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John Bull in America; or, the New Munchausen. Second Edition, with Corrections by the Author. 12mo. New York. C. Wiley.

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Goslington Shadow: A Romance of the Nineteenth Century. By

Mungo Coultershoggle, Esq. In 2 volumes. New York. 1825. 12mo.

The scene of this Romance is laid in Scotland, its characters are nearly all Scottish, and many of them express themselves in the dialect of that country; it purports to have been written there, and yet it is printed and published in America. The editor informs us, that he received it from the author, an old friend living on the other side of the water, for publication in the Western Hemisphere; for what particular reason, does not appear. Now according to all the common principles by which we judge of these matters, this would be deemed one of those affairs, which are of every day occurrence to novel writers; and we very naturally concluded, that Mungo Coultershoggle was one of those benevolent persons who travel about the world in various disguises, for the purpose, it would seem, of aiding authors in distress, by leaving, or putting in their way, some precious manuscript, which is to make their fame and fortune. We expected also to find, that like many other American novels, it was simply located in America or Scotland, but capable of being adapted, by a suitable change of names, to any other country or latitude under the sun. But we were certainly mistaken ;-we can hardly conceive, that it should have been written by any other than a native of the country, to which it relates; for it evinces a familiarity with customs, manners, characters, and language, which we do not believe a foreigner could ever acquire. We do not pretend,

of course, to be very profoundly skilled in these points, from personal observation, yet to a certain extent, we may deem ourselves capable of forming a tolerable judgment with regard to the representations of an author, from the materials that are furnished by the writings of those who are acknowledged to have described accurately and faithfully. We were reminded frequently, in reading Goslington Shadow, of the author of "Annals of the Parish," and sometimes of Hogg. The resemblance exists, not so much in the powers and genius of the authors themselves, as in the intimacy which they exhibit with the characters, domestic habits, and manners of their countrymen, and the apparent accuracy with which they delineate them.

It would be useless and uninteresting to attempt any detail of the plot of this Romance, if indeed it can be said to have any. It consists merely of a series of incidents, not forming a continued and unbroken chain of events tending to forward the business of the story, but, on the contrary, possessing only this circumstance to unite them, that they relate to the same person, and occur around the same spot. It is enough to say, with regard to the story, that it relates to the family and fortunes of Goslington Shadow, the hero, whose father, Matthew, is a plain, honest, and shrewd farmer, averse to the plan of educating his son at college, to which he is urged by his wife and family. To this plan, however, he is persuaded to accede, by his son's teacher; whose anxiety on this point is finally explained by the fact, that he is possessed of the secret, that the Shadow family are in reality of noble descent, and legal heirs to an earldom. Goslington goes, then, to college, makes a distinguished figure, becomes a fine gentleman, gets the friendship and protection of an earl, falls in love with the earl's daughter, turns out to be his near relation and heir apparent, and is of course successful in his suit to the young lady. His father, in the meantime, by the death of an old uncle in the East Indies, comes into possession of a princely fortune;—his mother dies, and his sister marries a hopeful young specimen of Yankee blood, from New York, who, in the end, also proves to be descended from a Scotch noble family, and is endowed with the honours of his race.

The chief merit of the writer of this work consists in a clear and distinct conception of character, and a happy talent of developing it in conduct and conversation. It is very common for a novelist to tell us, of his personages, that they pos

the same.

sess such and such qualities and traits of character, which, however, one would never have inferred from the conduct he attributes to them, or from the language he puts into their mouths. The talent of manifesting character in this way is somewhat rare. It is a point in which most writers are deficient. But our author has rather an unusual degree of it. His characters speak and act for themselves. Their conduct and conversation show what they are, and show them always

And this remark is true, not only of the prominent individuals, upon whose delineation more pains are usually bestowed, but is applicable also to others of secondary importance. Will Waddell, the house servant of Matthew Shadow,O'Halloran, whether appearing as a hypocritical Methodist priest, a swindler, a gamester, or a fine gentleman,—the spendthrift Sir Belfry Battledore, Jock Baird, &c. &c. are all as distinctly and definitely drawn, and sketched with as much fidelity, as if they had been principal performers.

The chief fault, which we have to point out, arises from the desultory and unconnected manner, in which the work of the piece is carried on. A vast deal of matter is introduced, which has no relation to the business in hand, contributes nothing towards the consummation of the plot,—and has nothing witty, wise, or sentimental about it to redeem it. There is a want of sufficient interest and excitement.

There is no regular train of events, no well maintained action tending to bring about some important end. The work is written in a loose, rambling manner, as if the author had brought his dramatis persone together, without knowing what to do with them, and had gone on at random with only a very general idea of the track he was to follow. A great deal of time is occupied by desultory conversations, unnecessary digressions, and uninteresting prosing, which retard the story, weaken the interest, and contribute to render many parts dull and tedious.

Matthew Shadow, the father of the hero, is, we think, sketched with a good deal of success. He is plain, blunt, shrewd, sarcastic, and sometimes humorous, with much honesty, independence, and benevolent feeling. It is true, we detect him often saying very foolish things, and in talking too too much, and too little to the purpose ; but on the whole he is very entertaining

The following is his account of a trick played off upon a congregation at a field preaching.

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