BELATED BOOK REVIEW
-“I’RE GREEN HAT.by Ability-1 Arlen (l’olli(is).
F.very Ill0111II, MARC nine-hundred books are published in Great Ilrihtin. Nlost tlicin are deadly earnest and a Very large proportion are just plain dull. So rather titan wade through them. hope giving place to despair :Ind despair in its turn to a mad craving for strong waters, I propose to discuss a book that gives me as much pleasure to-day as it. did when I read it as a boy, mit long after its first printing in Junto. 1924,
A”1-“”11 Ihe very, very few Iteolth’ who understand the English there have been but few Englishmen. Joseph (onrad, it l’ole, was one. 1)ikran Kiji)11111.j311, 11 Ntaneltester Armenian, writing under the name of Michael ‘cc run. was another. And tvhat is more, he wrote the best deseription of a line can I have ever read in any language. Just listen to this. ” Only, under a lamp at the end or oun lane, a long, low, yellow car, which stone like a bat I le . It was empl y This car charmed the eye. Like a tinge. yellmv insect. that. had dropped to earth from it butterfly eivilisation, this eltr, gallant and suave, rested ill the lirwly silence of the Shepherd’s Market. night. Open as a yacht. it wore a great shining bonnet, and, flying over lite crest of this great bonnet, as though cm proud flight over the heads seores of phantom horses. NV1tS 111:11. Sifter shirk bvwhich I gentle May be pleased III klItoW that I Ili’y IlaVe .illS1 eti(!apt•il 111.al hi 11.41(.3111 t.11,1• %oleo, or ,L I liSpallietilliZit car, att 10 I 1 is Most CAI !tithe N111.leSI y.“
NOW there is no indication that 1 have heen able to discover from his works that. Arlen ‘Me: a Is (.1•11 motorist. in fact even i11 show I kat Ile lillett• IL magneto rr01111 tm earl/IWO let lir eared. But he had a genius for lilting the right ears to the right people. For lite lovely Iris. the deal ItlesS. yellow Ilispano, and for Sir Guy the Travest. that personitieation of pre-1914 gallantry and good mutnimiecs, What is clearly identifiable as all Alpine 1:agit.
Silver (atom t ‘Hirer. But this ;ad hor has a gift of description that goes far lieyond just unit or ears. Hear vital lie salis about a French night chili. ” A blackantoor boat a Yarning roll on his drum. the dancers left the floor. the lights diwimLkiI alitl aNVOke again in swaying shadows of bffic and earmine_ young man, with the lace of a murderer, :lanced a tango with ;t lovely young girl tyitli short golden curls. Then he threw her to Ow Moor, and picked her up again. Rudolf et
Ilayinottile. Ile did it liettittifully.” If llaymonde is stilt alive she would be a grandmother, but Arlen’s description of Parisian ” !toile holds is good lo-day as it. eVer (lid. or .J0-w, : ” Jews, she said, are charming. The rich ones, I mean, iinch preferably the fat, shining ones. They understand miry and elegance, and elegance is an eiwkantinettl that the skin loves. 11111 OIlly Jest’s have an idea of each:oil moil. only Jelys and . Furs, jelvels. spacious rooms, trellised terraces. all lowly baubles. silks of China, myrrlt, frankincense and motor ears. The Jews arc disenchanted, but at least they are brave enough i (1
all the enchantments of disemiltantment.. Luxury, ease. Sple1111011r, Spaciousness. You’ll say I hey•re florid, kVell they may Ice, but they’re also the last towers 01 chivalry:. And cd Amerivalis : ” They draw a elte4pic just asgallantly as any rat her eaddish cavalier ever drew It sword.
NVIten he writes ” because she is one (tithe very few Engisliwitmeit I have eVer flirt, NOLO NW live ithr011.11 WitI101it eoniing more and more English” one doe, 11111 (Well 11:1Ve 1/ shout (MC’S 11.:‘”(••.: Iii Sel• again those defiant little fcashons svih hi six months old topic’s of the Taller, flout sprout like mushrooms, aggressively English mushrooms, Si, Very. Very frequently (1(1 5)5(11 I.e Zonte and i‘lculon, espeviall? Menton.
It’s all :I very (Weer paradox, it Manchester Armenian, who writes better than the English abont the En,dish, it great deal la:tier than most Frenchmen about the Frerieh„ and far, far better about motor cars than any motorist.
You should read ” The Creel’ I 11011t (Weil knirw if it is still in print. lImit a quarter of a century ago il was a best seller to the lending libraries, so one is fairly scot’ to be able to get a copy from 011e Or I heNe. I 1.11Vy you being :dile to read, Au’ the lust time, the account of the midnight %miming. drive Irian Belgrave Square to bathe at Alitidenhead. ” I lire and 1 here the lamps shone on I Intuit Ions of a policeman stock-still in a domway. There was no air lad the wind
of our intssage, warm. Iteav? h dust arul dry grasses. ‘ Itaiii. rain • b eat lied England in her skep. And there WaS 1111 rain, nor breath of rain, nor yet. that damp, oppressive foretaste or it I hialatrrstorm to e011te, only a torment of heat. over the land acuci ar01111i1 (tic’ land the unclouded darkness pinned with faint stars.-I). S-M.