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and upon the present occasion the endeavour to put Sir Mark perfectly at his ease, by inviting nobody to meet him, was equally unsuccessful. Any of the ordinary visitors of Crosby Hall, the rector, the attorney even,--any body to have broken the solemn uniformity of the partie quarre-would have been a most charming relief: as it was, the silence and gravity were unmitigated; while the interest created amongst the servants, to examine with proper scrupulousness the avowed lover of their young lady, (for so he had been confidentially announced by Mrs. Davis to be) prompted them to rivet four pair of unmeaning eyes upon the worthy baronet; the consciousness of which inspection, added to his habitual bashfulness, placed him in the most uncomfortable possible condition; while Caroline, anxious for his coup d'essai, waited with exemplary patience for some sign, if not of rationality, at least of animation.
The worthy baronet accepted the proffered soup from the servant. "Are you really going to take soup, Sir Mark?" said Mrs. Crosby. "Yes, if you please," said Sir Mark Terrington.
"Take the pulverized ginger to Sir Mark," said the lady of the house to the butler.
Instantly, a huge bottle, labelled accordingly, was presented to Sir
None, I thank you," said the baronet.
"Sir Mark," said Mrs. Crosby, "there is a great proportion of vegetable matter in that soup, and it is absolute poison without a corrective-permit me to do it for you."
'Saying which, she kindly dipped a large thickly perforated spoon into the bottle, and in a trice scattered at least two ounces of its contents on the surface of Sir Mark's soup.
"Now stir it up, Sir Mark, and I'll venture to say you'll suffer nothing."
'Now Sir Mark having, thanks to Providence, an excellent constitution, never anticipated any great suffering from eating a plate of soup, and would rather have dispensed with the bane than have mixed with it the antidote; however, the intention of Mrs. Crosby was everything, and the worthy baronet began the operation of demolishing the meditated mess which her assiduity had arranged for him.
'But he was not prepared for all his misery; none of the family ate soup, nor would they be persuaded to commence eating fish until Sir Mark had finished his jorum. The caloric of the soup superadded to the heat of the ginger, rendered this operation somewhat lengthy, as the Americans say; and at least seven minutes were occupied in its consumption-the perfect silence of the party rendered more than usually audible the noise which the worthy baronet somewhat gothically made in sipping it.
"Have you taken your Barclay, my love?" said Mrs. Crosby to 'her husband.
"No, I quite forgot it," said Crosby.
""Robert," said Mrs. Crosby, and turning to a very thin, very pale footman, who was her great favourite, and took physic three times every week, whispered some directions in his ear, to obey which he speedily vanished.
During all this ceremony, Caroline could not avoid observing that Sir Mark, in addition to the ardour of the pursuit in which he was engaged, was enduring the full blaze of the sun directly in his eyes, nor could she avoid asking him, whether he did not find the glare excessive.
"Not in the least, I thank you," said Sir Mark most amiably, his face absolutely crimsoned with the heat, and his purple veins starting at his temples.
"The sickly footman returned with the Barclay, which the Baronet had concluded to be nourishing brown stout for the invalid, but which turned out to be neither more nor less than a box of pills, one of which Mr. Crosby was in the habit of swallowing before he began to eat, as an artillery man fires a blind shell to ascertain the correctness of his range before he begins in earnest.
Hutchins," said Mrs. Crosby, in the act of helping the fish-" has there been a spoon boiled with these trout?"
"We are very particular, Sir Mark," said the lady; and I never suffer a morsel of fish to be tasted which has not undergone the test of seasonableness: when the fish is likely to be injurious to the stomach, the spoon boiled in the water with it, becomes tarnished."
Indeed, Ma'am !" said Sir Mark.'—vol. i. pp. 109–113.
This is a fair and average specimen of the author's power in this his favourite style; but inclined as we are to laugh with him, we believe no reader of judgment can fail seeing that this scene, as well as all others of a similar kind, are mere farcical representations; and that the laugh which they provoke is very different from the expression of pleasure, at the nicer and more refined efforts of wit in the delineation of manners and character.
In 'Yes and No,' we have yet another variety in the description of life and society; but it palls and sickens us throughout to find almost every human being of which it speaks, decorated with a title, and uttering not a sentence but what is trimmed into the well-known form of the cant of high life. To such a ridiculous length, in fact, is this carried, that even the parson who comes to speak about a funeral, is called 'the honourable and reverend.' There is, indeed, in this novel, and others of the same class, an attempt made at delineating other scenes occasionally than those of ballrooms, and other characters than those of peers and peeresses. But there can be nothing more amusing than the air of hauteur with which these portions are hastened over, or else made to prove to the reader on what an eminence of discernment, delicate taste, and politeness, the accomplished author reposes. As a proof of the pretensions of these fashionable novels to fine description, and of their general failure in the attempt, the following will well answer our purpose.
Helen had been but four-and-twenty hours returned, when her mother expired in her arms; and as she slowly recovered from the immediate stupor of despair, the first sound that jarred discordantly upon her
returning senses, was the merry chime of the village bells summoning the rural congregation to morning-service, for it was Sunday 115 The powers of sound upon the brain in awakening dormant associa tions, have been felt by, many, independent of time or space. And even.. in declining life, an accidental imitation of the well-known tone of the bell that used to disturb the slumbers of the school-boy, has as recalled moment the remembrance of the long-forgotten hopes and fears of childhood. But the summons, which, with its unwelcome jingle, and ill-timed cheerfulness, now grated upon Helen's ear, was one, which had never hitherto been unpleasing, either to her or her mother. And the last time she had heard it-it seemed but yesterday-how different had been her feelings! In the sameness of their tranquil life, the return of the Sunday had always furnished the principal event, and the consequent periodical return of Mrs. Mordaunt's walk to the parish-church, had for some time been the extent of her rambles beyond her own garden. Upon these occasions, the severe simplicity, though studied neatness of Mrs. More daunt's attire, had added to the impression created by her striking, though no longer blooming figure. And now Helen recalled, with an astonishing accuracy, the whole of her appearance, dress, and deportment, the last time that they had together started to obey that summons to church, She recollected too, and it was consolatory to her in her present state,. the increased cheerfulness with which her mother always returned from thence; but it occurred to her, with some slight sensation of reproach, that she had not then been warned by the first symptom of bodily weakness shown by her mother, in requiring the assistance of her arm, on their walk homewards, the day before she had last left her on her visit to Lady Latimer.
"Still that distractingly cheerful sound continued; and with the desperation with which one sometimes turns one's attention to that which is painful, Helen half opened the window-shutters. It was a bright autumnal morning. At the distance of the garden she could see, on one side, small parties of the peasantry, all in their gayest clothing, and hearts as gay, hastening towards their morning duty; but opposite her own little gate, there was a still, and apparently increasing group; and all, as they passed, paused a minute, as it were, listening on the skirts of this group; and then, as they resumed their way, it was easy to observe in the awkward gait of all, and in the unfolded handkerchief of many of the women, that they had just heard heavy news. For Mrs. Mordaunt had been the best of neighbours to the poor; her charity had been, not only of the hand, but of the heart; and there are few so ignorant, as not to appreciate the distinction.'-vol. ii. pp. 35-39.
We hardly know where a worse piece of thoroughly affected writing could be found than this, and yet of such stuff is the major part of these works composed, when a moment's reprieve is obtained from the detail of intrigues, or the repetition of insipid dialogues. We are only astonished how the most simple, idle, and uncultivated mind, can endure two or three volumes of such wretched and tasteless productions.
The last work we have to notice requires but a few words. It is written with a good design, and by a writer always zealous in the
desire of promoting the cause of virtue. There is a great deal of matter in it which can hardly fail of being useful, and some of the characters are described in a manner calculated to render the incidents of the tale interesting as well as moral in their effect. The writer has disclaimed the idea of seeking the fame of a fashionable novelist, and if she has failed in composing a bold and exciting narrative, or in very striking pictures of life, she has succeeded in making a book which will be read by many with peculiar approbation, and can produce disgust in none. But of all the novels
we have thus brought before sur readers, the one which best deserves their attention, is the Tale of Khorasan. It is interesting for its description of oriental character and customs, and in some parts is as vivid and exciting as the best and more decidedly romantic narratives. Its faults are an occasional forgetfulness of the true state of society and feeling in the countries which form the scene of the history, and a mixture of refined European sentiment with the wild expression of unlicensed thought, which is hardly natural. Another fault is in the construction of the tale, it being only the first and last hundred pages of the work which can be regarded as devoted especially to the story, the intermediate parts being almost entirely taken up with descriptions of battles, political changes, and executions; but it is on the whole a work of great merit, and as such we recommend it to our readers.
ART. X.-On the Curative Influence of the Southern Coast of England; especially that of Hastings: with Observations on Diseases in which a residence on the coast is most beneficial. By William Harwood, M.D. 8vo. pp. 326. London: Colburn. 1828.
SOME of our brother critics have found fault with this work, because it is written by a physician, and because that physician resides on the spot which of all other parts of the southern coast he especially recommends to invalids. The remark is as illiberal as it is unjust. In the first place, a medical man is the only person who is competent from his studies to distinguish between the different climates that are most apt to aggravate, to mitigate, or cure, the various diseases to which our species is liable. In the next place, no one but a medical man who, from long residence, or careful investigation, has made himself thoroughly acquainted with the peculiar healing properties of the southern coast, ought to be listened to for a moment on a matter, which, to many families, is one of the greatest importance. Unless some accredited authority be easily and generally accessible on the subject, few persons can be induced to believe that there are situations in England, and those too within a few hours' journey of the metropolis, capable of affording alleviation, if not recovery, in cases which are usually sent to Italy, to the South of France, to Portugal, or Madeira. The many advantages which Hastings possesses in this respect, arising from its exposure to the southern sun, the neighbourhood of the sea,
the purity of its atmosphere, its genial soil, and those beautiful hills which shelter it from the winds-the north-easterly and easterly which are most obnoxious to invalids, can only be sufficiently appreciated and described by one who has had opportunities of observing and advising on their influence. Instead, therefore, of setting down Dr. 'Harwood's work as an empirical experiment, made for the purpose of augmenting the number of his patients, we are much more disposed to thank him for having devoted his time and attention to the composition of a treatise, which has been long a desideratum in medical literature. And we thank him the more disinterestedly, as we have no particular need of his assistance, being equally free from gout, consumption, asthma, and all that tribe of complaints, which he enumerates as susceptible of alleviation at Hastings.
To be candid, however, there is, we must confess, a slight partiality, an unconscious preference, perhaps, for Hastings, apparent throughout this work, which is not altogether free from suspicion. If we are to yield our faith to Dr. Harwood, there is no malady whatever, which that favourite spot is not capable either of curing effectually, or assuaging to a considerable degree. It is almost ludicrous to observe how constantly the reference occurs. In cases of indigestion and hypochondriasis, the mild and ever-playing breezes of the sea, are known,' we are told, to be no less peculiarly adapted for restoring enfeebled energies, and for effectually dispelling languor and lassitude of body, by their salubrious and vivifying powers, than the survey of its ever-varying surface is calculated to exhilarate and elevate the mind.' Again, the invalid labouring under acute rheumatism, is not only informed that the general prevalence of such affections is attributable to the variableness and severity of season and of situation; and that those persons are particularly liable to them who inhabit places most exposed to the north, north-east, and east winds; but also that there is a fortunate spot protected from those winds, which happens to be Hastings. Here also may the gout, that most intolerable of all complaints, be deprived of its tyranny: for as Dr. Scudamore has shown that it is increased by the cold, particularly by that which is brought to our island by the winds from Norway and Sweden, it follows that the patient will be relieved by the breezes which blow from the south and south-west, on the charming shores of Hastings. In cases of consumption, no person can doubt the efficacy of Hastings: winter cough it completely expels, scrofula it will not permit within its precincts; in short, there is hardly a disorder that can be named, which may not be cured, or at least vigorously combatted at Hastings, under proper medical care, meaning, of course, the care of Dr. Harwood.
But although there may certainly be somewhat of a local aspect every where apparent throughout this treatise, we are not therefore to reject the information which it affords us. Neither ought we