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Canning is very irritable, surprisingly so for a wit who is always giving such hard knocks. He should have put on an ass's skin before he went into parliament. Lord Liverpool is the single stay of this ministry ; but he is not a man of a directing mind. He cannot ride on the whirlwind. He serves as the isthmus to connect one half of the cabinet with the other. He always gives you the common sense of the matter, and in that it is that his strength in debate lies.'
Of the more abstruse discussions, or rather intimations of discussion, which occupy perhaps the larger portion of this Work, we have very little to say. We have no special admiration of a style of writing that requires translation before it can be fairly understood, and, when translated, loses much, if not the whole, of what might, at first, have the air of profound and original speculation. A good deal of what lies before us appears to be in this predicament, and we are not inclined to lose our time in analytical experiments on obvious truths or doubtful questions. The doctrine of the Trinity is not made clearer by the crabbed nomenclature of the schools, nor the modes of the Divine existence by the plus and minus of mathematical forms.
Before concluding, we would suggest that, in any collection of Coleridge's Works, whether it may be partial or complete, it would be advisable to give various readings. He often altered, and not always for the better. His splendid “Ode to the Departing Year” is sadly tamed down from the daring spirit of the first publication.
Art. IV. Lewis's Sketches and Drawings of the Alhambra, made
during a Residence in Granada, in the Years 1833-4. Large
folio. London. THIS is a very splendid and spirited Work; and if in some
respects it may seem to fall rather short of our highly excited expectations, we can have no hesitation in admitting that, in all fair and reasonable probability, the fault lies in our not having yet conquered the common propensity to draw general conclusions from partial premises. It is now some time since we saw two or three specimens of the plates, under very advantageous circumstances of preparation ; and even now, without the intimations of colour which were then introduced, or the touches of the crayon which gave a singular sprightliness to the impression, we still think those subjects, both in treatment and choice, among the most artist-like in the collection. Our 'anticipations were, of course, (and we believe that we have in some previous Article expressed ourselves to that effect,) rather extravagantly stimulated; and if they have not in all respects been realized, on them, and not on the Work itself, we are quite willing that the blame should
lie. This may, we are aware, look like indirect censure; such, however, is not our meaning. We think the series admirable, although not altogether what we expected.
The entire Work contains twenty-six plates, including the vignette; lithographed by Harding, Lane, Gauci, and Lewis, and of these, the best executed are decidedly those by the first named artist. A beautiful effect is obtained by what is, we suppose, a novel process in its application to lithography. A ground of appropriate shade and hue, with the lights left untouched, is laid by a wood-block, as we guess,' previously to the impression of the lithographed drawing; and this produces a brilliancy and discrimination which leaves little further to be desired in the
of colour. In the first plate, a general view of the Alhambra and the Generalife, the clear white thus obtained has an admirable effect on the various buildings in the fore and middle grounds, and on the snowy ridges of the distant Sierra Nevada. The whole series appears to present accurate fac-similes of the original drawings; but, if the memoranda from which those finished draughts were made, contained no more of detail than is given in the very rough fac-simile of a first sketch reclining against a wall in the door-way leading from the hall of the Abencerrages to the Patio de los Leones, then we must say, that we think Mr. Lewis has trusted too much to his memory, and too little to his eye and hand. We have a further motive for this observation; inasmuch as we find, on turning to Mr. Roberts's views of the same objects, discrepancies which can hardly be accounted for by the mere variation of handling and management in different artists. For instance, Mr. R. invariably assigns a greater height to the buildings of the Alhambra, than is given by Mr, Lewis ; and although, judging merely by reference to other views in the same work, we might be inclined to think such an attenuation and elevation of objects, a manner into which Mr. Roberts was not unlikely to fall, yet, on the other hand, Mr. L.'s towers and gate-ways have a heaviness and squatness that seem to us at variance with the character of the Morisco architecture. Let
any one compare Harding's fine Lithograph of the Tower of Comares in the work before us, with Roberts's view of the same structure, and he will hardly recognize their identity. The first is low and heavy; the latter, with a general effect of massiveness, has much more of height and depth, with considerable detail not appearing in the other. This is a point that we should like to have decided, but on which we are quite unable to give judgment. We are rather inclined to suspect Mr. Roberts of indulging occasionally in the poetical: the rich perspectives, colonnades, and decorations of his ‘Hall of Judgement, must, we think, have been a little beautified' by his pencil. His Hall of the Abencerrages' is a splendid drawing, and far superior to the truncated view in the present work.
From the omissions in this collection we should be disposed to infer, that Mr. Lewis contemplates the publication of a second livraison. We wish it may be so, and, in the mean time, strongly recommend the present series to the admirers of excellent drawing, noble scenery, and architecture gorgeously, yet appropriately enriched.
Art. V.--Abbotsford, and Newstead Abbey. By the Author of “ The
Sketch Book.” 12mo, pp. 290. London, 1835. THIS is No. II. of the Author's “ Miscellanies." We last
met with him as a traveller in the Prairies of his native land. In this volume, he appears before the public as the visiter of Scott, and a pilgrim to Newstead. Our American Cosmopolist is at home every where.
Abbotsford is a biographical portrait, drawn from the life, and set off with picturesque accompaniments that render it a sort of moving diorama to the fancy. It describes a visit paid to Scott in 1816, when in the prime of his faculties, and in perhaps his happiest days. He had not then outlived his first lease of poetical fame. As the yet unknown Author of Waverley,' he was securing to himself a second harvest of literary glory. And he was building-reducing one of his air castles to solid stone and mortar,' and full of his plans and perspective.
Happy would it have been for him, could he have contented himself with his delightful little vine-covered cottage, and the simple, yet hearty and hospitable style in which he lived at the time of my visit ! The great pile of Abbotsford, with the huge expense it entailed upon him, of servants, retainers, guests, and baronial style, was a drain upon
his purse, a task upon his exertions, and a weight upon his mind, that finally crushed him.'
Mr. Irving has shewn both tact and judgement in his choice of the time and point of view for his sketch. He describes his first visit, but with the advantage of the deepened impressions produced by the casual intercourse of subsequent years. Late
on the evening of the 29th of August, 1816,—thus he begins his narrative,- I arrived at the ancient little border town of Selkirk, where I put up for the night.
I had come down from Edinburgh, partly to visit Melrose Abbey and its vicinity, but chiefly to get a sight of the mighty “Minstrel of the North.” I had a letter of introduction to him from Thomas Campbell, the poet; and had reason to think, from the interest he had taken in some of my earlier scribblings, that a visit from me would not be deemed an intrusion.
On the following morning, after an early breakfast, I set off in a post-chaise for the abbey. On the way thither, I stopped at the gate of Abbotsford, and sent the postilion to the house with the letter of introduction, and my card, on which I had written that I was on my way to the ruins of 'Melrose Abbey, and wished to know whether it would be agreeable to Mr. Scott, (he had not yet been made a Baronet,) to receive a visit from me in the course of the morning.
While the postilion was on his errand, I had time to survey the mansion. It stood some short distance below the road, on the side of a hill sweeping down to the Tweed, and was as yet but a snug gentleman’s cottage, with something rural and picturesque in its appearance. The whole front was overrun
with evergreens, and immediately above the portal was a great pair of elk-horns, branching out from beneath the foliage, and giving the cottage the look of a hunting-lodge. The huge baronial pile, to which this modest mansion in a manner gave birth, was just emerging into existence: part of the walls, surrounded by scaffolding, already had risen to the height of the cottage, and the court-yard in front was encumbered by. masses of hewn stone.
• The noise of the chaise had disturbed the quiet of the establishment. Out sallied the warder of the castle, a black greyhound; and, leaping on one of the blocks of stone, began a furious barking. His alarm brought out the whole garrison of dogs:
“ Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.” All open-mouthed and vociferous. I should correct my quotation: not a cur was to be seen on the premises. Scott was too true a sportsman, and had too high a veneration for pure blood, to tolerate a mongrel.
• În a little while, the “ Lord of the Castle” himself made his appearance. I knew him at once by the descriptions I had read and heard, and by the likenesses that had been published of him. He was tall, and of a large and powerful frame. His dress was simple and almost rustic. An old green shooting-coat, with a dog-whistle at the button-hole, brown linen pantaloons, stout shoes that tied at the ankles, and a white hat that had evidently seen service. He came limping up the gravel-walk, aiding himself by a stout walking-staff; but moving rapidly and with vigour. By his side jogged along a large iron-gray staghound, of most grave demeanour, who took no part in the clamour of the canine rabble, but seemed to consider himself bound, for the dignity of the house, to give me a courteous reception.
• Before Scott reached the gate, he called out in a hearty tone, welcoming me to Abbotsford, and asking news of Campbell. Arrived at the door of the chaise, he grasped me warmly by the hand : “ Come, drive down, drive down to the house,” said he ; “ye're just in time for breakfast, and afterwards ye shall see all the wonders of the Abbey." • I would have excused myself on the plea of having already made
“ Tut, man,” cried he, a ride in the keen air of the Scotch hills is warrant enough for a second breakfast.” I was accord
ingly whirled to the portal of the cottage, and in a few minutes found myself seated at the family breakfast table. There was no one present but the family, which consisted of Mrs. Scott; her eldest daughter, Sophia, then a fine girl about seventeen ; Miss Ann Scott, two or three years younger ; Walter, a well-grown stripling; and Charles, a lively boy, eleven or twelve years of
age. • I soon felt myself quite at home, and my heart in a glow, with the cordial welcome I had experienced. I had thought to make a mere morning visit, but found I was not to be let off so lightly. must not think our neighbourhood is to be read in a morning, like a newspaper,” said Scott; "it takes several days of study for an observant traveller, that has a relish for auld-world trumpery. After breakfast
your visit to Melrose Abbey ; I shall not be able to accompany you, as I have some household affairs to attend to ; but I will put you in charge of my son Charles, who is very learned in all things touching the old ruin and the neighbourhood it stands in; and he, and my friend, Johnnie Bower, will tell you
the whole truth about it, with a great deal more that you are not called upon to believe, unless you be a true and nothing-doubting antiquary.
antiquary. When you come back, I'll take you out on a ramble about the neighbourhood. To-morrow we will take a look at the Yarrow, and the next day we will drive over to Dryburgh Abbey, which is a fine old ruin, well worth your seeing."-İn a word, before Scott had got through with his plan, I found myself committed for a visit of several days, and it seemed as if a little realm of romance was suddenly open
before me. After breakfast, I accordingly set off for the Abbey, with my little friend Charles, whom I found a most sprightly and entertaining companion. He had an ample stock of anecdotes about the neighbourhood, which he had learned from his father, and many quaint remarks and sly jokes, evidently derived from the same source; all which were uttered with à Scottish accent, and a mixture of Scottish phraseology, that gave them additional flavour.
‘On our way to the Abbey, he gave me some anecdotes of Johnny Bower, to whom his father had alluded. He was sexton of the parish, and custodian of the ruin, keeping it in order, and shewing it to strangers ;-a worthy little man, not without ambition in his humble sphere. The death of his predecessor had been mentioned in the newspapers, so that his name had appeared in print throughout the land. When Johnny succeeded to the guardianship of the ruin, he stipulated that, on his death, his name should receive like honourable blazon, with this addition, that it should be from the pen of Scott. The latter gravely pledged himself to pay this tribute to his memory, and Johnny now lived in the proud anticipation of a poetic immortality.
• I found Johnny Bower a decent-looking little old man, in a blue coat and red waistcoat. He received us with much greeting, and seemed delighted to see my young companion, who was full of merriment and waggery, drawing out his peculiarities for my amusement, The old man was one of the most authentic and particular of cicerones. He pointed out every thing in the Abbey that had been described by Scott in his Lay of the Last Minstrel, and would repeat, with broad