9 th S. XI. MAY 16, 1903.]
NOTES AND QUERIES.
viii. 33 ; to Warren's * Ten Thousand a Year,' 8 th S. vii. 8, 253 ; viii. 459.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &o.
An Index to the Complete Encyclopaedia Britannica. Being the Eleventh of the New Volumes and Vol. XXXV. of the Complete Work. (A. & C. Black and the Times.)
ONE volume, the thirty-fourth, of ' The Encyclo- paedia Britannica' is wanting to complete the tenth edition of that imperial work. As this is occupied with maps, most of which have to be mounted, extra demand is made upon the binder. Mean- while the final volume, the most indispensable of all, is before us. It is necessary to wait for the index volume to estimate aright either the import- ance of the work or the amount of labour involved in its production. Not easy is it to convey an idea of the contents of this index volume, which claims to be the hugest and most comprehensive in exist- ence. The number of pages is close upon eleven hundred. Most of these are divided into five columns, each column containing some hundreds of separate items, the total amounting to the pro- digious sum of six hundred thousand entries. Neither easy nor necessary is it to describe the system adopted, a full explanation of which is furnished in a prefatory note. Consultation of a single important entry, such, for instance, as 'Music,' 'Oxford,' 'Sweden,' &c., will show in a moment the principle upon which the whole is arranged. In the case of foreign names simple and obvious rules are followed. Alfred and Paul de Musset thus appear under ' Musset,' A. de and P. de : La Fontaine under that name ; Del Rio under ' Del, La Condamine under ' La,' De La Place under ' La Place,' and Von Humboldt under ' Humboldt.' The prefix St. (Saint) and the articles Le and La are treated as inseparable from the word which they precede. Thus the entries under ' Saint ' occupy something like forty columns. It is little remarkable that to those who have a right to con- sider themselves fairly well instructed the first feeling conveyed by a study of the index is how narrow are the limitations imposed upon personal knowledge. By the side of the ocean of knowledge which spreads out before one in the ' Encyclopaedia ' the best of us feels that he is but a child picking up pebbles on the beach. The wisest may find cause for self-congratulation if one entry in three of those on which his eye rests conveys to him an intelligible idea. A close study of the index is necessary if the remotest notion is to be formed of the amount of information conveyed in this monumental work. Some interest would attend the supply of statistics we are in no condition to present, such as how many different languages and the like are occupied or employed in the task accomplished. Nothing can be drier than the detail of so many separate articles selected from the index. It is different, however, with the study of the work as a whole, the effect of which is to enlarge our sense and widen our imagination of human accomplishment. Dr. Johnson is reported to have said that the proper work to take on a journey was an arith- metic ; most philologists know the unending delight of a dictionary. We can fancy one whose " foible "
is the acquisition of omniscience perusing con- stantly a volume which ia a catalogue of the treasures he has within reach or at his fingers' ends in the completed ' Encyclopaedia.'
British Family Names : their Origin and Meaning.
By Rev. Henry Barber, M.D., F.S.A. (Stock.) NINE years have elapsed since the appearance of Dr. Barber's important and delightful work on ' British Family Names,' and a cheaper and enlarged edition is now given to the world. Virtually the additions that have been made may be accepted as one-fifth of the entire volume. Even more important are the alterations and corrections, which also are numerous, and the work in its amended shape may be accepted as a trustworthy guide to the genea- logist. In its general arrangement the volume is alphabetical, a system which, on the strength of its simplicity, is probably the best. Prefixed, how- ever, to the dictionary portion are lists of 'Old Norse Personal Names,' 'Frisian Personal and Family Names,' 'Names occurring in Domesday Survey,' &c., which constitute the most useful por- tion of the work. ' British Family Names ' does not claim to be a novelty. It is in the main trustworthy, constitutes amusing reading, and may be com- mended to general study and employment.
Nicholas Nickleby ; The Old Curiosity Shop ; Ame- rican Notes and Pictures from Italy. (Chapman & Hall and Frowde.)
THREE further volumes have been added to " The Fireside Dickens" of Mr. Frowde and Messrs. Chapman & Hall. This may well be the most popular edition for general purposes, and is, indeed, a miracle of cheapness. In ' Nicholas Nickleby ' are given a well-known early and feminine-looking portrait of Dickens and thirty-nine illustrations by Phiz. Seventy-five illustrations to ' The Old Curiosity Shop' are by Cattermole and Phiz, while each of the other two works has three illustrations by Maurice Greiffenhagen. Six volumes out of twenty-two have now seen the light.
" THE BIBELOTS" of Messrs. Gay & Bird are the daintiest of the many booklets now appearing. The latest contains a judicious selection of Early British Ballads, which all lovers of poetry will recognize, to use old Izaak Walton's phrase, as " choicely good," if old-fashioned. A further issue of ballads is promised by the editor, Mr. Potter Briscoe. We applaud his feeling that selection in such a case is a difficult matter, and no less his modest word as to the deserved success of this charming series. Smaller, even, in size than the foregoing, but clearly printed and tastefully bound, is the third number of the same firm's " Bible Classics," containing Ecdesiastes and The Song of Solomon. The unending lyric of man and maid and the melancholy beauty of the thoughts of the wise and the world-worn have been often pictured since never, we may surely think, with equal mastery of thought and word. Is it superfluous to say such things ? We thought so once, but now we are not sure. We "follow the gleam" of good sense and judgment, half blinded by the glare of popular triumphs.
THE review of Mr. T. F. Henderson's edition of 'The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border' in the Edinburgh Review for April is extremely interest- ing, for the author knows his subject, and deals with the Northern ballad-lore with a wide-minded