Text: Edward V. Sparhawk (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of The Crayon Miscellany,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VIII: Literary Criticism - part 01 (1902), pp. 40-41


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 40:]

THE CRAYON MISCELLANY, NO. II. CONTAINING ABBOTSFORD AND NEWSTEAD ABBEY. PHILADELPHIA: CAREY, LEA & BLANCHARD. 1835.

[Southern Literary Messenger, July 1835.]

WE hailed with pleasure the appearance of the first number of the Crayon Miscellany, but we knew not what a feast was preparing for us in the second. In Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey, the author of the Sketch Book is at home. By no one could this offering to the memories of Scott and Byron have been more appropriately made. It is the tribute of genius to its kindred spirits, and it breathes a sanctifying influence over the graves of the departed. The kindly feelings of Irving are beautifully developed in his description of the innocent pursuits and cheerful conversation of Sir Walter Scott, while they give a melancholy interest to the early misfortunes of Byron. He luxuriates among the scenes and associations which hallow the walls of Newstead, and warms us into admiration of the wizard of the north, by a matchless description of the man, his habits, and his thoughts. The simplicity and innocence of his heart, his domestic affections, and his warm hospitality, are presented in their most attractive forms. The scenes and the beings with which Sir Walter was surrounded, are drawn with a graphic pencil. All conduce to strengthen impressions formerly made of the goodness and beneficence of Scott’s character, and to gratify the thousands who have drawn delight from his works, with the conviction that their author was one of the most amiable of his species. No man knows better than Washington Irving, the value [page 41:] which is placed by the world (and with justice) upon incidents connected with really great men, which seem trifling in themselves, and which borrow importance only from the individuals to whom they have relation. Hence he has given us a familiar (yet how beautiful!) picture of Abbotsford and its presiding genius; but the relics of Newstead. which his pensive muse has collected and thrown together, brightening every fragment by the lustre of his own genius, are perhaps even more attractive. He touches but a few points in Byron’s early history, but they are those on which we could have wished the illumination of his researches. The whole of the details respecting Miss Chaworth, and Byron’s unfortunate attachment to that lady, are in his best manner. The story of the White Lady is one of deep interest, and suits well with the melancholy thoughts connected with Newstead. An instance of monomania like that of the White Lady, has seldom been recorded; and the author has, without over-coloring the picture, presented to his readers the history of a real being, whose whole character and actions and melancholy fate belong to the regions of romance. In nothing that he has ever written, has his peculiar faculty of imparting to all he touches the coloring of his genius, been more fully displayed than in this work.

We give a short extract from each of these sketches, although they can afford no idea of their collective charms. The conversational powers and social qualities of Sir Walter Scott, are thus described:

  · · · · · · · ·  

[[quotation]]

It is more difficult to fix upon an extract from the sketch of Newstead Abbey, but we take the following as coming within the limits of our notice:

  · · · · · · · ·  

[[quotation]]

 


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

None.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of The Crayon Miscellany)