Within the province of the traditional novel, a genre validated by say the wide readership of Auchincloss' Rector, this is an exemplary entertainment. It is the kind of novel in which the characters indulge in a drift of expressionless exchanges (""How amusing""; ""How appalling"") over a cup of tea or a glass of claret. This is more than a social cliche. It defines them. They are all immoralists of one sort another and supreme egotists through and through. Stephen Hind classifies people as either useful or negligible. He concentrates on the former and is on his way up when first seen as secretary to the once prominent diplomat, Chatteney, now 75. Chatteney has been re-punctuating his memoirs, not to be published until fifty years after his death, ever since the scandal which forced his resignation and presumably foreclosed an extramarital attachment. While Stephen services the wife of a publisher, and becomes the nominal husband of a young woman with money and cachet, he also acts as the motivated intermediary in the end game in which old Chatteney is trapped-- between his predatory wife and the woman who has really loved him with a careless independence ..... Miss Jameson, just as self-possessed as any of her characters, tells their story without a single recess; it is calculated to attract your curiosity and adroit enough to retain it at all times.