Слике страница
PDF
ePub

from this indefatigable lady, The Cabinet Minister, the scene of which is laid during the regency of George IV., and includes among its characters the great name of Sheridan; Preferment, or My Uncle the Earl, containing some good sketches of drawingroom society, but no plot; and The Courtier of the Days of Charles II., and other Tales. Next year we have The Dowager, or the New School for Scandal; and in 1841 Greville, or a Season in Paris; Dacre of the South, or the Olden Time (a drama); and The Lover and her Husband, &c. the latter a free translation of M. Bertrand's Gerfaut. In 1842 Mrs Gore published The Banker's Wife, or Court and City, in which the efforts of a family in the middle rank to outshine a nobleman, and the consequences resulting from this silly vanity and ambition, are truly and powerfully painted. The value of Mrs Gore's novels consists in their lively caustic pictures of fashionable and high society. The more respect-accuracy of domestic arithmetic-to the fraction of a

Content to dwell in decencies for ever

had she been detected in the slightest infraction of these minor social duties. She knew with the utmost

course or an entrée-the number of dinners which

Beech Park was indebted to its neighbourhood—the complement of laundry-maids indispensable to the maintenance of its county dignity-the aggregate of pines by which it must retain its horticultural pre cedence. She had never retarded by a day or an hour the arrival of the family-coach in Grosvenor Square at the exact moment creditable to Sir Robert's senatorial punctuality; nor procrastinated by half a second the simultaneous bobs of her ostentatious Sunday school, as she sailed majestically along the aisle towards her tall, stately, pharisaical, squire archical pew. True to the execution of her tasksand her whole life was but one laborious task-true and exact as the great bell of the Beech Park turretclock, she was enchanted with the monotonous music of her own cold iron tongue; proclaiming herself the best of wives and mothers, because Sir Robert's rentroll could afford to command the services of a firstrate steward, and butler, and housekeeper, and thus insure a well-ordered household; and because her seven substantial children were duly drilled through a daily portion of rice-pudding and spelling-book, and an annual distribution of mumps and measles! All went well at Beech Park; for Lady Lilfield was 'the excellent wife' of a good sort of man!'

6

able of her personages are affecters of an excessive prudery concerning the decencies of life-nay, occasionally of an exalted and mystical religious feeling. The business of their existence is to avoid the slightest breach of conventional decorum. Whatever, therefore, they do, is a fair and absolute measure of the prevailing opinions of the class, and may be regarded as not derogatory to their position in the eyes of their equals. But the low average standard of morality thus depicted, with its conventional distinctions, cannot be invented. It forms the atmosphere in which the parties live; and were it a compound, fabricated at the author's pleasure, the beings who breathe it could not but be universally acknowledged as fantastical and as mere monstrosities; they would indeed be incapable of acting in harmony and consistence with the known laws and usages of civil life. Such as a series of parliamentary reports, county meetings, race-horse transactions, &c. they will be found, with a reasonable allowance of artistic colouring, to reflect accurately enough the notions current among the upper classes respecting religion, politics, domestic morals, the social affections, and that coarse aggregate of dealing with our neighbours which is embraced by the term common honesty."* Besides the works we So bright an example of domestic merit-and what have mentioned, Mrs Gore has published The De- country neighbourhood cannot boast of its duplicate! sennuyée, The Pecress, The Woman of the World, The—was naturally superior to seeking its pleasures in Woman of Business, The Ambassador's Wife, and the rapid and varying novelties of modern fashion. other novels. She contributes tales to the periodi- The habits of Beech Park still affected the dignified cals, and is perhaps unparalleled for fertility. Her and primeval purity of the departed century. Lady works are all of the same class-all pictures of ex- Lilfield remained true to her annual eight rural isting life and manners; but the want of genuine months of the county of Durham; against whose feeling, of passion, and simplicity, in her living claims Kemp town pleaded, and Spa and Baden models, and the endless frivolities of their occu- bubbled in vain. During her pastoral seclusion, by pations and pursuits, make us sometimes take leave a careful distribution of her stores of gossiping, she of Mrs Gore's fashionable triflers in the temper with contrived to prose, in undetected tautology, to suewhich Goldsmith parted from Beau Tibbs-The cessive detachments of an extensive neighbourhood, company of fools may at first make us smile, but at concerning her London importance-her court dress last never fails of rendering us melancholy.' -her dinner parties-and her refusal to visit the Duchess of -; while, during the reign of her London importance, she made it equally her duty to bore her select visiting list with the history of the new Beech Park school-house of the Beech Park double dahlias-and of the Beech Park privilege of Lady Lilfield was a thoroughly worldly woman-a worthy scion of the Mordaunt stock. She had pro-heads of the rival political factions-the Bianchi uniting, in an aristocratic dinner party, the abhorrent fessedly accepted the hand of Sir Robert because a connexion with him was the best that happened to present itself in the first year of her début the best match' to be had at a season's warning! She knew that she had been brought out with the view to dancing at a certain number of balls, refusing a certain number of good offers, and accepting a better one, somewhere between the months of January and June;

[From Women as they Are."]

Neri-the houses of Montague and Capulet of the county palatine of Durham. By such minute sections of the wide chapter of colloquial boredom, Lady Lilfield acquired the character of being a very charming woman throughout her respectable clan of dinner giving baronets and their wives; but the reputation of a very miracle of prosiness among those

* Athenæum, 1839.

Men of the world, who know the world like men. She was but a weed in the nobler field of society.

[Character of a Prudent Worldly Lady.]

[ocr errors]

and she regarded it as a propitious dispensation of Providence to her parents and to herself, that the comparative proved a superlative-even a high sheriff of the county, a baronet of respectable date, with ten thousand a-year! She felt that her duty towards herself necessitated an immediate acceptance of the dullest 'good sort of man' extant throughout the three kingdoms; and the whole routine of her afterlife was regulated by the same rigid code of moral selfishness. She was penetrated with a most exact sense of what was due to her position in the world; but she was equally precise in her appreciation of all that, in her turn, she owed to society; nor, from her youth upwards—

[ocr errors]

Among the other female novelists may be mentioned MISS LANDON (Mrs Maclean), authoress of Francesca Carrara, and Ethel Churchill-the latter a powerful and varied English story: Miss ELLEN PICKERING, whose novels-Who shall be Heir, The Secret Foe, and Sir Michael Paulet, 1841-42-evince great spirit and liveliness in sketching scenes and characters.

In humorous delineation of town and country manners and follies, the sketches entitled Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians, by MR JOHN POOLE, two volumes, 1839, are a fund of lively satire and amusement. The Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirth and Marvels, by MR THOMAS INGOLDSBY, 1840; and My Cousin Nicholas, by the same author, 1841, are marked by a similar comic breadth of humour. MR DOUGLAS JERROLD, author of Men of Character, three volumes, 1838, has written several amusing papers in the same style as the above, but has been more successful in writing light pieces for the stage. Mr Jerrold now edits a periodical-the Illuminated Magazine. MR W. M. THACKERAY has published (under the Cockney name of Michael Angelo Titmarsh') various graphic and entertaining works-The Paris Sketch-Book, 1840; Comic Tales and Sketches, 1841; and The Irish Sketch-Book, 1842. The latter is the most valuable; for Titmarsh is a quick observer, and original in style and description.

MISS HARRIET MARTINEAU.

MISS HARRIET MARTINEAU, an extensive miscellaneous writer, published in 1832 and 1833 a series of Illustrations of Political Economy, in the shape of tales or novels. One story represents the advantages of the division and economy of labour, another the utility of capital and machinery, and others relate to rent, population, &c. These tales contain many clever and striking descriptions, and evince much knowledge of human character. In 1837 Miss Martineau published the results of a visit to America, and a careful inspection of its institutions and national manners, under the title of Society in America. This she subsequently followed up by a Retrospect of Western Travel. Her first regular novel appeared in 1839, and was entitled Deerbrook. Though improbable in many of its incidents, this work abounds in eloquent and striking passages. The democratic opinions of the authoress (for in all but her anti-Malthusian doctrines Miss Martineau is a sort of female Godwin) are strikingly brought forward, and the characters are well drawn. Deer brook' is a story of English domestic life. The next effort of Miss Martineau was in the historical romance. The Hour and the Man, 1840, is a novel or romance founded on the history of the brave Toussaint L'Ouverture, and with this man as hero, Miss Martineau exhibits as the hour of action the period when the slaves of St Domingo threw off the yoke of slavery. There is much passionate as well as graceful writing in this tale; its greatest defect is, that there is too much disquisition, and too little connected or regular fable. Among the other works of Miss Martineau are several for children, as The Peasant and the Prince, The Settlers at Home, How to Observe, &c. Her latest work, Life in the Sick-Room, or Essays by an Invalid, 1844, contains many interesting and pleasing sketches, full of acute and delicate thought and elegant description.

The following notice of our authoress appears in a recent publication, A New Spirit of the Age:''Harriet Martineau was born in the year 1802, one of the youngest among a family of eight children. Her father was a proprietor of one of the manufactories in Norwich, in which place his family, origi

82

nally of French origin, had resided since the revocation of the edict of Nantes. She has herself ascribed her taste for literary pursuits to the extreme delicacy of her health in childhood; to the infirmity (deafness) with which she has been afflicted ever since, which, without being so complete as to deprive her absolutely of all intercourse with the world, yet obliged her to seek occupations and pleasures within herself; and to the affection which subsisted between her and the brother nearest her own age, the Rev. James Martineau, whose fine mind and talents are well known. The occupation of writing, first begun to gratify her own taste and inclination, became afterwards to her a source of honourable independence, when, by one of the disasters so common in trade, her family became involved in misfortunes. She was then enabled to reverse the common lot of unmarried daughters in such circumstances, and cease to be in any respect a burden. She realised an income sufficient for her simple habits, but still so small as to enhance the integrity of the sacrifice which she made to principle in refusing the pension offered to her by government in 1840. Her motive for refusing it was that she considered herself in the light of a political writer, and that the offer did not proceed from the people, but from the government, which did not represent the people.'

[Effects of Love and Happiness on the Mind.] [From Deerbrook."]

There is much of this re

There needs no other proof that happiness is the most wholesome moral atmosphere, and that in which the immortality of man is destined ultimately to thrive, than the elevation of soul, the religious aspiration, which attends the first assurance, the first sober ligious aspiration amidst all warmth of virtuous affeccertainty of true love. tions. There is a vivid love of God in the child that lays its cheek against the cheek of its mother, and clasps its arms about her neck. God is thanked (perhaps unconsciously) for the brightness of his earth, on long been parted, pour out their heart-stores to each summer evenings, when a brother and sister, who have other, and feel their course of thought brightening as it runs. his children have won, or looks round upon their inWhen the aged parent hears of the honours reverts to Him who in them prescribed the purpose nocent faces as the glory of his decline, his mind of his life, and bestowed its grace. But religious as is the mood of every good affection, none is so devotional as that of love, especially so called. The soul is then the very temple of adoration, of faith, of holy purity, of heroism, of charity. At such a moment the human creature shoots up into the angel; there is nothing on earth too defiled for its charity—nothing in hell too appalling for its heroism-nothing in heaven too glorious for its sympathy. Strengthened, sustained, vivified by that most mysterious power, union with another spirit, it feels itself set well forth on the way of victory over evil, sent out conquering and to conquer. There is no other such crisis in human life. The philosopher may experience uncontrollable agitation in verifying his principle of balancing systems of worlds, feeling, perhaps, as if he actually saw the creative hand in the act of sending the planets forth on their everlasting way; but this philosopher, solitary seraph as he may be regarded amidst a myriad of men, knows at such a moment no emotions so divine as those of the spirit becoming conscious that it is beloved-be it the peasant girl in the meadow, or the daughter of the sage reposing in her father's confidence, or the artisan beside his loom, or the man of letters musing by his fireside. The warrior about to strike the decisive blow for the liberties of a nation, however impressed with the

solemnity of the hour, is not in a state of such lofty resolution as those who, by joining hearts, are laying their joint hands on the whole wide realm of futurity for their own. The statesman who, in the moment of success, feels that an entire class of social sins and woes is annihilated by his hand, is not conscious of so holy and so intimate a thankfulness as they who are aware that their redemption is come in the presence of a new and sovereign affection. And these are many-they are in all corners of every land. The statesman is the leader of a nation, the warrior is the grace of an age, the philosopher is the birth of a thousand years; but the lover, where is he not? Wherever parents look round upon their children, there he has been-wherever children are at play together, there he will soon be-wherever there are roofs under which men dwell, wherever there is an atmosphere vibrating with human voices, there is the lover, and there is his lofty worship going on, unspeakable, but revealed in the brightness of the eye, the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of

the discourse.

THOMAS MILLER.

Mr

THOMAS MILLER is one of the humble, happy, Industrious self-taught sons of genius. He was brought up to the trade of a basketmaker, and while thus obscurely labouring to consort with the muse and support a family,' he attracted attention, first by his poetical effusions, and subsequently by a series of prose narratives and fictions remarkable for the freshness of their descriptions of rural life and English scenery. Through the kindness of Mr Rogers, our author was placed in the more congenial situation of a bookseller, and has had the gratification of publishing and selling his own works. Miller's first prose composition was, we believe, 4 Day in the Woods, which was followed (1839) by Rural Sketches, both being somewhat in the style of Bloomfield's poetry-simple, picturesque, and cheerful in tone and spirit. His first novel was Royston Gower, 1838, which experienced such a reception as to induce the author to continue novel-writing. His second attempt was hazardous, from the associations it awakened, and the difficulty of painting historical characters of a distant age; it was entitled Fair Rosamond, or the Days of King Henry II. There was an evident improvement in the author's style, but the work, as a whole, was unsatisfactory and tedious. In 1840 he plunged again into a remote era of English history, requiring minute knowledge and practised skill to delineate with effect: his Lady Jane Grey, a Historical Romance, is defective in plot, but contains some interesting scenes and characters. 'There is,' says one of Miller's critics, a picturesqueness in the arrangement and colouring of his scenes-an occasional glimpse, now of pathos, now of humour, quaint and popular, but never vulgar-an ease in the use and combination of such few historical materials as suffice for his purpose, which put to shame the efforts of many who have been crammed in schools and lectured in colleges-and afford another evidence that creative power is like the air and the sunshine-visiting alike the cottage and the mansion, the basketmaker's shop and the literary gentleman's sanctum.' Miller's next appearance, in 1841, evinced still more decided improvement: Gideon Giles, the Roper, is a tale of English life, generally of humble characters, but rendered interesting by truthful and vigorous delineation. In 1842 Mr Miller came forward with another novelGodfrey Malverin, or the Life of an Author, detailing the adventures and vicissitudes of a country youth who repairs to London in quest of literary fame and

fortune. Some of the incidents in this work are exaggerated, yet the lives of Gerald Griffin, Dr Maginn, and other literary adventurers, contained almost as strange and sad varieties, and the author's own experience doubtless prompted some of his delineations. About the same time Mr Miller published a volume of poems-a collection of pieces contributed to different periodicals, and, like his prose works, simple and natural in feeling and description. One of these really beautiful effusions we subjoin:

The Happy Valley.

It was a valley filled with sweetest sounds,
A languid music haunted everywhere,
Like those with which a summer ere abounds,

From rustling corn and song-birds calling clear, Down sloping-uplands, which some wood surrounds,

With tinkling rills just heard, but not too near; Or lowing cattle on the distant plain,

And swing of far-off bells, now caught, then lost again. It seemed like Eden's angel-peopled vale,

So bright the sky, so soft the streams did flow; Such tones came riding on the musk-winged gale, The very air seemed sleepily to blow, And choicest flowers enameled every dale, Flushed with the richest sunlight's rosy glow; It was a valley drowsy with delight, Such fragrance floated round, such beauty dimmed the

sight.

[blocks in formation]

One, with her warm and milk-white arms outspread,

On tip-toe tripped along a sunlit glade; Half turned the matchless sculpture of her head, And half shook down her silken circling braid; Her back-blown scarf an arched rainbow made;

She seemed to float on air, so light she sped; With fair and printless feet, like clouds along the sky. Skimming the wavy flowers, as she passed by, One sat alone within a shady nook,

With wild-wood songs the lazy hours beguiling; Or looking at her shadow in the brook, Trying to frown, then at the effort smiling. Her laughing eyes mocked every serious look; 'Twas as if Love stood at himself reviling: She threw in flowers, and watched them float away, Then at her beauty looked, then sang a sweeter lay.

1

Others on beds of roses lay reclined,

The regal flowers athwart their full lips thrown,
And in one fragrance both their sweets combined,
As if they on the self-same stem had grown,
So close were rose and lip together twined-

A double flower that from one bud had blown,
Till none could tell, so closely were they blended,
Where swelled the curving lip, or where the rose-bloom
ended.

66

they should find a voice to complain that we are
tyrants and usurpers, to kill and cook them up in
their assigned and native dwelling-place," we should
most convincingly admonish them, with point of
arrow, that they have nothing to do with our laws but
to obey them. Is it not written that the fat ribs of
the herd shall be fed upon by the mighty in the land?
And have not they, withal, my blessing?--my ortho-
dox, canonical, and archiepiscopal blessing? Do I not
give thanks for them when they are well roasted and
smoking under my nose? What title had William
of Normandy to England that Robin of Locksley has
not to merry Sherwood? William fought for his
claim. So does Robin. With whom both? With
any that would or will dispute it. William raised
contributions. So does Robin. From whom both?
From all that they could or can make pay them.

Her looped-up tunic tossed in disarray,
Showed rounded limbs, too fair for earthly bowers;
They looked like roses on a cloudy day;
The warm white dulled amid the colder green;

The flowers too rough a couch that lovely shape to Why did any pay them to William? Why do any

screen.

pay them to Robin? For the same reason to bothbecause they could not or cannot help it. They differ, indeed, in this, that William took from the poor and gave to the rich, and Robin takes from the rich and gives to the poor; and therein is Robin illegitimate, though in all else he is true prince. Scarlet and John, are they not peers of the forest?-lords temporal of Sherwood? And am not I lord spiritual? Am I not archbishop? Am I not Pope? Do I not consecrate their banner and absolve their sins? Are not they State, and am not I Church? Are not they State monarchical, and am not I Church militant? Do I not excommunicate our enemies from venison and brawn, and, by'r Lady! when need calls, beat them down under my feet? The State levies tax, and the Church levies tithe. Even so do we. Mass! -we take all at once. What then? It is tax by redemption, and tithe by commutation. Your William and Richard can cut and come again, but our Robin deals with slippery subjects that come not twice to his exchequer. What need we, then, to constitute a court, except a fool and a laureate? For

the fool, his only use is to make false knaves merry by art, and we are true men, and are merry by nature. For the laureate, his only office is to find virtues in those who have none, and to drink sack for his pains. We have quite virtue enough to need him not, and

can drink our sack for ourselves.'

One, half asleep, crushing the twined flowers,
Upon a velvet slope like Dian lay;
Still as a lark that mid the daisies cowers:

Some lay like Thetis' nymphs along the shore,
With ocean-pearl combing their golden locks,
And singing to the waves for everinore;

Sinking like flowers at eve beside the rocks,
If but a sound above the muffled roar

Of the low waves was heard. In little flocks Others went trooping through the wooded alleys, Their kirtles glancing white, like streams in sunny valleys.

They were such forms as, imaged in the night,

Sail in our dreams across the heaven's steep blue;
When the closed lid sees visions streaming bright,
Too beautiful to meet the naked view;
Like faces formed in clouds of silver light.

Women they were! such as the angels knew—
Such as the mammoth looked on, ere he fled,
Scared by the lovers' wings, that streamed in sunset
red.

MR J. L. PEACOCK.

This gentleman has written some lively, natural, and humorous novels-Headlong Hall, 1816; Nightmare Abbey, 1818; Maid Marian, 1822; and Crotchet Castle, 1831. These were republished in 1837 in one volume of Bentley's Standard Library, and no single volume of fiction of modern production contains more witty or sarcastic dialogue, or more admirable sketches of eccentric and ludicrous characters. His dramatis persone are finely arranged and diversified, and are full of life, argument, and observation. From the higher mood' of the author we extract one short sketch a graphic account, in the tale of Maid | Marian,' of freebooter life in the forest.

"I am in fine company,' said the baron. In the very best of company,' said the friar; in the high court of Nature, and in the midst of her own nobility. Is it not so? This goodly grove is our palace; the oak and the beech are its colonnade and its canopy; the sun, and the moon, and the stars, are its everlasting lamps; the grass, and the daisy, and the primrose, and the violet, are its many-coloured floor of green, white, yellow, and blue; the Mayflower, and the woodbine, and the eglantine, and the ivy, are its decorations, its curtains, and its tapestry; the lark, and the thrush, and the linnet, and the nightingale, are its unhired minstrels and musicians. Robin Hood is king of the forest both by dignity of birth and by virtue of his standing army, to say nothing of the free choice of his people, which he has indeed; but I pass it by as an illegitimate basis of power. He holds his dominion over the forest, and its horned multitude of citizen-deer, and its swinish multitude or peasantry of wild boars, by right of conquest and force of arms. He levies contributions among them by the free consent of his archers, their virtual representatives. If

HORACE SMITH.

MR HORACE SMITH, one of the accomplished authors of the Rejected Addresses, was one of the first imitators of Sir Walter Scott in his historical romances. His Brambletye House, a tale of the civil wars, published in 1826, was received with distinguished favour by the public, though some of its descriptions of the plague in London were copied too literally from Defoe, and there was a want of spirit and truth in the embodiment of some of the historical characters. The success of this effort inspired the author to venture into various fields of fiction. He has subsequently written Tor Hill; Zillah, a Tale of the Holy City; The Midsummer Medley; Walter Colyton; The Involuntary Prophet; Jane Lomax; The Moneyed Man; Adam Brown; The Merchant, &c. The Moneyed Man' is the most natural and able of Mr Smith's novels, and contains some fine pictures of London city life. The author himself is fortunately a moneyed man. Mr Shelley said once, "I know not what Horace Smith must take me for sometimes: I am afraid he must think me a strange fellow; but is it not odd, that the only truly generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker! And he writes poetry too," continued Mr Shelley, his voice rising in a fervour of astonishment -"he writes poetry and pastoral dramas, and yet knows how to

6

[blocks in formation]

*Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries, by Leigh

Hunt.

in 1843 Forest Days, Eva St Clair, The False Heir, and Arabella Stuart. We have in this catalogue some seventy or eighty volumes. There seems,' says a lively writer, 'to be no limit to his ingenuity, his faculty of getting up scenes and incidents, dilemmas, artifices, contretemps, battles, skirmishes, disguises, escapes, trials, combats, adventures. He accumulates names, dresses, implements of war and peace, official retinues, and the whole paraphernalia of customs and costumes, with astounding alacrity. He appears to have exhausted every imaginable situation, and to have described every available article of attire on record. What he must have passed through-what triumphs he must have enjoyed-what exigencies he must have experiencedwhat love he must have suffered-what a grand wardrobe his brain must be! He has made some poetical and dramatic efforts, but this irresistible tendency to pile up circumstantial particulars is fatal to those forms of art which demand intensity of passion. In stately narratives of chivalry and feudal grandeur, precision and reiteration are desirable rather than injurious-as we would have the most perfect accuracy and finish in a picture of ceremonials; and here Mr James is supreme. One of his court romances is a book of brave sights and heraldic magnificence-it is the next thing to moving at our leisure through some superb and august procession.'

[graphic]

George P. R. James.

if, instead of employing an amanuensis, to whom he dictates his thick-coming fancies,' he had concentrated his whole powers on a few congenial subjects or periods of history, and resorted to the manual labour of penmanship as a drag-chain on the machine, he might have attained to the highest honours of this department of composition. As it is, he has furnished many light, agreeable, and picturesque books-none of questionable tendency -and all superior to the general run of novels of the season. Mr James's first appearance as an author was made, we believe, in 1822, when he published a History of the Life of Edward the Black Prince. In 1829 he struck into that path in which he has been so indefatigable, and produced his historical romance of Richelieu, a very attractive fiction. In 1830 he issued two romances, Darnley, or the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and De L'Orme. Next year he produced Philip Augustus; in 1832 a History of Charlemagne, and a tale, Henry Masterton; in 1833 Mary of Burgundy, or the Revolt of Ghent; in 1834 The Life and Adventures of John Marston Hall; in 1835 One in a Thousand, or the Days of Henri Quatre, and The Gipsy, a Tale; in 1837 Attila, a romance, and The Life and Times of Louis XIV.; in 1838 The Huguenot, a Tale of the French Protestants, and The Robber; in 1839 Henry of Guise, and A Gentleman of the Old School; in 1840 The King's Highway, and The Man at Arms; in 1841 Corse de Leon, Jacquerie, or the Lady and Page: The Ancient Régime, and A History of the Life of Richard Coeur de Lion; in 1842 Morley Ernstein;

a

REV. G. R. GLEIG.

The REV. G. R. GLEIG, chaplain of Chelsea Hospital, in the early part of his life served in the army, and in 1825 he published his military reminiscences in an interesting narrative entitled The Subalters. In 1829 he issued a work also partly fictitious, The Chelsea Pensioners, which was followed next year by The Country Curate; in 1837 by The Hussar, and Traditions of Chelsea Hospital; and in 1843 by The Light Dragoon. Besides many anonymous and other productions, Mr Gleig is author of Memoirs of Warren Hastings, a work which certainly has not added to his reputation.

W. H. MAXWELL-C. LEVER-S. LOVER. Various military narratives, in which imaginary scenes and characters are mixed up with real events and graphic descriptions of continental scenery, have been published in consequence of the suc cess of the Subaltern. Amongst the writers of this class is MR W. H. MAXWELL, author of Stories of Waterloo, 1829; Wild Sports of the West; Adven tures of Captain Blake; The Bivouac, or Stories of the Peninsular War; The Fortunes of Hector O'Halloran, &c. MR C. LEVER is still more popular; for, in addition to his battle scenes and romantic exploits, he has a rich racy national humour, and a truly Irish love of frolic. His first work was The Confes sions of Harry Lorrequer, which was followed by Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon; Jack Hinton, the Guardsman; Tom Burke of Ours;' and Arthur O'Leary, his Wanderings and Ponderings in many Lands. Mr Lever's heroes have all a strong love of adventure, a national proneness to blundering, and

tendency to get into scrapes and questionable situations. The author's chief fault is his often mistaking farce for comedy-mere animal spirits for wit or humour. MR SAMUEL LOVER, author of Legends and Stories of Ireland, Rory O'More, Handy Andy, L. S. D. &c. is also a genuine Irish writer, a strong lover of his country, and, like Moore, a poet and musician, as well as novelist. The scenes of war, rebellion, and adventure in Mr Lover's tales are related with much spirit.

« ПретходнаНастави »