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and a great deal about gilding the eastern hemisphere.” It must be owned, however, that the landscapes of Mrs Radcliffe are eminently beautiful, and their only fault is their too frequent recurrence. It would perhaps have puzzled William of Wyckham to comprehend the plan of her Gothic castles, but they are sufficiently vast, intricate, and gloomy. Nor does this writer excel only in painting rural nature, the accidents of light and shade, or castles and forests, but in descriptions of the effect of music, and, in short, she is eminent for picturesque delineation in general for every thing by which the imagination or senses are affected. I know not that a more striking portrait is any where exhibited than that of Schedoni ; and the strong impression he makes on our fancy is perhaps chiefly owing to the very powerful painting which is given of his external appearance.
Of the arts of composition, one of those most frequently employed by Mrs Radcliffe, and which also arises from her love of picturesque effect, is contrast-or the making scenes of different characters or qualities succeed and relieve each other. In this circumstance at least the fair writer agrees with Mr Puff:
Puff. You have no more cannon to fire ?
Prompter from within. No, sir !
Mrs Radcliffe makes her soft music succeed her cannon with considerable felicity. Thus Emily is conducted by Bertrand and Ugo to a sweet cottage at the foot of the Appenines, previous to the siege of the gloomy castle of Udolpho, in which ghastly fabric she is soon afterwards replaced. In the Romance of the Forest also, not satisfied with Adeline's visit to the dreary tomb, and her journey with her treacherous guide through the midnight obscurity of the forest, she introduces a storm of thunder and lightning, as is likewise done in Emily's journey from Udolpho, in order to contrast more strongly the gay magnificence and soothing beauty of the villa of the marquis.
Akin to this distribution of light and shade, and in order to produce still farther effects of contrast and variety, there is a servant introduced into all these romances, who is recommended to us by simplicity and fidelity-Annette in Udolpho, and in the other two, Jeronimo and Peter. In the Romance of the Forest, the venerable La Luc, accompanied by his daughter and Adeline, visits the Glaciers, and we are in the first place stunned by a description of cataracts, and made giddy with
precipices, lakes, and mountains_" they seated themselves,” continues the author, “ on the grass, under the shade of some high trees, near the ruins. An opening in the woods afforded a view of the distant Alps--the deep silence of solitude reigned. For some time they were lost in meditation.
“ Adeline felt a sweet complacency, such as she had long been a stranger to. Looking at La Luc, she perceived a tear stealing down his cheek, while the elevation of his mind was strongly expressed on his countenance. He turned on Clara his eyes, which were now filled with tenderness, and made an effort to recover himself.
“ The stillness and total seclusion of the scene, said Adeline, those stupendous mountains, the gloomy grandeur of these woods, together with that monument of faded glory, on which the hand of time is so emphatically impressed, diffuse a sacred enthusiasm over the mind, and awaken sensations truly sublime.
“La Luc was going to speak, but Peter coming forward, desired to know whether he had not better open the wallet, as he fancied his honour and the young ladies must be main hungry, jogging on so far, up hill and down, before dinner. They acknowledged the truth of honest Peter's suspicion, and took the hint.”
In all her under characters, Mrs Radeliffe is extremely fond of delineating their circumlocution their habit of answering from the point, or giving a needless detail of trivial circumstances, when the enquirer is on the gasp of expectation, and the utmost expedition is requisite. I shall give the first instance that occurs to me.“ Peter," sayš the author, “ having been one day to Aubaine for the weekly supply of provisions, returned with intelligence that awakened in La Motte new apprehension and anxiety.
“ Oh, sir, I've heard something that has astonished me, as well it may, (cried Peter) --and so it will you when you come to know it. As I was standing in the blacksmith's shop while the smith was driving a nail into the horse's shoe (by the bye the horse lost it in an odd way)--I'll tell you, sir, how it was.
“ Nay, pr’ythee, leave it till another time, and go on with your story.
“Why, then, sir, as I was standing in the blacksmith’s shop, comes in a man with a pipe in his mouth, and a large pouch of tobacco in his hand.
« Well-what has the pipe to do with the story?
« Nay, sir, you put me out: I can't go on unless you let me tell it my own way. As I was saying with a pipe in his mouth-I think I was there, your honour ?
“ Yes, yes.
“ He sets himself down on the bench, and taking the pipe from his mouth, says to the blacksmith, · Neighbour, do you know any body of the name of La Motte hereabouts ?'-Bless your honour, I turned all of a cold sweat in a minute ! Is not your honour well ? shall I fetch you any thing?
"No_but be brief in your narration. . . « La Motte ! La Motte! said the blacksmith, I think I have heard the name. Have you so ? said I; you're cunning then, for there's no such person hereabouts to my knowledge.
“ Fool! why did you say that?
“ Because I did not want them to know your honour was here ; and if I had not managed very cleverly, they would have found me tout." In short, it appears by the sequel that honest Peter managed so very cleverly, that they by this very management did find him out. VOL. III.