Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/507

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9*" s. x. DEC. 20, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


499


were done before his education was over, and that never again will he find time to study Lyly and many a better man whose works he keeps on his shelves, with the grim knowledge that the time for a reperusal will never come. With the young it is, of course, otherwise. It is possible that one or other of the volumes of Euphues, a play or two even, though hardly a work such as ' Pappe with an Hatchet,' may be included in some curriculum of study. For young and old alike it is delightful to have on the shelves the entire works in an edition so scholarly and so sumptuous, yery much In the work rests on conjecture, especially as regards the poems doubtfully assigned our author. Not a few will be startled to find in Lyly's literary baggage, though not absolutely assigned to him, poems by Ignoto in ' England's Helicon ' hitherto dubiously credited to Raleigh or other authors. Mr. Bond's observa- tions on the contents of ' England's Helicon,' ' The Phrenix Nest,' &c., are to be studied, as is all he says. How far internal evidence for the ascription to Lyly of many of these poems is to be trusted is a dubious question, and needs closer study than can easily be afforded. One thing, at least, we may say : we would not have this part of the volume abridged. Whether the poems belong to Lyly or others, it is pleasant to possess them again, even though we own them already in Mr. Bullen's re- print or elsewhere. Whenever and however they present themselves, they are welcome. On Lyly's position as virtually the earliest of our dramatists Mr. Bond rightly insists. Shakespeare's indebted- ness to Lyly is shown in some eminently suggestive pages. There are some scores of matters we have marked for observation for which we cannot find space. Again and again, especially in biblio- graphical matters, we have tested Mr. Bond's edition, and find nothing whatever at which to cavil. His is a noble edition of Lyly to which to point, and it is as handsome as it is scholarly. Are we before long to have all our Tudor dra- matists and poets thus fully treated ? if so, there is plenty of work for editors. In spite of the labours of Grosart and others, there is no definitive edition of half the great Elizabethan writers- nothing, certainly, to compare with the work before us. Scholars owe'a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Bond. We may scarcely hope, personally, to benefit by his future efforts, but we welcome him, among other things, as a pioneer.

A Supplement to Burnet's History of My Own Time.

Derived from Sources Hitherto Unpublished.

Edited by H. C. Foxcroft. (Oxford, Clarendon

Press.)

As has previously been stated (see 9 th S. v. 298), Dr. Osmund Airy has been unable to continue those labours upon Burnet which resulted in the publica- tion of the first portion of the ' History of My Own Time,' dealing with the reign of Charles II. it was announced at the time that no intention existed of carrying the original work further than the close of the first part. That purpose is not even now entertained. Instead of the second part of Burnet s great work, which is accessible in the earlier Clarendon Press editions, we are now presented with a supplemental volume of higher interest, the preparation and conduct of which have been trusted to Miss Foxcroft. The materials for this consist of Burnet's original memoirs, autobiography, letters to Admiral Herbert, and private meditations. That the larger portion of these materials were


in existence has long been known to scholars, the fact being mentioned by Dr. Routh in the preface to his edition of 1823 as well as by Miss Strick- land, Macaulay, Von Ranke, and Dr. Airy. The volume and much of the work described consist of fragments. For these things the reader must be referred to the book, and especially to the parallel references, which are extensive and, so far as we can judge, accurate. The added matter is of the highest importance. Well as he is known to students of seventeenth - century literature, Burnet is not generally read. Were it only for the characters of contemporaries which he supplies he deserves close study. Among "characters" now first printed is one of Oliver Cromwell, occupying some dozen pages. This is different from, if not more important than, what is said in the ' History,' vol. i. pp. 138 et seq. Another character that should be closely studied is that of Lady Russell, which is supposed to have been omitted from- the * History ' out of consideration for that " sweet saint,' 5 who survived Burnet for many years. It is her modesty only that could have suffered from its earlier appearance, since Burnet, whose knowledge of her was close, finds no words too good for her praise. After dwelling upon her mixed English and French extraction, Burnet saf s that " though, she has naturally a great edge upon her temper (a not very familiar locution), " better principles have softened that much," and "though the fire of her passions ismuch extinguished, theheatand tenderness of them is still such that, as.it has made her one of the best wives I ever knew, so it has sunk her into an extreme sorrow upon her lord's death, which yet she goyerns so, that though it must appear much to her friends, she sets it off with no affectation to others, and, indeed, I have scarce seen one freer of all the exterior parts of pride than she is." Burnet, indeed, counts her " among the perfectest pieces of her sex." Burnet's auto- biography, from his birth, 1643, to the year 1710, is written on the model of De Thou, and the bishop congratulates himself upon the resemblance. The letters to Admiral Herbert present Burnet as a humourist. From whatever point of view this volume is contemplated it is of high importance and value, and its publication is a boon to history.

No. 6,584 in the catalogue of the Harleian Library, which constitutes the principal source of new matter, of its provenance, and of the manner in which it came into the possession of the nation, is given by Miss Foxcroft in her introduction, wherein may also be found an account of treasures sub- sequently unearthed in the Bodleian. Under what conditions two transcripts of Burnet's great work c%me into possession of the Harley family is not yet ascertained, though some highly ingenious and almost romantic conjecture is hazarded by the editor. That the whole of the ' Secret History,' as Burnet styles it, was originally committed to paper by the hand of the historian is beyond doubt. " With characteristic garrulity" Burnet advertised the existence of his 'Secret Memoirs,' and appears to have shown them in confidence to various in- timates. Common prudence, then, Miss Foxcroft holds, must have suggested the expediency of preparing a duplicate. Of the before-mentioned MS. 6,584 portions only are preserved. Forty-seven opening folios, amounting on a rough calculation to about 4,700, are " missing from the initial 'Number.'"