Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

JOHN TOBIN.

MORTON.

modern plays. There is merit in the writing, but I'll have no glittering gewgaws stuck about you, much more in that dramatic science which disposes To stretch the gaping eyes of idiot wonder, character, scenes, and dialogue with minute attention and make men stare upon a piece of earth to theatric exhibition. Holcroft wrote a great As on the star-wrought firmament--no feathers number of dramatic pieces-more than thirty be- To wave as streamers to your vanitytween the years 1778 and 1806; three other novels Nor cumbrous silk, that, with its rustling sound, (Anna St Ives, Ilugh Trevor, and Bryan Perdue); Makes proud the flesh that bears it. She's adorned besides a Tour in Germany and France, and nume- Amply, that in her husband's eye looks lovelyrous translations from the German, and French, and The truest mirror that an honest wife Italian. During the period of the French Revo- can see her beauty in! lution he was a zealous reformer, and on hearing

Jul. I shall observe, sir. that his name was included in the same bill of in

Duke. I should like well to sec you in the dress dictment with Tooke and Hardy, he surrendered I last presented you. himself in open court, but no proof of guilt was ever

Jul. The blue one, sir? adduced against him. His busy and remarkable Duke. No, love the white. Thus modestly attired, life was terminated on the 23d of March 1809. A half-blown rose stuck in thy braided hair,

With no more diamonds than those eyes are made of,
No deeper rubies than compose thy lips,

Nor pearls more precious than inhabit them; Joan Tobin was a sad example, as Mrs Inchbald Which blends the rainbow mingles in thy cheeks;

With the pure red and white, which that same hand has remarked, ‘of the fallacious hopes by which This well-proportioned form (think not I fatter) half mankind are allured to vexatious enterprise. In graceful inotion to harmonious sounds, He passed many years in the anxious labour of And thy free tresses dancing in the wind; writing plays, which were rejected by the managers; Thou'lt fix as much observance, as chaste dames and no sooner had they accepted The Honey-Moon, Can meet, without a blush. than he died, and never enjoyed the recompense of seeing it performed.' Tobin was born at Salisbury JOHN O'KEEFE-FREDERICK REYNOLDS-THOMAS in the year 1770, and educated for the law. In 1785 he was articled to an eminent solicitor of Lincoln's Inn, and afterwards entered into business himself.

John O'KEEFE, a prolific farce writer, was born Such, however, was his devotion to the drama, that in Dublin in 1746. While studying the art of before the age of twenty-four he had written several drawing to fit him for an artist, hé imbibed a pasplays. His attachment to literary composition did sion for the stage, and commenced the career of an not withdraw him from his legal engagements; but actor in his native city. He produced generally his time was incessantly occupied, and symptoms of some dramatic piece every year for his benefit, and consumption began to appear. A change of climate one of these, entitled Tony Lumpkin, was played was recommended, and Tobin went first to Cornwall, with success at the Haymarket theatre, London, in and thence to Bristol, where he embarked for the

1778. He continued supplying the theatres with West Indies. The vessel arriving at Cork, was

new pieces, and up to the year 1809, had written, in detained there for some days; but on the 7th of all, about fifty plays and farces. Most of these December 1804, it sailed from that port, on which and some of them enjoyed great success. The Agree

were denominated comic operas or musical farces, day-without any apparent change in his disorder able Surprise, Wild Oats, Modern Antiques, Fontairto indicate the approach of death-the invalid ex. bleau, The Ilighland Reel

, Lore in a Camp, The Page pired. Before quitting London, Tobin had left the Honey-Moon' with his brother, the manager having Soldier, and Sprigs of Laurel

, are still favourites

! given a promise that it should be performed. Its especially the first, in which the character of Lingo

, success was instant and decisive, and it is still a

the schoolmaster, is a laughable piece of brad favourite acting play. Two other pieces by the same intended to make people laugh, and they have fully

humour. O'Keefe's writings, it is said, were merely Author (The Curfew, and The School for Authors) were subsequently brought forward, but they are of infe- answered that intent. The lively dramatist was in 1 rior merit. The • Honey-Moon' is a romantic drama, he obtained a benefit at Covent Garden theatre, ca

His latter years afflicted with blindness, and in 1800 partly in blank verse, and written somewhat in the style of Beaumont and Fletcher. The scene is laid which occasion he was led forward by Mr Lewis in Spain, and the plot taken from Catherine and the actor, and delivered a poetical address. He Petruchio, though the reform of the haughty lady is died at Southampton on the 4th of February 1833, accomplished less roughly. The Duke of Aranza having reached the advanced age of 86. conducts his bride to a cottage in the country, pre, the most voluminous of dramatists, author of seven

FREDERICK REYNOLDS (1765–1841) was one of tending that he is a peasant, and that he has obtained teen popular comedies, and, altogether, of about a her hand by deception. The proud Juliana, after a struggle, submits, and the duke having accomplished hundred dramatic pieces

. He served Covent Garden his purpose of rebuking the domineering spirit of for forty years in the capacity of what he called her sex,' asserts his true rank, and places Juliana in thinker'—that is, performer of every kind of litehis palace

rary labour required in the establishment. Among his

best productions are, The Dramatist, Laugh when he This truth to manifest-A gentle wife

Can, The Delinquent, The Will, Folly as it Flies, Lije, Is still the sterling comfort of man's life ; Management, Notoriety, How to Grow Rich, The Rage

, To fools a torment, but a lasting boon

Speculation, The Blind Bargain, Fortune's Fay, &c. To those who-wisely keep their honey-moon.

&c. Of these, the ·Dramatist' is the best. The

hero Vapid, the dramatic author, who goes to Bath The following passage, where the duke gives his. to pick up characters,' is a laughable caricature, directions to Juliana respecting her attire, is pointed in which it is said the author drew a likeness of out by Mrs Inchbald as peculiarly worthy of admi. himself; for, like Vapid, he had 'the ardor scribendi ration, from the truths which it contains. The fair upon him so strong, that he would rather you'd ask critic, like the hero of the play, was not ambitious of him to write an epilogue or a scene than offer him dress:

your whole estate-the theatre was his world, in

[ocr errors]

1 stances.

which were included all his hopes and wishes.' Out and, fed upon such garbage as we have described, it of the theatre, however, as in it, Reynolds was inuch was scarcely less injurious; for it dwarfed the intelesteemed.

lectual faculties, and unfitted its votaries equally for Another veteran comic writer for the stage is the study or relish of sound literature, and for the Thomas Morton, whose Speed the Plough, Way to proper performance and enjoyment of the actual Get Married, Cure for the Heartache, and The School duties of the world. The enthusiastic novel reader of Reform, may be considered standard comedies on got bewildered and entangled among love-plots and the stage.

Besides these, Mr Morton produced high-flown adventures, in which success was often Zorinski, Secrets Worth Knowing, and various other awarded to profligacy, and, among scenes of preplays, most of which were performed with great tended existence, exhibited in the masquerade attire applause. The acting of Lewis, Munden, and Emery, of a distempered fancy. Instead, therefore, of was greatly in favour of Mr Morton's productions

Truth severe by fairy Fiction dressed, on their first appearance; but they contain the elements of theatrical success. The characters are we had Falsehood decked out in frippery and nonstrongly contrasted, and the scenes and situations sense, and courting applause from its very extravawell arranged for effect, with occasionally a mixture gance. of pathos and tragic or romantic incident. In the The first successful inroad on this accumulating closet, these works fail to arrest attention ; for their mass of absurdity was made by Charlotte Smith, merits are more artistic than literary, and the im- whose works may be said to hold a middle station probability of many of the incidents appears glaring between the true and the sentimental in fictitious when submitted to sober inspection.

composition. Shortly afterwards succeeded the Various new pieces have since been produced in political tales of Holcroft and Godwin, the latter the London theatres by Messrs Poole, Theodore animated by the fire of genius, and possessing great Hook, Planche, Jerrold, Buckstone, &c. The novels intellectual power and energy. The romantic fables of Sir Walter Scott and Mr Dickens have been of Mrs Radcliffe were also, as literary productions, dramatised with considerable success; but most of a vast improvement on the old novels; and in their these recent productions require the aids of good moral effects they were less mischievous, for the acting, music, and scenery, to render them tolerable. extraordinary machinery employed by the authoress There is no want of novelties; but the wit, the was so far removed from the common course of husprightly dialogue, and genuine life of the true man affairs and experience, that no one could think English comedy, may be said to be extinct.

of drawing it into a precedent in ordinary circum

At no distant interval Miss Edgeworth

came forward with her moral lessons and satirical NOVELISTS.

portraits, daily advancing in her powers as in her

desire to increase the virtues, prudence, and subIn prose fiction, the last forty years have been rich stantial happiness of life; Mrs Opie told her pathetic and prolific. It was natural that the genius and the and graceful domestic tales ; and Miss Austen exsuccess of the great masters of the modern English hibited her exquisite delineations of every-day Eng. novel should have led to imitation. Mediocrity is lish society and character. To crown all, Sir Walter seldom deterred from attempting to rival excellence, Scott commenced, in 1814, his brilliant gallery of especially in any department that is popular, and portraits of all classes, living and historical, which may be profitable; and there is, besides, in romance, completely exterminated the monstrosities of the as in the drama, a wide and legitimate field for Minerva press, and inconceivably extended the circle native talent and exertion. The highly-wrought of novel readers. Fictitious composition was now tenderness and pathos of Richardson, and the models again in the ascendant, and never, in its palmiest of real life, wit, and humour in Fielding, Smollett, days of chivalrous romance or modern fashion, did it and Sterne, produced a few excellent imitations. command more devoted admiration, or shine with The fictions of Mackenzie, Dr Moore, Miss Burney, greater lustre. The public taste underwent a rapid and Cumberland, are all greatly superior to the ordi- and important change; and as curiosity was stimunary run of novels, and stand at the head of the lated and supplied in such unexampled profusion second class. These writers, however, exercised but from this master-source, the most exorbitant delittle influence on the national taste: they supported vourers of novels soon learned to look with aversion the dignity and respectability of the novel, but did and disgust on the painted and unreal mockeries not extend its dominion; and accordingly we find which had formerly deluded them. It appears to be that there was a long dull period in which this de. a law of our nature, that recreation and amusement lightful species of composition had sunk into general are as necessary to the mind as exercise is to the contempt. There was no lack of novels, but they body, and in this light Sir Walter Scott must be were of a very inferior and even debased description. viewed as one of the greatest benefactors of his In place of natural incident, character, and dialogue, species. He has supplied a copious and almost exwe had affected and ridiculous sentimentalism-plots haustless source of amusement, as innocent as it is utterly absurd or pernicious—and stories of love and delightful. He revived the glories of past ages; honour so maudlin in conception and drivelling in illustrated the landscape and the history of his execution, that it is surprising they could ever have native country ; painted the triumphs of patriotismı been tolerated even by the most defective moral and virtue, and the meanness and misery of vice; sense or taste. The circulating libraries in town and awakened our best and kindliest feelings in favour country swarmed with these worthless productions of suffering and erring humanity-of the low-born (known from their place of publication by the mis- and the persecuted, the peasant, the beggar, and the nomer of the Minerva Press' novels); but their Jew; he has furnished an intellectual banquet, as perusal was in a great measure confined to young rich as it is various and picturesque, from his curipeople of both sexes of imperfect education, or to ous learning, extensive observation, forgotten manhalf-idle inquisitive persons, whose avidity for ex- ners, and decaying superstitions--the whole embelcitement was not restrained by delicacy or judgment. lished with the lights of a vivid imagination, and a In many cases, even in the humblesť walks of life, correct and gracefully regulated taste. In the numthis love of novel-reading amounted to a passion as ber and variety of his conceptions and characters, strong and uncontrollable as that of dram-drinking; Scott is entitled to take his seat beside the greatest niasters of fiction, British or foreign. Some have author gives a sad and moral interest to his tales. excelled him in particular qualities of the novelist, He obtained the distinction he coveted, in the notice but none in their harmonious and rich combina- and favour of the great and the fashionable world; tion.

for this he sacrificed the fruits of his industry and We had now a new race of imutators, aiming at a the independence of genius; he lived in a round of high standard of excellence, both as respects the distraction and gaiety, illuminated by his wit and design and the execution of their works. The talents, and he died a premature death, the victim peculiarities of Scottish manners in humble life, of disappointment, debt, and misery. This personal which Scott hiad illustrated in his early novels, were example is the true “handwriting on the wall,' to successfully developed by Galt, and in a more tender warn genius and integrity in the middle classes and imaginative light by Wilson. Galt, indeed, has against hunting after or copying the rices of fashion. high merit as a minute painter : his delineations, able dissipation and splendour! Mr Ward, Lord like those of Allan Ramsay, bring home to his coun- Normanby, Mrs Trollope, Lady Blessington, and trymen 'traits of undefinable expression, which had others, followed up these tales of high-life with perescaped every eye but that of familiar affection. His fect knowledge of the subject, wit, refinement, and pathos is the simple grief of nature. In this paint. sarcasm, but certainly with less vigour and less real ing of national manners, Scott's example was all- knowledge of mankind than Theodore Houk. Bulver potent. From Scotland it spread to Ireland. Miss imparted to it the novelty and attraction of strong Edgeworth, indeed, had previously portrayed the contrast, by conducting his fashionable characters lights and shades of the Irish character, and in this into the purlieus of vice and slang society, which respect was the preceptress of Scott. But with all also in its turn became the rage, and provoked ini. her talent and penetration, this excellent authoress tation. *Dandies' and highwaymen were painted can scarcely be said to have reached the heart of her en beau, and the Newgate Calendar was ritled for subject, and she stirred up no enthusiasm among her heroes to figure in the novel and on the stage. This countrymen. Miss Edgeworth pursued her high unnatural absurdity soon palled upon the public vocation as a moral teacher. Miss Owenson, who taste, and Bulwer did justice to his high and unhad, as early as 1807, published her Wild Irish Girl, doubted talents by his historical and more legitimate continued (as Lady Morgan) hier striking and humo- romances. Anong the most original of our living rous pictures of Irish society, and they were after- novelists should be included Captain Marryat, the war is greatly surpassed by Banim, Griffin, Lover, parent, in his own person and in that of others, of a Carleton, and others. The whole soil of Ireland, and long progeny of nautical tales and sketches. its races of people, have been laid open, like a new The last and, next to Scott, the greatest of molto world, to the general reader. English history was writers of fiction, is Mr Charles Dickens, who also in like manner ransacked for materials for fiction. deals with low-life and national peculiarities, esple, Scott had shown how much could be done in this cially such as spring up in the streets and resorts of department by gathering up the scattered fragments crowded cities. The varied surface of English soof antiquarian research, or entering with the spirit ciety, in the ordinary and middle ranks, has afforded and skill of genius into the manners and events of a this close observer and humorist a rich harvest of bygone age. He had vivified and embodied -- not characters, scenes, and adventures-of follies, oddidescribed--the past. Many authors have followed ties, vices, and frailties, of which he has made : in his train-Mr IIorace Smith, Mr James, Sir copious and happy use. In comic humour, blended Edward Lytton Bulwer, Ainsworth, and other men with tenderness and pathos, and united to unrivalled of talent and genius. Classic and foreign manners powers of observation and description, Dickens has were also depicted. The Valerius of Locklart is an no equal among his contemporaries; and as a painter exquisite Roman story ; Morier and Fraser have of actual life, he seems to be the most genuine Eng. familiarised us with the domestic life of Persia ; Mr lish novelist we have bad since Fielding. His faults Hope, in his Anastasius, has drawn the scenery and lie upon the surface. Like Bulwer, lie delights in manners of Italy, Greece, and Turkey, with the strong colouring and contrasts—the melodrame of fidelity and minuteness of a native artist, and the fiction--and is too prone to caricature. The artist, impassioned beauty of a poet; while the character delighting in the exhibition of his skill, is apparent and magnificent natural features of America—its in many of his scenes, where probability and nature trackless forests, lakes, wild Indian tribes, and an. are sacrificed for effect. But there is a spirit of tique settlers—have been depicted by its gifted sons, goodness' at the heart of all Dickens's stories

, and Irving and Cooper. All these may be said to have a felicitous humour and fancy, which are unknown been prompted by the national and historical ro. to Bulwer and his other rivals. His vivid pictures mances of Scott. The current of imagination and of those poor in-door sufferers in populous city description had been turned from verse to prose. pent' have directed sympathy to the obscure dwellers The stage also caught the enthusiasm ; and the tales in lanes and alleys, and may prove the precursor of which had charmed in the closet were reproduced, practical amelioration.

He has made fiction the with scenic effect, in our theatres.

handmaid of humanity and benevolence, without The fashionable novels of Theodore Hook formed losing its companionship with wit and laughter

, a new feature in modern fiction. Ilis first series of The hearty cordiality of his mirth, his warm and Sayings and Doinys appeared in 1824, and attracted kindly feelings, alive to whatever interests of considerable attention. The principal object of these amuses others, and the undisguised pleasure, “briniclever tales was to describe manners in high-life, and ming o'er,' with which he enters upon every scene the ridiculous and awkward assumption of them by of humble city-life and family affection, make us in citizens and persons in the middle ranks. As the love with human nature in situations and under cirauthor advanced in his career, he extended his can- cumstances rarely penetrated by the light of imagi

, vass, and sketched a greater variety of scenes and nation. He is a sort of discoverer in the moral world

, figures. Their general character, however, remained and has found an El Dorado in the outskirts and the same: too much importance was, in all of them, byways of humanity where previous explorers sam attached to the mere externals of social intercourse, little but dirt and ashes, and could not gather : as if the use of the silver fork,' or the etiquette of single flower. This is the triumph of genius, as benethe drawing-room, were the be-all and the end-all'ficial as it is brilliant and irresistible. of English society. The life of the accomplished It will be remarked that a large proportion of the

novelists of this period are ladies. There are some admiral; the second son, Charles Burney, became a things,' says a periodical critic, ' which women do celebrated Greek scholar ; both the daughters were better than men, and of these, perhaps, novel-writ- novelists. * Fanny was long held to be a sort of ing is one. Naturally endowed with greater delicacy prodigy. At eight years of age she did not even of taste and feeling, with a moral sense not blunted know her letters, but she was shrewd and obserand debased by those contaminations to which men vant. At fifteen she had written several tales, was are exposed, leading lives rather of observation than a great reader, and even a critic. Her authorship of action, with leisure to attend to the minutiæ of was continued in secret, her sister only being aware conduct and more subtle developments of character, they are peculiarly qualified for the task of exhibiting faithfully and pleasingly the various phases of domestic life, and those varieties which chequer the surface of society. Accordingly, their delineations, though perhaps less vigorous than those afforded by the other sex, are distinguished, for the most part, by greater fidelity and consistency, a more refined and happy discrimination, and, we must also add, a more correct estimate of right and wrong. In works which come from a female pen, we are seldom offended by those moral monstrosities, those fantastic perversions of principle, which are too often to be met with in the fictions which have been written by men. Women are less stilted in their style; they are more content to describe naturally what they have observed, without attempting the introduction of those extraneous ornaments which are sometimes sought at the expense of truth. They are less ambitious, and are therefore more just; they are far more exempt from that prevailing literary vice of the present day, exaggeration, and have not taken their stand anong the feverish followers of what may be called the intense style of writing; a style much praised by those who inquire only if a work is calculated to make a strong impression, and omit entirely the more important question, whether that impression be founded on truth or on delusion. Hence the agonies and convulsions, and dreamy

Frances Burney. rhapsodies, and heated exhibitions of stormy passions, in which several of our writers have lately of the circumstance. In this way, it is said, she indulged. Imagination has been flattered into a self- had composed 'Evelina' when she was only sevensufficient abandonment of its alliance with judgment, teen. The novel, however, was not published till to which disunion it is ever least prone where it has January 1778, when "little Fanny' was in her most real power; and “ fine creations” (well so called, twenty-sixth year; and the wonderful precocity of as being unlike anything previously existing in na- Miss in her teens' may be dismissed as at least ture) have been lauded, in spite of their internal doubtful. The work was offered to Dodsley the falsity, as if they were of more value than the most publisher, but rejected, as the worthy bibliopole accurate delineations of that world which we see declined looking at anything anonymous.' Anaround us.'*

other bookseller, named Lowndes, agreed to publish it, and gave £20 for the manuscript. Evelina, or a

Young Lady's Entrance into the World, soon became FRANCES BURNEY (MADAME D’ARBLAY).

the talk of the town. Dr Burney, in the fulness of FRANCES BURNEY, authoress of Evelina and Cecilia, his heart, told Mrs Thrale that our Fanny' was the was the wonder and delight of the generation of author, and Dr Johnson protested to Mrs Thrale novel readers succeeding that of Fielding and that there were passages in it which might do Smollett, and she has maintained her popularity honour to Richardson ! Miss Burney was invited better than most secondary writers of fiction. Her to Streatham, the country residence of the Thrales, name has been lately revived by the publication of and there she met Johnson and his illustrious band her Diary and Letters, containing some clever of friends, of whom we have ample notices in the sketches of society and manners, notices of the Diary. Wherever she went, to London, Bath, or court of George III., and anecdotes of Johnson, Tunbridge, ‘Evelina' was the theme of praise, and Burke, Reynolds, &c. Miss Burney was the second Miss Burney the happiest of authors. In 1782 apdaughter of Dr Burney, author of the History of peared her second work, 'Cecilia,' which is more Music. She was born at Lynn-Regis, in the county highly finished than ‘Evelina,' but less rich in comic of Norfolk, on the 13th of June 1752. Her father characters and dialogue. Miss Burney having gone was organist in Lynn, but in 1760 he removed to to reside for a short time with Mrs Delany, a venerLondon (where he had previously resided), and able lady, the friend of Swift, once connected with numbered among his familiar friends and visitors David Garrick, Sir Robert Strange the engraver, * Rear-Admiral James Burney accompanied Captain Cook the poets Mason and Armstrong, Barry the painter, in two of his voyages, and was author of a History of Voyages and other persons distinguished in art and literature. of Discovery, 5 vols. quarto, and an Account of the Russian Such society must have had a highly beneficial effect Eastern Voyages. He died in 1820. Dr Charles Burney wrote on his family, and accordingly we find they all made several critical works on the Greek classics, was a prebendary themselves distinguished: one son rose to be an of Lincoln, and one of the king's chaplains. After his death, the court, and who now lived on a pension from love scenes are prosaic enough, but in 'showing their majesties at Windsor, was introduced to the up' a party of vulgarly genteeľ persons, painting king and queen, and speedily became a favourite. the characters in a drawing-room, or catching the The result was, that in 1786 our authoress was ap- follies and absurdities that float on the surface o pointed second keeper of the robes to Queen fashionable society, she has rarely been equalled. Charlotte, with a salary of £200 a-year, a footman, She deals with the palpable and familiar; and though apartments in the palace, and a coach between her society has changed since the time of «Evelina,' and and her colleague. The situation was only a sort the glory of Ranelagh and Mary-le-bone Gardens of splendid slavery. 'I was averse to the union,' has departed, there is enough of real life in her said Miss Burney, * and I endeavoured to escape it; personages, and real morality in her lessons, to inbut my friends interfered—they prevailed—and the terest, amuse, and instruct. Her sarcasm, drillery, knot is tied.' The queen appears to have been a and broad humour, must always be relished. kind and considerate mistress; but the stiff etiquette and formality of the court, and the unremitting attention which its irksome duties required, rendered the

in 1817, the valuable library of this great scholar was pur* Edinburgh Review for 1830. chased by government for the British Museum.

[graphic]

[A Game of Highway Robbery.] situation peculiarly disagreeable to one who had been

(From `Evelina] so long flattered and courted by the brilliant society of her day. Her colleague, Mirs Schwellenberg, a

When we had been out near two hours, and expected coarse-minded, jealous, disagreeable German favour- every moment to stop at the place of our destination, ite, was also a perpetual source of annoyance to I observed that Lady Howard's servant, who attended her; and poor Fanny at court was worse off than us on horseback, rode on forward till he was out of her heroine Cecilia was in choosing among her sight, and soon after returning, came up to the chariot guardians. Her first official duty was to mix window, and delivering a note to Madame Dural, the queen's snuff, and keep her box always re- said he had met a boy who was just coming with it to plenished, after which she was promoted to the Howard Grore, from the clerk of Mr Tyreli. great business of the toilet, helping her majesty off

While she was reading it, he rode round to the and on with her dresses, and being in strict attend-other window, and, making a sign for secrecy, put into ance from six or seven in the morning till twelve at my hand a slip of paper on which was written, Whatnight! From this grinding and intolerable destiny

ever happens, be not alarmed, for you are safe, though Miss Burney was emancipated by her marriage, in you endanger all mankind ! 1793, with a French refugee officer, the Count

I readily imagined that Sir Clement must be the D'Arblay. She then resumed her pen, and in 1795 author of this note, which prepared me to expect some produced a tragedy, entitled Edwin and Elgitha, disagreeable adventure: but I had no time to poder which was brought out at Drury Lane, and pos- upon it, for Madame Duval had no sooner read her sessed at least one novelty—there were three bishops claimed, • Why, now, what a thing is this; here we're

own letter, than, in an angry tone of voice, she er. among the dramatis persona. Mrs Siddons sonated the heroine, but in the dying scene, where come all this way for nothing! the lady is brought from behind a helge to expire she need not trouble herself to go to Mr Tyrell's, as

She then gave me the note, which informed her that before the audience, and is afterwards carried once the prisoner had had the address to escape. I conmore to the back of the hedge, the house was convulsed with laughter! Her next effort was her novel gratulated her upon this fortunate incident; but she of Camilla, which she published by subscription, that she seemed less pleased than provoked. However,

was so much concerned at baving rode so far in vain, and realised by it no less than three thousand she ordered the man to make what haste he could guineas. In 1802 Madame D'Arblay accompanied home, as she hoped at least to return before the capher husband to Paris. The count joined the army | tain should suspect what had passed. of Napoleon, and his wife was forced to remain in

The carriage turned about, and we journeyed 30 France till 1812, when she returned and purchased, from the proceeds of her novel, a small but handsome quietly for near an hour that I began to flatter mye villa, named Camilla Cottage. Her success in without further molestation, when, suddenly, the

self we should be suffered to proceed to Howard Grove prose fiction urged her to another trial, and in 181+ footinan called out, “John, are we going right!! she produced The Wanderer, a tedious tale in five volumes, which had no other merit than that of afraid we turned wrong.'

" Why, I ain't sure,' said the coachman ; but I'm bringing the authoress the large sum of £1500. The only other literary labour of Madame D'Arblay Duval; “why, if you lose your way, we shall be all in

What do you mean by that, sirrah ?' said Madame was a memoir of her father, Dr Burney, published the dark. in 1832. Her husband and her son (the Rev. A.

'I think we should turn to the left,' said the footD'Arblay of Camden Town chapel, near London) man. botlı predeceased her—the former in 1818, and the * To the left!' answered the other; 'No, no; I'm latter in 1837. Three years after this last melan, pretty sure we should turn to the right.' choly bereavement, Madame D'Arblay herself paid You had better make some inquiry,' said I. the debt of nature, dying at Bath in January 1840,

Ma fuicried Madame Duval, 'we're in a fine at the great age of eighty-eight. Her Diary and hole here; they neither of them know no more thaa Letters, edited by her niece, were published in 1842 the post. However, I'll tell my lady as sure as you're in five volumes. "If judiciously condensed, this work born, so you'd better find the way.' would have been both entertaining and valuable; 'Let's try this road,' said the footman. but at least one half of it is filled with small unim

No,' said the coachman, 'that's the road to Canportant details and private gossip, and the self-ad- terbury ; we had best go straight on. miring weakness of the authoress shines out in

Why, that's the direct London road,' returned almost every page. The early novels of Miss the footman, “and will lead us twenty miles about.' Burney form the most pleasing memorials of her * Pardie,' cried Madame Duval ; 'why, they wont name and history. In them we see her quick in go one way nor t’other; and, now we're come all discernment, lively in invention, and inimitable, in this jaunt for nothing, I suppose we shan't get home her own way, in portraying the humours and oddities to night.' of English society. Her good sense and correct Let's go back to the public-house,' said the footfeeling are more remarkable than her passion. Her | man,' and ask for a guide.'

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »