11 JUNE 1864, Page 21

Memoir of Robert Alfred Vaughan. By Robert Vaughan, D.D. (Macmillan

and Co.)—Dr. Vaughan has reprinted the memoir, which he prefixed to the two volumes of his son's essays published in 1858, shortly after his death, with additions. Certainly the author of "Hours with the Mystics" was one of whose private character his contempora- ries will be glad to know something, and every one can sympathize with the natural feelings which have prompted Dr. Vaughan to this publi- cation. But on general grounds we disapprove of works of this class.

Diaries never meant for the public eye are seldom profitable reading, for they are usually a record of morbid feelings for which some outlet

was necessary, but which the author knew were morbid, and therefore concealed. Mr. Vaughan was a literary man. His public life is to be found in his published works. And a short memoir, stating just the outline of an uneventful career, is sufficient to let the reader compre- hend the point of view from which the author -wrote. He is not wise who sets wide "the doors which bar the secret chambers of the heart," —his own, or that of those who are dear to him.