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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/147

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10 s. XIL AUG. 7,





The Manuscripts of Westminster Abbey. By J. Armitage Robinson, D.D., and M. R. James, Litt.D. (Cambridge University Press.) The History of Westminster Abbey. By John Fie te. Edited by J. Armitage Robinson, D.D. (Same publishers.)

IT is disappointing to learn that the muniment room of our national Abbey is but scantily supplied with MSS., and those of only secondary importance. Such as they are, the present Dean has resolved that they shall be printed under the general title of "Notes and Documents relating to Westminster Abbey," and he has made an excellent beginning with the two fair volumes which lie before us. The first of these he introduces with an antiquarian chapter ' On the Making and Keeping of Books in the Abbey between the Years 1160 and 1660,' and closes with an account of the Westminster Char- tularies, the most important of which seems to be that known as ' Domesday,' written at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The rest of the volume consisting of chapters on ' The Remains of the Monastic Library,' on the ' MSS. in the Chapter Library between 1623 and 1694,' and on the 'MSS. now in the Chapter Library' has been contributed by Dr. M. R. James, whose unique knowledge of ancient books and diplomatic sources enables him to write with authority on these subjects. Among matters of general interest may be mentioned the curious thirteenth-century rules for the behaviour of school- boys (p. 67), and a quaint Christmas carol of the fifteenth century, beginning "A babe ys borne I wys" (p. 76), and the last line ending with "for ever and day," which we would correct, periculo nostro, to " for ever and ay." The peculiar phrase "Seyny books" is explained as meaning certain choir books which monks who had been bled (saignes, sanguinati) were allowed to use (p. 11).

When the conspicuous position which the Abbey has always occupied in the ecclesiastical and civil annals of the country is remembered, it is strange that a history of its foundation written so far back as the middle of the tenth century by one John Flete, a monk of the house, has been lying all these centuries unprinted and unedited until the present Dean in this year of grace has wiped away the reproach, and given us a trustworthy text with every, typographical advantage. Flete, after relating the legen- dary story of the founding of the Abbey and its consecration by St. Peter in proprid persond, cites many representative bulls and charters which were issued in its favour, and gives a very curious catalogue of relics of the saints which it claimed to possess (pp. 69-70).

In the definition of the bounds of the parish of St. Margaret we find mention of "fyburne, Cniete- brigge, Westeburn, and Padintun in a document of Stephen Langton, 1222; and of Wendesworthe, Batricheseye, and Chelchith (i.e. Wandsworth, Battersea, and Chelsea) in a commission of Pope Gregory IX., 1231, which will be of interest to students of place-names (pp. 63, 66). A curious description of a salmon leap or ladder by Giraldus Cambrensis (p. 68) has a reference in a foot-note to

"in Avenliphensi fluvio non procul a Dublinia saltus," which not every one, perhaps, will recog- nize as a reference to Leixlip on the Anna Liffey.

WE are pleased to see in Mr. Frowde's " World's Classics " Mrs. Gaskell's North and South, one of the books which have a permanent hold on readers. Mr. Clement Shorter in his brief intro- duction indicates that Labour problems were in the air in 1855, and mentions Dickens's ' Hard Times,' which appeared only a year before 'North and South.' It is to Dickens that the selection of the title was due, ' Margaret Hale ' being the alternative. The heroine certainly dominates the book. At the same time a modern reader rather wonders at the sermonizing in which so young a girl ventures frequently to indulge. We must remember that Mrs. Gaskell. lived in an exceptionally serious circle, and that in those days a period of " obstinate question- ings," as Mr. Shorter says questions of religion were discussed with a freedom which seems at present repugnant to the average Englishman,, old or young. We do not mean that there was then more religion, but there is now a good deal more reserve. Apart from this tendency to preachiness, Margaret Hale is to us as, we doubt not, to a whole mass of readers one. of the most attractive of girls, and, fortunately, not perfect. She gives us an impression of beauty and distinction which the floods of extravagant praise lavished by modern lady novelists on their' heroines utterly fail to suggest.

An oddity of ' North and South ' is pointed out by Mr. Shorter in the presence of two lengthy sentences on pp. 450 and 451, which are repeated, with but slight alterations on pp. 489 and 490.


MESSRS. S. DRAYTON & SONS of Exeter have in v their Catalogue 205 a copy of 'Ingoldsby,' 3 vpls., . original cloth, 51. 5s. (Vol. I., second edition;. Vols. II. and III., first editions); Hartley Cole- ridge's Poems, 1833, 21. 2s.; Dickens's 'American Notes,' first edition, 17s. 6d. ; 'English Catalogue of Books,' Vol. IV., 1881-9, 18s.; Noel Humphreys's ' Art of Writing,' 18s. ; Johnson's ' Lives of the Poets,' notes by Peter Cunningham, 3 vols., 1854, 18s.; and 'Life of Morland,' Joy George Dayies,. large 4to, II. 15s. (only 300 copies of this edition). There are some old newspapers, including The Black Dwarf ; also works under Military and Natural History, besides Addenda of Theology, &c.

Messrs. Myers & Co. issue two Catalogues for August. No. 147 contains books, and No. 148 engravings. In the former we notice a fine set of the Delphin Classics, large paper, 194 vols., royal 8vo, half purple morocco extra, Valpy, 1819-30, 351. Under Carlyle is a presentation copy of the ' Life of Schiller,' one cover and back missing, 1825, Ql. 15s. ; and under Chaucer the fifth edition, 1602, 61. 17 s. Qd. There is an extra- illustrated copy of ' Nollekens and his Times,' 1828, 51. 17s. Qd. Under Pope is the first issue of ' The Temple of Fame,' with the half-title and the two leaves of advertisement at the end, 1715, 51. 17s. Qd. An extra-illustrated copy of Stone's 'Mary I. of England,' 2 vols., red crushed levant by Zaehnsdorf, is 101. 10s. ; and the first issue of Skelton's ' Mary Stuart,' HZ. 10s. Under Arctic is'Nansen's ' Farthest North,' 2 vols. in 1