11 JANUARY 1908, Page 17


[TO THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR." j SIn,—In Mr. Lovat-Fraser's letter on "Disraeli's Borrowings" (Spectator, December 28th, 1907) he mentions Disraeli's famous comparisbn of Gladstone's Cabinet to a row of "exhausted volcanoes." I beard the story somewhat differently. Disraeli called them a row of "extinct volcanoes," and some one who was sitting near Thesiger, afterwards Attorney-General, asked him what Disraeli meant. "Oh," he replied, "I suppose be means they are exhausted craturs.' " There is another case in which Disraeli borrowed. In one of his novels he talks of "claret with the odour of the violet." In "The Fortunes of Nigel" the swashbuckler drinks off a tankard of wine, puts it down, and exclaims, as he wipes his lips : "Right Rhenish with the odour of the violet."—I am, Sir, &c.,