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THE CHANNEL TUNNEL.

LORD CARNARVON ON EDUCATION.

AGRICULTURAL PROSPECTS.

SEA-WATER BENEFICIAL TO SMALL.…

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PRACTICAL COOKERY.

THE LATE SEIZURE OF ARMS IN…

THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

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THE BRITISH MUSEUM. The Times notices the latest annual report of the Trustees of the British Museum in a leader, from which we take the following:— Even they who either have not or do not use their opportunities of visiting and studying at the British Museum must be very apathetic if they feel no curiosity in examining the accounts of this great item of public property as summed up for them ia the annual reports of the Trustees. The report for 1881 has just been presented to Parliament. It indicates a satisfactory increase of the treasures in the keeping of the Trustees, and of the benefits derived from them. To the Library 28,284 complete volumes and pamphlets were added and 43,513 parts of volumes. It received, besides, many thousands of playbills, and broadsides, and songs, and Parliamentary papers, from which, were the British Empire as entirely overthrown as the empire of Assyria, its essential characteristics could be pieced together. By purchase the Didot collection has contributed several curiosities, and the Sunderland Library 81 books wanting in the Museum, many of them rare and important." There is a German Bible printed at Strassburg in 1485, and a copy of Luther's Pentateuch of 1S23, which Tyndale consulted for his English version. Other auctions have furnished a Macix translation of Paradise Lost, and precious editions of Pope and Swift. The munificence of Mr. William Burges, the lamented architect, has prema- turely endowed the kingdom with exquisitely illumi- nated Psalters and Hours of the Virgin, and Bibles, as well as helmets and oeats of mail, and ivories and crystals, and divers precious objects. A living bene- factor has presented to the Print Room 77 chalk Italian landscapes by Richard Wilson, and the Trustees have bought a multitude of other drawings and etchings from their own resources. The Oriental Antiquities are enriched with a monumental stone from the temple of the sun god at Sipara, a town de- voted to books and tablets. Every other department has its own list of acquisitions to boast, from the most delicate examples of Etruaean and Greek art to a tiger trap from Amoy, and a wig from the Fiji Isles. The authorities of the Museum are constantly watching to supply gaps. They have their ideal of what a national museum should be. They do not disdain to accept articles which will simply amuse or amaze. In a col- lection planned on deep and broad lines everything finds its place. What elsewhere might be eccentric and grotesque fills a void, and is the missing link in the chain. These yearly enumerations of fresh accumulations in Bloomsbury or at South Kensington ought to be at least as interesting to the whole community as is the inventory o ja distant mansion to many an absentee inventory o ja distant mansion to many an absentee °f artistic masterpieces. To thousands of ■Englishmen the hoards of the British Museum are as personally profitable and dear as if all were individually their own. Of these the principal contingent is provided by the readers. The number of visits is recorded in the return, and not of y^s. The Reading Room received in 1881 visits, as against 109,442 in 1876. A ?'^ PROPortion of these visits was paid by daily students, to whom the Reading Room answers every purpose of a private library. Although the merits of their researches differ widely, in all the diligence and patience of investigation are exemplary. Were the i t? v9.raea 8en? Museum in 1881 in pursuance copyright laws traced to their origin, it would be seen that not a few had returned as naturally to their source as a salmon to the stream in which it was born. The other departments can claim a respec- table average of visitors as real students. Fifteen thousand visits for purposes of study are credited last year to the Sculpture Galleries, 10,890 to the Natural History Collections, and 4,312 to the Print Jtioom. In the first two instances the numbers 1ve doubled in five years; in the third alone they are stationary. In all three it may be presumed that the applications for leave on the ground of an intention to study were made in good faIth and acted upon. Nothing is more significant ? .j a<3vance of taste and ef the zeal for know- ledge of nature than the statistics the Trustees have put together. In numbers of visits the Gold Ornament and Gem Room can show as remarkable figures. In 1881 the room received 28,168 visits, as compared with 14,632 in 1876. The Trustees, however, discreetly refrain from describing those visits as paid for purposes of study. In addition, 5+ /faster 764,405 persons as having been ad- mittedin the course of the year to view the general collections on no special pretext of study, or on any S?ietJ. aPP^cat»on" Yet it is not to be supposed that 4-i?et6 Promiscuous visitors came from idle curiosity, or that, whatever their motive, they left without any addition to their stock of ideas. The advantage of an institution like the Museum is that it casts its nets in all varieties of water and for all kinds of fish. It recruits future inquirers and students even from the crowds which wander aimlessly through its galleries on an Easter Monday or Boxing Day. 2

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