10 s. XIL NOV. 20, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &o.
Charles Dickens and his Friends. By W. Teign- mouth Shore. (Cassell & Co.)
THIS book, though it may entertain and instruct the ordinary reader, contains hardly anything of novelty for the expert in Dickens and his period. It consists mainly of sketches of his various friends and associates, which depend for their matter on familiar sources, and are more concerned with such features as dress and deportment than with cha- racter. Many of the stories given have served the turn of the compiler so often that we know them by heart. The author shows signs of being a com- petent critic, but he seldom indulges his gifts in that direction. He warns "critical readers "that "he has made no pretence of completeness," and says elsewhere that it "has not come within the scope of this book to deal critically or otherwise with Dickens as a man of letters." We doubt, indeed, if any clear view of Dickens emerges from these loosely connected pages a " rambling record," as the author says. On the matter of the " Read- ings," all important as shortening Dickens's life, we get no sufficient discussion, and we commend to our readers the remarks on the subject in ' The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft.'
Regarding Maclise Mr. Shore writes : " Indeed, they were fine young fellows all in those days, and dandies most of them, all honour to them." We notice that the full, sentimental view of Little Nell and Paul Dombey receives some modification, though in other respects Mr. Shore takes the standpoint of a kindly and easygoing Pickwickian. We are glad to see the study of Diekens's letters commended. They are an essential part of his story, though we do not rate them so high as our author.
The illustrations are numerous, and by no means so familiar to us as the greater part of the text. The facsimile of one of Dickens's last letters (to Charles Kent), reproduced opposite p. 310, is, we may add, available at the British Museum, where we bought it some years since. So little is known of these facsimiles that a daily paper with literary pretensions "boomed" in 1900 one of them as a new and original letter of Charles Dickens. The facsimile itself was badly misprinted, and the recipient's name muddled, though both had been known for years to Dickensians. The Scotch papers slavishly followed the London pioneer in this "dis- covery," but we did not think it worth while to cumber our pages with a refutation in print of the suggestions and queries founded on this second removal from the truth.
Masters of Literature. Fielding. Edited by George Saintsbury, D.Litt. Scott. Edited by Arthur J. Grant. ( Bell & Sons.)
THE aim of this series of " Masters of Literature" is to give " in handy volumes the finest passages from the writings of the greatest authors. Each volume is edited by a well-known scholar, and contains representative selections connected by editorial comments." Each book, in fact, repre- sents at best a great author " boiled down " into the essence of his work. This is not a principle we can approve of, btat we suppose that the books are meant for purposes of " cramming."
Prof. Saintsbury writes with his usual skill and knowledge, and his critical remarks are of great interest. We cannot, however, regard his extracts as sufficient to give a proper knowledge of Fielding.
Still less can this be said of Prof. Grant's volume. The extracts from Scott's novels are absurdly inadequate. We find two passages from 'Waver- ley,' and two each from 'The Antiquary,' 'Rob Roy,' 'St. Ronan's Well,' and ' Redgauntlet,' with one from ' Guy Mannering,' ' The Heart of Mid- lothian ' (said to be the best of the novels by the Professor), 'The Bride of Lammermpor,' 'A Legend of Montrose,' ' Ivanhoe,' ' The Talisman,' ' Wood- stock,' and 'The Fair Maid of Perth.' Further, we find a passage on the Novels from the intro- duction to ' The Fortunes of Nigel ' ; arid among 'Poems,' 'Proud Maisie,' 'Pibroch of Donald Dhu,' Elegy on Pitt and Fox from ' Marmion,' and ' The Fiery Cross ' from 'The Lady of the Lake.' If this is an adequate selection from Scott's work T either in verse or prose, we have been greatly deceived as to his powers for many years.
Prof. Grant writes an Introduction which is sensible, though too much time is spent on travers- ing Carlyle's ill-tempered judgment. What, how- ever, we miss is the recognition of Scott's lyrical gift. In his note to 'Proud Maisie' the critic describes it as " a success of a kind that Scott has rarely attained : for he usually likes a large canvas and no restrictions." This seems to us a strange saying, for we think ' The Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics ' is perfectly just in including thirteen lyrics of Scott's. Association for Memorials of the Dead, Ireland :
Journal for the Year 1908. Vol. VII. Nos. 1 and
2 of Part II. (Dublin, the Association.) LAST year was the twenty-first of the Association, and it has now fairly established itself by doing valuable record work in a scholarly style. At 10 S. x.360 we expressed our warm commendation of the excellent and interesting results of the energy of the editor and his supporters. The present substantial volume shows the wide interest of the records which have now reached the permanency of print, for they are more likely to be preserved in this form than in positions open to the chances of the weather and the casual hand of the innovator.
A glance through the pages of records will show noteworthy things alike in the texts and the com- ments on them. Ballyoughtera Churchyard " is in the most deplorably derelict condition, many of the graves being furthermore so much burrowed by rabbits or other animals as to make it dangerous to- walk through it." There are other accounts of churchyards equally shocking.
A monument in 'Templerobin Churchyard, near Queen stown, shows that O'Healy is a correct form, though apparently some of theHealys have regarded! its insertion "as next to an insult." There are several interesting inscriptions on the tombs of scholars from Trinity College Chapel. In some of these obvious emendations suggest themselves, but perhaps the sculptor himself has gone wrong, e.g., in putting " Fantorem" for Fautorem (p. 330, Prof. George Hall). In Tralee Abbey there are monu- ments to the Geraldines and Earls of Desmond, and a curious photograph which concerns them is reproduced by the Cork Herald of Arms from a MS. in the British Museum. The records of this parish include an old MS. volume of early date known as. the 'Denny Family Diary.'