Bibliomania, by Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Part v.

The Drawing Room.

History of the Bibliomania, or Account of Book Collectors, Concluded.

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.

History of the Bibliomania, or Account of Book-Collectors, Continued.

VOLATILE as the reader may conceive 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, 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.

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 the 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 of 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 to 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 he 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 my 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 improvement 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

Lis. 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 of view, beyond that of all his contemporaries. Dr. Wordsworth297 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 soared "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 How 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 receive 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 Erasmus a greater share of attention than is due to him. We have a large and varied field — or rather domain — yet to 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 goods302 which have been published, there can be no question about such a character as that of Wolsey having numerous copies of the choicest books, bound in velvet of all colours, embossed with gold or silver, and studded even with precious 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 are 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 would 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 occasion, shaken by the sufferings of the innocent, yet, by his example, and particularly by his sermons,306 he tried 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 baseness307), did not fail to inflame his feelings by the 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 so 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 have 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.

Phil. 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 Wakefield311 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. 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 Walsinghams313 united their great talents with the 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 its way to the hearts of the generality of the people. Our Great English Bibles314 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 personal 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.

Loren. Skelton and Roy are in my library;316 but who is Ramsay?

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.

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."

316 Vide p. 226, ante.

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.

Loren. 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 your 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 whistle318 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 of 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,* 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.

* 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 son320), 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 to Holinshed's Chronicles, has spoken of this illustrious antiquary. No delays, no difficulties, no perils, ever daunted his personal courage, or depressed his mental energies. Enamoured of study, to the last rational 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. Uniting 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

Omnes ——

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.


in refectorio coll. omn. anim. oxon.

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 lived 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. 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 Bible323 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 Ale iid.
Item, Oisters id.
Item, Butter iid.
Item, Eggs iid.
Item, Lyng viiid.
Item, A piece of fresh Salmon xd.
Wine iiid.
Cheese and pears iid.
Charges for burning Ridley and Latimer.
  s. d.
For three loads of wood fagots 12 0
Item, One load of furs fagots 3 4
For the carriage of the same 2 0
Item, A Post 1 4
Item, Two chains 3 4
Item, Two staples 0 6
Item, Four Labourers 2 8
Charges for burning Cranmer.
  s. d.
For an 100 of wood fagots, 06 0
For an 100 and half of furs fagots 03 4
For the carriage of them 0 8
To two labourers 1 4

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 the 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 the 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, 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 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 College328— 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.*

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 processional.

* 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
A prayer for charitie, or loue

Giue a sweete
smell as incense, &c.
Eccles. 39.

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 scholars 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 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 successfully 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 been 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, the Lord Dacy, all which (saith he) owe service to that Archbishop. Then descendeth he to the gifts that every his suffragan provincial bishop bestoweth on him, in their life, and at their death: some their palfrey with saddle and furniture; some their rings, and some their seals. Among the rest, the Bishop of Rochester, who is there called specially his chaplain, giveth him a brace of dogs. These be trim things for prelates to give or receive; especially of them to make such account as to print them among such special prerogatives." Sign. D. iiij. v. Yet even to this libel was affixed the following epitaph upon Parker; which shews that truth "is great, and will prevail."

Matthew Parker liued sober and wise

Learned by studie, and continuall practise,

Louinge, true, off life uncontrold

The courte did foster him, both young and old.

Orderly he delt, the ryght he did defend,

He lyved unto God, to God he mad his ende.


Let us take leave of this amiable, erudite, and truly exemplary, character, by contemplating his features — according to the ensuing cut of Tyson's fac-simile of the rare ancient print, prefixed to some of the copies of the Antiquity of the British Church; premising that the supposed original painting of Parker, at Benet College, Cambridge, is nothing more than one of the aforesaid ancient prints, delicately coloured: as a tasteful antiquary, of the first authority, discovered, and mentioned to me.

Phil. You have called the reign of Henry the Seventh the Augustan-Book-age; but, surely, this distinction is rather due to the æra of Queen Elizabeth?

Lysand. Both periods merit the appellation. In Henry's time, the invention of printing was of early growth; but the avidity of readers considerable. The presses of Rome, Venice, and Paris, sent forth their costly productions; and a new light, by such means, was poured upon the darkened mind. Our own presses began to contribute to the diffusion of this light; and, compared with the preceding part of the fifteenth century, the reign of Henry VII. was highly distinguished for its bibliomaniacal celebrity. Undoubtedly, the æra of Queen Elizabeth was the golden age of Bibliomaniacism.

Do not let me forget, in my rambling method of treating of books and book-men, the name and celebrity of the renowned Dr. John Dee. Let us fancy we see him in his conjuring cap and robes — surrounded with astrological, mathematical, and geographical instruments — with a profusion of Chaldee characters inscribed upon vellum rolls — and with his celebrated Glass suspended by magical wires. Let us then follow him into his study at midnight, and view him rummaging his books; contemplating the heavens; making calculations; holding converse with invisible spirits; writing down their responses: anon, looking into his correspondence with Count a Lasco and the emperors Adolphus and Maximilian; and pronouncing himself, with the most heartfelt complacency, the greatest genius of his age!332 In the midst of these self-complacent reveries, let us imagine we see his wife and little ones intruding; beseeching him to burn his books and instruments; and reminding him that there was neither a silver spoon, nor a loaf of bread, in the cupboard. Alas, poor Dee! — thou wert the dupe of the people and of the Court: and, although Meric Casaubon has enshrined thy conjurations in a pompous folio volume, thy name, I fear, will only live in the memory of bibliomaniacs!

332 Those who are fond of copious biographical details of astrologers and conjurers will read, with no small pleasure and avidity, the long gossipping account of Dee, which Hearne has subjoined to his edition of John Confrat. Monach. de rebus gestis Glaston., vol. ii.; where twelve chapters are devoted to the subject of our philosopher's travels and hardships. Meric Casaubon — who put forth a pompous folio volume of "A true and faithful relation of what passed for many yeers between Dr. John Dee and some spirits:" 1659 — gravely assures us, in an elaborate, learned, and rather amusing preface, that the volume contains what "he thinks is not to be paralleled in that kind by any book that hath been set out in any age to read:" sign A. This is true enough; for such a farago of incongruous, risible, and horrible events, are no where else recorded. "None but itself can be its parallel." Casaubon wrote a professed dissertation (1652, 8vo.) upon witches, and nothing seemed to be too unpalatable for his credulity to swallow. A compressed and rather interesting account of Dee, who was really the weakest as well as the ablest scholar and philosopher of his day, will be found in Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum, p. 480. From the substance of these authorities, the reader is presented with the following sketch. The first chapter in Hearne's publication, which treats of the "entrance and ground plot of his first studies," informs us that he had received his Latin education in London and Chelmsford: that he was born in July, 1527, and at 15 years of age was entered at the University of Cambridge, 1542. In the three following years, "so vehemently was he bent to study that, for those years, he did inviolably keep this order; only to sleep 4 hours every night; to allow to meat and drink (and some refreshing after) 2 hours every day; and of the other 18 hours, all (excepting the time of going to, and being at, divine service) was spent in his studies and learning." In May, 1547, after having taken his Bachelor's decree, he went abroad. "And after some months spent about the Low Countries, he returned home, and brought with him the first astronomer's staff in brass, that was made of Gemma Frisius devising; the two great globes of Gerardus Mercator's making, and the astronomer's ring of brass, as Gemma Frisius had newly framed it." Dee's head now began to run wild upon astronomy, or rather astrology; and the tremendous assistance of the "occult art" was called in to give effect to the lectures which he read upon it at home and abroad. "He did set forth (and it was seen of the University) a Greek comedy of Aristophanes, named, in Greek, ειρήνη, in Latin, Pax; with the performance of the Scarabæus his flying up to Jupiter's palace, with a man and his basket of victuals on his back: whereat was great wondering and many vain reports spread abroad of the means how that was effected. In that college (Trinity, for he had now left St. John's), by his advice and endeavours, was their Christmas magistrate first named and confirmed an emperor." The first emperor of this sort, (whose name, it must be confessed, is rather unpopular in a University) he takes care to inform us, "was one Mr. Thomas Dun, a very goodly man of person, stature, and complexion, and well learned also." Dee afterwards ranks these things among "his boyish attempts and exploits scholastical." In 1548 he was made Master of Arts, and in the same year "went over beyond the seas again, and never after that was any more student in Cambridge." Abroad, almost every emperor and nobleman of distinction, according to his own account, came to see and hear him. "For recreation, he looked into the method of the civil law, and profitted therein so much that, in Antinomiis, imagined to be in the law, he had good hap to find out (well allowed of) their agreements; and also to enter into a plain and due understanding of diverse civil laws, accounted very intricate and dark." At Paris, when he gave lectures upon Euclid's elements, "a thing never done publicly in any university in Christendom, his auditory in Rhemes college was so great, and the most part elder than himself, that the mathematical schools could not hold them; for many were fain, without the schools, at the windows, to be Auditores et Spectatores, as they could best help themselves thereto. And by the first four principal definitions representing to their eyes (which by imagination only are exactly to be conceived) a greater wonder arose among the beholders than of his Aristophanes Scarabæus mounting up to the top of Trinity Hall, ut supra." Notwithstanding the tempting offers to cause him to be domiciled in France and Germany, our astrologer, like a true patriot, declined them all. The French king offered an annual stipend of 200 French crowns; a Monsieur Babeu, Monsieur de Rohan, and Monsieur de Monluc, offered still greater sums, but were all refused. In Germany he was tempted with the yearly salary of 3000 dollars; "and lastly, by a messenger from the Russie or Muscovite Emperor, purposely sent with a very rich present unto him at Trebona castle, and with provision for the whole journey (being above 1200 miles from the castle where he lay) of his coming to his court at Moscow, with his wife, children, and whole family, there to enjoy at his imperial hands 2000lib. sterling yearly stipend; and of his Protector yearly a thousand rubles; with his diet also to be allowed him free out of the emperor's own kitchen: and to be in dignity with authority amongst the highest sort of the nobility there, and of his Privy Counsellors."— But all this was heroically declined by our patriotic philosopher. Lord Pembroke and Lord Leicester introduced Dee to the notice of Q. Elizabeth, before her coronation. At which time her Majesty used these words —"Where my brother hath given him a crown, I will give him a noble!" Before the accession of Elizabeth, he was imprisoned on being accused of destroying Queen Mary by enchantment. "The Queen Elizabeth herself became a prisoner in the same place (Hampton Court) shortly afterwards; and Dee had for bedfellow one Barthelet Green, who was afterwards burnt." Dee himself was examined by Bishop Bonner. On the deanery of Gloucester becoming void in 1564, Dee was nominated to fill it: but the same deanery was afterwards bestowed on Mr. Man, who was sent into Spain in her Majesty's service. "And now this Lent, 1594, when it became void again (says Dee), I made a motion for it, but I came too late; for one that might spend 400 or 500 lib. a year already, had more need of it than I belike; or else this former gift was but words only to me, and the fruit ever due to others, that can espy and catch better than I for these 35 years could do." Mistris Blanche à Parry came to his house with an offer from the Queen of "any ecclesiastical dignity within her kingdom, being then, or shortly becoming, void and vacant"— but "Dee's most humble and thankful answer to her Majesty, by the same messenger, was that cura animarum annexa did terrifie him to deal with." He was next promised to "have of her Majesty's gift other ecclesiastical livings and revenues (without care of souls annexed) as in her Majesty's books were rated at two hundred pounds yearly revenue; of which her Majesty's gift he never as yet had any one penny." In Oct. 1578, he had a consultation with Mr. Doctor Bayly, her Majesty's physician, "about her Majestie's grievous pangs and pains by reason of the toothake and rheum," &c. "He set down in writing, with hydrographical and geographical description, what he then had to say or shew, as concerning her Majesty's title royal to any foreign countries. Whereof two parchment great rolls full written, of about xii white vellum skins, were good witnesses upon the table before the commissioners." Dee had refused an hundred pounds for these calligraphical labours. A list of his printed and unprinted works: the former 8 (ending with the year 1573), the latter 36 (ending with the year 1592), in number. Anno 1563, Julii ultimo, the Earl of Leicester and Lord Laskey invited themselves to dine with Dee in a day or two; but our astrologer "confessed sincerely that he was not able to prepare them a convenient dinner, unless he should presently sell some of his plate or some of his pewter for it. Whereupon," continues Dee, "her Majesty sent unto me very royally within one hour after forty angels of gold, from Sion; whither her Majesty was now come by water from Greenwich." A little before Christmas, 1599, Dee mentions a promise of another royal donation of 100l.—"which intent and promise, some once or twice after, as he came in her Majesty's sight, she repeated unto him; and thereupon sent unto him fifty pounds to keep his Christmas with that year — but what, says he, is become of the other fifty, truly I cannot tell! If her Majesty can, it is sufficient; 'Satis, citò, modò, satis bene, must I say.'" In 1591, his patroness, the Countess of Warwick, made a powerful diversion at Court to secure for him the mastership of St. Cross, then filled by Dr. Bennet, who was to be made a bishop. — The queen qualified her promise of Dee's having it with a nota bene, if he should be fit for it. In 1592, the Archbishop of Canterbury openly "affirmed that the mastership of St. Crosse was a living most fit for him; and the Lord Treasurer, at Hampton Court, lately to himself declared, and with his hand very earnestly smitten on his breast used these very words to him —'By my faith, if her Majestie be moved in it by any other for you, I will do what I can with her Majestie to pleasure you therein, Mr. Dee.'" But it is time to gratify the Bibliomaniac with something more to his palate. Here followeth, therefore, as drawn up by our philosopher himself, an account of

Dee's Library:

"4000 Volumes— printed and unprinted — bound and unbound — valued at 2000 lib.

1 Greek, 2 French, and 1 High Dutch, volumes of MSS., alone worth 533 lib. 40 years in getting these books together."

Appertaining thereto,

Sundry rare and exquisitely made Mathematical Instruments.

A radius Astronomicus, ten feet long.

A Magnet Stone, or Loadstone; of great virtue —"which was sold out of the library for v shill. and for it afterwards (yea piece-meal divided) was more than xx lib. given in money and value."

"A great case or frame of boxes, wherein some hundreds of very rare evidences of divers Irelandish territories, provinces, and lands, were laid up. Which territories, provinces, and lands were therein notified to have been in the hands of some of the ancient Irish princes. Then, their submissions and tributes agreed upon, with seals appendant to the little writings thereof in parchment: and after by some of those evidences did it appear how some of those lands came to the Lascies, the Mortuomars, the Burghs, the Clares," &c.

"A box of Evidences antient of some Welch princes and noblemen — the like of Norman donation — their peculiar titles noted on the forepart with chalk only, which on the poor boxes remaineth." This box, with another, containing similar deeds, were embezzled.

"One great bladder with about 4 pound weight, of a very sweetish thing, like a brownish gum in it, artificially prepared by thirty times purifying of it, hath more than I could well afford him for 100 crownes; as may be proved by witnesses yet living."

To these he adds his three Laboratories, "serving for Pyrotechnia"— which he got together after 20 years' labour. "All which furniture and provision, and many things already prepared, is unduly made away from me by sundry meanes, and a few spoiled or broken vessels remain, hardly worth 40 shillings." But one more feature in poor Dee's character — and that is his unparalleled serenity and good nature under the most griping misfortunes — remains to be described: and then we may take farewell of him, with aching hearts. In the 10th chapter, speaking of the wretched poverty of himself and family —("having not one penny of certain fee, revenue, stipend, or pension, either left him or restored unto him,")— Dee says that "he has been constrained now and then to send parcels of his little furniture of plate to pawn upon usury; and that he did so oft, till no more could be sent. After the same manner went his wives' jewels of gold, rings, bracelets, chains, and other their rarities, under the thraldom of the usurer's gripes: 'till non plus was written upon the boxes at home." In the 11th chapter, he anticipates the dreadful lot of being brought "to the stepping out of doors (his house being sold). He, and his, with bottles and wallets furnished, to become wanderers as homish vagabonds; or, as banished men, to forsake the kingdom!" Again: "with bloody tears of heart, he, and his wife, their seven children, and their servant (seventeen of them in all), did that day make their petition unto their honours," &c. Can human misery be sharper than this — and to be the lot of a philosopher and bibliomaniac?! But "veniet felicius ævum."

Of a wholly different cast of character and of reading was the renowned Captain Cox of Coventry. How many of Dee's magical books he had exchanged for the pleasanter magic of Old Ballads and Romances, I will not take upon me to say; but that this said bibliomaniacal Captain had a library, which, even from Master Laneham's imperfect description of it,333 I should have preferred to the four thousand volumes of Dr. John Dee, is most nuquestionable.

333 Let us be introduced to the sprightly figure and expression of character of this renowned Coventry captain, before we speak particularly of his library. "Captain Cox (says the above-mentioned Master Laneham) came marching on valiantly before, clean trust and gartered above the knee, all fresh in a velvet cap (Master Golding a lent it him), flourishing with his ton sword; and another fence master with him:" p. 39. A little before, he is thus described as connected with his library: "And first, Captain Cox; an odd man, I promise you: by profession a mason, and that right skilful: very cunning in fens (fencing); and hardy as Gawin; for his ton sword hangs at his table's end. Great oversight hath he in matters of story: for as for King Arthur's Book, Huon of Bourdeaux, the Four Sons of Aymon, Bevys of Hampton, The Squyre of Low Degree, The Knight of Curtsy, and the Lady Fagnel, Frederick of Gene, Syr Eglamour, Syr Tryamour, Syr Lamurell, Syr Isenbras, Syr Gawyn, Olyver of the Castl, Lucres and Eurialus, Virgil's Life, the Castl of Ladies, the Widow Edyth, the King and the Tanner, Frier Rous, Howleglas, Gargantua, Robin Hood, Adam Bel, Clim on the Clough, and William of Cloudsley, the Churl and the Burd, the Seaven Wise Masters, the Wife lapt in a Morel's skin, the Sakful of Nuez, the Sergeaunt that became a Fryar, Skogan, Collyn Cloout, the Fryar and the Boy, Elynor Rumming, and the Nutbrooun Maid, with many more than I rehearse here. I believe he has them all at his finger's ends," p. 36. The preceding is a list of the worthy Captain's Romances; some of which, at least in their original shape, were unknown to Ritson: what would be the amount of their present produce under the hammer of those renowned black-letter-book auctioneers in King-street, Covent Garden —? Speak we, in the next place, of the said military bibliomaniac's collection of books in "philosophy moral and natural." "Beside Poetry and Astronomy, and other hid sciences, as I may guess by the omberty of his books: whereof part are, as I remember, The Shepherd's Kalendar, the Ship of Fools, Daniel's Dreams, the Book of Fortune, Stans, puer ad mensam, the bye way to the Spitl-house, Julian of Brainford's Testament, the Castle of Love, the Booget of Demaunds, the Hundred Mery Talez, the Book of Riddels, the Seaven Sorows of Wemen, the Proud Wives' Pater-Noster, the Chapman of a Penniworth of Wit: Beside his auncient plays; Youth and Charitee, Hikskorner, Nugize, Impacient Poverty, and herewith Doctor Boord's Breviary of Health. What should I rehearse here, what a bunch of ballads and songs, all ancient?! — Here they come, gentle reader; lift up thine eyen and marvel while thou dost peruse the same: Broom Broom on Hill, So wo iz me begon, trolly lo Over a Whinny Meg, Hey ding a ding, Bony lass upon a green, My bony on gave me a bek, By a bank az I lay; and two more he hath fair wrapt up in parchment, and bound with a whipcord!" It is no wonder that Ritson, in the historical essay prefixed to his collection of Scottish Songs, should speak of some of these ballads with a zest as if he would have sacrificed half his library to untie the said "whipcord" packet. And equally joyous, I ween, would my friend Mr. R.H. Evans, of Pall-Mall, have been — during his editorial labours in publishing a new edition of his father's collection of Ballads —(an edition, by the bye, which gives us more of the genuine spirit of the Coxean collection than any with which I am acquainted)— equally joyous would Mr. Evans have been to have had the inspection of some of these 'bonny' songs. The late Duke of Roxburgh, of never-dying bibliomaniacal celebrity, would have parted with half the insignia of his order of the Garter to have obtained clean original copies of these fascinating effusions! But let us return, and take farewell of Captain Cox, by noticing only the remaining department of his library, as described by Laneham. "As for Almanacs of antiquity (a point for Ephemerides) I ween he can shew from Jasper Laet of Antwerp, unto Nostradam of Frauns, and thence unto our John Securiz of Salisbury. To stay ye no longer herein (concludes Laneham) I dare say he hath as fair a library of these sciences, and as many goodly monuments both in prose and poetry, and at afternoon can talk as much without book, as any innholder betwixt Brentford and Bagshot, what degree soever he be." A Letter wherein part of the Entertainment untoo the Queenz Majesty at Killingwoorth Castl in Warwick-Sheer, in this Soomerz Progrest, 1575, is signefied: Warwick, 1784, 8vo. O rare Captain Cox!

We now approach two characters of a more dignified cast; and who, in every respect, must be denominated the greatest bibliomaniacs of the age: I mean Sir Robert Cotton and Sir Thomas Bodley. We will touch upon them separately.

The numerous relics which are yet preserved of the Cottonian Collection, may serve to convey a pretty strong idea of its splendour and perfection in its original shape. Cotton had all the sagacity and judgment of Lord Coke, with a more beautifully polished mind, and a more benevolent heart. As to books, and book men, he was the Mecænas334 of his day. His thirst for knowledge could never be satiated; and the cultivation of the mind upon the foundation of a good heart, he considered to be the highest distinction, and the most permanent delight, of human beings. Wealth, pomp, parade, and titles, were dissipated, in the pure atmosphere of his mind before the invigorating sun of science and learning. He knew that the tomb which recorded the worth of the deceased had more honest tears shed upon it than the pompous mausoleum which spoke only of his pedigree and possessions. Accordingly, although he had excellent blood flowing in his veins, Cotton sought connection with the good rather than with the great; and where he found a cultivated understanding, and an honest heart, there he carried with him his Lares, and made another's abode his own.

334 There are few eminent characters of whom so many, and such ably-executed, memoirs are extant as of Sir Robert Cotton, Knt. In the present place we have nothing to do with his academical studies, his philosophical, or legislative, or diplomatic, labours: literature and Book Madness are our only subjects of discussion. Yet those who may wish for more general, and possibly more interesting, details, may examine the authorities referred to by Mr. Planta in his very excellent Catalogue of the MSS. in the Cottonian Library, 1802, folio. Sir Robert Cotton was educated at Trinity-College, Cambridge. The number of curious volumes, whether in the roman, gothic, or italic type, which he in all probability collected during his residence at the university, has not yet been ascertained; but we know that, when he made his antiquarian tour with the famous Camden, ("par nobile fratrum!") in his 29th year, Cotton must have greatly augmented his literary treasures, and returned to the metropolis with a sharpened appetite, to devour every thing in the shape of a book. Respected by three sovereigns, Elizabeth, James, and Charles, and admired by all the literati in Europe, Sir Robert saw himself in as eminent a situation as wealth, talents, taste, and integrity can place an individual. His collection of books increased rapidly; but MS. records, deeds, and charters, were the chief objects of his pursuit. His mansion was noble, his library extensive, and his own manners such as conciliated the esteem of almost every one who approached him. Dr. Smith has well described our illustrious bibliomaniac, at this golden period of his life: "Ad Cottoni ædes, tanquam ad communem reconditioris doctrinæ apothecam, sive ad novam Academiam, quotquot animo paulo erectiori musis et gratiis litaverint, sese recepere, nullam a viro humanissimo repulsam passuri: quippe idem literas bonas promovendi studium erat omni auctoramento longe potentius. Nec ista obvia morum facilitas, qua omnes bonos eruditionisque candidatos complexus est, quicquam reverentiæ qua vicissim ille colebatur, detraxerat: potius, omnium, quos familiari sermone, repititisque colloquiis dignari placuit, in se amores et admirationem hac insigni naturæ benignitate excitavit." Vit. Rob. Cottoni, p. xxiv., prefixed to the Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibl. Cott., 1696, folio. Sir Robert was, however, doomed to have the evening of his life clouded by one of those crooked and disastrous events, of which it is now impossible to trace the correct cause, or affix the degree of ignominy attached to it, on the head of its proper author. Human nature has few blacker instances of turpitude on record than that to which our knight fell a victim. In the year 1615, some wretch communicated to the Spanish ambassador "the valuable state papers in his library, who caused them to be copied and translated into the Spanish:" these papers were of too much importance to be made public; and James the 1st had the meanness to issue a commission "which excluded Sir Robert from his own library." The storm quickly blew over, and the sunshine of Cotton's integrity diffused around its wonted brilliancy. But in the year 1629, another mischievous wretch propagated a report that Sir Robert had been privy to a treasonable publication: because, forsooth, the original tract, from which this treasonable one had been taken, was, in the year 1613, without the knowledge of the owner of the library, introduced into the Cottonian collection. This wretch, under the abused title of librarian, had, "for pecuniary considerations," the baseness to suffer one or more copies of the pamphlet of 1613 (writtten at Florence by Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, under a less offensive title) to be taken, and in consequence printed. Sir Robert was therefore again singled out for royal vengeance: his library was put under sequestration; and the owner forbidden to enter it. It was in vain that his complete innocence was vindicated. To deprive such a man as Cotton of the ocular and manual comforts of his library — to suppose that he could be happy in the most splendid drawing room in Europe, without his books — is to suppose what our experience of virtuous bibliomaniacs will not permit us to accede to. In consequence, Sir Robert declared to his friends, "that they had broken his heart who had locked up his library from him:" which declaration he solemnly repeated to the Privy Council. In the year 1631, this great and good man closed his eyes for ever upon mortal scenes; upon those whom he gladdened by his benevolence, and improved by his wisdom. Such was the man, of whom Gale has thus eloquently spoken:—"quisquis bona fide Historiam nostram per omne ævum explicare sataget, nullum laudatum Scriptorem à se desiderari exoptarique posse, quem Cottonianus ille incomparabilis thesaurus promptissime non exhibebit: Ea est, et semper fuit, nobilis Domus ergo literatos indulgentia — Hujus fores (ut illæ Musaram, apud Pindarum) omnibus patent. Testes apello Theologos, Antiquarios, Jurisconsultos, Bibliopolas; qui quidem omnes, ex Cottoniana Bibliotheca, tanquam ex perenni, sed et communi fonte, sine impensis et molestiâ, abundè hauserunt." Rer. Anglic. Script. Vet., vol. i., præf., p. 3. The loss of such a character — the deprivation of such a patron — made the whole society of book-collectors tremble and turn pale. Men began to look sharply into their libraries, and to cast a distrustful eye upon those who came to consult and to copy: for the spirit of Cotton, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, was seen to walk, before cock-crow, along the galleries and balconies of great collections, and to bid the owners of them "remember and beware"! — But to return. The library of this distinguished bibliomaniac continued under sequestration some time after his death, and was preserved entire, with difficulty, during the shock of the civil wars. In the year 1712, it was removed to Essex House, in Essex-street, Strand, where it continued till the year 1730, when it was conveyed back to Westminster, and deposited in Little Dean's Yard. In October, 1731, broke out that dreadful fire, which Hearne (Benedict. Abbat., vol. i., præf. p. xvi.) so pathetically deplores; and in which the nation so generally sympathized — as it destroyed and mutilated many precious volumes of this collection. Out of 958 volumes, 97 were destroyed, and 105 damaged. In the year 1753 the library, to the honour of the age, and as the only atonement which could be made to the injured name of Cotton, as well as to the effectual laying of his perturbed spirit — was purchased by parliament, and transported within the quiet and congenial abode of the British Museum: and here may it rest, unabused, for revolving ages! The collection now contains 26,000 articles. Consult Mr. Planta's neatly written preface to the catalogue of the same; vide p. 39, 267, ante. And thus take we leave of the ever-memorable bibliomaniac, Sir Robert Cotton, Knt.

Equally celebrated for literary zeal, and yet more for bibliomaniacal enthusiasm, was the famous Sir Thomas Bodley; whose account of himself, in Prince's Worthies of Devon, and particularly in one of Hearne's publications,335 can never be read without transport by an affectionate son of our Oxford Alma Mater. View this illustrious bibliomaniac, with his gentleman-like air, and expressive countenance, superintending, with the zeal of a Custom-house officer, the shipping, or rather barging, of his books for the grand library which is now called by his own name! Think upon his activity in writing to almost every distinguished character of the realm: soliciting, urging, arguing, entreating for their support towards his magnificent establishment; and, moreover, superintending the erection of the building, as well as examining the timbers, with the nicety of a master-carpenter! — Think of this; and when you walk under the grave and appropriately-ornamented roof, which tells you that you are within the precincts of the Bodleian Library, pay obeisance to the portrait of the founder, and hold converse with his gentle spirit that dwells therein!

335 There are few subjects — to the bibliomaniac in general — and particularly to one, who, like the author of this work, numbers himself among the dutiful sons of the fair Oxonian mother— that can afford a higher gratification than the history of the Bodleian library, which, like Virgil's description of fame,

"Soon grew from pigmy to gigantic size."

The reader is therefore here informed, as a necessary preliminary piece of intelligence, that the present note will be more monstrous than any preceding one of a similar nature. Let him, however, take courage, and only venture to dip his feet in the margin of the lake, and I make little doubt but that he will joyfully plunge in, and swim across it. Of the parentage, birth, and education of Bodley there seems to be no necessity for entering into the detail. The monument which he has erected to his memory is lofty enough for every eye to behold; and thereupon may be read the things most deserving of being known. How long the subject of his beloved library had occupied his attention it is perhaps of equal difficulty and unimportance to know; but his determination to carry this noble plan into effect is thus pleasingly communicated to us by his own pen: "when I had, I say, in this manner, represented to my thoughts, my peculiar estate, I resolved thereupon to possess my soul in peace all the residue of my days; to take my full farewell of state employments; to satisfy my mind with that mediocrity of worldly living that I have of my own, and so to retire me from the Court; which was the epilogue and end of all my actions and endeavours, of any important note, till I came to the age of fifty-three years."—"Examining exactly, for the rest of my life, what course I might take; and, having, as I thought, sought all the ways to the wood, I concluded, at the last, to set up my staff at the library door in Oxon, being thoroughly persuaded, in my solitude and surcease from the commonwealth affairs, I could not busy myself to better purpose than by reducing that place (which then in every part lay ruinated and waste) to the public use of Students." Prince's Worthies of Devon, p. 95, edit. 1810. Such being the reflections and determination of Sir Thomas Bodley, he thus ventured to lay open his mind to the heads of the University of Oxford:

"To the Vice-Chancellor (Dr. Ravis) of Oxon; about restoring the public library.

(This letter was published in a convocation holden March 2, 1597)


Although you know me not, as I suppose, yet for the farthering an offer, of evident utility, to your whole university, I will not be too scrupulous in craving your assistance. I have been always of a mind that, if God, of his goodness, should make me able to do any thing, for the benefit of posterity, I would shew some token of affection, that I have ever more borne, to the studies of good learning. I know my portion is too slender to perform, for the present, any answerable act to my willing disposition: but yet, to notify some part of my desire in that behalf, I have resolved thus to deal. Where there hath been heretofore a public library in Oxford, which, you know, is apparent by the room itself remaining, and by your statute records, I will take the charge and cost upon me to reduce it again to his former use: and to make it fit and handsome, with seats, and shelves, and desks, and all that may be needfull, to stir up other men's benevolence, to help to furnish it with books. And this I purpose to begin, as soon as timber can be gotten, to the intent that you may reap some speedy profit of my project. And where before, as I conceive, it was to be reputed but a store of books of divers benefactors, because it never had any lasting allowance, for augmentation of the number, or supply of books decayed: whereby it came to pass that, when those that were in being were either wasted or embezelled, the whole foundation came to ruin:— to meet with that inconvenience, I will so provide hereafter (if God do not hinder my present design) as you shall be still assured of a standing annual rent, to be disbursed every year in buying of books, in officers' stipends, and other pertinent occasions, with which provision, and some order for the preservation of the place, and of the furniture of it, from accustomed abuses, it may, perhaps, in time to come, prove a notable treasure for the multitude of volumes; an excellent benefit for the use and ease of students; and a singular ornament in the University. I am, therefore, to intreat you, because I will do nothing without their public approbation, to deliver this, that I have signified, in that good sort, that you think meet: and when you please to let me know their acceptation of my offer, I will be ready to effect it with all convenient expedition. But, for the better effecting of it, I do desire to be informed whether the University be sufficiently qualified, by licence of Mortmain, or other assurance, to receive a farther grant of any rent or annuity than they do presently enjoy. And, if any instruments be extant of the ancient donations to their former library, I would, with their good liking, see a transcript of them: and likewise of such statutes as were devised by the founders, or afterwards by others for the usage of the books. Which is now as much as I can think on, whereunto, at your good leisure, I would request your friendly answer. And, if it lie in my ability to deserve your pains in that behalf, although we be not yet acquainted, you shall find me very forward. From London, Feb. 23, 1597.

Your affectionate friend,

Tho. Bodley."

In the Easter following, "Mr. Bodley came to Oxford to view the place on which he intended his bounty, and making them a model of the design with the help of Mr. Saville, Warden of Merton College, ordered that the room, or place of stowage, for books, should be new planked, and that benches and repositories fo books should be set up." Wood's Annals of the University, vol. ii., pt. ii., p. 920. The worthy founder then pursued his epistolary intercourse with the Vice-Chancellor:

"To Mr. Vice Chancellor.


I find myself greatly beholden unto you for the speed that you have used in proposing my offer to the whole University, which I also hear by divers friends was greatly graced in their meeting with your courteous kind speeches. And though their answer of acceptance were over thankful and respective; yet I take it unto me for a singular comfort, that it came for that affection, whose thanks in that behalf I do esteem a great deal more than they have reason to esteem a far better offer. In which respect I have returned my dutiful acknowledgement, which I beseech you to present, when you shall call a convocation, about some matter of greater moment. Because their letter was in Latin, methought it did enforce me not to show myself a truant, by attempting the like, with a pen out of practice: which yet I hope they will excuse with a kind construction of my meaning. And to the intent they may perceive that my good will is as forward to perform as to promise, and that I purpose to shew it to their best contentation, I do hold it very requisite that some few should be deputed by the rest of the House to consider, for the whole, of the fittest kind of facture of desks, and other furniture; and when I shall come to Oxford, which I determine, God willing, some time before Easter, I will then acquaint the self same parties with some notes of a platform, which I and Mr. Savile have conceived here between us: so that, meeting altogether, we shall soon resolve upon the best, as well for shew, and stately form, as for capacity and strength, and commodity of students. Of this my motion I would pray you to take some notice in particular, for that my letter herewith to your public assembly doth refer itself in part to your delivery of my mind. My chiefest care is now, the while, how to season my timber as soon as possible. For that which I am offered by the special favour of Merton College, although it were felled a great while since, yet of force it will require, after time it is sawed, a convenient seasoning; least by making too much haste, if the shelves and seats should chance to warp, it might prove to be an eye sore, and cost in a manner cast away. To gain some time in that regard, I have already taken order for setting sawyers a-work, and for procuring besides all other materials; wherein my diligence and speed shall bear me witness of my willingness to accomplish all that I pretend, to every man's good liking. And thus I leave and commend you to God's good tuition. From London, March 19, — 97

Your assured to use in all your occasions,

Tho. Bodley."

Neither this nor the preceding letter are published in Mr. Gutch's valuable edition of Wood's original text: but are to be found, as well as every other information here subjoined, in Hearne's edition of Joh. Confrat. &c., de Reb. Glaston., vol. ii., pp. 612 to 645. We will next peruse the curious list of the first benefactors to the Bodleian Library.

My Lord of Essex: about 300 volumes: greater part in folio.

My Lord Chamberlain: 100 volumes, all in a manner new bound, with his arms, and a great part in folio.

The Lord Montacute: 66 costly great volumes, in folio; all bought of set purpose, and fairly bound with his arms.

The Lord Lumley: 40 volumes in folio.

Sir Robert Sidney: 102 new volumes in folio, to the value of one hundred pounds, being all very fair, and especially well bound with his arms.

Merton College: 38 volumes of singular good books in folio, &c.

Mr. Philip Scudamor: 50 volumes: greatest part in folio.

Mr. William Gent: 100 volumes at the least.

Mr. Lawrence Bodley: 37 very fair and new bought books in folio. (There were seven other donations — in money, from 4 to 10l.)

Another list of benefactors; read in Convocation, July 17, 1601.

Sir John Fortescue, Knt.: 47 volumes: of which there are 5 Greek MSS. of singular worth.

Mr. Jo. Crooke: Recorder of the City of London: 27 good volumes; of which 25 are in folio.

Mr. Henry Savile: all the Greek interpreters upon Aust(in).

Mr. William Gent, of Glocester Hall: 160 volumes; of which there are 50 in folio.

Mr. Thomas Allen, of do., hath given 12 rare MSS., with a purpose to do more, and hath been ever a most careful provoker and solicitor of sundry great persons to become benefactors.

Mr. William Camden, by his office Clarentius: 7 volumes; of which 4 are manuscripts.

Mr. Thomas James, of New College: 100 volumes: almost all in folio, and sundry good manuscripts. With about 50 other donations, chiefly in money.

To Dr. Raves, Vice-Chanc. (Read in Convoc. May 10, 1602.)

A yet larger, and more complete, list will be found in Mr. Gutch's publication of Wood's text. Let us next observe how this distinguished bibliomaniac seized every opportunity — laying embargoes upon barges and carriages — for the conveyance of his book-treasures. The ensuing is also in Mr. Gutch's work:

"To the Right W. Mr. D. King, Dean of Christ-Church, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxon, or, in his absence, to his Deputies there.

(Read in Convocation, July 8, 1608.)


I have sent down, by a western barge, all the books that I have of this year's collection, which I have requested Mr. James, and other of my friends, to see safely brought from Burcote, and placed in the library. Sir Francis Vere hath sent me this year his accustomed annual gift of ten pounds. The Lady Mary Vere, wife to Sir Horace Vere, in the time of her widowhood (for so she is desired it should be recorded), being called Mrs. Hoby, of Hales, in Gloucestershire, hath given twenty pound. (He then enumerates about 15 other donations, and thus goes on:) Thus I thought meet to observe my yearly custom, in acquainting the University with the increase of their store: as my care shall be next, and that very shortly, to endow them with that portion of revenue and land that I have provided, whensoever God shall call me, for the full defraying of any charge that, by present likelihood, the conservation of the books, and all needful allowances to the keeper and others, may from time to time require. I will send you, moreover, a draught of certain statutes, which I have rudely conceived about the employment of that revenue, and for the government of the library: not with any meaning that they should be received, as orders made by me (for it shall appear unto you otherwise) but as notes and remembrances to abler persons, whom hereafter you may nominate (as I will also then request you) to consider of those affairs, and so frame a substantial form of government, sith that which is a foot is in many thinges defective for preservation of the library: for I hold it altogether fitting that the University Convocation should be always possessed of an absolute power to devise any statutes, and of those to alter as they list, when they find an occasion of evident utility. But of these and other points, when I send you my project, I will both write more of purpose, and impart unto you freely my best cogitations, being evermore desirous, whatsoever may concern your public good, to procure and advance it so, to the uttermost of my power: as now in the meanwhile, reminding unto you my fervent affection, I rest for any service,

Your most assured, at commandment,

Tho. Bodleie.

London, June 30, 1608."

In a letter to his "dearest friends, Doctor Kinge, Vice-Chancellor, the Doctors, Proctors, and the rest of the Convocation House in Oxon," (16th June, 1609) after telling them how he had secured certain landed property for the payment of the salaries and other expenses attendant upon the library, Sir Thomas thus draws to a conclusion: "Now because I presuppose that you take little pleasure in a tedious letter, having somewhat besides to impart unto you, I have made it known by word to Mr. Vicechancellor, who, I know, will not fail to acquaint you with it: as withall I have intreated him to supply, in my behalf, all my negligent omissions, and defective form of thanks, for all your public honours, entertainments, letters, gifts, and other graces conferred upon me, which have so far exceeded the compass of my merits that, where before I did imagine that nothing could augment my zealous inclination to your general good, now methinks I do feel it (as I did a great while since) was very highly augmented: insomuch as I cannot but shrive myself thus freely and soothly unto you. That, albeit, among a number of natural imperfections, I have least of all offended in the humour of ambition, yet now so it is, that I do somewhat repent me of my too much niceness that way: not as carried with an appetite to rake more riches to myself (wherein, God is my witness, my content is complete) but only in respect of my greedy desire to make a livelier demonstration of the same that I bear to my common mother, than I have hitherto attained sufficient ability to put in execution. With which unfeigned testification of my devotion unto you, and with my daily fervent prayers for the endless prosperity of your joint endeavours, in that whole institution of your public library, I will close up this letter, and rest, as I shall ever,

Yours, in all loving and dutiful affection,

Thomas Bodley.

London, May 31, 1609."

The following, which is also in Mr. Gutch's publication, shews the laudable restlessness, and insatiable ambition, of our venerable bibliomaniac, in ransacking foreign libraries for the completion of his own.

"To the Right Worshipfull Mr. D. Singleton, Vicechancellor of the University of Oxon.

(Read in Convocation, Nov. 9, 1611.)


About some three years past, I made a motion, here in London, to Mr. Pindar, Consul of the Company of English Merchants at Aleppo (a famous port in the Turk's dominions) that he would use his best means to procure me some books in the Syriac, Arabic, Turkish, and Persian tongues, or in any other language of those Eastern nations: because I make no doubt but, in process of time, by the extraordinary diligence of some one or other student, they may be readily understood, and some special use made of their kind of learning in those parts of the world: and where I had a purpose to reimburse all the charge that might grow thereupon, he sent of late unto me 20 several volumes in the foresaid tongues, and of his liberal disposition hath bestowed them freely on the library. They are manuscripts all (for in those countries they have no kind of printing) and were valued in that place at a very high rate. I will send them, ere be long, praying you the while to notify so much unto the University, and to move them to write a letter of thanks, which I will find means to convey to his hands, being lately departed from London to Constantinople. Whether the letter be indited in Latin or English, it is not much material, but yet, in my conceit, it will do best to him in English."

(The remainder of this letter is devoted to a scheme of building the public schools at Oxford; in which Sir Thomas found a most able and cheerful coadjutor, in one, Sir Jo. Benet; who seems to have had an extensive and powerful connection, and who set the scheme on foot, "like a true affected son to his ancient mother, with a cheerful propension to take the charge upon him without groaning.")

In April 1585, Queen Elizabeth granted Sir Thomas "a passport of safe conveyance to Denmark"; and wrote a letter to the King of Denmark of the same date, within two days. She wrote, also, a letter to Julius, Duke of Brunswick of the same date: in which the evils that were then besetting the Christian world abroad were said to be rushing suddenly, as "from the Trojan Horse." "These three letters (observes Mr. Baker to his friend Hearne) are only copies, but very fairly wrote, and seem to have been duplicates kept by him that drew the original letters."

We will peruse but two more of these Bodleian epistles, which Hearne very properly adds as an amusing appendix, as well to the foregoing, as to his Reliquiæ Bodleianæ (1703, 8vo). They are written to men whose names must ever be held in high veneration by all worthy bibliomanacs.

"Sir Tho. Bodley to Sir Robert Cotton. (Ex. Bibl. Cotton.)


I was thrice to have seen you at your house, but had not the hap to find you at home. It was only to know how you hold your old intention for helping to furnish the University Library: where I purpose, God willing, to place all the books that I have hitherto gathered, within these three weeks. And whatsoever any man shall confer for the storing of it, such order is taken for a due memorial of his gift as I am persuaded he cannot any way receive a greater contentment of any thing to the value otherwise bestowed. Thus much I thought to signify unto you: and to request you to hear how you rest affected.

Yours, to use in any occasion,

Tho. Bodley.

From my house, June 6."

"Sir Henry Savile to Sir R(obert) C(otton).


I have made Mr. Bodley acquainted with your kind and friendly offer, who accepteth of it in most thankful manner: and if it pleaseth you to appoint to-morrow at afternoon, or upon Monday or Tuesday next, at some hour likewise after dinner, we will not fail to be with you at your house for that purpose. And remember I give you fair warning that if you hold any book so dear as that you would be loth to have him out of your sight, set him aside before hand. For my own part, I will not do that wrong to my judgment as to chuse of the worst, if better be in place: and, beside, you would account me a simple man.

But to leave jesting, we will any of the days come to you, leaving, as great reason is, your own in your own power freely to retain or dispose. True it is that I have raised some expectation of the quality of your gift in Mr. Bodley, whom you shall find a gentleman in all respects worthy of your acquaintance. And so, with my best commendations, I commit you to God. This St. Peter's day.

Your very assured friend,

Henry Savile."

It only remains now to indulge the dutiful sons of Alma Mater with a fac-simile wood-cut impression of the profile of the venerable founder of the Bodleian Library, taken from a print of a medal in the Catalogi Librorum Manuscriptorum Angliæ, &c., 1697, fol.; but whether it have any resemblance to the bust of him, "carved to the life by an excellent hand at London, and shortly after placed in a niche in the south wall of the same library," with the subjoined inscription, I cannot at this moment recollect.



The library of Sir Thomas Bodley, when completed, formed the figure of a T: it was afterwards resolved, on the books accumulating, and the benefactions increasing, to finish it in the form of an H; in which state it now remains. Sir Kenelm Digby, like a thorough bred bibliomaniac, "gave fifty very good oaks, to purchase a piece of ground of Exeter College, laying on the north west side of the library; on which, and their own ground adjoining, they might erect the future fabric." The laying of the foundation of this erection is thus described by Wood; concluding with a catastrophe, at which I sadly fear the wicked reader will smile. "On the thirteenth of May, being Tuesday, 1634, the Vice-chancellor, Doctors, Heads of Houses, and Proctors, met at St. Mary's church about 8 of the clock in the morning; thence each, having his respective formalities on came to this place, and took their seats that were then erected on the brim of the foundation. Over against them was built a scaffold, where the two proctors, with divers masters, stood. After they were all settled, the University Musicians, who stood upon the leads at the west end of the library, sounded a lesson on their wind music. Which being done, the singing men of Christ-Church, with others, sang a lesson, after which the senior Proctor, Mr. Herbert Pelham, of Magdalen College, made an eloquent oration: that being ended also, the music sounded again, and continued playing till the Vice-Chancellor went to the bottom of the foundation to lay the first stone in one of the south angles. DOMINVS ILLVMINATIO MEABut no sooner had he deposited a piece of gold on the said stone, according to the usual manner in such ceremonies, but the earth fell in from one side of the foundation, and the scaffold that was thereon broke and fell with it; so that all those that were thereon, to the number of a hundred at least, namely, the Proctors, Principals of Halls, Masters, and some Bachelaurs, fell down all together, one upon another, into the foundation; among whom, the under butler of Exeter College had his shoulder broken or put out of joint, and a scholar's arm bruised." "The solemnity being thus concluded with such a sad catastrophe, the breach was soon after made up and the work going chearfully forward, was in four years space finished." Annals of the University of Oxford; vol. ii., pt. ii., p. 939. Gutch's edition. We will take leave of Sir Thomas Bodley, and of his noble institution, with the subjoined representation of the University's Arms — as painted upon the ceiling of the library, in innumerable compartments; hoping that the period is not very remote when a History of the Bodleian Library, more ample and complete than any thing which has preceded it, will appear prefixed to a Catalogue of the Books, like unto that which is hinted at p. 74, ante, as "an urgent desideratum."

Lis. Alas, you bring to my mind those precious hours that are gone by, never to be recalled, which I wasted within this glorious palace of Bodley's erection! How I sauntered, and gazed, and sauntered again. —

Phil. Your case is by no means singular. But you promise, when you revisit the library, not to behave so naughtily again?

Lis. I was not then a convert to the Bibliomania! Now, I will certainly devote the leisure of six autumnal weeks to examine minutely some of the precious tomes which are contained in it.

Lysand. Very good. And pray favour us with the result of your profound researches: as one would like to have the most minute account of the treasures contained within those hitherto unnumbered volumes.

Phil. As every sweet in this world is balanced by its bitter, I wonder that these worthy characters were not lampooned by some sharp-set scribbler — whose only chance of getting perusers for his work, and thereby bread for his larder, was by the novelty and impudence of his attacks. Any thing new and preposterous is sure of drawing attention. Affirm that you see a man standing upon one leg, on the pinnacle of Saint Paul's336— or that the ghost of Inigo Jones had appeared to you, to give you the extraordinary information that Sir Christopher Wren had stolen the whole of the plan of that cathedral from a design of his own — and do you not think that you would have spectators and auditors enough around you?

336 This is now oftentimes practised by some wag, in his "Walke in Powles." Whether the same anecdote is recorded in the little slim pamphlet published in 1604, 4to., under the same title — not having the work —(and indeed how should I? vide Bibl. Reed, no. 2225, cum pretiis!) I cannot take upon me to determine.

Lis. Yes, verily: and I warrant some half-starved scrivener of the Elizabethan period drew his envenomed dart to endeavour to perforate the cuticle of some worthy bibliomaniacal wight.

Lysand. You may indulge what conjectures you please; but I know of no anti-bibliomaniacal satirist of this period. Stubbes did what he could, in his "Anatomy of Abuses,"337 to disturb every social and harmless amusement of the age. He was the forerunner of that snarling satirist, Prynne; but I ought not thus to cuff him, for fear of bringing upon me the united indignation of a host of black-letter critics and philologists. A large and clean copy of his sorrily printed work is among the choicest treasures of a Shakspearian virtuoso.

337 "The Anatomie of Abuses: contayning a discoverie, or briefe summarie of such notable vices and imperfections as now raigne in many Christian Countreyes of the Worlde: but (especiallie) in a very famous Ilande called Ailgna:" &c. Printed by Richard Jones, 1583, small 8vo. Vide Herbert's Typographical Antiquities, vol. iii., p. 1044, for the whole title. Sir John Hawkins, in his History of Music, vol iii., 419, calls this "a curious and very scarce book;" and so does my friend, Mr. Utterson; who revels in his morocco-coated copy of it —"Exemplar olim Farmerianum!" But let us be candid; and not sacrifice our better judgments to our book-passions. After all, Stubbes's work is a caricatured drawing. It has strong passages, and a few original thoughts; and, is moreover, one of the very few works printed in days of yore which have running titles to the subjects discussed in them. These may be recommendations with the bibliomaniac; but he should be informed that this volume contains a great deal of puritanical cant, and licentious language; that vices are magnified in it in order to be lashed, and virtues diminished that they might not be noticed. Stubbes equals Prynne in his anathemas against "Plays and Interludes:" and in his chapters upon "Dress" and "Dancing" he rakes together every coarse and pungent phrase in order to describe "these horrible sins" with due severity. He is sometimes so indecent that, for the credit of the age, and of a virgin reign, we must hope that every virtuous dame threw the copy of his book, which came into her possession, behind the fire. This may reasonably account for its present rarity. I do not discover it in the catalogues of the libraries of Pearson, Steevens, or Brand; but see Bibl. Wright, no. 1390.

But admitting even that Stubbes had drawn his arrow to the head, and grazed the skin of such men as Bodley and Cotton, the wound inflicted by this weapon must have been speedily closed and healed by the balsamic medicine administered by Andrew Maunsell, in his Catalogue of English Printed Books.338 This little thin folio volume afforded a delicious treat to all honest bibliomaniacs. It revived the drooping spirits of the despondent; and, like the syrup of the renowned Dr. Brodum, circulated within the system, and put all the generous juices in action. The niggardly collector felt the influence of rivalship; he played a deeper stake at book-gambling; and hastened, by his painfully acquired knowledge of what was curious and rare in books, to anticipate the rustic collector — which latter, putting the best wheels and horses to his carriage, rushed from the country to the metropolis, to seize, at Maunsell's shop, a choice copy of Cranmer's Bible, or Morley's Canzonets.339

338 This Catalogue, the first publication of the kind ever put forth in this country, is complete in two parts; 1595, folio: first part containing 123 pages, exclusive of three preliminary epistles: the second, 27 pages; exclusive of three similar introductory pieces. The first part is devoted entirely to Divinity: and in the dedicatory epistle to Queen Elizabeth, Maunsell tells her majesty that he thought it "worth his poor labour to collect a catalogue of the divine books, so mightily increased in her reign; whereby her majesty's most faithful and loving subjects may be put in remembrance of the works of so excellent authors," &c. The second part is devoted to a brief account of books in the remaining branches of literature, arts, sciences, &c. Maunsell promised to follow it up by a third part; but a want of due encouragement seems to have damped the bibliographical ardour of the compiler; for this third part never appeared: a circumstance which, in common with the late Mr. Steevens, all bibliomaniacs may "much lament." See the Athenæum, vol i., 155; also Herbert's Typographical Antiquities, vol ii., p. 1137. A copy of this volume has found its way into the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh; Cat. Adv. Libr., vol ii., p. 99. Ruddiman, who was formerly the librarian of this latter valuable collection, had probably read Hearne's commendation of it:— namely, that it was "a very scarce, and yet a very useful, book." Bened. Abbat., vol. i., p. liv. Mr. Heber possesses a curious copy of it, which was formerly Herbert's, with the margins filled with his MS. addenda.

339 "Of the translation appointed to bee read in churches, in Kinge Henry the 8, his daies," printed in the largest volume, 1539. "Tho. Morley, Bachiler of Musique, and one of her Maiestie's Royal Chappell, his Conzonets, or little short songes to three voyces. Prin. by Tho. Est. 1593. 4to." See p. 10., pt. i., p. 17, pt. ii., of Maunsell's Catalogue; but let the reader consult p. 248, ante, concerning this "largest volume" of the Holy Scriptures.

Let us, however, not forget that we have reached the reign of James I.; a monarch who, like Justinian, affected to be "greatly given to study of books;"340 and who, according to Burton's testimony, wished he had been chained to one of the shelves of the Bodleian library.341 Of all literary tastes, James had the most strange and sterile. Let us leave him to his Demonology; but notice, with the respect that it merits, the more rational and even elegantly cultivated mind of his son Prince Henry;342 of whose passion for books there are some good evidences upon record. We will next proceed to the mention of a shrewd scholar and bibliomaniac, and ever active voyager, ycleped Thomas Coryate, the Peregrine of Odcombe. This facetious traveller, who was as quaint and original a writer as old Tom Fuller, appears (when he had time and opportunity) to have taken special notice of libraries; and when he describes to us his "worm eaten" copy of Josephus's Antiquities,343 "written in ancient Longobard characters in parchment," one cannot but indulge a natural wish to know something of the present existence of a MS. which had probably escaped Oberthür, the last laborious editor of Josephus.

340 "Greatly gyuen to study of bokys:" Rastell's Chronicle, or Pastyme of People, p. 28, edit. 1811, 4to.

341 The passage is somewhere in Burton's Anatomy of Mechanoly. But I cannot just now, put my finger upon it.

342 The works of King James I. (of England) were published in rather a splendid folio volume in the year 1616. Amongst these, his Demonology is the "opus maximum." Of his son Prince Henry, there is, in this volume, at the top of one of the preliminary pieces, a very pretty half length portrait; when he was quite a boy. A charming whole length portrait of the same accomplished character, when he was a young man, engraved by Paas, may be seen in the first folio edition of Drayton's Polyolbion: but this, the reader will tell me, is mere Grangerite information. Proceed we, therefore, to a pithy, but powerful, demonstration of the bibliomaniacal character of the said Prince Henry. "In the paper office, there is a book, No. 24, containing Prince Henry's privy-purse expences, for one year," &c. The whole expense of one year was 1400l. Among other charges, the following are remarkable:

    £ s. d.
17th October, paid to a Frenchman, that presented a book   4 10 0
20th October, paid Mr. Holyoak for writing a Catalogue of
the Library
which the Prince had of Lord Lumley
} 8 13 4

&c. &c. &c.

Apology for the Believers in the Shakspeare-Papers, 1797, 8vo., p. 233.

343 Look, gentle reader, at the entire ungarbled passage — amongst many similar ones which may be adduced — in vol. i., p. 116, of his "Crudities"— or Travels: edit. 1776, 8vo. Coryat's talents, as a traveller, are briefly, but brilliantly, described in the Quarterly Review, vol. ii., p. 92.

Let me here beseech you to pay due attention to the works of Henry Peacham, when they come across you. The first edition of that elegantly written volume, "The Compleat Gentleman," was published I believe in the reign of James I., in the year 1622.

Loren. I possess not only this, but every subsequent copy of it, and a fair number of copies of his other works. He and Braithwait were the "par nobile fratrum" of their day.

Phil. I have often been struck with some curious passages in Peacham, relating to the Education of Youth344 in our own country; as I find, from them, that the complaint of severity of discipline still continued, notwithstanding the able work of Roger Ascham, which had recommended a mild and conciliatory mode of treatment.

344 The History of the Education of Youth in this country might form an amusing little octavo volume. We have Treatises and Essays enough upon the subject; but a narrative of its first rude efforts, to its present, yet not perfected, form, would be interesting to every parent, and observer of human nature. My present researches only enable me to go back as far as Trevisa's time, towards the close of the 14th century; when I find, from the works of this Vicar of Berkeley, that "every friar that had state in school, such as they were then, had an huge library." Harl. MSS., no. 1900. But what the particular system was, among youth, which thus so highly favoured the Bibliomania, I have not been able to ascertain. I suspect, however, that knowledge made but slow advances; or rather that its progress was almost inverted; for, at the end of the subsequent century, our worthy printer, Caxton, tells us that he found "but few who could write in their registers the occurrences of the day." Polychronicon; prol. Typog. Antiquit., vol. i., 148. In the same printer's prologue to Catho Magnus (Id., vol. i., 197) there is a melancholy complaint about the youth of London; who, although, when children, they were "fair, wise, and prettily bespoken — at the full ripening, they had neither kernel nor good corn found in them." This is not saying much for the academic or domestic treatment of young gentlemen, towards the close of the 15th century. At the opening of the ensuing century, a variety of elementary treatises, relating to the education of youth, were published chiefly under the auspices of Dean Colet, and composed by a host of learned grammarians, of whom honourable mention has been made at page 218, ante. These publications are generally adorned with a rude wood-cut; which, if it be copied from truth, affords a sufficiently striking proof of the severity of the ancient discipline: for the master is usually seated in a large arm-chair, with a tremendous rod across his knees; and the scholars are prostrate before him, either on the ground upon bended knees, or sitting upon low benches. Nor was this rigid system relaxed in the middle of the same (xvith) century; when Roger Ascham composed his incomparable treatise, intitled the "Schoolmaster;" the object of which was to decry the same severity of discipline. This able writer taught his countrymen the value of making the road to knowledge smooth and inviting, by smiles and remunerations, rather than by stripes and other punishments. Indeed, such was the stern and Draco-like character which schoolmasters of this period conceived themselves authorized to assume that neither rank, nor situation, nor sex, were exempt from the exercise of their tyranny. Lady Jane Grey tells Ascham that her former teacher used to give her "pinches, and cuffs, and bobs," &c. The preface to the Schoolmaster informs us that two gentlemen, who dined with Ascham at Cecil's table, were of opinion that Nicolas Udal, then head master of Eaton School, "was the best schoolmaster of their time, and the greatest beater!" Bishop Latimer, in his fourth sermon (edit. 1562, fol. 15 to 18), has drawn such a picture of the Londoners of this period that the philosopher may imagine that youths, who sprung from such parents, required to be ruled with a rod of iron. But it has been the fashion of all writers, from the age of St. Austin downwards, to depreciate the excellences, and magnify the vices, of the times in which they lived. Ludovicus Vives, who was Latimer's contemporary, has attacked both schoolmasters and youths, in an ungracious style; saying of the former that "some taught Ovid's books of love to their scholars, and some make expositions and expounded the vices." He also calls upon the young women, in the language of St. Jerome, "to avoid, as a mischief or poison of chastity, young men with heads bushed and trimmed; and sweet smelling skins of outlandish mice." Instruction of a Christian Woman; edit. 1592, sign. D 3, rect. &c. I am not aware of any work of importance, relating to the education of youth, which appeared till the publication of the Compleat Gentleman by Henry Peacham: an author, who richly deserves all the handsome things above said of him in the text. His chapters "Of the Duty of Masters," and "Of the Duty of Parents," are valuable upon many accounts: inasmuch as they afford curious anecdotes of the system of academic and domestic education then pursued, and are accompanied with his own sagacious and candid reflections. Peacham was an Aschamite in respect to lenity of discipline; as the following extracts, from the foregoing work, (edit. 1661) will unequivocally prove. Peacham first observes upon the different modes of education: "But we see on the contrary, out of the master's carterly judgment, like horses in a team, the boys are set to draw all alike, when some one or two prime and able wits in the school, ὰυτο δίδακτοι (which he culs out to admiration if strangers come, as a costardmonger his fairest pippins) like fleet hovnds go away with the game, when the rest need helping over a stile a mile behind: hence, being either quite discouraged in themselves, or taken away by their friends (who for the most part measure their learning by the form they set in), they take leave of their books while they live," &c. p. 23. "Some affect, and severer schools enforce, a precise and tedious strictness, in long keeping the schollers by the walls: as from before six in the morning, till twelve or past: so likewise in the afternoon. Which, beside the dulling of the wit and dejecting the spirit (for, "otii non minus quam negotii ratio extare debet") breeds in him, afterwards, a kind of hate and carelessness of study when he comes to be "sui juris," at his own liberty (as experience proves by many, who are sent from severe schools unto the universities): withall over-loading his memory, and taking off the edge of his invention, with over heavy tasks, in themes, verses," &c., p. 25. "Nor is it my meaning that I would all masters to be tyed to one method, no more than all the shires of England to come up to London by one highway: there may be many equally alike good. And since method, as one saith, is but ὀδοποιητικὴ, let every master, if he can, by pulling up stiles and hedges, make a more near and private way to himself; and in God's name say, with the divinest of poets,

deserta per avia dulcis

Raptat amor. Juvat ire iugis, quâ nulla priorum

Castaliam molli divertitur orbita clivo.

(Georg. libi. iij.)

With sweet love rapt, I now by deserts pass,

And over hills where never track of yore:

Descending easily, yet remembered was,

That led the way to Castalie before.


But instead of many good, they have infinite bad; and go stumbling from the right, as if they went blindfold for a wager. Hence cometh the shifting of the scholler from master to master; who, poor boy (like a hound among a company of ignorant hunters hollowing every deer they see), misseth the right, begetteth himself new labour, and at last, by one of skill and well read, beaten for his paines," pp. 29, 30. Peacham next notices the extreme severity of discipline exercised in some schools. "I knew one, who in winter would ordinarily, in a cold morning, whip his boys over for no other purpose than to get himself a heat: another beats them for swearing, and all the while sweares himself with horrible oaths. He would forgive any fault saving that! I had, I remember, myself (neer St. Alban's in Hertfordshire, where I was born) a master, who, by no entreaty, would teach any scholler he had farther than his father had learned before him; as if he had only learned but to read English, the son, though he went with him seven years, should go no further: his reason was, they would then prove saucy rogues, and controle their fathers! Yet these are they that oftentimes have our hopefull gentry under their charge and tuition, to bring them up in science and civility!" p. 27. This absurd system is well contrasted with the following account of the lenity observed in some of the schools on the continent: "In Germany the school is, and as the name imports, it ought to be, merely, Ludus literarius, a very pastime of learning, where it is a rare thing to see a rod stirring: yet I heartily wish that our children of England were but half so ready in writing and speaking Latin, which boys of ten and twelve years old will do so roundly, and with so neat a phrase and style, that many of our masters would hardly mend them; having only for their punishment, shame; and for their reward, praise," p. 24. "Wherefore I cannot but commend the custome of their schools in the Low-countries, where for the avoyding of this tedious sitting still, and with irksome poring on the book all day long, after the scholler hath received his lecture, he leaveth the school for an houre, and walkes abroad with one or two of his fellows, either into the field or up among the trees upon the rampire, as in Antwerp, Breda, Vtrecht, &c., when they confer and recreate themselves till time calls them in to repeat, where perhaps they stay an hour; so abroad again, and thus at their pleasure the whole day," p. 26. Thus have we pursued the History of the Education of Boys to a period quite modern enough for the most superficial antiquary to supply the connecting links down to the present times. Nor can we conclude this prolix note without observing upon two things which are remarkable enough: first, that in a country like our own — the distinguishing characteristics of whose inhabitants are gravity, reserve, and good sense — lads should conduct themselves with so much rudeness, flippancy, and tyranny towards each other — and secondly, that masters should, in too many instances, exercise a discipline suited rather to a government of despotism and terror than to a land of liberty and social comfort! But all human improvement, and human happiness, is progressive. Speramus meliora!

Lysand. But you must not believe every thing that is said in favour of Continental lenity of discipline, shewn to youth, if the testimony of a modern newspaper may be credited! ——

Lis. What your newspaper may hold forth I will not pretend to enter into.

Lysand. Nay, here is the paragraph; which I cut out from "The Observer," and will now read it to you. "A German Magazine recently announced the death of a schoolmaster in Suabia, who, for 51 years, had superintended a large institution with old fashioned severity. From an average, inferred by means of recorded observations, one of the ushers had calculated that, in the course of his exertions, he had given 911,500 canings, 121,000 floggings, 209,000 custodes, 136,000 tips with the ruler, 10,200 boxes on the ear, and 22,700 tasks by heart. It was further calculated that he had made 700 boys stand on peas, 6000 kneel on a sharp edge of wood, 5000 wear the fool's cap, and 1,700 hold the rod. How vast (exclaims the journalist) the quantity of human misery inflicted by a single perverse educator!" Now, my friends, what have you to say against the English system of education?

Phil. This is only defending bad by worse.

Lis. Where are we digressing? What are become of our bibliomaniacal heroes?

Lysand. You do right to call me to order. Let us turn from the birch, to the book, history.

Contemporaneous with Peacham, lived that very curious collector of ancient popular little pieces, as well as lover of "sacred secret soul soliloquies," the renowned melancholy composer, ycleped Robert Burton;345 who, I do not scruple to number among the most marked bibliomaniacs of the age; notwithstanding his saucy railing against Frankfort book-fairs. We have abundance of testimony (exclusive of the fruits of his researches, which appear by his innumerable marginal references to authors of all ages and characters) that this original, amusing, and now popular, author was an arrant book-hunter; or, as old Anthony hath it, "a devourer of authors." Rouse, the Librarian of Bodleian, is said to have liberally assisted Burton in furnishing him with choice books for the prosecution of his extraordinary work.

345 I suppose Lysander to allude to a memorandum of Hearne, in his Benedictus Abbas, p. iv., respecting Robert Burton being a collector of "ancient popular little pieces." From this authority we find that he gave "a great variety" of these pieces, with a multitude of books, of the best kind, to the "Bodleian Library."— One of these was that "opus incomparabile," the "History of Tom Thumb," and the other, the "Pleasant and Merry History of the Mylner of Abingdon." The expression "sacred secret soul soliloquies" belongs to Braithwait: and is thus beautifully interwoven in the following harmonious couplets:

—— No minute but affords some tears.

No walks but private solitary groves

Shut from frequent, his contemplation loves;

No treatise, nor discourse, so sweetly please

As sacred-secret soule soliloquies.

Arcadian Princesse, lib. 4, p. 162.

And see, gentle reader, how the charms of solitude — of "walking alone in some solitary grove, betwixt wood and water, by a brook-side, to meditate upon some delightsome and pleasant subject" are depicted by the truly original pencil of this said Robert Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, vol. i., p. 126, edit. 1804. But our theme is Bibliomania. Take, therefore, concerning the same author, the following: and then hesitate, if thou canst, about his being infected with the book-disease. "What a catalogue of new books all this year, all this age (I say) have our Frank-furt marts, our domestic marts, brought out! Twice a year, 'Proferunt se nova ingenia et ostentant;' we stretch our wits out! and set them to sale: 'Magno conatu nihil agimus,' &c. 'Quis tam avidus librorum helluo,' who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast chaos and confusion of books; we are oppressed with them; our eyes ake with reading, our fingers with turning," &c. This is painting ad vivum— after the life. We see and feel every thing described. Truly, none but a thorough master in bibliomaniacal mysteries could have thus thought and written! See "Democritus to the Reader," p. 10; perhaps the most highly finished piece of dissection in the whole anatomical work.

About this period lived Lord Lumley; a nobleman of no mean reputation as a bibliomaniac. But what shall we say to Lord Shaftesbury's eccentric neighbour, Henry Hastings? who, in spite of his hawks, hounds, kittens, and oysters,346 could not for forbear to indulge his book propensities though in a moderate degree! Let us fancy we see him, in his eightieth year, just alighted from the toils of the chase, and listening, after dinner, with his "single glass" of ale by his side, to some old woman with "spectacle on nose" who reads to him a choice passage out of John Fox's Book of Martyrs! A rare old boy was this Hastings. But I wander — and may forget another worthy, and yet more ardent, bibliomaniac, called John Clungeon, who left a press, and some books carefully deposited in a stout chest, to the parish church at Southampton. We have also evidence of this man's having erected a press within the same; but human villany has robbed us of every relic of his books and printing furniture.347 From Southampton, you must excuse me if I take a leap to London; in order to introduce you into the wine cellars of one John Ward; where, I suppose, a few choice copies of favourite authors were sometimes kept in a secret recess by the side of the oldest bottle of hock. We are indebted to Hearne for a brief, but not uninteresting, notice of this vinous book collector.348

346 Of the bibliomaniacal spirit of Lord Lumley the reader has already had some slight mention made at pages 273, 281, ante. Of Henry Hastings, Gilpin has furnished us with some anecdotes which deserve to be here recorded. They are taken from Hutchin's Hist. of Dorsetshire, vol. ii., p. 63. "Mr. Hastings was low of stature, but strong and active, of a ruddy complexion, with flaxen hair. His cloaths were always of green cloth. His house was of the old fashion; in the midst of a large park, well stocked with deer, rabbits, and fish-ponds. He had a long narrow bowling green in it, and used to play with round sand bowls. Here too he had a banquetting room built, like a stand in a large tree. He kept all sorts of hounds, that ran buck, fox, hare, otter, and badger; and had hawks of all kinds, both long and short winged. His great hall was commonly strewed with marrow-bones, and full of hawk-perches, hounds, spaniels, and terriers. The upper end of it was hung with fox-skins of this and the last year's killing. Here and there a pole-cat was intermixed, and hunter's poles in great abundance. The parlour was a large room, completely furnished in the same style. On a broad hearth, paved with brick, lay some of the choicest terriers, hounds, and spaniels. One or two of the great chairs had litters of cats in them, which were not to be disturbed. Of these, three or four always attended him at dinner, and a little white wand lay by his trencher, to defend it, if they were too troublesome. In the windows, which were very large, lay his arrows, cross-bows, and other accoutrements. The corners of the room were filled with his best hunting and hawking poles. His oyster table stood at the lower end of the room, which was in constant use twice a day, all the year round; for he never failed to eat oysters both at dinner and supper, with which the neighbouring town of Pool supplied him. At the upper end of the room stood a small table with a double desk; one side of which held a Church Bible: the other the Book of Martyrs. On different tables in the room lay hawks'-hoods, bells, old hats, with their crowns thrust in, full of pheasant eggs, tables, dice, cards, and store of tobacco pipes. At one end of this room was a door, which opened into a closet, where stood bottles of strong beer and wine; which never came out but in single glasses, which was the rule of the house, for he never exceeded himself, nor permitted others to exceed. Answering to this closet was a door into an old chapel; which had been long disused for devotion; but in the pulpit, as the safest place, was always to be found a cold chine of beef, a venison pasty, a gammon of bacon, or a great apple-pye, with thick crust, well baked. His table cost him not much, though it was good to eat at. His sports supplied all but beef and mutton, except on Fridays, when he had the best of fish. He never wanted a London pudding, and he always sang it in with "My part lies therein-a." He drank a glass or two of wine at meals; put syrup of gilly-flowers into his sack, and had always a tun glass of small beer standing by him, which he often stirred about with rosemary. He lived to be an hundred, and never lost his eyesight, nor used spectacles. He got on horseback without help, and rode to the death of the stag till he was past fourscore." Gilpin's Forest Scenery, vol. ii., pp. 23, 26. I should add, from the same authority, that Hastings was a neighbour of Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, with whom (as was likely enough) he had no cordial agreement.

347 "In the northern chapel which is parted from the side aile by a beautiful open Gothic screen, is a handsome monument to the memory of the lord Chancellor Wriothesly, and a large and costly standing chest, carved and inlaid, and stated, by an inscription on its front, to have been given, with the books in it, by John Clungeon. The inscription is as follows:

"John, the sonne of John Clungeon of this towne, Alderman, erected this presse and gave certain books, who died, anno 1646.

"The books are, however, now gone, and the surplices, &c. are kept in the chest." See a tasteful and elegantly printed little volume, entitled "A Walk through Southampton;" by Sir H.C. Englefield, Bart. 1801, 8vo., p. 64.

348 Ward is described by Hearne as being "a citizen and vintner of London," and "a lover of antiquity's." He had a copy of the Chartulary of Dunstaple, in MS., which was put by Wanley into the Harleian collection. The following entry is too much of a characteristic trait, not to be gratifying to the palate of a thorough bred bibliomaniac; it relates to the said Chartulary:—"also this vellum, at both ends of the booke, was then added, put in, and inserted, at the costs of the said Mr. (John) Ward, in the said yeare of our Lord, 1655,

  s. d.
binding and claspes 4 00
vellum 4 00

Annals of Dunstaple Priory, vol. i., p. xxx., note.

Lis. If Master Cox, "by profession a mason," and living in the country, could have collected such a cabinet of romances and ballads — why should not a wine merchant, living in the metropolis, have turned his attention to a similar pursuit, and have been even more successful in the objects of it?

Phil. I know not; particularly as we have, at the present day, some commercial characters — whose dealings in trade are as opposite to books as frogs are to roast beef — absolute madmen in search after black-letter, large paper, and uncut copies! But proceed, Lysander.

Lysand. Such was the influence of the Book Mania about, or rather a little before, this period that even the sacred retirement of a monastery, established upon Protestant principles, and conducted by rules so rigid as almost to frighten the hardiest ascetic, even such a spot was unable to resist the charms of book-collecting and book-embellishment. How St. Jerome or St. Austin would have lashed the Ferrar Family349 for the gorgeous decorations of their volumes, and for devoting so much precious time and painful attention to the art and mystery of Book-binding! Yes, Lisardo; it is truly curious to think upon the Little Gidding Monastery— near which, perhaps, were

——"rugged rocks, that holy knees had worn —"

and to imagine that the occupiers of such a place were infected — nay, inflamed — with a most powerful ardour for curious, neat, splendid, and, I dare venture to affirm, matchless copies of the several volumes which they composed! But I will now hasten to give very different evidence of the progress of this disease, by noticing the labours of a bibliomaniac of first rate celebrity; I mean Elias Ashmole:350 whose museum at Oxford abundantly proves his curious and pertinacious spirit in book-collecting. His works, put forth under his own superintendence, with his name subjoined, shew a delicate taste, an active research, and, if we except his Hermetical propensities, a fortunate termination. His "opus maximum" is the Order of the Garter; a volume of great elegance both in the composition and decorations. Your copy of it, I perceived, was upon large paper; and cost you —

349 It remains here to make good the above serious charges brought against the ancient and worthy family of the Ferrars; and this it is fully in my power to do, from the effectual aid afforded me by Dr. Wordsworth, in the fifth volume of his Ecclesiastical Biography; where the better part of Dr. Peckard's Life of Nicholas Ferrar is published, together with some valuable and original addenda from the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth. Be it, however, known to Dr. Wordsworth, and the reviewer of the Ecclesiastical Biography in the Quarterly Review, vol. iv., pp. 93, 103, that Hearne had previously published a copious and curious account of the monastery at Little Gidding in the supplement to his Thom. Caii. Vind. Antiquit. Oxon., 1730, 8vo., vol. ii.: which, as far as I have had an opportunity of examining Dr. Wordsworth's account, does not appear to have been known to this latter editor. We will now proceed to the bibliomaniacal anecdotes of Nicholas Ferrar, senior and junior. "Amongst other articles of instruction and amusement, Mr. Ferrar (senior) entertained an ingenious Book-binder who taught the family, females as well as males, the whole art and skill of book-binding, gilding, lettering, and what they called pasting-printing, by the use of the rolling press. By this assistance he composed a full harmony, or concordance, of the four evangelists, adorned with many beautiful pictures, which required more than a year for the composition, and was divided into 150 heads or chapters." There is then a minute account of the mechanical process (in which the nieces assisted) how, by means of "great store of the best and strongest white paper, nice knives and scissars, pasting and rolling-press" work — the arduous task was at length accomplished: and Mary Collet, one of Mr. Ferrar's nieces, put the grand finishing stroke to the whole, by "doing a deed"— which has snapt asunder the threads of Penelope's web for envy:—"She bound the book entirely, all wrought in gold, in a new and most elegant fashion." The fame of this book, or concordance, as it was called, reached the ears of Charles I., who "intreated" (such was his Majesty's expression) to be favoured with a sight of it. Laud and Cousins, who were then chaplains in waiting, presented it to the King; who "after long and serious looking it over, said, 'This is indeed a most valuable work, and in many respects to be presented to the greatest prince upon earth: for the matter it contains is the richest of all treasures. The laborious composure of it into this excellent form of an Harmony, the judicious contrivance of the method, the curious workmanship in so neatly cutting out and disposing the text, the nice laying of these costly pictures, and the exquisite art expressed in the binding, are, I really think, not to be equalled. I must acknowledge myself to be, indeed, greatly indebted to the family for this jewel: and whatever is in my power I shall, at any time, be ready to do for any of them.'" Eccles. Biogr., vol. v., 172-8. This was spoken, by Charles, in the true spirit of a Book-Knight! Cromwell, I suppose, would have shewn the same mercy to this treasure as he did to the madonnas of Raffaelle — thrown it behind the fire, as idolatrous! The nephew emulated and eclipsed the bibliomaniacal celebrity of his uncle. At the age of twenty-one, he executed three books (or "works" as they are called) of uncommon curiosity and splendour. Archbishop Laud, who had a keen eye and solid judgment for things of this sort (as the reader will find in the following pages) undertook to introduce young Ferrars to the King. The introduction is told in such a pleasing style of naiveté, and the manual dexterity of the young bibliomaniac is so smartly commended by Charles, that I cannot find it in my heart to abridge much of the narrative. "When the king saw the Archbishop enter the room, he said, 'What have you brought with you those rarities and jewels you told me of?' 'Yea, sire,' replied the bishop; 'here is the young gentleman and his works.' So the bishop, taking him by the hand, led him up to the king. He, falling down on his knees, the king gave him his hand to kiss, bidding him rise up. The box was opened, and Nicholas Ferrar, first presented to the king that book made for the prince; who taking it from him, looking well on the outside, which was all green velvet, stately and richly gilt all over, with great broad strings, edged with gold lace, and curiously bound, said, 'Here is a fine book for Charles, indeed! I hope it will soon make him in love with what is within it, for I know it is good,' &c. And lo! here are also store of rare pictures to delight his eye with! &c., &c. Then, turning him to the Lord of Canterbury, he said, 'Let this young gentleman have your letters to the princes to-morrow, to Richmond, and let him carry this present. It is a good day, you know, and a good work would be done upon it.' So he gave Nicholas Ferrar the book; who, carrying it to the box, took out of it a very large paper book, which was the Fourth Work, and laid it on the table before the king. 'For whom,' said the king, 'is this model?' 'For your majesty's eyes, if you please to honour it so much.' 'And that I will gladly do,' said the king, 'and never be weary of such sights as I know you will offer unto me.' The king having well perused the title page, beginning, 'The Gospel of our Lord and blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ, in eight several languages,' &c., said unto the lords, 'You all see that one good thing produceth another. Here we have more and more rarities; from print now to pen. These are fair hands, well written, and as well composed.' Then replied the Lord of Canterbury, 'When your majesty hath seen all, you will have more and more cause to admire.' 'What!' said the king, 'is it possible we shall behold yet more rarities?' then said the bishop to Nicholas Ferrar, 'Reach the other piece that is in the box:' and this we call the Fifth Work; the title being Novum Testamentum, &c., in viginti quatuor linguis, &c. The king, opening the book, said, 'Better and better. This is the largest and fairest paper that ever I saw.' Then, reading the title-page, he said, 'What is this? What have we here? The incomparablest book this will be, as ever eye beheld. My lords, come, look well upon it. This finished, must be the Emperor of all Books. It is the crown of all works. It is an admirable masterpiece. The world cannot match it. I believe you are all of my opinion.' The lords all seconded the king, and each spake his mind of it. 'I observe two things amongst others,' said the king, 'very remarkable, if not admirable. The first is, how is it possible that a young man of twenty-one years of age (for he had asked the Lord of Canterbury before, how old Nicholas Ferrar was) should ever attain to the understanding and knowledge of more languages than he is of years; and to have the courage to venture upon such an Atlas work, or Hercules labour. The other is also of high commendation, to see him write so many several languages, so well as these are, each in its proper character. Sure so few years had been well spent, some men might think, to have attained only to the writing thus fairly, of these twenty-four languages!' All the lords replied his majesty had judged right; and said, except they had seen, as they did, the young gentleman there, and the book itself, all the world should not have persuaded them to the belief of it." Ecclesiastical Biography, vol. v., pp. 216, 220. But whatever degree of credit or fame of young Ferrars might suppose to have been attached to the execution of these "pieces," his emulation was not damped, nor did his industry slacken, 'till he had produced a specimen of much greater powers of book-decoration. His appetite was that of a giant; for he was not satisfied with any thing short of bringing forth a volume of such dimensions as to make the bearer of it groan beneath its weight — and the beholders of it dazzled with its lustre, and astonished at its amplitude. Perhaps there is not a more curious book-anecdote upon record than the following. "Charles the 1st, his son Charles, the Palsgrave, and the Duke of Lennox, paid a visit to the monastery of Little Gidding, in Huntingdonshire — the abode of the Ferrars."—"Then, the king was pleased to go into the house, and demanded where the great book was, that he had heard was made for Charles's use. It was soon brought unto him; and the largeness and weight of it was such that he that carried it seemed to be well laden. Which the duke, observing, said, 'Sir, one of your strongest guard will but be able to carry this book.' It being laid on the table before the king, it was told him that, though it were then fairly bound up in purple velvet, that the outside was not fully finished, as it should be, for the prince's use and better liking. 'Well,' said the king, 'it is very well done.' So he opened the book, the prince standing at the table's end, and the Palsgrave and Duke on each side of the king. The king read the title page and frontispice all over very deliberately; and well viewing the form of it, how adorned with a stately garnish of pictures, &c., and the curiousness of the writing of it, said, 'Charles, here is a book that contains excellent things. This will make you both wise and good.' Then he proceeded to turn it over, leaf by leaf, and took exact notice of all in it: and it being full of pictures of sundry mens cuts, he could tell the palsgrave, who seemed also to be knowing in that kind, that this and this, and that and that, were of such a man's graving and invention. The prince all the while greatly eyed all things; and seemed much to be pleased with the book. The king having spent some hours in the perusal of it, and demanding many questions was occasion as, concerning the contrivement, and having received answers to all he demanded, at length said, 'It was only a jewel for a Prince, and hoped Charles would make good use of it: and I see and find, by what I have myself received formerly from this good house, that they go on daily in the prosecution of these excellent pieces. They are brave employments of their time.' The Palsgrave said to the prince, 'Sir, your father the king is master of the goodliest ship in the world, and I may now say you will be master of the gallantest greatest book in the world: for I never saw such paper before; and believe there is no book of this largeness to be seen in Christendom.' 'The paper and the book in all conditions,' said the king, 'I believe it not to be matched. Here hath also in this book not wanted, you see, skill, care, nor cost.' 'It is a most admirable piece,' replied the Duke of Richmond. So the king, closing the book, said, 'Charles, this is yours.' He replied, 'But, Sir, shall I not now have it with me?' Reply was made by one of the family, 'If it please your highness, the book is not on the outside so finished as it is intended for you, but shall be, with all expedition, done, and you shall have it.' 'Well,' said the king, 'you must content yourself for a while.'"—Ecclesiastical Biography, vol. v., p. 237.

350 In the year 1774, was published an octavo volume, containing the lives of William Lilly the astrologer, and Elias Ashmole the antiquary: two of the greatest cronies of their day. The particulars of Ashmole's life are drawn from his own Diary, in which is detailed every thing the most minute and ridiculous; while many of the leading features in his character, and many interesting occurrences in his life, are wholly suppressed. The editor has not evinced much judgment in causing posterity to be informed when Ashmole's "great and little teeth ached, or were loose:" when his "neck break forth, occasioned by shaving his beard with a bad razor" (p. 312); when "his maid's bed was on fire, but he rose quickly (thanking God) and quenched it" (p. 313); and when he "scratched the right-side of his buttocks, &c., and applied pultices thereunto, made of white bread crums, oil of roses, and rose leaves;" (p. 363 — and see particularly the long and dismal entries at p. 368.) All this might surely have been spared, without much injury to the reputation of the sufferer. Yet, in some other minute entries, we glean intelligence a little more interesting. At p. 324, we find that Ashmole had quarrelled with his wife; and that "Mr. Serjeant Maynard observed to the Court that there were 800 sheets of depositions on his wife's part, and not one word proved against him of using her ill, or ever giving her a bad or provoking word:" at page 330, we find Ashmole accompanying his heraldic friend Dugdale, in his "visitations" of counties; also that "his picture was drawn by Le Neve in his herald's coat:" Loggan afterwards drew it in black lead: p. 352. But here again (p. 353) we are gravely informed that "his tooth, next his fore tooth in his upper jaw, was very loose, and he easily pulled it out, and that one of his middle teeth in his lower jaw, broke out while he was at dinner." He sat (for the last time) for "a second picture to Mr. Ryley," p. 379. Ashmole's intimacy with Lilly was the foundation of the former's (supposed) profundity in alchemical and astrological studies. In this Diary we are carefully told that "Mr. Jonas Moore brought and acquainted him with Mr. William Lilly, on a Friday night, on the 20th of November," p. 302. Ashmole was then only 26 years of age; and it will be readily conceived how, at this susceptible period, he listened with rapture to his master's exposition of the black art, and implicitly adopted the recipes and maxims he heard delivered. Hence the pupil generally styled himself Mercuriophilus Anglicus, at the foot of most of his title-pages: and hence we find such extraordinary entries, in the foresaid diary, as the following: "This night (August 14, 1651) about one of the clock, I fell ill of a surfeit, occasioned by drinking water after Venison. I was greatly oppressed in my stomach; and next day Mr. Saunders, the astrologian, sent me a piece of briony-root to hold in my hand; and within a quarter of an hour my stomach was freed from that great oppression," p. 314. "Sep. 27, 1652, I came to Mr. John Tompson's, who dwelt near Dove Bridge; he used a call, and had responses in a soft voice," p. 317. At p. 318 is narrated the commencement of his acquaintance with the famous Arise Evans, a Welsh prophet: whose "Echo from Heaven," &c., 2 parts, 1652, 12mo., is a work noticed by Warburton, and coveted by bibliomaniacs. Yet one more quack-medicine entry: "March 11, 1681. I took early in the morning a good dose of Elixir, and hung three spiders about my neck, and they drove my ague away — Deo gratias!" p. 359. It seems that Ashmole always punctually kept "The Astrologer's Feast;" and that he had such celebrity as a curer of certain diseases, that Lord Finch the Chancellor "sent for him to cure him of his rheumatism. He dined there, but would not undertake the cure," p. 364. This was behaving with a tolerable degree of prudence and good sense. But let not the bibliomaniac imagine that it is my wish to degrade honest old Elias Ashmole, by the foregoing delineation of his weaknesses and follies. The ensuing entries, in the said Diary, will more than counterbalance any unfavourable effect produced by its precursors; and I give them with a full conviction that they will be greedily devoured by those who have been lucky enough to make good purchases of the entire libraries of deceased characters of eminence. In his 37th year, Ashmole "bought of Mr. Milbourn all his books and mathematical instruments;" and the day after (N.B. "8 o'clock, 39 min. post merid.") "he bought Mr. Hawkins's books," p. 312. In the ensuing year he "agreed with Mrs. Backhouse, of London, for her deceased husband's books," p. 313. He now became so distinguished as a successful bibliomaniac that Seldon and Twysden sought his acquaintance; and "Mr. Tredescant and his wife told him that they had been long considering upon whom to bestow their closet of curiosities, and at last had resolved to give it unto him," p. 326. Having by this time (A.D. 1658) commenced his famous work upon The Order of the Garter, he was introduced to Charles II.: kissed hands, and was appointed by the king "to make a description of his medals, and had them delivered into his hands, and Henry the VIIIth's closet assigned for his use," p. 327. In this same year came forth his "Way to Bliss;" 4to.: a work so invincibly dull that I despair of presenting the reader with any thing like entertainment even in the following heterogeneous extract: "When our natural heat, the life of this little world, is faint and gone, the body shrinks up and is defaced: but bring again heat into the parts, and likewise money into the bankrupt's coffers, and they shall be both lusty, and flourish again as much as ever they did. But how may this heat be brought again? To make few words, even as she is kept and held by due meat and motion; for if she faint, and falleth for want of them only, then give her them, and she shall recover herself again. Meat is the bait that draws her down: motion comes after, like a Gad-Bee, to prick her forward; but the work is performed in this order. First this meat, which is that fine and æthereal oyl often above-described, by the exceeding piercing swifteness, divides, scatters, and scowres away the gross and foul dregs and leavings which, for want of the tillage of heat, had overgrown in our bodies, and which was cast, like a blockish stay-fish in the way, to stay the free course of the ship of life: these flying out of all sides, abundantly pluck up all the old leavings of hair, nails, and teeth, by the roots, and drive them out before them: in the mean while, our medicine makes not onely clear way and passage for life, if she list to stir and run her wonted race (which some think enough of this matter), but also scattereth all about her due and desired meat, and first moisture to draw her forward. By which means our life, having gotten both her full strength and liveliness, and returned like the sun in summer into all our quarters, begins to work afresh as she did at first; (for being the same upon the same, she must needs do the same) knitting and binding the weak and loose joynts and sinews, watering and concocting all by good digestion; and then the idle parts like leaves shall, in this hot summer, spring and grow forth afresh, out of this new and young temper of the body: and all the whole face and shew shall be young again and flourishing," pp. 119, 120. With such a farrago of sublime nonsense were our worthy forefathers called upon to be enlightened and amused! But I lose sight of Ashmole's book-purchases. That he gave away, as well as received, curious volumes, is authenticated by his gift of "five volumes of Mr. Dugdale's works to the Temple Library:" p. 331. "Again: I presented the public library at Oxford with three folio volumes, containing a description of the Consular and Imperial coins there, which I had formerly made and digested, being all fairly transcribed with my own hand," p. 332. But mark well: "My first boatful of books, which were carried to Mrs. Tredescant's, were brought back to the Temple:" also, (May 1667) "I bought Mr. John Booker's study of books, and gave 140l. for them," p. 333. In the same year that his Order of the Garter was published, his "good friend Mr. Wale sent him Dr. Dee's original books and papers," p. 339. But he yet went on buying: "Nil actum reputans, dum quid superesset agendum:" for thus journalises our super-eminent bibliomaniac:—(June 12, 1681) "I bought Mr. Lilly's library of books of his widow, for fifty pounds," p. 360. In August, 1682, Ashmole went towards Oxford, "to see the building prepared to receive his rarities;" and in March, 1683, "the last load of his rarities was sent to the barge." In July, 1687, he received a parcel of books from J.W. Irnhoff, of Nurembergh, among which was his Excellentium Familiarum in Gallia Genealogia: p. 379. But it is time to put an end to this unwieldly note: reserving the account of Ashmole's Order of the Garter, and Theatrum Chemicum, for the ensuing one — and slightly informing the reader, of what he may probably be apprized, that our illustrious bibliomaniac bequeathed his museum of curiosities and library of books to his beloved Alma Mater Oxoniensis— having first erected a large building for their reception. It is justly said of him, in the inscription upon his tombstone,


A summer month might be profitably passed in the Ashmolean collection of Books! Let us not despair that a complete Catalogue Raisonné of them may yet be given.

Loren. Not eight guineas — although you were about to say fourteen!

Lysand. Even so. But it must have been obtained in the golden age of book-collecting?

Loren. It was obtained, together with an uncut copy of his Theatrum Chemicum,351 by my father, at the shop of a most respectable bookseller, lately living, at Mews-Gate, and now in Pall-Mall — where the choicest copies of rare and beautiful books are oftentimes to be procured, at a price much less than the extravagant ones given at book-sales. You observed it was bound in blue morocco — and by that Coryphæus of book-binders, the late Roger Payne!

351 First let us say a few words of the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, as it was the anterior publication. It contains a collection of ancient English poetical pieces relating to Alchemy, or the "Hermetique Mysteries;" and was published in a neat quarto volume, in 1652; accompanied with a rich sprinkling of plates "cut in brass," and copious annotations, at the end, by Ashmole himself. Of these plates, some are precious to the antiquary; for reasons which will be given by me in another work. At present, all that need be said is that a fine tall copy of it brings a fair sum of money. I never heard of the existence of a large paper impression. It went to press in July 1651; and on the 26th of January following, "the first copy of it was sold to the Earl of Pembroke:" see the Diary, pp. 313-315. In May, 1658, Ashmole made his first visit to the Record Office in the Tower, to collect materials for his work of "The Order of the Garter." In May following, Hollar accompanied the author to Windsor, to take views of the castle. In the winter of 1665, Ashmole composed a "good part of the work at Roe-Barnes (the plague increasing)." In May, 1672, a copy of it was presented to King Charles II.: and in June, the following year, Ashmole received "his privy-seal for 400l. out of the custom of paper, which the king was pleased to bestow upon him for the same." This, it must be confessed, was a liberal remuneration. But the author's honours increased and multiplied beyond his most sanguine expectations. Princes and noblemen, abroad and at home, read and admired his work; and Ashmole had golden chains placed round his neck, and other superb presents from the greater part of them; one of which (from the Elector of Brandenburgh) is described as being "composed of ninety links, of philagreen links in great knobs, most curious work," &c. In short, such was the golden harvest which showered down upon him on all sides, on account of this splendid publication, that "he made a feast at his house in South Lambeth, in honour to his benefactors of the work of the garter." I hope he had the conscience to make Hollar his Vice-President, or to seat him at his right hand; for this artist's Engravings, much more than the author's composition, will immortalize the volume. Yet the artist — died in penury! These particulars relating to this popular work, which it was thought might be amusing to the lover of fine books, have been faithfully extracted from the 'forementioned original and amusing Diary. The Order of the Garter was originally sold for 1l. 10s. See Clavel's Catalogue, 1675, p. 31.

Lysand. I observed it had a "glorious aspect," as bibliographers term it.

Lis. But what has become of Ashmole all this while?

Lysand. I will only further remark of him that, if he had not suffered his mind to wander in quest of the puzzling speculations of alchemy and astrology — which he conceived himself bound to do in consequence, probably, of wearing John Dee's red velvet night cap — he might have mingled a larger portion of common sense and sound practical observations in his writings.

But a truce to worthy old Elias. For see yonder the bibliomaniacal spirit of Archbishop Laud pacing your library! With one hand resting upon a folio,352 it points, with the other, to your favourite print of the public buildings of the University of Oxford — thereby reminding us of his attachment, while living, to literature and fine books, and of his benefactions to the Bodleian Library. Now it "looks frowningly" upon us; and, turning round, and shewing the yet reeking gash from which the life-blood flowed, it flits away —

Par levibus ventis, volucrique simillima somno!

352 Archbishop Laud, who has beheaded in the year 1644, had a great fondness for sumptuous decoration in dress, books, and ecclesiastical establishments; which made him suspected of a leaning towards the Roman Catholic religion. His life has been written by Dr. Heylin, in a heavy folio volume of 547 pages; and in which we have a sufficiently prolix account of the political occurrences during Laud's primacy, but rather a sparing, or indeed no, account of his private life and traits of domestic character. In Lloyd's Memoirs of the Sufferers from the year 1637 to 1660 inclusive (1668, fol.) are exhibited the articles of impeachment against the Archbishop; and, amongst them, are the following bibliomaniacal accusations. "Art. 5. Receiving a Bible, with a crucifix embroidered on the cover of it by a lady. Art. 6. A book of popish pictures, two Missals, Pontificals, and Breviaries, which he made use of as a scholar. Art. 7. His (own) admirable Book of Devotion, digested according to the ancient way of canonical hours, &c. Art. 19. The book of Sports, which was published first in King James his reign, before he had any power in the church; and afterward in King Charles his reign, before he had the chief power in the church," &c., pp. 235-237. But if Laud's head was doomed to be severed from his body in consequence of these his bibliomaniacal frailties, what would have been said to the fine copy of one of the Salisbury Primers or Missals, printed by Pynson upon vellum, which once belonged to this archbishop, and is now in the library of St. John's College, Oxford?! Has the reader ever seen the same primate's copy of the Aldine Aristophanes, 1498, in the same place? 'Tis a glorious volume; and I think nearly equals my friend Mr. Heber's copy, once Lord Halifax's, of the same edition. Of Laud's benefactions to the Bodleian Library, the bibliographer will see ample mention made in the Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Angliæ, Hiberniæ, &c., 1697, folio. The following, from Heylin, is worth extracting: "Being come near the block, he (Laud) put off his doublet, &c., and seeing through the chink of the boards that some people were got under the scaffold, about the very place where the block was seated, he called to the officer for some dust to stop them, or to remove the people thence; saying, it was no part of his desire 'that his blood should fall upon the heads of the people.' Never did man put off mortality with a better courage, nor look upon his bloody and malicious enemies with more christian charity." Cyprianus Anglicus; or the Life and Death of Laud; 1668, fol.; p. 536. In the Master's library at St. John's, Oxford, they shew the velvet cap which it is said Laud wore at his execution; and in which the mark of the axe is sufficiently visible. The archbishop was a great benefactor to this college. Mr. H. Ellis, of the Museum, who with myself were "quondam socii" of the same establishment, writes me, that "Among what are called the king's pamphlets in the British Museum, is a fragment of a tract, without title, of fifty-six pages only, imperfect; beginning, 'A briefe examination of a certaine pamphlet lately printed in Scotland, and intituled Ladensium Autocatacrisis,' &c., 'The Cantabarians Self-Conviction.' On the blank leaf prefixed, is the following remark in a hand of the time. 'This Briefe Examen following, was found in the Archbishop's (Laud?) Library, wher the whole impression of these seauen sheets was found, but nether beginning nor ending more then is hearein contained. May 11th, 1644.' This work, (continues Mr. Ellis,) which is a singular and valuable curiosity, is in fact a personal vindication of Archbishop Laud, not only from the slanders of the pamphlet, but from those of the times in general: and from internal evidence could have been written by no one but himself. It is in a style of writing beyond that of the ordinary productions of the day."

Peace, peace, thou once "lofty spirit"— peace to thy sepulchre — always consecrated by the grateful student who has been benefited by thy bounty!

Perhaps Laud should have been noticed a little earlier in this list of bibliomanical heroes; but, having here noticed him, I cannot refrain from observing to you that the notorious Hugh Peters revelled in some of the spoils of the archbishop's library; and that there are, to the best of my recollection, some curious entries on the journals of the House of Commons relating to the same.353

353 I am indebted to the same literary friend who gave me the intelligence which closes the last note, for the ensuing particulars relating to Hugh Peters; which are taken from the journals of the lower house: "Ao. 1643-4. March 8. Ordered, that a study of books, to the value of 100l. out of such books as are sequestered, be forthwith bestowed upon Mr. Peters." Journals of the House of Commons, vol. ii., p. 421. "Ao. 1644. 25 April. Whereas this House was formerly pleased to bestow upon Mr. Peters books to the value of 100l., it is this day ordered that Mr. Recorder, Mr. Whitlock, Mr. Hill, or two of them, do cause to be delivered to Mr. Peters, to the value of 100l., books out of the private and particular study of the Archbishop of Canterbury." Id., vol. iii., p. 469. "Ao. 1644. 26 Junij. Dies publicæ Humiliationis. Mr. Peters made a large and full relation of the state of the western counties, and of the proceedings of my Lord General's army, since its coming thither," &c. "Whereas, formerly, books to the amount of 100l. were bestowed upon Mr. Peters out of the archbishop's private library, and whereas the said study is appraised at above 40l. more than the 100l., it is ordered this day that Mr. Peters shall have the whole study of books freely bestowed upon him." Id. p. 544. "Ao. 1660. May 16. Ordered, That all books and papers, heretofore belonging to the library of the archbishop of Canterbury, and now, or lately, in the hands of Mr. Hugh Peters, be forthwith secured." In Ashmole's life, before the first volume of his Antiq. of Berkshire, it is said in Aug. 1660, "Mr. Ashmole had a commission to examine that infamous buffoon and trumpeter of rebellion, Hugh Peters, concerning the disposal of the pictures, jewels, &c., belonging to the royal family, which were committed chiefly to his care, and sold and dispersed over Europe: which was soon brought to a conclusion by the obstinacy or ignorance of their criminal, who either would not, or was not able to, give the desired satisfaction."

Lis. This is extraordinary enough. But, if I well remember, you mentioned, a short time ago, the name of Braithwait as connected with that of Peacham. Now, as I persume Lorenzo has not tied down his guests to any rigid chronological rules, in their literary chit-chat, so I presume you might revert to Braithwait, without being taxed with any great violation of colloquial order.

Lysand. Nay, I am not aware of any bookish anecdote concerning Braithwait. He was mentioned with Peacham as being a like accomplished character.354 Some of his pieces are written upon the same subjects as were Peacham's, and with great point and elegance. He seems, indeed, to have had the literary credit and moral welfare of his countrymen so much at stake that, I confess, I have a vast fondness for his lucubrations. His "English Gentlewoman" might be reprinted with advantage.

354 The talents of Richard Braithwait do not appear to me to be so generally known and highly commended as they merit to be. His Nursery for Gentry, 1651, 4to. (with his portrait in an engraved frontispiece by Marshall), is written with the author's usual point and spirit; but, as I humbly conceive, is a less interesting performance than his English Gentleman, 1633, 4to. (with a frontispiece by Marshall), or English Gentlewoman, 1631, 4to. (also with a frontispiece by the same artist). There is a terseness and vigour in Braithwait's style which is superior to that of his contemporary, Peacham; who seems to excel in a calm, easy, and graceful manner of composition. Both these eminent writers are distinguished for their scholastic and gentlemanly attainments; but in the "divine art of poesy" (in which light I mean here more particularly to display the powers of Braithwait) Peacham has no chance of being considered even as a respectable competitor with his contemporary. Mr. George Ellis, in his pleasing Specimens of the early English Poets, vol. iii., p. 103, has selected two songs of Braithwait "from a work not enumerated by Wood;" calling the author, "a noted wit and poet." His fame, however, is not likely to "gather strength" from these effusions. It is from some passages in The Arcadian Princesse— a work which has been already, and more than once, referred to, but which is too dislocated and heterogeneous to recommend to a complete perusal — it is from some passages in this work that I think Braithwait shines with more lustre as a poet than in any to which his name is affixed. Take the following miscellaneous ones, by way of specimens. They are sometimes a little faulty in rhyme and melody: but they are never lame from imbecility.

—— he has the happiest wit,

Who has discretion to attemper it.

And of all others, those the least doe erre,

Who in opinion are least singular.

Let Stoicks be to opposition given,

Who to extreames in arguments are driven;

Submit thy judgment to another's will

If it be good; oppose it mildly, ill.

Lib. iv., p. 7.

Strong good sense has been rarely exhibited in fewer lines than in the preceding ones. We have next a vigorously drawn character which has the frightful appellation of

Uperephanos, who still thought

That th' world without him would be brought to nought:

For when the dogge-starre raged, he used to cry,

"No other Atlas has the world but I.

I am that only Hee, supports the state;

Cements divisions, shuts up Janus' gate;

Improves the publike fame, chalks out the way

How princes should command, subjects obey.

Nought passeth my discovery, for my sense

Extends itself to all intelligence."

&c. &c. &c.

So well this story and this embleme wrought,

Uperephanos was so humble brought,

As he on earth disvalu'd nothing more,

Than what his vainest humour priz'd before.

More wise, but lesse conceited of his wit;

More pregnant, but lesse apt to humour it;

More worthy, 'cause he could agnize his want;

More eminent, because less arragant.

In briefe, so humbly-morally divine,

He was esteem'd the Non-such of his time.

Id., pp. 8, 11.

Another character, with an equally bizarre name, is drawn with the same vigour:

Melixos; such a starved one,

As he had nothing left but skin and bone.

The shady substance of a living man,

Or object of contempt wheree'er he came.

Yet had hee able parts, and could discourse,

Presse moving reasons, arguments enforce,

Expresse his readings with a comely grace,

And prove himselfe a Consul in his place!

Id., p. 12.

We have a still more highly-coloured, and indeed a terrific, as well as original, picture, in the following animated verses:

Next him, Uptoomos; one more severe,

Ne'er purple wore in this inferiour sphere:

Rough and distastefull was his nature still,

His life unsociable, as was his will.

Eris and Enio his two pages were,

His traine stern Apuneia us'd to beare.

Terrour and thunder echo'd from his tongue,

Though weake in judgment, in opinion strong.

A fiery inflammation seiz'd his eyes,

Which could not well be temper'd any wise:

For they were bloud-shot, and so prone to ill,

As basiliske-like, where'ere they look, they kill.

No laws but Draco's with his humour stood,

For they were writ in characters of bloud.

His stomacke was distemper'd in such sort

Nought would digest; nor could he relish sport.

His dreames were full of melancholy feare,

Bolts, halters, gibbets, halloo'd in his eare:

Fury fed nature with a little food,

Which, ill-concocted, did him lesser good,

Id., p. 16.

But it is time to pause upon Braithwait. Whoever does not see, in these specimens, some of the most powerful rhyming couplets of the early half of the seventeenth century, if not the model of some of the verses in Dryden's satirical pieces, has read both poets with ears differently constructed from those of the author of this book.

As I am permitted to be desultory in my remarks, (and, indeed, I craved this permission at the outset of them) I may here notice the publication of an excellent Catalogue of Books, in 1658, 4to.; which, like its predecessor, Maunsell's, helped to inflame the passions of purchasers, and to fill the coffers of booksellers. Whenever you can meet with this small volume, purchase it, Lisardo; if it be only for the sake of reading the spirited introduction prefixed to it.355 The author was a man, whoever he may chance to be, of no mean intellectual powers. But to return.

355 This volume, which has been rather fully described by me in the edition of More's Utopia, vol. ii., p. 260, 284 — where some specimens of the "Introduction," so strongly recommended by Lysander, will be found — is also noticed in the Athenæum, vol. ii., 601; where there is an excellent analysis of its contents. Here, let me subjoin only one short specimen: In praise of learning, it is said: "Wise and learned men are the surest stakes in the hedge of a nation or city: they are the best conservators of our liberties: the hinges on which the welfare, peace, and happiness, hang; the best public good, and only commonwealth's men. These lucubrations, meeting with a true and brave mind, can conquer men; and, with the basilisk, kill envy with a look." Sign. E. 4. rect.

Where sleep now the relics of Dyson's Library, which supplied that Helluo Librorum, Richard Smith, with "most of his rarities?"356 I would give something pretty considerable to have a correct list — but more to have an unmolested sight — of this library, in its original state: if it were merely to be convinced whether or not it contained a copy of the first edition of Shakespeare, of larger dimensions, and in cleaner condition, than the one in Philander's Collection!

356 "H. Dyson (says Hearne) a person of a very strange, prying, and inquisitive genius, in the matter of books, as may appear from many libraries; there being books, chiefly in old English, almost in every library, that have belonged to him, with his name upon them." Peter Langtoft's Chronicles, vol. i., p. xiii. This intelligence Hearne gleaned from his friend Mr. T. Baker. We are referred by the former to the Bibl. R. Smith, p. 371, alias 401, No. 115, to an article, which confirms what is said of Smith's "collecting most of his rarities out of the library of H. Dyson." The article is thus described in Bibl. Smith, ibid.; "115 Six several catalogues of all such books, touching the state ecclesiastical as temporal of the realm of England, which were published upon several occasions, in the reigns of K. Henry the viith and viiith, Philip and Mary, Q. Elizabeth, K. James, and Charles I., collected by Mr. H. Dyson: out of whose library was gathered, by Mr. Smith, a great part of the rarities of this catalogue." A catalogue of the books sold in the reign of Hen. VII. would be invaluable to a bibliographer! Let me add, for the sake of pleasing, or rather, perhaps, tantalising my good friend Mr. Haleswood, that this article is immediately under one which describes "An Ancient MS. of Hunting, in vellum (wanting something) quarto." I hear him exclaim —"Where is this treasure now to be found?" Perhaps, upon the cover of a book of Devotion!

I have incidentally mentioned the name of Richard Smith.357 Such a bibliomaniac deserves ample notice, and the warmest commendation. Ah, my Lisardo! had you lived in the latter days of Charles II. — had you, by accident, fallen into the society of this indefatigable book-forager, while he pursued his book-rounds in Little Britain— could you have listened to his instructive conversation, and returned home with him to the congenial quiet and avocations of his book-room — would you, however caressed St. James's, or even smiled upon by the first Duchess in the land — have cared a rush for the splendours of a Court, or concentrated your best comforts in a coach drawn by six cream-coloured horses? Would you not, on the contrary, have thought with this illustrious bibliomaniac, and with the sages of Greece and Rome before him, that "in books is wisdom, and in wisdom is happiness."

357 From the address To the Reader, prefixed to the Catalogue of Richard Smith's books, which was put forth by Chiswel the bookseller, in May 1682, 4to. — the bibliomaniac is presented with the following interesting but cramply written, particulars relating to the owner of them: "Though it be needless to recommend what to all intelligent persons sufficiently commend itself, yet, perhaps, it may not be unacceptable to the ingenious to have some short account concerning This so much celebrated, so often desired, so long expected, Library, now exposed to sale. The gentleman that collected it was a person infinitely curious and inquisitive after books; and who suffered nothing considerable to escape him, that fell within the compass of his learning; for he had not the vanity of desiring to be master of more than he knew how to use. He lived to a very great age, and spent a good part of it almost entirely in the search of books. Being as constantly known every day to walk his rounds through the shops as he sat down to meals, where his great skill and experience enabled him to make choice of what was not obvious to every vulgar eye. He lived in times which ministered peculiar opportunities of meeting with books that are not every day brought into publick light; and few eminent libraries were bought where he had not the liberty to pick and choose. And while others were forming arms, and new-modelling kingdoms, his great ambition was to become master of a good Book. Hence arose, as that vast number of his books, so the choiceness and rarity of the greatest part of them; and that of all kinds, and in all sorts of learning," &c. "Nor was the owner of them a meer idle possessor of so great a treasure: for as he generally collated his books upon the buying of them (upon which account the buyer may rest pretty secure of their being perfect) so he did not barely turn over the leaves, but observed the defects of impressions, and the ill arts used by many; compared the differences of editions; concerning which, and the like cases, he has entered memorable, and very useful, remarks upon very many of the books under his own hand: Observations wherein, certainly, never man was more diligent and industrious. Thus much was thought fit to be communicated to publick notice, by a gentleman who was intimately acquainted both with Mr. Smith and his books. This excellent library will be exposed by auction, and the sale will begin on Monday the 15th day of May next, at the auction house, known by the name of the swan, in Great St. Bartholomew's Close, and there continue, day by day, the five first days of every week, till all the books be sold." In this catalogue of Richard Smith's books, the sharp-eyed bibliomaniac will discover twelve volumes printed by Caxton; which collectively, produced only the sum of 3l. 7s. 5d. The price of each of these volumes has been already given to the public (Typog. Antiq., vol i., p. cxxxii.) I suppose a thousand guineas would now barely secure perfect copies of them! The catalogue itself is most barbarously printed, and the arrangement and description of the volumes such as to damn the compiler "to everlasting fame." A number of the most curious, rare, and intrinsically valuable books — the very insertion of which in a bookseller's catalogue would probably now make a hundred bibliomaniacs start from their homes by star-light, in order to come in for the first pickings— a number of volumes of this description are huddled together in one lot, and all these classed under the provoking running title of "Bundles of Books," or "Bundles of sticht Books!" But it is time to bid adieu to this matchless collection. Leaving the virtuoso "to toil, from rise to set of sun" after W. Sherwin's "extra rare and fine" portrait of the collector, which will cost him hard upon ten pounds (see Sir William Musgrave's Catalogue of English Portraits, p. 92, no. 82), and to seize, if it be in his power, a copy of the catalogue itself, "with the prices and purchasers' names" (vide Bibl. Lort., no. 1354). I proceed to attend upon Lysander: not, however, without informing him that Strype (Life of Cranmer, p. 368), as well as Hearne (Liber Niger Scaccarii, vol. ii., p. 542), has condescended to notice the famous library of this famous collector of books, Richard Smith!

Lis. In truth I should have done even more than what your barren imagination has here depicted. Smith's figure, his address, his conversation, his library —

Loren. Enough — peace! There is no end to Lisardo's fruitful imagination. We are surfeited with the richness of it. Go on, dear Lysander; but first, satisfy a desire which I just now feel to be informed of the period when Sales of Books, by Auction, were introduced into this country.

Lysand. You take that for granted which remains be proved: namely, my ability to gratify you in this particular. Of the precise period when this memorable revolution in the sale of books took place I have no means of being accurately informed: but I should think not anterior to the year 1673, or 1674; for, in the year 1676, to the best of my recollection, the catalogue of the Library of Dr. Seaman was put forth; to which is prefixed an address to the reader, wherein the custom of selling books by auction is mentioned as having been but of recent origin in our country.358 It was, however, no sooner introduced than it caught the attention, and pleased the palates, of bibliomaniacs exceedingly: and Clavel, a bookseller, who published useful catalogues of books to be sold in his own warehouse, retorted in sharp terms upon the folly and extravagance which were exhibited at book auctions. However, neither Clavel nor his successors, from that period to the present, have been able to set this custom aside, nor to cool the fury of book-auction bibliomaniacs — who, to their eternal shame be it said, will sometimes, from the hot and hasty passions which are stirred up by the poisonous miasmata floating in the auction-room, give a sum twice or thrice beyond the real value of the books bidden for! Indeed, I am frequently amused to see the vehemence and rapture with which a dirty little volume is contended for and embraced — while a respectable bookseller, like Portius, coolly observes across the table —"I have a better copy on sale at one third of the price!"

358 A part of the address "To the Reader," in the catalogue above-mentioned by Lysander, being somewhat of a curiosity, is here reprinted in its unadulterated


"It hath not been usual here in England to make Sale of Books by way of Auction or who will give most for them: But it having been practised in other countreys to the advantage both of buyers and sellers, it was therefore conceived (for the encouragement of learning) to publish the sale of these books this manner of way; and it is hoped that this will not be unacceptable to schollers: and therefore, methought it convenient to give an advertisement concerning the manner of proceeding therein. First, That having this catalogue of the books, and their editions, under their several heads and numbers, it will be more easie for any person of quality, gentleman, or others, to depute any one to buy such books for them as they shall desire, if their occasions will not permit them to be present at the auction themselves." The second clause is the usual one about differences arising. The third, about discovering the imperfections of the copies before they are taken away. The fourth, that the buyers are to pay for their purchases within one month after the termination of the auction. The fifth, that the sale is to begin "punctually at 9 o'clock in the morning, and two in the afternoon; and this to continue daily until all the books be sold; wherefore it is desired that the gentlemen, or those deputed by them, may be there precisely at the hours appointed, lest they should miss the opportunity of buying those books which either themselves or their friends desire." As this is the earliest auction catalogue which I have chanced to meet with, the present reader may probably be pleased with the following specimens, selected almost at random of the prices which were given for books at a public sale, in the year 1676.

In Folio. Philologists.

  s. d.
Pet. Heylyn's Cosmographie, Lond. 1652. 14 0
Io. Stow's Annals, or Chronicles of England, &c. ibid., 1631. 15 0
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxon, 1638. 6 0
Geo. Withers, his Emblems; illustrated with brass figures, 1635. 8 6
Os. Gabelhower's book called the Dutch Physic, Dort, 1579. 3 0

p. 12.

In Quarto. Philologie.

The Royal Passage of her Majesty, from the tower to Whitehall, Lond., 1604.
The Vision of the Goddesses, a mask by the Queen and her Ladies, 1604.
King James his Entertainment through the city of London, ibid.
A particular Entertainment of the Queen and Prince, 1608.
The magnificent Entertainment of King James, Queen Anne, and Prince Henry Frederick, 1604.
Her Majesties speech to both Houses of Parliament, 1604.
Vox Cœli, or News from Heaven, 1624.
An experimental Discovery of the Spanish Practises, 1623.
Tho. Scotts aphorisms of State, or secret articles for the re-edifying the Romish Church, 1624.
The Tongue Combat between two English Souldiers, 1621.
Votivæ Angliæ, or the Desires and Wishes of England, 1624.
A book of Fishing, with hook and line, and other instruments, 1600.

p. 63.

Now a-days, the last article alone would pr duce— shall I say nine times the sum of the whole? But once more:

In Octavo. Philologists.

Rob. Crowley's Confutation and Answer to a wicked ballade of the abuse of the sacrament of the altar, 1548.
Philargyne, or Covetousness of Great Britain, 1551.
A Confutation of 13 articles of Nicol Sharton's, 1551.
The Voice of the last Trumpet, blown by the seventh angel, 1550.
Rob. Crowley's four last things.
A petition against the oppressors of the poor of this realm, 1550.
A supplication of the poor Commons, 1550.
Piers Plowman Exhortation to the Parliament, and a New-Year's gift, 1550.
The Hurt of Sedition to the Commonwealth, 1549.

To continue the History of Book Auctions, a little further. Two years after the preceding sale, namely, in 1678, were sold the collections of Dr. Manton, Dr. Worsley, and others. In the address to the Reader, prefixed to Manton's catalogue, it would seem that this was the "fourth triall" of this mode of sale in our own country. The conditions and time of sale the same as the preceding; and because one Briggs, and not one Cooper, drew up the same, Cooper craves the reader's "excuse for the mistakes that have happened; and desires that the saddle may be laid upon the right horse." In this collection there is a more plentiful sprinkling of English books; among which, Dugdale's Warwickshire, 1656, was sold for 1l. 6s.; and Fuller's Worthies for the same sum. The "Collections of Pamphlets, bound together in Quarto," were immense. Dr. Worsley's collection, with two others, was sold two months afterwards; namely, in May, 1678: and from the address "To the Reader," it would appear that Dr. Manton's books brought such high prices as to excite the envy of the trade. Worsley's collection was sold at 9 and 2, the usual hours "at the house over against the hen and chickens, in Pater-Noster Row." The venders thus justify themselves at the close of their address: "We have only this to add in behalf of ourselves; that, forasmuch as a report has been spread that we intend to use indirect means to advance the prices, we do affirm that it is a groundless and malicious suggestion of some of our own trade, envious of our undertaking: and that, to avoid all manner of suspicion of such practice, we have absolutely refused all manner of commissions that have been offered us for buying (some of them without limitation): and do declare that the company shall have nothing but candid and ingenuous dealing from

John Dunmore.
Richard Chiswel."

At this sale, the Shakspeare of 1632 brought 16s.; and of 1663, 1l. 8s.

In the November and December of the same year were sold by auction the books of Voet, Sangar, and others, and from the preface to each catalogue it would seem that the sale of books by auction was then but a recent, yet a very successful, experiment; and that even collections from abroad were imported, in order to be disposed of in a like manner.

Lis. From what you say, it would appear to be wiser to lay out one's money at a bookseller's than at a book-auction?

Lysand. Both methods must of necessity be resorted to: for you cannot find with the one what you may obtain at the other. A distinguished collector, such as the late Mr. Reed, or Mr. Gough, or Mr. Joseph Windham, dies, and leaves his library to be sold by auction for the benefit of his survivors. Now, in this library so bequeathed, you have the fruits of book-labour, collected for a long period, and cultivated in almost every department of literature. A thousand radii are concentrated in such a circle; for it has, probably, been the object of the collector's life to gather and to concentrate these radii. In this case, therefore, you must attend the auction; you must see how such a treasure is scattered, like the Sibylline leaves, by the winds of fate. You must catch at what you want, and for what you have been a dozen years, perhaps, in the pursuit of. You will pay dearly for these favourite volumes; but you have them, and that is comfort enough; and you exclaim, as a consolation amidst all the agony and waste of time which such a contest may have cost you — "Where, at what bookseller's, are such gems now to be procured?" All this may be well enough. But if I were again to have, as I have already had, the power of directing the taste and applying the wealth of a young collector — who, on coming of age, wisely considers books of at least as much consequence as a stud of horses — I would say, go to Mr. Payne, or Mr. Evans, or Mr. Mackinlay, or Mr. Lunn, for your Greek and Latin Classics; to Mr. Dulau, or Mr. Deboffe, for your French; to Mr. Carpenter, or Mr. Cuthell, for your English; and to Mr. White for your Botany and rare and curious books of almost every description. Or, if you want delicious copies, in lovely binding, of works of a sumptuous character, go and drink coffee with Mr. Miller, of Albemarle Street — under the warm light of an Argand lamp — amidst a blaze of morocco and russia coating, which brings to your recollection the view of the Temple of the Sun in the play of Pizarro! You will also find, in the vender of these volumes, courteous treatment and "gentlemanly notions of men and things." Again, if you wish to speculate deeply in books, or to stock a newly-discovered province with what is most excellent and popular in our own language, hire a vessel of 300 tons' burthen, and make a contract with Messrs. Longman, Hurst, and Co., who are enabled, from their store of quires, which measure 50 feet in height, by 40 in length, and 20 in width, to satisfy all the wants of the most craving bibliomaniacs. In opposition to this pyramid, enter the closet of Mr. Triphook, jun., of St. James's Street — and resist, if it be in your power to resist, the purchase of those clean copies, so prettily bound, of some of our rarest pieces of black-letter renown!

Loren. From this digression, oblige us now by returning to our bibliomaniacal history.

Lysand. Most willingly. But I am very glad you have given me an opportunity of speaking, as I ought to speak, of some of our most respectable booksellers, who are an ornament to the cause of the bibliomania.

We left off, I think, with noticing that renowned book-collector, Richard Smith. Let me next make honourable mention of a "par nobile fratrum" that ycleped are North. The "Lives" of these men, with an "Examen" (of "Kennet's History of England"), were published by a relative (I think a grandson) of the same name; and two very amusing and valuable quarto volumes they are! From one of these Lives, we learn how pleasantly the Lord Keeper used to make his meals upon some one entertaining Law-volume or another: how he would breakfast upon Stamford,359 dine upon Coke, and sup upon Fitzherbert, &c.; and, in truth, a most insatiable book appetite did this eminent judge possess. For, not satisfied ("and no marvel, I trow") with the foregoing lean fare, he would oftentimes regale himself with a well-served-up course of the Arts, Sciences, and the Belles-Lettres!

359 These are the words of Lord Keeper North's Biographer: "There are of Law-Books, institutions of various sorts, and reports of cases (now) almost innumerable. The latter bear most the controversial law, and are read as authority such as may be quoted: and I may say the gross of law lecture lies in them. But to spend weeks and months wholly in them, is like horses in a string before a loaden waggon. They are indeed a careful sort of reading, and chiefly require common-placing, and that makes the work go on slowly. His Lordship therefore used to mix some institutionary reading with them, as after a fulness of the reports in a morning, about noon, to take a repast in Stamford, Compton, or the Lord Coke's Pleas of the Crown and Jurisdiction of Courts, Manwood of the Forest Law, Fitzherbert's Natura Brevium; and also to look over some of the Antiquarian Books, as Britton, Bracton, Fleta, Fortescue, Hengham, the old Tenures Narrationes Novæ, the old Natura Brevium, and the Diversity of Courts. These, at times, for change and refreshment, being books all fit to be known. And those that, as to authority, are obsoleted, go rounder off-hand, because they require little common-placing, and that only as to matter very singular and remarkable, and such as the student fancies he shall desire afterwards to recover. And, besides all this, the day afforded him room for a little History, especially of England, modern books, and Controversy in Print, &c. In this manner he ordered his own studies, but with excursions into Humanity and Arts, beyond what may be suitable to the genius of every young student in the law." Life of Lord Keeper Guildford, pp. 18, 19. North's Lives, edit. 1754, 4to.

His brother, Dr. John North, was a still greater Helluo Librorum; "his soul being never so staked down as in an old bookseller's shop." Not content with a superficial survey of whatever he inspected, he seems to have been as intimately acquainted with all the book-selling fraternity of Little-Britain as was his contemporary, Richard Smith; and to have entered into a conspiracy with Robert Scott360— the most renowned book vender in this country, if not in Europe — to deprive all bibliomaniacs of a chance of procuring rare and curious volumes, by sweeping every thing that came to market, in the shape of a book, into their own curiously-wrought and widely-spread nets. Nay, even Scott himself was sometimes bereft of all power, by means of the potent talisman which this learned Doctor exercised — for the latter, "at one lift," would now and then sweep a whole range of shelves in Scott's shop of every volume which it contained. And yet how whimsical, and, in my humble opinion, ill-founded, was Dr. North's taste in matters of typography! Would you believe it, Lisardo, he preferred the meagre classical volumes, printed by the Gryphii, in the italic letter, to the delicate and eye-soothing lustre of the Elzevir type —?

360 "Now he began to look after books, and to lay the foundation of a competent library. He dealt with Mr. Robert Scott, of Little-Britain, whose sister was his grandmother's woman; and, upon that acquaintance he expected, and really had from him, useful information of books and their editions. This Mr. Scott was, in his time, the greatest librarian in Europe; for, besides his stock in England, he had warehouses in Francfort, Paris, and other places, and dealt by factors. After he was grown old, and much worn by multiplicity of business, he began to think of his ease and to leave off. Whereupon he contracted with one Mills, of St. Paul's Church-yard, near £10,000 deep, and articled not to open his shop any more. But Mills, with his auctioneering, Atlasses, and projects, failed, whereby poor Scott lost above half his means: but he held to his contract of not opening his shop, and when he was in London (for he had a country house), passed most of his time at his house amongst the rest of his books; and his reading (for he was no mean scholar) was the chief entertainment of his time. He was not only an expert bookseller, but a very conscientious good man; and when he threw up his trade, Europe had no small loss of him. Our Doctor, at one lift, bought of him a whole set of Greek Classics in folio, of the best editions. This sunk his stock at that time; but afterwards, for many years of his life, all that he could (as they say) rap or run, went the same way. But the progress was small; for such a library as he desired, compared with what the pittance of his stock would purchase, allowing many years to the gathering, was of desperate expectation. He was early sensible of a great disadvantage to him in his studies, by the not having a good library in his reach; and he used to say that a man could not be a scholar at the second-hand: meaning, that learning is to be had from the original authors, and not from any quotations, or accounts in other books, for men gather with divers views, and, according to their several capacities, often perfunctorily, and almost always imperfectly: and through such slight reading, a student may know somewhat, but not judge of either author or subject. He used to say an old author could not be unprofitable; for although in their proper time they had little or no esteem, yet, in after times, they served to interpret words, customs, and other matters, found obscure in other books; of which A. Gellius is an apt instance. He courted, as a fond lover, all best editions, fairest character, best bound and preserved. If the subject was in his favour (as the Classics) he cared not how many of them he had, even of the same edition, if he thought it among the best, either better bound, squarer cut, neater covers, or some such qualification caught him. He delighted in the small editions of the Classics, by Seb. Gryphius; and divers of his acquaintance, meeting with any of them, bought and brought them to him, which he accepted as choice presents, although perhaps he had one or two of them before. He said that the black italic character agreed with his eye sight (which he accounted but weak) better than any other print, the old Elzevir not excepted, whereof the characters seemed to him more blind and confused than those of the other. Continual use gives men a judgment of things comparatively, and they come to fix on that as most proper and easy which no man, upon cursory view, would determine. His soul was never so staked down as in an old bookseller's shop; for having (as the statutes of the college required) taken orders, he was restless till he had compassed some of that sort of furniture as he thought necessary for his profession. He was, for the most part, his own factor, and seldom or never bought by commission; which made him lose time in turning over vast numbers of books, and he was very hardly pleased at last. I have borne him company at shops for hours together, and, minding him of the time, he hath made a dozen proffers before he would quit. By this care and industry, at length, he made himself master of a very considerable library, wherein the choicest collection was Greek." There is some smartness in the foregoing observations. The following, in a strain of equal interest, affords a lively picture of the bookselling trade at the close of the 17th century: "It may not be amiss to step a little aside, to reflect on the vast change in the trade of books, between that time and ours. Then, Little-Britain was a plentiful and perpetual emporium of learned authors; and men went thither as to a market. This drew to the place a mighty trade; the rather because the shops were spacious, and the learned gladly resorted to them, where they seldom failed to meet with agreeable conversation. And the booksellers themselves were knowing and conversible men, with whom, for the sake of bookish knowledge, the greatest wits were pleased to converse. And we may judge the time as well spent there, as (in latter days) either in tavern or coffee-house: though the latter hath carried off the spare hours of most people. But now this emporium is vanished, and trade contracted into the hands of two or three persons, who, to make good their monopoly, ransack, not only their neighbours of the trade that are scattered about town, but all over England, aye, and beyond sea too, and send abroad their circulators, and, in that manner, get into their hands all that is valuable. The rest of the trade are content to take their refuse, with which, and the fresh scum of the press, they furnish one side of a shop, which serves for the sign of a bookseller, rather than a real one; but, instead of selling, dealing as factors, and procure what the country divines and gentry send for; of whom each hath his book factor, and, when wanting any thing, writes to his bookseller, and pays his bill. And it is wretched to consider what pickpocket work, with help of the press, these demi-booksellers make. They crack their brains to find out selling subjects, and keep hirelings in garrets, at hard meat, to write and correct by the great (qu. groat); and so puff up an octavo to a sufficient thickness, and there's six shillings current for an hour and a half's reading, and perhaps never to be read or looked upon after. One that would go higher must take his fortune at blank walls, and corners of streets, or repair to the sign of Bateman, Innys, and one or two more, where are best choice and better pennyworth's. I might touch other abuses, as bad paper, incorrect printing, and false advertising; all which, and worse, is to be expected, if a careful author is not at the heels of them." Life of the Hon. and Rev. Dr. John North. North's Lives, edit. 1744, 4to., p. 240, &c. At page 244, there is a curious account of the doctor's amusing himself with keeping spiders in a glass case — feeding them with bread and flies — and seeing these spiders afterwards quarrel with, and destroy, each other —"parents and offspring!"

Lis. "De gustibus—" you know the rest. But these Norths were brave bibliomaniacs! Proceed, we are now advancing towards the threshold of the eighteenth century; and the nearer you come to it, the greater is the interest excited.

Lysand. Take care that I don't conclude with the memorable catalogue-burning deed of your father! But I spare your present feelings.

All hail to the noble book-spirit by which the Lives of Oxford-Athenians, and the Antiquities of Oxford University, are recorded and preserved beyond the power of decay!361 All hail to thee, Old Anthony a-Wood! May the remembrance of thy researches, amidst thy paper and parchment documents, stored up in chests, pews, and desks, and upon which, alas! the moth was "feeding sweetly," may the remembrance of these thy laborious researches always excite sensations of gratitude towards the spirit by which they were directed! Now I see thee, in imagination, with thy cautious step, and head bowing from premature decay, and solemn air, and sombre visage, with cane under the arm, pacing from library to library, through gothic quadrangles; or sauntering along the Isis, in thy way to some neighbouring village, where thou wouldst recreate thyself with "pipe and pot." Yes, Anthony! while the Bodleian and Ashmolean collections remain — or rather as long as Englishmen know how to value that species of literature by which the names and actions of their forefathers are handed down to posterity, so long shall the memory of thy laudable exertions continue unimpaired!

361 The name and literary labours of Anthony Wood are now held in general, and deservedly high, respect: and it is somewhat amusing, though not a little degrading to human nature, to reflect upon the celebrity of that man who, when living, seems to have been ridiculed by the proud and flippant, and hated by the ignorant and prejudiced, part of his academical associates. The eccentricities of Wood were considered heretical; and his whims were stigmatized as vices. The common herd of observers was unable to discover, beneath his strange garb, and coarse exterior, all that acuteness of observation, and retentiveness of memory, as well as inflexible integrity, which marked the intellectual character of this wonderful man. But there is no necessity to detain and tantalize the reader by this formal train of reasoning, when a few leading features of Wood's person, manners, and habits of study, &c., have been thus pleasingly described to us by Hearne, in the life of him prefixed to the genuine edition of the History and Antiquities (or Annals) of the University of Oxford. "He was equally regardless of envy or fame, out of his great love to truth, and therefore 'twas no wonder he took such a liberty of speech, as most other authors, out of prudence, cunning, or design, have usually declined. And indeed, as to his language, he used such words as were suitable to his profession. It is impossible to think that men, who always converse with old authors, should not learn the dialect of their acquaintance — an antiquary retains an old word, with as much religion as an old relick. And further, since our author was ignorant of the rules of conversation, it is no wonder he uses so many severe reflections, and adds so many minute passages of men's lives. I have been told that it was usual with him, for the most part, to rise about four o'clock in the morning, and to eat hardly any thing till night; when, after supper, he would go into some by-alehouse in town, or else to one in some village near, and there by himself take his pipe and pot," &c. "But so it is that, notwithstanding our author's great merits, he was but little regarded in the University, being observed to be more clownish than courteous, and always to go in an old antiquated dress. Indeed he was a mere scholar, and consequently must expect, from the greatest number of men, disrespect; but this notwithstanding, he was always a true lover of his mother, the University, and did more for her than others care to do that have received so liberally from her towards their maintenance, and have had greater advantages of doing good than he had. Yea, his affection was not at all alienated, notwithstanding his being so hardly dealt with as to be expelled; which would have broken the hearts of some. But our author was of a most noble spirit, and little regarded whatever afflictions he lay under, whilst he was conscious to himself of doing nothing but what he could answer. At length after he had, by continual drudging, worn out his body, he left this world contentedly, by a stoppage of his urine, anno domini 1695, and was buried in the east corner of the north side of St. John's Church, adjoyning to Merton College, and in the wall is a small monument fixed, with these words:

antonius wood, antiquarius.
ob. 28 Nov. Ao. 1695, æt. 64."

In his person, he was of a large robust make, tall and thin, and had a sedate and thoughtful look, almost bordering upon a melancholy cast. Mr. Hearne says, in his Collectanea MSS., that though he was but sixty-four years of age when he died, he appeared to be above fourscore; that he used spectacles long before he had occasion for them, that he stooped much when he walked, and generally carried his stick under his arm, seldom holding it in his hand. As to the manner of his life, it was solitary and ascetic. The character which Gassendus gives of Peireskius, may, with propriety, be used as descriptive of Mr. Wood's. "As to the care of his person, cleanliness was his chief object, he desiring no superfluity or costliness, either in his habit or food. His house was furnished in the same manner as his table; and as to the ornament of his private apartment, he was quite indifferent. Instead of hangings, his chamber was furnished with the prints of his particular friends, and other men of note, with vast numbers of commentaries, transcripts, letters, and papers of various kinds. His bed was of the most ordinary sort; his table loaded with papers, schedules, and other things, as was also every chair in the room. He was a man of strict sobriety, and by no means delicate in the choice of what he eat. Always restrained by temperance, he never permitted the sweet allurements of luxury to overcome his prudence." Such, as is here represented, was the disposition of Mr. Wood: of so retired a nature as seldom to desire or admit a companion at his walks or meals; so that he is said to have dined alone in his chamber for thirty years together. Mr. Hearne says that it was his custom to "go to the booksellers at those hours when the greater part of the University were at their dinners," &c. And at five leaves further, in a note, we find that, "when he was consulting materials for his Athenæ Oxon., he would frequently go to the booksellers, and generally give money to them, purposely to obtain titles of books from them; and 'twas observed of him that he spared no charges to make that work as compleat and perfect as possible." Hearne's Coll. MSS. in Bodl. Lib., vol. ix., p. 185. The following letter, describing Wood's last illness, and the disposition of his literary property, is sufficiently interesting to be here, in part, laid before the reader: it was written by Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Tanner to Dr. Charlett.

"Honoured Master,

Yesterday, at dinner-time, Mr. Wood sent for me; when I came, I found Mr. Martin and Mr. Bisse of Wadham (college) with him, who had (with much ado) prevailed upon him to set about looking over his papers, so to work we went, and continued tumbling and separating some of his MSS. till it was dark. We also worked upon him so far as to sign and declare that sheet of paper, which he had drawn up the day before, and called it his will; for fear he should not live till night. He had a very bad night of it last night, being much troubled with vomiting. This morning we three were with him again, and Mr. Martin bringing with him the form of a will, that had been drawn up by Judge Holloway, we writ his will over again, as near as we could, in form of law. He has given to the University, to be reposited in the Museum Ashmol., all his MSS., not only those of his own collection, but also all others which he has in his possession, except some few of Dr. Langbain's Miscellanea, which he is willing should go to the public library. He has also given all his printed books and pamphlets to the said musæum which are not there already. This benefaction will not, perhaps, be so much valued by the University as it ought to be, because it comes from Anthony Wood; but truly it is a most noble gift, his collection of MSS. being invaluable, and his printed books, most of them, not to be found in town," &c. This letter is followed by other accounts yet more minute and touching, of the last mortal moments of poor old Anthony! It now remains to say a few words about his literary labours. A short history of the editions of the Athenæ Oxonienses (vide p. 45, ante) has already been communicated to the reader. We may here observe that his Antiquities of the University shared a similar fate; being garbled in a Latin translation of them, which was put forth under the auspices of Bishop Fell: 1676, fol., in 2 vols. Wood's own MS. was written in the English language, and lay neglected till towards the end of the 18th century, when the Rev. Mr. Gutch conferred a real benefit upon all the dutiful sons of alma mater, by publishing the legitimate text of their venerable and upright historian; under the title of The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls, 1786, 4to., with a supplemental volume by way of Appendix, 1790, 4to., containing copious indexes to the two. Then followed the Annals of the University at large, viz. The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford; 1792, 4to., in two volumes; the latter being divided into two parts, or volumes, with copious indexes. These works, which are now getting scarce, should be in every philological, as well as topographical, collection. In order to compensate the reader for the trouble of wading through the preceding tremendous note, I here present him with a wood-cut facsimile of a copper-plate print of Wood's portrait, which is prefixed to his Life, 1772, 8vo. If he wishes for more curious particulars respecting Wood's literary labours, let him take a peep into Thomæ Caii Vindic. Antiq. Acad. Oxon.: 1730, 8vo., vol. i., pp. xl. xliii. Edit. Hearne. Wood's study, in the Ashmolean museum, is yet to be seen. It is filled with curious books, which, however, have not hitherto been catalogued with accuracy. Ritson has availed himself, more successfully than any antiquary in poetry, of the book treasures in this museum.


A very few years after the death of this distinguished character, died Dr. Francis Bernard;362 a stoic in bibliography. Neither beautiful binding, nor amplitude of margin, ever delighted his eye or rejoiced his heart: for he was a stiff, hard, and straight-forward reader — and learned, in Literary History, beyond all his contemporaries. His collection was copious and excellent; and although the compiler of the catalogue of his books sneers at any one's having "an entire collection in physic," (by the bye, I should have told you that Bernard was a Doctor of Medicine,) yet, if I forget not, there are nearly 150 pages in this said catalogue which are thickly studded with "Libri Medici," from the folio to the duodecimo size. Many very curious books are afterwards subjoined; and some precious bijous, in English Literature, close the rear. Let Bernard be numbered among the most learned and eminent bibliomaniacs.

362 I do not know that I could produce a better recipe for the cure of those who are affected with the worst symptoms of the book-mania, in the present day, than by shewing them how the same symptoms, upwards of a century ago, were treated with ridicule and contempt by a collector of very distinguished fame, both on account of his literary talents and extensive library. The following copious extract is curious on many accounts; and I do heartily wish that foppish and tasteless collectors would give it a very serious perusal. At the same time, all collectors possessed of common sense and liberal sentiment will be pleased to see their own portraits so faithfully drawn therein. It is taken from the prefatory address,


The character of the person whose collection this was, is so well known, that there is no occasion to say much of him, nor to any man of judgment that inspects the catalogue of the collection itself. Something, however, it becomes us to say of both; and this I think may with truth and modesty enough be said, that as few men knew books, and that part of learning which is called Historia Litteraria, better than himself, so there never yet appeared in England so choice and valuable a catalogue to be thus disposed of as this before us: more especially of that sort of books which are out of the common course, which a man may make the business of his life to collect, and at last not to be able to accomplish. A considerable part of them being so little known, even to many of the learned buyers, that we have reason to apprehend this misfortune to attend the sale, that there will not be competitors enough to raise them up to their just and real value. Certain it is this library contains not a few which never appeared in any auction here before; nor indeed, as I have heard him say, for ought he knew, (and he knew as well as any man living) in any printed catalogue in the world."—"We must confess that, being a person who collected his books for use, and not for ostentation or ornament, he seemed no more solicitous about their dress than his own; and therefore you'll find that a gilt back, or a large margin, was very seldom any inducement to him to buy. 'Twas sufficient that he had the book." "Though considering that he was so unhappy as to want heirs capable of making that use of them which he had done, and that therefore they were to be dispersed after this manner; I have heard him condemn his own negligence in that particular; observing, that the garniture of a book was as apt to recommend it to a great part of our modern collectors (whose learning goes not beyond the edition, the title-page, and the printer's name) as the intrinsic value could. But that he himself was not a mere nomenclator, and versed only in title-pages, but had made that just and laudable use of his books which would become all those that set up for collectors, I appeal to the Literati of his acquaintance, who conversed most frequently with him; how full, how ready, and how exact he was in answering any question that was proposed to him relating to learned men, or their writings; making no secret of any thing that he knew, or any thing that he had; being naturally one of the most communicative men living, both of his knowledge and his books."—"And give me leave to say this of him, upon my own knowledge; that he never grudged his money in procuring, nor his time or labour in perusing, any book which he thought could be any ways instructive to him, and having the felicity of a memory always faithful, always officious, which never forsook him, though attacked by frequent and severe sickness, and by the worst of diseases, old age, his desire of knowledge attended him to the last; and he pursued his studies with equal vigour and application to the very extremity of his life." It remains to add a part of the title of the catalogue of the collection of this extraordinary bibilomaniac: "A Catalogue of the Library of the late learned Dr. Francis Bernard, Fellow of the College of Physicians, and Physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, &c.," 1698, 8vo. The English books are comprised in 1241 articles; and, among them, the keen investigator of ancient catalogues will discover some prime rarities.

Having at length reached the threshold, let us knock at the door, of the eighteenth century. What gracious figures are those which approach to salute us? They are the forms of Bishops Fell and More:363 prelates, distinguished for their never ceasing admiration of valuable and curious works. The former is better known as an editor; the latter, as a collector — and a collector, too, of such multifarious knowledge, of such vivid and just perceptions, and unabating activity — that while he may be hailed as the Father of black-letter Collectors in this country, he reminds us of his present successor in the same see; who is not less enamoured of rare and magnificent volumes, but of a different description, and whose library assumes a grander cast of character.

363 As I have already presented the public with some brief account respecting Bishop Fell, and sharpened the appetites of Grangerites to procure rather a rare portrait of the same prelate (See Introd. to the Classics, vol. i., 89), it remains only to add, in the present place, that Hearne, in his Historia Vitæ et Regni Ricardi II., 1729, 8vo., p. 389, has given us a curious piece of information concerning this eminent bibliomaniac, which may not be generally known. His authority is Anthony Wood. From this latter we learn that, when Anthony and the Bishop were looking over the History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford, to correct it for the press, Fell told Wood that "Wicliffe was a grand dissembler; a man of little conscience; and what he did, as to religion, was more out of vain glory, and to obtain unto him a name, than out of honesty — or to that effect." Can such a declaration, from such a character, be credited? Bishop More has a stronger claim on our attention and gratitude. Never has there existed an episcopal bibliomaniac of such extraordinary talent and fame in the walk of Old English Literature! — as the reader shall presently learn. The bishop was admitted of Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1662. In 1691, he became Bishop of Norwich; and was translated to Ely in 1707; but did not survive the translation above seven years. How soon and how ardently the passion for collecting books possessed him it is out of my present power to make the reader acquainted. But that More was in the zenith of his bibliomaniacal reputation while he filled the see of Norwich is unquestionable; for thus writes Strype: "The Right Reverend, the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the possessor of a great and curious collection of MSS. and other ancient printed pieces (little inferior to MSS. in regard of their scarceness) hath also been very considerably assistant to me as well in this present work as in others;" &c. Preface (sign. a 2) to Life of Aylmer, 1701, 8vo. Burnet thus describes his fine library when he was Bishop of Ely. "This noble record was lent me by my reverend and learned brother, Dr. More, Bishop of Ely, who has gathered together a most valuable treasure, both of printed books and manuscripts, beyond what one can think that the life and labour of one man could have compassed; and which he is as ready to communicate, as he has been careful to collect it." Hist. of the Reformation, vol. iii., p. 46. It seems hard to reconcile this testimony of Burnet with the late Mr. Gough's declaration, that "The bishop collected his library by plundering those of the clergy in his diocese; some he paid with sermons or more modern books; others only with 'quid illiterati cum libris.'" On the death of More, his library was offered to Lord Oxford for 8000l.; and how that distinguished and truly noble collector could have declined the purchase of such exquisite treasures — unless his own shelves were groaning beneath the weight of a great number of similar volumes — is difficult to account for. But a public-spirited character was not wanting to prevent the irreparable dispersion of such book-gems: and that patriotic character was George I.! — who gave 6000l. for them, and presented them to the public library of the University of Cambridge! —

"These are imperial works, and worthy kings!"

And here, benevolent reader, the almost unrivalled Bibliotheca Moriana yet quietly and securely reposes. Well do I remember the congenial hours I spent (A.D. 1808) in the closet holding the most precious part of Bishop More's collection, with my friend the Rev. Mr. —— tutor of one of the colleges in the same University, at my right-hand —(himself "greatly given to the study of books") actively engaged in promoting my views, and increasing my extracts — but withal, eyeing me sharply "ever and anon"— and entertaining a laudable distrust of a keen book-hunter from a rival University! I thank my good genius that I returned, as I entered, with clean hands! My love of truth and of bibliography compels me to add, with a sorrowful heart, that not only is there no printed catalogue of Bishop More's books, but even the fine public library of the university remains unpublished in print! In this respect they really do "order things better in France." Why does such indifference to the cause of general learning exist — and in the 19th century too? Let me here presume to submit a plan to the consideration of the syndics of the press; provided they should ever feel impressed with the necessity of informing the literati, of other countries as well as our own, of the book treasures contained in the libraries of Cambridge. It is simply this. Let the books in the Public Library form the substratum of the Catalogue Raisonné to be printed in three or more quarto volumes. If, in any particular department, there be valuable editions of a work which are not in the public, but in another, library — ex. gr. in Trinity, or St. John's — specify this edition in its appropriate class; and add Trin. Coll., &c.— If this copy contain notes of Bentley, or Porson, add "cum notis Bentleii," &c.: so that such a catalogue would present, not only every volume in the Public Library, but every valuable edition of a work in the whole University. Nor is the task so Herculean as may be thought. The tutors of the respective colleges would, I am sure, be happy, as well as able, to contribute their proportionate share of labour towards the accomplishment of so desirable and invaluable a work.

The opening of the 18th century was also distinguished by the death of a bibliomaniac of the very first order and celebrity. Of one, who had, no doubt, frequently discoursed largely and eloquently with Luttrell, (of whom presently) upon the rarity and value of certain editions of old Ballad Poetry: and between whom presents of curious black-letter volumes were, in all probability, frequently passing. I allude to the famous Samuel Pepys;364 Secretary to the Admiralty.

364 "The Maitland Collection of Manuscripts was ever in the collector's (Sir Richard Maitland's) family."—"His grandson was raised to the dignity of Earl of Lauderdale." "The Duke of Lauderdale, a descendant of the collector's grandson, presented the Maitland Collection, along with other MSS., to Samuel Pepys, Esq. Secretary of the Admiralty to Charles II. and James II. Mr. Pepys was one of the earliest collectors of rare books, &c. in England; and the duke had no taste for such matters; so either from friendship, or some point of interest, he gave them to Mr. Pepys,"— who "dying 26 May, 1703, in his 71st year, ordered, by will, the Pepysian Library at Magdalen College, Cambridge, to be founded, in order to preserve his very valuable collection entire. It is undoubtedly the most curious in England, those of the British Museum excepted; and is kept in excellent order." Mr. Pinkerton's preface, p. vii., to Ancient Scottish Poems from the Maitland Collection, &c., 1786, 8vo., 2 vols. I wish it were in my power to add something concerning the parentage, birth, education, and pursuits of the extraordinary collector of this extraordinary collection; but no biographical work, which I have yet consulted, vouchsafes even to mention his name. His merits are cursorily noticed in the Quarterly Review, vol. iv., p. 326-7. Through the medium of a friend, I learn from Sir Lucas Pepys, Bart., that our illustrious bibliomaniac, his great uncle, was President of the Royal Society, and that his collection at Cambridge contains a Diary of his life, written with his own hand. But it is high time to speak of the black-letter gems contained in the said collection. That the Pepysian collection is at once choice and valuable cannot be disputed; but that access to the same is prompt and facile, is not quite so indisputable. There is a MS. catalogue of the books, by Pepys himself, with a small rough drawing of a view of the interior of the library. The books are kept in their original (I think walnut-wood) presses: and cannot be examined unless in the presence of a fellow. — Such is the nice order to be observed, according to the bequest, that every book must be replaced where it was taken from; and the loss of a single volume causes the collection to be confiscated, and transported to Benet-college library. Oh, that there were an act of parliament to regulate bequests of this kind! — that the doors to knowledge might, by a greater facility of entrance, be more frequently opened by students; and that the medium between unqualified confidence and unqualified suspicion might be marked out and followed. Are these things symptomatic of an iron or a brazen age! But the bibliomaniac is impatient for a glance at the 'forementioned black-letter treasures! — Alas, I have promised more than I can perform! Yet let him cast his eye upon the first volume of the recent edition of Evans' Collection of Old Ballads (see in limine, p. ix.) and look into the valuable notes of Mr. Todd's Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer — in which latter, he will find no bad specimen of these Pepysian gems, in the exultation of my friend, the author, over another equally respected friend — in consequence of his having discovered, among these treasures, a strange, merry, and conceited work, entitled "Old Meg of Herefordshire for a Mayd-Marian; and Hereford Town for a Morris-daunce, &c.," 1609, 4to., p. 273. Ex uno Disce omnes. The left-handed critic, or anti-black-letter reader, will put a wicked construction upon the quotation of this motto in capital letters: let him: he will repent of his folly in due time.

Now it was a convincing proof to me, my dear friends, that the indulgence of a passion for books is perfectly compatible with any situation, however active and arduous. For while this illustrious bibliomaniac was sending forth his messengers to sweep every bookseller's shop from the Tweed to Penzance, for the discovery of old and almost unknown ballads — and while his name rung in the ears of rival collectors — he was sedulous, in his professional situation, to put the Navy of Old England upon the most respectable footing; and is called the Father of that system which, carried into effect by British hearts of oak, has made the thunder of our cannon to be heard and feared on the remotest shores. Nor is it a slight or common coincidence that a spirit of book-collecting, which stimulated the Secretary of the Admiralty at the opening of the 18th century, should, at the close of it, have operated with equal or greater force in a First Lord of the same glorious department of our administration. But we shall speak more fully of this latter character, and of his matchless collection, in a future stage of our discussion.

While we are looking round us at this period, we may as well slightly notice the foundation of the Blenheim Library. The Duke of Marlborough365 was resolved that no naval commander, or person connected with the navy, should eclipse himself in the splendour of book-collecting: but it was to Prince Eugene that Marlborough was indebted for his taste in this particular; or rather the English commander was completely bitten with the bibliomaniacal disease in consequence of seeing Eugene secure rare and magnificent copies of works, when a city or town was taken: and the German Prince himself expatiates upon the treasures of his library, with a rapture with which none but the most thorough-bred bibliomaniacs can ever adequately sympathise.

365 The Library at Blenheim is one of the grandest rooms in Europe. The serpentine sheet of water, which flows at some little distance, between high banks of luxuriant and moss-woven grass, and is seen from the interior, with an overhanging dark wood of oaks, is sufficient to awaken the finest feelings that ever animated the breast of a bibliomaniac. The books are select and curious, as well as numerous; and although they may be eclipsed, in both these particulars, by a few rival collections, yet the following specimen is no despicable proof of the ardour with which Marlborough, the founder of the Library, pushed forward his bibliomaniacal spirit. I am indebted to Mr. Edwards for this interesting list of the

Ancient classics printed upon vellum in the Blenheim Library.
Apoll. Rhodius   1496
Augustinus, de Civ. Dei Spiræ 1470
A. Gellius, Romæ   1469
Aug. de Civ. Dei Jenson 1475
Biblia Moguntina   1462
Bonifacii Decretalia   1465
Ciceronis Rhetorica Jens. 1470
—— Epist. Fam. Spiræ 1469
—— Officia Mogunt 1465
————   1466
—— Tuscul. Ques. Jenson 1472
Clementis Const. Mogunt 1460
—— Fust. s.a.    
Durandus   1459
Horatius Landini   1482
—— Epist.   1480
Justinian Mogunt 1468
Lactantius A Rot 1471
Lucian Florent 1496
Petrarca Spira 1470
Plinius Jenson 1472
Quintilian Campani 1470
Sallustius Spira 1470
V. Maximus, s.a.    
Virgilius Spira 1470

The present Marquis of Blandford inherits, in no small degree, the book-collecting spirit of his illustrious ancestor. He is making collections in those departments of literature in which the Blenheim Library is comparatively deficient; and his success has already been such as to lead us to hope for as perfect a display of volumes printed by Caxton as there is of those executed by foreign printers. The Marquis's collection of Emblems is, I believe, nearly perfect: of these, there are a few elegantly printed catalogues for private distribution. Lysander, above, supposes that Marlborough caught the infection of the book-disease from Prince Eugene; and the supposition is, perhaps, not very wide of the truth. The library of this great German prince, which is yet entire, (having been secured from the pillage of Gallic Vandalism, when a certain emperor visited a certain city) is the proudest feature in the public library at Vienna. The books are in very fine old binding, and, generally of the largest dimensions. And, indeed, old England has not a little to boast of (at least, so bibliomaniacs must always think) that, from the recently published Memoirs of Eugene (1811, 8vo., p. 185), it would appear that the prince "bought his fine editions of books at London:"— he speaks also of his "excellent French, Latin, and Italian works, well bound"— as if he enjoyed the "arrangment" of them, as much as the contemplation of his "cascades, large water-spouts, and superb basins." Ibid. Whether Eugene himself was suddenly inflamed with the ardour of buying books, from some lucky spoils in the pillaging of towns — as Lysander supposes — is a point which may yet admit of fair controversy. For my own part, I suspect the German commander had been straying, in his early manhood, among the fine libraries in Italy, where he might have seen the following exquisite bijous

In St. Mark's, at Venice.
Aulus Gellius 1469
Petrarca 1479
In the Chapter House at Padua.
Ciceronis Epist. ad Atticum Jenson 1470 PRINTED UPON VELLUM.
Quintilian Jenson 1471
Macrobius   1472
Solinus Jenson 1473
Catullus   1472
Plautus   1472
Ovidii Opera Bonon. 1471

The public is indebted to Mr. Edwards for the timely supply of the foregoing bibliographical intelligence.

Ever ardent in his love of past learning, and not less voracious in his bibliomaniacal appetites, was the well known Narcissus Luttrell. Nothing — if we may judge from the spirited sketch of his book character, by the able editor366 of Dryden's works — nothing would seem to have escaped his Lynx-like vigilance. Let the object be what it would (especially if it related to poetry) let the volume be great or small, or contain good, bad, or indifferent warblings of the muse — his insatiable craving had "stomach for them all." We may consider his collection as the fountain head of those copious streams which, after fructifying the libraries of many bibliomaniacs in the first half of the eighteenth century, settled, for a while, more determinedly, in the curious book-reservoir of a Mr. Wynne— and hence, breaking up, and taking a different direction towards the collections of Farmer, Steevens, and others, they have almost lost their identity in the innumerable rivulets which now inundate the book-world.

366 "In this last part of his task, the editor (Walter Scott) has been greatly assisted by free access to a valuable collection of fugitive pieces of the reigns of Charles II., James II., William III., and Queen Anne. This curious collection was made by Narcissus Luttrell, Esq., under whose name the Editor usually quotes it. The industrious collector seems to have bought every poetical tract, of whatever merit, which was hawked through the streets in his time, marking carefully the price and date of the purchase. His collection contains the earliest editions of many of our most excellent poems, bound up, according to the order of time, with the lowest trash of Grub-street. It was dispersed on Mr. Luttrell's death," &c. Preface to The Works of John Dryden, 1808: vol. i., p. iv. Mr. James Bindley and Mr. Richard Heber are then mentioned, by the editor, as having obtained a great share of the Luttrell collection, and liberally furnished him with the loan of the same, in order to the more perfect editing of Dryden's Works. But it is to the persevering book-spirit of Mr. Edward Wynne, as Lysander above intimates, that these notorious modern bibliomaniacs are indebted for the preservation of most of the choicest relics of the Bibliotheca Luttrelliana. Mr. Wynne lived at Little Chelsea; and built his library in a room which had the reputation of having been Locke's study. Here he used to sit, surrounded by innumerable books — a "great part being formed by an eminent and curious collector in the last century"— viz. the aforesaid Narcissus Luttrell. (See the title to the Catalogue of his Library.) His books were sold by auction in 1786; and, that the reader may have some faint idea of the treasures contained in the Bibliotheca Wynniana, he is presented with the following extracts:

LOT   £ s. d.
2 A parcel of pamphlets on poetry, 8vo. 2 0 0
3 Do. Tragedies and Comedies, 4to. and 8vo. 3 13 6
4 Do. Historical and Miscellaneous, 4to. and 8vo. 1 1 0
5 Poetical, Historical, and Miscellaneous, folio 1 4 0
11 Do. giving an account of horrid Murders, Storms, Prodigies, Tempests, Witchcraft, Ghosts, Earthquakes, &c., with frontispieces and cuts, 4to. and 8vo. 1606 1 14 0
12 Do. Historical and Political, English and Foreign, from 1580 to 1707 2 0 0
13 Do. consisting of Petitions, Remonstrances, Declarations, and other political matters, from 1638 to 1660, during the great Rebellion, and the whole of the Protectorate: a very large parcel, many of them with cuts. Purchased by the present Marquis of Bute 7 7 0
14 Do. of single sheets, giving an account of the various sieges in Ireland in 1695-6; and consisting likewise of Elegies, Old Ballads, accounts of Murders, Storms, Political Squibs, &c. &c., many of them with curious plates, from 1695 to 1706. Purchased by the same 6 16 6

Lots 23-4 comprised a great number of "Old Poetry and Romances," which were purchased by Mr. Baynes for 7l. 9s. Lot 376 comprehended a "Collection of Old Plays — Gascoigne, White, Windet, Decker, &c.," 21 vols.: which were sold for 38l. 17s. Never, to be sure, was a precious collection of English History and Poetry so wretchedly detailed to the public, in an auction catalogue! It should be noticed that a great number of poetical tracts was disposed of, previous to the sale, to Dr. Farmer, who gave not more than forty guineas for them. The Doctor was also a determined purchaser at the sale, and I think the ingenious Mr. Waldron aided the illustrious commentator of Shakspeare with many a choice volume. It may be worth adding that Wynne was the author of an elegant work, written in the form of dialogues, entitled Eunomus, or Discourses upon the Laws of England, 4 vols., 8vo. It happened to be published at the time when Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England made their appearance; and, in consequence, has seen only three editions: the latter being published in 1809, 2 vols., 8vo.

Why have I delayed, to the present moment, the mention of that illustrious bibliomaniac, Earl Pembroke? a patron of poor scholars, and a connoisseur, as well as collector, of every thing the most precious and rare in the book-way. Yet was his love of Virtû not confined to objects in the shape of volumes, whether printed or in MS.: his knowledge of statues and coins was profound;367 and his collection of these, such as to have secured for him the admiration of posterity.

367 Pembroke 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 great number of curious and rare books; and the testimonies of Maittaire (who speaks indeed of him with a sort of rapture!) and Palmer show that the productions of Jenson and Caxton were no strangers to his library. Annales Typographici, vol. i., 13. edit. 1719. History of Printing, p. 5. "There is nothing that so surely proves the pre-eminence of virtue more than the universal admiration of mankind, and the respect paid it 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. Thus far the first edition of the Bibliomania. From an original MS. letter of Anstis to Ames (in the possession of Mr. John Nichols) I insert the following memoranda, concerning the book celebrity of Lord Pembroke. "I had the book of Juliana Barnes (says Anstis) printed at St. Albans, 1486, about hunting, which was afterwards reprinted by W. de Worde at Westminster, 1496 — but the Earl of Pembroke would not rest till he got it from me." From a letter to Lewis (the biographer of Caxton) by the same person, dated Oct. 11, 1737, Anstis says that "the Earl of Pembroke would not suffer him to rest till he had presented it to him." He says also that "he had a later edition of the same, printed in 1496, on parchment, by W. de Worde, which he had given away: but he could send to the person who had it." From another letter, dated May 8, 1740, this "person" turns out to be the famous John Murray; to whom we are shortly to be introduced. The copy, however, is said to be "imperfect; but the St. Albans book, a fair folio." In this letter, Lord Pembroke's library is said to hold "the greatest collection of the first books printed in England." Perhaps the reader will not be displeased to be informed that in the Antiquities of Glastonbury, published by Hearne, 1722, p. lviii, there is a medal, with the reverse, of one of the Earl's ancestors in Queen Elizabeth's time, which had escaped Evelyn. It was lent to Hearne by Sir Philip Sydenham, who was at the expense of having the plate engraved.

While this nobleman was the general theme of literary praise there lived a Bibliomaniacal Triumvirate of the names of Bagford, Murray, and Hearne: a triumvirate, perhaps not equalled, in the mere love of book-collecting, by that which we mentioned a short time ago. At the head, and the survivor of these three,368 was Thomas Hearne; who, if I well remember, has been thus described by Pope, in his Dunciad, under the character of Wormius:

But who is he, in closet close ypent,

Of sober face, with learned dust besprent?

Right well mine eyes arede the myster wight,

On parchment scraps y-fed, and Wormius hight.

368 The former bibliomaniacal triumvirate is noticed at p. 217, ante. We will now discuss the merits of the above, seriatim. And first of John Bagford, "by profession a bookseller; who frequently travelled into Holland and other parts, in search of scarce books and valuable prints, and brought a vast number into this kingdom, the greater 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 More, Bishop of Ely, his Lordship got him admitted into the Charter House. He died in 1716, 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 Nichol's Origin of Printing, pp. 164, 189, note. It has been my fortune (whether good or bad remains to be proved) not only to transcribe, and cause to be reprinted, 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 correct notion of the collector of them. Bagford was the most hungry and rapacious of all book and print collectors; and, in his ravages, he spared neither the most delicate nor costly specimens. He seems always to have expressed his astonishment at the most common 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 handwriting 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. The preceding was inserted in the first edition of this work. It is incumbent on me to say something more, and less declamatory, of so extraordinary a character; and as my sources of information are such as do not fall into the hands of the majority of readers, I trust the prolixity of what follows, appertaining to the aforesaid renowned bibliomaniac, will be pardoned — at least by the lover of curious biographical memoranda. My old friend, Tom Hearne, is my chief authority. In the preface to that very scarce, but rather curious than valuable, work, entitled Guil. Roper Vita D. Thomæ Mori, 1716, 8vo., we have the following brief notice of Bagford: §. ix. "Epistolas et Orationes excipit Anonymi Scriptoris chronicon; quod idcirco Godstovianum appellare visum est, quia in illud forte fortuna inciderim, quum, anno mdccxv. una cum Joannæ Bagfordio, amico egregio ad rudera Prioratûs de Godstowe juxta Oxoniam animi recreandi gratia, perambularem. De illo vero me prius certiorem fecerat ipse Bagfordius, qui magno cum nostro mœrore paullo post Londini obiit, die nimirum quinto Maij anno mdccxvi. quum jam annum ætatis sexagessimum quintum inplerisset, ut è litteris intelligo amici ingenio et humanitate ornati Jacobei Sothebeii, junioris, qui, si quis alius, è familiaribus erat Bagfordii. Virum enimvero ideo mihi quam maxime hâc occasione lugendum est, quod amicum probitate et modestia præditum amiserim, virumque cum primis diligentem et peritum intercidisse tam certum sit quam quod certissimum. Quamvis enim artes liberales nunquam didicisset, vi tamen ingenii ductus, eruditus plane evasit; et, ut quod verum est dicam, incredibile est quam feliciter res abstrusas in historiis veteribus explicaverit, nodosque paullo difficiliores ad artis typographicæ incunabula spectantes solverit et expedierit. Expertus novi quod scribo. Quotiescunque enim ipsum consului (et quidem id sæpissime faciendum erat) perpetuo mihi aliter atque exspectaveram satisfecit, observationis itidem nonnunquam tales addens, quales antea neque mihi neque viris longe doctioribus in mentem venerant. Quidni itaque virum magnum fuisse pronunciarem, præcipue quum nostra sententia illi soli magni sint censendi, qui recte agant, et sint vere boni et virtute præditi?"—Præf. pp. xxi., ii. In Hearne's perface to Walter Hemingford's history, Bagford is again briefly introduced: "At vero in hoc genere fragmenta colligendi omnes quidem alios (quantum ego existimare possum) facile superavit Joannes Bagfordius, de quo apud Hemingum, &c. Incredibile est, quanta usus sit diligentia in laciniis veteribus coacervandis. Imo in hoc labore quidem tantum versari exoptabat quantum potuit, tantum autem re vera versabatur, quantum ingenio (nam divino sane fruebatur) quantum mediocri doctrina (nam neque ingenue, neque liberaliter, unquam fuit educatus) quantum usu valuit," p. ciii. The reader here finds a reference to what is said of Bagford, in the Hemingi Wigornensis Chartularium; which, though copious, is really curious and entertaining, and is forthwith submitted to his consideration. "It was therefore very laudable in my friend, Mr. J. Bagford (who I think was born in Fetter-lane, London) to employ so much of his time as he did in collecting remains of antiquity. Indeed he was a man of a very surprising genius, and had his education (for he was first a shoe-maker, and afterwards for some time a book-seller) been equal to his natural genius, he would have proved a much greater man than he was. And yet, without this education, he was certainly the greatest man in the world in his way. I do not hear of any monument erected to his memory, but 'twas not without reason that a worthy gentleman, now living in London, designed the following epitaph for him:

Hic. Sitvs. Joannes. Bagfordivs.
Antiquarivs. Penitvs. Britannvs.
Cujvs. Nuda. Solertia. Aliorvm.
Vicit. Operosam. Diligentiam.
Obiit. Maii. v. A.D. m.dcc.xvi.
Ætatis [LXV.]
Viri. Simplicis. Et. Sine. Fvco.
Memoria. Ne. Periret.
Hunc. Lapidem. Posvit.
. . . . . . . . . . . .

"'Tis very remarkable that, in collecting, his care did not extend itself to books and to fragments of books only; but even to the very Covers, and to Bosses and Clasps; and all this that he might, with greater ease, compile the History of Printing, which he had undertaken, but did not finish. In this noble work he intended a Discourse about Binding Books (in which he might have improved what I have said elsewhere about the ancient Æstels) and another about the Art of making Paper, in both which his observations were very accurate. Nay, his skill in paper was so exquisite that, at first view, he could tell the place where, and the time when, any paper was made, though at never so many years' distance. I well remember that, when I was reading over a famous book of collections (written by John Lawerne, Monk of Worcester, and now preserved) in the Bodleian Library, Mr. Bagford came to me (as he would often come thither on purpose to converse with me about curiosities) and that he had no sooner seen the book, but he presently described the time when, and the place where, the paper of which it consists, was made. He was indefatigable in his searches, and was so ambitious of seeing what he had heard of, relating to his noble design, that he had made several journies into Holland to see the famous books there. Nor was he less thirsty after other antiquities, but, like old John Stow, was for seeing himself, if possible (although he travelled on foot), what had been related to him. Insomuch that I cannot doubt, but were he now living, he would have expressed a very longing desire of going to Worcester, were it for no other reason but to be better satisfied about the famous monumental stones mentioned by Heming (Chart, Wigorn., p. 342), as he often declared a most earnest desire of walking with me (though I was diverted from going) to Guy's Cliff by Warwick, when I was printing that most rare book called, Joannis Rossi Antiquarii Warwicensis Historia Regum Angliæ. And I am apt to think that he would have shewed as hearty an inclination of going to Stening in Sussex, that being the place (according to Asser's Life of Ælfred the Great) where K. Ethelwulph (father of K. Alfred) was buried, though others say it was at Winchester," &c. "Mr. Bagford was as communicative as he was knowing: so that some of the chief curiosities in some of our best libraries are owing to him; for which reason it was that the late Bishop of Ely, Dr. More (who received so much from him), as an instance of gratitude, procured him a place in the Charter-House. I wish all places were as well bestowed. For as Mr. Bagford was, without all dispute, a very worthy man, so, being a despiser of money, he had not provided for the necessities of old age. He never looked upon those as true philosophers that aimed at heaping up riches, and, in that point, could never commend that otherwise great man, Seneca, who had about two hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling, at use in Britain; the loan whereof had been thrust upon the Britains, whether they would or no. He would rather extol such men as a certain rector near Oxford, whose will is thus put down in writing, by Richard Kedermister, the last abbot but one of Winchcomb (Leland Collect. vol. vi., 168), in the margin of a book (I lately purchased) called Hieronymi Cardinalis Vitas Patrum, Lugd. mcccccii. 4to. Nihil habeo, nihil debeo, benedicamus Domino. Testamentum cujusdam rectoris, juxta Oxoniam decedentis circiter annum salutis, 1520." "Nor was Mr. Bagford versed only in our own old writers, but in those likewise of other countries, particularly the Roman. His skill in that part of the Roman history that immediately relates to Britain is sufficiently evident from his curious letter, printed at the beginning of Leland's Collectanea. That he might be the better acquainted with the Roman stations, and the several motions of the soldiers from one place to another, he used to pick up coins, and would, upon occasion, discourse handsomely, and very pertinently, about them; yet he would keep none, but would give them to his friends, telling them (for he was exemplarily modest and humble) that he had neither learning nor sagacity enough to explain and illustrate them, and that therefore it was more proper they should be in the possession of some able persons. He would have done any thing to retrieve a Roman author, and would have given any price for so much as a single fragment (not yet discovered) of the learned commentaries, written by Agrippina, mother to Nero, touching the fortunes of her house, which are (as I much fear) now utterly lost, excepting the fragment or two cited out of them by Pliny the elder and Cornelius Tacitus; as he would also have stuck at no price for a grammar printed at Tavistock, commonly called The long Grammar. When he went abroad he was never idle, but if he could not meet with things of a better character, he would divert himself with looking over Ballads, and he was always mightily pleased if he met with any that were old. Anthony à Wood made good collections, with respect to ballads, but he was far outdone by Mr. Bagford. Our modern ballads are, for the most part, romantic; but the old ones contain matters of fact, and were generally written by good scholars. In these old ones were couched the transactions of our great heroes: they were a sort of Chronicles. So that the wise founder of New College permitted them to be sung, by the fellows of that college, upon extraordinary days. In those times, the poets thought they had done their duty when they had observed truth, and put the accounts they undertook to write, into rhythm, without extravagantly indulging their fancies. Nobody knew this better than Mr. Bagford; for which reason he always seemed almost ravished when he happened to light upon old rhythms, though they might not, perhaps, be so properly ranged under the title of ballads," &c., pp. 656-663. Being unable to furnish a portrait of Bagford (although I took some little trouble to procure one) I hope the reader — if his patience be not quite exhausted — will endeavour to console himself, in lieu thereof, with a specimen of Bagford's epistolary composition; which I have faithfully copied from the original among the Sloanian MSS., no. 4036, in the British Museum. It is written to Sir Hans Sloane.

worthy sir,

Since you honoured me with your good company for seeing printing and card-making, I thought it my duty to explain myself to you per letter on this subject. Till you had seen the whole process of card-making, I thought I could not so well represent it unto you by writing — for this I take to be the first manner of printing. In this short discouse I have explained myself when I design to treat of it in the famous subject of the Art of Printing. It hath been the labour of several years past, and if now I shall have assistance to midwife it into the world, I shall be well satisfied for the sake of the curious. For these 10 years past I have spared no cost in collecting books on this subject, and likewise drafts of the effigies of our famous printers, with other designs that will be needful on this subject. If this short account of the design of the whole shall give you any satisfaction, I shall esteem my pains well bestowed. Hitherto, I have met with no encouragement but from three reverend gentlemen of Bennet College in Cambridge, who generously, of their own accord, gave me 10 pound each, which is all I ever received of any person whatsoever. It may indeed be imputed to my own neglect, in not acquainting the learned with my design, but modesty still keeps me silent. I hope your goodness will pardon my impertinence. I shall be ready at all times to give you any satisfaction you desire on this subject, who am,

Honoured Sir,

Your most humble Servant to command,

Jo. Bagford.

For the Worthy Sir Hans Slone.

And now it only remains to close the whole of this Bagfordiana by the following unique communication. One of Bagford's friends sent him this letter with the subjoined device:—"For my Lovinge friend Mr. Jno. Bagford.— You having shewed me so many rebuses, as I was returning home, I thought of one for you — a bagge, and below that, a fourd or passable water." (Harl. MS., no. 5910.)

Bagford rebus

I wish it were in my power to collect information, equally acceptable with the foregoing, respecting the above-named John Murray; but Hearne, who was his intimate friend, has been very sparing in his anecdotes of him, having left us but a few desultory notices, written chiefly in the Latin language. The earliest mention of him that I find is the following: "Verum illud præcipue mentionem meretur, quod mutuo accepi, schedula una et altera jam excusa, á Joanne Murario Londinensi, rei antiquariæ perscrutatore diligenti, cui eo nomine gratias ago." "Denique subdidi descriptionem fenestrarum depictarum ecclesiæ parochialis de Fairford in agro Glocestriensi, è schedula quam mutuo sumpsi ab amico supra laudato Johanne Murrario, qui per literas etiam certiorem me fecit è codice quodam vetusto MS. fuisse extractum. Neque dubito quin hic idem fuerit Codex quem olim in ecclesia de Fairford adservatum surripuisse nebulonem quempiam mihi significavit ecclesiæ ædituus, vir simplex, necnon ætate et scientia venerandus." Præf: p. xxii. Guil. Roperi Vita Thomæ Mori, 1716, 8vo., edit. Hearne. There is another slight mention of Murray, by Hearne, in the latter's edition of Thom. Caii. Vindic. Antiq. Acad. Oxon, vol. ii., 803-4 — where he discourses largely upon the former's copy of Rastel's Pastyme of People: a book which will be noticed by me very fully on a future occasion. At present, it may suffice to observe that a perfect copy of it is probably the rarest English book in existence. There is a curious copper plate print of Murray, by Vertue, in which our bibliomaniac's right arm is resting upon some books entitled "Hearne's Works, Sessions Papers, Tryals of Witches." Beneath is this inscription:

Hoh Maister John Murray of Sacomb,

The Works of old Time to collect was his pride,

Till Oblivion dreaded his Care:

Regardless of Friends, intestate he dy'd,

So the Rooks and the Crows were his Heir.


Of the above-mentioned Thomas Britton, I am enabled to present a very curious and interesting account, from a work published by Hearne, of no very ordinary occurrence, and in the very words of Hearne himself. It is quite an unique picture. "Before I dismiss this subject, I must beg leave to mention, and to give a short account of, one that was intimately acquainted with Mr. Bagford, and was also a great man, though of but ordinary education. The person I mean is Mr. Thos. Britton, the famous Musical Small Coal Man, who was born at or near Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire. Thence he went to London, where he bound himself apprentice to a small coal man in St. John Baptist's Street. After he had served his full time of seven years, his master gave him a sum of money not to set up. Upon this, Tom went into Northamptonshire again, and after he had spent his money, he returned again to London, set up the small coal trade (notwithstanding his master was still living) and withall, he took a stable, and turned it into a house, which stood the next door to the little gate of St. John's of Jerusalem, next Clerkenwell Green. Some time after he had settled here, he became acquainted with Dr. Garenciers, his near neighbour, by which means he became an excellent chymist, and perhaps, he performed such things in that profession, as had never been done before, with little cost and charge, by the help of a moving elaboratory, that was contrived and built by himself, which was much admired by all of that faculty that happened to see it; insomuch that a certain gentleman in Wales was so much taken with it that he was at the expense of carrying him down into that country, on purpose to build him such another, which Tom performed to the gentleman's very great satisfaction, and for the same he received of him a very handsome and generous gratuity. Besides his great skill in chymistry, he was as famous for his knowledge in the Theory of Music; in the practical part of which Faculty he was likewise very considerable. He was so much addicted to it that he pricked with his own hand (very neatly and accurately), and left behind him, a valuable collection of music, mostly pricked by himself, which was sold upon his death for near a hundred pounds. Not to mention the excellent collection of printed books, that he also left behind him, both of chemistry and music. Besides these books that he left behind him, he had, some years before his death, sold by auction a noble collection of books, most of them in the Rosacrucian Faculty (of which he was a great admirer): whereof there is a printed catalogue extant (as there is of those that were sold after his death), which I have often looked over with no small surprize and wonder, and particularly for the great number of MSS. in the before mentioned faculties that are specified in it. He had, moreover, a considerable collection of musical instruments, which were sold for fourscore pounds upon his death, which happened in September 1714, being upwards of threescore years of age; and (he) lyes buried in the church-yard of Clerkenwell, without monument or inscription: being attended to his grave, in a very solemn and decent manner, by a great concourse of people, especially of such as frequented the Musical club, that was kept up for many years at his own charges (he being a man of a very generous and liberal spirit) at his own little cell. He appears by the print of him (done since his death) to have been a man of an ingenuous countenance and of a sprightly temper. It also represents him as a comely person, as indeed he was; and withal, there is a modesty expressed in it every way agreeable to him. Under it are these verses, which may serve instead of an epitaph:

Tho' mean thy rank, yet in thy humble cell

Did gentle peace and arts unpurchas'd dwell;

Well pleas'd Apollo thither led his train,

And music warbled in her sweetest strain.

Cyllenius, so, as fables tell, and Jove,

Came willing guests to poor Philemon's grove.

Let useless pomp behold, and blush to find

So low a station, such a liberal mind.

In short, he was an extraordinary and very valuable man, much admired by the gentry; even those of the best quality, and by all others of the more inferior rank, that had any manner of regard for probity, sagacity, diligence, and humility. I say humility, because, though he was so much famed for his knowledge, and might, therefore, have lived very reputably without his trade, yet he continued it to his death, not thinking it to be at all beneath him. Mr. Bagford and he used frequently to converse together, and when they met they seldom parted very soon. Their conversation was very often about old mss. and the havock made of them. They both agreed to retrieve what fragments of antiquity they could, and, upon that occasion, they would frequently divert themselves in talking of old chronicles, which both loved to read, though, among our more late Chronicles printed in English, Isaackson's was what they chiefly preferred for a general knowledge of things; a book which was much esteemed also by those two eminent Chronologers, Bishop Lloyd and Mr. Dodwell. By the way, I cannot but observe that Isaackson's Chronicle is really, for the most part, Bishop Andrews's; Isaackson being amanuensis to the bishop." Hemingi Chartular. Eccles. Wigornien., vol. ii., 666-9, Edit. Hearne. See also, Robert of Glocester's Chronicle, vol. i., p. lxxii. We will close our account of this perfectly unique bibliomaniac by subjoining the title of the Catalogue of his Books; for which I am indebted to the ever-active and friendly assistance of Mr. Heber. The volume is so rare that the late Mr. Reed told Mr. H. he had never seen another copy: but another has recently been sold, and is now in the curious collection of Mr. R. Baker. "The Library of Mr. Thomas Britton, Small-coal man, Deceas'd: who, at his own charge, kept up a Concort of Musick above 40 years, in his little Cottage. Being a curious Collection of every Ancient and Uncommon book in Divinity, History, Physick, Chemistry, Magick, &c. Also a Collection of MSS. chiefly on vellum. Which will be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee House, &c., the 24th day of January, 1714-15, at Five in the Evening. By Thomas Ballard, Esq., 8vo., p. 30. Containing 102 articles in folio — 274 in 4to. — 664 in octavo — 50 pamphlets — and 23 MSS." A few of the works, in octavo, were sufficiently amatory. The third and last character above mentioned, as making this illustrious bibliomaniacal triumvirate complete, is Thomas Hearne. That Pope, in the verses which Lysander has quoted, meant this distinguished antiquary seems hardly to be questioned; and one wonders at the Jesuitical note of Warburton, in striving to blow the fumes of the poet's satire into a different direction. They must settle upon poor Hearne's head: for Wanley's antiquarian talents were equally beyond the touch of satire and the criticism of the satirist. Warton has, accordingly, admitted that Hearne was represented under the character of Wormius; and he defends the character of Hearne very justly against the censures of Pope. His eulogy will be presently submitted to the reader. Gibbon, in his Posthumous Works, vol. ii., 711, has aimed a deadly blow at the literary reputation of Hearne; and an admirer of this critic and historian, as well as an excellent judge of antiquarian pursuits, has followed up Gibbon's mode of attack in a yet more merciless manner. He calls him "Thomas Hearne, of black-letter memory, carbone notandus"—"a weaker man (says he) never existed, as his prefaces, so called, lamentably show." He continues in this hard-hearted strain: but I have too much humanity to make further extracts. He admits, however, the utility of most of Hearne's publications —"of which he was forced to publish a few copies, at an extravagant subscription." The remarks of this (anonymous) writer, upon the neglect of the cultivation of English History, and upon the want of valuable editions of our old Historians, are but too just, and cannot be too attentively perused. See Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 58, pt. 1, 196-8 (A.D. 1788). Thus far in deterioration of poor Hearne's literary fame. Let us now listen to writers of a more courteous strain of observation. Prefixed to Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica, there is a preface, of which Dr. Wilkins is the reputed author. The whole of Hearne's publications are herein somewhat minutely criticised, and their merits and demerits slightly discussed. It is difficult to collect the critic's summary opinion upon Hearne's editorial labours; but he concludes thus: "Quia autem leporis est mortuis insultare leonibus, cineres celeberrimi hujus et olim mihi amicissimi viri turbare, neutiquam in animum inducere possum," p. xlvii. Mr. Gough, in his British Topography, vol. ii., p. 579, calls Hearne an "acute observer;" but, unluckily, the subject to which the reader's attention is here directed discovers our antiquary to have been in error. J. Warton, in the passage before alluded to, observes: "In consideration of the many very accurate and very elegant editions which Hearne published of our valuable old chronicles, which shed such a light on English history, he (Hearne) ought not to have been so severely lashed as in these bitter lines," (quoted in the text, p. 327, ante) Pope's Works, edit. Bowles; vol. v., 232. Let the reader consult also Dr. Pegge's Anonymiana, in the passages referred to, in the truly valuable index attached to it, concerning Hearne. Thus much, I submit, may be fairly said of our antiquary's labours. That the greater part of them are truly useful, and absolutely necessary for a philological library, must on all sides be admitted. I will mention only the Chronicles of Langtoft and Robert of Gloucester; Adam de Domerham, de rebus Glastoniensibus; Gulielmus Neubrigensis; Forduni Scotichronicon; and all his volumes appertaining to Regal Biography:— these are, surely, publications of no mean importance. Hearne's prefaces and appendices are gossiping enough; sometimes, however, they repay the labour of perusal by curious and unlooked-for intelligence. Yet it must be allowed that no literary cook ever enriched his dishes with such little piquant sauce, as did Hearne: I speak only of their intrinsic value, for they had a very respectable exterior — what Winstanley says of Ogilvey's publications being, applicable enough to Hearne's — they were printed on "special good paper, and in a very good letter." We will now say a few words relative to Hearne's habits of study and living — taken from his own testimony. In the preface prefixed to Roper's Life of Sir Thomas More, p. xix. (edit. 1716), he describes himself "as leading the life of an ascetic." In the preface to the Annals of Dunstable Priory, his bibliographical diligence is evinced by his saying he had "turned over every volume in the Bodleian Library." In one of his prefaces (to which I am not able just now to refer) he declares that he was born — like our British tars —"for action:" and indeed his activity was sufficiently demonstrated; for sometimes he would set about transcribing for the press papers which had just been put into his hands. Thus, in the Antiquities of Glastonbury, p. 326, he writes, "the two following old evidences were lent me to-day by my friend the Hon. Benedict Leonard Calvert, Esq." His excessive regard to fidelity of transcription is, among many other evidences that may be brought forward, attested in the following passage: "Have taken particular care (saith Mr. Harcourt, in his letter to me from Aukenvyke, Sep. 25, 1734) in the copying; well knowing your exactness." Benedict Abbas, vol ii., 870. But this servility of transcription was frequently the cause of multiplying, by propagating, errors. If Hearne had seen the word "faith" thus disjointed —"fay the"— he would have adhered to this error, for "faythe." As indeed he has committed a similar one, in the Battle of Agincourt, in the appendix to Thomas de Elmham: for he writes "breth reneverichone"— instead of "brethren everichone"— as Mr. Evans has properly printed it, in his recent edition of his father's Collection of Old Ballads, vol. ii., 334. But this may be thought trifling. It is certainly not here meant to justify capriciousness of copying; but surely an obvious corruption of reading may be restored to its genuine state: unless, indeed, we are resolved to consider antiquity and perfection as synonymous terms. But there are some traits in Hearne's character which must make us forgive and forget this blind adherence to the errors of antiquity. He was so warm a lover of every thing in the shape of a book that, in the preface to Alured of Beverley, pp. v. vi., he says that he jumped almost out of his skin for joy, on reading a certain MS. which Thomas Rawlinson sent to him ("vix credi potest qua voluptate, qua animi alacritate, perlegerim," &c.). Similar feelings possessed him on a like occasion: "When the pious author (of the Antiquities of Glastonbury) first put it (the MS.) into my hands, I read it over with as much delight as I have done anything whatsoever upon the subject of antiquity, and I was earnest with him to print it," p. lxxviii. Hearne's horror of book-devastations is expressed upon a variety of occasions: and what will reconcile him to a great portion of modern readers — and especially of those who condescend to read this account of him — his attachment to the black-letter was marvelously enthusiastic! Witness his pathetic appeal to the English nation, in the 26th section of his preface to Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, where he almost predicts the extinction of "right good" literature, on the disappearance of the black-letter! And here let us draw towards the close of these Hearneana, by contemplating a wood-cut portrait of this illustrious Bibliomaniac; concerning whose life and works the reader should peruse the well-known volumes published at Oxford in 1772, 8vo.: containing the biographical memoirs of Leland, Bale, Hearne, and Wood.



Deut. xxxii: 7. Remember the days of old.

The library of Hearne was sold in February, 1736, by Osborne the book-seller; "the lowest price being marked in each book." The title-page informs us of what all bibliomaniacs will be disposed to admit the truth, that the collection contained "a very great variety of uncommon books, and scarce ever to be met withal," &c. There is, at bottom, a small wretched portrait of Hearne, with this well known couplet subjoined:

Pox on't quoth Time to Thomas Hearne,

Whatever I forget you learn.

Let the modern collector of Chronicles turn his eye towards the 15th page of this catalogue — nos. 384, 390 — and see what "compleat and very fair" copies of these treasures were incorporated in Hearne's extensive library!

A little volume of book chit-chat might be written upon the marvellous discovesies and voluminous compilations of Bagford and Hearne: and to these, we may add another unique bibliomaniac, who will go down to posterity under the distinguished, and truly enviable, title of "The Musical Small-Coal Man;" I mean, master Thomas Britton. Yes, Lisardo; while we give to the foregoing characters their full share of merit and praise; we admit that Bagford's personal activity and manual labour have hardly been equalled — while we allow John Murray to have looked with sharper eyes after black-letter volumes than almost any of his predecessors or successors — while we grant Thomas Hearne a considerable portion of scholarship, an inflexible integrity, as well as indefatigable industry, and that his works are generally interesting, both from the artless style in which they are composed, and the intrinstic utility of the greater part of them, yet let our admiration be "be screwed to its sticking place," when we think upon the wonderous genius of the aforesaid Thomas Britton; who, in the midst of his coal cellars, could practise upon "fiddle and flute," or collate his curious volumes; and throwing away, with the agility of a harlequin, his sombre suit of business-cloths, could put on his velvet coat and bag-wig, and receive his concert visitors, at the stair-head, with the politeness of a Lord of the Bedchamber!

Loren. In truth, a marvellous hero was this Small-Coal Man! Have you many such characters to notice?

Lysand. Not many of exactly the same stamp. Indeed, I suspect that Hearne, from his love of magnifying the simple into the marvellous, has a little caricatured the picture. But Murray seems to have been a quiet unaffected character; passionately addicted to old books of whatever kind they chanced to be; and, in particular, most enthusiastically devoted to a certain old English Chronicle, entitled Rastell's Pastime of (the) People.

Phil. I observed a notification of the re-appearance of this Chronicle in some of the Magazines or Reviews: but I hope, for the benefit of general readers, the orthography will be modernized.

Loren. I hope, for the sake of consistency with former similar publications,369 the ancient garb will not be thrown aside. It would be like — what Dr. Johnson accuses Pope of having committed —"clothing Homer with Ovidian graces."

369 The Ancient Chonicles of the history of our country are in a progressive state of being creditably reprinted, with a strict adherence to the old phraseology. Of these Chronicles, the following have already made their appearance: Holinshed, 1807, 4to., 6 vols.; Hall, 1809, 4to.; Grafton, 1809, 4to., 2 vols.; Fabian, 1811, 4to. This latter is not a mere reprint of the first edition of Fabian, but has, at the bottom, the various readings of the subsequent impressions. The index is copious and valuable. Indeed, all these re-impressions have good indexes. The public will hear, with pleasure, that Arnold, Harding, and Lord Berners' translation of Froissard, and Rastell, are about to bring up the rear of these popular Chroniclers.

Lysand. Much may be said on both sides of the question. But why are we about to make learned dissertations upon the old English Chronicles?

Lis. Proceed, and leave the old chroniclers to settle the matter themselves. Who is the next bibliomaniac deserving of particular commendation?

Lysand. As we have sometimes classed our bibliomaniacs in tribes, let me now make you acquainted with another Trio, of like renown in the book-way: I mean Anstis, Lewis, and Ames. Of these in their turn.

Anstis370 stands deservedly the first in the list; for he was, in every respect, a man of thorough benevolent character, as well as a writer of taste and research. I do not know of any particulars connected with his library that merit a distinct recital; but he is introduced here from his connection with the two latter bibliographers. Lewis371 is known to us, both as a topographer and bibliographical antiquary. His Life of Caxton has been reprinted with additions and corrections; and, in particular, his edition of Wicliffe's New Testament has been recently put forth by the Rev. Mr. Baber, in a handsome quarto volume, with valuable emendations. Lewis was a sharp censurer of Hearne, and was somewhat jealous of the typographical reputation of Ames. But his integrity and moral character, as well as his love of rare and curious books, has secured for him a durable reputation. Of Ames, and here — though a little out of order — I may add Herbert— the public has already heard probably "more than enough." They were both, undoubtedly, men of extraordinary mental vigour and bodily activity in the darling pursuit which they cultivated.372 Indeed, Herbert deserves high commendation; for while he was rearing, with his own hands, a lofty pyramid of typographical fame, he seems to have been unconscious of his merits; and, possessing the most natural and diffident character imaginable, he was always conjuring up supposed cases of vanity and arrogance, which had no foundation whatever but in the reveries of a timid imagination. His Typographical Antiquities are a mass of useful, but occasionally uninteresting, information. They are as a vast plain, wherein the traveller sees nothing, immediately, which is beautiful or inviting; few roses, or cowslips, or daisies; but let him persevere, and walk only a little way onward, and he will find, in many a shelter'd recess, "flowers of all hue," and herbs of all qualities: so that fragrance and salubrity are not wanting in this said plain, which has been thus depicted in a style so marvellously metaphorical!

370 The reader will be pleased to consult the account of Earl Pembroke, p. 325, ante, where he will find a few traits of the bibliomaniacal character of Anstis. He is here informed, from the same authority, that when Anstis "acquainted Bagford that he would find in Rymer a commission granted to Caxton, appointing him ambassador to the Duchess of Burgundy, he (Bagford) was transported with joy." Of Hearne he thus speaks: "I am ashamed that Mr. Hearne hath made so many mistakes about the translation of Boetius, printed at Tavistock; which book I had, and gave it to the Duke of Bedford." But in another letter (to Lewis) Anstis says, "I lent this book to one Mr. Ryder, who used me scurvily, by presenting it, without my knowledge, to the Duke of Bedford." There are some curious particulars in this letter about the abbey of Tavistock. Anstis's Order of the Garter is a valuable book; and will one day, I prognosticate, retrieve the indifferent credit it now receives in the book-market. The author loved rare and curious volumes dearly; and was, moreover, both liberal and prompt in his communications. The reader will draw his own conclusions on Anstis's comparative merit with Lewis and Ames, when he reaches the end of the second note after the present one.

371 Concerning the Rev. John Lewis, I am enabled to lay before the reader some particulars now published for the first time, and of a nature by no means uninteresting to the lovers of literary anecdote. His printed works, and his bibliographical character, together with his conduct towards Ames, have been already sufficiently described to the public: Typographical Antiquities, vol. i., 30-3. And first, the aforesaid reader and lovers may peruse the following extract from an original letter by Lewis to Ames: "I have no other design, in being so free with you, than to serve you, by doing all I can to promote your credit and reputation. I take it, that good sense and judgment, attended with care and accuracy in making and sorting a collection, suits every one's palate: and that they must have none at all who are delighted with trifles and play things fit only for fools and children: such, for the most part, as Thomas Hearne dished out for his chaps, among whom I was so silly as to rank myself." Again, to the same person, he thus makes mention of Lord Oxford and Hearne: "I can truly say I never took ill any thing which you have written to me: but heartily wish you well to succeed in the execution of your projects. I han't sense to see, by the death of Lord Oxford, how much more you are likely to make your account better. But time will shew. I don't understand what you mean by his having a love to surprize people with his vast communications. Dr. R(awlinson, qu.?) tells me he knew nobody who had so free a use of his Lordship's rarities as T. Hearne, a sure proof of the exactness and solidity of his Lordship's judgment. But Hearne answered, perhaps, his Lordship's design of making the world have a very great opinion of his collections, and setting an inestimable value on them. And this Hearne attempted; but his daubing is, I think, too coarse, and the smoke of his incense troublesome and suffocating." But it is to the loan of a copy of Lewis's folio edition of the History of the Translations of the Bible, belonging to my friend Mr. G.V. Neunburg, that I am indebted for the following further, and more interesting, particulars. This valuable copy, illustrated with some rare prints, and charged with numerous MS. memoranda, contains some original letters to Lewis by the famous Dr. White Kennet, Bishop of Peterborough: from which these extracts are taken. "Jan. 23, 1720-1. Dear Sir; I thank you for your kind acceptance of the advice to my clergy: well meant, I pray God well applied. I have wisht long to see your Life of Wiclif, and shall now impatiently expect it. I am not surprised that a man of dignity, near you, should be jealous of publishing an impartial account of that good old evangelical author, &c. I have a mighty veneration for Wicliff, and am the more angry with Mr. Russell for deceiving the world in his promise of the Bible, after proposals given and money taken. But he has in other respects behaved so very basely that, forgiving him, I have done with him for ever. I would not have you discouraged, by an ungrateful world, or by a sharp bookseller. Go on, and serve truth and peace what you can, and God prosper your labours." Signed "Wh. Peterbor." "Feb. 20, 1720-1. You perceive your own unhappiness in not being able to attend the press. I cannot but importune you to revise the whole, to throw the additions and corrections into their proper places, to desire all your friends and correspondents to suggest any amendments, or any new matter; in order to publish a new correct edition that will be a classic in our history, &c. — If the booksellers object against a second edition till the full disposal of the first, I hope we may buy them off with subscription for a new impression; wherein my name should stand for six copies, and better example I hope would be given by more able friends. I pray God bless your labours and reward them." Several letters follow, in which this amiable prelate and learned antiquary sends Lewis a good deal of valuable information for his proposed second edition of the Life of Wicliffe; but which was never put to press. One more extract only from the Bishop of Peterborough, and we bid farewell to the Rev. John Lewis: a very respectable bibliomaniac. "Rev. Sir; In respect to you and your good services to the church and our holy religion, I think fit to acquaint you that, in the Weekly Journal, published this day, Oct. 28 (1721), by Mr. Mist, there is a scandalous advertisement subscribed M. Earbury, beginning thus: 'Whereas a pretended Vindication of John Wickliffe has been published under the name of one Lewis of Margate, by the incitement, as the preface asserts, of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in the same I am injuriously reflected upon as a scurrilous writer, this is to inform the public that I shall reserve the author for a more serious whipping in my leisure hours, and in the meantime give him a short correction for his benefit, if he has grace and sense to take it'— and ending thus —'Why does this author persuade the world the late Archbishop of Canterbury could have any veneration for the memory of one who asserts God ought to obey the devil; or that he could be desirous to open the impure fountains from whence the filth of Bangorianism has been conveyed to us? M. Earbury." "I confess (proceeds the bishop) I don't know that, in the worst of causes, there has appeared a more ignorant, insolent, and abandoned writer than this Matth. Earbury. Whether you are to answer, or not to answer, the F. according to his folly, I must leave to your discretion. Yet I cannot but wish you would revise the Life of Wickliffe; and, in the preface, justly complain of the spiteful injuries done to his memory, and, through his sides, to our Reformation. I have somewhat to say to you on that head, if you think to resume it. I am, in the mean time, your affectionate friend and brother, Wh. Petesbor."

372 It is unnecessary for me to add any thing here to the copious details respecting these eminent bibliomaniacs, Ames and Herbert, which have already been presented to the public in the first volume of the new edition of the Typographical Antiquities of our own country. See also p. 66, ante; and the note respecting the late George Steevens, post.

By mentioning Herbert in the present place, I have a little inverted the order of my narrative. A crowd of distinguished bibliomaniacs, in fancy's eye, is thronging around me, and demanding a satisfactory memorial of their deeds.

Loren. Be not dismayed, Lysander. If any one, in particular, looks "frowningly" upon you, leave him to me, and he shall have ample satisfaction.

Lysand. I wish, indeed, you would rid me of a few of these book-madmen. For, look yonder, what a commanding attitude Thomas Baker373 assumes!

373 Thomas Baker was a learned antiquary in most things respecting Typography and Bibliography; and seems to have had considerable influence with that distinguished corps, composed of Hearne, Bagford, Middleton, Anstis, and Ames, &c. His life has been written by the Rev. Robert Masters, Camb., 1784, 8vo.; and from the "Catalogue of forty-two folio volumes of MS. collections by Mr. Baker"— given to the library of St. John's College, Cambridge — which the biographer has printed at the end of the volume — there is surely sufficient evidence to warrant us in concluding that the above-mentioned Thomas Baker was no ordinary bibliomaniac. To Hearne in particular (and indeed to almost every respectable author who applied to him) he was kind and communicative; hence he is frequently named by the former in terms of the most respectful admiration: thus —"Vir amicissimus, educatus optime, emendatus vitâ, doctrinâ clarus, moribus singularis et perjucundus, exemplum antiquitatis, cujus judicio plurimum esse tribuendum mecum fatebuntur litterati:" Vita Mori, p. xviii. In his preface to the Antiquities of Glastonbury, p. cxxx., Hearne calls him "that great man;" and again, in his Walter Hemingford, vol. i., p. xvii.—"amicus eruditissimus, mihi summe colendus; is nempe, qui è scriniis suis MSS. tam multa meam in gratiam deprompsit." Indeed, Hearne had good occasion to speak well of the treasures of Baker's "scrinia;" as the Appendix to his Thomas de Elmham alone testifies. Of Baker's abilities and private worth, we have the testimonies of Middleton (Origin of Printing, p. 5) and Warburton. The latter thus mentions him: "Good old Mr. Baker, of St John's College, has indeed, been very obliging. The people of St. John's almost adore the man." Masters's Life of Baker, p. 94. This authority also informs us that "Mr. Baker had, for many years before his death, been almost a recluse, and seldom went farther than the college walks, unless to a coffee-house in an evening, after chapel, where he commonly spent an hour with great chearfulness, conversing with a select number of his friends and acquaintance upon literary subjects," p. 108. Every thing the most amiable, and, I had almost said, enviable, is here said of the virtues of his head and heart; and that this venerable bibliomaniac should have reached his 80th year is at least a demonstration that tarrying amongst folios and octavos, from morn till night (which Baker used to do, in St. John's Library, for nearly 20 years together), does not unstring the nerves, or dry up the juices, of the human frame. Yet a little further extension of this note, gentle reader, and then we bid adieu to Thomas Baker, of ever respectable book-memory. Among the MSS., once the property of Herbert, which I purchased at the late sale of Mr. Gough's MSS., I obtained a volume full of extracts from original letters between Baker and Ames; containing also the Will of the former, which is not inserted in Master's Life of him, nor in the Biographia Britannica. The original documents are in his Majesty's library, and were bought at the sale of Mr. Tutet's books, A.D. 1786; no. 375. From this will, as Herbert has copied it, the reader is presented with the following strong proofs of the bibliomaniacal "ruling passion, strong in death," of our illustrious antiquary. But let us not omit the manly tone of piety with which this Will commences. "In the name of God, Amen! I, Thomas Baker, ejected Fellow of St. John's college, Cambridge, do make my last will and testament, as follows: First, I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God (my most gracious and good God), my faithful Creator and merciful Redeemer, and, in all my dangers and difficulties, a most constant protector. Blessed for ever be his holy name." "As to the temporal goods which it hath pleased the same good God to bestow upon me (such as all men ought to be content with) and are, I bless God, neither poverty nor riches — I dispose of them in the following manner." Here follow a few of his book bequests, which may be worth the attention of those whose pursuits lead them to a particular examination of these authors. "Whereas I have made a deed of gift or sale for one guinea, of 21 volumes in folio, of my own hand-writing, to the Right Honourable Edward Earl of Oxford, I confirm and ratify that gift by this my last will. And I beg his lordship's acceptance of 'em, being sensible that they are of little use or value, with two other volumes in fol., markt Vol. 19, 20, since convey'd to him in like manner. To my dear cosin, George Baker, of Crook, Esq., I leave the Life of Cardinal Wolsey, noted with my own hand, Lord Clarendon's History, with cuts and prints; and Winwood's Memorials, in three volumes, fol., with a five pound (Jacobus) piece of gold, only as a mark of respect and affection, since he does not want it. To my worthy kinsman and Friend Mr. George Smith, I leave Godwin de Præsulibus Angliæ, and Warræus de Præsulibus Hibernia, both noted with my own hand. To St. John's College Library I leave all such books, printed or MSS., as I have and are wanting there: excepting that I leave in trust to my worthy friend, Dr. Middleton, for the University Library, Archbishop Wake's State of the Church, noted and improved under his own hand; Bp. Burnet's History of the Reformation, in three volumes, noted in my hand; and Bp. Kennett's Register and Chronicle (for the memory of which three great prelates, my honoured friends, I must always have due regard). To these I add Mr. Ansty's, my worthy friend, History of the Garter, in two vols., fol. Wood's Athenæ Oxon.; and Maunsell's Catalogue; both noted with my own hand — and Gunton's and Patrick's History of The Church of Peterburgh, noted (from Bishop Kennett) in my hand; with fifteen volumes (more or less) in fol., all in my own hand; and three volumes in 4to., part in my own hand." Let us conclude in a yet more exalted strain of christian piety than we began. "Lastly, I constitute and appoint my dear nephew, Richard Burton, Esq., my sole executor, to whom I leave every thing undisposed of, which I hope will be enough to reward his trouble. May God Almighty bless him, and give him all the engaging qualities of his father, all the vertues of his mother, and none of the sins or failings of his uncle, which God knows are great and many:— and humbly, O my God, I call for mercy! In testimony of this my will, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 15th day of October, 1739.

Tho. Baker.

And now, O my God, into thy hands I contentedly resign myself: whether it be to life or death, thy will be done! Long life I have not desired (and yet thou hast given it me). Give me, if it be thy good pleasure, an easy and happy death. Or if it shall please thee to visit me sorely, as my sins have deserved, give me patience to bear thy correction, and let me always say (even with my dying breath) Thy will be done, Amen, Amen." Subjoined was this curious memorandum: "At the making of this will, I have, in the corner of my outer study, next my chamber, 170 guineas; and on the other side of the study towards the river, 100 guineas, more or less, in several canvass bags, behind the shelves, being more secret and hidden, to prevent purloyning. One or more of the shelves markt G. among the latter is a five pound (Jacobus) piece of gold."

Loren. Never fear. He is an old acquaintance of mine; for, when resident at St. John's, Cambridge, I was frequently in the habit of conversing with his spirit in the library, and of getting curious information relating to choice and precious volumes, which had escaped the sagacity of his predecessors, and of which I fear his successors have not made the most proper use.

Phil. This is drawing too severe a conclusion. But Baker merits the thanks of a book-loving posterity.

Lysand. He is satisfied with this mention of his labours; for see, he retreats — and Theobald374 and Tom Rawlinson rush forward to claim a more marked attention: although I am not much disposed to draw a highly finished picture of the editor of Shakespeare.

374 Notwithstanding Pope has called Theobald by an epithet which I have too much respect for the ears of my readers to repeat, I do not scruple to rank the latter in the list of bibliomaniacs. We have nothing here to do with his edition of Shakspeare; which, by the bye, was no despicable effort of editorial skill — as some of his notes, yet preserved in the recent editions of our bard, testify — but we may fairly allow Theobald to have been a lover of Caxtonian lore, as his curious extract in Mist's Journal, March 16, 1728, from our old printer's edition of Virgil's Æneid, 1490, sufficiently testifies. While his gothic library, composed in part of "Caxton, Wynkyn, and De Lyra," proves that he had something of the genuine blood of bibliomaniacism running in his veins. See Mr. Bowles's edition of Pope's Works, vol. v., 114, 257.

Lis. Is Thomas Rawlinson375 so particularly deserving of commendation, as a bibliomaniac?

375 Let us, first of all, hear Hearne discourse rapturously of the bibliomaniacal reputation of T. Rawlinson: "In his fuit amicus noster nuperus Thomas Rawlinsonus; cujus peritiam in supellectile libraria, animique magnitudinem, nemo fere hominum eruditorum unquam attigit, quod tamen vix agnoscet seculum ingratum. Quanquam non desunt, qui putent, ipsius memoriæ statuam deberi, idque etiam ad sumptus Bibliopolarum, quorum facultates mire auxerat; quorum tamen aliqui (utcunque de illis optime meritus fuisset) quum librorum Rawlinsoni auctio fieret, pro virili (clandestinò tamen) laborabant, ut minus auspicatò venderentur. Quod videntes probi aliquot, qui rem omuem noverant, clamitabant, ô homines scelestos! hos jam oportet in cruciatum hinc abripi! Quod hæc notem, non est cur vitio vertas. Nam nil pol falsi dixi, mi lector. Quo tempore vixit Rawlinsonus (et quidem perquam jucundum est commemorare), magna et laudabilis erat æmulatio inter viros eruditos, aliosque etiam, in libris perquirendis ac comparandis, imo in fragmentis quoque. Adeo ut domicilia, ubi venales id genus res pretiosæ prostabant, hominum cœtu frequenti semper complerentur, in magnum profecto commodum eorum, ad quos libri aliæque res illæ pertinebant; quippe quod emptores parvo ære nunquam, aut rarissime, compararent." Walter Hemingford, præfat., p. civ. In his preface to Alured de Beverly, pp. v. vi., the copious stores of Rawlinson's library, and the prompt kindness of the possessor himself, are emphatically mentioned; while in the preface to Titi Livii Foro-Juliensis Vit. Henrici V., p. xi., we are told, of the former, that it was "plurimis libris rarissimis referta:" and, in truth, such a "Bibliotheca refertissima" was perhaps never before beheld. Rawlinson was introduced into the Tatler, under the name Tom Folio. His own house not being large enough, he hired London House, in Aldersgate Street, for the reception of his library; and there 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, perhaps, as correct a list of these copious and heterogeneously compiled catalogues, as can be presented to the reader. I am indebted to the library of Mr. Heber for such a curious bibliographical morçeau. i. A Catalogue of choice and valuable Books in most Faculties and Languages; being part of the Collection made by Thomas Rawlinson, Esq., which will begin to be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee House, the West-end of St. Paul's, 4th Dec., 1721, beginning every evening at 5, by Thomas Ballard, bookseller, at the Rising Sun, Little Britain. 12mo. Price 1s. 144 pages. ——ii. A Catalogue, &c., being the 2nd part of the Collection by T. Rawlinson, Esq., to be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee-House, 7th March, 1721-2, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. 12mo. Price 1s., paged on from the last, pp. 145 to 288. [These two parts contain together 1438 8vo. lots; 1157 in 4to., 618 in folio.]——iii. A Catalogue, &c., being the third part of the Collection by T. Rawlinson, Esq., to be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee-House, 17th Oct., 1722, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. 12mo. Price 1s. (no paging or printer's letter.)——iv. A Catalogue, &c., being the 4th part of the Collection by T. Rawlinson, Esq., to be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee-House, 2nd April, 1723, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard, 12mo. Price 1s. (no paging or printer's letter.)——v. & vi. A Catalogue, &c., being the 5th part of the Collection by T. Rawlinson, Esq., to be sold by auction at Paul's Coffee-House, 20th Jan. 1723, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. 12mo. Price 1s. Altho' this vol. seems to have been the last of only one sale — yet it may be collected, from the concurrent testimony of his notes in more copies than one — that it was divided and sold at two different times; the latter part commencing about the middle of the volume, with the Libri Theologici. In folio. — Test. Nov. 1588, being the first article. This collection began to be sold in Feb. 2. [1724?]—vii. A Catalogue, &c., being the 6th part of the Collection made by T. Rawlinson, Esq., Deceased, which will begin to be sold by auction at London-House, in Aldersgate Street, 2nd March, 1726, every evening at 5, by Charles Davis, bookseller. 12mo. Price 2s. 6d. (no paging — printer's mark at bottom irregularly continued from 1 to 35.)—viii. Bibliotheca Rawlinsoniana, being a Cat. of part the Val. Libr. of Tho. Rawlinson, Esq., Deceased: which will begin to be sold by auction at the Bedford Coffee-House, in the great Piazza, Covent Garden, the 26th of this present April 1727 every evening at 5, by Charles Davis, bookseller. 8vo. Price 6d. (20 days' sale — 2600 lots.)——ix. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, &c., Pars ix. being a Cat. of part of the Libr. of Th. Rawlinson, Esq., Deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 16th Oct., 1727, every evening at 6, by T. Ballard. 8vo. Price 1s. (20 days' sale, 3200 lots.)——x. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, &c., Pars altera, being a Cat. of part of Lib. of Th. Rawlinson, Esq., Deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 22d Nov., 1727, every evening at 6, by Th. Ballard. 8vo. Price 1s. (22 days' sale, 3520 articles.)——xi. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, Pars altera, being a Catalogue of part of the Library of T. Rawlinson, Esq., deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 22d Jan. 1727-8, every evening, Saturdays excepted, at 6. 8vo. Price 1s. (22 days' sale, 3520 lots.)——xii. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, Pars altera, being a Cat. of part of the Library of Th. Rawlinson, Esq., deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 18th March, 1727-8, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. Price 1s. (8vo. 24 days' sale, 3840 lots.)——xiii. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, Pars altera, being a Cat. of part of the Library of Th. Rawlinson, Esq., deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 21st April, 1729, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. Price 1s. (8vo. 26 days' sale, 4161 lots.)——xiv. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, Pars altera, being a Cat. of part of the Library of T. Rawlinson, Esq., deceased, to be sold by auction at St. Paul's Coffee-House, 24 Nov. 1729, every evening at 5, by T. Ballard. Price 1s. (8vo. 18 days' sale, 2700 lots.)——xv. Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ, Pars altera, being a Cat. of part of the Library of T. Rawlinson, F.R.S., deceased, to be sold by auction 13th Nov., 1732, at St. Paul's Coffee-House, every evening at 5, by Tho. Ballard. Price 1s. (8vo. 26 days' sale, 3456 lots.)——xvi. Codicum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Rawlinsonianæ Catalogus — cum appendice Impressorum— to be sold 4th March, 1733-4, at St. Paul's Coffee-House, every night at 6, by T. Ballard. Price 1s. (8vo., 16 days' sale, MSS. 1020 lots — appendix 800). To these may be added, Picturæ Rawlinsonianæ— being the collection of original paintings of T. Rawlinson, Esq., F.R.S., by the best masters — part of which were formerly the Earl of Craven's Collection. To be sold by auction, at the Two Golden Balls, in Hart Street, Covent Garden, 4th April, 1734, at 11. 8vo. (117 lots.) Now let any man, in his sober senses, imagine what must have been the number of volumes contained in the library of the above-named Thomas Rawlinson? Does he imagine that the tomes in the Bodleian, Vatican, and British Museum were, in each single collection, more numerous than those in the Aldersgate Street repository? — Or, at any rate, would not a view of this Aldersgate Street collection give him the completest idea of the ne plus ultra of book-phrensy in a private collector? Rawlinson would have cut a very splendid figure, indeed, with posterity, if some judicious catalogue-maker, the Paterson of former times, had consolidated all these straggling Bibliothecal corps into one compact wedge-like phalanx. Or, in other words, if one thick octavo volume, containing a tolerably well classed arrangement of his library, had descended to us — oh, then we should all have been better able to appreciate the extraordinary treasures of such a collection! The genius of Pearson and Crofts would have done homage to the towering spirit of Rawlinson.

Lysand. If the most unabating activity and an insatiable appetite — if an eye, in regard to books, keen and sparkling as the ocean-bathed star — if a purse, heavily laden and inexhaustible — if store-rooms rivalled only by the present warehouses of the East-India Company — if a disposition to spread far and wide the influence of the Bibliomania, by issuing a carte blanche for every desperately smitten antiquary to enter, and partake of the benefits of, his library — be criteria of book-phrensy— why then the resemblance of this said Tom Rawlinson ought to form a principal ornament in the capital of that gigantic column, which sustains the temple of Book Fame! He was the Tom Folio of the Tatler, and may be called the Leviathan of book-collectors during nearly the first thirty years of the eighteenth century.

Lis. I suppose, then, that Bagford, Murray, and Hearne, were not unknown to this towering bibliomaniac?

Lysand. On the contrary, I conclude, for certain, that, if they did not drink wine, they constantly drank coffee, together: one of the huge folio volumes of Bleau's Atlas serving them for a table.

But see yonder the rough rude features of Humphrey Wanley376 peering above the crowd! All hail to thy honest physiognomy — for thou wert a rare Book-wight in thy way! and as long as the fame of thy patron Harley shall live, so long, honest Humphrey, dost thou stand a sure chance of living "for aye," in the memory of all worthy bibliomaniacs.

376 Lysander is well warranted in borrowing the pencil of Jan Steen, in the above bold and striking portrait of Wanley: who was, I believe, as honest a man, and as learned a librarian, as ever sat down to morning chocolate in velvet slippers. There is a portrait of him in oil in the British Museum, and another similar one in the Bodleian Library — from which latter it is evident, on the slightest observation, that the inestimable, I ought to say immortal, founder of the Cow Pox system (my ever respected and sincere friend, Dr. Jenner) had not then made known the blessings resulting from the vaccine operation: for poor Wanley's face is absolutely peppered with variolous indentations! Yet he seems to have been a hale and hearty man, in spite of the merciless inroads made upon his visage; for his cheeks are full, his hair is cropt and curly, and his shoulders have a breadth which shew that the unrolling of the Harleian MSS. did not produce any enervating effluvia or mismata. Our poet, Gay, in his epistle to Pope, ep. 18, thus hits off his countenance:

O Wanley, whence com'st thou with shorten'd hair,

And visage, from thy shelves, with dust besprent?

But let us hear the testimony of a friend and fellow bibliomaniac, called Thomas Hearne. The following desultory information is translated from the preface to the Annales Prioratûs de Dunstable— wherein, by the bye, there is a good deal of pleasant information relating to Wanley. We are here told that Wanley was "born at Coventry; and, in his younger days, employed his leisure hours in turning over ancient MSS., and imitating the several hands in which they were written. Lloyd, Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, in one of his episcopal visitations, was the first who noticed and patronized him. He demanded that Wanley should be brought to him; he examined him "suis ipsius, non alterius, oculis;" and ascertained whether what so many respectable people had said of his talents was true or false —'A few words with you, young man,' said the Bishop. Wanley approached with timidity —'What are your pursuits, and where are the ancient MSS. which you have in your possession?' Wanley answered readily; exhibited his MSS., and entered into a minute discussion respecting the ancient method of painting." Hearne then expatiates feelingly upon the excessive care and attention which Wanley devoted to ancient MSS.; how many pieces of vellum he unrolled; and how, sometimes, in the midst of very urgent business, he would lose no opportunity of cultivating what was useful and agreeable in his particular pursuit. His hobby horse seems to have been the discovery of the ancient method of colouring or painting — yet towards British History and Antiquities he constantly cast a fond and faithful eye. How admirably well-calculated he was for filling the situation of librarian to Lord Oxford is abundantly evinced by his catalogue of the Harleian MSS.; vide p. 89, ante. Of his attachment to the Bibliomania there are innumerable proofs. Take this, inter alia; "I spoke to Mr. Wanley, who is not unmindful of his promise, but says he will not trouble you with a letter, till he has something better to present you, which he doubts not he shall have this winter among Mr. Harley's MSS. Mr. Wanley has the greatest collection of English Bibles, Psalters, &c., that ever any one man had. They cost him above 50l., and he has been above twenty years in collecting them. He would part with them, I believe, but I know not at what price." Masters's Life of Baker, p. 27. Consult also the preface to the Catalogue of the Harleian MSS., 1808, 3 vols., folio, p. 6.

A softer noise succeeds; and the group becomes calm and attentive, as if some grand personage were advancing. See, 'tis Harley, Earl of Oxford!377

377 There was an amusing little volume, printed in 1782, 8vo., concerning the library of the late King of France; and an equally interesting one might have been composed concerning the Harleian Collection— but who can now undertake the task? — who concentrate all the rivulets which have run from this splendid reservoir into other similar pieces of water? The undertaking is impracticable. We have nothing, therefore, I fear, left us but to sit down and weep; to hang our harps upon the neighbouring willows, and to think upon the Book "Sion," with desponding sensations that its foundations have been broken up, and its wealth dissipated. But let us adopt a less flowery style of communication. Before Harley was created a peer, his library was fixed at Wimple, in Cambridgeshire, the usual place of his residence; "whence he frequently visited his friends at Cambridge, and in particular Mr. Baker, for whom he always testified the highest regard. This nobleman's attachment to literature, the indefatigable pains he took, and the large sums he expended in making the above collection, are too well known to stand in need of any further notice." Masters's life of Baker, p. 107. The eulogies of Maittaire and Hearne confirm every thing here advanced by Masters; and the testimony of Pope himself, that Harley "left behind him one of the finest libraries in Europe," warrants us, if other testimonies were not even yet daily before our eyes, to draw the same conclusion. In a periodical publication entitled The Director, to which I contributed all the intelligence under the article "Bibliographiana," there appeared the following copious, and, it is presumed, not uninteresting, details respecting the Earl of Oxford, and his Library. After the sale of Mr. Bridges's books, no event occurred in the bibliographical world, worthy of notice, till the sale of the famous Harleian Library, or the books once in the possession of the celebrated Harley, Earl of Oxford. This nobleman was not less distinguished in the political than in the literary world; and "was a remarkable instance of the fickleness of popular opinion, and the danger of being removed from the lower to the upper house of parliament." (Noble's Continuation of Granger, vol. ii., 23.) He was born in the year 1661, was summoned to the house of Lords by the titles of Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, in 1711; declared minister and lord high treasurer in the same year; resigned, and was impeached, in the year 1715; acquitted, without being brought to a trial, in 1717; and died at his house in Albemarle Street, in 1724. A character so well known in the annals of this country needs no particular illustration in the present place. The Harleian Collection of MSS. was purchased by government for 10,000l., and is now deposited in the British Museum (vide p. 89, ante). The Books were disposed of to Thomas Osborne, of Gray's Inn, bookseller — to the irreparable loss, and, I had almost said, the indelible disgrace, of the country. It is, indeed, for ever to be lamented that a collection so extensive, so various, so magnificent, and intrinsically valuable, should have become the property of one who necessarily, from his situation in life, became a purchaser, only that he might be a vender, of the volumes. Osborne gave 13,000l. for the collection; a sum which must excite the astonishment of the present age, when it is informed that Lord Oxford gave 18,000l. for the Binding only, of the least part of them. (From Oldys's interleaved Langbaine. See Brydges's Cens. Literar., vol. i., p. 438.) In the year 1743-4 appeared an account of this collection, under the following title, Catalogus Bibliothecæ Harleianæ, &c., in four volumes (the 5th not properly appertaining to it). Dr. Johnson was employed by Osborne to write the preface, which, says Boswell, "he has done with an ability that cannot fail to impress all his readers with admiration of his philological attainments." Life of Johnson, vol. i., 81, edit. 4to. In my humble apprehension, the preface is unworthy of the doctor: it contains a few general philological reflections, expressed in a style sufficiently stately, but is divested of bibliographical anecdote and interesting intelligence. The first two volumes are written in Latin by Johnson; the third and fourth volumes, which are a repetition of the two former, are composed in English by Oldys: and, notwithstanding its defects, it is the best catalogue of a large library of which we can boast. It should be in every good collection. To the volumes was prefixed the following advertisement: "As the curiosity of spectators, before the sale, may produce disorder in the disposition of the books, it is necessary to advertise the public that there will be no admission into the library before the day of sale, which will be on Tuesday, the 14th of February, 1744." It seems that Osborne had charged the sum of 5s. to each of his first two volumes, which was represented by the booksellers "as an avaricious innovation;" and, in a paper published in "The Champion," they, or their mercenaries, reasoned so justly as to allege that "if Osborne could afford a very large price for the library, he might therefore afford to give away the catalogue." Preface to vol. iii., p. 1. To this charge Osborne answered that his catalogue was drawn up with great pains, and at a heavy expense; but, to obviate all objections, "those," says he, "who have paid five shillings a volume shall be allowed, at any time within three months after the day of sale, either to return them in exchange for books, or to send them back, and receive their money." This, it must be confessed, was sufficiently liberal. Osborne was also accused of rating his books at too high a price: to this the following was his reply, or rather Dr. Johnson's; for the style of the Doctor is sufficiently manifest: "If, therefore, I have set a high value upon books — if I have vainly imagined literature to be more fashionable than it really is, or idly hoped to revive a taste well nigh extinguished, I know not why I should be persecuted with clamour and invective, since I shall only suffer by my mistake, and be obliged to keep those books which I was in hopes of selling."—Preface to the 3d volume. The fact is that Osborne's charges were extremely moderate; and the sale of the books was so very slow that Johnson assured Boswell "there was not much gained by the bargain." Whoever inspects Osborne's catalogue of 1748 (four years after the Harleian sale), will find in it many of the most valuable of Lord Oxford's books; and, among them, a copy of the Aldine Plato of 1513, struck off upon vellum, marked at 21l. only: for this identical copy Lord Oxford gave 100 guineas, as Dr. Mead informed Dr. Askew; from the latter of whose collections it was purchased by Dr. Hunter, and is now in the Hunter Museum. There will also be found, in Osborne's catalogues of 1748 and 1753, some of the scarcest books in English Literature, marked at 2, or 3, or 4s., for which three times the number of pounds is now given.


I shall take the liberty of making an arrangement of the books different from that which appears in the Harleian catalogue; but shall scrupulously adhere to the number of departments therein specified. And first of those in

1. Divinity.

In the Greek, Latin, French, and Italian languages, there were about 2000 theological volumes. Among these, the most rare and curious were Bamler's bible of 1466, beautifully illuminated, in 2 volumes: Schæffer's bible of 1472. The famous Zurich bible of 1543, "all of which, except a small part done by Theodoras Bibliander, was translated from the Hebrew by a Jew, who styled himself Leo Judæ, or the Lion of Judah. The Greek books were translated by Petrus Cholinus. The New Testament is Erasmus's." The Scrutinium Scripturarum of Rabbi Samuel, Mant., 1475; a book which is said "to have been concealed by the Jews nearly 200 years: the author of it is supposed to have lived at a period not much later than the destruction of Jerusalem." The Islandic bible of 1664, "not to be met with, without the utmost difficulty, and therefore a real curiosity." The works of Hemmerlin, Basil: 1497; "the author was ranked in the first class of those whose works were condemned by the church of Rome." The Mozarabic Missal printed at Toledo, in 1500 — of which some account is given at p. 161, ante. The collection of English books in Divinity could not have amounted to less than 2500 volumes. Among the rarest of these, printed in the fifteenth century, was "The Festyvall, begynning at the fyrst Sonday of Advent, in worship of God and all his Sayntes," &c., printed at Paris, in 1495. There was ten books printed by Caxton, and some exceedingly curious ones by Wynkyn de Worde and Pynson.

2. History and Antiquities.

There appear to have been, on the whole, nearly 4000 volumes in this department: of which, some of those relating to Great Britain were inestimable, from the quantity of MS. notes by Sir William Dugdale, Archbishop Parker, Thomas Rawlinson, Thomas Baker, &c. The preceding number includes 600 relating to the history and antiquities of Italy; 500 to those of France. (This part of the catalogue deserves particular attention, as it contains a larger collection of pieces relating to the history of France than was, perhaps, ever exposed to sale in this nation; here being not only the ancient chronicles and general histories, but the memoirs of particular men, and the genealogies of most of the families illustrious for their antiquity. See Bibl. Harl., vol. iii., p. 159.) 150 to those of Spain; and about 250 relating to Germany and the United Provinces.

3. Books of Prints, Sculpture, and Drawings.

In this department, rich beyond description, there could not have been fewer than 20,000 articles, on the smallest computation: of which nearly 2000 were original drawings by the great Italian and Flemish masters. The works of Callot were preserved in 4 large volumes, containing not fewer than nine hundred and twelve prints. "All choice impressions, and making the completest set of his works that are to be seen." See Bibl. Harl., vol. iii., no. 562, "Hollar's works, consisting of all his pieces, and bound in 12 folio volumes, in morocco. One of the completest and best sets in the world, both as to the number and goodness of the impressions." Vid. ibid., no. 468. It is now in the library of the Duke of Rutland. "One hundred and thirty-three heads of illustrious men and women, after Vandyke. This set of Vandyke's heads may be said to be the best and completest that is to be met with any where: there being the 12 heads which he etched himself, as likewise 79 worked off by Martin Vanden Enden: and what adds still to the value of them is that the greater part were collected by the celebrated Marriette at Paris, his name being signed on the back, as warranting them good proofs." Tne engravings from Raphael's paintings, upwards of 200 in number, and by the best foreign masters, were contained in 4 splendid morocco volumes. The works of the Sadelers, containing upwards of 959 prints, in 8 large folio volumes, were also in this magnificent collection: and the Albert Durers, Goltziuses, Rembrandts, &c., innumerable!

4. Collection of Portraits.

This magnificent collection, uniformly bound in 102 large folio volumes, contained a series of heads of illustrious and remarkable characters, to the amount of nearly 10,000 in number. It is said, in the catalogue, to be "perhaps the largest collection of heads ever exposed to sale." We are also informed that it "was thought proper, for the accommodation of the curious, to separate the volumes." Eheu! Eheu!

5. Philosophy, Chemistry, Medicine, &c.

Under this head, comprehending anatomy, astronomy, mathematics, and alchemy, there appear to have been not fewer than 2500 volumes in the foreign languages, and about 600 in the English: some of them of the most curious kind, and of the rarest occurrence.

6. Geography, Chronology, and General History.

There were about 290 volumes on these subjects, written in the Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish languages: and about 300 volumes in our own language. Some of the scarcest books printed by Caxton were among the latter.

7. Voyages and Histories relating to the East and West Indies.

About 800 volumes:— nearly equally divided into the English and foreign languages. Among the English, were Caxton's "Recuyell of the historys of Troye," 1471 (supposed to be the first book printed in this country;) and his "Siege and conquest of Jherusalem," 1481.

8. Civil, Canon, and Statute Law.

At least 800 volumes: 300 in the foreign languages, and the remaining in English.

9. Books of Sculpture, Architecture, &c.

Not fewer than 900 volumes, comprehending every thing published up to that period which was valuable or rare. Of these, more than 700 were written in Latin, Italian, French, or Spanish — and embellished with every beauty of graphic illustration.

10. Greek and Latin Classics; Grammars and Lexicons.

This very valuable body of Grecian and Roman literature could not have included fewer than 2400 volumes — and, among these, almost every work of rarity and excellence. In the article of "Cicero" alone, there were 115 volumes printed in the fifteenth century; every subsequent edition of that and other authors, then distinguished for its accuracy or erudition, may also, I believe, be discovered in the catalogue. Most book-collectors know the sumptuous manner in which the Harleian copies are bound.

11. Books printed upon Vellum.

In this interesting department of typography, there were about 220 volumes — upwards of 70 in folio, 40 in quarto, and 100 in octavo. Of the former, the most curious and rare articles were the Mentz bible of 1462, 2 vols., and the travels of Breydenbachus, printed at Mentz in 1486. "This book is an uncommon object of curiosity, as it is, perhaps, the first book of travels that was ever printed, and is adorned with maps and pictures very remarkable. The view of Venice is more than five feet long, and the map of the Holy Land more than three; there are views of many other cities. It is printed in the Gothic character." See Bibl. Harl., vol. iii., no. 3213. The octavos were chiefly "Heures à l'usage," so common at the beginning of the 16th century: but, if the catalogue be correctly published, there appears to have been one of these books printed at Paris, as early as the year 1466, "extremely beautiful cuts." See the Bibl. Harl., vol. iv., no. 18406. Now, if this were true, it would make known a curious fact in Parisian typography — for the usually received opinion among bibliographers is that no printed book appeared in France before the year 1467, when the art was first introduced at Tours; and none at Paris before the year 1469-70 — when Crantz and Friburger were engaged to print there.

12. English Poetry, Romances, and Novels.

There could not have been fewer than 900 volumes in this amusing department; and among them some editions of the rarest occurrence. Every thing printed by Caxton on these subjects, including a complete and magnificent copy of Morte d'Arthur, was in the collection — and, in respect to other curious works, it will be sufficient to mention only the following, as a specimen. "Kynge-Richarde Cuer du Lyon, W. de Worde, 1528: Gascoigne's Poesies, 1575 — Spenser's Shepheardes Calenders, 1586: Webbe's Discourse of English Poetrie, 1586: Nash's Art of English Poesie, 1589." Some of these volumes were afterwards marked by Osborne, in his catalogues, at 3 or 4 shillings!

13. Livres François, Ital., et Hispan.

There might have been 700 volumes in these foreign languages, of which nearly 500 related to poetry (exclusively of others in the foregoing and following departments).

14. Parliamentary Affairs and Trials.

Upwards of 400 volumes.

15. Trade and Commerce.

About 300 volumes.

It will be seen from the preceding divisions, and from the gradual diminution of the number of volumes in each, that I have gone through the principal departments of the Harleian collection of books: and yet there remain fifty departments to be enumerated! These are the following: 16. Critici et Opera collecta. 17. Vultus et Imagines Illust. Virorum. 18. Pompæ, Ceremoniæ, et Exequiæ. 19. De re Militari, de Arte Equestri, et de re Navali. 20. Heraldica. 21. Epistolæ, Panegyrici, et Orationes. 22. Bibliothecarii et Miscellanei. 23. Tractatus Pacis et Politici. 24. Traductions des Auteurs Gr. et Latin. 25. Translations from Greek and Latin Authors. 26. Laws, Customs, &c., of the City of London. 27. Military, Naval affairs, and Horsemanship. 28. Heraldry. 9. Husbandry, Gardening, Agriculture. 30. Magic, Sorcery, Witchcraft. 31. Miraculous, Monstrous, and Supernatural. 32. Lives of Eminent Persons. 33. Laws and Customs of divers Places. 34. Tythes, Sacrilege, and Non-residence, &c. 35. Cases of divers Persons. 36. Prisons and Prisoners. 37. Lives of Murderers, Highwaymen, Pirates, &c. 38. Speeches of Persons executed for divers Offences. 39. Justices, Juries, and Charges. 40. Poor, and Charitable Uses. 41. Matrimony, Divorce, &c. 42. Universities. 43. Allegiance, Supremacy, Non Resistance, &c. 44. Bank and Bankers. 45. Funds, Taxes, Public Credit, Money, Coin, &c. 46. War and Standing Armies. 47. Admiralty and Navy. 48. Letters on various Subjects. 49. Treatises of Peace, Royal Prerogative, &c. 50. Navigation. 51. Education, Grammar and Schools. 52. Ludicrous, Entertaining, Satirical, and Witty. 53. English Miscellanies. 54. Ecclesiastical and Civil History of Scotland. 55. Do. of Ireland. 56. Grammars and Dictionnaries. 57. Plays, and relating to the Theatre. 58. Mathematics. 59. Astrology, Astronomy, and Chymistry. 60. Horsemanship. 61. Cookery. 62. Convocation. 63. Sieges, Battles, War, &c. 64. Pomp and Ceremony. 65. Books relating to Writing and Printing. 66. Essays on various Subjects. It will probably be no very unreasonable computation to allow to each of these remaining divisions 80 volumes: so that multiplying the whole 50 divisions by 80 there will be the additional number of 4000 volumes to make the library complete. I ought to mention that, in my account of this extensive library, I have not included the Pamphlets. Of these alone, according to Mr. Gough (Brit. Topog. v., i., 669), there were computed to be 400,000! We will now say a few words about the private character of Lord Oxford, and conclude with a brief account of Osborne. Every body has heard of the intimacy which subsisted between Pope and the Earl of Oxford. In the year 1721, when the latter was at his country seat, Pope sent him a copy of Parnell's poems (of which he had undertaken the publication on the decease of Parnell), with a letter in poetry and prose. It seems that Pope wished to prefix his own verses to the collection; and thus alludes to them, in his letter to Lord Harley of the date of 1721: "Poor Parnell, before he died, left me the charge of publishing those few remains of his: I have a strong desire to make them, their author, and their publisher, more considerable, by addressing and dedicating them all to you, &c. All I shall say for it is that 'tis the only dedication I ever writ, and shall be the only one, whether you accept it or not: for I will not bow the knee to a less man than my Lord Oxford, and I expect to see no greater in my time."

The following is the latter part of the Poetical Epistle here alluded to:

And sure, if aught below the seats divine

Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine:

A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,

Above all pain, all passion, and all pride;

The rage of power, the blast of public breath,

The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.

In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;

The muse attends thee to thy silent shade:

'Tis her's the brave man's latest steps to trace,

Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.

When int'rest calls off all her sneaking train,

And all th' obliged desert, and all the vain;

She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,

When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.

Ev'n now, she shades thy evening walk with bays,

(No hireling she, no prostitute of praise)

Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray,

Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day;

Thro' fortune's cloud one truly great can see,

Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he!

Pope's Works, vol. ii., p. 320-3. Bowles's edit.

The following was the reply of the Earl of Oxford to Mr. Pope.


I received your packet, which could not but give me great pleasure to see you preserve an old friend in your memory; for it must needs be very agreeable to be remembered by those we highly value. But then, how much shame did it cause me when I read your very fine verses inclosed! My mind reproached me how far short I came of what your great friendship and delicate pen would partially describe me. You ask my consent to publish it: to what straits doth this reduce me! I look back, indeed, to those evenings I have usefully and pleasantly spent with Mr. Pope, Mr. Parnell, Dean Swift, the Doctor (Arbuthnot), &c. I should be glad the world knew you admitted me to your friendship; and since your affection is too hard for your judgment, I am contented to let the world know how well Mr. Pope can write upon a barren subject. I return you an exact copy of the verses, that I may keep the original, as a testimony of the only error you have been guilty of. I hope, very speedily, to embrace you in London, and to assure you of the particular esteem and friendship wherewith I am your, &c.,


Of Tom Osborne I have in vain endeavoured to collect some interesting biographical details. What I know of him shall be briefly stated. He was the most celebrated bookseller of his day; and appears, from a series of his catalogues in my possession, to have carried on a successful trade from the year 1738 to 1768. What fortune he amassed, is not, I believe, very well known: his collections were truly valuable, for they consisted of the purchased libraries of the most eminent men of those times. In his stature he was short and thick; and, to his inferiors, generally spoke in an authoritative and insolent manner. "It has been confidently related," says Boswell, "that Johnson, one day, knocked Osborne down in his shop with a folio, and put his foot upon his neck. The simple truth I had from Johnson himself. 'Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat him. But it was not in his shop: it was in my own chamber.'" 4to. edit., i., 81. Of Osborne's philological attainments, the meanest opinion must be formed, if we judge from his advertisements, which were sometimes inserted in the London Gazette, and drawn up in the most ridiculously vain and ostentatious style. He used to tell the public that he possessed "all the pompous editions of Classicks and Lexicons." I insert the two following advertisements, prefixed, the one to his catalogue of 1748, the other to that of 1753, for the amusement of my bibliographical readers, and as a model for Messrs. Payne, White, Miller, Evans, Priestley, and Cuthell. "This catalogue being very large, and of consequence very expensive to the proprietor, he humbly requests that, if it falls into the hands of any gentleman gratis, who chooses not himself to be a purchaser of any of the books contained in it, that such gentleman will be pleased to recommend it to any other whom he thinks may be so, or to return it." To his catalogue of 1753 was the following: "To the Nobility and Gentry who please to favour me with their commands. It is hoped, as I intend to give no offence to any nobleman or gentleman, that do me the honour of being my customer, by putting a price on my catalogue, by which means they may not receive it as usual — it is desired that such nobleman or gentleman as have not received it, would be pleased to send for it; and it's likewise requested of such gentleman who do receive it, that, if they chuse not to purchase any of the books themselves, they would recommend it to any bookish gentleman of their acquaintance, or to return it, and the favour shall be acknowledged by, their most obedient and obliged,

T. Osborne."

I shall conclude with the following curious story told of him, in Mr. Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer the Printer. "Mr. David Papillon, a gentleman of fortune and literary taste, as well as a good antiquary (who died in 1762) contracted with Osborne to furnish him with an 100l. worth of books, at threepence a piece. The only conditions were, that they should be perfect, and that there should be no duplicate. Osborne was highly pleased with his bargain, and the first great purchase he made, he sent Mr. P. a large quantity; but in the next purchase, he found he could send but few, and the next, still fewer. Not willing, however, to give up, he sent books worth five shillings a piece; and, at last, was forced to go and beg to be let off the contract. Eight thousand books would have been wanted!"— See p. 101-2, note ‡‡.

Lis. Let us rise to pay him homage!

Phil. Lisardo is now fairly bewitched. He believes in the existence of the group! — Help, ho! Fetters and warder for

Loren. Philemon loves to indulge his wit at his friend's expense. Is't not so, Lisardo?

Lis. I forgive him. 'Twas a "glorious fault." But, indeed, I would strip to the skin, if this said nobleman longed for my coat, waistcoat, small clothes, and shirt, to form him a cushion to sit upon! I have heard such wonderful things said of his library!

Lysand. And not more wonderful than its reputation justifies. Well might Pope be enamoured of such a noble friend — and well might even Dr. Mead bow to the superior splendour of such a book-competitor! While the higher order of bibliomaniacs, reposing upon satin sofas, were quaffing burgundy out of Harley's curiously cut goblets, and listening to the captivating tale of Mead or Folkes, respecting a vellum Editio Princeps— the lower order, with Bagford at their head, were boisterously regaling themselves below, drinking ale round an oaken table, and toasting their patron, till the eye could no longer discover the glass, nor the tongue utter his name. Aloft, in mid air, sat the soothed spirits of Smith and North; pointing, with their thin, transparent fingers, to the apotheosis of Caxton and Aldus! Suddenly, a crowd of pipy fragrance involves the room: these ærial forms cease to be visible; and broken sounds, like the retiring tide beneath Dover cliff, die away into utter silence. Sleep succeeds: but short is the slumber of enthusiastic bibliomaniacs! The watchman rouses them from repose: and the annunciation of the hour of "two o'clock, and a moonlight morning," reminds them of their cotton night-caps and flock mattrasses. They start up, and sally forwards; chaunting, midst the deserted streets, and with eyes turned sapiently towards the moon, "Long life to the King of Book-Collectors, Harley, Earl of Oxford!"

Loren. A truce, Lysander! I entreat a truce!

Lysand. To what?

Loren. To this discourse. You must be exhausted.

Phil. Indeed I agree with Lorenzo: for Lysander has surpassed, in prolixity, the reputation of any orator within St. Stephen's chapel. It only remains to eclipse, in a similar manner, the speeches which were delivered at Hardy's trial — and then he may be called the Nonpareil of orators!

Lysand. If you banter me, I am dumb. Nor did I know that there was any thing of eloquence in my chit-chat. If Lisardo had had my experience, we might then have witnessed some glittering exhibitions of imagination in the book-way!

Lis. My most excellent friend, I will strive to obtain this experience, since you are pleased to compliment me upon what I was not conscious of possessing — But, in truth, Lysander, our obligations to you are infinite.

Lysand. No more; unless you are weary of this discourse —

Phil. Lis. Weary!?

Loren. Let me here exercise my undeniable authority. A sandwich, like the evening rain after a parching day, will recruit Lysander's exhausted strength. What say you?

Lysand. "I shall in all things obey your high command." But hark — I hear the outer gate bell ring! The ladies are arrived: and you know my bashfulness in female society. Adieu, Bibliomania! 'till the morrow.

Loren. Nay, you are drawing too dismal conclusions. My sisters are not sworn enemies to this kind of discourse.

The arrival of Almansa and Belinda, the sisters of Lorenzo put a stop to the conversation. So abrupt a silence disconcerted the ladies; who, in a sudden, but, it must be confessed, rather taunting, strain — asked whether they should order their bed-chamber candlesticks, and retire to rest?

Lis. Not if you are disposed to listen to the most engaging book-anecdote orator in his majesty's united realms!

Alman. Well, this may be a sufficient inducement for us to remain. But why so suddenly silent, gentlemen?

Loren. The conversation had ceased before you arrived. We were thinking of a hung-beef sandwich and a glass of madeira to recruit Lysander's exhausted powers. He has been discoursing ever since dinner.

Belind. I will be his attendant and cup-bearer too, if he promises to resume his discourse. But you have probably dispatched the most interesting part.

Lysand. Not exactly so, I would hope, fair Lady! Your brother's hospitality will add fresh energy to my spirit; and, like the renewed oil in an exhausted lamp, will cause the flame to break forth with fresh splendour.

Belind. Sir, I perceive your ingenuity, at least, has not forsaken you — in whatever state your memory may be! —

Here the sandwiches made their appearance: and Lorenzo seated his guests, with his sisters, near him, round a small circular table. The repast was quickly over: and Philemon, stirring the sugar within a goblet of hot madeira wine and water, promised them all a romantic book-story, if the ladies would only lend a gracious ear. Such a request was, of course, immediately complied with.

Phil. The story is short —

Lis. And sweet, I ween.

Phil. That remains to be proved. But listen.

You all know my worthy friend, Ferdinand: a very Helluo Librorum. It was on a warm evening in summer — about an hour after sunset — that Ferdinand made his way towards a small inn, or rather village alehouse, that stood on a gentle eminence, skirted by a luxuriant wood. He entered, oppressed with heat and fatigue; but observed, on walking up to the porch "smothered with honey-suckles" (as I think Cowper expresses it), that every thing around bore the character of neatness and simplicity. The holy-oaks were tall and finely variegated in blossom: the pinks were carefully tied up: and roses of all colours and fragrance stood around, in a compacted form, like a body-guard, forbidding the rude foot of trespasser to intrude. Within, Ferdinand found corresponding simplicity and comfort.

The "gude" man of the house was spending the evening with a neighbour; but poached eggs and a rasher of bacon, accompanied with a flagon of sparkling ale, gave our guest no occasion to doubt the hospitality of the house, on account of the absence of its master. A little past ten, after reading some dozen pages in a volume of Sir Egerton Brydges's Censura Literaria, which he happened to carry about him, and partaking pretty largely of the aforesaid eggs and ale, Ferdinand called for his candle, and retired to repose. His bed-room was small, but neat and airy: at one end, and almost facing the window, there was a pretty large closet, with the door open: but Ferdinand was too fatigued to indulge any curiosity about what it might contain.

He extinguished his candle, and sank upon his bed to rest. The heat of the evening seemed to increase. He became restless; and, throwing off his quilt, and drawing his curtain aside, turned towards the window, to inhale the last breeze which yet might be wafted from the neighbouring heath. But no zephyr was stirring. On a sudden, a broad white flash of lightning —(nothing more than summer heat) made our bibliomaniac lay his head upon his pillow, and turn his eyes in an opposite direction. The lightning increased — and one flash, more vivid than the rest, illuminated the interior of the closet, and made manifest —an old mahogany Book-Case, stored with books. Up started Ferdinand, and put his phosphoric treasures into action. He lit his match, and trimmed his candle, and rushed into the closet — no longer mindful of the heavens — which now were in a blaze with the summer heat.

The book-case was guarded both with glass and brass wires — and the key — no where to be found! Hapless man! — for, to his astonishment, he saw Morte d'Arthur, printed by CaxtonRichard Cœur de Lyon, by W. de WordeThe Widow Edyth, by Pynson— and, towering above the rest, a large paper copy of the original edition of Prince's Worthies of Devon; while, lying transversely at top, reposed John Weever's Epigrams, "The spirit of Captain Cox is here revived"— exclaimed Ferdinand — while, on looking above, he saw a curious set of old plays, with Dido, Queen of Carthage, at the head of them! What should he do? No key: no chance of handling such precious tomes —'till the morning light, with the landlord, returned! He moved backwards and forwards with a hurried step — prepared his pocket knife to cut out the panes of glass, and untwist the brazen wires — but a "prick of conscience" made him desist from carrying his wicked design into execution. Ferdinand then advanced towards the window; and throwing it open, and listening to the rich notes of a concert of nightingales, forgot the cause of his torments —'till, his situation reminding him of "The Churl and the Bird," he rushed with renewed madness into the cupboard — then searched for the bell — but, finding none, he made all sorts of strange noises. The landlady rose, and, conceiving robbers to have broken into the stranger's room, came and demanded the cause of the disturbance.

"Madam," said Ferdinand, "is there no possibility of inspecting the books in the cupboard— where is the key?" "Alack, sir," rejoined the landlady, "what is there that thus disturbs you in the sight of those books? Let me shut the closet-door and take away the key of it, and you will then sleep in peace." "Sleep in peace!" resumed Ferdinand —"sleep in wretchedness, you mean! I can have no peace unless you indulge me with the key of the book-case. To whom do such gems belong?" "Sir, they are not stolen goods."—"Madam, I ask pardon — I did not mean to question their being honest property — but"—"Sir, they are not mine or my husband's." "Who, madam, who is the lucky owner?" "An elderly gentleman of the name of — Sir, I am not at liberty to mention his name — but they belong to an elderly gentleman." "Will he part with them — where does he live? Can you introduce me to him?"— The good woman soon answered all Ferdinand's rapid queries, but the result was by no means satisfactory to him.

He learnt that these uncommonly scarce and precious volumes belonged to an ancient gentleman, whose name was studiously concealed; but who was in the habit of coming once or twice a week, during the autumn, to smoke his pipe, and lounge over his books: sometimes making extracts from them, and sometimes making observations in the margin with a pencil. Whenever a very curious passage occurred, he would take out a small memorandum book, and put on a pair of large tortoise-shell spectacles, with powerful magnifying glasses, in order to insert this passage with particular care and neatness. He usually concluded his evening amusements by sleeping in the very bed in which Ferdinand had been lying.

Such intelligence only sharpened the curiosity, and increased the restlessness, of poor Ferdinand. He retired to this said bibliomaniacal bed, but not to repose. The morning sun-beams, which irradiated the book-case with complete effect, shone upon his pallid countenance and thoughtful brow. He rose at five: walked in the meadows till seven; returned and breakfasted — stole up stairs to take a farewell peep at his beloved Morte d'Arthur— sighed "three times and more"— paid his reckoning; apologised for the night's adventure; told the landlady he would shortly come and visit her again, and try to pay his respects to the anonymous old gentleman. "Meanwhile," said he, "I will leave no bookseller's shop in the neighbourhood unvisited, 'till I gain intelligence of his name and character." The landlady eyed him steadily; took a pinch of snuff with a significant air; and, returning, with a smile of triumph, to her kitchen, thanked her stars that she had got rid of such a madman!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have done.

Lis. And creditably done, too!

Alman. If this be a specimen of your previous conversation, we know not what we have lost by our absence. But I suspect, that the principal ingredient of poetry, fiction, has a little aided in the embellishment of your story.

Belin. This is not very gallant or complimentary on your part, Almansa. I harbour no suspicion of its verity; for marvellous things have been told me, by my brother, of the whimsical phrensies of book-fanciers.

Loren. If you will only listen a little to Lysander's sequel, you will hear almost equally marvellous things; which I suspect my liberally minded sister, Almansa, will put down to the score of poetical embellishment. But I see she is conscious of her treasonable aspersions of the noble character of bibliomaniacs, and is only anxious for Lysander to resume.

Alman. Sir, I entreat you to finish your History of Bibliomaniacs. Your friend, Philemon, has regaled us with an entertaining episode, and you have probably, by this time, recovered strength sufficient to proceed with the main story.

Lysand. Madam, I am equally indebted to your brother for his care of the body, and to my friend for his recreation of the mind. The midnight hour, I fear, is swiftly approaching.

Loren. It is yet at a considerable distance. We have nearly reached the middle of the eighteenth century, and you may surely carry on your reminiscential exertions to the close of the same. By that time, we may be disposed for our nightcaps.

Lysand. Unheeded be the moments and hours which are devoted to the celebration of eminent Book-Collectors! Let the sand roll down the glass as it will; let "the chirping on each thorn" remind us of Aurora's saucy face peering above the horizon! in such society, and with such a subject of discussion, who —

Lis. Lysander brightens as his story draws to a close: his colouring will be more vivid than ever.

Belind. Tell me — are bibliographers usually thus eloquent? They have been described to me as a dry, technical race of mortals — quoting only title-pages and dates.

Lysand. Madam, believe not the malicious evidence of book-heretics. Let ladies, like yourself and your sister, only make their appearance with a choice set of bibliomaniacs, at this time of night, and if the most interesting conversation be not the result — I have very much under-rated the colloquial powers of my brethren. But you shall hear.

We left off with lauding the bibliomaniacal celebrity of Harley, Earl of Oxford. Before the dispersion of his grand collection, died John Bridges,378 a gentleman, a scholar, and a notorious book-collector. The catalogue of his books is almost the first classically arranged one in the eighteenth century: and it must be confessed that the collection was both curious and valuable. Bridges was succeeded by Anthony Collins,379 the Free Thinker; a character equally strange and unenviable. Book-fanciers now and then bid a few shillings, for a copy of the catalogue of his library; and some sly free-thinkers, of modern date, are not backward in shewing a sympathy in their predecessor's fame, by the readiness with which they bid a half-guinea, or more, for a priced copy of it.

378 Bibliothecæ Bridgesianæ Catalogus: or a Catalogue of the Library of John Bridges, Esq., consisting of above 4000 books and manuscripts in all Languages and Faculties; particularly in Classics and History; and especially the History and Antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland, &c., London, 1725, 8vo. 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 momento (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." My friend, Dr. Gosset, was once so fortunate as to pick up for me a large paper copy of the analysed catalogue, bound in old blue morocco, and ruled with red lines, for 4s.! —"Happy day!"

379 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; as 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 both were 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.

We may here but slightly allude to the bibliographical reputation of Maittaire, as so much was said of him the day before yesterday.380

380 The reader will find some account of Maittaire's bibliographical labours at p. 47, ante; and of his editions of the ancient Classics, at p. 442, vol. ii., of my Introduction to the Knowledge of rare and valuable editions of the Greek and Latin Classics. He need here only be informed that Maittaire's books were sold by auction in November, 1748, and January, 1749; the catalogue of them forming two parts, with one of these dates affixed to each. The collection must have been uncommonly numerous; and of their intrinsic value the reader will best judge by the following extract from the "Advertisement," by Cock the auctioneer, at the back of the title-page: "tho' the books, in their present condition, make not the most ostentatious appearance, yet, like the late worthy possessor of them, however plain their outside may be, they contain within an invaluable treasure of ingenuity and learning. In fine, this is (after fifty years' diligent search and labour in collecting) the entire library of Mr. Maittaire; whose judgement in the choice of books, as it ever was confessed, so are they, undoubtedly, far beyond whatever I can attempt to say in their praise. In exhibiting them thus to the public, I comply with the will of my deceased friend; and in printing the catalogue from his own copy just as he left it (tho' by so doing it is the more voluminous) I had an opportunity, not only of doing the justice I owe to his memory, but also of gratifying the curious." I incline strongly to think there were no copies of this catalogue printed upon large paper. When priced, the usual copy brings a fair round sum.

Belin. All this may be very learned and just. But of these gentlemen I find no account in the fashionable necrologies.

Loren. Only wait a little, and Lysander will break forth with the mention of some transcendental bibliomaniac.

Lysand. Yes, ever renowned Richard Mead!381 thy pharmacopæal reputation is lost in the blaze of thy bibliomaniacal glory! Æsculapius may plant his herbal crown round thy brow, and Hygeia may scatter her cornucopia of roses at thy feet — but what are these things compared with the homage offered thee by the Gesners, Baillets, and Le Longs, of old? What avail even the roseate blushes of thousands, whom thy medical skill, may have snatched from a premature grave — compared with the life, vigour, animation and competition which thy example infused into the book-world!

381 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, and 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, it was hardly possible, as Lysander has well observed, "for modest merit if properly introduced to him, to depart unrewarded or ungratified." 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 £5496 15 0
  Pictures 3417 11 0
  Prints and drawings 1908 14 0
  Coins and medals 1977 17 0
  Antiquities 3246 15 0
  Amount of all the sales £16,047 12 0

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 Tewrdanchk's, 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 14l. 14s., and was sold again at his sale for 36l. 15s. The King of France bought the editio princeps of Pliny Senior for 11l. 11s.: and Mr. Wilcock, a bookseller, bought the magnificently illuminated Pliny by Jenson, of 1472, for 18l. 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 50l. 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 Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer, p. 225, &c. Of the catalogue of Dr. Mead's books, there were only six copies printed upon large paper. See Bibl. Lort, no. 1149. I possess one of these copies, uncut and priced. Dr. Mead had parted, in his life-time, to the present king's father, with several miniature pictures of great value (Walpole Anec., vol. i., 165) by Isaac Oliver and Holbein, which are now in his majesty's collection. Dr. Askew had purchased his Greek MSS. for 500l. Pope has admirably well said,

"Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne alone,

And Books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloane."

Epistle iv.

Upon which his commentator, Warburton, thus observes: "These were two eminent physicians; the one had an excellent library, the other the finest collection in Europe of natural curiosities." For nearly half a century did Dr. Mead pursue an unrivalled career in his profession. He was (perhaps "thrice") presented with the presidentship of the College of Physicians, which he ("thrice") refused. One year it is said he made 7000l., a great sum in his time! His regular emoluments were between 5000l. and 6000l. per annum. He died on the 25th of February, 1754, in the 81st year of his age. On his death, Dr. Askew, who seems to have had a sort of filial veneration for his character, and whose pursuits were in every respect congenial with Dr. Mead's, presented the College of Physicians with a marble bust of him, beautifully executed by Roubilliac, and for which he paid the sculptor 100l. A whimsical anecdote is connected with the execution of this bust. Roubilliac agreed with Dr. Askew for 50l.: the doctor found it so highly finished that he paid him for it 100l. The sculptor said this was not enough, and brought in a bill for 108l. 2s. Dr. Askew paid this demand, even to the odd shillings, and then enclosed the receipt to Mr. Hogarth, to produce at the next meeting of artists. Nichols's Anec. of Bowyer, p. 580. "I cannot help," says Mr. Edwards, the late ornithologist, "informing succeeding generations that they may see the real features of Dr. Mead in this bust: for I, who was as well acquainted with his face as any man living, do pronounce this bust of him to be so like that, as often as I see it, my mind is filled with the strongest idea of the original." Hearne speaks of the Meadean Family with proper respect, in his Alured de Beverly, p. xlv.; and in Walter Hemingford, vol. i., xxxv. In his Gulielmus Nubrigensis, vol. iii., p. 744 (note), he says of our illustrious bibliomaniac:—"that most excellent physician, and truly great man, Dr. Richard Mead, to whom I am eternally obliged." There is an idle story somewhere told of Dr. Mead's declining the acceptance of a challenge to fight with swords — alleging his want of skill in the art of fencing: but this seems to be totally void of authority. Thus far, concerning Dr. Mead, from the first edition of this work, and the paper entitled "The Director." The following particulars, which I have recently learnt of the Mead Family, from John Nicholl, Esq., my neighbour at Kensington, and the maternal grandson of the Doctor, may be thought well worth subjoining. Matthew Mead, his father, was a clergyman. He gave up his living at Stepney in 1662; which was afterwards divided into the four fine livings now in the gift of Brazen-Nose College, Oxford. His parishioners built him a chapel; but he retired to a farm in the country, and had the reputation of handling a bullock as well as any butcher in the county. He went abroad in the reign of James II., and had his sons, Samuel and Richard, educated under Grævius. Samuel Mead, his brother, was a distinguished Chancery barrister, and got his 4000l. per ann.; his cronies were Wilbraham and Lord Harcourt. These, with a few other eminent barristers, used to meet at a coffee-house, and drink their favourite, and then fashionable, liquor — called Bishop, which consisted of red wine, lemon, and sugar. Samuel was a shy character, and loved privacy. He had a good country house, and handsome chambers in Lincoln's Inn, and kept a carriage for his sister's use, having his coachmaker's arms painted upon the panel. What is very characteristic of the modesty of his profession, he pertinaciously refused a silk gown! A word or two remains to be said of our illustrious bibliomaniac Richard. His brother left him 30,000l., and giving full indulgence to his noble literary feelings, the Doctor sent Carte, the historian, to France, to rummage for MSS. of Thuanus, and to restore the castrated passages which were not originally published for fear of offending certain families. He made Buckley, the editor, procure the best ink and paper from Holland, for this edition of Thuanus, which was published at his own expense; and the Doctor was remarkably solicitous that nothing of exterior pomp and beauty should be wanting in the publication. The result verified his most sanguine expectation; for a finer edition of a valuable historian has never seen the light. Dr. Ward, says Mr. Nichols, is supposed to have written Mead's Latin, but the fact is not so; or it is exclusively applicable to the later pieces of Mead. The Doctor died in his 83rd year (and in full possession of his mental powers), from a fall occasioned by the negligence of a servant. He was a great diagnostic physician; and, when he thought deeply, was generally correct in judging of the disorder by the appearance of the countenance.

The tears shed by virtuous bibliomaniacs at Harley's death were speedily wiped away, when the recollection of thine, and of thy contemporary's, Folkes's382 fame, was excited in their bosoms. Illustrious Bibliomaniacs! your names and memories will always live in the hearts of noble-minded Literati: the treasures of your Museums and Libraries — your liberal patronage and ever-active exertions in the cause of virtu— whether connected with coins, pictures, or books — can never be banished, at least, from my grateful mind:— And if, at this solemn hour, when yonder groves and serpentine walks are sleeping in the quiet of moon-light, your spirits could be seen placidly to flit along, I would burst from this society — dear and congenial as it is — to take your last instructions, or receive your last warnings, respecting the rearing of a future age of bibliomaniacs! Ye were, in good earnest, noble-hearted book-heroes! — but I wander:— forgive me!

382 "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, inscriptions, and on the fine arts in general, formed the most valuable department — those on 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 2l., 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! At the present day, they are worth about 250l.— In Spanish literature, the history of South America, by John Duan and Ant. di Ulloa, Madr., fol., in 5 vols., was sold for 5l.: a fine large paper copy of the description of the monastery of St. Lorenzo, and the Escorial, Madr., 1657, brought 1l. 2s.; de Lastanosa's Spanish medals, Huesca, fol., 1645, 2l. 2s.— In English, the first edition of Shakspeare, 1623, which is now what a French bibliographer would say, "presque introuvable," produced the sum of 3l. 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 13l. 13s. only: Desgodetz Roman edifices, Paris, 1682, 4l. 10s. Galleria Giustiniano, 2 vols., fol., 13l. 13s. Le Brun's Voyages in Muscovy, &c., in large paper, 4l. 4s. De Rossi's Raccolta de Statue, &c., Rom., 1704, 6l. 10s. Medailles du Regne de Louis le Grand: de l'Imp. Roy. 1. p. fol., 1702, 5l. 15s. 6d.—— The works on Natural History brought still higher prices: but the whole, from the present depreciation of money, 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 11l. 11s. and 7l. 17s. 6d. At the Doctor's sale they brought 43l. and 23l., 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 Lord Spencer's, and 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, upon large paper, and uncut, in my possession, I find that the amount of the sale, consisting of 5126 articles, was 3091l. 6s. 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 succession to the chair of the presidentship, which, as Lysander above truly says, 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 afterwards, 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. He seems to have left behind him a considerable fortune. Among his numerous bequests was one to the Royal Society of 200l., along with a fine portrait of Lord Bacon, and a large cornelian ring, with the arms of the society engraved upon it, for the perpetual use of the president and his successors in office. The MSS. of his own composition, not being quite perfect, were, to the great loss of the learned world, ordered by him to be destroyed. The following wood-cut portrait is taken from a copper-plate in the Portraits des Hommes Illustres de Denmark, 4to., 7 parts, 1746: part 4th, a volume which abounds with a number of copper-plate engravings, worked off in a style of uncommon clearness and brilliancy. Some of the portraits themselves are rather stiff and unexpressive; but the vignettes are uniformly tasteful and agreeable. The seven parts are rarely found in an equal state of perfection.

Folkes Dr. Birch has drawn a very just and interesting character of this eminent man, which may be found in Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer, pp. 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."

Alman. Pray keep to this earth, and condescend to notice us mortals of flesh and blood, who have heard of Dr. Mead, and Martin Folkes, only as eminently learned and tasteful characters.

Lysand. I crave your forgiveness. But Dr. Mead's cabinet of coins, statues, and books, was so liberally thrown open for the public inspection that it was hardly possible for modest merit, if properly made known to him, to depart unrewarded or ungratified. Nor does the renowned President of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies — Martin Folkes — merit a less warm eulogy; for he filled these distinguished situations with a credit which has never since been surpassed.

But there is yet an illustrious tribe to be recorded. We have, first, Richard Rawlinson,383 brother of the renowned Tom Folio, whose choice and tasteful collection of books, as recorded in auctioneering annals, is deserving of high commendation. But his name and virtues are better known in the University, to which he was a benefactor, than to the noisy circles of the metropolis. The sale of Orator Henley's books "followed hard upon" that of Richard Rawlinson's; and if the spirit of their owner could, from his "gilt tub," have witnessed the grimaces and jokes which marked the sale — with the distorted countenances and boisterous laughter which were to be seen on every side — how it must have writhed under the smart of general ridicule, or have groaned under the torture of contemptuous indignation! Peace to Henley's384 vexed manes! — and similar contempt await the efforts of all literary quacks and philosophical knaves!

383 "Bibliotheca Rawlinsoniana, sive Catalogus Librorum Richardi Rawlinson, LL.D. Qui prostabunt Venales sub hasta, Apud Samuelem Baker, In Vico dicto York-street, Covent Garden, Londoni, Die Lunæ 29 Marti mdcclvi." With the following whimsical Greek motto in the title-page:

Και γαρ ὀ ταὼς διὰ τὸ σπάνίον θαυμάζεται.


("The peacock is admired on account of its rarity.")

This valuable library must have contained nearly 25,000 volumes, multiplying the number of articles (9405) by 3 — the usual mode of calculation. Unfortunately, as was the case with Dr. Mead's and Mr. Folkes's, the books were not arranged according to any particular classification. Old black-letter English were mixed with modern Italian, French, and Latin; and novels and romances interspersed with theology and mathematics. An alphabetical arrangement, be the books of whatever kind they may, will in general obviate the inconvenience felt from such an undigested plan; and it were "devoutly to be wished," by all true bibliographers, that an act of parliament should pass for the due observance of this alphabetical order. We all know our A, B, C, but have not all analytical heads; or we may differ in our ideas of analysis. The scientific and alphabetical united is certainly better; like Mr. Harris's excellent catalogue, noticed at p. 99, ante. The "Méthode pour dresser une bibliothéque," about which De Bure, Formey, and Peignot have so solemnly argued, is not worth a moment's discussion. Every man likes to be his own librarian, as well as "his own broker." But to return to Dr. Rawlinson's collection. On examining a priced catalogue of it, which now lies before me, I have not found any higher sum offered for a work than 4l. 1s. for a collection of fine prints, by Aldegrever. (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-letter books, which were pretty thickly scattered throughout the collection, were sold for exceedingly low prices — if the copies were perfect. Witness the following:

  £ s. d.
The Newe Testament in English, 1500 0 2 9
The Ymage of both Churches, after the Revelation of St. John, by Bale, 1550 0 1 6
The boke called the Pype or Tonne of Perfection, by Richard Whytforde, 1553 0 1 9
The Visions of Pierce Plowman, 1561 0 2 0
The Creede of Pierce Plowman, 1532 0 1 6
The Bookes of Moses, in English, 1530 0 3 9
Bale's Actes of English Votaryes, 1550 0 1 3
The Boke of Chivalrie, by Caxton 0 11 0
The Boke of St. Alban's, by W. de Worde 1 1 0

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, 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 Capell, Farmer, Steevens, Malone, 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. Dr. Rawlinson's benefactions to Oxford, besides his Anglo-Saxon endowment at St. John's College, were very considerable; including, amongst other curiosities, a series of medals of the Popes, which the Doctor supposed to be one of the most complete collections in Europe; and a great number of valuable MSS., which he directed to be safely locked up, and not to be opened till seven years after his decease. He died on the 6th of April, 1755. To St. John's College, where he had been a gentleman commoner, Dr. Rawlinson left the bulk of his estate, amounting to near 700l. a year: a plate of Abp. Laud, 31 volumes of Parliamentary Journals and Debates, a set of Rymer's Fœdera, his Greek, Roman, and English coins, not given to the Bodleian Library; all his plates engraved at the expense of the Society of Antiquaries; his diploma, and his heart; which latter is placed in a beautiful urn against the chapel wall, with this inscription:

Urbi thesaurus, ibi cor.
Ric. Rawlinson, LL.D. & Ant. S.S.
Olim hujus collegii superioris ordinis
Obiit. vi. Apr. mdcclv.

Hearne speaks of him, in the preface of his Tit. Liv. For. Jul. vita Hen. V., p. xvi., as "vir antiquis moribus ornatus, perque eam viam euns, quæ ad immortalem gloriam ducit."

384 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. —— 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. —— 170. Speech upon Speech. A Telescope for Tournay. No Battle, but worse, and the True Meaning of it. An Army beaten and interred. —— 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! —— 178. Taking Carlise, 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. —— 179. Let Stocks be knighted, write, Sir Bank, &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: He was born at Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire, in 1692, and was brought up at St. John's College, in the University of Cambridge. After entering into orders, he became a preacher in London, and established a lecture on Sunday evenings, near Lincoln's-Inn Fields, and another on Wednesday evenings, chiefly on political and scientific subjects. Each auditor paid one shilling for admission. "He declaimed," says Warburton, "against the greatest persons, and occasionally did our poet (Pope) that honour. When he was at Cambridge, he began to be uneasy; for it shocked him to find he was commanded to believe against his own judgment in points of religion, philosophy, &c.: for his genius leading him freely to dispute all propositions, and call all points to account, he was impatient under those fetters of the free-born mind." When he was admitted into priest's orders, he thought the examination so short and superficial that he considered it "not necessary to conform to the Christian religion, in order either to be a deacon or priest." With these quixotic sentiments he came to town; and "after having, for some years, been a writer for the booksellers, he had an ambition to be so for ministers of state." The only reason he did not rise in the church, we are told, "was the envy of others, and a disrelish entertained of him, because he was not qualified to be a complete spaniel." However, he offered the service of his pen to two great men, of opinions and interests directly opposite: but being rejected by both of them, he set up a new project, and styled himself, "The restorer of ancient eloquence." Henley's pulpit, in which he preached, "was covered with velvet, and adorned with gold." It is to this that Pope alludes, in the first couplet of his second book of the Dunciad:

High on a gorgeous seat, that far outshone

Henley's gilt tub——

"He had also an altar, and placed over it this extraordinary inscription, 'The primitive Eucharist.'" We are told by his friend Welsted (narrative in Oratory Transact. No. 1) that "he had the assurance to form a plan, which no mortal ever thought of; he had success against all opposition; challenged his adversaries to fair disputations, and none would dispute with him: he wrote, read, and studied, twelve hours a day; composed three dissertations a week on all subjects; undertook to teach in one year what schools and universities teach in five: was not terrified by menaces, insults, or satires; but still proceeded, matured his bold scheme, and put the church and all that in danger!" See note to Dunciad, book iii., v. 199. Pope has described this extraordinary character with singular felicity of expression:

But, where each science lifts its modern type,

Hist'ry her Pot, Divinity her Pipe,

While proud philosophy repines to shew,

Dishonest sight! his breeches rent below;

Imbrown'd with native bronze, lo! Henley stands,

Tuning his voice and balancing his hands.

How fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue!

How sweet the periods, neither said nor sung!

Still break the benches, Henley! with thy strain,

While Sherlock, Hare, and Gibson, preach in vain.

Oh great restorer of the good old stage,

Preacher at once, and zany of thy age,

Oh worthy thou, of Egypt's wise abodes,

A decent priest, where monkeys were the gods!

But fate with butchers plac'd thy priestly stall,

Meek modern faith to murder, hack, and mawl;

And bade thee live, to crown Britannia's praise,

In Toland's, Tindal's, and in Woolston's days.

Dunciad, b. iii., v. 190, &c.

Bromley, in his catalogue of engraved Portraits, mentions four of orator Henley: two of which are inscribed, one by Worlidge "The Orator of Newport Market;" another (without engraver's name) "A Rationalist." There is a floating story which I have heard of Henley. He gave out that he would shew a new and expeditious method of converting a pair of boots into shoes. A great concourse of people attended, expecting to see something very marvellous; when Henley mounted his "tub," and, holding up a boot, he took a knife, and cut away the leg part of the leather!

There are, I had almost said, innumerable contemporaneous bibliomaniacal characters to be described — or rather, lesser stars or satellites that move, in their now unperceived orbits, around the great planets of the book world — but, at this protracted hour of discussion, I will not pretend even to mention their names.

Lis. Yet, go on — unless the female part of the audience be weary — go on describing, by means of your great telescopic powers, every little white star that is sprinkled in this bibliomaniacal Via Lactea!385

385 With great submission to the "reminescential" talents of Lysander, he might have devoted one minute to the commendation of the very curious library of John Hutton, which was disposed of, by auction, in the same year (1764) in which Genl. Dormer's was sold. Hutton's library consisted almost entirely of English Literature: the rarest books in which are printed in the italic type. When the reader is informed that "Robinsons Life, Actes, and Death of Prince Arthur," and his "ancient order, societie, and unitie, laudable of the same," 1583, 4to. (see no. 2730; concerning which my worthy friend, Mr. Haslewood, has discoursed so accurately and copiously: British Bibliographer, vol. i., pp. 109; 125), when he is informed that this produced only 9s. 6d.— that "Hypnerotomachia," 1592, 4to. (no. 2755), was sold for only 2s.— the Myrrour of Knighthood, 1585, 4to. (no. 2759), only 5s.Palmerin of England, 3 pts. in 3 vols. 1602, 1639, 4to. (no. 2767), 14s.Painter's Palace of Pleasure, 2 vols. in 1, 1566-7, 4to. (no. 2770)— when, I say, the tender-hearted bibliomaniac thinks that all these rare and precious black letter gems were sold, collectively, for only 2l. 16s. 6d.! — what must be his reproaches upon the lack of spirit which was evinced at this sale! Especially must his heart melt within him, upon looking at the produce of some of these articles at the sale of George Steevens' books, only 36 years afterwards! No depreciation of money can account for this woful difference. I possess a wretchedly priced copy of the Bibl. Huttoniana, which I purchased, without title-page or a decent cover, at the sale of Mr. Gough's books, for 11s. Lysander ought also to have noticed in its chronological order, the extensive and truly valuable library of Robert Hoblyn; the catalogue of which was published in the year 1769, 8vo., in two parts: pp. 650. I know not who was the author of the arrangement of this collection; but I am pretty confident that the judicious observer will find it greatly superior to every thing of its kind, with hardly even the exception of the Bibliotheca Croftsiana. It is accurately and handsomely executed, and wants only an index to make it truly valuable. The collection, moreover, is a very sensible one. My copy is upon large paper; which is rather common.

Alman. Upon my word, Lisardo, there is no subject however barren, but what may be made fruitful by your metaphorical powers of imagination.

Lis. Madam, I entreat you not to be excursive. Lysander has taken a fresh sip of his nectar, and has given a hem or two — preparing to resume his narrative.

Lysand. We have just passed over the bar that separates the one half of the 18th century from the other: and among the ensuing eminent collectors, whose brave fronts strike us with respect, is General Dormer:386 a soldier who, I warrant you, had faced full many a cannon, and stormed many a rampart, with courage and success. But he could not resist the raging influence of the Book-Mania: nor could all his embrasures and entrenchments screen him from the attacks of this insanity. His collection was both select and valuable.

386 "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 French, Greek, Latin, Italian, and Spanish. 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 are the following:—— no. 599. Les Glorieuses Conquestes de Louis le Grand, par Pontault, en maroquin. Paris, 1678. ("N.B. In this copy many very fine and rare portraits are added, engraved by the most eminent masters.")—— no. 604. Recueil des Maisons Royales, fort bien gravés par Sylvestre, &c. (N.B. In the book was the following note. "Ce recueil des Maisons Royales n'est pas seulement complet, en toutes manières, mais on y a ajouté plusieurs plans, que l'on ne trouvent que très rarement.")—— no. 731. Fabian's Chronicle, 1559. —— 752, Hall's ditto. 1548. —— 751. Higden's Polychronicon. 1527. (I suspect that Dr. Askew purchased the large paper Hutchinson's Xenophon, and Hudson's Thucydides. nos. 2246, 2585.)—— no. 2249. Don Quixote, por Cervantes. Madr., 4to., 1605. In hoc libro hæc nota est. "Cecy est l'edition originale; il y a une autre du mesme année, imprimée en quarto à Madrid, mais imprimée apres cecy. J'ay veu l'autre, et je les ay comparez avec deux autres editions du mesme année, 1605; une imprimée à Lisbonne, en 4to., l'autre en Valentia, en 8vo."—— no. 2590. Thuanus by Buckley, on large paper, in 14 volumes, folio; a magnificent copy, illustrated with many beautiful and rare portraits of eminent characters, mentioned by De Thou. (N.B. This very copy was recently sold for 74l.)—— From no. 2680 to the end of the Catalogue (401 articles) there appears a choice collection of Italian and Spanish books.

We have before noticed the celebrated diplomatic character, Consul Smith, and have spoken with due respect of his library: let us here, therefore, pass by him,387 in order to take a full and complete view of a Non-Pareil Collector: the first who, after the days of Richard Smith, succeeded in reviving the love of black-letter lore and of Caxtonian typography — need I say James West?388

387 The reader has had a sufficiently particular account of the book-collections of Consul Smith, at p. 95, ante, to render any farther discussion superfluous. As these libraries were collected abroad, the catalogues of them were arranged in the place here referred to.

388 I am now to notice, in less romantic manner than Lysander, a collection of books, in English Literature, which, for rarity and value, in a proportionate number, have never been equalled; I mean the library of James West, Esq., President of the Royal Society. The sale commenced on March 29, 1773, and continued for the twenty-three following days. The catalogue was digested by Samuel Paterson, a man whose ability in such undertakings has been generally allowed. The title was as follows: "Bibliotheca Westiana; A Catalogue of the curious and truly valuable library of the late James West, Esq., President of the Royal Society, deceased; comprehending a choice collection of books in various languages, and upon most branches of polite literature: more especially such as relate to the history and antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland; their early navigators, discoverers, and improvers, and the ancient English literature: of which there are a great number of uncommon books and tracts, elucidated by MS. notes and original letters, and embellished with scarce portraits and devices, rarely to be found: including the works of Caxton, Lettou, Machlinia, the anonymous St. Albans school-master, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, and the rest of the old English typographers. Digested by Samuel Paterson, and sold by Messrs. Langfords." The title-page is succeeded by the


"The following catalogue exhibits a very curious and uncommon collection of printed books and tracts. Of British History and Antiquities, and of Rare Old English Literature, the most copious of any which has appeared for several years past; formed with great taste, and a thorough knowledge of authors and characters, by that judicious critic and able antiquary the late James West, Esq., President of the Royal Society. Several anonymous writers are herein brought to light — many works enlarged and further explained by their respective authors and editors — and a far greater number illustrated with the MS. notes and observations of some of our most respectable antiquaries: among whom will be found the revered names of Camden, Selden, Spelman, Somner, Dugdale, Gibson, Tanner, Nicolson, Gale, Le Neve, Hearne, Anstis, Lewis, St. Amand, Ames, Browne, Willis, Stukely, Mr. West, &c. But, above all, the intense application and unwearied diligence of the admirable Bishop White Kennett, upon the ecclesiastical, monastical, constitutional, and topographical history of Great Britain, so apparent throughout this collection, furnish matter even to astonishment; and are alone sufficient to establish the reputation, and to perpetuate the memory, of this illustrious prelate, without any other monuments of his greatness." "In an age of general inquiry, like the present, when studies less interesting give place to the most laudable curiosity and thirst after investigating every particular relative to the history and literature of our own country, nothing less than an elaborate digest of this valuable library could be expected; and, as a supplement to the history of English literature, more desired." "That task the Editor has cheerfully undertaken: and, he flatters himself, executed as well as the short time allowed would permit. He further hopes, to the satisfaction of such who are capable of judging of its utility and importance." "The lovers of engraved English portraits (a species of modern connoisseurship which appears to have been first started by the late noble Earl of Oxford, afterwards taken up by Mr. West, Mr. Nicolls, editor of Cromwell's State-Papers, Mr. Ames, &c., and since perfected by the Muse of Strawberry-Hill, the Rev. Wm. Granger, and some few more ingenious collectors) may here look to find a considerable number of singular and scarce heads, and will not be disappointed in their search." Thus much Paterson; who, it must be confessed, has promised more than he has performed: for the catalogue, notwithstanding it was the second which was published (the first being by a different hand, and most barbarously compiled) might have exhibited better method and taste in its execution. Never were rare and magnificent books more huddled together and smothered, as it were, than in this catalogue. Let us now proceed to an analysis of Mr. West's Collection.

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. — Among them are some singularly choice and curious articles. The following is but an imperfect specimen.

NO.   £ s. d.
154. Atkyns on Printing, with the frontispiece, &c., &c., 4to.      
164. G. Whetstone's Honorable Profession of a Soldier, 1586, &c., 4to.      
179. Life and death of Wolsey, 1641, &c.      
183. Nashe's Lenten Stuffe, with the Praise of the Red Herring, 1599, &c. 4to. (the three articles together did not exceed) 0 12 0
188. A Mornynge Remembrance, had at the Moneth Mynde of the Noble Prynces Countesse of Rychmonde, &c. Wynkyn de Worde, &c. 4to. 2 2 0
194. Oh! read over Dr. John Bridges, for it is a worthie Worke, &c. bl. letter, &c. 4to. Strange and fearful Newes from Plasto, near Bow, in the house of one Paul Fox, a Silk Weaver, where is daily to be seene throwing of Stones, Bricbats, Oyster-shells, Bread, cutting his Work in Pieces, breaking his Windows, &c. No date, 4to. 0 12 6
1477. Leylande's Journey and Serche, given of hym as a Newe Yeares Gyfte to K. Henry 8th, enlarged by Bale, bl. letter, 1549, 8vo., (with three other curious articles.) 0 17 6
1480. A disclosing of the great Bull and certain Calves that he hath gotten, and especially the Monster Bull that roared at my Lord Byshop's gate. Bl. letter, pr. by Daye. No date. 4to.      

The preceding affords but a very inadequate idea of the "pithie, pleasant, and profitable" discourses mid tracts which abounded among the miscellaneous articles of Mr. West's library. Whatever be the defects of modern literature, it must be allowed that we are not quite so coarse in the title pages of our books.

2. Divinity.

This comprehended a vast mass of information, under the following general title. Scarce Tracts: Old and New Testaments (including almost all the first English editions of the New Testament, which are now of the rarest occurrence): Commentators: Ecclesiastical History: Polemics: Devotions, Catholic and Calvinistical: Enthusiasm: Monastical History: Lives of Saints: Fathers: Missionaries: Martyrs: Modern Divines and Persons of eminent piety: Free Thinkers: Old English Primers: Meditations: Some of the earliest Popish and Puritanical Controversy: Sermons by old English Divines, &c. In the whole 560 articles: probably about 1200 volumes. These general heads are sufficient to satisfy the bibliographer that, with such an indefatigable collector as was Mr. West, the greater part of the theological books must have been extremely rare and curious. From so many Caxtons, Wynkyn de Wordes, Pynsons, &c., it would be difficult to select a few which should give a specimen of the value of the rest. Suffice it to observe that such a cluster of Black Letter Gems, in this department of English literature, has never since been seen in any sale catalogue.

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 nearly 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, Romances, 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 to be concentrated in one library, the owner of them might safely demand 4000 guineas for such a treasure! I make no doubt but that his Majesty is the fortunate possessor of the greater number of articles under all the foregoing heads.

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

Two hundred and forty articles, or about 560 volumes.

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

Probably not more than 100 volumes. The word "Gigantology," first introduced by Mr. Paterson, I believe, into the English language, was used by the French more than two centuries ago. See no. 2198 in the catalogue.

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.

An equal number of curious and scarce articles may be found under these heads.

9. Antient Legends and Chronicles.

To the English antiquary, few departments of literature are more interesting than this. Mr. West seems to have paid particular attention to it, 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 8 articles of page 209 of the catalogue. Alas! when will such gems again glitter at one sale? The fortunate period for collectors is gone by: a knowledge of books almost every where prevails. At York, at Exeter, at Manchester, and at Bristol, as well as in London, this knowledge may be found sometimes on the dusty stall, as well as in the splendid shop. The worth of books begins to be considered by a different standard from that of the quantity of gold on the exterior! We are now for "drinking deep," as well as "tasting!" But I crave pardon for this digression, and lose sight of Mr. West's uniques.

10. Topography.

Even to a veteran like the late Mr. Gough, such a collection as may be found from p. 217 to 239 of the catalogue, would be considered a very 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," and the three volumes of "Magna Britannia!" Catalogues of Mr. West's library, with the sums for which the books were sold, are now found with difficulty, and bring a considerable price. The late Mr. G. Baker, who had a surprisingly curious collection of priced catalogues, was in possession of the original sale one of West's library. It is interleaved, and, of course, has the prices and names of the purchasers. Mr. Heber has also a priced copy, with the names, which was executed by my industrious and accurate predecessor, William Herbert, of typographico-antiquarian renown. The number of articles, on the whole, was 4653; and of the volumes as many articles were single, probably about 8000. Ample as some "pithy" reader may imagine the foregoing analysis to be, I cannot find it in my heart to suffer such a collection, as was the Bibliotheca Westiana, to be here dismissed in so summary a manner. Take, therefore, "pleasaunt" reader, the following account of the prices for which some of the aforesaid book-gems were sold. They are presented to thee as a matter of curiosity only; and not as a criterion of their present value. And as Master Caxton has of late become so popular amongst us, we will see, inter alios, what some of the books printed by so "simple a person" produced at this renowned sale.

NO.   £ s. d.
564. Salesbury (Wyllyam) his Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe, moste necessary to all such Welshemen as wil spedly learne the English tongue, &c. Printed by Waley, 1547, 4to. 0 17 0
566. Mulcaster (Rich.) of the right writing of our English Tung. Imp. by Vautrollier, 1582, 4to. 0 2 6
575. Florio's Frutes to be gathered of 12 trees of divers but delyghtfule tastes to the Tongues of Italians and Englishmen, also his Garden of Recreation, &c., 1591, 4to. 0 6 6
580. Eliot's Indian Grammar, no title. 0 4 0

Thus much for Grammatical Tracts.

808. The fyve Bokes of Moses, wythe the Prologes of Wyllyam Tyndale, b.b. 1534, printed in different characters at different periods, 8vo. 4 4 0
813. The Actes of the Apostles translated into Englyshe metre, by Chrystofer Tye, Doctor in musyke, with notes to synge, and also to play upon the lute. Printed by Seres, 1553, 12mo. 0 11 6
819. The Newe Testament, with the Prologes of Wyllyam Tyndale, cuts, printed at Andwarp, &c., 1534, 12mo. 0 18 0
820. The same, with the same cuts, emprynted at Antwerpe, by M. Crom, 1538, a fine copy, in morocco binding (title wanting). 2 4 0
1341. The Gospels of the fower Evangelists, translated in the olde Saxons Tyme, &c. Sax. and Eng. Imprinted by Daye, 1571, 4to. 1 12 0
1383. The Discipline of the Kirk of Scotlande, subscribet by the Handes off Superintendentes, one parte off Ministers, and scribet in oure generalle Assemblies ad Edenbourg, 28 Decemb., 1566. No title. 4to. 1 3 0
1714. The most sacred Bible, recognised with great diligence by Richard Taverner, &c., printed by Byddell for Barthelet, 1539, in russia. 3 5 0
1716. The Byble in Englyshe of the largest and greatest volume, &c. Printed by Grafton, 1541, Folio. 1 3 0
1870. Speculum Vite Christi, the Booke that is cleped the Myrroure of the blessed Lyf of Jhesu Cryste, emprynted by Caxton, fol., no date, fine copy in morocco. 9 9 0
1871. The prouffytable Boke for Mannes Soule, &c., emprynted by Caxton, fol., no date, a fine copy in morocco. 5 0 0
1873. Cordyale, or of the fowre last Thynges, &c., emprynted by Caxton, 1480, fol., fine copy in morocco. 14 0 0
1874. The Pylgremage of the Sowle, &c., 1483, folio, emprynted by Caxton. 8 17 6
1875. The Booke entytled and named Ryal, &c., translated and printed by Caxton, 1484, fine morocco copy. 10 0 0
1876. The Arte and Crafte to knowe well to dye; translated and prynted by Caxton, 1490, folio. 5 2 6

So take we leave of Divinity!

1047. Hall's Virgidemiarum, lib. vi. 1599, 1602, 12mo. "Mr. Pope's copy, who presented it to Mr. West, telling him that he esteemed them the best poetry and truest satire in the English language." (N.B. These satires were incorrectly published in 1753, 8vo.: a republication of them, with pertinent notes, would be very acceptable.) 0 18 0
1658. Churchyard's Works; 3 vols. in 1, very elegant, bl. letter. 3 13 6
1816. The Passe Tyme of Pleasure, &c., printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1517, 4to., fine copy. 3 3 0
1821. Merie conceited Jests of George Peele, Gent. 1607, 4to.
Robin the Devil, his two penni-worth of Wit in half a penni-worth of paper, &c., 1607, 4to.
0 18 6
1846. The Hye Waye to the Spyttell Hous; printed by the compyler Rob. Copland, no date. 0 6 6
1847. Another copy of the Spyttell House; "A thousande fyve hundredth fortye and foure," no printer's name, mark, or date, 4to.
Here begynneth a lytell propre Jest, called Cryste Crosse me spede, a b c.
1 11 6
2274. Chaucer's Work; first edition, emprentyd by Caxton, folio, in russia. 47 15 6
2280. —— Troylus and Creseyde, printed b Caxton, folio. 10 10 0
2281. —— Booke of Fame, printed by Caxton, folio. 4 5 0
2297. Gower de Confessione Amantis; printed by Caxton, 1483, folio, in morocco. 9 9 0
2282. The Bokys of Haukyng and Hunting; printed at Seynt Albons, 1486, folio: fine copy in morocco. 13 0 0

And here farewell Poetry!

1678. The Booke of the moste victoryouse Prynce, Guy of Warwick. Impr. by W. Copland, 4to. 1 1 0
1683. The Historye of Graunde Amoure and la bell Pucel, &c. Impr. by John Wayland, 1554, 4to. 1 2 0
1685. The Historye of Olyver of Castylle, &c. Impr. by Wynkyn de Worde, 1518, 4to. 1 12 0
1656. The Booke of the Ordre of Chyvalry or Knyghthode. Translated and printed by William Caxton; no date, a fine copy in russia, 4to. 5 5 0
  (Shall I put one, or one hundred marks — not of admiration but of astonishment — at this price?! but go on kind reader!)      
2480. The Boke of Jason: emprynted by Caxton, folio. 4 4 0
2481. The Boke of Fayttes of Armes and of Chyvalrye, emprynted by Caxton, 1489, folio. 10 10 0
2582. Thystorye, &c., of the Knyght Parys, and of the fayre Vyenne, &c. 1485, fol., translated and printed by Caxton. 14 0 0


But why should I go on tantalising the S——s, H——s, S——s, R——s, and U——s, of the day, by further specimens of the enormous sums here given for such common editions of old Romances? Mr. George Nicol, his majesty's bookseller, told me, with his usual pleasantry and point, that he got abused in the public papers, by Almon and others, for his having purchased nearly the whole of the Caxtonian volumes in this collection for his Majesty's library. It was said abroad that "a Scotchman had lavished away the king's money in buying old black-letter books." A pretty specimen of lavishing away royal money, truly! There is also another thing, connected with these invaluable (I speak as a bibliomaniac — and, perhaps, as a metaphysician may think — as a fool! but let it pass!) with these invaluable purchases:— his Majesty, in his directions to Mr. Nicol, forbade any competition with those purchasers who wanted books of science and belles-lettres for their own professional or literary pursuits: thus using, I ween, the powers of his purse in a manner at once merciful and wise. —"O si sic"— may we say to many a heavy-metalled book-auction bibliomaniac of the present day! — Old Tom Payne, the father of the respectable Mr. Payne, of Pall-Mall, used to tell Mr. Nichol —pendente hastâ— that he had been "raising all the Caxtons!" "Many a copy," quoth he, "hath stuck in my shop at two guineas!" Mr. Nichols, in his amusing biography of Bowyer, has not devoted so large a portion of his pages to the description of Mr. West's collection, life, and character, as he has to many collectors who have been less eminently distinguished in the bibliographical world. Whether this was the result of the paucity, or incongruity, of his materials, or whether, from feelings of delicacy he might not choose to declare all he knew, are points into which I have neither right nor inclination to enquire. There seems every reason to conclude that, from youth, West had an elegant and well-directed taste in matters of literature and the fine arts. As early as the year 1720, he shewed the munificence of his disposition, in these respects, by befriending Hearne with a plate for his Antiquities of Glastonbury; see p. 285 — which was executed, says Hearne, "Sumptibus ornatissimi amicissimique Juvenis (multis sane nominibus de studiis nostris optime meriti) Jacobi West," &c. So in his pref. to Adam de Domerham de reb. gest. Glaston:—"antiquitatum ac historiarum nostrarum studiosus in primis — Jacobus West." p. xx. And in his Walter Hemingford, we have:—"fragmentum, ad civitatem Oxoniensem pertinens, admodum egregium, mihi dono dedit amicus eximius Jacobus West — is quem alibi juvenem ornatissimum appellavi," &c., p. 428. How the promise of an abundant harvest, in the mature years of so excellent a young man, was realized, the celebrity of West, throughout Europe, to his dying day, is a sufficient demonstration. I conclude with the following; which is literally from Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer. "James West, of Alscott, in the county of Warwick, Esq., M.A., of Baliol College, Oxford, (son of Richard West, said to be descended, according to family tradition, from Leonard, a younger son of Thomas West, Lord Delawar, who died in 1525) was representative in parliament for St. Alban's, in 1741; and being appointed one of the joint Secretaries of the Treasury, held that office till 1762. In 1765 or 1766, his old patron the Duke of Newcastle, obtained for him a pension of 2000l. a year. He was an early member, and one of the Vice Presidents, of the Antiquary Society; and was first Treasurer, and afterwards President, of the Royal Society. He married the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Stephens, timber merchant, in Southwark, with whom he had a large fortune in houses in Rotherhithe; and by whom he had a son, James West, Esq., now (1782) of Alscott, one of the Auditors of the Land-Tax, and sometime Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire (who in 1774 married the daughter of Christopher Wren, of Wroxhall in Warwickshire, Esq.), and had two daughters. Mr. West died in July, 1772. His large and valuable collection of Manuscripts was sold to the Earl of Shelburne, and is now deposited in the British Museum."

Loren. All hail to thee — transcendant bibliomaniac of other times! — of times, in which my father lived, and procured, at the sale of thy precious book-treasures, not a few of those rare volumes which have so much gladdened the eyes of Lisardo.

Belin. I presume you mean, dear brother, some of those black-looking gentlemen, bound in fancifully marked coats of morocco, and washed and ironed within (for you collectors must have recourse to a woman's occupation) with so much care and nicety that even the eyes of our ancient Rebecca, with "spectacle on nose" to boot, could hardly detect the cunning' conceit of your binder!

Loren. Spare my feelings and your own reputation, if you wish to appreciate justly the noble craft of book-repairing, &c. — But proceed, dear Lysander.

Lysand. You cannot have a greater affection towards the memory of the collector of the Bibliotheca Westiana than myself. Hark —! or is it only a soft murmur from a congregation of autumnal zephyrs! — but methought I heard a sound, as if calling upon us to look well to the future fate of our libraries — to look well to their being creditably catalogued—"For" (and indeed it is the voice of West's spirit that speaks) "my collection was barbarously murdered; and hence I am doomed to wander for a century, to give warning to the —— —— and —— of the day, to execute this useful task with their own hands! Yes; even the name of Paterson has not saved my collection from censure; but his hands were then young and inexperienced — yet I suffer from this innocent error!" Away, away, vexed spirit — and let thy head rest in peace beneath the sod!

Alman. For heaven's sake, into what society are we introduced, sister? All mad — book mad! but I hope harmless.

Lysand. Allay your apprehensions; for, though we may have the energies of the lion, we have the gentleness of the "unweaned lamb." But, in describing so many and such discordant characters, how can I proceed in the jog-trot way of —"next comes such a one — and then follows another — and afterwards proceeds a third, and now a fourth!?"

Alman. Sir, you are right, and I solicit your forgiveness. If I have not sufficient bookish enthusiasm to fall down and worship your Caxtonian Deity, James West, I am at least fully disposed to concede him every excellent and amiable quality which sheds lustre upon a literary character.

Lysand. All offence is expiated: for look, the spirit walks off calmly — and seems to acknowledge, with satisfaction, such proper sentiments in the breast of one whose father and brother have been benefited by his book treasures.

The rapturous, and, I fear you will think, the wild and incoherent, manner in which I have noticed the sale of the Bibliotheca Westiana had nearly driven from my recollection that, in the preceding, the same, and subsequent, year, there was sold by auction a very curious and extraordinary collection of books and Prints belonging to honest Tom Martin,389 of Palgrave, in Suffolk: a collector of whom, if I remember rightly, Herbert has, upon several occasions, spoken with a sort of veneration. If Lavater's system of physiognomy happen to receive your approbation, you will conclude, upon contemplating Tom's frank countenance — of which a cut precedes the title-page of the first catalogue — that the collector of Palgrave must have been "a fine old fellow." Martin's book-pursuits were miscellaneous, and perhaps a little too wildly followed up; yet some good fortune contributed to furnish his collection with volumes of singular curiosity.

389 "Hereafter followeth" rather a rough outline of the contents of honest Tom Martin's miscellaneous and curious collection. To the ivth part I have added a few prices, and but a few. I respect too much the quiet and comfort of the present race of bibliomaniacs, to inflame their minds by a longer extract of such tantalizing sums given for some of the most extraordinary volumes in English Literature. ——i. A Catalogue of the Library of Mr. Thomas Martin, of Palgrave, in Suffolk, lately deceased. Lynn, Printed by W. Whittingham, 1772, 8vo. With a portrait engraved by Lamborn, from a painting of Bardwell. 5240 articles; with 15 pages of Appendix, containing MSS. —— no. 86. Juliana Barnes on Hawking, &c., black-letter, wants a leaf, folio. 56. Chauncey's History of Hertfordshire, with marginal notes, by P. Le Neve, Esq., 1700, folio. 757. Scriptores Rerum Brunsvicensium, 3 vols. folio, 1707. ("N.B. Only 3 sets in England at the accession of Geo. III.")——ii. A Catalogue of the very curious and numerous collection of Manuscripts of Thomas Martin, Esq., of Suffolk, lately deceased. Consisting of Pedigrees, Genealogies, Heraldic Papers, Old Deeds, Charters, Sign Manuals, Autographs, &c., likewise some very rare old printed books. Sold by auction by Baker and Leigh, April 28, 1773, 8vo. The MSS. (of many of which Edmonson was a purchaser) consisted of 181 articles, ending with "The 15 O's, in old English verse — St. Bridget." Among the 19 volumes only of "Scarce Printed Books" were the following:— no. 188. Edwards' Paradyse of daynty Devices, 1577. 196. The Holy Life of Saynt Werburge, printed by Pynson, 1521. The Lyfe of Saynte Radegunde, by Pynson. Lyfe of Saynt Katherine, printed by Waley, 4to. ——iii. A Catalogue of the remaining Part of the valuable Collection of the late well known Antiquary, Mr. Martin, of Palgrave, Suffolk: consisting of many very valuable and ancient Manuscripts on vellum, early printed black-letter Books, and several other scarce Books; his Law Library, Deeds, Grants, and Pedigrees; a valuable collection of Drawings and Prints, by the best masters — and his Collection of Greek, Roman, Saxon, and English Coins — with some curiosities. Sold by auction by Baker and Leigh, 18th May, 1774. 8vo. This collection consisted of 537 articles, exclusively of the coins, &c., which were 75 in number. Among the printed books were several very curious ones; such as —— no. 88. The Death and Martyrdom of Campione the Jesuite, 1581, 8vo. 124. Heywood's "If you know not me, you know nobody," 1623, 4to. "This has a wood-cut of the whole length of Q. Elizabeth, and is very scarce." 183. Fabyan's Chronicle. This I take it was the first edition. 186. Promptuarium Parvulorum. Pynson, folio, 1499. See Hearne's Peter Langtoft, vol. ii., 624-5. 228. Dives et Pauper; yis Tretyys ben dyvydit into elevene partys, and ev'ry part is dyvidit into chapitalis. "The above extremely curious and valuable Manuscript on vellum is wrote on 539 pages. Vide Leland, vol. ii., 452: Bale, 609. Pits, 660. MS., 4to." 236. Original Proclamations of Q. Elizabeth, folio. "A most rare collection, and of very great value: the Earl of Oxford once offered Mr. Martin one hundred guineas for them, which he refused." Qu. what they sold for? 237. The Pastyme of the People; the Cronycles of dyvers Realmys, and most specyally of the Realme of Englond, &c., by John Rastell. An elegant copy, in the original binding, large folio, black-letter, London, 1529. "Supposed to be only two or three copies existing;" but see page 337, ante. The folio Manuscripts, extending to no. 345, are very curious; especially the first 60 numbers. ——iv. Bibliotheca Martiniana. A Catalogue of the entire Library of the late eminent Antiquary Mr. Thomas Martin, of Suffolk. Containing some thousand volumes in every Language, Art, and Science, a large collection of the scarcest early Printers, and some hundreds of Manuscripts, &c., which will begin to be sold very cheap, on Saturday, June 5 (1773). By Martin Booth and John Berry, Booksellers, at their Warehouse in the Angel Yard, Market Place, Norwich, and continue on sale only two months: 8vo. This Catalogue is full of curious, rare, and interesting books; containing 4895 articles; all priced. Take, as a sample, the following:

NO.   s. d.
4071. Wynkyn de Worde's reprint of Juliana Berners' book of Hawking, &c., 1496, folio, 1l. 11s. 6d.: no. 4292. Copland's ditto of ditto, fair 7 6
4099. A collection of Old Romances in the Dutch Language, with wood-cuts, very fair, 1544 to 1556, folio 10 6
4169. Horace's Art of poetry, by Drant, 1567, 4to. 3 6
4234. A certayne Tragedye, &c., entitled, Freewil, wants title, very fair and scarce, 4to. 5 0
4254. Historie of Prince Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, 1634, 4to. 7 6
4336. The Life off the 70 Archbishopp off Canterbury presentlye sittinge, &c. Imprinted in 1574, 8vo., neat 10 6
  A severe satire against Parker, Abp. of Canterbury, for which 'tis said the author was punished with the loss of his arm.    
4345. Amorous Tales, by James Sanforde, very rare, printed by Bynneman, 1567, 12mo. (or small 8vo. perhaps) 5 0
4432. Hereafter followeth a little boke whyche hath to name Whye come ye not to court: by Mayster Skelton; printed by Anthony Kytson, no date. A little boke of Philip Sparrow, compiled by Mayster Skelton; printed by Ant. Veale, no date, very fair, both 8vo. 7 6
  "This is a most extraordinarily scarce edition of Skelton's Pieces, and has besides these, some other fragments of his by various early printers."    

But I proceed. The commotions excited in the book world, by means of the sales of the Bibliotheca Westiana and Martiniana, had hardly ceased, when a similar agitation took place from the dispersion of the Monastic Library which once belonged to Serjeant Fletewode;390 a bibliomaniac who flourished in full vigour during the reign of Elizabeth. The catalogue of these truly curious books is but a sorry performance; but let the lover of rare articles put on his bathing corks, and swim quietly across this ocean of black-letter, and he will be abundantly repaid for the toil of such an aquatic excursion.

390 The year following the sale of Mr. West's books, a very curious and valuable collection, chiefly of English literature, was disposed of by auction, by Paterson, who published the catalogue under the following title: "Bibliotheca Monastico-Fletewodiana." "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 history, 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. Sold by auction by S. Paterson, December," 1774, 8vo., 3641 lots, or articles. I am in possession of a priced catalogue of this collection, with the names of the purchasers. The latter 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:

NO.   £ s. d.
172. Bale's brefe Chronycle relating to Syr Johan Oldecastell, 1544. The Life off the 70th Archbishop off Canterbury, presentlye 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, 8vo., &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. mirabile dictu! 0 0 6
The reader will just glance at no. 970, in the catalogue, en passant, to
1082. (1l. 2s.) and 1091 (12s.) but more particularly to      
1173. The Boke of Tulle of Olde Age, &c. Emprynted by Caxton, 1481, folio 8 0 0
1174. The Boke which is sayd or called Cathon, &c. printed by the same, 1483, folio. Purchased by Alchorne 5 0 0
1256. The Doctrinal of Sapyence, printed by the same, 1489, folio. Purchased by Alchorne 6 6 0
1257. The Booke named the Cordyal, printed by the same, 1479, folio 6 12 6

But there is no end to these curious volumes. 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 probably about 7000 volumes. The catalogue, in a clean condition, is somewhat uncommon.

You will imagine that the Book-Disease now began to be more active and fatal than ever; for the ensuing year (namely, in 1775) died the famous Anthony Askew, M.D. Those who recollect the zeal and scholarship of this illustrious bibliomaniac,391 and the precious volumes with which his library was stored, from the choice collections of De Boze, Gaignat, Mead, and Folkes, cannot but sigh, with grief of heart, on reflecting upon such a victim! How ardently, and how kindly (as I remember to have heard one of his intimate friend say) would Askew unlock the stores of his glittering book-treasures! — open the magnificent folio, or the shining duodecimo, printed upon vellum, and embossed with golden knobs, or held fast with silver clasps! How carefully would he unrol the curious manuscript, decipher the half effaced characters — and then, casting an eye of ecstacy over the shelves upon which similar treasures were lodged, exult in the glorious prospect before him! But death — who, as Horace tells us, equally exercises the knocker of the palace and cottage-door, made no scruple to rap at that of our renowned Doctor — when Askew, with all his skill in medicine and knowledge of books, yielded to the summons of the grim tyrant — and died lamented, as he lived beloved!

391 Lysander is now arrived, pursuing his chronological order, 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, which are yet rather common. My own copy is of this kind, with the prices, and names of the purchasers. 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 the 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 was ever sold in England, and the great time and trouble of forming it will, it is hoped, be a sufficient excuse for the price put to it." (1s. 6d. the small paper, and 4s. the large.) This account is not overcharged. The collection in regard to Greek and Roman literature was unique in its day. Enriched with many a tome from the Harleian, Dr. Mead's, Martin Folkes's, and Dr. Rawlinson's library, as well as with numerous rare and splendid articles from foreign collections (for few men travelled with greater ardour, or had an acuter discrimination than Dr. Askew), the books were sought after by almost every one then eminent for bibliographical research. His Majesty was a purchaser, says Mr. J. Nichols, to the amount of about 300l.; Dr. Hunter, to the amount of 500l.; and De Bure (who had commissions from the King of France and many foreign collectors, to the amount of 1500l.) made purchases to the same amount; Dr. Maty was solicited by the trustees of the British Museum not to be unmindful of that repository; and accordingly he became a purchaser to a considerable amount. 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 an "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 era in bibliography. Since that period, rare and curious books in Greek and Latin literature have been greedily sought after, and obtained (as a recent sale abundantly testifies) at most extravagant prices. It is very well for a veteran in bibliographical literature, as was Mr. Cracherode, or as are Mr. Wodhull, and Dr. Gosset — whose collections were, in part, formed in the days of De Bure, 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? Classical 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. Princeps circ. 1483 6 6 0
684. Boccacio, il Teseide, Ferar., 1475. Prima Edizione 85 0 0
  [This copy, which is called, "probably unique," was once, I suspect, in Consul Smith's library. See Bibl. Smith, p. lxiii. The reader will find some account of it in Warton's History of Engl. Poetry, vol. i., 347. It was printed, as well as the subsequent editions of 1488, and 1528, "with some deviations from the original, and even misrepresentations of the story." His majesty was the purchaser of this precious and uncommon book.]      
708. Cornelius Nepos, 1471. Edit. Prin. 11 11 0
713. Alexander de Ales, super tertium Sententiar. 1474, on vellum 15 15 0
817. Anthologia Græca. Edit. Prin. 1494, on vellum 28 7 0
In Dr. Hunter's Museum.
856. Ammianus Marcellinus, 1474. Edit. Prin. 23 0 0
1332. Ciceronis Opera omnia, Oliveti, 9 vols. quarto, 1740, Charta Maxima 36 15 0
1389. Ejusdem Officia, 1465. Edit. Prin. 30 0 0
1433. Catullus, Tibullus, et Propertius; Aldi, 8vo., 1502. In Membranis 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 Membranis 61 0 0
  The beginning of the 1st chapter was wanting. Lord Spencer has a perfect copy of this rare book, printed upon spotless vellum.      
2656. Platonis Opera, apud Aldum; 2 vols., fol., 1513. Edit. Prin. on vellum. 55 13 0
  Purchased by the late Dr. William Hunter; and is, at this moment, with the Doctor's books and curiosities, at Glasgow. The reader 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 masterpiece of printing. If I could forget the magnificent copy which I have seen (but not upon vellum) of the "Etymologicum magnum," in the Luton Library, I should call this the chef-d'œuvre of the Aldine Press.      
2812. Plinii Hist. Natural; apud Spiram, fol., 1469. Edit. Princeps. 43 0 0
  This copy has been recently sold for a sum considerably less than it brought. It bears no kind of comparison with the copy in Lord Spencer's, Dr. Hunter's, and the Cracherode, collections. These latter are giants to it!      
2813. Id. cum notis Harduini; 1723, 3 vols., on vellum 42 0 0
3345. Tewrdranckhs; Poema Germanica, Norimb. fol., 1517, on vellum. 21 0 0
  This is a book of uncommon rarity. It is a poetical composition on the life and actions of the Emperor Maximilian I., and was frequently reprinted; but not with the same care as were the earlier editions of 1517 and 1519 — the latter, at Augsburg, by John Schouspergus. Kœllerus, who purchased a copy of this work on vellum, for 200 crowns, has given a particularly tempting description of it. See Schelhorn's "Amœnitates Literariæ," tom. ii., 430-iii., 144. Dr. Hunter purchased Dr. Askew's copy, which I have seen in the Museum of the former: the wood-cuts, 118 in number, justify every thing said in commendation of them by Papillon and Heinecken. Probably Dr. Askew purchased the above copy of Osborne; for I find one in the Bibl. Harleian, vol. iii., no. 3240. See, too, Bibl. Mead, p. 239, no. 43; where a vellum copy, of the edition of 1527, was sold for 9l. 9s. My friend, Mr. Douce, has also beautiful copies of the editions of 1517 and 1519, upon paper of the finest lustre. It has been a moot point with bibliographers whether the extraordinary type of this book be wood, and cut in solid blocks, or moveable types of metal. No one is better able to set this point "at rest," as lawyers call it, than the gentleman whose name is here last mentioned.      
3337. Terentianus Maurus de Literis, Syllabis, et Metris Horatii. Mediol. fol., 1497 12 12 0
  "This is judged to be the only copy of this edition in England, if not in the whole world. Dr. Askew could find no copy in his travels over Europe, though he made earnest and particular search in every library which he had an opportunity of consulting." Note in the catalogue. It was purchased by Dr. Hunter, and is now in his Museum. Originally it belonged to Dr. Taylor, the editor of Lysias and Demosthenes, who originally procured it from the Harleian Library, for four guineas only. We are told that, during his life, one hundred guineas would not have obtained it!      

Rare and magnificent as the preceding articles may be considered, I can confidently assure the reader that they form a very small part of the extraordinary books in Dr. Askew's library. Many a ten and twenty pounder has been omitted — many a prince of an edition passed by unregarded! The articles were 3570 in number; probably comprehending about 7000 volumes. They were sold for 4000l. It remains only to add that Dr. Askew was a native of Kendal, in Westmorland; that he practised as a physician there with considerable success, and, on his establishment in London, was visited by all who were distinguished for learning, and curious in the fine arts. Dr. Mead supported him with a sort of paternal zeal; nor did he find in his protegé an ungrateful son. (See the Director, vol. i., p. 309.) Few minds were probably more congenial than were those of Mead and Askew: the former had, if I may so speak, a magnificence of sentiment which infused into the mind of the latter just notions of a character aiming at solid intellectual fame; without the petty arts and dirty tricks which we now see too frequently pursued to obtain it. Dr. Askew, with less pecuniary means of gratifying it, evinced an equal ardour in the pursuit of books, MSS., and inscriptions. I have heard from a very worthy old gentleman, who used to revel 'midst the luxury of Askew's table, that few men exhibited their books and pictures, or, as it is called, shewed the Lions, better than did the Doctor. Of his attainments in Greek and Roman literature it becomes not me to speak, when such a scholar as Dr. Parr has been most eloquent in their praise. I should observe that the MSS. of Dr. Askew were separately sold in 1781, and produced a very considerable sum. The Appendix to Scapula, published in an 8vo. volume, in 1789, was compiied from one of these MSS.

After an event so striking and so melancholy, one would think that future Virtuosi would have barricadoed their doors, and fumigated their chambers, in order to escape the ravages of the Book-Pest:— but how few are they who profit by experience, even when dearly obtained! The subsequent History of the Bibliomania is a striking proof of the truth of this remark: for the disease rather increased, and the work of death yet went on. In the following year (1776) died John Ratcliffe;392 a bibliomaniac of a very peculiar character. 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 periwig, he might, perhaps, have enjoyed greater longevity; but, infatuated by the Caxtons and Wynkyn de Wordes of the West and Fletewode collections, he fell into the snare; and the more he struggled to disentangle himself, the more certainly did he become a victim to the disease.

392 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. Alban's 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-letter 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; although the year is unaccountably omitted by that renowned auctioneer, the late Mr. Christie, who disposed of them. 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 Durant, 1567. First English. Edition 0 16 0
1321. The Shepard's Calendar, 1579. Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576 1 2 0
1392. The Pastyme of People, printed by Rastell. Curious wood-cuts 4 7 0
1393. The Chronicles of Englande, printed by Caxton, fine copy, 1480 5 5 0
1394. Ditto, printed at St. Albans, 1483. Purchased by Dr. Hunter, and now in his Museum (which copy I have seen) 7 7 0
1403. Barclay's Shyp of Folys, printed by Pynson, 1508, first edit., a 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 Englyshe, printed by Caxton, 1481 14 0 0
1429. The Game of Chesse Playe. No date. Printed by Caxton 16 0 0
1665. The Boke of Jason, printed by Caxton 5 10 0
1669. The Polychronicon of Ranulph Higden, translated by Trevisa, 1482. Printed by the same, and purchased by Dr. Hunter 5 15 6
1670. Legenda Aurea, or the Golden Legende. Printed by the same, 1483 9 15 0
1674. Mr. Ratcliffe's MS. Catalogue 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!]      

I beg pardon of the manes of "John Ratcliffe, Esq.," for the very inadequate manner in which I have brought forward his collection to public notice. The memory of such a man ought to be dear to the "black-letter-dogs" of the present day: for he had (mirabile dictu!) upwards of Thirty Caxtons! I take the present opportunity of presenting the reader with the following engraving of the Ratcliffe Library, Oxon.

Ratcliffe Library 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, meadows, and streams, presented to the eye of the beholder a scene at once luxuriant and fruitful: Mr. Ratcliffe's, like one of those confined 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 judgment displayed in both might be the same. The sweeping foliage and rich pasture of the former could not, perhaps, afford greater gratification than 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 cabinet of curiosities. Of some particulars of Mr. Ratcliffe's life, I had hoped to have found gleanings in Mr. Nichols's Anecdotes of Bowyer; but his name does not even appear in the index; being probably reserved for the second forth-coming enlarged edition. Meanwhile, it may not be uninteresting to remark that, like Magliabechi, (vide p. 86, ante) he imbibed his love of reading and collecting from the accidental possession of scraps and leaves of books. The fact is, Mr. Ratcliffe once kept a chandler's shop in the Borough; and, as is the case with all retail traders, had great quantities of old books brought to him to be purchased at so much per lb.! Hence arose his passion for collecting the black-letter, as well as Stilton cheeses: and hence, by unwearied assiduity, and attention to business, he amassed a sufficiency to retire, and live, for the remainder of his days, upon the luxury of Old English Literature!

It is with pain that I trace the ravages of the Book-Mania to a later period. Many a heart yet aches, and many a tear is yet shed, on a remembrance of the mortality of this frightful disease. After the purchasers of Ratcliffe's treasures had fully perused, and deposited in fit places within their libraries, some of the scarcest volumes in the collection, they were called upon to witness a yet more splendid victim to the Bibliomania: I mean, the Honourable Topham Beauclerk.393 One, who had frequently gladdened Johnson in his gloomy moments; and who is allowed, by that splenetic sage and great teacher of morality, to have united the elegant manners of a gentleman with the mental accomplishments of a scholar. Beauclerk's Catalogue is a fair specimen of the analytico-bibliographical powers of Paterson: yet it must be confessed that this renowned champion of catalogue-makers shines with greater, and nearly perfect, splendour, in the collection of the Rev. Thomas Crofts394— a collection which, taking it "for all in all," I know not whether it be exceeded by any which this country has recorded in the shape of a private catalogue. The owner was a modest, careful, and acutely sagacious bibliomaniac: learned, retired, yet communicative: and if ever you lay hold of a large paper copy of a catalogue of his books, which, as well as the small, carries the printed prices at the end, seize it in triumph, Lisardo, for it is a noble volume, and by no means a worthless prize.

393 There are few libraries better worth the attention of a scholarlike collector than was the one of the distinguished character above noticed by Lysander. The Catalogue of Beauclerk's books has the following title: "Bibliotheca Beauclerkiana; A Catalogue of the large and valuable Library of the late Honourable Topham Beauclerk, F.R.S., deceased; comprehending an excellent choice of books, to the number of upwards of 30,000 volumes, &c. Sold by auction, by Mr. Paterson, in April, 1781," 8vo. The catalogue has two parts: part i. containing 230; part ii. 137, pp. The most magnificent and costly volume was the largest paper copy of Dr. Clarke's edition of Cæsar's Commentaries, 1712, fol., which was sold for 44l.; and of which the binding, according to Dr. Harwood's testimony, cost 5l. 5s. There is nothing, in modern times, very marvellous in this price of binding. Of the two parts of the Beauclerk collection, the second is the most valuable to the collector of English Antiquities and History, and the first to the general scholar. But let not the bibliomaniac run too swiftly over the first, for at nos. 3450, 3453, he will find two books which rank among the rarest of those in old English poetry. At the close of the second part, there are a few curious manuscripts; three of which are deserving of a description here.

    £ s. d.
3275. Thomas of Arundel, his Legend in old English verse; vii parts, with the Entre, or Prologue: written A.D. M.C.VII. upon vellum, the Capitals illuminated, fol. Here follows a specimen of the verse 1 18 0

ye fyrst pt of ys yt es

of mon and of his urechednes.

ye secounde pte folowyng es

of ye worldes unstabillnes.

ye yyrdde pt yt is of deth

& of peyn yt wt hy geth.

the ferthe parte is of purgatorye

yere soules ben clensed of her folye.

ye fyfte pt of ys dey of doom

& of tokens yt byfore shul coom.

ye syxte pt of ys boke to telle

yt speketh of ye peynes of helle.

ye seventhe part of joys in heven

yat bene more yenne tong may neuen.

3276. The Life and Acts of St. Edmond, King and Martyr, by John Lydgate, Monk of Bury, fol.: a choice MS. upon vellum, illuminated throughout, and embellished with 52 Historical Miniatures. For a specimen of the verse, take the first stanza: 22 1 0

The noble stoory to putte in remembraunce

Of Seynt Edmond mayd martre and kyng

With his suppoor: my style i wyl avaunce

ffirst to compyle afftre my konnyng

his gloryous lyff his birthe and his gynnying

And by discent how he was soo good

Was in Saxonye borne of the royal blood.

3288. The Armes, Honours, Matches, and Issues of the auncient and illustrious Family of Veer: described in the honourable progeny of the Earles of Oxenford and other branches thereof. Together with a genealogical deduction of this noble family from the blood of 12 forreyne princes: viz. 3 Emperours, 3 Kings, 3 Dukes, and 3 Earles, &c. Gathered out of History, Recordes, and other Monuments of Antiquity, by Percivall Goulding, Gent. The Arms illuminated, folio. 9 0 0

I will just add that this catalogue is creditably printed in a good size octavo volume, and that there are copies upon large paper. The arrangement of the books is very creditable to the bibliographical reputation of Paterson.

394 When the reader is informed that Paterson tells us, in the preface of this volume, that "In almost every language and science, and even under the shortest heads, some one or more rare articles occur; but in the copious classes, such as follow, literary curiosity is gratified, is highly feasted"— and that the author of this remark used, in his latter days, to hit his knee hard with his open hand, and exclaim —"By G—— Crofts' Catalogue is my chef d'œuvre, out and out"— when he reflects, I say, for a minute upon these two bibliographical stimuli, he will hasten (if he have it not already) to seize upon that volume of which the following is but an imperfect specimen of the treasures contained in it: "Bibliotheca Croftsiana: A Catalogue of the curious and distinguished Library of the late Reverend and Learned Thomas Crofts, A.M., &c. Sold by auction, by Mr. Paterson, in April, 1783," 8vo. This collection, containing 8360 articles, although not quite so generally useful as the preceding, is admirably well arranged; and evinces, from the rarity of some of the volumes in the more curious departments of literature, the sound bibliographical knowledge and correct taste of Mr. Crofts: who was, in truth, both a scholar and bibliomaniac of no ordinary reputation. I hasten to treat the reader with the following Excerpta Croftsiana: being a selection of articles from this catalogue, quite according with the present prevailing fashion of Book-Collecting:

NO.   £ s. d.
2741. Raccolta de Poeti Provenzali MS. antiq. Supermembr., 8vo., cor. turc. avec une table des noms des troubadours contenu dans ce MS. 5 7 6
4920. Les cent nouvelles nouvelles, Lettres Gothiques, fig. fol., velin Paris, imprimées par Nic. Desprez. m.d.v. 2 15 0
4921. Le Chevalier de la Tour. Et le guidon des guerres; lettres Gothiques, fig. fol. maroq. rouge, imprimé à Paris, pour Guil. Eustace. m.d.xiv. 2 17 0
4922. Le premier, second, et tiers volume de Lancelot du Lac; nouvellement imprimé à Paris. L'an mil cinq cens et xx, pour Michel le Noir; Lettres Gothiques, fig. fol. maroq. rouge 10 15 0
4923. Le premier et le second volume du Sainct Greaal, contenant la conqueste dudict Sainct Greaal, faicte par Lancelot du Lac, Galaad Perceval et Boors; Lettres Gothiques, fig. fol. maroq. rouge, Paris, imprimé par Phel le Noir, m.d.xxiii 5 7 6
  "Ce volume est un des plus rares de la classe des Romans de Chevalerie. T.C."      
4924. Ci Commence Guy de Warwick chevalier Dangleterre qui en son tems fit plusieurs prouesses et conquestes en Allemaigne, Ytalie, et Dannemarche. Et aussi sur les infidelles ennemys de la Crestienté; Lettres Gothiques, fig. fol. maroq. rouge. Paris, imprimé par Ant. Couteau, m.d.xxv. 1 18 0
4925. Le premier et le second volume de Merlin, qui est le premier livre de la table ronde, avec plusieurs choses moult recreative: aussi les Prophecies de Merlin, qui est le tierce partie et derniere: Lettres Gothiques, 2 tom. 4to., maroq. rouge, Paris, m.d.xxviii. 1 18 0
4926. La treselegante, delicieuse, melliflue, et tresplaisante Hystoire du tresnoble, victori, et excellentissime roy Perceforest, Roy de la Grand Bretaigne, fundateur du Francpalais et du temple du souverain Dieu. En laquelle lecture pourra veoir la source et decoration de toute Chevalerie, culture de vraye Noblesse, Prouesses, &c. Avecques plusieurs propheties, Comptes Damans, et leur divers fortunes. Lettres Gothiques, 6 tom. en 3 fol., Paris, chez Galliot du Pre, m.d.xxviii. 7 0 0
4927. Le tiers, quart, cinquiesme, sixiesme, et dernier volumes des Anciennes Croniques Dangleterre, faictz et gestes du trespreux et redoubte en chevalerie, le noble roy Perceforest: imprimé à Paris pour Egide Gourmont et Phil. le Noir, m.d.xxxii. 2 tom. folio 0 11 6
4298. Le Parangon des Nouvelles, honestes et delectables à tous ceulx qui desirent voir et ouyr choses nouvelles et recreatives soubz umbre et couleur de joyeuste, 8vo. fig. maroq. rouge. Imprimez à Lyon, par Denys de Harsy, 1532
Les Parolles joyeuses et Dicts memorables des nobles et saiges Homes anciens, redigez par le gracieulx et honeste Poete Messire Francoys Petrarcque, fig. ib. 1532
2 5 0
4929. L'Histoire de Isaie le triste filz de Tristan de leonnoys, jadis Chevalier de la table ronde, et de la Royne Izeut de Cornouaille, ensemble les nobles prouesses de chevallerie faictes par Marc lexille filz. au dict Isaye: Lettres Gothiques, avec fig., 4to., maroq. rouge. On les vend à Paris par Jehan Bonfons, 1535 2 12 6
  "There is no direct date either at the beginning or end, nor any privilege annexed to this rare Romance. Mr. Crofts, though extremely accurate, for the most part, has made no remark; neither has the industrious Mr. de Bure taken notice of this particular edition. The date is, nevertheless, obvious, according to my conjecture. After the words filz du dict Isaye, in the general title, at some distance, stand these numerals lxv. c. At first I apprehended they referred to the work, as containing so many chapters; but upon examining the table, I found the Romance to consist of 92 chapters: I conclude they must relate to the date of the book, and are to be read lxv. ante M.D.C., or 1535. S.P."      
4932. Meliadus de Leonmoys. Du present Volume sont contenus les nobles faictz darmes du vaillant roy Meliadus. Ensemble plusieurs autres nobles proesses de Chevalerie faictes tant par le roy Artus, Palamedes, &c., &c. Lettres Gothiques, fig., fol., maroq. bleu, Paris, chez Galliot du Pré 3 10 0
4933. Lhystoire tresrecreative, traictant des faictz et gestes du noble et vaillant Chevalier Theseus de Coulongne, par sa proesse Empereur de Rome. Et aussi de sons fils Gadifer, Empereur de Grece. Pareillement des trois enfans de Gadifer, cestassavoir Regnault, Reynier, et Regnesson, &c. Lettres Gothiques, avec fig. 4to., en peau russe. Paris, pour Jehan Bonfons, s.a. 5 0 0
4938. L'Histoire Palladienne, traitant des gestes et genereux Faitz d'armes et d'armour de plusieurs Grandz Princes et Seigneurs, specialement de Palladien filz du roy Milanor d'Angleterre, et de la belle Selenine, &c.; par feu Cl. Colet Champenois, fig., fol., maroquin jaune. Paris, de l'imprimerie d'Estien. Goulleau, 1555 1 18 0
4945. Hist. du noble Tristan Prince de Leonnois, Chevalier de la table ronde, et d'Yseulte, Princesse d'Yrlande, Royne de Cornouaille; fait Francois par Jean Maugin, dit l'Angevin, fig., 4to., maroq. rouge, Rouen. 1586 1 5 0
4953. L'Hist. du noble et vaillant Chevalier Paris et la belle Vienne, 4to., Rouen 3 10 0
4961. Histoires Prodigieuses, extractes de plusieurs fameux Autheurs, Grecs et Latins, par Pier Boaisteau, Cl. de Tesserant, F. de Belleforest, Rod. Hoyer, &c., fig. 6 tom. en 3, 12mo., maroq. rouge. Par chez la Verfue Cavellat, 1598 2 9 0
4964. Valentine and Orson, cuts, black letter, 4to. London; no date. (Not sold.)      
7276. Hollinshed's (Raphe) and William Harrison's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, continued by John Hooker, alias Vowell, and others; black letter, 3 vols. fol., large paper, in Russia, 1586 13 2 6
7399. Lynch (Jo.) Seu Gratiani Lucii Hiberni Cambrensis Eversus, seu potius Historica fides, in Rebus Hibernicis, Giraldo Cambrensi abrogata, fol. Impress. An. 1662. Sine Loco aut Nomine Impressoris 3 4 0
  "Liber inter Historicos Hibernicos rarissimus et inventu difficilimus, quippe cujus pars maxima exemplarium in incendio periit Londinensi. Sub Lucii Gratiani nomine latet verus autor Johannes Lynch (Tuamensis Archidiaconus) qui post Gallvæ deditionem, Exul in Gallia hocce opus patriæ vindex composuit. T.C."      

This catalogue contains 8360 articles. There are printed lists of the prices for which each set of books was sold: but I am afraid that an arrant bibliomaniac, like myself (for thus my friends are cruel enough to call me!) will be content only with a large paper copy of it, with the prices neatly penned in the margin. I conclude that Lysander recommends the volume in this shape to all tasteful collectors.

Lis. But there are surely other large paper ——

Alman. What can there possibly be in a large paper copy of a Catalogue of Books which merits the appellation of "nobleness" and "richness?"

Loren. You are a little out of order. Such a question cuts the heart of a bibliographer in twain. Pray let Lysander pursue his narrative.

Lysand. I have no sort of objection to such interruptions. But I think the day is not very far distant when females will begin to have as high a relish for large paper copies of every work as their male rivals. Now let us go on quietly towards the close of my long-winded bibliomaniacal history. And first let us not fail to pay due respect to the cabinet of literary bijoux collected by that renowned bibliomaniac, Mark Cephas Tutet.395 His collection was distinguished by some very uncommon articles of early date, both of foreign and British typography; and, if you take a peep into Lorenzo's priced copy of the catalogue containing also the purchasers' names, you will find that most notorious modern bibliomaniacs ran away with the choicest prizes. Tutet's catalogue, although drawn up in a meagre and most disadvantageous style, is a great favourite with me; chiefly for the valuable articles which it exhibits.

395 A Catalogue of the genuine and valuable Collection of printed Books and Manuscripts of the late Mark Cephas Tutet, Esq., to be sold by auction by Mr. Gerard, on Wednesday, the 15th of February, 1786, 8vo. This library evinces the select taste and accurate judgment of its collector. There were only 513 articles, or lots; but these in general were both curious and valuable. I will give a specimen or two of the Tutet Cabinet of books.

NO.   £ s. d.
10. Various Catalogues of Curiosities, elegantly bound in 14 volumes, and a few loose: most of them priced, with the purchasers' names. A.D. 1721 to 1783, 8vo. 3 16 0
55. Two volumes of ancient and modern cards, eleg. in russia 5 5 0
  [These volumes were purchased by Mr. Payne's father, and of him by Mr. Gough. At the sale of the MSS. of the latter (1810) they were purchased by Mr. Robert Triphook, bookseller, of St. James's Street; with a view of making them instrumental to a work which he is projecting, Upon the History and Antiquity of Playing Cards.]      
86. Broughton's Concent of Scripture: printed upon vellum 1 2 0
118. Snelling's Silver Coinage — 1762; ditto Gold Coinage, 1763; ditto Copper Coinage, 1768; ditto Miscellaneous Views, 1769; ditto Jettons, 1769: all in folio 7 0 0
  "These form a complete set of Snelling's works in folio, and are interspersed with a great number of very useful and interesting notes and observations, by Mr. Tutet."      
126. The Byble, &c. Printed by Grafton and Whitchurch, 1537, folio 3 3 0
  [There is a note here by Tutet which does not evince any profound knowledge of English etymology.]      
168. Rede me and be not wroth, 12mo., no place nor date 1 11 6
175. Servetus de Trinitatis erroribus, cor. tur., 1531, 12mo. 3 14 0
316. —— de Trinitate divinâ, Lond., 1723, 4to. 1 12 0
329. The Arte and Crafte to know well to dye. Printed by Caxton, 1490, folio 2 2 0
337. Hautin, Figures des Monnoyes de France, 1619, folio 6 0 0
364. Parker de Antiq. Brit. Ecclesiæ, 1572, folio. A long and curious note is here appended 4 4 0
371. The Boke of Hawkinge, Huntynge, and Fysshynge, 1496, fol. 2 9 0
372. Sancta Peregrinatio in Mont. Syon, &c. 1486, folio 7 7 0
  ["This is the first book of travels that was ever printed. The maps are very remarkable; that of the Holy Land is above 4 feet long."]      
463. Spaccio della Bestia trionfante. Paris, 1584, 8vo. 7 7 0
477. Expositio Sancti Jeronimi in Symbolum Apostolorum, cor. maur. Oxon., 1468, 4to. 16 5 0
479. Polychronycon; printed by Caxton, 1482, 4to. 4 12 0
480. Pfintzing (Melchoir) His German Poem of the Adventures of the Emperor Maximilian, under the name of Tewrdanckh's. Nuremb., 1517, folio 5 7 6
481. Initial Letters, Vignettes, Cul de Lampes, &c., 2 vols., elegantly bound in russia. [These beautiful books are now in the possession of Mr. Douce] 4 6 0
483. Bouteroue, Recherches curieuses des Monnoyes de France: in morocco, gilt, Paris, 1666, folio 5 0 0
486. Froissart's Chronicles; printed by Pynson, 1523, folio, 2 vols. A beautiful copy elegantly bound. 16 0 0
487. Recule of the Hystoryes of Troye; printed by Caxton, (1471) Folio. A very fine copy, and quite complete. 21 0 0
490. Ciceronis Officia, 1466, 4to. On paper. 25 10 0

And thus we take leave of that judicious and tasteful bibliomaniac, Mark Cephas Tutet!

Three months after the sale of the preceding library, appeared the Bibliotheca Universalis Selecta of Samuel Paterson; containing a collection to be sold by auction in May, 1786. To this catalogue of 8001 articles, there is a short (I wish I could add "sweet") preface, which has been extracted in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lvi., p. 334; and in the Censura Literaria, vol. ii., p. 252 — but, whatever accidental reputation the volume may have received from the notice of it in these periodical works, I deem both the preface and the work itself quite unworthy of Paterson's credit. There is an alphabetical index (not always very correct); and a few bibliographical notes are subjoined to the specification of the titles; and these considerations alone will give the book a place in the library of the bibliomaniac. The collection is, in fact, neither universal nor select: and the preface is written in the worst of all styles, containing the most commonplace observations.

The following year, was sold, in a similar way, the select and very curious collection of Richard Wright, M.D.;396 the strength of which lay chiefly in publications relating to the Drama and Romances. It is, in my humble opinion, a most judicious, as well as neatly printed, little catalogue; and not more than a dozen copies of it, I think, were printed upon large paper. Secure this volume, Lisardo, if you wish to add to your riches in English bibliography.

396 Lysander has not drawn too strong an outline in his picture of the Bibliotheca Wrightiana. The collection was elegant and select. Let us say a little more about it. "A Catalogue of the Library of Richard Wright, M.D. &c., consisting of an elegant and extensive collection of books in every branch of learning, &c., many of the scarcest editions of the Old English Poets, Novels, and Romances; also a most singular assemblage of Theatrical Writers, including the rarest productions of the English Drama." Sold by auction by T. and J. Egerton, April 23rd, 1787, 8vo. The volume is neatly printed, and the books in the collection are arranged in alphabetical order under their respective departments. We will now fill up a little of the aforementioned strong outline of the picture of Wright's library: which contained 2824 articles.

    £ s. d.
917, 920, 921-4-5-6-7, 931-2-3, exhibit a glorious specimen of the ancient English Chronicles — which, collectively, did not produce a sum above 45 0 0
1223. England's Parnassus, 1600, 8vo. 0 14 0
1333. Churchyarde's Choice, 1579, 4to. 2 14 0
1334. —— first part of his Chippes, 1575, 4to. 3 13 6
1343. Robert Greene's Works, 2 vols., elegantly bound, 4to. (containing 17 pieces.) 5 19 0
1374. Shyp of Folys. Printed by Pynson, 1508, fol. 3 13 0
1384. Skelton's Works: 1568, 8vo. 0 14 0
1398. Turberville's epitaphs, epigrams, songs and sonnets, 1567, 8vo.      
  My copy has no price to this article.      
1493. Thomas Nashe's Works, in three vols. 4to., containing 21 pieces 12 15 0
1567 to 2091, comprehends The English Theatre.      

These numbers exhibit almost every thing that is rare, curious, and valuable in this popular department. I know not how to select stars from such a galaxy of black-letter lustre — but the reader may follow me to the ensuing numbers, which will at least convince him that I am not insensible to the charms of dramatic bijoux, nos. 1567-9: 1570-6-8: 1580: 1595-6-8-9: 1606: 1626: 1636-7-8: 1712 (Dekker's Pieces: 15 in number — sold for 3l. 3s. Eheu!) 1742: 1762. (Heywood's 26 plays, 3l. 4s.) 1776. — 1814: (Marston's 9 pieces, 3l. 4s.) 1843. (Tragedie of Dido, 1594, 16l. 16s. Euge!) 1850. (Middleton; 13 pieces: 4l. 5s.) 1873-5. (George Peele's: 7l. 7s.) 1902: (Sackville's Ferrex and Porrex: 2l. 4s.)— But —"quo Musa tendis?" I conclude, therefore, with the following detailed seriatim.

1960. Shakspeare's Works; 1623, folio. First edition; bound in Russia
leather, with gilt leaves.
10 0 0
1961. The same; 1632. Second impression. 2 9 0
1962. The same; 1632. The same. 1 6 0
1963. The same; 1663. Third Edit. in Russia. 1 1 0
1964. The same; 1683. Fourth Edition. 1 1 0

My copy of this catalogue is upon large paper, beautifully priced by a friend who "hath an unrivalled pen in this way;" and to whom I owe many obligations of a higher kind in the literary department — but whose modesty, albeit he was born on the banks of the Liffey, will not allow me to make the reader acquainted with his name. Therefore, "Stat nominis umbra:" viz. ——!

Loren. Was Wright's the only collection disposed of at this period, which was distinguished for its dramatic treasures? I think Henderson's397 library was sold about this time?

397 A Catalogue of the Library of John Henderson, Esq. (late of Covent Garden Theatre), &c. Sold by auction by T. and J. Egerton, on February, 1786, 8vo. Do not let the lover of curious books in general imagine that Henderson's collection was entirely dramatical. A glance at the contents of page 12 to page 22, inclusively, will shew that this library contained some very first-rate rarities. When the dramatic collector enters upon page 23, (to the end of the volume, p. 71) I will allow him to indulge in all the mania of this department of literature, "withouten ony grudgynge." He may also ring as many peals as it pleaseth him, upon discovering that he possesses all the copies of a dramatic author, ycleped George Peele, that are notified at nos. 923-4! Henderson's library was, without doubt, an extraordinary one. As we are upon Dramatic Libraries, let us, for fear Lysander should forget it, notice the following, though a little out of chronological order. "A Catalogue, &c., of the late Mr. James William Dodd, of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, &c. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, Jan. 19, 1797, 8vo., 2435 lots." There was more of the Drama in this than in Henderson's collection. Mr. Kemble purchased the dearest volume, which was "Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra," 1578, 4to. (no. 2396) for 7l. 10s. Mr. George Nicol (for the late Duke of Roxburgh) kept up a tremendous fire at this sale! Akin to Dodd's, was the "Curious and Valuable Library of George Smyth, Esq. — sold by Leigh and Sotheby, June 2, 1797, 8vo." There were many uncommon books in this collection, exclusively of those appertaining to the Drama; and when I mention, in this latter department — Hughes's Misfortunes of Prince Arthur, &c., printed by Robinson, 1587, 4to. (no. 1376; 16l. 15s.), both the parts of Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth (1599-1600, 4to., nos. 1436-7; 18l. 18s.), his Much Ado about Nothing, 1600, 4to., (no. 1438; 7l. 10s.)— I say enough to sharpen the collector's appetite to obtain, if he have it not, possession of this curious but barbarously printed catalogue. To these, let me add the "Catalogue of a portion of the Library of William Fillingham, Esq., consisting of old quarto plays, early English Poetry, and a few scarce Tracts, &c., sold by Leigh and Sotheby, April 1805, 8vo." The arrangement of this small catalogue is excellent. Many of the books in it are of the rarest occurrence; and, to my knowledge, were in the finest preservation. The collector is no more! He died in India; cut off in the prime of life, and in the midst of his intellectual and book-collecting ardour! He was a man of exceedingly gentlemanlike manners, and amiable disposition; and his taste was, upon the whole, well cultivated and correct. Many a pleasant, and many a profitable, hour have I spent in his "delightsome" library!!!

Lysand. It was; and if you had not reminded me of it, I should have entirely forgotten it. Catalogues of dramatic Libraries, well arranged, are of great service to the cause of the Bibliomania.

Lis. I wish we could procure some act of parliament to induce the dramatic collectors — by a fair remuneration — to give a well analysed account of their libraries. We should then have the Bibliotheca Roxburghiana, Bibliotheca Maloniana, and what say you to the Bibliotheca Kemblëiana.

Lysand. You are running wild. Let me continue my bibliomaniacal history.

We may now advance directly to the exquisite — and shall I say, unparalleled? — library of Major Pearson!398 a gentleman, who has far eclipsed the bibliomaniacal reputation of his military predecessor, General Dormer. This extraordinary collection was sold by auction the very next year ensuing the sale of Dr. Wright's books and so thickly and richly is it sprinkled with the black-letter, and other curious lore — so varied, interesting, and valuable, are the departments into which it is divided — that it is no wonder his present Majesty, the late Duke of Roxburgh, and George Steevens, were earnest in securing some of the choicest gems contained in the same. Such a collection, sold at the present day — when there is such a "qui vive" for the sort of literature which it displays — what would it produce? At least four times more, than its sum total, two and twenty years ago!

398 If the reader attend only to the above flourishing eulogy, by Lysander, upon the extraordinary collection of Major, or Thomas, Pearson, I fear he will not rise from the perusal of these pages impressed with very accurate notions of the same. To qualify such ardent panegyric, and at the same time to please the hearts of all honest bibliomaniacs, I here subjoin something like a sober analysis of the Bibliotheca Pearsoniana. The title to the Sale Catalogue is as follows: "Biblioth. Pearson. A Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Pearson, Esq. Containing a very extensive Collection of the best and rarest books in every branch of English Literature, &c. Sold by Auction by T. and J. Egerton, in April, 1788," 8vo. Like all the sale catalogues put forth by the Egertons, the present is both judiciously arranged and neatly printed. It is said that there are only twelve copies upon large paper; but I doubt the smallness of this number. My own is of this kind, superbly bound, and priced with a neatness peculiar to the calligraphical powers of the 'forementioned friend. It may not be amiss to prefix an extract from a newspaper of the day; in which this sale was thus noticed: "The Black-lettero-mania, which raged so furiously in the course of last Spring at the Sale of Dr. Wright's Books, has broken out with still greater violence at the present auction of Major Pearson's Library. This assertion may be countenanced by the following examples." Then follow a few specimens of the prices given. The reader is now presented with copious specimens, selected according to their numerical order: the addenda, between inverted commas, being copied from the said newspaper.

NO.   £ s. d.
1888. Webbe's Discourse of English Poetrie, 1586, 4to. 3 5 0
"Bought by Mr. Steevens versus Mr. Malone."
1889. Puttenham's Art of English Poesie, 1589, 4to. 1 12 0
1900. The fyrst Boke of the Introduction to Knowledge, &c.; Printed by W. Copland, no date, 4to. 4 15 0
"By the Rev. Mr. Brand versus Lord Charlemont."
1910. The Castell of Laboure; Emprynted by Pynson, 4to., no date. 2 2 0
1926. Dekker's Miscellaneous Pieces, 1604, &c., 4to. 2 2 0
1932. A curious collection of sundry rare pieces, 4to. 3 4 0
1951. Drollery's (eleven) 1661, &c., 8vo. 5 6 6
  These droll pieces are now much coveted by knowing bibliomaniacs. Mr. Heber and Mr. Hill have each a copious collection of them; and Mr. Gutch of Bristol, a bookseller of great spirit in his trade, and of equal love of general literature, recently gratified the curious by exhibiting, in his catalogue of 1810, a number of "Garlands;" which ere now, have, in all probability, proved a successful bait for some hungry book fish.      
2035. Sir John Harrington's most elegant and witty Epigrams, with portrait, 1618, 8vo. 2 3 0
2090. Flowers of Epigrammes, &c. Impr. by Shepperd, 1577, 12mo. 1 14 0
2130. The Paradise of Dainty Devises, &c., printed for E. White, 1600, 4to. The workes of a Young Wit, by N.B. b.l. printed by Thomas Dawson, no date. Watson's Mistresse, &c., and Sonnets, b.l. imperf. Diana, by the Earl and Countess of Oxenford, printed for J. Roberts, wanting title, 4to. 9 12 6
"Bought by Mr. Steevens versus Mr. Malone."
2131. England's Helicon, 1600, 4to. 5 10 0
"By ditto versus ditto."
2147. The Example of Vertu; printed by W. de Worde, 4to.      
"Bought by Mr. Mason versus Mr. Malone."
2162. A Mirrour of Mysterie; finely written upon, vellum, with two very neat drawings with pen and ink, 1557, 4to. 2 0 0
2186. Manley's Affliction and Deliverance of Saints, portr. 1652, 8vo. 1 12 0
2190. Tragedie of Sir Richard Grenvile, Knt. printed by J. Roberts, 1595, 8vo. 0 15 6
2289. Laquei Ridiculosi, or Springes for Woodcocks, by Henry Parrot, 1613, 8vo. 0 4 6
  N.B. This little volume was sold for as many guineas at the sale of Mr. Reed's books in 1807.      
2373. Lyf of St. Ursula; Impr. by Wynkyn de Worde, no date, 4to. 1 10 0
2374. Lyf and History of Saynt Werburge. Printed by Pynson, 1521, 4to. 1 3 0
  N.B. This volume was sold for 18l. 18s. at the last mentioned sale.      
2575. This lot comprehends a cluster of precious little black-letter pieces, which were purchased at the sale of West's books, by Major Pearson. Eight in the whole: executed before the year 1540. 3 19 0
2421. The Goodly Garlande, or Chaplet of Laurell, by Maister Skelton; Impr. by Fawkes, 1523, 4to. See here a long note upon the rarity and intrinsic worth of this curious little volume. "Purchased by Brand versus the King." 7 17 6
2710. Ancient Songs and Ballads; written on various subjects, and printed between the years 1560 and 1700; chiefly collected by Robert Earl of Oxford, and purchased at the sale of the library of James West, Esq., in 1773 (for 20l.): increased by several additions: 2 volumes bound in Russia leather. 26 4 6
  "Bought by Mr. Nicol for the Duke of Roxburgh, versus Messrs. Arnold and Ritson." "N.B. The preceding numerous and matchless collection of Old Ballads are all printed in the black-letter, and decorated with many hundred wooden prints. They are pasted upon paper, with borders (printed on purpose) round each ballad: also, a printed title and index to each volume. To these are added the paragraphs which appeared in the public papers respecting the above curious collection, at the time they were purchased at Mr. West's." Thus far Messrs. Egerton. I have to add that the late Duke of Roxburgh became the purchaser of these "matchless" volumes. Whilst in Major Pearson's possession, "with the assistance of Mr. Reed, the collection received very great additions, and was bound in two very large volumes; in this state (says Mr. Nicol,) it was bought by the Duke of Roxburghe. After the industrious exertions of two such skilful collectors as Major Pearson and Mr. Reed, the Duke did not flatter himself with ever being able to add much to the collection; but, as usual, he undervalued his own industry. Finding that his success far exceeded his expectations, he determined to add a third volume to the collection. Among these new acquisitions are some very rare ballads; one quoted by Hamlet, of which no other copy is known to exist." Preface to the Roxburgh Catalogue, p. 5. The ballad here alluded to may be seen in Mr. Evans's recent edition of his father's Collection of Old Ballads; vol. i., p. 7.      
3262 to 3329. These numbers comprehend a very uncommon and interesting set of Old Romances! which, collectively, did not produce 35l.— but which now, would have been sold for ——!?      
3330 to 4151. An extraordinary collection of the English Drama.      

And thus farewell Major Pearson!

Lis. O rare Thomas Pearson! I will look sharply after a large paper, priced, copy of the Bibliotheca Pearsoniana!

Lysand. You must pay smartly for it, if you are determined to possess it.

Belin. Madness! — Madness inconceivable! — and undescribed by Darwin, Arnold, and Haslam! But, I pray you, proceed.

Lysand. Alas, madam, the task grows more and more complex as I draw towards the completion of it.

In the year 1789 the book-treasures of the far-famed Pinelli399 Collection were disposed of by public auction: nor can one think, without some little grief of heart, upon the dispersion of a library, which (much more than commercial speculations and profits) had, for upwards of a century, reflected so much credit upon the family of its possessors. The atmosphere of our metropolis, about this period, became as much infected with the miasmata of the Book-Plague as it did, about 130 years before, with the miasmata of a plague of a different description: for the worthy inhabitants of Westminster had hardly recovered from the shock of the bibliomaniacal attack from the Pinelli sale, 'ere they were doomed to suffer the tortures of a similar one in that of the Paris400 collection. This latter was of shorter duration; but of an infinitely more powerful nature: for then you might have seen the most notorious bibliomaniacs, with blood inflamed and fancies intoxicated, rushing towards the examination of the truly matchless volumes contained within this collection. Yet remember that, while the whole of Pall Mall was thronged with the carriages of collectors, anxious to carry off in triumph some vellum copy of foreign execution — there was sold, in a quiet corner of the metropolis, the copious and scholar-like collection of Michael Lort, D.D. The owner of this latter library was a learned and amiable character, and a bibliographer of no mean repute.401 His books were frequently enriched with apposite ms. remarks; and the variety and extent of his collection, suited to all tastes, and sufficiently abundant for every appetite, forms, I think, a useful model after which future bibliomaniacs may build their libraries.

399 Mention has already been made of the different Catalogues of the Pinelli Collection: see p. 21, ante. Here, as Lysander has thought proper again to notice the name of the collector, I am tempted to add a few specimens of the extraordinary books contained in his extraordinary library: adding thereto the prices for which they were sold. But — again and again I observe, in limine— these sums form no criterion of the present worth of the books; be the same more or less! It is a document only of bibliographical curiosity.

NO.   £ s. d.
703. La Biblia Sacra in Lingua Vulgare tradotta; 1471. folio. 2 vols. 6 15 0
2555. Bandello, Canti xi delle lodi della Signora Lucrezia Gonzaga di Gazuolo, &c., 1545, 8vo. 15 15 0
2605. Dante, La Divina Comedia; 1472, folio. Ediz. Prin. 25 14 6
3348. Petrarca, Le Rime. Venez. 1470, 4to. Prin. Ediz. 27 6 0
3458. Sannazzaro, L'Arcadia. Ven. Ald. 1514, 8vo. Esemp. stampata in Cartapecora. 16 16 0
4909. Biblia Polyglotta; Complut. 1514, &c., folio. 6 vols. Exemplar integerrimum splendidissimum. impressum in membranis. 483 0 0
  All the world (perhaps I should have said the bibliographical world) has heard of this pre-eminently wonderful set of books; now in Count Macarty's library at Thoulouse. My friend, Dr. Gosset — who will not (I trust) petition for excommunicating me from the orthodox church to which I have the honour of belonging, if I number him in the upper class of bibliomaniacs — was unable to attend the sale of the Pinelli collection, from severe illness: but he did petition for a sight of one of these volumes of old Ximenes's polyglott — which, much more effectually than the spiders round Ashmole's neck (vide p. 293, ante), upon an embrace thereof, effected his cure. Shakspeare, surely, could never have meant to throw such "physic" as this "to the dogs?!" But, to return.      
8956. Anthologia Epig. Græc. 1494. 4to. Exemp. impr. in membranis. 45 0 0
9308. Theocritus (absque ulla nota) 4to. Editio Princeps. 31 10 0
9772. Plautus, 1472. folio. Editio Princeps. 36 0 0
11,215. Aulus Gellius, 1469, folio. Edit. Princeps. 58 16 0
11,233. Macrobius, 1472, folio. Edit. Prin. 33 12 0
12,141. Priscianus de art. gram. 1470. fol. In Membranis. 51 9 0

[Sale Catalogue, 1789, 8vo.]

But —"Jam satis."

It probably escaped Lysander that, while the sale of the Pinelli collection attracted crowds of bibliomaniacs to Conduit Street, Hanover Square, a very fine library was disposed of, in a quiet and comfortable manner, at the rooms of Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby, in York Street, Covent Garden; under the following title to the catalogue: A Catalogue of a very elegant and curious Cabinet of Books, lately imported from France, &c. (sold in May, 1789). My priced copy of this catalogue affixes the name (in MS.) of Macartney, as the owner of this precious "Cabinet." There were only 1672 articles; containing a judicious sprinkling of what was elegant, rare, and curious, in almost every department of literature. The eleventh and twelfth days' sale were devoted to MSS.; many of them of extraordinary beauty and singularity. It was from this collection, no. 248, that Lord Spencer obtained, for a comparatively small sum, one of the most curious books (if not an unique volume) in the class of early English printed ones, which are in his own matchless collection. It is the "Siege of Rhodes," which has a strong appearance of being the production of Caxton's press. The copy is perfectly clean and almost uncut.

400 If the reader will be pleased to turn to page 90, ante, he will find a tolerably copious and correct list of the different sales of books which were once in the possession of Mons. Paris de Meyzieux. In the same place he will also find mention made of a singular circumstance attending the sale of the above collection noticed by Lysander. As a corollary, therefore, to what has been before observed, take the following specimens of the books — with the prices for which they are sold — which distinguished the Bibliotheca Parisiana. They are from the French Catalogue, 1790, 8vo.

NO.   £ s. d.
2. Biblia sacra latina vulgatæ editionis (ex translatione et cum præfationibus S. Hieronymi); Venetiis, N. Jenson, 1476, 2 vol. in fol.: avec miniatures, relié en mar. r. doublé de tabis, dentelles et boîtes: imprime sur velin. "On connoît l'extrême rareté de cette belle edition quand les exemplaires sont sur vélin. Nous n'en connoissons qu'un seul, bien moins beau que celui ci; celui que nous annonçons est de toute beauté, et on ne peut rien ajouter au luxe de la relieure." 59 17 0
3. Biblia sacra vulgatæ editionis, tribus tomis distincta (jussu Sixt. V., pontificis maximi edita); Romæ, ex typographia apostolica vaticana, 1590; in. fol. ch. mag. maroquin rouge. "Superbe exemplaire d'un livre de la plus grande rareté; il porte sur la couverture les armes de Sixte Quint." 64 1 0
10. Epitome passionis Jesu Christi, in 4o. sur velin avec miniatures. Manuscrit très précieux du commencement du 16 siecle, contenant 37 feuillets écrits en ancienne ronde bâtarde, et 17 pages de miniatures d'un dessein et d'un fini inappréciables. "Les desseins sont d'Albert Durer, tels qu'il les a gravés dans ses ouvrages, et l'exécution est si animée qu'on peut croire qu'elle est, en tout ou en partie, de la main de ce peintre célebre. On ne peut trop louer la beauté de ce livre." 50 8 0
13. Officium beatæ Mariæ virginis cum calendario; in 4o. mar. r. dentelles. "Cette paire d'heures manuscrite sur velin, est sans contredit une des plus belles et des plus achevées que l'on puisse trouver. Au rare mérite de sa parfaite exécution elle réunit encore celui d'avoir été faite pour Françoise 1er, roi de France, et d'être décoree dans toutes ses pages de l'embléme et du chiffre de ce monarque. Ce manuscrit, d'un prix inestimable, est ecrit en lettres rondes sur un vélin très blanc"—"il est decoré de très belles capitales, de guirlandes superbes de fleurs, de culs-de-lampe, & de 12 bordures ornées d'oiseaux, d'insectes, de fleurs et de lames d'or très brillant."—"Il est impossible de donner une idée satisfaisante de le beauté et de la richesse de 12 peintures admirables qui enrichissent autant de pages de 8 pouces et demi de hauteur, sur environ 6 pouces de largeur; elles sont au dessus de toute expression; mais il n'y en a qu'une qui soit du temps de François 1er.; un seigneur dont on voit les armes peintes sur le second feuillet, a fait exécuter les autres dans la siecle dernier, avec une magnificence peu commune. Les tableaux et les ornemens dont il a enrichi ce précieux manuscrit se distinguent par une composition savante et gracieuse, un dessin correct, une touche précieuse et un coloris agréable," &c. 109 4 0
14. Heures de Notre-Dame, écrites à la main, 1647, par Jarry, Parisien, in 8o. chagrin noir, avec deux fermoirs d'or et boîte de mar. bl. "Ces heures sont un chef-d'œuvre d'écriture & de peinture. Le fameux Jarry, qui n'a pas encore eu son égal en l'art d'écrire, s'y est surpassé, & y a prouvé que la regularité, la netteté & la precision des caracteres du burin et de l'impression pouvoient être imitées avec la plume à un degré de perfection inconcevable."—"Le peintre, dont le nom nous est inconnu, & qui doit avoir été un des plus fameux du siecle de Louis XIV., a travaillé à l'envi avec Nicolas Jarry à rendre ces heures dignes d'admiration."—"Les sept peintures dont il les a enriches, sont recommendables par la purité de leur dessein, la vivacité des couleurs, la verité de l'expression, et leur précieux fini." 73 10 0
  This matchless little volume was purchased by Mr. Johnes of Hafod, and presented by him to his daughter, who has successfully copied the miniatures; and, in the true spirit of a female bibliomaniac, makes this book her travelling companion "wherever she goes."      
15. Office de la Vierge, manuscrit, avec 39 miniatures et un grand nombre de figures bizarres, oiseaux, etc. supérieurement executé; 2 vol. in 8o. m. bl. doublé de tapis, avec étuis. "On ne peut rien voir de plus agréable & de mieux diversifié que les différents sujets des miniatures; en tout, cet exemplaire est un des plus beaux que j'aie jamais vus; c'est celui de Picart. Il est à remarquer à cause du costume de quelques figures; il a été relié avec le plus grand soin et la plus grande dépense." 110 5 0
145. L'art de connoître et d'apprécier les miniatures des anciens manuscrits; par M. l'abbé Rive, avec 30 tableaux enlumines, copiés d'après les plus beaux manuscrits qui se trouvoient dans la bibliothéque de M. le Duc de la Valliere, et d'autres précieux cabinets. Exemplaire peint sur velin. "M. l'abbé Rive se proposoit de donner une dissertation sur les manuscrits enluminés pour accompagner ces dessins; mais jusqu'ici ayant des raisons qui l'empêchent d'en gratifier le public, il en a donné la description en manuscrit (le seul qui existe) au propriétaire de ce superbe exemplaire." 56 14 0
240. Les faicts, dictes et ballades de maitre Alain Chartier: Paris, Pierre le Caron, sans date, in fol. velours vert; imprime sur velin. "Exemplaire qui ne laisse rien à desirer, pour la grandeur des marges, la peinture des miniatures et de toutes les lettres capitales. La finesse des lignes rouges, qui divisent chaque ligne, demontre combien on a été engagé à le rendre précieux. Il est dans sa relieure originale parfaitement bien conservé; il a appartenu à Claude d'Urfé: l'edition passe pour étre de l'année, 1484. Voyez Bibliographie Instructive, no. 2999." 31 10 0
242. Contes de la Fontaine, avec miniatures, vignettes et culs-de-lampes à chaque conte; 2 vol. in 4o.; m. bleu, doublé de tapis, étuis. "Manuscrit incomparable pour le génie et l'exécution des dessins. Il est inconcevable que la vie d'un artiste ait pu suffire pour exécuter d'une manière si finie un si grand nombre de peintures exquises; le tout est d'un coloris éclatant, d'une conservation parfaite, & sur du vélin egalement blanc et uni; enfin c'est un assemblage de miniatures précieuses et dignes d'orner le plus beau cabinet." L'ecriture a été faite par Monchaussé, et les miniatures par le fameux Marolles. 315 0 0
328. Opere di Francesco Petrarcha; senza luogho 1514, mar. r. doublé de tabis et étui; imprime sur velin. "Exemplaire sans prix, avec grand nombre de miniatures charmantes. Il passoit pour constant à Florence, où je l'ai acheté, qu'il avoite été imprimé à part probablement pour quelqu'un des Mêdicis, et sur les corrections de l'edition de 1514; car les fautes ne s'y trouvent pas, et il ne m'a pas éte possible d'en découvrir une seule. — La parfaite conservation de ce livre précieux démontre combien ses possesseurs ont été sensible a sa valeur. P——." 116 11 0
486. Collectiones Peregrinationum in Indiam Orientalem et in Indiam Occidentalem, xxv partibus comprehensæ, &c. Francof. ad Mæen. 1590, &c., 60 vol. reliés en 24, folio; maroq. citr. bleu et rouge. "Exemplaire de la plus grande beauté, et qui possede autant de perfection que pouvoient lui donner les soins et les connoissances des plus grands amateurs." 210 0 0
543. Les grands chroniques de France (dites les chroniques de St. Denys); Paris, Antoine Verard, 1493, 3 vols. fol. vel. rouge, et boîtes; imprime sur velin. "Exemplaire d'une magnificence étonante pour la blancheur du vélin, la grandeur des marges, et l'ouvrage immense de l'enluminure; chaque lettre-capitale étant peinte en or, et contenant 953 miniatures, dont 13 sont de la grandeur des pages, et 940 environ de 4 pouces de hauteur sur 3 de largeur. Il est encore dans sa relieure originale, et d'une fraîcheur & d'une conservation parfaites: il a appartenu à Claude d'Urfé." 151 4 0
546. Chroniques de France, d'Angleterre, d'Ecosse, d'Espagnes, et de Bretaigne, etc.; par Froissart; Paris, G. Eustace, 1514. 4 vol. in fol. mar. r. doublé de tabis, et boîtes imprime sur velin. "On peut regarder ce livre comme un des plus rares qui existe. L'exemplaire est unique et inconnu aux meilleurs bibliographes; Sauvage ne l'a jamaie vu; il est de la premiere beauté par la blancheur du vélin, & par sa belle conservation. On y a joint tout le luxe de la rélieure." In the Hafod Collection. 149 2 0

401 The following is the title of the Bibliotheca Lortiana. "A Catalogue of the entire and valuable Library of the late Rev. Michael Lort, D.D., F.R.S. and A.S., which will be sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, &c., April 5, 1791," 8vo. The sale lasted twenty-five days; and the number of lots or articles was 6665. The ensuing specimens of a few of the book-treasures in this collection prove that Lysander's encomium upon the collector is not without foundation.

NO.   £ s. d.
1738. Gardiner's (Bishop) Detection of the Devil's Sophistry, MS. title: printed by John Hertford, in Aldersgate Street, at the cost and charges of Robert Toye, 1546, 12mo. Note in this book: "Though this book is imperfect, yet the remarkable part of it, viz. sheet E, printed in the Greek letter, and sheet F in Latin, with the Roman letter, are not wanting." 0 2 0
1847. Hale's (T.) Account of New Inventions, in a letter to the Earl of Marlborough, 8vo. Note in this book: "Many curious particulars in this book, more especially a prophetic passage relative to the Duke of Marlborough, p. xlvii." 0 5 0
1880. Harrison's (Michael) four Sermons. "N.B. The author of this book cut the types himself, and printed it at St. Ives," 8vo. 0 3 0
1930. Festival (The) impressus Rothomage, 1499, 4to. In this book (which is in English) at the end of each Festival is a narration of the life of the Saint, or of the particular festival. 0 16 0
1931. Festival (The) with wooden cuts, compleat: emprynted by Wynkyn de Worde, 1408, 4to. 0 15 0
2156. Johnson's (Dr. Sam.) Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. "In this book is contained the cancelled part of page 48, relative to Litchfield Cathedral; likewise the cancelled part of page 296, respecting the cave at Egg, and the transaction there; also parts of reviews and newspapers, concerning Dr. Johnson; two plates, MS. copy of a letter of Dr. Johnson's: and Henderson's letter to Johnson on his journey to Scotland." 1776, 8vo. 0 15 0
2558. Muggleton's Acts of the Witnesses of the Spirit; with heads, MS. remarks, and notes, 1699. Ludowick Muggleton, born in Bishopgate Street, 1609; put apprentice to John Quick, a taylor. Married a virgin of 19, ætat. suæ 22. Another virgin of 19, ætat. 32. A third virgin wife of 25, ætat. 53. Chosen a prophet 1665, 4to. 0 5 6
2559. Muggleton's and Reeve's volume of Spiritual Epistles; elegantly bound, with a head of Muggleton underneath a MS. note, 1755, 4to. 0 10 6
2579. Lower's Voyage of Charles II. made into Holland, head and plates. Hague. 1660. Folio. N.B. "A very uncommon book, containing many curious particulars." 1 3 0
2776. Owen's (Dr. John) Divine Originall, &c. of the Scriptures, Oxford, 1659, 8vo. Note in this book: "One of the scarcest and best of Dr. Owen's works." 0 1 0
3005. Psalms (The whole Booke of) with Hymns, by Ravenscroft, with music, 8vo. "Note; in this book are some tunes by John Milton, the great poet's father. See page 242, 62." 0 2 0
3342. Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, printed at London by Richard Jones, 16 August, 1583, 8vo. Note in this book: "I bought this rare book at the auction of Mr. Joseph Hart's books, in May 1772, where it cost me 8s. &c." M.L. [The reader may just run back to page 279, ante; where he will find some account of this work.] 1 14 0
4185. Champ Fleury, auquel est contenu l'Art et Science de la deue et vraye Proportion de Lettres Antiques et Romaines selon le Corps et visage Humain, avec figures. Par. 1529. Folio. "This uncommon book was sold at an auction, 1722, for 2l. 15s." 0 12 6
4437. Alberti Descriptione di tutta Italia, Venez., 1568, 4to. Note in this book —"This is a very scarce and much valued account of Italy." With another curious note respecting the author. 0 9 6
4438. Aldrete Varias Antiguedales de Espana, Africa, y otras Provincias. Amberes, 1641, 4to. Note in this book: "One of the most valuable books of this kind in the Spanish language, and very rarely to be met with." 0 9 6
5532. Humfredi, Vita Episcop. Juelli, foliis deauratis, Lond. ap Dayum, 1573, 4to. Note in this book: "At the end of this book are probably some of the first Hebrew types used in England." 0 1 0
6227. Præsidis (Epistola R.A.P.) Generalis et Regiminis totius Congregationis Anglicanæ Ordinis St. Benedicti. Duaci, 1628. 8vo. 0 1 0
  [Note in this book: "This is a very scarce book; it was intended only for the use of the order, and care taken that it should not get into improper hands. See the conclusion of the General's mandate, and of the book itself."]      
6616. Wakefeldi Oratio de Laudibus et Utilitate trium linguarum, Arabicæ, Chaldaicæ, & Hebraicæ; atque idiomatibus Hebraicis quæ in utroque Testamento inveniuntur. Lond. ap. Winandum de Worde.— Shirwode Liber Hebræorum concionatoris, seu Ecclesiasten. Antv. 1523. 4to. Note in this book: "These two pieces by Shirwood and Wakefield are exceedingly rare." 0 4 0

For some particulars concerning the very respectable Dr. Lort, the reader may consult the Gentleman's Magazine; vol. lx. pt. ii. p. 1055, 1199.

Alman. I am glad to hear you notice such kind of collections; for utility and common sense have always appeared to me a great desideratum among the libraries of your professed bibliomaniacs.

Belin. Yes:— You pride yourselves upon your large paper, and clean, and matchless copies — but you do not dwell quite so satisfactorily upon your useful and profitable volumes — which, surely stand not in need of expensive embellishments. Lort's collection would be the library for my money — if I were disposed to become a female bibliomaniac!

Lis. You are even a more jejune student than myself in bibliography, or you would not talk in this strain, Belinda. Abuse fine copies of books! I hope you forgive her, Lysander?

Lysand. Most cordially. But have I not discoursed sufficiently? The ladies are, I fear, beginning to be wearied; and the night is "almost at odds with morning which is which."

Loren. Nay, nay, we must not yet terminate our conversation. Pursue, and completely accomplish, the noble task which you have begun. But a few more years to run down — a few more renowned bibliomaniacs to "kill off"— and then we retire to our pillows delighted and instructed by your ——

Lysand. Halt! If you go on thus, there is an end to our "Table Talk." I now resume.

Loren. Yet a word to save your lungs, and slightly vary the discourse. Let me take you with me to Ireland, about this time; where, if you reremember, the library of Denis Daly402 was disposed of by public auction. My father attended the sale; and purchased at it a great number of the Old English Chronicles, and volumes relating to English History, which Lisardo so much admired in the library. You remember the copy of Birch's Lives of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain!

402 A Catalogue of the Library of the late Right Honourable Denis Daly, which will be sold by auction on the first of May, 1792, by James Vallance. Dublin, 8vo. A fac-simile copper-plate of a part of the first psalm, taken from a Bible erroneously supposed to have been printed by Ulric Zell in 1458, faces the title-page; and a short and pertinent preface succeeds it. The collection was choice and elegant: the books are well described, and the catalogue is printed with neatness. The copies on large paper are very scarce. I subjoin, as a curiosity, and for the sake of comparing with modern prices, the sums for which a few popular articles in English History were disposed of.

NO.   £ s. d.
527. Tyrrell's General History of England, 5 vols. Lond. 1697, fol. "To this copy Mr. Tyrell has made considerable additions in MS. written in a fair hand, which must be worthy of the attention of the learned." 10 4 9
533. Rapin's History of England with Tyndal's Continuation, 5 vols. elegantly bound in russia. Lond. 1743-1747, folio. "One of the most capital sets of Rapin extant; besides the elegant portraits of the kings and queens, monuments, medals, &c. engraved for this work, it is further enriched with the beautiful prints executed by Vertue and Houbraken, for Birch's Illustrious Heads." folio. 17 2 7
534. Carte's General History of England, 4 vols., fine paper, elegant in russia. Lond. 1747, folio. 7 19 3
537. Birch's Lives of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, with their heads by Houbraken and Vertue; 2 vols. in one, first impression of the plates, imperial paper. Lond. 1743-1751, folio. It is impossible to give a perfect idea of this book: every plate is fine, and appears to be selected from the earliest impressions: it is now very scarce. 22 15 0
538. Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus, with Woolfe's and Gandon's Continuation, 5 vols. large paper, fine impressions of the plates, elegantly bound in morocco, gilt leaves, &c. Lond. 1717-1767, folio. 25 0 6
540. Wood's Historia et Antiquitates Oxoniensis, large paper, russia, gilt leaves, &c. Ox. 1674. 2 16 10
542. Biographia Britannica, 7 vols. large paper, elegantly bound. Lond. 1747, fol. 13 13 0
543. ———— 4 vols. new edition, elegantly bound in green Turkey. Lond. 1778. 7 19 3
545. Mathæi Paris, Monachi Albanensis Angli, Historia Major, a Wats. Lond. 1640, folio. 3 19 7
546. Mathæi Westmonasteriensis, Flores Historiarum. Franc. 1601, folio. 2 16 10
547. Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores Varii, a Sparke. Lond. 1723, folio. 2 5 6
548. Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. a Twysden; 2 tom. fol. deaurat. Lond. 1652, folio. 4 11 0
549. Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores post Bedam, a Saville, fol. deaurat. Lond. 1596, folio. 2 5 6
550. Rerum Anglicarum Scriptorum Veterum, a Gale; 3 tom. fol. deaurat. Lond. 1684-91. 5 13 9
551. Rerum Britannicarum, Scriptores Vetustiores. Lugd. 1587, folio. 1 8 0
573. Prynne's Records, 3 vols., with the frontispieces complete, gilt, broad border of gold. Lond. 1666-68. "For an account of this rare and valuable work, see Oldy's British Librarian, page ii. Not more than 70 copies of the first vol. were rescued from the fire of London, 1666." folio. 80 15 3

I learn from the nephew of the late Mr. Archer, of Dublin, bookseller, that the late Lord Clare offered 4000 guineas for the collection — which contained only 1441 lots or articles. The offer was rejected. Although the amount of the sale did not exceed 3700l.— according to a rough calculation.

Lis. I do:— and a marvellously fine one it is!

Loren. Well, this was formerly Exemplar Dalyanum. But now proceed. I wished only to convince you that the miasmata (as you call them) of the bibliomaniacal disease had reached our Sister Kingdom. Of Scotland403— I know nothing in commendation respecting the Bibliomania.

403 This is rather a hasty speech, on the part of Lorenzo. The copious and curious catalogues of those booksellers, Messrs. Constable, Laing, and Blackwood— are a sufficient demonstration that the cause of the Bibliomania flourishes in the city of Edinburgh. Whether they have such desperate bibliomaniacs in Scotland, as we possess in London, and especially of the book-auction species — is a point which I cannot take upon me to decide. Certain it is that the notes of their great poet are not deficient in numerous tempting extracts from rare black-letter tomes; and if his example be not more generally followed than it is, the fault must lie with some scribe or other who counteracts its influence by propagating opinions, and recommending studies, of a different, and less tasteful, cast of character. I am fearful that there are too many politico-economical, metaphysical, and philosophical miasmata, floating in the atmosphere of Scotland's metropolis, to render the climate there just now favourable to the legitimate cause of the Bibliomania.

I had nearly forgotten to mention, with the encomiums which they merit, the select, curious, and splendid collections of the Chauncys:404 very able scholars, and zealous bibliomaniacs. Many a heavy-metalled competitor attended the sale of the Bibliotheca Chauncyana; and, I dare say, if such a collection of books were now sub hastâ——

404 A Catalogue of the elegant and valuable Libraries of Charles Chauncy, M.D. F.R.S. and F.S.A.; and of his brother, Nathaniel Chauncy, Esq., both deceased: &c. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, April, 1790, 8vo.: 3153 articles.

NO.   £ s. d.
99. Booke of Raynarde the Foxe, morocco, gilt leaves, London by Thomas Gaultier, 1550, 8vo. 2 3 0
108. Merie Tales by Master Skelton, Poet Laureat; imprinted by Thomas Colwell; no date, 12mo. 1 6 0
109. The Pleasunt Historie of Lazarillo de Tormes, by David Rouland; impr. at London, by Abel Jeffes, 1586, 12mo. 0 11 0
112. The Newe Testament, corrected by Tyndal, with exhortations by Erasmus; gilt leaves, 1536, 12mo. 5 2 6
113. More's Utopia, by Robynson; impr. by Abraham Veale, 12mo. (1551.) 0 8 0
  "N.B. In this are the passages which have been left out in the later editions." (But the reader may be pleased to examine my edition of this translation of the Utopia; 1808, 2 vols., 8vo., see vol. i., p. clix.)      
119. The Epidicion into Scotland of the most woorthely fortunate Prince Edward, Duke of Somerset, Uncle unto our most noble sovereign, &c., Edward the VIth; imprinted by Grafton; 1548, 8vo. 2 18 0
  (At the sale of Mr. Gough's books in 1810, a fine copy of this work was sold for 10l. 10s.)      
362. Ben Jonson his Volpone, or the Foxe; morocco, gilt leaves, 1607, 4to. 4 0 0
  "In this book is this note written by Ben Jonson himself. 'To his loving father, and worthy friend Mr. John Florio: the ayde of his Muses. Ben Jonson seales this testimony of friendship and love.'"      
384. Nychodemus's Gospell, morocco, gilt leaves, emprynted at London, by Wynkyn de Worde, 1511, 4to. 2 2 0
388. Oxford and Cambridge Verses; in blue and red morocco, gilt leaves, with gold tassels, 13 vols., 1617, &c., fol. 2 12 6
572. Caius of English Dogges, the diversities, the names, the natures, and the properties, by Fleming; imprinted at London by Richard Johnes, 1576, 4to. 5 10 0
592. The Life and Death of the merry Devill of Edmonton, with the pleasant Prancks of Smug the smith, Sir John, and mine Host of the George, about the stealing of Venison, frontispiece, 4to. 1 10 0
599. Speculum Xristiani, corio turcico, impress. London, p. Willelmum de Machlinia ad instanciam nec non expensas Henrici Urankenburg, mercatoris, sine anno vel loco, circa, 1480, 4to. 11 0 0
599. A Hundreth Sundrie Flowers, bounde up in one small poesie, gathered in the fyne outlandish gardins of Euripides, Ovid, Petrake, Aristo, and others. London, 4to. 1 12 0
1669. The Recuile of the Historie of Troie; imprynted 1553, by William Copland, folio 2 5 0
1670. The Pastyme of People. The Chronicles of dyvers Realmys, and most specyally of the Realme of Englond, brevely compylyd and emprynted in Chepesyde at the sygne of the Mearmayde, next Polly's Gate (made up with MS.) morocco, gilt leaves, folio 9 14 0
1684. Cunningham's Cosmographical Glasse. Lond. printed by Daye, 1559, fol. 5 15 6
(I conclude that it had the portrait.)
2932. Ptolomæi Cosmographie; cum tab. georgr. illum. Impress. in Membranis, 1482, fol. 14 14 0
2933. Virgilii Opera: Impres. in Membram. Venet. ap. Barthol. Cremonens, 1472, fol. (Two leaves on vellum in MS. very fairly written) 43 1 0
Purchased by the late Mr. Quin.
2934. Plinii Hist. Naturalis; Venet. 1472, folio. Impres. in Membranis. The first leaf illuminated on very fine vellum paper. Note in this book: "This book, formerly Lord Oxford's, was bought by him of Andrew Hay for 160 guineas." 65 2 0
Purchased by Mr. Edwards.

There was also a magnificent copy of Pynson's first edition of Chaucer's Works, in folio, which is now in the collection of Earl Spencer.

Lis. He means "under the hammer."— Ladies are not supposed to know these cramp Latin phrases. —

Lysand. Well, "under the hammer:"— if, I say, such a collection were now to be disposed of by public auction, how eager and emulous would our notorious book-collectors be to run away with a few splendid spoils!

We will next notice a not less valuable collection, called the Bibliotheca Monroiana; or the library of Dr. John Monro;405 the sale of which took place in the very year, and a little before, the preceding library was disposed of. Don't imagine that Monro's books were chiefly medical; on the contrary, besides exhibiting some of the rarest articles in Old English literature, they will convince posterity of the collector's accurate taste in Italian Belles Lettres: and here and there you will find, throughout the catalogue, some interesting bibliographical memoranda by the Doctor himself.

405 "Bibliotheca Elegantissima Monroiana: A Catalogue of the elegant and valuable library of John Munro, M.D., Physician to Bethelem Hospital, lately deceased. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotherby, &c. April 23d, 1792, 8vo." As usual I subjoin a few specimens of the collector's literary treasures in confirmation of the accuracy of Lysander's eulogy upon the collection —— No. 709, Cowell's Interpreter; or, Booke containing the signification of words, first edition, ("rare to be met with.") Camb. by Legate, 1607, 4to. —— No. 1951. Cent (Les) Nouvelles Nouvelles, ou pour mieux dire, Nouveaux Comptes à plaisance, par maniere de Joyeuseté. ——Lettres Gothiques, fig. et bois et titre MSS. feuilles dorées, en maroquin, Paris, par Ant. Verard, 1475, fol. —— No. 1963, Heide Beschryving der nieuevlyks uitgevonden en geoctrojeerde Slang-Brand-Spuiten, en Haare wijze van Brand-Blussen, Tegenwoordig binnen Amsterdam in gebruik zynde. Wyze figuurs Amst. 1690, fol. "Note in this book: Paris, 1736. Paid for this book for his Grace the Duke of Kingston, by Mr. Hickman, 24l." A great sum for a book about a "newly discovered fire engine!"—— No. 2105, Vivre (Le livre intitulé l'art de bein) et de bien mourir, lettres gothiques, avec fig. en maroquin dorées sur tranches. Imprimé à Paris, 1543, 4to. Note by Dr. Munro: "It is a very scarce book, more so than generally thought." With a long account of the book on separate papers. —— No. 2121, Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, con figure da Porro, foglio dorat. Venet. 1584, 4to. N.B. In this copy the true print is replaced with a fine head of Ariosto, and elegantly inlaid with morocco and calf. —— No. 2147, Boccacio (Nimpale Fiesolano: composto par il Clarissimo Poeta Misser Joanni) Fiorentino, &c. rigato. Senza data, 4to. See in this book a long account of this poem from Dom. Maria Manni, in the Istoria del Decamerone, p. 55. "From what Manni says in the above account, I suppose this to be the first edition he makes mention of, as there is no place or date to be found. J.M."—— No. 2194. Dante di Landino, con. fig. La prima Edizione di Landino, impf. Firenze per Nicholo di Lorenzo della Magna, 1481, folio. "In this book are several remarks by Dr. Munro, on separate papers. An old scarce print, separate. On the title-page the following initials CMDCR; upon which the Doctor remarks it might probably be the signature of Charles the First, whose property it might have been. The Doctor likewise observes this copy, though imperfect, is still very valuable, on account of its having eight plates, the generality having only the two first."—— No. 2208, Molinet (Les Faictz et dictz de bone Memoire Maistre Jehan) Lettres gothiques, en maroquin Par. 1537, 8vo. —— No. 2366, Peri Fiesole Distrutta, poema: with portrait and engraved title, Firenze, 1619, 4to. Note in this book: "This is the only copy I ever saw of this work, which I imagine is at present become extremely scarce. The title and portrait are engraved by Callott. The portrait is common enough, but the title, known by the name of the Bella Giardiniera, very seldom seen. J.M."—— No. 2379. Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell'Arte, overo le vite di Pittori Veneti e dello stato, con. fig. 2 tom. 4to. N.B. On the blank leaf of this book is an etching by Carolus Rodolphus, with this MS. note: "I imagine this to be an etching of Cavaier Rodolphi, as I do not remember any other of the name."—— No. 2865, Lazii in Genealogiam Austriacam, Basil. ap. Oporinum, 1564. — Lazii Vienna Austriæ Basil, 1546. Francolin Res Gestæ Viennensis, cum fig. Viennæ Austriæ excudebat Raphæl Hofhalter, 1563. Folio. Note in this book: "The last book in this volume is curious and uncommon."

We shall now run rapidly towards the close of the eighteenth century. But first, you may secure, for a shilling or two, the Southgate Collection;406 and make up your minds to pay a few more shillings for good copies, especially upon large paper, of all the parts of the catalogues of the library of George Mason407. This collection was an exceedingly valuable one; rather select than extensive: exhibiting, in pretty nearly an equal degree, some of the rarest books in Greek, Latin, and English literature. The keimelion of the Masonian cabinet, in the estimation of the black-letter bibliomaniacs, was a perfect copy of the St. Albans' edition of Juliana Barnes's book of Hawking, Hunting, and Angling; which perfect copy is now reposing in a collection where there are keimelia of far greater value to dim its wonted lustre. But let Mason have our admiration and esteem. His library was elegant, judicious, and, in many respects, very precious: and the collector of such volumes was a man of worth and learning.

406 "Museum Southgatianum; being a Catalogue of the valuable Collection of Books, Coins, Medals, and Natural History of the late Rev. Richard Southgate, A.B., F.A.S., &c. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life. London: printed for Leigh and Sotheby," &c. 1795, 8vo. The books were comprised in 2593 lots. The coins and medals extend, in the catalogue, to 68 pages. The shells and natural curiosities (sold in May, 1795) to 11 pages. This catalogue possesses, what every similar one should possess, a compendious and perspicuous account of the collector. My copy of it is upon large paper; but the typographical execution is sufficiently defective.

407 Lysander is right in noticing "all the parts" of the Masonian Library. I will describe them particularly. Pt. i. A Catalogue of a considerable portion of the Greek and Latin Library of George Mason, Esq., with some articles in the Italian, French, English, and other languages, &c. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, on Wednesday, January 24, 1798, 8vo. 497 articles. Pt. ii. A Catalogue of most of the reserved portion of the Greek and Latin Library of G.M., &c., chiefly classical and bibliographical, with a few miscellaneous articles in French: sold as before, May 16, 1798, &c. 480 articles. Pt. iii. A Catalogue of a considerable portion of the remaining Library of G.M., Esq. — chiefly historical, with some curious theological, and some scientific, articles: sold as before; Nov. 27 to 30; 1798, &c. 547 articles. Pt iv. A Catalogue, &c., of the remaining library of G.M., Esq. — chiefly Belles Lettres, English, French, and Italian, &c., sold as before; April 25, 1799: 338 articles. These four parts, priced, especially the latter one — are uncommon. My copies of all of them are upon large paper. It must have been a little heart-breaking for the collector to have seen his beautiful library, the harvest of many a year's hard reaping, melting away piece-meal, like a snow-ball — before the warmth of some potent cause or other, which now perhaps cannot be rightly ascertained. See here, gentle reader, some of the fruits of this golden Masonian harvest! — gathered almost promiscuously from the several parts. They are thus presented to thy notice, in order, amongst other things, to stimulate thee to be equally choice and careful in the gathering of similar fruits.

NO.   £ s. d.
150. Winstanley's Audley End, inscribed to James the Second, fol. Never published for sale 27 10 0
158. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, C.T. F.D. Ald. 1499 5 0 0
162. Aquinæ (Thomæ) Quartiscriptum, C.R. Moguntiæ Schoeffer, 1492, fol. 6 0 0
295. Cicero de Officiis, C.T. F.D. Moguntiæ ap. Fust. 1465. 4to. In hoc exemplari Rubrica inter libros secundum ac tertium habet singularia errata, quæ in nullo alio exemplari adhuc innotuerunt; viz. primus ponitur pro secundus, secundus pro tertius, et secundum pro tertium 26 5 0
307. Chalcondylas, Moschopulus, et Corinthus, Gr. editio princeps. Vide notam ante Librum 8 18 6
308. Constantini Lexicon Græcum. Genevæ, 1592 4 5 0
324. Ciceronis Orationes, C.T. viridi F.D. per Adamum de Ambergau, 1472, fol. 5 5 0
468. Homerus, Gr., 2 vol., Editio princeps, C.R. Flor. 1488 11 11 0
496. Xenophon, Gr., editio princeps, C.T. F.D. Flor. ap. Junt. 1516, fol. 2 3 0
NO.   £ s. d.
70. Maundrel's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, L.P. Oxf. 1714, 8vo. First edition of the entire work 3 18 0
101. The Psalter of David, large B.L. C.T. nigro F.D. Cantorbury, in St. Paule's Parysh, by John Mychell, 1549, 4to. 4 4 0
102. The Gospels in Saxon and English, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, by John Foxe, C.T. nigro, F.D. Lond. by Daye, 1571, 4to. 4 5 0
103. The new Testament, by Thomas Matthew, 1538, 4to. 3 4 0
  ["There are cuts to the Revelations, different from any Mr. Herbert had seen; nor had he seen the book itself, till he was writing his 'Corrections and additions,' where, at p. 1833, he describes it."]      
105. Nychodemus' Gospell, C.T. F.D. wood prints. Wynkyn de Worde, 1511, 4to. 1 5 0
107. English Prymer, in red and black types: with emblematic frontispiece from a wood-cut. C.T. cæruleo F.D. Byddell, 1535, 4to. Printed on vellum 8 18 6
110. Speculum Christiani (in Latin prose and English verse) C.T. nigro. In civitate Londoniarum, per Wilhelmum de Machlinia. Supposed to be the first book printed in London, and about 1480, 4to. 4 4 0
111. Contemplation of Synners, (Latin prose and English verse) with double frontispiece, and other wood-cuts. Westminster, by Wynkyn de Worde, 1499, 4to. 2 3 0
112. (Walter Hylton's) Scala Perfectionis, London, without Temple-Barre, by Julyan Notary, 1507, 4to. 1 11 6
151. Dives and Pauper, C.R. first dated impression by Pynson, 1493, folio 2 5 0
164. Hackluyt's Collection of Voyages, B.L. 3 vols. in 2. Lond. 1599. "This work contains in vol. i. (beginning at p. 187) a political tract in verse (of the time of Henry VI.) exhorting England to keep the sea." 4 10 0
178. Arnold's Chronicle, or Customs of London, B.L. C.T. — F.D. (1521) folio 15 15 6
180. Chaucer's Hertfordshire; with all the plates, C.R. Once the book of White Kennet, Bishop of Peterborough; whose marginal notes in are pp. 64, 359, 523, folio 21 0 0
338. Froissart's Chronycles, 2 vols. C.R. F.D. Printed by Pynson, 1523-5, folio, 2 vols.      
341. Rastell's Pastyme of People, C.T. — F.D. Johannes Rastell, (1529) One page and part of a pieced leaf written.      
349. Monasticon Anglicanum, 3 vols. ligat. in 4, C.R. all the plates, Lond. 1651, 61, 73. "This copy contains that very scarce leaf, which sometimes follows the title-page of the first volume: an account of which leaf (by Tanner and Hearne) may be seen from p. 45 to p. 50 of the sixth volume of Leland's Collectanea, and their account rectified by Bridges, at the conclusion of Hearne's preface to Titus Livius Foro-Juliensis." Folio.      
466. Hardyng's Chronicle (in verse) C.R. — F.D. With an original grant (on vellum) from Henry VI. to Hardyng, Londoni. Grafton, 1543, 4to.      
  [This beautiful copy, formerly West's, is now in the collection of George Hibbert, Esq.]      
518. Fabian's Chronicle, C.T. cærulo F.D. 2 vols. in 1. B.L. Lond. W. Rastell, 1533. "This edition (as well as Pynson's) has the hymns to the Virgin, though Mr. T. Warton thought otherwise." folio.      
37. Kendall's Flowers of Epigrams, B.L. — C.R. Leaf 93 is wanting, 12mo.
47. M(arloe)'s Ovid's Elegies and Epigrams, by J. D(avies of Hereford). (Ovid's head engraved by W.M.) C.T. — F.D. Middlebourg, 12mo.
57. Observations on Authors, Ancient and Modern, 2 vol. Lond. 1731-2. "This was Dr. Jortin's own copy, who has written the name of each author to every piece of criticism, and added a few marginal remarks of his own," 8vo.
150. Valentine and Orson, B.L. cuts. Wants title, two leaves in one place, and a leaf in another, 4to.
152. La Morte D'Arthur, B.L. wood-cuts, Lond. Thomas East. Wants one leaf in the middle of the table. See MS. note prefixed.
153. Barnes's (Dame Juliana) Boke of Haukynge, Huntynge, and Cootarmuris, C.T. — F.D. Seynt Albon's, folio, 1486. "This perhaps is the only perfect copy of this original edition, which is extant. Its beginning with sig. a ii is no kind of cantradiction to its being perfect; the registers of many Latin books at this period mention the first leaf of A as quite blank. The copy of the public library at Cambridge is at least so worn or mutilated at the bottom of some pages that the bottom lines are not legible." [This copy is now in the matchless collection of Earl Spencer.]
157. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, C.R. woodcuts, Pynson, folio, "This is Pynson's original edition, and probably the first book he printed. See a long MS. note prefixed. Bound up at the end of this copy are two leaves of a MS. on vellum, which take in the conclusion of the Miller's Prologue, and beginning of his Tale. One of these pages is illuminated, and has a coloured drawing of the Miller on his mule."
166. Mort D'Arthur, B.L. woodcuts. Lond. W. Copland. See MS. notes at the beginning and end, folio.
175. Roy's Rede me and be not wrothe,
For I say nothing but trothe.
  "This is the famous satire against Cardinal Wolsey, printed some years before his fall. See Herbert, p. 1538, 8vo." [The reader may look for one minute at page 225, ante.]
263. Boetius, (The Boke of Comfort, by) translated into Englishe Tonge (in verse) Emprented in the exempt Monastery of Taverstock, in Denshire, by me, Thomas Rycharde, Monke of the said Monastery, 1525, 4to.
261. Caxton's Blanchardyn and Eglantine, or Proude Lady of Love, C.T. — F.D., printed by Caxton, folio. [See my edition of the Typographical Antiquities, vol. i. p. 346.]
274. Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Fyshyng, (from Juliana Barnes) B.L. woodcuts. Lond. Toye, and W. Copland, 4to. See MS. notes prefixed.
275. Hawys's Compendions Story, or Exemple of Vertue, B.L. — C.R. wood-cuts, ib. Wynkyn de Worde, 1533.
276. —— Passe-Tyme of Pleasure, B.L. wood-cuts ib. by W. de Worde, 1517, 4to.
306. Spenser's Shephearde's Calendar. C.T. — F.D., wood-cuts: first edition, ib. Singleton, 1579, 4to.
308. Taylor, the water poet (fifteen different pieces by) all of posterior date to the collection of his works. Among them is the Life of Old Par, with Par's head, and 31 plates of curious needle-work. The volume also contains some replies to Taylor. A written list of all the contents is prefixed. Lond. and Oxford, 4to.
330. Tulle of Old Age (translated by William Botoner, or of Worcester) pr. by Caxton, 1481. folio.
—— of Friendship, translated by Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester; to which is added another tract written by the same Earl, C.R. — F.D. — L.R. Explicit per Caxton, folio.

How shall I talk of thee, and of thy wonderful collection, O rare Richard Farmer?408— and of thy scholarship, acuteness, pleasantry, singularities, varied learning, and colloquial powers! Thy name will live long among scholars in general; and in the bosoms of virtuous and learned bibliomaniacs thy memory shall ever be enshrined! The walls of Emanuel College now cease to convey the sounds of thy festive wit — thy volumes are no longer seen, like Richard Smith's "bundles of sticht books," strewn upon the floor; and thou hast ceased, in the cause of thy beloved Shakspeare, to delve into the fruitful ore of black-letter literature. Peace to thy honest spirit; for thou wert wise without vanity, learned without pedantry, and joyous without vulgarity!

408 There is but a scanty memorial of this extraordinary and ever respectable bibliomaniac, in the Gentleman's Magazine; vol. lxvii. pt. ii. p. 805: 888: nor is it noticed, among Farmer's theologico-literary labours, that he was author of an ingenious essay upon the Demoniacs mentioned in scripture; in which essay he took up the idea of Mede, that these Demoniacs were madmen. Dr. Farmer's essay upon the Learning of Shakespeare is, in respect to the materials, arguments, and conclusions — what the late Bishop of Salisbury's [Douglas] was upon Miracles— original, powerful, and incontrovertible. Never was there an octavo volume, like Farmer's upon Shakespeare — which embraced so many, and such curious, points, and which displayed such research, ingenuity, and acuteness — put forth with so little pomp, parade, or pedantry. Its popularity was remarkable; for it delighted both the superficial and deeply-versed reader in black-letter lore. Dr. Parr's well applied Ciceronian phrase, in lauding the "ingenious and joy-inspiring language" of Farmer, gives us some notion of the colloquial powers of this acute bibliomaniac; whose books were generally scattered upon the floor, as Lysander above observes, like old Richard Smith's "stitched bundles." Farmer had his foragers; his jackalls: and his avant-couriers: for it was well known how dearly he loved every thing that was interesting and rare in the literature of former ages. As he walked the streets of London — careless of his dress — and whether his wig was full-bottomed or narrow-bottomed — he would talk and "mutter strange speeches" to himself; thinking all the time, I ween, of some curious discovery he had recently made in the aforesaid precious black-letter tomes. But the reader is impatient for the Bibliotheca Farmeriana: the title to the catalogue whereof is as follows. "Bibl. Farm. A Catalogue of the curious, valuable, and extensive Library in print and manuscript, of the late Rev. Richard Farmer, D.D., Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's; Master of Emanuel College: Librarian to the University of Cambridge; and Fellow of the Royal & Antiquary Societies (deceased, &c.) Sold by Auction by Mr. King; May, 1798," 8vo. [8199 articles]. The collection is justly said, in the title page, to contain the "most rare and copious assemblage of Old English Poetry that, perhaps, was ever exhibited at one view; together with a great variety of Old Plays, and early printed books, English and Foreign, in the black-letter." The reader has already (p. 324 ante) had some intimation of the source to which Dr. Farmer was chiefly indebted for these poetical and dramatical treasures; of some of which, "hereafter followeth" an imperfect specimen:

NO.   £ s. d.
5950. Marbecke (John) the book of Common Prayer, noted, 1550. 4to. See Dr. Burney's long account of this very scarce book in his History of Musick, vol. ii. p. 578, &c. 2 6 0

Skinner's Discovery and Declaration of the Inquisition of Spayne, imp. J. Daye, 1569, 4to.

Shippe of Fooles, by Brant, wood cuts, imp. Wynkyn de Worde, 1517, 4to.
1 16 0
6194. Brunswyke's Medical Dictionary, translated by Huet, imp. by Treveris, 1525. folio. 3 10 0
6195. Customs of the Citie of London, or Arnold's Chronicle, with the Nut-Brown Mayde, 1st edition, 1502, folio. 0 19 0
6386. Annalia Dubrensia, or Robert Dover's Olimpic Games upon Cotswold-Hills, with frontispiece, 1636. 1 14 0
6387. Barley-breake, or a Warning for Wantons, by W.N. 1607, 4to. 0 5 0
6395. Britton's Bowre of Delights, by N.B. 1597. 4to. 1 13 0
6413. Byrd's (Will.) Psalmes, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie made into Musicke of 5 partes. 1588. Ditto Sacræ Cantiones, 2 parts; and various Madrigals and Canzonets, by Morley, Weelkes, Wilbye, Bateson, &c. 4to. 0 15 0
6608. Copie of a Letter sent from the roaring Boyes in Elizium, to the two arrant Knights of the Grape in Limbo, Alderman Abel and M. Kilvert, the two projectors for wine; with their portraits. 5 5 0
6785. Turbervile's (George) Epitaphs, Epigrams, Songs and Sonets, with a Discourse of the freendly affections of Tymetes to Pyndara his ladie, b.l. 1570, imp. by Denham, 8vo. 1 16 0
6804. Virgil's Æneis, the first foure bookes, translated into English heroicall verse, by Richard Stanyhurst, with other poetical devises thereunto annexed; impr. by Bynneman, 1583, 8vo. 2 17 0
6826. Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie (King James VI.) Edinburgh, by Vautrollier, 1585, 8vo. 1 13 0
6846. Fulwell's (Ulpian) Flower of Fame, or bright Renoune and fortunate Raigne of King Henry VIII. b.l. with curious wood cuts: imp. by Will. Hoskin, 1575, 4to. 1 11 6
6847. Flytting (the) betwixt Montgomerie and Polwarte, Edin., 1629, 4to. 2 5 0
7058. Horace's Art of Poetrie, Pistles, and Satyrs, English'd by Drant, b.l. Imp. by Marshe, 1566, 4to. 0 7 6
7066. Humours Ordinarie, where a man may be verie merrie and exceeding well used for his sixpence, 1607, 4to. 0 14 6
7187. Mastiffe Whelp, with other ruff-island-like curs fetcht from among the Antipodes, which bite and barke at the fantasticall humourist and abuses of the time. 0 19 0
7199. Merry Jest of Robin Hood, and of his Life, with a new Play for to be plaied in May-Games; very pleasant and full of pastime, b.l. imp. by Edward White, 4to. 3 13 6
7200. Milton's Paradise Lost, in 10 books, 1st edit. 1667. 0 11 0
7201. ———————————— 2nd title page, 1668. 0 11 0
7202. ———————————— 3rd title page, 1669. —"N.B. The three foregoing articles prove that there were no less than three different title-pages used, to force the sale of the first edition of this matchless poem." S. P[aterson.] 0 7 0
7232. Paradyse of Daynty Devises, b.l. extremely scarce, imp. by Henry Disle, 1576, 4to. 6 0 0
7240. Peele's (G.) Device of the Pageant borne before Woolstone Dixie, Lord Mayor of London, Oct. 29, 1585, b.l. See Dr. F.'s note; as probably the only copy. 4to. 1 11 6
7241. Percy's (W.) Sonnets to the fairest Cælia, 1594. 4to. 1 12 0
7249. Psalter (the whole) translated into English Metre, which containeth an Hundreth and Fifty Psalms. The title and first page written. Imp. by John Daye, 1567. "This translation was by Archbishop Parker, and is so scarce that Mr. Strype tells us he could never get a sight of it." See Master's History of C.C.C.C. Mr. Wharton supposes it never to have been published, but that the Archbishop's wife gave away some copies. "It certainly (he adds) is at this time extremely scarce, and would be deservedly deemed a fortunate acquisition to those capricious students who labour to collect a Library of Rarities." Hist. of Eng. Poetry, vol. iii. 186. It has a portrait of the Archbishop. 4to. 3 6 0
7828. Somner's (Henry) Orpheus and Eurydice, 1740. 4to. 0 1 6
7829. Shakespeare's Works, 1st edition, in folio, wants title, last leaf written from the 4to. 1623. 7 0 0
8062. Metrical Romances, written in the reign of Richard IId. or rather about the end of the reign of Henry IIId. or beginning of Edward I. (See note,) purchased at Dr. Monro's Auction by Dr. Farmer, for 29l. 4 14 0
8080. These Booke is called Ars moriendi, of William Baron, Esq., to remayne for ever to the Nonnye of Deptford; on vellum, bound in purple velvet. 2 3 0
6451. Chaucer's noble and amorous auncyent Hystory of Troylus and Cresyde, in fyve Bokes, imprynted by Wynkyn de Worde, 1517.

Here begynneth the Temple of Glass, imp. by Wynkyn de Worde.

The Castell of Pleasure, imp. by ditto.

Here begynneth a lyttell Treatise cleped La Conusauce D'Amours. imp. by Pynson.

The Spectacle of Lovers, imp. by Wynkyn de Worde.

History of Tytus and Gesippus, translated out of Latin into Englyshe, by Wyllyam Walter, sometime servaunte to Syr Henry Marney, Cnyght, Chaunceler of the Duchy of Lancastre, imp. by ditto.

The Love and Complayntes betwene Mars and Venus.

The Fyrst Fynders of the vii Scyences Artificiall, printed by Julian Notarye.

Guystarde and Sygysmonde, translated by Wyllyam Walter, imp. by Wynkyn de Worde, 1532.

The Complaynte of a Lover's Lyfe, imp. by ditto.

Here begynneth a lytel Treatyse, called The Disputacyon of Complaynte [of] the Harte, thorughe perced with the lokynge of the Eye, imp. by Wynkyn de Worde.

This Boke is named the Beaultie of Women, translated out of French into Englyshe, imp. by Wier.

Here begynneth a lytel Treatise, called the Controverse betwene a Lover and a Jaye, lately compyled, imp. by Wynkyn de Worde.

The above 12 very rare and ancient pieces of poetry are bound in one vol. with curious wood-cuts, and in fine preservation.

'The Temple of Glass alone was sold for 3l. 15s. and the present vol. may, with propriety, be deemed matchless.' All in quarto.
26 5 0

[N.B. These articles should have preceded no. 6608; at p. 423, ante.]

And here, benevolent reader, let us bid farewell to Richard Farmer of transcendant bibliomaniacal celebrity! It is in vain to look forward for the day when book-gems, similar to those which have just been imperfectly described from the Bibl. Farmeriana, will be disposed of at similar prices. The young collector may indulge an ardent hope; but, if there be any thing of the spirit of prophecy in my humble predictions, that hope will never be realised. Dr. Farmer's copies were, in general, in sorry condition; the possessor caring little (like Dr. Francis Bernard; vide p. 316, ante) for large margins and splendid binding. His own name, generally accompanied with a bibliographical remark, and both written in a sprawling character, usually preceded the title-page. The science (dare I venture upon so magnificent a word?) of bibliography was, even in Farmer's latter time, but jejune, and of limited extent: and this will account for some of the common-place bibliographical memoranda of the owner of these volumes. We may just add that there are some few copies of this catalogue printed on large paper, on paper of a better quality than the small; which latter is sufficiently wretched. I possess a copy of the former kind, with the prices and purchasers' names affixed — and moreover, uncut!

A poor eulogy, this, upon Farmer! — but my oratory begins to wax faint. For this reason I cannot speak with justice of the friend and fellow-critic of Farmer —George Steevens409— of Shakspearian renown! The Library of this extraordinary critic and collector was sold by auction in the year 1800; and, being formed rather after the model of Mason's, than of Farmer's, it was rich to an excess in choice and rare pieces. Nor is it an uninteresting occupation to observe, in looking among the prices, the enormous sums which were given for some volumes that cost Steevens not a twentieth part of their produce:— but which, comparatively with their present worth, would bring considerably higher prices! What arduous contention, "Renardine shifts," and bold bidding; what triumph on the one part, and vexation on the other, were exhibited at the book-sale! — while the auctioneer, like Jove looking calmly down upon the storm which he himself had raised, kept his even temper; and "ever and anon" dealt out a gracious smile amidst all the turbulence that surrounded him! Memorable æra! — the veteran collector grows young again in thinking upon the valour he then exhibited; and the juvenile collector talks "braggartly" of other times— which he calls the golden days of the bibliomania — when he reflects upon his lusty efforts in securing an Exemplar Steevensianum!

409 If Lysander's efforts begin to relax — what must be the debilitated mental state of the poor annotator, who has accompanied the book-orator thus long and thus laboriously? Can Steevens receive justice at my hands — when my friends, aided by hot madeira, and beauty's animating glances, acknowledge their exhausted state of intellect?! However, I will make an effort:

'nothing extenuate

Nor set down aught in malice.'

The respectable compiler of the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lxx. p. 178, has given us some amusing particulars of Steevens's literary life: of his coming from Hampstead to London, at the chill break of day, when the overhanging clouds were yet charged with the 'inky' purple of night — in order, like a true book-chevalier, to embrace the first dank impression, or proof sheet, of his own famous octavo edition of Shakspeare; and of Mr. Bulmer's sumptuous impression of the text of the same. All this is well enough, and savours of the proper spirit of Bibliomaniacism: and the edition of our immortal bard, in fifteen well printed octavo volumes, (1793) is a splendid and durable monument of the researches of George Steevens. There were from 20 to 25 copies of the octavo edition printed upon large paper; and Lord Spencer possesses, by bequest, Mr. Steevens' own copy of the same, illustrated with a great number of rare and precious prints; to which, however, his Lordship, with his usual zeal and taste, has made additions more valuable even than the gift in its original form. The 8vo. edition of 1793 is covetted with an eagerness of which it is not very easy to account for the cause; since the subsequent one of 1803, in 21 octavo volumes, is more useful on many accounts: and contains Steevens's corrections and additions in every play, as well as 177, in particular, in that of Macbeth. But I am well aware of the stubbornness and petulancy with which the previous edition is contended for in point of superiority, both round a private and public table; and, leaving the collector to revel in the luxury of an uncut, half-bound, morocco copy of the same, I push onward to a description of the Bibliotheca Steevensiana. Yet a parting word respecting this edition of 1803. I learn, from unquestionable authority, that Steevens stipulated with the publishers that they should pay Mr. Reed 300l. for editorship, and 100l. to Mr. W. Harris, Librarian of the Royal Institution, for correcting the press: nor has the editor in his preface parted from the truth, in acknowledging Mr. Harris to be 'an able and vigiland assistant.' Mr. H. retained, for some time, Steevens' corrected copy of his own edition of 1793, but he afterwards disposed of it, by public auction, for 28l. He has also at this present moment, Mr. Josiah Boydell's copy of Mr. Felton's picture of our immortal bard; with the following inscription, painted on the back of the pannel, by Mr. Steevens:

May, 1797.
Copied by Josiah Boydell, at my
request, from the remains of the
only genuine Portrait of William
George Steevens.

The engraved portrait of Shakspeare, prefixed to this edition of 1803, is by no means a faithful resemblance of Mr. Boydell's admirably executed copy in oil. The expenses of the edition amounted to 5844l.; but no copies now remain with the publishers. We will now give rather a copious, and, as it must be acknowledged, rich, sprinkling of specimens from the Bibliotheca Steevensiana, in the departments of rare old poetry and the drama. But first let us describe the title to the catalogue of the same. A Catalogue of the curious and valuable Library of George Steevens, Esq., Fellow of the Royal and Antiquary Societies (Lately deceased). Comprehending an extraordinary fine Collection of Books, &c., sold by auction by Mr. King, in King Street, Covent Garden, May, 1800. 8vo. [1943 articles: amount of sale 2740l. 15s.]

Old Poetry.
NO.   £ s. d.
867. Gascoigne's (Geo.) Workes, or a Hundreth sundrie Flowers bounde in one small Poesie, (including) Supposes, com. from Ariosto; Jocosta, Tr. from Euripides, &c. b.l. first edition. Lond. impr. by Bynneman, 1572, 4to. 1 19 0
  'With MS. notes respecting this copy and edition by Mr. Steevens.'      
868. Another copy, 2d edition (with considerable additions); among other, the Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth Castle, the Steele Glass, the Complainte of Phylomene, b.l. ib. impr. by Abell Jeffes, 1587, 4to., with MS. references, by Messrs. Bowles and Steevens. 4 4 0
869. Another copy, including all the aforementioned, and a Delicate Diet for Daintie Mouthde Droonkardes, b.l. Lond. impr. by Rich. Jhones, 1576, 8vo.

The Glasse of Gouernement, 4to. b.l. russia, with MS. references.

The Droome of Doomesday, 3 parts, b.l. ib. 1576, 4to. 'The above two volumes are supposed to comprise the compleatest collection of Gascoigne's works extant.'
5 15 6
876. Googe (Barnabe) Eglogs, Epytaphes, and Sonnettes newly written, b.l., small 8vo. fine copy in Russia, Lond. impr. by Tho. Colwell for Raffe Newbery, dwelynge in Fleet Streete a little above the Conduit, in the late shop of Tho. Bartelet. See Mr. Steevens's note to the above; in which he says there is no scarcer book in the English language, and that Dr. Farmer, Messrs. T. Warton and Js. Reed, had never seen another copy. 10 15 0
949. Lodge (Tho.) Life and death of William Longbeard, the most famous and witty English traitor, borne in the citty of London, accompanied with manye other most pleasant and prettie Histories, 4to. b.l. printed by Rich. Yardley and Peter Short, 1593. [cost Mr. Steevens 1s. 9d.!] 4 7 0
995. The Paradyse of Dainty Devises, MS. a fac-simile of the first edition, in 1576, finished with the greatest neatness by Mr. Steevens, 4to. in russia. 5 15 0
996. The Paradice of Dainty Devises, devised and written for the most part by M. Edwardes, sometime of her Majestie's Chappell; the rest by sundry learned Gentlemen, both of Honor and worship. Lond. printed by Edwd. Allde, 1595, 4to. 4 6 0
997. The Paradice of Daintie Devises, b.l. interleaved, ib. printed for Edw. White, 1600, 4to.

Breton (Nich.) Workes of a young Wyt, trust up with a Fardell of Prettie Fancies, profitable to young Poetes, prejudicial to no Man, and pleasant to every Man, to pass away Idle Tyme withal, b.l. 4to. interleaved with a MS. list of the Author's Works by Messrs. Steevens, Ritson, and Park: impr. at Lond. nigh unto the Three Cranes in the Vintree, by Tho. Dawson, and Tho. Gardyner.

Soothern's Odes, 4to. b.l. interleaved with copious MS. Notes, and an Extract from the European Magazine relative to the Author: wants title, no date.

Watson (Tho.) Passionate Centurie of Love, 4to. b.l. interleaved: the 12 first sonnets, and the latter ones, from 78, in MS. Lond. impr. by John Wolfe.

"The above curious Collection of Old Poems are bound together in russia, with border of gold, and may be deemed with propriety, Matchless."
21 10 6
1037. Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, in 3 bookes, with a wood-cut of Queen Elizabeth; choice copy, in morocco, 4to. ib. printed by Rich. Field, 1589. 7 10 0
1073. Roy (Will.) Satire on Cardinal Wolsey, a Poem; b.l. sm. 8vo. russia, no date nor place. 7 7 0
1078. Skelton (Jo.) Poet Laureat, lyttle Workes, viz. Speake Parot. The Death of the Noble Prynce, King Edwarde the Fourthe. A Treatyse of the Scottes. Ware the Hawke, The Tunnynge of Elynoure Rummyng, sm. 8vo. b.l. Impr. at Lond. in Crede Lane, Jhon Kynge, and Thomas Marshe, no date. 12mo.

Hereafter foloweth a lyttle Booke, called Colyn Clout, b.l. impr. by John Wyght, 12mo.

Hereafter foloweth a little Booke of Phyllip Sparrow, b.l. impr. by Robert Tob. 12mo.

Hereafter foloweth a little Booke which has to name, Whi come ye not to Courte, b.l. impr. by John Wyght. 12mo.
4 5 0
1079. Skelton (Master, Poet Laureat) Merie Tales, b.l. 12mo. Lond. impr. by Tho. Colwell, no date. 5 15 6
  "See Note, in which Mr. Steevens says he never saw another copy."      
1119. Warren (Will.) A pleasant new Fancie of a Foundling's Device intitled and cald the Nurcerie of Names, with wood borders, b.l. 4to. ib. impr. by Rich. Jhones, 1581. 2 16 0
1125. Watson (Tho.) Passionate Centurie of Love; b.l. 4to. the title, dedication, and index, MS. by Mr. Steevens.

"Manuscript Poems, transcribed from a Collection of Ancient English Poetry, in the possession of Sam. Lysons, Esq., formerly belonging to Anne Cornwallis, by Mr. Steevens."
5 10 0
1126. —— Passionate Centurie of Love, divided into two parts, b.l. 4to. russia. Lond. impr. by John Wolfe. 5 18 0
1127. England's Helicon, collected by John Bodenham, with copious additions, and an index in MS. by Mr. Steevens, 4to. russia, ib. printed by J.R. 1600. 11 15 0
1128. Weblee [Webbe] (Will.) Discourse of English Poetrie, together with the author's judgment, touching the Reformation of our English Verse, b.l. 4to. russia, ib. by John Charlewood, 1586. 8 8 0

The Drama; and early Plays of Shakespeare.

1216. The Plot of the Plays of Frederick and Basilea, and of the Deade Man's Fortune, the original papers which hung up by the side scenes in the playhouses, for the use of the prompter and the acter, earlier than the time of Shakspeare. 11 0 0
1218. Anonymous, a pleasant Comedie, called Common Conditions, b.l. imperf. 4to. in russia. 6 10 0
  "Of this Dramatick Piece, no copy, except the foregoing mutilated one, has hitherto been discovered: with a long note by Mr. Steevens, and references to Kirkman, Langbaine, Baker, Reed," &c.      
1221. Bale (John) Tragedie, or Enterlude, manifesting the chiefe Promises of God unto Man, compyled An. Do. 1538, b.l. 4to. now first impr. at Lond. by John Charlewood, 1577. 12 15 0
1248. Marlow (Chr.) and Tho. Nash, Tragedie of Dido, Queene of Carthage, played by the Children of her Majesties' Chappell, 4to. russia, Lond. printed by the Widdowe Owin, 1594. 17 0 0
1259. Peele (Geo.) The Old Wives Tale, a pleasant conceited Comedie played by the Queene's Majesties' Players; 4to. in russia; ib. impr. by John Danter, 1595. 12 0 0
  "N.B. A second of the above is to be found in the Royal Library; a third copy is unknown." Steevens' note.      

Early Plays of Shakspeare.

1263. The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, no title, 4to. Lond. 1611. With MS. notes, &c., by Mr. Steevens. 2 2 0
1264. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 4to. ib. printed by R. Young, 1637. 0 7 0
1265. The History of Henrie the Fourth, with the Battell of Shrewsburie, &c.; with the famous conceits of Sir John Falstaffe, part I. 4to. ib. printed by S.S. 1599. 3 10 0
1266. The same, ib. printed for Mathew Lay, 1608, 4to. 1 7 0
1267. The same, ib. printed by W.W. 1613. With MS. notes, &c. by Mr. Steevens. 1 2 0
1268. The same, ib. printed by Norton, 1632. 0 10 0
1259. The 2d part of Henry the Fourth, continuing to his Death, and Coronation of Henrie the Fift, with the Humours of Sir John Falstaffe and Swaggering Pistoll, as acted by the Lord Chamberlayne his Servants. First Edit. 4to. ib. printed by V.S. 1600. 3 13 0
1270. The same, ib. 4to. printed by Val. Simmes, 1600. 2 15 0
1271. The Chronicle History of Henry the Fift, with his Battell fought at Agincourt in France, together with Auntient Pistoll, as playd by the Lord Chamberlayne his servants. First Edit. 4to. inlaid on large paper, ib. printed by Thomas Creede, 1600. 27 6 0
1272. The Chronicle History of Henry the Fift, &c. 4to. Lond. 1608. 1 1 0
1273. The true Tragedie of Richarde, Duke of Yorke, and the Death of good King Henrie the Sixt, as acted by the Earle of Pembroke his Servants, 4to. inlaid on large paper, ib. printed by W.W. 1600. 1 16 0
1274. The whole contention betweene the two famous Houses, Lancaster and Yorke, with the Tragicall Ends of the good Duke Humphrey, Richard, Duke of Yorke, and King Henrie the Sixt, divided into 2 parts, 4to. ib. no date. 1 5 0
1275. The first and second part of the troublesome Raigne of John, King of England, with the discoverie of King Richard Cordelion's Base sonne (vulgarly named the Bastard Fauconbridge) also the Death of King John at Swinstead Abbey, as acted by her Majesties Players, 4to. Lond. impr. by Val. Simmes, 1611. 1 18 0
1276. The first and second part of the troublesome Raigne of John, King of England, &c., ib. printed by Aug. Matthews, 1622. 1 1 0
1277. The True Chronicle History of the Life and Death of King Lear, and his three Daughters, with the unfortunate Life of Edgar, Sonne and Heire to the Earl of Glocester, and his sullen and assumed Humour of Tom of Bedlam, by his Majestie's servants. First Edit. 4to. ib. 1608. 28 0 0
1578. Another Edition, differing in the title-page and signature of the first leaf. 4to. ib. 1608. 2 2 0
1279. The most excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice, with the extreme crueltie of Shylocke the Jew towards the sayd Merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh: and the obtayning of Portia by his choyce of three chests, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his servants, First Edit. inlaid oil large paper; 4to. at London, printed by John Roberts, 1600. 2 0 0
1280. The excellent History of the Merchant of Venice, with the extreme crueltie of Shylocke the Jew; First Edit. 4to. inlaid on large paper, printed by John Roberts, 1600. 2 2 0
1281. A most pleasant and excellent conceited Comedie of Syr John Falstaffe and the Merrie Wives of Windsor, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine's Servants. First Edit. 4to. Lond. printed by T.C. 1602. 28 0 0
1282. A most pleasant and excellent conceited Comedy of Sir John Falstaffe and the Merry Wives of Windsor, with the swaggering vaine of Antient Pistoll and Corporal Nym, 4to. inlaid. Lond. 1619. 1 4 0
1283. The Merry Wives of Windsor, with the Humours of Sir John Fallstaffe, also the swaggering Vaine of Ancient Pistoll and Corporal Nym, 4to. Lond. printed by T.H. 1630. 0 10 6
1284. A Midsommer Night's Dreame, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine's Servantes, First Edit. impr. at Lond. for Thos. Fisher, 4to. 1600, part of one leaf wanting. 25 10 0
1285. Another copy, First Edit. inlaid, ib. 1600. 1 15 0
1286. Much adoe about Nothing, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants, First Edit. 4to. ib. printed by Val. Simmes, 1600. 25 10 0
1287. The Tragedy of Othello the Moore of Venice, as acted at the Globe and at the Black Friers, by his Majesties Servants, 4to. Lond. printed by N.O. 1622, with MS. notes and various readings by Mr. Steevens. 29 8 0
1288. The Tragedy of Othello the Moore of Venice, as acted at the Globe and at the Black Friers, 4to. Lond. printed by A.M. 1630. 0 13 0
1289. Tragedie of Othello; 4th Edit. 4to. ib. 1665. 0 4 0
1290. The Tragedie of King Richard the Second, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants, 4to. Lond. printed by Val. Simmes, 1598. 4 14 6
1291. Tragedie of King Richard the Second, as acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants, 4to. printed by W.W. 1608. 10 0 0
1292. The Tragedie of King Richard the Second, with new Additions of the Parliament Scene, and the deposing of King Richard, as acted by his Majestie's Servants at the Globe, 4to. Lond. 1615, with MS. notes, &c. by Mr. Steevens. 1 12 0
1293. The Life and Death of King Richard the Second, with new Additions of the Parliament Scene, and the deposing of King Richard, as acted at the Globe by his Majesties Servants, 4to. Lond. 1634. 0 5 0
1294. The Tragedie of King Richard the Third, as acted by the Lord Chamberlain his Servants, 4to. Lond. printed by Tho. Creede. 1602. Defective at the end. 0 10 0
1295. The Tragedie of King Richard the Third, containing his treacherous Plots against his Brother Clarence, the pitiful murther of his innocent Nephews, his tirannical usurpation, with the whole course of his detested Life, and most deserved Death, as acted by his Majesties Servants, 4to. Lond. printed by Tho. Creede, 1612, with notes and various readings by Mr. Steevens. 1 5 0
1296. The same, 4to. ib. 1629. 0 7 0
1297. Tragedie of King Richard the Third, as acted by the King's Majesties Servants, 4to. ib. 1634. 0 6 0
1298. The most excellent and lamentable Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet, 4to. A fragment. Lond. 1599. 0 5 6
1299. The same, compleat, inlaid on large paper, 4to. ib., impr. by Tho. Creede, 1599. [Second Edition.] 6 0 0
1300. The same, 4to. Lond. 1609, with MS. notes and readings by Mr. Steevens. 2 2 0
1301. The same, 4to. ib. printed by R. Young, 1637. 0 9 0
1302. A pleasant conceited Historie, called the Taming of the Shrew, as acted by the Earle of Pembroke's Servants. First Edit. 4to. inlaid on large paper, ib., printed by V.S. 1607. 20 0 0
1303. A wittie and pleasant Comedie, called the Taming of a Shrew, as acted by his Majesties Servants, at the Blacke Friers and the Globe, 4to., ib., printed by W.S. 1631. 0 11 0
1304. The most lamentable Tragedie of Titus Andronicus, as plaide by the King's Majesties Servants, 4to. inlaid, ib., printed for Edward White, 1611. 2 12 6
1305. The History of Troylus and Cresseide, as acted by the King's Majesties Servants at the Globe. First. Edit. 4to., ib., imp. by G. Alde, 1609. 5 10 0
1306. The lamentable Tragedie of Locrine, the eldest sonne of King Brutus, discoursing the Warres of the Brittaines and Hunnes, with ther discomfiture, 4to. ib., printed by Thomas Creede, 1595. 3 5 0
1307. The London Prodigall, as plaide by the King's Majesties Servants, 4to. ib., printed by T.C. 1705. 1 9 0
1308. The late and much admired Play called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, with the true relation of the whole Historie and Fortunes of the said Prince, as also the no lesse strange and worthy accidents in the Birth and Life of his Daughter Marianna, acted by his Majesties Servants at the Globe on the Banck-side, 4to. ib., 1609. 1 2 0
1309. Another edition, 4to. ib. 1619. 0 15 0
1310. The first part of the true and honourable History of the Life of Sir John Old-castle, the good Lord Cobham, as acted by the Earle of Nottingham his servants, 4to. Lond. 1600. 0 10 0
1311. A Yorkshire Tragedy, not so new, as lamentable and true, 4to. Lond. 1619. 0 9 0
1312. (Twenty Plays) published by Mr. Steevens, 6 vols. large paper, ib., 1766. Only 12 copies taken off on large paper 5 15 6

Editions of Shakspeare's Works.

1313. Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, published according to the true originall copies, by John Heminge and Hen. Condell, fol. russia. Lond. printed by Isaac Juggard and Edwd. Blount. 1623; with a MS. title, and a fac-simile drawing of the portrait by Mr. Steevens. 22 0 0
1314. The same: 2d edit. folio, fine copy morocco, gilt leaves, ib. 1632. In this book is the hand writing of King Charles I. by whom it was presented to Sir Tho. Herbert, Master of the Revels. 18 18 0
1315. The same: 3d edit. with the 7 additional Plays, fol., neat and scarce, ib. 1664. See Note by Mr. Steevens. 8 8 0
1316. The same: 4th edit. 1685, folio. 2 12 6
1326. Hammer's (Sir Tho.) edition; 9 vols. 18mo. Lond. 1748. 1 13 0
1327. The same: with cuts, 6 vols. 4to. elegantly bound in hog-skin.      
1328. Pope and Warburton, 8 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1747. 1 0 0
1329. —————— 8 vols. 12mo., with Sir Thos. Hammer's Glossary. Dub. 1747. 0 15 0
1330. Capell, (Edw.) 10 vols. 8vo. Lond. printed by Dryden Leach, 1768. 2 6 0
1331. Johnson, (Sam.) 8 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1765. 1 19 0
1332. —— and Geo. Steevens, 10 vols. 8vo. ib. 1773. 2 14 0
1333. ———————— in single Plays, 31 vols. boards, ib. 1 11 0
1334. Johnson and Steevens: 10 vols. 2d edit. with Malone's Supplement, 2 vols., and the plates from Bell's edition, ib. 1778. 4 16 0
1335. —————— 10 vols. 3d edit. ib. 1785. 3 5 0
1336. —————— 4th edit. with a glossarial Index, 15 vols. 8vo. ib. 1793. 6 16 6
1337. Malone, (Edm.) 11 vols. 8vo. ib. 1790. 4 8 0
1338. —— Another copy, 11 vols. 8vo. ib. 4 18 0
1339. Ran (Jos.) 6 vols. 8vo. Oxf. 1786. 1 11 6
1340. —— with Ayscough's Index, 2 vols. 8vo. russia, marbled leaves, published by Stockdale, ib. 1784-90. 0 15 6
1341. Eccles, 2 vols. 8vo. ib. 1794. 1 11 0
1342. From the Text of Mr. Malone's edit. by Nichols, 7 vols. 12mo. Lond. 1790. 0 18 0
1343. From the Text of Mr. Steevens, last edit. 8 vols. 12mo. ib. 1797. 1 0 0
1344. —— 9 vols. 12mo. ib. 1798. 1 3 0
1345. —— 9 vols. 12mo. Birm. by R. Martin. 1 1 0
1346. —— 9 vols. Bell's edit. no plates. Lond. 1774. 0 18 0
1347. —— 20 vols. 18mo. with annotations, Bell's edit. fine paper, with plates, beautiful impressions, ib. 1788. 8 13 6
1348. —— 20 vols. 12mo. Bell's edition; large paper, finest possible impressions of the plates, superbly bound in green turkey, double bands, gilt leaves, ib. 17 17 0
1349. The Dramatic Works of; Text corrected by Geo. Steevens, Esq.; published by Boydell and Nichol, in large 4to., 15 nos. with the large and small plates; first and finest impressions, 1791, &c. N.B. Three more numbers complete the work. 36 4 6
1348. Harding, no. 31, l.p. containing 6 prints, with a portrait of Lewis Theobald, as published by Richardson, and some account of him, by Mr. Steevens. 0 4 6
1349. Ditto, ditto. 0 4 6
1350. Traduit de l'Anglois, 2 toms. Par. 1776. 0 6 0
1351. In German, 13 vols. 12mo. Zurich, 1775. 0 16 0
1352. King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and Julius Cæsar, by Jennings, Lond. 1770. 0 11 0
1353. Macbeth, with Notes by Harry Rowe, 12mo. York, 1797. 0 1 6
1354. —— 8vo. 2d edit. ib. 1799. 0 5 0
1355. Antony and Cleopatra, by Edw. Capell; 8vo. Lond. 1758. 0 1 0

The Virgin Queen; a Drama, attempted as a Sequel to Shakspeare's Tempest, by G.F. Waldron, 8vo. 1797.

—— Annotations on As You Like it, by Johnson and Steevens, Bell's edit.
0 1 0
1358. —— Another copy      
1359. Shakspeare's Sonnets, never before imprinted, 4to. at Lond. by G. Ald, 1609. 3 10 0
1360. —— Poems, 8vo. ib. 1640. 0 4 6
1361. —— Venis and Adonis, 8vo. ib. 1602. 1 11 6
1362. Rymer (Tho.) Short View of Tragedy, with Reflection on Shakspeare, &c. 8vo. b. 1698. 0 1 6
1363. Shakspeare restored, by Lewis Theobald, 4to. ib. 1726. 0 4 6
1364. Whalley's (Peter) on the Learning of; ib. 1748. Remarks on a late edition of Shakspeare, by Zach. Grey, ib. 1755, and other Tracts. 0 8 6
1365. Morris (Corbyn) Essay towards fixing the true Standard of Wit, Humour, &c. 8vo. ib. 1744. 0 8 0
1366. Critical Observations on, by John Upton; 8vo. 2d edit. Lond. 1748. 0 1 6
1367. —— Illustrated, by Charlotte Lennox; 3 vols. 12mo. ib. 1754. 0 9 0
1368. Notes on Shakspeare, by Zachary Grey; 2 vols. 8vo. ib. 1734. 0 3 0
1369. Beauties of Shakspeare, by William Dodd, 2 vols. 12mo. ib. 1757. 0 3 6
1370. Beauties of Shakspeare, by Wm. Dodd; 3 vols. 12mo. ib. 1780. 0 6 0
1371. —— (Revival of) Text, by Heath, 8vo. ib. 1765. 0 1 0
1372. Observations and Conjectures on some passages of, by Tho. Trywhit; 8vo. Oxford, 1766. 0 5 0
1373. Farmer (Rich) on the Learning of; 8vo. morocco. Camb. 1767. Only 12 copies on this paper. 0 16 0
1374. —— London. 8vo. 1789, with Mr. Capell's Shakspeariana, 8vo., only 20 copies printed, 1779. 0 1 6
1375. Malone (Edm.) Letter on, to Dr. Farmer; 8vo. ib. 1792. 0 4 6
1376. Letter to David Garrick (on a Glossary to) by Rich. Warner, 8vo. ib. 1768. 0 2 6

There were copies of the Catalogue of Steeven's books struck off on large paper, on bastard royal octavo, and in quarto.

It remains to say a few words of the celebrated collector of this very curious library. The wit, taste, and classical acquirements of George Steevens are every where recorded and acknowledged. As an editor of his beloved Shakspeare, he stands unrivalled; for he combined, with much recondite learning and indefatigable research, a polish of style, and vigour of expression, which are rarely found united in the same person. His definitions are sometimes both happy and singular; and his illustrations of ancient customs and manners such as might have been expected from a head so completely furnished, and a hand so thoroughly practised. I will not say that George Steevens has evinced the learning of Selden upon Drayton, or of Bentley upon Phalaris; nor did his erudition, in truth, rise to the lofty and commanding pitch of these his predecessors: nor does there seem much sense or wit in hunting after every pencil-scrap which this renowned bibliomaniac committed to paper — as some sadly bitten book-collectors give evidence of. If I have not greatly misunderstood the characteristics of Steevens's writings, they are these — wit, elegance, gaiety, and satire, combined with almost perfect erudition in English dramatic antiquities. Let us give a specimen of his classical elegance in dignifying a subject, which will be relished chiefly by Grangerites. Having learnt that a copy of Skelton's Verses on Elinour Rummin, the famous Ale-wife of England, with her portrait in the title-page, was in the Library of the Cathedral of Lincoln (perhaps, formerly, Captain Coxe's copy; vide p. 266, ante), he prevailed on the late Dean, Sir Richard Kaye, to bring the book to London; but as it was not suffered to go from the Dean's possession, Mr. S. was permitted to make a fac-simile drawing of the title, at the Dean's house in Harley-street. This drawing he gave to Richardson, the printseller, who engraved and published it among the copies of scarce portraits to illustrate Granger. The acquisition of this rarity produced from him the following Jeu d'Esprit; the merit of which can only be truly appreciated by those who had the pleasure of knowing the eminent Portrait Collectors therein mentioned, and whose names are printed in capital letters.

Eleonora Rediviva.

To seek this Nymph among the glorious dead,

Tir'd with his search on earth, is Gulston fled:—

Still for these charms enamoured Musgrave sighs;

To clasp these beauties ardent Bindley dies:

For these (while yet unstaged to public view,)

Impatient Brand o'er half the kingdom flew;

These, while their bright ideas round him play,

From Classic Weston force the Roman lay:

Oft too, my Storer, Heaven has heard thee swear,

Not Gallia's murdered Queen was half so fair:

"A new Europa!" cries the exulting Bull,

"My Granger now, I thank the gods, is full:"—

Even Cracherode's self, whom passions rarely move,

At this soft shrine has deign'd to whisper love. —

Haste then, ye swains, who Rumming's form adore,

Possess your Eleanour, and sigh no more.

It must be admitted that this is at once elegant and happy.

We will now say somewhat of the man himself. Mr. Steevens lived in a retired and eligibly situated house, just on the rise of Hampstead Heath. It was paled in; and had, immediately before it, a verdant lawn skirted with a variety of picturesque trees. Formerly, this house has been a tavern, which was known by the name of the Upper Flask: and which my fair readers (if a single female can have the courage to peruse these bibliomaniacal pages) will recollect to have been the same to which Richardson sends Clarissa in one of her escapes from Lovelace. Here Steevens lived, embosomed in books, shrubs, and trees: being either too coy, or too unsociable, to mingle with his neighbours. His habits were indeed peculiar: not much to be envied or imitated; as they sometimes betrayed the flights of a madman, and sometimes the asperities of a cynic. His attachments were warm, but fickle both in choice and duration. He would frequently part from one, with whom he had lived on terms of close intimacy, without any assignable cause; and his enmities, once fixed, were immovable. There was, indeed, a kind of venom in his antipathies; nor would he suffer his ears to be assailed, or his heat to relent, in favour of those against whom he entertained animosities, however capricious and unfounded. In one pursuit only was he consistent: one object only did he woo with an inflexible attachment; and that object was Dame Drama.

I have sat behind him, within a few years of his death, and watched his sedulous attention to the performances of strolling players, who used to hire a public room in Hampstead; and towards whom his gallantry was something more substantial than mere admiration and applause: for he would make liberal presents of gloves, shoes, and stockings — especially to the female part of the company. His attention, and even delight, during some of the most wretched exhibitions of the dramatic art, was truly surprising; but he was then drooping under the pressure of age, and what passed before him might serve to remind him of former days, when his discernment was quick and his judgment matured. It is, however, but justice to this distinguished bibliomaniac to add that, in his literary attachments he was not influenced by merely splendid talents or exalted rank. To my predecessor Herbert (for whose memory I may be allowed, at all times, to express a respectful regard) Steevens seems to have shewn marked attention. I am in possession of more than a dozen original letters from him to this typographical antiquary, in which he not only evinces great friendliness of disposition, but betrays an unusual solicitude about the success of Herbert's labours; and, indeed, contributes towards it by nearly a hundred notices of rare and curious books which were unknown to, or imperfectly described by, Herbert himself. At the close of a long letter, in which, amongst much valuable information, there is a curious list of Churchyard's Pieces— which Steevens urges Herbert to publish — he thus concludes:

"Dear Sir,

"I know not where the foregoing lists of Churchyard's Pieces can appear with more propriety than in a work like yours; and I therefore venture to recommend them as worth republication. If you publish, from time to time, additions to your book, you may have frequent opportunity of doing similar service to old English literature, by assembling catalogues of the works of scarce, and therefore almost forgotten, authors. By occasional effusions of this kind you will afford much gratification to literary antiquaries, and preserve a constant source of amusement to yourself: for in my opinion, no man is so unhappy as he who is at a loss for something to do. Your present task grows towards an end, and I therefore throw out this hint for your consideration." (July 27, 1789.)

A little further he adds: "In your vol. ii. p. 1920, you have but an imperfect account of Tyro's 'Roaring Megge,' &c. I shall therefore supply it underneath, as the book now lies before me. I have only room left to tell you I am always your very faithfully, G. Steevens." But the bibliomanical spirit of the author of this letter, is attested by yet stronger evidence:


"I have borrowed the following books for your use — Dr. Farmer's copy of Ames, with MS. notes by himself, and an interleaved Maunsell's Catalogue, with yet more considerable additions by Baker the antiquary. The latter I have promised to return at the end of this month, as it belongs to our University Library. I should not choose to transmit either of these volumes by any uncertain conveyance; and therefore shall be glad if you will let me know how they may be safely put into your hands. If you can fix a time when you shall be in London, my servant shall wait on you with them; but I must entreat that our library book may be detained as short a time as possible. I flatter myself that it will prove of some service to you, and am,

"Your very humble Servant,

"G. Steevens."

The following was Herbert's reply.


"As it must give you great satisfaction to know that the books were received safe by me last night, it affords me equal pleasure to send you the earliest assurance of it. I thank you sincerely for the liberty you have allowed me of keeping them till I come to London, on Monday, the 4th of September; when I shall bring them with me, and hope to return them safe at Mr. Longman's, between 10 and 11 o'clock; where, if it may be convenient to you, I shall be very happy to meet you, and personally to thank you for the kind assistance you have afforded me. If that may not suit you, I will gladly wait on you where you shall appoint by a line left there for me; and shall ever esteem myself,

"Your most obliged humble Servant,

"W. Herbert."

The following, and the last, epistolary specimen of the renowned G. Steevens — with which I shall treat my reader — is of a general gossipping black-letter cast; and was written two years before the preceding.

"Dear Sir,

"A desire to know how you do, and why so long a time has elapsed since you were seen in London, together with a few queries which necessity compels me to trouble you with, must be my apology for this invasion of your retirement. Can you furnish me with a transcript of the title-page to Watson's Sonnets or Love Passions, 4to. bl. l.? As they are not mentioned by Puttenham, in 1589, they must, I think, have appeared after that year. Can you likewise afford me any account of a Collection of Poems, bl. l., 4to. by one John Southern? They are addressed 'to the ryght honourable the Earle of Oxenforde;' the famous Vere, who was so much a favourite with Queen Elizabeth. This book, which contains only four sheets, consists of Odes, Epitaphs, Sonnets to Diana, &c. I bought both these books, which seem to be uncommonly rare, at the late sale of Major Pearson's Library. They are defective in their title-pages, and without your assistance must, in all probability, continue imperfect. Give me leave to add my sincere hope that your long absence from London has not been the result of indisposition, and that you will forgive this interruption in your studies, from

"Your very faithful and obedient Servant,

"Geo. Steevens."

"P.S. I hope your third volume is in the press, as it is very much enquired after."

It is now time to bid farewell to the subject of this tremendous note; and most sincerely do I wish I could 'draw the curtain' upon it, and say 'good night,' with as much cheerfulness and satisfaction at Atterbury did upon the close of his professional labours. But the latter moments of Steevens were moments of mental anguish. He grew not only irritable, but outrageous; and, in full possession of his faculties, he raved in a manner which could have been expected only from a creature bred up without notions of morality or religion. Neither complacency nor 'joyful hope' soothed his bed of death. His language was, too frequently, the language of imprecation; and his wishes and apprehensions such as no rational Christian can think upon without agony of heart. Although I am not disposed to admit the whole of the testimony of the good woman who watched by his bed-side, and paid him, when dead, the last melancholy attentions of her office — although my prejudices (as they may be called) will not allow me to believe that the windows shook, and that strange noises and deep groans were heard at midnight in his room — yet no creature of common sense (and this woman possessed the quality in an eminent degree) could mistake oaths for prayers, or boisterous treatment for calm and gentle usage. If it be said — why

"draw his frailties from their drear abode?"

the answer is obvious, and, I should hope, irrefragable. A duty, and a sacred one too, is due to the living. Past examples operate upon future ones: and posterity ought to know, in the instance of this accomplished scholar and literary antiquary, that neither the sharpest wit, nor the most delicate intellectual refinement, can, alone, afford a man 'peace at the last.' The vessel of human existence must be secured by other anchors than these, when the storm of death approaches!

Loren. You have seen a few similar copies in the library; which I obtained after a strenuous effort. There was certainly a very great degree of Book-Madness exhibited at the sale of Steevens's library — and yet I remember to have witnessed stronger symptoms of the Bibliomania!

Lis. Can it be possible? Does this madness

'Grow with our growth, and strengthen with our strength?'

Will not such volcanic fury burn out in time?

Phil. You prevent Lysander from resuming, by the number and rapidity of your interrogatories. Revert to your first question.

Lis. Truly, I forget it. But proceed with your history, Lysander; and pardon my abruptness.

Lysand. Upon condition that you promise not to interrupt me again this evening?

Lis. I pledge my word. Proceed.

Lysand. Having dispatched our account of the sale of the last-mentioned distinguished book-collector, I proceed with my historical survey: tho', indeed, it is high time to close this tedious bibliomaniacal history. The hour of midnight has gone by:— and yet I will not slur over my account of the remaining characters of respectability.

The collections of Strange410 and Woodhouse are next, in routine, to be noticed. The catalogue of the library of the former is a great favourite of mine: the departments into which the books are divided, and the compendious descriptions of the volumes, together with the extent and variety of the collection, may afford considerable assistance to judicious bibliomaniacs. Poor Woodhouse:411 thy zeal outran thy wit: thou wert indefatigable in thy search after rare and precious prints and books; and thy very choice collection of both is a convincing proof that, where there is wealth and zeal, opportunities in abundance will be found for the gratification of that darling passion, or insanity, now called by the name of Bibliomania!

410 Bibliotheca Strangeiana; A Catalogue of the general, curious, and extensive Library of that distinguished naturalist and lover of the fine arts, the late John Strange, Esq., L.L.D. F.R.S. and S.A., many years his Britannic Majesty's resident at the Republic of Venice. Comprehending an extraordinary fine collection of books and tracts, in most languages and sciences, to the number of upwards of four-score thousand, &c. Digested by Samuel Paterson. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, March 16, 1801, 8vo., 1256 articles. This is a plain, unaffected, but exceedingly well-digested, catalogue of a very extraordinary collection of books in all departments of literature. I do not know whether it be not preferable, in point of arrangement, to any catalogue compiled by Paterson. It has, however, a wretched aspect; from the extreme indifference of the paper.

411 We will first give the title to the Catalogue of the late Mr. Woodhouse's Collection of Prints. "A Catalogue of the choice and valuable Collection of Antient and Modern Prints, &c., selected with the highest taste from all the collections at home and abroad, &c. Sold by auction by Mr. Christie; January, 1801." The first part ends with the 5th day's sale; the second commences with the sixth day's sale and concludes on the sixteenth, with the Malborough Gems. Although we may have to give specimens of some of the rare and precious prints contained in this collection, in the course of Part VI. of this work, yet the reader, I would fain hope, will not be displeased with the following interesting extract, with the annexed prices, of the prints from the

Marlborough Gems.

[This assemblage, the result of twenty years' collecting, contains a greater number than ever has been at one time offered to the public. — The first volume is complete, and may be accounted unique, as all the impressions are before the numbers, the artists' names, or proofs without any letters, as in the presentation copies: the subject of Cupid and Psyche is with variations, and the whole may be regarded as a great rarity. Those of the second volume are few in number, but in point of curiosity, no ways inferior.]

LOT       £ s. d.
72. One. Cæsar in the Temple of Venus. Proof before any letters. 3 13 6
73. Two. no. 1.
no. 2.
Scipio Africanus.
Lucius C. Sylla.
2 0 0
74. Two. no. 3.
no. 4.
Julias Cæsar; caput laureatum.
Marcus Junius Brutus.
5 15 0
75. Two. no. 5.
no. 6.
Marcus Junius Brutus; cum caduceo.
Lepidus; cum lituo.
2 17 6
76. Two. no. 7.
no. 8.
Augusti caput; cum corona radiata.
Augusti Pontificis maximi insign. &c.
4 14 6
77. Two. no. 9.

no. 10.
Marcellii Octaviæ, filii Augusti nepotis caput: opus elegantissimum.
Liviæ protome: cum capite laureato et velato pectore: simul Tiberii pueri prope adstantis caput arboris ignotæ foliis redimitum.
3 0 0
78. Two. no. 11.
no. 12.
Tiberii caput juvenile.
Germanici togati protome; cum capite laureato, facie plena, &c.
3 3 0
79. Two. no. 13.

no. 14.
Agrippinæ majoris uxoris Germanici & Caligulæ matris caput laureatum; sub effigie Dianæ.
Ejusdem Agrippinæ: sub effigie Cereris.
5 5 0
80. Two. no. 15.
no. 16.
Galbæ caput laureatum.
Ejusdem Galbæ caput.
1 19 0
81. Two. no. 17.

no. 18.
Nervæ togati protome; cum capite laureato, plena facie; opus pulcherrimum.
Ejusdem Nervæ caput.
4 4 0
82. Two. no. 19.
no. 20.
Marcianæ, Trajani sororis, caput.
Sabinæ Hadriani uxoris caput.
10 10 0
83. Two. no. 21.
no. 22.
Antinoi caput, cum pectore velato.
Caracalla togati protome facie plena.
5 0 0
84. Two. no. 23.
no. 24.
Caracallæ caput laureatum.
Juliæ Domnæ, Severi uxoris, caput.
1 18 0
85. Two. no. 25.
no. 26.
Laocoontes caput.
Semiramidis, vel potius Musæ, caput cum pectore.
7 7 0
86. Three. no. 27. Minervæ Alcidiæ caput galeatum; operis egregii, edit. var. 3 8 0
87. Two. no. 28.
no. 29.
Phocionis caput.
Jovis et Junonis capita jugata.
3 3 0
88. Three. no. 30.
no. 31.
Veneris caput.
Bacchæ caput var.
4 14 6
89. Two. no. 32.
no. 33.
Hercules Bibax, stans.
Bacchus, stans.
15 4 6
90. Two. no. 34.
no. 35.
Faunus tigridis pelli insidens, cauda, &c.
Athleta, stans, qui dextra manus trigelem, &c.
9 9 0
91. Two. no. 36.
no. 37.
Mercurius stans.
Mars, stans, armatus.
4 14 6
92. Two. no. 38.
no. 39.
Miles de rupe descendens, eximii sculptoris Græci opus.
Diomedes Palladio potitus cum Ulysse altercatione contendit.
7 0 0
93. Two. no. 40.
no. 41.
Dei Marini natantes.
Miles vulneratus a militibus duobus sustentatur.
5 10 0
94. Two. no. 42.
no. 43.
Miles militi vulnerato opitulato.
Mulier stolata cum virgine.
3 3 0
95. Two. no. 44.

no. 45.
Faunus pelle caprina ex humeris pendente vestitus; pedem super suggestum ignotæ figuræ figit et infantem genu sustinet.
Alexandri magni effigies.
96. Two. no. 46.
no. 47.
Æneam Diomedes a saxo percussum conservat.
Pompeiæ cujusdam ob victoriam partam descriptio.
8 18 0
Two. no. 48.
no. 49.
Amazon Amazonem morientem sustinet juxta equus.
Fragmen Gemmæ Bacchi, &c.
6 16 6
99. One. no. 50. Nuptiæ Psyches et Cupidonis, Rariss. 4 14 6
100. One. no. 50. Ditto, Ditto, Rariss. 8 8 0
101. One. Frontispiece to second volume; Proof, before the inscription on the arms; very rare. 5 5 0
Two. no. 1.
no. 2.
1 10 0
104. Two. no. 3.
no. 5.
Socrates et Plato.
3 3 0
105. Two. no. 8.
no. 9.
Ignotum caput Scyllacis opus.
Ignotum caput.
2 0 0
106. Two. no. 11.
no. 18.
Hercules et Iole.
3 3 0
107. Two. no. 19.
no. 20.
L. Junius Brutus.
2 2 0
108. Two. no. 22.
no. 25.
Drusus Tiberii filius.
1 18 0
109. Two. no. 31.
no. 36.
Caput ignotum, Antonini forsan junioris.
2 2 0
110. Two. no. 38.
no. 40.
Mercurii templum.
3 3 0
111. Two. no. 41.
no. 45.
2 12 6
112. Three. no. 46.
no. 48.
Omphale incedens.
Biga, var.
3 13 5
113. Two. no. 50. Silenus, tigris, &c. var. 3 0 0
114. Two. The vignette to the second volume; Proof, very fine, and etching, perhaps, unique. 7 10 0

For an interesting account of the engravings of the Devonshire Gems— the rival publication of those from the Marlborough collection — the reader may consult Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books; vol. i. 182-6. The entire collection of Mr. Woodhouse's prints produced 3595l. 17s. 6d.

We will now make handsome mention of the Bibliotheca Woodhousiana. A Catalogue of the entire, elegant, and valuable Library of John Woodhouse, Esq., comprising a rich and extensive collection of books, &c. Sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, December, 1803. 8vo. The collection was rather choice and rich, than extensive: having only 861 articles. Some of the rarest editions in old English Literature were vigorously contended for by well-known collectors: nor did the Library want beautiful and useful works of a different description. The following specimens will enable the reader to form a pretty correct estimate of the general value of this collection.

no.   £ s. d.
8. Antonie (the Tragedie of) doone into English by the Countesse of Pembroke, R.M. g.l. Lond. 1595. 12mo. 5 5 0
24. Barnabee's Journal, with Bessie Bell, First Edit. B.M. g.l. 1648. 12mo. 2 10 0
30. Bastard's (Thomas) Chrestoleros, seven Bookes of Epigrammes, G.M. g.l. 1598. 12mo. 5 15 6
76. Chaucer, by Tyrwhitt, with the Glossary, G.M. g.l. 5 vol. 1775. 8vo. 6 0 0
82. Cokain's (Sir Aston) Poems and Plays, with head, R.M. g.l. 2 vol. 1662. 8vo. 4 0 0
97. A Paire of Turtle Doves, or the History of Bellora and Fidelio, bl. l. 4to. see MS. note by Steevens, 1606. 5 5 0
160. Burnet's History of his own Times, large paper, R.M. g.l. 2 vol. 1724. 4to. 5 15 6
198. Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, large paper, 12 vols. 1780. 8vo. Only six copies printed in this manner. 14 14 0
313. Latham's General Synopsis of Birds, with Index, 9 vols. with reverse plates, elegantly painted by Miss Stone, now Mrs. Smith: R.M. g.m.l. 4to. 'N.B. Of the above set of books, there are only 6 copies.' 40 0 0
314. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, with his Life, large paper, 4 vols. boards, uncut, 1707, 1750, fol. 15 15 0
350. Heath's Chronicle, frontispiece and heads, R.M. g.l. 1663. 2 vols. 8vo. 5 5 0
394. Knight's Life of Colet, large paper; plates, elegant, in light brown calf, g.l.m. 1724, 8vo. 5 10 0
395. Knight's Life of Erasmus, large paper, plates, elegant, in light brown calf, g.l.m. 1726, 8vo. 9 9 0
431. Lewin's Birds of Great Britain, with the Eggs accurately figured, elegantly painted with back ground, 7 vols. in 3. A superb copy, in g.m. g.m.l. 1789, 4to. 28 7 0
473. Martyn's Universal Conchologist; English Entomologist: and Aranei, or Natural History of Spiders, 4 vols. elegantly coloured. A superb copy, in R.M. g.m.l. 1789, 92, and 93, 4to. 33 12 0
490. Harrison's Seven Triumphal Arches, in honor of James I., all the [seven] parts complete; curious and very rare, R.M. g.l. 1604. folio. 27 6 0
493. Hearne and Bryne's Antiquities and Views in Great Britain, proof impressions, M. g.l. 1786, oblong folio. 16 0 0
586. Skelton's (Mayster) Poems: Colyn Clout, Lond. by John Whygte. Whi come ye not to Courte; Lond. by John Whygte. Phillyp Sparow; Speak Parot; Death of the Noble Prynce, &c. See note. Lond. by John Kynge and Thomas Marshe. Merie Tales; unique, see note. Lond. by Thomas Colwell, 5 vol. bl. l. R.M. g.l. 12mo. 23 0 0
624. Monument of Matrons, containing seven severall lamps of Virginitie, by Thomas Bentley; bl. l. R. 3 vols. 1582, 4to. 16 5 6
632. Nychodemus Gospell, wood-cuts, bl. l. g.l. R.M. Lond. Wynkyn de Worde, 1511, 4to. 6 16 6
640. Pennant's History of Quadrupeds, boards, uncut, large paper, proof plates, 1793, 4to. 6 6 0
692. The late Expedition in Scotlande, made by the Kinges Hyhnys Armye, under the conduit of the Ryht Honourable the Earl of Hertforde, the yere of our Lorde God, 1544. bl. l. R.M. g.l. Lond. by Reynolde Wolfe, 1554, 8vo. 16 16 0
762. Sommers's (Lord) Collection of scarce and valuable Tracts, 19 vols. R. g.l. 1748, 50, 51, 52, folio. 85 1 0
780. Temple of Glas, bl. l. See notes by G. Mason. Wynkyn de Worde, no date, 4to. 8 8 0
795. Tour (A) through the South of England, Wales, and part of Ireland, in 1791, large paper, proof plates, coloured, 1793. N.B. "Of the above book only six copies were printed." 8 8 0
806. Vicar's England's Parliamentary Chronicle, R. g.l. complete, 4 parts, 3 vols. 1646, 4to. 12 0 0
829. Speed's Theatre of Great Britain, maps, R. g.l. m.l. A remarkable fine copy, 1611. 11 11 0
836. The Myrrour and Dyscrypcyon of the Worlde, with many Mervaylles, wood-cuts, B.M. g.l. Emprynted by me Lawrence Andrewe, 1527, folio. 26 0 0
837. The Recuile of the Histories of Troie, translated into English by William Caxton, very fair, B.M. g.l. Imprynted at London by W. Copland, 1553, fol. 23 0 0
852. The Myrroure of Golde for the Synfull Soule, bl. l. wood-cuts. Imprynted at Lond. in the Fleete-strete, at the sygne of the Sun, by Wynkyn de Worde, 1526, 4to. 12 1 6
856. Barclay's (Alexander) Egloges, out of a Boke named in Latin, Miserie Curialium, compyled by Eneas Sylvius, Poete and Oratour, bl. l. woodcuts, five parts, and complete, G.M. Imprynted by Wynkyn de Worde, 4to. 25 0 0
859. Holy Life and History of Saynt Werburge, very frutefull for all Christian People to rede. Poems, bl. l. G.M. Imp. by Richard Pynson, 1521, 4to. 31 10 0

Amount of the sale, 3135l. 4s.

Phil. I attended the sale of Woodhouse's prints and books; and discovered at it as strong symptoms of the madness of which we are discoursing as ever were exhibited on a like occasion. I have the catalogue upon fine paper, which, however, is poorly printed; but I consider it rather a curious bibliographical morçeau.

Lysand. Make the most of it, for it will soon become scarce. And now — notwithstanding my former boast to do justice to the remaining bibliomaniacal characters of respectability — as I find my oral powers almost exhausted, I shall barely mention the sales, by auction, of the collections of Wilkes, Ritson, and Boucher412although I ought to mention the Bibliotheca Boucheriana with more respect than its two immediate predecessors; as the collector was a man endowed with etymological acumen and patience; and I sincerely wish the public were now receiving the benefit of the continuation of his Dictionary; of which the author published so excellent a specimen, comprehending only the letter A. Dr. Jamieson has, to be sure, in a great measure done away the melancholy impression which lexicographical readers would otherwise have experienced — by the publication of his own unrivalled "Scottish Dictionary;" yet there is still room enough in the literary world for a continuation of Boucher.

412 It did not, perhaps, suit Lysander's notions to make mention of book-sales to which no collectors' names were affixed; but, as it has been my office, during the whole of the above conversation, to sit in a corner and take notes of what our book-orator has said, as well to correct as to enlarge the narrative, I purpose, gentle reader, prefacing the account of the above noticed three collections by the following bibliomaniacal specimen: 'A Catalogue of a capital and truly valuable Library, the genuine property of a Gentleman of Fashion, highly distinguished for his fine taste,' &c.: sold by auction by Mr. Christie, May, 1800, 8vo. 326 articles: amount of the sale, 1828l. 18s.; being nearly 6l. an article. Now for the beloved specimens:

NO.   £ s. d.
35. Baptistæ Portæ de Humanâ Physiognomia, with wood-cuts. Hanoviæ, 1593, et Johannis Physiophili Opuscula. Aug. Vin. 1784, 8vo. 0 19 0
38. Officium Beatæ Virginis. This unique Manuscript on vellum of the 14th century, is enriched with highly finished Miniature Paintings, and is one of the most perfect and best preserved missals known in England. 20 9 6
40. A complete set of the Barbou Classics, 68 vols. elegantly bound in green (French) morocco, with gilt leaves, 8vo. 35 14 0
94. Gesta et Vestigia Danorum extra Daniam, 3 v. large paper, with a portrait in satin of the Prince to whom it is dedicated, Lips: et Hafn: 1740, 4to. Black morocco, gilt leaves. N.B. 'It is supposed that the Rolliad was taken from this work.' 10 10 0
133. Brittania, Lathmon, et villa Bromhamensis, poëmatia; Bodoni, Parma, 1792, red morocco, folio. 9 19 6
211. Contes des Fées; Paris, 1781, 8vo. 4 vols. imprimée sur velin. This unique copy is ornamented with nineteen original drawings, and was made for the late Madame Royale: elegantly bound in blue morocco and enclosed in a morocco case. 35 14 0
237. Memoires du Comte de Grammont. Edition printed for the Comte d'Artois. Par. 1781. 8vo. This beautiful small work, from the text of which Harding's edition was copied, is adorned with several high finished portraits in miniature, painted by a celebrated artist, and is elegantly bound in green morocco, with morocco case. 15 15 3
317. L'antiquité Expliquée, par Montfaucon, with fine plates; large paper copy, 15 vol. red (French) morocco, with gilt leaves; and Monarchie Françoise, 5, v. l. p. correspondently bound, folio. 63 0 0
318. Anacreontis Carmina, Gr. et Lat. from a MS. in the Vatican of the tenth century: with beautiful coloured miniatures by Piale, appropriate to each ode, in rich morocco binding. Romæ, 1781. folio. 56 14 0

Early in the year in which this collection was disposed of, the very beautiful choice, and truly desirable library of George Galway Mills, Esq. was sold by auction by Mr. Jeffery, in February, 1800. My copy of this well-executed catalogue is upon large paper; but it has not the prices subjoined. Meanwhile let the sharp-sighted bibliomaniac look at no. 28, 68, 85, 106, 181, 412, 438, only. Thus it will be seen that the year 1800 was most singularly distinguished for Book-Auction Bibliomaniacism!

We now proceed to notice the sales of the libraries of those bibliomaniacs above mentioned by Lysander. A catalogue of the very valuable Library of the late John Wilkes, Esq., M.P., &c., sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, in November, 1802, 8vo.: 1478 articles. There are few articles, except the following deserving of being extracted.

139. Bernier Theologie Portatif, Lond. 1768 — Boulanger Recherches sur l'Origine du Despotisme Oriental, morocco, gilt leaves. Lond. 1763, 8vo. 'N.B. The "Recherches" were printed by Mr. Wilkes, at his own private printing press, in Great George Street, Westminster, in 1763.'
383. Catullus, recensuit Johannes Wilkes; impress. in Membranis, red morocco, gilt leaves. Lond. ap. Nichols, 1788, 4to.
395. Copies taken from the Records of the C. of K.B. 1763. "Note in this book — printed by P.C. Webe, one of the solicitors to the Treasury, never published," &c.
1441. Theophrasti Characteres: Græce, Johannes Wilkes, recensuit. Impress. in Membranis, Lond. 1790, 4to.
1460. Wilkes's History of England, no. i. 1768, 4to.

Next comes the account of the Library of that redoubted champion of ancient lore, and anti-Wartonian critic, Joseph Ritson. His books, upon the whole, brought very moderate sums. A Catalogue of the entire and curious Library and Manuscripts of the late Joseph Ritson, Esq., &c., sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, December 5, 1803, 8vo.

NO.   £ s. d.
521. Skelton's (Maister) Workes, MS. notes, and lists of the different editions of Skelton's Works, and likewise of those never printed; and of these last, in whose possession many of them are, 1736, 8vo. 0 18 0
600. Jeffrey of Monmouth's British History, by Thompson; a great number of MS. notes, on separate papers, by Mr. Ritson. Lond. 1718, 8vo. 1 5 0
950. The Sevin Seages. Translatit out of Paris in Scottis meter, be Johne Rolland in Dalkeith, with one Moralitie after everie Doctouris Tale, and siclike after the Emprice Tale, togidder with one loving landaude to everie Doctour after his awin Tale, and one Exclamation and outcrying upon the Emprerouris Wife after his fals contrusit tale. Imprentit at Edinburgh, be Johne Ros, for Henrie Charteris, 1578, 4to. "Note in this book by Mr. Ritson; No other copy of this edition is known to exist, neither was it known to Ames, Herbert," &c. &c. 31 10 0
964. A new Enterlude, never before this tyme imprinted, entreating of the Life and Repentance of Marie Magadelene, not only godlie, learned and fruitfull, but also well furnished with pleasant myrth and pastime, very delectable for those which shall heare or reade the same, made by the learned Clarke Lewis Wager — printed 1567, MS. 1 11 6
985. Bibliographia Scotica; Anecdotes biographical and literary of Scotish Writers, Historians, and Poets, from the Earliest account to the nineteenth century, in two parts, intended for publication. 45 3 0
986. Shakspeare, by Johnson and Steevens, 8 vols. containing a great number of manuscript notes, corrections, &c. &c. together with 3 vols. of manuscript notes, by Mr. Ritson, prepared by him for the press, intending to publish it. 110 0 0

The year ensuing (of which Lysander has, very negligently, taken no notice) was distinguished for the sale of a collection of books, the like unto which had never been seen, since the days of the dispersion of the Parisian collection. The title of the auction catalogue was, in part, as follows: A Catalogue of a most splendid and valuable collection of Books, superb missals, original drawings, &c. the genuine property of a Gentleman of distinguished taste, retiring into the country, &c. Sold by auction by Mr. Christie, April, 1804, 8vo. 339 articles: total amount, 4640l.— being almost 14l. an article. I attended both days of this sale and the reader shall judge of my own satisfaction, by that which he must receive from a perusal of the following specimens of this Bibliotheca Splendidissima.

NO.   £ s. d.
221. A most complete set of Sir William Dugdale's Works, containing Monasticon Anglicanum, in 5 vols. 1655; Monasticon, vol. 1, editio secunda, 2 vols.; Monasticon, in English, with Steevens's Continuation, 3 vols.; Warwickshire, first edition; Warwickshire, second edition, by Thomas, 2 vols.; St. Paul's, first and second edition, 2 vols.; Baronage, 2 vols.; History of Imbanking, first and second editions, 2 vols.; Origines Juridiciales, third edition; View of the Troubles; Summons of the Nobility; Usage of Arms and office of Lord Chancellor. This fine set of Dugdale is elegantly bound in Russia leather in 23 volumes. 136 10 0
(Now worth 250l.)
222. Biographia Britannica, 7 vols. 1747, folio. A matchless set illustrated with portraits, fine and rare, and elegantly bound in Russia leather. 99 15 0
223. Homeri Ilias et Odyssea, 4 vols. Glasgow, 1756, fol. An unique copy, on large paper, illustrated with Flaxman's plates to the Iliad, and original drawings, by Miss Wilkes, to the Odyssey; superbly bound in blue Turkey. 39 18 0
225. Milton's Poetical Works, large paper, Tonson, 1695. Milton's Historical Works, &c., by Birch, 2 vols. large paper, 1738, 3 vols. elegantly bound in Russia leather. 5 10 0
229. Ogilby's Historical Works, containing Britannia, China, 2 vols. Japan, Asia, Africa, and America, with fine plates by Hollar, 7 vols. folio, fine copy in Russia. 18 18 0
234. Lord Clarendon's History of the Grand Rebellion, 6 vols. folio, large paper, splendidly bound in morocco, 1702. 49 7 0
235. Winwood's Memorials of Affairs of State, 3 vols. 1725. Large Paper, elegantly bound, and gilt leaves. 5 18 0
239. Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, 2 vols. best edition, 1721. A fine copy on Large Paper, elegantly bound in Russia, with gilt leaves, Fol. 7 17 6

From no. 292 to 307, inclusive (only 14 volumes), there was a set of "Painted Missals and curious manuscripts," which were sold for 724l. Among them, was Mr. John Towneley's matchless missal, decorated by the famous Francesco Veronese —"one of the finest productions of the kind ever imported from Italy:" see no. 296. For an account of the books printed upon vellum in this collection, see Part VI. Let us close this note with the Bibliotheca Boucheriana; of which such respectable mention is above justly made by Lysander. "A Catalogue of the very valuable and extensive Library of the late Rev. Jonathan Boucher, A.M., F.R.S., Vicar of Epsom, Surrey. Comprehending a fine and curious collection in Divinity, History, &c.: sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby; in February, 1806." First part, 6646 articles: Second part, 1933 articles: Third part, published in 1809: 857 articles. I attended many days during this sale; but such was the warm fire, directed especially towards divinity, kept up during nearly the whole of it, that it required a heavier weight of metal than I was able to bring into the field of battle to ensure any success in the contest. I cannot help adding that these catalogues are wretchedly printed.

Ah, well-a-day! — have I not come to the close of my Book-History? Are there any other bibliomaniacs of distinction yet to notice? Yes! — I well remember the book-sale events of the last four years. I well remember the curiosity excited by the collections of the Marquis of Lansdowne, John Brand, Isaac Reed, Richard Porson, Alexander Dalrymple, and Richard Gough,413 and with these I must absolutely make my bibliomaniacal peroration! Illustrious men! ——

413 For the same reason as has been adduced at p. 427, ante, and from a strong wish to render this List of Book Auctions as perfect as my opportunities will allow, I shall persevere, at the foot of Lysander's narrative, in submitting to the attention of the curious reader a still further account of sales than those above alluded to in the text. As this will be the last note in Part V., I hope, however late the hour, or exhausted his patience, that the reader will also persevere to the close of it, and then wish the author "good night," along with his friends, whose salutations are above so dramatically described. At the very opening of the year in which Mr. Boucher's books were sold, the magnificent collection of the Marquis of Lansdowne was disposed of. I well remember the original destination of this numerous library: I well remember the long, beautiful, and classically ornamented room, in which, embellished and guarded by busts, and statues of gods and heroes, the books were ranged in quiet and unmolested order, adjoining to the noblest mansion in London. If the consideration of external, or out-of-door, objects be put out of the question, this Library-room had not its superior in Great Britain. Let us now come to particulars: "Bibliotheca Lansdowniana. A Catalogue of the entire Library of the late most noble William Marquis of Lansdowne; sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, &c. January, 1806." 8vo. The following is but a slender specimen of the printed books in the Lansdowne collection.

NO.   £ s. d.
359. Arthur Kynge (the story of the most noble and Worthy) the whiche was fyrst of the worthyes christen, and also of his noble and valyaunt knyghtes of the Round Table; newly imprynted and corrected, black letter, title-page emblazoned, Turkey. Imp. at Lond. by Wyllyam Coplande, 1557, folio. In the collection of Mr. Dent. 25 0 0
361. Ashmole's (Elias) Institution, Laws, and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, plates by Hollar, L. Paper, green morocco, border of gold, gilt leaves, 1672, folio. 10 10 0
1384. Chronica del Rey Don Alonso el Onzeno, Roy de Castilla, &c. Liter. Goth. Mar. verd. Volladolid. 1551, folio. 11 11 0
1385. —— del Rey Don Pedro. D. Enrique, y D. Juan, Pampl. 1591, folio. 5 15 6
1386. —— des Reys de Portugal, D. Joanno I. D. Duarte, e D. Alfonso, Lisboa, 1543, folio. 4 2 0
2499. Gazette, London, from the beginning, 1665 to 1722 inclusive, 73 vol. folio. 84 0 0
3438. Leyes del Reyno, del Don Philippe II. Recopilacion de las, 2 tom. Alcala, 1581. folio. 1 5 0
3439. —— de los Reynos de las Indias, del Don Carlos II. 2 tom. Madrid, 1681, folio. 3 10 0
4108. Money; a very curious Collection of Single Sheets, &c., and with several MS. Memorandums and Papers on that Subject, bound in one volume. 10 10 0
5544. Somers' (Lord) Tracts, 16 vol. Lond. 1748, 52. 63 0 0
5786. Stuart's (James) Antiquities of Athens, plates, 3 vol. 1787, 94, folio. 16 16 0
5787. Stukeley's (Wm.) Itinerary, cuts, Russia, 2 vol. in vol. 1, 1776, folio. 21 0 0
5916. A very rare collection of Tracts, Documents, and Pamphlets, consisting of above 280 volumes, tending to illustrate the History of the French Revolution — together with more than 49 volumes relative to the transactions in the Low Countries, between the years 1787 and 1792, and their separation from the house of Austria:— amongst the above will be found the following works.

Des Etats Generaux, &c. Par. 1789. 18 vol.

Process Verbaux de la première Assemblée, 75 vol.

Ditto de la seconde 16 vol.

Ditto de la Convocation 32 vol.

Revolution Françoise, 20 vol. from 1790 to 1803, wanting vol. 1, 2, and 13.

La Bastile Devoilée. Par. 1789.

Sir James M'Intosh's Vindiciæ Gallicæ, and numerous pieces relative to the Constitution and Administration of the French Government, in its Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and Financial Departments, by Messrs. Mirabeau, Turgot, Barrere, Calonne, Necker, &c.
168 0 0

I should observe that the Prints or Engravings of the Marquis, together with the printed prices for which they, and the foregoing library, were sold, are usually added to the Catalogue of the Books. In the spring of 1807, the Manuscripts belonging to the same noble collector were catalogued to be sold by public auction. These manuscripts, in the preface of the first volume of the Catalogue, are said to 'form one of the noblest and most valuable private collections in the kingdom.' It is well known that the collection never came to the hammer; but was purchased by parliament for 6000l., and is deposited in the British Museum. A catalogue of it is now sub prelo; vide p. 89, ante. We are next to notice the sale by auction of the library of the late Rev. John Brand. The first part of this collection was disposed of in the Spring of 1807; and the catalogue had this title: Bibliotheca Brandiana. A Catalogue of the unique, scarce, rare, curious, and numerous collection of Works, &c., being the entire Library of the late Rev. John Brand, Fellow and Secretary of the Antiquarian Society, Author of the History of Newcastle, Popular Antiquities, &c. Sold by auction by Mr. Stewart, May, 1807. This first part contained 8611 articles, or lots, of printed books; exclusively of 243 lots of manuscripts. Hereafter followeth, gentle reader, some specimens, selected almost at random, of the 'unique, scarce, rare, and curious' books contained in the said library of this far-famed Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries.

NO.   £ s. d.
67. Ane Compendious Booke of Godly and Spiritual Songs, bl. lett. 8vo. Edinb. 1621. 4 4 0
69. Academy of Pleasure, with portraits of Drayton, G. Withers, F. Quarles, and B. Jonson, Lon. 1656, 8vo. 2 17 6
109. A Curtaine Lecture, rare and curious, frontispiece, Lond. 1637, 8vo. 0 15 0
110. A Banquet of Jests, or Change of Cheare, with portrait of Archee, the King's jester. Rare. Lond. 1659, 8vo. 4 10 0
227. Arnold's Chronicle of the Customs of London, a fine copy, perfect, printed by Pynson, fol. 1521. 18 18 0
241. An Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionarie, by Baret. Francof. fol. 1580. 3 5 0
242. Dyalogue of Dives and Pauper, that is to say, the Rich and the Pore, fructuously tretyng upon the Ten Commandments, black-letter, printed by Pynson, fol. 1493. 4 3 0
272. Allot's England's Parnassus, 8vo. 1600. 2 10 0
282. A Booke of Fishing, with hooke and line, 1600, 8vo. A Booke of Engines and Traps to take Polcats, Buzzards, Rats, Mice, &c. cuts, very rare, [See p. 305, ante.] 3 3 0
283. Archy's Dream, sometimes jester to his Majestie, but expelled the court by Canterbury's malice, very rare, 8vo. 1 13 0
337. A new Dialogue between the Angell of God and Shepherdes in the Felde, black-letter. Pr. by Day, 8vo. 2 10 0
381. A Dialogue betweene two Neighbours, concernyng Ceremonyes in the first year of Queen Mary, black-letter, with portrait of Mary, by Delarum, from Roane, by Michelwood, 1554, 8vo. 2 12 6
417. A short Inuentory of certayne idle Inventions, black-letter, very rare. 2 15 0
418. A Juniper Lecture, with the Description of all Sorts of Women, good and bad, very rare. Lond. 1639, 8vo. 1 16 0
454. A Quip for an Upstart Courtier; or a Quaint Dispute betweene Velvet Breeches and Cloth Breeches, wherein is set Downe the Disorders in all Estates and Trades, with portraits. Lond. printed by G.P., 1620, 4to. 2 16 0
462. Articles to be enquired into by various Bishops, &c., in their Visitations; upwards of one hundred; a very curious, scarce, and unique collection, 4to. 2 2 0
802. Barbiere (John) the famous Game of Chesse Play, cuts, 1673. The most ancient and learned play, The Philosopher's Game, invented for the Honourable Recreation of the Studious, by W.F., black-letter, 1563, 4to. 2 4 0
1300. A Plaister for a Galled Horse, very rare, 1548, 4to. [See Herbert's Ames, vol. i. 581: and p. 239; ante.] 3 17 6
1312. A Counter Blaste to Tobacco. Lond. 1604, 4to. 0 17 0
1326. Bentley's (Thos.) Monument of Matrons, containing seven severall Lamps of Virginitie, or Distinct Treatises, collated and perfect, a very fine copy, extremely rare and curious, imprinted at London, by Thomas Dawson, for William Seres, extremely rare, black-letter, 1582, 4to. 8 18 6
1334. Bert (Edmund) an approved Treatise of Hawkes and Hunting. Lond. 1619, 4to. 1 10 0
1540. Burton (Wm.) Seven Dialogues, black-letter. Lond. 1606. George Whetstone's Mirrour for Magistrates of cities, b.l., printed by Richard Jones, 1584, 4to. 3 13 6
1542. Byshop's (John) beautifull Blossomes, black-letter, imprinted by Henrie Cockyn, 1577, 4to. 4 10 0
1754. Characters (viz.) The Surfeit to A.B.C. Lond. 1656. Dr. Lupton's London and Country carbonadoed and quartered into Seuerall Characters, 1632. Essayes and Characters, by L.G., 1661, 8vo. 4 7 0
2069. England's Jests refined and improved, 1660, 8vo. 2 14 0
2326. Catharo's Diogenes in his Singularitie, wherein is comprehended his merrie Baighting fit for all men's benefits: christened by him a Nettle for Nice Noses, by L.T., black-letter, 1591, 4to. 2 10 0
3523. Fages (Mrs.) Poems, Fames Roule, &c., rare, Lond. 1637, 4to. 5 15 6
7817. Stukeley's (Wm.) Itinerarium Curiosum; 2 vols. in 1, Russia, folio. 14 14 0
8211. The blazon of Jealousie, written in Italian, by Varchi. Lond. 1615, 8vo. 2 6 0
8223. Tracts: Dial of Witches, 1603; Lancaster Witches, 1613; Trial of Yorkshire Witches, 1612; The Golden Fleece, 1626; Cage of Diabolical Possession, 4to. 2 8 0
8224. The most strange and admirable Discoverie of the three witches of Warboys, arraigned, convicted, and executed at the last assizes at Huntington; for bewitching the five daughters of Robert Throckmorton, Esq., and divers other persons, with sundrie devilish and grievous torments; and also for bewitching to death the Lady Crumwell. Extra rare, 4to. 4 0 0
8230. Witches apprehended, examined, and executed for notable villanies, by them committed both by land and water, with a strange and most true triall how to know whether a woman be a witch or not: with the plate. Extra rare, 4to. 3 5 0
8269. The Pleasure of Princes, the Art of Angling, together with the Ordering and Dieting of the Fighting Cocke, 1635, 4to. 2 5 0
8296. The Knyght of the Toure; a perfect and fine specimen of the father of English Printers, 1484, folio. The reader (if he pleases) may consult my first volume, p. 202, of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain, for some account of this edition. 111 6 0

My copy of this first part of the Catalogue of Brand's books is upon large paper, with the prices inserted in the margin. The second part of the Bibliotheca Brandiana, containing duplicates and Pamphlets, was sold in February, 1808, by Mr. Stewart. There were 4064 articles. Few collections attracted greater attention before, and during, the sale than did the library of the late Mr. Isaac Reed: a critic and literary character of very respectable second-rate reputation. The public Journals teemed, for a time, with book-anecdotes concerning this collection; and the Athenæum, Monthly Mirror, Censura Literaria, European Magazine, struck out a more bold outline of the Bibliotheca Reediana than did the generality of their fellow Journals. Reed's portrait is prefixed to the European Magazine, the Monthly Mirror, and the Catalogue of his own Books: it is an indifferently stippled scraping, copied from a fine mellow mezzotint, from the characteristic pencil of Romney. This latter is a private plate, and, as such, is rare. To return to the Library. The preface to the Catalogue was written by the Rev. H.J. Todd. It is brief, judicious, and impressive; giving abundant proof of the bibliomaniacal spirit of the owner of the library — who would appear to have adopted the cobler's well-known example of applying one room to almost every domestic purpose: for Reed made his library 'his parlour, kitchen, and hall.' A brave and enviable spirit this! — and, in truth, what is comparable with it? But the reader is beginning to wax impatient for a more particular account. Here it is: Bibliotheca Reediana. A Catalogue of the curious and extensive Library of the late Isaac Reed, Esq., of Staple Inn, deceased. Comprehending a most extraordinary collection of books in English Literature, &c.: sold by auction, by Messrs. King and Lochée: November, 1807, 8vo. The following specimens of some of Reed's scarce volumes are copied, in part, from the account which was inserted in the Athenæum, vol. iii., pp. 61, 157, under the extraordinary signatures of W. Caxton and W. de Worde.

NO.   £ s. d.
5867. A Portfolio of single-sheet Ballads. 15 15 0
6661. Colman (W.) Death's Duel, 8vo., frontispiece. 7 15 0
6685. Barnefield's Affectionate Shepherd, very rare, 4to. 1594. 15 10 0
6713. A musical Concort of Heavenly Harmonie, called Churchyard's charitie. See MS. notes in Churchyard's Pieces, by Steevens, Reed, &c., 1595, 4to. 8 15 0
6714. Churchyard's lamentable and pitiable Description of the woeful Warres in Flanders, 1578, 4to. 4 19 0
6715. —— a true Discourse of the succeeding Governors in the Netherlands, and the Civil Warres there begun in 1565, 4to.      
6716. —— a light Bundle of Lively Discourses, called Churchyard's Charge, presented as a New Year's Gift to the Earl of Savoy, 1589, 4to. 11 5 0
6717. —— Challenge, b.l., 1580, with a copious Manuscript account of his works, by J. Reed, and a small octavo Tract, called A Discourse of Rebellion, 1570, 4to. 17 10 0
6755. Gascoigne (George) whole workes, fine copy in Russia, 4to., b.l., 1567. 15 5 0
6777. Cynthia, with certain Sonnets, rare, 1595, 8vo. 12 5 0
7479. Whetstone (George) Mirror of true Honor, and Christain Nobilitie, exposing the Life, Death, and Divine Vertues of Francis Earl of Bedford, b.l., 1585, 4to. 7 0 0
7705. Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster; or Love lies a bleeding, frontispiece, 4to., 1620. 24 0 0
8536. Shakspeariana, a Large Assemblage of Tracts by various authors, relative to Shakspeare, neatly bound in 9 vols. 8vo. 23 0 0
8561. Stillingfleet (Benj.) Plays, never either finished or published. The only copy ever seen by Mr. Reed. 3 13 6
8676. A volume of unpublished and unprinted Fables, by John Ellis, scrivener and translator of Maphaeus. Note by Mr. Reed: 'It was given to me by Mr. John Sewell, bookseller, to whom Mr. Ellis bequeathed his Manuscripts. See my account of Mr. Ellis in the European Magazine, Jan. 1792: large 4to.' The volume is enriched with fine engravings, appropriate to each Fable. 6 0 0
8833. Notitia Dramatica, both printed and manuscript; containing a Chronological Account of the chief Incidents relating to the English Theatres, from Nov. 1734, to 31st Dec. 1785. "Collected from various sources, but chiefly the Public Advertisers, which were lent me by Mr. Woodfall for the purpose. This volume contains the most material facts relating to the Theatres for the last fifty years, and will be useful to any person who may wish to compile a History of the Stage." Isaac Reed, Staple's Inn, Aug. 6. 1784. 41 0 0

Of this Catalogue, there are only twelve copies printed upon large paper; which were all distributed previous to the sale of the books. The common paper copies are very indifferently executed. The late Mr. George Baker had the completest l.p. copy of this catalogue in existence. Before we proceed to give an account of subsequent book-sales, it may be as well to pause for a few minutes — and to take a retrospective view of the busy scene which has been, in part, described: or rather, it may be no incurious thing to lay before the reader for a future century (when the ashes of the author shall have long mouldered into their native dust) a statement of the principal book-sales which took place from November, 1806, to November, 1807 — at Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby's King and Lochée's, and Mr. Stewart's. The minor ones carried on under Covent-Garden Piazza, Tom's Coffee-house, &c., are not necessary to be noticed. In calculating the number of volumes, I have considered one article, or lot, with the other, to comprehend three volumes. The result is as follows.

Book-Sales by Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby.
Rev. Edward Bowerbank's library. 2200
Earl of Halifax's 2000
Mr. John Voigt's 6000
Sutton Sharpe's, Esq. 4000
George Mason's, ditto 3800
Mr. Burdon's 14000
Charles Bedford's, Esq. 3500
Rev. Charles Bathurst's 3000
Sir John Sebright's, Bt. (duplicates). 3300
Bishop Horsley's 4400
Mr. E. Edward's 1100
Lieut. Col. Thos. Velley's 2200
Four miscellaneous 6000
Book-Sales by King and Lochée.
R. Foster's, Esq. library 5000
Dr. John Millar's 3500
Mr. C. Martin's 1000
Mr. Daniel Waldron's 1200
Rev. Thomas Towle's 3000
Mr. Brice Lambert's 2000
C. Dilly's 3000
Isaac Reed's 30000
Six miscellaneous 8400
Book-Sales by Mr. Stewart.
Mr. Law's library 4000
Lord Thurlow's 3000
Mr. William Bryant's 4500
Rev. W.W. Fitzthomas's 2000
Rev. John Brand's 17000
George Stubbs, Esq. 1800
Three miscellaneous 4300


Sold by Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby 55500
  Messrs. King and Lochée 57100
  Mr. Stewart 36600

Such has been the circulation of books, within the foregoing period, by the hands of three Auctioneers only; and the prices which a great number of useful articles brought is a sufficient demonstration that books are esteemed for their intrinsic value, as well as for the adventitious circumstances which render them rare or curious. But prosterity are not to judge of the prevalence of knowledge in these times by the criterion of, what are technically called, book-sales only. They should be told that, within the same twelve months, thousands and tens of thousands of books of all sorts have been circulated by the London Booksellers; and that, without travelling to know the number disposed of at Bristol, Liverpool, York, Manchester, or Exeter, it may be only necessary to state that one distinguished House alone, established not quite a furlong from the railings of St. Paul's Cathedral, sold not far short of two hundred thousand volumes within the foregoing period! If learning continue thus to thrive, and books to be considered as necessary furniture to an apartment; if wealthy merchants are resolved upon procuring Large Paper copies, as well as Indian spices and Russian furs; we may hail, in anticipation, that glorious period when the book-fairs of Leipsic shall be forgotten in the superior splendour of those of London! But to return to our chronological order: The ensuing year, 1808, was distinguished for no small mischief excited in the bibliomaniacal world by the sales of many curious and detached libraries. The second part of Mr. Brand's collection which was sold in the spring of this year, has been already noticed. The close of the year witnessed the sales, by auction, of the books of Samuel Ewer, Esq. (retiring into the country), and of Mr. Machel Stace, bookseller. The former collection was very strong in bibliography; and the latter presented a singularly valuable 'Collection of rare and select' books, relating to old English Literature elegantly bound: containing 2607 articles. Mr. Stace had published, the preceding year, 'A Catalogue of curious and scarce Books and Tracts:' which, with the preceding, merit a snug place upon the bibliographer's shelf. We now enter upon a more busy year of sales of books by auction. The Bibliomania had only increased by the preceding displays of precious and magnificent volumes. And first came on, in magnitude and inportance, the sales of Alexander Dalrymple and Professor Porson. Of these in turn. A Catalogue of the extensive and valuable Library of Books: Part I. Late the property of Alex. Dalrymple, Esq. F.R.S., deceased. Hydrographer to the Board of Admiralty, and the Hon. East India Company, &c., sold by auction by King and Lochée, May 29, 1809, 8vo. — 7190 articles: A Catalogue, &c., Part II. of the same: sold by auction by the same: Nov. 1809. — 8897 articles. I should add that there is a stippled engraving of Dalrymple, with fac-simile of his hand-writing, which faces the title page to Part First of this extraordinary and numerous collection; of books of Geography, Voyages, and Travels. I strongly recommend copies of these catalogues to be in every library of extent and utility. We are now to notice: A Catalogue of Part of the Library of the late Richard Porson, A.M., Greek Professor of the University of Cambridge, &c.: sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, June 16th, 1809, 8vo. — 1391 articles: amount of the books, 1254l. 18s. 6d. The subjoined is rather a rich, though brief, specimen of some of the valuable books contained in the library of this profound Greek scholar; in whom the acuteness of Bentley, and the erudition of Hemsterhusius, were more than revived.

NO.   £ s. d.
116. Biblia Græca, et Novum Testamentum Græce, lectionibus D.J.J. Griesbach, 2 vols., boards, uncut, MS. notes at the beginning of each vol. Hal. Sax. 1796-1806, 8vo. 8 15 0
  The notes amounted to the correction of 9 typographical errors and 1 addition to a note of Griesbach's, consisting of authorities he ought to have added.      
182. Athenæus, Gr. Lat., cum animadversionibus I. Casauboni, 2 vols., MS. notes, Lugduni, 1612, folio. 7 10 0
330. Chariton de Amor. Chaeræ et Callirrhoe, Gr. Lat. cum animadversionibus, J.P. d'Orville — Amst. 1750, 4to. 2 5 0
  Porson's note in the beginning. 'Opus plenum eruditionis, judicii et sagacitatis non item.'      
559. Homeri Ilias et Odyssea (the Grenville edition) boards, uncut, with the original portrait. Oxoniæ, 4to., large paper: 4 vols. 87 3 0
601. Eustathius in Homerum, 4 vols., morocco, gilt leaves, Par. 1550, fol. 55 0 0
1078. Shakspeare's (William) Plays by Johnson and Steevens, 15 vols., boards, uncut, 1793, 8vo. 12 15 0

Anecdotes and Memoirs of Richard Porson are strewn, like spring flowers in an extensive pasture, in almost every newspaper, magazine, and journal. Among the latter, there is an interesting one by Dr. Adam Clarke in the Classical Journal, no. iv., p. 720. The hand-writing of Porson is a theme of general admiration, and justly so; but his Greek characters have always struck me as being more stiff and cramped than his Roman and Italic. I well remember when he shewed me, and expatiated eloquently upon, the famous MS. of Plato, of the 10th century. Poor Fillingham was of the party. Little did I then expect that three years only would deprive the world of its great classical ornament, and myself of a well-informed and gentle-hearted friend! We will now close our account of the book-ravages in the year 1809, by noticing the dispersion of a few minor corps of bibliomaniacal troops, in the shape of printed volumes. Bibliotheca Maddisoniana: A Catalogue of the extensive and valuable library of the late John Maddison, Esq., of the foreign department in the Post Office, &c.: sold by auction by King and Lochée, March, 1809, 8vo. A judicious and elegant collection. 5239 articles. ii. A Catalogue of a curious, valuable, and rare collection of Books in Typography, History, Voyages, Early English Poetvy, Romances, Classics, &c.: the property of a Collector well known for his literary taste, &c. Sold by auction by Mr. Stewart, April, 1809, 8vo. Some curious volumes were in these 1858 articles or lots. iii. A Catalogue of the very valuable and elegant Library of Emperor John Alexander Woodford, Esq., sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, May, 1809, 8vo. — 1773 articles. This was a sumptuous collection; and the books, in general, brought large prices, from being sharply contended for. iv. A Catalogue of the interesting and curious historical and biographical part of the Library of a Gentleman, particularly interesting, during the reign of Elizabeth, the grand rebellion, the usurpation, restoration, and abdication, &c., sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, in May, 1809, 8vo. Only 806 articles; but a singularly curious and elegant collection; the catalogue of which I strongly recommend to all 'curious, prying, and inquisitive' bibliomaniacs. The first half of the ensuing year, 1810, was yet more distinguished for the zeal and energy — shall I say madness? — displayed at Book-Auctions. The sale of Mr. Gough's books excited an unusual ferment among English antiquaries: but the sale of a more extensive, and truly beautifully classical, collection in Pall Mall, excited still stronger sensations. As the prices for some of the articles sold in the Gough collection have already been printed in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lxxx., pt. ii., and as those for which some of the latter collection were sold, appeared in the 4th number of The Classical Journal, it only remains for me to subjoin the following account. i. A Catalogue of the entire and valuable Library (with the exception of the department of Topography, bequeathed to the Bodleian Library) of that eminent antiquary, Richard Gough, Esq., deceased, &c., sold by auction by Leigh and Sotheby, April, 1810, 8vo. — 4082 articles. The Manuscripts conclude the catalogue, at no. 4373. Prefixed to the printed books, there is an account of the collector, Mr. Gough, executed by the faithful pen of Mr. Nichols. My own humble opinion of this celebrated antiquary has already been before the public: Typog. Antiquit., vol. i., 21. ii. A Catalogue of books containing all the rare, useful, and valuable publications in every department of Literature, from the first invention of Printing to the present time, all of which are in the most perfect condition, &c.: sold by auction by Mr. Jeffery, May, 1810, 8vo. — 4809 articles. Another Catalogue of the same collection, elegantly printed in royal octavo, but omitting the auctioneer's notices of the relative value of certain editions, was published by Mr. Constable of Edinburgh, bookseller: with the prices and purchasers' names subjoined: and of which it is said only 250 copies are printed. The Rev. Mr. Heath is reported to have been the owner of this truly select and sumptuous classical library: the sale of which produced 9000l. Never did the bibliomaniac's eye alight upon 'sweeter copies'— as the phrase is; and never did the bibliomaniacal barometer rise higher than at this sale! The most marked phrensy characterized it. A copy of the Editio Princeps of Homer (by no means a first-rate one) brought 92l.: and all the Aldine Classics produced such an electricity of sensation that buyers stuck at nothing to embrace them! Do not let it hence be said that black-letter lore is the only fashionable pursuit of the present age of book-collectors. This sale may be hailed as the omen of better and brighter prospects in Literature in general: and many a useful philological work, although printed in the Latin or Italian language — and which had been sleeping, unmolested, upon a bookseller's shelf these dozen years — will now start up from its slumber, and walk abroad in a new atmosphere, and be noticed and 'made much of.'

Here I terminate my annotation labours relating to anecdotes of Book-Collectors, and accounts of Book-Auctions. Unless I am greatly deceived, these labours have not been thrown away. They may serve, as well to awaken curiosity in regard to yet further interesting memoranda respecting scholars, as to shew the progressive value of books, and the increase of the disease called the Bibliomania. Some of the most curious volumes in English literature have in these notes, been duly recorded; nor can I conclude such a laborious, though humble, task, without indulging a fond hope that this account will be consulted by all those who make book-collecting their amusement. But it is now time to rise up, with the company described in the text, and to put on my hat and great-coat. So I make my bow, wishing, with L'Envoy at the close of Marmion,

To all, to each, a fair good night,

And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.

Loren. Do you mean to have it inferred that there were no collections, of value or importance, which were sold in the mean time?

Lysand. I thank you for stopping me: for I am hoarse as well as stupid: I consider the foregoing only as the greater stars or constellations in the bibliographical hemisphere. Others were less observed from their supposed comparative insignificancy; although, if you had attended the auctions, you would have found in them many very useful, and even rare and splendid, productions. But we are all

'Tickled with the whistling of a name!'

Loren. Ay, and naturally enough too. If I look at my Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses, which has received your abuse this evening, and fancy that the leaves have been turned over by the scientific hand of Pearson, Farmer, or Steevens, I experience, by association of ideas, a degree of happiness which I never could have enjoyed had I obtained the volume from an unknown collector's library.

Lis. Very true; and yet you have only Master Stubbes's work after all!

Loren. Even so. But this fictitious happiness, as you would call it, is, in effect, real happiness; inasmuch as it produces positive sensations of delight.

Lis. Well, there is no arguing with such a bibliomaniac as yourself, Lorenzo.

Belin. But allow, brother, that this degree of happiness, of which you boast, is not quite so exquisite as to justify the very high terms of purchase upon which it is often times procured.

Lysand. There is no such thing as the 'golden mediocrity' of Horace in book pursuits. Certain men set their hearts upon certain copies, and 'coûte qu'il coûte' they must secure them. Undoubtedly, I would give not a little for Parker's own copy of the Book of Common Prayer, and Shakspeare's own copy of both parts of his Henry the Fourth.

Alman. Well, Lisardo, we stand no chance of stemming the torrent against two such lusty and opiniated bibliomaniacs as my brother and Lysander: although I should speak with deference of, and acknowledge with grateful respect, the extraordinary exertions of the latter, this evening, to amuse and instruct us.

Lis. This evening? —— say, this day:— this live-long day — and yesterday also! But have you quite done, dear Lysander?

Lysand. Have you the conscience to ask for more? I have brought you down to the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eleven; and without touching upon the collections of living Bibliomaniacs, or foretelling what may be the future ravages of the Bibliomania in the course of only the next dozen years, I think it proper to put an end to my Book-Collecting History, and more especially to this long trial of your auricular patience.

Loren. A thousand thanks for your exertions! Although your friend, with whom you are on a visit, knows pretty well the extent of my bibliographical capacity, and that there have been many parts in your narrative which were somewhat familiar to me, yet, upon the whole, there has been a great deal more of novelty, and, in this novelty, of solid instruction. Sincerely, therefore Lysander, I here offer you my heart-felt thanks.

Lysand. I receive them as cordially: from an assurance that my digressions have been overlooked; or, if noticed, forgiven. It would be gross vanity, and grosser falsehood, to affirm that the discourse of this day, on my part, has given anything like a full and explicit history of all the most eminent book-collectors and patrons of Learning which have reflected such lustre upon the literary annals of our country:— No, Lorenzo: a complete account, or a perfect description, of these illustrious characters would engage a conversation, not for one day — but one week. Yet I have made the most of the transient hour, and, by my enthusiasm, have perhaps atoned for my deficiency of information.

Lis. But cannot you resume this conversation on the morrow?

Lysand. My stay with our friend is short, and I know not how he means to dispose of me to-morrow. But I have done — certainly done — with Personal History!

Loren. That may be. Yet there are other departments of the Bibliomania which may be successfully discussed. The weather will probably be fine, and let us enjoy a morning conversazione in the Alcove?

Belin. Surely, Lysander may find something in the fruitful pigeon-holes of his imagination — as the Abbè Sieyes used to do — from which he may draw forth some system or other?

Alman. You have all talked loudly and learnedly of the Book-Disease; but I wish to know whether a mere collector of books be a bibliomaniac?

Lysand. Certainly not. There are Symptoms of this disease within the very books themselves of a bibliomaniac.

Alman. And pray what are these?

Lysand. Alas, madam! — why are you so unreasonable? And how, after knowing that I have harrangued for more than 'seven hours by Westminster clock'— how can you have the conscience to call upon me to protract the oration? The night has already melted into morning; and I suppose grey twilight is discoverable upon the summit of the hills. I am exhausted; and long for repose. Indeed, I must wish you all a good night.

Belin. But you promise to commence your symptomatic harangue on the morrow?

Lysand. If my slumbers are sound, lady fair, and I rise tolerably recruited in strength, I will surely make good my promise. Again, good night!

Belin. Sir, a very good night: and let our best thanks follow you to your pillow.

Alman. Remember, as you sink to repose, what a quantity of good you have done, by having imparted such useful information.

Lysand. I shall carry your best wishes, and grateful mention of my poor labours, with me to my orisons. Adieu! —'tis very late.

Here the company broke up. Lisardo slept at Lorenzo's. Philemon and Lysander accompanied me to my home; and as we past Lorenzo's outer gate, and looked backward upon the highest piece of rising ground, we fancied we saw the twilight of morning. Never was a mortal more heartily thanked for his colloquial exertions than was Lysander. On reaching home, as we separated for our respective chambers, we shook hands most cordially; and my eloquent guest returned the squeeze, in a manner which seemed to tell that he had no greater happiness at heart than that of finding a reciprocity of sentiment among those whom he tenderly esteemed. At this moment, we could have given to each other the choicest volume in our libraries; and I regretted that I had not contrived to put my black-morocco copy of the small Aldine Petrarch, printed upon vellum, under Lysander's pillow, as a 'Pignus Amicitiæ.'— But we were all to assemble together in Lorenzo's Alcove on the morrow; and this thought gave me such lively pleasure that I did not close my eyes 'till the clock had struck five. Such are the bed-luxuries of a Bibliomaniac!



The reader is here presented with one of the "Facs," or ornamental letters
in Pierce Ploughman's Creed.

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31