29 JUNE 1912, Page 39

Johnsonian Gleanings, Part II.: Francis Barber, the .Doctor's Negro Servant.

By Aleyn Lyell Reade. (Privately printed at the Arden Press, Norfolk Street, Strand.)—Every fact that could possibly throw any light upon the life of Francis Barber has been faithfully recorded by Mr. Ronde in this monument of laborious research. Mr. Rondo's story begins in Jamaica, whore, with incredible industry, ho has traced the record of Barber and his owner, Richard Bathurst, back to the seventeenth century. The story ends in the Five Towns, where, at Burslem, several of Francis Barber's great-great-great-grandchildren are still living. Whether one approves of the expenditure of so much energy upon such details must depend upon the individual temperament. Mr. Reade himself has had his own moments of doubt, for he .excuses himself on the title-page with a quotation from one of Johnson's letters: "All knowledge is of itself of some value. There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable that I would not rather 1030w it than not." In any case Mr. Reade seems to have done his' work with the greatest efficiency, and the book is illustrated with two charming photographs of supposed portraits of .Barber by Reynolds, to the discussion of which a chapter is dev eted.