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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/387

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Memorials of Old Lancashire. Edited by Lieut. -

Col. Fishwick, F.S.A., and the Rev. P. H.

Ditchfield, F.S.A. 2 vols. (Bemrose & Sons.) THIS is a welcome addition to a notable series. Amongst the " Memorials of the English Counties ' ' the two handsome volumes devoted to Lanca- shire are not the least important of a now wide collection. The County Palatine, although the youngest born of the English shires, has associa- tions of remarkable variety, and, in spite of modern industrial transformations, still retains some unspoilt beauty, some ancient dialect, and some quaint customs. To most people the name of Lancashire conjures up visions only of Manchester and factory towns. Yet Manchester is a Roman foundation, and preserves a part of its old wall, whilst in Chetham's Hospital it retains a remark- able specimen of mediaeval architecture.

Col. Fishwick is a well-known Lancashire antiquary, and his contributions to local history have been many and important. He has gathered round him a band of friendly contributors whose joint efforts have produced a pleasant miscellany, though the component ingredients may vary in value. Mr. William Harrison records many curious details as to old-time travel in a county that seems to have had exceptionally bad roads. When Cromwell in 1648 defeated the Scotch invasion, pursuit, he tells us, was over " twelve miles of such ground as I never rode in all my life " ; and a century later John Wesley has frequent allusions to the badness of the ways.

Of one of the great incidents of the Civil War, the defence of Lathom House by the Countess of Derby, there is a good account by Mrs. Colin Campbell, whose enthusiasm for the Cavalier cause perhaps somewhat blinds her to the exist- ence of that inevitable " other side."

Dr. J. Charles Cox's excellent account of Cartmel Church is illustrated by plates, and shows the architectural interest of that structure. Indeed, the illustrations of the " Memorials " are deserving of special commendation. They are numerous, appropriate, and fine examples of modern process -work.

Miss E. M. Platt deals in outline with Lan- cashire witches and witchcraft, a subject deserv- ing a closer and more critical study than it has yet received. In the famous trials of 1612 there is reason to suspect that private malice and greed were at work as well as gross superstition. Another article that of Mr. W. F. Price on homes of the yeomen and peasantry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries suggests that in many quarters there still survive evidences as to the dwellings of the people.

The present Cathedral of Manchester, which, is described by the Rev. H. A. Hudson, is now what it always has been, a fine, great parish church, and there can be seen in its Consistory Court the " Angel stone " that dates from the Saxon days. A specially interesting chapter is that in which Mr. Aymer Vallance deals with the roods, screens, and lofts of the county. In another direction there is Mr. Ernest Axon's picture of a squire of the eighteenth century a picture with many quaint and life-like details.

It is not easy to review a book that is made up of numerous independent essays. Some we lave named, and the rest are also worthy of mention. Altogether they form a work that is a handsome specimen of book -production, that ias varied * interest for the generalj reader, and will repay the careful attention of the antiquary.

THE gem of The Comhill Magazine this month is Col. CallwelPs 'The Disbanding of the Guava Rifles,' the most delightful military tale which has appeared for a long time, and a delicate satire on the War Office method of procedure, which has the merit of being in the main correct, although it is rather surprising that the author makes the Officer Commanding write direct to the War Office, instead of through the local general officer. However, that is a minor technical error in procedure which does not detract from a good story. Mr. Alfred Noyes contributes a stirring poem entitled ' The Admiral's Ghost,' which has the true ring in it. In ' Steven- son and Simoneau,' Mr. Hermann Scheffauer provides an interesting character study of a humble friend of Stevenson. Mr. C. R. L. Fletcher's The Kennet and Avon Canal' is a mildly humorous record of a canal journey from Reading. The joys and woes of the would-be M.P. are lightly touched on by Mr. Ian Malcolm. ' A Spoiler at Noonday,' by R. 0. M., is an excellent little gipsy story by one who is evidently well acquainted with the vagaries of the Romany folk. In ' A Portuguese Patchwork ' Miss Clare touches the poetical and humorous side of life in a little Portuguese watering-place. In sharp contrast is 'A Forgotten Tragedy,' by " Balkis," a poignant record of shame and martyr- dom connected with the British occupation of Ceylon, comparable in pome degree with the closing scene in Gordon's career.

The National Review is, as usual, strong in political denunciation. ' The Real Reason for Re- jecting the Budget,' as supplied by " Verax," is as follows : " The final, irreparable loss of the com- mand of the sea and the British Empire will be the result." Many will doubt, in view of this state- ment, the suitability of the writer's pen-name. Mr. Austin Dobson's article on 'Old Kensington Palace' shows his admirable gift of weaving his- torical allusion and story into an attractive narra- tive. He has a good word for William of Orange as a child-lover and devoted husband, and, to come to a more practical point, he commends Mr. Ernest Law's guide to the Palace preserved from ruin by the special care of Queen Victoria. Mr. Cecil. Harmsworth's ' Plea for the Limitation of Speeches ' exhibits well some of the, absurdities in the present arrangements of the House of Commons. He credits Mr. Masterman and Lord Hugh Cecil with elo- quence, and pays a tribute to the powers of a well- known " obstructionist " whose name is but slightly veiled under " Ramsbury." Readmits that " closure by compartments " cannot be justified, " and reduces private members of Parliament to the position of harmless automata." ' New York Jour- nalism : a Snapshot,' occupies less than four pages, and is inadequate as a summary. It tells us nothing new. 'Science and the Home,' by Mrs. St. Loe Strachey, is of interest as presenting a modern movement which should have important results. 'Our Judicial System,' by "A Law Reporter," seems to us as laymen to embody some reasonable criticisms ; while * Child Friends,' by Miss Marsh, is a sympathetic study of young learners.