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“ This seemed to have some effect on him. He made me a low bow, begged my pardon, and vowed he would not for the world offend me.

Then, sir, you must leave me,' cried I.

“I am gone, madam, I am gone !' with a most tragical air, and he marched away at a quick pace out of sight in a moment; but before I had time to congratulate myself, he was again at

my elbow.

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“And could you really let me go, and not be sorry? Can you see me suffer torments inexpressible, and yet retain all your favor for that miscreant who flies you? Ungrateful puppy! I could bastinado him!'

“For Heaven's sake, my dear,' cried Mrs. Mirvan, who is he talking of?'

“ . Indeed, I do not know, madam,' said I; “but I wish he would leave me.'

"What's all that there?' cried the captain.

“The man made a low bow, and said, Only, sir, a slight objection which this young lady makes to dancing with me, and which I am endeavoring to obviate. I shall think myself greatly honored if you will intercede for me.'

“That lady, sir,' said the captain, coldly, “is her own mistress.' And he walked sullenly on.

" • You, madam,' said the man, who looked delighted, to Mrs. Mirvan, 'you, I hope, will have the goodness to speak for me.'

“Sir,' answered she, gravely, “I have not the pleasure of

" being acquainted with you.'

"I hope when you have, ma'am,' cried he, undaunted, “you will honor me with your approbation; but while I am yet unknown to you, it would be truly generous in you to countenance me; and I flatter myself, madam, that you will not have cause to repent it.'

“Mrs. Mirvan, with an embarrassed air, replied, 'I do not at all mean, sir, to doubt your being a gentleman, but —

" But what, madam ? That doubt removed, why a but?'

"Well, sir,' said Mrs. Mirvan, with a good-humored smile, • I will even treat you with your own plainness, and try what effect that will have on you; I must therefore tell you, once for

"Oh, pardon me, madam!' interrupted he, eagerly, you must not proceed with those words once for all; no, if I have been too plain, and, though a man, deserve a rebuke, remember, dear ladies, that if you copy, you ought, in justice, to excuse me.'

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“ We both stared at the man's strange behavior.

* Be nobler than your sex, continued he, turning to me; 'honor me with one dance, and give up the ingrate who has merited so ill your patience.'

“ Mrs. Mirvan looked with astonishment at us both.

6. Whom does he speak of, my dear? You never tioned

“ « Oh, madam,' exclaimed he, “ he was not worth mentioning, - it is pity he was ever thought of; but let us forget his exist

One dance is all I solicit. Permit me, madam, the honor of this young lady's hand; it will be a favor I shall ever most gratefully acknowledge.'

" • Sir,' answered she, 'favors and strangers have with me no connection.' “ . If you have hitherto,' said he, confined

your

benevolence to your intimate friends, suffer me to be the first for whom your charity is enlarged.'

"Well, sir, I know not what to say to you, but —

“ He stopped her but with so many urgent entreaties that she at last told me I must either go down one dance or avoid his importunities by returning home. I hesitated which alternative to choose ; but this impetuous man at length prevailed, and I was obliged to consent to dance with him.

“ And thus was my deviation from truth punished, and thus did this man's determined boldness conquer.”

Into such scrapes as these do Evelina's inexperience and thoughtlessness constantly lead her; and the case is made still worse by the fact that her vulgar grandmamma, who returns from a long residence in France, takes her from her friends and attempts to chaperone her. The whole tone of the society is so vulgar, the manners of the persons who pass for well-bred are so bad, that one is almost inclined to doubt what was said of the novel, that it was a perfect picture of fashionable life in its time.

Miss Burney wrote several other novels after Evelina, one of which, Cecilia, had almost as great a success even as Evelina. Her fame led to her appointment as one of the ladies-in-waiting to the queen of George III., - a position which was much more respectable than it was pleasant. When about forty she married a French officer, M. d'Arblay, and after that, published an account of her own life,

The Memoirs of Mme. d'Arblay, which is one of the most sincere and entertaining books in literature. She begins with the account of her writing Evelina ; tells all the triumphs of her authorship; gives striking and life-like pictures of Dr. Johnson and the other great men and women she met; and finally takes us into the court of George III., and shows us her very uncomfortable life there among the royal personages. These memoirs are most delightful reading, and give one a very vivid idea of the society of which Miss Burney was a part.

By the time Evelina appeared, the novel had begun to be felt as one of the strongest forces in literature. Miss Burney led a crowd of woman-writers who appeared rapidly during the last years of the last century. For the first time in the history of English literature a field was opened where woman could work in rivalry with man. In the novel she could equal, and sometimes surpass him; and from that time to this, the woman-writer of novels has held her place among the best.

MRS. ANNE RADCLIFFE was famous as a writer of highwrought fictions. Chief among these are the

1764-1823 Romance of the Forest and The Mysteries of Udolpho. White-robed figures walking by moonlight, blackrobed men, ruined castles, midnight groans, all these were part of the machinery of her stories. They were no doubt very thrilling and sensational in their day, but beside more modern successes in that line they appear quite tame and harmless.

MRS. AMELIA OPIE was a writer of different character from Mrs. Radcliffe. Her stories, Father and

1769-1853 Daughter, Tales of the Heart, Temper, etc., as their titles show, were tales of real life, written with a rather too obvious moral, and with hardly vigor enough to keep them alive.

Miss MARIA EDGEWORTH, who was a native of Ireland, laid most of the scenes of her books in that country.

1767-1849 Her stories for children in The Parent's Assistant, of Lazy Lawrence, Simple Susan, and her tale of

Rosamund, Frank, Harry and Lucy, pleased the children of a generation ago, but are now very little read.

Then came the PORTER sisters, JANE and ANNA MARIA, the first of whom wrote those stately old-fashioned novels Thaddeus of Warsaw and The Scottish Chiefs, over which our grandmothers hung enraptured. And at the beginning of

our century appeared JANE AUSTEN, the author of 1775-1817

Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, who wrote with a naturalness and good sense which has made her a favorite with readers even to our time. These, with many others, kept the circulating libraries of the time supplied with new books, till early in this century the fame of all others was almost lost in the great splendor of Walter Scott's success as the novelist of history

XLIX.

THE WORK OF THOMAS PERCY AND JAMES MACPHERSON,

AND THE SAD STORY OF THOMAS CHATTERTON, THE
Boy-POET.

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N 1765, about the time that Goldsmith published the

artless story of dear old Dr. Primrose, Bishop Percy, who was a friend of both Goldsmith and Dr. Johnson, published a collection of old English ballads, which he called Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. I can fancy that the readers of the time were growing tired of the exact and didactic sort of verses which had been fashionable for so many years, and welcomed a draught from the pure springs of English poetry which lay hidden in those

old songs.

THOMAS PERCY, a scholar of elegant tastes, was already known as a writer of some merit, when the design of publish

ing a collection of English ballad poetry occurred 1728-1811

to him. He had in his library an old manuscript containing songs and ballads, some of them of earlier date

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than Chaucer, while others were written as late as the seventeenth century. This manuscript had been marred by time and mould and mutilation until in some places words or whole lines were illegible ; in others, half a leaf was wanting. To many men it would have seemed a hopeless task to decipher the tattered and time-stained pages; but Dr. Percy had just the taste and skill for the work he undertook. He seems to have had a knack at renovation which certain menders of old pictures have shown, and to have been able to supply missing words and lines, and to patch up an old ballad out of detached fragments with such skill that one could not detect his handiwork from the original. Adding to his own manuscript old ballads from many other sources, he at last produced the three volumes of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, for which every lover of ballads has been grateful to him from that time to this. Here are to be found the old rhymes of Chevy Chase, the Battle of Otterbourne, Sir Patrick Spence, the Babes in the Wood, some of the ballads of Robin Hood, and many more dear old rhymes, which in our childhood we learned by heart. The interest which this work excited was as great as it deserved to be, and Percy won by it a place in literature which none of his other works could have gained for him.

While Bishop Percy was making his collection of antique English poetry, JAMES MACPHERSON was working in a similar field. A native of Scotland, he had become greatly interested in the Gaelic speech of his forefathers. He claimed that he had discovered some remains in manuscript of the ancient Gaelic bard Ossian, and gave them to the world in a poetical-prose translation of his own. This

1762 poetry, which was wild and picturesque, like the early bardic poetry, was at once read and admired. A very few lines will give an idea of the style of Ossian. I select these from the longest poem, Fingal, which celebrates the deeds of the famous Gaelic warrior, Fingal :

“ Fingal, like a beam from heaven, shone in the midst of his people. His heroes gather round him. He sends forth the voice of his power. 'Raise my standards on high; spread them

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