10 AUGUST 1872, Page 25

Miss Pickering must remember that to be cynical is not

always to be clever, but condemned by more than one or two capital faults. In the first place, it has some blunders, and to novels of this light sort blunders are fatal. There is a chapter, for instance, headed "St. Partridge ;" the subject is a fair one for description, mixed with some gentle ridicule of the squires, who think, or are supposed to think (the satirist need not care which), that partridges are, next to themselves and pheasants, the most important of created beings. Bat then if a lady writes about it,

she should take care to be correct. A squire does not have a battue of his partridges on the 1st of September ; in fact, the word is now appro-

priated to another kind of shooting. Again, a lady is perfectly at liberty

to quote Latin, but then she must not suppose that " qui bono? " is Latin. The other chief fault is in the plot. An abduction of a young

lady belonging to the "Upper Ten " by a peer of the realm is a strong measure to be introduced into a novel. Our Irish fellow-countrymen continue, we believe, sometimes to relieve the tedium of life by abduc- tions, but even there peers have discontinued the practice.