13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 28

Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century. Edited by J. E.

Spingarn. Vol. III., 1685-1700. (The Clarendon Press. 5s. net.) —This is the third and concluding volume of Professor Spingarn's work. The essays are twelve in number, the most famous being Sir William Temple's " Essay upon the Ancient and Modern Learning," John Dennis's "Impartial Critic," W. Wotton's "Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning," and Jeremy Collier's "Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage." Collier goes very straight indeed to the point. If a modern Collier were to arise, he would find plenty of matter, for the comedy of to-day is more decent than that of the Restoration only in its titles, but he would have much to do in defending actions for libel. The present-day dramatist demands satisfaction, it would seem, if you say that his work is "tiresome." To say that it was " indecent " might be as good as a full-page advertisement.