5 DECEMBER 1885, Page 24

The Paths of Peace and Snow-Flakes are very prettily and

attractively got up and illustrated. We cannot say much for the illustrations in Good Cheer; but the story is capital. The description of "the toun " and its inhabitants on the far-away Shetland coast, of all the quaint Yule-tide customs and the amusing and interesting superstitions of the country-folks, &c., are very clever and very fascinating. The ending of the story is its weak point. All through the tale, a certain laird's wife is marked out as the villain of the piece ; and when the denouement comes, she is not concerned in the wickedness that has been perpetrated in any way. The writer of "Where Two Ways Meet" in The Paths of Peace—Sarah Dondney—has painted her picture in black and white—a style which we are nct ourselves at all fond of, but we believe many people like it very much. We mean that the characters exhibit, some almost unmixed virtue, and others almost unmixed vice or worldliness—at least Miss Doudney apparently intends that they should do so ; but we must beg to submit that the girl who said at one moment,—" Oh, Aunty, you never will understand ! You may carry a shell hundreds of miles away from the sea, but if you listen to it, you will always hear the old murmur of the waves; and when the heart has once been baptised in the ocean of God's love, it will sing of that mighty flood for ever and ever,"—would not say at another, of the same aunt, that "her only consolation was that she was sure to be punished hereafter for all the rages she had put her into." We object, too, to Miss Doadney's way of abusing her own creations for what they could not help, and calling the annt'a voice "a croaking old voice," and her hand a "leathery hand," &c. The love of the two little girls for each other, and their happy life in the pleasant country village, is very nicely told, and the end of the tale is very satisfactory. Snowflakes contains a delightful Christmas sermon for children by Mr. Waugh, and some very pretty little verses set to music by him also, besides many nice stories in prose and verse for the little ones. Altogether, we can strongly recommend these Christmas numbers to the story-loving public.