It was read, admired, parodied, dramatised. All parties joined in its praise. Those (not a few) who at the time favoured Mr Godwin’s political principles, hailed it as a new triumph of his powers, and as a proof that the stoicism of the doctrines he in­ culcated did not arise from any defect of warmth or enthusiasm of feeling, and that his abstract speculations were grounded in, and sanctioned by, an intimate knowledge of, and rare felicity in, developing the actual vicissitudes of human life. On the other hand, his enemies, or those who looked with a mixture of dis­ like and fear at the system of ethics advanced in the Enquiry concerning Political Justice) were disposed to forgive the author's paradoxes for the truth of imitation with which he had depict­ ed prevailing passions, and were glad to have something in which they could sympathize with a man of no mean capacity or attainments. At any rate, it was a new and startling event in literary history for a metaphysician to write a popular ro­ mance. The thing took, as all displays of unforeseen talent do with the public. Mr Godwin was thought a man of very powerful and versatile genius ; and in him the understand­ ing and the imagination reflected a mutual and dazzling light upon each other. J1 is St Leon did not lessen the wonder, nor the public admiration of him, or rather c seemed like another ‘ morn risen on mid-noon.’ But from that time he has done no­ thing of superlative merit. lie has imitated himself, and not well. lie has changed the glittering spear, which always de­ tected truth or novelty, for a leaden foil. We cannot say of his last work (Cloudesley),— * Even in his ashes live his wonted ‘ fires.’ The story is cast indeed something in the same moulds as Caleb Williams; but they arc not filled and running over with molten passion, or with scalding tears. The situations and cha­ racters, though forced and extreme, arc without effect from the want of juxtaposition and collision. Cloudesley (the elder) is like Caleb Williams, a person of low origin, and rebels against his patron and employer; but he remains a characterless, passive, inefficient agent to the last,— forming his plans and resolutions at a distance,— not whirled from expedient to expedient, nor driven from one sleepless hiding-place to another; and his lordly and conscience-stricken accomplice (Danvers) keeps his stale in like manner, brooding over his guilt and remorse in solitude, with scarce an object or effort to vary the round of his reflections,— a lengthened paraphrase of grief. The only dramatic incidents in the course of the narrative arc, the sudden metamorphosis of the Florentine Count Camaldoli into the robber St Elmo, and the unexpected and opportune arrival of Lord Danvers in person,

with a coach and four and liveries, at Naples, just in time to save his ill-treated nephew from a violent death. The rest is a well-written essay, or theme, composed as an exercise to gain a mastery of style and topics.