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We have generally blamed what we thonght against them, and feeling grateful to any foworthy of blame in America, without any ex- reign auxiliary who will help us to reason, to press reference to parallel cases in England, rail, or to shame our countrymen out of their or any invidious comparisons. Their books are willing occasionally to lend a similar as we have criticised just as should have done sistance to others, and speak freely and fairly those of any other country; and in speaking of what appear to us to be the faults and ermore generally of their literature and man- rors, as well as the virtues and menis, of ail ners, we have rather brought them into com- who may be in any way affected by our obpetition with those of Europe in general, than servations;
;-or Mr. Walsh, who will admit te those of our own country in particular. When faults in his own country, and no good quali we have made any comparative estimate of our ties in ours-sets down the mere extens.oo own advantages and theirs, we can say with of our domestic censures to their corresponding confidence, that it has been far oftener in their objects abroad, to the score of national rancou favour than against them ;-and, after repeat- and partiality; and can find no better use for edly noticing their preferable condition as to those mutual admonitions, which should lead taxes, elections, sufficiency of employment, to mutual amendment or generous emulation, public economy, freedom of publication, and than to improve them into occasions of matual many other points of paramount importance, animosity and deliberate hatred ? it surely was but fair that we should notice, This extreme impatience, even of merited in their turn, those merits or advantages which blame from the mouth of a stranger—this still might reasonably be claimed for ourselves, more extraordinary abstinence from any dini and bring into view our superiority in eminent or acknowledgment of error on the part of authors, and the extinction and annihilation her intelligent defender, is a trait too remarkof slavery in every part of our realm. able not to call for some observation ;-and
We would also remark, that while we have we think we can see in it one of the worst and thus praised America far more than we have most unfortunate consequences of a republicau blamed her-and reproached ourselves far government. It is the misfortune of Sove. more bitterly than we have ever reproached reigns in general, that they are fed with flat. her, Mr. W., while he affects to be merely iery till they loathe the wholesome truth, and following our example, has heaped abuse on come to resent, as the bitterest of all offences. us without one grain of commendation-and any insinuation of their errors, or intimatiou praised his own country extravagantly, with of their dangers. But of all sovereigns the out admitting one fault or imperfection. Now, Sovereign People is most obnoxious to this corthis is not a fair way of retorting the proceed- ruption, and most fatally injured by its prevaings, even of the Quarterly; for they have lence. In America, every thing depends on occasionally given some praise to America, their suffrages, and their favour and support; and have constantly spoken ill enough of the and accordingly it would appear, that they are paupers, and radicals, and reformers of Eng- pampered with constant adulation, from the land. But as to us, and the great body of the rival suitors to their favour-so that no one nation which thinks with us, it is a proceeding will venture to tell them of their faults; and without the colour of justice or the shadow moralists, even of the austere character of of apology-and is not a less flagrant indica- Mr. W., dare not venture to whisper a syllable tion of impatience or bad humour, than the to their prejudice. It is thus, and thus only, marvellous assumption which runs through that we can account for the strange sensitivethe whole argument, that it is an unpardon- ness which seems to prevail among them on able insult and an injury to find any fault with the lightest sound of disapprobation, and for any thing in America, ---must necessarily pro- the acrimony with which, what would pass ceed from national spite and animosity, and anywhere else for very mild admonitions are affords, whether true or false, sufficient reason repelled and resented. It is obvious, howfor endeavouring to excite a corresponding ever, that nothing can be so injurious to the animosity against our nation. Such, however, character either of an individual or a nation, is the scope and plan of Mr. W.’s whole work. as this constant and paltry cockering of praise; Whenever he thinks that his country has been and that the want of any native censor, makes erroneously accused, he points out the error it more a duty for the moralists of other counwith sufficient keenness and asperity;--but tries to take them under their charge, and let when he is aware that the imputation is just them know now and then what other people and unanswerable, instead of joining his re- think and say of them. buke or regret to those of her foreign censors, We are anxious to part with Mr. W. in good he turns fiercely and vindictively on the humour;—but we must say that we rather parallel infirmities of this country- as if wish he would not go on with the work he has those also had not been marked with repro- begun—at least if it is to be pursued in the bation, and without admitting that the cen- spirit which breathes in the part now before sure was merited, or hoping that it might us. Nor is it so much to his polemic and vinwork amendment, complains in the bitterest dictive tone that we object, as this tendency terms of malignity, and arouses his country to adulation, this passionate, vapouring, theto revenge!
torical style of amplifying and exaggerating Which, then, we would ask, is the most the felicities of his country. In point of talent fair and reasonable, or which the most truly and knowledge and industry, we have no patriotic ?-We, who, admitting our own mani- doubt that he is eminently qualified for the fold faults and corruptions, testifying loudly task—(though we must tell him that he does
not write so well now as when he left Eng- attach to their good opinion, and the anxiety land)---but no man will ever write a book of we feel to prevent any national repulsion from authority on the institutions and resources of being aggravated by a misapprehension of our his country, who does not add some of the sentiments, or rather of those of that great virtues of a Censor to those of a Patriot-or body of the English nation of which we are rather, who does not feel, that the noblest, as here the organ. In what we have now written, well as the most difficult part of patriotism is there may be much that requires explanation that which prefers his country's Good to its —and much, we fear, that is liable to misconFavour, and is more directed to reform its struction.—The spirit in which it is written, vices, than to cherish the pride of its virtues, however, cannot, we think, be misunderstood. With foreign nations, too, this tone of fondness We cannot descend to little cavils and alterand self-admiration is always suspected; and cations; and have no leisure to maintain a most commonly ridiculous—while calm and controversy about words and phrases. We steady claims of merit, interspersed with ac- have an unfeigned respect and affection for knowledgments of faults, are sure to obtain the free people of America; and we mean credit, and to raise the estimation both of the honestly to pledge ourselves for that of the writer and of his country. The ridicule, too, better part of our own country. We are very which naturally attaches to this vehement self- proud of the extensive circulation of our Jourlaudation, must insensibly contract a darker nal in that great country, and the importance shade of contempt, when it comes to be sus- that is there attached to it. But we should pected that it does not proceed from mere be undeserving of this favour, if we could honest vanity, but from a poor fear of giving submit to seek it by any mean practices, offence to power-sheer want of courage, in either of flattery or of dissimulation; and feel short (in the wiser part at least of the popu- persuaded that we shall not only best deserve, lation), to let their foolish AHMOS know what but most surely obtain, the confidence and rein their hearts they think of him
spect of Mr. W. and his countrymen, by And now we must at length close this very speaking freely what we sincerely think of long article--the very length and earnestness them,--and treating them exactly as we treat of which, we hope, will go some way to satisfy that nation to which we are here accused of our American brethren of the importance we being too favourable.
(November, 1822.) Bracebridge Hall; or, the Humorists. By GEOFFREY Crayon, Gent. Author of " The Sketch
Book,” &c. 2 vols. 8vo. Pp. 800. Murray. London : 1822.* We have received so much pleasure from with the same happy selection and limited this book, that we think ourselves bound in variety, but the same proportion of things that gratitude, as well as justice, to make a public seem scarcely to depend on the individualacknowledgment of it, -and seek to repay, by the same luck, as well as the same labour, and a little kind notice, the great obligations we an equal share of felicities to enhance the shall ever feel to the author. These amiable fair returns of judicious industry. There are sentiments, however, we fear, will scarcely few things, we imagine, so rare as this susfurnish us with materials for an interesting tained level of excellence in the works of a article ;-and we suspect we have not much popular writer-or, at least, if it does exist else to say, that has not already occurred to now and then in rerum natura, there is scarcemost of our readers--or, indeed, been said by ly any thing that is so seldom allowed. When ourselves with reference to his former public an author has once gained a large share of cation. For nothing in the world can be so public attention,-when his name is once up complete as the identity of the author in these among a herd of idle readers, they can never two productions—identity not of style merely be brought to believe that one who has risen and character, but of merit also, both in kind so far can ever remain stationary. In their and degree, and in the sort and extent of popu- estimation, he must either rise farther, or belarity which that merit has created—not mere- gin immediately to descend; so that, when ly the same good sense and the same good he ventures before these prepossessed judges humour directed to the same good ends, and with a new work, it is always discovered, My heart is still so much in the subject of the self, or, in the far greater number of cases,
either that he has infinitely surpassed himpreceding paper, that I am tempted 10 add this to it; chiefly for the sake of the powerful backing which that there is a sad falling off, and that he is my English exhortation to amity among brethren, hastening to the end of his career. In this is ihere shown to have received from the most amia, way it may in general be presumed, that ble and elegant of American writers. I had said an author who is admitted by the public not nearly the same things in a previous review of to have fallen off in a second work, has in re" The Sketch Book," and should have reprinted that article also, had it not been made up chiefly of ality improved upon his first; and has truly extracts, with which I do not think it quite fair to proved his title to a higher place, by merefill up this publication.
Iy maintaining that which he had formerly
earned. We would not have Mr. Crayon, parasites who are in raptures with every bat: however, plume himself too much upon this they meet, and ingratiate themselves in gere sage observation : for though we, and other ral society by an unmanly suppression of al great lights of public judgment, have decided honest indignation, and a timid avoidance e that his former level has been maintained in all subjects of disagreement. Upon due cothis work with the most marvellous precision, sideration, however, we are now satistied thai we must whisper in his ear that the million this was an unjust and unworthy interpret
tion. common buzz among the idle and impatient fore the public with certain select monologues critics of the drawing-room is, that, in com- of doctrine and discussion, is not at all in the parison with the Sketch Book, it is rather condition of a man in common society: 6 monotonous and languid; and there is too whom various overtures of baseness and folly little variety of characters for two thick vol- are daily obtruded, and to whose sense and umes; and that the said few characters come honour appeals are perpetually made, which on so often, and stay so long, that the gentlest must be manfully answered, as honour and reader detects himself in rejoicing at being conscience suggest. The author, on the done with them. The premises of this en- other hand, has no questions to answer, and thymem we do not much dispute; but the no society to select: his professed object is to conclusion, for all that, is wrong: For, in instruct and improve the world—and his real spite of these defects, Bracebridge Hall is one, if he is tolerably honest, is nothing worse quite as good as the Sketch Book; and Mr. C. than to promote his own fame and foriune by may take comfort,-if he is humble enough succeeding in that which he professes. Now, to be comforted with such an assurance—and there are but two ways that we have eve: trust to us that it will be quite as popular, and heard of by which men may be improvedthat he still holds his own with the efficient either by cultivating and encouraging their body of his English readers.
amiable propensities, or by shaming aix The great charm and peculiarity of this frightening them out of those that are vicious; work consists now, as on former occasions, in and there can be but little doubt, we should the singular sweetness of the composition, and imagine, which of the two offices is the highthe mildness of the sentiments,-sicklied over est and most eligible-since the one is left in perhaps a little, now and then, with that cloy- a great measure to Hell and the hangman,ing heaviness into which unvaried sweetness and for the other, we are taught chiefly to is 100 apt to subside. The rythm and melody look to Heaven, and al} that is angelie upon of the sentences is certainly excessive: As it earth. The most perfect moral discipline not only gives an air of mannerism, from its would be that, no doubt, in which both were uniformity, but raises too strong an impres- combined; but one is generally as much as sion of the labour that must have been be- human energy is equal to ; and, in fact, they stowed, and the importance which must have have commonly been divided in practice, with been attached to that which is, after all, but out surmise of blame. And truly, if men have a secondary attribute to good writing. It is been hailed as great public benefactors, merevery ill-natured in us, however, to object to ly for having beat tyrants into moderation, or what has given us so much pleasure; for we coxcombs into good manners, we must be perhappen to be very intense and sensitive ad- mitted to think, that one whose vocation is mirers of those soft harmonies of studied different may be allowed to have deserved speech in which this author is so apt to in- well of his kind, although he should have dulge; and have caught ourselves, oftener confined his efforts to teaching them mutual than we shall confess, neglecting his excellent charity and forbearance, and only sought to matter, to lap ourselves in the liquid music of repress their evil passions, by strengthening his periods-and letting ourselves float pas- the springs and enlarging the sphere of those sively down the mellow falls and windings of that are generous and kindly. his soft-flowing sentences, with a delight not The objection in this general form, thereinferior to that which we derive from fine fore, we soon found could not be maintained: versification,
-But, as we still felt a little secret spite linWe should reproach ourselves still more, gering within us at our author's universal however, and with better reason, if we were affability, we set about questioning ourselves to persist in the objection which we were also more strictly as to its true nature and tenderat first inclined to take, to the extraordinary cy; and think we at last succeeded in tracing kindliness and disarming gentleness of all this it to an eager desire to see so powerful a pen author's views and suggestions; and we only and such great popularity employed in derefer to it now, for the purpose of answering, molishing those errors and abuse's to which and discrediting it, with any of our readers to we had been accustomed to refer most of the whom also it may happen to have occurred. unhappiness of our country. Though we love
It first struck us as an objection to the au- his gentleness and urbanity on the whole, we thor's courage and sincerity. It was quite should have been very well pleased to see unnatural, we said to ourselves, for any body him a little rude and surly, now and then, to to be always on such very amiable terms with our particular opponents; and could not but his fellow-creatures; and this air of eternal think it showed a want of spirit and discrimi. philanthropy could be nothing but a pretence nation that he did not mark his sense of their put on to bring himself into favour; and then demerits, by making them an exception to his we proceeded to assimilate him to those silken general system of toleration and indulgence.
Being Whigs ourselves, for example, we could doubt chiefly on account of this influence and not but take it a little amiss, that one born favour that we and others are rashly desirous and bred a republican, and writing largely on to see him take part against our adversariesthe present condition of England, should make forgetting that those very qualities which renso little distinction between that party and its der his assistance valuable, would infallibly opponents—and should even choose to attach desert him the moment that he complied with himself to a Tory family, as the proper type our desire, and vanish in the very act of his and emblem of the old English character. Nor compliance. could we well acquit him of being "pigeon- The question then comes to be, not properly livered--and lacking gall,” when we found whether there should be any neutrals in great that nothing could provoke him to give a pal- national contentions—but whether any man pable hit to the Ministry, or even to employ should be allowed to aspire to distinction by his pure and powerful eloquence in reproving acts not subservient to party purposes ?-a the shameful scurrilities of the ministerial question which, even in this age of party and press. We were also a little sore, too, we be- polemics, we suppose there are not many lieve, on discovering that he took no notice of who would have the hardihood seriously to Scotland! and said absolutely nothing about propound. Yet this, we must be permitted to our Highlanders, our schools, and our poetry. repeat, is truly the question :-For if a man
Now, though we have magnanimously cho- may lawfully devote his talents to music, or sen to illustrate this grudge at his neutrality architecture, or drawing, or metaphysics, or in our own persons, it is obvious that a dis- poetry, and lawfully challenge the general adsatisfaction of the same kind must have been miration of his age for his proficiency in those felt by all the other great and contending par- pursuits, though totally disjoined from all poties into which this and all free countries are litical application, we really do not see why necessarily divided. Mr. Crayon has rejected he may not write prose essays on national the alliance of any one of these ; and reso- character and the ingredients of private haplutely refused to take part with them in the piness, with the same large and pacific purstruggles to which they attach so much im- poses of pleasure and improvement. To Mr. portance; and consequently has, to a certain C. especially, who is not a citizen of this counextent, offended and disappointed them all. try, it can scarcely be proposed as a duty to But we must carry our magnanimity a step take a share in our internal contentions; and farther, and confess, for ourselves, and for though the picture which he professes to give others, that, upon reflection, the offence and of our country may be more imperfect, and disappointment seem to us altogether unrea- the estimate he makes of our character' less sonable and unjust. The ground of complaint complete, from the omission of this less tractis, that we see talents and influence-inno- able element, the value of the parts that he cently, we must admit, and even beneficially has been able to finish will not be lessened, employed—but not engaged on our side, or in and the beneficial effect of the representation the particular contest which we may feel it will
, in all probability, be increased. For our our duty to wage against the errors or delu- own parts, we have ventured, on former occasions of our contemporaries. Now, in the first sions, to express our doubts whether the poplace, is not this something like the noble in- Jemical parts, even of a statesman's duty, do dignation of a recruiting serjeant, who thinks not hold too high a place in public esteemit a scandal that any stout fellow should de- and are sure, at all events, that they ought not grade himself by a pacific employment, and to engross the attention of those to whom such takes offence accordingly at every pair of a station has not been intrusted. It should broad shoulders and good legs which he finds never be forgotten, that good political instituin the possession of a priest or a tradesman? tions, the sole end and object of all our party But the manifest absurdity of the grudge con- contentions, are only valuable as means of sists in this. First, That it is equally reason- promoting the general happiness and virtue able in all the different parties who sincerely of individuals ;-and that, important as they believe their own cause to be that which ought are, there are other means, still more direct to prevail; while it is manifest, that, as the and indispensable for the attainment of that desired champion could only side with one, great end. The cultivation of the kind affecall the rest would be only worse off by the tions, we humbly conceive, to be of still more termination of his neutrality; and secondly, importance to private happiness, than the That the weight and authority, for the sake of good balance of the constitution under which which his assistance is so coveted, and which we live; and, if it be true, as we most firmly each party is now so anxious to have thrown believe, that it is the natural effect of political into its scale, having been entirely created by freedom to fit and dispose the mind for all virtues and qualities which belong only to a gentle as well as generous emotions, we hold state of neutrality, are, in reality, incapable it to be equally true, that habits of benevoof being transferred to contending parties, and lence, and sentiments of philanthropy, are the would utterly perish and be annihilated in the surest foundations on which a love of liberty attempt. A good part of Mr. C.'s reputation, can rest. A man must love his fellows before and certainly a very large share of his in- he loves their liberty; and if he has not learned fluence and popularity with all parties, has to interest himself in their enjoyments, it is been acquired by the indulgence with which impossible that he can have any genuine conhe has treated all, and his abstinence from all cern for that liberty, which, after all, is only sorts of virulence and hostility; and it is no valuable as a means of enjoyment. We consider, therefore, the writers who seek to soften sient and perishing, glories of art, amids: the exa and improve our social affections, not only as springing and reviving fertility of nature. aiming directly at the same great end which
• But, in fact, to me every thing was far =
matier: The footsteps of history were every bes politicians more circuitously pursue, but as
to be traced; and poetry had breathed oser a preparing those elements out of which alone sanctified the land. I experienced the deligat. a generous and enlightened love of political freshness of feeling of a child, to whom every tha freedom can ever be formed-and without is new. I pictured to myself a set of inbabis: which it could neither be safely trusted in the and a mode of life for every habitation that I sav. hands of individuals, nor prove fruitful of in- from the aristocratical mansion, amidst the lors dividual enjoyment. We conclude, therefore, straw-thatched cottage, with its scany garden as
repose of stately groves and solitary parks, 10 ** that Mr. Crayon is in reality a better friend to its cherished woodbine. I thought I never como Whig principles than if he had openly attacked be sated with the sweetness and freshness of the Tories--and end this long, and perhaps country so completely carpeted with verder needless apology for his neutrality, by discov- where every sir breathed of ihe balmy pasure 250 ering, that such neutrality is in effect the best the honeysuckled hedge. I was continually conse nursery for the only partisans that ever should somed hawthorn, the daisy, the cowslip, the poin. be encouraged—the partisans of whatever can ruse, or some other simple object that has received be shown to be clearly and unquestionably a supernatural value from the Muse. The firs right. And now we must say a word or two ime that I heard the song of the nightingale, I was more of the book before us.
intoxicated more by the delicious crowd of rememThere are not many of our readers to whom and I shall never forget ihe thrill of ecstasy ****
bered associations, than by the melody of its boies. it can be necessary to mention, that it is in which I first saw the lark rise, almost from bereah substance, and almost in form, a continuation my feet, and wing its musical flight up into the of the Sketch Book; and consists of a series morning sky."-Vol. i. pp. 6—9. of little descriptions, and essays on matters
We know nothing more beautiful than the principally touching the national character and old habits of England. The author is melody of this concluding sentence; and it
the reader be not struck with its musie, we supposed to be resident at Bracebridge Hall
; think he has no right to admire the Vision ci the Christmas festivities of which he had Mirza, or any of the other delicious cadences commemorated in his former publication, of Adáison. and among the inmates of which, most of the familiar incidents occur which he turns to it is matter to which we shall miss no fitor
The Farewell we quote for the matter; and account in his lucubrations. These incidents can scarcely be said to make a story in any that it is one of higher moment than almost
casion to recur,-being persuaded not only sense, and certainly not one which would admit of being abstracted; and as we are
any other to which we can now apply our under a vow to make but short extracts from selves, but one upon which the honest persepopular books, we must see that we choose time produce practical and beneficial effects.
verance, even of such a work as ours may in well the few passages upon which we may We allude to the animosity which intemperate venture. There is a short Introduction, and a Farewell, by the author; in both which he writers on both sides are labouring to create. alludes to the fact of his being a citizen of
or exasperate, between this country and America in a way that appears to us to de- fore us, are most anxious to allay. There is
America, and which we, and the writer beserve a citation. The first we give chiefly for the beauty of the writing.
no word in the following quotation in which
we do not most cordially concur. We receive England is as classic ground to an American, as with peculiar satisfaction the assurances of Italy is to an Englishman; and old London teems the accomplished author, as to the kindly with as much historical association as mighty Rome. disposition of the better part of his country.
“But what more especially attracts his notice, are those peculiarities which distinguish an old men; and are disposed to place entire corrcountry, and an old state of society, from a new dence in it, not only from our reliance on his one. I have never yet grown familiar enough with judgment and means of information, but from the crumbling monuments of past ages, to blunt the accuracy of his representation of the sort the intense interest with which I at first beheld of persons to whom the fashion of abusing the them. Accustomed always to scenes where history Americans has now gone down, on this side was, in a manner, in anticipation; where every thing in art was new and progressive, and pointed of the Atlantic. Nothing, we ihink, can be to the future rather than to the past ; where, in more handsome, persuasive, or grateful, than short, the works of man gave no ideas but those of the whole following passage. young existence, and prospective improvement; There was something inexpressibly touching in the “ And here let me acknowledge my warm, my sight of enormous piles of architecture, grey with thankful feelings, at the effect produced by one of antiquity, and sinking to decay. I cannot describe my trivial lucubrations. I allude to the essay in the mute but deep-felt enthusiasm with which I the Sketch-Book, on the subject of the literary have contemplated a vast monastic ruin, like Tin feuds between England and America. I cannot tern Abbey, buried in the bosom of a quiet valley, express the heartfelt delight I have experienced at and shut up from the world, as though it had existed | the unexpected sympathy and approbation wih merely for itself; or a warrior pile, like Conway which those remarks have been receiver on both Castlé, standing in stern loneliness, on its rocky sides of the Atlantic. I speak this not from any height, a mere hollow, yet threatening phantom of palıry feelings of gratified vanity; for I attribute departed power. They spread a grand and melan. ihe effect to no merit of my pen. The paper in choly, and, to me, an unusual charm over the land question was brief and casual, and the ideas it conscape. I for the first time beheld signs of national veyed were simple and obvious. It was the cause ; old age, and empire's decay; and proofs of the iran- l it was the cause' alone. There was a predisposi