2 JANUARY 1932, Page 18

Cincus Animus.

This year's circus at Olympia has many domestic and few wild animals, a selection that will rejoice some critics. Watching the dogs playing a sort of football with bladders I found myself mumbling a couplet from Wordsworth (about flowers) : "I must believe, do all I can, That there was pleasura there."

The ball-dogs enjoyed themselves. They exhibited—so it seemed—the cardinal differences between their minds and the horses'. Everything that the horses—all exceptionally fine animals—performed was the result of direct orders. There was neither pleasure nor pain in it. They did as they were bid, just that and no more. You admired not them (except for their physical fineness) but the conductor ; for mere obedience after all is one of the duller and more negative virtues. Dogs, on the other hand, delight us, on the boards as off, because they have the gift of playing the fool with gusto. There are among them almost such creatures as- clowns, who are the making of every British circus. Physical humour is shared between them and the dog performers.