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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/533

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12 S. X.JuNES, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 439 itself we have nothing but praise. It could hardly have been much more generously designed and carried out. It is arranged in an alphabet of authors, noteworthy people and places, the items being placed chronologically, and each represented by its title page, of which the letterpress is re- produced in full (save for quotations from Scripture,, in English) with strokes to mark the alignment." The reproduction renders not only the spelling but also the different types used in the original, a scheme which has involved the frequent use of black-letter, capitals and italics. Dates and birthplace or principal place of residence of each author are given ; and each item has the usual bibliographical notes as to size and number of pages, with additional remarks on cuts or any points of interest and the library where the tract may be found. Every collector will recognize what merits are here. It is hardly possible to indicate a twentieth part of the items which have most interested us. Here are twenty-four items by Robert Southwell ; twenty-six delightful tracts by or concerning Sir John Suckling ; here, under the several names of Bury,Nash,Ward, Bale, Capel, Cheke and Lydgate, are stores of good things on the nature of which there is no need to descant. We may turn from a pamphlet on the level of water in the fens, and how to drain these, to the " Negotiations of Thomas Woolsey ... by ... his Gentleman- Usher "; from a " lamentable History " of " Wilful Murther " committed at Halsworth, to " the conversion of Five Thousand and Nine Hundred East Indians in the Isle of Formoza, neere China " ; or from Tymme's ' Silver Watch-bell ' (how lucky a title !) to Wolsey's ' Rudimenta.' Two issues are noted of the " proper new sonet " on the burning of Beccles " in the Great winde upon S. Andrewes eve " in 1586. There are one or two pamphlets on witches that under St. Edmundsbury, ' A true relation of the Araignment of Eighteene Witches,' 1645, has escaped the indexer. The majority of the items belong to the religious disputes of their day, but there is also a large number of political pamphlets, several poems or collections of poems, and not a few scientific tracts. The total number of items runs to 1009. A word must be said as to the eight illustrations, which form an exceedingly interesting feature of the book. The frontispiece is the title page of Wolsey's ' Rudimenta ' ; another good example is the title page of the pamphlet on the " Straunge and terrible Wuiider " wrought at " Bongay " with the rude cut of the " shape " which horrified the people ; a third is that of the fire at St. I'Mmundsbury in 1608. Nor must we omit the colophon, which by itself would well deserve a note. An index of titles and a general index are supplied. The latter has been very carefully compiled in regard to printers and stationers, whose names are given in different type, so as to make easy a systematic survey of the work of each, as exemplified here. The Owl and the Nightingale. Edited, with Introduction, Texts, Notes, Translations and Glossary, by J. W. H. Atkins. (Cambridge University Press. 16s. net.) THE most valuable part of this book is undoubtedly the text with the accompanying notes. It will bo remembered that ' The Owl and the Nightingale ' has been preserved in two MSS., the one written in the early half of the thirteenth century now in the British Museum ; the other now deposited in the Bodleian belonging to Jesus College, Oxford, and written in a somewhat later hand. The two texts are to be considered as independent copies from a common original, which, however, is not the author's own text, but an intermediate transcript The two texts are here printed side by side an excellent arrangement- the notes being concerned chiefly with the earlier text. Mr. Atkins has made several happy emendations : we may mention as examples his torouehede for the wronchede and wlonkhede of the MSS. in the passage about the seven deadly sins (1. 1400) ; and the reading twene twom for twere and tweyre tw')m at 1. 991. His suggestions for the solution of puzzles are likewise apt to be fortunate, and sometimes he may be considered as having settled the question, as when he refers the fox " hanging by the bough " to Neckam's ' De Naturis Rerum. In fact the notes are excellent and copious, bringing in, from all appropriate quarters, just the information required. In the Introduction Mr. Atkins gives us a careful account of all that has been said or surmised as to the author, summing up imore or less in favour of Nicholas of Guildford, though he is reduced to the use of one or two weak arguments and lapses into some exaggeration. Thus he includes the hue-and-cry among matters which " point unmistakably to a writer well versed in judicial matters, whose hand was subdued to what it worked in." Since the hue-and-cry was every- body's business it argued no special knowledge of the law to be able to mention it in point. A tendency to over-emphasis, what we will call a too strongly marked rotundity, in some degree spoils the effect and diminishes the value of the historical and especially of the literary, sections of the Introduction. The truth to form and the verve of the poem justify the praise given to them, and more might have been made of the purely comic spirit evident in it ; "but the remarks on the use of popular material would lead one to expect more than one will find ; to talk of "genius " is something excessive, and when we are told that the poem is the " expression of a unique personality," " the authentic utterance of one who lived under the early Plantagenets, and whose ambitions and fancies, whose thoughts and moods are therein set down for all to read," we do not know what the writer means. We should hope for many more texts edited by Mr. Atkins and many more lively, informing and enthusiastic Introductions such as this and it is in that hope we suggest the desirability of a more drastic treatment of nourishes, aud a greater measure of resistance to the hypnotizing power which his subject undoubtedly exercises upon the student. We cannot forbear to add a word of protest against the translation which very fre- quently blurs, pleasing or significant detail in the original and occasionally turns to paraphrase without any reason that we can discover. It would, however, misrepresent our opinion if we ended on a note of criticism. The book is a good one.