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Medium of Inter-Communication
LITERARY MEN, ARTISTS, ANTIQUARIES,
"When found, make a note of."-CAPTAIN CUTTLE
NOVEMBER, 1849-MAY, 1850.
GEORGE BELL, 186. FLEET STREET.
[SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS AND NEWSMEN.]
A MEDIUM OF INTER-COMMUNICATION
LITERARY MEN, ARTISTS, ANTIQUARIES, GENEALOGISTS, ETC.
"When found, make a note of."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3. 1849.
Price Threepence. Stamped Edition 4d.
NOTES AND QUERIES. THE nature and design of the present work have been so fully stated in the Prospectus, and are indeed so far explained by its very Title, that it is unnecessary to occupy any great portion of its first number with details on the subject. We are under no temptation to fill its columns with an account of what we hope future numbers will be. Indeed, we would rather give a specimen than a description; and only regret that, from the wide range of subjects which it is intended to embrace, and the correspondence and contributions of various kinds which we are led to expect, even this can only be done gradually. A few words of introduction and explanation may, however, be allowed; and, indeed, ought to be prefixed, that we may be understood by those readers who have not seen our Prospectus.
"WHEN FOUND, MAKE A NOTE OF," is a most admirable rule; and if the excellent Captain had never uttered another word, he might have passed for a profound philosopher. It is a rule which should shine in gilt letters on the gingerbread of youth, and the spectacle-case of age. Every man who reads with any view beyond mere pastime, knows the value of it. Every one, more or less, acts upon it. Every one regrets and suffers who
neglects it. There is some trouble in it, to be sure; but in what good thing is there not? and what trouble does it save! Nay, what mischief! Half the lies that are current in the world owe their origin to a misplaced. confidence in memory, rather than to intentional falsehood. We have never known more than one man who could deliberately and conscientiously say that his memory had never deceived him; and he (when he saw that he had excited the surprise of his hearers, especially those who knew how many years he had spent in the management of important commercial affairs) used to add, because he had never trusted it; but had uniformly written down what he was anxious to remember.
But, on the other hand, it cannot be denied that reading and writing men, of moderate industry, who act on this rule for any considerable length of time, will accumulate a good deal of matter in various forms, shapes, and sizes-some more, some less legible and intelligible - some unposted in old pocket books-some on whole or half sheets, or mere scraps of paper, and backs of letters- some, lost sight of and forgotten, stuffing out old portfolios, or getting smoky edges in bundles tied up with faded tape. There are, we are quite sure, countless boxes and drawers, and pigeon-holes of such things, which want looking over, and would well repay the trouble.