Abbildungen der Seite

lieve our minds froin a certain eon- grant the full praise of piety, charity, straint which is imposed on us by the and candour, of the most refined deidea of his presence. To his family licacy and taste, and of that modesty he never, indeed, was either morose, which is at once the decus et tutamen or saturnine, or severe; yet we think of a lady. Still her portrait looks inthe greatest, and almost the only stri- animate : there is, so to say, too stuking instance which we can recollect died a correctness of millinery about in Mr Stanley, of that habitual cheer- her appearance: and we honestly afulness, and occasional unbending, vow, that had we been placed in Cowhich we consider a very amiable lebs' most enviable situation, we think feature in the character of a father, is that of the two sisters, Phæbe, mercuto be found in the circumstance of his rial and untamed as she was, would reading the diverting history of John soonest have engaged our affections. Gilpin to the young people ranged The few glimpses with which the round him in the garden. A few reader is favoured of this young lady more instances of the same kind

are very prepossessing ; for she is evi. would, we are certain, have greatly dently a person of strong affection and enlivened and improved him.

genuine sensibility. For instance, uThe fault which we have now men- pon that vexatious day, when Cælebs tioned, seems to have arisen from the took leave of the grove, we see all the writer's anxiety to make Mr Stanley family very downcast, as was but nathe vehicle, in general, of communi- tural. But whilst Lucilla and the ocating every important truth, and the thers contrived somehow to manage author of every valuable observation. their feelings upon the occasion, we From this desire she has fallen into find that " Phæbe wept outright.". the other extreme of rendering him We cannot describe how forcibly this this only, without also giving him a single little circumstance has affected due share in the more volatile parts of our minds! Even the confession which the work.

Mr Stanley makes, of the difficulty The same objections apply in a cer- which he had found, in training his setain degree to Lucilla ; for she is un- cond above his other daughters, is in questionably very like her father.-- our estimation all in her favour. We Her character, indeed, affords us the think Phoebe Stanley must certainrefreshing sight, after which we have ly have turned out a very superior often, in conjunction with Sir John woman! Lucilla, notwithstanding the Belfield, most vehemently panted, multiplied resources which she enjoy“ A girl of fine sense, more cultivated ed in herself, must often we suspect So than accomplished,—the creature, have had seasons of ennui and indiffer$6 not of fiddlers and dancing-masters, ence. Phoebe; on the contrary, seems “ but of nature, of books, and of good to have possessed a natural enthu

company." And we have no ob- siasm, which would often indeed carjection to join the Baronet also, in de- ry her beyond due bounds, until a litnominating her in many respects tle experience and observation had reparagon," a nonpareil," and on this duced it to its right level; but which, account, a dangerous girl. Yet she is when properly directed, has a tendendestitute of a certain portion of spright- cy, as Mrs Grant has well remarked, liness and spirit, which we consider to “ to preserve us from satiety on the be essential to a person who is formed one hand, and insensibility on the oto be an agreeable companion through ther,” an enthusiasm, which, as the life.

same elegant author adds, " is the fan To Lucilla, we are most eager to of a warm climate, and the fur of a


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]



cold one." Lucilla appears to us too should at once be able to perceive, much to resemble the still and stag- that the errors and excellencies which nant lake. Phoebe, on the other side, are pointed out, form no is a noble and impetuous river, break- heterogeneous association. Now we ing boldly at first upon the rocks that really hardly see, how the fair and impede its progress, but after a few the dark sides of Lady Belfield's violent cataracts, which give interest character could be made to consist and variety to the scene, willingly together in the same person. subsiding into a smooth, deep, and we must remark besides, that her Latransparent stream, which glides along dyship is upon most occasions rather in its gentle yet majestic course, and easily and readily persuaded of her tends to beautify and refresh the sur- own improprieties! The transition is rounding country.

too sudden and rapid from the wrong We must here, however, remark, to the right view of things. Upon that it is not so much to the descrip all subjects of this nature, and in ortion, as to the exhibition of Lucilla's dinary minds at least, the process of character, that these remarks apply. persuasion is gradual and progressive. She is animated enough in Dr Bar- But in this instance, we find conviclow's, or in Cælebs' account of her; tion brought about per saltum, and the but not sufficiently so, when she change effeoted in as short a period, as comes to act her own part. There is a person would take to pass from the another circumstance in Lucilla, to dining room to the drawing room, at which we cannot be reconciled; we Stanley grove! We behold Lady B. meau her perpetual blushing ; and it the one moment expressing herself to is not a little curious to observe, that Cælebs, in very strong language, on frequently when she blushes most the impropriety of Mr Stanley's predeeply, she nevertheless is able to give venting the children from making the most sensible and suitable an- their appearance before his company

Most young ladies, we are at table, and at the very next sight sure, find it commonly to be otherwise which we get of her, she appears mawith them!

king a solemn confession of the folly With regard to Sir John and Lady of this remark : a remark too, which Belfield, the place which they occupy by the way appears to us to have been in the narrative is made the means of one of the most sensible of those inculcating much valuable truth, and which escaped from her lips, and the of illustrating several important bran- propriety of which we are still incliches in this exhibition of human cha- ned to support, in spite both of her racter. Yet we think there are a Ladyship's tergiversation, and Mr few proofs of carelessness in the work. Stanley's example! manship of this part of the picture. There is another circumstance in The pencils which the artist has em- Lady Belfield's conduct, which we ployed have been, so to speak, rather consider as rather unseemly, although of a coarse hair. The figures want the author evidently did not mean finishing : there is too little shade.- to hold it up in this light. We alThus it is evident, that Lady B. is of- lude to the practice of her frequently ten made to go wrong, only in order making a public declaration of those that Mr Stanley may have an oppor- errors in her own domestic managetunity of setting her right. This artment, which had been discovered to of an author is,

we grant, quite allow- her by means of what she had obserbut it is here too apparent, too ved at the Grove. There surely was glaring. In all matters of the kind, no necessity for rendering all the Ars est celare artem; and the reader company, on some occasions, her con





fessors, or of reminding her husband, steady and well-principled young man, in their presence, of those defects, we allow, and the few opinions he de. which it assuredly was most proper to livers are sensible and just. But remedy, but not so becoming to re- even in these, he does not always apveal. In short, we think that justice pear to advantage. They often want has hardly been done to the Belfields, energy and point; and the general although after all it must be owned, cast of his character is to our taste too they are very indispensable characters lame and insipid. Upon one occasion to the great object of the work. we must say, when he found the chil

Dr Barlow is an excellent specimen dren amusing themselves in the drawof an enlightened and conscientious ing-room, the exclamation which he country clergyman. But surely it is makes is quite sickening :-“It was rather too much to say, that his wife “ an interesting scene. I could have is as attentive to the bodies as he is “ devoured the sweet creatures.”to the souls of the people of his parish. Such language might, we think, have Were this true, either the Doctor come from the lips of Lady Melbury, must have been a careless and unfaith- or of those two sentimental young laful pastor, which he certainly was not; dies, whose attention had not been enor his lady must improperly have grossed by Virgil, or occupied with the made every other concern subservient arts of cookery; but whose precious to her care of the parishioners, which time had been devoted to the tears of by no means appears to have been the sensibility, the sympathy of souls, the

There are certainly duties, fortunate footman, and the illustrious which a clergyman's wife owes to the chamberinaid; exercises most worthy, people among whom her husband la- it must be admitted, of a rational, imbours, and by proper attention to mortal, and responsible being ! But which she may become a most useful what, in the name of good taste, las and valuable character in a country a young man of understanding and parish : and to a person of a well-re- education to do with this silly, simpergulated mind, these duties must, we ing, effeminate, and nauseous phraseothink, be of a most pleasant and a logy ?. greeable nature. But the obligation to We only stay here longer to ask a such services, let it be remembered, is single question. Is it becoming in a only binding, when all that the lady young man, who has conceived an atowes to herself and to her family is tachment for an amiable

young lady, properly discharged. And occasion to reveal that attachment to a variety here offers for remarking in general, of persons, who do not immediately that there is a strong propensity in belong to her family, and before he the human mind, to prefer those parts has ever made it known to herself? of duty, which are most favourable to Answer this, Mr Coelebs, and say, the love of ostentation and shew, to wherefore it was, that, whilst debarred those which, being performed se. from unfolding thy mind to Lucilla cretly, or at home, are less subject for a stated period, in order that thou to public observation, and whose chief might'st have an opportunity of followreward is therefore to be found in the ing the prudent precaution which Me testimony of a person's own mind. Stanley suggested, of endeavouring to

But of all the Dramatis Persona, assure thyself of Miss Lucilla's affecColebs himself is the one with which tion, before thou didst address her upwe have most fault to find, even edu- on the tender subject; say why it was, cated as he was at our Edinburgh U. that thou didst not also forbear from niversity! He seems to be a very, making thy mind known to Sir John July 1809.


[ocr errors]

and Lady Belfield, aud Dr Barlow nothing is left, but the sad alternative too ? Didst thou never think, good of submission. He accordingly turns young man, that Lucilla might have soft, simple, and idle, and gives himself refused thee, and then how foolish up to the dominion of cards, to please must thou have looked : or confess, his wife. sweet Charles, didst thou never feel

“ All the entertainment he finds at awkward in the presence of these in- dinner is a recapitulation of the faults of dividuals, during the season of solemn the maids, or the impertinence of the suspence, if thou didst really consider footmen, or the negligence of the garit as such ? Thou may'st indeed re

dener. If to please her he joins in the ply, that it would not have been an

censure, she turns suddenly about and

defeuds them. If he vindicates them, easy matter to conceal thy passion she insists on their immediate dismisfrom so shrewd and sharp-sighted a sion; and no sooner are, they irrevocabgentleman as Sir John was ; still, ly discharged, than she is continually Calebs, thou didst wrong in parting dwelling on their perfections, and then with thy secret.

The knight should it is only their successors who have any have been left, with all his archness faults, He is now so afraid of her dri. and waggery, to the enjoyment of his ving out his few remaining old servants,

if she sees his partiality for them, that own njectures, and no discreet man

in order to conceal it, he affects to re. would ever desire more !

primand them as the only means for The secondary and incidental cha. them to secure his favoui. Thus the racters of this work are in general ad- integrity of his heart is giving way to a mirably drawn. It is here, in our o- petty duplicity, and the openness of his pinion, that the best display is made temper to shabby artifices. He could of the author's superiour knowledge sensibly feels the diminution of his cre

submit to the loss of his comfort, but of human nature. We have as yet dit. The loss of his usefulness too is a forborne to occupy any room, in ma- constant source of regret. She will not king extracts from the book itself, be- even suffer him to act as a magistrate, cause from the unprecedented circula- lest her doors should be beset with vation which it has obtained, we have gabonds, and her house dirtied by men

of business. If he chance to commend jadged this unnecessary. But we can

a dish he has tasted at a friend's house, not refrain from transcribing the account which the author gives of two 'hers, she can never please, he had bet

'Yes, every body's things are good bui different individuals, whose melan

ter always dine abroad, if nothing is fit choly conditions are, we think, most to be eaten at home.' In the same naturally described, and with whom way, he dare not venture to commend we do most feelingly and fervently any thing said or done by another wo. condole.

She has indeed no definite object The first is that of Mr Stanhope, a

of jealousy, but feels an uneasy, vague

sensatian of envy, at any thing or pergentleman who had unfortunately son he admires. 'I believe she would been so much bewitched at the idea be jealous of a fine day if her husband that he was beloved by a beautiful praised it.” woman, as foolishly to declare himself

In like manner, who does not sym her admirer, before he knew much ei- pathise with Mr Reynolds, poor man, ther about her principles or conduct. in the following description which is he was too late, of discovering his given of his domestic authority ? mournful mistake, and then set him

" Whatever the father helps them (the

children) to, at table, the mother takes self to the attempt of cultivating, and from them, lest it should make them enlightening her mind, but in vain.

sick. What he forbids is always the She becomes too much for him, and very thing that is good for them. She


[ocr errors]

is much more afraid, however, of over- not rather an unhappy circumstance, loading their memories, than their sto.

in the last of these, that Cælebs should machs. Reading, she says, will spoil be made to overhear Lucilla, while the girls' eyes, stooping to write will reading the forty-first psalm ? ruin their chests, and working will make them round shouldered. If the

Thus much as to the characters. boys run, they will have fevers; it they We have already expressed our opijump, they will sprain their ancles; if nion of the leading principles which they play at ericket, a blow may kill are inculcated in these volumes. them; if they swim, they will be drown- There are but a few to which we do ed, the shallowness of the streann is no

not cordially assent, and these do not argument of safety.”

relate to matters of religion.' Indeed Lady Aston's history is most inter- we think, that the author's views of esting, and were we to point out the Christianity are not only scriptural in part of this work which has afforded themselves, but defended in a highly us the greatest pleasure, we should scriptural manner : and although we certainly place our finger upon the consider the conversations, in general, sixteenth chapter, where a most im- just didactic enough, and sometimes portant conversation is detailed, be- even tedious, yet we wish we could tween Lady Aston and Mr Stanley, observe the same good temper upon The views of religion which Mr S. all occasions displayed in the same here takes occasion to illustrate, ac- good cause. cord so exactly with our own, and

We are afraid, however, that the are, we are persuaded, so just in them- following sentence may have an equiselves, that we gladly avail ourselves vocal and dubious tendency. of this opportunity of recommending them to the serious consideration of what was their real interest: if they

$ Oh! if women knew in general every reader

could guess with what a charm even The episode which contains the ac

the appearance of modesty invests its count of Mr and Mrs Carleton is, possessor, they would dress decorously without exception, one of the most from mere self-love, if not from princitouching pieces of description with ple. The designing would assume Mowhich we have ever met, and is desty as an artifice, the coquet would fraught with important instruction.

adopt it as an allurement, the pure as

her appropriate attraction, and the voHere behold a bright display of the luptuous as the most infallible art of seefficacy of vital religion, in preser- duction. ving the mind where it reigns, in a state of tranquillity and composure a- We have also already expressed our midst circumstances of the deepest dis- general opinion of the style in which tress. Here we behold a striking in- this work is composed, and shall only stance of its self-recommending pow. further remark, that we are sorry to see er. We“ see how awful goodness is,” such a book so greatly defaced by a and how a shining example of it very careless punctuation. In some can sometimes drive daggers into instances, it is quite intolerable! and the soul even of the most profligate. even in point of grammar, a sixth edi Mrs Carleton's whole character must tion has not corrected some of the at once approve itself to the judge- mistakes, of which there were not a ment and feelings of every thinking few in the first impressions. We can mind.

hardly conceive how the following The little stories of Fanny Stokes, gross example has so long survived: the lame gardener, and dame Alice, are “ He found Sir John and I sitting in very engaging, and are related with the library.” &c. great simplicity and ease. But is it It is now high time that we bring


« ZurückWeiter »