Although he is beyond question an original creation, Dyce Lashmar's main characteristics are so well known to us that Mr Gissing is justified in styling him 'Our Friend the Charlatan.' As a plagiarist, he is but a type of the all too common plagiarist, who habitually parades as his own the thoughts and theories he has stolen from others. Like many who are possessed of the fatal gift of fluency, he was charmed by his own eloquence into the belief that the matter of his conversation was even more valuable than the manner. Like many men ofvast ambition and superficial cleverness, he hated work. In the readiness with which he persuades himself that he is acting from an unselfish and even noble motive, when his one desire is to win the praise and favourable opinion of others, he is but one of a crowd. Though his belief in himself was supreme, self-sufficiency and self-conceit equalling and excelling his, and with as little excuse for their existence, are too frequently met. It is in the deft combination of these qualities in one character, in their inter-play and in the resulting development of moral disease, that Mr Gissing is thoroughly original and even amazingly skilful.