Great Humor

edited by Louis Untermeyer. McGraw-Hill, $9.95. Mr. Untermeyer is a man of taste and knowledge and a deft translator of comic verse. He is also honest. When he promises great humor, every item in the anthology has to qualify for the adjective. Now the standard proof that any type of writing is great is its power of endurance, so here come all the antique sacred cows—Aesop, Petronius, Rabelais, Swift, Lamb, Gilbert, Twain, and company—in a thundering herd. There is nothing wrong with any single piece in the collection; taken together, they produce an impression of déjà vu.