15 DECEMBER 1832, Page 16


THESE volumes contain an amusing collection of Tales, translated from different German authors, such as PICHLER, SPINDLER, STAHL, and the Swiss writer of innumerable fictions, the good ZCHOKKE. They are a pleasant series of German story ; not very like life, however—any life—and as little as any, German life. The title is therefore altogether inappropriate. They may be the -Lights and Shadows of German Fiction, but not of German Life ; -with respect to which nothing can be collected. A few tales trans- lated from different German authors, would have been the truth; but who cares about the truth? the thing is to discover a device which will sell the book. On the same principle, equally justifi- able, Miss MITFORD called her collection of Tales Lights and Shadows of American Lzfe,—simply because she had selected them from American publications : they were as much charac- teristic of actual life as any promiscuous collection -from our tale- writers, such as BANim, CUNNINGHAM, JAMES; and would be descriptive of life in England, and deserve to be classed under the head of its Lights and Shadows. However, in its original deStina- tion by WILSON, it was successful; and now, apropos or not, it is -laved into the service of authors, whose only care is success. - There are some pleasant stories in these books,—from, we must say, some of the most accessible sources : but we are glad at any rate to see German so freely and pleasantly transferred, for when the translation is from the German, this is not always the :case.

We like best the stories of humour : they at least come nearest to the Lights and Shadows of German Life. Such are the Military .Campaigns of a Mau. of Peace, the Traveller malgre lai,,and the -White Greyhound. Black Fritz, and all that class, we vote to the lowest hell of the Circulating Library. •