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And here, the conscious Immortal shows through the jilted lover:

* Proud word you never spoke, but you will speak

Four not exempt from pride some future day.
Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek,

Over my open volume you will say,
“This man loved me !" then rise and trip away.'

It has been said that Gebir' contains only one fine passage, about a sea-shell—which Wordsworth appropriated! But that is a mistake. Take a specimen :



* And now the chariot of the Sun descends,
The waves rush hurried from his foaming steeds,
Smoke issues from their nostrils at the gate,
Which, when they enter, with huge golden bar

Atlas and Calpe close across the sea.'
And one more:

• By all the gods I pity thee ! go on ;
Fear not my anger, look not on my shame,
For when a lover only hears of love
He finds his folly out, and is ashamed.
Away with watchful nights and lonely days,
Contempt of earth and aspect up to heaven,
With contemplation, with humility,
A tatter'd cloak that pride wears when deform'd;
Away with all that hides me from myself,
Parts me from others, whispers I am wise:
From our own wisdom less is to be reapt
Than from the barest folly of our friend.'

But after all, Mr. Landor,—though he despises sonnets and sugarplum poems,-is only the poet of fine fragments. For criticism, however, he does not care. With him what is done is done, and must speak for itself. Fiercely independent as he is, it is not to us that he is responsible for having approached Christianity in an attitude to which she yields nothing; for having absorbed as much truth as he chose, and misapprehended the rest. We are all apt, in our way, to do a similar, though not the same thing. In the course of nature, the old man will soon pass the dividing-gate which will shut him in where human eyes can never follow him, and human judgment never reach his ear. Though, upon second thought, the latter clause is more than we know of the dead.


Weekly Penny Literature.

The Welome Guest.

The Guide.
The London Journal.

Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper.
The Family Herald.

The Educator.
The Weekly Novelist.

The Leisure Hour.
The Home Magazine.

Sunday at Home. Reynolds's Miscellany. We have placed at the head of this paper the titles of about a dozen publications which we have recently read, as well for our own information as for the purpose of being enabled to form some opinion concerning the popular literature of the working classes of this country. We have been so instructed and informed by our labour,and it has been a far heavier and more unwelcome task than we even anticipated,—that we have thought it worth while to bring the results of our examination before a portion of the Christian public who may be willing to lend an ó attentive ear' to what we may have to say, and to whom some practical suggestions likely to lead to an improvement of a literature that is exercising so vast an influence over the largest class of readers in this country, will be sure to occur.

Lord Brougham, after careful inquiry, estimates the total circulation of the penny weeklies at not less than a million copies. We believe this to be an under-estimate, but a million copies a-week would reach a fifth of the adult population of England and Wales. Such a power is, or might be, almost as great a power as the pulpit: in one respect it is even greater for the teaching of one of these journals assists to mould the minds of more than half a million readers. Such an influence, rightly exercised, would be, next to the sacred Scriptures, the greatest power for good in the world. Reflect for a moment on this circumstance, and then read the book which enjoys such an advantage. It has nothing better to put before such a congregation-a congregation so awfully great that to imagine it is to break up the deepest fountains of tears, than the weakest “tales of love and murder,' mystery,' and 'romance. Duels and dungeons, runaway matches, and the exciting adventures of love-sick princes and romantic princesses, are the staple commodity supplied to this craving multitude. There is a little weightier material thrown in with this-Falstaff's pennyworth of bread to two gallons of sack-but this possesses, if anything, less moral element than the flimsier material. This is a motley collection of heavy facts—facts which are commonly as good for the moral nature as stones for the physical—occupying room and creating indigestion.

The majority of the papers whose titles we have quoted,-six, that is to say, out of eleven-have, with only a single difference, all characteristics in common. They insert exactly the same kind of tales and exactly the same style of poetry; devote much the same space to 'Answers to Correspondents;' have each a column of "facetiæ ; each a few strips of thought; and each a cairn of heavy, stony facts. It


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is just possible that the respective editors could tell the difference between the London Journal,' the Family Herald,' the Weekly Novelist,' the Home Magazine,' the 'Guide,' and Reynolds's Miscellany;' but if the titles were not pretty boldly printed upon each, we should be at our wit's end, after reading any number of copies, to tell which was which. When we are told, therefore, that one of these journals has a circulation of more than a quarter of a million, and when the publisher of another informs us that its circulation is so great that it has to be put to press three weeks before the day on which it is issued, and that, therefore, all answers to correspondents are obliged to be at least three weeks old, we cannot avoid asking ourselves the reason of this pre-eminent superiority? The only answer can be, that these are the oldest journals of their kind, and that the others have been projected in consequence of the enormous success of their predecessors. In all other important respects the difference of one from the other is as 'tweedle dum from tweedle dee,' if it were not that the last is a difference, not of origin, but of termination !

Amongst the six penny weeklies which we have grouped together, the London Journal' enjoys an unquestionable superiority. Its general contents resemble, in nearly all respects, the contents of the five other weeklies, but it alone has had the sagacity to seize on a superior literature of fiction. It commenced, two or three months ago, reprinting Sir Walter Scott's 'Kenilworth, with illustrations (and very good illustrations they are), and the novel was completed in about twenty numbers. It is now reprinting · The Fortunes of Nigel.' This is a great step in advance from the Castle of Otranto' style, which is that usually adopted by the novel writers for the penny weeklies. It is, at least, equivalent to lifting its readers from the * Victoria' Theatre to the Princess's.' Sir Walter's fine moral instincts, his wit and humour, his insight into, and power of delineating human character, and his vast antiquarian knowledge, will educate his new class of readers to a higher and a better taste. Even his bad or prejudiced historical information may teach them that history may possibly be interesting, and induce them to enter upon its study.

The London Journal' excels also in one or two other respects. It has less of a tale-writing, and more of a miscellaneous literature, than some of its contemporaries. In the last number before us, that for October 23rd, only four pages out of sixteen are devoted to jealousy and duel, a very moderate proportion indeed, when compared with other journals. The rest of the contents need not shame a periodical of much higher pretensions. They are, an old classical English ballad; a sketch, with engraving, of the new statue of Sir Isaac Newton; an admirable story from Ben Jonson ; and bits on domestic medicine, chess, gardening, statistics, &c., &c., &c., ending with those rare and curious ‘Notices to Correspondents,' which have so largely contributed to the success of this class of periodical.

Fiction of the weakest, most sentimental, and most 'moving' character is, however, the staple productions of the weekly penny

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press. We present the reader with the exquisite titles of all the tales
in the single current numbers of the other five journals whose names
we have given :-
The Stolen Ring.

The North Sea Rover.
Edith; or, Truth and Trust.

Laurence Franzlin.
Changes and Chances.

The Woman of the World.
The Lost Treasure.

The Emigrant's Daughter.
Look Out!

The Sepoys.
The Maid of the Lighthouse.

Alice Leslie,
Martha Bell; or, The Old Abbey Farm. The Twin Beauties.
The Wife and Sister.


Wonderful marriages; wonderful plots; wonderful imprisonments; wonderful escapes; wonderful lost children, cruel fathers, and dreadful robbers and pirates, are the principal characters in these tales. And then for action ! A celebrated dramatic critic has said, that the three great rules for successful dramatic composition are Action, Action, Action! Why, there is enough and to spare in any one of these stories for half a dozen dramas.

It is important, however, to notice that it is this characteristic which obtains such great popularity, and such a vast circle of readers, for these journals. They are subscribed for mostly by servants and journeymen-workers, whó, knowing little of the stimulus of society, read with avidity anything that will relieve their colourless lives. It is a lower stratum of the same class that, with the same hunger for excitement, crowds the 'Surrey' and Victoria' Theatres of London. They want pleasure,' and pleasure they will have. As it has not been supplied to them of a superior quality at a price they can afford, they seize the inferior, and are so glad to get it that it takes three weeks for the best presses in London to print one day's issue of one of these journals.

We have alluded to the universally wonderful' character of the tales which adorn these remarkable publications. The 'tales from Blackwood' are nothing to them, and that is saying as much as any one dare to say. Some twenty years or more ago · Maga' inserted a story of the Iron Coffin,' which caused a horrible sensation at the time, but, 'Oh! horrible, most horrible!' our weekly journalists can improve even upon the Iron Coffin.' The utmost stretch of Maga's imagination did not reach to a hot prison, a prison such as we now have the pleasure of laying before the fancy of the reader: we quote from the delightful pages of the Weekly Novelist' for Saturday, October 30, a description which we have no doubt has been read at least half a dozen times by the most regular readers of that periodical:

Enrique said no more, but stood up to have the bonds taken from his feet, an d when this was done, and the chain removed, he was led from the cell, two stout men taking him in charge, while two more politely waited upon Gomez. A fifth went ahead with the lantern, preceded by the official, while the sixth walked in the rear. Enrique could see but very little, for the only light he had was from the dim lantern, yet he could see that he was being led along a low, arched corridor of solid masonry, deep within the sides of which were sunken many doors. He

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fancied he was not going towards the place by which he had entered, and ere long he had confirmation of it, for they had come to a narrow, steep flight of stone steps, only wide enough for two men to go abreast. These they ascended, and they led to another corridor-still dark—but which, for some distance, had no doors upon its sides. By-and-by Enriquc saw, a short way in advance, a point where the passage seemed to contract into a smaller arch. Perhaps this was the outlet-and yet he felt no fresh air. As he came up to the place he saw that this was an arch built within the passage, and he fancied 'twas of iron! In a moment after he had passed the iron arch he was stopped. Further progress was cut off, for only solid walls were about them.

"" Now we'll remove your manacles, and in a few moments you shall know your fate."

* As the official thus spoke, his attendants cast off the irons, and then left the place. The officer had already gone. Enrique heard a deep, dull crash, as of the falling of some ponderous body, and he started towards the arch. The lantern had been left behind, and by its light the youth could now see quite plainly. He gained the arch, and—that was all! A solid wall had intervened! He caught up the lantern and hastened back. A massive door of iron, thickly studded with bolts, barred up the passage. He examined it to see if it could be opened, for he had heard no bolt moved, nor had any other act of securing it been apparent. He cast his eyes over it, and a cold shudder ran through his frame, and the lantern dropped from his grasp.

““ What is it?" asked Gomez, in alarm.

"" See!” gasped Enrique, pointing to the sides of the iron arch. “This door has been let down from above! It slides up and down in these grooves! It is no hinged affair, to grow rusty and shut slowly, but its own terrific weight brings it to its place in an instant. And see how tightly it shuts.”

Gomez picked up the lantern, which had fallen in its proper position, and examined the door for himself. He found it just as his master had said. It had glided down, in neatly fitting grooves, from some space above the arch, and was firm and tight.

““And the floor is of iron!" cried the esquire, after he had examined that portion of the place.

"Ay-and the walls, too,” responded Enrique.
"" And the ceiling," added the esquire_" that is iron as well.”

A further survey satisfied them that they were not mistaken. They were in an apartment about ten feet square, by the same in height. The floor, the walls, and the ceiling were formed by massive plates of iron, and the whole made into one secure mass by stout bolts not over an inch apart. Not an aperture-not even a chink of any kind, could be found!

• Gomez put down the lantern and gazed into his master's face.

(“And thus we are to die!” cried Enrique, clasping his hands upon his bosom. “ Eleanor has failed in her mission!"

• " How long can we live here, allowing that no air can get in or out?" asked Gomez.

• " I know not, my dear Gomez. I am not skilled in such matters. Yet I think we shall want fresh air ere we want bread." ““ The thought of such a death is terrible, master."

Ay,” returned Enrique, shuddering. “To die inch by inch-to feel young life ebbing away while the love for it grows stronger and stronger--to know that a tyrant-a villain of Satan's own coin-has the very heart that beats here within his power, to stop its pulsations at will to know that sun nor moon nor stars, nor the sweet balmy breath of heaven, can cheer and sooth us more--and, alas! to feel that those bright, loving eyes will beam upon me never again-oh! 'tis fearful.”.

• The young knight leaned against the iron wall, and bowed his head upon his hands; and thus he stood for some moments.

• " It must be morning, Gomez,” he said at length.
• “Ay-I should think so, my master."
"" And if it is, what then?” the youth mumured half to himself,

“ What hope have I in the morning?-It must be well into the day.”

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