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be proud, and mere fragments of which enlightened Foreign Sovereigns were under sore temptation to covet. He has seen, also, that the praise of so striking a change was due, in the main, to the public spirit and the liberal endeavours of a small group of antiquarians and scholars. They were, most of them, men of high birth, and of generous education. They were, in fact, precisely such men as, in the jargon of our present day, it is too much the mode to speak of as the antitheses of the People,' although in earlier days men of that strain were thought to be part of the very core and kernel of a nation.

But if it be undeniably true that the chief and primary merit of so good a piece of public service was due to the Hamiltons, TOWNELEYS, Elgins, and Knights of the last generation, it is also true that the Public, through their representatives, did, at length, join fairly in the work by bearing their part of the cost, though they could share neither the enterprise, the self-denial, nor the wearing toils, which the work had exacted.

Now that the story turns to another department of the National Museum, we find that the same primary and salient characteristic-private liberality of individuals, as distinguished from public support by the Kingdom-still holds good. But we have to wait a very long time indeed, before we perceive public effort at length falling into rank with private, in the shape of parliamentary grants for the purchase of books, calculated even upon a rough approxi. mation towards equality.

As COTTON, SLOANE, HARLEY, and Arthur EDWARDS, were the first founders of the Library, so BIRCA, MUSGRAVE, TYRWHITT, CRACHERODE, BANKS, and HOARE, were its chief augmentors, until almost ninety vears had elapsed since the Act of Organization. Of the Collections of those


Chap. III.


ten benefactors, eight came by absolute gift. For the other Book II, two, much less than one half of their value was returned to Bo the representatives of the founders. And that, it has been

das vom Public shown, was provided, not by a parliamentary grant, but out BENEFACof the profits of a lottery.



The first important addition to the Library, subsequent to those gifts which have been mentioned in a preceding chapter as nearly contemporaneous with the creation of the Museum, was made by the Will of Dr. Thomas BIRCH, one Bequest of of the original Trustees. It comprised a valuable series of manuscripts, rich in collections on the history, and especially the biographical history, of the realm, and a considerable number of printed books of a like character.

Dr. Birch was born in 1705, and died on the ninth of January, 1766. He was one of the many friends of Sir Hans SLOANE, in the later years of Sir Hans' life. When the Museum was in course of organization, Birch acted not only as a zealous Trustee, but he occasionally supplied the place of Dr. Morton as Secretary. His literary productions have real and enduring value, though their value would probably have been greater had their number been less. His activity is sufficiently evidenced by the works which he printed, but can only be measured when the large manuscript collections which he bequeathed are taken into the account. Very few scholars will now be inclined to echo Horace WALPOLE's inquiry—made when he saw the Catalogue of the Birch MSS.—'Who cares for the correspondence of Dr. Birch ?"

Soon after the receipt of the Birch Collection, a choice BrQuest or assemblage of English plays was bequeathed to the Museum GA by David GARRICK. Its formation had been one of the ja favourite relaxations of the great actor. And the study of

DAVID GARRICK, January, 1779.

Book II,

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Chap. III.


the ] But


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the plays gathered by GARRICK had a large share in mould-
ing the tastes and the literary career of Charles LAMB.
Thence he drew the materials of the volume of Specimens
which has made the rich stores of the early drama known to
thousands of readers who but for it, and for the Collection
which enabled him to compile it, could have formed no
fair or adequate idea of an important epoch in our

Sir William MUSGRAVE was another early Trustee whose
gifts to the Public illustrated the wisdom of SLOANE's plan
for the government of his Museum and of its parliamentary
adoption. MusGRAVE shared the predilection of Dr. BIRCH
for the study of British biography and archæology, and he
had larger means for amassing its materials. He was
descended from a branch of the Musgraves of Edenhall, and
was the second son of Sir Richard MUSGRAVE of Hayton
Castle, to whom he eventually succeeded. He made large
and very curious manuscript collections for the history of
portrait-painting in England (now Additional MSS. 6391-
6393), and also on many points of the administrative and
political history of the country. He was a zealous Trustee
of the British Museum, and in his lifetime made several
additions to its stores. On his death, in 1799, all his manu-
scripts were bequeathed to the Museum, together with a
Library of printed British Biography—more complete than
anything of its kind theretofore collected.

This last-named Collection extended (if we include a partial and previous gift made in 1790) to nearly two thousand volumes, and it probably embraced much more than twice that number of separate works. For it was rich in those biographical ephemera which are so precious to the historical inquirer, and often so difficult of obtainment, when needed. Nearly at the same period (1786) a






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valuable Collection of classical authors, in about nine hun- Book II,

Chap. III. dred volumes, was bequeathed by another worthy Trustee, BookMr. Thomas Tyrwhitt, distinguished both as a scholar and as the Editor of CHAUCER.

But all the early gifts to the Museum, made after its parliamentary organization, were eclipsed, at the close of the century, by the bequest of the Cracherode Collections. That bequest comprised a very choice library of printed THE books; a cabinet of coins, medals, and gems; and a series of the of original drawings by the great masters, chosen, like the nove Colbooks and the coins, with exquisite taste, and, as the LECTION, auctioneers say, quite regardless of expense. It also 1799. included a small but precious cabinet of minerals.

The collector of these rarities was wont to speak of them with great modesty. They are, he would say, mere 'specimen collections. But to amass them had been the chief pursuit of a quiet and blameless life.

Clayton Mordaunt CRACHERODE was born in London Lick and about the year 1730. And he was 'a Londoner in a sense of Mr. and degree to which, in this railway generation, it would Ceachebe hard to find a parallel. Among the rich possessions which he inherited from Colonel CRACHERODE, his fatherwhose fortune had been gathered, or increased, during an active career in remote parts of the world—was an estate in Hertfordshire, on which there grew a certain famous chestnut-tree, the cynosure of all the country-side for its size and antiquity. This tree was never seen by its new owner, save as he saw the poplars of Lombardy, or the cedars of Lebanon—in an etching. In the co life he never reached a greater distance from the metropolis than Oxford. He never mounted a horse. The ordinary extent of his travels, during the prime years of a long life, was from Queen Square, in Westminster, to Clapham. For




Clip. II.



almost forty years it was his daily practice to walk from his Book.. house to the shop of Elmsly, a bookseller in the Strand,

D and thence to the still more noted shop of Tom PAYNE, by BENEFAC. 'the Mews-Gate.' Once a weck, he varied the daily walk

by calling on Mudge, a chronometer-maker, to get his watch regulated. His excursions had, indeed, one other and not infrequent variety-dictated by the calls of Christian benevolence—but of these he took care to have no note taken.

Early in life, and probably to meet his father's wish, he received holy orders, but he never accepted any preferment in the Church. He took the restraints of the clerical profession, without any of its emoluments. His classical attainments were considerable, but the sole publication of a long life of leisure was a university prize poem, printed in the Carmina Quadragesimalia of 1748. The only early tribulation of a life of idyllic peacefulness was a dread that he might possibly be called upon, at a coronation, to appear in public as the King's cupbearer—bis manor of Great Wymondley being held by a tenure of grand-serjeantry in that onerous employment. Its one later tinge of bitterness lay in the dread of a French invasion. These may seem small sorrows, to men who have had a full share in the stress and anguish of the battle of life. But the weight of a burden is no measure of the pain it may inflict. Mr. CRACHERODE looked to his possible cupbearership, with apprehension just as acute as that with which COWPER contemplated the awful task of reading in public the Journals of the House of Lords. And the sleepless nights which long afterwards were brought to CRACHERODE by the horrors of the French revolutionary war were caused less by personal fears than by the dread of public calamities, more terrible than death. During one

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