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NOVELS AND NOVELISTS OF THE DAY. Mr. D'ISRAELI's" TANCRED"_"A WHIM
AND ITS CONSEQUENCES"_"THE FORTUNES OF COLONEL TORLOGH OBRIEN"
AN IRISI ELECTION IN THE TIME OF THE FORTIES. BY WILLIAM CARLETON.
THE STEPPES OF THE CASPIAN
ART IN GERMANY, TAE CATHEDRAL OF ULM.
LAYS OF MANY LANDS. THE PHANTOM SHIP-WILHELM TELL-THE DELIVERANCE
OF COUNT GUARINOS-OWEN REILLY: A KEEN-SNORRO--THE CATACOMBS OF
JAMES MCGLASHAN 21 D'OLIER-STREET.
WM. S. ORR, AND CO. 147 STRAND LONDON.
SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
DUBLIN: JAMES M'GLASHAN, 21 D'OLIER-STREET. WM, S. ORR & CO. LONDON. FRASER & CO. EDINBURGH.
Sold by all Booksellers.
No. CLXXVII. SEPTEMBER, 1847.
NOVELS AND NOVELISTS OF THE DAY.*
FATIGUED with the tedious routine evening that witnessed our departure of dry reading, bored by the weightier from the good town of Carrickfergus matters of the law, sick unto death of in a chaise and pair, amid the blessings demurrers, and grievously annoyed by of our landlady and the fervent fare. rules to compute, when summer comes well of "boots," with purse crammed back with its delicious sunshine, and with the greasy provincial notes in its long, pleasant, idle days, we ad- which kind northern solicitors will journ to our marine villa, and there
persist in paying our fees, and digescomfortably establishing ourselves in tive functions slightly impaired by some quiet corner, we luxuriate in the riotous living of circuit, we have indolent repose, divested of all unne- skimmed half the contents of the cessary covering-coatless, neckcloth- neighbouring circulating library, and less, and bootless-often in our shirt save the three whose names form our sleeves-oftener, still, enveloped in the text, we did not find a single novel huge folds of an ancient Turkish dress- worthy our consideration. ing-gown, we loll whole days away on Than the author of“Tancred," there the sofa, and plunge recklessly, not into are few men of the day who have conthe quiet blue wave which ripples be- trived to monopolize more of the public neath our window, but into the more attention. Mr. D’Israeli is somehow or exciting sea of fiction. We read other always before the world; if his French novels by the ream, almost as ambition be “the monstrari digito fast as M. Dumas can write them ; prætereuntiu," he has completely German more slowly, for they are achieved it. The successful assailant commonly somewhat philosophic, be- of the formidable leader of one of the sides all those of our own tongue; and most powerful administrations, and then, in the gloaming, over our glass which was likely to be one of the most of “cold without," do we jot down lasting that ever governed the country our opinion of their merits. We of one who wields well and with termention these particulars of our do- rific power the formidable weapons of mestic retirement !not from any hope argument and of ridicule-- who has that our mode of life in the long vaca- never been known to commit himself, tion will possess the least attraction to and who, whatever may be the defects any of our readers, but merely to ac- of his political or personal character, count in a satisfactory manner for the is undoubtedly a master of the science melange which ornaments the heading of parliamentary debate—the audaof this chapter.
Since that quiet cious and successful assailant of this
* " Tancred, or the New Crusade." By B. D’Israeli, M.P. In three volumes. London: Henry Colburn, Great Marborough-street. 1847.
“A Whim and its Consequences.” In three volumes. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., Cornhill. 1847.
“ The Fortunes of Colonel Torlogh O'Brien, a Tale of the Wars of King James. Dublin : James McGlashan, 21 D'Olier-street. 1817.
Vol. XXX,-No. 177.
man of might, not to speak of the graduate ; in ten minutes we were in author of six novels, of which some extacies; in twenty we had forgotten are of very superior merit, must be the existence of our bowl of nectar. no ordinary mortal; and because he Lingering with intense delight over is no ordinary mortal, he is worthy those glorious pages, time was forof the attention of Maga, who is ever gotten; the Greek lecture of the folregardless of fry of the smaller kind; lowing morning was uncared for ; we not indeed annihilating with savage were oblivious of night roll, and but cruelty their infantine existence, but that the junior dean stood our friend, throwing them back again into the would have lost our lucrative situation waters of oblivion, until they wax of marker. We never rose until we bigger, and more worthy of being turned over the last page of the dished up for the literary banquet of book ; when we sought our couch, we her distinguished supporters. We dreamed thereof; and the next day, remember well when the world was to the no small amazement of one of ringing with applause after one of the learned lecturers, who asked us if those brilliant and polished essays, un- we could scan a certain line in a cerrivalled, perhaps, in the annals of par- tain chorus of a Greek play, and to liamentary invective, inquiring of a the delight of the whole class, we regentleman who occupies the most plied, dreaming, “that pine-apple fritdistinguished position of his time ters were impossible.” in the republic of letters, his opinion But we are not unmindful either of of Mr. D'Israeli. “I was present," the pleasure which was afforded us by said he, or in the House of Com- the perusal of “ Vivian Grey." The mons upon the occasion of his first fresh and sparkling style, the knowspeech, and notwithstanding the total ledge of human nature, and the powerfailure of that effort, I prophesied that ful touches of eloquent description, he would yet become one of the most caught our juvenile fancy; and upon effective debaters of his time; for be. a re-perusal of these volumes, we see sides many of the elements of ability no reason to change the opinion we which were then displayed, he ap- formed when they first met our eye. peared to me possessed of the most The great charm of Mr. D'Israeli, as indomitable pluck.' This gentle- a writer of fiction, is the off-hand man. man's parliamentary diagnosis has ner in which he makes the personages turned out correct, and the honorable who figure in his pages discuss the tomember for Shrewsbury now has cer- pics of the day; expressing, at the tainly achieved a position as a brilliant same time, through their medium, his and formidable debater.
own experiences, his own opinions, and business in this paper is not with his the result of his own reflections, upon political career, which we leave to the such subjects as arise, enlivened by his tender mercies of critics better quali- wit and fancy, enriched by his acute fied to appreciate than we can possibly observations upon character, and his be. In the more peaceful, and to our knowledge of the world. taste, the more agreeable haunts of of a novel of this writer afford as agree. literature, Mr. D'Israeli has already able a banquet for the literary epicure gathered laurels which are at least as as it is possible to conceive. His desimperishable as those which cluster cription of Lord Eskdale, in the work round the brow of the successful aspi. now before us, is almost equal to that rant for political distinction.
of the Marquis of Carabas in his earWe shall never forget the impres- liest work just mentioned, or to the sion made upon us by “ Pelham.” We Mr. Rigby, the Tadpoles, and Tapers read this incomparable novel in the of “ Coningsby.” Lord Eskdale, first earlier years of our college life; we cousin to the Duke of Bellamont, and read it, we remember well, one bright lord lieutenant of the county adjoining spring evening, in our rooms in that that in which Bellamont Castle was portion of the old square which exists situated, exercised a powerful influence no longer. There was a tumbler of over his worthy relatives. A knowing mild half-and-half potheen, exquisitely man of the world, they never committed blended with cold water, at our side, any action, however unimportant, with. as delicious stuff as ever parted the out consulting him; and, in conselips or inspired the brain of an under- quence, they never committed them.
selves, for it does not always follow, Sometimes a group of courts developes somehow, that the possession of a ducal itself, and you may even chance to find coronet argues a proportionate amount your way into a small market-place. of brains. Lord Eskdale had been con
Those, however, who are accustomed to sulted as to the best school to which
connect these hidden residences of the the heir of Bellamont could be sent,
humbler with scenes of misery and cha
racters of violence, need not apprehend and he had recommended Eton-as a
in this district any appeal to their sym. college, he had advised Christ Church.
pathies, or any shock to their tastes. All He was the trustee in the duke's mar
is extremely genteel, and there is almost riage settlement; he was appointed, in as much repose as in the golden saloons the duke's will, guardian of his son ; of the contiguous palaces. At any rate, equal favourite with the duchess, who if there be as much vice, there is as litwas an austere lady of considerable tle crime. No sight or sound can be personal attractions, deeply read in the seen, at any hour, which could pain the theology of the nineteenth century
most precise or the most fastidious ; a precision in morals, she preferred
even iť a chance oath may float on the
air from a stable-yard to the lodging of “Chillingworth” to a French novel, and
a French cook, 'tis of the newest fashion, one of the ancient fathers to even the
and if responded to, with less of novel “ Pilgrims of the Rhine.” Lord Esk. charm, the repartee is at least conveyed
a master of the feminine in the language of the most polite of naidiosyncracy, and guided the duchess tions. They bet upon the Derby in without ever letting her feel the curb. these parts; a little are interested in When the Bellamonts got into any fix,
Goodwood, which they frequent; have, they would write over to Lord Esk- perhaps, in general, a weakness for play; dale, and the peer, who was greatly
live highly; and indulge those passions
which luxury and refinement encourage : averse to long letter-writing, would
but that is all. A policeman would as soon ride over, and listen, with imperturba
think of reconnoitering these secluded ble calmness, "something between that
streets, as of walking into a house in of a Turkish pacha and an English Park-lane or Berkeley-square, to which, jockey,” his back to the fire, and his in fact, this population, in a great meahands in his pockets, to the united sure belongs ; for here reside the wives statements of his noble relatives, and of house-stewards and of butlers, in tene. when both of them were exhausted,
ments furnished by the honest savings
of their husbands, and let in lodgings, to would sum up the whole affair, and say three words which had the effect
increase their swelling incomes. Here
dwells the retired servant, who now de. of removing all their difficulties. He
votes his practised energies to the occalooked upon his cousins, although he sional festival, which, with his accumu. respected their native ability, as two lations in the three-per-cents, or in one children when affairs of the world were of the public-houses of the quarter, sein question.
cures him at the same time an easy livThere is a great fête in Bellamont ing, and the casual enjoyment of that Castle upon the occasion of the heir great world which lingers in his mearriving at his majority, and Lord mory. Here may be found his grace's
coachman, and here his lordship's groom, Eskdale is called in to relieve the troubles of the duke and duchess, who
who keeps a book, and bleeds periodi.
cally to speculative footmen, by betting are in dire perplexity about a cook.
odds upon his master's horses. But, He recommends, accordingly, an ar
above all, it is in this district that the tiste of high repute, who resides in
cooks have ever sought a favourite and a “purlieu," which, having passed elegant abode. An air of stillness and through very often, we are quite able serenity, of exhausted passions and supto recognise admirably hit off in the pressed emotion, rather than of slugfollowing description :
gishness and of dulness, distinguishes
this quarter during the day. When “ In that part of the celebrated parish you turn from the vitality and brightof St. George which is bounded on one ness of Piccadilly—the park, the palace, side by Piccadilly, and on the other by the terraced mansions, the sparkling Curzon-street, is a district of a peculiar equipages, the cavaliers cantering up character. 'Tis a cluster of small the hill, the swarming multitude—and streets, of little houses, frequently in- enter the region of which we are speaktersected by ruins, which here are nu- ing, the effect is at first almost unearthly. merous, and sometimes gradually, rather Not a carriage, not a horseman, scarcely than abruptly, terminating in a ramifi. a passenger; there seems to be some cation of these mysterious regions. great and sudden collapse in the metro