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Quatre Bras, he had mentioned the 42d Highlanders as
some Scotch foot in blue and green draperies.
This cautious and reserved spirit may again be traced in the observations which were prefixed to the Bridal of Triermain, when its author was desirous of concealment. It is not in this place,' he says, 'that an examination of the works of the ma*ster whom he has here adopted as his model can, • with propriety, be introduced, since his general ac
quiescence in the favourable suffrage of the public 'must necessarily be inferred from the attempt he • has now made. He offers some remarks on Romantic Poetry, the popularity of which has been • revived in the present day, under the auspices, and ' by the unparalleled success, of one individual.'
In the Epistle Dedicatory to Ivanhoe, Mr. Lawrence Templeton speaks with yet greater coolness of the novelist in whose steps he professes to tread; observing, that he has supplied' his own 'indolence or poverty of invention' by incidents which have actually taken place; and pronouncing him to have derived from his works fully more credit
and profit than the facility of his labours merited.' But Jedediah Cleishbotham was a still bolder man; for he, when willing to dissemble his identity with the author of Waverley, at once denounced that writer as I know not what inditer of vain fables ; who hath cumbered the world with his devices, but
shrunken from the responsibility thereof*.
Truly, as the sapient Bridoison says, 'On peut se dire à soi-même ce-es sortes de choses là;'—but if they are levelled at others, we must remark with him, l-ils ne sont pas polis du tout da-ans cet endroit ci.'Mariage de Figaro, Acte III. Sc. 20.
I think, then, that in the deportment of our mysterious novelist toward his honoured contemporary, we may discover the natural, and (as appears from the instances I have given), accustomed policy of an author forsaking an old character, and provoking públic curiosity in a new. One who is thus situated, may innocently, nay becomingly, treat his other self with a cynical indifference, which, if manifested toward a brother in literature, would be justly blamed as harsh and uncandid.
Let me now, Sir, entreat you to review at one glance the various points of coincidence apparent in the characters and habits of these two eminent writers.
Both are natives of Scotland ; both familiar from of old with her romantic metropolis ; both Lowlanders, though accustomed to Highland manners and scenery; both are poets; both are deeply conversant with those parts of our national literature which contain the materials of British history; and both enjoy more, perhaps, than an amateur's acquaintance with ancient classics. Both, if I mistake not, are lawyers by profession, yet both equally delight in military subjects, and excel in martial descriptions, and the delineation of soldierly character. Both are evidently gentlemen, and frequenters of the best society. The novelist is a devoted antiquary, so is the poet : 'go to, then, there's sympathy:'one is a bibliomaniac—the other reveres scarce books; • Ha, ha! then there's more sympathy;' each is a cultivator of German and Spanish literature-would you desire better sympathy *??--'I he same taste for every manly exercise and rural sport characterises the versatile pair ; I would warrant each well qualified to judge
* Prolegomen to the Heart of Mid-Lothian.
“ Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch, Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth, Between two blades, which bears the better temper, Between two horses, which doth bear him best, Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye ;"
though neither, I am sure, could add the protestation
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
First Part of Henry VI. Act II. Sc. 4.
Are we then to conclude that this extraordinary agreement in so many and such various particulars
* Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. Sc. 1.
amounts only to a casual resemblance between distinct individuals ? Can there exist authors so precisely the counterparts of each other? Must we iinagine,
“Etsolemgeminum, et duplices se ostendere Thebas ? * "
O wonderful bard! and O still more amazing writer of romance !
“How have you made division of yourself?-
Twelfth Night, Act V. Sc. 1.
* Virg. Æn. IV. 470.
Non, à d'autres, dit il; on connoît votre style.
Boileau, Ep. VI.
From the attributes and qualities of the authors, let us now tụrn to those of the works themselves, and observe what inferences are suggested by a comparative review of both collections, beginning with their broadest and most general characteristics, and proceeding gradually to their minutest peculiarities. The subject is a copious, and to me a very engaging one; but I hope to use such diligence in selecting and compressing, as may save me from the blame of having presumed too far on your indulgent attention.
All the productions I am acquainted with, both of the poet and of the prose writer, recommend themselves by a native piety and goodness, not generally predominant in modern works of imagination, and which, where they do appear, are too often disfigured by eccentricity, pretension, or bad taste. In the works before us there is a constant tendency to promote the desire of excellence in ourselves, and the love of it in our neighbours, by making us think honourably of our general nature. Whatever kindly or charitable affection, whatever prin