16 APRIL 1831, Page 19

The King's Secret is a novel by the author of

The Lost Heir, said to be Mr. POWER, the comedian,—an actor whose humour we relish extremely : but a very pleasant performer on the stage may be a very dull performer on paper. This romance is of the true historical stuff—very dry, very obsolete, very affected. The fabri- cators of historical novels conceive, that by using the names of a few kings, nobles, and ancient titles, and by the adoption of a stiff and ponderous style, which in reality belongs to no age of the English language, they are holding up the mirror to ancient times. It is a great mistake : these nondescript performances in reality re- semble nothing that ever existed. If, however, they present scenes well described, characters drawn with great vigour,—and time was when a good story was thought a valuable thing,—then we may admire them as works of fiction, and read them with pleasure. Possibly The King's Secret possesses an average quantity of these characteristics ; but, if truth must be told, the perusal of it has been to us a task of insufferable tediousness. The title of King's Secret is a catchpenny title—the secret itself is one nobody cares to know, not even ihe most attentive peruser of the romance. King Ed- ward the Third knew who was the father of a certain young bastard, of great parts ; and he alone was the depositary of this important piece of confidence : such is the secret which the ad- vertisements have made so much of.