Page images

solemnity of the hour, is not in a state of such lofty resolution as those who, by joining hearts, are laying their joint hands on the whole wide realm of futurity for their own. The statesman who, in the moment of success, feels that an entire class of social sins and woes is annihilated by his hand, is not conscious of so holy and so intimate a thankfulness as they who are aware that their redemption is come in the presence of a new and sovereign affection. And these are many-they are in all corners of every land. The statesman is the leader of a nation, the warrior is the grace of an age, the philosopher is the birth of a thousand years; but the lover, where is he not? Wherever parents look round upon their children, there he has been-wherever children are at play together, there he will soon be-wherever there are roofs under which men dwell, wherever there is an atmosphere vibrating with human voices, there is the lover, and there is his lofty worship going on, unspeakable, but revealed in the brightness of the the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of

the discourse.




THOMAS MILLER is one of the humble, happy, industrious self-taught sons of genius. He was brought up to the trade of a basketmaker, and while thus obscurely labouring 'to consort with the muse and support a family,' he attracted attention, first by his poetical effusions, and subsequently by a series of prose narratives and fictions remarkable for the freshness of their descriptions of rural life and English scenery. Through the kindness of Mr Rogers, our author was placed in the more congenial situation of a bookseller, and has had the gratification of publishing and selling his own works. Miller's first prose composition was, we believe, 4 Day in the Woods, which was followed (1839) by Rural Sketches, both being somewhat in the style of Bloomfield's poetry-simple, picturesque, and cheerful in tone and spirit. His first novel was Royston Gower, 1838, which experienced such a reception as to induce the author to continue novel-writing. His second attempt was hazardous, from the associations it awakened, and the difficulty of painting historical characters of a distant age; it was entitled Fair Rosamond, or the Days of King Henry II. There was an evident improvement in the author's style, but the work, as a whole, was unsatisfactory and tedious. In 1840 he plunged again into a remote era of English history, requiring minute knowledge and practised skill to delineate with effect: his Lady Jane Grey, a Historical Romance, is defective in plot, but contains some interesting scenes and characters. 'There is,' says one of Miller's critics, a picturesqueness in the arrangement and colouring of his scenes-an occasional glimpse, now of pathos, now of humour, quaint and popular, but never vulgar-an ease in the use and combination of such few historical materials as suffice for his purpose, which put to shame the efforts of many who have been crammed in schools and lectured in colleges—and afford another evidence that creative power is like the air and the sunshine-visiting alike the cottage and the mansion, the basketmaker's shop and the literary gentleman's sanctum.' Miller's next appearance, in 1841, evinced still more decided improvement: Gideon Giles, the Roper, is a tale of English life, generally of humble characters, but rendered interesting by truthful and vigorous delineation. 1842 Mr Miller came forward with another novelGodfrey Malverin, or the Life of an Author, detailing the adventures and vicissitudes of a country youth who repairs to London in quest of literary fame and


fortune. Some of the incidents in this work are exaggerated, yet the lives of Gerald Griffin, Dr Maginn, and other literary adventurers, contained almost as strange and sad varieties, and the author's own experience doubtless prompted some of his delineations. About the same time Mr Miller published a volume of poems-a collection of pieces contributed to different periodicals, and, like his prose works, simple and natural in feeling and description. One of these really beautiful effusions we subjoin:

The Happy Valley.

It was a valley filled with sweetest sounds,
A languid music haunted everywhere,
Like those with which a summer eve abounds,
From rustling corn and song-birds calling clear,
Down sloping-uplands, which some wood surrounds,
With tinkling rills just heard, but not too near;
Or lowing cattle on the distant plain,
And swing of far-off bells, now caught, then lost again.
It seemed like Eden's angel-peopled vale,

So bright the sky, so soft the streams did flow;
Such tones came riding on the musk-winged gale,
The very air seemed sleepily to blow,
And choicest flowers enameled every dale,

Flushed with the richest sunlight's rosy glow;
It was a valley drowsy with delight,
Such fragrance floated round, such beauty dimmed the

The golden-belted bees hummed in the air,
The trees slept in the steeping sunbeam's glare,
The tall silk grasses bent and waved along;

And took its own free course without a care:
The dreamy river chimed its under-song,

Amid the boughs did lute-tongued songsters throng,
Until the valley throbbed beneath their lays,
And echo echo chased through many a leafy maze.
And shapes were there, like spirits of the flowers,
Sent down to see the summer-beauties dress,
And feed their fragrant mouths with silver showers;
Their eyes peeped out from many a green recess,
And their fair forms made light the thick-set bowers;
The very flowers seemed eager to caress
Such living sisters, and the boughs, long-leaved,
Clustered to catch the sighs their pearl-flushed bosoms


One through her long loose hair was backward peeping, Or throwing, with raised arm, the locks aside; Another high a pile of flowers was heaping,

Or looking love askance, and when descried,
Her coy glance on the bedded-greensward keeping;
She pulled the flowers to pieces as she sighed,
Then blushed like timid daybreak when the dawn
Looks crimson on the night, and then again's with-

One, with her warm and milk-white arms outspread,
On tip-toe tripped along a sunlit glade;
Half turned the matchless sculpture of her head,
And half shook down her silken circling braid;
Her back-blown scarf an arched rainbow made;

She seemed to float on air, so light she sped;
With fair and printless feet, like clouds along the sky.
Skimming the wavy flowers, as she passed by,
One sat alone within a shady nook,

With wild-wood songs the lazy hours beguiling; Or looking at her shadow in the brook,

Trying to frown, then at the effort smiling. Her laughing eyes mocked every serious look;

'Twas as if Love stood at himself reviling: She threw in flowers, and watched them float away, Then at her beauty looked, then sang a sweeter lay.


Others on beds of roses lay reclined,

The regal flowers athwart their full lips thrown,
And in one fragrance both their sweets combined,
As if they on the self-same stem had grown,
So close were rose and lip together twined—

A double flower that from one bud had blown,
Till none could tell, so closely were they blended,
Where swelled the curving lip, or where the rose-bloom

One, half asleep, crushing the twined flowers,
Upon a velvet slope like Dian lay;

Still as a lark that mid the daisies cowers:
Her looped-up tunic tossed in disarray,
Showed rounded limbs, too fair for earthly bowers;
They looked like roses on a cloudy day;
The warm white dulled amid the colder green

[ocr errors]

they should find a voice to complain that we are tyrants and usurpers, to kill and cook them up in their assigned and native dwelling-place," we should most convincingly admonish them, with point of arrow, that they have nothing to do with our laws but to obey them. Is it not written that the fat ribs of the herd shall be fed upon by the mighty in the land? And have not they, withal, my blessing?-my orthodox, canonical, and archiepiscopal blessing? Do I not give thanks for them when they are well roasted and smoking under my nose? What title had William of Normandy to England that Robin of Locksley has not to merry Sherwood? William fought for his claim. So does Robin. With whom both? With any that would or will dispute it. William raised contributions. So does Robin. From whom both? From all that they could or can make pay them.

The flowers too rough a couch that lovely shape to Why did any pay them to William? Why do any


Some lay like Thetis' nymphs along the shore,
With ocean-pearl combing their golden locks,
And singing to the waves for evermore;

Sinking like flowers at eve beside the rocks,
If but a sound above the muffled roar

Of the low waves was heard. In little flocks
Others went trooping through the wooded alleys,
Their kirtles glancing white, like streams in sunny

They were such forms as, imaged in the night,

Sail in our dreams across the heaven's steep blue;
When the closed lid sees visions streaming bright,
Too beautiful to meet the naked view;
Like faces formed in clouds of silver light.

Women they were! such as the angels knew-
Such as the mammoth looked on, ere he fled,
Scared by the lovers' wings, that streamed in sunset


This gentleman has written some lively, natural, and humorous novels-Headlong Hall, 1816; Nightmare Abbey, 1818; Maid Marian, 1822; and Crotchet Castle, 1831. These were republished in 1837 in one volume of Bentley's Standard Library, and no single volume of fiction of modern production contains more witty or sarcastic dialogue, or more admirable sketches of eccentric and ludicrous characters. His dramatis persona are finely arranged and diversified, and are full of life, argument, and observation. From the higher mood' of the author we extract one short sketch-a graphic account, in the tale of Maid | Marian,' of freebooter life in the forest.

'I am in fine company,' said the baron.


In the very best of company,' said the friar; the high court of Nature, and in the midst of her own nobility. Is it not so? This goodly grove is our palace; the oak and the beech are its colonnade and its canopy; the sun, and the moon, and the stars, are its everlasting lamps; the grass, and the daisy, and the primrose, and the violet, are its many-coloured floor of green, white, yellow, and blue; the Mayflower, and the woodbine, and the eglantine, and the ivy, are its decorations, its curtains, and its tapestry; the lark, and the thrush, and the linnet, and the nightingale, Robin are its unhired minstrels and musicians. Hood is king of the forest both by dignity of birth and by virtue of his standing army, to say nothing of the free choice of his people, which he has indeed; but I pass it by as an illegitimate basis of power. He holds his dominion over the forest, and its horned multitude of citizen-deer, and its swinish multitude or peasantry of wild boars, by right of conquest and force of arms. He levies contributions among them by the free consent of his archers, their virtual representatives. If

pay them to Robin? For the same reason to both-
because they could not or cannot help it. They differ,
indeed, in this, that William took from the poor and
gave to the rich, and Robin takes from the rich and
gives to the poor; and therein is Robin illegitimate,
though in all else he is true prince. Scarlet and
John, are they not peers of the forest?-lords tempo-
ral of Sherwood? And am not I lord spiritual? Am
I not archbishop? Am I not Pope? Do I not con-
secrate their banner and absolve their sins? Are not
they State, and am not I Church? Are not they
State monarchical, and am not I Church militant?
Do I not excommunicate our enemies from venison
and brawn, and, by'r Lady! when need calls, beat
them down under my feet? The State levies tax,
Even so do we.
and the Church levies tithe.
-we take all at once. What then? It is tax by
redemption, and tithe by commutation. Your Wil-
liam and Richard can cut and come again, but our
Robin deals with slippery subjects that come not
twice to his exchequer. What need we, then, to con-
stitute a court, except a fool and a laureate? For
the fool, his only use is to make false knaves merry
by art, and we are true men, and are merry by nature.
For the laureate, his only office is to find virtues in
those who have none, and to drink sack for his pains.
We have quite virtue enough to need him not, and
can drink our sack for ourselves.'


MR HORACE SMITH, one of the accomplished authors of the Rejected Addresses, was one of the first imitators of Sir Walter Scott in his historical romances. His Brambletye House, a tale of the civil wars, published in 1826, was received with distinguished favour by the public, though some of its descriptions of the plague in London were copied too literally from Defoe, and there was a want of spirit and truth in the embodiment of some of the historical characters. The success of this effort inspired the author to venture into various fields of fiction. He has subsequently written Tor Hill; Zillah, a Tale of the Holy City; The Midsummer Medley; Walter Colyton; The Involuntary Prophet; Jane Lomax; The Moneyed Man; Adam Brown; The Merchant, &c. "The Moneyed Man' is the most natural and able of Mr Smith's novels, and contains some fine pictures of London city life. The author himself is fortunately a 'Mr Shelley said once, "I know moneyed man. not what Horace Smith must take me for sometimes: I am afraid he must think me a strange fellow; but is it not odd, that the only truly generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker! And he writes poetry too," continued Mr Shelley, his voice rising in a fervour of astonishment-" he writes poetry and pastoral dramas, and yet knows how to


[blocks in formation]

if, instead of employing an amanuensis, to whom
he dictates his 'thick-coming fancies,' he had con-
centrated his whole powers on a few congenial
subjects or periods of history, and resorted to the
manual labour of penmanship as a drag-chain on
the machine, he might have attained to the highest
honours of this department of composition. As it
is, he has furnished many light, agreeable, and
picturesque books-none of questionable tendency
-and all superior to the general run of novels
of the season. Mr James's first appearance as
an author was made, we believe, in 1822, when
he published a History of the Life of Edward the
Black Prince. In 1829 he struck into that path in
which he has been so indefatigable, and produced
his historical romance of Richelieu, a very attrac-
tive fiction. In 1830 he issued two romances,
Darnley, or the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and De
L'Orme. Next year he produced Philip Augustus;
in 1832 a History of Charlemagne, and a tale, Henry
Masterton; in 1833 Mary of Burgundy, or the
Revolt of Ghent; in 1834 The Life and Adventures
of John Marston Hall; in 1835 One in a Thousand,
or the Days of Henri Quatre, and The Gipsy, a Tale;
in 1837 Attila, a romance, and The Life and Times
of Louis XIV.; in 1838 The Huguenot, a Tale of the a
French Protestants, and The Robber; in 1839 Henry
of Guise, and A Gentleman of the Old School; in
1840 The King's Highway, and The Man at Arms;
in 1841 Corse de Leon, Jacquerie, or the Lady and
Page; The Ancient Régime, and A History of the Life
of Richard Cœur de Lion; in 1842 Morley Ernstein;

*Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries, by Leigh



in 1843 Forest Days, Eva St Clair, The False Heir, and Arabella Stuart. We have in this catalogue some seventy or eighty volumes. There seems,' says a lively writer, 'to be no limit to his ingenuity, his faculty of getting up scenes and incidents, dilemmas, artifices, contretemps, battles, skirmishes, disguises, escapes, trials, combats, adventures. accumulates names, dresses, implements of war and peace, official retinues, and the whole paraphernalia of customs and costumes, with astounding alacrity. He appears to have exhausted every imaginable situation, and to have described every available article of attire on record. What he must have passed through-what triumphs he must have enjoyed-what exigencies he must have experiencedwhat love he must have suffered-what a grand wardrobe his brain must be! He has made some poetical and dramatic efforts, but this irresistible tendency to pile up circumstantial particulars is fatal to those forms of art which demand intensity of passion. In stately narratives of chivalry and feudal grandeur, precision and reiteration are desirable rather than injurious-as we would have the most perfect accuracy and finish in a picture of ceremonials; and here Mr James is supreme. One of his court romances is a book of brave sights and heraldic magnificence-it is the next thing to moving at our leisure through some superb and august procession.'



The REV. G. R. GLEIG, chaplain of Chelsea Hospital, in the early part of his life served in the army, and in 1825 he published his military reminiscences in an interesting narrative entitled The Subaltern. In 1829 he issued a work also partly fictitious, The Chelsea Pensioners, which was followed next year by The Country Curate; in 1837 by The Hussar, and Traditions of Chelsea Hospital; and in 1843 by The Light Dragoon. Besides many anonymous and other productions, Mr Gleig is author of Memoirs of Warren Hastings, a work which certainly has not added to his reputation.


Various military narratives, in which imaginary scenes and characters are mixed up with real events and graphic descriptions of continental scenery, have been published in consequence of the suc cess of the Subaltern. Amongst the writers of this class is MR W. H. MAXWELL, author of Stories of Waterloo, 1829; Wild Sports of the West; Adven tures of Captain Blake; The Bivouac, or Stories of the Peninsular War; The Fortunes of Hector O'Halloran, &c. MR C. LEVER is still more popular; for, in addition to his battle scenes and romantic exploits, he has a rich racy national humour, and a truly Irish love of frolic. His first work was The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, which was followed by Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon; Jack Hinton, the Guardsman; Tom Burke of Ours; and Arthur O'Leary, his Wanderings and Ponderings in many Lands. Mr Lever's heroes have all a strong love of adventure, a national proneness to blundering, and

tendency to get into scrapes and questionable situations. The author's chief fault is his often mistaking farce for comedy-mere animal spirits for wit or humour. MR SAMUEL LOVER, author of Legends and Stories of Ireland, Rory O'More, Handy Andy, L. S. D. &c. is also a genuine Irish writer, a strong lover of his country, and, like Moore, a poet and musician, as well as novelist. The scenes of war, rebellion, and adventure in Mr Lover's tales are related with much spirit.


JOHN FENIMORE COOPER, the American novelist, has obtained great celebrity in England, and over all Europe, for his pictures of the sea, sea-life, and wild Indian scenery and manners. His imagination

John Fenimore Cooper.


MR HALIBURTON, a judge in Nova Scotia, is the reputed author of a series of highly-amusing works illustrative of American and Canadian manners, abounding in shrewd sarcastic remarks on political questions, the colonies, slavery, domestic institutions and customs, and almost every familiar topic of the day. The first of these appeared in 1837, under the title of The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville. A second series was published in the following year, and a third in 1840. Sam Slick' was a universal favourite; and in 1843 the author conceived the idea of bringing him to England. The Attaché, or Sam Slick in England, gives an account of the sayings and doings of the clockmaker when elevated to the dignity of the 'Honourable Mr Slick, Attaché of the American Legation to the court of St James's.' There is the same quaint humour, acute observation, and laughable exaggeration in these volumes as in the former, but, on the whole, Sam is most amusing on the other side of the Atlantic.



feeling or sentiment.


Mr W. HARRISON AINSWORTH has written several picturesque romances, partly founded on English history and manners. His Rookwood, 1834, is a very animated narrative, in which the adventures of Turpin the highwayman are graphically related, and some of the vulgar superstitions of the last century coloured with the lights of genius. In the interest and rapidity of his scenes and adventures, Mr Ainsworth evinced a dramatic power and art, but no oriis essentially poetical. He invests the ship with all ginality or felicity of humour or character. His the interest of a living being, and makes his readers marvellous history of the Scottish cavalier, but is second romance, Crichton, 1836, is founded on the follow its progress, and trace the operations of those scarcely equal to the first. He has since written on board, with intense and never-flagging anxiety. Jack Sheppard, a sort of Newgate romance, The Of humour he has scarcely any perception; and in Tower of London, Guy Fawkes, Old St Pauls, and delineating character and familiar incidents, he often Windsor Castle. There are rich, copious, and brilbetrays a great want of taste and knowledge of the liant descriptions in some of these works, but their world. When he attempts to catch the ease of tendency is at least doubtful. To portray scenes of fashion,' it has been truly said, he is singularly un- low successful villany, and to paint ghastly and successful.' He belongs, like Mrs Radcliffe, to the hideous details of human suffering, can be no elevatromantic school of novelists-especially to the sea, ing task for a man of genius, nor one likely to prothe heath, and the primeval forest. Mr Cooper, ac-mote among novel readers a healthy tone of moral cording to a notice of him some years since in the New Monthly Magazine, was born at Burlington on the Delaware, in 1798, and was removed at an early age to Cooper's Town, a place of which he has given an interesting account in The Pioneers. At thirteen he was admitted to Yale college, New Haven, and three years afterwards he went to sea-an event that gave a character and colour to his after-life, and produced impressions of which the world has reaped the rich result. On his marriage to a lady in the state of New York, he quitted the navy, and devoted himself to composition. His first work was published in 1821, and since that period he must have written above seventy volumes. Among them are The Pilot; The Pioneers; The Spy; The Prairie; The Last of the Mohicans; The Red Rover; The Borderers; The Bravo; The Deer Slayer; Eve Effingham; The Headsman; Heidenmauer; Homeward Bound; Jack o' Lantern; Mercedes of Castile; The Pathfinder; The Two Admirals; The Water Witch; Wyandotte; Ned Myers, or Life before the Mast, &c. Besides his numerous works of fiction, Mr Cooper has written Excursions in Italy, 1838; a History of the American Navy, 1839, &c. In these he does not appear to advantage. He seems to cherish some of the worst prejudices of the Americans, and, in his zeal for republican institutions, to forget the candour and temper becoming an enlightened citizen of the world.


In vivid painting of the passions, and depicting scenes of modern life, the tales of Mr SAMUEL WARREN, F.R.S. have enjoyed a high and deserved degree of popularity. His Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician, two volumes, 1837, contain many touching and beautiful stories; and his Ten Thousand a Year, though in some parts ridiculously exaggerated, and too liable to the suspicion of being a satire upon the middle classes, is also an amusing and able novel. MRS BRAY, a Devonshire lady, and authoress of an excellent tour among the mountains and lakes of Switzerland, has written a number of historical and other novels-De Foix, or Sketches of Manners and Customs of the Fourteenth Century, 1826; Henry de Pomercy; The Protestant, a Tale of the Reign of Queen Mary; Talba, or the Moor of Portugal; Trelawney of Trelawney, &c. An English novel, Caleb Stukeley, published anonymously in 1842, is a vigorous and interesting work, though in some parts coarse and vehement in style. The Adventures of Mr Ledbury, by ALBERT SMITH, and The Prairie Bird, by the HONOURABLE C. A. MURRAY, may be mentioned as

among the superior class of recent novels. The whole of these it would be impossible to enumerate; for not only does every year and month send out a new one,' but every magazine contains tales and parts of romances well written, and possessing many of the requisites for successful works of this description. The high and crowning glory of originality, wit, or inventive genius, must always be rare; but in no previous period of our literature was there so much respectable talent, knowledge, and imagination embarked in fictitious composition. One great name, however, yet remains to be mentioned.


through scenes of poverty and crime, and all the characters are made to discourse in the appropriate language of their respective classes; and yet we recollect no passage which ought to cause pain to the most sensitive delicacy, if read aloud in female society."

The next work of our author was Nicholas Nickleby, a tale which was also issued in monthly numbers, and soon attained to extensive popularity. The plan of this work is more regular and connected than that of 'Pickwick,' the characters generally not overdrawn, and the progressive interest of the narrative well sustained. The character of Mrs Nickleby is a fine portraiture of the ordinary English wife, scarcely inferior in its kind to Fielding's Few authors have succeeded in achieving so bril-Amelia; and Ralph Nickleby is also ably portrayed. liant a reputation as that secured by MR CHARLES The pedagogue Squeers, and his seminary of DoDICKENS in the course of a few years. The sale of theboys Hall, is one of the most amusing and grahis works has been unexampled, and they have been phic of English satirical delineations; and the picture translated into various languages, including even it presents of imposture, ignorance, and brutal cuthe Dutch and Russian. Writings so universally pidity, is known to have been little, if at all, caripopular must be founded on truth and nature-must catured. The exposure was a public benefit. The appeal to those passions and tastes common to man- ludicrous account of Mr Crummles and his theakind in every country; and at the same time must trical company will occur to the reader as another of possess originality and force of delineation. The Dickens's happiest conceptions, though it is pushed first publication of Dickens was a series of sketches into the region of farce. In several of our author's and illustrations, chiefly of ordinary English and works there appears a minute knowledge of drametropolitan life, known as Sketches by Boz. The matic rules and stage affairs. He has himself, it is earlier numbers of these were written for a news- said, written an opera and a farce, and evidently paper, the Evening Chronicle, and the remainder for takes pleasure in the business of the drama. May a magazine. They were afterwards collected and not some of his more startling contrasts in situapublished in two volumes, bearing respectively the tion and description be traced to this predilection? dates of 1836 and 1837. The author was then a Oliver Twist, the next work of Mr Dickens, is also young man of about twenty-six. In 1837 he began a tale of English low life, of vice, wretchedness, and another series of a similar character, The Pickwick misery, drawn with the truth and vigour of Crabbe. Papers, of which 30,000 copies are said to have The hero is an orphan brought up by the parish, been sold. Though defective in plan and arrange- and thrown among various scenes and characters ment, as Mr Dickens himself admits, the characters of the lowest and worst description. The plot of in this new series of sketches, and the spirit with this novel is well managed, and wrought up with which the incidents are described, amply atone for consummate art and power. The interest of the the want of any interesting or well-constructed plot. dark and tragical portions of the story is overThe hero, Pickwick, is almost as genial, unsophisti-whelming, though there is no unnatural exaggeracated, and original as My Uncle Toby, and his man, tion to produce effect, and no unnecessary gloom. Sam Weller, is an epitome of London low life in its Take, for example, the following account of a scene most agreeable and entertaining form. The dia- of death witnessed by Oliver while acting in the logue overflowed with kindly humour, and felicities capacity of attendant to an undertaker. of phrase and expression; the description was so graphic and copious, and the comic scenes so finely blended with tenderness and benevolence, that the

effect of the whole was irresistible. The satire and ridicule of the author were always well directed, and though coloured a little too highly, bore the clear impress of actual life and observation. To aid in these effects, Mr Dickens called in the artist and engraver. What Boz conceived and described, Phiz represented with so much truth, and spirit, and individuality seizing upon every trait and feature, and preserving the same distinguishing characteristics throughout-that the characters appeared to stand bodily forth to the world as veritable personages of the day, destined to live for all time coming. The intimate acquaintance evinced in 'Pickwick' with the middle and low life of London, and of the tricks and knavery of legal and medical pretenders, the arts of bookmakers, and generally of particular classes and usages common to large cities, was a novelty in our literature. It was a restoration of the spirit of Hogarth, with equal humour and practical wit and knowledge, but informed with a better tone of humanity, and a more select and refined taste. There is no misanthropy in bis satire,' said one of his critics, and no coarseness in his descriptions-a merit enhanced by the nature of his subjects. His works are chiefly pictures of humble life -frequently of the humblest. The reader is led

[ocr errors]

[Death and Funeral of a Pauper.]

There was neither knocker nor bell-handle at the

open door where Oliver and his master stopped; so, groping his way cautiously through the dark passage, and bidding Oliver keep close to him, and not be afraid, the undertaker mounted to the top of the first flight of stairs, and, stumbling against a door on the landing, rapped at it with his knuckles.

teen. The undertaker at once saw enough of what It was opened by a young girl of thirteen or fourthe room contained, to know it was the apartment to which he had been directed. He stepped in, and Oliver followed him.

There was no fire in the room; but a man was crouching mechanically over the empty stove. An old woman, too, had drawn a low stool to the cold hearth, and was sitting beside him. There were some ragged children in another corner; and in a small recess, opposite the door, there lay upon the ground something covered with an old blanket. Oliver shuddered as he cast his eyes towards the place, and crept involuntarily closer to his master; for, though it was covered up, the boy felt that it was a corpse.

The man's face was thin and very pale; his hair and beard were grizzly, and his eyes were bloodshot. The old woman's face was wrinkled, her two remaining teeth protruded over her under lip, and her eyes were bright and piercing. Oliver was afraid to look

« PreviousContinue »