An elderly writer of popular comedies and her liberal husband, a judge, are accosted in mid-swim by three crass young archivists. In distracting their inquisitors, the couple show the greatest mannerliness while treading water. A famous cellist develops an unruly attachment to his bed. His accompanist suggests an analyst, but takes the sessions himself, lending a fond angle to transference. A quiet, wise man watches his blustering City stepson take over his house and his being and has not the heart to see his usurping heir’s action as the pattern of push and shove. With assusrance, acuity and her lucid wit, Penelope Gilliatt lays bare the non-utterances that are the crucial ellipses of the human temperament.