26 OCTOBER 1867, Page 23

Distinguished Englishmen: a Series of Biographical Essays. By the Rev.

E. Hall. (Kent and Co.)—We are not acquainted with the Christian Ambassador, from which these papers are reprinted, or with the editor of the Ambassador, who has supplied them with an introduc- tion. It seems to us, however, that the biographical essays are fairly done as summaries of the facts of each distinguished Englishman's -career, and that, as they attempt nothing more, they are not to be blamed for what would otherwise be serious shortcomings. This verdict will not satisfy the editor of the Ambassador, who wishes us to believe that his contributor excels all other critics. "As for Milton," be tells us, "with all possible respect to the intellectual and literary ability with which his life and genius have been descanted on, from Dr. .Johnson to Lord Macaulay, we know of none who have portrayed him with greater verisimilitude or life-like reality than our author." It would be downright cruelty to judge Mr. Hall by the standard thus sot up, and we trust his readers will carefully dismiss from their minds the remarks of his injudicious editor. To quote from the Lord Macaulay whom Mr. Hall is to supersede, this is Idndness that is more to be dreaded than cruelty.