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female traveller, and informs him, that it was she herself who,
The ensign shortly after sets out to join his regiment, at Bir-
The consequences of this foolish step are such as may naturally he expected, and they afford Mr. Gamble an opportunity of breaking out into exclamations, on the “strange fatality which drives unconscious man unresisting before it.” Howard takes post in a public-house opposite to the home of his mistress, gains a sight of her, and writes a letter, which after mucli cogitation on the mode of conveying it, he confides, not to a feathered Mercury, but to a humble pot-boy. Unused to such commissions, the messenger loses the letter, and the lover is consequently in great trouble, when he is visited by an elderly man, of rather a rough appearance, who proves to be a person to whom his father had done a service, which he is desirous to repay to the son. The character of this old man, who is an Irishman, and a stationer by trade, is drawn con amore. He is warm-hearted, hospitable, eternally voluble, and abounding in curiosity. The letter, sticking to the bottom of a porter-pot, has fallen into his hands, and, having been opened by him, produces this visit. Finding that Howard's intentions are honourable, he promises to deliver the letter into the hands of Louisa, who is the daughter of a neighbour and friend. An answer is returned, an intercourse is commenced, and their love beconies mutual and enthusiastic.
Convinced that the father will not give his consent to the match, the old stationer and the lovers keep the correspondence a profound secret from him. At length, Howard obtains an appointment, which, though it is at present to remove him far from London, will eventually enable him to claim the hand of
Louisa. But, unable to bear the thought of separation and delay, be importunes ber to marry privately, and escape from home. All, however, that he can obtain is, au assurance that she will come to some determination by the following day, Taking it for granted that she will yield, he flies to his friend, to consult on the means of carrying his plan into execution. Here he meets with a rebuff; the old stationer gives a blunt refusal, and Howard's eloquence is exerted in vain.
" • It will be your ruin," swore he, both one and t'other of you." Meet her in welcome, pretty dear: dry the tears from her
you have by your fine speeches fairly set her a weeping. Swear constancy to her upon holy Moses, if you will; and whenever you can afford to maintain a wife, return and claims her in open day-in broad sunshine, as a body may say; but none of your raking pots of tea-none of your moon-light flittings for me: was nt have my neighbour's daughter, whom I have known since she war' at the size of a turf on Cloghaneelly mountain, and my old landlord's son, stealing away with packs on their backs, like a couple of tinkers, and living all their lives afterwards like beggars. Love won't do alone; no, no, love alone won't do : good thing for a main-mast, but the vessel won't sail far without being victualled-sky-scraper, and no ballast in the hold, would soon get her keel uppermost. Despise riches as much as any man, --wouldn't turn my heel where my toe stands, to be head cashier of the bank of England, or partner in the house of Prescot, Grote, Culverden, and Hollingsworth. But love won't do, tell your-must be something to make the
boil.--Cupid's arrows old fool that I am, to be talking about Cupid-kill no game; and as I recollect reading, when I used to trot, a little bare-legged boy, to Paddy. Gallaugher's school, under the cairn by the side of Lough. Salt- Venus freezed'--forget the rest, but know it means she'll soon turn tail upon you, unless you clap into her hand a potatoe, and treat her to a mouthful of whiskey. · The old man winds up his harangue by swearing instantly to disclose the secret to the father, if Howard will not desist from bis intention; and the latter, as he cannot act without hin, reluctantly acquiesces.' Delighted with having gained his point, the stationer promises to win the father's consent within twelvemonths, and to invite kim to supper that night, in order to enable Howard to take leave of Louisa.
The result of this evening is fatal to the peace of both.Louisa falls a victim to her tenderness; and her lover, when reason again assumes its empire, is no less miserable than herself. On the following morning, he hurries to see her, resolved, before his departure, to repair, at all risks, his fault by an im mediate marriage; but, unluckily, he finds it impossible to obtaiv an interview. Having lingered much past the hour at which
be ought to have dined with his patron, he proceeds to keep his appointinenf. That gentleman, seeing his agitation, endeavours to learn the cause of it, which, however, Howard has not cou, rage to tell; and at length, his patron, who begins to suspect that he is not remarkable for prudence or punctuality, thinks iç necessary to insist on seeing him to the coach, which is to con vey him froin London, lest the situation which he has obtained for him should be lost.by delay. The lovers are thus separated, without again seeing each other.
We now reach the second volume, which, by a sort of Hiber, njan arrangement, opens with what is in reality a preface to the work. By the defence which it contains, of a certain class of novels, we cannot say that we are at all edified or convinced. At his ideas of Reviewers, we cannot condescend to be angry : they are ouly calculated to excite our contempt. Where is his proof, that Reviewers' opinions, in general, are known not to be fairly given ?" Mr. Gamble declares that he dues not read reviews; and, while he declares this, he strongly reminds us of the sapient bird, which thrusts its head into a bush, and believes that no person can see it. One thing which Mr. Gamble tells us, entitles him to our pity." There is,” he here says," a rapid alterpation in my mind of levity and gloom.” And, in another place, he adds, “it is not every mind can pass from levity to gloom, and from gloom to levity with the rapidity of; mine. It is not a desirable state of mind." Not desirable, indeed! It approaches too closely, we fear, to the confines of insanity.
During an absence of some months, Howard receives several letters from Louisa, each of which is written in a more desponding tone than the preceding; but delicacy prevents her from giving more than very. obscure hints of the terrible situation ini which she now stands. At length, he perceives the danger to: which she is exposed; and the bare idea of the consequence, drives him nearly to maduess. While he is in this constant agony. of mind, his dreams and forebodings (Mr. Gamble is: fond of dreams and forebodings) are full of terror. One of his visions, full of appalling images, Mr. Gamble describes. In the gloomy and the horrible Mr. Gamble delights; and it must be owned that he excels in painting them. By this dream, Howard is so fearfully agitated, that he bas- a severe attack of illness, which brings him to the brink of the grave.
On bis recovery, he finds anuther letter, which confirms his. apprehensions; and now, regardless of every thing but the. peace and reputation of his Louisa, he hastens to England, and, while detained on the road, writes, to inform her of his arrival. When he reaches London, he watches near lier father's dwelling,
in the hope of seeing her; and, at last, overcome by alam at the silence and darkness of the house, determines to knock at the door. It is opened by his friend, the old stationer. A conversation takes place, and Howard is informed that his friend, through whose hands all the letters had been transmitted, finding an English post-mark on the last letter, had suspected Howard's intention, taken the liberty of breaking the seal, and, conceiving bim to have violated his promise, had communicated the whole to the father, who had carried Louisa down into the country, without binting to her the reason of his so doing. Howard finally succeeds in prevailing on him to name the place to which she is removed, which is to her uncle's, at Litchfield.
To Litchfield be begins his journey. At the inn, at Birming: hamn, where he stops for the night, there is a bull, which he can see from his window; and, as he stands listening to the music, and gazing on the light figures flitting before him, he soħloquizes in a mournful strain on the vanity of human pleasures. The sound of a pistol arouses him froni his meditations; he descends into the yard, perceives on the ground an officer who has been wounded in a duel, and speedily discovers that it is his friend, the dissipated ensign. One by one, the spectators depart, and leave Howard and the dying man alone. To his astonishment, Howard learns the perfidy of his friend, but he generously forgives him, and, at his earnest request, promises to stay and see him buried. Through the night he watches the struggles of his once gay companion; and he again soliloquizes, in a still more despondent and reprehensible tone than before.
« Oh! creature !” exclaims he, speaking of man in general," doomed to misery, and exposed to every variety of suffering and pain, for you, I fear there is no other world, and if there be only this one, surely, of all creatures, you are most miserable.” Towards break of day, the ensign expires, and Howard, after having pera formed the last duties to liim, pursues his journey.
The delay which this occasions, he has abundant reason to lament. It is-dark, and a heavy rain has come on, by the time that he reaches a village in the vicinity of Litchfield. Here he resolves to pass the night, at a small public house. The conversation of the persons around him relates to the circumstance of a young and beautiful woman, who, having recently thrown herself into the river, has been rescued early enough to save her life, though she is still so weak, as to be unable to give any account of herself. Howard hears this without any feelings of alarm, till all his fears are at once roused by the reason which one of the persons assigns for her having committed this rash act. He fies to the cottage, whither she has been carried, and finds that it is indeed his beloved Louisa. Her father also
arrives; and the terror, which his anger against Howard excites in his daughter, occasions - the premature birth of a dead child. This scene, a pathetic one, and described pathetically; is, like mauy others in the book, disgraced and marred by the intrusion into it of Mr. Gamble's disgusting sentiments.
*** At this món ment,” exclaims Howard, she would be a lifeless corpse, if chance (he called it Providence, for grief as well as fear makes us religious,) bad not saved her."
From a long and severe illness, Louisa at length almost recovers; Howard obtains from his benevolent patron a more eligible appointment; and the father gives his consent to the marriage of the lovers. Every thing now seems to wear a propitious aspect. The wedding is to take place in a fortnight, on his return from a visit which he is compelled to pay to the country. But it never takes place. Mr Gamble cannot bear the idea of making any of his characters happy. A letter reaches Howard, which contains only the words, “ coine quick, if you would see her alive." In the agony of her feelings, on being subjected unexpectedly to a cruel insult, a blood vessel had burst, and her death was become inevitable. He hastens 'back in distraction, just soon enough to receive her last sigh. Insanity seizes him, and he' ultimately recovers from it, only to drag å life of deep and cureless sorrow.
This story, simple as it is, is told in a manner which excites a powerful interest. That interest, indeed, remains undiminished, even by the circumstance of the catastrophe being divulged almost at the beginning of the work. But to the literary merit alone of Mr. Gamble, can any praise be awarded? After the specimens which we have given, it is needless to say, that nothing can be worse than his doctrines. Their direct, their inevitable tendency is to make man at least discontented, wretched, and incapable of exertion; for who will exert himself, when he believes that an over-ruling fate laughs all his efforts to scorn? Well would it be, were these their worst effects. But it is impossible not to see that they remove all the restraints on the vices of mankind, and that, therefore, they cannot fail to be the fruitful parents of innumerable crimes. In vain would Mr. Gamble plead, that he intends bis novels to show the direful consequences which arise from the commission of a single guilty-act. He has disqualified himself from urging this plea. Has he not laboured to destroy the strongest motive for loving virtue, and abhorring wickedness; and has he not likewise, over and over again, taught the lesson that man is the sport of an invincible necessity, against whichi all his prudence will not avail him in the
slightest degree." With Mr. Gamble's principles, it is as much a mockery to talk of the “ fault” of Howard, as to talk Ff
of vol. IV. OCTOBER,