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he has the boldness to affirm, dares express his sentiments with half the freedom in America, that he can in England ! It is quite comical to hear how the unemployed schoolmaster denounces the want of taste and want of patronage for literature, which he has felt to be so uniform in America. A man finds great difficulty in giving his approbation to a system which offers no loop-holes for emigrant pedagogues (who have exhausted their abilities at home) whereby they can escape from deserved poverty; and hence the gradual departure of Mr. Fidler from his allegiance to republicanism, and hence the new light which has been shed upon him, revealing the grave truth, that a monarch and an aristocracy are by no means nuisances in any country.
Speaking of the prejudices entertained by the Americans against Englishmen, Mr. Fidler tells us, that indeed the brutal conduct of the lower orders was not generally countenanced by the higher classes; yet he declares, that he heard some of the individuals belonging to the upper classes, justify the barbarian mob. The worst of America, he asserts, is, that the sensitiveness of the body politic is so powerful, that the feelings of one small community in New York, will be communicated by the lightning conductors of the press to every corner of the States with the rapidity of a solar ray. Woe to the man whose conduct or whose expression has excited American indignation; the whole country will be against him; and though he may not be stoned to death, he will suffer a moral excommunication, and be treated as a thing unfit for human intercourse. Such is the profane nonsense-such the uncharitable judgment, which worldly disappointments can extort from a professed minister of that charity which takes in its kind and endearing embrace the whole of the human family, no matter what soil their feet may tread.
So effectual were the recommendations of the British Consul, that Mr. Fidler succeeded in obtaining from the Bishop of Quebec the duties of minister of a small church at Thornhill, a village on the road between York and Newmarket, in Canada. In this very uncomfortable abode, which was sorely out of keeping with Mrs. Fidler's ideas of house-keeping, the village was visited Ith cholera. But the minister and all his family escaped not only this, but every other plague, moral and physical, with the exception of the Methodists, who, in an especial manner, carry on a vexatious guerilla war against the Protestant clergymen in those districts where the number and influence of the latter is very small. Some anecdotes respecting different religious sects in Canada appear worthy of being extracted :
There is, perhaps, no body of ministers so systematic as those of the Methodist persuasion, as well in their modes of declamation, as in their plans of church government. They are the same in every place, and with the same hostility to establishments of all kinds. The salaries of their
ministers are small; yet I was told, that wherever they go, they have houses always ready to furnish food and lodgings for them and their cattle. The expenses of their maintenance are very small, because they mostly live at other people's tables. They are, therefore, as well paid as ministers of our own church ; and much better, if we have respect to their inferior education, and the trilling expense it costs them in acquiring
A gentleman of great influence, on Yonge-street, related an anecdote characteristic of the preachers and denomination as a body. He had often seen a carter who drove the waggons of a farmer along the road, and admired his steady and sober habits. Having missed him for some time, the gentleman inquired of his master what had become of him ; and was answered that he had turned preacher. " Preacher !” said the gentleman, “ what qualifications had he for the office ??” “He is sober and moral, and can read his Bible,” said the master, “and is very well qualified, I assure you."
Another preacher of the same denomination was a cobbler, a little distance from Thornhill. A gentleman, whose residence was close to the cobbler's, went once to hear him, and found his sermon to consist of Scripture quoted at random, without any connexion, method, or order. Perhaps such sermons, addressed to very ignorant people, may be quite as edifying as more elaborate discourses.
Perhaps as ignorant methodist preachers and class-leaders, could be found in England as in that country. Two well authenticated anecdotes were told me, when filling the situation of parish priest in a part of Yorkshire; the former illustrative of the ignorance, the latter of the daring metaphors, prevalent among them. At a class, or prayer meeting, one person, when praying, uttered this petition : “Make us, good Lord, like Sodom and Gomorrow.” All present, except one, cried amen. The one who refused, raised his voice, and declared his unwillingness to say amen. On being demanded his reason, he replied, “Sodom and Gomorrow were two very wicked men,” The other anecdote was of a ranter, who, when preaching, informed his hearers-"We'll make the devil a bankrupt in this place." " We'll sell him up,” vociferated one of the company. “Yes,” replied the modest preacher, “ we'll sell him up, pots and pans and all.” The above anecdotes were told me by persons who declared they were present and heard them.-pp. 319–321.
The ministers of the Roman Catholic population, which is exceedingly numerous in the Canadas, are allowed by Mr. Fidler to be second to the episcopalian clergy alone in learning. At Newmarket he found a Quaker establishment, which is character, ized by some very striking peculiarities;
Their superintendent is an old man, styled King David ; but why graced with regal appellation I could never learn. He assumes the entire control of both their temporal and spiritual affairs. I am disposed to believe, that where large concerns are under the direction of one person, competent to manage them, there is greater uniformity of operations, and more success, than where the direction is conducted by the multitude individually. This society has all along been, and is now, in a flourishing condition. King David has erected a sumptuous temple, of great extent and elegance. He
VOL. II. (1833) no. 111.
has his singing men and singing women, all obedient to his nod. The women of his establishment assemble previous to entering the temple, and march thither for public worship, two abreast, with as much regularity as a file of soldiers.
King David frequently goes to a great distance, in order to edify the people of other townships by his music and eloquence. I have often seen him passing along the road, with two waggons in his train : he proceeded in a third waggon. He never performs such religious errantry, without being accompanied by his virgins, six in number, selected from among the females of his household, for their superior voices. These virgins are conveyed in the same waggon with himself, over which there is an awning, to shelter them from the inclemency of weather, and from sultry rays. In one of the other waggons follow as many youths, who form an accompaniment to the damsels, and swell the anthems and hosannahs by vocal and instrumental music. In the remaining waggon are transported from place to place, their musical instruments, and apparatus of various kinds. These two last waggons have no covering. He never fails to attract a large assemblage of people, wherever his royal presence is announced. The music of his sacred band is considered curious; and the oddity of his manner, and his condemnation of the Established Church, and of the Government, are approved of by many. He never concludes a sermon, in which bitter anathemas have not been fulminated against bishops and governors.—pp. 324-326.
A great deal of information on the results of emigration to the Canadas, is collected in this volume. Mr. F. dwells successively on the subjects of farming and agricultural produce; and, finally, recommends Canada as a place of emigration far superior to any portion of the United States. But the statistics of Canada, and its capabilities as a colony, together with every other important detail concerning it as a residence for British emigrants, have been so repeatedly presented from authentic sources to the public, that it would be a mere waste of space to dwell on the statements of the author on these points,
Very little of importance remains to be noticed, except that the author and his family returned hastily to England, where he lost no time in announcing that he was preparing a Sanscrit Grammar. We are happy to find the author so laudably engaged, and we sincerely hope that the innocent employment in which he is now occupied, will prove, by its pecuniary results, a much more profitable speculation than his paltry slanders upon the great American Democracy.
Art. V.—The Parson's Daughter. By the Author of “Sayings
and Doings,” &c. In 3 vols. 8vo. London: Bentley. 1833. Since the demise of the illustrious father of the Waverley creation, there is not a disciple of his celebrated school to whom we should sooner look for the inheritance of his mantle, than the very indivi
dual who has written the present novel, all darkened as he is by his political extravagances. We never were less disposed to doubt the truth of this impression, which has long rested on our minds, than after the perusal of the Parson's Daughter, a work in which the most exalted attributes of the novel-writer shine out with a lustre which certainly no cotemporary competitor will be able to eclipse. But we have enough of matter in the narrative itself, fully capable of occupying us to the last line of the space which we can devote to the work: so, without further preface, we shall proceed to the story.
At the very outset we are struck with the announcement of the nature of the moral which is intended to be developed in the tale. Who would ever expect to catch Mr. Theodore Hook in the flagrant crime of running down the aristocracy, and striving to hold up to public reprobation any institution or custom which the members of that order hold in perpetual reverence? It is scarcely necessary to remind our readers, that, according to the laws of descent in these kingdoms, the eldest son of every peer takes the shoes of his father after the father's demise, and stands possessed of the title to all which his predecessor possessed. The younger portion of the family, under such circumstances, is but very inadequately provided for; and they, male and female, as they may be, are often compelled to form alliances, which become the source of misery to both the parties engaged in them. The right honourable the Lady Frances Sheringham, the first of the personages to whom we are introduced in this agreeable drama, had the misfortune to have been born under the star which burns with such malignant influence at the births of the younger children of English lords. She forms an illustration, which is followed up with extraordinary skill by Mr. Hook, of the nature of the calamity that befalls the daughter of a nobleman, who, accustomed through her early life to all the splendour and luxury of her father's mansion, mixing in society on terms of equality with the most elevated in rank, is, in the midst of her dream of happiness, suddenly bereft, by her father's death, of all those blessings, and sent forth from the paternal roof, by an elder brother, to seek protection where she can find it. To dwell on the consequences of such a system as this would be useless, as they are too frequent and too striking in this country, not to be universally familiar to the public.
The lady just mentioned was the daughter of the Marquis of Pevensey, and in her youthful days was one of the most popular of the leaders of the ton. She was married at an early period of her life to the Hon. Herbert Sheringham, the second son of Lord Weybridge. At first the married couple resided at the mansion of the lady's father, but on his death they were obliged to create an establishment for themselves, and that, too, upon an allowance which forbad any thing like a continuance of the state to which they had been accustomed. It is not until many years after her marriage that the scenes of this novel first open. During the interval her husband died, and a son, the Hon. George Sheringham, having been educated at Eton, and having entered the navy service, where he was finally promoted to the rank of commander, is found to be just returned from sea, having been placed on half-pay. The curtain then being drawn up, we discover Lady Frances and her son clubbing their several incomes together, she being worth 6001. as her jointure, and he contributing his half-pay. They agree that a country residence would be the most advisable course for them to adopt, as it was the only resource they had against exposing themselves to the disgrace of not being able to maintain the former rank of the family. A residence, called Dale Cottage, beautifully situated at a short distance from London, was immediately engaged by them; and after Lady Frances, with that unthinking liberality which formed so peculiar a feature in her character, had incurred a debt for costly furniture which it would take some years to pay, the mother and son went down to make the best of their rural retreat. It happened that at Binford, the name of the village where they were located, several families resided with whom the Sheringhams were by no means unwilling to form an acquaintance. An intimacy very rapidly sprang up between them and two of the families, that of Harbottle and Lovell. The head of the latter family was the rector of the parish, and had an only daughter, whom “ he loved passing well," and who, the reader is apprised, is destined to perform a very important share of the functions which the author has prescribed to his characters. Harbottle is introduced to us as a curious, and rather disagreeable, specimen of that race of country squires with whom Fielding was so deeply acquainted, but who now, thanks to the march of intellect, are nearly as extinguished as the ravenous wolves in Ireland. Harbottle is stated to be a swaggering, boisterous, bragging fellow, exceedingly fond of his glass, heard-hearted, passionate, determined, egotistical, purse proud, always boasting of his money, and of his disposition to lay it out in the purchase of the most expensive articles for use and ornament. He was obtrusively loquacious, sometimes very coarse, and ever apt to forget that it was necessary to chose sometimes his words. His wife's was so complete a contradiction to the character of her husband, that their association in so close a relationship was quite inexplicable. But her good sense, her amiable temper, and her firmness, enabled her so completely to disguise her real aversion to the man, that every body of their acquaintance concluded that she was the happiest of wives.
At the period when the Sheringhams joined the society at Binford, Miss Lovell was the intimate confidant and frequent companion of Mrs. Harbottle. On a visit at the house of the latter was also a Mr. Charles Harvey, a friend, on the most confidential terms with both the husband and wife, and always regarded as a sort of cavaliere serviente to the latter. Ilarvey was a most interesting