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expert writer keeps within arm's length. For immediate reference its value cannot be over- estimated. Something like Phillips's ' Dictionary of Biographical Reference,' which for thirty-two years has been our constant companion and unfail- ing friend, it supplies us with just the information necessary to identify a man or verify a date of birth or death, and teach us where in a well-furnished library to obtain further information.

Opening the new volume at random, we take the first short entry which occurs as representative of thousands : " Erskine, David, second Baron Cardross (1616-1671), royalist ; fined and excluded from parliament (1649) for having promoted the ' engagement ' [xvii. 401]." The numbers last given are those of the volume and page in which the full information is supplied. In many cases we have a rather elaborate essay. Shakespeare thus occupies a page and a half, and Victoria almost four pages. A close, but very legible type is used, and the amount of information comprised in a column is large. The volume is, moreover, much thicker than any of its predecessors, as may well be believed when it is said that into its 2,812 columns are compressed 30,378 separate articles and 3,474 cross-references. Immense labour must have been involved in the compilation of a work on which twelve writers have been long engaged. Use alone can disclose the full utility of the volume, but the chances of inaccuracy seem reduced to a minimum, and the task of compression is admirably accomplished. Those, even, who cannot afford to purchase the entire work will do well, with a view to lightening their own labour, to buy this volume. Armed with references from its pages, they may save precious time in research at the British Museum, the Guildhall, or other central institution. With the appearance of the ' Index and Epitome ' Mr. Lee's labour presumably terminates, and the cupola is placed upon one of the most exemplary fabrics that we owe to private spirit, energy, enterprise, and munificence.

A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Edited by Dr. James A. H. Murray. Onomas- tical Outing. (Vol. VII.) (Oxford, Clarendon Press.)

THE double section of the great ' Dictionary ' now issued brings the letter to a point not far from the end. It contains to continue a class of statistics on which we have previously entered 2,452 main words, 212 combinations, and 476 subordinate entries of obsolete forms, &c. 3,140 in all. Obvious combinations not requir- ing individual explanation bring the entire list up to 3,885, as against 340 in Johnson and 2,438 in Funk's 'Standard.' Meanwhile the priority in regard to illustrative quotations is exemplified in the fact that there are herein 13,253 against 262 in Funk, 740 in Cassell's 'Encyclopaedic,' 761 in Richardson, 854 in Johnson, and 1,656 in the ' Cen- tury.' Especial attention is drawn to the treat- ment of the adjective pronoun other with its com- pounds, to the verb ought, the conjunction or, with its earlier and fuller form other (the history of which is now for the first time fully wrought out), and out itself, with its prepositional extension out of. In regard to out, as in "out-Herods Herod," it is noteworthy that Shakespeare uses fifty-four such verbs, while Bacon has but two. Here is a nut for our Baconians to crack. Onomatopoeia, the first word of great interest which we encounter, is

used so early as 1577 by Peacham and 1589 by Puttenham. Of the many words formed from it, onomatopoeic, &c., the earliest belongs to the middle of the seventeenth century. Onymous, as opposed to anonymous, is illustrated from ' N. & Q. ' Under oo appear many strange combinations, such as oosphere, oospore, and oosporangium, all, naturally, late in use. Ooze, sb., dates back to 1000, and, in the signification of wet mud or slime, to c. 725. We trace no quotation from Shakespeare, who has several, but find one from Milton for oozy. Most of the deriva- tives from opal, opalescent, &c., belong to the last century. Newspaper extracts are principally from the Daily News, which still seems to be studied almost to the exclusion of other daily papers We have come, however, on quotations from the Times, the Quarterly, and one from the Law Times. Open sesame dates, as might be expected, from 1793. Galland's ' Mille et Une Nuits ' first appeared in 1704. Opera is first mentioned by Evelyn, 1644. D'Avenant, in a letter to Sir Bulstrode Whitelock, dated 3 Sept., 1656, and afterwards, employs the word significantly in passages that might well have been quoted. Opera ballet is first quoted from the Daily News, 1899. It must surely have appeared much earlier. Operatic is first traced 1749 ; opera- tical, thirteen or more years earlier. Under ophicleide, ophidian, &c., much interesting infor- mation is given. Ophir gold seems to T>e first mentioned by Sylvester, 1614. Opiate occurs so early as 1543. Milton's "opiate rod" is quoted. Opinion and other cognate words may be studied with advantage ; indeed, all the early part of the section is very instructive and suggestive. Oppro- bration and opprobratory are wrongly quoted appro- bation and opprobatory by Chapman and by Frasers Magazine, respectively. Opuscle is a seventeenth- century form of opuscule. Oracle appears in 1400, oraculize in 1593, oraculous is in 1610. Orange, the fruit, is encountered 1044; Orange, after the Rhone town, is much later. Orangeman is from Grattan, 1796. A useful history of orb repays study. Orchestra first appears in Holland's 'Suetonius.' Ordeal has a curious history, as has organ. Ortho- pcedical has a quaint but familiar quotation from ' Ingoldsby.' The special sense in which the word is used by Barham is not quite conveyed. Other is one of the words that should most closely be studied. Some of its derivatives or combinations are very striking. Out has already been men- tioned. It seems to occupy more space than any other word in the section. Out and out thoroughly goes back to ' The English Chronicle,' 1325.

The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio. Faithfully

translated by J. M. Rigg. 2 vols. (Bullen.) WHEN, a few years ago, Messrs. Lawrence & Bullen issued what is perhaps the most sumptuous edition that has yet seen the light of the ' Decameron ' of Boccaccio, the translation was that executed for the Villon Society by Mr. John Payne. Excellent as is the text of this, it is, in a sense, private and copyright ; and in republishing the ' Decameron ' with the illustrations by M. Louis Chalon, which constitute a chief attraction, Mr. Bullen has had a new rendering executed by Mr. J. M. Rigg, a well- known and constant contributor to the ' Dictionary of National Biography.' That a new text of Boccaccio's masterpiece was indispensable may, perhaps, not be said. There is room, however, for such, and that executed by Mr. Rigg is at least