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Booth are said to have shadowed forth some of the The English factory at Lisbon erected a monument author's own backslidings and experiences. The over his remains. lady whose amiable qualities lie delighted to recount, The irregularities of Fielding's life (however dearly and whom he passionately loved, died while they he may have paid for fame) contributed to his riches struggled on in their worldly difficulties. He was as an author. He had surveyed human nature in almost broken-hearted for her loss, and found no various aspects, and experienced its storms and sunrelief, it is said, but in weeping, in concert with her shine. His kinswoman, Lady Mary Wortley Monservant maid, ‘for the angel they mutually regretted.' | tagu, assigns to him an enviable vivacity of temThis made the maid his habitual contidential asso- perament, though it is at the expense of his morality. ciate, and in process of time he began to think he His happy constitution,' she says, 'even when he could not give his children a tenderer mother, or had, with great pains, half demolished it, made him secure for himself a more faithful housekeeper and forget every evil when he was before a venisonnurse. The maid accordingly became mistress of pasty, or over a flask of champagne; and I am perhis household, and her conduct as his wife fully jus- suaded he has known more happy moments than tified his good opinion. If there is little of romance, any prince upon earth. His natural spirits gave there is sound sense, affection, and gratitude in this him rapture with his cook-maid, and cheerfulness step of Fielding, but it is probable the noble families when he was starving in a garret.' Fielding's expeto whom he was allied might regard it as a stain on rience as a Middlesex justice was unfavourable to his escutcheon. 'Amelia' was the last work of fic. his personal respectability; but it must also have tion that Fielding gave to the world. His last pub- brouglit him into contact with scenes and characters lic act was an undertaking to extirpate several gangs well fitted for his graphic delineations. On the of thieves and highwaymen that then infested Lon- other hand, his birth and education as a gentleman, don. The government employed him in this some- and his brief trial of the life of a rural squire, imwhat perilous enterprise, placing a sum of £600 at mersed in sports and pleasure, furnished materials his disposal, and he was completely successful. The for a Squire Western, an Allworthy, and other vigour and sagacity of his mind still remained, but country characters, down to black George the gameFielding was paying, by a premature old age and keeper; while, as a man of wit and fashion on the decrepitude, for the follies and excesses of his youth. town, and a gay dramatist, he must have known A complication of disorders weighed down his latter various prototypes of Lord Fellamar and his other days, the most formidable of which was dropsy. As city portraits. The profligacy of Lady Bellaston, a last resource he was advised to try the effect of a and the meanness of Tom Jones in accepting support milder climate, and departed for Lisbon in the spring from such a source, are, we hope, circumstances of 1754. Nothing can be more touching than the which have rarely occurred even in fashionable life. description he has given in his posthumous work, The tone of morality is never very high in FieldA Voyage to Lisbon, of this parting scene :
ing, but the case we have cited is his lowest descent. • Wednesday, June 26, 1754.- On this day the Though written amidst discouraging circumznost melancholy sun I had ever beheld arose, and stances and irksome duties, •Tom Jones' bears no found me awake at my house at Fordhook. By the marks of haste. The author committed some errors light of this sun I was, in my own opinion, last to as to time and place, but his fable is constructed behold and take leave of some of those creatures on with historical exactness and precision, and is a whom I doted with a mother-like fondness, guided by finished model of the comic romance. • Since the nature and passion, and uncured and unhardened by days of Homer,' says Dr Beattie, * 'the world has all the doctrine of that philosophical school where I not seen a more artful epic fable. The characters had learned to bear pains and to despise death. and adventures are wonderfully diversified ; yet the
In this situation, as I could not conquer nature, I circumstances are all so natural, and rise so easily submitted entirely to her, and she made as great a from one another, and co-operate with so much refool of me as she had ever done of any woman what- gularity in bringing, or even while they seem to resoever: under pretence of giving me leave to enjoy, tard the catastrophe, that the curiosity of the reader she drew me in to suffer, the company of my little ones is always kept awake, and, instead of flagging, grows during eight hours; and I doubt whether in that time more and more impatient as the story advances, till I did not undergo more than in all my distemper. at last it becomes downright anxiety. And when
At twelve precisely my coach was at the door, which we get to the end, and look back on the whole conwas no sooner told me, than I kissed my children trivance, we are amazed to find that of so many inround, and went into it with some little resolution.cidents there should be so few superfluous; that in My wife, who behaved more like a heroine and such a variety of fiction there should be so great a philosopher, though at the same time the tenderest probability, and that so complex a tale should be so mother in the world, and my eldest daughter, fol- perspicuously conducted, and with perfect unity of lowed me; some friends went with us, and others design. The only digression from the main story liere took their leave; and I heard my behaviour which is felt to be tedious is the episode of the Man of applauded, with many murmurs and praises to which the Hill. In • Don Quixote' and Gil Blas' we are reI well knew I had no title; as all other such philo- conciled to such interpolations by the air of romance sophers may, if they have any modesty, confess on which pervades the whole, and which seems indigethe like occasions.'
nous to the soil of Spain. In Cervantes, too, these The great novelist reached Lisbon, and resided in digressions are sometimes highly poetical and strikthat genial climate for about two months. His ing tales. But in the plain life-like scenes of ‘Tom health, however, gradually declined, and he died on Jones'—English life in the eighteenth century, in the the 8th of October 1754. It is pleasing to record county of Somerset-such a tedious hermit of the that his family, about which he evinced so much vale' is felt to be an unnatural incumbrance. Fieldtender solicitude in his last days, were sheltered from ing had little of the poetical or imaginative faculty. want by his brother and a private friend, Ralph His study lay in real life and everyday scenes, which Allen, Esq., whose character for worth and benevo- he depicted with a truth and freshness, a buoyancy lence he had drawn in Allworthy, in . Tom Jones.' and vigour, and such an exuberance of practical
Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
knowledge, easy satire, and lively fancy, that in his all the king's dominions.' Jones offered to speak, own department he stands unrivalled. Others have but Partridge cried, “Hush, hush, dear sir, don't you had bolder invention, a higher cast of thought, more hear him?' And during the whole speech of the poetical imagery, and profounder passion (for Field-ghost, he sat with his eyes fixed partly on the ghost, ing has little pathos or sentiment), but in the perfect and partly on Hamlet, and with his mouth open;
the nature of his characters, especially in low life, and same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet in the perfect skill with which he combined and succeeding likewise in him. wrought up his comic powers, seasoning the whole When the scene was over, Jones said, 'Why, Parwith wit and wisdom, the ripened fruit of genius and tridge, you exceed my expectations. You enjoy the long experience, this great English author is still play more than I conceived possible.' “Nay, sir, unapproached.
answered Partridge, if you are not afraid of the A passage from Fielding or Smollett can convey devil, I can't help it; but, to be sure, it is natural to no more idea of the work from which it is taken, or be surprised at such things, though I know there is the manner of the author, than a single stone or nothing in them : not that it was the ghost that gurbrick would of the architecture of a house. We are prised me neither; for I should have known that to tempted, however, to extract the account of Par- have been only a man in a strange dress; but when I tridge's impressions on first visiting a playhouse, saw the little man so frightened himself, it was that
• And dost thou imagine when he witnessed the representation of Hamlet. which took hold of me.” The faithful attendant of Tom Jones was half- then, Partridge,' cries Jones, “that he was really barber and half-schoolmaster, shrewd, yet simple as frightened?' Nay, sir,' said Partridge,“ did not you a child.
yourself observe afterwards, when he found it was his
own father's spirit, and how he was murdered in the [Partridge at the Playhouse.]
garden, how his fear forsook him by degrees, and he
was struck dumb with sorrow, as it were, just as I In the first row, then, of the first gallery, did Mr should have been, had it been my own case. But Jones, Mrs Miller, her youngest daughter, and Par- hush ! O la! what noise is that? There he is again. tridge, take their places. Partridge immediately de- Well, to be certain, though I know there is nothing clared it was the finest place he had ever been in. at all in it, I am glad I am not down yonder where When the first music was played, he said, “It was a those men are.' Then turning his eyes again upon wonder how so many fiddlers could play at one time Hamlet, ' Ay, you may draw your sword ; what signiwithout putting one another out. While the fellow fies a sword against the power of the devil ?' was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs During the second act, Partridge made very few Miller, 'Look, look, madam, the very picture of the remarks. He greatly admired the fineness of the man in the end of the common-prayer book, before dresses ; nor could he help observing upon the king's the gunpowder treason service. Nor could he help countenance. “Well,' said he, “how people may be observing, with a sigh, when all the candles were deceived by faces ? Nulla fides fronti is, I find, a true lighted, “That here were candles enough burnt in one saying. Who would think, by looking in the king's night to keep an honest poor family for a whole face, that he had ever committed a murder?' He twelvemonth
then inquired after the ghost; but Jones, who intended As soon as the play, which was Hamlet, Prince of he should be surprised, gave him no other satisfaction Denmark, began, Partridge was all attention, nor did than that he might possibly see him again soon, and he break silence till the entrance of the ghost ; upon in a flash of fire.' which he asked Jones, "What inan that was in the Partridge sat in fearful expectation of this; and strange dress; something,' said he, like what I have now, when the ghost made his next appearance, Par. seen in a picture. Sure it is not armour, is it?' Jones tridge cried out, 'There, sir, now; what say you now? answered, “That is the ghost.' To which Partridge is he frightened now or no? As much frightened as replied, with a smile, ‘ Persuade me to that, sir, if you you think me, and, to be sure, nobody can help some can. Though I can't say I ever actually saw a ghost fears, I would not be in so bad a condition as--what's in my life, yet I am certain I should know one if I his name ?-Squire Hamlet is there, for all the world. saw him better than that comes to. No, no, sir ; | Bless me! what's become of the spirit? As I am a ghosts don't appear in such dresses as that neither.' | living soul, I thought I saw him sink into the earth.' In this mistake, which caused much laughter in the ' Indeed you saw right,' answered Jones. "Well, neighbourhood of Partridge, he was suffered to con- well,' cries Partridge, I know it is only a play; and tinue till the scene between the ghost and Hamlet, besides, if there was anything in all this, Madam when Partridge gave that credit to Mr Garrick which Miller would not laugh so; for as to you, sir, you he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a would not be afraid, I believe, if the devil was here trembling that his knees knocked against each other. in person. There, there ; ay, no wonder you are in Jones asked him what was the matter, and whether such a passion; shake the vile wicked wretch to pieces. he was afraid of the warrior upon the stage? 'O la ! If she was my own mother I should serve her so. To sir,' said be, 'I perceive now it is what you told me. be sure all duty to a• mother is forfeited by such I am not afraid of anything, for I know it is but a wicked doings. Ay, go about your business; I hate play; and if it was really a ghost, it could do one the sight of you.' no harm at such a distance, and in so much company; Our critic was now pretty silent till the play which and yet if I was frightened, I am not the only person.' | Hamlet introduces before the king. This he did not * Why, who,' cries Jones, dost thou take to be such a at first understand, till Jones explained it to him ; coward here besides thyself ! « Nay, you may call me but he no sooner entered into the spirit of it, than he coward if you will; but if that little man there upon began to bless himself that he had never committed the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man murder. Then turning to Mrs Miller, he asked her frightened in my life. Ay, ay; go along with you! If she did not imagine the king looked as if he was Ay, to be sure! Who's fool then? Will you ? "Lud touched ; though he is,' said he, “a good actor, and have mercy upon such foolhardiness ! Whatever doth all he can to hide it. Well, I would not hare happens it is good enough for you. Follow you! I'd so much to answer for as that wicked man there hath, follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps it is the devil to sit upon a much higher chair than he sits upon. --for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases. No wonder he run away; for your sake I'll never trust Oh! here he is again. No farther! No, you have gone an innocent face again.' far enough already; farther than I'd have gone for The grave-digging scene next engaged the attention of Partridge, who expressed much surprise at the his efforts were crowned with the most gratifying number of skulls thrown upon the stage. To which success. He had adopted Le Sage as his model, but Jones answered, “That it was one of the most famous his characters, his scenes, his opinions, and prejuburial-places about town.' 'No wonder, then,' cries dices, were all decidedly British. The novels of Partridge, 'that the place is haunted. But I never Smollett were produced in the following order :saw in my life a worse grave-digger. I had a sexton 1748, Roderick Random ; 1751, Peregrine Pickle ; when I was clerk that should have dug three graves 1754, Ferdinand Count Fathom; 1762, Sir Launcelot while he is digging one. The fellow handles a spade Greaves ; 1771, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. as if it was the first time he had ever had one in his From the date of his first to that of his latest prohand. Ay, ay, you may sing. You had rather sing duction, Smollett had improved in taste and judge than work, I believe. Upon Hamlet's taking up the ment, but his powers of invention, his native humour, skull, he cried out, 'Well! it is strange to see how fearless some men are: I never could bring myself to touch anything belonging to a dead man on any account. Ile seemed frightened enough too at the ghost, I thought. Nemo omnibus horis sapit.'
Little more worth remembering occurred during the play; at the end of which Jones asked him . Which of the players he had liked best ? To this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question, The king, without doubt. Indeed, Mr Partridge,' says Mrs Miller ; ‘you are not of the same opinion with the town; for they are all agreed that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the stage.' 'He the best player ! cries Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer ; * Why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure if I had seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done just as he did. And then, to be sure, in that scene, as you called it, between him and his mother, where you told me he acted so fine, why, Lord help me, any man, that is any good man, that had such a mother, would have done exactly the same. I know you are only joking with me; but, indeed, madam, though I was never at a play in London, yet I have seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the other. Anybody may see he is an actor.
While Mrs Miller was thus engaged in conversation with Partridge, a lady came up to Mr Jones,
Tobias George Smollett. whom he immediately knew to be Mrs Fitzpatrick. and his knowledge of life and character, are as conShe said she had seen him from the other part of the gallery, and had taken that opportunity of speaking spicuous in Roderick Random as in any of his to him, as she had something to say which might be works. His Tom Bowling is his most perfect sea of great service to himself. She then acquainted him character, though in ‘ Peregrine Pickle’ he has prewith her lodgings, and made him an appointment the served the same general features, with additional next day in the morning; which, upon recollection, colouring, and a greater variety of ludicrous incishe presently changed to the afternoon; at which time dents. The adventures of Roderick are such as Jones promised to attend her.
might naturally have occurred to any young ScotsThus ended the adventure at the playhouse, where man of the day in quest of fortune. Scene follows Partridge had afforded great mirth, not only to Jones scene with astonishing rapidity: at one time his and Mrs Miller, but to all who sat within hearing, hero basks in prosperity, in another he is plunged who were more attentive to what he said than to any- in utter destitution. He is led into different counthing that passed on the stage. He durst not go to bed tries, whose national peculiarities are described, all that night for fear of the ghost ; and for many nights and into society of various descriptions, with wits, after sweated two or three hours before he went to sharpers, courtiers, courtesans, and men of all grades. sleep with the same apprehensions, and waked several | In this tour of the world and of human life, the times in great horrors, crying out, Lord have mercy reader is amazed at the careless profusion, the inupon us! there it is.''
exhaustible humour, of an author who pours out his
materials with such prodigality and facility. The TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT.
patient skill and taste of Fielding are nowhere found
in Smollett; there is no elaboration of character ; no Six years after the publication of Joseph An- careful preparation of incidents ; no unity of design. drews,' and before · Tom Jones' had been produced, Roderick Random is hurried on without any fixed a third novelist had taken the field, different in or definite purpose; he is the child of impulse ; and many respects from either Richardson or Fielding, though there is a dash of generosity and good humour but like them devoted to that class of fictitious com- in his character, he is equally conspicuous for reckposition founded on truth and nature. We have less libertinism and mischief-more prone to selfishpreviously noticed the circumstances of Smollett's ness and revenge than to friendship or gratitude. life. A young unfriended Scotsman, he went to There is an inherent and radical meanness in his London eager for distinction as a dramatic writer. conduct towards his humble friend Strap, with whom In this his failure was more signal than the want of he begins life, and to whom he is so much indebted suceess which had attended Fielding's theatrical both in purse and person. Tom Jones is always productions. Smollett, however, was of a dauntless kind and liberal to his attendant Partridge, but Strap intrepid spirit, and when he again resumed his pen, is bullied and fleeced by Roderick Random; disowned or despised as suits the interest or passion of with his female associate Teresa, are coarse and the moment; and at last, contrary to all notions of disgusting. When he extends his operations, and Scotch spirit and morality, his faithful services and flies at higher game, the chase becomes more ani. unswerving attachment are rewarded by his receiy-mated. His adventures at gambling tables and ing and accepting the hand of a prostitute, and an hotels, and his exploits as a physician, afford scope eleemosynary provision less than the sacrifices he for the author's satirical genius. But the most had made, or what a careful Scot might attain to powerful passages in the novel are those which reby honest independent exertion. The imperfect count Ferdinand's seduction of Celinda, the story moral sense thus manifested by Smollett is also of Monimia, and the description of the tempest in evinced by the coarse and licentious passages which the forest, from which he took shelter in a robdisfigure the novel. Making all allowance for the ber's hut. In this lonely dwelling, the gang being manners of the times, this grossness is indefensible; absent, Fathom was relieved by a withered beldame, and we must regret that our author had not a higher who conveyed him to a rude apartment to sleep and more sentimental estimate of the female cha- in. Here he found the dead body of a man, still racter. In this he was inferior to Richardson, who warm, who had been lately stabbed and concealed studied and reverenced the purity of the female beneath some straw, and the account of his sensa. heart, and to Fielding, whose taste and early position tions during the night, the horrid device by which in society preserved him from some of the grosser he saved his life (lifting up the dead body, and faults of his rival novelist. The charm of “ Roderick putting it in his own place in the bed), and his Random,' then, consists not in plot or well-sustained escape, guided by the old hag whom he compelled characters (admirable as is the sketch of Tom Bowl- to accompany him through the forest, are related ing), but in its broad humour and comic incidents, with the intensity and power of a tragic poet. There which, even when most farcical, seldom appear im- is a vein of poetical imagination, also, in the means probable, and are never tiresome.
by which Fathom accomplishes the ruin of Celinda, * Peregrine Pickle’ is formed of the same materials, working on her superstitious fears and timidity cast in a larger mould. The hero is equally unscru- by placing an Æolian harp, then almost an unknown pulous with Roderick Random-perhaps more deli- instrument, in the casement of a window adjoining berately profligate (as in the attempted seduction of her bedroom. The strings,' says Smollett, with Amanda, and in his treatment of Emilia), but the poetical inflation, ‘no sooner felt the impression of comic powers of the author are more widely and the balmy zephyr, than they began to pour forth a variously displayed. They seem like clouds stream of melody more ravishingly delightful than For ever flushing round a summer sky.
the song of Philomel, the warbling brook, and all
the concert of the wood. The soft and tender notes All is change, brilliancy, heaped-up plenty, and un- of peace and love were swelled up with the most limited power—the rich coin and mintage of genius. delicate and insensible transition into a loud hymn The want of decent drapery is unfortunately too ap- of triumph and exultation, joined by the deep-toned parent. Smollett never had much regard for the organ, and a full choir of voices, which gradually proprieties of life-those ‘minor morals,' as Goldsmith decayed upon the ear, until it died away in distant has happily termed them--but where shall we find sound, as if a flight of angels had raised the song a more attractive gallery of portraits, or a series of in their ascent to heaven.' The remorse of Celinda more laughable incidents? Prominent in the group is depicted with equal tenderness. “The seeds of is the one-eyed naval veteran Commodore Trunnion, virtue,' remarks the novelist, .are seldom destroyed a humourist in Smollett's happiest manner. His at once. Even amidst the rank productions of vice, keeping garrison in his house as on board ship, mak- they re-germinate to a sort of imperfect vegetation, ing his servants sleep in hammocks and turn out to like some scattered hyacinths shooting up among watch, is a characteristic though overcharged trait the weeds of a ruined garden, that testify the forof the old naval commander. The circumstances mer culture and amenity of the soil.' In descripof his marriage, when he proceeded to church on a tions of this kind, Smollett evinces a grace and hunter, which he steered according to the compass, pathos which Fielding did not possess. We trace instead of keeping the road, and his detention while the mind of the poet in such conceptions, and in he tacked about rather than go‘right in the wind's the language in which they are expressed. Few eye,' are equally ludicrous. Lieutenant Hatchway, readers of Peregrine Pickle can forget the alluand Pipes the boatswain, are foils to the eccentric sion, so beautiful and pathetic, to the Scottish commodore; but the taciturnity of Pipes, and his Jacobites at Boulogne, *exiled from their native ingenuity in the affair of the love-letter, are good homes in consequence of their adherence to an undistinctive features of his own. The humours of fortunate and ruined cause,' who went daily to the the poet, painter, and physician, when Pickle pur- sea-side in order to indulge their longing eyes with sues his mischievous frolics and gallantries in France, a prospect of the white cliffs of Albion, which they are also admirable specimens of laughable carica- could never more approach. ture. In London, the adventures are not so amus- Sir Launcelot Greaves is a sort of travesty of ing. Peregrine richly merited his confinement in Don Quixote, in which the absurdity of the idea is the Fleet by his brutal conduct, while Cadwallader, relieved by the humour some of the characters the misanthrope, is more tedious than Fielding's and conversations. Butler's Presbyterian Knight Man of the Hill. The Memoirs of a Lady of Qua- going 'a-colonelling,' as a redresser of wrongs in lity (though a true tale, for inserting which Smollett merry England, is ridiculous enough ; but the chi was bribed by a sum of money) are disgraceful valry of Sir Launcelot and his attendant, Captain without being interesting. On the whole, the vices Crowe, outrages all sense and probability. Seeing and virtues of Smollett's style are equally seen in that his strength lay in humorous exaggeration, *Peregrine Pickle,' and seen in full perspective. Smollett sought for scenes of broad mirth. He fails
Ferdinand Count Fathom is more of a romance, as often as he succeeds in this work, and an author with little of national character or manners. The of such strong original powers should have been portraiture of a complete villain, proceeding step above playing Pantaloon even to Cervantes. by step to rob his benefactors and pillage mankind, Humphry Clinker is the most easy, natural, and cannot be considered instructive or entertaining. delightful of all the novels of Smollett. His love The first atrocities of Ferdinand, and his intrigue of boyish mischief. tricks, and frolics, had not wholly