22 FEBRUARY 1890, Page 24

Lord Allanroe. By " B. E. T. A." (Digby and Long.)—If,

as stated in these pages, the law considers that a boy and girl of nine and seven who play at being married at a twelfth-night child's party in Scotland, are thereby validly united in the bonds of matrimony, and bound to one another when they grow up accordingly, then we are tempted to say with Mr. Bumble, that the law is " a ass." It is surprising that a boy with such a preter- naturally old head on young shoulders as Lord Allanroe should not have known better than to play at so dangerous a game ; and it was quite unlike his usual thoughtfulness to forget all about the matter afterwards. None but the best families are introduced in the book, which deals entirely in Earls and Countesses (with capital letters, always), who are haughty, beautiful, and wealthy, and have an entourage of respectfully devoted servitors and _peasantry, who are clearly far too well aware of their proper places ever to imagine that they might belong to the same order of beings as their noble masters. It is rubbish throughout.