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well express. Yet it was a state of delightful sensation when all went on prosperously. In love there is no roon for any interloping intrusive desire, any craving after something novel to relieve the ennui of life. All is complete,-all is satisfaction, there is
No craving void left aching in the breast.
One object absorbs and fixes every thought and action; we live and move but to think and hope and desire the idol to whose worship we have devoted ourselves.
M-, for that was the name of my second mistress, received the congratulations of her acquaintance on her acceptation of a lover, and infidel indeed would he have been thought who credited that we were not the most faithful of enamoratos. But I found too soon that Mwas devoid of sensibility—she was without passion, and while I was the ardent lover that burned with an unquenchable flame, I found that its light fell upon an iceberg that was incapable of receiving or reflecting the warmth that love had thrown upon it. There are many constitutions in the world physically cold that would not be conjectured so from appearances. They marry and have families because others marry and have families around them, and jog through life as Prior says, "in a kind of- as it were." Now this coldness in M- first caused fear on my part that I was not really beloved. Le doubt nait led to an endeavour to clear up all. I found my mistress's love was strictly antarctical-it was as frigid as the ice at Melville Island, and I became chilled by her indifference, though I am convinced she loved me as well as she was capable of loving at all. Love in my view consisted in "mutual and partaken bliss." I never had an idea of an affection in which I could not confer as well as receive pleasure. Day by day attachment diminished, but its progressive retrocession effected no change in the conduct of M, and this more and more lessened my regard for her. We parted at last, on her side apparently, without the least regret
As though that we had never met;
while I felt alternately sorrow and satisfaction at my escape. Mwas the nymph of Pygmalion-the ivory statue of beauty, that felt nothing of the warmth it inspired. Peace to all such fair beings, who are best fitted for lovers like themselves, to live and die in the passiveness of congealed feeling and of unimpassioned existence. Of all earthly things, this neutrality between life and death, this foe to the energy of love's divinity, this "death of each day's life," is most repelling. The errors of passion admit of palliation; there is in them the seeds of all that is great and good. When duly regulated, they are a "rich compendium of bright essences; an extract of all that is valuable, good, and lovely in the universe." Without their incitement there can be nothing excellent-virtue itself is but the phosphoresence of stagnation.
Ŏne may have the misfortune of being in love by making a wrong estimate of the disposition of the object that first impresses us. We are exceedingly apt to interpret in our own favour every thing which tends to confirm our wishes. A glance of pure curiosity is construed into a token of tenderness, and a conversation that will admit of the kind construction of one sentence in support of our hopes, is treasured
as indisputable evidence of the correctness of our views. This may be called being in love by presumption.' If a lady discover the mistake of any one in this regard, let him not hope she will be generous enough to undeceive him, she will infallibly run him deeper into the mire, and make his disembarrassment a matter of greater difficulty. I had the misfortune to suffer once in this way myself. The signs by which I judged, did not appear a moment doubtful, and I pushed matters pretty rapidly, till an eclaircissement on the lady's side was unavoidable. How was I surprised on her informing me that she had never dreamed of any thing beyond friendship, and that I was much mistaken if I thought that myself or any of my sex had made the slightest impression on her heart-a few weeks after, she clandestinely married her father's clerk.
But I will not tediously detail all my love-adventures until I was fixed for life with one who, if not perfect according to my early ideas of woman, afforded me more happiness, I am convinced, than a faultless being could have done; and will consider a little the state of being in love in its general character. Being in love, like being in debt, is to be in a state of apprehension. From the first developement in our hearts of that sensation which informs us that an object is not indifferent to us, to the moment of certainty, there is a perpetual irritation that makes what may be styled the fever of the passion, which, as medical men would say, takes a variety of character, from the slower kind of temperate climates, to the intense paroxysms of tropical ones. The high-spirited man, warm in constitution and full of ardour, will generally find love a tropical affection; while the lover of a thin, diluted blood will be scarcely sensible of the insidious advances of his disorder. I imagine that love among the Quakers must be of the latter kind, and that all must proceed by chronometer movements, or, at least, that the Quakers possess the art of keeping down the tokens of what they style' carnal impressions' in a way most edifying even for divines in some other sects. A Quaker in love seems to subdue all the exacerbations of this most ungovernable passion, by moving, regardless of heel and spur, in an easy, tranquil," cheek by jowl" pace. His eyes rarely turn upon the straight-laced object of his regard, unless under cover of the most inviolable stealth; he groans his love upon tip-toe in the tabernacle, having first planned it with a scale and compass right mathematically, and with all the squareness of his sect. Perhaps he only feels what is called physical love, which he has an uncommon power of regulating, and is a stranger to that arising from sentiment, passion, or vanity. However he contrives it, love with him seems a very different thing from what it is with the rest of the world. A Parson in love appears only to keep the philosophy of the thing in view, as an Irishman does the proceeds of the lady's fortune rather than the fair dame herself. With some, being in love is merely a matter of calculation and contract; with others, it is a register of sighs and melancholy, of romantic sentiments and impracticable expectations. Part of the anxieties of this important period in human existence arise out of the conventional forms of society. The state of nature knows nothing but physical love; the other genera have sprung from refinement. Accordingly the most whimsical things have prevailed in love-affairs, invented, perhaps, to season the approaches of the lover with variety. One man advances as certain that love expires
with the first kiss; he therefore prudently avoids saluting his mistress with his lips for a dozen years. A second confounds the means with the end, imagines the state of being in love is the happiest, and looks upon what the lover of passion hails as the summit of his wishes-the possession of his mistress-as the first step of love's decline. Another is so fastidious in his views, and possesses so much of what phrenologists would call "adorativeness" in his pericranium, that being in love, with him, (and oftentimes bending at a shrine at which no mortal being but himself would feel inclined to bow the knee,) is an act of complete devotion. Thus, much of love depends upon imagination rather than upon any thing positive; for there are instances of being in love with an imaginary object, as in some singularly constituted dispositions with a statue, like the Parisian girl who fell in love with the Apollo Belvidere.
The epoch of being in love, notwithstanding all, is the most agreeable in the whole course of life. The soul has then no craving to gratify. Existence is at its highest premium, for it is then we are farthest from indifference. He who is in love cherishes life, and but enjoys it the better for little drawbacks in other affairs, which only heighten love's relish when we return to it. It is a better and pleasanter thing than money-getting, or courtiership, or sullen study, or maddening ambition, or a thousand gasping desires that engross us wholly without our feeling satisfaction in their pursuit. These are solitary objects; being in love is participated with another, and therefore it is a more social pleasure. The romantic tinge which often colours our conduct, is an agreeable characteristic; it increases the attraction, and confers a hallowed charm upon the passion. Being in love is a restraint upon evil feelings-a situation favourable to virtue. The love of woman is a corrective of our perverse natures, and, while its season lasts, always mends the heart. Let an unbiassed and discriminating centenaire answer what part of life he could look back upon with the most kindly feelings-what portion of his departed years he most cherished in his remembrance, and he would doubtless answer, the time when he was in love. The memory of that delicious season, its little adventures, its hopes, fears, and enjoyments, always come over us with a rush of pleasing warmth, a sunbeam piercing the clouds of departed time, and irradiating for a moment our tottering steps and grey hairs. Being in love mingles us with the better things of life, keeps beautiful forms perpetually before the eye, gives us pleasing dreams, elevates the spirits, and exalts our views. It tempers our harsher dispositions with the gentleness of beauty, and subdues our proudest pretensions to the government of tears and caresses of mildness and persuasion. He who has never been in love is a miserable blockhead, who is ignorant of the highest joy this distempered life possesses for mortals. Being in love is, in fact, a sort of millenium far above all life's other good. I would desire no better state than that of being in love for a thousand years; and, as Quin wished he had a mouth from England to Nova Scotia, and every inch of the way palate, that he might fully enjoy John Dory, I would demand the temperament of youth from seventeen to twenty-five for the above space of time, and all its ardent susceptibility to heighten my long season of innocence and happiness. Y. I.
VOL. VIII. NO. XXXI.
"What! will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
NOTWITHSTANDING the amusement which the " Novels by the author of Waverley" afford in the perusal, the astounding rapidity with which they succeed to each other gives-the reviewer at least, something more to do than is absolutely pleasant. The New Monthly Magazine is not more regular in its periodic appearances than these works; yet the necessity of reading whatever bears the signature, or rather the enigma, of their author, is absolute; and this necessity, we must confess, has more than once given birth within us to a movement of impatience and waspishness on the announcement of "Another Novel from the great Unknown," something analogous to that betrayed by Macbeth, in the passage which serves as our motto at the head of the page. Latterly also, to make matters worse, these announcements have so enchained themselves one within the other, that it has been impossible to engage them single-handed, or to encounter the perusal of one production without the appalling consciousness that its younger brother is "in the press," ready to pounce upon us the moment that the work in hand shall have done its business with the public. Thus the labour of the reader is brought to resemble that of the Danaides; and the "never-ending, still beginning" task occasions a flutter of the nerves, which requires all the charm of this author's dialogue and description to dissipate and appease.
Determined to "strike whilst the iron is hot,"-or, to use a proverb more congenial to July weather, "to make hay while the sun shines," and resolved, like good Queen Elizabeth, with her prayer-loving subjects, to give his readers" enough of it," the author of Waverley does not neglect the harvest of his popularity: and the expedition with which he conducts his movements, seems to indicate that, like some popular engravers, he must employ many assistants, to whose labours, after due touching up and polishing, he puts his own all-powerful signaturee-a letter of recommendation to the whole reading public of Great Britain, Germany, and France.
Every thing about these works, in truth, is singular. The dexterity, with which the friends of the "great poet of the north" contrive to keep the public unsatisfied respecting his share in their production,——— the number of extrinsic causes, (dramatizing, illustrating by engravings, music, and subsidiary publications, &c. &c.) that are brought to bear in support of their popularity, the intrinsic interest they possess, and the nature and management of the means which are made to produce this interest, no less than the rapidity of their succession,-all combine to render their appearance one of the most striking phænomena in the literature of the present age, and a marked sign of the times in which we live.
Those who are unacquainted with the business of novel-writing, imagine that nothing more is necessary than to sit down before a ream of paper, and pour forth the products of a teeming brain, with about the same degree of effort that it requires to assure some "Dear Cousin" in the country that "all at home are well," and that we are," with best love to enquiring friends," the said dear Cousin's "very affec
tionate and obedient servant."-The reverse of all this is, however, the case. The quantity of reading in history, geography, chronology, antiquities, and even in arts and sciences, necessary to give consistency, probability, and colouring to a work of imagination, requires, with the most industrious, the labour of months, before a pen is put to paper for the immediate purpose of composition.*
For the "getting up," as the stage-manager would call it, of Quentin Durward, for instance, besides a diligent search through the historians, through Commines, Brantome, Jean de Troyes, and the rest of the memoir-writers, an immense quantity of Scottish lore must have been collected in order to trick out the Scotch guard in all the verisimilitudes of names, families, manners, and domestic anecdote. The trifling scene of the false herald alone, could not be detailed without a more intimate acquaintance with the pseudo-science of blazonry than usually falls to the lot of any man, save a German Baron, or a thoroughpaced and inveterate antiquarian.
Those who profess the faith, or the heresy, that Sir Walter Scott is the author of these works, relate that he "writes" them during his hours of attendance in the courts: but, besides the ingenuity he must practise to hide his operations from the notice of the public, by which he is at those times surrounded, he must possess the more wonderful property of knowing by intuition facts, of which others obtain the knowledge by the most intense application. Sir Walter Scott is not only represented as a man of official occupation, as a politician actively participating in the wrangling polemics of the Edinburgh parties, but as a very convivial and social member of a remarkably social community, as a bustling farmer, and a constant improver of his favourite de-mesne at Abbotsford. That, amidst all these associations, he should be the sole "Author of Waverley" and of its successors, seems next to a physical impossibility. The mere mechanical task of putting together the materials of a three-volume novel, after they have been collected, supposing the book to be written currente calamo, without reconsideration or recopying, would occupy months of exclusive and laborious application; and this is a necessity which no genius can avert, a labour no talent can abbreviate. In this respect, some little advantage of habit apart, Sir W. Scott and the writers of the Leadenhall press are on a perfect equality. If this gentleman, therefore, is the "Brazen mask" of the literary pantomime of hide and seek, it amounts almost to demonstration that he is powerfully assisted by a knot of subaltern drudges; and that he does little more than select the story, dispose the plan, write particular scenes, and give that sort of finish to the whole, which preserves to the book the unity of its colouring. It has indeed been asserted respecting the "Pirate," we know not with what truth, that it is the exclusive production of a certain member of
It has been the custom of our popular novelist to commence by drawing up a map of the scene of action, in the same way that a general would trace a geographical sketch of his intended campaign.
+ The Editor of the New Monthly Magazine sanctions the publication of this theory for the amusement of his readers, but begs not to be made responsible for believing it.