12 JUNE 1880, Page 23

Kings in Exile. By Alphonse Daudet. Translated by E, Clavequin.

3 vols. (Samuel Tinsley.)—M. Alphonse Daudet is unquestionably one of the satirists who hold up a too faithful mirror to vice. Doubtless it is well that good republicans should be edified by the spectacle of the sins and follies of monarchs in exile, voluntary or involuntary, such as are the Prince of Axel and the King of Illyria. But the edification is doubtful for any but republi- can virtues, always, it is to be remembered, of the sternest and most impeccable kind, when the spectacle is such that the sinners them- selves would gloat over it. Here, at least, where instead of the austerity of our neighbours south of the Channel, we have the corrupting influence of monarchical principles, we think M. Alphonse Daudet'a satire is far more likely to do harm than to do good. To speak plainly, we cannot feel any thankfulness to Mr. E. Clavequin for having put this novel into English, though this has anyhow the merit of not lending to its subject the seductions of style.