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“ Just then was sung his parting hymn;
And Denzil turn'd his eye-balls dim,
Rokeby, Canto VI. St. 25.
The parting of Hobbie Elliot from his grandmother is not unlike the leave-taking of young Duncraggan :
"Urge me not, mother--not now! He was rushing out, when, looking back, he observed his grandmother make a mute attitude of affliction. He returned hastily, threw himself into her arms, and said, “ Yes, mother, I can say, His will be done, since it will comfort you.' "May He go forth-may He go
forth with you, my dear bairn.''-Black Dwarf, ch. 7,
“ In haste the stripling to his side
His father's dirk and broad-sword tied;
Lady of the Lake, Canto III. St. 18.
The description of Sir Halbert Glendinning, in the Ab- .
bot, corresponds remarkably in some of its circumstances with the well-known portraiture of Marmion':
• There were deep traces of care on those noble features, over which each emotion used formerly to pass, like light clouds across a summer sky. That sky was now, not perhaps clouded, but still and grave like that of a sober autumn evening. The forehead was higher and more • bare than in early youth, and the locks which still clustered thick and dark on the warrior's head, were worn away at the temples, not by age, but by the constant pressure of the steel cap or helmet. His beard, according 'to the fashion of the times, grew short and thick, and was • turned into mustachios on the upper lip, and peaked at the
extremity. The cheek, weather-beaten and embrowned, • had lost the glow of youth, but shewed the vigorous com, ‘plexion of active and confirmed manhood. Halbert Glendinning was, in a word, a knight to ride at a king's right hand, to bear his banner in war, and to be his counsellor ' in time of peace; for his looks expressed the considerate firmness which can resolve wisely and dare boldly.' Abbot, vol. i. ch. 3.
“ His eye-brow dark, and eye of fire,
Shew'd spirit proud, and prompt to ire;
But more through toil than age;
Marmion, Canto I. St. 5.
The turn of thought in the next two passages is precisely the same :
• When they came upon the ground, there sat upon the roots of the old thorn, a figure, as vigorous in his decay as the moss-grown but strong and contorted boughs which 'served him for a canopy. It was old Ochiltree.'-Antiquary, vol. ii. ch. 5.
“ The stranger cast a lingering look,
Where easily his eye might reach
Lady of the Lake, Canto II. St. 4.
One more parallel, and I will dismiss the article of descriptions:
Tre, my reverend sir," said Sir Halbert; "and there| fore I entreat my brother and you to pledge me in a cup of this orthodox vintage.'
“The thin old porter looked with a wishful glance towards the Abbot. "Do, Veniam,' said the Superior; and the
old man seized, with a trembling hand, a beverage to which she had been long unaccustomed, drained the cup
pro'tracted delight, as if dwelling on the flavour and perfume, • and set it down with a melancholy smile and shake of the head, as if bidding adieu in future to such delicious potations. The brothers smiled.'- Abbot, vol. i. ch. 15.
This picture, though unequal in merit, bears a strong, and, I think, unstudied resemblance to that incomparably spirited and elegant one in the Lay of the Last Minstrel,
« While thus he pour'd the lengthened tale,
The Minstrel's voice began to fail:
Full slyly smiled the observant page,
the withered hand of age
limbs were old ?'-&c." Lay of the Last Minstrel, End of Canto II.
There still remain a few similarities of thought which appear to me worthy your notice, but are so miscellaneous in their nature, that I will not attempt to classify, but cite them indiscriminately as they occur :
“ I claimed of him my only child
calm and callous look,
Rokeby, Canto IV. St. 24.
* And then they stretch out their faces, and make mouths, 6 and girn at me, and whichever way I look, I see a face laughing like Meg Murdockson, when she tauld me I had seen the last of
God preserve us, Jeanie, that * carline has a fearsome face.' - Heart of Mid Lothian, vol. ii. ch. 8.
This fiendish smile seems to be strongly fixed in the imagination of both writers as the physiognomical expression of confirmed and cold-blooded villainy. You no doubt remember the sarcastic sneer of Varney, so often mentioned in Kenilworth, which writhed his cheek even in death* : and the same characteristic habit is given to Guy Denzil in the lines of Rokeby just quoted, as well as in other parts of that poemt.
. Both writers usually represent their heroes as brave, yet not wholly insensible to fear; and there is a great similarity in their manner of recording the temporary weakness of a mind habitually courageous when surprised at extraordinary disadvantage. Such is the situation of Brown, concealed by Meg Merrilies on the approach of the smugglers, and without means of defence or retreat:
• Brown was a soldier, and a brave one, but he was also a man, and at this moment his fears mastered his
courage so completely, that the cold drops burst out from every pore.' At the idea of being dragged out of his miserable concealment by wretches whose trade was that of midnight • murder, without weapons or the slightest means of de
fence, the bitterness of his emotions almost choked • him.'-Guy Mannering, vol. i. ch. 6.
“ Still spoke the Monk, when the bell tolled one!
that a braver man
• Kenilworth, vol. iii. last chapter. t As, Canto III. St. 19.--VI. 12.