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tution, the simplest understanding would accompany us. But we must conclude, and do so by quoting an instance and illustration of the singular discoveries and the vast improvements which mere accident may suggest —

One of the Blendare Furnaces, near Pontypool, built as usual with a narrow top, carrying but little burden, and making neither quantity nor quality, by some chance gave way in the top so far as to widen the fillingplace to nine or ten feet. This accident was immediately followed by a cooler top, a better quality of iron, and a greater weekly quantity; and this accidental alternation furnished a model for the construction of other furnaces at the same works. Changes of this kind are not brought about rapidly, by reasoning or knowledge of principle, but by a series of slow observations and chance circumstances. The subject is, however, now better understood; and within the last five or six years the mouth or filling-place of the furnace has been very generally enlarged, and instead of 3, 37, or 4 feet, are now from 8 to 11 feet, and in some few instances larger.'

Art. V.-1. Isidora; or, the Adventures of a Neapolitan. By “ The Old

Author in a New Walk." 3 vols. Saunders and Ottley. 2. The Deer-slayer: a Tale. By J. FENIMORE Cooper, Esq. 3 vols.

Bentley. 3. The Peasant and the Prince. By Harriet MARTINEAU, C. Knight

and Co. IT may

not be amiss this month to scatter a few morsels of fiction over our pages, there being at hand some things bearing that nature, which are of the better sort.

First comes the author of “The Pope," &c. &c., who although he still speaks of a "new walk,” preserves much of the same pace and bearing that distinguished him before. Isidora may be called a Historical Romance; at least it introduces many historical characters, and deals with important public events. The period is that in which Charles the Fifth flourished, and his rivalry with Francis the First furnishes the larger scenes and occasions, or such as “ The Old Author” drags into the story, -in order to afford himself opportunities for description, reflection, and criticism, with which his learning, his reading, and, we presume, his travels, have stored his mind. Certainly he is conversant with Italy, and the works of the great men of Italy. Spain too, as well as Tunis, and things pertaining to Africa, are introduced in a manner which proves that the writer is familiar with the history of these parts in the sixteenth century. Among the personages introduced, Ariosto and several contemporary authors figure who are dear to fame, and who, wo have no doubt, are the frequent closet companions of our author.

The construction of the story as a romance is much inferior to the literary wealth which the writer has at command, when he has particular parts to execute. His imaginative powers do not appear to be equal to his acquirements; he seems to be less natural than acute by means of training; and, perhaps, there is a constant straining for effect; which effect, however, is not equal to what many a much less accomplished writer would produce in a story of love and war. But we must let a sample of his descriptive and also versifying powers be read in our pages, taking one which we have elsewhere seen quoted; and for this reason amongst others, -it suits the space we can afford. The Plague of Naples is the subject, when that dire calamity accompanied the siege of the city by the French :

A fortnight had elapsed since Alfonso of Procida had last trod the streets of Naples; and yet, miserable as was the aspect they then wore, how much was the misery now increased ! We have said that the town had been divided into districts and allotted to the superintendence of different boards of health and inspectors ! but these could do little to arrest the ravages of the plague-nothing towards finding food for the famishing population. Day by day the pestilence had extended its ravages; day by day had it appeared more hopeless to attempt to contend with it. The army and the citizens alike fell beneath the scourge ; for no discipline was of sufficient force to restrain the brutal German soldiers from intercourse with the afflicted quarters whenever they thought that pleasure or booty, or, above all, wine was to be thence obtained ; and the Spanish troopers, long disorganized at Rome, were in little better subjection. The whole city was one vast charnel-house.

“ Pity and horror contended in the bosom of Alfonso of Procida as he advanced along the open streets. At the doors of the churches, on the steps of the houses, the dead lay in heaps. Despair, terror, and faintness had overcome every natural feeling; and there appeared to be none there who cared for them. A few priests and mediciners only might be seen circulating rapidly from house to house, warding off, with a long cane, whomsoever should appear to be coming in contact with them. A few tumbrils or open carts creaked along the filinty pebbles, bearing away their loads of dead, and attended by the lowest of the Neapolitan rabble, who had been bribed to act the part of undertakers.

“Discordant, however, as were the sounds of merriment which rent his ear, they prepared not Alfonso for the sight which he witnessed, when, turning round an angle, he entered this popular street.

Before the open doors of a half-underground cellar, stood a large wagon piled with the bodies of the dead, which were tossed one above the other in horrid disarray: there exposing the grizzle head of some venerable elder lying upon the sunken, bare, and discoloured bosom of a scarce-budding girl ; while beside, and entwined amid the straggling limbs of both, the corpses of a wealthy notary and a widely-known beggar were closely entangled : before

the doors of the cellar, stood a wagon thus hastily, indecently, and ruth-
lessly loaded; while within the vault itself a score of Neapolitans, whose
features bore the stamp of every vice and whose limbs still carried the
shortened shackle of gally-slaves, were intermixed with a lot of Turkish
slaves, whom the Viceroy had joined with them in the office of burying the
dead, or rather of clearing the streets. Within the cellar they all sat com-
mingled in drunken good-fellowship: beside them lay many a precious
garment, many a glittering gem, trodden amid the wine-flasks which be-
strewed the floor around. They appeared to be taking a parting or a start-
ing cup; for many a full goblet was uplifted in the air while they all stood
around, and at the full pitch of their discordant voices screamed forth words
to the following effect

'Evviva the plague! may it flourish, say we,
For the plague gives us freedom, wealth, wine, jollity.
What has opened our prison and broken our chain ?
What had bid us come forth over thousands to reign ?
'T is the plague! 't is the plague! May it never decay !
May war, famine, and pestilence flourish for aye!
Evviva the plague! They were dying around,
And had no one to hurry their dead underground;
So they proffered us pardon and bade us go free:
We obliged them. Ha, ha !-jolly sextons are we!
With a cart and a pitchfork we clear out the way!
And we drink to their rest : we leave others to pray.
Then evviva the plague! for the dead ones, you know,
Can't look after their gold when we toss them below.
And to handle the corpses their friends are afraid ;
So we handle them, boys—let us drink to the trade!
Let us drink to the plague ; it avenges our cause !

To the plague, boys, which levels rank, fortune, and laws!'” Cooper in his more recent novels has frequently written as most popular authors do, as if his pen had run dry, or that he could only repeat himself. It seems, however, that when he ever chances to alight on the field where he won his first laurels, he is himself again; and that the mountains, the floods, the lakes, the forests, and the solitudes, so vast and impressive, as are those of his fatherland,--that the red man, and the hardly more civilized white hunter of the West, can yet strike a chord that vibrates with as truthful and vigorous a response as it ever has done in the soul of this great romantic historian of races that are hastening to extinction. The original white hunter and the red man will ere long be only looked for in the pages of your Irvings and your Coopers.

Deerslayer is an old acquaintance, but with a new name. In short he is the famous Leatherstocking, the Hawkeye, the her now of five tales. Take a few words from Mr. Cooper himself in explanation. He

- The book has not been written without

says,

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many misgivings as to its probable reception. To carry one and the same character through five several works would seem to be a wilful over-drawing on the good nature of the public, and many persons may very reasonably suppose it an act, of itself, that ought to invite a rebuke. To this natural objection, the author can only say that, if he has committed a grave fault on this occasion, his readers are in some measure answerable for it. The favourable manner in which the more advanced career and the death of Leatherstocking were received, has created, in the mind of the author, at least, a sort of necessity for giving some account of his younger days. In short, the pictures of his life, such as they are, were already so complete as to excite some little desire to see the 'study,' from which they have all been drawn. • The Leatherstocking Tales' now form something like a drama in five acts; complete as to material and design, though probably very incomplete as to execution. Such as they are, the reading world has them before it. The author hopes, should it decide that this particular act, the last in execution, though the first in the order of perusal, is not the best of the series, it will also come to the conclusion that it is not absolutely the worst." We rather think that the verdict will be more favourable than even Mr. Cooper's expressed hopes anticipate ; for in none of the other tales of the series have we found such manly simplicity, such shrewd wisdom, such quaint originality in the portraiture of the hero, as in the volumes before us. The white hunter of the border is sterling throughout, but here we find the foundations of his freshness, vigour, truth, prowess, and generosity.

We shall not so much as hint at the course or the characters of the tale; our extracts will have in them enough of story and of stamina as to require the very slightest introductions. We only state in general terms that the whole machinery is simple, the descriptions natural but powerful, and the incidents life-like-not overdrawn, or too profusely coloured. Our first extract contains a sample of the moral philosophy which the young adventurer in the vast wilderness, and among primeval forests, preached. It occurs at the beginning of the tale, and is addressed to a brother hunter, Harry Hurry :

“I look upon the red men to be quite as human as we are ourselves, Harry. They have their gifts, and their religion, it's true ; but that makes no difference in the end, when each will be judged according to his deeds, and not according to his skin.

“ That's downright missionary, and will find little favour up in this part of the country, where the Moravians don't congregate. Now, skin makes the man. This is reason ; else how are people to judge of each other? The skin is put on, over all, in order that when a creatur', or a mortal, is fairly seen, you may know at once what to make of him.

You know a bear from a hog by his skin, and a grey squirrel from a black.

True, Hurry,” said the other, looking back and smiling, “nevertheless they are both squirrels."

Hear the philosopher concerning the difference between a nature and a gift :

“And what are your ideas of the fate of an Indian in the other world ?' demanded Judith, who had just found her voice.

Ah! gal, anything but that! I am too christianized to expect anything so fanciful as hunting and fishing after death; nor do I believe there is one Manitou for the red-skin, and another for a pale-face. You find different colours on 'arth, as any one may see, but you don't find different natur's. Different gifts, but only one natur.'

“In what is a gift different from a nature ? Is not nature itself a gift from God?'

"Sartain ; that's quick thoughted and creditable, Judith, though the main idee is wrong. A natur' is the creatur' itself; its wishes, wants, idees and feelin's, as all are born in him. This natur' never can be changed in the main, though it may undergo some increase or lessening. Now, gifts come of sarcumstances. Thus, if you put a man in a town, he gets town gifts; in a settlement, settlement gifts; in a forest, gifts of the woods. A soldier has soldierly gifts, and a missionary preaching gifts. All these increase and strengthen, until they get to fortify natur' as it might be, and excuse a thousand acts and idees. Still the creatur' is the same at the bottom; just as a man who is clad in regimentals is the same as the man that is clad in skins. The garments make a change to the eye, and some change in the conduct perhaps ; but none in the man. Herein lies the apology for gifts; seein' that you expect different conduct from one in silks, and satins, from one in homespun; though the Lord who didn't make the dresses, but who made the creatur's themselves, looks only at his own work. This isn't ra'al missionary doctrine, but it's as near it as a man of white colour need be."

Another specimen, but of higher speculation and sentiment; the discourse is with a Delaware Indian, a tribe with which the Deerslayer was in strict amity :

“You must know, Sarpent, that the great principle of Christianity is to believe without seeing; and a man should always act up to his religion and principles, let them be what they may.'

"That is strange for a wise nation,' said the Delaware, with emphasis. The red man looks hard, that he may see and understand.'

“Yes, that's plauserble, and is agreeable to mortal pride ; but it's not as deep as it seems. If we could understand all we see, Sarpent, there might be not only sense but safety in refusin' to give faith to any one thing that we might find oncomprehensible; but when there's so many things, about which it may be said we know nothin' at all, why there's little use, and no reason, in bein' difficult touchin' any one in partic'lar. For my

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