manfully bouncing out of the whale, like harlequin through a barrel of fire. The parties broke up without noise and without confusion. They were carried home by their own carriages —that is to say, by the vehicles nature had provided them, excepting such of the wealthy as could afford to keep a wagon. The gentlemen gallantly attended their fair ones to their respective abodes, and took leave of them with a hearty smack at the door; which, as it was an established piece of etiquette, done in perfect simplicity and honesty of heart, occasioned no scandal at that time, nor should it at the present: if our great-grandfathers approved of the custom, it would argue a great want of reverence in their descendants to say a word against it.
[Feelings of an American on First Arriving in England.]
To me everything was full of matter; the footsteps of history were everywhere to be traced; and poetry had breathed over and sanctified the land. I experienced the delightful feeling of freshness of a child to whom everything is new. I pictured to myself a set of inhabitants and a mode of life for every habitation that I saw, from the aristocratical mansion, amidst the lordly repose of stately groves and solitary parks, to the strawthatched cottage, with its scanty garden and cherished woodbine. I thought I never could be sated with the sweetness and freshness of a country so completely carpeted with verdure; where every air breathed of the balmy pasture, and the honeysuckled hedge. I was continually coming upon some little document of poetry in the blossomed hawthorn, the daisy, the cowslip, the primrose, or some other simple object that has received a supernatural value from the muse.
[A Rainy Sunday in an Inn.] ... [From Bracebridge Hall.]
It was a rainy Sunday in the gloomy month of November. I had been detained in the course of a journey by a slight indisposition, from which I was recovering; but I was still feverish, and was obliged to keep within doors all day, in an inn of the small town of Derby. A wet Sunday in a country inn whoever has had the luck to experience one, can alone judge of my situation. The rain pattered against the casements, the bells tolled for church with a melancholy sound. I went to the windows in quest of something to amuse the eye, but it seemed as if I had been placed completely out of the reach of all amusement. The windows of my bedroom looked out among tiled roofs and stacks of chimneys, while those of my sitting-room commanded a full view of the stable-yard. I know of nothing more calculated to make a man sick of this world than a stable-yard on a rainy day. The place was littered with wet straw, that had been kicked about by travellers and stable-boys. In one corner was a stagnant pool of water surrounding an island of muck; there were several half-drowned fowls crowded together under a cart, among which was a miserable crest-fallen cock, drenched out of all life and spirit, his drooping tail matted, as it were, into a single feather, along which the water trickled from his back; near the cart was a half-dozing cow chewing the cud, and standing patiently to be rained on, with wreaths of vapour rising from her reeking hide; a wall-eyed horse, tired of the loneliness of the stable, was poking his spectral head out of a window, with the rain dripping on it from the eaves; an unhappy cur, chained to a dog-house hard by, uttered something every now and then between a bark and a yelp; a drab of a kitchen wench tramped backwards and forwards through the yard in pattens, looking as sulky as the weather itself; everything, in short, was comfortless and forlorn, excepting a crew of hard-drinking ducks, assembled like boon-companions round a puddle, and making a riotous noise over their liquor.
I sauntered to the window, and stood gazing at the *' Picking their way to church, with petticoats
hoisted mid-leg high, and dripping umbrellas. The bells ceased to toll, and the streets became silent. I then amused myself with watching the daughters of a tradesman opposite, who, being confined to the house for fear of wetting their Sunday finery, played off their charms at the front windows, to fascinate the chance tenants of the inn. They at length were summoned away by a vigilant vinegar-faced mother, and I had nothing further from without to amuse me. The day continued lowering and gloomy; the slovenly, ragged, spongy clouds drifted heavily along; there was no variety even in the rain; it was one dull, continued, monotonous patter, patter, patter, excepting that now and then I was enlivened by the idea of a brisk shower, from the rattling of the drops upon a passing umbrella. It was quite refreshing—if I may be allowed a hackneyed phrase of the day—when in the course of the morning a horn blew, and a stage-coach whirled through the street, with outside passengers stuck all over it, cowering under cotton umbrellas, and seethed together, and reeking with the steams of wet box-coats and upper Benjamins. The sound brought out from their lurkingplaces a crew of vagabond boys and vagabond dogs, and the carroty-headed hostler and that nondescript animal yclept Boots, and all the other vagabond race that infest the purlieus of an inn; but the bustle was transient; the coach again whirled on its way; and boy and dog, and hostler and Boots, all slunk back again to their holes; the street again became silent, and the rain continued to rain on. The evening gradually wore away. The travellers read the papers two or three times over. Some drew round the fire, and told long stories about their horses, about their adventures, their overturns, and breakingsdown. They discussed the credits of different merchants and different inns, and the two wags told several choice anecdotes of pretty chamber-maids and kind landladies. All this passed as they were quietly taking what they called their night-caps—that is to say, strong glasses of brandy and water or sugar, or some other mixture of the kind; after which they one after another rang for Boots and the chamber-maid, and walked off to bed in old shoes cut down into marvellously uncomfortable slippers. There was only one man left—a short-legged, longbodied, plethoric fellow, with a very large, sandy head. He sat by himself with a glass of port-wine negus and a spoon, sipping and stirring, and meditating and sipping, until nothing was left but the spoon. He gradually fell asleep bolt upright in his chair, with the empty glass standing before him; and the candle seemed to fall asleep too, for the wick grew long and black, and cabbaged at the end, and dimmed the little light that remained in the chamber. The gloom that now prevailed was contagious. Around hung the shapeless and almost spectral box-coats of departed travellers, long since buried in deep sleep. I only heard the ticking of the clock, with the deep-drawn breathings of the sleeping toper, and the drippings of the rain-drop, drop, drop—from the eaves of the house.
JoHN GIBsoN LocKHART, the biographer of his illustrious father-in-law, Sir Walter Scott, and editor of the Quarterly Review from 1826 till 1852, was author of four novels–Valerius, a Roman Story, three volumes, 1821; Adam Blair, one volume, 1822; Reginald Dalton, three volumes, 1823; and Matthew Wald, one volume, 1824.
The first of Mr Lockhart's productions is the best. It is a tale of the times of Trajan, when that emperor, disregarding the example of his predecessor Nerva, persecuted the small Christian community which had found shelter in the bosom of the Eternal City, and were calmly pursuing their pure worship and peaceful lives. As the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church, the Christians were extending their numbers, though condemned to meet in caves and sepulchres, and forced to renounce the honours and ambition of the world. The hero of the tale visits Rome for the first time at this interesting period. He is the son of a Roman commander, who had settled in Britain, and is summoned to Rome after the death of his parents to take possession of an estate to which, as the heir of the Valerii, he had become entitled. His kinsman Licinius, an eminent lawyer, receives him with affection, and introduces him to his friends and acquaintances. We are thus
John Gibson Lockhart.
presented with sketches of the domestic society of the Romans, with pictures of the Forum, the baths, temples, and other marvels of Rome, which are briefly, but distinctly and picturesquely delineated. At the villa of Capito, an Epicurean philosopher, Valerius meets with the two fair nieces of his host, Sempronia and Athanasia. The latter is the heroine of the tale—a pure intellectual creation, in which we see united the Roman grace and feminine sweetness of the patrician lady, with the high-souled fortitude and elevation of the Christian. Athanasia has embraced the new faith, and is in close communion with its professors. Her charms overcome Valerius, who soon obtains possession of her secret; and after various adventures, in which he succours the persecuted maiden, and aids in her wonderful escape, he is at length admitted by baptism into the fellowship of the Christians, and embarks with Athanasia for Britain. The materials of such a story are necessarily romantic and impressive. The taste and splendour of ancient Rome present a fertile field for the imagination, and the transition from these to the sufferings, the devotion, and dangers of the early Christians, calls up a different and not less striking train of feelings and associations. In his serious and pathetic scenes the author is most successful. In the low humour of his attendants, the vulgar display of the rich widow, and the servile pedantry of the stoic tutor, there appear to us many sins against good taste. Some of the satirical
touches and phrases are also at variance with the purity and elegance of the general strain of the story, and with the consummate art with which the author has wrought up his situations of a tragic and lofty nature, where we are borne along by a deep and steady feeling of refined pleasure, interest, and admiration. One of the most striking scenes in the novel is a grand display at the Flavian amphitheatre, given by the emperor on the anniversary of the day on which he was adopted by Nerva. On this occasion a Christian prisoner is brought forward, either to renounce his faith in the face of the assembly, or to die in the arena. Eighty thousand persons were there met, “from the lordly senators on their silken couches, along the parapet of the arena, up to the impenetrable mass of plebeian heads which skirted the horizon, above the topmost wall of the amphitheatre itself. The scene concludes with the execution of the Christian. In another scene there is great classic grace, united with delicacy of feeling. It describes Athanasia in prison, and visited there by Valerius through the connivance of Silo, the jailer, who belongs to the Christian party:
[Athanasia in Prison.]
Alas! said I to myself, of what tidings am I doomed ever to be the messenger! but she was alone; and how could I shrink from any pain that might perhaps alleviate hers? I took the key, glided along the corridors, and stood once more at the door of the chamber in which I had parted from Athanasia. No voice answered to my knock; I repeated it three times, and then, agitated with indistinct apprehension, hesitated no longer to open it. No lamp was burning within the chamber, but from without there entered a wavering glare of deep saffron-coloured light, which shewed me Athanasia extended on her couch. Its ominous and troubled hue had no power to mar the image of her sleeping tranquillity. I hung over her for a moment, and was about to disturb that slumber—perhaps the last slumber of peace and innocence—when the chamber walls were visited with a yet deeper glare. ‘Caius, she whispered, as I stepped from beside the couch, “why do you leave me? Stay, Walerius. I looked back, but her eyelids were still closed; the same calm smile was upon her dreaming lips. The light streamed redder and more red. All in an instant became as quiet without as within. I approached the window, and saw Cotilius standing in the midst of the court, Sabinus and Silo near him; the horsemen drawn up on either side, and a soldier close behind resting upon an unsheathed sword. I saw the keen blue eye as fierce as ever. I saw that the blood was still fervid in his cheeks; for the complexion of this man was of the same bold and florid brightness, so uncommon in Italy, which you have seen represented in the pictures of Sylla; and even the blaze of the torches seemed to strive in vain to heighten its natural scarlet. The soldier had lifted his sword, and my eye was fixed, as by fascination, when suddenly a deep voice was heard amidst the deadly silence: “Cotilius'-look up, Cotilius !’
Aurelius, the Christian priest, standing at an open window not far distant from that at which I was placed, stretched forth his fettered hand as he spake: “Cotilius! I charge thee, look upon the hand from which the blessed water of baptism was cast upon thy head. . I charge thee, look upon me, and say, ere yet the blow be given, upon what hope thy thoughts are fixed? Is this sword bared against the rebel of Caesar, or a martyr of Jesus? I charge thee, speak; and for thy soul's sake speak truly.’
A bitter motion of derision passed over his lips,
and he nodded, as if impatiently, to the Praetorian. Instinctively I turned me from the spectacle, and my eye rested again upon the couch of Athanasia—but not upon the vision of her tranquillity. The clap with which the corpse fell upon the stones had perhaps reached the sleeping ear, and we know with what swiftness thoughts chase thoughts in the wilderness of dreams. So it was that she started at the very moment when the blow was given; and she whispered—for it was still but a deep whisper—“Spare me, Trajan, Caesar, Prince—have pity on my youth—strengthen, strengthen me, good Lord! Fie! fie! we must not lie to save life. Felix—Walerius—come close to me Caius—Fie! let us remember we are Romans—'Tis the trumpet' The Praetorian trumpet sounded the march in the court below, and Athanasia, starting from her sleep, gazed wildly around the reddened chamber. The blast of the trumpet was indeed in her ear—and Walerius hung over her; but after a moment the cloud of the broken dream passed away, and the maiden smiled as she extended her hand to me from the couch, and began to gather up the ringlets that floated all down upon her shoulder. She blushed and smiled mournfully, and asked me hastily whence I came, and for what purpose I had come; but before I could answer, the glare that was yet in the chamber seemed anew to be perplexing her, and she gazed from me to the red walls, and from them to me again; and then once more the trumpet was blown, and Athanasia sprung from her couch. I know not in what terms I was essaying to tell her what was the truth; but I know, that ere I had said many words, she discovered my meaning. For a moment she looked deadly pale, in spite of all the glare of the torch beams; but she recovered herself, and said in a voice that sounded almost as if it came from a light heart: “But, Caius, I must not go to Caesar without having at least a garland on my head. Stay here, Walerius, and I shall be ready anon—quite ready.” It seemed to me as if she were less hasty than she had promised; yet many minutes elapsed not ere she returned. She plucked a blossom from her hair as she drew near me, and said: ‘Take it: you must not refuse one token more; this also is a sacred gift. Caius, you must learn never to look upon it without kissing these red streaks—these blessed streaks of the Christian flower.’ I took the flower from her hand and pressed it to my lips, and I remembered that the very first day I saw Athanasia she had plucked such a one when apart from all the rest in the gardens of Capito. I told her what I remembered, and it seemed as if the little circumstance had called up all the image of peaceful days, for once more sorrowfulness gathered upon her countenance. If the tear was ready, however, it was not permitted to drop; and Athanasia returned again to her flower. “Do you think there are any of them in Britain?’ said she; ‘or do you think that they would grow there? You must go to my dear uncle, and he will not deny you when you tell him that it is for my sake he is to give you some of his. They call it the passion-flower'tis an emblem of an awful thing. Caius, these purple streaks are like trickling drops; and here, look ye, they are all round the flower. Is it not very like a bloody crown upon a pale brow? I will take one of them in my hand, too, Caius; and methinks I shall not disgrace myself when I look upon it, even though Trajan should be frowning upon me.’ I had not the heart to interrupt her; but heard silently all she said, and I thought she said the words quickly and eagerly, as if she feared to be interrupted. The old priest came into the chamber, while she was yet speaking so, and said very composedly: ‘Come, my dear child, our friend has sent again for us, and the soldiers have been waiting already some space, who are to convey us to the Palatine. Come, children, we must part for a moment—perhaps it may be but for a moment —an'alerius may remain here till we return to him,
Here, at least, dear Caius, you shall have the earliest tidings and the surest.’
The good man took Athanasia by the hand, and she, smiling now at length more serenely than ever, said only: ‘Farewell then, Caius, for a little moment l’ And so, drawing her veil over her face, she passed away from before me, giving, I think, more support to the ancient Aurelius than in her turn she received from him. I began to follow them, but the priest waved his hand as if to forbid me. The door closed after them, and I was alone.
Adam Blair, or, as the title runs, Some Passages in the Life of Mr Adam Blair, Minister of the Gospel at Cross-Meikle, is a narrative of the fall of a Scottish minister from the purity and dignity of the pastoral character, and his restoration, after a season of deep penitence and contrition, to the duties of his sacred profession, in the same place which had formerly witnessed his worth and usefulness. The unpleasant nature of the story, and a certain tone of exaggeration and sentimentalism in parts of it, render the perusal of the work somewhat painful and disagreeable, and even of doubtful morality. But Adam Blair is powerfully written, with an accurate conception of Scottish feeling and character, and passages of description equal to any in the author's other works. The tender-hearted enthusiastic minister of Cross-Meikle is hurried on to his downfall “by fate and metaphysical aid, and never appears in the light of a guilty person; while his faithful elder, John Maxwell, and his kind friends at Semplehaugh, are just and honourable representatives of the good old Scotch rural classes. Reginald Dalton is the most extended of Mr Lockhart's fictions, and gives us more of the ‘general form and pressure’ of humankind and society than his two previous works. The scene is laid in England, and we have a full account of college-life in Oxford, where Reginald, the hero, is educated, and where he learns to imbibe port, if not prejudice. The dissipation and extravagance of the son almost ruin his father, an English clergyman: and some scenes of distress and suffering consequent on this misconduct are related with true and manly feeling. Reginald joins in the rows and quarrels of the gownsmen—which are described at considerable length, and with apparently complete knowledge of similar scenes—but he has virtue enough left to fall in love; and the scene where he declares his passion to the fair Helen Hesketh is one of the most interesting and beautiful in the book. A duel, an elopement, the subtlety and craft of lawyers, and the final succession of Reginald to the patrimony of his ancestors, supply the usual excitement for novel readers; but much of this machinery is clumsily managed, and the value of the book consists in its pictures of English modern manners, and in its clear and manly tone of thought and style.
[Description of an old English Mansion.]
They halted to bait their horses at a little village on the main coast of the Palatinate, and then pursued their course leisurely through a rich and level country, until the groves of Grypherwast received them amidst all the breathless splendour of a noble sunset. It would be difficult to express the emotions with which young Reginald regarded, for the first time, the ancient demesne of his race. The scene was one which a stranger, of years and experience very superior to his, might have been pardoned for contemplating with some enthusiasm; but to him the first glimpse of the venerable front, embosomed amidst its
“Old contemporary trees,'