11 MARCH 1865, Page 19

Singed Moths: a City Romance. By C. J. Coffins. Three

vols. (John Maxwell and Co.)—Mr. Collins has here presented us with a picture of a vulgar City magnate, his family and acquaintances, to which the chief objection is that it is a gross caricature. Nor is it like Mr. Dickens's caricatures, drawn with that sympathetic humour which makes even a caricature pleasing. The story itself is very slight and yet improbable. A great Indian merchant does not let his daughter marry a Dyce Sombre, for Darshum Typos Ghtur is Dyce Sombre, without first assuring himself that the marriage will be legal. A rag merchant on Tower Bill sending his son to Eton as an orphan without relatives, for fear he should be bullied on account of the meanness of his birth, is not a com- mon sort of person. And after all, the situation is made nothing of, for the son does not go to the Bar, and become a great man through his father's wealth, but marries a rich and low-born, though amiable wife, and settles down to trade. On the other hand, the catastrophe is ingenious and probable. It is quite credible that a trader who has risen from a hum- ble station should have married his wife's sister in ignorance of the illegality of the match, and that when he dies intestate wife and children shouldffind themselves at the mercy of the next of kin. In conclusion, we must point out that the manners of young Smugglefuss are not con- sistent with an Eton education, and that it is not possible for a youth to remain at Eton till he is twenty-one.