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Knight from Normandy, of gallant bearing and high in favour, is carried out senseless. The stranger proves to be Hugh Woodreeve, a merchant of Bristol, who has journeyed to Kenilworth to implore justice of the King for his kinsman, whom he saw three years before murdered in the woods adjoining this very Castle, and who fixes on the young warrior as the murderer. The manner in which he makes and persists in this astounding charge at the peril of his own life is exceedingly natural and impressive; but it is gallantly repelled by the knight, whose youth and valour seem to bear irresistible witness to his guiltlessness; the merchant is consigned to a dungeon tower, and the King, irritated at the charge, which he ascribes to envy, proceeds to fulfil his purpose of conferring on Sir Gaston the hand of the Lady Barbara, daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon. During the nuptial ceremony in the chapel, an armed visitor of solemn demeanour appears among the ever-burning tomb-lights of Geoffrey de Clinton. The same apparition stands in full sight of the King at the marriage banquet, and strikes mysterious terror on all. Other prodigies mingle with the high feastings of the night;—and a succession of scenes of awful character follow, during which the mind is kept in suspense on the issue, whether the accusation is a false charge, supported by magic arts, or whether "Hell doth know it true." We will not, by giving the solution, injure the effect which every appearance of the spectre, until the grand and fearful catastrophe, is calculated to produce. The style is weighty as the subject; the figures with which it is richly embossed have a substance in them like quaint devices on a stately monument; and the general impression left is of the chill magnificence and august superstitions of departed years. We felt, on its perusal, the full meaning of those noble lines
"So fails, so languishes, grows old and dies,
All that this world is proud of; from their seats
St. Alban's Abbey, a Metrical Tale, somewhat resembling in style the romantic poems of Sir Walter Scott, follows. It opens with an elaborate description of the abbey; and afterwards embodies a vivid chronicle of the great scenes acted beneath its towers, in the war between Henry the Sixth and the rebel house of York. There is perhaps too much mere painting in this poem for the present taste; but there are passages of considerable animation; and a fine vein of sentiment runs throughout, and is especially apparent where the mild character of the weak and blameless monarch is portrayed. The following is the first dawn of the morning of the battle.
"With pious thought and tranced eye,
St. Alban's Monk, from turret high,
Beheld in silent order rise
Tint after tint on the Eastern skies:
First, cold rays edged the night's black shroud,
Then rose, then amber, changed the hue;
Then slowly purpled the soft cloud,
That stretch'd along the upper blue;
While hanging o'er its shadowy throne,
The Star of Morning watch'd alone;
But soon more gorgeous tints appear,
The picture of the abbey, on the evening of the same day, seems to us very rich and impressive.
"Throned in the vale and pomp of wood,
The Norman Abbey darkly stood,
The Martyr's Crown of flame to wear;
Like being from a world unknown!"
There are a few Miscellaneous Poems, which display considerable fancy; but the versification in these, as well as in St. Alban's Abbey, is occasionally irregular and inharmonious,-faults which may be excused by the licence of these times, but which are somewhat curious in the productions of one so tremulously anxious for all kinds of propriety as Mrs. Radcliffe. The Memoir of her Life, which precedes the Romance, contains a view of her secluded course of tranquil happiness which will be read with interest, and, what is still better, copious extracts from her own diaries, when on her little excursions of pleasure, which are full of vivid pictures of the most charming scenery in England. These sketches have all the nakedness of truth; and form an edifying contrast to the richly coloured descriptions in her romances. As a whole, these volumes cannot fail in a great measure to gratify the expectation they have excited; and will be welcomed as completing the works, and as exhibiting the character and genius of one to whom so many thousands are indebted for some of the best intellectual gratifications and most lasting impressions of their lives. For these purposes only have they been produced by Mr. Radcliffe, who has devoted the entire sum paid for the copy-right to charity, under the supervision of the Bishop of Bath and Wells and Sir Walter Stirling.
REMINISCENCES OF JUKE JUDKINS, ESQ. OF BIRMINGHAM.
I AM the only son of a considerable brazier in Birmingham, who dying in 1803, left me successor to the business, with no other incumbrance than a sort of rent-charge, which I am enjoined to pay out of it, of ninety-three pounds sterling per annum to his widow, my mother; and which the improving state of the concern, I bless God, has hitherto enabled me to discharge with punctuality. (I say, I am enjoined to pay the said sum, but not strictly obligated; that is to say, as the will is worded, I believe the law would relieve me from the payment of it; but the wishes of a dying parent should in some sort have the effect of law.) So that though the annual profits of my business, on an average of the last three or four years, would appear to an indifferent observer, who should inspect my shop-books, to amount to the sum of one thousand three hundred and three pounds, odd shillings, the real proceeds in that time have fallen short of that sum to the amount of the aforesaid payment of ninety-three pounds sterling annually.
I was always my father's favourite. He took a delight to the very last in recounting the little sagacious tricks, and innocent artifices, of my childhood. One manifestation thereof I never heard him repeat without tears of joy trickling down his cheeks. It seems that when I quitted the parental roof (August 27th, 1788,) being then six years and not quite a month old, to proceed to the Free School at Warwick, where my father was a sort of trustee, my mother-as mothers are usually provident on these occasions--had stuffed the pockets of the coach, which was to convey me and six more children of my own growth, that were going to be entered along with me at the same seminary, with a prodigious quantity of gingerbread, which I remember my father said was more than was needed; and so indeed it was, for if I had been to eat it all myself, it would have got stale and mouldy before it had been half spent. The consideration whereof set me upon my contrivances how I might secure to myself as much of the gingerbread as would keep good for the next two or three days, and yet none of the rest in a manner be wasted. I had a little pair of pocket compasses which I usually carried about me for the purpose of making draughts and measurements, at which I was always very ingenious, of the various engines and mechanical inventions, in which such a town as Birmingham abounded. By the means of these, and a small penknife, which my father had given me, I cut out the one half of the cake, calculating that the remainder would reasonably serve my turn, and subdividing it into many little slices, which were curious to see for the neatness and niceness of their proportion, I sold it out in so many pennyworths to my young companions, as served us all the way to Warwick, which is a distance of some twenty miles from this town; and very merry, I assure you, we made ourselves with it, feasting all the way. By this honest stratagem I put double the prime cost of the gingerbread into my purse, and secured as much as I thought would keep good and moist for my next two or three days eating. When I told this to my parents on their first visit to me at Warwick, my father (good man) patted me on the cheek, and stroked my head, and seemed as if he could never make enough of me; but my mother unaccountably burst into tears, and said "it was a very niggardly action," or some such
expression, and that "she would rather it would please God to take me,"-meaning, God help me, that I should die-"than that she should live to see me grow up a mean man"-which shows the difference of parent from parent, and how some mothers are more harsh and intolerant to their children than some fathers; when we might expect quite the contrary. My father, however, loaded me with presents from that time, which made me the envy of my schoolfellows. As I felt this growing disposition in them, I naturally sought to avert it by all the means in my power; and from that time I used to eat my little packages of fruit, and other nice things, in a corner so privately, that I was never found out. Once, I remember, I had a huge apple sent me, of that sort which they call cats' heads. I concealed this all day under my pillow; and at night, but not before I had ascertained that my bedfellow was sound asleep, which I did by pinching him rather smartly two or three times, which he seemed to perceive no more than a dead person, though once or twice he made a motion as if he would turn, which frightened me-I say, when I had made all sure, I fell to work upon my apple; and though it was as big as an ordinary man's two fists, I made shift to get through it before it was time to get up; and a more delicious feast I never made,--thinking all night what a good parent I had (I mean my father) to send me so many nice things, when the poor lad that lay by me had no parent or friend in the world to send him any thing nice; and thinking of his desolate condition, I munched and munched as silently as I could, that I might not set him a longing if he overheard me and yet for all this considerateness, and attention to other people's feelings, I was never much a favourite with my schoolfellows, which I have often wondered at, seeing that I never defrauded any one of them of the value of a halfpenny, or told stories of them to their master, as some little lying boys would do, but was ready to do any of them all the services in my power, that were consistent with my own well doing. I think nobody can be expected to go further than that. But I am detaining my reader too long in the recording of my juvenile days. It is time that I should go forward to a season when it became natural that I should have some thoughts of marrying, and, as they say, settling in the world. Nevertheless my reflections on what I may call the boyish period of my life may have their use to some readers. It is pleasant to trace the man in the boy; to observe shoots of generosity in those young years, and to watch the progress of liberal sentiments, and what I may call a genteel way of thinking, which is discernible in some children at a very early age, and usually lays the foundation of all that is praiseworthy in the manly character afterwards.
With the warmest inclinations towards that way of life, and a serious conviction of its superior advantages over a single one, it has been the strange infelicity of my lot, never to have entered into the respectable estate of matrimony. Yet I was once very near it. I courted a young woman in my twenty-seventh year--for so early I began to feel symptoms of the tender passion! She was well to do in the world, as they call it; but yet not such a fortune as, all things considered, perhaps I might have pretended to. It was not my own choice altogether; but my mother very strongly pressed me to it. She was always putting it to me, that "I had comings in sufficient, that I need not stand upon a portion." Though the young woman, to do her justice, had con
siderable expectations, which yet did not quite come up to my mark, as I told you before. She had this saying always in her mouth, that "I had money enough, that it was time I enlarged my housekeeping, and to show a spirit befitting my circumstances." In short, what with her importunities, and my own desires in part co-operating-for, as I said, I was not yet quite twenty-seven--a time when the youthful feelings may be pardoned, if they show a little impetuosity-I resolved, I say, upon all these considerations, to set about the business of courting in right earnest. I was a young man then; and having a spice of romance in my character (as the reader doubtless has observed long ago), such as that sex is apt to be taken with, I had reason in no long time to think my addresses were any thing but disagreeable.
Certainly the happiest part of a young man's life is the time when he is going a courting. All the generous impulses are then awake, and he feels a double existence in participating his hopes and wishes with another being. Return yet again for a brief moment, ye visionary views -transient enchantments! ye moonlight rambles with Cleora in the Silent Walk at Vauxhall (N. B. about a mile from Birmingham, and resembling the gardens of that name near London, only that the price of admission is lower)—when the nightingale has suspended her notes in June to listen to our loving discourses, while the moon was overhead (for we generally used to take our tea at Cleora's mother's before we set out, not so much to save expenses, as to avoid the publicity of a repast in the gardens, coming in much about the time of half-price, as they call it)-ye soft intercommunions of soul, when exchanging mutual vows we prattled of coming felicities! The loving disputes we have had under those trees, when this house (planning our future settlement) was rejected, because though cheap it was dull; and the other house was given up, because though agreeably situated. it was too high-rented-one was too much in the heart of the town, another was too far from business. These minutia will seem impertinent to the aged and the prudent. I write them only to the young. Young lovers, and passionate as being young (such were Cleora and I then) alone can understand me. After some weeks wasted, as I may now call it, in this sort of amorous colloquy, we at length fixed upon the house in the High-street, No. 203, just vacated by the death of Mr. Hutton of this town, for our future residence. I had till that time lived in lodgings (only renting a shop for business) to be near to my mother; near I say, not in the same house with her, for that would have been to introduce confusion into our housekeepings, which it was desirable to keep separate. O, the loving wrangles, the endearing differences, I had with Cleora, before we could quite make up our minds to the house that was to receive us-I pretending for argument sake that the rent was too high, and she insisting that the taxes were moderate in proportion; and love at last reconciling us in the same choice. I think at that time, moderately speaking, she might have had any thing out of me for asking. I do not, nor shall ever regret, that my character at that time was marked with a tinge of prodigality. Age comes fast enough upon us, and in its good time will prune away all that is inconvenient in these excesses. Perhaps it is right that it should do so. Matters, as I said, were ripening to a conclusion between us, only the house was yet not absolutely taken-some necessary