Зображення сторінки

count of his Calvinism, refused a fellowship, “but at last he so far conquered prejudices, as to be elected tanquam Socius of Pembroke Hall

, an office peculiar to that College. Besides the society of the Fellows, the tanquam socius had poma, that is, his dividend in the garden ; pupillos, that is, leave to take pupils; and pileum, that is, the honour of the cap, together with a certain stipend; but no share in the government of the house." No mere circumstantial authority could prove more strongly that the Fellows (not only at Pembroke Hall but at the other colleges, for the tanquam Socius was peculiar' to Pembroke Hall) were resident instructers, and governors.

In reply to these considerations, it was contended, first, that a fellow in a college is not technical ; that the word is found in other charters of other institutions ; that it imports only associate. This reply, however, does not appear to have been much relied on, and in fact it is inconsistent with some of the other arguments against the Memorial. The other chief reply made to this argument of the memorial was, that the word fellow, in the English College charters, does not of itself imply residence; but that where residence is required, it is required by virtue of the by-laws or statutes ; consequently, the mere use of the word fellow in the charter of Harvard College implies nothing

Considering the prominence given to this answer, we are constrained to say, that it appears to us an entire mistake of the gist of the argument. The Memorial argues, that the College Charter prescribes five fellows, and that a fellow in a college is a technical term. We go to the English Colleges, which contain several hundred fellows, to know what it does mean, and we there find it is, by the rule, an incumbent on the foundation, residing within the walls, and exercising the government and instruction of the house. It is plainly no answer to this argument to say that the residence &c. are all prescribed by the by-laws, that they are not matters of course.

Neither is it a suli.cient answer to quote instances in which residence is dispensed with. It is true, it is dispensed with in the majority of cases. But it is equally true that this is an avowed departure from the ancient nature of the establishment, and often in violation of the founder's laws. In a passage cited by Mr Ticknor from a late Quarterly Review, this dispensation is spoken of as a “ breaking in upon the rules laid down by our forefathers, as defeating the object of the founders of our colleges, and leaving in the colleges few per

sons simply occupied in the cultivation of literature.” Mr Ticknor infers from this passage two things. In one we not only join him, but shall have occasion to reason upon it in another connexion, viz. that the fellowships were foundations for students-for learners. The other inference, we confess, seems at war with the premises, viz. that “the rules prescribing residence, wherever they existed, were no more than by-laws, which the Corporations had power to dispense with, and which in fact have been dispensed with.” The passage cited by Mr Ticknor from the Quarterly Review, speaks of dispensation from residence as a “ breaking in upon rules,” a “defeat of the object of the founder.” This is precisely what the Memorial maintains,—that residence is the rule, dispensation is the breach of it, and that where the fellows do not reside, the object of the founder is defeated.”

[To be continued.]

[ocr errors]

The Foresters. By the Author of Lights and Shadows of

Scottish Life ;and The Trials of Margaret Lyndsay." New-York. 1825. 12mo. pp. 360.

We do not know any works of the present day, which leave a more pleasant impression of the character of their author, than those produced by the writer of the story before us. They cannot perhaps be ranked in the very first class of ficlitious writings. There are a great many blemishes both in the structure of his stories, in their detail, and in the style of the narrative. But, to say nothing of any other merits, there is a charm in the goodness of heart, the true and fervent piety, the nice sense of right and wrong, the acute perception of moral beauty, every where displayed, which is irresistibly attractive. We cannot read a dozen pages of his writing, without feeling, that this is a man to be loved and admired. It is true that we may be mistaken in this, and the author may be of a very different character ; but this is the impression which has been always strongly produced upon us; and we are not, we believe, very apt to give too much credit to the appearance which is put on to come before the world with.

This novel, if novel we are to call it, wants, not perhaps unity of design, but is deficient in such a regular series of action as is necessary to a strong and continued interest in the

plot. Hence, although we take a lively concern in the characters, their good and bad fortunes, their weal and wo, we still are not carried on through the whole with that breathless and unbroken interest which is commonly deemed essential to the novel.

It is a story which we can read at our leisure, at intervals long or short, as may be convenient. There is no call for going through with it at a heat, as is the case with the genuine novel to the genuine novel reader.

The story is exceedingly simple, and neither the incidents nor the characters display any fertility of invention. Adam Forester, an old Scotch gardener, has two sons, Michael and Abel: Michael the perfection of manly virtue - Abel, seduced by a lively temperament and vicious companions into an evil course of life. Michael marries and settles down at home with his aged father, while Abel, going on from bad to worse, leaves home, and gives himself up to folly and crime. He is guilty of forgery, and in order to save him from an untimely and ignominious death, Michael relinquishes his whole patrimony and is reduced to want. The old man dies, Michael hires a new farm, and by industry becomes prosperous and happy: His wife is an angel, and his daughter, Lucy Forester, the heroine of the tale, promises to become her equal. A few years after their removal, Michael is stricken blind by a flash of lightning. His faith, however, his fortitude, and resignation, support him under this severe trial; and he continues to pass a tranquil and happy life, consoled by the sympathy and kind duties of his wife and daughter. Lucy, as she grows up, experiences, of course, some affairs of the heart. There is one childish attachment with Edward Ellis, a young man of a high family, which is broken off by his father; in whose decision, a very proper one, all parties acquiesce, with a readiness so much the more laudable, as it is almost unprecedented in the world of novels. Lucy afterwards escapes the snare laid for her virtue by a wealthy but unprincipled lover, and finally marries a man in all things sufficient to make her happy.

This is a mere outline. The intervals are filled up with a variety of incidents, and by the introduction of a variety of characters, not very essentially connected with the main series of events, but still giving an air of activity to the piece, which the quiet nature of the plot would not otherwise have allowed One remark is suggested to us by this work, and we believe

the same impression was made upon us by some others of the same author, which is, that he is disposed to look upon human nature in the most favourable point of view. He is inclined to give to every thing in human character the most benevolent construction. He cannot bear to dwell upon the crimes or frailties of his fellow men. He takes care to mingle in the character of even his worst personages, a few redeeming traits. The contemplation of unmixed villany seems to be more than he can well endure; and when forced by the course of events to introduce knaves, ruffians, or seducers, he hurries over his scenes in haste, as if the task were painful to him. But when the innocent, the virtuous, the religious are his theme, he dwells upon it with delight, he is copious in his descriptions, and seems never to be weary of the contemplation.

Thus, in “ The Foresters,” we fall in with scarcely an individual whose character and conduct do not contain so much of good as to command our love and sympathy, even though weak and frail. Michael Forester and his wife and daughter are all immaculate in their way. Michael exhibits a picture of the union, in humble life, of strong intellect, respectable education, stern integrity, undeviating principle, rational but ardent piety; and of the influence which these qualities may have in bearing a man up against apparent evil, and converting it into real good. He illustrates, too, the ascendancy which a character of this kind is capable of giving a man over others. Michael, blind and poor, is the object of reverence and respect to all around him; and, go where you may, this representation will, in the main, be found true.

Virtue, integrity, and intelligence will give a man respect and consideration, in spite of lowliness and poverty.

Even Abel, the spendthrift brother and the prodigal son, is not left without a claim upon our sympathy and compassion. He goes astray more from lightness than from badness of heart, and suffers more from the easiness and facility of his temper, than from real depravity and baseness. He returns, too, broken down by want and suffering, and dies in the bosom of his family, cherished and forgiven. The same may be said of Isaac Mayne, the great scholar, who becomes vicious and is destroyed by his vices; the author cannot dismiss him till he has excited for him our compassion, and taught us to regard him more in sorrow than in anger. In short, from first 10 last, from the hero of the work down to the kind old shep

herd of Patterdale, we sce predominating the same disposition to look upon and to represent the bright side of human nature, -every thing tending to contirm and illustrate the benevolent opinion, that virtue and enjoyment are the essential attributes, sin and misery only the accidents of humanity.

Much of the same spirit is manifested in the views which are taken of the course of events in the world, and of the beauties of external nature. Every thing is made to work for good, or at least it is shown that every event, even the most adverse, if met by a proper disposition, may be made conducive in some way to our improvement, or at least consistent with our happiness. Nature is looked upon with the eye of a poct, and also with the eye of a Christian. All that is beautiful and grand in the field or the forest, the rock or the mountain, the heavens, the earth, or the sea, is associated with ideas of the greatness, the goodness, the universal and parental benevolence of the Creator.

There is something in the style and manner of this writer, which must strike every reader at once, as very peculiar and a good deal out of the common course, although it may be found very difficult to define exactly in what it consists. It bears a great affinity to the peculiarities which have distinguished the Lakc school in poetry, and may be not unaptly designated, to use a term which has been almost naturalized among reviewers, as Lukism in prose. We cannot undertake its definition; but we venture to illustraie it, by remarking, that it reminds us very much of the spiritualism of the New Church. The writer before us, and others of the same class, for others there are, appear to have a system of correspondences between things, scenes, and events about them, and a spiritual world of their own, into which all cannot enter. Rocks, hills, rivers, mountains, forests, are not seen by them in the same plain matter-of-fact way that they are by other people; but all external objects seem to be to them the signs or symbols of mysterious language, of feelings and sympathies, to which common souls have not the key; they bring up in their minds a thousand associations, deep and delightful, just as a touch to the string of the harp calls into existence, not merely the single and full vibration of the whole chord, but a thousand smaller ones of its component parts, all in perfect harmony with the principal, all imperceptible to the uninitiated ear, but falling in rich and accordant music upon that of ibe adept. Let us not be understood to ridicule this sensi

« НазадПродовжити »