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wanting to complete the similitude. All was hushed and silent; and this mighty receptacle of human beings, which a few short hours would wake into active energy and motion, seemed like a city of the dead. There was little to break this solemn illusion. Around were the monuments of human exertion, but the hands which formed them were no longer there. Few, if any, were the symptoms of life. No sounds were heard but the heavy creaking of a solitary wagon, the twittering of an occasional sparrow, the monotonous tone of the drowsy watchman, and the distant rattle of the retiring carriage, fading on the ear till it melted into silence: and the eye that searched for living objects fell on nothing but the grim greatcoated guardian of the night, muffled up into an appearance of doubtful character between bear and man, and scarcely distinguishable, by the colour of his dress, from the brown flags along which he sauntered.
Two novels of the same class with those of Mr Lister were written by the present MARQUIs of NoRMANBY; namely, Matilda, published in 1825, and Yes and No, a Tale of the Day, 1827. They were well received by the public, being in taste, correctness of delineation, and general good sense, superior to the ordinary run of fashionable novels, but deficient in originality and vigour.
LADY CAROLINE LAMB-LADY DACRE-COUNTESS OF MORLEY-LADY CHARLOTTE BURY.
LADY CAROLINE LAMB (1785–1828) was authoress of three works of fiction, which, from extrinsic circumstances, were highly popular in their day. The first, Glenarvon, was published in 1816, and the hero was understood to ‘body forth’ the character and sentiments of Lord Byron. It was a representation of the dangers attending a life of fashion. The second, Graham Hamilton, depicted the difficulties and dangers inseparable, even in the most amiable minds, from weakness and irresolution of character. The third, Ada Reis (1823), is a wild Eastern tale, the hero being introduced as the Don Juan of his day, a Georgian by birth, who, like Othello, is ‘sold to slavery, but rises to honours and distinctions. In the end Ada is condemned, for various misdeeds, to eternal punishment! The history of Lady Caroline Lamb is painfully interesting. She was united, before the age of twenty, to the Honourable William Lamb (afterwards Lord Melbourne), and was long the delight of the fashionable circles, from the singularity as well as the grace of her manners, her literary accomplishments, and personal attractions. On meeting with Lord Byron, she contracted an unfortunate attachment for the noble poet, which continued three years, and was the theme of much remark. The poet is said to have trifled with her feelings, and a rupture took place. ‘For many years Lady Caroline led a life of comparative seclusion, principally at Brocket Hall. This was interrupted by a singular and somewhat romantic occurrence. Riding with Mr Lamb, she met, just by the parkgates, the hearse which was conveying the remains of Lord Byron to Newstead Abbey. She was taken home insensible: an illness of length and severity succeeded. Some of her medical attendants imputed her fits, certainly of great incoherence and long continuance, to partial insanity. At this supposition she was invariably and bitterly indignant. Whatever be the cause, it is certain from that time her conduct and habits materially changed; and about three years before her death a separation took place between her and Mr Lamb, who continued, however, frequently to visit, and, to the day of her death, to correspond with her. It is just to both
parties to add, that Lady Caroline constantly spoke of her husband in the highest and most affectionate terms of admiration and respect.” A romantic susceptibility of temperament and character seems to have been the bane of this unfortunate lady. Her fate illustrates the wisdom of Thomson's advice: Then keep each passion down, however dear, Trust me, the tender are the most severe.
The Recollections of a Chaperon, 1833, by LADY DACRE, are a series of tales written with taste, feeling, and passion. This lady is, we believe, also authoress of Trevelyan, 1833, a novel which was considered at the time of its publication as the best feminine novel, in many respects, that had appeared since Miss Edgeworth's Vivian. Among other works of this class may be mentioned the tale of Dacre, 1834, by the CountEss oF MoRLEY; and several fashionable novels–The Divorced, Family Records, Love, The Courtier's Daughter, &c.—by LADY CHARLoTTE BURY. This lady is the supposed authoress of a Diary Illustrative of the Times of George IV, a scandalous chronicle, published in 1838. It appears that her ladyship—then Lady Charlotte Campbell—had held an appointment in the household of the Princess of Wales, and during this time she kept a diary, in which she recorded the foibles and failings of the unfortunate princess and other members of the court. The work was strongly condemned by the two leading critical journals—the Edinburgh and Quarterly Review—and was received generally with disapprobation.
MR R. PLUMER WARD published in 1825 a singular metaphysical and religious romance, entitled Tremaine, or the Man of Refinement. The author's name was not prefixed to his work; and as he alluded to his intimacy with English statesmen and political events, and seemed to belong to the evangelical party in the church, much speculation took place as to the paternity of the novel. The writer was evidently well-bred and intellectual-prone to philosophical and theological disquisitions, but at the same time capable of forcible delineation of character, and the management of natural dialogue and incidents. The prolixity of some of the dissertations and dialogues, where the story stood still for half a volume, that the parties might converse and dispute, rendered Tremaine somewhat heavy and tedious, in spite of the vigour and originality of talent it displayed. In a subsequent work, De Vere, or the Man of Independence, 1827, the public dwelt with keen interest on a portraiture of Mr Canning, whose career was then about to close in his premature death. The contention in the mind of this illustrious statesman between literary tastes and the pursuits of ambition, is beautifully delineated in one passage which has been often quoted. It represents a conversation between Wentworth (Canning), Sir George Deloraine, a reserved and sentimental man, and ijr Herbert. The occasion of the conversation was Wentworth's having observed Deloraine coming out of Westminster Abbey by the door at Poets' Corner. Meeting at dinner, Sir George is rallied by Wentworth on his taste for the monuments of departed genius; which he defends; and he goes on to add:
[Power of Literary Genius]
“It would do all you men of power good if you were
to visit them too; for it would shew you how little more than upon a level is often the reputation of the greatest statesman with the fame of those who, by their genius, their philosophy, or love of letters, improve and gladden life even after they are gone. The whole company saw the force of this remark, and Wentworth not the least among them. ‘You have touched a theme, said he, “which has often engaged me, and others before me, with the keenest interest. I know nothing so calculated as this very reflection to cure us poor political slaves—especially when we feel the tugs we are obliged to sustain—of being dazzled by meteors. ‘Meteors do you call them?” said Dr Herbert. “Men do not run after meteors with such rapid and persevering steps as you great people pursue ambition. “I grant you, returned his friend; “and if we did not think them something better, who would give himself [q, themselves] up to such labour, such invasions of their privacy and leisure, as we are forced to undergo?” “What is it, then, that so seduces you?’ ‘A little intoxication,' returned Mr Wentworth, laughing off a subject which he did not wish carried too far; ‘for which you philosophers say we ought to be whipped, and for which whipped we often are. Those, however, who want this whipping would do well to take Sir George's advice, and visit the shrines of the mighty dead. They would see how inferior most of themselves are in present estimation to beings who, when alive, could not, in splendour at least, compare with them. I have too often made the reflection, and was not the happier for it.’ ‘You cannot be serious, said the divine; ‘since who are such real benefactors to mankind as enlightened legislators and patriot warriors? What poet, I had almost said what philosopher, can stand in competition with the founder or defender of his country?’ ‘Ask your own Homer, your own Shakspeare, answered Wentworth, forgetting his ambition for a moment in his love of letters. “You take me in my weak part, said Herbert, ‘and the subject would carry us too far. ... I would remark, however, that but for the Solons, the Romuluses, the Charlemagnes, and Alfreds, we should have no Homer or Shakspeare to charm us. “I know this is your favourite theme, said the minister, “and you know how much I agree with you. But this is not precisely the question raised by Sir George; which is, the superiority in the temple of fame enjoyed by men distinguished for their efforts in song or history—but who might have been mere beggars when alive-over those who flaunted it superciliously over them in a pomp and pride which are now absolutely forgotten.’ ‘I will have nothing to do with supercilious flaunters,' replied Herbert; ‘I speak of the liberal, the patriotic, who seek power for the true uses of power, in order to diffuse blessing and protection all around them. These can never fail to be deservedly applauded; and I honour such ambition as of infinitely more real consequence to the world than those whose works—however I may love them in private—can, from the mere nature of things, be comparatively known only to a few. “All that is most true, said Mr Wentworth; ‘and for a while public men of the description you mention fill a larger space in the eye of mankind; that is, of contemporary.mankind. But extinguish their power, no matter by what means, whether by losing favour at court, or being turned out by the country, to both which they are alike subject; let death forcibly remove them, or a queen die, and their light, like Bolingbroke's, goes out of itself; their influence is certainly gone, and where is even their reputation? It may glimmer for a minute, like the dying flame of a taper, after which they soon cease to be mentioned, perhaps even remembered. ‘Surely, said the doctor, “this is too much in extremes. “And yet, continued Wentworth, ‘have we not all heard of a maxim appalling to all lovers of political fame, “that nobody is missed?” Alas! then, are we not compelled to burst out with the poet:
* Annual Obituary for 1829. 501
“What boots it with incessant care,
Both Sir George and De Were kindled at this; and the doctor himself smiled, when the minister proceeded. “In short, said he, “when a statesman, or even a conqueror is departed, it depends upon the happier poet or philosophic historian to make even his name known to posterity; while the historian or poet acquires immortality for himself in conferring upon his heroes an inferior existence.’ ‘Inferior existence l’ exclaimed Herbert. ‘Yes; for look at Plutarch, and ask which are most esteemed, himself or those he records? Look at the old Claudii and Manlii of Livy; or the characters in Tacitus; or Maecenas, Agrippa, or Augustus himself —princes, emperors, ministers, esteemed by contemporaries as gods! Fancy their splendour in the eye of the multitude while the multitude followed them Look at them now ! Spite even of their beautiful historians, we have often difficulty in rummaging out their old names; while those who wrote or sang of them live before our eyes. The benefits they conferred passed in a minute, while the compositions that record them last for ever. Mr Wentworth's energy moved his hearers, and even Herbert, who was too classical not to be shaken by these arguments. ‘Still, however, said the latter, ‘we admire, and even wish to emulate Camillus and Miltiades, and Alexander; a Sully and a Clarendon. “Add a Lord Burleigh, replied the minister, ‘who, in reference to Spenser, thought a hundred pounds an immense sum for a song! Which is now most thought of, or most loved?—the calculating minister or the poor poet? the puissant treasurer or he who was left “in suing long to bide?” Sir George and De Were, considering the quarter whence it came, were delighted with this question. The doctor was silent, and seemed to wish his great friend to go on. He proceeded thus: ‘I might make the same question as to Horace and Maecenas; and yet, I daresay, Horace was as proud of being taken in Maecenas's coach to the Capitol, as the dean of St Patrick's in Oxford's or Bolingbroke's to Windsor. Yet Oxford is even now chiefly remembered through that very dean, and so perhaps would Bolingbroke, but that he is an author, and a very considerable one himself. We may recollect,' continued he, “the manner in which Whitelocke mentions Milton—that “one Milton, a blind man,” was made secretary to Cromwell. Whitelocke was then the first subject in the state, and lived in all the pomp of the seals, and all the splendour of Bulstrode; while the blind man waked at early morn to listen to the lark bidding him good-morrow at his cottage-window. Where is the lord-keeper now?—where the blind man? What is known of Addison as secretary of state? and how can his excellency compare with the man who charms us so exquisitely in his writings? When I have visited his interesting house at Bilton, in Warwickshire, sat in his very study, and read his very books, no words can describe my emotions. I breathe his official atmosphere here, but without thinking of him at all. In short, there is this delightful superiority in literary over political fame, that the one, to say the best of it, stalks in cold grandeur upon stilts, like a French tragedy actor, while the other winds itself into our warm hearts, and is hugged there with all the affection of a friend and all the admiration of a lover. “Hear! hear!” cried Sir George, which was echoed by De Were and Herbert himself.
De Clifford, or the Constant Man, produced in 1841, is also a tale of actual life; and as the hero is at one time secretary to a cabinet minister, Mr Ward revels in official details, rivalries, and intrigue. In 1844 our author produced Chatsworth, or the
The Tales of the O'Hara Family, first and second series, 1825 and 1826, produced a strong and vivid impression on all readers of fiction. The author seemed to unite the truth and circumstantiality of Crabbe with the dark and gloomy power of Godwin; and in knowledge of Irish character, habits, customs, and feeling, he was superior even to Miss Edgeworth or Lady Morgan. The story of the Nowlans, and that of Croohore of the Bill-Hook, can never be forgotten by those who have once perused them. The force of the passions, and the effects of crime, turbulence, and misery, have rarely been painted with such overmastering energy, or wrought into narratives of more sustained and harrowing interest. The probability of his incidents was not much attended to by the author, and he indulged largely in scenes of horror and violence—in murders, abductions, pursuits, and escapes—but the whole was related with such spirit, raciness, and truth of costume and colouring, that the reader had neither time nor inclination to note defects. The very peculiarities of the Irish dialect and pronunciation —though constituting at first a difficulty in perusal, and always too much persisted in by Mr Banim— heightened the wild native flavour of the stories, and enriched them with many new and picturesque words and phrases. These original and striking tales were followed up in 1828 by another Irish story, The Croppy, connected with the insurrection in 1798. “We paint, said the author, ‘from the people of a land amongst whom, for the last six hundred years, national provocations have never ceased to keep alive the strongest and often the worst passions of our nature; whose pauses, during that long lapse of a country's existence, from actual conflict in the field, have been but so many changes into mental strife, and who to this day are held prepared, should the war-cry be given, to rush at each other's throats, and enact scenes that, in the columns of a newspaper, would shew more terribly vivid than any selected by us from former facts, for the purposes of candid, though slight illustration. There was too much of this strong ‘writing’ in The Croppy, and worse faults were found in the prolixity of some of the dialogues and descriptions, and a too palpable imitation of the style of Sir Walter Scott in his historical romances. The scenes peculiarly Irish are, however, written with Mr Banim's characteristic vigour: he describes the burning of a cabin till we seem to witness the spectacle; and the massacre at Vinegar Hill is portrayed with the distinctness of dramatic action. Nanny the knitter is also one of his happiest Irish likenesses. The experiment made by the author to depict, like Scott, the manners and frivolities of the higher classes—to draw a sprightly heroine, a maiden aunt, or the ordinary characters and traits of genteel society—was decidedly a failure. His strength lay in the cabin and the wild heath, not in the drawingroom. In 1830 Mr Banim published The Denounced, in three volumes, a work consisting of two tales —The Last Baron of Crana, and The Conformists. The same beautics and defects which characterise The Croppy are seen in The Denounced; but The Conformists is a deeply interesting story, and calls forth Mr Banim's peculiarities of description and
knowledge of character in a very striking light. His object is to depict the evils of that system of antiCatholic tyranny when the penal laws were in full force, by which home education was denied to Catholic families unless by a Protestant teacher. The more rigid of the Catholics abjured all instruction thus administered; and Mr Banim describes the effects of ignorance and neglect on the second son of a Catholic gentleman, haughty, sensitive, and painfully alive to the disadvantages and degradation of his condition. The whole account of this family, the D’Arcys, is written with great skill and effect. In 1838 Mr Banim collected several of his contributions to periodical works, and published them under the title of The Bit o' Writin', and other Tales. In 1842 he came forward with an original and excellent novel, in three volumes, Father Connell, the hero being an aged and benevolent Catholic priest, not unworthy of association with the Protestant Vicar of Wakefield. This primitive pastor becomes the patron of a poor vagrant boy, Neddy Fennell, whose adventures furnish the incidents for the story. There is, as usual with Mr Banim, a variety of incidents minutely related—scenes of gloom and terror—and a complete knowledge of the moral anatomy of our nature. This was destined to be the last work of the author. He died in August 1842, in the prime of life, in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, which also was his birthplace. “Mr Banim began life as a miniature-painter; but, seduced from his profession by promptings too strong to be resisted, and by the success of a tragedy, Damon and Pythias, he early abandoned art, and adopted literature as a profession; and he will be long remembered as the writer of that powerful and painful series of novels, The O'Hara Tales. Some years previous, the general sympathy was attracted to Mr Banim's struggle against the suffering and privation which came in the train of disease that precluded all literary exertion; and on that occasion Sir Robert Peel came to the aid of the distressed author, whose latter years were restored to his native country, and made easy by a yearly pension of £150 from the civil list, to which an addition of £40 a year was afterwards made for the education of his daughter, an only child.” Besides the works we have mentioned, Mr Banim wrote Boyne Water, and other poetical pieces; and he contributed largely to the different magazines and annuals. The O'Hara Tales had given him a name that carried general attraction to all lovers of light literature; and there are few of these short and hasty tales that do not contain some traces of his unrivalled Irish power and fidelity of delineation. In some respects Mr Banim was a mannerist: his knowledge extended over a wide surface of Irish history and of character, under all its modifications; but his style and imagination were confined chiefly to the same class of subjects, and to a peculiar mode of treating them. “Thus the consciousness of power in the description of unhallowed and unregulated impulse, appears to draw him often away from contemplating those feelings of a more pleasing kind, to comprehend and to delineate which is so necessary a condition to the attainment of perfection in his art, . Thus the boldness and minuteness of detail, which give reality to his frequent scenes of lawlessness and violence, are too often forced close on the verge of vulgar honour and melodramatic artifice. To be brief, throughout the whole of his writings there is a sort of overstrained excitement, a wilful dwelling upon turbulent and unchastened passions, which, as it is a vice most often incident to the workings of real genius, more especially of Irish genius, so perhaps it is one which meets with least mercy from wellbehaved prosaic people.” This defect he partially overcame in his later writings. Father Connell is full of gentle affectionate feelings and delineation, and some of his smaller tales are distinguished by great delicacy and tenderness. A life of Banim, with extracts from his correspondence—unfolding a life of constant struggle and exertion—was published in 1857, written by Mr P. J. Murray.
* Athenaeum for 1842.
[Description of the Burning of a Croppy's House.]
The smith kept a brooding and gloomy silence; his almost savage yet steadfast glare fastened upon the element that, not more raging than his own bosom, devoured his dwelling. Fire had been set to the house in many places within and without; and though at first it crept slowly along the surface of the thatch, or only sent out bursting wreaths of vapour from the interior, or through the doorway, few minutes elapsed until the whole of the combustible roof was one mass of flame, shooting up into the serene air in a spire of dazzling brilliancy, mixed with vivid sparks, and relieved against a background of dark-gray smoke.
Sky and earth appeared reddened into common ignition with the blaze. The houses around gleamed hotly; the very stones and rocks on the hillside seemed portions of fire; and Shawn-a-Gow's bare head and herculean shoulders were covered with spreading showers of the ashes of his own roof.
His distended eye fixed, too, upon the figures of the actors in this scene, now rendered fiercely distinct, and their scabbards, their buttons, and their polished black helmets, bickering redly in the glow, as, at a command from their captain, they sent up the hillside three shouts over the demolition of the Croppy's dwelling. But still, though his breast heaved, and though wreaths of foam edged his lips, Shawn was silent; and little Peter now feared to address a word to him. And other sights and occurrences claimed whatever attention he was able to afford. Rising to a pitch of shrillness that overmastered the cheers of the yeomen, the cries of a man in bodily agony struck on the ears of the listeners on the hill, and looking hard towards a spot brilliantly illuminated, they saw Saunders Smyly vigorously engaged in one of his tasks as disciplinarian to the Ballybreehoone cavalry. With much ostentation, his instrument of torture was flourished round his head, and though at every lash the shrieks of the sufferer came loud, the lashes themselves were scarce less distinct.
A second group challenged the eye. Shawn-a-Gow's house stood alone in the village. A short distance before its door was a lime-tree, with benches contrived all round the trunk, upon which, in summer weather, the gossipers of the village used to seat themselves. This tree, standing between our spectators and the blaze, cut darkly against the glowing objects beyond it; and three or four yeomen, their backs turned to the hill, their faces to the burning house, and consequently their figures also appearing black, seemed busily occupied in some feat that required the exertion of pulling with their hands lifted above their heads. Shawn flashed an inquiring glance upon them, and anon a human form, still, like their figures, vague and undefined in blackness, gradually became elevated from the ground beneath the tree, until its head almost touched a projecting branch, and then it remained stationary, suspended from that branch.
Shawn's rage increased to madness at this sight, though he did not admit it to be immediately connected with his more individual causes for wrath. And now came an event that made a climax, for the present, to
* Westminster Revicw, 1828,
his emotions, and at length caused some expressions of his pent-up feelings. A loud crackling crash echoed from his house; a volume of flame, taller and more dense than any by which it was preceded, darted up to the heavens; then almost former darkness fell on the hillside; a gloomy red glow alone remained on the objects below; and nothing but thick smoke, dotted with sparks, continued to issue from his dwelling. After everything that could interiorly supply food to the flame had been devoured, it was the roof of his old house that now fell in.
“By the ashes o' my cabin, burnt down before me this night—an I stannin' a houseless beggar on the hillside lookin' at id—while I can get an Orangeman's house to take the blaze, an a wisp to kindle the blaze up, I'll burn ten houses for that one !”
And so asseverating, he recrossed the summit of the hill, and, followed by Peter Rooney, descended into the little valley of refuge.
The national character of Ireland was further illustrated by two collections of tales published anonymously, entitled To-day in Ireland, 1825; and Yesterday in Ireland, 1829. Though imperfectly acquainted with the art of a novelist, this writer is often correct and happy in his descriptions and historical summaries. Like Banim, he has ventured on the stormy period of 1798, and has been more minute than his great rival in sketching the circumstances of the rebellion. MR EYRE EvANS CRowe, author of a History of France and of The English in Italy and France, a work of superior merit, is the author of these tales. The REv. CAESAR OTwAY, of Dublin, in his Sketches of Ireland, and his Tour in Connaught, &c., has displayed many of the most valuable qualities of a novelist, without attempting the construction of a regular story. His lively style and humorous illustrations of the manners of the people render his topographical works very pleasant as well as instructive reading. Mr Otway was a keen theologian, a determined anti-Catholic, but full of Irish feeling and universal kindliness. He died in March 1842.
GERALD GRIFFIN, author of some excellent Irish tales, was born at Limerick on the 12th of December 1803. His first schoolmaster appears to have been a true Milesian pedant and original, for one of his advertisements begins: “When ponderous pollysyllables promulgate professional powers!’—and he boasted of being one of three persons in Ireland who knew how to read correctly; namely, the Bishop of Killaloe, the Earl of Clare, and himself, Mr MacEligot! Gerald was afterwards placed under a private tutor, whence he was removed to attend a school at Limerick. While a mere youth, he became connected with the Limerick Advertiser newspaper; but having written a tragedy, he migrated to London in his twentieth year, with the hope of distinguishing himself in literature and the drama. Disappointment very naturally followed, and Gerald betook himself to reporting for the daily press and contributing to the magazines. In 1825 he succeeded in getting an operatic melodrama brought out at the English Opera House; and in 1827 appeared his Holland-Tide, or Munster Popular Tales, a series of short stories, thoroughly Irish, and evincing powers of observation and description from which much might be anticipated. This fortunate beginning was followed up the same year by Tales of the Munster Festivals, containing CardDrawing, the Half-Sir, and Suil Dhuv the Coiner,
three volumes. The nationality of these tales, and the talent of the author in depicting the mingled levity and pathos of the Irish character, rendered them exceedingly popular. His reputation was still further increased by the publication, in 1829, of the Collegians; a Second Series of Tales of the Munster Festivals, three volumes, which proved to be the most popular of all his works, and was thought by many to place Griffin as an Irish novelist above Banim and Carleton. Some of the scenes possess a deep and melancholy interest; for, in awakening terror, and painting the sterner passions and their results, Griffin displayed the art and power of a master. ‘The Collegians,’ says a writer in the Edinburgh Review, “is a very interesting and wellconstructed tale, full of incident and passion. It is a history of the clandestine union of a young man of good birth and fortune with a girl of far inferior rank, and of the consequences which too naturally result. The gradual decay of an attachment which was scarcely based on anything better than sensual love—the irksomeness of concealment —the goadings of wounded pride—the suggestions of self-interest, which had been hastily neglected for an object which proves inadequate when gained —all these combining to produce, first, neglect, and lastly, aversion, are interestingly and vividly described. An attachment to another, superior both in mind and station, springs up at the same time; and to effect a union with her, the unhappy wife is sacrificed. It is a terrible representation of the course of crime; and it is not only forcibly, but naturally displayed. The characters sometimes express their feelings with unnecessary energy, strong emotions are too long dwelt upon, and incidents rather slowly developed; but there is no common skill and power evinced in the conduct of the tale.”. In 1830 Mr Griffin was again in the field with his Irish sketches. Two tales, The Rivals, and Tracey's Ambition, were well received, though improbable in plot and ill arranged in incident. The author continued his miscellaneous labours for the press, and published, besides a number of contributions to periodicals, another series of stories, entitled Tales of the Five Senses. These are not equal to his Munster Tales, but are, nevertheless, full of fine Irish description and character, and of that “dark and touching power’ which Mr Carleton assigns as the distinguishing excellence of his brother-novelist. In 1832 the townsmen of Mr Griffin devolved upon him a very pleasing duty —to wait upon Mr Moore the poet, and request that he would allow himself to be put in nomination for the representation of the city of Limerick in parliament. Mr Moore prudently declined this honour, but appears to have given a characteristically kind and warm reception to his young enthusiastic visitor.
Notwithstanding the early success and growing reputation of Mr Griffin, he soon became tired of the world, and anxious to retreat from its toils and its pleasures. He had been educated in the Roman Catholic faith, and one of his sisters had, about the year 1830, taken the veil. This circumstance awakened the poetical and devotional feelings and desires that formed part of his character, and he grew daily more anxious to quit the busy world for a life of religious duty and service. The following verses, written at this time, are expressive of his new enthusiasm:
Seven dreary winters gone and spent,
Since on an eager mission bent,
How passed those years I will not say; They cannot be by words renewed—
God wash their sinful parts away ! And blest be He for all their good.
With even mind and tranquil breast
And now in sweet religious rest
Returning from that stormy world, How pleasing is a sight like this!
To see that bark with canvas furled Still riding in that port of peace.
Oh, darling of a heart that still,
At moments bids its owner feel
Still be his care in future years
And free from foundless hopes or fears,
And when our Christmas days are past,
Oh, be my sister heard at last,
His mind, fixed on this subject, still retained its youthful buoyancy and cheerfulness, and he made a tour in Scotland, which afforded him the highest satisfaction and enjoyment. He retired from the world in the autumn of 1838, and joined the Christian Brotherhood—whose duty it is to instruct the poor—in the monastery at Cork. In the second year of his noviciate he was attacked with typhus fever, and died on the 12th of June 1840.
WILLIAM C A R LETON.
WILLIAM CARLETON, author of Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, was born at Prillisk, in the parish of Clogher, and county of Tyrone, in the year 1798. His father was a person in lowly station —a peasant—but highly and singularly gifted. His memory was unusually retentive, and as a teller of old tales, legends, and historical anecdotes, he was unrivalled; and his stock of them was inexhaustible. He spoke the Irish and English languages with nearly equal fluency. His mother was skilled in the native music of the country, and possessed the sweetest and most exquisite of human voices." She was celebrated for the effect she gave to the Irish cry or ‘keene. “I have often been present,’ says her son, “when she has “raised the keene.” over the corpse of some relative or neighbour, and my readers may judge of the melancholy charm which accompanied this expression of her sympathy, when I assure them that the general clamour of violent grief was gradually diminished, from admiration, until it became ultimately hushed, and no voice was heard but her own—wailing in sorrowful but solitary beauty. With such parents Carleton could not fail to imbibe the peculiar feelings and superstitions of his country. His humble home was a fitting nursery for Irish genius. His first schoolmaster was a Connaught man, named Pat Frayne, the prototype of Mat Kavanagh, in the Hedge School. He also received some instruction
* These particulars concerning the personal history of the novelist are contained in his introduction to the last edition of
the Traits and Stories.