12 JULY 1873, Page 23

Too Soon : a Study of a Girl's Heart. By

the Author of "Patty," .&c. 3 vols. (Bentley.)—This " study " is sufficiently clever and, in some respects, true to nature, but the effect which it produces upon the reader is distinctly wearying. The story has been told so often before, that it required some novelty or some ingenuity of treatment to invest it with sufficient interest. An attachment which is something like love at first sight springs up between Ursula Williams, aged eighteen, daughter of an old, unworldly student, and Michael Helder, a man approaching middle age, himself also a student. Circumstances make it convenient that the couple should be married after a very brief court- ship, and no sooner are they married than the usual misunderstandings spring up. In producing or aggravating these one Rachel Fraser, Michael's cousin, who has long kept his house after a fashion, not precisely in accord with English etiquette, plays her part, though she plays it with perfect honesty and desire to act rightly. Ursula, called suddenly abroad by her father's illness, leaves her home while her husband is away. The misunderstandings increase. She is very obstinate and proud, he want- ing in the confidence of love. The reader is supposed to fear, though of course he does not fear, that they will be separated for life. There is really very little in the story but what has been told in these few lines. It would require supreme skill in the writer to avoid a certain monotony. This girl, whose heart we are invited to inspect so carefully, is a common-place character. It is very easy to get tired of looking at her. How tired one gets can be judged from the eagerness with which one relishes anything-that is not connected with the story,—any little touch, for instance, of foreign manners, as when we find the heroine amazed at seeing that two French sailors fighting do not use the fist, but give each open-hand blows on the face. " Patty " was in every way a superior -novel to Too Soon,