13 JUNE 1863, Page 24

A First Friendship. Reprinted from " Fraser's Magazine." (Parker, Son,

and Bourn.)--If, as we have reason to believe is the case, this novel is a first attempt, its author may fairly be congratulated on having achieved something more than a merely respectable success. The story is well told and fairly interesting, and if the mystery upon which it depends is not absolutely probable in all its details, it is sufficiently within the limits of possibility to be legitimately available for the pur- poses of the novelist. Moreover, the book possesses the rare advantage of being well-written from beginning to end. Some exception may possibly be taken to its title, as the friendship spoken of serves merely to introduce the characters of the story, and does not contribute in any material degree either to its development or its catastrophe. This defect is so slight as to be scarcely worth notice, and were it of much greater importance, it is not of a nature to prevent us from very heartily commending " A First Friendship " to the notice of the novel-reading public.