22 FEBRUARY 1890, Page 23

Light and Shade. By Herbert Sherring. (W. Thacker and Co.)

—Mr. Sherring, who, we take it, is an Indian officer or civilian, has a certain amount of justification for publishing this volume, which is composed in about equal measure of prose and verse, and a portion of which has already seen the light in the Pioneer and the Bombay Gazette. He writes better English and can tell a better story than most purveyors of the class of literature to be found in Christmas annuals. Thus, if stories about canton- ments in British India, and the girls and officers who meet and fall in love with each other, must be published, such might well be worse than "The Wayside Idyll," which gives a remark- able adventure which befell Lieutenant Carl Peterson, and in effect brought about an engagement between him and Maud Cleverly, a bright American girl, and niece of his commandant. It is piquant and humorous ; and the introduction of the bleating goat into it is decidedly original, and is managed in a fashion not unworthy of Sterne. Of the other stories, the eerie history of Ralph Wayland and the tragic incident in the career of Paul Muller, the professional guide, are the best. Mr. Sherring's verse, although it ranges over a large number of subjects, from "Our Lady of Pain " to "Wintry Weather," is rather flat, yet there is little or no absolute nonsense in it. There is enough of promise in this book to justify the belief that the writer will do still better than he has hitherto done.