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company went their ways. Cormac came to
his house, and when that news was heard
throughout Erin, loud cries of weeping and
of mourning were made in every quarter of
it, and in Liathdruim above all. When
Cormac heard the loud cries in Leamhair, he
shook the branch among them, so that there
was no longer any grief or heaviness of heart
upon anyone.

" He continued thus for the space of that
year, until Cormac said, ' It is a year today
since my wife, my son, and my daughter
were taken from me, and I will follow them
by the same path as they took.'

" Then Cormac went forth to look for the
way by which he had seen the youth depart,
and a dark magical mist rose before him,
and he chanced to come upon a wonderful
marvellous plain. That plain was thus :
There was there a wondrous very great host
of horsemen, and the work at which they
were was the covering in of a house with the
feathers of foreign birds ; and when they had

put covering upon one half of the house,
they used to go off to seek birds' feathers for
the others ; and as for that half of the house
upon which they had put covering, they used
not to find a single feather on it when they

" After that Cormac had been a long time
gazing at them in this plight, he thus spoke :
' I will no longer gaze at you, for I perceive
that you will be toiling at that from the
beginning to the end of the world.'

" Cormac goes his way, and he was
wandering over the plain until he saw a
strange, foreign-looking youth walking the
plain, and his employment was this : he
used to drag a large tree out of the ground,
and to break it between the bottom and the
top, and he used to make a large fire of it,
and to go himself to seek another tree, and
when he came back again he would not find
before him a scrap of the first tree that was
not burned and used up. Cormac was for a
great space gazing upon him in that plight,
and at last he said, ' I indeed will go away
from thee henceforth, for were I for ever
gazing upon thee, thou wouldst be so at the
end of it all.'

"Cormac after that begins to walk the
plain, until he saw three immense wells on
the border of the plain, and those wells were
thus : they had three heads in them (i.e.,
one in each). Cormac drew near to the well
next to him, and the head that was in that
well was thus : a stream flowing into its
mouth, and two streams were flowing from
or out of it. Cormac proceeded to the
second well, and the head that was in that
well was thus : a stream was flowing into it,
and another stream flowing out of it. He
proceeds to the third well, and the head that
was in that one was thus : three streams were
flowing into its mouth, and one stream only
flowing out of it. Great marvel seized
Cormac thereupon, and he said, 'I will be
no longer gazing upon you, for I should
never find any man to tell me your histories,
and I think that I should find good sense in
your meanings if I understood them.' And
the time of the day was then noon. The
King of Erin goes his ways, and he had not
been long walking, when he saw a very great
field before him, and a house in the middle
of the field. And Cormac drew near to the



house and entered into it, and the King of
Erin greeted [those that were within]. A
very tall couple, with clothes of many-
colours, that were within, answered him, and
they bade him stay ; ' whoever thou art, O
youth ; for it is now no time for thee to be
travelling on foot.' Cormac, the son of Art,
sits down hereupon, and he was right glad to
get hospitality for that night.

" ' Rise, O man of the house,' said the
woman ; ' there is a fair and comely
wanderer by us, and how knowest thou but
that he is some honourable noble of the men
of the world? and if thou hast one kind of
food or meat better than another, let it be
brought to me.'

" The youth upon this arose, and he came
back to them in this fashion that is, with a
huge wild boar upon his back, and a log in
his hand ; and he cast down the log and the
swine upon the floor, and said, ' There ye
have meat, and cook it for yourselves.'
1 How should I do that ?' asked Cormac.
' I will teach you that,' said the youth ;
' that is to say, to split this great log which I
have, and to make four pieces of it, and to
put down a quarter of the boar and a quarter
of the log under it, and to tell a true story,
and the quarter of boar will be cooked.'
1 Tell the first story thyself,' said Cormac ;
' for the two should fairly tell the story for
the one.' 'Thou speakest rightly,' quoth
the youth; 'and methinks that thou hast the
eloquence of a prince, and I will tell thee
a story to begin with. That swine that I
brought,' he went on, ' I have but seven
pigs of them, and I could feed the world
with them ; for the pig that is killed of them,
you have but to put its bones into the sty
again, and it will be found alive upon the
morrow.' That story was true, and the
quarter of the pig was cooked.

" ' Tell thou a story now, O woman of
the house!' said the youth. 'I will,' quoth
she, ' and do thou put down a quarter of
the wild boar, and a quarter of the log under
it ;' so it was done. ' I have seven white
cows,' said she, ' and they fill the seven
keives with milk every day ; and I give my
word that they would give as much milk as
would satisfy them to the men of the whole
world were they upon the plain drinking it.'
The story was true, and the quarter of pig

was therefore cooked. * If your stories be
true,' said Cormac, ' thou indeed art Manan-
nan, and she is thy wife ; for no one upon
the face of the earth possesses these treasures
but only Manannan, for it was to Tir Tairrn-
gire he went to seek that woman, and he
got those seven cows with her, and he
coughed upon them until he learned [the
wonderful powers of] their milking that is
to say, that they would fill seven keives at
one time.' ' Full wisely hast thou told us
that, O youth,' said the man of the house,
' and tell a story for thine own quarter now.'
'I will,' said Cormac, 'and do thou lay a
quarter of the log under the cauldron until I
tell thee a true story.' So it was done, and
Cormac said, ' I indeed am upon a search,
for it is a year this day that my wife, my
son, and my daughter were borne away
from me.' ' Who took them from thee ?
asked the man of the house. ' A youth that
came to me,' said Cormac, ' having in his
hand a fairy branch ; and I conceived a great
wish for it, so that I granted him the award
of his own mouth for it, and he exacted from
me my word to fulfil that. Now, the award
that he pronounced against me was my wife,
my son, and my daughter to wit, Eithne,
Cairbre, and Ailbhe.' 'If what thou sayest
be true,' said the man of the house, 'thou
indeed art Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn
of the Hundred Battles.' 'Truly I am,'
quoth Cormac, ' and it is in search of those
I am now.' That story was true, and the
quarter of the pig was cooked. ' Eat thy
meal now,' said the young man. ' I never
ate food,' said Cormac, ' having only two
people in my company.' 'Wouldst thou eat
it with three others, O Cormac ?' asked the
young man. ' If they were dear to me I
would,' said Cormac. The man of the house
arose and opened the nearest door of the
dwelling, and [went and] brought in the
three whom Cormac sought; and then the
courage and exultation of Cormac rose.

" After that Manannan came to him in his
proper form, and said thus : ' I it was who
took those three away from thee, and I it
was who gave thee that branch ; and it was
in order to bring thee to this house that I
took them from thee ; and there is your
.meat now, and eat food,' said Manannan.
' I would do so,' said Cormac, ' if I could


learn the wonders that I have seen to-day.'
' Thou shalt learn them,' said Manannan.
' And I it was that caused thee to go towards
them that thou mightest see them. The
host of horsemen that appeared to thee
covering in the house with birds' feathers,
which, according as they had covered half
of the house, used to disappear from it, and
they seeking birds' feathers for the rest of it
that is a comparison which is applied to
poets and to people that seek a fortune ; for
when they go out, all that they leave behind
them in their houses is spent, and so they
go on for ever. The young man whom thou
sawest kindling the fire, and who used to break
the tree between top and bottom, and who
used to find it consumed whilst he was away
seeking for another tree what are repre-
sented by that, are those who distribute food
whilst everyone else is being served, they
themselves getting it ready, and everyone else
being enjoying the profit thereof. The wells
which thou sawest in which were the heads,
that is a comparison that is applied to the
three that are in the world. These are they,
that is to say :

" 'That head which has one stream flowing
into it, and one stream flowing out of it, is
the man who gives the goods of the world
as he gets them.

" ' That head which thou sawest with one
stream flowing into it, and two streams
flowing out of it, the meaning of that is, the
man who gives more than he gets of the
goods of the world.

" ' The head which thou sawest with three
streams flowing into its mouth, and one
stream flowing out of it, that is the man who
gets much and gives little, and he is the
worst of the three. And now eat thy meal,
O Cormac,' said Manannan. After that
Cormac, Cairbre, Ailbhe, and Eithne sat
down, and a tablecloth was spread before
them. ' That is a full precious thing before
thee, O Cormac,' said Manannan ; ' for
there is no food, however delicate, that shall
be demanded of it, but it shall be had with-
out doubt.' ' That is well,' quoth Cormac.
After that Manannan thrust his hand into
his girdle and brought out a goblet, and set
it upon his palm. ' It is one of the virtues
of this cup,' said Manannan, ' that when a
false story is related before it, it makes four
pieces of it ; and when a true story is related


before it, it will be whole again.' ' Let that
be proved,' said Cormac. ' It shall be done,'
said Manannan. "This woman that I took
from thee, she has had another husband
since I brought her with me.' Then there
were four pieces made of the goblet. ' That
is a falsehood,' said the wife of Manannan.
' I say that they have not seen woman or
man since they left thee, but their three
selves.' That story was true, and the goblet
was joined together again. ' Those are very
precious things that thou hast, O Manannan,'
said Cormac. ' They would be good for
thee to have,' said Manannan. ' Therefore,
they shall all three be thine to wit, the
goblet, the branch, and the tablecloth in
consideration of thy walk, and of thy journey
this day ; and eat thy meal now, for were
there a host and a multitude by thee, thou
shouldst find no scarcity in this place. And
I greet you kindly, as many as you are ; for
it was I that worked magic upon you, so that
ye might be with me to-night in friendship.'

" He eats his meal after that ; and that
meal was good, for they thought not of any
meat, but they got it upon the tablecloth,
nor of any drink, but they got in the cup ;
and they returned great thanks for that to
Manannan. Howbeit, when they had eaten
their meal that is to say, Cormac, Eithne,
Ailbhe, and Cairbre a couch was prepared
for them, and they went to slumber and
sweet sleep, and where they rose upon the
morrow was in the pleasant Liathdruim, with
their tablecloth, their cup, and their branch.
Thus far, then, the wanderings of Cormac,
and how he got his branch."*
(To be continued.)

ancient IBoofetrintrinp.t

T is only within the last fifteen
years or so, that any work at all
comparable with those which had
appeared on the Continent, deal-
ing with the subject of bookbindings, has

* Manx Soc, vol. xv., pp. 133-140, from Ossiatiic
Society's Publications, vol. iii.

t The History of the Art 0/ Bookbinding, edited by
W. Salt Brassington, F.S.A., author of Historic
Bindings in the Bodleian Library, etc. Cloth, crown
4to. London : Elliot Stock. Price 2 2s.




been published in this country. Mr. Cun-
dall's work, which appeared in 1881, was
the first to break the ice in this matter, and
since then several excellent works upon the
bindings in different English libraries and
collections have appeared. It is remarkable
that so little should have been written on
bookbinding in England till within the last
few years, for not only have we a very con-
siderable number of highly interesting and
beautiful specimens of ancient bookbinders'
work in this country, but it is an art which
cannot be said to have ever died out among
us. While architecture, secular and domestic,
reached a level below which it could hardly
descend further, and domestic articles
followed suit, bookbinding held on, and
though it, too, suffered in a degree from the
general decadence of an artistic spirit, yet it
never wholly lost its cunning. The work of
Roger Payne, the eccentric binder of last
century, and others, may be cited in proof of

Although no English book of any size on
the subject appeared till Mr. Cundall's book
was published, yet many years previously
the late Mr. Hannett printed a small book
which dealt with bookbinding in a brief but
very satisfactory manner so far as it went.
That book of Mr. Hannett's forms the start-
ing-point of the present fine volume by Mr.
Brassington. Mr. Brassington's book bears
the same sort of relationship, in fact, to Mr.
Hannett's which Mr. Cripps's well-known
work, Old English Plate, bears to the original
essay by Mr. Octavius Morgan on that sub-
ject ; and we have very little doubt that, like
Mr. Cripps's volume on Plate, Mr. Bras-
sington's work on the History of Bookbinding
will take its place as the standard work on
the subject.

Of course all the earlier and more cele-
brated bindings which are described and so
beautifully illustrated in Mr. Brassington's
volume are already well known ; still, it is
impossible for the reader not to pause as he
turns over the pages of this book and ponder
on the wonderful old bindings which have
escaped destruction, and which are here
represented with so much fidelity and excel-
lence. The more precious a book was from
its rarity in early times, the more lavish was
the care bestowed upon its cover, and in the

" book-shrines," made for the conservation
of books in Ireland, we have, as is well
known, some examples of the very highest
excellence of Celtic art.

In earlier times the highest development
of the bookbinder's craft seems to have been
bestowed on the sacred volumes of the
church and cloister. The ritual use, indeed,
of books in the service of the altar led to the
development of a special type of superb
adornment of the outer covers of the Gospels
and other books. The magnificence and
wealth of these book -covers in our own country
during the Middle Ages is quite inconceiv-
able. We cite a few descriptions, taken very
much at randon from lists before us, which
are additional to those given by Mr. Brass-

For example, in a list of the church goods of
the cathedral church of Salisbury, drawn up
in 1536, and quoted by the late Mr. J. E.
Nightingale, F.S.A., in The Church Plate of
Wilts, p. 244, we find the following volumes
of texts described :

Textus Evangeliorum.

A Text after John, gilt with gold and having

precious Stones and relicks of dyvers

Saints. Ex do no Hubert i de Burgi

Justiciarii Domini regis Henrici III.

Item. A Text after Matthew, having images

of St. Joseph and our Lady and our

Saviour all in a bed of Straw, in every

corner is the image of an Apostle.

Item. A Text after St. Mark covered with a

plate of Silver, having a Crucifix, with

Mary and John and two Angels, one

wanting both Wings, and the Crucifix

wanting part of the left hand, and John

wanting one of the hands. With a

Scripture, Ex dono Rogeri de Burwarde-

scot [Archdeacon of Wilts about 1295].

Item. The Texts of Lent and Passion, of

which beginneth in the second leaf, and

the second covered with linnen cloth

with a red rose, with a Scripture,

Judica meant causam Domine.

The first of these texts was given to the

cathedral church soon after the consecration

of the eastern portion ; it was enriched, as

Mr. Nightingale tells us, a few months later

"by King Henry III., who came on Holy

Innocents Day and offered a gold cup of


the weight of ten marks, together with a gold
ring ornamented with a ruby ; commanding
that the precious stone, and the gold of the
ring should be applied to the enrichment of
the text which had, been given by his

At Westminster Abbey in 1388 there were
six Texts ; the first and largest had silver-gilt
covers, which were adorned with pearls, and
had an image of the Holy Trinity on one
side, and a crucifix on the other. The
second is described as having had a crucifix
upon the cover, and as ornamented with
crystal stones. The third had an image of
the Holy Trinity, with covers of beaten gold
and silver. The fourth, which is described
as small, had only a plain crucifix on the
cover ; while the fifth, which is also de-
scribed as small, was used at the daily morn-
ing Mass. It had a crucifix of silver upon
it. Of the sixth we are told that it was
" omni ornamento spoliatus per quendam
furem," a fate which befell most of the others
by a legalized process a couple of centuries
later. We might increase this list of magnifi-
cent volumes of Texts from the inventories
of the other bigger churches to almost any
extent. That any of them should have
escaped is a matter for as much surprise, as
it is one for congratulation. It is indeed
quite possible that the highly interesting
binding of which Mr. Brassington gives an
illustration opposite p. 90 may be one
of the very Texts enumerated in the West-
minster Abbey Inventory which we have just
referred to.

These Texts, of course, formed a separate
class by themselves. Of early secular bind-
ings several admirable specimens have fortu-
nately been preserved. Perhaps none of
these excels in beauty or interest the cover
made at Winchester in the twelfth century,
of the Winton Domesday Book, now in the
possession of the Society of Antiquaries.
Two excellent photographic plates of this
volume are given by Mr. Brassington, who
describes it in detail in the letterpress.
Another very fine stamped leather binding,
which is thought to have been made in
London, is \he cover of a manuscript
" Historia Evangelica," which is among the
Egerton MSS. at the British Museum. This
also is well illustrated by a photographic


plate opposite p. 100, and is fully described
in detail by the author.

Passing to later bindings, the subject at
once widens out, as greater diversity of
material used, and of ornamentation applied
was available. We have also in the later
periods some of those curious freaks which
were so characteristic of the tastes of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. On
p. 166 Mr. Brassington gives an illustration
of a double book containing the New Testa-
ment and Psalms of the year 1630, which
we are enabled to reproduce here, as illustra-
tive of the taste of that period. It will be
seen what a very fine example of an em-
broidered cover it is. This double volume
is preserved in the British Museum. Mr.
Brassington says nothing as to triple or
quadruple bindings, and probably they are
so exceedingly scarce as hardly to be extant
as a class at all ; but the writer was shown
one, about ten years ago, in a curiosity
dealer's shop at Munich, which was beauti-
fully embroidered, and was quadruple. The
sum asked for it was not small, and what
has now become of it he does not know. A




very fine book-cover, embroidered upon white
satin with a portrait of Charles I., is also
preserved at the British Museum, and is
figured by the author on p. 1 7 r. This
illustration we also reproduce.

By far the most interesting of the smaller
volumes is the book the binding of which is
illustrated on p. 219. It belonged to Queen
Elizabeth, and the covers, which are of gold,
are believed to have been made by George
Heriot, the eminent and munificent gold-
smith of Edinburgh, who founded Heriot's
Hospital in that city. Two illustrations of
this book are given by Mr. Brassington,
concerning which he remarks as follows
(p. 218):

" From what has been previously stated,
it is evident that Elizabeth was a great lover
of books, and a munificent patron of all
concerned in their embellishment. She is
said to have carried upon her person a
manual of prayers bound in gold, and

attached by a gold chain to her girdle. The
sides of the binding measure 2\ by \\
inches. The golden figures of this jewel-
binding are in high relief, coloured in enamel
in the style of Cellini. It was exhibited at
the Tudor Exhibition." On the front is
represented the raising of the Serpent in the
Wilderness, an emaciated figure in the fore-
ground, and three others, one in the attitude
of prayer. On a border round it is the text


lyve . I On the back is the judgment of
Solomon, with the text + then . the . kyng

3 . K . 3 C. I

On Tuesday, June 13, 1893, this book
was sold by Messrs. Christie, Manson, and
Woods. The first bid was one for 500




guineas, the competition was very brisk, and
it was finally knocked down to Mr. C. J.
Wertheimer for 1,220 guineas.

volume marks an epoch in the history of
English literature on Bookbinding in all its
phases and developments. The author,

Front. Back.

queen Elizabeth's prayer-book, with covers of gold.

We have said nothing of the later bindings,
or of the processes used in binding, all of
which are most carefully dealt with by the
author. We recognise, however, that this

indeed, begins with the beginning, and takes
the student back to the days of our pre-
historic forefathers. In the first part of the
book he traces, not bookbinding, but the



development of the book itself, step by

The charm of an old binding is often
wholly independent of the contents of the
book it covers, and we shall be much sur-
prised if this book by Mr. Brassington does
not act in regard to old bindings, much as
Mr. Cripps's has as to Plate, and largely
increase the appreciative interest and value
set upon them. Never before has the whole
subject been brought before the English
reader from beginning to end in so scientific,
thorough or orderly a manner as is now the
case. The excellent illustrations which
adorn almost every page, add also in no little
degree to the charm of Mr. Brassington's

Dn a Preformation Cbalice
latelp triscotoereo.

By Wilfred J. Cripps, C.B., F.S.A.

HE latest addition to the number of
known chalices of pre-Reformation
date is not in ecclesiastical hands,
nor has it been used for the sacred
purposes for which it was made for a very
lengthened period. It was, in point of fact,
found doing duty as a drawing-room object
of art in a country house at which Mrs.
Wilfred Cripps was paying a visit in the
autumn of 1893.

Permission being obtained to submit it to
the inspection of the writer of these lines, it
proved to be an unknown example of the
rare and interesting class of ecclesiastical
vessels to which it belongs. Its ancient
history is unknown, but it is ascertained to
have been used as a baptismal bowl by the
family which had, until lately, owned the
interesting manor-house of Chavenage, near
Tetbury, in Gloucestershire. Various legends
known in the district, some, perhaps, less
worthy of credit than others, have gathered
round the ancient and considerable family of
Stephens of Chavenage, and other places in
the county of Gloucester; but it is certain
that this interesting chalice had passed for a
christening bowl amongst them, and had
been so used at the baptism of many mem-

bers of the family for generations past. And
in this faith it had lately been presented to

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