23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 23

Ionica. By William Cory. With Biographical Introduction and Notes by

Arthur C. Benson. (George Allen. 4s. net.)— Not quite fifty years ago William Johnson published a volume with the title of Ionic; containing forty-eight poems. In 1877 he printed privately Ionica II., with twenty-five new poems. Finally, in 1891 he combined these two books with a few omissions and additions in a second Ionica. The book now before us replaces some of the pieces omitted in 1891, while Mr. Benson adds an appreciation of the author's character and work marked by all the sympathy and insight which we are accustomed to find in what he writes. William Johnson (afterwards Cory) was for twenty years and more a Master at Eton, "a deeply inspiring teacher," one who " sent out boys who cared eagerly and generously for the things of the mind," the antithesis, to put it briefly, of the average Master of the "Upton Letters." Cory, it seems to us, was at his best in dealing with classical themes. He had a happy art of linking them to modern life. Here is a specimen :— " As when ancestral portraits look gravely from the walls Upon the youthful baron who treads their echoing halls ; And whilst he builds new turrets, the thrice ennobled heir Would gladly wake his graudsire his home and feast to share; So from 2Egean laurels that hide thine ancient urn I fain would call thee hither, my sweeter lore to learn."