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Literary Lotices. Punch's Letters to his Son, by Douglas JerROLD; with Twenty-four Illustra

tions, by KENNY Meadows. London, W. S. Orr & Co. Under the alias of the far-famed and popular peripatetic, Punch, Douglas Jerrold has here produced one of the most cutting, yet best-intentioned satires, that have for many years issued from the press. The performance is evidently suggested by Lord Chesterfield's letters to his son, and the heartlessness, hypocrisy and iniquity of that nobleman's much-followed code of manners, are laid bare with a keen and unsparing hand. The best portions of the book, are the Chapters “ ON THE CHOICE OF A PROFESSION,'' on the philosophy of Borrowing,' and “ How Learning may be obtained by shaving and other means." The following extract will give a good idea of the power and point of Jerrold's satire :

Will you enter the church? Alas! what a prospect lies before you. Can you discipline your mind and body to fulfil the functions of your office? I will at once suppose you a bishop. Can you, I ask it, satisfy your appetite with merely locusts and wild honey? Will you be content with raiment of sack-cloth, or at the best, linsey-woolsey; and can you answer for your conscience that you will, at all times and in all weathers, be ready to make a pilgrimage to the hovels of the poor; to give comfort to the wretched; to pray beside the straw of the repentant guilty ; to show, by your own contempt of the creature blessings of this world, that you look upon the earth as a mere temporary tarrying-place,-a caravanserai, where you are awaiting until called beyond the clouds ? Consider it; as a bishop, you will be expected to take your seat in the House of Lords. When there, shall you be prepared, with the rest of your brethren, to set a continual pattern of piety and self-denial to the lay-nobles? Will you be ever prompt-as bishops always are-to plead the cause of the wretched ; to stand between the sinking poor and the arrogant rich; and with a voice of almost divine thunder wake in the callous hearts of worldlings a slumbering conscience for their fellow-men? Will you be in the House of Lords, a lump of episcopal camphor-a bundle of spikenard-a pot of honey? Can you as all bishops always do-abstain from the lusts of Mammon, and keep your lawn, white and candid as the wings of angels, from the soil of filthy Plutus ?' Thinking only of the broadest, the shortest, and the best way to heaven, -will you (like all bishops) never meddle with turn-pike acts, or job with wooden pavements ? Eschew. ing the vanity of coach and footman (as John the Baptist did, and all bishops do) will you think only of the carriage of Elisha ; and turning from the pomps and vanities of an episcopal palace, can you (as all bishops do) feed humbly, lodge lowly,-hungering only for immortal manna, -waiting only to be called to that home

" Whose glory is the light of setting suns ?" My dear boy, examine yourself, and say, are you equal to all this? I think you are my own flesh and blood, and thinking so, doubt your constancy in this matter. Hence, I would advise you to eschew the church; for unless you could live a life apostolical, as all bishops always do, what disgrace would you bring upon the bench -what slander and a by..word would you be in the mouths of the heathen!

The Chapters on “ Hermetical Philosophy" are also very striking, especially that included in the seventh letter. The remarks contained therein on man's foul abuse of Death, are extremely powerful; and not the less so, we think, for the stern quaintness of their style. Take the following example :

We are content to take up the abuse of the world as truthful censure-to believe in the hard sayings flung in the teeth of Death as well-earned reproach. We con. demn him by hearsay; and join in the halloo of an unthinking, ignorant mob. But invite Death to a tete-a-tete: divesting yourself of vulgar prejudice, sit down in a place like this-for you are in my hermitage, reader,--and calmly and dispassionately chat with him, and you will find the fine old fellow to have been villanously maligned-shamefully scandalised. You will, to your own surprise, and no less

comfort, discover in Death the noblest benefactor—the staunchest, truest friend. All the foul paraphernalia—the shroud, the winding-sheet-the wet heavy clay, the worm and corruption at which serious gentlemen shake their heads, and talk for an hour upon, have no more to do with you than with the hare that may nibble the grass above what once was yours; no more touch you than they touch the red-faced urchins making chains of buttercups and daisies on a falsifying tombstone. When moralising wordmongers seize you by the button, and holding up a skull or old earth-smelling tibia to your eye, look straight down their noses, and tell you that in a short time you will be no more than that they thrust in your face, - tell them, with all reverence, they lie. What will your skull, your bones, be to you, more than your corn that was cut out on Thursday-more than that vile double-tooth which, having tortured you for a fortnight was, a week since, lugged out of your jaw, and left at the dentist's? It is the vile literalness of people's brains that gives an unhandsomeness to the dead bones of men ; that makes them in the grave a part and parcel of the sentinel thing; that would make their foulness and disgrace a humiliation to the soaring man. You show me his lordship's cast-off court-suit of tarnished silver: that it is cast off, proves to me that he has possessed himself of a better. Show me the skull of a dead philosopher--nay, of a defunct pickpocket; commence a dumpish morality on the terrible change of head undergone by sage or thief, and I shall reply to you-It is excellent that it is so; for, depend upon it, the change is for the better; he has obtained a much handsomer article.

As a wholesome, and unflinching satirist, we think that Jerrold stands first amongst the writers of the day. There is no moral truckling in him; he aims his shafts at high and low alike, and though they are keen and piercing, they are never tipped with venom. In the employment of irony, we know of no writer that excels him; and there is a seriousness-a dignity in his morals, that cannot fail to impress the reader with a deep sense of the purposes he has ever in view.

It is a source of great pleasure to us to perceive, that Mr. Jerrold is about to launch a new Magazine upon the great ocean of literature. We heartily wish him a safe and prosperous voyage. The Banished Lord: A Tragedy in Five Acts. London, C. Mitchell, Red

Lion Court. It is not often that the critic has so pleasing or so difficult a duty to perform as is ours on reviewing this Tragedy. It is a pleasing task, because we have to bestow warm praise upon great merit; it is a difficult task, because we have to follow the writer through a very derious course; and to trace to their sources many excellencies and some errors.

Our first words shall be of praise. We like this Tragedy much. We find Nature, Vigour, and Truth in it, and these are somewhat rare virtues now-a-days. There is an honesty-a simplicity of purpose and of passion in this Tragedy that we thoroughly admire.

The plot is as follows. Lord de Mortimer has lost, through Court intrigue, the favour of his Sovereign, and is living in banishment. Being an exceedingly proud Patrician, he maintains great state in his exile, and falls largely in debt. Galbraith a retired merchant, possessed of immense wealth, but of mean extraction, is desirous of swelling himself into note by forming a friendship with De Mortimer. The “ Banished Lord" however disdains the overtures of the Merchant, and treats him with studied contempt. Galbraith, to be revenged, buys up certain bonds given by De Mortimer, in order to have a hold upon him. The Son of Galbraith gains the affections of Agnes, Lord de Mortimer's daughter, and secretly marries her. At this juncture, Galbraith offers to cancel the bonds he holds against De Mortimer, if that nobleman will look upon him as a friend. The pride of the “ Banished Lord” revolts at this proposition, and he disdains the overture. Out of revenge, Galbraith throws De Mortimer's Son into prison, on a charge of murder: the crime is sworn to by false witnesses, and the young nobleman is condemned to death. This completes De Mortimer's degradation, and his reason which has long tottered-falls completely prostrate. His pride, however, bears him up to the last, and he dies in his son's cellgrasping his sword and defying death.

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It will be seen that this plot gives room for some fine and striking dramatic situations; and we feel bound to say that the author has taken full advantage of them. The scene in which Galbraith and the Sheriff wait upon the proud De Mortimer to offer him freedom from debt if he will acknowledge them his friends, is highly dramatic;—so, too, is the Prison scene, which is very powerfully and affectingly wrought. Still the plotis somewhat involved and confused, and seems to us to be encumbered by many unnecessary circumstances which mar that unity of purpose which ought to be one of the chief considerations in the mind of the dramatic author.

De Mortimer is of course the principal character in the play, and we hesitate not to say that the proud Banished Lord is drawn with consummate ability. The pride of noble birth never met with a more distinct and effective delineation. And the author has shown with great power the increasing effects of renewed disappointment on haughtiness of mind. The proud nobleman first loses the favour of his sovereign; this raises a spirit of bravado in him—“his castle becomes a palace-a very reservoir of all sorts of grandeur." Then comes poverty; and he is reduced to the humiliation of borrowing money of a friend, and forsaking his splendid state for comparative retirement; this makes him sick at heart; and though he tries to persuade himself that he shall experience calm content, he clearly shows the misery he feels :

Oh, what it is, to rot upon the shore,
And feel that we shall no more put to sea;-
To blaze with life, then sink into a cinder!
It tasks philosophy to bear it up.
Yet there is comfort still ;-still round me clings
That glorious vestiture-patrician pride!
What noble consciousness-patrician pride!
The pride that sails full-winged in the eye of the world,
Sporting upon the tempests of disdain.
'Tis like a lamp hung up in my decay,
To feel the scorn that scouts the trammelled earth,
And tramps upon the groans of mean-born men.
Who's this? Galbraith! These wretched merchant men!
As on the opposition of dull clouds,
The Sun is fired with double radiancy,-
Such difference feel I gazing on those clods

That slime earth with contaminating clay.
His creditor presses him ; this rouses him to fury. The following scene
powerfully describes his state of mind under these circumstances :
Enter GalbRAITH, SHERIFF, Johnston, and Piper.

it ADAM.
Gal. My Lord de Mortimer ! 'Tis now some years-
You do not hear me, my Lord !

(Bows to LADY DE MORTIMER.)
De Mor. Lady de Mortimer! you may retire.

[Exit LADY.
Sheriff (aside). A strange beginning.

Gal. My Lord! This visit speaks its own design,
Without more prelude—I would be friends with you,
Setting the past adrift like a swamped log,
To mark a course of future amity
That might replenish both; and in that hope,
Have brought one, 'neath whose officed auspices,
All difference may blend :--The Sheriff! my Lord.

Sheriff. My Noble Lord! your roof ne'er covered one
More wholly yours; and if I feel a pride
In bearing somewhat of the royal light,
As from my place I do ; 'tis most in this,
That I may turn the lustre on your house,
And so hold up the blazon of your name.

De Mor. (turning aside). Endurance should be framed of adamant.
Now-what to do? Ha! -

(GALBRAITH and SHERIFF converse apart.)
Johnston (whispering). Look, Piper! look. See-see--his white

cheeks
Staring eyes.-He-he's going mad,
What think you, Piper ?

Piper (abstractedly). E-h ?
Gal. My Lord! I claim exchange of courtesy.
I come no supplicant to crave a boon
With purchase of stale breath, begging an alms
Through force of ailment, or disastrous sweep
Of Fortune's scythe ; but as ambassador,
Whose unction lies in the produced effect,
When amnesty binds up the wounds of war,
And, here, am ready to fulfil what terms
So ever may be fixed on for that end.

(A pause.)
Sheriff. Beseech you deign to answer us, my Lord !
Silence is but politeness of that kind,
That clasps the visiter with icy hand,
Kissing a welcome from a poisoned lip.
Must we report this to the world, whose ears
Gape wide for the detraction of the great ?
Will you your nobly honoured name set up
For every menial's tongue to wag against,
With sour offence of harsh comparison,
Recoiling on the past? Humbly, my Lord !
With hearts conjunct with duty, we are yours.

De Mor. (aside). How pleasant 'tis to feel supreme contempt.
Sir Sheriff ! I have stretched my courtesy-
Upon the rack,—thus far; trying to find
Some clue towards the label of this visit,
That condescends to grace my own poor selt
With patronising beams of Majesty;
Which, as the stream the fittest channel finds,
Has fitly found a deputy in thee.
Excuse me that I cannot crook my knee
In measure to your worth-

Sheriff. Your knee, my Lord !

De Mor. Ay, Sir! my sinews heave the gorge at it,
And like stiff rebels stand--what would you say?

Sheriff. My Lord! I ne'er expected that your knee-

De Mor. Indeed! but you expected thanks and welcome?
Take 'em. I am not given to roystering feasts,
Or riotous achievements of the cup;
But, when my grooms are holding holyday,
I'll see that there's a seat reserved
Oh mockery ! if I stay longer here
What is't ye want? who sent for ye? Begone.

[Exit. The ebb of his passion is finely pourtrayed; when his anger subsides, his reason begins to wander, and he feels that madness is coming. Here occurs a striking soliloquy :What's that I said ? -Wy wife! That opens all!

(Rises.)

My grandsire's old infirmity of mind !
My wasted memory like a parched scroll,-
Those horrid throbs that creep about my brain,-
I'm touched with the hereditary taint.

(Stopping before a portrait.)
He has my very features, too!
Wife! wife! (Calling-walks in agitation.)
The tree of life, has tossed me to the storm;
And I hang by its roots.--Wife--wife! (Calling. )
The baffled heart that struggles with its fear.
Has harder work apportioned to its task,
That ever daunted Hercules. Yet I-
There have been men who grappling with disease,
Have beat down madness as it staggard by,
And laughed upon the very brow of death!
Like them I'll wrench disaster from its aim,
Thrust woe aside --Why have I drawn my sword ?
Madness could never feel so calm,-and yet
This prowling dizziness that lures me on
With whispered satisfaction of repose,
But let me reason. If I kill myself-
A heart immortal is destruction-proof!
But, granting it were done,-If I should kill myself-
'Tis strange that I should like a huckster stand,
And stutter in a doubt! I'll—let me see-
Tut-tut! (Sheaths his sword.)
The madness lies in thinking myself mad.

He discovers that the love of his daughter is given to Galbraith's son: this adds fearfully to his torment. Then comes the accusation, trial, and sentence of his son, and the poor old Lord's proud heart is broken, and he becomes mad. There is great power in the delineation of De Mortimer's insanity: the flashing reminiscences of his exploits in battle--the offer of his castle's hospitality to perfect strangers—his care for stately burial

When I am buried, the funeral rites being o'er,
Garnish the Castle, re-instate its state;-
How plaintive is the pity that beholds
A noble fortress crumbling to decay,
Its grandeur gone, its glory passed away!
But man is not a mansion for the owls
To breed oblivion of all mortal doom :
Though like a Serpent coiling round its prey,
Time gripes us down, and crushes us at last-
Futurity is rooted in the past.
Altho' the bubble bursts upon the shore,

The tide it flowed in, flows for ever more. his dying advice to his son-

Richard ! Before they died,
The ancients ever to their friends bequeathed
The secrets they had wrung from life :-Hear mine.
Men are not all alike! Upon that truth
Write down the whole of your anatomy.
Some swear by honour; some by villany;
And some most wretched souls sneak on between,
And yet, they are as like as steps of stairs-
Some high, some low, all to be trodden on
By the foot of proud supremacy alone, -
For pride's a sceptre, and the world's its throne.
If you would win the wonder of the world,
And live triumphantly, as I have done,

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