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She liv'd for us by piety to God,

Which taught her how to love her brother man,
Befriending wretchedness, as meant to be

A people's nursing mother. Privacy,

By virtuous action, train'd her for a sphere
Of boundless good. Thus, in some woodland scene,
A spring, with murmurs musical, imparts
Freshness and verdure to the banks around,
As though it spake of mightier coming joy
In wealth of waters roll'd throughout a land.
She liv'd for us, by learning in the wife
Things most befitting for a destin'd queen,
And how to feel for an espoused realm.
She liv'd for us by many a token shown
Of properties and habits, suited well
To the free genius of our British state;
A spirit quick to feel, and firm to guard
Her dignity and due; yet wisdom just,
In her own rights to mark and venerate ours
To keep in view the source and end of power,
Whose noblest use is blessing what it rules;
To know that majesty then greatest shows,
When, like the Sun, it smiles upon all eyes,
And sees all eyes reflecting it again;
To prize our liberty, (by form and law
Temper'd, yet thus more strong and sacred made)
As sov'reignty's best ornament and guard,
Giving most energy, most will inspiring,
To shine in arts, in science, and in arms,
T'enrich a land, refine and sweeten life,
Unfold the mind, and still the nature raise
Of moral, social, intellectual man—
'Twas hers to view such freedom as the life
Of a grand complex whole, whose central bond

Is kingly rule; she felt that it could pay

A homage of the heart unknown to slaves." P. 18-23.

We trust that the above passage will assist the impression which, with a very rapid pen, and ardent zeal, we have in this article aspired to make upon the reflecting part of the public.

ART. II.-Harrington and Ormond, Tales. By Maria Edgeworth, Author of Comic Dramas, Tales of Fashionable Life, &c. 3 vols. 12mo. Second Edition. R. Hunter, and Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. London, 1817.

To be told that a man has lived and died, achieved victories, or suffered defeats, excites but little interest; but to be told how he

lived and died, and how he acted under his various fortunes; to be introduced to those who have long since passed away; to be brought under their roof, to be placed at their tables, to partake of their sports and their toils, their sufferings and their pleasures; to mark how the ordinary train of life is diversified by the adventitious peculiarity of its modes in different ages; how those events that are common to all men are modified into inexhaustible variety by the particular habits and circumstances of individuals, is no less profitable than interesting. In the perusal of history we are not seldom tempted to sympathize with Voltaire, who, when one of the king of Prussia's generals corrected him in the date of a battle, replied, "Well, fool, it was fought, then, and what matter whether in summer or autumn ?"-It is the detail we require; and in the detail history can seldom gratify us. Here biography, and even fictitious biography, if executed with intelligence, judgment, and a faithful adherence to the manners of the times, becomes an useful supplement to history: it supplies us with those shades of manners, without which historical painting becomes lifeless, undiversified, and uninteresting. That ancient romances represented the manners of the age more faithfully than modern, may be true; and it is not difficult to assign the reason: life was, in those early stages of society, very monotonous; the forms of human existence presented but one unvaried aspect; the hero was always in love or in war; individual peculiarities had no room for developement; there was no gradation, no shading; no touches of art, in the rude, but striking picture of the age. To these romances, however, we are indebted for a knowledge which we must otherwise have wanted-the knowledge of the manners of the times. The Orianas and Polinardas, the Amadis and Galaors, give us not only a faithful representation of the mixture of ferocity and courtesy, of hostility to man and submission to woman, of abject superstition, clinging to the forms of religion, while it renounced its spirit and its practice, which characterized the early periods of modern history; but they present us with a picture of domestic life very interesting to the eye of the contemplative reader. The heroine passed her time in unimproving, dignified solitude, till appearing at a tournament, or introduced by an adventure to some redoubted knight, whose life, from that moment, is dedicated to the arduous task of making all mankind confess the pre-eminence of her beauty. As neither of them are much encumbered with mental resources, or moral scruples, the progress of the narrative is conducted by auxiliary adventures; and the courage of the hero, and the constancy of the lady (the only virtues which they usually have to boast of) are magnified to their proper dimensions of gigantic heroism. Their domestic hours are sufficiently monotonous: the lady some

times solaces the pangs of her absence by the tones of her lute, and the hero soothes the toils of warlike adventure by the softer fatigues of the galliard: but there is no intellectual communication, no varied charm of polished society; and, in Amadis De Gaul, when the company have eat and drank as much as, or more than, was covenient, they know no better way of passing the evening than by calling in "the joculars, who make them all manner of sports," and spending their royal and knightly hours in observing pranks that would, probably, have disgraced our Christmas mummers. There is also, among these stately personages, a plentiful lack of matter for conversation, much of the martial insipidity, the garrison life, of Homer's heroes; and, for the consolation of us degenerate moderns, we find their moral sensibility as obtuse as their intellectual; it being a settled thing, apparently an etiquette of romance, that their heroines all become mothers before they are wives, and that their heroes are the offspring of unwedded love.

Coarse as were the contemporary drawings of these manners and practices, and humours, they were faithful; and as such they are valuable. Nor in the class of romances which succeeded them, after the interval of about two centuries, do we find a portraiture less exact. Calprenede, Scuderi, and their contemporaries, have transferred into their "vast French romances" the events, the characters, and the spirit of the court of Louis the Fourteenth; and it is not impossible that the names of ancient heroes, with which the tales are defaced, were intended as an oblique compliment to the ambition of the Grand Monarque. The brilliant court of Versailles, with its intrigues, its gallantries, its amorous and chivalric spirit, its false and affected wit, its mixture of much that exalts, and more that degrades, human nature, is spread before us in every page; nor would it be difficult, after the lapse of a century and a half, to discover the portrait of Madame La Valiere in the tender and devoted Cassandra, or of Madame Montespan in Roxana, her ambitious and intriguing rival. Not even the light and lively pencil of Madame De Sevigné (herself a witness or an actor in most of those gay scenes) can sketch them with more fidelity, or colour them with more effect; in spite of the absurd adaptation of names and æras to characters and events to which not even French ingenuity could torture them into a resemblance; in spite of the étourderie of classical lovers fighting duels, and Grecian, Roman, and Persian heroines holding levees with groupes of admirers at their bed-sides-spite of all this, our curiosity overpowers our sense of the ridiculous, and we are irresistibly wafted from the banks of Euphrates to those of the Seine. The French, whose curiosity and penetrating officiousness first suggested the idea of memoirs, and whose false taste disguised

those memoirs under the unassimilating characters and events of antiquity, appear to have been far beyond us in the progress of romance; and nearly our first essays in novel-writing were confined to the track of translation. The age of Charles the Second indeed furnished memoirs sufficiently diversified with fiction, but they were memoirs fit only for the age that produced them, and England had attained eminence in every department of imagination, before we could boast of a genuine English novel.

It is observable alike in the history of literature, and in the history of man, that a newly discovered territory is explored at once by a number of adventurers; the spirit of enterprize is excited and communicated almost in the same moment, and each from a confidence in his own powers, or in the exhaustless wealth of the new region, looks upon his competitors without malignity or fear. Thus almost the same period produced those English novelists whose works are by courtesy called Classical-Fielding, Richardson, and Smollet. Of these writers the public opinion has long been formed; their fidelity to nature is unquestionable; but fidelity to nature is not always compatible with what is due to decency: yet from their writings we may at least draw one conclusion consoling to the alleged inferiority of this degenerate age,—that if present times are equally vicious, they are at least more ashamed of being so; and this is some advance towards virtue. Hypocrisy, says a French writer, is the homage that vice pays to virtue; it is a homage by which virtue cannot be exalted, but it is one at least by which she cannot be offended. Those writers might possibly have thought they were serving the interests of morality; but it is much more probable that they wrote from the mingled motives that influence most writers,-from the love of fame, the hope of profit, or the vacuity of idleness, to exhaust imagination, diversify leisure, or dissipate anxiety. They were, however, grievously mistaken indeed, if they imagined that virtue could be aided by their elaborate, minute, and curious display of vice; by luxuriant descriptions and inflammatory images. Virtue may be brought to gaze on her enemy till she forgets her danger; and by what unction of purity our great-grandmothers were preserved, when they studied Pamela without danger or disgust, we know not. is possible that her temptations were forgotten in her innocence, and the mischievously faithful detail of the trials to which her virtue was exposed, were tolerated only for the sake of exalting its final triumph. This pleasure would be rather too costly for the purchase of modern readers. There are many parts of Richardson's writings more injurious, because less shocking, to virtue than the sonnets of Rochester. Clarissa is less objectionable, though many of the scenes at Mrs. Sinclair's are such as are wholly unfit for modern ears, however the consciousness of superior sanctity


might assist those of our ancestors in sustaining them. In his Sir Charles Grandison, the inherent vulgarity, egotism, and prolixity of Richardson's character break out with a latitude unexampled and uncontrolled. His personages, for ever listening to or repeating their own eulogy, for ever covering their selfishness with an arrogant humility, preaching for ever in a monotonous key of maudlin morality, bowing on hands, and asking the benison of aunts and grandmothers, are now as flat and faded as the figures in ancient tapestry; but, like them, compensate in some measure for the dulness of the design by the fidelity of the costume. Richardson, like many men who write to please themselves, and whose fluent mediocrity of stile betrays him into endless amplification, brings before us a crowd distinguished only by their names, or by vague generic appellations that, implying no discrimination, excite no interest: these personages muets are announced as "very fine young ladies, or pretty-behaved young gentlemen" -Alcandrumque, Halium, Noemonaque, Prytanimque. His mind seems to have been copiously furnished with an inventory of good qualities, which he deals out with unsparing and undiscriminating profusion, and with an absurd idolatry of human virtue.

In the works of Fielding, however, our credulity is not taxed for superfluous admiration by any of these faultless monsters. He has certainly represented men and women as they are, if he has not represented them even worse than they are; he appears jealous for his hero (but not with godly jealousy) lest we should suspect him of those perfections in which the heroes of romance are usually arrayed, and his jealousy certainly attains its object. Fielding's chief excellence appears to lie in the delineation of characters that combine simplicity, ignorance, and benevolence. His Parson Adams, and his Partridge, will still induce us to tolerate even Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones. His mind appeared incapable of concocting a character of real virtue. His Allworthy is a prosing, self-sufficient, moral pedant; in Joseph Andrews virtue is ridiculous; in Tom Jones vice is honourable. Nobody now reads either but the school-boy, and one of the earliest signs of an improved taste, and an advancement in Christian morality, is the rejection of both.

Smollet possessed more varied knowledge of the human character, and more extensive experience of human life; was more conversant with its characters and vicissitudes; he was himself an ang TоAUTρOTOS-he knew much, and has told all he knew. The great defect of his works is that his heroes, from Roderick Random down to Matthew Bramble, are all portraits of the same character in various costumes. The same Quixotic gallantry in love and courage, the same high sentiment of honour struggling with depravity of habit and virulence of temper, the same morbid

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