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little too much like the hero of a fairy tale; and the structure and contrivance of the story, The Antiquary is, perhaps, on the whole, in general, would bear no small affinity to less interesting-though there are touches in that meritorious and edifying class of compoit equal, if not superior, to any thing that sitions, was it not for the nature of the details, occurs in either of the other works. The and the quality of the other persons to whom adventure of the tide and night storm under they relate-who are as real, intelligible, and the cliffs, we do not hesitate to pronounce the tangible beings as those with whom we are very best description we ever met with,-in made familiar in the course of the author's verse or in prose, in ancient or in modern former productions. Indeed they are very writing. Old Edie is of the family of Meg apparently the same sort of people, and come Merrilees, a younger brother, we confess, here before us again with all the recommendawith less terror and energy, and more taste tions of old acquaintance. The outline of the and gaiety, but equally a poetical embellish-story is soon told. The scene is laid among the ment of a familiar character; and yet resting Elliots and Johnstons of the Scottish border, enough on the great points of nature, to be and in the latter part of Queen Anne's reign; blended without extravagance in the trans- when the union then newly effected between actions of beings so perfectly natural and the two kingdoms, had revived the old feelthoroughly alive that no suspicion can be en-ings of rivalry, and held out, in the general tertained of their reality. The Antiquary him- discontent, fresh encouragement to the partiself is the great blemish of the work,-at zans of the banished family. In this turbulent least in so far as he is an Antiquary;-though period, two brave, but very peaceful and loyal we must say for him, that, unlike most oddi-persons, are represented as plodding their way ties, he wearies us most at first; and is so homewards from deer-stalking, in the gloom managed, as to turn out both more interesting of an autumn evening, when they are encounand more amusing than we had any reason tered, on a lonely moor, by a strange misto expect. The low characters in this book shapen Dwarf, who rejects their proffered are not always worth drawing; but they are courtesy, in a tone of insane misanthropy, and exquisitely finished; and prove the extent and leaves Hobbie Elliot, who is the successor of accuracy of the author's acquaintance with Dandie Dinmont in this tale, perfectly perhuman life and human nature.-The family suaded that he is not of mortal lineage, but a of the fisherman is an exquisite group through-goblin of no amiable dispositions. He, and out; and, at the scene of the funeral, in the his friend Mr. Earnscliff, who is a gentleman highest degree striking and pathetic. Dous- of less credulity, revisit him again, however, terswivel is as wearisome as the genuine in daylight; when they find him laying the Spurzheim himself: And the tragic story of foundations of a small cottage in that dreary the Lord is, on the whole, a miscarriage; spot. With some casual assistance the fabric though interspersed with passages of great is completed; and the Solitary, who still force and energy. The denouement which con- maintains the same repulsive demeanour, nects it with the active hero of the piece, is al- fairly settled in it. Though he shuns all sotogether forced and unnatural.--We come now, ciety and conversation, he occasionally adat once, to the work immediately before us. ministers to the diseases of men and cattle; and acquires a certain awful reputation in the country, half between that of a wizard and a

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The Tales of My Landlord, though they fill four volumes, are, as yet, but two in number; the one being three times as long, and ten | heaven-taught cow-doctor. In the mean time times as interesting as the other. The intro-poor Hobbie's house is burned, and his cattle duction, from which the general title is de- and his bride carried off by the band of one rived, is as foolish and clumsy as may be; of the last Border foragers, instigated chiefly and is another instance of that occasional im- by Mr. Vere, the profligate Laird of Ellieslaw, becility, or self-willed caprice, which every who wishes to raise a party in favour of the now and then leads this author, before he Jacobites; and between whose daughter and gets afloat on the full stream of his narration, young Earnscliff there is an attachment, which into absurdities which excite the astonish- her father disapproves. The mysterious Dwarf ment of the least gifted of his readers. This gives Hobbie an oracular hint to seek for his whole prologue of My Landlord, which is lost bride in the fortress of this plunderer, vulgar in the conception, trite and lame in the which he and his friends, under the command execution, and utterly out of harmony with, of young Ear schiff, speedily invest; and the stories to which it is prefixed, should be when they are ready to smoke him out of entirely retrenched in the future editions: his inexpugnable tower, he capitulates, and and the two novels, which have as little con- leads forth, to the astonishment of all the benection with each other as with this ill-fancied siegers, not Grace Armstrong, but Miss Vere, prelude, given separately to the world, each who, by some unintelligible refinement of under its own denomination. iniquity, had been sequestered by her worthy tather in that appropriate custody. The Dwarf, who, with all his misanthropy, is the most benevolent of human beings, gives Hobbie a fur bag full of gold, and contrives to have his bride restored to him. He is likewise consulted in secret by Miss Vere, who is sadly distressed, like all other fictitious damsels, by

feature before our eyes, and impress us with an irresistible conviction of their reality.

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The first, which is comprised in one volume. is called The Black Dwarf"-and is, in every respect, the least considerable of the family-though very plainly of the legitimate race-and possessing merits, which, in any other company, would have entitled it to no slight distinction. The Dwarf himself is a

upon the monument of the slaughtered Presbyterians; and busily employed in deepening, with his chisel, the letters of the inscription, which announeing, in scriptural language, the promised blessings of futurity to be the lot of the slain, anathematized the murderers with corresponding violence. A blue bonnet of unusual dimensions covered the grey hairs of the pious workman. His dress was a large oldfashioned coat, of the coarse cloth called hoddingrey, usually worn by the elder peasants, with waistcoat and breeches of the same; and the whole suit, though still in decent repair, had obviously

her father's threats to solemnise a forced marriage between her and a detestable baronet,-and promises to appear and deliver her, however imminent the hazard my ap pear. Accordingly, when they are all ranged for the sacrifice before the altar in the castle chapel, his portentous figure pops out from behind a monument,-when he is instantly recognised by the guilty Ellieslaw, for a certain Sir Edward Mauley, who was the cousin and destined husband of the lady he had af-seen a train of long service. Strong clouted shoes, studded with hob-nails, and gramoches or leggins, made of thick black cloth, completed his equip Beside him, fed among the graves, a pony, ment. the companion of his journey, whose extreme whiteness, as well as its projeccting bones and hollow eyes, indicated its antiquity. It was harnessed in the most simple manner, with a pair of branks, and hair tether, or halter, and a sunk, or cushion of straw, instead of bridle and saddle. A canvass pouch hung round the neck of the animal, for the purpose, probably, of containing the rider's tools, and any thing else he might have occasion to carry with him. Although I had never seen the old man Lefore, yet, from the singularity of his employment, and the style of his equipage, I had no difficulty in recognising a religious itinerant whom I had often heard talked of, and who was known in various

terwards married, and who had been plunged
into temporary insanity by the shock of that
fair one's inconstancy, on his recovery from
which he had allowed Mr. Vere to retain the
greatest part of the property to which he suc-
ceeded by her death; and had been supposed
to be sequestered in some convent abroad,
when he thus appears to protect the daughter
of his early love. The desperate Ellieslaw at
first thinks of having recourse to force, and
calls in an armed ban which he had that
day assembled, in order to favour a rising of
the Catholics-when he is suddenly surround-
ed by Hobbie Elliot and Earnscliff, at the
head of a more loyal party, who have just
overpowered the insurgents, and taken pos-
sess on of the castle. Ellieslaw and the Ba-real name, I have never been able to learn, nor are
ronet of course take horse and shipping forth
of the realm; while his fair daughter is given
away to Earnscliff by the benevolent Dwarf;
who immediately afterwards disappears, and
seeks a more profound retreat, beyond the
reach of their gratitude and gaiety.

parts of Scotland by the name of Old Mortality.
"Where this man was born, or what was his

the motives which made him desert his home, and
adopt the erratic mode of life which he pursued,
known to me except very generally. He is said to
land farm; but, whether from pecuniary losses, or
have held, at one period of his life, a small moor-
domestic misfortune, he had long renounced that
and every other gainful calling. In the language
of Scripture, he left his house, his home, and his
kindred, and wandered about until the day of his
death-a period, it is said, of nearly thirty years.

The other and more considerable story, which fills the three remaining volumes of this publication, is entitled, though with no great regard even to its fictitious origin, "Old Mortality;"-for, at most, it should only have been called the tale or story of Old Mortality -being supposed to be collected from the information of a singular person who is said at one time to have been known by that strange appellation. The redacteur of his interesting traditions is here supposed to be a village schoolmaster; and though his introduction brings us again in contact with My Landlord and his parish clerk, we could have almost forgiven that unlucky fiction, if it had often presented us in company with sketches, as graceful as we find in the following passage, of the haunts and habits of this singular personage. After mentioning that there was, on the steep and heathy banks of a lonely rivulet, a deserted burying ground to which he used frequently to tum his walks in the evening, the gentle pedagogue proceeds

ast regulated his circuit so as annually to visit the "During this long pilgrimage, the pious enthusi graves of the unfortunate Covenanters, who suffered by the sword, or by the executioner, during the reigns of the two last monarchs of the Stuart line. These tombs are often apart from all human habitwanderers had fled for concealment. But wherever ation, in the remote, moors and wilds to which the they existed, Old Mortality was sure to visit them, when his annual round brought them within his reach. In the most lonely recesses of the mountains, the moorfowl shooter has been often sur prised to find him busied in cleaning the moss from the grey stones, renewing with his chisel the halfdefaced inscriptions, and repairing the emblems of death with which these simple monuments are usually adorned.

"As the wanderer was usually to be seen bent on this pious task within the precincts of some country churchyard, or reclined on the solitary tombstone among the heath, disturbing the plover and the blackcock with the clink of his chisel and mallet, with his old white pony grazing by his side, he acquired, from his converse among the dead, the popular appellation of Old Mortality." Vol. ii. pp. 7-18.

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One summer evening as, in a stroll such as have described, I approached this deserted mansion of the dead. I was somewhat surprised to hear sounds distinct from those which usually soothe its solitude, the gentle chiding, namely, of the brook, and the sighing of the wind in the boughs of three gigantic ash trees, which mark the cemetery. The elink of a hammer was, upon this occasion, distinctly heard; and I entertained some alarm that a march-dike, long meditated by the two proprietors whose estates were divided by my favourite brook, was about to be drawn up the glen, in order to sub. stitute its rectilinear deformity for the graceful winding of the natural boundary. As I approached I was agreeably undeceived. An old man was seated

The scene of the story thus strikingly introduced is laid-in Scotland of course-in those disastrous times which immediately preceded the Revolution of 1688; and exhibits a lively picture, both of the general state of manners at that period, and of the conduct and temper and principles of the two great parties in politics and religion that were then engaged in unequal and rancorous hostility. There are no times certainly, within the reach of authen tic history, on which it is more painful to look

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back-which show a government more base else of it than that such events took place in and tyrannical, or a people more helpless and its course. Few men, in short, are historical miserable: And though all pictures of the characters-and scarcely any man is always, greater passions are full of interest, and a or most usually, performing a public part. lively representation of strong and enthusiastic The actual happiness of every life depends emotions never fails to be deeply attractive, far more on things that regard it exclusively, the piece would have been too full of distress than on those political occurrences which are and humiliation, if it had been chiefly engaged the common concern of society; and though with the course of public events, or the record nothing lends such an air, both of reality and of public feelings. So sad a subject would importance, to a fictitious narrative, as to connot have suited many readers—and the author, nect its persons with events in real history, we suspect, less than any of them. Accord- still it is the imaginary individual himself that ingly, in this, as in his other works, he has excites our chief interest throughout, and we made use of the historical events which came care for the national affairs only in so far as an his way, rather to develope the characters, they affect him. In one sense, indeed, this and bring out the peculiarities of the individu- is the true end and the best use of history: als whose adventures he relates, than for any for as all public events are important only as purpose of political information; and makes they ultimately concern individuals, if the inus present to the times in which he has placed dividual selected belong to a large and comthem, less by his direct notices of the great prehensive class, and the events, and their transactions by which they were distinguished, natural operation on him, be justly representthan by his casual intimations of their effects ed, we shall be enabled, in following out his oa private persons, and by the very contrast adventures, to form no bad estimate of their which their temper and occupations often ap- true character and value for all the rest of the pear to furnish to the colour of the national community. story. Nothing, indeed, in this respect is more delusive, or at least more woefully imperfect, than the suggestions of authentic history, as it is generally-or rather universally written -and nothing more exaggerated than the impressions it conveys of the actual state and condition of those who live in its most agitated periods. The great public events of which alone it takes cognisance, have but little direct influence upon the body of the people; and do not, in general, form the principal business, or happiness or misery even of those who are in some measure concerned in them. Even in the worst and most disastrous times-in periods of civil war and revolution, and public discord and oppression, a great part of the time of a great part of the people is still spent m making love and money-in social amuse-hearted and thoughtless may be impaired by ment or professional industry-in schemes for the spectacle of public calamity, and how, in worldly advancement or personal distinction, the midst of national distraction, scitishness just as in periods of general peace and pros- will pursue its little game of quiet and cunperity. Men court and marry very nearly as ning speculation-and gentler affectious find much in the one season as in the other; and time to multiply and to meet! are as merry at weddings and christenings as gallant at balls and races-as busy in their studies and counting houses-eat as heartily, in short, and sleep as sound-prattle with their children as pleasantly-and thin their plantations and scold their servants as zeal-the variety of the shades which the story ously, as if their contemporaries were not fur- aspect of the political horizon would be likely nishing materials thus abundantly for the to throw on such objects. And yet, though Tragic muse of history. The quiet under- exhibiting beyond all doubt the greatest poscurrent of life, in short, keeps its deep and sible talent and originality, we cannot help steady course in its eternal channels, unaf-fancying that we can trace the rudiments of fected, or but slightly disturbed, by the storms almost all its characters in the very first of the that agitate its surface; and while long tracts author's publications.-Morton is but another of time, in the history of every country, seem, edition of Waverley :-taking a bloody part in to the distant student of its annals, to be dark-political contention, without caring much about ened over with one thick and oppressive cloud, the cause, and interchanging high offices of of unbroken misery, the greater part of those generosity with his political opponents.who have lived through th whole acts of the Claverhouse has many of the features of the tragedy will be found to have enjoyed a fair gallant Fergus-Cuddie Headrigg, of whose average share of felcity, and to have been merits, by the way, we have given no fair much less impressed by the shocking events specimen in our extracts, is a Dandie Dinmont of their day, than those who know nothing of a considerably lower species;—and even

It is this, we think, that constitutes the great and peculiar merit of the work before us. It contains an admirable picture of manners and of characters; and exhibits, we think, with great truth and discrimination, the extent and

The author before us has done all this, we think; and with admirable talent and effect: and if he has not been quite impartial in the management of his historical persons, has contrived, at any rate, to make them contribute largely to the interest of his acknowledged inventions. His view of the effects of great political contentions on private happiness, is however, we have no doubt, substantially true; and that chiefly because it is not exaggerated-because he does not confine himself to show how gentle natures may be roused into heroism, or rougher tempers exasperated into rancour, by public oppression,--but turns still more willingly to show with what ludicrous absurdity genuine enthusiasm may be debased, how little the gaiety of the light

the Covenanters and their leaders were sha- On the other point, also, we rather lean to dowed out, though afar off, in the gifted Gil- the side of the author. He is a Tory, we fillan, and mine host of the Candlestick. It is think, pretty plainly in principle, and scarcely in the picture of these hapless enthusiasts, disguises his preference for a Cavalier over a undoubtedly, that the great merit and the Puritan: But, with these propensities, we great interest of the work consists. That in- think he has dealt pretty fairly with both terest, indeed, is so great, that we perceive it sides-especially when it is considered that, has even given rise to a sort of controversy though he lays his scene in a known crisis of among the admirers and contemners of those his national history, his work is professedly a ancient worthies. It is a singular honour, no work of fiction, and cannot well be accused doubt, to a work of fiction and amusement, to of misleading any one as to matters of fact. be thus made the theme of serious attack and He might have made Claverhouse victorious defence upon points of historical and theologi- at Drumclog, if he had thought fit-and nocal discussion; and to have grave dissertations body could have found fault with him. The written by learned contemporaries upon the insurgent Presbyterians of 1666 and the subaccuracy of its representations of public events sequent years, were, beyond all question, a and characters, or the moral effects of the style pious, brave, and conscientious race of menof ridicule in which it indulges. It is difficult to whom, and to whose efforts and sufferings, for us, we confess, to view the matter in so their descendants are deeply indebted for the serious a light; nor do we feel much disposed, liberty both civil and religious which they even if we had leisure for the task, to venture still enjoy, as well as for the spirit of resistqurselves into the array of the disputants. ance to tyranny, which, we trust, they have One word or two, however, we shall say, be- inherited along with it. Considered generally fore concluding, upon the two great points as a party, it is impossible that they should of difference. First, as to the author's pro- ever be remembered, at least in Scotland, but fanity, in making scriptural expressions ridicu- with gratitude and veneration-that their suflous by the misuse of them he has ascribed to ferings should ever be mentioned but with the fanatics; and, secondly, as to the fairness deep resentment and horror-or their heroism, of his general representation of the conduct both active and passive, but with pride and and character of the insurgent party and their exultation. At the same time, it is imposopponents. sible to deny, that there were among them many absurd and ridiculous persons-and some of a savage and ferocious characterold women, in short, like Mause Headriggpreachers like Kettledrummle-or desperadoes like Balfour or Burley. That a Tory novelist should bring such characters prominently forward, in a tale of the times, appears to us not only to be quite natural, but really to be less blameable than almost any other way in which party feelings could be shown. But, even he, has not represented the bulk of the party as falling under this description, or as fairly represented by such personages. He has made his hero-who, of course, possesses all possible virtues of that persuasion; and has allowed them, in general, the courage of martyrs, the self-denial of hermits, and the zeal and sincerity of apostles. His representation is almost avowedly that of one who is not of their communion; and yet we think it impossible to peruse it, without feeling the greatest respect and pity for those to whom it is applied. A zealous Presbyterian might, no doubt, have said more in their favour, without violating, or even concealing the truth;but, while zealous Presbyterians will not write entertaining novels themselves, they cannot expect to be treated in them with exactly the same favour as if that had been the character of their authors.

As to the first, we do not know very well what to say. Undoubtedly, all light or jocular use of Scripture phraseology is in some measure indecent and profane: Yet we do not know in what other way those hypocritical pretences to extraordinary sanctity which generally disguise themselves in such a garb, can be so effectually exposed. And even where the ludicrous misapplication of holy writ arises from mere ignorance, or the foolish mimicry of more learned discoursers, as it is impossible to avoid smiling at the folly when it actually occurs, it is difficult for witty and humorous writers, in whose way it lies, to resist fabricating it for the purpose of exciting smiles. In so far as practice can afford any justification of such a proceeding, we conceive that its justification would be easy. In all our jest books, and plays and works of humour for two centuries back, the characters of Quakers and Puritans and Methodists, have been constantly introduced as fit objects of ridicule, on this very account. The Reverend Jonathan Swift is full of jokes of this description; and the pious and correct Addison himself is not a little fond of a sly and witty application of a text from the sacred writings. When an author, therefore, whose aim was amusement, had to do with a set of people, all of whom dealt in familiar applications of Bible phrases and Old Testament adventures, and who, undoubtedly, very often made absurd and ridiculous applications of them, it would be rather hard, we think, to interdict him entirely from the representation of these absurdities; or to put in force, for him alone, those statutes against profaneness which so many other people have been allowed to transgress, in their hours of gaiety, without censure or punishment.

With regard to the author's picture of their opponents, we must say that, with the excep tion of Claverhouse himself, whom he has invested gratuitously with many graces and liberalities to which we are persuaded he has no title, and for whom, indeed, he has a foolish fondness, with which it would be absurd to deal seriously-he has shown no signs of a partiality that can be blamed, nor exhibited

many traits in them with which their enemies' palliation: and the bloodthirstiness of Dalzell, have reason to quarrel. If any person can and the brutality of Lauderdale, are repreread his strong and lively pictures of military sented in their true colours. In short, if this insolence and oppression, without feeling his author has been somewhat severe upon the blood boil within him, we must conclude the Covenanters, neither has he spared their opfault to be in his own apathy, and not in any pressors; and the truth probably is, that never softenings of the partial author;-nor do we dreaming of being made responsible for hisknow any Whig writer who has exhibited the torical accuracy or fairness in a composition baseness and cruelty of that wretched gov- of this description, he has exaggerated a little ernment, in more naked and revolting de- on both sides, for the sake of effect—and been formity, than in his scene of the torture at carried, by the bent of his humour, most frethe Privy Council. The military executions quently to exaggerate on that which afforded of Claverhouse himself are admitted without the greatest scope for ridicule.

(February, 1818.)

Rob Roy. By the author of Waverley, Guy Mannering, and The Antiquary. 12mo. 3 vols. pp. 930. Edinburgh: 1818.

THIS is not so good, perhaps, as some others | ed-the same dramatic vivacity-the same of the family-but it is better than any thing deep and large insight into human natureelse; and has a charm and a spirit about it and the same charming facility which distinthat draws us irresistibly away from our graver guish all the other works of this great master; works of politics and science, to expatiate and make the time in which he flourished an upon that which every body understands and era never to be forgotten in the literary history agrees in; and after setting us diligently to of our country. read over again what we had scarce finished reading, leaves us no choice but to tell our readers what they all know already, and to persuade them of that of which they are most intimately convinced.

Such, we are perfectly aware, is the task which we must seem to perform to the greater part of those who may take the trouble of accompanying us through this article. But there may still be some of our readers to whom the work of which we treat is unknown;--and we know there are many who are far from being duly sensible of its merits. The public, indeed, is apt now and then to behave rather unhandsomely to its greatest benefactors; and to deserve the malison which Milton has so emphatically bestowed on those impious persons, who,

One novelty in the present work is, that it is thrown into the form of a continued and unbroken narrative, by one of the persons principally concerned in the story-and who is represented in his declining age, as detailing to an intimate friend the most interesting particulars of his early life, and all the recollections with which they were associated. We prefer, upon the whole, the communications of an avowed author; who, of course, has no character to sustain but that of a pleasing writer-and can praise and blame, and wonder and moralise, in all tones and directions, without subjecting himself to any charge of vanity, ingratitude, or inconsistency. The thing, however, is very tolerably managed on the present occasion; and the hero contrives to let us into all his exploits and perplexities, without much violation either of heroic modesty or general probability ;—to which ends, indeed, it conduces not a little, that, like most of the other heroes of this ingenious author, his own character does not rise very notably above the plain level of medi ocrity-being, like the rest of his brethren, a well-conditioned, reasonable, agreeable young gentleman-not particularly likely to do any thing which it would be very boastful to speak of, and much better fitted to be a spectator and historian of strange doings, than a partaker in them.

-"with senseless base ingratitude, Cram, and blaspheme their feeder." -nothing, we fear, being more common, than to see the bounty of its too lavish providers repaid by increased captiousness at the quality of the banquet, and complaints of imaginary fallings off-which should be imputed entirely to the distempered state of their own pampered appetites. We suspect, indeed, that we were ourselves under the influence of this illaulable feeling when he wrote the first line of this paper: For, except that the subject seems to us somewhat less happily chosen, and the variety of characters rather less than in some of the author's former pubheations, we do not know what right we had to say that it was in any respect inferior to them. Sure we are, at all events, that it has the same brilliancy and truth of colouring the same gaiety of tone, rising every now and then into feelings both kindly and exalt-,

This discreet hero, then, our readers will probably have anticipated, is not Rob Roythough his name stands alone in the title-but a Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, the only son of a great London Merchant or Banker, and nephew of a Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, a worthy Catholic Baronet, who spent his time in hunting, and drinking Jacobite toasts in Northumberland, some time about the year

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