28 SEPTEMBER 1889, Page 22


A Change of Clothes. By Alfred Fitzmaurice King. (Simpkin and Marshall.)—This story, the first of a series which is to bear the title of " Our Books," is a very humorous extravaganza, burlesquing, it may be said, tales of the "Jekyll and Hyde type. Balsam Noseworthy, a Temperance Lecturer, has to change, clothes perforce with one Tim Lany, for Balaam has been bathing and Tim walks off with his garments and leaves his own, a typical Irish wardrobe, in exchange. The clothes exercise a subtle influence on the two men ; but it must be confessed that Nose- worthy is much more affected by them than Lany. It is pos- sible that a philosophical explanation may be found for this in the fact that Lany is a much more genuine person than the Lecturer, in whom, perhaps, the original Adam was enabled to assert itself by the help of the unaccustomed garb. Anyhow, the experiences of the Lecturer while the two natives struggle for the mastery, his share in a small faction fight, for instance, and his presence at a " moonlighting " council, are most entertaining, Nor could the humour of the final scene, where the two heroes are brought together to the no small perplexity Of The O'Toole and his colleagues on the Bench, be easily surpassed. " The case, or cases, is dismissed. The Bench, however, wishes to add wan warrod of caution. Persons bathing, retiring to bed, or depart- ing from life, are earnestly requisted to be very particular where they lave their clothes." These were the parting words of The O'Toole.