27 OCTOBER 1866, Page 21

The Three Musketeers. Dumas. (Routledge.) — People who are tired of novels

with a moral or a purpose, may be glad to hear that once a month for some time to come they will have served out to them a portion of M. Dumas' lively melodrama. The publishers propose to. present our old friend—or enemy must we not rather say? as he is such a terrible Anglophobe—to the English public in a complete shape, and the volume before us is the first of a well printed shilling series, which is to include the whole of his voluminous writings. The translation is. fair, by no means clear of the traces of French idiom, but quite spirited enough for those who are too lazy or too ignorant to read the original. Such folks, however, should clearly understand that in the case of Dumas, more than perhaps that of any writer, they do not get the real thing ; the flavour of his wit, the happy turn of his phrases, the clash of his dialogue, these constitute his chief merit, and these disappear, whilst his monstrous exaggerations and perversions remain in all their naked deformity. Still, he carries one pretty well in his flights, even when kept down by his English clothes ; and perhaps there is nothing like one of his wild stories, with its wonderful situations and surprises, to transport a reader in the shortest time out of the work-a-day world, and land him breathless and excited in a brighter sphere, amongst a number of brilliant and magnificent persons, who bear familiar historical names, but comport themselves in quite another and more interesting manner than ordinary sources of information give any idea of. M. Dumas is a great benefactor to worried people who require an alterative that will work quickly.