9 th S. IX. MAY 3, 1902.]
NOTES AND QUERIES.
reticent. In the case of the late Robert Samuel Turner, one of the most princely of collectors, we should like to have seen an account of those Satur- day-afternoon symposia, confined to book lovers and buyers, at which one used to meet Lord Houghton, Don Pascual de Gayangos, H. S. Ash bee, and many others, and look-over the finest collection of French books in England. Ash bee himself, an indefatigable collector, deserved a few sentences. The sad death of poor Turner adds a tragic note to the record, but the mention of this may have been omitted out of regard to surviving relations. Mr. Fletcher has supplied a book of lasting interest to bibliophiles. It is well got up, moreover, and will grace the shelves of the most esoteric of collectors.
Reading Abbey. By Jamieson B. Hurry, M.A.,
VERY quaintly Dr. Hurry dedicates to "The Memory of Reading Abbey the handsome volume he has consecrated to its description. Few monastic piles have a record more interesting and important than this, and still fewer have undergone more complete destruction and desolation. Of its innu- merable halls, cloisters, and galleries, the scenes of hospitable entertainment and historic pageantry, scarcely one is now distinguishable. The chapter- house has still some recognizable traces, and the inner gatehouse, which has been restored by Sir Gilbert Scott, stands erect and serviceable. As a result of so complete destruction the historical associations of a building which, at the period of the dissolution of the monasteries, had a revenue of close on 2,000^., had fallen almost into oblivion. Most of these have now been recovered, thanks, in part, to the zeal of the latest historian. The pre- cincts included thirty acres. The length of the abbey church was 450 feet, and the breadth, ex- clusive of the transepts, 95 feet, the entrance-porch being a deeply recessed semicircular Norman door- way, with abundance of ornament and moulding, and specimens of rich Norman carving being found among the debris. Ruins thickly clad with ivy are all that now survives of the noble edifice. The remains of the chapter-house constitute the most picturesque portion. Of the hospitium, at which, according to William of Malmesbury, guests arrived every hour and consumed more than the residents, of the original guest-house erected by Henry I., as of the leper-house and other portions, all that is ascertainable is told, and as to what is not known there is plausible conjecture. In the Chartulary of Reading Abbey, preserved in the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, is set forth the " Modus recipiendi fratres vel sorores in Hospitio Sancti Johannis," a building which was set apart for the reception of twenty-six poor brethren or sisters. Full particulars concerning them and other matters are given. A full history of Reading Abbey, founded 11 June, 1121, by Henry 1 , and colonized by monks of the Cluniac Order, up to the period of dissolution in 1539, follows. Refusing "for con science' sake" to submit to the order of Henry VIII. with whom he was said to be a favourite, Hugh Faringdon, the last abbot, with two of his monks was hanged, drawn, and quartered. Of his well
known death a good account is supplied, and is accompanied by a portrait and a plate (coloured) o: his arms. A struggle which for two hundred anc fifty years raged between the abbot and the guild
merchant is also fully described. Other chapters are devoted to the establishment of the abbey, its
ndowments, armorial bearings, relics, library, &c. Mauy of the valuable documents and MSS. of the
ibrary have been lost, but many are preserved in ,he British Museum, Bodleian, &c. Among the
llustrations which constitute a striking and most acceptable feature in the volume are facsimiles of
lluminated MSS. in the Bodleian, and one with the musical notation of the famous " Summer is
cumen." The book, which is well executed and admirably got up, will be a treasure to the anti- quary.
The Cambridge Platonists. Edited by E. T. Cam-
pagnac. (Oxford, Clarendon Press.) MYSTICISM, as the term is generally understood, las never flourished in England. John Bull is a lealthy animal, even in his melancholy tits pro- claiming a constitutional indisposition to divine madness. The middle path of temperate common- sense removes him equally from the visionary raptures of Catholic Spain and the extravagant speculation of mediaeval Germany, while the East, uniting these extremes, is still further out of his ken. We have individual mystics, of course, and some of these are "God-intoxicated" enough e.g., Shelley ; but who will maintain that Shelley was a typical Englishman ? It is hardly possible to speak of a school of English mystics, yet the word seems natural when we recall the Cambridge Platonists, who " attempted to effect a union between philo- sophy and religion, and formulated a kind of ' moral divinity,' which found little acceptance at the moment, but which, like a stream running under- ground, has, though seldom detected, given a fresh- ness and life to the ground subsequently trodden by those who have pursued either theological or philosophical inquiries."
Of the chief members of the group Cudworth, More, Whichcote, Smith, and Culverwell only the last three are represented here. Mr. Campagnac has shown excellent judgment in choosing from their writings "extracts which should illustrate as fairly as possible the teaching and style of each, and the relation in which they stood to one another.' These men were rational mystics. They claimed "that reason must not be fettered; that in the conscience of the individual, governed by reason, and illuminated by a revelation which could not be inconsistent with reason, itself ' a seed of Deiform nature,' lay the ultimate seat of authority in reli- gion." Thus without any sacrifice of spiritual free- dom they escaped the dangers to which uncon- trolled mysticism is liable. It would be no bad thing if our clergy might be induced to return now and again to the wholesome and inspiring doctrine of these unjustly neglected writers, which is full of sap and is often embodied in passages of incom- parable eloquence.
Mr. Campagnac's introduction is a scholarly piece of work, and we feel especially grateful to him for the sympathetic way in which he has brought out the character of W T hichcote. It is not very honour- able to Cambridge, still the home of Platonic studies, that this volume should have been edited by an Oxonian and published by the Clarendon Press. Scottish Cathedral* and Abbeys. By M. E. Leicester
OVERPOWERED by the splendour of their English rivals, the Scottish cathedrals and abbeys have attracted little attention. No comprehensive