MRS. S. C. MALL'S MARIAN.
Katty Mac-:u possessed even more warmth and c,, .y of cm racter than falls to the lot the generality of Irishwomen. Loeter, tnot i;rnorant,iter idea-:, it not veYed in good authorized English, would Inv. I n consblercil worth remembering :or their quaintness and originality, it' n -t •r :heir justness and propriety. had looked at the world time and :1'.t id married, like
most Iri gill:, for hive, not prudence : .". ;hank Coil so many of her cettittrytvomen do, true : :,: who was little better than a hrute, for no other rea--o!, a ".."-hanil. She had been with him in the Peninsula, it . • a. 1. I • : and buried him, to use her own " r watching :till en-
dnriug his incre.ised ill-temper for mat.y 11,.• t. .1, : and it was during wanderings abroad that Batty became V:::11 the
mysterks of-_:,dry "made dishes," which entitled her ta the c 1 repu-
tation of a tir.>:-rata cook. Kattc, moreover, was stern al.d. le.: : : ..,:1.1 of
humour, and with a yet temier heart. She :..,.. ;mine of life; with m, round joyous express:kat of countenan..... either in tear:: _mules. Sometimes it was said they sparkled with inore than natural spirit. 1 it only, she declared, "whin she had the detil's own dinner and all to and no one with understanding to hello her. What could she do but a 1..inthiefull, to key up her heart (h) such occa,ious it was her invariable praelice to cry after her husbaial to lust, according to her own account, must have beg:; it gigantic monster. ‘• at anditi,! six foot three in his st. eking-
vamps, the pr:mie of the regiment ; and so fond .ef the army, that he'd with his own shadow sooner than get out of practice. Yet,- she tv.tuld amid, with ch rac tevi stie feriing, " Sure he had the.tirsi heart's Awe, and the last of it is in h s !),'":%-."
ENTERING A PREPARATORY SC1100L,
IN reviewing this lady's former novels, we have been constrained to award them a scantier measure of approbation than some of their qualities inclined us to bestow. There is in all of them, a kindly and amiable spirit, tending to create a strong prepossession in flivour of the personal character of the author, with gleams of fancy, and traits of playful and humorous satire. But they have been hitherto slight and superficial ; made up of incidents culled from the commonplaces of novel-writing, and of characters copied, not from the book of Nature, but from the well-thumbed volumes of the circulating library. The present work is of a superior and a more finished order.
Marian is a foundling of high birth, deserted by an unnatural another ; bro-,ight up, from caprice and ostentation, by the vain and selfish mist::ess of the house at whose door she has been found, and expof:c.1 to all the miseries incident to so ill- starred an en- trance into the world. She finds, however, kind and benevolent friends; discovers the mystery of her birth ; and finally takes her place, in honour and happiness, in the rank to which she was born. This is a si:aple story, yet it affords room for amusing-, touching, and strikhtf incidents ; and amono: the persons of the drama there arc several characters drawn with a firm stud powerful hand. Ma- rian herif is no commonplace heroine. The power of cruelty and oppres:-ion, in breaking a high and noble nature which they cannot ben:. is exhibited in many affrcting scenes. Some of these take place ::. a wretched " preparatory school," whither the poor foundling is sent by her protectress to get her off her hands, and the interior of which is painted with a strength and spirit which remind us of Spacers and Dotheboy's Hall. So strong indeed is the coincidel:ce, that Mrs. Ham. very properly informs her readers that her picture of Miss Womble and her seminary was drawn be- fia-e Nieldel,y was given to the world. The slight sketch of Miss Kitty, the 1,.-:,verness, unfriended orphan, whose naturally kind heart has been hardened into stone by a life of degradation and insult, notwithstanding its simplicity and quietness, is very pa- thetic. Th.:. reading of this book will make a mother beware how she sends 1t 2i' child to a cheap preparatory school.
The gee:: of the novel is Katy Macane, the poor Irish nurse,—a character t]..:n which, whether com,idered in its conception or exe- cution, we L:xlw nothing more admirable of its kind in SCOTT or Eocianvoler E. We cannot praise it too highly, for we have hardly ever receive.: greater delight from a creation of flalcy. Ratty has the sublimhy of thought and poetry of expresi.,e, the boundless generosity tl-d warmth of heart, the acute perception and practical wisdom, O._ 1-acy humour and grotesque quaintness, which belong to the Irish; and they arc blended so harmoniously, that the picture, ther,-;11 embellished, has the reality and truthfulness of na- ture. And it is remarkable that tl:is ch::ractcr, though mingling in almost ev scene of the history, never flags .for an instant, but is sustained to the last with unabated spirit.
What may be called the romance of the book, is its least success- ful part. mystery connected with the heroine's birth is, as usual with mysteries, clumsily created and clumsily cleared
up ; and • last -volume, consequently, is inferior to the others.
The conch.;.:Jn, however, which (in a happy imitation of Miss Encl.:wow! It = charming tale ne ...lbseOce) consists ur a letter from Katty :'::cane to her "folks.' in Ireland, is admirable. The fullv...ing are a few extracts.
long fingers being admirably matched in a red purply tint denoting extreme cold. Mary glanced round on her companions, but, meeting no returning glance, did what strangers always do in a strange house, she walked up close to the fireplace. " Musn't go there," said the long girl ; "read the rules—' Every young lady placing her hands on the fender to pay one penny to the poor-box, and learn an additional column of French spelling. " Mary moved to sit in a comfortable easy chair, which I forgot to enumerate in my catalogue of the school furniture, and which stood in solitary dignity between the windows.
44 Musn't sit there, that's the governess's chair. Read the rules," persisted the purple young lady-" The pupils to keep their regular seats, except When in the stocks, on the reclining board, or in class : any young lady taking other than her proper seat, to pay a penny to the poor-box, and do one extra stun in arithmetic.'
" But I have no scat yet," remonstrated Marian. " Do as you like," replied the long young lady; " only, no one ever sits in that chair, except the governess or Kits." "Cats:" echoed Marian.
" Yes, Kate," repeated the thin girl. " We always call Miss Kitty, Kate ; ale's so cross. Mind, little one, you don't tell. I've been here five years, and mum's our word."
" Mum!" said the perplexed novice. " Yes, mum ; that's our word. 'Why, you little stupid, mum means hold your tongue." Marian made no reply. " What'syour name, little one? " persisted Miss Kemp. " Marian Winter."
" Have you ever been at school before ?" " Never."
" Poor child ! I dare say you were very sorry to leave pa' and ma', and brothers and sisters ? "
" 1 have none."
44 Oh dear! how odd. No pa' or ma', or brothers or sisters. Well, perhaps you're better off; they torment one sadly. Brothers—particularly brothers. Do you come as a boarder or half-hoarder?"
" I don't know."
" 011, as a boarder, I suppose ; you are too little for a half. However, we shall soon know."
Although Mary did not understand the difference, she innocently inquired, " How ?'
" Oh," replied her informant, laughing. " because pupils—whole pupils— get bread and butter ; halls get bread and scrape."
Marian was again at fault, but she did not feel inclined to prolong the con- versation with a companion who continued humming a tune, and knocking first one heel and then the other against the ground, to mark the time and keep her feet from freezing.
" I will be a governess," said Marian, triumphantly " great women have been teachers, I have heard Miss Kitty say—great and good women. Kings must have teachers; queens must have governesses."
Katty 31acane compressed her lips and elevated her brows.
" To go a-governcssing is looking at the world through the back-windows—a chow =three ! I never heard such folly! To be, as a body may say, between hawk and buzzard—too low for the drawing-room, too high for the kitchen ; belonging neither to the earth beneath nor the heavens above ; slighted by the mistress, insulted by the servants; winked at by the gentlemen visiters, and shook off by the lady ones; blamed for the faults of the children ; barked at by the dogs, scratched by the cats ; a thing without a place ; a free woman treated as a born slave. Listen to me, avournoen. I have known, at home and abroad, big and little, thirteen governesses in my time: twelve were born miserable, and were always kept so; the thirteenth was lucky—for she died in leer first place. 'Och, Manna! God break hard fortune before any woman's child—I'd rayther, or as soon, see you in yer grave, as going a-governessing."
Gentle reader, if you, being poor, should have the blessing of a beautiful child, and this child should attract the attention of a vain, capricious woman Of fashion, and she should offer to "patronize it "—that is, bring it forward as an ornament to attract attention to the otherwise unheard-of benevolence of her heart, or to draw to her compliments on her taste and discernment—better for you to take that girl, and, clothing her in simple russet, send her to honest business-like industry, where she can earn the sweet and wholesome food of labour, than intrust her to the capricious smiles of those whose hearts have been eaten away by the canker of folly, selfishness, and caprice. Blessed, doubly blessed, is the voice of a friend in a poor dwelling ; but the step of pa- tronage sounds heavy on the ear as the clank of the fetter and the chain; its bread is bitter to the taste, and its gilded cup poisoned. Every sphere of life may be filled with happiness; but let not ambition tempt the humbly-born to endure the slavery born of patronage.