POINTS FROM LETTERS
PHEASANTS IN LONDON.
A writer in your columns in the current issue says, " Pheasants were seen the other day in the Mall (perhaps strays from Buckingham Palace)." Pheasants seen in The Mall are resident birds from St. James's Park, where they were introduced two or three years ago and have lived and bred there regularly ever since and where they can be seen any day. It was from that stock they migrated into Buckingham Palace gardens and bred there. I have seen them flying from St. James's Park over the motor-cars in the Mall into the grounds of Marlborough House. Last Saturday I saw one in one of the bird sanctuaries in Hyde Park. I don't think they have yet spread into Regent's Park, but, if memory is not at fault, they have been seen even in Piccadilly Circus.—W. M. Cnoon, Devonshire Club, St. James's Street, S.W. 1.
The Royal Economic Society are preparing a definitive and complete edition of the works of David Ricardo, probably In seven volumes, under the editorship of Mr. Piero Sraffa. May I, on behalf of the society, ask for the kind help of your readers in tracking down any of Ricardo's letters which have not yet been traced by the editor ? Apart from his work as an economist, Ricardo was a stockjobber and loan contractor during and after the Napoleonic Wits, and a Member of Parliament from 1819 to 1823. Besides the published series of his letters, it is known that there must have existed regular correspondence with James Mill, Pascoe Grenfell, Jeremy Bentham, Edward Wakefield, Thomas Smith of Easton Grey, C. H. Hancock, Robert Torrens, Thomas Tooke, and many contemporary politicians. For any letters of Ricardo to these or others we should be most grateful. We should also be obliged for any reference to items of Ricardian interest, especially to portraits and caricatures. Any communication should be addressed to Piero Sraffa, Esq., King's College, Cambridge.—J. M. KEYNES, 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury.
" THE DIARIES OF JOHN BRIGHT."
In the review of this book in your last number you refer to the mention in one of John Bright's speeches on the Crimean War of the death of Colonel Boyle, the member for Frome. You quote the words as, " His body lies by the stormy Euxine, his wife a widow, his children fatherless." They should read, " The stormy Euxine is his grave ; his wife is a widow, his children fatherless." Though the difference is slight, there is a cadence in the original which is entirely lost when the alteration is made.--JOHN BRIGHT CLARK, Overleigh House, Street, Somerset.
THE LIFE OF RABELAIS.
It may be of interest to the writer of the criticism of The Life of Rabelais, by Jean Plattard, on p. 681 of the Spectator Literary Supplement, to be referred to p. 187 of The M'orks of Rabelais, translated by Sir Thos. Urquhart and Motteux and published in 1840 by H. G. Bohn, Covent Garden. The amusing illustration which is given of one of Rabelais' " litanies of words " will be found set out practically verbatim in that volume.—J. L. DENISON, 19 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C. 2.
THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS.
Lest it should be thought that this society is always ready to criticize the way old buildings have been restored and never to praise, may I, on behalf of my members, make public the society's gratitude to the Anglo-American Oil Company for the care they have taken in their treatment of 25 Queen Anne's Gate, the corner house in the most perfect of London's few remaining early eighteenth-century streets? It is not too much to say that the preservation of Queen Anne's Gate depended on the action of this company in allowing their architects, after consultation with this society, to strengthen the foundations and walls and rebuild the upper part of the building in such a way that the original front remains unspoiled. This building had been condemned by the London County Council, who served a " dangerous structure " notice on the owners. The urgent need of additional office room could have been met by pulling it down and rebuilding, or the old building could have been marred in the recon- ditioning. In either case a precedent would have been created for similar methods as other houses in the street became due for repair. The precedent which has now been created is a formidable one with which to confront the potential spoiler of noble work, whether in London or in the country, especially as the interior office arrangements are such as to silence those who believe efficiency is incompatible with the use of an old building.—A. R. Powys, Secretary, 20 Buckingham Street, Adelphi, London, W.C. 2.
" THE MYSTERY OF THE MUSK."
Sir H. Beach Thomas's suggestions as to the loss of perfume in the musk plant, in last week's Spectator, were both interesting and helpful. From a little monthly called Beyond, which was largely distributed outside the Albert Hall on Armistice Sunday, I cull the following extract, which professes to explain the loss of scent from the musk plant, in reply to one of its enquirers. This from a " Dr. Lascelles " : " I can guess. This will perhaps give you rather a shock. Human beings imagine that they are the most important creatures on the earth, and that God put flowers on the earth for the benefit of men. It is not so. Flowers were sent, among other things, as a warning to certain animals and insects which dislike their Scent as much as you enjoy it. Flowers are scented for the protection of those animals ; but if a certain insect or animal becomes extinct. there is no longer any need for the flower to keep its scent. The musk has very likely lost its scent for this reason."
So now we know. It reads like an extract from a new Alice in Wonderlands—E. A. CANNON, Hayes Cottage, 86 London Lane, Bromley, Kent.