11 DECEMBER 1909, Page 22


"THE book of life has wide margins ; lend me a pencil."

This is the motto on the title-page of Mr. Lucas's new and delightful book of essays, One Day and Another. They are all charming and all slight. The book is the ideal Christmas present. Had ever literary confectioner so light a hand ! For our own part, we would distinguish two from among the two dozen and odd as specially delectable. Best of all is "The Sympathetic Whur." Whur was a clergyman minister- ing in East Anglia in the first half of the nineteenth century. He had the pen of a ready writer, and his sympathy showed itself chiefly in epitaph-making. Mr. Lucas discovered him —he indignantly rejects the suggestion that he invented him—and be quotes his absurd effusions, to the uncon- trollable amusement of the reader. We must quote one verse, this time not from an epitaph, but the beginning of a poem to a lady :—

" In this imperfect, gloomy scene

Of complicated ill, How rarely is a day serene, The throbbing bosom still !

Will not a beauteous landscape bright, Or music's soothing sound, Console the heart, afford delight, And throw sweet peace around ?

They may, but never comfort lend, Like an accomplish'd female friend !"

Next to the picture of Mr. Whur we like the portrait of Mr. Lucas's Cocker spaniel, a mere pup "with one foot still in the

cradle "; but we must leave our readers to make acquaintance with him.