Maurice Baring – who was my godfather – once had a dream. He crossed the Styx, and there on the other side was, as he put it, ‘a Customs House, and an official who had, inscribed in golden letters on his cap, Chemins de fer de l’Enfer, who said to me “Have you anything to declare?” And he handed me a printed list on which, instead of wine, spirits, tobacco, silk, lace, etc., there was printed Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Scandinavian, Chinese, Arabic and Persian, and it was explained to me that this list referred to the literary baggage I had travelled with during my life.’ Have You Anything to Declare? was the title he gave to the best anthology of poetry and prose I know. For the past half-century I have bought any copy I see in a second-hand bookshop to give as a present. During that time at least a dozen must have passed through my hands.