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arise as well from the freshness and continuity of the plot as from the force displayed in unfolding it. Yet there is a consider: able share of merit in the “Confessions” themselves. Although, in point of narrative, they exhibit a "twice-told-tale," the repetition is dressed up with the peculiar shades and impressions of the sufferer's experience-is spread out more into detail, and amplified by the introduction of other circumstances. Ingenuity is shown in the gradual working up of the tale, and towards the end of his journal the unhappy madman seems hurled into a chaos of both real and fanciful agony and horror, his description of which hangs like a nightmare upon the reader's imagination. Here the dæmon haunts his victim with remorseless pertinacity, entering (to use his own phrase), into his very essence, both bodily and mentally; and in this growing identification consists, we suppose, the allegorical purpose of the work. It is observable that this association of our hero with the “Enemy of Man,” is made to commence on the very day upon

which he becomes inflated with spiritual pride at the idea of having been newly admitted by his pious guardian into the number of the elect upon earth.

The character of the Fallen Angel, or, as he chuses to call himself, Gil-Martin, does not appear to be drawn with any extraordinary capability. He is, for the most part, as Pierre has it, "a gay bold-faced villain,” winking at gentlewomen through their casements, laughing heartily at the betrayal of his “ dear friend” into the clutches of two irritated old ladies, &c. There is one attribute of this being, however, which is used with effect-namely, his faculty of personation. We have already alluded to this in.stating his original appearance to the hero of . the tale, and it should seem that the author does not intend merely to shadow out thereby an identification of the presence of Satan with that of evil imaginations in the mind of man, for the two most impressive instances of Gil-Martin's assumption of this faculty are coupled with the persons of the murdered George Colwan and of a young nobleman, his supposed as sassin. The scene of George's murder, as described by an eye-witness, is strikingly treated. The circumstantiality of the detail; the midnight stillness of the hour rendering a situation otherwise lively, forlorn and silent;--the loathsome treachery of the act ;--the mystery of the two Drummonds !--the same in figure, feature, and gesture ;-all these points tell well. Of a similar character is the circumstance of the dæmon's exhibiting himself to the two women in the person of the ill-fated George. But we wish to give our readers an opportunity of judging for themselves, and accordingly extract this scene for

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their perusal. It must be premised that the female actors in it are-Mrs. Logan, an early domestic friend of George, and Mrs. Calvert, a woman of intrigue, and the witness, before alluded to, of his death. They had gone to the neighbourhood of the Colwan estate, for the purpose of the latter identifying the assassin.

*** Mrs. Logan ran to the window, and behold! there was indeed Robert Wringhim Colwan (now the Laird of Dalcastle) coming forward almost below their window, walking arm-in-arm with another young man; and as the two: passed, the latter looked up, and made a sly signal to the two dames, biting his lip, winking with his left eye, and nodding his head. Mrs. Calvert was astonished at this recognizance, the young man's former companion having made exactly such another signal on the night of the duel by the light of the moon; and it struck her, moreover, that she had some where seen this young man's face before. She looked after him, and he winked over his shoulder to her; but she was prevented from returning his salute by her companion, who uttered a loud cry, between a groan and a shriek, and fell down on the floor with a rumble like a wall that had been suddenly undermined. She had fainted quite away, and required all her companion's attention during the remainder of the evening, for she had scarcely ever well recovered out of one fit before she fell into another, a nd in the short intervals she raved like one distracted or in a dream. After falling into a sound sleep by night, she recovered her equanimity, and the two began to converse seriously on what they had seen.

Mrs. Calvert averred that the young man who passed next to the window was the very man who stabbed George Colwan in the back, and she said she was willing to take her oath on it at any time when required.

" Mrs. Logan was in great agitation, and said, "It is what I have expected all along, and what I am sure my late master and benefactor was persuaded of, and the horror of such an idea cut short his days. But 0, Mrs. Calvert, that is not the main thing that has discomposed me, and shaken my nerves to pieces at this time. Who do

you

think the young man was who walked in his company to night ?'

". I cannot for my life recollect, but am convinced I have seen the same fine form and face before.'

And did he not seem to know us, Mrs. Calvert? You are able to recollect things as they happened; did he not seem to recollect us, and make signs to that effect ?'

“He did, indeed, and apparently with great good humour.'

“O, Mrs. Calvert, hold me, else I fall into hysterics again! Who. is he? Who is he? Tell me who you suppose he is, for I cannot say my own thought.'

"On my life, I cannot remember.'

" • Did you note the appearance of the young gentleman you saw slain that night? Do you recollect aught of the appearance of my young master, George Colwan ?'

" Mrs. Calvert sat silent, and stared the other mildly in the face. Their looks encountered, and there was an unearthly amazement that gleamed from each. An old woman who kept the lodging house, having been called in before when Mrs. Logan was fainting, chanced to enter at this crisis with some cordial ; and, seeing the state of her lodgers, she caught the infection, and fell into the same rigid and statue-like appearance. Nothing more striking was ever exhibited ; and if Mrs. Calvert had not resumed strength of mind to speak, and break the spell, it is impossible to say how long it might have continued. • It is he, I believe,' said she, uttering the words as it were inwardly. It can be none other but he. But no, it is impossible ! I saw him stabbed through and through the heart; I saw him roll backward on the

green in his own blood, heard him utter his last words, and groan away

his soul !-Yet, if it is not he, who can it be?'” One short extract from the “ Confessions” themselves, and we have done. It is their concluding paragraph.

“ Sept. 18, 1712.Still am I living, though liker to a vision than a human being ; but this is my last day of mortal existence. Unable to resist any longer, I pledged myself to my devoted friend that on this day we should die together, and trust to the charity of the children of men for a grave. I am solemnly pledged ; and though I dared to repent, I am aware he will not be gainsaid, for he is raging with despair at his fallen and decayed majesty, and there is some miserable comfort in the idea that my tormentor shall fall with me.-Farewell, world, with all thy miseries; for comforts or enjoyments hast thou none ! Farewell, woman, whom I have despised and shunned; and man, whom I have hated; whom, nevertheless, I desire to leave in charity! And thou, sun, bright emblem of a far brighter effulgence, I bid farewell to thee also ! I do not now take my last look of thee, for to thy glorious orb shall, a poor suicide's last earthly look be raised. But oh! who is yon that I see approaching furiously-his stern face, blackened with horrid despair ! My hour is at hand. Almighty God, what is it that I am about to do! The hour of repentance is past, and now my fate is inevitable.—Amen, for ever!"

In all this there is force, but it is unnatural and deformed force. Not doubting the writer's ability, we extremely doubt the taste which has guided his pen, and hope to see him adopt some subject less remote from human feelings.

113

Histoire de France pendant Le XVIIIe siècle, Par M. Ch. LẠCRETELLE,

Tome 9 et 10, Paris. 1824. Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne, de la maison de Valois, Par M. De

BARANTE, Pair de France, &c. Paris. 1824. Storia d'Italia dal 1789-al 1814, Scritta da CARLO BOTTA, Pa

rigi. 1824.

Whilst the reading world of Britain seems to be sunk in profound repose, merely calling upon her writers of genius to exert their imaginative powers to supply her amusement, utterly averse from all philosophical discussion, and almost as intolerant of political argument or dry details of fact; our brethren of the continent are beginning to contemn our languor and lighter modes of intellectual enjoyment, whilst they themselves are enthusiastically bent on creating or in studying abstract theories of government, in resuscitating Plato, commenting Kant, and in greedily devouring every volume of history, that compilers and translators can put together, in any of which our worthy public would certainly not have patience

to proceed beyond the title-page. France, we may say the continent in fact, resembles a convalescent, just recovering from a tedious malady, during which his stomach was nurtured but with drugs and slops, not seldom perhaps kept totally empty from food of any kind; and who, in the hour of reviving health, feels most ferocious powers of appetite awakened, and in the ardour of making up for lost time, devours every dish that comes in his way, makes the coarse joint as welcome as the ragout, and swallows all that comes before him with indiscriminating greediness of appetite. The leaden censorship of Napoleon, to cool the fever we suppose, of which it saw manifest symptoms in the body politic, kept the intellectual diet of the superior subjects, most deplorably low; so that now its salutary prohibition being removed, the ci-devant patients have gotten that furious appetite for reading, that is the consequence of long inanition. It is indeed astonishing to observe upon what homely food they will greedily set on, and how easily satisfied too in such respect a nation has become, that once was a light to nations in criticism and the culinary art. They pretend to enjoy Scott abroad, but how deeply they enter into his beauties may be judged, from the discrimination lately shown on the continent in the purchase and universal perusal of "Wallad Moor," some wretched imitation of our great novelist's manner that would be here refused in Leadenhall Street, yet abroad

VOL. II. NO, IV.

I

goes down, as equal to Ivanhoe, or Old Mortality. There are numberless other instances of the critical discrimination of the continent: “ Adam Blair," for example, was not understood in Paris, notwithstanding the appearance of a very fair translation; and the novel which at this moment is looked upon by Parisians, as the nearest to Scott, is “ The Pilot," by a Mr. Cooper, an American, which we do not remember having seen much noticed amongst us. Need we add the success of D'Arlincourt and others. And here we may take the opportunity of noticing a good deal of talent in the “ Alonze" of M. Salvendy, a young author, formerly a protege of M. Decazes, and whose fame first rose from his being the author of that declaration of the Talleyrand party with respect to the war in Spain, that appeared in the Constitutionnel of that time.

But history is our present theme, and certainly the demand for works of this kind in France is enormous. Original historians, not only of France, but of all nations and ages, are tumbling forth in monthly numbers from the French press. To see Froissart and Monstrellet and Philip de Comines thus reappearing is nothing wonderful; but what they can find so very amusing or apposite in our old historians, in May, in Mrs. Hutchinson, in Sir Philip Warwick, to make them translate and print them, is to us inconceivable, unless upon our own ingenious supposition. Guizot is bringing them all out, and, we verily believe, will have Hunt's and Carlisle's memoirs of themselves published before he stops. Of all these numerous histories that issue forth in such abundance in the Parisian world, the three which we have selected as the heads of this article, are by far the most interesting and respectable.

The first, Lacretelle's history of France during the eighteenth century, has been long known and duly estimated, as a work of much intelligence, spirit, and feeling, sufficiently impartial in its early volumes, although the author's party opinions have carried him away in the latter one, not only into unfairness, but into much idle declamation. The part of history, of which these two new volumes treat, M. L. had previously written, under the regime of Buonaparte, when his principles were as ultra-imperial, as they are now ultra-royal, and in consequence a new edition has become necessary with important revisions and corrections. Louis XVIII is of course not now to be styled the Pretender, as M. L. formerly entitled him, and his bursts of panegyrick, though it would be too great a pity and loss to cancel them altogether, must at least have their objects and addresses changed. These alterations M. L. has

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