est masters of English fiction were then before the public, and both genius and power were needed, not to beat but to keep neck-and-neck with them in the race. The public were not slow to find many faults with "Ten Thousand a-Year." Some cavilled at the characters, many at the political bias, a good few at the plot, but all were impressed and all were interested. The success which attended the appearance of the story as a separate work was not at all impaired by its previous serial publication, and the hold which it then took upon the public has never up to the present moment relaxed.
The anonymity was now no more; and the hand of the author of "Ten Thousand a-Year" was easily traceable in many papers contributed to these pages down to a period of about twenty years ago. These sketches, now collected in a volume of "Miscellanies," are still read with great interest. As chips from the workshop in which the "Diary" and "Ten Thousand a-Year" were constructed, they naturally possess a strong claim on the critic's attention; and he will not fail to recognize in them the germ of many incidents which Warren has turned to good account in his great fiction. The same power of extracting dramatic effect out of ordinary judicial processes, which holds us spell-bound while the court is deciding the fate of the Yatton property, is displayed to great advantage in the sketch, "Who is the Murderer?" and in others of a similar character, which have proved a mine of wealth to subsequent novelists of the sensational school. Many writers of fiction could be pointed to who are largely indebted to Warren's works for their knowledge of the bar and the courts. A series of papers reviewing Townsend's "Modern State Trials" furnish a very readable account of some of the more remarkable causes célèbres prosecuted by the crown during the present reign. The treason of the Welsh rioters; Oxford's attempt to assassinate the queen; the murder of Mr. Drummond, Sir Robert Peel's private secretary, by M'Naughton; the trial of Humphreys, the claimant of the Stirling peerage, whose case is described at length under the title of "The Romance of Forgery;" the trial of Lord Cardigan by his peers for duelling; and the cases of O'Connell and Smith O'Brien, are all told in a manner that happily blend the acumen of the skilled lawyer with the vivacity and picturesqueness of the novelist. The last of his works that we shall notice, "Now and Then," was reviewed in Blackwood of February 1848, when an attempt was made to do justice to the lofty purpose, the dramatic power, and the exquisite pathos of the story of Adam Ayliffe. It is less ambitious in conception than "Ten Thousand a-Year," and is characterized by far less striving for effect than we meet with in that novel; but to our mind it possesses a sweetness and a softening influence that mere literary art could hardly have given it, and that could have sprung only from a pure mind feeling deeply for human distress. The fame that these works had secured him was sufficient to satisfy his literary ambition; his legal duties naturally claimed his first care; and his contributions to the magazine grew more infrequent, until at last he stood aside, and the pages which his writing had so often adorned knew his pen no more. Such in brief outline is the story of Samuel Warren's literary life. It would be incomplete without some reference to his professional career. After practising for some years under the bar as a special pleader, he was called by the Inner Temple in 1837. Notwithstanding the mark which his novels had made for him, his progress was not rapid. He had to bear the full share of disappointment that falls to the lot of most lawyers, and to practise that patience which he had so forcibly preached in his fictions. Men accounted for this by the time-honored superstition that when a barrister begins to dabble in literature, his chances of professional success are altogether thrown away. Warren consoled himself with the more flattering belief that the attorneys were revenging themselves on him for the severe picture which he had drawn of their practices in his account of the firm of Quirk, Gammon, and Snap. We believe the real reason to be one more honorable to his character. Possessing, as he did, a high sense of the dignity of his profession, he not only did not resort to the common expedients for securing business, but did not even make such advances as are sanctioned by professional usage toward those who had the distribution of work. But if the Quirks and Gammons of the profession made him the object of their spite, he was more than compensated by the esteem in which he was held by the worthier members of the profession. Such men as Follett, Talfourd, and Pollock, Fitzroy Kelly, Grove, and Barnes Peacock, were his personal friends and admirers; and though no doubt they made quiet jokes at the way in which he bore his literary honors, they loved and respected him as a colleague.