riCTION, The Smuggler. By the Author of "Tales of the O'Hara Family" 3 vols.
Annual Register for 1830 ....... .
The Present Political Crisis, and its Causes. By the Author of " Spain in 1830" . . PoLiTicAL ECONOMY,
Lectures un the Elements of Political Economy. By Thomas Cooper, 3I.D..... TumoLocv, The Preacher, Vol.H. . Dibtlin's Sunday Library, Vol. V.
Oliver and Boyd's Catechisms. Eleven Parts....... Merlet's Tradocteur. (Second Edition) . .
ANTIQUITIES AND GEOGRAPHY,
View of Ancient and Modern Er•ypt. Palestine, or the Holy Land. Both by the Rev. Michael Rus- sell, LL.D. (Edinburgh Cabinet Library, Nos. 111. and IV.) .
Literary Guardian Colburn and Bentley. Baldwin, and Rivingtons.
Whittaker and Co. Columbia, U. S.
Griffiths. Longman and Co.
Oliver and Boyd, Edin. E. Wilson.
Oliver and Boyd. Cochrane and Co.
THE SPECTATOR'S LIBRARY.
MR. BANIM'S novels remind us forcibly of the wild dramas of some of SHAKSPEA.RE'S contemporaries, which have of late been so great favourites with literary historians and bibliographers. They
have the rant of MARLOWE, the coarse familiarity of HEYWOOD, the atrocities of WEBSTER, and the turbulence and power of
CHAPMAN. Like the dramas of these men, Mr. BANI3is works do not seem the result of sober application, but the fitful outpour- ings of an excited genius, snatching at opportunities of composition, and frequently labouring under disadvantageous circumstances, or influenced by a spell not always conjured up by the powers of iiss,ht. The impression they produce is never favourable to human nature or human institutions. Passion leading to poverty and crime, is his grand subject of meditation ; and he manages not only to portray its energies with all the enthusiasm of an excitable tempera- ment, but loves to surround it with access cries of the most repul- sive character. Seduction, ill-assorted and secret matches, friend-
less and deserted pregnaney, drunkenness superinduced by mi,-
fortune, shifts of low cunning, revenge in humble life against the oppressor or the betrayer, blighted hopes, ruined prospects, broker.- hearted parents, the prodigal, a bandit, a soldier, a smuggler, a blackguard adorning criminal occupation by glimpses of edu- cation or gentle lineage,—these are some of the choice passages of sad humanity over which he loves to throw the lurid light of genius. His pictures of civilization are all drawn from the wong side of the tapestry. In looking upon a city, he sees only the haunts of crime,—the flash-house, the pawnbroker's shop, the prison, and, by way of variety, the lying-in hospital. In a village, we have all the rural wrongs as well as the rural crimes,—the poor-house, the laws of bastardy, the insolent magistrate, the unfeeling over- seer, the poacher and smuggler, in their haunts at the Lion and Lamb, the low resort of the loose and dishonest, the black hole near at hand, the tread-mill at the county-town, the running of
goods on a gloomy shore, the ruffian, with his knife and lantern, in a dark lane, and a victim shuddering, in the gusty rain.
Over the Irish part of his romances, he throws a misty atmo- sphere of superstition and supernatural agency, which, while it deepens the general impression of horror, saves them from the disgust and sickening repulsiveness of a too near view of crime. His English misery is downright filthy, raged, grovel- ling misery—vulgar, literal, and minute, unredeemed by any play of the fancy, but on the contrary deeply coloured by the ima- gination. Mr. Ballim would appear to have studied England in a lock-up-house: his muse is on the parish—she has been committed for literary bastardy, and dragged to the altar by a wilful seducer and a constrained husband • the beadle gives her away, the overseer pays the fees. Crime even degenerates, as it would seem. When the venerable CRABBE studied the poor-house and the gaol, immora-
lity was chequered by traits which .almost pn, ilied it ; he saw no- thing unredeemed or irredeemable : but with Mr. BANIM, all is dark,
dreary, hopeless. We should be sorry to believe in the entire done single sketch of the authors latest productions ; while we allow that every page is the composition of a powerful though ill-regulated genius ; and though, we may also add, perhaps every trait of his pictures are from life, yet the of of the whole is any thing but life. There is no relief of light and shade, for all is shade.
" Poverty, thou art vice !" is the impassioned exclamation of the supposed narrator of this story of the Smuggler; and the sentence might be taken for its motto. The whole book seems to show, that if poverty and vice are not actually the same thing, in these times of luxurious habits, high prices, and blunted morality, they at least occur, in the order of a man's life, so near together that they may be said to be coincident. The history of the Smuggler shows the wretchedness, the misery, the shame, the crime, either permitted or committed, which follow in so many instances on the heels of pecuniary distress. There is a dreadful reality in all Mr. BANIM'S writine-s on this theme— and the truth of his doctrine is undeniable. 'A. parent's death is hastened—a sister is ruined, at least exposed to ruin, and her repu- tation blasted—her brother driven to agony, and nearly to suicide —by a cause which, when looked into,- amounts to this, three pounds are wanted, at the proper time, to. pay the wages of a wretched- female servant and discharge her ; so her practices are overlooked, her insolenceissubmitted,te,- her paramour permitted to enter the house and to keep her company in the kitchen: thus does the immediate want of but a paltry quarter's %rages, ill a family reduced to the extremity of genteel distress, sanction crime and draw on infamy. 0 Poverty, thou art vice ! Alas! not only this book, but the world, is full of commentary on the fearful truth. The Smuggler is the history of the family here
alluded to. They are genteel and wealthy by birth, and have been undone by law ; a chancery-suit and a. trial at bar, after much delay, end in their utter ruin : they are put down on the coast of Kent, near a watering-place, with provision for six or eight months, the course of which serves to make a preg- nant wanderer of the daughter, a smuggler of the son, and a corpse of the father. A fit conclusion to such a history would be an Irish howl—but the laws of the novel will not permit it ; conse- quently the young lady turns out, atter all, to be an honest wo-
man, and the gentleman a man of fortune, with a great deal of experience, as well as his sister, and an unblemished reputation likewise. To bring this about, there are agents of all kinds,— young lords and old lords, barristers and clergymen, smugglers male and female, a village of contraband peasants of course, con- taining characters of every die, apothecaries and madhouse- keepers, and more especially the class of people Mr. BAN1M loves to draw from, and draws so admirably—lodging-house landladies, who are to be found of every grade in meanness and atrocity. The most virtuous and touching part of the whole work—and that is branded by crime—is the attachment existing between a female smuggler and a convict : the fidelity and purity of this person's
affection, preserved undiminished and unimpeached amidst a law- less and unprincipled society, and in spite of the influence of ab- sence and distance, seem a solitary morsel of goodness thrown into the book to save the reader from perfect disgust with his kind. The name of this faithful maiden and active smuggler is Martha Haggett—we recommend her to the attention of the reader.
We select, with some trouble, two passages from the Smuggler, with which to amuse our readers, and give them an idea of the
character of the work. We say with trouble—for compact and isolated scenes, adapted for extract, are not to be found. There is a great deal of waste as well as haste in the book : much must he put dawn to raving, which, though very natural to a creature in despair, is not very pleasant to read, and very disagreeable to ex- tract. It serves, however, the very respectable object of filling three volumes, with, on the whole, as good materials as are men- tioned in the bond.
The first extract describes the abode, and furnishes us with the conversation of the smuggler-in-chief, Mr. Linnock, alias Lilly
White,—so called from an especial dark countenance, and pre- cisely in the spirit of an English peasant's humour, when he has any. The scene is the coast of Kent—where it borders on Sussex, we presume, for we continually read of Hastings and Rye.
" Looking rather puzzled, perhaps, at receiving his message in my presence, Geeson, after a moment's pause, disappeared among the trees. Mr. Linnock again pressed me to accompany him towards his dwelling.
I agreed. He led me cautiously into the garden ; then peered round hint to every side ; approached its door ; avoided it, however, and turned to a
corner of the garden near the back wall of the house. I saw him look down observantly at what seemed to me only one of the oblong little flower-beds, edged with box. • lie took a kind of grappling-iron out of his pocket ; fastened it in the edge that defined, at that place, the gravelled. walk upon which we stood ; pulled with some effort in a bent posture; the flower-bed moved to him, leaving its other three borders of box sta- tionary ; and I was soon edified with the sight of a few stone steps de- scending into the wide aperture then disclosed, a dull lamp burning at their foot. " This is the way into the house, for the present, Sir,' he said; will you step down ?'
" We are going to visit the store-rooms ?' I asked, hesitating a little, I believe.
" Some of them may come in our way,' he replied; for when obliged to decline any company I may not like, in the parlour, I am not ashamed. to spend a little time among my goods.' " Show the way, then, for I fully rely on you ;' I rejoined, following him.
" You may, Sir, when I do the same by you ;' and Mr: Linnock re- stored the innocent flowers to their places, over our heads, descended the steps, and took up the dull lamp.
" I found myself in a narrow passage of solid stone-work. We trod softly onward, and arrived at a small oak door, strongly bolted, and also locked, as was proved to me by Mr. Linnock opening it with a small and curious key, selected from a bunch, of which none were much larger or
side, remarkably shaped. Passing the door, he locked it again on the and shot other bolts ; and now we were at the bottom of a second
flight of stone steps, more numerous, however,. than those leading from the garden, and much narrower. We ascended, perhaps, thirty of them, and stood in a kind of corridor, tiled, and running to a great distance, at either hand, and I thought turning of at angles, in the remote darkness. Upon the walls were shelves well stocked with bales, great and small ; and no more than room for one person to walk forward was left on the floor, so abundant was the rich smuggler's stock of ' heavy articles,' or good uns,' or, in still plainer English, small tubs of eau-de-vie and hollands. Mr. Linnock held up his lamp and passed it from right to left over his head, looking gravely at me. " I know, I said, one of the store-rooms, or the beginning of one : pray, do we now stand under the roof of your hospitable house?' " My conductor gave me to understand that we did : This,' he added, laying his hand on the wall to our right, 'this is the outer wall of my house.' "'And this,' I said, laying my hand on the confronting one, is what ignorant people, dwelling inside, suppose to be that ?' "He nodded assent. I proceeded to demand if his ware-rooms had any communication with the more inhabited apartments of his mansion, and he informed me that most certainly they had not. We resumed our progress, and arrived at one of the points where I had supposed that the passage continued at an angle, but I found I had deceived myself; A ended in a straight line, and a step-ladder now invited us to mount higher tip. Again I was curious enough to inquire if we could traverse, in this man-.
then bee insideevert he house.' " Don you fear that a secret, necessarily confided to a great part of the law which runs between the author and his wits.
," Little Martha, you see, Sir, kept company, ever since she was a girl cocked, according to the eldest and most ponderous fashion, and smeared of fourteen, with a young man of the village, an honest, respectable lad, with brass-thread lace, very deep, and very much tarnished. From his and one I liked ; and I will say for him, as clever a hand on the shingles throat to his toes he wears a dark-blue frieze gabardine, all of one shape of a dark night, and plenty of work to do, as ever I had in pay. 'Weil, in the back, double-caped, cuffed and collared with red, and also made su.. Sir, the Miss Molly was seen too near shore one evening, and though she perfluously heavy with faded brass-thread lace. And in his right hand, got off clean—as has always been her fortune, I thank Providence,—there swinging at his side, and caught in the middle, so as to be well-balanced, was a bit of a row lotween some men-o'-war's men and a few of our lads, he carries, for ever and ever, what I believe I have called a very curious and Fred fetched one of the blue-jackets what I call rather a nasty insignia of his power. It is a short thick stick, painted different colours, knuckle somewhere between the eyes; and they had him up for it, and but all lively ones, with massive pewter rings, as if of silver, and termi- the judge said, he ought to be hanged, because, d'you see, Sir, another nating in a considerable mass of—I believe, block tin, fretted and stamped man-o'-war's man happened to have been shot at.' —to say nothing of bulged and battered—into some exceedingly fine " ' And as the judge is a-enerally a good opinion in these cases,' I said, thing, typical of what neither he nor I know much about. You observe, hanged Master Fred eras, I presume ? ' I am rather cautious of even the material of this awful mace; but the " Why no, Sir, not out-and-out. Interest was made, and an excellent fault is not mine. I have more than once endeavoured to make it out, character—not better than he deserved—given of Fred ; and the Irish- first as I passed him on his walks, next as we strolled on, discoursing man—these rough-annready chaps on the coast be almost all Paddies, gravely, side by side together : but I could not. Once I even requested Mr. Mutford—he recovered from the shot, which was a mere nothing to him to let me touch it ; but, although we had been good friends for some talk about, and norm of Fred's business into the bargain; and so they time,—no, no; that was not a thing to be done. forgave him the swinging„ and sent him to Van's Land for fourteen years ; ” Yes : I had resolved to make his acquaintance, and good friends we and that's why Martha Hugget has no demur to lend a hand, now and soon became. From meeting, very often, out in the lonesoinest places,
then, to Vother trade, Sir.' this was not difficult. At perhaps our sixth rencounter, lie accompanied " Loved him better than her own eyes, and Ile her the same ; they bat, on the part of his left hand. With much satisfaction I returned his were to have been married the very day he sailed, Sir ; and 'tis for love overtures, asked him a question, and, every day since, I think we have to him that Martha has ref used many a good offer since, and never goes longed, like two lovers, that happy fortune might throw us in each other's for a walk with our boys, lice other girls of her age ; and I'm mistaken if way once in twenty-four hours at least. she don't be oil' after him some day, and soon ; only waiting to grow " T listened attentively and sympathizingly to his accounts of the hard richer, I fancy.' lot to which it had been the will of Providence to doom a parish beadle ; " Very disinterested of her not to weigh the odium of marrying him to his explanation of the multiplied responsibilities of the office; to his against her preference for him' illustrations of those duties, separately ; and to his modest, though oft-
" To be sure, as they call it, so he is; but, bless you, Sir, we see no tested, that it would require a man endowed with the bodily strength and odium in that, here oil the coast, when it conies only of our lawful busi- moral courage of ten men, and covered with as many eyes, before and ness. Had Fred robbed, or cheated, or committed any one crime, why behind, as are displayed in a peacock's tail, to go through his work well— then 'twould be another thing, you know; but it isn't his fault, is it, if he who had only man's ordinary strength, and only two eyes in his head. people will punish him, just as if he had, Mr. Mutford ? Odium !—I Did people think that a matter of six or seven tall gipsies, male and female, should like to hear Martha talk of that, and her own brother come home never turned on a poor beadle, and he alone with them on a lonesome from a seven years' trip only the other day. For that matter, few of the path, trying to hunt them into the next parish ? And though a man was honestest families in her street have escaped—('tis a dangerous trade, Sir, a man, and boys were boys, suppose ten or twenty young uns caught by is rother trade now and then,)—escaped bad treatment on the same ac- him robbing a garden or an orchard, did it stand to reason that he could count. People call me a fortunate man, Mr. Mutford, and I don't mean always beat them off, or drag five or six of them to the cage, single. to deny as much ; but I myself—(allow me to fill for you, Sir)—I have a handed ? And how could he see, across many inequalities of land, and brother abroad these thirteen years, and he's to stay abroad for life they more than a mile off, what vagrants might be getting into the parish at say' one side, while he was routing out others at a different side ? And, above And perhaps your chief motive for trading with the Miss Molly, has all, how could he exactly take notice, among all the young girls of our been supplied by their harsh conduct towards that brother, Mr. Lnnock?' parish, who was and who was not likely to bring a burden on us—although " This harmless question produced a surprising change in the smug- this duty he was expected most perfectly to perform, in order that the filer. Hitherto, my regards had been fixed on a face (the blackest, even girl might be had before the magistrate, and an order made on the pro. in the full light of the lamp, as well as the broadest, and in every way per father, in time?'
the largest, 1 had ever seen among that race of mankind called white), of " To all this reasoning, I invariably answered in the way he preferred, which the heavy brows, small eyes, pursy forehead, and wide, thick-lip- and our friendship grew and strengthened, day after day.
ped mouth, presented only a plodding, in-earnest, dullishly-clever, "The other morning I met him on the road leading from the sea to our you accept the compound ?) and absolutely honest expression. Now, Mr. inland hamlet. He was issuing through the low doorway of a very humble Linnock suddenly raised his immense head, opened his eyes, allowed his thatched cottage, and the marks of recent trouble were fresh upon his brows to descend slowly into a scowl, and drew in his lips and shut them brow. I joined him in his official walk, and the cause of his agitation
hardly, ere he replied to me in two words only= No, Sir.' was soon made known to me,—and with the more readiness, as it proved " Do not let me innocently hurt you or offend you; I said : I with- to he an instance of a new species of inconvenience to which he was cona, draw my question, if it is too free. stantlysobjected.
" "Tis not too free, Mr. Mutford, since we sit here together ; it does " The inhabitant of the cottage, or, indeed, hovel, was an old man, a not offend me; and if it hurts me, that's no fault of yours. But I tell pauper, bed-ridden, and unable to do any kind of work e and he fancied you, no, Sire—it was not the misfortune of the brother I've sppken of that the allowance made to him-was not ample enough, though, in truth, be left me since I began the trade ;—no ; but I have another brother, an it was full as much as young men of thirty fit for labour of every descnp- koneat . shop-keeper at Brighton, and he had to do with it, though nest a tion, received ; and he was continually complainingeand more than that nen the whole extent of the house; but I ought to have foreseen the silli- great deal. He came this way, after meeting a small trader down at the ness of the question; and he enabled me to do so, by remarking, that a village—the most considerable man of his day, however ; and my brother secret passage, like this, could be contrived with perfect avoidance of had a good lot of light articles on his person and in his trunk, that night suspicion, inside the gable-wall alone, where it would not have to en- when we gave him a bed. Well, he was followed to my house, the goods counter the windows which afforded light to the interior of the edifice. seized, and he and I both fined a sum beyond our ability to pay. I was To make up for the want of extent, in a continued line, however, I found, nothing but a farmer then; ay, and a struggling one and my wife after ascending the step-ladder I have mentioned, a second corridor, of poorly, and my two girls infants. They sold every thing on my fields, live dimensions equal to the first—nay, by means of another laitaer, a third ; and dead stock, and growing crop, and every thing under my roof, to my and still, goods met my eye in great quantities, and, I desibted not, of wife's bed, and my little girls' cradles ; and, to make an end of it, put me great value. in gaol for the balance of the fine, which all I was worth in the world " At the foot of yet another ladder, Mr. Linnocla left his sad lamp, for would not discharge. And that was what did it, Mr. Mutford I I got a flood of brilliant light, falling through the square on we were out among them at last, after being on my oath to myself that I would now about to climb to, rendered its meagre aid no longer necessary. And have back what they took from me—and I had ; ay, and what they took when we had mounted into the immediate influence of this light, I found from my Brighton brother, too. If ever you go to that town, look out myself in a passage nearly three times as wide as those we had left below, for his shop, and when you get into it, Mr. Mutford, look about you. with the bare joists and tiles of the house over our heads, two chairs and 'Tis as richly stocked as any shop in Brighton ; and he has ten times as a table in a clear space, among heaps and a litter of bales and packages; much as what you can see, waiting for a turn ; and every article under his a comfortable bed at either end of the apartment—as I suppose I must roof is—smuggled. And 'tis a good joke to meet the great people you do call it—large account hooks on shelves, and a glass lamp of great magni- sometimes meet buying of him ; ladies, and of an odd time one or two, tude hanging by a chain from the roof. Here, on a level with the hat- perhaps, that are too high even to be called your ladyship:' ha, ha, Mr. tocks,' observed Mr. Linnock, still whispering, 'we thought we could Mutford, I've lived to see all that, and thank them for it;' and the bit- poach a little more room without suspicion, than we durst venture on terness and roughness of Mr. Linnock's short laugh told me the revengeful lower down in the house, as a private bed might be necessary, of an odd triumph of his heart."
" Your establishment is very complete,' I remarked, and must have The next passage is of a different kind : it is a quieter piece of cost you some money.' composition, being nothing more romantic than the portrait of a " A trifle, Mr. Mutford ; but it pays, Sir ; it pays, I thank Heaven? parish beadle ; it is, however, very clever. The beadle, the reader " Has it yet been visited by any one you did'nt care to see in it ?' must know, is a character more especially an object of Mr. " No, indeed, Sir, though such like folk as you mean have now and BANIMS interest, from his connexion with orders of filiation,—a
many, may be divulged to your disadvantage? ' " Call to mind the melancholy and curiously-habited and appointed
" It is not confided to a great many, Mr. Mutford ; along with my beadle of our parish, of whom I have made slight mention, when de- wife and daughters, and my brothers, there is but one friend of t'other scribing the riot outside the Anchor inn.
trade could find out that flower bed in the garden for you.' " Before that night, I had often encountered him taking his rounds in
" Martha Hugget ?' search of intruding vagrants, gipsies, and sturdy beggars, -from other re-
" You have a guess, Sir' gions, who have not the least right on earth to pass the bounds of his " She must he paid well for her fidelity and general good services.' dominion, and who were to be driven into outer darkness, at the point of " Why, ycs; but as much out of liking as to bribe her, and the little his stall' of office, the moment they should fall in his way. Of mornings,
girl would be true if she gained less—'tis in her ; I call I! cr a downright particularly, I used to meet him, during my own solitary walk in chase of good un, Mr. Mutford : besides, she has her own reasons for doing her the vagrants of my own imagination, sometimes on the cliff, sometimes best far Vother trade ; she loves none that don't love it.' on the inland paths of our parish. From the first, he had attracted my " ' Pray tell me her reasons.' observation, my interest, nay, my compassion. He is rather a young
" With all my heart ; but take a chair, Sir ; and as I keep you from man ; but his sallow features seem dragged into untimely rigidity, and
supper below—' He did not end the sentence in words, contenting him- his brow seems overloaded with care, in the morning of its day, in con- self with extuci.ing a bottle of champaign from a cupboard, laying glasses, sequence of the arduous and increasing duties of his office. He walks untwisting the wire, nicking tile cord, touching the cork. and helping Inc slowly along, or rather waddles slowly, his bead ever bent to his chest, to a glass; and when he had pledged me in another, Mr. Linnock con- and a parish of responsibility (to him a world) hanging upon his pro-
tinned— truded under lip. His hat is a thick, mighty one of coarse felt, three- " And I don't wonder, if she loved poor Fred' his usual care-fraught sigh, whilepassing me, with a pull at his cocked " Odium ? as how, Mr. Mutford?' repeated opinion, that from no public functionary do mankind receive " Why, he is a transported convict' more benefit, while none are by them so scantily rewarded. He pro-_ and be, the beadle, could never pass his door, no matter how pressing his business, that the old pauper did not scream out to him from his bed, and almost always force him to enter the house, his cries were so violent and • hobstropris f and then, it was nothing but ask, ask, to have his case brought before the committee, and curse, curse, when he was refused.
"My beadle fell some steps in my love. I began to question, at least, the soundness of his reasoning powers; for it struck me that instead of having from the parish only quite as much as a young, strong man of thirty, the screaming old cripple ought to have a great deal more. I turned back to the hovel and entered it.
" The moment the old man saw me, he began to criticise, in no studied phrase, the conduct of the gentlemen of the committee—of whom he chose to suppose me one—of the overseer, and even of the beadle. Ile represented himself as a native of the parish, born and bred; as an indus- trious labourer, who, for his whole life, until he became bed-ridden, had never troubled it for relief ; and now his rage was high against all those who dealt him out his weekly pittance : and with the poor man's scorn and impatience of such assistance, even while he is compelled to accept it, he did not hesitate to imprecate on the subject, and insist on his right' to more liberal treatment. " Endeavouring to persuade him to qualify his speech and temper, I asked the amount of his allowance ; it was three and sixpence. I certainly concluded, in my own mind, that, even comparatively speaking, as my beadle had put the case, it ought to be increased; and, although I made him no promise, I resolved to go myself to the committee, and intercede for him—a wise resolve, you will say, for a casual resident in the parish, and one not overburdened himself, by the way, with the only thing which is sure to influence such a body, on such occasions—money."
Our opinion of this novel may be summed up very shortly : it is full of ill-directed genius ; it is written in the growing spirit of discontent with our institutions ; and if properly read in Stoke i Pogis, might create another revolution—it is, however, more cal- culated to produce dissatisfaction than reform. It contains a vast deal of surplusage; and if more than half were cut out and sent to the snuff-shop, no harm would be done.