2 MAY 1840, Page 16


Tins novel, by the brother of Mrs. TROLLOPE, proves that the talent of that lady is not peculiar to herself, but a sort of tinnily gift; 1ln. the Rivalry of the brother bears a strong resemblance to the fictions of the sister. There is the same literal truth in the descriptions of common life ; the same tendency to caricature in the humorous, and to melodramatic exaggeration in the serious parts ; particular scenes are probably real or founded on reality, but the whole is grossly iinprebable ; yet there is a strength both in the drawing and colouring, which will carry many readers to the end, by dint of passing the heavier parts, and which renders this style of writing popular with the gluttons of the circulating library. But though there is a family resemblance in the qualities them- selves, there is some difference in the mode of displaying them. In a certain sense Mrs. Taommen is more of an artist : her come parts may be farcical or overdone, but she is seldom tedious from mere minuteness ; Mr. INIturos, on the contrary, is frequently heavy and wiredrawn to the last degree in passages where he de- signs to excite risibility,—forgetting that though tragedy may prose a little, we can only be made to laugh by point and the ris mnica. At the same time, the villain of' the brother has more coherency and

more strength of delineation : a monster of the vulgar Minerva Press school no doubt he is in conception,—exhibiting the favourite

conjunction of intellectual excellence and superhuman courage with the basest desires and meanest vices,—but still a consistent character, powerfully drawn, supposing such a combination natural. Mr. MILTON also has a more extended knowledge than Mrs. TIM` ors of worldly afthirs, whether of business or pleasure ; which -enables him to vary his narrative with shrewd remarks or incidental exposition. We think, too, that he possesses a more poetical or at least a less literal eye for landscape. The story of Riecdry is a double plot, sufficiently well connected in itself, though not in its management. The comic part turns upon the "rivalry" of two middle-aged ladies for the love or at least for the hand of a middle-aged gentleman. One of the rivals is a wealthy widow, who attacks the bachelor's heart through his stomach, and hopes to win him by her dinners and wines. The other lady is a literary spinster, cultivating sentiment and the muse, and making her approaches by high-flown prose and poetry, reflected or almost transcribed liTan popular authors. The two were once dear friends, and continue for a time on civil terms, till jealousy at last drives them to open variance : and the different scenes to which the " rivalry" gives rise are sometimes productive of a coarse but laughable farce,—though the effect of the whole would have been much greater bad it been less elaborated. The serious part is also a love-story, the nmYt stirring incident in which is an abduction, with a dark cave, a gang of robbers, a blind tool in a silly baronet, and a supernat oral villain in his designing friend.

We have spoken of Air. Milzros's eye for landscape. The fol- lowing is a specimen, quiet but truthfill.


England can boast its thousands of hea:itillol lib/ars; hut there few that

dwell upon the eye or the memory with Itiere. than those whielt skirt the Mendip Hills in Somersetshire. The itv summite of this almest nasuntain range, and the more elevated portion of ice s,i s, at open downs covered with the fittest turf, and dotted over with ianuna table sheep. ity a gentle curve the tills descend into plains of the -richest pasture, as lel el as the sea, and extend- ing, field layand field, as far as the eye can retch. In some points, according to the acei:ie.ds of the soil, the enclosed grf.unds creep higher up the sides of the nioantsin ; and at others, the sheep-add-la elmost reach the plain. Lux- uriant nave mark this waving boundary line, and two very different kinds of scenery arc brought at mice before the eye in immediate and beautiful contrast.

Again, here is a remark which shows tilt: observer.


The magnificence of the Thames, if a insaid extent of water, its pompous haddinga its unrivalled bridges, its ',len:: tit if weet,, its crowd of rapal beats, tre almost always deprived of much of their er:eet bv the :Ink ma smoke- Niko atmosphere through which they are eaaved. It is only HI thet peculiar state of the air (well known to those t wo most keen observers of the ehy, the Bailor and the lamb -cape painter) ii it etc precedes rain. that the effect of oice of the noblest city- nest s in the world is fit to it a all extent. The air is then of much a glassy clearness that objectsa. t a a...ells (.,tai■Ce are as sharp and vivid as if seen n ithin twenty yards; and a react ami effect ace given to the pano- rama, which it possesses at no other time.


Smiles an paradoxical things. Let any ono call to his recollection half-a- dozen of the leost; stupid people whom he Limes:, and he will find that it is a constant Sadie Mach conipletes the insiaid vseancy of' their laces. Let hint number up the most intellectual and powerful-minded among his acquaintance, and he will admit t hut, in almost every mitt of them, it is the smile that indi- cates the lime faculties of the soul.


Nothing can differ more than a wrest liog-match, as seen by learned and un- learned eyes. The latter only perceive :hot tun atrong HICO are trying to pull each other to the ground; and when at I, te,th the one goes down, they are totally unable to tell why he then flails, it IVI:y he did not full long kelbre. But to the learned, every movement ilea its import and its interest The mores in a game of chess, played two t kl list adversaries, haveno. t mere exact and defined purposes than every moveit.ent of the acientilie wrestle a The same !Mt:sight is necessary, the sana: quickness to distinguish bete...en a feigned and real attack, the same prompt excision, the etc tie command of temper. In both games, each movement of the one player must be met and guarded against by the other, or yielded to fin -the purpose of making the tylversary expo" l! Iiiinstir still further. In both, there is no finer play: than by intentional mistakes to throw your %leer:airy elf his gum!, or to coause him by changing., at the exact moment, a fe:ialed into a real attack.