18 JULY 1874, Page 24

Sunken Rocks. By Aubrey Pantulph. (Chapman and Hall.)—This novel combines

most of the old-fashioned materials of romance, in- trigue, and crime, with the modern facilities for locomotion, inter-com- munication, and the general business of life ; it gives us the inexorable father of the last century, and the incomparable forger of the present period ; it presents us to the young lady who may be managed on the intercepted-letter principle, and the young lady of the advanced German schooL It is impossible to deny its variety, and its ingenuity, which are equally remarkable and dreary ; they are exerted to work out a plot without interest for any reader who has not a taste for sor- did motives and vulgar crimes, and they develop the fortunes of a lady and gentleman perfectly undeserving of sympathy. Miss Ashfield and Mr. Bertram Warlingham are very foolish in the earlier part of the story, and something worse in the later. When the lady leaves her husband, who is an impossible villain, and—assisted by his cousin, her former lover, from whom she had been estranged on the old-established plan—sets to work to expose and punish him, the writer presents then} in a very unpleasant light. The lady gives the gentleman a full detail of discoveries, which may lead to her husband's condemnation to penal servitude for life ; and the gentleman folds her in his arms, kisses her tenderly, breathes in her ear words of love and consolation, and declares. that he cannot rest until he has "hunted out the miscreant, cast his misdeeds in his teeth, and trumpet-tongued, proclaimed his infamy to' the world I " Then the lady tenderly implores him, "Dearest! not yet ! I cannot bear if ; I shall be stronger by-and-bye. Do not leave me yet, Bertram. Give me your word that you will not see or communicate with my wicked husband at present; your truthful and upright nature is no match for is cunning and treachery." Whereupon ensues a scene of very pretty protestation, and denunciation of the heartless world, and the hollow forms of marriage. The lady does not fly with the lover to a purer state of society, but her refusal is exhibited as martyrdom, not matter-of-course; and the discussion of the question is very objection- able. Where the villany and the intrigue are all of the old-fashioned sort, we wish the author had adhered to the old-fashioned morality also