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It was Everard. My heart stood still. His foot was upon the ledge of the window. I cried out with a loud voice, but l was unheard, for the next moment he had entered the flaming room. I prepared to follow him. I ascended, and ascending I beheld a shadow pass across the inner wall of the apartinent. Again, I listed up my voice; but again I was unheard ; I continued to ascend the ladder, and had already reachel mid-way, when I heard a terrific crash. The floor of the room had fallen in, and with it – oh God that I should have the power to write of these things! – Everard Sinclair, the young, the brave, the sacrificed, fell also. He died, as he had lived, for his neighbour.
I know not what passed after this. They found next morning three blackened and mutilated corpses. There was the body of a young man amongst the ashes, with a little child clasped in either arm.
We now take our leave of Jerningham. With all its faults, we regarded it, when we first read it, as a work of great promise, and the author's subsequent work, of which we have yet to speak, has fully confirmed that judgment. The chief faults in Jerningham are the result of an immature judgment, and a want of experience, which is no where more exemplified than in the manner in which the conclusion is hurried and jumbled, and in the awkwardness with which the author disposes of some of his principal characters. The fact is, he was oppressed with the extent of his matter. He had written enough for five volumes; he was obliged to bring this mass within the compass of three; and, in order to fit his work for this Procrustes’ bed of the publishers, he has been obliged to dismiss his characters in a very summary manner, in the exercise of that despotic power which the imagination gives the writer of fiction over the Beings it calls up for his purpose; but there are beauties enough in Jerningham, —not to redeem its fault", perhaps, but to prove its author to be a man of geniuš and cultivated mind.
Doveto.N, on the MAN of MANY IMPULses.
This is altogether, both in design and execution, an extraordinary production. Jerningham was, in many respects, a philosophical novel, but Doveton is avowedly a physcological romance, the real scope of which lies not on the surface. The work is, in fact, an allegory in which certain qualities of the mind are embodied in the characters. In the Court Magazine, a critic, the 11onorable Mrs. Norton, we believe, who edits that work, observes:
“ Doreton has its very foundation in the poetry of the author's nature; and it might be apostrophized, as Byron apostrophized the scene of Rousseau's passionate Dream of Romance,
Whose very trees take root in love.
It is the writer's spirit taking refuge in a group of fictitious figures, and assuming, in the yearning of its restlessness, new shapes at every turn.”
This is true to a certain extent, but rather too vague. It is true that the design of Doveton has its foundation in *go and, perhaps, we may add, the susceptibility of the author's nature. No mind not highly imagiuative and highly cultivated, could have conceived the idea of this work, or at least, could have given a local habitation and a name to that idea, in human characters, and incidents of actual, though highly intellectual life, as our author has done. The idea embodied in Doveton, is not indeed entirely new. Some critics have referred the novel to the model of Godwin's Caleb Williams, but we believe that the actual model is rather German than English, and that Gothe's Welhelm Meister is more likely to have suggested the idea of Doveton than any English novel.
Although Doveton is, however, as we have explained, an allegory, it does not deal with mere abstractions personified; if it had, we confess that we should never have been in a condition to review it, —for we could never have read it. We dislike such allegory, because we cannot sympathize with abstractions. We never, not even in our boyish days, read that popular work,
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. We have heard it said that very young people enjoy that work, because they do not suspect the allegory ; they read the narrative as one of real life; but we never could do so, because the very names let us at once into the secret of the allegory. Faith, hope, and charity, are beautiful virtues; we can admire them in the abstract, and derive high gratification from practising and seeing them practised; but we cannot endure their personification. We mention this under the impression, that our taste, in this respect, is by no means uncommon, and when, therefore, we state that Doveton, though allegorical in its design, is a work which is calculated by its characters, incidents and descriptions, to interest deeply even those who have not penetration or patience enough to discover its hidden meaning, we shall not be suspected of being misled by any partiality for allegory in general.
Doveton is, as we have said, a physcological romance. All the characters in it represent qualities of the mind. In Gerard Doveton we trace the imaginative or poetical faculty; in John Smith, judgment, or the reasoning faculty; in Sir Reginald Euston, generosity ; in Michael, Ella, and Lawrence Moore, the wisdom, beauty and freedom of nature, uncontaminated by art. In other characters, religion, innocent mirth, and domestic charity. With this key, the work should be read in order that the reader may be fully qualified to judge of its real merits. He must not forget to bear in mind also, the title, “Doveto N, or The Man of many Impulses.” Gerard Doveton has been rightly described as a creature of impulse rather than reflection, for the action of the imagination is not governed by reflection.
Of the manner in which the author has carried his design into effect, we entertain a very high opinion. Some of the characters are admirably drawn, and Ella Moore, especially, is a beautiful creation of a poetic mind. We are not sure, however, that we should not have preferred that sweet personification of innocence and domestic charity, Cousin Emily. It has been justly remarked that the interest of Doveton is less stirring and exciting than that of Jerningham. The author intended it to be so ; and, although, in consequence, the former will be preferred by the mere novel reader, in whom the prevailing love of excitement is predominant, we have no doubt that to minds of purer taste, the quiet beauty of the latter, will not appeal in vain ; while no man of the least discernment can question, we think, that Doveton is a work displaying infinitely greater depth of thought and power of development than Jerningham.
The great fault of the work is, we think, the design. The attempt to personify abstract qualities in the characters of a romance or novel, necessarily involves the danger of elevating them all above the standard of humanity. The personifications of lofty qualities cannot be expected to think and talk and act like any mortals of whom any reader can recal the resemblance, and hence the sympathy and interest the persons of a novel or romance ought to excite, are, to a certain extent, dininished. Of the extent to which Mr. Kaye has avoided this danger, our extracts will probably enable our readers to judge. In the mean time we must confess, that some of the characters and dialogues appear to us too exalted, although there are many scenes in the work equally natural and beautiful.
A singular feature of Doveton is a poetical dedication, in which we think the author has been particularly happy. .
The thoughts of this poem are natural and beautiful, and they are embodied in poetry worthy of them. A young poet sighs for lofty genius, merely that he may dedicate its fruits to his beloved : he desponds of attaining it; sees nothing in the future but failure and despair; but consoles himself with the idea that there are things worthier of attainment than fame—that weighed against love all things are light—fame lightest. These are sentiments natural to the
youthful heart, and, we think, they are very naturally, forcibly and sweetly delineated in the following poem :
To MARY - * * *
Oh! for a giant's strength to build a tower—
But, what if I should fail —Are there not things
Only because it would be passing sweet
Humbly at thy dear feet.
We are inclined to think this altogether the best poem written by Mr. Kay, which we have seen. We cannot pay him a higher compliment than that of saying, as we sincerely can say, that it forcibly reminds as of Wordworth's poetry.
. As in the case of Jerningham, so in that of Doveton, we refrain from attempting any regular analysis of the story ; our extracts are intended rather to illustrate the general character of the work.
The father of Gerard Doreton, a ruined merchant, compelled to retire inte the country, where he thought to find, in his retreat from the great world. the peaceful enjoyment which rural scenery and moral occupation afford to those who have a taste for them ; but he is disappointed, and the causes of that dis oppointment are thus eloquently described:
My father was no philosopher, unless it be philosophy to lie down at the approach of danger, like a poor Hindoo fanatic, awaiting the advent of the Juggernaut. It is wise indeed to bear, but not to bear over-much,--to be patient under affliction, but not to be greedy after wretchedness, - to bend, but not to be broken, to receive meekly the chastisements of Providence, but not-oh believe me, not wise to take the scourge into our own hands and to lengthen out the measure of our sufferings.
My father, as I have before said, my father was unhappy; he sought for oblivion, but it came not at his bidding; he tried to foster the growth of some new-born passion in his breast, or rather, I should say, to generate an all-engrossing attachment to some particular pursuit. He knew that idleness was the nurse of sorrow, and he resolved not to be idle; but, unfortunately, nature had endowed him with no strong predilections, and he soon found that an exotic taste, like plucked flowers planted in a jar of earth, will die long before it can become a rooted feeling in the breast. My father, since the days of his boyhood, had dwelt in “ the great city ;” vast piles of plasterwoven stone had been daily before his eyes, and now that he attempted to attune his soul to the enjoyment of external nature, he found that the attempt was a failure ; he went . abroad, and he looked around him upon the thousand beauties of inanimate creation ; but he could not lose sight of humanity, nor escape out of himself, by elevating his soul into the clear sunshine of philosophic abstraction, high above the misty influences of this sorrow-reeking world. His spirit was clogged to earth ; it was capable of no lofty flight ; the green fields and the spreading trees, the all-surrounding heaven, the bloomy air-tints on the distant hills, the sinuous river rushing towards the sea, and, more than all, the beautiful alternations of light and shadow upon the dasdal landscape awakened not his slumbering soul, nor dragged his letterel imagination from its dark prison-house of clay. He tried to soar—to be abstacted—to be drunk, as it were, with the surrounding loveliness, but he could not ; it was beyond his power; his spirit crept along the earth.
Then he thought to confine the sphere of his effects, and he turned aside from the contemplation of universal nature, to commune with an individual link of the great chaim of creation. He sought for occupation in the garden ; but there he found not the treasure he was searching after. His mind worked not with his limbs. He took the spade into his hand, and he brought together a multitude of plants, and he classified them, and he watched their growth; and he spake learnedly of stamina and corolla and monocotyledonous leaves; but his heart was not in his garden ; botany had no charms for him, he saw the flower, but he beheld not its beauties; he marked the specific character of each plant, he investigated all its various properties ; but his soul dwelt not admiringly upon the wonders of its organic structure and the strange history of its several developments from the seed to the perfect flower. He had dwelt too long in cities to find joy in a study, which has nature for the object of its investigations; old memories haunted him still ; to follow up that, which he had begun, he soon found to be fruitless toll ; so he threw aside Linnaeus in disgust, and suffered his garden to be neglected.
The father of Gerard is not particularly happy in his family : his wife, the personification of conventionalism, is a mere woman of the world, and her two daughters are faithful imitations of her. Gerard, of course, is not the mother’s favorite, and the father dares not show his love for him; thus is imagination persecuted by convention. One of the two brothers is a young, thoughtless boy, the other a military dandy—an empty headed and heartless coxcomb. The mother's conventional vanity receives, on one occasion, a tremendous shock from the blundering stupidity of a servant. The incident, which is sufficiently ludicrous, is well related; but we pass on to scenes of a higher order. Doveton, unhappy at home, seeks consolation elsewhere, and finds it in the family of the Moores. Here is a sketch of Michael Moore, the personification of the wisdom of nature untrammelled by art.
Michael Moore was unlike his brother in character as well as in person. He was more gentle, more subdued, and of a much more thoughtful temperament. In the clear expanse of
his serene forehead, and the mild lustre of his hazel eye, there was that which indicated a contemplative, and sometimes a self-concentrated mind. He spake little, but his face communed with you. He would bend his eyes fondly on his sister, and take her hand into his own, and his lips would settle into an expression of fondness; and thus would he sit, not uttering a word, until the fulness of his heart overflowed, and his eyelids were heavy with tears; and then he would throw his arms around Ella's neck, and almost stifle her with kisses.
At other times, he would climb up the many-coloured hill, which rose at the back of the cottage. There he would make himself a couch of purple and yellow heath, and baring his forehead to the summer's breeze, he would gaze around him upon the distant landscape, the blue hills, the winding river, and the far-off sea blending with the horizon, and dotted with white sails; or he would lie supine, watching the clouds as they formed themselves into grotesque figures, whilst his fancy bodied forth strange resemblances, and he beheld cities and giants, in the summer's sky. Never did created being more intensely enjoy his existence. With him to be was to be happy ; and Michael Moore's was a wide heritage, for the great universe was his portion. He was no dreamer; he did not live, poet-like, in an imaginary world, nor fill the cup of his happiness from any invisible source, but from a fountain, a never failing fountain, of actual and palpable delights. Were not the trees green 1 Were not the flowers beautiful and fragrant Was not the air fresh, and the moss soft, and the turf elastic, and the sun warm 1 Did not the birds, sing to him, and the painted butterflies wanton around him, and the bees ply their tastes in his presence 2 Might he not lie on the warm grass, or bathe in the cool element, or run through the thin air, and no one dispute his right to such enjoyments 2 Happy boy nature appealed not to his pure young soul in vain ; nor spurned he the rich gifts which were laid at his feet, because his brethren were suffered to partake of them.
Nor was this all ; for Michael Moore was not content to read only the surface of things His was an inquiring mind; it was not enough for him to look upon the face of nature, and see that it was very fair; he soon desired to know, and he began to investigate causes, and to penetrate, with a searching eye, the inner recesses of creation. Nor did he fail ; for he was, indeed
he had wisdom, not only beyond his condition, but, indeed, much beyond his years ; for, though he had received no lessons from any other preceptor than his mother, he had learned very much from her, and retaining firmly the knowledge that he imbibed readily, his mind soon became the store-house of much precious and varied lore. He knew nothing of languages, it is true, unless it were the language of nature; but he could name the stars and the flowers of the field, and he knew every bird by its plumage, and could tell you the specific properties of the smallest insect that had ever excited his attention. And he had read, too, of other countries, and the history of his own land, and he had traced the courses of discoverers upon the map, and there was scarcely a place of which he knew not the situation. Mrs. Moore had not many books, but Michael had studied them all ; and, if I err not, to the young student a few volumes are more profitable than vast libraries. It was good for him that he could not prematurely become, as some boys do, a helluo librorum ; for there is much wisdom which is not in books, and Michael Moore, circumstancell as he was, ran no risk of being seduced by the learning of human sciolists into the more than folly of closing his eyes to the wisdom of God, as unfolded in the pages of the creation. He read ; but he regarded each volume as nothing more than an imperfect commentary upon the one universal book of Nature.
And thus he went on, from year to year, increasing in wisdom and in beauty. Time soiled not the purity of his young mind, for he imbibed no pernicious knowledge, and he mingled not with evil people. He thought, and he acted no sin ; indeed he knew nothing of its existence, excepting that he had read of its denunciation in the pages of holy writ. He had seen no crime done in his presence, for he had never wandered many miles from his homestead, and then his course had always lain in the direction of the most secluded part of the country. The rude fingers of the world had not brushed off the first bloom of his innocence; he had never hungered after things forbidden, nor drawn one single cup of pleasure from any impure fount. In the midst of beauty and love his young soul expanded flower-like ; they were his aliment, and he was always full ; he desired no more than he possessed ; lovely and full of love himself, he was a portion of that great whole of beauty, which was the source to him of such infinite enjoyment.
Is not this, we ask, an eloquent and highly poetical sketch of an exalted specimen of humanity.
We shall not attempt to give the author's sketches of all his characters, but we cannot omit that of Ella Moore:
Equally pure, equally full of love, equally, nay, more beautiful was Ella. Like unto her brother, in the prevailing expression, and indeed in the lineaments of her face, there was more
* Wordsworth's Ercursion.