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Sir Walter Scott maintained that the contract had been voided by the bankruptcy of the purchasers and publishers of the works, and their consequent inability to perform their part of the contract ; that the payment of the price was not the only obligation incumbent upon them ; that they were bound to publish the works, which they could not do; and that when he contracted with them, he had a reference to the advantages which he would derive from their being the publishers, but which could not be obtained from the trustee for their creditors ; that he had a material interest in the books being properly published, both with reference to his fame as an author, and his reversionary interest in the works. He admitted that in the cases where the price had been paid, he was bound to repay the money advanced, or to account for it ; but he denied that there was any obligation upon him to deliver the works in question to be published by the trustee for the creditors of Messrs. Constable & Co.
CONTRACT. “ Dear Sirs,-I am desired by the Author of Waverley to propose to you a new bargain for another romance on the same terms as the last. The money will be wanted previously to the 28th of this month.
“ Should you accept the proposal, I shall make you a formal offer in the usual mode; and as the author is desirous to have the matter closed as speedily as possible, I hope to have the pleasure of hearing from you in the course of a day or two.—I am, dear sirs, yours truly, (Signed)
“ JAMES BALLANTYNE.” Messrs. A. Constable & Co. having intimated their intention of accepting the offer, they next day received the following note and offer. " 18th or 19th March. 18th
“P. 0. 7th March, 1823. “ Dear Sirs,—The prefixed are the dates at which I should be glad to receive the advance on the new, and I will thank you to be kind enough to let me know if the arrangement will suit you.—Yours, truly, (Signed)
“ JAMES BALLANTYNE." The agreement for this work was completed by the following missives.
“P. O. Edinburgh, 7th March, 1823. “ Messrs. Archibald Constable & Co.—Gentlemen,-I am empowered by the Author of Waverley, Peveril of the Peak, &c., as his agent, to offer you his next work of fiction following that contracted for with me on 14th October last; if a romance, in 3 vols. ; if a novel, in 4. I shall, however, as heretofore, recapitulate the agreements that are now open betwixt us and the said author.
I. “ The work, which is not yet named, now far advanced at press, immediately following Peveril of the Peak, and contracted for on the 3d September 1821, (Quentin Durward.)
II. “ The next work of fiction (written by the author) following that agreed for on 3d September, 1821, and contracted for 26th of February, 1822, (St. Ronan's Well.)
III. ~ The next work of fiction (written by the author) following that agreed for on 26th February, 1822; and contracted for on 7th May, 1822, (Redgauntlet.)
IV. “ The next work of fiction (written by the author) following that agreed for on 7th May, 1822, and contracted for, as before mentioned, on the 14th October last. (Tales of the Crusaders.)
“ 'The conditions of the work now to be contracted for, are as fol. low:
“ 1st–That the impression shall be ten thousand copies.
“ 2d—That the author is to receive three thousand, seven hundred, and fifty pounds, for his share of the profits of the said ten thousand copies.
« 3d—That I am to have one-third of the transaction, you managing the whole, as formerly.
" 4th-That for your two-thirds, you are to grant bills at four, five, and six months, for L.2,500.
“ 5th-That James Ballantyne & Co. are to print the work; and that on publication, you are to draw on them for one-third share of the paper and print of the work, at a date not exceeding twelve months.
“ 6th-That you are at liberty to print, if you shall see cause, two thousand copies, in addition to the ten thousand copies above stipulated for; but, in putting the additional number to press, the author is to receive 1.750, payable in the proportions by you and myself, as already narrated, and with a like division of the books. I am, gentlemen, your very faithful servant, (Signed) JAMES BALLANTYNE."
“ Edinburgh, 8th March, 1823. “ Dear Sir,-Above you have a copy of your proposal of a new work, by the Author of Waverley, which we hereby accept of ; and we remain, dear sir, yours, truly,
(Signed) A. CONSTABLE & Co." • Addressed to Mr James Ballantyne.”
There can be no objection to our also publishing the Contract concluded by Mr. Ballantyne on behalf of the concealed author, with the house of Constable and Co. All the affairs having been long ago made public, nothing private, though something new and interesting may be brought to light hy the following document :
“ 20th October, 1923. “ Messrs. Archibald Constable and Co.-Gentlemen, I am empowered by the Author of Waverley, Quentin Durward, &c., as his agent, to offer you his next work of fiction, following that contracted for with me on 7th March last; if a Romance, in 3 vols; if a Novel, in 4.
“I shall, however, as heretofore, recapitulate the agreements that are now open betwixt us and the said author.
I. “ The work, now far advanced at press, and named St. Ronan's Well, and contracted for on 26th February, 1822.
II. “ The next work of fiction written by the author, following St. Ronan's Well, contracted for on 7th May, 1822, (Redgauntlet.)
III. • The next work of fiction written by the author, following that contracted for 7th May, 1822, and contracted for on 14th October, 1022, (Tales of the Crusaders.)
IV. “ The next work of fiction written by the author, following that contracted for on 14th October, 1822, and agreed for as before stated on 7th March last.
- The conditions of the work now to be contracted for are as follow : “ 181—That the impression shall be 10,000 copies.
“ 2d—That the author is to receive L.3,750, for his share of the profits of the said 10,000 copies.
“ 3:1—That I am to have one-third of the transaction, you managing the whole as formerly.
“ 4th— That for your two-thirds you are to grant bills at four, five, and six months, for L.2,500.
~ 5th—That James Ballantyne & Co. are to print the work, and that, on publication, you are to draw on them for one-third share of paper and print of the work, at twelve months date.
“ 6th—That you are at liberty to print, if you shall see cause, 2000 copies in addition to the 10,000 copies above stipulated for; but in putting the additional number to press, the author is to receive L.750, payable in the proportions by you and myself, as already narrated, and with a like division of the books.-I am, gentlemen, your faithful and obedient servant,
(Signed) JAMES BALLANTYNE.”
“ Edinburgh, 29th October, 1823. “Dear Sir,-On the other side we hand you a copy of your proposal, dated 20th instant, for a new work by the Author of Waverley: we hereby accept of said proposal, and are, dear sir, yours, truly,
(Signed) A. CONSTABLE & Co.”
THE AWAKENING OF THE WIND. HURRAH! the wind, the mighty wind, On came the wind, the reckless wind,
Like lion from his lair up sprung, Fast sweeping on his furious way, Ilath left his Arctic home behind, Ilis tempest rushing pinions brined And off his slumbers flung ;
In wrathful ocean's spray. While over lake and peaceful seal,
On came the wind, and, as he past, With track of crested foam, sweeps he! The shriek of death was in the blast! Hurrah! the wind, the mighty wind, The tall ship by the shrouds he took,
Hath o'er the deep his chariot driven, To shivering shreds her canvas rent, Whose waters, that in peace reclin'd, Then like a reed her mast he shook, C'plash the roof of heaven;
And by the board it went, Then on the quaking cliff-bound shore While yawnd the deep with hideous din, They foaming dash with deafening roar. As if prepared to gulf her in. The ship loom'd on the waveless sea, With fruitless effort on she reels,
Her form was imaged in its breast, The giant wind is in her wake, And beauteous of proportion she,
The mountain billow's coil she feels As ever billow prest;
Around her like a snake: And graceful there as stately palm, Lock'd in that unrelenting grasp, She towver'd amid the sultry calm. She struggling sinks with stifled gasp. Her flag hung moveless by the mast, Hurrah! hurrah! the victor wind Her sails droop'd brcezeless and un- Hath swept the ocean rover down, bent,
And left a shipless sea behind, And oft the scaman's glance was cast With many a corse bestrewn ; Along the firmament,
And swift, unfetter'd, strong, and free, To note if there he might descry
Like eagle on his path, speeris he!
THE SIEGE OF MAYNOOTH, OR ROMANCE IN IRELAND. *
The annals of Ireland, since the period of its conquest by the English, exhibit little else than the acts of a continuous tragi-comedy, in which, however, the blood and horrors, and wild and stormy passions, greatly preponderate ; the comic relief to the main piece being little more than the mirthful drunkenness of Michael Cassio to the whirlwind of Othello's jealousy, or the quaint humours of the grave-digger, to the deep and concentrated grief of Hamlet. Even the merriment and jollity are often of a wild and reckless character; the carouse of the outlaw in the intervals of his desperate life, or the intemperance of the seaman, who, perceiving the storm increase beyond his power of control, and his vessel sinking in spite of every effort of his skill, in his despair, seeks to drown his senses in the madness of intoxication. One act in this chequered drama, which occurred in 1534, was emphatically termed “The Rebellion of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald.” On the events of this formidable insurrection is constructed the historical Romance of The Siege of Maynooth. It may be called a serious romance, and, as such, is distinguished by considerable rapidity and fulness of incident, by strikingly picturesque situations, and some force of character. It likewise possesses a nobler kind of interest, from the natural coincidence of many of the circumstances, descriptions, and actuating motives of the leading characters, with those of the unhappy fortunes of another rebel Geraldine-the late lamented Lord Edward Fitzgerald. These coincidences are neither far-sought nor obtruded ; they occur naturally to the mind of the reader, for the tale is supposed to be written two centuries before the feuds of 1798 ; and on all of suffering, and cruelty, and national degradation that followed them, the political tone of the writer, though decided, is not intemperate.
The romance opens strikingly. About the close of the reign of Elizabeth, a young and noble traveller, journeying to the court, is overtaken by a violent thunder storm on the verge of an extensive forest. He seeks shelter in a hovel, of which the only visible inmate is thus described :
“ It was a female, sitting on a low stool before the fire, but in appearance of so great an age, that the young Earl shuddered in beholding her, believing that he saw something not belonging to this world. A velvet mantle, worn and faded, on which appeared what had been embroidery, was wrapped around her form, and over a part of her head ; the rest of her habiliment corresponded with this remnant of magnificence, and was equally poverty stricken : her hair, white as snow, and of a great length, fell forwards from underneath her mantle, and rested on her knees; the form of her features still bore the traces of what had once been beauty, although they now appeared rather carved in oak, than to be living flesh and blood; her eyes alone, as they gleamed in the fire-light, and a slow rocking movement of the body, convinced the Earl that she was indeed a breathing creature ; but, while he hesitated to advance, or how to address her, she sung, or rather murmured in a low broken voice, a kind of wild lilt, to which her young auditor listened with breathless attention, the words corresponding so perfectly with her extraordinary appearance."
Having ended her wild chant, an explanatory conversation takes place between the young man and his strange hostess,
“Thou art then a courtier,' said the old woman, eyeing him more attentively. I, also, have known something of courts ; yes, and Queened it too,—but that is long past.'
She clasped her hands over her forchead, and seemed for some minutes to forget her guest ; then suddenly arousing herself, she asked, “Who reigns in England now?
• London : Jumes Ridgway, 2 vols. 12mo.
-I have seen many reigns, but all are away like unto a dream.-Oh! young man, I have passed from a throne to a prison; I have been steeped in the blood of those nearest and dearest; I have sojourned on this earth one hundred and forty years : I have been a Queen ; I am a Beggar; and thou comest to me to ask refuge from a storm. Away! away! the Countess of Desmond has no shelter for such as thee.'
« • The Countess of Desmond !' exclaimed the young nobleman, involuntarily bend. ing his knee before her.”
This venerable person is found to be that historical Countess of Desmond of whom every body has heard, and who, living to such extreme old age, became the subject of great vicissitudes of fortune. In this venerable lady the young nobleman discovers a maternal ancestress: an affecting dialogue ensues, which the Countess thus terminates :
“ 6 How can I look on thee, boy, or love thee? when thou bearest the hated name of Saxon. Alas! thou knowest not all the cause I have to hate that name ; my slaughtered kinsmer-my country drenched in blood—thy ancestors, young man, have done me fearful wrong; but yet I forgive thee—their blood rests not on thy head-thy young hands are unstained. Yes, since thou hadat feeling and sympathy for the race of Desmond, and since thou dost seem not insensible to my sorrows-thou shalt know all—all that thy fathers have inflicted upon me and mine.' The Countess signed to her attendant, an old Irish woman, to bring her a small coffer, from whence she drew a manuscript; and presenting it to the Earl, said :
•• Read that, and it will teach thy light-hearted gaiety to weep for the sorrows of the forlorn and childless to weep for one who has outlived all-ay, almost even her own feelings.'
The young lord having fulfilled his mission at court, hastens to peruse the scroll, which tells him the sad history of the noble Desmonds and the unfortunate Geraldines. The story opens with a successful attempt at melo-dramatic effect, and, throughout, the author shews skill in grouping and in his backgrounds. Lord Leonard Grey, the commander of the English forces, now advancing hostilely to the towers of Desmond, is serenading the beautiful heiress of the rebel Earl, from a boat under her lattice. The unworthy English commander, while living in friendship with her father and her noble kinsman, has gained an interest in the heart of the gentle Elinor, denied to the nobler Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, her cousin, and from childhood her affianced bridegroom. Elinor, though her fondest affections are the insidious stranger's, resists his importunities to fly with him, and his warning of the dangers that menace her father. The interview is abruptly broken off by the sound of the trampling of horses and the clang of musical instruments, which announce the arrival of the Spanish ambassador, who visits the halls of Desmond as the envoy of one sovereign prince to another; for the Earl of Desmond now openly disclaims the power of England. Elinor, her mind distracted between her English lover and her duties as a daughter and a kinswoman of the Geraldines, enters the banqueting hall, now arranged as an audience chamber. The scene is highly impressive and picturesque.
“ The Banqueting Hall in the Castle of Desmond, now arranged for the audience chamber, was an apartment of dimensions sufficient to contain four or five hundred persons; but so low, that the heavily carved oak beams supporting the roof were blackened by the smoke of numbers of pine-wood torches, which, borne by long lines of Kearne, or Irish soldiers, ranged along the walls, threw a powerful, but strangely glaring light on the assemblage collected to witness the reception of the Spanish authorities.
“ At the upper end of the ball, on a dais, or raised floor, stood a massive and richly ornamented throne, occupied by the Earl and Countess of Desmond. The Earl, then but little past the prime of life, of tall stature and vigorous frame, seemed, by his placid countenance and hardy make, well calculated to endure all the violent shocks, both mental and personal, to which, from his situation as Chieftain, or leader of the Desmonds, he was inevitably exposed. His temper was naturally as mild and