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RIDER HAGGARD'S LATEST.
I*1**?, an African Romance,' by H. idcr Haggard, with 16 illustrations by Gordon Browne RL; Ousell & Co- limit- cd, London and Melbourne. ihrouffh^lMs™
- S. \\ ipc * Eon.— TfaM «tory of love and hate, cupidity and adf-sacrnHie, religion, mesmerism, and many other thing? occult J*$ ocou1t- » '?-*-« after the man ner of th« : author's earlier works than most which he has produced in recent years. The African scene is practically the xame as of yore, and the relations between white people and coloured have not changed. The only noteworthy points of difference are tat blood does not flow so freely as ft id aforetime in the Haggardian combats, though Uie tally of the slain is still ap palling, and the literary ttyje of the book is not quite so cultured a* it was in such
wont* as, tor instance, ueopatra. Tbe reader's interest, however, never flags from the first to the last moment of hu acquaintance with 'Bcnita:' and tbe critic i» not concerned to know whether there is a good basis for tbe author's claim of a foundation in fact for the mystery which give* to the plot its keenest piquancy. Tbe laic is well told— fact or- no fact— and the underlying motive is zood enough to be true. Benita is a lovely maiden, toved by a Ioyrabie man whom she believes to hare heroically sacrificed his 19c in a nhipwrcck in which she bad a. narrow escape from death— loved also bv a distmetlv hateable man who, through mesmerism, tried to u*e (?er mediumistte power* as a mean* of find ing an enormou* hoard of lost treasure. The pi-ogre** to the dimaoc of the story— at which the reader sees eratified amldtion turn to dust and ashes after havine carried it* cursed possessor through many devious ami danscrotu paths-^is presented with the skill and the dramatic force which ono na tumlly expect* from floch a literary artwc as Mr. Rider Haggard.