10 NOVEMBER 1860, Page 17

NEW 'NOVELS. ° The Manse of Mastland. We beg leave to

introduce this volume in Mr. Keightley's own words- " Passing one day by an old book-shop, I saw a book with a Dutch title marked at a very low price. Dutch books are rare in this country; this was a third edition of a late date, the title seemed promising, so I bought it. On reading it, I was so much pleased that I thought it deserving of being translated. Not wishing, however, to rely on my own judgment alone, and happening to be then in correspondence with the Bishop of St. David's, on the subject of the Dutch language and literature, I begged of him to read the work. He did so, and wrote to me as follows- " I have finished the Fastorij to Mastland, and am extremely obliged to yen for for the loan of it. It has to me niere than justified your com- mendation. There is a good deal of quiet humour and pathos, and plemant glimpses of the buiten leven (' rural life ') not easily to be gained in the country itself by any but the native. To file, however, its chief interest consists in the view which it gives of 'the working of the Dutch Established Church, and of its strong and weak points. In this respect, I have found it highly instructive and suggestive. I really think it likely that it would be attractive to a large class of readers, particularly such as take an interest in clerical matters. flow very little is known in England of Dutch litera- ture which nevertheless is perhaps more congenial to our taste than either the German or the French! '

" The Bishop of St. David's, it is pretty generally known, is not a prodi- gal of his praise, and from long experience I can vouch that he is incapable of admiring what is not deserving of Admiration, neither indeed am I my- self very easily pleased. It therefore I think, seems necessarily to follow that the Manse of Mastland is a good book and is deserving of being read. The clergy will find in it many a useful hint on the subject of preaching, catechizing, &c., and I can promise the general reader far more entertain- ment than is commonly to be met with in books• of more lavish promise." Few readers of this translation will be slow to thank Mr. Keightley for giving them something new and good. The brief criticism which he has blended with his account of the book in the present preface, is substantially the same as that which we would 4' The Manse of Mosllands Sketches; Serious and Humorous, from the life of a village Pistor. translated from the Dutch, by Thomas Heightley, Author of ..Pa&aldy Mythology' inid Editor of the Poems of Milton.. Published by Bell and D, Why Paul Perro' Killed his Wife. By the Author of Paul Perroll." Pub- lished by Saunders and Otley. offer. Its good qualities are not so common in our own modern light literature that we can conscientiously pass them over with- out emphatic commendation. The pastor of Mastland is more cautions and sedate, perhaps also more of a philosopher, than our Vicar of Wakefield ;• but he is as lifelike a person. Life is quieter, more mechanical and phlegmatic in Mastland than in Wakefield. But on that account, the inner life of the spiritual head of the place is more nearly what we in England call an ideal life for a pastor than that of our old friend, Mr. Primrose. The Dutch pastor thinks and feels more, and is less merry.. Yet no quality in these sketches strikes a stranger more forcibly than their truthfulness, their literal reality of representation, and the want of -exaggeration or embellishment for the sake of effect, in the remarks and incidental thoughts set down plentifully through- out by the autobiographic vrriter. He does not let his pen run away into fine writing on moral' and religions subjects because a pastor should adorn his pa.ges-so. But the moral and religions passages which come naturally into their places here are well worth remembering. These are quite subordinate to the picturesof " rural life," of genuine " interiors," and to the humorous descriptions, the witty comments, and reported conversations col- lected by the author during his five years' residence in a secluded Dutch agricultural village. That it is a true book in its own country may be inferred from the fact that it reached a third edi- tion in the course of its first year of publication (1843), although it was not published in one of the leading towns of Holland so as'to attract the attention of the literary world. . As to the translation the usual " slight acquaintance " with the Dutch lat!guage will not suffice to judge of it ; and, in the case of Mr. Keightley, we prefer to trust to his own opinion of his work. We believe thitt it is well done—though here and there may be the misrendering of an idiom or a peculiar word. The mistakes of a clever and cultivated mind, in this kind, are seldom fatal. ..A sort of divinity of linguistic instinct hedges it off from falling into the abyss of absurdity where ignorant and pretentious translators leap without a misgiving, as often as a difficulty or delicacy of expression


The fine quiet humour and wisdom scattered throughout these pages may be easily set before the reader in quotable passages ; but we strongly advise him to be dissatisfied with these, and to get the book for himself. One of the wisest and wittiest sketches is that of the " Rentier " (the man of small funded property), who comes to live in Mastland—the man of small mind, who never learned anything properly because he "had not to earn his bread by it." His peculiarities are given as in a looking-glass- once wheii he had tormented the good Pastor beyond his patience, and the latter returned home silent and sad—a sort of verification of Goldsmith's observation that " the company of fools, however it may at first make us smile, cannot in the end fail to make us sad.' Then his wife asks him what is the matter, and he writes his reply, thus- " I was not unwilling to unburden my heart, which was so full; so I answered, Yea, dear Kee, I am just come from Duifhuis's, and I have been annoyed and grieved ;„, and yet with all that I have once more discerned the wisdom of the Divine dispositions. When I came from the University, that school for the exercise of the noblest powers of our bind, and saw the ,Re■Aeyhmereunpratencoaluntryu toiling and slaving as they do, I said to myself, bei gs devote an large a portion their valuable time to mere earthly, worthless things ? Why must man, who has so Alton a time to live, work like a pack-ass or a plough-horse, so that he has hardly a moment left Lim for reflection ?" But now I see it more and more each day, that it is a beneficent arrangement, since those Who are exempted froin from the general law, In the sweat of shy brow shale Maio eat are more unendurable than those who toil. I have known more than one ren- tier, but seldom a wise, and still tseldomer a happy one. It is then right, it appears, that it should be so, but still it is sad thing that most men re- quire the whip to make endurisble beings of them," " ' And what do you suppose to be the cause of this,' William ? ' " ' It appears to me, Cornelia' that while any one is obliged to work hard, as he has his hands full, theemptintas of his mind and heart is midis- discovered, and his passions have not time to clevelepe all their powers ; bat remove this constraint, and his inanity comes to, light, and he is as weari- some to himself and others, as the child that is home for the holidays ; and then his passions grow turbulent, because his reason is Weak. So the rentier is a wearisome and an insignificant personage, and 'yet.he might be so good and so useful.' " The end of this conversation contains far higher wisdom ; —a wisdom that is derived from religious faith, and that is preached by'the Pastor's wife in'eorrectiari of -the Pester himself. Good things like the following are to be gathered in most pages- " it is granted to few to keep to theniselves-anyact, rod or handsome, or even remarkable that they have performed. It whirls about in their memory, it leeks out at their eyes, it-burne on their tongue, andat lmt it steps out unobserved between their teeth; for there is no.word that heavier on the under-lip than I. It requires great strength, of muscle to keep it in, and if it once escapes, what a lumber of words 'does it draw after it !"

The Manse of Mastland is, we have little doubt, destined to become a favourite book of several classes of readers—including the clergy and persons of extensive general culture. " The Burgomaster's. Cock," " My Clerical Neighbours," and " My Tailor and my Blacksmith," are chapters that will please every- body. Others, which contain less description and more lucu- bration, will find hearty admirers among the few who read for edifioation as well as for entertainment.

Why Paul Farrell Kill, l his Wife. Most of the readers of the clever novel called Paul Ferroll knew pretty well:tlink murdered his wife because lie hated her thoroughly,,ofterNptipAl out that she had invented a tregeherous plot to sppaoto4.1*ffilPfl.i. the woman he loved, and had peed:other arts tea bring 401.1941013,14.- riage with herself. The experienced novel reader knew all that . from the former book. Verbum sap. The provocation was very years el his life (he was taken in 109) had no such roving life as our Feat to a man of strong passions, firm will, and hard, masterful fictitious friends here; but his narrative confirms ranch of the report intellect, who was very much in low, for the first time, with a they make conceroing the nature of the country, its people, and its pro- gQntle girl, to whom he had, behaved cruelly through the false ductions. In short, the author has kept his fiction well based on fact. representations of her successful rival. The present book oar- Patience by Perseverance. Card-playing is becoming fashionable, again rates the antecedents of this, hapless marriage—the love of the in English families ; and this is reason sufficient for the production of this proud, unprincipled Miss Chanson for the handsome, daring, and really beautiful little voltime. It contains descriptions of no less than accomplished Mr. Leslie (Paul Ferrol)), and the indifference with twenty-eight games of Patience,, i.e., games that a single erson can plate

with cards—and these games are all illustratedwith beanti illuminatea which he suffers her attentions. Then comes the young girl drawings of miniature cards arranged in the proper form. he paper and Minor from her convent, and by her simplicity fascinates the type are of the best. It is a perfect thing of its kind and very pretty to hard, worldly Mr. Leslie. Finally he loves her, and she consents look at, even if you take no interest in cards at all. In be his wife. Miss Chanson, in despair, deceives him with a

false accusation of Elinor, and a forged note in support of it. De La Rue's Pocket-books, Almanack, and Diaries are now familiar to Only in a novel could such a piece of chicanery have been sue- the public. The specimens of' these books for the coming year, both egssful with a sensible man. In the,first novel, we were strongly large and small, will sustain their reputation if they do not, increase it. inclined, on the trial of Paul for the murder of his wife, to give a They are indispensable for their useful informatien to those who have verdict of "served her right" in his, favour. On reading the an- been accustomed to them-,-and to those who have not yet experienced einint given in the new t of how MisaChanson made him marry her, we are inclined to say also "served him right," for his un-. principled folly in consenting to marry a woman whom he neither loved nor respected. We have no doubt that many persons will be glad to know exactly why Paul Ferrell killed his wife, and to them this minute account of her perfidy and heartlessness will be acceptable. For ourselves, we took it for granted before, and were rite certain that she was as odious as a wife could be; yet we did not then, nor do we now, hqld that her husband was justified in his mnr- 4ier. The new tale is a sort of piece- juatifioative. and is cleverly done ; but it makes Ferroll.a selfish brute, his wife coarse, hard, and low-minded, and Elinor far too simple to be really natural. Like most after-thoughts of the Unct, it is of little value compared with the original work, which was vigorous, bold, and full of talent of various kinds.