18 JANUARY 1873, Page 22

False Cards. By Hawley Smart. 3 vols. (Hurst and Blaokett.)—

This novel has all the liveliness and vigour which we have admired in Mr. Smart's previous works, notably in "Breesie Langton," the tale by which he is best known. And it has one character BO forcibly drawn as to make a real addition to one's gallery of imaginary portraits.. Leonidas Lightfoot, a consummately clever scoundrel, who lives by those delusive advertisements which promise lucrative employment to. persons seeking occupation, and large returns te those whollare, a few hundreds to invest, is an admirable creation. We feel an extraordinary interest in the rascal's proceedings, hi his manceuvres to entrap his prey,—the victims, for the most part, do not deserve much compassion, —and in his struggle of wits Nyith his natural enemy, the detective. It is not without a. regret, which we are sure the inventor

of this interesting creature must share, that in the concluding chapter we find the melancholy intimation that Mr. Bullock, the detective aforesaid, thinks "he has got his friend Lightfoot at last." Of course the interests of justice demand that rascals, however amusing, must not triumph in the end, and it is quite right to leave the uninteresting Bullock in possession of the field ; but we feel a sneaking sympathy for Leonidas notwithstanding. There is nothing remarkable about the other characters, or about the story itself, though everything is up to at least a fair level of merit. There are two young ladies, each with a lover. One of these young gentlemen com- mits the incipient bigamy of engaging himself to two young ladies at once. The other is suspected of attempting the actual offenee. There are the usual misunderstandings, difficulties, stc., and the usual clear- ings-up. The scheming young woman whose practices suggest the title of the story is, we are inclined to think, the least happy of the 'writer's inventions.