Wide of the Mark. By the Author of " Recommended
to Mercy." vols. (Tinsley.)—We learn from the preface that "the main facts Wide of the Mark. By the Author of " Recommended to Mercy." vols. (Tinsley.)—We learn from the preface that "the main facts
related in the story are strictly true." "So much the worse for the facts," we are inclined to say. You may easily make stories which are not worth telling or ought not to be told out of "facts that are strictly true." It would scarcely be too much to say that Wide of the Mark is a perfect wilderness of bigamy. The heroine's mother, who returns incognita to act the part of governess to her daughter (if this is one of the "main facts," Mrs. H. Wood may plead it for an incident much criticized in "East Lynne "), marries secretly a husband whom we will call A, and publicly another husband whom we will call B. A, supposing her to be dead, marries another wife ; B, know- ing that she is alive, tries to do the same. The career of the heroine is not continued after her marriage, and we know nothing more of her than
that she has two lovers. We do not wish to deny that the book has merits. The plot is skilfully contrived, and even ex- perienced novel-readers will probably justify the boast of the title, and be " wide of the mark " at guessing at the de-noueinent. Nor is there anything to object to in the general tone in which it is written. Still we object to the tale as a whole, and there are instances of deplor- ably bad taste. Surely the Author of "Recommended to Mercy" has not' so very squeamish a pen that she is obliged to paraphrase certain whole- some plain-speaking in this fashion,—"If it be true, as we are told in Holy Writ, that he who looketh with eyes of convoitise upon his neighbour's wife bath broken the Seventh Commandment in his heart.' " Our author might be employed to paraphrase certain disagreeable pas- sages in the Bible for the delicate ears of the upper ten thousand, admirers of fashionable lady novelists, and enthusiastic patrons of /Wile. Schneider.