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The feelings and character of a rude people are reflected in their national ballads; but it is the novels of a more refined age which exhibit, in full relief, the peculiar features of the time. It is a matter of delicacy, to talk of the merits of one's own century; but, when the truly · ample page of our present romantic literature is unfolded to the eyes of that remote and shadowy personage, Posterity, his conclusions, we flatter ourselves, will be highly favourable to the wisdom of his ancestors. The praise of imagination we care less about ; for imagination is a quality we despise on account of its consanguinity to falsehood.
Matters of fact have come into fashion ; and the nearer a romance approaches to history, the better chance it has of being read. The time is gone by when we gazed on the bright mysterious moon, with feelings almost verging on idolatry, while we passed