25 DECEMBER 1830, Page 13

THE SPECTATOR'S LIBRARY: THE approach of-the holydays has somewhat slackened

the supply of books to our Library. The candidates on the table begin to present a less formidable array. Both publishers and authors are, we presume, otherwise occupied ; publishers in making out bills, and authors in preparing to pay them. Among the approved candidates, not yet consigned to their appropriate stations, is the History of Chivalry, by Mr. JAMES ; who has already shown great familiarity with the subject of knightly feats of arms, in his novel on the sub- ject of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. It forms a valuable contribution to the National or Heterogeneous Library. This series, with a noble disdain of method, and in order to vindicate in the completest manner in the world its claims to be called a Miscellany, has only published four numbers, but their subjects are BYRON, the BIBLE, CHEMISTRY, and CHIVALRY. Nobody can object to the plan of this work. • Mr. JAMES'S Histery of Chivalry is a Conscientious perform- ance—it is laboriously written, and the research is original: the fault we have to. find is, that it is not a history of Chivalry, but of Europe. It by no means answers to its title : a history of Chi- valry is not a sketch of the Crusades, nor the history of the expel. tions of any other body of knightly adventurers. The history of Chivalry ought to be the history of the chivalrous spirit of the middle ages, under its different changes, from its rise to its extinc- tion, if it be extinct—illustrated by records of action's and opi- nions as displayed by knights under every variety of circum- stances.- But Mr. JAMES has been hurried, and has not given us the cream of his reading—he has only given an abridgment of his reading itself. Observe the remark which. Mr. JAMES makes upon the Talisman.

" It would be endless to recount all the transactions of Abe siege of Acre. The spirit of the whole of this crusade (which I could wish to dwell upon more than any thing else) has been already fully, perfectly, and feelingly displayed, in that most beautiful composition, the Talisman ; Wherein Sir Walter Scott, however he may have altered some historical facts to suit the purposes of fiction; has given a more striking picture of the human .mind in that ageb`f the character of nations as well as indi- viduals—Ahan any dull chronicle of cold events can furnish." WhO.wished him to " recoiiirt all;fl& transactions at the -siege : Why should he:think ofgtiii:6`;''"4 any chronicle of-cold nvent He. Ought to have. Vone roi:„ChivaIrsomething of what, Sir WAbER S C °TT has ,donahr the crusade-4 Ric SIRD. The truth is, INIr: 'JAMES has confounded a history of Obivalry with a history of the Crusades: Nevertheless, the, abridgment of the portion of history to which the work relates is good.