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in order to prolong the torture of the old commodore. It was dangerous to approach him—he raved—he swore-how terribly he swore! Certainly at that hour he should have been relieved of his command. Evening was coming on, and both fleets were drawing into the harbour's mouth; and as the flood tide would soon set strongly in, it became a matter of absolute necessity for the English squadron to make sail and get a good offing before dark. Ai the time, when it was already dusk, and the numerous fishing boats were running in unnoticed between the two threatening fleets, orders were given to make sail, and the carpenter desired to rig the gratings at the same time. The commodore, not knowing how to contain his wrath, chose to work the ship himself. Never was the duty performed more instantaneously, never more accurately. But Sir Octavius saw in every thing disobedience of orders, mutiny, and rebellion. No sooner were the weather-traces hauled tight, and the ropes coiled down, than he put three of his lieutenants and his master under arrest, broke half a dozen of his petty officers, and then, sending for his boatswain, went into the cabin, and flogged two of his midshipmen. Thence he repaired to the gangway, and flogged every man on the black list, and every man against whom a fault could be imagined. Am I relating an extravagant fiction? Am I even drawing an overcharged picture? Alas! for poor human nature! Go read the records of the times !"
Speaking of the veneration in which clergymen were held on board of ships in the days of the “Old School,” Mr. Howard observes, " that no man in orders, whilst he could procure a curacy on shore, would accept a chaplaincy afloat. We forget the exact amount of the remuneration then offered them; but it was so low that it was an insult. When the persecuted divine got on board his ship, he was repelled by all classes, and reverenced by a few individuals only, who dared not betray their feelings. He was continually shifted about from ship to ship, all being anxious to pass him away as an inconvenience. If Captain A. wanted a couple of good sail-makers, and Captain B. could spare them in exchange for two able-bodied seamen, the latter would not let the former have them unless he relieved him of his chaplain into the bargain. Against general contempt no man can bear up; and generally, not being the élite of the profession, the chaplains soon gave way to circumstances, and always settled down as the captain's sycophant, and generally into the captain's spy. * If they were of any utility at all, they were useful after a strange fashion. The instructors of the midshipmen-but in what? In the studies of their faith ?-in making them humble, self-denying, and truly Christian? No-none of these : but in geometry and trigonometry, plane and middle latitude sailing; not how to perform a work of grace, but a day's work. For doing all this, they were usually paid at the rate of half-a-crown per month by each pupil!”
Ernest Maltravers. By the Author of “ Pelham," &c. A Novel
in 3 vols. Saunders and Otley. The sensation that is excited in the literary world by the simple announcement of a new work emanating from the pen of the talented E. L. Bulwer, is the precursor of the delight to be experienced by the perusal. Bulwer is the Napoleon of English literature--the great mover of that sphere in which he shines so resplendently—the individual whose magic quill, with one single drop of ink, can make thousands reflect. He is the metaphysician-novelist of England, as de Balzac is the pride of France. His works are not merely every-day books which we throw aside never to resume, after a hasty perusal:, they are standard volumes in every library—they may occasionally serve as books of reference their philosophy raises them to an eminence far above the common tale of interest purposely written to afford a momentary amusement. But great as Bulwer is, there is a mightier master in the same sphere of literature than hema magician whose wand is more potent–a necromancer
whose spells are more intimately entwined around the human heart, and that man is de Balzac. The one is occasionally inconsistent,-the other natural to the very life ;-the one is intoxicated with the celebrity he suddenly acquired,—the other, conscious of his own merits, peruses his own praises with calmness ;--the one affects to be more deeply read than he really is,the other unwittingly suffers his vast knowledge to blaze forth at intervals ;the one is an egotist,—the other is void of all pride ;-the one confounds in the same individual dishonourable conduct and lofty feelings together, the other perspicuously draws a strict line of demarcation, and never depicts his characters at variance with themselves ;-the one trusts much to a great popularity,—the other writes as if he were a timid author whose name is as yet unknown ;--the one is full of pretension,--the other is unassuming and retiring ;-in fine, the one is Bulwer, who is vain enough to believe that he can attempt any thing,—and the other is de Balzac, who essays not to emerge beyond the limits which a thorough consciousness of his own abilities has traced for himself.
“ Ernest Maltravers" is deficient in incident, and will not interest those who merely read to be amused. Nor was it to that class that Mr. Bulwer addressed himself. To the thinking portion of the literary world the book will be welcome-for to that portion does it speak. The hero is a man of genius whom every circumstance combined to bless, so far as high birth, pecuniary possessions, and great talent can render an individual happy. He is a strange compound of good and evil : at one moment he teaches a lovely girl, whom certain occurrences consigned to his care, to know and adore her Maker; and in the next he—seduces her! —and then he weeps over the Bible -and then seeks for consolation in the arms of another mistress! That such a concatenation of discrepancies in feelings and sentiments may exist in a mind singularly organised, we do not doubt; but the vrai is not always the most vraisemblable; and a certain tint in the sky, or the dark blue surface of a certain lake—appearances which are really natural-frequently shock when minutely copied in a picture by the too faithful hand of an artist.
“ Ernest Maltravers” is a book that a severe critic of venomous disposition would delight to lavish his caustic remarks upon--and there is throughout ample scope for castigation. At the same time the work abounds with innamerable beauties—deep thought-profound reflection-and a philosophical vein of sentiment that is not, as we beforé said, to be encountered in the generality of parallel and contemporary works. The design is lofty-the characters for the most part are well depicted-and the whole is interspersed with a great deal of fine writing, to which portions, however, we shall not have recourse for an extract, but shall place the following specimen of a different kind before the reader:
“The banker was about to obey"—i. e. pursue his journey, having been robbed by Darvil a scoundrel of the “first water"-) " when suddenly from the hay-stack, a broad, red light streamed upon the pair, and the next moment Darvil was seized from behind, and struggling in the gripe of a man nearly as powerful as himself. The light, which came from a dark-lanthorn, placed on the ground, revealed the forms of a peasant in a smock-frock, and two stout-built, stalworth men, armed with pistols-besides the one engaged with Darvil. The whole of this scene was brought, as by the trick of the stageas by a flash of lightning-as by the change of a showman's phantasmagoria -before the astonished eyes of the banker. He stood arrested and spellbound--his hand on his bridle-his foot on his stirrup. A moment more and Darvil had dashed his antagonist on the ground : he stood at a little distance, his face reddened by the glare of the lanthorn, and fronting his assailants--that fiercest of all beasts, a desperate man at bay! He had already succeeded in drawing forth his pistols, and he held one in each hand-his eyes flashing from beneath his bent brow, and turning quickly from foe to foe. At length those eyes rested on the late reluctant companion of his solitude.
“< 80 you then betrayed me,' he said very slowly, and directed his pistol to the head of the dismounted horseman.
“No-no!' cried one of the officers—for such were Darvil's assailants. * Fire away in this direction, my hearty—we are paid for it. The gentleman knew nothing at all about it.'
“ Nothing, by God!' cried the banker, startled out of his sanctity.
“Then I shall keep my shot,' said Darvil ; and mind, the first who approaches me is a dead man.'
“ It so happened that the robber and the officers were beyond the distance which allows sure mark for a pistol-shot, and each party felt the necessity of caution.
“ • Your time is up, my swell cove,' cried the head of the detachment : * you have had your swing, and a long one it seems to have been. You must now give in. Throw down your barkers, or we must make mutton of you, and rob the gallows.'
“ Darvil did not reply, and the officers, accustomed to hold life cheap, moved on towards him—their pistols cocked and levelled. Darvil fired-one of the men staggered and fell. With a kind of instinct, Darvil had singled out the one with whom he had before wrestled for life. The ruffian waited not for the others—he turned and fled along the fields.
“« Zounds, he is off!' cried the other two-and they rushed after him in pursuit. A pause-a shot—another-an oath-a groan—and all was still.
with him now!' said one of the runners in the distance; "he dies game !' At these words, the peasant, who had before skulked behind the haystack, seized the lanthorn from the ground, and ran to the spot. The banker involuntarily followed. There lay Luke Darvil on the grass-still living—but a horrible and ghastly spectacle.' One ball had pierced his breast_another had shot away his jaw. His eyes rolled fearfully, and he tore up the grass with his hands. The officers looked coldly on.
" • He was a clever fellow,' said one.
“Darvil raised himself bolt upright-shook his clenched fist at his conquerors, and a fearful gurgling howl, which the nature of his wound did not allow him to syllable into a curse, came from his breast—with that he fell flat on his back-a corpse !"
“ • It's up
Lyrics. By John Lee Stevens. One Vol. 8vo. pp. 144. Bailey,
Cornhill. It is highly gratifying-simply, because it is exceedingly rare—to meet with any good poetry in these degenerate days. Even the effusions in the generality of the periodicals are for the most part indifferent, not to use a harsher expression. It was therefore with feelings of undisguised delight that we perused the interesting little collection of poems which Mr. Stevens has just presented to the English public. We were prepared to be severe—and we find scarcely any grounds for harsh criticism. The machinery of the poetry is correct—the construction is good—the metaphor far from trite-the similes replete with originality. An occasional inattention-from ignorance the fault evidently does not spring—to the legitimacy of the rhymes we could not fail to remark; such as fairer--dearer, page 3; thee-thee, page 8; faileth -healeth, page 26; and, yet, in even noticing so trivial a defect-the true spirit and essence of poetry not consisting in a few paltry rhymes—we confess that our criticism has a parallel in the annals of ancient history, which
may be furnished by the observation made upon the works of Demosthenes"they smelt of the lamp”-a remark which, our reader will remember, was only uttered because the enemies of that illustrious man had nothing worse to say of his book. And, in truth, we have nothing—beyond our objection above
- to murmur against Mr. Stevens's “ Lyrics." There is in them & certain sweetness that will render them acceptable to every class of readers—they are vested with simplicity, originality, and a want of affectation or pretence that merit the application of some such epithet as charming.” The translations of the Anacreontics are those that we like the least; they have lost a portion of their original spirit and " Attic salt." This defect is, however, the almost invariable case with all translations of poetry.
We have spoken so highly of this collection of “ Lyrics,” that we must corroborate our assertions concerning the excellence of the poetry by a few ex. tracts, of which our first shall be the stanzas numbered xliv.
“If thou wast a snow-drop, and I were young Spring,
I'd plant thee in Eden's fair garden, my love,
And flow'rets that fade not enamel the grove :-
And I were the sun, with what joy would I beam
Till from thee reflected that brightness would stream
And I were a butterfly flitting so gay,
Their softness to shield from the sun's scorching ray,
- And fade with thy fragrance, and die with thy bloom !"
“Oh! Genius! the fame
That attends on thy name
And barter my breath
For a life after death,
And those who endeavour
To win thy regard,
The songs of thy bard !"
"Believe me, Jeanie ! truly still
I lo'e thee, and I ever will,
Believe me, my Jeanie!
Syne I ha'e thee, my Jeanie !
But o' his power take nae heed,
I'll aye be thine, my Jeanie!
As tenderly, my Jeanie!"
The Tribute, A Collection of Miscellaneous Unpublished Poems, by Various Authors. Edited by Lord NortiAMPTON.
One Vol. 8vo. Murray. The founder of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana was in a very infirm state when he projected the compilation of a work intended to consist of the various contributions of living authors. Intense study had deprived Mr. Smedley of the faculty of hearing; and his sight was already in a declining state at the period. It was therefore generously resolved by Lord Northampton to undertake the task Mr. Smedley had contemplated; but the unfortunate victim of a too deep application to his books departed this life before “ The Tribute" made its appearance. The proceeds of the work are to be devoted to the charitable purpose of relieving the family which Mr. Smedly has left to deplore his loss; and we most sincerely hope that a liberal amount may be realized.
The principal contributors to “ The Tribute" are Lord Northampton himself, Spring Rice, Wordsworth, Bowles, Empson, Moore, Landor, Darley, Southey, Joanna Baillie, Horace Smith, B. Barton, Tennyson, Milnes, and a variety of others, more or less eminent in the literary world. Mr. Words. worth has furnished an indifferent piece-which a generous public" will nevertheless declare to be “ exceedingly pretty,” or remarkably sweet. We shall quote the effusion, and call the attention of the reader to the tame and prosaic passages by printing them in italics.
“ The Moon, that sails along the sky,
Moves with a happy destiny;
Or dimly seen;
How bright her mien !
Not turned aside,
Their way pursue;
The whole year through.
Bright Ship of Heaven,
And be forgiven !"