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entertaining matter, which the authors had found in larger volumes, have been rendered as attractive as possible by the addition of engravings, and the beauty of their typography. While such publications as these are in progress, it would be vain to expect any thing like an extensive sale for new books, of a grave and solid description, or, indeed, for any books that do not fall in with the taste for light reading, which the libraries” in question have not a little contributed to cultivate. Let us not be understood, however, as wishing to throw any blame upon the parties who have given these collections of miscellaneous productions to the world. We have uniformly bestowed upon them our utmost encouragement, because we have never doubted that, considered by themselves, they contain a vast mass of valuable information, which will, sooner or later, find its way to the great body of the people. But it is perfectly consistent with this opinion to say, that the unmber of these small publications, and their cheapness, have turned the chances of extensive sale entirely into that quarter; for who would now spend three guineas upon a pair of quarto volumes, when for the same sum he may buy twelve or thirteen duodecimos, inore elegantly printed and decorated, and, possibly, of a much more popular character ?

The real evil is, that the booksellers, although they have acknowledged the necessity of lowering to one-fourth, the price of volumes of a certain class, still continue the old and exploded system of prices for the new works, which they occasionally publish in quarto or octavo size. For instance, Colburn goes on charging a guinea and a half for three volumes of a new novel, at the same time that he is publishing three volumes of some of the best novels in our language in one, for which he charges no more than five shillings! The probability is, that the latter will be bought, but for the former, readers will repair to their book-clubs, or the circulating libraries. So it has happened even with Moore's Memoirs of Lord Byron. In their original form of two quartos they found, comparatively speaking, few purchasers : they are now reduced to duodecimos, and being added to a complete collection of the writings of the noble poet, the whole may be bought, illustrated too in the most admirable style by Finden, for very little more than the memoirs in quarto alone would have cost. Do the booksellers imagine that our's is not a calculating public? If they do, they will find that they are much mistaken. It would be well for them to consider whether, as they have begun the cheap system in one department of their works, they should not carry it into effect with regard to all the others, and give new books (which must always be for a while of doubtful reputation) at the same price as that at which they afford the republished old works, of established merit. They must, in fact, in order to restore their trade to a healthy state, render it not worth the while of any family of easy means, to depend for new publications upon the circulating libraries.

We should suppose, to bring the matter more home, that not one reader in fifty will spend a guinea and a half upon Miss Landon's novel of “ Romance and Reality,” as long as they can obtain it from the library for the consideration of sixpence. Yet if it were published at the size and price of Miss Porter's “Hungarian Brothers,” which is worth a thousand of such compositions as this of Miss Landon, it is not impossible, that a large sale might have been procured for it through the instrumentality of those friendly critics, who have, with such uniform pertinacity, surrounded her nanre with a delusive lustre. It is a production in every way most contemptible; the style is not only inelegant, but very often ungrammatical. The story that runs through the three volumes is simply that of a young rural beauty, who chose to fall irrecoverably in love with a gentlen:an who never paid her the slightest attention, to whom her passion never betrays itself in any way whatever. The gentleman solicits and obtains the hand of another, upon which his prior incognita flame retires to a convent, from which she escapes. Her end would be considered tragical, if she had not died evidently of a consumption. The story, however, is but a very secondary part of the novel; the reality far exceeds, in quantity at least, the romance. Criticisms on dress, furniture, the opera, poetry (Rogers's being Miss Landon's favourite antipathy), praises of the streets of London, dinner-party chit-chat and evening conversaziones, portraits of living literary characters, and of several female bores of her acquaintance,-in short, every thing that is most remote from romance, we find collected together in these volumes, with as little connexion between each other, as there is between the various articles of merchandize assembled in a bazaar.

There is not, we suppose, in the whole range of modern novels, ridiculous as they are in many respects, so stupid a conversation between a lady and a gentleman, one of whom at least figures as a lover, as that between Edward Lorraine and Miss Arundel, in the first volume. Their parts of the dialogues are regularly assigned to each, and the name of the speaker printed at the commencement of each paragraph, as in a drama. The precaution was quite as necessary in this case, as in that of the painter, who, after pourtraying on a sign board a two legged animal with wings, wrote beneath it," This is a cock.” Had be not made this addition, nobody would ever have suspected that such a daub was intended to represent chanticleer. So in this conversation, both parts are so much alike, that if “ Edward Lorraine” and “ Miss Arundel” had not claimed their several portions of the talk, no human being could have decided to which of the speakers any particular passage belonged. The lady begins about murder. The gentleman draws a distinction between the ridiculous and the beautiful, and talks of sunshine collected in a cellar. He then enters into a criticism upon Martin's illustrations of Milton. The lady takes up the same theme, and decorates it with a quotation from Coleridge. The

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gentleman next proceeds to the Arabian Nights, and praises the French translator of them, M. de Caillaud. The lady proposes that his health should be drunk only in Shiraz wine ! The gentlenian thinks it would be an improvement to the Shiraz to mix it with champaigne. He moreover talks of the "raw materiel,” of the Arabian Nights in the original. From these divine tales he takes a deliberate leap to “Whittington and his Cat,” upon which the lady straight chuckles over the delight with which, in her girlish days, she used to sit under a tree, and read stories of fairies with large hoops, and wings on their shoulders. This allusion to wings brings back the subject of Martin again, whose wings on his angels Mr. Lorraine is pleased very much to admire ; whereupon Miss Arundel begins another treatise upon his pictures, and proposes that Martin should illustrate one of her favourite scenes from the Arabian Nights. Here a difference arises. The gentleman is ungallant enough to prefer a subject of his own," Lucullus at supper!” He adds, that Lucullus was the only gentleman Rome ever possessed ; and, for his part, he cannot understand, why the world at large gives its admiration to those great men who piqued themselves on wearing an old cloak and peeling turnips! The lady still adheres to her own choice. The gentleman enters into a long argument, wbich may be compared to the variously tinted objects in a kaleidoscope, since it embraces blue halls, Parian marble, a Venus, a nymph, an Apollo, black slaves, purple grapes, ruby cherries, sunbeams imprisoned in glass bottles, the golden light of noon, the crimson hues of sunset, goblets of crystal, vases of gold and silver, a silver lamp * like an earthly moon, violet-coloured curtains, and various other matters too tedious to enumerate. For a love story, this seems a most absurd and unpropitious beginning.

We need not go beyond the very first sentence, to convict the author of a violation of grammar,-a fault which, even in the dullest of the Leadenhall-street novels, is rarely perpetrated in these days. "Such a room,' she writes, 'as must be at least a century's remove from London, large, white, and wainscoted ; six narrow windows, red curtains most ample in their dimensions, an Indian screen, a present in which expectation had found "ample space and verge enough "to erect theories of their cousin the nabob's rich legacies, ending, however, as many such expectations do, in a foolish marriage and a large family; a dry rubbed floor, only to have been stepped in the days of hoops and handings; and some dozen of large chairs covered with elaborate tracery, each chaircover the business of a life spent in satin-stitch ! Now here is a tolerably long sentence, but long as it is, it has no end ; what does

such a room' govern? Turning over the next leaf, we read, ‘Indeed, with the exception of young gentlemen she had refused, and young ladies she had rivalled, Emily was universally liked.' That is to say, all her discarded lovers, and all her conquered rivals, were universally liked as well as she was. This is not what the writer meant, we may presume, but this is what she expresses. We might

quote innumerable grammatical errors and obscurities of construction, if we were inclined to analyze these volumes with any degree of minuteness. Bnt we shall leave them to their fate, and in order to shew that we have no bias against the fair author, we shall extract one or two passages, which shew that she might do better things, if she took a little more time, and applied to ber task with more attention. Here is a picture, true enough in its outline, of life matrimonial.

"" I nevertheless think that the blessings of matrimony, like those of poverty, belong rather to philosophy than reality. Let us see—not one woman in fifty marries the man she likes—and though it may be safest, .why, I could never understand – it is not pleasantest to begin with a little aversion. Let us just go through a day in married life. First, an early breakfast—for the husband is obliged to go out. On the miseries of early rising, like those of the country, I need not dwell : they are 100 well known, He reads the newspaper, and bolts his roll-she takes care that Miss Laura does not dirty her frock, and that Master Henry does not eat too much; he goes to his office or counting-house-she to market-for remember I am speaking of a good wife-some pounds of beef or mutton are to be ordered at the butcher's, the baker has charged an extra loaf, and the green-grocer bas to be paid four shillings and twopence. On her return home there is the housemaid to le scolded for not scouring the front bed-room-and the cook's conduct requires animadversion for yesterday's under-dore veal. Perhaps, in the course of the morning, Mrs. Smith calls with an account of Mrs. Johnson's new pelisse; and when Mons. Le Mari returns to dinner, he suffers the full weight of the discontent one woman's new dress never fails to inspire in another. Evening comes, and a matrimonial tête-à-tête is proverbial— what can I have to say to my wife, whom I see every day?' Well, he reads some pamphlet or sleeps-she brings out the huge work-basket, doomed to contain and repair the devastations of seven small children—she has given up her maiden accomplishments-and, of course, a married woman has no time for music or reading. Perhaps, by way of agreeable conversation, she may say. My dear, I want some money :'

• Oh! sound of fear,

Unpleasing to the married ear! on which he awakes, and goes to bed. She follows; and Mrs. J's pelisse is the foundation of that piece of exquisite eloquence, a curtain lecture. Now, who can deny that this is a faithful and exact picture of three bundred out of the three hundred and sixty-five days that constitute a year

if married life." '-Romance and Reality, vol. i. pp: 152–154.

But for this attack upon the conjugal state, the author makes amends further on, where she describes in equally just terms the miseries of a ball.

• It is a fact as melancholy for the historian as it is true, that though balls are very important events in a young lady's career, there is exceedingly little to be said about them :-they are pleasures all on the same pattern,--the history of one is the history of all. You dress with a square glass before you, and a long glass behind you ; your hair trusts to its own brown or

VOL. 1. (183 2.) No. u.

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you put on a wreath or bunch of flowers, or pearl bandeau ; your dress is gauze, crape, lace, or muslin, either white, pink, blue, or yellow; you shower, like April, an odorous rain on your handkerchief; you put on your shawl, and step into the carriage; you stop in some street or square; your fooiman raps as long as he can; you are sometime going up stairs.

You hear your name, or something like it, leading the way before you. As many drawing-rooms are thrown open as the house will allow,--they are lighted with lamps or wax lights; there is a certain quantity of china, and a certain number of exotics; also a gay looking crowd, from which the hostess emerges, and declares she is very glad to see you. You pass on; you sit a little while on a sofa ; a tall or a short gentleman asks you to dance,-to this you reply, that you will be very happy; you take his arm and walk to the quadrille or waltz ; a succession of partners. Then comes supper; you have a small piece of fowl, and a thin slice of ham, perhaps some jelly or a few grapes,-a glass of white wine, or ponche à la romaine. Your partners have asked you if you have been to the opera ; in return, you question them if they have been to the Park. Perhaps a remark is hazarded on Miss Fanny Kemble. li you are a step more intimate, a few disparaging observations are made on the entertainment and the guests. Some chevalier hands you down stairs : you re-cloak, and re-enter the carriage, with the comfortable reflection, that as you have been seen at Mrs. So-and-so's ball, Mrs. Such-a-one may ask you to hers.'—Romance and Reality, vol. i. pp.

221-223. No one of Captain Marryatt's novels has been so much adververtised, and so laboriously puffed, as his last, “ Newton Forster;' yet it is undoubtedly the weakest of bis efforts. The object is to present a picture of the merchant service ; that of the royal navy having chiefly occupied his former productions. We can easily believe that the picture which he has drawn is correct in all its parts, but the subject is not in itself a pleasing one to general readers. To his professional brethren the scenes on land and at sea which he describes, may be sufficiently agreeable; to us they wear a vulgar appearance, to which, though we acknowledge the talents of the artist, we are not to be reconciled. One of the captain's most incorrigible faults is, his abrupt and awkward mode of bringing about marriages. He seems not at all at home in those secrets of the heart, which are elicited in looks, in letters, and conversations. We do not suppose that he was ever in a green lane in bis life. He makes up his mind that A. and B. shall be married, and there is an end of it; married they are, as it were by his command, without any previous servitude in the ways of courtship. Nor does the groundwork of his story indicate very prolific powers of invention. It begins with the common-place incident of a shipwreck, which results in the discovery of a female infant, who is floated to the beach in her swaddling clothes. Taken up by John Forster, a kindhearted naval officer, retired on half-pay, she is trealed as if she were his own, and carefully educated. In due course of time, she turns out to be the daughter of a French count, but her new-found title does not repress the sentiments of affection, which sprung up in her breast towards Newton Forster, the nephew of her protector,

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