Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/52

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PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND THEIR CATALOGUES[1]


"At the laundress's at the Hole in the Wall, Cursitor's Alley, up three pairs of stairs, the author of my Church History—you may also speak to the gentleman who lies by him in the flock bed—my index-maker." Thus Mr. Edmund Curll, apud Dean Swift, and the direction certainly does not convey an exalted idea of the social status of the gentleman who shared the hole of the ecclesiastical historian.

It is gratifying to remark the augmented consideration, in our day, of this despised fraternity. There is no omission for which an author of serious pretensions is now more frequently taken to task than that of an index; and if on the one hand it is unsatisfactory that the offence should be so frequent, it is on the other encouraging that its obnoxiousness should be so generally recognised. "Every author," sententiously observes an American sage, "every author should write his own index. Anybody can write the book." Without going quite to this length, very many are disposed to affirm of a book without an index what the Rev. Dr. Folliott, in "Crotchet

  1. New Quarterly Review, April 1879.

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