« PředchozíPokračovat »
Medium of Inter-Communication
LITERARY MEN, ARTISTS, ANTIQUARIES,
[soLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS AND NEWSMEN.]
A MEDIUM OF INTER-COMMUNICATION
LITERARY MEN, ARTISTS, ANTIQUARIES, GENEALOGISTS, ETC.
u whon found, mako a note of." — CAPTAIN CUTTLE.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3. 1849.
Stamped Edition, ed.
neglects it. There is some trouble in it, to be NOTES AND QUERIES.
sure; but in what good thing is there not ? The nature and design of the present work and what trouble does it save! Nay, what have been so fully stated in the Prospectus, mischief ! Half the lies that are current and are indeed so far explained by its very in the world owe their origin to a misplaced Title, that it is unnecessary to occupy any confidence in memory, rather than to intengreat portion of its first number with details tional falsehood. We have never known more on the subject. We are under no temptation than one man who could deliberately and conto fill its columns with an account of what we scientiously say that his memory had never hope future numbers will be. Indeed, we deceived him; and he (when he saw that he would rather give a specimen than a de- had excited the surprise of his hearers, espescription; and only regret that, from the wide cially those who knew how many years he had range of subjects which it is intended to spent in the management of important comembrace, and the correspondence and contri- mercial affairs) used to add, - because he had butions of various kinds which we are led to never trusted it; but had uniformly written expect, even this can only be done gradually. down what he was anxious to remember. A few words of introduction and explanation But, on the other hand, it cannot be denied may, however, be allowed ; and, indeed, ought that reading and writing men, of moderate to be prefixed, that we may be understood by industry, who act on this rule for any conthose readers who have not seen our Pro- siderable length of time, will aceumulate a spectus.
good deal of matter in various forms, shapes, “ WHEN FOUND, MAKE A NOTE OF,” is and sizes ---some more, some less legible and a most admirable rule ; and if the excellent intelligible. some unposted in old pocket Captain had never uttered another word, he books some on whole or half sheets, or mere might have passed for a profound philosopher. scraps of paper, and backs of letters —some, It is a rule which should shine in gilt letters lost sight of and forgotten, stuffing out old on the gingerbread of youth, and the specta- portfolios, or getting smoky edges in bundles cle-case of age. Every man who reads with tied up with faded tape. There are, we are any view beyond mere pastime, knows the quite sure, countless boxes and drawers, and value of it. Every one, more or less, acts pigeon-holes of such things, which want lookupon it. Every one regrets and suffers who ing over, and would well repay the trouble.
Nay, we are sure that the proprietors would they must help to do it. Some cheap and
By this time, we hope, our readers are preOldbuck found himself just at the moment, so pared to admit that our title (always one of agonizing to an author, when he knows that the most difficult points of a book to settle), the patience of his victim is oozing away, and has not been imprudently or unwisely adopted. fears it will be quite gone before he can lay We wish to bring together the ideas and the his hand on the charm which is to fix him a
wants, not merely of men engaged in the hopeless listener : “ So saying, the Anti- same lines of action or inquiry, but also (and quary opened a drawer, and began rummaging very particularly) of those who are going difamong a quantity of miscellaneous papers, ferent ways, and only meet at the crossings, ancient and modern. But it was the misfor- where a helping hand is oftenest needed, and tune of this learned gentleman, as it may be they would be happy to give one if they knew that of many learned and unlearned, that he it was wanted. In this way we desire that frequently experienced on such occasions, our little book should take “ Notes,” and what Harlequin calls l'embarras des richesses be a medley of all that men are doing — that
- in other words, the abundance of his col- the Notes of the writer and the reader, whatlection often prevented him from finding the ever be the subject-matter of his studies, of article he sought for.” We need not add that the antiquary, and the artist, the man of this unsuccessful search for Professor Mac science, the historian, the herald, and the geCribb's epistle, and the scroll of the Anti- nealogist, in short, Notes relating to all subquary's answer, was the unfortunate turning- jects but such as are, in popular discourse, point on which the very existence of the termed either political or polemical, should documents depended, and that from that day meet in our columns in such juxta-position, to this nobody has seen them, or known as to give fair play to any natural attraction where to look for them.
or repulsion between them, and so that if But we hope for more extensive and im- there are any hooks and eyes among them, portant benefits than these, from furnishing a they may catch each other. medium by which much valuable information Now, with all modesty, we submit, that for may become a
sort of common property the title of such a work as we have in view, among those who can appreciate and use it and have endeavoured to describe, no word We do not anticipate any holding back could be so proper as “Notes.” Can any man, by those whose “ Notes” are most worth in his wildest dream of imagination, conceive having, or any want of “ QUERIES” from of any thing that may not be — nay, that has those best able to answer them. Whatever not been— treated of in a note? Thousands may be the case in other things, it is certain of things there are, no doubt, which cannot that those who are best informed are gene- be sublimed into poetry, or elevated into hisrally the most ready to communicate know. tory, or treated of with dignity, in a stilted ledge and to confess ignorance, to feel the text of any kind, and which are, as it is value of such a work as we are attempting, called, “ thrown” into notes; but, after all, and to understand that if it is to be well done they are much like children sent out of the