Art. 40. - The Forest of Hohenelbe. A Tale. By the Author of Humbert Castle and Correlia. 3 Vols. 12mo. 13s. 6d. Boards. Lane and Newman. 1803.
We have perused these volumes with much pleasure. The author scarcely in any instance violates probability, or 'o'ersteps the modesty of nature.' Yet we have caverns inhabited by outlaws; we have massy chains, impenetrable prisons, and suicide. The whole is, however, well managed. The characters are natural, but discriminated. They are not faultless monsters, but have each their errors, which contribute to the catastrophe. We mean not to impeach him for a fault, though we think the example we allude to may be injurious; and the interest is lessened by the conduct exhibited - we mean the warm susceptibility of the heroine, who yields her heart without a struggle, from the impulse of gratitude, to a person she is not acquainted with, and whose character, from his wish of concealment, is suspicious. She even loves his semblance; for under a feigned name she does not know him to be the same. The hero, an outlaw, a robber, has all the impetuous energies of his education and profession. We could not have left Constantia with him, in expectation of her happiness; and, as the catastrophe was to be mournful, these little imperfections are artfully brought forward to render the events more consistent, and to lessen the pain we might otherwise feel at the conclusion. We suspect the author to be far above the common rank of novel-writers; and, with a happier subject, he may perhaps excite greater interest - the chief point in which he has failed in the volumes before us. [complete]
Provided by Julie A. Shaffer, November 1999.