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an ordinary writer. We hope these indications of haste do not proceed from the pitiful ambition of feeding the compositor with sheets, on which the ink is scarce dry. That may answer for the veteran of established reputation—at least for the nonce;' but it is the last point in which we desire to trace a resemblance between our young writers and the author of Waverley.
The particular talent of our author seems to lie in describing action and hitting off the humors of low life. Whereever there is something to be done, he sets about doing it with his whole soul; the reader's attention is chained to the event; every other interest is absorbed in the deed, which is exhibited with a boldness of outline and vividness of coloring, proportioned to its importance in itself, or in its results. The Night, the hot pursuit
, the charge, the victory, pass before you with the rapidity, and the distinctness too, of the forked lightning which plays in the summer cloud; and the reader, not less than the writer, is irresistibly borne on by the subject. On the other hand is character to be developed, where character is most strongly marked, not in the heroes and the heroines, but the scene-shifters of life, the vulgar bustling beings, who perform its ordinary functions, who make the strong shadow and the sharp light, which education and refinement soften away, we are brought to hear a spirited dialogue, replete with comic humor, rich with the direct language of untutored men, which displays clearly the moral peculiarities of the speakers, and proves the writer to possess, and to have employed, the talent of observing others, and of subtracting useful or striking traits from the real characters of life. These are high gifts—the highest in the writer of fiction of a secondary rank. They are also (in a far more exalted degree, however, than with our author) the characteristics of the great Scottish antiquary ; but then to these are added in him other qualities of extraordinary perfection, which our author either does not possess, or possesses in a far humbler degree.
The author of the Spy has not shown himself to be preeminently endowed with the power of moving the softer affections. That mysterious touch, which can open the secret sources of passion, and dissolve the heart in tears, and without which the highest order of excellence in fictitious composition cannot be attained, we do not say that he has not the mastery
of, but he has not yet proved to us that he has. The close of the trial scene, the pedlar's short description of the terrors of a lonely and ignominious death, which we have quoted above, and one of the early interviews between Frances and Dunwoodie, are the only instances which occur to us, in which he has exhibited much pathos; and these are not of the first rate. Neither has our author betrayed that exquisite sensibility to the beauties of nature, which so commonly belongs to the poetic mind. There is a vast field of novelty open in our country, for this species of descriptive writing. Our author has not neglected to enter upon it ;-but though his descriptions of natural scenery contain nothing that is not American, and are in fact good, yet they exhibit only the most obvious peculiarities of nature in this western world, with not a mark of that deep moral feeling, which weds the soul to beauty wherever it exists, and breathes its own freshness and fragrance over all that it creates. A delicate and discriminating taste, the result only of high cultivation, does not seem to be among the characteristics of this writer, and we trust he may not think it beneath him, to devote himself to the refinement of a power, which diffuses such an inexpressible charm over the productions of genius, and without which the invention, which can feed the appetite with perpetual novelty, and the imagination which can electrify the mind, may disgust as often as they please. It is true we are seldom shocked by gross violations of this principle, except in the mistaken view of the refinements of artificial and polished life, which have been already noticed ; but harmony and smoothness are wanting throughout the whole of this we cannot be expected to give an illustration, unless the reader should find one in the citations already made; but as an instance of particularly bad taste we would specify, amongst many that might be adduced, the description of the highway, which ran boldly to the base of a barrier that would frighten a spirit less adventurous, and regardless of danger and difficulties kept its undeviating way until the summit was gained, when, rioting for a moment in victory, it as daringly plunged into the opposite vale, and resumed its meandering and sloth.' This was doubtless meant for fine description ;-but the personification of a turnpike is about as violent an appeal to the imagination as can well be made. The inventive faculty, that, which if it be not genius is at least its chief characteristic, we cannot but think our author In Press. A Treatise on Diagnosis, in four parts. Part 1. The Phenor ena of Health and Diseases. Part 2 The Diagnosis of the Di eases of Adults. Part 3. The Diagnosis of Local Diseases. Pa 4. The Diagnosis of the Diseases of Children
By Marshall Hal M, D. From a late London edition. 8vo. Hartford
A Desultory examination of the reply of the Rev. W V. Har old, to the rejoinder of a Catholic Layman. To which will be an. nexed, as an Appendix, the whole of that Rev. Gentleman's reply. By a Catholic Layman. Some Passages in the Life of Adam Blair. Boston.
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. By D. A. Tyng, Esq. 'Vol. XVII. Cambridge.
The Friend of Youth, or New Selections of Lessons in Prose and Verse for schools and families, to imbue the young
with selltiments of Piety, Humanity, and Universal benevolence. By Noah Worcester, D. D. Cainbridge.
Will be published in September, Buttmann's Greek Grammar, translated from the German. By Professor Everett. Cambridge.
our author does full well-make his characters speak for themselves, and exhibit their qualities by word and deed. His portraits are spirited and for the most part, we doubt not, striking likenesses. Cæsar, in particular, whom we are unromantic enough to esteem the true hero of the piece, and who is certainly a pattern for all people of color,' is not only a real African, but if any of our readers doubt it, we can point out the very person who sat for the picture. Sergeant Hollister, overflowing with piety and valor, is a man whom we are all well acquainted with. The calculating Katy Haines we meet every day of our lives ;-and the speculator upon the land and the misfortunes of others we may not look far to recognize. These are all original sketchings, done with a masterly hand, and serve strongly to illustrate the remarks which we made in the beginning of our article, upon the wide scope, which our country affords for the exercise of this kind of talent.* Betty Flanagan, though neither native nor new, is hardly inferior to either of the others; and Lawton, if he would not insist upon setting himself up for a finished gentleman, and were a little less ambitious of being thought a commical fellow withal, would be a trooper after our own hearts. Even Dunwoodie, though by no means the man our author took him to be, is precisely such a vaporish hero as we have seen strutting in regimentals many a day; and his mistress, who loves him far better than he deserves, keeping the courtship a little too much on her own side, is, or at least was, before she caught the Singleton infection, a pretty little miniature of an enthusiastic, warmhearted heroine. Of the insignificants, old Wharton and Miss Peyton are excellent pictures, true to the life; and we think we may ‘add Sarah to the list, before she goes mad; after that calamity, though she sets out in her new character well enough, she carries the joke a little too far. And this reminds us of Dr Sitgreaves, whom it is a wonder we had not thought of before. The
surgeon of the horse has many excellent points of humor about him. The billet, for instance, which he indites to his assistant, when Cæsar is despatched on an eight mile ride, expressly for a certain ring, which was to unite the destinies of Sarah and Wellmere, and in which the ring is the very last thing mentioned, a mere obiter dictum, after divers instructions which concerned the health of the regiment, rather than the happiness of the bridal array; his rescuing a good subject from the flames of the Wharton dwelling, at the imminent hazard of his life ; and his remonstrances, before we become tired of them, against the unscientific cut of Lawton and his men, so fatal to human life and the art of surgery, are certainly comic. , But Dr Sitgreaves after all is a mere caricature, and, we speak it with all due deference to the lights of science,' considerably overdone. A late foreign journal has exclaimed loudly again the whole system of bores-even the great Erymanthian bores—(if we may follow Cicero in quoting the pun of the Agrigentines) of the writer of the Waverley novels. The remarks are certainly just, but we are not prepared to go to the full length of the conclusion that would suddenly strike out of existence so prodigious a monster, as Dominie Sampson and others of his kind - all my pretty chickens and their dam-at one fell swoop,' merely because they are monsters, certainly very harmless, and infinitely amusing in their way. But then they should be properly kept up-let out now and then seasonably ;-whereas our friend, Dr Sitgreaves has no sort of tact at perceiving when he is wanted, and coming in at all hours without knocking, makes us laugh at his professional ignorance rather than his simplicity, in discoursing so seriously as he does on the difficulties of replacing a shattered brain, or reuniting a severed artery, to any purpose of animal life. Unseasonable jokes, and a constant repetition of the same, are rather a fault of our author's. Thus poor Cæsar's teeth are made to chatter every ten pages, till we wonder that a single stump is left in his head, p. 92. 98. 155. 161. &c. Birch is a grand conception, but imperfectly executed. His movements are sometimes too rapid for mere human agency, as where he sets Hollister and his party in motion, and in almost the same time that Cæsar on horseback, and at full speed, could travel with the marriage ring from the four corners' to the Locusts,' he performs the same journey on foot, and arrives in time to interrupt the ceremonies. His warnings of danger are sometimes a little too ambiguous to
* When those remarks were prepared for the press, we had not read the New England Tale, a beautiful little picture of native scenery and manners, composed with exquisite delicacy of iaste, and great strength of talent. Had we seen this, we should not have needed a stronger confirmation of our opinion respecting the abundance of original character we can supply to the domestic tale.-If rumor has rightly attributed this excellent production to a female pen, we may with far greater confidence boast of a religious Edgeworth in our land, than of a wonder-working Scott.