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More terrible yet,
By an old woman's bedside, who, all her life long,
As Confessions are sacred, it's not very facile
It fill'd him with dread,
And made all his hair stand on end on his head,-
Seem'd as though 't had gone mad, Each lock, as by action galvanic, uprears
In the two little tufts on the tops of his ears.-
That so'fill'd him with dread,'
We should never have known any more than the dead,
A feeling we all deem extremely ill-bred,
He contrived to secrete himself under the bed!
Not that he heard
One-half, or a third
Of what passed as the Monk and the Patient conferred,
Such as 'Knife,'
And he thought she said ' Wife,'
And 'Money' that source of all evil and strife*;
Intermix'd with her moans,
And her sighs, and her groans,
Enough to have melted the hearts of the stones,
* Effodiuntur Opes, Irritamenta Malo
In one just at Death's door it was really absurd
Stumpy,' and Rhi
Which acts so direct,
And with so much effect
On the human sensorium, or makes one erect
Father Basil himself, though a grave S. T. P.
'Twas the last quivering flare of the taper the fire
Now I would not by any means have you suppose
That the good Father Basil was just one of those
As neither befitting Turks, Christians, nor Jews,
By underhand means
To toady or teaze people out of a legacy
For few folk, indeed, had such good right to beg as he,
That, let who will be heir,
St. Peter shall not be choused out of his share,
It, at once, when you learn
Since it rested with him to say how she should burn,
Not what you'd dignify
So much as even to call it a roast,
But a mere little singeing, or scorching at most-
All this in her ear
He declared, but I fear
That her senses were wandering-she seemed not to hear,
-She expired, with her last breath expressing a doubt
(END OF CANTO I.)
NOTES ON SOME NEW NOVELS, BY DR. PANGLOSS.
THE HOUR AND THE MAN. AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE, BY MISS MARTINEAU.— CECIL: OR THE Adventures OF A COXCOMB.-SOME ACCOUNT OF MY COUSIN NICHOLAS. BY THOMAS INGOLDSBY.-COLIN CLINK, BY CHARLES HOOTON.
AMONG the crowd of great men who figure in the historical annals of the last century, few deserve to hold a more prominent station than the celebrated negro general and statesman, Toussaint L'Ouverture, the founder of the independence of St. Domingo, whose glorious task it was not only to rouse the dormant spirit of freedom in the breasts of the despised and trampled blacks, but to fit them for its rational enjoyment when achieved. And this he successfully accomplished, by a union of such qualities as rarely meet in one individual. To uncommon sagacity, and ready apprehension of character, he added an inflexible determination of purpose, a moral and physical courage that no difficulties or dangers could daunt, a coolness and self-possession that the most unexpected events had no power to disturb, and, above all, a heroism and disinterestedness of nature, that, in the prosecution of its grand designs, invariably omitted all mere considerations of self. This distinguished man has been sometimes compared to Napoleon, and at one period of his career he was proud of the comparison, holding the servant of the French Republic, and the Conqueror of Italy, in the greatest reverence, and styling him the First of the Whites,' as he himself was generally styled the First of the Blacks.' But the comparison does injustice to Toussaint, for in high moral qualities he was far superior to Bonaparte. His was not the vulgar ambition of universal conquest; he had no desire to dazzle mankind by the splendour of military renown; the throne of Hayti, twice offered him, he refused with lofty disdain; the immense wealth that he might have amassed, he set not the slightest store on; but throughout his whole public career was influenced solely by the desire of becoming the benefactor and redeemer of his sable brethren. He has been accused of treachery and worldly.mindedness, and even taunted with his signal cruelties towards the French inhabitants of St. Domingo. Never were accusations more false. He was frank and single-minded to a degree-indeed, it was his trusting simplicity of character that led to his ruin; and his humanity is incontestably demonstrated by the fact, that throughout his arduous struggle with the whites he adopted what he called the no-retaliation system of policy. Under his wise and beneficent administration the French and Spanish colonists-notwithstanding the galling state of subjection in which they had for years kept the negroes-lived in the most perfect security; the laws were enforced with rigid impartiality; schools were established in every district, where the distinctions of caste and colour were, as far as possible, set aside; the agricultural and commercial resources of the island, which had long been neglected, were brought into a healthy state of activity; and the intellectual ener. gies of the blacks were developed to an extent of which no European would ever have supposed their nature capable. When it is borne in mind that all these vast changes were effected within the short space of ten years-that they were the work of one individual, who did not commence public life till nearly his fiftieth year, up
to which period he had toiled as a slave on the estates of a French planter; that he was wholly self taught, and had to mould and discipline the minds, not of intelli. gent whites, but of ignorant and demoralized blacks; that, nevertheless, his chief weapons of authority were reason and clemency, and that he wielded them with an effect which even Napoleon, in the fulness of his supremacy, never produced—when these things are borne in mind, it will not, we conceive, be saying too much for Toussaint that he possessed moral and intellectual faculties of the loftiest order, and needed only a more extended and familiar sphere of action to have achieved the universal renown of a Washington, to whom in disinterestedness and magnanimity he bore a striking resemblance. The close of this great man's career was mournful, and cannot be thought of without emotion. His sun, that rose so brightly, set suddenly in storm and darkness. After achieving the independence of St. Domingo, he was kidnapped by the French authorities, in whose sense of honour he had rashly confided; conveyed away to France; imprisoned in an unwholesome Swiss fortress; and there left to die, unpitied and unknown, of cold, disease, and starvation. This, and the subsequent murder of Hoffer, are the two great blots in the escutcheon of Napoleon; and when we think of the wide-spread renown that this unscrupulous conqueror obtained during his life, and the general homage that has since been paid to his memory, and then recall the closing hours of the patriotic negro chief, we know not whether most to blame or pity the perverseness and infatuation of mankind.
In her historical tale of the Hour and the Man,' Miss Martineau has traced Toussaint L'Ouverture's extraordinary fortunes with singular minuteness and ani. mation. Commencing with the period of the revolutionary war of St. Domingo, when he first began to distinguish himself, she has followed him step by step through. out his subsequent course of action; portrayed him in all the various phases of his versatile character-now as the triumphant general, now as the sagacious statesman, and now as the gentle and considerate father and husband; made us sharers of his inmost thoughts during his brief snatches of domestic felicity, and taught us, by his example, how to discriminate between true and false greatness-a useful lesson, and one which the world stands much in need of. As an outline, Miss Martineau's portrait of Toussaint is excellent, but she is not so happy in the filling up. She refines overmuch, and in places her colouring is overcharged. Forgetting, apparently, the adverse circumstances of her hero's early life, and that his education, notwithstanding his innate vigour of mind, was at best but imperfect, she represents him as a man of the most polished tastes, and of such rare literary endowments as are seldom or never found without the pale of civilized society. When he reasons, he does so, not like a man of strong common sense, but like a subtle philosopher. In fact, the authoress reasons for him, and her logic has every recommendation but that of historical propriety. As a patriot, however, aud a father, nothing can be truer or more beautiful than Miss Martineau's delineation of the negro chief. Here there is no veneering—no undue varnishing of character. She represents him as he really was, and the very homeliness and simplicity of her details furnish us with a guarantee for their correctness. We cannot compliment our authoress on the tact or vigour with which she has wrought up her sterner and more tragic incidents. She seems wholly deficient in dramatic power, and aims at producing effect by impressive description, instead of by characteristic dialogue. The scene where Toussaint signs the death-warrant of his son-in-law, General Moyse, and visits him in prison the night previous to his execution, though meant to be profoundly impassioned, is read with comparative indifference, from its utter want of mark and likelihood.' It has eloquence enough; but it is not the eloquence of the heart, but is the mere prompting of the fancy. In her scenic descriptions, which are numerous, Miss Martineau displays abilities not unworthy of Walter Scott. One would imagine that she had re. sided for years beneath the burning sun of the tropics, so graphic are her sketches, and so strong is the impress of reality that she has stamped on them.
WE commenced CECIL with a strong prejudice against it, occasioned partly by its title, and partly by the air of undue assumption that characterizes every page of its preface. The adventures of a coxcomb! What interest can possibly attach to the adventures of such an insect-the mere butterfly of fashion? Who can care to know how he dressed; where he dined; what he said; with whom he flirted at Almacks', or betted at Crockford's? Possibly he may have made the grand tour; scaled half an Alp, or so; peeped into the crater of Vesuvius; and hob-a-nobbed with Metternich at Vienna; but what then? doubtless he returned home as wise as when he quitted it; for your genuine Brummel.like coxcomb-no matter what be his opportunities of improving himself is very apt to continue a coxcomb to the end of the chapter. Such were the reflections that occurred to us as we commenced the autobiography,
of the Honourable Cecil Danby, in whom we fully expected to find another 'Vivian Grey,' or 'Young Duke;' that is to say, a combination of littleness and self-sufficiency, most tolerable, and not to be endured,' to quote honest Dogberry's words. We had not proceeded far, however, before we discovered that we were wholly in error. Cecil Danby is not a coxcomb, and in so far, therefore, the title of the book is a misnomer. True, he is fond of show and dash; entertains a good opinion of himself; and even aspires to the enviable reputation of a lady-killer; but this is the mere outside coating-the superficies of his character; a warm, manly heart beats within his breast; he is shrewd, observant, and of an intellectual order of mind; generous himself, and able to appreciate generosity in others. He does not shudder at the idea of being brought too closely in contact with an ill-made coat. A loud hoarse laugh, or a grin from ear to ear, does not set his teeth on edge. He can see redeeming qualities in a fellow-creature, even though he may be acquainted with the geography of Russell Square, enjoy a pantomime, and eat fish with a steel fork! Such a man is notcannot be a coxcomb; and we repudiate, therefore, Cecil Danby's claim to the title. Indeed, he himself throws off the mask very early in his autobiography, and stands forth a clever, unaffected, spirited man of the world. His adventures abound in stirring incident, detailed in that arch, laughing, and occasionally satirical man. ner, which tells so well in light fiction. But his serious vein is his best, for it is evidently the most native to his mind. His episodical sketch of the poor Bohemian dancing-girl, whom he unexpectedly encountered at Venice, of her hapless love, and tragic end, seems written with a pen dipped in his own heart's blood. Nor must we omit to notice the singular ease and vigour of his cursory descriptive touches. He never labours to produce striking picturesque effects;-a few rough, hasty dashes of the brush, and we have the picture complete. Cecil is one of the few novels likely to survive the season.
WHO is not familiar with the poetical vagaries of THOMAS INGOLDSBY, the legitimate successor of the Younger Colman, whom in the rich and racy quality of his humour he resembles more than any other writer of the day, and whom he far surpasses in the brilliant, meteoric play of his fancy? We defy any one to read his rhymed quips and quiddities' without conceiving a strong liking for the man, as well as the author. His drollery, like Falstaff's chuckling laugh, breathes the very spirit of good fellowship. It has nothing waspish or satirical in its character. It leaves no sting behind it. It is full of the oil of gladness; is broad-subtle-fantasticextravagant—as suits the caprice of the moment; but exhibits a strong catholic tendency even in its wildest freaks. In this respect it is thoroughly Rabelaisian, and would have been pronounced as such by the immortal author of the Voyage to the Holy Bottle,' whose humour rose out of the exuberance of his good nature, and who revelled and grew fat upon laughter, as though it were meat and drink. When we read the droll conceits of Ingoldsby, we always imagine that they have been concocted in an easy arm-chair, without the slightest effort, and that their immediate prompter has been a bumper of fine old port. They smack, not of the lamp, but of the bee's wing; and afford unequivocal proofs that their author has not yet taken Father Mathew's Total-abstinence Pledge! Who that has once read can ever forget Ingoldsby's unctuous, heartfelt description of the midnight carousals of the fat Abbot Nicholas, and of the ghostly man's chagrin when he found that the plump, buxom wench at whom he had been casting many a sly sheep's eye, was no other than Satan himself in petticoats? Who has not laughed till his sides ached at the convivial supper party of my Lord Tomnoddy; and Roger's tipsy frolic with the witches in the Squire's wine-cellar? Yet, when it suits his mood, Ingoldsby can lay aside the mad jester, doff his cap and bells, put on a serious face, and strike a deep chord of sentiment. His cursory sketch of the felon on his way to execution is full of the truest touches of pathos; and there is a ghastly horror in his Legend of Hamilton Tighe,' which even Coleridge has scarcely surpassed. Not less successful is he in presenting objects to the reader, so as at once to rivet his attention. His pictures appeal to the eye, as well as to the imagination. In the grotesque lines, for instance,
The Sacristan he says no word to indicate a doubt,
But he puts his thumb up to his nose, and he spreads his fingers out?'
In these lines we have, not merely a rhymed couplet, but a rich bit of painting, as genuine as anything in Hogarth. Another of Ingoldsby's characteristic excellences is his versification. Nothing can be easier, gracefuller, or more varied than its flow. It abounds in musical cadences; is buoyant and flexible to a degree; and thickly bestrewed with the dazzling lights of a salient and teeming fancy. The lines, unlike many of Tom Hood's, never halt, or hobble feebly along on crutches, but trip briskly on, unimpeded by expletives. The only fault we find with Ingoldsby's humour is, that it