Condemn the daies of elders great or small,
And then blurre out the course of present tyme:
Cast one age down, and so doe orethrow all,
And burne the bookes of printed prose or ryme:
Who shall beleeve he rules, or she doth reign,
In tyme to come, if writers loose their paine
The pen records tyme past and present both:
Skill brings foorth bookes, and bookes is nurse to troth.
Churchyard's Worthiness of Wales p. 18, edit. 1776.
Tout autour oiseaulx voletoient
Et si tres-doulcement chantoient,
Qu'il n'est cueur qui n'ent fust ioyeulx.
Et en chantant en l'air montoient
Et puis l'un l'autre surmontoient
A l'estriuee a qui mieulx mieulx.
Le temps n'estoit mie mieulx.
De bleu estoient vestuz les cieux,
Et le beau Soleil cler luisoit.
Violettes croissoient par lieux
Et tout faisoit ses deuoirs tieux
Comme nature le duisoit.
Œuvres de Chartier, Paris, 1617, 4to. p. 594.
UCH is the lively description of a spring morning, in the opening of Alain Chartier's "Livre des quatre dames;" and, excepting the violets, such description conveyed a pretty accurate idea of the scenery which presented itself, from the cabinet window, to the eyes of Lysander and Philemon.
Phil. How delightful, my dear friend, are the objects which we have before our eyes, within and without doors! The freshness of the morning air, of which we have just been partaking in yonder field, was hardly more reviving to my senses than is the sight of this exquisite cabinet of bibliographical works, adorned with small busts and whole-length figures from the antique! You see these precious books are bound chiefly in Morocco, or Russia leather: and the greater part of them appear to be printed upon large paper.
Lysand. Our friend makes these books a sort of hobby-horse, and perhaps indulges his vanity in them to excess. They are undoubtedly useful in their way.
Phil. You are averse then to the study of bibliography?
Lysand. By no means. I have already told you of my passion for books, and cannot, therefore, dislike bibliography. I think, with Lambinet, that the greater part of bibliographical works are sufficiently dry and soporific:95 but I am not insensible to the utility, and even entertainment, which may result from a proper cultivation of it — although both De Bure and Peignot appear to me to have gone greatly beyond the mark, in lauding this study as "one of the most attractive and vast pursuits in which the human mind can be engaged."96
95 Recherches, &c., sur l'Origine de l'Imprimerie: Introd. p. x. Lambinet adds very justly, "L'art consiste à les rendre supportables par des objets variés de littérature, de critique, d'anecdotes," &c.
96 See the "Discours sur la Science Bibliographique," &c., in the eighth volume of De Bure's Bibl. Instruct. and Peignot's Dictionnaire Raisonné de Bibliologie, vol. i. p. 50. The passage, in the former authority, beginning "Sans cesse"— p. xvj. — would almost warm the benumbed heart of a thorough-bred mathematician, and induce him to exchange his Euclid for De Bure!!
Phil. But to know what books are valuable and what are worthless; their intrinsic and extrinsic merits; their rarity, beauty, and particularities of various kinds; and the estimation in which they are consequently held by knowing men — these things add a zest to the gratification we feel in even looking upon and handling certain volumes.
Lysand. It is true, my good Philemon; because knowledge upon any subject, however trivial, is more gratifying than total ignorance; and even if we could cut and string cherry-stones, like Cowper's rustic boy, it would be better than brushing them aside, without knowing that they could be converted to such a purpose. Hence I am always pleased with Le Long's reply to the caustic question of Father Malebranche, when the latter asked him, "how he could be so foolish as to take such pains about settling the date of a book, or making himself master of trivial points of philosophy!"—"Truth is so delightful," replied Le Long, "even in the most trivial matters, that we must neglect nothing to discover her." This reply, to a man who was writing, or had written, an essay upon truth was admirable. Mons. A.G. Camus, a good scholar, and an elegant bibliographer, [of whom you will see some account in "Les Siecles Litteraires de la France,"] has, I think, placed the study of bibliography in a just point of view; and to his observations, in the first volume of the "Memoires de l'Institut National," I must refer you.97
97 Lysander had probably the following passage more particularly in recollection; which, it must be confessed, bears sufficiently hard upon fanciful and ostentatious collectors of books. "[Il y a] deux sortes de connoissance des livres: l'une qui se renferme presque uniquement dans les dehors et la forme du livre, pour apprécier, d'après sa date, d'après la caractère de l'impression, d'après certaines notes, quelquefois seulement d'après une erreur typographique, les qualités qui le font ranger dans la classe des livres rares où curieux, et qui fixent sa valeur pecuniaire: l'autre genre de connoissance consiste à savoir quels sont les livres les plus propres à instruire, ceux où les sujets sont le plus clairement présentés et le plus profondement discutés; les ouvrages à l'aide desquels il est possible de saisir l'origine de la science, de la suivre dans ses développemens, d'atteindre le point actuel de la perfection. Sans doute il seroit avantageux que ces deux genres de connoisances fussent toujours réunis: l'expérience montre qu'ils le sont rairement; l'expérience montre encore que le premier des deux genres a été plus cultivé que le second. Nous possédons, sur l'indication des livres curieux et rares, sur les antiquités et les bijoux litteraires, si l'on me permet d'employer cette expression, des instructions meilleures que nous n'en avons sur les livres propres à instruire foncièrement des sciences. En recherchant la cause de cette difference, on la trouvera peut-être dans la passion que des hommes riches et vains ont montrée pour posséder des livres sans être en état de les lire. Il a fallu créer pour eux une sorte de bibliotheque composée d'objets qui, sous la forme exterieure de livres, ne fussent réellement que des raretés, des objets de curiosité, qu'on ne lit pas, mais que tantôt on regarde avec complaisance, tantôt en montre avec ostentation; et comme après cela c'est presque toujours le goût des personnes en état de récompenser qui dirige le but des travailleurs, on ne doit pas être surpris qu'on se soit plus occupé d'indiquer aux hommes riches dont je parle, des raretés à acquérir, ou de vanter celles qu'ils avoient rassemblées, que de faciliter, par des indications utiles, les travaux des hommes studieux dont on n'attendoit aucune récompense." Memoires de l'Institut, vol. i. 664. See also the similar remarks of Jardé, in the "Précis sur les Bibliotheques," prefixed to Fournier's Dict. portatif de Bibliographie, edit. 1809.
Something like the same animadversions may be found in a useful book printed nearly two centuries before: "Non enim cogitant quales ipsi, sed qualibus induti vestibus sint, et quanta pompa rerum fortunæque præfulgeant — sunt enim omnino ridiculi, qui in nuda librorum quantumvis selectissimorum multitudine gloriantur, et inde doctos sese atque admirandos esse persuadent." Draudius: Bibliotheca Classica, ed. 1611. Epist. ad. Lect. Spizelius has also a good passage upon the subject, in his description of Book-Gluttons ("Helluones Librorum"): "cum immensa pené librorum sit multitudo et varietas, fieri non potest, quin eorum opibus ditescere desiderans (hæres), non assiduam longamque lectionem adhibeat." Infelix Literatus, p. 296, edit. 1680, 8vo.
Phil. I may want time, and probably inclination, to read these observations: and, at any rate, I should be better pleased with your analysis of them.
Lysand. That would lead me into a wide field indeed; and, besides, our friend — who I see walking hastily up the garden — is impatient for his breakfast; 'tis better, therefore, that we satisfy just now an appetite of a different kind.
Phil. But you promise to renew the subject afterwards?
Lysand. I will make no such promise. If our facetious friend Lisardo, who is expected shortly to join us, should happen to direct our attention and the discourse to the sale of Malvolio's busts and statues, what favourable opportunity do you suppose could present itself for handling so unpromising a subject as bibliography?
Phil. Well, well, let us hope he will not come: or, if he does, let us take care to carry the point by a majority of votes. I hear the gate bell ring: 'tis Lisardo, surely!
Three minutes afterwards, Lisardo and myself, who met in the passage from opposite doors, entered the Cabinet. Mutual greetings succeeded: and, after a hearty breakfast, the conversation was more systematically renewed.
Lis. I am quite anxious to give you a description of the fine things which were sold at Malvolio's mansion yesterday! Amongst colossal Minervas, and pigmy fauns and satyrs, a magnificent set of books, in ten or twelve folio volumes (I forget the precise number) in Morocco binding, was to be disposed of.
Lysand. The Clementine and Florentine museums?
Lis. No indeed — a much less interesting work. A catalogue of the manuscripts and printed books in the library of the French king, Louis the fifteenth. It was odd enough to see such a work in such a sale!
Phil. You did not probably bid ten guineas for it, Lisardo?
Lis. Not ten shillings. What should I do with such books? You know I have a mortal aversion to them, and to every thing connected with bibliographical learning.
Phil. That arises, I presume, from your profound knowledge of the subject; and, hence, finding it, as Solomon found most pursuits, "vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit."
Lis. Not so, truly! I have taken an aversion to it from mere whim and fancy: or rather from downright ignorance.
Phil. But I suppose you would not object to be set right upon any subject of which you are ignorant or misinformed? You don't mean to sport hereditary aversions, or hereditary attachments?
Lis. Why, perhaps, something of the kind. My father, who was the best creature upon earth, happened to come into the possession of a huge heap of catalogues of private collections, as well as of booksellers' books — and I remember, on a certain fifth of November, when my little hands could scarcely grasp the lamplighter's link that he bade me set fire to them, and shout forth —"Long live the King!"— ever since I have held them in sovereign contempt.
Phil. I love the king too well to suppose that his life could have been lengthened by any such barbarous act. You were absolutely a little Chi Ho-am-ti, or Omar!98 Perhaps you were not aware that his majesty is in possession of many valuable books, which are described with great care and accuracy in some of these very catalogues.
98 Pope, in his Dunciad, has treated the conflagration of the two great ancient libraries, with his usual poetical skill:
"Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun
And orient Science their bright course begun:
One god-like monarch all that pride confounds,
He, whose long wall the wandering Tartar bounds;
Heavens! what a pile! whole ages perish there,
And one bright blaze turns Learning into air.
Thence to the south extend thy gladden'd eyes;
There rival flames with equal glory rise,
From shelves to shelves see greedy Vulcan roll,
And lick up all their Physic of the Soul."
"Chi Ho-am-ti, Emperor of China, the same who built the great wall between China and Tartary, destroyed all the books and learned men of that empire."
"The caliph, Omar I. having conquered Egypt, caused his general to burn the Ptolemean library, on the gates of which was this inscription: 'ΨΥΧΗΣ ΙΑΤΡΕΙΟΝ:' 'The Physic of the Soul.'" Warburton's note. The last editor of Pope's works, (vol. v. 214.) might have referred us to the very ingenious observations of Gibbon, upon the probability of this latter event: see his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," vol. ix. 440, &c.
Lis. The act, upon reflection, was no doubt sufficiently foolish. But why so warm upon the subject?
Lysand. Let me defend Philemon; or at least account for his zeal. Just before you came in, he was leading me to give him some account of the rise and progress of Bibliography; and was fearful that, from your noted aversion to the subject, you would soon cut asunder the thread of our conversation.
Lis. If you can convert me to be an admirer of such a subject, or even to endure it, you will work wonders; and, unless you promise to do so, I know not whether I shall suffer you to begin.
Phil. Begin, my dear Lysander. A mind disposed to listen attentively is sometimes half converted. O, how I shall rejoice to see this bibliographical incendiary going about to buy up copies of the very works which he has destroyed! Listen, I entreat you, Lisardo.
Lis. I am all attention; for I see the clouds gathering in the south, and a gloomy, if not a showery, mid-day, promises to darken this beauteous morning. 'Twill not be possible to attend the antiques at Malvolio's sale.
Lysand. Whether the sun shine, or the showers fall, I will make an attempt — not to convert, but to state simple truths: provided you "lend me your ears."
Phil. And our hearts too. Begin: for the birds drop their notes, and the outlines of the distant landscape are already dimmed by the drizzling rain.
Lysand. You call upon me as formally as the shepherds call upon one another to sing in Virgil's eclogues. But I will do my best.
It is gratifying to the English nation — whatever may have been the strictures of foreigners99 upon the paucity of their bibliographico-literary works in the 16th century — that the earliest printed volume upon the love and advantages of book-collecting was the Philobiblion100 of Richard De Bury; who was bishop of Durham at the close of the 14th century, and tutor to Edward III. I will at present say nothing about the merits and demerits of this short treatise; only I may be permitted to observe, with satisfaction, that the head of the same see, at the present day, has given many proofs of his attachment to those studies, and of his reward of such merit as attracted the notice of his illustrious predecessor. It is with pain that I am compelled to avow the paucity of publications, in our own country, of a nature similar to the Philobiblion of De Bury, even for two centuries after it was composed; but while Leland was making his library-tour, under the auspices of that capricious tyrant Henry VIII., many works were planned abroad, which greatly facilitated the researches of the learned.
99 "Anglica gens longe fuit negligentior in consignandis ingeniorum monumentis; nihil enim ab illis prodiit, quod mereatur nominari, cum tamen sint extentque pene innumera ingeniossimæ gentis in omnibus doctrinis scripta, prodeantque quotidie, tam Latina, quam vernacula lingua, plura," Morhof: Polyhist. Literar. vol. i. 205, edit. 1747.
Reimmannus carries his strictures, upon the jealousy of foreigners at the success of the Germans in bibliography, with a high hand: "Ringantur Itali, nasum incurvent Galli, supercilium adducant Hispani, scita cavilla serant Britanni, frendeant, spument, bacchentur ii omnes, qui præstantiam Musarum Germanicarum limis oculis aspiciunt," &c. —"hoc tamen certum, firmum, ratum, et inconcussum est, Germanos primos fuisse in Rep. Literaria, qui Indices Librorum Generales, Speciales et Specialissimos conficere, &c. annisi sunt."— A little further, however, he speaks respectfully of our James, Hyde, and Bernhard. See his ably-written Bibl. Acroamatica, pp. 1, 6.
100 "Sive de Amore Librorum." The first edition, hitherto so acknowledged, of this entertaining work, was printed at Spires, by John and Conrad Hist, in 1483, 4to., a book of great rarity — according to Clement, vol. v. 435; Bauer (Suppl. Bibl. Libr. Rarior, pt. i. 276); Maichelius, p. 127; and Morhof, vol. i. 187. Mons. De La Serna Santander has assigned the date of 1473 to this edition: see his Dict. Bibliog. Chois. vol. ii. 257 — but, above all, consult Clement — to whom Panzer, vol. iii. p. 22, very properly refers his readers. And yet some of Clement's authorities do not exactly bear him out in the identification of this impression. Mattaire, vol. i. 449, does not appear to have ever seen a copy of it: but, what is rather extraordinary, Count Macarty has a copy of a Cologne edition in 4to., of the date of 1473. No other edition of it is known to have been printed till the year 1500; when two impressions of this date were published at Paris, in 4to.: the one by Philip for Petit, of which both Clement and Fabricius (Bibl. Med. et Inf. Ætat. vol. i. 842, &c.) were ignorant; but of which, a copy, according to Panzer, vol. ii. 336, should seem to be in the public library at Gottingen; the other, by Badius Ascensius, is somewhat more commonly known. A century elapsed before this work was deemed deserving of republication; when the country that had given birth to, and the university that had directed the studies of, its illustrious author, put forth an inelegant reprint of it in 4to. 1599 — from which some excerpts will be found in the ensuing pages — but in the meantime the reader may consult the title-page account of Herbert, vol. iii. p. 1408. Of none of these latter editions were the sharp eyes of Clement ever blessed with a sight of a copy! See his Bibl. Curcuse, &c. vol. v. 438.
The 17th century made some atonement for the negligence of the past, in regard to Richard De Bury. At Frankfort his Philobiblion was reprinted, with "a Century of Philological Letters," collected by Goldastus, in 1610, 8vo — and this same work appeared again, at Leipsic, in 1674, 8vo. At length the famous Schmidt put forth an edition, with some new pieces, "typis et sumtibus Georgii Wolffgangii Hammii, Acad. Typog. 1703," 4to. Of this latter edition, neither Maichelius nor the last editor of Morhof take notice. It may be worth while adding that the subscription in red ink, which Fabricius (ibid.) notices as being subjoined to a vellum MS. of this work, in his own possession — and which states that it was finished at Auckland, in the year 1343, in the 58th of its author, and at the close of the 11th year of his episcopacy — may be found, in substance, in Hearne's edition of Leland's Collectanea, vol. ii. 385, edit. 1774.
Among the men who first helped to clear away the rubbish that impeded the progress of the student, was the learned and modest Conrad Gesner; at once a scholar, a philosopher, and a bibliographer: and upon whom Julius Scaliger, Theodore Beza, and De Thou, have pronounced noble eulogiums.101 His Bibliotheca Universalis was the first thing, since the discovery of the art of printing, which enabled the curious to become acquainted with the works of preceding authors: thus kindling, by the light of such a lamp, the fire of emulation among his contemporaries and successors. I do not pretend to say that the Bibliotheca of Gesner is any thing like perfect, even as far as it goes: but, considering that the author had to work with his own materials alone, and that the degree of fame and profit attached to such a publication was purely speculative, he undoubtedly merits the thanks of posterity for having completed it even in the manner in which it has come down to us. Consider Gesner as the father of bibliography; and if, at the sale of Malvolio's busts, there be one of this great man, purchase it, good Lisardo, and place it over the portico of your library.
101 His Bibliotheca, or Catalogus Universalis, &c., was first printed in a handsome folio volume at Zurich, 1545. Lycosthyne put forth a wretched abridgement of this work, which was printed by the learned Oporinus, in 4to., 1551. Robert Constantine, the lexicographer, also abridged and published it in 1555, Paris, 8vo.; and William Canter is said by Labbe to have written notes upon Simler's edition, which Baillet took for granted to be in existence, and laments not to have seen them; but he is properly corrected by De La Monnoye, who reminds us that it was a mere report, which Labbe gave as he found it. I never saw Simler's own editions of his excellent abridgement and enlargement of it in 1555 and 1574; but Frisius published it, with great improvements, in 1583, fol., adding many articles, and abridging and omitting many others. Although this latter edition be called the edit. opt. it will be evident that the editio originalis is yet a desideratum in every bibliographical collection. Nor indeed does Frisius's edition take away the necessity of consulting a supplement to Gesner, which appeared at the end of the Bibliothéque Françoise of Du Verdier, 1584. It may be worth stating that Hallevordius's Bibliotheca Curiòsa, 1656, 1687, 4to., is little better than a supplement to the preceding work.
The Pandects of Gesner, 1548, fol. are also well worth the bibliographer's notice. Each of the 20 books, of which the volume is composed, is preceded by an interesting dedicatory epistle to some eminent printer of day. Consult Baillet's Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii. p. 11. Bibl. Creven. vol. v. p. 278; upon this latter work more particularly; and Morhof's Polyhistor. Literar. vol. i. 197, and Vogt's Catalog. Libr. Rarior., p. 164: upon the former. Although the Dictionnaire Historique, published at Caen, in 1789, notices the botanical and lexicographical works of Gesner, it has omitted to mention these Pandects: which however, are uncommon.
Lis. All this is very well. Proceed with the patriarchal age of your beloved bibliography.
Lysand. I was about resuming, with observing that our Bale speedily imitated the example of Gesner, in putting forth his Britanniæ Scriptores;102 the materials of the greater part of which were supplied by Leland. This work is undoubtedly necessary to every Englishman, but its errors are manifold. Let me now introduce to your notice the little work of Florian Trefler, published in 1560;103 also the first thing in its kind, and intimately connected with our present subject. The learned, it is true, were not much pleased with it; but it afforded a rough outline upon which Naudæus afterwards worked, and produced, as you will find, a more pleasing and perfect picture. A few years after this, appeared the Erotemata of Michael Neander;104 in the long and learned preface to which, and in the catalogue of his and of Melancthon's works subjoined, some brilliant hints of a bibliographical nature were thrown out, quite sufficient to inflame the lover of book-anecdotes with a desire of seeing a work perfected according to such a plan: but Neander was unwilling, or unable, to put his design into execution. Bibliography, however, now began to make rather a rapid progress; and, in France, the ancient writers of history and poetry seemed to live again in the Bibliotheque Françoise of La Croix du Maine and Du Verdier.105 Nor were the contemporaneous similar efforts of Cardona to be despised: a man, indeed, skilled in various erudition, and distinguished for his unabating perseverance in examining all the mss. and printed books that came in his way. The manner, slight as it was, in which Cardona106 mentioned the Vatican library, aroused the patriotic ardor of Pansa; who published his Bibliotheca Vaticana, in the Italian language, in the year 1590; and in the subsequent year appeared the rival production of Angelus Roccha, written in Latin, under the same title.107 The magnificent establishment of the Vatican press, under the auspices of Pope Sixtus V. and Clement VIII. and under the typographical direction of the grandson of Aldus,108 called forth these publications — which might, however, have been executed with more splendour and credit.
102 The first edition of this work, under the title of "Illustrium maioris Britanniæ Scriptorum, hoc est, Anglæ, Cambriæ, ac Scotiæ summarium, in quasnam centurias divisum, &c.," was printed at Ipswich, in 1548, 4to., containing three supposed portraits of Bale, and a spurious one of Wicliffe. Of the half length portrait of Bale, upon a single leaf, as noticed by Herbert, vol. iii. 1457, I have doubts about its appearance in all the copies. The above work was again published at Basil, by Opornius, in 1559, fol., greatly enlarged and corrected, with a magnificent half length portrait of Bale, from which the one in a subsequent part of this work was either copied on a reduced scale, or of which it was the prototype. His majesty has perhaps the finest copy of this last edition of Bale's Scriptores Britanniæ, in existence.
103 "Les Savans n'ont nullemont été satisfaits des règles prescrites par Florian Treffer (Trefler) le premièr dont on connoisse un écrit sur ce sujet [de la disposition des livres dans une bibliothèque]. Sa méthode de classer les livres fut imprimée à Augsbourg en 1560." Camus: Memoires de l'Institut. vol. i. 646. The title is "Methodus Ordinandi Bibliothecam," Augustæ, 1560. The extreme rarity of this book does not appear to have arisen from its utility — if the authority quoted by Vogt, p. 857, edit. 1793, may be credited. Bauer repeats Vogt's account; and Teisser, Morhof, and Baillet, overlook the work.
104 It would appear, from Morhof, that Neander meditated the publication of a work similar to the Pandects of Gesner; which would, in all probability, have greatly excelled it. The "Erotemata Græcæ Linguæ" was published at Basil in 1565, 8vo. Consult Polyhist. Liter. vol. i. 199: Jugemens des Savans, vol. iii. art. 887, but more particularly Niceron's Memoires des Hommes Illustres, vol. xxx. In regard to Neander, Vogt has given the title at length (a sufficiently tempting one!) calling the work "very rare," and the preface of Neander (which is twice the length of the work) "curious and erudite." See his Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 614, edit. 1793.
105 La Croix Du Maine's book appeared toward the end of the year 1584; and that of his coadjutor, Anthony Verdier, in the beginning of the subsequent year. They are both in folio, and are usually bound in one volume. Of these works, the first is the rarest and best executed; but the very excellent edition of both of them, by De La Monnoye and Juvigny, in six volumes, 4to., 1772, which has realized the patriotic wishes of Baillet, leaves nothing to be desired in the old editions — and these are accordingly dropping fast into annihilation. It would appear from an advertisement of De Bure, subjoined to his catalogue of Count Macarty's books, 1779, 8vo., that there were then remaining only eleven copies of this new edition upon large paper, which were sold for one hundred and twenty livres. Claude Verdier, son of Antony, who published a supplement to Gesner's Bibliotheca, and a "Censio auctorum omnium veterum et recentiorum," affected to censure his father's work, and declared that nothing but parental respect could have induced him to consent to its publication — but consult the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii. 87-8, upon Claude's filial affection; and Morhof's Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 176, concerning the "Censio," &c. —"misere," exclaims Morhof, "ille corvos deludit hiantes: nam ubi censuram suam exercet, manifestum hominis phrenesin facile deprehendas!" The ancient editions are well described in Bibl. Creven., vol. v., 277-8, edit. 1776 — but more particularly by De Bure, nos. 6020-1. A copy of the ancient edition was sold at West's sale for 2l. 15s. See Bibl. West., No. 934.
106 John Baptist Cardona, a learned and industrious writer, and bishop of Tortosa, published a quarto volume at Tarracona, in 1537, 4to. — comprehending the following four pieces: 1. De regia Sancti Lamentii Bibliotheca: 2. De Bibliothecis (Ex Fulvio Ursino,) et De Bibliotheca Vaticana (ex Omphrii Schedis): 3. De Expurgandis hæreticorum propriis nominibus: 4. De Dipthycis. Of these, the first, in which he treats of collecting all manner of useful books, and having able librarians, and in which he strongly exhorts Philip II. to put the Escurial library into good order, is the most valuable to the bibliographer. Vogt, p. 224, gives us two authorities to shew the rarity of this book; and Baillet refers us to the Bibliotheca Hispana of Antonio.
107 Mutius Panza's work, under the title of Ragionamenti della Libraria Vaticana, Rome, 1590, 4to., and Angelus Roccha's, that of Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, 1591, 4to., relate rather to the ornaments of architecture and painting, than to a useful and critical analysis, or a numbered catalogue, of the books within the Vatican library. The authors of both are accused by Morhof of introducing quite extraneous and uninteresting matter. Roccha's book, however, is worth possessing, as it is frequently quoted by bibliographers. How far it may be "Liber valde quidem rarus," as Vogt intimates, I will not pretend to determine. It has a plate of the Vatican Library, and another of St. Peter's Cathedral. The reader may consult, also, the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 141. My copy of this work, purchased at the sale of Dr. Heath's books, has a few pasted printed slips in the margins — some of them sufficiently curious.
108 Consult Renouard's L'Imprimerie des Alde, vol. ii., 122, &c. One of the grandest works which ever issued from the Vatican press, under the superintendence of Aldus, was the vulgate bible of Pope Sixtus V., 1590, fol., the copies of which, upon large paper, are sufficiently well known and coveted. A very pleasing and satisfactory account of this publication will be found in the Horæ Biblicæ of Mr. Charles Butler, a gentleman who has long and justly maintained the rare character of a profound lawyer, an elegant scholar, and a well-versed antiquary and philologist.
Let us here not forget that the celebrated Lipsius condescended to direct his talents to the subject of libraries; and his very name, as Baillet justly remarks, "is sufficient to secure respect for his work," however slender it may be.109 We now approach, with the mention of Lipsius, the opening of the 17th century; a period singularly fertile in bibliographical productions. I will not pretend to describe, minutely, even the leading authors in this department. The works of Puteanus can be only slightly alluded to, in order to notice the more copious and valuable ones of Possevinus and of Schottus;110 men who were ornaments to their country, and whose literary and bibliographical publications have secured to them the gratitude of posterity. While the labours of these authors were enriching the republic of literature, and kindling all around a love of valuable and curious books, the Bibliotheca Historica of Bolduanus, and the Bibliotheca Classica of Draudius111 highly gratified the generality of readers, and enabled the student to select, with greater care and safety, such editions of authors as were deserving of a place in their libraries.
109 Lipsius published his Syntagma de Bibliothecis, at Antwerp, in 1603, 4to., "in quo de ritibus variis et antiquitatibus circa rem bibliothecariam agitur." An improved edition of it, by Maderus, was printed at Helmstadt, in 1666, 4to., with other curious bibliographical opuscula. A third edition of it was put forth by Schmid, at the same place, in 1702, 4to. Consult Morhof. Poly. Lit., vol. i., 188.
110 "Scripsit et Erycius Puteanus librum De Usu Bibliothecæ et quidem speciatim Bibliothecæ Ambrosianæ Mediol., in 8vo., 1606, editum, aliumque, cui titulus Auspicia Bibliothecæ Lovaniensis, an. 1639, in 4to." Morhof. "It is true," says Baillet, "that this Puteanus passed for a gossipping sort of writer, and for a great maker of little books, but he was, notwithstanding, a very clever fellow." Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., 150. In the Bibl. Crev., vol. v., 311, will be found one of his letters, never before published. He died in 1646. Possevinus published a Bibliotheca selecta and Apparatus sacer— of the former of which, the Cologne edition of 1607, folio, and of the latter, that of 1608, are esteemed the most complete. The first work is considered by Morhof as less valuable than the second. The "Apparatus" he designates as a book of rather extraordinary merit and utility. Of the author of both these treatises, some have extolled his talents to the skies, others have depreciated them in proportion. His literary character, however, upon the whole, places him in the first class of bibliographers. Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 175. He was one of the earliest bibliographers who attacked the depraved taste of the Italian printers in adopting licentious capital-initial letters. Catherinot, in his Art d'imprimer, p. 3, makes the same complaint: so Baillet informs us, vol. i., pt. i., p. 13, edit. 1725: vol. iii., pt. 1, p. 78. Schottus's work, de Bibl. claris Hispaniæ viris, France, 1608, 4to., is forgotten in the splendour of Antonio's similar production; but it had great merit in its day. Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., pt. 1, 132, edit. 1725.
111 Bolduanus published a Theological (Jenæ, 1614) and Philosophico Philological (Jenæ, 1616), as well as an Historical (Lipsiæ, 1620), library; but the latter work has the pre-eminence. Yet the author lived at too great a distance, wanting the requisite materials, and took his account chiefly from the Frankfort catalogues — some of which were sufficiently erroneous. Polyhist. Literar. vol. i., 199. See also the very excellent historical catalogue, comprehending the 1st chap. of Meusel's new edition of Struvius's Bibl. Histor., vol. i., p. 26. Draudius's work is more distinguished for its arrangement than for its execution in detail. It was very useful, however, at the period when it was published. My edition is of the date of 1611, 4to.: but a second appeared at Frankfort, in 1625, 4to.
The name of Du Chesne can never be pronounced by a sensible Frenchman without emotions of gratitude. His Bibliotheca Historiarum Galliæ first published in the year 1627, 8vo. — although more immediately useful to foreigners than to ourselves, is nevertheless worth mentioning. Morhof, if I recollect aright, supposes there was a still later edition; but he probably confused with this work the Series Auctorum, &c. de Francorum Historia;112 of which two handsome folio editions were published by Cramoisy. French writers of bibliographical eminence now begin to crowd fast upon us.
112 The reader will find a good account of some of the scarcer works of Du Chesne in Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 248, &c., and of the life and literary labours of this illustrious man in the 7th volume of Niceron's Memoires des Hommes Illustres.
Lis. But what becomes of the English, Spanish, and Italian bibliographers all this while?
Lysand. The reproach of Morhof is I fear too just; namely that, although we had produced some of the most learned, ingenious, and able men in Europe — lovers and patrons of literature — yet our librarians, or university scholars, were too lazy to acquaint the world with the treasures which were contained in the several libraries around them.113 You cannot expect a field-marshal, or a statesman in office, or a nobleman, or a rich man of extensive connections, immersed in occupations both pressing and unavoidable — doggedly to set down to a Catalogue Raisonné of his books, or to an analysis of the different branches of literature — while his presence is demanded in the field, in the cabinet, or in the senate — or while all his bells, at home, from the massive outer gate to the retired boudoir, are torn to pieces with ringing and jingling at the annunciation of visitors — you cannot, I say, my good Lisardo, call upon a person, thus occupied, to produce — or expect from him, in a situation thus harassed, the production of — any solid bibliographical publication; but you have surely a right to expect that librarians, or scholars, who spend the greater part of their time in public libraries, will vouchsafe to apply their talents in a way which may be an honour to their patrons, and of service to their country.114 Not to walk with folded arms from one extremity of a long room (of 120 feet) to another, and stop at every window to gaze on an industrious gardener, or watch the slow progress of a melancholy crow "making wing to the rooky wood," nor yet, in winter, to sit or stand inflexibly before the fire, with a duodecimo jest book or novel in their hands — but to look around and catch, from the sight of so much wisdom and so much worth, a portion of that laudable emulation with which the Gesners, the Baillets, and the Le Longs were inspired; to hold intimate acquaintance with the illustrious dead; to speak to them without the fear of contradiction; to exclaim over their beauties without the dread of ridicule, or of censure; to thank them for what they have done in transporting us to other times, and introducing us to other worlds; and constantly to feel a deep and unchangeable conviction of the necessity of doing all the good in our power, and in our way, for the benefit of those who are to survive us!
Phil. Hear him, hear him!115
113 See the note at p. 29, ante. "It is a pity," says Morhof, "that the Dutch had such little curiosity about the literary history of their country — but the English were yet more negligent and incurious."— And yet, Germany, France, and Italy, had already abounded with treasures of this kind!!
114 Senebier, who put forth a very useful and elegantly printed catalogue of the MSS. in the public library of Geneva, 1779, 8vo., has the following observations upon this subject — which I introduce with a necessary proviso, or caution, that now-a-days his reproaches cannot affect us. We are making ample amends for past negligence; for, to notice no others, the labours of those gentlemen who preside over the British Museum abundantly prove our present industry. Thus speaks Senebier: 'Ill sembleroit d'abord étonnant qu'on ait tant tradé à composer le Catalogue des Manuscripts de la Bibliothéque de Genéve; mais on peut faire plus raisonnablement ce reproche aux Bibliothécaires bien payés et uniquement occupés de leur vocation, qui sont les dépositaires de tant de collections précieuses qu'on voit en Italie, en France, en Allemagne, et en Angleterre; ils le mériteront d'autant mieux, qu'ils privent le public des piéces plus précieuses, et qu'ils ont plusieurs aids intelligens qui peuvent les dispenser de la partie le plus méchanique et la plus ennuyeuse de ce travail,' &c.
115 This mode of exclamation or expression, like that of cheering (vide p. 20, ante) is also peculiar to our own country; and it is uttered by both friend and foe. Thus, in the senate, when a speaker upon one side of the question happens to put an argument in a strong point of view, those of the same party or mode of thinking exclaim —hear him, hear him! And if he should happen to state any thing that may favour the views, or the mode of thinking, of his opponents, these latter also take advantage of his eloquence, and exclaim, hear him, hear him! Happy the man whom friend and foe alike delight to hear!
Lis. But what is become, in the while, of the English, Italian, and Spanish bibliographers — in the seventeenth century?
Lysand. I beg pardon for the digression; but the less we say of these, during this period, the better; and yet you must permit me to recommend to you the work of Pitseus, our countryman, which grows scarcer every day.116 We left off, I think, with the mention of Du Chesne's works. Just about this time came forth the elegant little work of Naudæus;117 which I advise you both to purchase, as it will cost you but a few shillings, and of the aspect of which you may inform yourselves by taking it down from yonder shelf. Quickly afterwards Claude Clement, "haud passibus æquis," put forth his Bibliothecæ tam privatæ quam publicæ118 extructio, &c.; a work, condemned by the best bibliographical judges. But the splendour of almost every preceding bibliographer's reputation was eclipsed by that arising from the extensive and excellent publications of Louis Jacob;119 a name at which, if we except those of Fabricius and Muratori, diligence itself stands amazed; and concerning whose life and labours it is to be regretted that we have not more extended details. The harsh and caustic manner in which Labbe and Morhof have treated the works of Gaddius,120 induce me only to mention his name, and to warn you against looking for much corn in a barn choked with chaff. We now approach the close of the seventeenth century; when, stopping for a few minutes only, to pay our respects to Cinelli, Conringius, and Lomeier,121 we must advance to do homage to the more illustrious names of Labbe, Lambecius, and Baillet; not forgetting, however, the equally respectable ones of Antonio and Lipenius.
116 Pitseus's work "De Rebus Anglicis," Paris, 1619, 4to., vol. i., was written in opposition to Bale's (vid. p. 31, ante). The author was a learned Roman Catholic; but did not live to publish the second volume. I was glad to give Mr. Ford, of Manchester, 1l. 16s. for a stained and badly bound copy of it.
117 "Gabriele Naudæo nemo vixit suo tempore ἐμπειρίας Bibliothecariæ peritior:" Polyhist. Liter., vol. i., 187. "Naudæi scripta omnia et singula præstantissima sunt," Vogt, p. 611. "Les ouvrages de Naudé firent oublier ce qui les avoient précédé." Camus, Mem. de l'Institut., vol. i., 646. After these eulogies, who will refuse this author's "Avis pour dresser une Bibliothéque, Paris, 1627, 1644, 8vo." a place upon his shelf? Unluckily, it rarely comes across the search of the keenest collector. The other, yet scarcer, productions of Naudé will be found well described in Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 610. The reader of ancient politics may rejoice in the possession of what is called, the "Mascurat"— and "Considerations politiques"— concerning which Vogt is gloriously diffuse; and Peignot (who has copied from him, without acknowledgement —Bibliogr. Curieuse, pp. 49, 50,) may as well be consulted. But the bibliographer will prefer the "Additions à l'Histoire de Louis XI.," 1630, 8vo., and agree with Mailchelius that a work so uncommon and so curious "ought to be reprinted." See the latter's amusing little book "De Præcipuis Bibliothecis Parisiensibus," pp. 66, 67, &c. Naudæus was librarian to the famous Cardinal Mazarin, the great Mæcenas of his day; whose library, consisting of upwards of forty thousand volumes, was the most beautiful and extensive one which France had then ever seen. Its enthusiastic librarian, whom I must be allowed to call a very wonderful bibliomaniac, made constant journeys, and entered into a perpetual correspondence, relating to books and literary curiosities. He died at Abbeville in 1653, in his 53rd year, on returning from Sweden, where the famous Christian had invited him. Naudæus's "Avis, &c.", [ut supr.] was translated by Chaline; but his "Avis à Nosseigneurs du Parlement, &c." 1652, 4to. — upon the sale of the Cardinal's library — and his "Remise de la Bibliothèque [Du Cardinal] entre le mains de M. Tubeuf, 1651," are much scarcer productions. A few of these particulars are gathered from Peignot's Dict. de la Bibliologie, vol. ii., p. 1 — consult also his Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie, p. v. In the former work I expected a copious piece of biography; yet, short as it is, Peignot has subjoined a curious note from Naudé's "Considerations politiques"— in which the author had the hardihood to defend the massacre upon St. Bartholomew's day, by one of the strangest modes of reasoning ever adopted by a rational being.
118 This work, in four books, was published at Lyons, 1635, 4to. If it be not quite "Much ado about nothing"— it exhibits, at least, a great waste of ink and paper. Morhof seems to seize with avidity Baillet's lively sentence of condemnation —"Il y a trop de babil et trop de ce que nous appellons fatras," &c.
119 Le Pere Louys Jacob published his "Traicté des plus belles Bibliothéques publiques et particulières, qui ont esté, et qui sont à présents dans le monde," at Paris, in 1644 — again in 1655, 8vo. — in which he first brought together the scattered notices relating to libraries, especially to modern ones. His work is well worth consultation; although Baillet and Morhof do not speak in direct terms of praise concerning it — and the latter seems a little angry at his giving the preference to the Parisian libraries over those of other countries. It must be remembered that this was published as an unfinished production: as such, the author's curiosity and research are highly to be commended. I have read the greater part of it with considerable satisfaction. The same person meditated the execution of a vast work in four folio volumes — called "La Bibliothéque universelle de tous les Autheurs de France, qui ont escrits en quelque sorte de sciences et de langues"— which, in fact, was completed in 1638: but, on the death of the author it does not appear what became of it. Jacob also gave an account of books as they were published at Paris, and in other parts of France, from the year 1643 to 1650; which was printed under the title of Bibliographia Parisina, Paris, 1651, 4to. Consult Polyhist. Liter., vol. i., pp. 189, 202: Bibl. Creven., vol. v., pp. 281, 287. Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 151.
120 He published a work entitled "De scriptoribus non-ecclesiasticis," 1648, vol. i., 1649, vol. ii., folio: in which his opinions upon authors are given in the most jejune and rash manner. His other works, which would form a little library, are reviewed by Leti with sufficient severity: but the poor man was crack brained! And yet some curious and uncommon things, gleaned from MSS. which had probably never been unrolled or opened since their execution, are to be found in this "Sciolum Florentinum," as Labbe calls him. Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 175.
121 Magliabechi put Cinelli upon publishing his Bibliotheca Volante, 1677, 8vo., a pretty work, with a happy title! — being an indiscriminate account of some rare books which the author picked up in his travels, or saw in libraries. It was republished, with valuable additions, by Sancassani, at Venice, in 1734, 4to. See Cat. de Lomenie, No. 2563. Works of this sort form the Ana of bibliography! Conringius compiled a charming bibliographical work, in an epistolary form, under the title of Bibliotheca Augusta; which was published at Helmstadt, in 1661, 4to. — being an account of the library of the Duke of Brunswick, in the castle of Wolfenbuttle. Two thousand manuscripts, and one hundred and sixteen thousand printed volumes, were then contained in this celebrated collection. Happy the owner of such treasures — happy the man who describes them! Lomeier's, or Lomejer's "De Bibliothecis Liber singularis," Ultraj, 1669-1680, 8vo., is considered by Baillet among the best works upon the subject of ancient and modern libraries. From this book, Le Sieur Le Gallois stole the most valuable part of his materials for his "Traité des plus belles Bibliothéques de l'Europe," 1685, 1697 — 12mo.: the title at full length (a sufficiently imposing one!) may be seen in Bibé. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 281; upon this latter treatise, Morhof cuttingly remarks —"Magnos ille titulus strepitus facit: sed pro thesauris carbones." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 191. See also "Jugemens des Savans," vol. ii., p. 152. Gallois dispatches the English libraries in little more than a page. I possess the second edition of Lomeier's book (1680 — with both its title pages), which is the last and best — and an interesting little volume it is! The celebrated Grævius used to speak very favourably of this work.
Lis. Pray discuss their works, or merits, seriatim, as the judges call it; for I feel overwhelmed at the stringing together of such trisyllabic names. These gentlemen, as well as almost every one of their predecessors, are strangers to me; and you know my bashfulness and confusion in such sort of company.
Lysand. I hope to make you better acquainted with them after a slight introduction, and so rid you of such an uncomfortable diffidence. Let us begin with Labbe,122 who died in the year 1667, and in the sixtieth of his own age; a man of wonderful memory and of as wonderful application — whose whole life, according to his biographers, was consumed in gathering flowers from his predecessors, and thence weaving such a chaplet for his own brows as was never to know decay. His Nova Bibliotheca, and Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum, are the principal works which endear his memory to bibliographers. More learned than Labbe was Lambecius;123 whose Commentarii de Bibliotheca Cæsareâ-Vindobonensis, with Nesselius's supplement to the same, [1696, 2 vols. fol.] and Kollarius's new edition of both, form one of the most curious and important, as well as elaborate, productions in the annals of literature and bibliography. Less extensive, but more select, valuable, and accurate, in its choice and execution of objects, is the Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus et Nova of Nicholas Antonio;124 the first, and the best, bibliographical work which Spain, notwithstanding her fine palaces and libraries, has ever produced. If neither Philemon nor yourself, Lisardo, possess this latter work [and I do not see it upon the shelves of this cabinet], seek for it with avidity; and do not fear the pistoles which the purchase of it may cost you. Lipenius125 now claims a moment's notice; of whose Bibliotheca Realis Morhof is inclined to speak more favourably than other critics. 'Tis in six volumes; and it appeared from the years 1679 to 1685 inclusive. Not inferior to either of the preceding authors in taste, erudition, and the number and importance of his works, was Adrien Baillet;126 the simple pastor of Lardiéres, and latterly the learned and indefatigable librarian of Lamoignon. His Jugemens des Savans, edited by De la Monnoye, is one of those works with which no man, fond of typographical and bibliographical pursuits, can comfortably dispense. I had nearly forgotten to warn you against the capricious works of Beughem; a man, nevertheless, of wonderful mental elasticity; but for ever planning schemes too vast and too visionary for the human powers to execute.127
122 "Vir, qui in texendis catalogis totam pene vitam consumpsit." "Homo ad Lexica et Catalogos conficiendos a naturâ factus." Such is Morhof's account of Labbe; who, in the works above-mentioned, in the text, has obtained an unperishable reputation as a bibliographer. The Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum, thick duodecimo, or crown octavo, has run through several impressions; of which the Leipsic edit. of 1682, is as good as any; but Teisser, in his work under the same title, 1686, 4to., has greatly excelled Labbe's production, as well by his corrections of errata as by his additions of some hundreds of authors. The Bibliotheca Nummaria is another of Labbe's well-known performances: in the first part of which he gives an account of those who have written concerning medals — in the second part, of those who have publishe separate accounts of coins, weights, and measures. This is usually appended to the preceding work, and is so published by Teisser. The Mantissa Suppellectilis was an unfinished production; and the Specimen novæ Bibliothecæ Manuscriptorum Librorum, Paris, 1653, 4to., is too imperfectly executed for the exercise of rigid criticism; although Baillet calls it 'useful and curious.' Consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 197, 203: and Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., pt. 1, p. 24, edit. 1725. A list of Labbe's works, finished, unfinished, and projected, was published at Paris, in 1656 and 1662. He was joint editor with Cossart of that tremendously voluminous work — the "Collectio Maxima Conciliorum"— 1672, 18 volumes, folio.
123 Lambecius died at, one may almost say, the premature age of 52: and the above work (in eight folio volumes), which was left unfinished in consequence, (being published between the years 1665-79 inclusive) gives us a magnificent idea of what its author would have accomplished [see particularly Reimanni Bibl. Acroamatica, p. 51] had it pleased Providence to prolong so valuable an existence. It was originally sold for 24 imperiali; but at the commencement of the 18th century for not less than 80 thaleri, and a copy of it was scarcely ever to be met with. Two reasons have been assigned for its great rarity, and especially for that of the 8th volume; the one, that Lambecius's heir, impatient at the slow sale of the work, sold many copies of it to the keepers of herb-stalls: the other, that, when the author was lying on his death-bed, his servant maid, at the suggestion and from the stinginess of the same heir, burnt many copies of this eighth volume [which had recently left the press] to light the fire in the chamber. This intelligence I glean from Vogt, p. 495: it had escaped Baillet and Morhof. But consult De Bure, vol. vi., Nos. 6004-5. Reimannus published a Bibliotheca Acroamatica, Hanov., 1712, 8vo., which is both an entertaining volume and a useful compendium of Lambecius's immense work. But in the years 1766-82, Kollarius published a new and improved edition of the entire commentaries, in six folio volumes; embodying in this gigantic undertaking the remarks which were scattered in his "Analecta Monumentorum omnis ævi Vindobonensia," in two folio volumes, 1761. A posthumous work of Kollarius, as a supplement to his new edition of Lambecius's Commentaries, was published in one folio volume, 1790. A complete set of these volumes of Kollarius's bibliographical labours, relating to the Vienna library, was in Serna Santander's catalogue, vol. iv., no. 6291, as well as in Krohn's: in which latter [nos. 3554, 3562] there are some useful notices. See my account of M. Denis: post. Critics have accused these "Commentaries concerning the MSS. in the imperial library at Vienna," as containing a great deal of rambling and desultory matter; but the vast erudition, minute research, and unabateable diligence of its author, will for ever secure to him the voice of public praise, as loud and as hearty as he has received it from his abridger Reimannus. In these volumes appeared the first account of the Psalter, printed at Mentz in 1457, which was mistaken by Lambecius for a MS. The reader will forgive my referring him to a little essay upon this and the subsequent Psalters, printed at Mentz, in 1459, 1490, &c., which was published by me in the 2nd volume of the Athenæum, p. 360, 490.
124 Morhof considers the labours of Antonio as models of composition in their way. His grand work began to be published in 1672, 2 vols., folio — being the Bibliotheca Hispana Nova: this was succeeded, in 1696, by the Bibliotheca Hispana Antiqua— in two folio volumes: the prefaces and indexes contain every thing to satisfy the hearts of Spanish Literati. A new edition of the first work was published at Madrid, in 1783, 2 vols., folio; and of the latter work, in 1788, 2 vols., folio. — These recent editions are very rarely to be met with in our own country: abroad, they seem to have materially lowered the prices of the ancient ones, which had become excessively scarce. See Polyhist Literar., vol. i., 203-4: Dictionn. Bibliogr., vol. iv., p. 22: and Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., 651. Let us here not forget the learned Michael Casiri's Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escorialensis, published in two superb folio volumes at Madrid in 1760. All these useful and splendid works place the Spaniards upon a high footing with their fellow-labourers in the same respectable career. De La Serna Santander tells us that Casiri's work is dear, and highly respected by the Literati. See Cap. de Santander, vol iv., no. 6296.
125 The Bibliotheca Realis, &c., of Lipenius contains an account of works published in the departments of Jurisprudence, Medicine, Philosophy, and Theology: of these, the Bibliotheca Theologica, et Philosophica, are considered by Morhof as the best executed. The Bibl. Juridica was, however, republished at Leipsic in two folio volumes, 1757, with considerable additions. This latter is the last Leipsic reprint of it. Saxius notices only the re-impressions of 1720, 1736, 1742. See his Onomast. Lit., vol. v., 588. I will just notice the Bibliotheca Vetus et Recens of Koenigius, 1678, folio — as chart-makers notice shoals — to be avoided. I had long thrown it out of my own collection before I read its condemnation by Morhof. Perhaps the following account of certain works, which appear to have escaped the recollection of Lysander, may not be unacceptable. In the year 1653, Father Raynaud, whose lucubrations fill 20 folio volumes, published a quarto volume at Lyons, under the title of "Erotemata de malis ac bonis Libris, deque justa aut injusta eorum conditione;" which he borowed in part from the "Theotimus, seu de tollendis et expurgandis malis libris," (Paris, 1549, 8vo.) of Gabriel Puhtherb. Of these two works, if were difficult to determine which is preferable. The bibliographer need not deeply lament the want of either: consult the Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 177. In the year 1670, Vogler published a very sensible "Universalis in notitiam cujusque generis bonorum Scriptorum Introductio"— of this work two subsequent editions, one in 1691, the other in 1700, 4to., were published at Helmstadt. The last is the best; but the second, to him who has neither, is also worth purchasing. The seven dissertations "De Libris legendis" of Bartholin, Hafniæ, 1676, 8vo., are deserving of a good coat and a front row in the bibliographer's cabinet. "Parvæ quidem molis liberest, sed in quo quasi constipata sunt utilissima de libris monita et notitiæ ad multas disciplinas utiles." So speaks Morhof.
126 Adrien Baillet was the eldest of seven children born in a second marriage. His parents were in moderate circumstances: but Adrien very shortly displaying a love of study and of book-collecting, no means, compatible with their situation, were left untried by his parents to gratify the wishes of so promising a child. From his earliest youth, he had a strong predilection for the church; and as a classical and appropriate education was then easily to be procured in France, he went from school to college, and at seventeen years of age had amassed, in two fair sized volumes, a quantity of extracts from clever works; which, perhaps having Beza's example in his mind, he entitled Juvenilia. His masters saw and applauded his diligence; and a rest of only five hours each night, during two years and a half of this youthful period, afforded Baillet such opportunities of acquiring knowledge as rarely fall to the lot of a young man. This habit of short repose had not forsaken him in his riper years: "he considered and treated his body as an insolent enemy, which required constant subjection; he would not suffer it to rest more than five hours each night; he recruited it with only one meal a day — drank no wine — never came near the fire — and walked out but once a week." The consequence of this absurd regime was that Baillet had ulcers in his legs, an erysipelatous affection over his body, and was, in other respects, afflicted as sedentary men usually are, who are glued to their seats from morn till night, never mix in society, and rarely breathe the pure air of heaven. These maladies shortened the days of Baillet; after he had faithfully served the Lamoignons as a librarian of unparalleled diligence and sagacity; leaving behind him a "Catalogue des Matieres," in 35 volumes folio. "All the curious used to come and see this catalogue: many bishops and magistrates requested to have either copies or abridgments of it." When Baillet was dragged, by his friend M. Hermant, from his obscure vicarage of Lardiéres, to be Lamoignon's librarian, he seems to have been beside himself for joy. —"I want a man of such and such qualities," said Lamoignon. —"I will bring one exactly to suit you," replied Hermant —"but you must put up with a diseased and repulsive exterior."—"Nous avons besoin de fond," said the sensible patron, "la forme ne m'embarasse point; l'air de ce pays, et un grain de sel discret, fera le reste: il en trouvera ici." Baillet came, and his biographer tells us that Lamoignon and Hermant "furent ravis de le voir." To the eternal honour of the family in which he resided, the crazy body and nervous mind of Baillet met with the tenderest treatment. Madame Lamoignon and her son (the latter, a thorough bred bibliomaniac; who, under the auspices of his master, soon eclipsed the book celebrity of his father) always took a pleasure in anticipating his wishes, soothing his irritabilities, promoting his views, and speaking loudly and constantly of the virtues of his head and heart. The last moments of Baillet were marked with true Christian piety and fortitude; and his last breath breathed a blessing upon his benefactors. He died A.D. 1706, ætatis 56. Rest his ashes in peace! — and come we now to his bibliographical publications. His "Jugemens des Savans," was first published in 1685, &c., in nine duodecimo volumes. Two other similar volumes of Anti Baillet succeeded it. The success and profits of this work were very considerable. In the year 1722, a new edition of it in seven volumes, quarto, was undertaken and completed by De La Monnoye, with notes by the editor, and additions of the original author. The "Anti Baillet" formed the 8th volume. In the year 1725, De La Monnoye's edition, with his notes placed under the text — the corrections and additions incorporated — and two volumes of fresh matter, including the Anti Baillet — was republished at Amsterdam, in eight duodecimo volumes, forming 16 parts, and being, in every respect, the best edition of the Jugemens des Savans. The curious, however, should obtain the portrait of Baillet prefixed to the edition of 1722; as the copy of it in the latter edition is a most wretched performance. These particulars, perhaps a little too long and tedious, are gleaned from the "Abregé" de la Vie de Baillet, printed in the two last editions of the work just described.
127 It will not be necessary to notice all the multifarious productions, in MS. and in print, of this indefatigable bibliographer; who had cut out work enough for the lives of ten men, each succeeding the other, and well employed from morn 'till even, to execute. This is Marchand's round criticism: Dict. Hist. vol. i., p. 100. Beughem's Incunabula Typographica, 1688, 12mo., is both jejune and grossly erroneous. The "Bibliographia Eruditorum Critico-Curiosa," 1689, 1701, 4 vols., 12mo., being an alphabetical account of writers — extracts from whom are in the public literary Journals of Europe from 1665 to 1700 — with the title of their works — is Beughem's best production, and if each volume had not had a separate alphabet, and contained additions upon additions, the work would have proved highly useful. His "Gallia Euridita," Amst., 1683, 12mo., is miserably perplexing. In addition to Marchand, consult the Polyhist. Literar. of Morhof, vol. i., p. 179; and the note therein subjoined. See also "Bibl. Creven.," vol. v., p. 298: Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., nos. 6273-4: 6281-2.
Phil. You have at length reached the close of the 17th century; but my limited knowledge of bibliographical literature supplies me with the recollection of two names which you have passed over: I mean, Thomas Blount and Antony-a-wood. There is surely something in these authors relating to editions of the works of the learned.
Lysand. You have anticipated me in the mention of these names. I had not forgotten them. With the former,128 I have no very intimate acquaintance; but of the latter I could talk in commendation till dinner time. Be sure, my good Lisardo, that you obtain both editions of the Athenæ Oxoniensis.129
128 Sir Thomas Pope Blount's "Censura Celebriorum Authorum," Londini, 1690, folio, is unquestionably a learned work — the production of a rural and retired life —"Umbraticam enim vitam et ab omni strepitu remotam semper in delitiis habui,"— says its author, in the preface. It treats chiefly of the most learned men, and sparingly of the English. His "Remarks upon Poetry," Lond., 1694, 4to. (in English) is more frequently read and referred to. It is a pity that he had not left out the whole of what relates to the Greek and Latin, and confined himself entirely to the English, poets. A life of Sir Thomas Pope Blount will be found in the new edition of the Biographia Britannica.
129 The first, and, what Hearne over and over again calls the genuine edition of the Athenæ Oxoniensis, was published in two folio volumes, 1691, 1692. That a third volume was intended by the author himself may be seen from Hearne's remarks in his Thom. Caii. Vind. Antiq. Oxon., vol. i., p. xliii. For the character of the work consult his Rob. de Avesb., pp. xxvi, xxxiii. After the lapse of nearly half a century, it was judged expedient to give a new edition of these valuable biographical memoirs; and Dr. Tanner, afterwards bishop of St. Asaph, was selected to be the editor of it. It was well known that Wood had not only made large corrections to his own printed text, but had written nearly 500 new lives — his MS. of both being preserved in the Ashmolean Museum. This new edition, therefore, had every claim to public notice. When it appeared, it was soon discovered to be a corrupt and garbled performance; and that the genuine text of Wood, as well in his correctness of the old, as in his compositions of the new, lives, had been most capriciously copied. Dr. Tanner, to defend himself, declared that Tonson "would never let him see one sheet as they printed it." This was sufficiently infamous for the bookseller; but the editor ought surely to have abandoned a publication thus faithlessly conducted, or to have entered his caveat in the preface, when it did appear, that he would not be answerable for the authenticity of the materials: neither of which were done. He wrote, however, an exculpatory letter to Archbishop Wake, which the reader may see at length in Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, vol. ii., p. 304. Consult the life of the author in Mr. Gutch's valuable reprint of Wood's "History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford," 1792, 4to., 2 vols.: also, Freytag's Analect. Literar., vol. ii., 1105. I have great pleasure in closing this note, by observing that Mr. Philip Bliss, of St. John's College, Oxford, is busily engaged in giving us, what we shall all be glad to hail, a new and faithful edition of Wood's text of the Athenæ Oxoniensis, in five or six quarto volumes.
We have now reached the boundaries of the 17th century, and are just entering upon the one which is past: and yet I have omitted to mention the very admirable Polyhistor. Literarius of Morhof:130 a work by which I have been in a great measure guided in the opinions pronounced upon the bibliographers already introduced to you. This work, under a somewhat better form, and with a few necessary omissions and additions, one could wish to see translated into our own language. The name of Maittaire strikes us with admiration and respect at the very opening of the 18th century. His elaborate Annales Typographici have secured him the respect of posterity.131 Le Long, whose pursuits were chiefly biblical and historical, was his contemporary; an able, sedulous, and learned bibliographer. His whole soul was in his library; and he never spared the most painful toil in order to accomplish the various objects of his inquiry.132 And here, my dear friends, let me pay a proper tribute of respect to the memory of an eminently learned and laborious scholar and bibliographer: I mean John Albert Fabricius. His labours133 shed a lustre upon the scholastic annals of the 18th century; for he opened, as it were, the gates of literature to the inquiring student; inviting him to enter the field and contemplate the diversity and beauty of the several flowers which grew therein — telling him by whom they were planted, and explaining how their growth and luxuriancy were to be regulated. There are few instructors to whom we owe so much; none to whom we are more indebted. Let his works, therefore, have a handsome binding, and a conspicuous place in your libraries: for happy is that man who has them at hand to facilitate his inquiries, or to solve his doubts. While Fabricius was thus laudably exercising his great talents in the cause of ancient literature, the illustrious name of Leibnitz134 appeared as author of a work of essential utility to the historian and bibliographer. I allude to his Scriptores Rerum Brunwicensium, which has received a well pointed compliment from the polished pen of Gibbon. After the successful labours of Fabricius and Leibnitz, we may notice those of Struvius! whose Historical Library135 should be in every philological collection.
130 Daniel George Morhof, professor of poetry, eloquence, and history, was librarian of the University of Khiel. He published various works, but the above — the best edition of which is of the date of 1747 — is by far the most learned and useful —"liber non sua laude privandus; cum primus fere fuerit Morhofius qui hanc amœniorum literarum partem in meliorum redigerit." Vogt., pref. ix., edit. 1793. Its leading error is the want of method. His "Princeps Medicus," 1665, 4to., is a very singular dissertation upon the cure of the evil by the royal touch; in the efficacy of which the author appears to have believed. His "Epistola de scypho vitreo per sonum humanæ vocis rupto," Kiloni, 1703, 4to. — which was occasioned by a wine merchant of Amsterdam breaking a wine-glass by the strength of his voice — is said to be full of curious matter. Morhof died A.D. 1691, in his 53rd year: beloved by all who knew the excellent and amiable qualities of his head and heart. He was so laborious that he wrote during his meals. His motto, chosen by himself — Pietate, Candore, Prudentia, should never be lost sight of by bibliomaniacs! His library was large and select. These particulars are gleaned from the Dict. Historique, Caen, 1789, vol. vi., p. 350.
131 A compendious account of Maittaire will be found in the third edition of my Introduction to the Knowledge of rare and valuable Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. i., p. 148. See too Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, &c., vol iii., p. ix. The various volumes of his Annales Typographici are well described in the Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v. p. 287. To these may be added, in the bibliographical department, his Historia Stephanorum, vitas ipsorum ac libros complectens, 1709, 8vo. — and the Historia Typographorum aliquot Parisiensium vitas et libros complectens, 1717, 8vo. — Of these two latter works, (which, from a contemporaneous catalogue, I find were originally published at 4s. the common paper,) Mr. T. Grenville has beautiful copies upon large paper. The books are rare in any shape. The principal merit of Maittaire's Annales Typographici consists in a great deal of curious matter detailed in the notes; but the absence of the "lucidus ordo" renders the perusal of these fatiguing and unsatisfactory. The author brought a full and well-informed mind to the task he undertook — but he wanted taste and precision in the arrangement of his materials. The eye wanders over a vast indigested mass; and information, when it is to be acquired with excessive toil, is, comparatively, seldom acquired. Panzer has adopted an infinitely better plan, on the model of Orlandi; and if his materials had been printed with the same beauty with which they appear to have been composed, and his annals had descended to as late a period as those of Maittaire, his work must have made us eventually forget that of his predecessor. The bibliographer is, no doubt, aware that of Maittaire's first volume there are two editions: why the author did not reprint, in the second edition (1733), the fac-simile of the epigram and epistle of Lascar prefixed to the edition of the Anthology, 1496, and the Disquisition concerning the ancient editions of Quintilian (both of which were in the first edition of 1719), is absolutely inexplicable. Maittaire was sharply attacked for this absurdity, in the "Catalogus Auctorum," of the "Annus Tertius Sæcularis Inv. Art. Typog.," Harlem, 1741, 8vo., p. 11. "Rara certe Librum augendi methodus! (exclaims the author) Satis patet auctorem hoc eo fecisse concilio, ut et primæ et secundæ Libri sui editioni pretium suum constaret, et una æque ac altera Lectoribus necessaria esset." Copies of the Typographical Antiquities by Maittaire, upon large paper, are now exceedingly scarce. The work, in this shape, has a noble appearance. While Maittaire was publishing his Typographical Annals, Orlandi put forth a similar work under the title of "Origine e Progressi della Stampa o sia dell' Arte Impressoria, e Notizie dell' Opere stampate dall' Anno 1462, sino all' Anno 1500." Bologna, 1722, 4to. Of this work, which is rather a compendious account of the several books published in the period above specified, there are copies upon strong writing paper— which the curious prefer. Although I have a long time considered it as superseded by the labours of Maittaire and Panzer, yet I will not withhold from the reader the following critique: "Cet ouvrage doit presque nécessairement être annexé à celui de Maittaire à cause de plusieurs notices et recherches, qui le rendent fort curieux et intéressant." Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 286-7. As we are upon publications treating of Typography, we may notice the "Annalium Typographicorum selecta quædam capita," Hamb., 1740, 4to., of Lackman; and Hirschius's supplement to the typographical labours of his predecessors — in the "Librorum ab Anno I. usque ad Annum L. Sec. xvi. Typis exscriptorum ex Libraria quadam supellectile, Norimbergæ collecta et observata, Millenarius I." &c. Noriberg, 1746, 4to. About this period was published a very curious, and now uncommon, octavo volume, of about 250 pages, by Seiz; called "Annus Tertius Sæcularis Inventæ Artis Typographicæ," Harlem, 1741 — with several very interesting cuts relating to Coster, the supposed inventor of the art of printing. It is a little strange that Lysander, in the above account of eminent typographical writers, should omit to mention Chevillier— whose L'Origine de l'Imprimerie de Paris, &c., 1694, 4to., is a work of great merit, and is generally found upon every bibliographer's shelf. Baillet had supplied him with a pretty strong outline, in his short account of Parisian printers. All the copies of Chevillier's book, which I have seen, are printed upon what is called Foxey paper. I believe there are none upon large paper. We may just notice La Caille's Histoire de l'Imprimerie et de la Librarie, 1689, 4to., as a work full of errors. In order that nothing may be wanting to complete the typographical collection of the curious, let the "portraits of booksellers and printers, from ancient times to our own," published at Nuremberg, in 1726, folio — and "the Devices and Emblems" of the same, published at the same place, in 1730, folio, be procured, if possible. The Latin titles of these two latter works, both by Scholtzius, will be found in the Bibl. Crevenn. vol. v. 281. Renouard mentions the last in his "Annales de l'Imprimerie des Alde," vol. ii. p. 63. Meanwhile the Monumenta Typographica of Wolfius, Hamb., 1740, 2 vols., 8vo., embraces a number of curious and scattered dissertations upon this interesting and valuable art. It may be obtained for 8s. or 10s. at present! The Amœnitatus Literariæ, &c., of Schelhorn had like to have been passed over. It was published in 14 small octavo volumes, at Frankfort and Leipsic, from the year 1725 to 1731 inclusive. The Amœnitates Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ et Literariæ, of the same person, and published at the same place in two octavo volumes, 1738, should accompany the foregoing work. Both are scarce and sought after in this country. In the former there are some curious dissertations, with cuts, upon early printed books. Concerning the most ancient edition of the Latin Bibles, Schelhorn put forth an express treatise, which was published at Ulm in 1760, 4to. This latter work is very desirable to the curious in biblical researches, as one meets with constant mention of Schelhorn's bible. Let me not omit Zapf's Annales Typographiæ Augustanæ, Aug. Vindel., 1778; which was republished, with copious additions, at Augsbourg, in two parts, 1786, 4to. — but unluckily, this latter is printed in the German language. Upon Spanish Typography (a very interesting subject), there is a dissertation by Raymond Diosdado Caballero, entitled "De Prima Typographiæ Hispanicæ Ætate Specimen," Rome, 1793, 4to.
132 From the Latin life of Le Long, prefixed to his Bibliotheca Sacra, we learn that he was an adept in most languages, ancient and modern; and that "in that part of literature connected with Bibliography (Typographorum et Librorum Historia), he retained every thing so correctly in his memory that he yielded to few literary men, certainly to no bookseller." Of the early years of such a man it is a pity that we have not a better account. His Bibliotheca Sacra, Paris, 1725, folio, has been republished by Masch and Boerner, in four volumes, 4to., 1778, and enriched with copious and valuable additions. This latter work is quite unrivalled: no young or old theologian, who takes any interest in the various editions of the Holy Scriptures, in almost all languages, can possibly dispense with such a fund of sacred literature. The Bibliothéque Historique de la France, 1719, folio, by the same learned and industrious bibliographer, has met with a fate equally fortunate. Fontette republished it in 1768, in five folio volumes, and has immortalized himself and his predecessor by one of the most useful and splendid productions that ever issued from the press. De Bure used to sell copies of it upon large paper, in sheets, for 258 livres: according to the advertisement subjoined to his catalogue of Count Macarty's books in 1779, 8vo. The presses of England, which groan too much beneath the weight of ephemeral travels and trumpery novels, are doomed, I fear, long to continue strangers to such works of national utility.
133 The chief labours of Fabricius ("Vir ελληνίχώτατος"— as Reimannus truly calls him), connected with the present object of our pursuit, have the following titles: 1. "Bibliotheca Græca, sive Notitia Scriptorum Græcorum, &c.," Hamb. 1705-8-14-18, &c., 4to., 14 vols. — of which a new edition is now published by Harles, with great additions, and a fresh arrangement of the original matter: twelve volumes have already been delivered to the public. 2. Bibliotheca Latina; first published in one volume, 1703 — then in three volumes, 1721, and afterwards in two volumes, 1728, 4to. — but the last and best edition is that of 1773, in three vols. 8vo., published by Ernesti at Leipsic — and yet not free from numerous errors. 3. Bibliographia Antiquaria, 1716, 4to.: a new edition of Schaffshausen, in 1760, 4to., has superseded the old one. A work of this kind in our own language would be very useful, and even entertaining. Fabricius has executed it in a masterly manner. 4. Bibliotheca Ecclesiastica, in quâ continentur variorum authorum tractatus de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis, Hamb., 1718, folio. An excellent work; in which the curious after theological tracts and their authors will always find valuable information. It is generally sharply contended for at book-auctions. 5. Bibliotheca Latina Mediæ et Infimæ Ætatis, &c., Leipsic, 1734, 6 vols. 8vo. — again, with Schoettgenius's supplement, in 1754, 4to., 6 vols. in 3. This latter is in every respect the best edition of a work which is absolutely indispensable to the philologist. A very excellent synopsis or critical account of Fabricius's works was published at Ams., 1738, in 4to., which the student should procure. Let me here recommend the Historia Bibliothecæ Fabricianæ, compiled by John Fabricius, 1717-24, 6 vols. 4to., as a necessary and interesting supplement to the preceding works of John Albert Fabricius. I have often gleaned some curious bibliographical intelligence from its copious pages. The reader may consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 272-3.
134 He is noticed here only as the author of "Idea Bibliothecæ Publicæ secundum classes scientiarum ordinandæ, fusior et contractior," and of the "Scriptores Rerum Brunswicarum," Hanov., 1707, fol., 3 vols. "The antiquarian, who blushes at his alliance with Thomas Hearne, will feel his profession ennobled by the name of Leibnitz. That extraordinary genius embraced and improved the whole circle of human science; and, after wrestling with Newton and Clark in the sublime regions of geometry and metaphysics, he could descend upon earth to examine the uncouth characters and barbarous Latin of a chronicle or charter." Gibbon: Post. Works, vol. ii., 712. Consult also Mem. de l'Inst., vol. v., 648.
135 I will not pretend to enumerate all the learned works of Burchard Gotthlieb Struvius. His "Bibliotheca Librorum Rariorum" was published in 1719, 4to. The first edition of the Bibliotheca Historica appeared as early as 1705: a very valuable one was published by Buder, in 1740, 2 vols.: but the last, and by far the most copious and valuable, is that which exhibits the joint editorial labours of Buder and Meusel, in eleven octavo volumes, 1782, 1802 — though I believe it does not contain every thing which may be found in the edition of the Bibl. Hist. Selecta, by Jugler, 1754, three vols. 8vo.: vide pp. iv. and vii. of the preface of Meusel's edition. The Bibl. Hist. Select., by Jugler, was formerly published under the title of Introd. in notitiam rei literariæ et usum Bibliothecæ. Jugler's edition of it contains a stiff portrait of himself in a finely embroidered satin waistcoat. The first volume, relating to foreign libraries, is very interesting: but, unluckily, the work is rare. Of Struvius's Bibl. Saxonica, 1736, 8vo., I never saw a copy.
Phil. You are advancing towards the middle of the 18th century, in enumerating foreign publications, without calling to mind that we have, at home, many laudable publications relating to typography and bibliography, which merit at least some notice, if not commendation.
Lysand. I thank you for the reproof. It is true, I was running precipitately to introduce a crowd of foreigners to your notice, without paying my respects, by the way, to the Historical Libraries of Bishop Nicolson, the Bibliotheca Literaria of Wasse, and the Librarian of William Oldys. Nor should I omit to mention the still more creditable performance of Bishop Tanner: while the typographical publications of Watson, Palmer, and Middleton,136 may as well be admitted into your libraries, if you are partial to such works; although upon this latter subject, the elegant quarto volume of Ames merits particular commendation.
136 Let us go gently over this British ground, which Lysander depictures in rather a flowery manner. The first edition of Bishop Nicolson's English Historical Library was published in the years 1696, 1697, and 1699 — comprehending the entire three parts. In 1702, came forth the Scottish Historical library; and in 1724, the Irish Historical Library. These three libraries, with the author's letter to Bishop Kennet in defence of the same, are usually published in one volume; and the last and best editions of the same are those of 1736, fol., and 1776, 4to. Mr. John Nichols has recently published an entertaining posthumous work of the bishop's Epistolary Correspondence, in two octavo volumes, 1809. Some of these letters throw light and interest upon the literature of the times. As to the authority of Bishop Nicolson, in his historical matters, I fear the sharp things which are said of his libraries by Tyrrell (Pref. to Hist. Engl., vol. ii., p. 5.), and Wood (Athen. Brit., vol. ii., col. 980, ed. 1721), all which authorities are referred to by Mr. Nichols, are sufficiently founded upon truth. He was a violent and wrong-headed writer in many respects; but he had acumen, strength, and fancy. The Bibliotheca Literaria of Wasse (although his name does not appear as the professed editor) is a truly solid and valuable publication; worthy of the reputation of the learned editor of Sallust. The work was published in numbers, which were sold at one shilling each; but, I suppose from the paucity of classical readers, it could not be supported beyond the 10th number (1724); when it ceased to be published. Some of the dissertations are very interesting as well as erudite. Oldys's British Librarian was published in six numbers, during the first six months of the year 1737; forming, with the index, an octavo volume of 402 pages. It is difficult to say, from the conclusion (p. 373-4), whether the work was dropped for want of encouragement, or from the capriciousness or indolence of the author: but I suspect that the ground was suffered "to lie fallow" (to use his own words) till it was suffocated with weeds — owing to the former cause: as Oldys never suffered his pen to lie idle while he could "put money in his purse" from his lucubrations. We shall speak of him more particularly in Part v. Meanwhile, the reader is informed that the British Librarian is a work of no common occurrence, or mean value. It is rigidly correct, if not very learned, in bibliographical information. I once sent three guineas to procure a copy of it, according to its description, upon large paper; but, on its arrival, I found it to be not quite so large as my own tolerably amply-margined copy. Bishop Tanner's Bibliotheca Britanico-Hibernica, which cost the author forty years' labour, was published in 1748, folio; with a preface by Dr. Wilkins. We must receive it with many thanks, imperfect and erroneous as many parts of it are; but I hope the period is not very remote when a literary friend, living, as he constantly is, in an inexhaustible stock of British literature of all kinds, will give us a new edition, with copious additions and corrections, translated into our native tongue. The History of the Art of Printing by Watson, Edit., 1713, 8vo., is at best but a meagre performance. It happens to be rare, and, therefore, bibliomaniacs hunt after it. My copy of it, upon large paper, cost me 1l. 8s. It was formerly Paton's, of Edinburgh, a knowing antiquary in Scottish printing. The History of Printing, by Palmer, 1733, 4to., and Dr. Middleton's Dissertations upon the same, 1735, 4to., have been particularly treated by me, as well as the similar works of Ames and Herbert, in the first volume of my new edition of Herbert's British Typographical Antiquities; and the public is too well acquainted with the merits and demerits of each to require their being pointed out in the present place. I will close this note by observing that the Censuria Literaria, in ten volumes octavo; and the British Bibliographer (now publishing) which grew out of it; Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books, six volumes, 8vo.; and Mr. Savage's continuation of The British Librarian; are works which render the list of English publications, relating to typography and curious books, almost complete. I believe I may safely affirm that the period is not very distant when some of these latter publications, from the comparatively few copies which were struck off, will become very rare.
Lis. I am glad to hear such handsome things said of the performances of our own countrymen. I was fearful, from your frequent sly allusions, that we had nothing worth mentioning. But proceed with your Germans, Italians, and Frenchmen.
Lysand. You draw too severe a conclusion. I have made no sly allusions. My invariable love of truth impels me to state facts as they arise. That we have philosophers, poets, scholars, divines, lovers and collectors of books, equal to those of any nation upon earth is most readily admitted. But bibliography has never been, till now, a popular (shall I say fashionable?) pursuit amongst the English.
Lis. Well, if what you call bibliography has produced such eminent men, and so many useful works, as those which have been just enumerated, I shall begin to have some little respect for this department of literature; and, indeed, I already feel impatient to go through the list of your bibliographical heroes. — Who is the next champion deserving of notice?
Lysand. This confession gives me sincere pleasure. Only indulge me in my rambling manner of disquisition, and I will strive to satisfy you in every reasonable particular.
If ever you should be disposed to form a bibliographical collection, do not omit securing, when it comes across you, the best edition of Du Fresnoy's137 Methode pour étudier l'Histoire: it is rare, and sought after in this country. And now — softly approach, and gently strew the flowers upon, the tomb of worthy Niceron:138 Low lies the head, and quiescent has become the pen, of this most excellent and learned man! — whose productions have furnished biographers with some of their choicest materials, and whose devotion to literature and history has been a general theme of admiration and praise. The mention of this illustrious name, in such a manner, has excited in my mind a particular train of ideas. Let me, therefore, in imagination, conduct you both to yonder dark avenue of trees — and, descending a small flight of steps, near the bottom of which gushes out a salient stream — let us enter a spacious grotto, where every thing is cool and silent; and where small alabaster busts, of the greater number of those bibliographers I am about to mention, decorate the niches on each side of it. How tranquil and how congenial is such a resting place! — But let us pursue our inquires. Yonder sharp and well turned countenances, at the entrance of the grotto, are fixed there as representations of Cardinal Quirini139 and Goujet; the Bibliothéque Françoise of the latter of whom — with which I could wish book collectors, in general, to have a more intimate acquaintance — has obtained universal reputation.140 Next to him, you may mark the amiable and expressive features of David Clement:141 who, in his Bibliothéque Curieuse, has shown us how he could rove, like a bee, from flower to flower; sip what was sweet; and bring home his gleanings to a well-furnished hive. The principal fault of this bee (if I must keep up the simile) is that he was not sufficiently choice in the flowers which he visited; and, of course, did not always extract the purest honey. Nearly allied to Clement in sprightliness, and an equally gossipping bibliographer, was Prosper Marchand;142 whose works present us with some things no where else to be found, and who had examined many curious and rare volumes; as well as made himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of bibliography previous to his own times.
137 The last edition of this work is the one which was printed in fifteen volumes, crown 8vo., at Paris, 1772: with a copious index — and proportionable improvements in corrections and additions. It is now rare. I threw out the old edition of 1729, four vols., 4to., upon large paper; and paid three guineas to boot for the new one, neatly bound.
138 It is quite delightful to read the account, in the Dict. Hist., published at Caen, 1789, (vol. vi., p. 475) of Jean Pierre Niceron; whose whole life seems to have been devoted to bibliography and literary history. Frank, amiable, industrious, communicative, shrewd, and learned — Niceron was the delight of his friends, and the admiration of the public. His "Memoires pour servir à l'Histoire des Hommes Illustres, &c., avec un Catalogue raisonné de leur Ouvrages," was published from the years 1729 to 1740, in forty crown 8vo. volumes. A supplement of three volumes, the latter of which is divided into two parts, renders this very useful, and absolutely necessary, work complete in 44 volumes. The bibliomaniac can never enjoy perfect rest till he is in possession of it!
139 Quirini published his "Specimen variæ Literaturæ quæ in urbe Brixiæ ejusque Ditione paulo post Typographiæ incunabula florebat," &c., at Brescia, in 1739; two vols., 8vo.: then followed "Catalogo delle Opere del Cardinale Quirini uscite alla luce quasi tuttee da' Torchi di mi Gian Maria Rizzardi Stampatore in Brescia," 8vo. In 1751, Valois addressed to him his "Discours sur les Bibliothéques Publiques," in 8vo.: his Eminence's reply to the same was also published in 8vo. But the Cardinal's chief reputation, as a bibliographer, arises from the work entitled "De Optimorum Scriptorum Editionibus." Lindaugiæ, 1761, 4to. This is Schelhorn's edition of it, which is chiefly coveted, and which is now a rare book in this country. It is a little surprising that Lysander, in his love of grand national biographical works, mingled with bibliographical notices, should have omitted to mention the Bibliotheca Lusitana of Joaov and Barbosa, published at Lisbon, 1741, in four magnificent folio volumes. A lover of Portuguese literature will always consider this as "opus splendidissimum et utilissimum."
140 La Bibliothéque Françoise, ou Histoire de la Littérature Françoise, of Claude Pierre Goujet, in eighteen volumes, crown 8vo., 1741, like the similar work of Niceron, is perhaps a little too indiscriminate in the choice of its objects: good, bad, and indifferent authors being enlisted into the service. But it is the chéf-d'œuvre of Goujet, who was a man of wonderful parts; and no bibliographer can be satisfied without it. Goujet was perhaps among the most learned, if not the "facile princeps," of those who cultivated ancient French literature. He liberally assisted Niceron in his Memoires, and furnished Moreri with 2000 corrections for his Dictionary.
141 The "Bibliothèque Curieuse, Historique et Critique, ou Catalogue raisonné de Livres difficiles à trouver," of David Clement, published at Gottingen, Hanover, and Leipsic, in 9 quarto volumes, from the year 1750 to 1760 — is, unfortunately, an unfinished production; extending only to the letter H. The reader may find a critique upon it in my Introduction to the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. i., p. 370; which agrees, for the greater part, with the observations in the Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., 290. The work is a sine quâ non with collectors; but in this country it begins to be — to use the figurative language of some of the German bibliographers —"scarcer than a white crow,"— or "a black swan." The reader may admit which simile he pleases — or reject both! But, in sober sadness, it is very rare, and unconscionably dear. I know not whether it was the same Clement who published "Les cinq Années Littéraires, ou Lettres de M. Clément, sur les ouvrages de Littérature, qui ont parus dans les Années 1748 —á 1752;" Berlin, 1756, 12mo., two volumes. Where is the proof of the assertion, so often repeated, that Clement borrowed his notion of the above work from Wendler's Dissertatio de variis raritatis librorum impressorum causis, Jen., 1711, 4to.? — Wendler's book is rare among us: as is also Berger's Diatribe de libris rarioribus, &c., Berol. 1729, 8vo.
142 The principal biographical labours of this clever man have the following titles: "Histoire de l'Imprimerie," La Haye, 1740, 4to. — an elegant and interesting volume, which is frequently consulted by typographical antiquaries. Of Mercier's supplement to it, see note in the ensuing pages under the word "Mercier." His "Dictionnaire Historique, ou Memoires Critiques et Littéraires," in two folio volumes, 1758, was a posthumous production; and a very extraordinary and amusing bibliographical common-place book it is! My friend Mr. Douce, than whom few are better able to appreciate such a work, will hardly allow any one to have a warmer attachment to it, or a more thorough acquaintance with its contents, than himself — and yet there is no bibliographical work to which I more cheerfully or frequently turn! In the editor's advertisement we have an interesting account of Marchand: who left behind, for publication, a number of scraps of paper, sometimes no bigger than one's nail; upon which he had written his remarks in so small a hand-writing that the editor and printer were obliged to make use of a strong magnifying glass to decypher it —"et c'est ici (continues the former) sans doute le premier livre qui n'ait pu être imprimé sans le secours continuel du Microscope." Marchand died in 1753, and left his MSS. and books, in the true spirit of a bibliomaniac, to the University of Leyden. I see, from the conclusion of this latter authority, that a new edition of Marchand's History of Printing was in meditation to be published, after the publication of the Dictionary. Whether Mercier availed himself of Marchand's corrected copy, when he put forth his supplement to the latter's typographical history, I have no means of ascertaining. Certainly there never was a second edition of the Histoire de l'Imprimerie, by Marchsnd.
Perhaps I ought to have noticed the unoccupied niche under which the name of Vogt143 is inscribed; the title of whose work has been erroneously considered more seductive than the contents of it. As we go on, we approach Fournier; a man of lively parts, and considerable taste. His works are small in size, but they are written and printed with singular elegance.144 See what a respectable and almost dignified air the highly finished bust of the pensionary Meerman145 assumes! Few men attained to greater celebrity in his day; and few men better deserved the handsome things which were said of him. Polite, hospitable, of an inquisitive and active turn of mind — passionately addicted to rare and curious books — his library was a sort of bibliographical emporium, where the idle and the diligent alike met with a gracious reception. Peace to the manes of such a man! Turn we now round to view the features of that truly eminent and amiable bibliographer, De Bure!
143 The earliest edition of Vogt's Catalogus Librorum Rariorum was published in 1732; afterwards in 1737; again in 1748; again in 1752, much enlarged and improved; and, for the last time, greatly enlarged and corrected, forming by far the "editio optima," of the work — at Frankfort and Leipsic, 1793, 8vo. — We are told, in the new preface to this last edition, that the second and third impressions were quickly dispersed and anxiously sought after. Vogt is a greater favourite with me than with the generality of bibliographers. His plan, and the execution of it, are at once clear and concise; but he is too prodigal of the term "rare." Whilst these editions of Vogt's amusing work were coming forth, the following productions were, from time to time, making their appearance, and endeavouring perhaps to supplant its reputation. First of all Beyer put forth his Memoriæ Historico-Criticæ Librorum Rariorum. Dresd. and Lips., 1734, 8vo.; as well has his Arcana Sacra Bibliothecarum Dresdensium, 1738, 8vo. — with a continuation to the latter, preceded by an epistle concerning the electoral library, separately published in the same year. Then Engel (in Republicâ Helveto-Bernensi Bibliothecarius primus) published his Bibliotheca selectissima, sive Catalogus librorum in omni genere scientiarum rarissimorum, &c., Bernæ, 1743, 8vo.; in which work some axioms are laid down concerning the rarity of books not perhaps sufficiently correct; but in which a great deal of curious matter, very neatly executed, will repay the reader for any expense he may incur in the purchase of it. Afterwards Freytag's Analecta Literaria de libris rarioribus, Lips., 1750, two vols. 8vo. — and his Adparatus Literarius ubi libri partim antiqui partim rari recensentur, Lipsiæ, 1755, three volumes 8vo., highly gratified the curious in bibliography. In the former work the books are described alphabetically, which perhaps is the better plan: in the latter, they are differently arranged, with an alphabetical index. The latter is perhaps the more valuable of the two, although the former has long been a great favourite with many; yet, from Freytag's own confession, he was not then so knowing in books, and had not inspected the whole of what he described. They are both requisite to the collector; and their author, who was an enthusiast in bibliography, ranks high in the literature of his country. In the last place we may notice the Florilegium Historico-Criticum Librorum Rariorum, cui multa simul scitu jucunda intersperguntur, &c., of Daniel Gerdes; first published at Groningen, in 1740; but afterwards in 1763, 8vo., at the same place, the third and best edition. It was meant, in part, to supply the omission of some rare books in Vogt: and under this title it was published in the Miscellaneæ Groninganæ, vol. ii., and vol. iii. This work of Gerdes should have a convenient place in every bibliographical cabinet. I will close this attempt to supply Lysander's omission of some very respectable names connected with bibliography by exhorting the reader to seize hold of a work (whenever it comes across him, which will be rarely) entitled Bibliotheca Librorum Rariorum Universalis, by John Jacob Bauer, a bookseller at Nuremberg, and printed there in 1770, 8vo., two vols.; with three additional volumes by way of Supplement, 1774-1791, which latter are usually bound in one. It is an alphabetical Dictionary, like Vogt's and Fournier's, of what are called rare books. The descriptions are compendious, and the references respectable, and sometimes numerous. My copy of this scarce, dear, and wretchedly-printed, work, which is as large and clean as possible, and bound in pale Russia, with marbled edges to the leaves — cost me 5l. 5s.
144 We are indebted to Pierre Simon Fournier le jeune, for some very beautiful interesting little volumes connected with engraving and printing. 1. Dissertation sur l'Origine et les Progrés de l'art de Graver en Bois, &c., Paris, 1758, 8vo. 2. De l'Origine et des Productions de l'Imprimerie primitive en taille de bois, Paris, 1759, 8vo. 3. Traité sur l'Origine et les Progrés de l'Imprimerie, Paris, 1764. 4. Observations sur un Ouvrage intitulé Vindiciæ Typographicæ, Paris, 1760. These treatises are sometimes bound in one volume. They are all elegantly printed, and rare. We may also mention — 5. Epreuves de deux petits caractères nouvellement gravès, &c., Paris, 1757; and especially his chef-d'œuvre. 6. Manuel Typographique, Paris, 1764-6, 8vo., two vols.: of which some copies want a few of the cuts: those upon large paper (there is one of this kind in the Cracherode collections) are of the first rarity. Fournier's typographical manual should be in every printing office: his types "are the models (says his namesake,) of those of the best printed books at Paris at this day." Dict. Port. de Bibliogr., p. 218, edit. 1706.
145 The Origines Typographicæ of Meerman, which was published at the Hague in two handsome quarto volumes, 1765, (after the plan or prospectus had been published in 1761, 8vo.), secured its author a very general and rather splendid reputation, till the hypothesis advanced therein, concerning Laurence Coster, was refuted by Heinecken. The reader is referred to a note in the first volume of my new edition of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain, p. xxxi. It is somewhat singular that, notwithstanding Meerman's hypothesis is now exploded by the most knowing bibliographers, his dissertation concerning the claims of Haerlem should have been reprinted in French, with useful notes, and an increased catalogue of all the books published in the Low Countries, during the 15th century. This latter work is entitled "De l'Invention de l'Imprimerie, ou analyse des deux ouvrages publiés sur cette matière par M. Meerman, &c.; suivi d'une notice chronologique et raisonnée des livres avec et sans date," Paris, 1809, 8vo. The author is Mons. Jansen. Prefixed there is an interesting account, of Meerman. Lysander might have noticed, with the encomium which it justly merits the Vindiciæ Typographicæ of Schoepflin, printed at Strasburg, in 1760, 4to.; where the claimes of Gutenburg (a native of the same city) to the invention of the typographic art are very forcibly and successfully maintained.
Lis. You absolutely transport me! I see all these interesting busts — I feel the delicious coolness of the grotto — I hear the stream running over a bed of pebbles — The zephyrs play upon my cheeks — O dolt that I was to abuse ——
Phil. Hear him, hear him!146
Lysand. From my heart I pity and forgive you. But only look upon the bust of De Bure; and every time that you open his Bibliographie Instructive,147 confess, with a joyful heart, the obligations you are under to the author of it. Learn, at the same time, to despise the petty cavils of the whole Zoilean race; and blush for the Abbé Rive,148 that he could lend his name, and give the weight of his example, to the propagation of coarse and acrimonious censures.
147 The works of Guillaume-François de Bure deserve a particular notice. He first published his Musæum Typographicum, Paris, 1755, 12mo.; of which he printed but twelve copies, and gave away every one of them (including even his own) to his book-loving friends. It was published under the name of G.F. Rebude. Peignot is very particular in his information concerning this rare morçeau of bibliography — see his Bibliographie Curieuse, p. 21. Afterwards appeared the Bibliographie Instructive, in seven volumes, 8vo., 1763-68 — succeeded by a small volume of a catalogue of the anonymous publications, and an essay upon Bibliography: this 8th volume is absolutely necessary to render the work complete, although it is frequently missing. Fifty copies of this work were printed upon large paper, of a quarto size. Its merits are acknowledged by every candid and experienced critic. In the third place, came forth his Catalogue des Livres, &c., de L.J. Gaignat, Paris, 1769, 8vo., two vols.: not, however, before he had published two brochures —"Appel aux Savans," &c., 1763, 8vo. — and "Reponse à une Critique de la Bibliographie Instructive," 1763, 8vo. — as replies to the tart attacks of the Abbé Rive. The Catalogue of Gaignat, and the fairness of his answers to his adversary's censures, served to place De Bure on the pinnacle of bibliographical reputation; while Rive was suffered to fret and fume in unregarded seclusion. He died in the year 1782, aged 50: and was succeeded in his bibliographical labours by his cousin William; who, with Mons. Van-Praet, prepared the catalogue of the Duke de la Valliere's library, in 1783, and published other valuable catalogues as late as the year 1801. But both are eclipsed, in regard to the number of such publications, by their predecessor Gabriel Martin; who died in the year 1761, aged 83 — after having compiled 148 catalogues since the year 1705. This latter was assisted in his labours by his son Claude Martin, who died in 1788. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., 221, 422: vol iii., 277.
148 The mention of De Bure and the Abbé Rive induces me to inform the reader that the Chasse aux Bibliographes, Paris, 1789, 8vo., of the latter, will be found a receptacle of almost every kind of gross abuse and awkward wit which could be poured forth against the respectable characters of the day. It has now become rare. The Abbé's "Notices calligraphiques et typographiques," a small tract of 16 pages — of which only 100 copies were printed — is sufficiently curious; it formed the first number of a series of intended volumes (12 or 15) "des notices calligraphiques de manuscrits des differens siécles, et des notices typographiques de livres du quinziéme siécle," but the design was never carried into execution beyond this first number. The other works of Rive are miscellaneous; but chiefly upon subjects connected with the belles lettres. He generally struck off but few copies of his publications; see the Bibliographie Curieuse, pp. 58-9; and more particularly the Dictionnaire de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 277, by the same author, where a minute list of Rive's productions is given, and of which Fournier might have availed himself in his new edition of the Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie. From Peignot, the reader is presented with the following anecdotes of this redoubted champion of bibliography. When Rive was a young man, and curate of Mollèges in Provence, the scandalous chronicle reported that he was too intimate with a young and pretty Parisian, who was a married woman, and whose husband did not fail to reproach him accordingly. Rive made no other reply than that of taking the suspicious Benedick in his arms, and throwing him headlong out of the window. Luckily he fell upon a dunghill! In the year 1789, upon a clergyman's complaining to him of the inflexible determination of a great lord to hunt upon his grounds —"Mettez-lui une messe dans le ventre"—repiled Rive. The clergyman expressing his ignorance of the nature of the advice given, the facetious Abbé replied, "Go and tear a leaf from your mass book, wrap a musket-ball in it, and discharge it at the tyrant." The Duke de la Valliere used to say — when the knowing ones at his house were wrangling about some literary or bibliographical point —"Gentlemen, I'll go and let loose my bull dog,"— and sent into them the Abbé, who speedily put them all to rights. Rive died in the year 1791, aged seventy-one. He had great parts and great application; but in misapplying both he was his own tormentor. His library was sold in 1793.
Next to the bust of De Bure, consider those of the five Italian bibliographers and literati, Haym, Fontanini, Zeno, Mazzuchelli, and Tiraboschi; which are placed in the five consecutive niches. Their works are of various merit, but are all superior to that of their predecessor Doni. Although those of the first three authors should find a place in every bibliographical collection, the productions of Mazzuchelli,149 and especially of the immortal Tiraboschi, cannot fail to be admitted into every judicious library, whether vast or confined. Italy boasts of few literary characters of a higher class, or of a more widely-diffused reputation than Tiraboschi.150 His diligence, his sagacity, his candour, his constant and patriotic exertions to do justice to the reputation of his countrymen, and to rescue departed worth from ill-merited oblivion, assign to him an exalted situation: a situation with the Poggios and Politians of former times, in the everlasting temple of Fame! Bind his Storia della Letteratura Italiana in the choicest vellum, or in the stoutest Russia; for it merits no mean covering!
149 We may first observe that "La Libraria del Doni Fiorentino;" Vinegia, 1558, 8vo., is yet coveted by collectors as the most complete and esteemed of all the editions of this work. It is ornamented with many portraits of authors, and is now rare. Consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 275. Numerous are the editions of Haym's Biblioteca Italiana; but those of Milan, of the date of 1771, 4to., 2 vols., and 1803, 8vo. 4 vols., are generally purchased by the skilful in Italian bibliography. The best edition of Fontanini's Biblioteca dell' Eloquenza Italiana is with the annotations of Zeno, which latter are distinguished for their judgment and accuracy. It was published at Venice in 1753, 4to., 2 vols.; but it must be remembered that this edition contains only the third book of Fontanini, which is a library of the principal Italian authors. All the three books (the first two being a disquisition upon the origin and progress of the Italian language) will be found in the preceeding Venice edition of 1737, in one volume 4to. In the year 1753-63, came forth the incomparable but unfinished work of Count Mazzuchelli, in two folio volumes, [the latter vol. being divided into four thick parts] entitled: Gli Scrittori d'Italia, cioé Notizie Storiche e Critiche intorno alle Vite e agli Scritti dei Letterati Italiani. The death of the learned author prevented the publication of it beyond the first two letters of the alphabet. The Count, however, left behind ample materials for its execution according to the original plan, which lay shamefully neglected as late as the year 1776. See Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 274. This work is rare in our own country. If the lover of Italian philology wishes to increase his critico-literary stores, let him purchase the Biblioteca degli Autori Antichi Greci, e Latini volgarizzati, &c., of Paitoni, in five quarto volumes, 1766: the Notizie Istorico-Critiche &c., degli Scrittori Viniziani, of Agostini, Venez., 1752, 4to., 2 vols.: and the Letteratura Turchesca of Giambatista Toderini, Venez., 1787, 8vo., 3 vols. — works nearly perfect of their kind, and (especially the latter one) full of curious matter.
150 The best edition of his Letteratura Italiana is that of Modena, 1787-94, 4to., in fifteen volumes, as it contains his last corrections and additions, and has the advantage of a complete index. An excellent account of the life and labours of its wonderful author appeared in the fifth volume of the Athenæum, to the perusal of which I strongly recommend the reader.
The range of busts which occupies the opposite niches represents characters of a more recent date. Let us begin with Mercier;151 a man of extraordinary, and almost unequalled, knowledge in every thing connected with bibliography and typography; of a quick apprehension, tenacious memory, and correct judgment; who was more anxious to detect errors in his own publications than in those of his fellow labourers in the same pursuit; an enthusiast in typographical researches — the Ulysses of bibliographers! Next to him stand the interesting busts of Saxius and Laire;152 the latter of whom has frequently erred, but who merited not such a castigation as subsequent bibliographers have attempted to bestow upon him: in the number of which, one is sorry to rank the very respectable name of Audiffredi153— whose bust, you observe, immediately follows that of Laire. Audiffredi has left behind him a most enviable reputation: that of having examined libraries with a curious eye, and described the various books which he saw with scrupulous fidelity. There are no lively or interesting sallies, no highly-wrought, or tempting descriptions — throughout his two quarto volumes: but, in lieu of this, there is sober truth, and sound judgment. I have mentioned Audiffredi a little out of order, merely because his name is closely connected with that of Laire: but I should have first directed your attention to the sagacious countenance of Heinecken;154 whose work upon ancient printing, and whose Dictionary of Engravers (although with the latter we have nothing just now to do) will never fail to be justly appreciated by the collector. I regret, Lisardo, for your own sake — as you are about to collect a few choice books upon typography — that you will have so much to pay for the former work, owing to its extreme rarity in this country, and to the injudicious phrenzy of a certain class of buyers, who are resolved to purchase it at almost any price. Let me not forget to notice, with the encomiums which they deserve, the useful and carefully compiled works of Seemiller, Braun, Wurdtwein, De Murr, Rossi, and Panzer, whose busts are arranged in progressive order. All these authors155 are greatly eminent in the several departments which they occupy; especially Panzer — whose Annales Typographici, in regard to arrangement and fulness of information, leaves the similar work of his precedessor, Maittaire, far behind. It is unluckily printed upon wretched paper — but who rejects the pine-apple from the roughness of its coat? Get ready the wherry; man it with a choice bibliomanical crew, good Lisardo! — and smuggle over in it, if you can, the precious works of these latter bibliographers — for you may saunter "from rise to set of sun," from Whitechapel to Hyde-Park Corner — for them — in vain!
151 Barthelemy, Mercier de St. Leger, died in the year 1800, and in the sixty-sixth of his age, full of reputation, and deeply regretted by those who knew the delightful qualities of his head and heart. It is not my intention to enumerate all his publications, the titles of which may be found in the Siécles Littéraires, vol. iv., p. 350: but, in the present place, I will only observe that his "Supplement à l'Histoire de l'Imprimerie, par P. Marchand," was first published in 1773, and afterwards in 1775, 4to., a rare and curious work; but little known in this country. His Bibliothéque des Romans, traduit de Grec, was published in 1796, 12 vols. 12mo. His letter concerning De Bure's work, 1763, 8vo., betrayed some severe animadversions upon the Bibliogr. Instruct.: but he got a similar flagellation in return, from the Abbé Rive, in his Chasse aux Bibliographes— who held him and De Bure, and all the bibliographical tribe, in sovereign contempt. His letter to Heinecken upon the rare editions of the 15th century, 1783, 8vo., and his other works, I never saw in any collection. The imperial library at Paris purchased his copy of Du Verdier's and La Croix du Maine's Bibliothéques, covered with his marginal annotations, as well as his copy of Clement's Bibl. Curieuse. Le Blond, member of the Institute, obtained his copy of De Bure's Bibliographie Instructive, also enriched with MS. notes. Mr. Ochéda, Lord Spencer's librarian, who knew well the Abbé de St. Leger, informed me that he left behind him ample materials for a History of Printing, in a new edition of his Supplement to Marchand's work, which he projected publishing, and which had received from him innumerable additions and corrections. "He was a man," says Mr. Ochéda, "the most conversant with editions of books of all kinds, and with every thing connected with typography and bibliography, that I ever conversed with." The reader may consult Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 452, vol. iii., p. 212.
152 The Onomasticon Literarium of Christopher Saxius, Traject. ad Rhenum, 1775-90, seven vols. 8vo., with a supplement, or eighth volume, published in 1803, is considered as a work of the very first reputation in its way. The notices of eminent men are compendious, but accurate; and the arrangement is at once lucid and new. An elegantly bound copy of this scarce work cannot be obtained for less than six and seven guineas. The first bibliographical production of the Abbé Laire was, I believe, the Specimen Historicum Typographiæ Romanæ, xv. seculi, Romæ, 1778, large 8vo.; of which work, a copy printed upon vellum (perhaps unique) was sold at the sale of M. d'Hangard, in 1789, for 300 livres. Dictionn. Bibliogr., vol. iv., p. 250. In my Introduction, &c., to the Greek and Latin Classics, some account of its intrinsic merit will be found: vol. i., p. xviii. In the year 1784 Laire published a "Dissertation sur l'origine et Progrès de l'Imprimerie en Franche-Comté," 8vo.; and, in the year 1791, came forth his Catalogue Raisonné of the early printed books in the library of Cardinal de Lomenie de Brienne; under the title of "Index Librorum ab Inventa Typographia, ad annum 1500," in two octavo volumes. See the article "Lomenie," in the list of foreign catalogues, post. Laire was also the author of a few other minor bibliographical productions. All the books in his library, relating to this subject, were covered with marginal notes; some of them very curious. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 330: and Les Siecles Littéraires, (1801, 8vo.) vol. iv., p. 75.
153 The works and the merits of Audiffredi have been before submitted by me to the public; and Mr. Beloe, in the third volume of his "Anecdotes of Literature," &c., has justly observed upon the latter. In Lord Spencer's magnificent library at Althorpe, I saw a copy of the "Editiones Italicæ," sec. xv., 1793, 4to., upon large paper. It is much to be wished that some knowing bibliographer upon the Continent would complete this unfinished work of Audiffredi. His Editiones Romanæ, sec. xv., 1783, 4to., is one of the most perfect works of bibliography extant: yet Laire's "Index Librorum," &c. (see preceeding note), is necessary to supply the omission of some early books printed at Rome, which had escaped even this keen bibliographer!
154 Heinecken's name stands deservedly high (notwithstanding his tediousness and want of taste) among bibliographical and typographical antiquaries. Of his "Nachrichten von Kunstlern und Kunst-Sachen," Leipzig, 1768, 8vo., two vols., (being "New Memoirs upon Artists and the objects of Art"— and which is frequently referred to by foreigners,) I never saw a copy. It was again published in 1786. His "Idée Générale d'une Collection complette d'Estampes," &c., Leips., 1771, 8vo., is a most curious and entertaining book; but unconscionably dear in this country. His "Dictionnaire des Artistes dont nous avons des Estampes," &c., Leips. 1778, 8vo., four vols., is an unfinished performance, but remarkably minute as far as it goes. The remainder, written in the German language, continues in MS. in the Electorate library at Dresden, forming twelve volumes. Of the character of Heinecken's latter work, consult Huber's Manuel, &c., des Amateurs de l'Art, Zurich, 1797, 8vo.: and a recent work entitled "Notices des Graveurs," Paris, 1804, 8vo., two vols. Heinecken died at the advanced age of eighty.
155 We will discuss their works seriatim, as Lisardo has said above. Seemiller's Bibliothecæ Incolstadiensis Incunabula Typographica, contains four parts, or fasciculi: they are bound in one volume, quarto, 1787, &c.; but, unfortunately for those who love curious and carefully executed works, it is rather rare in this country. The Notitia Historico-Critica de libris ab art typog. invent., by Placid Braun, in two parts, or volumes, 1788, 4to., with curious plates, has long been a desideratum in my own collection; and my friend Mr. Beloe, who is luckily in possession of a copy, enjoys his triumph over me when he discovers it not in my bibliographical boudoir. The same author also published his "Notitia Historico-Literaria de cod. MSS. in Bibl. Monast. ord. S. Bened. ad SS. Vidal. et Afram Augustæ ex tantibus," Aug. Vindel., 1791, 4to., two vols. Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., p. 170. I know not how any well versed bibliographer can do without the "Bibliotheca Moguntina libris sæculo primo Tpyographico Moguntiæ impressis instructa;" 1787, 4to., of Wurdtwein. It has some curious plates of fac-similes, and is rarely seen in the Strand or King-street book-markets. ——C.T. De Murr published a work of some interest, entitled, "Memorabilia Bibliothecarum Publicarum Norimbergensium," Norimb., 1786-91, three parts or vols. 8vo.; which is also rare. ——Rossi's valuable work concerning the annals of Hebrew typography: Annales Hebræo-Typographici, à 1475, ad 1540, Parmæ, 1795, 1799, 4to., two separate publications, is prettily printed by Bodoni, and is an indispensable article in the collection of the typographical antiquary. See the Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 286. ——Panzer's Annales Typographici, in eleven quarto volumes (1793-1803) is a work of the very first importance to bibliographers. Its arrangement, after the manner of Orlandi's, is clear and most convenient; and the references to authorities, which are innumerable, are, upon the whole, very faithful. The indexes are copious and satisfactory. This work (of which I hear there are only three copies upon large paper) contains an account of books which were printed in all parts of Europe from the year 1457, to 1536, inclusive; but it should be remembered that the author published a distinct work in the year 1788, 4to., relating to books which were printed, within the same period, in the German Language; and this should always accompany the eleven Latin volumes. I will just add from it, as a curiosity, the title and colophon (translated into English) of the first printed book in the German language:—"The Publication of Diethers, Elector of Mayence, against Count Adolphus of Nassau; given out under our impressed seal on Tuesday, after the fourth Sunday in Advent, anno Domini 1462." Consult also Wurdtwein's Bibl. Mogunt., p. 80; and the authorities there referred to. It seems doubtful whether this curious little brochure, of which scarcely any thing more than a fragment now remains, was printed by Fust and Schoeffer, or by Gutenberg.
What countenances are those which beam with so much quiet, but interesting, expression? They are the resemblances of Denis and Camus:156 the former of whom is better known from his Annalium Typographicorum Maittaire Supplementum; and the latter very generally respected abroad, although our acquaintance with him in this country is exceedingly slight. If I mistake not, I observe the mild and modest countenance of my old acquaintance, Herbert, in this bibliographical group of heads? Do not despise his toil157 because it is not sprinkled with gay conceits, or learned digressions: he wrote to be useful, not to be entertaining; and so far as he went, his work was such an improvement upon his predecessor's plan as to place it quite at the head of National Typography. See yonder the sensible countenance of Harwood!158 the first writer in this country who taught us to consider the respective merits and demerits of the various editions of Greek and Latin authors.
156 Michael Denis, the translator of Ossian, and a bibliographer of justly established eminence, was principal librarian of the Imperial library at Vienna, and died in the year 1800, at the age of 71. His Supplement to Maittaire's Typographical Annals, in two parts or volumes, 1789, 4to., is a work of solid merit, and indispensable to the possessor of its precursor. The bibliographical references are very few; but the descriptions of the volumes are minutely accurate. The indexes also are excellent. In the year 1793, Denis published the first volume (in three thick parts in folio) of his Codices Manuscripti Theologici Bibl. Palat. Vindob.; a production which the reader will find somewhat fully described in the ensuing pages. The second volume appeared after his death in 1801. In 1795-6, came forth his second edition of an Introduction to the Knowledge of Books, in two quarto volumes; unfortunately written in the German language — but mentioned with approbation in the first volume of the Mem. de l'Inst., p. 648. Consult also Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. i., p. 122; ii., 232. ——Armand Gaston Camus is a bibliographer of very first rate reputation. The reader has only to peruse the following titles of some of his works, and he will certainly bewail his ill fortune if they are not to be found in his library. 1. Observations sur la distribution et le classement des livres d'une Bibliothéque: 2. Additions aux mêmes; 3. Memoire sur un livre Allemand (which is the famous Tewrdannckhs; and about which is to be hoped that Mr. Douce will one day favour us with his curious remarks): 4. Addition au même: 5. Memoire sur l'histoire et les procédés du Polytypage et de la Stéréotypie: 6. Rapport sur la continuation de la Collection des Historiens de France, et de celle des Chartres et Diplomes: 7. Notice d'un livre imprimé à Bamberg en 1462. All these works are thus strung together, because they occur in the first three volumes of the Memoires de l'Institut. This curious book, printed at Bamberg, was discovered by a German clergyman of the name of Stenier, and was first described by him in the Magasin Hist.-Litt., bibliogr. Chemintz, 1792: but Camus's memoir is replete with curious matter, and is illustrated with fac-simile cuts. In the "Notices et Extraits des MSS. de la Bibl. Nationale," vol. vi., p. 106, will be found a most interesting memoir by him, relating to two ancient manuscript bibles, in two volumes folio, adorned with a profusion of pictures: of some of which very elegant fac-similes are given. These pictures are 5152 in number! each of them having a Latin and French verse beautifully written and illuminated beneath. — Camus supposes that such a work could not now be executed under 100,000 francs! —"Where (exclaims he) shall we find such modern specimens of book-luxury?" In the year 1802, he published an admirable "Mémoire sur la collection des grands et petits voyages, et sur la Collection des Voyages des Melchesedech Thevenot," 4to., with an excellent "Table des Matières." Of his own journey into the Low Countries, recently published, I never met with a copy. All the preceding works, with the exception of the last, are in my own humble collection.
157 A short bibliographical memoir of Herbert will be found in the first volume of my edition of the Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain. Since that was published, I have gleaned a few further particulars relating to him, which may be acceptable to the reader. Shortly after the appearance of his third volume, he thus speaks in a letter to Mr. Price, librarian of the Bodleian library, "If at any time you meet with any book of which I have not taken notice, or made any mistake in the description of it, your kind information will be esteemed a favour; as I purpose to continue collecting materials for a future publication, when enough shall be collected to make another volume." This was in April, 1790. In the ensuing month he thus addresses his old friend Mr. White, of Crickhowell, who, with himself, was desperately addicted to the black-letter. "To morrow my wife and self set out for Norfolk to take a little relaxation for about a fortnight. I hope my labours will in some good measure answer the expectation of my friends and subscribers in general. Sure I am my best endeavours have been exerted for that purpose. I have been 24 years collecting materials; have spent many a fair pound, and many a weary hour; and it is now ten years since the first part was committed to the press. I purpose to continue collecting materials in order to a fourth volume, &c. — yet by no means will I make myself debtor to the public when to publish: if it shall please God to take me to himself, Isaac will in due time set it forth. However I shall keep an interleaved copy for the purpose." In a letter to a Mr. John Banger Russell (in Dorsetshire), written in the ensuing month of June, the same sentiments and the same intention are avowed. Thus ardent was the bibliomaniacal spirit of Herbert in his 72d year! The interleaved copy here alluded to (which was bound in six volumes 4to., in Russia binding, and for which Mr. Gough had given Herbert's widow 52l. 10s.) is now in my possession; as well as the yet more valuable acquisition of some numerous MS. addenda to his History of Printing — both of these articles having been purchased by me at the sale of Mr. Gough's MSS. and printed books, A.D. 1810.
158 Dr. Edward Harwood published the fourth and last edition of his "View of the various editions of the Greek and Roman Classics," in the year 1790, 8vo. A work which, in the public estimation, has entitled its author's memory to very considerable respect in the classical world; although the late Professor Porson, in the fly leaf of a copy of my second edition of a similar publication, was pleased to call the Doctor by a name rather unusually harsh with him, who was "Criticus et lenis et acutus;" censuring also my dependance upon my predecessor. In the year 1808, was published my third edition of "An introduction to the knowledge of rare and valuable editions of the Greek and Latin Classics," two volumes 8vo.: in which, if I may presume to talk of anything so insignificant, I have endeavoured to exhibit the opinions — not of Dr. Harwood alone, but of the most eminent foreign critics and editors — upon the numerous editions which, in a chronological series, are brought before the reader's attention. The remarks of the first bibliographers in Europe are also, for the first time in a English publication, subjoined; so that the lover of curious, as well as of valuable, editions may be equally gratified. The authorities, exceedingly numerous as well as respectable, are referred to in a manner the most unostentatious; and a full measure of text, and to be really useful, was my design from the beginning to the end of it. To write a long and dull homily about its imperfections would be gross affectation. An extensive sale has satisfied my publishers that its merit a little counterbalances its defects.
Lis. You are, no doubt, a fond and partial critic in regard to the works of Herbert and Harwood: but I am glad to recognise my fellow countrymen in such an illustrious assemblage. Go on.
Lysand. We are just at the close. But a few more busts, and those very recently executed, remain to be noticed. These are the resemblances of La Serna Santander, Cailleau, and Oberlin;159 while several vacant niches remain to be filled up with the busts of more modern bibliographers of eminence: namely, of Van-Praet, Fischer, Lambinet, Renouard, Peignot, Fournier, Barbier, Boucher, and Brunet.160
159 De la Serna Santander will always hold a distinguished place amongst bibliographers, not only from the care and attention with which he put forth the catalogue of his own books — the parting from which must have gone near to break his heart — but from his elegant and useful work entitled, "Dictionnaire Bibliographique choisi du quinzieme Siécle," 1805, &c., 8vo., in three parts or volumes. His summary of researches, upon the invention of printing, Mr. Edwards told me, he read "with complete satisfaction"— this occupies the first part or volume. The remaining volumes form a necessary, as well as brilliant, supplement to De Bure. Just at this moment, I believe that Mr. Beloe's, and my own, copy of the work, are the only ones in this country. ——Cailleau has the credit of being author of the Dictionnaire Bibliographique, &c., in three volumes, octavo, 1790 — of which there are a sufficient number of counterfeited and faulty re-impressions; but which, after all, in its original shape, edit. 1790, is not free from gross errors; however useful it is in many respects. I suspect, however, that the Abbé Duclos had the greater share in this publication: but, be this as it may, the fourth supplemental volume (by the younger Brunet) is, in every respect, a more accurate and valuable performance. Oberlin, librarian of the central school or college at Strasbourg, is author of a bibliographical treatise particularly deserving of the antiquary's attention: namely, Essai d'annales de la vie de Jean Gutenburg, &c., Strasb., an. ix., 8vo. His other numerous (belles-lettres) works are minutely specified by Peignot in his Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 230. His edition of Horace, Argent., 1788, 4to., is both elegant and correct.
160 Let us go quietly through the modern French school of bibliography. —— Mons. Joseph Van-Praet is principal librarian of the Imperial collection at Paris, and is justly called, by some of his fellow-labourers in the same career, "one of the first bibliographers in Europe." He is known to me, as a bibliographical writer, only by the part which he took, and so ably executed, in the Valliere catalogue of 1783. Peignot informs us that M. Van-Praet is now busy in composing a little work — which I am sure will rejoice the hearts of all true bibliomaniacs to be apprised of — called a Catalogue raisonné of books printed upon vellum; for which he has already prepared not fewer than 2000 articles! See the Curiosités Bibliogr., p. iij. Among these vellum articles, gentle reader, I assure thee that thine eyes will be blest with the description of "The Shyp of Fooles," printed by Pynson, 1509! The urbanity and politeness of this distinguished librarian are equal to his knowledge. ——Gotthelf Fischer, a Saxon by birth, and librarian of the public collection at Mentz, has given us the following interesting treatises, of which, I believe, not five copies are to be found in this country: namely —Essai sur les Monumens Typographiques de Jean Gutenberg, &c., an. x. 1801, 4to.: and Descriptions de raretés typographiques et de Manuscrits remarquables, &c., Nuremb., 1801, 8vo. — the latter is in the German language, and has cuts — with a portrait of Fust. By this time, the work has most probably been translated into French, as it is frequently referred to and highly spoken of by foreigners. Peignot [Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 128] refers us to the fine eulogy pronounced upon Fisher (not yet 40 years of age) by Camus, in his "Voyage dans les departemens réunis," p. 12. ——Lambinet will always be remembered and respected, as long as printing and bibliography shall be studied, by his "Recherches Historiques Littéraires et Critiques, sur l'Originè de L'Imprimerie; particulièrement sur les premiers établissemens au XVme siécle dans la Belgique," &c., Brux., an. vii. (1798), 8vo. It is, indeed, a very satisfactory performance: the result of judgment and taste — rare union! —— In like manner, Renouard has procured for himself a bibliographical immortality by his Annales de l'Imprimerie des Aide, 1803, 8vo., two vols.: a work almost perfect of its kind, and by many degrees superior to Bandini's dry Annales Typog. Juntarum., Lucæ, 1761. In Renouard's taste, accuracy and interest are delightfully combined; and the work is printed with unrivalled beauty. There were only six copies of it printed upon large paper; one of which I saw in the fine collection of the Rt. Hon. T. Grenville. —— Few modern bibliographers have displayed so much diligence as Gabriel Peignot: from whom we have, 1. Dictionnaire Raisonné de Bibliologie, Paris, 1802, 8vo., two vols., with a third, by way of supplement (1804). With necessary corrections and additions, this work would answer many useful purposes in an English translation. 2. Essai de Curiosités Bibliographiques, 1804, 8vo. This is a very amusing (but scarce and unconscionably dear) book. It contains elaborate descriptions of many curious and sumptuous works, which were sold for 1000 and more livres at public sales. 3. Dictionnaire, &c., des principaux livres condamnés au feu, supprimés ou censurés, Paris, 1806, 8vo., 2 vols. The very title of such a work must sharpen the edge of curiosity with those bibliomaniacs who have never seen it. 4. Bibliographie Curieuse, ou Notice Raisonnée des livres imprimés a cent exemplaires au plus, suivie d'une notice de quelques ouvrages tirés sur papier de couleur, Paris, 1808, 8vo. Only one hundred copies of this thin volume were struck off: of which I possess the 86th copy, according to Peignot's notification. Indeed I am fortunate in having all his preceding works. Let us wish long life and never-failing success to so brave a book-chevalier as Gabriel Peignot. ——François Ignace Fournier, at 18 years of age, published an elegantly printed little volume, entitled Essai Portatif de Bibliographie, 1796, 8vo., of which only 26 copies were struck off. In the year 1805, this essay assumed the form of a Dictionary, and appeared under the title of Dictionnaire portatif de Bibliographie, &c., 8vo., comprising 17,000 articles, printed in a very small character. Last year, in the month of May, Fournier put forth a new edition of this Dictionnaire, considerably augmented; but in which (such is the fate of bibliographical studies) notwithstanding all the care of the author, Brunet tells us that he has discovered not fewer than five hundred errors! Let not Fournier, however be discouraged; in a few years he will achieve something yet more worthy of his laudable seal in bibliography. ——Antoine-Alexandre Barbier, librarian of the Council of State, has favoured us with an admirably well executed work, entitled Dictionnaire des Ouvrages Anonymes et Pseudonymes, composés, traduits ou publiés en Français, &c., accompagneé de notes historiques et critiques, Paris, Imprimis Bibliogr., 1806, 8vo., two vols. See also art. "Conseil d'Etat," in the list of French Catalogues, post. From these the reader will judge of the warm thanks to which this eminent bibliographer is entitled for his very useful labours. ——G. Boucher de la Richarderie has, in an especial manner, distinguished himself by his Bibliothéque Universelle des Voyages, Paris, 1808, 8vo., six vols.: a work executed with care, minuteness, and considerable interest. Some of its extracts are, perhaps, unnecessarily long. The index to the sixth volume will lead the reader to consult an account of some of the most ancient, rare, and curious publications of voyages which have ever appeared: and Boucher "has deserved well" of the book world by this truly valuable and almost indispensable performance. ——Brunet Le Fils. This able writer, and enthusiastic devotee to bibliography, has recently published an excellent and copious work which would appear greatly to eclipse Fournier's; entitled "Manuel du Libraire et de l'Amateur de Livres, contenant, 1. Un Nouveau Dictionnaire Bibliographigue, 2. Une Table en forme de Catalogue Raisonnée," Paris, 1810, 8vo., 3 vols.: in which he tells us he has devoted at least thirty years to the examination of books. The first two volumes form a scientific arrangement: the latter is an alphabetical one, referring to one or the other of the preceding volumes for a more copious account of the work. It must be confessed that Brunet has, in this publication, executed a difficult task with great ability.
Lis. I am quite anxious to possess the publications of these moderns: but you say nothing of their comparative value with the ancients.
Lysand. Generally speaking, in regard to discoveries of rare books and typographical curiosities, the moderns have the advantage. They have made more rational conclusions, from data which had escaped their predecessors: and the sparkling and animated manner in which they dress out the particular objects that they describe renders the perusal of their works more pleasant and gratifying. I am not sure that they have the learning of the old school: but their works are, in general, less ponderous and repulsive. The ancient bibliographers were probably too anxious to describe every thing, however minute and unimportant: they thought it better to say too much than too little; and, finding the great mass of readers in former times, uninstructed in these particular pursuits, they thought they could never exhaust a subject by bringing to bear upon it every point, however remotely connected! They found the plain, it is true, parched and sandy; but they were not satisfied with pouring water upon it, 'till they had converted it into a deluge.161
161 What Denis says, in the preface to his Catalog. Cod. MSS. Bibl. Palat. Vindob. (of which see p. 65, ante) is very just; "media incedendum via; neque nudis codicum titulis, ut quibusdam bibliothecis placuit, in chartam conjectis provehi multum studia, neque doctis, quæ superioris seculi fuit intemperantia, ambagibus et excursibus."— This is certainly descriptive of the old school of bibliography.
Lis. Let me ask you, at this stage of our inquiries, what you mean by bibliographical publications? — and whether the works of those authors which you have enumerated are sufficient to enable a novice, like myself, to have pretty accurate notions about the rarity and intrinsic value of certain works?
Lysand. By bibliographical publications, I mean such works as give us some knowledge of the literary productions, as well as of the life, of certain learned men; which state the various and the best editions of their lucubrations; and which stimulate us to get possession of these editions. Every biographical narrative which is enriched with the mention of curious and rare editions of certain works is, to a great extent, a bibliographical publication. Those works which treat professedly upon books are, of course, immediately within the pale of bibliography.
Lis. But am I to be satisfied with the possession of those works already recommended?
Phil. I suppose Lisardo has heard of certain valuable catalogues, and he wishes to know how far the possession of these may be requisite in order to make him a bibliographer?
Lysand. At present I will say nothing about the catalogues of the collections of our own countrymen. As we have been travelling principally abroad, we may direct our attention to those which relate to foreign collections.
And first, let us pay a due tribute of praise to the published Catalogues of Libraries collected by the Jesuits: men of shrewd talents and unabating research, and in derogation of whose merits Voltaire and D'Alembert disgraced themselves by scribbling the most contemptible lampoons. The downfall of this society led, not very indirectly, to the destruction of the ancient French monarchy. Men seemed to forget that while the most shameless depredations were committed within the libraries of the Jesuits, the cause of learning, as well as of liberty, suffered — and the spoils which have glittered before our eyes, as the precious relics of these collections, serve to afford a melancholy proof how little those men stick at any thing who, in raising the war-whoop of liberty and equality, tear open the very bowels of order, tranquillity, peace, and decorum! But, to the subject. Let the catalogues of public collections, when they are well arranged, be received into your library. Of foreign private collections, the catalogues162 of Du Fresne, Cordes, Heinsias, Baluze, Colbert, Rothelin, De Boze, Prefond, Pompadour, Gaignat, Gouttard, Bunau, Soubise, La Valliere, Crevenna, Lamoignon, and of several other collections, with which my memory does not just now serve me, will enable you to form a pretty correct estimate of the marketable value of certain rare and sumptuous publications. Catalogues are, to bibliographers, what Reports are to lawyers: not to be read through from beginning to end— but to be consulted on doubtful points, and in litigated cases. Nor must you, after all, place too strong a reliance upon the present prices of books, from what they have produced at former sales; as nothing is more capricious and unsettled than the value of books at a public auction. But, in regard to these catalogues, if you should be fortunate enough to possess any which are printed upon Large Paper, with the Names of the Purchasers, and the Prices for which each set of books was sold, thrice and four times happy may you account yourself to be, my good Lisardo!
162 As it would have required more breath than usually falls to the lot of an individual, for Lysander to have given even a rough sketch of the merits, demerits, and rarity of certain foreign catalogues of public and private collections — in his discourse with his friends — I have ventured to supply the deficiency by subjoining, in the ensuing tolerably copious note, a list of these catalogues, alphabetically arranged; as being, perhaps, the most convenient and acceptable plan. Such an attempt is quite novel; and must be received, therefore, with many grains of allowance. Although I am in possession of the greater number (at least of two thirds) of the catalogues described, I am aware that, in regard to the description of those not in my own library, I subject myself to the lash of P. Morhof. "Inepti sunt, qui librorum catalogos scribunt e catalogis. Oculata fides et judicium præsens requiritur." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 230. But the weight of my authorities will, I trust, secure me from any great violence of critical indignation. To render so dry a subject (the very "Hortus Siccus" of bibliography) somewhat palatable, I have here and there besprinkled it with biographical anecdotes of the collectors, and of the state of French literature in the last century and a half. ——D'Aguesseau. Catalogue des Livres Imprimés et Manuscrits de la Bibliothéque de feu Monsieur D'Aguesseau, &c., Paris, 1785, 8vo. "Anxious to enrich his collection, (says the compiler of this catalogue) the Bibliomaniac sees with delight the moment arrive when, by the sale of a library like this, he may add to his precious stores. It is, in truth, a grand collection; especially of history, arts, and sciences, and jurisprudence. The famous Chancellor D'Aguesseau laid the foundation of this library, which was as universal as his own genius." It would appear that the son, to whom the collection latterly belonged, was gracious in the extreme in the loan of books; and that, in consequence, a public advertisement was inserted at the foot of the "Avis preliminaire," to entreat those, who had profited by such kindness, to return their borrowed (shall I say stolen?) goods? For want of these volumes, many sets of books were miserably defective. ——Anonymiana. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Anonymianæ, in quo libri rariores recensentur, una cum notis litterariis, Norimb., 1738, 8vo. This is a catalogue of value, and may be well ranged with its brethren upon the bibliographer's shelf. Another "Bibliotheca Anonymiana," was published ten years preceding the present one; at the Hague, in three parts, one vol., 8vo.: which, in the Bibl. Solger., vol iii., no. 1388, is said to contain many rare books: see also no. 1370, ibid.——D'Artois. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de Monseigneur Le Compte D'Artois, Paris, 1783, 8vo. Very few copies of this catalogue, which is printed in a wide octavo page, resembling that of a quarto, were struck off: according to Fournier's Dict. Portat. de Bibliogr., p. 120, edit. 1809. See also Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3876. ——Augustana. Catalogus Bibliothecæ inclytæ Reipubl. Augustanæ utriusque linguæ tum Græcæ tum Latinæ librorum et impressorum et manu exaratorum. Aug. Vindel., 1600, fol. Morhof informs us that this catalogue, of which Hoeschelius was the compiler, contains an account of some manuscripts which have never been printed, as well as of some which Marcus Velserus published. It is, moreover, full of precious bibliographical matter; but unfortunately (the possessor of it may think otherwise) only one hundred copies were struck off. Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 211. I find, however, some little difficulty about distinguishing this catalogue of the Augsbourg library from the impression of 1633, fol., which Vogt mentions at p. 323, and of which he also talks of 100 copies being printed. It should not be forgotten that Hoeschelius published an admirable catalogue of the Greek MSS. in the library of Augsbourg, 1595, and again 1605, in 4to. Colomiés pronounces it a model in its way. Bibl. Choisie, p. 194-5. The catalogue of the Greek MSS. in the library of the Duke of Bavaria, at Munich, was published about the same period; namely, in 1602: the compiler was a skilful man, but he tells us, at the head of the catalogue, that the MSS. were open to the inspection of every one who had any work in hand, provided he were a Roman Catholic! This was being very kind to protestants! Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., part i., p. 215, edit. 1725. See also Vogt's Catalog. Libror. Rarior., p. 232. ——Augustana. Notitia historica-literaria de libris ab artis typographicæ inventione usque ad annum, 1478, impressis, in Bibliotheca Monasterii ad SS. Udalricum et Afram Augustæ extantibus. August, Vindel, 1788, 4to. This volume, which I have no doubt would gratify the curious bibliographer, it has never been my good fortune to meet with. It is here introduced upon the authority of the Cat. du Cardinal de Loménie, no. 2647: ed. 1797. I ought not to close this account of the Augsbourg catalogues of books, without remarking, on the authority of Reimannus, that the first published catalogue of books is that which Villerius, a bookseller at Augsburg, put forth in the year 1564. See the Bibl. Acroam., p. 5. ——Aurivillius. Catalogus Bibliothecæ quam collegerat Carolus Aurivillius, sectio i. and ii., Upsal, 1787, 8vo. This catalogue contains a plentiful sprinkling of short literary and bibliographical notes; according to Bibl. Krohn, p. 256, no. 3582. ——Badenhaupt. Bibliotheca selectissima; sive Catalogus librorum magnam partem philologicorum, quos inter eminent. Auctores Græci et Romani classica quos collegit E.F. Badenhaupt, Berol, 1773, 8vo. The pithy bibliographical notes which are here and there scattered throughout this catalogue, render it of estimation in the opinion of the curious. ——Baluze. Bibliotheca Balusiana; seu catalogus librorum bibliothecæ D.S. Baluzii, A. Gab. Martin, Paris, 1719, 8vo., two vols. Let any enlightened bibliographers read the eulogy upon the venerable Baluze (who died in his eighty-eighth year, and who was the great Colbert's librarian), in the preface of the Bibl. Colbertina (vide post), and in the Dict. Hist. (Caen, 1789, vol. i., p. 443-4), and he will not hesitate a moment about the propriety of giving this volume a conspicuous place upon his shelf. From the Bibl. Mencken, p. 10, it would appear that a third volume, containing translations of some MSS. in the royal library, is wanting to make this catalogue complete. This third volume is uncommon. ——Barberini. Index Bibliothecæ Francisci Barberini Cardinalis. Romæ, Typis Barberinis, 1681, fol., three vols. in two. The widely spread celebrity of Cardinal Barberini suffers no diminution from this publication of the riches contained within his library. The authors are arranged alphabetically, and not according to classes. Although it be not the most luminous in its arrangement, or the most accurate in its execution, this finely printed catalogue will never remain long upon a bookseller's shelf without a purchaser. It were much to be desired that our own noblemen, who have fine collections of books, would put forth (after the example of Cardinal Barberini) similar publications. ——Barthelemy. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de M. l'Abbé Barthelemy, par M. Bernard, 1800, 8vo. The high reputation of the owner of this collection will always secure purchasers for this catalogue of useful and interesting books. ——Bibliographie des Pays Bas, avec quelques notes. Nyon, en Suisse, 1783, 4to. Only fifty copies of this work were printed. It is a pity that Peignot, who gives us this information, does not accompany it with some account of the nature and merits of the work — which probably grew out of the Histoire Littéraire des Pays Blas, 1725, in three folio volumes. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 10. ——Bodleian. Catalog. Libr. Bibl. Publ., &c., in Acad. Oxon., 1605, 4to. Catal. Libr. Impr., 1674, fol. Catalogi Libror. MSS. Angl. et Hibern., 1697, fol. Catalogus Impress. Libror. Bibl. Bodl., 1733, fol., two vols. Although none but catalogues of foreign public and private collections were intended to be noticed in this list, the reader will forgive a little violation of the rule laid down by myself, if I briefly observe upon the catalogues of the Bodleian library and the British Museum. [For the latter, vide 'Museum.'] The first of these Bodleian catalogues contains an account of the MSS. It was prepared by Dr. James, the editor of the Philobiblion of De Bury (vide p. 30, ante), and, as it was the first attempt to reduce to "lucid order" the indigested pile of MSS. contained in the library, its imperfections must be forgiven. It was afterwards improved, as well as enlarged, in the folio edition of 1697, by Bernard; which contains the MSS. subsequently bequeathed to the library by Selden, Digby, and Laud, alone forming an extensive and valuable collection. The editor of Morhof (vol. i., 193, n.) has highly commended this latter catalogue. Let the purchaser of it look well to the frontispiece of the portraits of Sir Thomas Bodley and of the fore-mentioned worthies, which faces the title-page; as it is frequently made the prey of some prowling Grangerite. The first catalogue of the Printed Books in the Bodleian library was compiled by the celebrated orientalist, Dr. Hyde: the second by Fisher: of these, the latter is the more valuable, as it is the more enlarged. The plan adopted in both is the same: namely, the books are arranged alphabetically, without any reference to their classes — a plan fundamentally erroneous: for the chief object in catalogues of public collections is to know what works are published upon particular subjects, for the facility of information thereupon — whether our inquiries lead to publication or otherwise: an alphabetical index should, of course, close the whole. It is with reluctance my zeal for literature compels me to add that a Catalogue Raisonnée of the Manuscripts and Printed Books in the Bodleian Library is an urgent desideratum — acknowledged by every sensible and affectionate son of Alma Mater. Talent there is, in abundance, towards the completion of such an honourable task; and the only way to bring it effectually into exercise is to employ heads and hands enough upon the undertaking. Let it be remembered what Wanley and Messrs. Planta and Nares have done for the Cottonian and Harleian MSS. — and what Mr. Douce is now doing for those of the Lansdowne collection! One gentleman alone, of a very distinguished college, in whom the acuteness and solidity of Porson seem almost revived, might do wonders for the Greek MSS., and lend an effectual aid towards the arrangement of the others. The printed books might be assigned, according to their several classes, to the gentlemen most conversant with the same; and the numerous bibliographical works, published since the catalogue of 1733, might be occasionally referred to, according to the plan observed in the Notitia Editionum vel Primariæ, &c., in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon., 1795, 8vo.; which was judiciously drawn up by the Bishop of London, and the Rev. Dr. William Jackson. I am aware that the aged hands of the present venerable librarian of the Bodleian library can do little more than lay the foundation-stone of such a massive superstructure; but even this would be sufficient to enrol his name with the Magliabecchis and Baillets of former times — to entitle him to be classed among the best benefactors to the library — and to shake hands with its immortal founder, in that place where are
et amœna vireta
Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatæ.
Bonnier. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de Bonnier. Paris, 1800, 8vo. This catalogue is here introduced to the bibliographer's notice in order to sharpen his bibliomaniacal appetite to obtain one of the four copies only which were printed upon large paper of Dutch manufacture. See Cat. de Caillard (1808), no. 2596. ——Boutourlin. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de S.E.M. Le Comte de Boutourlin. Paris (an. xiii.), 1805, 8vo. Every one must conceive a high respect for the owner of this choice collection, from the amiable sentiments which pervade the preface to the catalogue. It has a good index; and is elegantly printed. My copy is upon large paper. ——De Boze. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de M. Claude Gros de Boze. Paris. De l'Imp. Royale, 1745, small folio. This is the first printed catalogue of the choice and magnificent library of De Boze, the friend and correspondent of Dr. Mead, between whom presents of books were continually passing — as they were the first collectors of the day in their respective countries. Some have said 50, some 35, others 25, and others only 12 copies of this impression were struck off, as presents for the collector's friends. Consult Bibl. Mead, p. 81, no. 617. Bibl. Creven., vol. v., 291. Bauer's Bibl. Rarior., vol. i., 151. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 12. Bibl. Askev., no. 508. Barbier's Dict. des Anonymes, vol. ii., no. 8002. ——De Boze, de la même bibliothéque, 1753, 8vo. This catalogue, which was executed by Martin, after the death of De Boze, does not contain all the notices of works mentioned in the preceding one. It is, however, well deserving of a place in the bibliographer's library. Peignot tells us that there was yet a third catalogue printed, in 8vo., containing 192 pages, and giving an account of some books taken out of De Boze's collection: a few of which are described in the preceding edition of 1753. See his Bibl. Cur., p. 12. ——Bozerian. Notice des livres précieux ye M. Bozérian, par M. Bailly, 1798, 8vo. A cabinet of "precious books," indeed! The misfortune is, so small a number of modern foreign catalogues come over here that the best of them will be found in few of our libraries. Whenever the "Bibliotheca Bozeriana" shall be imported, it will not stop seven days upon a bookseller's shelf! ——Bulteau. Bibliotheca Bultelliana; (Caroli Bulteau) a Gabr. Martin, Paris, 1711, 12mo., 2 vols. in one. This catalogue, which is carefully compiled, contains curious and uncommon books; many of which were purchased for the collections of Préfond, De Boze, and others. ——Bunau. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Bunavianæ. Lipsiæ, 1750. Six parts, in three volumes, each volume having two parts — usually bound in six vols. Highly and generally esteemed as is this extensive collection, and methodically arranged catalogue, of Count Bunau's books, the latter has always appeared to me as being branched out into too numerous ramifications, so as to render the discovery of a work, under its particular class, somewhat difficult, without reference to the index. I am aware that what Camus says is very true — namely, that "nothing is more absurd than to quarrel about catalogue-making: and that every man ought to have certain fixed and decisive ideas upon the subject," [Mem. de l'Inst. vol. i., 650,] but simplicity and perspicuity, which are the grand objects in every undertaking, might have been, in my humble apprehension, more successfully exhibited than in this voluminous catalogue. It represents over-done analysis! yet those who are writing upon particular subjects will find great assistance in turning to the different works here specified upon the same. It is rare and high-priced. From the preface, which is well worth an attentive perusal, it appears that this grand collection, now deposited in the electoral library at Dresden (see Cat. de Caillard, no. 2545, 1808,) was at Count Bunau's country-house, situated in a pleasant village about half a mile from Dresden —
Vicinam videt unde lector urbem.
Saxius, in his Onomast. Literar., vol i., p. xxxiii., edit. 1775, &c., has a smart notice of this splendid collection. ——Bunneman. J.L. Bunnemanni Catalogus Manuscriptorum, item librorum impressorum rarissimorum pro assignato pretio venalium. Minda, 1732, 8vo. For the sake of knowing, by way of curiosity, what books (accounted rare at this period) were sold for, the collector may put this volume into his pocket, when he finds it upon a book-stall marked at 1s. 6d. In the Bibl. Solger., vol iii., no. 1396, there was a priced copy upon large paper with bibliographical memoranda. ——Caillard. Catalogue des livres du Cabinet de M.A.B. Caillard, Paris, 1805, 8vo. Of this private catalogue, compiled by Caillard himself, and printed upon fine Dutch paper, in super-royal 8vo., only twenty-five copies were struck off. So says Fournier, Dict. Portatif de Bibliographie: p. 120; edit. 1809, and the "avant-propos" prefixed to the subsequent catalogue here following:——Livres rares et précieux de la Bibliothéque de feu M. Ant. Bern. Caillard, Paris, 1808, 8vo. There were but twenty-five copies of this catalogue of truly valuable, and, in many respects, rare, and precious, books, printed upon large paper, of the same size as the preceding. This was the sale catalogue of the library of Caillard, who died in 1807, in his sixty-ninth year, and of whose bibliomaniacal spirit we have a most unequivocal proof in his purchasing De Cotte's celebrated uncut copy of the first printed Homer, at an enormous sum! [vide Cotte, post.] "Sa riche bibliothéque est á-la-fois un monument de son amour pour l'art typographique, et de la vaste étendue de ses connoissances," p. xiv. Some excellent indexes close this volume; of which Mr. Payne furnished me with the loan of his copy upon large paper. ——Cambis. Catalogue des principaux manuscrits du cabinet de M. Jos. L.D. de Cambis, Avignon, 1770, 4to. Although this is a catalogue of MSS., yet, the number of copies printed being very few, I have given it a place here. Some of these copies contain but 519, others 766, pages; which shews that the owner of the MSS. continued publishing his account of them as they increased upon him. Rive, in his "Chasse aux bibliographes," has dealt very roughly with the worthy Cambis; but Peignot tells us that this latter was a respectable literary character, and a well-informed bibliographer — and that his catalogue, in spite of Rive's diatribe, is much sought after. See the Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 14; also Cat. de la Valliere, vol. iii., no. 5543. ——Camus de Limare. Catalogues des livres de M. le Camus de Limare, Paris, 1779, 12mo. —Des livres rares et précieux de M—— (Camus de Limare), Paris, 1786, 8vo. —Des livres rares et précieux, reliés en maroquin, de la bibliothéque du même, Paris, an trois (1795), 8vo. Of the first catalogue only a small number of copies was printed, and those for presents. Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 15. It contains a description of De Boze's extraordinary copy of Du Fresnoy's "Methode pour étudier l'Histoire," 1729, 4to., four volumes, with the supplement, 1740, two vols.; which was sold for 1500 livres; and which was, of course, upon large paper, with a thousand inviting additions, being much more complete than the similar copies in Cat. de Valliere, no. 4467; and Cat. de Crevenna, no. 5694, edit. 1789; although this latter was preferable to the Valliere copy. Consult also the Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. 77-8. The second catalogue was prepared by De Bure, and contains a very fine collection of natural history, which was sold at the Hôtel de Bullion. The printed prices are added. The third catalogue, which was prepared by Santus, after the decease of Camus, contains some very choice articles [many printed upon vellum] of ancient and modern books superbly bound. ——Catalogue des livres rares. Par Guillaume de Bure, fils âiné. Paris, 1786, 8vo. We are told, in the advertisement, that this collection was formed from a great number of sales of magnificent libraries, and that particular circumstances induced the owner to part with it. The books were in the finest order, and bound by the most skilful binders. The bibliographical notices are short, but judicious; and a good index closes the catalogue. The sale took place at the Hôtel de Bullion. ——Catalogue fait sur un plan nouveau, systématique et raisonné, d'une Bibliothéque de Littérature, particulièrement d'Histoire et de Poésie, &c. Utrecht, 1776, 8vo., two vols. A judicious and luminous arrangement of 19,000 articles, or sets of books; which, in the departments specified in the title-page, are singularly copious and rich. ——Catalogus Librorum rarissimorum, ab Artis Typographicæ inventoribus, aliisque ejus artis Principibus ante annum 1500 excusorum; omnium optime conservatorum, 8vo., Sine loco aut anno. Peignot, who has abridged Vogt's excellent account of this very uncommon and precious catalogue, of which only twenty-five copies were printed, has forgotten to examine the last edition of the Catalog. Libror. Rarior., pp. 262-3; in which we find that the collection contained 248 (and not 217) volumes. At the end, it is said: "Pretiosissima hæc Librorum Collectio, cujusvis magni Principis Bibliotheca dignissima, constat voll. ccxlviii." Consult the respectable references in Vogt, ibid.; also the Bibliogr. Curieuse of Peignot, p. 15. ——Ceran. Catalogue des livres de M. Mel de Saint Ceran. Paris, 1780, 8vo., again in 1791, 8vo. These catalogues were compiled by De Bure, and are carefully executed. Some of the books noticed in them are sufficiently curious and rare. ——Clementino-Vaticana. Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino Vaticana, in quâ manuscriptos codices Orientalium Linguarum recensuit Joseph Simonius Assemanus, Romæ, 1719. Folio, four vols. Asseman's son compiled an excellent catalogue of the Oriental MSS. in the Medico-Laurentian library; but this work of the father is more curious and elaborate. Whenever a few half-guineas can procure it, let the country-settled philologist send his "henchman" to fly for it! —"Speed, Malise, speed." But alas! Santander tells us that copies of it are rare. Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., no. 6287. ——Colbert. Bibliotheca Colbertina: seu Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ quæ fuit primum J.B. Colbert, deinde J.B. Colbert (fil) postea J. Nic. Colbert, ac demum C.L. Colbert. Parisiis, 1728, 8vo., three vols. The preface to this valuable catalogue (executed by Martin) gives us a compressed, but sufficiently perspicuous, account of the auspices under which such an extensive and magnificent collection was assembled and arranged. It contains not fewer than 18,219 articles; being perhaps 60,000 volumes. The celebrated Baluze was the librarian during the life of the former branches of the Colbert family; a family which, if nothing remained to perpetuate their fame but this costly monument of literary enterprise, will live in the grateful remembrance of posterity — but it wants not even such a splendid memorial! The lover of fine and curious books will always open the volumes of the Colbert Catalogue with a zest which none but a thorough bred bibliomaniac can ever hope to enjoy. ——Conseil d'Etat. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque du Conseil d'Etat (par M. Barbier, Bibliothecaire du Conseil d'Etat). Paris, an. xi. (1802), folio. "This catalogue is most superbly executed. The richness of the materials of which it is composed, the fine order of its arrangement, and the skilful researches exhibited in it relating to anonymous authors, are worthy of the typographical luxury of the national press, from which this curious work was put forth. It will be perfect in three parts: the third part, containing the supplement and tables, is now at press." (A.D. 1804.) The preface and table of the divisions of this catalogue were published in a small 8vo. volume, 1801. This information I glean from Peignot's Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lix.; and from the Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3892, I learn that only 190 copies of so useful, as well as splendid, a work were printed, of which the French government took upon itself the distribution. ——Cordes. Bibliothecæ Cordesianæ Catalogus, cum indice titulorum, Parisiis, 1643, 4to. The celebrated Naudé had the drawing up and publishing of this catalogue, which is highly coveted by collectors, and is now of rare occurrence. De Cordes was intimate with all the learned men of his country and age; and his eulogy, by Naudé, prefixed to the catalogue, gives us a delightful account of an amiable and learned man living in the bosom, as it were, of books and of book-society. This collection, which was purchased by Cardinal Mazarin, formed the foundation of the latter's magnificent library. Consult the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 142; Colomié's Biblioth. Choisie, p. 126; Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., p. 647. Nor must we forget Morhof —Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 211; who, after a general commendation of the collection, tells us it is remarkable for containing a fine body of foreign history. De Cordes died A.D. 1642, in the 72d year of his age — nearly 50 years having been devoted by him to the formation of his library. "Fortunate senex!"——Cotte. Catalogue des Livres rares et précieux et de MSS. composant la bibliothéque de M—— (le President de Cotte), Paris, 1804, 8vo. We are told by Peignot that the books at this sale were sold for most exorbitant sums: "the wealthy amateurs striving to make themselves masters of the large paper Alduses, Elzevirs, and Stephenses, which had been Count d'Hoym's copies." An uncut first edition of Homer, in the highest state of preservation, was purchased by Mons. Caillaird for 3,601 livres! See the Curiosités Bibliographiques, pp. lxv, lxvj. According to Cat. de Caillard, no. 2600 (1808, 8vo.), there were only ten copies of this catalogue printed upon large paper. ——Couvay. Catalogue de la bibliothéque de M. Couvay, chevalier de l'ordre de Christ, secrétaire du Roi, Paris, 1728, fol. Very few copies of this catalogue were printed, and those only for presents. Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 21. ——Crevenna. Catalogue raisonnée de la collection des Livres de M. Pierre Antoine Crevenna, Négocient à Amsterdam, 1776, 4to., six vols. —De la même collection, 1789, 8vo., five vols. —De la même collection, 1793, 8vo. Of these catalogues of one of the most extensive and magnificent collections ever formed in Amsterdam, the first impression of 1776 (to which I have generally referred) is by far the most valuable in regard to bibliographical remarks and copious description. Peignot tells us that no bibliographer can do without it. It was commenced in the year 1774, and published during the life time of Peter Antony Crevenna, the father; from whom the collection passed into the hands of the son Bolongari Crevenna, and in whose lifetime it was sold by public auction. The second impression of 1789 is the sale-catalogue, and contains more books than the preceding one; but the bibliographical observations are comparatively trifling. There are copies of this latter impression upon large paper in quarto. I possess an interesting copy of the small paper, which has numerous marginal remarks in pencil, by Mr. Edwards; who examined the library at Amsterdam, with a view to purchase it entire. The last catalogue of 1793, which was published after the death of the son, contains a few choice books which he had reserved for himself, and, among them, a curious set of fac-simile drawings of old prints and title-pages; some of which were obtained at the sale of the elder Mirabeau (vide post). It seems to have been the ruling passion of B. Crevenna's life to collect all the materials, from all quarters, which had any connection, more or less, with "the origin and progress of printing," and it is for ever to be regretted that such extensive materials as those which he had amassed, and which were sold at the sale of 1793 should have been dissipated beyond the hope of restoration. See Peignot's Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. iii., p. 100; and his Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. 139. ——Crozat. Catalogue des Livres de Monsieur Le President Crozat de Tugny, Paris, 1751, 8vo. This collection was particularly rich in the belles-lettres — and especially in Italian and French Romance-Literature. ——Van Damme. Catalogue d'une Bibliotheque, vendue publiquement à la Haye, le 8 Octobre, par Varon et Gaillard, 1764, three vols. 8vo. "This precious and rare collection belonged to M. Pierre Van Damme, book-merchant at Amsterdam, equally well known for his knowledge of bibliography and of medals; of which latter he had a beautiful and uncommon collection." Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 306. ——Dubois. Bibliotheca Duboisiana, ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque du Cardinal Dubois. A la Haye, 1725, 8vo., four vols. A collection which evinces the fine taste and sound judgment of the Cardinal Du Bois. It is not rare abroad. ——Elzevir. Catalogus librorum qui in Bibliopolio Officinæ Danielis Elzevirii venales extant, Ams. 1674, 12mo.: 1681, 12mo. —qui in Bibliopoli Elzeviriano venales extant, Lug. Bat., 1634, 1684, 4to. These, and other catalogues of the books printed by the distinguished family of the Elzevirs, should find a place within the cabinet of bibliographers. The first book ever published by the Elzevirs was of the date of 1595; the last, of 1680 or 1681, by Daniel Elzevir, who was the only surviving branch. His widow carried on the business after his decease in 1680. In the Dictionnaire de Bibliologie of Peignot, vol. i., p. 216, vol. iii., p. 116, will be found a pleasing account of this family of (almost) unrivalled printers. ——Du Fay. Bibliotheca Fayana seu Catalogus librorum Bibl. Cor. Hier. de Cisternay du Fay, digestus à Gabriel Martin, Paris, 1725, 8vo. The catalogue of this collection, which is a judicious one, and frequently referred to, is very carefully put forth by Martin. I think that I have seen a copy of it upon large paper. ——Fagel. Bibliotheca Fageliana. A catalogue of the valuable and extensive Library of the Greffier Fagal, of the Hague: in two parts. London, 1802, 8vo. It is highly creditable to that most respectable establishment, Trinity College, Dublin, that the present grand collection of books was purchased "en masse" (for 7000l.) to be deposited within its library; thus rendering the interior of the latter "companion meet" for its magnificent exterior. The title-page of the first part announces the sale of the books by auction by Mr. Christie; but the above offer having been made for the whole collection, the same was forthwith transported to Ireland. Collectors should take care that the second part of this catalogue be not wanting, which is oftentimes the case. A good index only is requisite to make the Bibliotheca Fageliana rank with the most valuable publications of its kind in existence. It was compiled by the well-known S. Paterson. ——Faultrier. Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ Domini Joachimi Faultrier, digestus à Prosper Marchand, Paris, 1709, 8vo. The bibliographical introductory remarks, by Marchand, render this volume (which rarely occurs) very acceptable to collectors of catalogues. Maittaire has spoken well of the performance, Annal. Typog. iii., p. 482. Consult also the Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., p. 675, and the Dict. de Bibliologie, vol. ii., p. 235, upon Marchand's introductory remarks relating to the arrangement of a library. ——Favier. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feu Mons. L'Abbé Favier, Prêtre à Lille, Lille, 1765, 8vo. A well arranged catalogue of a choice collection of books, which cost the Abbé fifty years of pretty constant labour in amassing. Prefixed, are some interesting notices of MSS.: and, among them, of a valuable one of Froissart. The prints of the Abbé were afterwards sold, from a catalogue of 143 pages, printed at Lisle in the same year. ——Du Fresne. Raphaelis Tricheti du Fresne Bibliothecæ Catalogus. Paris, 1662, 4to. "I have observed," says Morhof, "a number of authors in this catalogue which I have in vain sought after elsewhere. The typographical errors (especially in regard to dates, adds Baillet) are innumerable: and the theological, legal, and medical works, comparatively few — but in the departments of history, antiquities, and general literature, this collection is wonderfully enriched — containing authors hardly ever heard of." Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., p. 212. Colomiés and Labbe unite in conferring the highest praises upon Du Fresne and his collection. See the Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 143; where, however, the confused and inaccurate manner in which the catalogue is executed is sharply censured by Baillet. Morhof informs us that this collection was disposed of by Du Fresne's widow, to the Royal Library, for 24,000 livres, after she had refused 33,000 for the same. ——Gaignat. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de feu M. Louis Jean Gaignat, disposé et mis en ordre par Guill. François de Bure le Jeune. Paris, 1769, 8vo., two vols. One of the best executed, and most intrinsically valuable catalogues in existence. Almost all the books of Gaignat were in the choicest condition; being the cream of the collections of Colbert, Préfond, and De Boze. The possession of this rare catalogue, which is indispensable to the collector, forms what is called a Supplement to De Bure's "Bibliographie Instructive." There are 50 copies struck off upon small quarto paper, to arrange with a like number of this latter work. Consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., p. 291. ——Genève. Catalogue raisonné des Manuscrits conservés dans la bibliothéque, &c., de Genève; par Jean Senibier. Genève, 1779, 8vo. A neatly executed and useful catalogue of some manuscripts of no mean value. It has received a good character by Mons. Van-Praet, in the Cat. de la Valliere, vol. iii., no. 5542. See also p. 36, ante. ——Goez. Bibliothecæ Goësinæ Catalogus, Leidæ, 1687, 8vo. A fine collection of books and of coins distinguished the Museum of Goez. ——Golowkin. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque du Comte Alexis de Golowkin, Leipsic, 1798, 4to. It is said that only 25 copies of this catalogue were struck off, and that not more than two of these are known to be in France. Neither the type nor paper has the most inviting aspect; but it is a curious volume, and contains a description of books "infiniment précieux." Consult Peignot's Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 31. Dr. Clarke, in his Travels in Russia, &c., p. 138, has noticed the extraordinary library of Count Botterline, but says nothing of Golowkin's. ——Gouttard. Catalogue des Livres rares et precieux de feu M. Gouttarde par Guillaume de Bure fils aîné. Paris, 1780, 8vo. A short bibliographical notice of the amiable and tasteful owner of this select collection precedes the description of the books. The bibliographical observations are sometimes copious and valuable. This catalogue is indispensable to the collector. ——Guyon. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de feu M.J.B. Denis Guyon, Chev. Seigneur de Sardiere, Ancien Capitaine au Regiment du Roi, et l'un des Seigneurs du Canal de Briare. Paris, 1759, 8vo. It is justly said, in the "advertisement" prefixed to this catalogue, that, in running over the different classes of which the collection is composed, there will be found articles "capable de piquer la curiosité des bibliophiles." In ancient and modern poetry, and in romances — especially relating to chivalry — this "ancient Captain" appears to have been deeply versed. The advertisement is followed by 28 pages of "Eclaircissemens"— which give an interesting account of some precious manuscripts of old poetry and romances. A MS. note, in my copy of this catalogue, informs me that the books were sold "en masse."——Heinsius. (Nic.) Nicolai Heinsii Bibliothecæ Catalogus, (1682) 8vo. A portrait of the elegant and learned owner of this collection faces the title-page. The books contained in it are remarkable both for their rarity and intrinsic value; and a great number of them were enriched with the notes of Scaliger, Salmasius, and others. Few collections display more judgment and taste in the selection than the present one; and few critics have been of more essential service to the cause of ancient classical literature than Nicholas Heinsius. He excelled particularly in his editions of the poets. Mr. Dyer, of Exeter, the bookseller, has a copy of this catalogue, which was formerly Grævius's; in which that celebrated critic has made marginal remarks concerning the rarity and value of certain works described in it. ——Hohendorf. Bibliotheca Hohendorfiana; ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de feu Mons. George Guillaume Baron de Hohendorf: à la Haye, 1720, 8vo., three parts. A magnificent collection; which a MS. note, by Dr. Farmer (in my copy of the catalogue), informs me was "added to the Emperor's library at Vienna." In the Bibl. Mencken, p. 10, it is thus loftily described: "Catalogus per-rarus rarissimis libris superbiens."——Hoym. Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecæ Caroli Henrici Comitis de Hoym, 1738, 8vo. This catalogue, which is exceedingly well "digested by Martin," is a great favourite with collectors. A copy out of Count Hoym's collection tells well — whether at a book-sale, or in a bookseller's catalogue. There are copies upon large paper, which, when priced, sell high. ——Hulsius. Bibliotheca Hulsiana, sive Catalogus Librorum quos magno labore, summa cura et maximis sumptibus collegit Vir Consularis Samuel Hulsius. Hag. Com. 1730, four vols. 8vo. (the second and third being in two parts, and the fourth in three). This is, in sober truth, a wonderful collection of books; containing nearly 34,000 articles — which, allowing three volumes to an article, would make the owner to have been in possession of 100,000 volumes of printed books and MSS. The English library, (vol. iv., pt. ii.) of nearly 3300 articles, comprehended nearly all the best books of the day. There were about 1200 articles of Spanish Literature. Nor was the worthy Consul deficient in the love of the fine arts ("hæc est, sitque diu, Senis optimi voluptas et oblectatio," says the compiler of the catalogue); having 11,000 most beautiful prints of subjects relating to the Bible, bound up in 92 atlas folio volumes. Long live the memory of Hulsius; a consular hero of no ordinary renown! ——Jena. Memorabilia Bibliothecæ Academicæ Jenensis: sive designatio Codicum manuscriptorum illa Bibliothecâ et Librorum impressorum plerumque rariorum. Joh. Christophoro Mylio. Jenæ, 1746, 8vo. A work of some little importance; and frequently referred to by Vogt and Panzer. It is uncommon. ——Jesu Soc. Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu. Antv., 1643. Romæ, 1676, fol. Although this work is not a professed catalogue of books, yet, as it contains an account of the writings of those learned men who were in the society of the Jesuits — and as Baillet, Antonio, and Morhof, have said every thing in commendation of it — I strongly recommend one or the other of these editions to the bibliographer's attention. I possess the edition of 1643; and have frequently found the most satisfactory intelligence on referring to it. How clever some of the Jesuits were in their ideas of the arrangement of a library may be seen from their "Systema Bibliothecæ Jesuitarum Collegii Ludoviciani"— which was written by Garnier for the private use of the Louvain college, and which is now extremely difficult to be found. See Maichelius, de Præcip. Bibl. Parisiens, p. 128. Their "Systema bibliothecæ collegii Parisiensis societatis Jesu," 1678, 4to. (or catalogue of books in the college of Clermont), is handsomely noticed by Camus in the Mem. de l'Inst., vol. i., 647. ——Just, St. Catalogue des livres en très-petit nombre qui composent la Bibliothéque de M. Merard de St. Just, ancien maitre-d'hotêl de Monsieur, frère du Roi (avec les prix d'achat). Paris, 1783, 18mo. Of this book, printed upon superfine paper, of the manufactory of d'Annonay, only 25 copies were struck off. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 43. Another catalogue of the same collection (perhaps a more copious one) was put forth in 1799, 8vo., prepared by M. Mauger, See Diction. Bibliographique, tom. iv., p. xiv. ——Krohn. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Præstantissimorum &c., Librorum selectum complectentis. Libros collegit et Literariis Catalogum Animadversionibus instruxit, B.N. Krohn. Editio altera. Hamb. 1796, 8vo. The preface to this very excellent collection of books is written in Latin by Rambach; and a most interesting one it is. After giving a slight sketch of the life and literary occupations of Krohn, he thus finishes the picture of his death —"Ego certe (exclaims the grateful biographer), mi Krohni, te amabo, et quamdiu 'spiritus hos reget artus' gratam Tui memoriam ex animo nunquam elabi patiar. O! me felicem, si, qua olim me beasti, amicitiâ nunc quoque frui possem. Sed fruar aliquando, cum Deus me ad beatorum sedes evocaverit, ac Te mihi rediderit conjunctissimum. Vale, interim, pia anima; et quem jam tristem reliquisti, prope diem exspecta, in tenerrimos Tuos amplexus properantem, ac de summa, quam nunc habes, felicitate Tibi congratulantem," p. xix. This is the genuine language of heart-felt grief; language, which those who have lost an old and good friend will know well how to appreciate. This catalogue, which was given to me by my friend the Rev. Dr. Gosset, 'vir in re bibliographicâ πολυμαθεστατος,' exhibits a fine collection of books (3821 in number) relating to history and philology. Some of Krohn's notes are sufficiently shrewd and intelligent. ——Lamoignon. Catalogue des Livres Imprimés et manuscrits de la Bibliothéque de M. le President de Lamoignon (redigé par L. Fr. Delatour) avec une table des auteurs, et des anonymes. Paris, 1770, fol. The bibliographer has only to hear Peignot speak in his own language, and he will not long hesitate about the price to be given for so precious volume: "Catalogue fort rare, tiré a quinze exemplaires seulement, sur du papier de coton fabriqué, par singularité, à Angoulême." Mr. Harris, of the Royal Institution, possesses a copy of it, bound in orange-coloured Morocco, which was presented to him by Mr. Payne; and, as Alexander placed his beloved Homer — so does he this catalogue —uner his pillow "quand il vent se reposer — a cause des songes agréables qu'il doit inspirer." This beautiful volume, which was printed for Lamoignon's own convenience, in supplemental parts, does not, however, contain Baillet's interesting Latin prefece, which may be seen in the Jugemens des Savans, vol. pt. ii., p. 140, ed. 1725. ——Lamoignon. Des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feu M. de Lamoignon, Garde de Sçeaux de France. Paris, 1791, 8vo., 3 vols. These volumes contain the sale catalogue of Lamoignon's books as they were purchased by Mr. T. Payne, the bookseller. Like the great libraries of Crevenna and Pinelli, this immense collection (with the exception of the works upon French jurisprudence) has been dissipated by public sale. It yet delights Mr. Payne to think and to talk of the many thousand volumes which were bound in Morocco, or Russia, or white-calf-leather, "with gilt on the edges"— which this extraordinary family of book-collectors had amassed with so much care and assiduity. The preface gives us a short, but pleasing, account of the bibliomanical spirit of Lamoignon's father-in-law, Monsieur Berryer; who spent between thirty and forty years in enriching this collection with all the choice, beautiful, and extraordinary copies of works which, from his ministerial situation, and the exertions of his book-friends, it was possible to obtain. M. Berryer died in 1762, and his son-in-law in 1789. ——Lamoignon. Des Livres de la même Biblothéque, par Nyon l'âiné. Paris, 1797, 8vo. This volume presents us with the relics of a collection which, in its day, might have vied with the most splendid in Europe. But every thing earthly must be dissipated. ——Lancelot. Catalogue des Livres de feu M. Lancelot de l'Academie Royale des Belles Lettres. Paris, 1741, 8vo. Those who are fond of making their libraries rich in French History cannot dispense with this truly valuable catalogue. Lancelot, like the elder Lamoignon, appears to have been "buried in the benedictions of his countrymen"— according to the energetic language of Bourdaloue. ——Lemarié. Catalogue des livres de feu M. Lemarié, disposé et mis en ordre, par Guil. De Bure, fils aîné, Paris, 1776, 8vo. A well digested catalogue of a rich collection of Greek and Latin Literature, which evinces a man of taste and judgment. Nothing can be more handsomely said of a collection than what De Bure has prefixed to the present one. In the Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1545, I find a copy of it upon large paper. ——Loménie. Index Librorum ab inventa Typographia da annum 1500, &c., cum notis, &c. Senonis, 1791, 8vo., two vols. The owner of this collection, whose name does not appear in the title-page, was the celebrated Cardinal de Loménie de Brienne: who is described, in the advertisement prefixed to the catalogue of his books in 1797, [vide infra] as having, from almost early youth, pushed his love of book-collecting to an excess hardly equalled by any of his predecessors. When he was but a young ecclesiastic, and had only the expectation of a fortune, his ruling passion for books, and his attachment to fellow bibliomaniacs, was ardent and general. But let his panegyrist speak in his own language —"Si le hazard procuroit à ses amis quelque objét précieux, il n'avoit de repos qu'aprés l'avoir obtenu; les sacrifices ne l'effrayoient pas; il étoit né généreaux; mais ce qu'on lui accordoit, il le devoit sur-tout à ses manières insinuantes. Ses sollicitations étoient toujours assaisonnées d'un ton d'amabilité auquel on résistoit difficilement. Lorsque le tems et les grâces de la cour eurent aggrandi ses moyens, ses veus s'etendirent à proportion. Insensiblement il embressa tous les genres, et sa bibliothéque devint un dépôt universel. Dans ses fréquens voyages, s'il s'arrêtoit quelques instans dans une ville, on le voyoit visiter lui-même les libraries, s'introduire dans les maisons religieuses, s'insinuer dans les cabinets d'amateurs, chercher par-tout à acquérir; c'etoit un besoin pour lui d'acheter sans cesse, d'entasser les volumes. Cette passion a peut-être ses excés; mais du moins, elle ne fut pas pour le cardinal de Loménie une manie stérile. Non seulement il aimoit, il connoissoit les livres, mais il savoit s'en servir; sans contredit il fut un des hommes les plus éclairés du Clergé de France."—— To return from this pleasing rhapsody to the catalogue, the title of which is above given. It is composed by Laire, in the Latin language, with sufficient bibliographical skill: but the index is the most puzzling one imaginable. The uncommonly curious and magnificent collection, not being disposed of "en masse"— according to advertisement — was broken up; and the more ancient books were sold by auction at Paris, in 1792, from a French catalogue prepared by De Bure. Some of the books were purchased by Mr. Edwards, and sold at London in the Paris collection [vide p. 90, post]; as were also those relating to Natural History; which latter were sold by auction without his Eminence's name: but it is a gross error in the Bibl. Krohn, p. 259, no. 3466, to say that many of these books were impious and obscene. These are scarce and dear volumes; and as they supply some deficiencies Audiffredi's account of books published at Rome in the xvth century [vid. p. 62, ante], the bibliographer should omit no opportunity of possessing them. ——Loménie. D'une partie des livres de la Bibliothéque du Cardinal de Loménie de Brienne, Paris, an. v. 1797, 8vo. This collection, the fragments or ruins of the Lomenie library, contains 2754 articles, or numbers, with a rich sprinkling of Italian literature; leaving behind, however, a surplus of not fewer than twelve hundred pieces relating to the Italian Drama — many of them rare — which were to be sold at a future auction. From the biographical memoir prefixed to this catalogue, I have given the preceding extract concerning the character of the owner of the collection — who died in the same year as the sale. ——Macarthy. Catalogue des livres rares et précieux du cabinet de M.L.C.D.M. (M. Le Comte de Macarthy), Paris, 1779, 8vo. Supplement au Catalogue des livres, &c., de M.L.C.D.M., Paris, 1779, 8vo. Chez de Bure, fils aîné. These books were sold in January, 1780; and great things are said, in the advertisement, of their rarity and beauty. The Count Macarthy has, at this moment, one of the most magnificent collections upon the continent. His books printed upon vellum are unequalled by those of any private collection. Of the above catalogue, a copy upon strong writing paper occurs in the Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1549. ——Magliabechi. Catalogus Codicum Sæculo xv. Impressorum qui in publica Bibliotheca Magliabechiana Florentiæ adservantur. Autore Ferdinando Fossio; ejusd. bibl. Præf., Florent., 1793, folio, three vols. A magnificent and truly valuable publication (with excellent indexes) of the collection of the famous Magliabechi; concerning whom the bibliographical world is full of curious anecdotes. The reader may consult two volumes of letters from eminent men to Magliabechi, published in 1745, &c., vide Bibl. Pinell, no. 8808, &c., edit. 1789: Wolfius's edition of the Bibliotheca Aprosiana, p. 102; and the Strawberry Hill* edition of the Parallel between Magliabechi and Mr. Hill, 1758, 8vo. — an elegant and interesting little volume. Before we come to speak of his birth and bibliographical powers, it may be as well to contemplate his expressive physiognomy.
Magliabechi was born at Florence October 29, 1633. His parents, of low and mean rank, were well satisfied when they got him into the service of a man who sold herbs and fruit. He had never learned to read; and yet he was perpetually poring over the leaves of old books that were used in his master's shop. A bookseller, who lived in the neighbourhood, and who had often observed this, and knew the boy could not read, asked him one day "what he meant by staring so much on printed paper?" Magliabechi said that "he did not know how it was, but that he loved it of all things." The consequence was that he was received, with tears of joy in his eyes, into the bookseller's shop; and hence rose, by a quick succession, into posts of literary honour, till he became librarian to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In this situation Magliabechi had nothing further, or more congenial to his feelings, to sigh for: in the Florentine library he revelled without cessation in the luxury of book-learning. The strength of his memory was remarkable; one day, the Grand Duke sent for him to ask whether he could procure a book that was particularly scarce. "No, sir," answered Magliabechi, "it is impossible; for there is but one in the world, and that is in the Grand Signior's Library at Constantinople, and is the seventh book on the second shelf on the right hand as you go in." In spite of his cobwebs, dirt, and cradle lined with books, Magliabechi reached his 81st year. Hearne has contrived to interweave the following (rather trifling) anecdote of him, in his Johan. Confrat., &c., de Reb. Glaston, vol. ii., 486 — which I give merely because it is the fashion to covet every thing which appertaineth to Tom Hearne. "I have mentioned the bank where the MSS. (concerning the Epistles of St. Ignatius; Bank lvii.) stands, and the title of the book, because Vossius tells us not in his preface which of the several MSS. in this library he made use of; and to finde it out gave me so much trouble that, if the Grand Duke's library-keeper had not known the book, and searched it for me, I think I should never have met with it, there being not one canon of St. Laurence, not their library-keeper himself, nor, I believe, any other in Florence, except this Sre. Magliabechi, that could direct me to it. The learned Bishop will be pleased to take notice of Sre. Maliabechi's civility; who, besides procuring me the Grand Duke's leave to collate the epistles, attended himself in the library, all the time I was there (the licence being granted by the Grand Duke upon this condition): and since, as a mark of his respect to the reverend bishop, hath been pleased to present him with a book (about the Florentine history) which I have committed to Mr. Ferne, my Lord Lexinton's Gentleman, to be conveyed to his lordship." (Mr. Ledgerd's account of his collations of the Florentine MS. with the edition of Vossius.)——St. Mark. Græca D. Marci Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Præside Laurentio Theopolo. Venet. 1740, folio: Ejusdem Latina et Italica Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Præside eodem, Venet. 1741, folio. These useful and handsomely executed volumes should be found in every extensive philological collection. ——Medici-Lorenzo. Bibliothecæ Mediceo-Laurentianæ et Palatinæ Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium Catalogus digessit S.E. Assemanus. Florent. 1742, folio. A very valuable and splendid publication; evincing the laudable ambition of the Medici in their encouragement of oriental literature. The editor is commended in the preface of the subsequent catalogue, p. xxxxv. ——Medici-Lorenzo. Bibliothecæ Hebraico-Grecæ Florentinæ sive Bibliothecæ Mediceo-Laurentianæ Catalogus ab Antonio Maria Biscionio, &c., digestus atque editus, Florent., 1752, folio, two vols. in one. A grand book; full of curious fac-similes of all sorts of things. It was begun to be printed in 1752, but Biscioni's death, in May, 1756, prevented the completion of the publication 'till May 1757. See præfat., p. xxxxvii — and particularly the colophon. ——Medici-Lorenzo. Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum, Græcorum, Latinorum, et Italicoram, Bibliothecæ Medicæ Laurentianæ: Angelus Maria Bandinus recensuit, illustravit edidit. Florent., 1764; 3 vols., 1774; 5 vols., folio. An equally splendid work with the preceding — and much more copious and erudite in regard to intrinsically valuable matter. The indexes are excellent. No extensive philological library should be without these volumes — especially since the name of Medici has recently become so popular, from the able biographical memoirs of the family by Mr. Roscoe. ——Menarsiana. Bibliotheca Menarsiana; ou Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de feu Messire Jean Jaques Charron, Chevalier Marquis de Menars, &c. A La Haye, 1720, 8vo. A very fine collection of books in all branches of literature. After the "Ordo Venditionis," there is an additional leaf pasted in, signifying that a magnificent copy of Fust's bible of 1462, upon paper, would be sold immediately after the theological MSS. in folio. It brought the sum of 1200 florins. The sale commenced at nine and at two; giving the buyers time to digest their purchases, as well as their dinners, at twelve! "Tempora mutantur!"——Menckenius. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Menckenianæ ab Ottone et Burchardo collectæ. Editior altera longe emendatior. Lips., 1727, 8vo. There are some curious and uncommon books in this collection; which evince the taste and judgment of Menckenius, who was a scholar of no mean reputation. Perhaps the word "rare" is too lavishly bestowed upon some of the books described in it. ——Meon. Catalogue des livres précieux singuliéres et rares de la Bibliothèque de M. Meon. Paris, an. xii. (1804), 8vo. A very choice collection of books; catalogued with considerable care. ——Mercier. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de M. Mercier, Abbé de Saint Leger, par. M. De Bure, 1799, 8vo. If the reader has chanced to cast his eye over the account of the Abbé de St. Leger, at p. 61, ante, he will not hesitate long about procuring a copy of the catalogue of the library of so truly eminent a bibliographer. ——Mérigot. Catalogue des livres de M.J.G. Mérigot, Libraire, par M. De Bure, 1800, 8vo. It is very seldom that this catalogue appears in our own country: which is the more provoking as the references to it, in foreign bibliographical works, render its possession necessary to the collector. Mérigot was an eminent bookseller, and prepared a good catalogue of M. Lorry's library, which was sold in 1791, 8vo. ——St. Michael. Bibliotheca Codicum Manuscriptorum Monasterij Sancti Michaelis Venetiarum, una cum appendice librorum impressorum sæculi xv. Opus posthumum Joannis Bened. Mittarelli. Venet., 1779, folio. It were much to be wished that, after the example of this and other monasteries, all religious houses, which have large libraries attached to them, would publish accounts of their MSS. and printed books. There is no knowing what treasures are hid in them, and of which the literary world must remain ignorant, unless they are thus introduced to general notice. How many curious and amusing anecdotes may be told of precious works being discovered under barbarous titles! Among others, take, gentle reader, the two following ones — relating to books of a very different character. Within a volume, entitled Secreta Alberti, were found "The Fruyte of Redempcyon," printed by W. De Worde, 1532, 4to.; and a hitherto imperfectly described impression of The Boke of Fyshinge, printed by W. De Worde, in 4to., without date; which usually accompanies that fascinating work, ycleped Dame Juliana Barnes's Boke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Cote Armoor. My friend Mr. J. Haslewood first made me acquainted with this rare treasure — telling me he had "a famous tawny little volume" to shew me: his pulse, at the same time, I ween, beating one hundred and five to the minute! The second anecdote more exactly accords with the nature of my preliminary observations. In one of the libraries abroad, belonging to the Jesuits, there was a volume entitled, on the back of it "Concilium Tridenti:" the searching eye and active hands of a well-educated Bibliomaniac discovered and opened this volume — when lo! instead of the Council of Trent, appeared the First, and almost unknown, Edition of the Decameron of Boccaccio! This precious volume is now reposing upon the deserted shelves of the late Duke of Roxburgh's library; and, at the forth-coming sale of the same, it will be most vigorously contended for by all the higher and more knowing powers of the bibliographical world;
But when the gods descending swell'd the fight,
Then tumult rose; fierce rage and pale affright
Varied each face:
[Pope's] Homer's Iliad, b. xx. v. 63.
Mirabeau. Catalogue de la Bibliotheque de Mirabeau l'aîné, par Rozet, 1792, 8vo. A fine collection of books; some of them very curious and uncommon. At the head of the choice things contained in it must be noticed the "Recueil de Calques, ou dessins des titres et figure d'un grand nombre des plus anciens ouvrages, gravés en bois, ou imprimés en caractères mobiles, depuis l'origine de l'imprimerie," &c. These designs were 226 in number; of which a description is given at the head of the catalogue. They were purchased for 1105 livres, and again sold, with the same description prefixed, at the last Crevenna sale of 1793 (see p. 79, ante). Consult the Curiosités Bibliographiques of Peignot, p. 139. ——Miromenil. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de M. Hüe de Miromenil, garde des sceaux de France, Paris, 1781, 4to. "It appears, from the catalogue of M. de Coste, that this is a rare book, of which only few copies were printed, and those never sold." Bibliogr. Curieuse, p. 33. ——Montfauçon. Diarium Italicum; sive Monumentorum Veterum, Bibliothecarum, Musæorum Notitiæ Singulares a D. Bernardo de Montfauçon, Paris, 1702, 4to. Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum nova, autore De Bern. de Montfauçon, Paris, 1739, folio, two vols. These are the bibliographical works (which I thought would be acceptable if placed in this list of Catalogues) of the illustrious Montfauçon; whose publications place him on the summit of antiquarian fame. So much solid sense, careful enquiry, curious research, and not despicable taste, mark his voluminous productions! The bibliographer may rest assured that he will not often be led into confusion or error in the perusal of the above curious and valuable volumes, which have always been considered precious by the philologist. ——Morelli. Jacobi Morellii Bibliothecæ Regiæ divi Marci Venetiarum Custodis, Bibliotheca Manuscripta Græca et Latina. Tom. prim. Bassani, 8vo. Morelli was the amiable and profoundly learned librarian of St. Mark's at Venice; and this catalogue of his Greek and Latin MSS. is given upon the authority of Peignot's Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lix. ——Museum British. Catalogus Librorum Manuscript. Bibl. Cotton., Oxon., 1696, fol. A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library, Lond. 1777, 8vo. A Catalogue of the same, 1802, fol. A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, &c., Lond., 1759, fol., 2 vols. A Catalogue of the same, Lond., 1808, fol., 3 vols. A Catalogue of the MSS. of the Kings Library, &c., 1734, 4to. A Catalogue of the MSS., &c., hitherto undescribed, Lond., 1782, 4to., two vols. Catalog. Libror. Impress., &c., Lond., 1787, folio, 2 vols. These are the published catalogues of the literary treasures, in manuscript and in print, which are contained in the British Museum. The first Cottonian catalogue has a life of Sir Robert Cotton, and an account of his library prefixed to it. The second, by Samuel Hooper, was intended "to remedy the many defects" in the preceding catalogue, and "the injudicious manner" in which it was compiled; but it is of itself sufficiently confused and imperfect. The third, which is the most copious and valuable, with an index (and which has an abridged account of Sir Robert Cotton, and of his Library), was drawn up by Mr. Planta, the principal librarian of the British Museum. A great part of the first catalogue of the Harleian MSS. was compiled by the celebrated Humphrey Wanley, and a most valuable and ably executed publication it is! The Second is executed by the Rev. R. Nares: it contains the preface of the first, with an additional one by himself, and a copious index; rendering this the most complete catalogue of MSS. which has ever yet appeared in our own country; although one regrets that its typographical execution should not have kept pace with its intrinsic utility. The two latter catalogues of MSS. above described give an account of those which were presented by royal munificence, and collected chiefly by Sir Hans Sloane and Dr. Birch. The catalogue of 1734 (which is now rare) was compiled by David Casley: that of 1782, by Samuel Ascough. Of the catalogue of Printed Books, it would be unfair to dwell upon its imperfections, since a new, and greatly enlarged and improved, impression of it is about going to press, under the editorial care and inspection of Messrs. H. Ellis and Baber, the gentlemen to whom the printed books are at present intrusted. Mr. Douce, who has succeeded Mr. Nares as head librarian of the MSS., is busily employed in examining the multifarious collection of the Lansdowne MSS. (recently purchased by the Trustees of the Museum), and we may hope that the day is not very far distant when the public are to be congratulated on his minute and masterly analysis of these treasures. ——Paris. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de M. Paris de Meyzieux, Paris, 1779, 8vo. Bibliotheca elegantissima Parisina, par M. Lourent, 1790, 8vo. The same: Lond., 1791, 8vo. Since the days of Gaignat and the Duke de la Valliere, the longing eyes of bibliographers were never blessed with a sight of more splendid and choice books than were those in the possession of M. Paris de Meyzieux. The Spira Virgil of 1470, upon vellum, will alone confer celebrity upon the first catalogue — but what shall we say to the second? It consists of only 635 articles, and yet, as is well observed in the preface, it was never equalled for the like number. Happy is that noviciate in bibliography who can forget the tedium of a rainy day in sitting by the side of a log-wood fire, and in regaling his luxurious fancy, by perusing the account of "fine, magnificent, matchless, large paper," and "vellum" copies which are thickly studded from one end of this volume to the other. Happier far the veteran, who can remember how he braved the perils of the sale, in encountering the noble and heavy metalled competitors who flocked, from all parts of the realm, to partake of these Parisian spoils! Such a one casts an eye upon his well-loaded shelves, and while he sees here and there a yellow morocco Aldus, or a Russian leather Froben, he remembers how bravely he fought for each, and with what success his exertions were crowned! For my own part, gentle reader, I frankly assure thee that — after having seen the "Heures de Notre Dame," written by the famous Jarry, and decorated with seven small exquisite paintings of the Virgin and Christ — and the Aldine Petrarch and Virgil of 1501, all of them executed upon snow-white vellum— after having seen only these books out of the Paris collection, I hope to descend to my obscure grave in perfect peace and satisfaction! The reader may smile; but let him turn to nos. 14, 201, 328, of the Bibl. Paris: no. 318 of the Cat. de la Valliere; and Curiositès Bibliographiques, p. 67. This strain of "ètourderie bibliographique," ought not to make me forget to observe that we are indebted to the enterprising spirit and correct taste of Mr. Edwards for these, as well as for many other, beautiful books imported from the Continent. Nor is it yet forgotten that some thorough-bred bibliomaniacs, in their way to the sale, used to call for a glass of ice, to allay the contagious inflammation which might rage in the auction-room. And now take we leave of Monsieur Paris de Meyzieux. Peace to the ashes of so renowned a book-chevalier. ——Petau et Mansart. Bibliotheca Potavina et Mansartiana; ou Catalogue des Bibliothéques de Messrs. Alexander Petau, et François Mansart; auxquells on a ajouté le Cabinet des MSS. de Justus Lipsius. Haye, 1722, 8vo. A catalogue not very common, and well worth the bibliographer's consultation. ——Pinelli. Bibliotheca Maphæi Pinelli Veneti, &c. A Jacobo Morellio. Venetiis, 1787, 6 vols., 8vo. Bibliotheca Pinelliana: a catalogue of the magnificent and celebrated library of Maffæi Pinelli, late of Venice, &c., London, 1789, 8vo. There can be no question about the priority, in point both of typographical beauty and intrinsic excellence, of these catalogues; the latter being only a common sale one, with the abridgment of the learned preface of Morelli, and of his bibliographical notices. This immense collection (of the ancient owners of which we have a short sketch in Morhof, vol. i., pp. 28, 202) was purchased by Messrs. Edwards and Robson: the Greek and Latin books were sold for 6786l., the Italian, for 2570l.— which barely repaid the expenses of purchase, including duties, carriage, and sale. Although, as Dr. Harwood has observed, "there being no dust in Venice, this most magnificent library has in general lain reposited for some centuries, in excellent preservation,"— yet the copies were not, upon the whole, in the choicest condition. There are copies of the catalogue of 1789 upon large paper. The catalogue of 1787 (with an elegant portrait of Pinelli prefixed) has, at first sight, the aspect of a work printed in small quarto. ——Pompadour. Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliothéque de feue Madame La Marquise de Pompadour, Dame du Palais de la Reine, Paris, 1765, 8vo. The name of Madame de Pompadour will be always respected by bibliographers, on account of the taste and judgment which are displayed in this elegant collection. The old popular romances form the leading feature; but there is an ample sprinkling of the belles-lettres and poetry. An animated eulogium is pronounced upon Mad. de Pompadour by Jardé, in his "Précis sur les Bibliothéques;" prefixed to the last edition of Fournier's Dictionnaire Portatif de Bibliographie, p. vij. ——Préfond. Catalogue des Livres du Cabinet de M.D.P. (Girardot de Préfond) Par Guillaume F. De Bure, Paris, 1757, 8vo. An excellent collection; not wanting in rare and magnificent productions. The owner of it was distinguished for many solid, as well as splendid, qualifications. Only six copies of it were printed upon large paper. See Cat. de Gaignat, vol. ii., no. 3467. ——Randon de Boisset. Catalogue des livres du cabinet de feu M. Randon du Boisset. Par Guil. de Bure, fils aîné, Paris, 1777, 12mo. Although the generality of catalogue collectors will be satisfied with the usual copy of this well-digested volume, yet I apprehend the curious will not put up with any thing short of a copy of it upon strong writing paper. Such a one was in the Gouttard collection. See Cat. de Gouttard, no. 1546. ——Reimannus. J.F. Reimanni Catalogus Bibliothecæ Theologicæ Systematico-Criticus. Hildes. 1731, 8vo., two vols. Ejusdem accessiones uberiores ad Catalogum Systematico-Criticum, editæ a Jo. W. Reimannus, Brunsv., 1747, 8vo. I have before given the character of this work in the introductory part of my "Knowledge of the Greek and Latin Classics." Every thing commendatory of it may be here repeated. ——Renati. Bibliothecæ Josephi Renati Imperialis, &c., Cardinalis Catalogus, &c. Romæ, 1711, fol. This excellent catalogue, which cost the compiler of it, Fontanini, nine years of hard labour, is a most useful and valuable one; serving as a model for catalogues of large libraries. See the more minute criticism upon it in Cat. de Santander, no. 6315. My copy, which wants the title-page, but luckily contains the Latin preface, was formerly Ruddiman's. The volume has 738 pages: this is noticed because all the appendixes and addenda are comprehended in the same. ——Revickzky. Bibliotheca Græca et Latina, complectens auctores fere omnes Græcia et Latii veteris, &c., cum delectu editionum tam primariarum, &c., quam etiam optimarum, splendidissimarum, &c., quas usui meo paravi. Periergus Deltophilus (the feigned name for Revickzky), Berolini, 1784: 1794, 8vo. It was the delight of Count Revickzky, the original owner of this collection, to devote his time and attention to the acquisition of scarce, beautiful, and valuable books; and he obtained such fame in this department of literature as to cause him to be ranked with the Vallieres, Pinellis, and Loménies of the day. He compiled, and privately disposed of, the catalogue of his collection, which bears the above title; and to some few of which are prefixed a letter to M. L' A.D. [enini] (Member of the French Academy) and a preface. Three Supplements to this catalogue were also, from time to time, circulated by him; so that the purchaser must look sharply after these acquisitions to his copy — as some one or the other of them are generally missing. Peignot supposes there are only two supplements. Bibl. Curieuse, p. 58. When Count Revickzky came over to England, he made an offer to Earl Spencer to dispose of the whole collection to his lordship, for a certain "round sum" to be paid immediately into his hands, and to receive, in addition, a yearly sum by way of annuity. So speaks fame. Shortly after this contract was closed, the Count died; and Earl Spencer, in consequence, for a comparatively small sum (the result of an immediate and generous compliance with the Count's wishes!), came into the possession of a library which, united with his previous magnificent collection, and the successful ardour with which he has since continued the pursuit, places him quite at the head of all the collectors in Europe — for early, rare, precious, and beautiful, books. Long may he possess such treasures! — and fleeing from the turbulence of politics, and secluded as he is, both in the metropolis and at Althorp, from the stunning noise of a city, may he always exclaim, with Horace, as the Count did before him —
Sit mihi, quod nunc est, etiam minus; ut mihi vivam
Quod superest ævi, si quid superesse volunt Dí.
Sit bona librorum et provisæ frugis in annum
Copia, ne fluitem dubiæ spe pendulus horæ.
Epist. Lib. i.: Epist. xviii. v., 107.
Sir M.M. Sykes, Bart., has a copy of the edition of 1784 [which is in every respect the better one], printed upon fine vellum paper. A similar copy of the edition of 1794 is noticed in the Cat. de Caillard,(1808) no. 2572. At the sale of M. Meon's books, in 1804, a copy of the first edition, charged with MS. notes of the celebrated Mercier St. Leger, was sold for 30 livres. ——Rive. Catalogue de la Bibliothéque de l'Abbé Rive, par Archard, Marseille, 1793, 8vo. A catalogue of the books of so sharp-sighted a bibliographer as was the Abbé Rive cannot fail to be interesting to the collector. ——Du Roi [Louis XV.] Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Regiæ (studio et labore Anicetti Mellot). Paris, e Typog. Reg., 1739, folio, four vols. ——Du Roi. Des Livres imprimés de la même Bibliothéque Royale. (Disposè par Messrs. les Abbés Sallier et Boudot, &c.) Paris, De L'Imprim. Royale, 1739-53, folio, six vols. The most beautiful and carefully executed catalogue in the world: reflecting a truly solid lustre upon the literary reputation of France! The first four volumes, written in Latin, comprehend an account of MSS.: the six last, written in French, of printed works in Theology, Jurisprudence, and Belles-Lettres; the departments of History and the Arts and Sciences still remaining to be executed. De Bure told us, half a century ago, that the "Gens de Lettres" were working hard at the completion of it; but the then complaints of bibliographers at its imperfect state are even yet continued in Fournier's last edition of his Dictionnaire Portatif de Bibliographie, p. 468. So easy it is to talk; so difficult to execute! I believe, however, that M. Van-Praet, one of the principal librarians, is now putting all engines to work to do away the further disgrace of such unaccountably protracted negligence. My copy of this magnificent set of books is bound in red Morocco, gilt leaves, and was a presentation one from the King "au Comte de Neny, comme une marque de son estime, 1770." I should add that the first volume of "Theology" contains a history of the rise and progress of the royal library, which was reprinted in 8vo., 1782. ——Du Roi. Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothéque du Roi, Paris. De l'Imprim. Roy. 1787, 4to., seven vols. It will be obvious to the candid reader that this work could not be better introduced than in the present place; and a most interesting and valuable one it is! My copy of it, which is only in six volumes [but a seventh is mentioned in Cat. de Boutourlin, no. 3845, and in Caillot's Roman Bibliographique, p. 195], was purchased by me of Mr. Evans of Pall-Mall, who had shewn it to several lovers of bibliography, but none of whom had courage or curiosity enough to become master of the volumes. How I have profited by them, the Supplement to my first volume of the "Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain," may in part shew. The public shall be made acquainted with still more curious excerpts. In my humble judgment the present work is a model of extraction of the marrow of old MSS. It may be worth adding, the plates in the sixth volume are singular, curious and beautiful. ——Du Roi. Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. Translated from the French, London, 1789, 8vo., two vols. "The French Monarch [Louis XVI.], in the publication now before us, has set an example to all Europe, well worthy to be followed"— says the opening of the translator's preface. The present volumes contain a translation of only twenty-two articles from the preceding work; and very strongly may they be recommended to the curious philologist, as well as to the thorough-bred bibliomaniac. ——Röver. Bibliotheca Röveriana, sive Catalogus Librorum qui studiis inservierunt Matthiæ Röveri. Lug. Bat. 1806, 8vo., two parts. From the elegant and pleasing Latin preface to this most carefully compiled catalogue, we learn that the owner of the books lived to his 82d year — and [what must be a peculiar gratification to Bibliomaniacs] that he beat Pomponius Atticus in the length of time during which he never had occasion to take physic; namely, 50 years! Röver's life seemed to glide away in rational tranquillity, and in total seclusion from the world; except that he professed and always shewed the greatest kindness to his numerous, and many of them helpless, relatives —"vix in publicum prodiit, nisi cultus Divini externi aut propinquorum caussâ," p. xv. His piety was unshaken. Like the venerable Jacob Bryant, his death was hastened in consequence of a contusion in his leg from a fall in endeavouring to reach a book. ——Rothelin. Catalogue des livres de feu M'L. Abbé D'Orleans de Rothelin. Par G. Martin, Paris, 1746, 8vo. This catalogue of the library of the amiable and learned Abbé Rothelin, "known (says Camus) for his fine taste for beautiful books," is judiciously drawn up by Martin, who was the De Bure of his day. A portrait of its owner faces the title-page. It was the Abbé Rothelin who presented De Boze with the celebrated 'Guirlande de Julie'— a work which afterwards came into the Valliere collection, and was sold for 14,510 livres — "the highest price (says Peignot) ever given for a modern book." Consult his Curiosités Bibliographiques, pp. 62, 67; and Bibl. Curieuse, p. 61. ——Sarraz. Bibliotheca Sarraziana. Hag. Com., 1715, 8vo. This catalogue, which is frequently referred to by bibliographers, should not escape the collector when he can obtain it for a few shillings. A tolerably good preface or diatribe is prefixed, upon the causes of the rarity of Books, but the volume itself is not deserving of all the fine things in commendation of it which are said in the Bibl. Reiman, pt. ii., p. 671, &c. ——Sartori. Catalogus Bibliographicus Librorum Latinorum et Germanicorum in Bibliotheca Cæsar. reg. et equestris Academiæ Theresianæ extantium, cum accessionibus originum typographicarum. Vindobonensium, et duobus supplementis necnon, indice triplici, systematico, bibliographico, et typographico; auctore Josepho de Sartori. Vindobonæ, 1801-3, 4to. Vol. i., ii., iii. Of this very curious and greatly-to-be-desired catalogue, which is to be completed in eight volumes, it is said that only one hundred copies are struck off. Peignot has a long and interesting notice of it in his Bibliographie Curieuse, p. 64. ——Schalbruck. Bibliotheca Schalbruchiana; sive Catalogus exquisitissimorum rarissimorumque librorum, quos collegit Joh. Theod. Schalbruch. Amst. 1723, 8vo. A very fine collection of rare and curious books. From a priced copy of the catalogue, accidentally seen, I find that some of them produced rather large sums. ——Schwartz. Catalogus Librorum continens codd. MSS. et libros sæculo xv. impressos, quos possedit et notis recensuit A.G. Schwarzius, Altorf. 1769, 8vo. The name of Schwartz is so respectable in the annals of bibliography that one cannot help giving the present catalogue a place in one's collection. According to Bibl. Solger., vol. iii., no. 1459, a first part (there said to be printed upon large paper) was published in 1753. Schwartz's treatise, "De Orig. Typog. Document. Primar." Altorf, 1740, 4to., should have been noticed at p. 41, ante. ——Scriverius. Bibliothecæ Scriverianæ Catalogus, Amst., 1663, 4to. —"exquisitissimus est: constat enim selectissimus omnium facultatum et artium autoribus." This is the strong recommendatory language of Morhof: Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 212. ——Serna Santander. Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothéque de M.C. De La Serna Santander; redigé et mis en ordre par lui même; avec des notes bibliographiques et littèraires, &c. Bruxelles, 1803, 8vo., five volumes. An extensive collection of interesting works; with a sufficiently copious index at the end of the fourth volume. The fifth volume contains a curious disquisition upon the antiquity of signatures, catchwords, and numerals; and is enriched with a number of plates of watermarks of the paper in ancient books. This catalogue, which is rarely seen in our own country, is well worth a place in any library. It is a pity the typographical execution of it is so very indifferent. For the credit of a bibliographical taste, I hope there were a few copies struck off upon large paper. ——Sion College. Catalogus universalis librorum omnium in Bibliotheca Collegii Sionii apud Londinenses; Londini, 1650, 4to. Ejusdem Collegii librorum Catalogus, &c., Cura Reading, Lond., 1724, fol. As the first of these catalogues (of a collection which contains some very curious and generally unknown volumes) was published before the great fire of London happened, there will be found some books in it which were afterwards consumed, and therefore not described in the subsequent impression of 1724. This latter, which Tom Osborne, the bookseller, would have called a "pompous volume," is absolutely requisite to the bibliographer: but both impressions should be procured, if possible. The folio edition is common and cheap. ——Smith [Consul]. Bibliotheca Smithiana, seu Catalogus Librorum D.J. Smithii Angli, per cognomina Authorum dispositus. Venetiis, 1755, 4to. A Catalogue of the curious, elegant, and very valuable library of Joseph Smith, Esq., His Britannic Majesty's Consul at Venice, lately deceased, 1773, 8vo. These are the catalogues of the collections of books occasionally formed at Venice, by Mr. Joseph Smith, during his consulship there. The quarto impression contains a description of the books which were purchased "en masse" by his present majesty. It is singularly well executed by Paschali, comprehending, by way of an appendix, the prefaces to those volumes in the collection which were printed in the fifteenth century. I possess a brochûre of 71 pages, containing a catalogue of books printed in the fifteenth century, which has Consul Smith's arms at the beginning, and, at the end, this subscription, "Pretiosissima hæc librorum collectio, cujusvis magni principis Bibliotheca dignissima, constat voluminibus ccxlviii." The title-page has no date. I suspect it to be the same catalogue of books which is noticed at p. 77, ante, and which probably the Consul bought: forming the greater part of his own library of early printed books. See too the Bibliogr. Miscellany, vol. ii., 72. The collection of 1773 was sold by auction, for Mr. Robson, by Messrs. Baker and Leigh — and a fine one it was. Among these books, the Spira Virgil of 1470, printed upon vellum, was purchased for only twenty-five guineas!
Excidat ille dies ævo — ne postera credant
——Solger. Bibliotheca sive Supellex Librorum Impressorum, &c., et Codicum Manuscriptorum, quos per plurimos annos collegit, &c., Adamus Rudolphus Solger. Norimb., 1760, 8vo., three parts or vols. I should almost call this publication "facile princeps Catalogorum"— in its way. The bibliographical notices are frequent and full; and saving that the words "rarus, rarior, et rarissimus," are sometimes too profusely bestowed, nothing seems to be wanting to render this a very first rate acquisition to the collector's library. I am indebted to the bibliomanical spirit of honest Mr. Manson, of Gerard-street, the bookseller, for this really useful publication. ——Soubise. Catalogue des livres imprimés et manuscrits, &c., de feu Monseigneur Le Prince de Soubise (par feu Le Clerc), Paris, 1788, 8vo. A short history of this collection will be the best inducement to purchase the present catalogue, whenever it comes in the way of the collector. The foundation of this splendid library was that of the famous De Thou's [vide Art. Thuanus, post], which was purchased by the Cardinal de Rohan, who added it to his own grand collection —"the fruit of a fine taste and a fine fortune." It continued to be augmented and enriched 'till, and after, it came into the possession of the Prince de Soubise— the last nobleman of his name — who dying in January, 1789, the entire collection was dispersed by public auction: after it had been offered for the purchase of one or two eminent London booksellers, who have repented, and will repent to their dying day, their declining the offer. This catalogue is most unostentatiously executed upon very indifferent paper; and, while an excellent index enables us to discover any work of which we may be in want, the beautiful copies from this collection which are in the Cracherode library in the British Museum, give unquestionable proof of the splendour of the books. For the credit of French bibliography, I hope there are some few copies upon large paper. ——Tellier. Bibliotheca Tellereana, sive Catalogus Librorum Bibliotheca Caroli Mauritii Le Tellier, Archiepiscopi Ducis Remensis. Parisiis, e Typographia Regia, 1693, fol. A finely engraved portrait of Tellier faces the title-page. This is a handsome volume, containing a numerous and well-chosen collection of books. ——Thuanus. [de Thou] Bibliothecæ Thuanæ Catalogus, Parisiis, 1679, 8vo. "Three particular reasons," says Baillet, "should induce us to get possession of this catalogue; first, the immortal glory acquired by De Thou in writing his history, and in forming the most perfect and select library of his age: and secondly, the abundance and excellence of the books herein specified; and, thirdly, the great credit of the bibliographers Du Puys and Quesnel, by whom the catalogue was compiled." Jugemens des Savans, vol. ii., p. 144, &c. Morhof is equally lavish in commendation of this collection. See his Polyhist. Literar., vol. i., 36, 211. The Books of De Thou, whose fame will live as long as a book shall be read, were generally in beautiful condition, with his arms stamped upon the exterior of the binding, which was usually of Morocco; and, from some bibliographical work (I think it is Santander's catalogue), I learn that this binding cost the worthy president not less than 20,000 crowns. De Thou's copy of the editio princeps of Homer is now in the British Museum; having been presented to this national institution by the Rev. Dr. Cyril Jackson, who has lately resigned the deanery of Christ Church College, Oxford — "and who is now wisely gone to enjoy the evening of life in repose, sweetened by the remembrance of having spent the day in useful and strenuous exertion." For an account of the posterior fate of De Thou's library, consult the article "Soubise," ante. I should add that, according to the Bibl. Solgeriana, vol. iii., p. 243, no. 1431, there are copies of this catalogue upon large paper. ——Uffenbach. Catalogus universalis Bibliothecæ Uffenbachinæ librorum tam typis quam manu exaratorum. Francof. ad Mœn, 1729, 8vo., 4 vols. This catalogue is no mean acquisition to the bibliographer's library. It rarely occurs in a perfect and clean condition. ——Valliere (duc de la). Catalogue des Livres provenans de la Bibliothéque de M.L.D.D.L.V., (M. le Duc de la Valliere) disposé et mis en ordre par Guill. Franc. De Bure le Jeune. Paris, 1767, 8vo., 2 vols. —Des Livres de la même Bibliothéque. Paris, 1772, 8vo. —Des Livres et Manuscrits de la même Bibliothéque, Paris, 1783, 8vo., 3 vols. —Des Livres de la même Bibliothéque, Paris, 1783, 6 vols. 8vo. These twelve volumes of catalogues of this nobleman's library impress us with a grand notion of its extent and value — perhaps never exceeded by that of any private collection! It would seem that the Duke de la Valliere had two sales of part of his books (of which the two first catalogues are notifications) during his life-time: the two latter catalogues of sales having been put forth after his decease. Of these latter (for the former contain nothing remarkable in them, except that there are copies of the first on large paper, in 4to.), the impression of 1783, which was compiled by Van Praet and De Bure, is the most distinguished for its notices of MSS. and early printed books: and in these departments it is truly precious, being enriched with some of the choicest books in the Gaignat Collection. Those printed upon vellum alone would form a little library! Of the impression of 1783, which has a portrait of the owner prefixed, there were fifty copies printed upon large paper, in 4to., to harmonize with the Bibliographie Instructive, and Gaignat's Catalogue. See Bibliographical Miscell., vol. ii., 66. Twelve copies were also printed in royal 8vo., upon fine stout vellum paper; of which the Rt. Hon. T. Grenville has a beautiful uncut copy in six volumes. See also Cat. de Loménie 1797, no. 2666. The last publication of 1788 was put forth by Nyon l'aîné; and although the bibliographical observations are but few in comparison with those in the preceding catalogue, and no index is subjoined, yet it is most carefully executed; and presents us with such a copious collection of French topography, and old French and Italian poetry and romances, as never has been, and perhaps never will be, equalled. It contains 26,537 articles. The Count D'Artois purchased this collection "en masse;" and it is now deposited in the "bibliothéque de l'Arsenal." See Dictionn. Bibliographique, vol. iv., p. 133. It was once offered for purchase to a gentleman of this country — highly distinguished for his love of Virtû. Mr. Grenville has also a similar large paper copy of this latter edition, of the date of 1784. ——Vienna. Codices Manuscripti Theologici. Bibl. Palat. Vindob. Latini aliarumque Occidentis Linguarum, vol. i. (in tribus partibus.) Recens., &c., Michael Denis. Vindob. 1793, folio. Some mention of this work has been made at page 65, ante. It may be here necessary to remark that, from the preface, it would appear to contain a ninth additional book to Lambecius's well-known Commentaries (vide, p. 41, ante) which Kollarius had left unpublished at his death. The preface is well worth perusal, as it evinces the great pains which Denis has taken; and the noble, if not matchless, munificence of his patron —"qui præter augustam Bibliothecæ fabricam in ipsos libros centenis plura Rhenensium expendit millia."— This catalogue is confined to a description of Latin, with some few notices of Oriental Manuscripts; as the preceding work of Lambecius and Kollarius contained an account of the Greek MSS. These three parts, forming one volume, are closed by an excellent index. The second volume was published in 1801. Upon the whole, it is a noble and highly useful publication; and places its author in the foremost rank of bibliographers. ——Volpi. Catalogo della Libreria de Volpi, &c. Opera di Don Gaetano Volpi. Padova, 1756, 8vo. The Crevenna library was enriched with a great number of valuable books which came from the library of the celebrated Vulpii; of which the present is a well-arranged and uncommon catalogue. Annexed to it there is an account of the press of the Comini, which belonged to the owners of this collection. The reader may consult Bibl. Crevenn., vol. v., pp. 302-3; and Dr. Clarke's Bibliogr. Miscell., vol. ii., 72. ——Voyage de deux Français dans le nord de l'Europe, en 1790-92, (par M. de Fortia) Paris, 1796, 8vo., 5 vols. That the collector of catalogues may not scold me for this apparent deviation from the subject discussed in this note, I must inform him, upon the authority of Peignot, that these interesting volumes contain "some account of the most beautiful and curious books contained in the Libraries of the North, and in those of Italy, Spain, Holland, &c." Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lviii. ——De Witt. Catalogus Bibliothecæ Joannis De Witt, Dordraci, 1701, 12mo. The preface to this catalogue, (from which an extract was given in the first edition of my "Introduction to the Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics," 1802, 8vo.,) gives us a pleasing account of an ardent and elegant young man in the pursuit of every thing connected with Virtû. De Witt seems to have been, in books and statues, &c., what his great ancestor was in politics —"paucis comparandus." A catalogue of the library of a collector of the same name was published at Brussels, in 1752, by De Vos. See Cat. de Santander, vol. iv., no. 6334. ——Zurich. Catalogus librorum Bibliothecæ Tigurinæ. Tiguri, 1744, 8vo., 4 vols. Although the last, this is not the most despicable, catalogue of collections here enumerated. A reading man, who happens to winter in Switzerland, may know, upon throwing his eyes over this catalogue, that he can have access to good books at Zurich — the native place of many an illustrious author! The following, which had escaped me, may probably be thought worthy of forming an
Bern. Cat. Codd. MSS. Bibl. Bernensis. Cum annotationibus, &c. Curante Sinner. Bernæ, 1760, 8vo. A very curious and elegantly printed Catalogue with three plates of fac-similes. ——Parker [abp.] Catalog. Libror. MSS. in Bibl. Coll. Corporis Christi in Cantab., quos legavit M. Parkerus Archiepiscop. Cant. Lond., 1722, fol.; Eorundem Libror. MSS. Catalogus. Edidit J. Nasmith. Cantab., 1777, 4to. Of these catalogues of the curious and valuable MSS. which were bequeathed to Corpus College (or Bennet College, as it is sometimes called) by the immortal Archbishop Parker, the first is the more elegantly printed, but the latter is the more copious and correct impression. My copy of it has a fac-simile etching prefixed, by Tyson, of the rare print of the Archbishop, which will be noticed in Part V., post. ——Royal Institution. A Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, &c. By William Harris, Keeper of the Library. Lond., 1809, 8vo. If a lucid order, minute and correct description of the volumes of an admirably chosen library, accompanied with a copious and faithful alphabetical index, be recommendations with the bibliographer, the present volume will not be found wanting upon his shelf. It is the most useful book of its kind ever published in this country. Let the bibliomaniac hasten to seize one of the five remaining copies only (out of the fifty which were printed) upon large paper! ——Wood (Anthony). A Catalogue of Antony-a-Wood's Manuscripts in the Ashmolean Museum; by W. Huddesford, Oxon, 1761, 8vo. The very name of old Anthony (as it delights some facetious book-collectors yet to call him!) will secure respect for this volume. It is not of common occurrence.
Lis. You have so thoroughly animated my feelings, and excited my curiosity, in regard to Bibliography, that I can no longer dissemble the eagerness which I feel to make myself master of the several books which you have recommended.
Lysand. Alas, your zeal will most egregiously deceive you! Where will you look for such books? At what bookseller's shop, or at what auction, are they to be procured? In this country, my friend, few are the private collections, however choice, which contain two third parts of the excellent works before mentioned. Patience, vigilance, and personal activity, are your best friends in such a dilemma.
Lis. But I will no longer attend the sale of Malvolio's busts and statues, and gaudy books. I will fly to the Strand, or King-street: peradventure—
Phil. Gently, my good Lisardo. A breast thus suddenly changed from the cold of Nova Zembla to the warmth of the torrid zone requires to be ruled with discretion. And yet, luckily for you—
Lis. Speak — are you about to announce the sale of some bibliographical works?
Phil. Even so. To morrow, if I mistake not, Gonzalvo's choice gems, in this way, are to be disposed of.
Lis. Consider them as my own. Nothing shall stay me from the possession of them.
Lysand. You speak precipitately. Are you accustomed to attend book-auctions?
Lis. No; but I will line my pockets with pistoles, and who dare oppose me?
Phil. And do you imagine that no one, but yourself, has his pockets "lined with pistoles," on these occasions?
Lis. It may be so — that other linings are much warmer than my own:— but, at any rate, I will make a glorious struggle, and die with my sword in my hand.
Phil. This is Book-Madness with a vengeance! However, we shall see the issue. When and how do you propose going?
Lis. A chaise shall be at this door by nine in the morning. Who will accompany me?
Lysand. Our friend and Philemon will prevent your becoming absolutely raving, by joining you. I shall be curious to know the result.
Lis. Never fear. Bibliomania is, of all species of insanity, the most rational and praise-worthy. I here solemnly renounce my former opinions, and wish my errors to be forgotten. I here crave pardon of the disturbed manes of the Martins, De Bures, and Patersons, for that flagitious act of Catalogue-Burning; and fondly hope that the unsuspecting age of boyhood will atone for so rash a deed. Do you frankly forgive — and will you henceforth consider me as a worth "Aspirant" in the noble cause of bibliography?
Lysand. Most cordially do I forgive you; and freely admit you into the fraternity of Bibliomaniacs. Philemon, I trust, will be equally merciful.
Phil. Assuredly, Lisardo, you have my entire forgiveness: and I exult a little in the hope that you will prove yourself to be a sincere convert to the cause, by losing no opportunity of enriching your bibliographical stores. Already I see you mounted, as a book chevalier, and hurrying from the country to London — from London again to the country — seeking adventures in which your prowess may be displayed — and yielding to no competitor who brandishes a lance of equal weight with your own!
Lis. 'Tis well. At to-morrow's dawn my esquire shall begin to burnish up my armour — and caparison my courser. Till then adieu!
Here the conversation, in a connected form, ceased; and it was resolved that Philemon and myself should accompany Lisardo on the morrow.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:48