13 FEBRUARY 1909, Page 24

A Question of Means. By Margaret B. Cross. (Chatto and

Windus. 6s.)—Miss Cross uses a much larger canvas for her now volume, A Question of Means, than she employed for that delightful little work, "Love and Olivia," with which a few years ago she increased the gaiety of nations. A Question of Means is a more serious novel, and though it will interest its readers, it will not make them feel more cheerful. Unfortunately the copy under notice is very imperfect, a crucial chapter at the beginning being missing, and the pages being altogether so confusingly bound that it has been very difficult for the present writer to follow the point of the story. After chap. 6, however, the paging goes smoothly on, and a guess may be made at some of the earlier episodes. The serious interest of the novel centres in the married life of the heroine, Rose, whose husband is a man of high ethical develop- ment, who, perhaps necessarily, finds it hard to make his way in the world in the pecuniary sense. The account of Rose 011ivant's struggle with her many babies and small menus is both well conceived and well told ; and the end of the book, when Rose feels compelled, for the sake of her children, to submit to asking for her husband's advancement from her old lover is written with considerable subtlety. The story will repay careful reading, though it is of a type which at this particular moment is in some danger of becoming commonplace.