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Mrs. Butler, like Mrs. Trollope, and indeed everybody else, admits the extraordinary proportion of female beauty amongst the Americans : but

• The women's voices here distract me—so loud, so rapid, and with such a hurry! What a pity-for they are, almost without exception, lovely-looking creatures-with an air of refinement in their appearance which would be very attractive, but for their style of dress and those said tremendous shrill loud voices.'—p. 312. And then she adds :• Were the women large and masculine in their appearance this defect would appear less strange, but they are singularly delicate and feminine in their style of beauty, and the noise they make strikes one with surprise as something monstrous and unnatural-like mice roaring.'

p. 313.

And the Philadelphia riding-school :• At half

past twelve set off to the riding school. It was full of women in long calico skirts, and gay bonnets with flaunting feathers, riding like wretches ; some cantering, some trotting, some walking -crossing one another, passing one another in a way that would have filled the soul of Fossard with grief and amazement. I put on a skirt and my riding-cap, and mounted a rough, rugged, besweated whitebrown beast that looked like an old trunk.'- vol. ii. p. 39. This is perfect-but she could not resist the dramatic demon who prompted her to spoil it, by adding• Its coat standing literally on end

“Like quills upon the fretful porcupine,"'-ib. a poor quotation, without either truth or humour. She had better have stuck to the trunk.

From one whose every thought, word, and deed has a dramatic origin, we are surprised at such very flimsy and unjust observations as the following:

• How I do loathe the stage! these wretched, tawdry, glittering rags flung over the breathing forms of ideal loveliness; these miserable, poor, and pitiful substitutes for the glories with which poetry has invested her magnificent and fair creations the glories with which our imagination reflects them back again. What a mass of wretched mumming mimicry acting is! Pasteboard and paint, for the thick breathing orange groves of the south ; green silk and oiled parchment, for the solemn splendour of her noon of night; wooden platforms and canvass curtains, for the solid marble balconies, and rich dark draperies of Juliet's sleeping chamber, that shrine of love and beauty; rouge, for the startled life-blood in the cheek of that young passionate woman; an actress, a mimicker, a sham creature, me in fact, or any other one, for that loveliest and most wonderful conception, in which all that is true in nature, and all that is exquisite in fancy, are moulded into a living form. To act this ! to act Romeo and

Juliet !

Juliet! horror ! horror! how I do loathe my most impotent and unpoetical craft!'-vol. ii. p. 26.

Now all this appears to us very silly. She looks at the wrong side of a Gobelin tapestry and complains that, instead of landscape or figures, she sees only a confusion of fuzzy threads : she looks at the stage from behind the scenes instead of from the boxes, and talks of pasteboard, and paint, and oil, and canvass, about as wisely as if one should say that a picture of Claude's (whom she very much admires-for his silver temples and golden waters, we suppose) is mere oil and canvass—that a watch is only little bits of brass and iron put together by dirty hands-nay, that her own ' sweet body' is a mass too terrible to look at, but for the delicate skin which covers it! But the fact-that these are 'poor pitiful substitutes for the glories of poetry'-is false. They are, if we, too, may borrow a metaphor from the silversmith, the indispensable settings of this species of poetic gems. This indeed she, in a better temper, elsewhere admits, when she says that even from the lips of the best reader, the glories of dramatic poetry can never suffice of themselves; and that when she heard Mrs. Siddons, in her every-day dress, read some of the finest passages of Shakspeare, she found the incalculable want of the scenic illusion. It is most true that there are things in tragic poetry, and especially in Shakspeare's, which one enjoys more in one's solitary closet, than even when a Kemble or a Siddons walks the stage: but these are not at all the things Mrs. Butler is here alluding to; and, laying them out of view, let us ask ourselves whether there is strollers' barn whose ragged scenery and tawdry dresses do not give to the finest piece that is fit for the stage at all, an effect on the feelings which no reading can approach? Has Mrs. Butler no respect for the intellectual power of the actor who triumphs over such defects (and the more miserable the defects the greater the triumph), and who, by an art—which, in its perfection, requires some of the fairest gifts that God vouchsafes to his creatures-makes us not only forget that the balcony is canvass and the moon oiled paper, but, what is not less difficult, that Juliet is Miss Fanny herself. How differently does one of the wisest, and best, and greatest of men—whom Mrs. Butler decently calls that dense fut old rool, Johnson,'*-(vol. ii.

p. 158,) treat an analogous subject :- Whatever withdraws us from the power of

power of our senses ; whatever makes the past, the distant, * She adds,' what dry, and sapless, and dusty earth his soul must hare been made of!--We decline, from a mixture of charity and contempt, expressing our opinion of these astonishing passages, but our readers may be curious to know on what occasion, what provocation, this opinion was uttered: siinply this : Johnson concluded his notes on Shakspeare's Winter's Tale by this too short summary of its merits : • This play, as Dr. Warburton justly observes, is, with all its absurdities, very entertaining. The character of Autolycus is very naturally conceived aud strongly represented.' VOL, LIV, NO, CVII.

E

or

any

or the future, predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of human beings. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force on the Plaiu of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.' Yet Marathon is only a desert swamp, and Iona a wretched heap of dilapidated huts. We must, for our own part, admit that we never thought the influence of the dramatic profession so injurious to the mind and manners—particularly of a young woman—as we have done while reading this work; but we think that it would have been better taste, as well as stricter truth, if Mrs. Butler had not so excessively vituperated her “trade as she calls it. For notwithstanding her own mediocrity in it, she owes it some obligations; and particularly as belonging to a family of actors and actresses, whose genius and success in their vocation,' and whose private worth and amiability invested not only themselves but even their profession with a degree of respectability which it little becomes Mrs. Butler, who lives upon the inheritance of their good name, to depreciate or deny,

It is very remarkable that, in the whole of this work, amidst so much dramatic criticism and theatrical anecdote—the uame of that excellent scholar- that amiable gentleman-that admirable actor-her uncle, too-Mr. John Kemble, occurs, we believe, but once, and then only with a cold remark that he was always in earnest in what he was about;'—(vol. ii. p. 130.) while there are pages of rapture about Mr. Kean, who was to Kemble less-in our judgment—than Miss Fanny herself to Mrs. Siddons. suppose she is too young to remember Mr. Kemble, but that does not, to our satisfaction at least, account for the absence of any—even the smallest—tribute of admiration or affection for his talents or his memory. Nor are we much pleased with her cold and cursory allusions to her aunt Siddons, and still less with the flippant tone in which she criticises her own father-both in private life and on the stage. Mr. Charles Kemble is infinitely the best actor now extant; and if he has not the full powers of his illustrious brother and sister, he is at least far above the faint praise and injurious comparisons with which his daughter-with a very disagreeable and unnatural affectation of sincerity-depreciates him. We have no doubt, in our own minds, that she is, in the main, a very good-natured person and a very affectionate daughter, and that she puts on this air of stern impartiality, just as she does Portia's robe, only to excite admiration. Now adıiration is, we admit, very delicious, but we cannot, as Mrs. Butler seems to do, adopt the enthusiasm of the French gourmand, who exclaimed 'arec cette sauce on mangerait son PROPRE PERE!' Those who should believe that she was serious in these, and twenty other similar

passages,

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passages, would think that she must be strangely deficient in na. tural affection and genuine feeling, and that her tenderness was indeed stone foil,' and her sensibility. brass tape.'

This leads us to another consideration, where does she intend to live?-into what society does she expect to be received ? She may disguise to us the persons she alludes to as Col. and Mr. H-, and Mr. and Mrs. - and Dr. - and

his Honour the Recorder,' but they must be all as well known in America by the circumstances, as if she had written their names at full length ; and though she says nothing, perhaps, positively discreditable of any of them, we cannot comprehend that her exhibition of their foibles and ridicules, and-even where there is nothing either weak or ridiculous of the little details of their private life, should not be exceedingly disagreeable-unpardonable we should fear. Who will let a woman into his or her house, who, after spending an evening in the abandon and familiarity of private life, sits up half the night to record all the little frivolities she may have witnessed, with the intention of publishing them -as she herself would say—' ere the shoes were old in which she trod their bespitted carpets—to the ridicule of Europe, and, what is worse, of the society in which the poor victims live? It is clear she must believe that · All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players ;' and that the Col. -and the Dr. and Mr. --, will think no more of her ridicule of their manners, than the actor who plays the Duke of Austria does of the revilings of the Lady Constance, when the play is over. This, we are satisfied, must be the explanation of her conduct. She has evidently no particle either of malignity, or even malice, in her composition. She is not satirical, nor even giddy—she writes with premeditation, and piques herself on telling what she believes to be the fearless truth; and she will, we have no doubt, be exceedingly surprised that any one should be so silly and so unreasonable as to resent her freedom of speech. But she will find, we think, that she is mistaken, and that New York or Philadelphia will no more tolerate such a domestic spy and informer, than Edinburgh or even London would do, if she bad treated them with the same unpalatable sincerity.

We here end all reference to personal topics, which to our great regret have been forced on us, by the style, the subjects, and, indeed, the very nature of the work—for its essence, and that of any similar journal, must be personality; and if some of our remarks should sound harsh in Mrs. Butler's ears, we must beg her to recollect that she has only herself to blame for observations produced by her unprecedented publication, and the bold and challenging style

and sex.

in which she has, as it were, defied all man and woman kind to the field. The remainder of our task is more agreeable—her book (with the drawbacks we have been obliged to notice) is exceedingly clever and full of entertainment. She has a great deal of naïveté-a great deal of good humour, and some fun-her observations on national manners are acute and candid-her narrative (when she does not bedizen it with brass tape) rapid and livelyand there are many passages, in which she deals with and contrasts the social and political institutions of her own country and those of America, which evince a depth of observation and a soundness of judgment, rare in any one, but wonderful in a person of her age

Of these we have already given some specimens, and more will follow.

In the midst of a discussion of the various styles of writing, in which she expresses her superior admiration of the dignity of what she calls the sculptural' to the gaudy oil and canvass style, she suddenly recollects herself, and adds, Yet Milton was a sculptor -Shakspeare a painter;' an illustration, to our tastes, as profound, as striking, as just, as any that we ever remember to have met with. The idea may perhaps not be absolutely new; but it is clear from the context that it is her own, and we at least never before met it thus forcibly and justly applied.

We shall abstain from quoting her opinions on the topic of manners, on which our American brethren show so much morbid sensibility, and we very much fear that the occasional, but sly and pungent remarks of Mrs. Butler will not be much more satisfactory at the other side of the Atlantic, than the more direct censure and broader ridicule of Mrs. Trollope, Captain Hall, and Mr. Hamilton. The Americans may and do charge these writers with prejudice and partiality, but Mrs. Butler can have had no predisposition to find fault-10 adverse theory to maintain—110 political object to advance. It is a subject which she never professedly treats, and unpleasant facts drop from her only incidentally when the course of her Journal forces them from her. Besides, it will be recollected, that, if she has any partiality, it must be supposed to be to the country of her adoption, to which she has united her name and her destiny. We shall not add to the aunoyance which we fear her book must occasion her among her new friends, by quoting any of the many piquant passages on this subject which the volumes afford—one only we shall venture to notice, in which, without expressing, herself, any opinion on Mrs. Trollope's statements, she hints, with great good sense, the most conclusive of all reasons for believing them to be true : Mercy on me! how sore all these people are about Mrs. Trollope's

book,

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