« 前へ次へ »
ever-amiable verse Beauty lovers and into a cold-bath. The Scotch Novels, trembles, and who has shed the purple for this reason, are not so much admirlight of 'Fancy, from his ambrosial ed in Scotland as in England. The wings over all nature? What is there contrast, the transition is less striking. of the might of Milton, whose bead is from the top of the Calton-Hill, the canopied in the blue serene, and who inhabitants of " Auld Reekie” can detakes us to sit with him there? Sir scry, or fancy they descry, the peaks Walter has no voluntary power of of Ben Lomond and the waving outcombination : all his associations (as line of Rob Roy's country: we who we said before) are those of habit or of live at the southern extremity of the tradition. He is a merely narrative island can only catch a glimpse of the and descriptive poet, garrulous of the billowy scene in the descriptions of the old time. The definition of his poetry author of Waverley. The mountain is a pleasing superficiality.
air is most bracing to our languid Not so of his “ Novels AND Ro- nerves, and it is brought us in shipMANCES.” There we turn over a new loads from the neighbourhood of Ab. leaf-another and the same the same bot's-Ford. There is another circumin matter, but in form, in power how stance to be taken into the account. different! The Author of Waverley In Edinburgh there is a little opposihas got rid of the tagging of rhymes, tion, and something of the spirit of cathe eking out of syllables, the supply- bal between the partisans of works proing of epithets, the colours of style, the ceeding from Mr. Constable’s and Mr. grouping of his characters, and the re- Blackwood's shops. Mr. Constable gular march of events, and comes to gives the highest prices, but, being the the point at once, and strikes at the Whig bookseller, it is grudged that he heart of his subject, without dismay should do so. An attempt is therefore and without disguise. His poetry was made to transfer a certain share of poa lady's waiting-maid, dressed out in pularity to the second-rate Scotch nocast off finery: his prose is a beautiful, vels, issuing from Mr. Blackwood's rustic nymph, that, like Dorothea in shop. This operates a diversion, Don Quixote, when she is surprised which does not affect us here. The with dishevelled tresses bathing her Author of Waverley wears the palm of naked feet in the brook, looks round legendary lore alone. Sir Walter may her abashed at the admiration her indeed surfeit us : his imitators make charms have excited. The grand se us sick ! -It may be asked—it has cret of the author's success in these lat- been asked, “ Have we no materials ter productions is that he has complete- for romance in England ? Must we ly got rid of the trammels of author- look to Scotland for a supply of whatship; and torn off at one rent (as Lord ever is original and striking in this Peter got rid of so many yards of lace kind?” And we answer,
66 Yes !" in the * Tale of a Tub”) all the orna- Every foot of soil is with us worked ments of fine writing and worn-out up: nearly every movement of the sosentimentality. All is fresh, as from cial machine is calculable. We have the hand of nature : by going a centu- no room left for violent catastrophes; Ty or two back and laying the scene in for grotesque quaintnesses ; for wizard a remote and uncultivated district, all spells. The last skirts of ignorance becomes new and startling in the pre- and barbarisny are seen hovering (in seot advanced period. Highland man- Sir Walter's pages) over the Border. pers, character, scenery, superstitions, We have, it is true, gipsies in this northern dialect and costume, the wars, country as well as at the Cairn of the religion, and politics of the 16th Derncleugh ; but they live under clipand 17th centuries, gave a charming ped hedges, and repose in camp-beds, and wholesome relief to the fastidious and do not perch on crags, like eagles, refinement and “over-laboured lassi- or take shelier, like sea-mews, in basaltude" of modern readers, like the effect tic, subterranean caverns. We have of plonging a nervous valetudinarian heaths with rude heaps of stones upon
30 ATHENEUM VOL. 1. new series.
them; but no existing superstition con- try that he has touched upon (wide as verts them into the Geese of Mickle- the
the personstane-Moor, or sees a Black Dwarf ages, the events, the scenery) lives over groping anong them. We had a Par- again in his volumes. Nothing is wantson Adams, not quite a hundred years ing—the illusion is complete. There ago, a Sir Roger de Coverley, rather is a hurtling in the air, a trampling of inore than a hundred ! Even Sir Wal- feet upon the ground, as these perfect ter is ordinarily obliged to pitch his an- representations of human character or gle (strong as the hook is) a hundred fanciful belief come thronging back upmiles to the North of the “ Modern on our imaginations. We will merely Athens," or a century back. His last recall a few of the subjects of his pencil work indeed is mystical, is romantic in to the reader's recollection ; for nothing nothing but the title-page. Instead of we could add by way of note or com“a holy-water sprinkled in dew,” he mendation could make the impression has given us a fashionable watering- more vivid. place; and we see what he has made There is (first and foremost, because of it. He must not come down from the earliest of our acquaintance) the Bahis fastnesses in traditional barbarism ron of Bradwardine, stately, kind-heartand native rusticity: the level, the lit- ed, whimsical, pedantic, -and Flora tleness, the frippery of modern civili. MacIvor (whom even we forgive for zation will undo him as it has undone her Jacobitism), the fierce Vich lan us!
Vohr, and Evan Dhu, constant in death, Sir Walter has found out (oh, rare and Davie Gellatly roasting his eggs or discovery !) that facts are better than turning his rhymes with restless volufiction; that there is no romance like bility, and the two stag-hounds that the romance of real life; and that, if met Waverley, as fine as ever Titian we can but arrive at what men feel, do, painted, or Paul Veronese:—then there and say in striking and singular situa- is old Balfour of Burley, brandishing his tions, the result will be “ more lively, sword and his Bible with fire-eyed fury, audible, and full of vent" than the fine- trying a fall with the insolent, gigantic spun cobwebs of the brain. With re. Bothwell at the 'Change-house, and verence be it spoken, he is like the man vanquishing him at the noble battle of who having to imitate the squeaking of Loudon-Hill; there is Bothwell hima pig upon the stage, brought the ani- self, drawn to the life, proud, cruel, selmal under his cloak with him. Our fish, profligate, but with the love-letters author has conjured up the actual peo- of the gentle Alice (written thirty years ple he has to deal with, or as much as before) and his verses to her memory, he could get of them, in “ their habits found in his pocket after his death: in as they lived." He has ransacked old the same volume of “ Old Mortality” chronicles, and poured the contents up- in that lone figure in Scripture, of the on his page; he has squeezed out mus
woman sitting on the stone at the turnty records; he has consulted wayfaringing to the mountain to warn Burley pilgrims, bedrid sybils ; he has con- that there is a lion in his path ; and the versed with the living and the dead, fawning Claverhouse, beautiful as a and let them tell their story their own panther, smooth-looking, blood-spotted; way; and by borrowing of others, has and the fanatics, Macbriar and Muckleenriched his own genius with everlast- wrath, crazed with zeal and sufferings ; ing variety, truth, and freedom. He and the inflexible Morton, and the has taken his materials from the origi- faithful Edith, who resused to "give nal authentic sources, in large concrete her hand to another while her heart masses, and not tampered with or too
was with her lover in the deep and dead much frittered them away. He is on sca :" and in “ The Heart of Mid Loly the amanuensis of truth or history. thian” we have Effie Deans, that sweet, It is impossible to say how fine his faded flower, and Jeanie, her more writings in consequence are, unless we than sister, and old David Deans, the could describe how fine nature is. All patriarch of St. Leonard's Crags, and that portion of the history of his coun- Butler, and Dumbiedikes, eloquent in
his silence, and Mr. Bartoline Saddle- ing of the blood-hound that tracks their tree and his prudent help-mate, and steps at a distance (the hollow echoes Porteous swinging in the wind, and are in our ears now,) and Amy and her Madge Wildfire, full of finery and mad- hapless love and the villain Varney, ness, and her ghastly mother-again, and the deep voice of George of Dougthere is Meg Merrilies, standing on her las that addressed these words to Mary rock, stretched on her bier with “ her Queen of Scots_“Your Majesty wishhead to the East," and Dirk Hatteraick ed for Rosabel to assist you in your (equal to Shakspeare's Master Barnar- flight, and Rosabel is here !"--and the dine) and Glossin, the soul of an attor- immoveable Balafré and Master Oliver ney, and Dandy Dinmont with his ter- the Barber, and the quaint humour of rier-pack and his pony Dumple, and “ The Fortunes of Nigel," and the the fiery Colonel Mannering, and the comic spirit of " Peveril of the Peak," modish old Counsellor Pleydell, and &c. &c. &c. What a host of associaDominie Sampson*-and Rob Roy tions! What a thing is human life! (like the eagle in his eyrie) and Baillie What power is that of genius! What Nicol Jarvie, and the inimitable Major a world of thought and feeling rescued Galbraith, and Rashleigh Osbaldistone (almost) from oblivion ! Hon many and Die Vernon, the best of secret- hours of wholesome heartfelt amusement keepers; and in “ The Antiquary,” bas our author given to the gay and the ingenious and abstruse Mr. Jonathan thoughtless! How many sad hearts Oldbuck, and the old beadsman, Edie has he soothed in pain and solitude ! Ochiltree, and that preternatural figure It is no wonder that the public repay old Edith Elspeth, a living shadow, in with lengthened applause and gratitude whom the lamp of life had been long the pleasure they receive. He writes extinguished, but that it is fed by re- as fast as they can read, and he does morse and deepening recollections, and not write himself down. He is always that striking picture of the effects of feu- in the public eye, and they do not tire dal tyranny and fiendish pride, the un- of him. His worst is better than any happy earl of Glenallan ; and the Black other person's best. His backgrounds Dwarf, and his friend Habbie of the (and his latter works are little else but Heughfoot, the cheerful hunter, and his backgrounds capitally made out) are cousin, Grace Armstrong, fresh and more attractive than the principal filaughing like the morning; and the gures and most complicated actions of * Children of the Mist,” and the bay- other writers. His works, taken toge
* Perhaps the finest scene in all these ther, are almost like a new edition of Devels is that where the Dominie meets bis human nature. This is indeed to be pupil Miss Lucy the morning after her bro.
an author! tber's arrival.
TRAVELS IN EGYPT.--POISONS.
(Lond. Lit. Gaz.) Extract of e Letter from Dr. Ehrenberg, written 27th Nov. 1821, from his Tent, near El Suan, the last
Town on the Southern Frontier of Egypl, and addressed to Dri Koreff: WE send you a few lines to apprise ed with the principal events of our tra
you of our progress and research. vels. I suppress the circumstances es. The opportunity which offers of which have hitherto rendered our resiconveying letters to Cairo is too sud-dence in Egypt very disagreeable. den to allow us to transmit to His Ex- Our greatest enemies have been, to me cellency the Prince Grand-Chancellor a very violent nervous fever, and to our third report. Our first memoirs both of us opthalmic attacks, which Jeft Cairo on the 30th of March, and have lasted several months. Neverwere to go by the way of Alexandria theless, although two of our companand Leghorn. We hope to be able ions are dead, and three others who on our arrival at Dongola to fulfil the supplied their places have lost courage honourable duty imposed on us, of mak- and quitted us, we preserve our firwing His Excellency regularly acquaint- ness, and advance with prudence. As
above all things you recommended us pearance of blood, the feeling of paio to examine into the poisons known in became still more intense in the course Egypt, we have already dried the of a few minutes. I bound the finger leaves of the venomous plants most tightly up. The pain, which still conknown in this country. We have cáre- tinued, extended itself by degrees to fully collected in flasks the juice of the hand, and afterwards to the elbow; such of those plants as are milky. We and to the interior part of the arm, and have also obtained some yellowish resembled a kind of cramp. At the green juice extracted from the teeth of end of an hour I experienced this sethe Cerastes, (horned snake,) and have vere pain only in the neighbourhood of begun to preserve some scorpions' the wound, the lips of which began to fangs, as well as the vessels which swell. At the end of three hours, all serve as a receptacle for the poison, that remained was a sensation of numbOf scorpions we have hitherto met ness in the finger, which went off on with only eight kinds: five in the de- the following day. I do not know sert of Lybia, and near Alexandria, whether an inclination to sleep that I the largest on the frontiers of Barbary, experienced in the evening was attrinear Gasi Choitrebie ; and three be- butable to the wound, or to a catarrh tween Cairo and Essian. All these which had shown itself.
We were scorpions are yellow, tending to a witnesses of another occurrence of the blackish brown; and we have had same nature at the village of Saulim, abundant opportunities of examining in the province of Trajan. One eventhem. Those which are found in the ing the Kaimakahn entered our aparthigher Egypt are considered the most ment, crying out and entreating help. venomous; and as that which we have He had been stung by a venomous anidistinguished by the name of Scorpio mal, and was suffering great pain. Dr. Cahrisimus is the largest and the most Hemprich made, at the wounded place common, it is probable that all the oth- of the finger, an incision, which bled ers are derived from it. A French- copiously, and then bound the finger man, M. Rufean, or Rousseau, who up. The next day the injured man employs himself in looking for Egyp- found himself completely healed. Our tian antiquities, and in copying ob- search for the scorpion by which he jects of natural history, at Luxos, near was stung was fruitless.
It appears Thebes, told us that one of his young that in general the sting of the scorpifemale blacks had just died in the most on is more dangerous to children than severe pain, in consequence of the to grown persons. When the Arabs sting of a scorpion; and that he had meet snakes or scorpions, they hold known of several other occurrences of them down with a stick or soide other a similar nature within a verv short instrument, and break their fangs with period of time. I myself, who had stones or a knife. We never saw a with great caution taken above a hunc venomous animal in the hands of an dred of these animals in my hands, Arab which was not mutilated ; and was lately stung in the finger by one therefore when the snake-swallowers, of them. At the moment of the punc. or other Arabs, have brought us these ture I experienced a penetrating pain, animals, we have seldom preserved which staggered me like an electric them in spirits of wine. We are at shock. Although I did not neglect to present busy in collecting details with suck the wound with force until the ap- respect to these various subjects.
How deep and quiet is the tomb
Its brink bow dark and dread !
The country of the dead.
Is never warbled there,
Wither'd on the bier.
Their hands in wild despair,
Vain in its depths their moans they fing,
With the young orpban's prayer.
Shall wretched mortals fly,
Tbeir hoped tranquillity!
That ne'er knew rest before,
LATE VOYAGES AND TRAVELS.
(Lond. Lit. Gaz.) Extracis from a Journal written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the years
1820, 21, & 22. By Capt. Basil Hall, R. N. Author of A Voyage to Loo Choo. THE rapidly growing importance But though the means employed
of South America readily ac- were too frequently unworthy, we counts for the number of publications must not look at the benefit done with relating to that country which now al- an unfavouring eye. It is impossible most weekly claim and obtain our at- to contemplate a people rescued from tention. We feel pretty confident that darkness and thraldom, and raised to we could not devote a fair proportion the rank of men enjoying the blessing of our pages to any subject more gene- of liberty with its natural concomirally interesting; but it is a great ad- tants extended commerce, wealth, sodition to our comfort when the charac- cial happiness, knowledge, virtue—it is ter of the work noticed is such as to impossible, we repeat, to contemplate confirm as in the assurance that our such a change without exultation, and review of it most extract matter agree- such a change is fairly represented able to every class of readers. Such is in Captain Hall's work, if not comthe task we bave before us. Captain pleted, at least beyond the power Hall's delightful Voyage to Loo Choo of mortals to prevent. It is honesttaught us to expect nothing but gratifi- ly and candidly said, (speaking of cation from his pen; and these vol- Chili) umes have no disappointment in their
They begin to be fully sensiwhole contents. To the access which ble of their own importance in the his station gave him to society and to world, and to see the necessity of being political proceedings, Captain Hall has acquainted with the proceedings of brought the intelligence of a well cul- other states. To this incipient feeling tivated understanding and observant of national dignity, they had a deepmind; and he has detailed what he ob- seated and resolute enthusiasm in laserved in the spirit of a gentleman and voor of independence. style of a pleasant writer. Leaning, “Of civil liberty, I am not sure as every Briton must do, to the side of that the Chilians have, as yet, equally freedom, and wishing well to its ef- clear and correct notions ; but nothing forts, he is nevertheless an impartial is more decided than their determinahistorian; and we find no individual tion not to submit again to any foreign nor party exalted or debased at the yoke; and I should conceive, from all expence of truth. Justice is done to I have been able to learn, that, under the gallant exploits of Lord Cochrane, any circumstances, the Spanish party which have had an immense influence in Chili would be found small and conon the liberation of South America, temptible. Every day deepens these and the character of San Martin is ably valuable sentiments, and will render delineated; but, the extreme is not ta- the re-conquest of the country more ken, and we are not told, on the other and more remote from possibility. hand, that all those who adhered to The present free trade, above all, old interests and old prejudices were maintains and augments these feelings; corrupt knaves, fanatics, and bigots. for there is not a single arrival at the It is this sort of overcharging which port which sails to bring some new ardestroys its own purpose. Too much ticle of use, or of luxury, or which does of eulogy on one part, and of obloquy not serve, by lowering the former prion the other, always begets suspicion, ces, to place within reach of the lower and almost always opposition. No orders many things known before only portion of human life is divided into to the wealthy; to extend the range of Gods and Devils. It appears from comforts and enjoyments; and to open our author, that even an ex-inquisitor new sources of industry. possessed some gond qualities, while a “Amongst a people circumstanced patriotic leader happened to be a rob- as the South Americans have been, deber and a butcher.
barred for ages from the advantages of