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The Life of William Hutton, F.A.S.S. gravity, and many of the absurdi
ties, which accompany the decline of including a particular Account of the
life. He is serious, egotistical, and Riots at Birmingham in 1791; to which is subjoined the History of his sentences are short, and his reason
vain,--never absolutely tedious; for his Family, written by himself, and published by his Daughter, Catha- ing obvious, pointed, and, at least in
his own opinion, quite conclusive. rine Hutton. 8vo. pp. 400. Lon
We cannot make room for long exdon, Baldwin & Co.
tracts, but the character of Phebe The Life of William Hutton ought Brown, as recorded by Mr Hutton, to obtain a place next to the Memoirs accords so well with some other chaof Dr Franklin, in the libraries of all racters already described in our mis aspiring young men who are entering cellany, that we cannot resist the upon business, or active life. If they temptation of transcribing it at full
length. find nothing very elegant in the com
“ But the greatest wonder I saw was position of these volumes, very skilful Phebe Brown. She was five feet six inches in the arrangement of the incidents, in height, is about thirty, well proportionor very great and striking in the inci- ed, round faced and ruddy, has a dark pedents themselves, they will be pleas- netrating eye, which, the moment it fixes ed and edified by the simple picture of upon your face, sees your character, and human life which is there delineated, that with precision. Her step (pardon the the characters of truth and nature Irishism) is more manly than a man's, and which are impressed on every line,
can cover forty miles a-day. Her common
dress is a man's hat, coat, with a spencer and, above all, by the animating confirmation which it affords of a truth married, I believe she is a stranger to
over it, and men's shoes. As she is unvery generally acknowledged, and al- breeches. most as generally neglected, that there “ She can lift one hundred weight in each is scarcely an obstacle placed in the hand, and carry fourteen score ; can sew, path to independence and respectabi- knit, cook, and spin ; but hates them all, lity, which may not be surmounted by and every accompaniment to the female honesty, economy,
character, that of modesty excepted. A The narrative is simple, perhaps to a
gentleman at the New Bath had recently
treated her rudely, “She had a good mind to fault, but always assumes an earnes
have knocked him down.' She assured me, or playful tone, with the most judici
• she never knew what fear was.' She gives ous conformity to the importance or no affront, but offers to fight any man who frivolity of the incidents related. The gives her one. If she never has fought, author attempts to interest his readers perhaps it is owing to the insulter having by no complicated maneuvres, no po- been a coward, for the man of courage litical intrigues, no marvellous adven- would disdain to offer an insult to a female. tures ;-he gives them the unadorned
“ Phebe has strong sense, an excellent history of his own struggles up a
judgment, says smart things, and supports mountain of difficulties,-yet the cir
an easy freedom in all companies. Her
voice is more than masculine, it is deep cumstances in which he is placed are toned. With the wind in her favour, she sometimes so uncommon, as to appear can send it a mile; she has neither beard almost incredible. The mode in which
nor prominence of breast ; she undertakes he ushered himself into life, is perhaps any kind of manual labour, as holding the unparalleled in the annals of biogra- plough, driving a team, thatching the barn, phy. We were particularly delighted using the flail, &c. ; but her chief avocation with the sly humour which charac- is breaking horses, for which she charges a
She always rides terizes his remarks on the transac- guinea a-week each. tions of his juvenile years, and which judge of a horse or cow in the country, and
without a saddle, is thought to be the best presents the interesting picture of an
is frequently employed to purchase for old man, looking back with pleasure others at the neighbouring fairs. on the years of childhood, yet regard- “ She is fond of Milton, Pope, and ing the foibles and frivolities of that Shakespeare, also of music; is self-taught, light-hearted age with a mixture of and performs on several instruments, as the complacency and derision. While he flute, violin, and harpsichord, and supports describes the years of youth and vani- the bass-viol in Mallock church. She is ty, his sarcastic humour and self-gra- shoulder. She cats no beef or pork, and
a marks-woman, and carries a gun on her tulation still blend in happy unison but little mutton. Her chief food is milk, with his theme. In old age, again, which is also her drink, discarding wine, we find him represented with all the ale, and spirits.” Vol. I.
One quality distinguishes this me- Long after its burial in the dust of moir, which, in a work of fiction, would oblivion, advertisements of its existbe an unpardonable fault; but which ence continued to infest the public seems almost inseparable from bio- prints. We believe the intention to graphy, written by the subject of it have been good, though such behavihimself, from recollection. It ad- our on the part of the bookseller had verts constantly to the future, so that the appearance of scorn and mockery. the reader, prepared for every event There is, however, in the public mind, before it occurs, hears it without sur- a generous and humane feeling, which prise, and of course without much in- rises up indignantly against any atterest.
tempt, real or apparent, to disturb the Upon the whole, we have perused ashes of the dead. This was most these volumes with much satisfaction. strikingly exemplified on the death of The man who had a perfect recollec- that pamphlet. The whole affair was tion of the incidents of every day for hushed up, and, in an incredibly short the long space of ninety years, must time, the offence was forgotten among -have been such a living chronicle as the other enormities of the day. shall rarely be seen again.
He had There was, in truth, something beheld whole generations fade away rather affecting in the “simple annals” from the face of the earth, and his of its history. Its conception was, no early and intimate acquaintance for- doubt, accomplished by severe and gotten as if they had never been. arduous efforts, and its birth attended
with “ difficulty and labour hard;”
but no sooner had it beheld the light Comparative View of the British and of day, and breathed the air of heaven,
American Constitutions ; with Ob- than, like those mysterious animals, servations on the Present State of which, it is said, have been dug out British Politics, and of the probable of solid rocks from the bowels of the consequences of introducing into Great earth, all symptoms of life and animaBritain the mode of suffrage that tion fled for ever, and it sunk into the exists in the United States ; by a
incommunicable sleep of death, from Gentleman some years resident in the which all subsequent endeavours to United States. 8vo. Edinburgh, rouse it have proved vain and profitBallantyne.
less. It was consigned to the grave in
the same blue covering in which it This Pamphlet is not well calculat- was ushered into the world, and “its ed for circulation; it is by much too name shall be its monument alone.” heavy. It is considerably heavier even Indeed, but for those injudicious than the author's former production, advertisements before alluded to, its “ A View of the State of Parties in parturition and funeral rites might America.” That essay could not be have been contemporaneous, and it made to circulate, it was, “ by its own would have passed through this world weight, immoveable and stedfast." of care and sorrow without spot, and The few copies that were carried off blameless, " alike unknowing and unby main force from the shop of the known.” But notwithstanding the bookseller (in that case erroneously impertinent interference of the newsstyled the publisher), on being re- papers, in a matter which was intendmoved to the houses of the several ed to be entirely confidential between purchasers, immediately assumed a de- the author and the public, the latter, termined character, and became fix- it must be confessed, behaved with tures. Indeed, we recollect a case in unusual delicacy and honour; the which the pamphlet was considered in secrets which had been confided to it that light, and, along with articles of it faithfully kept, and no further notice a similar kind, transferred to the pur- was taken of the matter. chaser of a new tenement along with But if, as we have already stated, the tenement itself, where it remains the weight of that pamphlet rendered to the present hour, “ like Teneriffe it unpublishable “ either by moral or or Atlas, unremoved.
physical strength,” how can this one, The violence of the effort to create which is certainly heavier, be supposed circulation was proportioned to the capable of publication ? No author has weight of the object. But nothing a right to request impossibilities of his could overcome the " Vis inertiæ.' bookseller. Mr John Ballantyne may
seemingly acquiesce in the views of will communicate to us a short stateMr Samuel M Cormack, and, with his ment of its supposed contents, we shall characteristic boldness, make an at- lay it before the public in our next tempt at publication. But mark our Number. words :- The publication will not take We have not scrupled to mention place. We have seen the attempt made the author's name (Samuel M‘Corupon one copy, which has for three mack, Esq. one of his Majesty's Admonths resisted the most strenuous vocates-depute for Scotland), because efforts of a spirited publisher. That he has openly avowed it. The Depute, copy is not heavier than its brethren; however, is a sort of male coquette, but there, we are afraid, “ sedet eter: and loves to dally with the public. numque sedebit.” At first many per- He puts on his mask, and for a while sons looked at it-some touched it- wears it with an air of mysterious sea few attempted to lift it—and one crecy, till, feeling uneasy at the congentleman from Tweeddale, a man of cealment, he takes it slily off before a prodigious personal strength, actually circle of chosen admirers; then, sighraised it several inches from the table. ing after nobler and more extensive Nothing, however, but the same seven- conquests, he flings back his veil of horse power that brought it into the foolscap, and exhibits to the public shop will be effectual for its removal. gaze features sparkling with all the
But to be serious. We declare, on fascination of conscious beauty. our word of honour, that we have read this pamphlet, and think we can put any gentleman of a sound constitution The Bower of Spring, with other Poems. on a plan by which he will be able to
By the Author of “ The Paradise of perform the same achievement. Let
Coquettes." Small 8vo. pp. 156. him on no account presume to read Edinburgh, Constable & Co. the affair in the usual way, straight on from beginning to end; but let him This smart little volume strikes us as swallow a small dose of the beginning a sort of phenomenon. It has been an hour before breakfast. Let the plainly brought out to suit the season; patient then take a sharp walk of a and, with a good deal of that elegant couple of miles, and a hearty break- lightness and calm gaiety which may, fast. About twelve o'clock in the fore- be caught in the atmosphere of ladies' noon, let him take a few pages from drawing-rooms, and select literary cothe end of the pamphlet, the frothy teries, is highly suited to the taste and and watery nature of which will help habits of those happy persons who can him to digest the crudities of the be- spare no time even for such studies, ginning. The middle part may be until they find that almost all their taken about an hour before going to decent neighbours have left town, and bed: it is a soft pulpy substance, with- that the invidious long day of a forout any taste whatever; and in the ward spring has bereft them of flammorning the patient will awake fit for beaux, rattling squares, and busy routs. the usual occupations of the day. Notwithstanding this favourable conThere is yet
another mode of getting juncture, we are afraid that these over this affair, which we can safely re- poems run more than an ordinary commend on the authority of a judicious hazard of being overlooked by those friend, who speaks of it in the highest who may not know the author from terms. Begin boldly at the beginning, that gorgeous piece of fancy which he but instead of turning over one leaf at has chosen for his distinctive appellaa time, turn over two or more. The tion. The essential characters of both effect produced upon our friend's mind are nearly alike, allowing a little for by this mode of perusal was almost difference of subject and machinery; the same as that which we ourselves and as the author has defended his experienced from the usual straight system with much vivacity, in a preforward method ; and to readers of face to the Paradise of Coquettes, exweakly constitutions we would recom- tending to fifty-six pages, and conmend it as preferable to our own. taining as much wit and beautifully
We find that we have not given a flowing English as might enliven very full account of the matter of this whole volumes of criticism or apology, pamphlet. If, however, either the we must make so free with him as to author himself, or any of his friends, state our notions.
To our plain understandings, then, of our own age we do not take to be it seems, that all POETRY must be greater than that of those which have pathetic, according to the good old preceded it; but we venture to assert, etymology of the word, which renders that it has a keener taste for deepit significant, not merely of a tender toned emotion, and high-raised expity for distress, but of sympathy with citement. Now, as we firmly believe all the emerging varieties of human this, we never expect to see our aupassion,-or highly descriptive of na- thor leading a school. His great work ture, in her loveliest hues and situa- is an effort, through nine parts, to be tions,
-or discursive, between nature gay. It has something of the unand passion,-looking abroad on na- meaning flutter of a very fine lady, ture and the seasons as they are asso- mixed with more of the watchful and ciated with human feelings,- or recur- provoking acuteness of a practised mering, from the contemplation of objects, taphysician. Almost every second line to the mind, with a deep-felt impres- contains a nicely balanced antithesis ; sion, that, in the ceaseless march of and the wit, with which it really spartime, nature is still as fair as if there kles till the eyes dazzle, is so quick were neither sorrowing nor crime and fleeting, and so shadowed out, among mankind.
To what part of that the mind racks itself in attempte this category the poetry of the author ing to grasp its intent. The epithets of the “ Paradise of Coquettes” should are for the most part exquisitely be referred, we know not. Nothing happy, and wonderfully new. The seems to us more decisive of the char
verse is so uniformly adjusted, by a acter of this restless age, than the complete and careful rythmus, as seltendency which that formerly sympa- dom or never to offend, by a harsh the ticrace of the genus irritabile vatum note, or an unfinished cadence,-but now has to separate into schools. Each rather to astonish by some fine breaks, school has a separate language, and and artificial collocations, more like separate systems and sympathies of its those in the majestic blank verse of
The grand ambition of our au- Milton, than any thing in the unvaried thor appears to be, that he may become measure of couplets. The machinery the founder and the head of a new is nicely culled from all those adjuncts school. It is difficult catch the and circumstances with which earthly evanescent varieties of his manner ; coquettes are surrounded, or which can but we must try, that our readers be supposed in that “ Paradise of her may know what they should expect kindred immortals,” to which the auin the fulness of time, when it will be thor ultimately conducts his heroine. unfashionable not to be able to refer He could find no appropriate term for to the Paradise of Coquettes for au- all this, but “ the light and playful thority.
species of epic." Yet with this ingeIt has all the trim gracefulness and nious preparation, and all these negameasured vivacity of Pope, without tive qualities of poetry, -when we take the unconscious music of his manner; up these volumes, and is, to a wonderful nicety, just “ We start, for soul is wanting there." such a production, in every respect,
There is ease which does not proas a wordy and ambitious member of duce ease; there is gaiety which does that sect might be supposed to ven- not excite spirits in the reader; there ture out with in these cloudy times, are no bursts of inspiration,--almost could he be produced to us with his no passages that are beautiful as well broad hand-ruffles, and tall amber- as brilliant,--and no occasions on headed cane. Times and propensities, which we find any thing like an easy however, are essentially altered. Pope falling in with those ordinary trains caught the tone of society at one hap- of thought that are the very staple of py stroke. After the lapse of an hun- poetry. There is rather more of a dred years, his Rape of the Lock is a very elegant languor,--and ready quickmodel for pleasant raillery and easy ness of apprehension as to the devesatireas the letters of his friend, Lady lopement and shadowing out of ideas Mary Wortley Montague, are patterns which are the least tangibly related, of acuteness of remark with negligence than of a healthful sensibility, or of manner. But the huut ton of so- much freshness, as well as depth of ciety has now ceased to be the haut natural cmotion. There is so much ton of letters. The moral enthusiasm purity and delicacy, and such a choice
of topics of illustration, that the author For this she culled, with eager care, seems to deal out any illusion to the
The scatter'd glories of her plan,-conventional realities of a rough and All thai adorns the softer fair,
All that exalts the prouder man : vulgar world as tokens only of smartness or sagacity. He seems not to And gay she triumphed,--now no more write for the average of readers who Her works shall daring systems bound; delight in Lord Byron's poetry. He As though her skill inventive o'er, would appear to count rather on a cri- She only trac'd the forms she found. tical wonder at difficulties of manner, In vain to seek a kindred race, and choice of subject overcome,-or Tir'd through her mazy realms I strayan admiration of chaste effect and Where shall I rank my radiant place? polished finishing,—than on the ra- Thou dear perplexing creature ! say! pidly excited sympathy,—the undiscriminating enthusiasm of ordinary men.
Thy smile so soft, thy heart so kind,
Thy voice for pity's tones so fit, It is not enough that such productions All speak thee woman; but thy mind are those of a most ingenious and a Lifts thee where Bards and Sages sit.” most amiable man, who has the rare merit of being not only perhaps the most acute among the ingenious, but Eccentricities for Edinburgh, &c. By one of the
GEORGE COLMAN Every poet writes for fame; and, in Foolscap 8vo. Edinburgh, Ballanthis respect, poetry is not, like virtue, its own reward. The man, therefore, Mr Colman's poetical productions who submits himself “ arbitrio popu- are chiefly remarkable for two things : laris auræ," with more than two or in the first place, one half of his verses three trials of a style and manner in are generally without any meaning poetry which are found to be any thing whatever; and to make up for this, rather than popular, or even generally he contrives, in the second place, to relished among the more respectful endow the other half with what the and indulgent race of critics, must French call double meanings,--that is, submit to mediocrity of praise,—the licentious, vulgar, and disgusting ideas, “unkindest cut of all” to generous disguised (in MrC.'s case, very slightly) minds. And no friend can see a per- under equivocal or ambiguous terms. son of real talent come to this, without In justice to Mr Colman's taste, we feeling even more than the force of a must add, that there is sometimes a great poet's anathema,
third part of unpalliated grossness ; “ Mediocribus esse poetis
though we mention this with some Non homines, non Dü, non concessere co. hesitation, because our apology for lumnæ.”
alluding to him at all, namely, the There are some agreeable "copies plan he has adopted for localizing the of verses” in the same volume with present effusion, may, after that, we the Bower of Spring ; but we have fear, scarcely be sustained by our more already said so much of it and its fa respectable readers. These Eccentrivoured predecessor, as to have no room
cities are exactly such as have been proleft for any quotations from either. duced by heads of the same altitude, All that we can give is an extract from and morals of the same standard, down verses addressed to Mrs Stewart, the from Haywood's days. Edinburgh, it lady of Mr Dugald Stewart, which seems, had resisted all his attacks in are whimsically enough denominated print, and his books could never pene“ The Non-DESCRIPT-To a very
trate beyond the Border: he was therecharming Monster,”—but which con
fore advised to steal in in manuscript; tain nothing whimsical or unfounded and his employers (for his genius rein their praise.
sembling a hotbed, where the ster
coraceous heat produces, in a few “ Thou nameless loveliness, whose mind,
hours, abundance of insipid vegetables; With every grace to sooth, to warm,
the booksellers, when they need a supHas lavish Nature bless'd, and 'shrin'd ply, appoint him time and subject) The sweetness in as soft a form !
invented, as he informs us, the lying Say on what wonder-bearing soil
designation in the title. Mr Colman Her sportive malice wrought thy frame, is now an old man-and ought to be That haughty science long might toil,
otherwise occupied than in writing dogNor learn to fix thy doubtful name ! gerel verses for the vulgar and the vile.