How Could He Help It? Or, the Heart Triumphant

By A. S. ROE. New York: Derby & Jackson.
A FAIR representative of a class of books that are always pleasant reading, although written without taste, cultivation, or originality,— because they are obviously dictated by a kind heart and genuine earnestness. In this volume the numerous heroes (so similar in every respect that one might fancy them to be only one hero mysteriously multiplied, like Kehama) and the fair heroines (exactly equalling the heroes in number, we are happy to assure the tenderhearted reader) are not in the least interesting, except for sheer goodness of heart. This unaided moral excellence, however, fairly redeems the book, and so far softens even our critical asperity that we venture only to suggest,— first, that the utterly unprecedented patois of Mrs. Kelly is not Irish, for which a careful examination of the context leads us to think it was intended,—secondly, that “if he had have done it ” is equally guiltless of being English, — thirdly, that, if our author, desiring to describe the feelings of a lover holding his mistress's hand, was inspired by Tennyson's phrase of “ dear wonder,” he failed, in our opinion, to improve on his original, when he substituted “the fleshy treasure in his grasp.”