28 JANUARY 1832, Page 19

PROBATION Is the third work by a lady, this week,

selected for approbation, and such distinction as our praise may confer. Miss MARTINEAU leads the way, in the difficult and valuable art of popularizing science;* the lady of MEER HASSAN A id affords us instructive in- telligence respecting the opinions and customs of a numerous and interesting people; and next comes the ,present authoress, with a work of moral fiction. Miss MARTI NE AU informs us of the prin- ciples on which society is regulated ; Mrs. HAssAN ALI instructs us in the art of living in Hindostan and Mrs. Probation teaches us how to live happily and worthily at home. We hope it is not ungallaat to say, the ladies are making huge strides : we mean to pay a compliment. They are doing more than merely sharing in the general diffusion of knowledge—they are springing up to promote it in more than a due proportion.

Probation is the history of the education and adventures of a young spendthrift, who is brought to his senses by offering himself to a well-principled young lady, who refuses him—because of his insignificant pursuits, his loose principles, and unsteady habits. There is sufficient good in him to induce him to make an attempt to reform, and in the end become worthy of the upright and most adorable person who has rejected him. In order to put himself in the right path, the gentleman repairs to Edinburgh, and seeks the acquaintance of a cheerful old lady, Mrs. Sidney Hume ;—a por- trait, no doubt, recognizable by people acquainted with Edinburgh ; and is by her introduced into the improving society of the Modern Athens. Delay breeds danger: in addition to the lawsuit already existing between the gentleman and his inamorata's family, rivalry springs up on both sides ; and filially, the failure of a bank destroys the remainder of the reformed roué's fortune, and the death of a relative in America makes that of the heroine. But, under the guidance of Mrs. Sidney Hume, the bark is steered through all these mishaps; and, as usual, the port of matrimony is reached, • within a cable-length of the close of the volume. There is very little probability in the incidents of the story, and as little novelty ; but there is a good deal of well-drawn character (which the authoress understands better than story-making), some very pretty description, and a great deal of piety. A somewhat extra- vagant partiality to Scotland and the Scotch is excusable; and be- sides, is so common in Scotch writers, as to cease being remarked or remarkable. The authoress is a contributor to Blackwood's Magazine, and, as in private duty bound, sets down every South -countryman for a Cockney; by which, it appears, she means some one incapable of raptures at the sight of Scotch scenery, or, at any rate, .urrwilling to show any emotions that may be felt.

In addition to Probation, which occupies the greater part of_the ••• LiP in the Wilds. Since our notice of this charming little volume was written, the printeribas been obliged to lay it aside, for want of roomto give the illustrative extracts .ana;pmper scale. Both will appear in our next Number. _- volume, is a tale called " The Voiturier's Daughter,"—an affecting, incident, which is well developed. The authoress has travelled, and has, as we have already hinted, a lively perception of character.