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ed. That Europe may be enabled to introduce the system is our ardent wish; and we deem it truly auspicious that the task of making the preliminary inquiries has devolved on persons so well qualified for that object, as Messrs. de Beaumont and de Tocqueville.

Since this article was written and sent to the press, we have had an opportunity of looking at the eighth report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline in Great Britain, and also at the Report of the Select Committee on Secondary Punishments, made to the House of Commons, June 22d, 1832. We perceive, from these documents, that while enormous abuses still exist in

many

of the British prisons, reform is advancing with rapid strides. It is highly gratifying to witness the respect with which the Penitentiary System of the United States is referred to. The reports of the Boston Prison Discipline Society are commended in the highest terms.

The Eighth Report of this invaluable institution has also, since these remarks were written, been publicly submitted to the society. Its contents are of the most gratifying and auspicious character. They confirm the claims of the society, already well established, -to be regarded as one of the most admirable institutions of the age. It is not easy to speak, in exaggerated terms, of the good which it has effected. We learn, with great satisfaction, from this report, that the work of Messrs. de Beaumont and de Tocqueville, is to be translated by Dr. Lieber.

ART. VI.-Works of Mrs. Child.
1. The Ladies' Library. Vol. 1. Lives of Madame de

Staël and Madame Roland. Vol. 2. Lives of Lady
Russell and Madame Guyon. Vol. 3. Biographies of

Good Wives. By Mrs. Child. Boston. 1832 and 3. 2. The Coronal, a Collection of Miscellaneous Pieces.

By THE SAME. Boston. 1833.

When Napoleon told Madame de Staël that she was the first woman in the republic, who bore the most children, though be said a good thing, it was hardly a true one. We should go somewhat more for the intellectual, and say that she was the first, and the best too, who wrote the most useful books. Governing ourselves by this standard, we are not sure that any woman in our country would outrank Mrs. Child. This lady bas long been before the public as an author, with much success. And she well deserves it,—for in all her works we think that nothing can be found, which does not commend itself by its tone of healthy morality, and generally by its good sense. Few female writers, if any, have done more or better things for our literature, in its lighter or graver departments. She has continued to render herself popular in fiction and fact; to be graceful alike in telling a village story, and in giving a receipt for the kitchen ; to be at home in the prose and the poetry of life ; in short, to be just the woman we want for the mothers and daughters of the present generation. We have long watched the course of Mrs. Child, and in general, with satisfaction. Sometimes we have been more than satisfied, we have admired her.

Mrs. Child began, if we mistake not, as a novelist. This, while the field was so full of able adventurers in this department,-we mean abroad, more particularly, was something hazardous. But on the whole she succeeded. To us this appears the more singular, and the more a subject for self-congratulation with the author, as the work she began with was an Indian story. We are stern unbelievers in Indian tales. We are tired of them,—and were so before Mrs. Child made her essay. We long ago believed that the best specimens of Indian character and life had been given us by earlier authors, some of them the best of whom we can boast. Charles Brockden Brown drew a better picture of the veritable savage, than has ever been painted after him, by any of our literary pencils. We have never been satisfied with a portrait since. Some writers have caricatured the whole affair, while they thought they were working up the warp and woof of their own immortality, at once. It is well for such authors, that the chiefs they meant to depict were not living, to see the outrageous representations of themselves on the pages of their historians. There would have been no chance for thein. Wampum and calumet had never been respected towards such adventurers among the red men. They would have been scalped, inevitably. But we cannot stop to particularize. It is enough to say, that the idea of Indian girls wearing 'mantles' instead of blankets, and Indian chiefs talking hexameters, like Alexander Pope, or unmeasured poetry, like Ossian, is too supremely ridiculous for people in health, and in their senses.

Yet such Indians we have, by the score, in our Indian novels, shown up with all the gravity imaginable to a simple, wondering, cheated and maltreated public. Mrs. Child drew her savage very well,-though not so well as Brown. Still there was an evident inclination to throw more of civilized life and conversation into the portraiture than is admissible; and though she had too much tact not to avoid the gross inconsistencies into which some who preceded and many who have followed her, have fallen, still Hobomok cannot be reckoned by any means faultless, and belongs to the second class of Mrs. Child's productions.

Soon after came the Rebels,-a revolutionary story. This was a popular tale in its time,-and, for aught we know, is so now. It made no very high pretensions, but was full of the familiar incidents of the period to which it related, and interested all readers, no doubt by the associations it awakened and the pictures it presented. We have no very particular recollection of its plot,—as who can have, that reads a twentieth part of the novels that are pouring upon us? We remember, however, being pleased by the narrative,-by the drawing of some of the characters, and the management of some of the scenes. Some of the witty portions, or what were intended as such, struck us as not particularly happy. The old jokes of Dr. Byles were rather heavily introduced, and were also not the best which he is said to have committed. Puns, unless they are very good,—that is, very bad ones, for the worse they are the better,—are a poor material for the pages of a work like the one referred to. The Doctor had wit, but Mrs. Child had done better by us, had she given us some of her own description in the place of these specimens of reverend humor.

We next find her before the public in a position more interesting than ever. No man or woman, it strikes us, can assume one of more moral dignity and beauty, than that of a faithful instructer and enlightener of the young in the way of all excellence. To come down to the multiplied little demands of the youthful mind, and to enter into its interests and feelings, especially when literary ambition and success would seem to allure to higher walks, or what the world calls such,-is an act, that reflects honor on the intellect of the person who performs it. We say nothing of the heart that prompts to this sacrifice,—for sacrifice it is, in the instance supposed, when public sentiment is waiting for a new appearance of a popular author, to render a new tribute of public applause.

In becoming the editor of the Juvenile Miscellany, Mrs. Child conferred a favor on parents and children alike; especially on the moral and religious portion of the community. This little work is admitted on all hands to be singularly excellent in its way. Its design and execution are both admirable. To one who has thought little of these things, it may appear an easy matter to make a book of this kind; so didactic and simple. But it is this very simplicity, that makes it a difficult work. Nothing is harder than for an intelligent, disciplined, severe mind to adapt itself, in language as well as in inanner, to the minds of children. The wisest may prove themselves fools here, though they may be Solomons in every thing else. Witness the extreme difficulty that a sensible man frequently encounters in addressing an assembly of youthful persons,—the pupils at a Sunday school, for instance. We have sometimes had occasion to see this, when it has given us absolute pain, so utterly unable was the speaker to accommodate himself to the little intellects with which he was confronted. We have seen the person, who, a few moments before, bad delighted us with his easy elocution, and perhaps stirred us with his eloquence, in the course of an appeal to a miscellaneous audience, sink to something really flat and unprofitable, in endeavoring to express himself to a hundred or two of young listeners. The offhand, self-confident talker of a popular meeting has been absolutely abashed before the upturned host of infantile irtent faces, and escaped from his dilemma only by giving up the matter at once, or subsiding into a strain of remark, natural enough to him, to be sure, but wholly above the comprehension of his hearers. So widely do we depart from simplicity, as we adapt ourselves to this complex world, and so unconscious are we of our departure, till some such emergency convinces us of it, to our confusion! The power alone of producing such a series of short instructive stories as the Miscellany presents, so well calculated to captivate the youthful attention, and to fix youthful sympathy, argues a remarkable power of invention. In fact, it is one of the best proofs of the author's capacity for higher things. In the instance of Mrs. Child, this fertility is uncommon,--and we should all hold ourselves happy that we have a genius who comes to all our hearths, giving token of holding out so well, from the fund she has shown us already.

But Mrs. Child was determined to become a still more decided utilitarian. She saw a great deficiency in the system of house-keeping among us,--and resolved to supply it. This she has done to the letter. Does any one doubt her success ? Let ten editions of the Frugal Housewife answer such unbelievers. No book, so little like a novel, or a poem, ever had such a run. It was to be found making its way into the boudoirs of the fashionable, as well as into the farmhouse. Every miss from the country who came to purchase a silk in the city, bore away a Housewife' done up in its folds. It was studied to be talked of in coteries, -and brought to mind over every lunch upon sponge cake. It laid itself down cosily by Walter Scott and Master Irving, deeming itself, as well it might, fit company for either, for what enjoyment can there be of the intellectual, unless we first attend to a proper regulation of the physical ? The economy of mind is connected in more ways than one with the economy of things that pertain to the body. In short, this little volume carried the day over all its contemporaries. It became a general favorite, and so remains to this day. Its good sense has commended it to mothers and daughters in England and France, and we understand it has gone through some editions in Paris. Now all this is very creditable to the public and the author. We have read portions of the book ourselves, though we are as bad as bachelors, and must say that the Hints are worth perusal once a month. As to remarks upon the volume, made by some one, we never cared to inquire who,-evidently clever, but as evidently a tyro in culinary luxuries, and who should have known better withal than to snarl at a lady, while he had the advantage of a periodical to do it in,-to say nothing of their want of gallantry in the abstract, --we hold them to be altogether in bad taste. We must resolutely maintain that hard gingerbread is nice.

This is a more revolutionary book than any other that Mrs. Child has written,-more so even than the Rebels; for the revolution with which this busies itself, extends all over our houses. It operates like a health committee, or a committee of vigilance. No woman will plead ignorance of its texts, and no daughter who looks to an establishment will dare own herself without it. We like this. It is refreshing, once in a while, to see

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