26 SEPTEMBER 1829, Page 13


THERE is scarcely an individual in either Great Britain or Ireland, ivho can write at all, who could not have written the Davenels if he would: there is scarcely an individual in the same realms who can read it from end to end—at least if we may judge from our own difficulty in turning over the pages ; but perhaps we may be wrong ; if is possible that. what any one can write is that which the majority find level to their tastes and understandings. Mr. COLBURN would do well to be a little more circumspect in the choice of his novels and romances—he may destroy the labours of many years in a very short time: the prestige now attached to his name in the world of novel- readers is the fruit of no -small well-directed exertions—a series of Davenels, and some others easily mentioned, would however pull down the glory of the first bibliopole that ever flourished. A man who thoroughly understands his own interest would be careful against publishing a bad book, more on account of the shock it gives his repu- tation for judiciousness than on account of the pecuniary loss he may possibly suffer by it. It is not long since Mr. COLBURN'S name attached to a piece of light reading was an assurance of something good. This is a friendly hint, for " we love our COLBURN." There is not, we beg to say, any thing immoral in the Davenels, nothing that a lady author would blush to own in the complexion of its pages—it is merely inane: it consists of names, and nouns, and verbs, and other parts of speech. A young gentleman is put upon the scene, the image of all fashionable virtue because he is well-born—rich in wealth and expectations, 'proud, stiff, and supercilious : yet in spite of his ever-to-be-commended indifference to all sublunary joys, he falls into a kind of hesitating love with an Irish girl, whom he marries after a decent struggle with himself, and after surmounting a sufficient number of obstacles to fill three volumes.

A lower occupation of the human intellect than that of writing such works as the Davenels, we cannot conceive—unless it be the task of ;:iving an account of them. We must console ourselves, like the chinmeysweepers, for the humbleness of our trade, in our own notions

of its utility. ,

* The Davenels, or a Campaign of Fashion in Dublin. 3 vols. London, 1829. Colburn.