20 JULY 1878, Page 25

Cruel London : a Novel. By Joseph Hatton. (Chapman and

Hall.) —Mr. Hatton does not improve. He still mistakes vulgarity for realism, and coarseness for strength. Cruel London is a clover and suggestive title, and a subject susceptible of treatment of a powerful and pathetic kind. The author of this novel has, however, illustrated his title by a glaring daub, crowding together on his canvas a number of rogues, swindlers, and adventurers, male and female. The tricks of "promoters " and the devices of the "charity-dodgers," the impudent pretences of quack-doctors, the old-fashions d manmu- vres of profligates, mock-marriages, and false names,—such are the common-place and vulgar elements of this novel, in which not a single individual has a trace of good-breeding. Tho betrayed heroine is an American inge'nue, of, it is to be hoped, an uncommon type, for she marries, at what she believes to be a registrar's office, in a town which she supposes to be London, a man whom she has met in a railway- carriage, and whom, when her father is killed by an accident to the train, she accompanies without hesitation to his " estate in Western- shire." This engaging young person, when she is telling her story to a friend, after she has undergo& the persecutions of cruel London, says, —" He proposed to marry me. He had been so good to me, I could not find it in my heart to refuse him." When the virtuous hero avenges this young lady's wrongs by murdering Mr. Tom Sleaford, her seducer, after a particularly horrible and dastardly fashion, aided by a certain Dr. Dampez, who is a bad copy of Mr. Wilkie Colline's Dr. Downwards, in "Armadale," and then dies romantically of con- sumption, in the bosom of his family, we hardly feel that the moral of the story is successfully vindicated. The injured lady is indeed left in wealth and splendour, in a mansion at Lancaster Gate, and knows nothing of the crime by which she has been avenged ; but the position is a false and an unpleasant one, and the entire story is un- wholesome.