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champions of Truth. To his dying day, Cureton owned himself to be a learner—even in Syriac. Akother
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Within three years of the publication of his Ignatius, Arch^oloCureton gave to the world his precious edition of the E'tm0^ fragmentary Festal Letters of Athanasius, which Richard Burgess soon translated into English, and Lassow into Datm* German. The Syriac version was one of its editor's earliest O«tm"al discoveries amongst the spoils of the Nitrian monasteries, Tl |S| and it was published at the cost of a new society, of which Cureton himself was the main founder. For the old Oriental publication society * limited itself, as its name imports, to the publication of translations. The new one —the claims of which to liberal support Cureton was never weary of vindicating—was expressly founded to print Oriental texts. This new body had his strongest sympathies, but he co-operated zealously with the 'Translation Fund' as well as with the 'Text Society.'
Among his other and early labours, was the publication of a Rabbinical Comment on the Book of Lamentations, and of the Arabic text of En Nasaei's Pillar of the Creed of the Sunnites (' Umdat Akidat ahl al Sunnat wa al Tamaat'), both of which books were printed in 1843. After 1845, Cureton's literary labours were almost exclusively devoted to that Syriac field in which he was to be so large and so original a discoverer. The first distinctively public recognition of his services was his appointment as a Chaplain to the Queen, in 1847. Two years afterwards, he was made a Canon of Westminster and Rector of St. Margaret's. Thenceforward, his energies were divided. The charms of Syriac discovery were not permitted to obstruct the due performance of the appropriate work of a parish-priest; though it is much to be feared that they
* The Oriental Translation Fund.
Book Hi, were but too often permitted to interfere, more than a little, An'othbr with needful recreation and rest.
Among those of his parochial labours which demanded not a small amount of self-sacrifice were the rebuilding and the improved organization of the schools; the building of a district church—St. Andrew's—in Ashley Place; and the establishment of Working-Class Lectures, upon a wise and far-seeing plan. Fubthbb In 1851, he gave to scholars the curious palimpsest frag
CONTBIBU- _ TT „ __. . k'
TiossTo ments of Homer trom a jNitrian manuscript (now Addit. Literature. ^ j^glO), and, two years afterwards, the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus. This was quickly transMs. Addit. ]ated into German by Schonfehler, and into English by <b! Mj Dr. R. Payne Smith. Then came the Spicilegium Syriacum, containing fragments of Bardesanes, of Melito of Sardes, and the inexpressibly precious fragments of an ancient recension of the Syriac Gospels, believed by Cureton to be of the fifth century, and offering considerable and most interesting divergences from the Peshito version.
In a preface to these evangelical fragments of the fifth century, their editor contends that they constitute a far more faithful representation of the true Hebrew text than does the Peshito recension, and that the remark holds good, in a more especial degree, of the Gospel of St. Matthew. This publication appeared in 1858. Laboc* Aj«d Enough has been said of these untiring labours to make it quite intelligible, even to readers the most unfamiliar with Oriental studies, that their author had become already a celebrity throughout learned Europe. As early as in 1855, the Institute of France welcomed Dr. Cureton, as one of their corresponding members, in succession to his old master, Gaisford, of Christ-Church. In 1859, the Queen conferred on him a distinction, which was especially
appropriate and dear to his feelings. He became 'Royal Book in. Trustee' of that Museum which he had so zealously served Akothrr as an Assistant-Keeper of the MSS., up to the date of his Aech.k°loappointment to his Westminster parish aud canonry. No °,ST9A»D
* r r J Explorers.
fitter nomination was ever made. Unhappily, he was not to be spared very long to fill a function so congenial.
Yet one other distinction, and also one other and most honourable labour, were to be his, before another illustrious victim was to be added to the long list of public losses inflicted on the country at large by the gross mismanagement, and more particularly by what is called—sardonically, I suppose—the 'economy' of our British railways. CureTon's life too, like some score of other lives dear to literature or to science, was to be sacrificed under the car of our railway Juggernaut.
In 1861, he published, from another Nitrian manuscript, Ecsebius' History of the Martyrs in Palestine. Early in 1863, he succeeded the late Beriah Botfield in the Chair T»*
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of the Oriental Translation Fund. On the twenty-ninth And m' of May, of the same year, a railway 'accident' inflicted upon him such cruel injuries as entailed a protracted and painful illness of twelve months, and ended—to our loss, but to his great gain—in his lamented death, on the seventeenth of June, 1864.
He died where he was born, and was buried with his fathers. The writer of these poor memorial lines upon an admirable man well remembers the delight he used to express (thirty years ago) whenever it was in his power to revisit his birthplace, and knows that the delight was shared with the humblest of its inhabitants. Dr. Cureton was one of those genuine men who (in the true and best sense of the words) are not respecters of persons. He had a frank, not a condescending, salutation for the lowliest ac
Book Hi, quaintances of youthful days. And those lowliest were not Ahotjje among the least glad to see his face again at his holidayAechio'o- visits; nor were they among the least sorrowful to see it, Oists And w]ien it bore the fatal, but now to most of us quite familiar,
traces of victimism to the mammon-cult of our railway
Just as we have to go very far back indeed in the history of the Manuscript Department of the British Museum, in order to find an accession quite as notable as are—taking them as a whole—the manuscripts of the Nitrian monasteries, so have we also to do in the history of the several Departments of Antiquities, in order to find any parallel to the acquisitions of monuments of art and archaeology made during the thirty years between 1840 and 1870. In point of variety of interest, in truth, there is no parallel at all to be found.
In archaeology, however—as in scientific discovery, or in mechanical invention—every great burst of new light will be seen, if we look closely enough, to have had its remote precursive gleams, howsoever faint or howsoever little noticed they may have been.
-* Austen Henry Layard, for example, is a most veritable 'discoverer.' Nevertheless, the researches of Layard link
| themselves with those of Claudius Rich, and with the still earlier glimpses, and the mere note-book jottings, of Carsten Niebuhr, as well as with the explorations of Layard's
] contemporary and most able French fellow-investigator, Monsieur Botta. In like manner, Nathan Davis is the undoubted disinterrer of old Carthage, but the previous labours of the Italian canon and archaeologist Spano, of Cagliari, and those of the French geographers De Dreux and Dureau De La Malle, imperfect as they all were, helped to put him upon the quest which was destined to Bookiu,
. , , Chap. IV.
receive so rich a reward. Another
It is obvious, therefore, that a tolerably satisfactory ac- 2rch1°lcount of the researches of the renowned archaeologists men- a'"3*"1*
tioned at the head of this chapter must be prefaced with some notices of much earlier and much less successful labours than theirs; and a thorough account would need greatly more than that. But, at present, I cannot hope to give either the one or the other. Rapid glances at the recent investigations are all that, for the moment, are permitted me, and for the perfunctory manner of these I shall have to make not a little demand on the reader's indulgence. The subject-matter is rich enough to claim a volume to itself; nor would the story be found to lack well-sustained and varied interest, even if retold at large.
The first inquiries and explorations in Lycia of Sir j Charles Fellows began several years earlier than those in Assyria of Mr. Austen La Yard, but an intelligible narrative of what Layard did, in 1845, must needs start with a notice, be it ever so brief, of what Botta had been doing in 1842. The Lycian excavations were also effectively begun in 1842. They were, in fact, contemporaneous with the first excavations at Nineveh. I begin, therefore, with the closely-linked labours of Botta and of Layard, prefacing them with a glance at the previous pursuits and aims in life of our distinguished fellow-countryman.
Austen Henry Layard is an Englishman, notwithstand- AusTE!< ing his birth in Paris (5th of March, 1817), and his descent Layard from one of the many Huguenot families who (in one sense) do honour to France for their sufferings for conscience sake, and who (in many more senses than one) do honour to England by the way in which zealous and persevering exertions in the service of their adopted country have