תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

of an architect, we might have expected a scale to be attached to the plan, and to the geometrical drawings.

The Unpublished Legends of Virgil. By Charles GODFREY LELAND (London: Elliot Stock, 6s.). - Mr. Leland is already well known to archeologists and students of folk-lore, by his works on Etruscan Roman Remains, and The Legends of Florence ; and the present volume will add to his reputation as a careful worker in hitherto untrodden fields.

The life and works of Virgil, as the poet-laureate of the Court of Augustus, and the singer of the glories of Imperial Rome, are known to every schoolboy ; students of Dante know how the great mediæval poet takes his greater predecessor for his guide through the regions of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, but it remained for Mr. Leland to show to English readers the curious place which Virgil holds in the legends of the Italian peasantry.

Professor Domenico Comparetti has already set forth in his work on Virgil in the Middle Ages, how it came to pass that the poet, who had always retained his fame as such, and had been looked upon as almost a Christian, from a supposed pious prophesy in his works, underwent the process of being made romantic, and turned into a magician. Inspired with this idea, Mr. Leland went to work, chiefly among the peasants and witches and fortune-tellers in the neighbourhood of Florence and other parts of northern Italy, and soon found that a great number of post-Virgilian legends were actually extant among the people. It is these that he has collected, and a most singular gathering of fairy tales and popular folk-lore is the result. In them all we seem to be moving in a realm of " faerie,” in which all is topsy-turvy; a sort of Italian “ Alice in Wonderland,” in which Virgil appears as a great magician, or beneficent genius, or awful necromancer; while the ideas of the Stone Age are shown to be still living in the minds of the people, combined with mediæval romance and sorcery.

To most of the legends here narrated the author has indicated in a commentary their signification, or affinities with other traditions; and he has prefixed an interesting introduction to the whole.

These tales are all the more valuable to the student because, in the natural progress of education, they must inevitably have been lost, had they not been thus collected and preserved for posterity ; and even the most general reader will enjoy the genial and ever-lively style of the author. We heartily recommend this book to everyone who is interested in the subject, as an enduring monument of some of the root-ideas of our race. A future edition would be improved by the addition of an index, without which no book can be considered complete.

[ocr errors]

The Eastern Counties Magazine and Suffolk Note-Book : a Quarterly. Vol. i, No. 1 (Jarrold and Sons, 18. 6d. net).—We have received the first number of this new quarterly magazine, edited by the Hon. Mary Henniker; and we have no hesitation in saying that if it continues in the future to maintain the level reached in this initial issue, it will be a worthy addition to the rôle of East Anglian literature.

Its object is to deal in a popular way with matters of interest to dwellers in the Eastern Counties; and, in doing so, it touches neither on the ground of the “East Anglian,” nor on that of the Norfolk and Norwich Archäological Society, but enters upon a field hitherto unoccupied.

A summary of the contents will give the best idea of the aims of this latest candidate for public appreciation. In a paper entitled " A Town with a Past,” Mr. J. Denny Gedge chats pleasantly upon Bury St. Edmunds, its antiquities, history, social life, and trade; its now abolished fair, and the charms of its situation and scenery. Mr. C. G. De Betham tell a True West Suffolk Ghost Story,” and Miss Lois Fison describes in the Suffolk dialect, “A Wise Woman of Olden Time."

The Suffolk note-book contains a miscellaneous assortment of items, ranging from notes on “Suffolk Punches” and the “ Decrease of Rural Population,” to “ Ancient Mounds at Great Ashfield and Firmingham,” “ Armed Ipswich in the Fifteenth Century,” “Military Drill in Churchyards," etc. Poetry is also included, but this lies outside the province of the antiquary.

In the note on “Silly Suffolk," we not only agree that no reproach is intended to the county by the term, but we think there is a good deal in the suggestion, not referred to by the writer, that the word " silly” (from Anglo-Saxon “saelig”), means “ blessed,” or “holy," and was originally applied to the county on account of the number of its churches and religious establishments, of which, it is said, there are none more than a mile apart the whole county through ; and this is more or less true of East Anglia as a whole.

Altogether, we would commend this little Quarterly to our readers, more particularly to those of them who belong to the ancient kingdom of East Anglia.

Our Borough : Our Churches : with an Afterwork on the Art of the Renaissance, King's Lynn. By EDWARD MILLIGEN BELOE, F.S.A. The edition is limited to 200 copies 4to cloth, 21s. net; 100 of Our Churches, large hand-made paper, small folio, 25s.net (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes. Supplied and printed by Agas H. Goose, Norwich).

— The first part of this work, Our Borough, a short historical sketch, was printed twenty-nine years ago, but it has only now been possible for the author to complete the second and larger part of the work devoted to the churches. The borough and the churches in their early history are almost inseparable, and many facts illustrative of borough life in the Middle Ages are dealt with in the second portion of the work.

The town of Lynn belonged to the Bishops of Norwich till the reign of Henry VIII. Its port made it one of the great commercial centres of the kingdom during the Middle Ages, and it remained wealthy and prosperous in the later centuries. Few boroughs can be so rich in contemporary MSS. From its connection with the See of Norwich there are valuable records in the possession of the Dean and Chapter, and the records of the Corporation are singularly perfect, so that for a period of upwards of 800 years there is abundant contemporary material for its history. On this material, as well as on everything else that can throw light on the local history, Mr. Beloe has worked for many years, and he has added a supplementary chapter on the Art of the Renaissance in Lynn," especially with regard to the native architect, Henry Bell, 1653-1717.

The work is illustrated with fifty full-page processed sketches, prints, and photographs, besides maps, plans, and facsimilies of charters.

The Cromlechs of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire.Among the few relics of the remote past still remaining, and undestroyed by the ravages of time or the hand of man, there are none that appeal more strongly to the imagination than those known as “ Cromlechs." Their massive bulk and primitive aspects form unique features in the landscapes—their great age links us to a past full of dark and silent mystery-their preservation through long periods of change and turmoil, and their association with events and characters long forgotten, lend to these rude records an interest bordering on veneration.

Such objects are in themselves sufficiently interesting to deserve pictorial representation. At present, however, there is another and more urgent reason why a permanent and a collective artistic record of these records should be secured. In past years there have been instances of landowners and others taking a laudable interest in the preservation of such antiquities; but the vandalism of the present age, and, in some instances, the breaking up of large estates, will in the near future cause the destruction of many of these ancient monuments. It is to be regretted that some have already been converted into gate-posts and macadam ; and, unless their forms and situations are preserved in some way, the future archæologists and historians will be deprived of important records in the annals of our country.

The author has photographed all the known cromlechs of Anglesey and Carnarvon--thirty-six in number. Some are represented by two views, thus making in all forty-three photographs. At first he had no object in view beyond the personal satisfaction of possessing a complete representation of these interesting remains. But having shown the results to some friends, he decided to publish a portfolio of reproductions, by the collotype process, of the whole series. The portfolio contains forty-three collotype views, 10 ins. by 8 ins. It also contains a general Introduction, summarising our knowledge of cromlechs in the light of the latest researches; and each view is accompanied by a short description of the cromlech represented, giving exact measurements of the different parts, its situation, and remarks on its present condition.

Neither labour nor expense has been spared to make the collection a work of art, and an absolutely accurate representation of the cromlechs in these two counties at the commencement of the twentieth century.

The volume is issued to subscribers at 108. 6d., and any copies not taken up will be sold to non-subscribers at 12s. 6d. each.

Persons desirous of subscribing are requested to apply to Mr. J. E. Griffith, F.L.S., F.R.A.S., Bryn Dinas, Upper Bangor, North Wales.

We have much pleasure in calling the attention of our members to the above work, which we trust will prove as successful financially as it is important from an archæological point of view,

Whitgift's Hospital in Danger.- We are indebted to the Daily Graphic of August 22nd, 1900, for the following account of "Whitgift's Hospital, Croydon,” which, it appears, is again in danger of being demolished, notwithstanding the protest addressed to the authorities some months ago by our own and other archæological societies. We have also to thank the proprietors of that enterprising journal for the gift of the drawing illustrating this notice :

“ It appears that an attempt is again about to be made by some of the inhabitants of Croydon to remove Whitgift's Hospital: the excuse being that the site is very valuable, and that it is advisable to widen the road which bounds the western side, in order to enlarge the space where the tramcars turn round.

“The building is interesting, as it is a genuine Elizabethan work, and is pretty much in the condition it was left by its founder, Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury. The hospital was commenced in the year

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

AN ELIZABETHAN BUILDING IN DANGER :

WHITGIFT'S HOSPITAL, CROYDON, WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO DEMOLISH.

« הקודםהמשך »