13 MAY 1916, Page 16

A NEW ANTHOLOGY.* Tux first thought of the reader upon

opening Mr. Robert Bridges's new anthology is one of disappointment. All authors' names have to be sought in the index. It is as bad as Hymns Ancient and Modern, and its perusal seems to offer nothing but a vista of irritation. " The reader

• The Spirit of Man. An Anthology In English and French made by the Poet Laureate. London; Longman. and Co. [53. net.j is invited to bathe rather than to fish in these waters ; that is to say, the several pieces are to be read in context ; and it is for this reason- that no titles nor- names of authors are inserted in the text, because they would distract the attention, lead away the thought, and even overrule consideration." The compiler goes on to explain that there is no logical argument in his sequence. Why, then, should his anthology claim a fate above its fellows ? The reader of an anthology has an inalienable right to." fish." He is almost certainly familiar with a great, many of the pieces selected. He may desire to thrust in his arm and tickle his trout here or there- under the bank as he wanders up the stream. Let him be encouraged to bathe by all means, but lot not his harmless diversion be wholly discountenanced. It is his right, and he - should be permitted to exercise it in docent comfort. Here, however, our criticism ends. The collection itself is a delightful ono, and the French. prose and verse particularly happily chosen. The book is divided into sections, in which are grouped extracts which touch some particular aspect of man's spirit—" Dissatisfaction," " Spring and Lovers," 1"--Melancholy," " Freedom," and so forth. They are culled from a circle wide enough to include Tagore and Aristotle in its circumference. The volume itself is charmingly produced.