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ebullition of your heart that could share in Lenny's escape, drew a movstifle your sense of decorum. But ing picture of the boy's shame and this is a sad story about Lenny, honest mortification. “Let us march brawling and fighting on the Sabbath- against Philip!” cried the Athenians day. So unlike him, too — I don't when they heard Demosthenesknow what to make of it."
"Let us go at once and comfort the “Like or unlike," said the Squire, child !" cried the Parson, before Ric"it has been a gross insult to young cabocca could finish. Leslie ; and looks all the worse be- With that benevolent intention, all cause I and Audley are not just the three quickened their pace, and soon best friends in the world. I can't arrived at the widow's cottage. But think what it is," continued Mr Hazel- Lenny had caught sight of their dean, musingly, “but it seems that approach through the window; and there must be always some associa- not doubting that, in spite of Riccation of fighting connected with that bocca's intercession, the Parson was prim half-brother of mine. There was come to upbraid, and the Squire to 1, son of his own mother—who might re-imprison, he darted out by the have been shot through the lungs, back way, got amongst the woods, only the ball lodged in the shoulder- and lay there perdu all the evening. and now his wife's kinsman-my kins- Nay, it was not till after dark that his man, too-grandmother a Hazeldean mother-who sate wringing her hands. -a hard-reading sober lad, as I am in the little kitchen, and trying in vain given to understand, can't set his foot to listen to the Parson and Mrs Dale, into the quietest parish in the three who (after sending in search of the kiugdoms, but what the mildest boy fugitive) had kindly come to console that ever was seen-makes a rush at the mother-heard a timid knock at him like a mad bull. It is FATALITY!” the door and a nervous fumble at the cried the Squire solemnly.
latch. She started up, opened the “ Ancient legend records similar door, and Lenny sprang to her bosom, instances of fatality in certain houses," and there buried his face, sobbing observed Riccabocca. -66 There was loud. the House of Pelops—and Polynices “No harm, my boy,” said the Parand Eteocles—the sons of Edipus !" son tenderly ; “you have nothing to
" Pshaw," said the Parson; " but fear-all is explained and forgiven." what's to be done?"
Lenny looked up, and the veins on “Done?" said the Squire; “ why, his forehead were much swollen. reparation must be made to young “Sir,” said he sturdily, “I don't want Leslie. And though I wished to spare to be forgiven-I ain't done no wrong. Lenny, the young ruffian, a public dis- And – I've been disgraced — and I grace-for your sake, Parson Dale, won't go to school, never no more." and Mrs Fairfield's ;-yet a good can- “Hush, Carry!" said the Parson to ing in private-"
his wife, who, with the usual liveStop, sir!” said Riccabocca mild- liness of her little temper, was about ly, " and hear me." The Italian then, to expostulate. "Good night, Mrs with much feeling and considerable Fairfield. I shall come and talk to tact, pleaded the cause of his poor pro- you to-morrow, Lenny; by that time tégé, and explained how Lenny's error you will think better of it." arose only from mistaken zeal for the The Parson then conducted his wife Squire's service, and in the execu- home, and went up to the Hall to tion of the orders received from Mr report Lenny's safe return ; for the Stirn.
Squire was very uneasy about him, “ That alters the matter," said the and had even in person shared the Squire, softened ; " and all that is search. As soon as he heard Lemny necessary now will be for him to make was safe—“Well," said the Squire, a proper apology to my kinsman." " let him go the first thing in the
Yes, that is just,” rejoined the morning to Rood Hall, to ask Master Parson; “but I still don't learn how Leslie's pardon, and all will be right he got out of the Stocks."
and smooth again." Riccabocca then resumed his tale; “ A young villain !” cried Frank, and, after confessing his own principal with his cheeks the colour of scarlet ; 1851.]
" to strike a gentleman and an Eton- respecting the number of years (even ian, who had just been to call on me! without any previous and more violent But I wonder Randal let him off so incident) that the world could possibly well-any other boy in the sixth withstand its own wear and tear. form would have killed him !"
Ma'am,” said the Doctor, reluc“ Frank," said the Parson sternly, tantly summoned away, to look at a “if we all had our deserts, what should passage in some prophetic periodical be done to him who not only lets the upon that interesting subject sun go down on his own wrath, but “ ma'am, it is very hard that you strives with uncharitable breath to should make one remember the end fan the dying embers of another's ?” of the world, since, in conversing with
The clergyman here turned away you, one's natural temptation is to from Frank, who bit his lip, and forget its existence." seemed abashed—while even his mo- Miss Jemima blushed scarlet. Certher said not a word in his exculpa- tainly that deceitful heartless comtion ; for when the Parson did reprove pliment justified all her contempt for in that stern tone, the majesty of the the male sex; and yet-such is human Hall stood awed before the rebuke of blindness-it went far to redeem all the Church. Catching Riccabocca's mankind in her credulous and too inquisitive eye, Mr Dale drew aside confiding soul. the philosopher, and whispered to him “He is about to propose," sighed his fears that it would be a very hard Miss Jemima. matter to induce Lenny to beg Randal “Giacomo," said Riccabocca, as he Leslie's pardon, and that the proud drew on his nightcap, and stepped stomach of the pattern-boy would not majestically into the four-posted bed, digest the Stocks with as much ease “I think we shall get that boy for the as a long regimen of philosophy had garden now !" enabled the sage to do. This confer- Thus each spurred his hobby, or ence Miss Jemima soon interrupted drove her car, round the Hazeldean by a direct appeal to the Doctor whirligig.
ALTHOUGI history and biography times owe their chief charm to the both relate to the affairs of men, and simplicity of the subject, in which one are employed in the narrative of state or contest stands prominently human events, they are governed by forward, and the others are thrown opposite principles, and require, for into a shade which only renders the their successful prosecution, different more striking the light thrown on one powers and habits of thought. The particular subject, or the efforts of main object of history is the tracing individual greatness. Herodotus has! out the growth of nations, the great earned his deathless fame by the narevents which lead to their rise or fall, rative he has given of the great war the causes operating on the social between Persia and Greece, on which body, which at one period conduct to the destinies of mankind depended; power and greatness, at another induce Thucydides by his profound exposiç weakness and decay. Biography is tion of the strife of aristocracy and concerned with individual life. Its democracy in the contest between aim is to trace the annals, not of Lacedæmon and Athens. The long nations, but of persons; to portray, narrative of Livy has survived the not the working of general causes on floods of Time almost entirely from the progress of empires, but the in- the charming episodes descriptive of fluence of particular characters on character or manners which he has their most interesting episodes. The introduced, and the dramatic power former requires habits of general with which he has narrated the exthought, and the power of tracing one ploits of individual men ; and what common principle through a great has given Tacitus immortality, is variety of complicated details; the neither any luminou3 views on the latter, close attention to individual progress of mankind, nor any just incidents, and a minute examination appreciation of the causes of greatness of the secret springs of human cona in particular states, but the depth to duct. The first is closely allied to which he has fathomed the real springs the generalisations of the philosopher; of action in particular men, and the the latter requires the powers of the terrible truth with which he has undramatist. The two branches of com- veiled that most appalling of all specposition, however, are nearly allied, tacles—a naked human heart. and frequently run into each other. The great difficulty of history, as it History generally finds its most inter- must be written in modern times, esting episodes, often its most im- arises from the multitude and compliportant subjects, in the narrative of cation of the events which have to be individual greatness ; biography is recorded. So intimately connected imperfect unless, in addition to tracing have thc States of Europe been since the achievements of the individuals it the rise of modern civilisation, that he records, it explains their influence upon who writes the annals of one must the society among whom they arose. write the history of all. The progress,
What we call the histories of anti- internal and external, of all its powers quity were, for the most part, only must be brought forward abreast; and biographies, and they owe their prin- such is their number and importance, cipal interest to that circumstance. that not only is the historian oppressed The Cyropædia of Xenophon is a phi- with the variety and complication of losophical romance, clothed with the his materials, but he finds it next to eloquence of an orator; the fragments impossible to produce interest in the which remain of Sallust, the rhetorical reader amidst such a sea of details ; narrative of Quintus Curtius, are the and often fails, from the impossibility avowed biographies of individual men. of attaining that essential requisite in Even the regular histories of classical the rousing of human sympathy
Lives of the Queens of Scotland. By AGNES STRICKLAND. Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London.
unity of emotion. Add to this the the human heart, but which the hisinfinity of subjects a historian even of torian so often finds himself unable to an individual state must now embrace, attain, without omitting some imporand which almost overwhelm the tant parts of his subject, or giving exploits of particular men by their undue prominence to the characters multitude and complication. Strategy, of individual men. statistics, trade, navigation, com- For this reason it is, that the merce, agriculture, taxation, finance, most popular works which ever have currency, paper credit, poor laws, been written have been biographies agriculture, socialism, chartism, form of illustrious men. No one would a few of the topics, any one of which think of comparing the intellect of would require volumes for its eluci- Plutarch to that of Tacitus, his dation, yet none of which can be eloquence to that of Cicero's, yet he omitted without exposing the histo- has made perhaps a greater impresrian to the imputation, from some sion on the imagination of subseone or other, of having overlooked quent ages than either of these illusthe most important part of his trious men. If we examine the subject, So great is this difficulty, images of the mighty of former days so extensive the embarrassment it which are engraven on our minds, we produces, that it may safely be pro- shall find that it is not so much the nounced to be insurmountable by pictured pages of Livy or Quintus any effort, how great soever, unless Curtius, as the “Lives of Plutarch," the endeavours of the historian are which have given them immortality. aided by unity of interest in the sub- We complain of his gossip, we lament ject, or overpowering greatness of his superstition, we smile at his influence in the characters with whom credulity, but we devour his pages; he has to deal. But it is, perhaps, and, after the lapse of seventeen hunonly in the wars of the Crusades, of dred years, they remain one of the the Succession in Spain, and of the most generally popular works in exis. French Revolution, that such unity of tence. It is the same in modern interest is to be looked for, or such times. No one would think of comsurpassing grandeur of character is paring Boswell, in point of intellect, to be found, from the achievements to Johnson; in point of eloquence to of a Richard Cæur-de-Lion, a Marl- Burke; in point of genius to Gibbon; borough, or a Napoleon.
yet he has produced a work superior Froin this great difficulty, bio- in general interest to any of these graphy is entirely free, and thence illustrious men, and which is daily the superior interest with which, when read by thousands, to whom the properly treated, works of that de- “ Reflections on the French Revoluscription are attended.
We are so
tion, the moral essays of the constituted that we must concentrate “Rambler," and the “History of the our interest; dispersion is fatal to its Decline and Fall,' will forever existence. Every novelist and ro- remain unknown. mance-writer knows this; there must To render biography, however, thus always be a hero and a heroine ; but generally attractive, it is indispentwo or three heroes and heroines sable that its basis should be that would prove fatal to the interest. first element in the narration of Ariosto tried to divide the interest of human action — TRUTH. Without the reader among the adventures of a this, it wants the great superiority of dozen knights-errant; but even his the narrative of real event over fictigenius proved unequal to the task, tious creations, how interesting soever and he was obliged to concentrate the they may be—that of recording what whole around the fabulous siege of has actually occurred in real life. Paris to restore the broken unity of How important an element this is in
The great and signal awakening the sympathies of the advantage of biography is, that, from human heart, may be seen even in its very nature, it possesses that per- children who, when particularly fascisonal interest and individual charac- nated by any story they are told, ter which the epic poet and novelist invariably end by asking, “ But is it feel to be essential to the moving of all true?” The value of truth, or
rather of what is " vraisemblable," is that for ever fascinate the imaginafelt even in imaginary conceptions, tion, and dwell in the heart of man. which it is well known are never so The reason is, they contain enough of attractive, or interest so powerfully, reality to tell us it is of humanity as when they most closely resemble that the story is told, and enough of the events and characters of actual the ideal to make us proud of our existence. The real is, and ever connection with it. must be, the only sure foundation of The great and chief charm of biothe ideal. Novels are most delight- graphy is to be found in this, that ful when they approach nearest to it unites, from its very nature and what we behold around us in real object, those two indispensable requilife, while yet containing a sufficient sites to durable popularity in works blending of romance and sentiment, of fiction, and combines them with of heroism and magnanimity, to the value and the solid information of satisfy the higher aspirations of our truthful narrative. It possesses the being. Biography is most charming value of history, without its tediumwhen it depicts with fidelity those the interest of romance, without its characters, and records with truth unsubstantiality. It culls the flowers those events, which approach nearest from the records of time, and casts to that imaginary perfection to which into the shade all the accompanying every generous mind aspires, but to weeds and briars. If a judicious and which none ever has attained, or discriminating selection of characters ever will.
were made-if those persons were It has been said with truth, that selected for the narrative who have the events which are suitable for epic been most illustrious by their virtues, poetry are such as are "probable but their genius, or their magnanimity, yet elevating.” We are so constituted or, as a contrast, by their vices, and by our bonds to earth, that our chief who have made the greatest and interest must ever be derived from the most durable impression on human virtues or the vices, the joysor sorrows, affairs, a work might be produced of beings like ourselves; but we are so exceeding any one of history in its utifilled with more ennobling thoughts and lity, any of romance in its popularity. aspirations, by our destiny in Heaven, David Hume strongly advised Rothat we can be satisfied only by what bertson, eighty years ago, instead of points to a higher state of existence, writing the Life of Charles the Fifth, and feel the greatest enjoyment by to write a series of biographies, on the being elevated, either by the concep- plan of Plutarch, for modern times; tions of fancy or the records of reality, and it is, perhaps, to be regretted to a nearer view of its perfection. that the advice was not followed. If novels depict merely imaginary Yet were the abilities of the Scotch existences, they may charm for a Principal, great as they were, not season, like the knights of Ariosto, or such as peculiarly fitted him for the the heroes of Metastasio ; but they task. His mind was too philosophical are too much in the clouds perman and discursive to give it its chief inently to interest sublunary mortals. terest. He wanted the dramatic turn, If they record merely the adventures the ardent soul, the grapbic power, of low, or the vulgarity of middle the magnanimous disposition, which life, they may amuse for a season, was essential to its successful accomlike the characters of Smollett; but plishment. A work in three thousand they will sink ere long, from the pages, or six volumes, recording the want of that indispensable lifeboat lives of fifty of the greatest and most in the sea of time, an elevating ten- illustrious men in Europe, from the dency. It is characters like those of days of Alfred to those of Napoleon, the Iliad, of Shakspeare, of Scott, executed in the right spirit, and by a and Schiller, which combine the well- man of adequate genius, would be the known and oft-observed character- most popular and elevating book that istics of human nature with the oft- ever appeared in Modern Europe. imagined but seldom seen traits of Many such have been attempted, but heroism and magnanimity which never with any success, because they border on the realms of the ideal were not set about by the proper