11 NOVEMBER 1899, Page 15



SIR,—I have never seen any allusion in any review of King. lake's "Invasion of the Crimea," not even in the interesting one in the Spectator of November 4th, to the secret of the charm of the style, at any rate in those parts of the work which describe battle. Vol. V., Cabinet Edition, which deals with Balaclava, is one long series of hexameters or portions of hexameters. To take one of many : "The firm-seated rider with arm uplifted and stiff could hardly be ranked with the living." (Vol. V., p. 221.) It is this peculiarity which makes this work so singularly pleasant for reading out loud, nor need one wonder at this point of style, for Kinglake him- self in " Eothen " tells us (p. 50, Cabinet Edition) : "The most humble and pions among women was yet so proud a mother that she could teach her first-born son no Watts's hymn—no collects for the day ; she could teach him in earliest childhood no less than this,—to find a home in his saddle and to love old Homer and all that Homer sang."—I am, Sir, &c.,