28 APRIL 1894, Page 19

Lord Roberts presided at the Royal Literary Fund dinner

on Wednesday, and was naturally supported by a good many soldiers, who have excited the spleen of one of our contem- poraries, less, we suspect, because they were soldiers, than because they belong to the Conservative party, and because nnrevolutionary literary men were asked to meet them. It in represented that literature proper was hardly represented at all ; but as Mr. Conrthope (the author of that delightful poem, " The Paradise of Birds," and of many distinguished literary essays), Mr. Lecky, Canon Ainger, Sir Alfred Lyall (a poet of no mean genius), besides Professor Hales, Professor Skeat, Mr. Kebbel, Mr. Lilly, and other notable writers were there, we cannot think that literature was ill-represented. Lord Roberts dwelt on the services which military men had rendered to literature, as well as on those which literary men had rendered to the art of war, and suggested that literature had done, and might do, a good deal both to make war less needful, and to make it, when needful, more effective. Also, Mr. Lecky made people feel how very much literature would suffer if ever thought and imagination were divorced from action, as it would be if literature lost its insight into the hearts and lives of men who act without analysing the motives of their own actions.