15 JUNE 1929, Page 17

LORD ROSEBERY [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—The analytical and psychological, the generous and just criticism, in your issue of May 25th, of the human affinities, the varied intellectual attainments, and the genius of Lord Rosebery are a transcendent tribute to the memory of the statesman, only second to Mr. Gladstone in the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward the Seventh, and King George =the Fifth. The clear insight and the profound penetration into the character and the nobility of the Laird of Dalmeny must be endorsed by all who have followed and have admired his brilliant, though to some extent disappointing, public and Parliamentary career.

Probably not an infinitesimal part of his popularity was due to his sympathy with and the active share he took in the evanescent and the unintellectual pastimes—such as the Derby—that distract the mind of the ordinary mortal from '" the demnition daily grind." Have you not been nodding, like Homer, in stating that Tennyson wrote contemptuously • about " some transmitter of a foolish face." That was like unto the irony and the diatribes of Byron, but was foreign to the gentle and the loving character of Tennyson. After a search among modern poets I found the quotation in Richard Savage, 1698-1743 :—

" He lives to build, not boast, a generous race ;

No tenth transmitter of a foolish face."