9 FEBRUARY 1867, Page 20


Idaho. By Odds. (Chapman and Hall.)—By very far the poorest thing Ouida has yet written, poor positively as well as comparatively.

It recounts the history of one of those impossible heroes, all intellect, fidelity, and muscular strength, whom only Guy Livingstone and Onida invent ; who are usually profligate—though in this case Ercildoune has used up profligacy before he is twenty-one—and always fall victims to. some grand passion. The heroine, Melia, is one of those persons who. exist in novels and nowhere else, a wealthy, beautiful descendant of the Comneni—spelt always either by writer or printer with two m's,—whcp uses her gold and her witcheries to attract powerful men to the side of the Revolution, who dares on behalf of liberty all dangers, who just escapes being ravished by a Prince of the Church, and who wants at once to aid liberty and be Semiramis, the Semiramis, let us hope, of one legend, rather than the other. There are plenty of incidents of the Charles-Lever sort, the hero doing all manner of feats with pistols and horseflesh, and use is made of the Italian Revolution to cut knots which are quite beyond anybody's untying ; but he is not much, when all is done, but a passionate fool, and Idalia we scarcely comprehend more than she does herself. There is some smart dialogue, too pointed for reality, but amusing, and a few over-coloured descriptions, but that is all,. we confess, that we can find in Maria worth the skimming through.