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imagination, such the grace and flexi. the calamities with which it was overbility of talent of a man, for whom whelmed two years after his death.” poetry was nothing more than an amuse Of the character of Mr. Roscoe's ment, which was scarcely noticed in his style and manner in the work before brilliant political career, -of a man, us, any comments of our's must be perwho, concentrating in himself alone ali fectly unnecessary. His elegance and the power of the republic, never allowed happy simplicity are well known to all the people to think that he had ceased classical readers. At all times chaste, to be a sovereign; of a man, who, by and exalted wherever his subject perthe superiority of his character, and of mits, he will always rank in the first his talents, governed all Italy as he class of prose writers, judging of future governed Florence; who preserved it in ages, not only by the present, but by peace, and retarded, as long as he lived, those which have gone before.
The Fortunes of Nigel. By the Author of " Waverley," “ Kenilworth," &c.
3 vols. Edinburgh, 1822. In the various changes which have formed out an entire new path for him. taken place in the different departments self,-a path in which he had no preof literature, since its revival in this decessors, and in which he has left all country, no species of writing, perhaps, imitators far behind. With a bold and has more completely thrown off its an faithful pen, he has interweaved the cient appearance than those fictitious story of fiction with accurate delineanarratives, which form so large a por- tion of the manners and characters of tion of the publications continually a' people, and has succeeded in this issuing, from the press. It might, pro union beyond what could have been bably, be more correct to speak of them expected.' To bestow praise on a writer as an entire new class of compositions, who has so frequently laid claim to, taking their rise within the last century; and as frequently received the meed of for though the name romance may be popular applause, would be useless. met with, we believe, as early as the It will be remembered, that the first ninth century, yet the class of works three works from the pen of this author extant at that period, and for a consi were a series descriptive of the manners derable time afterwards, under the name of the Scottish people, and in Scotland of romances, is as essentially different was laid the scene of his subsequent profrom modern productions of that name ductions, till the appearance of Ivanhoe, as can well be conceived. No one can Waverley, Guy Mannering, the Antitrace any resemblance between the con quary, Tales of my Landlord, &c. had tents of the voluminous folios, the “Le- established his fame in public opinion. gends, Renowned Histories, and Ro- The incidents in these were laid, at mances," of the early ages, and the what may be called, recent periods; and offspring of the pens of writers of our correct information, not only as to the own time,-the Walpoles, Radcliffes, historical events alluded to, or interand Godwins, who have ranked emi woven in them, but as to the nature of pent in this branch of writing.--Still the opinions, habits, and motives of the less can any similar features be dis- people who lived in them, might, withcovered between such ancient authors out much difficulty, be obtained. A part as we have mentioned, and the distin- of the materials were thus easy to be guished individual, known only with had, but it required the hand of no certainty to the public as the author of common artificer to make such a use of Waverley.
them as the author of Waverley has This writer, indeed, stands almost as done. much apart from his contemporaries as In Ivanhoe, however, the writer was they from the early romances; he has destitute of this assistance. It was a
* What is here said must be understood only of our own country-on the Continent this kind of writing commenced earlier.
romance, the personages of which were ciple, that chastity of honour which inhabitants of this country, at a time, felt stain like a wound, which inspired the customs and usages of which, are courage while it mitigated ferocity, utterly unknown, or of which, at best, which ennobled whatever it touched, very scanty information can be gleaned. and under which vice itself lost half its The people were split into two contendo evil by losing half its grossness.” But ing classes, who regarded each other it was not thus under Elizabeth. - The with that jealousy which was natural sensibility of principle was blunted by to the situation in which they were selfishness and interested suspicion; placod. In the unsettled and compara cabal and court intrigue destroyed con, tively uncultivated condition of the fidence and sincerity, and it required European States at that time, men's no extraordinary share of penetration minds were naturally attracted strongly to see, that the age of chivalry was on to those events in which, as affect- its decline; but though in its decay, it ing the civil and political constitu was not quite gone. In the early years tions of countries, every one conceived of Elizabeth, her court was filled with himself more or less interested. To men of rank and honour, who paid these events, therefore, the historians a romantic homage to their virgin of the times have turned their attention, Queen ; in which loyalty was mingled neglecting those minor occurrences with admiration and respect, and somewhich most strongly characterize the times with a softer feeling. That Elizahabits of a people. Besides, the games beth was not insensible to love, howand amusements of the several classes ever she pretended to despise his power, of society, and a variety of other points the names of Essex and Leicester bear essential to the accurate delineation of witness.-But her's was the love of one, times and people, are seldom mentioned who, while she felt its power, was inby contemporary writers, except in dignant that she should stoop to it. slight allusions, as things too familiar She felt that she was superior to her and well known to require any particu- sex in many things—she aspired to be lar notice or description. It is from superior in all-she had at her comthe consideration of circumstances like mand splendid and dazzling talent, and these, that a correct estimate can alone wished that her passions should be be formed of the difficulties to be sur likewise under subjection. In this she mounted by the author of a work like failed; and her conduct, in more inIvanhoe, and of the praise due to suc stances than one, shews, that a union cess in such an undertaking. These in one individual of greatness and littledifficulties the author of Waverley com ness of mind, is not utterly impossible. pletely surmounted, and produced a The author of Kenilworth seized on the work where we know not which most to distinguishing peculiarities of the chaadmire the beauties of the story, or racter of Elizabeth (and it was a difthe skill which the author displayed, in ficult one) with the power of a master, availing himself of those very scant his and produced a novel of which she was torical memoirs of the times, which, as the prominent feature-in which she we have before mentioned, have de was pourtrayed by turns as a queen, as scended to the present period.
a woman, and as a lover-a novel, In Kenilworth this writer again laid which, to say all that can be said in its the scene of his story in times, which are praise, was worthy of its author. now considered the property of anti But the writer had not the difficul. quity; and here again he charmed and ties to encounter in Kenilworth, which delighted the imagination by the magic, he had so_successfully overcome in with which he transferred to his own Ivanhoe. The early dramatists offered pages the rich and beautiful glow of a wide field from which a knowledge of. chivalry, which hung over the age of the times might be gathered. Any one Elizabeth. But this was not the chi- who reads one of Tonson's comedics. valry which blazes through Ivanhoe. has a competent idea of the gallants, In the time of Richard the Lion-Hearted, the bullies, the men of honour-the the feudal system of polity flourished in various characters of the day:-But full vigour, and with it bloomed its Tonson is only one of a multitude from. fairest flower, which Burke, more in which such information might be gathe spirit of a poet than of a politician, thered. Fletcher, Shirley, Chapman, describes as “that sensibility of prin- and others of equal or superior merit,
are open to every one, whom love of not without a prophecy on the part of literary pursuits, or of beautiful writing, Jenkin, that it would not be long ere incites to search these repositories of the Caledonian was involved in a brawl, ancient life and manners.'
-and so it turned out: for shortly after, But we fear we have exhausted the a riot commenced, which ends in the patience of our readers, by, detaining Scotchman being roughly treated by them so long from the subject of this the populace, from whose rage he is article. The Fortunes of Nigel is an rescued by the efforts of Ramsay's two historical novel, laid in the reign of apprentices--who, on the first hearing James the First, and its beauty consists of the brawl, were on the alert to take not so much in the interest of the tale, a share in the sport-not, however, as in the apparent fidelity with which without being so much injured, that he the personages are pourtrayed. Before, is conveyed to Ramsey's shop in a state however, we go further, we ought to of insensibility. mention, that the book is prefaced by We are here introduced to another of an able introduction, purporting to be the characters,-a friend of David's, an account of a dialogue between our whose description it may not be amiss old acquaintance, Capt. Cuthbert Clut to extract, as affording a specimen of terbuek and the Eidolon, or Represen- the dress and general appearance of tative Vision of the author, communi å wealthy citizen of the time. cated in a letter from the aforesaid Cuthbert, to another of our friends “The stranger's dress was, though grave, the Rev. Dr. Dryasdust. This, how- rather richer than usual. His paned hose ever, we pass over, and hasten to the were of black velvet, lined with purple principal subject of our remarks. It silk, which garniture appeared at the is introduced by a description of the slashes. His doublet was of purple cloth, shop or booth of an ingenious but whim and his short cloak of black velvet to sical and self-opinionated mechanic, correspond with his hose; and both were David Ramsay, by name. This worthy, adorned with a great number of small silwho holds the place of Horologer to his ver buttons richly wrought in filigree. A Majesty, has, according as we are in- triple chain of gold hung round his neck; formed, to the common usages of the and, in place of a sword or dagger, he wore
at his belt an ordinary knife for the pura days, a couple of stout-bodied, able pose of the table, with a small silver case, apprentices, Jenkin Vincent, commonly which appeared to contain writing matecalled Jin Vin, a wild, hair-brained, rials. He might have seemed some secre sharp and active lad, and his com tary or clerk engaged in the service of panion, Francis Tunstall, who, in vir- the public, only that his low, flat, and untue we suppose of the gentle blood to adorned cap, and his well-blacked shining which he lays claim, and of which Jin shoes, indicated that he belonged to the Vin is destitute, supports himself with city. He was a well-made man, about the somewhat more regularity and steadi- middle size, and seemed firm in health, ness. The occupation of these youths though advanced in years. His looks exis to perform the office of salesmen, by pressed sagacity and good humour; and standing in the outer shop or booth, the air of respectability which his dress and soliciting the passengers for cus
announced was well supported by his clear tom, not without occasionally, as might the Scouish idiom in bis first address, but
eye, ruddy cheek, and grey bair. He used be expected, indulging in a little im
in such a manner that it could hardly pertinent wit against those whom they
be distinguished whether he was passing conjecture unlikely to become pur
upon his friend a sort of jocose mockery, chasers, and whose appearance or other or whether it was his own native dialect, peculiarities may render them objects for his ordinary discourse had little proof ridieule or dislike. While this is vincialism." going forward, a kindly Scot chances to pass by, and the city wit of the ap To this venerable personage David is prentices is immediately directed against complaining highly of the behaviour one, whose country at that time was so of his apprentices in running away from unpopular, and the natives of which duty, when he is interrupted by the enwere so much the objects of jealousy and trance of the persons in question carsuspicion to the English people. The rying the unfortunate Scot between Scot, however, endures his persecution them. with tolerable patience, and passes on; By the assistance of a neighbouring
Eur. Mag. Vol. 81. June 1822.
apothecary, the sufferer is recalled to his him in anger, without looking at itsenses, and after a dialogue between and it was from this fruitless expedition him and Master George Heriot, the that the forlorn ambassador was returnwealthy and celebrated citizen who has ing, when he attracted the notice of been described, interspersed with some David Ramsay's apprentices as before satirical remarks of Master Jerkin on related. the stranger's apparel, which is, it The next morning Nigel is visited by seems, somewhat of the most thread- Master George Heriot, who having been bare, the following information is ga- under considerable obligations to Glenthered, viz. that his name is Richie or varlock's father, gratefully embraces Richard Moniplies, that he is servant an opportunity of repaying them to his to the young Lord Glenvarloch, the son, who, unacquainted with Heriot, hero of the work, who, owing to cir- and wishing to live unknown, at first cumstances which may as well be after receives him coolly. The worthy goldwards explained, is come from Scotlandsmith, however, persuades him to accept to England, where he lives in lodgings his assistance, which is the more needed, very unsuitable to his rank, under the as, unless some method is hit upon for name of Mr. Nigel Olifaunt,“ as keeping procuring payment to Nigel of his debt ourselves," as Richie observes, retired from the exchequer, his paternal estate for the present, though in Scotland we is in danger of going to sale in order be called the Lord Nigel,” and having to satisfy a wadset or mortgage for given Master George his Lord's address, 40,000 marks, due ostensibly to Perehe departs.
grine Paterson, the conversator of Scot. We have not yet intimated to our tish privileges at Campvere, “who," as readers that, besides the clocks and Heriot informs him, * only lends his watches, and other horological inde name to shroud no less a man than the scribables, which filled not only David's Lord Chancellor of England, who hopes, house, but also his brain, so completely under cover of this disguise to gain that he could scarce for a moment di- possession of the estate himself, or per: vert his attention from the abstruse cal- haps to gratify a yet more powerful culations of his occupation, he had an. third party.” This conjecture of Heother and more attractive piece of furni- riot's proves correct, the Chancellor is ture, his daughter, pretty Mistress Mar to obtain the estate for the Duke of garet, who possessed considerable per- Buckingham, the King's imperious fasonal, and some mental attractions, not vourite. Heriot advises Glenyarlock unmixed with a spice of coquetry and to go to court and present his supplicaother womanly failings, which had taken tion to the King in his own person, and root the earlier from her being what is furnishes him with money to enable him called a spoiled child. This damsel's to appear there in a suitable equipage, charms had touched the heart of Jin and shortly after leaves him in order Vin.
to go to show to the King a piece of . We are next introduced to Mr. Nigel plate of superior workmanship. Olifaunt, or to speak more properly, In his way to court, after having Lord Glenvarloch, waiting with some called at our friend the Horologer's to impatience and anxiety for the return invite him and pretty Mistress Margaret of his follower Richie Moniplies, who to dine with him to meet Glenvarlock, at length appears and gives an account whom he had previously prevailed upon of the cause of his prolonged absence. to partake of “ a mess of white broth,
It appears that the said Moniplies a fat capon, well larded,” and other had gone out to present or cause to dainties, he stops to get Nigel's supplibe presented to the King, a supplica- cation engrossed by a scrivener, and tion for a sum of money owing by his proceeds to the palace, where he is Majesty to Glenvarlock, and which instantly admitted, gold and silver" Richie imagined he could accomplish being, as James remarks on the goldthrough his interest at court, which smith's being announced, “ever welinterest at length, in reply to his master's questions, turns out to be the James, after having bargained for the friendship of one of the yeomen of the plate, complains to Heriot of the restkitchen. Richie, however, presented less persecution which he undergoes the petition, but with such awkward from suitors of his own country, and ness that the King threw it away from describes the fear and danger in which
he had been put by “ a thorough Edin- veyed in George Heriot's barge, in comburgh gạtter blood” (Richie Moniplies pany with that worthy citizen. After it was indeed)“ thrusting into his hands some difficulties aboutĞlenvarloch's adsome supplication about debts owing mittance to the presence-chamber, (he by our gracious mother, and sic like being a stranger at court) which are trash,” &c.
obviated by the interference of the Earl Heriot, however, finds means to ap of Huntinglen, an old but generous oppease the King and bring him into a ponent of Nigel's father, but friendly favourable disposition towards Nigel. towards his son; he is presented by that
Nigel attends punctually at dinner nobleman to James, who receives him hour at the citizen's house, where he graciously, and hearing that he is a meets with David Ramsay and his scholar, addresses him in Latin; more, daughter, two citizens, and a remark it may be presumed, to show his own able personage, Sir Mungo Malagrow- skill in that tongue, than to examine ther, of Girnigo Castle, å satirical mi- Glenvarloch as to his proficiency. In santhrope, who has been mutilated so the course of the dialogue, Nigel offers as to leave him in possession of but one his supplication, much to the King's hand, and a thing resembling a claw in surprize and displeasure, and is about lieu of the other—the reward of certain to have his suit and himself discarded libellous lampooning pranks in which in disgrace, but for the good offices of he had indulged himself
. Little worthy Lord Huntinglen, who again steps forof notice occurs during the dinner, ex ward to his assistance; and at last ohcept that Mistress Margaret, who, under tains from the monarch an order on the herdemure, simple appearance, possesses Scottish Excheqner for the sum owing a mind elevated far above her situation, to Glenvarlochides, as the King thinks begins to experience feelings of esteem proper to denominate our hero. He at least towards Glenyarloch—but of then departs with his young, patron: this more hereafter.
as they pass the antichamber they meet After the remainder of the company
the favourite, Buckingham. have departed, and Nigel is about to By Heriot's endeavours, the mortfollow their example, Heriot entreats gage or wadset upon the estate of Glenhim to stay to join in the family wor
varloch is transferred to another person, ship. At the commencement of the ser (who turns out afterwards to be the vice, Nigel is surprised by the appear. Lady Hermione, the mysterious personance of a lady, perfectly pale, clad in age whose appearance had surprized white, without any ornament whatever, Nigel at the goldsmith's) who is bound whom he has not before seen, who en by the deeds to allow a further time for ters the room and takes a seat appro the payment of the wadset, until money priated to her; and immediately after be raised by means of the King's orthe sermon, disappears without speak- der. Nigel dines with the Earl of ing: she looks at Nigel, however, with Huntinglen, and is introduced to his an anxious gaze, but he obtains no in- son, Lord Dalgarno, the friend of Buckformation with respect to the unknown îngham and the Prince, a cool, deliand mysterious visitant. Heriot offers, berate, accomplished villain. To sewith some diffidence, to accompany Glen- cond the Prince's and favourite's views varloch to the court on the following and prejudices against Nigel, Dalgarday, an offer which is readily accepted ; no (unknown to them) worms himand the young lord departs with his fol- self into the friendship of Nigel, leads lower, Mr. Moniplies, whose tongue him into situations which place his charuns even more glibly than usual, in racter in the blackest light, and causes proportion as his
host's wine has dimi- him to be regarded by his friends as nished the steadiness of his brain. In one upon whom their advice and good a scene between Mistress Margaret, offices are alike thrown away. and Dame Ursula Suddlechops, wife of Nigel, informed of the duplicity of " the most renowned barber in all Fleet- his supposed friend, Dalgarno, and street;" the former prevails upon the meeting him by accident in the Royal latter lady, by weighty arguments, to Park, challenges him to fight, and on procure intelligence respecting Lord Dalgarno's refusing to fight in the preGlenvarloch; who, ignorant of the in- cincts of the Court, Nigel strikes him terest which is thus taken in his fate, with the flat of his sword. A crowd is prepares next day to attend the Court immediately collected, and a decent, at Whitehall, to which place he is con- elderly looking man, who observed that