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The swinkt Damned shriek, “a change !"-of lot no change,
With the behemoth and the leviathan.'—pp. 5–7. It would be a waste of mind to pause over this precious exordium, and point out the exquisite piety of an author who places Hell in juxta-position with the MESSIAH, and, of the two, gives the priority in place to the former : to dwell on the beauty of the phrase the swinkt damned:' the Scrine' that unfolds itself to dazed eyes :' the gleam of a trumpet blast: the unsepulchering of spectres : the sleep of roarings upon the shore of Oblivion : the steeping of high fancies in hoar mysteries, and the harmony of versification whereby degenerated man’ is made to rhyme with the behemoth and leviathan. It would be an inferior occupation for any body who is disposed to merriment, to check his laughter at such mere trifles as these, when the whole volume swells before him with a harvest of drollery. We shall give but another specimen, which will be enough, we presume, to induce the reader to purchase the volume for himself. The poet sings in the person of Death :
* I ride upon the Glacier, .and do fly,
Yea, I come flying on the winged wind;
• My way is on the Waters. Of the Drowned
The waters to ferment, and central fire
And vomits the volcano. It is mine !'-pp. 13—18. Many a man has been confined for Junacy, whose erring intellect has not betrayed him into half the extravagance which characterises this poem. It is, in truth, a mental monster.
Art. XII.-Cloudesley: A Tale. By the Author of “ Caleb Williams.”
3 vols. 8vo. London : Colburn and Bentley. 1830. The author of Caleb Williams is himself again. We can imagine him nearly exhausted to death by the effeminating air, the occupations and the company of the Burlington-street book factory. How his soul must have thirsted to be away from the sad society of the delicate multitude of operatives, so industrious, so devoted, and so imbecile, who ceaselessly work at the curious gossamer fabrics of that unique establishment, which are to be “equalled by no other house in or out of the metropolis.” We think we see the man finging away the degrading costume of all the pretty dears around him, and, like Achilles among the daughters of Lycomedes, snatching up the instrument proper to his vigorous strength, and vindicating the masculine purposes of his destiny.
And how little has time done to impair the strength of Mr. Godwin ? Superannuation is not a stage of infirmity to him, his mind is all the better for it; in the long protracted state of maturity which it has enjoyed, there has been given to it that nameless something, that intellectual attribute for which we have an equivalent in the natural world, in the word flavour. Time, indeed, has been a kind master to him ; it has not built up his old age upon the foolish foundation of his youth, it has not made in his case “the child, the father to the man;" it has been to him a corrector, a disciplinarian, a friendly monitor, causing its advice to be heeded,-- set thy house in order betimes.” Accordingly, we now find every thing in its right place, no inverted views, no mischievous morals, no wicked sentiments trimmed out by ingenuity and imagination, no counsels or intimations inconsistent with the permanence and happiness of society; all is humble and benevolent: all is beautifully conducive to the extension of the noblest principles, to the cultivation of the purest affections, and to the establishment of a scale of disinterestedness and mutual attachment in domestic life ; such as, if realised, would truly make this world a paradise. Such we unequivocally state to be the immediate tendency of Cloudesley ; nor is it possible for us to suppose that a moral recommended by such matchless force and beauty of expression, as abound in these volumes, can be received into the haunts of men without producing some good fruit.
Mr. Godwin's success in this novel, is to be attributed entirely to that due estimation of his own qualifications which tracks his progress like a mentor through every page. The plot which he has selected is one that would have tempted out of its sphere, a mind less endowed than that of Mr. Godwin, with fortitude and vigilance. It is an abundant magazine of the most various and attractive materials, and, above all, every word in the sad story is “ o'er true.” In the volumes of the State Trials, somewhere will be found the details of a cause which long pended in the Irish Courts in the early part of the last century. The subject of litigation was a peerage with its appendages of estates and property of all kinds : the claimant was a youth, poor, ill-educated, and, apparently, of very humble birth. His name was James Annesley, and there is now no doubt that those honours and that opulence, which he never was so fortunate as to be able to enjoy for one moment, were his undoubted birth-right. He was defrauded of them by a wicked uncle, wbo had him kidnapped in his infancy, caused him to be brought up in obscurity, and afterwards sold to slavery in Virginia. He was discovered amongst the slaves by an English officer; he was brought home, and was set up as the heir to his father instead of the uncle, then in possession. A tale of more appalling pathos than the history of this youth, was never yet conceived by any imagination, for, though his title was made out to the satisfaction of every rational mind, yet the law, ever full of resources for the crooked, threw out a net for the almost drowning defendant, and still kept him in a state to battle it out against Annesley and the real justice of the case. One of the most singular parts of the story is that in which the uncle becomes the promoter of a prosecution against the nephew. The young man was so unfortunate as to be the cause of taking away the life of an individual under circumstances which gave it, in the eye of the law, the modified character of manslaughter. The uncle, nevertheless, worked heaven and earth to have him convicted of murder, but without success; and the evidence went to shew in the strongest light, the impression which the uncle had in favour of the rights of Annesley, whom, therefore, he was deeply interested in getting out of the way. The litigation was still unsuspended when poor Annesley died.