3 NOVEMBER 1928, Page 90

1Ve know *hat to eicpect of Mr: Bet* : a

eertrrin historically

allusive wit ; a Gibbonian vein of irony that strikes always against the illiterate materialist ; a rhetorical trick of style called epanalepsis, that delights in the reiteration of one word ; a never-failing belief in the tonic efficacy of verse ; and a conversational manner of writing which disguises a very careful attention to his prose periods. He has certain people against whom he is always butting ; the politician, the vulgar rich, the pedant, and the evolutionist. We know that sooner or later he will make some mock-pathetic reference to himself as a " hack " of literature. Apart from these foibles—some people may think because of them—he has a way with him. He is always clear, always writes with a pride in his language. He has said of himself that, " His sins were scarlet, but his books were read." At times, however, his humour tends to become heavy and morose, so that while we agree that his books will be read, we cannot but feel that his sins may some- times be not so much scarlet as a dull chocolate hue ; they are so in A Conversation with an Angel (Cape. 7s. 6d.).

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