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and interruption that of en attended the preparation of his editoria's for the Bengal Hurkaru. He has b en known to write in the utmost haste some of his longest and most spiried articles, while his desk has been surrounded by friends talking amongst themselves, and occasionally refe ring to him about matters totally extraneous to those upon which his mind was then engaged. This extraordinary facility of composition, which we never saw equilled, and the readiness with which he took up any subje t that occurred, however foreign to his own particular pursuits or studies, peculiarly adapted him for the situation of a daily editor. It would be preposterously absurd and hypercritical to dwell with minuteness or severity on the occasional inaccuracies of style in articles thus unexpectedly called for, and hastily produced at the spur of the moment. But even if this unjust and uticalle i for criticism were exercised upon Mr. Sutherlani's editorials, we do not believe that a much greater number of errors would be dis overed than might be found in the columns of other newspapers, even where toey have been edit-d with more deliberate care. Making due allowance for the in perfectio is inseparab e from the extreme haste with which they were prepared, we think Mr. Sutherland's articles in the Bengal Hurkaru, deserve very high commendation; and the fact that the paper was in its very height of popularity during a period in which he conducted it, is a sufficient indication of the approbation of the public.
We believe we have now adverted to all Mr. Sutherland's faults as a public writer, , except two, and these are, in the first place, a violence of language when in collision with his opponents, and a disposition to overrate the qualities of his friends. We are not sure whether we cannot turn both these errors into a fir compliment to Mr. Sutherland's character. In the first place he is beyond all comparison the most ho test, the most zealous, and the most disinterested politician with whom we are acquainted, and it is this honesty, zeal, and di-interestedness that makes him put his whole heart into what he wrotes, and renders him utterly regardless of all those considerations which are apt to modify the tone and l nguage of men of more discretion, but less sincerit v. Mr. Sutherland defends a great public principle with the same earnestness and resolution with which other men defend their own property or reputation, and this makes him look upon any writer who attempts to controvert what he has been accustomed to regard as a sacred popular right, or a great moral truth, with something of the same feeling which influences ordinary men towards their personal opponents. The utmost that c on be brought against him on this account, is the charge of being something of a bigot in the cause of truth and tre, dom; and yet in his calmer and more philosophical moods he can make very generous allowances for errors of opinion. In a very elegant and able criticism up on Leigh Hunt, suggested by a perusal of the London Journal, Mr. Sutherland has made some observations upon the injudicious violence of some of the friends of truth, that are full of a generous and noble philosophy. They are so pleasant a specimen of his best style, that we shall lay them at once before our readers.
The longer we live, the more we are convinced that the cause of truth is continually injured by the friends of truth—that they do not make sufficient allowances for the prejudices of mankind in which they participate in common with their adversaries—and for the anomalies of the human mind —causes which sufficiently account for many of those differences of opinion and those fatal mistakes, which have prevailed or been committed in all ages and in all countries. For our part we can believe that even some of the holy inquisitors who presided at an auto da fé, were kindly hearted and making a sacrifice of their feelings to a sense of duty. In short, we are of opinion, that nothing is lost to the cause of truth by generous constructions. Without going back to remote periods for examples, we need only mention Lord Castlereagh, who could order his fellow subjects, men, women and children, to be ridden over or sabred by dragoons with the greatest sang froid, yet, was nevertheless an amiable and agreeable man in the private circle, so much so that Lord Byron's unfeeling allusion to the tragical termination of his life excited indignation in the minds of many most opposed to the politics of the deceased statesman. What injury could it ever have done the cause offiberty— to have given him credit for the purest motives? We shall find reason for this charitable construction if we look back into the histories of our own and other countries. True, we shall see that these might have suggested lessons of moderation—better answers to the appeals of the people—better more humaue and rational modes of tranquilizing even a tumultous though unarmed multitude than the sabre and the musket; but then if we compare the system which created our discontent, bad as it was, with other systems which had endured so long, which even then existed in other countries, may we not well suppose that a pampered aristocrat, taught from his very cradle to despise the people and dead the hydra democracy, might concientiously believe that we had advanced to the extreme limit of freedom—that another step would bring us to anarchy and revolution. Do we not, moreover, find in the history of the past, lessons written in characters of blood against the want of that charitable construction for which we are contending 1 The mistakes of the enemies of freedom have been great and most fatal in their effects; for the enemies of freedom have been in so many cases the wielders of power, and their systems have endured for centuries; but then when the reaction which sooner or later over takes such errors, ensues, is it no advantage to mankind that the winners of the victory of the righteous cause should be merciful to the vanquished Shelley, whose love for mankind made him shrink from the very name of vengeance and reject even a pure faith because by a too literal interpretation he conceived it to assign vindictive passion to the Deity, thus, in his Masque of Anarchy, expresses our idea, or rather our desire that there should be none of this dreadful retaliation:- Then it is to feel revenge Tiercely thirsting to exchange Blood for blood, and wrong for wrong: Do Not Tirus, when Ye Are stuong; but if no allowance is made for human prejudice instilled into our minds in the very cradle—if men are confounded with and condemned for systems, and held up to public olium as objects of revenge, how is it to be hoped that when the hour of reaction comes the voice of reason and mercy will be heard? What a terrible lesson to both parties was the first French Revolution. Patient and long suffering had the people been, and melancholy indeed was their condition even under a more humane monarch and a miller system than their ancestors had groaned under—yet with all the horrors of that revolution, how few enlightened and unbiassed men will now be sound to den that if the dreadful system which produced that reaction could not have been got rid of without those horrors, the destruction of it would have been cheaply purchased even with so much blood ; but it might have been if the distinction between men and systems had been more generally understood ; and if it had been earlier inculcated by some of the intelligent leaders in the revolution, who afterwards suffered for their humanity, would liberty have lost any thing 1–quite the contrary; and that truth we have seen recognized and acted on in the last French Revolution, where such was the aversion to sanguinary punishment that even ministers convicted of high treason against the laws and liberties of the country, were spared—and wisely too as well as humanely. The world, in short, is beginning, as Leigh Hunt says, to find out want dreadful mistakes these visitations of vengeance are.
It will be seen by the above passage, that Mr. Sutherland can write with accur cy, elegance and force, whenever he chus s to take the necessary time and trouble; perhaps indeed the specimen of his style just q ioted may be regarded as a proof that he can write w, Il even when he writes in haste; for we are by no means certain that the above was composed with much deliberation, A person unacquainted with Mr. Sutherland, might be disposed to judge harshly of his temper, from the occasional violence of his editorial commonts, but this judgment would be quite erroneous. A kinder or more generous hearted man it would be very difficult to meet with ; and we should venture uuhesitatingly to pronounce any person to be cursed with a singularly quarrelsome d soosition, who, in the intercourse of private life, should discover any caus, of serious difference with such a man as Mr. Sutherland. With respect to the opposite error of overrating his friends, it is scarcely possible to speak of it with reprehension ; it is a fault so nearly a lied to virtue. But though he is disposed to run into extravagance in characterizing the go 'd qualities of his friends, and to turn every criticism upon their or ductions into an unqualified enco ium, his lavish praise is not exclusively confined to his personal associates. Whenever there is no great public principle in question, and no moral truth in danger, his criticisms a e invariably conceived in a generous and indulgent spirit, evic. ing a far greater z-al to discover beauties than to point out faults. In the further exor'ssion of our opinion of Mr. Sutherland's political editorials, we small simply observe, that they generally maintaine i with correctness and force, the cause of truth and freedom, and always exhibited a leaning in favour of large masses of mankind, in opposi ion to the privileged and powerful few; and that with the exceptions of the defects we have already mentioned with a freedom that may justify us in expecting full credit for the sincerity of our praise, we think, they may fairly be characterized as very spirited, able, and effective political compositions, and much above the average of newspaper w.iting. Of Mr. Sutherland's literary and miscellaneous compositions the public know but little, b cause his modesty has always induced him to publish his contributions to the different journals under various fictitious signatures. We cannot award him the praise of much originality as a writer, for he rarely strikes out any thing like a new thought, but he frequently illustrates and enforces just sentiments with both elezance and vigour. He is very fond of poetry, and has even written some few verses himself, but he has never thought them worthy of publication. As specimens of his literary criticisms, which are generally acute and sound, though often expressed in a tone of less confidence than his political speculations in which he seems to have felt himself on firmer ground, we lay the foilowing extracts before the reader. The first is from some I emarks on Mrs. Shelley (in the papers entitled The Council of Three"), the second is from a notice of Leigh II unt, and the third is on the character of Captain Maryatt as a novelist; and no one has a better right to speak of the merits of a sea novel than Mr. Sutherland.
Suavitrn.—I am glad to hear you admit that novel reading is delightful; but tell me have you read Mrs. Shelley's Lodore that and if so what is your opinion of it !
Jacques.—I have read that novel and consider it worthy of Mrs. Shelley's reputation. If there be less of creative power displayed in it, there is more of the simplicity of nature—not that Mrs. Shelley departs from the natural except when her purpose to do so is avowed and her object by the introduction of the supernatural to develop in a more striking manner the passions and feelings of humanity, as in her Last Man for example, though yon are carried far beyond the verge of the probable, you have still characters whose actions are strictly natural and whose feelings and miseries entirely coin mand your sympathies. Even in the works which develop the wildestcreations of her imagination you have still this essential feature. Mrs. Shelley in Lodore, however, has limited herself to a fiction in which she exhibits only characters and events which have all a praisemblance that gives them the force of reality. It is an interesting tale and the characters are drawn with masterly skill,—some of them a little too highly wrought, perhaps, but still powerfully drawn; and the style is so much exalted above the ordinary commonplace of novel writing—so eloquent indeed in many passages, that the novels of other writers, authors of some repute, sink into insignificance by comparison. The common fault of novellists is that they divide their characters into extremes, which though not out of nature do not frequently come together in the same circle in society. We have a heroine almost angelic—a hero scarcely less exalted above human frailty—and only not a saint, because he must be a he ro–an intriguing female—an abandoned roué – and parts minor in importance but greater in villainy. The principle of these novels indeed is contrast–like Martin's pictures all light and shade – they are all stygian gloom, or heavenly glory; and the difficulties and distresses of the heroines and heroes are all the result of palpable deviations from the obvious dictates of common sense.
Suaviter.- I remember that struck me as a great fault in the earliest novels I ever read —Miss Burney's. There are several instances in Cecilia in which nothing but the most palpable disregard of common sense could have led the parties into the difficulties and miseries they encouiller.
Jaques.—Mrs. Shelley in general has better taste than this. In Lodore, however, there is, I think, something like a near approach to this vile fault in one instance. Williers, for what possible cause I cannot discover, never delivers Lodore's last message to his wife, but leaves her under an impression produced by the will made twelve years before that her husband resented her conduct to the last. Much misery resulted from the non-fulfilment by Williers of this sacred duty, and no rational cause is developed for the neglect of it. Eventually the noble conduct of Lady Lodore sets all right, but much distress is caused in the interim, a period of several years.
Cosmopolite,_Altogether, however, the novel has added to Mrs. Shelley's reputation. “What think you of the character of Fanny Derham, whose subsequent history we are to have hereafter.”
Jacques.—It is impossible not to admire the character. In some points of it, it seems to be Mrs. Shelley's, and I could almost fancy that in Horace Saville she had pictured Shelley—Imanative—given to deep metaphysical studies—amiable in his nature—unhappy in his first marriage— but this may be sanciful; for in his fortunes Horace Saville bore no resemblance to him whose image is enshrined in Mrs. Shelley's heart-of whom perhaps she might truly say,
If there be any wisdom in endeavouring to make men more contented, to persuade them that this goodly earth is really something better than a sterile promontory, then is Leigh Hunt wise— if there be any utility in teaching that moral alchemy which enables us to extract the beautiful or the agreeable even from circumstances or materials the most unpromising, then is he useful— and is there be any charity in ascribing the best motives to those who differ from us in religion or Jolitics, then is he charitable ; for he has displayed more of this wisdom, utility and charity than any i. writer, or than any writer, indeed, that we are acquainted with. He is indeed a true Benthamile philosopher, though his manner of teaching differs from that of the great Master, blending the useful and the agreeable with such a delicate and delightful tact that they harmonise like the heavenly hues of nature in a sunset sky.
Leigh Hunt's philosophy is the very opposite of the nil-admirari—a keen perception and an ardent love of the beautiful and the good is evident in all he writes. He is not only happy in himself, however, but it is his aim to make others happy by imparting to them in the most delightful manner the consolation which his power of developing the beautiful and the agreeable has afforded him in many trials, under which minds not imbued with his divine phylosophy must inevitably have sunk.
* These papers often contained sensible remarks, and evinced no ordinary talent, but the interlocutors were “three single gentlemen rolled into one;” they wanted individuality. Mr. Sutherland has not the dramatic faculty, and if he had introduced fifty personages into his council, they would only have been so many repetitions of himself.
Editor.—He has neithor the learning nor perhaps the graphic power of Smollett in delineating the human character, but he is a delightful writer, and I have heard men of your professien say, that some of his descriptions in Peter Simple surpass any thing in the same line in the works of any living writer, not excepting Cooper the Amere.can–the club-hauling for example. , What say you ? Nauticus.-I entirely agree in that estimate of his literary character. He is the best nautical novelist of the day out an out; and I doubt his inferiority to Smollett except in learning. Some of his sketches of naval character are equal to any thing in that author, only readers in general do not feel their force so much owing to the vast change which naval manners have undergone since Somoset's time. The naval characters of the present day do not present so many prominent features for the grasp of genius. Every landsman, for example, feels the force of the ludicrous in the description of Hawser 1 runnion's beating to windward to church, tack and half tack across the read, owing to the broad contrast here presented between the manners of the sailor and the landsman ; but the admirable touches of character in Marryatt's novels are less apparent owing to the change of which I have spoken. His Peter Simple is a character, I will engage, drawn from the life-nay I have actually known such a character, and some of his miseries while he was yet a johnny raw, are such as probable every naval officer has felt. I know I have, quoque inse miserrimma widi, et quarrum parsmagna sui. Chucks the Boatswain is nearly as well drawn, a little too highly coloured perhaps. That description of club hauling the frigate is indeed admirable altogether, though a little faulty on one point if I am not mistaken. It is a manoeuvre, howevr, of rare occurrence A lawser is generally bent to the anchor, I believe, and brought aft round the stern in through one of the treather quarter ports to the capstan, a suicient range being left for the depth of water, the after yards are hauled as usual when the ship is head to win i, and when she begins to cast on the other tack, the cable is cut, and the hawser hove taut to check her roun l. Excuse this technicality, but I believe Marryatt swings all his yards at once, and without a hawser does not cut his cable until broad on the weather bow, that is afer the ship has cast or paid off two or three points—danerous experiment, but in all other respects possibly in this also, for I am very likely wrong, the description is equaliy beautiful and faithful. There is nothing that comes near it in any sea novel. Mariyatt is almost always accurate in his technicalities though he to is never pedantically technical, so to speak Cooper is; and yet he has made some strange blunders for a sailor. He is not always
a seaman on paper as well as afloat–Marryatt always is.
Editor.—But what do you think of Jacob Faithful ?
Nauticus.-As a whole I like it better than Peter Simple; perhaps you'll be surprized at that since there is more of naval life in the latter.
Editor. —I am surprized, and I can tell you that the town by which I mean London and not the city of palaces, is all against you —but your reason 1
Nauticus—Why, you must bear in mind first that I speak of Jacob Faithful as compared with Peter Simple as to the entire works. There are passages in Peter Simple which have no equals by many degrees in Jacob Faithful : , but in the former the interest frequently flags and some chapters are abominably dull; while in Jacob Faithful this is never the case: there are always incident and character which excite interest and fix attention. Some of the characters indeed, are overdrawn—that of the old bargaman espicially is out of keeping; not that he sings to many snatches of old songs, but that many of them are of an order which is yet rather above the galley or the forecastle, the localities in which he may be supposed to have studied his lyrics. I admit, moreover, that the Dominie is a bit of a bore, but far less so than the original, with all reverence and submission to the memory of the Wizard of the north, be it spoken ; but Mary Stapleton and Tom are exquisitely drawn, and so is old Captain Turnbull. Jacob himself is too much of a stoic : it is scarcely in nature that a young fellow like him should, by a scarcely defined penchant for little Sarall, when he had reason to believe too that as to her he
Might as well have loved a bright particular star
have been guarded against falling incontinently in love with such an attractive girl as Mary Stapleton. The story sets out almost with a romantic incident, and altogether is, I think, the best—by far the most interesting of these two naval novels.
Some of Mr. Sutherland's best miscellaneous papers are on subjects connected with the sea. His old profession seems to have left a deep and vivid impression upon his mind, and he is never more agreeable as a writer than when he indulges in his oceanic reminiscences. His narratives of events at sea are obviously from the pen of one who has seen and felt what he describes, and they are consequently characterized by that air of life and reality that we so rarely meet with in the pages of the novelist. We shall give a specimen or two of what we may call his naval articles.
- THE DETAINED VESSEL.
A winter's cruize in the British Channel has been often described; but except for the harrassing duty it sometimes demands, it is not to be compared in severity with a winter's cruize on the Ameri. can coast. The north-west gales which prevail there, though being off the land, they do not cause such a sea as is produced by a breeze in the Bay of Biscay, the water being comparatively smooth, occasion such an intensity of cold in the air, that coming in contact with the warmer temperature of the sea, it causes a sort of steamy exhalation to arise from the whole surface of the ocean, the icy cold humidity of which, is so sharp that it chops the skin, cuts like a razor, and is hence called “ the Barber." The thermometer in these gales often falls to zero, and those who have been on board ship in even ordinary winter weather, may judge of the pleasures of a cruize in such an agreeable climate, and the especial delight of reefing top, sails, when the ship at every plunge, is what the sailors call making candles, that is to say, that the water dripping from her dolphin-striker, is frozen as it descends, and hangs down in long glittering pendicles, as if, as Rogers would say, “the chemist's magic art had crystalized the sacred treasure,” alias the salt spray. At such a time, the reef points of the top-sails are like so many bars of iron, and the canvass, with the moist atmosphere absorbed by it completely frozen, is more like so many deal boards nailed together, than hempen cloth, while the hands which are to gather up this very pliant material on the yards, are as cold and stiff as those of one of the marble figures in Westminster Abbey, or St. Paul's To cruize in such weather, and to perform such duties in it, are what may be called seeing service, to which fighting and “seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon's mouth,” are indeed enviable occupations; in fact they are courted by every man who sails under a pendant; while the others would be shunned by every one in it, if they could be.
It was in the performance of this kind of service, that an English frigate was cruizing a short distance to the eastward of the High Lands of Never Sink, blockading the port of New York, when the mast-head-man reported a strange sail bearing W.S.W. : several officers were sent aloft to examine the stranger, and she was soon made out to be a merchant ship, standing in for New York, close hauled on the larboard tack, and evidently contemplating a breach of the blockade. Sail was soon made on the frigate, and as she sailed faster than the stranger, though she too was a fast vessel, it was soon clear that the man-of-war must cross the chase ere she could make her port: the stranger seeing this, bore up, shewed Spanish colours, and shaped his course directly for the frigate. About 6 o'clock in the evening, and after dark of course, the vessels had closed, and a boat being sent from the frigate the Spanish Captain was brought on board of her.
It was intensely cold, and though the sky was occasionally clear, a fresh gale was still blowing, and the scud passing rapidly over us. In a man-of-war, at least of the class frigate, the only fire permitted is the Captain's. In the the Captain's cabin was the whole breadth o the ship, and in its length, some 30 feet by 38 perhaps, and enclosing two guns on each side without any bulkshead or partition of wood: such space with little furniture or fitting would often have been, with its whole tier of cabin windows at the stern, a less enviable abode than the Mid's berth below in such weather, without certain means and appliances to render it comfortable. These were not overlooked. In the centre of the cabin a space extending aft from the foremast bulk-head, so me 18 or 20 feet or so, with sufficient breadth for tables and chairs, was snugly screened in with canvass and fearnought, the sanctum being entered by a small door. In a handsome stove in this nautical “snuggery,” there blazed a cheerful fire, the very look and smell of which, seemed to thaw the icy current of the blood. Into this hallowed retreat was the Spanish master introduced, by the officer who brought him on board, to the Captain of the Frigate; the communicating medium between him and those he address.
ed was bad French. He was accused of violating, or rather attempting to violate, the blockale ; but
he swore stoutly that he was bound to New Providence, Rhode Island. The position in which he was seen, was pointed out to him, the direction of the wind, the course he was steering : he swore the “demarcation” on the chart was false, in fact he gave the Captain and Lieutenant the lie: but swearing in bad French is always excuseable among English sailors, and giving the lie claimed an equal indulgence in this case, because it was not understood. Another witness was called against the Spanish Master, a midshipman who had manifested great anxiety in watching the movements of the chase from the fore-yard, no very enviable position in such weather ; but there is a reason for all things, if our philosophers could only find it out. He had his—he thought it might be a prize, and that he being appointed prize master, might escape from the freezing horrors of this accused cruizing ground to the balmy, beautiful climate of the “still vexed Bermoothes.”
Reader, you may have witnessed many contrasts in your life, you may have felt them, but you never experienced one more striking than that which greeted the Mid on entering the snuggery. It seemed to him, called down from the quarter deck where, pacing the lee side, he had been enjoying the luxury of the sleet drifting from the mizen staysail, that the snuggery was a paradise afloat, and he sighed for the period when he too should mount the two epaulettes and exercise sovereign sway and masterdom over that little kingdom on the ocean, a man-of-war. If he felt the contrast mentally, he also felt it physically tingling at his finger's ends in that pleasant sensation occasioned by the sudden change of temperature, vulgarly called the hot-ache... It was natural that the contrast should suggest to him forcibly the desire of getting away from a climate in which such unattainable luxury as artificial warmth was so desireable. Whether the ambition of being a prize master, being himself in command, might have influenced his evidence, or not, is left to the reader's judgment; but, certain it is, that his evidence went to establish the breach of blockade. “Well, Mr. Lightout,” said the Captain, “did you see this vessel from the fore-yard 3", “Yes, Sir.” “Well, Sir, how was she steering, and how was the wind t” “She was close hauled on the larboard tack, lying up about N. by E.” “Well, Sir, and bound for Rhode Island how ought she to have been steering 2—if you were asked that question in a Court of Justice what would you say?" These in a Court of Justice would have been considered rather leading questions; but in the Captain's cabin who was to object : “Why, Sir, that she ought to have been steering about E. by S., running nearly afore it !” “Very good, Sir, get your traps ready to go on board that vessel, and take her into Bermuda.” “Ay, aye, Sir " " Mr. Washboard and Mr. Soundings, as I am at sea ajustice of the peace, I will take your depositions to send in as evidence.” The Mlid waited no second order; in ten minutes he was ready with a rusty old trunk, containing a uniform coat, and the residue of his clean shirts, &c., a still rustier quadrant and a well thumbed Hamilton Moore. In ten minutes more be received his prize order and instructions, and with a light heart descended into the boat with a youngster as his chief mate and a prize crew of eight hands; the Spanish crew were transferred to the frigate—the Captain and cook alone being permitted to go in her. No sooner was the Mid on board, then, swelling with the importance of command, he ave his orders in a loud voice: –“ Fill away the main yard—up with the helm-hoist away the jibere she goes. Now then steady, most her with the helm, squaro away the head yards, let fall the