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and sent back to Scotland till some arrangements could be made about his pardon. Here he learns the final discomfiture of his former associates-is fortunate enough to obtain both his own pardon, and that of old Bradwardine -and, after making sure of his interest in the heart of the young lady, at last bethinks him of going to give an account of himself to his family at Waverley-Honour.-In his way, he attends the assizes at Carlisle, where all his efforts are ineffectual to avert the fate of his gallant friend Fergus-whose heroic demeanour in that last extremity, is depicted with great feeling;-has a last interview with the desolated Flora-obtains the consent of his friends to his marriage with Miss Bradwardine-puts the old Baron in possession of his forfeited manor, and, in due time, carries his blooming bride to the peaceful shades of his own paternal abode.
Such is the outline of the story;-although it is broken and diversified with so many subordinate incidents, that what we have now given, will afford but a very inadequate idea even of the narrative part of the performance. Though that narrative is always lively and easy, the great charm of the work consists, undoubtedly, in the characters and descriptions-though we can scarcely venture to present our readers with more than a single specimen; and we select, as one of the most characteristic, the account of Waverley's night visit to the cave of the Highland freebooter.
"In a short time, he found himself on the banks of a large river or lake, where his conductor gave him to understand they must sit down for a little while. The moon, which now began to rise, showed obscurely the expanse of water which spread before them, and the shapeless and indistinct forms of mountains, with which it seemed to be surrounded. The cool, and yet mild air of the summer night, refreshed Waverley after his rapid and toilsome walk; and the perfume which it wafted from the birch trees, bathed in the evening dew, was exquisitely fragrant.
"He had now time to give himself up to the full romance of his situation. Here he sat on the banks of an unknown lake, under the guidance of a wild native, whose language was unknown to him, on a visit to the den of some renowned outlaw, a second Robin Hood perhaps, or Adam o' Gordon, and that at deep midnight, through scenes of difficulty and toil, separated from his attendant, and left by his guide.
"While wrapt in these dreams of imagination, his companion gently touched him, and pointing in a direction nearly straight across the lake, said, 'Yon's ta cove.' A small point of light was seen to twinkle in the direction in which he pointed, and, gradually increasing in size and lustre, seemed to flicker like meteor upon the verge of the horizon. While Edward watched this phenomenon, the distant dash of oars was heard. The measured splash arrived near and more near; and presently a loud whistle was heard in the same direction. His friend with the battle-axe immediately whistled clear and shrill, in reply to the signal; and a boat, manned with four or five Highlanders, pushed for a little inlet, near which Edward was seated. He advanced to meet them with his attendant; was immediately assisted into the boat by the officious attention of two stout mountaineers; and had no sooner seated himself, than they resumed their oars, and began to row across the lake with great rapidity.
"The party preserved silence, interrupted only by the monotonous and murmured chant of a Gaelic song, sung in a kind of low recitative by the steersman, and by the dash of the oars, which the notes seemed to regulate, as they dipped to them in cadence. The light, which they now approached more nearly, assumed a broader, redder, and more irregular splendour. It appeared plainly to be a large fire; but whether kindled upon an island or the mainland, Edward could not determine. As he saw it, the red glaring orb seemed to rest on the very surface of the lake itself, and resembled the fiery vehicle in which the Evil Genius of an oriental tale traverses land and sea. They approached nearer; and the light of the fire sufficed to show that it was kindled at the bottom of a huge dark crag or rock, rising abruptly from the very edge of the red, formed a strange and even awful contrast to water; its front, changed by the reflection to dusky the banks around, which were from time to time faintly and partially enlightened by pallid moonlight.
"The boat now neared the shore, and Edward could discover that this large fire was kindled in the lake seemed to advance; and he conjectured, the jaws of a lofty cavern, into which an inlet from which was indeed true, that the fire had been kindled as a beacon to the boatmen on their return. They rowed right for the mouth of the cave; and then shipping their oars, permitted the boat to enter with the impulse which it had received. The skiff passed the little point, or platform of rock on which the fire was blazing, and running about two boa's' length farther, stopped where the cavern, for it was already arched overhead, ascended from the water by five or six broad ledges of rock, so easy and regular that they might be termed natural steps. flung upon the fire, which sunk with a hissing noise, At this moment, a quantity of water was suddenly and with it disappeared the light it had hitherto afforded. Four or five active arms lifted Waverley out of the boat, placed him on his feet, and almost carried him into the recesses of the cave. He made a few paces in darkness, guided in this manner; and advancing towards a hum of voices, which seemed to sound from the centre of the rock, at an acute turn Donald Bean Lean and his whole establishment were before his eyes.
"The interior of the cave, which here rose very high, was illuminated by torches made of pine-tree. which emitted a bright and bickering light, attended by a strong, though not unpleasant odour. Their light was assisted by the red glare of a large charcoal fire, round which were seated five or six armed Highlanders, while others were indistinctly seen couched on their plaids, in the more remote recesses of the cavern. In one large aperture, which the robber facetiously called his spence (or pantry), there hung by the heels the carcases of a sheep or ewe, and two cows, lately slaughtered.
Being placed at a convenient distance from the charcoal fire, the heat of which the season rendered oppressive, a strapping Highland damsel placed before Waverley, Evan, and Donald Bean, three cogues, or wooden vessels, composed of staves and hoops, containing imrigh, a sort of strong soup made out of a particular part of the inside of the beeves. After this refreshment, which, though coarse, fatigue and hunger rendered palatable, steaks, roasted on the coals, were supplied in liberal abundance, and disappeared before Evan Dhu and their host with a promptitude that seemed like magic, and astonished Waverley, who was much puzzled to reconcile their voracity with what he had heard of the abstemiousness of the Highlanders.A heath pallet, with the flowers stuck uppermost, had been prepared for him in a recess of the cave; and here, covered with such spare plaids as could be mustered, he lay for some time watching the motions of the other inhabitants of the cavern. Small parties of two or three entered or left the place without any other ceremony than a few words in Gaelic to the principal outlaw, and when he fell
asleep, to a tall Highlander who acted as his lieuten-ly arranged, and to which she now added a few ant, and seemed to keep watch during his repose. Those who entered, seemed to have returned from some excursion, of which they reported the success, and went without farther ceremony to the larder, where cutting with their dirks their rations from the carcases which were there suspended, they proceeded to broil and eat them at their own time and leisure.
bunches of cranberries, gathered in an adjacent morass. Having had the satisfaction of seeing him seated at breakfast, she placed herself demurely upon a stone at a few yards' distance, and appeared to watch with great complacency for some opportunity of serving him.
Meanwhile Alice had made up in a small basket what she thought worth removing, and flinging her plaid around her, she advanced up to Edward. and, with the utmost simplicity, taking hold of his hand, offered her cheek to his salute, dropping, at the same time, her little courtesy. Evan, who was esteemed a wag among the mountain fair, advanced, as if to secure a similar favour; but Alice, snatching up her basket, escaped up the rocky bank as fleetly as a deer, and, turning round and laughing, called something out to him in Gaelic, which he answered in the same tone and language; then waving her hand to Edward, she resumed her road, and was soon lost among the thickets, though they continued for some time to hear her lively carol, as she proceeded gaily on her solitary journey' Vol. i. pp. 240–270.
"At length the fluctuating groupes began to swim before the eyes of our hero as they gradually closed; nor did he reopen them till the morning sun was high on the lake without, though there was but a faint and glimmering twilight in the recesses of Uaimh an Ri, or the King's cavern, as the abode of Donald Bean Lean, was proudly denominated. "When Edward had collected his scattered recollection, he was surprised to observe the cavern totally deserted. Having arisen and put his dress in some order, he looked more accurately around him, but all was still solitary. If it had not been for the decayed brands of the fire, now sunk into grey ashes, and the remnants of the festival, consisting of bones half burned and half gnawed, and an empty keg or two, there remained no traces of Donald and his band.
The gay scenes of the Adventurer's
"Near to the mouth of the cave he heard the—the breaking up of his army from Edinnotes of a lively Gaelic song, guided by which, in burgh-the battle of Preston-and the whole a sunny recess, shaded by a glittering birch tree, process of his disastrous advance and retreat and carpetted with a bank of firm white sand, he from the English provinces, are given with found the damsel of the cavern, whose lay had the greatest brilliancy and effect-as well as already reached him, busy to the best of her power, the scenes of internal disorder and rising disin arranging to advantage a morning repast of milk, eggs, barley bread, fresh butter, and honeycomb. union that prevail in his scanty army-the The poor girl had made a circuit of four miles that quarrel with Fergus-and the mystical visions morning in search of the eggs, of the meal which by which that devoted chieftain foresees his baked her cakes, and of the other materials of the disastrous fate. The lower scenes again with breakfast, being all delicacies which she had to beg Mrs. Flockhart, Mrs. Nose bag, Callum-Beg, or borrow from distant cottagers. The followers of Donald Bean Lean used little food except the and the Cumberland peasants, though to some flesh of the animals which they drove away from fastidious readers they may appear coarse and the Lowlands; bread itself was a delicacy seldom disgusting, are painted with a force and a thought of, because hard to be obtained; and all truth to nature, which equally bespeak the the domestic accommodations of milk, poultry, butter, &c. were out of the question in this Scythian powers of the artist, and are incomparably camp. Yet it must not be omitted, that although superior to any thing of the sort which has Alice had occupied a part of the morning in provi- been offered to the public for the last "sixty ding those accommodations for her guest which the years." There are also various copies of cavern did not afford, she had secured time also to verses scattered through the work, which indicate poetical talents of no ordinary description-though bearing, perhaps still more distinctly than the prose, the traces of considerable carelessness and haste.
arrange her own person in her best trim. Her finery was very simple. A short russet-coloured jacket, and a petticoat of scanty longitude, was her whole dress: but these were clean, and neatly ar ranged. A piece of scarlet embroidered cloth, called the snood, confined her hair, which fell over it in a profusion of rich dark curls. The scarlet plaid, which formed part of her dress, was laid aside, that it might not impede her activity in attending the stranger. I should forget Alice's proudest ornament were I to omit mentioning a pair of gold earrings, and a golden rosary which her father, (for she was the daughter of Donald Bean Lean) had brought from France-the plunder probably of some
battle or storm.
"Her form, though rather large for her years, was very well proportioned, and her demeanour had a natural and rustic grace, with nothing of the sheepishness of an ordinary peasant. The smiles, displaying a row of teeth of exquisite whiteness, and the laughing eyes, with which, in dumb-show, she gave Waverley that morning greeting which she wanted English words to express, might have been interpreted by a coxcomb, or perhaps a young soldier, who, without being such, was conscious of a handsome person, as meant to convey more than the courtesy of a hostess. Nor do I take it upon me to say, that the little wild mountaineer would have welcomed any staid old gentleman advanced in life, the Baron of Bradwardine, for example, with the cheerful pains which she bestowed upon Edward's accommodation. She seemed eager to place him by the meal which she had so sedulous
The worst part of the book by far is that portion of the first volume which contains the history of the hero's residence in Englandand next to it is the laborious, tardy, and obscure explanation of some puzzling occurrences in the story, which the reader would, in general, be much better pleased to be permitted to forget-and which are neither well explained after all, nor at all worth explaining.
There has been much speculation, at least in this quarter of the island, about the authorship of this singular performance--and certainly it is not easy to conjecture why it is still anonymous. Judging by internal evidence, to which alone we pretend to have access, we should not scruple to ascribe it to the highest of those authors to whom it has been assigned by the sagacious conjectures of the public;-and this at least we will venture to say, that if it be indeed the work of
do well to look to his laurels, and to rouse author hitherto unknown, Mr. Scott would himself for a sturdier competition than any he has yet had to encounter!
Tales of My Landlord, collected and arranged by Jedediah
Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and 12mo. Edinburgh: 1816.
THIS, we think, is beyond all question a new coinage from the mint which produced Waverley, Guy Mannering, and the Antiquary: -For though it does not bear the legend and superscription of the Master on the face of the pieces, there is no mistaking either the quality of the metal or the execution of the die-and even the private mark, we doubt not, may be seen plain enough, by those who know how to look for it. It is quite impossible to read ten pages of this work, in short, without feeling that it belongs to the same school with those very remarkable produc-—and lustre, too, of a very enviable kind; tions; and no one who has any knowledge of for they not only show great talent, but innature, or of art, will ever doubt that it is an finite good sense and good nature,-a more original. The very identity of the leading vigorous and wide-reaching intellect than is characters in the whole set of stories, is a often displayed in novels, and a more powerstronger proof, perhaps, that those of the last ful fancy, and a deeper sympathy with va series are not copied from the former, than rious passion, than is often combined with even the freshness and freedom of the drape- such strength of understanding. ries with which they are now invested-or the ease and spirit of the new groups into which they are here combined. No imitator would have ventured so near his originals, and yet come off so entirely clear of them: And we are only the more assured that the old acquaintances we continually recognise in these volumes, are really the persons they pretend to be, and no false mimics, that we recollect so perfectly to have seen them before, or at least to have been familiar with some of their near relations!
ing dull and uninteresting to the votaries of these more seductive studies. Among the most popular of these popular productions that have appeared in our times, we must rank the works to which we just alluded; and we do not hesitate to say, that they are well entitled to that distinction. They are indeed, in many respects, very extraordinary performances-though in nothing more extraordinary than in having remained so long unclaimed. There is no name, we think, in our literature, to which they would not add lustre
The author, whoever he is, has a truly graphic and creative power in the invention and delineation of characters - which he sketches with an ease, and colours with a brilliancy, and scatters about with a profusion, which reminds us of Shakespeare himself: Yet with all this force and felicity in the representation of living agents, he has the eye of a poet for all the striking aspects external of nature; and usually contrives both in his scenery and in the groups with which it is enlivened, to combine the pictur We have often been astonished at the esque with the natural, with a grace that has quantity of talent-of invention, observation, rarely been attained by artists so copious and and knowledge of character, as well as of rapid. His narrative, in this way, is kept conspirited and graceful composition, that may stantly full of life, variety, and colour; and be found in those works of fiction in our lan- is so interspersed with glowing descriptions. guage, which are generally regarded as and lively allusions, and flying traits of saamong the lower productions of our litera- gacity and pathos, as not only to keep our ture,-upon which no great pains is under- attention continually awake, but to afford a stood to be bestowed, and which are seldom pleasing exercise to most of our other facul regarded as titles to a permanent reputation. ties. The prevailing tone is very gay and If Novels, however, are not fated to last as pleasant; but the author's most remarkable, long as Epic poems, they are at least a great and, perhaps, his most delightful talent, is deal more popular in their season; and, slight that of representing kindness of heart in union as their structure, and imperfect as their fin- with lightness of spirits and great simplicity ishing may often be thought in comparison, of character, and of bending the expression we have no hesitation in saying, that the better of warm and generous and exalted affections specimens of the art are incomparably more with scenes and persons that are in themselves entertaining, and considerably more instruc- both lowly and ludicrous. This gift he shares tive. The great objection to them, indeed, is, with his illustrious countryman Burns—as he that they are too entertaining-and are so does many of the other qualities we have pleasant in the reading, as to be apt to pro- mentioned with another living poet,-who is duce a disrelish for other kinds of reading, only inferior perhaps in that to which we have which may be more necessary, and can in last alluded. It is very honourable indeed, no way be made so agreeable. Neither sci- we think, both to the author, and to the readers ence, nor authentic history, nor political nor among whom he is so extremely popular, that professional instruction, can be rightly con- the great interest of his pieces is for the most veyed, we fear, in a pleasant tale; and, there- part a Moral interest-that the concern we fore, all those things are in danger of appear-take in his favourite characters is less on ac
count of their adventures than of their amiableness-and that the great charm of his works is derived from the kindness of heart, the capacity of generous emotions, and the lights of native taste which he ascribes, so lavishly, and at the same time with such an air of truth and familiarity, even to the humblest of these favourites. With all his relish for the ridiculous, accordingly, there is no tone of misanthropy, or even of sarcasm, in his representations; but, on the contrary, a great indulgence and relenting even towards those who are to be the objects of our disapprobation. There is no keen or cold-blooded satire-no bitterness of heart, or fierceness of resentment, in any part of his writings. His love of ridicule is little else than a love of mirth; and savours throughout of the joyous temperament in which it appears to have its origin; while the buoyancy of a raised and poetical imagination lifts him continually above the region of mere jollity and good humour, to which a taste, by no means nice or fastidious, might otherwise be in danger of sinking him. He is evidently a person of a very sociable and liberal spirit -with great habits of observation-who has ranged pretty extensively through the varieties of human life and character, and mingled with them all, not only with intelligent familiarity, but with a free and natural sympathy for all the diversities of their tastes, pleasures, and pursuits-one who has kept his heart as well as his eyes open to all that has offered itself to engage them; and learned indulgence for human faults and follies, not only from finding kindred faults in their most intolerant censors, but also for the sake of the virtues by which they are often redeemed, and the sufferings by which they have still oftener been chastised. The temper of his writings, in short, is precisely the reverse of those of our Laureates and Lakers, who, being themselves the most whimsical of mortals, make it a conscience to loathe and abhor all with whom they happen to disagree; and labour to promote mutual animosity and all manner of uncharitableness among mankind, by refer ring every supposed error of taste, or peculiarity of opinion, to some hateful corruption of the heart and understanding.
helplessness and humility of our common
It is very remarkable, however, that, with
With all the indulgence, however, which we so justly ascribe to him, we are far from complaining of the writer before us for being too neutral and undecided on the great subjects which are most apt to engender excessive zeal and intolerance-and we are almost as far from agreeing with him as to most of those subjects. In politics it is sufficiently manifest, that he is a decided Tory-and, we are afraid, something of a latitudinarian both in morals and religion. He is very apt at least to make a mock of all enthusiasm for liberty or faith-and not only gives a decided preference to the social over the austerer virtues-miliar enough to readers and writers of novels, but seldom expresses any warm or hearty ad- but has never before been represented with miration, except for those graceful and gentle- such an air of truth, and so much ease and man-like principles, which can generally be happiness of execution. acted upon with a gay countenance-and do not imply any great effort of self-denial, or any deep sense of the rights of others, or the
Next to these, we think, he has found his happiest subjects, or at least displayed his greatest powers, in the delineation of the grand and gloomy aspects of nature, and of the dark and fierce passions of the heart. The natural gaiety of his temper does not indeed allow him to dwell long on such themes;-but the sketches he occasionally introduces, are executed with admirable force and spirit-and give a strong impression both of the vigour of his imagination, and the variety of his talent. It is only in the third rank that we would place his pictures of chivalry and chivalrous character-his traits of gallantry, nobleness, and honour-and that bewitching combination of gay and gentle manners, with generosity, candour, and courage, which has long been fa
Among his faults and failures, we must give the first place to his descriptions of virtuous young ladies-and his representations of the
by whom, indeed, we have no doubt that they are, by this time, as well known, and as correctly estimated, as if they had been indebted to us for their first impressions on the subject. For our own parts we must confess, that Waverley still has to us all the fascination of a first love! and that we cannot help think
ordinary business of courtship and conversa- | the place of a more detailed examination of tion in polished life. We admit that those those which he has given to the public since things, as they are commonly conducted in we first announced him as the author of real life, are apt to be a little insipid to a mere Waverley. The time for noticing his two critical spectator;-and that while they conse-intermediate works, has been permitted to go quently require more heightening than strange by so far, that it would probably be difficult adventures or grotesque persons, they admit to recal the public attention to them with any less of exaggeration or ambitious ornament: effect; and, at all events, impossible to affect, -Yet we cannot think it necessary that they by any observations of ours, the judgment should be altogether so tame and mawkish as which has been passed upon them, with very we generally find them in the hands of this little assistance, we must say, from professed spirited writer,-whose powers really seem critics, by the mass of their intelligent readers, to require some stronger stimulus to bring them into action, than can be supplied by the fat realities of a peaceful and ordinary existence. His love of the ludicrous, it must also be observed, often betrays him into forced and vulgar exaggerations, and into the repetition of common and paltry stories,-though it is but fair to add, that he does not detain using, that the greatness of the public transaclong with them, and makes amends by the tions in which that story was involved, as copiousness of his assortment for the indiffer- well as the wildness and picturesque graces ent quality of some of the specimens. It is of its Highland scenery and characters, have another consequence of this extreme abund-invested it with a charm, to which the more ance in which he revels and riots, and of the familiar attractions of the other pieces have fertility of the imagination from which it is not quite come up. In this, perhaps, our supplied, that he is at all times a little apt to opinion differs from that of better judges;overdo even those things which he does best. but we cannot help suspecting, that the latter His most striking and highly coloured char- publications are most admired by many, at acters appear rather too often, and go on rather least in the southern part of the island, only too long. It is astonishing, indeed, with what because they are more easily and perfectly spirit they are supported, and how fresh and understood, in consequence of the training animated they are to the very last;-but still which had been gone through in the perusal there is something too much of them-and of the former. But, however that be, we are they would be more waited for and welcomed, far enough from denying that the two sucif they were not quite so lavish of their pres- ceeding works are performances of extraordience. It was reserved for Shakespeare alone, nary merit, and are willing even to admit, to leave all his characters as new and unworn that they show quite as much power and as he found them, and to carry Falstaff genius in the author-though, to our taste at through the business of three several plays, least, the subjects are less happily selected. and leave us as greedy of his sayings as at the moment of his first introduction. It is no light praise to the author before us, that he has sometimes reminded us of this, as well as other inimitable excellences in that most gifted of all inventors.
Dandie Dinmont is, beyond all question, we think, the best rustic portrait that has ever yet been exhibited to the public-the most honourable to rustics, and the most creditable to the heart, as well as the genius of the artist -the truest to nature-the most interesting and the most complete in all its lineaments.
To complete this hasty and unpremeditated sketch of his general characteristics, we must-Meg Merrilees belongs more to the departadd, that he is above all things national and ment of poetry. She is most akin to the Scottish, and never seems to feel the powers witches of Macbeth, with some traits of the of a Giant, except when he touches his native ancient Sybil engrafted on the coarser stock soil. His countrymen alone, therefore, can of a Gipsy of the last century. Though not have a full sense of his merits, or a perfect absolutely in nature, however, she must be relish of his excellences;-and those only, allowed to be a very imposing and emphatic indeed, of them, who have mingled, as he personage; and to be mingled, both with the has done, pretty freely with the lower orders, business and the scenery of the piece, with and made themselves familiar not only with the greatest possible skill and effect.-Pleytheir language, but with the habits and traits dell is a harsh caricature; and Dirk Hatteric of character, of which it then only becomes a vulgar bandit of the German school. The expressive. It is one thing to understand the lovers, too, are rather more faultless and more meaning of words, as they are explained by insipid than usual,—and all the genteel perother words in a glossary, and another to know sons, indeed, not a little fatiguing. Yet there their value, as expressive of certain feelings are many passages of great merit, of a gentler and humours in the speakers to whom they and less obtrusive character. The grief of are native, and as signs both of temper and old Ellengowan for the loss of his child, and condition among those who are familiar with the picture of his own dotage and death, are their import. very touching and natural; while the many descriptions of the coast scenery, and of the various localities of the story, are given with a freedom, force, and effect, that bring every
We must content ourselves, we fear, with this hasty and superficial sketch of the general character of this author's performances, in