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on the origin of language and the classifi- study man in the abstract, or that they are cation of concepts. Chinese religion also able to discover all his secrets by introspecis a subject well worth the serious atten- tion. Much, no doubt, has been achieved tion of the theologian, and the very con- by that method ; but, at the very best, all trast between their philosophy and our it can teach us is what man is, not how own might teach us at least that one use man has come to be wbat he is. To solve ful lesson that there is more to be learned this problem, the most important of all even there than is dreamt of in our phi- problems that concern us, our age has dislosophy.
new method, the historical If the facts which I have so far placed method. What is called the Historical before you are true, what follows ? It fol- School has taken possession not only of lows that Oriental scholarship must no philosophy, but likewise of the wide fields longer rely on the old saying that distance of language, mythology, religion, cuslends enchantment to the scene. Mere dis- toms, and laws. The study of all these tance, mere antiquity, mere strangeness, subjects has been completely reformedwill not secure to it a lasting hold on our has received a fresh foundation and a new affections.
life by being based on historical research, Unless the scholar bas a heart, and un and by being pervaded by the historical less he can discover something in the an- spirit. cient world that appeals to our hearts, his Here, then, in the study of the past lies labor will be in vain. The world will pass the bright future of Oriental studies. Let by, after a cursory glance at our mummies, Oriental scholars remember that they have and will take its lantern, if possibly it may to work for a great object, and let them find a man, somewhere else.
It is some
never mistake the means for the end. times supposed that physical science as That is the danger that besets Oriental distinguished from historical science, the more than any other studies.
It is, no study of the works of nature as kept apart doubt, very creditable to learn to read from the study of the works of man, pos- hieroglyphics, to understand cuneiform insesses great advantages. It deals with scriptions, to decipher the language of the tangible facts, it clears up many myste- Vedic hymns, to read Arabic, Persian, or ries, and it often leads to useful and lu- Hebrew. But unless, while engaged in crative discoveries. All that is true. But our special studies, whatever they may be, I confess I wonder how my old friend M. we can contribute some stones, however Renan, who has done so much to make small, to the building of that temple which the study of Eastern antiquity a living is dedicated to the knowledge of man, and study, could have expressed a regret at therefore to the knowledge of God, we are having dedicated his life and energies to but beasts of burden, carrying, it may be, Oriental languages and not to chemistry. heavy loads, but throwing them down by Man has been, is, and always will be, the the road, where they are more likely to centre of the world, the measurer of all impede than to help the progress of true things. Take even the chemist's atoms. knowledge. Give us men who are not Who made them ? who thought and named only scholars but thinkers, men like Sir them ? Nature gives us no atoms. Na- W. Jones and Colebrooke in England, like ture knows nothing that is not divisible. Champollion and Eugène Burnouf in Man postulated atoms in spite of nature ; France, like Schlegel and Humboldt in and that fundamental concept, that belief Germany, and Oriental scholarship will in the infinite, in the infinitely small, as soon take the place that of right belongs to well as in the infinitely great, is more im- it among the studies of inankind. Man portant to a thoughtful student than the loves man. Discover what is truly human, whole table of atoms of the chemist. not only what is old, in India, Persia,
It is man who has to find the key to all Arabia, in Babylon and Nineveh, in Egypt the mysteries of nature, and when all these —aye,' and in China also—and Oriental mysteries have been solved, there still re- studies will not only become popular—that mains the greatest mystery of all mysteries may be worth very little—but they will -man. However much we may forget it become helpful to the attainment of man's when absorbed in minute researches, man highest aim on earth, which is to study is, and will always remain, the hidden sub- man, to know man, and, with all his ject of all our thoughts.
weaknesses and follies, to learn to love Philosophers imagine that they can man.—Nineteenth Century.
ing with avidity the description of the first
twenty or thirty battles, might then beSome ten or twelve years ago—the date come a little wearied, a little sated, and is of no importance or the exact place wish for a blank day. an Englishman wandered down to the Gibbs eat salmon till he hated the sight north of Scotland and invested some of of it, and he sent fish away to his friends his superfluous capital in a salmon river. to an extent which almost made the land . Such an adventurer is often but poorly re
lord think that the next dividend of the paid for his enterprise. He generally finds Highland Railway would be affected ; that the water, which was low on his ar- four, five, six,—even eight fish in a day. rival, becomes lower during his first week, " What slaughter !" some would say, who wbile for the remainder of his stay it is perhaps get their supplies by nets. But merely sufficient to keep the bed of the his honest soul was never vexed by such a stream moist, and give the grouse some- thought. He knew over how many blank thing to drink. Or there is too much days that white month should rightly be water ; the river is running too big, and spread to get a fair average, and he abated the fish make their way to quieter stretches not a whit of his skill, or let off one sinabove. And it now and then happens, gle fish if he could help it. when everything else seems right, that the The recipient of one of these salmonfish are not up, or, if up, are able to find a friend in the south-was the innocent more profitable occupation for their spare cause of the adventure which shortly after time than taking artificial flies. In such befell Gibbs. After thanking him for the wise the honest angler often makes his fish the letter went on to say : I see by complaint. But this fisherman was more the Courier that there is to be a sale at fortunate. During his month it rained a Strathamat, so I suppose that old MacInlittle almost every night, while four out of tyre is dead. The old boy was very kind the five Sundays were regular specimens to me years ago when I had your water, of Scotch downpours. It was very sooth- and used often to give me a day on his ing, when lying awake at night, to listen pools, which were very good. He had to the drip of water on the roof, or the some wonderful books, and as you are gurgle of a choked-up pipe in the yard— fond of such things you should go over a lullaby to a fisherman on the dry north- and have a look at them. He said they east coast. On Sundays, too, clad in rain were worth a lot of money.
There was proof garments, it was pleasant to splash one-of Shakespeare's-Hamlet, or the across the hill to the little church, and Merry Wives, or one of those, which he listen to the minister holding forth to his used to sit and look at as if it was alive. small congregation of keepers and shep. I thought it was an inferior old article herds, translating as he went passages myself, but then perhaps I wasn't a very from the psalms and lessons for the bene- good judge." fit of his southern hearer.
Our fisherman was very fond of books, This paper
has nothing to do with though so far as the great science of salmon fishing, or it would be a pleasant Bibliomania went he was uneducated ; a task for us to give a minute and detailed man who knew ever so much less about account of the good sport which this Eng- such matters than Mr. Quaritch might lishman—Mr. John Gibbs—enjoyed ; to know a very great deal more than he did. describe with accurate pen the skill with But there must have been something of which he chose the temptations he offered the blood of the old collectors in his to the fish, and the courage and coolness veins. He could at any time spend a he displayed in the struggles which en- pleasant morning in poking about a secsued. There is however something mo ond-hand bookseller's shop, and regarded notonous in continuous success, and it is with indifference the dust wbich settled on just possible that the reader, after devour- him in the course of his examinations.
He loved the touch and feel of books, People were going in and out, poking and their backs and sides and edges, even the measuring furniture, and laughing and joksmell which hangs about the more ancient, ing as if a sale was the best fun in the seldom-opened specimens. A catalogue world. The lawn in front of the house had a charm for him which he would not was littered with odds and ends ; it bave found it very easy to give a reason seemed as if the rubbish of half the county for,-certainly not one which would have had been collected there that day. Gibbs satisfied any of his friends, who were for went into the principal sitting-room, a the most part of the pure sportsmen breed, dingy faded place ; some of the bedroom and who would have as soon occupied furuiture had been brought in to sell there, their time in reading a grocer's or an iron- and half filled it up ; the carpet was rolled monger's list as a second-hand bookseller's. up in a corner, and near the door the Gibbs did not parade his little weakness chocolate-colored paper was hanging on before these friends ; he found them un- the walls, where careless people had sympathetic, with souls above the arrange- banged it when bringing things in. There ment of type and the width of margins. had probably not been a fire in the room A large-paper copy, or one with the head- for weeks, and the air was heavy and millines and the edges mercilessly cropped, dewy. But Gibbs had no thought for was to them a book and nothing more ; furniture or color, or even smells that day. they cared nothing for the work of the Up against one side of the room was a old printers, and you might call over the long low bookcase, and as he walked across names of all the famous binders without to it his heart began to jump a little at the arousing any enthusiasm in their minds. possibilities which lay therein.
“Hamlet, or the Merry Wives of The collection was quite a small one. Windsor, or one of those !!—what pos- Perhaps there were five or six hundred sibilities were opened up by these random books in the room, the majority of which words! Gibbs knew that the sale was to were unspeakably uninteresting. There take place the next day, for his gillie (who were many old works on agriculture, a was on the eve of being married) wished great number of theological treatises, to attend it, to pick up something for his Hume and Smollett's Histories, a broken house, and another man had been engaged set of Rees' Encyclopædia, and a common to take his place. Now the Englishman edition of the earlier poets ; the bulk of resolved not to fish at all but to go also the shelves were filled up with material himself.
such as this. But here and there in the The sale was advertised to begin at last shelf examined were some books of twelve, but it was well before that time quite a different kind, shining out from when the intending purchasers were de- among their worthless companions as gold posited at the scene of action, but a short dust does in sand. It was plain that while time ago the home of the head of one of the majority had stood their ground there the most ancient clans in Scotland. for many years-perhaps ever since they Strathamat, as he was universally called, were bought by their first owner—that the had been an embarrassed man. He had few had been well cared for, and had not never been able to take in the world the till quite recently been in the bookcase at position which was certainly his by birth. all. Some one, looking through the old His wife had long been dead, he had no man's effects, had found them in a drawer children, and for years he had led almost or cupboard, and had stuck them at ranthe life of a hermit, seeing few people dom into the nearest shelf where there was except his bailiff and house servants. room. There were several books illasThen he died, and a great concourse of trated by Rowlandson, the Three Tours of people came together from far and wide Dr. Syntax, the Cries of London, a fine to attend him to his grave. He had been copy of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield. poor and little known and of little power Some of Cruikshank's rarest works were in the world ; but he was the chief of a there ; the first edition of German Popugreat clan, and hundreds of men of his lar Stories,—what a dealer would call a name came together to do him empty spotless copy, in the original boards, as honor.
fresh and crisp as if it had just been sent The house had the usual desolate ap- out from the publisher's office. There pearance which houses have at such times. was his Hans in Iceland with its strange
wild etchings, his Life in Paris, a large- to enlighten another man as to his busipaper edition in the salmon-colored wrap- ness ; he would have pocketed the volume pers just as it was issued. Interested and and gone home with it rejoicing. But if excited as Gibbs would have been at these on a casual call on a poor and infirm discoveries at any other time he had no widow he had espied it lying on a shelf, thought now but for the quarto. It was and had gathered that, if he gave the not among the illustrated books, and he owner half a sovereign, he would not only searched again below among the larger rejoice her heart but be held up to the volumes in the bottom shelf. There stood neighbors as a man who had done a kind Penn's Quakers, as it had stood for per- and generous deed for the sake of the haps a hundred years, defying dust and poor, the question would have presented damp and draughts in its massive bind- itself in a much more difficult light. Gibbs ing. There were old French and Spanish hoped in this case that he would have the dictionaries, a good edition of Tacitus in courage to tell the old lady that her book several volumes, the Genuine Works of was a great deal more valuable than she Josephus, and Gerarde's Herbal. What imagined, and that he would give her at was this dingy calf-covered thing lying on any rate a fair proportion of what it was the top of the rest, more in folio than in worth. But here was quite a different quarto size? Gibbs drew it out, and affair. The old laird had left no family ; when he had opened it he gave a kind of his property went to a distant relation gasp, and looked round to the door to see whom he had cared little about ; he of if he was alone. The quarto was merely course must have known the value of his loosely stitched into the calf-binding which treasures, but he had left no will, no had evidently been made for a larger paper saying how they were to be disbook ; it had been kept with the greatest posed of. Could it be possible (thought care, and seemed without a flaw or blem- Gibbs with a shudder which ran all through ish ; it was quite untouched by the knife, him) that it was his bounden duty to go and some leaves at the end were still un- to the manager of the sale and say, opened, --left so probably to show the “ Here is a priceless edition of Shakeperfect virginity of its state. It was not speare, of whose value you are evidently the History of the Merry Wives which lay ignorant ; it is worth £200, £300, for imbedded in its pages, nor yet that of the aught I know, £500 ; it is absolutely Danish Prince, but-A Pleasant and Con- unique. Take it to Sotheby's, -and let ceited Comedie called Loues Labors Lost. my reward be the consciousness that I As it was presented before her Highness have put a large sum of money into the this last Christmas. Newly corrected and pocket of a perfect stranger. If this augmented by W. Shakespere.
were so, then Gibbs felt that on this occaIt was manifest to Gibbs that those who sion he would not do his duty ; he felt so had the management of the sale knew sure that the attempt would be a failure nothing of the value of this book or of that it seemed to him better not to make the few other treasures in the room ; they it, and he could moreover always make were all to be placed on the same footing the graceful speech and hand the book as Josephus, or Dickinson's Agriculture, over after the sale. So he put the quarto and sold for what they would fetch. He carefully back and went off in search of had been hoping and trusting that this the auctioneer. As he left the room a would be the case ever since he heard of thrill of virtuous self-satisfaction suddenly
he quarto, but now, when his wishes came over him, which went far toward were fulfilled, and he found himself, so allaying the qualms he had felt before. far as could be seen, the master of the He might have put the Grimms into one situation, certain qualms began to pass pocket, and Hans of Iceland into the other, over his mind. The casuistical question and buttoned the quarto under his coat, of what was the right thing to do troubled and it was ninety-nine to one hundred that him a little. If he had come across the no one would be the wiser or feel the quarto on a stall and the bookseller in poorer. And he knew that many men charge,-presamably a man who knew at would have done this without thinking least the elements of his trade—had asked twice about it, and in some queer way or a ridiculously small price for it, -well, other have soothed their consciences for Gibbs would not have thought it necessary the wicked act. It was with a swelling
- Half a crown,
heart that Gibbs thought of his trust sess the mind of the individual who first worthiness and honesty. But lest there lifted up his voice in that room. should be others about with hands not so a short, stout, red-faced man, the much under control as his, he resolved to chant” of the “ toun,” as the balf dozen take up his quarters in the room, or at houses in the neighborhood were called, any rate never be very far from it, so as and being also the postmaster and the to be in a position to counteract possible registrar for the district, he had something felonies.
of a literary reputation to keep up. In a The auctioneer was a stout moon-faced measured and determined voice he started man, with no doubt a fair knowledge of the bidding. “I'll gie ye-ninepence,” cattle and sheep and the cheaper kinds of and then he glared all round the room as furniture. His resonant voice could be if to say, “ Let him overtop that who heard all over the house : “ For this fine dares !" “A shilling," said Gibbs. mahogany table—the best in the sale— “And—threepence,” retorted the merwith cover and extra leaves complete—will chant, turning with rather an injured face dine twelve people—thirty shillings, thirty- to have a good look at his opponent. five shillings, thirty-seven and six! Who
went on Gibbs-how he says the twa nots?" And when he had longed to shout out, “Twenty pounds for coaxed the “ twa nots” out of the reluc- the lot !" But he feared to do anything tant pocket of the Free Church minister which would make the audience, and still he quite unblushingly produced another more the auctioneer, suspicious. This table superior to the first, wbich was hundred per cent of an advance secured bought by the doctor for five shillings him the first lot, and the young clerk less, and which was the means of causing pushed over to him a collection which a a slight coolness between the two worthy hurried examination showed to be three men for a week or two. There are few odd volumes of the Annual Register, three more dreary ways of spending a day than volumes of Chambers's Miscellany, and in attending a sale of furniture when you the third volume of The Fairchild Famdon't want to buy any.
ily. At last the books were reached. The The second lot were by this time laid bedsteads, the chairs, the kitchen things, on the table ; there seemed to be somethe bits of carpet on the stairs and land- thing more of the Register in it, and a ing were all disposed of, and the auc dull green octavo gave some promise of a tioneer seated himself on a table in front continuation of Mrs. Sherwood's excellent of the shelves, while his assistant handed romance. The postmaster again began him a great parcel just as they had stood the fray with the same offer as before. in line. Gibbs had satisfied himself that “I'll not bid for that trash,” said Gibbs everything that was of any value to him to himself, and it seemed as if the govwas in the furthest corner of one of the ernment official was to have his way this lowest shelves ; but now at the last mo time. But just as the auctioneer's pencil, ment a fear crept over him that his exam which he used as a hammer, was falling, ination had been too casual and hurried, Gibbs was seized with a sudden fright at that lurking in some cover, or bound up the bare possibility of something valuable perhaps in some worthless volume, there being concealed somewhere in the unmight be something too good to risk the promising heap ; “Half a crown !” he loss of. Some books too had been taken called out in a great hurry, and the spoil out by the country people, and might not was again his own. His surmise as to the have been put back in the same places. Register was correct, but the green covers So he decided that for his future peace of enclosed the History of Little Henry and mind it was necessary to buy the whole his Bearer—a work also by the amiable assortment.
Mrs. Sherwood. When the next lot of It is related in the account of the ever books were put up the postmaster wheeled memorable sale of the Valdarfer Boccaccio round and faced Gibbs, deserting the aucthat, “ the honor of firing the first shot tioneer, and as our friend saw that various was due to a gentleman of Shrop- neighbors were poking his opponent and shire . . . who seemed to recoil from the whispering encouragement to him, he anreverberation of the report himself had ticipated that the fight was to become made.” No such feeling seemed to pos warmer as it grew older.