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should die just at the convenient time and that á bandsome young heiress should remain single among country lairds, are very
allowable fictions, but we are certain that the kind heart of Andrew would not have approved of the manner in which bis early friends are sacrificed to him. Poor Willy Cunningham is dispatched in order to enrich his sister, and Charles Pierston, after obtaining a lucrative appointment through Andrew's means, falls a victim to fever, to shew the indifference of Mary towards him, and disinherits his son in Andrew's favour, to display the disinterestedness of the latter in enriching the friendless boy with his own legacy. The slow yielding prejudices of the Laird, and the calm sober growth of his daughter's love, are more naturally described, and would satisfy the most fastidious stickler for probability.
On the whole we consider the Author's talents as more favourably displayed in character than in incident; and in the former respect, the novel now before us is very strong. The chief force, as may be expected, is thrown into the character of Andrew, which is well supported throughout. From the moment of Charlie Pierston's quarrel and broken head, he is the same dexterous peace-maker, and laughing philosopher, occasionally pushing caution to unnecessary lengths, (as in the mole-catching anecdote, vol. i.
987.) but always with an honourable purpose; and his inexhaustible flow of humour is well contrasted with a laughable spice of superstition, most characteristically Scotch. (See vol. ii. p. 161.)
With respect to the other characters, polite usage requires that we should first mention Lord and Lady Sandyford. The conception of both is good, as regards their relation to Andrew's views and history; but the execution somewhat poor. The Countess is indeed a mere sketch, but with the Earl we are brought more frequently in contact, and cannot belp remarking the affectation which here and there pervades his colloquial style, and which, though perhaps natural to the character which the author would describe, is somewhat mawkish. His brother-in-law, Lord Riversdale, is also but a slender youth in understanding, as well in body, though evidently meant to play somewhat of a conspicuous part.
In the “ ferlies and uncos,” “ the perknicketties and prejincketees" of Scotch character, the author is much more at home; and his pen possesses a kindred power to the pencil of Wilkie. · Even Daft Jamie, with bis shrewd uncouth humour, his capboard love, and his high pretensions, is a
rich and original sketch, differing from poor Davie Gellatly as essentially as Caliban from Lear's' kind-hearted fool. The Laird also,“ knotted and knarled with obsolete prejudices," and starting at once from habitual indolence into caustic humour and aristocratic pride, we should conceive to be an admirable picture of a race gone by; and we almost wish that he could have been spared to give us a few more specimens of such comic light-beadedness as the following:
« Brother, said Miss Mizy kindly, struck by the growing incoherency of the gentleman, I doobt ye're waur than ye let wit.'
“ • I'm unco dry, was the answer. It's a wonder o'nature, that the mair a body drinks he aye grows the drier ; but Sir Archibald's claret was of a fine quality; and really yon Sir Andrew's a comical creature-I trow I gart the prejinck English Yerl laugh, when I said that Sir Andrew would never be able to kiss our Mary, unless he could speel up and get his taes in her pouches. It's my fear that their bairns will be sic wee modiwarts o'things that when they begin to tottle about the house, we'll hae to tie bells to their backs to hear whar they gang, for I'm thinking they'll be running in aneath the beds. Odsake, but I would be blithe to see the wee totties spinning about the floor like peeries.?" Vol. III. p. 286.
Martha Docken and Tannybill are characters of a different and higher class, the conception of which does honour to the heart and genius of the author. Without departing from the modest truth of nature, he has drawn a beautiful picture of simple good sense and religious patience, in the portrait of the worthy old woman ; enlivened occasionally by a vein of innocent drollery which derives additional effect from the sober unconsciousness with which it flows from her.
“ For as Solomon says, ' grant me neither poverty nor riches ;' and Solomon kent weel what the warld is,-though, poor man, in his auld days he gaed aften far ajee out o' the strait road in the gloaming, tapping wi' his gowden headed staff at the harlot's door, and keeking in at her windows with his bald head and his haffits, when he should hae been sitting at hame on his throne, reading his Bible to his captains and counsellors in a kingly manner." Vol. I.
Vol. I. p. 228. The genealogy of Tannybill may perhaps be traced to that of Dominie Sampson, as that of the good Dominie may to Parson Adams; but our author has borrowed no more than the mere idea, and the execution of the character is completely his own. The frugal neatness of Tannyhill's person, his modest practical wisdom, and the guileless and patriarchal simplicity of his heart, leave an impression on the reader, totally distinct from any thing burlesque or flat;
grey and the even tenor of his subdued passions is only interrupted by benevolent anxiety for the living, or affectionate recol. lections of the dead. We quote a passage of peculiar beauty, descriptive of the fate of his early friend, as possessing the true simple pathos of which the lakish mint has coined so many counterfeits.
“In my green and glad days, there was à brisk wee laddie that I used to play wi' in the summer sun-shine, and slide wi' on the winter's ice. The coal was cauld on the hearth of baith our parents, and we were obligated in time to seek our bread in the world. He gaed into Glasgow for his, and was prenticed to a ware.room; but still, about once a year we met, and at ilka meeting, the covenant o' our young friendship was renewed in our bearts. Belyve, when I had ta'en a turn for divinity, and had gather'd, wi' the help o' friends, twa three pounds to tak me to the College, we lived thegither ; our means were sma', and when they were like to wear out I was often very sad, but his spirit was made of light and joy, and he so seasoned our scrimpit meals wi' the happiness of his nature, that I still look back to the penury of the winter we passed thegither, as to the holly-bush, wi' its bonny red berries, standing green and bright amidst the snaw. He was a clever and a throughgawn lad, and grew to be a clerk wi' a great merchant, who sent him to a foreign place wi? a rich cargo-in the whilk he was to liae a profit. But when he got there, things werena as he had hoped, and hi letters to me were ane after another more and more full of doubts and fears, and at last the merchant got ane that told he was dead. I kenna how it was, that at the time I didna experience such a sorrow as I should have felt, and I was vexed when I thought he was dead, and that I should have so little naturality-strangely, at times, fancying as if he could come back; but in time other cares and concerns grew upon me, and his image, like an epitaph that's overgrown by moss, was in a manner obliterated, till many years after, when meeting by chance wi' a gentleman that knew him in that foreign land, we fell into discourse about him, and the stranger told me that he died of a broken heart-all the pride and hopes of his young expectations were blighted by the ill luck of the venture. It's no to be told what I then suffered; I pined and was solitary, and I couldna eat." Vol. III. p. 243.
A person who can write thus ought not to condescend to a servile iinitation even of the Author of Waverley, particularly in the “ crambe recocta” of wonderful old women. Meg Merrilies and Elspeth we will allow to be prima donnas in the sibylline department, but the half dozen of doubles which have suoceeded to them from the same pen, have already tired us of awful anility, and Andrew's old gypsey, with all the tremendous solemnity" of her address, appears
VOL. XIX, FEBRUARY, 1823,
to us but a sorry and bombastic specimen of it. We can easily forgive the “ todlike inclination for either folks cocks and hens," which Andrew palliates in behalf of the gypsey family, with the good-natured casuistry of Baillie Jarvie ; but we cannot allow them to give away the borough to Andrew with the same ease as the boiled goose's leg.
Our objections to the trial scene rather arise from the manner than the matter. A little more of cross examining and a little less of German mystification would have obtained the desired result equally well, and have been more consonant with the etiquette of a court. But perhaps the author's imagination was haunted by the denouement of a play attri. buted to his pen, and called we believe, The Witness.
We cannot dismiss the novel before us without bearing an unqualified testimony to the good sense and originality which are displayed in its design and conception. Declaring open war against the Byronian class of tall“ sublime Werter-faced men,” with dark brows and ungoverned enthusiasm, he has embodied the beau ideal of honesty, integrity, motherwit, and sound feeling, under an exterior and address almost ridiculous, but which he has succeeded in rendering interesting; and he may almost be excused for having in some cases encroached on probability, by those who can estimate the humour, spirit, and good writing, with which his encroachments are maintained,
ART. VII.- Sermons on the Nature, Offices, and Character
of Jesus Christ. By the Rev. T. Bowdler, A.M. Vol. II.
8vo. pp. 38. Longman. 1820. If we have suffered this volume to lie on our shelf unnoticed for an unusual length of time, it has not been owing to any feeling of indifference with respect to the subjects contained in it. The bare mention of them will be sufficient to relieve us from such an imputation. For who can hear or read of the incarnation of our blessed Saviour, justification by faith, the principle of spiritual life in the hearts of believers, and their union with their Lord and Master, without having the best feelings of his heart awakened to a diligent attention Every part of the subject, as the author has stated it, in his title page and preface, is calculated to excite a deeper interest than all that the richest stores of learning can produce, or the boldest imagination can invent. In truth it is our anxious desire to see those lofty themes brought continually forward, and pressed upon the attention of high and low, rich and poor ; and the consideration of the “ nature, offices, character of our Lord.” though it may be brought within the compass of a single volume, should in some shape or other form part of every discourse from every pulpit.
The effect of this style of preaching, at least upon the lower orders is very obvious. Let a man, we have some right to speak dogmatically, having the experience of many a year over our beads ; let a man speak of the atonement as often as he will, and build upon this doctrine an exhortation to turn from sin to righteousness, and we will pledge ourselves that he shall have an attentive audience. Let him speak on the same subject, and use a similar exhortation in his intercourse with his parishioners, and he will produce a beneficial effect upon their hearts and lives far more readily than in
way. The same he will find to be the most successful mode of giving his parishioners a taste for the ordinances of the Church; the great secret of bringing them, in a spirit of true devotion, to partake of the Lord's Supper is to urge this as a proof of a true faith in Christ.
But we go farther; we should affirm that this kind of instruction is the way to combat false doctrine most successfully. A due regard to the fundamental principles of our holy faith, and particularly to the offices and character of our Saviour, to the cause of his coming into the world, the manner of his life, the efficacy of his death, and the nature of his religion will be found the best safe-guard against error. With this opinion which we have now stated, strongly impressed upon our minds, it afforded us much satisfaction to see that the author of the volume before us had taken occasion to discuss the most important doctrines of the Gospel: and we need scarcely add, that they are treated with peculiar interest and with singular advantage, where the attention is directed immediately to the great Author of salvation. We shall endeavour to make our readers acquainted with the volume, as far as a few pages of a review can do so, and they will then be able to judge of the correctness of our views, and of the style of the author.
The two first Sermons treat of “ Jesus Christ our justification;" the former of them being occupied chiefly in pointing out the meritorious cause of justification: the latter in discussing the nature of that faith by which it is accepted. In treating this subject, there is on every side great need of accuracy of distinction. Tbis will not be difficult to any one who thinks clearly, and is conversant with the points he is discussing; the whole however is brought together in a few lines, which may be acceptable to our readers. " The sum of what hath been said, comprising the doctrine of