1 OCTOBER 1904, Page 13

Paddy Risky. By Andrew Merry. (Grant Richards. 6s.)—In spite of

a slight inclination towards the melodramatic and an occasional coarseness of outline in his realistic descriptions— how often our writers striving for the "real" attain only the grotesque—the author of "Paddy Risky" and its companion stories has done work of sound literary quality, full of humour and keen observation of the strong and weak points of his countrymen, and full also of a toletance which, we hope, is on the increase in Ireland, despite Roman Catholic Associa- tions and Orange Lodges. The scene is laid somewhere, we imagine, in the South-West of Fermanagh, certainly at some point in the border country where Ulster and Connaught meet; and in one of the stories the recent doings of the United Irish League in that district provide material for a very clever sketch of a conflict between a Hunt and the local branch of the League, which ends in tragedy. "The Hob-eared Brat" and "The Millstone" are excellently told stories, and "Paddy Risky" is a capital farce not unworthy of comparison with the best descriptions of country race-meetings in the "Recollections of an Irish R.M." The author sees very clearly one of the most puzzling features Of contemporary Irish life,—the manner in which land- lord and tenant will move together in matters of sport and in much of the ordinary intercourse of life, only to separate as soon as political questions come between them. In quiet times the relations of the landlord and tenant classes in Ireland are probably more friendly, and in many ways closer, than in any country in the world—the Prussian noble would be horrified at the idea of hunting with his tenants—but with this friendliness subsists an uncompromising and intolerant hostility in matters political which, more than any other of the ills of Ireland, needs a cure before the visions of Irish idealists can be fulfilled.