We will be posting extracts from his book – By Nile and Tigris – A Narrative of Journeys in Egypt and Mesopotamia on behalf of The British Museum between the years 1886 and 1913 – in our posts on this blog.
From 1869 to 1878 Budge spent whatever free time he had from his job at W.H. Smith studying Assyrian, and he often walked down to St. Paul's Cathedral over his lunch break to study during these years. When the organist of St. Paul's, John Stainer, noticed Budge's hard work, he decided to help the boy to realize his dream of working in a profession that would allow him to study Assyrian. Stainer contacted Budge's employer, the Conservative Member of Parliament W.H. mith, as well as the former Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, and asked them to help his young friend. Both Smith and Gladstone agreed to help Stainer to raise money for Budge to attend Cambridge University... Sir John Stainer was an English composer and organist ... Because of a childhood accident, Stainer had lost the use of one eye; for a brief period in 1875 he lost that of the other too.
them were terrifying, but there was much in the hymn books which interested and amused me, and many verses of them I committed to memory. Thus Mr. John Peat, in singing of the end of the world, says:—
" The bishops will then lodge with devils and swineInstead of a silk gown to clothe the false rubbish,Or bottle of claret to please his proud heart,Or fine high-cocked mitre to make him look bobbish.The waters of death will new torments impart."