Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 6.djvu/148

This page needs to be proofread.


120


NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 s. vi. APRIL 10, 1920.


- notices of these ; and the account of the supposed discovery of the bones is enlivened by the inclusion of some excellent contemporary letters .of an eye-witness of the discovery, Mrs. Bolton .(Miss Agnes Holland).

Inter Lilia. By A. B. Ramsay. (Cambridge

University Press, Qs. fid.)

WE think Mr. Ramsay would be well content if

Y he could perceive in what mood his present

reviewer turns from the perusal of these verses to

say something about them. Says he^with an

amusing frankness in his preface : ' ' Hos versi-

culos. . . .nunc propter horum temporum tenuita-

fcem palam edendos ea spe inductus curavi

nonnullos Etonenses, si non evolvant, at tamen

empturos esse."

But if piety may be expected to induce an old

Etonian to buy this book, and some casual

'impulse in a moment of leisure bring him first

to open it, the charm of the verses may be trusted

'to arrest him forthwith and compel him to read

-them and return to them.

Most of them are in Latin, a few Greek examples and some score of English poems being added at the end. These last, several of which are very good, show plainly- we may say, refreshingly the effect of familiarity with classical models,

and of ease in the manipulation of Latin. They show it by their firmness, their moderation in the

Tise of visual images, and the close correspondence between thought and words ; as well as by a certain witty ring in their music, which (it is perhaps "hazardous to say it) is hardly to be attained by a writer of verse who has not steeped his mind in Latin poetry.

The Latin verses are chiefly on school subjects : the best and wittiest of these taking the boy's point of view. ' Rursus ab integro,' ' Poeta nascitur,' ' The Good Boy,' ' A Letter Home,' ' Sixth Form,' ' Nil Desperandum,' and ' The " Captain's Room ' are some of those we have most -enjoyed.

" Aera, ' redi.' sonaere, ' redi, Rirardule, consul ' " 1 for " Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London " a line in ' Nil Derfperandum ' is perhaps the happiest of several renderings of .nursery rimes. ' The Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe ' is too much expanded to be witty, and

-the moral at the end too heavy); and the famous Limei'ick of the Lady and the Tiger has hardly proved to be worth the time it cost.

The war naturally has inspired several pieces, f .the most original of which is ' Shortage of Paper ' the point thereof being :

I nunc, die puero " Versus describe trecentos,"

nil agis ; in poenam nulla papyrus erit. ' Sirmio ' and ' Christmas Bells ' are pleasing /examples, taken rather at random, of verses on -more general subjects.

For the most part Mr. Ramsay has worked in classical metres, but he gives us one or two songs, and a pretty set of leonine verses.

Though reminiscences and adaptations of ancient Latin poetry inevitably abound, it is noticeable .not only how the spirit, the turn of mind of Eton and the present day, vividly pervades the book, but also how good and ready a vehicle for that spirit the Latin proves itself ito be. And here we -have reached a secondary, but most operative, cause of the pleasure we have taken in this little volume. Why, with such a vehicle in our possession,


and when the world is crying out for an international language, do we not revive Latin ? It is the com- mon possession of Western Europe; its vitality is latent, not extinct ; it needs but to be revived - a less invidious enterprise than the virtual imposing of some one modern language upon other nations ; and, being the fount from which so great a part of modern speech has taken its rise, it offers a wealth of opportunity for the development of language, which would be more happily exploited if it were not left merely to the ingeniousness of the learned. A dead language is of no use be it granted : but Latin is not in any sense dead, and Mr. Ramsay's lively book will, we trust, carry a fresh proof 'of its vitality home to manv readers.


ST. PANCRAS HEAL COLLECTION. THE collection of books, MSS., prints, drawings, water colours and cuttings relating to the Borough of St. Pancras, which was bequeathed to the borough in 1913 by the late Ambrose Heal, is now available for consultation at the St. Pancras Public Library, Chester Road, Highgate. Amon* the works of peculiar interest are a copy of Thomas ISabbs's ' Totenham-Court ; a pleasant comedy,' first edition, 1639, second edition, 1709, and a copy of William Blake's ' Ladies Charity School an Highgate, and Silver Drops or Serious Things,' and a quaint pamphlet entitled 'The History of Mother Shipton,' with curious old woodcuts, printed by VV . Morgan, and published at Lichfieid. There is also a complete set of play-bills relating to the Queens, previously known as the Royal West London, Regency, Royal Fitzrov, New. or Totten- ham Street Theatre, from 1760 to 1886. To this collection the Council have added some of the MSS. and drawings of the late Frederick Teaeue Cansick, compiler of the ' Epitaphs of Middlesex.'


Jloitas ic (terrspontonis,

We request our correspondents to note that the arrangement for sending advance copies of Heplies upon payment of a shilling will be discontinued now that ' Notes and Queries ' is once more published weekly.

EDITORIAL communications should be addressed to " The Editor of ' Notes and Queries ' "Adver- tisements and Business Letters to "The Pub- lishers" at the Office, Printing House Square London, E.C.4.

CORRIGENDA.

THE REV. JOHN STONES. (See ante, p. 66.) The REV. W. F. J. TIMBRELL writes: "I erroneously stated that the Rev. John Stones was vicar of Stoak and rector of Coddington. James Stones, vicar of Stoak (1756-1781), was son of John Stones the antiquary rector of Coddington (I710--1766) "

WAR AND PAPER-SUPPLY. (See ante, p. 62.) MK. J. PAUL DE CASTRO writes : " A correspondent has kindly drawn attention to my erroneous state ment that Edmund Gibson became Primate. Dr. Gibson in fact died as Bishop of London in 1748, although the Archbishopric of Canterbury had been offered to him in 1747 on the death of Potter. I much regret making this mis-statement, which I fear was suggested by the mention of Lambetb."