Page images
[ocr errors][merged small]

But why should lordlings all our praise engross

rited Knight of the Bath, witness the too scrupulous Lord Her. Rise, honest man, and sing the Man of Ross.-Pope.

bert of Cherbury, was found devoted enough to the vows he had

taken, to imagine himself obliged to compel, by the sword'sHAVING, in the tale of the Heart of Mid-Lothian, succeeded point, a fellow knight

or squire to restore the top knot of ribvoid of those accomplishments which belong to a heroine al- men were taking each other's lives on such punctilios of ho. most by right, I was next tempted to choose a hero upon the nour, the hour was already arrived when Bacon was about to sarne unpromising plan; and as worth of character, goodness teach the world that they were no longer to reason from autho of heart, and rectitude of principle, were necessary to one who rity to fact, but to establish truth by advancing from fact to Isid no claim to high birth, romantic sensibility, or any of the fact, till they fixed an indiaputable authority, not from hypotheusual accomplishments of those who strut through the pages sis, but from experiment. of this sort of composition, I made free with the name of a The state of society in the reign of James I was also strange. person who has left the most magnificent proofs of his benevo- ly disturbed, and the license of a part of the community was kuice and charity that the capital of Scotland has to display. perpetually giving rise to acts of blood and violence. The

To the Scottish reader little more need be said than that the bravo of the Queen's day, of whom Shakspeare has given us man alluded to is George Heriot. But for those south of the so many varieties, as Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, Peto, and the Tweed, it may be necessary to add, that the person so named other companions of Falstaff, men who had their humours, or was a wealthy citizen of Edinburgh, and the king's goldsmith, their particular turn of extravaganza, had, since the commencewho followed James to the English capital, and was so success- ment of the Low Country wars, given way to a race of swordful in his profession, as to die, in 1624, extremely wealtly for ers, who used the rapier and dagger, instead of the far less danthat period. He had no children; and after making a full pro- gerous sword and buckler ; so that a historian says on this subvision for such relations as might have claims upon him, he ject, " that private quarrels were noarished, but especially be left the residue of his fortune to establish an hospital, in which tween the Scots and English ; and duels in every street main. the sons of Edinburgh freemen are gratuitously brought up and tained; divers sects and peculiar titles passed unpunished and educated for the station to which their talents may recom- unregarded, as the sect of the Roaring Boys, Bonaventorn, mend them, and are finally enabled to enter life under respecta Bravadors, Quarterors, and such like, being persons prodigal, ble auspices The Hospital in which this charity is maintained and of great expense, who, having run themselves into debt, is a noble quadrangle of the Gothic order, and as ornamental were constrained to run next into factions, to defend themselves to the city as a building, as the manner in which the youths are from danger of the law. These received countenance from provided for and educated, renders it useful to the community divers of tho nobility; and the citizens through lasciviousness as an institution. To the honour of those who have the man consuming their estates, it was like that the number (of these azement, (the Magistrates and Clergy of Edinburgh,) the funds desperadoen) would rather increase than diminish ; and under of the Hospital have increased so much under their care, that these pretences they entered into many desperate enterprises, it now supports and educates one hundred and thirty youths and scarce any durst walk in the street after nine at night."'1 annually, many of whom have done honour to their country in The same authority assures us farther, that "ancient gentleditferent situations.

men, who had left their inheritance whole and well furnished The founder of such a charity as this may be reasonably sup. with goods and chattels (having thereupon kept good houses) posed to have walked through life with a steady pace, and an unto their sons, lived to see part consumed in riot and excess, observant eye, neglecting no opportunity of assisting those who and the rest in possibility to be utterly lost; the holy state of were not possessed of the experience necessary for their own matrimony made but a May-game, by which divers families guidance. In supposing his efforts directed to the benefit of a had been subverted ; brothel houses much frequented, and even young nobleman, misguided by the aristocratic haughtiness of great persons, prostituting their bodies to the intent to satisfy bis own time, and the prevailing tone of selfish luxury which their lusts, consumed their substance in lascivious appetites. seems more peculiar to ours, as well as the seductions of plea. And of all sorts, such knights and gentlemen, as either through sure which are predominant in all, some amusement, or even pride or prodigality had consumed their substance, repairing to nome advantage, might, I thought, be derived from the manner the city, and to the intent to consume their virtue also, lived o which I might bring the exertions of this civic Mentor to dissolute lives; many of their ladies and daughters, to the inbear in his pupil's behalf. I am, I own, no great believer in the tent to maintain themselves according to their dignity, progmoral utility to be derived from fictitious compositions; yet, iftituting their bodies in shameful manner. Alehouses, dicing. in any case a word spokep in season may be of advantage to a houses, taverns, and places of iniquity, beyond manner abound. young person, it must surely be when it calls upon him to at. ing in most places." tend to the voice of principle and self-denial, instead of that Nor is it only in the pages of a puritanical, perhaps a satiriof precipitate passion. I could not, indeed, hope or expect to cal writer, that we find so shocking and disgusting a picture represent my prudent and benevolent citizen in a point of view of the coarseness of the beginning of the seventeenth century $0 interesting as that of the peasant girl, who nobly sacrificed on the contrary, in all the comedies of the age, the principal her family affections to the integrity of her moral character. character for gayety and wit is a young heir, who has totally Stall, however, something I hoped might be done not altogether altered the establishment of the father to whom he has sucunworthy the fame which George Heriot has secured by the ceeded, and, to use the old simile, who resembles a fountain, lasting benefits he has bestowed on his country.

which plays off in idleness and extravagance the wealth which It appeared likely, that out of this simple plot I might weave its careful parents painfully had assembled in hidden resersomething attractive ; because the reign of James I., in which voirs. George Heriot flourished, gave unbounded scope to invention And yet, while that spirit of general extravagance seemed at in the fable, while at the same time it afforded greater variety work over a whole kingdom, another and very different sort of and discrimination of character than could, with historical men were gradually forming the staid and resolved characters, consistency, have been introduced, if the scene had been laid which afterwards displayed themselves during the civil wars, 1 century earlier. Lady Mary Wortley Montague has said, with and powerfully regulated and affected the character of the equal truth and taste, that the most romantic region of every whole English nation, until, rushing from one extreme to anocountry is that where the mountains unite themselves with the ther, they sunk in a gloomy fanaticism the splendid traces of plains or lowlands. For similar reasons, it may be in like man- the reviving fine arts. ner said, that the most picturesque period of history is that Prom the quotations which I have produced, the selfish and when the ancient rough and wild manners of a barbarous age disgusting conduct of Lord Dalgarno will not perhaps appear are just becoming innovated upon, and contrasted, by the illu- overstrained ; nor will the scenes in Whitefriars and places of mination of increased or revived learning, and the instructions similar resort seem too highly coloured. This indeed is far of renewed or reformed religion. The strong contrast produced from being the case. It was in James I.'s reign that vice first by the opposition of ancient manners to those which are gra- | appeared affecting the better classes in its gross and undisguised dually subduing them, affords the lights and shadows necessary depravity. The entertainments and amusements of Elizabeth to give effect to a fictitious narrative ; and while such a period time had an air of that decent restraint which became the cour entides the author to introduce incidents of a marvellous and of a maiden sovereign; and, in that earlier period, to use the improbable character, as arising out of the turbulent independ words of Burke, vice lost half its evil by being deprived of all ence and ferocity, belonging to old habits of violence, still its grossness. In James's reign, on the contrary, the coarsent influencing the manners of a people who had been so lately in pleasures were publicly and unlimitedly indulged, since, aca barbarous state; yet, on the other hand, the characters and cording to Sir John Harrington, the men wallowed in beastly sentiments of many of the actors may, with the utmost pro delights; and even ladies abandoned their delicacy, and rolled bability, be described with great variety of shading and deli. about in intoxication. After a ludicrous account of a mask, nezuion, which belongs to the newer and more improved period, in which the actors had got drunk, and behaved themselves of which the world has but lately received the light

accordingly, he adds, "I have much marvelled at these strange The reign of James I. of England possessed this advantage pageantries, and they do bring to my recollection what passed in a peculiar degree. Some beams of chivalry, although its of this sort in our Queen's days, in which I was sometimes an planet had been for some time set, continued to animate and assistant and partaker : but never did I see such lack of good gild the horizon, and although probably no one acted precisely order and sobriety as I have now done. The gunpowder fright on its Quixotie dictates, men and women still talked the chivalrous language of Sir Philip Sydney's Arcadia ; and the cere • See Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Memoirs. monial of the tilt-yard was yet exhibited, though it now only | History of the first fourteen Years of King James's Reign Seo flourished as a Place de Carrousel. Here and there a high-spi- Somers's 'Tracts, edited by Scoti, vol. ii. p. 26

is got out of all our heads, and we are going on hereabout as as the reader will find in the note. The play, as we learn if the devil was contriving every man should blow up himself from the dedication to the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex, was by wild riot, excess, and devastation of time and temperance. successful above the author's expectations, "no comedy these The great ladies do go well masqued; and indeed, it be the many years having filled the theatre so long together. And I only show of their modesty to conceal their countenance ; but had the great honour," continues Shadwell,

" to find so many alack, they meet with such countenance to uphold their strange friends, that the house was never so full since it was built as doinge, that I marvel not at aught that happens."*

upon the third day of this play, and vast numbers went away Such being the state of the court, coarse sensuality brought that could not be admitted." From the Squire of Alsatia the along with it its ordinary companion, a brutal degree of un- author derived some few hints, and learned the footing on which disguised selfishness, destructive alike of philanthropy and the bullies and thieves of the Sanctuary stood with their neighgood breeding ; both of which, in their several spheres, de bours, the fiery young students of the Temple, of which some pend upon the regard paid by each individual to the interest intimation is given in the dramatic piece. as well as the feelings of others. It is in such a time that the Such are the materials to which the author stands indebted heartless and shameless man of wealth and power may, like for the composition of the Fortunes of Nigel, a novel which the supposed Lord Dalgaroo, brazen out the shame of his vil- may be perhaps one of those that are more amusing on a selanies, and affect to triumph in their consequences, so long cond perusal, than when read a first time for the sake of the as they were personally advantageous to his own pleasures or story, the incidents of which are few and meagre. profit.

The Introductory Epistle is written, in Lucio's phrase, "acAlsatia is elsewhere explained as a cant name for Whitefriars, cording to the trick," and would never have appeared had the which, possessing certain privileges of sanctuary, became for writer meditated making his avowal of the work. As it is that reason a best of those mischievous characters who were the privilege of a masque or incognito to speak in a feigned generally obnoxious to the law. These privileges were de- voice and assumed character, the author attempted, while in rived from its having been an establishment of the Carmelites, disguise, some liberties of the same sort ; and while he contior White Friars, founded, says Stow, in his Survey of London, nues to plead upon the various excuses which the introduction by Sir Patrick Grey, in 1241. Edward I. gave them a plot of contains, the present acknowledgment must serve as an apology ground in Fleet Street, to build their church upon. The edifice for a species of " hoity toity, whisky frisky" pertness of manthen erected was rebuilt by Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, in ner, which, in his avowed character, the author should have the reign of Edward. In the time of the Reformation the place considered as a departure from the rules of civility and good retained its immunities as a sanctuary, and James I. confirmed taste. and added to them by a charter in 1608. Shadwell was the first author who made some literary use of Whitefriars, in his play ABBOTSFORD, of the Squire of Alsatia, which turns upon the plot of the Adel. 186 July, 1831 phi of Terence.

In this old play, two men of fortune, brothers, educate two young men, (sons to the one and nephews to the other,) each t" Cheally, a rascal, who by reason of debts dares not stir out of under his own separate system of rigour and indulgence. The Whitefriars, but there inveigles young heirs of entail, and belps them to elder of the subjects of this experiment, who has been very goods and money upon great disadvantages, is bound for them, and shares rigidiy brought up, falls at once into all the vices of the town, with them till he aindoes them. A lewd, impudent, debauched fellow, is debauched by the cheats and bullies of Whitefriars, and, in very expert in the eant about town. a word, becomes the Squire of Alsatia. The poet gives, as the

" Shamirell, cousin to the Belfords, who, being ruined by Cheatly, is natural and congenial inhabitants of the place, such characters

made a decoy-duck for others, not daring to stir ont of Alsatia, where he

lives. Is bound with Cheatly for heirs, and lives upon them a dissolute • Harrington's Nugæ Aptique, vol. ii., p. 332. For the gross debauch- debauched life. ery of the period, too much encouraged by the example of the monarch, * Captain Hackum, a blockheaded bully of Aleatia, a cowardly, imwho was, in other respects, neither without talent nor a good-natured pudent, blustering fellow, formerly a sergeant in Flanders, who has ruu disposition, see Winwood's Memorials, Howel's Letters, and other Me- from bis colours, and retreated into Whitefriars for a very small debt, morials of the time; but particularly, consult the Private Letters and where by the Alsatjans he is Jubb'd a captain, marries one that lets lodgCorrespondence of Sleepie, alias Buckingham, with his reverend Dad inge, sello cherry-brandy, and is a bawd. and Gossip, King James, which ahound with the grossest as well as the ** Setapeall, a hypocritical, repeating, praying, pealm-singing, pre most childish language. The learned Mr. D'Israeli, in an attempt to cise fellow, pretending to great piety; a godly khave, who joins with vindicate the character of James, has only succeeded in obtaining for Cheatly, and supplies young heira with goods and money, "'-Dramatia himself the character of a skilful and ingenious advocate, without much Persong to the Squire of Alsatia, Shadwer's Works, vol. iv. advantage to his royal client.

| Dedication to the Squire of Alsatia, Shadwell's Works, vol. 1


Captain Clutterback to the Reverend Dr. Dryasdusi. now miss the social and warm-hearted welcorne of the quickDEAR SIR,

witted and kindly friend who first introduced me to the public; I READILY accept of, and reply to the civilities with which you who had more original wit than would have set up a dozen of have been pleased to honour me in your obliging letter, and en professed sayers of good things, and more racy humour than tirely agree with your quotation, of "Quan bonum et quam ju would have made the fortune of as many more. To this great cundum !" We may indeed esteem ourselves as come of the deprivation has been added, I trust for a time only, the loss of same family, or according to our country proverb, as being all another bibliopolical friend, whose vigorous intellect, and libeone man's bairns; and there needed no apology on your part, ral ideas, have not only rendered his native country the mart of reverend and dear sir, for demanding of me any information her own literature, but established there a Court of Letters, which I may be able to supply respecting the subject of your which must command respect, even from those most inclined to curiosity. The interview which you allude to took place in the dissent from many of its canons. The effect of these changes course of last winter, and is so deeply imprinted on my recollec. operated in a great measure by the strong sense and sagacious tion, that it requires no effort to collect all its most minute calculations of an individual, who knew how to avail himdetails

self, to an unhoped-for extent, of the various kinds of talent You are aware that the share which I had in introducing the which his country produced, will probably appear more clearly Romance, called The MONASTERY, to public notice, has given to the generation which shall follow the present. me a sort of character in the literature of our Scottish metro- I entered the shop at the Crose, to inquire after the health of polis. I no longer stand in the outer shop of our bibliopolists, my worthy friend, and learned with satisfaction, that his resibargaining for the objects of my curiosity with an unrespective dence in the south had abated the rigour of the symptoms of shop-lad, hustled among boys who come to buy Corderies and his disorder. Availing myself, then, of the privileges to which copy-books, and servant-girls cheapening a pennyworth of I have alluded, I strolled onward in that labyrinth of small dark paper, but am cordially welcomed by the bibliopolist himself, rooms or crypts, to speak cur own antiquarian language, which with, “Pray. walk into the back-shop, Captain. Boy, get a form the extensive back settlements of that celebrated publishchair for Captain Clutterbuck. There is the newspaper, Cap- ing house. Yet, as I proceeded from one obscure recess to antain-to-day's paper;" or, "Here is the last new work--there is other, filled, some of them with old volumes, some with such as, a folder, make free with the leaves ;" or, "Put it in your from the equality of their rank on the shelves, I suspected to be pocket and carry it home;" or, * We will make a book- the less saleable modern books of the concern, I could not help seller of you, sir, you shall have it at trade price." Or, per- feeling a holy horror creep upon me, when I thought of the risk haps, if it is the worthy trader's own publication, his liberality of intruding on some ecstatic bard giving vent to his poetical may even extend itself to--"Never mind booking such a trifle to fury; or, it might be, on the yet more formidable privacy of a you, sir it is an over-copy, Pray, mention the work to your band of critics, in the act of worrying the game which they had reading friends." I say nothing of the snug well-selected lite- just run down. In such a supposed case, I felt by anticipation rary party arranged round a turbot, leg of five-year-old mutton, the horrors of the Highland seers, whom their gut of deuterosor some such gear, or of the circulation of a quiet bottle of copy compels to witness things unmeet for mortal eye; and Robert Cockburi's choicest black-nay, perhaps of his best blue, who, to use the expression of Collins, to quicken our talk about old books, or our plans for new ones.

" heartless, oft, like moody madness, stare, All these are comforts reserved to such as are freemen of the cor

To see the phantom train their secret work prepare." poration of letters, and I have the advantage of enjoying them in perfection

Still, however, the resistible impulse of an undefined curioBut all things change under the sun ; and it is with no ordinary sity drove me on' through this succession of darksome chambers, feelings of regret, that, in my annual visits to the metropolis 1 till, like the jeweller of Delhi in the house of the magician Ben

Daskar, I at length reached a vaul.ed room, dedicated to secrecy | and quiddities which I might have devised for my reader's and silence, ard beheld, seated by a lamp, and employed in amusement, would lie rotting in my gizzard, like Sancho's supreading a blotted terise,* the person, or perhaps I should rather pressed witticisins, when he was under his master's displeasay the Eidolon, or representative Vision, of the AUTHOR OF sure. There never was a novel written on this plan while the WAVEXLEY! You will not be surprised at the filial instinct world stood. which enabled me at once to acknowledge the features borne by Capuain. Pardon me-Tom Jones. this venerable apparition, and that I at once bended the knee, Author. True, and perhaps Amelia also. Fielding had high with the classical salutation of, Salre, magne parens ! The vi- noticns of the dignity of an art which he may be considered as sion, however, cut me short, by pointing to a seat, intimating having founded. He challenges a companson between the at the same time, that my presence was not unexpected, and Novel and the Epic. Smollet, Le Sage, and others, emancithat he had something to say to me.

pating themselves from the strictness of the rules he has laid I sat down with humble obedience, and endeavoured to note down, have written rather a history of the miscellaneous adthe features of him with whom I now found myself so unexpect ventures which befall an individual in the course of life, than edly in society. But on this point I can give your reverence no the plot of a regular and connected epopeia, where every step satisfaction ; for, besides the obscurity of the apartment, and brings us a point nearer to the final catastrophe. These great the fluttered state of my own nerves, I seemed to myself over- masters have been satisfied if they amused the reader upon the whelmed by a sense of filial awe, which prevented my noting road ; though the conclusion only arrived because the tale must and recording what it is probable the personage before me have an end-just as the traveller alights at the inn, because it might most desire to have concealed. Indeed, his figure was so is evening closely veiled and wimpled, either with a mantie, morning Caplain. A very commodious mode of travelling, for the gown, or some such loose garb, that the verses of Spenser might author at least. In short, sir, you are of opinion with Bayes-well have been applied

“What the devil does the plot signify, except to bring in tine " Yet, certes, by her face and physnomy,

things ?" Whether she man or woman only were,

Author. Grant that I were so, and that I should write with That could not any creature well descry."

sense and spirit a few scenes uniaboured and loosely put toge

ther, but which had sufficient interest in them to amuse in one I must, however, go on as I have begun, to apply the mascu: comer the pain of body; in another, to relieve anxiety of line gender ; for notwithstanding very ingenious reasons, and mind; in a third place, to unwrinkle a brow bent with the fur. indeed something like positive evidence, have been offered to rows of daily toil; in another, to fill the place of bad thoughts, prove the Author of Waverley to be two ladies of talent, I must or to suggest better; in yet another, to induce an idler to study abide by the general opinion, that he is of the rougher sex.- the history of his country; in all, wave where the perusal interThere are in his writings too many things

rupted the discharge of serious duties, to furnish harmless

ainusement.--might not the author of such a work, however ** Quæ maribus sola tribuuntur,"

inartificially executed, plead for his errors and negligences the to permit me to entertain any doubt on that subject. I will pro- excuse of the slave, who, about to be punished for having deed, in the manner of dialogue, to repeat as nearly as I can what spread the false report of a victory, saved himself by exclaimpassed betwixt us, only observing, that in the course of the con- ing-"Am I to blame, O Athenians, who have given you one versation, my timidity imperceptibly gave way under the fami- happy day?". larity of his address; and thai, in the concluding part of our Captain. Will your goodness permit me to mention an anecdia ogue, I perhaps argued with fully as much confidence as was dote of my excellent grand-mother? beseeming

Author. I seo little she can have to do with the subject, CapAber of Warerley. I was willing to see you, Captain Clutter: tain Clutterbuck. buck, being the person of my family whom I have most regard Captain. It may come into our dialogue on Bayes's plan.for, since the death of Jedediah Cleishbotham; and I am afraid the sagacious old lady-rest her soul ! --- was a good friend to I may have done you some wrong in assigning to you the Mo. the church, and could never hear a minister maligned by evil Bastery as a portion of my effects. I have some thoughts of tongues, without taking his part warmly. There was one fixed making it up to you, by naming you godfather to this yet un. point, however, at which she always abandoned the cause of boro babe-(he indicated the proof sheet with his finger)- But her reverend protege--it was so soon as she learned he had first, touching The Monastery-How says the world-you are preached a regular sermon against slanderers and backbiters. abroad and can learn!

Author. And what is that to the purpose ? Camaie Clutterbuck. Hem! hem!- The inquiry is delicate- Captain. Only that I have heard engineers say, that one may I have not heard any complaints from the Publishers.

betray the weak point to the enemy, by too much ostentation A 491. That is the principal matter; but yet an indifferent of ying it. work is sometimes towed on by those which have left har. Author. And, once more I pray, what is that to the purpose ! bour before it, with the breeze in their poop.-What say the Captain. Nay, then, without farther metaphor, I am afraid Critics?

this new production, in which your generosity seems willing to Coscia. There is a general--feeling-that the White Lady is give me some concern, will stand much in need of apology, no favourite

since you think proper to begin your defence before the case is 491b07. I think she is a failure myself ; but rather in execu- on trial. The story is hastily huddled up, I will venture a pint tico than conception. Could I have evoked an esprit follet, at of claret. the same time fantastic and interesting, capricious and kind; a Author. A pint of port, I suppose you mean? sort of wildfire of Wie elements, bound by no fixed laws, or mo. Captain. I say of claret-good claret of the Monastery. Ah, tives of action; faithful and fond, yet teazing and uncertain- sir, would you but take the advice of your friends, and try to

Colain. If you will pardon the interruption, sir, I think you deserve at least one half of the public favour you have met are describing a pretty woman.

with, we might all drink Tokay! Alkor. On ms word, I believe I am, I must invest my ele. Author. I care not what I drink, so the liquor be wholesome. turtlarz spirits with a little human flesh and blood- they are Captain Care for your reputation, then,- for your fame, bo tine trawn for the present taste of the public.

Author. My fame I will answer you as a very ingenious, Carteia. They object, too, that the object of your Nixie able, and experienced friend, being counsel for the notorious ought to have been more uniformly noble-Her ducking the Jem MacCoul, replied to the opposite side of the bar, when priest was no Vaiad-like amusement

they laid weight on his client's refusing to answer certain queAutor. Ah! they ought to allow for the capriccios of what ries, which they said any man who had a regard for his reputa. is, after all, but a better sort of goblin. The bath into which tion would not besitate to reply to. "My client," said he-hy Anel, the most delicate creation of Shakspeare's imagination, the way, Jem was standing behind him at the time, and a rich Baduces our jolly friend Trinculo, was not of amber or rose. scene it was-"is so unfortunate as to have no regard for huis water. But no one shall find me rowing against the stream. ! reputation ; and I should deal very uncandidly with the Court, ease not who knows it-I write for general amusement; and should I say he had any that was worth his attention."-I am, though I never will aim at popularity by what I think unworthy though from very different reasons, in Jem's happy state of in. means, I will not, on the other hand, be pertinacious in the difference. Let fame follow those who have a substantial de fence of my own errors against the voice of the public. shape. A shadow-and an impersonal author is nothing bet

Cib119. You abandon, then, in the present work--(looking, ter-can cast no shade. in my turn, towards the proof sheet)-- the mystic, and the ma- Captain. You are not now, perhaps, so impersonal as hereto. geil, and the whole system of signs, wonders, and omens?

fore. These Letters to the Member for the University of There are no dreams, or presages, or obscure allusions to future Oxfordesents?

Author. Show the wit, genius, and delicacy of the author, Ar 'kor. Not a Cock-lane scratch, my son-not one bounce on which I heartily wish to see engaged on a subject of more imthe drum of Tedworth-not so much as the poor tick of a soli. portance and show, besides, that the preservation of my chia tary death-watch in the wainscot. All is clear and above racter of incognito has engaged early talent in the discussion of board- scots metaphysician might believe every word of it. a curious question of evidence. But a cause, however ingeni

Cuplats. And the story is, I hope, natural and probable; com. ously pleaded, is not therefore gained. You may remember, mencing strikingly, proceeding naturally, ending happily-like the neatly-wrought chain of circunstantial evidence, so artifithe course of a famed river, which gushes from the mouth of cially brought forward to prove Sir Philip Francis's title to the some obscure and romantic grotto-then gliding on, never paus- Letters of Junius, seemed at first irrefragable; yet the influence ing, never precipitating its course, visiting, as it were, by natu. of the reasoning has passed away, and Junius, in the general ral instinct, whatever worthy subjects of interest are presented opinion, is as much unknown as ever, But on this subject ! by the country through which it passes-widening and deepen will not be soothed or provoked into saying one word more. 10% in interest as it flows on; and at length arriving at the final To say who I am not, would be one step towards saying who I

utrophe as at some mighty haven, where ships of all kinds am; and as I desire not, any more than a certain justice of strike sail and yard ?

peace mentioned by Shenstone, the noise or report such things bor. Hey! hey! what the deuce is all this? Why, 'tis make in the world, I shall continue to be silent on a subject, Ereles' Fein, and it would require some one much more like which, in my opinion, is very undeserving the noise that has Hercules than I, to produce a story which should cush, and been made about it, and still more unworthy of the serious emchide, and never pause, and visit, and widen, and deepen, and all ployment of such ingenuity as has been displayed by the young the rest on't. Thould be chin deep in the grave, man, before I letter.writer. had done with my task; and, in the meanwhile, all the quirks Captain. But allowing, my dear sir, that you care not for

your personal reputation, or for that of any literary person upon • The anipitiated must be informed, that a second proof-sheet is so called. whose shoulders your faults may be visited, allow me to say

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

that common gratitude to the public, which has received you / which checkered the moonlight which fell on the floor through
Ho kindly, and to the critics, who have treated you so leniently, the diamonded casement, wlien, behold, a darker shadow in-
ought to induce you to bextów more pains on your story. terposed itself, and I beheld visibly on the floor of the apart-

Author. I do entreat you, my son, as Dr. Johnson would have ment-
said, " free your mind from cant." For the critics, they have Captain. The White Lady of Avenel, I suppose ?-You have
their business, and I mine; as the nursery proverb goes-- told the very story before.

Auror. No- beheld a female form, with mob.cap, bib, and " The children in Holland take pleasure in making

apron, sleeves tucked up to the elbow, a dredging box in the What the children in England iake pleasure in breaking,"

one hand, and in the other a sauce-ladle. I concluded, of I am their humble jackal, too busy in providing food for them, course, that it was my friend's cook-maid walking in her sleep ; to have time for considering whether they swallow or reject and as I knew he had a value for Sally, who could toss a pan. it.-- To the public, I stand pretty nearly in the relation of the cake with any girl in the country, I got up to conduct her postman who leaves a packet at the door of an individual. If safely to the door. But as I approached her, she said, -"Hold, it contains pleasing intelligence, a billet from a mistress, a letter sir! I am not what you take me for;"-words which seemed from an absent son, a remittance from a correspondent sup- so apposite to the circumstances, that I should not have much posed to be bankrupt, -tho letter is acceptably welcome, and minded them, had it not been for the peculiarly hollow sound read and re-read, folded up, filed, and safely deposited in the in which they were uttered. -- Know, then," she said, in the bureau. If the contents are disagreeable, if it comes from a same unearthly accents, " that I am the spirit of Betty Barnes." dun or from a bore, the correspondent is cursed, the letter is " Who hanged herself for love of the stage-coachman,' thrown into the fire, and the expense of postage is heartly re- thought I ; "this is a proper spot of work!"_"Of that unbapgretted ; while all the time the bearer of the dispatches is, in py Elizabeth or Betty Barnes, long cook maid to Mr. Warbureither case, as little thought on as the snow of last Christmas. ton, the painful collector, but ah! the too careless custodier, The utmost extent of kindness between the author and the pub of the largest collection of ancient plays ever known-of most Jic which can really exist, is, that the world are disposed to be of which the titles only are left to gladden the Prolegomena of somewhat indulgent to the succeeding works of an original fathe Variorum Shakspeare. Yes, stranger, it was these ill-fated vourite, were it but on account of the habit which the public hands that consigned to grease and conflagration the scores of mind has acquired; while the author very naturally thinks well small quartos, which, did they now exist, would drive the of their taste, who have so liberally applauded his productions. whole Roxburghe Club out of their senres-it was these unBut I deny there is any call for gratitude, properly so called, happy pickers and stealers that signed fat lowls and wiped either on one side or the other.

dirty trenchers with the lost works of Beaumont and Fletcher, Captain. Respect to yourself, then, ought to teach caution. Massinger, Jonson, Webster-what shall I say?-even of Shak.

Aulkor. Ay, if caution could augment the chance of my suc speare himself!"
cess. But, to confess to you the truth, the works and passages Like every dramatic antiquary, my ardent curiosity after
in which I have succeeded, have uniformly been written with some play named in the Book of the Master of Revels, had
the greatest rapidity; and when I have seen some of these often been checked by finding the object of my research num-
placed in opposition with others, and commended as more bered amongst the holocaust of victims which this unhappy
highly finished, I could appeal to pen and standish, that the woman had sacrificed to the God of Good Cheer. It is no
parts in which I have come feebly off, were hy much the more wonder then, that, like the Hermit of Pamell,
Jaboured. Besides, I doubt the beneficial effect of too much
delny, both on account of the author and the public. A man

"I broke the bands of fear, and madly cried, should strike while the iron is hot, and hojet sail while the

" You carelens jade!'-But scarce the words began, wind is fair. If a successful nuthor keep not the stage, another

When Betly brandish'd high her saucing pan." instantly takes his ground. If a writer lie by for ten years ere “Beware," she said, “ you do not, by your ill-timed anger, he produces a second work, he is superseded by others; or, if cut off the opportunity I yet have to indemnify the world for the age is so poor of genius that this does not happen, his own the errors of my ignorance. In yonder coal hole, not used for reputation becomes his greatest obstacle. The public will ex- many a year, repose the few greasy and blackened fragments pect the new work to be ten times better than its predecessor ; of the elder Drama which were not totally destroyed. Do thou the author will expect it should be ten times more popular, and then"--Why, what do you stare at, Captain?. By my soul, it 'tis a hundred to ten that both are disappointed.

is true; as my friend Major Longbow says, “What should I Caplain. This may justify a certain degree of rapidity in pub. tell you a lie for?" lication, but not that which is proverbially said to be no speed. Caplain, Lie, sir! Nay, Heaven forbid I should apply the You should take time at least to arrange your story.

word to a person so veracious. You are only inclined to chase That is a sore point with me, my son.

Believe me,

I your tail a little this morning, that's all. Had you not better have not been fool enough to neglect ordinary precautions. I reserve this legend to form an introduction to "Three Recoverhave repeatedly laid down my future work to scale, divided it ed Dramas." or so? into volumes and chapters, and endeavoured to construct a Author. You are quite right-habit's a strange thing, my son. story which I meant should evolve itself gradunlly and striking. I had forgot whom I was speaking to. Yes, Plays for the closet, ly, maintain suspense, and stimulate curiosity; and which, not the stagefinally, should terminate in a striking catastrophe. But I think Caplain. Right, and so you are sure to be acted; for the manthere is a demon who seats himselt on the feather of my penagers, while thousands of volunteers are desirous of serving when I begin to write, and leads it astray from the purpose. them, are wonderfully partial to pressed men. Characters expand under my hand ; incidents are multiplied ; Author. I am a living witness, having been, like a serond Lathe story lingers, while the materials increase ; my regular man berius, made a dramatist whether I would or not. I believe my sion turns out a Gothic anomaly, and the work is closed long muse would be Terryfied into treading the stage, even if I before I have attained the point I proposed.

should write a sermon. Captain. Resolution and determined forbearance might re- Captain. Truly, if you did, I am afraid folks might make a medy that evil.

farce of it; and, therefore, should you change your style, I still Author. Alas! my dear sir, you do not know the force of pa- advise a volume of dramas Ike Lord Byron's. ternal affection. When I light on guch a character as Bailie Author. No, luis lordship is a cut above me- I won't run my Jarvie, or Dalgetty, my imagination brightens, and my concep- horse against huis, if I can help myself. But there is my friend tion becomes clearer at every step which I take in his company, Allan has written just such a play as I might write myself, in although it leads me many a weary mile away from the regular a very sunny day, and with one of Bramah's extra patent-pens. road, and forces me to leap hedge and ditch to get back into the I cannot make neat work without such appurtenances. route aguin. If I resist the temptation, as you adviso me, my Captain. Do you mean Allan Ramsay? thoughts become prosy, flat, and dull; I write painfully to my. Author. No, nor Barbara Allan either. I mean Allan Cunning. self, and under a consciousness of flagging which makes me ham, who has just published his tragedy of Sir Marmaduke flag still more; the sunshine with which fancy had invested Maxwell, full of merry-making aud murdering, kissing and cutthe incidents, departs from them, and leaves every thing dull ting of throats, and passages which lead to nothing, and which and gloomy. I am no more the same author I was in my better are very pretty passages for all that. Not a glimpse of probamood, than the dog in a wheel, condemned to go round and bility is there about the plot, but so much animation in partiround for hours, is like the same dog merrily chasing his own cular passages, and such a vein of poetry through the whole, tail, and gambolling in all the frolic of unrestrained freedom.

as I dearly wish I could infuse into my Culinary Remains, In short, sir, on such occasions, I think I am bewitched.

should I ever be tempted to publish them. With a popular Captain. Nay, sir, if you plead sorcery, there is no more to impress, people would read and admire the beauties of Allan-be said he must needs go whom the devil drives. And this, I

as it is, they may perhaps only note his defects-or, what is suppose, fir, is the reason why you do not make the theatrical worse, not note him at all. -- But never mind them, bonest Al. attempt to which you have been so often urged?

lan ; you are a credit to Caledonia for all that.--There are some Author. It may pass for one good reason for not writing a lyrical effusions of his, too, wbich you would do well to read, play, that I cannot form a plot. But the truth is, that the idea Captain. "It's hame, and it'e hame," is equal to Burns. adopted by too favourable judges, of my having some aptitude Captain. I will take the hint. The club at Kennaqubair are for that department of poetry, has been much founded on those turned fastidious since Catalani visited the Abbey. My Poorscraps of old plays, which, being taken from a source inaccesi. rith Cauld" has been received both poorly and coldly, and "the ble to collectors, they have hastily considered the offspring of Banks of Bonnie Doon" have been positively coughed down-my mother-wit. Now, the manner in which I became possessed Teinpora mutantur. of these fragments is so extraordinary, that I cannot help tell- Author. They cannot stand still, they will change with all of ing it to you.

us. What then! You must know, that, rome twenty years since, I went down to visit an old friend in Worcestershire, who had served with

"A man's a man for a' thul." me in the -- Dragoons. Captain. Then you have served, sir?

But the hour of parting approaches. Author, Tave-or I have not, which significs the same thing Captain. You are determined to proceed then in your own -Captain is a good travelling vame.- I found my friend's house systein? Are you aware that an unworthy motive may be ns. unexpectedly crowded with guests, and, as usual, was con- signed for this rapid succession of publication? You will be demned--the mansion being an old one-to the haunted apari. supposed to work merely for the lucre of gain. ment. I have, as a great modem said, seen too many ghosts to Author. Supposing that I did permit the great advantages believe in them, so betook myself seriously to my repose, lulled which must be derived from success in literature, to join with by the wind rustiing among the lime trees, the branches of other motives in inducing me to come more frequently before

[ocr errors]

the publie,-that emolu ment is the voluntary tax which the dance no longer, I will no longer pipe ; and I shall not want public pays for a certain species of literary amusement-it is flappers enough to remind me of the apoplexy. extorted from no one, and paid, I presume, by those only who Captain. And what will become or us then, your poor facan afford it, and who receive gratification in proportion to the mily? We shall fall into contempt and oblivion. expense. If the capital sum which these volumes have put into Author. Like many a poor fellow, already overwhelmed with circulation be a very large one, has it contributed to my indul- the number of his family, I cannot help going on to increase itpence: only? or can I not say to hundreds, from honest Dun- "'Tis my vocation, Hal."-Such of you as deserve oblivionean the paper manufacturer, to the most snivelling of the prin perhaps the whole of you-may be consigned to it. At any ter's devils, Didst thou not share! Hadst thou not fifteen rate, you have been read in your day, which is more than can pence?” I profess I think our Moderu Athens much obliged to be said of some of your contemporaries, of less fortune and more me for having established such an extensive manufacture ; and merit. They cannot say but that you had the crown. It is alwhen universal suffrage comes in fashion, I intend to stand for ways something to have engaged the public attention for seven a seat in the House on the interest of all the unwashed artifi- years. Had I only written Waverley, I should have long since cers connected with literature.

been, according to the established phrase, "the ingenious auCaplats. This would be called the language of a calico-manu: thor of a novel much admired at the time.". I believe, on my facturer.

soul, that the reputation of Waverley is sustained very much by Auctor. Cant again, my dear son-there is lime in this sack, the praises of those, who may be inclined to prefer that tale to 10o--nothing but sophistication in this world! I do say it, in its successors. spite of Adam Smith and his followers, that a successful au. Captain. You are willing then to barter future reputation for thor is a productive labourer, and that his works constitute as present popularity ? etlectual a part of the public wealth, as that which is created Author. Meliora spero. Horace himselfexpected not to survive by any other manufacture. If a new commodity, having an in all his works-I may hope to live in some of mine ;- non omnis actually intrinsic and commercial value, be the result of the mortar. It is some consolation to reflect, that the best authors operation, why are the author's bales of books to be esteemed in all countries have been the most voluminous ; and it has a less profitable part of the public stock than the goods of often happened, that those who have been best received in their any other manufacturer? I speak with reference to the diffu. own time, have also continued to be acceptable to posterity. I sion of the wealth arising to the public, and the degree of in- do not think so ill of the present generation, as to suppose that datry which even such a trifling work as the present must its present favour necessarily infers future condemnation. stimulate and reward, before the volume leaves the publisher's Captain. Were all to act on such principles, the public would shop. Without me it could not exist, and to this extent I am be inundated. a benefactor to the country. As for my own emolument, it is Author. Once more, my dear son, beware of cant. You speak won by my toil, and I account myself answerable to Heaven as if the public were obliged to read books merely because they only for the mode in which I expend it. The candid may hope are printed-your friends the booksellers would' thank you to it is not all dedicated to selfish purposes; and, without much make the proposition good. "he most serious grievance alpretenzions to merit in him who disburses it, a part may wan- tending such inundations as you talk of, is, that they make rags der, heaven-directed, to the poor."

dear. The multiplicity of publications does the present age no Captain. Yet it is generally held basc to write from the mere han, and may greatly advantage that which is to succeed us. motives of gain.

Captain. I do not see how that is to happen. Author. It would be base to do so exclusively, or even to Author. The complaints in the time of Elizabeth and James, make it a principal motive for literary exertion. Nay, I will of the alarming fertility of the press, wore as loud as they are venture to say, that no work of imagination, proceeding from at present-yet look at the shore over which the innundation of the mere consideration of a certain sum of, ever that age flowed, and it resembles now the rich strand of the did, or ever will, succeed. So the lawyer who pleads, the sol. Faery Queendier who fights, the physician who prescribes, the clergyman -if such there be--who preaches, without any zeal for his pro

" Bestrew'd all with rich array, fession, or without any sense of its dignity, and merely on ac

Or pearl and precious stones of great assay; count of the fee, pay, or stipend, degrade themselves to the

And all the gravel mix'd with golden ore." rank of sordid mechanics. Accordingly, in the case of two of Believe me, that even in the most neglected works of the prethe learned faculties at least, their services are considered as

sent age, the next may discover treasures. unappreciable, and are acknowledged, not by any exact esti.

Caplain. Some books will defy all alchymy. male of the services rendered, but by a honorarium, or volun.

Author. They will be but few in number; sincn, as for writers, tary acknowledgment. But let a client or patient make the ex. Deriment of omitung this little ceremony of the honorarium, their works at their own expense, like Sir Richard Blackmore,

who are possessed of no merit at all, unless indeed they publish which is cense to be a thing entirely out of consideration be; their power of annoying the public will be soon limited by the fwren them, and mark how the learned gentleman will look difficulty of finding undertaking book sellers. upon his case. Cant set apart, it is the same thing with litera. ry emolument. No man of sense, in any rank of life, is, or audacity?

Captain. You are incorrigible. Are there no bounds to your ought to be, above accepting a just recompense for his time,

Author. There are the sacred and eternal boundaries of hoand a reasonable share of the capital which owes its very ex

nour and virtue. My course is like the enchanted chamber of wtence to his exertions. When Czar Peter wrought in the

Britomarttrenehes, he took the pay of a common soldier; and nobles, statenmen, and divines, the most distinguished of their time,

"Where as she look'd about, she did behold have not scored to square accounts with their bookseller.

How over that same door was likewise writ, Caplain. (Stags)

Be Bold-Be Bold, and everywhere Be Bold.

Whereat she mused, and could not construe il;
"O if it were a mean thing,

At last she spied at that room's upper end
The gentles would not use it;

Another irou door, on which was writ-
And if it were ungodly,

Be not too Bold."
The clergy would refuse it."

Captain. Well, you must take the risk of proceeding on your Antor. You may well. But no man of honour, genius, or own principles. spirit, would make the mere love of gain, the chief, far less the Author. Do you act on yours, and take care you do not stay only, purpose of his labours. For myself, I am not displeased to idling here till the dinner hour is over--I will add this work to find the game a winning one ; yet while I pleased the public, 1 your patrimony, valeat quantum. should probably continue it merely for the pleasure of playing ; Here our dialogue terminated; for a little sooty-faced Apollyon for I have felt as strongly as most folks that love of composition, from the Canongate came to demand the proof-sheet on the which is perhaps the strongest of all instincts, driving the author part of Mr. M'Corkindale; and I heard Mr. C. rebuking Mr. F. to the pen, the painter to the pallet, often without either the in another compartment of the same labyrinth I have described, chance of fame or the prospect of reward. Perhaps I have said for suffering any one to penetrate so far into the penetralia of too much of this. I might, perhaps, with as much truth as most their temple. people, exculpate myself from the charge of being either of a I leave it to you to form your own opinion concerning the im. greedy ar mercenary disposition ; but I am not, therefore, hypo port of this dialogue, and I cannot but believe I shall meet the crite enough to disclaim the ordinary motives, on account of wishes of our common parent in prefixing this letter to the work which the whole world around me is toiling

unremituingly, to the which it concerns. acrifice of ease, comfort, health, and life. I do not affect the dis

I am, reverend and dear Sir, interestedness of that ingenious association of gentlemen men

Very sincerely and affectionately, tioned by Goldsmith, who sold their magazine for sixpence a

Yours, &c. &c. piere, merely for their own amusement.

CUTHBERT CLUTTERBUCK. Carlatt. I have but one thing more to hint-The world say you will run yourself out.

KENNAQUHAIR, A. The world say true; and what then? When they 1st April, 1822.

« PreviousContinue »