17 JANUARY 1964, Page 16


SIR,-1 wonder, did the Spectator, in his choice of the pseudonym under which he writes his Notebook, expect (no doubt) whimsically to refer us to this passage?

Then there is my Lord Boodle, of consider- able reputation with his party, who has known what office is, and who tells Sir Leicester Dedlock with much gravity, after dinner, that he really does not see to what the present age is tending. A debate is not what a debate used to be; the House is not what the House used to be; even a Cabinet is not what it formerly was. He perceives with astonishment, that supposing the present Government to be overthrown, the limited choice of the Crown, in the formation of a new Ministry, would lie between. Lord Coodle and Sir Thomas Doodle—supposing it to be impossible for the Duke of Foodle to act with Goodie, which may be assumed to be the case in consequence of the breach arising out of that affair with Hoodle. Then, giving the Home Department and the Leadership of the House of Commons to Joodle, the Exchequer to Koodle, the Colonies to Loodle, and the Foreign Office to Moodie, what are you to do with Noodle? You can't offer him the Presi- dency of the Council; that is reserved for Poodle. You can't put him in the Woods and Forests; that is hardly good enough for Quoodle. What follows? That the country is shipwrecked, lost, and gone to pieces (as is made manifest to the patriotism of Sir Leicester Dedlock), because you can't provide for Noodle! (Bleak House, Chapter XII.)

PATRICK DTEGAN Lye& Technique d'Etat 'Eugene Livet,' 16 rue Dufour. Nantes, Loire-A dantique