20 AUGUST 1948, Page 5

Inspired by the reading of Dr. Iremonger's William Temple, I

have moved back chronologically, with great profit and satisfaction, to the Bishop of Chichester's Randall Davidson. Temple and Davidson were totally different, and not least different in the fact that Temple had not Queen Victoria to deal with and Davidson had. I have not read many more entertaining chapters anywhere than the one which Dr. Bell entitles "The Queen and Her Chaplain "- Davidson being at that time Dean of Windsor. He entered on that office at the age of 35, the sovereign being at the time 66, and delicate situations arose at every turn, as much when he felt bound to resist the Queen's pressure on him to publish his Windsor sermons as when he felt equally bound to dissuade the Queen from publishing a still further instalment of Leaves from our Life in the Highlands. But for one's implicit faith in the veracity of any Dean it would take superhuman credulity to swallow the statement that forty years after the Prince Consort's death hot water was still brought to his room at Osborne at dressing-time every evening, and since the Queen used the apartment as a sitting-room "I have again and again had talks to her there before dinner with the water actually steaming." Possibly that ceased when (if ever) h. & c. was installed.