21 JANUARY 1865, Page 21

Old World and Young World. By John Helton, of Darnick

Tower F.R.S.S.A. (W. P. Nimmo.)-This is a queer maundering sort of essay directed "against the results of modern civilization," or rather, to do the writer more justice than he does himself, showing that those results -have brought with them many evils which greatly diminish their apparent advantages; just as, on the other hand, the evils of the old civilization were to some extent compensated by advantages which have perished with that civilization. All this is true enough, and it would be possible to carry out the idea by a wayward, rigmarole treatment such as Mr. Heiton has adopted. But we are bound to say that he wants both the grace of style and the pungency of wit which his plan requires. A jeu desprit is a success or nothing, and this volume is not a success. The classical quotations are grossly inaccurate, which probably is the printer's fault. But then, when we find the author to be under the idea, that the poet Shelley wrote his wife's novel of The Last Man, and that Hunt wrote Lady Kibnan.seg, one almost doubts it.