IT has been said of the late David Laing, who for so many years was guide, philosopher and friend to all workers in the field of Scottish history and antiquities who came to consult him in the Signet Library, that he had little need for a catalogue of the library since he knew all the important works by head and horn, and could lay his hands upon them at any moment. He was, it is true, endowed with a prodigious memory, and no doubt could have made good his claim at a time when the field was more restricted and the collections of smaller extent than they are now. Sad it is, however, to think that knowledge acquired and so well retained by such gifted individuals perishes with them, whilst we are left lamenting that their knowledge and learning is of so little value to us who come after them. Vox emissa volat—litera scripta manet.
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