19 AUGUST 1865, Page 23

The Staff Surgeon ; or, Life in England and Canada.

1 vol. By "E. S. T."—This is a lady's first attempt, we are inclined to think. In spite of the Canadian addition to the title, the story is all about the "squire and parsons of the parish," including the curate. The staff surgeon is the rector's brother, and drops rather suddenly amongst the dramatis personas. As the "calm expanse of his white forehead is shaded by black and silky curls, and his eyebrows are exquisitely pencilled and slightly arched," in addition to his relationship, he has no difficulty in carrying off the squire's daughter, to the discomfiture of an unlucky private tutor, who certainly is badly used by the lady. The wooing is slightly impeded by a wicked widow, who is secretly married again, and has, thereby, forfeited an estate which devolves on our hero. But the authoress has not the heart to tease the lovers, and their happiness flows on pretty placidly through picnics, and rides, and church-goings, and other country ways of pleasantness. Perhaps the atmosphere is a little too mild, and the jokes suffer in consequence. "What do you think of the wine ?" Sir Howard inquires. "Why, I think it is what we should call extra fine ditto," replies the wag of a staff surgeon. "I never saw Sir Howard laugh more heartily," says the narrator. Everybody is made happy at the end, though there is a needless excursion to Canada in the penulti- mate chapter, for the sake of a " skating-rink " scene. The secret mar- riage is discovered, but the disreputable second husband, who rather flutters the dovecote, is got rid off„ and the widow is consoled with the discarded tutor, who is not a bad fellow. The curate's love-making, too, which supplies a pleasant under-current of interest, is brought to a happy termination. Altogether young ladies at the sea-side will be quite in the company they like best and where no harm can happen to them, and they might do mach worse than procure this story.