18 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 22

the character of a boy in this book, though plain

persons, like the present writer, will probably agree that the said boy ought to have had "his young importance" considerably abated by a good kicking. The boy (his name, as the reader will dis- cover if he perseveres with the book for four chapters, is Bob), being represented as having the artistic temperament, is, of course, so far removed in disposition from the everyday young gentlemen with whom we are most of us acquainted at home that it is difficult to judge whether his minutely painted portrait is true to life. If it is, most readers will sincerely rejoice that a genius of this kind does not adorn their own firesides, for not even the introduction of the adjectives " bally " and "beastly" into almost every sentence which Bob utters saves the sentences themselves from the taint of a most unboyish sentimentality. If boys are really like the Bob of this book, the sooner Carlyle's plan of hiding the young male under a tub from the ages of thirteen to eighteen is put into practice the better it will be for the world's comfort.