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Leibnitz, alluding to the death of Queen ing a willing ear to infallible remedies Anne, adds of her successor, that “the that she had met with, in the course of Elector of Hanover united under his her own experience; and he was finally dominion au electorate, the three king- left a legacy of her receipt-book, in condoms of Great Britain, Leibnitz and junction with a considerable annuity. Newton."
A man can never expect to make his The compliments paid by Edmund way in society without possessing a little Burke, partook of the sublime and beau- of that alchemy of manner which can actiful, and may also come under the head commodate itself to minds of every grade. of splendid. When dining in company This was well understood by Dr. Johnson, with Miss Burney, whose celebrity at when he observed, “ Mrs. Thrale said of that time was unrivalled, he observed, me what flattered me much." A clergy• We have had an age for statesmen, an man was complaining of want of society age for heroes, an age for poets, an age in the country, and said, “ they talk of for artists, but this,” bowing down with runts,” (that is young cows). “ Sir," an air of obsequious gallantry, his head rejoined Mrs. Thrale, “ Dr. Johnson almost upon the table-cloth, this is the would learn to talk of runts," meaning age for women."
that I was a man who would make the Dr. Johpson's compliments, too, were most of my situation, wherever it was : of a highly characteristic nature-one he arided, “I think myself a polite such instance occurs to me. After hav. man.” ing heard an account of the early life of For thus accommodating ourselves to Haunah More and her sisters, he ex- the society in which we may be compelled claimed, “I love you all five. I never to mingle, much higher authority can was at Bristol. I will come on purpose be quoted. “I am made," said the to see you. What! five women to live apostle of the Gentiles, “ all things to happily together! I will come and see all men, that I might, by all means, you !"
save some;" and how forcibly did he Generally speaking, the Doctor's com- adapt his language to the feelings of the pliments were of the most judicious kind, people of Athens, even taking their anand times without number have they cient idolatry as a text for leading them been the means of setting the timid mind to a knowledge of the truth, and remem. at ease, and of encouraging real merit; bering their devoted love of literature, he and he possessed the art of paying them instructs them in the words of one of with so much genuine kindness, particu- their own venerated poets. larly to the young, that it is impossible Hence it is evident that the spirit of to be acquainted with this trait in his Christianity dictates the true politeness character, from the accounts of those which is absolutely necessary to the wellwho were fostered by its benignant in- being of society. If it were brought fluence, without feeling a sort of filial into general practice, all party animosity affection for him.
would cease, and we should find it posCompliments, on the whole, deserve sible for each of us, conscientiously and a better character than they sustain steadfastly, to maintain our opinions, among sensible people in general. I religious and political, without offence, know a young physician who gained an however we may differ from those around extensive practice by understanding the us, were our minds sufficiently imbued art of paying judicious compliments ; with that “charity which thinketh no one old lady's heart he secured by lend- evil."
Scene.— The study; the tea-table drawn out. Felix at the fire reading.
Enter CRITICUS. FELIX.-Well, my dear fellow, I have been expecting you this half hour. Here is the “ Northern" in full bloom, and a pile of newspapers reviewing it, which I have been studying for our improvement; and for some good hints in them I feel much obliged.
CRITICUS.-Yes ; we escaped wonderfully,
Felix.-Let us hope for the same good fortune always. What have you been reading since I saw you last?
CRITICUS.-Indeed I have been very idle in that line. I am afraid I can contribute little to your chit-chat to-night. Have you seen “ Carlyle's Life of Sterling." I saw it so much reviewed, that I was tempted to read it; but honestly must confess, was disappointed.
FELIX.-Carlyle, you know, is 'no favourite of mine ; there is an affectation of outré style about everything he writes, which always offends me ; and his unmu. sical sentences, without flow or grace of expression, must be harsh to your sensitive ear. I had to persuade our friend Prudentius, the other day, not to review this “ Life of Sterling" in the “ Northern,” as I considered quite too much had been said about it already.
CRITICUS.-Oh ! Prudentius on Carlyle. Two such different minds. You did right; we did not want the article.
FELIX.-Even though a “ Sterling' one. · CRITICUS.-Disgraceful pun! you are incorrigible, Felix. Remember Doctor Johnson.
FELIX.-Come, no hackneyed quotations ; I have made a silent resolution against them. When I quote for the future, you will be puzzled to find the author ; it will be an exercise for your wits.
CRITICUS.-But you must not invent, to supply a deficiency. No unknown poet, meaning yourself ; no obscure writer, as Master Felix; no ancient dramatist, as your new manuscript book. No, no! I won't allow such tricks.
Felix. [In mock indignation.]-Did you suspect me of it?
CRITICUS.—[Laughingly.]-A truce to badinage, will you let us have tea ; “the cupFELIX.-Hacknied. Beware!
[Enter PRUDENTIUS.) “Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors.” CRITICUS.-Prudentius, did you ever hear of Profession and Practice; Felix has read me a lecture on hacknied quotations, and you scarcely appeared before he fired off one at you,
FELIX.- Well! well! it all arose from a pun, and I am sure I have suffered enough for it. Prudentius, we were discussing your friend Carlyle when you came in, and declaring you should not be permitted to hammer at his devoted head next month.
PRUDENTIUS.-Content. I have no fancy for the task now, I am astonished to see the book so much read.
FELIX.— The name carries it off. People have talked one another into admiration of the mongrel English of Carlyle, and his German absurdities go down like gospel. CRITICUS.- May I venture to ask for the tea ?
[Rings.] [Having established themselves round the table, the friends grow
chatty.] FELLY.-Have you read the “ Bleak House,” by Dickens? It is capital: the story opens gracefully and well, and one enters its enchanted portal with a halfdetermined feeling of allowing the shadowy figures, which fill the interior, leave to establish themselves unquestioned in the quiet chambers of your memoryEsther Summerson has already lodged in mine.
CRITICUS.-The ramifications of a Chancery suit, the different interests affected, the dissimilar people brought together by it, which I take it, will be the groundwork of the story, afford excellent themes for a pen so earnest and so truthful as Charles Dickens'.
PRUDENTIUS.-The sketches of Lady Dedlock and her Husband are inimitable ; and though I have heard people say that Mrs. Jelliby was overdrawn, I can't agree with them. Dickens is certainly a man of rare power and genius..
FELIX.--I have often reflected over the many authors, with whom you become acquainted through the medium of their writings. Some we drop after the first introduction is over ; with others, the intimacy is more cultivated, yet never ripens into actual friendship; while, with a few, a very few, we alone enjoy that unrestrained confidence which is the foundation of a friendship for life, and we hail every new work of theirs with the same delight with which we greet a long
expected letter from a dear and distant friend. To this number belongs Dickens. the most universally beloved and generally appreciated writer of the day.
PRUDENTIUS.-I marvel not at his success : his quick sympathies are readily enlisted on the side of suffering humanity, while his sense of the ludicrous is so keen, that life is pictured truthfully in his pages; we laugh and weep alternately. I know no writer like him.
FELIX.-To but one can I compare him, and that one is Oliver Goldsmith: he has the same genial appreciation of the Beautiful in the every day affairs of life ; he has the same exquisite feeling for virtuous poverty; he is the same goodhumoured, good-natured and kindly wit, ruling by love and smiles, rather than by fear and frowns; now broadly humourous, now touchingly mournful. Gold. smith is the only parallel to Dickens, or, rather, his germ.
CRITICUS.— I have heard you call him the poet of the day; I suppose from his sense of the Ideal pervading the scenes of the Real.
Felix.— Yes. I have gone over his “ Old Curiosity Shop” lately again, and linking that tale together, I find sixteen exquisite and perfect poems ; some magnificent, you will find one of this class in the fifteenth chapter ; some dramatic, as in chapter thirty, and all beautiful. I would recommend you to read the book with this view, and it will repay perusal more than ever.
FELIX.By the bye, our chat has been set down as too varied-and I got a lecture the other day about dwelling more on each book.
CRITICUS.Why, that would not be conversation, but essays spoken out, which would be absurd, I think.
PRUDENTIUS.-So do I. Let the critics take our chat just as it comes. One advantage it has, it is more natural.
FELIX.—Little do they think of what desultory talk a group of young men chatting about literary matters ramble into. The Highways as well as the Byways are trodden by us.
CRITICUS.--I hear your friend, Mr. Helps, is in Spain at present, collecting materials for his “ Conquerors of the New World and their Bondsmen."
FELIX.-I am glad of it. Here is a little book in his school“ Visitiog My Relations”-published by Pickering. It is quaint, but natural and pleasing, and one may read it with profit.
CRITICUS.—This “ Jew of Denmark” I see here can it be the same as “ Jacob Bendixen”?
FELIX.-Yes ; Mrs. Howitt brings it out in an expensive form, under the latter title, and Mrs. Bushby calls it the “ Jew of Denmark,” and gives it to us for a shilling. It is a curious picture of the domestic life of a singular people; and though improbable in some of its Polish incidents, yet, as a whole, is interesting and more instructive than the usual run of novels ; but I don't think it will be as much liked in England as the delightful home pictures which Miss Bremer gives us of Swedish life. There is rather too much detail in “ Jacob Bendixen” to allow it to rank as a first-rate novel here ; yet Goldschmidt's “ En Jõde" is much celebrated in Copenhagen.
CRITICUS.--I have not read it, only glanced over it, therefore cannot pronounce on its merits ; but, as far as I saw of it, your remarks are just.
FELIX.--[Tossing over a heap of books.]-There, I have overthrown a mighty pile. The three volumes of “ Walpole's Ansayrii," rather pleasant, but too much spun out, and quite too dear; “ Roebuck's Whig Administration of 1830,” which I will not touch lest I get my fingers burned, though it is a most valuable contribution to recent history, and well deserves notice ; “ Memoirs of Sarah Fuller," quite too mystical for me, though interesting and picturesque in some places ; and last of the heap-dear, delightful Miss Mitford's * Recollections of a Literary Life," charming and simple, as everything by the amiable authoress of “ Our Village” ever is and will be.
CRITICUS.–Stop, or you will be out of breath, and you have plenty of work before you yet, if I may judge from all these MSS.
[Eweunt CRITICUS and PRUDENTIUS; FELIX opens his desk, · and scene closes.]
THE OAKWOODS OF OAKWOOD;
OR, THE DAYS OF WILLIAM THE THIRD.
CHAPTER I.-THE MANSION HOUSE AND ITS INMATES.
TRISTAN.—The mansion rising through-how beautiful!
Half hid with ivy and the clambering rose !
King Rene's Daughter, by Plenrick Hertz.
A LONG, bright summer day was near by men of very different minds, who in the close ; the sun had almost sunk their architectural fancies seemed to shabehind the hills, which it flooded with dow forth themselves, Oakwood House tremulous waves of purple light, and the was irregularly picturesque, striking and myriads of insects called forth by the stately. Its left wing consisted of a heat of the season rose in columnar square keep or tower, of the Norman masses above the trees, and waved to style, with its massive walls, small narand fro in the slight breeze, which row windows, and grey frowning aspect, scarcely stirred the leaves below, with recalling the early struggles of the now an uncertain and indistinct motion, as if forgotten English baron to whom the about to yield up their lives and cease surrounding country had been granted their brief existence at the approach of by the English monarch after the first the night. A thickly wooded glen, in conquest of Ireland, and reminding one one of the most southerly counties of of the repeated incursions and attacks Ireland, with its gently sloping sides of his native neighbours, which the Norcovered by the dark oak and waving man had to repel. This castle, built of birch trees, seemed as if overhung with the usual grey limestone of the country, a cloud of these ephemeral creatures, seemed still in good repair, and commuwho threw their dusky spiral foldings nicated with the regular house, which alike above the green trees and over the was of the style that we call Elizalittle streainlet which gushed and spar- bethean. It had been erected by Giles kled through the centre of the glen; and, Oakwood, the founder of the family, in as Henry Oakwood paused on the brow the days of good Queen Bess, after the of the hill to look down, their fantastic forfeited lands had been again regranted movements seemed to him to resemble by the crown, and Elizabeth had atgreat armies engaged in battle.
tempted to colonise the South of Ireland Musing, he stood for some time, ere with her English subjects, by tempting he descended the winding path which alike their ambition and their avarice. led along the side of the glen to the To the right, a new wing seemed lately grounds of Oakwood, and, still reflect- to have been added, in the style of which ing, he pursued his way, until, after pas- we have so beautiful an example in sing through a close copse, he entered Whitehall; but this, evidently, from its the straight and formal avenue which general aspect, only consisted of some was the grand approach to the mansion reception rooms, and had been erected house. Built at different periods, and in the early part of the reign of Charles the Second, by Sir Frederick Vakwood, to him with a white scarf which she had knighted immediately after the Resto- taken from her neck, and repeated her ration.
eager salutationFrom a broad sweep before the door, “I think I see a sail now, Henry. a succession of grassy terraces led to the Come and look from the turrets, and low ground of the park, which, dotted you will have a much better view." with groups of trees, and patches of tall “I must be quick, then," he replied, waving ferns, in which you saw the dap- “ if I mean to see anything, for the light pled fallow-deer lying half-hidden, swept is fading fast ;” and, so saying, he ento the sea beach about half a mile from tered the house, but soon re-appeared the house. The trees had been thinned, beside the ladies on the castle. to afford to the windows of Oakwood one Far to sea, he could barely discern a of these magnificent views which succeed speck, which he had not noticed from each other with scarcely an interruption' the lower ground, but his most anxious on our south coast. The broad blue gaze and eager scrutiny could not make ocean lay stretched before, with all the out what the vessel might be, though bold cliffs and hills of the coast standing his sister assured him it was the English out in relief against the white-fringed packet, which monthly brought them sky, broken into bays, creeks, and gul- letters from the other country, and whose leys ; the undulating and irregular line arrival they were now expecting ; and of coast exhibited the greatest diversity she turned to her companion to ask for of scenery : now could the gazer's eye her assent to her opinion, but without rest on some sweep of white and shining success. sand, and again on some dark, frowning “I really think, Lucy, you are wrong. precipice, jutting out into the waves. I have been watching the ship for some On this bright and beautiful panorama time, and it seems to me to be quito did Henry Oakwood gaze, as he stood of a foreign build. If Henry had on one of the terraces near the house, been here while the light was good, he and watched the white sails of a ship, as might have been able to decide the they sparkled in the dying light of the question ; as it is, we must wait until summer's day.
the morning for the solution of our The owner of Oakwood, who, in the doubt.” lovely scene before him, had well-nigh T he speaker was a tall, graceful girl, forgotten the troubles on which he had of nineteen or twenty summers, with been reflecting, was a young man of long waving curls of golden brown hair, some five-and-twenty, or thereabouts, not disfigured by powder, or tortured by but looking two or three years older. A the art of the friseur, but hanging in rich character of gravity, or rather pensive- profusion down her neck. Her bright ness, was the pervading shade over a blue eyes, clear complexion, and small tolerably handsome face; and his dark mouth were her Saxon dowry, and her claret-colour coat, but slightly laced, the graceful figure, which the loose dress of waistcoat, with its large flaps of the the period, though it partly concealed, same, the long boots, and the sombre- did not altogether destroy, contrasted hilted sword, added to the seriousness of with the neat, lively, and little Lucy his appearance. For the rest, his brow Oakwood, who stood beside her. In the was lofty and thoughtful, and his eyes hall of Oakwood now hangs a picture of dark and full of feeling ; perhaps, in the the two fair girls, the one we have al. expression of his mouth there was more ready attempted to dosoribe, and Lucy of contemplation than of action, and the latter, is there reprosented as a men hastily might set him down rather merry, brown-haired, hazel-eyed girl, as a dreamer than a worker, but those with a smiling yot thoughtful expreswho did so, wronged the strength and sion on her young face ; at her feet energy of his character, which gained in lies a little dog of the King Charles meditation, the abilities which it dis- breed, then so fashionable, and in her played in action.
hand she holds a fan, with which she * Heory," said a voice, clear, ringing, appears to be laughingly and playfully and joyful; and, as Oakwood turned, correcting her companion. Such was he perceived, standing on one of the the group that Henry Oakwood had turrets of the old castle, two slight girl- joined on the turret; and now, seating ish forms, looking out to sea; one waved themselves on the cannon which de