16 MARCH 1962, Page 11

J. D. SCOTT 'Strange, how desire doth outrun performance' —as

Beetle quoted after being flogged by Mr. King. C. P. Snow might quote with him: Dr. Leavis's stereotyped lunges of anti-Americanism, hi3 little bits of gossip, half-catty and half- kittenish, and the need which he so illogically feels to use the names of George Eliot and Lawrence to crush a novelist who `doesn't begin to exist'—these and other things indicate that the gap between his desire to wound, and his performance in wounding, has become surpris- ingly wide.