11 JULY 1835, Page 16


Mr. Barnum informs us in his preface, that his book has been upwards of twelve months in the hands of his publisher; and the object of this statement is to rebut any charge that might be brought against him of imitating The Last Days of Pompeii. We know not that this disavowal was needed; for though the scene of both is laid in the first century of the Christian writ, there is no further resemblance between the two works, than the in- troduction and description of the Roman circenses, and that both make use of the agency of a witch. Mr. BULWER endeavoured to revive the private life of antiquity; Mr. lisaixsyr attempts to ex- hibit some of its most striking historical events, and to conjure up its historical characters, introducing the reader to Claudius Caesar, Nero, Brittanicus, Locusta, and Agrippina—Me Empress —and weaving into his plot the famine under Claudius, the murder of that Emperor, the poisoning of his son Brittanicus, and winding up the catastrophe with Nero's assassination of his mother. We have more than once expressed an opinion that such attempts at revivifying classical life are nearly certain to be. un- successful; and the Empress has only served to confirm us in our judgment.