An occupational hazard of people, even perceptive people, who grow old is that their comments become platitudinous, their demeanor pompous, and their insight obscure. Indeed, their behavior may oscillate between the petty or crotchety and the downright mean. Where an older and experienced person takes in hand the debunking of practices currently in vogue he is likely to be thought a fuddy-duddy. None of these disorders affects Sir Heneage Ogilvie, or this little volume of elegant essays. The charming little story from which the title is taken, Dr. Bierring tells me, was told by Frank Billings and others some thirty years before Ogilvie heard Frank Lahey use it, but this is characteristic of perennially recurring stories. Whether we agree with all Sir Heneage says or not, he writes with down-to-earth force not obscured by a graceful style. He has employed the essay and the speech as rapier-sharp weapons in a
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