5 AUGUST 1916, Page 19

Cottage Economy. By William Cobbett. (Douglas Pepler, Hampshire House Workshops,

Hammersmith. 2s. 6d. net.)—An attractive reprint of the seventeenth edition published by Anne Cobbett of Cobbett's well- known book. It is always a delight and an inspiration to read that famous reformer's sound practical wisdom couched in such vigorous English . but it is appalling to imagine to what lengths of denunciation he would have been impelled by the modern partiality for labour-saving devices— to say nothing of the popularity of the potato and our devotion to tea- drinking. With Cobbett good healthy work was a thing to be enjoyed, not to be reduced to the smallest number of hours per week. The chapters on " Making Bread " alone are enough to set any housewife of imagination longing at once to start making her own bread. After giving detailed instructions in that art Cobbett goes on :- " And what is there worthy of the name of plague or trouble in all this / Here is no dirt, no filth, no rubbish, no litter, no slop. And pray what can be pleasanter to behold ? Talk indeed of your pantomimes and gaudy shows, your processions and installations and coronations I Give me for a beautiful sight a neat and smart woman, heating her oven and setting her bread I And if the bustle does make the sign of labour glisten on her brow, where is the man that would not kiss that off, rather than lick the plaster from the cheek of a duchess / " The combination of Cobbett and G. K. Chesterton is certainly strange, but the latter has been inspired to an amusing and characteristio preface.