17 MAY 1884, Page 25

Daisy Miller : a Comedy. By Henry James. (Oxford and

Co., Boston, U.S.; Trfibner, London.)—This is a dramatisation of a tale. The present writer has not had the advantage of reading this, and can only guess, therefore, by comparison with what he knows of Mr. James's other books, that the process has not had an improving effect. Common experience is indeed, we fancy, almost unanimous to the effect that for the purpose of the reader the dramatic form is not well suited. The heroine in Daisy Miller is a simple young damsel from America, who cannot understand why her Transatlantic notions of freedom should be modified at Geneva or Rome. In con- trast with her is another American damsel, who is brought up by her aunt in the straitest sect of social Pharasaism. Then there is a Madame de Katkoff, a Russian princess, who has put herself in the power of a rascally courier by writing an imprudent letter to Frederick Winterbourne, Winterbourne being the hero of the drama. This part of the plot is not, we think, very happily managed. It is not easy to understand bow such a man as Winterbourne, as he is represented here, should have inspired such a passion in the very self-possessed Madame de Katkoff. The other characters are slighter studies, but in Mr. James's own style, and, accordingly, quietly but unfailingly amusing. Daisy Miller's brother Randolph, an American enfant terrible, is particularly good.