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of this lady's novels abound in pictures and situations as striking and as well grouped as those of the artist and melo-dramatist. The latter years of Mrs Radcliffe were spent in retirement, partly induced by ill health. She had for a long period been afflicted with spasmodic asthma, and an attack proved fatal to her on the 7th of February 1823. She died in London, and was interred in a vault of the chapelof-ease at Bayswater, belonging to St George's, Hanover Square.

The success which crowned Mrs Radcliffe's romances led several writers to copy her peculiar manner, but none approached to the original either in art or genius. She eclipsed all her imitators and contemporaries in exciting emotions of surprise, awe, and terror, and in constructing a story which should carry the reader forward with undiminished anxiety to its close. She dwelt always in the regions of romance. She does not seem ever to have attempted humour or familiar narrative, and there is little of real character or natural incident in her works. The style of which she may be considered the founder is powerfully attractive, and few are able to resist the fascinations of her narrative, but that style is obviously a secondary one. To delineate character in the many-coloured changes of life, to invent natural, lively, and witty dialogues and situations, and to combine the whole, as in Tom Jones, in a regular progressive story, complete in all its parts, is a greater intellectual effort than to construct a romantic plot where the author is not confined to probability or to the manners and institutions of any particular time or country. When Scott transports us back to the days of chivalry and the crusades, we feel that he is embodying history, animating its records with his powerful imagination, and introducing us to actual scenes and persons such as once existed. His portraits are not of one, but of various classes. There is none of this reality about Mrs Radcliffe's creations. Her scenes of mystery and gloom will not bear the light of sober investigation. Deeply as they affect the imagination at the time, after they have been once unfolded before the reader, they break up like dreams in his recollection. The remembrance of them is confused, though pleasant, and we have no desire to return to what enchanted us, unless it be for some passages of pure description. The want of moral interest and of character and dialogue, natural and truthful, is the cause of this evanescence of feeling. When the story is unravelled, the great charm is over-the talisman ceases to operate when we know the materials of which it is composed.

Mrs Radcliffe restricted her genius by an arbitrary rule of composition. She made the whole of her mysterious circumstances resolve into natural causes. The seemingly supernatural agencies are explained to be palpable and real: every mystery is cleared up, and often by means very trifling or disproportioned to the end. In order to raise strong emotions of fear and horror in the body of the work, the author is tempted to go lengths, to account for which the subsequent explanations seem utterly inadequate, Thus, for example, after all the wonder and dismay, and terror and expectation excited by the mysterious chamber in the castle of Udolpho, how much are we disappointed and disgusted to find that all this pother has been raised by a waxen statue! In one sense this restriction increases our admiration of the writer, as evincing, in general, the marvellous ingenuity with which she prepares, invents, and arranges the incidents for immediate effect as well as subsequent explanation.

* Dunlop's History of Fiction.


Every feature in the surrounding landscape or objects described-every subordinate circumstance in the scene, however minute, is so disposed as to deepen the impression and keep alive curiosity, This prelude, as Mrs Barbauld has remarked, like the tuning of an instrument by a skilful hand, has the effect of producing at once in the mind a tone of feeling correspondent to the future story.' No writer has excelled, and few have approached, Mrs Radcliffe in this peculiar province. A higher genius, however, would have boldly seized upon supernatural agency as a proper element of romance. There are feelings and superstitions lurking in every breast which would have responded to such an appeal; and while we have the weird sisters of Macbeth, and the unburied majesty of Denmark, all must acknowledge the adaptation of such machinery to produce the greatest effects of which human genius is capable. The ultimate explanations of Mrs Radcliffe certainly give a littleness to the preliminary incidents which affected us powerfully while they were dim and obscure and full of mystery. It is as if some theatrical artist were to display to his audience the coarse and mean materials by which his brilliant stage effects were produced, instead of leaving undisturbed the strong impressions they have produced on the imagination. Apart, however, from this defect-which applies only to the interest of the plot or narrative the situations and descriptions of Mrs Radcliffe are in the highest degree striking and perfect. She had never been in Italy when she wrote the Mysteries of Udolpho,' yet her paintings of Italian scenery, and of the mountains of Switzerland, are conceived with equal truth and richness of colouring, And what poet or painter has ever surpassed (Byron has imitated) her account of the first view of Venice, as seen by her heroine Emily, with its islets, palaces, and terraces rising out of the sea; and as they glided on, the grander features of the city appearing more distinctly-its terraces crowned with airy yet majestic fabrics, touched with the splendour of the setting sun, appearing as if they had been called up from the ocean by the wand of an enchanter rather than reared by human hands.' Her pictures are innumerable, and they are always introduced with striking effect. 'Set off,' says a judicious critic, against the calm beauty of a summer evening, or the magnificent gloom of a thunder-storm, her pastoral or banditti groups stand out with double effect; while to the charge of vagueness of description, it may be answered that Mrs Radcliffe is by no means vague where distinctness of imagery is or ought to be her object, as any one may satisfy himself who recalls to his recollection her description of the lonely house by the Mediterranean, with the scudding clouds, the screaming seabirds, and the stormy sea, the scene selected for the murder of Ellena; or another picture, in the best manner of Salvator, of the first glimpse of the castle of Udolpho, rising over a mountain pass, with the slant sunbeams lighting up its ancient weatherbeaten towers. Indeed the whole description of that Apennine fastness, both without and within, is in the best style, not of literal, indeed, but of imaginative painting-" fate sits on those dark battlements and frowns;" the very intricacy of its internal architecture and its endless passages-a mighty maze, and, we fear, without a plan-only serve to deepen the impression of imprisonment, and bewilderment, and gloom.' The romantic colouring which Mrs Radcliffe could throw over actual objects, at the same time preserving their symmetry and appearance entire, is finely displayed in her English descriptions, particularly in that of Windsor.

[Description of the Castle of Udolpho.] Towards the close of the day, the road wound into a deep valley. Mountains, whose shaggy steeps appeared to be inaccessible, almost surrounded it. To the east a vista opened, and exhibited the Apennines in their darkest horrors; and the long perspective of retiring summits rising over each other, their ridges clothed with pines, exhibited a stronger image of grandeur than any that Emily had yet seen. The sun had just sunk below the top of the mountains she was descending, whose long shadow stretched athwart the valley; but his sloping rays, shooting through an opening of the cliffs, touched with a yellow gleam the summits of the forest that hung upon the opposite steeps, and streamed in full splendour upon the towers and battlements of a castle that spread its extensive ramparts along the brow of a precipice above. The splendour of these illumined objects was heightened by the contrasted shade which involved the valley below. 'There,' said Montoni, speaking for the first time in several hours, 'is Udolpho.'

Duke of Devonshire, once the residence of the Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom Elizabeth deputed the custody of the unfortunate Mary. It stands on an easy height, a few miles to the left of the road from Mansfield to Chesterfield, and is approached through shady lanes, which conceal the view of it till you are on the confines of the park. Three towers of hoary gray then rise with great majesty among old woods, and their summits appear to be covered with the lightlyshivered fragments of battlements, which, however, are soon discovered to be perfectly carved open work, in which the letters E. S. frequently occur under a coronet, the initials and the memorials of the vanity of Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, who built the present edifice. Its tall features, of a most picturesque tint, were finely disclosed between the luxuriant woods and over the lawns of the park, which every now and then let in a glimpse of the Derbyshire hills.

In front of the great gates of the castle court, the ground, adorned by old oaks, suddenly sinks to a darkly-shadowed glade, and the view opens over the Emily gazed with melancholy awe upon the castle, vale of Scarsdale, bounded by the wild mountains of which she understood to be Montoni's; for, though it the Peak. Immediately to the left of the present was now lighted up by the setting sun, the Gothic residence, some ruined features of the ancient one, greatness of its features, and its mouldering walls of enwreathed with the rich drapery of ivy, give an indark gray stone, rendered it a gloomy and sublime terest to the scene, which the later but more historiobject. As she gazed the light died away on its walls, cal structure heightens and prolongs. We followed, leaving a melancholy purple tint, which spread deeper not without emotion, the walk which Mary had so and deeper as the thin vapour crept up the mountain, often trodden, to the folding-doors of the great hall, while the battlements above were still tipped with whose lofty grandeur, aided by silence, and seen under splendour. From these, too, the rays soon faded, and the influence of a lowering sky, suited the temper of the whole edifice was invested with the solemn duski- the whole scene. The tall windows, which half subness of evening. Silent, lonely, and sublime, it seemed due the light they admit, just allowed us to distinto stand the sovereign of the scene, and to frown de-guish the large figures in the tapestry above the oak fiance on all who dared to invade its solitary reign. wainscoting, and showed a colonnade of oak supportAs the twilight deepened, its features became more ing a gallery along the bottom of the hall, with a pair awful in obscurity, and Emily continued to gaze till of gigantic elk's horns flourishing between the winits clustering towers were alone seen rising over the dows opposite to the entrance. The scene of Mary's tops of the woods, beneath whose thick shade the car- arrival, and her feelings upon entering this solemn riages soon after began to ascend. shade, came involuntarily to the mind; the noise of The extent and darkness of these tall woods awak- horses' feet, and many voices from the court; her ened terrific images in her mind, and she almost ex-proud, yet gentle and melancholy look, as, led by pected to see banditti start up from under the trees. At length the carriages emerged upon a heathy rock, and soon after reached the castle gates, where the deep tone of the portal bell, which was struck upon to give notice of their arrival, increased the fearful emotions that had assailed Emily. While they waited till the servant within should come to open the gates, she anxiously surveyed the edifice; but the gloom that overspread it allowed her to distinguish little more than a part of its outline, with the massy walls of the ramparts, and to know that it was vast, ancient, and dreary. From the parts she saw, she judged of the heavy strength and extent of the whole. The gateway before her, leading into the courts, was of gigantic size, and was defended by two round towers, crowned by overhanging turrets, embattled, where, instead of banners, now waved long grass and wild plants that had taken root among the mouldering stones, and which seemed to sigh, as the breeze rolled past, over the desolation around them. The towers were united by "There is only this: To fear God, and keep his a curtain, pierced and embattled also, below which commandments. So much less valuable was timappeared the pointed arch of a huge portcullis sur ber than workmanship when this mansion was conmounting the gates; from these the walls of the ram-structed, that where the staircases are not of stone, parts extended to other towers, overlooking the precipice, whose shattered outline, appearing on a gleam that lingered in the west, told of the ravages of war. Beyond these all was lost in the obscurity of evening.

[Hardwick, in Derbyshire.]

Northward, beyond London, we may make one stop, after a country not otherwise necessary to be noticed, to mention Hardwick, in Derbyshire, a seat of the

my lord keeper, she passed slowly up the hall; his somewhat obsequious, yet jealous and vigilant air, while, awed by her dignity and beauty, he remembers the terrors of his own queen; the silence and anxiety of her maids, and the bustle of the surrounding attendants.

From the hall, a staircase ascends to the gallery of a small chapel, in which the chairs and cushions used by Mary still remain, and proceeds to the first storey, where only one apartment bears memorials of her imprisonment-the bed, tapestry, and chairs, having been worked by herself. This tapestry is richly embossed with emblematic figures, each with its title worked above it, and having been scrupulously preserved, is still entire and fresh.

Over the chimney of an adjoining dining-room, to which, as well as to other apartments on this floor, some modern furniture has been added, is this motto carved in oak:

they are formed of solid oaken steps, instead of planks; such is that from the second, or state storey, to the roof, whence, on clear days, York and Lincoln cathedrals are said to be included in the extensive prospect. This second floor is that which gives its chief interest to the edifice. Nearly all the apartments of it were allotted to Mary; some of them for state purposes; and the furniture is known, by other proof than its appearance, to remain as she left it. The chief room, or that of audience, is of uncommon

loftiness, and strikes by its grandeur, before the veneration and tenderness arise which its antiquities and the plainly-told tale of the sufferings they witnessed excite.

[An Italian Landscape.]

These excursions sometimes led to Puzzuoli, Baia, or the woody cliffs of Pausilippo; and as, on their return, they glided along the moonlight bay, the melodies of Italian strains seemed to give enchantment to the scenery of its shore. At this cool hour the voices of the vine-dressers were frequently heard in trio, as they reposed after the labour of the day on some pleasant promontory under the shade of poplars; or the brisk music of the dance from fishermen on the margin of the waves below. The boatmen rested on their oars, while their company listened to voices modulated by sensibility to finer eloquence than it is in the power of art alone to display; and at others, while they observed the airy natural grace which distinguishes the dance of the fishermen and peasant girls of Naples. Frequently, as they glided round a promontory, whose shaggy masses impended far over the sea, such magic scenes of beauty unfolded, adorned by these dancing groups on the bay beyond, as no pencil could do justice to. The deep clear waters reflected every image of the landscape; the cliffs, branching into wild forms, crowned with groves whose rough foliage often spread down their steeps in picturesque luxuriance; the ruined villa on some bold point peeping through the trees; peasants' cabins hanging on the precipices, and the dancing figures on the strand-all touched with the silvery tint and soft shadows of moonlight. On the other hand, the sea, trembling with a long line of radiance, and showing in the clear distance the sails of vessels stealing in every direction along its surface, presented a prospect as grand as the landscape was beautiful.



gotten by the readers of the novel. The haughty
and susceptible monk is tempted by an infernal
spirit-the Mephostophilis of the tale-who assumes
the form of a young and beautiful woman, and, after
various efforts, completely triumphs over the virtue
and the resolutions of Ambrosio. He proceeds from
crime to crime, till he is stained with the most
atrocious deeds, his evil genius, Matilda, being still
his prompter and associate, and aiding him by her
powers of conjuration and sorcery. He is at length
caught in the toils, detected in a deed of murder,
and is tried, tortured, and convicted by the Inquisi-
While trembling at the approaching auto
de fe, at which he is sentenced to perish, Ambrosio
is again visited by Matilda, who gives him a certain
mysterious book, by reading which he is able to
summon Lucifer to his presence. Ambrosio ven-
tures on this desperate expedient. The Evil One |
appears (appropriately preceded by thunder and
earthquake), and the wretched monk, having sold
his hope of salvation to recover his liberty, is borne
aloft far from his dungeon, but only to be dashed
to pieces on a rock. Such is the outline of the
monk's story, in which there is certainly no shrinking
from the supernatural machinery that Mrs Radcliffe
adopted only in semblance, without attempting to
make it real. Lewis relieved his narrative by
episodes and love-scenes, one of which (the bleeding
nun) is told with great animation. He introduces
us also to a robber's hut in a forest, in which a
striking scene occurs, evidently suggested by a
similar one in Smollett's Count Fathom. Besides
his excessive use of conjurations and spirits to carry
on his story, Lewis resorted to another class of
horrors, which is simply disgusting; namely, loath-
some images of mortal corruption and decay, the
festering relics of death and the grave. The ac-
count of the confinement of Agnes in the dungeon
below the shrine of St Clare, and of her dead child,
which she persisted in keeping constantly in her
arms, is a repulsive description of this kind, puerile
and offensive, though preceded by the masterly nar- |
rative of the ruin and conflagration of the convent
by the exasperated populace.

The only other tale by Lewis which has been i
reprinted is the Bravo of Venice, a short production,
in which there is enough of banditti, disguises.
plots, and mysterious adventures-the dagger and
the bowl-but nothing equal to the best parts of
The Monk.' The style is more chaste and uniform,
and some Venetian scenes are picturesquely de-
scribed. The hero, Abellino, is at one time a

the lovely niece of the Doge of Venice-a gennine character for the mock-heroic of romance. In none of his works does Lewis evince a talent for humour.

Among the most successful imitators of Mrs Radcliffe's peculiar manner and class of subjects, was MATTHEW GREGORY LEWIS, whose wild romance, The Monk, published in 1796, was received with mingled astonishment, censure, and applause. The first edition was soon disposed of, and in preparing a second, Lewis threw out some indelicate passages which had given much offence. He might have carried his retrenchments farther, with benefit both to the story and its readers. The Monk' was a youth-beggar, at another a bandit, and ends by marrying ful production, written, as the author states in his rhyming preface, when he scarce had seen his twentieth year.' It has all the marks of youth, except modesty. Lewis was the boldest of hobgoblin writers, and dashed away fearlessly among scenes of monks and nuns, church processions, Spanish cavaliers, maidens and duennas, sorcerers and enchantments, the Inquisition, the wandering Jew, and even Satan himself, whom he brings in to execute justice visibly and without compunction. The hero, Ambrosio, is abbot of the Capuchins at Madrid, and from his reputed sanctity and humility, and his eloquent preaching, he is surnamed the Man of Holiness. Ambrosio conceives himself to be exempted from the failings of humanity, and is severe in his saintly judgments. He is full of religious enthusiasm and pride, and thinks himself proof against all tempta

[Scene of Conjuration by the Wandering Jew.] [Raymond, in The Monk,' is pursued by a spectre representing a bleeding nun, which appears at one o'clock in the morning, repeating a certain chant, and pressing her lips to his. Every succeeding visit inspires him with greater horror, and he becomes melancholy and deranged in health. His servant, Theodore, meets with a stranger, who tells him to bid his master wish for him when the clock strikes one, and the which Lewis avails himself of the ancient legend of the Wandering Jew, and the fine description of the conjuration, are worthy of remark.]

tale, as related by Raymond, proceeds. The ingenuity with

tion. The hint of this character was taken from a paper in the Guardian, and Lewis filled up the out- He was a man of majestic presence; his counteline with considerable energy and skilful delinea-nance was strongly marked, and his eyes were large, tion. The imposing presence, strong passions, and black, and sparkling: yet there was a something in wretched downfall of Ambrosio, are not easily for- his look which, the moment that I saw him, inspired

symptom of returning health, and declared himself delighted at my having received so much benefit from my conference with the Great Mogul. Upon inquiry I found that the stranger had already passed eight days in Ratisbon. According to his own account, therefore, he was only to remain there six days longer. Saturday was still at a distance of three. Oh! with what impatience did I expect its arrival! In the interim, the bleeding nun continued her nocturnal visits; but hoping soon to be released from them altogether, the effects which they produced on me became less violent than before.

The wished-for night arrived. To avoid creating suspicion, I retired to bed at my usual hour; but as soon as my attendants had left me, I dressed myself again, and prepared for the stranger's reception. He entered my room upon the turn of midnight. A small chest was in his hand, which he placed near the stove. He saluted me without speaking; I returned the compliment, observing an equal silence. He then opened the chest. The first thing which he produced was a small wooden crucifix; he sunk upon his knees, gazed upon it mournfully, and cast his eyes towards heaven. He seemed to be praying devoutly. At length he bowed his head respectfully, kissed the crucifix thrice, and quitted his kneeling posture. He next drew from the chest a covered goblet; with the liquor which it contained, and which appeared to be blood, he sprinkled the floor; and then dipping in it one end of the crucifix, he described a circle in the middle of the room. Round about this he placed various reliques, skulls, thigh-bones, &c. I observed that he disposed them all in the forms of crosses. Lastly, he took out a large Bible, and beckoned me to follow him into the circle. I obeyed.

me with a secret awe, not to say horror. He was dressed plainly, his hair was unpowdered, and a band of black velvet, which encircled his forehead, spread over his features an additional gloom. His countenance wore the marks of profound melancholy, his step was slow, and his manner grave, stately, and solemn. He saluted me with politeness, and having replied to the usual compliments of introduction, he motioned to Theodore to quit the chamber. The page instantly withdrew. I know your business,' said he, without giving me time to speak. I have the power of releasing you from your nightly visitor; but this cannot be done before Sunday. On the hour when the Sabbath morning breaks, spirits of darkness have least influence over mortals. After Saturday, the nun shall visit you no more.' 'May I not inquire,' said I, by what means you are in possession of a secret which I have carefully concealed from the knowledge of every one?' 'How can I be ignorant of your distresses, when their cause at this moment stands before you?' I started. The stranger continued: though to you only visible for one hour in the twenty-four, neither day nor night does she ever quit you; nor will she ever quit you till you have granted her request.' And what is that request?" That she must herself explain; it lies not in my knowledge. Wait with patience for the night of Saturday; all shall be then cleared up.' I dared not press him further. He soon after changed the conversation, and talked of various matters. He named people who had ceased to exist for many centuries, and yet with whom he appeared to have been personally acquainted. I could not mention a country, however distant, which he had not visited; nor could I sufficiently admire the extent and variety of his information. I remarked to him, that having travelled, seen, and known so much, must have given him infinite pleasure. He shook his head mournfully. 'No one,' he replied, 'is adequate to comprehending the misery of my lot! Fate obliges me to be constantly in movement; I am not permitted to pass more than a fortnight in the same place. I have no friend in the world, and, from the restlessness of my destiny, I never can acquire one. Fain would I lay down my miserable life, for I envy those who enjoy the quiet of the grave; but death eludes me, and flies from my embrace. In vain do I throw myself in the way of danger. I plunge into the ocean, the waves throw me back with abhorrence upon the shore; I rush into fire, the flames recoil at my ap-replied the apparition in a hollow faltering tone. proach; I oppose myself to the fury of banditti, their swords become blunted, and break against my breast. The hungry tiger shudders at my approach, and the alligator flies from a monster more horrible than itself. God has set his seal upon me, and all his creatures respect this fatal mark.' He put his hand to the velvet which was bound round his forehead. There was in his eyes an expression of fury, despair, and malevolence, that struck horror to my very soul. An involuntary convulsion made me shudder. The stranger perceived it. Such is the curse imposed on me,' he continued; 'I am doomed to inspire all who look on me with terror and detestation. You already feel the influence of the charm, and with every succeeding moment will feel it more. I will not add to your sufferings by my presence. Farewell till Saturday. As soon as the clock strikes twelve, expect me at your chamber.'

Having said this he departed, leaving me in astonishment at the mysterious turn of his manner and conversation. His assurances that I should soon be relieved from the apparition's visits produced a good effect upon my constitution. Theodore, whom I rather treated as an adopted child than a domestic, was surprised, at his return, to observe the amendment in my looks. He congratulated me on this

Be cautious not to utter a syllable!' whispered the stranger: step not out of the circle, and as you love yourself, dare not to look upon my face.' Holding the crucifix in one hand, the Bible in the other, he seemed to read with profound attention. The clock struck one; as usual I heard the spectre's steps upon the staircase, but I was not seized with the accustomed shivering. I waited her approach with confidence. She entered the room, drew near the circle, and stopped. The stranger muttered some words, to me unintelligible. Then raising his head from the book, and extending the crucifix towards the ghost, he pronounced, in a voice distinct and solemn, Beatrice! Beatrice! Beatrice!"What wouldst thou?'

'What disturbs thy sleep? Why dost thou afflict and torture this youth? How can rest be restored to thy unquiet spirit?' 'I dare not tell, I must not tell. Fain would I repose in my grave, but stern commands force me to prolong my punishment!' 'Knowest thou this blood? Knowest thou in whose veins it flowed? Beatrice! Beatrice! in his name I charge thee to answer me.' 'I dare not disobey my taskers.' 'Darest thou disobey me?' He spoke in a commanding tone, and drew the sable band from his forehead. In spite of his injunction to the contrary, curiosity would not suffer me to keep my eyes off his face: I raised them, and beheld a burning cross impressed upon his brow. For the horror with which this object inspired me I cannot account, but I never felt its equal. My senses left me for some moments; a mysterious dread overcame my courage; and had not the exorciser caught my hand, I should have fallen out of the circle. When I recovered myself, I perceived that the burning cross had produced an effect no less violent upon the spectre. Her countenance expressed reverence and horror, and her visionary limbs were shaken by fear. Yes,' she said at length, I tremble at that mark! I respect it! I obey you! Know, then, that my bones lie still unburied-they rot in the obscurity of Lindenberg-hole. None but

this youth has the right of consigning them to the
grave. His own lips have made over to me his body
and his soul; never will I give back his promise;
never shall he know a night devoid of terror unless
he engages to collect my mouldering bones, and de-
posit them in the family vault of his Andalusian
castle. Then let thirty masses be said for the repose
of my spirit, and I trouble this world no more.
let me depart; those flames are scorching.'


He let the hand drop slowly which held the crucifix, and which till then he had pointed towards her. The apparition bowed her head, and her form melted into air.

boldness of his speculations and opinions, and his
apparent depth and ardour of feeling, were curiously
contrasted with his plodding habits, his imperturb
able temper, and the quiet obscure simplicity of his
life and manners. The most startling and astound-
ing theories were propounded by him with undoubt-
ing confidence; and sentiments that, if reduced to




MRS AMELIA OPIE (Miss Alderson of Norwich), the widow of John Opie, the celebrated artist, commenced her literary career in 1801, when she published her domestic and pathetic tale of The Father and Daughter. Without venturing out of ordinary life, Mrs Opie invested her narrative with deep interest, by her genuine painting of nature and passion, her animated dialogue, and feminine delicacy of feeling. Her first novel has gone through eight editions, and is still popular. A long series of works of fiction has since proceeded from the pen of this lady. Her Simple Tales, in four volumes, 1806; New Tales, four volumes, 1818; Temper, or Domestic Scenes, a tale, in three volumes; Tales of Real Life, three volumes; Tales of the Heart, four volumes; are all marked by the same characteristics-the portraiture of domestic life, drawn with a view to regulate the heart and affections. In 1828 Mrs Opie published a moral treatise, entitled Detraction Displayed, in order to expose that most common of all vices,' which she says justly is found in every class or rank in society, from the peer to the peasant, from the master to the valet, from the mistress to the maid, from the most learned to the most ignorant, from the man of genius to the meanest capacity. The tales of this lady have been thrown into the shade by the brilliant fictions of Scott, the stronger moral delineations of Miss Edgeworth, and the generally masculine character of our more modern literature. She is, like Mackenzie, too uniformly pathetic and tender. She can do nothing well,' says Jeffrey, that requires to be done with formality, and therefore has not succeeded in copying either the concentrated force of weighty and deliberate reason, or the severe and solemn dignity of majestic virtue. To make amends, however, she represents admirably everything that is amiable, generous, and gentle.' Perhaps we should add to this the power of exciting and harrowing up the feelings in no ordinary degree. Some of her short tales are full of gloomy and terrific painting, alternately resembling those of Godwin and Mrs Radcliffe.

In Miss Sedgwick's Letters from Abroad (1841), we find the following notice of the venerable novelist: I owed Mrs Opie a grudge for having made me in my youth cry my eyes out over her stories; but her fair cheerful face forced me to forget it. She long ago forswore the world and its vanities, and adopted the Quaker faith and costume; but I fancied that her elaborate simplicity, and the fashionable little train to her pretty satin gown, indicated how much easier it is to adopt a theory than to change one's habits.'


WILLIAM GODWIN, author of Caleb Williams, was one of the most remarkable men of his times. The

William Grains

action, would have overturned the whole framework of society, were complacently dealt out by their author as if they had merely formed an ordinary portion of a busy literary life. Godwin was born at Wisbeach, in Cambridgeshire, on the 3d of March 1756. His father was a dissenting minister-a pious nonconformist-and thus the future novelist may be said to have been nurtured in a love of religious and civil liberty, without perhaps much reverence for existing authority. He soon, however, far overstepped the pale of dissent. After receiving the necessary education at the dissenting college at Hoxton, Mr Godwin became minister of a congregation in the vicinity of London. He also officiated for some time at Stowmarket, in Suffolk. About the year 1782, having been five years a nonconformist preacher, he settled in London, and applied himself wholly to literature. His first work was entitled Sketches of History, in Six Sermons; and he shortly afterwards became principal writer in the New Annual Register. He was a zealous political reformer; and his talents were so well known or recommended, that he obtained the large sum of £700 for his next publication. This was his famed Enquiry concerning | Political Justice, and its Influences on General Virtue and Happiness, published in 1793. Mr Godwin's work was a sincere advocacy of an intellectual republic-a splendid argument for universal philanthropy and benevolence, and for the omnipotence of mind over matter. His views of the perfectibility of man and the regeneration of society (all private affections and interests being merged in the public good) were clouded by no misgivings, and he wrote with the force of conviction, and with no ordinary powers of persuasion and eloquence. The Enquiry was highly successful, and went through several

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