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Philip prevails on the old man with his dying accents to recommend his daughter to his protection, which, after his death, Emmera (for so the lovely maid is called) accepts of, upon the knight promising folemnly that he would be faithful to his trust, and never attempt to draw her from her beloved folitude into the world. Sir Philip, in short, takes up his abode with this American deity, discharges his two Indians, sends his fer-vant back with the strongest injunctions of secrefy, but appoints a place in the woods where he is to leave his letters.
The life which Sir Philip leads with Emmera may be relished by such readers as are enainoured with ideas of Platonic love and sylvan retirement. Without the asistance of any servants: they cultivate their little farm, raise their stock, prune their trees, and perform all agricultural offices, while both are gazing each other's souls away in love ; but Emmera appears always to be displeased at the most distant hint thrown out by Sir Philip to induce her to quit her foli'ude. · While they live.in what we may term this voluptuous delicacy of virtue, one colonel Forrester, who had been formerly Sir Philip's friend, and had courted his fifter (u ho by her brother's advice had. reje ted his advances) arrives in disguise at the farm-house where the Chetwyn family lived, and under the name of Mr. Francis makes love to Miss Chetwyn, and obtains her affections. The author's ridiculous conduct in this part of his novel need not be pointed out to the reader.
The colonel, who is represented as a very great villain,. having bribed Sir Philip's servant who was intrusted with the secret of his retirement, is by him conducted to the farm, where they gallop off with Emmera. Sir Philip in the distraction of his mind recollects a signal which his mistress's father, used to make, by hoisting a flag on a neighbouring tree, when he had occafion for the alistance of fome friendly Indians who lived in the neighbourhood. Accordingly, upon hoisting the signal, the Indians, in a few hours, are at his elbow. He defcribes his loss; they pursue and overtake the ravishers, rescue. Emmera, and kill the two servants; but Forrester escapes. may be proper to acquaint the reader, that after having gained, Miss Chetwyn's heart he discovers himself, and insults her, for which he is foundly horseponded by her father.
After this difinal adventure, Sir Philip prevails on Eimera to leave her retirement, and introduces her to his sister and father. The behaviour of Emmera on this sudden change of life is naturally described, and is the most agreealle part of the performance. At last, Sir Philip persuades her to go to England with him and his fifter, where, after their arrival, they continue their agricultural and hortulane occupations, the deVol. XXIII. dpril, 1767.
lights of Emmera's life. Emmera is discovered to be the heiress of an estate worth forty thousand pounds. The reader aiready anticipates their marriage, which was accordingly performed, and the happy couple return to their heavenly paradise in America.
Such are the outlines of the tolerable side of this picture. Its contrast is dull, immoral, and improbable; and it would be an affront to the virtue as well as understanding of the reader to give any extracts from it. The language too is, full of pleonasins and tautologies. The character of Emmera, however, is well supported. If we mistake not, there is a French, novel founded on the same plan.
VI Concluficn of the Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph ; as prea,
fared for the Press by. I be late Editor of the former Part. Vols. IV. and V.
Pr. 6s. 6d. Dodsley.
lumes of Miss Eidulph's Memoirs which can induce us to retract the eulogiums we * formerly bestowed upon the author, yet we cannot think them equal to those first published. The itory, it must be confessed, is plaintive, and some of the incidents are extremely affecting ; but being deftitute of variety, they are apt to become tiresome.
Our analysis of the former volumes concluded with Mrs. Arnold's (tlie heroine of the piece) retiring into the country, and devoting herself entirely to the care of her daughters education, together with that of young Falkland, whose father made lo considerable a figure in the first part of this novel. This young gentleman, who was bred up tinder her own inspection till he went to Oxford, situated but a few miles from Mrs. Ar-. nold's house, was adorned with all the exterior and mental perfections that nature and a virtuous education could befrow. During his refidence at the university, he becomes acquainted with a Sir Edward Audley, a youth of the most abandoned principles, who confederates with his mother and sister in a design
pon 0e of the Mis Arnolds, each poffeffed of twenty thoufand poundis ; a fortune Audley stood in great need of, to repair his own hattered finances. To forward the plot, his fifter, Miss Audley, of whofe mother, as well as herself, Mrs. Arnold entertained a very faroarable opinion, gains admittance into Mrs. Amold's houte, where she is left with the eldest Miss Arnold, while the mother and the youngest fifter are paying a
* See Vol. XI. p. 136.
visit to a disconsolate lady at some distance. In the mean time, Miss Audley, a shrewd sensible girl, discovers, from the concern expressed by Miss Arnold at an accident which had happened to young Falkland, that she was in love with hiin; a circumItance which disconcerts her in the little good offices the was attempting to employ with Mifs Arnold for her brother, whom she therefore persuades to court her younger sister Miss Cecilia.
The reader is to observe, that these two sisters are the Pa. mela and Philoclea drawn by Sir Philip Sidney, or the two daughters of Saul as described by Cowley: they are finished beauties, but in a different stile of nature's workmanship; and tho' the dispositions of both are amiable and virtuous in the fame degree, yet they exist in opposite manners. Miss Dorothy, the eldest, to a fine advantageous shape and height, joins the most striking attractions of face and figure, tempered by a sober serious cast of behaviour ; but the insinuating irresistible charms of her lively sister Cecilia, render her as general an object of love as Dorothy is of admiration
Sir Edward resolving to follow his sister's plan, contracts an intimacy with Falkland, with a view of debauching his manners, but discovers that he was f-cretly in love with Cecilia ; tho' Mrs. Arnold did not intend Falkland Thould marry either of her daughters. Sir Edward informs Falkland that Miss Arnold entertains a passion for him ; and after a great deal of management between the brother and sister, who fans Miss Arnold's passion for Falkland, that young gentleman's vanity is so wrought upon by their arts, that he repairs to Wood. berry, Mrs. Arnold's house, completes his conqueft, and, in Mort, mutual vows pass between him and Miss Arnold, who folemnly engages never to give her hand to another man in marriage.
The thinness of the plot, which is unconscionably spun out; renders it impracticable to enter into all the ininuteneiles which bring about interviews, correspondences, removals, disappointments, &c. &c. among the parties, Sir Edward goes to Bath to attend Miss Cecilia, who renoves from thence to London with her uncle Sir George Bidumph and his wife, a modish and unamiable lady. Sir Edward follows Cecilia to London likewise, where, among other adınirers, she gains the heart of Lord Vmma, who had returned to England at the end of the campaign, one of the most worthy men of the age, and an unexceptionable match for her. The Bidulphs and Mrs. Arnold herself plead his cause with the utmost earnestness; but she tells them all, without any reserve, that she cannot love, and will not marry him.
Mean time, Falkland informs Sir Edward that he heartily re. pents of his engagements with Miss Arnold; tells him that Cecilia always had his heart; and thews great compunction for his infidelity and levity, for which he is ridiculed by Sir Ed. #ard, who immediately resigns his right in Cecilia, and resolves to court, and even to carry off (should he not prove fuccessful) Miss Arnold. Miss Cecilia remains unmoved by all courtfhip, especially that of Lord V Sir Edward and Mr. Falkland pay her a visit at the house of Sir George Bidulph in London, where they are very indifferently received, and where they are indiscreet enough to quarrel with and affront Lord V at cards, for which they are severely reprimanded by Sir George. But we ought to have informed the reader, that by this time Mifs Arnold had arrived in London, and received some mortifying proofs under Falkland's hand, that his paflion for her was upon the decline. Sir Edward Audley, who thought he had now made a complete proselyte of Falkland to his own principles, courts and is married by his footman to a virtuous young woman, one Miss Williams, whom he soon after turns adrift, and the goes to service.
Miss Cecilia, teazed with the importunities of all her friends to marry Lord V-----, prevails with her mother to send for her to Woodberry; but Miss Arnold is left with her uncle, who is very
fond of her. When Cecilia arrives at Woodberry, she confeffes to Falkland (we think not with all the decorum we could expect from her virtuous education) that for his fake fhe had refused Lord V, and all her other fuitors. Falkland informs Sir Edward punctually of all that had passed on this occasion, tho'not without manifest indications of remorse for the part he had acted. Lord V- next arrives at Woodberry, where his fuit to Cecilia is powerfully seconded by her mother and her uncle, tho’ without effect. This repulse, however, only gives Lord V-- an opportunity of displaying his noble qualities; for as Falkland had preferred the profeflion of arms to any other, he immediately gives him a commission in his own regiment, which was soon to go abroad, to the great grief of Cecilia. That young lady could not conceal her emotions fo well but that her uncle Sir George fufpected Falkland was not indifferent to her; and the resolves to make Lord V- the confident of her paflion for Falkland. · This is one of the most judicious paffages in the fifth volume. The noble deportment of his lordship, and the winning fincerity of the lady, are equally captivating. Lord V- even engages, notwithstanding the violence of his passion, to plead Falkland's caufe with Mrs. Arnold; and this generosity draws tears of gratitude from the eyes of Cecilia. He fucceeds; the
good Mrs. Arnold is brought to approve of the match, and even the haughty uncle, whose agency through the whole story we think unnecessarily multiplied, is compelled not to oppose it. Falkland's compunction for the treacherous part he had acted towards Miss Arnold returns with double force, tho' he is now at the sumınit of his wishes. He writes a penitential letter to her; who is almost reduced to the point of death with the thoughts of his infidelity, which the answers in terms that encrease his remorse. But Sir Edward Audley now puts the infernal scheme he had meditated, of carrying off Miss Arnold, in execution, and actually decoys her to lodgings he had hired at Brumpton, where she is artfully and forcibly detained.
We have often expressed our disapprobation of kidnapping young ladies who cannot otherwise be prevailed upon to gratify their lovers. Notwithstanding their frequency in modern novels, they undoubtedly discover a poverty of invention, and a want of judgment; neither do we think they are of ENGLISH extraction, because here they are seldom or never carried into execution. After all the necessary parade of failing, swooning, waking, fevering, &c. &c. had been gone through by Miss Arnold, she is carried, against her knowledge and will, to a house near Bagshot heath, kept by a broken gamester, one of Sir Edward's pimps ; however, she escapes from thence by the af: sistance of Miss Williams, who happened to be a servant of the house, and was the identical young woman with whom Sir Edward had contracted the mock-marriage. We have abridged this part of the narrative, which we with the author had not unnecessarily and injudiciously lengthened.
Miss Arnold and her conductrefs arrive safe at Woodberry, where they are affectionately received by Mrs. Arnold. The day now approaches for performing the nuptials of Cecilia and Falkland; but while the ceremony is performing, Miss Arnold franticly breaks into the room, forbids the banns, and asserts her prior right to Falkland's hand, which she feizes. All the preparations are now stopped, and the matter explained to the mother and sister, without Falkland being able to disprove the allegations against him. He afterwards challenges Sir Edward, and kills him in a duel : the latter, before his death, owns that Miss Williams is his wife. Miss Arnold's brain is affected ; Mrs. Arnold falls ill, but at last prevails with Cecilia to consent to marry Lord V-. Mrs. Arnold's dissolution now draws near; and the account of her death, which is highly finished, cannot be read, we believe, even by profligacy itself, without, at least, some resolutions of amendment. The reader cannot doubt that the hands of Miss Cecilia and the