6 JANUARY 1866, Page 27

John Alston's Vow. By Elizabeth A. Murray. 3 vols. (Skeet.)—

The authoress of this novel is afraid that the present fast generation

will not appreciate the delicacy of motive by which her characters are actuated. "It will vote her heroes and heroines distorted pictures of a too fastidious past, or herself a muff." We rather think that it will not be the fineness of their feelings but the absurdity of their conduct that the public will find fault with, at least in the case of the heroes; and we are quite sure that the uncomfortableness of the plot, which turns on bigamy and hovers most unpleasantly on the borders of an incestuous marriage, is alone sufficient to condemn the work. This renders further criticism unnecessary ; we will only say in conclusion that the two female characters, a deserted wife and a deserted daughter, are naturally drawn, and that the part of the story which deals with their relations is interesting. There seems no reason why with a happier inspiration the authoress should not produce a readable novel.