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and console themselves with this reflectionthat their names will live through all posterity, and be enrolled among the first and choicest in the list of those naval worthies, who, by their exertions and discoveries, have contributed to establish and extend the repu- . tation of England. They have the proud reflection that, although they have not had the good fortune to be rewarded, as they well deserved to be, with honours and emoluments, they have not condescended either to Hatter foreign potentates with names on a worthless chart—or to traverse the continent of Europe in quest of baubles and bits of ribbon, to dangle from a button-hole-or to petition parliament for grants of public money, and yet, at the satne time, hire brazen-faced bagmen to beat up for private subscriptions—the last resource of Malesuada fames.'
On the whole, whether we look at his evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons, or at his strange narrative, we can arrive at no other conclusion than this—that Sir John Ross, C.B., K.S.A., K.C.S., &c. &c.,' is utterly incompetent to conduct an arduous naval enterprise for discovery to a successful termination. What we complain of, however, is not so much the want of skill, as the loose and inaccurate manner in which he slurs over and states facts, whose only value is their minute correctness. What possible use can, or rather, what positive mischief may not, arise from the works of an hydrographer who can create islands, or move mountains, ad libitum, with a few strokes of his pen! What reliance are future navigators to place on such a chart and narrative as we have endeavoured to describe! The value of hydrography consists entirely in its fidelity. Whatever the general professional abilities of Sir John Ross may be, or may once have been, every one must admit that, on two occasions, he has proved himself to be wanting in the high qualifications for conducting a voyage of discovery in unknown seas, and particularly so for deciding such a question as that of a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific; a passage which, baffled from incompetence, and prejudiced from spite, he now, ex cathedra, pronounces to be impracticable, notwithstanding the progressive discoveries of Parry, Franklin, Richardson, and Beechey bave reduced it almost to a practicable certainty. Commander Ross has viewed that sea which washes the shores of America, from points that are distant sixty or seventy miles from each other, and seen it everywhere free and uninterrupted by any land ; Franklin, Richardson, and Beechey have seen the same from every part of the coast, save and except about 150 miles. Can there then be a doubt scarcely remaining—we have none whatever-that a vessel, passing through one of the openings beyond the Boothian Peninsula into the Western Sea, would with ease, in one season, make good her passage through Behring's Strait? If, on the return of Back, he shall have established the truth of Commander Ross's conjecture as to the uninterrupted continuation of the western and, northern coast of America, and, in consequence of this, Government should decide to follow up an enterprise which has already redounded so much to the credit of the nation and the glory of British seamen-if, on considering how much has been effected, and how little remains yet to be done, an expedition with two small vessels should be resolved on—we do not hesitate to say that Captain James Clarke Ross, from his long experience in the navigation of the Arctic Seas-his zeal and unabated ardourhis scientitic acquirements, practical and theoretical and last, not least, his youth and sound constitution, is the officer whom we should pronounce, under all circumstances, the best qualified to be intrusted with this honourable duty ;-and, let us be forgiven for adding that, for similar reasons, his friend Commander Back might fitly be appointed his second in command.
Art. II. -Journal of Frances Anne Butler (Fanny Kemble).
2 vols. Post 8vo. London. 1835, THIS is a work of very considerable talent, but, both in its con
ception and execution, of exceeding bad taste. There is something overbold, not to say indelicate, in the very idea of a young woman's publishing her private Journal; but when we found this Journal treating-besides her own personal concerns of the manners and characters of her family, her friends, and even of the strangers into whose society she had been admitted, in a style of free and easy criticism, we confess that we were even less surprised by the abilities than at the self-confidence of this young lady. Nor is this fundamental error much alleviated by the style of execution, which is often colloquial almost to vulgarity, aud occasionally bold even to coarseness. the first, and not very agreeable, impressions that the work creates; and we doubt whether all the amusement it may give, and the admiration that particular passages will excite, can compensate, to the generality of readers, for those-considering the writer's
age and sex—unnatural defects.
But there is, we are glad to say, a view of Miss Kemble's (or, as we must now call her, Mrs. Butler's) personal position, which will not only explain away much of the anomaly, but will serve as an excuse, if not an apology, for many of those particulars which at first sight create the most surprise, and seem to deserve the least approbation. She is in years a young woman, but she has
had considerable practice in the ways of the world. In many passages she expresses herself concerning her profession in very strong terms, sometimes of contempt and sometimes of disgust; but she never appears to have considered it in that particular point of view which bears most directly on her own case. The life of an actress—the habits of individual thought, study, and exertion-the familiarity with bargains, business, and bustle—the various and ever-varying situations and society into which she is thrown-the crossings and jostlings of the dramatic race -- the acquired contidence which enables her to outface multitudinous audiences--and the activity and firmness of personal character which are necessary to maintain her rights from the encroachments of rivals and the tyranny of managers-must all tend to blunt the feelings of youthful timidity, to weaken the sense of feminine dependence, and to force, as in a hot-bed, to premature exuberance, all the more vigorous qualities both of mind and body. An actress lives fast : her existence is a perpetual wrestling-match, and one season gives her more experience—and with experience, more of the nerve and hard features of the world--than a whole life of domestic duties could do. In short, a young actress may be in mind and character an old woman; and when it happens, as in • Master Fanny's' case, that the mind is originally of a vigorous and hardy cast, it is clear that she ought not to be measured by the standard of those more delicate young persons whose mental complexions have not been bronzed by the alternate sun and breezes of the stage, the green-room, and the box-office.
Again—the variety of characters with which she is obliged to identify herself (some of them not the most moral—Calista or Milwood, for instance-and some of them not the most feminine-as Lady Macbeth or Constance) must familiarize her with ideas and manners which never could approach a young woman in private life; and the infinite variety of such exhibitions gives her a kind of off-hand indifference to appearing before the public in any new character which may offer-even that of a journalist. Again—the general applause, and the individual attention, which actresses are in the habit of receiving, gives them inevitably a degree of self-confidence, a reliance on their own talents and judgment, and an idea of their own capacity and importance, which no other female mind is likely to attain. And, tinally, all their thoughts and actions are calculated on familiarity with the public—they dress for the public, they read for the public, they write for the public, they live for the public—and accordingly think nothing of making the public their confidants in matters which an ordinary female conceals in the bosom of her family. These are the considerations by which we account for Mrs.
Butler's having thought of publishing her Journal at all—for the strange frankness in which she brings herself and all her friends on the literary stage and for the decided tone and hardy expressions in which she exhibits her opinions : and if they do not constitute a sufficient excuse, we are satisfied that they afford at least the only rational explanation of the otherwise unaccountable) step which Mrs. Butler has taken, in admitting the public into her dressing-room, and inviting them to the dinner and tea tables, and even into the sick-chambers of her friends and admirers.
But while Mrs. Butler's profession (should we say her late profession ?) may be thus advanced in palliation of what we know bas surprised the generality of readers, it has also, as might have been expected, influenced her literary style. If she is at times colloquial to vulgarity, she is at others pompous even to bombast, and in both cases she is acting. Her Journal, we are satisfied, was from an early period, if not from the tirst line, destined for publication; and the whole thing is arranged for stage effect. She is pompous, to prove that she can be dignified; and then she interposes trivialities, in order to appear natural. She wishes to show ihat she can play Lady Macbeth and Nell in the same volunie ; but it seems to us that her pomp is more natural than her familiarity, and we trace quite as much affectation in her records of the packing of her trinks,' or the mending her gown,' as in her elaborate criticism on Hamlet, or her gorgeous descriptions of natural scenery.
With this clue in our hands we think we may venture to begin uvravelling the Journal.
Though she is strangely ignorant of the author of the celebrated expression--du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas'-which she attributes to "a French critic,' there is hardly a page of her work in which she does not exhibit an example of it-here is one of the most moderate :
• The steadfast shining of the moon held high supremacy in heaven. The bay lay like molten silver under her light, and every now and then a tiny skiff, emerging from the shade, crossed the bright waters, its dark hull and white sails relieved between the shining sea and radiant sky. Came home at nine, tea'd, and sat embroidering till twelve o'clock-industrious litlle me.'- vol. i. p. 81. The play and the after-piece!
Mrs. Butler's natural good sense (and she has a great deal of it) sees the actor-style in others, but does not perceive it,—as every body else must do most strongly,—in herself.
dined with us : what a handsome man he is ! but oh, what a within and without actor. I wonder whether I carry such a brand in every limb and look of me? if I thought so, I'd strangle myself. An
actor shall be self-convicted in five hundred. There is a ceaseless striving at effect, a straining after points in talking, and a lamp and orange-peel twist in every action. How odious it is to me! Absolute and unmitigated vulgarity I can put up with, and welcome ; but good Heaven defend me from the genteel version of vulgarity-to see which in perfection, a country actor, particularly if he is also manager and sees occasionally people who bespeak plays, is your best occasion.'-vol. i. pp. 66-68.
This is but too true; but we hope the offence of smelling of the stage-lamps is not quite so serious as Mrs. Butler represents it ; for assuredly she is as clearly, though not so offensively, guilty of it as any stroller of her acquaintance; and if she really thinks the crime capital, she must, like the self-devoted ecclesiastic of the middle ages, pronounce her own sentence-adjudico me cremari — or, to adopt her own expression, I condemn myself to be strangled. And it is singular enough that the two paragraphs which immediately precede and follow this anathema against vulgarity appear to us to be not only vulgar, but something still less excusable.
Stitching the whole blessed day. Mr. and his daughter called; I like him: his daughter was dressed up in French clothes, and looked very stiff ; but, however, a first visit is an awkward thing, and nothing that isn't thorough-bred ever does it quite well. . . Worked till dinner-time. My dear father, who was a little elated, made me sing to him [the actor above-mentioned], which I greatly gulped at. When he was gone, went on playing and singing. Wrote journal, and now to bed.'
We hope that Mr. --'s daughter, though she isn't thoroughbred,' would not have been guilty of the worse than vulgarity of hinting at her dear father's elevation,' nor of letting the aforesaid actor know, through the public press, that she thought him what a handsome man !' but so vulgar as to deserve hanging To console the poor fellow, we subjoin a few instances of that dramatic · twist' by which his harsh critic is herself unconsciously • self-convicted :
Played till I was tired; dozed, and finally came to bed. Bed! quotha! 'tis a frightful misapplication of terms.'--vol. i. p. 8. • We passed a pretty house, which Colonel
called an old mansion : mercy on me, him, and it! Old, quotha ! the woods and waters, and hills and skies, alone are old here.'-p. 102.
My father told me he had been seeing Miss Clifton, the girl they want him to teach to act (to teach to act, quotha!!!); he says she is very pretty indeed, with fine eyes, a fair, delicate skin, and a handsome mouth; moreover, a tall woman--and yet from the front of the house her effect is NOUGHT.'-pp. 148-150. Here we must observe by the way, that one who affects the