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Recovered, and safe,' said Norna, Ise woe to the hand that shed his blood!' "Minna slowly sought the door of the thedral, and turned back from time to le to look at the shadowy form of Nor, and the stately and military figure of eveland, as they stood together in the epening gloom of the ancient Cathedral. hen she looked back a second time, they re in motion, and Cleveland followed the atron, as with a slow and solemn step she ded towards one of the side aisles. When inna looked back a third time, their fires were no longer visible. She collected rself, and walked on to the eastern door which she had entered, and listened for instant to the guard who talked together the outside."
But our extracts have been too nuerous, and we must hasten to the nclusion of the tale. Cleveland gains e shore in safety, and might easily ve reached the ship, and sailed imediately; but he cannot think of parting without once more seeing inna, and pronouncing that adieu hich he now feels must be for ever. his seals his fate. The ship is deined a night longer than was necesry; and the king's vessel is seen at ybreak, advancing before a favourg breeze towards the shores of Po
and it is chiefly the discovery of this mistake which serves to dispossess the unhappy woman of her delusions, and convince her that all her supernatural dreams of madness. The end of the power and knowledge were but the whole is, that Cleveland, being conveyed for trial to London, escapes the fate which awaits many of his companions, in consequence of a certain act of kindness which he had rendered some time before to a Spanish lady of high rank, who had found means to obtain a pardon for him from the king. In this pardon Jack Bunce is also included; and both Cleveland and he live to serve their country honourably, in the same seas which had heretofore been the scene of their guilty distinction as "gentlemen adventurers." Cleveland is slain in battle, and Jack is commonly supposed to have been the same person with a certain venerable gentleman in who was a constant lounger about a fiercely cocked hat and long periwig, Button's coffee-house, in the reign of George I., and told long stories about the Spanish Main, under the style and title of Captain Bounce. Minna Troil gradually recovered her serenity, but died a maiden, while Brenda and Mordaunt Mertoun were happy in each other, and inherited in due time the wealth both of Magnus Troil and his kinswoman Norna.
We shall not trespass upon our readers by more than a very few remarks upon the Romance of which we have now finished a very scanty, and, we fear, imperfect outline. In point of composition, it must rank with the very best of the preceding works of the same author. Indeed, we rather incline to think that his prose is becoming more and more graceful every volume he writes. As to the story, it is certainly one of great simplicity, but it affords room for many scenes of deep interest, as well as of exquisite humour; which, to be sure, would be the case with any story in the world, under the same masterly management. The descriptive passages are throughout of the most bewitching excellence and beauty. The characters are various, strongly drawn, and all of them full of life. Cleveland, Bunce, Goffe, are beings whom we shall never forget. We shall be familiar to our dying day with Claud Halcro and the jovial Udaller of Burgh-Westra. Norna will be henceforth the guardian sprit of the
rocks and waves around the desolate shores of Thule ; and Minna and Brenda will live with the Rebeccas and the Juliets, in the imagination of unborn poets.
We conclude with remarking, that these volumes are interspersed with verse more largely than any of those that have preceded them. Some specimens have occurred in the course of our extracts, and we have no hesitation in saying, that, taken altogether, the poetry of the Pirate appears to us to be of the very highest class of ex
cellence. Our language possesses few things more exquisite than the solemn antique music which breathes along the rhythmical monologues of the Rheimkennar. In one or two of them, the author seems to have recovered all the long-lost inspiration of the old Norse Muse, or at least ap proached as near as any modern imitator could do, to the majestic energies of the songs of the Odins and the Lodbroks. The fine Scandinavianism of SINTRAM is not more impressive.
THE situation of the Orkney and Shetland Islands is so admirably adapted for the prosecution of the British Fisheries, as well from the vicinity of these islands to the best fishing grounds, as from the multiplicity of crecks and natural harbours which are so essential, to this trade, that the slow progress which their Fisheries have hitherto made is not a little astonishing, Few people, upon examining the map of Scotland, would believe that the Herring Fishing has only within these few years been begun in Orkney, through the spirited exertions of Mr Samuel Laing, of Papdale, and even at this day the natives are almost strangers to the fishing of Cod and Ling here.
On the other hand, it is no less extraordinary, that, although the Cod and Ling Fishery has been carried to so great an extent in Shetland, as to enable them to export many cargoes to the Catholic countries on the Continent, not a herring net has been spread by the natives of Shetland till the year 1821, when, Mr Mowat of Gardie, and a few other spirited proprietors of these Islands, formed themselves into an association, and subscribed the necessary fund for purchasing boats and nets, to encourage the natives to follow the industrious example of the Dutch, whose herring busses annually appear in great numbers upon their coast; and, where in fact, all the herrings of the Dutch market are caught.
The immediate management of this experimental fishery, was undertaken in the most patriotic and disinterested manner by Mr Duncan, the Sheriff-substitute of Shetland. Having procured three boats, he afterwards visited Orkney, to ascertain the mode
The great object which the Shetland gentlemen have in view, in this infant establishment, is to give employment to their fishermen in the herring trade, after the ccd and ling season is over, and by this means, to enable them to partake of those bounties and encou ragements so properly bestowed by government on the fisheries; and thus abstract the attention of the lower or ders of these Islands, from an illicit traffic in foreign spirits, tea, and tobacco, which has greatly increased of late years.
The profit of the herring fishing at its commencement, has, however, afforded more encouragement than could have been expected; for, besides paying the men a liberal allowance for their labour, a small sum has been applied towards defraying the expence of the boats and nets. But what is of far more consequence to this patriotic association, is the spirit of enterprize which it is likely to create, by bringing forward a number of additional boats in the way of private adventure, which must be attended with the best advantage to the Shetland Islands.
LETTER FROM PARIS.
THERE are reputed to be 50,000 Engish in and about Paris; consequenty there are 40,000 readers of Blackwood's Magazine, all of whom think hemselves strangely neglected in that special article of monthly comfort, the forwarding of MAGA. It is scarcely credible, but literally a fact, that the new Number is re-printed and sold in America, ere a glimpse of it is to be had here. A voyage of fifteen or sixteen days brings it to New York, and twenty-four hours see it printed, pressed, dried, stitched, covered, and ready for delivery, while here the delay and tantalization is horrific. The advertisement and table of contents in the London papers are just sufficient to raise curiosity and eagerness to the height, then our twilight begins, but how tedious the days pass on! how immeasurable seems the time till the great luminary itself makes its appearance above our horizon!-this month not till the 18th:-eighteen days in expectation. Do you think that any Christian subscriber can wait such a polar sun-rise?-For the love of all absentees, Mr North, see into this neglect, stir up Galignani with the long pole, as Lady Morgan says; at least smuggle my next number into the ambassador's bag,—it may serve to lighten the dispatches.
I need not tell you how necessary it is to have an antidote for ennui, in a book of all weathers, like the one we speak of, but here it is indispensable. The palate of the mind is put to as strange privations, as that of the tongue is presented with luxuries; and unless you try back half a century, there is nothing worth reading; and even then, who would wade through the sophistic pond of French philosophy, when we possess the pure sources at home, which first set their fantastic heads a-thinking? You are somewhat of a gastronome, and may fancy your own feelings at having a quart of vin ordinaire (red vinegar,) placed before you after dinner, instead of a constitutional bottle of old port.-Such to an Englishman is a French newspaper, a
dirty, mean-looking rag, which we would not wrap cheese in, and certainly destined for a more ultimate end than reading. With some difficulty, however, one does discover it to be really a newspaper; but upon falling to, it turns out a kind of lady's Album. England takes up ten lines, Germany five, Italy do. Spain do. Turkey fifteen, French politics five, the Censor's blank column, jaunts of the royal family, three columns, and theatrical criticism, half the sheet. Your small and unconscionable type would wedge the whole of their monthly news into the circumference of two pages.
Their political writers have been occupied for the last month in discussing Guizet's new publication, "Des moyens de gouvernement et d'opposition dans l'etat actuel de la France. The theatrical critics, besides the thousand vaudevilles that keep their pens in continual motion, have been more seriously employed in estimating the merits of Talma in Falkland, a play, like the "Iron Chest," taken from the novel of" Caleb Williams."* And the critics of general literature have as usual been making strange blunders with respect to us. "A notre avis," says the Constitutionel of the 11th, "trois hommes se sont partagé les mérités de l'histoire, Tacite, Montesquieu, Walter Scot." They have also taken to praise Washington Irving with a most extravagant zeal.
There is no light periodical worth mentioning above the rank of a newspaper-the Minerve and Mercure are no more-the Revue Encyclopedique is about the calibre of the Gentleman's -vapid and well behaved.
If we look to Italy, it is worse, where they do nothing but reprint the Quarterly. The last number of the Antologia, however, commences with something more original-the third Book of Homer, translated by Ugo Foscolo. It is a specimen of a complete translation, undertaken, seemingly, for the purpose of competing with his old rival Monti, whose version of the Iliad has long since been published. This branch of Italian literature must have
* Caleb Williams has been translated into French, five-and-twenty years since, by the Marquis Garnier. Mr Southey has been lately indebted to another nobleman, the Baron de S*****, for a translation of his Roderick.
received great excitement from the splendid edition of Annibal Caro's Virgil, lately printed at Rome, at the expence of the Duchess of Devonshire. There are two literary societies here, for instructing subscribers by lecturing; the one is the Athenee of old, celebrated under the name of Lycee, where La Harpe read his famous course; the other is a new establishment, presided over by the Viscount de Chateaubriant, and is considered rather superior to its rival. For a subscription of six Napoleons, you may acquire a knowledge of all the sciences in a few weeks, and a precious brain you must possess, even to remember the bare catalogue of the various ologies to be learned. It would be too much for my weak brain, so I shall confine my attendance to your old
LYNDSAY'S DRAMAS OF Is our drama ever to be restored? Why not? But then we must consider with ourselves what we mean by its restoration. If we wonder why this age does not produce Shakespeares, to be consistent, we should also wonder why it does not produce Spensers and Miltons and Popes. Let us begin then with demanding no more for the dramatic genius of the nation, than from its other power, as exhibited in the best poetry of our age, and perhaps we shall not be disappointed in our reasonable expectations. We are a most poetical people, unquestionably; and our poets are, many of them, "tall fellows;" but place those whom we call giants by the side of the Great of Old, and their altitude will be somewhat diminished. We think under a delusion. Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, and Southey, have impressed the public mind vividly and deeply; in our pleasure and our pride, we forget the possibility of our being all dwindled together, and seeing the intellects of these above the ordinary stature, we never think of questioning their title to join the ranks of the immortals. But read a single page of Paradise Lost-or a canto of the Fairy Queen, and what becomes of the Lady of the Lake-the Corsair-or the Excursion? Is Helen Douglas to walk by the side of Una? Is the Cor
THE ANCIENT WORLD.
sair as great a devil as Moloch? Is the Pedlar, with all his affability, like the archangel Raphael? Why, tried by such a test, these, the greatest poets of our time, sink into mere slovenly versifiers, as inferior to the Transcendants in natural endowment, as in all the skill and mastery of art.
Now, we conceive, that this very short and simple statement does very much dispel the mystery,-and that if we have no great dramatic poetry at present rising up among us, it is owing to the same causes, whatever these may be, that have prevented us from producing any great poetry of any kind at all. This may sound arrogantly, but it is said humbly. We love, delight in, and admire the poetry of this age, pregnant as it is with passion, and tinged almost universally with a pure and beautiful spirit. But till one mighty poem is produced in Britain, we ought to be shy in comparing ourselves with our ancestors; and were our eyes broadly open to the truth, we should hear less of cur inferiority in the drama, and more of our inferiority in those other departments of poetry, in which we easily imagine ourselves to have excelled.
What then is the wonder? Nothing more than this-that within these last twenty years, or thereabouts, a number of men, of intellect and genius,
* Dramas of the Ancient World. By David Lyndsay. Edinburgh: Printed for William Blackwood; and T. Cadell, London.
have, in this country, devoted themselves to poetry, with very great success, but that they have not hitherto made many attempts in dramatic composition. There is nothing surprising in this, any more than there would have been, had dramatic composition been all the rage. There are not always deep, predisposing causes, for every thing that occurs in the history of literature; and of all cants, the cant of philosophical criticism is the most contemptible. The Schlegels are the great critical canters of 1. modern Europe. They account for every thing. An idiot cannot drivel out an elegy, but they will give you a reason for it in the juncture of the times. Nor, according to them, could the idiot have drivelled his elegy, but at the very era in which he flourished his pen. But the truth is, that idiots of all kinds are to be found at all times, in the literature of all nations, -though we are willing to grant to the Schlegels, that there may be seasons and scenes peculiarly favourable to their production.
Would it appear miraculous, and subversive of all certainty in moral reasoning, if, during the next twenty years, all our poetry was to be dramatic? Certainly not. We take hold of a little bit of time-and surely twenty -years is a mere patch-and are insensibly brought to consider it as a great cycle. But twenty years is but as an hour in the literature of a people, whether it be progressive or stationary; and how like a huge dunce would the Public appear, if, during its blubbering bewailment over the exhibition of dramatic genius, up were to leap a score of play-wrights, each with a dozen deep tragedies in either hand? The great dunce would in five minutes aver, that he had never said that dramatic genius was extinct-but that it had merely been taking a protracted siesta-and that she always had expected to see it taking to its legs again, after such a comfortable nap. Suppose twenty years ago, some speculator had announced his belief that all poetical genius whatever was dead in this country; and that he had given sufficient reasons for adopting that creed. The truth is, that such speculators did open their mouths, and lustily bray out to that effect. The Edinburgh Review did stretch its leather sides almost to bursting, in vituperation of
all modern poetry, while gentlemen with cracked voices and no ears, did join in chorus. We forget the causes assigned for the dearth-but they were supposed perfectly adequate. Nothing could be held coarser than the cant of the first Critic of the age; and for some years, almost eleven millions of people believed the poetry which they read, not to be poetry, because it was proved not to be so by intellect; and of course, the mere testimony of the senses was held to be fallacious. But we now confess, that if not poetry, it is something so extremely like it, that we are willing to let it pass for such; and the greatest Critic of the age himself, gives way to the popular delusion, and contentedly cheers the events which he formerly would have thrown to the canine race.
No conclusion, therefore, it is manifest, can be drawn by any sensible person, either for or against the dramatic genius of this age, from the present state of our literature. We have no noble acting play produced among us lately. But Baillie, Byron, Coleridge, Wilson, and Milman, have all written dramas-in which as much power is shewn, as perhaps in any other department of poetry. Baillie is a woman, and thence weak in many things; but her Basil may be read with as little dissatisfaction after a play of Massinger's, as Rokeby after the Fairy Queen. Byron's Manfred is a magnificent drama-and his Doge is stately and austere. Coleridge's Remorse is full of the deep metaphysics of passion. Wilson's City of the Plague, though lax and inartificial, is in the highest possible degree dramatic, and full of terror and pathos-and Milman's Fall of Jerusalem, though laboured and cumbrous, possesses the soul with a mournful and elevating interest. Now, all these poets-more or less dramatic -more or less poetical-more or less passionate-do exhibit just as close an approach to the spirit and virtue of the Drama of England, in its days of glory, as the best poetry of the same, or other writers, does to the spirit and virtue of the great poetry of England. Lest this should be denied-we beg leave to qualify this supposition-by saying, that if there be a difference in the two cases, it is a difference of degree not of kind-and certainly not such a difference as leaves any impression of wonder on the mind.