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LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
OUR Publication has now, for nearly a century, encouraged the study of Antiquity and Topography, through all the changes of public taste. We therefore feel some interest in being the means of circulating a plan for the promotion of our favourite pursuit. There are now few County Towns in which a Stock Library is not established; and it is proposed that the managers of these Libraries should make it a peculiar object to collect the Topography of their own Counties. This is not diffi
cult nor expensive, and may be of infinite utility. The City of Lincoln has already set an example with some success, but the following Report will best explain the object and the details.
The design of the Topographical Collection will best appear from a short view of the Catalogue, which contains an account of such articles as are now in the possession of the Lincoln Library. It is divided loosely into such heads as naturally present themselves for arranging such a miscellaneous body of documents.
1. The first head consists of Printed Works, relating exclusively or principally to any part of the county. The titles of these books are entered at length. It is to be lamented, that among them there is not to be found any regular County History; a deficiency which cannot be attri. buted to any want of interesting materials, as no county has exhibited, more extensive agricultural improvements, or greater efforts in drainages or other public works; and certainly few present a more extensive field of ecclesiastical antiquities. The magnitude of the undertaking, and the want of an accessible collection of documents, has hitherto prevented any adequate attempt. It has, however, had the effect of inducing ingenious persons to undertake accounts of their own neighbourhood. Such works are numerous and valuable; the greater proportion are already in the library, and it would not require a large sum to make the collection in some degree complete. This, it is presumed, would meet the wishes of the proprietors, among whom the antiquarian department has always many readers. So small, however, is the interest which other counties feel in any Topography but their GENT. MAG. Suppl, XC. PART II.
own, that many works on the subject are very scarce, some unique, and of some no
copy is known to be in existence. made to such parts of miscellaneous works belonging to the Institution, as relate to Lincolnshire. Many of these are more important than some works written expressly on the County Topography, and sometimes occur, where the title of the book would not lead us to expect such information. This branch, however, must always remain imperfect, though the Library contains many such publications of considerable value. The great parliamentary returns are a deficiency, which it may hereafter be proper to supply.
2. Under the next head, references are
3. A distinct head has been devoted to local Acts of Parliament. These are very numerous and important, and include acts for drainages, canals, inclosures, roads, harbours, houses of industry, and many other local objects. With these, very important interests and rights of property are involved, yet there is no accessible collection on the subject. Many of these acts are only found in manuscript, and it is an actual fact, that Commissioners have sat under Acts of Parliament, of which only one copy could be found in the County.
4. A head is allowed for the proceedings of public Bodies under Charters or Acts of Parliament. To this class may be referred addresses, and lists of voters at elections, exhibiting an interesting view of the state of public feeling and political parties, and the state of property at different periods and at different places. This class includes also charters, the proceedings, surveys, and orders of the Commissioners and Trustees, and such pamphlets and other papers as have appeared on public subjects, often serving as salutary cautions or judicious precedents for the future. It is indeed sufficiently obvious, that any person comes with the greatest advantage to the discharge of a public office, who has an accurate view of its previous management, its failures and
5. It is very creditable to the county of Lincoln, that the next head is of considerable magnitude. It relates to all private Associations, for benevolent, intellectual, or other purposes; it contains rules of such bodies, lists of their members, reports of their proceedings, and all other papers which may illustrate their constitution and management. It includes
Wills and other documents relative to Charitable foundations, papers concerning Hospitals, Dispensaries, Saving Banks, Friendly Societies, Religious Associations, Libraries, Book Clubs, Reading Rooms, Schools, with a number of bodies, whose existence is not sufficiently known to the public. There are many wealthy and benevolent persons, to whom such a collection would afford opportunity of selecting the most proper objects of support. It would also suggest improvements in their management, by showing how similar institutions are conducted elsewhere, and would suggest their establishment where they do not already exist.
6. A division for Miscellaneous Papers has been allowed. It would include Prints, Plans, Drawings, Monumental Inscriptions, Genealogies, Manuscript Articles of ecclesiastical and parochial history, surveys of manors, with a large mass of miscellaneous materials, of great value to future inquirers, and highly useful to persons in want of any local information.
A place in this Catalogue has been set apart for such documents as are not in the collection of the Library. This will have the advantage of directing the attention of the proprietors to such articles as are wanted to complete the design. It will be useful in itself, as showing the extent of the department, and as pointing out where any very rare or valuable document can be referred to, in the possession of an individual or public body.
A few words should be added as to the progress which has been made in this design. The attention of the Institution was first directed to it by the President of 1818, but from peculiar circumstances, nothing material could then be effected. The Committee have however, since that time, leaned very favourably towards the purchase of such topographical works as have been proposed to them. In the pre
CELEBRATION OF OLIVER
IN page 445, we briefly noticed the celebration of the Birth-day of this eminent poet, which took place on the 29th of November at Ballymahon, in the county of Longford, in the immediate vicinity of which the Poet was. born, in the house of his maternal grandfather, the Rev. Oliver Jones, Curate of Forney, on the 29th of November, 1728.
On the opening of the business, the Rev. Mr. GRAHAM, of Lifford, addressed the meeting nearly in the following words:
"We are assembled here, Gentlemen, upon an occasion as interesting to the scholar, the philosopher, or the statesman, as any other which has occurred in this island for many centuries. We are all
sent year, certain members of the Committee were requested to turn their attention to it, and to expend a sum for carrying the design into effect. They have made some progress already. Circulars have been written to the principal Booksellers of the County, many of whom are themselves good Antiquaries, giving an extensive view of the plan, and requesting them to send a priced list of articles in their possession, that an order might be given for such as are not already in the Library. Application has also been made to some professional Gentlemen in the neighbourhood, who have shewn a most liberal feeling on the subject. This source, however, has only been slightly drawn upon; neither has application yet been made to such gentlemen as have been in the habit of acting as Commissioners under Acts of Parliament, and who have it in their power to render very valuable assistance. There are also many literary Gentlemen of eminence in the County, to whom application will best be made, when the Collection has taken an established form. The principal reliance, however, must be upon the exertions of the Society itself. It will be proper to appoint annually some active member of the Committee, who may take an interest in the subject, to expend a liberal sum upon this department. It will also be proper to impress upon the Proprietors at large, that the great mass of a topographical collection is not an object of direct purchase, but must be left to the industry of individuals. No article should be considered too trifling for this purpose; though each may have a small intrinsic value, yet the whole collected may be interesting and important for the purposes of reference and comparison; nor should it be forgotten, that this is a design in which it is, in the power of every one to be useful. E. F. B.
sufficiently aware of the great value of education, particularly of that description of it which has been denominated Classical-how it distinguishes one man from another, almost as much as nature has distinguished man from the order of beings below him in the creation. Education of that kind acquires and preserves rank in society, as well as the means of supporting that rank. Countless families have risen by it into opulence and distinction-witness the descendants of men of the different Learned Professions, who are now in almost every county of Ireland proprietors of that soil on which the founders of their families, with difficulty, obtained the rudiments of the education which raised them
from the lower walks of life, to be Rulers of the land, to sit among Princes: and as many at least have, by the neglect of edu cation, fallen in a generation or two from the highest walks of life, into the lowest state of obscurity and indigence. Connected most intimately with the cause of Education, is that of Literature, by which the minds of mankind are smoothed, harmonized, and rendered capable of calmly investigating truth, and separating it from falsehood; and by it, next to the divine influence of the Christian faith, are men rescued from that degraded demi-savage state, which ever prevails in the absence of Education, rendering them unsocial, diffident, suspicious, and hostile to the slightest gleam of the light of knowledge, which never fails to prove offensive to eyes habituated to darkness
"Omnes hi metuunt versus, odere Poetas." The press is ever charged with electric horrors for them- "Quisquis tibi ti met, odit, horret." From such persons only may we expect either opposition or want of support on the present occasion, and of such a Trulleberian race did Goldsmith himself speak in his letter to his brother-in-law, Daniel Hudson, Esq. directed to the post-office of Ballymahon, on the 27th of December, 1757, in which the following passages may be found: "Unaccountable, indeed, is it, that a man should have an affection for a place, who never received, when in it, above common civility, who never brought any thing out of it but his brogue and his blunders. But to be serious, let me ask myself what gives me a wish to see Ireland again-the country is a fine one, per haps? No. There are good company in Ireland? No, the conversation is there made up of an obscene toast, or an improper song, the vivacity supported by some humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn his dinner. Then, perhaps, there is more wit and learning among the Irish? No; there is more money spent in the encouragement of a favourite race mare there, one season, than given in rewards to men of learning since the times of Usher."
"But the times, Gentlemen, are now altered for the better in all parts of the British Empire, as well as in Ireland. We now hear of Poets purchasing estates, of Booksellers enrolled among the Legislators of the Realm; and when a man writes, none of his friends (as in the days of Goldsmith) imagine that he starves, or that he lives in a garret. We, therefore, consider this to be a favourable opportunity of paying a debt of public gratitude, too long due, and hitherto most shamefully neglected, and, therefore, have called this meeting, in the hope of its proving the means of drawing the public attention to
the subject of a Monument in honour of
"Nullum fere scribendi genus non tetigit,
Affectuum potens, at lenis dominator, Ingenio sublimis, vividus, versatilis, Oratione grandis, nitidus, venustus." "But, superadded to his general merit as a Poet, a Philosopher, and Historian, Goldsmith possesses a more endearing claim, if possible, upon the veneration of his country; unlike Swift, Congreve, and others, he never denied his country, or left it a matter of doubt to posterity; on the contrary, we see that although he had left it early and poor-though he could boast of having received no more than common civility in it, and but little of that even from persons on whom he had the strongest claim, the love of Ireland was ever uppermost in his mind wherever he went. Her lovely scenery is immortalized in his poems, and he never gave up his intention of returning to the spot where first he drew his breath, "till he resigned that breath in the arms of a beloved countryman, who attended his death-bed with the tender solicitude of an affectionate brother." To his brother, the Rev. Henry Goldsmith, at Lissoy, was his "Traveller" addressed, and to the post office of Ballymahon the packet, containing that immortal Poem, was directed. That Lissoy is the identical spot from which he drew the enchanting scenery of his "Deserted Village," has been demonstrated by the late ingenious Dr. Newell, of Cambridge University, who a few years ago republished his poems, with drawings of the Parsonagehouse, the Church, the Mill, and the Hawthorn tree, accompanied by notes, which put the matter beyond all doubt to those acquainted with the local history of the
country; and this demonstration, Gentlemen, came from the pen of a learned Englishman, notwithstanding a line or two in the Poem which would seem to indicate that the description was intended for an English village:
"A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When ev'ry rood of ground maintain'd it's man."
"The scene of his celebrated Comedy, "The Mistakes of a Night," was laid in the town of Ardagh, in this immediate neighbourhood, as related in Otridge's splendid edition of his works, and confirmed to me by the late Sir Thomas Fetherston, Bart. a short time before his death. Some friend had given the young Poet a present of a guinea on his going from his mother's residence in this town, to a school in Edgeworths' town, where, it appears, he finished his education, of which he received the rudiments from the Rev. Mr. Hughes, Vicar of this parish. He had diverted himself on the way the whole day, by viewing the gentlemen's seats on the road, until the fall of night, when he found himself a mile or two out of his direct road, in the middle of the street of Ardagh. Here he inquired for the best house in the place, meaning an inn; but being wilfully misunderstood by a wag, a fencing-master of the name of Kelly, who boasted of having been the instructor of the celebrated Marquis of Granby, he was directed to the large old-fashioned residence of Sir Ralph Fetherston, the landlord of the town, where he was shewn into the parlour, when he found the hospitable master of the house sitting by a good fire. His mistake was immediately perceived by Sir Ralph, who being a man of humour, and well acquainted with the Poet's family,encouraged him in the deception. Goldsmith ordered a good supper, invited his host and the family to partake of it, treated them with a bottle or two of wine, and at going to bed, ordered a hot cake to be prepared for his breakfast; nor was it till his departure, when he called for the bill, that he discovered that while he imagined he was at an inn, he had been hospitably entertained in a private family of the first rank in the country.
"It was originally intended, Gentlemen, to hold this first anniversary of the birth of our Poet in Dublin, where, at this. season of the year, we might hope for an attendance far more numerous than under any circumstances could be hoped for here; but it occurred to some of us, bound by ties whose force the Poet felt, that in this neighbourhood, if not in this very spot, directly opposite to the house in which he dwelt for many a year with his widowed mother, the proceedings ought to commence, which will, we hope, lead to the
erection of some testimonial equally worthy of his memory and the spirit of a County which claims the honour of his birth.
"The necessity of our being among the first to carry so just and so patriotic an undertaking into effect, may be readily proved. I need not inform you, Gentlemen, that the natal spot of Goldsmith, as well as that of Homer, is in some danger of being disputed by posterity. Such has been the blundering stupidity of several of the early Editors of our Poet's Works, in the biographical scraps which they prefixed to them, that one of them tells us he was born at Elphin, in the county of Roscommon, merely because he had many relations in that neighbourhood, and among them his cousin german, the grandfather of my venerable friend here, John Goldsmith, of Ballyoughter, Esq.; and in the very same page almost, gives us his epitaph, written by Dr. Johnson, directly contradicting that allegation in these words, which are inscribed on his monument in Westminster Abbey: "Natus in Hibernia Forniæ Longfordiensis In loco cui nomen Pallas."
"Another biographer, worthy to be classed among the early editors of Shakspeare, gives the original words of this epitaph, and translates them thus in a parallel column, transferring the birth place of the poet into the county of Wexford"He was born at Fernes, in the province of Leinster, at a place where Pallas had set her name." An unlucky mistake respecting the natal spot of our poet, occurs also on the books of Trinity-College, owing to the residence of his uncle, Henry, at Lissoy, or the circumstance of his father having resided there-the entry runs thus: -"1744, Olivarius Goldsmith, Siz. Filius Caroli Clerici, ann. agens 15, natus in Comitatu Westmeath, educatus sub Ferula M. Hughes-Tutor, M. Wilder." But, notwithstanding these very contradictory statements, we may give full credit to the united testimony of many respectable persons, including some of the nearest relations of the Poet, but lately gone to their graves, that Oliver Goldsmith, who has been, in the same spirit of error, so often denominated a DOCTOR, was born within a mile and a half of Ballymahon, on the southern bank of the river Inny, at Pallas, in the parish of Cloncalla, commonly called Forney. The walls of the house are yet standing; the roof fell in but two years ago; it is distinctly visible from the canal between this and Tenelick, and in it, perhaps, rather than on any other spot, even his beloved "mount before Lissoy gate," should his monumental pillar be erected. The name of the townland in which this interesting ruin stands is spelled Pallice in our barony books; but those
who can feel the charm of classic allusion under such a temptation, will readily pardon the great Antæus of Literature, the author of the Dictionary of the English Language, for having once in his life-time spelled a word erroneously. This evidence, Gentlemen, I consider to be conclusive; for Dr. Johnson cannot be supposed to have known that such obscure places as Pallice or Forney existed, except from the lips of the Poet himself, who was on the most intimate terms of friendship with him.
"If we, in Ballymahon, have on this occasion dwelt with too much minuteness upon this disputed point, our best apology is, that the contending for the honour of the birth-place of such an ornament to his country, is a pardonable ambition; and it will be recollected, too, in favour of our claim, as well as in apology for our maintenance of it, that one of the wishes dearest to the Poet's heart, wheu unable to return to the place of his nativity, was, that "his brother and his sister, Lissoy and Ballymahon, would altogether make a migration to him into the county of Middlesex."
"We have now, Gentlemen, only to read some of the many interesting letters addressed to us on this occasion, and afterwards proceed to the consideration of the most practicable means of accomplishing the object of our meeting. Our undertaking is an honourable one, but we should recollect in limine, that the success of it depends upon causes entirely beyond our control. It is, as it were, a touchstone of the times we live in; if it succeeds, the Statesman and the Philosopher may augur favourably of the rising intelligence and prosperity of our Island-if not, the very effort will stand in record on the pages of our history, to protect this generation, at least, from the Boeotian imputation of insensibility to the honour which devolves upon our Country, for having produced such a man. As for him, to use the language of one of his earliest admirers,
———“ His own harmonious lays Have sculptur'd out his monument of
These shall survive to Time's remotest day, While pillars fall,and marble tombs decay."
Extracts of Letters read at the meeting. From Mr., now Sir Walter Scott, dated in April 1818, observing that the neglect of the birth-place of Goldsmith is rather discreditable to the country which derives so much honour from his birth.
From a gentleman present at the meeting, whose exertions, on this occasion, received the unanimous thanks of those assembled at it, John Hogan, of Aubern, Esq. "Circumstances led me in the early part of my life to the knowledge of part
of Goldsmith's family, and to the acquaintance of his nephew, Mr. William Hudson, whose beautiful elegy on the death of several members of his family, including the Poet, bears the strongest marks of hereditary genius, and the lost stanza of which I make no doubt of being able to recover. You may suppose I became interested in every thing belonging to the Poet. When I settled on the spot, I attempted to replace some of the almost-forgotten identities that delighted me forty years since. I rebuilt his "Three Jolly Pigeons," restored his "Twelve good Rules, and Royal Game of Goose," inclosed his "Hawthorn tree," now almost cut away by the devotion of the literary pilgrims who resort to it; I also planted his favourite hill before Lissoy gate-that spot which presented to his eye the most agreeable horizon in nature; and had not family affairs led me to reside in England for some years, I should have doue a great deal more to gratify myself, and to point out the localities of the charming scene of "The Deserted Village."
"Some years past, a Gentleman named Newel, a fellow of Cambridge, came over here on a literary tour, and sketched these scenes alluded to in the Poem, with great truth and spirit. On his return to England, he published an edition of Goldsmith's Poems in thin quarto, embellished by those views, and enriched by copious notes on the" Deserted Village," proving the scenery of Lissoy to have been uppermost in the Poet's iniud, while composing it. He meant to have followed this up by soliciting subscriptions for some public testimonial to the memory of Goldsmith, on the spot of the "Deserted Village," and even on that mount before Lissoy Gate, which he mentioned with so much enthusiam in one of his letters, but Mr. Newel died before he could accomplish his wish."
Several other letters were read to the meeting.
John Hogan, Esq. being called to the Chair-it was Resolved, that a Committee and Secretary, should be appointed for the purpose of managing the concerns of this undertaking and it was also Resolved, that Lord Viscount Newcomen and Co. be requested to receive the subscriptions.
On the motion of John Hogan, Esq. seconded by John Lyons, of Ladystown, Esq. the thanks of the meeting were unanimously voted to the Rev. John Graham, for his laudable exertions in forwarding the object of this Meeting- and the 29th of Nov. 1821, was appointed for the next Anniversary to be held at Morrison's Hotel, Dawson-street, Dublin.
At six o'clock, the Company sat down