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ever, it is not so. He, and he alone, is a moral author, whose works have the effect of flinging men back upon themselves; of forcing them to look within for the higher principles of their existence; of teaching them that the only happiness, and the only virtue, are to be found by submitting themselves uniformly to the dictates of duty, and by aiming and struggling always towards a better state of being than that which ourselves, or those around us, have hitherto attained. Sir Walter Scott has observed men's conduct instead of his own mind. He has presented to us a fair average of that conduct: but he knows nothing of the hidden powers which, if strenuously and generally called forth, will leave his books a transcript of the world, as erroneous as they are now accurate and honest. He has, therefore, no influence whatever in making men aim at improvement. He shows us what is, and that, Heaven knows, is discouraging enough; but he does not show us what we have the means of being, or he would teach us a lesson of hope, comfort, and invigoration.

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thing towards making men wiser or better.

Though, therefore, it would be an insane malignity to call him individually an immoral writer, as he has always recognized the distinction between right and wrong, and never knowingly inculcated evil; yet it would be folly to pretend that he produces much moral effect upon the world, as his works do scarcely any

The most obvious ground, on which to fix his claim of a strong and beneficial influence over men, is the general and good-humoured benevolence apparent in his writings. In an age of so much affected misanthropy and real selfishness, this is, doubtless, a high merit, and it is one which, in the works of Sir Walter Scott, does not carry with it the slightest symptom of pretence or even of exaggeration. We feel, at once, that we are in presence of a man of free and open heart, disposed to laugh at every man's jest, treat every man's foibles with gentleness, and spread over the path of life as much as possible of manly generosity. It would be difficult not to feel, after reading his books, that peevishness and envy are bad and foolish propensities, that earth yields better fruits than scorn and hatred, and above all, that there is nothing impressive in diseased melancholynothing sublime in assumed misery. His mind is evidently of the very healthiest and most genial sort that society will admit, without avenging itself, by calumny and oppression, for a superiority which reproaches its own viciousness. But it should be borne in recollection, that, excellent in themselves as are such qualities, and unalloyed, as they probably are, in Sir Walter cott, a very considerable share of them is perfectly compatible with that kind of feeling which confines itself entirely within the boundaries of our personal connections; and, though it would give up the most delicate morsel to another at the same dinner

And those who suffer with their suffering kind, table, would not sacrifice a farthing Yet feel this faith religion."

to do good to a kingdom or a continent. A similar character to that displayed in the writings of Sir Walter Scott, is the result, in many cases, of mere temperament and circumstance; though we perfectly believe that it exists, in his own breast, in its purest and most meritorious avatar. The benevolence that spends itself upon whatever may be brought by

chance within its view, is an infinitely more agreeable quality than mere selfishness, but one that is very little likely to do any more good to mankind. We see it constantly around us, exerting itself towards every particular object it happens to stumble on; and yet perfectly indifferent and cold to the greater general designs, which would do good an hundred times as extensive, and a thousand times as certain.

We have spoken of the mode in which he looks at men, at nature, and at history; and attempted to show how one great defect accompanies him in each. We have also said something of his claims to be considered as a moral writer; but connected more or less with all these subjects, there is another on which we have not hitherto touched, the necessary influence, namely, of the whole class of composition for which Sir Walter Scott is distinguished: and in speaking of the great bulk of his writings, as forming a class, we include both verse and prose, for the character of his ryhmed and of his unmetrical romances is essentially the same. The great classes into which fiction may be divided are made up of those that please chiefly by the exhibition of the human mind, and those that please chiefly by the display of incident and situation. The former are the domain of the mightier teachers of mankind; the kingdom of Homer, of Cervantes, of Shakspeare, of Milton, and of Schiller, a realm allied, indeed, to this world, and open to the access of men, but pure from our infirmities, and far raised above the stir of our evil passions, a sphere with which the earth is connected, and moves in accordance, but which, like to the sun itself, only shines upon the world to be its illumination and its law. Here is the true and serene empire of man's glory and greatness; and from this sanctuary issue the eternal oracles of consolation, which tell us to how free and sublime a destiny the human soul may lift itself. But the other class of writers, who find their 22 ATHENBUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.

resources in every thing that can create an interest, however transitory and vulgar, who describe scenes merely for the purpose of describing them, and heap together circumstances that shall have a value in themselves, quite independently of the characters of those whom they act upon;-it is the doom of such men to compound melo-drames, and the prize of their high calling to produce excitement without thought; and to relieve from listlessness, without rousing to exertion. To neither of these does Sir Walter Scott exclusively belong. That he is not one of the latter order of authors, witness much of Old Mortality,' of The Antiquary,' of The Bride of Lammermoor,' and 'The Heart of Mid-Lothian;' and yet, unhappily, the larger proportion of his works would seem to separate him entirely from the former; and, on the whole, he has ministered to the diseased craving for mere amusement, so strikingly characteristic of an age in which men read as a relaxation from the nobler and more serious employments of shooting wild-fowl or adding together figures.

These are some, and, we think, the chief of his errors as a writer of fiction. He has given us one work of graver pretension, the latest and the largest of his writings. But he seems to have so little idea of the essential difference between history and romance; not with regard to their comparative truth, but to their different purport, that it may well be pronounced the longest and most tedious of his novels. As to the question of mere fact accuracy, we believe he has not made quite so many mistakes as are commonly charged upon him. After the account of the Revolution, which is, in every way, contemptible, his narrative is tolerably fair and faithful. But it is not to this we look: the Life of Napoleon' is the history of Europe, in the most important era it has undergone since the Reformation. It is, in the first place, the biography of a man who, in the most extraordinary cir

cumstances, established the most wonderful empire that ever existed upon earth; who, though himself no philosopher, outwitted all the speculators of his time; who, though utterly and uniformly selfish, was sometimes more beloved, and always more admired, than any of his contemporaries; who, born in Corsican obscurity, lived to enter in triumph, Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, and Moscow, to play the sovereign over France, Italy, and Germany, to reconquer Paris from its dynasty of ages, and die a captive, in the prime of existence, on a rocky islet in a distant ocean. Such was Napoleon Bonaparte in his merely personal character; but feeble as is Sir Walter Scott's portrait of the man, how wretchedly and despicably insufficient in his account of the times! The close of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century, was the period appointed for one of those sudden and violent overthrows of old institutions, which, whether the forms be re-established or not, must leave them tottering and inanimate, which so break the ancient supports of habit and authority, that the mere expansion of the human mind will suffice finally to destroy the superstructure. They formed one of the marked epochs of the world; a going forth of the destroyer to prepare the way for a ministry of good. The relics of other centuries were stumbling-blocks and contrasts in our path, like the antique lances and rusted hemlets which grate against the plough-share of the peasant, and, like him, we flung them forth from the furrows which were sown with no ignoble seed, and were to produce no scnty harvest. But what did Sir Walter Scott discover in these things? He saw nothing but an illustration of the evils of popular resistance, of the perfections of the British Constitution, of the propriety of again subdu

ing the continent to aristocracies and despotisms; and above all, he seems never for a moment to imagine that the French Revolution was merely one of those shadows on the dial plate of history which follow and measure, but cannot in themselves influence, the great onward movement of the human mind.

Sir Walter Scott must never again write history. He not merely knows nothing of the theory of historical composition, but he feels none of the majestic and far-seeing spirit to which alone is committed the power of unrolling the records of past centuries. He may enter into the sepulchres of buried generations, he may burst the coffins, he may breathe a new life into the bones; but he cannot decypher the hieroglyphics which would tell us how they thought; much less can he so withdraw hi nself from the petty influences of the present, as to transmit to future times a clear picture of that which it really contains of precious aud permanent. But we trust that many years may pass before he himself becomes the property of the historian; before we shall be permitted to measure the influence of his works, and the stature of his intellect, without incur ring suspicion and calumny; before men will be allowed to say what we have said, and escape the charge of envying greatness because we our selves are little, and of underrating the genius with which we cannot sympathize. Till time and death have secured to all men this privilege, none can hope more sincerely than ourselves that he will continue to vary the dull track of ordinary existence with his gay and glittering creations; and that if he does not defy criticism by perfection, he will at least persevere, as he always has done, to disarm it of its sting, by the unaffected sincerity and genial kindness of his nature.


THE gentle breeze that curl'd the sea had slowly died away,
And stretch'd in glassy stillness now, the wide blue waters lay,
The sea-bird's cry was heard no more, and soft as infant's sleep
Was the holy caẩm that lay upon the bosom of the deep.

But yesterday the storm had raged, and shook the mighty ocean, That dash'd aloft its foamy waves, and heaved in wild commotion; To-day you might have thought no storm had ever touch'd its breast, As it lay a mighty emblem of mild majesty and rest.

Is there such calm for mortal breasts when storms have once been there,
When passion wild has swept along, and heart corroding care?
When guilt has once disturb'd the soul, and mark'd it with its stain,
Can tranquil softness of the heart be ever ours again?

Yes-but it is not of this world, the peace that must be sought,
And with the soul's repentant tears it can alone be bought;
Then, as it meekly bows to kiss affliction's chastening rod,
The broken and the contrite heart shall feel the peace of God.


OH! gaze on yon Glow-worm-though pale be its light,
Though faintly it shines through the darkness of night,
Its glimmering taper an emblem may be
Of the truth of my quiet affection for thee.

When Fortune and Fame brightly shone on thy way,
And crowds of gay flatterers bask'd in the ray,

I loved, but resolved in seclusion to hide

A love unbefitting the morn of thy pride.

But when Sorrow assail'd thee, when friends were unkind,
And the meteor-like blaze of thy fortunes declined,
My faith, like the Glow-worm, imparted its spark,
And smiled on a path-way deserted and dark.

Oh! thousands have offer'd a flame at thy shrine,
More sparkling, more ardent, more burning than mine;
But remember, it shone when thy sky was o'ercast,
And will shine on through sadness and gloom to the last.


FORGET thee?-then hath Beauty lost her charms
To captivate, and Tenderness grown cold,
As the perennial snows of mountains old;
And Hope forsook her throne, and Love his arms.
At morn thou art mine earliest thought, at night
Sweet dreams of thee across my soul are driven.
Almost thou comest between my heart and heaven,
With thy rich voice, and floating eyes of light.-
Forget thee? Hast thou then a doubt of me,
To whom thou art like sunshine to the spring?
Forget thee?-Never!! Let the April tree
Forget to bud-Autumn ripe fruits to bring-
The clouds to fertilize-the birds to sing-
But never while it beats, this bosom thee!


"Every path has its flower, if we would but stoop to pull it."

To O most human beings, the title

of this article suggests the ideas of pain and horror. These unpleas ant associations are of two kindsphysical and mental; and they sometimes come singly, and sometimes to gether. Inability to sleep is so often occasioned by a diseased state of the body, by the racking of decided and defined pain, or that more dreadful affliction which is occasioned by a deranged state of the digestive organs-where all is wrong, and the unhappy sufferer can neither name nor alleviate that which tortures him -that these modifications of restlessness, or rather peculiar cases of it, being those which have the most pow. erful effect upon the mind, become the attributes upon which the definition of it is founded, and thus throw their gloom over the whole.


The circumstances, and also the sense which, by the oblivion of the others, then becomes painfully delicate, conduce not a little to this effect. The darkness, the desolation, the feeling of utter helplessness, to a human being laid in a recumbent posture, and uncertain who may come upon him, or for what purpose-the silence, and the intense acuteness of the ear, to which the booming of the wind through the trees is as the sound of many waters," the rush of an overwhelming flood, the slap of a door or a shutter, are as the peal of thunder, and the slow and measured clicking of the clock, echoing through the stilly passages as the tread of an armed man, the foot-falling of a plunderer or assassin;-these, and many other circumstances which belong to the state itself, and which, though they belong not to, may be modified by, the constitution and present condition of the person who is in it, tend to produce a disquietude which it is difficult to resist.

Gloomy things too, both of simple and of superstitious fear, come across

one; and though we arm ourselves against the latter, with all the force of our philosophy, we cannot entirely prevent ourselves from thinking with Hamlet, that there are, shrouded up in the black mantle of the night, things of which that philosophy is afraid to dream.

Even the most simple kind of inability to sleep-that which springs from no disease of the body or dis quietude of the mind, but is the listlessness of the idle-that resistance of repose which one feels when the bodily or the mental exercise that alone can render repose sweet has been neglected, is by no means pleasant. This listlessness can happen only to one whose mental powers are weak or uncultivated, or have been neglected for the time; and where the deeper powers, those with which listlessness cannot associate, are not roused, irritation is sure to be active-just as water, which is too shallow for the swell and majesty of a wave, vexes itself in ripple and spray. This irritation, like an unbred cur, drives away the game which it is directed to seize; and, finding it worse than useless, we have recourse to those expedients which are supposed to gag the attention, without awakening either the reason or the imagination.

We repeat the numbers or the letters of the alphabet to the slow and dropping cadence of a dead march; or, better still, if we have accustomed ourselves to the task, we make rhymes, or perform operations in arithmetic or algebra. Sometimes these succeed; but very often when we are just at the point of success, and that at which we had been fagging is sliding away from us, the raw material of a dream, that loosening of the fancy which often precedes sleep, creeps into the field of our observation, coming, we know not whence, and composed of we

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