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The Court Masque. A Study in the Relationship between Poetry and the Revels. By Enid Welsford. (Cambridge University Press. £1 58. net.).
THE work of co-ordinating and interpreting truly as perhaps even more truly than does that of their accumulation, and it is to co-ordination and interpretation that Miss Welsford here devotes herself. Not that she neglects her material. She begins her account of the masque at its very beginning in primitive folk-dances and rituals; and takes it through the medieval days of the momerie, and through the Renaissance, with abundance of reference and illustration, before she comes to her subject proper, the developed masque of Tudor and Stuart England. She has familiarised herself with all the best authorities, as well as with sources, and though she does not add anything new, she writes of the already known with the freshness of first-hand know. on and History of the Masque, though it is a valuable and useful piece of writing, yields in both respects to Part Two on the Influencs of the Masque. This is a study which requires a peculiar turn of mind, sympathy with aims in art and literature now almost unrepresented among us, and an unusual insight into possible significance in what, on a first view, appears ephemeral and merely occasional. Miss Welford's capacity leaves nothing to be desired, and if a touch of exaggeration here and there makes one smile, it does not detract from the main merits of her work.
In The Influence of Poetry on the Masque' she has to contrast English ideals and methods with those of France and Italy. In England the literary side of the masque predominated over the rest, thereby simplifying problems in some degree, for a balanced unity of many arts was not the core of. the undertaking. Naturally, much space is here devoted to Ben Jonson and his rivalry with Inigo Jones-the classic example of the rivalry between the scenic and the literary part of the masque. She makes particularly well her points about Jonson's feeling for a certain glamour in the masque settings evinced in the delicate prose of his prefaces and descriptions-and about his perception of the fundamental importance of the dance. Even better is the study of the work of William Browne. With The Influence of the Masque on the Drama' we come to some excellent pages on Shakespeare, which are introduced by a happy analysis of romance on the lines of its connection "with a sense of distance and the appetite for the unfamiliar." It was above all the craving for romance, somewhat thus conceived, that the masque satisfied; strangeness; something brought from afar; a spectacle; a fleeting ritual that somehow for an instant captures what is profound or eternal. Illustration of this as developing in the body
of a play is taken from The Duchess of Malfi and King Lear' in a fine piece of penetrative and original__ criticism. The Influence of the Masque on Poetry 'is principally a discussion of Milton, and the chapter entitled The Masque Transmuted a study of A Midsummer Night's Dream' and The Tempest.' We should place this last at the head of the whole work it opens up new significance and new aspects of beauty in the two plays; makes consideration, and lays bare, as we do not remember to have seen done before, the inner artistic and intellectual justification of the masque, which is so apt, on a merely superficial view, to appear as an immense expenditure of time, ingenuity, genius and exertion for a mere passing bubble. The best of the ideas are further developed-under the headings Mumming, Misrule,' and Hymen '-in Part Three, which deals with The Significance of the Revels.'
The Plague in Shakespeare's London. By F. P. WILSON. (Oxford, the Clarendon Press.
12s. 6d. net.
THE old Horatian, wonder at man as audax perpeti seems never better justified than when we look at the plague on the one side and at history on the other. Two of the plague years have left deep impression on English tradition, but the others scarcely receive notice in the pages of the general historian. The death of Elizabeth, the death of James I and the coming of Henrietta Maria, with the connected political circumstances and consequences, are what mark for us 1603 and 1625-not the fact that both were very bad plague years, in which the whole life of much of the country was dislocated and reduced to extreme misery for months together. True, the plague was a poor man's disease; few of the rich and great succumbed to it (an immunity not altogether to their credit); and therefore the course of politics suffered the less deflection, while those records which make the past present for us contain the fewer names and individual fortunes. All the same, there is something wonderful in a nation labouring through this acute distress, and presently recovering from it, and something still more wonderful in the relatively small effect produced either on contemporary life or on the imagination of posterity. Humanity takes disease in its stride.
However, if one turns from the general view of history to the particular records there is plenty to make the flesh creep. Dekker and Defoe and Mr. Bell stand out as our main authorities; and now Mr. Wilson goes over Dekker's ground, and after an interesting summary of ancient theories of cause and ancient notions for cure, tells the melancholy tale of the rise, progress, culmination and abatement of the plague in those two worst years of the first half of the seventeenth century, with a chapter on its prevalence in the interval. What influence the plague may have had on the growth of puritanism, and what part-perhaps often in the writer's sub-consciousness-its pre
sence played in literature, are question which make the account of it in these years of even more interest than that of the Great Plague of 1665. Mr. Wilson writes clearly; makes lavish use of facts; abounds in references and footnotes. What he has to tell resembles closely what is told of other times of plague; but he leaves the reader with a feeling of having been brought sharply to realise a side of life which perhaps counted for more than we suppose, and possibly in ways we cannot trace, to the consciousness of Shakespeare and his friends. Among the illustrations are an amusing Ratcatcher' from a ballad in the Pepysian Library; a view of the Pesthouse in Tothill Fields from a print in the Crane Collection at the British Museum; the rejoicings at the coronation of James I from a German print, and a curious wood-cut from Henry Petowe's The Countrie Ague' (1625) showing London bidding the runaways repent before they enter her gates.
David Hume and the Miraculous. By A. E. Taylor. Cambridge University Press. 2s. 6d.).
THE Leslie Stephen lecture of 1927, by the Professor of Moral Philosophy in University of Edinburgh, this is one of the most successful examples of its kind. Dr. Taylor lighted on the peculiarly good subject. Hume on Miracles interests us both historically and philosophically, and the topic lends itself to fair and profitable discussion within the limits prescribed. It has before been suggested that the famous but irrelevant section in the Enquiry concerning Human Understanding' was inserted by Hume for the simple purpose of procuring notoriety; and Dr. Taylor shows reason for thinking that this explanation covers also some of the surprising logic of the argument itself. After setting this forth in detail and observing the inconsistencies it containschange made in the significance given to the word 99 miracle is a main source of thesethe lecture shows that in effect Hume's reason. ing does not so much demonstrate the incredibility of miracles as raise question about the validity of induction, which hits the man of science no less shrewdly than the Theist, for the theory of the disconnection of events, one of Hume's first principles, must demolish equally the metaphysic of either. Analysis and criticism are both so lucidly exhibited that the essay may be well recommended to the general reader.
Democracy in the Ancient World. By T. R. Glover. (Cambridge University Press. 10s. 6d.)
is unfortunate that journalism has become a scholars' word of abuse, for their is no other term which describes this, of its kind, excellent little hook. Dr. Glover ranges over the history oi Greece and Rome in a series of essays which are exceedingly vivacious and well informed. They are dexterous and highly intelligent and
must have been very effective as lectures to a popular audience. That they do not rise above journalism is due in part to their vivacity. We are hurried from flower to flower and have hardly the spare time to extract the honey from any one. Well informed and well read as the author shows himself to be, there are no new or original ideas in his survey and little stimulus to real thought. But to say that it is not a different kind of book is not to condemn it. There is no doubt room for these kind of lectures in print, and few could write them with the ease, dexterity and knowledge of Dr. Glover.
The Westgate, Winchester and the City Weights and Measures. By Edith E. Wilde. (Winchester, Warren & Co.. 3d.).
museum are the
was a happy idea to use the chamber over the Westgate at Winchester for a museumwhich was used of old as a prison. Its contents and arrangement, as we now have them, date from 1921. The enjoyment of visitors will certainly be completed by this concise, but readable and substantial, Guide drawn up by the Hon. Curator. The most interesting things of which the oldest are. two small steelyard weights, and the most important the 91 lb. weight of the fourteenth century wool traders -the number is thought to represent the quarter of the ordinary load of a mule. Among the measures is a standard bushel of Henry VII. Gibbet and axe are here; arms and armour; timbers from a Viking ship; the great city chest; and, above all, the city moot horn of about 1200. The fifteenth century glass with shields of arms in the windows deserves some attention. We notice that Mrs. Wilde has identified the arms in the top of the south window, which Mr. Le Couteur had left without name, as those of William Colvyle, wulman, who was mayor of Winchester in 1458, 1463 and 1470. A large number of illustrations are supplied, of which the plans of the Westgate are particularly good to have.
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NOTES: Further notes on Two Lamentable Tragedies,' 93-King's ships built in Southampton_neighbourhood, 94-Alexander de Swereford, 96-Restoration of ancient brasses-William Fitz Osbern, Earl of Hereford-Old Capt. Cook Prints Broken-winded": equivalents-Reading as an opiate, 97.
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Collections of plaster reliefs Sand pictures Sunday after Trinity: German reckoning, 98-William Shrubsole-Musson Family-Royal Society of Litera ture: F.R.S.L. Mr. Coningsby's Sermon at Oxford, Jan. 30, 1727-Gladstone and the Italian language-St. Catherine of Siena and the Pope's return to Rome-Holy Wells, 99-Moses: Morgan -Ships' Records "-Casts--Cheveley novels Earrings and their effect on eyesight-"Amy's 'Sketches of Wales and the Welsh Curious motto The Bodleian first folio References wanted, 100. REPLIES: · Public way through or under churches, 101-Canons of Leicester Cathedral in the garb of Royal Chaplains Hamlet': an amendment, 102-The Tichmarsh cedar-Strange Family of Somersetshire, 103 John Leyden's Grave-Descendants of Louis XIV-" Windows of the_soul," 104-Yorkshire clerics temp. Henry III Franklin nights-Gretna Green weddings Cumberland ancestors of Dryden, 105 Hornchurch: St. Bernard of Menthon-Cater FamilyCurfew still ringing-Churches: double dedications Ormerod: arms for identification Cuckoo's tune Illegitimate Royalties Surnames derived from divisions of time-Army and Navy Pensioners' slang, 106.
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IN the Print Room at the British Museum, in ten folios, each of which contains nearly a hundred specimens, is preserved Mrs. Delany's collection of flower pictures in
paper mosaic.” She began this work at
the age of seventy-four and continued it till she was over eighty-five. Horace Walpole says she invented the art which, by her skill and taste and the little touch of genius there was about her, produced masterpieces both of beauty and of accuracy. It consisted of cutting out each petal and part of a flower, as it appeared arranged before her against a screen of black, in paper of corresponding colour; cutting out and pasting on to these the lights and shades and tints, and so working up a rendering of the flower, most minutely exact, which has an extraordinary brilliancy and life-likeness. Mr. R. Brimley Johnson contributes an article on this collection to the August Connoisseur illustrated with nine examples well-chosen to show the range and the surprising vigour of the work. It is interesting that Mrs. Delany chose black for the ground of these pictures; and interesting, too, that she is seen continually
experimenting to get better effects.
THE August Cornhill gives us the second of Mr. R. Cumming's A Hunter and Hunting Experiences in Rhodesia,' which contains some striking incidents and a little more about that dark character Kanamusa. What impressed us as much as anything are two examples of the enormous strength of the lion. One of these beasts, who proved very formidable and destructive and occupied the hunter a great
while before he was killed, leapt one night a kraal nearly six feet high, killed a fine Africander cow, threw her over his shoulder and leapt back with her, carrying her thus for a mile and a half across country, before proceeding to devour her. His second exploit was even more remarkable. He leapt
a ten foot fence, killed a heifer and leapt back again as before with his prey over his shoulder. About this second leap the hunter and his friend were incredulous till the story was borne out by indisputable evidence. There is an article
entitled " Tamarside Dialect and the Language of Chaucer' by the Rev. R. Dew, which brings forward many resemblances between country speech and older English, and makes the suggestion that, contrary to the general idea of the Bible and Prayerbook needing some re-translating to adapt them to "rustic congregations" it is possible that the rustic congregations understand their diction somewhat better than the armchair critics themselves do.
new number of The Genealogist's Magazine contains a note by Mr. W. T. J. Gun giving particulars of the descent of Penelope Perrott, who, at some date prior to August, 1677, married Sir William Lower and had two children by him, of whom one, Dorothy, was wife of Sir the Penelope was daughter, by her first husband, of Dorothy Devereux, who has a place on the Plantagenet Roll, and whose children by her second husband, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland descendants, however, have been omitted, are there recorded. Penelope's perhaps because the late Marquis de Ruvigny only took account of her second marriage, to Sir Robert Naunton, of which the issue became extinct. Dorothy Drummond (her Scotch marriage is in itself interesting) had four daughters, whose issue, of legitimate Plantagenet descent, can thus claim a place Landor's Rose Aylmer was a niece of Lord on the Roll. Mr. Gun recalls the fact that
Whitworth, one of these descendants, and
suggests that perhaps the poet meant what things) when he wrote of "the sceptred race." Here, too, we find the Plantagenet connection of Lord Byron.