23 JUNE 1894, Page 26

Sweet Bells out of Tune. By Mrs. Burton Harrison. (T.

Fisher Unwin.)—This is a story of fashionable life in America, and pictures it as even more frivolous and inane, more careless of alb that is pure and right, more base in its worship of wealth, than even that which corresponds to it in England. Gerald Vernon has married a girl who is far too good for him. After the honey- moon is over, he falls again under the enchantment of an old flame—a divorcée—who bears herself, by the way, with a pride and self-confidence which ladies of her class do not reach in England. All ends well, better than the unworthy " Jerry " deserves to have it end. The tale is written with much brilliancy, and the dialogue sparkles with genuine wit. The cynical Betty, with her very sharp tongue, is particularly effective, while the picture of the parvenue Mrs. Vernon is excellent. We venture to. think that the insolence and greed of the English Countess is a little caricatured; but then Mrs. Burton Harrison is bound to satirise her countrymen's weakness for British rank. The latter part of the story is diversified with a narrative of the Harvard and Yale boat-race. This is not very pleasant reading. Betting- seems to be a much more important element in the affair than it is, we hope, with us. There is, too, some curious talk of practices which remind one of the seamy side of horse-racing here. "They ignore the recent spying with telescopes upon each other's move- ments in practice half-miles close into the bank, and the gloom spread by reports brought back from his ambush in a single shell, clad becomingly in cotton tights, with a stop-watch swung round his neck." Do the crews employ touts to spy upon each other? The publicity on this side of the water, ludicrous as it is in one respect—the "University Boat-race" occupying as much space as the news of half a continent—is better than this.