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feature before our eyes, and impress us with little too much like the hero of a fairy tale; an irresistible conviction of their reality. and the structure and contrivance of the story,
The Antiquary is, perhaps, on the whole, in general, would bear no small affinity to less interesting; —though there are touches in that meritorious and edifying class of compoit equal, if not superior, to any thing that sitions, was it not for the nature of the details, occurs in either of the other works. The and the quality of the other persons to whom adventure of the tide and night storm under they relate-who are as real, intelligible, and the cliffs, we do not hesitate to pronounce the tangible beings as those with whom we are very best description we ever met with,-in made familiar in the course of the author's verse or in prose, in ancient or in modern former productions. Indeed they are very writing. Old Edie is of the family of Meg apparently the same sort of people, and come Merrilees,
-a younger brother, we confess, here before us again with all the recommendawith less terror and energy, and more taste tions of old acquaintance. The outline of the and gaiety, but equally a poetical embellish- story is soon told. The scene is laid among the ment of a familiar character; and yet resting Elliots and Johnstons of the Scottish border, enough on the great points of nature, to be and in the latter part of Queen Anne's reign; blended without extravagance in the trans- when the union then newly effected between actions of beings so perfectly natural and the two kingdoms, had revived the old feelthoroughly alive that no suspicion can be en- ings of rivalry, and held out, in the general tertained of their reality. The Antiquary him- discontent, fresh encouragement to the partiself is the great blemish of the work, -at zans of the banished family. In this turbulent least in so far as he is an Antiquary ;-though period, two brave, but very peaceful and loyal we must say for him, that, unlike most oddi-persons, are represented as plodding their way ties, he wearies us most at first; and is so homewards from deer-stalking, in the gloom managed, as to turn out both more interesting of an autumn evening, when they are encounand more amusing than we had any reason tered, on a lonely moor, by a strange misto expect. The low characters in this book shapen Dwarf, who rejects their proffered are not always worth drawing; but they are courtesy, in a tone of insane misanthropy, and exquisitely finished; and prove the extent and leaves Hobbie Elliot, who is the successor of accuracy of the author's acquaintance with Dandie Dinmont in this tale, perfectly perhuman life and human nature.—The family suaded that he is not of mortal lineage, but a of the fisherman is an exquisite group through- goblin of no amiable dispositions. He, and out; and, at the scene of the funeral, in the his friend Mr. Earnscliff, who is a gentleman highest degree striking and pathetic. Dous- of less credulity, revisit him again, however, terswivel is as wearisome as the genuine in daylight; when they find him laying the Spurzheim himself: And the tragic story of foundations of a small cottage in that dreary the Lord is, on the whole, a miscarriage ; spot. With some casual assistance the fabric though interspersed with passages of great is completed; and the Solitary, who still force and energy. The denouement which con- maintains the same repulsive demeanour, nects it with the active hero of the piece, is al- fairly settled in it. Though he shuns all sotogether forced and unnatural.--We come now, ciety and conversation, he occasionally adat once, to the work immediately before us. ministers to the diseases of men and cattle;
The Tales of My Landlord, though they fill and acquires a certain awsul reputation in the four volumes, are, as yet, but two in number; country, half between that of a wizard and a the one being three times as long, and ten | heaven-taught cow-doctor. In the mean time times as interesting as the other. The intro- poor Hobbie's house is burned, and his cattle duction, from which the general title is de- and his bride carried off by the band of one rived, is as foolish and clumsy as may be ; of the last Border foragers, instigated chiefly and is another instance of that occasional im- by Mr. Vere, the profligate Laird of Ellieslaw, becility, or self-willed caprice, which every who wishes to raise a party in favour of the now and then leads this author, before he Jacobites; and between whose daughter and gets afloat on the full stream of his narration, young Earnscliff there is an attachment, which into absurdities which excite the astonish- her father disapproves. The mysterious Dwarf ment of the least gifted of his readers. This gives Hobbie an oracular hint to seek for his whole prologue of My Landlord, which is lost bride in the fortress of this plunderer, vulgar in the conception, trite and lame in the which he and his friends, under the command execution, and utterly out of harmony with of young Earnscliff, speedily invest; and the stories to which it is prefixed, should be when they are ready to smoke him out of entirely retrenched in the future editions ; his inexpugnable tower, he capitulates, and and the two novels, which have as little con- leads forth, to the astonishment of all the benection with each other as with this ill-fanciell siegers, not Grace Armstrong, but Miss Vere, prelude, given separately to the world, each who, by some unintelligible refinement of under its own denomination.
iniquity, had been sequestered by her worthy The first, which is comprised in one volume, father in that appropriate custody. The Dwarf, is called " The Black Dwarf”-and is, in who, with all his misanthropy, is the most every respect, the least considerable of the benevolent of human beings, gives Hobbie a family—though very plainly of the legitimate fur bag full of gold, and contrives to have his race--and possessing merits, which, in any bride restored to him. He is likewise conother company, would have entitled it to no sulted in secret by Miss Vere, who is sadly slight distinction. The Dwarf himself is a distressed, like all other fictitious damsels, by
her father's threats to solemnise a forced upon the monument of the slaughtered Presbytemarriage between her and a detestable ba- rians; and busily employed in deepening, with his fonet, -and promises to appear and deliver chisel, the letters of the inscriprion, which announeher, however imminent the hazard my ap- of futurity to be the lot of the slain, anathematized
ing, in scriptural language, the promised blessings pear. Accordingly, when they are all ranged the murderers with corresponding violence. A blue for the sacrifice before the altar in the castle bonnet of unusual dimensions covered the grey bairs chapel, his portentous figure pops out from of the pious workman. His dress was a large oldbehind a monument, -when he is instantly fashioned coat, of the coarse cloth called hoddinrecognised by the guilty Ellieslaw, for a cer- grey, usually worn by the elder peasants, with tain Sir Edward Mauley, who was the cousin suit, though still in decent repair, had obviously and destined husband of the lady he had af- seen a train of long service. Sirong clouled shoes, terwards married, and who had been plunged studded with hob-nails, and gramoches or leggins, into temporary insanity by the shock of that made of thick black cloth, completed his equip. fair one's inconstancy, on his recovery
Beside him, fed among the graves, a pony, which he had allowed Mr. Vere to retain the the companion of his journey, whose extreme w bie.
ness, as well as its projecciing bones and hollow greatest part of the property to which he suc
eyes, indicated iis antiquiry. It was harnessed in ceeded by her death; and had been supposed the most simple manner, with a pair of brahs, and to be sequestered in some convent abroad, hair lether, or haller, and a sunk, or cusloon of when he thus appears to protect the daughter straw, instead of bridle and saddle. A canvass of his early love. The desperate Ellieslaw at pouch hung round the neck of the animal, for the purfirst thinks of having recourse to force, and pose, probably; of containing the rider's souls, and calls in an armed band which he had' that him. Although I had never seen the old man le. day assembled, in order to favonr a rising of fore, yet, from the singularity of his employmeri, the Catholics—when he is suddenly surround- and the style of his equipage, I had no difficulty is ed by Hobbie Elliot and Earnscliff, at the recognising a religious itinerant whom I had often head of a more loyal party, who have just heard talked of
, and who was known in various
paris of Scoiland by the name of Old Morialiiy. overpowered the insurgents, and taken pos- " Where ihis man was born, or what was his sess on of the castle. Ellieslaw and the Ba- real name, I have never been able to learn, nor are roriet of course take horse and shipping forth the motives which made him desert his home, and of the realm; while his fair daughter is given adopt the erratic mode of life which he pursued, away to Earnscliff by the benevolent Dwarf; known to me except very generally. He is said to who immediately afterwards disappears, and have held, at one period of his lite, a small noorseeks a more profound retreat, beyond the domestic misfortune, he had long renounced that reach of their gratitude and gaiety.
and every other gainful calling. In the language The other and more considerable story, of Scripture, he left his house, his home, and his which fills the three remaining volumes of kindred, and wandered about until the day of his this publication, is entitled, though with no
death-a period, it is said, of nearly thirty years. great regard even to its fictitious origin, Old ast regulated his circuit so as annually to visit the
“During this long pilgrimage, the pious enthusi. Mortality ; _for, at most, it should only have graves of the unfortunate Covenanters, who suffered been called the tale or story of Old Mortality by the sword, or by the executioner, during tbe -being supposed to be collected from the in- reigns of the two last monarchs of the Siuari line. formation of a singular person who is said at These tombs are often apart from all human bal.jt. one time to have been known by that strange wanderers had Aed for concealment. But wherever
ation, in the remote moors and wilds to which the appellation. The redacteur of his interesting ihey existed, Old Mortality was sure to visit them, traditions is here supposed to be a village when his annual round brought them within his schoolmaster; and though his introduction reach. In the most lonely recesses of the mounbrings us again in contact with My Landlord lains, the moorfowl shooter has been often surand his parish clerk, we could have almost prised to find him busied in cleaning the moss from forgiven that unlucky fiction, if it had often the grey stones, renewing with his chisel the balt.
defaced inscriptions, and repairing the emblems of presented us in company with sketches, as death with which these simple monuments are graceful as we find in the following passage, usually adorned. of the haunts and habits of this singular per- “ As the wanderer was usually to be seen tent sonage. After mentioning that there was, on
on this pious task within the precincts of some the steep and heathy banks of a lonely rivulet, country churchyard, or reclined on the solitary a deserted burying ground to which he used and the blackcock with the clink of his chisel and frequently to turn his walks in the evening, mallet, with his old while pony grazing by his side, the gentle pedagogue proceeds
he acquired, from his converse aniong ihe dead, the * One summer evening as, in a stroll such as I popular appellation of Old Mortality, fiave described, I approached this deserted mansion
Vol. ii. pp. 1-18. of the dead. I was somewhat surprised to hear The scene of the story thus strikingly introsounds dis inct from those which usually soothe its duced is laid-in Scotland of course--in those sline, the gen:le chiding, namely, of the brook, disastrous times which immediately preceded and the sighing of the wind in the boughs of three the Revolution of 1688; and exhibits a lively gigantic ash irees, which mark the cemetery. The clink of a hammer was, upon this occasion, dis picture, both of the general state of manners tineily heard ; and I entertained some alarm that a at that period, and of the conduct and temper mareh-dike, long mediated by the two proprietors and principles of the two great parties in poliwhose estates were divided by my favourite brook, tics and religion that were then engaged in was about to be drawn up the glen, in order to sub. şitute its rectilinear deformity for the graceful wind unequal and rancorous hostility. There are ing of the natural boundary. As I approached I no times certainly, within the reach of authenwas agreeably undeceived. An old man was seated tic history, on which it is more painful to look back-which show a government more base else of it than that such events took place in and tyrannical, or a people more helpless and its course. Few men, in short, are historical miserable: And though all pictures of the characters and scarcely any man is always, greater passions are full of interest, and a or most usually, performing a public part. lively representation of strong and enthusiastic The actual happiness of every life depends emotions never fails to be deeply attractive, far more on things that regard it exclusively, the piece would have been too full of distress than on those political occurrences which are and humiliation, if it had been chiefly engaged the common concern of society; and though with the course of public events, or the record nothing lends such an air, both of reality and of public feelings. So sad a subject would importance, to a fictitious narrative, as 10 connot have suited many readers-and ihe author, nect its persons with events in real history, we suspect, less than any of them. Accord still it is the imaginary individual himself that ingly, in this, as in his other works, he has excites our chief interest throughout, and we made use of the historical events which came care for the national affairs only in so far as in his way, rather to develope the characters, they affect him. In one sense, indeed, this and bring out the peculiarities of the individu- is the true end and the best use of history; als whose adventures he relates, than for any for as all public events are important only as purpose of political information; and makes they ultimately concern individuals, if the inus present to the times in which he has placed dividual selected belong to a large and comthem, less by his direct notices of the great prehensive class, and the events, and their transactions by which they were distinguished, natural operation on him, be justly representthan by his casual intimations of their effects ed, we shall be enabled, in following out his on private persons, and by the very contrast adventures, to form no bad estimate of their which their temper and occupations often ap- true character and value for all the rest of the pear to furnish to the colour of the national community. story. Nothing, indeed, in this respect is more The author before us has done all this, we delusive, or at least more woefully imperfect, think; and with admirable talent and effect: than the suggestions of authentic history, as and if he has not been quite impartial in the it is generally—or rather universally written management of his historical persons, has con
—and nothing more exaggerated than the im- trived, at any rate, to make them contribute pressions it conveys of the actual state and largely to the interest of his acknowledged condition of those who live in its most agitated inventions. His view of the effects of great periods. The great public events of which political contentions on private happiness, is alone it takes cognisance, have but little direct however, we have no doubt, substantially influence upon the body of the people; and true; and that chiefly because it is not exagdo not, in general, form ihe principal business, gerated-because he does not confine himself or happiness or misery even of those who are to show how gentle natures may be roused in some measure concerned in them. Even into heroism, or rougher tempers exasperated
in the worst and most disastrous times—in into rancour, by public oppression,—but turns . periods of civil war and revolution, and public still more willingly to show with what ludi
discord and oppression, a great part of the crous absurdity genuine enthusiasm may be time of a great part of the people is still spent debased, how little the gaiety of the lightin making love and money-in social amuse- hearted and thoughtless may be impaired by ment or professional industry-in schemes for the spectacle of public calamity, and how, in worldly advancement or personal distinction, the midst of national distraction, selfishness just as in periods of general peace and pros- will pursue its little game of quiet and cunperity. Men court and marry very nearly as ning speculation-and gentler affections find much in the one season as in the other; and time to multiply and to meet! are as merry at weddings and christenings- It is this, we think, that constitutes the great as gallant at balls and races—as busy in their and peculiar merit of the work before us. It studies and counting houses-eat as heartily, contains an admirable picture of manners and in short, and sleep as sound-prattle with of characters; and exhibits, we think, with their children as pleasantly—and thin their great truth and discrimination, the extent and plantations and scold their servants as zeal- the variety of the shades which the stormy ously, as if their contemporaries were not fur- aspect of ihe political horizon would be likely nishing materials thus abundantly for the to throw on such objects. And yet, though Tragic muse of history. The quiet under- exhibiting beyond all doubt the greatest poscurrent of life, in short, keeps its deep and sible talent and originality, we cannot help steady course in its eternal channels, unaf- fancying that we can trace the rudiments of fected, or but slightly disturbed, by the storms almost all its characters in the very first of the that agitate its surface; and while long tracts author's publications.—Morton is but another of time, in the history of every country, seem, edition of Waverley ;-taking a bloody part in to the distant student of its annals, to be dark- political contention, without caring much about ened over with one thick and oppressive cloud ihe cause, and interchanging high offices of of unbroken misery, the greater part of those generosity with his political opponents.who have lived through the whole acts of the Claverhouse has many of the features of the tragedy will be found to have enjoyed a fair gallant Fergus.-Cuddie Headrige, of whose average share of felicity, and to have been merits, by ihe way, we have given no fair much less impressed by the shocking events specimen in our extracts, is a Dandie Dinmont of their day, ihan those who know nothing of a considerably lower species ;-and even the Covenanters and their leaders were sha- On the other point, also, we rather lean to dowed out, though afar off, in the gifted Gil- the side of the author. He is a Tory, we fillan, and mine host of the Candlestick. It is think, pretty plainly in principle, and scarcely in the picture of these hapless enthusiasts, disguises his preference for a Cavalier over a undoubtedly, that the great merit and the Puritan: But, with these propensities, we great interest of the work consists. That in- think he has dealt pretty fairly with both terest, indeed, is so great, that we perceive it sides-especially when it is considered that, has even given rise to a sort of controversy though he lays his scene in a known crisis of among the admirers and contemners of those his national history, his work is professedly a ancient worthies. It is a singular honour, no work of fiction, and cannot well be accused doubt, to a work of fiction and amusement, to of misleading any one as to matters of fact. be thus made the theme of serious attack and He might have made Claverhouse victorious defence upon points of historical and theologi- at Drumclog, if he had thought fit—and nocal discussion; and to have grave dissertations body could have found fault with him. The written by learned contemporaries upon the insurgent Presbyterians of 1666 and the subaccuracy of its representations of public events sequent years, were, beyond all question, a and characters, or the moral effects of the style pious, brave, and conscientious race of menof ridicule in which it indulges. It is difficult to whom, and to whose efforts and sufferings, for us, we confess, to view the matter in so their descendants are deeply indebted for the serious a light; nor do we feel much disposed, liberty both civil and religious which they even if we had leisure for the task, to venture still enjoy, as well as for the spirit of resistqurselves into the array of the disputants. ance to tyranny, which, we trust, they have One word or two, however, we shall say, be- inherited along with it. Considered generally fore concluding, upon the two great points as a party, it is impossible that they should of difference. First, as to the author's pro- ever be remembered, at least in Scotland, but fanity, in making scriptural expressions ridicu- with gratitude and veneration—that their suflous by the misuse of them he has ascribed to ferings should ever be mentioned but with the fanatics; and, secondly, as to the fairness deep resentment and horror-or their heroism, of his general representation of the conduct both active and passive, but with pride and and character of the insurgent party and their exultation. At the same time, it is imposopponents.
sible to deny, that there were among them As to the first, we do not know very well many absurd and ridiculous persons-and what to say. Undoubtedly, all light or jocu- some of a savage and ferocious character, lar use of Scripture phraseology is in some old women, in short, like Mause Headriggmeasure indecent and profane: Yet we do not preachers like Ketiledrummle-or desperaknow in what other way those hypocritical does like Balfour or Burley. That a Tory pretences to extraordinary sanctity which novelist should bring such characters promigenerally disguise themselves in such a garb, nently forward, in a tale of the times, appears can be só effectually exposed. And even where to us not only to be quite natural, but really the ludicrous misapplication of holy writ arises to be less blameable than almost any other from mere ignorance, or the foolish mimicry way in which party feelings could be shown. of more learned discoursers, as it is impossible But, even he, has not represented the bulk of to avoid smiling at the folly when it actually the party as falling under this description, or occurs, it is difficult for witty and humorous as fairly represented by such personages. He writers, in whose way it lies, to resist fabri- has made his hero— who, of course, possesses cating it for the purpose of exciting smiles. all possible virtues—of that persuasion; and In so far as practice can afford any justification has allowed them, in general, the courage of of such a proceeding, we conceive that its martyrs, the self-denial of hermits, and the justification would be easy. In all our jest zeal and sincerity of apostles. His representabooks, and plays and works of humour for two tion is almost avowedly that of one who is centuries back, the characters of Quakers and not of their communion; and yet we think it Puritans and Methodists, have been constantly impossible to peruse it, without feeling the introduced as fit objects of ridicule, on this greatest respect and pity for those to whom it very account. The Reverend Jonathan Swift is applied. A zealous Presbyterian might, is full of jokes of this description; and the no doubt, have said more in their favour, with pious and correct Addison himself is not a little out violating, or even concealing the truth;fond of a sly and witty application of a text but, while zealous Presbyterians will not from the sacred writings. When an author, write entertaining novels themselves, they therefore, whose aim was amusement, had to cannot expect to be treated in them with exdo with a set of people, all of whom dealt in actly the same favour as if that had been the familiar applications of Bible phrases and Old character of their authors. Testament adventures, and who, undoubtedly, With regard to the author's picture of their very often made absurd and ridiculous appli- opponents, we must say that, with the excepcations of them, it would be rather hard, we tion of Claverhouse himself, whom he has think, to interdict him entirely from the repre- invested gratuitously with many graces and sentation of these absurdities; or to put in liberalities to which we are persuaded he has force, for him alone, those statutes against no title, and for whom, indeed, he has a fool. profaneness which so many other people have ish fondness, with which it would be absurd been allowed to transgress, in their hours of to deal seriously-he has shown no signs of a gaiety, without censure or punishment. partiality that can be blamed, nor exhibited
many traits in them with which their enemies ' palliation : and the bloodthirstiness of Dalzell, have reason to quarrel. If any person can and the brutality of Lauderdale, are repreread his strong and lively pictures of military sented in their true colours. In short, if this insolence and oppression, without feeling his author has been somewhat severe upon the blood boil within him, we must conclude the Covenanters, neither has he spared their opfault to be in his own apathy, and not in any pressors; and the truth probably is, that never softenings of the partial author ;-nor do we dreaming of being made responsible for hisknow any Whig writer who has exhibited the torical accuracy or fairness in composition baseness and cruelty of that wretched gove of this description, he has exaggerated a little ernment, in more naked and revolting de- on both sides, for the sake of effect--and been formity, than in his scene of the torture at carried, by the bent of his humour, most frethe Privy Council. The military executions quently to exaggerate on that which afforded of Claverhouse himself are admitted without the greatest scope for ridicule.
Rob Roy. By the author of Waverley, Guy Mannering, and The Antiquary. 12mo. 3 vols.
pp. 930. Edinburgh: 1818. This is not so good, perhaps, as some others, ed—the same dramatic vivacity—the same of the family ;-but it is better than any thing deep and large insight into human natureelse; and has a charm and a spirit about it and the same charming facility which distinthat draws us irresistibly away from our graver guish all the other works of this great master; works of politics and science, to expatiate and make the time in which he flourished an upon that which every body understands and era never to be forgotten in the literary history agrees in; and after setting us diligently to of our country. read over again what we had scarce finished: One novelty in the present work is, that it reading, leaves us no choice but to tell our is thrown into the form of a continued and readers what they all know already, and to unbroken narrative, by one of the persons persuade them of that of which they are most principally concerned in the story-and intimately convinced.
is represented in his declining age, as detailSuch, we are perfectly aware, is the task ing to an intimate friend the most interesting which we must seem to perform to the greater particulars of his early life, and all the recolpart of those who may take the trouble of ac- lections with which they were associated. companying us through this article. But there we preser, upon the whole, the communicamay still be some of our readers to whom the tions of an avowed author; who, of course, work of which we treat is unknown;—and has no character to sustain but that of a we know there are many who are far from pleasing writer-and can praise and blame, being duly sensible of its merits. The public, and wonder and moralise, in all tones and indeed, is apt now and then to behave rather directions, without subjecting himself to any unhandsomely to its greatest benefactors; and charge of vanity, ingratitude, or inconsistency. to deserve the malison which Milton has so The thing, however, is very tolerably manemphatically bestowed on those impious per- aged on the present occasion; and the hero sons, who,
contrives to let us into all his exploits and " with senseless base ingratitude,
perplexities, without much violation either of Cram, and blaspheme their feeder.'
heroic modesty or general probability ;-to
which ends, indeed, it conduces not a little, -nothing, we fear, being more common, than that
, like most of the other heroes of this ingeto see the bounty of its too lavish providers nious author, his own character does not rise repaid by increased captiousness at the quality very notably above the plain level of media of the banquet, and complaints of imaginary ocrity--being, like the rest of his brethren, a fallings off-which should be imputed entirely well-conditioned, reasonable, agreeable young to the distempered state of their own pam- gentleman—not particularly likely to do any pered appetites. We suspect, indeed, that we thing which it would be very boastful to speak were ourselves under the influence of this of, and much better fitted to be a spectator and illaudable feeling when he wrote the first historian of strange doings, than a partaker in line of this paper: For, except that the sub-them. ject seems to us somewhat less happily This discreet hero, then, our readers will chosen, and the variety of characters rather probably have anticipated, is not Rob Royless than in some of the author's former pub- though his name stands alone in the title-but lications, we do not know what right we had a Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, the only son of to say that it was in any respect inferior to a great London Merchant or Banker, and them. Sure we are, at all events, that it has nephew of a Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, a the same brilliancy and truth of colouring—' worthy Catholic Baronet, who spent his time the same gaiety of tone, rising every now in hunting, and drinking Jacobite toasts in and then into feelings both kindly and exalt-Northumberland, some time about the year