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1000 pages each, will contain all the matter which has been already printed, and that about half that number more may be requisite for a supplementary mass of highly valuable information which is still restricted to MS. The sources to be consulted are, 1. Such notices of Britain as can be found in Greek and Roman writers, Coins and Inscriptions. 2. General Histories. 3. Particular Histories, among which public affairs are often largely treated. 4. Biography, to which perhaps scarcely sufficient rank is assigned. Putting aside the legends with which the Monks so fantastically inlay the Lives of their Thaumaturgists, we doubt much whether History is ever taught more authentically, certainly it is never pourtrayed more vividly, than by the pen of the Biographer. 5. Miracles, so far as they illustrate contemporary habits and manners. 6. Letters-a most important but almost boundless division. 7. Charters, a dry head-or rather a caput mortuum— which a staunch Antiquary especially values. 8. Laws. 9. Coins. 10. Seals. The period to be treated extends from the earliest notices of the Island to the death of Henry VII., distributed into subdivisions of one or more reigns; each volume is to be opened by a Preface, descriptive of its contents and their authors; the text is to be illustrated by marginal dates, and brief critical notes and various readings at the foot of the page. Passages in Greek, Irish, Welsh, Saxon, the Oriental, or the Northern Dialects, are to be accompanied with a Latin version. Indexes of places and persons, a general Index, a Glossary of Barbarous terms, Maps at convenient periods, and, where necessary, fac-similes, are to be added; and prefixed to the first volume will be a general explanatory Introduction. The Catalogue of Materials in MS. occupies nine 8vo. pages, of those in print five and a half.
An Address to the King, founded on this proposition, was voted by the House of Commons in 1822, and the Record Commissioners were in consequence intrusted with the superintendence of the Work. Nine years have elapsed since the Treasury Warrant was addressed to them, and the produce of that long period up to the 26th December, 1831, has been 664 pages of the first volume. Yet we are gravely told "that not less than one year will be requisite for the production of each volume." We believe, indeed, that from 1822, till May, 1831, no step was taken, and that the little progress which has been now made is the result of a second letter, addressed to the present Commissioners by Lord Melbourne at the last mentioned date.
Our notices, for the most part, may be thought to contradict our opening statement of the predominance of materials without value in the generality of MS. Collections. In justice to ourselves, therefore, we should plead that, for the Reader's sake, we have
selected those particulars only from which we thought him likely to derive entertainment; and that for a confirmation of our opinion we may safely refer to the far larger part of these volumes which we have kept out of sight. If he wishes for a specimen of that which has been thought worthy of preservation in the Bodleian, and concerning the publication of which the Commissioners, as in duty bound, made inquiry, let him take the following extract from a Transcript of the Pipe Rolls. Similar matter fills six folio volumes; and it is much to the honour of the gentleman who was requested to inspect them that he reported as follows: "However valuable they may be to the private Antiquary, whose views correspond with those of the Collector, they are totally unfit for publication, and the money it would cost for transcribing them, if for that purpose, would be comparatively thrown away. The passage below relates to the reign of Stephen.
"Hugo de Doura r qp.
Noua placita 7 Noue conuen ad maritandū filia R. Hugo de Doura rqp' de ix. 7 vj. s. 7 viij. d. p feoff. et i. m. d. nouo feoffamento.
Waltrus de Maiene r' qp de xix. t. 7 vj. s. 7 vij. d. de veteri feff. 7 de Nouo. xx. s.
* de veteri
Wills de Auerench r qp d. xiiij. ti. 7 vj. s. 7 viij. d. q init de veteri feff. et de nouo xxxiij. s. 7 iiij. d.
Wills fit Hebt r qp de xlvj. s. 7 viij. d. de veteri feff. et ij. s. 7 viij. d. de Nouo feff... ១
Walchelin Maminot qp de xviij. ti p mit de veteri feff. Daniel de Creuecuer r' qp de xviij. fi. p. mil de veteri feff. Walchelinus Maminot deb i. m. de Nouo feff.
Wills de Ros deb iiij. ti. 7 xiij. s. 7 iiij. p mit *.
To make amends for this arid morsel, we will extract a bocca dolce in conclusion. The following most curious document has been recently transcribed by Mr. Cooper.
"Interrogatories prepared by King James I. for the Examination of Guido Fawkes, November 6th, 1605, (entirely in the Handwriting of King James.) From a Collection of Documents relative to the Gunpowder Plot, in his Majesty's State Paper Office, No. 17.
"This examinate wolde nou be maid to ansoure to formall interrogatours:
1. As quhat he is, for I can never yett heare of any man that knowis him.
"2. Quhaire he vas borne.
"3. Qubat vaire his parents names.
"4. Quhat aage he is of.
"5. Quhaire he hath lived.
"6. Hou he hath lived, & by qubat trade of lyfe
"7. Hou he ressaved those woundes in his breste,
"8. If he vas ever in service vith any other, before Percie & quhat thay vaire, & hou long.
9. Hou he came in Percies service, by quhat meanes, & at quhat
10, Quhat tyme vas this house hyred by his maister.
"11. & hon soone after the posessing of it, did he beginne to his devillishe preparations.
"12. Quben & qubaire lernid he to speake Frenshe.
13. Quhat gentle womans lettir it vas, that vas founde upon him. "14. & quhairfor doth sho give him an other name in it, then he gives to him self.
"15. If he vas ever a Papiste & if so, quho brocht him up in it. "16. If other wayes, hou vas he convertid, quhaire, quhen, and by quhom.
"This course of his lyfe I ame the more desyrouse to know, because I have dyvers motives, leading me to suspecte that he hath remained long beyonde the seas, & ather is a preiste, or hath long servid som preiste or fugitive abroade, for I can yett (as I saide in the beginning heirof) meite with no man that knowis him; the lettir founde upon him, gives him another name, & those that best knowis his maister, can never remem ber to have seene him in his companie, quhair upon it shoulde seeme that he hath been reccomendit by some personnis to his maisters service, only for this use, quhairin only he hath servid him; & thairfore he volde also be asked in qubat company & shipp he went out of Englande, & the porte he shipped at, and the lyke questions wolde be asked anent the forme of his returne; as for these tromperie waires founde upon him, the signifacation & use of everie one of thaime wolde be knowin, & quhat I have observid in thaim, the bearare vill show you; nou laste ye remember of the crewallie villanouse pasquil that rayled upon me for the name of Brittaine, if I remember richt, it spake some thing of harvest; & prophecied my destruction about that tyme, ye may thinke of this, for it is like to be the laboure of suche a desperate fellow as this is: if he vill not other wayes confesse, the gentler tortours are to be first usid unto him, & sic per gradus ad ima tenditur, & so God speede youre goode worke.
'The Ks. Articles.'
(Indorsed by Lord Salisbury)
"Examination of Guido Fawkes, on Interrogatories prepared by King James I. November 6th, 1605. From a Collection of Documents relative to the Gunpowder Plot, in his Majesty's State Paper Office,
"To the 1. He sayth his name is John Johnsonne. "2. He was borne in Yorkeshyre in Netherdale.
"3. His Father's name was Tho: Johnson, his Mother's Edith, Daughter of one Jacksonne.
4. His age 36 yeares.
"5. He hath lived in Yorkeshyre, first at scoole ther, and then to Cambridge, and after in sondrye other places.
“ 6. His maintenaunce was by a farme of £30 p an:
7. His skarrs came by the healinge of a pluracie.
"8. He nev' served any before he served Mr. Tho: Percye.
"9. He procured Mr. Peries* service only by his owne meanes, being a Yorkshire man, about Ester was twelmonth.
"10. His Mr. hyred the house abowt Midsom? was twelmonth. "11. Abowte the Christmas followinge, he began to bring in the gunpowder.
12. He did learne to speake French, first here in England, and increased yt, at his last being beyond the seas.
"13. The letter that was founde aboute him, was from a gentlewoman maryed to an Inglish man, called Bostock, in Flanders.
14. The reason why she calleth him by another name, was bycause he called himself Fauks.
15. He sayth he was ev brought upp a Catholique, by his parentes.
"16. He was ev' a Catholique, and nev' converted.
"That he went ov2 from Dover amongst strangers, and ther landed againe at his retourne.
6. Novem. 1605,
The Examination of Johnson to ye K. Articles :----
The discovery of one such Paper as this may be supposed to repay the wearisomeness of whole years expended among Parliamentary Writs and Pipe Rolls-but such a Paper is in truth a sort of Lac Gallinaceum. Happy is the man to whom one such occurs in a whole lifetime; for the most part it is to be found only ὁπότε δι ̓ ἅρματος ἀςράπτει.
ART. VI-A Dissertation on the Calendar and Zodiac of Ancient Egypt; with Remarks on the first introduction and use of the Zodiac among the Greeks. By W. Mure, Esq. Edinburgh. Bell and Bradfute. 1832. Svo. pp. 265.
2. Brief Remarks on the Chronology of the Egyptian Dynasties: shewing the fallacy of the system laid down by Messrs. Champollion, in two Letters on the Museum of Turin. By W. Mure, Esq. London. Rivingtons. 1829. 8vo. pp. 48.
ALL questions on ancient chronology have been rendered obscure as well by the want of authentic documents to establish the leading dates, as by the extreme technicality of the apparatus which has been employed by professional writers, when attempting to explain the principles of their science. In the early ages of Egyptian learning especially, this subject was involved in studied darkness by the priests, who, either to magnify the antiquity of their nation, or to secure for themselves the fame of profound research, adopted a phraseology, which could not be understood except by those, whom they were pleased to furnish with the key.
When, for example, they carried back the origin of their race 36,525 years, it was only the initiated, who could analyze this great number into its component parts; namely, the Sothiacal period of 1461 Egyptian years, and the cycle of 25 years, which last was invented for the purpose of adjusting the solar and lunar motions. The one of these sums multiplied into the other gives the product now specified; an amount which, when applied to the duration of any people mentioned in history, could only excite contempt and derision. The Chaldean period of 432,000 years, is founded on similar principles. It included the reign of their first kings, and was supposed to be the birth of the cali yuga, or last of the four ages of the world, which, according to the Brahminical calculation, began with the deluge, B. C. 3102. It is evidently produced, as Dr. Hales remarks, by the multiplication of the two factors 18, and 24,000 into each other; of which 18 was the Chaldean saros, or Plinian period of the lunar inequalities, which is performed in eighteen years and eleven days, or 223 lunations; and was much esteemed for its accuracy in computing the return of eclipses and other phenomena of the moon's motion. The other factor was the annus magnus, or the grand revolution of the sphere of the fixed stars in the course of 24,000 years, occasioned by the precession of the equinoxes, at the Hindoo rate of 54 seconds of the ecliptic annually; which differs surprisingly little from 50 seconds, the annual rate of the precession, as determined by the nicest observations and most accurate calculations of modern as