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cricketer to acquire the requisite amount of nerve and confidence, it is from our point of view almost a pity that Bardsley and Ransford to pick two of the smartest young Australians approved themselves such reliable batsmen as they did. For in after years the cricket records, which will invite due attention to their batting performances, are not likely to remind us that in the course of the present season the young left-handers not improbably saved even more runs than they got. We freely admit that the exchange of the old lamps for new is a delicate question to handle. For on the one hand it is unreasonable to expect that the elderly professional, who still feels himself capable of getting his thousand runs in the season, will pass a sort of self-denying ordinance and retire to the background. And on the other hand, he will have to be a very strongminded captain who will take it upon himself to institute a rigid system of superannuation, and insist upon replacing old popular favourites by younger and less well-known players. Until, however, we discard purely observational tactics, resort to experiment, and embark on new departures, as was done in the case of Mr Carr late on in the season of 1909, we must expect to play second fiddle to more venturesome antagonists, and be prepared to accept defeat with a good grace. If the blocking process is hampering the course of the young professional and preventing him from coming

to the fore in the heyday of his activity, the dearth of rising amateurs is equally discomforting, and may be indirectly traced to much the same cause. Some thirty or forty years ago the brilliant batting of our young amateurs was perhaps the most strongly marked feature of the brightest era of English cricket. Mitchell, Lyttelton, Buller, Lubbock, Hornby, Pauncefote, Thornton, Yardley, Money, Lyttelton again, Webbe, Steel, Studdthese and many others may be said to have walked straight out of their schoolroom into the foremost rank of English cricketers, and no Selection Committee of the time could have ignored their claims for admission into a representative Eleven. But nowadays the first-class amateur, like his professional brother, is a plant of slow growth, and only seems to attain his full cricket maturity at an age when his predecessor had practically given up the game. Furthermore, having to all intents and purposes converted that which used to be a mere summer pastime into a summer, if not an all-the-year-round, profession, he is loth to abandon it. Once again comes the old question, "Was the owl born before the egg, or the egg before the owl?" Is it because the cricket played to-day is a more serious, sedate, and slow-moving game that an older stamp of man is content to go on playing it? Or did the elderly players make their presence felt in the first instance, and then the game, by insensible degrees, was al

lowed to moderate its pace in order to suit their requirements? In either case it is easily conceivable that an old man's game played in the company of old men offers little attraction to the young and active amateur, who grudges the wearisome hours expended, whether in the pavilion or the field, in watching the pet craftsman of the county piling up his century by the aid of bat and pad at a rate of thirty runs an hour. Of course tastes differ. Some of our poorer neighbours seem to patronise funerals in preference to weddings. But to those between the ages of twenty and thirty the wedding feast is better calculated to offer attraction, and until we can divest first-class cricket of its present solemn and funereal aspect, and endow it with at least a semblance of joyousness and hilarity, we must not be surprised if those of the younger generation, who are not either directly or indirectly dependent on it as a source of livelihood, prefer to take their pastime on the country-house ground or the golf-course.

Finally, the importation of foreign mercenaries! We have no fault whatever to find with the mercenaries themselves. Their popularity on our cricketgrounds is a sufficient testimony in their favour. A

better-mannered or more unassuming cricketer than Tarrant to take the best player among them-it is impossible to picture. But from the day

that a power is compelled to rely on foreign mercenaries its doom is irrevocably sealed. We can never hope to beat either Australia or any other self-dependent antagonist until we learn to be self-dependent ourselves. Nor again shall we be on the right track towards fostering the spirit of confidence in our home-bred young cricketers until we show a little more confidence in them ourselves.

When the

In conclusion, we would suggest that high scoring in county cricket, however acceptable to the ring, does not necessarily argue superlative excellence on the batsman's part or stamp him as an indispensable adjunct to an international side. bowling is only moderately good, the catching faulty, and the ground fielding anything but smart; when the ground favours the batsmen, and the legs provide an uncontemplated method of defence against twist and break; when, in short, the runs are bound to come, provided that no liberties are taken and that time is held of no account,-long scores are likely to remain the order of the day. But not until the crack batsman is confronted by the unexpected, whether it comes in the form of an oldtime wicket and exceptionally good bowler or a fielding side that holds the catches and blocks the road to the boundary, is it possible to gauge his real merits as an international cricketer.





splendour of life and art which
flashed upon its sight.
Athens of Sophocles
Pheidias was marmoreal.
Italy of the Medici and the
Despots was brilliant with
colour and warm with the
pulsation of an untrammelled
life. And this Italy of which
we speak had an advantage
which it owed to Athens, and
which Athens could not share.
To its own triumphs it added
the discovery of the old world.
Not only did its own spirit
burn with a "gem-like flame"

it captured and revivified the spirit of the past. In the age of Donatello and Masaccio, of Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, Plato himself was born again.

THE fifteenth century, as Italy knew it, has had but one rival in the world's history -the age of Pericles. And these rivals, alike in excellence and the worship of the arts, differ profoundly in character and temperament. The Greek austerity was as little to the taste of Italy as the Greek love of political experiment. The ideal prince of Machiavelli would not have sacrificed his passion or his ambition to please the people or to gratify a Cleon. For him government was an art, not a sentiment. He kept before him the ideal of virtue in its old sense of strength. He recognised the truth that, if he were to survive the turmoil in which he It is difficult, then, for any and his neighbours lived, he writer to be dull who chooses must be a fox to beware the the Italian Renaissance for his snares laid for him, a lion to theme, and, despite a certain drive off the wolves that en- awkwardness, as of an amateur, compassed him. He made no Colonel Young has succeeded appeals to the mob,-he in- in compiling a work which timidated it. If he gained the will hold the reader's attensovereignty by force, he deemed tion from beginning to end. it prudent to put to death His book has its faults. It is those whom he supplanted. To old-fashioned and somewhat pillage them was not sufficient, colourless. The author quotes for, as Machiavelli said, "men Samuel Rogers, and follows will sooner forget the death of the progress of the years so their father than the loss of conscientiously that his work their estate." But in the might be described in the Italian prince severity was terms familiar to Camden and mitigated by magnificence. If Stowe as "digested into anthe people had no voice in the nals." He seldom betrays a government, it might take hint of enthusiasm or permits pleasure in the undimmed his style to rise with the

1 The Medici. By Colonel G. F. Young, C.B. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

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occasion. So resolute a foe is he to the picturesque that he will permit no spot nor blemish to fleck the fair fame of the early Medici. That a certain amount of whitewash was permissible, even necessary, we gladly admit. History has not dealt gently with the Medici. Their middleclass origin has seemed an outrage upon imagination. Some have thought that the cash-box accords ill with the crown, and no chance has been lost of belittling their achievements or of exaggerating the aspersions of rumour. But Colonel Young has gone to the other extreme. He weakens our interest in his heroes by mitigating their severities and explaining away their passion and revenge. He forgets sometimes that, with all their virtues, they were still men of their age-an age which knew how to live as well as how to fight. He suffers, moreover, from a timidity of another kind. He relies far too much upon quotation, when he would do far better if he spoke for himself. Especially in matters of art does he accept too readily the heresies of others. He follows Ruskin, for instance, in tracing the downfall of art to Michelangelo, and quotes that rhetorician's theory that "so long as artists employed their artistic powers to depict their subject, Art continued to advance; but as soon as they reversed the process and employed their subject to display their artistic powers, Art's downfall began." This is the


most foolish of sentimental paradoxes. Michelangelo marked no decadence. How could he, when he did his work and when Titian's masterpieces were yet unpainted?



But, as we have said, it is a noble story which Colonel Young sets himself to tell, and he tells it with ease if not with distinction. Never has the world known a more remarkable family than Medici. In 1400 its head was a wise burgess, called Giovanni di Bicoi, who followed the trade of banker with great success, who amused his leisure with the patronage of painters and sculptors, and who bequeathed a vast fortune to his sons. you read the early history of the Medici, you cannot but compare them with the multimillionaires of to-day, who have made America famous. The advantage, of course, is all on the side of the Medici. They collected their treasures with perfect taste and disorimination. They bought with a purpose, and understood what they bought. Connoisseurs and men of letters, as well as rulers and bankers, they esteemed nothing merely because it was rare. Their passion for the classics was the passion not of the gatherer but of the scholar. They were incapable of the ambition which persuades even the best of the American millionaires to purchase anything and everything which the dealers commend to their notice. The catholicity of taste, which allows the manuscript of a second-rate modern novel to jostle a book of hours, beautiful

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for its craftsmanship, was impossible for them, and for their profound knowledge of literature and the arts alone the bankers of Florence will be for ever celebrated. And they had another ambition, unknown to the modern millionaire,-the ambition of founding a family which should carry on their tradition and keep green their fame. For more than three centuries the Medici held the reins of power. They exerted a profound influence far beyond the confines of Italy: they made alliances with the noblest houses in Europe. They gave popes and cardinals to Rome, and queens to France. In the beginning their history is romantio for its very simplicity. As they grew in power they rivalled in their stern autocracy the despots of the neighbouring states, and if they forgot their origin when they sat crowned and sceptred on the throne of Florence, it is certain that their rivals kept them in mind of it.

In 1428 Giovanni di Bicci, the true founder of the family, died. He had not sought the duties of government: they had come to him; and both as a ruler and a patron he had established the traditions to which his descendants were faithful. "Not a man of great eloquence," says Machiavelli, but of rare prudence." So rare, indeed, was his prudence, that he left prosperous banks in sixteen capitals; and Cosimo, his successor, was able to indulge his tastes with freedom and munificence. Nor was Cosimo born to his princely fortune without the skill to

put it to the best use. Among the most erudite men of his time, he knew Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic. A fervent champion of the rediscovered learning, he ransacked the East for manuscripts, he encouraged scholars, and founded the library which still keeps his memory green. He pursued commerce and the things of the mind with equal energy. As Gibbon says, "he corresponded at once with Cairo and London; and a cargo of Indian spices and Greek books were often imported in the same vessel." There, in a sentence, you have the true Medicean spirit. It was the spices that paid for the books, and none knew better than Cosimo the value of money in the embellishment of life. And above all, this man of business encouraged the study of Plato, whose philosophy was a dominant influence on the Italy of the fifteenth century. The Academy which he established inspired an enthusiasm for the Socratic teaching not only in Italy, but beyond the Alps. Nor were books his only passion. In 1430 Michelozzo laid the first stones of the palace which proudly bore the name of Medici. A masterpiece of the new style, it was the first, as it has proved the enduring, monument of the family. The sculptures which adorned its courtyard were the work of Donatello, for the Medici, fortunate in all things, were happiest in the fact that they found men of genius ready to execute their ambitious schemes. Thus for thirty years he added to his

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