5 MAY 1923, Page 25

An Old Castle and other Essays. By Caleb T. Winchester.

(Macmillan. Hs. net.)

Caleb Winehester was professor of English literature in Wesleyan University, and this memorial volume reveals him as a man of wide sympathies. But he evidently looked at the world through rose-tinted spectacles. An Old Castle is an attempt to recapture the atmosphere of Elizabethan days ; actually it is a gorgeous, if rather shadowy, dream- pageant. All the famous men and women-from Sidney (not omitting the "sad, sin-stained pathos of the story of his Stella ') to Milton-whose names have gathered about Ludlow Castle join in the misty parade. We do not doubt the popularity of the lecture. In it, so to say, the Professor has let himself go. He tells us, for instance, of one with " an eager face and a forehead so high and eyes so still that there is yet a look of quiet in them-thinking, perhaps, of his Juliet whom he has left at Stratford-on-Avon and of his fair twin girls." Apparently that is what Americans like, for the lecture was repeated, we are told, some three hundred times. The Shakespeare lectures chiefly comprise huge chunks of quotations strung together on slender threads of chatter. Jacques is spoken of as an original, juicy character -and 'blase' withal.