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Review of Miss Benger's Life of Tobin.
Raymond. It is no apparition.
Would it were.
Gonsalvo. (to Abdallah.) Did you not tell me, slave——
Raymond. (to Zelico.)
I was not born to speak at thy commands.
Thou hast a white complexion
Art Chieftain of the Creeks-which I would be:
Let him speak in groans then.
'Tis like enough, that with my parting breath
Living, I hate, and dying, will despise thee.
The following is a beautiful extract-Zoa contemplates the picture of a rival:
Let me look on it-What a face is here!
How fresh the red and white of the complexion.
Of this fair forehead.-What, his wife! these lips,
This play wants that dramatic effect which so highly characterises the "Honey Moon"-" Your's or Mine," and the "Fisherman;" two operas conclude the volume. Did our space permit us, we would dwell upon the humour and lyrical talent they evince; and it would, perhaps, be interesting to follow up the comparison of the relative merits of Tobin's tragic and comic powers-but we will close this notice by expressing our hopes that those productions of a deceased poet, who, like Goldsmith, excites general admiration, may meet that public patronage which their merits lay claim to.
Review of Kenilworth.
" KENILWORTH," a Romance, by the Author of "Waverly," "Ivanhoe,” &c. 3 vols. 12mo.
Edinburgh-Constable and Co,
When we see the literary world anxiously devoting their attention to the investigation of questions whose solution may gratify curiosity, but is intrinsically of little importance, we are astonished at their eagerness in the pursuit; we smile at their folly in thus wasting their precious moments; we rail at them and yet, with our natural inconsistency, we join them in the very inquiry which has already undergone a mental condemnation. Several very trifling questions have at different times employed the consideration of the most eminent men; and volumes have been written to determine the birth-place of Homer. The identity of Junius and the Iron Mask has been a subject for the exercise of very different powers; and in our own days, the authorship of Waverly has proved a matter equally interesting and almost equally uncertain, The writer of an ingenious paper in the Dublin Magazine has endeavored to prove, that none but Sir Walter Scott could have produced fictions in which the scenery, the manners, and the antiquities of Scotland have been so ably delineated. He has adduced many and very cogent reasons for his opinions; and has remarked, (what alone might decide the question against the claims of any female competitor,) that the milder scenes of love and domestic happiness are but sparingly introduced, and that the novels display that deep research into the antiquities of his country, for which Sir Walter is so eminently distinguished; that the character of Sir Walter's poems closely resembles that of the contested novels, and that his muse began to indulge in some intermission of her labors at the period in which the author of Waverly first presented his lucubrations to the public. The favorers of this opinion have, however, to contend with some almost positive assertions that the novels are the joint productions of the baronet, his brother, and his sister-inlaw-that the lady supplies the stories, her husband clothes them in language and sends them from America to his brother, who corrects the descriptions of scenery, arranges the narrative, and adds those beautiful pieces of poetry which are sometimes given as headings to the several chapters, and sometimes are embodied in the text. The lovers of prudence will scarcely hazard an opinion, where so much has been advanced on either side; but if we were obliged to declare ourselves, we would be inclined to agree with the corre
Review of Kenilworth.
spondent of the Dublin Magazine. Sir Walter has been always the instrument of the communication of these novels to the public, and we have heard that Mr. Scott, an officer of the 18th Hussars, at present quartered in Portobello barracks, asserts his father's claim to the authorship.
If we may consider public estimation as any mark of merit, and surely the old proverb holds in no instance better than in this-the merits of the " Novels and Tales, by the author of Waverly," must be supereminent. They have been fully appreciated; and the anxiety with which the public have watched for the appearance of " Kenilworth," is a sufficient evidence of the value they have placed on the author's former endeavors. His fame will not suffer from Kenilworth-but we must preface our remarks by an abstract of its incidents.
In the close of the evening, a soldier of fortune, named Lambourne, arrived after an absence of eighteen years at an inn in Cumnor, near Oxford, of which his uncle, Giles Gosling, was the good-humoured landlord. Gosling, in honor of his nephew's arrival, invited all his guests to an entertainment, and, among the rest, Tressilian, a gentleman who had taken up his abode at the inn, and lived there in the most private manner. The conversation turned on Lambourne's old acquaintances, and Foster is thus introduced to our notice as a man who had risen from nothing, though now possessed of Cumnor-place; a young and beautiful lady was also mentioned as living under his care, and Lambourne's spirit of adventure was roused by the reported difficulty of gaining access to the place; he wagered that he would force Foster to introduce him to the lady, and Tressilian offered to bear him company. In the morning they went to the place, and gained an interview with its master. Lambourne took him to an adjoining room, leaving Tressilian to his own meditations; but these were interrupted by the entrance of the young lady, in whom he recognised Amy Robsart, the daughter of his dearest friend, who had been betrothed to him by her father, and was the object of his present search through the country. He desired her to come with him to her dying father, and she promised to follow him; he reproached her with the supposed guilt of her situation, as he believed her to be the paramour of Varney, master of the horse to the earl of Leicester; and when he insisted that she should immediately leave the place, his approach, as if to enforce obedience, drew
Review of Kenilworth.
from her a scream which brought Lambourne and Foster again into the room; Tressilian departed, and, heedless of his way, wandered through the park to a postern-door, which at the instant was opened from without by Varney. In a combat which ensued, the latter was thrown completely in his adversary's power, but was saved by the arrival of Lambourne, who, at Varney's instigation, traced Tressilian's steps to the inn, and was placed as a watch on his movements. Tressilian's conjecture with respect to Amy's connection was, however, erroneous, as she was really wedded to Leicester, queen Elizabeth's celebrated favorite, who from state reasons was obliged to conceal his marriage; and Varney had now come to prepare Amy for her lord's reception. Wishing to have her in his power by being a partaker in some secret, he prevailed on her to conceal the circumstance of Tressilian's visit from Leicester, who soon arrived, and continued with his countess till morning.
In the dead of night Tressilian was visited by his host, who hinted his suspicions of Lambourne, Foster, and Varney. Tressilian, perceiving his host's honest intention, disclosed to him the particulars of Amy's history, and his surmise with respect to her present condition; when Gosling advised him to procure a memorial from her father, and to present it to Elizabeth. Tressilian left the inn before break of day, and travelled on slowly through bye ways; but his horse dropped a shoe; and he was guided by an arch and knavish dwarf, named Dickie Sludge, to a smith whom the country boors believed to be a witch. Tressilian, however, detected him, and the smith told him his story. He had been at different times a smith, a juggler, a player, and lastly a servant to a quack physician, who had engaged deeply in chemical speculations; his master left him secretly, and he was since reduced to the poorest shifts to support existence. He wished to leave his trade, and accepted Tressilian's offer of protection through the country, in which he would otherwise have been afraid to appear. They parted from Dickie, and arrived without accident at Sir Hugh Robsart's.
The old knight recognised Tressilian, but his stronger reason had sunk beneath his sorrows; Tressilian obtained the memorial and accompanied by Wayland, the smith, whom he found to be a very intelligent and trust-worthy man, he departed to Say's court, where his patron, the earl of Sussex, required his immediate attendance ;-the earl was dangerously ill, and Wayland's skill, which he had derived from
Review of Kenilworth.
the quack physician, his former master, enabled him to declare from the symptoms that a slow poison was the cause, and that he would confidently undertake his cure. In London they procured the necessary drugs and proceeded onward to Say's court. Wayland administered the antidote, and enjoined the strictest silence, as his patient's life depended on his obtaining a sound sleep. Hence young Walter Raleigh refused admittance to the Queen's physician, whom she had sent in compliment to the earl. To apologize for this behaviour, Raleigh, accompanied by Blount, the earl's master of the horse, was sent to London, where his gallantry in spreading his mantle beneath Elizabeth's feet to enaable her to oross a small pool of water, procured him her most favourable opinion. She visited Sussex, and required his attendance (as he was now rapidly recovering,) to become reconciled to his rival, the earl of Leicester. At the audience she talked of the brawls of their retainers, and mentioned Tressilian's memorial which had been forwarded to her by the earl of Sussex. Leicester grew deadly pale when Amy Robsart's name was mentioned, and the Queen, who now began to evince the most decided partiality to her noble subject, became agitated, and summoned Varney and Tressilian to her presence. Varney, with the self-possession of a villain, acknowledged in part the truth of Tressilian's statement, thus preventing his master from making an avowal which would blast his ambitious hopes-but he declared that Amy was his wife, and turned the circumstances which were likely to have proved so ruinous, into a most ingenious and artful recommendation of his patron. Elizabeth, satisfied of the truth of this statement, reminded Leicester of her intended visit to Kenilworth in, the ensuing week, and desired him to invite Sussex and all his friends, but most particularly required to see Amy, the beauty who had thus created such disturbance.
As Leicester had allowed Varney's assertion of his own marriage to Amy to pass without contradiction, it was now impossible for him to acknowledge her without incurring the disgrace of meanness in sheltering himself behind his retainer's name. Varney desired him still to conceal Amy, as such a course alone could avert his ruin, and he undertook to find a reasonable excuse for her absence from Kenilworth. He endeavoured to accomplish this promise by the assistance of Alasco, the same quack whom we have already mentioned as the master of Wayland, and whom we now find as the de
VOL. I.-NO. II.