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Let me now, Sir, entreat you to review at one glance the various points of coincidence apparent in the characters and habits of these two eminent writers. Both are natives of Scotland; both familiar from of old with her romantic metropolis; both Lowlanders, though accustomed to Highland manners and scenery; both are poets; both are deeply conversant with those parts of our national literature, which contain the materials of British history; and both enjoy more, perhaps, than an amateur's acquaintance with ancient classics. Both, if I mistake not, are lawyers by profession, yet both equally delight in military subjects, and excel in martial descriptions, and the delineation of soldierly character. Both are evidently gentlemen, and frequenters of the best society. The novelist is a devoted antiquary, so is the poet; go to, then, there's sympathy:' one is a bibliomaniac-the other reveres scarce books; Ha, ha! then "there's more sympathy;' each is a cultivator of German and Spanish literature would you desire better sympathy? The same taste for every manly exercise and rural sport characterises the versatile pair; I would warrant each well qualified to judge

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"Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch,
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
Between two blades, which bears the better temper,
Between two horses, which doth bear him best,
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye."

though neither, I am sure, could add the protestation-
"But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,

Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw."

First Part of Henry VI. Act II. Sc. 4.

Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. Sc. 1.

Are we then to conclude, that this extraordinary agreement in so many and such various particulars amounts only to a casual resemblance between distinct individuals? Can there exist authors so precisely the counterpart of each other? Must we imagine,

"Et solem geminum, et duplices se ostendere Thebas?*"

O wonderful bard! and O still more amazing writer of romance!

"How have you made division of yourself?—

An apple cleft in two is not more twin

Than these two creatures."

Twelfth Night, Act V. Sc. 1.

* Virg. Æn. IV. 470.


Non, à d'autres, dit il; on connoît votre style.
Boileau, Ep. VI.

FROM the attributes and qualities of the authors, let us now turn to those of the works themselves, and observe what inferences are suggested by a comparative review of both collections, beginning with their broadest and most general characteristics, and proceeding gradually to their minutest peculiarities. The subject is a copious, and to me a very engaging one; but I hope to use such diligence in selecting and compressing, as may save me from the blame of having presumed too far on your indulgent attention.

All the productions I am acquainted with, both of the poet and of the prose writer, recommend themselves by a native piety and goodness, not generally predominant in modern works of imagination; and which, where they do appear, are too often disfigured by eccentricity, pretension, or bad taste. In the works before us there is a constant tendency to promote the desire of excellence in ourselves, and the love of it in our neighbours, by making us think honourably of our general nature. Whatever kindly or charitable affection, whatever principle of manly and honest ambition exists within us is roused and stimulated by the perusal of these writings; our passions are won to the cause of justice, purity, and self-denial; and the old, indissoluble ties that bind us to country, kindred, and birth-place, appear to strengthen as we read, and brace themselves more firnfly about the heart and imagination. Both writers,

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although peculiarly happy in their conception of all chivalrous and romantic excellencies, are still more distinguished by their deep and true feeling and expressive delineation of the graces and virtues proper to domestic life. The gallant, elevated, and punctilious character which a Frenchman contemplates in speaking of 'un honnête homme,' is singularly combined, in these authors, with the genial, homely good qualities that win from a Caledonian the exclamation of 'honest man!' But the crown of their merits, as virtuous and moral writers, is the manly and exemplary spirit with which, upon all seasonable occasions, they pay honour and homage to religion, ascribing to it its just pre-eminence among the causes of human happiness, and dwelling on it as the only certain source of pure and elevated thoughts, and upright, benevolent, and magnanimous actions.

This then is common to the books of both writers; that they furnish a direct and distinguished contrast to the atrabilious gloom of some modern works of genius, and the wanton, but not artless levity of others. They yield a memorable, I trust an immortal, accession to the evidences of a truth not always fashionable in literature, that the mind of man may put forth all its bold luxuriance of original thought, strong feeling, and vivid imagination, without being loosed from any sacred and social bond, or pruned of any legitimate affection; and that the Muse is indeed a heavenly goddess,' and not a graceless, lawless runagate,

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Good sense, the sure foundation of excellence in all the arts, is another leading characteristic of these productions.


Assuming the author of Waverley and the author of Mar mion to be the same person, it would be difficult in our times to find a second equally free from affectation, prejudice, and every other distortion or depravity of judgment, whether arising from ignorance, weakness, or corruption of morals. It is astonishing that so voluminous and successful a writer should so seldom be betrayed into any of those 'fantastic tricks' which, in such a man, make the angels weep,' and (è converso) the critics laugh. He adopts no fashionable cant, colloquial, philosophical, or literary; he takes no delight in being unintelligible; he does not amuse himself by throwing out those fine sentimental and metaphysical threads which float upon the air, and tease and tickle the passengers, but present no palpable substance to their grasp; he aims at no beauties that scorn the eye of 'vulgar light;' he is no dealer in paradoxes; no affecter of new doctrines in taste or morals; he has no eccentric sympathies or antipathies; no maudlin philanthropy, or impertinent cynicism; no non-descript hobby-horse; and with all his matchless energy and originality of mind, he is content to admire popular books, and enjoy popular pleasures; to cherish those opinions which experience has sanctioned; to reverence those institutions which antiquity has hallowed; and to enjoy, admire, cherish, and reverence all these with the same plainness, simplicity, and sincerity as our ancestors did of old.

There cannot be a stronger indication of good sense in a writer of fiction, than the judicious management of his fable; and in this point both the novelist and the poet often attain unusual excellence: their incidents are, not always, but generally, well contrived and well timed; and their personages, almost without exception, act from intelligible motives and on consistent principles. It is to the

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