Library History

Sir Edmund Verney

then said was supposed by some people that libraries were modern institutions. This was entirely mistake, tor there were libraries and schools all over the Babylonian empire two thousand years before the age of Abraham. (Laughter.) * Some of the books from these libraries might be seen to-day the British Museum. (Renewed laughter.) The books were written on clay. They had specimen of writing on clay in the Steeple Clay don Library, where they had the second brick from the Calvert Brickworks. The Babylonians were remarkable Rice, and their arithmetic, mathematics, dates aud chronology were mast accurate and perfect. They were succeeded by the literature of the Egyptians, who were almost old race the Babylonians. The literature of the Egyptians suffered widely from that of the Babylonians. They were a poetic race, fond of theology, and consequently of imagination. Their books were imaginative, and many of their books which remained to at the present time were full of beautiful phrases. The oldest library in the world was in Egypt, and had its catalogue upon the walls. Their books were written on a sort of cloth known as papyrus which was now made Sicily. The oldest librarian in the world of whom they had any record was an Egyptian, He lived the year 1333, and his name was Amen. (Laughter.) They could not doubt that in 1333 years hence the name of the Steeple Claydon librarian would be remembered with the same respect and regard. (Laughter.) They had books of the time Rameses IL, who was supposed to be the Fharoah of Exodus. He was a great warrior and carved records of his victories on statuary and walls. When he required another victory he merely chiselled out the tiame of the previous victor and inserted his own. (Laughter.) Perhaps this was the origin ol the term of ” duelling,’ which boys at school sometimes used. (Laughter.) He thanked, for the tender and affectionate regajd they had shown to Lady Verney that da-, hoped that the ntrQ Peace, love, and WOuli » through many things to separate them, but in. tfta t library they would have Tone point on which they could all unite, one place w rf6re they conld leave their differences outside, and which they could enter in spirit of true harmony, good fellowships and good feeling. (Applause.) The National Anthem having been sung, loud cheers were given for Sir Edmund and Lady Verney, Major Salmon, and the other members of the family. The proceedings then terminated, and the company adjourned for tea in the present ptrblic library.