cation of miss Hollybourne in the Old Manor House. The whole, as we have said, is highly entertaining; and were we to add any very important objection, it would be the hasty and unsatisfactory dénouement.

We were greatly pleased with the character of the faithful Gregory, whose warm passions occasionally lead him into many scrapes. We will copy, as an instance of our author's manner, what relates to one of these,

Alas! poor Gregory, to attack thee in such a situation! Madamn, she beat him with a brush, until he was obliged to cry for quarters. She then opened the door, and he was glad to sneak away disgraced and discomfited, Such, indeed, is commonly the end of most love affairs !

• But to use the words of a noble lord, “ The gallant who goes · about to open the trenches in this manner will generally" (like Gregory) « be soon obliged to raise the siege."

• Keppel's maid having never seen Gregory before, and he thinking it full as well, after what had happened, to retire without de. livering his message, she could not identify the person who had been there, and, during his absence, committed such an alarming outrage on her virtue. However, as she had fought such a good fight, she was resolved not to lose all the advantage her reputation might deriye from it ; she therefore described every thing to her master on his return, as minutely as she was able. But she dwelt so much on her own spotless virtue, and gave such a confused account of the ravisher, that none but Keppel, who, knowing Gregory's propensity, shrewdly suspected it was him [be], could have gathered any thing from it.

• Telling Barclay the circumstance next day, without intimating his suspicions, our hero exclaimed, before he had half finished, “ As I live, 'twas Gregory! the scoundrel !"

“ I guessed as much,” cried Keppel, “ but we may be both wrong, I am to dine with you to day ; let us devise some plan to

sound him." ... This being agreed upon, at dinner, while Gregory was waiting,

Barclay said in a careless manner, “ Did you go to my friend's with that message yesterday, Gregory.?”

« Message ?” he replied, in a way as if he had forgotten it.' "; " Yes," added the other, " the message that I told you to de. liver in the course of the evening,"

" Ay," cried Gregory, not wishing to tell a lie, and catching at the word deliver, “ I recollect now-no, sir, I did not deliver it.”

• Keppel seeing they were baffled here, went on thus, addressing himself to Barclay.

“ A-propos of yesterday—The strangest thing happened whilet I was out, that you ever heard. A man, I know not who, called at my chambers, and, being told that I was not at home, he rushed in, and ravished my maid-servant."

Gregory kept rubbing the glasses, as if he meant to rub them to pieces.

« Bless me !" cried Barclay, with affected surprise : « Pray, what time of the day was it?" .“ Sometime in the evening," replied the other. .

« Well,” said our hero, looking stedfastly at Gregory, whose confusion evidently betrayed his guilt, “ I am glad, sir, to understand that you were not there last night.”

"When we say sir, to a gentleman, we mean to employ an honorable term ; but when we apply it to a servant, as— So, sir," or as it is used above, it is merely an abbreviation of sir-rah. Gregory felt the full force of the word, and knew his master's suspicions ; but not caring to acknowledge the fact, he bowed respectfully to conceal his blushes, and then turned round as if he had something to do at the sideboard.

Keppel had made a little embellishment, but, finding that of no effect, proceeded to magnify still further.

“ Now,” said he to Barclay, “ I would have forgiven the fellow for any thing that he did with the girl, since his passions might have run away with him, but I can never pardon his descending to steal the silver candlestick.”

“ If I did, I'll be damn'd!” cried Gregory, turning hastily around ; “ as I hope for mercy, I stole nothing !” Vol. i. p. 99. 1. A character, which does not often occur in novels, also inter

ested us. It is drawn with much simplicity and truth. We mean that of madame, the kept-mistress of a careless man of fashion, We cannot, however, recommend this part of the story as correctly moral, or indeed proper, for a popular work. · We shall add a specimen, descriptive of the benevolent Paw. let and his pedantic wife.

After breakfast the next morning, Mrs. Pawlet and Barclay, as "before, withdrew to the library, there to pursue their respective studies. They had not been there long, however, before their cu. riosity was excited by a great bustle below stairs. Mrs. Pawlet con. sequently rang the bell, and was presently informed that the noise was occasioned by the parson, who had just learned from the gar. dener that his bees had swarmed. The moment Mrs. Pawlet heard this, she stalked up to the further end of the study, and whipping Virgil under her arm, bolted out of the room. Barclay, curious to sec the bees swarm, followed her into the garden. Immediately Mrs..

Pawlet saw the parson, she exclaimed, :: “ Tinnitusque cie, et Matris quate cymbala circum!"

" I have no cymbal, my dear," said the parson, « but here comes the gardener with the poker and shovel, and that must answer the purpose.”

• The parson now began beating away , and the bees gradually collected together and hung from the bough of a tree. Mrs. Pawlet, having during this time seated herself on a bench, began the fourth Georgic, which she read aloud, notes and all, commenting herself also as she proceeded. Penelope was absent.

" It was a doubt," said Mrs. Pawlet, « with Aristotle, whether the bees assembled together, on hearing the sound of brass, through fear or joy. Plato and Pliny, I find, attributed it to the latter: Varro and Columella to the former. I am with the Attic Moses--I am with Plato."

“ Well, well, my dear," said the parson, who did not in the present case care what was the cause so that the effect was good, “I see they are very quiet now, and if I could but catch the queen-bee all would soon be right.”

“ Why do you call it the queen ?" cried Mrs. Pawlet. “ Virgil expressly says, rex, the king. I know the moderns, who will always be pretending to discoveries, say that they suffer but one queen-bee ; and that the business of preserving the species is entirely carried on by her and the drones.-But I am shocked at this, and prefer siding with the more modest Virgil :

-" e foliis natos et suavibus herbis i Ore legunt; ipsæ regem, par- · -:Here she was interrupted by the parson exclaiming, ?• Bless me! there she goes again. There-there. She has fixed upon Mrs. Pawlet, as I live ! Sit still, my dear, don't move for the world, and they won't hurt you."

Mrs. Pawlet had not time to inquire what he meant before her left shoulder and arm were entirely covered with bees. She was alarmed; but the parson entreating her not to touch them, and that then there was no danger, she sat still, perspiring through apprehension, until they were all settled. The parson now seised the queerbee and put her into a hive, 'whither the swarm soon followed, and relieved Mrs. Pawlet from her fright. I should have said, however, that previous to this event she had abused the parson for taking so much pains about recovering his bees ; affirming that she could produce him any quantity he pleased, according to Virgil, from the pu. trefied bowels of bulls. This the parson listened to with his usual temper, but still in his mind treated it with all the disrespect it deserved. However, Mrs. Pawlet declared that she would kill a bull at her own expense, to cure the scepticism she saw in her husband, notwithstanding his manner ; but this late accident had given her such a surfeit of bees, that she resolved to have nothing more to do with them.

Being clear of the swarm, she shut her Virgil, and returned with Barclay to the library, conversing on the obstinacy of those presuming moderns who prefer themselves to the sagacious ancients.'

Vol. ii. P. 150.

3. The style and manner is too pointedly an imitation of Sterne's Sentimental Journey, and not quite free from its pruriency. Of the less exceptionable parts we shall add one other specimen.

• Now I'll give no money, for I've got none to spare :-but I'll give the reader (if she's pretty) as many kisses as will make her lips as 'red as roses; or supposing the reader to be an abominable male animal, I'll give him,--I'll give him, this old, dry, stump of a pen, as a memento. All this, I say, will I bestow on them, if they will be so kind as to tell me how Keppel acted in the affair just related, and what he did with Gregory after he had shut the door, What say you? You can't guess. Well then, miss, I shall keep my kisses and my pen to myself.

I hate systems. The division of time is one of the most unpardonable. Why must an eternal, never-ending thing be degraded by being divided into such paltry things as years, and months, and weeks ? Why are we obliged, after every seven days we live, to have Monday again? How much better would it be to let Time run on his glorious course without mincing him in this base manner? And if we must have a name for each period between the rising and the setting of the sun, let us have a new cne, one we have not lived before. In a word, let us not, for heaven's sake, be tacked to Mondays all the time of our existence! By this grand and noble’ way of living, so worthy of immortal beings, we shall entirely abolish quare ter-day. What can be more desirable ?

• There is but one thing I will be bound to, and that is, to do nothing. Perhaps I shall not go on with my story in this volume, and perhaps I shall unravel the whole mystery in the next chapter. Come then, as we have got rid of the dull, heavy, labour of narration, at least for this chapter, let's have some fun! Ay, but I said not long ago that you should not smile for fifty pages. It was a lie. Read my preface-I promised to tell you nothing else. Let me be consistent and chaste in my conduct, madam, I beg, although you may please to be otherwise. Vol. i. P. 59.

Much learning is scattered through these pages—and some of a recondite, or at least a less common kind, which will perhaps entertain more than the usual attendants on a circulating library. The author's reading appears to have been extensive, but desultory. We have not heard his name even conjectured, except that, in a foreign journal, these volumes are attributed to a Mr. Dubois.

[merged small][ocr errors]

RELIGION Art. 20.-Village Sermons; or, Twelve plain and short Discourses on the

principal Doctrines of the Gospel; intended for the Use of Families, Sunday-Schools, or Companies assembled for Religious Instruction in Country Villages. By George Burder. 4 Vols. i2mo. 4. 6d. sewed. Chapman.

A Practice has lately commenced in various parts of this island, which in many places may be attended with very good effects; but, as it is liable to great abuse, it requires the watchful eye of all who are awakened to the truths of Christianity. It presents itself under the most favorable aspect-that of preaching the Gospel to the poor, -and is countenanced by those among the clergy of the established church who assume the name of evangelical preachers, and those among the dissenters who would be regarded as more serious than the body at large. A society of neighbouring ministers agree among themselves to preach alternately in the adjoining villages, on weekdays or Sunday evenings, hereby giving to their casual hearers the enticing charm of variety, and rendering their own employment easy by such division of labour. Far from discouraging such an attempt to preach the Gospel to the poor, we regard it in many cases as nighly praise-worthy: and contemplate the hour spent by associate villagers as just so much time frequently rescued from the ale-house, and in every instance employed in a manner truly useful and salutary. But it is our duty to mark the consequences of this mode of preach. ing, as it relates to the national church. The connexion between the evangelical clergy and the dissenting ministers of all persuasions, ander the idea of their being united together by the great bond of the Gospel, becomes hereby so firmly established, that every one makes it his pride to be a ready attendant where another associates. The people also who are thus alternately edified, repair on Sundays to such neighbouring towns as afford them an opportunity of hearing the Gospel preached according to their ideas of it, and thus desert their parish-churches for foreign places of worship. Hence the attachment to the established church is daily weakened ; and there is no way of restoring its vigour but by the assiduity of its ministers in their pul. pits, and an augmented intercourse with their parishioners.

From these sermons the clergy may learn in what manner they ought to employ themselves; although the preacher's object-that, we mean, of conveying to the poor the great truths of the Gospel in the plainest language possible is not always obtained. The terms selected are frequently too learned for common capacities. Their chief feature and which is the common characteristic of

« ElőzőTovább »