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• down in thy day, I presume.'-Monastery, vol. i. ch. 2.

To infuse into conversation a spirit truly and unaffectedly feminine appears to me one of the most difficult tasks that can be undertaken by a writer of our sex: get this is in many instances happily achieved by the author of Marmion, although the somewhat antiquated turn of his style is unfavourable to such an attempt. I think his greatest felicity in this respect lies in occasional snatches of speech interwoven with animated description; as when, in Holy-rood palace, Lady Heron

“ rises with a smile Upon the harp to play.”


" —And first she pitch'd her voice to sing,

Then glanced her dark eye on the king,
And then around the silent ring ;
And laugh'd and blush'd, andoft did say
Her pretty oath, by Yea, and Nay,
She could not, would not, durst not play !"

Marmion, Canto V. St. II.

Or where the young chief of Duncraggan is summoned from his father's funeral to the gathering of Clan-Alpine :

“ But when he saw his mother's

eye Watch him in speechless agony,

Back to her open'd arms he flew,
Press'd on her lips a fond adieu-
• Alas !' she sobbed,- - and yet be gone,
And speed thee forth, like Duncan's son !'

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Suspended was the widow's tear,
While yet his footsteps she could hear;
And when she mark'd the henchman's eye
Wet with unwonted sympathy,
* Kinsman,' she said, ' his race is run,
That should have sped thine errand on,- "&c.

Lady of the Lake, Canto III. St. 18.

Nor must I omit that beautiful burst of wounded maternal pride, when the elvish counterfeit of young Buccleuch refuses to mix with the defenders of Branksome:

" Then wrathful was the noble dame;

She blushed blood-red for very shame-
· Hence ! ere the clan his faintness view;
Hence with the weakling to Buccleuch ;

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Sure some fell fiend has cursed our line,
That coward should e'er be son of mine !'

Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto IV. St. 11.

But there are many colloquial passages of greater length in these poems, highly distinguished by feminine grace and tenderness: as, for instance, the conversations of Matilda with her two lovers, in Rokeby*: that scene in the Lady of the Lake, where Fitz-James, impelled by his passion for Ellen, revisits the Lonely Isle on the eve of a Highland insurrection t; and the opening conversation in the Lord of the Isles, when Edith of Lorn, attended by her nurse, is watching for her tardy bridegroom:

“Think'st thou ... to cheat the heart,

That, bound in strong affection's chain,
Looks for return, and looks in vain ?
No! sum thine Edith's wretched lot.
In these brief words—He loves her not!
Debate it not—too long I strove
To call his cold observance love,
All blinded by the league that styled
Edith of Lorn—while yet a child,
She tripp'd the heath by Morag's side-
The brave Lord Ronald's destined bride.

He came! and all that had been told
Of his high worth seem'd poor

and cold,
Tame, lifeless, void of energy,
Unjust to Ronald and to me!

Since then, what thought had Edith's heart
And gave not plighted love its part ! -
And what requital ? cold delay-
Excuse that shunn'd the spousal day-

* Cantos IV. and V.

+ Canto IV. St. 16 to 18.

It dawns, and Ronald is not here!
Hunts he Bentalla's nimble deer,
Or loiters he in secret dell
To bid some lighter love farewell,
And swear, that though he may not scorn
A daughter of the House of Lorn,
Yet, when these formal rites are o'er,
Again they meet, to part no more?'

Hush, daughter, hush! thy doubts remove,
More nobly think of Ronald's love.
Look, where beneath the castle gray
His fleet unmoor from Aros bay !


Thy Ronald comes, and while in speed
His galley mates the flying steed,
He chides her sloth!' Fair Edith sigh’d,
Blush'd, sadly sıniled, and thus replied :-
Sweet thought, but vain!'”-&c.

Lord of the Isles, Canto I. St. 9, &c.

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In furnishing parallel instances from the novels, my only difficulty would be to choose among the multitude. One short passage, however, I am induced to extract, as harmonizing well with the strain of poetry just now selected:

'In finding herself once more by the side of • Ivanhoe, Rebecca was astonished at the keen • sensation of pleasure which she experienced, even 'in a moment when all around them both was

danger, if not despair. As she felt his pulse and ' inquired after his health, there was a softness in

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her touch and in her accents, implying a kinder • interest than she would herself have been pleased to have voluntarily expressed. Her voice faultered and her hand trembled, and it was only the cold question of Ivanhoe, 'Is it you, gentle maiden ?' (which recalled her to herself, and reminded her the sensations which she felt were not and could not be mutual. A sigh escaped, but it was scarce audible, and the questions which she put to the • knight concerning his state of health, were put in

the tone of calm friendship. Ivanhoe answered her hastily that he was, in point of health, as • well and better than he could have expected

Thanks,' he said, 'dear Rebecca, 'to thy helpful skill.'

«He calls me dear Rebecca,' said the maiden to herself, but it is in the cold and careless tone which ill suits the word. His war-horse-his · hunting-hound, are dearer to him than the de'spised Jewess.'

My mind, gentle maiden,' continued Ivanhoe, • is more disturbed by anxiety, than my body with pain. From the speeches of these men who were my warders just now, I learn that I am a prisoner, and-in the castle of Front-de-Bouf—if so, how • will this end, or how can I protect Rowena and my

father?' 6.He names not the Jew or Jewess,' said Rebecca, internally: 'yet what is our portion in



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