12 JUNE 1920, Page 23


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Recreation. By Lord Grey of Fallodon. (Constable. 2s. 6d. net.) —This charming address, delivered at the Harvard Union last December, is concerned with the right use of leisure. Lord Grey commends games, sport, gardening and reading, especially poetry and philosophy. He used, he says, to have three books on hand in his brief holidays from the Foreign Office— a great book like The Decline and Fall, an old novel, and some modern book recommended by a friend. He insists on the need of plan- ning our recreation beforehand, and he instances the care taken by the late Mr. Roosevelt in mapping out his African and Euro- pean tour long before he left office. This leads Lord Grey on to give a most interesting account of the day's walk that he took with Mr. Roosevelt in Hampshire in the spring of 1910, so that the ex-President might hear the songs of our English birds a walk which he had asked Mr. Bryce to arrange years ahead. Lord Grey confesses that, as he knew very little of Mr. Roosevelt, he entered on the excursion with some trepidation. But he soon found that Mr. Roosevelt was well acquainted with our birds, though he had never heard them before, and that he had " one of the most perfectly trained ears for bird songs" that Lord Grey had ever known. Mr. Roosevelt had to be told only oneethe name of the bird whose call he heard ; he could then distinguish it from others. He thought the blackbird the best of our singers. When he heard a golden-orested wren, he said that its song was the same as that of an American bird. Lord Grey found after- wards on inquiry from an expert that this tiny bird is the only song bird which America has in common with us. Of Mr. Roose- velt as a man Lord Grey says, as many others have said, that " to be with him was to be stimulated in the best sense of the word for the work of life." Thus the address is not only a most attractive piece of literature but also an interesting pendant to Mr. Roosevelt's biography.