6 JANUARY 1906, Page 37

Prying Among Private Papers. By the Author of "A Life

of Sir Kenelm Digby." (Longmans and Co. 7s. 6d. net.)—" Private Papers," it is perhaps as well to add at once, "Chiefly of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries." The author explains that in looking for special purposes through the Reports of the Royal Historical Commission, he found little details which were not relevant to such purposes, but still had an interest of their own. And very curious some of these things are ; often, too, not without a bearing on more important matters. It throws a world of light, for instance, on the temper of ruling Churchmen in the days of King Charles when we find a Bishop who had just been taking part in the Coronation writing : "I thank god I am now growen againe in extraordinary favor with the Duke of Bucking- ham." The reader should observe the use of small letters and capitals. Here is another Bishop, or rather Archbishop, reporting on a secular matter,—a cellar of wine : "The champagne sealed with yellow wax might go off at balls " ! Hero is a valuation of the horses belonging to "the late R.H. Prince George of Denmark." Fifteen or so aro put down at £220. Kitty Clive complains to David Garrick that whereas "you give Mrs. Cibber .£600 for playing sixty nights," she gets £300 for a hundred and eighty ; "out of which," she goes on, "I can make it appear that it costs me a hundred on necessarys for the stage." Here is a genuine utterance of Claverhouse :—" I am sorry to see a man die even a whig [he wrote " day " and " whigue "], but when one dies for his own faults and may save a hundred, I have no scruple." That probably shows the real man.