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Dear Fanny Price is the most interest | any man's heart. The season, the scenes ing character in this novel, and we love her the air, were all favorable to tenderness from the moment she appears at Mansfield and sentiment. Mrs. Grant and her tamPark, a little girl of ten years old, as un bour frame were not without their use ; it happy as possible, afraid of every body, was all in harmony; and as every thing ashamed of herself, and longing for the will turn to account when love is once set home she had left; she knew not how to a going, even the sandwich tray, and look up, and could scarcely speak to be Dr. Grant doing the honors of it, were heard, or without crying. Mrs. Norris had worth looking at. been talking to her of her wonderful good business, however, or knowing what he was fortune, and the gratitude and good beha- about, Edmund was beginning, at the end viour it ought to produce, and her consci- of a week of such intercourse, to be a good ousness of misery was therefore increased deal in love; and to the credit of the lady by the idea of its being a wicked thing for it may be added, that without his being a her not to be happy: In vain did Lady man of the world or an elder brother, Bertram smile, and make her sit on the without any of the arts of flattery or the sofa with herself and pug, and vain was gaieties of small talk, he began to be even the sight of a gooseberry tart towards agreeable to her. She felt it to be so, giving her comfort, and sleep seeming to though she had not foreseen, and could be her likeliest friend, she was taken to hardly understand it ; for he was not finish her sorrows in bed. The growth of pleasant by any common rule ; he talked her love for her cousin Edmund Bertram, no nonsense, he paid no compliments, his is exquisitely narrated. On what slender opinions were unbending, his attentions grounds she feeds her gentle passion, a few tranquil and simple. There was a charm kind looks, some pleasant words; a few perhaps in his sincerity, his steadiness, his grateful acts suffice her : the description of integrity, which Miss Crawford might be her scarcely conscious jealousy of Miss equal to feel, though not equal to discuss Crawford are in the finest style of novel with herself. She did not think very writing. Miss Austen could never have much about it, however; he pleased her written this sweet story of love without for the present; she liked to have him having experienced it herself, with all near her; it was enough.” its rapturous enjoyments and torturing The plot of Mansfield Park is simple fears.
but it gave ample opportunity for Miss Crawford, handsome and selfish, the display of Miss Austen's genius and gifted with much tact, and with no princi- purity of heart. A sensible critic observes ples to interfere with the gratification of that our fair authoress depends for her her schemes of vanity and ambition, soon effect upon no suprising adventures, upon secures Edmund in her strong toil of grace. no artfully involved plot, upon no scenes “Miss Crawford's attractions did not les deeply pathetic or extravagantly humorous. sen. The harp arrived, and rather added She paints a society which, though virtuto her beauty, wit, and good humor, for ous, intelligent, and enviable above all she played with the greatest obligingness, others, presents the fewest salient points of with an expression and taste which were interest and singularity to the novelist-we peculiarly becoming, and there was some mean the society of English country genthing clever to be said at the close of every tlemen. Whoever desires to know the inair. Edmund was at the parsonage every terior life of that vast and admirable body, day to be indulged with his favorite instru- the rural gentry of England—a body ment; one morning secured an invitation for which absolutely exists in no other country the next, for the lady could not be unwilling on earth, and to which the nation owes to have a listener, and every thing was soon many of its most valuable characteristics in a fair train. A young woman, pretty, must read the novels of Miss Austen. In lively, with a harp as elegant as herself, these works the reader will find very little and both placed near a window, cut down variety, and no picturesqueness of persons, to the ground, and opening on a little
a little little to inspire strong emotion, nothing to lawn, surrounded by shrubs in the rich excite wonder or laughter, but he will foliage of summer, was enough to catch find admirable good sense, exquisite dis
crimination, and an unrivalled power of beth did not quite equal her father in pereasy and natural dialogue.
sonal contentment. Thirteen years had Sir Walter Scott, in his Diary, March seen her mistress of Killynch-Hall, pre 1826, remarks as follows: “I have amused siding and directing with a self-possession myself occasionally very pleasantly during and decision which could never have given the last few days, by reading over Lady the idea of her being younger than she Morgan's novel of O'Donnell, which has For thirteen years she had been some striking and beautiful passages of situ- doing the honors, and laying down the doation and description, and in the comic mestic law at home, and leading the way to part is very rich and entertaining. I do the chaise and four, and walking immedinot remember being so much pleased with ately after Lady Russell out of all the drawit at first. There is a want of story al- ing rooms and dining rooms in the country. ways fatal to a book the first reading—and Thirteen winters' revolving frosts had seen it is well if it gets a chance of a second. her opening every ball of credit which a Alas, poor novel! Also read again, and scanty neighborhood afforded; and thirteen for the third time at least Miss Austen's springs shown their blossoms, as she travvery finely written novel of Pride and Pre- elled up to London with her father, for a judice. That young lady had a talent for few weeks of annual enjoyment of the describing the involvements and feelings and great world. She had the remembrance characters of ordinary life, which is to me of all this, she had the consciousness of the most wonderful I ever met with. The being nine and twenty, to give her some Big Bow-Wow strain I can do myself like regrets and apprehensions. She was fully any now going ; but the exquisite touch satisfied of being still quite as handsome as which renders' ordinary common-place ever ; but she felt her approach to the years things and characters interesting from the of danger, and would have rejoiced to be truth of the description, and the sentiment, certain of being properly solicited by bais denied me.
What a pity such a gifted ronet blood within the next twelve months creature died so early !” A pity indeed. or two. Then might she again take up
Persuasion, is considered one of the the book of books with as much enjoyment very best of Miss Austen's six novels. It as in her early youth, but now she liked it is certainly a most artist like performance, not. Always to be presented with the date the plot, story, and its conclusion are alike of her own birth, and see no marriage folperfect. The characters I have not a low but that of a youngest sister, made the doubt were taken from life. They are in- book an evil, and more than once, when stinct with vitality, and make a lasting im- her father had left it open on the table near pression on the reader's mind. This novel her, had she closed it, with averted eyes, opens spiritedly with a description of a and pushed it away." Sir Walter becomes foolish baronet. “Sir Walter Elliot, of embarrassed ; he had given Elizabeth some Killynch-ball, in Somersetshire, was a man hints of it the last spring in town; he had who, for his own amusement, never took gone so far even as to say, can we reup any book but the Baronetage ; there he trench ? does it occur to you that there is any found occupation for an idle hour, and con one article in which we can retrench ?-and solation in a distressed one; there his fa- Elizabeth in the first ardor of female alarm, culties were aroused into admiration and set seriously to think what could be done, respect, by contemplating the limited and finally proposed these two branches of remnant of the earliest patents ; there any economy: to cut off some unnecessary unwelcome sensations arising from domes- charities, and to refrain from new furnishtic affairs, changed naturally into pity and ing the drawing room ; to which expedients contempt. As he turned over the almost she afterwards added the happy thought of endless creations of the last century and their taking no present down to Anne, as there, if every other leaf were powerless, had been the usual yearly custom. These he could read his own history with an in- petty suggestions of economy did not stay terest which never failed—this was the the torrent. Killynch-Hall is finally rentpage at which the favorite volume always ed to a frank, good hearted Admiral, naopened. Elliot of Killynch-Hall: Walter med Crofts, a most genial personage, with a Elliot, born March 1, 1760, &c. Eliza- considerable sprinkling of oddities. The
Elliots retire to Bath, and there Anne in turity, against that over-anxious caution walking along the streets, meets the Admi which seems to insult exertion, and distrust ral standing by himself at a print shop win- Providence ! She had been forced into dow, with his bands behind him, in earnest prudence in her youth, she learned rocontemplation of some print, and she mance as she grew older—the natural semight not only have passed him unseen, quel of an unnatural beginning.” They but was obliged to touch, as well as address meet after seven years absence—the course him, before she could catch his notice. of true love, in their case, did not run When he did perceive and acknowledge smooth. I must make one extract. “Have her, however, it was done with all his you finished your letter ?” said Captain usual frankness and good humor. “Ha! Harville, (to Čaptain Wentworth.) “Not is it you? Thank you, thank you. This quite, a few lines more. I shall have done is treating me like a friend. Here I am, in five minutes." “ There is no hurry on you see, staring at a picture. I can nev- my side. I am only ready whenever you er get by this shop without stopping. But are. I am at very good anchorage here, what a thing here is, by way of a boat. Do (smiling at Anne,) well supplied, and want look at it. Did you ever see the like? | for nothing. No hurry for a signal at all What queer fellows your fine painters must Well, Miss Elliot,
Well, Miss Elliot, ( lowering his voice,) as I be, to think that any body would venture was saying, we shall never agree I suppose their lives in such a shapeless old cockle- upon this point. No man and woman shell as that. And yet, here are two gen- would probably. But let me observe that tlemen stuck up in it mightily at their all histories are against you, all stories, ease, and looking about them at the rocks prose and verse. If I had such a memory and mountains, as if they were not to be as Benwick, I could bring you fifty quoupset the next moment, which they cer tations in a moment on my side of the artainly must be. I wonder where that boat gument, and I do not think I ever opened was built! (laughing heartily.) I would a book in my life which had not something not venture over a horsepond in it. Well, to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs (turning away,) now, where are you and proverbs, all talk of woman's ficklebound? Can I go any where for you, or
ness. But perhaps you will say, these are with you? Can I be of any use." all written by men.” "Perhaps I shall.
Anne Elliot's love for Captain Went Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to exworth, and its history, form the most inter- amples in books. Men have had every esting part of “ Persuasion.” She had advantage of us in telling their own story. loved him in girlhood, but prudential rea- Education has been theirs in so much higher sons, and the advice of relations prevented a degree ; the pen has been in their hands. their union. She was young, and he was I will not allow books to prove anything." poor, though full of life and ardor, and con “But how shall we prove anything ?” fident of success in his profession. The "We never shall. We never can exengagement between them is broken. A pect to prove anything upon such a point. few months had seen the beginning and it is a difference of opinion which does not the end of their acquaintance; but not admit of proof. We each begin probawith a few months ended Anne's share of bly with a little bias towards our own sex, suffering from it. Her attachment and re and upon that bias build every circumgrets had for a long time clouded every stance in favor of it which has occurred enjoyment of youth ; and an early loss of within our own circle ; many of which bloom and spirits had been their lasting ef- circumstances, (perhaps those very cases fect. All his sanguine expectations and which strike us the most,) may be preciseconfidence had been justified. Soon after ly such as cannot be brought forward withtheir separation he had obtained employ-out betraying a confidence, or in some rement, he had distinguished himself, and by spects saying what should not be said." successive captures had made a handsome “Ah!” cried Captain Harville, in a fortune. “How eloquent could Anne Elliot tone of strong feeling, “if I could but have been ! how eloquent, at least, were make you comprehend what a man suffers her wishes on the side of early, warm at- when he takes a last look at his wife and tachment, and a cheerful confidence in fu- children, and watches the boat that he has
sent them off in, as long as it is in sight, and terday, and I understood Frederick had a then turns away and says, “God knows card, too, though I did not see it; and whether we ever meet again.' And then, you are disengaged, Frederick, are you not, if I could convey to you the glow of his as well as ourselves ?" soul when he does see them again, when, Captain Wentworth was folding up a coming back after a twelve month's ab- letter in great haste, and either could not sence, perhaps, and obliged to put into an or would not answer fully. other port, he calculates how soon it be
,” said he, “ very true; here we possible to get them there, pretending to separate, but Harville and I shall soon be deceive himself, and saying, They cannot after you; that is, Harville, if you are be here until such a day,' but all the while ready, I shall be in half a minute. I know hoping for them twelve hours sooner, and you will not be sorry to be off. I shall seeing them arrive at last, as if Heaven be at your service in half a minute. Mrs. had given them wings, by many hours Croft left them, and Captain Wentworth sooner still! If I could explain to you having sealed his letter with great rapidity, all this, and all that a man can bear and was indeed ready, and bad even a hurried, do, and glories to do for the sake of these agitated air, which showed impatience to treasures of his existence! I speak, you be gone. Anne knew not how to underknow, only of such men as have hearts,” stand it. She had the kindest “ good pressing his own with emotion.
morning, God bless you," from Captain “Oh,” cried Anne, eagerly, “I hope Harville ; but from him not a word nor I do justice to all that is felt by you, and a look. He had passed out of the room by those who resemble you. God forbid without a look. She had only time, howthat I should undervalue the warm and ever, to move closer to the table where he faithful feelings of any of my fellow crea- had been writing, when footsteps were tures. I should deserve utter contempt heard returning; the door opened; it was if I dared to suppose that true attachment himself. He begged their pardon, but he and constancy were known only by wo had forgotten his gloves; and instantly man. No; I believe you capable of eve- crossing the room to the writing table and rything great and good in your married standing with his back towards Mrs. Muslives. I believe you equal to every impor- grove, he drew out a letter from under the tant exertion, and to every domestic for- scattered paper, placed it before Anne bearance so long as—if I may be allowed with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her the expression-so long as you have an for a moment, and hastily collecting his object. I mean, while the woman you gloves, was again out of the room, almost love lives, and lives for you. All the priv- before Mrs. Musgrove was aware of his ilege I claim for my own sex (it is not an being in it—the work of an instant! The enviable one, you need not covet it) is that revolution which one instant had made in of loving longest, when existence or when Anne, was almost beyond expression. The hope is gone." She could not immediate- letter, with a direction hardly legible, to ly have uttered another sentence, her heart Miss A. E was evidently the one was too full, her breath too much op- which he had been folding so hastily. pressed.
While supposed to be writing only to Cap“You are a good soul,” cried Captain tain Benwick, he had been also addressing Harville, putting his hand on her arm, her! On the contents of that letter dequite affectionately. “There is no quar- pended all which this world could do for relling with you. And when I think of her! Anything was possible, anything Benwick, my tongue is tied." Their at- might be defied rather than suspense. Mrs. tention was called towards the others. Musgrove had little arrangements of her Mrs. Croft was taking leave. “Here, own, at her own table: to their protection Frederick, you and I part company, I be- she must trust, and sinking into the chair lieve,” ” said she. “I am going home, and which he had occupied, succeeding to the have an engagement with your
friend. very spot where he had leaned and written, To-night we may have the pleasure of all her eyes devoured the following words: meeting again, at your party,” (turning to Anne.) *We had your sister's card yes “I can listen no longer in silence. I
ings are gone
must speak to you by such means as are age,
admire his beauty, and ask him queswithin my reach. You pierce my soul. I tions, which his mother answered for him, am half agony, half hope. Tell me not while he hung about her, and held down that I am too late, that such precious feel his head. On every formal visit a child
I offer myself to ought to be of the party, by way of proyou again, with a heart even more your vision for discourse. Lady Middleton's own, than when you almost broke it eight children must have been like those of the years and a half ago. Dare not say that man family where Lamb was visiting, and who forgets sooner than woman ; that his love was excessively annoyed by them,-at the has an earlier death. I have loved none dinner table he gave for a toast, but you. Unjust I may have been, weak mory of the good King Herod.” and resentful I have been, but never in The maternal complacency of Lady M. constant. You alone have brought me to is boundless. “ John is in such spirits toBath. For you alone I think and plan. day,” said she on his taking Miss Steele's Have you not seen this ? Can you fail to pocket handkerchief, and throwing it out of have understood my wishes ? I had not the window. “He is full of monkey tricks." waited even these ten days could I have And soon afterwards, on the second boy's read your feelings, as I think you must violently pinching one of the same lady's have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. fingers, she fondly observed, “how playI am every instant hearing something which ful William is ! And here is my sweet overpowers me. You sink your voice, but little Anna-maria, and she is always so genI can distinguish the tones of that voice, tle and quiet. Never was there such a when they would be lost on others. Too quiet little thing. But unfortunately, in good, too excellent creature! You do us bestowing these embraces, a pin in her justice, indeed. You do believe that there ladyship's head dress slightly scratching is true attachment and constancy among the child's neck, produced from this pattern men. Believe it to be most fervent, most of gentleness such violent screams as could undeviating in
F. W." hardly be outdone by any creature profes
sedly noisy. The mother's consternation It is needless to say that the parties soon was excessive; but it could not surpass the understood one another after this letter. alarm of the Miss Steeles; and everything
Sense and Sensibility is full of interest, was done by all three, in so critical an emerwith a good plot, and great diversity of gency, which affection could suggest as character. The contrast between Elinor | likely to assuage the agonies of the little and Marianne Dashwood is very effective. sufferer. She was seated in her mother's Elinor, with an excellent heart, an affec- lap, covered with kisses, her wound bathed tionate disposition, and strong feelings, with lavender water by one of the Miss knew how to govern them. Marianne, Steeles, who was on her knees to attend sensible, but eager in everything. There her, and her mouth stuffed with sugar was no moderation in either her sorrows or plums by the other. With such a reward her joys. She was amiable, interesting, for her tears, the child was too wise to everything but prudent. Sir John and Lady cease crying. She still screamed and sobMiddleton are an interesting couple. He bed lustily, kicked her two brothers for ofhunted and shot, and Lady Middleton was fering to touch her; and all their united a mother: these were their only amusements. soothings were ineffectual, till Lady MidLady Middleton had the advantage of being dleton luckily remembering that in a scene able to spoil her children all the year round, of similar distress last week, some apricot while Sir John's employments were in ex- marmalade had been successfully applied istence only half the time. On the first for a bruised temple, the same remedy call of the Miss Dashwoods, Lady M. had was eagerly proposed for this unfortunate taken the wise precaution of bringing with scratch, and a slight intermission of screams her their eldest child, a boy of about six in the young lady on hearing it, gave them years old, by which means, as Miss Austen reason to hope that it would not be rejectsays, there was one subject always to be ed. She was carried out of the room, recurred to by the ladies in case of extre- therefore, in her mother's arms, in quest of mity, for they had to inquire his name and this medicine ; and as the two boys chose