24 JANUARY 1931, Page 28

Sir William Temple, who served Charles II as diplomatist and

counsellor, is best remembered as the patron of Swift and as the fortunate recipient of charming letters from his future wife, Dorothy Osborne. In his own day, and for long after, he was esteemed for his essays on political and literary themes, which were praised, for example, by Dr. Johnson and by Macaulay. That he could write vigorous and elegant prose is manifest in The Early Essays and Romances of Sir William Temple, Bt., which Professor G. C. Moore Smith has now edited from the original MSS: preserved in the family, together with his sister, Lady Gifford's memoir of Sir William (Clarendon Press, 16s.). The romances, adapted from the French and hitherto unpublished, are youthful efforts : the essays, some of which now first see the light, are wittier and more mature. Temple, though a great traveller, was very insular in his dislike of foreign tongues. " The Allmane (German) is a language I should never ]carne unless twcre to fright children when they cry, yet methinks it should bee good to cleare a mans throat that were hoarse with a

cold." And " Flemmish is a lower yet to my eare a worse sound,. I never could esteeme any woman hansome whilst shee spoke "—though he had long served as ambassador in Holland and should have known better.