Elia, of course, was none other than Charles Lamb, gentlest and most delightful of all our English essayists. There was much tragedy in Lamb's life. His sister Mary, to whom he was passionately devoted, turned insane and murdered her mother with a carving knife. Lamb, therefore, devoted the rest of his life to the care of his sister, collaborating with her during the quiet period, and gently leading her back to the asylum whenever the insanity showed signs of returning. It was on account of Mary that Lamb never married, although he was passionately fond of children, and would have made an ideal family man. He never allowed himself to become embittered, lovable fellow that he was, and despite the ever-present menace of Mary's madness, his life was full of mellow charm and tranquillity. His was a singularly blameless life, though the prude may object that he was known at times to take a drop too much liquor- a weakness to which he himself confesses in a singularly moving essay. If you have not already read " The Essays of Elia," then pray do not lose any time, but get a copy at once. It will cheer many a dull evening, and be your comforter and friend for the rest of your life.