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end of the twelve months; for such is the length of the race to which "Harry Mowbray” is to run. Judging from the Parts, that have already appeared, and from the Captain's other productions, we should say that there is as much of thought and observation, of character and sentiment, of situation and description, in one of his stories, as would set up in respect of matter half-a-dozen of fictions, and preserve them from sudden decay and oblivion; but that he is deficient in constructive power, so as to meet the demands of a plot, and the harmonious completeness of a tale that is accumulative as it proceeds, and gradually more interesting as you approach the fifth act, where all is to be settled in accordance with poetical justice, and the heart and imagination are charged with lessons and impressions that will last. At the same time it is due to the author to state that his knowledge of the world appears to be unbounded, his power of picturing separate passages most faithful, his philosophy perfectly healthy, and his style of language adequately sound and manly. He is remarkably independent of caricature or exaggeration of every sort; the precision and the delicacy of his touch, or the force, justness, and rapidity of his strokes, being the qualities upon which he confidently and safely relies. It is due to the illustrations by Weigall to add that these are happily wedded to the text, both in respect of power, expression, and distinctness of delineation. They are pictures in themselves, and generally with such accessories as satisfactorily to tell their own story.
We do not at present go more particularly into the tale of “ Harry Mowbray,” but shall cite two paragraphs that are fit to stand by themselves. They are taken from Part VI.; the first of the passages giving such a sketch as must be quite familiar to many of our readers, and which must also suggest accurate and touching images and picturesque points to the imagination of any person who may be an utter stranger to rural scenes. Weigall has selected the description for one of his illustrations.
The parish church of Ellesmere, as is often the case in parishes that have belonged for centuries to the same family, was within the bounds of the park, it was about half a mile from the house, though concealed from it by a rise in the ground which had been planted a few years before, to shut out a recently erected factory, much against Lord de Creci's will, who declared that he could not understand how any one could look at the factory as long as the church was in sight. Yet in an architectural point of view, the pretensions of the church were as humble as possible, it was one of those low quaint buildings whose attractions consist in the associations that belong to them, who tell a tale of generation after generation having passed under their walls, away and away, through the feelings, joys, and sorrows of this life, to slumber peacefully in the consecrated ground around. The original building was little better than a solidly built cottage, with low walls, but a disproportionately high roof, from the centre of which rose a small belfry capped with
a spire, whose highest point did not rise fifteen feet above the roof. A later age, finding the accommodation insufficient for the increasing population of the parish, had placed by its side another, which stretched about half way of its length, and in the angle formed by the two was the porch, which, simple as it was, was the only part of the building that made any approach to an architectural character. It was low and wide, its roof supported by curiously carved arches, whose shape, together with some ornaments about the windows, entitled it to a place in the comprehensive ranks of gothic structures. Some venerable trees shadowed the humble mounds where the “rude forefathers of the hamlet slept," and several pathways led in different directions among those tombs, many of whose inscriptions had already become illegible. There were a few stray weeds, a solitary and neglected rose tree, and a new made grave, with a mattock lying by its side, completed the picture.
Our second sample is of an order of thought and writing for which we hold the Captain to be distinguished.
Dates are the bones of history (and very dry bones they are sometimes,) the hard and unyielding skeleton, the outline afforded by which is commonly filled up at the pleasure of the historian, to whom the light of a fruitful imagination is a pearl of price, as much as to to the younger branch of his ancient house, the composer of Historical Romance, whose productions may be considered a sort of ignis fatuus that hovers about the tombs of the dead, to dazzle and astonish the living, or to the humbler chronicler of cotemporary events, whose business lies in pursuing through the lights and shadows that are flitting about us, the ever varying chameleon which men call fancy, fashion, whim, rage, or folly, according as the goddess smiles or frowns, who may say with Pope
Whether the charmer sinner it or saint it,
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of the minute. Even the novelist is the slave of dates, he too clothes a skeleton in the flesh and blood of life, and as what is bred of the bone will never come out of the flesh, and the slightest irregularity in chronology distorts a whole history, it behoves those who are solicitous as to their characters to be scrupulously accurate on these matters. It is therefore not without the fullest authority that we state that on Wednesday the 17th day of August, 1831--
We must not dismiss “Harry Mowbray ” without mentioning that the periodical presents a feature,—whether to be looked for in such a quarter, we do not in the meanwhile stop to inquire,—which adds to its lasting worth, being real in its nature and deeply important in its details : there is appended to the Parts a series of papers on the physical and sanatory condition of the poor, with the view of showing
how their distress, privations, and wretchedness may be best alleviated; the author's close and earnest observation, his various reading and researches, having furnished him, it would appear, with a rich fund of facts and many wholesome impressive hints on the subject. We hope that the popularity of his name, and the acceptableness of his fiction, may prove the channels of a wide circulation for the social and economic views which the papers alluded to so ably urge. Take a passage from one of the series, which exhibits a lamentable deficiency in the important article of pure water.
The statements in the paper are taken from various reports by medical officers and others both in England and Ireland ; and the doctrine urged is, that the interposition of the labour of going out and bringing home water from a distance acts as an obstacle to the formation of better habits. The following is part of the reasoning and allegations in support of the principle mentioned:
It is in vain to expect of the great majority of them that the disposition, still less the habits, will precede or anticipate and create the conveniences. Even with persons of a higher condition, the habits are greatly dependent on the conveniences, and it is observed, that when the supplies of water into the houses of persons of the middle class are cut off by the pipes being frozen, and when it is necessary to send for water to a distance, the house cleansings and washings are diminished by the inconvenience; and every presumption is afforded that if it were at all times requisite for them to send to a distance for water, and in all weathers, their habits of household cleanliness would be deteriorated. In Paris and other towns where the middle classes have not the advantages of supplies of water brought into the houses, the general habits of household and personal cleanliness are inferior to those of the inhabitants of towns who do enjoy the advantage. The whole family of the labouring man in the manufacturing towns rise early, before daylight in winter time, to go to their work; they toil hard, and they return to their homes late at night. It is a serious inconvenience, as well as discomfort, to them to have to fetch water at a distance out of doors, from the pump or the river, on every occasion that it may be wanted, whether it may be in cold, in rain, or in snow. The minor comforts of cleanliness are of course foregone, to avoid the immediate and greater discomforts of having to fetch the water. In general it has appeared in the course of the present inquiry, that the state of the conveniences gives, at the same time, a very fair indication of the state of the habits of the population, in respect to household, and even personal cleanliness. The Rev. Whitwell Elwin, the chaplain of the Bath Union, gives the following illustration of the habits of many of the working population even in that city, which is well supplied with water :
A man had to fetch water from one of the public pumps in Bath, the distance from his house being about a quarter of a mile, -" It is as valuable, he saiļ, “ as strong beer. We can't use it for cooking, or anything of that sort, but only for drinking and tea." " Then where do you get water for cooking and washing ?"-"Why, from the river. But it is muddy, and often stinks bad, because all the filth is carried there." " Do you prefer to cook your
victuals in water that is muddy and stinks, to walking a quarter of a mile to fetch it from the pump ?"-" We can't help ourselves, you know. We could not go all that way for it.” There are many gentlemen's houses in the same district in which the water is not fit for cooking: and I know that much privation and inconvenience is undergone to avoid the expense of water carriage. I have often wondered to see the shifts which have been endured rather than be at the cost of an extra pail of water, of which the price was three half-pence. With the poor, far less obstacles are an absolute barrier, because no privation is felt by them so little as that of cleanliness. The propensity to dirt is so strong, the steps so few and easy, that nothing but the utmost facilities for water can act as a counterpoise; and such is the love of uncleanliness, when once contracted, that no habit, not even drunkenness, is so difficult to eradicate."
We cite a passage from another paper, which maintains “ that the character of the habitations of the poor affects their own moral character to a degree almost incredible to the wealthy;" and the following instance of a female servant when married is adduced upon
the authority of a member of the family in which she had been brought up as a servant, and who had been taught the habits of neatness, order, and cleanliness most thoroughly :
“Her attention to personal neatness," says a lady who is my informant, was very great; her face seemed always as if it were just washed, and with her bright hair neatly combed under her snow-white cap, a smooth white apron, and her gown and handkerchief carefully put on, she used to look very comely. After a year or two, she married the serving man, who, as he was retained in his situation, was obliged to take a house as near his place as possible. The cottages in the neighbourhood were of the most wretched kind, mere hovels built of rough stones and covered with ragged thatch ; there were few even of these, so there was no choice, and they were obliged to be content with the first that was vacant, which was in the most retired situation. After they had been married about two years, I happened to be walking past one of these miserable cottages, and as the door was open, I had the curiosity to enter. I found it was the home of the servant I have been describing. But what a change had come over her! her face was dirty, and her tangled bair hung over her eyes. Her cap, though of good materials, was ill washed and slovenly put on. Her whole dress, though apparently good and serviceable, was very untidy, and looking dirty and slatternly; everything indeed about her seemed wretched and neglected, (except her little child,) and she appeared very discontented. She seemed aware of the change there must be in her appearance since I had last seen her, for she immediately began to complain of her house. The wet came in at the door of the only room, and when it rained, through every part of the roof also, except just over the hearth-stone ; large drops fell upon her as she lay in bed, or as she was working at the window: in short, she had found it impossible to keep things in order, so had gradually ceased to make any exertions. Her condition had been borne down by the condition of the house. Then her husband was dissatisfied with his home and with her; his visits became less frequent, and if he had been a day-labourer, and
there had been a beer-shop or a public-house, the preference of that to his home would have been inevitable, and in the one instance would have presented an example of a multitude of cases.
She was, afterwards, however, removed to a new cottage, which was water-tight, and had some conveniences, and was built close to the road, which her former mistress and all her friends must constantly pass along. She soon resumed, in a great degree, her former good habits, but still there was a little of the dawdle left about her; the remains of the dispiritedness caused by her former very unfavourable circumstances.
Art. XII.-The Perils of the Nation. An Appeal to the Legisla
ture, the Clergy, and the Higher and Middle Classes. Seeley
and Co. If we could bring ourselves to believe that this book gives a fair account of the present condition and predicament or the nation,that it sets before us with as much anxiety the bright, as with earnestness it paints the dark, we should all but despair of the empire, and be ready to declare, that without a miracle, - without such organic, sweeping, and instant changes, as would amount to a thorough revolution in mind and morals, in legislation, civics, and economics, the sun of England had for ever set as a kingdom and British community, —that destitution, devastation, and irremediable ruin were actually at hand. Every thing among us and characteristic of us, according to our author, is rotten to the core. Selfishness and mammon have a tighter grasp of us than even Mr. Carlyle has imagined; while pauperism, and loathsome vice, on the other hand are threatening the political fabric with the physical ascendancy of the hungry and the infuriated, and the ravages of the fellest diseases that the head and heart can engender and propagate.
The anonymous author proceeds to describe and characterize the condition and exigencies of the poor and labouring classes; very frequently taking the official statements made by Parliamentary Commissioners as his guides; although, we must add, without adducing the counteracting and balancing evidence which might be derived from other inquiries and other evidences that are essenital to a full and impartial estimate of the whole truth and aspect of England's existing state. He manifestly takes upon himself the championship of certain classes, to the want of fair dealing towards others; the Poor and the Labouring,-agricultural as well as commercial,whether employed in manufactories or mines,-being the especial objects of his representation and sympathies; all which advocacy is deserving of admiration, provided it were conducted without recklessness of statement in regard to other parties, circumstances, and contingencies.
It is a good way for trying such a warm and zealous writer, to watch him when he comes to propose remedies and salutary regulations for