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be suppressed at once throughout the whole of Europe,' says that eloquent Writer, mankind would have taken a great step ' towards the perfection of social order.' One of the reasons assigned by Dr. Paley for preferring a standing army to a numerous militia, is, the doubt whether any government can long be

secure where the people are acquainted with the use of arms.' But to this argument, ' an obvious answer, Mr. S. remarks, ' is afforded by the measures of the late war.'

• It was commenced on the plea that popular disaffection existed in this country, fomented by peace and intercourse with France; yet, in the course of it, almost all the regular forces were at times sent out of the island, and it was thought expedient to arm, not only a very numerous militia, but a much greater number of all ranks in voluntary association. This fact must silence (until the government or the people be essentially different from what they were during the late war) the plea, that this nation cannot be trusted with its own de. fence.' p. 146.

Among the opposite dangers which seem at the present moment to hang over the destinies of our country, the greatest of all is that which is presented by our immense military establishment. Were it true, as the partisans of corruption are continually telling us, that that establishment is required to keep down the spirit of disaffection, that our civil institutions are in. adequate to the maintenance of liberty and order, the time would have arrived when the English constitution would in effect have been superseded by a military despotism. Such a despotism would by no means be felt as intolerable by a large proportion of the nation, accustomed as they have been to acquiesce with perfect complacency in that approach towards it wbich consists in the identification of the legislative authority with the executive, it would by no means be intolerable so long as the army answered with the regularity of a machine to the impulse of the Civil Power. But let a disputed succession, or some other national question, present to the soldiery an alternative determinable by their will, and at the same time awake the consciousness of their physical power, and then, where are we? What is to keep the army loyal, after they have put down disaffection in the people? God forbid that ministerial imbecility and obstinacy should ever bring so fearful an experiment to its issue! But it is to be feared that we have not yet experienced half of the benefits which forin the baleful legacy of the war.

Art. IV. 1. The Monastery; a Romance. By the Author of Wa

verly. In three Volumes, 12mo. Second Edition. Edinburgh.

1820, 2. The Abbot. By the Author of Waverley. In three Volumes,

12mo. Edinburgh. 1820. IF F the Author of Waverley had but as sound a judgement as

he has a fertile invention ; had he, in addition to his more splendid qualities, a little more taste and a little more self-denial, his tales, somewhat reduced in compass, somewhat more ' few

and far between,' would be some of the most delightful productions that ever made

• the Intellectual Power Bend from his awful throne a wondering ear,

And smile.' But that the Author's taste and judgement do not always serve him, no more striking proof needs have been given, than The Monastery, which might have passed either for some first essay of bis unripe fancy, or for the dregs of exhausted genius, bad not the latter supposition been set aside by the hasty appearance of a Sequel, in which Jedidiah is himself again. A Sequel it can with scarcely any propriety be terined, since the connexion between tbe two series is exceedingly slender, and the general character of the two tales is altogether different. In the Monastery, the interest is made in a great measure to depend upon the mysterious agency of a supernatural being, a clumsy counterpart of the Mermaiden of Ravenswood, but much more sociable, tangible, and musical, and her poetical effusions are the prettiest things in the work. In the Abbot, the whole

machinery of the White Lady' is struck out; the alleged reason being, that the public taste gives little encouragement to those • legendary superstitions which formed the delight alternately and the terror of our predecessors.' In plain English, the Author has had the intimation very distinctly conveyed to him, that the thing did not take, that it was considered as a failure; and it must have been conveyed to him under high authority, for him to pay attention to the suggestion. He is not wont to consult the critics in these matters. But in our humble judgement, he does the public taste much wrong in attributing to so general a cause as a disrelish for such legendary superstitions, its dissatisfaction with his own bungling management of them. The White Lady of Avenel belongs to a beautiful class of fictions which are still capable of being turned to good account either in poetry or romance, if the artist minds his lights and the keeping. In . The Bride of Lammermuir,' the occasional touches of the supernatural, so finely in unison with the dark and stormy colouring of the tale, tend wonderfully to enhance

the real interest, and to strengthen the bold which the story takes on the imagination. But the White Lady does not harmonize with the heterogeneous materials out of which the • Monastery' is built. The Author does not seem, indeed, to have made up his mind at first what she is to do, and towards the end of the tale, he is evidently at a loss what to do with her. At first, she would seem to be a mere pranksome water-sprite, who has a mind to make of a fat friar food for the kelpy; next, she distinguishes herself as the fairy guardian of a black-letter Bible. Her very existence, we are told, is mysteriously identified with the House of Avenel; yet, she readily obeys the incantation, and attaches herself to the destiny of a peasant's son wholly unconnected with that bonourable house. She is as local a goddess as any naiad, or any wonder-working virgin in the Romish calendar; nevertheless, she is a great traveller, and sails a thousand miles in an afternoon. Lastly, to complete this string of inconsistencies, her golden zone has wasted to the fineness of a silken thread, at the close of the first tale, in token of the approaching fall and extinction of lofty Avenel.' But, though a prophetess, she is for once mistaken : Fate and the Author of The Abbot' have willed it otherwise, or have changed their minds; for she is said to have been subsequently seen ' with a zone of gold around her bosom, as broad as the baldric

of an Earl.' A similar want of any predetermined plan is strikingly evident throughout the dramatic business of the Monastery. We shall scarcely have patience to conduct our readers through the whole tale, but will try to sketch its feeble outline,

The widow of Sir Walter Avenel, who has fallen in the battle of Pinkie-Cleuch, has, with her only daughter, taken refuge in the Tower of Glendearg, tenanted by a Kirk-vassal's widow. Her bouse and lands have been seized, on the retreat of the English, by Julian Avenel, the younger brother of her deceased lord, on the pretence of its being a male fief; and she has no resource but to waive her rights, and to accept of the bounty of the usurper. Daine Elspeth Glendinding, the ferrar's widow, has, the reader will have anticipated, two sons, Halbert and Edward; and Mary of Avenel is their school-fellow and playfellow. The first incident that disturbs the monotony of their retirement, is the illoess of Mary's mother, on which occasion one of the good fathers is sent for from St. Mary's monastery, who is shocked at discovering that the dying lady has been in the habit of reading a copy of the Holy Scripture rendered into the vulgar tongue. That copy lie feloniously decamps with, but loses it in his way home, being so rasli as to take up the While Lady, behind him. Vol. XIV. N. S.

2 H

• As Father Philip came close to the water's edge, at the spot where he was to enter it, there sat a female under a large broken scathed oak tree, or rather under the remains of such a tree, weeping, wringing her hands, and looking earnestly on the current of the river. The Monk was struck with astonishment to see a female there at that time of night. But he was, in all honest service,-and if a step farther, I pat it upon his own conscience,-a devoted squire of dames. After observing the maiden for a moment, although she seemed to take no notice of his presence, he was moved by her distress and willing to offer his assistance. Damsel,” said he,“ thou seemest in no ordinary distress; peradventure, like myself, thou hast been refused passage at the bridge by the churlish keeper, and thy crossing may concern thee either for performance of a vow, or some other weighty charge.• The maiden uttered some inarticulate sounds, looked

at the river, and then in the face of the Sacristan. It struck Father Philip at that instant, that a Highland Chief of distinction had been for some time expected to pay his vows at the shrine of Saint Mary's; and that possibly this fair maiden might be one of his family, travelling alone for accomplishment of a vow, or left behind by some accident, to whom, therefore, it would be but right and cautious to use every civility in his power, especially as she seemed unacquainted with the Lowland tongue. Such at least was the only motive the Sacristan was ever known to assign for his courtesy; if there was any other, I once more refer it to his own conscience.

• To express himself by signs, the common language of all nations, the cautious Sacristan first pointed to the river, then to his mule's crupper, and then made, as gracefully as he could, a sign to induce the fair solitary to mount behind him. She seemed to understand his meaning, for she rose up as if to accept his offer, and while the good Monk, who, as we have hinted, was no great cavalier, laboured, with the pressure of the right leg and the use of the left rein, to place his mule with her side to the bank in such a position that the lady might mount with ease, she rose from the ground with rather portentous activity, and at one bound sate behind the Monk upon the animal, much the firmer rider of the two. The mule by no means seemed to approve of this double burthen; she bounded, bolted, and would soon have thrown Father Philip over her head, had not the maiden with a firm hand detained him in the saddle.

• At length the restive brute changed her humour; and, from refusing to budge off the spot, suddenly stretched her nose homeward, and dashed into the ford as fast as she could scamper. A new terror now invaded the Monk's mind-the ford seemed unusually deep, the water eddied off in strong ripple from the counter of the mule, and began to rise upon her side." Philip lost his presence of mind, which was at no time his most ready attribute, the mule yielded to the weight of the current, and as the rider was not atten. tive to keep her head turned up the river, she drifted downward, lost the ford and her footing at once, and began to swim with her head down the stream. And what was sufficiently strange, at the same moment, notwithstanding the extreme peril, the damsel began to sing, thereby increasing, if any thing could increase, the bodily fear of the worthy Sacristan.

Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
Both current and ripple are dancing in light.
We have roused the night raven, I heard him croak,
As we plashed along beneath the oak
That Alings its broad branches so far and so wide,
Tbeir shadows are dancing in midst of the tide.
“ Who wakens my nestlings,” the raven he said,
“ My beak shall ere morn in his blood be red,
For a blue swolen corpse is a dainty meal,
And I'll have my share with the pike and the eel.”
• Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
There's a golden gleam on the distant height:
There's a silver shower on the alder's dank,
And the drooping willows that wave on the bank.
I see the Abbey, both turret and tower,
It is all astir for the vesper hour;
The Monks for the chapel are leaving each cell,
But where's Father Philip, should toll the bell ?
• Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright,
Downward we drift through shadow and light,
Under yon rock the eddies sleep,
Calm and silent, dark and deep.
The Kelpy has risen from the fathomless pool,
He has lighted his candle of death and of dool :
Look, Father, look, and you'll laugh to see
How he gapes and glares with his eyes on thee !
Good luck to your fishing, whom watch ye to night?
A man of mean or a man of might?
Is it layman or priest that must Aoat in your cove,
Or lover who crosses to visit his love ?
Hark! heard ye the Kelpy reply as we passed, -
“God's blessing on the warder, he lock'd the bridge fast !
All that come to my cove are sunk,
Priest or layman, lover or monk.” i Vol. I.

pp.

176.-180. Father Philip's mule arrives first at the monastery, and the alarm is raised; but before the whole village could be roused, the dripping apparition of the poor Sacristan allayed the fears of the holy brotherhood.

• What betwixt cold and fright the afflicted Sacristan stood before his Superior, propped on the friendly arm of the convent miller, drenched with water, and scarce able to utter a syllable. After various attempts to speak, the first words he uttered were,

“ Swim we merrily--the moon shines bright.” «« Swim we merrily !" retorted the Abbot indignantly, “ a merry night have ye chosen for swimming, and a becoming salutation to your Superior !”

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