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did not so much as mention to me the name of my father. I knew that the connection between them was of the most confidential nature, and including a variety of important obligations, though I was a stranger to the particulars. My host did not enquire when I had heard from my father. He might indeed have received letters as lately as I could have done. But he did not ask me respecting his bealth, his vigour, his sentiments, his habits, a thousand minutia to which ocular inspection alone can qualify a man to speak. It is so natural for a friend to be anxious about these, and to think he can never talk or hear enough upon these interesting topics!
After having busily employed ourselves in discovering and examining the various memorable objects which occurred in our route, we now passed quietly and silently along the lake. It was a deep and narrow water, about nine miles in length, and skirted on both sides with rocks uncommonly wild and romantic, some perpendi cular, some stretching over our heads, and intercepting the view of the upper sky, and clothed for the most part with forests of beech and pine, that extended themselves down to the very edge of the water. The lake was as smooth as crystal, and the arching precipices that inclosed it gave a peculiar solemnity to the gloom. Ast we passed near the chapel of Tell, the bell happened to toll forth, as if for a funeral. The sound was full; the effect melancholy; each reverberation of the metal was prolonged among the echoes of the rocks. This continued for about fifteen minutes, and then ceased.
"We were attended by only two rowers and a steersman, labourers in the corn fields and garden of M. Ruffigny. Shortly after we had passed the chapel, the rowers suspended their labour, and we glided in silence over the water. We had been so busied in action and conversation during the whole of the morning, that the stillness which now succeeded seemed perfectly unforced and natural. I sunk into a deep reverie. I thought of William Tell, and the glorious founders of the Swiss liberty; I thought of the simple manners which still prevail in the primitive cantons; I felt as if I were in the wildest and most luxuriant of the uninhabited islands of the South Sea. I was lost in visions of paradise, of habitations and bowers among the celestial orbs, of things supernatural and remote, of the unincumbered spirits of the virtuous and the just, of the pure rewards and enjoyments of a happier state. I had forgotten Switzerland, and M. Ruffigny, and the world, and myself.
"Accidentally I lifted my eye, and saw the countenance of my host fixed upon me with peculiar intentness; a tear moistened the furrows of his cheeks. This spectacle recalled me to the reality of things about me; but my heart was softened by the images which had passed through my thoughts, and I could not speak.
"I have not named your father to you, said M. Ruffigny. 'My dear father!-His name, uttered at that moment, awakened the best feelings of my soul.
Casimir! Casimir Fleetwood! exclaimed my host, where have you been? * In France: at Paris.
How have you been employed?
'Not well. My father sent me forth for improvement; but I have been employed in libertinism and dissipation.
Fleetwood, I also am your father. And I will not be less indulgent, scarcely less anxious, than your natural parent. You know in gross, though you do not know in detail, the peculiar attachment I feel for every thing that bears the name of Fleetwood. Am I not your father?
This, sir, is the third day that I have ever seen you; I know little of you yet; the little I have observed has scarcely had time to strike its fibres deep in my bosom. But all that I do know makes me presume that, were I worthy of the honour, you are the person of all mankind whom I should prefer for an adoptive parent.
"Casimir! my dear Casimir! let not your ears for ever abhor the sound of my voice; let not my form and my visage be for ever loathsome in your sight!-I cannot speak
I understand you, sir. My father is dead!
Ruffigny held forward to me a letter. I took it from him; I gazed mechanically on the superscription, but could not make out a syllable. My friend drew nearer to me; he put his arm round me, as I sat; I rested my head on his shoulder, and burst into a flood of tears.
The communication of this melancholy intelligence no doubt affected me very differently from what it. would otherwise have done, in consequence of the frame of mind, which this day's excursion, and the various objects I had beheld, produced in me. My sensibility was increased by the preparation, and the impression I received was by so much the deeper. I do not pretend to divine Ruffigny's motives for so contriving the scene. Perhaps he knew enough of human nature to believe that it rarely happened to a son in the bloom of life, to break his heart for the loss of an aged parent. Perhaps he understood and disapproved of the train of life in which I had lately been engaged, and thought the thus sof tening my heart the most effectual way of recalling me to my better self.
Why, sir, cried I mournfully, did you suffer me to remain a moment in ignorance of this dreadful intelligence? Why all this pomp of preparation? What are scenery, and patriotism, and heroes, and the achievements of past ages to me? What have I to do with all this world?-My father.! my only friend!—Where have I been? Losing myself, while you stood in need of my consolation! Breaking through every plan that was arranged, loitering away my time among the frivolities and licentiousness of Paris, while you laid down an aching head in solitude, while your pulses failed, and your eyes were closed in darkness! Would to God it were in my power to recall a few past months!-No matter! My prospects and my pleasures are finished; my life is tarnished; my peace is destroyed; I shall never again think of myself with approbation, or with patience!
I did not say all this aloud, though a part of it I did. The
short time I had passed with Ruffigny was yet long enough to make me feel no sort of constraint in his presence. On the present occasion he did not attempt to console me; he left my grief to its natural course; we finished our voyage in silence. By degrees, as I recovered the use of my reason, I felt myself grateful for his kindness, and respected his judgment in this forbearance.
The night of the day I have described did not pass in repose. Amidst short and disturbed slumbers I saw my father, I heard his voice. I roused myself, and returned to recollection. Dead? said I. Impossible!-Let the reader remember what I have already said of him, 'He was the wisest and best man I knew. He had all those advantages from nature, and from the external endowments of fortune, which were calculated to maintain my reverence. We had gradually become more qualified for each other's society and confidence. Our characters had many points of resemblance: we were both serious, both contemplative, both averse to the com merce of the world.'-This dear friend, this sharer in all my interests, should I never meet again? The well-known mansion in Merionethshire, in which I had passed all my boyish days, should I find it vacant of its respected inhabitant? That mild and affec tionate countenance, which for many years I had beheld every day, almost at every hour, should I never again behold it? Sometimes he was my play-fellow, and even shared in my childish amusements. The little implements and mechanical contrivances upon which my boyish thoughts were employed, and which my desires panted to realise, he would often lend his hand to assist me to form. His lessons were so paternal, so indulgent, so considerate, so well adapted to my opening powers! The confidences he occasionally reposed in me, were so cordial! His descriptions and pictures of things to excite my curiosity and emulation were so admirable! I remembered how his manner successively adapted itself to my growing years and demands, from prattling infancy to the full stature of man. All these things rose at first confusedly to my mind, and jostled each other. Sometimes I endeavoured with melancholy industry to arrange them; at other times I threw the reins on the neck of my imagination, and resigned myself to the guidance of fortuitous associations. My life, said I, under the roof. of my father, was the reality of life. The period I spent at Oxford and Paris was an interval of incoherence and inebriety. And this is all now ended! The reality of existence is for ever gone!
'Why is it that, from the hour I heard of my father's decease to the present distant period, the remembrance of that melancholy event has always become associated in my mind, with the rocks of Switzerland, and the lake of Uri? One of the most affecting of the catastrophes that beset this mortal existence, with what is most solemn and sublime in the aspect of the universe? Grief in all human minds soon assumes the character of a luxury to be indulged, as well as of a pain to be endured. The mourner recol lects with complacency the tenderness of his heart and the purity. of his feelings. The conscious recurrence of the scene in which my grief began, gave in my case to the grief itself new merit at
the tribunal of sentiment and taste. Honoured, beloved, ever to-be-regretted author of my life! Never were the ashes of an eastern monarch attended with so magnificent a funeral! The deep glen of the dark and tranquil lake of Uri was the cathedral in which the rites were solemnised! The chapel of the immortal Tell tolled out its bell to proclaim the ceremony! The patriots who, five centuries ago, established the independence of Switzerland, composed the procession that attended thee to the grave! All these images are for ever worked up together, and constitute in my memory one melancholy and indelible scene!'
We have to except the above from what we said concerning the commonness of the scenes in which the character of Fleetwood is developed. The episode also of the early life of M. Ruffigny; where he sets out for Paris from Lyons, alone, and on foot, at nine years of age, is sufficiently improbable. In the last volume too there are some striking situations-particularly that in which the wife of Fleetwood is found (page 81): and the atrocious character Mr. Godwin has called Gifford,' is certainly as boldly drawn as the warmest admirer of the marvellous and horrible could desire. Of the softer scenes, the one at the conclusion of the second volume is very beautifully painted; it is upon the marriage of Fleetwood to a very amiable girl, the daughter of a deceased friend, bequeathed to the care of this new man of feeling, who uses her most cruelly from an unjust suspicion of her infidelity instilled into him by his perfidious kinsman Gifford, and is afterwards reconciled to her: but we have already made an extract of greater length, from a work of so small importance as a novel, than we should have done, had it not proceeded from the pen of so well-known an author as Mr. Godwin. We wish we could present our readers with two further extracts; one relating to the character of Rousseau, and the other strongly descriptive of Mr. Godwin's idea of the proper style of novel-writing; which is not to make us acquainted with his hero by a minute relation of the incidents of his life, as Fielding and others have done; but by favouring us with his soliloquies and reflections upon men and manners. His chief characters are all metaphysicians; who are reasoning when they should be acting; but who reason in so extraordinary a manner, that they rivet our attention. In Vol. II. page 153-4, the reader will find what we think rather a tantalizing picture of what Mr. Godwin might have done, had he pleased, in this book.
Of Rousseau too we are told (vol. ii. p.179) that our hero was in possession of several curious anecdotes, but they are withheld from us; for Mr. Godwin confines himself to generals'—to drawing character, not by the exposure of its own traits, but by presuming that they exist, and animadvérting upon them.
The story of Fleetwood is chiefly intended, we conclude, to inculcate the folly of ill-sorted marriages, in point of age.' The remarks upon the force of habits, unalterably fixed by the peculiarity of an early education in solitude, and working upon a naturally selfish disposition during a long single life, are forcible and judicious-old things well repeated. But we are at a loss to conceive why a man, who turns misanthrope from disappointment, who is most savage in jealousy without caring to ascertain the cause of it, can be called the New Man of Feeling, unless in absolute contradistinction to the old.
Upon the whole, we think the present publication likely to add much to Mr. Godwin's literary character, from the entertainment its story will, we are confident, afford to a numerous class of readers, and from the improved purity of the author's style. Nor will there be wanting those, we hope, in a candid public, who will, in justice, welcome Fleetwood' the more warmly, as it is a perfectly harmless book, coming from the pen of an individual, upon whose more early writings that justice has pronounced the severest censure.
ART. VII.-—Newenham's Inquiry into the Population of Ireland. (Concluded from page 201.)
WE left Mr. Newenham on the point of entering into a discussion on the foreign and domestic trade of the sister kingdom.
We find that the exports and imports of Ireland, in 1783, were about 6,000,000l.; in 1788, above 8,000,000l.; in 1793, 9,000,000l.; in 1798, about 7,600,000l. only; in 1803, above 11,000,000l.; and that there was a decrease of nearly 1,000,000l. in the succeeding year. To 1799 the exports exceeded the imports; since which time the imports have gained the ascendancy. We have an account of the balance of trade between England and Ireland during the last century; some indistinct ideas upon the rate of exchange; and a most erroneous statement of the number of guineas sent to and received from Ireland.
Much more extensive and extremely useful information, upon these subjects, may be extracted from the minutes of the Irish exchange committee; but we are at a loss to see how any of these things afford decisive proofs of the rapidity of increasing population, much less how they can distinctly shew that Ireland will double its population in forty-six years; or that the present annual increase amounts to above 91,000 ouls.