9* S. XL FEB. 28, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
that weak and superstitious people should use the hallowed water for magical purposes, and persons not actually communicating would find the doors of the chancel carefully shut, against them as out- siders, which was Bishop Montague's practice. Both these usages are mentioned here.
The Collegiate Church of Stratford-on-Avon. By
Harold Baker. (Bell & Sons. ) MR. BAKER'S volume ranks with the accounts of the minsters of Beverley and Wimborne, Tewkes- bury Abbey, &c., in the series annexed to the histories of cathedrals. Beautiful as is the situa- tion of the church and noble as are its propor- tions, it is scarcely entitled to rank with those exquisite piles. It is, however, an object of more frequent pilgrimage than any, and we should sup- pose, though we have no statistics, that for one visitor attracted to Ely or Peterborough a score perhaps a hundred flock to Stratford. Not avowedly a guide to the Shakespearian associations of Stratford is this, yet Shakespeare dominates the whole book, which, in addition to architectural and ecclesiastical details concerning the church, follows his footsteps wherever any traces are left. Guides to Stratford are innumerable, but there is always place for another, and the present work, besides giving a history of the church, the restorations of which have been in the main judicious, supplies most of the information the travelling and enterprising American is likely to require. It has no fewer than titty-eight illustrations, principally from photo- graphs by the author.
Notre Dame de Paris. By Charles Hiatt. (Bell &
Sons.) The Church and Abbey of Mont St. Michel. By
H. J. L. J. Masse, M.A. (Same publishers.) To the series of " Handbooks to Continental Churches" have been added two interesting volumes. The first deals with Notre Dame de Paris, which contests with the great churches of Rouen, already depicted, the palm of popularity in England. How much Victor Hugo's novel has contributed to English knowledge it is bootless to inquire. In spite of the mutilation to which, under the name of restoration, it has been subject, and of the desecration it has undergone, it is a lovely and an interesting building, worthy of the French capital, and stands about fifth in order of the great Gothic cathedrals of France, its superiors being those of Chartres, Reims, Amiens, and Bourges. In point of architectural interest it is inferior to none, its decorations being wonderfully elaborate and beautiful or fantastic. The carved figures are mar- vellous in workmanship, and the chimeras, as they are called, are among the quaintest products of mediaeval imagination. Forty - one illustrations present the exterior from various aspects and the interior, together with specimens of decoration. In addition to a satisfactory account of the church as now existing, Mr. Hiatt tells what is known con- cerning buildings, pagan or Christian, previously situated on the same spot.
The interest in Mont St. Michel is not wholly or even mainly ecclesiastical, and Mr. Masse's book stands in a sense apart from other volumes of the series to which it belongs. Mont St. Michel is, however, a place of singular picturesqueness, beauty, and interest-, and is one of the most delightful spots within easy reach of England. Comparisons between it and our own " great vision of the guarded mount"
will always offer an attraction to Englishmen. In its historical and descriptive aspects Mr. Masses book is alike excellent, and every visitor to St. Malo, whence Mont St. Michel can be best reached, should carry it in his pocket.
Picturesque Old Houses : being the Impressions of a Wanderer off the Jleaten Track. By Allan Fea. (Boustield&Co.)
MR. FEA'S account of his wanderings off the beaten track is full of interest, and may induce others to follow his plan of exploring nooks and corners of our old country. The volume Mr. Fea modestly describes in his preface as " merely a record of sundry impressions collected (mainly for my own amusement) from casual notes and sketches made at various times," and he trusts that "those who dip into these pages will not put me down as an egotist, for, I regret to say, the letter '!' figures far too frequently to please me." Mr. Fea starts on his rambles from the old town of Faversham, where the market square gives one a typical picture of an ancient town ; thence to Bredgar, "a sleepy- looking place with a tine grey old church," where can be seen a barrel organ out of which the tunes for the hymns used to be ground. In the tower there are instructions " that the bell-ringers must not perform their duties with their hats on, and if they should swear the tine will be a penny." The road between Maidstone and Ashford is then explored. Leeds is visited, also its castle, which, though modernized, dates from Edward I., with additions of Henry VIII. 's time. This stately- looking mass of towers and turrets is reflected in a wide moat as clear as crystal. At Charing the ruins of the episcopal palace were visited. Mr. Fea then gives an account of a wandering into Sussex. From Hawkhurst to Lewes he found many good examples of Elizabethan domestic architecture, " rendered doubly attractive from the beautifully wooded country in which they are situate." These included Batemans and Holmshurst. In this last there is a gallery seventy feet in length. Mr. Fea considers one of the most picturesque of all the Sussex farmhouses to be Bolebrook, between Cow- den and Harttield. The colour of these outbuildings is very pleasing to the eye; "nothing but age can impart to the red bricks that purple-grey tone which harmonizes so well with the moss and lichen."
Other rambles include Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire indeed, one is tempted to exclaim, Where has not thi& -industrious rambler been ? A great addition to thexvolume is formed by the beautiful illustrations, exceeding 140 in number. We have derived so much pleasure from this enter- taining book that we have a seltish feeling in wish- ing the author many more pleasant excursions.
THE current number of the Edinburgh contains two articles of permanent importance. The one on ' Double Stars ; must have a lasting value, because it summarizes the knowledge at present possessed by the most advanced students on a subject which is at once the most fascinating and the most difficult in the whole range of astronomy. It is evidence of the vast distance we have passed in thought since the days of the French speculator who imagined that it would be for ever impossible to determine the movements and distance of the heavenly bodies, for now, though as yet we are but in the porch of the temple, we have fair reasons for hoping that the time is not very remote when we shall know much