A new serial work, with the inviting title of The
Library of Anecdote, has been commenced by that experienced caterer fur the miscellaneous reader, CHARLES KNIGHT; and the first vo- lume of the Book of Table-Talk, with which it commences, is a recommendatory sample of its character. The compiler, in a long and learned "Introductory Talk upon Table Talk," gives an account of the various collection of anecdotes, and other instruc- tive gossip, from the Attic Nights of /totals GELLIUS, through the numerous miscellanies of the middle ages, down to the French .Ana, and including the Literary Anecdotes of Nicnooes and the Curiosities of Literature of DISRAELI. We arc not told how far the less known collections will be made available to the present work ; but we conclude that the more popular English ones will not be meddled with, inasmuch as the editor in one instance sup- plies a deficiency in D'Isitaioti: this, therefore, may be regarded as a new compilation of original gossip. The nature of its con- tents may be judged of from the compiler's definition of the scope of Table-Talk- " There is seas cely any thing capable of being put into a book, of which it may not contain a little. The acts, and sayings, and fortunes of individuals; public events; the manners and customs of different ages and nations, and states of society ; curious and interesting facts in all the departments of natural knowledge; the wonders of science and art ; all the turnings and windings of human opinion ; sagacious maxims for the conduct of life; even ingenious thoughts in speculative philosophy ; all things, in short, that have either wit or humour in them."
And it might be added, any thing that informs, amuses, or ex- --cites attention. In a word, it is an omnium-gatherum—an in- tellectual hotch-potch; capable alike of pleasing the most desul- tory and listless reader and the profoundest student.
The variety, though not the number of subjects touched upon in the present volume, may be judged of from the mention of a few of the most striking : History of Stage Costume—Modern Perkin Warbecks—Dr. Hogg's Account of Sir Walter Scott at Naples—Odd Mistakes of Translators—Curious Simple Proper- ties of Numbers—Parliamentary Customs—Turkish Proverbs— Heraldic Anomalies. In a word, the Book of Table-Talk is the most learned of jest-books ; less amusing, perhaps, than many of the common Wag's Companions, but much more instructive. The introduetion of wood-cuts, wherever they are useful, is a provocative, and a gratification to the reader.