7 OCTOBER 1882, Page 21

Silken Meshes. 2 vole. By Temple Lawrence. (Remington and Co.)—If

the Oriental sage so popular with eighteenth-century moralists could suffer a literary revival, and were given to reading fiction, one of his first sallies of wisdom would be in reference to the contrast between the practice of the Eastern and Western nations in the important matter of caste. In sunny India, the sage would point out all the regulations of caste are dealt with in the sacred books ; while in the land of the Feringhia, this vital subject is left to the story-tellers. lie would then moralise, and come to several un- warrantable conclusions. Silken Meshes would greatly help our ancient friend, since the author ignores almost every class of his countrymen, and concentrates his attention on our Brahmans. The plebeian reader is overwhelmed by the titles, the country seats, and the condescension of the lords and ladies who carry on what story there is in Mr. Temple Lawrence's novel. Were it not for these attractions, ordinary people might think a novel which has nothing newer than loveless marriages, riding accidents, or driving accidents, a very wearisome production. The coronet saves the work. Wilhelmina promised to be interesting, and did not keep her promise, and the autochthonous society, if rightly described, is not worth describing. There are two intelligent characters in the story, and they are horses, and show their good sense by doing all they can to kill the other characters.