22 FEBRUARY 1873, Page 24

The Fitful Fever of a Life. By Sir Francis Vincent,

Bart. 3 vols. (Newby.)—Sir F. Vincent's last novel, if we remember it aright, was full of incident. Possibly some critic told him that it was too sensa- tional, and now, with the docility characteristic of authors, he has been attempting to correct the fault. He seems, so hard are we to satisfy, to have erred upon the other side. There is very little backbone of story in these throe volumes. There is a duel in the first volume, an elope- ment in the second, and a trial for ejectment, on which a title and estate depend, in the third ; and this is scarcely enough to supply vertebroz, SO to speak, to nine hundred and more pages of talking and love-making. There are good things in the book. The sorrows of Caroline, the head- strong young woman who elopes with the friend of her betrothed, are told with force and pathos, and the author has had the good judgment to resist the temptation of making her end other than what dramatic propriety demands.