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made passion seem possible to one who felt, keenly felt, how much nature had set him apart. If genius for one moment believed that it could create love, as it could create all else, hers was the fault; she nursed the delusion: it was a worthy tribute to her self-love."
What is said about certain pecuniary obligations and large families, will sustain our general opinion regarding the writer's profoundness as well as closeness of observation.
"He was right in his refusal. Sooner or later a woman must inevitably despise the man who takes money from her. Before a man can do this, there must be those radical defects of character to which even kindness cannot always be blind. He must be a moral coward, because he exposes her to those annoyances which he has not courage enough to face himself; he must be mean, because he submits to an obligation from the inferior and the weak; and he must be ungrateful, because ingratitude is the necessary consequence of receiving favours of which we are ashamed. Money is the great breaker up of love and friendship; and this is, I believe, the reason of the common saying, that large families get on best in the world,' because they can receive from each other assistance without degradation. The affection of family ties has the character on it of childhood in which it was formed: it is free, open, confiding; it has none of the delicacy of friendship or the romance of sentiment: you know that success ought to be in common, and that you have but one interest."
One other example and we pass on
"Both had a great deal to say, and yet the conversation languished: but we have all felt this after a long absence. Confidence is a habit, and requires to be renewed. We have lost the custom of telling everything, and we begin to fear that what we have to tell is scarcely worth being told. We have formed new acquaintances; we have entered into other amusements; we feel that our tastes are altered, and we require a little while to see if the change be mutual. Moreover, the affections are always timid; they require both encouragement and custom, before they can venture to communicate their regrets.
'It is a curious, but an undeniable fact, that the meeting, after absence, of old friends, is almost always constrained and silent at first: they are surprised to find how little they have said of what they meant to say. It merely shows, after all, that affection is a habit."
There are few novelists to whom it could be safely recommended to extend a fiction beyond the compass of three volumes. Much less safe would it be to the great majority to bring before the public such a work piece-meal or by halves. Yet this is the shape and manner in which the present performance appears, for "Ernest Maltravers," the man of geuius, has not yet been allowed to consummate his history in these volumes, and the remainder, from what we have seen, will no doubt be as brilliant, impressive, and suggestive as anticipation can feign or curiosity desire. This we are sure of, from the sustained command and confident composure with which Mr. Bulwer has carried himself throughout the portion before us; nor
do we feel much regret that the drama of " Ernest Maltravers" is not here brought to a close, seeing how great and manifold are the treasures for thinkers to digest which every part of it contains, being for their excellence and rarity admirably calculated to raise expectation the longer they are examined, and so as that by the time the forthcoming part appears, the mind of the reader may enter more properly tutored upon the renewed and progressive study.
We find it difficult, nay, impossible to convey by any general or limited account any thing like an adequate idea of this novel. That it is the noblest of all its gifted author's productions, it may be rash to assert; but there can be no hesitation on the part of any intelligent reader to pronounce it a splendid work, bearing the impress of genius stamped on every page, of genius as diversified in its displays as it is original.
In delineating the genius and the history of "Ernest Maltravers," Mr. Bulwer has not only rejected the common incidents and accessories which ordinary novelists take advantage of when they bring upon the stage a hero who is to astonish the world by his talents, but he has not even adhered to any thing like his former plots. For instance, Maltravers is by birth and other circumstances beyond the frowns of fortune; but nevertheless he is required to be the architect of his own fame in a position which has peculiar obstacles and dangers to encounter. Of his character and fortunes however, as well as of the many distinct and clearly drawn actors that appear in the story, some of them finely idealized, it is impossible to obtain any thing like a just conception from any hasty outline or fragmentary extracts. In these circumstances, nothing can be so safe or succinct on our part than to take a sample from the very opening of the whole.
"Some four miles distant from one of our northern manufacturing towns, in the year 18-, was a wide and desolate common ;-a more dreary spot it is impossible to conceive-the herbage grew up in sickly patches from the midst of a black and stony soil. Not a tree was to be seen in the whole of the comfortless expanse. Nature herself had seemed to desert the solitude, as if scared by the ceaseless din of the neighbouring forges, and even Art, which presses all things into service, had disdained to cull use or beauty from these unpromising demesnes. ** For miles along the moor you detected no vestige of any habitation; but as you approached the verge nearest to the town, you could just perceive at a little distance from the main road, by which the common was intersected, a small, solitary, and miserable hovel.
"Within this lone abode, at the time in which my story opens, were seated two persons. The one was a man of about fifty years of age, and in a squalid and wretched garb, which was yet relieved by an affectation of ill-sorted finery: a silk handkerchief, which boasted the ornament of a large brooch of false stones, was twisted jauntily round a muscular but meagre throat. His tattered breeches were also decorated by buckles, one of pinchbeck, and one of steel. His frame was thin, but broad and
sinewy, indicative of considerable strength. His countenance was prematurely marked by deep furrows, and his grizzled hair waved over a low, rugged, and forbidding brow, on which there hung an everlasting frown that no smile from the lips (and the man smiled often) could chase away. It was a face that spoke of long continued and hardened vice-it was one on which the Past had written indelible characters. The brand of the hangman could not have stamped it more plainly, nor have more unequivocally warned the suspicion of honest or timid men.
"He was employed in counting some few and paltry coins, which, though an easy enough matter to ascertain their value, he told and retold, as if the act could increase the amount. ་ There must be some mistake here, Alice,' he said, in a low and muttered tone;' we can't be so lowyou know I had two pounds in the drawer but Monday, and nowAlice, you must have stolen some of the money-curse you!'
The person thus addressed sate at the opposite side of the smouldering and sullen fire; she now looked quietly up,—and her face singularly contrasted that of the man.
"She seemed about fifteen years of age, and her complexion was remarkably pure and delicate, even despite the sunburnt tinge which her habits of toil had brought it. Her auburn hair hung in loose and natural curls over her forehead, and its luxuriance was remarkable even in one so young. Her countenance was beautiful, nay, even faultless, in its small and childlike features-but the expression pained you-it was so vacant. In repose it was almost the expression of an idiot-but when she spoke, or smiled, or even moved a muscle, the eyes, colour, lips, kindled into a life which proved that the intellect was still there, though but imperfectly awakened...
I did not steal any, father,' she said, in a quiet voice, but I should like to have taken some, only I knew you would beat me if I did.'
And what do you want money for?'
"To get food when I'm hungered.'
"I don't know.'
"The girl paused- Why don't you let me,' she said, after a while, 'why don't you let me go and work with the other girls at the factory? I should make money there for you and me both?"
'Stuff!' said the man, angrily; I have three minds to- → "Here he was interrupted by a loud knock at the door of the hovel. "The man grew pale. What can that be?' he muttered. The hour is late-near eleven. Again-again! Ask who knocks, Alice.' "The girl stood spell-bound a moment at the door; and as she stood, her form, rounded yet slight, her earnest look, her varying colour, her tender youth, and a singular grace of attitude and gesture, would have inspired an artist with the very ideal of rustic beauty.
"After a pause, she placed her lips to a chink in the door, and repeated her father's question.
Pray pardon me,' said a clear, loud, yet courteous voice, but seeing a light at your window, I have ventured to ask if any one within will conduct me to****; I will pay the service handsomely.'
'Open the door, Alley,' said the owner of the hut.
"The girl drew a large wooden bolt from the door; and a tall figure crossed the threshold.
"The new-comer was in the first bloom of youth, perhaps about eighteen years of age, and his air and appearance surprised both sire and daughter. Alone, on foot, at such an hour, it was impossible for any one to mistake him for other than a gentleman; yet his dress was plain, and somewhat soiled by dust, and he carried a small knapsack on his shoulder. As he entered, he lifted his hat with something of foreign urbanity, and a profusion of fair brown hair fell partially over a high and commanding forehead. His features were handsome, without being eminently so, and his aspect at once bold and prepossessing."
But for Alice the man of genius would have been murdered by her ruffian father. We dare not, however, venture to surmise how deeply interesting this poor maiden afterwards becomes, or how much she affects the fortunes of the hero of the tale. We conclude with expressing our strong belief that "Ernest Maltravers" will take its permanent station among the very first class of British novels.
ART. II.-Seventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
HAVING observed the progress of this Association, and given some account of its proceedings each year, we shall invite attention in like manner to its latest Meeting, which took place in the course of September last. It can hardly be necessary to say any thing to those who have before read what we have had to advance in praise of such an institution, and of its services to the interests of science, as to its objects and arrangements. Still there may be some who are not aware of its prominent features and purposes, to whom something like a recapitulation may be acceptable, in which recapitulation better cannot be done than to take the Report of the Secretary, Dr. Traill, as a guide, which was read at an evening assemblage of the members at Liverpool.
The idea of the British Association was suggested by the successful efforts of the Philosophers of Germany within the last few years, the obstacles to the free intercourse between scientific men, in that part of Europe, having always been felt as a great bar to the advance of science. The same causes certainly did not exist in our more limited and favoured land, but so long as human nature is affected by the stimulus which the aggregation of a number of persons similarly devoted creates, and so long as the best informed may receive valuable accessions to his knowledge by an intercourse even with less profound investigators, so long will the Meetings of the British Association-made up as they are, besides raw disciples, of the High Priests in every department of natural science who
have obtained renown in our land, as well as of many others from foreign countries-be a powerful agent both in diffusing light, and in eliciting new beams. Having at once numbered in its ranks the élite of the philosophy of the United Kingdom, its magnitude and vigour was from its commencement gigantic, and unrivalled in our annals. Every branch of scientific inquiry has apportioned to it a Section, towards which all those particularly devoted to that branch repair, so that every one treading the same path is made acquainted, in the simplest and most speedy manner, of all the contributions which individual researches can accumulate.
Besides the cultivation of science which the British Association immediately contemplates, an inseparable, and, morally speaking, not less valuable result attends its Meetings, viz., an ameliorating influence upon the human heart. "Men accustomed to meet and act together for one great end, naturally and insensibly imbibe the social spirit-scientific and personal rivalry are softened by mutual approximation." Thus the institution, in question, must have a decided tendency to spread, as well as to originate "peace upon earth, good will towards men," while all its conquests are bloodless, and its monuments unassociated with crime.
It may be asked, what are any of the real and practical benefits which the Association has conferred, or is likely to bestow upon mankind? A general answer may be returned, containing an assertion, the mere statement of which will carry weight with it. As its migrations are annual and extensive, and admission into its ranks easy, thousands have already had a taste for scientific disquisition thereby excited, and this cannot, of course, be done without some fruits being reaped. But some of the positive and definite advantages that have resulted from the activity and sway of the institution can easily be pointed out. For example, the Supreme Government of the nation has been stimulated to aid the progress of science by its powerful patronage and means, in reference to several highly interesting and important subjects, at the suggestion and instigation of the Association. One of the most striking proofs is to be found in the fact that, at the petition of the Association, the Treasury have assigned five hundred pounds sterling for the purpose of forwarding the reduction of the enormous mass of observations on the heavenly bodies, accumulated since 1750, at the Greenwich Observatory, which, though universally allowed to be of the utmost moment to the future progress of astronomy, have been permitted to remain a rich, but unexplored, mine of facts.
Some years back, the Association applied for the resumption of the Trigonometrical Survey of Scotland, the importance of which may be in some measure appreciated, when it is learnt that several of the large islands at the mouth of the Clyde are at present laid down several miles out of their true position. The Survey, it is