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female traveller, and informs him, that it was she herself who, in revenge for Howard's want of gallantry, informed the uncle of his niece's arrival, and prejudiced him against her compaJolot). - - . • The ensign shortly after sets out to join his regiment, at Birmingham; and having previously learned from Howard, that he
knows nothing more of his mistress's comexions than that her
uncle lives at Litchfield, he promises to discover for him her name and residence. His profiigate acquaintance has, however, mo intention of serving him. On the contrary, having obtained from the uncle the address of her father, with whom she now is, in London, he commits the wanton and gratuitous perfidy of writing to the latter an anonymous letter, affirming, that Howard is carrying on an intrigue with her, and has taken a lodging in the neighbourhood, for the purpose of conducting it more conveniently. On receiving this intelligence, the father locks up his
daughter; and his passion so far outruns his reason, that he,
writes Howard an abusive epistle, to which he puts his name, and the place where he lives.
The consequences of this foolish step are such as may naturally he expected, and they afford Mr. Gamble an opportunity of breaking out into exclamations, on the “strange fatality which drives unconscious man unresisting before it.” Howard takes post in a public-house opposite to the home of his mistress, gains a sight of her, and writes a letter, which after much cogitation on the mode of conveying it, he confides, not to a feathered Mercury, but to a humble pot-boy. Unused to such commissions, the messenger loses the letter, and the lover is consequently in great trouble, when he is visited by an elderly man, of rather a rough appearance, who proves to be a person to whom his father had done a service, which he is desirous to repay to the son. . The character of this old man, who is an Irishman, and a stationer by trade, is drawn con amore. He is warm-hearted, hospitable, eternally voluble, and abounding in curiosity. The letter, sticking to the bottom of a porter-pot, has fallen into his hands, and, having been opened by him, produces this visit. Finding that Howard's intentions are honourable, he promises to deliver the letter into the hands of Louisa, who is the daughter of a neighbour and friend. An answer is returned, an intercourse is commenced, and their love becomes
mutual and enthusiastic. - -
Louisa. But, unable to bear the thought of separation and delay, he importunes her to marry privately, and escape from home. All, however, that he can obtain is, au assurance that she will come to some determination by the following day, Taking it for granted that she will yield, he flies to his friend, to consult on the means of carrying his plan into execution. Here he meets with a rebuff; the old stationer gives a blunt refusal, and Howard's eloquence is exerted in vain. :
“‘ It will be your ruin,’ swore he, ‘both one and toother of you. Meet her in welcome, pretty dear: dry the tears from her soft eyes, after you have by your fine speeches fairly set her a weeping. Swear constancy to her upon holy Moses, if you will; and whenever you can afford to maintain a wife, return and claim her in open day—in broad sunshine, as a body may say; but none of your raking pots of tea—none of your moon-light flittings for me: was nt have my neighbour s daughter, whom I have known since she war” at the size of a turf on Cloghaneelly mountain, and my old landlord’s son, stealing away with packs on their backs, like a couple of tinkers, and living all their lives afterwards like beggars. Love won’t do alone; no, no, love alone won’t do: good thing for a main-mast, but the vessel won't sail far without being victualled—sky-scraper, and no ballast in the hold, would soon get her keel uppermost. Despise riches as much as any man, —wouldn't turn my heel where my toe stands, to be head cashier of the bank of England, or partner in the house of Prescot, Grote, Culverden, and Hollingsworth. But love won't do, tell ou--must be something to make the pot boil.-Cupid’s arrows— old fool that I am, to be talking about Cupid—kill no game; and
as I recollect reading, when I used to trot, a little bare-legged boy,
to Paddy. Gallaugher's school, under the cairn by the side of Lough Salt—“Venus freezed’—forget the rest, but know it means she'll soon turn tail upon you, unless you clap into her hand a potatoe, and treat her to a mouthful of whiskey.’” :
The old man winds up his harangue by swearing instantly to disclose the secret to the father, if Howard will not desist from his intention; and the latter, as he cannot act without him, reluctantly acquiesces. Delighted with having gained his point, the stationer promises to win the father's consent within twelveimonths, and to invite him to supper that night, in order to enable Howard to take leave of Louisa. - o The result of this evening is fatal to the peace of both— Louisa falls a victim to her tenderness; and her lover, when reason again assumes its empire, is no less miserable than her: self. On the following morning, he hurries to see her, resolved, before his departure, to repair, at all risks, his fault by an im: mediate inarriage; but, unluckily, he finds it o to obtain an interview. Having lingered much past the hour at wo ~ e
During an absence of some months, Howard receives several.
he ought to have dined with his patron, he proceeds to keep his appointment. That gentleman, seeing his agitation, endeavours to learn the cause of it, which, however, Howard has not cou, rage to tell; and at length, his patron, who begins to suspect that he is not remarkable for prudence or punctuality, thinks it necessary to insist, on seeing him to the coach, which is to convey him from London, lest the situation which he has obtained for him shouldbe lost by delay. The lovers are thus separated, without again seeing each other.
We now reach the second volume, which, by a sort of Hiber.
nian arrangement, opens with what is in reality a preface to the
work. By the defence which it contains, of a certain class of novels, we cannot say that we are at all edified or convinced. At his ideas of Reviewers, we cannot condescend to be angry; they are ouly calculated to excite our contempt. . Where is his proof, that “ Reviewers' opinions, in general, are known not to be fairly given " ... Mr. Gamble declares that he does not read reviews; and, while he declares this, he strongly reminds us of the sapient bird, which thrusts its head into a bush, and believes. that no person cau see it. One thing which Mr. Gamble tells us, entitles him to our pity. “There is,” he here says, “a rapid alternation in my mind of levity and gloom.” And, in another place, he adds, “it is not every mind can pass from levity to gloom, and from gloom to levity with the rapidity of mine.--It is not a desirable state of mind.” Not desirable, indeed! It approaches too closely, we fear, to the confines of in-, letters from Louisa, each of which is written in a more desponding tone, than the preceding; but delicacy prevents her from giving more than very obscure hints of the terrible situation in, which she now stands. At length, he perceives the danger to: which she is exposed; and the bare idea of the consequence. drives him nearly to madness. While he is in, this constant agony, of mind, his dreams and forebodings. (Mr. Gamble is, fond of dreams and forebodings) are full of terror. One of his visions, full of appalling images, Mr. Gamble describes. In the
gloomy and the horrible Mr. Gamble delights; and it must be.
owned that he excels in painting them. By this dream, Howard, is so fearfully agitated, that he has a severe attack of illness, which brings him to the brink of the grave. *
On his recovery, he finds another setter, which confirms his
apprehensious; and now, regardless of every thing but the , peace and reputation of his Louisa, he hasteus to England, and, while detained on the road, writes, to inform her of his arrival. When he reaches. Loudon, he watches near her father's dwelling,
in the hope of seeing her; and, at last, overcome by alsom at the silence and darkness of the house, determines to knock at the door. It is opened by his friend, the old stationer. A conversation takes place, and Howard is informed that his friend, through whose hands all the letters had been transmitted, finding an English post-mark on the last letter, had suspected Howard's intention, taken the liberty of breaking the seal, and, conceiving him to have violated his promise, had communicated the whole to the father, who had carried Louisa down into the country, without hinting to her the reason of his so doing. Howard finally succeeds in prevailing on him to name the place to which she is . removed, which is to her uncle's, at Litchfield. - * * * To Litchfield he begins his journey. At the inn, at Birmingham, where he stops for the night, there is a ball, which he can see from his window; and, as he stands listening to the music, and gazing on the light figures flitting before him, he soliloquizes in a mournful strain on the vanity of human pleasures. The sound of a pistol arouses him from his meditations; he descends into the yard, perceives on the ground an officer who has been wounded in a duel, and speedily discovers that it is, his friend, the dissipated ensign. One by one, the spectators depart, and leave Howard and the dying man alone. To his astonishment, Howard learns the perfidy of his friend, but he generously for
gives him, and, at his earnest request, promises to stay and see
him buried. Through the might he watches the struggles of his once gay companion; and he again soliloquizes, in a still more . despondent and reprehensible tone than before. “Oh creature " exclaims he, speaking of man in general, “doomed to. misery, and exposed to every variety of suffering and pain, for you, I fear there is no other world; and if there be only this one, surely, of all creatures, you are most miserable.” Towards break of day, the ensign expires, and Howard, after having performed the last duties to him, pursues his journey. - The delay which this occasions, he has abundant reason to lament. It is dark, and a heavy rain has come on, by the time that he reaches a village in the vicinity of Litchfield. Here he resolves to pass the night, at a small public house. The conversation of the persons around him relates to the circumstance of a young and beautiful woman, who, having recently thrown herself into the river, has been rescued early enough to save her
life, though she is still so weak, as to be unable to give any ac
count of herself. Howard hears this without any feelings of alarm, till all his fears are at once roused by the reason which one of the persons assigns for her having committed this rash act. He flies to the cottage, whither she has been carried, and finds that it is indeed his beloved Louisa. Her father also
arrives; and the terror, which his anger against Howard excites.
in his daughter, occasions: the premature birth of a dead child.
country. But it never takes place. Mr. Gamble cannot bear
the idea of making any of his characters happy. A letter reaches Howard, which contains only the words, “ come quick, if you
would see her alive.” In the agony of her feelings, on being
subjected unexpectedly to a cruel insult, a blood vessel had burst, and her death was become inevitable. He hastens back in distraction, just soon enough to receive her last sigh. Insanity seizes him ; and he ultimately recovers from it, only to drag a life of deep and cureless sorrow. * .
This story, simple as it is, is told in a manner which excites a powerful interest. That interest, indeed, remains undiminished, even by the circumstance of the catastrophe being divulged almost at the beginning of the work. Bat to the literary merit alone of Mr. Gamble, can any praise be awarded ? After the specimens which we have given, it is needless to say, that nothing can be worse than his doctrines. Their direct, their inevitable tendency is to make man at least discontented, wretched, and incapable of exertion; for who will exert himself, when he believes that an over-ruling fate laughs all his efforts to scorn ? Well would it be, were these their worst effects. But it is impossible not to see that they remove all the restraints on the vices of mankind, and that, therefore, they cannot fail to be the fruitful parents of innumerable crimes. In vain would Mr. Gamble plead, that he intends his novels to show the direful consequences which arise from the commission of a single guilty act.—He has disqualified himself from urging this plea. Has he not laboured to destroy the strongest motive for loving virtue, and abhorring wickedness; and has he not likewise, over and over again,
taught the lesson that man is the sport of an invincible necessity,
against which all his prudence will not avail him in the “slightest degree.” With Mr. Gamble's principles, it is as much a mockery to talk of the “fault” of Howard, as to talk - F f - of vo L. Iv. octor ER, 1815.