NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. x. DEC. 13, 1902.
direct pecuniary relations with the press." It has been the practice of some from whom we might have hoped for better things to blame the Edinburgh in its youth for its errors regarding imaginative literature; but it should be borne in mind that when new things relating to what is beyond the senses burst 'on the world they are commonly not appreciated quite so readily as a discovery in mechanics. The young men were, with- out doubt, mistaken when they roughly criticized Byron and Wordsworth, and, in a less degree, Scott ; but let us remember that even Shakespeare was not fully appreciated until a hundred years after his death ; refined and educated men and women of the seventeenth century certainly preferred Ben Jonson. One of the chief merits of the Edinburgh has been the loyalty with which from first to last it has opposed obscurantism, and fought on behalf of those who have striven to enlarge our conceptions of the physical universe. For many years it had the world against it, and that most foolish of all questions, "What is the good of all this?" was constantly asked of young men who, on the spur of the moment, were not supplied with a ready answer. ' The Rise and Influence of Darwinism ' is excellent. To anyone who reads it carefully it will become more evident than it has been before that it is utterly impossible for the wisest of us to make up his mind beforehand what facts are of even utilitarian value to beings such as we are. The teachings of Darwin and various schools of thinkers that have built on his foundation have given an immense stimulus not only to the physical sciences, but to history also, and even to those things which the antiquary delights to contemplate. Darwin may, perhaps, never have thought of this. It has been the function of his followers to guide observation in many direc- tions untravelled by himself. The paper on the poetry of the nineteenth century is by one who has evidently read nearly everything worth study in the poetic literature of the time of which he treats. With by far the greater part of what he says we are in full agreement, but in some cases we dissent strongly, and should endeavour to hold our own against all comers. To say that " the lowest depths beneath style were plumbed by Wordsworth " is surely wild talking. Helen of Troy, Brynhild, and Sita, the wife of Rama, the much-suffering heroine of the great Indian epic 'Ramayana,' are contrasted in ' Three Race Heroines of Epic Story.' The contrasts are well worked out. We ought, we suppose, to love Sita far more than the others, but we must confess that the savagery of our Northern nature compels our heart to turn to Brynhild, or even to the frail Helen, rather than to her gentler sister. We are pleased by ' The English Novel of the Nineteenth Century.' There is none of that unctuous flattery or savage blame we so often meet with in criticisms of the novels of the past. The writer remembers, what some people seem to forget, that personal predilection is an unsafe guide in the criticism or works of a time that has become historic.
BOOKSELLERS and their assistants will be in- terested in a booklet just issued by the Booksellers' Provident Institution. It contains full particulars as to the advantages offered. The society, founded sixty-five years ago, has distributed over 72.00W., and no application within the rules has been refused. An assistant subscribing at the age of eighteen can secure a life membership by the payment in one
instalment of 161. 6s. IQd., or by an annual payment of 13s. lid., while those joining later in life can do so on equally favourable terms. If a member should go out of the trade he still retains his claim on the Institution. The booklet contains a portrait of Mr. Thomas Brown and several views of the Retreat, including its interesting library. Any one looking at the figures given in this little book can see at a glance the "important facts and striking figures " it contains, and it should be largely helpful in bringing in new members. The permanent fund amounts to 30,OOOZ., and it is provided that this shall in no circumstances be reduced. The booklet can be obtained of Mr. George Lamer.
MESSRS. PHILLIMORE & Co. have issued a list of their genealogical and antiquarian publica- tions issued at 124, Chancery Lane. These include Mr. W. P. W. Phillimore's 'How to Write the History of a Family ' ; ' Pedigree Work ' ; ' The Lord Mayors and Sheriff's of London,' by Claren- ceux King of Arms ; Mr. Gaskell's ' Portfolio of Royal Descents,' and innumerable other works of highest importance to genealogists and antiquaries, including various parish registers and family histories.
MR. T. FISHER UNWIN is about to issue a mono- graph on Lady Diana Beauclerk by Mr. Stewart ErsKine, which he asks us to bring to the notice of our readers. Any one possessing letters or diaries relating to her or her husband, or pictures or drawings of hers, who is willing to allow such material to be used, is asked to communicate with Mr. Unwin at 11, Paternoster Buildings Every care will be taken, and drawings or sketches will be returned as soon as possible.
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J. PLATT, Jun. Many thanks for newspaper con- taining your reply concerning " Nark."
E. P. W. See Hood's 'Miss Kilmansegg.'
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