28 APRIL 1894, Page 12

For Good or Evil. By Gilberts M. F. Lyon. 2

vols. (Gay and Bird.)—Though this is, in appearance and in fact, an ordinary novel, written for adult readers, it reminds one strongly—perhaps a little too strongly—of the stories for young people which aim at an edifying effect by the close juxtaposition of two very sharply contrasted characters. Pansy Bruce was evidently, to quote a Palmerstonian dictum applied too recklessly to all children, "born good," and what was still better, her moral and mental machinery was so well regulated that she was able to preserve her original goodness with a singularly small amount of trouble. Zelia Langton's primal condition was anything but good, and though there were times when she wanted to be even as Pansy, the old Adam was wont to get the upper hand. This is especially the case when she listens to the wooing of the profligate Lord Lyn- mouth, and though he succeeds only in making her the victim of an unpleasant and singularly fatuous practical joke, Zelia is in a situation of some peril. She is, however, rescued by the guardian angel Pansy, who does not forsake her until she is safely married to that nice man, Sir George Ansty, while Pansy herself pairs off with Nigel Darwin. For Good or Evil is too conventional a novel to be strongly interesting ; but it is quite readable, and, in its own way, not unpleasing.