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the representative of a rare or a diminishing species. We fear few of our readers, however, they may admire the naivete, will admitthe truth of poor John Morland's postscript, " I can never expect to know such another woman."

The latter of these novels, however, Persuasion, which is more strictly to be considered as a posthumous work, possesses that superiority which might be expected from the more mature age at which it was written, and is second, we think, to none of the former ones, if not superior to all. In the humorouadelineation of character it does not abound quite so much as some of the others, though it has great merit even on that score; but it has more of that tender and yet elevated kind of interest which is aimed at by the generality of novels, and in pursuit of which they seldom fail of running into romantic extravagance: on the whole, it is one of the most elegant fictions of common life we ever remember to have met with.

Sir Walter Elliot, a silly and conceited baronet, has three daughters, the eldest two, unmarried, and the third, Mary, the wife of a neighbouring gentleman, Mr Charles Musgrove, heir to a considerable fortune, and living in a genteel cottage in the neighbourhood of the Great House which he is hereafter to inherit. The second daughter, Anne, who is the heroine, and the only one ofthe family possessed of good sense (a quality which Miss Austen is as sparing of in her novels, as we fear her great mistress, Nature, has been in real life), when on a visit to her sister, is, by that sort of instinct which generally points out to all parties the person on whose judgment and temper they may rely, appealed to in all the little family differences which arise, and which are described with infinite spirit and detail.

The following touch reminds us, in its minute fidelity to nature, of some of the happiest strokes in the subordinate parts of Hogarth's prints: Mr G. Musgrove has an aunt whom he wishes to treat with becoming attention, but who, from being of a somewhat inferior class in point of family and fashion, is studiously shunned by his wife, who has all the family pride of her father and elder sister: he takes the opportunity of a walk with a large party on a fine day, to visit this despised relation, but cannot persuade his wife to accompany him; she pleads fatigue, and remains with the rest to await his return; and he walks home with her, not much pleased at the incivility she has shown.

"She ( Anne Elliot) joined Charles and Mary, and was tired enough to be very glad of Charles's other arm :—but C harles, though in very good-humour with her, was out of temper with his wife Mary had shown herself disobliging to him, and was now to reap the consequence, which consequence was his dropping her arm almost every moment, to cut off the heads of some netlles in the hed^e with his switch ; and when Mary began to complain of it. and lament her bein? ill-used, according to custom, in being on tl»e hedge pHe, while Anne was never incommoded on the other, he dropped the arms of both to hunt after n weasel which he had a momentary glance of: and they could hardly get him along a' •Jt."—VoLiii. pp. 211,212. 3

But the principal interest arises from a combination of events which cannot better be explained than by a part of the prefatory narrative, which forms, in general, an Euripidean prologue to Miss Austen's novels.

"He was not Mr Wentworth, the former curate of Monkford, however suspicious appearances may be, but a Captain Frederick Wentworth, his brother, who being mane commander in consequence of the action off St Domingo, and not immediately employed, had come into Somersetshire in the summer of 1806; and having no parent living, found a home for half a year, at Monkford. He was, at that time, a remarkably fine young man, with a great deal of intelligence, spirit, aitd brilliancy ; and Anne, an extremely pretty girl, with gentleness, modesty, taste, and feeling. Half the sum of attraction, on either side, might have been enough, for he had nothing to do, and she had hardly any body to love; but the encounter of such lavish reeoinmendations could not fail. They were gradually acquainted, and when acquainted, rapidly and deeply in love. It would be difficult to say which had seen highest perfection in the other, or which had been the happiest, she, in receiving his declarations and proposals, or he in having them accepted.

"A short period of exquisite felicity followed, and but a short one. Troubles soon arose. Sir Walter, on being applied to, without actually withholding his consent, or saying it should never be. gave it all the negative of great astonishment, great coldness, great silence, and a professed resolution of doing nothing for his daughter. He thought it a very degrading alliance; and Lady Russell, though with more tempered and pardonable pride, received it as a most unfortunate one.

"Anne Elliot, with all her claims of birth, beauty, and mind, to throw herself away at nineteen; involve herself at nineteen in an engagement with a young man, who had nothing but himself to recommend him, and no hopes of attaining affluence, but in the chances of a roost uncertain profession; and no connexions to secure even his further rise in that profession; would be, indeed, a throwing away, which she grieved to think of] Anne Elliot, so young; known to so few, to be snatched off by a stranger without alliance or fortune ; or rather sunk by him into a state of most wearing, anxious, youth-killing dependence! It must not be, if by any fair interference of friendship, any representations from one who had almost a mother's love, and mothei's rights, it could be prevented.

"Captain Wentworth had no fortune. He had been lucky in his profession, but spending freely what had come freely, had realized nothing. But, he was confident that he should soon be rich; full of life and ardour, he knew that he should soon have a ship, and soon be on a station that would lead to every thing he wanted. He had always been lucky; he knew he should be so still. Such confidence, powerful in its own warmth, and bewitching in the wit which often expressed it, must have been enough for Anne: but Lady Russell saw it very differently. His sanguine temper, and fearlessness of mind, operated very differently on her. She saw in it but an aggravation of the evil. It only added a dangerous character to himself. He was brilliant, he was headstrong. Lady Russell had little taste for wit; and of any thing approaching to imprudence a horror. She deprecated the connexion in every light

"Such opposition, as these feelings produced, was more than Anne could combat. Young and gentle as she was, it might yet have been possible to withstand her father's illwill, though unsoftencd by one kind word or look on the part of her sister; but Lady Russell, whom she had always loved and relied on, could not, with such steadiness of opinion, and such tenderness of manner, be continually advising her in vain. She was persuaded to believe the engagement a wrong thing—indiscreet, improper, hardly capable of success, and not deserving it. But it was not a merely selfish caution, under which she acted, in puttingan end to it. Had she not imagined herself consulting his good, even more than her own, she could hardly have given him up. The belief of being prudent and selfdenying, principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation, under the misery of a parting—a final parting; and every consolation, was required, for she had to encounter all the additional pain of opinions, on his side, totally unconvinced and unbending, and of his feeling himself ill-used by so forced a relinquishment. He had left the country in consequence.

"A fen months had seen the beginning and the end of their acquaintance; but not with a few months ended Anne's share of suffering from it. Her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth; and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect.

"More than seven years were gone since this little history of sorrowful interest had reached its close;and time had softened down much,perhaps{nearly all of peculiar attachment to him,—but she had been too dependent on time alone; no aid had been given in change of place (except in one visit to Bath soon after the rupture), or in any novelty or enlargement of society. No one had ever come within the Kellynch circle, who could bear a comparison with Frederick Wentworth, as he stood in her memory. No second attachment, the only thorougly natural, happy, and sufficienlcur:, at her time of life, had been possible to the nice tone of her miod, the fastidiousness of her taste, in the small limits of the society arouud them. She had been solicited, when about two-and-twenty. to change her name, by the young man, who not long afterwards found a more wiiti^jnind in her younger sister; and Lady Russell had lamented her refusal; for Charles Musgrove was the eldest son of a man, whose landed property and general importance were second, in that country, only to Sir Walter's, and of good character and appearance; and however Lady Russell might have asked yet for something more, while Anne was nineteen, she would have rejoiced to see her at twenty-two, so respectably removed from the partialities aud injustice of her father's house, and settled so permanently near herself. But in this case, Anne had left nothing for advice to do; and though Lady Russell, as satisfied us ever with her own discretion, never wished the past undone, she began now to have the anxiety, which borders on hopelessness, for Anne's being tempted, by some man of talents and independence, to enter a state for which she held her to be peculiarly fitted by her warm alfections and domestic habits,

"They knew not each other's opinion, either its constancy or its change, on the one lending point of Anne's conduct, for the subject was never alluded to,—but Anne, at sevenand twenty, thought very ditferently from what she had been made to think at nineteen — She did not blame Lady Russell, she did not blame herself for having been guided by her; but she felt that were any young person, in similar circumstances, to apply to her for counsel, they would never receive any of such certain immediate wretchedness, such uncertain future good.—She was persuaded that, under every disadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, all their probable fears, delays, aud disappointment*, she should yet have been a happier woman in maintaining the engagement, than she had been iu the sacrifice of it; and this, she fully believed, had the usual share, hail even more than a usual shure of all such solicitudes and suspense been theirs, without reference to the actual results of their case, which, as it happened, would have bestowed earlier prosperity than could be reasonably calculated on All his sanguine expectations, all his confidence had been justified. His genius and ardour had seemed to foresee ai d to command his prosperous path. He had, very soou after their engagement censed, got employ ; aud all that he had told her would follow, had taken place. He had distinguished himself, and early gained the other step in rank—and must now, by successive captures, have made a handsome fortune. She had only navy lists and newspapers for her authority, but she could not doubt his being rich ;—and, in favour of his constancy, she had no reason to believe him married.

"I low eloquent could Anne Elliot have been,—how eloquent, at least, were her wishes, on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity ,| against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust 1'rovidenre !—She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older—the natural sequel of an unatural beginning."—Vol. iii. pp. 67-67.

After an absence of eight years, he returns to her neighbourhood, and circumstances throw them frequently in contact. Nothing can be more exquisitely painted than her feelings on such occasions. First, dread of the meeting,—then, as that is removed by custom, renewed regret for the happiness she has thrown away, and the constantly recurring contrast, though known only to herself, between the distance of their intercourse and her involuntary sympathy with all his feelings, and instant comprehension of all his thoughts, of the meaning of every glance of his eye, and curl of his lip, and intonation of his voice. In him her mild good sense and elegance gradually re-awake long-forgotten attachment; but with it relurn the usual accompaniments of undeclared love, distrust of her sentiments towards.him, and suspicions of their being favourable to another. In this state of regretful jealousy he overhears, while writing a letfer, a conversation she is holding with his friend Captain Harville, respecting another naval friend, Captain Benwick, who had been engaged to the sister of the former, and very speedily after her death had formed a fresh engagement; we cannot refrain from inserting an extract from this conversation, which is exquisitely beautiful.

"1 Your feelings may be the strongest,' replied Anne, 'butthesame spirit of analogy will authorize me to assert that ours are the most tender. Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer-lived : which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments. Nay, it would be too bard upon you, if it were otherwise. You have difficulties, and privations, and dangers enough to struggle with. Yon are always labouring and toiling, exposed to every risk and hardship. Your home, country, friends, all quitted. Neither time, nor health, nor life, to be called your own. It would be too hard indeed' (with a faltering voice) * if woman's feelings were to be added to all this.'

"'We shall never agree upon this question'—Captain Harville was beginning to say, when a slight noise called their attention to Captain YVentworth's hitherto perfectly quiet division of the room. It was nothing more than that his pen had fallen down, but Anne was startled at finding him nearer than she had supposed, and half inclined to suspect that the pen had only fallen, because he had been occupied by them, striving to catch sounds which yet she did not think he could have caught.

"'Have you finished yonr letter?' said Captain Harville. 'Not quite, afew lines more. 1 shall have done in five minutes/

u * There is no hurry on my side. I am only ready whenever yon are.—I am in very good anchorage here' (smiling at Anne), ' well supplied, and want for nothing—No hurrr for a signal at all.—Well, Miss Elliot'(lowering his voice), * as I was saying, we shall never agree I suppose upon this point. No man and woman would, probably. But let'me observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose and verse. If I had such a memory as Benwick, I could bring you fifty quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say up a woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perh: js you will say, these were all written by men.1

"' Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men tave had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in (to much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing.'

"* But how shall wenrove any thing?'

u * We never shall. We never can expect to prove any thing upon such a point. It is a difference of opinion which does not admit of proof. We each begin probably with a little bias towards our own sex, and upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it which has occurred within our own circle; many of which circumstances (perhaps those very cases which strike us the most) may be precisely such as cannot be brought forward without betraying a confidence, or, in some respect, saying what should not be said.'

w * Ah!' cried Captain Harville, in a tone of strong feeling, ' if I could but make you comprehend what a man sutlers when he takes a last look at his wife and children, and watches the boat that he has sent them oft" in. as long as it is in sight, and then turns away and says,' God knows whether we ever meet again!' And then, if I conld convey to you the glow of his soul when he does see them again; when coming back alter a twelvemonth's absence perhaps, and obliged to put into another port, he calculates how soon it will be possible to get them there, pretending to deceive himself, and saying, 'They cannot be here till such a day.' but all the while hoping fur them twelve hours sooner, and seeing them arrive at last, as if Heaven had given them wings, by ninny hours snOner still! If I could explain to you all this, and all that a man can bear and do, and dories to do for the sake of these treasures of his existence! I speak, you know, only of such men as have hearts!' pressing his own with emotion.

"' Oh !' cried Aune. eagerly,' I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you. and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures. 1 should deserve utter contempt if 1 dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman. No, I believe you capable of every thing great and good in your married lives. I believe you equal to every important exertion, and to every domestic forbearance, so long as—if 1 may be allowed the expression, so long as you have an ob eet. I mean, while the woman you love lives, and lives for you. All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one, you need not covet it) is that of loving longest, when exisit nce or when hope is gone.'

"She could not immediately have uttered another sentence; her heart was too full, her breath too much oppressed "—Vol. iv. pp. 253 269.

While this conversation has been going on, he has been replying to it on paper, under the appearance of Li Dishing his letter: he puts the paper into her hand, and hurries away,

w I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. Von pierce my soul. 1 am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when yon almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that ins love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. L njust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. Von alone have brought rne to Bath. For you alone 1 think and plan. —Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?—1 had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as 1 think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. 1 am every instant hearing something which overpowers ine. Yon sink your voice, but 1 can distinguish the tones ot that voice, when they would be lost on others.—Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in F. W."

We ventured, in a former article, to remonstrate against the dethronement of the once powerful God of Love, in his own most especial domain, the novel; and to suggest that, in shunning the ordinary fault of recommending by examples a romantic and uncalculating extravagance of passion, Miss Austen had rather fallen into the opposite extreme of exclusively patronizing what are called prudent matches, and too much disparaging sentimental enthusiasm. We urge, that, mischievous as is the extreme on this side, it is not the one into which the young folks of the present day are the most likely to run: the prevailing fault is not now, whatever it may have been, to sacrifice all for love:

"Venit enim magnum donandi parca juventus
Nec tantura Veneris quantum studiosa colinee"

We may now, without retracting our opinion, bestow unqualified approbation; for the distresses of the present heroine all arise from her prudent refusal to listen to the suggestions of her heart. The catastrophe, however, is happy, and we are left in doubt whether it would have been better for her or not to accept the first proposal; and this we conceive is precisely the proper medium; for, though we would not have prudential calculations the sole principle to be regarded in marriage, we are far from advocating their exclusion. To disregard the advice of sober-minded friends on an important point of conduct, is an imprudence we would by no means recommend; indeed, it is' a species of selfishness, if, in listening only to the dictates of passion, a man sacrifices to its gratification the happiness of those most dear to him as well as his own; though it is not nowadays the most prevalent form of selfishness. But it is no condemnation of a sentiment to say, that it becomes blameable when it interferes with duty, and is uncontrolled by conscience: the desire of riches, power or distinction—the taste for case and comfort—are to be condemned when they transgress these bounds; and love, if it keep within them, even though it be somewhat tinged with enthusiasm, and a little at variance with what the worldly call prudence, t. e. regard for pecuniary advantage, may afford a better moral discipline to the mind than most other passions. It will not at least be denied, that it has often proved a powerful stimulus to exertion where others have failed, and has called forth talents unknown before even to the possessor. What, though the pursuit may be fruitless, and the hopes visionary? The result may be a real and substantial benefit, though of another kind; the vineyard may have been cultivated by digging in it for the treasure which is never to be found. What, though the perfections with which imagination has decorated

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