13 APRIL 1867, Page 21

First Steps in the Better Path. (F. Warne and Co.)—Four

little stories with unimpeachable morals, and with a praiseworthy desire to make all their readers as good as their heroes. How far they will succeed in this object we cannot say, though we wish them all success. But if any fault is to be found with them, it is that they make believe a little too much. Things happen just because they ought to happen. When, for instance, it is convenient that a little boy should got a broom and earn an honest penny by swooping a crossing, an angry cook launches a broomstick at the head of a dog, some schoolboys who have a box of cakes cut the string and leave it on the pavement, a gardener lops his shrubs and throws the twigs out into the street. The little boy gets stick, string, and twigs, makes a broom, appropriates a crossing, and mounts by similar steps to honesty, cleanliness, and competence. We are very glad that he does so, but it does not seem quite natural.