Comfort In Ordeals
Comfort in Ordeals. A continuation of the Spiritual Letters of Pere J. P. de Caussade, S.J. Translated by Algar Thorold. (Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 5s.) Reviewed by MGR. ALBAN GOODIER, Archbishop of Hierapolis The third series of Caussades Letters, translated by the late Algar Thorold, entitled Comfort in Ordeals, is marked by the same insight and refinement as before. Childlike in his simplicity, Caussade analyses the many causes of fear in a delicate, spiritual soul. The atmosphere is rare, the merely natural soul would make nothing of it, but Caussade knows from experience what suffering is caused by even little things on the spiritual plane.
In the Second Part he goes further; he follows the soul into the realm of the mystic, and points out again the distinction between trial and apparent defeat in many experiences.
Caussade reveals himself in his letters more than in his other writings; on that account many will find in them more guidance and encouragement.
• yer and an ambitious relation, a love interest and a rival gangster embittered by the earl's prowess in the past. There is an undercurrent of seriousness but the real surprise in a book of this sort is the excellence of the writing, and the firmness of the characterisation. No doubt Mr. Wil hams' knowledge of contemporary American jargon is extensive and accurate but it seems a pity, as well as sometimes a bore, that he should writc so much of it when he can write so satisfyingly his own tongue. There are some sly and amusing comparisons between English and American ethical conceptions.
Mrs. Miller's Aunt is yet another of Mr. Birmingham's novels that reveals his quiet humour and ironic criticism. The aunt in question was rich, active-minded and incredibly foolish. For ever taking up new fads she made the life of her niece's husband miserable. Spiritualism is the latest and most disturbing fad: the niece and her husband live with the aunt. Three members of the Buffers' Club. friends of Allan Miller, determine to do their best for him. Their activities may be foolish but are occasionally amusing and are agreeably told.
In The Dissolute Years the German author has chosen the period of James I of England. He would seem to have made a diligent study of the scandals of the time and makes the most of them in this lengthy book. I found it tedious and without sufficient purpose except that of retailing events. true or false, that hardly deserve re-telling.
There are some descriptions of a monastery in Greece, in Attic Meteor, that have the ring of truth about them'as also those of village life. I have, almost, no knowledge of Greece and hope that they are not really representative of the conditians there. The story itself is that of a poor boy brought up, if that is the correct expression. in the monastery. He is gifted. brilliant in some ways. but ignorant and superficial. He, after some adventures, gets on to a paper as the writer of scandalous paragraphs purporting to expose the corruption of opposition politicians. Greece is a republic and corruption seems rife in every political party mentioned in the story. An escaped American gangster, half Greek by birth, joins the scene and his influence brings things, by degrees. to a head. There is an attempted revolution and much shooting. It is ably written and interesting for the sidelights it gives on a country too little known to many Englishmen. It is frankly an exciting novel and none the worse for being so.