« ForrigeFortsett »
Newland's racy volume is not a hand-book of " trouting made easy :" it is not a magnet for the fiony tribe. It is a graphic, gentlemanlike narrative of a fishing excursion, for whose fidelity in all that relates to local and characteristic details the writer of this notice will be responsible. With every nook and corner referred to by the Saxon icthyographer he was once as familiar as with the chamber in which he read the retrospect of them-to him a " glimpse of auld lang syne." Still, it must not be supposed that the reverend sportsman--the fisher of salmon-has lost sight of art in his boon perception of nature. Far from it ; while now and then-by a slip of the peu, as it were-out pops a proposition full of the philosophy of flood and field. Most of the readers of these pages know what has been said and sung about scent, on fallows, plough, turf, and such-like grounds : have they ever mused upon the myth " in the running brooks”? The author of " The Erne" loquitur :
“What made you all so positive about the day?" said the scholar. “You are always finding out some excellent reason why fish will not rise. Now it's the water, and then it's the air, and another time it's the sun. The other day, Paddy Mooshlan drawled out, “Sure, it's Friday-iny honour would not have the poor fish break their fast!'”
"Well, I'll not answer for the Friday's fast,” said the Captain; “but the fact is that, compared with the moderate days, or even the bad days of our calendar, the number of real good fishing-days is small indeed."
" That is the reason why one gets so disgusted with the fishing-books," said the Squire. “It is easy to catch fish on paper, and they generously give you magnificent days' sport, which, when you come to put them into practice, turn out nothing better than a Barmecide's feast."
"And yet," said the Parson, “they tell you the truth. There are few of us who may not recollect one such day in the season, or, at least, one such day in our lives. The fault lies with ourselves : we read of what was done once, and expect to do it every day.”
" It is a deceit no less," said the Captain : "If a book professes to give you directions for everyday practice, and describes what cannot happen to you on more than three days in your life, I say that book deceives, though it tells the truth.”
Bits of fact like this are the grains of gold of literary “ diggings.” Apropos of the connexion between fish and the fair sex, Mr. Newland offers the following hypothesis :
It is a very curious phenomenon in human nature that the invariable effect of dealing in salt-water productions acidulates the temper and sharpens the voice; but so it is in all nations, and so it was in the present instance. These ladies' voices were unquestionably the loudest, the angriest, and the most piercing in the street.... And a no less curious phenomenon it is that the horse-who is, as has been justly observed of him, a very honest animal-should, nevertheless, possess the peculiar property of making rogues of all who have anything to do with him; and thus the slangish looks, cunning eye, and knowing demeanour of the men who are tethering long lines of stubby ponies and rough-coated horses to the strong ropes picketed along the street, would lead one to suppose that in that particular at least, there was no very material difference between Belleek and Tattersall's.
The amateur of the single-he who takes his pleasure in the pastime of streams rather than in the practical machinery of their craft-will find Mr. Newland a “guide, philosopher, and friend” eminently to his taste. He may consult, with good service to his learning, “ The Erne: its Legends and its Fly-fishing."
PERCY HAMILTON ; OR, THE ADVENTURES OF A WESTMINSTER Boy. By
LORD WM. LENNOX. This popular work was first published in our pages ; and the flattering notices it received from the press have induced the noble author to give it to the public in its present form--three volumes octavo. There can be no doubt that this novel will add considerably to the writer's literary reputation. It is replete with stirring incident, romantic exploits, and truly amusing events. The fictitious characters introduced must have been modelled after life. Mary Wilmot, the heroine, is not one of those high-flown ideal personages that too often figure in works of imagination, but a pure-minded English girl, with sense, feeling, and the warmest of hearts. Frank Alderson, the stage-struck lawyer, who never utters a word except to introduce lines from Shakspere, is ad. mirably delineated ; the quotations are most apt, and flow naturally forth : while his friend the hoaxer, Billy Sanders by name, is the beau ideal of one of those mischievous practical jokers who infest London, and who generally make Hampton, Epsom, and Ascot races the scene for their ill-timed pleasantry. Lina Bell, the danseuse, and her partner, the strolling pantomimic, are equal to the Fugglestone family immortalized by Hook. Of true characters, Wellington, Byron, E. Cannon, the author of “ Sayings and Doings," S. Beazley, Drs. Cary, Page, and Dodd are hit off to the life. The author gives what he has seen, and not what he has heard. The life at Westminster, the frolics at the private tutor's, the scenes in the south of France, Belgium, Paris, and Cambray, are very graphically given, and bear a genuine stamp of reality not to be mistaken. The lover of fun will have a hearty laugh at Gooseberry Fair, the dinner at Salt Hill, the Newbury Theatre, and the stag-hunt; the admirer of stirring events will read with pleasure the sudden march from Coventry on the war of 1815 breaking out, the embarkation for Ostend, the battles of Waterloo and Peronne, the march to the French capital ; the moralizer will dwell upon the reflections after the battle of Orthes, the sabbath in the Bois de Boulogne, and the death of Mary Wilmot; the historian will find the narrative of Napoleon's escape and the great Duke's movements told with brevity and precision ; the “fast young man” of the present time will revel in the *larks” of the last generation ; and every man or youth brought up in Dean's-yard will retrace their school-days, and have the scenes of their college-life brought back vividly to their remembrance. In conclusion, considerable additions have been made to this work since it appeared in our pages; and we recommend “ Percy Hamilton" as a most amusing novel to all classes of readers. THE BOOK OF ENGLISH SONGS. FROM THE SIXTEENTH TO THE NINE
TEENTH CENTURY. Illustrated News Office, Strand The gentleman who engaged to get himself into a quart-bottle, it is affirmed, never succeeded in so doing. The compiler of this pleasant little volume must have felt something of the same kind of difficulty, “ The Book of English Songs" is rather a comprehensive title, and to contain the sing-song of three centuries in three hundred prettilydisposed pages a task requiring some power of concentration. The selection comprises songs of the affections, pastoral and rural songs, convivial songs, moral and satirical, sea songs, patriotic and military,
sporting songs, mad songs, and miscellaneous. Every variety is prefaced with a few pages of historical critique, and the culling itself evinces much taste and research ; but still we miss very many truly national and excellent songs, that should have, and must have, a place in “The Book of English Ballads."
The weakest point in the selection is that class on which we are, perhaps, best qualified to speak – the sporting songs. The gentleman to whom the getting-up of this work was committed appears to fancy there never was a sporting song written yet worth the keeping. As for Dibdin, we are quite willing to admit him out of his element here, " The High-mettled Racer” being the only good thing of the kind he ever wrote ; but still we don't rest our hopes on “ Tom Moody” and “ Old Towler.” There is many a better sporting song out of “ The Book” than there is in it; and so, not being fairly represented, we beg leave, in the name of British sports, to demand another show of hands.
Otherwise, “ The Book of English Songs” has our ready commendation. Song-reading, at any time, is but slow work ; while, if a man wants to prime himself with a good one, he may find it here--on almost any subject, from “ Nannie, wilt thou gang wi' me ?” to “ The season of the year"—which, by the way, we take to be a sporting song, Mr. Editor ?
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
The late extraordinary influx of visitors to our just now most attractive of cities, has, it may naturally be supposed, had the effect of filling many of the places of public amusement ; and the notes of lamentation on the non-arrival of the expected guests now give place to more cheering sounds—“ The cry is still, They come !" This vast accession of strangers has not been lost sight of by the director of HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE, who has skilfully availed himself of the opportunity by throwing open the doors of his establishment every night but Monday. By adopting this plan he is enabled to bring into requisition the talents of many who excel in their art ; and by making judicious selections from his repertoire, he not only exhibits the power of his resources, but secures the suffrages of the musical world. The success of “Il Prodigo " has been beyond the most sanguine expectations. Viewed as an operatic work, Auber has contrived to introduce some music, wonderfully rendered by Sontag, Massol, Gardoni, and Ugalde, not unworthy of the reputation of the composer of Masaniello. As a spectacle, it far surpasses any previous attempt on this or any other stage ; the minute attention observable in the general grouping, the strict adherence to costume, the proper regard to the period and scene must be particularised as evident signs of the care and painstaking exertions of all concerned in this magnificent production. As for the Lea of Rosati
“ In cadence moving, while the lyre rings sweet,
And beat the ground with her twinkling feet," she is the personification of all that is graceful, bewitching, and alluring. In addition to this valuable addition to the choregraphic portion of Mr.