Phoebe Palmer.

The Antiquary (Volume 31) online

. (page 65 of 67)
Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 65 of 67)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

penetration, are never known to freeze. The
thermal well, now beneath a pump in Mr.
Stephenson's " crewyard " at Roxby, is also
unaffected by frost. Experiments lately
made by the Rev. J. T. Fowler, D.C.L.,
to test its temperature, show that the water
remains steadily at 6o, while the spring of
another pump not far from it is 58 , and that
of one at a little greater distance 51 , the
ordinary temperature of pump-water in the
district. The water of the thermal well,
which is softer than that of other springs in
the neighbourhood, and probably comes from
a great depth below the limestone and gypsum
strata, "reeks" in severe weather. In the
extraordinary frost-time early in 1895, the
ice which formed in its trough had to be
broken to allow the cattle in the yard to
drink, which had never been done before,
so far as is remembered. This well certainly
ought to have legends explaining the fact
that it has always "the chill off it," but if
they exist they have yet to be discovered.

TBook^untmg anD its Dotaues.

By J. H. Slater.

O read an extremely interesting work
devoted to various aspects of book-
collecting which has recently been
published* is to vitalize in a measure
the trite assumption that there has not at any
period of the world's history been a time
when men and books were not connected
by the strongest bonds of sympathy and

* The Bock- Hunter in London: Historical and other
Studies of Collectors and Collecting, by W. Roberts.
London : Elliot Stock, 1895.

affection. Sometimes, indeed, ignorance and
bigotry have run riot, and swept out of
existence in a moment the fruits of centuries
of devoted toil, and at stated, and it would
seem recurring periods, education has been
confined to such a comparative few that it
would almost seem as though the very ability
to read had for the time being vanished away.
But the spirit that prompted the Egyptian
priests to trace their sacred hieroglyphics on
papyrus strips, and the Assyrians to build
up libraries of enduring brick, is the same
intelligence that presided over the Bruchium
and Serapeum, the Athenian library of Pisis-
tratus, the bookshops of Rome, the monas-
teries of a darker age, and the collectors and
collections of these later days. Times have
changed, but we have changed with them
only in outward show ; our desires, attributes,
and characteristics are the same as they have
ever been, and perhaps the oldest and most
estimable quality that has come down to us
through the ages is the deep desire to inherit
the wisdom and knowledge of others. This
can seldom or never be accomplished but
by the aid of books, whatever form they
may assume, and it is this distinctive trait
that has animated the book-hunters of all
generations, including our own, who prove
themselves most worthy to receive it.

The ethics of book-collecting has, of course,
its complex phases, and it is not always the
rich who are the most intelligent, or read
the most. History tells us how the elite of
Rome or at least some of them regarded
their books in the light of so many pieces
of furniture, and there are bookmen of to-day
who are in no better state than this. Virgil,
though trapped in all the glories of Le Gascon
or Derome, may speak to strange ears on
occasion, even to those of some collector who
places the greatest store upon that which is
past and gone, like him of feeble mind who
falls in love with Cleopatra. Intellectual profit
is in such cases at a discount ; it is a mere
question of false affection, the extent of which
is measured by rule of thumb and mirrored
in ostentatious vanity, flaunting it behind
glass doors.

Mr. Roberts, as we think very judiciously,
avoids any pestilent analysis of the motives
that have actuated individual book-hunters.
The ghost of old Lazarus Seaman might



haunt him in his goings out and comings
in had he ventured to suggest that the
ponderous commentaries which that worthy
had collected were to him but bric-a-brac
after all. Indeed, such a conclusion would
not improbably amount to a virtual libel
on the memory of a gentleman who cer-
tainly enjoyed the status of a scholar, and
will be known for all time as the owner of
the very first library ever sold by auction in
this country. The sale which took place
in Warwick Court on October 31, 1676,
furnishes most instructive statistics of the

periods to a nicety. At one time books
of deep gravity, whose words come up like
ghosts, as it were, from the depths of some
Puritan abyss, are accounted the only books
worth pondering over. Within their covers
is the truth of ages. At another' time the
classics are all in all, and little Elzevirs of
the "right" edition mind, or they are worth-
less are ranged with the more scholarly
productions of Aldus, to the exclusion of
most other works. Sir Julius Caesar, who
was Master of the Rolls in the days of
James I., was so enamoured of the classical


value of some books then and now. A
sound copy of the editio princeps of Homer,
a folio work published at Florence in 1488,
sold for 9s., the present value being about
.150. Eliot's Indian Bible, a quarto of
such extreme rarity nowadays that ,580
was considered a reasonable amount to pay
for a copy at Lord Hardwicke's sale six years
ago, went for something under 20s. On the
other hand some books in Seaman's library
are worth no more now than they were then ;
others have actually deteriorated in popular
esteem. The prices at which books are sold
indicate the tastes of book-buyers of different

writers that he took with him on frequent
journeys a miniature bookcase full of them.
Half a century ago the classics fell like
Lucifer, though they may rise again. They
are almost as dead now as the hands that
wrote them.

Early book-hunting in this country was,
indeed, of a totally different character from
what it now is. Edward I. was the first
English monarch who appears to have taken
thought for a library, though it is impossible
to suppose that even the learned Beauclerc
could have read " books in the running
brooks, sermons in stones." Edward was



the possessor of eleven service-books, while
contemporaries of his, Richard of London
and Richard de Gravesend, Bishop of London,
owned ten and one hundred volumes re-
spectively. Most of these works treated of
moral philosophy or religion Richard de

instances of private enterprise, undertaken
at a time when manuscripts were rare and
costly. It was not until long after the days
of Caxton that it became possible for a man
of even good means to accumulate any
considerable number of volumes, and we

>r- Q ''


Bury, the author of the Philobiblon, was, as
all the world knows, a famous collector ; and
Sir Richard Whittington added to the growing
passion by giving ^400 worth of books to
the Franciscan Monastery which then covered
the site occupied by Christ's Hospital in
Newgate Street These, however, are isolated

may well doubt whether there were many
living fifty years after his death who cared
to do so when we read that those who bought
works from the dissolved monasteries used
them " to scour their candlesticks and to rub
their boots." John Ball, Bishop of Ossory,
writing in 1549, says that he knew "a



merchantman, which shall at this time be in the days of King Henry VIII. A few
nameless, that bought the contents of two of the salt, however, as for example Henry,
noble libraries for 40s. apiece; a shame Earl of Arundel, built up libraries out

it is to be spoken. This stuff hath he of the wreck of the monasteries ; and it

occupied in the stead of gray paper by the was perhaps their example, combined with

space of more than these ten years." Of the greater facilities which soon arose for

such it appears was the ordinary book-buyer procuring books, that ushered on the scene
vol. xxxi. 3 c



a multitude of persistent and omnivorous
collectors, who, like Gabriel Naud, swept
whole streets in the hope of securing some-
thing of interest and value from among the

All the days of the Stuarts the book-hunter's
avocation was so popular that he was ac-
counted but feather-brained or a varlet who
had not his library to turn to on occasion.
Half of King James's solemn jokes were
cracked by the aid of midnight oil, and only
to be understood by a painful search in
volumes of forgotten lore. Books began to
pour from the press, and it became a business

number of extensive collectors as there were
during the latter part of the seventeenth
century and during the whole of the eighteenth.
People now specialize from sheer desperation,
and there are not many private libraries
extant which, like that of the Duke of
Roxburghe, contain books on theology and
jurisprudence, philosophy of all kinds, arts
and sciences, philology, history, polygraphy,
and goodness knows what other branches of
learning besides. In these days of reprints
much can be obtained in little space. Folios
are frowned down ; the nimble octavo may
hold within its covers all that Shakespeare


to read them. These were the days of the
classics and the ponderous works of the
Fathers, of /Fschylus and Horace, Saints
Augustine and Jerome. Fiction was, of
course, unknown, and it became a habit
among courtier-poets to woo their Muse in
manuscript and to keep her there, vulgar
print being too common to satisfy the aspira-
tions of their souls. All this, however, did
not fail to pass away with the fashion of the
hour, and then arose another great battle
over the books. Indeed, it is more than
questionable whether there now are, in this
country, at any rate, anything like the same

or Ben Jonson ever wrote, and sometimes
a great deal more.

In popular fancy the " book-hunter " is a
peripatetic and cosmopolitan snapper-up of
unconsidered rarities, though in truth he may
wear good clothes and search by deputy.
He may even entertain a score or two of
booksellers, and pay in right royal fashion
for anything he requires. None the less, on
this account, is he a book-hunter, since of
necessity he is compelled to search for what
is but seldom met with. Such an one must
often sigh as he takes his walks abroad, or
buys by telegram. He is too often apt to



think that the happy hunting-grounds must
be in some fairer region than that which is
honeycombed by the London streets. There
are no Shakespeare quartos such as George
Daniell hid in his red-brick eyrie at Canon-
bury, very little of anything, in fact, but what
nobody wants. There are scores and hundreds
of volumes of sermons addressed to sleeping
congregations a century and more ago now
faster far asleep than ever; battalions ot
school-books scored and battered by the race
that has come and almost gone ; a cookery-
book or two with indigestion in its very title ;
a bundle of almanacs of the last decade. If
we want rarities we must pay heavily for
them, or stumble over them one at a time
by chance, generally in the beaten tracks
and known localities where daily walk " the
Nimrods of the streets."

Before the Great Fire, Little Britain and
Moorfields were full of shops and stalls, as
also was St. Paul's Churchyard. It may be
news to some that Westminster Hall itself
was once given over to dealers in books, and
that while suitors or their counsel pleaded
at the end of the vast parallelogram, just
where the steps are now, a brisk trade was
done at the counters that ran along both of
the sides. Stalls for books, as well as other
small merchandise, were permitted in the
hall as early as the sixteenth century, and
were not removed till the reign of George III.

Booksellers have always congregated to-
gether ; they are gregarious animals like
lawyers, diamond-cutters, and gold-beaters,
and the London of to-day contains, as in
the past, numerous streets and alleys where
shops and barrows may be met with in long
procession. Farringdon Street and the New
Cut, Holywell Street and the turnings off
St. Martin's Lane, teem with prospective
bargains which somehow or other continually
escape us. Then there are the shops of the
greater booksellers who deal in hundreds
and sometimes thousands of pounds, and
are continually on the look-out themselves
for " lots " and " items " of rarity. Yet many
of the books that are now a miracle of scarcity
were perhaps common enough before the
fire made of the City one huge holocaust.
Fashion, too, has changed utterly, just as
that which prevails now will have changed
when the new generation of book-hunters

wonders perhaps that such a book as Calonne's
Proposals for Preventing Highway Robberies
in the Environs of London might be picked
up in the concluding years of the nineteenth
century for a shilling or eighteenpence. The
truth is that the ideal book-hunter searches


for what to him are necessaries, and not for
bargains. Neither he nor any of his pro-
genitors have often obtained an immediate
and material pecuniary advantage except by
accident The rarity of to-day, the pamphlet
which, as market prices go, would be cheap
at ten times its weight in gold, though for
all intellectual purposes it is worth no more
than the last issue, which can be got for a
few pence, may soon depart into the limbo
of dead follies, or it may flicker out its life
a century hence. The veriest tyro who reads
Mr. Roberts's account of books and book-
men cannot fail to see that the new becomes
old and the old new under the magic touch
of time. Where, for example, are the master-
pieces of Aldus now ? They survive in the
estimation of a few collectors, but only of a
very few. Though dead to most, they never-
theless await their resurrection.

Publication ana procecDinrjs of
arcb&ological Societies.

The Architological Journal (Vol. LII. , No. 207) has
reached us from the ARCHAEOLOGICAL Institute.
It contains the following papers : " Antiquarian Notes
on the Rose," by Mr. J. L. Andre; "Notes on
Egyptian Colours," by Mr. F. C. J. Spurrell ; " Philce ;
the Nubian Valley and the Modified Nile Reservoir,"
by Mr. Somers Clarke; "Notes on two Curious



Padlocks in the Carlisle Museum," by Chancellor
Ferguson; "The Progressive or Expansive Signi-
ficance of Place Names," by Canon Atkinson ; " The
Origin of some Small Pits or Lines on Allerston and
Ebberston Moors, Yorkshire," by Mr. J. Mortimer;
ami "Beverley in the Olden Time," by Mr. \V.

e + +$

The Journal of the Royai. Society ok Antiquaries
OK IRELAND (Vol. V., Part III.) has been issued.
Its contents are divided into two sections, one being
that of papers on various subjects, and the other the
proceedings of the society at its meetings. Among
the first named are the following : " The Origins of
Prehistoric Ornament in Ireland," by Mr. George
Coffey, M.R.I. A. ; this which is the third part of a
long and important paper contains eighteen illustra-
tions. The Rev. J. K. M. Ffrench contributes an
account (with two illustrations) of a fine gold spur
found in county Wicklow. Mr. Cecil C. Woods
follows with a short paper on, and a useful catalogue
of, the Goldsmiths of the city of Cork. Unfortunately
all the records of the company were (in all probability)
recently destroyed by fire. [The editor of the Anti-
quary can add the initials of another Cork Goldsmith
to those contained in Mr. Woods's list. On a rat-
tailed spoon of last century are three marks thus :


!S\ EOi

Mr. C. Winston Dugan

describes the Ancient Cott [a kind of canoe] found last
year in the south-west corner of Lough Neagh in
County Armagh. Besides these papers, there are a
good many short and often useful notes, under the
general heading of Miscellanea.

The second division of the contents of the Journal
includes (with numerous illustrations) accounts of the
general meeting of the society at Gal way last July,
with descriptions of various places visited then or at
later dates. These include accounts of Galway, the
Aran Islands, Borris, Roscrea, Clare, Galway, Athenry,
and the Loughcrew Hills. Altogether this number of
the Journal fully maintains the high standard of excel-
lence of its predecessors.

^<J *>$ ^

The Collections of the Surrey Arcillological
Society are well recognised as among some of the
best of the publications of the provincial societies.
Vol. XII., Part II. has been lately issued. It contains
the following papers: "A Charge given by Henry
Hart, Esq., J. P., at the Surrey Quarter Sessions at
Dorking on April 5, 1692." It is communicated by
Lord Ashcombe. Following it is a paper by Mr. F.
Lasham on "Camps, Earthworks, Tumuli, etc., in
West Surrey"; Mr. Henry E. Maiden contributes a
paper entitled " Notes on Anstiebury, Holmbury, and
other Early Camps in Surrey"; Mr. A. R. Bax
follows with an account of certain Surrey parish
churches in 1705, taken from a manuscript at Lam-
beth ; " The Church Plate of Surrey " follows by the
Rev. T. S. Cooper, in which the Rural Deanery of
Beddington is taken. The most interesting discovery
is that of an Edwardian Communion Cup and paten
at Beddington of the year 1551, adding one more to
the very small list of chalices or cups of that period
which remain. " Surrey Wills," by Mr. F. A. Crisp ;
and a continuation of the " Visitation of Surrey, 1623,"

edited by Dr. Howard and Mr. Mill Stephenson, make
up an excellent number of the "Collections."

+$ <** *ff

The "Quarterly Statement " of the Palestine Ex-
ploration FUND is always full of interest, brief as
most of the papers which it contains too often are.
The " Statement " for October, 1895, contains inter
alia the sixth report of excavations at Jerusalem, by
Dr. Bliss ; five reports from Herr Baurath von Schick
on the old churches of Jerusalem, and other subjects ;
two notes by Canon Dalton ; the " Stoppage of the
Jordan, a.o. 1267," by Mr. Stevenson, as well as
several other papers of more or less importance and

The first meeting of the new session of the British
Arch.'EOLOGical Association was held on Novem-
ber 6 at 32, Sackville Street, Piccadilly. The honorary
secretary, Mr. Patrick, expressed the great sorrow he
felt in making the formal announcement to the meeting
of the irreparable loss the society had sustained by the
lamented death of Mr. E. P. Loftus Brock, F.S.A.,
the honorary treasurer. The chairman and Mr. W.
de Gray Birch, F.S.A., also referred with much feeling
to the sad event, and spoke of the great services ren-
dered to arch.eology by Mr. Brock during the period
of nearly thirty years in which he had been connected
with the association. The intimation was received
by the meeting with most sincere regret.

Proceeding to the business of the evening, the chair-
man exhibited a cast of a very interesting and rather
unusual seal connected with Rievaulx Abbey, and read
some notes preparatory to a future paper on the subject.
Mr. Collier brought for exhibition a small collection
of bronze tokens, mostly from Warwickshire and
Staffordshire. Mr. A. Oliver produced two very
elegant Roman lamps of rather unusual design from
Corfu. Mr. Patrick, the honorary secretary, exhibited
some Roman fibula; of silver and bronze, and some
beads, hair-pins, and dice, some of the latter showing
distinct evidence of having been plugged ; also an
elegant little bronze figure of the infant Hercules
brought from Italy. Owing to the unfortunate indis-
position of the authors of the two papers advertised
for the evening, they were not completed, and stand
postponed. Mr. Patrick then read a short paper upon
Winchester House, Southwark, and the recent dis-
coveries of some remains of the buildings, which he
illustrated by some old engravings and maps, and a
plan of the locality. An interesting discussion ensued,
in which Mr. R. W. Barrett took part, and afterwards
drew the attention of the meeting to the nature of the
excavations in progress upon the line of the Roman
wall in the North of England, which he had quite
recently visited.

^ *$ *$
At the meeting of the Cambridge Antiquarian
Society, held on October 21, the president (Mr. W.
M. Fawcett, M. A., of Jesus College) read a paper on
" Elections at Cambridge Sixty Years Ago." Many
specimens of the electioneering literature of the time
were handed round. In most cases the once piquant
jokes and gibes have become quite obscure, and the
allusions to persons and events forgotten. But in many
Mr. Fawcett was able to explain them. Perhaps one



of the best was a squib attacking the University in-
fluence at the time in Scripture language, purporting
to be taken from " the nine hundred and ninety-ninth
chapter of the Book of Corruption," the Vice-Chancellor
at the time being Joshua King, President of Queen's.
Two or three verses are sufficiently amusing to be
worth quoting. They begin thus :

** And it came to pass in the reign of William the
Fourth, there was a great talk of ' Corporation
Inquiry ' and ' Church Reform.'

"And Joshua said to himself, 'I am King of this
town, and I will therefore make the people vote
according to my judgment ;' so he rang the bell for
Jobson [Jobson is supposed to be the University
Marshal], and he said unto him :

" 'Jobson, Jobson, go thou into the highways and
hedges to my tradesmen, and to all my people, and
thus say unto them :

'* ' My commands are, they will vote for Sir Edward,
whether they have promised or not.

1 ' ' Therefore put on thy gown, that it may make a
better appearance.'

" So Jobson put on his gown, and went limping

After several other verses, in which Joshua is repre-
sented as trying to obtain votes under every pretext,
he discharges his gardener for withholding his vote.
" And Joshua was exceedingly wroth, and said :
" ' Thou fool, thou knowest not what is right ;
leave me, for I will not have a man on my premises
who differs from me.' "
And so on.

The whole thing is a travesty on University in-
fluence, and brings in the names of well-known men
of the time.

Two others are reminders of the electioneering
scene in Pickwick, and certainly, as Mr. Fawcett
remarked, "if the wit is not keener, the humour is
certainly broader in such squibs as the following,
which must have excited much admiration."
One reads thus :

" Escaped from his den
At the Hoop Hotel
and supposed to be lurking in the vicinity
of Parker's Piece
That most destructive and voracious
The Spring Place Sucker
Political Vampire.
Such is the enormous voracity of this creature that
for the last three years he cost Mr. John Bull his
keeper ^3,000 per annum, and will cost the pro-
prietor this year at least ,6,000 if not immediately
Mr. Bull earnestly solicits the public to proceed to
his haunt on Parker's Piece, and by their united efforts
to crush at once this Political Blood Sucker."
And the other :

"Just arrived in Cambridge

and may be seen alive

One of those wonderful little reptiles


It is of the species called the


It is very venomous, crafty and spiteful."

The paper was one of very considerable interest,
and will serve a useful purpose by putting on per-
manent record some of the transient events, connected
with the stirring political times of the first half of the
now closing century, as represented in a university

Professor Hughes made a communication, in which
he derived the battle-axes of the Fijian type, and the
Australian boomerang from Cetacean ribs, after which
he read a paper on the " Earthworks between the
Tyne and Sol way."

Mr. J, Willis Clark, the Registrar, exhibited and
explained some objects from Somaliland, which he
presented to the society.


The report of the Oxford University Brass
Rubbing Society states that the society has just
completed its second academical year, having been
founded by some twenty undergraduate brass rubbers
in May, 1893, w i tn Mr. H. F. Haines, son of the late
Rev. H. Haines on brasses, as its first vice-president.
It has since more than doubled its roll of members.
The society has a twofold object during term to
complete and revise the register, first of all brasses,
then of all sepulchral monuments in the county and
diocese of Oxford ; and during vacation to promote

Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 65 of 67)