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Norbury, and was introduced to the strangers. She had strong prejudices against them; for her toryism was far beyond, we do not say that of Mr. Pitt, but that of Mr. Reeves; and the inmates of Juniper Hall were all attached to the constitution of 1791, and were therefore more detested by the royalists of the first emigration than Petion or Marat. But such a woman as Miss Burney could not long resist the fascination of that remarkable society. She had lived with Johnson and Windham, with Mrs. Montague and Mrs. Thrale. Yet she was forced to own that she had never heard conversation before. The most animated eloquence, the keenest observation, the most sparkling wit, the most courtly grace, were united to charm her. For Madame de Staël was there, and M. de Talleyrand. There, too, was M. de Narbonne, a noble representative of French aristocracy; and with M. de Narbonne was his friend and follower, General D'Arblay, an honourable and amiable man, with a handsome pers on, frank, soldier-like manners, and some taste for letters. The prejudices which Frances had conceived against the constitutional royalists of France rapidly vanished. She listened with rapture to Talleyrand and Madame de Staël, joined with M. D'Arblay in execrating the Jacobins, and in weeping for the unhappy Bourbons, took French lessons from him, fell in love with him, and married him on no better provision than a precarious annuity of one hundred pounds. Here the Diary stops for the present. We will, therefore, bring our narrative to a speedy close, by rapidly recounting the most important events which we know to have befallen Madame D'Arblay during the latter part of her lise. M. D'Arblay's fortune had perished in the general wreck of the French Revolution; and in a foreign country his talents, whatever they may have been, could scarcely make him rich. The task of providing for the family devolved on his wife. In the year 1796, she published by subscription her third novel, Camilla. It was impatiently expected by the public; and the sum which she obtained by it was, we believe, greater than had ever at that time been received for a novel. We have heard that she cleared more than three thousand guineas. But we give this merely as a rumour. Camilla; however, never attained popularity like that which Evelina and Cecilia had enjoyed; and it must be allowed that there was a perceptible falling off, not indeed in humour, or in power of portraying character, but in grace and purity of style. We have heard that, about this time, a tragedy by Madame D'Arblay was performed without success. We do not know whether it was ever printed; nor indeed have we had time to make any researches into its history or merits. During the short time which followed the treaty of Amiens, M. D'Arblay visited France. Lauriston and La Fayette represented his claims to the French government, and obtained a promise that he should be reinstated in his military rank. M. D'Arblay, however, insisted that he should never be required to serve against the

countrymen of his wife. The First Consul, of course, would not hear of such a condition. and ordered the general's commission to be instantly revoked. Madame D'Arblay joined her husband at Paris a short time before the war of 1803 broke out; and remained in France ten years, cut off from almost all intercourse with the land of her birth. At length, when Napoleon was on his march to Moscow, she with great difficulty obtained from his ministers permission to visit her own country, in company with her son, who was a native of England. She returned in time to receive the last blessing of her father, who died in his eighty-seventh year. In 1814 she published her last novel, The Wanderer, a book which no judicious friend to her memory will attempt to draw from the oblivion into which it has justly fallen. In the same year her son Alexander was sent to Cambridge. He obtained an honourable place among the wranglers of his year, and was elected a fellow of Christ's College. But his reputation at the University was higher than might be inferred from his academical contests. His French education had not fitted him for the examinations of the Senate-House; but in pure mathematics, we have been assured by some of his competitors that he had very few equals. He went into the church, and it was thought likely that he would attain high eminence as a preacher; but he died before his mother. All that we

have heard of him leads us to believe that he

was such a son as such a mother deserved to have. In 1832, Madame D'Arblay published the “Memoirs of her Father,” and, on the 6th of January, 1840, she died, in her eighty-eighth year. We now turn from the life of Madame D'Arblay to her writings. There can, we apprehend, be little difference of opinion as to the nature of her merit, whatever differences may exist as to its degree. She was emphatically what Johnson called her, a charactermonger. It was in the exhibition of human passions and whims that her strength lay; and in this department of art she had, we think, very distinguished skill. But in order that we may, according to our duty as kings-at-arms, versed in the laws of literary precedence, marshal her to the exact seat in which she is entitled, we must carry our examination somewhat further. There is, in one respect, a remarkable analogy between the faces and the minds of men. No two faces are alike; and yet very few faces deviate very widely from the common standard. Among the eighteen hundred thousand human beings who inhabit London, there is not one who could be taken by his acquaintance for another; yet we may walk from Paddington to Mile-end without seeing one person in whom any feature is so overcharged that we turn around to stare at it. An infinite number of varieties lies between limits which are not very far asunder. The specimens which pass those limits on either side, form a very small minority. % is the same with the characters of men. Here, too, the variety passes all enumeration But the cases in which the deviation from the

common standard is striking and grotesque, are very few. In one mindavariče predominates: in another, pride; in a third, love of pleasure —just as in one countenance the nose is the most marked feature, while in others the chief expression lies in the brow, or in the lines of the mouth. But there are very few countenances in which nose, brow, and mouth do not contribute, though in unequal degrees, to the general effect; and so there are few characters in which one over-grown propensity makes all others utterly insignificant. o It is evident that a portrait-painter, who was able only to represent faces and figures such as those which we pay money to see at fairs, would not, however spirited his execution might be, take rank among the highest artists. He must always be placed below those who have the skill to seize peculiarities which do not amount to deformity. The slighter those peculiarities the greater is the merit of the limner who can catch them and transfer them to his canvass. To paint Daniel Lambert or the Living Skeleton, the Pig-faced lady or the Siamese Twins, so that nobody can mistake them, is an exploit within the reach of a signpainter. A third-rate artist might give us the squint of Wilkes, and the depressed nose and protuberant cheeks of Gibbon. It would require a much higher degree of skill to paint two such men as Mr. Canning and Sir Thomas Lawrence, so that nobody who had ever seen them could for a moment hesitate to assign each picture to its original. Here the mere caricaturist would be quite at fault. He would find in neither face anything on which he could lay hold for the purpose of making a distinction. Two ample bald foreheads, two regular profiles, two full faces of the same oval form, would baffle his art; and he would be reduced to the miserable shift of writing their names at the foot of his picture. Yet there was a great

... difference; and a person who had seen them

once, would no more have mistaken one of them for the other than he would have mistaken Mr. Pitt for Mr. Fox. But the difference lay in delicate lineaments and shades, reserved for pencils of a rare order. This distinction runs through all the imitative arts. Foote's mimicry was exquisitely ludicrous, but it was all caricature. He could take off only some strange peculiarity, a stammer or a lisp, a Northumbrian burr or an Irish brogue, a stoop or a shuffle. “If a man,” said Johnson, “hops on one leg, Foote can hop on one leg.” Garrick, on the other hand, could seize those differences of manner and pronunciation, which, though highly characteristic, are yet too slight to be described. Foote, we have no doubt, could have made the Haymarket theatre shake with laughter by imitating a dialogue between a Scotchman and a Somersetshireman. But Garrick could have imitated a dialogue between two fashionable men, both models of the best breeding, Lord Chesterfield for example, and Lord Albemarle; so that no person could doubt which was which, although no person could say that in any point either Lord Chesterfield or Lord Albemarle spoke or moved otherwise than in conformity with the usages of the best society.

The same distinction is found in the drama and in fictitious narrative. Highest among those who have exhibited human nature by means of dialogue, stands Shakspeare. His variety is like the variety of nature, endless diversity, scarcely any monstrosity. The characters of which he has given us an impression as vivid as that which we receive from the characters of our own associates, are to be reckoned by scores. Yet in all these scores hardly one character is to be found which deviates widely from the common standard, and which we should call very eccentric if we met it in real life. - *

The silly notion that every man has one ruling passion, and that this clue, once known, unravels all the mysteries of his conduct, finds no countenance in the plays of Shakspeare. There man appears as he is, made up of a crowd of passions, which contend for the mastery over him, and govern him in turn. What is Hamlet's ruling passion ? Or Othello's Or Harry the Fifth's Or Wolsey's Or Lear's? Or Shylock's Or Benedick's? Or Macbeth's? Or that of Cassius Or that of Falconbridge 1 But we might go on for ever. Take a single example—Shylock. Is he so eager for money as to be indifferent to revenge Or so eager for revenge as to be indifferent to money? Or so bent on both together as to be indifferent to the honour of his nation and the law of Moses? All his propensities are mingled with each other; so that, in trying to apportion to each its proper part, we find the same difficulty which constantly meets us in real life. A superficial critic may say, that hatred is Shylock's ruling passion. But how many passions have amalgamated to form that hatred? It is partly the result of wounded pride: Antonio has called him dog. It is partly the result of covetousness: Antonio has hindered him of half a million, and, when Antonio is gone, there will be no limit to the gains of usury. It is partly the result of national and religious feeling: Anto. nio has spit on the Jewish gaberdine; and the oath of revenge has been sworn by the Jewish Sabbath. We might go through all the characters which we have mentioned, and through fifty more in the same way; for it is the constant manner of Shakspeare to represent the human mind as lying, not under the absolute dominion of one domestic propensity, but under a mixed government, in which a hundred powers balance each other. Admirable as he was in all parts of his art, we most admire him for this, that, while he has left us a greater number of striking portraits than all other dramatists put together, he has scarcely left us a single caricature.

Shakspeare has had neither equal nor second, But among the writers who, in the point which we have noticed, have approached nearest to the manner of the great master, we have no hesitation in placing Jane Austen, a woman of whom England is justly proud. She has given us a multitude of characters, all, in a certain sense, commonplace, all such as we meet every day. Yet they are all as perfectly discriminat ed from each other as if they were the most eccentric of human beings. There are, for example, four clero; none of whom we should-be surprised to find in any parsonage in the kingdom, Mr. Edward Ferrars, Mr. Henry Tilney, Mr. Edmund Bertram, and Mr. Elton. They are all specimens of the upper part of the middle class. They have all been liberally educated. They all lie under the restraints of the same sacred profession. They are all young. They are all in love. Not one of them has any hobby-horse, to use the phrase of Sterne. Not one has a ruling passion, such as we read of in Pope. Who would not have expected them to be insipid likenesses of each other? No such thing. Harpagon is not more unlike to Jourdain, Joseph Surface is not more unlike to Sir Lucius O'Trigger, than every one of Miss Austen's young divines to all his reverend brethren. And almost all this is done by touches so delicate, that they elude analysis, that they defy the powers of description, and that we know them to exist only by the general effect to which they have contributed. A line must be drawn, we conceive, between artists of this class, and those poets and novelists whose skill lies in the exhibiting of what Ben Jonson called humours. The words of Ben are so much to the purpose, that we will quote them:—

“When some one peculiar quality Doth so possess a man, that it doth draw All his effects, his spirits, and his powers, In their confluxions all to run one way, - This may be truly said to be a humour.”

.There are undoubtedly persons, in whom humours such as Ben describes have attained a complete ascendency. The avarice of Elwes, the insane desire of Sir Egerton Brydges for a barony to which he had no more right than to the crown of Spain, the malevolence which long meditation on imaginary wrongs generated in the gloomy mind of Bellingham, are instances. The feeling which animated Clarkson and other virtuous men against the slavetrade and slavery, is an instance of a more honourable kind. Seeing that such humours exist, we cannot deny that they are proper subjects for the imitations of art. But we conceive that the imitation of such humours, however skilful and amusing, is not an achievement of the highest order; and, as such humours are rare in real life, they ought, we conceive, to be sparingly introduced into works which profess to be pictures of real life, Nevertheless, a writer may show so much genius in the exhibition of these humours, as to be fairly entitled to a distinguished and permanent rank among classics. The chief seats of all, however, the places on the dais and under the canopy, are reserved for the few who have excelled in the difficult art of portraying characters in which no single feature is extravagantly overcharged. If we have expounded the law soundly, we can have no difficulty in applying it to the par. ticular case before us. Madame D'Arblay has left us scarcely any thing but humours. Almost every one of her men and women has some one propensity developed to a morbid degree. In Cecilia, for example, Mr. Delvile never opens his lips without some allusion to

his own birth and station; or Mr. Briggs, with

out some allusion to the hoarding of money; or Mr. Hobson, without betraying the self-indulgence and self-importanëe of a purse-proud upstart; or Mr. Simkins, without uttering some sneaking remark for the purpose of currying favour with his customers; or Mr. Meadows, without expressing apathy and weariness of life; or Mr. Albany, without declaiming about the vices of the rich and the misery of the poor; or Mrs. Belfield, without some indelicate eulogy on her son; or Lady Margaret, without indicating jealousy of her husband. Morrice is all skipping, officious impertinence," Mr. Gosport all sarcasm, Lady Honoria all lively prattle, Miss Larolles all silly prattle. If everosadame D'Arblay aimed at more, as in the character of Monckton, we do not thin that she succeeded well. We are, theresore, forced to refuse Madame D'Arblay a place in the highest rank of art; but we cannot deny that, in the rank to which she belonged, she had few equals, and scarcely any superior. The variety of humours which is to be found in her novels is immense; and though the talk of each person separately is monotonous, the general effect is not monotony,

. but a very lively and agreeable diversity. Her

plots are rudely constructed and improbable, if we consider them in themselves. But they are admirably framed for the purpose of exhibiting striking groups of eccentric characters, each governed by his own peculiar whim, each talking his own peculiar jargon, and each bringing out by opposition the peculiar oddities of all the rest. We will give one example out of many which occur to us. All probability is violated in order to bring Mr. Delvile, Mr. Briggs, Mr. Hobson, and Mr. Albany into a room together. But when we have them there, we soon forget probability in the exquisitely ludicrous effect which is produced by the conflict of four old fools, each raging with a monomania of his own, each talking a dialect of his own, and each inflaming all the others anew every time he opens his mouth. Madame D'Arblay was most successful in comedy, and indeed in comedy which bordered on farce. But we are inclined to infer from some passages, both in Cecilia and Camilla, that she might have attained equal distinction in the pathetic. We have formed this judgment less from those ambitious scenes of distress which lie near the catastrophe of each of those novels than from some exquisite strokes of natural tenderness which take us here and there by surprise. We would mention as examples, Mrs. Hill's account of her little boy's death in Cecilia, and the parting of Sir Hugh Tyrold and Camilla, when the honest baronet thinks himself dying. It is melancholy to think that the whole same of Madame D'Arblay rests on what she did during the early half of her life, and that every thing which she published during the fortythree years which preceded her death, lowered her reputation. Yet we have no reason to think that at the time when her faculties ought to have been in their maturity, they were smitten with any blight. In the Wanderer, we catch now and then a gleam of her genius. Even in the Memoirs of her Father, there is no trace of

dotage. They are very bad; but they are so, as it seems to us, not from a decay of power, but from a total perversion of power. The truth is, that Madame D'Arblay's style underwent a gradual and most pernicious change—a change which, in degree at least, we believe to be unexampled in literary history, and of which it may be useful to trace the progress. o When she wrote her letters to Mr. Crisp, her early journals, and the novel of Evelina, her style was not indeed brilliant or energetic; tout it was easy, clear, and free from all offensive faults. When she wrote Cecilia she aimed higher. She had then lived much in a circle of which Johnson was the centre; and she was herself one of his most submissive worshippers. It seems never to have crossed her mind that the style even of his best writings was by no means faultless, and that even had it been faultless, it might not be wise in her to imitate it. Phraseology which is proper in a disquisition on the Unities, or in a preface to a dictionary, may be quite out of place in a tale of fashionable life. Old gentlemen do not criticise the reigning modes, nor do young gentlemen make love with the balanced epithets and sonorous cadences which, on occasions. of great dignity, a skilful writer may use with happy effect. In an evil hour the authoress of Evelina took the Rambler for her model. This would not have been wise even if she could have imitated her pattern as well as Hawkesworth did. But such imitation was beyond her power. She had her own style. It was a tolerably good one; one which might, without-any violent change, have been improved into a very good one. She determined to throw it away, and to adopt a style in which she could attain excellence only by achieving an almost miraculous victory over nature and over habit. She could cease to be Fanny Burney; it was not so easy to become Samuel Johnson. In Cecilia the change of manner began to appear. But in Cecilia the imitation of Johnson, though not always in the best taste, is sometimes eminently happy; and the passages which are so verbose as to be positively offensive, are few. There were people who whispered that Johnson had assisted his young friend, and that the novel owed all its finest passages to his hand. This was merely a fabrication of envy. Miss Burney's real excellences were as much beyond the reach of Johnson as his real excellences were beyond her reach. He could no more have written the masquerade scene, or the Vauxhall scene, than she could have written the Life of Cowley or the Review of Soame Jenyns. But we have not the smallest doubt that he revised Cecilia, and that he retouched the style of many passages. We know that he was in the habit of giving assistance of this kind most freely. Goldsmith, Hawkesworth, Boswell, Lord Hailes, Mrs. Williams, were among those who obtained his help. Nay, he even corrected the poetry of Mr. Crabbe, whom, we believe, he had never seen. When Miss Burney thought of writing a comedy, he promised to give her his best counsel, though he owned that he was not

particularly well qualified to advise on matters relating to the stage. We therefore think it in the highest degree improbable that his little Fanny, when living in habits of the most affec tionate intercourse with him, would have brought out an important work without con sulting him; and, when we look into Cecilia we see such traces of his hand in the grave and elevated passages as it is impossible te mistake. Before we conclude this article, we will give two or three examples. When next Madame D'Arblay appeared before the world as a writer, she was in a very dif. ferent situation. She would not content herself with the simple English in which Evelina had been written. She had no longer the friend who, we are confident, had polished and strengthened the style of Cecilia. She had to write in Johnson's manner without Johnson's aid. The consequence was, that in Camilla every passage which she meant to be fine is detestable; and that the book has been saved from condemnation only by the admirable spirit and force of those scenes in which she was content to be familiar. But there was to be a still deeper descent. After the publication of Camilla, Madame D'Arblay resided ten years at Paris. During those years there was scarcely any intercourse between France and England. It was with difficulty that a short letter could occasionally be transmitted. All Madame D'Arblay's com panions were French. She must have written, spoken, thought, in French. Ovid expressed his fear that a shorter-exile might have affected the purity of his Latin. During a shorter exile, Gibbon unlearned his native English. Madame D'Arblay had carried a bad style to France. She brought back a style which we are really at a loss to describe. It is a sort of broken Johnsonese, a barbarous patois, bearing the same relation to the language of Rasselas which the gibberish of the negroes of Jamaica bears to the English of the House of Lords. Sometimes it reminds us of the finest, that is to say, the vilest parts, of Mr. Galt's novels; sometimes of the perorations of Exeter Hall; sometimes of the leading articles of the Morning Post. But it most resembles the puffs of Mr. Rowland and Dr. Gross. It matters not what ideas are clothed in such a style. The genius of Shakspeare and Bacon united would not save a work so written from general deriSion. It is only by means of specimens that we can enable our readers to judge how widely Madame D'Arblay's three styles differ from each other. The following passage was written before she became intimate with Johnson. It is from Evelina: “His son seems weaker in his understanding, and more gay in his temper; but his gayety is that of the foolish overgrown schoolboy, whose mirth consists in noise and disturbance, He disdains his father for his close attention to business and love of money, though he seems himself to have no talents, spirit, or generosity to make him superior to either. His chief de light appears to be in tormenting and ridiculing his sisters, who in return most cordially dr

spise him. Miss Branghton, the eldest daughter, is by no means ugly: but looks proud, illtempered, and conceited. She hates the city, though without knowing why; for it is easy to discover she has lived no where else. Miss Polly Branghton is rather pretty, very foolish, very giddy, and, I believe, very good-natured.” This is not a fine style, but simple, perspicuous, and agreeable. We now come to Cecilia, written during Miss Burney's intimacy with Johnson; and we leave it to our readers to judge whether the following passage was not at least corrected by his hand: “It is rather an imaginary than an actual evil, and, though a deep wound to pride, no offence to morality. Thus have I laid open to you my whole heart, confessed my perplexi. ties, acknowledged my vain-glory, and exposed with equal sincerity the sources of my doubts and the motives of my decision. But now, indeed, how to proceed I know not. The difficulties which are yet to encounter I fear to enumerate, and the petition I have to urge I have scarce courage to mention. My family, mistaking ambition for honour, and rank for dignity, have long planned a splendid connection for me, to which, though my invariable repugnance has stopped any advances, their wishes and their views immovably adhere. But I am too certain they will now listen to no other. I dread, therefore, to make a trial where I despair of success. I know not how to risk

a prayer with those who may silence me by a

command.” Take now a specimen of Madame D'Arblay's later style. This is the way in which she tells us that her father, on his journey back from the continent, caught the rheumatism: “He was assaulted, during his precipitated return, by the rudest fierceness of wintry elemental strife; through which, with bad accommodations and innumerable accidents, he became a prey to the merciless pangs of the acutest spasmodic rheumatism, which barely suffered him to reach his home, ere, long and piteously, it confined him, a tortured prisoner, to his bed. Such was the check that almost instantly curbed, though it could not subdue, the rising pleasure of his hopes of entering upon a new species of existence—that of an approved man of letters; for it was on the bed of sickness, exchanging the light wines of France, Italy, and Germany, for the black and loathsome potions of the Apothecaries' Hall, writhed by darting stitches, and burning with fiery fever, that he felt the full force of that sublunary equipoise that seems evermore to hang suspended over the attainment of long sought and uncommon felicity, just as it is ripening to burst forth with enjoyment!” Here is a second passage from Evelina: “Mrs. Selwyn is very kind and attentive to me. She is extremely clever. Her understanding, indeed, may be called masculine; but unfortunately her manners deserve the same epithet. For, in studying to acquire the knowledge of the other sex, she has lost all the softness of her own. In regard to myself, however, as I have neither courage nor inclination to argue with her, I have never been personally hurt at her want of gentleness—a virtue which,

nevertheless, seems so essential a part of the female character, that I find myself more awkward and less at ease with a woman who wants it than I do with a man.” This is a good style of its kind; and the following passage from Cecilia is also in good style, though not in a faultless one. We say with confidence—Either Sam Johnson or the Devil. “Even the imperious Mr. Delvile was more supportable here than in London. Secure in his own castle, he looked round him with a pride of power and possession which softened while it swelled him. His superiority was undisputed; his will was without control. He was not, as in the great capital of the kingdom, surrounded by competitors. No rival disturbed his peace; no equality mortified his greatness. All he saw were either vassals of his power, or guests bending to his pleasure. He abated, therefore, considerably the stern gloom of his haughtiness, and soothed his proud mind by the courtesy of condescension.” We will stake our reputation for critical sagacity on this, that no such paragraph as that which we have last quoted, can be found in any of Madame D'Arblay's works except Cecilia. Compare with it the following sample of her later style: “If beneficence be judged by the happiness which it diffuses, whose claim, by that proof, shall stand higher than that of Mrs. Montagu, from the munificence with which she celebrated her annual festival for those hapless artificers who perform the most abject offices of any authorized calling, in being the. active guardians of our blazing hearths? Not to vain-glory, then, but to kindness of heart, should be adjudged the publicity of that superb charity which made its jetty objects, for one bright morning, cease to consider themselves as degraded outcasts from all society.” We add one or two shorter samples. Sheridan refused to permit his lovely wife to sing in public, and was warmly praised on this account by Johnson. “The last of men,” says Madame D'Arblay, “was Doctor Johnson to have abetted squandering the delicacy of integrity by nullifying the labours of talents.” The club, Johnson's club, did itself no honour by rejecting on political grounds two distinguished men, the one a tory, the other a whig. Madame D'Arblay tells the story thus: “A similar ebullition of political rancour with that which so difficultly had been conquered for Mr. Canning, foamed over the ballot-box to the exclusion of Mr. Rogers.” An offence punishable with imprisonment is, in this language, an offence “which prouces incarceration.” To be starved to death is, “to sink from inanition into nonentity.” Sir Isaac Newton is, “the developer of the skies in their embodied movements;” and Mrs. Thrale, when a party of clever people sat silent, is said to have been “provoked by the dulness of a taciturnity that, in the midst of such renowned interlocutors, produced as narcotic a torpor as could have been caused by a dearth the most barren of all human faculties.” In truth, it is impossible to look in any page

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