Tor ANSMALs, Cattermole's Historical Annual. The Great Civil War of Charles I. and his Par- liament. By the Rev. R. Cattermole, B.D. Illustrated by George Cattermole, Esq. Vol. II. Being Heath's Picturesque Annual for 1845 Heath's Book of Beauty-1845. Edited by the Countess of BlessingtoullAngman a o.nd C
The Keepsake for 1845. Edited by the Countess of Blessington
The Star of Atteghei ; the Vision of Schwartz ; and other Poems. By Frances
A Cycle of Celestial Objects, for the Use of Naval. Military, and private Astrono- mers. Observed, reduced, and discussed by Captain William Henry Smyth. R.N., K.S.F., D.C.L., one of the Board of Visitere of the Royal Observatory, &c. &c. In two volumes Parker, A LEASH OE ANNUALS.
1. Catternwle's Historical Annual.
2. The Book of Beauty.
3. The Keepsake.
1. Catterrnole's Historical Annual is the continuation of a work the first volume of which appeared in the Winter of 1840—not, as its author states, in the "Spring of 1841." The subject treated in the present volume is the Great Civil Wars of England ; com- mencing where the first volume closed, after the battle of Marston Moor, and coming down to the execution of the King. The idea of taking historical subjects as the groundwork of an Annual, we approved of in our notice of the first volume, and time has only confirmed our opinion. But it is rather the romance of history than a continuous and critical narrative that is adapted to such a purpose. Individual or partisan adventure, rather than national events—subordinate persons, or historical characters in their more personal phase, that Clio passes over or merely alludes to—are the proper subjects for an Annual ; illustrations of history, rather than history itself. The style and treatment should follow the character of the matter, and admit of more fiction-like effects and more of the manner of the old chronicle than would be proper in regular history. FRY2CELL'S Sweden, for example, or THIERRY'S Narratives of the Merovingian Era, would be better general examples than Humn or HALLAM. The manners, the romance, even the crimes of the age, rather than its formal story, are what we desiderate in a book of the boudoir.
The spirit of this idea was to a certain extent pursued by the Reverend Mr. CarrEastoLE in his first volume. Without losing eight of the continuous whole, be broke up the story into particular acts or scenes—as " The Raising of the Standard," "Hampden," &c. From his titles of chapters, it would seem that he had the same aim in this volume ; but his matter has defeated him. The real overthrow of the Royal cause was at Marston Moor, its ex- tinction at Naseby ; and these two incidents, with the trial and ex- ecution, form the historical action of the period treated of. The intermediate occurrences—the weak and vacillating councils of the King, the desultory and resultless attempts at "affairs," in which he wasted such resources as he possessed—have no historical attrac- tion. To be made interesting, they should be individualized, and so narrated as that the facts of truth might be presented with something like the art of fiction. The personal adventures or rather sufferings of the King, when he had thrown himself upon the Scotch, or was in the custody of the Parliamentary Commissioners, or in the hands of the English army after JOYCE had forcibly car- ried him off, are biographical, not historical ; they relate to the man rather than the King, except in their outline. Mr. CATTERMOLE has fallen into the mistake of treating both these topics at large, and in the historical style ; so that there is an incongruity between the matter and the form. He has committed a similar error in his narrative of the episodical campaign of Montrose. The book is therefore somewhat inferior to its predecessor ; though each, per- haps, is obnoxious to the charge of a good idea imperfectly developed.
The same partiality of the Churchman and the Loyalist is still visible: everything is made to tell in favour of CHARLES and against his adversaries. At the same time, the political weakness and in- fatuation of the King are more distincily displayed, we think, in Mr. CATTERMOLE'S narrative than in some more elaborate histories. The very minuteness of his account, which detracts from its rapidity and force, brings more distinctly before the mind the folly and fa- vouritism of CHARLES, with something like a superstitious reliance on the fortune of "the Lord's anointed."
The composition possesses as much clearness and force as in the former volume, with perhaps less of rhetorical inflation, yet without losing the effects of the rhetorical school. The following is not a bad picture of the state of Oxford and the feelings of the Loyalists lust before the fatal fight of Naseby.
"The clamour for peace, to be purchased by whatever sacrifice, nevertheless continued loud in Oxford. In the pleasant but somewhat anomalous head- quarters of the belligerent Monarch were assembled nearly all those who from motives of fear or self-interest most dreaded a disastrous termination or even a longer continuance of the war. Courtiers, whose large hereditary rentals were now unequal to supply the demands of fashionable luxury, or even of modest need, while their princely mansions and 'immemorial woods,' yielding their ancient honours to the destroying hand of sequestration, swelled the rebel treasury at Goldsmiths Roll, and strung the sinews of that war which con- sumed themselves; ladies, who looked forward with terror to another campaign, when the necessities of the King would oblige him at once to reduce the garrison, and to leave Oxford exposed to inroads from the advanced posts of the enemy, or even from fresh armies which they might pour Westward out of
THE large if not the leading Annuals of the year have appeared at once ; and they form a goodly trio of royal octavoes, emanating from one publisher, superintended by one engraver, and apparently one speculation.
the capital ; the unwarlike tribe of University doctors and professors, at this time numerously reinforced by loyal country clergymen, who had sought se- curity from military violence and agrarian insult beneath the Legis of the Christian Athena ; such, mingled with the men of diplomacy, the gallant cavaliers, and the coarser soldiery, constituted the multifarious and thronging population of those faues consecrated to learning, those ' awful cells,' the dim retreats raised for piety and meditation. Of necessity, the ordinary calm pur- suits of the University were interrupted, or wholly suspended. The progress of the great contest—the news of every hour—presented a subject too exciting not to take precedence of or to exclude every ordinary topic. The unwonted and incongruous multitude required extraordinary supplies of provision, which had often to be brought from a distance ; and, many times, waggons laden with flour and country produce were intercepted ; herds of cattle, collected with no gentle hand by the Royalists, were swept off by bolder or more numerous bands within the Parliamentarian lines, to fatten the London citizens, or to supply Fairfax's sturdy troopers with that vigour which they displayed equally in devotion and in fighting. No marvel that in the University and city, as thus circumstanced, were found those who anxiously joined the common cry for peace. In their united petition for it, in 1644, they represent to the King, the study of good literature, for so many ages famously extant in this ancient University, neglected—our city reduced to great distresses '; and crave a ter- mination to the cruel contest between himself and his Parliament, I that the schools of good learning in the kingdom, especially this famous University, may again flourish, and bring forth painful labourers and pious instructers into the Lord's vineyard.' The terrors and uneasiness of the more numerous and less informed were at the same time encouraged by the desertion to the Par- liament of several Peers and other eminent persons, whose selfishness took alarm at the growing difficulties of the King. Hering led the way ; Savile, Andover, Mowbray followed. ' What a running disease,' sneered the scur- rilous London Mercuries, ' possesses these Oxford Lords I It is a sign the building is ready to fall when the pillars slip away.'"
The following is one of the few individual traits of the volume. It describes the King's final departure from Oxford to throw him- self upon the Scottish army.
" Charles hastily acquainted his Council that it was his intention without delay to quit Oxford, but not on what design ; leaving them to surmise that he meant to put in practice a romantic scheme which had sometimes been the subject of his discourse—viz, to throw himself naked into the midst of friends and foes in London, and leave the rest to Providence and the remains of the ancient English loyalty. At dead of night, April 27, 1645, be took a final farewell of that spot, so dear to his heart—the solemn groves, the antique towers, the noiseless streets of Oxford—fit capital for the empire of a learned and sorrow-stricken king !
"The stroke of three was quivering through the keen atmosphere of the early spring morning, when the same number of horsemen, crossing Magda- lene Bridge, reached the gateway that opened upon the London road. Here the party halted ; and one of them spoke, in low tones, to a military personage, apparently in charge of the portal. 'Let not a post,' he said, 'be opened, until five days be passed.' The other returned an earnest assent. It was the King, giving his last order to Sir Thomas Glembam, Governor of Oxford. The three cavaliers passed on. 'Farewell, Harry !' exclaimed the Governor. No could any thing be observed in the King's appearance which betrayed incon- sistency in this familiar adieu. For Charles, habited as a serving-man, with clipped beard and shorn locks, wearing a Spanish cap of the period, and having in charge a cloak-bag, followed his favourite attendant A.shburnham ; while Hudson, covered with a military mantle, personated a captain going to London about his composition—in those times a traveller's frequent errand. Only Hudson and Ashburnbam were armed. Notwithstanding this dangerously-de- cisive step, Charles was still unresolved in what direction to proceed,—whether, in pursuance of the plan lately in agitation, to cast himself upon the protection of the Scots; to revive the favourite project of attempting to join Montrose; or to dare the greater hazard of making his appearance in the metropolis. The choice among these fearful projects he left to be decided by such information as he might casually pick up on the road. To what dangers the King's un- protected flight exposed his perton, soon began to be apparent. " The travellers encountered a party of the Parliamentarian troopers ; who inquired to whom they belonged ? ' To the honourable House of Com- mons,' was the satisfactory reply. Another soldier coming up with them, and observing Ashburnbain unusually free in the distribution of money, 'la your master' he demanded of the King, 'one of the Lords of Parliament ? ' No,' answered the counterfeit groom, 'my master is of the Lower House.'
The illustrations by the author's relative, Mr. GEORGE CATTER- MOLE, partake of the Loyalist spirit of the narrative : the pencil aids the pen in advocating the Royal cause ; and with similar re- sults. The disguises and escapes of the King, and his retinence of regal state after power had virtually passed from the crown, do not contribute to an impression of true greatness ; while the bold and firm bearing of the Parliamentarian leaders commands respect in spite of the licence and rude violence of the soldiery. This accord- ance of feeling between author and artist, however, strengthens the character of the book regarded as a whole ; and the animus of the painter heightens the spirit of his designs. Instead of producing set pictures of the grand historical events, such as the trial and the execution of the King, Mr. CATTERMOLE has judiciously chosen such incidents as serve to develop the story of Charles's vicissitudes and the proceedings of Cromwell and his agents in the most striking manner : in effect, the illustrations are graphic comments on the text. The perils of the King are ex- emplified by his flight from Oxford, his seizure at Holdenby, and the detection of his attempt to escape from Carisbrook Castle ; the victories of the Parliamentarian army and the ex- cesses of the soldiery are depicted in battles, skirmishes, and the despoiling of Royalists' property ; while the exclusion of trouble- some Members from the House by Colonel Pride, and the con- ference held by Cromwell with the lawyers in the King's bedchamber, exhibit the ascendancy of the military and legal professions. These occurrences have been conceived by Mr. CATTERMOLE with an imaginative feeling for the picturesqueness of external circum- stances, that has the effect of bringing the scenes of the time before the mind in a distiuct and lively shape. The lineaments of the King and of Cromwell as depicted by VANDYKE, whose portraits of both are engraved in the volume, are not always traceable in the pictures, and their expression may fall short of the occasion ; but the suggestive character of these representations, and the high artistic skill shown in the treatment of scenery and costumes—the arrangement of the groups and the general pictorial effect—render them both attractive to the eye and impressive on the mind. They have a dramatic interest : something seems going forward, which stimulates curiosity and excites the fancy. The artist's style is large, free, and refined; evincing power and mastery.
2. The Book of Beauty. If the "beauty" did not seem to be ex- hausted, and the panegyrics in verse had not always worn such a Grub Street garb, this Annual might have claimed some distinctive purpose. As it is, "Young England" has lent it a touch of no- velty. In a tale by Miss CAMILLA TouLtnw, the hero, though scarcely seen, appears to be a kind of Sir Charles Grandison in trousers ; who breaks with Charlotte Thornton, the heroine, be- cause she has made a joke of her little nephew's prayer that" God would help poor factory-children, and make everybody as good as his good papa "—a modern philanthropist. The flippancy of the fashionable lady is reformed by the loss of her lover ; and a recon- ciliation is eventually brought about by her kindness to some poor relations reduced to the state of distressed sempstresses—who il- lustrate the labours of milliners, the strange contrasts of London, and the story's title of " The Other Side of the Wall." Coningsby has had nothing to do with this tale ; for, truth to say, Mr. Coningsby's morals are rather of the loosest. Mr. DISRAELI's Sidonia may, however, have suggested "The Fugitive, a True Tale," by Miss GRACE AQUILAR. Except in being very plain, Judah Aza- vedo, the hero, is almost a counterpart of the Hebrew representa- tive of Young England. His figure is very fine ; he is a most accom- plished person ; he is enormously rich; he is a great traveller ; and he is descended from the Hebrew nobility of the Peninsula, who professed Christianity but practised Judaism. Introduced into the tale is a Portuguese beauty and widow ; who is denounced by a rejected suitor, hunted by the Inquisition on board a British vessel, and escapes to London. There is finally a marriage between the hero and the heroine ; but the connexion of the double plot is not very artfully contrived.
It must be observed that the literary merit of these tales is not much beyond the general run. The interest lies in the novelty of their subjects ; which creates a necessary freshness of matter, that operates as a relief after the thousandth repetition of Magazine and Minerva Press ideas of life, which form the staple of so many Annual tales. An Irish story by Mrs. ROMER may claim the same kind of merit ; and from the same cause—an attempt to inculcate a philanthropic attention to their duties on the part of landlords.
Two other papers in The Book of Beauty, though of a alight and not a very marked character, may still claim notice as a relief by their reality. One is an agreeable paper of Mr. MONCKTON MILNES, "On Some Epitaphs" ; the other, "Notes and Anec- dotes—Venice," by Mr. CHARLES HERVEY. One of these anec- dotes may be worth quoting.
TRICKS OP PICTURE-DEALERS.
Travellers should be on their guard against the impositions practised by
Venetian picture-dealers, as even the most experienced connoisseur may easily he taken in by them. Not long ago, a gentleman visited a celebrated depot of painting in this city, and, happening to fancy a particular picture, agreed, after some little bargaining with the dealer, to purchase it. All was settled, but the gentleman insisted on taking it home with him, having his gondola at hand. "What!" said the dealer, 'have you any doubts of my sending you the original ? Put your own seal on the back, and satisfy yourself." This was, however, declined by the purchaser; who, sending for his servant, ordered him to carry the picture down stairs, in spite of the entreaties and remonstrances of the collector. Arriving at his hotel, the gentleman, after a close scrutiny, found a copy neatly inserted in the frame behind the original; which copy be 'would have sealed had he suffered himself to be prevailed upon. Of course he kept both; the dealer, as may readily be imagined, never appearing to claim either.
3. The Keepsake has no article which, however inferior it may be
in point of merit, yet, by possessing a distinctive character of its own, is separated from the mob of Annual compositions. Even tested by comparison with its companion Book of Beauty, the aristocratic Keepsake falls short. It has never been able to get over a weakly birth. " What can mend a bad constitution ? no- thing." As Paddy might say, the lord and lady contributors were the death of it before it was born. The two best prose articles, to our mind, are the veteran Mr. BERNAL'S "Rendezvous,"—which, besides its merit as a mere tale, displays historical knowledge, with something like matter ; and Mr. WHITE'S "Lions of Looristan,"— a wonderful story, exhibitive of the superstitions of the people, which, though passing from the supernatural into the almost ab- surd, is yet better than feeble imitations. Among the poetry, " Mable's Dove," by Miss GARROW, possesses grace of sentiment and of diction ; and it points a pretty enough moral in a pretty enough tale : but for strength and purpose we prefer the " Legend of
Eileen Mohr,"—an incident which Highland tradition represents as having taken place on Jura, the chief of a group of islets at the back of the Mull of Cantyre. The whole is too long for quotation, but we take the opening as a sample.
"In the cold Atlantic billows Where they toss on Jura's shore, Rousing all the ancient caverns With the fury of their roar ; Where thy rocks, old Corryvrekan, Vex the downward speeding main, Like a passion-torrent stemless, That returneth not again; Where the wind with fitful howling Through the mountain-gully drives, And the crew that breast the current
Row in silence for their lives,—
There thou stretcheet, black and rocky, Weed and shingle cumber'd o'er, With the cross of etone downfallen On thy summit, Eileen Mohr. . Once an impious robber, landing, Stole that holy cross away ;
In his vessel straight he bore it, While the billows sleeping lay:
On a sudden woke the tempest
Like a tiger from repose;
And the guilty robber trembled When the angry sea arose. Then he cast the cross, imploring, From the frail and sinking boat ; And at once the waves were tranquil; And the massive stone, afloat On the firm sustaining waters, Glided backward to the shore, Till it rested on thy bosom, Ever-hallow'd Eileen Mohr.
Where the ground more gently slopeth To the shelter of a cove, With dark Jura's peaks in distance, And the dim gray sky above, Sleeps a convent, old and ruin'd : Half the roof is torn away, Letting in on cell and cloister The unbidden light of day. Long did priests from hoar Iona Call the islanders to prayer, In a chapel rudely hollow'd 'Heath the cross-crown'd hillock there.
(Now in sand to ruin crumbling; For tradition's awful lore
Every wand'ring footstep scareth
From thy chapel, Eileen Mohr.)"
Celebrated names are about equally balanced between the two books and with the usual results. Mr. DISRAELI contributes to The Keepsake what he calls a " Fantasia "—which is so fanciful as to be unintelligible—it is a hash of unreal fragments ; and Mrs. S. C. HALL to the same book has thrown an inferior tale. Sir E. Butwoa LYTTON has furnished a poem to The Book of Beauty called " Youth's Dirge." Its subject is the departed dreams and joys of Manhood : and the two opening stanzas of the two strains remind one of his earlier felicities ; but they are injured by the quaintness and conceit of the responsive Chorus of the Hours, and the anti- strophe, as it were, of Saturn. The artifice of the structure is too palpable, and the execution not happy. Mr. WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR contributes to both books; but his most elaborate article is given to The Book of Beauty,—a continuation of the dialogue between 1Esop and Rhodope his female and youthful fellow-slave. It is a highly finished piece of enamel work, rather than a lifelike painting : but the story of Rhodope's sale to slavery, though treated theatrically rather than dramatically, is commendable for its execution ; and although there is little perhaps of individual truth, it is true enough as regards the effects of famine in ancient times, where slavery existed and a large "foreign trade" did not.
Never shall I forget the morningwhen my father, sitting in the coolest part of the house, exchanged his last measure of grain JOr a eldamys of scarlet cloth fringed with silver. He watched the in erehant out of the door, and then looked wistfully into the corn-chest. I, who thought there was something worth seeing, looked in also; and, finding it empty, expressed my disappointment, not thinking, however, about the corn. A faint and transient smile came over his countenance at the sight of mine. He unfolded the chlamys, stretched it out with both hands before me, and then cast it over my shoulders. I looked down on the glittering fringe, and screamed with joy. He then went out; and I know not what flowers he gathered, but he gathered many ; and some he placed in my bosom and some in my hair. But I told him with captious pride, first that I could arrange them better, and again that I would have only the white. However, when he had selected all the white, and I had placed a few of them according to my fancy, I told him (rising in my slipper) he might crown me with the remainder. The splendour of my apparel gave me a sensation of authority. Soon as the flowers had taken their station on my head, I expressed a dignified satisfaction at the taste displayed by my father ; just as if I could have seen how they ap- peared! But he knew that there was at least as much pleasure as pride in it; and perhaps we divided the latter (alas ! not both) pretty equally. He now took me into the market-place, where a concourse of people was waiting for the pur- chase of slaves. Merchants came and looked at me, some commending, others disparaging ; but all agreeing that I was slender and delicate, that I could not live long, and that I should give much trouble. Many would have bought the chlarnys, but there was something less saleable in the child and flowers.
Had thy features been coarse, and thy voice rustic, they would all have patted thy cheeks and found no fault in thee.
As it was, every one had bought exactly such another in time past, and been a loser by it. At these speeches I perceived the flowers tremble slightly on my bosom, from my father's agitation. Although he scoffed at them, knowing my healthiness, he was troubled internally, and said many short prayers, not vety unlike imprecations' turning his head aside. Proud was I, prouder than ever, when at last several talents were offered for me, and by the very man who in the beginning had undervalued me the most and prophesied the worst of me. My father scowled at him, and refused the money. I thought he was playing a game, and began to wonder what it could be, since I never had seen it played. before. Then I fancied it might be some celebration, because plenty had re- turned to the city, insomuch that my father had bartered the last of the coca he boarded. I grew more and more delighted at the sport. But soon there advanced an elderly man, who said, gravely—" Thou heat stolen this child : her vesture alone is worth above a 'hundred drachmas. Carry her home again to her parents, and do it directly, or Nemesis and the Eumenides will overtake thee." Knowing the estimation in which my father had always been holden by his fellow-citizens, I laughed again, and pinched his ear. He, although naturally choleric, burst forth into no resentment at these reproaches, but said, calmly—.1 think I know thee by name, 0 guest ! surely thou art Xanthus the &mien. Deliver this child from famine." Again I laughed aloud and heartily; • and thinking it was now my part of the game, I held out both my arms, and protruded my whole body towards the stranger. He would net Pe- ceive me from my father's neck ; but he asked me, with benignity and soliciaude, if I was hungry ? At which I laughed again and more than ever ; for it was early in the morning, soon after the first meal, and my father had nourishod me moat carefully and plentifully in all the days of the famine. But Madhya,. waiting for no answer, took out of a sack which one of his slaves carried at his tide, a cake of wheaten bread and a piece of honey-comb, and gave them to me. I held the honey-comb to my father's mouth, thinking it the most of a dainty. Be dashed it to the ground ; but, seizing the bread, be began to devour it ferociously. This also I thought was in play ; and I clapped my hands at his distortions. But Xanthus looked on him like one afraid, and smote the cake from him, crying aloud, " Name the price !" My father now placed me in his arms, naming a price much below what the other had offered, say lag—" The Gods are ever with thee, 0 Xanthus! therefore to thee do I consign my child." But while Xanthus was counting out the silver, my father seized the cake again, which the slave had taken up and was about to replace in the wallet. Die hunger was exasperated by the taste and the delay. Suddenly there arose much tumult. Turning round in the old woman's bosom who had received me from Xantbus, I saw my beloved father struggling on the ground, livid and speechless. The more violent my cries, the more rapidly they hurried me away ; and many were soon between us. Little was I suspicious that he had suffered the pangs of famine long before : alas ! and he bad suffered them for me. Do I weep while I am telling you they ended ? I could not have closed his eyes ; I was too young : but I might have received his last breath ; the only comfort of an orphan's bosom. Do you now think him blameable, 0 .7Esop ?
The pictures, that used to be so attractive in the palmy days of the Annuals, have become mere commonplace embellishments, deriving little value from the arts of painting and engraving : they seem introduced not because of being choice productions, but be- cause pictures of some kind are expected ; and such are chosen as may readiest be procured. The portraits of titled and fashionable women in The Book of Beauty are valuable in proportion to the degree of resemblance preserved by the limners in their efforts to beautify the fair : and accordingly, that of the Marchioness of Douro, by J. R. SWINTON, is the best ; for her fine features and noble aspect cannot derive additional loveliness from art : the ex- pression of calm sadness in the countenance dignifies its character. ALFRED CHALON represents Mrs. Clifton as an Ophelia seven feet high ; and Mr. BUCKNER has exalted the proportions of Lady Chesterfield to similar altitude. The portraits by Messrs. LESLIE, GRANT, THORBURN, and Sir W. Ross, appear to be the truest. The brilliancy of some is dimmed by the heavy stippling of Mr. W. H. MOTE ; which contrasts with the clearness and delicacy of H. ROBINSON'S flesh-tints. Among the designs in The Keepsake are two by a foreign artist named COTTRAU, remarkable for their picturesque effects of light : one is an open gondola with a pair of lovers regaling on wine and fruit, gliding over the moonlit waters of Venice ; the other represents the parting of two Italian lovers by lamplight, with an assassin lurking behind the open door. "The Love-letter " is a graceful design, by JOHN WRIGHT, of a young gallant discovered reading a billetdoux behind a curtain ; though it does not appear that he could have been concealed by the hang- ings, or unaware of their being drawn aside by his laughing com- panion. Two designs by EDWARD CORBOULD are very theatrical.