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are all dramatic (one of their highest praises) we would recommend to her the mixture of a few comfortable, consoling infirmities, some "mortal mixture of earth's mould" in the composition of her future heroes and heroines.

Her next obvious defect (we hesitate to term it a defect) is a total, moral inability to paint the strongest passion that can distract the human heart, or agitate human life. Miss Caroline Percy to the best of our recollection makes one strong speech about Love in Patronage, and that is the first and last we hear of it in her works. So much the better no doubt. We honor Miss Edgeworth for the omission! The purity of her mind was unable to conceive those dangerous characters who, by a kind of moral or immoral chemistry, amalgamate vice, virtue, passion, reason, falsehood, and truth, and leave their readers incapable of analysing the compound or separating the ingredients. The clearness of her understanding was above that seductive sophistry which makes the "worse appear the better reason:" she is a fair, plain, intelligent guide in the open champaign country of truth, not a treacherous conductor through the bewildering forest of metaphysics, who betrays us to the dagger of vice lurking in its recesses, and shares the spoils with the assassin. Miss Edgeworth really cannot enter into the feelings, and play the part of vice however "deckt and frounst" in the disguise of refined manners, and double and treble-refined sentiments. Thus her novel of Leonora in which are described the arts and charms of an allaccomplished enchantress employed in seducing the husband of her friend, is by far the dullest of her productions. We have heard that Mrs. Siddons failed in the representation of Milwood, from the impossibility of her giving effect to the meretricious allurements of the character, and we conceived that her representation of such a character was more 66 honoured in the breach than in the observance." Let it be remembered we are not here confounding vice and passion, but merely intimating what we might confidently assert, and amply prove, that in novels a luxuriant display of the one is too often employed in the service of the other.

Such is Miss Edgeworth's sacred horror of any thing like exaggerated feeling, or tumid language; such her anxiety for reducing her characters, where they are not meant to be heroes, to the level of ordinary feelings and occupations, and lowering the intoxications of romance to a "sober certainty of waking bliss," that she appears as averse from the enthusiasm of nature as from the enthusiasm of passion.

No proofs of its power over her heart or her senses ever occur in her works: none of those descriptions that give all the charms of poetry to the pages of Mrs. Radcliffe ever seduce her from

her characteristic style, at once playful and didactic: none of that sensibility to the grand and lovely in the forms of the earth, or the colours of the sky, which like the statue of Memnon utters a tone of melody when touched by the light of heaven. We do "grievously suspect" that Miss Edgeworth is one of those who would have joined with Johnson in his laugh against the pastoral prosers who "babble of green fields;" and we rather fear that she speaks her own sentiments in the person of Lord Glenthorne in Ennui, when he gives all the "Beauties of Killarney to the devil." If this be so, though it must be admitted to be a defect in a writer, it is a defect not to be censured, but to be pitied: in fact Miss Edgeworth's groups are so admirable that we may well compromise for the absence of landscape in her painting, and have no more right to quarrel with her for her want of sensibility to natural scenes, than with Johnson for his want of sensibility to music.

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There are other defects in her writings; trifles they would be in the writings of another author, but Miss Edgeworth's eminence gives a mischievous importance to her defects. Her style is pure, but in her rage for avoiding every thing that is extravagant in sentiment or in diction, she falls into a colloquial flippancy, a creeping familiarity unworthy of her rank in literature or her place in society. In Belinda, Lady Delacour offers the heroine "a silver penny for her thoughts," and so fond is Miss Edgeworth of this bright image that she repeats it again in her Comic Dramas. Where could she have heard this silly vulgarism? Then all her personages have a desperate trick of refuting or appearing to refute the arguments of their antagonists by merely repeating the last words of their sentences: this, if performed with humour of tone and expression may have a certain effect in conversation, but it will be one very remote from either good manners or good logic. Her personages moreover, whether in love, or in embarrassment, have an inveterate unmeaning habit of expressing their agitation by tearing to pieces a handful of flowers with which they appear to be opportunely armed for the occasion at all times. This silly resource of vulgar perplexity may be pardonable once, but Miss Edgeworth's repetition of it is really tormenting. We can allow Belinda on the eve of a critical explanation with Lady Delacour to pull her carnation to pieces, and even bear with Farmer Grey's daughter peeping into the bell of a flower (whose name we have unluckily forgotten), for the answer to an embarrassing question put to her by her papa on the subject of Sir Hyacinth O'Brien's ball; but we really cannot conceive why a manufacturer cannot propose to a dyer's daughter without first pulling a handful of primroses, and scattering them all about the lane in a fit of amorous abstraction, and

pastoral absurdity. It would have been unpardonable in us to pass over any productions of Miss Edgeworth with the general notice which might be sufficient for an adventurer in literature, one who came to "break an idle spear" in the lists, and depart careless of disgrace and distinction. Miss Edgeworth challenges a more peculiar regard, her works have constituted a new species, and merit distinct and appropriate attention. The nature, spirit and texture of her works, have made them preeminently her own. Public utility, national morality, adorned by all the resources of literature, teeming with experience, and invigorated by philosophy, characterize almost every effort of her pen. But this last word suggests to us a parting hint to Miss Edgeworth. The morality and phylosophy of her works are conspicuous, unquestionable; but we do not find in her writings (QUITE as often as we could wish) the language of religion,—and let it be remembered that by this term we do not mean a general acknowledgement of the existence of a deity and the certainty of a future state.Reason may teach thus much: we speak of the Christian religion, which alone can give support in this life, or suggest hope in the next, "other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid." Miss Edgeworth's morality could never have had its seat in the heart, or existed even in contemplation, had the day-spring from on high never visited us. The best way of serving the cause of morality, would have been never to have lost sight of its only legitimate source. We cannot approve of a reserve which, though we doubt not it is far enough removed from infidelity, has too much the appearance of disingenuous shame to be suffered to pass without

censure.

Of Miss Edgeworth's last works, now before us, we shall say as little as we can, because we cannot say what we wish :-they are to a certain degree clever, but they are not worthy of Miss Edgeworth. The first sets forth how a boy was terrified, in his infancy, by a worthless nursery maid and an ugly Jew, almost out of his reason, which indeed he does not appear to have recovered during the whole progress of his "after life." Finally, he is converted by the beauty of a "pretty Jessica " (though she turns out to be a Christian at the long run); and the generosity, and other novel-like qualities, with an endless et cetera of her father, converted, we were going to say, to Judaism, but we meant to love and happiness. This is a very indifferent story: it is said to be written in vindication of the Jews, or rather in vindication of Miss Edgeworth's supposed prejudice against the Jews. What vindication does it offer of either? What rational purpose does it answer? To dress up one phantom of imagination against another, and let them fight out their battle in the clouds, will neither convince reason, nor remove prejudice. If Miss

Edgeworth really wished to serve the cause of the children of Israel, we apprehend the best mode would have been, to have searched out and fairly laid before the public, evidences of their disinterestedness, generosity, and benevolent feeling, from their actual history and living characters: short of this, all efforts are merely appeals to the imagination: it is purely opposing the Shylock of Shakspeare to the Sheva of Cumberland, leaving the public completely ignorant which original sat for the picture thus arbitrarily drawn from the imagination. If the Jews are an abused, a persecuted, an injured people, it is not the represen tation of a noble, liberal, upright man, supposed to be of the tribe of Levi, or of Judah, though he cuts paintings to fragments, and shelters the bigotted Lady de Brantefield and her frivolous daughter in his house, and advances money at low or no interest to Harrington's father, that will set minds and matters to rights on such a question. "Nec tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis." Imaginary characters thus played off against imaginary characters neutralize each other's effect on the minds of the spectators. The dispersion of prejudice must be the slow result of the operation of time, and the diffusion of knowledge.

Miss Edgeworth's next tale-what shall we say of it?—it contains a kind of Robinson-Crusoe story of a young man, who, amid the perilous vicissitudes of a life passed among the vicious great, or the vulgar little, has the amazing and incredible courage, instinct, or tact, to form for himself a code of moral and mental legislation; by virtue of which, he not only escapes all the brutalizing degradation of his early situation, but defies Paris and all its works, in its state of highest and most perilous attraction, and retires from it, determined not to lose more money than would have maintained the inhabitants of his native realms of the Black Island for the term of their natural lives, escaping moreover the manifest chance of seducing the daughter of his friend and benefactor king Corny, though this daughter has only added to her original rudeness, pertness, and vulgarity, the title of Madame de Connal, and the inability of dancing at the balls of Paris, derived, we may presume, less from her diffidence than from her native consciousness of the immeasurable latitude of Irish feet. Yet this man, young, attractive, and immersed in the dissipations of Paris, has the vigour of mind, the "civil courage," Miss Edgeworth would call it, to suspect the machinations of the selfish and embarrassed Sir Ulick O'Shane, and hurry over to Ireland time enough to save his property, and witness the bankruptcy, degradation, and death (violent death by implication) of his profligate, talented, amusing, Wharton-like friend. Now, all this is very bad, and very unnatural. Where could Ormond have learned his virtues? Did he acquire disinterestedness, and public

feeling, and rectitude of principle from Sir Ulick O'Shane?—or sobriety and the love of order, and habitual punctuality, from King Corny?-or-we have done with such questions. The story is full of absurdities, from a savage Milesian chief sobbing in sentimentality over the neck of his protege, because he refuses to drink claret, down to (proh pudor!) Ormond flying off in despair or wrath because a window-blind wafted aside shows a rival at the feet of Miss Annaly, which rival, it turns out, is kneeling to receive his sentence of condemnation or banishment: the banishment Ormond judiciously applies to himself.

We do not give extracts from these works: first, because we have been anticipated by ample extracts already given in other periodical works; and secondly, because we deem it absurd to give extracts of a work already, and long ago, in every one's hands. When books are, from their voluminous size or expensive publication, of rare access, large extracts should readily be accorded to the curiosity of readers; because there are no other means of gratifying it. But when books, like Miss Edgeworth's, are rapidly circulated, and universally read, to furnish extracts may serve the writer, but can be of little use to the reader.

ART. III.—The History of Java. By Thomas Stamford Raffles, Esq. late Lieutenant-Governor of that Island and its Dependencies, F.R.S. &c. 2 vols. 4to. With Maps and Plates. Black and Co. London, 1817.

THE author of these interesting volumes was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Java immediately on its conquest, in September, 1811, and remained in that honourable post till the late final surrender of the colony to its old masters. In the spring of 1816 he returned to Europe, amidst the regrets of a people whose attachment and esteem he had gained by his active and persevering exertions to promote their social and civil prosperity, and with the consciousness of having left behind him such an example of a benevolent and enlightened administration as was never before exhibited in that region of European or Asiatic despotism. Having carried into execution plans of internal improvement in Java worthy of being recorded, and having collected information which, in some cases, his official situation could have alone enabled him to command, his object on his return home was to lay the produce of his experience and research before his countrymen, and accordingly, after a period of little more than nine months' gestation, the present work was brought

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