25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 22

Mr. Chesterton has added to his reputation.' These witty little

essays, entitled Come to Think of It (Methuen, 6s.) are a delight to read. They have a quality of detachment often wanting in his work. The spirit of controversy is hardly to be traced in them. Their geniality is not clouded nor their persuasive power weakened by the thirst to score. They sparkle ; they do not scorch. " Pensioning off the Pests " has a delicious flavour of Charles Lamb. " A new Moral Pathology " must, he assures us, " be met by a new philan- thropy." He commends his beneficent plan to millionaires, as a " humane alternative to murder." Another delightful " try on " (his word for an essay) deals with the " humiliating heresy " which assures us that we " can't help it." The

gloomy glee " of the upholders of this caricature of charity, this itch to describe all crime as lunacy, is a new thing. Mi. Chesterton is not, however, hard on new things and new people. He will not have it that boys and girls are light- minded. Youth he says is always serious, and the youths of today are far too serious in frivolity. For some people he feels that the past does not exist. They succeed in being always new ; " they are much too limited ever to be antiquated."

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