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sary. The names only, were reversed. There was the ought to carry with him into such an office; or on the same unqualified approbation of all upon his own side: important measures of legislation which were needed the same undiscriminating anathema of all upon the for the public weal. All these things were immaterial, other side. He held it the plainest dictate of reason, if they practised the arts of electioneering with suffithe first duty of man, the sternest injunction of patri- cient diligence, and showed themselves right upon the otism,—to disbelieve every fact asserted in the “Cla- shoe-heel and egg questions.' rion of Freedom;" to contemn all its doctrines and ar I was struck with the contrast between the views guments; to denounce all the men it advocated: and, which two minds (both more than ordinarily enlightas implicitly, to confide in the “Star of Liberty.” Even ened), took, of the probable extent of human improvefacts and opinions he had himself once maintained, -ment, and the probable permanence of popular Govern. arguments he had once held unanswerable,-he nowment. One of them had small hopes, and no very repudiated, in obedience to the 'presto, change of his strong wishes, on these subjects. He revolved the party leaders. Each of these two partisans appeared advances and retrogressions in society :-he thought utterly ignorant of the great mass of facts and reason of Nineveh-Egypi–Jerusalem-Tyre-Carthageings, by which the other's mind was influenced; or in Greece-Rome-Venice— Florence ;—of the Ages of capable of appreciating their truth or weight, because Pericles and Augustus,—and then of the Gothic night they had always been presented to him in such a light which followed :-of France, and her vain spasms of as to seem untrue, or in such a connexion as to shock freedom, ending in a full return of Bourbon despotism; his preconceived ideas. Each of them also, I could per- of Holland and Switzerland, with their brief mockery ceive, regarded the neutral who sat between them, with of republican forms, and briefer enjoyment of actual distrust and dislike. Each suspected him of attach- republican Liberty ;-of England, perpetually boasting ment to the opposite party, and of standing aloof osten- of her freedom, yet presenting, with it, the strangest sibly from both, only to conciliate both; or with the medley of oppression and corruption, and seeming view of joining that which should ultimately prove the ready, for half a century, to be shivered by the fearful stronger. “He is a trimmer”--thought they. I saw, elements that have been at work in her system. Finally, that if he had chosen neutrality with any hope of he thought of the United States: and here, despondsecuring his peace or strengthening his interest, he hadence took possession of his mind. He saw the people made a wide mistake. He was exposed to the fire of so often duped—such a mass of ignorance in them, and both parties: he had effectually cut himself off from so frightful an amount of depravity in their leaders and the sympathies, and incurred the fixed displeasure, of agents—the paths to preferment trodden so much more both. He was in the most uncomfortable of positions; successfully by impudence, cunning, and contempt for unless the consciousness of rectitude, and the convico principle, than by modest worth—such blind surrention that he had reason and justice on his side, could ders of individual opinion to party dictation, and such support and cheer him.
proneness to be infuriated by party bigotry ;-all this, The times were prolific of such political aspirants, too, in the very childhood of our institutions ;-that to as the morbid state of public feeling which I have ex- his view, this vaunted "experiment” of ours was already emplified, might be expected to produce. The keeper at an end. Its failure was demonstrated. “It is idle,” of a tippling shop, who, partly by selling, ard partly thought he, “to hope that five-sixths of mankind will not by giving away his liquors, had risen high in favor always remain in darkness, and in slavery. How small with the topers around him ;-a merchant, not much a proportion of the earth is occupied by nations that better, who had treated his customers till they ran can pretend to be called civilized! And of these, how largely in his debt, and through fear as well as through few individuals are not sunk in ignorance! Fire sixths,liking, were ready to give him their votes ;-a deputy did I say? I might have said, ninety nine hundredths. sheriff, who had been for three years courting popu. Then, as to slavery,-how much fewer nations are larity by the most loose-handed performance of his free, than are civilized! And among the pitiably few duties;—and an attorney who, finding that none would that enjoy the name of Free, how large a number of entrust him with practice, had “quitted the law,” and persons does poverty, ignorance, vice, or some other set up for a politician ;-all these candidates for a seat allotment of their destiny, make virtual if not actual in the Legislature were now subjected to my observa- slaves !-Can the blind partisan, who shapes all his tion. Parties in that district were not very nearly opinions by those of his newspaper editor, and casts his balanced: one of them had a clear and decided prepon- vote after the bidding or example of party file-leaders, derance. Our eandidates therefore knew they must be be deemed a freeman? Or the tippler,-who, with no of that side: and they were now considering how opinions at all, votes as he is desired by the neighboring they might evince their loyalty most clearly, and turn grog-seller, or for the candidate who gives him the it to the best account. They were all conning over the most whiskey : Is he a freeman ?—Human society, and favorite doctrines of the ruling party,--studying the the human intellect, are constantly revolving in cycles. strongest words whereby to express their devotion to In every country, after Freedom comes Anarchy; then its chiefs,-and repeating to themselves the main Despotism ; then Freedom again; and so on, forever. test-words of orthodoxy,—so that (as a statesman Despotism has the longest turn, except where Freedom of Lilliput would say) they might make it evident is mitigated by a large infusion of monarchy, or aristothat their shoe-heels were of the proper height,' and cracy: then, she may be saved, for centuries, from that 'they broke their eggs at the right end.' I could perishing by her own excesses. Very similar are the not discover that one of them bestowed a thought on fluctuations in literature and science."--On the whole, the extent of knowledge, the powers of mind, the I perceived that he was (to use the mildest epithet) a habits of industry, or the skill in business, which he conservative,-averse to all reforms in society, especially
to those which aimed at liberalizing its institutions: and upon them as a basis, the establishment of rationally and cherishing, almost unconsciously, in the recesses of free political institutions. His delineation of his plans his mind, a desire to see that 'infusion of monarchy or and of their results, was not more crude, vague, or unreaaristocracy,' which he thought necessary to restrain the sonable, than were the ideas of the Marquis of Worcester, 'excesses of Freedom. I further discovered, that he 150 years ago, about the steam engine; or more shockhad lately been defeated in a great political contest; ing to the skeptical, conservative minds of this day, than and that he was much afflicted with dyspepsia.
those ideas were, to the practical” plodders of the Far different was the tenor of the other's reflections. Marquis's time. At all events, he seemed to me far His wishes were ardent, and his hopes earnest, that more worthy of envy and esteem than his neighbor: Mankind might advance, not indeed to perfection, but and I could not scan the noble, well balanced developalmost infinitely far towards it, in knowledge, and vir- ments of all his faculties and feelings, without cordially tue; and upon those foundations, build an edifice of agreeing with the poet, that the energies of elevated free government, which might last as long as Time. He and generous Hope ever “burn the brightest in the pulooked back over History, as searchingly and intelli- rest heart;” and with a clever contemporary authoress, * gently as the conservative did: but while he saw much that they grow most vigorously in the strongest mind. there to appal, he saw likewise much to cheer him. He I peeped into the sconce of a young man whose chief acknowledged nearly the same cycles in mind and in reading had been in Novels. He was fancying himself government: but he remarked, that no relapse had gone mounted upon a proud charger, bearing down whole back to so low a point of depression, as that, whence squadrons in a field of battle. His imagination dethe preceding advance had begun; and that every one picted glistening bayonets, waving banners, booming ward bound which IMPROVEMENT took, had overgone cannon-balls, smoke, dust and blood; through all of her previous ones, so that on the whole, ground was which he was borne unhurt and victorious, till the enemy gained. "Greece and Rome,” thought he, “were at once were driven out of the field. The scene then changed freer and more intellectual than any people who had to a splendid parlor, where sat his "Ladye-love:” at gone before them: This age is equally far superior to whose feet, of course, he laid his laurels. Scarcely had Greece and Rome. Written constitutions—represen. I time to see that she received them with a gracious tative government-well devised checks and balances, smile, when his thoughts transferred him suddenly to a separate departments for the exercise of different func-vast and gorgeous Legislative Hall, crowded with Lions-Jury Trial--the Art of Printing—a code of In. statesmen and fair ladies. This august and brilliant as. ternational Law, not generally binding, 'tis true, but sembly he held enchained for hours, by a strain of elopersuasively operating to assuage the horrors of War, quence such as had never been heard there before, even and to make intercourse more liberal and profitable in from Randolph, or Clay, or Ames.-Curious to know peace,-enlarged ideas of Commerce-Inventions and who it was that indulged in these sublime cogitations, discoveries in Physical Science-Improvements in Ma- yet not knowing where to look for information, -I chinery—to say nothing of Christianity, and the moral chanced to aim my glass at a worthy Tailor in the benefits it has brought in its train--all these create, in same pew. He was thinking of his cabbage-drawer, modern Times, an amount of Freedom, knowledge, and of a good-for-nothing journeyman who had left it and happiness, which Greece and Rome, or any former open the day before, by which means a rogue of a serage, never knew. Nor, thanks to the Press--can things vant had been enabled to steal a whole week's plunder. ever fall back quite to the condition, in which they I found that this journeyman was the warrior and were during the Middle Ages.-Undoubtedly, a great, orator. a deplorable ignorance prevails. But that can be re I also saw the thoughts of a novel-reading young moved. Nearly all human beings are capable of in- lady. She fancied herself the wife of a great General
. struction : and the desire OF KNOWLEDGE is one of A splendid coach, with four white horses an immense the most unfailing of human traits. Attempts to diffuse apartment, decked for a ball, at which she was the preknowledge have never been properly made, without suc- siding deity-chairs and ottomans, covered with skycess. It is at this moment, spreading, surely and stea- blue satin---chandeliers of imperial magnificencedily, if not rapidly: and every moment, its course
music, ravishing enough to "take the prison'd soul, quickened; for every mind that receives, immediately And lapit in Elysium”—obsequious colonels, and proud, longs to impart it. At some propitious juncture,—from envying ladies-were the images pictured on her brain. among the millions who are now enjoying its influences,
Not a few were mentally passing judgment upon the there will arise some happy genius, to devise a plan characters of their acquaintance: and some, took occawhich will leave no cottager without his modicum of sion to exhibit their estimate of human nature in geneintellectual pleasures; his needful share of moral prin- ral. The kindly tempered and upright, I found, invaciple and political knowledge, to guide his conduct as a riably leaned towards the favorable side, in these judgman and a citizen. 'Tis only for a few of the master ments. On the other hand, I saw Dr. Johnson's indigo spirits of the time to will it, and that glorious consum
nant saying completely verified, that "He who accuses mation might even now come quickly to pass. Once all men of Knavery, convicts at least one :” for in have a stock of educated and virtuous parents, imbued whatever brain I read willing sneers at the folly, or with those rational ideas about the rearing up of youth, assurance of the wickedness, of any large portion of which are now beginning to be current,—and much may mankind, I discovered also a lurking wish to take adbe done towards guarding their children from passion vantage of that folly, or to league with that wickedness. and vice."-It would be too long, to copy all of his
But far the most generally absorbing themes of untold reverie. In brief-he anticipated a nearly universal thought were Love, Courtship, and Matrimony. I diffusion of knowledge and virtue, and by their means,
+ Characteristics of Women-" Portia,"
never, before, fully believed in the universality of policy.' It has proved the worst, to me. Had I decked Love's dominion. "The court, the camp, the grove,” I myself off in false colors,-practised airs and graces knew he ruled: but the Church I had supposed to be which Nature never gave me,-feigned a smooth, soft exempt from his sway. He seemed aware, however, speech, -and assumed that courteous bearing which no that the ground was holy; and crod it with a softness, husband long maintains,—my fate might have been very purity, and reverence, becoming the Sanctuary. I con- different. The boy in the story, who showed the fine my narrative to a few of the rarest forms in which bruised side of his melon, was a fool: and the authe agency of this all-conquering passion appeared to thor who made him succeed in spite of that folly, me. It seemed, like Caligula, to delight in showing its showed her ignorance of the world. No, no-honesty power by the strangest, as well as the most cruel is not the best policy. As fraud is necessary to success caprices. Equals were never mutually smitten, except in jockeyship, so are disguises in courtship.”—He did where both were but ordinary in mind, person, or not consider, that dress and manners being the usually character. The beautiful were commonly enamored of received signs of character, it was natural that he should the ugly; the dwarfish, of the tall; the clever, of the be judged by them. How could the lady know, that simple; the meek, of the turbulent and fierce. I saw as he, while a lover, seemed far inferior to other lovers, not a single woman of uncommon talents, who (if she he would not as a husband be proportionally inferior ? loved at all) did not love a weak man.-I read a plausi- One of the most deeply smitten swains that I saw, was ble solution of this phenomenon that day, in the brain a reputed cynic-a perpetual sneerer at love and matriof a philosophic and speculative, though rather conceited mony. Swift's“Receipt for Courtship" ("Two or three fellow, whose addresses had that very morning been dears, and two or three sweets,” &c.) had been always utterly repelled by a lady of confessedly fine intellect- on his lips. But his time came at last: he was ensnared an intellect, as he fancied, nearly equal, and of temper, by the greatest coquette in the neighborhood; and I tastes, and sentiments exactly congenial, to his own. saw in his brain several very tolerable stanzas of an "It is all owing to their love of sway:" said he, pet. impassioned ode to her dimple.-A poor fellow not far tishly. “They think a husband of inferior mind will off, was seriously thinking of suicide: and another was always be submissive, dutiful, and admiring; will resolving to join the pending struggle in Texas, where, always look to his wife for orders, and even for ideas. should he fall, he hoped “she” would hear of it, and Now, apart from the hatefulness of this unnatural pity him. inversion, they do not reflect that 'the greater the fool, the Some of the fair ones who caused all this trouble more stubborn the mule.' Besides,-how can they being present, I looked, to see how they were affected expect their talents to be duly appreciated, except by by the agonies of their lovers ; not doubting, that commen of talents ? Then, how far nobler a gratification passion, sympathy, or perhaps even gratitude for sueh it is, to enjoy the love and admiration of an equal or a kind regards, would create at least a sort of involunsuperior, than of a dolt!"-In one respect, the penchant tary return of affection. No such thing. In some, I for inequality seemed not to prevail. The rich were perceived only a feeling of contempt or of hatred, tonot often in love with the poor; and in some honorable wards their despairing swains : others sat, like Epicuinstances, the poor could not be captivated by the rich.- rean deities, wrapt in the serene light of Beauty, and I was a good deal touched by the case of a young lady, absorbed in the contemplation of their own felicity; whose affections had been engaged by a swain now insensible alike to the prayers, the sufferings, and the gone to make the tour of Europe. His father, being sacrifices, of mortals. But though thus unkind or inaverse to their union, had taken this means to prevent different to those who were dying for them,—they, too, it. With his son, the stratagem succeeded: he forgot were not wholly exempt from the power of the univerhis vows, amid the whirl of travel and the varying glare sal conqueror. I might here disclose many curious of novelly : and the forsaken girl was at this moment discoveries I made; tending to throw much light on the dwelling, with a hidden anguish that threatened her obscure and interesting subject to which they relate. life, upon the news of his intended marriage to a foreign But it would be ungenerous—perhaps not honorablewoman. Instead of the execrations his falsehood de- to publish female weaknesses, which I learned only served, she invoked Heaven's forgiveness and blessings through female agency: the Sylph's confidence in me upon him!—I was next attracted by the chagrin of a must not be violated : so I shall be silent. plain-sailing fellow, who in boyhood had been so struck Many other singular phenomena came under my nowith Dr. Fothergill's counsel to a wooer—"my advice tice; which I forbear mentioning, lest my readers be to thee, friend, is, to court in thine erery day clothes"-wearied with the length of my narration. At last my that he resolved to follow both its letter and spirit: vision was terminated in a manner as whimsical as its believing, that he should thus at once fulfil the dictate commencement. of honesty, in showing himself to the mistress as he There was a surprising number of persons engaged must daily appear to the wife; and avert the disap-in examining the elevations and depressions in the pointment and bitterness which he supposed too apt to skulls of those around them, and thence inferring what result from a married pair's beholding each other free qualities dwelt within. My glass enabled me to test from the disguises of courtship. Accordingly, he waited the accuracy of these inferences. They were nearly as upon the lady of his choice, not only in his shabby often right, as wrong: and in the former case, were working clothes, but in his work-day manners: nay, in generally aided by recourse to the countenance, or to the exuberance of his honesty, he even put on ill man. the observer's previous knowledge of the observed. It ners that were unnatural to him. He was discarded, of is fair to confess, however, that I saw no case in which, course ; and I traced these reflections in his perturbed when the bump-monger knew beforehand the existence brain : “Let no one hereafter say 'Honesty is the best I of any particular quality, he failed to find a bump for
it I was led hence to ponder upon the knack Philosophy has, of finding or making facts to confirm her theo. ries, insomuch that every conceivable theory is sure to To him who covets improvement, either from conbe amply supported by observation or experiment, or versation, public discourse, or study, there is no enemy both; and was admiring the always happier adaptation more formidablenor any whose evil influences need of artificial, or made facts, than that of préexisting ones, more to be counteracted by diligence or averted by to the purposes of Philosophy,—as a coat, made to prayer,-than WANDERING THoughts. order, fits better than one found ready made, in a slopshop : when my Sylph fixed her keen gaze upon me, and reading my thoughts—"Ingrate!” said she, "are I Something, perhaps, of what may be called the plol of you disparaging my darling science ?"_“How!” an
the foregoing piece, was suggested by a book which the author
read ten or eleven years ago, but of which he has forgolten the swered I: “No, fair Sylph, I was not thinking of it, title ; ascribed to Judge Clayton, of Georgia, writing under the at all. I appeal to the Great Searcher of Hearts". nom de guerre of Wrangham Filzramble, Esquire. He does "Searcher of Heads, sir, if you please. The heart is not owe more to that work, however, than to Le Diable Boiteut, only a cellular muscle, with a congeries of veins and The Adventures of a Guinea, and the several Visions in the Spec.
thom, let the reader judge. arteries, filled with nothing but blood."-"I beg par. don, Madam-I appeal to the Great Searcher of Heads, that I was only making some general reflections about those people there, who seem to me to be cheating Physiognomy and History of their dues, by pretending to learn what they alone disclose, from the bumps on”.
TULRUMBLE AND OLIVER TWIST. “Bumps !" roared the Sylph:“is it thus you nickname the developments of mind on the cranium ? Is it thus The Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble, once Mayor of Mud. you vilify the sublime science of PHRENOLOGY ?”
fog. By Boz. With other Tales and Sketches from Phrenology, madam! Is that Phrenology? I thought
Bentley's Miscellany and the Library of Fiction. PhilaPhrenology consisted in the use of this glass, aided by
delphia. Carey, Lea &. Blanchard. your wand and presence. Without such aid, I cannot Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress. By Boz. believe that my good friends there can see the wonder
With other Tales and Sketches from Bentley's Miscel. ful things which I have seen. What they are doing,
lany, and the Library of Fiction. Philadelphia. Carey, should rather be called BUMP-OLO"
Lea & Blanchard. Here the Sylph, in a rage, snatched the glass from my hand, waved her wand backwards, and vanished. A writer, who chooses to be known to the literary Instantly, my vision was at an end. Skulls resumed world by the name of “Boz,” bas, for some time past, their native thickness and opacity. I recollected my been exhibiting bis antics before the public. We have errand at church, and, with shame, my resolutions of never sought his acquaintance, for the same reason that attention; and listened closely to the remaining “Se we should avoid a fellow who might thrust himself into venthly' of the sermon.
an assembly room, and invite the notice of the company When all the services were over, and the congrega- by the dress and grimaces of a Merry-Andrew. We tion dispersing, I met my pious and excellent friend, would ask ourselves, in such a case, what man, capable Mrs. B*****, in the church-entry. "Ah! Mr. T****,” of refinement, would choose to be a buffoon ?-What said she, “I begin to have hopes of you. I never be- man, possessing a particle of self-respect, would descend held such unwinking attention as you paid to the ser to an exhibition so degrading and disgusting? We mon. Was it not in Mr. —'s best style ?"-I was should certainly suspect the intruder to be some clown not graceless enough to make any direct reply, or even of a circus, or bear-garden, escaped from his employer, to ask my friend how she had found time, from her own and hold ourselves in readiness, at the first hint from devotions, to watch mine: I could only make her a the managers, to put him out. bow, and hurried away to my own room, in order to Can we be blamed for coming to a somewhat similar write down what I had seen, while it was fresh in my conclusion in the case of a writer who thinks proper to memory.
announce himself by such a mountebank designation Whether the thoughts I had seemed so distinctly to as that of “Boz?” What right has he that we should read, were really passing in the minds of those who suppose him anything better than the Jack-Pudding of had been sitting before me,-or the Sylph's wand and a drunken club? glass had created an illusion which cheated my sight, The reader may ask, “How then it comes that we I shall not take upon me to decide. I, however, do take any notice of the volumes before us?” We anrather deem the former supposition the more probable, swer as follows: They were laid upon our table, and, inasmuch as some of the persons in question, (who on taking up one of them, we found, on what should were of my acquaintance) are well known to entertain have been a blank page at the end, a publisher's notice the opinions and sentiments which are here ascribed to of “The posthumous papers of the Pickwick Club, them: and as the glass told the truth so far, methinks we containing a faithful record of the perambulations, are persuasively moved to credit its testimony altogether. perils, adventures, and sporting transactions of the cor
One other observation it is incumbent upon me to responding members. Edited by Boz. The very great offer; and the reader may take it as that ingredient or demand for this humorous work,” &c. Also, “A new appendage hereof, which no History, whether feigned, edition of the Tuggs ar Ramsgate, embracing the like some others, or veracious like this, should want;- last sketches of every day life, and every day people. namely, a
By Boz The first edition being entirely exhausted."
Appended to these notices was the following from the color in its way, especially in grass, still it certainly is not beMetropolitan Magazine :
coming to water; and it cannot be denied that the beauty of Mud. “We cannot too strongly recommend these facetious fog is rather impaired, even by this trifling circumstance. Mud
fog is a healthy place--very healthy ;--damp, perhaps, but none works. They are perfect pictures of the morals, man. the worse for that. It's quite a mistake to suppose that damp is ners and habits of a great portion of English society. unwholesome : plants thrive best in damp situations, and why It is hardly possible to conceive a more pleasantly read- shouldn't men? The inhabitants of Mudfog are unanimous in ing miscellany-delightful from the abundance of its asserting that there exists not a finer race of people on the face
of the earth; here we have an indisputable and veracious consly humor, and instructive in every chapter.
tradiction of the vulgar error at once. So, admitting Mudfog to Taken altogether, we have rarely met with works that be damp, we distinctiy state that it is salubrious." have pleased us more, and we know that our taste is In this place lives a man who, by quiet industry, has always lhat of the public.”
raised himself from poverty to wealth, and in due seaThus admonished, it behooved us, who live by the fa- son is chosen mayor of the town. He has just before vor of the public, and whose duty it is to minister to witnessed a Lord Mayor's procession in London, and the public taste, to avail ourselves of this opportunity determines to have a pageant of his own. In this atto improve our acquaintance with it. Instead of being tempt he makes himself ridiculous of course. In the called upon by the master of ceremonies to aid in eject- hands of Mr. Boz, to whom nothing is ridiculous that ing the intruder, behold he is introduced to us by the is not preposterous, and nothing absurd merely because manager himself, as a gentleman of the first fashion, it is unnatural or impossible, the thing is so managed, whom not to know would argue ourselves unknown. that we can hardly conceive how it could provoke a
We are always ready to defer to authority, though smile, except from one to whom the highest of all enwe cannot lay aside our tastes. We determined, there. tertainments would be a grinning match. The cream fore, to man ourselves to the task, and to make the ac- of the joke is, that Tulrumble gets a suit of brazen arquaintance of the grotesque stranger. Yet we had mor, and dresses up in it a fellow who gets drunk, and our misgivings, and wished to qualify ourselves, on the behaves like a drunkard, and so the pageant ends. easiest terms, to say that we were acquainted with this Tulrumble attempts reforms, and becomes unpopularvery popular and much admired Mr. Boz. Observing then gives up the attempt and recovers his standing. that in each of the volumes before us there was one This is the whole story. The drunkenness of the man tale, and one only from his pen, and finding that one of in armor is the only incident. these consisted of eighteen, and the other of twenty-five Oliver Twist is a boy born in a workhouse, of a mopages, small duodecimo, we took up the volumes with ther, (a nameless vagrant,) to whom his birth is fatal. a light heart, and went to work with something like the It seems that this is but an introductory chapter, consame consolation with which Fergus M'Ivor went to sisting of sneers at the poor laws and their ministers, the scaffold. “Let them spin out the business as they and a history of what Oliver did and what he did not will,” said he, "they cannot make it last much over eat. The only incident is, that he once ventured to ask half an hour."
for more. The story stops short, without telling the Thus it was that we became acquainted with the consequence of this interesting and important occurrence. “Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble," and the "Progress of Such are the tales. For the manner and execution, Oliver Twist, the Parish Boy.” The result of this was, we refer to the passage quoted above. We are not that we were not only confirmed in our suspicions of sure that these are not the worst stories in the two vothe true character of the writer, but that our indigna. lumes. But the rest, with one exception, are nearly of tion was strongly excited against the critic who had the same character, and if they are not equally bad, it palmed him on our notice. We felt called upon to ex. would seem to be because the writers could not make pose the one and denounce the other as proper objects them so. They certainly strove hard to do it. for the contempt and indignation of the public. To They all have this common quality of being the qualify ourselves for this duty, and to secure ourselves worst told stories that we ever read. There is scarcely against any possibility of injustice, we undertook and one of them of which a marginal abstract would not be faithfully accomplished the loathsome task of reading decidedly better than the tale itself as told—not one these volumes through. Having completed it, we de- that would not be improved by being condensed into termined that if, from this time forth, any of our read- one or two pages. Such of them as are worth telling ers suffers himself to be cheated out of his money or at all, might be told over a bottle at midnight, and a his time by Mr. Boz himself, or any of his associates, good story teller would not give five minutes to one of aiders and abettors, it shall not be our fault.
them. Many would be best told in one sentence. The first of the tales, from the pen of Boz himself, Take this for example: is introduced by the following passage:
"Richie Barter was a merchant's clerk, who ruined “Mudfog is a pleasant town--a remarkably pleasant town-himself by marrying his master's widow, thinking he situated in a charming hollow by the side of a river, from which had left her 40,0001., when her whole legacy was 500l." river, Mudfog derives an agreeable scent of pitch, tar, coals, and Is that the whole story? Yes. No incident? None. rope-yarn, a roving population in oil-skin hats, a pretty steady No character? Nothing like it. The writers of this influx of drunken bargemen, and a great many other maritime advantages. There is a good deal of water about Mudfog, and school have no idea of character, beyond the grand diyet it is not exactly the sort of town for a watering place, either. vision of fools and knaves--bullies and cowards. Of Water is a perverse sort of element at the best of times, and in any modifications and minglings of qualities, they seem Mudfog it is particularly so. In winter it comes oozing down the to have no concep:ion. Of such at least they make no streets and tumbling over the fields,-nay, rushes into the cellars and kitchens of the houses, with a lavish prodigality that exhibition, though personages are occasionally intromight well be dispensed with ; but in the hot summer weather il duced, which we may suppose (as the contrary is not will dry up, and turn green; and although green is a very good I made to appear,) to be men and women such as God