13 JANUARY 1866, Page 20


Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes," Mrs. Stowe gives a series of lectures on those "unsuspected, unwatched, insignificant little causes that nibble away domestic happiness." Our readers will at once be reminded of Mr. Helps and some of the pleasant chapters of the Friends in Council; we need hardly say that those who have submitted them selves to that wise and genial guidance will not find mach matter for reflection in this volume, and we are afraid that they would be rather inclined to smile at a good deal of Mrs. Stowe's advice. To use one of her own metaphors for the concert of English life, her instruments are tuned to too low a pitch. We do not require to be told that "the members of a domestic circle should not feel a freedom to blurt out in each others' faces, with- out thought or care, all the disagreeable things that may occur to them,.

as, for example, 'Is there a pimple coming on your nose Your dress sets like a witch ! ' " nor if there is a limping sister in a family is there with us " a never failing supply of jokes on Dot-and-Go-One !"—nor- is it necessary, we hope, to proclaim in private that " every man and every woman in their self-training and self-culture should study the art of giving up with a good grace." We do not, however, mean to deny that there is much sound sense and humour in the volume. Mrs. Stowe cannot write many pages without displaying both, and there is cer- tainly one set of people who would derive mach benefit from a. careful study of her pages, the sect that arrogates to itself the title of the religious world. These folks will find in them, in addition to a New- England piety that they cannot impugn, the common sense and the charity that are generally wanting in the productions of their school.