9 APRIL 1836, Page 20

A series of twelve Illustrations of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, by

H. Mesvitax, have been put forward with a prominence that their merits do not warrant ; being published not merely as embellishments to a new edition of the book, but in a separate form. Some substantial value is given to the volume by a biographical sketch of the life and writings of BUNYAN, written by Josiahr CONDER ; in which Dr. SOUTHEY'S attempt to palliate if not to justify the religious persecution that BUNYAN was subjected te, is temperately but completely exposed. The name of BERNARD BARTON, too, as the writer of the brief descriptive notices of each plate, comes in aid of the interest of the publication. The fatal defect of these designs by Mer.vna.e is, their uncharacteristic style. Instead of being vigorous, simple, and homely, like BUNYAN'S writing, they are feeble, theatrical, and meretricious. We have no more faith in the artist's sincerity of purpose than in his originality. His landscapes are artificially ornate, and furnished forth from the pictorial properties of TURNER and of MARTIN. " Christian" is a dandy knight from Drury Lane, figuring in front of the scenic background, with a train of women and children from STOTHARD, an old man from JACKSON,a young pilgrim from LANDSEER, a statue from FUSEL!, &c. The vignette in the title is a most amusing proof of TURNER'S "alacrity in sinking" when he attempts to soar above the realities of the earth. His sublimity is the opposite of MARTIN'S, being light instead of dark ; and inasmuch as a burst of sunshine excels a stream of blacking, TURNER'S pictorial madness is preferable to MARTIN'S. The portrait of JOHN BUNYAN-that healthiest of enthusiasts, sincerest of penitents, and most dramatic of allegorists-is the only true picture in the book.