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sympathy for which their own feelings give little occasion; while others, exhausted by the actual distresses of life, relish better those narratives which steal them from a sense of sorrow. But every one, whether of sad or gay temperament, must regret that the tone of melancholy which pervades Mrs Smith's compositions, was derived too surely from the circumstances and feelings of the amiable Authoress. We are indeed informed by Mrs Dorset that the natural temper of her sister was lively and playful; but it must be considered, that the works on which she was obliged, often reluctantly, to labour, were seldom undertaken from free choice. Nothing saddens the heart so much as that sort of literary labour which depends on the imagination, when it is undertaken unwillingly, and from a sense of compulsion. The galley-slave may sing when he is unchained, but it would be uncommon equanimity which could induce him to do so when he is actually bound to his oar. If there is a mental drudgery which lowers the spirits and lacerates the nerves, like the toil of the slave, it is that which is exacted by literary composition when the heart is not in unison with the work upon which the head is employed. Add to the unhappy author's task, sickness, sorrow, or the pressure of unfavourable
circumstances, and the labour of the bondsman becomes light in comparison.
Before closing a rough attempt to discharge the debt we owe, in acknowledgment of many pleasant hours derived from the perusal of Mrs Smith's works, we cannot but remark the number of highly-talented women, who have, within our time of novel-reading, distinguished them selves advantageously in this department of liteBesides the living excellence of Mrs D'Arblay, and of Maria Edgeworth, of the Authoress of Marriage and the Inheritance, and of Mrs Opie, the names arise on us of Miss Austin, the faithful chronicler of English manners, and English society of the middling, or what is called the genteel class: besides also Mrs Radcliffe, Miss Reeves, and others, to whom we have endeavoured to do some justice in these sheets. We have to thank Mrs Inchbald, the authoress of Frankenstein, Mrs Bennet, too, and many other women of talents, for the amusement which their works have afforded; and we must add, that we think it would be impossible to match against these names the same number of masculine competitors, arising within the same space of time. The fact is worthy of notice although, whether it arises from mere chance; whether the less marked and more evanes
cent shades of modern society are more happily painted by the finer pencil of a woman; or whether our modern delicacy, having excluded the bold and sometimes coarse delineations permitted to ancient novelists, has rendered competition more easy to female writers, because the forms must be veiled and clothed with drapery,-is a subject which would lead us far, and which, therefore, it is not our present purpose to enter into.
SIR RALPH SADLER.
THE birth of this able and celebrated statesman was neither obscure and ignoble, nor so much exalted above the middling rank of society, as to contribute in any material degree towards the splendid success of his career in life.
Ralph Sadler was the eldest son of Henry Sadleir,* or Sadleyer, Esquire, through whom he was heir, according to Fuller, to a fair inheritance. He was born in the year 1507, at Hackney, in Middlesex, where his family had been for some time settled, and had a younger brother, John Sadler, who commanded a company at the siege of Boulogne,
*Sir Ralph seems to have dropped the i in spelling his name. But the orthography of proper names in this period was far from uniform. We have adopted that which he used most frequently.