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love? He who made us with this infinite variety in our intellectual and physical constitution, must have foreseen, and foreseeing, must have intended, a corresponding dissimilarity in the opinions of his creatures on all questions submitted to their judgment, and proposed for their acceptance. For truth is his law; and if all will profess to think alike, all must live in the habitual violation of it.
Zeal for uniformity attests the latent distrusts, not the firm convictions of the zealot. In proportion to the strength of our self-reliance, is our indifference to the multiplication of suffrages in favour of our own judgment. Our minds are steeped in imagery ; and where the visible form is not, the impalpable spirit escapes the notice of the unreflecting multitude. In common hands, analysis stops at the species or the genus, and cannot rise to the order or the class. To distinguish birds from fishes, beasts from insects, limits the efforts of the vulgar observer of the face of nature. But Cuvier could trace the sublime unity, the universal type, the fontal Idea existing in the creative intelligence, which connects as one the mammoth and the snail. So, common observers can distinguish from each other the different varieties of religious society, and can rise no higher. Where one assembly worships with harmonies of music, fumes of incense, ancient liturgies, and a gorgeous ceremonial, and another listens to the unaided voice of a single pastor, they can perceive and record the differences; but the hidden ties which unite them both escape such observation. All appears as contrast, and all ministers to antipathy and discord. It is our belief that these things may be rightly viewed in a different aspect, and yet with the most severe conformity to the divine will, whether as intimated by natural religion, or as revealed in holy scripture. We believe that, in the judgment of an enlightened charity, many Christian societies, who are accustomed to denounce each other's errors, will at length come to be regarded as members in com. mon of the one great and comprehensive church, in which diversities of forms are harmonized by an all-pervading unity of spirit. For ourselves, at least, we should deeply regret to conclude that we were aliens from that great Christian Commonwealth of which the Nuns and Recluses of the valley of Port-Royal were members, and members assuredly of no common excellence.
ART. II.-1. Cecil; or, The Adventures of a Cozcomb. 3 vols.
8vo. Second edition. London : 1841.
2. De Clifford; or, The Constant Man. By the Author of
• Tremaine,' and · De Vere,' 4 vols. 8vo. London : 1841.
of good novels ; and novels form too important a branch of modern literature, to be neglected in any periodical publication professing to guard and direct the taste of the public. It is our intention, accordingly, to take the earliest convenient opportunity to examine the novels alluded to; but we have meanwhile selected for immediate notice two of the latest, as particularly inviting remark by their contrasts, and the notoriety they have otherwise attained.
The one is anonymous, and has given rise to more guessing as to its authorship than any late unacknowledged production of the press; the other claims the respectable parentage of Mr Ward, and introduces itself as the offspring of his seventy-sixth year.
The ostensible objects of both these novels are the same —to give sketches of life and manners during the last thirty or forty years, to speculate largely and loosely on things in general, and read the rising generation a lecture on the art of rising in the world. But no two books, heroes, or authors, ever presented a more striking contrast. The one light, gay, and glancing—the other sober, staid, and meditative: the one carelessly skimming the surface of society—the other cautiously fathoming its depths: the one teaching by action and example—the other arguing us into wisdom, worldliness, or self-complacency. Both are books of undoubted merit; both contain passages of thought and feeling, equally creditable to the understanding and the heart; both will have or have had their champions amongst the novel (much the most numerous and voluminous) readers of the day; but we recommend these to avoid invidious comparisons ; for it would be hardly possible to name a defect in either, without suggesting materials for a retort. If, for example, Cecil spoils the effect of his good sense by flippancy, De Clifford equally impairs the influence of just reflection and observation by tediousness : if Cecil appears to take an undue pride in persiflage, De Clifford certainly makes too great a parade of principle: if Cecil's excessive pretension occasionally becomes vulgar, De Clifford's extreme goodness (to borrow a phrase from Coleridge) not unfrequently degenerates into goodiness. Nor need the con
trast stop here ; for Cecil' has been most read in town, and • De Clifford' in the provinces ; so that we can hardly calculate on a general familiarity with either; and, to make ourselves perfectly clear to all classes, we must preface our observations with a brief analysis of the plots; though neither has much to boast of in the way of artifice, contrivance, or ingenuity.
Cecil, the Honourable Cecil Danby, the son of Lord—that is, as he somewhat disrespectfully corrects himself, of LadyOrmington, first saw the light in the first year of the French Revolution. His mother was a fashionable beauty; his father a prosy, matter-of-fact, and highly respectable member of the Upper House. In imitation of those biographers who are fond of attributing the disposition of their heroes to heroic sources, he is " free to confess' that the leading trait of his character had its origin in the first glimpse he caught of himself at twelve months old, in the swing-glass of his mother's dressing-room.
I looked, and became a coxcomb for life.' This laudable propensity is encouraged by his mamma, at whose toilet he was as regular an attendant as her waiting-maid ; and there is an excuse for her partiality, which most mammas who have ranked as beauties will appreciate. His elder brother, the Honourable John, squinted, and his only sister, the Honourable, Julia, had red hair
• From the day of my birth, on the contrary, nurses and toadies were unanimous in protesting that I was the living image of my sweet, mamma; and as my sweet mamma was the daughter of a country Squire, whose face had been her fortune, and whose fortune it was to win the heart and hand, or rather the hand and coronet, of the Right Honourable Lord Ormington, she might be reasonably excused for some maternal partiality for her miniature, adorned with a satin cockade and twelve yards of superfine French cambric.
My mother's instinctive vocation was for the toilet. Her beauty had been her stepping-stone to distinction ; and she seemed to think too much care could not be bestowed on its adornment, as devotees erect a shrine to a favourite divinity. It was true, the worship was gratuitous. There was nothing further to gain; no more hands at least, and no more coronets. As for hearts, it is to be hoped that Lady Ormington neither brandished the powder puff, nor spread the rustling hoop, with any mal-intentions towards those fragile superfluities of the human frame divine.
• But if fashionable notoriety constituted the object of her desires, the ambition was gratified. There was an Ormington pouf and an Ormington vis-à-vis ; an Ormington green and an Ormington minuet. In those unlettered times annuals were not: but the languishing portrait, limned by Cosway, was charmingly engraved by Bartolozzi ; and the Right Hon. Lady Ormington, leaning on a demi-column, with “sacred to friendship” engraven on the plinth, a stormy sunset in the background, and a bantam-legged silken spaniel staring its eyes out in the
foreground, figured in all the printsellers' windows; immortalized by certain stanzas, silken as the spaniel and flat as the landscape, from what Dr Johnson and courtesy used to call “ the charming pen of Mrs Greville."
The charming pen of Mrs Greville (the authoress of the Ode to Indifference) was most assuredly never employed to immortalize such a portrait; nor was it then a matter of course for beauty à la mode to figure in the printsellers' windows. The generation that has just passed away were, in many respects, less fastidious, and possibly less refined, than the present; but the greatest roué amongst them, would have been somewhat startled at finding the likeness of his handsome wife or pretty sister suspended over the mantelpiece in a gay friend's dressing-room.
After undergoing the horrors of a preparatory seminary at Chiswick, the embryo coxcomb is sent to Eton, where, along with other miseries, he is obliged to undergo that of being called Danby junior; being the only Etonian, we fancy, who was ever distinguished by the appellative. Christchurch is his next place of martyrdom, despite of the maternal protest : “What was the
use of college ? I should only become a brute of a foxhunter! • It was quite enough for John to acquire a taste for buckskins ' and High Toryism, without infecting me with these Oxonian
propensities. "This aversion to High Toryism in the wife of a steady supporter of Mr Pitt, is not quite in keeping; but we can heartily sympathize in her feelings when her second-born's ulterior destination was unfolded to her :- The horror of being
mother to a parson, a privileged preacher of prose. After all, • I believe, some feeling of maternal affection lingered at the • bottom of her heart; for, as I held the salts-bottle to her nose, she faintly ejaculated, “ Cecil, were I to see you in a shovel
hat, I would not survive it !”' He soon relieves her from all apprehensions on this score by getting rusticated, an affront which he repays by a not altogether gratuitous expression of contempt.
• I commenced this chronicle of my adventures with a predetermination against « University intelligence.” College life—a cursed vulgar stu. pid thing in itself-bas been written down still lower of late years by smart periodicals and fashionable novelists. Instead, therefore, of sketches of Christchurch in the year of (dis)grace, 180-, suffer me to favour you, gentle public, with the “ Portrait of a Young Gentleman," as I figured that season in the eyes of the fair sex and the foul, in the city of high-churchmen and sausages.
Standing five feet seven in my pumps, and five feet ten in my boots, with a trifling hint of the Piping Faun softening the severity of my Ro. man nose and finely chiselled mouth, I should, perhaps, have passed for effeminate, but that the sentimental school was just then in the ascendant. People went to the play to cry at the “ Stranger” or “Penrud
dock," and subscribed to a circulating library to weep over “ The Father and Daughter." The severest poetry tolerated by May Fair was that of Hayley, William Spencer, and Samuel Rogers.' In short, people had supped full of horrors during the Revolution, and were now devoted to elegiac measures. My languid smile, and hazel eyes, were the very thing to settle the business of the devoted beings left for execution.'
As Mr Cecil Danby takes care to tell us soon afterwards that he is twenty and a half, and has alrearly told us that he came into existence with the National Assembly, we must be now in the year 1809, when Byron was bringing out Childe Harold ; and Scott, Moore, Campbell
, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, &c. &c., were effecting as complete a change in the poetic world, as Mirabeau, Sieyes, or Napoleon himself, had accelerated or wrought in the political. William Spencer and Samuel Rogers were certainly more than tolerated in May Fair, but the Hayley dynasty was at an end; and the public taste imperatively demanded something of a more stirring and bracing kind than his choicest elegiac measures--if indeed his poetry can be characterized as elegiac. We must therefore look" about for some more satisfactory solution of Cecil's success, than the felicitous adaptation of his peculiar style of beauty to the times. Perhaps it is to be found in the quality thus candidly revealed : 'Self-re• liance was one of the strong points of my character. I had always a predisposition to woman-slaughter, with extenuating circumstances, as well as a stirring consciousness of the exterminating power. If those can conquer who believe they can, and if
Women, born to be controll’d,
the hero of this work was clearly predestined to be a lady-killer. One Jack Harris, another personification of impertinence, imposes on him at the outset; but following unconsciously the advice of Lord Chesterfield, he places himself under the tuition of a woman of three-and-thirty, and speedily contracts the gay, easy, supercilious tone and bearing of the man of fashion (no longer wit and pleasure) about town. He is fortunately enabled to follow this vocation by his father, who procures him a clerkship in the Foreign Office, and gives him four hundred a year to help out his official salary of seventy-five pounds per annum. This arrangement is concluded through the medium of his lordship’s solicitors, Messrs Hanmer and Snatch ; and on a visit to these worthies in Chancery Lane, Cecil meets with an adventure which completely changes the whole current of his life. The elder partner has a lovely ward, Emily Barnet, with whom