Books: The Ill-Made Knight

T. H. WHITE by Sylvia Townsend Warner. 352 pages. Viking. $6.50.

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn." —The Sword in the Stone

This passage from...