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believe that my spirits have for a month past been languid, and my mind fat and 'sterile. I am about to move with my family after a three years' residence; and though I love locomotion and change of air and scenery, still the expected trouble of the first effort oppresses my spirits, and breaks in upon my habits. I shall no longer be able to perform my morning task, and my industry may suffer an interruption, which may never perhaps be resumed. Nor have we fixed whither we are going; a southern and warm climate seems at present the strongest attraction : perhaps Nice, Genoa, or even Naples again. I have no reason to love England ; she has not been a kind and just mother to me!—and as to the alliances of blood, when removed from the first degree, they commonly do more harm than good. But this is an ungrateful subject, and I will abstain.' Vol. II. pp. 302, 3
We have here given in continuity, a series of paragraphs which occur scattered through these volumes, interspersed with reflections, reminiscences, criticisms, and other miscellaneous matter, in order to present entire the singular portrait which they form when put together;-a portrait which, had it come from the hands of Geoffrey Crayon or the Author of Annals of the Parish, we might have thought somewhat too highly coloured for reality; but yet, who would not have pronounced it a well drawn and affecting character, and one well adapted to convey a salutary lesson to the heart? The evil consequences of a defective education, and more especially of the want of religious culture, could not be more pathetically displayed. Too much stress must not, indeed, be laid on the seclusion in which the Author is represented as having passed his early years. We all know from the case of Cowper, that an early exposure to that world in miniature, 'a mob of boys, is no cure for constitutional timidity and shyness. Either at home or at school, in the mansion or in the cottage, such a mind may be irreparably injured by injudicious treatment, by either harshness, indulgence, or neglect. In Miss Taylor's Poetical Remains, Philip, the timid, pale, unlikely lad,' who preferred rather
• To starve for life upon his pride and quill,
Than thrive on savings filtered through a till,'forms, in low life, a counterpart to the Sir Egerton of the present volumes.
• Much has been long forgotten ; but I'm sure
- To neglect alive, And to contempt too keenly sensitive,
Beyond my years I felt : none ever guessed
• I had some talent, but 'twas always hid,
lot, I had a taste, a feeling they had not.' Philip's revenge, too, is worthy of a baronet. He does not renounce England. but he retires to a solitary hamlet on the coast of Northern Devon, and writes his recollections : only he does not seem to have had the means of publishing them.
"And so it was that he whose inward woe
He-so refined, mysterious, and so proud,' was compelled to content himself with reading his own narrative to his domestic. Possibly, he feared the Reviewers.
We confess that, of the two, Philip appears to us the more real, and Sir Egerton the more imaginary character; and we are extremely unwilling to part with the idea that the volumes before us are an auto-biographical romance. Like the lady mentioned by Addison, who returned Plutarch's Lives on learning that they were true histories, we should be deprived of half the complacency excited by the well imagined character of this poetical Timon, were we to suppose it real. In that case we should, in the first place, feel called upon to offer a few critical animadversions on the opinions and remarks contained in these volumes. The following sentence, for example, which is amusing enough in the mouth of a fictitious person, would be simply absurd if vented in sober earnest by a living writer.
• Who now reads Fielding, Smollet, Richardson, &c. ?-Who reads Boccaccio, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, Gulliver, Robinson Crusoe ? Pompous editions of them are sometimes printed to look handsome on library shelves; but nobody looks into them unless to inspect a new set of illustrative engravings. Nothing continues to be read for generations, not even history, but standard poetry.' Vol. I. p. 41.
With regard to Fielding, Smollett, and Boccaccio, we would that the question could be answered in the negative; but could the real Sir Egerton, who is a respectable bibliographer, have committed so palpable a blunder as to ask, who reads works which are every day being re-printed in pocket editions, and of which thousands of copies are annually sold to those who buy only to read? Or could he have fallen into the gross mistake of supposing that Milton is more read than the Vicar of Wakefield, or Pope than Hume's History of England ? As to Boccaccio, he has, we presume, as many readers as Petrarch, and Cervantes is immeasureably better known, both to his countrymen and to foreigners, than Lopez de Vega or Calderon.
But were we to assume that the work before us is not a fiction, we should find ourselves, as critics, in a delicate predicament on another account; for, if the following titles are not strung together in joke-if such works have actually appeared, -how shall we confess our ignorance ? We have never heard of them.
I wrote my Hall of Hellingsley principally at Florence and Naples, one chapter at Paris, and part of the last volume at Geneva; where I also wrote Coninsby and Brokenhurst, and my Population and Riches, my Gnomica, my poem of Odo, and my Anti-Critic, and where I compiled several bibliographical works.' Vol. I. p. 95.
Indeed, had such publications been put forth by the real Sir Egerton, we should have good reason to cite him before us for contempt of court in never having acquainted us with the fact.
But, lastly, our reluctance to receive these Recollections as the genuine work of a sexagenarian, springs mainly from a more serious feeling. We could excuse the Author of the supposed fiction, for having represented his literary veteran as destitute of those higher aims and hopes which raise the mind above the petty contentions and vexations of life, infusing that peace which the world cannot destroy. For the sake of pointing the moral of his tale, we could excuse bis making his Sir Egerton ask, Where is peace to be found ? and return the sorry, cheerless answer to his own question—In seclusion, • lonely contemplation, air and exercise, and slumbers which
are so much better than life !'—while he makes him add the touching confession, that even in these, he finds no peace. In the Philip of Miss Taylor, however, the same lesson is more happily conveyed.
• In milder moods I looked from side to side,
Is there no friend who will not cast me out?' If these volumes are really the production of a man verging on age, the total absence of any thing approaching to a religious idea, suggests reflections too painful to excite any other feeling than sincere commiseration. Towards the close of the work, our eye was caught by the words, 'stealing its silent 'way into eternity ;' and a few lines below occur the expressions, “And now I must look round and prepare for my
own exit.' Here, we thought, is at last an indication that our Sexagenarian is beginning to turn his mind to higher themes. But, to our disappointment, we found, on examination, that what is spoken of as stealing its way into eternity, is a recent poetical work; and the only exit that Sir Egerton is thinking of is-closing his volume! At page 75. of the same volume he tells us, that Dean Milner, one of the tutors of his college when he was at Cambridge, latterly took a religious ' turn.' Happy would be the turn that should make the latter end of Sir Egerton like his! It is not likely that this article will ever meet his eye, or we could assure him that we do not rank among either his detractors, persecutors, or enemies. These volumes have excited an interest, of which pity is certainly an element, but pity unmingled with any disrespectful feeling. If he would listen to us, there is a recipe which we would fain prescribe for all his ills, real or imaginary; it is contained in those words : Come unto ME, all ye that are * weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Art. VI. 1. Review of the Conduct of the Directors of the British,
and Foreign Bible Society, relative to the Apocrypha and to their
Administration on the Continent. With an Answer to the Rev.
1825 2. Second Statement of the Committee of the Edinburgh Bible Society,
relative to the Circulation of the Apocrypha by the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society. 8vo. pp. 152. Price 29.
Edinburgh, 1826. WE suspect that most of our readers are by this time sick
of the very word Apocrypha, and heartily tired of the controversy relating to it. Many persons were led to imagine, that when once the Parent Committee had adopted the recom. mendation of the Special Committee to exclude the Apocrypha, there would be an end of all difference and difficulty, and ihat the Society, having cleared the reef, would pursue its majestic course in calm waier. The Resolution adopted is as follows.
• That the Funds of the Society be applied to the printing and circulation of the Canonical Books of Scripture, to the exclusion of those Books and parts of Books which are usually termed Apocryphal : and that all copies, printed either entirely or in part at the expense of the Society, and whether such copies consist of the whole or of any one or more of such Books, be invariably issued bound; no other books whatever being bound with them; and further that all money grants, to societies or individuals, be made only in conformity with the principle of this regulation.*
This resolution is pronounced by the Edinburgh Committee 'unsatisfuctory,' and Dr. Andrew Thomson has been employed to draw up this new indictment against the London Committee, which, we regret to say, has been adopted as the statement of the Edinburgh Committee, the Rev. Mr. Craig alone protesting against its official adoption. The length to which party spirit will carry even good men, has seldom been more strikingly evinced, than in the sanction thus unhesitatingly given to a document deficient in every quality which should have recommended it to a religious committee. Its bold and incorrect assertions, its disregard of all the courtesies of controversy, and its violent and intolerant spirit render it worthy of the pen
from which it issues,-a pen which is accustomed to deal in acrimony, and which has been compelled to apologise for its own libels; but if this be the spirit of the Edinburgh Committee, we can only regret that the gift of exorcism has ceased.
* Missionary Register for 1825, p. 556.