26 MARCH 1898, Page 26

Secrets of the Courts of Europe. By Allen Upward. (J.

W. Arrowsmith, Bristol.) — These "Confidences of an Ambas- sador" are distinctly amusing. He lets us into a number of political secrets which the most diligent listeners to town gossip have never heard,—how the little King of Spain was kidnapped and recovered (the authorities giving out that he had the measles), how Prince Bismarck was overthrown, how Disraeli stole a march on the French in possessing himself of the Suez Canal shares, and so forth. We are reminded, it is true, of fictitious ghost-stories,—always, in our opinion, a futile form of literature. Still, the writer contrives to be always vraisemblable. Succeeding in that, he must be pronounced to have succeeded generally.