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view of making invidious comparisons. His client had not the presumption to attempt to be thought to excel the great master-spirit of his age, Shakespeare. The present discussion was forced upon him, and he hoped it would not be considered as arrogance on his part if he attempted to defend his client. Comparisons of all kinds, but especially of literary merit, were often very vague and inconclusive. Of two persons attempt

tempt to underrate the merits of the defender. I admire and honour his genius; but still that genius may be great, without being the greatest; he may shine a star of the first mag nitude, without rivalling the sun in his splendour. In fertility and vigour of imagination, in felicity of painting to the life, in simple and natural pathos, and almost in hu mour and wit, he is little, if at all, inferior to his rival. He paints a variety of characters with true consisting the same walk, one might excel ency and originality; so distinctly are they brought out, that we seem to recognise them as individuals, and in time come to reckon them in the list of our acquaintances. So far as he depicts, he does so with life, and the pictures please and amuse us. But we in vain look for those awfully-deep portraitures of humanity, those sympathetic delineations of feeling, and gradual risings, insidious changes, and tempests and whirl winds' of passion, coming so closely home to men's business and bosoms, which are to be found in Shakespeare. If we come to consider the language in which the respective authors clothe their ideas and descriptions, we will find an immense superiority on the side of the drama tist. There is an indescribable charm in the flow and harmony of measured lines, which much enhances the sentiments they express; together with a dignity and conciseness of expression, which prose can never equal, and never approach. Shakespeare's volumes teem with passages of beauty, in which are crowded and concentrated maxims, reflections, and turns of expression, which have become incorporated with our very thoughts, and which we borrow like a second language, on all occasions, either of seriousness or levity. His works can bear to be perused again and again, and always with renewed or additional pleasure."

The illustrious counsel, after observing that it was almost needless to call any witnesses on the part of his client, although hosts of them were in attendance, concluded a learned and eloquent speech, by craving from the jury a verdict in his favour.

The counsel for the defender now rose. When the question was first agitated, he said, it was not with the

in qualifications of one kind, and one in another, and it was a matter of much nicety to adjust the balance between them. The noble and learned counsel on the other side, with much candour, had admitted, that in what must be considered the essentials of genius, the author of Waverley was little or nowise inferior to his great prototype-in imaginative power, in felicity of description, and in depth of feeling. That he had not pourtrayed many of the passions and feelings, which are most remarkable, and most prevalent in humanity, may perhaps be owing to the circumstance that Shakespeare lived before him. The great minds of the days that are past have seized upon the most striking and most important subjects, and have left little to their successors but imitation and amplification. There is no farther room to paint the workings of ambition, leading on to guilt and cruelty, after the characters of Macbeth and King Richard. Groundless jealousy, revenge, and the love of malice, purely for its own sake, is already depicted in Othello and Iago,-the melancholy wreck of a noble and sensitive mind in Hamlet,-and youthful passion in the loves of Romeo and Juliet. It may perhaps be said, that, striking out new paths, and seizing on incidents not obvious to the common eye, and therefore not suspected to exist, is a principal characteristic of genius. But human nature, though diversified, is not inexhaus tible,-the general properties, and primitive passions and affection, have already been sufficiently pourtrayed. The Author of Waverley then, to be original, had to take these general passions of our nature, and represent them when under peculiar circumstances, situations, and states of ci

vilization; as is exemplified in the Covenanters, under the sway of religious enthusiasm,-the Celts in a semi-barbarous state, &c. These characters, then, being peculiar, and confined to a sect or nation, though they may not be so generally or individually interesting, display not the less art and power in their construction. In his historical characters, the Author of Waverley will bear an equal comparison with Shakespeare, in his truth of painting, and power of illustrating and amplifying the conceptions of history. In pathos, the history and trial of Effie Deans, the catastrophe of the Bride of Lammermoor, and several other passages, vie with the finest scenes of Shakespeare. The ludicrous humour of Bailie Jarvie has few counterparts in the pages of the other; and the cavalier, Dugald Dalgetty, need not be ashamed to shake hands with the sack-loving Sir John Falstaff. Rebecca in Ivanhoe, and the sisterly affection of Minna and Brenda in the Pirate, equal the most lovely creations of Shakespeare. In short, there would be no end to enumerating his various beauties; and we shall now proceed to bring forward proofs of the universal admiration in which the works of the defender are held.

Here a motley crowd of witnesses were examined, consisting of all ranks, degrees, ages, and professions,-oldmaids, bachelors, grave doctors, and philosophers-striplings and young misses, who all bore unequivocal testimony of the pleasure they had derived from the author's works. After these, Voltaire, and some others of his countrymen, his disciples, were brought forward, in order to give their opinion against the dramas of Shakespeare. But Voltaire's evidence was so contradictory, and so plainly shewed that he was unacquainted with the spirit, and prejudiced against the plan of the author's works, as to render his testimony of no weight.

Here the pleadings closed, and the venerable Judge summed up the evidence in a clear and masterly manner. He left the decision entirely to the impartial verdict of the jury; and if they should give it in favour of the pursuer, in his opinion, it would rather be an honour than a disappointment for the Author of Waverley to be thought worthy of competing with the immortal Shake

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EDGEFIELD.

THE landlord received me with a smile, but the evening was wet, and my parlour contained nothing in the shape of amusement, except an odd volume of Hume's History of England. I was on the point of becoming melancholy, when the door opened, and my old friend Dickson held out his hand to me. I had written him a note about an hour before, mentioning the circumstances which would oblige me to pass the night at the village, on my way to the metropolis; but I had scarcely hoped that it would have found him disengaged. We were both, you may be sure, heartily glad to meet, for we had been separated for some time. We pulled our chairs nearer the fire, filled our glasses to the brim, and prepared to make the most of our time.

Dickson and I had been school

fellows, and both of us had spent a great part of our early life at Edgefield, he with his father and mother, and I, being an orphan, with my uncle and aunt. We both left the village about the same time; Dickson sailed for the West Indies, and I for the East. Our youthful friendship was thus entirely broken off, and many years elapsed before we again met by accident in Paris. We had both made independent fortunes, and were on our way back to our native country. Circumstances, however, kept me for some time on the continent, and Dickson set off by himself for Edgefield, where, he said, all his ambition was to end his days as happily as he had begun them. I promised to see him, if ever I happened to revisit the scenes of my childhood; but fate made it necessary for me to reside in a very different part of the

island, and it was now a mere accident which enabled me to spend a dozen of hours in the very heart of all my ancient associations.

The fire blazed brightly, and we had scarcely finished our first bottle. Are there any beings in existence so unfortunate as never to have enjoyed the extacy of such a moment? If there are, they may die when they please, for they do not know what it is to live. We were both twenty years older than when we last sat in this very parlour; but though time had somewhat changed the expression of our features, and altered the appearance of our persons, it had still left us hearts and souls as capable as ever of cherishing that enthusiasm and warmth of feeling which, with us, had ever constituted the chief charm of our existence. Let the plodding slave of Plutus, and the cold laborious book worm, toil on for ever through their appointed mole-hills, and let them, if they please, sneer at what to them appears the absurd eccentricity of those who have ventured to trace out for themselves a little by-path widely different from the broad and beaten road of life. "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy." Happiness is not external-it is not to be sought for far and wide, like a diamond mine, or a vein of gold-it is within ourselves. It consists neither in wealth, nor knowledge, nor power, but in that blessed constitution of our mental and physical capacities which induces us to clothe in verdure and sunshine every thing around us, which can convert a desart into an Arcadia, and change a melancholy world into a glorious elysium. Confident in the elasticity of an unchanging temper, and the luxuriance of a sunny imagination, there are none of the calamities of mortality which individuals, thus framed, need fear. They move on in their own orbits, and, like Saturn with his ring, they are independent of all light except their own. But I am wandering from my subject; all I meant to say is, that (thanks be to the gods!) Dickson and I had always a little romance in our constitutions, and that consequently we were always-and more especially

on an occasion like that to which I now refer-happier than we would have been without it.

"And now," said I, after we had talked over a few of our more recent

adventures at Paris, " you must tell me something of former times-of 'auld-lang-syne,' as the Scotch call it. Stands Edgefield where it did ?” "How can you suppose it possible?" answered Dickson; "does not Time roll his ceaseless course, and change every thing, even the appearance of the natural and moral world, as effectually as the bloom of a lady's cheek, or the brilliancy of her eye? If the hoary tyrant spares neither cities nor kingdoms, making his trade of devastation a melancholy monopoly, will he overlook, think you, an humble and defenceless village?" "Well," said I, smiling, "let us talk somewhat less metaphorically. Let us pass from theory to reality. Are the Pearsons still in the old house adjoining the parsonage? do you recollect the predatory incursions we used to make into their orchard, to rob the ancient trees of their very parsimonious supply of apples, not quite like those of the Hesperides? The old man used to catch us sometimes, but the good dame interfered in our behalf, and as soon as her • Κρείων Αγαμεμνων, ὑποδρα ίδων was about to announce our fate, she playfully tapped him on the cheek with her spectacles, and giving him one of the sweetest smiles that ever a Venus of sixty bestowed upon a Mars of seventy, eloquently depreIcated his wrath. The appeal was irresistible; and with many a good advice, all of which we commonly contrived to forget by the following afternoon, we were restored to liberty. Is the venerable couple still in the land of the living ?" "No; they are both dead. Their old house has been pulled down, and a field of corn is at this moment waving where ' once their garden smiled.'

"

"Peace be to their ashes! What

can you tell me of the Arnots? Edward was the cleverest boy at school; his sister Magdalene the prettiest girl in the village; and their father the only Justice of Peace in the county that no one ever thought of laughing at. What has become of Edward? After yourself, Dickson, he

was my favourite playfellow. Perhaps his sister had some connection with our friendship, for I daresay you may recollect that I could distinguish, at a tolerably early period, the difference between a black eye and a blue. Magdalene's was of the most bewitching blue. She was a year or two older than I, but I liked her the better. Every body who knew her liked her, every body, I mean, who was not of her own sex, for, to their shame be it spoken, there was not a woman between the years of fifteen and fifty who did not look upon her with jealousy and envy. I had the vanity to suppose that our esteem might be mutual, and I remember that, when alone, I not unfrequently indulged in a few day-dreams of felicity, of which she was ever sure to be the heroine; but they were only dreams; her gentle image was soon destined to pass from before mine eyes, and, under another heaven, new cares and hopes were to be awakened in my bosom. Yet I never forgot her, though I daresay she has long since forgotten me; I can call her up to my mind even now, with her thickly clustering ringlets of dark hair, and soft expressive eye, and her sweet smile, that seemed to rest upon you like moonlight; and then the tones of her beautiful voice, there was so much feeling, so much soul in them! You will smile at me, Dickson, but you will forgive my enthusiasm, when you recollect that I talk of my first love." Dickson, however, seemed to have as little inclination to smile as I myself had. He appeared as much interested in the subject as I was. Perhaps he also had loved her. We were both silent for some minutes. My reverie was what would commonly be called a melancholy one, for it carried me back to the "fairy haunts of longlost hours;" but who does not know that the pensive and mellow sorrow (if I may be allowed the expression) produced by such applications, is worth a whole eternity of careless and clamorous joy?

My friend spoke first, but it was with reluctance, as if unwilling to chase away the vision which our fancies had created, "Alas," said he, with a sigh,

"Elle etait de ce monde, ou les plus belles choses

Ont le pire destin;

Et rose, elle a vecu ce qui vivent les roses L'espace d'un matin."

"Is she there indeed?" cried I, catching the import of his words almost before they were uttered. "I had almost fancied a being such as she could never die." "You should rather have wondered," said Dickson,. "that she ever lived." "Is there any of our former friends in the village at all?" I at length inquired, after another pause. "A few," was the reply, "a very few; but they are all changed; it is difficult to distinguish these from strangers; girls have become wives and mothers; boys have grown into fathers; and the generation of seniors to whom we looked up with so much deference, as the wisest and most august of human beings, have either been gathered to their fathers, or, having dwindled down into their second childishness, and mere oblivion,' exist only in the slippered pantaloon,

6

'Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.""

"Has this change of persons," asked I, “ effected any change in the habits of the society and general characteristics of the place?" "Much," answered my friend; "the Sir John and Lady Lambert, who, in our younger days, resided at the Castle in the neighbourhood, and to whose decision in all points, civil, political, and moral, the whole village bowed, were, as you must remember, a couple of the most eminent Christians,' that is to say, of the most outrageous Methodists then in the kingdom. Under their administration Edgefield was a sort of New Zion in miniature-a most godly sanctuary, where all the saints delighted to tarry till their beards grew!' It was here that the itinerant orators employed by Bible and Missionary Societies loved to sojourn. Here did these 'sweet and holy men' contrive most easily to open the pockets of the elect,' and to teach the new-born babes of grace' how' they might make their

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calling effectual,' and their salvation sure,' Here were religious tracts diffused with a lavish hand; and he

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who had not read The Death-bed Scenes of Susan Fry,' or The sudden and wonderful Conversion of Timothy Purvis, Tailor in Nottingham, was one who had as yet made but small progress towards the New Jerusalem,' and who might still be considered as wandering in heathen darkness. But at length Sir John and his lady had their lives and their labours of love brought to a close. They died, of course, most comfortably,' and were buried with all due pomp. The heir to the titles and estate was a nephew of Sir John; he drove his lady down to the castle in a barouche and four; he ordered all the old furniture to be consigned to a lumber-room, and brought down his own at great expense from London; he collected all the tracts and innumerable books of Theology, with which the house was stuffed, into the stable-yard, and, setting fire to them en masse,' he honoured Edgefield Methodism with as magnificent a funeral-pile as it could have wished. Then at last did the potent, grave, and reverend inhabitants, begin to think they might venture to steal out of their cloak of hypocrisy, and resume somewhat of the manners and feelings of human beings. A strolling company of players, that had been literally pelted out of the place about three years before, now ventured to return; and the children, almost unconscious of their backsliding,' began to entertain some very sceptical notions as to the probability of their being taken up to the moon, if they ventured to gather a few primroses on a Sunday afternoon. The new lady was as active as her lord. She is a professed blue-stocking, and of course, to suppose that she could be religious, would have been the next thing to high treason. She has a smattering of Greek; she reads Latin with tolerable fluency; in French and Italian she is au fait. With all this load of learning, it was not to be supposed that she should have any wish to resemble the flowers that ' are born to blush unseen.' Accordingly, the whole efforts of her genius were expended in endeavouring to diffuse a love of literature over the village, or rather among such of its inhabitants as she condescended to make her associates. Being inspir

VOL. XV.

ed, in particular, with a prodigious passion for poetry, and possessing, or imagining she possessed, some little portion of the divinus afflatus herself, she instituted, in place of the now neglected and forgotten Bible Societies, a Society of a very different description, to which she was pleased to give the name of The Literary and Poetical Association.' This Society, consisting as much of ladies as of gentlemen, meets in the castle once every fortnight, and, now that I think of it, this is the very evening. To cut a long story short, therefore, if you like the proposal, I shall be happy to take you with me as a stranger, I being a member, and every member having that privilege."

I never neglect any opportunity that offers for seeing human nature in any thing like a new light, even though the gratification of my curiosity should subject me to some little personal inconvenience. On the present occasion, I availed myself most willingly of my friend's invitation, and as the rain had now ceased, and the moon was shining brightly, we had a pleasant walk of about a mile and a half to the castle. On the way thither, I was informed that I would have to pay a trifling price for the privilege I was about to enjoy, for that every stranger who was introduced into the presence-chamber of this most enlightened body was expected to favour them, either with some piece of literary information, or some little scrap, in prose or verse, of his own.

"But this is a condition," added my friend, "with which you will find no difficulty in complying, for you were at one time a very illustrious poetaster, and must retain on your memory many of your most successful productions. You need be under little apprehension of any thing like criticism, for, among the other poetical effusions which we may have the good fortune to hear, I will venture to say, you will hardly find one that would be thought worthy of a place even in La Belle Assemblée.' Comforted with this assurance, I promised to do all in my power to recal to mind some of those juvenile essays which I had now for so long a time forgotten.

The members of the "Association" were on the point of commencing the

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