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Title: Bibliomania; or Book-Madness

A Bibliographical Romance

Author: Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Release Date: April 8, 2009 [eBook #28540]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes, Linda Cantoni,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Transcriber's Notes

Thomas Frognall Dibdin's Bibliomania was originally published in 1809 and was re-issued in several editions, including one published by Chatto & Windus in 1876. This e-book was prepared from a reprint of the 1876 edition, published by Thoemmes Press and Kinokuniya Company Ltd. in 1997. Where the reprint was unclear, the transcriber consulted the actual 1876 edition. All color images were scanned from the 1876 edition.

The original contains numerous footnotes, denoted by numbers in the section entitled The Bibliomania, and by symbols in the remainder of the book. All of the footnotes are consecutively numbered in this e-book; footnotes within footnotes are lettered.

Some phrases are rendered in the original in blackletter; they are rendered in bold italic in this e-book.

This e-book contains passages in ancient Greek, which may not display properly in some browsers, depending on what fonts the reader has installed. Hover the mouse over the Greek to see a pop-up transliteration, e.g. βιβλος.

Spelling and typographical errors are retained as they appear in the original. They are underlined in red, with a popup Transcriber's Note containing the correct spelling. Minor punctuation and font errors have been corrected without note. Inconsistent diacriticals and hyphenation have been retained as they appear in the original.

There are frequent inconsistencies in the spelling of certain proper names. These have been retained as they appear in the original, for example:

The original pagination used two sets of Roman numerals and two sets of Arabic numerals. To distinguish between them, in this e-book the Roman-numeral pages in the Indexes are preceded by "I." The Arabic-numeral pages in the section entitled The Bibliomania are preceded by "B." Some page numbers are skipped due to blank pages.

Page references, including those in the Indexes, do not distinguish between references appearing in the main text and those appearing in footnotes. Therefore, in this e-book, where the referenced matter does not appear in the main text on the linked page, it can be found in the nearest footnote.







Libri quosdam ad Scientiam, quosdam ad insaniam, deduxêre.
Geyler: Navis Stultifera: sign. B. iiij. rev.



Engraved by James Thomson from the
Original Painting by T. Phillips, Esqr. R.A.


title page - image credit: Engraved by S. Freeman.








New and improved Edition,












The Roxburgh Club,










THE public may not be altogether unprepared for the re-appearance of the Bibliomania in a more attractive garb than heretofore;—and, in consequence, more in uniformity with the previous publications of the Author.

More than thirty years have elapsed since the last edition; an edition, which has become so scarce that there seemed to be no reasonable objection why the possessors of the other works of the Author should beviii deprived of an opportunity of adding the present to the number: and although this re-impression may, on first glance, appear something like a violation of contract with the public, yet, when the length of time which has elapsed, and the smallness of the price of the preceding impression, be considered, there does not appear to be any very serious obstacle to the present republication; the more so, as the number of copies is limited to five hundred.

Another consideration deeply impressed itself upon the mind of the Author. The course of thirty years has necessarily brought changes and alterations amongst "men and things." The dart of death has been so busy during this period that, of the Bibliomaniacs so plentifully recorded in the previous work, scarcely three,—including the Author—have survived. This has furnished a monitory theme for the Appendix; which, to the friends both of the dead and the living, cannot be perused without sympathising emotions—

"A sigh the absent claim, the dead a tear."

The changes and alterations in "things,"—that is to say in the Bibliomania itself—have been equally capricious and unaccountable: our countrymen being, in these days, to the full as fond of novelty and variety as in those of Henry the Eighth. Dr. Board, who wrote his Introduction of Knowledge in the year 1542, and dedicated it to the Princess Mary, thus observes of our countrymen:ix

I am an Englishman, and naked do I stand here,
Musing in my mind what raiment I shall wear;
For now I will wear
this, and now I will wear that,
Now I will wear—I cannot tell what.

This highly curious and illustrative work was reprinted, with all its wood-cut embellishments, by Mr. Upcott. A copy of the original and most scarce edition is among the Selden books in the Bodleian library, and in the Chetham Collection at Manchester. See the Typographical Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 158-60.

But I apprehend the general apathy of Bibliomaniacs to be in a great measure attributable to the vast influx of Books, of every description, from the Continent—owing to the long continuance of peace; and yet, in the appearance of what are called English Rarities, the market seems to be almost as barren as ever. The wounds, inflicted in the Heberian contest, have gradually healed, and are subsiding into forgetfulness; excepting where, from collateral causes, there are too many striking reasons to remember their existence.

Another motive may be humbly, yet confidently, assigned for the re-appearance of this Work. It was thought, by its late proprietor,—Mr. Edward Walmsley[1]—to whose cost and liberality this edition owes itsx appearance—to be a volume, in itself, of pleasant and profitable perusal; composed perhaps in a quaint and original style, but in accordance with the characters of the Dramatis Personæ. Be this as it may, it is a work divested of all acrimonious feeling—is applicable to all classes of society, to whom harmless enthusiasm cannot be offensive—and is based upon a foundation not likely to be speedily undermined.


May 1, 1842.

[1] Mr. Edward Walmsley, who died in 1841, at an advanced age, had been long known to me. He had latterly extensive calico-printing works at Mitcham, and devoted much of his time to the production of beautiful patterns in that fabrication; his taste, in almost every thing which he undertook, leant towards the fine arts. His body was in the counting-house; but his spirit was abroad, in the studio of the painter or engraver. Had his natural talents, which were strong and elastic, been cultivated in early life, he would, in all probability, have attained a considerable reputation. How he loved to embellish—almost to satiety—a favourite work, may be seen by consulting a subsequent page towards the end of this volume. He planned and published the Physiognomical Portraits, a performance not divested of interest—but failing in general success, from the prints being, in many instances, a repetition of their precursors. The thought, however, was a good one; and many of the heads are powerfully executed. He took also a lively interest in Mr. Major's splendid edition of Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in England, a work, which can never want a reader while taste has an abiding-place in one British bosom.

Mr. Walmsley possessed a brave and generous spirit; and I scarcely knew a man more disposed to bury the remembrance of men's errors in that of their attainments and good qualities.


second title page












Styll am I besy bokes assemblynge,
For to have plenty it is a pleasaunt thynge
In my conceyt, and to have them ay in honde:
But what they mene I do nat understonde.

Pynson's Ship of Fools. Edit. 1509.




In laying before the public the following brief and superficial account of a disease, which, till it arrested the attention of Dr. Ferriar, had entirely escaped the sagacity of all ancient and modern physicians, it has been my object to touch chiefly on its leading characteristics; and to present the reader (in the language of my old friend Francis Quarles) with an "honest pennyworth" of information, which may, in the end, either suppress or soften the ravages of so destructive a malady. I might easily have swelled the size of this treatise by the introduction of much additional, and not incurious, matter; but I thought it most prudent to wait the issue of the present "recipe," at once simple in its composition and gentle in its effects.

Some apology is due to the amiable and accomplished character to whom my epistle is addressed, as well as to the public, for the apparently conxivfused and indigested manner in which the notes are attached to the first part of this treatise; but, unless I had thrown them to the end (a plan which modern custom does not seem to warrant), it will be obvious that a different arrangement could not have been adopted; and equally so that the perusal, first of the text, and afterwards of the notes, will be the better mode of passing judgment upon both.


Kensington, June 5, 1809.



A SHORT time after the publication of the first edition of this work, a very worthy and shrewd Bibliomaniac, accidentally meeting me, exclaimed that "the book would do, but that there was not gall enough in it." As he was himself a Book-Auction-loving Bibliomaniac, I was resolved, in a future edition, to gratify him and similar Collectors by writing Part III. of the present impression; the motto of which may probably meet their approbation.

It will be evident, on a slight inspection of the present edition, that it is so much altered and enlarged as to assume the character of a new work. This has not been done without mature reflection; and a long-cherished hope of making it permanently useful to a large class of General Readers, as well as to Book-Collectors and Bibliographers.xvi

It appeared to me that notices of such truly valuable, and oftentimes curious and rare, books, as the ensuing pages describe; but more especially a Personal History of Literature, in the characters of Collectors of Books; had long been a desideratum even with classical students: and in adopting the present form of publication, my chief object was to relieve the dryness of a didactic style by the introduction of Dramatis Personæ.

The worthy Gentlemen, by whom the Drama is conducted, may be called, by some, merely wooden machines or pegs to hang notes upon; but I shall not be disposed to quarrel with any criticism which may be passed upon their acting, so long as the greater part of the information, to which their dialogue gives rise, may be thought serviceable to the real interests of Literature and Bibliography.

If I had chosen to assume a more imposing air with the public, by spinning out the contents of this closely-printed book into two or more volumes—which might have been done without violating the customary mode of publication—the expenses of the purchaser, and the profits of the author, would have equally increased: but I was resolved to bring forward as much matter as I could impart, in a convenient and not inelegantly executed form; and, if my own emoluments are less, I honestly hope the reader's advantage is greater.

The Engraved Ornaments of Portraits, Vignettes, and Borders, were introduced, as well to gratify the eyes of tasteful Bibliomaniacs, as to impress, uponxvii the minds of readers in general, a more vivid recollection of some of those truly illustrious characters by whom the History of British Literature has been preserved.

It remains only to add that the present work was undertaken to relieve, in a great measure, the anguish of mind arising from a severe domestic affliction; and if the voice of those whom we tenderly loved, whether parent or child, could be heard from the grave, I trust it would convey the sound of approbation for thus having filled a part of the measure of that time which, every hour, brings us nearer to those from whom we are separated.

And now, Benevolent Reader, in promising thee as much amusement and instruction as ever were offered in a single volume, of a nature like to the present, I bid thee farewell in the language of Vogt,[2] who thus praises the subject of which we are about to treat:—"Quis non amabilem eam laudabit insaniam, quæ universæ rei litterariæ non obfuit, sed profuit; historiæ litterariæ doctrinam insigniter locupletavit; ingentemque exercitum voluminum, quibus alias aut in remotiora Bibliothecarum publicarum scrinia commigrandum erat, aut plane pereundum, a carceribus et interitu vindicavit, exoptatissimæque luci et eruditorum usui multiplici felicitur restituit?"


Kensington, March 25, 1811.

[2] Catalogus Librorum Rariorum, præf. ix. edit. 1793.



Part I. The Evening Walk. On the right uses of Literature p. 3-20.
II. The Cabinet. Outline of Foreign and Domestic Bibliography p. 23-92.
III. The Auction-Room. Character of Orlando. Of ancient Prices of Books, and of Book-Binding. Book-Auction Bibliomaniacs p. 103-139.
IV. The Library. Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain. A Game at Chess. Of Monachism and Chivalry. Dinner at Lorenzo's. Some Account of Book Collectors in England p. 143-207.
V. The Drawing Room. History of the Bibliomania, or Account of Book Collectors, concluded p. 211-463.
VI. The Alcove. Symptoms of the Disease called the Bibliomania. Probable Means of its Cure p. 467-565.


Chronological Index.

Bibliographical Index.

General Index.



B. 1

The Bibliomania.


When the poetical Epistle of Dr. Ferriar, under the popular title of "The Bibliomania," was announced for publication, I honestly confess that, in common with many of my book-loving acquaintance, a strong sensation of fear and of hope possessed me: of fear, that I might have been accused, however indirectly, of having contributed towards the increase of this Mania; and of hope, that the true object of book-collecting, and literary pursuits, might have been fully and fairly developed. The perusal of this elegant epistle dissipated alike my fears and my hopes; for, instead of caustic verses, and satirical notes,[3] I found a smooth,B. 2 melodious, and persuasive panegyric; unmixed, however, with any rules for the choice of books, or the regulation of study.

[3] There are, nevertheless, some satirical allusions which one could have wished had been suppressed. For instance:

He turns where Pybus rears his atlas-head,
Or Madoc's mass conceals its veins of lead;

What has Mr. Pybus's gorgeous book in praise of the late Russian Emperor Paul I. (which some have called the chef-d'œuvre of Bensley's press[A]) to do with Mr. Southey's fine Poem of Madoc?—in which, if there are "veins of lead," there are not a few "of silver and gold." Of the extraordinary talents of Mr. Southey, the indefatigable student in ancient lore, and especially in all that regards Spanish Literature and Old English Romances, this is not the place to make mention. His "Remains of Henry Kirk White," the sweetest specimen of modern biography, has sunk into every heart, and received an eulogy from every tongue. Yet is his own life

"The more endearing song."

Dr. Ferriar's next satirical verses are levelled at Mr. Thomas Hope.

"The lettered fop now takes a larger scope,
With classic furniture, design'd by Hope.
(Hope, whom upholsterers eye with mute despair,
The doughty pedant of an elbow chair.")

It has appeared to me that Mr. Hope's magnificent volume on "Household Furniture" has been generally misunderstood, and, in a few instances, criticised upon false principles.—The first question is, does the subject admit of illustration? and if so, has Mr. Hope illustrated it properly? I believe there is no canon of criticism which forbids the treating of such a subject; and, while we are amused with archæological discussions on Roman tiles and tesselated pavements, there seems to be no absurdity in making the decorations of our sitting rooms, including something more than the floor we walk upon, a subject at least of temperate and classical disquisition. Suppose we had found such a treatise in the volumes of Gronovius and Montfaucon? (and are there not a few, apparently, as unimportant and confined in these rich volumes of the Treasures of Antiquity?) or suppose something similar to Mr. Hope's work had been found among the ruins of Herculaneum? Or, lastly, let us suppose the author had printed it only as a private book, to be circulated as a present! In each of these instances, should we have heard the harsh censures which have been thrown out against it? On the contrary, is it not very probable that a wish might have been expressed that "so valuable a work ought to be made public."

Upon what principle, a priori, are we to ridicule and condemn it? I know of none. We admit Vitruvius, Inigo Jones, Gibbs, and Chambers, into our libraries: and why not Mr. Hope's book? Is decoration to be confined only to the exterior? and, if so, are works, which treat of these only, to be read and applauded? Is the delicate bas-relief, and beautifully carved column, to be thrust from the cabinet and drawing room, to perish on the outside of a smoke-dried portico? Or, is not that the most deserving of commendation which produces the most numerous and pleasing associations of ideas? I recollect, when in company with the excellent Dr. Jenner,

——[clarum et venerabile nomen
Gentibus, et multum nostræ quod proderat urbi]

and a half dozen more friends, we visited the splendid apartments in Duchess Street, Portland Place, we were not only struck with the appropriate arrangement of every thing, but, on our leaving them, and coming out into the dull foggy atmosphere of London, we acknowledged that the effect produced upon our minds was something like that which might have arisen had we been regaling ourselves on the silken couches, and within the illuminated chambers, of some of the enchanted palaces described in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. I suspect that those who have criticised Mr. Hope's work with asperity have never seen his house.

These sentiments are not the result of partiality or prejudice, for I am wholly unacquainted with Mr. Hope. They are delivered with zeal, but with deference. It is quite consolatory to find a gentleman of large fortune, of respectable ancestry, and of classical attainments, devoting a great portion of that leisure time which hangs like a leaden weight upon the generality of fashionable people, to the service of the Fine Arts, and in the patronage of merit and ingenuity. How much the world will again be indebted to Mr. Hope's taste and liberality may be anticipated from the "Costume of the Ancients," a work which has recently been published under his particular superintendence.

[A] This book is beautifully executed, undoubtedly, but being little more than a thin folio pamphlet devoid of typographical embellishment—it has been thought by some hardly fair to say this of a press which brought out so many works characterized by magnitude and various elegance. B.B.

To say that I was not gratified by the perusal of it would be a confession contrary to the truth; but to say how ardently I anticipated an amplification of the subject, how eagerly I looked forward to a number ofB. 3 curious, apposite, and amusing anecdotes, and found them not therein, is an avowal of which I need not fear the rashness, when the known talents of the detector of Stern's plagiarisms[4] are considered. I will not, however, disguise to you that I read it with uniform delight, and that I rose from the perusal with a keener appetite for

"The small, rare volume, black with tarnished gold."
Dr. Ferriar's Ep. v. 138.

[4] In the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Manchester Literary Society, part iv., p. 45-87, will be found a most ingenious and amusing Essay, entitled "Comments on Sterne," which excited a good deal of interest at the time of its publication. This discovery may be considered, in some measure, as the result of the Bibliomania. In my edition of Sir Thomas More's Utopia, a suggestion is thrown out that even Burton may have been an imitator of Boisatuau: see vol. II. 143.

Whoever undertakes to write down the follies which grow out of an excessive attachment to any particularB. 4 pursuit, be that pursuit horses,[5] hawks, dogs, guns, snuff boxes,[6] old china, coins, or rusty armour, mayB. 5 be thought to have little consulted the best means of ensuring success for his labours, when he adopts theB. 6 dull vehicle of Prose for the commnication of his ideas not considering that from Poetry ten thousand bright scintillations are struck off, which please and convince while they attract and astonish. Thus when Pope talks of allotting for

"Pembroke[7] Statues, dirty Gods and Coins;
Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne[8] alone;
And books to Mead[9] and butterflies to Sloane,"[10]

when he says that

These Aldus[11] printed, those Du Sūeil has bound[12]

moreover that

For Locke or Milton[13] 'tis in vain to look;
These shelves admit not any modern book;

he not only seems to illustrate the propriety of theB. 7 foregoing remark, by shewing the immense superiority of verse to prose, in ridiculing reigning absurdities, but he seems to have had a pretty strong foresight of theB. 8 Bibliomania which rages at the present day. However, as the ancients tell us that a Poet cannot be a manufactured creature, and as I have not the smallestB. 9 pretensions to the "rhyming art," [although in former times[14] I did venture to dabble with it] I must of necessity have recourse to Prose; and, at the same time, to your candour and forbearance in perusing the pages which ensue.

[5] It may be taken for granted that the first book in this country which excited a passion for the Sports of the field was Dame Juliana Berners, or Barnes's, work, on Hunting and Hawking, printed at St. Alban's, in the year 1486; of which Lord Spencer's copy is, I believe, the only perfect one known. It was formerly the Poet Mason's, and is mentioned in the quarto edition of Hoccleve's Poems, p. 19, 1786. See too Bibl. Mason. Pt. iv. No. 153. Whether the forementioned worthy lady was really the author of the work has been questioned. Her book was reprinted by Wynkyn de Worde in 1497, with an additional Treatise on Fishing. The following specimen, from this latter edition, ascertains the general usage of the French language with our huntsmen in the 15th century.

Beasts of Venery.

Where so ever ye fare by frith or by fell,
My dear child, take heed how Trystram do you tell.
How many manner beasts of Venery there were:
Listen to your dame and she shall you lere.
Four manner beasts of Venery there are.
The first of them is the Hart; the second is the Hare;
The Horse is one of them; the Wolf; and not one mo.

Beasts of the Chace.

And where that ye come in plain or in place
I shall tell you which be beasts of enchace.
One of them is the Buck; another is the Doe;
The Fox; and the Marteron, and the wild Roe;
And ye shall see, my dear child, other beastes all:
Where so ye them find Rascal ye shall them call.

Of the hunting of the Hare.

How to speke of the haare how all shall be wrought:
When she shall with houndes be founden and sought.
The fyrst worde to the hoūdis that the hunter shall out pit
Is at the kenell doore whan he openeth it.
That all maye hym here: he shall say "Arere!"
For his houndes would come to hastily.
That is the firste worde my sone of Venery.
And when he hath couplyed his houndes echoon
And is forth wyth theym to the felde goon,
And whan he hath of caste his couples at wyll
Thenne he shall speke and saye his houndes tyll
"Hors de couple avant, sa avant!" twyse soo:
And then "So ho, so ho!" thryes, and no moo.

And then say "Sacy avaunt, so how," I thou praye, etc. The following are a few more specimens—"Ha cy touz cy est yllVenez ares sa how saLa douce la eit a venuzHo ho ore, swet a lay, douce a luySo how, so how, venez acoupler!!!"

Whoever wishes to see these subjects brought down to later times, and handled with considerable dexterity, may consult the last numbers of the Censura Literaria, with the signature J.H. affixed to them. Those who are anxious to procure the rare books mentioned in these bibliographical treatises, may be pretty safely taxed with being infected by the Bibliomania. What apology my friend Mr. Haslewood, the author of them, has to offer in extenuation of the mischief committed, it is his business, and not mine, to consider; and what the public will say to his curious forthcoming reprint of the ancient edition of Wynkyn De Worde on Hunting, Hawking, and Fishing, 1497 (with wood cuts), I will not pretend to divine!

In regard to Hawking, I believe the enterprising Colonel Thornton in the only gentleman of the present day who keeps up this custom of "good old times."

The Sultans of the East seem not to have been insensible to the charms of Falconry, if we are to judge from the evidence of Tippoo Saib having a work of this kind in his library; which is thus described from the Catalogue of it just published in a fine quarto volume, of which only 250 copies are printed.

"Shābbār Nāmeh, 4to. a Treatise on Falcony; containing Instructions for selecting the best species of Hawks, and the method of teaching them; describing their different qualities; also the disorders they are subject to, and method of cure. Author unknown."—Oriental Library of Tippoo Saib, 1809, p. 96.

[6] Of Snuff boxes every one knows what a collection the great Frederick, King of Prussia, had—many of them studded with precious stones, and decorated with enamelled portraits. Dr. C. of G——, has been represented to be the most successful rival of Frederick, in this "line of collection," as it is called; some of his boxes are of uncommon curiosity. It may gratify a Bibliographer to find that there are other Manias besides that of the book; and that even physicians are not exempt from these diseases.

Of Old China, Coins, and Rusty Armour, the names of hundreds present themselves in these departments; but to the more commonly-known ones of Rawle and Grose, let me add that of the late Mr. John White, of Newgate-Street; a catalogue of whose curiosities [including some very uncommon books] was published in the year 1788, in three parts, 8vo. Dr. Burney tells us that Mr. White "was in possession of a valuable collection of ancient rarities, as well as natural productions, of the most curious and extraordinary kind; no one of which however was more remarkable than the obliging manner in which he allowed them to be viewed and examined by his friends."—History of Music, vol. II. 539, note.

[7] The reader will find an animated eulogy on this great nobleman in Walpole's Anecdotes of Painters, vol. iv. 227: part of which was transcribed by Joseph Warton for his Variorum edition of Pope's Works, and thence copied into the recent edition of the same by the Rev. W.L. Bowles. But Pembroke deserved a more particular notice. Exclusively of his fine statues, and architectural decorations, the Earl contrived to procure a number of curious and rare books; and the testimonies of Maittaire [who speaks indeed of him with a sort of rapture!] and Palmer shew that the productions of Jenson and Caxton were no strangers to his library. Annales Typographici, vol. I. 13. edit. 1719. History of Printing, p. v. "There is nothing that so surely proves the pre-eminence of virtue more than the universal admiration of mankind, and the respect paid it even by persons in opposite interests; and more than this, it is a sparkling gem which even time does not destroy: it is hung up in the Temple of Fame, and respected for ever." Continuation of Granger, vol. I. 37, &c. "He raised, continues Mr. Noble, a collection of Antiques that were unrivalled by any subject. His learning made him a fit companion for the literati. Wilton will ever be a monument of his extensive knowledge; and the princely presents it contains, of the high estimation in which he was held by foreign potentates, as well as by the many monarchs he saw and served at home. He lived rather as a primitive christian; in his behaviour, meek: in his dress, plain: rather retired, conversing but little." Burnet, in the History of his own Times, has spoken of the Earl with spirit and propriety.

[8] In the recent Variorum Edition of Pope's Works, all that is annexed to Hearne's name, as above introduced by the Poet, is, "well known as an Antiquarian."

Alas, Poor Hearne!

thy merits, which are now fully appreciated, deserve an ampler notice! In spite of Gibbon's unmerciful critique [Posthumous Works, vol. II. 711.], the productions of this modest, erudite, and indefatigable antiquary are rising in price proportionably to their worth. If he had only edited the Collectanea and Itinerary of his favourite Leland, he would have stood on high ground in the department of literature and antiquities; but his other and numerous works place him on a much loftier eminence. Of these, the present is not the place to make mention; suffice it to say that, for copies of his works, on Large Paper, which the author used to advertise as selling for 7s. or 10s., or about which placards, to the same effect, used to be stuck on the walls of the colleges,—these very copies are now sometimes sold for more than the like number of guineas! It is amusing to observe that the lapse of a few years only has caused such a rise in the article of Hearne; and that the Peter Langtoft on large paper, which at Rowe Mores's sale [Bibl. Mores. No. 2191.] was purchased for £1. 2s. produced at a late sale, [A.D. 1808] £37! A complete list of Hearne's Pieces will be found at the end of his Life, printed with Leland's, &c., at the Clarendon Press, in 1772, 8vo. Of these the "Acta Apostolorum, Gr. Lat;" and "Aluredi Beverlacensis Annales," are, I believe, the scarcest. It is wonderful to think how this amiable and excellent man persevered "through evil report and good report," in illustrating the antiquities of his country. To the very last he appears to have been molested; and among his persecutors, the learned editor of Josephus and Dionysius Halicarnasseus, Dr. Hudson, must be ranked, to the disgrace of himself and the party which he espoused. "Hearne was buried in the church yard of St. Peter's (at Oxford) in the East, where is erected over his remains, a tomb, with an inscription written by himself,

Amicitiæ Ergo.
Here lyeth the Body of
Thomas Hearne, M.A.
Who studied and preserved
He dyed June 10, 1735.
Aged 57 years.
Deut. xxxii: 7.
Remember the days of old;
consider the years
of many generations;
ask thy Father
and he will shew thee;
thy elders
and they will tell thee.
Job. viii. 8, 9, 10.
Enquire I pray thee."
Life of Hearne, p. 34.

[9] Of Dr. Mead and his Library a particular account is given in the following pages.

[10] For this distinguished character consult Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer, 550, note*; which, however, relates entirely to his ordinary habits and modes of life. His magnificent collection of Natural Curiosities and MSS. is now in the British Museum.

[11] The annals of the Aldine Press have had ample justice done to them in the beautiful and accurate work published by Renouard, under the title of "Annales de L'Imprimerie des Alde," in two vols., 8vo. 1804. One is rather surprised at not finding any reference to this masterly piece of bibliography in the last edition of Mr. Roscoe's Leo X., where there is a pleasing account of the establishment of the Aldine Press.

[12] I do not recollect having seen any book bound by this binder. Of Padaloup, De Rome, and Baumgarten, where is the fine collection that does not boast of a few specimens? We will speak "anon" of the Roger Paynes, Kalthoebers, Herrings, Stagemiers, and in Macklays of the day!

[13] This is not the reproach of the age we live in; for reprints of Bacon, Locke, and Milton have been published with complete success. It would be ridiculous indeed for a man of sense, and especially a University man, to give £5 or £6 for "Gosson's School of Abuse, against Pipers and Players," or £3. 3s. for a clean copy of "Recreation for Ingenious Head Pieces, or a Pleasant Grove for their Wits to walk in," and grudge the like sum for a dozen handsome octavo volumes of the finest writers of his country.

[14] About twelve years ago I was rash enough to publish a small volume of Poems, with my name affixed. They were the productions of my juvenile years; and I need hardly say, at this period, how ashamed I am of their author-ship. The monthly and Analytical Reviews did me the kindness of just tolerating them, and of warning me not to commit any future trespass upon the premises of Parnassus. I struck off 500 copies, and was glad to get rid of half of them as waste paper; the remaining half has been partly destroyed by my own hands, and has partly mouldered away in oblivion amidst the dust of Booksellers' shelves. My only consolation is that the volume is exceedingly rare!

If ever there was a country upon the face of the globe—from the days of Nimrod the beast, to Bagford[15] the book-hunter—distinguished for the variety, the justness, and magnanimity of its views; if ever there was a nation which really and unceasingly "felt for another's woe" [I call to witness our Infirmaries, Hospitals, Asylums, and other public and privateB. 10 Institutions of a charitable nature, that, like so many belts of adamant, unite and strengthen us in the great cause of Humanity]; if ever there was a country and a set of human beings pre-eminently distinguished for all the social virtues which soften and animate the soul of man, surely Old England and Englishmen are they! The common cant, it may be urged, of all writers in favour of the country where they chance to live! And what, you will say, has this to do with Book Collectors and Books?—Much, every way: aB. 11 nation thus glorious is, at this present eventful moment, afflicted not only with the Dog[16], but the Book, disease—

Fire in each eye, and paper in each hand
They rave, recite,——

[15] "John Bagford, by profession a bookseller, frequently travelled into Holland and other parts, in search of scarce books and valuable prints, and brought a vast number into this kingdom, the greatest part of which were purchased by the Earl of Oxford. He had been in his younger days a shoemaker; and, for the many curiosities wherewith he enriched the famous library of Dr. John Moore, Bishop of Ely, his Lordship got him admitted into the Charter House. He died in 1706, aged 65: after his death Lord Oxford purchased all his collections and papers, for his library: these are now in the Harleian collection in the British Museum. In 1707 were published, in the Philosophical Transactions, his Proposals for a General History of Printing."—Bowyer and Nichols's Origin of Printing, p. 164, 189, note.

It has been my fortune (whether good or bad remains to be proved) not only to transcribe the slender memorial of Printing in the Philosophical Transactions, drawn up by Wanley for Bagford, but to wade through forty-two folio volumes, in which Bagford's materials for a History of Printing are incorporated, in the British Museum: and from these, I think I have furnished myself with a pretty fair idea of the said Bagford. He was the most hungry and rapacious of all book and print collectors; and, in his ravages, spared neither the most delicate nor costly specimens. His eyes and his mouth seem to have been always open to express his astonishment at, sometimes, the most common and contemptible productions; and his paper in the Philosophical Transactions betrays such simplicity and ignorance that one is astonished how my Lord Oxford and the learned Bishop of Ely could have employed so credulous a bibliographical forager. A modern collector and lover of perfect copies will witness, with shuddering, among Bagford's immense collection of Title Pages, in the Museum, the frontispieces of the Complutensian Polyglot, and Chauncy's History of Hertfordshire, torn out to illustrate a History of Printing. His enthusiasm, however, carried him through a great deal of laborious toil; and he supplied, in some measure, by this qualification, the want of other attainments. His whole mind was devoted to book-hunting; and his integrity and diligence probably made his employers overlook his many failings. His hand-writing is scarcely legible, and his orthography is still more wretched; but if he was ignorant, he was humble, zealous, and grateful; and he has certainly done something towards the accomplishment of that desirable object, an accurate General History of Printing. In my edition of Ames's Typographical Antiquities, I shall give an analysis of Bagford's papers, with a specimen or two of his composition.

[16] For an eloquent account of this disorder consult the letters of Dr. Mosely inserted in the Morning Herald of last year. I have always been surprised, and a little vexed, that these animated pieces of composition should be relished and praised by every one—but the Faculty!

Let us enquire, therefore, into the origin and tendency of the Bibliomania.

In this enquiry I purpose considering the subject under three points of view: I. The History of the Disease; or an account of the eminent men who have fallen victims to it: II. The Nature, or Symptoms of the Disease: and III. The probable means of its Cure. We are to consider, then,

1. The History of the Disease. In treating of the history of this disease, it will be found to have been attended with this remarkable circumstance; namely, that it has almost uniformly confined its attacks to the male sex, and, among these, to people in the higher and middling classes of society, while the artificer, labourer, and peasant have escaped wholly uninjured. It has raged chiefly in palaces, castles, halls, and gay mansions; and those things which in general are supposed not to be inimical to health, such as cleanliness, spaciousness, and splendour, are only so many inducements towards the introduction and propagation of the Bibliomania! What renders it particularly formidable is that it rages in all seasons of the year, and at all periods of human existence. The emotions of friendship or of love are weakened or subdued as old age advances; but the influence of this passion, orB. 12 rather disease, admits of no mitigation: "it grows with our growth, and strengthens with our strength;" and is oft-times

——The ruling passion strong in death.[17]

[17] The writings of the Roman philologers seem to bear evidence of this fact. Seneca, when an old man, says that, "if you are fond of books, you will escape the ennui of life; you will neither sigh for evening, disgusted with the occupations of the day—nor will you live dissatisfied with yourself, or unprofitable to others." De Tranquilitate, ch. 3. Cicero has positively told us that "study is the food of youth, and the amusement of old age." Orat. pro Archia. The younger Pliny was a downright Bibliomaniac. "I am quite transported and comforted," says he, "in the midst of my books: they give a zest to the happiest, and assuage the anguish of the bitterest, moments of existence! Therefore, whether distracted by the cares or the losses of my family, or my friends, I fly to my library as the only refuge in distress: here I learn to bear adversity with fortitude." Epist. lib. viii. cap. 19. But consult Cicero De Senectute. All these treatises afford abundant proof of the hopelessness of cure in cases of the Bibliomania.

We will now, my dear Sir, begin "making out the catalogue" of victims to the Bibliomania! The first eminent character who appears to have been infected with this disease was Richard De Bury, one of the tutors of Edward III., and afterwards Bishop of Durham; a man who has been uniformly praised for the variety of his erudition, and the intenseness of his ardour in book-collecting.[18] I discover no otherB. 13 notorious example of the fatality of the Bibliomania until the time of Henry VII.; when the monarch himself may be considered as having added to the number. Although our venerable typographer, Caxton, lauds and magnifies, with equal sincerity, the whole line of British Kings, from Edward IV. to Henry VII. [under whose patronage he would seem, in some measure, to have carried on his printing business], yet, of all these monarchs, the latter alone was so unfortunate as to fall a victim to this disease. His library must haveB. 14 been a magnificent one, if we may judge from the splendid specimens of it which now remain.[19] It would appear, too, that, about this time, the Bibliomania was increased by the introduction of foreign printed books; and it is not very improbable that a portion of Henry's immense wealth was devoted towards the purchase of vellum copies, which were now beginning to be published by the great typographical triumvirate, Verard, Eustace, and Pigouchet.

[18] It may be expected that I should notice a few book-lovers, and probably Bibliomaniacs, previously to the time of Richard De Bury; but so little is known with accuracy of Johannes Scotus Erigena, and his patron Charles the Bald, King of France, or of the book tête-a-têtes they used to have together—so little, also, of Nennius, Bede, and Alfred [although the monasteries at this period, from the evidence of Sir William Dugdale, in the first volume of the Monasticon were "opulently endowed,"—inter alia, I should hope, with magnificent MSS. on vellum, bound in velvet, and embossed with gold and silver], or the illustrious writers in the Norman period, and the fine books which were in the abbey of Croyland—so little is known of book-collectors, previously to the 14th century, that I thought it the most prudent and safe way to begin with the above excellent prelate.

Richard De Bury was the friend and correspondent of Petrarch; and is said by Mons. de Sade, in his Memoires pour la vie de Petrarque, "to have done in England what Petrarch did all his life in France, Italy, and Germany, towards the discovery of MSS. of the best ancient writers, and making copies of them under his own superintendence." His passion for book-collecting was unbounded ["vir ardentis ingenii," says Petrarch of him]; and in order to excite the same ardour in his countrymen, or rather to propagate the disease of the Bibliomania with all his might, he composed a bibliographical work under the title of Philobiblion; concerning the first edition of which, printed at Spires in 1483, Clement (tom. v. 142) has a long gossiping account; and Morhof tells us that it is "rarissima et in paucorum manibus versatur." It was reprinted in Paris in 1500, 4to., by the elder Ascensius, and frequently in the subsequent century, but the best editions of it are those by Goldastus in 1674, 8vo., and Hummius in 1703. Morhof observes that, "however De Bury's work savours of the rudeness of the age, it is rather elegantly written, and many things are well said in it relating to Bibliothecism." Polyhist. Literar. vol. i. 187, edit. 1747.

For further particulars concerning De Bury, read Bale, Wharton, Cave, and Godwin's Episcopal Biography. He left behind him a fine library of MSS. which he bequeathed to Durham, now Trinity, College, Oxford.

It may be worth the antiquary's notice, that, in consequence (I suppose) of this amiable prelate's exertions, "in every convent was a noble library and a great: and every friar, that had state in school, such as they be now, hath an hugh Library." See the curious Sermon of the Archbishop of Armagh, Nov. 8, 1387, in Trevisa's works among the Harleian MSS. No. 1900. Whether these Friars, thus affected with the frensy of book-collecting, ever visited the "old chapelle at the Est End of the church of S. Saink [Berkshire], whither of late time resorted in pilgrimage many folkes for the disease of madness," [see Leland's Itinerary, vol. ii. 29, edit. 1770] I have not been able, after the most diligent investigation, to ascertain.

[19] The British Museum contains a great number of books which bear the royal stamp of Henry VII.'s arms. Some of these printed by Verard, upon vellum, are magnificent memorials of a library, the dispersion of which is for ever to be regretted. As Henry VIII. knew nothing of, and cared less for, fine books, it is not very improbable that some of the choicest volumes belonging to the late king were presented to Cardinal Wolsey.

During the reign of Henry VIII., I should suppose that the Earl of Surrey[20] and Sir Thomas Wyatt were a little attached to book-collecting; and that Dean Colet[21] and his friend Sir Thomas More andB. 15 Erasmus were downright Bibliomaniacs. There can be little doubt but that neither the great Leland[22] norB. 16 his Biographer Bale,[23] were able to escape the contagion; and that, in the ensuing period, Rogar Ascham became notorious for the Book-disease. He purchasedB. 17 probably, during his travels abroad[24] many a fine copy of the Greek and Latin Classics, from which he readB. 18 to his illustrious pupils, Lady Jane Grey, and Queen Elizabeth: but whether he made use of an EditioB. 19 Princeps, or a Large paper copy, I have hitherto not been lucky enough to discover. This learned chaB. 20racter died in the vigour of life, and in the bloom of reputation: and, as I suspect, in consequence of the Bibliomania—for he was always collecting books, and always studying them. His "Schoolmaster" is a work which can only perish with our language.

[20] The Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyatt were among the first who taught their countrymen to be charmed with the elegance and copiousness of their own language. How effectually they accomplished this laudable object, will be seen from the forthcoming beautiful and complete edition of their works by the Rev. Dr. Nott.[B]

[B] It fell to the lot of the printer of this volume, during his apprenticeship to his father, to correct the press of nearly the whole of Dr. Nott's labours, which were completed, after several years of toil, when in the extensive conflagration of the printing-office at Bolt Court, Fleet-street, in 1819, all but two copies were totally destroyed!

[21] Colet, More, and Erasmus [considering the latter when he was in England] were here undoubtedly the great literary triumvirate of the early part of the 16th century. The lives of More and Erasmus are generally read and known; but of Dean Colet it may not be so generally known that his ardour for books and for classical literature was keen, and insatiable; that, in the foundation of St. Paul's School, he has left behind a name which entitles him to rank in the foremost of those who have fallen victims to the Bibliomania. How anxiously does he seem to have watched the progress, and pushed the sale, of his friend Erasmus's first edition of the Greek Testament! "Quod scribis de Novo Testamento intelligo. Et libri novæ editionis tuæ hic avide emuntur et passim leguntur!" The entire epistle (which may be seen in Dr. Knight's dry Life of Colet, p. 315) is devoted to an account of Erasmus's publications. "I am really astonished, my dear Erasmus [does he exclaim], at the fruitfulness of your talents; that, without any fixed residence, and with a precarious and limited income, you contrive to publish so many and such excellent works." Adverting to the distracted state of Germany at this period, and to the wish of his friend to live secluded and unmolested, he observes—"As to the tranquil retirement which you sigh for, be assured that you have my sincere wishes for its rendering you as happy and composed as you can wish it. Your age and erudition entitle you to such a retreat. I fondly hope, indeed, that you will choose this country for it, and come and live amongst us, whose disposition you know, and whose friendship you have proved."

There is hardly a more curious picture of the custom of the times, relating to the education of boys, than the Dean's own Statutes for the regulation of St. Paul's School, which he had founded. These shew, too, the popular books then read by the learned. "The children shall come unto the School in the morning at seven of the clock, both winter and summer, and tarry there until eleven; and return against one of the clock, and depart at five, &c. In the school, no time in the year, they shall use tallow candle in no wise, but only wax candle, at the costs of their friends. Also I will they bring no meat nor drink, nor bottle, nor use in the school no breakfasts, nor drinkings, in the time of learning, in no wise, &c. I will they use no cockfightings, nor riding about of victory, nor disputing at Saint Bartholomew, which is but foolish babbling and loss of time." The master is then restricted, under the penalty of 40 shillings, from granting the boys a holiday, or "remedy," [play-day,] as it is here called "except the King, an Archbishop, or a Bishop, present in his own person in the school, desire it." The studies for the lads were, "Erasmus's Copia & Institutum Christiani Hominis (composed at the Dean's request) Lactantius, Prudentius, Juvencus, Proba and Sedulius, and Baptista Mantuanus, and such other as shall be thought convenient and most to purpose unto the true Latin speech: all barbary, all corruption, all Latin adulterate, which ignorant blind fools brought into this world, and with the same hath distained and poisoned the old Latin speech, and the veray Roman tongue, which in the time of Tully and Sallust and Virgil and Terence was used—I say that filthiness, and all such abusion, which the later blind world brought in, which more rather may be called Bloterature that [] Literature, I utterly banish and exclude out of this school." Life of Knight's Colet, 362-4.

What was to be expected, but that boys, thus educated, would hereafter fall victims to the Bibliomania?

[22] The history of this great men, and of his literary labours, is most interesting. He was a pupil of William Lilly, the first head-master of St. Paul's School; and, by the kindness and liberality of a Mr. Myles, he afterwards received the advantage of a College education, and was supplied with money in order to travel abroad, and make such collections as he should deem necessary for the great work which even then seemed to dawn upon his young and ardent mind. Leland endeavoured to requite the kindness of his benefactor by an elegant copy of Latin verses, in which he warmly expatiates on the generosity of his patron, and acknowledges that his acquaintance with the Almæ Matres [for he was of both Universities] was entirely the result of such beneficence. While he resided on the continent, he was admitted into the society of the most eminent Greek and Latin Scholars, and could probably number among his correspondents the illustrious names of Budæus, Erasmus, the Stephani, Faber and Turnebus. Here, too, he cultivated his natural taste for poetry; and from inspecting the fine books which the Italian and French presses had produced, as well as fired by the love of Grecian learning, which had fled, on the sacking of Constantinople, to take shelter in the academic bowers of the Medici, he seems to have matured his plans for carrying into effect the great work which had now taken full possession of his mind. He returned to England, resolved to institute an inquiry into the state of the Libraries, Antiquities, Records and Writings then in existence. Having entered into holy orders, and obtained preferment at the express interposition of the King, (Henry VIII.), he was appointed his Antiquary and Library Keeper, and a royal commission was issued in which Leland was directed to search after "England's Antiquities, and peruse the libraries of all Cathedrals, Abbies, Priories, Colleges, etc., as also all the places wherein Records, Writings, and Secrets of Antiquity were reposited." "Before Leland's time," says Hearne, in the Preface to the Itinerary, "all the literary monuments of Antiquity were totally disregarded; and Students of Germany, apprised of this culpable indifference, were suffered to enter our libraries unmolested, and to cut out of the books deposited there whatever passages they thought proper—which they afterwards published as relics of the ancient literature of their own country."

Leland was occupied, without intermission, in this immense undertaking, for the space of six years; and, on its completion, he hastened to the metropolis to lay at the feet of his Sovereign the result of his researches. This was presented to Henry under the title of A New Year's Gift; and was first published by Bale in 1549, 8vo. "Being inflamed," says the author, "with a love to see thoroughly all those parts of your opulent and ample realm, in so much that all my other occupations intermitted, I have so travelled in your dominions, both by the sea coasts and the middle parts, sparing neither labour nor costs, by the space of six years past, that there is neither cape nor bay, haven, creek, or pier, river, or confluence of rivers, breeches, wastes, lakes, moors, fenny waters, mountains, vallies, heaths, forests, chases, woods, cities, burghes, castles, principal manor places, monasteries and colleges, but I have seen them; and noted, in so doing, a whole world of things very memorable." Leland moreover tells his Majesty—that "By his laborious journey and costly enterprise, he had conserved many good authors, the which otherwise had been like to have perished; of the which, part remained in the royal palaces, part also in his own custody, &c."

As Leland was engaged six years in this literary tour, so he was occupied for a no less period of time in digesting and arranging the prodigious number of MSS. he had collected. But he sunk beneath the immensity of the task! The want of amanuenses, and of other attentions and comforts, seems to have deeply affected him; in this melancholy state, he wrote to Archbishop Cranmer a Latin epistle, in verse, of which the following is the commencement—very forcibly describing his situation and anguish of mind.

Est congesta mihi domi supellex
Ingens, aurea, nobilis, venusta
Qua totus studeo Britanniarum
Vero reddere gloriam nitori.
Sed fortuna meis noverca cœptis
Jam felicibus invidet maligna.
Quare, ne pereant brevi vel hora
Multarum mihi noctium labores
Cranmere, eximium decus piorum!
Implorare tuam benignitatem

The result was that Leland lost his senses; and, after lingering two years in a state of total derangement, he died on the 18th of April, 1552. "Prôh tristes rerum humanarum vices! prôh viri optimi deplorandam infelicissimamque sortem!" exclaims Dr. Smith, in his preface to Camden's Life, 1691, 4to.

The precious and voluminous MSS. of Leland were doomed to suffer a fate scarcely less pitiable than that of their owner. After being pilfered by some, and garbled by others, they served to replenish the pages of Stow, Lambard, Camden, Burton, Dugdale, and many other antiquaries and historians. Polydore Virgil, who had stolen from them pretty freely, had the insolence to abuse Leland's memory—calling him "a vain glorious man;" but what shall we say to this flippant egotist? who, according to Caius's testimony [De Antiq. Cantab. head. lib. 1.] "to prevent a discovery of the many errors of his own History of England, collected and burnt a greater number of ancient histories and manuscripts than would have loaded a waggon." The imperfect remains of Leland's MSS. are now deposited in the Bodleian Library, and in the British Museum.

Upon the whole, it must be acknowledged that Leland is a melancholy, as well as illustrious, example of the influence of the Bibliomania!

[23] In spite of Bale's coarseness, positiveness, and severity, he has done much towards the cause of learning; and, perhaps, towards the propagation of the disease under discussion. His regard for Leland does him great honour; and although his plays are miserably dull, notwithstanding the high prices which the original editions of them bear, (vide ex. gr. Cat. Steevens, No. 1221; which was sold for £12 12s. See also the reprints in the Harleian Miscellany) the lover of literary antiquities must not forget that his "Scriptores Britanniæ" are yet quoted with satisfaction by some of the most respectable writers of the day. That he wanted delicacy of feeling, and impartiality of investigation, must be admitted; but a certain rough honesty and prompt benevolence which he had about him compensated for a multitude of offences. The abhorrence with which he speaks of the dilapidation of some of our old libraries must endear his memory to every honest bibliographer: "Never (says he) had we been offended for the loss of our Libraries, being so many in number, and in so desolate places for the more part, if the chief monuments and most notable works of our excellent writers had been reserved. If there had been in every shire of England, but one solempne Library, to the preservation of those noble works, and preferment of good learning in our posterity, it had been yet somewhat. But to destroy all without consideration, is, and will be, unto England for ever, a most horrible infamy among the grave seniors of other nations. A great number of them which purchased those superstitious mansions, reserved of those library-books, some to serve the jakes, some to scour their candlesticks, and some to rub their boots: some they sold to the grocers and soap-sellers; some they sent over sea to the book-binders, not in small number, but at times whole ships full, to the wondering of the foreign nations. Yea, the Universities of this realm are not all clear of this detestable fact. But cursed is that belly which seeketh to be fed with such ungodly gain, and shameth his natural country. I know a merchant man, which shall at this time be nameless, that bought the contents of two noble libraries for forty shillings price; a shame it is to be spoken! This stuff hath he occupied in the stead of grey paper, by the space of more than ten years, and yet he hath store enough for as many year to come!" Bale's Preface to Leland's "Laboryouse journey, &c." Emprented at London by John Bale. Anno M.D. xlix. 8vo.

After this, who shall doubt the story of the Alexandrian Library supplying the hot baths of Alexandria with fuel for six months! See Gibbon on the latter subject; vol. ix. 440.

[24] Ascham's English letter, written when he was abroad, will be found at the end of Bennet's edition of his works, in 4to. They are curious and amusing. What relates to the Bibliomania I here select from similar specimens. "Oct. 4. At afternoon I went about the town [of Bruxelles]. I went to the frier Carmelites house, and heard their even song: after, I desired to see the Library. A frier was sent to me, and led me into it. There was not one good book but Lyra. The friar was learned, spoke Latin readily, entered into Greek, having a very good wit, and a greater desire to learning. He was gentle and honest, &c." p. 370-1. "Oct. 20. to Spira: a good city. Here I first saw Sturmius de periodis. I also found here Ajax, Electra, and Antigone Sophocles, excellently, by my good judgment, translated into verse, and fair printed this summer by Gryphius. Your stationers do ill, that at least do 'not provide you the register of all books, especially of old authors, &c.'" p. 372. Again: "Hieronimus Wolfius, that translated Demosthenes and Isocrates, is in this town. I am well acquainted with him, and have brought him twice to my Lord's to dinner. He looks very simple. He telleth me that one Borrheus, that hath written well upon Aristot. priorum, &c., even now is printing goodly commentaries upon Aristotle's Rhetoric. But Sturmius will obscure them all." p. 381.

It is impossible to read these extracts without being convinced that Roger Ascham was a book-hunter, and infected with the Bibliomania!

If we are to judge from the beautiful Missal lying open before Lady Jane Grey, in Mr. Copley's elegant picture now exhibiting at the British Institution, it would seem rational to infer that this amiable and learned female was slightly attacked by the disease. It is to be taken for granted that Queen Elizabeth was not exempt from it; and that her great Secretary,[25] Cecil, sympathised with her! In regard to Elizabeth, her Prayer-Book[26] is quite evidence sufficient forB. 21 me that she found the Bibliomania irresistible! During her reign, how vast and how frightful were the ravages of the Book-madness! If we are to credit Laneham's celebrated Letter, it had extended far into the country, and infected some of the worthy inhabitants of Coventry; for one "Captain Cox,[27] by profession a mason, and that right skilful," had "as fair a library of sciences, and as many goodly monuments both in Prose and Poetry, and at afternoon could talk as much without book, as any Innholder betwixt Brentford and Bagshot, what degree soever he be!"

[25] It is a question which requires more time for the solution than I am able to spare, whether Cecil's name stands more frequently at the head of a Dedication, in a printed book, or of State Papers and other political documents in MS. He was a wonderful man; but a little infected—as I suspect—with the book-disease.

——Famous Cicill, treasurer of the land,
Whose wisedom, counsell, skill of Princes state
The world admires——
The house itselfe doth shewe the owners wit,
And may for bewtie, state, and every thing,
Compared be with most within the land.
Tale of Two Swannes, 1590. 4to.

I have never yet been able to ascertain whether the owner's attachment towards vellum, or large paper, Copies was the more vehement!

[26] Perhaps this conclusion is too precipitate. But whoever looks at Elizabeth's portrait, on her bended knees, struck off on the reverse of the title page to her prayer book (first printed in 1565) may suppose that the Queen thought the addition of her own portrait would be no mean decoration to the work. Every page is adorned with borders, engraved on wood, of the most spirited execution: representing, amongst other subjects, "The Dance of Death." My copy is the reprint of 1608—in high preservation. I have no doubt that there was a presentation copy printed upon vellum; but in what cabinet does this precious gem now slumber?

[27] Laneham gives a splendid list of Romances and Old Ballads possessed by this said Captain Cox; and tells us, moreover, that "he had them all at his fingers ends." Among the ballads we find "Broom broom on Hil; So Wo is me begon twlly lo; Over a Whinny Meg; Hey ding a ding; Bony lass upon Green; My bony on gave me a bek; By a bank as I lay; and two more he had fair wrapt up in parchment, and bound with a whip cord." Edit. 1784, p. 36-7-8. Ritson, in his Historical Essay on Scottish Song, speaks of some of these, with a zest, as if he longed to untie the "whip-cord" packet.

While the country was thus giving proofs of the prevalence of this disorder, the two Harringtons (especially the younger)[28] and the illustrious Spenser[29]B. 22 were unfortunately seized with it in the metropolis.

[28] Sir John Harrington, knt. Sir John, and his father John Harrington, were very considerable literary characters in the 16th century; and whoever has been fortunate enough to read through Mr. Park's new edition of the Nugæ Antiquæ, 1804, 8vo., will meet with numerous instances in which the son displays considerable bibliographical knowledge—especially in Italian literature; Harrington and Spenser seem to have been the Matthias and Roscoe of the day. I make no doubt but that the former was as thoroughly acquainted with the vera edizione of the Giuntæ edition of Boccaccio's Decamerone, 1527, 4to., as either Haym, Orlandi, or Bandini. Paterson, with all his skill, was mistaken in this article when he catalogued Croft's books. See Bibl. Crofts. No. 3976: his true edition was knocked down for 6s.!!!

[29] Spenser's general acquaintance with Italian literature has received the best illustration in Mr. Todd's Variorum edition of the poet's works; where the reader will find, in the notes, a constant succession of anecdotes of, and references to, the state of anterior and contemporaneous literature, foreign and domestic.

In the seventeenth century, from the death of Elizabeth to the commencement of Anne's reign, it seems to have made considerable havoc; yet, such was our blindness to it that we scrupled not to engage in overtures for the purchase of Isaac Vossius's[30] fine library, enriched with many treasures from the Queen of Sweden's, which this versatile genius scrupled not to pillage without confession or apology. During this century our great reasoners and philosophers began to be in motion; and, like the fumes of tobacco, which drive the concealed and clotted insects from the interior to the extremity of the leaves, the infectious particles of the Bibliomania set a thousand busy brains a-thinking, and produced ten thousand capricious works, which, over-shadowed by the majestic remains of Bacon, Locke, and Boyle, perished for want of air, and warmth, and moisture.

[30] "The story is extant, and written in very choice French." Consult Chauffepié's Supplement to Bayle's Dictionary, vol. iv. p. 621. note Q. Vossius's library was magnificent and extensive. The University of Leyden offered not less than 36,000 florins for it. Idem. p. 631.

The reign of Queen Anne was not exempt from the influence of this disease; for during this period, Maittaire[31] began to lay the foundation of his extenB. 23sive library, and to publish some bibliographical works which may be thought to have rather increased, than diminished, its force. Meanwhile, Harley[32] Earl ofB. 24 Oxford watched its progress with an anxious eye; and although he might have learnt experience from the fatal examples of R. Smith,[33] and T. Baker,[34] and theB. 25 more recent ones of Thomas Rawlinson,[35] Bridges,[36] and Collins,[37] yet he seemed resolved to brave and to baffle it; but, like his predecessors, he was suddenlyB. 26 crushed within the gripe of the demon, and fell one of the most splendid of his victims. Even the unrivalledB. 27 medical skill of Mead[38] could save neither his friend nor himself. The Doctor survived his Lordship about twelve years; dying of the complaint called the Bibliomania! He left behind an illustrious character;B. 28 sufficient to flatter and soothe those who may tread in his footsteps, and fall victims to a similar disorder.

[31] Of Michael Maittaire I have given a brief sketch in my Introduction to the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. I, 148. Mr. Beloe, in the 3rd vol. of his Anecdotes of Literature, p. ix., has described his merits with justice. The principal value of Maittaire's Annales Typographici consists in a great deal of curious matter detailed in the notes; but the absence of the "lucidus ordo" renders the perusal of these fatiguing and dissatisfactory. The author brought a full and well-informed mind to the task he undertook—but he wanted taste and precision in the arrangement of his materials. The eye wanders over a vast indigested mass; and information, when it is to be acquired with excessive toil, is, comparatively, seldom acquired. Panzer has adopted an infinitely better plan, on the model of Orlandi; and, if his materials had been printed with the same beauty with which they appear to have been composed, and his annals had descended to as late a period as those of Maittaire, his work must have made us, eventually, forget that of his predecessor. The bibliographer is, no doubt, aware that of Maittaire's first volume there are two editions. Why the author did not reprint, in the second edition (1733), the facsimile of the epigram and epistle of Lascar prefixed to the edition of the Anthology 1496, and the disquisition concerning the ancient editions of Quintilian (both of which were in the first edition of 1719), is absolutely inexplicable. Maittaire was sharply attacked for this absurdity, in the "Catalogus Auctorum," of the "Annus Tertius Sæcularis Inv. Art. Topog." Harlem, 1741, 8vo. p. 11. "Rara certe Librum augendi methodus (exclaims the author)! Satis patet auctorem hoc eo fecisse consilio, ut et primæ et secundæ Libri sive editioni pretium suum constaret, et una æque ac altera Lectoribus necessaria esset."

The catalogue of Maittaire's library [1748, 2 parts, 8vo.], which affords ample proof of the Bibliomania of its collector, is exceedingly scarce. A good copy of it, even unpriced, is worth a guinea: it was originally sold for 4 shillings; and was drawn up by Maittaire himself.

[32] In a periodical publication called "The Director," to which I contributed under the article of "Bibliographiana" (and of which the printer of this work, Mr. William Savage, is now the sole publisher), there was rather a minute analysis of the famous library of Harley, Earl of Oxford: a library which seems not only to have revived, but eclipsed, the splendour of the Roman one formed by Lucullus. The following is an abridgement of this analysis:

1.Divinity: Greek, Latin, French and Italian—about2000
 —— English2500
2.History and Antiquities4000
3.Books of Prints, Sculpture, and Drawings—
Twenty Thousand Drawings and Prints.
Ten Thousand Portraits.
4.Philosophy, Chemistry, Medicine, &c.2500
5.Geography, Chronology, General History600
6.Voyages and Travels800
8.Sculpture and Architecture900
9.Greek and Latin Classics2400
10.Books printed upon vellum220
11.English Poetry, Romances, &c.1000
12.French and Spanish do.700
13.Parliamentary Affairs400
14.Trade and Commerce300
15.Miscellaneous Subjects4000
16.Pamphlets—Four Hundred Thousand!

Mr. Gough says, these books "filled thirteen handsome chambers, and two long galleries." Osborne the bookseller purchased them for £13,000: a sum little more than two thirds of the price of the binding, as paid by Lord Oxford. The bookseller was accused of injustice and parsimony; but the low prices which he afterwards affixed to the articles, and the tardiness of their sale, are sufficient refutations of this charge. Osborne opened his shop for the inspection of the books on Tuesday the 14th of February, 1744; for fear "of the curiosity of the spectators, before the sale, producing disorder in the disposition of the books." The dispersion of the Harleian Collection is a blot in the literary annals of our country: had there then been such a Speaker, and such a spirit in the House of Commons, as we now possess, the volumes of Harley would have been reposing with the marbles of Townley!

[33] "Bibliotheca Smithiana: sive Catalogus Librorum in quavis facultate insigniorum, quos in usum suum et Bibliothecæ ornamentum multo ære sibi comparavit vir clarissimus doctissimusque D. Richardus Smith, &c., Londini, 1682," 4to. I recommend the collector of curious and valuable catalogues to lay hold upon the present one (of which a more particular description will be given in another work) whenever it comes in his way. The address "To the Reader," in which we are told that "this so much celebrated, so often desired, so long expected, library is now exposed to sale," gives a very interesting account of the owner. Inter alia, we are informed that Mr. Smith "was as constantly known every day to walk his rounds through the shops, as to sit down to his meals, &c.;" and that "while others were forming arms, and new-modelling kingdoms, his great ambition was to become master of a good book."

The catalogue itself justifies every thing said in commendation of the collector of the library. The arrangement is good; the books, in almost all departments of literature, foreign and domestic, valuable and curious; and among the English ones I have found some of the rarest Caxtons to refer to in my edition of Ames. What would Mr. Bindley, or Mr. Malone, or Mr. Douce, give to have the creaming of such a collection of "Bundles of Stitcht Books and Pamphlets," as extends from page 370 to 395 of this catalogue! But alas! while the Bibliographer exults in, or hopes for, the possession of such treasures, the physiologist discovers therein fresh causes of disease, and the philanthropist mourns over the ravages of the Bibliomania!

[34] Consult Masters's "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the late Rev. Thomas Baker," Camb. 1864, 8vo. Let any person examine the catalogue of Forty-two folio volumes of "MS. collections by Mr. Baker," (as given at the end of this piece of biography) and reconcile himself, if he can, to the supposition that the said Mr. Baker did not fall a victim to the Book-disease! For some cause, I do not now recollect what, Baker took his name off the books of St. John's College, Cambridge, to which he belonged; but such was his attachment to the place, and more especially to the library, that he spent a great portion of the ensuing twenty years of his life within the precincts of the same: frequently comforted and refreshed, no doubt, by the sight of the magnificent large paper copies of Walton and Castell, and of Cranmer's Bible upon vellum!

[35] This Thomas Rawlinson, who is introduced in the Tatler under the name Tom Folio, was a very extraordinary character, and most desperately addicted to book-hunting. Because his own house was not large enough, he hired London House, in Aldersgate Street, for the reception of his library; and here he used to regale himself with the sight and the scent of innumerable black letter volumes, arranged in "sable garb," and stowed perhaps "three deep," from the bottom to the top of his house. He died in 1725; and Catalogues of his books for sale continued, for nine succeeding years, to meet the public eye. The following is a list of all the parts which I have ever met with; taken from copies in Mr. Heber's possession.

Part 1. A Catalogue of choice and valuable Books in most Faculties and Languages: being the sixth part of the collection made by Thos. Rawlinson, Esq., &c., to be sold on Thursday, the 2d day of March, 1726; beginning every evening at 5 of the clock, by Charles Davis, Bookseller. Qui non credit, eras credat. Ex Autog. T.R.

2. Bibliotheca Rawlinsoniana; sive Delectus Librorum in omni ferè Linguâ et Facultate præstantium—to be sold on Wednesday 26th April, [1726] by Charles Davis, Bookseller. 2600 Numbers.

3. The Same: January 1727-8. By Thomas Ballard, Bookseller, 3520 Numbers.

4. The Same: March, 1727-8. By the same. 3840 Numbers.

5. The Same: October, 1728. By the same. 3200 Numbers.

6. The Same: November, 1728. By the same. 3520 Numbers.

7. The Same: April, 1729. By the same. 4161 Numbers.

8. The Same: November, 1729. By the same. 2700 Numbers.

9. The Same: [Of Rawlinson's Manuscripts] By the same. March 1733-4. 800 Numbers.

10. Picturæ Rawlinsonianæ. April, 1734. 117 Articles.

At the end, it would seem that a catalogue of his prints, and MSS. missing in the last sale, were to be published the ensuing winter.

N.B. The black-letter books are catalogued in the Gothic letter.

[36] "Bibliothecæ Bridgesianæ Catalogus: or, A Catalogue of the Entire Library of John Bridges, late of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., &c., which will begin to be sold, by Auction, on Monday the seventh day of February, 1725-6, at his chambers in Lincoln's Inn, No. 6."

From a priced copy of this sale catalogue, in my possession, once belonging to Nourse, the bookseller in the Strand, I find that the following was the produce of the sale:

The Amount of the books£373000
Prints and books of Prints394176
Total Amount of the Sale£4124176

Two different catalogues of this valuable collection of books were printed. The one was analysed, or a catalogue raisonné; to which was prefixed a print of a Grecian portico, &c., with ornaments and statues: the other (expressly for the sale) was an indigested and extremely confused one—to which was prefixed a print, designed and engraved by A. Motte, of an oak felled, with a number of men cutting down and carrying away its branches; illustrative of the following Greek motto inscribed on a scroll above—Δρυὸς πεσοὺσης πᾶς ἀνὴρ ξυλευεταὶ: "An affecting memento (says Mr. Nichols, very justly, in his Anecdotes of Bowyer, p. 557) to the collectors of great libraries, who cannot, or do not, leave them to some public accessible repository."

[37] In the year 1730-1, there was sold by auction, at St. Paul's Coffee-house, in St. Paul's Church-yard (beginning every evening at five o'clock), the library of the celebrated Free-Thinker,

Anthony Collins, Esq.

"Containing a collection of several thousand volumes in Greek, Latin, English, French, and Spanish; in divinity, history, antiquity, philosophy, husbandry, and all polite literature: and especially many curious travels and voyages; and many rare and valuable pamphlets." This collection, which is divided into two parts (the first containing 3451 articles, the second 3442), is well worthy of being consulted by the theologian, who is writing upon any controverted point of divinity: there are articles in it of the rarest occurrence. The singular character of its owner and of his works is well known: he was at once the friend and the opponent of Locke and Clarke, who were both anxious for the conversion of a character of such strong, but misguided, talents. The former, on his death-bed, wrote Collins a letter to be delivered to him, after his decease, which was full of affection and good advice.

[38] It is almost impossible to dwell on the memory of this great man without emotions of delight—whether we consider him as an eminent physician, a friend to literature, or a collector of books, pictures, and coins. Benevolence, magnanimity, and erudition were the striking features of his character: his house was the general receptacle of men of genius and talent, and of every thing beautiful, precious, or rare. His curiosities, whether books, or coins, or pictures, were freely laid open to the public; and the enterprising student, and experienced antiquary, alike found amusement and a courteous reception. He was known to all foreigners of intellectual distinction, and corresponded both with the artisan and the potentate. The great patron of literature, and the leader of his profession (which he practised with a success unknown before), it was hardly possible for unbefriended merit, if properly introduced to him, to depart unrewarded. The clergy, and in general, all men of learning, received his advice gratuitously: and his doors were open every morning to the most indigent, whom he frequently assisted with money. Although his income, from his professional practice, was very considerable, he died by no means a rich man—so large were the sums which he devoted to the encouragement of literature and the fine arts!

The sale of Dr. Mead's books commenced on the 18th of November, 1754, and again on the 7th of April, 1755: lasting together 57 days. The sale of the prints and drawings continued 14 nights. The gems, bronzes, busts, and antiquities, 8 days.

His books produced£5496150
Prints and drawings1908140
Coins and medals1977170
Amount of all the sales£16,047120

It would be difficult to mention, within a moderate compass, all the rare and curious articles which his library contained—but the following are too conspicuous to be passed over. The Spira Virgil of 1470, Pfintzing's Tewrkdrancs, 1527, Brandt's Stultifera Navis, 1498, and the Aldine Petrarch of 1501, all upon vellum. The large paper Olivet's Cicero was purchased by Dr. Askew for £14 14s. and was sold again at his sale for £36 15s. The King of France bought the editio princeps of Pliny Senr. for £11 11s.; and Mr. Willock, a bookseller, bought the magnificently illuminated Pliny by Jenson of 1472, for £18 18s.: of which Maittaire has said so many fine things. The French books, and all the works upon the Fine Arts, were of the first rarity, and value, and bound in a sumptuous manner. Winstanley's Prospects of Audley End brought £50. An amusing account of some of the pictures will be found in Mr. Beloe's "Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books," vol. i. 166. 71. But consult also Nichol's Anecdotes of Bowyer, p. 225, &c. Of the catalogue of Dr. Mead's books there were only six copies printed on large paper. See Bibl. Lort, no. 1149.

B. 29The years 1755-6 were singularly remarkable for the mortality excited by the Bibliomania; and theB. 30 well known names of Folkes,[39] and Rawlinson,[40] might have supplied a modern Holbein a hint for theB. 31 introduction of a new subject in the "Dance of Death." The close of George the Second's reign witnessed another instance of the fatality of this disease. Henley[41] "bawled till he was hoarse" against the cruelty of its attack; while his library has informed posterity how severely and how mortally he suffered from it.

[39] "A Catalogue of the entire and valuable library of Martin Folkes, Esq., President of the Royal Society, and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, lately deceased; which will be sold by auction by Samuel Baker, at his house, in York Street, Covent Garden. To begin on Monday, February 2, 1756, and to continue for forty days successively (Sundays excepted). Catalogues to be had at most of the considerable places in Europe, and all the booksellers of Great Britain and Ireland, Price Sixpence."

This collection was an exceedingly fine one; enriched with many books of the choicest description, which Mr. Folkes had acquired in his travels in Italy and Germany. The works on natural history, coins, medals, and inscriptions, and on the fine arts in general, formed the most valuable department—those in the Greek, Latin and English classics, were comparatively of inferior importance. It is a great pity the catalogue was not better digested; or the books classed according to the nature of their contents.

The following prices, for some of the more rare and interesting articles, will amuse a bibliographer of the present day. The chronicles of Fabian, Hall, and Grafton, did not altogether bring quite £2: though the copies are described as perfect and fair. There seems to have been a fine set of Sir Wm. Dugdale's Works (Nos. 3074-81) in 13 vols. which, collectively, produced about 30 guineas.

In Spanish literature, the history of South America, By Don Juan and Ant. di Ulloa, Madr. fol. in 5 vols., was sold for £5: a fine large paper copy of the description of the Monastery of St. Lorenzo, and the Escorial, Madr. 1657, brought £1 2s.: de Lastanosa's Spanish Medals, Huesca, fol. 1645, £2 2s.

In English, the first edition of Shakespeare, 1623, which is now what a French bibliographer would say "presque introuvable," produced the sum of £3 3s.; and Fuller's Worthies, 18s.!

Fine Arts, Antiquities, and Voyages. Sandrart's works, in 9 folio volumes (of which a fine perfect copy is now rarely to be met with, and of very great value) were sold for £13 13s. only: Desgodetz Roman edifices, Paris, 1682, £4 10s.: Galleria Giustiniano, 2 vols., fol. £13 13s. Le Brun's Voyages in Muscovy, &c., in large paper, £4 4s. De Rossi's Raccolta de Statue, &c. Rom. 1704, £6 10s. Medailles du Regne de Louis le Grand, de l'imp. Roy. 1. p. fol. 1702, £5 15s. 6d.

The works on Natural History brought still higher prices; but the whole, from the present depreciation of specie, and increased rarity of the articles, would now bring thrice the sums then given.

Of the Greek and Latin Classics, the Pliny of 1469 and 1472 were sold to Dr. Askew for £11 11s. and £7 17s. 6d. At the Doctor's sale they brought £43 and £23: although the first was lately sold (A.D. 1805) among some duplicates of books belonging to the British Museum, at a much lower price: the copy was, in fact, neither large nor beautiful. Those in the Hunter and Cracherode collections are greatly superior, and would each bring more than double the price.

From a priced copy of the sale catalogue, in my possession, I find that the amount of the sale, consisting of 5126 articles, was £3091 5s.

The Prints and Drawings of Mr. Folkes occupied a sale of 8 days; and his pictures, gems, coins, and mathematical instruments, of five days.

Mr. Martin Folkes may justly be ranked among the most useful, as well as splendid, literary characters of which this country can boast. He appears to have imbibed, at a very early age, an extreme passion for science and literature; and to have distinguished himself so much at the University of Cambridge, under the able tuition of Dr. Laughton, that, in his 23rd year, he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society. About two years afterwards he was chosen one of the council, and rose, in gradual succession, to the chair of the presidentship, which he filled with a credit and celebrity that has since never been surpassed. On this occasion he was told by Dr. Jurin, the Secretary, who dedicated to him the 34th vol. of the Transactions, that "the greatest man that ever lived (Sir Isaac Newton) singled him out to fill the chair, and to preside in the society, when he himself was so frequently prevented by indisposition: and that it was sufficient to say of him that he was Sir Isaac's friend."

Within a few years after this, he was elected President of the Society of Antiquaries. Two situations, the filling of which may be considered as the ne plus ultra of literary distinction. Mr. Folkes travelled abroad, with his family, about two years and a half, visiting the cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice—where he was noticed by almost every person of rank and reputation, and whence he brought away many a valuable article to enrich his own collection. He was born in the year 1690, and died of a second stroke of the palsy, under which he languished for three years, in 1754. Dr. Birch has drawn a very just and interesting character of this eminent man, which may be found in Nichol's Anecdotes of Bowyer, 562. 7. Mr. Edwards, the late ornithologist, has described him in a simple, but appropriate, manner. "He seemed," says he, "to have attained to universal knowledge; for, in the many opportunities I have had of being in his company, almost every part of science has happened to be the subject of discourse, all of which he handled as an adept. He was a man of great politeness in his manners, free from all pedantry and pride, and, in every respect, the real unaffected fine gentleman."

[40] "Bibliotheca Rawlinsoniana, sive Catalogus Librorum Richardi Rawlinson, LL.D. Qui prostabunt Venales sub hasta, Apud Samuelem Baker. In Vico dicto York Street, Covent Garden Londini, Die Lunæ, 22 Martii mdcclvi."

This valuable library must have contained about 20,000 volumes; for the number of Articles amounted to 9405. On examining a priced catalogue of it, which now lies before me, I have not found any higher sum offered for a work than £4 1s. for a collection of fine prints, by Aldegrave (No. 9405). The Greek and Latin classics, of which there were few Editiones Principes, or on large paper, brought the usual sums given at that period. The old English black-lettered books, which were pretty thickly scattered throughout the collection, were sold for exceedingly low prices—if the copies were perfect. Witness the following:

The Newe Testament in English, 1530029
The Ymage of both Churches, after the Revelation of St. John, by Bale, 1550016
The boke called the Pype or Tonne of Perfection, by Richard Whytforde, 1532019
The Visions of Pierce Plowman, 1561020
The Creede of Pierce Plowman, 1553016
The Bookes of Moses, in English, 1530039
Bale's Actes of Englishe Votaryes, 1550013
The Boke of Chivalrie, by Caxton0110
The Boke of St. Albans, by W. de Worde110

These are only very few of the rare articles in English literature, of the whole of which (perhaps upwards of 200 in number) I believe, the 'Boke of St. Albans,' brought the highest sum. Hence it will be seen that this was not the age of curious research into the productions of our ancestors. Shakspeare had not then appeared in a proper Variorum edition. Theobald, and Pope, and Warburton, had not investigated the black-letter lore of ancient English writers, for the illustration of their favourite author. This was reserved for Farmer, for Steevens, for Malone, for Chalmers, Reed and Douce: and it is expressly to these latter gentlemen (for Johnson and Hanmer were very sparing, or very shy, of the black letter), that we are indebted for the present spirit of research into the works of our ancestors.

The sale of the books lasted 50 days. There was a second sale of pamphlets, books of prints, &c., in the following year, which lasted 10 days; and this was immediately succeeded by a sale of the Doctor's single prints and drawings, which continued 8 days.

[41] This gentleman's library, not so remarkable for the black letter as for whimsical publications, was sold by auction, by Samuel Paterson, [the earliest sale in which I find this well known book-auctioneer engaged] in June, 1759, and the three ensuing evenings. The title of the Sale Catalogue is as follows:

"A Catalogue of the original MSS. and manuscript collections of the late Reverend Mr. John Henley, A.M., Independent Minister of the Oratory, &c., in which are included sundry collections of the late Mons. des Maizeaux, the learned editor of Bayle, &c., Mr. Lowndes, author of the Report for the Amendment of Silver Coins, &c., Dr. Patrick Blair, Physician at Boston, and F.R.S. &c., together with original letters and papers of State, addressed to Henry d'Avenant, Esq., her Britannic Majesty's Envoy at Francfort, from 1703 to 1708 inclusive."

Few libraries have contained more curious and remarkable publications than did this. The following articles, given as notable specimens, remind us somewhat of Addison's Memoranda for the Spectator, which the waiter at the coffee-house picked up and read aloud for the amusement of the company.

No. 166. God's Manifestation by a Star to the Dutch. A mortifying Fast Diet at Court. On the Birth Day of the first and oldest young gentleman. All corrupt: none good: no not one.

No. 168. General Thumbissimo. The Spring reversed, or the Flanderkin's Opera and Dutch Pickle Herrings. The Creolean Fillip, or Royal Mishap. A Martial Telescope, &c., England's Passion Sunday, and April Changelings.

No. 170. Speech upon Speech. A Telescope for Tournay. No Battle, but worse, and the True Meaning of it. An Army Beaten and interred.

No. 174. Signs when the P. will come. Was Captain Sw——n a Prisoner on Parole, to be catechised? David's Opinion of like Times. The Seeds of the plot may rise, though the leaves fall. A Perspective, from the Blair of Athol, the Pretender's Popery. Murder! Fire! Where! Where!

No. 178. Taking Carlisle, catching an eel by the tail. Address of a Bishop, Dean and Clergy. Swearing to the P——r, &c., Anathema denounced against those Parents, Masters, and Magistrates, that do not punish the Sin at Stokesley. A Speech, &c. A parallel between the Rebels to K. Charles I. and those to his Successor. Jane Cameron looked killing at Falkirk.

No. 179. Let stocks be knighted, write, Sir Banks, &c. the Ramhead Month. A Proof that the Writers against Popery fear it will be established in this Kingdom. A Scheme, wisely blabbed to root and branch the Highlanders. Let St. Patrick have fair play, &c.

Of Orator Henley I have not been able to collect any biographical details more interesting than those which are to be found in Warburton's notes to Pope's Dunciad.

We are now, my dear Sir, descending rapidly to our own times; and, in a manner sufficiently rough, have traced the History of the Bibliomania to the commencement of the present illustrious reign: whenB. 32 we discover, among its victims, a General, who had probably faced many a cannon, and stormed many aB. 33 rampart, uninjured. The name of Dormer[42] will remind you of the small but choice library which affords such a melancholy proof of its owners' fate; while the more splendid examples of Smith[43] and West[44]B. 34 serve to shew the increased ravages of a disease, which seemed to threaten the lives of all, into whose earsB. 35 (like those of "Visto,") some demon had "whispered" the sound of "taste." These three striking instancesB. 36 of the fatality of the Bibliomania occurred—the first in the year 1764; and the latter in 1773. The following year witnessed the sale of the Fletewode[45]B. 37 library; so that nothing but despair and havoc appeared to move in the train of this pestiferous malady. In the year 1775 died the famous Dr. Anthony Askew, another illustrious victim to the Bibliomania. ThoseB. 38 who recollect the zeal and scholarship of this great book-collector, and the precious gems with which his library[46] was stored from the cabinets of De Boze and Gaignat, as well as of Mead and Folkes, cannotB. 39 but sigh with grief of heart on the thought of such a victim! How ardently, and how kindly [as I remember to have heard his friend Dr. Burges say], would Askew unfold his glittering stores—open the magnificent folio, or the shining duodecimo, upon vellum, embossed and fast held together with golden knobs and silver clasps! How carefully would he unroll the curious MS.—decipher the half effaced characters—and then, casting an eye of ecstacy over the shelves upon which similar treasures were lodged, exult in the glittering prospect before him! But death—who, as Horace tells us, rapsB. 40 equally at the palaces of kings and cottages of peasants, made no scruple to exercise the knocker of the Doctor's door, and sent, as his avant-courier, this deplorable mania! It appeared; and even Askew, with all his skill in medicine and books, fell lifeless before it—bewailed, as he was beloved and respected!

[42] "A Catalogue of the genuine and elegant Library of the late Sir C.C. Dormer, collected by Lieutenant-General James Dormer, which will be sold, &c., by Samuel Baker, at his house in York Street, Covent Garden; to begin on Monday, February the 20th, 1764, and to continue the nineteen following evenings." At the end of the catalogue we are told that the books were "in general of the best editions, and in the finest condition, many of them in large paper, bound in morocco, gilt leaves, &c."

This was a very choice collection of books, consisting almost entirely of Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish and French. The number of articles did not exceed 3082, and of volumes, probably not 7000. The catalogue is neatly printed, and copies of it on large paper are exceedingly scarce. Among the most curious and valuable articles were those numbered 599, 604, 2249, 2590; from no. 2680, to the end, was a choice collection of Italian and Spanish books.

[43] In the year 1755 was published at Venice, printed by J.B. Pasquali, a catalogue of the books of Joseph Smith, Esq., Consul at Venice.

The catalogue was published under the following Latin title: "Bibliotheca Smitheana, seu Catalogus Librorum D. Josephi Smithii, Angli, per Cognomina Authorum dispositus, Venetiis, typis Jo. Baptistæ Pasquali, M,DCCLV.;" in quarto; with the arms of Consul Smith. The title page is succeeded by a Latin preface of Pasquali, and an alphabetical list of 43 pages of the authors mentioned in the catalogue: then follow the books arranged alphabetically, without any regard to size, language, or subject. These occupy 519 pages, marked with the Roman numerals; after which are 66 pages, numbered in the same manner, of "addenda et corrigenda." The most valuable part of the volume is "The Prefaces and Epistles prefixed to those works in the Library which were printed in the 15th century:" these occupy 348 pages. A Catalogue, (in three pages) of the Names of the illustrious Men mentioned in these prefaces, &c., closes the book.

It would be superfluous to mention to bibliographers the rare articles contained in this collection, which are so generally known and so justly appreciated. They consist chiefly of early editions of Italian, Greek, and Latin classics; and of many copies of both printed upon vellum. The library, so rich in these articles, was, however, defective in English Literature and Antiquities. There was scarcely any thing of Shakspeare or Dugdale.

On the death of Mr. Smith in 1772, his collection was sold in 1773, 8vo., by Baker and Leigh; and the books were announced to the public, as being "in the finest preservation, and consisting of the very best and scarcest editions of the Latin, Italian, and French authors, from the invention of printing; with manuscripts and missals, upon vellum, finely illuminated." A glance upon the prices for which most of these fine books were sold made Mr. Cuthell exclaim, in my hearing, that "they were given away." On these occasions, one cannot help now and then wishing, with father Evander,

"O mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos!"

On comparing Pasquali's, with the sale, catalogue, it will be obvious that a great number of rare and valuable articles was disposed of before the books came to public auction. Indeed it is known that his present Majesty enriched his magnificent collection with many of the Consul's first editions, and vellum copies, during the life of the latter. The sale continued thirteen days only; and on the last day were sold all the English books in the black-letter. Some of these are rather curious.

Of Consul Smith I am unable to present the lover of virtu with any particulars more acceptable than the following. Pasquali (whose Latin preface is curious enough—abounding with as many interrogatories as Hamlet's soliloquies) has told us that "as the Consul himself was distinguished for his politeness, talents, and prudence, so was his house for splendid and elegant decorations. You might there view, says he, the most beautifully painted pictures, and exquisite ornaments, whether gems, vases, or engravings. In short, the whole furniture was so brilliant and classical that you admired at once the magnificence and judgment of the owner." He tells us, a little further, that he had frequently solicited the Consul to print a catalogue of his books; which proposition his modesty at first induced him to reject; but, afterwards, his liberality, to comply with. He then observes that, "in the compilation of the catalogue, he has studied brevity as much as it was consistent with perspicuity; and that he was once desirous of stating the value and price of the books, but was dissuaded from it by the advice of the more experienced, and by the singular modesty of the Collector."

It must be confessed that Pasquali has executed his task well, and that the catalogue ranks among the most valuable, as well as rare, books of the kind.

[44] "Bibliotheca Westiana; A catalogue of the curious and truly valuable library of the late James West, Esq., President of the Royal Society, deceased, &c. Including the works of Caxton, Lettou, Machlinia, the anonymous St. Albans Schoolmaste, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, and the rest of the old English typographers. Digested by Samuel Paterson," 1773, 8vo.


1. Volumes of Miscellaneous Tracts.

These volumes extend from No. 148 to 200, from 915 to 992, from 1201 to 1330, and from No. 1401 to 1480.

2. Divinity.

In the whole, 560 articles; probably about 1200 volumes; some of them exceedingly scarce and valuable.

3. Education, Languages, Criticism, Classics, Dictionaries,
Catalogues of Libraries, &c.

There were about 700 volumes in these departments. The catalogues of English books, from that of Maunsell, in 1595, to the latest before Mr. West's time, were very complete. The treatises on education and translations of the ancient classics comprehended a curious and uncommon collection. The Greek and Latin classics were rather select than rare.

4. English Poetry, Romance, and Miscellanies.

This interesting part of the collection comprehended about 355 articles, or probably about 750 volumes: and if the singularly rare and curious books which may be found under these heads alone were now concentrated in one library, the owner of them might safely demand 4000 guineas for such a treasure.

5. Philosophy, Mathematics, Inventions, Agriculture and
Horticulture, Medicine, Cookery, Surgery, etc.

Two hundred and forty articles, or about 560 volumes.

6. Chemistry, Natural History, Astrology, Sorcery, Gigantology.

Probably not more than 100 volumes.

7. History and Antiquities.

This comprehended a great number of curious and valuable productions, relating both to foreign and domestic transactions.

8. Heraldry and Genealogy.

A great number of curious and scarce articles may be found under these heads.

9. Ancient Legends and Chronicles.

To the English antiquary, few departments of literature are more interesting that these. Mr. West seems to have paid particular attention to them, and to have enriched his library with many articles of this description, of the rarest occurrence. The lovers of Caxton, Fabian, Hardyng, Hall, Grafton, and Holinshed, may be highly gratified by inspecting the various editions of these old chroniclers. I entreat the diligent bibliographer to examine the first eight articles of page 209 of the catalogue. Alas, when will all these again come under the hammer at one sale?!

10. Topography.

Even to a veteran, like the late Mr. Gough, such a collection as may be found from p. 217 to p. 239 of this catalogue, would be considered a first-rate acquisition. I am aware that the gothic wainscot, and stained glass windows, of Enfield Study enshrined a still more exquisite topographical collection! But we are improved since the days of Mr. West; and every body knows to whom these improvements are, in a great measure, to be attributed. When I call to mind the author of 'British Topography' and 'Sepulchral Monuments,' I am not insensible to the taste, diligence, and erudition of the "par nobile fratrum," who have gratified us with the 'Environs of London,' 'Roman Remains,' and the first two volumes of 'Magna Britannia!'

The preceding is to be considered as a very general, and therefore superficial, analysis of the catalogue of Mr. West's library; copies of it, with the sums for which the books were sold, are now found with difficulty, and bring a considerable price. I never saw or heard of one on large paper!

[45] "A catalogue of rare books and tracts in various languages and faculties; including the Ancient Conventual Library of Missenden-Abbey, in Buckinghamshire; together with some choice remains of that of the late eminent Serjeant at law, William Fletewode, Esq., Recorder of London, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; among which are several specimens of the earliest Typography, foreign and English, including Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, and others; a fine collection of English Poetry, some scarce old law-books, a great number of old English plays, several choice MSS. upon vellum, and other subjects of literary curiosity. Also several of the best editions of the Classics, and modern English and French books. To begin December 5, 1774, and the 17 following evenings, precisely at half an hour after five."

I am in possession of a priced Catalogue of this collection, which once belonged to Herbert, and which contains all the purchasers' names, as well as the sums given. The purchasers were principally Herbert, Garrick, Dodd, Elmsley, T. Payne, Richardson, Chapman, Wagstaff, Bindley, and Gough. The following is a specimen of some curious and interesting articles contained in this celebrated library, and of the prices for which they once sold!

NO.   £ s. d.
172. Bale's brefe Chronycle relating to Syr Johan Oldecastell, 1544. The Life off the 70th Archbishopp off Canterbury presentleye sittinge, 1574, &c. Life of Hen. Hills, Printer to O. Cromwell, with the Relation of what passed between him and the Taylor's Wife in Black Friars, 1688, &c. 0 7 9
Purchased by Mores.
361 to 367. Upwards of thirty scarce Theological Tracts, in Latin and English 1 5 0
746 to 784. A fine collection of early English Translations, in black letter, with some good foreign editions of the classics. Not exceeding, in the whole 10 10 0
837, 838. Two copies of the first edition of Bacon's Essays, 1597! 0 0 6
The reader will just glance at No. 970, in the catalogue, en passant, to
1082. (£1 2s.) and 1091 (12s.); but more particularly to
1173. Caxton's Boke of Tulle of olde age, &c. 1481. Purchased by the late Mr. T. Payne 8 8 0
1174. Caxton's Boke which is sayd or called Cathon, &c. 1483. 5 0 0
Purchased by Alchorn.
1256. Caxton's Doctrinal of Sapyence, 1489 6 6 0
Purchased by Alchorn.
1257. Caxton's Cordyal, 1479 6 12 6
1258. Wynkyn de Worde's Ocharde of Syon, &c. 1519 1 13 0

I will, however, only add that there were upwards of 150 articles of Old Plays, mostly in quarto. See page 73. Of Antiquities, Chronicles, and Topography, it would be difficult to pitch upon the rarest volumes. The collection, including very few MSS., contained 3641 articles, or probably nearly 7000 volumes. The Catalogue is uncommon.

[46] I am now arrived, pursuing my chronological arrangement, at a very important period in the annals of book-sales. The name and collection of Dr. Askew are so well known in the bibliographical world that the reader need not be detained with laboured commendations on either: in the present place, however, it would be a cruel disappointment not to say a word or two by way of preface or prologue.

Dr. Anthony Askew had eminently distinguished himself by a refined taste, a sound knowledge, and an indefatigable research relating to every thing connected with Grecian and Roman literature. It was to be expected, even during his life, as he was possessed of sufficient means to gratify himself with what was rare, curious, and beautiful in literature and the fine arts, that the public would, one day, be benefited by such pursuits: especially as he had expressed a wish that his treasures might be unreservedly submitted to sale, after his decease. In this wish the Doctor was not singular. Many eminent collectors had indulged it before him: and, to my knowledge, many modern ones still indulge it. Accordingly on the death of Dr. Askew, in 1774, appeared, in the ensuing year, a catalogue of his books for sale, by Messrs. Baker and Leigh, under the following title:

"Bibliotheca Askeviana, sive Catalogus Librorum Rarissimorum Antonii Askew, M.D., quorum Auctio fiet apud S. Baker et G. Leigh, in Vico dicto York Street, Covent Garden, Londini. Die Lunæ, 13 Februarii, MDCCLXXV, et in undeviginti sequentes dies." A few copies were struck off on large paper.

We are told by the compiler of the catalogue that it was thought unnecessary to say much with respect to this Library of the late Dr. Anthony Askew, as the Collector and Collection were so well known in almost all parts of Europe. Afterwards it is observed that "The books in general are in very fine condition, many of them bound in morocco, and Russia leather, with gilt leaves." "To give a particular account," continues the Compiler, "of the many scarce editions of books in this Catalogue would be almost endless, therefore the first editions of the Classics, and some extremely rare books are chiefly noticed. The catalogue, without any doubt, contains the best, rarest, and most valuable collection of Greek and Latin Books that were ever sold in England." This account is not overcharged. The collection, in regard to Greek and Roman literature, was unique in its day.

The late worthy and learned Mr. M. Cracherode, whose library now forms one of the most splendid acquisitions of the British Museum, and whose bequest of it will immortalize his memory, was also among the "Emptores literarii" at this renowned sale. He had enriched his collection with many Exemplar Askevianum; and, in his latter days, used to elevate his hands and eyes, and exclaim against the prices now offered for Editiones Principes!

The fact is, Dr. Askew's sale has been considered a sort of æra in bibliography. Since that period, rare and curious books in Greek and Latin literature have been greedily sought after, and obtained at most extravagant prices. It is very well for a veteran in bibliography, as was Mr. Cracherode, or as are Mr. Wodhull and Dr. Gosset, whose collections were formed in the days of Gaignat, Askew, Duke de la Valliere, and Lamoignon—it is very well for such gentlemen to declaim against modern prices! But what is to be done? Books grow scarcer every day, and the love of literature, and of possessing rare and interesting works, increases in an equal ratio. Hungry bibliographers meet, at sales, with well furnished purses, and are resolved upon sumptuous fare. Thus the hammer vibrates, after a bidding of Forty pounds, where formerly it used regularly to fall at Four!

But we lose sight of Dr. Askew's rare editions, and large paper copies. The following, gentle Reader, is but an imperfect specimen!

NO.   £ s. d.
168. Chaucer's Works, by Pynson, no date 7 17 6
172. Cicero of Old Age, by Caxton, 1481 13 13 0
518. Gilles' (Nicole) Annales, &c. de France. Paris, fol. 1520. 2 tom. sur velin 31 10 6
647. Æginetæ (Pauli) Præcepta Salubria. Paris, quarto, 1510. On vellum 11 0 0
666. Æsopi Fabulæ. Edit. Prin. circ. 1480 6 6 0
684. Boccacio, la Teseide Ferar. 1475. Prima Edizione 85 0 0
1433. Catullus Tibullus, et Propertius, Aldi. 8vo. 1502. In Membrana 17 10 0
  This copy was purchased by the late Mr. M.C. Cracherode, and is now, with his library, in the British Museum. It is a beautiful book, but cannot be compared with Lord Spencer's Aldine vellum Virgil, of the same size.      
1576. Durandi Rationale, &c. 1459. In Membrana 61 0 0
  The beginning of the 1st chapter was wanting. Lord Spencer has a perfect copy of this rare book on spotless vellum!      
2656. Platonis Opera, apud Aldum. 2 vol. fol. 1513. Edit. Prin. On vellum 55 13 0
  Purchased by the late Dr. W. Hunter; and is at this moment, in his Museum at Glasgow. The reader who has not seen them can have no idea of the beauty of these vellum leaves. The ink is of the finest lustre, and the whole typographical arrangement may be considered a master-piece of printing. Lord Oxford told Dr. Mead that he gave 100 guineas for this very copy.      

After this melancholy event, one would have thought that future Virtuosi would have barricadoed their doors, and fumigated their chambers, to keep out such a pest;—but how few are they who profit by experience, even when dearly obtained! The subsequent history of the disease is a striking proof of the truth of this remark; for the madness of book-collecting rather increased—and the work of death still went on. InB. 41 the year 1776 died John Ratcliffe[47] another, and a very singular, instance of the fatality of the Bibliomania. If he had contented himself with his former occupation, and frequented the butter and cheese, instead of the book, market—if he could have fancied himself in a brown peruke, and Russian apron, instead of an embroidered waistcoat, velvet breeches, and flowing perriwig, he might, perhaps, have enjoyed greater longevity; but, infatuated by the Caxtons and Wynkyn De Wordes of Fletewode and of West, he fell into the snare; and the more he struggled to disentangle himself, the more certainly did he become a prey to the disease.

[47] Bibliotheca Ratcliffiana; or, "A Catalogue of the elegant and truly valuable Library of John Ratcliffe, Esq. late of Bermondsey, deceased. The whole collected with great judgment and expense, during the last thirty years of his life: comprehending a large and most choice collection of the rare old English black-letter, in fine preservation, and in elegant bindings, printed by Caxton, Lettou, Machlinia, the anonymous St. Albans Schoolmaster, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, Berthelet, Grafton, Day, Newberie, Marshe, Jugge, Whytchurch, Wyer, Rastell, Coplande, and the rest of the Old English Typographers: several missals and MSS., and two Pedigrees on vellum, finely illuminated." The title page then sets forth a specimen of these black-lettered gems; among which our eyes are dazzled with a galaxy of Caxtons, Wynkyn de Wordes, Pynsons, &c. &c. The sale took place on March 27, 1776.

If ever there was a unique collection, this was one—the very essence of Old Divinity, Poetry, Romances, and Chronicles! The articles were only 1675 in number, but their intrinsic value amply compensated for their paucity.

The following is but an inadequate specimen.

NO.   £ s. d.
1315. Horace's Arte of Poetrie, Pistles and Satyres, by Drant. 1567, first English edition 0 16 6
1321. The Sheparde's Calender, 1579. Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576 1 2 0
1392. The Pastyme of the People, printed by Rastell. Curious wood cuts. A copy of this book is not now to be procured. I have known £40 offered for it, and rejected with disdain 7 7 0
1403. Barclay's Shyp of Folys, printed by Pynson, 1508, first edit. fine copy 2 10 0
1426. The Doctrinal of Sapyence, printed by Caxton, 1489 8 8 0
1427. The Boke, called Cathon, ditto, 1483. Purchased by Dr. Hunter, and now in his Museum 5 5 0
1428. The Polytyque Boke, named Tullius de Senectute, in Englishe, by Caxton, 1481. Purchased for his Majesty 14 0 0
1429. The Game of Chesse Playe. 1474 16 0 0
1665. The Boke of Jason, printed by Caxton 5 10 0
1669. The Polychronicon of Ranulph Higden, printed by Caxton, 1482. Purchased by Dr. Hunter 5 15 6
1670. Legenda Aurea, or the Golden Legende 1483 9 15 0
1674. Mr. Ratcliffe's MS. Catalogues of the rare old black letter, and other curious and uncommon books, 4 vols. 7 15 0
  This would have been the most delicious article to my palate. If the present owner of it were disposed to part with it, I could not find it in my heart to refuse him compound interest for his money. As is the wooden frame-work to the bricklayer in the construction of his arch, so might Mr. Ratcliffe's MS. Catalogues be to me in the compilation of a certain magnum opus!      

The memory of such a man ought to be dear to the "black-lettered dogs" of the present day; for he had [mirabile dictu!] upwards of Thirty Caxtons!

If I might hazard a comparison between Mr. James West's and Mr. John Ratcliffe's collections, I should say that the former was more extensive, the latter more curious: Mr. West's, like a magnificent champagne, executed by the hand of Claude or Both, and enclosing mountains, and meadows, and streams, presented to the eye of the beholder a scene at once extensive, luxuriant, and fruitful: Mr. Ratcliffe's, like one of those delicious pieces of scenery, touched by the pencil of Rysdael or Hobbima, exhibited to the beholder's eye a spot equally interesting, but less varied and extensive. The sweeping foliage and rich pasture of the former could not, perhaps, afford greater gratification than did the thatched cottage, abrupt declivities, and gushing streams of the latter. To change the metaphor—Mr. West's was a magnificent repository, Mr. Ratcliffe's a choice cabinet of gems.

Thirty years have been considered by Addison (someB. 42where in his Spectator) as a pretty accurate period for the passing away of one generation and the coming on of another. We have brought down our researches to within a similar period of the present times; but, as Addison has not made out the proofs of such assertion, and as many of the relatives and friends of those who have fallen victims to the Bibliomania, since the days of Ratcliffe, may yet be alive; moreover, as it is the part of humanity not to tear open wounds which have been just closed, or awaken painful sensibilities which have been well nigh laid to rest; so, my dear Sir, in giving you a further account of this fatal disorder, IB. 43 deem it the most prudent method not to expatiate upon the subsequent examples of its mortality. We can only mourn over such names as Beauclerk, Crofts, Pearson, Lort, Mason, Farmer, Steevens, Woodhouse, Brand, and Reed! and fondly hope that the list may not be increased by those of living characters!

We are, in the second place, to describe the Symptoms of the Disease.

The ingenious Peignot, in the first volume of his 'Dictionnaire Bibliologie,' p. 51, defines the Bibliomania[48] to be "a passion for possessing books; notB. 44 so much to be instructed by them, as to gratify the eye by looking on them. He who is affected by this mania knows books only by their titles and dates, and is rather seduced by the exterior than interior"! This is, perhaps, too general and vague a definition to be of much benefit in the knowledge, and consequent prevention, of the disease: let us, therefore, describe it more certainly and intelligibly.

[48] There is a short, but smart and interesting, article on this head in Mr. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, vol. 1. 10. "Bruyere has touched on this mania with humour; of such a collector (one who is fond of superb bindings only) says he, as soon as I enter his house, I am ready to faint on the stair-case from a strong smell of morocco leather. In vain he shows me fine editions, gold leaves, Etruscan bindings, &c.—naming them one after another, as if he were showing a gallery of pictures!" Lucian has composed a biting invective against an ignorant possessor of a vast library. "One who opens his eyes, with an hideous stare, at an old book, and, after turning over the pages, chiefly admires the date of its publication."

Symptoms of this disease are instantly known by a passion for I. Large Paper Copies: II. Uncut Copies: III. Illustrated Copies: IV. Unique Copies: V. Copies printed upon Vellum: VI. First Editions: VII. True Editions: VIII. A general desire for the Black Letter. We will describe these symptoms more particularly.

I. Large Paper Copies. These are a certain set or limited number of the work printed in a superior manner, both in regard to ink and press work, on paper of a larger size, and better quality, than the ordinary copies. Their price is enhanced in proportion to their beauty and rarity. In the note below[49] are specified a fewB. 45 works which have been published in this manner, that the sober collector may avoid approaching them.

[49] 1. Lord Bacon's Essays, 1798, 8vo., of which it is said only five copies were struck off on royal folio. In Lord Spencer's and the Cracherode, collection I have seen a copy of this exquisitely printed book; the text of which, surrounded by such an amplitude of margin, in the language of Ernesti [see his Critique on Havercamp's Sallust] "natut velut cymba in oceano."

2. Twenty Plays of Shakespeare published by Steevens from the old quarto editions, 1766, 8vo. 6 vols. Of this edition there were only twelve copies struck off on large paper. See Bibl. Steevens, No. 1312.

3. Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, 1780, 8vo., 12 vols. only six copies printed on large paper. See Bibl. Woodhouse, No. 198.

4. The Grenville Homer. Græce, 1800. 4to. 4 vols. Fifty copies with plates were struck off on large paper, in royal quarto. A copy of this kind was purchased at a sale in 1804, for £99 15s.

5. Sandford's Genealogical History, etc. 1707, fol. Mr. Arch of Cornhill purchased a copy of this work on large paper, at the late sale of Baron Smyth's books, for £46. If the largest paper of Clarke's Cæsar be excepted, this is the highest priced single volume on large paper, that I just now recollect.

6. Hearne's Works on large paper.

Something relating to Hearne will be found in the note at page 7 ante. Here it will be only necessary to observe that the Hernëan rage for Large Paper is quite of recent growth, but it promises to be giant-like. When the duplicates of a part of Mr. Woodhull's library, in 1803, were sold, there was a fine set of copies of this kind; but the prices, comparatively with those now offered, were extremely moderate. Mr. Otridge, the bookseller, told me an amusing story of his going down to Liverpool, many years ago, and accidentally purchasing from the library of the late Sir Thomas Hanmer, a magnificent set of Large Paper Hearnes for about 40 Guineas. Many of these are now in the choice library of his Grace the Duke of Grafton. The copies were catalogued as small paper. Was there ever a more provoking blunder?!

This[50] symptom of the Bibliomania is, at the present day, both general and violent, and threatens to extend still more widely. Even modern publications are not exempt from its calamitous influence; and when Mr. Miller, the bookseller, told me with what eagerness the large paper copies of Lord Valentia's Travels were bespoke, and Mr. Evans shewed me that every similar copy of his new edition of "Burnett's History of his own Times" was disposed of, I could not help elevating my eyes and hands, in token of commisB. 46eration at the prevalence of this Symptom of the Bibliomania!

[50] Analogous to Large Paper Copies are tall Copies; that is, copies of the work published on the ordinary size paper and not much cut down by the binder. The want of margin is a serious grievance complained of by book-collectors; and when there is a contest of margin-measuring, with books never professedly published on large paper, the anxiety of each party to have the largest copy is better conceived than described! How carefully, and how adroitly, are the golden and silver rules then exercised!

II. Uncut Copies. Of all the symptoms of the Bibliomania, this is probably the most extraordinary. It may be defined as a passion to possess books of which the edges have never been sheared by the binder's tools. And here, my dear Sir, I find myself walking upon doubtful ground;—your uncut Hearnes rise up in "rough majesty" before me, and almost "push me from my stool." Indeed, when I look around in my book-lined tub, I cannot but be conscious that this symptom of the disorder has reached my own threshold; but when it is known that a few of my bibliographical books are left with the edges uncut merely to please my friends (as one must sometimes study their tastes and appetites as well as one's own), I trust that no very serious conclusions will be drawn about the probable fatality of my own case. As to uncut copies, although their inconvenience [an uncut lexicon to wit!] and deformity must be acknowledged, and although a rational man can want for nothing better than a book once well bound, yet we find that the extraordinary passion for collecting them not only obtains with full force, but is attended with very serious consequences to those "qui n'ont point des pistoles" (to borrow the language of Clement; vol. vi. p. 36). I dare say an uncut first Shakspeare, as well as an uncut first Homer[51] would produce a little annuity!

[51] "Un superbe exemplaire de cette édition princeps a été vendu, chez M. de Cotte, en 1804, la somme de 3601 livres; mais il faut ajouter que cet exemplaire très-precieux est de la plus belle conservation; on dirait qu'il sort dessous presse. De plus, il est peut-être l'unique dont les marges n'ont pas été rognées ni coupées!"

Peignot's Curiosités Bibliographiques, lxv-vi.

B. 47III. Illustrated Copies. A passion for books illustrated or adorned with numerous prints, representing characters or circumstances mentioned in the work, is a very general and violent symptom of the Bibliomania, which has been known chiefly within the last half century. The origin, or first appearance, of this symptom has been traced by some to the publication of Granger's "Biographical History of England;" but whoever will be at the pains of reading the preface of this work will see that Granger sheltered himself under the authorities of Evelyn, Ashmole, and others; and that he alone is not to be considered as responsible for all the mischief which this passion for collecting prints has occasioned. Granger, however, was the first who introduced it in the form of a treatise, and surely "in an evil hour" was this treatise published—although its amiable author must be acquitted of "malice prepense." His History of England[52] seems to have sounded the tocsin for a general rummage after, and slaughter of, old prints: venerable philosophers and veteran heroes, who had long reposed in unmolested dignity within the magnificent folio volumes which recorded their achievements, were instantly dragged from their peaceful abodes to be inlaid by the side of some spruce, modern engraving, within an Illustrated Granger! Nor did the madness stop here. Illustration was the order ofB. 48 the day; and Shakspeare[53] and Clarendon[54] became the next objects of its attack. From these it has glanced off in a variety of directions, to adorn the pages of humbler wights; and the passion, or rather this symptom of the Bibliomania,[55] yet rages with undiminished force. If judiciously[56] treated, it is, of all the symptoms, the least liable to mischief. To possess a series of well executed portraits of illustrious men, at different periods of their lives, from blooming boyhood to phlegmatic old age, is sufficiently amusing[57]; but to possess every portrait, bad, indifferent, andB. 49 unlike, betrays such a dangerous and alarming symptom as to render the case almost incurable!

[52] It was first published in two quarto volumes, 1766; and went through several editions in octavo. The last is, I believe, of the date of 1804; to which three additional volumes were published by William Noble, in 1806; the whole seven volumes form what is called an excellent library work.

[53] About two or three years ago there was an extraordinary set of prints disposed of, for the illustration of Shakspeare, collected by a gentleman in Cornwall, with considerable taste and judgment. Lord Spencer's beautiful octavo illustrated Shakespeare, bequeathed to him by the late Mr. Steevens, has been enriched, since it came into the library of its present noble possessor, with many a rare and many a beauteous specimen of the graphic art.

[54] I have heard of an illustrated Clarendon (which was recently in the metropolis), that has been valued at 5000 Guineas! "a good round sum!"

[55] One of the most striking and splendid instances of the present rage for illustration may be seen in Mr. Miller's own copy of the Historical Work of Mr. Fox, in two volumes, imperial quarto. Exclusively of a great variety of Portraits, it is enriched with the original drawing of Mr. Fox's bust from which the print, attached to the publication, is taken; and has also many original notes and letters by its illustrious author. Mr. Walter Scott's edition of Dryden has also received, by the same publisher, a similar illustration. It is on large paper, and most splendidly bound in blue morocco, containing upwards of 650 portraits.

[56] The fine copy of Granger, illustrated by the late Mr. Bull, is now in the library of the Marquis of Bute, at Lutton. It extends to 37 atlas folio volumes, and is a repository of almost every rare and beautiful print, which the diligence of its late, and the skill, taste, and connoisseurship of its present, noble owner have brought together.

[57] In the Memoirs of Mr. Thomas Hollis there is a series of the portraits of Milton (not executed in the best manner) done in this way; and a like series of Pope's portraits accompanies the recent edition of the poet's works by the Rev. W.L. Bowles.

There is another mode of illustrating copies by which this symptom of the Bibliomania may be known: it consists in bringing together, from different works, [by means of the scissors, or otherwise by transcription] every page or paragraph which has any connection with the character or subject under discussion. This is a useful and entertaining mode of illustrating a favourite author; and copies of works of this nature, when executed by skilful[58] hands, should be preserved in public repositories. I almost ridiculed the idea of an Illustrated Chatterton, in this way, till I saw Mr. Haslewood's copy, in twenty-one volumes, which rivetted me to my seat!

[58] Numerous are the instances of the peculiar use and value of copies of this kind, especially to those who are engaged in publication, of a similar nature. Oldys's interleaved Langbaine is re-echoed in almost every recent work connected with the belles-lettres of our country. Oldys himself was unrivalled in this method of illustration; if, besides his Langbaine, his copy of 'Fuller's Worthies' [once Mrs. Steevens's, now Mr. Malone's, See Bibl. Steevens, no. 1799] be alone considered! This Oldys was the oddest mortal that ever scribbled for bread. Grose, in his Olio, gives an amusing account of his having "a number of small parchment bags inscribed with the names of the persons whose lives he intended to write; into which he put every circumstance and anecdote he could collect, and thence drew up his history." See Noble's College of Arms, p. 420.

Of illustrated copies in this way, the Suidas of Kuster, belonging to the famous D'Orville, is a memorable instance. This is now in the Bodleian library. I should suppose that one Narcissus Luttrell, in Charles the Second's reign, had a number of like illustrated copies. His collection of contemporaneous literature must have been immense, as we may conclude from the account of it in Mr. Walter Scott's Preface to his recent edition of Dryden's works. Luckily for this brilliant poet and editor, a part of Luttrell's collection had found its way into the libraries of Mr. Bindley and Mr. Heber, and thence was doomed to shine, with renewed lustre, by the side of the poetry of Dryden.

IV. Unique Copies. A passion for a book whichB. 50 has any peculiarity about it, by either, or both, of the foregoing methods of illustration—or which is remarkable for its size, beauty, and condition—is indicative of a rage for unique copies, and is unquestionably a strong prevailing symptom of the Bibliomania. Let me therefore urge every sober and cautious collector not to be fascinated by the terms "Matchless, and Unique;" which, "in slim Italicks" (to copy Dr. Ferriar's happy expression) are studiously introduced into Bookseller's catalogues to lead the unwary astray. Such a Collector may fancy himself proof against the temptation; and will, in consequence, call only to look at this unique book, or set of books; but, when he views the morocco binding, silk water-tabby lining, blazing gilt edges—when he turns over the white and spotless leaves—gazes on the amplitude of margin—on a rare and lovely print introduced—and is charmed with the soft and coaxing manner in which, by the skill of Herring or Mackinlay,[59] "leaf succeeds to leaf"—he can no longer bear up against the temptation—and, confessing himself vanquished, purchases, and retreats—exclaiming with Virgil's shepherd—

Ut vidi, ut perii—ut me malus abstulit error!

[59] At page 8, note—the reader has been led to expect a few remarks upon the luxuriancy of modern book-binding. Mr. Roscoe, in his Lorenzo de Medici, vol. ii., p. 79., edit. 8vo., has defended the art with so much skill that nothing further need be said in commendation of it. Admitting every degree of merit to our present fashionable binders, and frankly allowing them the superiority over De Rome, Padaloup, and the old school of binding, I cannot but wish to see revived those beautiful portraits, arabesque borders, and sharp angular ornaments, that are often found on the outsides of books bound in the 16th century, with calf leather, upon oaken boards. These brilliant decorations almost make us forget the ivory crucifix, guarded with silver doors, which is frequently introduced in the interior of the sides of the binding. Few things are more gratifying to a genuine collector than a fine copy of a book in its original binding!

B. 51V. Copies printed on vellum. A desire for works printed in this manner is an equally strong and general symptom of the Bibliomania; but as these works are rarely to be obtained of modern[60] date, the collector is obliged to have recourse to specimens, executed three centuries ago, in the printing-offices of Aldus, Verard, and the Juntæ. Although the Bibliothéque Imperiale, at Paris, and the library of Count Macarty, at Toulouse, are said to contain the greatest number of books printed upon vellum, yet, those who have been fortunate enough to see copies of this kind in the libraries of his Majesty, the Duke of Marlborough, Earl Spencer, Mr. Johnes, and the late Mr. Cracherode (now in the British Museum), need not travel on the Continent for the sake of being convinced of their exquisite beauty and splendour. Mr. Edward's unique copy (he will forgive the epithet) of the first Livy, upon vellum, is a Library of itselfB. 52!—and the recent discovery of a vellum copy of Wynkyn De Worde's reprint of Juliana Barnes's book,[61] complete in every respect, [to say nothing of his Majesty's similar copy of Caxton's Doctrinal of Sapience, 1489, in the finest preservation] are, to be sure, sufficient demonstrations of the prevalence of this symptom of the Bibliomania in the times of our forefathers; so that it cannot be said, as some have asserted, to have appeared entirely within the last half century.

[60] The modern books, printed upon vellum, have in general not succeeded; whether from the art of preparing the vellum, or of printing upon it, being lost I will not presume to determine. The reader may be amused with the following prices for which a few works, executed in this manner, were sold in the year 1804:

NO.   £ s. d.
250. Virgilii Opera, 1789, 4to. 33 12 0
251. Somervile's Chase, 1796, 4to. 15 4 6
252. Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell, 1795, 4to. 15 15 0
253. The Gardens, by Abbé Delille, 1798, 4to. 14 3 6
254. Castle of Otranto, printed by Bodoni, 1791, 4to. 13 2 6
260. La Guirlande Julie, 1784, 8vo. 37 17 6
263. Economy of Human Life, 1795, 8vo. 15 15 0

See "Catalogue of a most splendid and valuable Collection of Books, Superb Missals, &c.," sold by Mr. Christie, on April 24, 1804. But the reader should procure the Catalogue of Mr. Paris's Books, sold in the year 1790, which, for the number of articles, is unrivalled. The eye is struck, in every page, with the most sumptuous copies on vellum, and large paper.

[61] See page 5, ante, for some account of this curious work.

VI. First Editions. From the time of Ancillon[62] to Askew, there has been a very strong desire expressed for the possession of original or first published editions of works, as they are in general superintended and corrected by the author himself; and, like the first impressions of prints, are considered more valuable. Whoever is possessed with a passion for collecting books of this kind may unquestionably be said to exhibit a strong symptom of the Bibliomania; butB. 53 such a case is not quite hopeless, nor is it deserving of severe treatment or censure. All bibliographers have dwelt on the importance of these editions, for the sake of collation with subsequent ones, and detecting, as is frequently the case, the carelessness displayed by future[63] editors. Of such importance is the first edition of Shakspeare[64] considered, that a fac-simile reprint of it has been published with success. In regard to the Greek and Latin Classics, the possession of these original editions is of the first consequence to editors who are anxious to republish the legitimate text of an author. Wakefield, I believe always regretted that the first edition of Lucretius had not been earlier inspected by him. When he began his edition, the Editio Princeps was not (as I have understood) in the library of Earl Spencer—the storehouse of almost every thing that is exquisite and rare in ancient classical literature!

[62] There is a curious and amusing article in Bayle [English edition, vol. i., 672, &c.] about the elder Ancillon, who frankly confessed that he "was troubled with the Bibliomania, or disease of buying books." Mr. D'Israeli says "that he always purchased first editions, and never waited for second ones,"—but I find it, in the English Bayle, note D, "he chose the best editions." The manner in which Ancillon's library was pillaged by the Ecclesiastics of Metz (where it was considered as the most valuable curiosity in the town) is thus told by Bayle; "Ancillon was obliged to leave Metz: a company of Ecclesiastics, of all orders, came from every part, to lay hands on this fine and copious library, which had been collected with the utmost care during forty years. They took away a great number of the books together, and gave a little money, as they went out, to a young girl, of twelve or thirteen years of age, who looked after them, that they might have it to say they had paid for them. Thus Ancillon saw that valuable collection dispersed, in which, as he was wont to say, his chief pleasure and even his heart was placed!"—Edit. 1734.

[63] An instance of this kind may be adduced from the first edition of Fabian, printed in 1516; of which Messrs. Longman, and Co., have now engaged a very able editor to collate the text with that of the subsequent editions. "The antiquary," says the late Mr. Brand, "is desired to consult the edition of Fabian, printed by Pynson, in 1516, because there are others, and I remember to have seen one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, with a continuation to the end of Queen Mary, 1559, in which the language is much modernised." Shakespeare, edit. 1803, vol. xviii. p. 85-6.

[64] A singular story is "extant" about the purchase of the late Duke of Roxburgh's fine copy of the first edition of Shakespeare. A friend was bidding for him in the sale-room: his Grace had retired to a distance, to view the issue of the contest. Twenty guineas and more were offered, from various quarters, for the book: a slip of paper was handed to the Duke, in which he was requested to inform his friend whether he was "to go on bidding"—His Grace took his pencil, and wrote underneath, by way of reply—

——lay on Macduff!
And d——d be he who first cries, 'Hold, enough!'

Such a spirit was irresistible, and bore down all opposition. His Grace retired triumphant, with the book under his arm.

B. 54It must not, however, be forgotten that if first editions are, in some instances, of great importance, they are in many respects superfluous, and an incumbrance to the shelves of a collector; inasmuch as the labours of subsequent editors have corrected their errors, and superseded, by a great fund of additional matter, the necessity of consulting them. Thus, not to mention other instances (which present themselves while noticing the present one), all the fine things which Colomiés and Remannus have said about the rarity of La Croix du Maine's Bibliotheque, published in 1584, are now unnecessary to be attended to, since the ample and excellent edition of this work by De La Monnoye and Juvigny, in six quarto volumes, 1772, has appeared. Nor will any one be tempted to hunt for Gesner's Bibliotheca of 1545-8, whatever may be its rarity, who has attended to Morhof's and Vogt's recommendation of the last and best edition of 1583.

VII. True Editions. Some copies of a work are struck off with deviations from the usually received ones, and, though these deviations have neither sense nor beauty to recommend them, [and indeed are principally defects] yet copies of this description are eagerly sought after by collectors of a certain class! This particular pursuit may therefore be called another, or the seventh, symptom of the Bibliomania. The note below [65] will furnish the reader with a few anecdotes relating to it.

[65] Cæsar. Lug. Bat. 1635, 12mo. Printed by Elzevir.

In the Bibliotheca Revickzkiana we are informed that the true Elzevir edition is known by having the plate of a Buffalo's head at the beginning of the preface, and body of the work: also by having the page numbered 153, which ought to have been numbered 149. A further account is given in my Introduction to the Classics, vol. i., 228.

Horace: Londini, 1733, 8vo., 2 vols. Published by Pine.

The true edition is distinguished by having at page 108, vol ii, the incorrect reading 'Post Est.'—for 'Potest.'

Virgil. Lug. Bat. 1636, 12mo. Printed by Elzevir.

The true edition is known by having at plate 1, before the Bucolics, the following Latin passage printed in red ink. "Ego vero frequentes a te litteras accipi"—Consult De Bure, No. 2684.

Idem. Birmingh. 1763, 4to. Printed by Baskerville.

A particular account of the true edition will be found in the second volume of my 'Introduction to the Classics' p. 337—too long to be here inserted.

Boccaccio. Il Decamerone, Venet. 1527, 4to.

Consult De Bure, No. 3667: Bandini, vol. ii., 24: (who however is extremely laconic upon this edition, but copious upon the anterior one of 1516) and Haym., vol. iii., p. 8, edit. 1803. Bibl. Paris. No. 408. Clement. (vol. iv., 352,) has abundance of references, as usual, to strengthen his assertion in calling the edition 'fort rare.' The reprint or spurious edition has always struck me as the prettier book of the two.

B. 55VIII. Books printed in the Black Letter. Of all symptoms of the Bibliomania, this eighth symptom (and the last which I shall notice) is at present the most powerful and prevailing. Whether it was not imported into this country from Holland, by the subtlety of Schelhorn[66] (a knowing writer upon rare and curious books) may be shrewdly suspected. Whatever be its origin, certain it is, my dear Sir, that books printed in the black letter are now coveted with an eagerness unknown to our collectors in the last century. If the spirits of West, Ratcliffe, Farmer and Brand, have as yet held any intercourse with each other, in that place 'from whose bourne no traveller returns,' what must be the surprise of the three former,B. 56 on being told by the latter, of the prices given for some of the books in his library, as mentioned below!?[67]

[66] His words are as follow: "Ipsa typorum ruditas, ipsa illa atra crassaque literarum facies belle tangit sensus, &c." Was ever the black letter more eloquently described? See his Amœnitates Literariæ, vol. i., p. 5.


NO.   £ s. d.
282. A Boke of Fishing with Hooke and Line, A Boke of Engines and Traps to take Polcats, Buzzards, Rats, Mice, and all other Kinds of Vermine and Beasts whatsoever, with cuts, very rare, 1600 3 3 0
454. A Quip for an upstart Courtier; or, a quaint Dispute between Velvet Breeches and Cloth Breeches, &c. 1620 2 16 0
475. A Checke, or Reproof of Mr. Howlet's untimely screeching in her Majesty's Ear. Black letter. 1581 0 12 0
As a striking conclusion, I subjoin the following.
6479. Pappe with an Hatchett, alias, a Fig for my Godsonne, or crake me this Nutt, or, a Countrie Cuffe, that is a sound Box of the Eare for the Idiot Martin, to hold his Peace: seeing the Patch will take no warning; written by one that dares call a Dog a Dog. Rare. Printed by Anoke and Astile 1 8 0

A perusal of these articles may probably not impress the reader with any lofty notions of the superiority of the black letter; but this symptom of the Bibliomania is, nevertheless, not to be considered as incurable, or wholly unproductive of good. Under a proper spirit of modification it has done, and will continue to do, essential service to the cause of English literature. It guided the taste, and strengthened the judgment, of Tyrwhitt in his researches after Chaucerian lore. It stimulated the studies of Farmer and of Steevens, and enabled them to twine many a beauteous flower round the brow of their beloved Shakespeare. It has since operated, to the same effect, in the labours of Mr. Douce,[68] the Porson of old English andB. 57 French literature; and in the editions of Milton and Spenser, by my amiable and excellent friend Mr. Todd the public have had a specimen of what the Black Letter may perform, when temperately and skilfully exercised.

[68] In the criticisms on Mr. Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare and Ancient Manners, it has not, I think, been generally noticed that this work is distinguished; 1. For the singular diffidence and urbanity of criticism, as well as depth of learning, which it evinces: 2. For the happy illustrations, by means of wood cuts: Let any one, for instance, read a laboured disquisition on the punishment of "the boots"—and only glance his eye on the plate representing it [vol. i. p. 34.]: from which will he obtain the clearer notions? 3. For the taste, elegance, and general correctness with which it is printed. The only omission I regret is that Mr. Douce did not give us, at the end, a list of the works alphabetically arranged, with their dates which he consulted in the formation of his own. Such a Bibliotheca Shakspeariana might, however, have been only a fresh stimulus to the increase of the black-letter symptom of the Bibliomania. How Bartholomæus and Batman have risen in price since the publication of Mr. Douce's work, let those who have lately smarted for the increase tell!

I could bring to your recollection other instances; but your own copious reading and exact memory will better furnish you with them. Let me not however omit remarking that the beautiful pages of the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and Sir Trestrem, exhibit, in the notes [now and then thickly studded with black letter references], a proof that the author of "The Lay" and "Marmion" has not disdained to enrich his stores of information by such intelligence as black lettered books impart. In short, though this be also a strong and general symptom of the Bibliomania, it is certainly not attended with injurious effects when regulated by prudence and discretion. An undistinguishable voracious appetite, to swallow every thing printed in the black letter can only bring on inconquerable disease, if not death, to the patient!

Having in the two preceding divisions of this letterB. 58 discoursed somewhat largely upon the History and Symptoms of the Bibliomania, it now remains, according to the original plan, to say a few words upon the Probable Means of its Cure. And, indeed, I am driven to this view of the subject from every laudable motive; for it would be highly censurable to leave any reflecting mind impressed with melancholy emotions concerning the misery and mortality that have been occasioned by the abuse of those pursuits, to which the most soothing and important considerations ought to be attached. Far from me, and my friends, be such a cruel, if not criminal, conduct; let us then, my dear Sir, seriously discourse upon the

III. Probable Means of the cure of the Bibliomania. He will surely be numbered among the philanthropists of his day who has, more successfully than myself, traced and described the ravages of this disease, and fortified the sufferer with the means of its cure. But, as this is a disorder of quite a recent date, and as its characteristics, in consequence, cannot be yet fully known or described, great candour must be allowed to that physician who offers a prescription for so obscure and complicated a case. It is in vain that you search the works [ay, even the best editions] of Hippocrates and Galen for a description of this malady; nor will you find it hinted at in the more philosophical treatises of Sydenham and Heberden. It had, till the medical skill of Dr. Ferriar first noticed it to the public, escaped the observations of all our pathologists. With a trembling hand, and fearful apprehension, therefore, I throw out the following suggestions for the cure, or mitigatiou, of this disorder:

In the first place, the disease of the Bibliomania is materially softened, or rendered mild, by directing ourB. 59 studies to useful and profitable works—whether these be printed upon small or large paper, in the gothic, roman, or italic type; To consider purely the intrinsic excellence, and not the exterior splendour, or adventitious value, of any production, will keep us perhaps wholly free from this disease. Let the midnight lamp be burnt to illuminate the stores of antiquity—whether they be romances, or chronicles, or legends, and whether they be printed by Aldus or by Caxton—if a brighter lustre can thence be thrown upon the pages of modern learning! To trace genius to its source, or to see how she has been influenced or modified, by "the lore of past times" is both a pleasing and profitable pursuit. To see how Shakspeare has here and there plucked a flower, from some old ballad or popular tale, to enrich his own unperishable garland—to follow Spenser and Milton in their delightful labyrinths 'midst the splendour of Italian literature—are studies which stamp a dignity upon our intellectual characters! But, in such a pursuit let us not overlook the wisdom of modern times, nor fancy that what is only ancient can be excellent. We must remember that Bacon, Boyle, Locke, Taylor, Chillingworth, Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, and Paley, are names which always command attention from the wise, and remind us of the improved state of reason and acquired knowledge during the two last centuries.

In the second place, the re-printing of scarce and intrinsically valuable works is another means of preventing the propagation of this disorder. Amidst all our present sufferings under the Bibliomania, it is some consolation to find discerning and spirited booksellers re-publishing the valuable Chronicles of Froissart, Holinshed, and Hall,[69] and the collections known by theB. 60 names of "The Harleïan Miscellany," and "Lord Somer's Tracts." These are noble efforts, and richly deserve the public patronage.

[69] The re-publication of these chronicles is to be followed by those of Grafton and Fabian. Meanwhile, Hakluyt's Voyages, (projected by Mr. Evans), and Fuller's Worthies (by Messrs. Longman, and Co.) will form admirable acquisitions to these treasures of past times.

In the third place, the editing of our best ancient authors, whether in prose or poetry,[70] is another means of effectually counteracting the progress of the Bibliomania, as it has been described under its several symptoms.

[70] The recent Variorum editions of Shakspeare, of which some yet prefer that of Steevens, 1793, 15 vols. 8vo.—Mr. Todd's editions of Milton and Spenser; Mr. G. Chalmers' edition of Sir David Lyndsay's works; Mr. Gifford's edition of Massinger; and Mr. Octavius Gilchrist's, of Bishop Corbett's poems, exemplify the good effects of this third means of cure.

In the fourth place, the erecting of Public Institutions[71] is a very powerful antidote against the prevalence of several symptoms of this disease.

[71] The Royal, London, Surrey, and Russel Institutions have been the means of concentrating, in divers parts of the metropolis, large libraries of useful books; which, it is to be hoped, will eventually suppress the establishment of what are called Circulating Libraries—vehicles, too often, of insufferable nonsense, and irremediable mischief!

In the fifth place, the encouragement of the study of Bibliography,[72] in its legitimate sense, andB. 61 towards its true object, may be numbered among the most efficacious cures for this destructive malady. To place competent Librarians over the several departments of a large public Library, or to submit a library, on a more confined scale, to one diligent, enthusiastic, well informed, well bred, Bibliographer[73] or Librarian, [of which in this metropolis we have so many examples] is doing a vast deal towards directing the channels of literature to flow in their proper courses.

[72] "Unne bonne Bibliographie," says Marchand, "soit générale soit particulière, soit profane, soit écclésiastique, soit nationale, provinciale, ou locale, soit simplement personnelle, en un mot de quelque autre genre que ce puisse être, n'est pas un ouvrage aussi facile que beaucoup de gens se le pourroient imaginer; mais, elles ne doivent néanmoins nulelment prévenir contre celle-ci. Telle qu'elle est, elle ne laisse pas d'être bonne, utile, et digne d'être recherchée par les amateurs, de l'Histoire Littéraire." Diction. Historique, vol. i. p. 109.

"Our nation," says Mr. Bridgman, "has been too inattentive to bibliographical criticisms and enquiries; for generally the English reader is obliged to resort to foreign writers to satisfy his mind as to the value of authors. It behoves us to consider that there is not a more useful or a more desirable branch of education than a knowledge of books; which being correctly ascertained and judiciously exercised, will prove the touch-stone of intrinsic merit, and have the effect of saving many spotless pages from prostitution." Legal Bibliography, p. v. vi.

[73] Peignot, in his Dictionnaire de Bibliologie, vol. i. 50, has given a very pompous account of what ought to be the talents and duties of a Bibliographer. It would be difficult indeed to find such things united in one person! De Bure, in the eighth volume of his Bibliographie Instructive, has prefixed a "Discourse upon the Science of Bibliography and the duties of a Bibliographer" which is worth consulting: but I know of nothing which better describes, in few words, such a character, than the following: "In eo sit multijuga materiarum librorumque notitia, ut saltem potiores eligat et inquirat: fida et sedula apud exteras gentes procuratio, ut eos arcessat; summa patientia ut rarè venalis expectet: peculium semper præsens et paratum, ne, si quando occurrunt, emendi occasio intercidat; prudens denique auri argentique contemptus, ut pecuniis sponte careat quæ in bibliothecam formandam et nutriendam sunt insumendæ. Si fortè vir literatus eo felicitatis pervenit ut talem thesaurum coaceraverit, nec solus illo invidios fruatur, sed usum cum eruditis qui vigilias suas utilitati publicæ devoverunt, liberaliter communicet; &c."—Bibliotheca Hulsiana, vol. i. Præfat. p. 3, 4.

Thus briefly and guardedly have I thrown out a few suggestions, which may enable us to avoid, or mitigate the severity of, the disease called The Bibliomania. Happy indeed shall I deem myself, if, in the description of its symptoms, and in the recommendation of the means of cure, I may have snatched any one from a premature grave, or lightened the load of years that are yet to cone!B. 62

You, my dear Sir, who, in your observations upon society, as well as in your knowledge of ancient times, must have met with numerous instances of the miseries which "flesh is heir to," may be disposed perhaps to confess that, of all species of afflictions, the present one under consideration has the least moral turpitude attached to it. True, it may be so: for, in the examples which have been adduced, there will be found neither Suicides, nor Gamesters, nor Profligates. No woman's heart has been broken from midnight debaucheries: no marriage vow has been violated: no child has been compelled to pine in poverty or neglect: no patrimony has been wasted, and no ancestor's fame tarnished! If men have erred under the influence of this disease, their aberrations have been marked with an excess arising from intellectual fevour, and not from a desire of baser gratifications.

If, therefore, in the wide survey which a philosopher may take of the "Miseries of Human life"[74] the prevalence of this disorder may appear to be less mischievous than that of others, and, if some of the most amiable and learned of mortals seemed to have been both unwilling, as well as unable, to avoid its contagion, you will probably feel the less alarmed if symptoms of it should appear within the sequestered abode of Hodnet![75] Recollecting that even in remoter situations its influence has been felt—and that neither the pure atmosphere of Hafod nor of Sledmere[76] has comB. 63pletely subdued its power—you will be disposed to exclaim with violence, at the intrusion of Bibliomaniacs—

What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide!
By land, by water, they renew the charge,
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.[77]

[74] In the ingenious and witty work so entitled, I do not recollect whether the disappointment arising from a cropt or a dirty copy has been classed among "The Miseries of Human Life."

[75] Hodnet Hall, Shropshire. The country residence of Mr. Heber.

[76] Hafod, South Wales, the seat of Thos. Johnes, Esq., M.P., the translator of the Chronicles of Froissart and Monstrelet, and of the Travels of De Broquiere and Joinville. The conflagration of part of his mansion and library, two years ago, which excited such a general sympathy, would have damped any ardour of collection but that of Mr. Johnes—his Library has arisen, Phœnix-like, from the flames!

Sledmere, in Yorkshire, the seat of Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bart., M.P. The library of this amiable and tasteful Baronet reflects distinguished credit upon him. It is at once copious and choice.

[77] Pope's "Prologue to the Satires," v. 7-10.

Upon the whole, therefore, attending closely to the symptoms of this disorder as they have been described, and practising such means of cure as have been recommended, we may rationally hope that its virulence may abate, and the number of its victims annually diminish. But if the more discerning part of the community anticipate a different result, and the preceding observations appear to have presented but a narrow and partial view of the mischiefs of the Bibliomania, my only consolation is that to advance something upon the subject is better than to preserve a sullen and invincible silence. Let it be the task of more experienced bibliographers to correct and amplify the foregoing outline!

Believe me, My dear Sir,

Very sincerely Yours, &c.

Thomas Frognall Dibbin.

Kensington, May 16, 1809.

B. 64


On re-considering what has been written, it has struck me that a Synopsis of this disease, after the manner of Burton, as prefixed to his Anatomy of Melancholy, may be useful to some future pathologist. The reader is, accordingly, presented with the following one:



I. History of; or an account of eminent Book Collectors who have
fallen victims to it
II. Symptoms of;
being a passion for
1. Large Paper Copies 44
2. Uncut Copies 46
3. Illustrated Copies 47
4. Unique Copies 49
5. Vellum Copies 51
6. First Editions 52
7. True Editions 54
8. Black Letter Editions 56
III. Cure of 1. Reading useful works 56
2. Reprints of scarce and valuable works ib.
3. Editing our best ancient Writers 60
4. Erecting of Public Institutions ib.
5. Encouragement of Bibliography ib.



The Evening Walk.


Rede well thyselfe that other folke can'st rede.
Chaucer's Good Counsail.



The Evening Walk


The Evening Walk.


IT was on a fine autumnal evening, when the sun was setting serenely behind a thick copse upon a distant hill, and his warm tints were lighting up a magnificent and widely-extended landscape, that, sauntering 'midst the fields, I was meditating upon the various methods of honourably filling up the measure of our existence; when I discovered, towards my left, a messenger running at full speed towards me. The abruptness of his appearance, and the velocity of his step, somewhat disconcerted me; but on his near approach my apprehensions were dissipated.4

I knew him to be the servant of my old college friend, whom I chuse here to denominate Lysander. He came to inform me, in his blunt and honest manner, that his master had just arrived with Philemon, our common friend; and that, as they were too fatigued with their journey to come out to me, they begged I would quickly enter the house, and, as usual, make them welcome. This intelligence afforded me the liveliest satisfaction. In fifteen minutes, after a hearty shaking of hands, I was seated with them in the parlour; all of us admiring the unusual splendour of the evening sky, and, in consequence, partaking of the common topics of conversation with a greater flow of spirits.

"You are come, my friends," said I (in the course of conversation), "to make some stay with me—indeed, I cannot suffer you to depart without keeping you at least a week; in order, amongst other things, to view the beauty of our neighbour Lorenzo's grounds, the general splendour of his house, and the magnificence of his Library." "In regard to grounds and furniture," replied Lysander, "there is very little in the most beautiful and costly which can long excite my attention—but the Library—" "Here," exclaimed Philemon, "here you have him in the toils." "I will frankly confess," rejoined Lysander, "that I am an arrant Bibliomaniac—that I love books dearly—that the very sight, touch, and, more, the perusal—" "Hold, my friend," again exclaimed Philemon, "you have renounced your profession—you talk of reading books—do Bibliomaniacs ever read books?" "Nay," quoth Lysander, "you shall not banter thus with impunity. We will, if it please you," said he, turning round to me, "make our abode with you for a few days—and, after seeing the library of your neighbour, I will throw down the gauntlet to Philemon, challenging him to answer certain questions which you may put to us, respecting the number, rarity, beauty, or utility of those works which relate to the literature and antiquities of our own country. We shall5 then see who is able to return the readiest answer." "Forgive," rejoined Philemon, "my bantering strain. I revoke my speech. You know that, with yourself, I heartily love books; more from their contents than their appearance." Lysander returned a gracious smile; and the hectic of irritability on his cheek was dissipated in an instant.

The approach of evening made us think of settling our plans. My friends begged their horses might be turned into the field; and that, while they stayed with me, the most simple fare and the plainest accommodation might be their lot. They knew how little able I was to treat them as they were wont to be treated; and, therefore, taking "the will for the deed," they resolved to be as happy as an humble roof could make them.

While the cloth was laying for supper (for I should add that we dine at three and sup at nine), we took a stroll in my small garden, which has a mound at the bottom, shaded with lilacs and laburnums, that overlooks a pretty range of meadows, terminated by the village church. The moon had now gained a considerable ascendancy in the sky; and the silvery paleness and profound quiet of the surrounding landscape, which, but an hour ago, had been enlivened by the sun's last rays, seemed to affect the minds of us all very sensibly. Lysander, in particular, began to express the sentiments which such a scene excited in him.—"Yonder," says he, pointing to the church-yard, "is the bourne which terminates our earthly labours; and I marvel much how mortals can spend their time in cavilling at each other—in murdering, with their pens as well as their swords, all that is excellent and admirable in human nature—instead of curbing their passions, elevating their hopes, and tranquillizing their fears. Every evening, for at least one-third of the year, heaven has fixed in the sky yonder visible monitor to man. Calmness and splendour are her attendants: no dark passions, no carking cares, neither spleen nor jealousy, seem to dwell in6 that bright orb, where, as has been fondly imagined, "the wretched may have rest."—"And here," replied Philemon, "we do nothing but fret and fume if our fancied merits are not instantly rewarded, or if another wear a sprig of laurel more verdant than ourselves; I could mention, within my own recollection, a hundred instances of this degrading prostitution of talent—aye, a thousand."—"Gently reprimand your fellow creatures," resumed Lysander, "lest you commit an error as great as any of those which you condemn in others. The most difficult of human tasks seems to be the exercise of forbearance and temperance. By exasperating, you only rekindle, and not extinguish, the evil sparks in our dispositions. A man will bear being told he is in the wrong; but you must tell him so gently and mildly. Animosity, petulance, and persecution, are the plagues which destroy our better parts."—"And envy," replied Philemon, "has surely enough to do."—"Yes," said Lysander, "we might enumerate, as you were about to do, many instances—and (what you were not about to do) pity while we enumerate! I think," continued he, addressing himself particularly to me, "you informed me that the husband of poor Lavinia lies buried in yonder church-yard; and perhaps the very tomb which now glistens by the moonbeam is the one which consecrates his memory! That man was passionately addicted to literature;—he had a strong mind; a wonderful grasp of intellect; but his love of paradox and hypothesis quite ruined his faculties. Nicas happened to discover some glaring errors in his last treatise, and the poor man grew sick at heart in consequence. Nothing short of infallibility and invincibility satisfied him; and, like the Spaniard in the 'Diable Boiteux,' who went mad because five of his countrymen had been beaten by fifty Portugese, this unhappy creature lost all patience and forbearance, because, in an hundred systems which he had built with the cards of fancy, ninety-nine happened to tumble to the ground.7

"This is the dangerous consequence, not so much of vanity and self-love as of downright literary Quixotism. A man may be cured of vanity as the French nobleman was—'Ecoutez messieurs! Monseigneur le Duc va dire la meillure chose du monde!'[78] but for this raving, ungovernable passion of soaring beyond all human comprehension, I fear there is no cure but in such a place as the one which is now before us. Compared with this, how different was Menander's case! Careless himself about examining and quoting authorities with punctilious accuracy, and trusting too frequently to the ipse-dixits of good friends:—with a quick discernment—a sparkling fancy—great store of classical knowledge, and a never ceasing play of colloquial wit, he moved right onwards in his manly course—the delight of the gay, and the admiration of the learned! He wrote much and variously: but in an evil hour the demon Malice caught him abroad—watched his deviations—noted down his failings—and, discovering his vulnerable part, he did not fail, like another Paris, to profit by the discovery. Menander became the victim of over-refined sensibility: he need not have feared the demon, as no good man need fear Satan. His pen ceased to convey his sentiments; he sickened at heart; and after his body had been covered by the green grass turf, the gentle elves of fairy-land took care to weave a chaplet to hang upon his tomb, which was never to know decay! Sycorax was this demon; and a cunning and clever demon was he!"

[78] This is the substance of the story related in Darwin's Zoonomia: vol. iv. p. 81.

"I am at a loss," said Philemon, "to comprehend exactly what you mean?"—"I will cease speaking metaphorically," replied Lysander; "but Sycorax was a man of ability in his way. He taught literary men, in some measure, the value of careful research and faithful quotation; in other words, he taught them to speak the truth as they found her; and, doubtless, for this he merits not the name of a demon, unless you8 allow me the priviledge of a Grecian.[79] That Sycorax loved truth must be admitted; but that he loved no one so much as himself to speak the truth must also be admitted. Nor had he, after all, any grand notions of the goddess. She was, in his sight, rather of diminutive than gigantic growth; rather of a tame than a towering mien; dressed out in little trinkets, and formally arrayed in the faded point-lace and elevated toupee of the ancient English school, and not in the flowing and graceful robes of Grecian simplicity. But his malice and ill-nature were frightful; and withal his love of scurrility and abuse quite intolerable. He mistook, in too many instances, the manner for the matter; the shadow for the substance. He passed his criticisms, and dealt out his invectives, with so little ceremony, and so much venom, that he seemed born with a scalping knife in his hand to commit murder as long as he lived! To him, censure was sweeter than praise; and the more elevated the rank, and respectable the character of his antagonist, the more dexterously he aimed his blows, and the more frequently he renewed his attacks. In consequence, scarcely one beautiful period, one passionate sentiment of the higher order, one elevated thought, or philosophical deduction, marked his numerous writings. 'No garden-flower grew wild' in the narrow field of his imagination; and, although the words decency and chastity were continually dropping from his lips, I suspect that the reverse of these qualities was always settled round his heart.[80] Thus you see, my dear Philemon," concluded Lysander, "that the9 love of paradox, of carelessness, and of malice, are equally destructive of that true substantial fame which, as connected with literature, a wise and an honest man would wish to establish. But come; the dews of evening begin to fall chilly; let us seek the house of our friend."

[79] Without turning over the ponderous tones of Stephen, Constantine, and Scaliger, consult the sensible remarks upon the word 'Δαίμῶν' in Parkhurst's Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament, 8vo. edit. 1798. In the Greek language, it is equally applied to an accomplished and unprincipled character. Homer alone will furnish a hundred instances of this.

[80] Mark certain expressions, gentle reader, which occur in the notes to the life of Robin Hood, prefixed to the ballads which go under his name: 1795. 2 vols. 8vo.—also a Dissertation on Romance and Minstrelsy in the first vol. of Ancient Metrical Romances, 1802, 3 vols. 8vo. A very common degree of shrewdness and of acquaintance with English literature will shew that, in Menander and Sycorax, are described honest Tom Warton and snarling 'mister' Joseph Ritson.

As Lysander concluded his discourse, we turned, abruptly, but thoughtfully, towards my cottage; and, making the last circuit of the gravel walk, Philemon stopped to listen to the song of a passing rustic, who seemed to be uttering all the joy which sometimes strongly seizes a simple heart. "I would rather," exclaimed he, "be this poor fellow, chanting his 'native wood-notes wild,' if his heart know not guilt—than the shrewdest critic in the universe, who could neither feel, nor write, good-naturedly!" We smiled at this ejaculation; and quickly reached the house.

The fatigue of travelling had sharpened the appetites of my friends; and at a moment when, as the inimitable Cowper expresses it,

our drawing-rooms begin to blaze
With lights, by clear reflection multiplied
From many a mirror, in which he of Gath,
Goliath, might have seen his giant bulk
Whole, without stooping, towering crest and all,
Our pleasures too began;
Task, b. iv.

but they were something more rational than those of merely eating and drinking. "I seldom partake of this meal," observed Philemon, "without thinking of the omnium-gatherum bowl, so exquisitely described by old Isaac Walton. We want here, it is true, the 'sweet shady arbour—the contexture of woodbines, sweet-briar, jessamine, and myrtle,'[81] and the time of the evening10 prevents our enjoying it without; but, in lieu of all this, we have the sight of books, of busts, and of pictures. I see there the ponderous folio chronicles, the genuine quarto romances, and, a little above, a glittering row of thin, closely-squeezed, curiously-gilt, volumes of original plays. As we have finished our supper, let us—" "My friends," observed I, "not a finger upon a book to-night—to-morrow you may ransack at your pleasure. I wish to pursue the conversation commenced by Lysander, as we were strolling in the garden." "Agreed," replied Philemon,—"the quietness of the hour—the prospect, however limited, before us—(for I shall not fail to fix my eyes upon a Froissart printed by Verard, or a portrait painted by Holbein, while you talk)—every thing conspires to render this discourse congenial." "As you have reminded me of that pretty description of a repast in Walton," resumed Lysander, "I will preface the sequel to my conversation by drinking a glass to your healths—and so, masters, 'here is a full glass to you' of the liquor before us." Lysander then continued, "It were to be wished that the republic or region of Literature could be described in as favourable a manner as Camden has described the air, earth, and sky, of our own country;[82] but I fear Milton's terrific description of the infernal frozen continent,

beat with perpetual forms
Of whirlwind and dire hail,
Par. Lost, b. ii. v. 587.

is rather applicable to it. Having endeavoured to shew, my dear friends, that the passionate love of hypothesis11—(or a determination to make every man think and believe as we do) incorrigible carelessness—and equally incorrigible ill-nature—are each inimical to the true interests12 of literature, let us see what other evil qualities there are which principally frustrate the legitimate view of learning.

[81] Complete Angler, p. 335. Bagster's edit. 1808. In a similar style of description are "the faire grove and swete walkes, letticed and gardened on both sides," of Mr. Warde's letter—describing the nunnery of Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire. See Hearne's edit. of Peter Langtoft's Chronicle, vol. 1. p. cx.

[82] "The ayre is most temperate and wholesome, sited in the middest of the temperate zone, subject to no stormes and tempests, as the more southerne and northerne are; but stored with infinite delicate fowle. For water, it is walled and guarded with ye ocean most commodious for trafficke to all parts of the world, and watered with pleasant fishful and navigable rivers, which yeeld safe havens and roads, and furnished with shipping and sailers, that it may rightly be termed The Lady of the Sea. That I may say nothing of healthful bathes, and of meares stored both with fish and fowl. The earth fertile of all kinde of graine, manured with good husbandry, rich in minerall of coals, tinne, lead, copper, not without gold and silver, abundant in pasture, replenished with cattel, both tame and wilde (for it hath more parks than all Europe besides), plentifully wooded, provided with all complete provisions of war, beautified with many populous cities, faire boroughs, good towns, and well-built villages, strong munitions, magnificent palaces of the prince, stately houses of the nobilitie, frequent hospitals, beautiful churches, faire colledges, as well in the other places as in the two Vniversities." Remains, p. 12. edit. 1637.

How far Camden was indebted to the following curious description of our country, written in the time of Edward vj, (of which I shall modernize the orthography,) the reader will judge for himself. The running title of the work is "The Debate between the [French and English] Heralds," 8vo., printed in the bl. lett. (In the possession of Mr. Heber.)

"We have all manner of grains, and fruits, and more plenty than you; for, thanked be God, England is a fruitful and plenteous region, so that we have some fruits whereof you have few; as wardeines, quinces, peaches, medlers, chesnuts, and other delicious fruits; serving for all seasons of the year; and so plenty of pears and apples that, in the west parts of England and Sussex, they make perry and cider, and in such abundance that they convey part over the sea, where, by the Monsieurs of France, it is coveted for their beverage and drinks."—Sign. L. iiij. rev.

"We have in Cornwall and Devonshire (God be honoured) the richest mines of silver and tin that may be, also in Ireland mines of silver, in Derbyshire mines of lead, alabaster, marble, black and white. In Sussex, Yorkshire, and Durham, mines of iron, coal, slate, and freestone; and in every shire of England, generally quarries of hard stone, chalk, and flint: these be commodities honorable and not feigned, being of such estimation that France, nor other realms, may well forbear; and as for saltpetre, there is sufficient made in England to furnish our turn for the wars. Also we have hot fountains or bathes, which you nor no other realms christened have."—Sign. L. v. rev. If ancient Gildas speak the truth, Great Britain was no contemptible place twelve hundred years ago—the period when he lived and wrote his lachrymable history.

"The iland of Britaine placed in the ballance of the divine poising hand (as they call it) which weigheth the whole world, almost the uttermost bound of his earth towards the South and West; extending itself from the South-West, out towards the North pole, eight hundred miles in length; and containing two hundred in breadth, besides the fare outstretched forelands of sundry promonteries, embraced by the embowed bosomes of the ocean sea; with whose most spacious, and on every side (saving only the Southern Streights, by which we sale to Gallehelgicke) impassable enclosure (as I may call it) she is strongly defended; enriched with the mouths of two noble floods, Thames and Severne, as it were two armes (by which out-landish commodities have in times past been transported into the same) besides other rivers of lesser account, strengthened with eight and twenty cities, and some other castles, not meanly fenced with fortresses of walls, embattled towers, gates, and buildings (whose roofes being raised aloft with a threatening hugenesse, were mightily in their aspiring toppes compaced) adorned with her large spreading fields, pleasant seated hils, even framed for good husbandry, which over-mastereth the ground, and mountains most convenient for the changeable pastures of cattell; whose flowers of sundry collours, troden by the feete of men, imprint no unseemly picture on the same, as a spouse of choice, decked with divers jewels; watered with cleere fountains, and sundry brokes, beating on the snow-white sands, together with silver streames sliding forth with soft sounding noise, and leaving a pledge of sweet savours on their bordering bankes, and lakes gushing out abundantly in cold running rivers."—Epistle of Gildas, Transl. 1638, 12mo. p. 1, after the prologue.

Whoever looks into that amusing and prettily-printed little book, "Barclaii Satyricon," 1629, 18mo., will find a description of Germany, similar, in part, to the preceding.—"Olim sylvis et incolis fera, nunc oppidis passim insignis; nemoribus quoque quibus immensis tegebatur, ad usum decusque castigatis." p. 316.

"In the example of Gonzalo, with whom Philemon is perfectly well acquainted, a remarkable exemplification of the passion of Vanity occurs. I recollect, one evening, he came rushing into a party where I sat, screaming with the extatic joy of a maniac—'Ευρηκα, Ευρηκα'; and, throwing down a scroll, rushed as precipitately out of the room. The scroll was of vellum; the title to the contents of it was penned in golden letters, and softly-painted bunches of roses graced each corner. It contained a sonnet to love, and another to friendship; but a principal mistake which struck us, on the very threshold of our critical examination, was that he had incorrectly entitled these sonnets. Friendship should have been called love, and love, friendship. We had no sooner made the discovery than Gonzalo returned, expecting to find us in like ecstacies with himself!—We gravely told him that we stumbled at the very threshold. It was quite sufficient—he seized his sonnets with avidity—and, crumpling the roll (after essaying to tear it) thrust it into his pocket, and retreated. One of the gentlemen in company made the following remarks, on his leaving us: 'In the conduct of Gonzalo appears a strange mixture of intellectual strength and intellectual debility; of wit and dulness;13 of wisdom and folly; and all this arises chiefly from his mistaking the means for the end—the instrument of achieving for the object achieved. The fondest wish of his heart is literary fame: for this he would sacrifice every thing. He is handsome, generous, an affectionate son, a merry companion, and is, withal, a very excellent belles-lettres scholar. Tell him that the ladies admire him, that his mother doats on him, and that his friends esteem him—and—keeping back the wished-for eulogy of literary excellence—you tell him of nothing which he cares for. In truth he might attain some portion of intellectual reputation, if he would throw aside his ridiculous habits. He must, as soon as the evening shades prevail, burn wax tapers—he must always have an Argand lamp lighted up before him, to throw a picturesque effect upon a dark wood painted by Hobbima—his pens must be made from the crow's wing—his wax must be green—his paper must be thick and hot-pressed; and he must have a portfolio of the choicest bits of ancient vellum that can be procured—his body must recline upon a chintz sofa—his foot must be perched upon an ottoman—in short he must have every thing for which no man of common sense would express the least concern. Can you be surprised, therefore, that he should commence his sonnet to friendship thus:

Oh, sweetest softest thing that's friendship hight!

or that he should conceive the following address to women, by one William Goddard, worthy of being ranked among the most beautiful poetical efforts of the 16th century:

Stars of this earthly heaven, you whose essence
Compos'd was of man's purest quintessence,
To you, to virtuous you, I dedicate
This snaggy sprig[83]——"

[83] From "A Satyrical Dialogue, &c., betweene Alexander the Great and that truelye woman-hater Diogynes. Imprinted in the low countryes for all such gentlewomen as are not altogether idle nor yet well occupyed," 4to. no date. A strange composition! full of nervous lines and pungent satire—but not free from the grossest licentiousness.

14"Enough," exclaimed Philemon—while Lysander paused a little, after uttering the foregoing in a rapid and glowing manner—"enough for this effeminate vanity in man! What other ills have you to enumerate, which assail the region of literature?"—"I will tell you," replied Lysander, "another, and a most lamentable evil, which perverts the very end for which talents were given us—and it is in mistaking and misapplying these talents. I speak with reference to the individual himself, and not to the public. You may remember how grievously Alfonso bore the lot which public criticism, with one voice, adjudged to him! This man had good natural parts, and would have abridged a history, made an index, or analyzed a philosophical work, with great credit to himself and advantage to the public. But he set his heart upon eclipsing Doctors Johnson and Jamieson. He happened to know a few etymons more correctly, and to have some little acquaintance with black letter literature, and hence thought to give more weight to lexicographical inquiries than had hitherto distinguished them. But how miserably he was deceived in all his undertakings of this kind past events have sufficiently shewn. No, my good Philemon, to be of use to the republic of literature, let us know our situations; and let us not fail to remember that, in the best appointed army, the serjeant may be of equal utility with the captain.

"I will notice only one other, and a very great, failing observable in literary men—and this is severity and self-consequence. You will find that these severe characters generally set up the trade of Critics; without attending to the just maxim of Pope, that

Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss.

"With them, the least deviation from precise correctness, the most venial trippings, the smallest inattention paid to doubtful rules and equivocal positions of criticism, inflames their anger, and calls forth their invectives. Regardless of the sage maxims of Cicero, Quintilian, and Horace, they not only disdain the sober rules which their15 ancient brethren have wisely laid down, and hold in contempt the voice of the public,[84] but, forgetting the subject which they have undertaken to criticise, they push the author out of his seat, quietly sit in it themselves, and fancy they entertain you by the gravity of their deportment, and their rash usurpation of the royal monosyllable 'Nos.'[85] This solemn pronoun, or rather 'plural style,'[86] my dear Philemon, is oftentimes usurped by a half-starved little I, who sits immured in the dusty recess of a garret, and who has never known the society nor the language of a gentleman; or it is assumed by a young graduate, just settled in his chambers, and flushed with the triumph of his degree of 'B.A.', whose 'fond conceyte' [to borrow Master Francis Thynne's[87] terse style,] is, to wrangle for an asses shadowe, or to seke a knott in a rushe!'

[84] "Interdum vulgus rectum videt:" says Horace.—Epist. lib. ii. ad. Augustum, v. 63.

[85] Vide Rymeri Fœdera—passim.

[86] A very recent, and very respectable, authority has furnished me with this expression.

[87] See Mr. Todd's Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer, p. 10.

"For my part," continued Lysander, speaking with the most unaffected seriousness—"for my part, nothing delights me more than modesty and diffidence, united with 'strong good sense, lively imagination, and exquisite sensibility,'[88] whether in an author or a critic. When I call to mind that our greatest sages have concluded their16 labours with doubt, and an avowal of their ignorance; when I see how carefully and reverently they have pushed forward their most successful inquiries; when I see the great Newton pausing and perplexed in the vast world of planets, comets, and constellations, which were, in a measure, of his own creation—I learn to soften the asperity of my critical anathemas, and to allow to an author that portion of fallibility of which I am conscious myself.

[88] It is said, very sensibly, by La Bruyere, I will allow that good writers are scarce enough; but then I ask where are the people that know how to read and judge? A union of these qualities, which are seldom found in the same person, seems to be indispensably necessary to form an able critic; he ought to possess strong good sense, lively imagination, and exquisite sensibility. And of these three qualities, the last is the most important; since, after all that can be said on the utility or necessity of rules and precepts, it must be confessed that the merit of all works of genius must be determined by taste and sentiment. "Why do you so much admire the Helen of Zeuxis?" said one to Nicostratus. "You would not wonder why I so much admired it (replied the painter) if you had my eyes."—Warton: Note to Pope's Essay on Criticism. Pope's Works, vol. i. 196, edit. 1806.

"I see then," rejoined Philemon, "that you are an enemy to Reviews."[89] "Far from it," replied Lysander, "I think them of essential service to literature. They hold a lash over ignorance and vanity; and, at any rate, they take care to bestow a hearty castigation upon vicious and sensual publications. Thus far they do good: but, in many respects, they do ill—by substituting their own opinions for those of an author; by judging exclusively according to their own previously formed decisions in matters of religion and politics; and by shutting out from your view the plan, and real tendency, of the book which they have undertaken to review, and therefore ought to analyze. It is, to be sure, amusing to read the clamours which have been raised against some of the most valuable, and now generally received, works! When an author recollects the pert conclusion of Dr. Kenrick's review17 of Dr. Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides,[90] he need not fear the flippancy of a reviewer's wit, as decisive of the fate of his publication!

[89] The earliest publications, I believe, in this country, in the character of Reviews were there Weekly Memorials for the Ingenious, &c. Lond. 1683, 4to.—and The Universal Historical Bibliotheque: or an Account of most of the considerable Books printed in all Languages, in the Month of January 1686. London, 1687, 4to. Five years afterwards came forth The Young Student's Library, by the Athenian Society, 1692, folio, "a kind of common theatre where every person may act, or take such part as pleases him best, and what he does not like he may pass over, assuring himself that, every one's judgment not being like his, another may chuse what he mislikes, and so every one may be pleased in their turns." Pref. A six weeks' frost is said to have materially delayed the publication. After these, in the subsequent century, appeared the Old and New Memoirs of Literature; then, the Works of the Learned; upon which was built, eclipsing every one that had preceeded it, and not excelled by any subsequent similar critical journal, The Monthly Review.

[90] After all, said the reviewing Doctor, we are of opinion, with the author himself, that this publication contains 'the sentiments of one who has seen but little:' meaning, thereby, that the book was hardly worth perusal! What has become of the said Dr. Kenrick now? We will not ask the same question about the said Dr. Johnson; whose works are upon the shelf of every reading man of sense and virtue.

"It is certainly," pursued Lysander, "a very prolific age of knowledge. There never was, at any one period of the world, so much general understanding abroad. The common receptacles of the lower orders of people present, in some degree, intellectual scenes. I mean, that collision of logic, and corruscation of wit, which arise from the perusal of a newspaper; a production, by-the-bye, upon which Cowper has conferred immortality.[91] You may remember, when we were driven by a sharp tempest of hail into the small public-house which stands at the corner of the heath—what a logomachy—what a war of words did we hear! and all about sending troops to the north or south of Spain, and the justice or injustice of the newly-raised prices of admission to Covent Garden theatre!![92] The stage-coach, if you recollect, passed by quickly after our having drunk a tumbler of warm brandy and water to preserve ourselves from catching cold; and into it glad enough we were to tumble! We had no sooner begun to be tolerably comfortable and composed than a grave old gentleman commenced a most furious Philippic against the prevailing studies, politics, and religion of the day—and, in truth, this man evinced a wonderfully retentive memory, and a fair share of powers of argu18ment; bringing everything, however, to the standard of his own times. It was in vain we strove to edge in the great Whig and Tory Reviews of the northern and southern hemispheres! The obdurate champion of other times would not listen a moment, or stir one inch, in favour of these latter publications. When he quitted us, we found that he was a —— of considerable consequence in the neighbourhood, and had acquired his fortune from the superior sagacity and integrity he had displayed in consequence of having been educated at the free-school in the village of ——, one of the few public schools in this kingdom which has not frustrated the legitimate views of its pious founder, by converting that into a foppish and expensive establishment which was at once designed as an asylum for the poor and an academy to teach wisdom and good morals."

[91] See the opening the fourth book of "The Task;" a picture perfectly original and unrivalled in its manner.

[92] It is not less true, than surprising, that the ridiculous squabbles, which disgraced both this theatre and the metropolis, have been deemed deserving of a regular series of publications in the shape of numbers—1, 2, 3, &c. As if the subject had not been sufficiently well handled in the lively sallies and brilliant touches of satire which had before appeared upon it in the Monthly Mirror!

Philemon was about to reply, with his usual warmth and quickness, to the latter part of these remarks—as bearing too severely upon the eminent public seminaries within seventy miles of the metropolis—but Lysander, guessing his intentions from his manner and attitude, cut the dialogue short by observing that we did not meet to discuss subjects of a personal and irritable nature, and which had already exercised the wits of two redoubted champions of the church—but that our object, and the object of all rational and manly discussion, was to state opinions with frankness, without intending to wound the feelings, or call forth the animadversions, of well-meaning and respectable characters. "I know," continued he, "that you, Philemon, have been bred in one of these establishments, under a man as venerable for his years as he is eminent for his talents and worth; who employs the leisure of dignified retirement in giving to the world the result of his careful and profound researches; who, drinking largely at the fountain head of classical learning, and hence feeling the renovated vigour of youth (without having recourse to the black art of a Cornelius19 Agrippa[93]), circumnavigates 'the Erythrean sea'—then, ascending the vessel of Nearchus, he coasts 'from Indus to the Euphrates'—and explores with an ardent eye what is curious and what is precious, and treasures in his sagacious mind what is most likely to gratify and improve his fellow-countrymen. A rare and eminent instance this of the judicious application of acquired knowledge!—and how much more likely is it to produce good, and to secure solid fame, than to fritter away one's strength, and undermine one's health, in perpetual pugilistic contests with snarling critics, dull commentators, and foul-mouthed philologists."

[93] Let him who wishes to be regaled in a dull dreary night—when the snow is heavily falling, and the wind whistles hollowly—open those leaves of Bayle's Historical and Biographical Dictionary which relate to this extraordinary character; and see there how adroitly Agrippa is defended against the accusation of "having two devils attending him in the shape of two little dogs—one of them being called Monsieur, and the other Mademoiselle"—"whereas Paulus Jovius, Thevet, &c., speak only of one dog, and never mention his name." Vol. i. 357, 361; edit. 1736, 10 vols. folio.

The bibliographer, who wishes to be master of the most curious and rare editions of his works, may go from Bayle to Clement, and from Clement to Vogt. He must beware of the castrated Lyons' editions "per Beringos fratres"—against one of which Bayle declaims, and produces a specimen (quite to his own liking) of the passage suppressed:—another, of a similar kind, is adduced by Vogt (edit. 1793, pp. 19, 20); who tells us, however, that an edition of 1544, 8vo., without mention of place or printer—and especially a Cologne edition of 1598, by Hierat, in 12mo.—exhibits the like castrations; p. 20. This has escaped Clement, learned as he is upon the Lyons' editions, vol. i. 94, 95, 96. Bauer (Bibl. Libr. Rarior.) is here hardly worth consulting; and the compilers of the celebrated Nouveau Dict. Historique (Caen edit. 1789, vol. i. p. 7. Art. Agrippa) deserve censure for the recommendation of these Lyons' editions only.

Agrippa's "Vanity of Sciences" was first published at Antwerp in 4to. 1530; a book, upon the rarity of which bibliographers delight to expatiate. His "Occult Philosophy"—according to Bayle, in 1531 (at least, the Elector of Cologne had seen several printed leaves of it in this year), but according to Vogt and Bauer, in 1533.—There is no question about the edition of 1533; of which Vogt tells us, "An Englishman, residing at Frankfort, anxiously sought for a copy of it, offering fifty crowns (imperiales) and more, without success." All the editions in Agrippa's life-time (before 1536) are considered uncastrated, and the best. It should not be forgotten that Brucker, in his Hist. Crit. Phil., has given a masterly account of Agrippa, and an analysis of his works.

Philemon heartily assented to the truth of these remarks; and, more than once, interrupted Lysander in20 his panegyrical peroration by his cheerings:[94] for he had, in his youth (as was before observed), been instructed by the distinguished character upon whom the eulogy had been pronounced.

[94] This word is almost peculiar to our own country, and means a vehement degree of applause. It is generally used previous to, and during, a contest of any kind—whether by men in red coats, or blue coats, or black coats—upon land, upon water, or within doors. Even the walls of St. Stephen's chapel frequently echo to the "loud cheerings" of some kind or other. See every newspaper on every important debate.

The effort occasioned by the warmth in discussing such interesting subjects nearly exhausted Lysander—when it was judged prudent to retire to rest. Each had his chamber assigned to him; and while the chequered moon-beam played upon the curtains and the wall, through the half-opened shutter, the minds of Lysander and Philemon felt a correspondent tranquillity; and sweet were their slumbers till the morning shone full upon them.



The Cabinet.


Condemn the daies of elders great or small,
And then blurre out the course of present tyme:
Cast one age down, and so doe orethrow all,
And burne the bookes of printed prose or ryme:
Who shall beleeve he rules, or she doth reign,
In tyme to come, if writers loose their paine
The pen records tyme past and present both:
Skill brings foorth bookes, and bookes is nurse to troth.
Churchyard's Worthiness of Wales
p. 18, edit. 1776.




The Cabinet


The Cabinet.


Tout autour oiseaulx voletoient
Et si tres-doulcement chantoient,
Qu'il n'est cueur qui n'ent fust ioyeulx.
Et en chantant en l'air montoient
Et puis l'un l'autre surmontoient
A l'estriuee a qui mieulx mieulx.
Le temps n'estoit mie mieulx.
De bleu estoient vestuz les cieux,
Et le beau Soleil cler luisoit.
Violettes croissoient par lieux
Et tout faisoit ses deuoirs tieux
Comme nature le duisoit.
Œuvres de Chartier, Paris, 1617, 4to. p. 594.

SUCH is the lively description of a spring morning, in the opening of Alain Chartier's "Livre des quatre dames;" and, excepting the violets, such description conveyed a pretty accurate idea of the scenery which presented itself, from the cabinet window, to the eyes of Lysander and Philemon.

Phil. How delightful, my dear friend, are the objects which we have before our eyes, within and without doors! The freshness of the morning air, of which we have just been partaking in yonder field, was hardly more reviving to my senses than is the sight of this exquisite cabinet of bibliographical works, adorned with small busts and whole-length figures from the antique! You see these precious books are bound chiefly in Morocco, or Russia leather: and the greater part of them appear to be printed upon large paper.24

Lysand. Our friend makes these books a sort of hobby-horse, and perhaps indulges his vanity in them to excess. They are undoubtedly useful in their way.

Phil. You are averse then to the study of bibliography?

Lysand. By no means. I have already told you of my passion for books, and cannot, therefore, dislike bibliography. I think, with Lambinet, that the greater part of bibliographical works are sufficiently dry and soporific:[95] but I am not insensible to the utility, and even entertainment, which may result from a proper cultivation of it—although both De Bure and Peignot appear to me to have gone greatly beyond the mark, in lauding this study as "one of the most attractive and vast pursuits in which the human mind can be engaged."[96]

[95] Recherches, &c., sur l'Origine de l'Imprimerie: Introd. p. x. Lambinet adds very justly, "L'art consiste à les rendre supportables par des objets variés de littérature, de critique, d'anecdotes," &c.

[96] See the "Discours sur la Science Bibliographique," &c., in the eighth volume of De Bure's Bibl. Instruct. and Peignot's Dictionnaire Raisonné de Biblilolgie, vol. i. p. 50. The passage, in the former authority, beginning "Sans cesse"—p. xvj.—would almost warm the benumbed heart of a thorough-bred mathematician, and induce him to exchange his Euclid for De Bure!!

Phil. But to know what books are valuable and what are worthless; their intrinsic and extrinsic merits; their rarity, beauty, and particularities of various kinds; and the estimation in which they are consequently held by knowing men—these things add a zest to the gratification we feel in even looking upon and handling certain volumes.

Lysand. It is true, my good Philemon; because knowledge upon any subject, however trivial, is more gratifying than total ignorance; and even if we could cut and string cherry-stones, like Cowper's rustic boy, it would be better than brushing them aside, without knowing that they could be converted to such a purpose. Hence I am always pleased with Le Long's reply to the caustic question of Father Malebranche, when the latter asked him, "how he could be so foolish as to take such pains about settling the date of a book, or making himself master of trivial points of philosophy!"—"Truth is so delightful," replied Le Long, "even in the most25 trivial matters, that we must neglect nothing to discover her." This reply, to a man who was writing, or had written, an essay upon truth was admirable. Mons. A.G. Camus, a good scholar, and an elegant bibliographer, [of whom you will see some account in "Les Siecles Litteraires de la France,"] has, I think, placed the study of bibliography in a just point of view; and to his observations, in the first volume of the "Memoires de l'Institut National," I must refer you.[97]

[97] Lysander had probably the following passage more particularly in recollection; which, it must be confessed, bears sufficiently hard upon fanciful and ostentatious collectors of books. "[Il y a] deux sortes de connoissance des livres: l'une qui se renferme presque uniquement dans les dehors et la forme du livre, pour apprécier, d'après sa date, d'après la caractère de l'impression, d'après certaines notes, quelquefois seulement d'après une erreur typographique, les qualités qui le font ranger dans la classe des livres rares où curieux, et qui fixent sa valeur pecuniaire: l'autre genre de connoissance consiste à savoir quels sont les livres les plus propres à instruire, ceux où les sujets sont le plus clairement présentés et le plus profondement discutés; les ouvrages à l'aide desquels il est possible de saisir l'origine de la science, de la suivre dans ses développemens, d'atteindre le point actuel de la perfection. Sans doute il seroit avantageux que ces deux genres de connoisances fussent toujours réunis: l'expérience montre qu'ils le sont rairement; l'expérience montre encore que le premier des deux genres a été plus cultivé que le second. Nous possédons, sur l'indication des livres curieux et rares, sur les antiquités et les bijoux litteraires, si l'on me permet d'employer cette expression, des instructions meilleures que nous n'en avons sur les livres propres à instruire foncièrement des sciences. En recherchant la cause de cette difference, on la trouvera peut-être dans la passion que des hommes riches et vains ont montrée pour posséder des livres sans être en état de les lire. Il a fallu créer pour eux une sorte de bibliotheque composée d'objets qui, sous la forme exterieure de livres, ne fussent réellement que des raretés, des objets de curiosité, qu'on ne lit pas, mais que tantôt on regarde avec complaisance, tantôt en montre avec ostentation; et comme après cela c'est presque toujours le goût des personnes en état de récompenser qui dirige le but des travailleurs, on ne doit pas être surpris qu'on se soit plus occupé d'indiquer aux hommes riches dont je parle, des raretés à acquérir, ou de vanter celles qu'ils avoient rassemblées, que de faciliter, par des indications utiles, les travaux des hommes studieux dont on n'attendoit aucune récompense." Memoires de l'Institut, vol. i. 664. See also the similar remarks of Jardé, in the "Précis sur les Bibliotheques," prefixed to Fournier's Dict. portatif de Bibliographie, edit. 1809.

Something like the same animadversions may be found in a useful book printed nearly two centuries before: "Non enim cogitant quales ipsi, sed qualibus induti vestibus sint, et quanta pompa rerum fortunæque præfulgeant—sunt enim omnino ridiculi, qui in nuda librorum quantumvis selectissimorum multitudine gloriantur, et inde doctos sese atque admirandos esse persuadent." Draudius: Bibliotheca Classica, ed. 1611. Epist. ad. Lect. Spizelius has also a good passage upon the subject, in his description of Book-Gluttons ("Helluones Librorum"): "cum immensa pené librorum sit multitudo et varietas, fieri non potest, quin eorum opibus ditescere desiderans (hæres), non assiduam longamque lectionem adhibeat." Infelix Literatus, p. 296, edit. 1680, 8vo.

26Phil. I may want time, and probably inclination, to read these observations: and, at any rate, I should be better pleased with your analysis of them.

Lysand. That would lead me into a wide field indeed; and, besides, our friend—who I see walking hastily up the garden—is impatient for his breakfast; 'tis better, therefore, that we satisfy just now an appetite of a different kind.

Phil. But you promise to renew the subject afterwards?

Lysand. I will make no such promise. If our facetious friend Lisardo, who is expected shortly to join us, should happen to direct our attention and the discourse to the sale of Malvolio's busts and statues, what favourable opportunity do you suppose could present itself for handling so unpromising a subject as bibliography?

Phil. Well, well, let us hope he will not come: or, if he does, let us take care to carry the point by a majority of votes. I hear the gate bell ring: 'tis Lisardo, surely!

Three minutes afterwards, Lisardo and myself, who met in the passage from opposite doors, entered the Cabinet. Mutual greetings succeeded: and, after a hearty breakfast, the conversation was more systematically renewed.

Lis. I am quite anxious to give you a description of the fine things which were sold at Malvolio's mansion yesterday! Amongst colossal Minervas, and pigmy fauns and satyrs, a magnificent set of books, in ten or twelve folio volumes (I forget the precise number) in Morocco binding, was to be disposed of.

Lysand. The Clementine and Florentine museums?

Lis. No indeed—a much less interesting work. A catalogue of the manuscripts and printed books in the library of the French king, Louis the fifteenth. It was odd enough to see such a work in such a sale!

Phil. You did not probably bid ten guineas for it, Lisardo?27

Lis. Not ten shillings. What should I do with such books? You know I have a mortal aversion to them, and to every thing connected with bibliographical learning.

Phil. That arises, I presume, from your profound knowledge of the subject; and, hence, finding it, as Solomon found most pursuits, "vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit."

Lis. Not so, truly! I have taken an aversion to it from mere whim and fancy: or rather from downright ignorance.

Phil. But I suppose you would not object to be set right upon any subject of which you are ignorant or misinformed? You don't mean to sport hereditary aversions, or hereditary attachments?

Lis. Why, perhaps, something of the kind. My father, who was the best creature upon earth, happened to come into the possession of a huge heap of catalogues of private collections, as well as of booksellers' books—and I remember, on a certain fifth of November, when my little hands could scarcely grasp the lamplighter's link that he bade me set fire to them, and shout forth—"Long live the King!"—ever since I have held them in sovereign contempt.

Phil. I love the king too well to suppose that his life could have been lengthened by any such barbarous act. You were absolutely a little Chi Ho-am-ti, or Omar![98]28 Perhaps you were not aware that his majesty is in possession of many valuable books, which are described with great care and accuracy in some of these very catalogues.

[98] Pope, in his Dunciad, has treated the conflagration of the two great ancient libraries, with his usual poetical skill:

"Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun
And orient Science their bright course begun:
One god-like monarch all that pride confounds,
He, whose long wall the wandering Tartar bounds;
Heavens! what a pile! whole ages perish there,
And one bright blaze turns Learning into air.
Thence to the south extend thy gladden'd eyes;
There rival flames with equal glory rise,
From shelves to shelves see greedy Vulcan roll,
And lick up all their Physic of the Soul."

"Chi Ho-am-ti, Emperor of China, the same who built the great wall between China and Tartary, destroyed all the books and learned men of that empire."

"The caliph, Omar I. having conquered Egypt, caused his general to burn the Ptolemean library, on the gates of which was this inscription: 'ΨΥΧΗΣ ΙΑΤΡΕΙΟΝ:' 'The Physic of the Soul.'" Warburton's note. The last editor of Pope's works, (vol. v. 214.) might have referred us to the very ingenious observations of Gibbon, upon the probability of this latter event: see his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," vol. ix. 440, &c.

Lis. The act, upon reflection, was no doubt sufficiently foolish. But why so warm upon the subject?

Lysand. Let me defend Philemon; or at least account for his zeal. Just before you came in, he was leading me to give him some account of the rise and progress of Bibliography; and was fearful that, from your noted aversion to the subject, you would soon cut asunder the thread of our conversation.

Lis. If you can convert me to be an admirer of such a subject, or even to endure it, you will work wonders; and, unless you promise to do so, I know not whether I shall suffer you to begin.

Phil. Begin, my dear Lysander. A mind disposed to listen attentively is sometimes half converted. O, how I shall rejoice to see this bibliographical incendiary going about to buy up copies of the very works which he has destroyed! Listen, I entreat you, Lisardo.

Lis. I am all attention; for I see the clouds gathering in the south, and a gloomy, if not a showery, mid-day, promises to darken this beauteous morning. 'Twill not be possible to attend the antiques at Malvolio's sale.

Lysand. Whether the sun shine, or the showers fall, I will make an attempt—not to convert, but to state simple truths: provided you "lend me your ears."

Phil. And our hearts too. Begin: for the birds drop their notes, and the outlines of the distant landscape are already dimmed by the drizzling rain.

Lysand. You call upon me as formally as the shepherds call upon one another to sing in Virgil's eclogues. But I will do my best.

It is gratifying to the English nation—whatever may29 have been the strictures of foreigners[99] upon the paucity of their bibliographico-literary works in the 16th century—that the earliest printed volume upon the love and advantages of book-collecting was the Philobiblion[100] of30 Richard De Bury; who was bishop of Durham at the close of the 14th century, and tutor to Edward III. I will at present say nothing about the merits and demerits of this short treatise; only I may be permitted to observe, with satisfaction, that the head of the same see, at the present day, has given many proofs of his attachment to those studies, and of his reward of such merit as attracted the notice of his illustrious predecessor. It is with pain that I am compelled to avow the paucity of publications, in our own country, of a nature similar to the Philobiblion of De Bury, even for two centuries after it was composed; but while Leland was making his library-tour, under the auspices of that capricious tyrant Henry VIII., many works were planned abroad, which greatly facilitated the researches of the learned.

[99] "Anglica gens longe fuit negligentior in consignandis ingeniorum monumentis; nihil enim ab illis prodiit, quod mereatur nominari, cum tamen sint extentque pene innumera ingeniossimæ gentis in omnibus doctrinis scripta, prodeantque quotidie, tam Latina, quam vernacula lingua, plura," Morhof: Polyhist. Literar. vol. i. 205, edit. 1747.

Reimmannus carries his strictures, upon the jealousy of foreigners at the success of the Germans in bibliography, with a high hand: "Ringantur Itali, nasum incurvent Galli, supercilium adducant Hispani, scita cavilla serant Britanni, frendeant, spument, bacchentur ii omnes, qui præstantiam Musarum Germanicarum limis oculis aspiciunt," &c.—"hoc tamen certum, firmum, ratum, et inconcussum est, Germanos primos fuisse in Rep. Literaria, qui Indices Librorum Generales, Speciales et Specialissimos conficere, &c. annisi sunt."—A little further, however, he speaks respectfully of our James, Hyde, and Bernhard. See his ably-written Bibl. Acroamatica, pp. 1, 6.

[100] "Sive de Amore Librorum." The first edition, hitherto so acknowledged, of this entertaining work, was printed at Spires, by John and Conrad Hist, in 1483, 4to., a book of great rarity—according to Clement, vol. v. 435; Bauer (Suppl. Bibl. Libr. Rarior, pt. i. 276); Maichelius, p. 127; and Morhof, vol. i. 187. Mons. De La Serna Santander has assigned the date of 1473 to this edition: see his Dict. Bibliog. Chois. vol. ii. 257,—but, above all, consult Clement—to whom Panzer, vol. iii. p. 22, very properly refers his readers. And yet some of Clement's authorities do not exactly bear him out in the identification of this impression. Mattaire, vol. i. 449, does not appear to have ever seen a copy of it: but, what is rather extraordinary, Count Macarty has a copy of a Cologne edition in 4to., of the date of 1473. No other edition of it is known to have been printed till the year 1500; when two impressions of this date were published at Paris, in 4to.: the one by Philip for Petit, of which both Clement and Fabricius (Bibl. Med. et Inf. Ætat. vol. i. 842, &c.) were ignorant; but of which, a copy, according to Panzer, vol. ii. 336, should seem to be in the public library at Gottingen; the other, by Badius Ascensius, is somewhat more commonly known. A century elapsed before this work was deemed deserving of republication; when the country that had given birth to, and the university that had directed the studies of, its illustrious author, put forth an inelegant reprint of it in 4to. 1599—from which some excerpts will be found in the ensuing pages—but in the meantime the reader may consult the title-page account of Herbert, vol. iii. p. 1408. Of none of these latter editions were the sharp eyes of Clement ever blessed with a sight of a copy! See his Bibl. Curcuse, &c. vol. v. 438.

The 17th century made some atonement for the negligence of the past, in regard to Richard De Bury. At Frankfort his Philobiblion was reprinted, with "a Century of Philological Letters," collected by Goldastus, in 1610, 8vo—and this same work appeared again, at Leipsic, in 1674, 8vo. At length the famous Schmidt put forth an edition, with some new pieces, "typis et sumtibus Georgii Wolffgangii Hammii, Acad. Typog. 1703," 4to. Of this latter edition, neither Maichelius nor the last editor of Morhof take notice. It may be worth while adding that the subscription in red ink, which Fabricius (ibid.) notices as being subjoined to a vellum MS. of this work, in his own possession—and which states that it was finished at Auckland, in the year 1343, in the 58th of its author, and at the close of the 11th year of his episcopacy—may be found, in substance, in Hearne's edition of Leland's Collectanea, vol. ii. 385, edit. 1774.

Among the men who first helped to clear away the rubbish that impeded the progress of the student, was the learned and modest Conrad Gesner; at once a scholar, a philosopher, and a bibliographer: and upon whom Julius Scaliger, Theodore Beza, and De Thou, have pronounced noble eulogiums.[101] His Bibliotheca31 Universalis was the first thing, since the discovery of the art of printing, which enabled the curious to become acquainted with the works of preceding authors: thus kindling, by the light of such a lamp, the fire of emulation among his contemporaries and successors. I do not pretend to say that the Bibliotheca of Gesner is any thing like perfect, even as far as it goes: but, considering that the author had to work with his own materials alone, and that the degree of fame and profit attached to such a publication was purely speculative, he undoubtedly merits the thanks of posterity for having completed it even in the manner in which it has come down to us. Consider Gesner as the father of bibliography; and if, at the sale of Malvolio's busts, there be one of this great man, purchase it, good Lisardo, and place it over the portico of your library.

[101] His Bibliotheca, or Catalogus Universalis, &c., was first printed in a handsome folio volume at Zurich, 1545. Lycosthyne put forth a wretched abridgement of this work, which was printed by the learned Oporinus, in 4to., 1551. Robert Constantine, the lexicographer, also abridged and published it in 1555, Paris, 8vo.; and William Canter is said by Labbe to have written notes upon Simler's edition, which Baillet took for granted to be in existence, and laments not to have seen them; but he is properly corrected by De La Monnoye, who reminds us that it was a mere report, which Labbe gave as he found it. I never saw Simler's own editions of his excellent abridgement and enlargement of it in 1555 and 1574; but Frisius published it, with great improvements, in 1583, fol., adding many articles, and abridging and omitting many others. Although this latter edition be called the edit. opt. it will be evident that the editio originalis is yet a desideratum in every bibliographical collection. Nor indeed does Frisius's edition take away the necessity of consulting a supplement to Gesner, which appeared at the end of the Bibliothéque Françoise of Du Verdier, 1584. It may be worth stating that Hallevordius's Bibliotheca Curiòsa, 1656, 1687, 4to., is little better than a supplement to the preceding work.

The Pandects of Gesner, 1548, fol. are also well worth the bibliographer's notice. Each of the 20 books, of which the volume is composed, is preceded by an interesting dedicatory epistle to some eminent printer of day. Consult Baillet's Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii. p. 11. Bibl. Creven. vol. v. p. 278; upon this latter work more particularly; and Morhof's Polyhistor. Literar. vol. i. 197, and Vogt's Catalog. Libr. Rarior., p. 164: upon the former. Although the Dictionnaire Historique, published at Caen, in 1789, notices the botanical and lexicographical works of Gesner, it has omitted to mention these Pandects: which however, are uncommon.

Lis. All this is very well. Proceed with the patriarchal age of your beloved bibliography.

Lysand. I was about resuming, with observing that our Bale speedily imitated the example of Gesner, in putting forth his Britanniæ Scriptores;[102] the materials of the greater part of which were supplied by Leland. This work is undoubtedly necessary to every Englishman,32 but its errors are manifold. Let me now introduce to your notice the little work of Florian Trefler, published in 1560;[103] also the first thing in its kind, and intimately connected with our present subject. The learned, it is true, were not much pleased with it; but it afforded a rough outline upon which Naudæus afterwards worked, and produced, as you will find, a more pleasing and perfect picture. A few years after this, appeared the Erotemata of Michael Neander;[104] in the long and learned preface to which, and in the catalogue of his and of Melancthon's works subjoined, some brilliant hints of a bibliographical nature were thrown out, quite sufficient to inflame the lover of book-anecdotes with a desire of seeing a work perfected according to such a plan: but Neander was unwilling, or unable, to put his design into execution. Bibliography, however, now began to make rather a rapid progress; and, in France, the ancient writers of history and poetry seemed to live again in the Bibliotheque Françoise of La Croix du Maine and Du Verdier.[105] Nor were33 the contemporaneous similar efforts of Cardona to be despised: a man, indeed, skilled in various erudition, and distinguished for his unabating perseverance in examining all the mss. and printed books that came in his way. The manner, slight as it was, in which Cardona[106] mentioned the Vatican library, aroused the patriotic ardor of Pansa; who published his Bibliotheca Vaticana, in the Italian language, in the year 1590; and in the subsequent year appeared the rival production of Angelus Roccha, written in Latin, under the same title.[107] The magnificent establishment of the34 Vatican press, under the auspices of Pope Sixtus V. and Clement VIII. and under the typographical direction of the grandson of Aldus,[108] called forth these publications—which might, however, have been executed with more splendour and credit.

[102] The first edition of this work, under the title of "Illustrium maioris Britanniæ Scriptorum, hoc est, Anglæ, Cambriæ, ac Scotiæ summarium, in quasnam centurias divisum, &c.," was printed at Ipswich, in 1548, 4to., containing three supposed portraits of Bale, and a spurious one of Wicliffe. Of the half length portrait of Bale, upon a single leaf, as noticed by Herbert, vol. iii. 1457, I have doubts about its appearance in all the copies. The above work was again published at Basil, by Opornius, in 1559, fol., greatly enlarged and corrected, with a magnificent half length portrait of Bale, from which the one in a subsequent part of this work was either copied on a reduced scale, or of which it was the prototype. His majesty has perhaps the finest copy of this last edition of Bale's Scriptores Britanniæ, in existence.

[103] "Les Savans n'ont nullemont été satisfaits des règles prescrites par Florian Treffer (Trefler) le premièr dont on connoisse un écrit sur ce sujet [de la disposition des livres dans une bibliothèque]. Sa méthode de classer les livres fut imprimée à Augsbourg en 1560." Camus: Memoires de l'Institut. vol. i. 646. The title is "Methodus Ordinandi Bibliothecam," Augustæ, 1560. The extreme rarity of this book does not appear to have arisen from its utility—if the authority quoted by Vogt, p. 857, edit. 1793, may be credited. Bauer repeats Vogt's account; and Teisser, Morhof, and Baillet, overlook the work.

[104] It would appear, from Morhof, that Neander meditated the publication of a work similar to the Pandects of Gesner; which would, in all probability, have greatly excelled it. The "Erotemata Græcæ Linguæ" was published at Basil in 1565, 8vo. Consult Polyhist. Liter. vol. i. 199: Jugemens des Savans, vol. iii. art. 887, but more particularly Niceron's Memoires des Hommes Illustres, vol. xxx. In regard to Neander, Vogt has given the title at length (a sufficiently tempting one!) calling the work "very rare," and the preface of Neander (which is twice the length of the work) "curious and erudite." See his Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 614, edit. 1793.

[105] La Croix Du Maine's book appeared toward the end of the year 1584; and that of his coadjutor, Anthony Verdier, in the beginning of the subsequent year. They are both in folio, and are usually bound in one volume. Of these works, the first is the rarest and best executed; but the very excellent edition of both of them, by De La Monnoye and Juvigny, in six volumes, 4to., 1772, which has realized the patriotic wishes of Baillet, leaves nothing to be desired in the old editions—and these are accordingly dropping fast into annihilation. It would appear from an advertisement of De Bure, subjoined to his catalogue of Count Macarty's books, 1779, 8vo., that there were then remaining only eleven copies of this new edition upon large paper, which were sold for one hundred and twenty livres. Claude Verdier, son of Antony, who published a supplement to Gesner's Bibliotheca, and a "Censio auctorum omnium veterum et recentiorum," affected to censure his father's work, and declared that nothing but parental respect could have induced him to consent to its publication—but consult the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii. 87-8, upon Claude's filial affection; and Morhof's Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 176, concerning the "Censio," &c.—"misere," exclaims Morhof, "ille corvos deludit hiantes: nam ubi censuram suam exercet, manifestum hominis phrenesin facile deprehendas!" The ancient editions are well described in Bibl. Creven., vol. v., 277-8, edit. 1776—but more particularly by De Bure, nos. 6020-1. A copy of the ancient edition was sold at West's sale for 2l. 15s. See Bibl. West., No. 934.

[106] John Baptist Cardona, a learned and industrious writer, and bishop of Tortosa, published a quarto volume at Tarracona, in 1537, 4to.—comprehending the following four pieces: 1. De regia Sancti Lamentii Bibliotheca: 2. De Bibliothecis (Ex Fulvio Ursino,) et De Bibliotheca Vaticana (ex Omphrii Schedis): 3. De Expurgandis hæreticorum propriis nominibus: 4. De Dipthycis. Of these, the first, in which he treats of collecting all manner of useful books, and having able librarians, and in which he strongly exhorts Philip II. to put the Escurial library into good order, is the most valuable to the bibliographer. Vogt, p. 224, gives us two authorities to shew the rarity of this book; and Baillet refers us to the Bibliotheca Hispana of Antonio.

[107] Mutius Panza's work, under the title of Ragionamenti della Libraria Vaticana, Rome, 1590, 4to., and Angelus Roccha's, that of Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, 1591, 4to., relate rather to the ornaments of architecture and painting, than to a useful and critical analysis, or a numbered catalogue, of the books within the Vatican library. The authors of both are accused by Morhof of introducing quite extraneous and uninteresting matter. Roccha's book, however, is worth possessing, as it is frequently quoted by bibliographers. How far it may be "Liber valde quidem rarus," as Vogt intimates, I will not pretend to determine. It has a plate of the Vatican Library, and another of St. Peter's Cathedral. The reader may consult, also, the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 141. My copy of this work, purchased at the sale of Dr. Heath's books, has a few pasted printed slips in the margins—some of them sufficiently curious.

[108] Consult Renouard's L'Imprimerie des Alde, vol. ii., 122, &c. One of the grandest works which ever issued from the Vatican press, under the superintendence of Aldus, was the vulgate bible of Pope Sixtus V., 1590, fol., the copies of which, upon large paper, are sufficiently well known and coveted. A very pleasing and satisfactory account of this publication will be found in the Horæ Biblicæ of Mr. Charles Butler, a gentleman who has long and justly maintained the rare character of a profound lawyer, an elegant scholar, and a well-versed antiquary and philologist.

Let us here not forget that the celebrated Lipsius condescended to direct his talents to the subject of libraries; and his very name, as Baillet justly remarks, "is sufficient to secure respect for his work," however slender it may be.[109] We now approach, with the mention of Lipsius, the opening of the 17th century; a period singularly fertile in bibliographical productions. I will not pretend to describe, minutely, even the leading authors in this department. The works of Puteanus can be only slightly alluded to, in order to notice the more copious and valuable ones of Possevinus and of Schottus;[110] men who were ornaments to their country,35 and whose literary and bibliographical publications have secured to them the gratitude of posterity. While the labours of these authors were enriching the republic of literature, and kindling all around a love of valuable and curious books, the Bibliotheca Historica of Bolduanus, and the Bibliotheca Classica of Draudius[111] highly gratified the generality of readers, and enabled the student to select, with greater care and safety, such editions of authors as were deserving of a place in their libraries.

[109] Lipsius published his Syntagma de Bibliothecis, at Antwerp, in 1603, 4to., "in quo de ritibus variis et antiquitatibus circa rem bibliothecariam agitur." An improved edition of it, by Maderus, was printed at Helmstadt, in 1666, 4to., with other curious bibliographical opuscula. A third edition of it was put forth by Schmid, at the same place, in 1702, 4to. Consult Morhof. Poly. Lit., vol. i., 188.

[110] "Scripsit et Erycius Puteanus librum De Usu Bibliothecæ et quidem speciatim Bibliothecæ Ambrosianæ Mediol., in 8vo., 1606, editum, aliumque, cui titulus Auspicia Bibliothecæ Lovaniensis, an. 1639, in 4to." Morhof. "It is true," says Baillet, "that this Puteanus passed for a gossipping sort of writer, and for a great maker of little books, but he was, notwithstanding, a very clever fellow." Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., 150. In the Bibl. Crev., vol. v., 311, will be found one of his letters, never before published. He died in 1646. Possevinus published a Bibliotheca selecta and Apparatus sacer—of the former of which, the Cologne edition of 1607, folio, and of the latter, that of 1608, are esteemed the most complete. The first work is considered by Morhof as less valuable than the second. The "Apparatus" he designates as a book of rather extraordinary merit and utility. Of the author of both these treatises, some have extolled his talents to the skies, others have depreciated them in proportion. His literary character, however, upon the whole, places him in the first class of bibliographers. Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 175. He was one of the earliest bibliographers who attacked the depraved taste of the Italian printers in adopting licentious capital-initial letters. Catherinot, in his Art d'imprimer, p. 3, makes the same complaint: so Baillet informs us, vol. i., pt. i., p. 13, edit. 1725: vol. iii., pt. 1, p. 78. Schottus's work, de Bibl. claris Hispaniæ viris, France, 1608, 4to., is forgotten in the splendour of Antonio's similar production; but it had great merit in its day. Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., pt. 1, 132, edit. 1725.

[111] Bolduanus published a Theological (Jenæ, 1614) and Philosophico Philological (Jenæ, 1616), as well as an Historical (Lipsiæ, 1620), library; but the latter work has the pre-eminence. Yet the author lived at too great a distance, wanting the requisite materials, and took his account chiefly from the Frankfort catalogues—some of which were sufficiently erroneous. Polyhist. Literar. vol. i., 199. See also the very excellent historical catalogue, comprehending the 1st chap. of Meusel's new edition of Struvius's Bibl. Histor., vol. i., p. 26. Draudius's work is more distinguished for its arrangement than for its execution in detail. It was very useful, however, at the period when it was published. My edition is of the date of 1611, 4to.: but a second appeared at Frankfort, in 1625, 4to.

The name of Du Chesne can never be pronounced by a sensible Frenchman without emotions of gratitude. His Bibliotheca Historiarum Galliæ first published in the year 1627, 8vo.—although more immediately useful to foreigners than to ourselves, is nevertheless worth mentioning. Morhof, if I recollect aright, supposes there was a still later edition; but he probably confused with this work the Series Auctorum, &c. de Francorum Historia;[112] of which two handsome folio editions were36 published by Cramoisy. French writers of bibliographical eminence now begin to crowd fast upon us.

[112] The reader will find a good account of some of the scarcer works of Du Chesne in Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 248, &c., and of the life and literary labours of this illustrious man in the 7th volume of Niceron's Memoires des Hommes Illustres.

Lis. But what becomes of the English, Spanish, and Italian bibliographers all this while?

Lysand. The reproach of Morhof is I fear too just; namely that, although we had produced some of the most learned, ingenious, and able men in Europe—lovers and patrons of literature—yet our librarians, or university scholars, were too lazy to acquaint the world with the treasures which were contained in the several libraries around them.[113] You cannot expect a field-marshal, or a statesman in office, or a nobleman, or a rich man of extensive connections, immersed in occupations both pressing and unavoidable—doggedly to set down to a Catalogue Raisonné of his books, or to an analysis of the different branches of literature—while his presence is demanded in the field, in the cabinet, or in the senate—or while all his bells, at home, from the massive outer gate to the retired boudoir, are torn to pieces with ringing and jingling at the annunciation of visitors—you cannot, I say, my good Lisardo, call upon a person, thus occupied, to produce—or expect from him, in a situation thus harassed, the production of—any solid bibliographical publication; but you have surely a right to expect that librarians, or scholars, who spend the greater part of their time in public libraries, will vouchsafe to apply their talents in a way which may be an honour to their patrons, and of service to their country.[114] Not to walk37 with folded arms from one extremity of a long room (of 120 feet) to another, and stop at every window to gaze on an industrious gardener, or watch the slow progress of a melancholy crow "making wing to the rooky wood," nor yet, in winter, to sit or stand inflexibly before the fire, with a duodecimo jest book or novel in their hands—but to look around and catch, from the sight of so much wisdom and so much worth, a portion of that laudable emulation with which the Gesners, the Baillets, and the Le Longs were inspired; to hold intimate acquaintance with the illustrious dead; to speak to them without the fear of contradiction; to exclaim over their beauties without the dread of ridicule, or of censure; to thank them for what they have done in transporting us to other times, and introducing us to other worlds; and constantly to feel a deep and unchangeable conviction of the necessity of doing all the good in our power, and in our way, for the benefit of those who are to survive us!

[113] See the note at p. 29, ante. "It is a pity," says Morhof, "that the Dutch had such little curiosity about the literary history of their country—but the English were yet more negligent and incurious."—And yet, Germany, France, and Italy, had already abounded with treasures of this kind!!

[114] Senebier, who put forth a very useful and elegantly printed catalogue of the MSS. in the public library of Geneva, 1779, 8vo., has the following observations upon this subject—which I introduce with a necessary proviso, or caution, that now-a-days his reproaches cannot affect us. We are making ample amends for past negligence; for, to notice no others, the labours of those gentlemen who preside over the British Museum abundantly prove our present industry. Thus speaks Senebier: 'Ill sembleroit d'abord étonnant qu'on ait tant tradé à composer le Catalogue des Manuscripts de la Bibliothéque de Genéve; mais on peut faire plus raisonnablement ce reproche aux Bibliothécaires bien payés et uniquement occupés de leur vocation, qui sont les dépositaires de tant de collections précieuses qu'on voit en Italie, en France, en Allemagne, et en Angleterre; ils le mériteront d'autant mieux, qu'ils privent le public des piéces plus précieuses, et qu'ils ont plusieurs aids intelligens qui peuvent les dispenser de la partie le plus méchanique et la plus ennuyeuse de ce travail,' &c.

Phil. Hear him, hear him![115]

[115] This mode of exclamation or expression, like that of cheering (vide p. 20, ante) is also peculiar to our own country; and it is uttered by both friend and foe. Thus, in the senate, when a speaker upon one side of the question happens to put an argument in a strong point of view, those of the same party or mode of thinking exclaim—hear him, hear him! And if he should happen to state any thing that may favour the views, or the mode of thinking, of his opponents, these latter also take advantage of his eloquence, and exclaim, hear him, hear him! Happy the man whom friend and foe alike delight to hear!

Lis. But what is become, in the while, of the English, Italian, and Spanish bibliographers—in the seventeenth century?

Lysand. I beg pardon for the digression; but the less we say of these, during this period, the better;38 and yet you must permit me to recommend to you the work of Pitseus, our countryman, which grows scarcer every day.[116] We left off, I think, with the mention of Du Chesne's works. Just about this time came forth the elegant little work of Naudæus;[117] which I advise you both to purchase, as it will cost you but a few shillings, and of the aspect of which you may inform yourselves by taking it down from yonder shelf. Quickly afterwards Claude Clement, "haud passibus æquis,"39 put forth his Bibliothecæ tam privatæ quam publicæ[118] extructio, &c.; a work, condemned by the best bibliographical judges. But the splendour of almost every preceding bibliographer's reputation was eclipsed by that arising from the extensive and excellent publications of Louis Jacob;[119] a name at which, if we except those of Fabricius and Muratori, diligence itself stands amazed; and concerning whose life and labours it is to be regretted that we have not more extended details. The harsh and caustic manner in which Labbe and Morhof have treated the works of Gaddius,[120] induce me only to mention his name, and to warn you against looking for much corn in a barn choked with chaff. We40 now approach the close of the seventeenth century; when, stopping for a few minutes only, to pay our respects to Cinelli, Conringius, and Lomeier,[121] we must advance to do homage to the more illustrious names of Labbe, Lambecius, and Baillet; not forgetting, however, the equally respectable ones of Antonio and Lipenius.

[116] Pitseus's work "De Rebus Anglicis," Paris, 1619, 4to., vol. i., was written in opposition to Bale's (vid. p. 31, ante). The author was a learned Roman Catholic; but did not live to publish the second volume. I was glad to give Mr. Ford, of Manchester, 1l. 16s. for a stained and badly bound copy of it.

[117] "Gabriele Naudæo nemo vixit suo tempore ἐμπειρίας Bibliothecariæ peritior:" Polyhist. Liter., vol. i., 187. "Naudæi scripta omnia et singula præstantissima sunt," Vogt, p. 611. "Les ouvrages de Naudé firent oublier ce qui les avoient précédé." Camus, Mem. de l'Institut., vol. i., 646. After these eulogies, who will refuse this author's "Avis pour dresser une Bibliothéque, Paris, 1627, 1644, 8vo." a place upon his shelf? Unluckily, it rarely comes across the search of the keenest collector. The other, yet scarcer, productions of Naudé will be found well described in Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 610. The reader of ancient politics may rejoice in the possession of what is called, the "Mascurat"—and "Considerations politiques"—concerning which Vogt is gloriously diffuse; and Peignot (who has copied from him, without acknowledgement—Bibliogr. Curieuse, pp. 49, 50,) may as well be consulted. But the bibliographer will prefer the "Additions à l'Histoire de Louis XI.," 1630, 8vo., and agree with Mailchelius that a work so uncommon and so curious "ought to be reprinted." See the latter's amusing little book "De Præcipuis Bibliothecis Parisiensibus," pp. 66, 67, &c. Naudæus was librarian to the famous Cardinal Mazarin, the great Mæcenas of his day; whose library, consisting of upwards of forty thousand volumes, was the most beautiful and extensive one which France had then ever seen. Its enthusiastic librarian, whom I must be allowed to call a very wonderful bibliomaniac, made constant journeys, and entered into a perpetual correspondence, relating to books and literary curiosities. He died at Abbeville in 1653, in his 53rd year, on returning from Sweden, where the famous Christian had invited him. Naudæus's "Avis, &c.", [ut supr.] was translated by Chaline; but his "Avis à Nosseigneurs du Parlement, &c." 1652, 4to.—upon the sale of the Cardinal's library—and his "Remise de la Bihliothéque [Du Cardinal] entre le mains de M. Tubeuf, 1651," are much scarcer productions. A few of these particulars are gathered from Peignot's Dict. de la Bibliolologie, vol. ii., p. 1—consult also his Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie, p. v. In the former work I expected a copious piece of biography; yet, short as it is, Peignot has subjoined a curious note from Naudé's "Considerations politiques"—in which the author had the hardihood to defend the massacre upon St. Bartholomew's day, by one of the strangest modes of reasoning ever adopted by a rational being.

[118] This work, in four books, was published at Lyons, 1635, 4to. If it be not quite "Much ado about nothing"—it exhibits, at least, a great waste of ink and paper. Morhof seems to seize with avidity Baillet's lively sentence of condemnation—"Il y a trop de babil et trop de ce que nous appellons fatras," &c.

[119] Le Pere Louys Jacob published his "Traicté des plus belles Bibliothéques publiques et particulières, qui ont esté, et qui sont à présents dans le monde," at Paris, in 1644—again in 1655, 8vo.—in which he first brought together the scattered notices relating to libraries, especially to modern ones. His work is well worth consultation; although Baillet and Morhof do not speak in direct terms of praise concerning it—and the latter seems a little angry at his giving the preference to the Parisian libraries over those of other countries. It must be remembered that this was published as an unfinished production: as such, the author's curiosity and research are highly to be commended. I have read the greater part of it with considerable satisfaction. The same person meditated the execution of a vast work in four folio volumes—called "La Bibliothéque universelle de tous les Autheurs de France, qui ont escrits en quelque sorte de sciences et de langues"—which, in fact, was completed in 1638: but, on the death of the author it does not appear what became of it. Jacob also gave an account of books as they were published at Paris, and in other parts of France, from the year 1643 to 1650; which was printed under the title of Bibliographia Parisina, Paris, 1651, 4to. Consult Polyhist. Liter., vol. i., pp. 189, 202: Bibl. Creven., vol. v., pp. 281, 287. Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 151.

[120] He published a work entitled "De scriptoribus non-ecclesiasticis," 1648, vol. i., 1649, vol. ii., folio: in which his opinions upon authors are given in the most jejune and rash manner. His other works, which would form a little library, are reviewed by Leti with sufficient severity: but the poor man was crack brained! And yet some curious and uncommon things, gleaned from MSS. which had probably never been unrolled or opened since their execution, are to be found in this "Sciolum Florentinum," as Labbe calls him. Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 175.

[121] Magliabechi put Cinelli upon publishing his Bibliotheca Volante, 1677, 8vo., a pretty work, with a happy title!—being an indiscriminate account of some rare books which the author picked up in his travels, or saw in libraries. It was republished, with valuable additions, by Sancassani, at Venice, in 1734, 4to. See Cat. de Lomenie, No. 2563. Works of this sort form the Ana of bibliography! Conringius compiled a charming bibliographical work, in an epistolary form, under the title of Bibliotheca Augusta; which was published at Helmstadt, in 1661, 4to.—being an account of the library of the Duke of Brunswick, in the castle of Wolfenbuttle. Two thousand manuscripts, and one hundred and sixteen thousand printed volumes, were then contained in this celebrated collection. Happy the owner of such treasures—happy the man who describes them! Lomeier's, or Lomejer's "De Bibliothecis Liber singularis," Ultraj, 1669-1680, 8vo., is considered by Baillet among the best works upon the subject of ancient and modern libraries. From this book, Le Sieur Le Gallois stole the most valuable part of his materials for his "Traité des plus belles Bibliothéques de l'Europe," 1685, 1697—12mo.: the title at full length (a sufficiently imposing one!) may be seen in Bibé. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 281; upon this latter treatise, Morhof cuttingly remarks—"Magnos ille titulus strepitus facit: sed pro thesauris carbones." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 191. See also "Jugemens des Savans," vol. ii., p. 152. Gallois dispatches the English libraries in little more than a page. I possess the second edition of Lomeier's book (1680—with both its title pages), which is the last and best—and an interesting little volume it is! The celebrated Grævius used to speak very favourably of this work.

Lis. Pray discuss their works, or merits, seriatim, as the judges call it; for I feel overwhelmed at the stringing together of such trisyllabic names. These gentlemen, as well as almost every one of their predecessors, are strangers to me; and you know my bashfulness and confusion in such sort of company.

Lysand. I hope to make you better acquainted with them after a slight introduction, and so rid you of such an uncomfortable diffidence. Let us begin with Labbe,[122]41 who died in the year 1667, and in the sixtieth of his own age; a man of wonderful memory and of as wonderful application—whose whole life, according to his biographers, was consumed in gathering flowers from his predecessors, and thence weaving such a chaplet for his own brows as was never to know decay. His Nova Bibliotheca, and Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum, are the principal works which endear his memory to bibliographers. More learned than Labbe was Lambecius;[123] whose Commentarii de Bibliotheca Cæsareâ-42Vindobonensis, with Nesselius's supplement to the same, [1696, 2 vols. fol.] and Kollarius's new edition of both, form one of the most curious and important, as well as elaborate, productions in the annals of literature and bibliography. Less extensive, but more select, valuable, and accurate, in its choice and execution of objects, is the Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus et Nova of Nicholas Antonio;[124] the first, and the best, bibliographical work which Spain, notwithstanding her fine palaces and libraries, has ever produced. If neither Philemon nor yourself, Lisardo, possess this latter work [and I do not see it upon the shelves of this cabinet], seek for it with43 avidity; and do not fear the pistoles which the purchase of it may cost you. Lipenius[125] now claims a moment's notice; of whose Bibliotheca Realis Morhof is inclined to speak more favourably than other critics. 'Tis in six volumes; and it appeared from the years 1679 to 1685 inclusive. Not inferior to either of the preceding authors in taste, erudition, and the number and importance of his works, was Adrien Baillet;[126] the simple pastor of44 Lardiéres, and latterly the learned and indefatigable librarian of Lamoignon. His Jugemens des Savans, edited by De la Monnoye, is one of those works with which no man, fond of typographical and bibliographical pursuits, can comfortably dispense. I had nearly forgotten to warn you against the capricious works of Beughem; a man, nevertheless, of wonderful mental elasticity; but45 for ever planning schemes too vast and too visionary for the human powers to execute.[127]

[122] "Vir, qui in texendis catalogis totam pene vitam consumpsit." "Homo ad Lexica et Catalogos conficiendos a naturâ factus." Such is Morhof's account of Labbe; who, in the works above-mentioned, in the text, has obtained an unperishable reputation as a bibliographer. The Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum, thick duodecimo, or crown octavo, has run through several impressions; of which the Leipsic edit. of 1682, is as good as any; but Teisser, in his work under the same title, 1686, 4to., has greatly excelled Labbe's production, as well by his corrections of errata as by his additions of some hundreds of authors. The Bibliotheca Nummaria is another of Labbe's well-known performances: in the first part of which he gives an account of those who have written concerning medals—in the second part, of those who have publishe separate accounts of coins, weights, and measures. This is usually appended to the preceding work, and is so published by Teisser. The Mantissa Suppellectilis was an unfinished production; and the Specimen novæ Bibliothecæ Manuscriptorum Librorum, Paris, 1653, 4to., is too imperfectly executed for the exercise of rigid criticism; although Baillet calls it 'useful and curious.' Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 197, 203: and Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., pt. 1, p. 24, edit. 1725. A list of Labbe's works, finished, unfinished, and projected, was published at Paris, in 1656 and 1662. He was joint editor with Cossart of that tremendously voluminous work—the "Collectio Maxima Conciliorum"—1672, 18 volumes, folio.

[123] Lambecius died at, one may almost say, the premature age of 52: and the above work (in eight folio volumes), which was left unfinished in consequence, (being published between the years 1665-79 inclusive) gives us a magnificent idea of what its author would have accomplished [see particularly Reimanni Bibl. Acroamatica, p. 51] had it pleased Providence to prolong so valuable an existence. It was originally sold for 24 imperiali; but at the commencement of the 18th century for not less than 80 thaleri, and a copy of it was scarcely ever to be met with. Two reasons have been assigned for its great rarity, and especially for that of the 8th volume; the one, that Lambecius's heir, impatient at the slow sale of the work, sold many copies of it to the keepers of herb-stalls: the other, that, when the author was lying on his death-bed, his servant maid, at the suggestion and from the stinginess of the same heir, burnt many copies of this eighth volume [which had recently left the press] to light the fire in the chamber. This intelligence I glean from Vogt, p. 495: it had escaped Baillet and Morhof. But consult De Bure, vol. vi., Nos. 6004-5. Reimannus published a Bibliotheca Acroamatica, Hanov., 1712, 8vo., which is both an entertaining volume and a useful compendium of Lambecius's immense work. But in the years 1766-82, Kollarius published a new and improved edition of the entire commentaries, in six folio volumes; embodying in this gigantic undertaking the remarks which were scattered in his "Analecta Monumentorum omnis ævi Vindobonensia," in two folio volumes, 1761. A posthumous work of Kollarius, as a supplement to his new edition of Lambecius's Commentaries, was published in one folio volume, 1790. A complete set of these volumes of Kollarius's bibliographical labours, relating to the Vienna library, was in Serna Santander's catalogue, vol. iv., no. 6291, as well as in Krohn's: in which latter [nos. 3554, 3562] there are some useful notices. See my account of M. Denis: post. Critics have accused these "Commentaries concerning the MSS. in the imperial library at Vienna," as containing a great deal of rambling and desultory matter; but the vast erudition, minute research, and unabateable diligence of its author, will for ever secure to him the voice of public praise, as loud and as hearty as he has received it from his abridger Reimannus. In these volumes appeared the first account of the Psalter, printed at Mentz in 1457, which was mistaken by Lambecius for a MS. The reader will forgive my referring him to a little essay upon this and the subsequent Psalters, printed at Mentz, in 1459, 1490, &c., which was published by me in the 2nd volume of the Athenæum, p. 360, 490.

[124] Morhof considers the labours of Antonio as models of composition in their way. His grand work began to be published in 1672, 2 vols., folio—being the Bibliotheca Hispana Nova: this was succeeded, in 1696, by the Bibliotheca Hispana Antiqua—in two folio volumes: the prefaces and indexes contain every thing to satisfy the hearts of Spanish Literati. A new edition of the first work was published at Madrid, in 1783, 2 vols., folio; and of the latter work, in 1788, 2 vols., folio.—These recent editions are very rarely to be met with in our own country: abroad, they seem to have materially lowered the prices of the ancient ones, which had become excessively scarce. See Polyhist Literar., vol. i., 203-4: Dictionn. Bibliogr., vol. iv., p. 22: and Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., 651. Let us here not forget the learned Michael Casiri's Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escorialensis, published in two superb folio volumes at Madrid in 1760. All these useful and splendid works place the Spaniards upon a high footing with their fellow-labourers in the same respectable career. De La Serna Santander tells us that Casiri's work is dear, and highly respected by the Literati. See Cap. de Santander, vol iv., no. 6296.

[125] The Bibliotheca Realis, &c., of Lipenius contains an account of works published in the departments of Jurisprudence, Medicine, Philosophy, and Theology: of these, the Bibliotheca Theologica, et Philosophica, are considered by Morhof as the best executed. The Bibl. Juridica was, however, republished at Leipsic in two folio volumes, 1757, with considerable additions. This latter is the last Leipsic reprint of it. Saxius notices only the re-impressions of 1720, 1736, 1742. See his Onomast. Lit., vol. v., 588. I will just notice the Bibliotheca Vetus et Recens of Koenigius, 1678, folio—as chart-makers notice shoals—to be avoided. I had long thrown it out of my own collection before I read its condemnation by Morhof. Perhaps the following account of certain works, which appear to have escaped the recollection of Lysander, may not be unacceptable. In the year 1653, Father Raynaud, whose lucubrations fill 20 folio volumes, published a quarto volume at Lyons, under the title of "Erotemata de malis ac bonis Libris, deque justa aut injusta eorum conditione;" which he borowed in part from the "Theotimus, seu de tollendis et expurgandis malis libris," (Paris, 1549, 8vo.) of Gabriel Puhtherb. Of these two works, if were difficult to determine which is preferable. The bibliographer need not deeply lament the want of either: consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 177. In the year 1670, Vogler published a very sensible "Universalis in notitiam cujusque generis bonorum Scriptorum Introductio"—of this work two subsequent editions, one in 1691, the other in 1700, 4to., were published at Helmstadt. The last is the best; but the second, to him who has neither, is also worth purchasing. The seven dissertations "De Libris legendis" of Bartholin, Hafniæ, 1676, 8vo., are deserving of a good coat and a front row in the bibliographer's cabinet. "Parvæ quidem molis liberest, sed in quo quasi constipata sunt utilissima de libris monita et notitiæ ad multas disciplinas utiles." So speaks Morhof.

[126] Adrien Baillet was the eldest of seven children born in a second marriage. His parents were in moderate circumstances: but Adrien very shortly displaying a love of study and of book-collecting, no means, compatible with their situation, were left untried by his parents to gratify the wishes of so promising a child. From his earliest youth, he had a strong predilection for the church; and as a classical and appropriate education was then easily to be procured in France, he went from school to college, and at seventeen years of age had amassed, in two fair sized volumes, a quantity of extracts from clever works; which, perhaps having Beza's example in his mind, he entitled Juvenilia. His masters saw and applauded his diligence; and a rest of only five hours each night, during two years and a half of this youthful period, afforded Baillet such opportunities of acquiring knowledge as rarely fall to the lot of a young man. This habit of short repose had not forsaken him in his riper years: "he considered and treated his body as an insolent enemy, which required constant subjection; he would not suffer it to rest more than five hours each night; he recruited it with only one meal a day—drank no wine—never came near the fire—and walked out but once a week." The consequence of this absurd regime was that Baillet had ulcers in his legs, an erysipelatous affection over his body, and was, in other respects, afflicted as sedentary men usually are, who are glued to their seats from morn till night, never mix in society, and rarely breathe the pure air of heaven. These maladies shortened the days of Baillet; after he had faithfully served the Lamoignons as a librarian of unparalleled diligence and sagacity; leaving behind him a "Catalogue des Matieres," in 35 volumes folio. "All the curious used to come and see this catalogue: many bishops and magistrates requested to have either copies or abridgments of it." When Baillet was dragged, by his friend M. Hermant, from his obscure vicarage of Lardiéres, to be Lamoignon's librarian, he seems to have been beside himself for joy.—"I want a man of such and such qualities," said Lamoignon.—"I will bring one exactly to suit you," replied Hermant—"but you must put up with a diseased and repulsive exterior."—"Nous avons besoin de fond," said the sensible patron, "la forme ne m'embarasse point; l'air de ce pays, et un grain de sel discret, fera le reste: il en trouvera ici." Baillet came, and his biographer tells us that Lamoignon and Hermant "furent ravis de le voir." To the eternal honour of the family in which he resided, the crazy body and nervous mind of Baillet met with the tenderest treatment. Madame Lamoignon and her son (the latter, a thorough bred bibliomaniac; who, under the auspices of his master, soon eclipsed the book celebrity of his father) always took a pleasure in anticipating his wishes, soothing his irritabilities, promoting his views, and speaking loudly and constantly of the virtues of his head and heart. The last moments of Baillet were marked with true Christian piety and fortitude; and his last breath breathed a blessing upon his benefactors. He died A.D. 1706, ætatis 56. Rest his ashes in peace!—and come we now to his bibliographical publications. His "Jugemens des Savans," was first published in 1685, &c., in nine duodecimo volumes. Two other similar volumes of Anti Baillet succeeded it. The success and profits of this work were very considerable. In the year 1722, a new edition of it in seven volumes, quarto, was undertaken and completed by De La Monnoye, with notes by the editor, and additions of the original author. The "Anti Baillet" formed the 8th volume. In the year 1725, De La Monnoye's edition, with his notes placed under the text—the corrections and additions incorporated—and two volumes of fresh matter, including the Anti Baillet—was republished at Amsterdam, in eight duodecimo volumes, forming 16 parts, and being, in every respect, the best edition of the Jugemens des Savans. The curious, however, should obtain the portrait of Baillet prefixed to the edition of 1722; as the copy of it in the latter edition is a most wretched performance. These particulars, perhaps a little too long and tedious, are gleaned from the "Abregé" de la Vie de Baillet, printed in the two last editions of the work just described.

[127] It will not be necessary to notice all the multifarious productions, in MS. and in print, of this indefatigable bibliographer; who had cut out work enough for the lives of ten men, each succeeding the other, and well employed from morn 'till even, to execute. This is Marchand's round criticism: Dict. Hist. vol. i., p. 100. Beughem's Incunabula Typographica, 1688, 12mo., is both jejune and grossly erroneous. The "Bibliographia Eruditorum Critico-Curiosa," 1689, 1701, 4 vols., 12mo., being an alphabetical account of writers—extracts from whom are in the public literary Journals of Europe from 1665 to 1700—with the title of their works—is Beughem's best production, and if each volume had not had a separate alphabet, and contained additions upon additions, the work would have proved highly useful. His "Gallia Euridita," Amst., 1683, 12mo., is miserably perplexing. In addition to Marchand, consult the Polyhist. Literar. of Morhof, vol. i., p. 179; and the note therein subjoined. See also "Bibl. Creven.," vol. v., p. 298: Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., nos. 6273-4: 6281-2.

Phil. You have at length reached the close of the 17th century; but my limited knowledge of bibliographical literature supplies me with the recollection of two names which you have passed over: I mean, Thomas Blount and Antony-a-wood. There is surely something in these authors relating to editions of the works of the learned.

Lysand. You have anticipated me in the mention of these names. I had not forgotten them. With the former,[128] I have no very intimate acquaintance; but of the latter I could talk in commendation till dinner time. Be sure, my good Lisardo, that you obtain both editions of the Athenæ Oxoniensis.[129]

[128] Sir Thomas Pope Blount's "Censura Celebriorum Authorum," Londini, 1690, folio, is unquestionably a learned work—the production of a rural and retired life—"Umbraticam enim vitam et ab omni strepitu remotam semper in delitiis habui,"—says its author, in the preface. It treats chiefly of the most learned men, and sparingly of the English. His "Remarks upon Poetry," Lond., 1694, 4to. (in English) is more frequently read and referred to. It is a pity that he had not left out the whole of what relates to the Greek and Latin, and confined himself entirely to the English, poets. A life of Sir Thomas Pope Blount will be found in the new edition of the Biographia Britannica.

[129] The first, and, what Hearne over and over again calls the genuine edition of the Athenæ Oxoniensis, was published in two folio volumes, 1691, 1692. That a third volume was intended by the author himself may be seen from Hearne's remarks in his Thom. Caii. Vind. Antiq. Oxon., vol. i., p. xliii. For the character of the work consult his Rob. de Avesb., pp. xxvi, xxxiii. After the lapse of nearly half a century, it was judged expedient to give a new edition of these valuable biographical memoirs; and Dr. Tanner, afterwards bishop of St. Asaph, was selected to be the editor of it. It was well known that Wood had not only made large corrections to his own printed text, but had written nearly 500 new lives—his MS. of both being preserved in the Ashmolean Museum. This new edition, therefore, had every claim to public notice. When it appeared, it was soon discovered to be a corrupt and garbled performance; and that the genuine text of Wood, as well in his correctness of the old, as in his compositions of the new, lives, had been most capriciously copied. Dr. Tanner, to defend himself, declared that Tonson "would never let him see one sheet as they printed it." This was sufficiently infamous for the bookseller; but the editor ought surely to have abandoned a publication thus faithlessly conducted, or to have entered his caveat in the preface, when it did appear, that he would not be answerable for the authenticity of the materials: neither of which were done. He wrote, however, an exculpatory letter to Archbishop Wake, which the reader may see at length in Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, vol. ii., p. 304. Consult the life of the author in Mr. Gutch's valuable reprint of Wood's "History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford," 1792, 4to., 2 vols.: also, Freytag's Analect. Literar., vol. ii., 1105. I have great pleasure in closing this note, by observing that Mr. Philip Bliss, of St. John's College, Oxford, is busily engaged in giving us, what we shall all be glad to hail, a new and faithful edition of Wood's text of the Athenæ Oxoniensis, in five or six quarto volumes.

46We have now reached the boundaries of the 17th century, and are just entering upon the one which is past: and yet I have omitted to mention the very admirable Polyhistor. Literarius of Morhof:[130] a work by which I have been in a great measure guided in the opinions pronounced upon the bibliographers already47 introduced to you. This work, under a somewhat better form, and with a few necessary omissions and additions, one could wish to see translated into our own language. The name of Maittaire strikes us with admiration and respect at the very opening of the 18th century. His elaborate Annales Typographici have secured him the respect of posterity.[131] Le Long, whose pursuits were48 chiefly biblical and historical, was his contemporary; an able, sedulous, and learned bibliographer. His whole soul was in his library; and he never spared the most painful toil in order to accomplish the various objects49 of his inquiry.[132] And here, my dear friends, let me pay a proper tribute of respect to the memory of an eminently learned and laborious scholar and bibliographer: I mean John Albert Fabricius. His labours[133] shed a50 lustre upon the scholastic annals of the 18th century; for he opened, as it were, the gates of literature to the inquiring student; inviting him to enter the field and contemplate the diversity and beauty of the several flowers which grew therein—telling him by whom they were planted, and explaining how their growth and luxuriancy were to be regulated. There are few instructors to whom we owe so much; none to whom we are more indebted. Let his works, therefore, have a handsome binding, and a conspicuous place in your libraries: for happy is that man who has them at hand to facilitate his inquiries, or to solve his doubts. While Fabricius was thus laudably exercising his great talents in the cause of ancient literature, the illustrious name of Leibnitz[134] appeared as author of a work of essential utility to the historian and bibliographer. I allude to his Scriptores Rerum Brunwicensium, which has received a well pointed compliment from the polished pen of Gibbon. After the successful labours of Fabricius and Leibnitz, we may notice those of Struvius! whose Historical Library[135] should be in every philological collection.

[130] Daniel George Morhof, professor of poetry, eloquence, and history, was librarian of the University of Khiel. He published various works, but the above—the best edition of which is of the date of 1747—is by far the most learned and useful—"liber non sua laude privandus; cum primus fere fuerit Morhofius qui hanc amœniorum literarum partem in meliorum redigerit." Vogt., pref. ix., edit. 1793. Its leading error is the want of method. His "Princeps Medicus," 1665, 4to., is a very singular dissertation upon the cure of the evil by the royal touch; in the efficacy of which the author appears to have believed. His "Epistola de scypho vitreo per sonum humanæ vocis rupto," Kiloni, 1703, 4to.—which was occasioned by a wine merchant of Amsterdam breaking a wine-glass by the strength of his voice—is said to be full of curious matter. Morhof died A.D. 1691, in his 53rd year: beloved by all who knew the excellent and amiable qualities of his head and heart. He was so laborious that he wrote during his meals. His motto, chosen by himself,—Pietate, Candore, Prudentia, should never be lost sight of by bibliomaniacs! His library was large and select. These particulars are gleaned from the Dict. Historique, Caen, 1789, vol. vi., p. 350.

[131] A compendious account of Maittaire will be found in the third edition of my Introduction to the Knowledge of rare and valuable Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. i., p. 148. See too Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, &c., vol iii., p. ix. The various volumes of his Annales Typographici are well described in the Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v. p. 287. To these may be added, in the bibliographical department, his Historia Stephanorum, vitas ipsorum ac libros complectens, 1709, 8vo.—and the Historia Typographorum aliquot Parisiensium vitas et libros complectens, 1717, 8vo.—Of these two latter works, (which, from a contemporaneous catalogue, I find were originally published at 4s. the common paper,) Mr. T. Grenville has beautiful copies upon large paper. The books are rare in any shape. The principal merit of Maittaire's Annales Typographici consists in a great deal of curious matter detailed in the notes; but the absence of the "lucidus ordo" renders the perusal of these fatiguing and unsatisfactory. The author brought a full and well-informed mind to the task he undertook—but he wanted taste and precision in the arrangement of his materials. The eye wanders over a vast indigested mass; and information, when it is to be acquired with excessive toil, is, comparatively, seldom acquired. Panzer has adopted an infinitely better plan, on the model of Orlandi; and if his materials had been printed with the same beauty with which they appear to have been composed, and his annals had descended to as late a period as those of Maittaire, his work must have made us eventually forget that of his predecessor. The bibliographer is, no doubt, aware that of Maittaire's first volume there are two editions: why the author did not reprint, in the second edition (1733), the fac-simile of the epigram and epistle of Lascar prefixed to the edition of the Anthology, 1496, and the Disquisition concerning the ancient editions of Quintilian (both of which were in the first edition of 1719), is absolutely inexplicable. Maittaire was sharply attacked for this absurdity, in the "Catalogus Auctorum," of the "Annus Tertius Sæcularis Inv. Art. Typog.," Harlem, 1741, 8vo., p. 11. "Rara certe Librum augendi methodus! (exclaims the author) Satis patet auctorem hoc eo fecisse concilio, ut et primæ et secundæ Libri sui editioni pretium suum constaret, et una æque ac altera Lectoribus necessaria esset." Copies of the Typographical Antiquities by Maittaire, upon large paper, are now exceedingly scarce. The work, in this shape, has a noble appearance. While Maittaire was publishing his Typographical Annals, Orlandi put forth a similar work under the title of "Origine e Progressi della Stampa o sia dell' Arte Impressoria, e Notizie dell' Opere stampate dall' Anno 1462, sino all' Anno 1500." Bologna, 1722, 4to. Of this work, which is rather a compendious account of the several books published in the period above specified, there are copies upon strong writing paper—which the curious prefer. Although I have a long time considered it as superseded by the labours of Maittaire and Panzer, yet I will not withhold from the reader the following critique: "Cet ouvrage doit presque nécessairement être annexé à celui de Maittaire à cause de plusieurs notices et recherches, qui le rendent fort curieux et intéressant." Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 286-7. As we are upon publications treating of Typography, we may notice the "Annalium Typographicorum selecta quædam capita," Hamb., 1740, 4to., of Lackman; and Hirschius's supplement to the typographical labours of his predecessors—in the "Librorum ab Anno I. usque ad Annum L. Sec. xvi. Typis exscriptorum ex Libraria quadam supellectile, Norimbergæ collecta et observata, Millenarius I." &c. Noriberg, 1746, 4to. About this period was published a very curious, and now uncommon, octavo volume, of about 250 pages, by Seiz; called "Annus Tertius Sæcularis Inventæ Artis Typographicæ," Harlem, 1741—with several very interesting cuts relating to Coster, the supposed inventor of the art of printing. It is a little strange that Lysander, in the above account of eminent typographical writers, should omit to mention Chevillier—whose L'Origine de l'Imprimerie de Paris, &c., 1694, 4to., is a work of great merit, and is generally found upon every bibliographer's shelf. Baillet had supplied him with a pretty strong outline, in his short account of Parisian printers. All the copies of Chevillier's book, which I have seen, are printed upon what is called Foxey paper. I believe there are none upon large paper. We may just notice La Caille's Histoire de l'Imprimerie et de la Librarie, 1689, 4to., as a work full of errors. In order that nothing may be wanting to complete the typographical collection of the curious, let the "portraits of booksellers and printers, from ancient times to our own," published at Nuremberg, in 1726, folio—and "the Devices and Emblems" of the same, published at the same place, in 1730, folio, be procured, if possible. The Latin titles of these two latter works, both by Scholtzius, will be found in the Bibl. Crevenn. vol. v. 281. Renouard mentions the last in his "Annales de l'Imprimerie des Alde," vol. ii. p. 63. Meanwhile the Monumenta Typographica of Wolfius, Hamb., 1740, 2 vols., 8vo., embraces a number of curious and scattered dissertations upon this interesting and valuable art. It may be obtained for 8s. or 10s. at present! The Amœnitatus Literariæ, &c., of Schelhorn had like to have been passed over. It was published in 14 small octavo volumes, at Frankfort and Leipsic, from the year 1725 to 1731 inclusive. The Amœnitates Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ et Literariæ, of the same person, and published at the same place in two octavo volumes, 1738, should accompany the foregoing work. Both are scarce and sought after in this country. In the former there are some curious dissertations, with cuts, upon early printed books. Concerning the most ancient edition of the Latin Bibles, Schelhorn put forth an express treatise, which was published at Ulm in 1760, 4to. This latter work is very desirable to the curious in biblical researches, as one meets with constant mention of Schelhorn's bible. Let me not omit Zapf's Annales Typographiæ Augustanæ, Aug. Vindel., 1778; which was republished, with copious additions, at Augsbourg, in two parts, 1786, 4to.—but unluckily, this latter is printed in the German language. Upon Spanish Typography (a very interesting subject), there is a dissertation by Raymond Diosdado Caballero, entitled "De Prima Typographiæ Hispanicæ Ætate Specimen," Rome, 1793, 4to.

[132] From the Latin life of Le Long, prefixed to his Bibliotheca Sacra, we learn that he was an adept in most languages, ancient and modern; and that "in that part of literature connected with Bibliography (Typographorum et Librorum Historia), he retained every thing so correctly in his memory that he yielded to few literary men, certainly to no bookseller." Of the early years of such a man it is a pity that we have not a better account. His Bibliotheca Sacra, Paris, 1725, folio, has been republished by Masch and Boerner, in four volumes, 4to., 1778, and enriched with copious and valuable additions. This latter work is quite unrivalled: no young or old theologian, who takes any interest in the various editions of the Holy Scriptures, in almost all languages, can possibly dispense with such a fund of sacred literature. The Bibliothéque Historique de la France, 1719, folio, by the same learned and industrious bibliographer, has met with a fate equally fortunate. Fontette republished it in 1768, in five folio volumes, and has immortalized himself and his predecessor by one of the most useful and splendid productions that ever issued from the press. De Bure used to sell copies of it upon large paper, in sheets, for 258 livres: according to the advertisement subjoined to his catalogue of Count Macarty's books in 1779, 8vo. The presses of England, which groan too much beneath the weight of ephemeral travels and trumpery novels, are doomed, I fear, long to continue strangers to such works of national utility.

[133] The chief labours of Fabricius ("Vir ελληνίχώτατος"—as Reimannus truly calls him), connected with the present object of our pursuit, have the following titles: 1. "Bibliotheca Græca, sive Notitia Scriptorum Græcorum, &c.," Hamb. 1705-8-14-18, &c., 4to., 14 vols.—of which a new edition is now published by Harles, with great additions, and a fresh arrangement of the original matter: twelve volumes have already been delivered to the public. 2. Bibliotheca Latina; first published in one volume, 1703—then in three volumes, 1721, and afterwards in two volumes, 1728, 4to.;—but the last and best edition is that of 1773, in three vols. 8vo., published by Ernesti at Leipsic—and yet not free from numerous errors. 3. Bibliographia Antiquaria, 1716, 4to.: a new edition of Schaffshausen, in 1760, 4to., has superseded the old one. A work of this kind in our own language would be very useful, and even entertaining. Fabricius has executed it in a masterly manner. 4. Bibliotheca Ecclesiastica, in quâ continentur variorum authorum tractatus de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis, Hamb., 1718, folio. An excellent work; in which the curious after theological tracts and their authors will always find valuable information. It is generally sharply contended for at book-auctions. 5. Bibliotheca Latina Mediæ et Infimæ Ætatis, &c., Leipsic, 1734, 6 vols. 8vo.—again, with Schoettgenius's supplement, in 1754, 4to., 6 vols. in 3. This latter is in every respect the best edition of a work which is absolutely indispensable to the philologist. A very excellent synopsis or critical account of Fabricius's works was published at Ams., 1738, in 4to., which the student should procure. Let me here recommend the Historia Bibliothecæ Fabricianæ, compiled by John Fabricius, 1717-24, 6 vols. 4to., as a necessary and interesting supplement to the preceding works of John Albert Fabricius. I have often gleaned some curious bibliographical intelligence from its copious pages. The reader may consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 272-3.

[134] He is noticed here only as the author of "Idea Bibliothecæ Publicæ secundum classes scientiarum ordinandæ, fusior et contractior," and of the "Scriptores Rerum Brunswicarum," Hanov., 1707, fol., 3 vols. "The antiquarian, who blushes at his alliance with Thomas Hearne, will feel his profession ennobled by the name of Leibnitz. That extraordinary genius embraced and improved the whole circle of human science; and, after wrestling with Newton and Clark in the sublime regions of geometry and metaphysics, he could descend upon earth to examine the uncouth characters and barbarous Latin of a chronicle or charter." Gibbon: Post. Works, vol. ii., 712. Consult also Mem. de l'Inst., vol. v., 648.

[135] I will not pretend to enumerate all the learned works of Burchard Gotthlieb Struvius. His "Bibliotheca Librorum Rariorum" was published in 1719, 4to. The first edition of the Bibliotheca Historica appeared as early as 1705: a very valuable one was published by Buder, in 1740, 2 vols.: but the last, and by far the most copious and valuable, is that which exhibits the joint editorial labours of Buder and Meusel, in eleven octavo volumes, 1782, 1802—though I believe it does not contain every thing which may be found in the edition of the Bibl. Hist. Selecta, by Jugler, 1754, three vols. 8vo.: vide pp. iv. and vii. of the preface of Meusel's edition. The Bibl. Hist. Select., by Jugler, was formerly published under the title of Introd. in notitiam rei literariæ et usum Bibliothecæ. Jugler's edition of it contains a stiff portrait of himself in a finely embroidered satin waistcoat. The first volume, relating to foreign libraries, is very interesting: but, unluckily, the work is rare. Of Struvius's Bibl. Saxonica, 1736, 8vo., I never saw a copy.

51Phil. You are advancing towards the middle of the 18th century, in enumerating foreign publications, without calling to mind that we have, at home, many laudable publications relating to typography and bibliography, which merit at least some notice, if not commendation.

Lysand. I thank you for the reproof. It is true, I was running precipitately to introduce a crowd of foreigners to your notice, without paying my respects, by the way, to the Historical Libraries of Bishop Nicolson, the Bibliotheca Literaria of Wasse, and the Librarian of William Oldys. Nor should I omit to mention the still more creditable performance of Bishop Tanner: while the typographical publications of Watson, Palmer, and Middleton,[136] may as well be52 admitted into your libraries, if you are partial to such works; although upon this latter subject, the elegant quarto volume of Ames merits particular commendation.

[136] Let us go gently over this British ground, which Lysander depictures in rather a flowery manner. The first edition of Bishop Nicolson's English Historical Library was published in the years 1696, 1697, and 1699—comprehending the entire three parts. In 1702, came forth the Scottish Historical library; and in 1724, the Irish Historical Library. These three libraries, with the author's letter to Bishop Kennet in defence of the same, are usually published in one volume; and the last and best editions of the same are those of 1736, fol., and 1776, 4to. Mr. John Nichols has recently published an entertaining posthumous work of the bishop's Epistolary Correspondence, in two octavo volumes, 1809. Some of these letters throw light and interest upon the literature of the times. As to the authority of Bishop Nicolson, in his historical matters, I fear the sharp things which are said of his libraries by Tyrrell (Pref. to Hist. Engl., vol. ii., p. 5.), and Wood (Athen. Brit., vol. ii., col. 980, ed. 1721), all which authorities are referred to by Mr. Nichols, are sufficiently founded upon truth. He was a violent and wrong-headed writer in many respects; but he had acumen, strength, and fancy. The Bibliotheca Literaria of Wasse (although his name does not appear as the professed editor) is a truly solid and valuable publication; worthy of the reputation of the learned editor of Sallust. The work was published in numbers, which were sold at one shilling each; but, I suppose from the paucity of classical readers, it could not be supported beyond the 10th number (1724); when it ceased to be published. Some of the dissertations are very interesting as well as erudite. Oldys's British Librarian was published in six numbers, during the first six months of the year 1737; forming, with the index, an octavo volume of 402 pages. It is difficult to say, from the conclusion (p. 373-4), whether the work was dropped for want of encouragement, or from the capriciousness or indolence of the author: but I suspect that the ground was suffered "to lie fallow" (to use his own words) till it was suffocated with weeds—owing to the former cause: as Oldys never suffered his pen to lie idle while he could "put money in his purse" from his lucubrations. We shall speak of him more particularly in Part v. Meanwhile, the reader is informed that the British Librarian is a work of no common occurrence, or mean value. It is rigidly correct, if not very learned, in bibliographical information. I once sent three guineas to procure a copy of it, according to its description, upon large paper; but, on its arrival, I found it to be not quite so large as my own tolerably amply-margined copy. Bishop Tanner's Bibliotheca Britanico-Hibernica, which cost the author forty years' labour, was published in 1748, folio; with a preface by Dr. Wilkins. We must receive it with many thanks, imperfect and erroneous as many parts of it are; but I hope the period is not very remote when a literary friend, living, as he constantly is, in an inexhaustible stock of British literature of all kinds, will give us a new edition, with copious additions and corrections, translated into our native tongue. The History of the Art of Printing by Watson, Edit., 1713, 8vo., is at best but a meagre performance. It happens to be rare, and, therefore, bibliomaniacs hunt after it. My copy of it, upon large paper, cost me 1l. 8s. It was formerly Paton's, of Edinburgh, a knowing antiquary in Scottish printing. The History of Printing, by Palmer, 1733, 4to., and Dr. Middleton's Dissertations upon the same, 1735, 4to., have been particularly treated by me, as well as the similar works of Ames and Herbert, in the first volume of my new edition of Herbert's British Typographical Antiquities; and the public is too well acquainted with the merits and demerits of each to require their being pointed out in the present place. I will close this note by observing that the Censuria Literaria, in ten volumes octavo; and the British Bibliographer (now publishing) which grew out of it; Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books, six volumes, 8vo.; and Mr. Savage's continuation of The British Librarian; are works which render the list of English publications, relating to typography and curious books, almost complete. I believe I may safely affirm that the period is not very distant when some of these latter publications, from the comparatively few copies which were struck off, will become very rare.

Lis. I am glad to hear such handsome things said of the performances of our own countrymen. I was fearful, from your frequent sly allusions, that we had nothing worth mentioning. But proceed with your Germans, Italians, and Frenchmen.

Lysand. You draw too severe a conclusion. I have made no sly allusions. My invariable love of truth53 impels me to state facts as they arise. That we have philosophers, poets, scholars, divines, lovers and collectors of books, equal to those of any nation upon earth is most readily admitted. But bibliography has never been, till now, a popular (shall I say fashionable?) pursuit amongst the English.

Lis. Well, if what you call bibliography has produced such eminent men, and so many useful works, as those which have been just enumerated, I shall begin to have some little respect for this department of literature; and, indeed, I already feel impatient to go through the list of your bibliographical heroes.—Who is the next champion deserving of notice?

Lysand. This confession gives me sincere pleasure. Only indulge me in my rambling manner of disquisition, and I will strive to satisfy you in every reasonable particular.

If ever you should be disposed to form a bibliographical collection, do not omit securing, when it comes across you, the best edition of Du Fresnoy's[137] Methode pour étudier l'Histoire: it is rare, and sought after in this country. And now—softly approach, and gently strew the flowers upon, the tomb of worthy Niceron:[138] Low lies the head, and quiescent has become the pen, of this most excellent and learned man!—whose productions have furnished biographers with some of their54 choicest materials, and whose devotion to literature and history has been a general theme of admiration and praise. The mention of this illustrious name, in such a manner, has excited in my mind a particular train of ideas. Let me, therefore, in imagination, conduct you both to yonder dark avenue of trees—and, descending a small flight of steps, near the bottom of which gushes out a salient stream—let us enter a spacious grotto, where every thing is cool and silent; and where small alabaster busts, of the greater number of those bibliographers I am about to mention, decorate the niches on each side of it. How tranquil and how congenial is such a resting place!—But let us pursue our inquires. Yonder sharp and well turned countenances, at the entrance of the grotto, are fixed there as representations of Cardinal Quirini[139] and Goujet; the Bibliothéque Françoise of the latter of whom—with which I could wish book collectors, in general, to have a more intimate acquaintance—has obtained universal reputation.[140] Next to him, you55 may mark the amiable and expressive features of David Clement:[141] who, in his Bibliothéque Curieuse, has shown us how he could rove, like a bee, from flower to flower; sip what was sweet; and bring home his gleanings to a well-furnished hive. The principal fault of this bee (if I must keep up the simile) is that he was not sufficiently choice in the flowers which he visited; and, of course, did not always extract the purest honey. Nearly allied to Clement in sprightliness, and an equally gossipping bibliographer, was Prosper Marchand;[142] whose56 works present us with some things no where else to be found, and who had examined many curious and rare volumes; as well as made himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of bibliography previous to his own times.

[137] The last edition of this work is the one which was printed in fifteen volumes, crown 8vo., at Paris, 1772: with a copious index—and proportionable improvements in corrections and additions. It is now rare. I threw out the old edition of 1729, four vols., 4to., upon large paper; and paid three guineas to boot for the new one, neatly bound.

[138] It is quite delightful to read the account, in the Dict. Hist., published at Caen, 1789, (vol. vi., p. 475) of Jean Pierre Niceron; whose whole life seems to have been devoted to bibliography and literary history. Frank, amiable, industrious, communicative, shrewd, and learned—Niceron was the delight of his friends, and the admiration of the public. His "Memoires pour servir à l'Histoire des Hommes Illustres, &c., avec un Catalogue raisonné de leur Ouvrages," was published from the years 1729 to 1740, in forty crown 8vo. volumes. A supplement of three volumes, the latter of which is divided into two parts, renders this very useful, and absolutely necessary, work complete in 44 volumes. The bibliomaniac can never enjoy perfect rest till he is in possession of it!

[139] Quirini published his "Specimen variæ Literaturæ quæ in urbe Brixiæ ejusque Ditione paulo post Typographiæ incunabula florebat," &c., at Brescia, in 1739; two vols., 8vo.: then followed "Catalogo delle Opere del Cardinale Quirini uscite alla luce quasi tuttee da' Torchi di mi Gian Maria Rizzardi Stampatore in Brescia," 8vo. In 1751, Valois addressed to him his "Discours sur les Bibliothéques Publiques," in 8vo.: his Eminence's reply to the same was also published in 8vo. But the Cardinal's chief reputation, as a bibliographer, arises from the work entitled "De Optimorum Scriptorum Editionibus." Lindaugiæ, 1761, 4to. This is Schelhorn's edition of it, which is chiefly coveted, and which is now a rare book in this country. It is a little surprising that Lysander, in his love of grand national biographical works, mingled with bibliographical notices, should have omitted to mention the Bibliotheca Lusitana of Joaov and Barbosa, published at Lisbon, 1741, in four magnificent folio volumes. A lover of Portuguese literature will always consider this as "opus splendidissimum et utilissimum."

[140] La Bibliothéque Françoise, ou Histoire de la Littérature Françoise, of Claude Pierre Goujet, in eighteen volumes, crown 8vo., 1741, like the similar work of Niceron, is perhaps a little too indiscriminate in the choice of its objects: good, bad, and indifferent authors being enlisted into the service. But it is the chéf-d'œuvre of Goujet, who was a man of wonderful parts; and no bibliographer can be satisfied without it. Goujet was perhaps among the most learned, if not the "facile princeps," of those who cultivated ancient French literature. He liberally assisted Niceron in his Memoires, and furnished Moreri with 2000 corrections for his Dictionary.

[141] The "Bibliothèque Curieuse, Historique et Critique, ou Catalogue raisonné de Livres difficiles à trouver," of David Clement, published at Gottingen, Hanover, and Leipsic, in 9 quarto volumes, from the year 1750 to 1760—is, unfortunately, an unfinished production; extending only to the letter H. The reader may find a critique upon it in my Introduction to the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. i., p. 370; which agrees, for the greater part, with the observations in the Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 290. The work is a sine quâ non with collectors; but in this country it begins to be—to use the figurative language of some of the German bibliographers—"scarcer than a white crow,"—or "a black swan." The reader may admit which simile he pleases—or reject both! But, in sober sadness, it is very rare, and unconscionably dear. I know not whether it was the same Clement who published "Les cinq Années Littéraires, ou Lettres de M. Clément, sur les ouvrages de Littérature, qui ont parus dans les Années 1748—á 1752;" Berlin, 1756, 12mo., two volumes. Where is the proof of the assertion, so often repeated, that Clement borrowed his notion of the above work from Wendler's Dissertatio de variis raritatis librorum impressorum causis, Jen., 1711, 4to.?—Wendler's book is rare among us: as is also Berger's Diatribe de libris rarioribus, &c., Berol. 1729, 8vo.

[142] The principal biographical labours of this clever man have the following titles: "Histoire de l'Imprimerie," La Haye, 1740, 4to.—an elegant and interesting volume, which is frequently consulted by typographical antiquaries. Of Mercier's supplement to it, see note in the ensuing pages under the word "Mercier." His "Dictionnaire Historique, ou Memoires Critiques et Littéraires," in two folio volumes, 1758, was a posthumous production; and a very extraordinary and amusing bibliographical common-place book it is! My friend Mr. Douce, than whom few are better able to appreciate such a work, will hardly allow any one to have a warmer attachment to it, or a more thorough acquaintance with its contents, than himself—and yet there is no bibliographical work to which I more cheerfully or frequently turn! In the editor's advertisement we have an interesting account of Marchand: who left behind, for publication, a number of scraps of paper, sometimes no bigger than one's nail; upon which he had written his remarks in so small a hand-writing that the editor and printer were obliged to make use of a strong magnifying glass to decypher it—"et c'est ici (continues the former) sans doute le premier livre qui n'ait pu être imprimé sans le secours continuel du Microscope." Marchand died in 1753, and left his MSS. and books, in the true spirit of a bibliomaniac, to the University of Leyden. I see, from the conclusion of this latter authority, that a new edition of Marchand's History of Printing was in meditation to be published, after the publication of the Dictionary. Whether Mercier availed himself of Marchand's corrected copy, when he put forth his supplement to the latter's typographical history, I have no means of ascertaining. Certainly there never was a second edition of the Histoire de l'Imprimerie, by Marchsnd.

Perhaps I ought to have noticed the unoccupied niche under which the name of Vogt[143] is inscribed; the title57 of whose work has been erroneously considered more seductive than the contents of it. As we go on, we approach Fournier; a man of lively parts, and considerable taste. His works are small in size, but they are written and printed with singular elegance.[144] See what a respectable and almost dignified air the highly finished bust of the pensionary Meerman[145] assumes! Few men58 attained to greater celebrity in his day; and few men better deserved the handsome things which were said of him. Polite, hospitable, of an inquisitive and active turn of mind—passionately addicted to rare and curious books—his library was a sort of bibliographical emporium, where the idle and the diligent alike met with a gracious reception. Peace to the manes of such a man! Turn we now round to view the features of that truly eminent and amiable bibliographer, De Bure!

[143] The earliest edition of Vogt's Catalogus Librorum Rariorum was published in 1732; afterwards in 1737; again in 1748; again in 1752, much enlarged and improved; and, for the last time, greatly enlarged and corrected, forming by far the "editio optima," of the work—at Frankfort and Leipsic, 1793, 8vo.—We are told, in the new preface to this last edition, that the second and third impressions were quickly dispersed and anxiously sought after. Vogt is a greater favourite with me than with the generality of bibliographers. His plan, and the execution of it, are at once clear and concise; but he is too prodigal of the term "rare." Whilst these editions of Vogt's amusing work were coming forth, the following productions were, from time to time, making their appearance, and endeavouring perhaps to supplant its reputation. First of all Beyer put forth his Memoriæ Historico-Criticæ Librorum Rariorum. Dresd. and Lips., 1734, 8vo.; as well has his Arcana Sacra Bibliothecarum Dresdensium, 1738, 8vo.—with a continuation to the latter, preceded by an epistle concerning the electoral library, separately published in the same year. Then Engel (in Republicâ Helveto-Bernensi Bibliothecarius primus) published his Bibliotheca selectissima, sive Catalogus librorum in omni genere scientiarum rarissimorum, &c., Bernæ, 1743, 8vo.; in which work some axioms are laid down concerning the rarity of books not perhaps sufficiently correct; but in which a great deal of curious matter, very neatly executed, will repay the reader for any expense he may incur in the purchase of it. Afterwards Freytag's Analecta Literaria de libris rarioribus, Lips., 1750, two vols. 8vo.;—and his Adparatus Literarius ubi libri partim antiqui partim rari recensentur, Lipsiæ, 1755, three volumes 8vo., highly gratified the curious in bibliography. In the former work the books are described alphabetically, which perhaps is the better plan: in the latter, they are differently arranged, with an alphabetical index. The latter is perhaps the more valuable of the two, although the former has long been a great favourite with many; yet, from Freytag's own confession, he was not then so knowing in books, and had not inspected the whole of what he described. They are both requisite to the collector; and their author, who was an enthusiast in bibliography, ranks high in the literature of his country. In the last place we may notice the Florilegium Historico-Criticum Librorum Rariorum, cui multa simul scitu jucunda intersperguntur, &c., of Daniel Gerdes; first published at Groningen, in 1740; but afterwards in 1763, 8vo., at the same place, the third and best edition. It was meant, in part, to supply the omission of some rare books in Vogt: and under this title it was published in the Miscellaneæ Groninganæ, vol. ii., and vol. iii. This work of Gerdes should have a convenient place in every bibliographical cabinet. I will close this attempt to supply Lysander's omission of some very respectable names connected with bibliography by exhorting the reader to seize hold of a work (whenever it comes across him, which will be rarely) entitled Bibliotheca Librorum Rariorum Universalis, by John Jacob Bauer, a bookseller at Nuremberg, and printed there in 1770, 8vo., two vols.; with three additional volumes by way of Supplement, 1774-1791, which latter are usually bound in one. It is an alphabetical Dictionary, like Vogt's and Fournier's, of what are called rare books. The descriptions are compendious, and the references respectable, and sometimes numerous. My copy of this scarce, dear, and wretchedly-printed, work, which is as large and clean as possible, and bound in pale Russia, with marbled edges to the leaves—cost me 5l. 5s.

[144] We are indebted to Pierre Simon Fournier le jeune, for some very beautiful interesting little volumes connected with engraving and printing. 1. Dissertation sur l'Origine et les Progrés de l'art de Graver en Bois, &c., Paris, 1758, 8vo. 2. De l'Origine et des Productions de l'Imprimerie primitive en taille de bois, Paris, 1759, 8vo. 3. Traité sur l'Origine et les Progrés de l'Imprimerie, Paris, 1764. 4. Observations sur un Ouvrage intitulé Vindiciæ Typographicæ, Paris, 1760. These treatises are sometimes bound in one volume. They are all elegantly printed, and rare. We may also mention—5. Epreuves de deux petits caractères nouvellement gravès, &c., Paris, 1757; and especially his chef-d'œuvre. 6. Manuel Typographique, Paris, 1764-6, 8vo., two vols.: of which some copies want a few of the cuts: those upon large paper (there is one of this kind in the Cracherode collections) are of the first rarity. Fournier's typographical manual should be in every printing office: his types "are the models (says his namesake,) of those of the best printed books at Paris at this day." Dict. Port. de Bibliogr., p. 218, edit. 1706.

[145] The Origines Typographicæ of Meerman, which was published at the Hague in two handsome quarto volumes, 1765, (after the plan or prospectus had been published in 1761, 8vo.), secured its author a very general and rather splendid reputation, till the hypothesis advanced therein, concerning Laurence Coster, was refuted by Heinecken. The reader is referred to a note in the first volume of my new edition of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain, p. xxxi. It is somewhat singular that, notwithstanding Meerman's hypothesis is now exploded by the most knowing bibliographers, his dissertation concerning the claims of Haerlem should have been reprinted in French, with useful notes, and an increased catalogue of all the books published in the Low Countries, during the 15th century. This latter work is entitled "De l'Invention de l'Imprimerie, ou analyse des deux ouvrages publiés sur cette matière par M. Meerman, &c.; suivi d'une notice chronologique et raisonnée des livres avec et sans date," Paris, 1809, 8vo. The author is Mons. Jansen. Prefixed there is an interesting account, of Meerman. Lysander might have noticed, with the encomium which it justly merits the Vindiciæ Typographicæ of Schoepflin, printed at Strasburg, in 1760, 4to.; where the claimes of Gutenburg (a native of the same city) to the invention of the typographic art are very forcibly and successfully maintained.

Lis. You absolutely transport me! I see all these interesting busts—I feel the delicious coolness of the grotto—I hear the stream running over a bed of pebbles—The zephyrs play upon my cheeks—O dolt that I was to abuse——

Phil. Hear him, hear him![146]

[146] Vide note at p. 37, ante.

Lysand. From my heart I pity and forgive you. But only look upon the bust of De Bure; and every time that you open his Bibliographie Instructive,[147] confess,59 with a joyful heart, the obligations you are under to the author of it. Learn, at the same time, to despise the petty cavils of the whole Zoilean race; and blush for the Abbé Rive,[148] that he could lend his name, and give60 the weight of his example, to the propagation of coarse and acrimonious censures.

[147] The works of Guillaume-François de Bure deserve a particular notice. He first published his Musæum Typographicum, Paris, 1755, 12mo.; of which he printed but twelve copies, and gave away every one of them (including even his own) to his book-loving friends. It was published under the name of G.F. Rebude. Peignot is very particular in his information concerning this rare morçeau of bibliography—see his Bibliographie Curieuse, p. 21. Afterwards appeared the Bibliographie Instructive, in seven volumes, 8vo., 1763-68—succeeded by a small volume of a catalogue of the anonymous publications, and an essay upon Bibliography: this 8th volume is absolutely necessary to render the work complete, although it is frequently missing. Fifty copies of this work were printed upon large paper, of a quarto size. Its merits are acknowledged by every candid and experienced critic. In the third place, came forth his Catalogue des Livres, &c., de L.J. Gaignat, Paris, 1769, 8vo., two vols.: not, however, before he had published two brochures—"Appel aux Savans," &c., 1763, 8vo.—and "Reponse à une Critique de la Bibliographie Instructive," 1763, 8vo.—as replies to the tart attacks of the Abbé Rive. The Catalogue of Gaignat, and the fairness of his answers to his adversary's censures, served to place De Bure on the pinnacle of bibliographical reputation; while Rive was suffered to fret and fume in unregarded seclusion. He died in the year 1782, aged 50: and was succeeded in his bibliographical labours by his cousin William; who, with Mons. Van-Praet, prepared the catalogue of the Duke de la Valliere's library, in 1783, and published other valuable catalogues as late as the year 1801. But both are eclipsed, in regard to the number of such publications, by their predecessor Gabriel Martin; who died in the year 1761, aged 83—after having compiled 148 catalogues since the year 1705. This latter was assisted in his labours by his son Claude Martin, who died in 1788. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., 221, 422: vol iii., 277.

[148] The mention of De Bure and the Abbé Rive induces me to inform the reader that the Chasse aux Bibliographes, Paris, 1789, 8vo., of the latter, will be found a receptacle of almost every kind of gross abuse and awkward wit which could be poured forth against the respectable characters of the day. It has now become rare. The Abbé's "Notices calligraphiques et typographiques," a small tract of 16 pages—of which only 100 copies were printed—is sufficiently curious; it formed the first number of a series of intended volumes (12 or 15) "des notices calligraphiques de manuscrits des differens siécles, et des notices typographiques de livres du quinziéme siécle," but the design was never carried into execution beyond this first number. The other works of Rive are miscellaneous; but chiefly upon subjects connected with the belles lettres. He generally struck off but few copies of his publications; see the Bibliographie Curieuse, pp. 58-9; and more particularly the Dictionnaire de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 277, by the same author, where a minute list of Rive's productions is given, and of which Fournier might have availed himself in his new edition of the Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie. From Peignot, the reader is presented with the following anecdotes of this redoubted champion of bibliography. When Rive was a young man, and curate of Mollèges in Provence, the scandalous chronicle reported that he was too intimate with a young and pretty Parisian, who was a married woman, and whose husband did not fail to reproach him accordingly. Rive made no other reply than that of taking the suspicious Benedick in his arms, and throwing him headlong out of the window. Luckily he fell upon a dunghill! In the year 1789, upon a clergyman's complaining to him of the inflexible determination of a great lord to hunt upon his grounds—"Mettez-lui une messe dans le ventre"—repiled Rive. The clergyman expressing his ignorance of the nature of the advice given, the facetious Abbé replied, "Go and tear a leaf from your mass book, wrap a musket-ball in it, and discharge it at the tyrant." The Duke de la Valliere used to say—when the knowing ones at his house were wrangling about some literary or bibliographical point—"Gentlemen, I'll go and let loose my bull dog,"—and sent into them the Abbé, who speedily put them all to rights. Rive died in the year 1791, aged seventy-one. He had great parts and great application; but in misapplying both he was his own tormentor. His library was sold in 1793.

Next to the bust of De Bure, consider those of the five Italian bibliographers and literati, Haym, Fontanini, Zeno, Mazzuchelli, and Tiraboschi; which are placed in the five consecutive niches. Their works are of various merit, but are all superior to that of their predecessor Doni. Although those of the first three authors should find a place in every bibliographical collection, the productions of Mazzuchelli,[149] and especially of the immortal Tiraboschi, cannot fail to be admitted into every judicious library, whether vast or confined. Italy boasts of few literary characters of a higher class, or of a more widely-diffused reputation61 than Tiraboschi.[150] His diligence, his sagacity, his candour, his constant and patriotic exertions to do justice to the reputation of his countrymen, and to rescue departed worth from ill-merited oblivion, assign to him an exalted situation: a situation with the Poggios and Politians of former times, in the everlasting temple of Fame! Bind his Storia della Letteratura Italiana in the choicest vellum, or in the stoutest Russia; for it merits no mean covering!

[149] We may first observe that "La Libraria del Doni Fiorentino;" Vinegia, 1558, 8vo., is yet coveted by collectors as the most complete and esteemed of all the editions of this work. It is ornamented with many portraits of authors, and is now rare. Consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 275. Numerous are the editions of Haym's Biblioteca Italiana; but those of Milan, of the date of 1771, 4to., 2 vols., and 1803, 8vo. 4 vols., are generally purchased by the skilful in Italian bibliography. The best edition of Fontanini's Biblioteca dell' Eloquenza Italiana is with the annotations of Zeno, which latter are distinguished for their judgment and accuracy. It was published at Venice in 1753, 4to., 2 vols.; but it must be remembered that this edition contains only the third book of Fontanini, which is a library of the principal Italian authors. All the three books (the first two being a disquisition upon the orgin and progress of the Italian language) will be found in the preceeding Venice edition of 1737, in one volume 4to. In the year 1753-63, came forth the incomparable but unfinished work of Count Mazzuchelli, in two folio volumes, [the latter vol. being divided into four thick parts] entittled: Gli Scrittori d'Italia, cioé Notizie Storiche e Critiche intorno alle Vite e agli Scritti dei Letterati Italiani. The death of the learned author prevented the publication of it beyond the first two letters of the alphabet. The Count, however, left behind ample materials for its execution according to the original plan, which lay shamefully neglected as late as the year 1776. See Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 274. This work is rare in our own country. If the lover of Italian philology wishes to increase his critico-literary stores, let him purchase the Biblioteca degli Autori Antichi Greci, e Latini volgarizzati, &c., of Paitoni, in five quarto volumes, 1766: the Notizie Istorico-Critiche &c., degli Scrittori Viniziani, of Agostini, Venez., 1752, 4to., 2 vols.: and the Letteratura Turchesca of Giambatista Toderini, Venez., 1787, 8vo., 3 vols.—works nearly perfect of their kind, and (especially the latter one) full of curious matter.

[150] The best edition of his Letteratura Italiana is that of Modena, 1787-94, 4to., in fifteen volumes, as it contains his last corrections and additions, and has the advantage of a complete index. An excellent account of the life and labours of its wonderful author appeared in the fifth volume of the Athenæum, to the perusal of which I strongly recommend the reader.

The range of busts which occupies the opposite niches represents characters of a more recent date. Let us begin with Mercier;[151] a man of extraordinary, and almost unequalled, knowledge in every thing connected with bibliography and typography; of a quick apprehension, tenacious memory, and correct62 judgment; who was more anxious to detect errors in his own publications than in those of his fellow labourers in the same pursuit; an enthusiast in typographical researches—the Ulysses of bibliographers! Next to him stand the interesting busts of Saxius and Laire;[152] the latter of whom has frequently erred, but who merited not such a castigation as subsequent bibliographers have attempted to bestow upon him: in the number of which, one is sorry to rank the very respectable name of Audiffredi[153]—whose bust, you observe, immediately follows that of Laire. Audiffredi has left behind him a most enviable reputation: that of having examined libraries with a63 curious eye, and described the various books which he saw with scrupulous fidelity. There are no lively or interesting sallies, no highly-wrought, or tempting descriptions—throughout his two quarto volumes: but, in lieu of this, there is sober truth, and sound judgment. I have mentioned Audiffredi a little out of order, merely because his name is closely connected with that of Laire: but I should have first directed your attention to the sagacious countenance of Heinecken;[154] whose work upon ancient printing, and whose Dictionary of Engravers (although with the latter we have nothing just now to do) will never fail to be justly appreciated by the collector. I regret, Lisardo, for your own sake—as you are about to collect a few choice books upon typography—that you will have so much to pay for the former work, owing to its extreme rarity in this country, and to the injudicious phrenzy of a certain class of buyers, who are resolved to purchase it at almost any price. Let me not forget to notice, with the encomiums which they deserve, the useful and carefully compiled works of Seemiller, Braun, Wurdtwein, De Murr, Rossi, and Panzer, whose busts are arranged in progressive order. All these authors[155] are greatly eminent in the several64 departments which they occupy; especially Panzer—whose Annales Typographici, in regard to arrangement and fulness of information, leaves the similar work of his precedessor, Maittaire, far behind. It is unluckily printed upon wretched paper—but who rejects the pine-apple from the roughness of its coat? Get ready the wherry; man it with a choice bibliomanical crew, good Lisardo!—and smuggle over in it,65 if you can, the precious works of these latter bibliographers—for you may saunter "from rise to set of sun," from Whitechapel to Hyde-Park Corner—for them—in vain!

[151] Barthelemy, Mercier de St. Leger, died in the year 1800, and in the sixty-sixth of his age, full of reputation, and deeply regretted by those who knew the delightful qualities of his head and heart. It is not my intention to enumerate all his publications, the titles of which may be found in the Siécles Littéraires, vol. iv., p. 350: but, in the present place, I will only observe that his "Supplement à l'Histoire de l'Imprimerie, par P. Marchand," was first published in 1773, and afterwards in 1775, 4to., a rare and curious work; but little known in this country. His Bibliothéque des Romans, traduit de Grec, was published in 1796, 12 vols. 12mo. His letter concerning De Bure's work, 1763, 8vo., betrayed some severe animadversions upon the Bibliogr. Instruct.: but he got a similar flagellation in return, from the Abbé Rive, in his Chasse aux Bibliographes—who held him and De Bure, and all the bibliographical tribe, in sovereign contempt. His letter to Heinecken upon the rare editions of the 15th century, 1783, 8vo., and his other works, I never saw in any collection. The imperial library at Paris purchased his copy of Du Verdier's and La Croix du Maine's Bibliothéques, covered with his marginal annotations, as well as his copy of Clement's Bibl. Curieuse. Le Blond, member of the Institute, obtained his copy of De Bure's Bibliographie Instructive, also enriched with MS. notes. Mr. Ochéda, Lord Spencer's librarian, who knew well the Abbé de St. Leger, informed me that he left behind him ample materials for a History of Printing, in a new edition of his Supplement to Marchand's work, which he projected publishing, and which had received from him innumerable additions and corrections. "He was a man," says Mr. Ochéda, "the most conversant with editions of books of all kinds, and with every thing connected with typography and bibliography, that I ever conversed with." The reader may consult Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 452, vol. iii., p. 212.

[152] The Onomasticon Literarium of Christopher Saxius, Traject. ad Rhenum, 1775-90, seven vols. 8vo., with a supplement, or eighth volume, published in 1803, is considered as a work of the very first reputation in its way. The notices of eminent men are compendious, but accurate; and the arrangement is at once lucid and new. An elegantly bound copy of this scarce work cannot be obtained for less than six and seven guineas. The first bibliographical production of the Abbé Laire was, I believe, the Specimen Historicum Typographiæ Romanæ, xv. seculi, Romæ, 1778, large 8vo.; of which work, a copy printed upon vellum (perhaps unique) was sold at the sale of M. d'Hangard, in 1789, for 300 livres. Dictionn. Bibliogr., vol. iv., p. 250. In my Introduction, &c., to the Greek and Latin Classics, some account of its intrinsic merit will be found: vol. i., p. xviii. In the year 1784 Laire published a "Dissertation sur l'origine et Progrès de l'Imprimerie en Franche-Comté," 8vo.; and, in the year 1791, came forth his Catalogue Raisonné of the early printed books in the library of Cardinal de Lomenie de Brienne; under the title of "Index Librorum ab Inventa Typographia, ad annum 1500," in two octavo volumes. See the article "Lomenie," in the list of foreign catalogues, post. Laire was also the author of a few other minor bibliographical productions. All the books in his library, relating to this subject, were covered with marginal notes; some of them very curious. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 330: and Les Siecles Littéraires, (1801, 8vo.) vol. iv., p. 75.

[153] The works and the merits of Audiffredi have been before submitted by me to the public; and Mr. Beloe, in the third volume of his "Anecdotes of Literature," &c., has justly observed upon the latter. In Lord Spencer's magnificent library at Althorpe, I saw a copy of the "Editiones Italicæ," sec. xv., 1793, 4to., upon large paper. It is much to be wished that some knowing bibliographer upon the Continent would complete this unfinished work of Audiffredi. His Editiones Romanæ, sec. xv., 1783, 4to., is one of the most perfect works of bibliography extant: yet Laire's "Index Librorum," &c. (see preceeding note), is necessary to supply the omission of some early books printed at Rome, which had escaped even this keen bibliographer!

[154] Heinecken's name stands deservedly high (notwithstanding his tediousness and want of taste) among bibliographical and typographical antiquaries. Of his "Nachrichten von Kunstlern und Kunst-Sachen," Leipzig, 1768, 8vo., two vols., (being "New Memoirs upon Artists and the objects of Art"—and which is frequently referred to by foreigners,) I never saw a copy. It was again published in 1786. His "Idée Générale d'une Collection complette d'Estampes," &c., Leips., 1771, 8vo., is a most curious and entertaining book; but unconscionably dear in this country. His "Dictionnaire des Artistes dont nous avons des Estampes," &c., Leips. 1778, 8vo., four vols., is an unfinished performance, but remarkably minute as far as it goes. The remainder, written in the German language, continues in MS. in the Electorate library at Dresden, forming twelve volumes. Of the character of Heinecken's latter work, consult Huber's Manuel, &c., des Amateurs de l'Art, Zurich, 1797, 8vo.: and a recent work entitled "Notices des Graveurs," Paris, 1804, 8vo., two vols. Heinecken died at the advanced age of eighty.

[155] We will discuss their works seriatim, as Lisardo has said above. Seemiller's Bibliothecæ Incolstadiensis Incunabula Typographica, contains four parts, or fasciculi: they are bound in one volume, quarto, 1787, &c.; but, unfortunately for those who love curious and carefully executed works, it is rather rare in this country. The Notitia Historico-Critica de libris ab art typog. invent., by Placid Braun, in two parts, or volumes, 1788, 4to., with curious plates, has long been a desideratum in my own collection; and my friend Mr. Beloe, who is luckily in possession of a copy, enjoys his triumph over me when he discovers it not in my bibliographical boudoir. The same author also published his "Notitia Historico-Literaria de cod. MSS. in Bibl. Monast. ord. S. Bened. ad SS. Vidal. et Afram Augustæ ex tantibus," Aug. Vindel., 1791, 4to., two vols. Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., p. 170. I know not how any well versed bibliographer can do without the "Bibliotheca Moguntina libris sæculo primo Tpyographico Moguntiæ impressis instructa;" 1787, 4to., of Wurdtwein. It has some curious plates of fac-similes, and is rarely seen in the Strand or King-street book-markets.——C.T. De Murr published a work of some interest, entitled, "Memorabilia Bibliothecarum Publicarum Norimbergensium," Norimb., 1786-91, three parts or vols. 8vo.; which is also rare.——Rossi's valuable work concerning the annals of Hebrew typography: Annales Hebræo-Typographici, à 1475, ad 1540, Parmæ, 1795, 1799, 4to., two separate publications, is prettily printed by Bodoni, and is an indispensable article in the collection of the typographical antiquary. See the Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 286.——Panzer's Annales Typographici, in eleven quarto volumes (1793-1803) is a work of the very first importance to bibliographers. Its arrangement, after the manner of Orlandi's, is clear and most convenient; and the references to authorities, which are innumerable, are, upon the whole, very faithful. The indexes are copious and satisfactory. This work (of which I hear there are only three copies upon large paper) contains an account of books which were printed in all parts of Europe from the year 1457, to 1536, inclusive; but it should be remembered that the author published a distinct work in the year 1788, 4to., relating to books which were printed, within the same period, in the German Language; and this should always accompany the eleven Latin volumes. I will just add from it, as a curiosity, the title and colophon (translated into English) of the first printed book in the German language:—"The Publication of Diethers, Elector of Mayence, against Count Adolphus of Nassau; given out under our impressed seal on Tuesday, after the fourth Sunday in Advent, anno Domini 1462." Consult also Wurdtwein's Bibl. Mogunt., p. 80; and the authorities there referred to. It seems doubtful whether this curious little brochure, of which scarcely any thing more than a fragment now remains, was printed by Fust and Schoeffer, or by Gutenberg.

What countenances are those which beam with so much quiet, but interesting, expression? They are the resemblances of Denis and Camus:[156] the former of66 whom is better known from his Annalium Typographicorum Maittaire Supplementum; and the latter very generally respected abroad, although our acquaintance with him in this country is exceedingly slight. If I mistake not, I observe the mild and modest countenance of my old acquaintance, Herbert, in this bibliographical group of heads? Do not despise his toil[157] because it is not sprinkled with gay conceits, or learned digressions: he wrote to be useful, not to be entertaining; and so far as he went, his work was such an improvement upon his predecessor's plan as to place it quite at the head of National Typography. See yonder the sensible countenance of67 Harwood![158] the first writer in this country who taught us to consider the respective merits and demerits of the various editions of Greek and Latin authors.

[156] Michael Denis, the translator of Ossian, and a bibliographer of justly established eminence, was principal librarian of the Imperial library at Vienna, and died in the year 1800, at the age of 71. His Supplement to Maittaire's Typographical Annals, in two parts or volumes, 1789, 4to., is a work of solid merit, and indispensable to the possessor of its precursor. The bibliographical references are very few; but the descriptions of the volumes are minutely accurate. The indexes also are excellent. In the year 1793, Denis published the first volume (in three thick parts in folio) of his Codices Manuscripti Theologici Bibl. Palat. Vindob.; a production which the reader will find somewhat fully described in the ensuing pages. The second volume appeared after his death in 1801. In 1795-6, came forth his second edition of an Introduction to the Knowledge of Books, in two quarto volumes; unfortunately written in the German language—but mentioned with approbation in the first volume of the Mem. de l'Inst., p. 648. Consult also Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 122; ii., 232.——Armand Gaston Camus is a bibliographer of very first rate reputation. The reader has only to peruse the following titles of some of his works, and he will certainly bewail his ill fortune if they are not to be found in his library. 1. Observations sur la distribution et le classement des livres d'une Bibliothéque: 2. Additions aux mêmes; 3. Memoire sur un livre Allemand (which is the famous Tewrdannckhs; and about which is to be hoped that Mr. Douce will one day favour us with his curious remarks): 4. Addition au même: 5. Memoire sur l'histoire et les procédés du Polytypage et de la Stéréotypie: 6. Rapport sur la continuation de la Collection des Historiens de France, et de celle des Chartres et Diplomes: 7. Notice d'un livre imprimé à Bamberg en 1462. All these works are thus strung together, because they occur in the first three volumes of the Memoires de l'Institut. This curious book, printed at Bamberg, was discovered by a German clergyman of the name of Stenier, and was first described by him in the Magasin Hist.-Litt., bibliogr. Chemintz, 1792: but Camus's memoir is replete with curious matter, and is illustrated with fac-simile cuts. In the "Notices et Extraits des MSS. de la Bibl. Nationale," vol. vi., p. 106, will be found a most interesting memoir by him, relating to two ancient manuscript bibles, in two volumes folio, adorned with a profusion of pictures: of some of which very elegant fac-similes are given. These pictures are 5152 in number! each of them having a Latin and French verse beautifully written and illuminated beneath.—Camus supposes that such a work could not now be executed under 100,000 francs!—"Where (exclaims he) shall we find such modern specimens of book-luxury?" In the year 1802, he published an admirable "Mémoire sur la collection des grands et petits voyages, et sur la Collection des Voyages des Melchesedech Thevenot," 4to., with an excellent "Table des Matières." Of his own journey into the Low Countries, recently published, I never met with a copy. All the preceding works, with the exception of the last, are in my own humble collection.

[157] A short bibliographical memoir of Herbert will be found in the first volume of my edition of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain. Since that was published, I have gleaned a few further particulars relating to him, which may be acceptable to the reader. Shortly after the appearance of his third volume, he thus speaks in a letter to Mr. Price, librarian of the Bodleian library, "If at any time you meet with any book of which I have not taken notice, or made any mistake in the description of it, your kind information will be esteemed a favour; as I purpose to continue collecting materials for a future publication, when enough shall be collected to make another volume." This was in April, 1790. In the ensuing month he thus addresses his old friend Mr. White, of Crickhowell, who, with himself, was desperately addicted to the black-letter. "To morrow my wife and self set out for Norfolk to take a little relaxation for about a fortnight. I hope my labours will in some good measure answer the expectation of my friends and subscribers in general. Sure I am my best endeavours have been exerted for that purpose. I have been 24 years collecting materials; have spent many a fair pound, and many a weary hour; and it is now ten years since the first part was committed to the press. I purpose to continue collecting materials in order to a fourth volume, &c.;—yet by no means will I make myself debtor to the public when to publish: if it shall please God to take me to himself, Isaac will in due time set it forth. However I shall keep an interleaved copy for the purpose." In a letter to a Mr. John Banger Russell (in Dorsetshire), written in the ensuing month of June, the same sentiments and the same intention are avowed. Thus ardent was the bibliomaniacal spirit of Herbert in his 72d year! The interleaved copy here alluded to (which was bound in six volumes 4to., in Russia binding, and for which Mr. Gough had given Herbert's widow 52l. 10s.) is now in my possession; as well as the yet more valuable acquisition of some numerous MS. addenda to his History of Printing—both of these articles having been purchased by me at the sale of Mr. Gough's MSS. and printed books, A.D. 1810.

[158] Dr. Edward Harwood published the fourth and last edition of his "View of the various editions of the Greek and Roman Classics," in the year 1790, 8vo. A work which, in the public estimation, has entitled its author's memory to very considerable respect in the classical world; although the late Professor Porson, in the fly leaf of a copy of my second edition of a similar publication, was pleased to call the Doctor by a name rather unusually harsh with him, who was "Criticus et lenis et acutus;" censuring also my dependance upon my predecessor. In the year 1808, was published my third edition of "An introduction to the knowledge of rare and valuable editions of the Greek and Latin Classics," two volumes 8vo.: in which, if I may presume to talk of anything so insignificant, I have endeavoured to exhibit the opinions—not of Dr. Harwood alone, but of the most eminent foreign critics and editors—upon the numerous editions which, in a chronological series, are brought before the reader's attention. The remarks of the first bibliographers in Europe are also, for the first time in a English publication, subjoined; so that the lover of curious, as well as of valuable, editions may be equally gratified. The authorities, exceedingly numerous as well as respectable, are referred to in a manner the most unostentatious; and a full measure of text, and to be really useful, was my design from the beginning to the end of it. To write a long and dull homily about its imperfections would be gross affectation. An extensive sale has satisfied my publishers that its merit a little counterbalances its defects.

Lis. You are, no doubt, a fond and partial critic in regard to the works of Herbert and Harwood: but I am glad to recognise my fellow countrymen in such an illustrious assemblage. Go on.

Lysand. We are just at the close. But a few more busts, and those very recently executed, remain to be noticed. These are the resemblances of La Serna Santander, Cailleau, and Oberlin;[159] while several68 vacant niches remain to be filled up with the busts of more modern bibliographers of eminence: namely, of Van-Praet, Fischer, Lambinet, Renouard, Peignot, Fournier, Barbier, Boucher, and Brunet.[160]

[159] De la Serna Santander will always hold a distinguished place amongst bibliographers, not only from the care and attention with which he put forth the catalogue of his own books—the parting from which must have gone near to break his heart—but from his elegant and useful work entitled, "Dictionnaire Bibliographique choisi du quinzieme Siécle," 1805, &c., 8vo., in three parts or volumes. His summary of researches, upon the invention of printing, Mr. Edwards told me, he read "with complete satisfaction"—this occupies the first part or volume. The remaining volumes form a necessary, as well as brilliant, supplement to De Bure. Just at this moment, I believe that Mr. Beloe's, and my own, copy of the work, are the only ones in this country.——Cailleau has the credit of being author of the Dictionnaire Bibliographique, &c., in three volumes, octavo, 1790—of which there are a sufficient number of counterfeited and faulty re-impressions; but which, after all, in its original shape, edit. 1790, is not free from gross errors; however useful it is in many respects. I suspect, however, that the Abbé Duclos had the greater share in this publication: but, be this as it may, the fourth supplemental volume (by the younger Brunet) is, in every respect, a more accurate and valuable performance. Oberlin, librarian of the central school or college at Strasbourg, is author of a bibliographical treatise particularly deserving of the antiquary's attention: namely, Essai d'annales de la vie de Jean Gutenburg, &c., Stasb., an. ix., 8vo. His other numerous (belles-lettres) works are minutely specified by Peignot in his Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 230. His edition of Horace, Argent., 1788, 4to., is both elegant and correct.

[160] Let us go quietly through the modern French school of bibliography.——Mons. Joseph Van-Praet is principal librarian of the Imperial collection at Paris, and is justly called, by some of his fellow-labourers in the same career, "one of the first bibliographers in Europe." He is known to me, as a bibliographical writer, only by the part which he took, and so ably executed, in the Valliere catalogue of 1783. Peignot informs us that M. Van-Praet is now busy in composing a little work—which I am sure will rejoice the hearts of all true bibliomaniacs to be apprised of—called a Catalogue raisonné of books printed upon vellum; for which he has already prepared not fewer than 2000 articles! See the Curiosités Bibliogr., p. iij. Among these vellum articles, gentle reader, I assure thee that thine eyes will be blest with the description of "The Shyp of Fooles," printed by Pynson, 1509! The urbanity and politeness of this distinguished librarian are equal to his knowledge.——Gotthelf Fischer, a Saxon by birth, and librarian of the public collection at Mentz, has given us the following interesting treatises, of which, I believe, not five copies are to be found in this country: namely—Essai sur les Monumens Typographiques de Jean Gutenberg, &c., an. x. [1801], 4to.: and Descriptions de raretés typographiques et de Manuscrits remarquables, &c., Nuremb., 1801, 8vo.—the latter is in the German language, and has cuts—with a portrait of Fust. By this time, the work has most probably been translated into French, as it is frequently referred to and highly spoken of by foreigners. Peignot [Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 128] refers us to the fine eulogy pronounced upon Fisher (not yet 40 years of age) by Camus, in his "Voyage dans les departemens réunis," p. 12.——Lambinet will always be remembered and respected, as long as printing and bibliography shall be studied, by his "Recherches Historiques Littéraires et Critiques, sur l'Originè de L'Imprimerie; particulièrement sur les premiers établissemens au XVme siécle dans la Belgique," &c., Brux., an. vii. (1798), 8vo. It is, indeed, a very satisfactory performance: the result of judgment and taste—rare union!——In like manner, Renouard has procured for himself a bibliographical immortality by his Annales de l'Imprimerie des Aide, 1803, 8vo., two vols.: a work almost perfect of its kind, and by many degrees superior to Bandini's dry Annales Typog. Juntarum., Lucæ, 1761. In Renouard's taste, accuracy and interest are delightfully combined; and the work is printed with unrivalled beauty. There were only six copies of it printed upon large paper; one of which I saw in the fine collection of the Rt. Hon. T. Grenville.——Few modern bibliographers have displayed so much diligence as Gabriel Peignot: from whom we have, 1. Dictionnaire Raisonné de Bibliologie, Paris, 1802, 8vo., two vols., with a third, by way of supplement (1804). With necessary corrections and additions, this work would answer many useful purposes in an English translation. 2. Essai de Curiosités Bibliographiques, 1804, 8vo. This is a very amusing (but scarce and unconscionably dear) book. It contains elaborate descriptions of many curious and sumptuous works, which were sold for 1000 and more livres at public sales. 3. Dictionnaire, &c., des principaux livres condamnés au feu, supprimés ou censurés, Paris, 1806, 8vo., 2 vols. The very title of such a work must sharpen the edge of curiosity with those bibliomaniacs who have never seen it. 4. Bibliographie Curieuse, ou Notice Raisonnée des livres imprimés a cent exemplaires au plus, suivie d'une notice de quelques ouvrages tirés sur papier de couleur, Paris, 1808, 8vo. Only one hundred copies of this thin volume were struck off: of which I possess the 86th copy, according to Peignot's notification. Indeed I am fortunate in having all his preceding works. Let us wish long life and never-failing success to so brave a book-chevalier as Gabriel Peignot.——François Ignace Fournier, at 18 years of age, published an elegantly printed little volume, entitled Essai Portatif de Bibliographie, 1796, 8vo., of which only 26 copies were struck off. In the year 1805, this essay assumed the form of a Dictionary, and appeared under the title of Dictionnaire portatif de Bibliographie, &c., 8vo., comprising 17,000 articles, printed in a very small character. Last year, in the month of May, Fournier put forth a new edition of this Dictionnaire, considerably augmented; but in which (such is the fate of bibliographical studies) notwithstanding all the care of the author, Brunet tells us that he has discovered not fewer than five hundred errors! Let not Fournier, however be discouraged; in a few years he will achieve something yet more worthy of his laudable seal in bibliography.——Antoine-Alexandre Barbier, librarian of the Council of State, has favoured us with an admirably well executed work, entitled Dictionnaire des Ouvrages Anonymes et Pseudonymes, composés, traduits ou publiés en Français, &c., accompagneé de notes historiques et critiques, Paris, Imprimis Bibliogr., 1806, 8vo., two vols. See also art. "Conseil d'Etat," in the list of French Catalogues, post. From these the reader will judge of the warm thanks to which this eminent bibliographer is entitled for his very useful labours.——G. Boucher de la Richarderie has, in an especial manner, distinguished himself by his Bibliothéque Universelle des Voyages, Paris, 1808, 8vo., six vols.: a work executed with care, minuteness, and considerable interest. Some of its extracts are, perhaps, unnecessarily long. The index to the sixth volume will lead the reader to consult an account of some of the most ancient, rare, and curious publications of voyages which have ever appeared: and Boucher "has deserved well" of the book world by this truly valuable and almost indispensable performance.——Brunet Le Fils. This able writer, and enthusiastic devotee to bibliography, has recently published an excellent and copious work which would appear greatly to eclipse Fournier's; entitled "Manuel du Libraire et de l'Amateur de Livres, contenant, 1. Un Nouveau Dictionnaire Bibliographigue, 2. Une Table en forme de Catalogue Raisonnée," Paris, 1810, 8vo., 3 vols.: in which he tells us he has devoted at least thirty years to the examination of books. The first two volumes form a scientific arrangement: the latter is an alphabetical one, referring to one or the other of the preceding volumes for a more copious account of the work. It must be confessed that Brunet has, in this publication, executed a difficult task with great ability.

69Lis. I am quite anxious to possess the publications of these moderns: but you say nothing of their comparative value with the ancients.70

Lysand. Generally speaking, in regard to discoveries of rare books and typographical curiosities, the moderns have the advantage. They have made more rational conclusions, from data which had escaped their predecessors: and the sparkling and animated manner in which they dress out the particular objects that they describe renders the perusal of their works more pleasant and gratifying. I am not sure that they have the learning of the old school: but their works are, in general, less ponderous and repulsive. The ancient bibliographers were probably too anxious to describe every thing, however minute and unimportant: they thought it better to say too much than too little; and, finding the great mass of readers in former times, uninstructed in these particular pursuits, they thought they could never exhaust a subject by bringing to bear upon it every point, however remotely connected! They found the plain, it is true, parched and sandy; but they were not satisfied with pouring water upon it, 'till they had converted it into a deluge.[161]

[161] What Denis says, in the preface to his Catalog. Cod. MSS. Bibl. Palat. Vindob. (of which see p. 65, ante) is very just; "media incedendum via; neque nudis codicum titulis, ut quibusdam bibliothecis placuit, in chartam conjectis provehi multum studia, neque doctis, quæ superioris seculi fuit intemperantia, ambagibus et excursibus."—This is certainly descriptive of the old school of bibliography.

Lis. Let me ask you, at this stage of our inquiries, what you mean by bibliographical publications?—and whether the works of those authors which you have enumerated are sufficient to enable a novice, like myself, to have pretty accurate notions about the rarity and intrinsic value of certain works?

Lysand. By bibliographical publications, I mean such works as give us some knowledge of the literary71 productions, as well as of the life, of certain learned men; which state the various and the best editions of their lucubrations; and which stimulate us to get possession of these editions. Every biographical narrative which is enriched with the mention of curious and rare editions of certain works is, to a great extent, a bibliographical publication. Those works which treat professedly upon books are, of course, immediately within the pale of bibliography.

Lis. But am I to be satisfied with the possession of those works already recommended?

Phil. I suppose Lisardo has heard of certain valuable catalogues, and he wishes to know how far the possession of these may be requisite in order to make him a bibliographer?

Lysand. At present I will say nothing about the catalogues of the collections of our own countrymen. As we have been travelling principally abroad, we may direct our attention to those which relate to foreign collections.

And first, let us pay a due tribute of praise to the published Catalogues of Libraries collected by the Jesuits: men of shrewd talents and unabating research, and in derogation of whose merits Voltaire and D'Alembert disgraced themselves by scribbling the most contemptible lampoons. The downfall of this society led, not very indirectly, to the destruction of the ancient French monarchy. Men seemed to forget that while the most shameless depredations were committed within the libraries of the Jesuits, the cause of learning, as well as of liberty, suffered,—and the spoils which have glittered before our eyes, as the precious relics of these collections, serve to afford a melancholy proof how little those men stick at any thing who, in raising the war-whoop of liberty and equality, tear open the very bowels of order, tranquillity, peace, and decorum! But, to the subject. Let the catalogues of public collections, when they are well arranged, be received into your library. Of foreign private collections, the catalogues[162] of72 Du Fresne, Cordes, Heinsias, Baluze, Colbert, Rothelin, De Boze, Prefond, Pompadour, Gaignat, Gouttard, Bunau, Soubise, La Valliere, Crevenna,73 Lamoignon, and of several other collections, with which my memory does not just now serve me, will enable you to form a pretty correct estimate of the market74able value of certain rare and sumptuous publications. Catalogues are, to bibliographers, what Reports are to lawyers: not to be read through from beginning to end75—but to be consulted on doubtful points, and in litigated cases. Nor must you, after all, place too strong a reliance upon the present prices of books, from what they76 have produced at former sales; as nothing is more capricious and unsettled than the value of books at a public auction. But, in regard to these catalogues, if77 you should be fortunate enough to possess any which are printed upon Large Paper, with the Names of the Purchasers, and the Prices for which each set of books78 was sold, thrice and four times happy may you account yourself to be, my good Lisardo!

[162] As it would have required more breath than usually falls to the lot of an individual, for Lysander to have given even a rough sketch of the merits, demerits, and rarity of certain foreign catalogues of public and private collections—in his discourse with his friends—I have ventured to supply the deficiency by subjoining, in the ensuing tolerably copious note, a list of these catalogues, alphabetically arranged; as being, perhaps, the most convenient and acceptable plan. Such an attempt is quite novel; and must be received, therefore, with many grains of allowance. Although I am in possession of the greater number (at least of two thirds) of the catalogues described, I am aware that, in regard to the description of those not in my own library, I subject myself to the lash of P. Morhof. "Inepti sunt, qui librorum catalogos scribunt e catalogis. Oculata fides et judicium præsens requiritur." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 230. But the weight of my authorities will, I trust, secure me from any great violence of critical indignation. To render so dry a subject (the very "Hortus Siccus" of bibliography) somewhat palatable, I have here and there besprinkled it with biographical anecdotes of the collectors, and of the state of French literature in the last century and a half.——D'Aguesseau. Catalogue des Livres Imprimés et Manuscrits de la Bibliothéque de feu Monsieur D'Aguesseau, &c., Paris, 1785, 8vo. "Anxious to enrich his collection, (says the compiler of this catalogue) the Bibliomaniac sees with delight the moment arrive when, by the sale of a library like this, he may add to his precious stores. It is, in truth, a grand collection; especially of history, arts, and sciences, and jurisprudence. The famous Chancellor D'Aguesseau laid the foundation of this library, which was as universal as his own genius." It would appear that the son, to whom the collection latterly belonged, was gracious in the extreme in the loan of books; and that, in consequence, a public advertisement was inserted at the foot of the "Avis preliminaire," to entreat those, who had profited by such kindness, to return their borrowed (shall I say stolen?) goods? For want of these volumes, many sets of books were miserably defective.——Anonymiana. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Anonymianæ, in quo libri rariores recensentur, una cum notis litterariis, Norimb., 1738, 8vo. This is a catalogue of value, and may be well ranged with its brethren upon the bibliographer's shelf. Another "Bibliotheca Anonymiana," was published ten years preceding the present one; at the Hague, in three parts, one vol., 8vo.: which, in the Bibl. Solger., vol iii., no. 1388, is said to contain many rare books: see also no. 1370, ibid.——D'Artois. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de Monseigneur Le Compte D'Artois, Paris, 1783, 8vo. Very few copies of this catalogue, which is printed in a wide octavo page, resembling that of a quarto, were struck off: according to Fournier's Dict. Portat. de Bibliogr., p. 120, edit. 1809. See also Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3876.——Augustana. Catalogus Bibliothecæ inclytæ Reipubl. Augustanæ utriusque linguæ tum Græcæ tum Latinæ librorum et impressorum et manu exaratorum. Aug. Vindel., 1600, fol. Morhof informs us that this catalogue, of which Hoeschelius was the compiler, contains an account of some manuscripts which have never been printed, as well as of some which Marcus Velserus published. It is, moreover, full of precious bibliographical matter; but unfortunately (the possessor of it may think otherwise) only one hundred copies were struck off. Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 211. I find, however, some little difficulty about distinguishing this catalogue of the Augsbourg library from the impression of 1633, fol., which Vogt mentions at p. 323, and of which he also talks of 100 copies being printed. It should not be forgotten that Hoeschelius published an admirable catalogue of the Greek MSS. in the library of Augsbourg, 1595, and again 1605, in 4to. Colomiés pronounces it a model in its way. Bibl. Choisie, p. 194-5. The catalogue of the Greek MSS. in the library of the Duke of Bavaria, at Munich, was published about the same period; namely, in 1602: the compiler was a skilful man, but he tells us, at the head of the catalogue, that the MSS. were open to the inspection of every one who had any work in hand, provided he were a Roman Catholic! This was being very kind to protestants! Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., part i., p. 215, edit. 1725. See also Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 232.——Augustana. Notitia historica-literaria de libris ab artis typographicæ inventione usque ad annum, 1478, impressis, in Bibliotheca Monasterii ad SS. Udalricum et Afram Augustæ extantibus. August, Vindel, 1788, 4to. This volume, which I have no doubt would gratify the curious bibliographer, it has never been my good fortune to meet with. It is here introduced upon the authority of the Cat. du Cardinal de Loménie, no. 2647: ed. 1797. I ought not to close this account of the Augsbourg catalogues of books, without remarking, on the authority of Reimannus, that the first published catalogue of books is that which Villerius, a bookseller at Augsburg, put forth in the year 1564. See the Bibl. Acroam., p. 5.——Aurivillius. Catalogus Bibliothecæ quam collegerat Carolus Aurivillius, sectio i. and ii., Upsal, 1787, 8vo. This catalogue contains a plentiful sprinkling of short literary and bibliographical notes; according to Bibl. Krohn, p. 256, no. 3582.——Badenhaupt. Bibliotheca selectissima; sive Catalogus librorum magnam partem philologicorum, quos inter eminent. Auctores Græci et Romani classica quos collegit E.F. Badenhaupt, Berol, 1773, 8vo. The pithy bibliographical notes which are here and there scattered throughout this catalogue, render it of estimation in the opinion of the curious.——Baluze. Bibliotheca Balusiana; seu catalogus librorum bibliothecæ D.S. Baluzii, A. Gab. Martin, Paris, 1719, 8vo., two vols. Let any enlightened bibliographers read the eulogy upon the venerable Baluze (who died in his eighty-eighth year, and who was the great Colbert's librarian), in the preface of the Bibl. Colbertina (vide post), and in the Dict. Hist. (Caen, 1789, vol. i., p. 443-4), and he will not hesitate a moment about the propriety of giving this volume a conspicuous place upon his shelf. From the Bibl. Mencken, p. 10, it would appear that a third volume, containing translations of some MSS. in the royal library, is wanting to make this catalogue complete. This third volume is uncommon.——Barberini. Index Bibliothecæ Francisci Barberini Cardinalis. Romæ, Typis Barberinis, 1681, fol., three vols. in two. The widely spread celebrity of Cardinal Barberini suffers no diminution from this publication of the riches contained within his library. The authors are arranged alphabetically, and not according to classes. Although it be not the most luminous in its arrangement, or the most accurate in its execution, this finely printed catalogue will never remain long upon a bookseller's shelf without a purchaser. It were much to be desired that our own noblemen, who have fine collections of books, would put forth (after the example of Cardinal Barberini) similar publications.——Barthelemy. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de M. l'Abbé Barthelemy, par M. Bernard, 1800, 8vo. The high reputation of the owner of this collection will always secure purchasers for this catalogue of useful and interesting books.——Bibliographie des Pays Bas, avec quelques notes. Nyon, en Suisse, 1783, 4to. Only fifty copies of this work were printed. It is a pity that Peignot, who gives us this information, does not accompany it with some account of the nature and merits of the work—which probably grew out of the Histoire Littéraire des Pays Blas, 1725, in three folio volumes. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 10.——Bodleian. Catalog. Libr. Bibl. Publ., &c., in Acad. Oxon., 1605, 4to. Catal. Libr. Impr., 1674, fol. Catalogi Libror. MSS. Angl. et Hibern., 1697, fol. Catalogus Impress. Libror. Bibl. Bodl., 1733, fol., two vols. Although none but catalogues of foreign public and private collections were intended to be noticed in this list, the reader will forgive a little violation of the rule laid down by myself, if I briefly observe upon the catalogues of the Bodleian library and the British Museum. [For the latter, vide 'Museum.'] The first of these Bodleian catalogues contains an account of the MSS. It was prepared by Dr. James, the editor of the Philobiblion of De Bury (vide p. 30, ante), and, as it was the first attempt to reduce to "lucid order" the indigested pile of MSS. contained in the library, its imperfections must be forgiven. It was afterwards improved, as well as enlarged, in the folio edition of 1697, by Bernard; which contains the MSS. subsequently bequeathed to the library by Selden, Digby, and Laud, alone forming an extensive and valuable collection. The editor of Morhof (vol. i., 193, n.) has highly commended this latter catalogue. Let the purchaser of it look well to the frontispiece of the portraits of Sir Thomas Bodley and of the fore-mentioned worthies, which faces the title-page; as it is frequently made the prey of some prowling Grangerite. The first catalogue of the Printed Books in the Bodleian library was compiled by the celebrated orientalist, Dr. Hyde: the second by Fisher: of these, the latter is the more valuable, as it is the more enlarged. The plan adopted in both is the same: namely, the books are arranged alphabetically, without any reference to their classes—a plan fundamentally erroneous: for the chief object in catalogues of public collections is to know what works are published upon particular subjects, for the facility of information thereupon—whether our inquiries lead to publication or otherwise: an alphabetical index should, of course, close the whole. It is with reluctance my zeal for literature compels me to add that a Catalogue Raisonnée of the Manuscripts and Printed Books in the Bodleian Library is an urgent desideratum—acknowledged by every sensible and affectionate son of Alma Mater. Talent there is, in abundance, towards the completion of such an honourable task; and the only way to bring it effectually into exercise is to employ heads and hands enough upon the undertaking. Let it be remembered what Wanley and Messrs. Planta and Nares have done for the Cottonian and Harleian MSS.—and what Mr. Douce is now doing for those of the Lansdowne collection! One gentleman alone, of a very distinguished college, in whom the acuteness and solidity of Porson seem almost revived, might do wonders for the Greek MSS., and lend an effectual aid towards the arrangement of the others. The printed books might be assigned, according to their several classes, to the gentlemen most conversant with the same; and the numerous bibliographical works, published since the catalogue of 1733, might be occasionally referred to, according to the plan observed in the Notitia Editionum vel Primariæ, &c., in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon., 1795, 8vo.; which was judiciously drawn up by the Bishop of London, and the Rev. Dr. William Jackson. I am aware that the aged hands of the present venerable librarian of the Bodleian library can do little more than lay the foundation-stone of such a massive superstructure; but even this would be sufficient to enrol his name with the Magliabecchis and Baillets of former times—to entitle him to be classed among the best benefactors to the library—and to shake hands with its immortal founder, in that place where are

et amœna vireta
Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatæ.

Bonnier. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de Bonnier. Paris, 1800, 8vo. This catalogue is here introduced to the bibliographer's notice in order to sharpen his bibliomaniacal appetite to obtain one of the four copies only which were printed upon large paper of Dutch manufacture. See Cat. de Caillard (1808), no. 2596.——Boutourlin. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de S.E.M. Le Comte de Boutourlin. Paris (an. xiii.), 1805, 8vo. Every one must conceive a high respect for the owner of this choice collection, from the amiable sentiments which pervade the preface to the catalogue. It has a good index; and is elegantly printed. My copy is upon large paper.——De Boze. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de M. Claude Gros de Boze. Paris. De l'Imp. Royale, 1745, small folio. This is the first printed catalogue of the choice and magnificent library of De Boze, the friend and correspondent of Dr. Mead, between whom presents of books were continually passing—as they were the first collectors of the day in their respective countries. Some have said 50, some 35, others 25, and others only 12 copies of this impression were struck off, as presents for the collector's friends. Consult Bibl. Mead, p. 81, no. 617. Bibl. Creven., vol. v., 291. Bauer's Bibl. Rarior., vol. i., 151. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 12. Bibl. Askev., no. 508. Barbier's Dict. des Anonymes, vol. ii., no. 8002.——De Boze, de la même bibliothéque, 1753, 8vo. This catalogue, which was executed by Martin, after the death of De Boze, does not contain all the notices of works mentioned in the preceding one. It is, however, well deserving of a place in the bibliographer's library. Peignot tells us that there was yet a third catalogue printed, in 8vo., containing 192 pages, and giving an account of some books taken out of De Boze's collection: a few of which are described in the preceding edition of 1753. See his Bibl. Cur., p. 12.——Bozerian. Notice des livres précieux ye M. Bozérian, par M. Bailly, 1798, 8vo. A cabinet of "precious books," indeed! The misfortune is, so small a number of modern foreign catalogues come over here that the best of them will be found in few of our libraries. Whenever the "Bibliotheca Bozeriana" shall be imported, it will not stop seven days upon a bookseller's shelf!——Bulteau. Bibliotheca Bultelliana; (Caroli Bulteau) a Gabr. Martin, Paris, 1711, 12mo., 2 vols. in one. This catalogue, which is carefully compiled, contains curious and uncommon books; many of which were purchased for the collections of Préfond, De Boze, and others.——Bunau. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Bunavianæ. Lipsiæ, 1750. Six parts, in three volumes, each volume having two parts—usually bound in six vols. Highly and generally esteemed as is this extensive collection, and methodically arranged catalogue, of Count Bunau's books, the latter has always appeared to me as being branched out into too numerous ramifications, so as to render the discovery of a work, under its particular class, somewhat difficult, without reference to the index. I am aware that what Camus says is very true—namely, that "nothing is more absurd than to quarrel about catalogue-making: and that every man ought to have certain fixed and decisive ideas upon the subject," [Mem. de l'Inst. vol. i., 650,] but simplicity and perspicuity, which are the grand objects in every undertaking, might have been, in my humble apprehension, more successfully exhibited than in this voluminous catalogue. It represents over-done analysis! yet those who are writing upon particular subjects will find great assistance in turning to the different works here specified upon the same. It is rare and high-priced. From the preface, which is well worth an attentive perusal, it appears that this grand collection, now deposited in the electoral library at Dresden (see Cat. de Caillard, no. 2545, 1808,) was at Count Bunau's country-house, situated in a pleasant village about half a mile from Dresden—

Vicinam videt unde lector urbem.

Saxius, in his Onomast. Literar., vol i., p. xxxiii., edit. 1775, &c., has a smart notice of this splendid collection.——Bunneman. J.L. Bunnemanni Catalogus Manuscriptorum, item librorum impressorum rarissimorum pro assignato pretio venalium. Minda, 1732, 8vo. For the sake of knowing, by way of curiosity, what books (accounted rare at this period) were sold for, the collector may put this volume into his pocket, when he finds it upon a book-stall marked at 1s. 6d. In the Bibl. Solger., vol iii., no. 1396, there was a priced copy upon large paper with bibliographical memoranda.——Caillard. Catalogue des livres du Cabinet de M.A.B. Caillard, Paris, 1805, 8vo. Of this private catalogue, compiled by Caillard himself, and printed upon fine Dutch paper, in super-royal 8vo., only twenty-five copies were struck off. So says Fournier, Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie: p. 120; edit. 1809, and the "avant-propos" prefixed to the subsequent catalogue here following:——Livres rares et précieux de la Bibliothéque de feu M. Ant. Bern. Caillard, Paris, 1808, 8vo. There were but twenty-five copies of this catalogue of truly valuable, and, in many respects, rare, and precious, books, printed upon large paper, of the same size as the preceding. This was the sale catalogue of the library of Caillard, who died in 1807, in his sixty-ninth year, and of whose bibliomaniacal spirit we have a most unequivocal proof in his purchasing De Cotte's celebrated uncut copy of the first printed Homer, at an enormous sum! [vide Cotte, post.] "Sa riche bibliothéque est á-la-fois un monument de son amour pour l'art typographique, et de la vaste étendue de ses connoissances," p. xiv. Some excellent indexes close this volume; of which Mr. Payne furnished me with the loan of his copy upon large paper.——Cambis. Catalogue des principaux manuscrits du cabinet de M. Jos. L.D. de Cambis, Avignon, 1770, 4to. Although this is a catalogue of MSS., yet, the number of copies printed being very few, I have given it a place here. Some of these copies contain but 519, others 766, pages; which shews that the owner of the MSS. continued publishing his account of them as they increased upon him. Rive, in his "Chasse aux bibliographes," has dealt very roughly with the worthy Cambis; but Peignot tells us that this latter was a respectable literary character, and a well-informed bibliographer—and that his catalogue, in spite of Rive's diatribe, is much sought after. See the Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 14; also Cat. de la Valliere, vol. iii., no. 5543.——Camus de Limare. Catalogues des livres de M. le Camus de Limare, Paris, 1779, 12mo.—Des livres rares et précieux de M—— (Camus de Limare), Paris, 1786, 8vo.—Des livres rares et précieux, reliés en maroquin, de la bibliothéque du même, Paris, an trois (1795), 8vo. Of the first catalogue only a small number of copies was printed, and those for presents. Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 15. It contains a description of De Boze's extraordinary copy of Du Fresnoy's "Methode pour étudier l'Histoire," 1729, 4to., four volumes, with the supplement, 1740, two vols.; which was sold for 1500 livres; and which was, of course, upon large paper, with a thousand inviting additions, being much more complete than the similar copies in Cat. de Valliere, no. 4467; and Cat. de Crevenna, no. 5694, edit. 1789; although this latter was preferable to the Valliere copy. Consult also the Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. 77-8. The second catalogue was prepared by De Bure, and contains a very fine collection of natural history, which was sold at the Hôtel de Bullion. The printed prices are added. The third catalogue, which was prepared by Santus, after the decease of Camus, contains some very choice articles [many printed upon vellum] of ancient and modern books superbly bound.——Catalogue des livres rares. Par Guillaume de Bure, fils âiné. Paris, 1786, 8vo. We are told, in the advertisement, that this collection was formed from a great number of sales of magnificent libraries, and that particular circumstances induced the owner to part with it. The books were in the finest order, and bound by the most skilful binders. The bibliographical notices are short, but judicious; and a good index closes the catalogue. The sale took place at the Hôtel de Bullion.——Catalogue fait sur un plan nouveau, systématique et raisonné, d'une Bibliothéque de Littérature, particulièrement d'Histoire et de Poésie, &c. Utrecht, 1776, 8vo., two vols. A judicious and luminous arrangement of 19,000 articles, or sets of books; which, in the departments specified in the title-page, are singularly copious and rich.——Catalogus Librorum rarissimorum, ab Artis Typographicæ inventoribus, aliisque ejus artis Principibus ante annum 1500 excusorum; omnium optime conservatorum, 8vo., Sine loco aut anno. Peignot, who has abridged Vogt's excellent account of this very uncommon and precious catalogue, of which only twenty-five copies were printed, has forgotten to examine the last edition of the Catalog. Libror. Rarior., pp. 262-3; in which we find that the collection contained 248 (and not 217) volumes. At the end, it is said: "Pretiosissima hæc Librorum Collectio, cujusvis magni Principis Bibliotheca dignissima, constat voll. ccxlviii." Consult the respectable references in Vogt, ibid.; also the Bibliogr. Curieuse of Peignot, p. 15.——Ceran. Catalogue des livres de M. Mel de Saint Ceran. Paris, 1780, 8vo., again in 1791, 8vo. These catalogues were compiled by De Bure, and are carefully executed. Some of the books noticed in them are sufficiently curious and rare.——Clementino-Vaticana. Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino Vaticana, in quâ manuscriptos codices Orientalium Linguarum recensuit Joseph Simonius Assemanus, Romæ, 1719. Folio, four vols. Asseman's son compiled an excellent catalogue of the Oriental MSS. in the Medico-Laurentian library; but this work of the father is more curious and elaborate. Whenever a few half-guineas can procure it, let the country-settled philologist send his "henchman" to fly for it!—"Speed, Malise, speed." But alas! Santander tells us that copies of it are rare. Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., no. 6287.——Colbert. Bibliotheca Colbertina: seu Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ quæ fuit primum J.B. Colbert, deinde J.B. Colbert (fil) postea J. Nic. Colbert, ac demum C.L. Colbert. Parisiis, 1728, 8vo., three vols. The preface to this valuable catalogue (executed by Martin) gives us a compressed, but sufficiently perspicuous, account of the auspices under which such an extensive and magnificent collection was assembled and arranged. It contains not fewer than 18,219 articles; being perhaps 60,000 volumes. The celebrated Baluze was the librarian during the life of the former branches of the Colbert family; a family which, if nothing remained to perpetuate their fame but this costly monument of literary enterprise, will live in the grateful remembrance of posterity—but it wants not even such a splendid memorial! The lover of fine and curious books will always open the volumes of the Colbert Catalogue with a zest which none but a thorough bred bibliomaniac can ever hope to enjoy.——Conseil d'Etat. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque du Conseil d'Etat (par M. Barbier, Bibliothecaire du Conseil d'Etat). Paris, an. xi. (1802), folio. "This catalogue is most superbly executed. The richness of the materials of which it is composed, the fine order of its arrangement, and the skilful researches exhibited in it relating to anonymous authors, are worthy of the typographical luxury of the national press, from which this curious work was put forth. It will be perfect in three parts: the third part, containing the supplement and tables, is now at press." (A.D. 1804.) The preface and table of the divisions of this catalogue were published in a small 8vo. volume, 1801. This information I glean from Peignot's Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lix.; and from the Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3892, I learn that only 190 copies of so useful, as well as splendid, a work were printed, of which the French government took upon itself the distribution.——Cordes. Bibliothecæ Cordesianæ Catalogus, cum indice titulorum, Parisiis, 1643, 4to. The celebrated Naudé had the drawing up and publishing of this catalogue, which is highly coveted by collectors, and is now of rare occurrence. De Cordes was intimate with all the learned men of his country and age; and his eulogy, by Naudé, prefixed to the catalogue, gives us a delightful account of an amiable and learned man living in the bosom, as it were, of books and of book-society. This collection, which was purchased by Cardinal Mazarin, formed the foundation of the latter's magnificent library. Consult the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 142; Colomié's Biblioth. Choisie, p. 126; Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., p. 647. Nor must we forget Morhof—Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 211; who, after a general commendation of the collection, tells us it is remarkable for containing a fine body of foreign history. De Cordes died A.D. 1642, in the 72d year of his age—nearly 50 years having been devoted by him to the formation of his library. "Fortunate senex!"——Cotte. Catalogue des Livres rares et précieux et de MSS. composant la bibliothéque de M—— (le President de Cotte), Paris, 1804, 8vo. We are told by Peignot that the books at this sale were sold for most exorbitant sums: "the wealthy amateurs striving to make themselves masters of the large paper Alduses, Elzevirs, and Stephenses, which had been Count d'Hoym's copies." An uncut first edition of Homer, in the highest state of preservation, was purchased by Mons. Caillaird for 3,601 livres! See the Curiosités Bibliographiques, pp. lxv, lxvj. According to Cat. de Caillard, no. 2600 (1808, 8vo.), there were only ten copies of this catalogue printed upon large paper.——Couvay. Catalogue de la bibliothéque de M. Couvay, chevalier de l'ordre de Christ, secrétaire du Roi, Paris, 1728, fol. Very few copies of this catalogue were printed, and those only for presents. Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 21.——Crevenna. Catalogue raisonnée de la collection des Livres de M. Pierre Antoine Crevenna, Négocient à Amsterdam, 1776, 4to., six vols.—De la même collection, 1789, 8vo., five vols.—De la même collection, 1793, 8vo. Of these catalogues of one of the most extensive and magnificent collections ever formed in Amsterdam, the first impression of 1776 (to which I have generally referred) is by far the most valuable in regard to bibliographical remarks and copious description. Peignot tells us that no bibliographer can do without it. It was commenced in the year 1774, and published during the life time of Peter Antony Crevenna, the father; from whom the collection passed into the hands of the son Bolongari Crevenna, and in whose lifetime it was sold by public auction. The second impression of 1789 is the sale-catalogue, and contains more books than the preceding one; but the bibliographical observations are comparatively trifling. There are copies of this latter impression upon large paper in quarto. I possess an interesting copy of the small paper, which has numerous marginal remarks in pencil, by Mr. Edwards; who examined the library at Amsterdam, with a view to purchase it entire. The last catalogue of 1793, which was published after the death of the son, contains a few choice books which he had reserved for himself, and, among them, a curious set of fac-simile drawings of old prints and title-pages; some of which were obtained at the sale of the elder Mirabeau (vide post). It seems to have been the ruling passion of B. Crevenna's life to collect all the materials, from all quarters, which had any connection, more or less, with "the origin and progress of printing," and it is for ever to be regretted that such extensive materials as those which he had amassed, and which were sold at the sale of 1793 should have been dissipated beyond the hope of restoration. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 100; and his Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. 139.——Crozat. Catalogue des Livres de Monsieur Le President Crozat de Tugny, Paris, 1751, 8vo. This collection was particularly rich in the belles-lettres—and especially in Italian and French Romance-Literature.——Van Damme. Catalogue d'une Bibliotheque, vendue publiquement à la Haye, le 8 Octobre, par Varon et Gaillard, 1764, three vols. 8vo. "This precious and rare collection belonged to M. Pierre Van Damme, book-merchant at Amsterdam, equally well known for his knowledge of bibliography and of medals; of which latter he had a beautiful and uncommon collection." Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 306.——Dubois. Bibliotheca Duboisiana, ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque du Cardinal Dubois. A la Haye, 1725, 8vo., four vols. A collection which evinces the fine taste and sound judgment of the Cardinal Du Bois. It is not rare abroad.——Elzevir. Catalogus librorum qui in Bibliopolio Officinæ Danielis Elzevirii venales extant, Ams. 1674, 12mo.: 1681, 12mo.—qui in Bibliopoli Elzeviriano venales extant, Lug. Bat., 1634, 1684, 4to. These, and other catalogues of the books printed by the distinguished family of the Elzevirs, should find a place within the cabinet of bibliographers. The first book ever published by the Elzevirs was of the date of 1595; the last, of 1680 or 1681, by Daniel Elzevir, who was the only surviving branch. His widow carried on the business after his decease in 1680. In the Dictionnaire de Bibliologie of Peignot, vol. i., p. 216, vol. iii., p. 116, will be found a pleasing account of this family of (almost) unrivalled printers.——Du Fay. Bibliotheca Fayana seu Catalogus librorum Bibl. Cor. Hier. de Cisternay du Fay, digestus à Gabriel Martin, Paris, 1725, 8vo. The catalogue of this collection, which is a judicious one, and frequently referred to, is very carefully put forth by Martin. I think that I have seen a copy of it upon large paper.——Fagel. Bibliotheca Fageliana. A catalogue of the valuable and extensive Library of the Greffier Fagal, of the Hague: in two parts. London, 1802, 8vo. It is highly creditable to that most respectable establishment, Trinity College, Dublin, that the present grand collection of books was purchased "en masse" (for 7000l.) to be deposited within its library; thus rendering the interior of the latter "companion meet" for its magnificent exterior. The title-page of the first part announces the sale of the books by auction by Mr. Christie; but the above offer having been made for the whole collection, the same was forthwith transported to Ireland. Collectors should take care that the second part of this catalogue be not wanting, which is oftentimes the case. A good index only is requisite to make the Bibliotheca Fageliana rank with the most valuable publications of its kind in existence. It was compiled by the well-known S. Paterson.——Faultrier. Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ Domini Joachimi Faultrier, digestus à Prosper Marchand, Paris, 1709, 8vo. The bibliographical introductory remarks, by Marchand, render this volume (which rarely occurs) very acceptable to collectors of catalogues. Maittaire has spoken well of the performance, Annal. Typog. iii., p. 482. Consult also the Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., p. 675, and the Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. ii., p. 235, upon Marchand's introductory remarks relating to the arrangement of a library.——Favier. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feu Mons. L'Abbé Favier, Prêtre à Lille, Lille, 1765, 8vo. A well arranged catalogue of a choice collection of books, which cost the Abbé fifty years of pretty constant labour in amassing. Prefixed, are some interesting notices of MSS.: and, among them, of a valuable one of Froissart. The prints of the Abbé were afterwards sold, from a catalogue of 143 pages, printed at Lisle in the same year.——Du Fresne. Raphaelis Tricheti du Fresne Bibliothecæ Catalogus. Paris, 1662, 4to. "I have observed," says Morhof, "a number of authors in this catalogue which I have in vain sought after elsewhere. The typographical errors (especially in regard to dates, adds Baillet) are innumerable: and the theological, legal, and medical works, comparatively few—but in the departments of history, antiquities, and general literature, this collection is wonderfully enriched—containing authors hardly ever heard of." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 212. Colomiés and Labbe unite in conferring the highest praises upon Du Fresne and his collection. See the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 143; where, however, the confused and inaccurate manner in which the catalogue is executed is sharply censured by Baillet. Morhof informs us that this collection was disposed of by Du Fresne's widow, to the Royal Library, for 24,000 livres, after she had refused 33,000 for the same.——Gaignat. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de feu M. Louis Jean Gaignat, disposé et mis en ordre par Guill. François de Bure le Jeune. Paris, 1769, 8vo., two vols. One of the best executed, and most intrinsically valuable catalogues in existence. Almost all the books of Gaignat were in the choicest condition; being the cream of the collections of Colbert, Préfond, and De Boze. The possession of this rare catalogue, which is indispensable to the collector, forms what is called a Supplement to De Bure's "Bibliographie Instructive." There are 50 copies struck off upon small quarto paper, to arrange with a like number of this latter work. Consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 291.——Genève. Catalogue raisonné des Manuscrits conservés dans la bibliothéque, &c., de Genève; par Jean Senibier. Genève, 1779, 8vo. A neatly executed and useful catalogue of some manuscripts of no mean value. It has received a good character by Mons. Van-Praet, in the Cat. de la Valliere, vol. iii., no. 5542. See also p. 36, ante.——Goez. Bibliothecæ Goësinæ Catalogus, Leidæ, 1687, 8vo. A fine collection of books and of coins distinguished the Museum of Goez.——Golowkin. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque du Comte Alexis de Golowkin, Leipsic, 1798, 4to. It is said that only 25 copies of this catalogue were struck off, and that not more than two of these are known to be in France. Neither the type nor paper has the most inviting aspect; but it is a curious volume, and contains a description of books "infiniment précieux." Consult Peignot's Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 31. Dr. Clarke, in his Travels in Russia, &c., p. 138, has noticed the extraordinary library of Count Botterline, but says nothing of Golowkin's.——Gouttard. Catalogue des Livres rares et precieux de feu M. Gouttarde par Guillaume de Bure fils aîné. Paris, 1780, 8vo. A short bibliographical notice of the amiable and tasteful owner of this select collection precedes the description of the books. The bibliographical observations are sometimes copious and valuable. This catalogue is indispensable to the collector.——Guyon. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de feu M.J.B. Denis Guyon, Chev. Seigneur de Sardiere, Ancien Capitaine au Regiment du Roi, et l'un des Seigneurs du Canal de Briare. Paris, 1759, 8vo. It is justly said, in the "advertisement" prefixed to this catalogue, that, in running over the different classes of which the collection is composed, there will be found articles "capable de piquer la curiosité des bibliophiles." In ancient and modern poetry, and in romances—especially relating to chivalry—this "ancient Captain" appears to have been deeply versed. The advertisement is followed by 28 pages of "Eclaircissemens"—which give an interesting account of some precious manuscripts of old poetry and romances. A MS. note, in my copy of this catalogue, informs me that the books were sold "en masse."——Heinsius. (Nic.) Nicolai Heinsii Bibliothecæ Catalogus, (1682) 8vo. A portrait of the elegant and learned owner of this collection faces the title-page. The books contained in it are remarkable both for their rarity and intrinsic value; and a great number of them were enriched with the notes of Scaliger, Salmasius, and others. Few collections display more judgment and taste in the selection than the present one; and few critics have been of more essential service to the cause of ancient classical literature than Nicholas Heinsius. He excelled particularly in his editions of the poets. Mr. Dyer, of Exeter, the bookseller, has a copy of this catalogue, which was formerly Grævius's; in which that celebrated critic has made marginal remarks concerning the rarity and value of certain works described in it.——Hohendorf. Bibliotheca Hohendorfiana; ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de feu Mons. George Guillaume Baron de Hohendorf: à la Haye, 1720, 8vo., three parts. A magnificent collection; which a MS. note, by Dr. Farmer (in my copy of the catalogue), informs me was "added to the Emperor's library at Vienna." In the Bibl. Mencken, p. 10, it is thus loftily described: "Catalogus per-rarus rarissimis libris superbiens."——Hoym. Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ Caroli Henrici Comitis de Hoym, 1738, 8vo. This catalogue, which is exceedingly well "digested by Martin," is a great favourite with collectors. A copy out of Count Hoym's collection tells well—whether at a book-sale, or in a bookseller's catalogue. There are copies upon large paper, which, when priced, sell high.——Hulsius. Bibliotheca Hulsiana, sive Catalogus Librorum quos magno labore, summa cura et maximis sumptibus collegit Vir Consularis Samuel Hulsius. Hag. Com. 1730, four vols. 8vo. (the second and third being in two parts, and the fourth in three). This is, in sober truth, a wonderful collection of books; containing nearly 34,000 articles—which, allowing three volumes to an article, would make the owner to have been in possession of 100,000 volumes of printed books and MSS. The English library, (vol. iv., pt. ii.) of nearly 3300 articles, comprehended nearly all the best books of the day. There were about 1200 articles of Spanish Literature. Nor was the worthy Consul deficient in the love of the fine arts ("hæc est, sitque diu, Senis optimi voluptas et oblectatio," says the compiler of the catalogue); having 11,000 most beautiful prints of subjects relating to the Bible, bound up in 92 atlas folio volumes. Long live the memory of Hulsius; a consular hero of no ordinary renown!——Jena. Memorabilia Bibliothecæ Academicæ Jenensis: sive designatio Codicum manuscriptorum illa Bibliothecâ et Librorum impressorum plerumque rariorum. Joh. Christophoro Mylio. Jenæ, 1746, 8vo. A work of some little importance; and frequently referred to by Vogt and Panzer. It is uncommon.——Jesu Soc. Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu. Antv., 1643. Romæ, 1676, fol. Although this work is not a professed catalogue of books, yet, as it contains an account of the writings of those learned men who were in the society of the Jesuits—and as Baillet, Antonio, and Morhof, have said every thing in commendation of it—I strongly recommend one or the other of these editions to the bibliographer's attention. I possess the edition of 1643; and have frequently found the most satisfactory intelligence on referring to it. How clever some of the Jesuits were in their ideas of the arrangement of a library may be seen from their "Systema Bibliothecæ Jesuitarum Collegii Ludoviciani"—which was written by Garnier for the private use of the Louvain college, and which is now extremely difficult to be found. See Maichelius, de Præcip. Bibl. Parisiens, p. 128. Their "Systema bibliothecæ collegii Parisiensis societatis Jesu," 1678, 4to. (or catalogue of books in the college of Clermont), is handsomely noticed by Camus in the Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., 647.——Just, St. Catalogue des livres en très-petit nombre qui composent la Bibliothéque de M. Merard de St. Just, ancien maitre-d'hotêl de Monsieur, frère du Roi (avec les prix d'achat). Paris, 1783, 18mo. Of this book, printed upon superfine paper, of the manufactory of d'Annonay, only 25 copies were struck off. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 43. Another catalogue of the same collection (perhaps a more copious one) was put forth in 1799, 8vo., prepared by M. Mauger, See Diction. Bibliographique, tom. iv., p. xiv.——Krohn. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Præstantissimorum &c., Librorum selectum complectentis. Libros collegit et Literariis Catalogum Animadversionibus instruxit, B.N. Krohn. Editio altera. Hamb. 1796, 8vo. The preface to this very excellent collection of books is written in Latin by Rambach; and a most interesting one it is. After giving a slight sketch of the life and literary occupations of Krohn, he thus finishes the picture of his death—"Ego certe (exclaims the grateful biographer), mi Krohni, te amabo, et quamdiu 'spiritus hos reget artus' gratam Tui memoriam ex animo nunquam elabi patiar. O! me felicem, si, qua olim me beasti, amicitiâ nunc quoque frui possem. Sed fruar aliquando, cum Deus me ad beatorum sedes evocaverit, ac Te mihi rediderit conjunctissimum. Vale, interim, pia anima; et quem jam tristem reliquisti, prope diem exspecta, in tenerrimos Tuos amplexus properantem, ac de summa, quam nunc habes, felicitate Tibi congratulantem," p. xix. This is the genuine language of heart-felt grief; language, which those who have lost an old and good friend will know well how to appreciate. This catalogue, which was given to me by my friend the Rev. Dr. Gosset, 'vir in re bibliographicâ πολυμαθεστατος,' exhibits a fine collection of books (3821 in number) relating to history and philology. Some of Krohn's notes are sufficiently shrewd and intelligent.——Lamoignon. Catalogue des Livres Imprimés et manuscrits de la Bibliothéque de M. le President de Lamoignon (redigé par L. Fr. Delatour) avec une table des auteurs, et des anonymes. Paris, 1770, fol. The bibliographer has only to hear Peignot speak in his own language, and he will not long hesitate about the price to be given for so precious volume: "Catalogue fort rare, tiré a quinze exemplaires seulement, sur du papier de coton fabriqué, par singularité, à Angoulême." Mr. Harris, of the Royal Institution, possesses a copy of it, bound in orange-coloured Morocco, which was presented to him by Mr. Payne; and, as Alexander placed his beloved Homer—so does he this catalogue—uner his pillow "quand il vent se reposer—a cause des songes agréables qu'il doit inspirer." This beautiful volume, which was printed for Lamoignon's own convenience, in supplemental parts, does not, however, contain Baillet's interesting Latin prefece, which may be seen in the Jugemens des Savans, vol. pt. ii., p. 140, ed. 1725.——Lamoignon. Des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feu M. de Lamoignon, Garde de Sçeaux de France. Paris, 1791, 8vo., 3 vols. These volumes contain the sale catalogue of Lamoignon's books as they were purchased by Mr. T. Payne, the bookseller. Like the great libraries of Crevenna and Pinelli, this immense collection (with the exception of the works upon French jurisprudence) has been dissipated by public sale. It yet delights Mr. Payne to think and to talk of the many thousand volumes which were bound in Morocco, or Russia, or white-calf-leather, "with gilt on the edges"—which this extraordinary family of book-collectors had amassed with so much care and assiduity. The preface gives us a short, but pleasing, account of the bibliomanical spirit of Lamoignon's father-in-law, Monsieur Berryer; who spent between thirty and forty years in enriching this collection with all the choice, beautiful, and extraordinary copies of works which, from his ministerial situation, and the exertions of his book-friends, it was possible to obtain. M. Berryer died in 1762, and his son-in-law in 1789.——Lamoignon. Des Livres de la même Biblothéque, par Nyon l'âiné. Paris, 1797, 8vo. This volume presents us with the relics of a collection which, in its day, might have vied with the most splendid in Europe. But every thing earthly must be dissipated.——Lancelot. Catalogue des Livres de feu M. Lancelot de l'Academie Royale des Belles Lettres. Paris, 1741, 8vo. Those who are fond of making their libraries rich in French History cannot dispense with this truly valuable catalogue. Lancelot, like the elder Lamoignon, appears to have been "buried in the benedictions of his countrymen"—according to the energetic language of Bourdaloue.——Lemarié. Catalogue des livres de feu M. Lemarié, disposé et mis en ordre, par Guil. De Bure, fils aîné, Paris, 1776, 8vo. A well digested catalogue of a rich collection of Greek and Latin Literature, which evinces a man of taste and judgment. Nothing can be more handsomely said of a collection than what De Bure has prefixed to the present one. In the Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1545, I find a copy of it upon large paper.——Loménie. Index Librorum ab inventa Typographia da annum 1500, &c., cum notis, &c. Senonis, 1791, 8vo., two vols. The owner of this collection, whose name does not appear in the title-page, was the celebrated Cardinal de Loménie de Brienne: who is described, in the advertisement prefixed to the catalogue of his books in 1797, [vide infra] as having, from almost early youth, pushed his love of book-collecting to an excess hardly equalled by any of his predecessors. When he was but a young ecclesiastic, and had only the expectation of a fortune, his ruling passion for books, and his attachment to fellow bibliomaniacs, was ardent and general. But let his panegyrist speak in his own language—"Si le hazard procuroit à ses amis quelque objét précieux, il n'avoit de repos qu'aprés l'avoir obtenu; les sacrifices ne l'effrayoient pas; il étoit né généreaux; mais ce qu'on lui accordoit, il le devoit sur-tout à ses manières insinuantes. Ses sollicitations étoient toujours assaisonnées d'un ton d'amabilité auquel on résistoit difficilement. Lorsque le tems et les grâces de la cour eurent aggrandi ses moyens, ses veus s'etendirent à proportion. Insensiblement il embressa tous les genres, et sa bibliothéque devint un dépôt universel. Dans ses fréquens voyages, s'il s'arrêtoit quelques instans dans une ville, on le voyoit visiter lui-même les libraries, s'introduire dans les maisons religieuses, s'insinuer dans les cabinets d'amateurs, chercher par-tout à acquérir; c'etoit un besoin pour lui d'acheter sans cesse, d'entasser les volumes. Cette passion a peut-être ses excés; mais du moins, elle ne fut pas pour le cardinal de Loménie une manie stérile. Non seulement il aimoit, il connoissoit les livres, mais il savoit s'en servir; sans contredit il fut un des hommes les plus éclairés du Clergé de France."——To return from this pleasing rhapsody to the catalogue, the title of which is above given. It is composed by Laire, in the Latin language, with sufficient bibliographical skill: but the index is the most puzzling one imaginable. The uncommonly curious and magnificent collection, not being disposed of "en masse"—according to advertisement—was broken up; and the more ancient books were sold by auction at Paris, in 1792, from a French catalogue prepared by De Bure. Some of the books were purchased by Mr. Edwards, and sold at London in the Paris collection [vide p. 90, post]; as were also those relating to Natural History; which latter were sold by auction without his Eminence's name: but it is a gross error in the Bibl. Krohn, p. 259, no. 3466, to say that many of these books were impious and obscene. These are scarce and dear volumes; and as they supply some deficiencies Audiffredi's account of books published at Rome in the xvth century [vid. p. 62, ante], the bibliographer should omit no opportunity of possessing them.——Loménie. D'une partie des livres de la Bibliothéque du Cardinal de Loménie de Brienne, Paris, an. v. [1797], 8vo. This collection, the fragments or ruins of the Lomenie library, contains 2754 articles, or numbers, with a rich sprinkling of Italian literature; leaving behind, however, a surplus of not fewer than twelve hundred pieces relating to the Italian Drama—many of them rare—which were to be sold at a future auction. From the biographical memoir prefixed to this catalogue, I have given the preceding extract concerning the character of the owner of the collection—who died in the same year as the sale.——Macarthy. Catalogue des livres rares et précieux du cabinet de M.L.C.D.M. (M. Le Comte de Macarthy), Paris, 1779, 8vo. Supplement au Catalogue des livres, &c., de M.L.C.D.M., Paris, 1779, 8vo. Chez de Bure, fils aîné. These books were sold in January, 1780; and great things are said, in the advertisement, of their rarity and beauty. The Count Macarthy has, at this moment, one of the most magnificent collections upon the continent. His books printed upon vellum are unequalled by those of any private collection. Of the above catalogue, a copy upon strong writing paper occurs in the Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1549.——Magliabechi. Catalogus Codicum Sæculo xv. Impressorum qui in publica Bibliotheca Magliabechiana Florentiæ adservantur. Autore Ferdinando Fossio; ejusd. bibl. Præf., Florent., 1793, folio, three vols. A magnificent and truly valuable publication (with excellent indexes) of the collection of the famous Magliabechi; concerning whom the bibliographical world is full of curious anecdotes. The reader may consult two volumes of letters from eminent men to Magliabechi, published in 1745, &c., vide Bibl. Pinell, no. 8808, &c., edit. 1789: Wolfius's edition of the Bibliotheca Aprosiana, p. 102; and the Strawberry Hill[C] edition of the Parallel between Magliabechi and Mr. Hill, 1758, 8vo.—an elegant and interesting little volume. Before we come to speak of his birth and bibliographical powers, it may be as well to contemplate his expressive physiognomy.


Magliabechi was born at Florence October 29, 1633. His parents, of low and mean rank, were well satisfied when they got him into the service of a man who sold herbs and fruit. He had never learned to read; and yet he was perpetually poring over the leaves of old books that were used in his master's shop. A bookseller, who lived in the neighbourhood, and who had often observed this, and knew the boy could not read, asked him one day "what he meant by staring so much on printed paper?" Magliabechi said that "he did not know how it was, but that he loved it of all things." The consequence was that he was received, with tears of joy in his eyes, into the bookseller's shop; and hence rose, by a quick succession, into posts of literary honour, till he became librarian to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In this situation Magliabechi had nothing further, or more congenial to his feelings, to sigh for: in the Florentine library he revelled without cessation in the luxury of book-learning. The strength of his memory was remarkable; one day, the Grand Duke sent for him to ask whether he could procure a book that was particularly scarce. "No, sir," answered Magliabechi, "it is impossible; for there is but one in the world, and that is in the Grand Signior's Library at Constantinople, and is the seventh book on the second shelf on the right hand as you go in." In spite of his cobwebs, dirt, and cradle lined with books, Magliabechi reached his 81st year. Hearne has contrived to interweave the following (rather trifling) anecdote of him, in his Johan. Confrat., &c., de Reb. Glaston, vol. ii., 486—which I give merely because it is the fashion to covet every thing which appertaineth to Tom Hearne. "I have mentioned the bank where the MSS. (concerning the Epistles of St. Ignatius; Bank lvii.) stands, and the title of the book, because Vossius tells us not in his preface which of the several MSS. in this library he made use of; and to finde it out gave me so much trouble that, if the Grand Duke's library-keeper had not known the book, and searched it for me, I think I should never have met with it, there being not one canon of St. Laurence, not their library-keeper himself, nor, I believe, any other in Florence, except this Sre. Magliabechi, that could direct me to it. The learned Bishop will be pleased to take notice of Sre. Maliabechi's civility; who, besides procuring me the Grand Duke's leave to collate the epistles, attended himself in the library, all the time I was there (the licence being granted by the Grand Duke upon this condition): and since, as a mark of his respect to the reverend bishop, hath been pleased to present him with a book (about the Florentine history) which I have committed to Mr. Ferne, my Lord Lexinton's Gentleman, to be conveyed to his lordship." (Mr. Ledgerd's account of his collations of the Florentine MS. with the edition of Vossius.)——St. Mark. Græca D. Marci Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Præside Laurentio Theopolo. Venet. 1740, folio: Ejusdem Latina et Italica Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Præside eodem, Venet. 1741, folio. These useful and handsomely executed volumes should be found in every extensive philological collection.——Medici-Lorenzo. Bibliothecæ Mediceo-Laurentianæ et Palatinæ Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium Catalogus digessit S.E. Assemanus. Florent. 1742, folio. A very valuable and splendid publication; evincing the laudable ambition of the Medici in their encouragement of oriental literature. The editor is commended in the preface of the subsequent catalogue, p. xxxxv.——Medici-Lorenzo. Bibliothecæ Hebraico-Grecæ Florentinæ sive Bibliothecæ Mediceo-Laurentianæ Catalogus ab Antonio Maria Biscionio, &c., digestus atque editus, Florent., 1752, folio, two vols. in one. A grand book; full of curious fac-similes of all sorts of things. It was begun to be printed in 1752, but Biscioni's death, in May, 1756, prevented the completion of the publication 'till May 1757. See præfat., p. xxxxvii—and particularly the colophon.——Medici-Lorenzo. Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum, Græcorum, Latinorum, et Italicoram, Bibliothecæ Medicæ Laurentianæ: Angelus Maria Bandinus recensuit, illustravit edidit. Florent., 1764; 3 vols., 1774; 5 vols., folio. An equally splendid work with the preceding—and much more copious and erudite in regard to intrinsically valuable matter. The indexes are excellent. No extensive philological library should be without these volumes—especially since the name of Medici has recently become so popular, from the able biographical memoirs of the family by Mr. Roscoe.——Menarsiana. Bibliotheca Menarsiana; ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de feu Messire Jean Jaques Charron, Chevalier Marquis de Menars, &c. A La Haye, 1720, 8vo. A very fine collection of books in all branches of literature. After the "Ordo Venditionis," there is an additional leaf pasted in, signifying that a magnificent copy of Fust's bible of 1462, upon paper, would be sold immediately after the theological MSS. in folio. It brought the sum of 1200 florins. The sale commenced at nine and at two; giving the buyers time to digest their purchases, as well as their dinners, at twelve! "Tempora mutantur!"——Menckenius. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Menckenianæ ab Ottone et Burchardo collectæ. Editior altera longe emendatior. Lips., 1727, 8vo. There are some curious and uncommon books in this collection; which evince the taste and judgment of Menckenius, who was a scholar of no mean reputation. Perhaps the word "rare" is too lavishly bestowed upon some of the books described in it.——Meon. Catalogue des livres précieux singuliéres et rares de la Bibliothèque de M. Meon. Paris, an. xii. (1804), 8vo. A very choice collection of books; catalogued with considerable care.——Mercier. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de M. Mercier, Abbé de Saint Leger, par. M. De Bure, 1799, 8vo. If the reader has chanced to cast his eye over the account of the Abbé de St. Leger, at p. 61, ante, he will not hesitate long about procuring a copy of the catalogue of the library of so truly eminent a bibliographer.——Mérigot. Catalogue des livres de M.J.G. Mérigot, Libraire, par M. De Bure, 1800, 8vo. It is very seldom that this catalogue appears in our own country: which is the more provoking as the references to it, in foreign bibliographical works, render its possession necessary to the collector. Mérigot was an eminent bookseller, and prepared a good catalogue of M. Lorry's library, which was sold in 1791, 8vo.——St. Michael. Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Monasterij Sancti Michaelis Venetiarum, una cum appendice librorum impressorum sæculi xv. Opus posthumum Joannis Bened. Mittarelli. Venet., 1779, folio. It were much to be wished that, after the example of this and other monasteries, all religious houses, which have large libraries attached to them, would publish accounts of their MSS. and printed books. There is no knowing what treasures are hid in them, and of which the literary world must remain ignorant, unless they are thus introduced to general notice. How many curious and amusing anecdotes may be told of precious works being discovered under barbarous titles! Among others, take, gentle reader, the two following ones—relating to books of a very different character. Within a volume, entitled Secreta Alberti, were found "The Fruyte of Redempcyon," printed by W. De Worde, 1532, 4to.; and a hitherto imperfectly described impression of The Boke of Fyshinge, printed by W. De Worde, in 4to., without date; which usually accompanies that fascinating work, ycleped Dame Juliana Barnes's Boke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Cote Armoor. My friend Mr. J. Haslewood first made me acquainted with this rare treasure—telling me he had "a famous tawny little volume" to shew me: his pulse, at the same time, I ween, beating one hundred and five to the minute! The second anecdote more exactly accords with the nature of my preliminary observations. In one of the libraries abroad, belonging to the Jesuits, there was a volume entitled, on the back of it "Concilium Tridenti:" the searching eye and active hands of a well-educated Bibliomaniac discovered and opened this volume—when lo! instead of the Council of Trent, appeared the First, and almost unknown, Edition of the Decameron of Boccaccio! This precious volume is now reposing upon the deserted shelves of the late Duke of Roxburgh's library; and, at the forth-coming sale of the same, it will be most vigorously contended for by all the higher and more knowing powers of the bibliographical world;

But when the gods descending swell'd the fight,
Then tumult rose; fierce rage and pale affright
Varied each face:
[Pope's] Homer's Iliad, b. xx. v. 63.

Mirabeau. Catalogue de la Bibliotheque de Mirabeau l'aîné, par Rozet, 1792, 8vo. A fine collection of books; some of them very curious and uncommon. At the head of the choice things contained in it must be noticed the "Recueil de Calques, ou dessins des titres et figure d'un grand nombre des plus anciens ouvrages, gravés en bois, ou imprimés en caractères mobiles, depuis l'origine de l'imprimerie," &c. These designs were 226 in number; of which a description is given at the head of the catalogue. They were purchased for 1105 livres, and again sold, with the same description prefixed, at the last Crevenna sale of 1793 (see p. 79, ante). Consult the Curiosités Bibliographiques of Peignot, p. 139.——Miromenil. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de M. Hüe de Miromenil, garde des sceaux de France, Paris, 1781, 4to. "It appears, from the catalogue of M. de Coste, that this is a rare book, of which only few copies were printed, and those never sold." Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 33.——Montfauçon. Diarium Italicum; sive Monumentorum Veterum, Bibliothecarum, Musæorum Notitiæ Singulares a D. Bernardo de Montfauçon, Paris, 1702, 4to. Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum nova, autore De Bern. de Montfauçon, Paris, 1739, folio, two vols. These are the bibliographical works (which I thought would be acceptable if placed in this list of Catalogues) of the illustrious Montfauçon; whose publications place him on the summit of antiquarian fame. So much solid sense, careful enquiry, curious research, and not despicable taste, mark his voluminous productions! The bibliographer may rest assured that he will not often be led into confusion or error in the perusal of the above curious and valuable volumes, which have always been considered precious by the philologist.——Morelli. Jacobi Morellii Bibliothecæ Regiæ divi Marci Venetiarum Custodis, Bibliotheca Manuscripta Græca et Latina. Tom. prim. Bassani, 8vo. Morelli was the amiable and profoundly learned librarian of St. Mark's at Venice; and this catalogue of his Greek and Latin MSS. is given upon the authority of Peignot's Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lix.——Museum British. Catalogus Librorum Manuscript. Bibl. Cotton., Oxon., 1696, fol. A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library, Lond. 1777, 8vo. A Catalogue of the same, 1802, fol. A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, &c., Lond., 1759, fol., 2 vols. A Catalogue of the same, Lond., 1808, fol., 3 vols. A Catalogue of the MSS. of the Kings Library, &c., 1734, 4to. A Catalogue of the MSS., &c., hitherto undescribed, Lond., 1782, 4to., two vols. Catalog. Libror. Impress., &c., Lond., 1787, folio, 2 vols. These are the published catalogues of the literary treasures, in manuscript and in print, which are contained in the British Museum. The first Cottonian catalogue has a life of Sir Robert Cotton, and an account of his library prefixed to it. The second, by Samuel Hooper, was intended "to remedy the many defects" in the preceding catalogue, and "the injudicious manner" in which it was compiled; but it is of itself sufficiently confused and imperfect. The third, which is the most copious and valuable, with an index (and which has an abridged account of Sir Robert Cotton, and of his Library), was drawn up by Mr. Planta, the principal librarian of the British Museum. A great part of the first catalogue of the Harleian MSS. was compiled by the celebrated Humphrey Wanley, and a most valuable and ably executed publication it is! The Second is executed by the Rev. R. Nares: it contains the preface of the first, with an additional one by himself, and a copious index; rendering this the most complete catalogue of MSS. which has ever yet appeared in our own country; although one regrets that its typographical execution should not have kept pace with its intrinsic utility. The two latter catalogues of MSS. above described give an account of those which were presented by royal munificence, and collected chiefly by Sir Hans Sloane and Dr. Birch. The catalogue of 1734 (which is now rare) was compiled by David Casley: that of 1782, by Samuel Ascough. Of the catalogue of Printed Books, it would be unfair to dwell upon its imperfections, since a new, and greatly enlarged and improved, impression of it is about going to press, under the editorial care and inspection of Messrs. H. Ellis and Baber, the gentlemen to whom the printed books are at present intrusted. Mr. Douce, who has succeeded Mr. Nares as head librarian of the MSS., is busily employed in examining the multifarious collection of the Lansdowne MSS. (recently purchased by the Trustees of the Museum), and we may hope that the day is not very far distant when the public are to be congratulated on his minute and masterly analysis of these treasures.——Paris. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de M. Paris de Meyzieux, Paris, 1779, 8vo. Bibliotheca elegantissima Parisina, par M. Lourent, 1790, 8vo. The same: Lond., 1791, 8vo. Since the days of Gaignat and the Duke de la Valliere, the longing eyes of bibliographers were never blessed with a sight of more splendid and choice books than were those in the possession of M. Paris de Meyzieux. The Spira Virgil of 1470, upon vellum, will alone confer celebrity upon the first catalogue—but what shall we say to the second? It consists of only 635 articles, and yet, as is well observed in the preface, it was never equalled for the like number. Happy is that noviciate in bibliography who can forget the tedium of a rainy day in sitting by the side of a log-wood fire, and in regaling his luxurious fancy, by perusing the account of "fine, magnificent, matchless, large paper," and "vellum" copies which are thickly studded from one end of this volume to the other. Happier far the veteran, who can remember how he braved the perils of the sale, in encountering the noble and heavy metalled competitors who flocked, from all parts of the realm, to partake of these Parisian spoils! Such a one casts an eye upon his well-loaded shelves, and while he sees here and there a yellow morocco Aldus, or a Russian leather Froben, he remembers how bravely he fought for each, and with what success his exertions were crowned! For my own part, gentle reader, I frankly assure thee that—after having seen the "Heures de Notre Dame," written by the famous Jarry, and decorated with seven small exquisite paintings of the Virgin and Christ—and the Aldine Petrarch and Virgil of 1501, all of them executed upon snow-white vellum—after having seen only these books out of the Paris collection, I hope to descend to my obscure grave in perfect peace and satisfaction! The reader may smile; but let him turn to nos. 14, 201, 328, of the Bibl. Paris: no. 318 of the Cat. de la Valliere; and Curiositès Bibliographiques, p. 67. This strain of "ètourderie bibliographique," ought not to make me forget to observe that we are indebted to the enterprising spirit and correct taste of Mr. Edwards for these, as well as for many other, beautiful books imported from the Continent. Nor is it yet forgotten that some thorough-bred bibliomaniacs, in their way to the sale, used to call for a glass of ice, to allay the contagious inflammation which might rage in the auction-room. And now take we leave of Monsieur Paris de Meyzieux. Peace to the ashes of so renowned a book-chevalier.——Petau et Mansart. Bibliotheca Potavina et Mansartiana; ou Catalogue des Bibliothéques de Messrs. Alexander Petau, et François Mansart; auxquells on a ajouté le Cabinet des MSS. de Justus Lipsius. Haye, 1722, 8vo. A catalogue not very common, and well worth the bibliographer's consultation.——Pinelli. Bibliotheca Maphæi Pinelli Veneti, &c. A Jacobo Morellio. Venetiis, 1787, 6 vols., 8vo. Bibliotheca Pinelliana: a catalogue of the magnificent and celebrated library of Maffæi Pinelli, late of Venice, &c., London, 1789, 8vo. There can be no question about the priority, in point both of typographical beauty and intrinsic excellence, of these catalogues; the latter being only a common sale one, with the abridgment of the learned preface of Morelli, and of his bibliographical notices. This immense collection (of the ancient owners of which we have a short sketch in Morhof, vol. i., pp. 28, 202) was purchased by Messrs. Edwards and Robson: the Greek and Latin books were sold for 6786l., the Italian, for 2570l.—which barely repaid the expenses of purchase, including duties, carriage, and sale. Although, as Dr. Harwood has observed, "there being no dust in Venice, this most magnificent library has in general lain reposited for some centuries, in excellent preservation,"—yet the copies were not, upon the whole, in the choicest condition. There are copies of the catalogue of 1789 upon large paper. The catalogue of 1787 (with an elegant portrait of Pinelli prefixed) has, at first sight, the aspect of a work printed in small quarto.——Pompadour. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feue Madame La Marquise de Pompadour, Dame du Palais de la Reine, Paris, 1765, 8vo. The name of Madame de Pompadour will be always respected by bibliographers, on account of the taste and judgment which are displayed in this elegant collection. The old popular romances form the leading feature; but there is an ample sprinkling of the belles-lettres and poetry. An animated eulogium is pronounced upon Mad. de Pompadour by Jardé, in his "Précis sur les Bibliothéques;" prefixed to the last edition of Fournier's Dictionnaire Portatif de Bibliographie, p. vij.——Préfond. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de M.D.P. (Girardot de Préfond) Par Guillaume F. De Bure, Paris, 1757, 8vo. An excellent collection; not wanting in rare and magnificent productions. The owner of it was distinguished for many solid, as well as splendid, qualifications. Only six copies of it were printed upon large paper. See Cat. de Gaignat, vol. ii., no. 3467.——Randon de Boisset. Catalogue des livres du cabinet de feu M. Randon du Boisset. Par Guil. de Bure, fils aîné, Paris, 1777, 12mo. Although the generality of catalogue collectors will be satisfied with the usual copy of this well-digested volume, yet I apprehend the curious will not put up with any thing short of a copy of it upon strong writing paper. Such a one was in the Gouttard collection. See Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1546.——Reimannus. J.F. Reimanni Catalogus Bibliothecæ Theologicæ Systematico-Criticus. Hildes. 1731, 8vo., two vols. Ejusdem accessiones uberiores ad Catalogum Systematico-Criticum, editæ a Jo. W. Reimannus, Brunsv., 1747, 8vo. I have before given the character of this work in the introductory part of my "Knowledge of the Greek and Latin Classics." Every thing commendatory of it may be here repeated.——Renati. Bibliothecæ Josephi Renati Imperialis, &c., Cardinalis Catalogus, &c. Romæ, 1711, fol. This excellent catalogue, which cost the compiler of it, Fontanini, nine years of hard labour, is a most useful and valuable one; serving as a model for catalogues of large libraries. See the more minute criticism upon it in Cat. de Santander, no. 6315. My copy, which wants the title-page, but luckily contains the Latin preface, was formerly Ruddiman's. The volume has 738 pages: this is noticed because all the appendixes and addenda are comprehended in the same.——Revickzky. Bibliotheca Græca et Latina, complectens auctores fere omnes Græcia et Latii veteris, &c., cum delectu editionum tam primariarum, &c., quam etiam optimarum, splendidissimarum, &c., quas usui meo paravi. Periergus Deltophilus (the feigned name for Revickzky), Berolini, 1784: 1794, 8vo. It was the delight of Count Revickzky, the original owner of this collection, to devote his time and attention to the acquisition of scarce, beautiful, and valuable books; and he obtained such fame in this department of literature as to cause him to be ranked with the Vallieres, Pinellis, and Loménies of the day. He compiled, and privately disposed of, the catalogue of his collection, which bears the above title; and to some few of which are prefixed a letter to M. L' A.D. [enini] (Member of the French Academy) and a preface. Three Supplements to this catalogue were also, from time to time, circulated by him; so that the purchaser must look sharply after these acquisitions to his copy—as some one or the other of them are generally missing. Peignot supposes there are only two supplements. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 58. When Count Revickzky came over to England, he made an offer to Earl Spencer to dispose of the whole collection to his lordship, for a certain "round sum" to be paid immediately into his hands, and to receive, in addition, a yearly sum by way of annuity. So speaks fame. Shortly after this contract was closed, the Count died; and Earl Spencer, in consequence, for a comparatively small sum (the result of an immediate and generous compliance with the Count's wishes!), came into the possession of a library which, united with his previous magnificent collection, and the successful ardour with which he has since continued the pursuit, places him quite at the head of all the collectors in Europe—for early, rare, precious, and beautiful, books. Long may he possess such treasures!—and fleeing from the turbulence of politics, and secluded as he is, both in the metropolis and at Althorp, from the stunning noise of a city, may he always exclaim, with Horace, as the Count did before him—

Sit mihi, quod nunc est, etiam minus; ut mihi vivam
Quod superest ævi, si quid superesse volunt Dí.
Sit bona librorum et provisæ frugis in annum
Copia, ne fluitem dubiæ spe pendulus horæ.
Epist. Lib. i.: Epist. xviii. v., 107.

Sir M.M. Sykes, Bart., has a copy of the edition of 1784 [which is in every respect the better one], printed upon fine vellum paper. A similar copy of the edition of 1794 is noticed in the Cat. de Caillard,(1808) no. 2572. At the sale of M. Meon's books, in 1804, a copy of the first edition, charged with MS. notes of the celebrated Mercier St. Leger, was sold for 30 livres.——Rive. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de l'Abbé Rive, par Archard, Marseille, 1793, 8vo. A catalogue of the books of so sharp-sighted a bibliographer as was the Abbé Rive cannot fail to be interesting to the collector.——Du Roi [Louis XV.] Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Regiæ (studio et labore Anicetti Mellot). Paris, e Typog. Reg., 1739, folio, four vols.——Du Roi. Des Livres imprimés de la même Bibliothéque Royale. (Disposè par Messrs. les Abbés Sallier et Boudot, &c.) Paris, De L'Imprim. Royale, 1739-53, folio, six vols. The most beautiful and carefully executed catalogue in the world: reflecting a truly solid lustre upon the literary reputation of France! The first four volumes, written in Latin, comprehend an account of MSS.: the six last, written in French, of printed works in Theology, Jurisprudence, and Belles-Lettres; the departments of History and the Arts and Sciences still remaining to be executed. De Bure told us, half a century ago, that the "Gens de Lettres" were working hard at the completion of it; but the then complaints of bibliographers at its imperfect state are even yet continued in Fournier's last edition of his Dictionnaire Portatif de Bibliographie, p. 468. So easy it is to talk; so difficult to execute! I believe, however, that M. Van-Praet, one of the principal librarians, is now putting all engines to work to do away the further disgrace of such unaccountably protracted negligence. My copy of this magnificent set of books is bound in red Morocco, gilt leaves, and was a presentation one from the King "au Comte de Neny, comme une marque de son estime, 1770." I should add that the first volume of "Theology" contains a history of the rise and progress of the royal library, which was reprinted in 8vo., 1782.——Du Roi. Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothéque du Roi, Paris. De l'Imprim. Roy. 1787, 4to., seven vols. It will be obvious to the candid reader that this work could not be better introduced than in the present place; and a most interesting and valuable one it is! My copy of it, which is only in six volumes [but a seventh is mentioned in Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3845, and in Caillot's Roman Bibliographique, p. 195], was purchased by me of Mr. Evans of Pall-Mall, who had shewn it to several lovers of bibliography, but none of whom had courage or curiosity enough to become master of the volumes. How I have profited by them, the Supplement to my first volume of the "Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain," may in part shew. The public shall be made acquainted with still more curious excerpts. In my humble judgment the present work is a model of extraction of the marrow of old MSS. It may be worth adding, the plates in the sixth volume are singular, curious and beautiful.——Du Roi. Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. Translated from the French, London, 1789, 8vo., two vols. "The French Monarch [Louis XVI.], in the publication now before us, has set an example to all Europe, well worthy to be followed"—says the opening of the translator's preface. The present volumes contain a translation of only twenty-two articles from the preceding work; and very strongly may they be recommended to the curious philologist, as well as to the thorough-bred bibliomaniac.——Röver. Bibliotheca Röveriana, sive Catalogus Librorum qui studiis inservierunt Matthiæ Röveri. Lug. Bat. 1806, 8vo., two parts. From the elegant and pleasing Latin preface to this most carefully compiled catalogue, we learn that the owner of the books lived to his 82d year—and [what must be a peculiar gratification to Bibliomaniacs] that he beat Pomponius Atticus in the length of time during which he never had occasion to take physic; namely, 50 years! Röver's life seemed to glide away in rational tranquillity, and in total seclusion from the world; except that he professed and always shewed the greatest kindness to his numerous, and many of them helpless, relatives—"vix in publicum prodiit, nisi cultus Divini externi aut propinquorum caussâ," p. xv. His piety was unshaken. Like the venerable Jacob Bryant, his death was hastened in consequence of a contusion in his leg from a fall in endeavouring to reach a book.——Rothelin. Catalogue des livres de feu M'L. Abbé D'Orleans de Rothelin. Par G. Martin, Paris, 1746, 8vo. This catalogue of the library of the amiable and learned Abbé Rothelin, "known (says Camus) for his fine taste for beautiful books," is judiciously drawn up by Martin, who was the De Bure of his day. A portrait of its owner faces the title-page. It was the Abbé Rothelin who presented De Boze with the celebrated 'Guirlande de Julie'—a work which afterwards came into the Valliere collection, and was sold for 14,510 livres,—"the highest price (says Peignot) ever given for a modern book." Consult his Curiosités Bibliographiques, pp. 62, 67; and Bibl. Curieuse, p. 61.——Sarraz. Bibliotheca Sarraziana. Hag. Com., 1715, 8vo. This catalogue, which is frequently referred to by bibliographers, should not escape the collector when he can obtain it for a few shillings. A tolerably good preface or diatribe is prefixed, upon the causes of the rarity of Books, but the volume itself is not deserving of all the fine things in commendation of it which are said in the Bibl. Reiman, pt. ii., p. 671, &c.——Sartori. Catalogus Bibliographicus Librorum Latinorum et Germanicorum in Bibliotheca Cæsar. reg. et equestris Academiæ Theresianæ extantium, cum accessionibus originum typographicarum. Vindobonensium, et duobus supplementis necnon, indice triplici, systematico, bibliographico, et typographico; auctore Josepho de Sartori. Vindobonæ, 1801-3, 4to. Vol. i., ii., iii. Of this very curious and greatly-to-be-desired catalogue, which is to be completed in eight volumes, it is said that only one hundred copies are struck off. Peignot has a long and interesting notice of it in his Bibliographie Curieuse, p. 64.——Schalbruck. Bibliotheca Schalbruchiana; sive Catalogus exquisitissimorum rarissimorumque librorum, quos collegit Joh. Theod. Schalbruch. Amst. 1723, 8vo. A very fine collection of rare and curious books. From a priced copy of the catalogue, accidentally seen, I find that some of them produced rather large sums.——Schwartz. Catalogus Librorum continens codd. MSS. et libros sæculo xv. impressos, quos possedit et notis recensuit A.G. Schwarzius, Altorf. 1769, 8vo. The name of Schwartz is so respectable in the annals of bibliography that one cannot help giving the present catalogue a place in one's collection. According to Bibl. Solger., vol. iii., no. 1459, a first part (there said to be printed upon large paper) was published in 1753. Schwartz's treatise, "De Orig. Typog. Document. Primar." Altorf, 1740, 4to., should have been noticed at p. 41, ante.——Scriverius. Bibliothecæ Scriverianæ Catalogus, Amst., 1663, 4to.—"exquisitissimus est: constat enim selectissimus omnium facultatum et artium autoribus." This is the strong recommendatory language of Morhof: Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 212.——Serna Santander. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de M.C. De La Serna Santander; redigé et mis en ordre par lui même; avec des notes bibliographiques et littèraires, &c. Bruxelles, 1803, 8vo., five volumes. An extensive collection of interesting works; with a sufficiently copious index at the end of the fourth volume. The fifth volume contains a curious disquisition upon the antiquity of signatures, catchwords, and numerals; and is enriched with a number of plates of watermarks of the paper in ancient books. This catalogue, which is rarely seen in our own country, is well worth a place in any library. It is a pity the typographical execution of it is so very indifferent. For the credit of a bibliographical taste, I hope there were a few copies struck off upon large paper.——Sion College. Catalogus universalis librorum omnium in Bibliotheca Collegii Sionii apud Londinenses; Londini, 1650, 4to. Ejusdem Collegii librorum Catalogus, &c., Cura Reading, Lond., 1724, fol. As the first of these catalogues (of a collection which contains some very curious and generally unknown volumes) was published before the great fire of London happened, there will be found some books in it which were afterwards consumed, and therefore not described in the subsequent impression of 1724. This latter, which Tom Osborne, the bookseller, would have called a "pompous volume," is absolutely requisite to the bibliographer: but both impressions should be procured, if possible. The folio edition is common and cheap.——Smith [Consul]. Bibliotheca Smithiana, seu Catalogus Librorum D.J. Smithii Angli, per cognomina Authorum dispositus. Venetiis, 1755, 4to. A Catalogue of the curious, elegant, and very valuable library of Joseph Smith, Esq., His Britannic Majesty's Consul at Venice, lately deceased, 1773, 8vo. These are the catalogues of the collections of books occasionally formed at Venice, by Mr. Joseph Smith, during his consulship there. The quarto impression contains a description of the books which were purchased "en masse" by his present majesty. It is singularly well executed by Paschali, comprehending, by way of an appendix, the prefaces to those volumes in the collection which were printed in the fifteenth century. I possess a brochûre of 71 pages, containing a catalogue of books printed in the fifteenth century, which has Consul Smith's arms at the beginning, and, at the end, this subscription, "Pretiosissima hæc librorum collectio, cujusvis magni principis Bibliotheca dignissima, constat voluminibus ccxlviii." The title-page has no date. I suspect it to be the same catalogue of books which is noticed at p. 77, ante, and which probably the Consul bought: forming the greater part of his own library of early printed books. See too the Bibliogr. Miscellany, vol. ii., 72. The collection of 1773 was sold by auction, for Mr. Robson, by Messrs. Baker and Leigh—and a fine one it was. Among these books, the Spira Virgil of 1470, printed upon vellum, was purchased for only twenty-five guineas!

Excidat ille dies ævo—ne postera credant

——Solger. Bibliotheca sive Supellex Librorum Impressorum, &c., et Codicum Manuscriptorum, quos per plurimos annos collegit, &c., Adamus Rudolphus Solger. Norimb., 1760, 8vo., three parts or vols. I should almost call this publication "facile princeps Catalogorum"—in its way. The bibliographical notices are frequent and full; and saving that the words "rarus, rarior, et rarissimus," are sometimes too profusely bestowed, nothing seems to be wanting to render this a very first rate acquisition to the collector's library. I am indebted to the bibliomanical spirit of honest Mr. Manson, of Gerard-street, the bookseller, for this really useful publication.——Soubise. Catalogue des livres imprimés et manuscrits, &c., de feu Monseigneur Le Prince de Soubise (par feu Le Clerc), Paris, 1788, 8vo. A short history of this collection will be the best inducement to purchase the present catalogue, whenever it comes in the way of the collector. The foundation of this splendid library was that of the famous De Thou's [vide Art. Thuanus, post], which was purchased by the Cardinal de Rohan, who added it to his own grand collection—"the fruit of a fine taste and a fine fortune." It continued to be augmented and enriched 'till, and after, it came into the possession of the Prince de Soubise—the last nobleman of his name—who dying in January, 1789, the entire collection was dispersed by public auction: after it had been offered for the purchase of one or two eminent London booksellers, who have repented, and will repent to their dying day, their declining the offer. This catalogue is most unostentatiously executed upon very indifferent paper; and, while an excellent index enables us to discover any work of which we may be in want, the beautiful copies from this collection which are in the Cracherode library in the British Museum, give unquestionable proof of the splendour of the books. For the credit of French bibliography, I hope there are some few copies upon large paper.——Tellier. Bibliotheca Tellereana, sive Catalogus Librorum Bibliotheca Caroli Mauritii Le Tellier, Archiepiscopi Ducis Remensis. Parisiis, e Typographia Regia, 1693, fol. A finely engraved portrait of Tellier faces the title-page. This is a handsome volume, containing a numerous and well-chosen collection of books.——Thuanus. [de Thou] Bibliothecæ Thuanæ Catalogus, Parisiis, 1679, 8vo. "Three particular reasons," says Baillet, "should induce us to get possession of this catalogue; first, the immortal glory acquired by De Thou in writing his history, and in forming the most perfect and select library of his age: and secondly, the abundance and excellence of the books herein specified; and, thirdly, the great credit of the bibliographers Du Puys and Quesnel, by whom the catalogue was compiled." Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 144, &c. Morhof is equally lavish in commendation of this collection. See his Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 36, 211. The Books of De Thou, whose fame will live as long as a book shall be read, were generally in beautiful condition, with his arms stamped upon the exterior of the binding, which was usually of Morocco; and, from some bibliographical work (I think it is Santander's catalogue), I learn that this binding cost the worthy president not less than 20,000 crowns. De Thou's copy of the editio princeps of Homer is now in the British Museum; having been presented to this national institution by the Rev. Dr. Cyril Jackson, who has lately resigned the deanery of Christ Church College, Oxford,—"and who is now wisely gone to enjoy the evening of life in repose, sweetened by the remembrance of having spent the day in useful and strenuous exertion." For an account of the posterior fate of De Thou's library, consult the article "Soubise," ante. I should add that, according to the Bibl. Solgeriana, vol. iii., p. 243, no. 1431, there are copies of this catalogue upon large paper.——Uffenbach. Catalogus universalis Bibliothecæ Uffenbachinæ librorum tam typis quam manu exaratorum. Francof. ad Mœn, 1729, 8vo., 4 vols. This catalogue is no mean acquisition to the bibliographer's library. It rarely occurs in a perfect and clean condition.——Valliere (duc de la). Catalogue des Livres provenans de la Bibliothéque de M.L.D.D.L.V., (M. le Duc de la Valliere) disposé et mis en ordre par Guill. Franc. De Bure le Jeune. Paris, 1767, 8vo., 2 vols.—Des Livres de la même Bibliothéque. Paris, 1772, 8vo.—Des Livres et Manuscrits de la même Bibliothéque, Paris, 1783, 8vo., 3 vols.—Des Livres de la même Bibliothéque, Paris, 1783, 6 vols. 8vo. These twelve volumes of catalogues of this nobleman's library impress us with a grand notion of its extent and value—perhaps never exceeded by that of any private collection! It would seem that the Duke de la Valliere had two sales of part of his books (of which the two first catalogues are notifications) during his life-time: the two latter catalogues of sales having been put forth after his decease. Of these latter (for the former contain nothing remarkable in them, except that there are copies of the first on large paper, in 4to.), the impression of 1783, which was compiled by Van Praet and De Bure, is the most distinguished for its notices of MSS. and early printed books: and in these departments it is truly precious, being enriched with some of the choicest books in the Gaignat Collection. Those printed upon vellum alone would form a little library! Of the impression of 1783, which has a portrait of the owner prefixed, there were fifty copies printed upon large paper, in 4to., to harmonize with the Bibliographie Instructive, and Gaignat's Catalogue. See Bibliographical Miscell., vol. ii., 66. Twelve copies were also printed in royal 8vo., upon fine stout vellum paper; of which the Rt. Hon. T. Grenville has a beautiful uncut copy in six volumes. See also Cat. de Loménie [1797], no. 2666. The last publication of 1788 was put forth by Nyon l'aîné; and although the bibliographical observations are but few in comparison with those in the preceding catalogue, and no index is subjoined, yet it is most carefully executed; and presents us with such a copious collection of French topography, and old French and Italian poetry and romances, as never has been, and perhaps never will be, equalled. It contains 26,537 articles. The Count D'Artois purchased this collection "en masse;" and it is now deposited in the "bibliothéque de l'Arsenal." See Dictionn. Bibliographique, vol. iv., p. 133. It was once offered for purchase to a gentleman of this country—highly distinguished for his love of Virtû. Mr. Grenville has also a similar large paper copy of this latter edition, of the date of 1784.——Vienna. Codices Manuscripti Theologici. Bibl. Palat. Vindob. Latini aliarumque Occidentis Linguarum, vol. i. (in tribus partibus.) Recens., &c., Michael Denis. Vindob. 1793, folio. Some mention of this work has been made at page 65, ante. It may be here necessary to remark that, from the preface, it would appear to contain a ninth additional book to Lambecius's well-known Commentaries (vide, p. 41, ante) which Kollarius had left unpublished at his death. The preface is well worth perusal, as it evinces the great pains which Denis has taken; and the noble, if not matchless, munificence of his patron—"qui præter augustam Bibliothecæ fabricam in ipsos libros centenis plura Rhenensium expendit millia."—This catalogue is confined to a description of Latin, with some few notices of Oriental Manuscripts; as the preceding work of Lambecius and Kollarius contained an account of the Greek MSS. These three parts, forming one volume, are closed by an excellent index. The second volume was published in 1801. Upon the whole, it is a noble and highly useful publication; and places its author in the foremost rank of bibliographers.——Volpi. Catalogo della Libreria de Volpi, &c. Opera di Don Gaetano Volpi. Padova, 1756, 8vo. The Crevenna library was enriched with a great number of valuable books which came from the library of the celebrated Vulpii; of which the present is a well-arranged and uncommon catalogue. Annexed to it there is an account of the press of the Comini, which belonged to the owners of this collection. The reader may consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., pp. 302-3; and Dr. Clarke's Bibliogr. Miscell., vol. ii., 72.——Voyage de deux Français dans le nord de l'Europe, en 1790-92, (par M. de Fortia) Paris, 1796, 8vo., 5 vols. That the collector of catalogues may not scold me for this apparent deviation from the subject discussed in this note, I must inform him, upon the authority of Peignot, that these interesting volumes contain "some account of the most beautiful and curious books contained in the Libraries of the North, and in those of Italy, Spain, Holland, &c." Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lviii.——De Witt. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Joannis De Witt, Dordraci, 1701, 12mo. The preface to this catalogue, (from which an extract was given in the first edition of my "Introduction to the Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics," 1802, 8vo.,) gives us a pleasing account of an ardent and elegant young man in the pursuit of every thing connected with Virtû. De Witt seems to have been, in books and statues, &c., what his great ancestor was in politics—"paucis comparandus." A catalogue of the library of a collector of the same name was published at Brussels, in 1752, by De Vos. See Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., no. 6334.——Zurich. Catalogus librorum Bibliothecæ Tigurinæ. Tiguri, 1744, 8vo., 4 vols. Although the last, this is not the most despicable, catalogue of collections here enumerated. A reading man, who happens to winter in Switzerland, may know, upon throwing his eyes over this catalogue, that he can have access to good books at Zurich—the native place of many an illustrious author! The following, which had escaped me, may probably be thought worthy of forming an


Bern. Cat. Codd. MSS. Bibl. Bernensis. Cum annotationibus, &c. Curante Sinner. Bernæ, 1760, 8vo. A very curious and elegantly printed Catalogue with three plates of fac-similes.——Parker [abp.] Catalog. Libror. MSS. in Bibl. Coll. Corporis Christi in Cantab., quos legavit M. Parkerus Archiepiscop. Cant. Lond., 1722, fol.; Eorundem Libror. MSS. Catalogus. Edidit J. Nasmith. Cantab., 1777, 4to. Of these catalogues of the curious and valuable MSS. which were bequeathed to Corpus College (or Bennet College, as it is sometimes called) by the immortal Archbishop Parker, the first is the more elegantly printed, but the latter is the more copious and correct impression. My copy of it has a fac-simile etching prefixed, by Tyson, of the rare print of the Archbishop, which will be noticed in Part V., post.——Royal Institution. A Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, &c. By William Harris, Keeper of the Library. Lond., 1809, 8vo. If a lucid order, minute and correct description of the volumes of an admirably chosen library, accompanied with a copious and faithful alphabetical index, be recommendations with the bibliographer, the present volume will not be found wanting upon his shelf. It is the most useful book of its kind ever published in this country. Let the bibliomaniac hasten to seize one of the five remaining copies only (out of the fifty which were printed) upon large paper!——Wood (Anthony). A Catalogue of Antony-a-Wood's Manuscripts in the Ashmolean Museum; by W. Huddesford, Oxon, 1761, 8vo. The very name of old Anthony (as it delights some facetious book-collectors yet to call him!) will secure respect for this volume. It is not of common occurrence.

[C] In Part VI. of this work will be found a List of Books printed here. The armorial bearings of Lord Orford are placed at p. 100.

Lis. You have so thoroughly animated my feelings,79 and excited my curiosity, in regard to Bibliography, that I can no longer dissemble the eagerness which I feel to make myself master of the several books which you have recommended.80

Lysand. Alas, your zeal will most egregiously deceive you! Where will you look for such books? At what bookseller's shop, or at what auction, are they to be procured? In this country, my friend, few are the private81 collections, however choice, which contain two third parts of the excellent works before mentioned. Patience, vigilance, and personal activity, are your best friends in such a dilemma.82

Lis. But I will no longer attend the sale of Malvolio's busts and statues, and gaudy books. I will fly to the Strand, or King-street: peradventure83

Phil. Gently, my good Lisardo. A breast thus suddenly changed from the cold of Nova Zembla to the warmth of the torrid zone requires to be ruled with discretion. And yet, luckily for you84

Lis. Speak—are you about to announce the sale of some bibliographical works?85

Phil. Even so. To morrow, if I mistake not, Gonzalvo's choice gems, in this way, are to be disposed of.86

Lis. Consider them as my own. Nothing shall stay me from the possession of them.87

Lysand. You speak precipitately. Are you accustomed to attend book-auctions?88

Lis. No; but I will line my pockets with pistoles, and who dare oppose me?89

Phil. And do you imagine that no one, but yourself, has his pockets "lined with pistoles," on these occasions?90

Lis. It may be so—that other linings are much warmer than my own:—but, at any rate, I will make a glorious struggle, and die with my sword in my hand.91

Phil. This is Book-Madness with a vengeance! However, we shall see the issue. When and how do you propose going?92

Lis. A chaise shall be at this door by nine in the morning. Who will accompany me?93

Lysand. Our friend and Philemon will prevent your becoming absolutely raving, by joining you. I shall be curious to know the result.94

Lis. Never fear. Bibliomania is, of all species of insanity, the most rational and praise-worthy. I here solemnly renounce my former opinions, and wish my95 errors to be forgotten. I here crave pardon of the disturbed manes of the Martins, De Bures, and Patersons, for that flagitious act of Catalogue-Burning; and fondly96 hope that the unsuspecting age of boyhood will atone for so rash a deed. Do you frankly forgive—and will you henceforth consider me as a worth "Aspirant" in the noble cause of bibliography?97

Lysand. Most cordially do I forgive you; and freely admit you into the fraternity of Bibliomaniacs. Philemon, I trust, will be equally merciful.98

Phil. Assuredly, Lisardo, you have my entire forgiveness: and I exult a little in the hope that you will prove yourself to be a sincere convert to the cause, by losing no opportunity of enriching your bibliographical99 stores. Already I see you mounted, as a book chevalier, and hurrying from the country to London—from London again to the country—seeking adventures in which your prowess may be displayed—and yielding to no competitor who brandishes a lance of equal weight with your own!

Lis. 'Tis well. At to-morrow's dawn my esquire shall begin to burnish up my armour—and caparison my courser. Till then adieu!

Here the conversation, in a connected form, ceased; and it was resolved that Philemon and myself should accompany Lisardo on the morrow.





The Auction Room.


"As to the late method used in selling books by auction in London, I suppose that many have paid dear for their experience in this way—it being apparent that most books bought in an auction may be had cheaper in booksellers' shops."

Clavel: Cat. of Books for 1680, Pref.




The Auction Room


The Auction Room.


NEVER, surely, did two mortals set off upon any expedition with greater glee and alacrity than did Lisardo and Philemon for the sale, by auction, of Gonzalvo's bibliographical library. The great pains which Lysander had taken in enumerating the various foreign and domestic writers upon Bibliography, with his occasionally animated eulogies upon some favourite author had quite inflamed the sanguine mind of Lisardo; who had already, in anticipation, fancied himself in possession of every book which he had heard described. Like Homer's high-bred courser, who

—ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost—

our young bibliomaniac began to count up his volumes, arrange his shelves, bespeak his binder,104 and revel in the luxury of a splendid and nearly matchless collection. The distance from my house to the scene of action being thirteen miles, Lisardo, during the first six, had pretty nearly exhausted himself in describing the delightful pictures which his ardent fancy had formed; and finding the conversation beginning to flag, Philemon, with his usual good-nature and judgment, promised to make a pleasing digression from the dry subject of book-catalogues, by an episode with which the reader shall be presently gratified. Having promised to assist them both, when we arrived at Messrs. L. and S., in the Strand, with some information relating to the prices of such books as they stood in need of, and to the various book-collectors who attended public sales, Lisardo expressed himself highly obliged by the promise; and, sinking quietly into a corner of the chaise, he declared that he was now in a most apt mood to listen attentively to Philemon's digressive chat: who accordingly thus began.

"Lord Coke,"—exclaimed Philemon, in a mirthful strain—"before he ventured upon 'The Jurisdiction of the Courts of the Forest,' wished to 'recreate himself' with Virgil's description of 'Dido's Doe of the Forest;'[163] in order that he might 'proceed the more cheerfully' with the task he had undertaken; and thus exchange somewhat of the precise and technical language of the lawyer for that glowing tone of description which woodland scenes and hunting gaieties seldom fail to produce. Even so, my good friends (pursued Philemon), I shall make a little digression from the confined subject to105 which our attentions have been so long directed by taking you with me, in imagination, to the delightful abode of Orlando."

[163] The quaint language of Lord Coke is well worth quotation: "And seeing we are to treat of matters of game, and hunting, let us (to the end we may proceed the more chearfully) recreate ourselves with the excellent description of Dido's Doe of the Forest wounded with a deadly arrow sticken in her, and not impertinent to our purpose:

Uritur infælix Dido, totaque vagatur
Urbe furens, &c.

And in another place, using again the word (Sylva) and describing a forest saith:

Ibat in antiquam sylvam stabula alta ferarum."
Institutes, pt. iv., p. 289, ed. 1669.

Thus pleasantly could our sage expounder of the laws of the realm illustrate the dry subject of which he treated!

Lis. I have heard of him: a very "Helluo Librorum!" Thus we only change sides—from things to men; from books to book-collectors. Is this digressive? Is this an episode?

Phil. Why this abrupt interruption? If I did not know you and myself, too, Lisardo, I should observe an obstinate silence during the remainder of the journey. An episode, though it suspend the main action for a while, partakes of the nature of the subject of the work. It is an appropriate digression. Do pray read Dr. Blair[164] upon the subject—and now only listen.

[164] Lecture xlii., vol. iii.

Orlando (continued Philemon) had from his boyhood loved books and book-reading. His fortune was rather limited; but he made shift—after bringing up three children, whom he lost from the ages of nineteen to twenty-four, and which have been recently followed to their graves by the mother that gave them birth—he made shift, notwithstanding the expenses of their college education, and keeping up the reputation of a truly hospitable table, to collect, from year to year, a certain number of volumes, according to a certain sum of money appropriated for the purchase of them; generally making himself master of the principal contents of the first year's purchase, before the ensuing one was placed upon his shelves. He lives in a large ancestral house; and his library is most advantageously situated and delightfully fitted up. Disliking such a wintry residence as Thomson has described[165]—although fond of solemn106 retirement, and of Cowper's "boundless contiguity of shade,"—he has suffered the rules of common sense always to mingle themselves in his plans of domestic comfort; and, from the bow-windowed extremity of his library, he sees realized, at the distance of four hundred yards, Cæsar's gently-flowing river Arar,[166] in a stream which loses itself behind some low shrubs; above which is a softly-undulating hill, covered with hazel, and birch, and oak. To the left is an open country, intersected with meadows and corn fields, and terminated by the blue mountains of Malvern at the distance of thirteen miles. Yet more to the left, but within one hundred and fifty yards of the house, and forming something of a foreground to the landscape, are a few large and lofty elm trees, under which many a swain has rested from his toil; many a tender vow has been breathed; many a sabbath-afternoon[167] innocently kept; and many a village-wake cordially celebrated! Some of these things yet bless the aged eyes of Orlando!


"In the wild depth of Winter, while without
The ceaseless winds blow ice, be my retreat
Between the groaning forest and the shore,
Beat by the boundless multitude of waves,
A rural, sheltered, solitary scene!"——

One would like a situation somewhat more sheltered, when "The ceaseless winds blow ice!"

[166] "Flumen est Arar, quod per fines Æduorum et Sequanorum in Rhodanum fluit, incredibili lenitate, ita ut oculis, in utram partem fluat, judicari nos possit." De Bell. Gall., lib. i., § x. Philemon might as happily have compared Orlando's quiet stream to "the silent river"

——quæ Liris quietâ
Mordet aquâ——

which Horace has so exquisitely described, in contrast with

——obliquis laborat
Lympha fugax trepidare rivo.
Carm., lib. i., Od. xxxi., lib. ii., Od. ii.

Yet let us not forget Collin's lovely little bit of landscape—

"Where slowly winds the stealing wave."

[167] There is a curious proclamation by Q. Elizabeth, relating to some Sabbath recreations or games, inserted in Hearne's preface to his edition of Camden's Annals, p. xxviii. It is a little too long to be given entire; but the reader may here be informed that "shooting with the standard, shooting with the broad arrow, shooting at the twelve score prick, shooting at the Turk, leaping for men, running for men, wrestling, throwing the sledge, and pitching the bar," were suffered to be exhibited, on several Sundays, for the benefit of one "John Seconton Powlter, dwelling within the parish of St. Clements Danes, being a poor man, having four small children, and fallen to decay."

I have slightly noticed the comfortable interior of his library.107

Lis. You spoke of a bow-windowed extremity—

Phil. Yes, in this bow-window—the glass of which was furnished full two hundred and fifty years ago, and which has recently been put into a sensible modern frame-work—thereby affording two hours longer light to the inhabitant—in this bow-window, you will see a great quantity of stained glass of the different arms of his own, and of his wife's, family; with other appropriate embellishments.[168] And when the evening sun-beams throw a chequered light throughout the room, 'tis pleasant to observe how Orlando enjoys the opening of an Aldine Greek Classic—the ample-margined leaves of which receive a mellower tint from the soft lustre that pervades the library. Every book, whether opened or closed, is benefited by this due portion of light; so that the eye, in wandering over the numerous shelves, is neither hurt by morning glare nor evening gloom. Of colours, in his furniture, he is very sparing: he considers white shelves, picked out with gold, as heretical—mahogany, wainscot, black, and red, are, what he calls, orthodox colours. He has a few busts and vases; and as his room is very lofty, he admits above, in black and gold frames, a few portraits of eminent literary characters; and whenever he gets a genuine Vandyke, or Velasquez, he congratulates himself exceedingly upon his good fortune.

[168] The reader, who is partial to the lucubrations of Thomas Hearne, may peruse a long gossipping note of his upon the importance of stained glass windows—in his account of Godstow nunnery. See his Guil. Neubrig., vol. ii., 768.

Lis. All this bespeaks a pretty correct taste. But I wish to know something of the man.

Phil. You shall, presently; and, in hearing what I am about to relate, only let us both strive, good Lisardo, so to regulate our studies and feelings that our old age may be like unto Orlando's.

Last year I went with my uncle to pay him our annual visit. He appeared quite altered and shaken from the recent misfortune of losing his wife; who had survived108 the death of her children fifteen years; herself dying in the sixtieth of her own age. The eyes of Orlando were sunk deeply into his forehead, yet they retained their native brilliancy and quickness. His cheeks were wan, and a good deal withered. His step was cautious and infirm. When we were seated in his comfortable library chairs, he extended his right arm towards me, and squeezing my hand cordially within his own—"Philemon," said he, "you are not yet thirty, and have therefore sufficient ardour to enable you to gratify your favourite passion for books. Did you ever read the inscription over the outside of my library door—which I borrowed from Lomeir's account of one over a library at Parma?[169]" On my telling him that it had escaped me—"Go," said he, "and not only read, but remember it."—The inscription was as follows:


[169] De Bibliothecis: p. 269, edit. 1680.

"Have a care," said he, on my resuming my seat—"have a care that you do not treat such a friend ill, or convert him into a foe. For myself, my course is well nigh run. My children have long taken their leave of me, to go to the common parent who created, and to the Saviour who has vouchsafed to redeem, us all; and, though the usual order of nature has been here inverted, I bow to the fate which Heaven has allotted me with the unqualified resignation of a Christian. My wife has also recently left me, for a better place; and I confess that I begin to grow desolate, and anxious to take my departure to join my family. In my solitude, dear Philemon, I have found these (pointing to his books) to be what109 Cicero, and Seneca, and our own countryman De Bury,[170] have so eloquently and truly described them to be—our friends, our instructors, and our comforts. Without any affectation of hard reading, great learning, or wonderful diligence, I think I may venture to say that I have read more valuable books than it falls to the lot of the generality of book-collectors to read; and I would fain believe that I have profited by my studies. Although not of the profession of the church, you know that I have always cherished a fondness for sacred literature; and there is hardly a good edition of the Greek Testament, or a commentator of repute upon the Bible, foreign or domestic, but what you will find some reference to the same in my interleaved copy of Bishop Wilson's edition of the Holy Scriptures. A great number of these commentators themselves are in my library, as well as every authoritative edition of the Greek Testament, from the Complutensian to Griesbach's. Yet do not suppose that my theological books are equal in measure to one fourth part of those in the Imperial library at Paris.[171] My object has always been instruction and improvement; and when these could be obtained from any writer, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, Arminian or Calvinistic, I have not failed to thank him, and to respect him, too, if he has declared his opinions with becoming diffidence and moderation. You know that nothing so sorely grieves me as dogmatical arrogance,110 in a being who will always be frail and capricious, let him think and act as he please. On a Sunday evening I usually devote a few hours to my theological studies—(if you will allow my sabbath-meditations to be so called) and, almost every summer evening in the week, saunter 'midst yon thickets and meadows by the river side, with Collins, or Thompson, or Cowper, in my hand. The beautiful sentiments and grand imagery of Walter Scott are left to my in-door avocations; because I love to read the curious books to which he refers in his notes, and have always admired, what I find few critics have noticed, how adroitly he has ingrafted fiction upon truth. As I thus perambulate, with my book generally open, the villagers treat me as Sir Roger De Coverley made his tenants treat the Spectator—by keeping at a respectful distance—but when I shut up my volume, and direct my steps homewards, I am always sure to find myself, before I reach my threshold, in company with at least half a dozen gossipping and well-meaning rustics. In other departments of reading, history and poetry are my delight. On a rainy or snowy day, when all looks sad and dismal without, my worthy friend and neighbour, Phormio, sometimes gives me a call—and we have a rare set-to at my old favourite volumes—the 'Lectiones Memorabiles et Reconditæ' of Wolfius[172]—a common111place book of as many curious, extraordinary, true and false occurrences, as ever were introduced into two ponderous folios. The number of strange cuts in it used to amuse my dear children—whose parent, from the remembrance of the past, still finds a pleasing recreation in looking at them. So much, dear Philemon, for my desultory mode of studying: improve upon it—but at all events, love your books for the good which they may produce; provided you open them with 'singleness of heart—' that is, a sincerity of feeling.

[170] Every school-lad who has written a copy under a writing-master, or who has looked into the second book of the "Selectæ è Profanis Scriptoribus," &c., has probably been made acquainted with the sentiments of the above ancient heathen philosophers relating to Learning and Books; but may not have been informed of the conciliatory manner in which our countryman De Bury has invited us to approach the latter. "Hi sunt magistri (says he) qui nos instruunt sine vergis et ferula, sine verbis et colera, sine pane et pecunia. Si accedis, non dormiunt; si inquiris, non se abscondunt; non remurmurant, si oberres; cachinnos nesciunt, si ignores." These original and apt words are placed in the title-page to the first volume of Dr. Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary.

[171] "Il y a 300 pieds cubes de livres de théologie,"—"qui tapissent les murs des deux premières salles de la Bibliothéque Impériale." Caillot: Roman Bibliographique, tom. i., 72, edit. 1809.

[172] There are few men, of any literary curiosity, who would not wish to know something of the work here noticed; and much more than appears to be known of its illustrious author; concerning whom we will first discourse a little: "Johannes Wolfius (says Melchoir Adam), the laborious compiler of the Lectionum Memorabilium et Reconditarum Centenarii xvi. (being a collection of curious pieces from more than 3000 authors—chiefly Protestant) was a civilian, a soldier, and a statesman. He was born A.D. 1537, at Vernac, in the duchy of Deux Ponts; of which town his father was chief magistrate. He was bred under Sturmius at Strasbourg, under Melancthon at Wittemberg, and under Cujas at Bruges. He travelled much and often; particularly into France and Burgundy, with the Dukes of Stettin, in 1467. He attended the Elector Palatine, who came with an army to the assistance of the French Hugonots in 1569; and, in 1571, he conducted the corpse of his master back to Germany by sea. After this, he was frequently employed in embassies from the electors Palatine to England and Poland. His last patrons were the Marquisses of Baden, who made him governor of Mündelsheim, and gave him several beneficial grants. In 1594, Wolfius bade adieu to business and courts, and retired to Hailbrun; where he completed his "Lectiones," which had been the great employment of his life. He died May 23, A.D. 1600—the same year in which the above volumes were published." Thus far, in part, our biographer, in his Vitæ Eruditorum cum Germanorum tum Exterorum: pt. iii., p. 156, edit. 1706. These particulars may be gleaned from Wolfius's preface; where he speaks of his literary and diplomatic labours with great interest and propriety. In this preface also is related a curious story of a young man of the name of Martin, whom Wolfius employed as an amanuensis to transcribe from his "three thousand authors"—and who was at first so zealously attached to the principles of the Romish Church that he declared "he wished for no heaven where Luther might be." The young man died a Protestant; quite reconciled to a premature end, and in perfect good will with Luther and his doctrine. As to Wolfius, it is impossible to read his preface, or to cast a glance upon his works—"magno et pene incredibili labore multisque vigiliis elaboratum"—(as Linsius has well said, in the opening of the admonition to the reader, prefixed to his index) without being delighted with his liberality of disposition, and astonished at the immensity of his labour. Each volume has upwards of 1000 pages closely printed upon an indifferent brown-tinted paper; which serves nevertheless to set off the several hundreds of well executed wood cuts which the work contains. Linsius's index, a thin folio, was published in the year 1608: this is absolutely necessary for the completion of a copy. As bibliographers have given but a scanty account of this uncommon work (mentioned, however, very properly by Mr. Nicol in his interesting preface to the catalogue of the Duke of Roxburgh's books; and of which I observe in the Bibl. Solgeriana, vol. i., no. 1759, that a second edition, printed in 1672, is held in comparatively little estimation), so biographers (if we except Melchior Adam, the great favourite of Bayle) have been equally silent respecting its author. Fabricius, and the Historical Dictionary published at Caen, do not mention him; and Moreri has but a meagre and superficial notice of him. Wolfius's Penus Artis Historicæ, of which the best edition is that of 1579, is well described in the tenth volume of Fournier's Methode pour étudier l'histoire, p. 12, edit. 1772. My respect for so extraordinary a bibliomaniac as Wolfius, who was groping amongst the books of the public libraries belonging to the several great cities which he visited, (in his diplomatic character—vide præf.) whilst his masters and private secretary were probably paying their devotions to Bacchus—induces me to treat the reader with the following impression of his portrait.


This cut is taken from a fac-simile drawing, made by me of the head of Wolfius as it appears at the back of the title-page to the preceding work. The original impression is but an indifferent one; but it presents in addition, the body of Wolfius as far as the waist; with his right hand clasping a book, and his left the handle of a sword. His ponderous chain has a medallion suspended at the end. This print, which evidently belongs to the English series, has escaped Granger. And yet I know not whether such intelligence should be imparted!—as the scissars may hence go to work to deprive many a copy of these "Lectiones," of their elaborately-ornamented title-pages. Forbid it, good sense!

"In a short time," continued the venerable Orlando, after a pause of fifteen seconds, "in a short time I must112 bid adieu to this scene; to my choice copies; beautiful bindings: and all the classical furniture which you behold around you. Yes!—as Reimannus[173] has well observed,—'there is no end to accumulating books, whilst the boundaries of human existence are limited, indeed!' But I have made every necessary, and, I hope, appropriate, regulation; the greater part of my library is bequeathed to one of the colleges in the University of Oxford; with an injunction to put an inscription over the collection very different from what the famous113 Ranzau[174] directed to be inscribed over his own.—About three hundred volumes you will find bequeathed to you, dear Philemon—accompanied with a few remarks not very different from what Lotichius[175] indited, with his dying breath, in his book-legacy to the learned Sambucus. I will, at present, say no more. Come and see me whenever you have an opportunity. I exact nothing extraordinary of you; and shall therefore expect nothing beyond what one man of sense and of virtue, in our relative situations, would pay to the other."

[173] "Vita brevis est, et series librorum longa." He adds: "Æs magnum tempus, quo id dispungere conatus est, parvum." Bibl. Acroamat., p. 51, sign. d† 2.

[174] "Henry de Ranzau—avoit dressé une excellente bibliothéque au chateau de Bredemberg, dans laquelle estoient conservez plusieurs manuscrits Grecs et Latins, et autres raretez, &c.—Ce sçavant personnage a fait un decret pour sa bibliothéque, qui merite d'estre icy inseré, pour faire voir a la posterité l'affection qu'il auoit pour sa conservation."

... Libros partem ne aliquam abstulerit,
Extraxerit, clepserit, rapserit,
Concerpserit, coruperit,
Dolo malo:
Illico maledictus,
Perpetuo execrabilis,
Semper detestabilis
Esto maneto.
Jacob: Traicté des Bibliothéques, pp. 237, 240.

I have inserted only the fulminatory clause of this inscription, as being that part of it against which Orlando's indignation seems to be directed.

[175] "Petrus Lotichius Johanni Sambuco Pannonio gravissimo morbo laborans Bononiæ, bibliothecam suam legaverit, lib. 3, eleg. 9, verba ejus lectu non injucunda:

Pro quibus officiis, hæres abeuntis amici,
Accipe fortunæ munera parva meæ.
Non mihi sunt Baccho colles, oleisque virentes,
Prædiave Æmiliis conspicienda jugis.
Tu veterum dulces scriptorum sume libellos,
Attritos manibus quos juvat esse meis.
Invenies etiam viridi quæ lusimus ævo,
Dum studiis ætas mollibus apta fuit.
Illa velim rapidis sic uras carmina flammis
Ut vatem ipse suis ignibus jussit Amor."
Lomeier: de Bibliothecis, p. 288.

"So spake Orlando," said Philemon, with tears in his eyes, who, upon looking at Lisardo and myself, found our faces covered with our handkerchiefs, and unable to utter a word.114

The deliberate manner in which this recital was made—the broken periods, and frequent pauses—filled up a great measure of our journey; and we found that St. Paul's dome was increasing upon us in size and distinctness, and that we had not more than three miles to travel, when Lisardo, wishing to give a different turn to the discourse, asked Philemon what was the cause of such extravagant sums being now given at book-sales for certain curious and uncommon—but certainly not highly intrinsically-valuable—publications; and whether our ancestors, in the time of Hen. VIII. and Elizabeth, paid in proportion for the volumes of their Libraries?

Upon Philemon's declaring himself unable to gratify his friend's curiosity, but intimating that some assistance might probably be derived from myself, I took up the discourse by observing that—

"In the infancy of printing in this country (owing to the competition of foreigners) it would seem that our own printers (who were both booksellers and book-binders) had suffered considerably in their trade, by being obliged to carry their goods to a market where the generality of purchasers were pleased with more elegantly executed works at an inferior price. The legislature felt, as every patriotic legislature would feel, for their injured countrymen; and, accordingly, the statute of Richard III. was enacted,[176] whereby English printers115 and book-binders were protected from the mischiefs, which would otherwise have overtaken them. Thus our old friend Caxton went to work with greater glee, and mustered up all his energies to bring a good stock of British manufacture to the market. What he usually sold his books for, in his life time, I have not been able to ascertain; but, on his decease, one of his Golden Legends was valued, in the churchwardens' books, at six shillings and eight pence.[177] Whether this was a great or small sum I know not; but, from the same authority we find that twenty-two pounds were given, twelve years before, for eleven huge folios, called 'Antiphoners.'[178] In the reign of Henry VIII. it would seem, from a memorandum in the catalogue of the Fletewode library (if I can trust my memory with such minutiæ) that Law-Books were sold for about ten sheets to the groat.[179] Now, in the present day, Law-Books—con116sidering the wretched style in which they are published, with broken types upon milk-and-water-tinted paper—are the dearest of all modern publications. Whether they were anciently sold for so comparatively extravagant a sum may remain to be proved. Certain it is that, before the middle of the sixteenth century, you might have purchased Grafton's abridgment of Polydore Virgil's superficial work about The Invention of Things for fourteen pence;[180] and the same printer's book of Common Prayer for four shillings. Yet if you wanted a superbly bound Prymer, it would have cost you (even five and twenty years before) nearly half a guinea.[181] Nor could you have purchased a decent Ballad much under sixpence; and Hall's Chronicle would have drawn117 from your purse twelve shillings;[182] so that, considering the then value of specie, there is not much ground of complaint against the present prices of books."

[176] By the 1st of Richard III. (1433, ch. ix. sec. xii.) it appeared that, Whereas, a great number of the king's subjeets within this realm having "given themselves diligently to learn and exercise the craft of printing, and that at this day there being within this realm a great number cunning and expert in the said science or craft of printing, as able to exercise the said craft in all points as any stranger, in any other realm or country, and a great number of the king's subjects living by the craft and mystery of binding of books, and well expert in the same;"—yet "all this notwithstanding, there are divers persons that bring from beyond the sea great plenty of printed books—not only in the Latin tongue, but also in our maternal English tongue—some bound in boards, some in leather, and some in parchment, and them sell by retail, whereby many of the king's subjects, being binders of books, and having no other faculty therewith to get their living, be destitute of work, and like to be undone, except some reformation herein be had,—Be it therefore enacted, &c." By the 4th clause or provision, if any of these printers or sellers of printed books vend them "at too high and unreasonable prices," then the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, or any of the Chief Justices of the one bench or the other—"by the oaths of twelve honest and discreet persons," were to regulate their prices. This remarkable act was confirmed by the 25th Hen. VIII., ch. 15, which was not repealed till the 12th Geo. II., ch. 36, § 3. A judge would have enough to do to regulate the prices of books, by the oaths of twelve men, in the present times!

[177] The reader will be pleased to refer to p. cx. of the first volume of my recent edition of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain.

[178] The following is from 'the churchwardens' accompts of St. Margaret's, Westminster. "A.D. 1475. Item, for 11 great books, called Antiphoners, 22l. 0s. 0d." Manners and Expenses of Ancient Times in England, &c., collected by John Nichols, 1797, 4to., p. 2. Antiphonere is a book of anthems to be sung with responses: and, from the following passage in Chaucer, it would appear to have been a common school-book used in the times of papacy:

This litel childe his litel book lerning,
As he sate in the scole at his primere
He Alma Redemptoris herde sing,
As children lered hir Antiphonere:
Cant. Tales, v. 13,446, &c.

"A legend, an Antiphonarye, a grayle, a psalter," &c., were the books appointed to be kept in every parish church "of the province of Canterbury" by Robert Winchelsen. Const. Provin. and of Otho and Octhobone, fol. 67, rect., edit. 1534.

[179] "The year books, 9 v. parcels, as published, impr. in different years by Pynson, Berthelet, Redman, Myddylton, Powell, Smythe, Rastell, and Tottyl, 1517 to 1531." Some of them have the prices printed at the end; as "The Prisce of thys Boke ys xiid. unbounde—The Price of thys Boke is xvid. un bownde;" and upon counting the sheets, it appears that the stated price of Law-Books, in the reign of Hen. 8, was ten sheets for one groat. Bibl. Monast-Fletewodiana, no. 3156.

[180] In a copy of this book, printed by Grafton in 1546, which was in the library of that celebrated bibliomaniac, Tom Rawlinson, was the following singular MS. note: "At Oxforde the yeare 1546, browt down to Seynbury by John Darbye pryce 14d. When I kepe Mr. Letymers shype I bout thys boke when the testament was obberagatyd that shepe herdys myght not red hit I pray god amende that blyndnes wryt by Robert Wyllyams keppynge shepe uppon Seynbury hill. 1546." Camdeni Annales: Edit. Hearne, vol. i., p. xxx.

[181] From Mr. Nichol's curious work, I make the following further extracts:

A.D.   £ s. d.
1539. Item, paid for the half part of the Bybell, accordingly after the King's injunction 0 9 9
1544. Item, also paid for six books of the Litany in English 0 1 6
1549. Paid for iv books of the service of the church 0 16 0
[This was probably Grafton's Prayer book of 1549, fol.]
1559. Paid for a Bybyl and Parafrawse 0 16 0

[From the Ch. Wardens Accts. of St. Margaret's Westminster]

The Inventory of John Port, 1524.
In the shop.

Item, a premmer lymmed with gold, and with imagery written honds 0 8 4

(From the do. of St. Mary Hill, London.)

To William Pekerynge, a ballet, called a Ryse and Wake 0 0 4

(From the books of the Stationers' Company).

See pp. 13, 15, 126, and 133, of Mr. Nichols's work.

[182] By the kindness of Mr. William Hamper, of Birmingham (a gentleman with whom my intercourse has as yet been only epistolary, but whom I must be allowed to rank among our present worthy bibliomaniacs), I am in possession of some original entries, which seem to have served as part of a day-book of a printer of the same name: "it having been pasted at the end of 'The Poor Man's Librarie' printed by John Day in 1565." From this sable-looking document the reader has the following miscellaneous extracts:

A.D. 1553.   £ s. d.
(Two) Meserse of bloyene in bordis
One Prymare latane & englis
} 0 ii 0
Balethis (ballads) nova of sortis   0 0 ii
Boke of paper 1 quire in forrell   0 0 iv
Morse workes in forrell   0 9 viij
Castell of Love in forrelle wi: a sarmo nova   0 0 x
A.D. 1554.
Balethis nova arbull in 8vo. 1 catechis   0 0 viiij
Prymare for a chyllde in 8vo. englis     0 iv
Halles Croneckelle nova englis   0 xii 0

From a Household Book kept in London, A.D. 1561
(in the possession of the same Gent.)

Item, p-d for a Lyttellton in English   xijd.
—— —— for the booke of ij englishe lovers   vjd.
—— —— for the booke of Songes and Sonnettes and the
booke of dyse, and a frenche booke
} ijs. viijd.
(viz. the frenche booke xvjd. the ij other bookes at viijd. the pece.)
—— —— for printing the xxv orders of honest men   xxd.

Lis. All this is very just. You are now creeping towards the seventeenth century. Go on with your prices of books 'till nearly the present day; when the Bibliomania has been supposed to have attained its highest pitch.

"Don't expect," resumed I, "any antiquarian exactness in my chronological detail of what our ancestors used to give for their curiously-covered volumes. I presume that the ancient method of Book-Binding[183] added118 much to the expense of the purchase. But be this as it may, we know that Sir Ralph Sadler, at the close of the sixteenth century, had a pretty fair library, with a119 Bible in the chapel to boot, for £10.[184] Towards the close of the seventeenth century, we find the Earl of Peterborough enlisting among the book champions; and giving, at the sale of Richard Smith's books in 1682, not less than eighteen shillings and two pence for the first English edition of his beloved Godfrey of Boulogne.[185] In Queen Ann's time, Earl Pembroke and120 Lord Oxford spared no expense for books; and Dr. Mead, who trod closely upon their heels, cared not at what price he purchased his Editiones Principes, and all the grand books which stamped such a value upon his collection. And yet, let us look at the priced catalogue of his library, or at that of his successor Dr. Askew, and compare the sums then given for those now offered for similar works!"

[183] As a little essay, and a very curious one too, might be written upon the history of Book-Binding, I shall not attempt in the present note satisfactorily to supply such a desideratum; but merely communicate to the reader a few particulars which have come across me in my desultory researches upon the subject. Mr. Astle tells us that the famous Textus Sancti Cuthberti, which was written in the 7th century, and was formerly kept at Durham, and is now preserved in the Cottonian library, (Nero, D. iv.) was adorned in the Saxon times by Bilfrith, a monk of Durham, with a silver cover gilt, and precious stones. Simeon Dunelmensis, or Turgot, as he is frequently called, tells us that the cover of this fine MS. was ornamented "forensecis Gemmis et Auro." "A booke of Gospelles garnished and wrought with antique worke of silver and gilte with an image of the crucifix with Mary and John, poiz together cccxxij oz." In the secret Jewel House in the Tower. "A booke of gold enameled, clasped with a rubie, having on th' one side, a crosse of dyamounts, and vj other dyamounts, and th' other syde a flower de luce of dyamounts, and iiij rubies with a pendaunte of white saphires and the arms of Englande. Which booke is garnished with small emerades and rubies hanging to a cheyne pillar fashion set with xv knottes, everie one conteyning iij rubies (one lacking)." Archæologia, vol. xiii., 220. Although Mr. Astle has not specified the time in which these two latter books were bound, it is probable that they were thus gorgeously attired before the discovery of the art of printing. What the ancient Vicars of Chalk (in Kent) used to pay for binding their missals, according to the original endowment settled by Haymo de Hethe in 1327 (which compelled the vicars to be at the expense of the same—Reg. Roff., p. 205), Mr. Denne has not informed us. Archæologia, vol. xi., 362. But it would seem, from Warton, that "students and monks were anciently the binders of books;" and from their Latin entries respecting the same, the word "conjunctio" appears to have been used for "ligatura." Hist. of Engl. Poetry, vol. ii., p. 244. Hearne, in No. III. of the appendix to Adam de Domerham de reb. gest. Glast., has "published a grant from Rich. de Paston to Bromholm abbey, of twelve pence a year rent charge on his estates to keep their books in repair." This I gather from Gough's Brit. Topog., vol. ii., p. 20: while from the Liber Stat. Eccl. Paulinæ, Lond. MSS., f. 6, 396 (furnished me by my friend Mr. H. Ellis,[D] of the British Museum), it appears to have been anciently considered as a part of the Sacrist's duty to bind and clasp the books: "Sacrista curet quod Libri bene ligentur et haspentur," &c. In Chaucer's time, one would think that the fashionable binding for the books of young scholars was various-coloured velvet: for thus our poet describes the library of the Oxford Scholar:

A twenty bokes, clothed in black and red
Of Aristotle——
(Prolog. to Cant. Tales.)

We have some account of the style in which Chaucer's royal patron, Edward III., used to have his books bound; as the following extract (also furnished me by Mr. H. Ellis) will testify:——"To Alice Claver, for the making of xvi laces and xvi tasshels for the garnyshing of diuers of the Kings books, ijs. viijd.——And to Robert Boillet for blac paper and nailles for closing and fastenyng of diuers cofyns of ffyrre wherein the Kings boks were conveyed and caried from the Kings grete warderobe in London vnto Eltham aforesaid, vd.——Piers Bauduyn Stacioner for bynding gilding and dressing of a booke called Titus Liuius, xxs: for binding gilding and dressing of a booke called Ffrossard, xvjs: or binding gilding and dressing of a booke called the Bible, xvjs: for binding gilding and dressing of a booke called le Gouuernement of Kings and Princes, xvjs." "For the dressing of ij books whereof oon is called la forteresse de Foy and the other called the booke of Josephus, iijs. iiijd. And for binding gilding and dressing of a booke called the bible historial, xxs." Among the expenses entered in the Wardrobe Accompts 20th Edw. III. I suspect that it was not 'till towards the close of the 15th century, when the sister art of painting directed that of engraving, that books were bound in thick boards, with leather covering upon the same; curiously stamped with arabesque, and other bizarre, ornaments. In the interior of this binding, next to the leaves, there was sometimes an excavation, in which a silver crucifix was safely guarded by a metal door, with clasps. The exterior of the binding had oftentimes large embossed ornaments of silver, and sometimes of precious stones [as a note in the Appendix to the History of Leicester, by Mr. Nichols, p. 102, indicates—and as Geyler himself, in his Ship of Fools, entitled "Navicula, sive Speculum Fatuorum," edit. 1511, 4to., thus expressly declares:—"sunt qui libros inaurunt et serica tegimenta apponunt preciosa et superba," sign. B. v. rev.], as well as the usual ornaments upon the leather; and two massive clasps, with thick metalled corners on each of the outward sides of the binding, seemed to render a book impervious to such depredations of time as could arise from external injury. Meantime, however the worm was secretly engendered within the wood: and his perforating ravages in the precious leaves of the volume gave dreadful proof of the defectiveness of ancient binding, beautiful and bold as it undoubtedly was! The reader is referred to an account of a preciously bound diminutive godly book (once belonging to Q. Elizabeth), in the first volume of my edition of the British Typographical Antiquities, p. 83; for which I understand the present owner asks the sum of 160l. We find that in the sixteenth year of Elizabeth's reign, she was in possession of "Oone Gospell booke covered with tissue and garnished on th' onside with the crucifix and the Queene's badges of silver guilt, poiz with wodde, leaves, and all, czij. oz." Archæologia, vol. xiii., 221. I am in possession of the covers of a book, bound (A.D. 1569) in thick parchment or vellum, which has the whole length portrait of Luther on one side, and of Calvin on the other. These portraits, which are executed with uncommon spirit and accuracy, are encircled with a profusion of ornamental borders of the most exquisite taste and richness. We shall speak occasionally of more modern book-binding as we proceed. Meanwhile, let the curious bibliomaniac glance his eye upon the copper-plate print which faces this concluding sentence—where he will see fac-similes of the portraits just mentioned.

[184] See the recent very beautiful edition of Sir Ralph Sadler's State Papers, vol. ii., p. 590.

[185] See the Catalogue of R. Smith's Books, 1682, 4to., p. 199 (falsely numbered 275), no. 94.

[D] Since created a Knight.

Lis. You allude to a late sale in Pall Mall, of one of the choicest and most elegant libraries ever collected by a man of letters and taste?

"I do, Lisardo—but see we are just entering the smoke and bustle of London; and in ten minutes shall have reached the scene of action."

Phil. How do you feel?

Lis. Why, tolerably calm. My pulse beats as leisurely as did my Lord Strafford's at his trial—or (to borrow Hamlet's phrase)

—as yours, it doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music.

Phil. Ninety-five to the minute! You are just now in a fit frame of mind to write a political pamphlet. Pray consider what will be the issue of this madness?

Lis. No more! Now for my catalogue; and let me attend to my marks. But our friend is not forgetful of his promise?

Phil. I dare say he will assist us in regulating the prices we ought to give—and more particularly in making us acquainted with the most notable book-collectors.

Upon my readily acquiescing in their demand, we leapt from the chaise (giving orders for it to attend by three o'clock) and hurried immediately up stairs into the auction room.

The clock had struck twelve, and in half an hour the sale was to begin. Not more than nine or ten gentlemen were strolling about the room: some examining the volumes which were to be sold, and making hieroglyphical marks thereupon, in their catalogues: some giving commissions to the clerk who entered their names, with121 the sums they intended staking, in a manner equally hieroglyphical. Others, again, seemed to be casting an eye of vacancy over the whole collection; or waiting till a book friend arrived with whom they might enter into a little chat. You observe, my friends, said I, softly, yonder active and keen-visaged gentleman? 'Tis Lepidus. Like Magliabechi, content with frugal fare and frugal clothing[186] and preferring the riches of a library to those of house-furniture, he is insatiable in his bibliomaniacal appetites. "Long experience has made him sage:" and it is not therefore without just reason that his opinions are courted, and considered as almost oracular. You will find that he will take his old station, commanding the right or left wing of the auctioneer; and that he will enliven, by the gaiety and shrewdness of his remarks, the circle that more immediately surrounds him. Some there are who will not bid 'till Lepidus bids; and who surrender all discretion and opinion of their own to his universal book-knowledge. The consequence is that Lepidus can, with difficulty, make purchases for his own library; and a thousand dexterous and happy manœuvres are of necessity obliged to be practised by him, whenever a rare or curious book turns up. How many fine collections has this sagacious bibliomaniac seen disposed of! Like Nestor, who preaches about the fine fellows he remembered in his youth, Lepidus (although barely yet in his grand climacteric!) will depicture, with moving eloquence, the numerous precious volumes of far-famed collectors, which he has seen, like Macbeth's witches,

"Come like shadows, so depart!"

[186] Tenni cultu, victuque contentus, quidquid ei pecuniæ superaret in omnigenæ eruditionis libros comparandos erogabat, selectissimamque voluminum multitudinem ea mente adquisivit, ut aliquando posset publicæ utilitati—dicari, Præf. Bibl. Magliab. a Fossio, p. x.

And when any particular class of books, now highly coveted, but formerly little esteemed, comes under the hammer, and produces a large sum,—ah then! 'tis pleasant to hear Lepidus exclaim—

O mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos!

122Justly respectable as are his scholarship and good sense, he is not what you may call a fashionable collector; for old chronicles and romances are most rigidly discarded from his library. Talk to him of Hoffmen, Schoettgenius, Rosenmuller, and Michaelis, and he will listen courteously to your conversation; but when you expatiate, however learnedly and rapturously, upon Froissart and Prince Arthur, he will tell you that he has a heart of stone upon the subject; and that even a clean uncut copy of an original impression of each, by Verard or by Caxton, would not bring a single tear of sympathetic transport in his eyes.

Lis. I will not fail to pay due attention to so extraordinary and interesting a character—for see, he is going to take his distinguished station in the approaching contest. The hammer of the worthy auctioneer, which I suppose is of as much importance as was Sir Fopling's periwig of old,[187] upon the stage—the hammer is upon the desk!—The company begin to increase and close their ranks; and the din of battle will shortly be heard. Let us keep these seats. Now, tell me who is yonder strange looking gentleman?

[187] See Warburton's piquant note, in Mr. Bowles's edition of Pope's Works, vol. v., p. 116. "This remarkable periwiy (says he) usually made its entrance upon the stage in a sedan chair, brought in by two chairmen with infinite approbation of the audience." The snuff-box of Mr. L. has not a less imposing air; and when a high-priced book is balancing between 15l. and 20l. it is a fearful signal of its reaching an additional sum, if Mr. L. should lay down his hammer, and delve into this said crumple-horned snuff-box!

"'Tis Mustapha, a vender of books. Consuetudine invalescens, ac veluti callum diuturna cogitatione obducens,[188] he comes forth, like an alchemist from his laboratory, with hat and wig 'sprinkled with learned dust,' and deals out his censures with as little ceremony as correctness. It is of no consequence to him by whom positions are advanced, or truth is established; and he hesitates very little about calling Baron Heinecken a Tom fool, or —— a shameless impostor. If your123 library were as choice and elegant as Dr. H——'s he would tell you that his own disordered shelves and badly coated books presented an infinitely more precious collection; nor must you be at all surprised at this—for, like Braithwait's Upotomis,

'Though weak in judgment, in opinion strong;'

or, like the same author's Meilixos,

'Who deems all wisdom treasur'd in his pate,'

our book-vender, in the catalogues which he puts forth, shews himself to be 'a great and bold carpenter of words;'[189] overcharging the description of his own volumes with tropes, metaphors, flourishes, and common-place authorities; the latter of which one would think had but recently come under his notice, as they had been already before the public in various less ostentatious forms."

[188] The curious reader may see the entire caustic passage in Spizelius's Infelix Literatus, p. 435.

[189] Coryat's Crudities, vol. i., sign. (b. 5.) edit. 1776.

Phil. Are you then an enemy to booksellers, or to their catalogues when interlaced with bibliographical notices?

"By no means, Philemon. I think as highly of our own as did the author of the Aprosian library[190] of the Dutch booksellers; and I love to hear that the bibliographical labour bestowed upon a catalogue has answered the end proposed, by sharpening the appetites of purchasers. But the present is a different case. Mustapha might have learnt good sense and good manners,124 from his right hand, or left hand, or opposite, neighbour; but he is either too conceited, or too obstinate, to have recourse to such aid. What is very remarkable, although he is constantly declaiming against the enormous sums of money given for books at public auctions, Mustapha doth not scruple to push the purchaser to the last farthing of his commission; from a ready knack which he hath acquired, by means of some magical art in his foresaid laboratory, of deciphering the same; thus adopting in a most extraordinary manner, the very line of conduct himself which he so tartly censures in others."

[190] See pages 103-4, of Wolfius's edition of the Bibliotheca Aprosiana, 1734, 8vo. It is not because Mr. Ford, of Manchester, has been kind enough to present me with one of the six copies of his last catalogue of books, printed upon strong writing paper—that I take this opportunity of praising the contents of it,—but that his catalogues are to be praised for the pains which he exhibits in describing his books, and in referring to numerous bibliographical authorities in the description. While upon this subject, let me recommend the youthful bibliomaniac to get possession of Mr. Edwards's catalogues, and especially of that of 1794. If such a catalogue were but recently published, it would be one of the pleasantest breakfast lounges imaginable to tick off a few of the volumes with the hope of possessing them at the prices therein afixed.

Phil. Was this the gentleman whose catalogue (as you shewed me) contained the fascinating colophon of Juliana Berner's book of hawking, hunting, and heraldry, printed in the year 1486, subjoined to a copy of the common reprint of it by Gervase Markham—thereby provoking a thousand inquiries after the book, as if it had been the first edition?

"The same," resumed I. "But let us leave such ridiculous vanity."

Lis. Who is that gentleman, standing towards the right of the auctioneer, and looking so intently upon his catalogue?

"You point to my friend Bernardo. He is thus anxious, because an original fragment of the fair lady's work, which you have just mentioned, is coming under the hammer; and powerful indeed must be the object to draw his attention another way. The demure prioress of Sopewell abbey is his ancient sweetheart; and he is about introducing her to his friends, by a union with her as close and as honourable as that of wedlock. Engaged in a laborious profession (the duties of which are faithfully performed by him) Bernardo devotes his few leisure hours to the investigation of old works; thinking with the ancient poet, quoted by Ashmole, that

'——out of old fields as men saythe
Cometh all this new corne fro yeare to yeare;
And out of olde Bokes in good faythe
Cometh all this scyence that men leare:'

125or, with Ashmole himself; that 'old words have strong emphasis: others may look upon them as rubbish or trifles, but they are grossly mistaken: for what some light brains may esteem as foolish toys, deeper judgments can and will value as sound and serious matter.[191]'

[191] Theatrum Chemicum: proleg. sign. A. 3. rev.: B. 4. rect. The charms of ancient phraseology had been before not less eloquently described by Wolfius: "Habet hoc jucundi priscorum quorundam obsoleta dictio, ac suo quodam modo rudius comta oratio, ut ex ea plus intelligamus quam dicitur; plus significetur quam effertur." Lect. Memorab. Epist. Ded. fol. xiv. rev. Of Wolfius, and of this his work, the reader will find some mention at page 110, ante.

"If you ask me whether Bernardo be always successful in his labours, I should answer you, as I have told him, No: for the profit and applause attendant upon them are not commensurate with his exertions. Moreover, I do verily think that, in some few instances, he sacrifices his judgment to another's whim; by a reluctance to put out the strength of his own powers. He is also, I had almost said, the admiring slave of Ritsonian fastidiousness; and will cry 'pish' if a u be put for a v, or a single e for a double one: but take him fairly as he is, and place him firmly in the bibliographical scale, and you will acknowledge that his weight is far from being inconsiderable. He is a respectable, and every way a praise-worthy man: and although he is continually walking in a thick forest of black letter, and would prefer a book printed before the year 1550, to a turtle dressed according to the rules of Mr. Farley, yet he can ever and anon sally forth to enjoy a stroll along the river side, with Isaac Walton[192] in his hand; when126 'he hath his wholesome walk and merry, at his ease: a sweet air of the sweet savour of the mead flowers, that maketh him hungry.'[193]

[192] "Let me take this opportunity of recommending the amiable and venerable Isaac Walton's Complete Angler: a work the most singular of its kind, breathing the very spirit of contentment, of quiet, and unaffected philanthrophy, and interspersed with some beautiful relics of poetry, old songs, and ballads." So speaks the Rev. W. Lisle Bowles, in his edition of Pope's Works, vol i., p. 135. To which I add—Let me take this opportunity of recommending Mr. Bagster's very beautiful and creditable reprint of Sir John Hawkin's edition of Walton's amusing little book. The plates in it are as true as they are brilliant: and the bibliomaniac may gratify his appetite, however voracious, by having copies of it upon paper of all sizes. Mr. Bagster has also very recently published an exquisite facsimile of the original edition of old Isaac. Perhaps I ought not to call it a fac-simile, for it is, in many respects, more beautifully executed.

[193] The reader may see all this, and much more, dressed in its ancient orthographic garb, in a proheme to the first edition of the merry art of fishing, extracted by Herbert in his first volume, p. 131. I have said the "merry," and not the "contemplative," art of fishing—because we are informed that "Yf the angler take fyshe, surely thenne is there noo man merier than he is in his spyryte!!" Yet Isaac Walton called this art, "The Contemplative Man's Recreation." But a book-fisherman, like myself, must not presume to reconcile such great and contradictory authorities.

"But see—the hammer is vibrating, at an angle of twenty-two and a half, over a large paper priced catalogue of Major Pearson's books!—Who is the lucky purchaser?

"Quisquilius:—a victim to the Bibliomania. If one single copy of a work happen to be printed in a more particular manner than another; and if the compositor (clever rogue) happen to have transposed or inverted a whole sentence or page; if a plate or two, no matter of what kind or how executed; go along with it, which is not to be found in the remaining copies; if the paper happen to be unique in point of size—whether maxima or minima—oh, then, thrice happy is Quisquilius! With a well-furnished purse, the strings of which are liberally loosened, he devotes no small portion of wealth to the accumulation of Prints; and can justly boast of a collection of which few of his contemporaries are possessed. But his walk in book-collecting is rather limited. He seldom rambles into the luxuriancy of old English black-letter literature; and cares still less for a variorum Latin classic, stamped in the neat mintage of the Elzevir press. Of a Greek Aldus, or an Italian Giunta, he has never yet had the luxury to dream:—'trahit sua quemque voluptas;' and let Quisquilius enjoy his hobby-horse, even to the riding of it to death! But let him not harbour malevolence against supposed injuries inflicted: let not foolish prejudices, or unmanly suspicions, rankle in his breast: authors and book-collectors are sometimes as enlightened as himself, and127 have cultivated pursuits equally honourable. Their profession, too, may sometimes be equally beneficial to their fellow creatures. A few short years shall pass away, and it will be seen who has contributed the more effectively to the public stock of amusement and instruction. We wrap ourselves up in our own little vanities and weaknesses, and, fancying wealth and wisdom to be synonymous, vent our spleen against those who are resolutely striving, under the pressure of mediocrity and domestic misfortune, to obtain an honourable subsistence by their intellectual exertions."

Lis. A truce to this moralizing strain. Pass we on to a short gentleman, busily engaged yonder in looking at a number of volumes, and occasionally conversing with two or three gentlemen from five to ten inches taller than himself. What is his name?

"Rosicrusius is his name; and an ardent and indefatigable book-forager he is. Although just now busily engaged in antiquarian researches relating to British typography, he fancies himself nevertheless deeply interested in the discovery of every ancient book printed abroad. Examine his little collection of books, and you will find that

'There Caxton sleeps, with Wynkyn at his side,
One clasp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide!'[194]

—and yet, a beautiful volume printed at 'Basil or Heidelberg makes him spinne: and at seeing the word Frankford or Venice, though but on the title of a booke, he is readie to break doublet, cracke elbows, and over-flowe the room with his murmure.'[195] Bibliography is his darling delight—'una voluptas et meditatio assidua;'[196] and in defence of the same he would quote you a score of old-fashioned authors, from Gesner to Harles, whose very names would excite scepticism about their128 existence. He is the author of various works, chiefly bibliographical; upon which the voice of the public (if we except a little wicked quizzing at his black-letter propensities in a celebrated North Briton Review) has been generally favourable. Although the old maidenish particularity of Tom Hearne's genius be not much calculated to please a bibliomaniac of lively parts, yet Rosicrusius seems absolutely enamoured of that ancient wight; and to be in possession of the cream of all his pieces, if we may judge from what he has already published, and promises to publish, concerning the same. He once had the temerity to dabble in poetry;[197] but he never could raise his head above the mists which infest the swampy ground at the foot of Parnassus. Still he loves 'the divine art' enthusiastically; and affects, forsooth, to have a taste in matters of engraving and painting! Converse with him about Guercino and Albert Durer, Berghem and Woollett, and tell him that you wish to have his opinion about the erection of a large library, and he will 'give tongue' to you from rise to set of sun. Wishing him prosperity in his projected works, and all good fellows to be his friends, proceed we in our descriptive survey."

[194] Pope's Dunciad, b. i. v. 149.

[195] Coryat's Crudities, vol. i., sign. (b. 5.) edit. 1776.

[196] Vita Jacobi Le Long., p. xx., Biblioth. Sacra, edit. 1778.

[197] See the note p. 11, in the first edition of the Bibliomania.

Lis. I am quite impatient to see Atticus in this glorious group; of whom fame makes such loud report—

"Yonder see he comes, Lisardo! 'Like arrow from the hunter's bow,' he darts into the hottest of the fight, and beats down all opposition. In vain Boscardo advances with his heavy artillery, sending forth occasionally a forty-eight pounder; in vain he shifts his mode of attack—now with dagger, and now with broadsword, now in plated, and now in quilted armour: nought avails him. In every shape and at every onset he is discomfited. Such a champion as Atticus has perhaps never before appeared within the arena of book-gladiators:

'Blest with talents, wealth, and taste;'[198]

129and gifted with no common powers of general scholarship, he can easily master a knotty passage in Eschylus or Aristotle; and quote Juvenal and Horace as readily as the junior lads at Eton quote their 'As in præsenti:' moreover, he can enter, with equal ardour, into a minute discussion about the romance literature of the middle ages, and the dry though useful philology of the German school during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the pursuit after rare, curious, and valuable books, nothing daunts or depresses him. With a mental and bodily constitution such as few possess, and with a perpetual succession of new objects rising up before him, he seems hardly ever conscious of the vicissitudes of the seasons, and equally indifferent to petty changes in politics. The cutting blasts of Siberia, or the fainting heat of a Maltese sirocco, would not make him halt, or divert his course, in the pursuit of a favourite volume, whether in the Greek, Latin, Spanish, or Italian language. But as all human efforts, however powerful, if carried on without intermission, must have a period of cessation; and as the most active body cannot be at 'Thebes and at Athens' at the same moment; so it follows that Atticus cannot be at every auction and carry away every prize. His rivals narrowly watch, and his enemies closely way-lay, him; and his victories are rarely bloodless in consequence. If, like Darwin's whale, which swallows 'millions at a gulp,' Atticus should, at one auction, purchase from two to seven hundred volumes, he must retire, like the 'Boa Constrictor,' for digestion: and accordingly he does, for a short season, withdraw himself from 'the busy hum' of sale rooms, to collate, methodize, and class his newly acquired treasures—to repair what is defective, and to beautify what is deformed. Thus rendering them 'companions meet' for their brethren in the rural shades of H—— Hall; where, in gay succession, stands many a row, heavily laden with 'rich and rare' productions. In this rural retreat, or academic bower, Atticus spends a due portion of the autumnal season of the year; now that the busy scenes130 of book-auctions in the metropolis have changed their character—and dreary silence, and stagnant dirt, have succeeded to noise and flying particles of learned dust.

[198] Dr. Ferriar's Bibliomania, v. 12.

"Here, in his ancestral abode, Atticus can happily exchange the microscopic investigation of books for the charms and manly exercises of a rural life; eclipsing, in this particular, the celebrity of Cæsar Antoninus; who had not universality of talent sufficient to unite the love of hawking and hunting with the passion for book-collecting.[199] The sky is no sooner dappled o'er with the first morning sun-beams, than up starts our distinguished bibliomaniac, either to shoot or to hunt; either to realize all the fine things which Pope has written about 'lifting the tube, and levelling the eye;'[200] or to join the jolly troop while they chant the hunting song of his poetical friend.[201] Meanwhile, his house is not wanting in needful garniture to render a country residence most congenial. His cellars below vie with his library above. Besides 'the brown October'—'drawn from his dark retreat of thirty years'—and the potent comforts of every131 species of 'barley broth'—there are the ruddier and more sparkling juices of the grape—'fresh of colour, and of look lovely, smiling to the eyz of many'—as Master Laneham hath it in his celebrated letter.[202] I shall leave you to finish the picture, which such a sketch may suggest, by referring you to your favourite, Thomson."[203]

[199] This anecdote is given on the authority of Kesner's Pandects, fol. 29: rect. 'Ἁλλοι μεν ἵππων (says the grave Antoninus) ᾽άλλοι δε ὁρνὲων, ἅλλοι θηρὶων ἐβωσιν: ἐμοι δέ βιβλίων κτησεως ἐκ παιδοιρίου δεινος εντετηκε πόθος.'

[200] See Pope's Windsor Forest, ver. 110 to 134.


Waken lords and ladies gay;
On the mountain dawns the day.
All the jolly chase is here,
With hawk and horse and hunting spear:
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling;
Merrily, merrily, mingle they.
"Waken lords and ladies gay."

Waken lords and ladies gay,
The mist has left the mountain grey.
Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
Diamonds on the lake are gleaming;
And foresters have busy been,
To track the buck in thicket green:
Now we come to chaunt our lay,
"Waken lords and ladies gay."

Hunting Song, by Walter Scott: the remaining stanzas will be found in the Edinb. Annual Register, vol. i., pt. ii., xxviii.

[202] "Whearin part of the Entertainment untoo the Queenz Majesty of Killingworth Castl in Warwick Sheer, &c., 1576, is signified." edit. 1784, p. 14.

[203] Autumn, v. 519, 701, &c.

Lis. Your account of so extraordinary a bibliomaniac is quite amusing: but I suspect you exaggerate a little.

"Nay, Lisardo, I speak nothing but the truth. In book-reputation, Atticus unites all the activity of De Witt and Lomanie, with the retentiveness of Magliabechi and the learning of Le Long.[204] And yet—he has his peccant part."

[204] The reader will be pleased to turn for one minute to pages 49, 85, 86, ante.

Lis. Speak, I am anxious to know.

"Yes, Lisardo; although what Leichius hath said of the library attached to the senate-house of Leipsic be justly applicable to his own extraordinary collection[205]—yet Atticus doth sometimes sadly err. He has now and then an ungovernable passion to possess more copies of a book than there were ever parties to a deed, or stamina to a plant: and therefore I cannot call him a duplicate or triplicate collector. His best friends scold—his most respectable rivals censure—and a whole 'mob of gentlemen' who think to collect 'with ease,' threaten vengeance against—him, for this despotic spirit which he evinces; and which I fear nothing can stay or modify but an act of parliament that no gentleman shall purchase more than two copies of a work; one for his town, the other for his country, residence."

[205] Singularis eius ac propensi, in iuvandam eruditionem studii insigne imprimis monumentum exstat, Bibliotheca instructissima, sacrarium bonæ menti dicatum, in quo omne, quod transmitti ad posteritatem meretur, copiose reconditum est. e Orig. et Increment. Typog. Lipsiens. Lips. An. Typog. sec. iii., sign. 3.

132Phil. But does he atone for his sad error by being liberal in the loan of his volumes?

"Most completely so, Philemon. This is the 'pars melior' of every book collector, and it is indeed the better part with Atticus. The learned and curious, whether rich or poor, have always free access to his library—

His volumes, open as his heart,
Delight, amusement, science, art,
To every ear and eye impart.

His books, therefore, are not a stagnant reservoir of unprofitable water, as are those of Pontevallo's; but like a thousand rills, which run down from the lake on Snowdon's summit, after a plentiful fall of rain, they serve to fertilize and adorn every thing to which they extend. In consequence, he sees himself reflected in a thousand mirrors: and has a right to be vain of the numerous dedications to him, and of the richly ornamented robes in which he is attired by his grateful friends."

Lis. Long life to Atticus, and to all such book heroes! Now pray inform me who is yonder gentleman, of majestic mien and shape?—and who strikes a stranger with as much interest as Agamemnon did Priam—when the Grecian troops passed at a distance in order of review, while the Trojan monarch and Helen were gossipping with each other on the battlements of Troy!

"That gentleman, Lisardo, is Hortensius; who, you see is in close conversation with an intimate friend and fellow-bibliomaniac—that ycleped is Ulpian. They are both honourable members of an honourable profession; and although they have formerly sworn to purchase no old book but Machlinia's first edition of Littleton's Tenures, yet they cannot resist, now and then, the delicious impulse of becoming masters of a black-letter chronicle or romance. Taste and talent of various kind they both possess; and 'tis truly pleasant to see gentlemen and scholars, engaged in a laborious profession, in which, comparatively, 'little vegetation quickens, and133 few salutary plants take root,' finding 'a pleasant grove for their wits to walk in' amidst rows of beautifully bound, and intrinsically precious, volumes. They feel it delectable, 'from the loop-holes of such a retreat,' to peep at the multifarious pursuits of their brethren; and while they discover some busied in a perversion of book-taste, and others preferring the short-lived pleasures of sensual gratifications—which must 'not be named' among good bibliomaniacs—they can sit comfortably by their fire-sides; and, pointing to a well-furnished library, say to their wives—who heartily sympathize in the sentiment—

This gives us health, or adds to life a day!"[206]

[206] Braithwaite's Arcadian Princesse: lib. 4, p. 15, edit. 1635. The two immediately following verses, which are worthy of Dryden, may quietly creep in here:

Or helps decayed beauty, or repairs
Our chop-fall'n cheeks, or winter-molted hairs.

Lis. When I come to town to settle, pray introduce me to these amiable and sensible bibliomaniacs. Now gratify a curiosity that I feel to know the name and character of yonder respectably-looking gentleman, in the dress of the old school, who is speaking in so gracious a manner to Bernardo?

"'Tis Leontes: a man of taste, and an accomplished antiquary. Even yet he continues to gratify his favourite passion for book and print-collecting; although his library is at once choice and copious, and his collection of prints exquisitely fine. He yet enjoys, in the evening of life, all that unruffled temper and gentlemanly address which delighted so much in his younger days, and which will always render him, in his latter years, equally interesting and admired. Like Atticus, he is liberal in the loan of his treasures; and, as with him, so 'tis with Leontes—the spirit of book-collecting 'assumes the dignity of a virtue.'[207] Peace and comfort be the attendant spirits of Leontes, through life, and in death: the happiness of a better world await him beyond the134 grave! His memory will always be held in reverence by honest bibliomaniacs; and a due sense of his kindness towards myself shall constantly be impressed upon me—

Dum memor ipse mei, dum spiritus hos regret artus."

[207] Edinburgh Review, vol. xiii., p. 118.

Phil. Amen. With Leontes I suppose you close your account of the most notorious bibliomaniacs who generally attend book sales in person; for I observe no other person who mingles with those already described—unless indeed, three very active young ones, who occasionally converse with each other, and now and then have their names affixed to some very expensive purchases—

"They are the three Mercurii, oftentimes deputed by distinguished bibliomaniacs: who, fearful of the sharp-shooting powers of their adversaries, if they themselves should appear in the ranks, like prudent generals, keep aloof. But their aides-de-camp are not always successful in their missions; for such is the obstinacy with which book-battles are now contested, that it requires three times the number of guns and weight of metal to accomplish a particular object to what it did when John Duke of Marlborough wore his full-bottomed periwig at the battle of Blenheim.

"Others there are, again, who employ these Mercurii from their own inability to attend in person, owing to distance, want of time, and other similar causes. Hence, many a desperate bibliomaniac keeps in the back-ground; while the public are wholly unacquainted with his curious and rapidly-increasing treasures. Hence Sir Tristram, embosomed in his forest-retreat,

—down the steepy linn
That hems his little garden in,

is constantly increasing his stores of tales of genii, fairies, fays, ghosts, hobgoblins, magicians, highwaymen, and desperadoes—and equally acceptable to him is a copy of Castalio's elegant version of Homer, and of St. Dunstan's book 'De Occulta Philosophia;' concerning which lattter, Elias Ashmole is vehement in commen135dation.[208] From all these (after melting them down in his own unparalleled poetical crucible—which hath charms as potent as the witches' cauldron in Macbeth) he gives the world many a wondrous-sweet song. Who that has read the exquisite poems, of the fame of which all Britain 'rings from side to side,' shall deny to such ancient legends a power to charm and instruct? Or who, that possesses a copy of Prospero's excellent volumes, although composed in a different strain (yet still more fruitful in ancient matters), shall not love the memory and exalt the renown of such transcendent bibliomaniacs? The library of Prospero is indeed acknowledged to be without a rival in its way. How pleasant it is, dear Philemon, only to contemplate such a goodly prospect of elegantly bound volumes of old English and French literature!—and to think of the matchless stores which they contain, relating to our ancient popular tales and romantic legends!

[208] He who shall have the happiness to meet with St. Dunstan's Worke "De Occulta Philosophia," may therein reade such stories as will make him amaz'd, &c. Prolegom. to his Theatrum Chemicum, sign A., 4. rev.

"Allied to this library, in the general complexion of its literary treasures, is that of Marcellus: while in the possession of numberless rare and precious volumes relating to the drama, and especially to his beloved Shakespeare, it must be acknowledged that Marcellus hath somewhat the superiority. Meritorious as have been his labours in the illustration of our immortal bard, he is yet as zealous, vigilant, and anxious, as ever, to accumulate every thing which may tend to the further illustration of him. Enter his book-cabinet; and with the sight of how many unique pieces and tracts are your ardent eyes blessed! Just so it is with Aurelius! He also, with the three last mentioned bibliomaniacs, keeps up a constant fire at book auctions; although he is not personally seen in securing the spoils which he makes. Unparalleled as an antiquary in Caledonian history and poetry, and passionately attached to every thing connected with the fate of the lamented Mary, as well as136 with that of the great poetical contemporaries, Spenser and Shakespeare, Aurelius is indefatigable in the pursuit of such ancient lore as may add value to the stores, however precious, which he possesses. His Noctes Atticæ, devoted to the elucidation of the history of his native country, will erect to his memory a splendid and imperishable monument. These, my dear friends, these are the virtuous and useful, and therefore salutary ends of book-collecting and book-reading. Such characters are among the proudest pillars that adorn the greatest nations upon earth.

"Let me, however, not forget to mention that there are bashful or busy bibliomaniacs, who keep aloof from book-sales, intent only upon securing, by means of these Mercurii, stainless or large paper copies of ancient literature. While Menalcas sees his oblong cabinet decorated with such a tall, well-dressed, and perhaps matchless, regiment of Variorum Classics, he has little or no occasion to regret his unavoidable absence from the field of battle, in the Strand or Pall Mall. And yet—although he is environed with a body guard, of which the great Frederick's father might have envied him the possession, he cannot help casting a wishful eye, now and then, upon still choicer and taller troops which he sees in the territories of his rivals. I do not know whether he would not sacrifice the whole right wing of his army, for the securing of some magnificent treasures in the empire of his neighbour Rinaldo: for there he sees, and adores, with the rapture-speaking eye of a classical bibliomaniac, the tall, wide, thick, clean, brilliant, and illuminated copy of the first Livy upon vellum—enshrined in an impenetrable oaken case, covered with choice morocco!

"There he often witnesses the adoration paid to this glorious object, by some bookish pilgrim, who, as the evening sun reposes softly upon the hill, pushes onward, through copse, wood, moor, heath, bramble, and thicket, to feast his eyes upon the mellow lustre of its leaves, and upon the nice execution of its typography. Menalcas137 sees all this; and yet has too noble a heart to envy Rinaldo his treasures! These bibliomaniacs often meet and view their respective forces; but never with hostile eyes. They know their relative strength; and wisely console themselves by being each 'eminent in his degree.' Like Corregio, they are 'also painters' in their way."

Phil. A well-a-day, Lisardo! Does not this recital chill your blood with despair? Instead of making your purchases, you are only listening supinely to our friend!

Lis. Not exactly so. One of these obliging Mercurii has already executed a few commissions for me. You forget that our friend entered into a little chat with him, just before we took possession of our seats. As to despair of obtaining book-gems similar to those of the four last mentioned bibliomaniacs, I know not what to say—yet this I think must be granted: no one could make a better use of them than their present owners. See, the elder Mercurius comes to tell me of a pleasant acquisition to my library! What a murmur and confusion prevail about the auctioneer! Good news, I trust?

At this moment Lisardo received intelligence that he had obtained possession of the catalogues of the books of Bunau, Crevenna, and Pinelli; and that, after a desperate struggle with Quisquilius, he came off victorious in a contest for De Bure's Bibliographie Instructive, Gaignat's Catalogue, and the two copious ones of the Duke de la Valliere: these four latter being half-bound and uncut, in nineteen volumes. Transport lit up the countenance of Lisardo, upon his receiving this intelligence; but as pleasure and pain go hand in hand in this world, so did this young and unsuspecting bibliomaniac evince heavy affliction, on being told that he had failed in his attack upon the best editions of Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, Fresnoy's Méthode pour etudier l'Histoire, and Baillet's Jugemens des Savans—these having been carried off, at the point of the bayonet, by an irresistible onset from Atticus.138 "Remember, my friend," said I, in a soothing strain, "remember that you are but a Polydore; and must expect to fall when you encounter Achilles.[209] Think of the honour you have acquired in this day's glorious contest; and, when you are drenching your cups of claret, at your hospitable board, contemplate your De Bure as a trophy which will always make you respected by your visitors! I am glad to see you revive. Yet further intelligence?"

[209] The reader may peruse the affecting death of this beautiful youth, by the merciless Achilles, from the 407 to 418th verso of the xxth book of Homer's Iliad. Fortunately for Lisardo, he survives the contest, and even threatens revenge.

Lis. My good Mercurius, for whom a knife and fork shall always be laid at my table, has just informed me that Clement's Bibliotheque Curieuse, and Panzer's Typographical Annals, are knocked down to me, after Mustapha had picked me out for single combat, and battered my breast-plate with a thousand furious strokes!

"You must always," said I, "expect tough work from such an enemy, who is frequently both wanton and wild. But I congratulate you heartily on the event of this day's contest. Let us now pack up and pay for our treasures. Your servant has just entered the room, and the chaise is most probably at the door."

Lis. I am perfectly ready. Mercurius tells me that the whole amounts to——

Phil. Upwards of thirty guineas?

Lis. Hard upon forty pounds. Here is the draft upon my banker: and then for my precious tomes of bibliography! A thousand thanks, my friend. I love this place of all things; and, after your minute account of the characters of those who frequent it, I feel a strong propensity to become a deserving member of so respectable a fraternity. Leaving them all to return to their homes as satisfied as myself, I wish them a hearty good day.

Upon saying this, we followed Lisardo and his biblio139graphical treasures into the chaise; and instantly set off, at a sharp trot, for the quiet and comfort of green fields and running streams. As we rolled over Westminster-bridge, we bade farewell, like the historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, to the

"Fumum et opes strepitumque Romæ."


Chiswick House

CHISWICK HOUSE as in 1740.



The Library.


——Wisdom loves
This seat serene, and Virtue's self approves:—
Here come the griev'd, a change of thought to find;
The curious here, to feed a craving mind:
Here the devout, their peaceful temple chuse;
And here, the poet meets his favouring Muse.
CRABBE'S POEMS. (The Library.)


Ingredere ut Proficias.


The Library


The Library.


DURING the first seven miles of our return from the busy scene which has just been described, it was sufficiently obvious that Lisardo was suffering a little under the pangs of mortification. True it was, he had filled his pocket with an ampler supply of pistoles than it ever fell to the lot of Gil Blas, at the same time of life, to be master of; but he had not calculated upon the similar condition of his competitors; some of whom had yet greater powers of purchase, and a more resolute determination, as well as nicer skill, in exercising these powers, than himself. Thus rushing into the combat with the heat and vehemence of youth, he was of necessity144 compelled to experience the disappointment attendant upon such precipitancy. It was in vain that Philemon and myself endeavoured to make him completely satisfied with his purchase: nothing produced a look of complacency from him. At length, upon seeing the rising ground which was within two or three miles of our respective homes, he cheered up by degrees; and a sudden thought of the treasures contained in his Clement, De Bure and Panzer, darted a gleam of satisfaction across his countenance. His eyes resumed their wonted brilliancy, and all the natural gaiety of his disposition returned with full effect to banish every vapour of melancholy. "Indeed, my good friend," said he to me—"I shall always have reason to think and speak well of your kindness shewn towards me this day; and although some years may elapse before a similar collection may be disposed of—and I must necessarily wait a tedious period 'ere I get possession of Maittaire, Audiffredi, and others of the old school—yet I hope to convince Lysander, on the exhibition of my purchase, that my conversion to bibliography has been sincere. Yes: I perceive that I have food enough to digest, in the volumes which are now my travelling companions, for two or three years to come—and if, by keeping a sharp look-out upon booksellers' catalogues when they are first published, I can catch hold of Vogt, Schelhorn and Heinecken, my progress in bibliography, within the same period, must be downright marvellous!" "I congratulate you," exclaimed Philemon, "upon the return of your reason and good sense. I began to think that the story of Orlando had been thrown away upon you; and that his regular yearly purchases of a certain set of books, and making himself master of their principal contents before he ventured upon another similar purchase, had already been banished from your recollection."

We were now fast approaching the end of our journey; when the groom of Lorenzo, mounted upon a well-bred courser, darted quickly by the chaise, ap145parently making towards my house—but on turning his head, and perceiving me within it, he drew up and bade the postilion stop. A note from his master soon disclosed the reason of this interruption. Lorenzo, upon hearing of the arrival of Lysander and Philemon, and of their wish to visit his library, had sent us all three a kind invitation to dine with him on the morrow. His close intimacy with Lisardo (who was his neighbour) had left no doubt in the mind of the latter but that a similar note had been sent to his own house. After telling the messenger that we would not fail to pay our respects to his master, we drove briskly homewards; and found Lysander sitting on a stile under some wide-spreading beech trees, at the entrance of the paddock, expecting our arrival. In less than half an hour we sat down to dinner (at a time greatly beyond what I was accustomed to); regaling Lysander, during the repast, with an account of the contest we had witnessed; and every now and then preventing Lisardo from rushing towards his packet (even in the midst of his fricandeau), and displaying his book-treasures. After dinner, our discussion assumed a more methodical shape. Lysander bestowed his hearty commendations upon the purchase; and, in order to whet the bibliomaniacal appetite of his young convert, he slyly observed that his set of De Bure's pieces were half bound and uncut; and that by having them bound in morocco, with gilt leaves, he would excel my own set; which latter was coated in a prettily-sprinkled calf leather, with speckled edges. Lisardo could not repress the joyful sensations which this remark excited; and I observed that, whenever his eyes glanced upon my shelves, he afterwards returned them upon his own little collection, with a look of complacency mingled with exultation. It was evident, therefore, that he was now thoroughly reconciled to his fortune.

Lysand. During your absence, I have been reading a very favourite work of mine—Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain; especially that part of it which I146 prefer so much to the history of human cunning and human slaughter; I mean, the account of learning and of learned men.

Phil. It is also a great favourite with me. But while I regret the inexcuseable omission of an index to such a voluminous work, and the inequality of Mr. Andrews's partial continuation of it, I must be permitted to observe that the history of our literature and learned men is not the most brilliant, or best executed, part of Dr. Henry's valuable labours. There are many omissions to supply, and much interesting additional matter to bring forward, even in some of the most elaborate parts of it. His account of the arts might also be improved; although in commerce, manners and customs, I think he has done as much, and as well, as could reasonably be expected. I question, however, whether his work, from the plan upon which it is executed, will ever become so popular as its fondest admirers seem to hope.

Lysand. You are to consider, Philemon, that in the execution of such an important whole, in the erection of so immense a fabric, some parts must necessarily be finished in a less workman-like style than others. And, after all, there is a good deal of caprice in our criticisms. You fancy, in this fabric (if I may be allowed to go on with my simile), a boudoir, a hall, or a staircase; and fix a critical eye upon a recess badly contrived, an oval badly turned, or pillars weakly put together:—the builder says, Don't look at these parts of the fabric with such fastidious nicety; they are subordinate. If my boudoir will hold a moderate collection of old-fashioned Dresden China, if my staircase be stout enough to conduct you and your company to the upper rooms; and, if my hall be spacious enough to hold the hats, umbrellas and walking-sticks of your largest dinner-party, they answer the ends proposed:—unless you would live in your boudoir, upon your staircase, or within your hall! The fact then is, you, Philemon, prefer the boudoir, and might, perhaps, im147prove upon its structure; but, recollect, there are places in a house of equal, or perhaps more, consequence than this beloved boudoir. Now, to make the obvious application to the work which has given rise to this wonderful stretch of imagination on my part:—Dr. Henry is the builder, and his history is the building, in question: in the latter he had to put together, with skill and credit, a number of weighty parts, of which the "Civil and Ecclesiastical" is undoubtedly the most important to the generality of readers. But one of these component parts was the The History of Learning and of Learned Men; which its author probably thought of subordinate consequence, or in the management of which, to allow you the full force of your objection, he was not so well skilled. Yet, still, never before having been thus connected with such a building, it was undoubtedly a delightful acquisition; and I question whether, if it had been more elaborately executed—if it had exhibited all the fret-work and sparkling points which you seem to conceive necessary to its completion; I question, whether the popularity of the work would have been even so great as it is, and as it unquestionably merits to be! A few passionately-smitten literary antiquaries are not, perhaps, the fittest judges of such a production. To be generally useful and profitable should be the object of every author of a similar publication; and as far as candour and liberality of sentiment, an unaffected and manly style, accompanied with weighty matter, extensive research, and faithful quotation, render a work nationally valuable—the work of Dr. Henry, on these grounds, is an ornament and honour to his country.

Phil. Yet I wish he had rambled (if you will permit me so to speak) a little more into book-men and book-anecdotes.

Lysand. You may indulge this wish very innocently; but, certainly, you ought not to censure Dr. Henry for the omission of such minutiæ.

Lis. Does he ever quote Clement, De Bure, or Panzer?148

Lysand. Away with such bibliomaniacal frenzy! He quotes solid, useful and respectable authorities; chiefly our old and most valuable historians. No writer before him ever did them so much justice, or displayed a more familiar acquaintance with them.

Lis. Do pray give us, Lysander, some little sketches of book-characters—which, I admit, did not enter into the plan of Dr. Henry's excellent work. As I possess the original quarto edition of this latter, bound in Russia, you will not censure me for a want of respect towards the author.

Phil. I second Lisardo's motion; although I fear the evening presses too hard upon us to admit of much present discussion.

Lysand. Nothing—(speaking most unaffectedly from my heart) nothing affords me sincerer pleasure than to do any thing in my power which may please such cordial friends as yourselves. My pretensions to that sort of antiquarian knowledge, which belongs to the history of book-collectors, are very poor, as you well know,—they being greatly eclipsed by my zeal in the same cause. But, as I love my country and my country's literature, so no conversation or research affords me a livelier pleasure than that which leads me to become better acquainted with the ages which have gone by; with the great and good men of old; who have found the most imperishable monuments of their fame in the sympathizing hearts of their successors. But I am wandering—

Lis. Go on as you please, dear Lysander; for I have been too much indebted to your conversation ever to suppose it could diverge into any thing censoriously irrelevant. Begin where and when you please.

Lysand. I assure you it is far from my intention to make any formal exordium, even if I knew the exact object of your request.

Phil. Tell us all about book-collecting and Bibliomaniacs in this country—

Lis. "Commençez au commençement"—as the French adage is.149

Lysand. In sober truth, you impose upon me a pretty tough task! "One Thousand and One Nights" would hardly suffice for the execution of it; and now, already, I see the owl flying across the lawn to take her station in the neighbouring oak; while even the middle ground of yonder landscape is veiled in the blue haziness of evening. Come a short half hour, and who, unless the moon befriend him, can see the outline of the village church? Thus gradually and imperceptibly, but thus surely, succeeds age to youth—death to life—eternity to time!—You see in what sort of mood I am for the performance of my promise?

Lis. Reserve these meditations for your pillow, dear Lysander: and now, again I entreat you—"commençez au commençement."

Phil. Pray make a beginning only: the conclusion shall be reserved, as a desert, for Lorenzo's dinner to-morrow.

Lysand. Lest I should be thought coquettish, I will act with you as I have already done; and endeavour to say something which may gratify you as before.

It has often struck me my dear friends, continued Lysander—(in a balanced attitude, and seeming to bring quietly together all his scattered thoughts upon the subject) it has often struck me that few things have operated more unfavourably towards the encouragement of learning, and of book-collecting, than the universal passion for chivalry—which obtained towards the middle ages; while, on the other hand, a monastic life seems to have excited a love of retirement, meditation, and reading.[210]150 I admit readily, that, considering the long continuance of the monastic orders, and that almost all intellectual improvement was confined within the cloister, a very slow and partial progress was made in literature. The system of education was a poor, stinted, and unproductive one. Nor was it till after the enterprising activity of Poggio had succeeded in securing a few precious remains of classical antiquity,[211] that the wretched indolence of the monastic life began to be diverted from a constant meditation upon "antiphoners, grailes, and psalters,"[212] towards subjects of a more generally interesting nature. I am willing to admit every degree of merit to the manual dexterity of the cloistered student. I admire his snow-white vellum missals, emblazoned with gold, and sparkling with carmine and ultramarine blue. By the help of the microscopic glass, I peruse his diminutive penmanship, executed with the most astonishing neatness and regularity; and often wish in my heart151 that our typographers printed with ink as glossy black as that which they sometimes used in their writing. I admire all this; and now and then, for a guinea or two, I purchase a specimen of such marvellous leger-de-main: but the book, when purchased, is to me a sealed book. And yet, Philemon, I blame not the individual, but the age; not the task, but the task-master; for surely the same exquisite and unrivalled beauty would have been exhibited in copying an ode of Horace, or a dictum of Quintilian. Still, however, you may say that the intention, in all this, was pure and meritorious; for that such a system excited insensibly a love of quiet, domestic order, and seriousness: while those counsels and regulations which punished a "Clerk for being a hunter," and restricted "the intercourse of Concubines,"[213] evinced a152 spirit of jurisprudence which would have done justice to any age. Let us allow, then, if you please, that a love of book-reading, and of book-collecting, was a meritorious trait in the monastic life; and that we are to look upon old abbies and convents as the sacred depositories of the literature of past ages. What can you say in defence of your times of beloved chivalry?

[210] As early as the sixth century commenced the custom, in some monasteries, of copying ancient books and composing new ones. It was the usual, and even only, employment of the first monks of Marmoutier. A monastery without a library was considered as a fort or a camp deprived of the necessary articles for its defence: "claustrum sine armario, quasi castrum sine armentario." Peignot, Dict. de Bibliolog., vol. i., 77. I am fearful that this good old bibliomanical custom of keeping up the credit of their libraries among the monks had ceased—at least in the convent of Romsey, in Hampshire—towards the commencement of the sixteenth century. One would think that the books had been there disposed of in bartering for strong liquors; for at a visitation by Bishop Fox, held there in 1506, Joyce Rows, the abbess, is accused of immoderate drinking, especially in the night time; and of inviting the nuns to her chamber every evening, for the purpose of these excesses, "post completorium." What is frightful to add,—"this was a rich convent, and filled with ladies of the best families." See Warton's cruel note in his Life of Sir Thomas Pope, p. 25, edit. 1772. A tender-hearted bibliomaniac cannot but feel acutely on reflecting upon the many beautifully-illuminated vellum books which were, in all probability, exchanged for these inebriating gratifications! To balance this unfavourable account read Hearne's remark about the libraries in ancient monasteries, in the sixth volume of Leland's Collectanea, p. 86-7, edit. 1774: and especially the anecdotes and authorities stated by Dr. Henry in book iii., chap, iv., sec. 1.

[211] See the first volume of Mr. Roscoe's Lorenzo de Medici; and the Rev. Mr. Shepherd's Life of Poggio Bracciolini.

[212] When Queen Elizabeth deputed a set of commissioners to examine into the superstitious books belonging to All-Souls library, there was returned, in the list of these superstitious works, "eight grailes, seven antiphoners of parchment and bound." Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa, vol. ii., 276. At page 115, ante, the reader will find a definition of the word "Antiphoner." He is here informed that a "gradale" or "grail," is a book which ought to have in it "the office of sprinkling holy water: the beginnings of the masses, or the offices of Kyrie, with the verses of gloria in excelsis; the gradales, or what is gradually sung after the epistles; the hallelujah and tracts, the sequences, the creed to be sung at mass, the offertories, the hymns holy, and Lamb of God, the communion, &c., which relate to the choir at the singing of a solemn mass." This is the Rev. J. Lewis's account; idem opus, vol. ii., 168.

[213] "Of a Clerk that is an Hunter."

"We ordain that if any clerk be defamed of trespass committed in forest or park of any man's, and thereof be lawfully convicted before his ordinary, or do confess it to him, the diocesan shall make redemption thereof in his goods, if he have goods after the quality of his fault; and such redemption shall be assigned to him to whom the loss, hurt, or injury, is done; but if he have no goods, let his bishop grievously punish his person according as the fault requireth, lest through trust to escape punishment they boldly presume to offend." Fol. 86, rev.: vide infra. (The same prohibition against clergymen being Hunters appears in a circular letter, or injunctions, by Lee, Archbishop of York, A.D. 1536. "Item; they shall not be common Hunters ne Hawkers, ne playe at gammes prohibytede, as dycese and cartes, and such oder." Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation; vol. iii. p. 136, "Collections.")

"Of the removing of Clerks' Concubines."

"Although the governors of the church have always laboured and enforced to drive and chase away from the houses of the church that rotten contagiousness of pleasant filthiness with the which the sight and beauty of the church is grievously spotted and defiled, and yet could never hitherto bring it to pass, seeing it is of so great a lewd boldness that it thursteth in unshamefastly without ceasing; we, therefore," &c. Fol. 114, rect.

"Of Concubines, that is to say of them that keep Concubines."

"How unbecoming it is, and how contrary to the pureness of Christians, to touch sacred things with lips and hands polluted, or any to give the laws and praisings of cleanness, or to present himself in the Lord's temple, when he is defiled with the spots of lechery, not only the divine and canonical laws, but also the monitions of secular princes, hath evidently seen by the judgment of holy consideration, commanding and enjoining both discreetly and also wholesomely, shamefacedness unto all Christ's faithful, and ministers of the holy church." Fol. 131, rect. Constitutions Provincialles, and of Otho aud Octhobone. Redman's edit. 1534, 12mo. On looking into Du Pin's Ecclesiastical History, vol. ix., p. 58, edit. 1699, I find that Hugh of Dia, by the ninth canon in the council of Poictiers, (centy. xi.) ordained "That the sub-deacons, deacons, and priests, shall have no concubine, or any other suspicious women in their houses; and that all those who shall wittingly hear the mass of a priest that keeps a concubine, or is guilty of simony, shall be excommunicated."

Phil. Shew me in what respect the gallant spirit of an ancient knight was hostile to the cultivation of the belles-lettres?

Lysand. Most readily. Look at your old romances, and what is the system of education—of youthful pursuits—which they in general inculcate? Intrigue and bloodshed.[214] Examine your favourite new edition of the Fabliaux et Contes of the middle ages, collected by Barbazan! However the editor may say that "though some of these pieces are a little too free, others breathe153 a spirit of morality and religion—"[215] the main scope of the poems, taken collectively, is that which has just been mentioned. But let us come to particulars. What is there in the Ordene de Chevalerie, or Le Castoiement d'un Pere à son fils (pieces in which one would expect a little seriousness of youthful instruction), that can possibly excite a love of reading, book-collecting, or domestic quiet? Again; let us see what these chivalrous lads do, as soon as they become able-bodied! Nothing but assault and wound one another. Read concerning your favourite Oliver of Castile,[216] and his154 half-brother Arthur! Or, open the beautiful volumes of the late interesting translation of Monstrelet, and what is almost the very first thing which meets your eye? Why, "an Esquire of Arragon (one of your chivalrous heroes) named Michel D'Orris, sends a challenge to an English esquire of the same complexion with himself—and this is the nature of the challenge: [which I will read from the volume, as it is close at my right hand, and I have been dipping into it this morning in your absence—]

[214] The celebrated Ludovicus Vives has strung together a whole list of ancient popular romances, calling them "ungracious books." The following is his saucy philippic: "Which books but idle men wrote unlearned, and set all upon filth and viciousness; in whom I wonder what should delight men, but that vice pleaseth them so much. As for learning, none is to be looked for in those men, which saw never so much as a shadow of learning themselves. And when they tell ought, what delight can be in those things that be so plain and foolish lies? One killeth twenty by himself alone, another killeth thirty; another, wounded with a hundred wounds, and left for dead, riseth up again; and on the next day, made whole and strong, overcometh two giants, and then goeth away loaden with gold and silver and precious stones, mo than a galley would carry away. What madness is it of folks to have pleasure in these books! Also there is no wit in them, but a few words of wanton lust; which be spoken to move her mind with whom they love, if it chance she be steadfast. And if they be read but for this, the best were to make books of bawd's crafts, for in other things what craft can be had of such a maker that is ignorant of all good craft? Nor I never heard man say that he liked these books, but those that never touched good books."—Instruction of a Christian Woman, sign. D. 1. rev., edit. 1593. From the fifth chapter (sufficiently curious) of "What books be to be read, and what not."

[215] Vol. ii., p. 39, edit. 1808.

[216] "When the king saw that they were puissant enough for to wield armour at their ease, he gave them license for to do cry a Justing and Tournament. The which Oliver and Arthur made for to be cried, that three aventurous knights should just against all comers, the which should find them there the first day of the lusty month of May, in complete harness, for to just against their adversaries with sharp spears. And the said three champions should just three days in three colours: that is to wit, in black, grey and violet—and their shields of the same hue; and them to find on the third day at the lists. There justed divers young knights of the king's court: and the justing was more asperer of those young knights than ever they had seen any in that country. And, by the report of the ladies, they did so knightly, every one, that it was not possible for to do better, as them thought, by their strokes. But, above all other, Oliver and Arthur (his loyal fellow) had the bruit and loos. The justing endured long: it was marvel to see the hideous strokes that they dealt; for the justing had not finished so soon but that the night separed them. Nevertheless, the adversary party abode 'till the torches were light. But the ladies and damoyselles, that of all the justing time had been there, were weary, and would depart. Wherefore the justers departed in likewise, and went and disarmed them for to come to the banquet or feast. And when that the banquet was finished and done, the dances began. And there came the king and the valiant knights of arms, for to enquire of the ladies and damoyselles, who that had best borne him as for that day. The ladies, which were all of one accord and agreement, said that Oliver and Arthur had surmounted all the best doers of that journey. And by cause that Oliver and Arthur were both of one party, and that they could find but little difference between them of knighthood, they knew not the which they might sustain. But, in the end, they said that Arthur had done right valiantly: nevertheless, they said that Oliver had done best unto their seeming. And therefore it was concluded that the pryce should be given unto Oliver, as for the best of them of within. And another noble knight, of the realm of Algarbe, that came with the queen, had the pryce of without. When the pryce of the juste that had been made was brought before Oliver, by two fair damoyselles, he waxed all red, and was ashamed at that present time; and said that it was of their bounty for to give him the pryce, and not of his desert: nevertheless, he received it; and, as it was of custom in guerdoning them, he kissed them. And soon after they brought the wine and spices; and then the dances and the feast took an end as for that night." Hystorye of Olyuer of Castylle, and of the fayre Helayne, &c., 1518, 4to., sign. A. v. vj. This I suppose to be the passage alluded to by Lysander. The edition from which it is taken, and of which the title was barely known to Ames and Herbert, is printed by Wynkyn De Worde. Mr. Heber's copy of it is at present considered to be unique. The reader will see some copious extracts from it in the second volume of the British Typographical Antiquities.

"First, to enter the lists on foot, each armed in the manner he shall please, having a dagger and sword attached to any part of his body, and a battle-axe, with the handle of such length as the challenger shall fix on. The combat to be as follows: ten strokes of the battle-axe, without intermission; and when these strokes shall have been given, and the judge shall cry out 'Ho!' ten cuts with the sword to be given without intermission or change of armour. When the judge shall cry out 'Ho!' we will resort to our daggers, and give ten stabs with them. Should either party lose or drop his weapon, the other may continue the use of the one in his hand until the judge shall cry out 'Ho!'" &c.[217] A very pretty specimen of honourable combat, truly!—and a mighty merciful judge who required even more cuts and thrusts than these (for the combat is to go on) before he cried out "Ho!" Defend us from such ejaculatory umpires!—

[217] See Monstrelet's Chronicles, translated by Thomas Johnes, Esq., vol. i., p. 8, edit. 1809, 4to. Another elegant and elaborate specimen of the Hafod press; whose owner will be remembered as long as literature and taste shall be cultivated in this country.

155Lis. Pray dwell no longer upon such barbarous heroism! We admit that Monachism may have contributed towards the making of bibliomaniacs more effectually than Chivalry. Now proceed—

These words had hardly escaped Lisardo, when the arrival of my worthy neighbour Narcottus (who lived by the parsonage house), put a stop to the discourse. Agreeably to a promise which I had made him three days before, he came to play a game of chess with Philemon; who, on his part, although a distinguished champion at this head-distracting game, gave way rather reluctantly to the performance of the promise: for Lysander was now about to enter upon the history of the Bibliomania in this country. The Chess-board, however was brought out; and down to the contest the combatants sat—while Lisardo retired to one corner of the room to examine thoroughly his newly-purchased volumes, and Lysander took down a prettily executed 8vo. volume upon the Game of Chess, printed at Cheltenham, about six years ago, and composed "by an amateur." While we were examining, in this neat work, an account of the numerous publications upon the Game of Chess, in various countries and languages, and were expressing our delight in reading anecdotes about eminent chess players, Lisardo was carefully packing up his books, as he expected his servant every minute to take them away. The servant shortly arrived, and upon his expressing his inability to carry the entire packet—"Here," exclaimed Lisardo, "do you take the quartos, and follow me; who will march onward with the octavos." This was no sooner said than our young bibliomaniacal convert gave De Bure, Gaignat, and La Valliere, a vigorous swing across his shoulders; while the twenty quarto volumes of Clement and Panzer were piled, like "Ossa upon Pelion," upon those of his servant—and

"Light of foot, and light of heart"

Lisardo took leave of us 'till the morrow.

Meanwhile, the chess combat continued with unabated156 spirit. Here Philemon's king stood pretty firmly guarded by both his knights, one castle, one bishop, and a body of common soldiers[218]—impenetrable as the Grecian phalanx, or Roman legion; while his queen had made a sly sortie to surprise the only surviving knight of Narcottus. Narcottus, on the other hand, was cautiously collecting his scattered foot soldiers, and, with two bishops, and two castle-armed elephants, were meditating a desperate onset to retrieve the disgrace of his lost queen. An inadvertent remark from Lysander, concerning the antiquity of the game, attracted the attention of Philemon so much as to throw him off his guard; while his queen, forgetful of her sex, and venturing unprotected, like Penthesilea of old, into the thickest of the fight, was trampled under foot, without mercy,[219] by a huge elephant, carrying a castle of armed men upon his back. Shouts of applause, from Narcottus's men, rent the vaulted air; while grief and consternation possessed the astonished army of Philemon. "Away with your antiquarian questions," exclaimed the latter, looking sharply at Lysander: "away with your old editions of the Game of Chess! The moment is critical; and I fear the day may be lost. Now for desperate action!" So saying, he bade the King exhort his dismayed subjects. His Majesty made a spirited oration; and called upon Sir Launcelot, the most distinguished of the two Knights,[220]157 to be mindful of his own and of his country's honour: to spare the effusion of blood among his subjects as much as possible; but rather to place victory or defeat in the comparative skill of the officers: and, at all events, to rally round that throne which had conferred such high marks of distinction upon his ancestors. "I needed not, gracious sire," replied Sir Launcelot—curbing in his mouth-foaming steed, and fixing his spear in the rest—"I needed not to be here reminded of your kindness to my forefathers, or of the necessity of doing every thing, at such a crisis, beseeming the honour of a true round-table knight.—Yes, gracious sovereign, I swear to you by the love I bear to the Lady of the Lake[221]—by the remembrance of the soft moments we have passed together in the honey-suckle bowers of her father—by all that an knight of chivalry is taught to believe the most sacred and binding—I swear that I will not return this day alive without the laurel of victory entwined round my brow. Right well do I perceive that deeds and not words must save us now—let the issue of the combat prove my valour and allegiance." Upon this, Sir Launcelot clapped spurs to his horse, and after driving an unprotected Bishop into the midst of the foot-soldiers, who quickly took him prisoner, he sprang forward, with a lion-like nimbleness and ferocity, to pick out Sir Galaad, the only remaining knight in the adverse army, to single combat. Sir Galaad, strong and wary, like the Greenland bear when assailed by the darts and bullets of our whale-fishing men, marked the fury of Sir Launcelot's course, and sought rather to present a formidable defence by calling to aid his elephants, than to meet such a champion single-handed. A shrill blast from his horn told the danger of his situation, and the necessity of help. What should now be done? The unbroken ranks of158 Philemon's men presented a fearful front to the advance of the elephants, and the recent capture of a venerable bishop had made the monarch, on Narcottus's side, justly fearful of risking the safety of his empire by leaving himself wholly without episcopal aid. Meanwhile the progress of Sir Launcelot was marked with blood; and he was of necessity compelled to slaughter a host of common men, who stood thickly around Sir Galaad, resolved to conquer or die by his side. At length, as Master Laneham aptly expresses it, "get they grysly together."[222] The hostile leaders met; there was neither time nor disposition for parley. Sir Galaad threw his javelin with well-directed fury; which, flying within an hair's breadth of Sir Launcelot's shoulder, passed onward, and, grazing the cheek of a foot soldier, stood quivering in the sand. He then was about to draw his ponderous sword—but the tremendous spear of Sir Launcelot, whizzing strongly in the air, passed through his thickly quilted belt, and, burying itself in his bowels, made Sir Galaad to fall breathless from his horse. Now might you hear the shouts of victory on one side, and the groans of the vanquished on the other; or, as old Homer expresses it,

Victors and vanquished shouts promiscuous rise.
With streams of blood the slippery fields are dyed,
And slaughtered heroes swell the dreadful tide.
Iliad [passim].

[218] "Whilst there are strong, able, and active men of the king's side, to defend his cause, there is no danger of [this] misfortune." Letter to the Craftsman on the Game of Chess, p. 13.

[219] "When therefore the men of one party attack those of the other, though their spleen at first may only seem bent against a Bishop, a Knight, or an inferior officer; yet, if successful in their attacks on that servant of the king, they never stop there: they come afterwards to think themselves strong enough even to attack the Queen," &c. The same, p. 12.

[220] "The Knight (whose steps, as your correspondent justly observes, are not of an ordinary kind, and often surprise men who oppose him) is of great use in extricating the King out of those difficulties in which his foes endeavour to entangle him.—He is a man whom a wise player makes great use of in these exigences, and who oftenest defeats the shallow schemes and thin artifices of unskilful antagonists. They must be very bad players who do not guard against the steps of the Knight." The same, p. 14.

[221] "The Lady of the Lake; famous in King Arthurz Book"—says Master Laneham, in his Letter to Master Humfrey Martin; concerning the entertainment given by Lord Leicester to Q. Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle: A.D. 1575, edit. 1784, p. 12. Yet more famous, I add, in a poem under this express title, by Walter Scott, 1810.

[222] See the authority (p. 40) quoted in the note at page 157, ante.

And, truly, the army of Narcottus seemed wasted with a great slaughter: yet on neither side, had the monarch been checked, so as to be put in personal danger! "While there is life there is hope," said the surviving Bishop[223] on the side of Narcottus: who now taking upon him the command of the army, and perceiving Sir Launcelot to159 be pretty nearly exhausted with fatigue, and wantonly exposing his person, ordered the men at arms to charge him briskly on all sides; while his own two castles kept a check upon the remaining castle, knight, and bishop of the opposite army: also, he exhorted the king to make a feint, as if about to march onwards. Sir Launcelot, on perceiving the movement of the monarch, sprang forward to make him a prisoner; but he was surprised by an elephant in ambuscade, from whose castle-bearing back a well-shot arrow pierced his corslet, and inflicted a mortal wound. He fell; but, in falling, he seemed to smile even sweetly, as he thought upon the noble speech of Sir Bohort[224] over the dead body of his illustrious ancestor, of the same name; and, exhorting his gallant men to revenge his fall, he held the handle of his sword firmly, till his whole frame was stiffened in death. And now the battle was renewed with equal courage and equal hopes of victory on both sides: but the loss of the flower of their armies, and especially of their beloved spouses, had heavily oppressed the adverse monarchs: who, retiring to a secured spot, bemoaned in secret the hapless deaths of their queens, and bitterly bewailed that injudicious law which, of necessity, so much exposed their fair persons, by giving them such an unlimited power. The fortune of the day, therefore, remained in the hands of the respective commanders; and if the knight and bishop, on Philemon's side, had not contested about superiority of rule, the victory had surely been with Philemon. But the strife of these commanders threw every thing into confusion. The men, after being trampled upon by the elephants of Narcottus, left their king exposed, without the power of being aided by his castle. An error so fatal was instantly perceived by the bishop of Narcottus's shattered army; who, like160 another Ximenes,[225] putting himself at the head of his forces, and calling upon his men resolutely to march onwards, gave orders for the elephants to be moved cautiously at a distance, and to lose no opportunity of making the opposite monarch prisoner. Thus, while he161 charged in front, and captured, with his own hands, the remaining adverse knight, his men kept the adverse bishop from sending reinforcements; and Philemon's elephant not having an opportunity of sweeping across162 the plain to come to the timely aid of the king,[226] the victory was speedily obtained, for the men upon the backs of Narcottus's elephants kept up so tremendous a discharge of arrows that the monarch was left without a single attendant: and, of necessity, was obliged to submit to the generosity of his captors.

[223] "I think the Bishops extremely considerable throughout the whole game. One quality too they have, which is peculiar to themselves; this is that, throughout the whole game, they have a steadiness in their conduct, superior to men of any other denomination on the board; as they never change their colour, but always pursue the path in which they set out." The same (vid. 206-7) p. 20.

[224] This truly chivalrous speech may be seen extracted in Mr. Burnet's Specimens of English Prose Writers, vol. i., 269. One of Virgil's heroes, to the best of my recollection, dies serenely upon thinking of his beloved countrymen:

——dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos!

[225] It is always pleasant to me to make comparisons with eminent book-patrons, or, if the reader pleases, bibliomaniacs. Cardinal Ximenes was the promoter and patron of the celebrated Complutensian Polyglott Bible; concerning which I have already submitted some account to the public in my Introduction to the Classics, vol. i., pp. 7, 8. His political abilities and personal courage have been described by Dr. Robertson (in his history of Charles V.), with his usual ability. We have here only to talk of him as connected with books. Mallinkrot and Le Long have both preserved the interesting anecdote which is related by his first biographer, Alvaro Gomez, concerning the completion of the forementioned Polyglott. "I have often heard John Brocarius (says Gomez) son of Arnoldus Brocarius, who printed the Polyglott, tell his friends that, when his father had put the finishing stroke to the last volume, he deputed him to carry it to the Cardinal. John Brocarius was then a lad; and, having dressed himself in an elegant suit of clothes, he gravely approached Ximenes, and delivered the volume into his hands. 'I render thanks to thee, oh God!' exclaimed the Cardinal, 'that thou hast protracted my life to the completion of these biblical labours.' Afterwards, when conversing with his friends, Ximenes would often observe that the surmounting of the various difficulties of his political situation did not afford him half the satisfaction which he experienced from the finishing of his Polyglott. He died in the year 1517, not many weeks after the last volume was published." Gomez, or Gomecius's work "de rebus gestis, à Francisco Ximenio Cisnerio Archiepiscopo Complut," 1569, fol., is a book of very uncommon occurrence. It is much to be wished that Lord Holland, or Mr. Southey, would give us a life of this celebrated political character: as the biographies of Flechier and Marsolier seem miserably defective, and the sources of Gomez to have been but partially consulted. But I must not let slip this opportunity of commemorating the book-reputation of Ximenes, without making the reader acquainted with two other singularly scarce and curious productions of the press, which owe their birth to the bibliomanical spirit of our Cardinal. I mean the "Missale mixtum secundun regulum B. Isidori, dictum Mozarabes, cum præfat." A. Ortiz. Toleti, 1500, fol. and the "Breviarium, mixtum," &c. Mozarabes. Toleti, 1502, fol.: of the former of which there was a copy in the Harleian collection; as the ensuing interesting note, in the catalogue of Lord Harley's books, specifies. I shall give it without abridgment: "This is the scarcest book in the whole Harleian collection. At the end of it are the following words, which deserve to be inserted here:—Adlaudem Omnipotentis Dei, nec non Virginis Mariæ Matris ejus, omnium sanctorum sanctarumq; expletum est Missale mixtum secundum regulam beati Isidori dictum Mozarabes: maxima cum diligentia perlectum et emendatum, per Reverendum in utroq; Jure Doctorem Dominum Alfonsum Ortiz, Canonicum Toletanum. Impressum in regal. civitate Toleti, Jussu Reverendissimi in Christo Patris Domini D. Francisci Ximenii, ejusdem civitatis Archiepiscopi. Impensis Nobilis Melchioris Gorricii Novariensis, per Magistrum Petrum Hagembach, Almanum, anno salutis nostræ 1500, Die 29o mensis Januarii." "This is supposed to be the ancient Missal amended and purged by St. Isidore, archbishop of Sevil, and ordered by the Council of Toledo to be used in all churches; every one of which before that time had a missal peculiar to itself. The Moors afterwards committing great ravages in Spain, destroying the churches, and throwing every thing there, both civil and sacred, into confusion, all St. Isidore's missals, excepting those in the city of Toledo, were lost. But those were preserved even after the Moors had made themselves masters of that city; since they left six of the churches there to the Christians, and granted them the free exercise of their religion. Alphonsus the Sixth, many ages afterwards, expelled the Moors from Toledo, and ordered the Roman missal to be used in those churches where St. Isidore's missal had been in vogue, ever since the council above-mentioned. But the people of Toledo insisting that their missal was drawn up by the most ancient bishops, revised and corrected by St. Isidore, proved to be the best by the great number of saints who had followed it, and been preserved during the whole time of the Moorish government in Spain, he could not bring his project to bear without great difficulty. In short, the contest between the Roman and Toletan missals came to that height that, according to the genius of the age, it was decided by a single combat, wherein the champion of the Toletan missal proved victorious. But King Alphonsus, say some of the Spanish writers, not being satisfied with this, which he considered as the effect of chance only, ordered a fast to be proclaimed, and a great fire to be then made; into which, after the king and people had prayed fervently to God for his assistance in this affair, both the missals were thrown; but the Toletan only escaped the violence of the flames. This, continue the same authors, made such an impression upon the king that he permitted the citizens of Toledo to use their own missal in those churches that had been granted the Christians by the Moors. However, the copies of this missal grew afterwards so scarce, that Cardinal Ximenes found it extremely difficult to meet with one of them: which induced him to order this impression, and to build a chapel, in which this service was chanted every day, as it had at first been by the ancient Christians. But, notwithstanding this, the copies of the Toletan missal are become now so exceeding rare that it is at present almost in as much danger of being buried in oblivion as it was when committed to the press by Cardinal Ximenes." Bibl. Harl., vol. iii., p. 117. But let the reader consult the more extended details of De Bure (Bibl. Instruct., vol. i., no. 210, 211), and De La Serna Santander (Dict. Chois. Bibliogr. du xv. Siecle, part iii., p. 178); also the very valuable notice of Vogt; Cat. Libror. Rarior., p. 591; who mention a fine copy of the missal and breviary, each struck off upon vellum, in the collegiate church of St. Ildefonso. If I recollect rightly, Mr. Edwards informed me that an Italian Cardinal was in possession of a similar copy of each. This missal was republished at Rome, with a capital preface and learned notes, by Lesleus, a Jesuit, in 1755, 4to.: and Lorenzana, archbishop of Toledo, republished the breviary in a most splendid manner at Madrid, in 1788. Both these re-impressions are also scarce. I know not whether the late king of Spain ever put his design into execution of giving a new edition of these curious religious volumes; some ancient MSS. of which had been carefully collated by Burriel. Consult Osmont's Dict. Typog., vol. i., p. 477; Cat. de Gaignat, nos. 179, 180; Cat. de la Valliere, nos. 271, 272; Bibl. Solger., vol. ii. no. 1280; and Bibl. Colbert, nos. 342, 366. Having expatiated thus much, and perhaps tediously, about these renowned volumes, let me introduce to the notice of the heraldic reader the Coat of Arms of the equally renowned Cardinal—of whose genuine editions of the Mozarabic Missal and Breviary my eyes were highly gratified with a sight, in the exquisite library of Earl Spencer, at Althorp.

Cardinal Ximenes's arms

[226] Of the Tower or Rook (or Elephant) one may indeed—to speak in the scripture style—(and properly speaking, considering its situation) call this piece "the head stone of the corner." There are two of them; and, whilst they remain firm, his majesty is ever in safety. The common enemies, therefore, of them and their king watch their least motion very narrowly, and try a hundred tricks to decoy them from the king's side, by feints, false alarms, stumbling blocks, or any other method that can be contrived to divert them from their duty. The same, p. 15. (vide. 159, ante.)

Thus ended one of the most memorable chess contests163 upon record. Not more stubbornly did the Grecians and Romans upon Troy's plain, or the English and French upon Egypt's shores, contend for the palm of victory, than did Philemon and Narcottus compel their respective forces to signalize themselves in this hard-fought game. To change the simile for a more homely one; no Northamptonshire hunt was ever more vigorously kept up; and had it not been (at least so Philemon thought!) for the inadvertent questions of Lysander, respecting the antiquity of the amusement, an easy victory would have been obtained by my guest over my neighbour. Lysander, with his usual politeness, took all the blame upon himself. Philemon felt, as all chess-combatants feel upon defeat, peevish and vexed. But the admirably well adapted conversation of Lysander, and the natural diffidence of Narcottus, served to smooth Philemon's ruffled plumage; and at length diffused o'er his countenance his natural glow of good humour.

It was now fast advancing towards midnight; when Narcottus withdrew to his house, and my guests to their chambers.

To-morrow came; and with the morrow came composure and hilarity in the countenances of my guests. The defeat of the preceding evening was no longer thought of; except that Philemon betrayed some little marks of irritability on Lysander's shewing him the fac-simile wood-cuts of the pieces and men in Caxton's edition of the game of chess, which are published in the recent edition of the Typographical Antiquities of our country.

Lisardo visited us betimes. His countenance, on his entrance gave indication of vexation and disappointment—as well it might; for, on his return home the preceding evening, he found the following note from Lorenzo:—

"My dear Lisardo;

Our friend's visitors, Lysander and Philemon, are coming with their host to eat old mutton, and drink old sherry, with me to-morrow; and after164wards to discuss subjects of bibliography. I do not ask you to join them, because I know your thorough aversion to every thing connected with such topics. Adieu!

Truly yours,


"Little," exclaimed Lisardo, "does he know of my conversion. I'll join you uninvited; and abide by the consequences."

At four o'clock we set off, in company with Lisardo, for Lorenzo's dinner. I need hardly add that the company of the latter was cordially welcomed by our host; who, before the course of pastry was cleared away, proposed a sparkling bumper of Malmsey madeira, to commemorate his conversion to Bibliomaniacism. By half-past-five we were ushered into the library, to partake of a costly dessert of rock melons and Hamburgh grapes, with all their appropriate embellishments of nectarines and nuts. Massive and curiously cut decanters, filled with the genuine juice of the grape, strayed backwards and forwards upon the table: and well-furnished minds, which could not refuse the luxury of such a feast, made every thing as pleasant as rational pleasure could be.

Lis. If Lorenzo have not any thing which he may conceive more interesting to propose, I move that you, good Lysander, now resume the discussion of a subject which you so pleasantly commenced last night.

Phil. I rise to second the motion.

Loren. And I, to give it every support in my power.

Lysand. There is no resisting such adroitly levelled attacks. Do pray tell me what it is you wish me to go on with?

Phil. The history of book-collecting and of book-collectors in this country.

Lis. The history of Bibliomania, if you please.

Lysand. You are madder than the maddest of book-collectors, Lisardo. But I will gossip away upon the subjects as well as I am able.165

I think we left off with an abuse of the anti-bibliomaniacal powers of chivalry. Let us pursue a more systematic method; and begin, as Lisardo says, "at the beginning."

In the plan which I may pursue, you must forgive me, my friends, if you find it desultory and irregular: and, as a proof of the sincerity of your criticism, I earnestly beg that, like the chivalrous judge, of whom mention was made last night, you will cry out "Ho!" when you wish me to cease. But where shall we begin? From what period shall we take up the history of Bookism (or, if you please, Bibliomania) in this country? Let us pass over those long-bearded gentlemen called the Druids; for in the various hypotheses which sagacious antiquaries have advanced upon their beloved Stone-henge, none, I believe, are to be found wherein the traces of a Library, in that vast ruin, are pretended to be discovered. As the Druids were sparing of their writing,[227] they probably read the more; but whether they carried their books with them into trees, or made their pillows of them upon Salisbury-plain, tradition is equally silent. Let us therefore preserve the same prudent silence, and march on at once into the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries; in which the learning of Bede, Alcuin, Erigena, and Alfred, strikes us with no small degree of amazement. Yet we must not forget that their predecessor Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, was among the earliest book-collectors in this country; for he brought over from Rome, not only a number of able professors, but a valuable collection of books.[228] Such, however, was the scarcity of the book article, that Benedict Biscop (a founder of the166 monastery of Weremouth in Northumberland), a short time after, made not fewer than five journeys to Rome to purchase books, and other necessary things for his monastery—for one of which books our immortal Alfred (a very Helluo Librorum! as you will presently learn) gave afterwards as much land as eight ploughs could labour.[229] We now proceed to Bede; whose library I conjecture to have been both copious and curious. What matin and midnight vigils must this literary phenomenon have patiently sustained! What a full and variously furnished mind was his! Read the table of contents of the eight folio volumes of the Cologne edition[230] of his works, as given by Dr. Henry in the appendix to the fourth volume of his history of our own country; and judge, however you may wish that the author had gone less into abstruse and ponderous subjects, whether it was barely possible to avoid falling upon such themes, considering the gross ignorance and strong bias of the age? Before this, perhaps, I ought slightly to have noticed Ina, king of the West Saxons, whose ideas of the comforts of a monastery, and whose partiality to handsome book-binding, we may gather from a curious passage in Stow's Chronicle or Annals.[231]

[227] Julius Cæsar tells us that they dared not to commit their laws to writing. De Bell. Gall., lib. vi., § xiii.-xviii.

[228] Dr. Henry's Hist. of Great Britain, vol. iv., p. 12, edit. 1800, 8vo. We shall readily forgive Theodore's singularity of opinions in respect to some cases of pharmacy, in which he held it to be "dangerous to perform bleeding on the fourth day of the moon; because both the light of the moon and the tides of the sea were then upon the increase."—We shall readily forgive this, when we think of his laudable spirit of bibliomania.

[229] Dr. Henry says that "This bargain was concluded by Benedict with the king a little before his death, A.D. 690; and the book was delivered, and the estate received by his successor abbot Ceolfred." Hist. of Great Britain, vol. iv., p. 21. There must be some mistake here: as Alfred was not born till the middle of the ninth century. Bed. Hist. Abbat Wermuthien, edit. Smith, pp. 297-8, is quoted by Dr. Henry.

[230] 1612, folio. De Bure (Bibliogr. Instruct. no. 353) might have just informed us that the Paris and Basil editions of Bede's works are incomplete: and, at no. 4444, where he notices the Cambridge edition of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, (1644, fol.) we may add that a previous English translation of it, by the celebrated Stapleton, had been printed at Antwerp in 1565, 4to., containing some few admirably-well executed wood cuts. Stapleton's translation has become a scarce book; and, as almost every copy of it now to be found is in a smeared and crazy condition, we may judge that it was once popular and much read.

[231] The passage is partly as follows—"the sayde king did also erect a chapell of gold and silver (to wit, garnished) with ornaments and vesselles likewise of golde and siluer, to the building of the which chappell hee gaue 2640 pounds of siluer, and to the altar 264 pounde of golde, a chaleis with the patten, tenne pounde of golde, a censar 8 pound, and twenty mancas of golde, two candlesticks, twelue pound and a halfe of siluer, a kiver for the gospel booke twenty pounds"! &c. This was attached to the monastery of Glastonbury; which Ina built "in a fenni place out of the way, to the end the monkes mought so much the more giue their minds to heauenly things," &c. Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 76.

167We have mentioned Alcuin: whom Ashmole calls one of the school-mistresses to France.[232] How incomparably brilliant and beautifully polished was this great man's mind!—and, withal, what an enthusiastic bibliomaniac! Read, in particular, his celebrated letter to Charlemagne, which Dr. Henry has very ably translated; and see, how zealous he there shews himself to enrich the library of his archiepiscopal patron with good books and industrious students.[233] Well might Egbert be proud of his librarian: the first, I believe upon record, who has composed a catalogue[234] of books in Latin hexameter verse: and full reluctantly, I ween, did this librarian take leave of his Cell stored with the choicest volumes—as we may judge from his pathetic address to it, on quitting England for France! If I recollect rightly, Mr. Turner's elegant translation[235] of it begins thus:

"O my lov'd cell, sweet dwelling of my soul,
Must I for ever say, dear spot, farewell?"

[232] Theatrum Chemicum, proleg. sign. A. 3. rect.

[233] History of Great Britain, vol. iv., pp. 32, 86. "Literatorum virorum fautor et Mæcenas habebatur ætate sua maximus ac doctissimus," says Bale: Scrip. Brytan. Illustr., p. 109, edit. 1559. "Præ cæteris (says Lomeier) insignem in colligendis illustrium virorum scriptis operam dedit Egbertus Eboracensis archiepiscopus, &c.: qui nobilissimam Eboraci bibliothecam instituit, cujus meminit Alcuinis," &c. De Bibliothecis, p. 151. We are here informed that the archbishop's library, together with the cathedral of York, were accidentally burnt by fire in the reign of Stephen.

[234] This curious catalogue is printed by Dr. Henry, from Gale's Rer. Anglicar. Scriptor. Vet., tom. i., 730. The entire works of Alcuin were printed at Paris, in 1617, folio: and again, at Ratisbon, in 1777, fol., 2 vols. See Fournier's Dict. Portat. de Bibliographie, p. 12. Some scarce separately-printed treatises of the same great man are noticed in the first volume of the appendix to Bauer's Bibl. Libror. Rarior., p. 44.

[235] Anglo-Saxon History, vol. ii., p. 355, edit. 1808, 4to.

Now, don't imagine, my dear Lisardo, that this anguish of heart proceeded from his leaving behind all the woodbines, and apple-trees, and singing birds, which were168 wont to gratify his senses near the said cell, and which he could readily meet with in another clime!—No, no: this monody is the genuine language of a bibliomaniac, upon being compelled to take a long adieu of his choicest book-treasures, stored in some secretly-cut recess of his hermitage; and of which neither his patron, nor his illustrious predecessor, Bede, had ever dreamt of the existence of copies! But it is time to think of Johannes Scotus Erigena; the most facetious wag of his times, notwithstanding his sirname of the Wise. "While Great Britain (says Bale) was a prey to intestine wars, our philosopher was travelling quietly abroad amidst the academic bowers of Greece;"[236] and there I suppose he acquired, with his knowledge of the Greek language, a taste for book-collecting and punning.[237] He was in truth a marvellous man; as we may gather from the eulogy of him by Brucker.[238]

[236] Freely translated from his Script. Brytan. Illustr., p. 124.

[237] Scot's celebrated reply to his patron and admirer, Charles the Bald, was first made a popular story, I believe, among the "wise speeches" in Camden's Remaines, where it is thus told: "Johannes Erigena, surnamed Scotus, a man renowned for learning, sitting at the table, in respect of his learning, with Charles the Bauld, Emperor and King of France, behaved himselfe as a slovenly scholler, nothing courtly; whereupon the Emperor asked him merrily, Quid interest inter Scotum et Sotum? (what is there between a Scot and a Sot?) He merrily, but yet malapertly answered, 'Mensa'—(the table): as though the emperor were the Sot and he the Scot." p. 236. Roger Hoveden is quoted as the authority; but one would like to know where Hoveden got his information, if Scotus has not mentioned the anecdote in his own works? Since Camden's time, this facetious story has been told by almost every historian and annalist.

[238] Hist. Philosoph., tom. 3, 616: as referred to and quoted by Dr. Henry; whose account of our book-champion, although less valuable than Mackenzie's, is exceedingly interesting.

In his celebrated work upon predestination, he maintained that "material fire is no part of the torments of the damned;"[239] a very singular notion in those times of169 frightful superstition, when the minds of men were harrowed into despair by descriptions of hell's torments—and I notice it here merely because I should like to be informed in what curious book the said John Scotus Erigena acquired the said notion? Let us now proceed to Alfred; whose bust, I see, adorns that department of Lorenzo's library which is devoted to English History.

[239] "He endeavours to prove, in his logical way, that the torments of the damned are mere privations of the happiness, or the trouble of being deprived of it; so that, according to him, material fire is no part of the torments of the damned; that there is no other fire prepared for them but the fourth element, through which the bodies of all men must pass; but that the bodies of the elect are changed into an ætherial nature, and are not subject to the power of fire: whereas, on the contrary, the bodies of the wicked are changed into air, and suffer torments by the fire, because of their contrary qualities. And for this reason 'tis that the demons, who had a body of an ætherial nature, were massed with a body of air, that they might feel the fire." Mackenzie's Scottish Writers: vol. i., 49. All this may be ingenious enough; of its truth, a future state only will be the evidence. Very different from that of Scotus is the language of Gregory Narienzen: "Exit in inferno frigus insuperabile: ignis inextinguibilis: vermis immortalis: fetor intollerabilis: tenebræ palpabiles: flagella cedencium: horrenda visio demonum: desperatio omnium bonorum." This I gather from the Speculum Christiani, fol. 37, printed by Machlinia, in the fifteenth century. The idea is enlarged, and the picture aggravated, in a great number of nearly contemporaneous publications, which will be noticed, in part, hereafter. It is reported that some sermons are about to be published, in which the personality of Satan is questioned and denied. Thus having, by the ingenuity of Scotus, got rid of the fire "which is never quenched"—and, by means of modern scepticism, of the devil, who is constantly "seeking whom he may devour," we may go on comfortably enough, without such awkward checks, in the commission of every species of folly and crime!

This great and good man, the boast and the bulwark of his country, was instructed by his mother, from infancy, in such golden rules of virtue and good sense that one feels a regret at not knowing more of the family, early years, and character, of such a parent. As she told him that "a wise and a good man suffered no part of his time, but what is necessarily devoted to bodily exercise, to pass in unprofitable inactivity"—you may be sure that, with such book-propensities as he felt, Alfred did not fail to make the most of the fleeting hour. Accordingly we find, from his ancient biographer, that he resolutely set to work by the aid of his wax tapers,[240] and produced some170 very respectable compositions; for which I refer you to Mr. Turner's excellent account of their author:[241] adding only that Alfred's translation of Boethius is esteemed his most popular performance.

[240] The story of the wax tapers is related both by Asser and William of Malmesbury, differing a little in the unessential parts of it. It is this: Alfred commanded six wax tapers to be made, each 12 inches in length, and of as many ounces in weight. On these tapers he caused the inches to be regularly marked; and having found that one taper burnt just four hours, he committed them to the care of the keepers of his chapel; who, from time to time gave him notice how the hours went. But as in windy weather the tapers were more wasted—to remedy this inconvenience, he placed them in a kind of lanthorn, there being no glass to be met with in his dominions. This event is supposed to have occurred after Alfred had ascended the throne. In his younger days, Asser tells us that he used to carry about, in his bosom, day and night, a curiously-written volume of hours, and psalms, and prayers, which by some are supposed to have been the composition of Aldhelm. That Alfred had the highest opinion of Aldhelm, and of his predecessors and contemporaries, is indisputable; for in his famous letter to Wulfseg, Bishop of London, he takes a retrospective view of the times in which they lived, as affording "churches and monasteries filled with libraries of excellent books in several languages." It is quite clear, therefore, that our great Alfred was not a little infected with the bibliomaniacal disease.

[241] The History of the Anglo-Saxons; by Sharon Turner, F.S.A., 1808, 4to., 2 vols. This is the last and best edition of a work which places Mr. Turner quite at the head of those historians who have treated of the age of Alfred.

After Alfred, we may just notice his son Edward, and his grandson Athelstan; the former of whom is supposed by Rous[242] (one of the most credulous of our early historians) to have founded the University of Cambridge. The latter had probably greater abilities than his predecessor; and a thousand pities it is that William of Malmesbury should have been so stern and squeamish as not to give us the substance of that old book, containing a life of Athelstan—which he discovered, and supposed to be coeval with the monarch—because, forsooth, the account was too uniformly flattering! Let me here, however, refer you to that beautiful translation of a Saxon ode, written in commemoration of Athelstan's171 decisive victory over the Danes of Brunamburg, which Mr. George Ellis has inserted in his interesting volumes of Specimens of the Early English Poets:[243] and always bear in recollection that this monarch shewed the best proof of his attachment to books by employing as many learned men as he could collect together for the purpose of translating the Scriptures into his native Saxon tongue.

[242] Consult Johannis Rossi Historia Regum Angliæ; edit. Hearne, 1745, 8vo., p. 96. This passage has been faithfully translated by Dr. Henry. But let the lover of knotty points in ancient matters look into Master Henry Bynneman's prettily printed impression (A.D. 1568) of De Antiquitate Cantabrigiensis Academiæ, p. 14—where the antiquity of the University of Cambridge is gravely assigned to the æra of Gurguntius's reign, A.M. 3588!—Nor must we rest satisfied with the ingenious temerity of this author's claims in favour of his beloved Cambridge, until we have patiently examined Thomas Hearne's edition (A.D. 1720) of Thomæ Caii Vindic. Antiquitat. Acad. Oxon.: a work well deserving of a snug place in the antiquary's cabinet.

[243] Edit. 1803, vol. i., p. 14.

Let us pass by that extraordinary scholar, courtier, statesman, and monk—St. Dunstan; by observing only that, as he was even more to Edgar than Wolsey was to Henry VIII.—so, if there had then been the same love of literature and progress in civilization which marked the opening of the sixteenth century, Dunstan would have equalled, if not eclipsed, Wolsey in the magnificence and utility of his institutions. How many volumes of legends he gave to the library of Glastonbury, of which he was once the abbot, or to Canterbury, of which he was afterwards the Archbishop, I cannot take upon me to guess: as I have neither of Hearne's three publications[244] relating to Glastonbury in my humble library.

[244] There is an ample Catalogue Raisonné of these three scarce publications in the first volume of the British Bibliographer. And to supply the deficiency of any extract from them, in this place, take, kind-hearted reader, the following—which I have gleaned from Eadmer's account of St. Dunstan, as incorporated in Wharton's Anglia-Sacra—and which would not have been inserted could I have discovered any thing in the same relating to book-presents to Canterbury cathedral.—"Once on a time, the king went a hunting early on Sunday morning; and requested the Archbishop to postpone the celebration of the mass till he returned. About three hours afterwards, Dunstan went into the cathedral, put on his robes, and waited at the altar in expectation of the king—where, reclining with his arms in a devotional posture, he was absorbed in tears and prayers. A gentle sleep suddenly possessed him; he was snatched up into heaven; and in a vision associated with a company of angels, whose harmonious voices, chaunting Kyrie eleyson, Kyrie eleyson, Kyrie eleyson, burst upon his ravished ears! He afterwards came to himself, and demanded whether or not the king had arrived? Upon being answered in the negative, he betook himself again to his prayers, and, after a short interval, was once more absorbed in celestial extasies, and heard a loud voice from heaven saying—Ite, missa est. He had no sooner returned thanks to God for the same, when the king's clerical attendants cried out that his majesty had arrived, and entreated Dunstan to dispatch the mass. But he, turning from the altar, declared that the mass had been already celebrated; and that no other mass should be performed during that day. Having put off his robes, he enquired of his attendants into the truth of the transaction; who told him what had happened. Then, assuming a magisterial power, he prohibited the king, in future, from hunting on a Sunday; and taught his disciples the Kyrie eleyson, which he had heard in heaven: hence this ejaculation, in many places, now obtains as a part of the mass service." Tom. ii., p. 217. What shall we say to "the amiable and elegant Eadmer" for this valuable piece of biographical information?—"The face of things was so changed by the endeavours of Dunstan, and his master, Ethelwald, that in a short time learning was generally restored, and began to flourish. From this period, the monasteries were the schools and seminaries of almost the whole clergy, both secular and regular." Collier's Eccles. History, vol. ii., p. 19, col. 2. That Glastonbury had many and excellent books, vide Hearne's Antiquities of Glastonbury; pp. lxxiv-vii. At Cambridge there is a catalogue of the MSS. which were in Glastonbury library, A.D. 1248.

172We may open the eleventh century with Canute; upon whose political talents this is not the place to expatiate: but of whose bibliomaniacal character the illuminated MS. of The Four Gospels in the Danish tongue—now in the British Museum, and once this monarch's own book—leaves not the shadow of a doubt! From Canute we may proceed to notice that extraordinary literary triumvirate—Ingulph, Lanfranc, and Anselm. No rational man can hesitate about numbering them among the very first rate book-collectors of that age. As to Ingulph, let us only follow him, in his boyhood, in his removal from school to college: let us fancy we see him, with his Quatuor Sermones on a Sunday—and his Cunabula Artis Grammaticæ[245] on a week day—under his arm: making his obeisance to Edgitha, the queen of Edward the Confessor, and introduced by her to William Duke of Normandy! Again, when he was placed, by this latter at the head of the rich abbey of Croyland, let us fancy we see him both adding to, and arranging, its curious library[246]—before he ventured173 upon writing the history of the said abbey. From Ingulph we go to Lanfranc; who, in his earlier years, gratified his book appetites in the quiet and congenial seclusion of his little favourite abbey in Normandy: where he afterwards opened a school, the celebrity of which was acknowledged throughout Europe. From being a pedagogue, let us trace him in his virtuous career to the primacy of England; and when we read of his studious and unimpeachable behaviour, as head of the see of Canterbury,[247] let us acknowledge that a love of books and of mental cultivation is among the few comforts in this world of which neither craft nor misfortune can deprive us. To Lanfranc succeeded, in book-fame and in professional elevation, his disciple Anselm; who was "lettered and chaste of his childhood," says Trevisa:[248] but who was better suited to the cloister than to the primacy. For, although, like Wulston, Bishop of Worcester, he might have "sung a long mass, and held him apayred with only the offering of Christian men, and was174 holden a clean mayde, and did no outrage in drink,"[249] yet in his intercourse with William II. and Henry I., he involved himself in ceaseless quarrels; and quitted both his archiepiscopal chair and the country. His memory, however, is consecrated among the fathers of scholastic divinity.

[245] These were the common school books of the period.

[246] Though the abbey of Croyland was burnt only twenty-five years after the conquest, its library then consisted of 900 volumes, of which 300 were very large. The lovers of English history and antiquities are much indebted to Ingulph for his excellent history of the abbey of Croyland, from its foundation, A.D. 664, to A.D. 1091: into which he hath introduced much of the general history of the kingdom, with a variety of curious anecdotes that are no where else to be found. Dr. Henry: book iii., chap. iv., § 1 and 2. But Ingulph merits a more particular eulogium. The editors of that stupendous, and in truth, matchless collection of national history, entitled Recueil des Historiens des Gaules, thus say of him: "Il avoit tout vu en bon connoisseur, et ce qu'il rapporte, il l'écrit en homme lettré, judicieux et vrai:" tom. xi., p. xlij. In case any reader of this note and lover of romance literature should happen to be unacquainted with the French language, I will add, from the same respectable authority, that "The readers of the Round Table History should be informed that there are many minute and curious descriptions in Ingulph which throw considerable light upon the history of Ancient Chivalry." Ibid. See too the animated eulogy upon him, at p. 153, note a, of the same volume. These learned editors have, however, forgotten to notice that the best, and only perfect, edition of Ingulph's History of Croyland Abbey, with the continuation of the same, by Peter de Blois and Edward Abbas, is that which is inserted in the first volume of Gale's Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores Veteres: Oxon, 1684. (3 vols.)

[247] Lanfranc was obliged, against his will, by the express command of Abbot Harlein, to take upon him the archbishopric in the year 1070. He governed that church for nineteen years together, with a great deal of wisdom and authority. His largest work is a commentary upon the Epistles of St. Paul; which is sometimes not very faithfully quoted by Peter Lombard. His treatise in favour of the real presence, in opposition to Birenger, is one of his most remarkable performances. His letters "are short and few, but contain in them things very remarkable." Du Pin's Ecclesiastical History, vol. xi., p. 12, &c., edit. 1699.

[248] Polychronicon, Caxton's edit., sign. 46, rev.

[249] Polychronicon. Caxton's edit., fol. cccvj. rev. Poor Caxton (towards whom the reader will naturally conceive I bear some little affection) is thus dragooned into the list of naughty writers who have ventured to speak mildly (and justly) of Anselm's memory. "They feign in another fable that he (Anselm) tare with his teeth Christ's flesh from his bones, as he hung on the rood, for withholding the lands of certain bishoprics and abbies: Polydorus not being ashamed to rehearse it. Somewhere they call him a red dragon: somewhere a fiery serpent, and a bloody tyrant; for occupying the fruits of their vacant benefices about his princely buildings. Thus rail they of their kings, without either reason or shame, in their legends of abominable lies: Look Eadmerus, Helinandus, Vincentius, Matthew of Westminster, Rudborne, Capgrave, William Caxton, Polydore, and others." This is the language of master Bale, in his Actes of Englyshe Votaryes, pt. ii., sign. I. vij. rev. Tisdale's edit. No wonder Hearne says of the author, "erat immoderata intemperantia."—Bened. Abbas., vol. i., præf. p. xx.

And here you may expect me to notice that curious book-reader and Collector, Girald, Archbishop of York, who died just at the close of the 11th century. Let us fancy we see him, according to Trevisa,[250] creeping quietly to his garden arbour, and devoting his midnight vigils to the investigation of that old-fashioned author, Julius Firmicus; whom Fabricius calls by a name little short of that of an old woman. It is a pity we know not more of the private studies of such a bibliomaniac. And equally to be lamented it is that we have not some more substantial biographical memoirs of that distinguished175 bibliomaniac, Herman, bishop of Salisbury; a Norman by birth; and who learnt the art of book-binding and book-illumination, before he had been brought over into this country by William the Conqueror.[251] (A character, by the bye, who, however completely hollow were his claims to the crown of England, can never be reproached with a backwardness in promoting learned men to the several great offices of church and state.)

[250] "This yere deyd thomas archbisohop of york and gyralde was archebishop after him; a lecherous man, a wytch and euyl doer, as the fame tellyth, for under his pyle whan he deyde in an erber was founde a book of curyous craftes, the book hight Julius frumeus. In that booke he radde pryuely in the under tydes, therefor unnethe the clerkes of his chirche would suffre him be buryed under heuene without hooly chirche," Polychronicon: Caxton's edit., sign. 43., 4 rect. (fol. cccxlij.) Godwyn says that "he was laide at the entrance of the church porch." "Bayle chargeth him (continues he) with sorcery and coniuration, because, forsooth, that, after his death, there was found in his chamber a volume of Firmicus: who writ of astrology indeed, but of coniuration nothing that ever I heard." Catalogue of the Bishops of England, p. 453—edit. 1601. Concerning Girard's favourite author, consult Fabricius's Bibl. Lat.: cura Ernesti, vol. iii., p. 114, &c., edit. 1773.

[251] Leland tells us that Herman erected "a noble library at Sailsbury, having got together some of the best and most ancient works of illustrious authors:" de Scriptor. Britan., vol. i., 174: and Dugdale, according to Warton (Monasticon Anglican.; vol. iii., p. 375), says that "he was so fond of letters that he did not disdain to bind and illuminate books."

Loren. If you proceed thus systematically, my good Lysander, the morning cock will crow 'ere we arrive at the book-annals even of the Reformation.

Lysand. It is true; I am proceeding rather too methodically. And yet I suppose I should not obtain Lisardo's forgiveness if, in arriving at the period of Henry the Second,[252] I did not notice that extraordinary student and politician, Becket!

[252] I make no apology to the reader for presenting him with the following original character of our once highly and justly celebrated monarch, Henry II.—by the able pen of Trevisa. "This Henry II. was somewhat reddish, with large face and breast; and yellow eyen and a dim voice; and fleshy of body; and took but scarcely of meat and drink: and for to alledge the fatness, he travailed his body with business; with hunting, with standing, with wandering: he was of mean stature, renable of speech, and well y lettered; noble and orped in knighthood; and wise in counsel and in battle; and dread and doubtfull destiny; more manly and courteous to a Knight when he was dead than when he was alive!" Polychronicon, Caxton's edit., fol. cccliij., rev.

Lis. At your peril omit him! I think (although my black-letter reading be very limited) that Bale, in his English Votaries, has a curious description of this renowned archbishop; whose attachment to books, in his boyish years, must on all sides be admitted.

Lysand. You are right. Bale has some extraordinary strokes of description in his account of this canonized character: but if I can trust to my memory (which the juice of Lorenzo's nectar, here before us, may have176 somewhat impaired), Tyndale[253] has also an equally animated account of the same—who deserves, notwithstanding his pomp and haughtiness, to be numbered among the most notorious bibliomaniacs of his age.

[253] We will first amuse ourselves with Bale's curious account of

"The fresh and lusty beginnings of Thomas Becket."

As those authors report, which chiefly wrote Thomas Becket's life—whose names are Herbert Boseham, John Salisbury, William of Canterbury, Alen of Tewkesbury, Benet of Peterborough, Stephen Langton, and Richard Croyland—he bestoyed his youth in all kinds of lascivious lightness, and lecherous wantonness. After certain robberies, rapes, and murders, committed in the king's wars at the siege of Toulouse in Languedoc, and in other places else, as he was come home again into England, he gave himself to great study, not of the holy scriptures, but of the bishop of Rome's lousy laws, whereby he first of all obtained to be archdeacon of Canterbury, under Theobald the archbishop; then high chancellor of England; metropolitan, archbishop, primate; pope of England, and great legate from antichrist's own right side. In the time of his high-chancellorship, being but an ale-brewer's son of London, John Capgrave saith that he took upon him as he had been a prince. He played the courtier altogether, and fashioned himself wholly to the king's delights. He ruffled it out in the whole cloth with a mighty rabble of disguised ruffians at his tail. He sought the worldly honour with him that sought it most. He thought it a pleasant thing to have the flattering praises of the multitude. His bridle was of silver, his saddle of velvet, his stirrups, spurs, and bosses double gilt; his expenses far passing the expenses of an earl. That delight was not on the earth that he had not plenty of. He fed with the fattest, was clad with the softest, and kept company with the plesantest. Was not this (think you) a good mean to live chaste? I trow it was. Englyshe Votaryes, pt. ii., sign. P. vi. rect. Printed by Tisdale, 8vo. The orthography is modernized, but the words are faithfully Balëan! Thus writes Tyndale: and the king made him (Becket) his chancellor, in which office he passed the pomp and pride of Thomas (Wolsey) cardinal, as far as the ones shrine passeth the others tomb in glory and riches. And after that, he was a man of war, and captain of five or six thousand men in full harness, as bright as St. George, and his spear in his hand; and encountered whatsoever came against him, and overthrew the jollyest rutter that was in the host of France. And out of the field, hot from bloodshedding, was he made bishop of Canterbury; and did put off his helm, and put on his mitre; put off his harness, and on with his robes; and laid down his spear, and took his cross ere his hands were cold; and so came, with a lusty courage of a man of war, to fight an other while against his prince for the pope; when his prince's cause were with the law of God, and the pope's clean contrary. Practise of Popish Prelates. Tyndale's Works, edit. 1572, p. 361. The curious bibliographer, or collector of ancient books of biography, will find a very different character of Becket in a scarce Latin life of him, printed at Paris in the black letter, in the fifteenth century. His archiepiscopal table is described as being distinguished for great temperance and propriety: "In ejus mensa non audiebantur tibicines non cornicines, non lira, non fiala, non karola: nulla quidem præterquam mundam splendidam et inundantem epularum opulentiam. Nulla gule, nulla lascivie, nulla penitus luxurie, videbantur incitamenta. Revera inter tot et tantas delicias quæ ei apponebantur, in nullo penitus sardanapalum sed solum episcopum sapiebat," &c. Vita et processus sancti Thome Cantuariensis martyris super libertate ecclesiastica; Paris, 1495, sign. b. ij. rect. From a yet earlier, and perhaps the first printed, mention of Becket—and from a volume of which no perfect copy has yet been found—the reader is presented with a very curious account of the murder of the Archbishop, in its original dress. "Than were there iiij. cursed knyghtes of leuyng yt thoughte to haue had a grete thanke of the kyng and mad her a vowe to gedir to sle thomas. And so on childremasse day all moste at nyghte they come to caunterbury into thomas hall Sire Reynolde beriston, Sire william tracy, Sire Richard breton, and sire hewe morley. Thanne Sire Reynolde beriston for he was bitter of kynde a none he seyde to thomas the king that is be yonde the see sente us to the and bad that thou shuldst asoyle the bishoppe that thou cursiddiste than seyde thomas seris they be not acursed by me but by the Pope and I may not asoyle that he hathe cursid well seyde Reynolde than we see thou wolte not do the kynges byddynge and swore a grete othe by the eyon of God thou shalt be dede. than cryde the othir knyghtes sle sle and they wente downe to the courte and armyd hem. Than prestis and clerkis drowe hem to the church to thomas and spered the dores to hem. But whan thomas herde the knyghtes armed and wold come into the churche and myghte not he wente to the dore and un barred it and toke one of the knyghtes by the honde and seyde hit be semyth not to make a castell of holy churche, and toke hem by the honde and seyde come ynne my children in goddis name Thanne for it was myrke that they myghte not see nor knowe thomas they seyde where is the traytour nay seyde thomas no traytour but Archebishoppe. Than one seyde to hym fle fore thou arte but dede. Nay seyde thomas y come not to fle but to a byde Ego pro deo mori paratus sum et pro defensione iusticie et ecclesie libertate I am redy to dye for the loue of God and for the fredomme and righte of holy churche Than reynold with his swerdes poynte put off thomas cappe and smote at his hede and cutte of his crowne that it honge by like a dysche Than smote anothir at him and smote hit all of than fill he downe to the grounde on his knees and elbowes and seyde god into thy hondes I putte my cause and the righte of holy churche and so deyde Than the iij knyghte smote and his halfe stroke fell upon his clerkis arme that helde thomas cross be fore him and so his swerde fill down to the grounde and brake of the poynte and he seyde go we hens he is dede. And when they were all at the dore goyng robert broke wente a geyne and sette his fote to thomas necke and thruste out the brayne upon the pauement Thus for righte of holoye churche and the lawe of the londe thomas toke his dethe." The boke that is callid Festiuall; 1486, fol. sign. m. iij. These anecdotes, which are not to be found in Lyttleton or Berrington, may probably be gratifying to the curious.

177Although I wish to be as laconic as possible in my Catalogue Raisonné of libraries and of book-collectors, during the earlier periods of our history, yet I must beg to remind you that some of the nunneries and monasteries, about these times, contained rather valuable collections of books: and indeed those of Glasgow,178 Peterborough, and Glastonbury,[254] deserve to be particularly noticed and commended. But I will push on with the personal history of literature, or rather of the Bibliomania.

[254] "I shall retire back to Godstowe, and, for the farther reputation of the nunns there, shall observe that they spent a great part of their time in reading good books. There was a common library for their use well furnished with books, many of which were English, and divers of them historical. The lives of the holy men and women, especially of the latter, were curiously written on vellum, and many illuminations appeared throughout, so as to draw the nunns the more easily to follow their examples." Hearne's edit. Guil. Neubrig., vol. ii., p. 768. Again he says, "It is probable they (certain sentences) were written in large letters, equal to the writing that we have in the finest books of offices, the best of which were for the use of the nunns, and for persons of distinction, and such as had weak eyes; and many of them were finely covered, not unlike the Kiver for the Gospell book, given to the chapell of Glastonbury by king Ina." p. 773. Can the enlightened reader want further proof of the existence of the Bibliomania in the nunnery of Godstow? As to Peterborough abbey, Gunston, in his history of the same place, has copied the catalogue of the different libraries belonging to the abbots. Benedict, who became abbot in 1177, had a collection of no less than fifty-seven volumes. But alas! the book reputation of this monastery soon fell away: for master Robert, who died abbot in 1222, left but seven books behind him; and Geoffrey de Croyland, who was abbot in 1290, had only that dreary old gentleman, Avicenna, to keep him company! At its dissolution, however, it contained 1700 volumes in MSS. Gunton's Peterborough, p. 173. Glastonbury seems to have long maintained its reputation for a fine library; and even as late as the year 1248 it could boast of several classical authors, although the English books were only four in number; the rest being considered as "vetustas et inutilia." The classical authors were Livy, Sallust, Tully, Seneca, Virgil, and Persius. See Joh. Confrat. Glaston., vol. ii., p. 423, 435: Hearne's edit. "Leland," says Warton, "who visited all the monasteries just before their dissolution, seems to have been struck with the venerable air and amplitude of this library." Hist. Engl. Poetry, Diss. ii.

I should be wanting in proper respect to the gentlemanly and scholar-like editor of his works, if I omitted the mention of that celebrated tourist and topographer, Girald Barri, or Giraldus Cambrensis; whose Irish and Welch itinerary has been recently so beautifully and successfully put forth in our own language.[255] Giraldus,179 long before and after he was bishop of St. David's, seems to have had the most enthusiastic admiration of British antiquities; and I confess it would have been among the keenest delights of my existence (had I lived at the period) to have been among his auditors when he read aloud (perhaps from a stone pulpit) his three books of the Topography of Ireland.[256] How many choice volumes, written and emblazoned upon snow-white vellum, and containing many a curious and precious genealogy, must this observing traveller and curious investigator have examined, when he was making the tour of Ireland in the suite of Prince, afterwards King, John! Judge of the anxiety of certain antiquated families, especially of the Welch nation, which stimulated them to open their choicest treasures, in the book way, to gratify the genealogical ardour of our tourist!

[255] There is a supplemental volume to the two English ones, containing the only complete Latin edition extant of the Welsh Itinerary. Of this impression there are but 200 copies printed on small, and 50 on large, paper. The whole work is most creditably executed, and does great honour to the taste and erudition of its editor, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, bart.

[256] "Having finished his topography of Ireland, which consisted of three books, he published it at Oxford, A.D. 1187, in the following manner, in three days. On the first day he read the first book to a great concourse of people, and afterwards entertained all the poor of the town. On the second day he read the second book, and entertained all the Doctors and chief scholars: and on the third day he read the third book, and entertained the younger scholars, soldiers, and burgesses."—"A most glorious spectacle (says he), which revived the ancient times of the poets, and of which no example had been seen in England." This is given by Dr. Henry (b. iii., ch. 4, § 2), on the authority of Giraldus's own book, De rebus a se gestis, lib. i. c. 16. Twyne, in his arid little quarto Latin volume of the Antiquities of Oxford, says not a word about it; and, what is more extraordinary, it is barely alluded to by Antony Wood! See Mr. Gutch's genuine edition of Wood's Annals of the University of Oxford, vol. i., pp. 60, 166. Warton, in his History of English Poetry, vol. i., Diss. ii., notices Giraldus's work with his usual taste and interest.

Lis. I wish from my heart that Girald Barri had been somewhat more communicative on this head!

Loren. Of what do you suppose he would have informed us, had he indulged this bibliographical gossipping?

Lis. Of many a grand and many a curious volume.

Lysand. Not exactly so, Lisardo. The art of book-illumination in this country was then sufficiently barbarous, if at all known.

Lis. And yet I'll lay a vellum Aldus that Henry the180 second presented his fair Rosamond with some choice Heures de Notre Dame! But proceed. I beg pardon for this interruption.

Lysand. Nay, there is nothing to solicit pardon for! We have each a right, around this hospitable table, to indulge our book whims: and mine may be as fantastical as any.

Loren. Pray proceed, Lysander, in your book-collecting history! unless you will permit me to make a pause or interruption of two minutes—by proposing as a sentiment—"Success to the Bibliomania!"

Phil. 'Tis well observed: and as every loyal subject at our great taverns drinks the health of his Sovereign "with three times three up-standing," even so let us hail this sentiment of Lorenzo!

Lis. Philemon has cheated me of an eloquent speech. But let us receive the sentiment as he proposes it.

Loren. Now the uproar of Bacchus has subsided, the instructive conversation of Minerva may follow. Go on, Lysander.

Lysand. Having endeavoured to do justice to Girald Barri, I know of no other particularly distinguished bibliomaniac till we approach the æra of the incomparable Roger, or Friar, Bacon. I say incomparable, Lorenzo; because he was, in truth, a constellation of the very first splendour and magnitude in the dark times in which he lived; and notwithstanding a sagacious writer (if my memory be not treacherous) of the name of Coxe, chooses to tell us that he was "miserably starved to death, because he could not introduce a piece of roast beef into his stomach, on account of having made a league with Satan to eat only cheese;"[257]—yet I suspect that the end181 of Bacon was hastened by other means more disgraceful to the age and equally painful to himself.

[257] "A short treatise declaringe the detestable wickednesse of magicall sciences, as necromancie, coniuration of spirites, curiouse astrologie, and suche lyke, made by Francis Coxe." Printed by Allde, 12mo., without date (14 leaves). From this curious little volume, which is superficially noticed by Herbert (vol. ii., p. 889), the reader is presented with the following extract, appertaining to the above subject: "I myself (says the author) knew a priest not far from a town called Bridgewater, which, as it is well known in the country, was a great magician in all his life time. After he once began these practices, he would never eat bread, but, instead thereof, did always eat cheese: which thing, as he confessed divers times, he did because it was so concluded betwixt him and the spirit which served him," &c. sign. A viii. rect. "(R.) Bacon's end was much after the like sort; for having a greedy desire unto meat, he could cause nothing to enter the stomach—wherefore thus miserably he starved to death." Sign. B. iij. rev. Not having at hand John Dee's book of the defence of Roger Bacon, from the charge of astrology and magic (the want of which one laments as pathetically as did Naudé, in his "Apologie pour tous les grands personnages, &c., faussement soupçonnez de Magic," Haye, 1653, 8vo., p. 488), I am at a loss to say the fine things, which Dee must have said, in commendation of the extraordinary talents of Roger Bacon; who was miserably matched in the age in which he lived; but who, together with his great patron Grosteste, will shine forth as beacons to futurity. Dr. Friend in his History of Physic has enumerated what he conceived to be Bacon's leading works; while Gower in his Confessio Amantis (Caxton's edit., fol. 70), has mentioned the brazen head—

for to telle
Of such thyngs as befelle:

which was the joint manufactory of the patron and his èleve. As lately as the year 1666, Bacon's life formed the subject of a "famous history," from which Walter Scott has given us a facetious anecdote in the seventh volume (p. 10) of Dryden's Works. But the curious investigator of ancient times, and the genuine lover of British biography, will seize upon the more prominent features in the life of this renowned philosopher; will reckon up his great discoveries in optics and physics; and will fancy, upon looking at the above picture of his study, that an explosion from gun-powder (of which our philosopher has been thought the inventor) has protruded the palings which are leaning against its sides. Bacon's "Opus Majus," which happened to meet the eyes of Pope Clement IV., and which now would have encircled the neck of its author with an hundred golden chains, and procured for him a diploma from every learned society in Europe—just served to liberate him from his first long imprisonment. This was succeeded by a subsequent confinement of twelve years; from which he was released only time enough to breathe his last in the pure air of heaven. Whether he expended 3000, or 30,000 pounds of our present money, upon his experiments, can now be only matter of conjecture. Those who are dissatisfied with the meagre manner in which our early biographers have noticed the labours of Roger Bacon, and with the tetragonistical story, said by Twyne to be propagated by our philosopher, of Julius Cæsar's seeing the whole of the British coast and encampment upon the Gallic shore, "maximorum ope speculorum" (Antiquit. Acad. Oxon. Apolog. 1608, 4to., p. 353), may be pleased with the facetious story told of him by Wood (Annals of Oxford, vol. i., 216, Gutch's edit.) and yet more by the minute catalogue of his works noticed by Bishop Tanner (Bibl. Brit. Hibern. p. 62): while the following eulogy of old Tom Fuller cannot fail to find a passage to every heart: "For mine own part (says this delightful and original writer) I behold the name of Bacon in Oxford, not as of an individual man, but corporation of men; no single cord, but a twisted cable of many together. And as all the acts of strong men of that nature are attributed to an Hercules; all the predictions of prophecying women to a Sibyll; so I conceive all the achievements of the Oxonian Bacons, in their liberal studies, are ascribed to one, as chief of the name." Church History, book iii., p. 96.


Bacon's study

Only let us imagine we see this sharp-eyed philosopher at work in his study, of which yonder print is generally received as a representation! How heedlessly did he hear the murmuring of the stream beneath, and of the winds without—immersed in the vellum and parchment rolls of theological, astrological, and mathematical lore, which, upon the dispersion of the libraries of the183 Jews,[258] he was constantly perusing, and of which so large a share had fallen to his own lot!

[258] Warton, in his second Dissertation, says that "great multitudes of their (the Jews) books fell into the hands of Roger Bacon;" and refers to Wood's Hist. et Antiquit. Univ. Oxon., vol. i., 77, 132—where I find rather a slight notification of it—but, in the genuine edition of this latter work, published by Mr. Gutch, vol. i., p. 329, it is said: "At their (the Jews) expulsion, divers of their tenements that were forfeited to the king, came into the hands of William Burnell, Provost of Wells; and their books (for many of them were learned) to divers of our scholars; among whom, as is verily supposed, Roger Bacon was one: and that he furnished himself with such Hebrew rarities, that he could not elsewhere find. Also that, when he died, he left them to the Franciscan library at Oxon, which, being not well understood in after-times, were condemned to moths and dust!" Weep, weep, kind-hearted bibliomaniac, when thou thinkest upon the fate of these poor Hebrew MSS.!

Unfortunately, my friends, little is known with certainty, though much is vaguely conjectured, of the labours of this great man. Some of the first scholars and authors of our own and of other countries have been proud to celebrate his praises; nor would it be considered a disgrace by the most eminent of modern experimental philosophers—of him, who has been described as "unlocking the hidden treasures of nature, and explaining the various systems by which air, and earth, and fire, and water, counteract and sustain each other"[259]—to fix the laureate crown round the brows of our venerable Bacon!

[259] See a periodical paper, entitled The Director! vol. ii., p. 294.

We have now reached the close of the thirteenth century and the reign of Edward the First;[260] when the principal thing that strikes us, connected with the history of libraries, is this monarch's insatiable lust of strengthening his title to the kingdom of Scotland by purchasing184 "the libraries of all the monasteries" for the securing of any record which might corroborate the same. What he gave for this tremendous book-purchase, or of what nature were the volumes purchased, or what was their subsequent destination, is a knot yet remaining to be untied.

[260] "King Edward the first caused and committed divers copies of the records, and much concerning the realm of Scotland, unto divers abbies for the preservance thereof; which for the most part are now perished, or rare to be had; and which privilie by the dissolution of monasteries is detained. The same king caused the libraries of all monasteries, and other places of the realm, to be purchased, for the further and manifest declaration of his title, as chief Lord of Scotland: and the record thereof now extant, doth alledge divers leger books of abbeys for the confirmation thereof": Petition (to Q. Elizabeth) for an academy of Antiquities and History. Hearne's Curious Discourses written by eminent Antiquaries; vol. ii., 326, edit. 1775.

Of the bibliomaniacal propensity of Edward's grandson, the great Edward the Third, there can be no question. Indeed, I could gossip away upon the same 'till midnight. His severe disappointment upon having Froissart's presentation copy of his Chronicles[261] (gergeously attired as it must have been) taken from him by the Duke of Anjou, is alone a sufficient demonstration of his love of books; while his patronage of Chaucer shews that he had accurate notions of intellectual excellence. Printing had not yet begun to give any hint, however faint, of its wonderful powers; and scriveners or book-copiers were sufficiently ignorant and careless.[262]

[261] Whether this presentation copy ever came, eventually, into the kingdom, is unknown. Mr. Johnes, who is as intimate with Froissart as Gough was with Camden, is unable to make up his mind upon the subject; but we may suppose it was properly emblazoned, &c. The duke detained it as being the property of an enemy to France!—Now, when we read of this wonderfully chivalrous age, so glowingly described by the great Gaston, Count de Foix, to Master Froissart, upon their introduction to each other (vide St. Palaye's memoir in the 10th vol. of L'Acadamie des Inscriptions, &c.), it does seem a gross violation (at least on the part of the Monsieur of France!) of all gentlemanly and knight-like feeling, to seize upon a volume of this nature, as legitimate plunder! The robber should have had his skin tanned, after death, for a case to keep the book in! Of Edward the Third's love of curiously bound books, see p. 118, ante.

[262] "How ordinary a fault this was (of 'negligently or willfully altering copies') amongst the transcribers of former times, may appear by Chaucer; who (I am confident) tooke as greate care as any man to be served with the best and heedfullest scribes, and yet we finde him complayning against Adam, his scrivener, for the very same:

So ofte a daye I mote thy worke renew,
If to correct and eke to rubbe and scrape,
And all is thorow thy neglegence and rape."
Ashmole Theatrum Chemicum; p. 439.

The mention of Edward the Third, as a patron of learned men, must necessarily lead a book-antiquary to185 the notice of his eminent chancellor, Richard De Bury; of whom, as you may recollect, some slight mention was made the day before yesterday.[263] It is hardly possible to conceive a more active and enthusiastic lover of books than was this extraordinary character; the passion never deserting him even while he sat upon the bench.[264] It was probably De Bury's intention to make his royal master eclipse his contemporary Charles the Vth, of France—the most renowned foreign bibliomaniac of his186 age![265] In truth, my dear friends, what can be more delightful to a lover of his country's intellectual reputation than to find such a character as De Bury, in such an age of war and bloodshed, uniting the calm and mild character of a legislator, with the sagacity of a philosopher, and the elegant-mindedness of a scholar! Foreigners have been profuse in their commendations of him, and with the greatest justice; while our Thomas Warton, of ever-to-be-respected memory, has shewn us how pleasingly he could descend from the graver tone of a his187torical antiquary, by indulging himself in a chit-chat style of book-anecdote respecting this illustrious character.[266]

[263] See p. 29, ante.

[264] "—patescebat nobis aditus facilis, regalis favoris intuitu, ad librorum latebras libere perscrutandas. Amoris quippe nostri fama volatilis jam ubique percrebuit, tamtumque librorum, et maxime veterum, ferebamur cupiditate languescere; posse vero quemlibet, nostrum per quaternos facilius, quam per pecuniam, adipisci favorem." Philobiblion; sive de Amore Librorum (vide p. 29, ante), p. 29: edit. 1599, 4to. But let the reader indulge me with another extract or two, containing evidence the most unquestionable of the severest symptoms of the Bibliomania that ever assailed a Lord Chancellor or a Bishop!—Magliabechi must have read the ensuing passage with rapture: "Quamobrem cum prædicti principis recolendæ memoriæ bonitate suffulti, possemus obesse et prodesse, officere et proficere vehementer tam maioribus quam pusillis; affluxerunt, loco xeniorum et munerum, locoque, donorum et iocalium, temulenti quaterni, ac decripiti codices; nostris tamen tam affectibus, quam aspectibus, pretiosi. Tunc nobilissimorum monasteriorum aperiebantur armaria, referebantur scrinia, et cistulæ solvebantur, et per longa secula in sepulchris soporata volumina, expergiscunt attonita, quæque in locis tenebrosis latuerant, novæ lucis radiis perfunduntur." "Delicatissimi quondam libri, corrupti et abhominabiles iam effecti, murium fætibus cooperti, et vermium morsibus terebrati, iacebant exanimes—et qui olim purpura vestiebantur et bysso, nunc in cinere et cilicio recubantes, oblivioni traditi videbantur, domicilia tinearum. Inter hæc nihilominus, captatis temporibus, magis voluptuose consedimus, quam fecisset Medicus delicatus inter aromatum apothecas, ubi amoris nostri objectum reperimus et fomentum; sic sacra vasa scientiæ, ad nostræ dispensationis provenerunt arbitrium: quædam data, quædam vendita, ac nonnulla protempore commodata. Nimirum cum nos plerique de hujusmodi donariis cernerent contentatos, ea sponte nostris usibus studuerent tribuere, quibus ipsi libentius caruerunt: quorum tamen negotia sic expedire curavimus gratiosi, ut et eisdem emolumentum accresceret, nullum tamen iustitia detrimentum sentiret." "Porro si scyphos aureos et argenteos, si equos egregios, si nummorum summas non modicas amassemus tunc temporis, dives nobis ærarium instaurasse possemus: sed revera libros non libras maluimus, codicesque plusquam florenos, ac panfletos exiguos incrassatis prætulimus palfridis," Philobiblion; p. 29, 30, &c. Dr. James's preface to this book, which will be noticed in its proper place, in another work, is the veriest piece of old maidenish particularity that ever was exhibited! However, the editor's enthusiastic admiration of De Bury obtains his forgiveness in the bosom of every honest bibliomaniac!

[265] Charles the Fifth, of France, may be called the founder of the Royal Library there. The history of his first efforts to erect a national library is thus, in part, related by the compilers of Cat. de la Bibliothéque Royale, pt. i., p. ij.-iij.: "This wise king took advantage of the peace which then obtained, in order to cultivate letters more successfully than had hitherto been done. He was learned for his age; and never did a prince love reading and book-collecting better than did he! He was not only constantly making transcripts himself, but the noblemen, courtiers, and officers that surrounded him voluntarily tendered their services in the like cause; while, on the other hand, a number of learned men, seduced by his liberal rewards, spared nothing to add to his literary treasures. Charles now determined to give his subjects every possible advantage from this accumulation of books; and, with this view, he lodged them in one of the Towers of the Louvre; which tower was hence called La Tour de la Librarie. The books occupied three stories: in the first, were desposited 269 volumes; in the second 260; and in the third, 381 volumes. In order to preserve them with the utmost care (say Sauval and Felibien), the king caused all the windows of the library to be fortified with iron bars; between which was painted glass, secured by brass-wires. And that the books might be accessible at all hours, there were suspended, from the ceiling, thirty chandeliers and a silver lamp, which burnt all night long. The walls were wainscotted with Irish wood; and the ceiling was covered with cypress wood: the whole being curiously sculptured in bas-relief." Whoever has not this catalogue at hand (vide p. 93, ante) to make himself master of still further curious particulars relating to this library, may examine the first and second volume of L'Academie des Inscriptions, &c.—from which the preceding account is taken. The reader may also look into Warton (Diss. 11, vol. i., sign. f. 2); who adds, on the authority of Boivin's Mem. Lit., tom. ii., p. 747, that the Duke of Bedford, regent of France, "in the year 1425 (when the English became masters of Paris) sent his whole library, then consisting of only 853 volumes, and valued at 2223 livres, into England," &c. I have little doubt but that Richard De Bury had a glimpse of this infantine royal collection, from the following passage—which occurs immediately after an account of his ambassadorial excursion—"O beate Deus Deorum in Syon, quantus impetus fluminis voluptatis lætificavit cor nostrum, quoties Paradisum mundi Parisios visitare vacavimus ibi moraturi? Ubi nobis semper dies pauci, præ amoris magnitudine, videbantur. Ibi Bibliothecæ jucundæ super sellas aromatum redolentes; ibi virens viridarium universorum voluminum," &c. Philobiblion; p. 31, edit. 1559.

[266] After having intruded, I fear, by the preceding note respecting French Bibliomania, there is only room left to say of our De Bury—that he was the friend and correspondent of Petrarch—and that Mons. Sade, in his Memoirs of Petrarch, tells us that "the former did in England, what the latter all his life was doing in France, Italy, and Germany, towards the discovery of the best ancient writers, and making copies of them under his own superintendence." De Bury bequeathed a valuable library of MSS. to Durham, now Trinity College, Oxford. The books of this library were first packed up in chests; but upon the completion of the room to receive them, "they were put into pews or studies, and chained to them." Wood's History of the University of Oxford, vol. ii., p. 911. Gutch's edit. De Bury's Philobiblion, from which so much has been extracted, is said by Morhof to "savor somewhat of the rudeness of the age, but is rather elegantly written; and many things are well expressed in it relating to bibliothecism." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 187. The real author is supposed to have been Robert Holcott, a Dominican friar. I am, however, loth to suppress a part of what Warton has so pleasantly written (as above alluded to by Lysander) respecting such a favourite as De Bury. "Richard de Bury, otherwise called Richard Aungervylle, is said to have alone possessed more books than all the bishops of England together. Beside the fixed libraries which he had formed in his several palaces, the floor of his common apartment was so covered with books that those who entered could not with due reverence approach his presence. He kept binders, illuminators, and writers, in his palaces. Petrarch says that he had once a conversation with him, concerning the island called by the ancients Thule; calling him 'virum ardentis ingenii.' While chancellor and treasurer, instead of the usual presents and new-year's gifts appendant to his office, he chose to receive those perquisites in books. By the favour of Edward III. he gained access to the libraries of most of the capital monasteries; where he shook off the dust from volumes, preserved in chests and presses, which had not been opened for many ages." Philobiblion, cap. 29, 30.—Warton also quotes, in English, a part of what had been already presented to the reader in its original Latin form. Hist. Engl. Poetry, vol. i., Diss. ii., note g., sign. h. 4. Prettily painted as is this picture, by Warton, the colouring might have been somewhat heightened, and the effect rendered still more striking, in consequence, if the authority and the words of Godwyn had been a little attended to. In this latter's Catalogue of the Bishops of England, p. 524-5, edit. 1601, we find that De Bury was the son of one Sir Richard Angaruill, knight: "that he saith of himselfe 'exstatico quodam librorum amore potenter se abreptum'—that he was mightily carried away, and even beside himself, with immoderate love of bookes and desire of reading. He had alwaies in his house many chaplaines, all great schollers. His manner was, at dinner and supper-time, to haue some good booke read unto him, whereof he would discourse with his chaplaines a great part of the day following, if busines interrupted not his course. He was very bountiful unto the poore. Weekely he bestowed for their reliefe, 8 quarters of wheat made into bread, beside the offall and fragments of his tables. Riding betweene Newcastle and Durham he would give 8l. in almes; from Durham to Stocton, 5l.: from Durham to Aukland, 5 marks; from Durham to Middleham, 5l." &c. This latter is the "pars melior" of every human being; and bibliomaniacs seem to have possessed it as largely as any other tribe of mortals. I have examined Richardson's magnificent reprint of Godwyn's book, in the Latin tongue, London, 1743, folio; p. 747; and find nothing worth adding to the original text.

188Loren. The task we have imposed upon you, my good Lysander, would be severe indeed if you were to notice, with minute exactness, all the book-anecdotes of the middle ages. You have properly introduced the name and authority of Warton; but if you suffered yourself to be beguiled by his enchanting style, into all the bibliographical gossiping of this period, you would have no mercy upon your lungs, and there would be no end to the disquisition.

Lysand. Forgive me, if I have transgressed the boundaries of good sense or good breeding: it was not my intention to make a "Concio ad Aulam"—as worthy old Bishop Saunderson was fond of making—but simply to state facts, or indulge in book chit-chat, as my memory served me.

Lis. Nay, Lorenzo, do not disturb the stream of Lysander's eloquence. I could listen 'till "Jocund day stood tip-toe on the mountain."

Phil. You are a little unconscionable, Lisardo: but I apprehend Lorenzo meant only to guard Lysander against that minuteness of narration which takes us into every library and every study of the period at which we are arrived. If I recollect aright, Warton was obliged to restrain himself in the same cause.[267]

[267] The part alluded to, in Warton, is at the commencement of his second Dissertation "On the Introduction of Learning into Great Britain." After rambling with the utmost felicity, among the libraries, and especially the monastic ones, of the earlier and middle ages—he thus checks himself by saying, that "in pursuit of these anecdotes, he is imperceptibly seduced into later periods, or rather is deviating from his subject."

Loren. It belongs to me, Lysander, to solicit your forgiveness. If you are not tired with the discussion of such a various and extensive subject (and more particularly from the energetic manner in which it is conducted on your part), rely upon it that your auditors cannot189 possibly feel ennui. Every thing before us partakes of your enthusiasm: the wine becomes mellower, and sparkles with a ruddier glow; the flavour of the fruit is improved; and the scintillations of your conversational eloquence are scattered amidst my books, my busts, and my pictures. Proceed, I entreat you; but first, accept my libation offered up at the shrine of an offended deity.

Lysand. You do me, and the Bibliomania, too much honour. If my blushes do not overpower me, I will proceed: but first, receive the attestation of the deity that he is no longer affronted with you. I drink to your health and long life!—and proceed:

If, among the numerous and gorgeous books which now surround us, it should be my good fortune to put my hand upon one, however small or imperfect, which could give us some account of the History of British Libraries, it would save me a great deal of trouble, by causing me to maintain at least a chronological consistency in my discourse. But, since this cannot be—since, with all our love of books and of learning, we have this pleasing desideratum yet to be supplied—I must go on, in my usual desultory manner, in rambling among libraries, and discoursing about books and book-collectors. As we enter upon the reign of Henry IV., we cannot avoid the mention of that distinguished library hunter, and book describer, John Boston of Bury;[268] who may justly be considered the Leland of190 his day. Gale, if I recollect rightly, unaccountably describes his bibliomaniacal career as having taken place in the reign of Henry VII.; but Bale and Pits, from whom Tanner has borrowed his account, unequivocally affix the date of 1410 to Boston's death; which is three years before the death of Henry. It is allowed, by the warmest partizans of the reformation, that the dissolution of the monastic libraries has unfortunately rendered the labours of Boston of scarcely any present utility.

[268] It is said of Boston that he visited almost every public library, and described the titles of every book therein, with punctilious accuracy. Pits (593) calls him "vir pius, litteratus, et bonarum litterarum fautor ac promotor singularis." Bale (p. 549, edit. 1559) has even the candour to say, "mirâ sedulitate et diligentia omnes omnium regni monasteriorum bibliothecas invisit: librorum collegit titulos, et authorum eorum nomina: quæ omnia alphabetico disposuit ordine, et quasi unam omnium bibliothecam fecit." What Lysander observes above is very true: "non enim dissimulanda (says Gale) monasteriorum subversio, quæ brevi spatio subsecuta est—libros omnes dispersit et Bostoni providam diligentiam, maxima ex parte, inutilem reddidit." Rer. Anglicar. Scrip. Vet., vol. iii., præf. p. 1. That indefatigable antiquary, Thomas Hearne, acknowledges that, in spite of all his researches in the Bodleian library, he was scarcely able to discover any thing of Boston's which related to Benedictus Abbas—and still less of his own compositions. Bened. Abbat. vol. i., præf. p. xvii. It is a little surprising that Leland should have omitted to notice him. But the reader should consult Tanner's Bibl. Britan., p. xvii., 114.

There is a curious anecdote of this period in Rymer's Fœdera,[269] about taking off the duty upon six barrels of books, sent by a Roman Cardinal to the prior of the Conventual church of St. Trinity, Norwich. These barrels, which lay at the custom-house, were imported duty free; and I suspect that Henry's third son, the celebrated John Duke of Bedford, who was then a lad, and just beginning to feed his bibliomaniacal appetite, had some hand in interceding with his father for the redemption of the duty.

[269] Vol. viii., p. 501. It is a Clause Roll of the 9th of Henry IV. A.D. 1407: "De certis Libris, absque Custumenda solvenda, liberandis;" and affords too amusing a specimen of custom-house latinity to be withheld from the reader. "Mandamus vobis, quod certos libros in sex Barellis contentos, Priori qt Conventui Ecclesiæ Sanctæ Trinitatis Norwici, per quendam Adam nuper Cardinalem legatos, et in portum civitatis nostræ predictæ (Londinensis) ab urbe Romanâ jam adductos, præfato, Priori, absque Custuma seu subsidio inde ad opus nostrum capiendis, liberetis indilate," &c.

Lis. This Duke of Bedford was the most notorious bibliomaniac as well as warrior of his age; and, when abroad, was indefatigable in stirring up the emulation of Flemish and French artists, to execute for him the most splendid books of devotion. I have heard great things of what goes by the name of The Bedford Missal![270]

[270] This missal, executed under the eye and for the immediate use of the famous John, Duke of Bedford (regent of France), and Jane (the daughter of the Duke of Burgundy) his wife, was, at the beginning of the 18th century, in the magnificent library of Harley, Earl of Oxford. It afterwards came into the collection of his daughter, the well-known Duchess of Portland; at whose sale, in 1786, it was purchased by Mr. Edwards for 215 guineas; and 500 guineas have been, a few years ago, offered for this identical volume. It is yet the property of this last mentioned gentleman. Among the pictures in it, there is an interesting one of the whole length portraits of the Duke and Duchess;—the head of the former of which has been enlarged and engraved by Vertue for his portraits to illustrate the History of England. The missal frequently displays the arms of these noble personages; and also affords a pleasing testimony of the affectionate gallantry of the pair; the motto of the former being "a vous entier:" that of the latter, "j'en suis contente." There is a former attestation in the volume, of its having been given by the Duke to his nephew, Henry VI. as "a most suitable present." But the reader shall consult (if he can procure it) Mr. Gough's curious little octavo volume written expressly upon the subject.

191Lysand. And not greater than what merits to be said of it. I have seen this splendid bijou in the charming collection of our friend ——. It is a small thick folio, highly illuminated; and displaying, as well in the paintings as in the calligraphy, the graphic powers of that age, which had not yet witnessed even the dry pencil of Perugino. More gorgeous, more beautifully elaborate, and more correctly graceful, missals may be in existence; but a more curious, interesting, and perfect specimen, of its kind, is no where to be seen: the portraits of the Duke and of his royal brother Henry V. being the best paintings known of the age. 'Tis, in truth, a lovely treasure in the book way; and it should sleep every night upon an eider-down pillow encircled with emeralds!

Lis. Hear him—hear him! Lysander must be a collateral descendant of this noble bibliomaniac, whose blood, now circulating in his veins, thus moves him to "discourse most eloquently."

Lysand. Banter as you please; only "don't disturb the stream of my eloquence."

The period of this distinguished nobleman was that in which book-collecting began to assume a fixed and important character in this country. Oxford saw a glimmering of civilization dawning in her obscured atmosphere. A short but dark night had succeeded the192 patriotic efforts of De Bury; whose curious volumes, bequeathed to Trinity College, had laid in a melancholy and deserted condition 'till they were kept company by those of Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, Rede, Bishop of Chichester, and Humphrey the good Duke of Gloucester.[271] Now began the fashion (and may it193 never fall to decay!) of making presents to public libraries:—but, during the short and splendid career of Henry V., learning yielded to arms: the reputation of a scholar to that of a soldier. I am not aware of any thing at this period, connected with the subject of our discourse, that deserves particular mention; although we ought never to name this illustrious monarch, or to think of his matchless prowess in arms, without calling194 to mind how he adorned the rough character of a soldier by the manners of a prince, the feelings of a Christian, and, I had almost said, the devotion of a saint.

[271] We will first notice Cobham, Bishop of Worcester: who "having had a great desire to show some love to his mother the university of Oxford, began, about the year 1320, to build, or at least to make some reparations for a Library, over the old congregation house in the north church-yard of St. Mary's; but he dying soon after, before any considerable matter was done therein, left certain moneys for the carrying on of the work, and all his books, with others that had been lately procured, to be, with those belonging to the university (as yet kept in chests) reposed therein." Some controversy afterwards arising between the University and Oriel College, to which latter Cobham belonged, the books lay in dreary and neglected state till 1367; when a room having been built for their reception, it was settled that they "should be reposed and chained in the said room or solar; that the scholars of the University should have free ingress and regress, at certain times, to make proficiency in them; that certain of the said books, of greater price, should be sold, till the sum of l. 40 was obtained for them (unless other remedy could be found) with which should be bought an yearly rent of l. 3, for the maintenance of a chaplain, that should pray for the soul of the said bishop, and other benefactors of the University both living and dead, and have the custody or oversight of the said books, and of those in the ancient chest of books, and chest of rolls." Wood's Hist. of the University of Oxford, vol. ii., pt. ii., 911. Gutch's edit. William Rede, or Read, bishop of Chichester, "sometimes Fellow (of Merton College) gave a chest with l. 100 in gold in it, to be borrowed by the Fellows for their relief; bond being first given in by them to repay it at their departure from the college; or, in case they should die, to be paid by their executors: A.D. 1376. He also built, about the same time, a Library in the college; being the first that the society enjoyed, and gave books thereunto." Wood's History of the Colleges and Halls, p. 15, Gutch's edit. In Mr. Nicholl's Appendix to the History of Leicester, p. 105, note 20, I find some account of this distinguished literary character, taken from Tanner's Bibl. Britan., p. 618. He is described, in both authorities, as being a very learned Fellow of Merton College, where he built and furnished a noble library; on the wall of which was painted his portrait, with this inscription: "Gulielmus Redæus, episcopus Cicestrensis, Magister in theologia, profundus astronomus, quondam socius istius collegii, qui hanc librariam fieri fecit." Many of Read's mathematical instruments, as well as his portrait, were preserved in the library when Harrison wrote his description of England, prefix'd to Holinshed's Chronicles; some of the former of which came into the possession of the historian. For thus writes Harrison: "William Read, sometime fellow of Merteine college in Oxford, doctor of divinitie, and the most profound astronomer that liued in his time, as appeareth by his collection, which some time I did possesse; his image is yet in the librarie there; and manie instruments of astronomie reserued in that house," &c. Chronicles (1587), edit. 1807, vol. i., p. 237. In the year 1808, when I visited the ancient and interesting brick-floored library of Merton College, for the purpose of examining early printed books, I looked around in vain for the traces, however faded, of Read's portrait: nor could I discover a single vestige of the Bibliotheca Readiana! The memory of this once celebrated bishop lives therefore only in what books have recorded of him; and this brief and verbal picture of Read is here drawn—as was the more finished resemblance of Chaucer by the pencil, which Occleve has left behind—

That thei that have of him lost thoute and mynde
By this peinture may ageine him fynde.

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, "commonly called the good, was youngest brother to Henry V. and the first founder of the university library in Oxford, which was pillaged of the greater part of its books in the reign of Edward the Sixth." Park's edit. of the Royal and Noble Authors; vol. i., 198. "As for the books which he gave (says Wood) they were very many, more by far than authors report; for whereas 'tis said he gave 129, you shall find anon that they were more than treble the number." The Duke's first gift, in 1439, of one hundred and twenty-nine treatises, was worth, according to Wood, a thousand pounds. All his book presents, "amounting to above 600 (mostly treating of divinity, physic, history, and humanity) which were from several parts of the world obtained, were transmitted to the university, and for the present laid up in chests in Cobham's library. The catalogue also of them which were then sent, and the indentures for the receipt of the said books, were laid up in the chest called Cista Librorum et Rotulorum." History (or Annals) of the University of Oxford; vol. ii., pt. ii., 914. Gutch's edit. Consult also the recent and very amusing History of the same University, by Mr. A. Chalmers, vol. ii., p. 459. Leland has not forgotten this distinguished bibliomaniac; for he thus lauds him in roman verse:

Tam clari meminit viri togata
Rectè Gallia; tum chorus suavis
Cygnorum Isidis ad vadum incolentûm
Cui magnum numerum dedit bonorum
Librorum, statuitque sanctiori
Divinus studio scholæ theatrum;
Nostro quale quidem videtur esse
Magnum tempore, forsan et futuro
Cygn. Cant. Vide Lelandi Itinerarium
Curâ Hearne; edit. 1770, vol. ix., p. 17.

The reign of his successor, Henry VI., was the reign of trouble and desolation. It is not to be wondered that learning drooped, and religion "waxed faint," 'midst the din of arms and the effusion of human blood. Yet towards the close of this reign some attempt was made to befriend the book cause; for the provost and fellows of Eton and Cambridge petitioned the king to assist them in increasing the number of books in their libraries;[272] but the result of this petition has never, I believe, been known.

[272] In the manuscript history of Eton College, in the British Museum (MSS. Donat. 4840, p. 154.), the Provost and Fellows of Eton and Cambridge are stated, in the 25th of Henry the Sixth, to have petitioned the king that, as these new colleges were not sufficiently seised of books for divine service, and for their libraries, he would be pleased to order one of his chaplains, Richard Chestre, "to take to him such men as shall be seen to him expedient in order to get knowledge where such bookes may be found, paying a reasonable price for the same, and that the sayd men might have the first choice of such bookes, ornaments, &c., before any man, and in especiall of all manner of bookes, ornaments, and other necessaries as now late were perteynyng to the Duke of Gloucester, and that the king would particular(ly) cause to be employed herein John Pye his stacioner of London." For this anecdote I am indebted to Sir H. Ellis. See also the interesting note in Warton's Hist. Engl. Poet., diss. ii., sign. f. 2.

I had nearly passed through the reign of Henry the Sixth without noticing the very meritorious labours of a sort of precursor of Dean Colet; I mean, Sir Walter Sherington. He was a most assiduous bibliomaniac;[273]195 and, in the true spirit of ancient monachism, conceived that no cathedral could be perfect without a library. Accordingly, he not only brought together an extraordinary number of curious books, but framed laws or regulations concerning the treatment of the books, and the hours of perusing them; which, if I can trust to my memory, are rather curious, and worth your examination. They are in Hearne's edition of the Antiquities of Glastonbury, composed in our own language.

[273] "Over the east quadrant of this (great) cloyster (on the north side of this church) was a fayre librarie, builded at the costes and charges of (Sir) Waltar Sherington, chancellor of the duchie of Lancaster, in the raigne of Henrie the 6. which hath beene well furnished with faire written books in vellem: but few of them now do remaine there." Antiquities of Glastonbury; Hearne's edit. 1722; p. 308.

Regulations concerning Sherington's Library.

"Quodque dicta libraria, hostiis ipsius per præfatos capellanos custodes ejusdem, et eorum successores, aut alterum ipsorum, apertis singulis diebus profestis annuatim á festo Nativ. beat. Mar. Virg. usque festum Annunciacionis ejusdem, ob ortu solis, donec hora nona post altam missam de servicio diei in dicta ecclesiâ cathedrali finiatur: et iterum ab hora prima post meridiem usque ad finem completorii in eadem ecclesia cathedrali, vel saltem usque ad occasum solis per eosdem, seu eorum alterum, sic continue diligenter custodiatur. Et eciam singulis diebus profestis annuatim, ab eodem festo Annunciacionis beatæ Mariæ Virginis usque ad prædictum festum nativitatis ejusdem, ab hora diei sexta, donec hora nona post altam missam in dicta ecclesia cathedrali, et iterum ab hora prima post meridiem quosque completorium in eadem ecclesia cathedrali finiatur, per præfatos capellanos, seu eorum alterum et successores suos custodes dictæ librariæ debitè et diligenter aperta, custodiatur, nisi causa racionabilis hoc fieri impediat. Ita quod nullum dampnum eidem librariæ aut in libris, aut in hostiis, seruris vel fenestris vitreis ejusdem, ex negligencia dictorum capellanorum aut successorum suorum custodum dictæ librariæ evenire contingat. Et si quid dampnum hujusmodi in præmissis, seu aliquo præmissorum, per negligenciam ipsorum capellanorum, seu eorum alterius, aut successorum suorum quoque modo imposterum evenerit, id vel ipsa dampnum aut dampna recompensare, emendare et satisfacere, tociens quociens contigerit, de salariis seu stipendiis suis propriis, auctoritate et judicio dictorum Decani et Capituli, debeant et teneantur, ut est justum. Ceteris vero diebus, noctibus et temporibus hostia prædicta, cum eorum seruris et clavibus, omnino sint clausa et secure serata." Id.: p. 193.

We now enter upon the reign of an active and enterprising monarch; who, though he may be supposed to have cut his way to the throne by his sword, does not appear to have persecuted the cause of learning; but rather to have looked with a gracious eye upon its operations by means of the press. In the reign of Edward IV., our venerable and worthy Caxton fixed the first press that ever was set to work in this country, in the abbey of Westminster. Yes, Lorenzo; now commenced more decidedly, the æra of Bibliomania! Now the rich, and comparatively poor, began to build them small Book Rooms or Libraries. At first, both the architecture and furniture were sufficiently rude, if I remember well the generality of wood cuts of ancient book-boudoirs:—a few simple implements only being deemed necessary; and a three-legged stool, "in fashion square196 or round," as Cowper[274] says, was thought luxury sufficient for the hard student to sit upon. Now commenced a general love and patronage of books: now (to borrow John Fox's language) "tongues became known, know197ledge grew, judgment increased, books were dispersed, the scripture was read, stories were opened, times compared, truth discerned, falsehood detected, and with finger pointed (at)—and all, through the benefit of printing."[275]

[274] The entire passage is worth extraction: as it well describes many an old stool which has served for many a studious philosopher:

"Joint stools were then created: on three legs
Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm
A massy slab, in fashion square or round.
On such a stool immortal Alfred sat,
And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms.
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear
May still be seen; but perforated sore,
And drilled in holes, the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through."
Task: b. i., v. 19, &c.

It had escaped the amiable and sagacious author of these verses that such tripodical seats were frequently introduced into old book-rooms; as the subjoined print—which gives us also a curious picture of one of the libraries alluded to by Lysander—may serve to shew:

St. Birgitte

Revelaciones Sancte Birgitte; ed. 1521, sign. z. 3 rev.

[275] Book of Martyrs, vol. i., p. 927; edit. 1641.

Lis. Now you have arrived at this period, pray concentrate your anecdotes into a reasonable compass. As you have inveigled us into the printing-office of Caxton, I am fearful, from your strong attachment to him, that we shall not get over the threshhold of it, into the open air again, until midnight.

Phil. Order, order, Lisardo! This is downright rudeness. I appeal to the chair!—

Lorenz. Lisardo is unquestionably reprehensible. His eagerness makes him sometimes lose sight of good breeding.

Lysand. I was going to mention some Vellum and Presentation copies—but I shall hurry forward.

Lis. Nay, if you love me, omit nothing about "vellum and presentation copies." Speak at large upon these glorious subjects.

Lysand. Poor Lisardo!—we must build an iron cage to contain such a book-madman as he promises to become!

Phil. Proceed, dear Lysander, and no longer heed these interruptions.

Lysand. Nay, I was only about to observe that, as Caxton is known to have printed upon vellum,[276] it is most probable that one of his presentation copies of the romances of Jason and Godfrey of Boulogne (executed under the patronage of Edward IV.), might have been printed in the same manner. Be this as it may, it seems reasonable to conclude that Edward the Fourth was not only fond of books, as objects of beauty or curiosity, but that he had some affection for literature and literary198 characters; for how could the firm friend and generous patron of Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester—with whom this monarch had spent many a studious, as well as jovial, hour—be insensible to the charms of intellectual refinement! Pause we here for one moment—and let us pour the juice of the blackest grape upon the votive tablet, consecrated to the memory of this illustrious nobleman! and, as Caxton has become so fashionable[277] among us, I will read to you, from yonder beautiful copy of his English edition of "Tully upon Friendship," a part of our printer's affecting eulogy upon the translator:—"O good blessed Lord God, what great loss was it of that noble, virtuous, and well-disposed lord! When I remember and advertise his life, his science, and his virtue, me thinketh God not displeased over a great loss of such a man, considering his estate and cunning," &c. "At his death every man that was there, might learn to die and take his (own) death patiently; wherein I hope and doubt not, but that God received his soul into his everlasting bliss. For as I am informed he right advisedly ordained all his things, as well for his last will of worldly goods, as for his soul's health; and patiently, and holily, without grudging, in charity, to fore that he departed out of this world: which is gladsome and joyous to hear."—What say you to this specimen of Caxtonian eloquence?

[276] Consult the recent edition of the Typographical Antiquities of our own country: vol. i., p. 56, 137, 268.

[277] As a proof of the ardour with which the books printed by him are now sought after, the reader shall judge for himself—when he is informed that an imperfect copy of the Golden Legend, one of Caxton's commonest productions, produced at a book sale, a few months ago, the sum of twenty-seven guineas!

Lis. It has a considerable merit; but my attention has been a good deal diverted, during your appropriate recital of it, to the beautiful condition of the copy. Thrice happy Lorenzo! what sum will convey this volume to my own library!

Loren. No offer, in the shape of money, shall take it hence. I am an enthusiast in the cause of Tiptoft; and am always upon the watch to discover any volume, printed by Caxton, which contains the composition of199 the hapless Earl of Worcester! Dr. Henry has spoken so handsomely of him, and Mr. Park, in his excellent edition of Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors,[278] has made his literary character so interesting that, considering the dearth of early good English authors,[279] I know of no other name that merits greater respect and admiration.

[278] Vol i., p. 200, &c. History of Great Britain, by Dr. Henry, vol. x., p. 143, &c.

[279] "In the library of Glastonbury abbey, in 1248, there were but four books in Engleish, &c. We have not a single historian, in Engleish prose, before the reign of Richard the Second; when John Treviza translateëd the Polychronicon of Randal Higden. Boston of Bury, who seems to have consulted all the monasterys in Engleland, does not mention one author who had written in Engleish; and Bale, at a lateër period, has, comparatively, but an insignificant number: nor was Leland so fortunate as to find above two or three Engleish books, in the monastick and other librarys, which he rummage'd, and explore'd, under the king's commission." Ritson's Dissertation on Romance and Minstrelsy: prefixed to his Ancient Engleish Metrical Romanceës, vol. i., p. lxxxi.

Lysand. True; and this nobleman's attention to the acquisition of fine and useful books, when he was abroad, for the benefit of his own country,[280] gives him a distinguished place in the list of Bibliomaniacs. I dare say Lisardo would give some few hundred guineas for his bust, executed by Flaxman, standing upon a pedestal composed of the original editions of his works, bound in grave-coloured morocco by his favourite Faulkener?[281]

[280] Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain; ibid.: from which a copious note has been given in the new edition of our Typographical Antiquities; vol. i., p. 127, &c.

[281] Henry Faulkener, no. 4, George Court, near the Adelphi, in the Strand. An honest, industrious, and excellent book-binder: who, in his mode of re-binding ancient books is not only scrupulously particular in the preservation of that important part of a volume, the margin; but, in his ornaments of tooling, is at once tasteful and exact. Notwithstanding these hard times, and rather a slender bodily frame, and yet more slender purse—with five children, and the prospect of five more—honest Mr. Faulkener is in his three-pair-of-stairs confined workshop by five in the morning winter and summer, and oftentimes labours 'till twelve at night. Severer toil, with more uniform good humour and civility in the midst of all his embarrassments, were never perhaps witnessed in a brother of the ancient and respectable craft of Book-binding!

Lis. I entreat you not to inflame my imagination by200 such tantalizing pictures! You know this must ever be a fiction: the most successful bibliomaniac never attained to such human happiness.

Phil. Leave Lisardo to his miseries, and proceed.

Lysand. I have supposed Edward to have spent some jovial hours with this unfortunate nobleman. It is thought that our monarch and he partook of the superb feast which was given by the famous Nevell, archbishop of York, at the inthronization of the latter; and I am curious to know of what the library of such a munificent ecclesiastical character was composed! But perhaps this feast itself[282] is one of Lisardo's fictions.

[282] Lysander is perfectly correct about the feast which was given at the archbishop's inthronization; as the particulars of it—"out of an old paper roll in the archives of the Bodleian library," are given by Hearne in the sixth volume of Leland's Collectanea, p. 1-14: and a most extraordinary and amusing bill of fare it is. The last twenty dinners given by the Lord Mayors at Guildhall, upon the first day of their mayoralties, were only sandwiches—compared with such a repast! What does the reader think of 2000 chickens, 4000 pigeons, 4000 coneys, 500 "and mo," stags, bucks, and roes, with 4000 "pasties of venison colde?"—and these barely an 18th part of the kind of meats served up! At the high table our amiable Earl of Worcester was seated, with the Archbishop, three Bishops, the Duke of Suffolk, and the Earl of Oxford. The fictitious archiepiscopal feast was the one intended to be given by Nevell to Edward IV.; when the latter "appointed a day to come to hunt in More in Hertfordshire, and make merry with him." Nevell made magnificent preparations for the royal visit; but instead of receiving the monarch as a guest, he was saluted by some of his officers, who "arrested him for treason," and imprisoned him at Calais and Guisnes. The cause of this sudden, and apparently monstrous, conduct, on the part of Edward, has not been told by Stow (Chronicles, p. 426; edit. 1615), nor by Godwyn, (Catalogue of the Bishops of England, p. 481, edit. 1601): both of whom relate the fact with singular naiveté. I have a strong suspicion that Nevell was so far a bibliomaniac as to have had a curious collection of astrological books; for "there was greate correspondency betweene this Archbishop and the Hermetique philosophers of his time; and this is partly confirmed to me from Ripley's dedication of his 'Medulla' to him, ann. 1746; as also the presentation of Norton's 'Ordinall,'" &c. Thus writes Ashmole, in his Theatrum Chemicum, p. 455.

Enough has probably been said of Edward. We will stop, therefore, but a minute, to notice the completion of the Humphrey Library, and the bibliomaniacal spirit of master Richard Courtney,[283] during the same reign;201 and give but another minute to the mention of the statute of Richard III. in protection of English printers,[284] when we reach the Augustan book-age, in the reign of Henry VII.

[283] Speaking of the public library of Oxford, at this period, Hearne tells us, from a letter sent by him to Thomas Baker, that there was "a chaplein of the Universitie chosen, after the maner of a Bedell, and to him was the custodie of the librarye committed, his stipend—cvis. and viiid. his apparell found him de secta generosorum. No man might come in to studdie but graduats and thoes of 8 years contynuance in the Universitie, except noblemen. All that come in must firste sweare to use the bookes well, and not to deface theim, and everye one after at his proceedings must take the licke othe. Howers apoynted when they shuld come in to studdie, viz. betwene ix and xi aforenoone, and one and four afternoone, the keper geving attendaunce: yet a prerogative was graunted the chancelour Mr. Richard Courtney to come in when he pleased, during his own lieffe, so it was in the day-tyme: and the cause seemeth, that he was cheiffe cawser and setter on of the librarye." Curious Discourses by Eminent Antiquaries; vol. ii., p. 410., edit. 1775.

[284] See page 114, ante. When Lysander talks, above, of the reign of Henry the Seventh being the "Augustan age for books," he must be supposed to allude to the facility and beauty of publishing them by means of the press: for at this period, abroad, the typographical productions of Verard, Eustace, Vostre, Bonfons, Pigouchet, Regnier, and many others ("quæ nunc perscribere longum est") were imitated, and sometimes equalled by W. de Worde, Pynson, and Notary, at home. In regard to intellectual fame, if my authority be good, "in the reign of Henry VII. Greek was a stranger in both universities; and so little even of Latin had Cambridge, of its own growth, that it had not types sufficient to furnish out the common letters and epistles of the University. They usually employed an Italian, one Caius Auberinus, to compose them, whose ordinarry fee was twentypence a letter." (MSS. in Benet College Library, lib. P. p. 194,) Ridley's Life of Ridley, p. 22. "Greek began to be taught in both universities: quietly at Cambridge, but ('Horresco referens!') with some tumult at Oxford!" ibid.

Phil. Before we proceed to discuss the bibliomaniacal ravages of this age, we had better retire, with Lorenzo's leave, to the drawing-room; to partake of a beverage less potent than that which is now before us.

Lorenz. Just as you please. But I should apprehend that Lysander could hold out 'till he reached the Reformation;—and, besides, I am not sure whether our retreat be quite ready for us.

Lis. Pray let us not take leave of all these beauteous books, and busts, and pictures, just at present. If Lysander's lungs will bear him out another twenty minutes, we shall, by that time, have reached the Reformation; and then "our retreat," as Lorenzo calls it, may be quite ready for our reception.202

Lysand. Settle it between yourselves. But I think I could hold out for another twenty minutes—since you will make me your only book-orator.

Lorenz. Let it be so, then. I will order the lamps to be lit; so that Lisardo may see his favourite Wouvermans and Berghems, in company with my romances, (which latter are confined in my satin-wood book-case) to every possible degree of perfection!

Lysand. Provided you indulge me also with a sight of these delightful objects, you shall have what you desire:—and thus I proceed:

Of the great passion of Henry the VIIth for fine books, even before he ascended the throne of England,[285] there is certainly no doubt. And while he was king, we may judge, even from the splendid fragments of his library, which are collected in the British Museum, of the nicety of his taste, and of the soundness of his judgment. That he should love extravagant books of devotion,[286] as well as histories and chronicles, must be considered the fault of the age, rather than of the individual. I will not, however, take upon me to say that the slumbers of this monarch were disturbed in consequence of the extraordinary and frightful passages, which, accompanied with bizarre cuts,[287] were now in203troduced into almost every work, both of ascetic divinity and also of plain practical morality. His predecessor,204 Richard, had in all probability been alarmed by the images which the reading of these books had created; and I guess that it was from such frightful objects, rather than from the ghosts of his murdered brethren, that he was compelled to pass a sleepless night before205 the memorable battle of Bosworth Field. If one of those artists who used to design the horrible pictures which are engraved in many old didactic volumes of this period had ventured to take a peep into Richard's tent, I question whether he would not have seen, lying upon an oaken table, an early edition of some of those fearful works of which he had himself aided in the embellishment, and of which Heinecken has given us such curious fac-similes:[288]—and this, in my humble apprehension, is quite sufficient to account for all the terrible workings in Richard, which Shakespeare has so vividly described.

[285] Mr. Heber has a fine copy of one of the volumes of a black-letter edition of Froissart, printed by Eustace, upon the exterior of the binding of which are Henry's arms, with his name—Henricvs Dvx Richmvndiæ. The very view of such a book, while it gives comfort to a low-spirited bibliomaniac, adds energy to the perseverance of a young collector! the latter of whom fondly, but vainly, thinks he may one day be blessed with a similar treasure!

[286] The possession of such a volume as "The Revelations of the monk of Euesham" (vide vol. ii., of the new edition of Brit. Typog. Antiquities), is evidence sufficient of Henry's attachment to extravagant books of devotion.

[287] It is certainly one of the comforts of modern education, that girls and boys have nothing to do, even in the remotest villages, with the perusal of such books as were put into the juvenile hands of those who lived towards the conclusion of the 15th century. One is at a loss to conceive how the youth of that period could have ventured at night out of doors, or slept alone in a darkened room, without being frightened out of their wits! Nor could maturer life be uninfluenced by reading such volumes as are alluded to in the text: and as to the bed of death—that must have sometimes shaken the stoutest faith, and disturbed the calmest piety. For what can be more terrible, and at the same time more audacious, than human beings arrogating to themselves the powers of the deity, and denouncing, in equivocal cases, a certainty and severity of future punishment, equally revolting to scripture and common sense? To drive the timid into desperation, and to cut away the anchor of hope from the rational believer, seem, among other things, to have been the objects of these "ascetic" authors; while the pictures, which were suffered to adorn their printed works, confirmed the wish that, where the reader might not comprehend the text, he could understand its illustration by means of a print. I will give two extracts, and one of these "bizarre cuts," in support of the preceding remarks. At page 168, ante, the reader will find a slight mention of the subject: he is here presented with a more copious illustration of it. "In likewise there is none that may declare the piteous and horrible cries and howlings the which that is made in hell, as well of devils as of other damned. And if that a man demand what they say in crying; the answer: All the damned curseth the Creator. Also they curse together as their father and their mother, and the hour that they were begotten, and that they were born, and that they were put unto nourishing, and those that them should correct and teach, and also those the which have been the occasion of their sins, as the bawd, cursed be the bawd, and also of other occasions in diverse sins. The second cause of the cry of them damned is for the consideration that they have of the time of mercy, the which is past, in the which they may do penance and purchase paradise. The third cause is of their cry for by cause of the horrible pains of that they endure. As we may consider that if an hundred persons had every of them one foot and one hand in the fire, or in the water seething without power to die, what bruit and what cry they should make; but that should be less than nothing in comparison of devils and of other damned, for they ben more than an hundred thousand thousands, the which all together unto them doeth noysaunce, and all in one thunder crying and braying horribly."—Thordynary of Crysten Men, 1506, 4to., k k. ii., rect. Again: from a French work written "for the amusement of all worthy ladies and gentlemen:"

De la flamme tousiours esprise
De feu denfer qui point ne brise
De busches nest point actise
Ne de soufflemens embrase
Le feu denfer, mais est de Dieu
Cree pour estre en celuy lieu
Des le premier commencement
Sans jamais pendre finement
Illec nya point de clarte
Mais de tenebres obscurte
De peine infinie durte
De miseres eternite
Pleur et estraignement de dens
Chascun membre aura la dedans
Tourmmens selon ce qua forfait
La peine respondra au fait,
&c. &c. &c.

Le passe tempe de tout home, et de toute femme; sign. q. ii., rev.

Printed by Verard in 8vo., without date: (from a copy, printed upon vellum, in the possession of John Lewis Goldsmyd, Esq.)—The next extract is from a book which was written to amuse and instruct the common people: being called by Warton a "universal magazine of every article of salutary and useful knowledge." Hist. Engl. Poetry: vol. ii., 195.

In hell is great mourning
Great trouble of crying
Of thunder noises roaring
with plenty of wild fire
Beating with great strokes like guns
with a great frost in water runs
And after a bitter wind comes
which goeth through the souls with ire
There is both thirst and hunger
fiends with hooks putteth their flesh asunder
They fight and curse and each on other wonder
with the fight of the devils dreadable
There is shame and confusion
Rumour of conscience for evil living
They curse themself with great crying
In smoak and stink they be evermore lying
with other pains innumerable.

Kalendar of Shepherds. Sign G. vij. rev. Pynson's edit., fol.


Specimens of some of the tremendous cuts which are crowded into this thin folio will be seen in the second volume of the new edition of the Typographical Antiquities. However, that the reader's curiosity may not here be disappointed, he is presented with a similar specimen, on a smaller scale, of one of the infernal tortures above described. It is taken from a book whose title conveys something less terrific; and describes a punishment which is said to be revealed by the Almighty to St. Bridget against those who have "ornamenta indecentia in capitibus et pedibus, et reliquis membris, ad provocandum luxuriam et irritandum deum, in strictis vestibus, ostensione mamillarum, unctionibus," &c. Revelaciones sancte Birgitte; edit. Koeberger, 1521, fol., sign. q., 7, rev.

[288] See many of the cuts in that scarce and highly coveted volume, entitled, "Idée Generale d'une Collection complètte d'Estampes." Leips. 1771, 8vo.

Lis. This is, at least, an original idea; and has escaped the sagacity of every commentator in the last twenty-one volume edition of the works of our bard.

Lysand. But to return to Henry. I should imagine that his mind was not much affected by the perusal of this description of books: but rather that he was constantly meditating upon some old arithmetical work—the prototype of Cocker—which, in the desolation of the ensuing half century, has unfortunately perished. Yet, if this monarch be accused of avaricious propensities—if, in consequence of speculating deeply in large paper and vellum copies, he made his coffers to run over with gold—it must be remembered that he was, at the same time, a patron as well as judge of architectural artists; and while the completion of the structure of King's college Chapel, Cambridge, and the building of his own magnificent chapel[289] at Westminster (in which latter, I suspect, he had a curiously-carved gothic closet for the preservation of choice copies from Caxton's neighbour206ing press), afford decisive proofs of Henry's skill in matters of taste, the rivalship of printers and of book-buyers shews that the example of the monarch was greatly favourable to the propagation of the Bibliomania. Indeed, such was the progress of the book-disease that, in the very year of Henry's death, appeared, for the first time in this country, an edition of The Ship of Fools—in which work, ostentatious and ignorant book-collectors[290] are, amongst other characters, severely satirized.

[289] Harpsfield speaks with becoming truth and spirit of Henry's great attention to ecclesiastical establishments: "Splendidum etiam illud sacellum westmonasterij, magno sumptu atque magnificentia ab eodem est conditum. In quod cœnobium valde fuit liberalis et munificus. Nullumque fere fuit in tota Anglia monachorum, aut fratrum cœnobium, nullum collegium, cujus preces, ad animam ipsius Deo post obitum commendandam, sedulo non expetierat. Legavit autem singulorum præfectis sex solidos et octo denarios, singulis autem eorundem presbyteris, tres solidos et quatuor denarios: ceteris non presbyteris viginti denarios." Hist. Eccles. Anglic., p. 606, edit. 1622, fol.

[290] The reader is here introduced to his old acquaintance, who appeared in the title-page to my first "Bibliomania:"—

Book fool

I am the firste fole of all the hole navy
To kepe the pompe, the helme, and eke the sayle:
For this is my mynde, this one pleasoure have I—
Of bokes to haue great plenty and aparayle.
I take no wysdome by them: nor yet avayle
Nor them perceyve nat: And then I them despyse.
Thus am I a foole, and all that serue that guyse.
Shyp of Folys, &c., Pynson's edit., 1509, fol.

We have now reached the threshhold of the reign of Henry VIII.—and of the era of the Reformation. An era in every respect most important, but, in proportion to its importance, equally difficult to describe—as it operates upon the history of the Bibliomania. Now blazed forth, but blazed for a short period, the exquisite talents of Wyatt, Surrey, Vaux, Fischer, More, and,207 when he made his abode with us, the incomparable Erasmus. But these in their turn.

Phil. You omit Wolsey. Surely he knew something about books?

Lysand. I am at present only making the sketch of my grand picture. Wolsey, I assure you, shall stand in the foreground. Nor shall the immortal Leland be treated in a less distinguished manner. Give me only "ample room and verge enough," and a little time to collect my powers, and then—

Lis. "Yes, and then"—you will infect us from top to toe with the book-disease!

Phil. In truth I already begin to feel the consequence of the innumerable miasma of it, which are floating in the atmosphere of this library. I move that we adjourn to a purer air.

Lysand. I second the motion: for, having reached the commencement of Henry's reign, it will be difficult to stop at any period in it previous to that of the Reformation.

Lis. Agreed. Thanks to the bacchanalian bounty of Lorenzo, we are sufficiently enlivened to enter yet further, and more enthusiastically, into this congenial discourse. Dame nature and good sense equally admonish us now to depart. Let us, therefore, close the apertures of these gorgeous decanters:—

"Claudite jam rivos, pueri: sat prata bibêrunt!"


striking device

The striking device of M. Morin, Printer, Rouen.



The Drawing Room.


Some in Learning's garb
With formal hand, and sable-cinctur'd gown,
And rags of mouldy volumes.
Akenside; Pleasures of Imagination, b. iii., v. 96.


The Drawing Room


The Drawing Room.


VOLATILE as the reader may comceive the character of Lisardo to be, there were traits in it of marked goodness and merit. His enthusiasm so frequently made him violate the rules of severe politeness; and the quickness with which he flew from one subject to another, might have offended a narrator of the gravity, without the urbanity, of Lysander; had not the frankness with which he confessed his faults, and the warmth with which he always advocated the cause of literature, rendered him amiable in the eyes of those who thoroughly knew him. The friends, whose company he was now enjoying, were fully competent to appreciate his worth. They perceived that Lisardo's mind had been rather brilliantly cultivated; and that, as his heart had always beaten at the call of virtue, so,212 in a due course of years, his judgment would become matured, and his opinions more decidedly fixed. He had been left, very early in life, without a father, and bred up in the expectation of a large fortune; while the excessive fondness of his mother had endeavoured to supply the want of paternal direction, and had encouraged her child to sigh for every thing short of impossibility for his gratification.

In consequence, Lisardo was placed at College upon the most respectable footing. He wore the velvet cap, and enjoyed the rustling of the tassels upon his silk gown, as he paraded the High street of Oxford. But although he could translate Tacitus and Theocritus with creditable facility, he thought it more advantageous to gratify the cravings of his body than of his mind. He rode high-mettled horses; he shot with a gun which would have delighted an Indian prince; he drank freely out of cut-glasses, which were manufactured according to his own particular taste; and wines of all colours and qualities sparkled upon his table; he would occasionally stroll into the Bodleian Library and Picture Gallery, in order to know whether any acquisitions had been recently made to them; and attended the Concerts when any performer came down from London. Yet, in the midst of all his gaiety, Lisardo passed more sombrous than joyous hours: for when he looked into a book, he would sometimes meet with an electrical sentence from Cicero, Seneca, or Johnson, from which he properly inferred that life was uncertain, and that time was given us to prepare for eternity.

He grew dissatisfied and melancholy. He scrambled through his terms; took his degree; celebrated his anniversary of twenty-one, by drenching his native village in ale which had been brewed at his birth; added two wings to his father's house; launched out into coin and picture collecting; bought fine books with fine bindings; then sold all his coins and pictures; and, at the age of twenty-five, began to read, and think, and act for himself.213

At this crisis, he became acquainted with the circle which has already been introduced to the reader's attention; and to which circle the same reader may think it high time now to return.

Upon breaking up for the drawing room, it was amusing to behold the vivacity of Lisardo; who, leaping about Lysander, and expressing his high gratification at the discourse he had already heard, and his pleasure at what he hoped yet to hear, reminded us of what Boswell has said of Garrick, who used to flutter about Dr. Johnson, and try to soften his severity by a thousand winning gestures.

The doors were opened; and we walked into Lorenzo's Drawing Room. The reader is not to figure to himself a hundred fantastical and fugitive pieces of furniture, purchased at Mr. Oakley's, and set off with curtains, carpet, and looking-glasses—at a price which would have maintained a country town of seven hundred poor with bread and soup during the hardest winter—the reader will not suppose that a man of Lorenzo's taste, who called books his best wealth, would devote two thousand pounds to such idle trappings; which in the course of three years, at farthest, would lose their comfort by losing their fashion. But he will suppose that elegance and propriety were equally consulted by our host.

Accordingly, a satin-wood book-case of 14 feet in width and 11 in height, ornamented at the top with a few chaste Etruscan vases—a light blue carpet, upon which were depicted bunches of grey roses, shadowed in brown—fawn-coloured curtains, relieved with yellow silk and black velvet borders—alabaster lamps shedding their soft light upon small marble busts—and sofas and chairs corresponding with the curtains—(and upon which a visitor might sit without torturing the nerves of the owner of them) these, along with some genuine pictures of Wouvermans, Berghem, and Rysdael, and a few other (subordinate) ornaments, formed the furniture of Lorenzo's Drawing Room. As it was en suite with the214 library, which was fitted up in a grave style or character, the contrast was sufficiently pleasing.

Lisardo ran immediately to the book-case. He first eyed, with a greedy velocity, the backs of the folios and quartos; then the octavos; and, mounting an ingeniously-contrived mahogany rostrum, which moved with the utmost facility, he did not fail to pay due attention to the duodecimos; some of which were carefully preserved in Russia or morocco backs, with water-tabby silk linings, and other appropriate embellishments. In the midst of his book-reverie, he heard, on a sudden, the thrilling notes of a harp—which proceeded from the further end of the library!—it being Lorenzo's custom, upon these occasions, to request an old Welch servant to bring his instrument into the library, and renew, if he could, the strains of "other times." Meanwhile the curtains were "let fall;" the sofa wheeled round;

—and the cups
That cheer, but not inebriate,

with "the bubbling and loud hissing urn," "welcomed the evening in." Lorenzo brought from his library a volume of Piranesi, and another of engravings from the heads of Vandyke. Lisardo, in looking at them, beat time with his head and foot; and Philemon and Lysander acknowledged that Dr. Johnson himself could never have so much enjoyed the beverage which was now before them.

If it should here be asked, by the critical reader, why our society is not described as being more congenial, by the presence of those "whom man was born to please," the answer is at once simple and true—Lorenzo was a bachelor; and his sisters, knowing how long and desperate would be our discussion upon the black letter and white letter, had retreated, in the morning, to spend the day with Lisardo's mother—whither —— —— had been invited to join them.

The harper had now ceased. The tea-things were moved away; when we narrowed our circle, and, two of215 us upon the sofa, and three upon chairs, entreated Lysander to resume his narrative; who, after "clearing his pipes (like Sir Roger de Coverley) with a loud hem or two," thus proceeded.

"I think we left off," said Lysander, "with seating Henry the Eighth upon the throne of England. It will be as well, therefore, to say something of this monarch's pretensions to scholarship and love of books. Although I will not rake together every species of abuse which has been vented against him by one Anthony Gilbie,[291] yet Henry must be severely censured, in the estimation of the most candid inquirer, for that gross indifference which he evinced to the real interests of literature, in calmly suffering the libraries of convents and monasteries to216 be pillaged by the crafty and rapacious. He was bibliomaniac enough to have a few copies of his own work, in defence of the Roman Catholic exposition of the Sacrament, struck off upon vellum:[292] but when he quarrelled with the Roman pontiff about his divorce from Queen Catharine, in order to marry Anne Boleyn,[293] he217 sounded the tocsin for the eventful destruction of all monastic libraries: and although he had sent Leland, under an express commission, to make a due examination of them, as well as a statistical survey of the realm, yet, being frustrated in the forementioned darling object, he cared for nothing about books, whether upon vellum or large paper. But had we not better speak of the book ravages, during the reformation, in their proper place?"

[291] "In the time (saith he) of King Henrie the eight, when by Tindall, Frith, Bilney, and other his faithful seruantes, God called England to dresse his vineyarde, many promise ful faire, whome I coulde name, but what fruite followed? Nothing but bitter grapes, yea, bryers and brambles, the wormewood of auarice, the gall of crueltie, the poison of filthie fornication, flowing from head to fote, the contempt of God, and open defence of the cake idole, by open proclamation to be read in the churches in steede of God's Scriptures. Thus was there no reformation, but a deformation, in the time of the tyrant and lecherouse monster. The bore I graunt was busie, wrooting and digging in the earth, and all his pigges that followed him, but they sought onely for the pleasant fruites, that they winded with their long snoutes; and for their own bellies sake, they wrooted up many weeds; but they turned the grounde so, mingling goode and badde togeather, sweet and sower, medecine and poyson, they made, I saye, suche confusion of religion and lawes, that no good thinge could growe, but by great miracle, under suche gardeners. And no maruaile, if it be rightlye considered. For this bore raged against God, against the Divell, against Christe, and against Antichrist, as the fome that he cast oute against Luther, the racing out of the name of the pope, and yet allowing his lawes, and his murder of many Christian souldiars, and of many Papists, doe declare and evidentlie testifie unto us; especially the burning of Barnes, Jerome, and Garrette, their faithfull preachers of the truthe, and hanging the same daye for the maintenaunce of the pope, Poel, Abel, and Fetherstone, dothe clearlie painte his beastlines, that he cared for no religion. This monsterous bore for all this must needes be called the head of the church in paine of treason, displacing Christ, our onely head, who ought alone to haue this title." Admonition to England and Scotland, &c., Geneva, 1558, p. 69. Quoted by Stapleton in his Counter Blaste to Horne's Vayne Blaste, Lovan., 1567, 4to., fol. 23. Gilbie was a Protestant; upon which Stapleton who was a rigid Roman Catholic, shrewdly remarks in the margin: "See how religiously the Protestantes speak of their princes!"

[292] Mr. Edwards informs me that he has had a copy of the "Assertio Septem Sacramentorum aduersus Martin Lutherum," &c. (printed by Pynson in 4to., both with and without date—1521), upon vellum. The presentation copy to Henry, and perhaps another to Wolsey, might have been of this nature. I should have preferred a similar copy of the small book, printed a few years afterwards, in 12mo., of Henry's Letters in answer to Luther's reply to the foregoing work. This is not the place to talk further of these curious pieces. I have seen some of Pynson's books printed upon vellum; which are not remarkable for their beauty.

[293] Those readers who are not in possession of Hearne's rare edition of Robert de Avesbury, 1720, 8vo., and who cannot, in consequence, read the passionate letters of Henry VIII. to his beloved Boleyn, which form a leading feature in the Appendix to the same, will find a few extracts from them in the British Bibliographer; vol. ii., p. 78. Some of the monarch's signatures, of which Hearne has given fac-similes, are as follow:


When one thinks of the then imagined happiness of the fair object of these epistles—and reads the splendid account of her coronation dinner, by Stow—contrasting it with the melancholy circumstances which attended her death—one is at loss to think, or to speak, with sufficient force, of the fickleness of all sublunary grandeur! The reader may, perhaps, wish for this, "coronation dinner?" It is, in part, strictly as follows: "While the queen was in her chamber, every lord and other that ought to do service at the coronation, did prepare them, according to their duty: as the Duke of Suffolk, High-Steward of England, which was richly apparelled—his doublet and jacket set with orient pearl, his gown crimson velvet embroidered, his courser trapped with a close trapper, head and all, to the ground, of crimson velvet, set full of letters of gold, of goldsmith's work; having a long white rod in his hand. On his left-hand rode the Lord William, deputy for his brother, as Earl Marshall, with ye marshal's rod, whose gown was crimson velvet, and his horse's trapper purple velvet cut on white satin, embroidered with white lions. The Earl of Oxford was High Chamberlain; the Earl of Essex, carver; the Earl of Sussex, sewer; the Earl of Arundel, chief butler; on whom 12 citizens of London did give their attendance at the cupboard; the Earl of Derby, cup-bearer; the Viscount Lisle, panter; the Lord Burgeiny, chief larder; the Lord Broy, almoner for him and his copartners; and the Mayor of Oxford kept the buttery-bar: and Thomas Wyatt was chosen ewerer for Sir Henry Wyatt, his father." "When all things were ready and ordered, the queen, under her canopy, came into the hall, and washed; and sat down in the middest of the table, under her cloth of estate. On the right side of her chair stood the Countess of Oxford, widow: and on her left hand stood the Countess of Worcester, all the dinner season; which, divers times in the dinner time, did hold a fine cloth before the Queen's face, when she list to spit, or do otherwise at her pleasure. And at the table's end sate the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the right hand of the Queen; and in the midst, between the Archbishop and the Countess of Oxford, stood the Earl of Oxford, with a white staff, all dinner time; and at the Queen's feet, under the table, sate two gentlewomen all dinner time. When all these things were thus ordered, came in the Duke of Suffolk and the Lord William Howard on horseback, and the Serjeants of arms before them, and after them the sewer; and then the knights of the Bath, bringing in the first course, which was eight and twenty dishes, besides subtleties, and ships made of wax, marvellous gorgeous to behold: all which time of service, the trumpets standing in the window, at the nether end of the hall, played," &c. Chronicles; p. 566: edit. 1615, fol.

Lorenz. As you please. Perhaps you will go on with the mention of some distinguished patrons 'till you arrive at that period?

Lysand. Yes; we may now as well notice the efforts of that extraordinary bibliomaniacal triumvirate, Colet, More, and Erasmus.

Phil. Pray treat copiously of them. They are my218 great favourites. But can you properly place Erasmus in the list?

Lysand. You forget that he made a long abode here, and was Greek professor at Cambridge. To begin, then, with the former. Colet, as you well know, was Dean of St. Paul's; and founder of the public school which goes by the latter name. He had an ardent and general love of literature;[294] but his attention to the improve219ment of youth, in superintending appropriate publications, for their use, was unremitting. Few men did so much and so well, at this period: for while he was framing the statutes by which his little community was to be governed, he did not fail to keep the presses of Wynkyn De Worde and Pynson pretty constantly at work, by publishing the grammatical treatises of Grocyn, Linacre, Stanbridge, Lilye, Holte, Whittington, and others—for the benefit, as well of the public, as of his own particular circle. I take it, his library must have been both choice and copious; for books now began to be multiplied in an immense ratio, and scholars and men of rank thought a Study, or Library, of some importance to their mansions. What would we not give for an authenticated representation of Dean Colet in his library,[295] surrounded with books? You, Lisardo, would be in ecstacies with such a thing!

[294] How anxiously does Colet seem to have watched the progress, and pushed the sale, of his friend Erasmus's first edition of the Greek Testament! "Quod scribis de Novo Testamento intelligo. Et libri novæ editionis tuæ hic avide emuntur et passim leguntur!" The entire epistle (which may be seen in Dr. Knight's dry Life of Colet, p. 315) is devoted to an account of Erasmus's publications. "I am really astonished, my dear Erasmus (does he exclaim), at the fruitfulness of your talents; that, without any fixed residence, and with a precarious and limited income, you contrive to publish so many and such excellent works." Adverting to the distracted state of Germany at this period, and to the wish of his friend to live secluded and unmolested, he observes—"As to the tranquil retirement which you sigh for, be assured that you have my sincere wishes for its rendering you as happy and composed as you can wish it. Your age and erudition entitle you to such a retreat. I fondly hope, indeed, that you will choose this country for it, and come and live amongst us, whose disposition you know, and whose friendship you have proved." There is hardly a more curious picture of the custom of the times relating to the education of boys, than the Dean's own Statutes for the regulation of St. Paul's School, which he had founded. These shew, too, the popular books then read by the learned. "The children shall come unto the school in the morning at seven of the clock, both winter and summer, and tarry there until eleven; and return again at one of the clock, and depart at five, &c. In the school, no time in the year, they shall use tallow candle, in no wise, but only wax candle, at the costs of their friends. Also I will they bring no meat nor drink, nor bottle, nor use in the school no breakfasts, nor drinkings, in the time of learning, in no wise, &c. I will they use no cockfighting, nor riding about of victory, nor disputing at Saint Bartholomew, which is but foolish babbling and loss of time." The master is then restricted, under the penalty of 40 shillings, from granting the boys a holiday, or "remedy" (play-day), as it is here called, "except the king, an archbishop, or a bishop, present in his own person in the school, desire it." The studies for the lads were "Erasmus's Copia et Institutum Christiani Hominii (composed at the Dean's request), Lactantius, Prudentius, Juvencus, Proba and Sedulius, and Baptista Mantuanus, and such other as shall be thought convenient and most to purpose unto the true Latin speech; all barbary, all corruption, all Latin adulterate, which ignorant blind fools brought into this world, and with the same hath distained and poisoned the old Latin speech, and the veray Roman tongue, which in the time of Tully, and Sallust, and Virgil, and Terence, was used—I say, that filthiness, and all such abusion, which the later blind world brought in, which more rather may be called Bloterature than Literature, I utterly banish and exclude out of this school." Knight's Life of Colet, 362, 4. The sagacious reader will naturally enough conclude that boys, thus educated, would, afterwards, of necessity, fall victims to the ravages of the Bibliomania!

[295] I wish it were in my power to come forward with any stronger degree of probability than the exhibition of the subjoined cut, of what might have been the interior of Dean Colet's Study. This print is taken from an old work, printed in the early part of the sixteenth century, and republished in a book of Alciatus's emblems, translated from the Latin into Italian, A.D. 1549, 8vo. There is an air of truth about it; but the frame work is entirely modern, and perhaps not in the purest taste. It may turn out that this interior view of a private library is somewhat too perfect and finished for the times of Colet, in this country; especially if we may judge from the rules to be observed in completing a public one, just about the period of Colet's death: "Md. couenawntyd and agreid wyth Comell Clerke, for the making off the dextis in the library, (of Christ Church College, Oxford) to the summe off xvi, after the maner and forme as they be in Magdalyn college, except the popie heedes off the seites, this to be workmanly wrought and clenly, and he to have all manner off stooff foond hym, and to have for the makyng off one dexte xs. the sum off the hole viii. li. Item: borowd att Magdaleyn college one c. off v. d nayle, a c. off vi. d nayle, dim. c. x. d. nayle."—Antiquities of Glastonbury; edit. Hearne, p. 307.

Colet's study

220Lis. Pray don't make such tantalizing appeals to me! Proceed, proceed.

Lysand. Of this amiable and illustrious character I will only further observe that he possessed solid, good sense—unaffected and unshaken piety—a love towards the whole human race—and that he dignified his attachment to learning by the conscientious discharge of his duty towards God and man. He sleeps in peace beneath a monument, which has been consecrated by the tears of all who were related to him, and by the prayers of those who have been benefitted by his philanthropy.

Of Sir Thomas More,[296] where is the schoolboy that is ignorant? He was unquestionably, next to Erasmus, the most brilliant scholar of his age: while the precious biographical memoirs of him, which have luckily descended to us, place his character, in a domestic point of221 view, beyond that of all his contemporaries. Dr. Wordsworth[297] has well spoken of "the heavenly mindedness" of More: but how are bibliomaniacs justly to appreciate the classical lore, and incessantly-active book-pursuits,[298] of this scholar and martyr! How he soared222 "above his compeers!" How richly, singularly, and curiously, was his mind furnished! Wit, playfulness, elevation, and force—all these are distinguishable in his writings, if we except his polemical compositions; which latter, to speak in the gentlest terms, are wholly unworthy of his name. When More's head was severed from his body, virtue and piety exclaimed, in the language of Erasmus,—"He is dead: More, whose breast was purer than snow, whose genius was excellent above all his nation."[299]

More's execution

Behold him going to execution—his beloved daughter
(Mrs. Roper) rushing through the guards, to take her last embrace.

[296] In the first volume of my edition of Sir Thomas More's Utopia, the reader will find an elaborate and faithful account of the biographical publications relating to this distinguished character, together with a copious Catalogue Raisonnè of the engraved portraits of him, and an analysis of his English works. It would be tedious to both the reader and author, here to repeat what has been before written of Sir Thomas More—whose memory lives in every cultivated bosom. Of this edition of the Utopia there appeared a flimsy and tart censure in the Edinburgh Review, by a critic, who, it was manifest, had never examined the volumes, and who, when he observes upon the fidelity of Bishop Burnet's translation of the original Latin of More, was resolved, from pure love of Whiggism, to defend an author at the expense of truth.

[297] I have read this newly published biographical memoir of Sir Thomas More: which contains nothing very new, or deserving of particular notice in this place.

[298] A bibliomanical anecdote here deserves to be recorded; as it shews how More's love of books had infected even those who came to seize upon him to carry him to the Tower, and to endeavour to inveigle him into treasonable expressions:—"While Sir Richard Southwell and Mr. Palmer were bussie in trussinge upp his bookes, Mr. Riche, pretending," &c.—"Whereupon Mr. Palmer, on his desposition, said, that he was soe bussie about the trussinge upp Sir Tho. Moore's bookes in a sacke, that he tooke no heed to there talke. Sir Richard Southwell likewise upon his disposition said, that because he was appoynted only to looke to the conveyance of his bookes, he gave noe ear unto them."—Gulielmi Roperi Vita D.T. Mori; edit Herne, p. 47, 51.

[299] Epistle Dedicatory to Ecclesiastes: quoted in that elegant and interesting quarto volume of the "Lives of British Statesmen," by the late Mr. Macdiarmid; p. 117.

How can I speak, with adequate justice, of the author of these words!—Yes, Erasmus!—in spite of thy timidity, and sometimes, almost servile compliances with the capricious whims of the great; in spite of thy delicate foibles, thou shalt always live in my memory; and dear to me shall be the possession of thy intellectual labours! No pen has yet done justice to thy life.[300] How223 I love to trace thee, in all thy bookish pursuits, from correcting the press of thy beloved Froben, to thy social meetings with Colet and More! You remember well, Lisardo,—we saw, in yonder room, a large paper copy of the fine Leyden edition of this great man's works! You opened it; and were struck with the variety—the solidity, as well as gaiety, of his productions.

[300] It were much to be wished that Mr. Roscoe, who has so successfully turned his attention to the history of Italian Literature, of the period of Erasmus, would devote himself to the investigation of the philological history of the German schools, and more especially to the literary life of the great man of whom Lysander is above speaking. The biographical memoirs of Erasmus by Le Clerc, anglicised and enlarged by the learned Jortin, and Dr. Knight's life of the same, can never become popular. They want method, style and interest. Le Clerc, however, has made ample amends for the defectiveness of his biographical composition, by the noble edition of Erasmus's works which he put forth at Leyden, in the year 1703-6, in eleven volumes folio: of which volumes the reader will find an excellent analysis or review in the Act. Erudit., A.D. 1704, &c. Le Clerc, Bibl. Choisie, vol. i., 380; Du Pin's Bibl. Eccles., vol. xiv., and Biblioth. Fabric, pt. i., 359; from which latter we learn that, in the public library, at Deventer, there is a copy of Erasmus's works, in which those passages, where the author speaks freely of the laxity of the monkish character, have been defaced, "chartâ fenestrata." A somewhat more compressed analysis of the contents of these volumes appeared in the Sylloge Opusculorum Hist.-Crit., Literariorum, J.A. Fabricii, Hamb. 1738, 4to., p. 363, 378—preceded, however, by a pleasing, yet brief account of the leading features of Erasmus's literary life. Tn one of his letters to Colet, Erasmus describes himself as "a very poor fellow in point of fortune, and wholly exempt from ambition." A little before his death he sold his library to one John a Lasco, a Polonese, for only 200 florins. (Of this amiable foreigner, see Stypye's Life of Crammer; b. ii., ch. xxii.) Nor did he—notwithstanding his services to booksellers—and although every press was teeming with his lucubrations—and especially that of Colinæeus—(which alone put forth 24,000 copies of his Colloquies) ever become much the wealthier for his talents as an author. His bibliomaniacal spirit was such, that he paid most liberally those who collated or described works of which he was in want. In another of his letters, he declares that "he shall not recieve an obolus that year; as he had spent more than what he had gained in rewarding those who had made book-researches for him;" and he complains, after being five months at Cambridge, that he had, fruitlessly, spent upwards of fifty crowns. "Noblemen," says he, "love and praise literature, and my lucubrations; but they praise and do not reward." To his friend Eobanus Hessus (vol. vi., 25), he makes a bitter complaint "de Comite quodam." For the particulars, see the last mentioned authority, p. 363, 4. In the year 1519, Godenus, to whom Erasmus had bequeathed a silver bowl, put forth a facetious catalogue of his works, in hexameter and pentameter verses; which was printed at Louvain by Martin, without date, in 4to.; and was soon succeeded by two more ample and methodical ones by the same person in 1537, 4to.; printed by Froben and Episcopius. See Marchand's Dict. Bibliogr. et Histor., vol. i., p. 98, 99. The bibliomaniac may not object to be informed that Froben, shortly after the death of his revered Erasmus, put forth this first edition of the entire works of the latter, in nine folio volumes; and that accurate and magnificent as is Le Clerc's edition of the same (may I venture to hint at the rarity of large paper copies of it?), "it takes no notice of the Index Expurgatorius of the early edition of Froben, which has shown a noble art of curtailing this, as well as other authors." See Knight's Life of Erasmus, p. 353. The mention of Froben and Erasmus, thus going down to immortality together, induces me to inform the curious reader that my friend Mr. Edwards is possessed of a chaste and elegant painting, by Fuseli, of this distinguished author and printer—the portraits being executed after the most authentic representations. Erasmus is in the act of calmly correcting the press, while Froben is urging with vehemence some emendations which he conceives to be of consequence, but to which his master seems to pay no attention! And now having presented the reader (p. 221, ante) with the supposed study of Colet, nothing remains but to urge him to enter in imagination, with myself, into the real study of Erasmus; of which we are presented with the exterior in the following view—taken from Dr. Knight's Life of Erasmus; p. 124.

Erasmus's study

Erasmus 1524 I shall conclude this Erasmiana (if the reader will premit me so to entitle it) with a wood-cut exhibition of a different kind: it being perhaps the earliest portrait of Erasmus published in this country. It is taken from a work entitled, "The Maner and Forme of Confesion," printed by Byddell, in 8vo., without date; and is placed immediately under an address from Erasmus, to Moline, Bishop of Condome; dated 1524; in which the former complains bitterly of "the pain and grief of the reins of his back." The print is taken from a tracing of the original, made by me, from a neat copy of Byddel's edition, in the collection of Roger Wilbraham, Esq. I am free to confess that it falls a hundred degrees short of Albert Durer's fine print of him, executed A.D. 1526.

Lis. Let me go and bring it here! While you talk thus, I long to feast my eyes upon these grand books.

Lysand. You need not. Nor must I give to Erasmus224 a greater share of attention than is due to him. We have a large and varied field—or rather domain—yet to225 pass over. Wishing, therefore, Lorenzo speedily to purchase a small bronze figure of him, from the celebrated large one at Rotterdam, and to place the same upon a copy of his first edition of the Greek Testament printed upon vellum,[301] by way of a pedestal—I pass on to the notice of other bibliomaniacs of this period.

[301] In the library of York cathedral there is a copy of the first edition of Erasmus's Greek and Latin Testament, 1516, fol., struck off upon vellum. This, I believe, was never before generally known.

Subdued be every harsher feeling towards Wolsey, when we contemplate even the imperfect remains of his literary institutions which yet survive! That this chancellor and cardinal had grand views, and a magnificent taste, is unquestionable: and I suppose few libraries contained more beautiful or more numerous copies of precious volumes than his own. For, when in favour with his royal master, Henry VIII., Wolsey had, in all probability, such an ascendency over him as to coax from him almost every choice book which he had inherited from his father, Henry VII.; and thus I should apprehend, although no particular mention is made of his library in the inventories of his goods[302] which have been published, there can be no question about such a character as that of Wolsey having numerous copies of226 the choicest books, bound in velvet of all colours, embossed with gold or silver, and studded even with pre227cious stones! I conceive that his own Prayer Book must have been gorgeous in the extreme! Unhappy man—a pregnant and ever-striking example of the fickleness of human affairs, and of the instability of human grandeur! When we think of thy baubles and trappings—of thy goblets of gold, and companies of retainers—and turn our thoughts to Shakspeare's shepherd, as described in the soliloquy of one of our monarchs, we are228 fully disposed to admit the force of such truths as have been familiar to us from boyhood, and which tell us that those shoulders feel the most burdened upon which the greatest load of responsibility rests. Peace to the once proud, and latterly repentant, spirit of Wolsey!

[302] In the last Variorum edition of Shakspeare, 1803, vol. xv., p. 144, we are referred by Mr. Douce to "the particulars of this inventory at large, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 546, edit. 1631:" my copy of Stowe is of the date of 1615; but, not a syllable is said of it in the place here referred to, or at any other page; although the account of Wolsey is ample and interesting. Mr. Douce (ibid.) says that, among the Harl. MSS. (no. 599) there is one entitled "An Inventorie of Cardinal Wolsey's rich householde stuffe; temp. Hen. VIII.; the original book, as it seems, kept by his own officers." In Mr. Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa, vol. ii., 283-349, will be found a copious account of Wolsey's plate:—too splendid, almost, for belief. To a life and character so well known as are those of Wolsey, and upon which Dr. Fiddes has published a huge folio of many hundred pages, the reader will not here expect any additional matter which may convey much novelty or interest. The following, however, may be worth submitting to his consideration. The Cardinal had poetical, as well as political, enemies. Skelton and Roy, who did not fail to gall him with their sharp lampoons, have shewn us, by their compositions which have survived, that they were no despicable assailants. In the former's "Why come ye not to Court?" we have this caustic passage:

He is set so high
In his hierarchy
Of frantic frenesy
And foolish fantasy,
That in chamber of stars
All matters there he mars,
Clapping his rod on the borde
No man dare speake a word;
For he hath all the saying
Without any renaying:
He rolleth in his records
He saith: "How say ye my lords?
Is not my reason good?"
Good!—even good—Robin-hood?
Borne upon every side
With pomp and with pride, &c.
To drink and for to eat
Sweet ypocras, and sweet meat,
To keep his flesh chaste
In Lent, for his repast
He eateth capons stew'd
Pheasant and partidge mewed.
Warton's Hist. Engl. Poetry, vol. ii., 345.

Steevens has also quoted freely from this poem of Skelton; see the editions of Shakspeare, 1793, and 1803, in the play of "King Henry VIII." Skelton's satire against Wolsey is noticed by our chronicler Hall: "In this season, the cardinal, by his power legantine, dissolved the convocation at Paul's, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and called him and all the clergy to his convocation to Westminster, which was never seen before in England; whereof Master Skelton, a merry poet, wrote:

Gentle Paul lay down thy sweard
For Peter of Westminster hath shaven thy beard."
Chronicle, p. 637, edit. 1809.

In Mr. G. Ellis's Specimens of the Early English Poets, vol. ii., pp. 7, 8, there is a curious extract from the same poet's "Image of Ypocrycye"—relating to Sir Thomas More—which is printed for the first time from "an apparently accurate transcript" of the original, in the possession of Mr. Heber. From the last mentioned work (vol. ii., p. 11, &c.), there is rather a copious account of a yet more formidable poetical attack against Wolsey, in the "Rede me and be not wroth," of William Roy: a very rare and precious little black-letter volume, which, although it has been twice printed, is scarcely ever to be met with, and was unknown to Warton. It will, however, make its appearance in one of the supplemental volumes of Mr. Park's valuable reprint of the Harleian Miscellany. While the cardinal was thus attacked, in the biting strains of poetry, he was doomed to experience a full share of reprobation in the writings of the most popular theologians. William Tyndale stepped forth to shew his zeal against papacy in his "Practise of Popishe Prelates," and from this work, as it is incorporated in those of Tyndale, Barnes, and Frith, printed by Day in 1572, fol., the reader is presented with the following amusing specimen of the author's vein of humour and indignation: "And as I heard it spoken of divers, he made, by craft of necromancy, graven imagery to bear upon him; wherewith he bewitched the king's mind—and made the king to doat upon him, more than he ever did on any lady or gentlewoman: so that now the king's grace followed him, as he before followed the king. And then what he said, that was wisdom; what he praised, that was honourable only." Practise of Popishe Prelates, p. 368. At p. 369, he calls him "Porter of Heaven." "There he made a journey of gentlemen, arrayed altogether in silks, so much as their very shoes and lining of their boots; more like their mothers than men of war: yea, I am sure that many of their mothers would have been ashamed of so nice and wanton array. Howbeit, they went not to make war, but peace, for ever and a day longer. But to speak of the pompous apparel of my lord himself, and of his chaplains, it passeth the xij Apostles. I dare swear that if Peter and Paul had seen them suddenly, and at a blush, they would have been harder in belief that they, or any such, should be their successors than Thomas Didimus was to believe that Christ was risen again from death." Idem, p. 370,—"for the worship of his hat and glory of his precious shoes—when he was pained with the cholic of an evil conscience, having no other shift, because his soul could find no other issue,—he took himself a medicine, ut emitteret spiritum per posteriora." Exposition upon the first Ep. of St. John, p. 404. Thomas Lupset, who was a scholar of Dean Colet, and a sort of elève of the cardinal, (being appointed tutor to a bastard son of the latter) could not suppress his sarcastical feelings in respect of Wolsey's pomp and severity of discipline. From Lupset's works, printed by Berthelet in 1546, 12mo., I gather, in his address to his "hearty beloved Edmond"—that "though he had there with him plenty of books, yet the place suffered him not to spend in them any study: for you shall understand (says he) that I lie waiting on my Lord Cardinal, whose hours I must observe to be always at hand, lest I should be called when I am not by: the which should be taken for a fault of great negligence. Wherefore, that I am now well satiated with the beholding of these gay hangings, that garnish here every wall, I will turn me and talk with you." (Exhortacion to yonge men, fol. 39, rev.) Dr. Wordsworth, in the first volume of his Ecclesiastical Biography, has printed, for the first time, the genuine text of Cavendish's interesting life of his reverend master, Wolsey. It is well worth perusal. But the reader, I fear, is beginning to be outrageous (having kept his patience, during this long-winded note, to the present moment) for some bibliomaniacal evidence of Wolsey's attachment to gorgeous books. He is presented, therefore, with the following case in point. My friend Mr. Ellis, of the British Museum, informs me that, in the splendid library of that establishment, there are two copies of Galen's "Methodus Medendi," edited by Linacre, and printed at Paris, in folio, 1519. One copy, which belonged to Henry the Eighth, has an illuminated title, with the royal arms at the bottom of the title-page. The other, which is also illuminated, has the cardinal's cap in the same place, above an empty shield. Before the dedication to the king, in the latter copy, Linacre has inserted an elegant Latin epistle to Wolsey, in manuscript. The king's copy is rather the more beautiful of the two: but the unique appendage of the Latin epistle shews that the editor considered the cardinal a more distinguished bibliomaniac than the monarch.

We have now reached the Reformation; upon which, as Burnet, Collier, and Strype, have written huge folio volumes, it shall be my object to speak sparingly: and chiefly as it concerns the history of the Bibliomania. A word or two, however, about its origin, spirit, and tendency.

It seems to have been at first very equivocal, with Henry the Eighth, whether he would take any decisive measures in the affair, or not. He hesitated, resolved, and hesitated again.[303] The creature of caprice and tyranny, he had neither fixed principles, nor settled data, upon which to act. If he had listened to the temperate advice of Cromwell or Cranmer,[304] he would229 have attained his darling object by less decisive, but certainly by more justifiable, means. Those able and respectable counsellors saw clearly that violent measures would produce violent results; and that a question of law, of no mean magnitude, was involved in the very outset of the transaction—for there seemed, on the one side, no right to possess; and, on the other, no right to render possession.[305]

[303] "The king seemed to think that his subjects owed an entire resignation of their reasons and consciences to him; and, as he was highly offended with those who still adhered to the papal authority, so he could not bear the haste that some were making to a further reformation, before or beyond his allowance. So, in the end of the year 1538, he set out a proclamation, in which he prohibits the importing of all foreign books, or the printing of any at home without license; and the printing of any parts of the scripture, 'till they were examined by the king and his council," &c. "He requires that none may argue against the presence of Christ in the Sacrament, under the pain of death, and of the loss of their goods; and orders all to be punished who did disuse any rites or ceremonies not then abolished; yet he orders them only to be observed without superstition, only as remembrances, and not to repose in them a trust of salvation."—Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation. But long before this obscure and arbitrary act was passed, Henry's mind had been a little shaken against papacy from a singular work, published by one Fish, called "The Supplication of Beggers." Upon this book being read through in the presence of Henry, the latter observed, shrewdly enough, "If a man should pull down an old stone wall, and begin at the lower part, the upper part thereof might chance to fall upon his head." "And then he took the book, and put it into his desk, and commanded them, upon their allegiance, that they should not tell to any man that he had seen this book." Fox's Book of Martyrs; vol. ii., p. 280: edit. 1641. Sir Thomas More answered this work (which depicted, in frightful colours, the rapacity of the Roman Catholic clergy), in 1529; see my edition of the latter's Utopia; vol. i., xciii.

[304] "These were some of the resolute steps King Henry made towards the obtaining again this long struggled for, and almost lost, right and prerogative of kings, in their own dominions, of being supreme, against the encroachments of the bishops of Rome. Secretary Cromwel had the great stroke in all this. All these counsels and methods were struck out of his head." Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials; vol. i., p. 205. When great murmurs ensued, on the suppression of the monasteries, because of the cessation of hospitality exercised in them, "Cromwell advised the king to sell their lands, at very easie rates, to the gentry in the several counties, obliging them, since they had them upon such terms, to keep up the wonted hospitality. This drew in the gentry apace," &c. Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation; vol. i., p. 223. "Archbishop Cranmer is said to have counselled and pressed the king to dissolve the monasteries; but for other ends (than those of personal enmity against 'the monks or friars'—or of enriching himself 'with the spoils' of the same); viz. that, out of the revenues of these monasteries, the king might found more bishoprics; and that dioceses, being reduced into less compass, the diocesans might the better discharge their office, according to the scripture and primitive rules.——And the archbishop hoped that, from these ruins, there would be new foundations in every cathedral erected, to be nurseries of learning for the use of the whole diocese." Strype's Life of Archbishop Cranmer, p. 35.

[305] "A very rational doubt yet remained, how religious persons could alienate and transfer to the king a property, of which they themselves were only tenants for life: and an act of parliament was framed in order to remove all future scruples on this head, and 'settle rapine and sacrilege,' as Lord Herbert terms them, 'on the king and his heirs for ever.'——It does not appear to have been debated, in either house, whether they had a power to dispossess some hundred thousand persons of their dwellings and fortunes, whom, a few years before, they had declared to be good subjects: if such as live well come under that denomination."—"Now," says Sir Edward Coke, "observe the conclusion of this tragedy. In that very parliament, when the great and opulent priory of St. John of Jerusalem was given to the king, and which was the last monastery seized on, he demanded a fresh subsidy of the clergy and laity: he did the same again within two years; and again three years after; and since the dissolution exacted great loans, and against law obtained them."—Life of Reginald Pole; vol. i., p. 247-9: edit. 1767, 8vo. Coke's 4th Institute, fol. 44.

Latimer, more hasty and enthusiastic than his episcopal brethren, set all the engines of his active mind to work, as if to carry the point by a coup de main; and although his resolution was, perhaps, upon more than one occa230sion, shaken by the sufferings of the innocent, yet, by his example, and particularly by his sermons,[306] he tried231 to exasperate every Protestant bosom against the occupiers of monasteries and convents.

[306] "It was once moved by Latymer, the good bishop of Worcester, that two or three of these foundations might be spared in each diocese, for the sake of hospitality. Which gave the foresaid bishop occasion to move the Lord Crumwell once in the behalf of the Priory of Malvern." Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. i., 259. Latimer's letter is here printed; and an interesting one it is. Speaking of the prior, he tells Cromwell that "The man is old, a good housekeeper, feedeth many; and that, daily. For the country is poor, and full of penury." But the hospitality and infirmities of this poor prior were less likely to operate graciously upon the rapacious mind of Henry than "the 500 marks to the king, and 200 marks more to the said Lord Crumwell," which he tendered at the same time. See Strype, ibid. For the credit of Latimer, I hope this worthy prior was not at the head of the priory when the former preached before the king, and thus observed: "To let pass the solempne and nocturnal bacchanals, the prescript miracles, that are done upon certain days in the West part of England, who hath not heard? I think ye have heard of Saint Blesis's heart, which is at Malvern, and of Saint Algar's bones, how long they deluded the people!" See Latimer's Sermons: edit. 1562, 4to.: fol. 12, rect. In these Sermons, as is justly said above, there are many cutting philippics—especially against "in-preaching prelates;" some of whom Latimer doth not scruple to call "minters—dancers—crouchers—pamperers of their paunches, like a monk that maketh his jubilee—mounchers in their mangers, and moilers in their gay manors and mansions:" see fol. 17, rect. Nevertheless, there are few productions which give us so lively and interesting a picture of the manners of the age as the sermons of Latimer; which were spoilt in an "editio castrata" that appeared in the year 1788, 8vo. But Latimer was not the only popular preacher who directed his anathemas against the Roman Catholic clergy. The well known John Fox entered into the cause of the reformation with a zeal and success of which those who have slightly perused his compositions can have but a very inadequate idea. The following curious (and I may add very interesting) specimen of Fox's pulpit eloquence is taken from "A Sermon of Christ crucified, preached at Paule's Crosse, the Friday before Easter, commonly called Good Fridaie:"—"Let me tell you a story, which I remember was done about the beginning of Queen Mary's reign, anno 1554. There was a certain message sent, not from heaven, but from Rome: not from God, but from the pope: not by any apostle, but by a certain cardinal, who was called Cardinal Poole, Legatus a latere, Legatus natus, a legate from the pope's own white side, sent hither into England. This cardinal legate, first coming to Dover, was honourably received and brought to Greenwich: where he again, being more honourably received by lords of high estate, and of the Privy Council (of whom some are yet alive) was conducted thence to the privy stairs of the queen's court at Westminster, no less person than King Philip himself waiting upon him, and receiving him; and so was brought to the queen's great chamber, she then being, or else pretending, not to be well at ease. Stephen Gardiner, the bishop of Winchester, and Lord Chancellor of England, receiving this noble legate in the king and the queen's behalf, to commend and set forth the authority of this legate, the greatness of his message, and the supreme majesty of the sender, before the public audience of the whole parliament at that time assembled, there openly protested, with great solemnity of words, what a mighty message, and of what great importance was then brought into the realm, even the greatest message (said he) that ever came into England, and therefore desired them to give attentive and inclinable ears to such a famous legation, sent from so high authority." "Well, and what message was this? forsooth, that the realm of England should be reconciled again unto their father the pope; that is to say, that the queen, with all her nobility and sage council, with so many learned prelates, discreet lawyers, worthy commons, and the whole body of the realm of England, should captive themselves, and become underlings to an Italian stranger, and friarly priest, sitting in Rome, which never knew England, never was here, never did, or shall do, England good. And this forsooth (said Gardiner) was the greatest ambassage, the weightiest legacy that ever came to England: forgetting belike either this message of God, sent here by his apostles unto vs, or else because he saw it made not so much for his purpose as did the other, he made the less account thereof." "Well, then, and will we see what a weighty message this was that Gardiner so exquisitely commended? first, the sender is gone, the messenger is gone, the queen is gone, and the message gone, and yet England standeth not a rush the better. Of which message I thus say, answering again to Gardiner, per inversionem Rhetoricam, that, as he sayeth, it was the greatest—so I say again, it was the lightest—legacy; the most ridiculous trifle, and most miserablest message, of all other that ever came, or ever shall come, to England, none excepted, for us to be reconciled to an outlandish priest, and to submit our necks under a foreign yoke. What have we to do more with him than with the great Calypha of Damascus? If reconciliation ought to follow, where offences have risen, the pope hath offended us more than his coffers are able to make us amends. We never offended him. But let the pope, with his reconciliation and legates, go, as they are already gone (God be thanked): and I beseech God so they may be gone, that they never come here again. England never fared better than when the pope did most curse it. And yet I hear whispering of certain privy reconcilers, sent of late by the pope, which secretly creep in corners. But this I leave to them that have to do with all. Let us again return to our matter."—Imprinted by Jhon Daie, &c., 1575, 8vo., sign. A. vij.-B. i.

With Henry, himself, the question of spiritual supremacy was soon changed, or merged (as the lawyers call it) into the exclusive consideration of adding to his wealth. The Visitors who had been deputed to inspect the abbies, and to draw up reports of the same (some of whom, by the bye, conducted themselves with sufficient baseness[307]), did not fail to inflame his feelings by the232 tempting pictures which they drew of the riches appertaining to these establishments.[308] Another topic was also strongly urged upon Henry's susceptible mind: the alleged abandoned lives of the owners of them. These were painted with a no less overcharged pencil:[309] so233 that nothing now seemed wanting but to set fire to the train of combustion which had been thus systematically laid.

[307] Among the visitors appointed to carry into execution the examination of the monasteries, was a Dr. London; who "was afterwards not only a persecutor of Protestants, but a suborner of false witnesses against them, and was now zealous even to officiousness in suppressing the monasteries. He also studied to frighten the abbess of Godstow into a resignation. She was particularly in Cromwell's favour:" &c. Burnet: Hist. of the Reformation, vol. iii., p. 132. Among Burnet's "Collection of Records," is the letter of this said abbess, in which she tells Cromwell that "Doctor London was suddenly cummyd unto her, with a great rout with him; and there did threaten her and her sisters, saying that he had the king's commission to suppress the house, spite of her teeth. And when he saw that she was content that he should do all things according to his commission, and shewed him plain that she would never surrender to his band, being her ancient enemy—then he began to entreat her and to inveigle her sisters, one by one, otherwise than ever she heard tell that any of the king's subjects had been handel'd;" vol. iii., p. 130. "Collection." It is not very improbable that this treatment of Godstow nunnery formed a specimen of many similar visitations. As to London himself, he ended his days in the Fleet, after he had been adjudged to ride with his face to the horse's tail, at Windsor and Oakingham. Fox in his Book of Martyrs, has given us a print of this transaction; sufficiently amusing. Dod, in his Church History, vol. i., p. 220, has of course not spared Dr. London. But see, in particular, Fuller's shrewd remarks upon the character of these visitors, or "emissaries;" Church History, b. vi., pp. 313, 314.

[308] "The yearly revenue of all the abbies suppressed is computed at £135,522l. 18s. 10d. Besides this, the money raised out of the stock of cattle and corn, out of the timber, lead, and bells; out of the furniture, plate, and church ornaments, amounted to a vast sum, as may be collected from what was brought off from the monastery of St. Edmonsbury. Hence, as appears from records, 5000 marks of gold and silver, besides several jewels of great value, were seized by the visitors." Collier's Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii., 165. See also Burnet's similar work, vol. i., p. 223. Collier specifies the valuation of certain monasteries, which were sufficiently wealthy; but he has not noticed that of St. Swithin's in Winchester—of which Strype has given so minute and interesting an inventory. A lover of old coins and relics may feed his imagination with a gorgeous picture of what might have been the "massive silver and golden crosses and shrines garnished with stones"—but a tender-hearted bibliomaniac will shed tears of agony on thinking of the fate of "a book of the four evangelists, written al with gold; and the utter side of plate of gold!" Life of Cranmer, Appendix, pp. 24-28.

[309] The amiable and candid Strype has polluted the pages of his valuable Ecclesiastical Memorials with an account of such horrid practices, supposed to have been carried on in monasteries, as must startle the most credulous Anti-Papist; and which almost leads us to conclude that a legion of fiends must have been let loose upon these "Friar Rushes!" The author tells us that he takes his account from authentic documents—but these documents turn out to be the letters of the visitors; and of the character of one of these the reader has just had a sufficient proof. Those who have the work here referred to, vol. i., p. 256-7, may think, with the author of it, that "this specimen is enough and too much." What is a little to be marvelled at, Strype suffers his prejudices against the conduct of the monks to be heightened by a letter from one of the name of Beerly, at Pershore; who, in order that he might escape the general wreck, turned tail upon his brethren, and vilified them as liberally as their professed enemies had done. Now, to say the least, this was not obtaining what Chief Baron Gilbert, in his famous Law of Evidence, has laid it down as necessary to be obtained—"the best possible evidence that the nature of the case will admit of." It is worth remarking that Fuller has incorporated a particular account of the names of the abbots and of the carnal enormities of which they are supposed to have been guilty; but he adds that he took it from the 3d edition of Speed's Hist. of Great Britain, and (what is worth special notice) that it was not to be found in the prior ones: "being a posthume addition after the author's death, attested in the margine with the authority of Henry Steven his Apologie for Herodotus, who took the same out of an English book, containing the Vileness discovered at the Visitation of Monasteries." Church History, b. vi., pp. 316, 317.

A pause perhaps of one moment might have ensued. A consideration of what had been done, in these monasteries, for the preservation of the literature of past ages, and for the cultivation of elegant and peaceful pursuits, might, like "the still small voice" of conscience, have suspended, for a second, the final sentence of confiscation. The hospitality for which the owners of these places had been, and were then, eminently distinguished; but more especially the yet higher consideration of their property having been left with them only as a sacred pledge to be handed down, unimpaired, to their successors—these things,[310] one would think, might have234 infused some little mercy and moderation into Henry's decrees!

[310] There are two points, concerning the subversion of monasteries, upon which all sensible Roman Catholics make a rest, and upon which they naturally indulge a too well-founded grief. The dispersion of books or interruption of study; and the breaking up of ancient hospitality. Let us hear Collier upon the subject: "The advantages accruing to the public from these religious houses were considerable, upon several accounts. To mention some of them: The temporal nobility and gentry had a creditable way of providing for their younger children. Those who were disposed to withdraw from the world, or not likely to make their fortunes in it, had a handsome retreat to the cloister. Here they were furnished with conveniences for life and study, with opportunities for thought and recollection; and, over and above, passed their time in a condition not unbecoming their quality."—"The abbies were very serviceable places for the education of young people: every convent had one person or more assigned for this business. Thus the children of the neighbourhood were taught grammar and music without any charge to their parents. And, in the nunneries, those of the other sex learned to work and read English, with some advances into Latin," &c.—"Farther, it is to the abbies we are obliged for most of our historians, both of church and state: these places of retirement had both most learning and leisure for such undertakings: neither did they want information for such employment," Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii., 165. A host of Protestant authors, with Lord Herbert at the head of them, might be brought forward to corroborate these sensible remarks of Collier. The hospitality of the monastic life has been on all sides admitted; and, according to Lord Coke, one of the articles of impeachment against Cardinal Wolsey was that he had caused "this hospitality and relief to grow into decay and disuse;" which was "a great cause that there were so many vagabonds, beggars, and thieves;"—Fourth Institute; p. 91, edit. 1669. So that the author of an ancient, and now rarely perused work had just reason, in describing the friars of his time as "living in common upon the goods of a monastery, either gotten by common labour, or else upon lands and possessions where with the monastery was endowed." Pype or Tonne of the Lyfe of Perfection; fol. clxxii., rev. 1532, 4to. And yet, should the active bibliomaniac be disposed to peruse this work, after purchasing Mr. Triphook's elegant copy of the same, he might probably not think very highly of the author's good sense, when he found him gravely telling us that "the appetite of clean, sweet, and fair, or fine cloaths, and oft-washing and curious pykyng of the body, is an enemy of chastity," fol. ccxxix. rect. The devastation of books was, I fear, sufficiently frightful to warrant the following writers in their respective conclusions. "A judicious author (says Ashmole) speaking of the dissolution of our monasteries, saith thus: Many manuscripts, guilty of no other superstition then (having) red letters in the front, were condemned to the fire: and here a principal key of antiquity was lost, to the great prejudice of posterity. Indeed (such was learning's misfortune, at that great devastation of our English libraries, that) where a red letter or a mathematical diagram appeared, they were sufficient to entitle the book to be popish or diabolical." Theatrum Chemicum; prolegom. A. 2. rev. "The avarice of the late intruders was so mean, and their ignorance so undistinguishing, that, when the books happened to have costly covers, they tore them off, and threw away the works, or turned them to the vilest purposes." Life of Reginald Pole; vol. i., p. 253-4, edit. 1767, 8vo. The author of this last quotation then slightly notices what Bale has said upon these book-devastations; and which I here subjoin at full length; from my first edition of this work:—"Never (says Bale) had we been offended for the loss of our libraries, being so many in number, and in so desolate places for the more part, if the chief monuments and most notable works of our excellent writers had been preserved. If there had been, in every shire of England, but one solempne library, to the preservation of those noble works, and preferment of good learning in our posterity, it had been yet somewhat. But to destroy all, without consideration, is, and will be, unto England, for ever, a most horrible infamy among the grave seniors of other nations. A great number of them, which purchased those superstitious mansions, reserved of those library-books some to serve the jakes, some to scour their candlesticks, and some to rub their boots: some they sold to the grocers and soap sellers; some they sent over sea to the book-binders, not in small number, but at times whole ships full, to the wondering of the foreign nations. Yea, the Universities of the realm are not all clear of this detestable fact. But cursed is that belly which seeketh to be fed with such ungodly gains, and shameth his natural country. I know a merchant man, which shall at this time be nameless, that bought the contents of two noble libraries for forty shillings price; a shame it is to be spoken! This stuff hath he occupied in the stead of grey paper, by the space of more than ten years, and yet he hath store enough for as many years to come!" Preface to Leland's Laboryouse Journey, &c., 1549, 8vo. Reprint of 1772; sign. C.

235Phil. But what can be said in defence of the dissolute lives of the monks?

Lysand. Dissoluteness shall never be defended by me, let it be shewn by whom it may; and therefore I will not take the part, on this head, of the tenants of old monasteries. But, Philemon, consider with what grace could this charge come from him who had "shed innocent blood," to gratify his horrid lusts?

Lis. Yet, tell me, did not the dissolution of these libraries in some respects equally answer the ends of literature, by causing the books to come into other hands?

Lysand. No doubt, a few studious men reaped the benefit of this dispersion, by getting possession of many curious volumes with which, otherwise, they might never have been acquainted. If my memory be not treacherous, the celebrated grammarian Robert Wakefield[311] was singularly lucky in this way. It is time, however, to check my rambling ideas. A few more words only, and we cease to sermonize upon the Reformation.

[311] "This Robert Wakefield was the prime linguist of his time, having obtained beyond the seas the Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Syriac tongues. In one thing he is to be commended, and that is this, that he carefully preserved divers books of Greek and Hebrew at the dissolution of religious houses, and especially some of those in the library of Ramsey abbey, composed by Laurence Holbecke, monk of that place, in the reign of Henry IV. He died at London 8th October, 1537, leaving behind him the name of Polypus, as Leland is pleased to style him, noting that he was of a witty and crafty behaviour." Wood's Hist. of Colleges and Halls, p. 429, Gutch's edit.

Phil. There is no occasion to be extremely laconic.236 The evening has hardly yet given way to night. The horizon, I dare say, yet faintly glows with the setting-sun-beams. But proceed as you will.

Lysand. The commotions which ensued from the arbitrary measures of Henry were great;[312] but such as were naturally to be expected. At length Henry died, and a young and amiable prince reigned for a few months. Mary next ascended the throne; and the storm took an opposite direction. Then an attempt was made to restore chalices, crucifixes, and missals. But the short period of her sovereignty making way for the long and illustrious one of her sister Elizabeth, the Cecils and Walsinghams[313] united their great talents with the237 equally vigorous ones of the Queen and her favourite archbishop Parker, in establishing that form of religion which, by partaking in a reasonable degree of the solemnity of the Romish church, and by being tempered with great simplicity and piety in its prayers, won its238 way to the hearts of the generality of the people. Our Great English Bibles[314] were now restored to their conspicuous situations; and the Bibliomania, in consequence, began to spread more widely and effectively.

[312] Fuller has devoted one sentence only, and that not written with his usual force, to the havoc and consternation which ensued on the devastation of the monasteries. Ch. Hist., b. vi., p. 314. Burnet is a little more moving: Hist. of the Reformation; vol. i., p. 223. But, from the foregoing premises, the reader may probably be disposed to admit the conclusion of a virulent Roman Catholic writer, even in its fullest extent: namely, that there were "subverted monasteries, overthrown abbies, broken churches, torn castles, rent towers, overturned walls of towns and fortresses, with the confused heaps of all ruined monuments." Treatise of Treasons, 1572, 8vo., fol. 148, rev.

[313] There are few bibliographers at all versed in English literature and history, who have not heard, by some side wind or other, of the last mentioned work; concerning which Herbert is somewhat interesting in his notes: Typographical Antiquities, vol. iii., p. 1630. The reader is here presented with a copious extract from this curious and scarce book—not for the sake of adding to these ponderous notes relating to the Reformation—(a subject, upon which, from a professional feeling, I thought it my duty to say something!)—but for the sake of showing how dexterously the most important events and palpable truths may be described and perverted by an artful and headstrong disputant. The work was written expressly to defame Elizabeth, Cecil, and Bacon, and to introduce the Romish religion upon the ruins of the Protestant. The author thus gravely talks

"Of Queen Mary and her Predecessors.

"She (Mary) found also the whole face of the commonwealth settled and acquieted in the ancient religion; in which, and by which, all kings and queens of that realm (from as long almost before the conquest as that conquest was before that time) had lived, reigned, and maintained their states; and the terrible correction of those few that swerved from it notorious, as no man could be ignorant of it. As King John, without error in religion, for contempt only of the See Apostolic, plagued with the loss of his state, till he reconciled himself, and acknowledged to hold his crown of the Pope. King Henry VIII., likewise, with finding no end of heading and hanging, till (with the note of tyranny for wasting his nobility) he had headed him also that procured him to it. Fol. 85, 86.

"Libellous Character of Cecil.

"In which stem and trunk (being rotten at heart, hollow within, and without sound substance) hath our spiteful pullet (Cecil) laid her ungracious eggs, mo than a few: and there hath hatched sundry of them, and brought forth chickens of her own feather, I warrant you. A hen I call him, as well for his cackling, ready and smooth tongue, wherein he giveth place to none, as for his deep and subtle art in hiding his serpentine eggs from common men's sight: chiefly for his hennish heart and courage, which twice already hath been well proved to be as base and deject at the sight of any storm of adverse fortune, as ever was hen's heart at the sight of a fox. And, had he not been by his confederate, as with a dunghill cock, trodden as it were and gotten with egg, I doubt whether ever his hennish heart, joined to his shrewd wit, would have served him, so soon to put the Q.'s green and tender state in so manifest peril and adventure. Fol. 88, rect.

"Libellous Characters of Cecil and N. Bacon.

"Let the houses and possessions of these two Catalines be considered, let their furniture, and building, let their daily purchases, and ready hability to purchase still, let their offices and functions wherein they sit, let their titles, and styles claimed and used, let their places in council, let their authority over the nobility, let their linking in alliance with the same, let their access to the prince, let their power and credit with her: let this their present state, I say, in all points (being open and unknown to no men) be compared with their base parentage and progeny, (the one raised out of the robes, and the other from a Sheeprive's son) and let that give sentence as well of the great difference of the tastes, that the several fruits gathered of this tree by your Q., and by them do yield, as whether any man at this day approach near unto them in any condition wherein advancement consisteth. Yea, mark you the jollity and pride that in this prosperity they shew; the port and countenance that every way they carry; in comparison of them that be noble by birth. Behold at whose doors your nobility attendeth. Consider in whose chambers your council must sit, and to whom for resolutions they must resort; and let these things determine both what was the purpose indeed, and hidden intention of that change of religion, and who hath gathered the benefits of that mutation: that is to say, whether for your Q., for your realms, or for their own sakes, the same at first was taken in hand, and since pursued as you have seen. For according to the principal effects of every action must the intent of the act be deemed and presumed. For the objected excuses (that they did it for conscience, or for fear of the French) be too frivolous and vain to abuse any wise man. For they that under King Henry were as catholic, as the six articles required: that under King Edward were such Protestants as the Protector would have them; that under Q. Mary were Catholics again, even to creeping to the Cross: and that under Q. Elizabeth were first Lutheran, setting up Parker, Cheiny, Gest, Bill, &c., then Calvinists, advancing Grindall, Juell, Horne, &c.: then Puritans, maintaining Sampson, Deering, Humfrey, &c.; and now (if not Anabaptists and Arians) plain Machiavellians, yea, that they persuade in public speeches that man hath free liberty to dissemble his religion, and for authority do allege their own examples and practice of feigning one religion for another in Q. Mary's time (which containeth a manifest evacuation of Christ's own coming and doctrine, of the Apostles, preaching and practice, of the blood of the martyrs, of the constancy of all confessors; yea, and of the glorious vain deaths of all the stinking martyrs of their innumerable sects of hereticks, one and other having always taught the confession of mouth to be as necessary to salvation as the belief of heart): shall these men now be admitted to plead conscience in religion; and can any man now be couzined so much, as to think that these men by conscience were then moved to make that mutation?" Fol. 96, 97. "At home, likewise, apparent it is how they provided, every way to make themselves strong there also. For being by their own marriages allied already to the house of Suffolk of the blood royal, and by consequence thereof to the house of Hertford also, and their children thereby incorporated to both: mark you how now by marriage of their children with wily wit and wealth together, they wind in your other noblest houses unto them that are left, I mean in credit and countenance. Consider likewise how, at their own commendation and preferment, they have erected, as it were, almost a new half of your nobility (of whom also they have reason to think themselves assured) and the rest then (that were out of hope to be won to their faction) behold how, by sundry fine devices, they are either cut off, worn out, fled, banished or defaced at home," &c., fol. 105, rect. The good Lord Burghley, says Strype, was so moved at this slander that he uttered these words: "God amend his spirit, and confound his malice." And by way of protestation of the integrity and faithfulness of both their services, "God send this estate no worse meaning servants, in all respects, than we two have been." Annals of the Reformation, vol. ii., 178. Camden's Hist. of Q. Elizabeth, p. 192,—as quoted by Herbert.

[314] "All curates must continually call upon their parochians to provide a book of the Holy Bible in English, of the largest form, within 40 days next after the publication hereof, that may be chained in some open place in the church," &c. Injunctions by Lee, Archbishop of York: Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, vol. iii., p. 136, Collections. This custom of fixing a great bible in the centre of a place of worship yet obtains in some of the chapels attached to the colleges at Oxford. That of Queen's, in particular, has a noble brazen eagle, with outstretched wings, upon which the foundation members read the lessons of the day in turn.

Loren. Had you not better confine yourself to per239sonal anecdote, rather than enter into the boundless field of historical survey?

Lysand. I thank you for the hint. Having sermonized upon the general features of the Reformation, we will resume the kind of discourse with which we at first set out.

Phil. But you make no mention of the number of curious and fugitive pamphlets of the day, which were written in order to depreciate and exterminate the Roman Catholic religion? Some of these had at least the merit of tartness and humour.

Lysand. Consult Fox's Martyrology,[315] if you wish to have some general knowledge of these publications; although I apprehend you will not find in that work any mention of the poetical pieces of Skelton and Roy; nor yet of Ramsay.

[315] The curious reader who wishes to become master of all the valuable, though sometimes loose, information contained in this renowned work—upon which Dr. Wordsworth has pronounced rather a warm eulogium (Ecclesiastical Biography, vol. i., p. xix.)—should secure the first edition, as well as the latter one of 1641, or 1684; inasmuch as this first impression, of the date of 1563, is said by Hearne to be "omnium optima:" see his Adami de Domerham, Hist. de reb. gest. Glaston., vol. i., p. xxii. I also learn, from an original letter of Anstis, in the possession of Mr. John Nichols, that "the late editions are not quite so full in some particulars, and that many things are left out about the Protector Seymour."

Loren. Skelton and Roy are in my library;[316] but who is Ramsay?

[316] Vide p. 226, ante.

Lysand. He wrote a comical poetical satire against the Romish priests, under the title of "A Plaister for a galled Horse,"[317] which Raynald printed in a little thin quarto volume of six or seven pages.

[317] In Herbert's Typographical Antiquities, vol. i., p. 581, will be found rather a slight notice of this raw and vulgar satire. It has, however, stamina of its kind; as the reader may hence judge:

Mark the gesture, who that lyst;
First a shorne shauelynge, clad in a clowt,
Bearinge the name of an honest priest,
And yet in no place a starker lowte.
A whore monger, a dronkard, ye makyn him be snowte—
At the alehouses he studieth, till hys witte he doth lacke.
Such are your minysters, to bringe thys matter about:
But guppe ye god-makers, beware your galled backe.

Then wraped in a knaues skynne, as ioly as my horse,
Before the aulter, in great contemplacion
Confessinge the synnes of his lubbrysh corse
To god and all saynctes, he counteth hys abhomination
Then home to the aulter, with great saintification
With crosses, and blesses, with his boy lytle Jacke:
Thus forth goeth syr Jhon with all his preparation.
But guppe ye god-makers, beware your galled backe.

Then gloria in excelsis for ioye dothe he synge
More for his fat liuinge, than for devocion:
And many there be that remember another thinge
Which syng not wyth mery hart for lacke of promocion
Thus some be mery, some be sory according to their porcion
Then forth cometh collects, bounde up in a packe,
For this sainct and that sainct, for sickenes, and extorcion
But guppe ye god-makers, beware your galled backe.
Stanzas, 17, 18, 19.

At the sale of Mr. Brand's books, in 1807, a copy of this rare tract, of six or seven pages, was sold for 3l. 17s. 6d. Vide Bibl. Brand, part i., no. 1300. This was surely more than both plaister and horse were worth! A poetical satire of a similar kind, entitled "John Bon and Mast Person," was printed by Daye and Seres; who struck off but a few copies, but who were brought into considerable trouble for the same. The virulence with which the author and printer of this lampoon were persecuted in Mary's reign is sufficiently attested by the care which was taken to suppress every copy that could be secured. The only perfect known copy of this rare tract was purchased at the sale of Mr. R. Forster's books, for the Marquis of Bute; and Mr. Stace, the bookseller, had privilege to make a fac-simile reprint of it; of which there were six copies struck off upon vellum. It being now rather common with book-collectors, there is no necessity to make a quotation from it here. Indeed there is very little in it deserving of republication.

240Loren. I will make a memorandum to try to secure this "comical" piece, as you call it; but has it never been reprinted in our "Corpora Poetarum Anglicorum?"

Lysand. Never to the best of my recollection. Mr. Alexander Chalmers probably shewed his judgment in the omission of it, in his lately published collection of our poets. A work, which I can safely recommend to you as being, upon the whole, one of the most faithful and useful, as well as elegant, compilations of its kind, that any country has to boast of. But I think I saw it in your library, Lorenzo?—

Loren. It was certainly there, and bound in stout Russia, when we quitted it for this place.

Lis. Dispatch your "gall'd horse," and now—having placed a justly merited wreath round the brow of your241 poetical editor, proceed—as Lorenzo has well said—with personal anecdotes. What has become of Wyatt and Surrey—and when shall we reach Leland and Bale?

Lysand. I crave your mercy, Master Lisardo! One at a time. Gently ride your bibliomaniacal hobby-horse!

Wyatt and Surrey had, beyond all question, the most exquisitely polished minds of their day. They were far above the generality of their compeers. But although Hall chooses to notice the whistle[318] of the latter, it does not follow that I should notice his library, if I am not able to discover any thing particularly interesting relating to the same. And so, wishing every lover of his country's literature to purchase a copy of the poems of both these heroes,[319] I march onward to introduce a new friend to you, who preceded Leland in his career, and for an account of whom we are chiefly indebted to the excellent and best editor of the works of242 Spencer and Milton. Did'st ever hear, Lisardo, of one William Thynne?

[318] About the year 1519, Hall mentions the Earl of Surrey "on a great coursir richely trapped, and a greate whistle of gold set with stones and perle, hanging at a great and massy chayne baudrick-wise." Chronicles: p. 65, a. See Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope: p. 166, note o., ed. 1780. This is a very amusing page about the custom of wearing whistles, among noblemen, at the commencement of the 16th century. If Franklin had been then alive, he would have had abundant reason for exclaiming that these men "paid too much for their whistles!"

[319] Till the long promised, elaborate, and beautiful edition of the works of Sir Thomas Wyatt and Lord Surrey, by the Rev. Dr. Nott,[E] shall make its appearance, the bibliomaniac must satisfy his book-appetite, about the editions of the same which have already appeared, by perusing the elegant volumes of Mr. George Ellis, and Mr. Park; Specimens of the Early English Poets; vol. ii., pp. 43-67: Royal and Noble Authors, vol. i., pp. 255-276. As to early black letter editions, let him look at Bibl. Pearson, no. 2544; where, however, he will find only the 7th edition of 1587: the first being of the date of 1557. The eighth and last edition was published by Tonson, in 1717, 8vo. It will be unpardonable not to add that the Rev. Mr. Conybeare is in possession of a perfect copy of Lord Surrey's Translation of a part of the Æneid, which is the third only known copy in existence. Turn to the animating pages of Warton, Hist. Engl. Poetry; vol. iii., pp. 2-21, about this translation and its author.

[E] Conducting this celebrated book through the press occupied Dr. Nott several years; it was printed by the father of the printer of this work, in two large 4to. volumes—and was just finished when, in the year 1819, the Bolt Court printing-office, and all it contained, was destroyed by fire. Only two copies of the works of Wyatt and Surrey escaped, having been sent to Dr. Nott by the printer, as clean sheets.

Lis. Pray make me acquainted with him.

Lysand. You will love him exceedingly when you thoroughly know him; because he was the first man in this country who took pains to do justice to Chaucer, by collecting and collating the mutilated editions of his works. Moreover, he rummaged a great number of libraries, under the express order of Henry VIII.; and seems in every respect (if we may credit the apparently frank testimony of his son[320]), to have been a thoroughbred bibliomaniac. Secure Mr. Todd's Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer, and set your heart at ease upon the subject.

[320] "—but (my father, William Thynne) further had commissione to serche all the libraries of England for Chaucer's works, so that oute of all the abbies of this realme (which reserved any monuments thereof), he was fully furnished with multitude of bookes," &c. On Thynne's discovering Chaucer's Pilgrim's Tale, when Henry VIII. had read it—"he called (continues the son) my father unto hym, sayinge, 'William Thynne, I doubt this will not be allowed, for I suspecte the byshoppes will call thee in question for yt.' To whome my father beinge in great fauore with his prince, sayed, 'yf your Grace be not offended, I hope to be protected by you.' Whereupon the kinge bydd hym goo his waye and feare not," &c. "But to leave this, I must saye that, in those many written bookes of Chaucer, which came to my father's hands, there were many false copyes, which Chaucer shewethe in writinge of Adam Scriuener, of which written copies there came to me, after my father's death, some fyve and twentye," &c. Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer; pp. 11, 13, 15. Let us not hesitate one moment about the appellation of Helluo Librorum,—justly due to Master William Thynne!

But it is time to introduce your favourite Leland: a bibliomaniac of unparalleled powers and unperishable fame. To entwine the wreath of praise round the brow of this great man seems to have been considered by Bale among the most exquisite gratifications of his existence. It is with no small delight, therefore, Lorenzo, that I view, at this distance, the marble bust of Leland in yonder niche of your library, with a laureate crown upon its pedestal. And with almost equal satisfaction did I observe, yesterday, during the absence of Philemon and Lisardo at the book-sale, the handsome manner in which Harrison,[321] in his Description of England, prefixed to243 Holinshed's Chronicles, has spoken of this illustrious antiquary. No delays, no difficulties, no perils, ever244 daunted his personal courage, or depressed his mental energies. Enamoured of study, to the last rational245 moment of his existence, Leland seems to have been born for the "Laborious Journey" which he undertook in search of truth, as she was to be discovered among mouldering records, and worm-eaten volumes. Uniting246 the active talents of a statist with the painful research of an antiquary, he thought nothing too insignificant for observation. The confined streamlet or the capacious river—the obscure village or the populous town—were, with parchment rolls and oaken-covered books, alike objects of curiosity in his philosophic eye! Peace to his once vexed spirit!—and never-fading honours attend the academical society in which his youthful mind was disciplined to such laudable pursuits!

[321] "One helpe, and none of the smallest, that I obtained herein, was by such commentaries as Leland had sometime collected of the state of Britaine; books vtterlie mangled, defaced with wet and weather, and finallie vnperfect through want of sundrie volumes." Epistle Dedicatorie; vol. i., p. vi., edit. 1807. The history of this great man, and of his literary labours, is most interesting. He was a pupil of William Lilly, the first head-master of St. Paul's school; and, by the kindness and liberality of a Mr. Myles, he afterwards received the advantage of a college education, and was supplied with money in order to travel abroad, and make such collections as he should deem necessary for the great work which even then seemed to dawn upon his young and ardent mind. Leland endeavoured to requite the kindness of his benefactor by an elegant copy of Latin verses, in which he warmly expatiates on the generosity of his patron, and acknowledges that his acquaintance with the Almæ Matres (for he was of both Universities) was entirely the result of such beneficence. While he resided on the continent, he was admitted into the society of the most eminent Greek and Latin scholars, and could probably number among his correspondents the illustrious names of Budæus, Erasmus, the Stephenses, Faber and Turnebus. Here, too, he cultivated his natural taste for poetry; and, from inspecting the fine books which the Italian and French presses had produced, as well as fired by the love of Grecian learning, which had fled, on the sacking of Constantinople, to take shelter in the academic bowers of the Medici—he seems to have matured his plans for carrying into effect the great work which had now taken full possession of his mind. He returned to England, resolved to institute an inquiry into the state of the Libraries, Antiquities, Records, and Writings then in existence. Having entered into holy orders, and obtained preferment at the express interposition of the king (Henry VIII.), he was appointed his antiquary and library-keeper; and a royal commission was issued, in which Leland was directed to search after "England's Antiquities, and peruse the libraries of all cathedrals, abbies, priories, colleges, &c., as also all the places wherein records, writings, and secrets of antiquity were reposited." "Before Leland's time," says Hearne—in a strain which makes one shudder—"all the literary monuments of antiquity were totally disregarded; and students of Germany, apprized of this culpable indifference, were suffered to enter our libraries unmolested, and to cut out of the books, deposited there, whatever passages they thought proper—which they afterwards published as relics of the ancient literature of their own country." Pref. to the Itinerary. Leland was occupied, without intermission, in his laborious undertaking, for the space of six years; and, on its completion, he hastened to the metropolis to lay at the feet of his sovereign the result of his researches. As John Kay had presented his translation of the Siege of Rhodes to Edward IV., as "a gift of his labour," so Leland presented his Itinerary to Henry VIII., under the title of A New Year's Gift; and it was first published as such by Bale in 1549, 8vo. "Being inflamed," says the author, "with a love to see thoroughly all those parts of your opulent and ample realm, in so much that all my other occupations intermitted, I have so travelled in your dominions both by the sea coasts and the middle parts, sparing neither labour nor costs, by the space of six years past, that there is neither cape nor bay, haven, creek, or pier, river, or confluence of rivers, breaches, wastes, lakes, moors, fenny waters, mountains, valleys, heaths, forests, chases, woods, cities, burghes, castles, principal manor places, monasteries, and colleges, but I have seen them; and noted, in so doing, a whole world of things very memorable." Leland moreover tells his majesty—that "By his laborious journey and costly enterprise, he had conserved many good authors, the which otherwise had been like to have perished; of the which part remained in the royal palaces, part also in his own custody," &c. As Leland was engaged six years in this literary tour, so he was occupied for a no less period of time in digesting and arranging the prodigious number of MSS. which he had collected. But he sunk beneath the immensity of the task. The want of amanuenses, and of other attentions and comforts, seems to have deeply affected him. In this melancholy state, he wrote to Archbishop Cranmer a Latin epistle, in verse, of which the following is the commencement—very forcibly describing his situation and anguish of mind:

Est congesta mihi domi supellex
Ingens, aurea, nobilis, venusta,
Qua totus studeo Britanniarum
Vero reddere gloriam nitori;
Sed fortuna meis noverca cœptis
Jam felicibus invidet maligna.
Quare, ne pereant brevi vel hora
Multarum mihi noctium labores
Cranmere, eximium decus priorum!
Implorare tuam benignitatem

The result was that Leland lost his senses; and, after lingering two years in a state of total derangement, he died on the 18th of April, 1552. "Prôh tristes rerum humanarum vices! prôh viri optimi deplorandam infelicissimamque sortem!" exclaims Dr. Smith, in his preface to Camden's Life, 1691, 4to. The precious and voluminous MSS. of Leland were doomed to suffer a fate scarcely less pitiable that that of their owner. After being pilfered by some, and garbled by others, they served to replenish the pages of Stow, Lambard, Camden, Burton, Dugdale, and many other antiquaries and historians. "Leland's Remains," says Bagford, "have been ever since a standard to all that have any way treated of the Antiquities of England. Reginald Wolfe intended to have made use of them, although this was not done 'till after his death by Harrison, Holinshed, and others concerned in that work. Harrison transcribed his Itinerary, giving a Description of England by the rivers, but he did not understand it. They have likewise been made use of by several in part, but how much more complete had this been, had it been finished by himself?" Collectanea: Hearne's edit., 1774; vol. i., p. lxxvii. Polydore Virgil, who had stolen from these Remains pretty freely, had the insolence to abuse Leland's memory—calling him "a vain-glorious man;" but what shall we say to this flippant egotist? who according to Caius's testimony (De Antiq. Cantab. Acad., lib. 1.) "to prevent a discovery of the many errors of his own History of England, collected and burnt a greater number of ancient histories and manuscripts than would have loaded a waggon." There are some (among whom I could number a most respectable friend and well qualified judge) who have doubted of the propriety of thus severely censuring Polydore Virgil; and who are even sceptical about his malpractices. But Sir Henry Savile, who was sufficiently contemporaneous to collect the best evidence upon the subject, thus boldly observes: "Nam Polydorus, ut homo Italus, et in rebus nostris hospes, et (quod caput est) neque in republica versatus, nec magni alioqui vel judicii vel ingenii, pauca ex multis delibans, et falsa plerumque pro veris amplexus, historiam nobis reliquit cum cætera mendosam tum exiliter sanè et jejunè conscriptam." Script. post. Bedam., edit. 1596; pref. "As for Polydore Virgil, he hath written either nothing or very little concerning them; and that so little, so false and misbeseeming the ingenuitie of an historian, that he seemeth to have aimed at no other end than, by bitter invectives against Henry VIII., and Cardinal Wolsey, to demerit the favour of Queen Mary," &c., Godwyn's translation of the Annales of England; edit. 1630, author's Preface. "It is also remarkable that Polydore Virgil's and Bishop Joscelin's edition of Gildas's epistle differ so materially that the author of it hardly seems to be one and the same person." This is Gale's opinion: Rer. Anglican. Script. Vet.; vol. i., pref., p. 4. Upon the whole—to return to Leland—it must be acknowledged that he is a melancholy, as well as illustrious, example of the influence of the Bibliomania! But do not let us take leave of him without a due contemplation of his expressive features, as they are given in the frontispiece of the first volume of the Lives of Leland, Hearne, and Wood. 1772, 8vo.



Bale follows closely after Leland. This once celebrated, and yet respectable, writer had probably more zeal than discretion; but his exertions in the cause of our own church can never be mentioned without admiration. I would not, assuredly, quote Bale as a decisive authority in doubtful or difficult cases;[322] but, as he lived247 in the times of which he in a great measure wrote, and as his society was courted by the wealthy and powerful, I am not sure whether he merits to be treated with the roughness with which some authors mention his labours. He had, certainly, a tolerable degree of strength in his English style; but he painted with a pencil which reminded us more frequently of the horrific pictures of Spagnoletti than of the tender compositions of Albano.248 That he idolized his master, Leland, so enthusiastically, will always cover, in my estimation, a multitude of his errors: and that he should leave a scholar's inventory (as Fuller saps), "more books than money behind him," will at least cause him to be numbered among the most renowned bibliomaniacs.

[322] Like all men, who desert a religion which they once enthusiastically profess, Bale, after being zealous for the papal superstitions, holding up his hands to rotten posts, and calling them his "fathers in heaven," (according to his own confession) became a zealous Protestant, and abused the church of Rome with a virulence almost unknown in the writings of his predecessors. But in spite of his coarseness, positiveness, and severity, he merits the great praise of having done much in behalf of the cause of literature. His attachment to Leland is, unquestionably, highly to his honour; but his biographies, especially of the Romish prelates, are as monstrously extravagant as his plays are incorrigibly dull. He had a certain rough honesty and prompt benevolence of character, which may be thought to compensate for his grosser failings. His reputation as a bibliomaniac is fully recorded in the anecdote mentioned at p. 234, ante. His "magnum opus," the Scriptores Britanniæ, has already been noticed with sufficient minuteness; vide p. 31, ante. It has not escaped severe animadversion. Francis Thynne tells us that Bale has "mistaken infynyte thinges in that booke de Scriptoribus Anglie, being for the most part the collections of Lelande." Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer; p. 23. Picard, in his wretched edition of Gulielmus Neubrigensis (edit. 1610, p. 672), has brought a severe accusation against the author of having "burnt or torn all the copies of the works which he described, after he had taken the titles of them;" but see this charge successfully rebutted in Dr. Pegge's Anonymiana; p. 311. That Bale's library, especially in the department of manuscripts, was both rich and curious, is indisputable, from the following passage in Strype's Life of Archbishop Parker. "The archbishop laid out for Bale's rare collection of MSS. immediately upon his death, fearing that they might be gotten by somebody else. Therefore he took care to bespeak them before others, and was promised to have them for his money, as he told Cecil. And perhaps divers of those books that do now make proud the University Library, and that of Benet and some other colleges, in Cambridge, were Bale's," p. 539. It would seem, from the same authority, that our bibliomaniac "set himself to search the libraries in Oxford, Cambridge, London (wherein there was but one, and that a slender one), Norwich, and several others in Norfolk and Suffolk: whence he had collected enough for another volume De Scriptoribus Britannicis." Ibid. The following very beautiful wood-cut of Bale's portrait is taken from the original, of the same size, in the Acta Romanorum Pontificum; Basil, 1527, 8vo. A similar one, on a larger scale, will be found in the "Scriptores," &c., published at Basil, 1557, or 1559—folio. Mr. Price, the principal librarian of the Bodleian Library, shewed me a rare head of Bale, of a very different cast of features—in a small black-letter book, of which I have forgotten the name.


Before I enter upon the reign of Elizabeth, let me pay a passing, but sincere, tribute of respect to the memory of Cranmer; whose Great Bible[323] is at once a monument of his attachment to the Protestant religion, and to splendid books. His end was sufficiently lamentable; but while the flames were consuming his parched body, and while his right hand, extended in the midst of them, was reproached by him for its former act of wavering and "offence," he had the comfort of soothing his troubled spirit by reflecting upon what his past life had exhibited in the cause of learning, morality, and religion.[324] Let his memory be respected among virtuous bibliomaniacs!

[323] I have perused what Strype (Life of Cranmer, pp. 59, 63, 444), Lewis (History of English Bibles, pp. 122-137), Johnson (Idem opus, pp. 33-42), and Herbert (Typog. Antiquities, vol. i., p. 513,) have written concerning the biblical labours of Archbishop Cranmer; but the accurate conclusion to be drawn about the publication which goes under the name of Cranmer's, or the Great Bible, not quite so clear as bibliographers may imagine. However, this is not the place to canvass so intricate a subject. It is sufficient that a magnificent impression of the Bible in the English language, with a superb frontispiece (which has been most feebly and inadequately copied for Lewis's work), under the archiepiscopal patronage of Cranmer, did make its appearance in 1539: and it has been my good fortune to turn over the leaves of the identical copy of it, printed upon vellum, concerning which Thomas Baker expatiates so eloquently to his bibliomaniacal friend, Hearne. Rob. of Gloucester's Chronicle; vol. i., p. xix. This copy is in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge; and is now placed upon a table, to the right hand, upon entering of the same: although formerly, according to Bagford's account, it was "among some old books in a private place nigh the library." Idem; p. xxii. There is a similar copy in the British Museum.

[324] "And thus"—says Strype—(in a strain of pathos and eloquence not usually to be found in his writings) "we have brought this excellent prelate unto his end, after two years and a half hard imprisonment. His body was not carried to the grave in state, nor buried, as many of his predecessors were, in his own cathedral church, nor inclosed in a monument of marble or touchstone. Nor had he any inscription to set forth his praises to posterity. No shrine to be visited by devout pilgrims, as his predecessors, S. Dunstan and S. Thomas had. Shall we therefore say, as the poet doth:

Marmoreo Licinus tumulo jacet, at Cato parvo,
Pompeius nullo. Quis putet esse Deos?

No; we are better Christians, I trust, than so: who are taught, that the rewards of God's elect are not temporal but eternal. And Cranmer's martyrdom is his monument, and his name will outlast an epitaph or a shrine." Life of Cranmer; p. 391. It would seem, from the same authority, that Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer, were permitted to dine together in prison, some little time before they suffered; although they were "placed in separate lodgings that they might not confer together." Strype saw "a book of their diet, every dinner and supper, and the charge thereof,"—as it was brought in by the bailiffs attending them.

Dinner Expenses of Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer.

Bread and Aleiid.
Item, Oistersid.
Item, Butteriid.
Item, Eggsiid.
Item, Lyngviiid.
Item, A piece of fresh Salmonxd.
Cheese and pearsiid.

Charges for burning Ridley and Latimer.

For three loads of wood fagots120
Item, One load of furs fagots34
For the carriage of the same20
Item, A Post14
Item, Two chains34
Item, Two staples06
Item, Four Labourers28

Charges for burning Cranmer.

For an 100 of wood fagots,060
For an 100 and half of furs fagots034
For the carriage of them08
To two labourers14

I will draw the curtain upon this dismal picture, by a short extract from one of Cranmer's letters, in which this great and good man thus ingeniously urges the necessity of the Scriptures being translated into the English language; a point, by the bye, upon which neither he, nor Cromwell, nor Latimer, I believe, were at first decided; "God's will and commandment is, (says Cranmer) that when the people be gathered together, the minister should use such language as the people may understand, and take profit thereby; or else hold their peace. For as an harp or lute, if it give no certain sound that men may know what is stricken, who can dance after it—for all the sound is vain; so is it vain and profiteth nothing, sayeth Almighty God, by the mouth of St. Paul, if the priest speak to the people in a language which they know not." Certain most godly, fruitful, and comfortable letters of Saintes and holy Martyrs, &c., 1564; 4to., fol. 8.

All hail to the sovereign who, bred up in severe habits of reading and meditation, loved books and scholars to the249 very bottom of her heart! I consider Elizabeth as a royal bibliomaniac of transcendent fame!—I see her, in imagination, wearing her favourite little Volume of Prayers,[325] the250 composition of Queen Catherine Parr, and Lady Tirwit, "bound in solid gold, and hanging by a gold chain at her side," at her morning and evening devotions—afterwards, as she became firmly seated upon her throne,251 taking an interest in the embellishments of the Prayer Book,[326] which goes under her own name; and then indulging her strong bibliomaniacal appetites in fostering the institution "for the erecting of a Library and an Academy for the study of Antiquities and History."[327]254 Notwithstanding her earnestness to root out all relics of the Roman Catholic religion (to which, as the best excuse, we must, perhaps, attribute the sad cruelty of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots), I cannot in my heart forbear to think but that she secured, for her own book-boudoir, one or two of the curious articles which the commissioners often-times found in the libraries that they inspected: and, amongst other volumes, how she could forbear pouncing upon "A great Pricksong Book of parchment"—discovered in the library of All Soul's College[328]—is absolutely beyond my wit to divine!


[325] Of this curious little devotional volume the reader has already had some account (p. 119, ante); but if he wishes to enlarge his knowledge of the same, let him refer to vol. lx. pt. ii. and vol. lxi. pt. i. of the Gentleman's Magazine. By the kindness of Mr. John Nichols, I am enabled to present the bibliomaniacal virtuoso with a fac-simile of the copper-plate inserted in the latter volume (p. 321) of the authority last mentioned. It represents the golden cover, or binding, of this precious manuscript. Of the Queen's attachment to works of this kind, the following is a pretty strong proof: "In the Bodl. library, among the MSS. in mus. num. 235, are the Epistles of St. Paul, &c., printed in an old black letter in 12o. which was Queen Elizabeth's own book, and her own hand writing appears at the beginning, viz.: "August. I walke many times into the pleasant fieldes of the Holy Scriptures, where I plucke up the goodliesome herbes of sentences by pruning: eate them by reading: chawe them by musing: and laie them up at length in the hie seate of memorie by gathering them together: that so having tasted their sweetenes I may the lesse perceave the bitterness of this miserable life." The covering is done in needle work by the Queen [then princess] herself, and thereon are these sentences, viz. on one side, on the borders; celvm patria: scopvs vitæ xpvs. christvs via. christo vive. In the middle a heart, and round about it, eleva cor svrsvm ibi vbi e.c. [est Christus]. On the other side, about the borders, beatvs qvi divitias scriptvræ legens verba vertit in opera. In the middle a star, and round it, vicit omnia pertinax virtvs with e.c., i.e. as I take it, elisabetha captiva, or [provided it refer to Virtus] elisabethæ captivæ, she being, then, when she worked this covering, a prisoner, if I mistake not, at Woodstock." Tit. Liv. For. Jul. vit. Henrici v., p. 228-229.

Golden Cover


[326] In the prayer-book which goes by the name of Queen Elizabeth's, there is a portrait of her Majesty kneeling upon a superb cushion, with elevated hands, in prayer. This book was first printed in 1575; and is decorated with wood-cut borders of considerable spirit and beauty; representing, among other things, some of the subjects of Holbein's dance of death. The last impression is of the date of 1608. Vide Bibl. Pearson; no. 635. The presentation copy of it was probably printed upon vellum.[F]

[327] The famous John Dee entreated Queen Mary to erect an institution similar the one above alluded to. If she adopted the measure, Dee says that "her highnesse would have a most notable library, learning wonderfully be advanced, the passing excellent works of our forefathers from rot and worms preserved, and also hereafter continually the whole realm may (through her grace's goodness) use and enjoy the incomparable treasure so preserved: where now, no one student, no, nor any one college, hath half a dozen of those excellent jewels, but the whole stock and store thereof drawing nigh to utter destruction, and extinguishing, while here and there by private men's negligence (and sometimes malice) many a famous and excellent author's book is rent, burnt, or suffered to rot and decay. By your said suppliant's device your Grace's said library might, in very few years, most plentifully be furnisht, and that without any one penny charge unto your Majesty, or doing injury to any creature." In another supplicatory article, dated xv. Jan. 1556, Dee advises copies of the monuments to be taken, and the original, after the copy is taken, to be restored to the owner. That there should be "allowance of all necessary charges, as well toward the riding and journeying for the recovery of the said worthy monuments, as also for the copying out of the same, and framing of necessary stalls, desks, and presses."—He concludes with proposing to make copies of all the principal works in MS. "in the notablest libraries beyond the sea"—"and as concerning all other excellent authors printed, that they likewise shall be gotten in wonderful abundance, their carriage only to be chargeable." He supposes that three months' trial would shew the excellence of his plan; which he advises to be instantly put into practice "for fear of the spreading of it abroad might cause many to hide and convey away their good and ancient writers—which, nevertheless, were ungodly done, and a certain token that such are not sincere lovers of good learning." [In other words, not sound bibliomaniacs.] See the Appendix to Hearne's edition of Joh. Confrat. Monach. de Reb. Glaston. Dee's "supplication" met with no attention from the bigotted sovereign to whom it was addressed. A project for a similar establishment in Queen Elizabeth's reign, when a Society of Antiquaries was first established in this kingdom, may be seen in Hearne's Collection of Curious Discourses of Antiquaries; vol. ii., p. 324,—when this library was "to be entitled the library of Queen Elizabeth, and the same to be well furnished with divers ancient books, and rare monuments of antiquity," &c., edit. 1775.

[328] In Mr. Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa, vol. ii., p. 275, we have a "Letter from Queen Elizabeth's high commissioners, concerning the superstitious books belonging to All Soul's College:" the "schedule" or list returned was as follows:

Three mass books, old and new, and 2 portmisses
Item, 8 grailes, 7 antiphoners of parchment and bound
—— 10 Processionals old and new
—— 2 Symnalls
—— an old manual of paper
—— an Invitatorie book
—— 2 psalters—and one covered with a skin
—— A great pricksong book of parchment
—— One other pricksong book of vellum covered with a hart's skyn
—— 5 other of paper bound in parchment
—— The Founder's mass-book in parchment bound in board
—— In Mr. Mill his hand an antiphoner and a legend
—— A portmisse in his hand two volumes, a manual, a mass-book, and a

[F] The two following pages are appropriated to copies of the frontispiece (of the edit. of 1608), and a page of the work, from a copy in the possession of the printer of this edition of the Bibliomania.

Elizabeth Regina


Elizabeth Regina.


Domine Deus Israel, non est similis tui Deus in coelo & in terra, qui pacta custodis & misericordiam cum seruis tuis, qui ambulant coram te in toto corde suo.

A prayer for charitie, or loue


Giue a sweete
smell as incense, &c.
Eccles. 39.

A prayer for charitie, or loue

towards our neighbours.

LORD, inlighten and instruct our mindes, that we may esteeme euerie thing as it is worth, & yet not make the lesse reckoning of thee, sith nothing can be made better then thou. And secondly let us make account of man, then whome, there is nothing more excellent among the things of this world. Make vs to loue him next thee, either as likest our selues, or as thy childe, and therefore our brother, or as one ordayned to bee a member of one selfe same countrie with vs.

And cause vs also euen heere, to resemble the heauenly kingdome through mutual loue, where all hatred is quite banished, and all is full of loue, and consequently full of joy and gladnes. Amen.

xxvi. 26-29.

Loren. You are full of book anecdote of Elizabeth: but do you forget her schoolmaster, Roger Ascham?

Lysand. The master ought certainly to have been mentioned before his pupil. Old Roger is one of my most favourite authors; and I wish English scholars255 in general not only to read his works frequently, but to imitate the terseness and perspicuity of his style. There is a great deal of information in his treatises, respecting the manners and customs of his times; and as Dr. Johnson has well remarked, "his philological learning would have gained him honour in any country."[329]256 That he was an ardent bibliomaniac, his letters when upon the continent, are a sufficient demonstration.

[329] Roger Ascham is now, I should hope, pretty firmly established among us as one of the very best classical writers in our language. Nearly three centuries are surely sufficient to consecrate his literary celebrity. He is an author of a peculiar and truly original cast. There is hardly a dull page or a dull passage in his lucubrations. He may be thought, however, to have dealt rather harshly with our old romance writers; nor do I imagine that the original edition of his Schoolmaster (1571), would be placed by a Morte d'Arthur collector alongside of his thin black-letter quarto romances. Ascham's invectives against the Italian school, and his hard-hearted strictures upon the innocent ebullitions of Petrarch and Boccaccio, have been noticed, with due judgment and spirit, by Mr. Burnet, in his pleasing analysis of our philosopher's works. See Specimens of English Prose Writers; vol. ii., p. 84. Our tutor's notions of academical education, and his courteous treatment of his royal and noble scholars, will be discoursed of anon; meantime, while we cursorily, but strongly, applaud Dr. Johnson's almost unqualified commendation of this able writer; and while the reader may be slightly informed of the elegance and interest of his epistles; let the bibliomaniac hasten to secure Bennet's edition of Ascham's works (which incorparates the notes of Upton upon the Schoolmaster, with the Life of, and remarks upon Ascham, by Dr. Johnson), published in a handsome quarto volume [1761]. This edition, though rather common and cheap, should be carefully reprinted in an octavo volume; to harmonize with the greater number of our best writers published in the same form. But it is time to mention something of the author connected with the subject of this work. What relates to the Bibliomania, I here select from similar specimens in his English letters, written when he was abroad: "Oct. 4. at afternoon I went about the town [of Bruxelles]. I went to the frier Carmelites house, and heard their even song: after, I desired to see the library. A frier was sent to me, and led me into it. There was not one good book but Lyra. The friar was learned, spoke Latin readily, entered into Greek, having a very good wit, and a greater desire to learning. He was gentle and honest," &c. pp. 370-1. "Oct. 20. to Spira: a good city. Here I first saw Sturmius de Periodis. I also found here Ajax, Electra, and Antigone of Sophocles, excellently, by my good judgment, translated into verse, and fair printed this summer by Gryphius. Your stationers do ill, that at least do not provide you the register of all books, especially of old authors," &c., p. 372. Again: "Hieronimus Wolfius, that translated Demosthenes and Isocrates, is in this town. I am well acquainted with him, and have brought him twice to my lord's to dinner. He looks very simple. He telleth me that one Borrheus, that hath written well upon Aristot. priorum, &c., even now is printing goodly commentaries upon Aristotle's Rhetoric. But Sturmius will obscure them all." p. 381. These extracts are taken from Bennet's edition. Who shall hence doubt of the propriety of classing Ascham among the most renowned bibliomaniacs of the age?

From the tutor of Elizabeth let us go to her prime minister, Cecil.[330] We have already seen how success257fully this great man interposed in matters of religion; it remains to notice his zealous activity in the cause of learning. And of this latter who can possibly entertain a doubt? Who that has seen how frequently his name is affixed to Dedications, can disbelieve that Cecil was a lover of books? Indeed I question whether it is inserted more frequently in a diplomatic document or printed volume. To possess all the presentation copies of this illustrious minister would be to possess an ample and beautiful library of the literature of the sixteenth century.

[330] The reader, it is presumed, will not form his opinion of the bibliomaniacal taste of this great man, from the distorted and shameful delineation of his character, which, as a matter of curiosity only, is inserted at p. 237, ante. He will, on the contrary, look upon Cecil as a lover of books, not for the sake of the numerous panegyrical dedications to himself, which he must have so satisfactorily perused, but for the sake of the good to be derived from useful and ingenious works. With one hand, this great man may be said to have wielded the courageous spirit, and political virtue, of his country—and with the other, to have directed the operations of science and literature. Without reading the interesting and well-written life of Cecil, in Mr. Macdiarmid's Lives of British Statesmen (a work which cannot be too often recommended, or too highly praised), there is evidence sufficient of this statesman's bibliomaniacal passion and taste, in the fine old library which is yet preserved at Burleigh in its legitimate form—and which, to the collector of such precious volumes, must have presented a treat as exquisite as are the fresh blown roses of June to him who regales himself in the flowery fragrance of his garden—the production of his own manual labour! Indeed Strypes tells us that Cecil's "library was a very choice one:" his care being "in the preservation, rather than in the private possession of (literary) antiquities." Among other curiosities in it, there was a grand, and a sort of presentation, copy of Archbishop Parker's Latin work of the Antiquity of the British Church; "bound costly, and laid in colours the arms of the Church of Canterbury, empaled with the Archbishop's own paternal coat." Read Strype's tempting description; Life of Parker; pp. 415, 537. Well might Grafton thus address Cecil at the close of his epistolary dedication of his Chronicles: "and now having ended this work, and seeking to whom I might, for testification of my special good-will, present it, or for patronage and defence dedicate it, and principally, for all judgment and correction to submit it—among many, I have chosen your Mastership, moved thereto by experience of your courteous judgment towards those that travail to any honest purpose, rather helping and comforting their weakness, than condemning their simple, but yet well meaning, endeavours. By which, your accustomed good acceptation of others, I am the rather boldened to beseech your Mastership to receive this my work and me, in such manner as you do those in whom (howsoever there be want of power) there wanteth no point of goodwill and serviceable affection." Edit. 1809, 4to. If a chronicler could talk thus, a poet (who, notwithstanding the title of his poem, does not, I fear, rank among Pope's bards, that "sail aloft among the Swans of Thames,") may be permitted thus to introduce Cecil's name and mansion:

Now see these Swannes the new and worthie seate
Of famous Cicill, treasorer of the land,
Whose wisedome, counsell skill of Princes state
The world admires, then Swannes may do the same:
The house itselfe doth shewe the owner's wit,
And may for bewtie, state, and every thing,
Compared be with most within the land,
Vallan's Tale of Two Swannes, 1590, 4to.,
reprinted in Leland's Itinerary;
vol. v. p. xiii, edit. 1770.

But the book-loving propensities of Elizabeth's minister were greatly eclipsed by those of her favourite archbishop, Parker:

clarum et venerabile nomen
Gentibus, et multum nostræ quod proderat urbi.

For my part, Lorenzo, I know of no character, either of this or of any subsequent period, which is more entitled to the esteem and veneration of Englishmen. Pious, diffident, frank, charitable, learned, and munificent, Parker was the great episcopal star of his age, which shone with undiminished lustre to the last moment of its appearance. In that warm and irritable period, when the Protestant religion was assailed in proportion to its excellence, and when writers mistook abuse for argument, it is delightful to think upon the mild and temperate course which this discreet metropolitan pursued! Even with such arrant bibliomaniacs as yourselves, Parker's reputation must stand as high as that attached to any name, when I inform you that of his celebrated work upon the "Antiquity of the British Church"[331] are only twenty copies supposed to have been258 printed. He had a private press, which was worked with types cast at his own expense; and a more determined book-fancier, and treasurer of ancient lore, did not at that time exist in Great Britain.

[331] This is not the place to enter minutely into a bibliographical account of the above celebrated work; such account being with more propriety reserved for the history of our Typographical Antiquities. Yet a word or two may be here said upon it, in order that the bibliomaniac may not be wholly disappointed; and especially as Ames and Herbert have been squeamishly reserved in their comunications respecting the same. The above volume is, without doubt, one of the scarcest books in existence. It has been intimated by Dr. Drake, in the preface of his magnificent reprint of it, 1729, fol., that only 20 copies were struck off: but, according to Stype, Parker tells Cecil, in an emblazoned copy presented to him by the latter, that he had not given the book to four men in the whole realm: and peradventure, added he, "it shall never come to sight abroad, though some men, smelling of the printing of it, were very desirous cravers of the same." Life of Parker, p. 415. This certainly does not prove any thing respecting the number of copies printed; but it is probable that Dr. Drake's supposition is not far short of the truth. One thing is remarkable: of all the copies known, no two are found to accord with each other. The archbishop seems to have altered and corrected the sheets as they each came from the press. The omission of the Archbishop's own life in this volume, as it contained the biography of 69 archbishops, exclusively of himself, was endeavoured to be supplied by the publication of a sharp satirical tract, entitled, "The life off the 70 Archbishop of Canterbury, presenttye sittinge Englished, and to be added to the 69 lately sett forth in Latin," &c., 12mo., 1574. After this title page there is another. "Histriola, a little storye of the acts and life of Mathew, now Archbishoppe of Canterb." This latter comprehends 17 leaves, and was written either by the archbishop himself, or by his Chaplain Joscelyne; but whether it be at all like a distinct printed folio tract, of twelve leaves and a half, which was kept carefully undispersed in the archbishop's own possession, 'till his death—being also a biography of Parker—I am not able to ascertain. The following extracts from it (as it is a scarce little volume) may be acceptable,

Archbishop Parker's early Studies and popular Preaching.

"But now, he being very well and perfectly instructed in the liberal sciences, he applied all his mind to the study of divinity, and to the reading of the volumes of the ecclesiastical fathers; and that so earnestly that, in short space of time, he bestowed his labour not unprofitably in this behalf; for, after the space of four or five years, he, issuing from his secret and solitary study into open practice in the commonwealth, preached every where unto the people with great commendation; and that in the most famous cities and places of this realm, by the authority of King Henry VIII., by whose letters patent this was granted unto him, together with the license of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In execution of this function of preaching, he gained this commodity; that the fame of him came unto the ears of King Henry," &c. Sign. A. iij. recto.

His attention to Literature and Printing, &c.

"——he was very careful, and not without some charges, to seek the monuments of former times; to know the religion of the ancient fathers, and those especially which were of the English church. Therefore in seeking up the Chronicles of the Britons and English Saxons, which lay hidden every where contemned and buried in forgetfulness, and through the ignorance of the languages not well understanded, his own especially, and his mens, diligence wanted not. And to the end that these antiquities might last long, and be carefully kept, he caused them, being brought into one place, to be well bound and trimly covered. And yet, not so contented, he endeavoured to set out in print certain of those ancient monuments, whereof he knew very few examples to be extant; and which he thought would be most profitable for the posterity, to instruct them in the faith and religion of the elders. [Orig. 'to instructe them in the faythe and religion off the elders.] Hereupon, he caused the perpetual histories of the English affairs, by Mathæus Parisiensis, once a monk of Saint Alban's, and Mathæus Florilegus, a monk of Saint Peter in Westminster, written in Latin, to be printed; after he had diligently conferred them with the examples which he could get in any place; to the end that, as sincerely as might be, as the authors first left them, he might deliver them into other men's hands. Lastly, that he might not be unmindful of those monuments which, both in antiquity, worthiness, and authority, excelled all other, or rather wherewith none are to be compared (I mean the Holy Scriptures) here he thought to do great good if, by his number, he increased the Holy Bibles, which shortly would be wanting to many churches, if this discommodity were not provided for in time. Therefore it seemed good unto him, first, with his learned servants, to examine thoroughly the English translation; wherein he partly used the help of his brethren bishops, and other doctors; with whom he dealt so diligently in this matter that they disdained not to be partners and fellows with him of his labor. And now all their work is set out in very fair forms and letters of print," &c. Sign. C. rect. & rev.

His work De Antiquitate Ecclesiæ Britannicæ.

"——Much more praiseworthy is she (the 'Assyrian Queen of Babylon,') than he, whosoever it was, that of late hath set forth, to the hurt of christian men, certain rhapsodies and shreds of the old forworn stories, almost forgotten—had he not (Parker) now lately awakened them out of a dead sleep, and newly sewed them together in one book printed; whose glorious life promiseth not mountains of gold, as that silly heathen woman's (the aforesaid Queen) tomb, but beareth Christ in the brow, and is honested with this title in the front, 'De Antiquitate,' &c." Sign. C. iiij. rev. The satirical part, beginning with "To the Christian Reader," follows the biography from which these extracts have been taken. It remains to observe, that our Archbishop was a bibliomaniac of the very first order; and smitten with every thing attached to a Book, to a degree beyond any thing exhibited by his contemporaries. Parker did not scruple to tell Cecil that he kept in his house "drawers of pictures, wood-cutters, painters, limners, writers, and book-binders,"—"one of these was Lylye, an excellent writer, that could counterfeit any antique writing. Him the archbishop customarily used to make old books compleat,"—&c. Strype's Life of Parker; pp. 415, 529. Such was his ardour for book-collecting that he had agents in almost all places, abroad and at home, for the purpose of securing everything that was curious, precious, and rare: and one of these, of the name of Batman (I suppose the commentator upon Bartholomæus) "in the space of no more than four years, procured for our archbishop to the number of 6700 books." Id. p. 528. The riches of his book bequests to Cambridge are sufficiently described by Strype; pp. 501, 518, 519, 529, &c. The domestic habits and personal appearance of Parker are described by his biographer (p. 504) as being simple and grave. Notwithstanding his aversion to wearing silk, to plays and jests, and hawks and hounds (even when he was a young man), I take it for granted he could have no inward dislike to the beautiful and appropriate ceremony which marked his consecration, and which is thus narrated by the lively pen of Fuller: "The east part of the chapel of Lambeth was hung with tapestry, the floor spread with red cloth, chairs and cushions are conveniently placed for the purpose: morning prayers being solemnly read by Andrew Peerson, the archbishop's chaplain, Bishop Scory went up into the pulpit, and took for his text, The Elders which are among you I exhort, who also am an elder; and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, &c. Sermon ended, and the sacrament administered, they proceed to the consecration. The Archbishop had his rochet on, with Hereford; and the suffragan of Bedford, Chichester, wore a silk cope; and Coverdale a plain cloth gown down to his ancles. All things are done conformable to the book of ordination: Litany sung; the Queen's patent for Parker's consecration audibly read by Dr. Vale: He is presented: the oath of supremacy tendered to him; taken by him; hands reverently imposed on him; and all with prayers begun, continued, concluded. In a word, though here was no theatrical pomp to made it a popish pageant; though no sandals, gloves, ring, staff, oil, pall, &c., were used upon him—yet there was ceremony enough to clothe his consecration with decency, though not to clog it with superstition." Church History, b. ix., p. 60. But the virtues of the primate, however mild and unostentatious, were looked upon with an envious eye by the maligant observer of human nature; and the spontaneous homage which he received from some of the first noblemen in the realm was thus lampooned in the satirical composition just before noticed:

Homage and Tribute paid to Archbishop Parker.

"The next is, what great tributes every made bishop paid him. How they entertained his whole household or court, for the time, with sumptuous feasting. How dearly they redeemed their own cloaths, and carpets, at his chaplain's hands. What fees were bestowed on his crucifer, marshall, and other servants. All which plentiful bounty, or rather, he might have said, largess, is shrunk up, he saith, to a small sum of ten pounds, somewhat beside, but very small, bestowed, he might have said cast away, upon the archbishop's family, &c.—The same earl (of Gloucester) must be his steward and chief cupbearer, the day of his inthronization: This is not to be called gracious Lords, as the Lords of the earth, but this is to be beyond all grace; and to be served of these gracious Lords, and to be their Lord paramount. In this roll of his noble tenants, the next are the Lord Strangways, the Earl of Oxford, t