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A MAGAZINE OF BIBLIOGRAPHY AND
LIBRARY LITERATURE; EDITED BY

J. Y. W. MACALISTER, F.S.A.

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Reprinted with the permission of The Library Association

KRAUS REPRINT LTD.
Nendeln, Liechtenstein

1966

Printed in Germany

Lessing-Druckerei – Wiesbaden

A? 2695 SER. I

9

The Library

Address to a Bookworm.

[Found in a copy of Bartholomeus de Rerum Naturalibus," bound

in vellum.]

Maggot! much I wonder why
Thou so pale and frail and shy
Can'st be so almighty spry

At tucking in !
Here's rare old Bartholomew,
Very dry and dusty too,
Yet you've grubbed him through and through

From skin to skin.

How learned, you rascal, you must be
Since you've sapped so studiously
On all this lore—and inwardly

Have much digested!
There's many a dry-as-dust I wot,
Who thinks he knows a precious lot,
Hasn't so “ letter-perfect" got

Were he but tested.
That tiny, shiny head of thine
Can through the toughest knowledge mine,
And pick a hole in every line

Of closest reason.
Figures and facts, and even dates,
Law, science, poetry, debates;
Naught on thy tolerant palate grates

That thou can'st seize on.

And yet you know whene'er you've hit
Upon some dainty, tasty bit,
For so at least the story's writ

In dear old Bury-
But is it true I'd like to know
You stand upon your tail and crow
To call your mates to taste that flow

Of soul so merry ?
If so, thou art a naughty wag,
Irreverent-without a rag
Of decency on which to tag

For liberty-one plea!
Foul grub! My wrath I'll not assuage,
But stretch thee on this ancient page,
And in a calm and righteous rage,
Stereotype thee!

W. R. CREDLAND.

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Public Libraries in South Africa.

A

CENTURY and a half ago there was published by A

Gentleman of the Temple' what Mr. H. B. Wheatley, in his book on the formation of Libraries, describes as a useful little volume.' It was entitled A Critical and Historical Account of all the Celebrated Libraries in Foreign countries, as well Ancient as Modern. In the course of this account the writer observes that as the condition and abilities of such as would form Libraries are to be distinguished, so regard must likewise be had to places, for it is very difficult to procure, or collect, books in some countries, without incredible expense; a design of that kind would be impracticable in America, Africa and some parts of Asia.'

“ At the present day there is no part of the world in which the Public Library system has been so largely and intelligently developed, and so liberally supported, both from the public purse and by private munificence, as in certain portions of the United States of America; and even in the benighted continent of Africa, in those temperate regions of the South where Europeans have made their home, the design which once seemed so impracticable has been carried out with no small measure of success.

“Before proceeding to the immediate subject of this introduction I may perhaps be permitted to say a few words with regard to the characteristics of the Public Library system in the Cape Colony. I am the more tempted to do so since Mr. Greenwood, in his work on Public Libraries, which has now appeared in a third and decidedly improved edition, while giving some account of the working of these institutions in America and Canada,' and in Australasia, continues to wholly ignore South Africa. The Library statistics of the Cape Colony are annually published in a very convenient return, which is easily procurable ; but Mr. Greenwood's impressions with regard to Africa are apparently identical with those entertained by · A Gentleman of the Temple' a century and a half ago. I have

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