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worked out. The character of Jeannie is complete ; nothing could be added to it.
We like not the " Little Doctor" so much as some of the others. There is a great deal of surplusage about it; it is more a collection of unconnected incidents, each, however, well told, than a tale. The old man's death, on his daughter's grave, is most exquisitely done; but we have some shrewd suspicions that it is not original.
The “Adopted," however, is the principal tale of the volumes. It forms a practical comment on indecision of character. The wavering Philippe is drawn with a master hand, and the tale throughout is beautifully told.
In conclusion, we must express our high admiration of the genius of Mrs. Bray. We think that she deserves to be ranked as one of the greatest of the female writers of England. Still, however, we would respectfully submit to her, whether it would not be better to give her characters names, instead of merely indicating that they possessed such a commodity by dashes. Thus we have Miss Miss B- , Doctor P , Captain 04 and numberless others. To our eyes, we must say, these dashes are most offensive. We hope this suggestion will be taken in good part by our talented authoress.
Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China, in 1831, 1832, and 1833; with notices of Siam, Corea, and the Loo-Choo Islands. By Charles Gutzlaff. Third Edition. London: Ward.
The “ Celestial Empire" is now beginning to excite some attention in Europe. Within the last few years, many books have been written upon China; yet, our stock of positive information about the Chinese is as small as ever. Still, however, we have, by the help of such men as Mr. Medhurst, Mr. Downing, and sundry other writers, who have chosen China for their theme, obtained just so much insight into their manners and customs, as to make it evident that many of our previous opinions concerning these extraordinary people were ill-founded. Of these writers Mr. Gutzlaff is not the least. Sailing round the coast, he had many more opportunities afforded him of noting the feelings of the people, than those persons can possibly be supposed to have who merely visited Canton. Of these opportunities he appears to have made the best use. Not only does he give us an account of China, but makes us also acquainted with Siam, Corea, and the Loo-choo islands. In the Loo-chooans we have ever had an interest, after reading Captain Basil Hall's exquisite account of his visit to them. Of them Mr. Gutzlaff thus speaks :
“We took an affectionate leave of our kind hosts. In reviewing our intercourse with them, I think that their politeness and kindness are very praiseworthy. They are, however, by no means those simple and innocent beings which we might at first suppose them to be. Upon enquiry, we found that they had among them the same severe punishments as at Corea ; that they possessed arms likewise, but were averse to use them. The Chinese tael and cash is current amongst them, but very scarce; their manufactures are few and veat; their houses and clothes are always kept clean. They are certainly a very diminutive race, and every thing which they possess or build seem
proportionably small. While the Chinese regard them with the utmost contempt, as an effeminate race, we will freely acknowledge that they are the most honest and friendly people which we have met during all our voyage." « Domestic Scenes in Russia : in a Series of Letters describing a
Year's Residence in that Country. By the Rev. R. Lester Venables. London, Murray, 1839.
This is a chatty, sketchy, interesting work, full of amusing detail, and all kinds of entertaining matter. The book is in every respect satisfactory. The following anecdote is amusing. A marriage was arranged between a young couple. The father of the young lady was rich, and had agreed to pay his son in law two hundred thousand soubles, on the morning of the wedding. Before the wedding, the father of the lady presented the bridegroom with the promised dowry, but advised him not to take such a sum of money to church, but to leave it with him (the father) until the next morning, to which the young man assented.
“ The next day," says Mr. Venables, “the bridegroom was hardly dressed, when he was told there were some men enquiring for him; he at first refused to see them, saying it was not a moment for business, and he would attend to none that day. The people, however, persisted in their demand for admission, and were at length let in. On seeing the bridegroom, they immediately told him they were come for the chests. What chests,' was the reply. "Why the pridannie so be sure !! Phool' said the young man, who supposed the ornamental chests had been hired for the occasion, you shall have your boxes, but you are in a great hurry, my wife has not had time to unpack her things and put them in their proper places !' The lady, who was standing by, looked very foolish at this, while the men replied, that they must have not only the chests, but their contents. Upon this, the bridegroom got into a rage, and asked if they meant to carry off his wife's wardrobe. Don't talk nonsense about your wife's wardrobe,' said the intruders with a provoking laugh, you don't really suppose all these things belong to her; the old gentleman only hired them for the occasion, to make a shew, and we are sent now to fetch them back! The bride on being appealed to, was obliged to admit that all the men said was true, and accordingly they carried off the handsome furs, silks, jewels, and other valuable articles of a Russian trousseau in that class of life; while the husband betook himself in no good humour, to his father in law, to complain of his deceit, and to get the money he had left in his charge, What money?' said the old man in pretended surprise. Why,' said the other, the two hundred thousand roubles, which you paid me yesterday, as your daughter's dowry, and which I left in your care last night ? "Ah!' said the old man laughing, you can't pretend to be serious. I gave you the money yesterday, to make a shew before the company, and you gave me it back afterwards, as it was always understood between us you should !' In vain the young man denied the assertion, and claimed the payment of the money : argument and entreaty were alike useless, and he was obliged to go home with the satisfaction of having been cheated out of his wife's fortune and wardrobe by her own father.”
There is a gentle double rap at our library door.--"Come in, Mrs. Brown-A parcel, hey-Oh! the books we yesterday bought at auction. Let us see.--Ah! the first has long been numbered among our jewels. The Golden Violet, with its Tales of Romance and Chivalry, and other Poems, by L. E. L. Let our silence proclaim how we loved her."
Carefully were we going to lay aside the volume, when our eye rested on an exquisitely written name, which despite of attempts at obliteration, was sufficiently legible to our discerning vision. That name has become to us an hallowed secret, we mention it not even to our brethren who patronise “ THE MONTHLY."
Our interest was excited, we turned over the leaves, and found many wordless comments on the text, in the pencilled interlineations, denoting whatever had touched the sympathies of the reader. The words
For love brings sorrow, were marked.
And she, the previous owner of the Golden Violet," she then had found what it is to lay up treasures on earth.” Again,
We do too little feel for others' pain;
There is for grief in which we have no share. Her heart then yearned for a fuller developement of that sympathy whose atmosphere resied upon Eden. Sorrowful was she, but resigned in her sorrow. Recipient ever and anon of that Faith which bids us turn from the vanishing many, to the enduring One. The following couplet was emphatically marked,
Oh! only those who suffer, those may know
How much of piety will spring from woe. We could have argued the point with dear L. E. L,, and shewn that piety springs not from woe, but that woe, as sacrifice or atonement, is the offering required by Religion, ere she can make herself felt in the soul, as a joyous presence! Nevertheless we understood the feeling wherewith she to whom appertained the euphonious name, construed the words of the poetess. The subjoined passage was peculiarly distinguished by the delicate pencil lines. It occurs in Erinna,
Can it be,
The opiate of my heart-Yet I have dream'd
At idle words It was impossible that a being who could feel deeply the foregoing lines, should remain undefined in the range of our mental vision. She herself was a Poetess, and L. E. L. had only chronicled the experiences of her reader's heart. The vision of the unnamed rose, before us; first the graceful outline, anon, the brow, exquisitely feminine, yet queenly withal; the sweet, yet half-proud lip; the eyes, heart-historical ; the expression persuasively eloquent.
Ah ! soliloquised we, would that you had been earlier known to us, how we could have loved you, with what kind accents would we have soothed your sorrows, and when your sorrow was so sacred that words would have been intrusive, what tenderness should have beamed in our eyes, how gentle our pressure of the hand.—“Pshaw,” we continued, remembering that our companion was phantasmal, “why waste we our breath on nought." Yet from our mind fled in an instant the repining suggestion. What though no form on earth was cognizant of our sympathy, was it nothing that love should create for us, by the mere spell of lines pencil-written, (and by whom we know not), a lovely apparition for our converse? Honour be to thee, oh! Love ! “peopling vacancy," with shapes refined and ætherial. Yet why own we thee, as mere inhabitant of air. Teach us that thy abode is every human heart; if a temple, to hallow it, if a sepulchre, to rend it.
Wherewithal shall we beguile the time? For work we feel not yet disposed. "Ah! we have it : let us look into this dear little packet, the contents of which are purchaseless. And what are they at best, thou kind reader of Library Proteanities?—Letters, letters, letters. Old are they, and faded is the writing, yet as we gaze on them, how does our heart thrill with emotion. We could weep as we think of the delicate fingers that ran over these rent sheets. They are cold now. Yes, we could weep, but not tears of bitterness. How can the tears of affection be wholly bitter ? Nay, how can the tears of pure affection be other than evidences of joy? As the band of loved ones steal round us, those with whom we smiled in the pleasant sunshine and mused in the calm twilight; those whose eyes eloquently encouraged us in our first outpourings of soul ; we feel certain that the power which conjures up their images to our sensuous perception, will hereafter, reunite us to them in soul-blending sympathy. Oh! love, thou art indeed the inspirer! thou alone givest bliss in earthly communings; and when thou callest to thyself early and well-beloved associates, thou still leavest to us the charmed vision. Not for us, death invades
the hearth-circle; we yet behold it perfect as of yore. And if other: Wise, we were content. Banish us from every ancient haunt, shroud
from our view every well-known face. Let our ears be alien to every kind and now familiar tone. Leave us only love, and we cannot be exiled from friendship. To the universal heart, every country is a home, and every man a brother. “Home” and “ Brother" are eternal words, and shall endure when France and Foreigner are forgotten.
But chiefly do thou, O Love, show us that in the very act of loving, “is our own exceeding great reward," that in submitting to thee, we have power; in communing with thee, peace; and in representing thee, glory
We cannot conclude this brief tribute to the talents of L. E. L. without recommending as a memento of her merits. the Bijou of Schloss, for which we ourself, only a year back, supplied some lyric verses in testimony of the critical estimate which we had conceived of her poetic genius. We will close this article by repeating them here.
Sappho of a polished age!
Loves and graces sweetly fling
Like moonlight on a faëry's wing.
Breathings gentle as the May's,
Once sported in thy happy lays.
Melancholy is thy mood-
For cheerfulness befits the good.
If we weep—'tis not in vain !
Allure" us into love with pain !
LITERARY AND OTHER NOTICES.
Preparing for publication, with the approval of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, Geological Observations made during the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, on the volcanic islands of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and on coral formations ; together with a brief notice of the Geology of the Cape of Good Hope and part of Australia By Charles Darwin, M.A., F.R.S., Sec. G. S., &c., in one volume, 8vo., with numerous maps and sections.
Sir John Herschel, Bart., has nearly ready for the press, his Observations on the Southern Hemisphere.
Nearly ready for publication, Physiological and Anatomical Researches, by
Dr. John Davy, M.D., F.R.S., &c., in three volumes, 8vo., illustrated.
The collected Works of Sir Humphrey Davy, F.R.S., &c., edited by his brother, John Davy, M.D., are preparing for publication, and will appear in successive volumes (preceded by a Memoir of the Life of Sir Humphrey Davy), uniformly printed, in post 8vo.-It is presumed that this new and uniform edition of Sir Humphrey Davy will not exceed ten volumes, embracing the whole of his works during the space of thirty years (1799 to 1829), a period memorable in the History of Chemistry, and, in no small part owing to his discoveries.