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mentioned in the will last referred to is thus described, "St. John's head in alabaster, with St. Peter and St. Thomas and the figure of Christ." The same lady also bequeathed " a little St. John's head of alabaster, with a scripture [i. e. a motto or writing] Caput Sancti Johannis Bap ■ tiste." In a note upon the former of these passages (p. 255) Mr. J. G. Nichols has pointed attention to several examples and existing specimens of these carvings, the use of which has not been discovered. In all of them, he says, the head of St. John the Baptist of a large proportionate size occupies the centre; it has been mistaken for the portrait of Edessa, for that of St. Veronica, and for the first person of the Holy Trinity. The figure placed beneath appears to have been generally Christ rising from his tomb; but in several instances it is the Holy Lamb instead of the figure of Christ. The saints on either side, figured at whole length, are, in every known instance but one, those above mentioned, St. Peter and St. Thomas of Canterbury. The exceptional instance is an engraving, in which St. Paul has been represented, probably by mistake of the artist, instead of St. Thomas. In the rear of the male saints are customarily represented St. Katharine and St Helena, and at the summit of the whole design is an infant, being the representation of a soul, conveyed to heaven by angels. The attention of antiquaries being directed to these curious relics, we hope their use and purpose will be discovered. We shall be glad to receive any communication on the subject.
So far as we can tell, Mr. Tymms has made his selection of wills with judgment. It comprises examples from persons of many classes of society, and will be found to illustrate many interesting subjects in every branch of historical inquiry. The class of documents of which his book is made up are far too little known as historical materials, and must remain so as long as the present illiberal policy distinguishes the majority of the persons in whose custody they are placed. Every addition to this branch of our antiquarian literature is under such circumstances to be prized highly. The present volume is on that ground alone, if there were no other, a cause of thankfulness botli to the Camden Society and to the editor.
We wish the book had not been deformed by the marks to indicate contracted words, which abound throughout it. Such marks are often nothing more than shelters for ignorance, and their occurrence in a book of the Camden Society is a breach of the rule which we understood they had adopted, to print in extenso. We can
understand that cases may occur in which a competent editor may doubt as to the proper extension of a contracted word. In such cases by all means print that word in the contracted form. But the indiscriminate use of marks of contraction, as in the book before us, is useless, expensive, and ridiculous, and, moreover, often leads to errors instead of enabling the editor to avoid them. The whole book, in its contracts and amplification of indexes, reminds us too much of the pedantic publications of the Record Commissioners. The editor has evidently bestowed great pains in making his book as perfect and useful as possible, and should have been kept by the Camden Council from the mistake of following so bad an example. We think it an advantage in first publications from MSS. of considerable age to preserve the spelling of the original, but to retain the mere common marks of contraction seems extremely unnecessary and objectionable.
London and its Celebrities: a second series of Literary and Historical Memorials of London. By J. Heneage Jesse. 2 vols. 8t>o. Lond. 1850.—London is particularly fortunate in its recent historians. Mr. Charles Knight's " London" is one of the pleasantest collections of sketches in our language; Mr. Peter Cunningham's Handbook is, as Mr. Jesse very properly remarks, "the most valuable work on London which has appeared since the time of Stow," and now we have from Mr. Jesse a second series of his Historical Memorials, full of amusing and interesting matter, brought together with praiseworthy diligence.
Mr. Jesse commences at the Tower and its neighbourhood j proceeds westward by Billingsgate, Queenhithe, and London Bridge; gives a narrative of the Great Fire; ascends Fish Street Hill to Aldgate; proceeds thence by Cornhill to the Mansion House j returns to Crosby Hall; goes along the course of the City Wall to Smithfield, the Charter House, and Clerkenwell; and thence by Holborn to the British Museum. He then returns to Cheapslde and St. Paul's, and passes westward by Fleet Street to the Temple, and so by the Strand to Somerset House. He then crosses the Thames to Lambeth and Vauxhall, and closes his route and book with a visit to Southwark. Throughout this long peregrination there is indeed much to tell; much of historical, biographical, and poetical illustration j and many a history and anecdote of joy and sorrow, of suffering, cruelty, and oppression. There is scarcely a step of the way that is not consecrated by some event which has conduced to the present renown of our great metropolis. Mr. Jesse picks up these reminiscences as he passes on, and relates them in a way which will interest and instruct many a reader. If his narrative wants the preciseness of detail which antiquaries love, he is not to be blamed on that account, for his object has been to attract the general public more than the historical student.
One feature of Mr. Jesse's book is a good one. He endeavours to recall the particulars of celebrated interments in the city churches which were destroyed at the great fire. This is a part of his book which will bear considerable enlargement in a future edition, and might be made extremely interesting. It is, too, a portion of the subject in which he will have few competitors. The picturesqueness of the ceremonials, and the heroic characters of the men, of the olden times would enable him, if he would pursue the subject, to give many striking and instructive delineations. Would that the stores of the Prerogative Office could be applied in aid of such a purpose! But, alas! the present generation seems doomed to be excluded from the use of the most valuable historical materials iu existence. They are reserved for the destruction which will one day come upon them from accidental fire, or from some outburst of public indignation.
We will give an example of Mr. Jesse's mode of dealing with this part of his subject:—
"One of the most sumptuous monuments in the old church appears to have been that of the beautiful Venetia Digby, erected to her memory by her eccentric husband Sir Kenelm Digby. It was believed at the time that he made use of the most singular expedients to increase the lustre of her charms; that he invented cosmetics with this object, and, among other fantastic experiments, supplied her with the flesh of capons which lrid been fed with vipers. After her death only a small portion of brains having been found in her head, Sir Kenelm attributed it to her drinking viper-wine; but, says Aubrey, ' spiteful women would say it was a viper husband who was jealous of her.' Pennant, in his ' Journey from Chester to London,' tells us that the woods in the neighbourhood of Gothurst [in Bucks], once the seat of Sir Kenelm, are the most northern haunt of the great snail, or pomatia, which is of exotic origin j and he adds,'Tradition says it was introduced by Sir Kenelm as a medicine for the use of his lady.' Digby's well-known jealousy of his beautiful wife, and the application of these strance medicaments, gave rise to a report that he had administered poison
to her. That he was the murderer of his wife, however, appears to be most improbable; though it is not unlikely that his cosmetics and chemical experiments might have hastened her end. Her monument in Christ Church [Newgate Street] was of black marble, supporting her bust in copper gilt. This tomb was completely destroyed by the Great Fire, and the vault in which she lay was partially broken open by its fall. The bust, however, escaped, and Aubrey informs us that he afterwards saw it exposed for sale in a brazier's stall. Unfortunately he neglected to purchase it at the time, and, when he afterwards made inquiry respecting it, he discovered that it had been melted down. By his will Sir Kenelm desired that he should be buried in the same vault with bis wife, but that no inscription should be engraved on the tomb." (ii. 170.)
Gossip of this kind, especially when picked up from sources which are not familiar, makes a very pleasant book.
Notices of Chinese Seals found in Ireland. By Edmund Getty, M.R.T.A. 4to. Land, and Dublin. 1850.—In various parti of Ireland far distant from one another, for example, near Dublin, and in the counties of Tipperary, Down, Meath, Wexford, Queen's County, Cork, and elsewhere, there have been found within the last eighty years a considerable number of small cubes of porcelain, having by way of handle the figure of a monkey or ape seated upon one side of the cube. On the side of the cube opposite the monkey is invariably an inscription, engraved in characters utterly unlike any which are known to have ever been used in Europe. For some years past the rumour has run that these characters were Chinese, and we learn from the present publication— which is a paper recently read before the Belfast Literary Society—that impressions of twenty-nine of these cubes having been submitted to Mr. Gutzlaff, to a Roman Catholic missionary at Hong Kong, to some one at Shangbae whose name is not mentioned, and also to Mr. Thomas Taylor Meadows, interpreter to the British consulate at Canton, they have been pronounced by all these gentlemen to be in. Bcriptions in what is called the Chinese seal character. Further, these gentlemen have all translated the inscriptions, ami, although there are occasionally extraordinary variations between their translations, they all so far support one another as to leave no doubt that, with the occasional exception of one of them, they all really understand the inscription?. Under these circumstances there can be no doubt that the inscriptions really are in Chinese characters. The question remains, when and how did they find their way into bogs, rivers, and occasionally into very wild desolate parts of Ireland? The author cannot help us to an answer, but evidently supposes thera to be of great antiquity. We do not see any sufficient evidence in his paper to lead to a definite conclusion upon the subject, but we recommend the facts to the consideration of antiquaries and persons acquainted with the Chinese language. The book before us contains representations in lithography of sixtythree of them.
A Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities found in the excavations at the new Royal Exchange, preserved in the Museum of the Corporation of London: preceded by an Introduction containing an account of their discovery, with some particulars and suggestions relating to Roman London. By William Tite, Esq. F.P.S., F.S.A. Printed for the use of the Members of the Corporation of London. Hivo.—Mr. Tite, in the preface to this Catalogue, as well as in other ways, has done his best to remove some of the obloquy which had been attached to the Corporation of London, on the ground of neglecting the antiquities of their venerable city. Whether he has succeeded in his cause or not, every credit must be given him for doing all that lay in his power, and for having, we infer, induced the Corporation to sanction the printing of the Catalogue before us.
With the discoveries made on the site of the Royal Exchange our readers have most probably been familiar through the pages of the " Archeeologia," and our own Magazine. The greater portion of the objects brought to light, and which are described in this Catalogue, were discovered in a pit, measuring fifty feet by thirty-four, the existence of which was not for some time suspected.'" Mr. Tite agrees with the opinion previously expressed of Mr. Roach Smith,t that this pit was at the extremity of Loudinium, or even out of it, and he also refers to coins as contributing almost the only evidence on the question of the date of the buildings erected over
* We understand this pit was found by Mr. Heathcote Russell, clerk of the works, who, from certain observations he had made, had reason to suspect its existence. To his penetration, therefore, may be ascribed the discovery, not only of the pit, but also of its curious contents, which were collected, it should be stated, under his superintendence, although we do not notice his name in this volume.
f Archeeologia, xxix. 267.
this site. With the exception of a single coin of Severus, they range from Vespasian to Marcus Aurelius. A coin of Gratian however, Mr. Tite states, was recovered after having been taken away, and he remarks, that it "probably more accurately indicates the time when the gravel-pit was closed up and built upon, namely, about sixty-five years before the departure of the Romans from Britain." If it were satisfactorily proved that this coin came from the pit itself, and not from its vicinity, this conclusion could not be questioned. But this is one of those particular points in archaeological research which demand unquestionable authentication, and which show the necessity of scrupulous personal observation. That this siDgle specimen only should have been found is rather against the supposition that the pit remained open during a period of such an extent as that from the time of Severus to the reign of Gratian, especially when so many coins of the earlier emperors were discovered ; and the fact of this coin having been recovered, as stated, after having been taken away, invalidates its evidence.
It is not at all improbable, as Mr. Tite supposes, that the vicinity of this gravelpit was occupied by shops of various kinds, to which we are indebted for the curious objects brought to light by the excavators; but we must limit the principle of determining the nature of ancient buildings from the remains found upon their sites; and therefore Bhould not as evidence of the character of buildings attach much im • portance to the strigil, sandals, necks of amphora, &c. found in this pit at the Exchange. The inscription on the handle of an amphora reading Evalerthropii, which, it is suggested, may mean Evalere trophim, "literally meaning that the vase was designed for holding that weak wine, or dregs, called tropis, which was kept in baths for an emetic or a sweat," may also be read, possibly more in concordance with the usual formula, E • Valer • Trofb • E. Valerius Trophimus. Also much stress cannot be laid on the painted wall which was found upon the pit, because such paintings are found on the sites of almost all Roman houses, and have been met with in hundreds of instances in London.
Mr. Tite is of opinion that the subject of Roman London belongs to imagination rather than to history. He observes, "It is well known that Severus and Constantine,* and probably Constantius also, reigned and died at York; and that York likewise contained a temple to Bellona, an
* C'onstantine died at Nicomedia.
edifice erected in the principal cities of the empire only: but in London neither great palatial remains, nor the traces of extensive religious structures, nor the ruins of spacious theatres, have been at any time found to exist, and even the time of the earliest walls is almost matter of conjecture." Our limits forbid our adducing evidence, such as is within reach, which we think would show that while some persons may attach too much importance to Roman London, others may, on the other hand (even from imperfect knowledge of actual discoveries), too hastily depreciate its consequence ; and we content ourselves for the present with observing that we must be very cautious in judging of the ancient state of a town or city from its modern appearance, especially where, as in London, the restless spirit of trade and commerce has, through long ages, been destroying the remains of the past for the benefit of the present; where almost every inch of ground has ever been occupied, and every old stone sought for and adapted to a new purpose. Who can tell what discoveries were made in the middle ages, when there were no archaeological societies or archaeologists? At York, besides the temple to Bellona, there were two others (one to Hercules), and their existence would never have been known but for the accidental discovery of the fragments of two inscribed stones a few years since. Similar inscriptions also certify that many towns in Britain, inferior to York, possessed temples and public buildings, some of them of considerable architectural pretension, and it is difficult to believe that Londinium, even were no ancient remains extant, could have been destitute of such edifices.
The Catalogue of the antiquities found on the site of the Royal Exchange, compiled by Mr. R. Thomson, runs through 96 pages. It is drawn up with great care, and is replete with useful descriptions and explanations. It may well serve as a model for catalogues of collections of greater extent and importance, such as are much wanted in many of our public and private museums j ex. gr. under the head of Tablets.
"No. 1. Tabella, or small Tablet, for writing on. (' Cera . . . rasis infusa Tabellis.*') Found in large gravel-pit, 31 feet from surface, April 18th, 1841.
"[A single complete page, measuring 5J inches by 4J, having a border or margin of three-eighths of an inch in breadth on every side, the reverse being quite plain, shewing it to have been an outside
* Ovid. Artia Amator. i. 137.
leaf or cover. The creases made by the string, which bound it together as a book or letter,* are apparently visible on the edges at the sides: the wood is of a close grain, and smooth within the panel, probably from the plane-like action of the style over the surface, frequently repeated.]"
The information given under the head of Soles and Sandals is particularly useful and curious, combining practical illustration with classical erudition.
The Corporation of London should feel grateful to the authors of this volume, and, although we are not prepared to admit with Mr. Tite" that the citizens of London have never been unmindful of their ancient civic remains,'' we must acknowledge they have been led to do or to tolerate something very praiseworthy.
John Howard and the Prison-World of Europe. From original and authentic documents. Ry Hepworth Dixon. Third edition, post Svo. Land. 1850. — Oar readers will remember that we noticed this work in our Magazines for January and February last, and that, admitting, to the fullest extent that Mr. Dixon could desire, the interest of his subject and the general merit and excellence of his book, we complained, in common with others of his critics, of certain passages, and of a general over-vehemence of censure. We notice the book again for a reason which is somewhat singular. Mr. Dixon, with a good sense which is seldom found amongst authors, has wisely taken the suggestions of his critics in good part, and now comes forward, in this new edition, expressing his gratitude to them, and drawing attention to the fact that he has followed their counsels wherever he could do so consistently with his own views. Mr. Dixon may rely upon it that his book is not only greatly improved, but himself raised in public estimation by such manly conduct.
A fresh perusal of the book in the present edition has impressed us with a full conviction that we cannot do the community a better service than by heartily recommending it to public notice. The important subject of Prison Discipline, to which Howard's life was sacrificed, is now before us in another shape than that in which it presented itself to him, but the principles which guided his judgment and
* "Chrysalus. Nunc tu abi intro, Pistoclere, ad Bacchidem, atque offer rito. Pistoclerus. Quid? Chrysalus. Stilona. ceram, et tabellas, et linum."— I'laut. Bacchides, iv, 4, 63; edit. Gruter. cum commentar. Taubmanni, 1621.
animated his exertions can never be out of date. Whoever sets them clearly before the world, and by his mode of treating them makes them attract and occupy general attention, does good service to his age and country. This has been accomplished by Mr. Dixon.
We understand from his preface that he is " a young writer." We are glad to hear it. A man who can do what he has done at an early period of his career, will not fail, if life and health be spared, to make a name in our literature of the best and worthiest kind.
Glimmerings in the Bart ,■ or, Lights and Shadows of the Olden Time. By F. Somner Merry weather. Hvo. Lond. 1850. —This is a book of antiquarian gleanings, written by a gentleman who is evidently a diligent reader amongst chronicles and histories. It contains gossipping essays upon various subjects connected with the middle ages; as, lor example, the influence of monasticism upon society; the modes of travelling and conveyance of news; witchcraft and magic ; the rewards of literature; illustrations of literary character j the manufacture of relics; the history of medicine ; marriage ceremonies; the per
secution of readers of the Bible; the history of slavery and of the Jews in England; court and convent fools; law and lawyers; vernacular literature and household comforts. Upon all these subjects, persons of information will seldom consult the author's pages in vain, and the public will And his essays both amusing and instructive.
Nineveh: its Rise and Ruin; as illustrated by ancient Sculptures and modern Discoveries. A course of Lectures. By the Rev. John Blackburn. Lond. sm. 8ro. 1850.—These lectures constitute a commentary upon the passages in Holy Scripture relating to Assyria and Nineveh, founded upon the old commentators, and illustrated and en larged from the recent discoveries of Botta, Layard, and Rawlinson. Mr. Blackburn has studied the subject with zealous diligence, and writes upon it with judgment. The number of biblical illustrations which he derives from the Nineveh sculptures affords a striking proof of their value. They not only support the scriptural narrative as confirming its historical statements, but illustrate, in a variety of ways, the imagery and symbolism of the writings of the prophets.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
The Hon. William Fox Strangways, M.A. has presented to the University galleries a second donation of very valuable paintings by some of the most ancient masters. Mr. Fox Strangways was originally a student of Christ Church, and a contributor to the gallery of that college, by a similar benefaction some years since.
The annual speech in commemoration of Sir Thomas Bodley has been delivered by Mr. Charles Newton, M.A. of Christ Church.
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.
The Seatonian Prize, for the best English poem on a sacred subject, has been adjudged to the Rev. G. Birch, M.A. of Christ's college. Subject,—" Nineveh."
The Le Bas Prize, founded out of a fund raised by some students under the late Rev. C. W. Le Bas, of Haileybury college, to provide a lasting memorial of their respect and esteem for him, and given annually for the best English essay on general literature, the subject chosen being in connection with the history, institutions, and probable destiny and pro
spects of our Anglo-Indian empire, has been adjudged to Alexander Howell Jenkins, M.A. of Christ's college.
The prize of 13/. left by Mr. Greaves to Clare hall, for the best dissertation on the Character of King William III. has been adjudged to Thomas Miller Dickson, B.A. second master of the Royal Free Grammar School at Marlborough.
MANUSCRIPT CHRONICLE OF JEAN
The Chronicle of Jean le Bel, mentioned by Froissart at the commencement of his first book as the authority for his early chapters, aud which has been long sought after, and supposed to be irretrievably lost, has recently been discovered by M. Polain, Keeper of the Archives at Liege, amongst other MSS. in the Royal Library, or Bibliuthi'ijui: de Bourgogne, at Brussels. It is entirely Froissart's original for his first eighty chapters, and partially considerably further. This valuable work is on the eve of publication, and will be comprised in an octavo volume, printed in black letter, the impression to be limited to 100 copies.—Literary Gazette.