Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/447

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IX. MAY 31, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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hope of inducing him to appear and supply hia worshipper with money for his extravagances and debaucheries. Whether these victims were, as Mr. Vizetelly supposes, two or three hundred, or, according to what is said to be the criminal's own estimate, six times that number, there is no doubt that he spread consternation over Western France, from Brittany to Poitou, and made a pro- found impression upon the popular mind. Each of his castles was a shrine of Moloch. It is probable enough that he grew in time accustomed to murder, and that, instead of performing a mere perfunctory ritual in honour of Satan, he took pleasure in the blood of his victims. At any rate, his name of "the exterminating beast" is appropriate, and his death by hanging and burning, though chiefly attributable to his ecclesiastical offences, was richly merited. So emphatically is he a real character that he figures largely in historical compilations. In this country a full record of his misdeeds is not easily obtained, and Mr. Vizetelly's book will be eagerly consulted by the students of human per- versity. In opposition to Mr. Vizetelly, we are disposed to regard him as mad, though his madness furnishes no excuse for his iniquities, and for- tunately did not procure him any immunity from punishment. He stands in this respect near the Marquis de Sade, the Chemos to this Moloch, the mere mention of whose name almost constitutes an offence. Mr. Vizetelly himself has hesitated to describe all the actions of " the exterminating beast," a full record of whose crimes is, so far as we understand, only to be found in the Latin of the proceedings on his trial.

To the life of Gilles de Rais Mr. Vizetelly has prefixed that of Comorre the Cursed, another Breton, who lived between 515 and 535, or nine hundred years earlier than Gilles de Rais. Con- cerning this scarcely less execrable being, who also is supposed to have furnished a possible prototype of Bluebeard, ordinary books of reference are silent, and it is in ' The Life, Deeds, Death, and Miracles of the Saints of Armorican Brittany ' that we find the best account. Not that Comorre was a saint far from it. St. Gildas was, however, so far con- cerned with his crimes as to restore to life Tryphine, the last of the wives whom he beheaded. On Comorre, according to pious legends, the saints of Brittany called down judgment, debarring him from access either to heaven or purgatory, with the result that the Breton peasants saw him, in the guise of a wolf, prowling in search of human prey.

In his opening chapter Mr. Vizetelly treats the histories he narrates and the story of Bluebeard from the point of folk-lore. In the later and more interesting portion of his work he gives a full account of the crimes of Gilles de Rais. His book will appeal strongly to a wide public. We are not quite sure as to some of his references. Is Ducange responsible for a ' Glossaire Francais ' ? The volume is enriched with an alleged portrait of Gilles de Rais from Montfaucon and eight illustrations by the author of spots in Brittany connected with the deeds he describes.

How to Make an Index. By Henry B. Wheatley,

F.S.A. (Stock.)

OF the three works which Mr. Wheatley has con- tributed to his own "Book-Lover's Library" the third is in almost all respects the best. ' How to Form a Library ' (to some extent a matter of will


or taste) and 'How to Catalogue a Library 'were the previous volumes, the second having naturally much m common with the present. Good indexes are, however, less common than good catalogues and the information Mr. Wheatley supplies should lead to a notable improvement of the art. With most of the indexes to which he refers with praise we are familiar, from that to the translation of Pliny s' History of the World '(which is called a table ') to the really magnificent index to Bos- well's Johnson of Dr. Birkbeck Hill, the utility of which extends far beyond either Johnson or his biographer. The earlier and more amusing portion of Mr. Wheatley's work deals with the history of index-making, and constitutes delightful reading ; the later and more useful section consists of infor- mation how an index should be made. The whole it is to be trusted, will be widely studied and effect great improvement in a neglected or misunder- stood art. Among things Mr. Wheatley might have mentioned are the eminently useful indexes verborum which accompany some classics e.g., the Horace of Doering of 1838. Materials for this, which serves most purposes of a concordance, are fur- nished in the ' Horace of the Forty Commentators,' once famous, but now, it is to be feared, forgotten. Mr. Wheatley draws attention to the difficulties to readers resulting from the incapacity of index- makers, and mentions, among others, that resulting from using the Christian name instead of the sur- name of a writer. A curious instance of this is supplied in the * Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu' (Antwerp, 1643), which is, in a sense, one prolonged index. In this the Christian name has always to be sought, so that in looking for, say, the famous Father Gerard (1564-1637), unless one knows that his name is John, in Latin Joannes, research is practically futile. Mistakes in indexing such as Mr. Wheatley points out are not confined to indexes. Not at all uncommon is it in dictionaries to find opposite a word, say, in French, the same word in English. On turning to the English section, however, the word does not appear. In Eadie's 'Dictionary of the Bible' (1850), Mr. Wheatley points out, under 'Dorcas' you are referred to 'Tabitha'; but under 'Tabitha' there is no entry at all. So common and aggravating is this form of error that some of our own books of reference are scored with comment that we fear might incur the charge of ribaldry. There is but one adjective to be applied to Mr. Wheatley's volume, and that adjective is "excellent."

The Owens College Jubilee. Being a Special Issue of the Owens College Union Magazine to commemo- rate the recently accomplished Jubilee of the College. (Manchester, Sherratt & Hughes.) The Owens College, Report of the Council. (Man- chester, Gill.)

ON the 12th of March, 1851, when London was full of excitement and anticipation as to the result of the forthcoming Great Exhibition, a good work in Manchester was commenced. On that day the doors of Owens College were for the first time opened in the old buildingin Quay Street, a house that had been Richard Cobden's. Of the founder, John Owens, very little is known, except that he lived in Nelson Street, was a merchant apparently, and had a warehouse near Shudehill. The first article in this Jubilee number of the Col- lege magazine is by the Principal of the College, Dr. Hopkinson, entitled ' The University and the City.'