5 NOVEMBER 1870, Page 24

Janie. By the Hon. Mrs. H. W. Chetwynd. 2 vols.

(Chapman and Hall.)—We have a pleasant recollection of Mrs. Chetwynd's former tale, "Mademoiselle D'Estanville," a sketch of French life, showing no little humour and pathos. In Janie we are taken to a different, perhaps not to so attractive a scene. There is less gaiety and sunshine ; the humour is broader, but not so effective (we find nothing so good as the old servant in the French story); in pathos the story matches its predecessor. The old minister gradually growing blind, and finding a comfort in his violin, which in old days the rigid propriety of his elders had forbidden, but which in the time of his darkness they have not the heart to koep from him, is a peculiarly touching sketch. The hero is a weak fool, whom it makes one angry to read about, and the cause of all the trouble ; the beautiful Sybil is one of the irresistible charmers whom the ladies, with a certain pride of sex, are so fond of representing, but about whom the male mind is obstinately incre- dulous. We can recommend the novel to our readers ; it is, anyhow, quite free from any attempt to secure an interest in an illicit way ; yet it is not, to say the least, an improvement on the earlier work. Critics are quite as tired of talking of a " falling-off " as authors must be of hearing the words; but we cannot help saying that there is less of careful work here than there should be, less than is required to win the place among novelists which we believe Mrs. Chetwynd is capable of reaching.