18 JULY 1874, Page 24

Geoffrey's Wife : a Reminiscence. By Stanley Hope. 2 vols.

(Chapman and Hall.)—The worst part of this book is to be found in the sentence with which the writer has seen fit to commence his intro- ductory chapter. "It would be useless for me to pretend that the fol- lowing narrative is in strict accordance with that cold morality which is professed by the generality of matter-of-fact people." This "cold morality" is, we take it, much about the same as that contained in the Ten Commandments, which we certainly are "matter-of-fact" enough to feel some respect for. And so, after all, does Mr. Hope. His hero, it is true, falls madly in love with his friend's wife, whom he finds to be neglected and ill-treated, and the lady returns the passion, yet the "cold morality" of the Seventh Commandment is respected. The lover tears himself away from the dangerous presence with heroic resolution, and when he shows signs of wavering the lady recalls him with proper firmness to his duty. The agony is not per- mitted to become too intense. There is a murder, the trial of the wrong man, the punishment of the right one, and the lovers are made happy with all the sanctions of the code to which Mr. Hope professes himself superior, but to which, like other men, greater or weaker, as we may choose to think, in practice than in theory, he still clings. The story is, on the whole, well written, and sustains its interest fairly throughout.