1 JANUARY 1898, Page 32

The Nursery Rhyme - Book. By Andrew Lang. Illustrated by Leslie Brooke.

(Frederick Warne and Co.)—As the years go by, and the summers rush on while the winters lengthen, how greatly do we value the songs we read in what Mr. Lang describes as "my first library, a wooden box full of loose, floppy picture- books." These songs bring to the memory a sense "of old, un- happy, far-off things," for the pleasure they give is keen enough to be pain. Mr. Lang is to be greatly thanked for giving us a new collection of these old treasures, and for his introduction full of playful fancy. But how can he have the face to call Mary (the Mary of Orange, née Stuart) "a very pretty lady " ? This is too gallant to be true. On the same page with this audacious compliment is a very interesting Jacobite rhyme, which Mr. Lang quotes in a shortened version in the text of the book. The first verse runs thus 0 what's the rhyme to porringer ? Hen ye the rhyme to porringer ?

King James the Seventh had le doohter, And he gave her to an °ranger."

It is well the rhymester solves the problem for us, for " porringer " is a sadly difficult word to rhyme. The illustrations, especially the casual heads and tails to the divisions of the book, are remarkably good. Mr. Leslie Brooke has not forgotten the pictures he liked in his own childhood. Let us trust, however, that the look of hopeless puzzle on the face of the baby in spectacles who is reading " Markham's History" is not a study from life.