18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 24

The Testament of Immortality. An Anthology selected by N. G.

(Faber. 8s. 6d.)

THIS very personal anthology was compiled by the " author" in an attempt to find some consolation after the death of an only son. Mr. T. S. Eliot writes in a short preface : " the author's feeling gives the collection a unity and strength such that it might well serve a similar purpose for others." Robert Ingersoll and St. Francis de Sales, Dadu and De Quincey—literary taste has hardly entered at all into the compilation. Aesthetic judge- ment and genuine grief do not go together. But between the first quotation—from Dean Inge, and the last, " Abide with Me "- the sympathetic reader will find himself sharing the compiler's broken sensations of despair, resignation, hope. As Mr. Eliot remarks, there are passages here that " appear with a dignity which would probably have escaped us if we had come upon them in any other mood than that of anthologist."