6 JULY 1867, Page 22

Rustic Songs and Wayside Musings. By James R. Withers. Fourth

Edition. (Darton and Co.)—It is with considerable, and very natural, pride that Mr. Withers publishes a fourth edition of these simple verses. He is modest enough not to attribute their success to any political merit they may possess, but to the kindness of his friends, and this modesty disarms the criticism with which he might otherwise be visited. Even in the absence of such modesty we should not have been severe on Mr. Withers, for his verses are too much of the common butterfly order to be broken on the wheel. But the mere appearance of a fourth edition is a challenge to critical taste to inquire into the causes

of such success, and to ascertain if it is deserved. Mr. Tupper would have rested in secure mediocrity if it had not been the fashion to make

schoolgirls a present of a book which they were certain not to read, and if the unhappy prevalence of schoolgirls and the misguided generosity of their friends had not exhausted several editions of Proverbial Philosophy.