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a heart possessed with exquisite sensibility; and the author has taken care to place her in a situation where love attacks her under his most dangerous and seducing form. It is not possible to describe the extreme interest of this part of the work in a mere sketch: it is requisite to peruse the whole of the novel, in order sufficiently to admire the unshaken constancy and devotedness of a being almost angelic, who is a victim to the most atrocious machinations, and to her inviolable regard to her conjugal duty. The character of Maria is marked throughout with a noble simplicity, and is drawn in the most masterly style: that of sir Lauderdale is touched with equal skill, though, perhaps, it is rather out of nature to find so marked a depravity in early youth. In the more trifling parts of this story there is a striking originality, and a most pleasing variety. Among the second-rate characters there are some very ably drawn: in particular, a Mr. Friendly, an austere philosopher, a character of a new kind, and rendered truly laughable.
The language of this work is peculiarly fine, at once pure and simple, flowing and striking: the style is mingled with reflections particularly analogous to the story, and evinces the pen of an author of observation and extraordinary talent. But if the execution of the most difficult parts of this romance, and the drawing of the characters, may be said to defy the shafts of criticism, it certainly is not free from fault, especially as to what concerns the development of the plot; and we naturally desire a little more appearance of probability and clearness in the explanation of some of the chief combining circumstances. But notwithstanding this, we cannot avoid declaring that Maria Neville is one among the very best novels which have lately been produced in French literature.
VOYAGE OF UBALD AND CHARLES
The reflections made by the editor of the Naval Chronicle, in the preceding pages of this number, on comparing the different destinies of the once imperial republics of Rome and Carthage, may remind the admirers of Italian literature of the fifteenth book of the Jerusalem Delivered; in which Tassothe Virgil of modern Italy—describes the voyage of Ubald and Charles in the enchanted bark. These warriors, it may be recollected, are commanded by Godfrey, and instructed by a Christian magician to proceed from Ascalon to the fortunate islands to recall to the Christian camp the hero Rinaldo, who lies in one of those blissful abodes, ensnared by the charms and enchantments of Armida, sunk in sloth, dissolved in pleasures, and forgetful of glory. As these adventurous knights sail along the coast of Africa, the poet takes occasion to designate the renowned places by which they pass, and to accompany his rapid and animated descriptions of them with lofty moral reflections, which are considered as forming the finest part of his immortal poem. We give the stanzas referred to, in the version of Hoole; the best we have, though it presents but a faint idea of the beauty and magnificence of the original.
“ Now from the bank their eyes around they threw,
While, as they move, successive beauties rise,
Favour'd of Heaven! ascend this bark (she cried)
“By A scalon they pass'd; to left they veerd,
While thus she spoke, as through th' aerial space
Alexander the greata
Nor Rhodes, nor Crete, they to the north survey,
Now to the knights the damsel-pilot show'd
From thence they see Biserta's spires arise;
* In the original thus:
Giace l'alta Cartago: a pena i segni
Gierusalemme Libereta. Canto xy. St. 20. THE ROUND TABLE.-BY LEIGH HUNT.
No. 1. SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 1815. It has often struck me, in common with other luxurious persons who are fond of reading at breakfast, and who are well-tempered enough, particularly on such occasions, to put up with a little agreeable advice, that there has now been a sufficient distance of time since the publication of our good old periodical works, and a sufficient change in matters worthy of social observation, to warrant the appearance of a similar set of papers.
Upon this design, with the assistance of a few companions, and with all sorts of determinations to be equally instructive and delightful, I am accordingly now entering; and must give the reader to understand, in their name as well as my own, that wishing to be regarded as his companions also, we act as becomes all honest persons under such circumstances, and profess to be no other than what we are: in other words, we assume no fictitious characters, or what an acquaintance of ours, in his becoming disdain of the original French, would call names of war.
A hundred years back, when the mode of living was different from what it is now, and taverns and coffee-houses made the persons of the wits familiar to every body, assumptions of this kind may have been necessary. Captain Steele, for instance, the gay fellow about town, might not always have been listened to with becoming attention or even gravity, especially if he had been a little too inarticulate over-night-he therefore put on the wrinkles and privileges of Isaac Bickerstaff, the old gentleman. Sir Richard might be a little better, but not perhaps during an election, or after the failure of a fishpool; and so he retreated into the ancient and impregnable composition of Nestor Ironside.
I do not mean to say, that we have none of the foibles of our illustrious predecessors. It would be odd indeed, (to speak candidly, and with that humility which becomes frail beings like men,) if our numerous and very eminent virtues had no drawback_but more on this subject presently. All that I say is, that we have not the same occasion for disguise; and therefore, as we prefer at all times a plain, straight-forward behaviour, and in fact, choose to be as original as we can in our productions, we have avoided the trouble of adding assumed characters to our real ones; and shall talk, just as we think, walk, and take dinner, in our own proper persons. It is true,. the want of old age, or of a few patriarchal eccentricities, to exercise people's patronage on, and induce their self-love to