21 NOVEMBER 1840, Page 17


THESE volumes, as the title implies, are collections of odds and ends, or " Miscellanies," as our forefathers would have called them; many of the productions having appeared before. " During the ten years which I have taken up the pen," says the author in his prethee, " I have furnished miscellaneous matter to various perio- dicals, which if it were all collected together would swell into many volumes. Among it, as must be the case under the circumstances in which it was written, there is some which I consider tolerable; but the major portion is but indifferent ; and I should be very sorry indeed, if at any future time, when I may not have the power to prevent it, all these articles should be collected and printed as mine. If ever it were done, it certainly would not be by my friends,"—nor, we may add, by any one who was a friend to him- self', for it would most assuredly entail upon him a heavy loss. The fact is, that periodical writing is not fitted for collection,* ., or collective reading, unless cast from the outset in a non-periodical form; when, of' course, its interest will rest upon its intrinsic

merits. A series of tales is not afil cted in book-perusal by having been published at separate times: no more is a collection of essays, or an exposition of a subject which admits of being broken down into parts. A fiction, in skilful hands, as we see in the instance of AI:sans-AT himself and a few other writers, may admit of periodical appearance; but not the very highest class of fictions : and in any case, we suspect that a novel is read to. the greatest advantage in continuous perusal. But reviews, " ar- ticles," and desultory outpourings, though even embodied in some connected framework, not only want pith and matter, but sufficient extension of subject and comprehension of view. This defect, which is inherent in the me itings themselves, is generally heightened by the hasty composition, and the trading or temporary purpose of the writer. We do not deny that good thoughts and felicitous expressions may occur ; but that the ?chute will be some- what passed in subject, overladen with detail, and yet deficient in extension. Mstenvar, indeed, seems to hold a different opinion. "Magazine-writing," he says, " is the most difficult of all writing: and the reason is obvious—it must always be what is termed up to the mark"; and " there requires a condensation of matter, a pithi- ness of expression, (to enable you to tell your story in so small a space,) which is very difficult to attain." The " condensation of matter," where there happens to be :my twitter, is often, we opine, a selection, and that a very partial selection, of suitable points; and the style of expression rather a kimele than a quality. As for the mark, up to which magazine-contributors write, we have gene- rally hood it to be a very low one.

This opinion receives some confirmation from the volumes before us. Scattered up and down their pages will be found touches of

humour, both broad and quiet ; a variety of sensible observations,. such as a num of' ability, mixing much in the world and using his faculties, will be able to produce Cu occasion ; and a good many such facts as a similar person could scarcely avoid picking up. But the matter of the whole is ilisproportioned to the bulk: there arc constant traces aim endeas our to eke out space. by run- niug down verbal jokes, over-illustrating the palpelde by unneces- sary images, and calling upon the imagination for (see:its. It will be found too, in many cases, that the best passes \ freijuently little or no relation to the professed subject in lsusl.---es it' the writer had been under an engagement to furnish '' copy.- and not finding it in the field he had selected, gleaned it wheresever he could.

Ullu Podrifla consists of a " Diary on the Continent," altered from the "Diary of a Blasi," as "the title was not written up to"; " The Monk of Seville," a drama : some miseellentrous tales, Sc. Of these, the " Diary on the Continent " occupies the better part of the first and second volumes ; and is the most valuable por- tion of the collection : not deficient in any of the fatties we have enumerated, but various and readable. how fir, however. the author travels from the European Continent in search of sitlisets, an ex- tract from his reminiscenceso.' the Burmese .ormese war will toil.


In Call r tries governed despotically. lift' is not so much v.11 ned a, it is in others. The very knowledge that it may be taken in a moment at the it51l of the rulers, renders even the cowardly comparatively indifferent. ILL% in pray: a.icustomed from our earliest years to anticipate an MIA, when it actually arrives we meet it with composure and indifference. The lad in England alto is brought up to thieving, and who is continually reminded hy his parent: that be Must he hung lasting he is meaty, goes to the pliows ,AlIcn his turn comes with much sang (roil. So it is in a oernmsc CI,Itnt!y. here the people ,itness the heads of their companions roll on the ground, sunni:e hair soon their own turn will come. 1 hail more than one evid, nee of this dul-h:g my stay. In one instance. I. wished to obtain information from a prisoner• but emit,' eytratt none, Ile had been sitting bet eeti the enrronadoi on de,k fir twenty-four hours, aud some of the men 01 officers had given him a howl of grog. and a vourl., of cigars, with which he was ilitSy When I interro:•ated him. As be professes ignorance, 1 told him that if lie would not give me the desired infor- mation. 1 should take his head oil and I sent for the sergeant of marines, who appeared with two of his party, and with his drawn sword. We called hint out • The only exception we call to mind, and an exception which proves the is the ease of SYnat;Y SMITH. lit this instance. however, the writer poured his whole mind into his articles; and after all. many of them are inju- riously affected by the temporary matter with which they are interwoven. from betWeen the guns; but he begged, through the interpreter, to be allowed to Bohai his grog—to which I consented : when that was done, he was again or- dered out ; but requested leave to finish about an inch of cigar which remained in his mouth—to which I also acceded, not being in a particular hurry to do that which I never intended to do. During all this, the man was perfectly composed, and did not show the least alarm at his approaching fate. As soon as the cigar was finished, he bound his long hair up afresh, and made preparation. I again asked him if he would tell ; but hepleaded ignorance ; and stepped for- ward, went down on his knees, and took off the croth from about his loins, which he spread on the deck to receive his head, and then putting his hands on the deck, held it in the position to be cut off. Not a muscle trembled, for I watched the man carefully. He was, of course, remanded ; and the sailors were es pleased with him, that he went on shore with more grog and more tobacco than he had probably ever seen in his life.

The following anecdotes of animals are also not exactly essential to a journal of travels.


The most affectionate animal that I know of is the common brown mon- goose : it is a creature between the squirrel and the monkey, with all the live- liness but without any of the mischief of the latter. Unfortunately, they will not live in our country, or they would supersede the cat altogether : they are very clean, and their attachment is beyond all conception to those who have slot seen them. They will leap on their master's shoulder, or get into his bed, and coil their long bushy tails round his neck like a boa, remaining there for hours, if permitted. I recollect one poor little fellow who was in Ills basket dying, much to the grief of his master, who, just before he expired, crawled out of his straw and went to his master's cot, where he had just sufficient strength to take his place upon his bosom, coil his tail round his neck, and . then he died.

Hares and rabbits are also very affectionate. One of my little girls had one of the latter, which she brought up in the house. He grew very large, and was domesticated just like a dog; following you everywhere, in the parlour and up into the bedroom ; in the winter lying on the rug before the tire on his side, and stretching out his four legs as unconcerned as possible, even refusing to go away if you pushed him. As for the cat, she durst not go near hint. He thrashed her unmercifully, for he was very strong; and the consequence was that she retired to the kitchen, where he would often go down, and if she was in his way drive her out. The hare and rabbit, as well as the deer tribe, de- fend themselves by striking with their fore-paws; and the blow which they can give is more forcible than people would suppose. One day when I was in a cover, leaning against a tree with my gnu in my hand, (I presume for some time I must have been in deep thought,) I heard a rustling and then a squeak on the other side of the tree: I looked round the trunk, and beheld a curious combat between two hares and a stoat. The hares were male and female, and had their leveret between them, which latter was not above six weeks old. The stoat—a little devil, with all its hair, from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, standing on end—was at about two yards distance from them, working round and round to have an opportunity to spring upon the leveret, which was the object of its attack. As it went round, so did the hares face him, pivoting on a centre, with the young one between them. At last the stoat matte a spring upon the leveret. He was received by the hares, who struck him with their fore-feet such blows as I could not have believed possible ; they actually resounded; and he was rolled over and over until he got out of distance, when Ine shook himself and renewed his attacks. These continued about ten minutes, and every time he was beaten off; but as at every spring his teeth went into the poor little leveret, at last it gave its last squeak, turned over on its side, and died, the father and mother still holding their relative situations, and facing the stoat. Tile latter showed as much prudence as courage; for so soon as he perceived that the leveret was dead, he also walked off. The hares turned round to their young one, smelt at it, apparently, pushed it with their noses, and shortly after, as if aware that it was past all defence, hopped slowly away : they were hardly out of sight in the bushes, when back came the stoat, threw the leveret, twice as big as himself, over his shoulders, and went off with his prize at a hard gallop,—reminding me, in miniature, of the Bengal tiger car- rying off a bullock. All the actors in the drama having gone off, I walked off; and shortly after both barrels of my gun went off; so the whole party disap- peared. And'there's an end of my story.

The intelligence of the stoat, in quitting the ground as soon as the object of its attack was dead, is curious. Displays of this kind are among the arguments in proof of the inferiority of mere cun- ning, and military stratekremata, to the higher intellectual qualities, since we find beasts excel in them.

We know not whether the drama called " The Monk of Seville" has appeared before, or whether Captain MAnnyAT, feeling that his vein of fiction is exhausted, has a notion of trying the stage, like HULWER, and puts this play forward as a feeler. In short pieces, where the broad comic verges upon farce, he might probably succeed, if he could be sure of actors who would bring out his sub- dued humour, or if he studied the palpable hits which the stage requires. But, judging by the sample, he is unequal to the senti- mental, the grave, or the tragic. The scene is laid in Spain ; the characters are quite Spanish in their intrigues and their notions of morality ; and the general cast of the whole belongs to another age. A valet, who has married a couple of wives, gives rise to some laughter by the reciprocal inquiries of Iii, better halves, and the tricks he promises to evade them : but the grave persons are mostly vicious, and the incidents bloody, without inspiring inttrest or care. Nor is there any novelty or fitness in the conception of the Roble, or in its management. It is not the work of a man impelled by internal impulse to throw his observations on life into a dramatic fbrin, but that of one who resolving to write a drama recurs to plays ibr an exemplar.

To show how little true (traumatic spirit animates Captain MARRYAT, WC will take a speech of a lover whose mistress has just quitted him.

GASPAR. So parts the miser from his hoarded. wealth,

And ejes the casket when the keys are turn'd. I roust away.

The world e'en now awakes, and the Wall MOOD (Like some tired 1,,•ntiliel, his vigil O'er) Sinks down beneath on trees. The morning mist

Already seeks the skies, ascending straight, Like infant's prayers, or souls of holy martyrs.

I must away.

The world will not revolve another hour,

Ere hives of men will pour their millions forth, To seek their food by labour, or supply • Their matte by plunder, flattery, or deceit.

Avarice again will count the dream'd-of hoards, Envy and Rancour stab, whilst sobbing Charity

Will bind the festering wounds that they have given. The world of sin and selfishness awakes

Once more, to swell its catalogue of crime,

So monstrous that it wearies patient Heaven. I must away.

Surely this is more like a litt6rateur thinking what he can say than a lone lover saying what he feels.