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no experience gives. “My idea of woman,” said Goethe,“ is not abstracted from what I have seen in real life, but rather inborn. At any rate, it arose in me, I know not how. Accordingly the characters of women in my works have all been successful. They are all better than they could be found in real life.” And so it was with Shakspere and also with Shelley. Even Scott half failed in giving the genuine feminineness to his women. He was not poet enough. His best sketches are women of strong character,-Rebecca, Diana Vernon, Jeanie Deans; he is worst and feeblest when he strives to be most feminine. He understood special women tolerably; he did not fully understand woman. And the less the poet, the less perfect are our male novelists in this point. Dickens's works would never explain what a woman is (though they might give some distinct idea of a marchioness) to that monk on Mount Athos, who made the inquiry. Thackeray is nearer to the mark, but he does his Becky-women the best; and in the others there is a nameless something wanting, which makes you feel them clever outside portraits, and no more. . The feminine atmosphere is wanting Goethe's women mark the great poet more than anything else in his writings. They are scarcely second to Shakspere's. The mere picturesque masculine imagination cannot paint women. Imagine Carlyle, for example-who has, perhaps, more imagination of the masculine (i.e. not of the creative) kind than any living writer--drawing a feminine portrait, even from history! Apparitionally he might succeed, (there was some such apparition in his Sartor Resartus,) but he would scarce feel more at home in the interior character than the god Thor in a bare-bell.

But to return to Mr. Hannay. There is both delicacy and humour in his opening sketch of the Rev. Mr. Conyers, father to the hero; and it is equally well done throughout.

“ Several pretty faces, as well as Helen's, looked up with curiosity, as (prayers having been read by Mr. Mottell, an old curate of the neighbourhood, the Reverend Mr. Conyers mounted up in the pulpit, face to face with the eagle of Conyers, on the still fresh-looking batchment of his father, and gave out the text. Helen saw a grave, handsome face, serious, but not austere, enlivened by calm and sky-clear blue eyes, shedding mild, soft light over features high-bred and well cut. The discourse (delivered, perhaps, too abstractedly, and too like an essay) enforced the necessity of rendering unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's,'—rather superfluous advice in a country where Cæsar's tax-gatherers are well able to manage the affairs of their master. Mr. Conyers was at home in the subject, and showed the harmony between conservatism and piety. He dwelt on the inherent right which time gives to an

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institution; and showed that Christianity did not aim at disturbing social relations, but rather at sanctifying them as they already existed.' A hypercritical person might have objected to his mention of the fact, that the priests of Judæa belonged to old families, as not being required by the necessities of the argument; but, on the whole, a generally decorous and respectable effect was produced, and a kind of impression conveyed, that you could not do better than improve your private morals, and pay your rates and taxes; not to be despised, surely, as far as it went? The congregation were not deeply stirred, but everybody saw that a scholar and well-meaning man had begun his career among them; and the Earl of Huntingland was afterwards heard to assert, that. Conyers's view of Christianity was essentially that of a gentleman. That it would be well if his family still held Conyerslea,' with other remarks highly creditable to his understanding."

Characters of a different kind, touched with insight and humour, are Henry Mildew, Esq., and Pearl Studds, Esq., young gentlemen of the rising generation, who are respectively the intellectual fast man and the moral fast man of the book. The latter is a mere outline, but he is too amusing to be passed by. He is a lieutenant in the man-of-war in which Eustace Conyers makes his first voyage, and much in debt; the scene of weighing anchor, containing just a touch of the Pecksniffian Captain Mogglestonleugh, has much humour.

The gun-room was in a bustle, like every other part of the ship. Piles of loaves, freshly come on board, were lying in a corner along with a mass of vegetables; for the news had come quite suddenly, and taken everybody by surprise. For once, Pearl Studds seemed active. Studds, indeed, was one of the Mess Committee, and he had made up his mind that the “ Hildebrand's" gun-room should not be without comforts—let the ship sail as fast as Moggy pleased. So, here was Studds, with a note-book and a charming little gold pencil-case out-giving orders and making memoranda :

“. Loaves! good! And Mr. Tomkins!' “Yes, Sir!'

". The fowls are come, I suppose ? All this bustle deuced bad for their condition-makes 'em thin.'

“Door opens, Enter a man with a basket of live poultry. Chuck, chuck, chuck!

“ • Take 'em to the main-deck, Sir,' cries Studds. Coops are ready, I hope. Remove that early village cock' instanter, Sir. D-n that cock! he 'll wake us. Worse than the quarter-master. Pigs come, Tomkins ?'

• No room for pigs for gun-room, Sir. Captain's pigs, wardroom pigs leave no room for us, Sir.'

What! We must remonstrate, you know, by Jove! I say, you fellows, do you hear that ? Pour me a glass of 'sherry out, Tomkins. That's my bottle--there.'

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“A man asking for you alongside, Mr. Studds, Sir,' says a boy, entering at this moment.

“Can't see him. Don't he see the Blue Peter ? Tell him we're going to sea.'

“ Exit boy, who returns in three minutes. Please, Sir, he says it's because you're going to sea, he's come, Sir.'

“ A pause. Tell him to wait.' Exit boy again. Pearl Studds rubs his nose with his gold pencil-case, meditatively.

" • Whose watch is it?'

“Somebody answers. Studds writes three lines on a piece of paper, and folds it into a cocked hat. Young Gorling, take this up like a good lad.'

“ And away goes young Gorling (who admires Studds, and is cultivating premature debt himself) with a note, begging dear

to keep off that confounded fellow.' “ Presently, a tremendous shrill piping all through the ship. In bursts a quarter-master. “ Hands up anchor, gentlemen !' The capstan, which, with the bars in it, looks like a gigantic catherinewheel, is manned in a minute. Eustace Conyers is at his proper station, the poop, ready to fly up the mizen-rigging, when the word is given to 'loose sails.' Up strike fifes and flageolets; and with a thrilling tramp (the two sounds together go to your very bones when you hear them first) the capstan begins to turn. Captain Mogglestonleugh is on the poop, and stands beside a chair, on which sits his wife, who will leave presently, when the ship is fairly going out. She speaks to Eustace, who bows, and answers, and is pleased, though the black and sneering Beans sees him from the quarter-deck.

At last comes 'loose sails.' As Eustace bounds into the mizen-rigging he sees a handsome, thin gentleman bounding into the main-rigging similarly, and watched from a boat. It is Pearl Studds. He flies up to the main-top with a speed which delights Moggy, who does not know the stimulus. 'A promising officer,' says Moggy, to his wife. Yes, Moggy, promising—to pay! That shore-boat is seen no more. The dun watched Mr. Studds' ascent, as a sportsman does the flight of a bird that he has missed, and then directed his boatman to take him ashore.

“The canvass is loosed, simultaneously, fore and aft. The capstan is manned again, and up comes the anchor. The ‘Hildebrand' feels herself a free thing, and as the wind comes down on her cloud of immense sail, Eustace feels the peculiar sensation of the first heeling-over of the huge ship. For a moment or two everything seems bewitched; the sea throbs alongside her, with a new life ; the breakwater and the shores shift and play like clouds, and all is dream-like.

“Soon the ship is hove-to;' Mrs. Mogglestonleugh comes out of the cabin (where she and the captain have been for a few minutes), walks to the side where her boat is,—the centre of all eyes—and viewed by the sailors, in her silk and lace, as a goddess and queen, gracefully bows to the officers from the gangway, and is

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lowered into her boat in a chair. A pause. The boat leaves. It is a great moment for Moggy. Every eye sees husband and father in his face. • Commander Perkins,' he says firmly, ‘make sail.' Then, he blows his nose violently, and Duty has triumphed ! Nothing could be more touching than the whole scene.”

Lindsay's character is the great charm of the book. It is delicate, manly, humorous, genial, and thoughtful. If there had been any sort of action in the novel, this book would have produced a great effect; but the machinery for delineating the characters is so feeble, that the skill of the sketches themselves is scarcely observed by ordinary readers. It is a mere series of clever little dialogues, enlivened by a few stray perils ; and there is not the great keenness and breadth of humour which makes stray dialogue more than sufficient to delight the reader in writers such as Thackeray and Dickens. It needs action, not imported incident, to enrich and deepen the purely intellectual effect. There is, too, not a little pedantry in the tale.

On the tale that stands second on our list, and which bears the name of “ Ashford Owen,” we have no carping criticisms to pass; it is a pleasant and easy task to characterize it; less, easy, however, to justify our estimate by any single extract than in the case of Mr. Hannay. It is a tale of a totally different kind of merit; the aspects of character caught are all coloured with sentiment; humour is less predominant than thought and grace, and intellectual brilliance does not come within its scope. It is as perfect in its unity as “Eustace Conyers" is remarkable for its disjointed character. The tale is quite sufficient to draw out the conception, and the conception is very simple. If Ashford Owen be of the male sex, we have no reason to make the complaint against him which we brought against Mr. Hannay, and various other masculine authors, that they cannot catch the essence of feminine character. The ordinary and safest rule of criticism,--that a woman's novel may always be tested by its delineation of men only in the aspect in which they appear to women, and not as they are to each other would yield a conclusion in favour of its feminine authorship. There is but one man delineated, and only the femininely illuminated side of him. The colourless masculine side is never seen. Still there is much more to make one give a contrary judgment—especially a truer and subtler delineation of Mr. Erskine's rather polygamic state of heart, than a woman would be likely to draw. The feminine characters could easily

. have been drawn by such an insight as a poetic temperament gives. The heroine's character, and that of her rival, are studies that would excite and rivet a genial imagination. The heroine, Georgy Sandon, has a “one-idea'd," child-like, reserved, tena

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cious, docile, inexperienced, worshipping character, -not April and sensitive,--but gravely, quietly, passionate. She falls under the influence of a refined, cultivated, self-possessed, and affectionate, but not intense mind,-a mind loving influence and

, loving love. This is the hero James Erskine; and very skilfully he is drawn. Georgy's rival, Constance Everett, is drawn with nearly equal skill. She is of the sensitive, rather mutable, and very impressible, dependently joyous class, who throw out all their beauty into a halo around them, and seem to diffuse an even sunnier influence over others than over themselves. Unfortunately (for the reader necessarily holds up both hands for Georgy), she has had the start of her rival, and though she has been once married, had attached Mr. Erskine in earlier years. Georgy is much the best. But Mrs. Everett-afterwards, alas ! Mrs. James Erskine-is very delicately sketched. She is very like the lady of whom the poet remarks :

To thee only God granted
A heart ever new;
To all, always open;

To all, always true."
It is truer to all, than to any one in particular.

The contest that goes on in Mr. Erskine's mind, between his deeper sympathy with Georgy, his sense of the power and simplicity of her nature and attachment, the gratified vanity with which he regards her docility, and the fascination exerted over him by Mrs. Everett, is very subtly painted. He himself is a polished, affectionate, intellectual man, irresolute of heart, and easily divided between two influences.

Georgy is at a ball with Mr. Erskine (he, gratefully but rather benignantly, conscious of her concealed worship, and determined, at that time, to admit, and even to some inconsiderable extent, to requite it) :

‘She was brought back to the ball, the people, and the recollection of Mrs. Evelyn Lorraine's greatness, by Mr. Erskine, who had come to ask her to dance with him. She assented, struggled through a quadrille, laughed and talked, and explored the refreshment room; till suddenly he asked, in mentioning the day when she had first arrived at their house, “ Was I not in a detestably gloomy humour that morning ?' It was said laughingly and gently, and yet it annoyed her intensely: she did not like that cool way of making amends, if any were required. She answered, laughing, but shortly: 'Indeed, I did not remark any alteration in you.' After that everything grew less pleasant: she was glad even to leave James when they saw Mrs. Erskine, who was seeking them to go home.

"They talked eagerly on the way back, and Georgy said that she

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