24 JUNE 1899, Page 11

Narysiennka, Wife of Sobieski. By K. Waliszewski. Translated from the

French by Lady Mary Loyd. (William Heinemann. 12s.) —It may be questioned whether Lady Mary Loyd's undoubted powers as a translator have been put to good purpose in reproducing in full what, to tell the truth, is a very wearisome book. The history of Marie de in Grange D'Arquien, whose long life of passion, wrangling, and vanity extended from 1641 to 1716, and who, after a very Gallic intrigue with the great Polish liberator, John Sobieski, married him and survived him, was worth telling, and the author has spared no pains in seeking to ascertain facts. The book should have been much shorter at the best. But an abridgment is all that the English public needed. The truth is that Marysiennka was neither a loveable nor a likeable woman,—an unflinching egotist, who looked upon all men and women whom she came across as instruments for the advancement of her ambition or the gratifica- tion of her pleasure. She served mainly to bring out the sensual side of Sobieski's nature, which, to judge from his letters written to her when he was in camp, must have been as strong as that of the first Napoleon. This volume will be found useful as a storehouse of facts of a kind hardly to be got elsewhere by investigators into one of the most interesting periods of European history.