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Wilfred Cripps, C.B., the head of a family that has been seated at Cirencester for many hundreds of years, has an interesting private collection of Roman antiquities which have been found in the neighbourhood from time to time. He has quite recently discovered the remnants of the Basilica or Roman law-courts.

I find them described chiefly in Brand's "Popular Antiquities." It appears that "on Christmas eve the farmers and their men in Devonshire take a large bowl of cider, with a toast in it, and carrying it in state to the orchard, they salute the apple-trees with much ceremony, in order to make them bear well the next season."

He was sorrowful in that dreadful room of his, fixed up with stained glass and morbid antiquities. He lay on a sofa lecturing me till breakfast. Then I thought reproof was over, but after a walk in the garden we went upstairs and he began again, saying he was not angry. "It is the law of nature," he said, "for children to devour their parents. I do not complain."

Having pulverised the will-power of his guest, the merchant of antiquities hands him over to his myrmidons who conduct him round the shop for it is only a shop after all. Taking accurate measurement of his purse and tastes, they force him to buy what pleases them, just as a conjurer can force a card upon his audience.

Visitors should give the local names of tells in Arabic characters, when possible, so that mistakes in transliteration into English may be avoided. Antiquities bought in the neighbourhood of a tell should be noted as coming from that neighbourhood.

One should spend a month in the museum, an enchanted palace of Indian antiquities. Indeed, a person might spend half a year among the beautiful and wonderful things without exhausting their interest. It was winter. We were of Kipling's "hosts of tourists who travel up and down India in the cold weather showing how things ought to be managed."

Drever contended were worth more than their mere weight in silver. Meanwhile, the schoolmaster, anxious to keep the collection, as he said, intacto, for preservation in some museum, still held possession of the antiquities, and was nightly burning much oil in his absorbed study of them. Since Tom Kinlay had left the school Mr. Drever had not seen him.

The collection of antiquities, though a very rich, one, dwindles into insignificance when compared with that of the Vatican, and the halls in which it is arranged appear mean in the eyes of those accustomed to see the numerous and splendid ones of the Roman edifice.

But the visitor who has probably been more impressed with the contents of the Elgin Saloon than with the massive coarseness of the Egyptian antiquities, will be glad to hear a few general words an authoritative summing up of the matter from a pen more clearly authorised to touch the subject than ours can be.

J. ROSS BROWNE'S Report of the Debates in the Convention of California on the Formation of the State Constitution, is a curious historical document, and will possess still more interest when the antiquities of the modern Eldorado shall become the object of learned research.

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