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HE author of this novel will have furnish a bad foundation for a narrative


no one to accuse so much as him- of this length. The law with which the self, if the critical judgment passed up- volumes abound, tho' sometimes witty on it should not be so favourable as he and generally whimsical, is by far too wishes. He has raised the standard by prolix: and the endless definitions of which such productions are tried so Mr. Saddletree, an artisan prone to athigh, that it is not surprising that even tending the court of session, become rehe should sometimes be found to fall ally tedious. To conclude our objecshort of it. In a word, we think The tions, there are more evident symptoms Heart of Mid-Lothian, for such is the of carelessness in this composition than title of the story which occupies these four volumes, inferior in almost every respect to the preceding works from the same source, including the Waverley series with that designated as Tales of my Landlord.

we remember in any of the former; and tho' the author cannot write ill, nor what would fail to be entertaining, he has upon the whole permitted as much alloy to creep into these pages as we could have anticipated at his hands.

It appears to us that this new publi- Notwithstanding these defects, howcation has less of the portraiture of na- ever, there are many parts of deep pational manners than the best of its pre- thos; there is great spirit and truth in cursors, while it has more of the uncom- the drawing of most of the characters; mon incidents common to the class of the fabulous portion of the story is adwritings to which it belongs. It pro- mirably connected with the history of duces an inferior effect from delineating, Captain Porteous' death, and its couseand that in a fainter manner, the charac- quences; and the catastrophe is dreadteristics of a sect (Cameronians) neither fully just, though perhaps the moral lesso important nor so interesting as the son instilled by the lives of Euphemia Covenanters, personified in Balfour of Deans and George Robertson, is rather Burley, old Mrs. Headrigg, and their calculated to produce evil than good. teachers and partisans. Its actors are of Novels are to us the most difficult too low an order, and the scene of a things to review in a satisfactory manner. gaol, with the adventures of its inmates Neither a dry outline of the plot, nor an of thieftakers, prostitutes, rogues, rob- extract of any particular part, suffice to bers and murderers, does, we conceive, convey an adequate idea of the subject


[VOL. 4

10 New Tales of my Landlord, by the author of Waverley, &c. in hand, and our limits do not admit of sort of adventures; one of which going more at large into illustration. As is to persuade Jeanie Deans to swear far as we may go we now proceed to that her unhappy sister had not concealanalyze the Heart of Mid-Lothian.' ed her pregnancy from her, which would The Heart of Mid-Lothian, then, is do away with the capital charge against the Tolbooth,or Newgate of Edinburgh, her. This perjury the religious and virand it is facetiously declared to be a sad tuous Jeanie refuses to commit, and— heart, a close heart, a wicked heart and Effie is convicted and condemned to die. a poor heart, a strong heart and a high Jeanie now determines to walk to Lonheart. At the execution of one Wilson, don, and solicit her pardon of the Queen ; in Sept. 1736, for robbing a custom- and through the mediation of the great house officer, some tumult arose, and Duke of Argyle, she obtains an interPorteous, captain of the town guard, view of Her Majesty, and miraculousfired among the mob, by which several ly carries her point. In her journey, persons were killed. For this offence however, she encounters some strange he was tried, and condemned to death, obstacles. She is made captive by an but reprieved by Queen Caroline on the old gipsy of the name of Murdockson, day appointed for his doom. The pop- who, with her mad daughter, are the ulace were infuriated by this baulk on parties that disposed of Effie's child, out justice as they considered it, and at night of revenge for the seduction of the daughthe extraordinary spectacle was seen of ter by Robertson. She also encounters an organized multitude disarming the Robertson himself, who turns out to be soldiery, securing the gates, breaking the son of Mr. Staunton, a dignitary of open the prison, dragging forth the criminal,and hanging him near the usual place for carrying into effect the sentence of the law. No disorder of any kind accompanied this tumultuous rising, in which politics were deeply concerned.

the Church, and of a very ancient family. He is now reclaimed and repentant. Having accomplished her purpose in London, Jeanie returns, marries Butler, who is presented to a church by the Duke of Argyle: and David Deans, being appointed a kind of overseer at the The fiction woven upon this real in- same place, the whole family settle comcident is thus managed. In the Tol- fortably on the borders of Dumbartonbooth, at the period of Porteous' mob, shire. Effie, when released, elopes from is a girl named Effie Deans, accused of her father's house, and is secretly united child-murder, and at least of concealing to her lover, who gets her polished by a the birth of a natural child, which was few years' residence upon the continent, a capital offence by the then laws of and returns to England and to large Scotland. She is the youngest daugh- property with his wife, whose history is ter of David Deans, a cow-keeper, near confined to his own bosom, and that of Edinburgh, a rigid Dissenter of the sect her sister. They live in splendid of Cameronians. Reuben Butler, a wretchedness, while the humbler branpoor young schoolmaster in holy orders, ches of the Deans' connection enjoy and attached to Jeanie Deans, the elder comfort and happiness. Mrs. Mursister, is forced by the mob to officiate dockson being very properly hanged at as chaplain to Capt. Porteous; and it Carlisle, her confession affords reason turns out that an accomplice of Wil- to believe that Effie's infant had not son's, who acted a conspicuous part in been murdered; and Robertson, alias this riot in a female dress, is the seducer Sir George Staunton, with bis lady, of poor Effie, and the father of her lost visit Scotland, in order to trace him if child. To rescue her is one of his in- possible. In his search he lands at an ducements to undertake this desperate island near Butler's residence, where he exploit, but she refuses to escape when is attacked by a desperate smuggler and the doors of her dungeon are opened to her. Robertson is obliged to fly, and figures in half a dozen Jonathan Wild

his associates, and killed, it is believed, by a young lad, one of the gang. This savage is his own son, who had been

VOL. 4.]

New Tales of my Landlord,'


sold by Murdockson to these banditti. We now proceed to make a few exHe perishes soon after, and Lady tracts. The death of an old griping Staunton is converted to Catholicism rascal, the elder laird of Dumbiedikes, and retires to a convent. Old David is well painted. He was about to disDeans is gathered to his fathers, and the tress his tenants, Deans, and the mother Butlers live beloved and die lamented. of Butler. Such is the general outline of this 'On the very_term-day, when their Novel; but there are subordinate cha- ejectment should have taken place, racters of considerable originality, who when all their neighbours were preparfill up the canvas, and often stand on the ed to pity, and not one to assist them, foreground. Of these the chief are, the the minister of the parish, as well as a Laird of Dumbiedikes, a selfish Natural, doctor from Edinburgh, received a hasty and a suitor to Jeanie Deans, tho' his summons to attend the Laird of Dummode of courtship is exceedingly cu- biedikes. Both were surprised, for his rious and taciturn. Bartholine Sad- contempt for both faculties had been dletree, the law-devoted artisan, of pretty commonly his theme over an extra whom we have already spoken, and his bottle, that is to say, at least once every wife, Mrs. Glass, snuff-seller in London, day. The leech for the soul, and he and Scotch cousin to the Deans. The for the body, alighted in the court of Queen, Lady Suffolk, the Duke of Ar- the little old Manor-house, at almost the gyle and his family. Madge Wildfire, same time; and when they had gazed alias Miss Murdockson, a crazy Ophe- a moment at each other in some surlia in low life, singing snatches of old prise, both in the same breath expresssongs, and conversing with fancied ed their conviction that Dumbiedikes ghosts and goblins. Ratcliffe, a police must needs be very ill indeed, since he officer, compound of thief and traitor; summoned them both to his presence together with sundry villains, such as adorn the Beggar's Opera, and a due proportion of Edinburgh lawyers and gossips, who are brought in more or less to take a share in the business going forward.

at once. Ere the servant could usher them to his apartment, the party was augmented by a man of law, Nichil Novit, writing himself procurator before the Sheriff-court, for in those days there were no solicitors. This latter person was first summoned to the apartment of the Laird, where, after some short space, the soul-curer and the body-cu. rer were invited to join him.

After perusing this epitome, we imagine our readers will coincide with our opinion, that the dramatis personæ are a little too far degraded in the scale of humanity; and that some of the main 'Dumbiedikes has been by this time incidents border too closely upon the transported into the best bed-room, used improbable of romance. Robertson's only upon occasions of death and marhair-breadth 'scapes,and the subsequent riage, and called, from the former of elevation of Effie to be a leader of these occupations, the Dead-Room. fashion at court, the perilous travels of There was in this apartment, besides Jeanie, her incarceration in a gipsy cav- the sick person himself and Mr. Novit, ern, and her confabulation with the the son and heir of the patient, a tall Queen; and the violent finale, are all gawky silly-looking boy, of fourteen or objectionable in this point of view: fifteen, and a housekeeper, a good buxand when events so like miracles are om figure of a woman, betwixt forty resorted to in order to disentangle the and fifty, who had kept the keys and intricacies of plot, it is astonishing how managed matters at Dumbiedikes' since it diminishes the interest we take in the the lady's death. It was to these atfate of the parties implicated. We tendants that Dumbiedikes addressed don't care for Tom Thumb's dying, or himself pretty nearly in these words; being swallowed by a cow, when we temporal and spiritual matters, the care know there is an enchanter who can of his health and his affairs, being bring him to life again, or cause the strangely jumbled, in a head which was quadruped to cast him up. never one of the clearest :


New Tales of my Landlord.'

{VOL. 4

"These are sair times wi me, gentle- plaints, assured him the medical art men and neighbours! amaist as ill as at could not prolong his lite many hours. the aughty-nine, when I was rabbled by the collegeaners. They mistook

help me at the pinch? Out wi' them, Jenny-out o' the house! and, Jock, my curse, and the curse o' Cromwell gae w' ye, if ye gie them either fee or bountith, or sae muckle as a black pair

"Then damn Mass John and you me muckle-they ca'd me papist, but baith!" cried the furious and untractathere was never a papist bit about me, ble patient. "Did ye come here for minister.-Jock, ye'll tak warning- naething but to tell me that ye canna it's a debt we maun a' pay, and there stands Nichil Novit, that will tell ye I was never gude at paying debts in my life.-Mr. Novit, ye'll no forget to draw the rent that's due on the Yerl's band-if I pay debt to other folk, I o'cheverons." think they suld pay it to me—that equals aquals.-Jock, when ye hae The clergyman and doctor made a naething else to do, ye may be aye speedy retreat out of the apartment, sticking in a tree; it will be growing, while Dumbiedikes fell into one of Jock, when ye're sleeping. My father those transports of violent and profane tauld me sae forty years sin', but I ne'er language, which had procured him the fand time to mind him.-Jock, ne'er surname of Damn-me-dikes-“ Bring drink brandy in the morning, it files the me the brandy bottle, Jenny, ye b—,” stamach; gin ye take a morning's he cried, with a voice in which passion draught, let it be aqua mirabilis; Jenny contended with pain. "I can die as I there makes it weel. Doctor, my breath is growing as scant as a brokenwinded piper's, when he has played for four-and-twenty hours at a penny wedding-Jenny, pit the cool aneath my head-but it's a' needless! Mass John, could ye think o' rattling ower some bit short prayer, it wad do me gude may be, and keep some queer thoughts out o' my head.-Say something, man." my

'I cannot use a prayer like a ratrhyme,' answered the honest clergymau; and if you would have your soul redeemed like a prey from the fowler, Laird, you must needs shew me your state of mind.'

"And shouldna ye ken that without my telling you?" answered the patient. "What have I been paying stipend and teind, parsonage and vicarage for, ever sin' the aughty-nine, an' I canna get a spell of a prayer for't, the only time I ever asked for ane in my life?-Gang awa' wi your whiggery, if that's a' ye can do; auld Curate Kiltstoup wad hae read half the prayer-book to me by this time-Awa' w'ye!-Doctor, let's see if ye can do ony thing better for me."

The Doctor, who had received some information in the meanwhile from the house-keeper on the state of his com

have lived, without fashing ony o' them. But there's a fearful thing hings about my heart, and an anker of brandy winna wash it away-The Deans at Woodend! I sequestrated them in the dear years, and now they are to fit they'll starve-and that Beersheba, and that auld trooper's wife and her oe, they'll starve-they'll starve!-Look out, Jock; what night is't?"


Onding o' snaw, father,' answered Jock, after having opened the window, and looked out with great composure. They'll perish in the drifts," said the expiring sinner-" they'll perish wi cauld -but I'll be het enough, gin a tales be true."

"This last observation was made under breath, and in a tone which made the very attorney shudder. He tried his hand at ghostly advice, probably for the first time in his life, and recommended, as an opiate for the agonized conscience of the Laird, reparation of the injuries he had done to these distressed families, which, he observed by the way, the civil law called restitutio in integrum. But Mammon was struggling with Remorse for retaining his place in a bosom he had so long possessed; and he partly succeeded, as an

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