IN literature the results of observation are chiefly shown in two ways. Those of the first and commonest sort merely enable the observer to represent truly what he has himself seen; those of the higher and rarer kind not only qualify a writer to paint life as it has actually appeared before him, but, by the aid of reflection and reason, he is able to deduce, if one may so speak, the general principles both of passion and manners which characterize the different classes of men, and, like the algebraist, can reach the unknown from the known. Authors of the first kind resemble the empiric in medicine, or the formalist in law, who is safe only so long as he has experience or precedent to guide him. The other writer is akin to those philosophers who have laid the foundations of science, by noting the qualities which things possess in common, and hence deducing rules which every indivi- dual of the species obeys. The obscurer nature of' mental quali- ties, and the innumerable idiosyncracies* which their combi- nation produces, must always render the knowledge of man far more difficult of attainment than in the case of material investi- gations. The continual changes, too, in manners, customs, and habits, prevent one age from profiting by the knowledge of its predecessors, or at least to the extent that is done in physical science, where the same thing always appears in the same shape. And lastly, the graces of manner and of artful arrangement, which are required from the poet or the novelist in addition to the truth of his matter, contribute to conceal " the art and mys- tery" which lie exercises. But that, when soaring into the regions of invention, he works by certain rules of his own discovery, we are as firmly convinced of, as that Mrs. TROLLOPE belongs to the first class of writers, who can transcribe, but not invent. If any doubt existed upon this last point, the work before us would put an end to it. Tremordyn Cliff aims at combining the metaphysical, the noble, the fashionable, and the underbred style of novel in one ; and is completely successful only in the latter. The aristocratic pride of Lord Tremordyn is indeed tolerably well hit off, and his weaknesses cleverly brought out ; though he reminds us too much of Hocat's Marquis of Snowdon ; and there are some truthful sketches of teachers in the early parts of the first volume, which appear to have been done from life. When, however, Mrs. TROLLOPE endeavours to paint the workings of disappointed ambition in a woman of great mental energy—to trace the Machiavelian measures by which she endeavours to recover the dignities that she loses on the birth of a brother— and to show this new Lady Macbeth under the influence of love after her plans have been partially successful—we have bombast instead of passion, and exaggeration instead of grandeur. Nor are her pictures of fashionable life, or even of good society, more successful,—they want airiness, ease, and truth: her best bits are descriptions of furniture. But in showing-up the half genteel society of a provincial town, our author is at home. Her dia- logues, representing the vulgar tittle-tattle and the spiteful scandal of " Breton in Gloucestershire," though by no means essential to advancing the story, and somewhat literal in them- selves, are very good. Mrs. TROLLOPE may desire grandeur; she may admire, with the ladies in the Vicar of Wakefield, " Shakspeare, high life, and the musical glasses," and may even school herself into loving them; but in painting the vulgar, the half-bred, or better still, the under-bred, she seems to luxuriate with a congenial zeet. We have slightly indicated, but our extracts will be more intel- ligible if we plainly say, that the heroine of the novel is the daughter of Lord Tremordyn; whose title and estates descend to the female, in default of heirs male. Lady Augusta Delaporte has been brought up with all those honours, and has received all those attentions, which are paid by dependents, and by such parts of the world as they come in contact with, to the expectants of good things ; when the birth of a son reduces her to a cipher. At first she seems inclined to make away with herself; but, upon second thoughts, she thinks it may as well be her brother. To accom- plish this, Lady Augusta counterfeits affection; allows him, so far as she can, to waste his youth in idleness and boyish indul- gencies ; and on the death of her father, carries him abroad, in the hope that Continental pleasures may at last undermine his health. This plan seems likely to be realized, when Lord Tre- mordyn falls in love; dies, from the effects of breaking blood'. vessels in consequence of his sister's conduct relative to his marriage; and that marriage having been clandestine, and an the proofs of it removed by Lady Augusta, she succeeds to the long- looked for dignity. Into the difficulties which attend the.endea- yours of her brother's widow and her family to establish the marriage, it is not needful to enter, nor into the various intrigues of the pseudo Lady Tremordyn. Suffice it to say, that with such probabilities as are allowed in novels, the different parties meet at Broton; and that, after a quantum suf. of plots and villany, the false Florimel is detected, and throws herself offTremordynChff into the sea.
• A wart signifying that ireliciMal Qhkractec which results from the FLAW= ow binatiou of the mental faculties. Our extracts shall be taken from some of the points to which allusion has been made; and the first shall come from the early parts. The following touches of a well-trained governess are from the scene where the expected birth of a brother or sister is an- nounced to Lady Augusta.
It was Mrs. Morel, Lady Augusta's governess, who had the charge of com- municating this intelligence to her. This lady had considerable ability and still more instruction, but for nearly thirty years she had been a governess ; for nearly thirty years she had been learning to exchange the deep-felt realities of her own individual existence, for a succession of domestic connexions, all alike foreign to her blood and her heart, yet all alike demanding as lively and demonstrative an interest, as if, indeed, each successive set formed her only family and her only care. Such an existence can hardly leave much seality ot feeling for any one; and it was with more propriety than sympathy, that she now announced to her pupil an event which threatened to overthrow the only hope that made life dear to her. "My Lord has desired roe, Lady Augusta, to inform you that the Countess is about to present him with another child. Lady Tremordyn is to come to town in a few months for her confinement."
One of the peculiarities of character produced by Lady Augusta's moral edu- cation, was the habit of restraining the expression of all emotion • ither by word or action. It was also her habit, on receiving directions relative :to her studies from her governess, to listen to them rather in haughty than respectful silence, and to follow, but never to remark upon them. Such being the usual tone of their intercourse, the circumstance of Lady Augusta's returning no answer on the present occasion excited little surprise. A feeling of curiosity led Mrs. Morel to look at her ; but Lady Augusta was drawing at the time, and the expression of her countenance was completely con-. cealed by her attitude. She remarked, indeed, that her pupil was very pale; but the complexion of Lady Augusta was too sallow to render this parti- cularly remarkable, especially while her face was so imperfectly seen. After the pause of a few minutes, Mrs. Morel resumed. " I understand my Lord says that, if it prove a son, he will give five hundred pounds to the poor of Tremordyn, to make them remember the event." As she said this, a slight noise proceeded from Lady Augusta's drawing-desk ; it was occasioned by her porte. crayon, which fell from her fingers to the ground. Mrs. Morel rose to restore it, and reached her chair just in time to receive the senseless form of the young lady upon her bosom.
When a governess has brought up many generations of pupils, with a reputa- tion of great propriety and good sense, she may often supply by judgment what she wants in feeling. Mrs. Morel gave proof of this on the present occasion : she rang no bell, she called for no assistance, but taking her pupil in her aTTIVI she laid her upon a sofa, and by the usual remedies soon succeeded in restoring her senses. Nor did her discretion cease here ; as the unhappy girl recovered herself, no look of surprise, no glance of curiosity, shocked or irritated her feelings.
" Your Ladyship has been too intent upon your drawing this morning," said Mn. Morel, in her usual quiet tone. " We will put it up, if you please: my Lord by no means approves your Ladyship's fatiguing yourself by too much ex- ertion, even in your studies." And, as she spoke, she employed herself in replacing the drawings in the portfolio, setting back the drawing-desk, and removing all traces of the occu- pation.
MR. IIALL—A TUTOR.
To prevent this (a public education), Lady Augusta so far deviated from her system of indulgence as to persevere in obliging Theodore to endure a daily les- son from his tutor, though for many days the penance was accompanied by tears, which flowed nearly the whole time it lasted. Having, however, at length con- vinced the astonished child, that, notwithstanding his dislike to the arrangement, it must continue, she set herself to mitigate by every possible means the morti- fication it occasioned him. She consented to be daily present at the short lesson ; and permitted him, when it was over, to remain in his own apartments with his tutor, or to establish himself in hers, at his pleasure. This immediately converted the highly-paid office of Mr. Hall into very nearly a sinecure; and never did mortal man hug himself with more kindly feelings of affectionate con- gratulation than did this gentleman, as day by day he more fully discovered the downy easiness of his position. What mattered it to him, if, while sharing the luxurious delicacy of the Earl's table, it was made manifest to his comprehension that the air he breathed was to be considered as a boon from his imperious patron ? Did the rich wines, that with lingering luxury he suffered to flow gently over his sensitive palate, did they lose their flavour thereby ? What though his soul was expected to forget his identity, and act the part of shadow to that of the stupid Earl, who paid him five hundred a year for consenting to be lapped in luxury ? Was the soft chair that cushioned his dreaming idleness, or the sleek nag that ambled under him, when he sought exercise to give zest to appetite, was either of them the lees easy for it ? Assuredly not—to the feelings of Mr. Hall. And never did two beings, whose characters and purposes were so dissimilar, contrive to live in the same house, each uniformly pursuing their own separate object, and contrive to exhibit such perfect harmony and satisfaction, as Lady Augusta and the tutor she had so ably chosen. The London season passed, and the family returned to Tremordyn. • •
Lord Steinfort loved the sea, and the rocks, and the cliffs, and the flowers of his garden, and the fresh breeze of the morning, so well, that his delicate cheek showed a tint that deepened almost to the hue of health while in Cornwall. Mr. Hall, too, in the increased accommodation of the rooms appointed for his use, the humble bows of every tenant he encountered in his walks and rides, the blushing curtsey of their pretty daughters, the shillings nightly won from the Earl at backgammon, and the unlimited use of cream with his coffee and tea at his late, snug, lazy, solitary breakfast in his own sitting-room, during which he was permitted to air the Earl's newspapers—all these blessings together made him also think that Tremordyn was the proper sphere of Tremordyn, and all that belonged to him. This sentiment he expressed- so neatly to his patron, who condescended to ask his opinion of the place about a week after he reached it, that the words sank into his Lordship's soul, and became so entirely his own, that he not only pronounced it the following spring as a reason why the family should not remove to town, but continued to make use of it as an unanswerable argument on the same occasion during every succeeding period of his life.
Here is a bit of tattle from Broton. The subjects are the widow of young Lord Tremordyn, her mother, and a female cousin—the best-drawn character, by the by, in the book — whose arrival in the neighbourhood makes a great sensation. The talkers are an old maid newly married to a young clergyman, and a lady closely verging upon a certain age.
The sensible Miss Tidwell said little, either to the Doctor or his lady, after making the visit; but her worthy father-in-law was more enchanted than ever with the amiable trio; and his sleek lady, who dearly loved a quiet life, found nothing to object to in either of them ; but observed, with a gentle simper, "The best thing that pretty young widow can do, my dear Doctor, is to marry To all this Miss Tidwell answered nothing, but as soon as she could, quietly
withdrew herself, darted across the street, and down the lane which led to Mrs. Busby's
" 'Well, Betsy ! the deed is done ;" she exclaimed, as she rushed into the small parlour where her friend was arranging with some pomp an ample collees. tion of baby-linen. 66 We have been."
And what do you think of them, Margaret ?" inquired the matron, setting down the two caps which ornamented both her hands, each being clenched as nearly as possible into the form of a child's head. " Tell me exactly what you think of them !"
" Why, I think, my dear," (untying her bonnet and drawing off her gloves,) 6' that if you never spoke a w ise word in your life before, you have done it now. Oh, I wish you could see them ! One of them—the most hideous old maid you ever saw—must be five-and-forty, if she is a minute; and her easy impu- dence shows pretty plainly what she has been used to. You know, Betsy, nobody living can be in better society than I am, and I certainly do understand something about manners, and style ; and I take it upon myself to declare that All. these women ale -- no better than they should be. You need not repeat it, you know, as coining from me ; but I have seen quite enough to convince me that these are by no means fit for this neighbourhood. Mr. Knowles, as you well know, is my special aversion, with his quiet way of managing every body ; but I really did not take him for such a foal as he has now shown him- self. Good heaven, Betsy ! that woman, that Mrs. James Maxwell, had not one atom of stiffening in her yigots I and even her white crape collar had no more stiffening in it than you will put in your dear baby's first pioafore. I don't choose to say what she looked like ; for I am not a married woman, as you are, but I think you may guess, after what I have told you."
" That I nun, indeed, nay dear, fast enough, I am sorry to say. She is by way of a beauty-, too, isn't she ?" " Oh ! quite—such looks ! such languishments ! such raising and drop- ping of eye-lids! Her eye-lashes are long enough, that's certain." " I am glad enough, I promise you, that I was so positive about not calling. I really owe it to Busby to be careful. But do tell me something they said. What are their Planners like ?"
" Like ! Their manners? God bless your soul, Betsy,.
their manners are to all intents and purposes exactly like themselves. They have nothing about them that deserves to be called manner. The old maid was the principal talker ; but she soon gave us to understand that the Doctor was the only one of us wise enough for 'her, and she flirted away with him like mad. I wonder what she expects to get by it ? As to mamma, she might just as well have left alone doing civil to the young widow, as she calls herself, for she got little beside yes and no ; and when the old made-up mother came in, you would have thought she meant to pass herself off for a dutchess at least." " Bad—very bad indeed, Margaret. You have an admirable talent at de-
scription, and every word you say confirms my suspicions. It is impossible, my dear, to explain exactly how, or why, but the fact is, that niarried women do understand and see through these odious sort of people much more easily than girls can do ; and depend upon it, Margaret, I see a great deal snore in all these little circumstances of dress and manner than you can do, with all your quick- ness. There will be some pleasure, my dear, when the time of discovery comes —and come it will, take nay word for it—there really will be some pleasure in watching the discomfiture of that conceited Knowles, and your obstinate father.. in-law. I do hope my confinement won't happen just at that time, for I should' be monstrously vexed to be out of the way of hearing their lamentations and astonishment."
" Your confinement, Betsy, will be passed and over, and another coming, for what I know, before that happens. You have no notion of their art and clever- ness in putting a decent outside upon their goings on. So mincing and precise in their language, that it is just like reading a book; and yet the boldness of the- Miss gets the better of her caution, for you never heard such a tongue. Lord bless me ! she was talking of lakes and mountains one minute, of kings and revolutions the next, and then flew off about weeds and herbs, and the Lord knows what, just as if she had been an apothecary—and all in such vulgar broad Scotch ! Yet, to see how easily men are gulled by these sort of women ! Our sage Doctor, with all his wisdom, had not the wit to find out that all this was extremely unladylike, especially as it was our first visit—mamma's and mine, I mean—for the Doctor, you know, was called in to the child. But no, not he; he saw nothing to find fault with, but talked of Miss Murray's great talents all the way home."
The following is on the same topic, but by persons of rather a higher grade. The dialogue is natural enough, but calls to mind HUME'S commentary on ADDISON'S remark, that "fine writing consists in thoughts which are natural but not obvious."
No sooner was the door of their carriage closed, the wheels in motion, and all restraint removed, than the following conversation took place. " Now remember, girls," began the eldest Miss Craddock, " whatever hap- pens from calling on these unknown people, the visit was no mail frolic of mine, but was made at the express command of my wise papa, and his sworn ally and privy councillor, Mr. Knowles. I think these new neighbours very suspi- cious persons indeed. This Mrs. James Maxwell, as they call her, is a great deal too remarkable and too elegant, not to be known by somebody in such a neighbourhood as ours—if she were fit to be known at all." " Mr. Knowles knows her, Mary," observed Flora; " that is quite enough."
" I beg your pardon, Flora, he does not know her. I particularly remarked what he said on that point at luncheon to-day. Papa had just wit enough to ask if these ladies had any acquaintance in the neighbourhood ? His answer was perfectly 'evasive, yet perfectly intelligible. They had fixed themselves here only because Dr. Follett had so successfully treated the illness of the little boy—
"But did you ever see such a face and figure? I never beheld such a perfect angel in my life. I must get her to sit to me," sejoined Flora ; but receiving no answer from her eldest sister, she reiterated the question to the youngest- " Did you ever see such a beautiful woman, Caroline ?"
" Good heavens, yes 1." stoutly answered Caroline; " your own face is very nearly as handsome, only you are darker; and I am sure Mary's figure may stand a comparison with hers any day."
" And your eyes, Caroline," rejoined Miss Craddock, "are incomparably superior to hers." "But I cannot fathom her sister, or cousin, or whatever that Elizabeth may be," remarked Caroline; " I cannot understand her. She is not a bit pretty; but there is something unaccountably free and easy about her, and yet one can- not call her vulgar, notwithstanding her broad Scotch. What a beautiful cap she had on !" "That woman has been an actress," pronounced Miss Craddock, in an accent of great decision ; " I am perfectly sure of it. She is not handsome, certainly ; but if she wore rouge, and I am positive she has worn it, you would see that her eyes, and teeth, and height altogether, would come out just a figure for the stage. I am sure she is something out of the common way—her manner is 50. peculiar."
" She certainly did not appear to care three straws about us," said Caroline., "It It was so evident that she was thinking of Mrs. James Maxwell all the time." "Exactly," replied Miss Craddock. "I tell you what, Caroline, I will bet you fifty pounds to a shilling that she is going to- bring that young woman out—
as a singer, perhaps ; I am sure she can sing." "But why should actresses come here to live?" asked Flora. " Good gracious, Flora! what silly questions you do ask ! How should I know? The young Mrs. Maxwell, with all her beauty, looks sickly—delicate, I suppose the gentlemen would call it ; and perhaps she has come here for the air."
We may observe in closing, that Mrs. TROLLOPE'S loyalty breaks out in Trernordyn and is shown by making the Radicals "bad characters." There is a Polish Count who enacts the parts both of fool and villain, simply, we suppose, because he is a refugee; and a button-making baronet is painted as an eaves- dropper, tyrant, usurer, and hypocrite, to represent the Radical Dissenters,—each character bearing •About as much resemblance to reality as some of the vilest caricatures of THEODORE HOOK.