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these there was a classed Catalogue (now at the British Museum), consisting of thirteen large folio volumes, and arranged under the different heads of Theology, Law, Arts and Sciences, Belles Lettres, and History. An alphabetical catalogue had also been prepared, aud was then partly printed. This was completed in the year 1829, in five volumes folio. The size of these volumes and the style of printing are adapted to the splendour of a Royal Library. The number of copies printed was not large. Of these a considerable portion were sent as presents to the greater public libraries and crowned heads of Europe, others to the chief public Libraries of our own country, and many to such eminent noble and private individuals as Sir F. A. Barnard, in a list presented to his Majesty, had recommended, including some of his Majesty's particular friends. A few sets were reserved for use at the Museum : but none were suffered to be sold." The Collections of Geography and Topography in the Royal Library, particularly in whatever relates to this country, were carried to an unprecedented extent; and the assemblage of Military Plans belonging to it was of the greatest value and importance, comprising the principal military operations from an early period to the present time. A curious and extensive collection of the same nature, which had belonged to William Duke of Cumberland, was incorporated with them. The Catalogue of the Maps, Prints, and Topographical Drawings, (exclusive of the Military Plans which did not come to the Museum) forms a sixth volume, printed in 1829, in a size corresponding with that of the Books; and presents of it were sent wherever the Royal Catalogue had gone : a few copies also were allowed to be sold; but the opportunity was very judiciously taken to employ the same types for an octavo edition, which was accordingly formed in two volumes, and are attainable at a moderate price. The Index to this Catalogue of Maps affords the best model for the Arrangement of a general Topographieal Collection with which we are acquainted. Early in the year 1823 it was made known to the public that King George the Fourth had presented the Royal Library to the British Nation, as signified in the following letter to his Prime Minister: “Dear Lord Liverpool, “The King, my late revered and excellent Father, having formed, during a long
series of years, a most valuable and extensive Library, consisting of about one hun
dred and twenty thousand volumes,” I have resolved to present this Collection to the British Nation.
“Whilst I have the satisfaction, by this means, of advancing the Literature of my
Country, I also feel that I am paying a just tribute to the memory of a Parent, whose life was adorned with every public and private virtue. “I desire to add that I have great pleasure, my Lord, in making this communication through you. Believe me, with great regard, your sincere Friend, G. R. “Pavilion, Brighton, Jan. 15, 1823. “The Earl of Liverpool, K.G., &c. &c.”
Shortly after, the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated in the House of Commons, that it was his Majesty's wish that the Library should be placed in the British Museum, but in a separate apartment from the Museum library, and that it should be made as easily accessible to all persons as was consistent with its safe preservation. A Committee of the House, in correspondence with these suggestions, recommended that, from respect to the memory of the Royal Founder, the collection should be kept distinct
* A copy has since been sold by auction, we believe, for about 35l. !? As before mentioned, the books had never been counted before this period, and they were estimated at a much higher number than was found to be the fact.
and entire ; that whatever duplicates there were in the two libraries” should be taken from the books then in the Museum; and, above all, that, a new building should be erected on the ground belonging to the Museum, to receive the Royal gift, as well as to accommodate more suitably the already crowded stores of other departments of the National Collections. The Architect to whom this important task was committed was Sir Robert Smirke. The building in which the King's Library is now deposited, forms the eastern side of a new quadrangle, erected on the site of the Museum Gardens, formerly a favourite resort of the neighbouring residents, and open forty years ago to a view of Highgate and Hampstead hills. The building has only one front; the side next the east having substituted a lofty brick wall to the view of the houses in Montagu Place, in lieu of the pleasant gardens just noticed. The Western Front is faced with stone; and is ornamented in the centre with four columns and a pediment of the Grecian Ionic order, but without any portico or door. The remainder is unusually plain, presenting a range of eighteen long windows, three of which are between the columns. The grand apartment, occupied by the Royal Library, is in length from north to south 300 feet ; its general breadth is 41 feet, and in the centre division 55 feet 4 inches. The bookcases occupy about two feet on each side. The height is 31 feet; of which the bookcases below the galleries occupy 12 feet 10 inches, and those on the gallery floors, 9 feet 6 inches. The bookcases are of oak, and the locks of a new and singular construction by Barron. The key whieh locks each case, shoots at the same time bolts above and below the door; the rails in front of the galleries are of handsome brass work. The floor is oak beautifully inlaid with mahogany; and the ceiling is handsomely relieved with sunk panels. Down the sides of the room are placed at intervals large tables in which the maps are kept, some in rolls the length of the table, and others as long as the table's breath; and also other atlases, charts, and plans preserved in a hundred and twenty-five immense portfolios. The view given in our Plate comprehends the perspective of about two thirds of the range of the Library. The open door near the spectator leads to one of the apartments of the Librarians; * and near the fore-ground appears the centre division of the library, the portion upon which the greatest ornament has been disposed. Here stand on either side, east and west, two columns of Aberdeen granite, each shaft being a single piece, in height, including base and capital, 25 feet. They are finely polished, and have Corinthian capitals formed of Derbyshire alabaster. The projections of the walls at this part are of very beautiful Scagliola marble. It was originally intended to have had eight more columns, which would have been placed next the projections, and thus have divided more decidedly the range of the library into three apartments, in the same manner which has so excellent an effect in the gallery of the Louvre. This intention was abandoned in consequence of the great expense of polishing the granite.” It would also have added to the effect if the centre division
13. Of the 65,000 books in the Royal Library it was found only 21,000 were already in the Museum, and of these duplicates there were only 12,000 with which the Committee considered it would be desirable to part.
14 The following gentlemen accompanied the Library from Buckingham House; Nicholas Carlisle, Esq. F.R.S., W. Armstrong, Esq., and John H. Glover, Esq. F.S.A.
15 The history current respecting these columns is this ; that they were ready worked in a quarry near Aberdeen, the time of their formation being forgotten ; that they were purchased for only fifteen pounds apiece at the quarry; but that before they were finished they had altogether cost 2,400l. Could not imitations in scagliola be added to complete the architectural design at a moderate expense *
had possessed greater elevation ; , but this was inconsistent with the arrangements of the floor above, which forms an extensive gallery for subjects of natural history, of an adequate and handsome height, lighted from the roof.” The roof is of iron, covered with copper, and nearly flat; and the whole building is fire-proof. At either end of the Library are doors, ornamented with bronze, of a size commensurate withthe grandeur of the room; and above each of them is an inscription on a tablet of marble :
North end. South end. REx GEORGIU S IIII. This Library LECTISSIMAM HANC LIBRORUM COPIAM COLLECTED BY KING George III. A PATRE GEORGIO III. COMPARATAM WAS GIVEN TO THE BRITISH NATION IN MUSEO BRITANNICO COLLOCARI JUSSIT BY HIS MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY ET PUBLICAM ESSE VOLUIT GEORGE IV. ANNO REGNI SUI III. IN THE THIRD Yeart or his Reign
At the north end of the building is the great staircase leading to the upper apartments. Adjoining to the Library on the south are three other handsome rooms, intended for the Library of Manuscripts; two of them are now used as the public reading-rooms. In the upper floor, the rooms corresponding with the two former of these are occupied by stuffed birds, &c. and that furthest to the south is the new Print Room. The grants of public money hitherto made for the new buildings at the British Museum, have been three of 40,000l. and one of 20,000l.
In concluding this article, we may affirm, in the words of Sir Frederick Barnard, “that this Library will be a perpetual monument of the munificence, judgment, and liberal taste of the Royal Founder, and will, so long as it continues together, remain a splendid ornament,” if no longer “to the Throne,” yet to the National Museum, “and a perpetual benefit to learning." It has indeed been suggested, and we think with great reason, that it should bear some more defined name than the King's or Royal Library, a name that should point out more directly its origin; and when we consider that it was the creation of one, and the gift of another George, what title could be more appropriate than THE GEoRG1AN LIBRARY 2
LETTERS OF HORACE WALPOLE TO SIR HORACE MANN.
At Strawberry-hill, after the decease of its proprietor, was discovered a chest marked B. which was to remain unopened till the son of Lord Waldegrave attained the age of twenty-five; and the key that opened this mysterious cabinet of Epistolary gems, was found in a cupboard of the green closet, within the blue breakfast-room; and was delivered into the possession of Laura Lady Waldegrave, till the allotted term of years had expired. Among the various documents it contained, the correspondence with Sir Horace Mann was discovered. It appears that Walpole, after the death of Sir Horace, became again possessor of his own letters. He had them
* On these walls have been arranged an interesting collection of portraits, which have been gradually and almost silently assembled in the Museum, and hitherto have either hung out of sight, above the bookcases, or when galleries for books were constructed in the lower, were from necessity removed to the upper rooms of the old house.
carefully copied out and illustrated with notes, with an evident view to their publication. This Correspondence, the present editor, Lord Dover, justly observes, is the most interesting one of Walpole's that as yet has appeared. The letters are the only ones which give an account of the time when his father Sir Robert Walpole left office. They are more full than any other of political anecdotes, and sketches of character, and passing events: while they are not inferior in the vivacity of their style, in the brilliancy of their wit, in the variety of their anecdotes, and in the elegance of their narrations. In his youth, and indeed through his whole political life, Walpole was a Whig : at times almost a republican. He hung up an engraving of the Death Warrant of Charles the First in his bed-room, and wrote under it “Magna Charta:” but the horrors of the French revolution alarmed him, in common with others who profess the same principles; and in his old age his political opinions would have ranked him in a party, that he would have been, perhaps, unwilling to own. Walpole's opinions seem to have been peculiarly acted upon by the situation of his friends; and by his regard truly filial to the memory of his father; but in some instances the soundness of his judgment and the clearness of his views seems to have passed beyond that of most of his contemporaries. He deprecated the American war even from its commencement; and he has expressed his detestation of slavery in terms that would admit no compromise with that melancholy traffic. Horace Walpole bought his favourite house at Twickenham of Mrs. Chevenix, the mistress of a celebrated toy-shop, and the residue of his life was spent between his house there and that in Arlington-street; for no Frenchman was more miserable out of his dear Paris, than Walpole when out of reach of London. “Were I a physician,” he said, “I would prescribe nothing but Recipe coclzy drachms Londin: Would you know why I like London so much why, if the world must consist of so many fools as it does, I choose to take them in the gross, and not made into separate pills, as they are prepared in the country.” He was invariably and pleasingly employed in altering, improving, enlarging, and adorning his fairy palace. He calls it, “a little plaything house that I got out of Mrs. Chevenix's shop, and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw. It is set in enamelled meadows, with filligree hedges.
A small Euphrates through the piece is rolled,
“Two delightful roads, that you would call dirty, supply me continually with coaches and chaises. Barges, as solemn as Barons of the Exchequer, move under my window. Richmond-hill, and Ham-walks, bound my prospects: but, thank God, the Thames is between me, and the Duchess of Queensberry. Dowagers, as plentiful as flounders, inhabit all around; and Pope's ghost is just now skimming under my window by a most poetical moonlight.”
Walpole's Gothic has been the subject of much animadversion, and that not of the most liberal kind. The fact was that he had no examples to copy, and no men of information to consult. He trusted to his own knowledge and taste alone; and the later parts of his little singular structure, the gallery and round tower, are justly pointed out as strong decided marks how much they gradually improved. The material he chose was not to be sure much in keeping with Gothic structures—lath and plaster; and one of his friends observed, “that he had out-lived three sets of his own battlements." The elegance of the inside did more than justice to the ingenuity of the out. Here, amid pictures and prints and books, and sculpture by Cellini, and drawings by Bentley, and busts by Mrs. Damer, and miniatures by Petitot and Zinck; and lights rich with the ruby glow of his monastic windows; and amid an atmosphere filled with the perfume of his orange flowers and citron groves; on brocaded sofas, drinking his coffee out of cups of the rarest china, while on velvet cushions at his feet lay the little Mignon lapdogs of Madame de Deffand, who understood nothing but the dialect of Paris, and little Vandyck cats with black whiskers and boots, and baubles and Patapans; here, or in summer, tripping over his soft green lawns, powdered with acacia blossoms, to feed his basin of gold fish, or pay an evening visit to Mrs. Clive, might be seen the Author of the Castle of Otranto, and the Mysterious Mother—the heart-rending Tragedian, the original founder of the wild supernatural Romance, the acute Historian, the elegant Biographer of the Painters; the Statesman, the Courtier, the man of vertil, the glass of fashion, the very quintessence of wit, the most learned, polite, engaging, well-bred, and cleverest—Gentleman that ever appeared. “It is the fashion,” said Lord Byron, “to underrate Horace Walpole. Firstly, because he was a nobleman; secondly, because he was a gentleman. But to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable Letters, and of the Castle of Otranto, he is the Ultimus Romanorum, the author of the ‘Mysterious Mother,’ a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love-play. He is the father of the first romance, and of the last tragedy in our language, and surely worthy of a higher place than any living author, be he who he may.”* Of the “Mysterious Mother "we are not much at presentinclined to speak. There is undoubtedly in it a vigorous conception of character, and a powerful delineation of passion; but surely the author who could select such a subject for the foundation of a dramatic story, must be content to forego all claims to judgment and good taste. The “Historic doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third,” is, as the editor observes, one of the most ingenious historical and antiquarian dissertations which has ever issued from the press; and may be classed with Laing's essay on Perkin Warbeck at the end of Henry's History of Great Britain. We must pass over the delightful “Reminiscences,” the very perfection of such writing ; the essay on “Modern Gardening” (a charming sketch), and his grotesque “Hieroglyphic Tales,” and again recur to his unrivalled Correspondence, “his incomparable letters,” as Lord Byron calls them. Incomparable indeed they are, even though those of his friend Gray are fresh in our recollection. Gray had all the wit of Walpole, with a richer fund of knowledge, and a greater depth of feeling: but he lived in retirement; his spirits and his health were not of the best ; his fortune was very limited; he had few anecdotes to report, few incidents to work on, and few adventures to relate; but his little stories, and the chit-chat of the small collegecircle around him, are given in the most finished style of elegance. There is nothing so dis-enchanting as the being taken behind the scenes ; wit loses there its brilliancy, beauty its splendour, majesty its pomp, and artifice its cunning. Lord Dover has let us into a secret with regard to Walpole's letters which we never heard before, though we might have conjectured that such was the truth. “Walpole's style,” he observes, “in letter writing, is occasionally quaint, and sometimes a little laboured, but for the most part he has contrived to throw into it a great appearance of ease, as if