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priest through his own persistence and self-will, afterwards to his life-long regret. In any other profession he would have reached undoubted eminence. Handicapped by that, he gained eminence in none. In London Mahony soon joined the Fraserians and was hail fellow in that convivial band. He wrote a series of papers that ran from April, 1834, to December, 1836, the most original in conception and polyglot in character that ever emanated from any pen. They were the famous “Reliques of Father Prout,” and purported to be the work of a parish priest of that name, of “Watergrass Hill,” near Cork. The good father, of course, was the creation of Mahony's genius, just as Jededian Cleishbotham was of Scott's, but he became enormously popular and gave great vogue to the magazine. The second paper, “A Plea for Pilgrimages,” is a serio-comic rhapsody in praise of pilgrimages, and then goes on to describe a pilgrimage to the Blarney stone made by Father Prout in company with Sir Walter Scott. It is an exquisite piece of fooling and classic drollery, in which the good priest and Sir Walter discourse most learnedly on the origin and history of the Blarney stone, and
how at last it got to the County of Cork. Father Prout calls it “the most valuable remnant of Ireland's ancient glory, the most precious lot of her Phoenician inheritance.” Compared with it neither the musical stone of Memnon, nor the lapidary talisman of Lydian Gyges, nor the colossal granite shaped into a sphinx of Egypt, nor Stonehenge, nor the Pelasgic walls of Italy's Palaestrina, offer so many attractions. “What stone in the world, save this alone, can communicate to the tongue that suavity of speech, and that splendid effrontery so necessary to get through life Without this resource how could Brougham have managed to delude the English public, or Dan O'Connell to gull even his own countrymen?” Then we are told that this palladium of Ireland was brought originally from Phoenicia, and a large amount of classical learning and allusion is brought up to prove it. The climax of the paper is reached when the then popular song, “The Groves of Blarney,” is given in French, Greek and Latin verse, while Father Prout declares that Millikin, the author of the song, was simply a translator from the Greek original. “Indeed,” says the reverend father, “I have discovered, when abroad, in the library of Cardinal
Mazarin, an old Greek manuscript, which after diligent examination I am convinced must be the oldest and princeps editio of the song.” The article is a rare piece of humor, as indeed every one of them is.
It is in his paper entitled “The Rogueries of Tom Moore ” that he gives to the world his own superb lyric, “The Shandon Bells,” beloved by all readers.
Mahony survived Maginn twenty-five years, dying at Paris in 1867. His late years were passed in Rome and Paris. In the former city he was a brilliant correspondent of the London Daily News.
GREAT ENGLISH CRITIC.
RARE as great dramatists and poets are, great critics are still more rare. In all our literature I can think of barely half a dozen, and the right of every one of them has at times been questioned. Dr. Johnson too often allowed his prejudices to affect his judgment; Jeffrey was acute but narrow; Professor Wilson permitted partisan politics to sway him, and so did Lockhart, though the latter when at the head of the Quarterly wrote some masterpieces of criticism. Macaulay had his limitations which he willingly acknowledged. Southey was an excellent man of letters but not a critic in any high sense. Coleridge when he chose, and Carlyle, wrote masterly criticisms, but these only formed a small part of their literary work. William Hazlitt and De Quincey made criticism the larger part of their literary vocation, and are properly entitled to be called great critics. Hazlitt's range was wide. He wrote on men and manners, life and books, art and politics. Metaphysics was not too attenuated nor the drama too near for his genius. His subjects are as varied as the departments of literature. He delighted in the Elizabethans, but he also was familiar with every epoch of English literature, with the wits of the Restoration, with the Queen Anne's men, with the Johnsonian era and with the moderns, his contemporaries. Shakespeare and Milton, Dryden and Pope, Goldsmith and Gray, Wordsworth and Byron and Scott all came under his judgment and passed before him in review, and in his pages may be found essays on philosophy and divinity, poetry and politics, tragedy and com— edy. Harriet Martineau called him “the prince of critics,” and certain it is that his critical essays have great vigor and originality, and abound in acute opinions, and where his prejudices were not involved, in unerring judgments. He had a passionate love of truth, and his appreciation of literature was wide and discriminating. He did not always treat his contemporaries fairly, being swayed by political and personal prejudices, but in regard to the mighty men of the past he may be followed with confidence. Here his purpose