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: Mr. Antonio PANIzzi received his appointment on the £ fifteenth of July, 1837. If he had worked hard to gain £, promotion, he worked double tides to vindicate it. In the £" following month, Mr. CARY resigned his Assistant-Librap.s., rianship. He left the Museum with the hearty respect and £ with the brotherly regrets of all his colleagues, without any

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'. exception. Of him, it may very truly be said, he was a man Books, July, much beloved. 1837. Nor was it otherwise with Mr. BABER. His public services began in old Bodley towards the end of the year 1796, and they were so efficient as to open to him, at the beginning of the present century, a subordinate post in the British Museum, his claims to which he waived the instant that he knew they would stand in the way of ELLIs, his early friend of undergraduate days. He became Assistant-Librarian in 1807; Keeper of Printed Books in 1812. He, too, was a man with no enemies. In literature he won (before he was fifty) an enduring place by his edition of the Vetus Testamentum Graecum e Codice MS. Alevandrino . . . . descriptum. Of the amiability of character which distinguished Mr. BABER, not less than did his scholarship, the present writer had more than common experience. It was my fortune to make my first intimate acquaintance (1835) with the affairs of the British Museum in the capacity of a critic on that part of Mr BABER's discharge of his manifold functions as Keeper which related to the increase of the Library, both by purchase and by the operation of the Copyright Act. I criticised some of his doings, and some of his omissions to do, with youthful presumption, and with that self-confident half-knowledge which often leads a man more astray, practically, than does sheer ignorance. So far from resenting strictures, a few of which may have had some small validity and value, while a good many were certainly plausible but

shallow, he turned the former to profit, and, so far from
resenting the latter, repeatedly evinced towards their
author acts of courtesy and kindness. It was in his
company that I first explored—as we strode from beam to
beam of the unfinished flooring—the new Library rooms
in which, long afterwards, I was to perform my humble
spell of work on the Catalogue of the Printed Books; as he
had performed his hard-by almost thirty years earlier.
Mr. BABER survived his retirement from his Keepership
(in 1837) no less than thirty-two years. He died, on the
twenty-eighth of March, 1869, at his rectory-house at Stret-
ham, in the Isle of Ely, and in his 94th year. He had then
been F.R.S. for fifty-three years, and had survived his old
friend Sir Henry ELLIs by a few weeks. He served his
parishioners in Cambridgeshire, as he had served his country
in London, with unremitting zeal and punctual assiduity.

One of Mr. PANIzzi's earliest employments in his new office of 1837 was to make arrangements for the formidable task of transferring the whole mass of the old Library from Montagu House to the new Building, but he also did something immediately towards preparing the way for that systematic enlargement of the Collection of Printed Books which he had formerly and so earnestly pressed on the attention, not merely of the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1835-36, but of every Statesman and Parliament-man whose ear he could gain, whether (in his interlocutor's opinion) in season or out of season. To use the expression of the man who, at a later date, mainly helped him in that task, Mr. PANIZZI’s leading thought, in regard to Public Libraries, was that Paris must be surpassed. In common with others of us who, like himself, had been examined before Mr. HAWEs’ Committee on that subject, he had brought into

Book III,
Chap. II.
History
of the
Museum
UN den Sir
H. Ellis.

Book III,
Chap. II.
HISTORY
OF THE
MUSEUM
UNDER SIR
H. ELLIs.

The
LiTERARY
CAREER AND
THE PUBLIC
SERVICES OF
Thom As
WATTS.

salient relief some points of superiority which foreign
countries possessed over Britain, but the ruling motive
of the unsavoury comparison was British improvement,
not, most assuredly, British discredit.
In the formidable business of the transfer of the bulk of
the National Library, Mr. PANIZZI received his best help
from a man now just lost to us, but whose memory will
surely survive. Exactly six months after his own appoint-
ment to the headship of his Department, he introduced
into the permanent service of the Trustees Mr. Thomas
WATTs. The readers of such a volume as this will not, I
imagine, think it to be a digression if I here make some
humble attempt to record what was achieved by my old
acquaintance—an acquaintance of almost one and thirty
years' standing—both in his varied literary labours and in
his long and fruitful service at the Museum.
Thomas WATTs was born in London in the year 1811.
He was educated at a private school in London, where he
was very early noted for the possession of three several
qualities, one or other of which is found, in a marked
degree, in thousands of men and in tens of thousands of pre-
cocious boys, but the union of all of which, whether in child
or in man, is rare indeed. Young WATTs evinced both an
astonishing capacity for acquiring languages—the most far
remote from his native speech—and an unusual readiness
at English composition. He had also a knack for turning
off very neat little speeches and recitations. Before he
was fifteen, he could give good entertainment at a breaking-
up or a ‘speech-day. Before he was twenty, he had gained
his footing as a contributor to periodical literature.”

* I believe that his earliest contribution consisted of some articles entitled ‘Notes of a Reader, published in 1830, in a periodical (long since defunct) called The Spirit of Literature. These were written and

INTEREST IN
THK IM-
PROVEMENT
OF THE

In the autumn of the year 1835, Mr. Watts' attention Bookiii, was attracted to the publication of the Minutes of Evidence a^0N taken before the Select Committee on the British Museum, the ^""^ first portion of which had been ordered to be printed, by racism the House of Commons, in the preceding August. He

'r ,11 Watts'

read the evidence with great interest, and ere long he wrote Haem (in 1836 and 1837) some valuable comments upon it, which embodied several suggestions for the improvement of the Museum service, and for making it increasedly accessible BamsH

° J Museum.

to the Public. More than two or three of the suggestions so offered, he lived to carry out—long afterwards, by his own exertions, and with the cordial approval of his superior officer, Mr. Panizzi—into practice, after he had himself entered into the service of the Trustees as an Assistant in the Printed Book Department.

But he chose a very unfortunate medium for his useful communications of 1836 and 1837. He printed them in the columns of the 'Mechanics' Magazine,' where, for practical purposes, they were almost buried. Of this fact I am able to give a small illustrative and personal instance. Possibly, it may be thought to have some little biographical value, as a trait of his character.

In both of the years above named Mr. Watts did the present writer the honour to make some remarks on his humble labours for the improvement of the Museum in 1835 and 1836. Mr. Watts' remarks were very complimentary and kind in their expression. But I never saw or heard of them, until this year, 1870, after their writer had passed from the knowledge of the many acquaintances and friends who, in common with myself, much esteemed him, and who will ever honour his memory.

printed long before Mr. Watts became a correspondent of the Mechanics' Magazine, as mentioned in the text.

Book ni, One of the communications which my late friend pub

HisTM*! lished in that' Mechanics' Magazine contained two sugges_

Mis"um tions—made contingently, and by way of alternative plans

Ubdiesi. —for tne enlargement of the Museum buildings. Nearly

11. Ellis. ° I

eleven years afterwards (August, 1847), I unconsciously
repeated those very suggestions, amongst many others, in .
a pamphlet, entitled Public Libraries in London and Paris.
I was in complete ignorance that my suggestions of 1847
were otherwise than entirely original. I thought them
wholly my own. Of the print which accompanied my
pamphlet T give the reader an exact fac-simile, errors in-
cluded, on the opposite plate. The print embodied very
nearly the same thoughts, on the enlargement of the library,
which had been expressed, so long before, in the pages of
the 'Mechanics' Magazine.' The first presented copy of
that pamphlet and print was given to my friend Watts.
I was then absent, far from London, and I had presently
the pleasure of receiving from him a long letter, containing
some criticisms and remarks on my publication. But such
was his modest reticence about his own prior performance,
that the letter contained no word or'hint concerning the
anticipation of my alternative suggestions for the enlarge-
ment of the Library in his prior publication. And, in the
long interval between 1837 and 1847, I suppose we had
conversed about the improvement of the Museum, and
about its buildings, actual and prospective, some thirty or
forty times, but (as I have said) those valuable and thought-
ful articles of his, printed in 1836-7—and making compli-
mentary mention of my own labours, and of my evidence
given before Mr. Hawes' Committee—never came within
my knowledge. No part of their contents was even men-
tioned to me. I saw them, for the first, time, in January,
1870. Very few men—within my range of acquaintance

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