Page:Notes by the Way.djvu/108

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Lord Braybrooke, John Britton, James Robinson Planché, Henry Hallam, Prof. de Morgan, J. 0. Halliwell, Douglas Jerrold, R. Monckton Milnes (afterwards Lord Houghton), Dr. Doran, W. Moy Thomas, E. F. Rimbault, Peter Cunningham, and Samuel Weller Singer, who told Mr. Thoms that "Notes and Queries had served to call him into a new literary existence." Mr. Thoms, indeed, stated it as his belief that but for Notes and Queries "the lovers of Shakespeare would never have seen Mr. Singer's most valuable edition of their favourite poet."

The first volume of Notes and Queries was completed with the thirtieth number, May 25th, 1850, the second volume running from the 1st of June to the end of the year, after which the volumes were issued each half year, the First Series being completed on the 22nd of December, 1855.

By the close of the first twelve months Mr. Thoms had the delight of knowing that the objects he had in view in starting his paper had been, to a large extent, fufilled; he had laid down his "literary railway," and it had been "especially patronized by first-class passengers," his aim being, as he tells us in his introduction to the fifty-second number,

"to reach the learning which lies scattered not only throughout every part of our own country, but all over the literary world, and to bring it all to bear upon the pursuits of the scholar; to enable, in short, men of letters all over the world to give a helping hand to one another."

And this end had, to a certain extent, been accomplished.

"Our last number," continues Mr. Thoms,

"contains communications not only from all parts of the metropolis, and from almost every county in England, but also from Scotland, Ireland, Holland, and even from Demerara."

Hundredth number. A further note of congratulation is added in "Our Hundredth Number," when Mr. Thoms claims" the privilege of age to be garrulous." He states that

"during the hundred weeks our paper has existed we have received from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France—from the United States—from India—from Australia—from the West Indies from—almost every one of our Coloniee—letters expressive of the pleasure which the writers (many of them obviously scholars 'ripe and good,' though far removed from the busy world of letters) derive from the perusal of Notes and Queries"

Mr. Thoms adds: " How many a pertinent Note, suggestive Query, and apt Reply have reached us from the same remote quarters!" Reference is also made to the good service rendered to men of letters here at home, as well as to a goodly list of works of learning and research, such as Cunningham's 'Handbook of London Past and Present,' " published when we had been but a few