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Boo* in, were but too often permitted to interfere, more than a little, Antm.tm with needful recreation and rest.
'group Of ArchaeoloGists And Explorers
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. Furthbr In 1S51, he gave to scholars the curious palimpsest frag
CONTRIBU- . . . XT'* • •
Tionsto ments ot Homer from a JNitnan manuscript (now Addit. MS., 17,210), and, two years afterwards, the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus. This was quickly transMs. Addit. ]ated into German by Schonfeulkr, and into English by (b! M.) 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. Labour And 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 Another as an Assistant-Keeper of the MSS., up to the date of his AEcn.Io'oappointment to his Westminster parish and canonry. No °lsTsAjiD
rr r » 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 Botvield in the Chair Th*
of the Oriental Translation Fund. On the twenty-ninth And Its' 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
Booi in, quaintances of youthful days. And those lowliest were not
Chop. IV. ■* liii 1 • • • l-i T i
Another among the least glad to see his face again at his holidayvisits; nor were they among the least sorrowful to see it, when it bore the fatal, but now to most of us quite familiar, traces of victimism to the mammon-cult of our railway directors.
Just as we have to go very far back indeed in the history miMk. of the Manuscript Department of the British Museum, in LRTjjrp"1" 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 Dk Dreux and Dureau De La Malle, imperfect as they all were, helped to put him upon the quest which was destined to Bookiii,
. , -, * Chan. IV.
receive so rich a reward. Another
It is obvious, therefore, that a tolerably satisfactory ac- Aechlo'o count of the researches of the renowned archaeologists men- °,8T8A,U> 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 Charles Fellows began several years earlier than those in Assyria of Mr. Austen Layard, 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- Au>TM 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
Asia Minor And Stria In 1839-1840.
NinfTeh and its Remains (1849), vol. i, p. 2.
enabled them to pluck the flowers of fame, or of distinction, from amidst the sharp thorns of adversity. Austen Layard is the grandson of the honoured Dr. Layard, Dean of Bristol, and he began active life, whilst yet very young, in a solicitor's office in the City of London. But he had scarcely reached twenty-two years of age before family circumstances enabled him to gratify a strong passion for Eastern travel. Archaeology had no share, at first, in the attractions which the Levant presented to his youthful enterprise. But a fervid nature, a good education, and a wonderful power of selfadaptation to new social circumstances, made the mind of the young traveller a fitting seedplot for antiquarian knowledge, whenever the opportunity of acquiring it should come.
To a man of that stamp it woidd be impossible that he should tread near those ancient ruins, every stone of which must needs connect itself with some 'reverend history' or other—when the discerning eye should at length pore upon it and ponder it—without the ambition stirring within him to make at least an earnest attempt to explore and to decipher. To this particular man and his companion in travel, Fortune was propitious, by dint of her very parsimony. Ashe says himself: 'No experienced dragoman measured our distances or appointed our stations. We were honoured with no conversations by pashas, nor did we seek any civilities from governors. We neither drew tears nor curses from the villagers by seizing their horses, or searching their houses for provisions; their welcome was sincere; their scanty fare was placed before us; we ate, and came, and went in peace.'
It was almost thirty years ago—about the middle of April, 1840—that Mr. Layard looked upon those vast ruins on the east bank of the Tigris, opposite Mosul, which