28 APRIL 1894, Page 11

The Life and Letters of Thomas Pelham Dale. Edited by

his daughter, Helen Pelham Dale. 2 vols. (George Allen.)—It seems useless to protest against big biographies. Here are two large volumes on a subject for which one small one would have amply sufficed. Probably the public for which such books are intended is a small one, but would be diminished, rather than increased, by brevity of narration. Not the least interesting thing is a digression,—the letters of John Wesley to a Miss Peggy Dale, great-aunt of the subject of the memoir. They are concerned with spiritual direction, and may be favourably compared with most of the kind. Then follows a life of Thomas Dale, successively Vicar of St. Bride's, Vicar of St. Pancras, Canon of St. Paul's, and Dean of Rochester. (Barham, of Ingoldsby fame, was a minor Canon of St. Paul's.) Then we come to the life of T. P. Dale, and are introduced before long to the great ritual controversy,—an unhappy experience which it is hardly worth while to narrate at such length. Mr. Dale, after various troubles, was presented to the living of Sausthorpe, in Lincolnshire. This he held for eleven years, dying April 19th, 1892, in his seventy-first year. Such is a very brief sketch of his life. His " Letters," so far as they are not concerned with the ritual conflict, are chiefly on linguistic and scientific subjects. He had obtained a moderately good degree at Cambridge,—Twenty-fifth Wrangler. His tutor, Colenso, had guessed him at Second Wrangler on the strength, it would seem, of a certain originality of mathematical power. This, however, was not the thing to tell in the Tripes, at least in those days. There is much that is interesting in these two volumes.