every individual topic of interest. The story is less probable, and is carried on with much machinery and effort; the incidents are less natural; the characters are less distinctly painted, and less worth painting; in short, the whole tone of the book is pitched in an inferior key. The gratuitous introduction of supernatural agency in some parts of this novel is certainly to be disapproved of. Even Shakspeare, who has been called the mighty magician, was never guilty of this mistake. His magic was employed in fairy-land, as in the Tempest; and his ghosts and goblins in dark ages, as in Macbeth and Hamlet. When he introduces a witch in Henry VI, it is because, historically, his representation was true; when he exhibits the perturbed dreams of a murderer, in Richard III, it was because his representation was morally probable; but he never thought of making these fancies actual agents in an historical scene. There are no ghosts in Henry VIII, and no witches in the Merry Wives of Windsor (except the merry ladies); and when, in one of his comedies, he chuses to wander out of nature, he modestly calls his drama a dream, and mixes up fairies, witches, mythology, and common life, as a brilliant extravaganza, which affects no historical nor even possible truth, and which pretends to represent neither actual nor possible nature. Not so Guy Mannering: it brings down witchery and supernatural agency into our own times, not to be laughed at by the better informed, or credited by the vulgar; but as an active, effective, and real part of his machinery. It treats the supernatural agency not as a superstition, but as a truth; and the result is brought about, not by the imaginations of men deluded by a fiction, but by the actual operation of a miracle, contrary to the opinion and belief of all the parties concerned. The ANtiquarty is not free from this blame; there are two or three marvellous dreams and apparitions, upon which the author probably intended to ground some important parts of his denouement; but his taste luckily took fright: the apparitions do not contribute to the catastrophe, and they now appear in the work as marks ra– ther of the author's own predilection to such agency, than as any assistance to him in the way of machinery. The HEART of Mid-Lothi AN is remarkable for containing fewer characters, and less variety of incident, than any of Sir Walter's former productions:—and it is accordingly, in some places, comparatively languid. The Porteous mob is rather heavily described; and the whole part of George Robertson, or Staunton, is extravagant or unpleasing. The final catastrophe, too, is needlessly improbable and startling; and both

Saddletree and Davie Deans, become at last rather

tedious and unreasonable; while we miss, through

out, the character of the generous and kind

hearted rustic, which, in one form or another,

gives such spirit and interest to the former sto

ries. But with all these defects, the work has both beauty and power enough to vindicate its

title to a legitimate descent from its mighty fa–

ther—and even to a place in a the valued file

of his productions. The trial and condemnation

of Effie Deans are pathetic and beautiful in the very highest degree; and the scenes with the Duke of Argyle are equally full of spirit; and strangely compounded of perfect knowledge of life, and strong and deep feeling. But the great boast of the piece, and the great exploit of the author, is the character and history of Jeanie Deans, from the time she first reproves her sister's flirtations at St Leonard's, till she settles in the manse in Argyleshire. The singular talent with which he has engrafted, on the humble and somewhat coarse stock of a quiet and unassuming peasant girl, the powerful affection, the strong sense, and lofty purposes, which distinguish the heroine —or rather the art with which he has so tempered and modified those great qualities, as to make them appear noways unsuitable to the station or ordinary bearing of such a person, and so ordered and disposed the incidents by which they are called out, that they seem throughout adapted, and native, as it were, to her condition, is superior to any thing we can recollect in the history of invention; and must appear to any one, who attentively considers it, as a remarkable triumph over the greatest of all difficulties, in the conduct of a fictitious narrative. Jeanie Deans, in the course of her adventurous undertaking, excites our admiration and sympathy more powerfully than most heroines, and is in the highest degree both pathetic and sublime; and yet she never says or does any thing that the daughter of a Scotch cow-feeder might not be supposed to say or to do—and scarcely any thing indeed that is not characteristic of her rank and habitual occupations. She is never sentimental, nor refined, nor elegant; and though always acting in very difficult situations, with the greatest judgment and propriety, never seems to exert more than that downright and obvious good sense, which is so often found to rule the conduct of persons of her condition. This is the great ornament and charm of the work. Dumbiedikes is, however, an admirable sketch in the grotesque way;—and the Captain of Knockdunder is not only a very spirited, but also a very accurate representation of a Celtic deputy. There is less description of scenery, and less sympathy in external nature in this, than in any of the other tales.

The BRide of LAMMERMoon is more sketchy and romantic than the usual vein of the author—and loses, perhaps, in the exaggeration that is incident to the style, some of the deep and heart-felt interest that belongs to more familiar situations. The humours of Caleb Balderstone are, to our taste, the least successful of this author's attempts at pleasantry,<-and belong rather to the school of French or Italian buffoonery, than to that of English humour;-and yet, to give scope to these farcical exhibitions, the poverty of the master of Ravenswood is exaggerated beyond all credibility, and to the injury even of his personal dignity. Sir William Ashton is tedious; and Bucklaw and his captain, though excellently drawn, take up rather too much room for subordinate agents. There are splendid things, however, in this work also. The picture of old Ailie is exquisite—and beyond the reach of any other living writer. The hags that convene in the church-yard have all the terror and sublimity, and more than the nature of Macbeth's witches; and the courtship at the Mermaiden's well, as well as some of the immediately preceding scenes, are full of dignity and beauty. The catastrophe of the bride, though it may be founded on fact, is too horrible for fiction. But that of Ravenswood is magnificent —and, taken along with the prediction which it was doomed to fulfil, and the mourning and death of Balderstone, is one of the finest combinations of superstition and sadness, which the gloomy genius of our fiction ever put together.

The LEGEND of Montrose is also of the nature of a sketch or fragment, and is still more vigourous than its companion. There is too much, perhaps, of Dalgetty—or, rather, he engrosses too great a proportion of the work; for, in himself, we think he is uniformly entertaining;-and the author has nowhere shown more affinity to that matchless spirit, who could bring out his Falstaffs and his Pistols, in act after act, and play after Play, and exercise them every time with scenes of unbounded loquacity, without either exhausting their humour, or varying a note from its characteristic tone, than in his ample and reiterated specimens of the eloquence of the redoubted Rittmaster. The general idea of the character is familiar to our comic dramatists after the Restoration—and may be said, in some measure, to be compounded of Captain Fluellen and Bobadil; —but the ludicrous combination of the soldado with the student of Mareschal College is entirely original; and the mixture of talent, selfishness, tourage, coarseness, and conceit, was never so happily exemplified. Numerous as his speeches are, there is not one that is not characteristic— and, to our taste, divertingly ludicrous. Annot Lyle, and the Children of the Mist, are in a very

different manner, and are full of genius and poetry. The whole of the scenes at Argyle's castle, and in the escape from it—though trespassing too far beyond the bounds of probability—are given with great spirit and effect; and the mixture of romantic incident and situation, with the tone of actual business, and the real transactions of a camp, give a life and interest to the warlike part of the story, which belong to the fictions of no other hand. From the Tales of My Landlord we must pass rapidly over to the beautiful romance of Ivanhoe, the story of which is entirely English, and the time laid as far back as the reign of Richard I, the Saxons and Normans of which age are less known to us than the Highlanders and Cameronians of the present. This was the great difficulty the author had to contend with, and the great disadvantage of the subject with which he had do deal. Nobody now alive can have a very clear conception of the actual way of life, and manière d'être of our ancestors in the year 1194. Some of the more prominent outlines of their chivalry, their priesthood, and their villanage, may be known to antiquaries, or even to general readers; but all the filling up and details, which alone can give body and life to the picture, have been long since effaced by time. We have scarcely any notion, in short, of the private life and conversation of any class of persons in that remote period; and, in fact, know less how the men and women occupied and amused themselves —what they talked about—how they looked—or what they actually thought or felt, at that time in England, than we know of what they did or thought at Rome in the time of Augustus, or at Athens in the time of Pericles. The memorials and relics of those earlier ages and remoter nations are greatly more abundant and more familiar to us, than those of our ancestors at the distance of seven centuries. Besides ample histories and copious orations, we have plays, poems, and familiar letters of the former period; while of the latter we have only some vague chronicles, superstitious legends, and a few fragments of foreign romance. We scarcely know indeed what language was then either spoken or written. Yet, with all these helps, how cold and conjectural a thing would a novel be, of which the scene was laid in ancient Rome ! The author might talk with perfect propriety of the beauties of the Forum, and the arrangements of the circus–of the baths and the suppers, and the canvass for office, and the sacrifices, and musters, and assemblies. He might be quite correct as to the dress, furniture, and utensils he had occasion to mention; and might even embody in his work various anecdotes and sayings preserved in contemporary authors. But when he came to represent the details of individual character, and feeling and to delineate the daily conduct, and report the ordinary conversation of his persons, he would find himself either frozen in among barren generalities, or engaged with modern Englishmen in the masquerade habits of antiquity. In stating these difficulties, however, we really mean less to account for the defects, than to enhance the merits of the work we are treating of. For though the author has not worked impossibilities, he has done wonders with his subject; and though we do sometimes miss those fresh and living pictures of the characters which we know, and the nature with which we are familiar, and that high and deep interest which the home scenes of our own times and own people could alone generate or sustain, it is impossible to deny that he has inade marvellous good use of the scanty materials he had at his disposal, and eked them out both by the greatest skill and dexterity in their arrangement, and by all the resources that original genius could render subservient to such a design. For this purpose he has laid his scene in a period when the rivalry of the victorious Normans and the conquered Saxons had not been finally composed; and when the courtly Petulance and chivalrous and military pride of the one race might yet be set in splendid opposition to the manly steadiness and honest but homely simplicity of the other; and has, at the same time, given an air both of dignity and reality to his story, by bringing in the personal prowess of Coeur de Lion himself, and other personages of historical fame, to assist in its development. Though reduced in a great measure to the vulgar staple of armed knights, and jolly friars and woodmen, imprisoned damsels, lawless barons, collared serfs, and household fools, he has made such use of his great talents for description, and invested those traditional and theatrical persons with so much of the feelings that are of all ages and all countries, that we frequently cease to regard them (as it is generally right to regard them) as parts of a fantastical pageant; and are often brought to consider the knights who joust in panoply in the lists, and the foresters who shoot deer with arrows, and plunder travellers in the woods, as real individuals, with hearts and blood beating in their bosoms like our own—actual existences, in short, into whose views we may reasonably enter, and with whose emotions we are bound to sympathise. To all this he has added, out of the prodigality of his high and inventive genius, the grace and the interest of some lofty, and sweet, and superhuman characters, for which, though evidently fictitious, and unnatural in any stage of society, the remoteness of the

scene on which they are introduced may serve as an apology, if they could need any other than what they bring along with them in their own sublimity and beauty. In comparing this work then with the productions which had already proceeded from the same master-hand, it is impossible not to feel that we are passing in some degree from the reign of nature and reality to that of fancy and romance, and exchanging for scenes of wonder and curiosity those more homefelt sympathies, and deeper touches of delight, that can only be excited by the people among whom we live, and the objects that are constantly around us. A far greater proportion of the work is accordingly made up of splendid descriptions of arms and dresses, moated and massive castles, tournaments of mailed champions, solemn feasts, formal courtesies, and other matters of external and visible presentment, that are only entitled to such distinction as connected with the olden times, and novel by virtue of their antiquity; while the interest of the story is maintained far more by surprising adventures and extraordinary situations, the startling effect of exaggerated sentiments, and the strong contrast of overdrawn characters, than by the sober charms of truth and reality, the exquisite representation of scenes with which we are familiar, or the skilful development of affections which we have often experienced. These bright lights and deep shadows—this succession of brilliant pictures, addressed as often to the eyes as to the imagination, and oftener to the imagination than the heart—this preference of striking generalities to homely details, all belong more properly to the province of poetry than of prose; and Ivanhoe, accordingly, seems to us much more akin to the most splendid of modern poems, than the most interesting of modern novels; and savours much more of the author of Marmion, or the Lady of the Lake, than of Waverley or Old Mortality. Without disputing the general verdict, which places the MonastERY below the rest of our author's works, we shall endeavour to ascertain the grounds on which it may be supposed to be founded. We believe the principal deficiency lies in, what is usually our author's principal excellence, the female characters. In general, his men add to the boldness and animation of the scene, but his women support almost all its interest. Perhaps this must always be the case where both are equally well drawn. We sympathize more readily with simple than with compound feelings; and therefore less easily with those characters, the different ingredients of which have, by mutual subservience, been moulded into one uniform mass, than with those in which they stand unmixed and contrasted. Courage restrained by caution, and liberality by prudence, loyalty, with a view only to the ultimate utility of power, and love, never forgetting itself in its object, are the attributes of men. Their purposes are formed on a general balance of compensatig motives, and pursued only while their means appear not totally inadequate. The greater susceptibility, which is always the charm, and sometimes the misfortune, of women, deprives them of the same accurate view of the proportion of different objects. The one upon which they are intent, whether it be a lover, a parent, a husband, a child, a king, a preacher, a ball, or a bonnet, swallows up the rest. Hence the enthusiasm of their loyalty, the devotedness of their affection, the abandonment of self, and the general vehemence of emotion, which, in fiction as well as in reality, operate contagiously on our feelings. But our author has, in the Monastery, neglected the power of representing the female character, which he possesses so eminently, and, in general, uses so liberally. The heroine is milk and water, or any thing still more insipid. Dame Glendinning and Tibbie are the common furniture of a farm-house; and Mysie Happer and poor Catherine, though beautiful, are mere sketches. But the great merit of the Monastery is, that it is a foundation for the Abbor. This not only relieves, in a great measure, the reader from the slow detail, or the perplexing retracings and éclaireissemens which detain or interrupt him in a narrative that is purely fictitious, but is an improvement on some of the peculiar advantages of one that is historical. In the latter, the hard and meagre outline of his previous knowledge seldom contains more than the names and mutual relations of the principal personages, and what they had previously dome, with very little of what they had previously felt. But where one fiction is founded on another, we are introduced not merely to persons who are notorious to us, but to old acquaintances and friends. The Knight of Avenel, the Abbot Ambrosius, and the Gardener Blinkhoolie, are the Halbert, and Edward, and Boniface, into whose early associations and secret feelings we had been admitted. We meet them as we meet, in real life, with those whom we have known in long-past times, and in different situations, and are interested in tracing, sometimes the resemblance, and sometimes the contrast, between what is past and what is present; in observing the effect of new circumstances in modifying or confirming their old feelings, or in eliciting others which before lay unperceivel. we view with interest the fiery

freedom of Halbert's youth ripened into the steady

and stern composure of the approved soldier and skilful politician; and when, as Knight of Avenel, he sighs for birth and name, we recognize the feelings that drove him from the obscure security of a church vassal, to seek with his sword the means of ranking with those proud men who despised his clownish poverty. And when Ambrose acknowledges that, bent as he is by affliction, he has not forgotten the effect of beauty on the heart of youth—that even in the watches of the night, broken by the thoughts of an imprisoned queen, a distracted kingdom, a church laid waste and ruinous, come other thoughts than these suggest, and other feelings that belong to an earlier and happier course of life; a single allusion sends us back through the whole intervening time, and we see him again in the deep window-recess of Glendearg, and Mary's looks of simple yet earnest anxiety, watching for his assistance in their childish studies. The allusion would have been Pretty, but how inferior of Ambrose had been a new character, and we had been forced to account for it by some vague theory as to his for. mer history! The Abbot has, however, far greater advantages over its predecessor than those, great as they are, that arise from their relative situation. We escape from the dull tower of Glendearg, with its narrow valley and homely inmates, to Edinburgh, and Holyrood House, and Lochleven Castle, and the field of Langside, and to high daires and mighty earls, and exchange the obscure squabbling of the hamlet and the convent, for events where the passions of individuals decided the sate of kingdoms, and, above all, we exchange unintelligible fairyism for human actors and human feelings. It is true there is a sorceress on the stage, but one endued with powers far greater for evil or for good than the White Lady. History has never described, or fiction invented, a character more truly tragic than Queen Mary. The most fruitful imagination could not have adorned her with more accomplishments, or exposed her to greater extremes of fortune, or alternated them with greater rapidity. And the mystery which, after all the exertions of her friends and enemies, still rests on her conduct, and which our author has most skilfully left as dark as he found it, prevents our being either shocked or unmoved by her final calamities. The former would have been the case, if her innocence could have been established. We could not have borne to see such a being plunged, by a false accusation, from such happiness into such misery. The latter would have followed, if she could have been proved to be guilty. Her sufferings, bitter as they were, were less unmixed than those of Bothwell. He too endured a long imprisonment, but it was in a

desolate climate, without the alleviations which even Elizabeth allowed to her rival, without the hope of escape, or the sympathy of devoted attendants: such was his misery, that his reason sunk under it. And though his sufferings were greater than those of his accomplice, if such she were, his crime was less. He had not to break the same restraints of intimate connexion, and of sex. But nobody could read a tragedy of which his misfortunes formed the substance; because we are sure of his guilt, they will excite no interest. While we continue to doubt hers, Mary's will be intensely affecting. Though KENilwoath ranks high among our author's works, we think it inferior, as a whole, to his other tragedies, the Bride of Lammermoor, the historical part of Waverley, and the Abbot, both in materials and in execution. Amy Robsart and Elizabeth occupy nearly the same space upon the canvas as Catherine Seyton and Mary. But almost all the points of interest, which are divided between Amy and Elizabeth, historical recollections, beauty, talents, attractive virtues and unhappy errors, exalted rank and deep misfortune, are accumulated in Mary; and we want altogether that union of the lofty and the elegant, of enthusiasm and playfulness, which enchanted us in Catherine. Amy is a beautiful specimen of that class which long ago furnished Desdemona: the basis of whose character is conjugal love, whose charm consists in its purity and its devotedness, whose fault springs from its undue prevalence over filial duty, and whose sufferings are occasioned by the perverted passions of him who is the object of it. Elizabeth owes almost all her interest to our early associations, and to her marvellous combination of the male and female dispositions, in those points in which they seem most incompatible. The representation of such a character loses much of its interest in history, and would be intolerable in pure fiction. In the former, its peculiarities are softened down by the distance, and Elizabeth appears a fine, but not an uncommon object—a great, unamiable sovereign; and the same peculiarities, shown up by the microscopic exaggeration of fiction, would, if judged only by the rules of fiction, offend as unnatural; but supported by the authority of history, would be most striking. A portrait might be drawn of Elizabeth, uniting the magnanimous courage, the persevering but governable anger, the power of weighing distant against immediate advantages, and the brilliant against the useful, and of subjecting all surrounding minds, even the most manly, to her influence, with the most craving vanity, the most irritable jealousy, the meanest duplicity, and the most capricious and unrelenting spite, that ever

degraded the silliest and most hateful of her sex. Sir Walter has not, we think, made the most of his opportunities. He has complied with the laws of poetical consistency, without recollecting that, in this instance, the notoriety of Elizabeth's history warranted their violation. Instead of pushing to the utmost the opposing qualities that formed her character, he has softened even the incidents that he has directly borrowed. When Leicester knelt before her at Kenilworth, ere she raised him she passed her hand over his head, so near as almost to touch his long curled and perfumed hair, and with a movement of fondness that seemed to intimate she would, if she dared, have made the motion a slight caress. Listen to Sir James Melvil's account of the occurrence. • I was required to stay till he was made Earl of Leicester, which was done at Westminster, the queen herself helping to put on his ceremonial, he sitting upon his knees (kneeling) before her with great gravity; but she could not refrain from putting her hands into his neck, smilingly tickling him, the French ambassador and I standing by. Then she turned, asking me how I liked him 2, Again, when she discovers Leicester's conduct, in which every cause of personal irritation is most skilfully accumulated, she punishes him only by a quarter of an hour's restraint under the custody of the earl-marshal. When, at a later period, and under circumstances of much less aggravation, she detected his marriage with Lady Essex, she actually imprisoned him. Our author has not ventured on the full vehemence of her affection or her rage. But, after all, his picture of the lion-hearted queen, though it might perhaps have been improved by the admission of stronger contrasts, is so vivid, and so magnificent, that we can hardly wish it other than it is. The Pirate is a bold attempt to make out a long and eventful story, from a very narrow circle of society, and a scene so circumscribed as scarcely to admit of any great scope or variety of action; and its failure, in a certain degree, must in fairness be ascribed chiefly to this scantiness and defect of the materials. The Fortunes of Nigel is of an historical character, and an attempt to describe and illustrate by examples the manners of the court, and, generally speaking, of the age, of James I of England. Without asserting the high excellence of SAINT RoNAN's Well, we may venture to affirm that it does not deserve the contempt with which it has been treated by some critics. The story, indeed, is not very probable, and there are various inconsistencies in the plot; the characters, though apparently intended to be completely modern, are

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