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48
Review.-Peveril of the Peak.

[Jan. 4. Peveril of the Peak *. By the Author of renowned personage. The sketch will, Waverley. 4 vols. 8vo.

we think, be easily recognized (making IN such quick suceession has this due allowance for caricature) by those great Novelist issued his fascinating who are acquainted with the person of productions, that some apprehensions Sir Walter Scott. have been entertained by his admirers,

The Author of Waverley. A bulky lest his reputation should fall more ra and tall man in a travelling great coat, pidly than it had risen, owing to the which covered a suit of snuff-brown, cut in hasty negligence displayed in some of imitation of that worn by the great Rambler. his recent works. His “ Halidon His fapped hat, for he disdained the moHill” gave general dissatisfaction; and dern frivolities of a travelling cap, was the “ Pirate” and “ Nigel" betrayed, bound over his head with a large silk handin numerous instances, the traits of an kerchief, so as to protect his ears from cold inferior genius, probably, owing to the

at once, and from the babble of his pleasant extensive aid he received from others; he had just alighted. There was some

companions in the public coach from which or the confidence he reposed in his

what of sarcastic shrewdness and sense, assisting amanuenses ! But we rejoice which sate on the heavy penthouse of his to find that “Peveril of the Peak” shaggy grey eyebrow-his features were in possesses many redeeming excellen

other respects largely shaped, and rather cies. It abounds with a great variety heavy, thau promising wit or genius; but of character, supported with consider- he had a notable projection of the nose, able spirit.

similar to that line of the Latin poetFrom a humorous prefatory letter,

- immodicum surgit pro cuspide rospurporting to have been addressed by

trum.' Doctor Driasdust of York, to Captain Clutterbuck of Kennaquair, we learn

A stout walking-stick stayed his handthat Peveril of the Peak was communi

double Barcelona protected his ueck-his cated to that worthy and respectable belly was something prominent, but that's

not much' his breeches were substantial Antiquary somewhere about last Mi

thickset—and a pair of top-boots, which chaelmas, by the Eidolon, or spirit of

were slipped down to ease his sturdy calves, the Author of Waverley ; whose coul did not conceal his comfortable travellingduct on the occasion was so extraordi- stockings of lambs-wool, wrought, not on nary, as to create in the mind of the the loom, but on the wires, and after the Doctor a reasonable scepticism as to venerable ancient fashion, known in Scotthe immaterial or spiritual form of his land by the name of ridge-and-furrou. His visitor. He was dozing one evening age seemed to be considerably above fifty, in his study, when a stranger from

but could not amount to threescore, which Edinburgh, who was stated 10 have I observed with pleasure, trusting there arrived by the North Mail, was very may be a good deal of work had out of him abruptly announced; and before his yet; especially as a general haleness of apReverence had time to recover his pearance the compass and strength of his

voice—the steadiness of his step-the roself-possession, in stalked the Author tundity of his calf-the depth of his hem, of Waverley, invested certainly with

and the sonorous emphasis of his sneeze, as few of the attributes of a ghost as were all signs of a constitution built for can well be imagined. In this inter

permanence. view, Dr. Driasdust appears to have

It struck the Doctor forcibly, until enjoyed very superior advantages ; inasmuch as whilst his friend, Capt. sities of that mysterious individual,

he reflected

upon

the amorous proper: Clutterbuck, had only a dim and im

that his visitor was no other than the perfect vision of the Great Unknown

Stout Gentleman in the crypt, or most intimate recess of

so humourously the shop of Messrs. Constable and Co. pourtrayed by the pen of Geoffrey at Edinburgh, his Reverence was thus Crayon; but he finally discovered that presented with an opportunity of view.

he had in his composition far more of ing him face to face, in his study, by the spirit of Jonathan Oldbuck. A the clear and equable light of a pair of which the Author of 'Waverley dle

most interesting colloquy ensues, in mould candles.

He is accordingly more minute in his description of this fends himself with much ingenuity

from such objections as he

appears to * The early history of the Peak Castle consider have been urged against the is noticed in the next article of the Re- general character of his writings, and view.

such as he expects to see advanced

against

1823.]
Review.- Peveril of the Peak.

49 against the present work. He combats The work opens about twenty years for the most part with a giant of his after the Restoration. The disappointe own fertile imagination. So far from ment of the Royalists, on finding the having been accused of polluting the restored Monarch not very willing, or well-head of historical information, it at all able, to reward those who had is, we believe, admitted, at all hands, so deeply suffered for his family, and that he has done more towards creats that of the Presbyterians, on finding ing a taste for the perusal of English the Court a theatre of profaneness and history, than any writer whatever immorality, where they were despised since the age of Shakspeare.

and ridiculed, are drawn in lively coWe shall now proceed to give our lours. Meantime slight sketches of readers an outline of the plot of this domestic life, the tenderness of parental entertaining Novel.

affection in the bosom of the melan: Peveril of the Peak, from whom the choly Recluse, whose daughter seemed tale derives its title, is an old Cavalier his only tie to life; the cheerful gaiety Baronet, directly, though not legally of childish happiness, while the future descended from the Conqueror-proud lovers rejoice together in the bright of his family, of his valour, his loyalty, morning of existence; and the mild and liberal housekeeping as honour- virtues of the Lady of the Castle, softable as brave, and as simple as honour- ening down the extravagance of her able; jovial, cheerful, and sincere. husband's ultra loyalty, and pouring His next neighbour is Major Bridge- balm into the wounds of ancient ennorth, a Presbyterian, but no repub- mitymall this pleasing combination lican, whom the love of liberty and gives a short repose to the mind, before religion, in the austere form professed we are forced to plunge into the turbuby his party, had led, like many others, lence of public dissension, or explore far beyond his first intention in oppo- the dark mazes of crooked policy. Into sition to his hard-fated Sovereign. He these we are led by a conforinity to is a good man, equally upright in his historical truth in all those scenes intentions with his neighbour Baronet, which were opened by the strife of and averse from the extremities to parties during the supposed existence which the Independents proceeded un- of the Popish Plot. This appears at first der the sway of Cromwell. He deals to have been prosecuted with the intenjustly according to his views with tion of diminishing the influence of every one, and very kindly with Peve- France over the infatuated Monarch, ril when oppressed by the Long Par. removing the all-powerful Duchess of liament. A series of losses and priva- Monmouth, the Catholic mistress, and tions in his own family, which is at excluding the Popish heir from the last reduced to one infant, not very succession. Shaftesbury, powerful likely to survive the mother, who had from talents and popularity, but dandied after giving it birth, deepens the gerous from his supple intriguing spirit gloom on his serious and reflective and want of fixed principle, who first mind. The amiable and judicious set this plan in motion, has left us a consort of the stout Baronet takes terrible example of the fatal consecharge of the infant, a girl, a few years quences that result from attempting younger than her only son. This

even to do good with evil instruments. affords some compensation for the be The Author sets out, in his intronefits conferred on the Cavalier in the duction, with premising his intention Major's day of power. Mutual worth not to move in trammels, that is, not produces mutual benevolence, but there to be strictly bound within the limits are too many opposing elements in the of actual history or chronology. He character of each to admit of social in- is as good as his word in one respect. tercourse. It is enough that the The far-famed Countess of Derby, Baronet loves his neighbour, not as acting as Dowager Sovereign of Man, himself, but as well as the best possi- appears pretty early upon the stage, ble Roundhead could be loved by a not with all the dignity to which zealot in loyalty. The Major, again, her high rank and far higher character regards the Baronet as much as Chris entitle her, but as a person under contian charity could afford to an unen tinual persecution, either open or selightened sinner who has shared in

cret, whose peace and safety are in shedding the blood of the Saints.

perpetual hazard from the machinaGent. Mag. January, 1823.

tions

50

Review.-Ancient Castles of England and Wales. [Jan. tions of an artful and inveterate villain, deur, by their having been the scenes of actuated all along by the only shadow many memorable events, and the residences of good feeling belonging to him of many celebrated persons; and by the affection to his brother's memory, but

display of the various methods of defence even this takes the form of deadly hatred

which have been successively adopted, acto the Countess, who, it appears, had

cording to the improvements in military condemned and executed this brother

operations, from a very early period of our

history." as a party in betraying the island to Fairfax. This subtle villain, who as

The views are very neatly engraved sumes the mask of religion to suit his from drawings purposely made by emipurposes, is brother-in-law to Bridge. nent artists, amongst whom are enunorth, and uses the influence which merated Mess. Arnald, Fielding, Blore, bis abilities, his hypocrisy, and his and Gastineaux. In this work it is affinity, give him over that honest en intended to steer a middle course bethusiast to serve his worst purposes.

tween the numerous publications on The Popish Plot, the machine by a minute scale, in which picturesque which so many lesser ones were set to

views have been the principal object; work, opens here a wide field for the and the very elaborate and splendid exercise of the Author's peculiar ta- Topographical Works. The Historical lents, that of giving life and language and Descriptive Accounts are concisely to characters either of his own crea- yet satisfactorily drawn up. In selecttion, or appearing to us only in broken ing a specimen, we are induced to sketches and in the dim distance of give the history of Peverel's Castle in time long past. Time and space would the Peak, from the public attention fail us to give a faint sketch of a story þeing, strongly excited to that cele80 crowded with events and characters. brated fortress, in expectation that it The Lovers are both exceedingly re- would have made a conspicuous figure spectable-much more so than mere

in the new Novel under that name. lovers, either in fact or in fiction, are Although disappointed in this respect, wont to appear. Their affection is yet many of our Antiquarian Readers cherished and supported by high prin- will be glad to learn its history. ciple. They are both fondly devoted “On the summit of a steep and rocky to their Parents, and do not consider eminence, at the base of which is that vast the indulgence of their passion as the subterranean recess, the Peak Cavern, stand main business of life.

the remains of the ancient CASTLE OF THE Our limits will not allow room for re Peak; from which the subjacent village of mark; and we shall conclude by merely Castleton derives its name. inforıning our readers, that the unex

“ The elevated situation of this fortress, pected variety of interesting matter and the almost perpendicular chasms that connected with the subject, has in- partially insulate the rock which it occuduced the Author to extend the vo

pies, must have rendered it nearly impreg

nable, prior to the use of artillery in sieges. lumes beyond their usual number ; an

On the East and South sides its site is enlargement which all pariies, we ap- bounded by a narrow ravine called the Cave; prehend, will highly approve.

and on the West it is skirted by the precipice 'which frowns over the cavern. The

most accessible part is towards the North ; 5. A Series of Views of the most interesting yet even here the path has been carried in

Remains of Antient Castles of England and & winding, or rather in a zigzag direction, Wales; engraved by W. Woolnoth and in order to obviate the steepness of the asW. Tombleson ; with historical Descrip. cent. The Castle-yard, or Ballium, included tions by E. W. Brayley, jun. Part I, nearly the whole summit of the eminence. THIS promises to be a very popular

The enclosing wall, though for the most and acceptable Work. The subject part in ruins, measures twenty feet in height is peculiarly interesting.

in a few places on the outside. On the

North side were two small towers, now de“Much (says the Editor) of the avidity stroyed. The entrance was at the Northand enthusiasm with which the studies of east angle, where part of an arched-way Antiquities and Topography have been pur- still remains. Near the opposite angle is sued and encouraged in this country, may the Keep, the walls of which, on the South unquestionably be attributed to the interest and West sides, are the most entire, and excited by the many admirable remains of at the North-west corner they are above its Ancient Castles; they are eminently fifty feet high ; the North and East sides distinguished by their architectural gran are much shattered. On the outside the

Keep

1823.) Review.- Peak Castle. Napoleon's Memoirs.

51 Keep forms a square of thirty-eight feet, vited all noble young men, who were inclined but its interior dimensions are unequal ; the to enter the lists, to meet at Peverel's place extent from North to South being rather in the Peke, and there decide their pretenmore than twenty-one feet, but from East sions by the use of arms; declaring at the to West nineteen only. The walls consist same time, that whoever vanquished his comof broken masses of limestone, embedded petitors should receive his daughter, with in mortar of such tenacity that it imparts his castle of Whittington, as a reward of his to the whole the solidity of an entire rock. skill and valour. Guarine de Meez, a branch Some of the herring-bone masonry may be

of the house of Lorraine, and an ancestor observed on the inner side. The interior of the Lords Fitzwarrine, hearing this reis now a complete vacuity; but it anciently port, repaired to the place above mentioned. consisted of two chambers, one on the He had a silver shield with a peacock for ground-floor, and one above; over which his crest, and there engaged with a son of the roof was raised with a gable-end to the a king of Scotland, and also with a baNorth and South, but not equal in height ron of Burgoyne, and, vanquishing them to the outer walls. The lower chamber was both, obtained the prize for which he about fourteen feet high, and the upper one fought.” about sixteen: the only entrance to the for Those who wish farther to pursue mer appears to have been through a door the History of Peak Castle, may conway on the South side of the latter, down a

sult with advantage the Rev. Dr. flight of steps now wholly destroyed, but said to have existed within memory. At Degge’s History of the twin “ Castles the South-east angle are the ruins of a nar- of Bolsover and Peak,” in the 328 row winding staircase communicating with Number of the “Bibliotheca Topothe roof. In the East wall of the upper graphica Britannica ;" Mr. King's inapartment is a kind of recess or piche, of a teresting “ Observations on Antient rectangular figure, having a singular canopy. Castles,” in vol. vi. of the Archæos

“That eminent antiquary Mr. King, who logia; and also Mr. Rhodes's beautibas minutely described this curious edifice ful work on Peak Scenery; the last in the “Sequel to his Observations on An- rendered doubly interesting by the

mascient Castles,” in the sixth volume of the terly sketches of F.Chantrey, Esq. R. A Archäologia, and also in the third volume of his elaborate “Munimenta Antiqua,” has endeavoured to prove that this Castle was 6. Memoirs of the History of France durerected by the Pagan Saxons, and was the ing the Reign of Napoleon, dictated by dwelling of some great chieftain of that na the Emperor at St. Helena to the Generals tion; he suspects, rather fancifully perhaps,

who shared his Captivity; and published that the niche above-mentioned, like that from the original Manuscript corrected by in Conisborough Castle, in Yorkshire, might himself. Dictated to General Gourgaud. have been designed for the reception of an

1 vol. 8vo. pp. 404. idol. By other antiquaries the Peak Castle 7. Memoirs, 8c. [as above.] Historical is considered to be a Norman structure, built

Miscellanies. Dictated to the Count de by William Peverel, natural son of the Con

Montholon. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 377. Colqueror ; to whom, indeed, the traditions of burn and Co. the neighbourhood ascribe its erection. [These are two volumes of an intended series.] This opinion is in some degree countenanced

NOTWITHSTANDING the sentiby the ancient appellation of the Castle, Pevereľs Place in the Peke. Whichever of ments we have ever entertained of these suppositions be the true one, it is the sanguinary career of this extraorcertain that this fortress was possessed by dinary man, we cannot but admit that Peverel, at the period of the Domesday Sur we have perused these volumes with vey, together with the Peak Forest, and nu the most lively interest. The circum

stances here related are so intimately “ The following curious and romantic ac interwoven with the political history connt of a tournament held here, is related of Europe, during the last thirty years, by Mr. Pilkington, in his “View of Der- that they cannot fail to rivet the attenbyshire :" -William, a valiant knight, and tion of the reader, and excite the most sister's son to Pain Peverel, lord of Whit- intense anxiety in the mind. tington, in the county of Salop, had two

have no doubt of these volumes being daughters, one of whom, called Mellet, was her father. This appeared from the decla- admirers and opponents of Napoleon : po less distinguished by a martial spirit than sought for with avidity, both by the ration which she made respecting thc choice

as they are certainly the most importof a husband. She firmly resolved to marry

ant records of modern times. Indeed none but a knight of great prowess; and her the meed of public approbation is due father, to confirm her purpose, and to pro

to the publishers for the very spirited cure and encourage a number of suitors, in manner in which they have brought

these

merous manors.

We

52
Review.--Napoleon's Memoirs of France.

[Jan. these Memoirs before the world; for that his genius was of the eagle kind. we are informed they have incurred a But with a capacity for government of most enormous expence in obtaining the highest order; with an absolute the Manuscripts. But in thus ex command over the vast resources of pressing our admiration of the Work the empire which he had formed; and as an historical production, we wish it an activity that never reposed; he not to be understood that our opinions effected nothing for the real happiness are more favourably inclined to the of France. Self-aggrandisement was subject of the Memoirs. We speak the object nearest his heart. From his of it in a literary point of view, and elevated throne he looked down on should consider ourselves unworthy the sycophantic slaves of his own creation. task of ingenuous criticism, if we did He conferred titles and honours as not bestow the tribute due to our badges of military servitude; or as the Auto-biographer's historical talents. rewards of having contributed to his We have no reason to admire his cha- glory. racter the more since the perusal of his Notwithstanding Napoleon's ambigreat Work. His deeds are indelibly tious career, it must still be admitted recorded in the annals of history, and that he conferred some benefits on sowill be transmitted to posterity in their ciety. He was the promoter of many true light, notwithstanding the spe- laudable institutions, and he abolishcious sophistry of his besotted admirers. ed, we hope for ever, the infernal For our parts we could never reconcile Inquisition. The remorseless tyranny ourselves to the individual who has of a Popish hierarchy, and the iron sacrificed millions of his fellow-men sway of an ignorant aristocracy, averse at the shrine of his own mad ambition. to the progress of human knowledge, A thousand crimes of a crimson hue were in some degree annihilated. Alarise before our minds; and though though he was the sworn foe of this the Code Napoleon may qualify them country, it is a very doubtful point if into state policy, they are no less the national energies which he excited repugnant to our feelings. The have not conduced more to our agfollowers of Napoleon were only his grandisement than to our injury. tools, Soldiers, if accustomed to suc Such are our opinions of this extracess and plunder, become faithful fol- ordinary character; he is now for ever lowers of their leader; for the affec- gone; and the odium which a fallen tions of military-adventurers are rarely enemy excited while living, ought to gained by honourable virtues. Buo- be buried in the grave which incloses naparte wanted all the amiable qualities his remains.-We shall now proceed of human nature; he neither loved to an analysis of the work, by premisnor pitied; he took no part in their ing that the genuineness of these Mefeelings ; and he never stopped a mo moirs is guarauteed by a variety of ment to consider, when he was rush- pledges; but the most satisfactory of ing upon the greatest enterprises, what all is the matter introduced. The hismisery might be the result. He was torical narrative exactly coincides with unmoved by human sufferings, and the character of the alleged author ; participated as little in their joys. This and the style is uniformly that which insensibility was one of the causes of it is asserted to be—of a person dictathis wonderful success. He was a man ing to an amanuensis. Napoleon that would see the world, if it were adopts, like Cæsar, the third person. possible, burst beneath his feet, and, He displays all the requisites of a sedate so long as he had a place to stand upon, and impartial historian-allowing, of view the "wreck of matter”, as an course, for the natural bias of an autoexperiment in natural philosophy. As biographer. We cannot assert that to his military talents, they are so Napoleon has given us the truth, the deeply engraven in the brazen tablet' whole truth, and nothing but the of fame, that it would betray a worth-' truth; but we sincerely believe that he less feeling, or the utmost stupidity has stated what he intended the world to deny them. The humble level from should take for the truth. On this which he darted, the towering height account alone, it is satisfactory to the to which he ascended, and the self-pos: politician and analyser of human nasession which he displayed during his ture, to ascertain the real feelings and meteor-like ascent, evidently prove motives by which the conduct of so

conspicuous

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