Mrs. Child’s Letters.


  The extensive and growing popularity of Mrs. Child as a writer is an earnest of good. It shows that the world is ready to value, if it cannot appreciate, the sincere purpose and active fidelity of the inner life, when brought near to it through a character so affectionate, humane, and lively as hers.—Let those who cannot make themselves heard rouse themselves to a sense of their deficiencies!

  These pictures of New-York life, so interesting now from their familiar freedom, will retain a permanent value from the same cause. They will take their place in the history of a growth so rapid that only “Fine-ear” can discern its pulses, and of which few even of the fine-ear genius have skill, spirit, and time united to take count. These sketches are not superficial, but show a true and companionable insight to the purposes, no less than the symptoms, of our life. The insight is well expressed in the following passage:

  “The New Year’s show in the windows was exceedingly beautiful this year. The shawls are of richer colors, the patterns more delicately tinged, the jewelry, cutlery, and crockery, are of more tasteful patterns. I look with interest on these continually progressive improvements, because they seem to me significant of a more perfect state of society than we have yet known. The outward is preparing itself for the advancing idea of the age, as a bride adorns herself for her husband.”

  Mrs. Child’s acquaintance with common life is large, and various, such as can be won only by powers of ardent sympathy, balanced by a love of justice. Yet still dearer to her are the hours when fancy takes flight above experience, or the mind, rooted in reality, raises its eyes with assurance to the region of spiritual laws.

  Thus there will be found in this book two kinds of pleasure and instruction, which will meet the wants of two different classes of readers. For him who seeks sprightly, well defined and sympathetic narratives of events that lie around us all, but which few have eyes to see, or hearts to understand, without prompting, this book will be the New-York Spectator. Another class will find more satisfaction in the part, a large one in the present volume, which expresses the more intimate experiences of the mind, new revelations on Music, illustrations of the doctrine of Correspondences, and a general intelligence of the mode in which the warp and woof of life have mingled, are mingling, which casts light upon the beauty and meaning of the pattern.

  To these last the story of “Thot and Freia,” would be of great interest; but, as this has been seen already in the pages of a magazine, we give rather the story of Leopold Sturmvogel, in which many may recognize lineaments of a form whose passage never failed to excite deep feelings in the minds of the bystanders, and will answer, though sadly, inquiries which have been made from many quarters as to “What has become of him, the gifted, the unhappy man? We cannot hope to hear of welfare, but we would gladly know how he fares.” These flying leaves will be before hand with the book, though that cannot fail in due time to travel far and wide.*

“Mrs. Child’s Letters.” New-York Daily Tribune, 10 May 1845, p. 1.