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JANUARY, 1820.



ART. I. 1. Ivanhoe. A Romance. By the AUTHOR OF WA VERLEY,' &c. 3 vols. Edinburgh, Constable & Co. 2. The Novels and Tales of the Author of Waverley; comprising Waverley, Guy Mannering, Antiquary, Rob Roy, Tales of My Landlord, First, Second, and Third Series; New Edition, with a copious Glossary. Edinburgh, Constable & Co. 1820.

INCE the time when Shakespeare wrote his thirty-eight plays

in the brief space of his early manhood-besides acting in them, and drinking and living idly with the other actors-and then went carelessly to the country, and lived out his days, a little more idly, and apparently unconscious of having done any thing at all extraordinary-there has been no such prodigy of fertility as the anonymous author before us. In the period of little more than five years, he has founded a new school of invention; and established and endowed it with nearly thirty volumes of the most animated and original composition that have enriched English literature for a century-volumes that have cast sensibly into the shade all contemporary prose, and even all recent poetry-(except perhaps that inspired by the Geniusor the Demon, of Byron) and, by their force of colouring and depth of feeling-by their variety, vivacity, magical facility, and living presentment of character, have rendered conceivable to this later age the miracles of the Mighty Dramatist.

Shakespeare, to be sure, is more purely original; but it should not be forgotten, that, in his time, there was much less to borrow

and that he too has drawn freely and largely from the sources that were open to him; at least for his fable and graver sentiment; -for his wit and humour, as well as his poetry, are always his In our times, all the higher walks of literature have been so long and so often trodden, that it is scarcely possible to keep A


VOL. XXXII. No. 65.

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