12 MARCH 1904, Page 23

His Eminence. By Lady Helen Forbes. (E. Nash. 6s.) — The scene

of this story is a small Italian State at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Cardinal d'Este (" his Eminence" of the title) has at the beginning of the novel a successful, though not specially interesting, struggle with the reigning Duchess-Regent for the control of the State and of the boy Duke. The book, however, becomes much more readable when Napoleon and his victorious army appear on the frontier. The description of the relentless advance of the conqueror, and of the hopelessness of the struggle against him, gives us a poignant picture of how help- less our ancestors felt at the approach of that grimly irresistible machine, the Grande Arrt4e. The Italian State of "Montecliari" is, of course, tiny, but the reader cannot help thrilling at the idea that Montechiari's horror at the relentless advance of an over- mastering force was later the sentiment of the whole of Europe.