ページの画像
PDF
ePub

MRS TROLLOPE.

Plutarch, and ask which are most esteemed, himself any definite or intelligible purpose. The second part, or those he records ! Look at the old Claudii and in which Vivian is taken to Germany and Austria, Manlii of Liry; or the characters in Tacitus; or is amusing from its travelling scenes and sketches. Mecænas, Agrippa, or Augustus himself-princes, Contarini Fleming, a Psychological Autobiography, emperors, ministers, esteemed by contemporaries as four volumes, 1832, is still more irregular than Mr gods! Fancy their splendour in the eye of the mul- D'Israeli's first work, but has some highly-finished titude while the multitude followed them! Look at scenes of passion and continental description. them now! Spite even of their beautiful historians, we have often difficulty in rummaging out their old names; while those who wrote or sang of them live before our eyes. The benefits they conferred passed Another keen observer and more caustic delineain a minute, while the compositions that record them tor of modern manners we have in Mrs TROLLOPE, last for ever.' Mr Wentworth's energy moved his authoress of a long series of fictions. This lady first hearers, and even Herbert, who was too classical not came before the public in 1832, when her Domestic to be shaken by these arguments. 'Still, however,' said the latter, ' we admire, and even wish to emulate Camillus, and Miltiades, and Alexander; a Sully and a Clarendon.' 'Add a Lord Burleigh,' replied the minister, 'who, in reference to Spenser, thought a hundred pounds an immense sum for a song! Which is now most thought of, or most loved ?-the calculating minister or the poor poet? the puissant treasurer or he who was left “in suing long to bide !" ! Sir George and De Vere, considering the quarter whence it came, were delighted with this question. The doctor was silent, and seemed to wish his great friend to go on. He proceeded thus—'I might make the same question as to Horace and Mecænas; and yet, I daresay, Horace was as proud of being taken in Mecænas's coach to the Capitol as the dean of St Patricks in Oxford's or Bolingbroke's to Windsor. Yet Oxford is even now chiefly remembered through that very dean, and so perhaps would Bolingbroke, but that he is an author, and a very considerable one himself. We may recollect,' continued he, the manner in which Whitelocke mentions Milton—that “one Milton, a blind man," was made secretary to Cromwell. Whitelocke was then the first subject in the state, and lived in all the pomp of the seals, and all the splendour of Bulstrode; while the blind man waked at early morn

Mrs Trollope. to listen to the lark bidding him good-morrow at his cottage window. Where is the lord-keeper now! Manners of the Americans was published, and excited where the blind man? What is known of Addison as secretary of state ? and how can his excellency com- much attention. She drew so severe a picture of pare with the man who charms us so exquisitely in American faults and foibles—of their want of delihis writings! When I have visited his interesting cacy, their affectations, drinking, coarse selfishness, house at Bilton, in Warwickshire, sat in his very

and ridiculous peculiarities—that the whole nation

There is study, and read his very books, no words can describe was incensed at their English satirist. my emotions. I breathe his official atmosphere here, much exaggeration in Mrs Trollope's sketches; but but without thinking of him at all. In short, there having truth for their foundation, her book is supis this delightful superiority in literary over political posed to have had some effect in reforming the fame, that the one, to say the best of it, stalks in cold minor morals' and social habits of the Americans. grandeur upon stilts, like a French tragedy actor, The same year our authoress continued her satiric while the other winds itself into our warm hearts, portraits in a novel entitled The Refugee in America, and is hugged there with all the affection of a friend marked by the same traits as her former work, but and all the admiration of a lover.' Hear! hear!' exhibiting little art or talent in the construction of a cried Sir George, which was echoed by De Vere and fable. Mrs Trollope now tried new ground. In 1834 Herbert himself.

she published Belgium and Western Germany in 1833,

countries where she found much more to gratify and De Clifford, or the Constant Man, produced in interest her than in America, and where she travelled 1841, is also a tale of actual life; and as the hero is in generally good humour. The only serious evil at one time secretary to a cabinet minister, Mr which Mrs Trollope seems to have encountered in Ward revels in official details, rivalries, and in Germany was the tobacco-smoke, which she vitrigue. In 1844 our author produced Chatsworth, or tuperates with unwearied perseverance. In 1837 the Romance of a Week.

she presented another novel, The Vicar of Wrexhill,

an able and entertaining work, full of prejudices, BENJAMIN D'ISRAELI.

but containing some excellent painting of manners

and eccentricities. In 1838 our authoress appears MR BENJAMIN D'ISRAELI, M. P., son of the vener- again as a traveller. Vienna and the Austrians was able author of the Curiosities of Literature, composed of the same cast as · Belgium and Germany,' but a novel of the same class as Mr Ward's, which also more deformed by prejudice. This journey also puzzled the busy idlers of literature and fashion. afforded Mrs Trollope materials for a novel, which Vivian Grey, two volumes, 1826, and continued in she entitled A Romance of Vienna. Three novels three more volumes in the following year, is a work were the fruit of 1839; namely, The Widow Barnaby, of irregular imaginative talent, of little or no plot, but a highly amusing work, particularly the delineation presenting views of society and character without of the bustling, scheming, unprincipled husband

[graphic]

hunting widow, Michael Armstrong, or the Factory ceased to keep alive the strongest and often the Boy, a caricature of the evils attendant on the manu- worst passions of our nature ; whose pauses, during facturing system ; and One Fault, a domestic story, that long lapse of a country's existence, from actual illustrating with uncommon vigour and effect the conflict in the field, have been but so many changes dismal consequences of that species of bad temper into mental strife, and who to this day are held which proceeds from pride and over sensitiveness. prepared, should the war-cry be given, to rush at In 1840 we had The Widow Married ; and in 1841 each other's throats, and enact scenes that, in the i The Blue Belles of England, and Charles Chesterfield. columns of a newspaper, would show more terribly The latter relates the history of a youth of genius, vivid than any selected by us from former facts, and contains a satirical picture of the state of lite for the purposes of candid, though slight illustrarature in England, branding authors, editors, and tion. There was too much of this strong writing' publishers with unprincipled profligacy, selfishness, in The Cropry, and worse faults were found in the and corruption. In 1842 Mrs Trollope, besides prolixity of some of the dialogues and descriptions, throwing off another novel (The Ward of Thorpe and a too palpable imitation of the style of Sir Combe), gave the public the result of a second Walter Scott in his historical romances. The scenes visit to Belgium, describing the changes that had peculiarly Irish are, however, written with Mr been effected since 1833, and also A Visit to Italy. Banini's characteristic rigour : he describes the The smart caustic style of our authoress was not burning of a cabin till we seem to witness the spec. so well adapted to the classic scenes, manners, and tacle; and the massacre at Vinegar Hill is portrayed antiquities of Italy, as to the broader features of with the distinctness of dramatic action. Nanny American life and character, and this work was not the knitter is also one of his happiest Irish like80 successful as her previous publications. Return- nesses. The experiment made by the author to ing to fiction, we find Mrs Trollope, as usual, prolific. depict, like Scott, the manners and frivolities of the Three novels, of three volumes each, were the pro- higher classes—to draw a sprightly heroine, a maiden duce of 1843 Hargrave, Jessie Phillips, and The aunt, or the ordinary characters and traits of genteel Laurringtons. The first is a sketch of a man of society-was decidedly a failure. His strength lay fashion; the second an attack on the new English in the cabin and the wild heath, not in the drawing. poor-law; and the third a lively satire on “superior room. In 1830 Mr Banim published The Denounced, people, the bustling Botherbys' of society. Review- in three volumes, a work consisting of two tales ing the aggregate labours of this industrious author- - The Last Baron of Crana, and The Conformists. ess, we cannot say that she has done good propor- The same beauties and defects which characterise tioned to her talents. Her satire is directed against The Croppy are seen in The Denounced; but The the mere superficialities of life, and is not calculated Conformists is a deeply-interesting story, and calls to check vice or encourage virtue. In depicting forth Mr Banim’s peculiarities of description and ! high life, she wants the genial spirit and humanity knowledge of character in a very striking light. His of Theodore Hook. She has scattered amusement object is to depict the evils of that system of antiamong novel-readers by some of her delineations; Catholic tyranny when the penal laws were in full but in all her mirth there is a mocking and bitter force, by which home education was denied to Cathospirit, which is often as misplaced as it is unfemi lic families unless by a Protestant teacher. The nine.

more rigid of the Catholics abjured all instruction thus administered; and Mr Banim describes the etfects of ignorance and neglect on the second son of

a Catholic gentleman, haughty, sensitive, and pain. The Tales of the O'Hara Family, first and second fully alive to the disadvantages and degradation of 1 series, 1825 and 1826, produced a strong and vivid his condition. The whole account of this family, impression on all readers of fiction. The author the D'Arcys, is written with great skill and elect seemed to unite the truth and circumstantiality of In 1838 Mr Banim collected several of his contribaCrabbe with the dark and gloomy power of Godwin; tions to periodical works, and published them under and in knowledge of Irish character, habits, customs, the title of The Bit o lÃritin', and other Tales. In and feeling, he was superior to even Miss Edge 1842 he came forward with an original and excellent worth or Lady Morgan. The story of the Nowlans, novel, in three volumes, Father Connel, the hero and that of Croohore of the Bill-Hook, can never be being an aged and benevolent Catholic priest, not forgotten by those who have once perused them. unworthy of association with the Protestant Vicar The force of the passions, and the effects of crime, of Wakefield.' This primitive pastor becomes the i turbulence, and misery, have rarely been painted patron of a poor vagrant boy, Neddy Fennell, whose with such overmastering energy, or wrought into adventures furnish the incidents for the story. There narratives of more sustained and harrowing interest. is, as usual with Mr Banim, a variety of incidents The probability of his incidents was not much at- minutely related-scenes of gloom and terror-and tended to by the author, and he indulged largely in a complete knowledge of the moral anatomy of our scenes of horror and violence in murders, abduc-nature. This was destined to be the last work of tions, pursuits, and escapes--but the whole was re- the author. He died in August 1842, in the prime lated with such spirit, raciness, and truth of cos- of life, in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, which tume and colouring, that the reader had neither time also was his birthplace. "Mr Banim began life as nor inclination to note defects. The very peculiari- a miniature painter; but, seduced from his profession ties of the Irish dialect and pronunciation (though by promptings too strong to be resisted, and by the constituting at first a difficulty in perusal, and success of a tragedy, Damon and Pythias, he early always too much persisted in by Mr Banim) | abandoned art, and adopted literature as a protes heightened the wild native flavour of the stories, sion; and he will be long remembered as the writer and enriched them with many new and picturesque of that powerful and painful series of novels, “ The words and phrases. These original and striking O'Hara Tales.” Some years previous, the general tales were followed up in 1828 by another Irish sympathy was attracted to Mr Banim's struggle story, The Croppy, connected with the insurrection against the suffering and privation which came in the in 1798. * We paint,' said the author, ‘from the train of disease that precluded all literary exertion ; people of a land amongst whom, for the last six and on that occasion Sir Robert Peel came to the hundred years, national provocations have never | aid of the distressed author, whose latter years were

JOHN BANIM.

restored to his native country, and made easy by a hard towards a spot brilliantly illuminated, they saw yearly pension of £150 from the civil list, to which Saunders Smyly vigorously engaged in one of his tasks an addition of £40 a-year was afterwards made for as disciplinarian to the Ballybreehoone cavalry. With the education of his daughter, an only child.'* Be- much ostentation, his instrument of torture was sides the works we have mentioned, Mr Banim flourished round his head, and though at every lash wrote Boyne Water, and other poetical pieces; and the shrieks of the sufferer came loud, the lashes themhe contributed largely to the different magazines and selves were scarce less distinct. annuals. The O'Hara Tales' had given him a name A second group challenged the eye. Shawn-a-Gow's that carried general attraction to all lovers of light house stood alone in the village. A short distance literature; and there are few of these short and before its door was a lime-tree, with benches contrived hasty tales that do not contain some traces of his all round the trunk, upon which, in summer weather, unrivalled Irish power and fidelity of delineation. the gossipers of the village used to seat themselves. In some respects Mr Banim was à mannerist: his This tree, standing between our spectators and the knowledge extended over a wide surface of Irish blaze, cut darkly against the glowing objects beyond history and of character, under all its modifications ; it; and three or four yeomen, their backs turned to but his style and imagination were confined chiefly the hill, their faces to the burning house, and conseto the same class of subjects, and to a peculiar mode quently their figures also appearing black, seemed of treating them. “Thus the consciousness of power busily occupied in some feat that required the exerin the description of unhallowed and unregulated tion of pulling with their bands lifted above their impulse, appears to draw him often away from con- heads. Shawn flashed an inquiring glance upon them, templating those feelings of a more pleasing kind, and anon a human form, still, like their figures, to comprehend and to delineate which is so neces- vague and undefined in blackness, gradually became sary a condition to the attainment of perfection in elevated from the ground beneath the tree, until its his art. Thus the boldness and minuteness of detail, head almost touched a projecting branch, and then which give reality to his frequent scenes of lawless it remained stationary, suspended from that branch. ness and violence, are too often forced close on the

Shawn's rage increased to madness at this sight, verge of vulgar honour and melodramatic artifice. though he did not admit it to be immediately conTo be brief, throughout the whole of his writings And now came an event that made a climax, for the

nected with his more individual causes for wrath. there is a sort of overstrained excitement, a wilful dwelling upon turbulent and unchastened pas- present, to his emotions, and at length caused some sions, which, as it is a vice most often incident to expressions of his pent-up feelings. A loud crackling the workings of real genius, more especially of Irish taller and more dense than any by which it was pre

crash echoed from his house; a volume of flame, genius, so perhaps it is one which meets with least ceded, darted up to the heavens; then almost former mercy from well-behaved prosaic people.'t This darkness fell on the hill-side; a gloomy red glow defect he partially overcame in his later writings. alone remained on the objects' below; and nothing • Father Connell' is full of gentle affectionate feel- but thick smoke, dotted with sparks, continued to ings and delineation, and some of his smaller tales issue from his dwelling. After everything that could are distinguished by great delicacy and tenderness.

interiorly supply food to the flame had been devoured,

it was the roof of his old house that now fell in. [Description of the Burning of a Croppy's House.] By the ashes o' my cabin, burnt down before me The smith kept a brooding and gloomy silence ; hill-side lookin' at id—while I can get an Orange

this night-an' I stannin' a houseless beggar on the his almost savage yet steadfast glare fastened upon man's house to take the blaze, an'a wisp to kindle the element that, not more raging than his own

the blaze up, I'll burn ten houses for that one!' bosom, devoured his dwelling. Fire had been set to

And so asseverating, he recrossed the summit of the the house in many places within and without; and hill, and, followed by Peter Rooney, descended into though at first it crept slowly along the surface of the the little valley of refuge. thatch, or only sent out bursting wreaths of vapour from the interior, or through the doorway, few minutes elapsed until the whole of the combustible roof was one mass of flame, shooting up into the serene air MR CROKER has been one of the most industrious in a spire of dazzling brilliancy, mixed with vivid and tasteful collectors of the legendary lore, the sparks, and relieved against a background of dark- poetical traditions and antiquities of Ireland. In gray smoke.

1824 appeared his Researches in the South of Ireland, Sky and earth appeared reddened into common ig- one volume, quarto, containing a judicious and happy nition with the blaze. The houses around gleamed mixture of humour, sentiment, and antiquarianism. hotly; the very stones and rocks on the hill-side This was followed by Fairy Legends and Traditions seemed portions of fire; and Shawn-a-Gow's bare head of the South of Ireland, 1827; Legends of the Lakes, or and herculean shoulders were covered with spreading Sayings and Doings at Killarney, two volumes, 1828; showers of the ashes of his own roof. His distended eye fixed too upon the figures of the lon that Story, 1828 ; Barney Mahoney, 1832 ; My Vil

Daniel O'Rourke, or Rhymes of a Pantomime founded actors in this scene, now rendered fiercely distinct, lage versus Our Village

, 1832 ; Popular Songs of Ireand their scabbards, their buttons, and their polished land, 1839, &c. The tales of " Barney Mahoney” and black helmets, bickering redly in the glow, as, at a • My Village' are Mr Croker's only efforts at strictly command from their captain, they sent up the hills original composition, his other works being compiside three shouts over the demolition of the Croppy's lations, like Scott's Minstrelsy, and entered upon dwelling. But still

, though his breast heaved, and with equal enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject. though wreaths of foam edged his lips, Shawn was silent; and little Peter now feared to address a word Barney is a low Irish servant, and his adventures to him. And other sights and occurrences claimed much force or interest.

are characteristic and amusing, though without

My Village' is an English whatever attention he was able to afford. Rising to a tale, and by no means happy either in conception pitch of shrillness that over-mastered the cheers of the yeomen, the cries of a man in bodily agony struck dressed or represented her village en vaudeville, like

or execution. Miss. Mitford may have occasionally on the ears of the listeners on the hill, and looking the back-scene of a theatre, but Mr Croker errs on

* Athenäum for 1842. tv Westminster Review, 1823. the opposite side. He gives us a series of Dutch

T. CROFTON CROKER.

paintings, too little relieved by imagination or pas- which, to be sure, it never can be: and that's the way
sion to excite or gratify the curiosity of the reader. St Patrick settled the last of the sarpints, sir.
He is happiest among the fanciful legends of his
native country, treasuring up their romantic fea-

The national character of Ireland was further tures, quoting fragments of song, describing a lake illustrated by two collections of tales published or ruin, hitting off a dialogue or merry jest, and anonymously, entitled To-day in Ireland, 1825; and chronicling the peculiarities of his countrymen in Yesterday in Ireland, 1829. Though imperfectly their humours, their superstition, and rustic sim- acquainted with the art of a novelist, this writer plicity. The following is the account which he puts is often correct and happy in his descriptions and into the mouth of one of his characters, of the last historical summaries. Like Banim, he has ventured of the Irish serpents.

on the stormy period of 1798, and has been more

minute than his great rival in sketching the circumSure everybody has heard tell of the blessed St stances of the rebellion. MR Crowe, author of Patrick, and how he druve the sarpints and all man- | The English in Italy and France, a work of superior ner of venomous things out of Ireland ; how he merit, is said to be the author of these tales. The bothered all the varmint' entirely. But for all that, Rev. CÆSAR OTWAY, of Dublin, in his Sketches of there was one ould sarpint left, who was too cunning Ireland, and his Tour in Connaught, &c. 1839, has to be talked out of the country, and made to drown displayed many of the most valuable qualities of a himself

. St Patrick didn't well know how to manage novelist, without attempting the construction of a this fellow, who was doing great havoc; till, at long regular story. His lively style and humorous illuslast he bethought himself, and got a strong iron chest trations of the manners of the people render his made with nine boults upon it. So one finė morning topographical works very pleasant as well as inhe takes a walk to where the sarpint used to keep; structive reading. Mr Otway was a keen theoloand the sarpint, who didn't like the saint in the least, gian, a determined anti-Catholic, but full of Irish and small blame to him for that, began to hiss and feeling and universal kindliness. He died in March show his teeth at him like anything. 'Oh,' says St 1842. Patrick, says he, 'where's the use of making such a piece of work about a gentleman like myself coming to see you. 'Tis a nice house I have got made for

GERALD GRIFFIN. you agin the winter; for I'm going to civilise the whole country, man and beast,' says he,' and you can

GERALD GRIFFIN, author of some excellent Irish come and look at it whenever you please, and 'tis my: 1803. Ilis first schoolmaster appears to have been

tales, was born at Limerick on the 12th of December self will be glad to see you.' The sarpint hearing such smooth words, thought that though St Patrick had advertisements begins — When ponderous polly.

a true Milesian pedant and original, for one of his druve all the rest of the sarpints into the sea, he meant syllables promulgate professional powers!

--and he no harm to himself; so the sarpint walks fair and boasted of being one of three persons in Ireland who easy up to see him and the house he was speaking knew how to read correctly ; namely, the Bishop of about. But when the sarpint saw the nine boults Killaloe, the Earl of Clare, and himself

, Nir Maeupon the chest, he thought he was sould (betrayed), and was for making off with himself as fast as ever he Eligot! Gerald was afterwards placed under a pricould. "'Tis a nice warm house, you sce,' says St

vate tutor, whence he was removed to attend a school Patrick, “and 'tis a good friend I am to you. 'I

at Limerick. While a mere youth, he became conthank you kindly, St Patrick, for your civility,' says having written a tragedy, he migrated to London in

nected with the Limerick Advertiser newspaper; but ! the sarpint; ' but I think it's too small it is for me'meaning it for an excuse, and away he was going himself in literature and the drama. Disappoint

his twentieth year, with the hope of distinguishing * Too small!' says St Patrick, stop, if you please,' says ment very naturally followed, and Gerald betook he, ‘ you're out in that, my boy, anyhow-I am sure twill fit you completely; and I'll tell you what,' says himself to reporting for the daily press and contrihe, I'll bet you a gallon of porter,' says he, that if buting to the magazines. In 1825 he succeeded in you'll only try and get in, there'll be plenty of room getting an operatic melodrama brought out at the for you.' The sarpint was as thirsty as could be with English Opera House; and in 1827 appeared his his walk;

and 'twas great joy to him the thoughts of Holland-Tide, or Munster Popular Tales, a series of doing St Patrick out of the gallon of porter ; so, swell- short stories, thoroughly Irishi

, and evincing powers ing himself up as big as he could, in he got to the of observation and description from which much chest, all but a little bit of his tail. “There, now, might be anticipated.

This fortunate beginning says he, ' I've won the gallon, for you see the house is

was followed up the same year by Tales of the Mintoo small for me, for I can't get in my tail.' When ster Festivals, containing Card-Drawing, the Half-Sir, what does St Patrick do, but he comes behind the and Suil Dhuv the Coiner, three volumes. great heavy lid of the chest, and, putting his two nationality of these tales, and the talent of the hands to it, down he slaps it with a bang like thunder. author in depicting the mingled levity and pathos When the rogue of a sarpint saw the lid coming down, of the Irish character, rendered them exceedingly in went his tail like a shot, for fear of being whipped popular. His reputation was still further increase i off him, and St Patrick began at once to boult the nine by the publication, in 1829, of The Collegians ; a iron boults. 'Oh, murder! wont you let me out, Second Series of Tales of the Munster Festivals, three St Patrick ? says the sarpint ;' I've lost the bet fairly, volumes, which proved to be the most popular of all and I'll pay you the gallon like a man.' * Let you his works, and was thought by many to place Griffin out, my darling,' says St Patrick, “to be sure I will, as an Irish novelist above "Banim and Carletoa. by all manner of means; but you see I haven't time Some of the scenes possess a deep and melancholy now, so you must wait till to-morrow.' And so he interest; for, in awakening terror, and painting the took the iron chest, with the sarpint in it, and pitches sterner passions and their results, Griffin displayed it into the lake here, where it is to this hour for cer- the art and power of a master. The Collegians,' tain ; and 'tis the sarpint struggling down at the bot- says a writer in the Edinburgh Review, 'is & Fery tom that makes the waves upon it. Many is the liv- interesting and well-constructed tale, full of incident ing man (continued Picket) besides myself has heard and passion. It is a history of the clandestine union the sarpint crying out from within the chest under the of a young man of good birth and fortune with a water— Is it to-morrow yet ?—is it to-morrow yet ?' | girl of far inferior rank, and of the consequences

The

[ocr errors]

WILLIAM CARLETON.

which too naturally result. The gradual decay of Still be his care in future years an attachment which was scarcely based on any.

To learn of thee truth's simple way, thing better than sensual love--the irksomeness of And free from foundless hopes or fears, concealment~the goadings of wounded pride—the Serenely live, securely pray. suggestions of self-interest, which had been hastily neglected for an object which proves inadequate

And when our Christmas days are past, when gained--all these combining to produce, first,

And life's vain shadows faint and dim, neglect, and lastly, aversion, are interestingly and Oh, be my sister heard at last, vividly described. An attachment to another, su When her pure hands are raised for him! perior both in mind and station, springs up at the Christmas, 1830. same time; and to effect a union with her, the unhappy wife is sacrificed. It is a terrible represen

His mind, fixed on this subject, still retained its tation of the course of crime; and it is not only youthful buoyancy and cheerfulness, and he made a forcibly, but naturally displayed. The characters tour in Scotland, which afforded him the highest sasometimes express their feelings with unnecessary in the autumn of 1838, and joined the Christian

tisfaction and enjoyment. He retired from the world energy, strong emotions are too long dwelt upon, and incidents rather slowly developed ; but there Brotherhood (whose duty it is to instruct the poor) is no common skill and power evinced in the con

in the monastery at Cork. In the second year of duct of the tale. In 1830 Mr Griffin was again in his noviciate he was attacked with typhus fever, the field with his Irish sketches. Two tales, The and died on the 12th of June 1840. Rivals, and Tracey's Ambition, were well received, though improbable in plot and ill-arranged in incident. The author continued his miscellaneous labours for the press, and published, besides a

WILLIAM CARLETON, author of Traits and Stories number of contributions to periodicals, another of the Irish Peasantry, was born at Prillisk, in the series of stories, entitled Tales of the Five Senses. parish of Clogher, and county of Tyrone, in the year These are not equal to his · Munster Tales," but are, 1798. His father was a person in lowly station-a nevertheless, full of fine Irish description and cha- peasant-but highly and singularly gifted. His meracter, and of that 'dark and touching power' which mory was unusually retentive, and as a teller of old Mr Carleton assigns as the distinguishing excellence tales, legends, and historical anecdotes, he was unof his brother novelist. In 1832 the townsmen of He spoke the Irish and English languages with nearly

rivalled; and his stock of them was inexhaustible. Mr Griffin devolved upon him a very pleasing duty

to wait upon Mr Moore the poet, and request that equal fluency. His mother was skilled in the native he would allow himself to be put in nomination for music of the country, and possessed the sweetest and the representation of the city of Limerick in parlia- brated for the effect she gave to the Irish cry or

most exquisite of human voices.* She was celement. Mr Moore prudently declined this honour, but appears to have given a characteristically kind keene. I have often been present,' says her son, and warm reception to his young enthusiastic visitor, when she has “ raised the keene" over the corpse and his brother, who accompanied him.

of some relative or neighbour, and my readers may Notwithstanding the early success and growing this expression of her sympathy, when I assure them

judge of the melancholy charm which accompanied reputation of Mr Griffin, he appears to have soon become tired of the world, and anxious to retreat that the general clamour of violent grief was gradufrom its toils and its pleasures. He had been edu- ally diminished, from admiration, until it became cated in the Roman Catholic faith, and one of his ultimately hushed, and no voice was heard but her sisters had, about the year 1830, taken the veil.

own-wailing in sorrowful but solitary beauty.' With This circumstance awakened the poetical and de- such parents Carleton could not fail to imbibe the votional feelings and desires that formed part of his peculiar feelings and superstitions of his country. character, and he grew daily more anxious to quit genius. His first schoolmaster was a Connaught man,

His humble home was a fitting nursery for Irish the busy world for a life of religious duty and ser named Pat Frayne, the prototype of Mat Kavanagh vice. The following verses, written at this time, in the Hedge School." He also received some inare expressive of his new enthusiasm :

struction from a classical teacher, a tyrannical Seven dreary winters gone and spent,

blockhead' who settled in the neighbourhood, and it Seven blooming summers vanished too,

was afterwards agreed to send him to Munster, as a Since on an eager mission bent,

poor scholar, to complete his education. The poor

scholars of Munster are indebted for nothing but I left my Irish home and you.

their bed and board, which they receive from the How passed those years I will not say;

parents of the scholars. In some cases a collection They cannot be by words renewed

is made to provide an outfit for the youth thus leavGod wash their sinful parts away!

ing home; but Carleton's own family supplied the And blest be he for all their good.

funds supposed to be necessary. The circumstances

attending his departure Mr Carleton has related in With even mind and tranquil breast

his fine tale, 'The Poor Scholar.' As he journeyed I left my youthful sister then,

slowly along the road, his superstitious fears got the And now in sweet religious rest

better of his ambition to be a scholar, and stopping I see my sister there again.

for the night at a small inn by the way, a disagree

able dream determined the home-sick lad to return Returning from that stormy world,

to his father's cottage. His affectionate parents How pleasing is a sight like this!

were equally joyed to receive him; and Carleton To see that bark with canvass furled

seems to have done little for some years but join in Still riding in that port of peace.

the sports and pastimes of the people, and attend Oh, darling of a heart that still,

every wake, dance, fair, and merry-making in the By earthly joys so deeply trod, At moments bids its owner feel

* These particulars concerning the personal history of the

novelist are contained in his introduction to the last edition The warmth of nature and of God!

of the Traits and Stories.'

« 前へ次へ »