9 th S. XI. MAY 2, 1903.]
NOTES AND QUERIES.
subject may be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for September and December, 1822. An illustrated note on 'The Hourglass,' by Mr. William Andrews, appeared in Church Sells of 21 February, 1902.
JOHN T. PAGE. West Haddon, Northamptonshire.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &c.
The Poetical Works of Thomas Traherne, B.D., 1636 ?-1674. Now first published from the Original MSS. Edited by Bertram Dobell. (Dobell.) THE discovery of a Carolinian poet previously unknown to fame is, naturally, a matter of extreme interest. Since he first lighted upon the MSS. until his time neglected or unexplored, Mr. Dobell has supplied an occasional foretaste of the treasures he was about to give to the world. The entire poems are now published in a very handsome volume, with all conceivable luxury of type and binding, and with an introductory memoir, &c., which, under the circumstances, must be regarded as of exemplary fulness. Contrary to the evidence of the name, which points to a Cornish origin, Mr. Dobell holds it probable that the poet was of Welsh descent. There are, indeed, many Welsh families of that name. As Traherne became, according to the ' Athenae Oxonienses,' a commoner of Brasenose, he is accorded a life of only thirty-eight years, a short time in which, before he departs
To house with darkness and with death, to obtain reputation as a poet. With the poems were found four centuries and part of a fifth of ' Meditations,' which are to appear in a second volume, and upon which we are principally depend- ent for biographical information. Particulars of the short life of Traherne who was rector of Credenhill, co. Hereford, domestic chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgman, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, died at Teddington, Middlesex, of which he was minister, and was buried 10 October, 1674 were supplied to Wood, Mr. Dobell thinks, by Aubrey. What is most commendable in our poet is his piety. Mr. Dobell classes him with Herbert, Vaughan, and Crashaw, though we must hold him nearer to the second than to either of the others. His poetry is spiritual and didactic. There is little lyrical fervour, but there are a contemplative musing and a perception of analogies that commend his work to the thoughtful, and justify Mr. Dobell's comparison with Wordsworth. There is, moreover, a species of ecstatic faith not often accorded the poet. The editor is, indeed, almost disposed to think that Wordsworth may have had access to the poems. Particulars concerning the preserva- tion and fate of the MSS. and Mr. Grosart's attempt to assign the poems to Thomas Vaughan must be read in Mr. Dobell's deeply interesting account of the origin of his volume. Very naturally Mr. Dobell assigns the verse higher rank and more transcendent merit than we should ascribe to it. We are unable, owing to limitations of space, to quote, and without so doing it is impossible to convey an idea of the contents, the more so since the eminently reflective nature of the poems renders very difficult the task of separating a stanza from
its context. Enough is, however, contained in the volume to secure Traherne a right to a high place among religious poets, and to justify the insertion of his name in the next edition of the ' D.N.B.' The appearance of the prose volume will also be eagerly awaited. If the reader seek to ascertain of what sort of poetic flights Traherne is capable, let him read ' The Recovery ' (p. 87) or The Glory of Israel ' (p. 130). Had Tranerne been a little more fluent his position would have stood higher. The weight of his thoughts and observation is, however, in advance of his metrical faculty.
The Works of Charles Dickens. Oxford India-Paper Edition. 17 vols. (Chapman & Hall and Frowde.) AT 9 th S. viii. 416 we drew attention to the appear- ance of the opening volume of the Oxford India- Paper Edition of the works of Dickens. The entire edition, in seventeen volumes, is now before us. The advantages offered by this series, at once the cheapest and the most portable of library editions, are obvious. Thanks to the exquisite thinness and opacity of the paper, it is possible to compress into one thin and light volume three books such as ' Christmas Books,' ' Master Humphrey's Clock,' and 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' or 'Hard Times,' &c., 'American Notes,' and ' Pictures from Italy.' The text is legible to the eyes of age, and a volume which will supply the traveller with a week's reading can be carried, without any sense of burden, in the shooting-coat pocket. To our thinking this is, for the general reader, an ideal edition of Dickens, and the volumes, in spite of the cheapness of the price, have gilt tops, a serviceable cloth cover, and numerous illustrations by Cruik- shank, Phiz, and other well-known Dickens artists. It is amazing to think what a world of amusement, delight, and romance is compressed into volumes which, when standing side by side on the shelves, will occupy little more than a foot of space. It must be remembered, also, that the edition includes all copyright matter.
The Fireside Dickens. Sketches by Soz; The Pick- wick Papers; Oliver Twist. (Chapman & Hall and Frowde.)
WE have also received the opening volumes of "The Fireside Dickens" issued by the same com- bined firms. These are on thicker paper, and will extend to twenty-two volumes. They are even cheaper in price, being issued at Is. Qd. or 2s., and are thicker without being either unwieldy or bulky. Separate volumes will have, it appears, from six to seventy-six illustrations, and are also in a wonderfully legible type. In this case also the illustrations to ' Pickwick ' are by Seymour and Phiz, those to 'Oliver Twist' by Cruikshank, and those to ' Sketches by Boz ' by Cruikshank and Phiz. More popular and attractive editions of our great romancer and humourist are not to be expected.
The Book of Matriculations and Degrees : a Cata- logue of those who have been Matriculated or Admitted to any Degree in the University of Cam- bridge from 1851 to 1900. (Cambridge, Univer- sity Press.)
THIS useful volume, issued under the authority of Mr. J. W. Clark, University Registrary, and com- piled by the Rev. J. E. F. Faning, Assistant Registrary, is sufficiently described by its title. It differs from its predecessors in being printed