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« Flava excutitur Chloë, Rejectæque patet janua Lydiæ *.”
This proceeding, however frequent it may be in actual life, is not, I believe, very common in romance, and we may therefore observe, as a remarkable coincidence, that the whole story, exactly as I have given it, occurs once at least in the poems, and again in the novels. The Lord of the Isles, beloved by Edith, to whom he has long been contracted, takes advantage of a somewhat unhandsome pretext, to throw off his engagement, and prefers his suit to Isabel, the sister of Bruce; but when the lady has declined his addresses and retired into a convent, he begins to perceive the merit of her affronted rival; then
.“ dwells he on” her “juster claims, And oft his breach of faith he blames t,"
and at length he decently resigns himself to her disposal on the field of Bannockburn. The situation of Waverley with Miss Bradwardine and Flora Mac-Ivor is precisely the same, except that in this case there is no violated contract. The rejection here is accompanied with some appearance of contempt for the gallant's character; and in both instances the inflexible damsel is so sincerely indifferent, that she exerts considerable industry in promoting the revolt of her admirer.
In Harold the Dauntless, a story not otherwise resembling either of those last mentioned, the patient Eivir makes prize of the hero's rugged heart, after he has failed in his courtship to the outlaw's daughter.
* Hor. lib. iii. od. 9. + Lord of the Isles, canto vi. st. 6.
There is one peculiar circumstance which, from its fres quent repetition in the stories of both writers, may be justly noted as characteristic; and I mention it in this place, because it often serves to counterbalance, in some degree, the effect of those incidents which have been pointed out as diminishing the hero's importance.
I have already praised the address with which both writers conduct their quarrels, and the skill and apparent experience in the use of arms displayed in their single combats. In almost every tale some conflict of this kind occurs, exciting a powerful interest both by the manner in which it is related, and by the momentous consequences depending on its issue. But it is still more remarkable that both the author of Waverley and the author of Marmion repeatedly (though, I believe, unconscious themselves of reiterating the same idea) introduce a personal struggle between two individuals whose characters form nearly the same contrast as those of Zerbino and Mandricardo, or Ruggiero and Rodomonte; the one (usually the hero of the story) a preux chevalier, gallant, courteous, accomplished, and beloved; the other fierce, rude, and lawless, possessing a giant's strength, and using it like a giant, yet so far respectable for his prowess, or recommended by some wild and irregular virtues, that we cannot look upon
his fall with absolute unconcern. The gentler knight always proves victorious, or at least comes out of the conflict with honour.
The most celebrated and striking incidents of this kind in the poems are the momentary encounter of Malcolm Græme with Roderick Dhu, and the Chieftain's combat with Fitz-James*. Of the same class are Wilfrid's struggle
* Lady of the Lake, canto ii. st. 34, &c. Canto v. st. 12, &c.
with Risingham, and the engagement at Rokeby, where Redmond and Wilfrid are both opposed to the redoubted free-booter*, To these instances we may add the skirmish between Baron Cranstoun, the fair Margaret's true knight, and the hardy moss-trooper, William of Deloraine. Let me now beg you to observe how the same kind of interest is excited in the novels by the same means. Ivanhoe is more than once the adversary of Bois-Guilbert; Morton grapples with the ferocious Burleyt; and Henry Bertrarn (not indeed single-handed) with the Dutch Caliban Dirk Hatteraickt. In A Legend of Montrose, the courteous Menteith is furiously defied to combat by M-Aulay, but the Highlander's-frantic impatience brings the quarrel to a premature issueg. The hostile meeting of Lovel with the fiery and insolent MʻIntyre is an adventure differing in some of its circumstances from those I have just mentioned, but deriving all its strength of effect from the same opposition of a fierce, violent, and overbearing, to a mild, just, and temperate character||. It is true that in this instance both the champions are gentlemen, natives of one country, and educated in similar habits; but every romance-reader knows that a story may have its Saracen without whiskers or turban, and the hero be menaced or the heroine disquieted by an Orson in epaulettes, or a Loupgarou de société. Again, Waverley finds an antagonist in Fergus M'Ivors, and the skill and courage of Francis Osbaldistone
* Rokeby, canto ii. st. 20. Canto v. 33, &c.
Guy Mannering, vol. iii. ch. 15.
are fearfully tasked by the malignity and ruffianly swordsmanship of Rashleigh*
I have already, in criticizing the dialogue of these authors, passed a just but imperfect encomium on their talent for the delineation of character. In the works of men uniting such copiousness of invention with such nicety of discrimination, we must not expect, as in the productions of inferior writers, to find the same individual repeatedly brought upon the scene under a new name: but we may often discern a general family likeness between personages of the same class in the novels and poems; and there are some instances of close partial resemblance, to which I shall solicit your attention.
But before we proceed to more particular comparison, I cannot help dwelling for a moment on the great similarity of manner apparent in the female portraits of the two writers. The pictures of their heroines are executed with a peculiar fineness, delicacy, and minuteness of touch, and with a care at times almost amounting to timidity, so that they generally appear more highly finished, but less boldly and strikingly thrown out, than the figures with which they are surrounded. Their elegance and purity are always admirable, and are happily combined, in most instances, with unaffected ease and natural spirit. Strong practical sense is their most prevailing characteristic, unaccompanied by any repulsive air of selfishness, pedantry, or feminine harshness. Few writers have ever evinced, in so strong a degree as the authors of Marmion and Waverley, that manly regard, and dignified but enthusiastic devotion, which may be expressed by the term loyalty to the fair sex, the honourable attribute of chivalrous and romantic ages. If they touch
* Rob Roy, vol. ii. ch. 12,
on the faults of womankind, their satire is playful, not contemptuous; and their acquaintance with female manners, graces, and foibles is apparently drawn, not from libertine experience, but from the guileless familiarity of domestic life.
Of all human ties and connexions there is none so frequently brought in view, or adorned with so many touches of the most affecting eloquence by both these writers, as the pure and tender relation of father and daughter. Douglas and Ellen in the Lady of the Lake will immediately occur to you as a distinguished example. Their mutual affection and solicitude; their pride in each other's excellencies; the parent's regret of the obscurity to which fate has doomed his child; and the daughter's self-devotion to her father's welfare and safety, constitute the highest interest of the poem, and that which is most uniformly sustained; nor does this or any other romance of the same author contain a finer stroke of passion than the overboiling of Douglas's wrath, when, mixed as a stranger with the crowd at Stirling, he sees his daughter's favourite Lufra chastised by the royal huntsman.
“ The King's stout huntsman saw the sport