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jteaat — a hawiu ^ lioa " What can the Scotch Giaat have done to the Mr Gillian * * criticism is simple ,. He has a peculiar religious creed ^ con-^ sS ^^ -Scotah ^ OioclQS y Tvitb a beUef in the Pewonal Advent SwSdaea , and this idea be carries with him as a test m his foray among S ^ rifiea / ffftmw agree with hun in these thx « g 5 , he -begins by afew general . depreciations , and gradually merges info " a- swelling , bombastic . eulogy ¥ a man seem to care Uttle about theni , he praises generally ' , and . ends by abusing hwn for not making these peculiarities the rnfing passion of Ms Ibeing- But if a man does not tielieve in , them , and says so , the Tage ^ of fiaeUanknows no bounds ; he drives the offender out of his article with whips of Billingsgate . We have had the criticism of Jeffery , Hazlitt , Cole-_^ j ! r _ n » -OI ^ n . ; o * * u A ^ tlrKm nf flAnr / re fji lfillftn . Anart from this
; funlftmehtal principle , he is as changeful as Proteus . You never know \ ehere you have him , "Writing of Dobell , there never was such a poet . ; of Alexander Smith , Bobell is full of faults ; of Bigg , Smith wants everything Bizs possesses ; of Gerald Massey , all : the others have , faults that he is free jfrom . And so on . The same even on his favourite religious ground . He Xjnsures Jeffery , in the prime of his life , for caring nothing for religion : ± he septuagenarian critic made a pious end , and what says our author : As to religion , his tone becomes that of childish sentimentahsm ; and , unable to thela&t to give either to the Bible or the existence of God the homage of . amanly belief , he can yet shed over them floods , of silly andsenile tears . ' Again , if Holyoake assert , and Car l yle and Emerson seem to imply / that Clms-Jtianity is effeteGilfillan ' s wrath exceeds decency of expression ; but iTa
, luckless believer says it is not effete , he turns round even more turiously aipon him , and affirms that it is so utterly rotten and used up that nothing but ithe Personal Advent of Jesus can set it right . , . The plain fact is , Mr . Gilfillan has utterly mistaken his literary history . When the first Gallery appeared it was hailed with delight by the youn » ^ jxd enthusiastic among the strictly orthodox . To them the raciest fields of 4 iterature had been hermetically sealed . Here now was a perfectly safe anan who introduced tiaem to Byron and Shelley , Carlyle and Emerson , even to JRousseau and Voltaire . Older . and wiser men forgave for this good his uncouth language * wherein sense was drowned amid a wilderness of words , buried beneath incongruous metaphors . What is the result ? It was . esideni that either he must came aut orjro in .- - To remain where he then was , in ** «« o * i ** «* .
was not , possioie . -tie nas gone . jrresery * u ^ » ><««» av ™> ««** introducing Slew faults , he has cast aside all tolerance for doubt or negation , and there la really little Ifift , to ¦ riVing" ™** *" ' ™ -frnm the mass of Exeter Hall dogmatists . . ¦ ¦¦ . '¦ ' . . •• Weclose by giving , to use a . congenial phrase ., a Galaxy of Gilfillanisnis ; raesuwng that -they are-fair specimens of w , hat Ifaey represent , and that ^ ij wf rfoosen we could have filled columns- with the like :- — - " ^ JEl , EGANO * 3 ~ QF E 2 £ HKB 0 SIf > Nv — Putrid perfection—dung—belched " up—in splendour or in stench—half-putrid in-, cwns «—« t # abete * wvborum—foul spitfle— palace built of dung—a dunghill . Olympus ^ Tflwxfcdd djist- ^ a diarxhcea of words . " * ~ :.. ' ¦ . r GRAMMAR . ¦ * . ¦¦¦ ¦ ~ gibbering form - the vial whom—this noctes— ' shall' for « will' passim . ~~ . - ' ¦ mxvrn k . T > TXi" \ T > a METAPHORS
. fcnrst out , like an expiring flame , into glorious bravuras—a poean sheathed in blasrj > hemy- —Burke ' s High-Churchism is the lofty buskin in which his fancy loves to tread , &c . * I . OGIC . Do the Bratea faaow each other onearth , and shall not the Saints io hearen ? COUBTEST AS A DISPUTANT . . ''^ They ( Holyoake , Maccall , Gonibe , &c . ) at least are direct and honeat and thorough-Tawinff-men—wemeananiinaL 3- ^ orjaie ^ are . j ) erpem ^ ¦ from brutes and reptiles and fishes and sUrae , and everything but God , and we are not disposed to deny their far-come and dearly-won honours , or to quarrel , so far as ificyM » conceniad , with this Huid heraldry . " ( We might have headed this " Veracity . ) ^' aiie - uwolflnce , bigotry , and folly of a JSTeale leave all former absurdity floundering tvafciad . " u That tissue of GUIiy nonsense wJxich none but an ape of the first maguitvda « auld have vomttod , yclept 4 Firnulian . '"—" The coarse and clumsy paws " , ( of 4 tft 9 UM ) . — " The creatures of the 4 tfs-en » mn and others of the London Press , "
BKUOITY IN naaBSSAMOB . Mitftboa * , a Jove-Judas , ; Poe , a YAnkfle-yahoo . ; Emerson , a Paul-Pyrrho . And iXifa batch : " By-ends Bacon - Domae Dunwnt ; gavaall Joe Hume ; Hold-taoworld Bontham ; Feekthe ^ skuli Gowbe . ; Young AtUeist Holyoake ; My-4 ord-tUneserveri Macaulay . SK . ETOHES OB * CHARACTER . Louvet , a compound of sentiment and smut ! Napoleon , the marvellous manniton oPCorsica- Carlyle , the curaing Balaam of his day ( is G . G . the other , then ?) . Dickens , A : pug of genius . Burke , a mental cameleopard . Rousseau , a winged frog . FORCE OP EXPRESSION . "Blunderbuss of blasphemy . MODESTY . The Critic—( to which Mr . Gilfillan is the chief contributor)—that admirable paper , which is now , both in character and circulation , at the v « ry top of the literary journals of tta . me&onctlis .
A BATCH OF FICTIONS . Wearyibot Common . 3 y Leltch Ritchie , Bogue . The Old Chelsea J ? ttn-Ao «» 6 . A Tale of tho Last Century . By tlve Author of "Mary Powell . " Hall , Virtue , and Co . Tales of Flemish Life . By Hendrik Conscience . Constable and Co . Chnsral Bounce ; or The JLady and . the Locusts . By G . J . Whyte Melville . Parker and Son . The Quiet Heart . By the Author of " 'Katie Stewart . " Second Edition . Blackwood . JDathwooctVEriory i or , Mortimer ' s Coileije Life . By 15 .. J . May . Kouttodgo . The Frost upon the Pane . A Christmas Story . Suited by W . B . Rands . W . and F . G . Cash . 37 A « Trapper's Bvkle , &c . By Percy B . Sit . John . - . , Ward and Lock . jRJvgip * < md Pies , &c , So . By J . Stirling Coyne . Routlodge . JSKarp-Eye ; or The Scout ' s Revenye . By James "Weir . Ward and Look . 3 ? jw be&t books in the proaent Batch are the three first on our list . Wearyf < 9 Qt , £ omvum is nut a story to keep ladies from going to parties , or to make
gentlemen forget the dinner-hour ; but it is a , pleasai * t , readable ! : aovel , foaall that . Mr . Xieitch Ritchie knows how to amuse us by quaint touoh « £ of character , and how to interest us by clever and unaffected passages of description . The tone of the book is manly and genuine throughout- — the style is simple and straightforward—and the moral ( for those who want a moral , which w . $ oursjelyes jomer dp ) . is . <^ uite unimpeacbsuble .. Tke Old Chelsea ^ M ^ iai ^• . is , c * r , efully written in . the style of the last century , beajfr tifuJUy prijated in the ^? pe of the last century , and . brilfiantiy coloured afe the edges with the bright red of the last cetitury * This sont of skilful imitation of old models , so far as the author ' s part is concerned , has of itself no great charms for us—but the book now under nertiee possesses higher merits than the one small merit of being a clever costume-picture of the . literary sort . The idea of the story is very pretty and simple , and is
very naturally and delicately carried out . The characters , in general , want strength , but they are touched by no unskilful hand . The owner of the Bun-house , who tipples at " Don Saltero ' s , " and ruins himself by . pur ** chases of rare China , is excellently imagined ; and rthe fashionable lady ' s gentle waiting ^ wonaari , " Gatty , " is really a charming character . She winer our love and admiration on her first introduction to us , and we lose sight ; of her at the end with downright reluctance and sorrow . Indeed , the main characteristic of the botik is that it is essentially . a wanning story , which leads the reader on quietly , naturally , and always persuasively , from the first page to the last . Mr . Hendrik Conscience's Tales of Flemish Life hay © already made themselves a reputation for simplicity , tenderness , and truth ,
which they have well deserced . They are the most delicately - ^ treated of Prose-Pastorals . If the author only possessed the art of story-telling , they would be perfect in their way—but either he does not care to cultivate this all-important iaculty ( in a . novelist ) , or it has not been given to him . These Tales want compression in many passages . It is undeniable , with all their great merits of purity of sentiment and truth to Nature , tha , t they are tedious , now and lien— . not in consequence of their subjects , incidents , or characters , but in consequence of the authors manner of telling them ,. While Mr . Hendrik Conscience ( judging by his Preface ) repudiates the ; crimes and horrors of French literature , it would certainly do -him no harm if he set himself to acquire some of the exquisite niceties and neatnesses of French story-telling . ' ¦ . .
. _ _ „ _ ., General Bounce , ^ is not a book to our taste . Reflections w . the uwaner of Mr . Thackecay occur far too frequently in the story . The " General" m that jold-estahUshed bore , the crusty , quick-tempered , hearty veteran who has been in India—^ the officers who are grouped about him are gentlemen whom we haxe seen quite enough of in other people ' s books-- 'and the plot is in no respect that we Cjan * 3 iSx ? . over , any fresher than the characters . -As a set ofl& hetwever , against Jaur ojku judgment , it is only ^^ fair to add that thia ^ story : was thoT ^ hfc ^ rliiy to Appear originally in Fraser ' s Magazine , ; and only = polite rto augur in . consequence that there must be certain select people secreted somewhere , vi ^ ho will be only too happy to make the aoqjuainjit _ ance of General Bounce . If the next novel-on our list had not been . « ,
Scotch , story , and if wTeTuul not known that the " kindly Scots bodies" are always ready to encourage anj'fehing national , purely for the a » ke- of nationality * we shoaild have been rather astonfahed at seeing the wortfe "Second Edition" on : the ^^ title-page of The Quiet Heart . As it is , of course we bow to success , whUe we impartially chronicle it . The book seems to ua to contain one of the most badly written stories about nothing that we have , read for some time . past—^ but we are modestly willing ( always in deference to the words " Second Edition" ) to distrust our own opinion , and to regret our defective appreciation , tlnuftterable qualms prostrated us after our nr « t mouthful Qi " Haggis 4 " horror seized us when we first heard the bagpipesentirely , of course , from our want of prqper taste ; and doubtless for the same reason , _ weariness _» nd _ e ; £ asp ^ w . e
-.---toiled through the pages of The Quiet Heart . .. Of Dashwood Priory we have nothing to say , but that it is a very re li gious novel , which is sure to be highly relished by very religious people . Books of this sort ought to appjy ior critical notice to the JPulpit instead of the Press . The Frost on the . Pane is one of those Christinas stories which would never have been written if Mj \ Dickens had not enriched the great library of English fiction with hw e&quisiie " -CuroU" There are degrees , however , in imitation ; and The Frost on the Pane is by no means to be ranked among the lowest " studies in the manner of the great master . " We shall be doing this little book the best servioe we can , if we abstain from judging it by any hi ^ h literary standard , and only speak critically of it with reference to stories in general , which are just now struggling with it for public thdook
approbation . Estimated from this point ot view , e certainly gains by the tost of comparison—its faults of manner are not the faults of the " smart" school—and it is written by a man who at least knows a better way of appealing to his public than the mountebank way of trying anyhow always to make thorn laugh . Our next story is another imitation—an imitation of Penimore 'Cooper thiB time . Readers who believe in the ¦ " noble savage , " and who have exhausted n il Cooper ' Indian novels , may thank us for introducing them to Cooper ' s disciple , Mr . Percy St . John , and may finfl pleasure in roading The Trapper ' s Bride . For our own parts , all we have heard on more than one occasion of tho Red Indians , from travellers wno have been so unfortunate as to live among them , has inclined us to believe that savages in America are just as false * bloodthirsty , and bestial as savages anywhere else : and that Mr . Fenimore Cooper ' s romanticBedinen , wane they do infinite credit to his poetical feeling , are altogether untrue to the renl , strong-smelling , bloody-minded living model who skulks , squats , and scalps on tho prairies of the " far West . " Pi »» i > is and Pies is written to narrate the mischievous tricks . played , 111 * on
holiday time , by a scampiBh sohoolboy with a generous uear ^ auuoawMSMu * to be extremely amuwug . It has happened to us , \ " ° f ^ ^ « occasion , to witness the performance of a pantomime with f « eUiw » of unuUerable melancholy , caused by the exhibition of a long seriw . of dreary anrworn-out " tricks / ' which nipped smiles in pha bud , and made the bare idea of laughter preposterous . Vluch the same feeling oppressed us'aa we read Pippins and pL , - * hich ( perhaps , from not i > eing young enough to enjoy itf we thought was too much in the . pantomime stylo , and from
jUareAOT& 1855 . ] y ;; g ; , B- ; J ^; g . , 4 . ^ - ^ , : ifc ; . ^
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 6, 1855, page 19, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2072/page/19/