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peculiar literary treasures to their bestow upon my god-child, and I avowed theological opponents, as have resolved at last.' 'I pr'y thee, being likely to soften their hearts, what?' says he, I' faith, Ben, I'll and turn them towards the truth. e'en give him a douzen good Lattin Some adherents of these theological Spoones, and thou shalt translate clubs there also are of slightly latitu- them.'” dinarian propensities, to whom the The editor of course does his duty aspirations of honest religious zeal, to this passage, by giving the apand the records of endurance and proved information about the bemartyrdom for conscience' sake, can stowal of apostle's spoons by godnever be void of interest, or fail in parents, and how some gave the summoning up feelings of respectful whole twelve, while others, for ecosympathy, whatever be the deno- nomic reasons, would not extend minational banner under which they this eiconism beyond the four evanhave been exhibited.
gelists. Some of these clubs now rest It is, after all, a very hard test of from their labours, the literary the excellence of a joke, to encounstrata in which they were employed ter it for the first time newly unhaving been in fact worked out. earthed from a latent manuscript. It Whether dead or living, however, is wonderful how poor and flat the their books are now a considerable best things appear when translated and varied intellectual garden, in from their own time and place, and which the literary busy bee may especially from their own language. gather honey all the day and many In fact, there are many of the standa day. It were hard to choose in ard established mots that would what quarter we may best select a seem worthless to us at first sight specimen or two by way of example; if met by surprise in some out of but suppose we take down that thin the way manuscript, but having light-looking volume of the Camden, been preserved by tradition, and which bears the rather attractive kept alive, as it were, they have title, A necdotes and Traditions illus- become household, and are part of trative of Early English History our very notions of wit or humour, and Literature derived from MS. as the case may be. Yet to our Sources, and edited by Mr W. J. notion some of L'Estrange's come Thoms. The sources of this col- out well even at first sight. The lection are some unpublished Ana following is dry but significant-it by Aubrey, a commonplace book shows, like other little hits, that kept by a certain John Collet, but he was of the old school, and did chiefly a set of good sayings in their not like the Puritans. day set down by a country gentle “My Lord Brookes used to be man, Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, who much resorted to by those of the died in the year 1654. Here is one preciser sort, who had got a powerof his anecdotes which has been ful hand over him ; yet they would often told, but which it is interest- allow him Christian libertie for his ing to view so near to its source, recreation, but being at bowles one and see expressed in the very words day, in much company, and followof the contemporaries of Shake- ing his cast with much eagerness, speare who retailed it:
he cryed, “rubbe, rubbe, rubbe, "Shakespeare was godfather to rubbe, rubbe.' His chaplaine (a one of Ben Jonson's children, and very strict man) runns presently to after the christ’ning, being in a him, and in the hearing of diverse, deepe study, Jonson came to cheer 'O, good my lord, leave that to him up, and ask't him why he was God; you must leave that to God,' so melancholy. No, faith, Ben,' says he.” (says he), 'not I, but I have been L'Estrange was connected with considering a great while what the Paston family, from whose doshould be the fittest gift for me to mestic correspondence we have the VOL. XC.NO. DLII.
well-known Paston Letters. He unimpressible as they look, yet are does not seem to have liked them, stamped strongly with the marks of for he has many jests, more hard the individuality, or of the peculiar than witty, on the number of fools intellectual cast, of living men. We who had flourished among them. take down, for instance, the volume One of these conveys an utterly standing beside L'Estrange - connovel notion of the quarter in siderably more cumbrous and forwhich hereditary talent might be midable. It is the De Antiquis expected to be found. "Sir Ro- Legibus Liber, otherwise, Cronica bert Bell being in company with Majorum et Vicecomitum LondonSir J. Hobart, Charles Grosse, &c., iarum, printed from “a small folio, in a merry humour, would goe make nine inches and a half in length and his will, and give every man a lega- seven inches in breadth, the bindcie ; but when he came to Mr Pas ing of white leather covering wooden ton, says he, 'I know not what to backs, and containing 159 leaves of bestow on thee; my witt you shall parchment, paged continuously with not need, for you must needs be Arabic cyphers.” It is partly a rewell stor'd with that, because thou cord of the old municipal laws of hast the witt of at least three gene- the city of London, partly a chronirations ;' for his great-grandfather, cle of events. Had it fallen to be grandfather, and father were all edited by a philosophical inquirer books."
into the origin and principles of The following does not perhaps jurisprudence, or an investigator of display much wit, and it is utterly the rise and progress of cities, or a divested of good feeling as a do- social philosopher of any kind, it is mestic sketch, but there is a gro- hard to say what might have been tesqueness about it that amuses made of it-easy to say that it one. “Sir Martin Stutevilles's father would have been made something riding abroade one day, with him very different from what it is. The attending on him, he rode to the editor was an illustrious genealogist. nurse's house that overlaide his Accordingly, early in his career as eldest sonne, at which time the expositor of the character of the vonurse stoode at the doore. “Looke lume, he alights upon a proper name, ye there, Martin,' sayde his father; not entirely isolated, but capable of “there stands she that made you being associated with other names. an elder brother.' 'Is that she, Thus, he is placed on a groove, and sir?' says he; 'marry, God's blessing off he goes travelling in the fashion on her hart for it !' and presently following over 220 pages of printed gallops up to her, and gives her à quarto. "Henry de Cornhill, huscouple of shillings.”
band of Alice de Courcy, the It will be noticed in these brief heiress of the Barony of Stoke, citations, and is well known to the Courcy. Com. Somerset, and who, prowler among club books, that after his decease, re-married Warine although these volumes profess to Fitz-Gerald the king's chamberlain, be printed from old manuscripts, or leaving by each an only daughter, to be mere reprints of rare books, co-heirs of this Barony, of whom they take a considerable portion of Joan de Cornhill was the wife of their tone and tendency from the Hugh de Neville, Proto Forrester of editor. In fact, the editor of a club England, wife first of Baldwine de book is, in the general case, a sort of Reviers, eldest son and heir apliterary sportsman, who professes to parent of William de Vernon, Earl follow entirely his own humour or of Devon, deceased in his father's caprice, or say his own taste and lifetime; and, secondly, of the wellenjoyment, in the matter which he known favourite of King John, Fulk selects, and the manner in which he de Breauté, who had name from a lays it before his friends. Hence, commune of the Canton of Godermany of these volumes, heavy and ville, arrondissement of Le Havre,
department of La Seine Inferièure, conquers all other pursuits, and rendered accompt of this his debt he grows into a genealogist; and in the same roll,” and so on over if he have healthy sturdy brain, the remainder of the 220 pages. If whatever other matter it may have we turn over a few of them we collected is betimes dragged into the will find the same sort of thing: growth, and absorbed in the vi“Agnes, the first daughter, was tality of the majestic bole and huge married' to William de Vesey, of branches. There is perhaps no whom John de Vesey, issueless, and pursuit more thoroughly absorbWilliam de Vesey, who had issue, ing. The reason is this : No man John de Vesey, who died before his having yet made out for himself an father; and afterwards the said articulate pedigree from Adam-Sir William de Vesey, the father, with- Thomas Urquhart, the translator of out heir of his body;" and so on. Rabelais, to be sure, made one for
The reader whose fortune it has himself, but he had his tongue in been to pass a portion of his early his cheek all the while—no clear days among venerable Scottish pedigree going back to the first of gentlewomen of the old school, men, every one, whether short or will perhaps experience an uneasy long, Celtic or Saxon, comes into the consciousness of having encoun- clouds at last. It is when a peditered matter of this description gree approaches extinction that the before. It may recall to him misty occasion opens for the genealogist recollections of communications to exercise his subtlety and skill, which followed a course something and his exertions become all the like this: “And so ye see, auld more zealous and exciting that he Pittoddles, when his third wife knows he must be baffled somedeed, he got married upon the where. The pursuit is described laird o’ Blaithershins' aughteenth as possessing something like the daughter, that was sister to Jemima, same absorbing influence which is that was married intil Tam Flum- exercised over certain minds by the exer, that was first and second higher mathematics. The devotees cousin to the Pittoddleses, wha's get to think that all human knowbrither became laird afterwards, and ledge centres in their peculiar scimarried Blaithershins' Baubie—and ence, and the cognate mysteries and that way Jemima became in a kind exquisite scientific manipulations of o' way her ain niece and her ain heraldry, and they may be heard talkaunty, an, as we used to say, hering with compassionate contempt gude-brither was married to his ain of some one so grossly ignorant grannie.”
as not to know a bar-dexter from But there is the deep and the a bend-sinister, or who asks what shallow in genealogy, as in other is meant by a cross potent quadrate arts and sciences, and incoherent as party per pale. These are generally it may sound to the uninitiated, the great readers—reading is absoluteintroduction to the Liber de Antiquis ly necessary for their pursuit ; but Legibus is no old woman's work, they have a faculty of going over but full of science and strange mat- literary ground, picking up the proter. It all grows, however, out of per names, and carrying them away, genealogical trees, that being the unconscious of anything else, as predominant intellectual growth in pointers go over stubble fields and the editor's mind. In fact, your raise the partridges, without taking thorough genealogist is quite a any heed to the valuable examples peculiar intellectual entity. More of cryptogamic botany or palæozoic truly than of the poet it may be entomology they may have trodden said of him, Nascitur non fit. If he We knew a writer on logic should for some time endeavour to and metaphysics who was as much strive after a more cosmopolite in- astonished as gratified by an emitellectual vitality, the ruling spirit nent genealogical antiquary's ex
pression of interest in a discovery tive-church theology. Through this which his last book contained. dim religious light he views all the The philosopher thought his views things in heaven and earth that are on the quantification of the pre- dealt with in his philosophy. His dicate or on bifurcate analysis had notes are profusely decorated with a at least been appreciated, but the rich array of rood screens, finial crocdiscovery lay in the name of a kets, lavatories, aumbries, lecterns, person who, according to the pre- lych sheds, albs, stoups, sedilia, creviously imperfect science of the dence tables, pixes, hagioscopes, and genealogist, ought not to have ex squenches. It is evident that he isted then and there, being referred keeps a bestiary, or record of his exto in a letter from Spinoza, cited in periences in bestiology, otherwise defence of certain views upon the called bestial eikonography; and if absolute.
he be requested to give a more exThe votaries of this pursuit be- plicit definition of the article, he come powers in the world of rank will perhaps inform you that it is and birth, from the influence they a record of the types of the ecclesioare able to bring upon questions of logical symbolisation of beasts. If succession and inheritance. Thus you prevail on him to exhibit to they are, like all great influences, you this solemn record, which he courted and feared. Their minis- will open with befitting reverence, try is often desired, sometimes ne the faintest suspicion of a smile cessary; but it is received with mis- curling on your lip will suffuse him giving and awe, since, like the de- with a lively sorrow for your lost mons of old summoned by incanta- condition, mixed with righteous tion, they may destroy the auda- indignation towards the irrevercious mortal who demands their ent folly whereof you have been services. The most sagacious and guilty. He finds a great deal besceptical men are apt to be mildly yond sermons in stones, and can susceptible to conviction in the mat- point out to you a certain piece of ter of their own pedigrees, and, a rather confused - looking architeclittle conscious of their weakness, ture, which he terms a symbolical they shrink from letting the sacred epitome of all knowledge, human tree be handled by relentless and and divine—an cikonographic enunsympathising adepts. We could cyclopedia. point to one of these intellectual If we desire an antidote to all tyrants, who, when he quarrels with this, we may find it in the editor any man, threatens to “ bastardise" in true blue who so largely refers to him, or to find the bend - sinister the Book of the Universal Kirk, somewhere in his ancestry; and his The Hynd Let Loose, The Cloud of experience in long genealogies makes Witnesses, Naphtali, and Faithful him feel assured, in the general case, Testimony-Bearing Exemplified, and of finding what he seeks if he go is great in his observations on the far enough back for it.
Auchinshiach Testimony, and the The next volume we lay hand on Sanquhar Declaration. But we must is manifestly edited by an Ecclesio- have done with this time is up, logist, or votary of a recent addition and the reader is tired, so that the to the constituted ologies, which has half-dozen volumes or so in which come into existence as the joint off some morsels were marked off for spring of the revival of Gothic ar- quotation and comment must go chitecture and the study of primi- back to their shelves.
Why indeed should not science al giorno; a thousand persons on be social ? There are social enjoy the tip-toe of mental expectancy, ments and entertainments of all each determined for once to indulge kinds ; social evils, social clubs, and the thirst for knowledge even to social pic-nics. The days for soli- excess—these are among the rewards tude are gone. The hermits of se and the delights of modern scientific cluded study and contemplation are and social congresses. Few invenno more. And so science herself tions of recent days, prolific in exgladly forsakes the cold lonely cell pedients for the people, have been of Friar Bacon, puts out the mid- more happy in contrivance, or atnight lamp, eschews the dim light tained greater success, than these of oil, takes to the fierce blaze of itinerant social and scientific pergas, and pursues knowledge, not formances. In times of yore, a good under difficulties, but amid the king is said to have desired to see a fascination and delight of a full-dress chicken in the pot of every poor soirée. In these advanced days, man's cottage, and in more recent science has thus happily extended days, the cry was heard, cheap law her sphere far beyond the limits of brought to the door and domestic the dry intellect. There is fortu- hearth of every Englishman in the nately a science and a correspond- land. And now it must, we preing art of dining and good eating. sume, be deemed no slight boon, Ladies, too, nowadays, we believe, that men have not to dig deep after rejoice in their own special sciences; knowledge, but that philosophy is the science of dress, the science of found afloat upon the surface of soaddress, laws of etiquette, courts of ciety, and that social science may love, and tactics of war; all of which come even to the humblest of homes now form, we understand, import- and the simplest of hearts. Philosoant departments in the scientific phy, indeed, at all ages of the world, congresses which have lately, in pro seems to have had its tendencies tovincial cities, beguiled these autumn wards the peripatetic. And surely a months.
man of science in these our days, acMen of science, too, it is found, customed during long dreary months like other mortals, have their own to London residence and routine, peculiar weaknesses, among which with little, it may be, save the light not the least amiable is the love of of knowledge to cheer him through being wondered at. Intellect has dark winter nights, must find it a reits gala-days, when it likes to dis- fresher to get abroad into the free port itself in sunshine, and to bask air and the green fields, to “ ventiin smiles. And if knowledge have late” his intellect and renew his cost severe labour, it is hard to youth. It is then, as we have said, a deny to it all reward of recreation, most happy contrivance, this holding all the delight of praise, and that of congresses, social, scientific, and highest meed, the worship of beauty. philanthropic, during what would It is found, it would seem, a con otherwise be the dead season, somequest not wholly unworthy of an am- times called irreverently the silly bitious mind, when youth, perchance, season. This carrying about, as it is fading, and snowy locks gather were, in a travelling caravan, a few round the brow, to gain the willing select lions, willing and able to roar ear of the fairest, and to win, as a upon all needful occasion, with a victory of science, hearts cold to clever manager or two to get up the warmer wooing. A well-filled lec- thunder, is one of the striking pheture-room greeting a teacher with nomena, and now forms, indeed, an loud applause, glittering with lights inherent part in the established in