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like Milton, that so precious an organ as the eye should have been so limited and vulnerable, considers it, in his " Fabrique de l'œil," as a bodily sun possessing powers analogous to the solar orb, and treats it altogether as a sublime mystery and celestial symbol. A short extract may shew the profundity of his numerical and astronomical views:

"D'un de trois-et de sept, à Dieu agréable,
Fut composé de l'œil la machine admirable.
Le nerf et le christal, l'eau et le verre pers,
Sont les quatre elemens du minime univers;
Les sept guimples luisans qui son rondeau contournent,
Ce sont les sept errans, qui au grand monde tournent,
Car le blanc qui recouvre et raffermit nos yeux,
Nous figure Saturne entre ces petits creux, &c. &c."

And yet all this mysticism is scarcely more extravagant than the power of witchcraft or fascination which was supposed to reside in the eyes, and obtained implicit credence in the past ages. This infection, whether malignant or amorous, was generally supposed to be conveyed in a slanting regard, such as that "jealous leer malign" with which Satan contemplated the happiness of our first parents.

Non istic obliquo oculo mea commoda quisquam
Limat, non odio obscuro, morsuque venenat,

says Horace; and Virgil makes the shepherd exclaim, in his third eclogue

"Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos."

Basilisks, cockatrices, and certain serpents were fabled not only to have the power of bewitching the birds from the air, but of killing men with a look-a mode of destruction which is now limited to the exaggerations of those modern fabulists yclept poets and lovers.

Every difference of shape is found in this variform organ, from the majestic round orb of Homer's ox-eyed Juno, to that thin slit from which the vision of a Chinese lazily oozes forth; but in this as in other instances, the happy medium is nearest to the line of beauty. If there be any deviation, it should be towards the full rotund eye, which although it be apt to convey an expression of staring hauteur, is still susceptible of great dignity and beauty, while the contrary tendency approximates continually towards the mean and the suspicious.

As there is no standard of beauty, there is no pronouncing decisively upon the question of colour. The ancient classical writers assigned to Minerva, and other of the deities, eyes of heaven's own azure as more appropriate and celestial. Among the early Italian writers the beauties were generally blondes, being probably considered the most estimable on account of their rarity; and Tasso, describing the blue eyes of Armida, says with great elegance,

“ Within her humid melting eyes
A brilliant ray of laughter lies,
Soft as the broken solar beam

That trembles in the azure stream."

Our own writer Collins, speaking of the Circassians, eulogises "Their eyes' blue languish, and their golden hair," with more beauty of language than fidelity as to fact; but our poets in general give the palm to that which is least common among ourselves, and are accord

ingly enraptured with brunettes and dark eyes. When Shakspeare bestowed green eyes upon the monster Jealousy, he was not probably aware that about the time of the Crusades there was a prodigious passion for orbs of this hue. Thiebault, king of Navarre, depicting a beautiful shepherdess in one of his songs, says,

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which phrase, however, has been conjectured to mean hazle, an interpretation which will allow me to join issue with his majesty and approve his taste. But taste itself is so fluctuating, that we may live to see the red eye of the Albins immortalised in verse, or that species of plaid recorded by Dryden

"The balls of his broad eyes roll'd in his head,
And glared betwixt a yellow and a red."

For my own part, I decidedly prefer the hue of that which is now bent
upon the for I hold that an indulgent eye, like a good horse,
cannot be of a bad colour.

My paper would be incomplete without a word or two upon eyebrows, which, it is to be observed, are peculiar to man, and were intended, according to the physiologists, to prevent particles of dust or perspiration from rolling into the eye. Nothing appears to me more impertinent than the fancied penetration of these human moles, who are for ever attributing imaginary intentions to inscrutable Nature; nor more shallow and pedlar-like than their resolving every thing into a use, as if they could not see in the gay colours and delicious perfumes, and mingled melodies lavished upon the earth, sufficient evidence that the beneficent Creator was not satisfied with mere utility, but combined with it a profusion of gratuitous beauty and delight. I dare say they would rather find a use for the coloured eyes of Argus in the peacock's tail, than admit that the human eye-brows could have been bestowed for mere ornament and expression. Yet they have been deemed the leading indices of various passions. Homer makes them the seat of majesty-Virgil of dejection-Horace of modesty-Juvenal of pride, and we ourselves consider them such intelligible exponents of scorn and haughtiness that we have adopted from them our word supercilious. In lively faces they have a language of their own, and can aptly represent all the sentiments and passions of the mind, even when they are purposely repressed in the eye. By the workings of the line just above a lady's eyebrows, much may be discovered that could never be read in the face; and by this means I am enabled to detect in the looks of my fair readers such a decided objection to any farther inquisition into their secret thoughts, that I deem it prudent to exclaim in the language of Oberon-" Lady, I kiss thine eye, and so good night."



"Negri capelli e bianca barba."

His hair so black, and beard so grey,

'Tis strange.-But would you know the cause? 'Tis that his labours always lay

Less on the brain than on the jaws.

G. M.


THE public appears often an ungenerous, at all times a suspicious patron, warm as a child in the first burst of its enthusiasm, and still displaying its infantine temper in its capricious mode of treating old favourites. But after all, its ungraciousness is more in semblance than in reality-its stock of favour and compliment has been already exhausted-and, too sincere to keep a reserve of admiration, it feels itself quite unable to meet a renewed demand. Hence, if the early publications of an author have met with eminent success, his later ones are sure to meet with rebuffs in seeming. The reader cannot abandon himself to admiration exclusively: comparisons are forced on him; and if he have too much good nature to set about comparing the author with his brethren, he cannot avoid comparing him with himself-his present with his past productions. This is not likely to be in favour of the latter, since predilection for old favourites is only to be overcome by a very palpable degree of improvement.

If subsequent publications meet with such a reception from the mere reader, what must they expect from the critic? from him, who cannot utter his dicta in ejaculations and monosyllables, but must lay down his pros and his cons at length in dreadful legibility. From him the twice-told tale of unqualified admiration will not be suffered-" he is nothing, if not critical," and the new qualities put forth by the authors in review, must be the burden of his strain. Unfortunately, however, as a writer proceeds, he developes more defects than beauties -the defects thicken upon us, as he grows more confident and careless-while the beauties get threadbare by degrees, and become trite and mawkish by being harped upon. Hence criticism often seems to indulge in ungenerous after-thought," and to recall spitefully the meed of praise it formerly bestowed, while, in truth, it is but censorious from necessity, and "severe from too much love."


Besides, we may take liberties with an old and established friend, and abuse him good-naturedly to his face, while we leave our esteem and good opinion of him unspoken--as sentiments he might safely reckon upon, though never a word concerning them were uttered. After this, without mentioning the pleasure received in the perusal of " Bracebridge Hall," we will come at once to the point, and say, that we consider it much inferior to the Sketch Book. A kind of languor prevails through the volumes, amidst which we in vain look for the spirit of their predecessors. The pictures, especially the wild scenes of America, are wrought with more pain, but by no means with the felicity of former stories. Dolph Heyliger is but a clumsy shadow of Rip Van Winkle, and the scenes of the latter were given with a taste and keeping, that seem to have escaped the author in the more laboured descriptions of the former. The Storm-Ship is however very well told; there is a curious and most original intermixture of the ludicrous and the terrible in those old Dutch superstitions. We know not a more puzzling character in romance than a Dutch ghost; and had we encountered one in the pages of Radcliffe, we certainly should not know what to have

Bracebridge Hall: by Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. 2 vols. 8vo.



thought. Geoffrey is extremely happy in the delineation of these nondescripts, and, however our friend may impugn the originality of Rip Van Winkle, the author has Dutchified it most admirable style.

The opening of " Bracebridge Hall" introduces us to a family party, which we before had the pleasure of meeting in the Sketch Book. The cause and end of their meeting is a wedding, about to take place between "the fair Julia" and "the Captain." This affords the author an opportunity of sketching various characters; and an accident that conveniently befalls the heroine, enables him to dwell upon the matter till the two volumes are completed. The chief character is the squire himself, a good-humoured and agreeable old gentleman, whom Geoffrey meant seemingly to depict as an original. But in this he has overshot the mark, and has made him more of the cloistered pedant than the country squire. He is tiresomely conversant with old volumes; has taken a strange fancy to falconry; and the other peculiarities with which he is marked, are too common-place to shed any novelty or interest upon the character. Lady Lillycraft is the best drawn and the most original, though, we much fear, such beings are exceedingly rare. Master Simon is humorous enough, a second Will Wimble, but rather more starched than his prototype. The defeat which he and the general suffer, from the radical during the May sports, is well sketched. The bride and bridegroom are true to nature, being, like all people in their situation, sufficiently insipid. But our heaviest censure must fall on Ready-Money Jack: this personage is a living character, of the name of Tibbets, very well known by the nickname here bestowed on him. He is a resident in Islington, and is no doubt the gay, frank, bold, ready-monied man represented. But, to make use of a hackneyed term, it is too cockneyish to sketch a character from a suburb of the metropolis, and give it forth as a sample of the rural John Bull. The incongruity is quite evident, and a similar defect is visible through all the characters: the squire is a pedant, the general a militia-man, the yeoman a cockney. Yet with all this, the work is exceedingly well written, and entertaining: it is a pity that the author did not add to its intrinsic talent, that truth to nature, which a little time and observation might have enabled him to do. Perhaps this was not his design-perhaps hurry prevented him; but it is necessary to mark strongly the want of this trath, as the work may be considered in other countries to repre a faithful picture of our country life and manners.

But these objections are applicable merely to the vehicle; the matter contained is for the most part excellent. The "Stout Gentleman" is a capital quiz, and the pictures of the Schoolmaster and his Assistant are faithfully sketched. The Spanish tale is pretty, but rather in the ordinary track of romance-writing. "Annette Delarbre" is beautifully told. But Mr. Crayon must pardon "certain writers in Magazines" (as he terms a friend or two of ours with precise civility) for reiterating the charge, that his best tales are not original. Had not the story of "Hina" previously existed, we should indeed want words to express our admiration for "Annette Delarbre." But our denying the credit of the original thought, by no means interferes with the just tribute of praise due to the raising of the superstructure. The Rookery" is a very amusing paper, but as it is one likely to be well


known and quoted, we shall choose for our extracts some portions of "The Storm-Ship."

"In the golden age of the province of the New Netherlands, when it was under the sway of Wouter Van Twiller, otherwise called the Doubter, the people of the Manhattoes* were alarmed one sultry afternoon, just about the time of the summer solstice, by a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning. The rain descended in such torrents as absolutely to spatter up and smoke along the ground. It seemed as if the thunder rattled and rolled over the very roofs of the houses: the lightning was seen to play about the church of St. Nicholas, and to strive three times in vain to strike its weathercock. Garret Van Horne's new chimney was split almost from top to bottom; and Doffue Mildeberger was struck speechless from his bald-faced mare, just as he was riding into town. In a word, it was one of those unparalleled storms that only happen once within the memory of that venerable personage, known in all towns by the appellation of the oldest inhabitant.'

"Great was the terror of the good old women of the Manhattoes. They gathered their children together, and took refuge in the cellars, after having hung a shoe on the iron point of every bed-post, lest it should attract the lightning. At length the storm abated, the thunder sunk into a growl, and the setting sun, breaking from under the fringed borders of the clouds, made the broad bosom of the bay to gleam like a sea of molten gold. The word was given from the fort that a ship was standing up the bay."

"In the mean time the ship became more distinct to the naked eye: she was a stout, round, Dutch-built vessel, with high bow and poop, and bearing Dutch colours. The evening sun gilded her bellying canvass, as she came riding over the long-waving billows. The sentinel, who had given notice of her approach, declared, that he first got sight of her when she was in the centre of the bay; and that she broke suddenly on his sight just as if she had come out of the bosom of the black thunder-cloud. The bystanders looked at Hans Van Pelt, to see what he would say to this report: Hans Van Pelt screwed his mouth closer together, and said nothing; upon which some shook their heads, and others shrugged their shoulders.

"The ship was now repeatedly hailed, but made no reply, and, passing by the fort, stood on up the Hudson. A gun was brought to bear on her, and, with some difficulty, loaded and fired by Hans Van Pelt, the garrison not being expert in artillery. The shot seemed absolutely to pass through the ship, and to skip along the water on the other side, but no notice was taken of it!-What was strange, she had all her sails set, and sailed right against wind and tide, which were both down the river. Upon this Hans Van Pelt, who was likewise harbour-master, ordered his boat, and set off to board her, but after rowing two or three hours he returned without success; sometimes he would get within one or two hundred yards of her, and then, in a twinkling, she would be half a mile off. Some said it was because his oars'-men, who were rather puny and short-winded, stopped every now and then to take breath, and spit on their hands; but this it is probable was a mere scandal. He got near enough, however, to see the crew, who were all dressed in the Dutch style, the officers in doublets and high hats and feathers: not a word was spoken by any one on board;-they stood as motionless as so many statues, and the ship seemed as if left to her own government. Thus she kept on, away up the river, lessening and lessening in the evening sunshine, until she faded from sight, like a little white cloud melting away in the summer sky.”


"Messengers were despatched to different places on the river; but they returned without any tidings-the ship had made no port. Day after day and week after week elapsed, but she never returned down the Hudson. As,

* New York.

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