8 AUGUST 1885, Page 25

Rogues and Vagabonds. By George R. Sims. (Matto and Wiadus.)

— No reader of this story will complain of a want of thrilling in- cident. Incidents abound, and the stage, so to speak—for the term seems to suggest itself naturally when we think of this book—is crowded with characters all more or less characteristic. There is a little difficulty, indeed, in remembering them and their relations to each other. There are some fear or five villains, for instance, each one of whom is quite villainous enough to have a story to himself. Such a wealth of material of this kind, indeed, does Mr. Sims possess, that the apparently promising murderer whom he introduces to us in his first scene—confessing his guilt under fear of instant death by shipwreck—is relegated to private life, and is found to be nothing more than a dissipated fellow who has been keeping his orphan niece out of her property. Another villain catches a bad cold, and dies of consumption—a commonplace and yet, as far as we remember, novel way of disposing of a troublesome character when he has discharged his function in the story. There is comedy as well as tragedy in Rogues and Vagabonds; but the comedy is some- times a little too much like Charles Dickens's, and that not at his best. Bat on the whole we have here a very readable novel, published too

— no slight recommendation—in a sensible shape, that of one volume not too big for the pocket.