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sometimes overmasters him, and fairly runs his judgment off its legs. In his eager. ness to make his good things tell, he is apt to overdo them. This, however, is a fault on the right side, and originates in the uncommon affluence of his genius.
Thinking thus highly of Thomas Ingoldsby as a humorist, we took up his "Cou. SIN NICHOLAS" with no slight curiosity, in the expectation that we should find him as irresistible in prose as he is in verse. though we will confess that he exhibits to greater advantage as a poet than as a And we have not altogether been disappointed, novelist. The necessity of adhering in some degree to real life, and maintaining the proprieties of character and incident, in a tale professing to depict the manners of the day, seems to have cramped his genius; and not unfrequently he moves on with difficulty, as if in fetters. This is more especially the case when he attempts set description of a serious cast, as in his episode of Major Fortescue, whose romantic adventures not only disturb the interest, and check the progress of the story, to which it is attached by the slenderest possible links, but savour throughout of the marvellous. To make amends for this drawback, we have, in Sir Oliver Bullwinkle and his hopeful son Nicholas, two as forcibly drawn and well-contrasted characters as could be desired. The latter, in particular, may lay claim to the praise of decided originality, which is saying a great deal for it, in this age of exhausted invention. Few scenes can be more humorous or spirited of their kind than those wherein Nicholas-who, it should be premised, has an ungovernable fancy for playing off practical jokes-passes off a hoax upon his father at Oxford; sets Dr. Drench's staid old mare frisking with unaccountable vivacity, by the application of a bunch of stinging net. tles to her tail, just at the moment when the unsuspicious Doctor is setting himself in the saddle; and endeavours to persuade the crusty Baronet that he is an apparition, having previously giving out that he was dead, by way of restoring the hopes of his own desponding creditors. In eccentric sketches like these, which, without being absolutely improbable, just hover on its confines, our author eminently excels, and flags only when he enters within the pale of every-day, commonplace existence. The denouement of the story is startling and unforeseen; and the half.frantic attempts at parricide by Nicholas, when driven to desperation by the fierce threats of his credi. tors, comes on the reader like a thunder-clap. Indeed, a scene of more thrilling power than this last is hardly to be met with in modern fiction.
The description of the poor old Baronet, after the death of his idolized, but heartless, son Nicholas; of the gradual pressure of sorrow upon his stalwart frame; and of his final lapse into a state of idiotcy, is replete with sterling pathos. Here is a touch worthy of Sterne. Sir Oliver, we should observe, has been for months a silent, drivelling imbecile; but one morning, while seated at a window looking upon his park, he hears the report of a gun in the preserves, when he sprang from his seat with a vigour which to his attendants seemed little less than miraculous, and with a shriek that long after rang in their ears, he exclaimed, "Hold-hold your hand, I say!-don't fire-'tis my boy !-'tis Nicholas !" i father's instincts surviving the wreck of his reason, is exquisitely true to nature. Of This brief, simple allusion to the the second tale, entitled The Rubber of Life, we have merely space to say, that it is by no means deficient in interest. The quiz on Fancy Fairs is admirable.
COLIN CLINK is a tale thoroughly English in its character, dealing for the most part with homely, every.day personages, and portraying them with a vigour and nicety of discrimination not often met with in the works of our modern novelists. Mr. Hooton has studied plebeian nature, as it shows itself in our more remote country districts, with evident care; and the result is, a series of pictures painted with the force and exactness of a Gainsborough. He might have been more humorous, had he been less rigidly adherent to truth in his details; but he has preferred in every in. stance to keep within the pale of probability, and deserves credit for the rare good sense that dictated such a determination. His Colin Clink will ere long, we predict, grow in high favour with the public, and be read and admired when many more noisy clap-trap fictions are forgotten. Though, generally speaking, it maintains a level tone, -reminding us in this respect of Miss Austen's unpretending tales,-yet it contains scenes of tragic power which lay a strong grasp on the memory. Of such a sort is the account of the midnight conflict in the poacher's hut; and of the death of the mad doctor, which last graphic scene cannot be read without mingled emotions of awe and terror. The numerous clever illustrations by Leech, interspersed throughout the volumes, add considerably to their attraction.
BY THE AUTHOR OF VALENTINE VOX.'
The Countess of Clarendale receives another lesson.
THE Earl did not return to the Countess that night; but on the following day, about noon, he went to the door of the European,' at which he thundered as well as he could,-the knocker being off, and the bellwire broken,-until he became so enraged, that he sent his stick clean through the drawing-room window.
The Countess and her mamma were in the drawing-room at the time, and were dreadfully alarmed by the crash; but they knew the Earl's stick in an instant; and while Mrs. Gills rushed in a fright to the window, the Countess mechanically flew to the door.
'You have kept me here long enough, I hope,' said the Earl, glancing fiercely at the Countess as he passed her. 'Are you deaf?'
The Countess, being too much alarmed then to speak, tremblingly followed her noble lord in silence.
'Well,' said he, on entering the drawing-room, and throwing himself carelessly upon a couch, a pretty mess you have got me into !-don't you think you have?'
'I'm sorry we've offended you, my lord,' replied the Countess.
For my part,' observed her mamma, who had by this time recovered all her faculties, 'I don't see much to be sorry about! Other Countesses has jollifications, and why shouldn't you?'
"Jollifications!' echoed the noble Earl, sarcastically. 'I'll have no jollifications. Look at the position in which you have placed me by making fools of all those people!'
Well, you know, my lord, you know that was all your own fault, and nobody else's! Why disapp'int the company? Why didn't you let 'em come in? I'm sure there was everything nice pervided. It warn't as though we'd only a leg of mutton and trimmings!'
'Don't talk to me about legs of mutton and trimmings! both of you. I want to be here alone.'
Leave the room
'Please don't be angry, my lord,' said the Countess. do so again.'
Indeed we'll not
'No, I don't expect you will. I'll take care you do not.' 'Upon my word and honour, my lord, I didn't know that we were doing any harm.'
'Did I not tell you I wished to be alone? Don't stand there chattering-be off!'
The Countess as she left the room wept; but her mamma, whose bosom swelled with indignation, looked at him as she followed, with an expression of contempt the most supreme, and, in order to convey to him an addi
tional idea of what she felt, she slammed the door after her as if she meant to split it.
'He's a brute!—an exorbitant monster!' she exclaimed, on entering the chamber to which the Countess had retired. 'But it serves you justly right for not having more sperit. I don't know who you take after, that's the real truth. You don't take after me! Do you 'magine if he was a husband of mine I'd put up with it? No: I'd see him blessed first! I wouldn't take it from the best man that ever stepped in shoe-leather. I told you how it would be. I told you from the first how he'd serve you, if you didn't stand up for your rights. I've no patience with you; I haven't. You pervoke me to such a degree, I don't know how to contain myself.'
What am I to do, ma ?—what can I do?'
'What can you do? Why, up and tell him at once what you mean. Fly into a passion. The ideor! I only just wish he was a husband of mine, I'd let him know what's what, I'll warrant. Do you think that ľ fret, and stew, and go on so? No! nor you don't ought to do it.'
'But how can I help it, ma?'
'How can you help it? Don't tell me! Presume a proper dignity and sperit. He'll tread upon you as if you was dirt, as they all will, if you let 'em; but you don't ought to suffer him to do it. And then the ideor!-did you ever in all your born days hear tell of such a thing as a husband being out all the whole blessed night, without even so much as mentioning on it! A pretty thing, indeed!-as if you had no right to know where he'd been!-as if you didn't ought to insist upon knowing where he'd been! Do you think I'd let him have a minute's peace till he told me? How do you know where he was! And not a word of exclamation! -the ideor! But I see how it is: he don't think that we are good enough for him; but I'd have him to know that you're as good as him any hour in the day, if he comes to that. Aint you a Countess? In course; and you're consequentially bound to act as Countesses does. What does he mean? A very pretty thing! There! if I was you, I'll tell you what I'd go and do at once. I'd go to him, and I'd say, "Now, I tell you what it is,-I'm not going to stand it, and so you needn't think it, and that's all about it. I'm 'solved to stand up for my dignity as a Countess; and if I can't live peaceable with you, I'll have a separate maintainance, and do what I like." That's the way to bring him to his senses, my precious! Whenever a woman talks about a separate main tainance, a man thinks she's in earnest, and draws in his horns. It's the only way, to up and tell 'em what you mean at once. Now, you take my advice: you go down and look fierce, and tell him bold you won't have it.' 'What, now, ma?'
'Yes, now. Make hay while the sun shines-strike while the iron is hot.'
'I'm a good mind, but—'
'Do it! Men is cowards when a woman's blood's up. If you cringe to 'em, they trample upon you; but if you presume a proper dignity, they'll come down to you. Therefore do it, and make no bones about the matter.'
'But I'm afeared, ma.'
'Afeared! Don't tell me about being afeared. What have you to be afeared on? Give it him at once. Make believe to be in
a tremendious passion. Speak loud, my precious; there's nothing like that they're sure to get over them as doesn't speak loud. When you speak loud, men is quite safe to speak soft; in fact, they seems then to be almost afeared to speak at all. Throughout life, my love, there's nothing like giving it to 'em loud.'
'But what am I to say, ma?' whined the Countess.
'What are you to say!' echoed her anxious mamma in despair. Why, aint I told you what to say! Give it to him well. Tell him you won't have it at no price, and so he needn't think it. As true as I'm alive, there aint a bit of the Countess in you.'
'Well, ma, I can't help it.'
Can't help it? Rubbish! I've no patience with such ways. Don't tell me you can't help it !—it's enough to make one sick to see so much affectation. Go to him at once, and tell him flat that you're 'solved to stick up for your rights.'
'Well, ma, I will go,' said the Countess. 'I'm determined I will. I'll tell him it's unbearable, I will; and he needn't think I'm going to put up with it.'
'Do, my precious. Be a woman of sperit. It's the only way in the world to get over the men. And don't forget the separate maintainance.' 'I won't, ma. I'll tell him plump; see if I don't.'
That's right, my darling-give it him home! And don't forget to give him an 'int about stopping out all the blessed night neither. Hit him hard upon that p'int; and if you don't frighten him out of his wits, it'll be very strange to me. Therefore don't forget that.'
'I won't, ma. I'll tell him he treats me very cruel, and that I don't care a single bit about him.'
'And very proper neither. I shall make a woman of dignity on you
Thus encouraged, the Countess boldly descended; but on entering the drawing-room in which the Earl sat, she was seized with so violent a palpitation of the heart, that she was perfectly unable to give utterance to a word.
'Well!' said the Earl, frowning ferociously at her, 'what do you want here?'
The Countess tried to say that she felt that she was treated very cruelly ; but as she couldn't, she burst into tears and left the room.
'Why, what's the matter now?' cried her mamma, on her return. Has the monster been at it again? What does he say for himself?'
'He asked me what I wanted there,' replied the Countess, sobbing bitterly, what I wanted there!'
'Well, I never! And didn't you up and tell him?'
'I couldn't-speak:-he looked-as if-he'd-eat me!'
And what if he did? Why didn't you look as if you'd eat him, and then go ding dong at it with dignity? But I'll soon settle this-I'll soon let him know a piece of my mind, I'll warrant. He don't quite so easily get over me!'
'Oh! pray, ma, don't go: he looks, oh! so fierce!'
'Fierce!—the ideor! Do you think I'm afeared of a man! The ridiculousness of it pervokes me !'
Whereupon she bounced out of the chamber, and the next moment stood before the Earl.