8 AUGUST 1885, Page 25

A Happy Error. By Mrs. Hibbert Ware. 3 vols. (F.

V. White.) — Here is one of Mrs. Hibbert Ware's realistic stories. It has not much of a plot, but then this is often characteristic of real life. Things move on without any particular mysteries or difficulties, and seldom present the dramatic contrasts which go to make up an ex- citing romance. There is, it is true, a mystery of a certain kind ; bat it is such that the least experienced novel-reader will be able to guess it. Indeed, the wonder is that the person most interested does not see what must have been patent to every one. But it is not in the plot that the charm of the story—for a charm it has—is found to lie. A number of people, who are not, indeed, remarkably bad or good, stupid or clever, are described in the most natural way in the world. Squire Martin, with his brusque ways ; the irrepressible Archie, who is always going to make a fortune for himself and his friends, but infallibly loses every sixpence which he can get into his hands, are always entertaining. Marie Evelin makes a pleasing heroine, and poetical justice is satisfied when she not only is betrothed to the man of her choice, but secures her fair share in her father's estate by "the happy error," from which Mrs. Ware takes by an after-thought the title of her book.