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LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 1, 1876.
if remembered at all—he is apt to be garrulous,
“ When, musing on companions gone,
He doubly feels that he's alone."
Wentworth MS.-Edwards of Somerset, Bristol, &c. -
A warmer hearted man than Thomas Amyot,
QUERIES :-Dante, 6–Authorship of Plays Wanted -Two hands when I first began to dabble in literature.
Tiny Volumes - The Baron Dembrowski-Heraldic : Eyre Fifty years ago, when I was proposing to edit the
Early Prose Romances, he introduced me to that
REPLIES:- The Irish Peerage : The Irish Union Peers, 9–bute to his regard for Mr. Amyot. That warmth
“Garrt laidir aboo "–On some Obscure Words in Shak- and cordiality never abated. The day when I
and hereafter. I will only add that it was in his
But when such an appeal as that of the Rev. good men whom it is at once a pride and a pleasure
But before proceeding, I must be permitted two and moral excellence was to me, perhaps I never
the difficulty of bringing such want under the notice for two or three hours on Weybridge Common, of those who might be able to supply it, that the while he poured out his learning on the ancient idea of starting a small paper with such special Mark, land boundaries, and land tenures, in a object was struck out. Once started, it was never manner to make me regret that we had not a shortlost sight of ; and about the year 1841 our plan had hand writer with us. He told me that he never so far been matured that some specimen pages of wrote down any part of a book or essay he was going The Medium, for so our projected journal was to publish until the whole was actually composed in named, were set up in type by Mr. Richards, of St. his mind, and that the greater portion of his Saxons Martin's Lane, the printer for the Percy Society. in England was actually completed in his head
But The Medium was never destined to appear. before a single line of it was committed to paper. The state of his wife's health compelled Mr. Bruce But enough for this week ; for though, like to reside for some years in the country; and for honest Dogberry, I can find it in my heart to those years an incessant and confidential corre- bestow all my tediousness upon my readers, I spondence was my only compensation for the loss have just enough discretion left not to bestow it of those instructive interchanges of thought and all at once.
WILLIAM J. THOMS. talk which I had so much enjoyed.
But it may be asked why I could not as well undertake the sole management of the projected THE “VAUX-DE-VIRE” OF OLIVER BASSELIN, paper in 1841 as in 1849. I can only answer that
THE DYER AND POET OF VIRE. the idea of taking upon myself the responsibility On September 24 last, a friend and myself spent of conducting the proposed paper, except in con- a delightful day at the ancient town of Vire, in junction with my accomplished friend, never once the Norman Bocage, famous since the fifteenth entered my head. The scheme had fallen to the century for its manufactures of paper and cloths. ground, and but for an incident which I shall It happened to be a great market day, and we mention presently, I don't believe “N. & Q.” were charmed by the picturesque sights, The would ever have appeared.
booths for the sale of gay-coloured cloths; the By the year 1819, when Rowland Hill's great various shapes of the women's caps, some like a scheme of postal reform was beginning to bear jockey's, but with a bow tied behind, instead of fruit, the share which I had taken in the organiza in front, others, the bonnet de coton, like the tion of some, and in the management of others, of Kilmarnock nightcap celebrated by Burns; the many “co-operative literary societies” (Camden, curious clock-tower over the town gate, the Percy, Shakespeare, Elfric, Granger, &c.) had so latter surmounted by the statue of the Virgin, increased the number of my literary friends, that I and the legend “Marie protège la Ville”; the felt I could venture to introduce to their notice a old town walls, capped at intervals by drum plan for turning those reforms to good account in towers, finally dying away at the scarped rocky the publication of works of interest to scholars, promontory whereon stand the remains of the but not of a nature to remunerate publishers.
keep, encircled by the little stream of the Vire, I need not fill space with an account of a --all in turn excited our interest. Nor are the scheme which was never carried out, but of which ecclesiastical remains to be passed over. The I may say that when I called upon John Mitchell curious church of St. Thomas outside of the wallsKemble, and we talked it over from “noon to a relic of very remote antiquity, to which tradition dewy eve,” he spoke in such terms of approval as records a visit by Archbishop Becket-with the surprised me ; for, in his opinion, I was about to cathedral-like parish church of Notre Dame de effect a revolution scarcely less important than Vire, and the fine modern one of St. Anne, were that which had been brought about by the invention each carefully examined. But Vire has a wider of printing; and, with his characteristic impulsive fame from its local poet, the jolly dyer Basselin, kindliness, he would not let me go away with whose chansons, said to have been composed early out a contribution to the first number in the shape in the fifteenth century, and sung to his neighof a transcript of a small portion of an old English bours in his native valley, are generally reputed to Metrical Chronicle from a MS. at Göttingen. The have given name to the modern vaudeville. The great Saxonist was at that time editing the British site of Basselin's mill is still pointed out, at the and Foreign Review, and deeply interested in the foot of the slope below the castle. French critics war then raging in Hungary—a map of the scene have long been sceptical, not only as to the of it was spread on his table, on which the position existence of the poet, but also as to the antiquity and movements of the different armies were marked assigned to his verses. They were first collected by coloured pins.
in an authentic form by an advocate of Vire, John Mitchell Kemble was not only a man of Maistre Jean le Houx, who published them about deep and varied learning, but a man of great the end of the sixteenth century, along with some genius and of great eloquence. I remember once of his own. The freedom of their sentiments exvisiting him at Addlestone, and walking with him cited the displeasure of the clergy of Vire, who refused the editor absolution, to obtain which he 1820, on the retirement of the Rev. James Dunn, had to go to Rome, and acquired the sobriquet he became chaplain of the Magdalen Asylum, of " le Romain.” The collection of both poets is a Leeson Street, Dublin. In 1822 he accepted the very curious one, full of wit and humour. As chaplaincy of the Female Orphan House, North their latest French editor, M. Lacroix, remarks Circular Road, having resigned the other towards (Paris edit., 880., 1858, preface, p. xi) :
the close of the preceding year. Early in 1833 he " These Vaux-de-Vire are evidently of the middle or succeeded the Rev. Dr. Hinds (afterwards Bishop end of the sixteenth century. They have been dressed of Norwich) as domestic chaplain and secretary to up (rajeunis) by Jean le Hour, who first recovered, if he the late Archbishop Whately, and a few months did not compose them himself, under the name of after was appointed by him to the vicarage of St. Oliver Basselin, a name well known in Normandy, on account of the old chanson of Guillaume Cretin."
Anne's, Dublin, vacant by the death of Viscount M. Lacroix refers here to a fragment of a song to the bishopric of Meath, he was consecrated,
Harberton ; and, in 1840, having been promoted contained in a letter of Cretin's, who died in 1525, addressed to Francis Charbonnier, secretary to his friend the archbishop, who also preached the
on December 27, in Christ Church Cathedral, by the Duc de Valois (afterwards Francis I.). It runs as follows:
consecration-sermon. Never, perhaps, was there - Olivier Bachelin,
a man less affected with the flush which so comOrrons-nous plus de tes nouvelles ?
monly attends upon sudden promotion.” His Vous ont les Angloys mis à fin !"
writings are as follows :This Olivier Basselin lived towards the close of 1. A Letter to the Most Rev. Dr. Murray, Roman the fifteenth century, and was noted in the wars Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, and to the Right Rev. against the English. M. Lacroix, continuing his Dr. Doyle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare, on the criticism on the Vaux-de-Vire, says :
subject of their Pastoral Addresses, and the alleged
(Hohenlohe) Miracles. By a Clergyman of the Estab“They recommend themselves by their incontestable lished Church. Dublin, 1823. 8vo. antiquity and old reputation in Normandy. They are 2. Obituary Notice of Alexander Knox, Esq., in the certainly the earliest types of the chanson bachique in Christian Examiner (July, 1831), vol. xi. pp. 562-564. France. It matters little whether Oliver Basselin and 3. Observations on Ecclesiastical Legislature and Jean le Houx are one and the same. He is a bon biberon Church Reform. Dublin, 1833. 8vo. who sings of cider and wine with French gaiety, in the 4. Pastoral Epistle from His Holiness the Pope to good vulgar tongue which they spoke in Normandy at some Members of the University of Oxford. Faithfully the end of the sixteenth century.'
translated from the original Latin. (Anon.] London, These acute conjectures of M. Lacroix are sup- 1836. .Fourth edition, same year. 8vo. ported by the opinion of the learned editors of La perty in Ireland ; together with the Memorial itself, and
5. Vindication of a Memorial respecting Church ProNormandie Illustrée (Nantes, 1852), art. “Vire.” | Protests against it. Dublin, 1836. 8vo. Those gentlemen (with one of whose number, M. 6. The Permanent and the Temporary Commission of E. le Hericher, of Avranches, I have the honour Christ to his Disciples Compared : a Sermon preached of acquaintance) say "that they regard the dyer- at the Consecration of the Bishop of Killaloe, at the poet of Vire as a myth. He could not have had Cathedral of Christ's Church, February 17, 1839. Dub.
lin, 1839. 8vo. the education to enable him to give the classical
7. An Appeal in behalf of Church Government: adallusions which occur in them. Jean le Houx dressed to the Prelates and Clergy of the United Church was most probably their author.”
of England and Ireland. By a Member of the Church. These suppositions are probably confirmed by a London, 1810. 8vo. work which, while writing some weeks ago, I The present Dean of St. Patrick's, the Very Rev. saw in the advertisement sheets of the Quarterly : John West, D.D. (at the time Vicar of St. Anne's, The Vauz-de-Vire of Maistre Jean le Hous, and subsequently Archdeacon of Dublin), pubAdrocate of Vire, translated and edited by James lished, in a thick octavo, the “Remains of the P. Muirhead, M.A. (Murray). I have not seen Most Reverend Charles Dickinson, D.D., Lord the book itself ; but, by the light of its title, I Bishop of Meath, being a Selection from his Sershould guess that the editor shares the views of mons and Tracts, with a Biographical Sketch," MM. Lacroix and Le Hericher regarding the true London, 1845. Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7, in the poet of Vire.
ANGLO-Scotus. foregoing list, have been reprinted in the volume,
which contains likewise the following : THE WRITINGS OF CHARLES DICKINSON, D.D.,
8. Ten Sermons (including No. 6).
9. Fragments of a Charge intended to have been deLORD BISHOP OF MEATH.
livered at the Visitation of the Clergy of the Diocese of Bishop Dickinson was a native of Cork—"a Meath, appointed to be held on July 12, 1842. city remarkable for having produced a large num
10. Correspondence with the Rev. Maurice James, ber of men of great energy of mind and distin- Endowments. [1833.]
Rector of Pembridge, Herefordshire, respecting Church guished attainments in every profession.” He was 11. Conversation with two Disciples of Mr. Irving. born there in August, 1792, and was elected, in [1836.] 1813, a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin. In With many years of usefulness apparently be