27 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 25

The Cathedral Church of St. Patrick. By J. H. Bernard,

D.D., Dean. (G. Bell and Sons. Is. 6d. net.)—This is a welcome addition to the "Cathedral" Series, the work of the person who is best qualified to write it. The history of the building is a somewhat melancholy one, though with redeeming features. It suffered much by fires, accidental and contrived. Henry VIII. confiscated its revenues,—Swift wrote across an old lease that one Bassinet (in whose name it was issued) was "kin to that scoundrel who surrendered the deanery to that beast Henry VIII." In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it suffered as other places suffered, but was spared the attention of the restorer. In this it has been fortunate, for when restoration did come, both in taste and in munificence it left nothing to be desired. On the whole, we may thankfully accept the Dean's witness that the "present Cathedral faithfully preserves the main features which it ex- hibited in the thirteenth century." It is only right to quote another sentence : "Had it not been for the public spirit of Sir Benjamin Guinness, St. Patrick's Cathedral would not be standing to-day." It should be remembered to the credit of Swift that

there never has been a Dean of St. Patrick who devoted more time and thought to the preservation of the monuments of his Cathedral." Among all post-Reformation Deans, he held the longest tenure of the office (thirty-two years). The pre-Reforma- tion list is incomplete.