19 JUNE 1926, Page 28

Winnowed Wisdom. By Stephen Leacock. (Bodley Head. Ss.)—In this newest

Leacock there are as usual many grains of hard common sense among the flying chaff of fun. In the author's " Studies of the Newer Culture," for instance, he thus paraphrases a passage out of Gibbon's Decline and Fall in the arresting language of the American Press. Gibbon says " A Roman matron of imposing appearance and striking countenance stepped forth before the hesitating citizens "- the translation is " a pre-War blonde, who was evidently a real peach, skipped out in front of a bunch." Then the historian again, Inspired by her courage the citizens, with shouts of ' Long live Sempronia ' rushed to the ramparts," which is rendered in the new journalese by " Full of pep they all shouted, Attaboy Lizzie ' and skipped up the ladders."

With regard to proverbs Mr. Leacock is amusing, if not entirely original. Birds of a feather don't flock together. " Ask any first-class naturalist." Even a worm will turn at last. 1` Wrong. It turns at once, it never waits." One swallow does not make a summer. " Perhaps not, but there are ever so many occasions when one swallow is better than nothing at all, and if you get enough of them they do make a summer."

" The Sorrows of the Super-Rich " deals with problems such what to do with the governess when she is not working, and how to get the chauffeur's collar starched. It is all very hilarious, but unquotable except in larger, extracts than space permits. Mr. Leaeock cannot be taken in sips but must be consumed in a generous and frothing beaker of print. There is never a headache or a heartache in his brew, which can be taken by adults or those of tender years in unlimited quan- tities, with nothing but benefit to themselves. In our author's own " attaboy ' language, his book is arresting, gripping, compelling and holds the reader down so that he can't get !