"One saith this booke is too long: another, too short: the third, of due length; and for fine phrase and style, the like [of] that booke was not made a great while. It is all lies, said another; the booke is starke naught."
Choice of Change; 1585. 4to., sign. N. i.
OFTLY blew the breeze, and merrily sung the lark, when Lisardo quitted his bed-chamber at seven in the morning, and rang lustily at my outer gate for admission. So early a visitor put the whole house in commotion; nor was it without betraying some marks of peevishness and irritability that, on being informed of his arrival, I sent word by the servant to know what might be the cause of such an interruption. The reader will readily forgive this trait of harshness and precipitancy, on my part, when he is informed that I was then just enjoying the "honey dew" of sleep, after many wakeful and restless hours.
Lisardo's name was announced: and his voice, conveyed in the sound of song-singing, from the bottom of the garden, left the name of the visitor no longer in doubt. I made an effort, and sprung from my bed; and, on looking through the venetian blinds, I discovered our young bibliomaniacal convert with a book sticking out of his pocket, another half opened in his hand (upon which his eyes were occasionally cast), and a third kept firmly under his left arm. I thrust my head, "night-cap, tassel and all," out of window, and hailed him; not, however, before a delicious breeze, wafted over a bed of mignonette, had electrified me in a manner the most agreeable imaginable.
Lisardo heard, and hailed me in return. His eyes sparkled with joy; his step was quick and elastic; and an unusual degree of animation seemed to pervade his whole frame. "Here," says he, "here is The British Bibliographer414 in my hand, a volume of Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books in my pocket, while another, of Mr. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, is kept snugly under my arm, as a corps de reserve, or rallying point. If these things savour not of bibliography, I must despair of ever attaining to the exalted character of a Bibliomaniac!"
414 The British Bibliographer is a periodical publication; being a continuation of a similar work under the less popular title of The Censura Literaria; concerning which see p. 52, ante. It is a pity that Mr. Savage does not continue his British Librarian; (of which 18 numbers are already published) as it forms a creditable supplement to Oldys's work under a similar title; vide p. 51, ante. A few of the ensuing numbers might be well devoted to an analysis of Sir William Dugdale's works, with correct lists of the plates in the same.
"You are up betimes," said I. "What dream has disturbed your rest?" "None" replied he; "but the most delightful visions have appeared to me during my sleep. Since you left Lorenzo's, I have sipt nectar with Leland, and drunk punch with Bagford. Richard Murray has given me a copy of Rastell's Pastime of People,415 and Thomas Britton has bequeathed to me an entire library of the Rosicrusian416 philosophy. Moreover, the venerable form of Sir Thomas Bodley has approached me; reminding me of my solemn promise to spend a few autumnal weeks,417 in the ensuing year, within the precincts of his grand library. In short, half the bibliomaniacs, whom Lysander so enthusiastically commended last night, have paid their devoirs to me in my dreams, and nothing could be more handsome than their conduct towards me."
This discourse awakened my friends, Lysander and Philemon; who each, from different rooms, put their heads out of window, and hailed the newly-risen sun with night caps which might have been mistaken for Persian turbans. Such an unexpected sight caused Lisardo to burst out into a fit of laughter, and to banter my guests in his usual strain of vivacity. But on our promising him that we would speedily join his peripatetic bibliographical reveries, he gave a turn towards the left, and was quickly lost in a grove of Acacia and Laurustinus. For my part, instead of keeping this promise, I instinctively sought my bed; and found the observation of Franklin — of air-bathing being favourable to slumber — abundantly verified — for I was hardly settled under the clothes 'ere I fell asleep: and, leaving my guests to make good their appointment with my visitor, I enjoyed a sweet slumber of more than two hours.
As early rising produces a keen appetite for bodily, as well as mental, gratification, I found my companions clamorous for their breakfast. A little before ten o'clock, we were all prepared to make a formal attack upon muffins, cake, coffee, tea, eggs, and cold tongue. The window was thrown open; and through the branches of the clustering vine, which covered the upper part of it, the sun shot a warmer ray; while the spicy fragrance from surrounding parterres, and jessamine bowers, made even such bibliomaniacs as my guests forgetful of the gaily-coated volumes which surrounded them. At length the conversation was systematically commenced on the part of Lysander.
Lysand. To-morrow, Philemon and myself take our departure. We would willingly have staid the week; but business of a pressing nature calls him to Manchester — and myself to Bristol and Exeter.
Lis. Some bookseller,418 I warrant, has published a thumping catalogue at each of these places. Ha! — here I have you, sober-minded Lysander! You are as arrant a book-madman as any of those renowned bibliomaniacs whom you celebrated yesterday evening! — Yet, if you love me, take me with you! My pistoles are not exhausted.
418 I ought to have noticed, under Lysander's eulogy upon London Booksellers (see p. 308, ante) the very handsome manner in which Mr. Roscoe alludes to their valuable catalogues — as having been of service to him in directing his researches into foreign literature. His words are these: "The rich and extensive Catalogues published by Edwards, Payne, and other London Booksellers, who have of late years diligently sought for, and imported into England, whatever is curious or valuable in foreign literature, have also contributed to the success of my inquiries." Lorenzo de Medici: pref. p. xxvii., edit. 1800, 8vo.
Phil. Peace, Lisardo! — but you are, in truth, a bit of a prophet. It is even as you surmise. We have each received a forwarded letter, informing us of very choice and copious collections of books about to be sold at these respective places. While I take my departure for Mr. Ford of Manchester, Lorenzo is about to visit the book-treasures of Mr. Dyer of Exeter, and Mr. Gutch of Bristol:— but, indeed, were not this the case, our abode here must terminate on the morrow.
Lis. I suppose the names you have just mentioned describe the principal booksellers at the several places you intend visiting.
Lysand. Even so: yet I will make no disparaging comparisons.419 We speak only of what has come within our limited experience. There may be many brave and sagacious bibliopolists whose fame has not reached our ears, nor perhaps has any one of the present circle ever heard of the late Mr. Miller of Bungay;420 who, as I remember my father to have said, in spite of blindness and multifarious occupations, attached himself to the book-selling trade with inconceivable ardour and success. But a word, Lisardo!
419 Lysander is right. Since the note upon Mr. Ford's catalogue of 1810 was written (see p. 123, ante), the same bookseller has put forth another voluminous catalogue, of nine thousand and odd articles; forming, with the preceding, 15,729 lots. This is doing wonders for a provincial town; and that a commercial one!! Of Mr. Gutch's spirit and enterprise some mention has been made before at p. 404, ante. He is, as yet, hardly mellowed in his business; but a few years only will display him as thoroughly ripened as any of his brethren. He comes from a worthy stock; long known at our Alma Mater Oxoniensis:— and as a dutiful son of my University Mother, and in common with every one who is acquainted with his respectable family, I wish him all the success which he merits. Mr. George Dyer of Exeter is a distinguished veteran in the book-trade: his catalogue of 1810, in two parts, containing 19,945 articles, has, I think, never been equalled by that of any provincial bookseller, for the value and singularity of the greater number of the volumes described in it. As Lysander had mentioned the foregoing book-vending gentlemen, I conceived myself justified in appending this note. I could speak with pleasure and profit of the catalogues of booksellers to the north of the Tweed—(see p. 415, ante); but for fear of awaking all the frightful passions of wrath, jealousy, envy — I stop: declaring, from the bottom of my heart, in the language of an auld northern bard:
I hait flatterie; and into wourdis plane,
And unaffectit language, I delyte:
(Quod Maister Alexander Arbothnat; in anno 1572.)
420 There is something so original in the bibliomanical character of the above-mentioned Mr. Miller that I trust the reader will forgive my saying a word or two concerning him. Thomas Miller of Bungay, in Suffolk, was born in 1731, and died in 1804. He was put apprentice to a grocer in Norwich: but neither the fragrance of spices and teas, nor the lusciousness of plums and figs, could seduce young Miller from his darling passion of reading, and of buying odd volumes of the Gentleman's and Universal Magazine with his spare money. His genius was, however, sufficiently versatile to embrace both trades; for in 1755, he set up for himself in the character of Grocer and Bookseller. I have heard Mr. Otridge, of the Strand, discourse most eloquently upon the brilliant manner in which Mr. Miller conducted his complicated concerns; and which, latterly, were devoted entirely to the Bibliomania. Although Bungay was too small and obscure for a spirit like Miller's to disclose its full powers, yet he continued in it till his death; and added a love of portrait and coin, to that of book, collecting. For fifty years his stock, in these twin departments, was copious and respectable; and notwithstanding total blindness, which afflicted him during the last six years of his life, he displayed uncommon cheerfulness, activity, and even skill in knowing where the different classes of books were arranged in his shop. Mr. Miller was a warm loyalist, and an enthusiastic admirer of Mr. Pitt. In 1795, when provincial copper coins were very prevalent, our bibliomaniac caused a die of himself to be struck; intending to strike some impressions of it upon gold and silver, as well as upon copper. He began with the latter; and the die breaking when only 23 impressions were struck off, Miller, in the true spirit of numismatical virtû, declined having a fresh one made. View here, gentle reader, a wood-cut taken from the same: "This coin, which is very finely engraved, and bears a strong profile likeness of himself, is known to collectors by the name of 'The Miller Halfpenny.' Mr. Miller was extremely careful into whose hands the impressions went; and they are now become so rare as to produce at sales from three to five guineas." Gentleman's Magazine; vol. lxxiv., p. 664.
Lis. Twenty, if you please.
Lysand. What are become of Malvolio's busts and statues, of which you were so solicitous to attend the sale, not long ago?
Lis. I care not a brass farthing for them:— only I do rather wish that I had purchased the Count de Neny's Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Royal Library of France. That golden opportunity is irrevocably lost!
Phil. You wished for these books, to set fire to them perhaps — keeping up the ancient custom so solemnly established by your father?421
Lis. No more of this heart-rending subject! I thought I had made ample atonement.
Lysand. 'Tis true: and so we forgive and forget. Happy change! — and all hail this salubrious morning, which witnesses the complete and effectual conversion of Lisardo! Instead of laughing at our book-hobbies, and ridiculing all bibliographical studies — which, even by a bibliographer in the dry department of the law, have been rather eloquently defended and enforced422— behold this young bibliomaniacal chevalier, not daunted by the rough handling of a London Book-Auction, anxious to mount his courser, and scour the provincial fields of bibliography! Happy change! From my heart I congratulate you!
422 "Our nation (says Mr. Bridgeman) has been too inattentive to bibliographical criticisms and enquiries; for, generally, the English reader is obliged to resort to foreign writers to satisfy his mind as to the value of authors. It behoves us, however, to consider that there is not a more useful, or a more desirable branch of education than a knowledge of books; which, being correctly attained, and judiciously exercised, will prove the touchstone of intrinsic merit, and have the effect of saving many a spotless page from prostitution." Legal Bibliography; 1807, 8vo. (To the reader.)
Lis. From the bottom of mine, I congratulate you, Lysander, upon the resuming of your wonted spirits! I had imagined that the efforts of yesterday would have completely exhausted you. How rapturously do I look forward for the Symptoms of the Bibliomania to be told this morning in Lorenzo's Alcove! You have not forgotten your promise!
Lysand. No, indeed; but if I am able to do justice to the elucidation of so important a subject, it will be in consequence of having enjoyed a placid, though somewhat transient, slumber: notwithstanding the occurrence of a very uncommon dream!
Lis. "I dreamt a dream last night;" which has been already told — but what was yours?
Lysand. Nay, it is silly to entertain one another with stories of phantastic visions of the night. I have known the most placid-bosomed men grow downright angry at the very introduction of such a discourse.
Phil. That may be; but we have, luckily, no such placidly-moulded bosoms in the present society. I love this sort of gossipping during breakfast, of all things. If our host permit, do give us your dream, Lysander!
Lis. The dream! — The dream! — I entreat you.
Lysand. I fear you will fall asleep, and dream yourself, before the recital of it be concluded. But I will get through it as well as I can.
Methought I was gently lifted from the ground into the air by a being of very superior size, but of an inexpressible sweetness of countenance. Although astonished by the singularity of my situation, I was far from giving way entirely to fear; but, with a mixture of anxiety and resignation, awaited the issue of the event. My Guide or Protector (for so this being must now be called) looked upon me with an air of tenderness, mingled with reproof; intimating, as I conceived, that the same superior Power, which had thus transported me above my natural element, would of necessity keep me in safety. This quieted my apprehensions.
We had travelled together through an immensity of space, and could discover the world below as one small darkened spot, when my Guide interrupted the awful silence that had been preserved, by the following exclamation: "Approach, O man, the place of thy destination — compose thy perturbed spirits, and let all thy senses be awakened to a proper understanding of the scene which thou art about to behold." So saying, he moved along with an indescribable velocity; and while my eyes were dazzled by an unusual effulgence of light, I found myself at rest upon a solid seat — formed of crystal, of prodigious magnitude.
My guide then fixed himself at my right hand, and after a vehement ejaculation, accompanied by gestures, which had the effect of enchantment upon me, he extended a sceptre of massive gold, decorated with emeralds and sapphires. Immediately there rose up a Mirror of gigantic dimensions, around which was inscribed, in fifty languages, the word "Truth." I sat in mute astonishment. "Examine," said my Guide, with a voice the most encouraging imaginable, "examine the objects reflected upon the surface of this mirror." "There are none that are discernible to my eyes," I replied. "Thou shalt soon be gratified then," resumed this extraordinary being (with a severe smile upon his countenance), "but first let me purge thine eyes from those films of prejudice which, in the world you inhabit, are apt to intercept the light of Truth." He then took a handful of aromatic herbs, and, rubbing them gently upon my temples, gave me the power of contemplating, with perfect discernment, the objects before me.
Wonderful indeed was this scene: for upon the surface of the Mirror the whole world seemed to be reflected! At first, I could not controul my feelings: but, like a child that springs forward to seize an object greatly beyond its grasp, I made an effort to leave my seat, and to mingle in the extraordinary scene. Here, however, my guide interfered — and, in a manner the most peremptory and decisive, forbade all further participation of it. "View it attentively," replied he, "and impress firmly on thy memory what thou shalt see — it may solace thee the remainder of thy days."
The authoritative air, with which these words were delivered, quite repressed and unnerved me. I obeyed, and intently viewed the objects before me. The first thing that surprised me was the representation of all the metropolitan cities of Europe. London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Petersburg, in particular, occupied my attention; and, what was still more surprising, I seemed to be perfect master of every event going on in them — but more particularly of the transactions of Bodies Corporate. I saw Presidents in their chairs, with Secretaries and Treasurers by their sides; and to whatever observations were made the most implicit attention was paid. Here, an eloquent Lecturer was declaiming upon the beauty of morality, and the deformity of vice: there, a scientific Professor was unlocking the hidden treasures of nature, and explaining how Providence, in all its measures, was equally wonderful and wise. The experiments which ensued, and which corroborated his ingenious and profound remarks, suspended a well-informed audience in rapturous attention; which was followed by instinctive bursts of applause.
Again I turned my eyes, and, contiguous to this scene, viewed the proceedings of two learned sister Societies, distinguished for their labours in Philosophy and Antiquity. Methought I saw the spirits of Newton and of Dugdale, looking down with complacency upon them, and congratulating each other upon the general progress of civilization since they had ceased to mingle among men. "These institutions," observed my Guide, "form the basis of rational knowledge, and are the source of innumerable comforts: for the many are benefitted by the researches and experiments of the few. It is easy to laugh at such societies, but it is not quite so easy to remedy the inconveniences which would be felt, if they were extinct. Nations become powerful in proportion to their wisdom; it has uniformly been found that where philosophers lived, and learned men wrote, there the arts have flourished, and heroism and patriotism have prevailed. True it is that discrepancies will sometimes interrupt the harmony of public bodies. But why is perfection to be expected, where every thing must necessarily be imperfect? It is the duty of man to make the nearest approaches to public and private happiness. And if, as with a sponge, he wipe away such establishments, genius has little incentive to exertion, and merit has still less hope of reward. Now cast your eyes on a different scene."
I obeyed, and, within the same city, saw a great number of Asylums and Institutions for the ignorant and helpless. I saw youth instructed, age protected, the afflicted comforted, and the diseased cured. My emotions at this moment were wonderfully strong — they were perceived by my guide, who immediately begged of me to consider the manner by which epidemic maladies were prevented or alleviated, and especially how the most fatal of them had been arrested in its progress. I attentively examined the objects before me, and saw thousands of smiling children and enraptured mothers walking confidently 'midst plague and death! I saw them, happy in the protection which had been afforded them by the most useful and most nutritious of animals! "Enough," exclaimed my guide, "thou seest here the glorious result of a philosophical mind, gifted with unabatable ardour of experiment. Thou wilt acknowledge that, compared with the triumph which such a mind enjoys, the conquests of heroes are puerile, and the splendour of monarchy is dim!" During this strain, I fancied I could perceive the human being, alluded to by my guide, retire apart in conversation with another distinguished friend of humanity, by those unwearied exertions the condition of many thousand poor people had been meliorated.
"There is yet," resumed my guide, "another scene equally interesting as the preceding. From a pure morality flows a pure religion: look therefore on those engaged in the services of Christianity." I looked, and saw a vast number of my fellow-creatures prostrate in adoration before their Creator and Redeemer. I fancied I could hear the last strains of their hallelujahs ascending to the spot whereon I sat. "Observe," said my Protector, "all do not worship in the same manner, because all assent not to the same creed; but the intention of each may be pure: at least, common charity teaches us thus to think, till some open act betray a malignity of principle. Toleration is the vital spark of religion: arm the latter with the whips of persecution, and you convert her into a fiend scattering terror and dismay! In your own country you enjoy a liberty of sentiment beyond every other on the face of the globe. Learn to be grateful for such an inestimable happiness."
These words had hardly escaped my guide, when I was irresistibly led to look on another part of the Mirror where a kind of imperial magnificence, combined with the severest discipline, prevailed. "You are contemplating," resumed my preternatural Monitor, "one of the most interesting scenes in Europe. See the effect of revolutionary commotions! While you view the sable spirit of the last monarch of France gliding along, at a distance, with an air of sorrow and indignation; while you observe a long line of legitimate princes, exiled from their native country, and dependant upon the contributions of other powers; mark the wonderful, the unparalleled reverse of human events! and acknowledge that the preservation of the finest specimens of art, the acquisition of every thing which can administer to the wants of luxury, or decorate the splendour of a throne — the acclamations of hired multitudes or bribed senates — can reflect little lustre on that character which still revels in the frantic wish of enslaving the world! It is true, you see yonder, Vienna, Petersburg, Stockholm, and Berlin, bereft of their ancient splendour, and bowing, as it were, at the feet of a despot — but had these latter countries kept alive one spark of that patriotism which so much endears to us the memories of Greece and Rome — had they not, in a great measure, become disunited by factions, we might, even in these days, however degenerate, have witnessed something like that national energy which was displayed in the bay of Salamis, and on the plains of Marathon."
My Guide perceiving me to be quite dejected during these remarks, directed my attention to another part of the Mirror, which reflected the transactions of the Western and Eastern world.
At first, a kind of mist spread itself upon the glass, and prevented me from distinguishing any object. This, however, gradually dissolved, and was succeeded by a thick, black smoke, which involved every thing in impenetrable obscurity. Just as I was about to turn to my guide, and demand the explanation of these appearances, the smoke rolled away, and instantaneously, there flashed forth a thousand bickering flames. "What," cried I, "is the meaning of these objects?" "Check, for one moment, your impatience, and your curiosity shall be gratified," replied my guide. I then distinctly viewed thousands of Black Men, who had been groaning under the rod of oppression, starting up in all the transport of renovated life, and shouting aloud "We are free!" One tall commanding figure, who seemed to exercise the rights of a chieftain among them, gathered many tribes around him, and addressed them in the following few, but comprehensive, words: "Countrymen, it has pleased the Great God above to make man instrumental to the freedom of his fellow-creatures. While we lament our past, let us be grateful for our present, state: and never let us cease, each revolving year, to build an altar of stones to the memory, of that great and good man, who hath principally been the means of our freedom from slavery. No: we will regularly perform this solemn act, as long as there shall remain one pebble upon our shores."
"Thus much," resumed my Guide, "for the dawning felicities of the western world: but see how the eastern empires are yet ignorant and unsettled!" I was about to turn my eyes to Persia and India, to China and Japan, when to my astonishment, the surface of the Mirror became perfectly blackened, except in some few circular parts, which were tinged with the colour of blood. "The future is a fearful sight," said my Guide; "we are forbidden its contemplation, and can only behold the gloomy appearances before us: they are ominous ones!"
My mind, on which so many and such various objects had produced a confused effect, was quite overpowered and distracted. I leaned upon the arm of the chair, and, covering my face with my hands, became absorbed in a thousand ideas, when a sudden burst of thunder made me start from my seat — and, looking forward, I perceived that the Mirror, with all its magical illusions had vanished away! My preternatural Guide then placed himself before me, but in an altered female form. A hundred various coloured wings sprung from her arms, and her feet seemed to be shod with sandals of rubies; around which numerous cherubs entwined themselves. The perfume that arose from the flapping of her wings was inexpressibly grateful; and the soft silvery voices of these cherubic attendants had an effect truly enchanting.
No language can adequately describe my sensations on viewing this extraordinary change of object. I gazed with rapture upon my wonderful Guide, whose countenance now beamed with benevolence and beauty. "Ah!" exclaimed I, "this is a vision of happiness never to be realized! Thou art a being that I am doomed never to meet with in the world below." "Peace:" whispered an unknown voice; "injure not thy species by such a remark: the object before thee is called by a name that is familiar to thee — it is 'Candour.' She is the handmaid of Truth, the sister of Virtue, and the priestess of Religion."
I was about to make reply, when a figure of terrific mien, and enormous dimensions, rushed angrily towards me, and, taking me up in my crystal chair, bore me precipitately to the earth. In my struggles to disengage myself, I awoke: and on looking about me, with difficulty could persuade myself that I was an inhabitant of this world. My sensations were, at first, confused and unpleasant; but a reflection on the Mirror of Truth, and its divine expositor, in a moment tranquillized my feelings. And thus have I told you my dream.
Lysander had hardly concluded the recital of his dream — during which it was impossible for us to think of quaffing coffee or devouring muffins — when the servant entered with a note from Lorenzo:
"My dear Friend,
"The morning is propitious. Hasten to the Alcove. My sisters are twining honey-suckles and jessamine round the portico, and I have carried thither a respectable corps of bibliographical volumes, for Lysander to consult, in case his memory should fail. All here invoke the zephyrs to waft their best wishes to you.
The note was no sooner read than we all, as if by instinct, started up; and, finishing our breakfast as rapidly as did the Trojans when they expected an early visit from the Grecians, we sallied towards Lorenzo's house, and entered his pleasure grounds. Nothing could be more congenial than every circumstance and object which presented itself. The day was clear, calm, and warm; while a crisp autumnal air
Nimbly and sweetly recommend itself
Unto our gentle senses.423
423 Macbeth; Act i., Sc. vi. Dr. Johnson has happily observed, upon the above beautiful passage of Shakespeare, that "Gentle sense is very elegant; as it means placid, calm, composed; and intimates the peaceable delight of a fine day." Shakespeare's Works; edit. 1803; vol x., p. 73. Alain Chartier, in the motto prefixed to the Second part of this Bibliographical Romance, has given us a yet more animated, and equally characteristic, picture. Thomson's serene morning,
Unfolding fair the last autumnal day,
is also very apposite; and reminds us of one of those soft and aërial pictures of Claude Loraine, where a heaven-like tranquillity and peace seem to prevail. Delightful scenes! — we love to steal a short moment from a bustling world, to gaze upon landscapes which appear to have been copied from the paradise of our first parents. Delusive yet fascinating objects of contemplation! You whisper sweet repose, and heart-soothing delight! We turn back upon the world; and the stunning noises of Virgil's Cyclops put all this fair Elysium to flight.
At a distance, the reapers were carrying away their last harvest load; and numerous groups of gleaners picking up the grain which they had spared, were marching homewards in all the glee of apparent happiness. Immediately on our left, the cattle were grazing in a rich pasture meadow; while, before us, the white pheasant darted across the walk, and the stock-dove was heard to wail in the grove. We passed a row of orange trees, glittering with golden fruit; and, turning sharply to our right, discovered, on a gentle eminence, and skirted with a profusion of shrubs and delicately shaped trees, the wished-for Alcove.
We quickly descried Almansa busied in twining her favourite honey-suckles round the portico; while within Belinda was sitting soberly at work, as if waiting our arrival. The ladies saluted us as we approached; and Lorenzo, who till now had been unperceived, came quietly from the interior, with his favourite edition of Thomson424 in his hand.
424 This must be a favourite edition with every man of taste. It was printed by Bensley, and published by Du Roveray, in the year 1802. The designs were by Hamilton, and the engravings principally by Fittler. The copy which Lorenzo had in his hand was upon large paper; and nothing could exceed the lustre of the type and plates. The editions of Pope, Gray, and Milton, by Du Roveray, as well as those of The Spectator, Guardian, Tatler, by Messrs. Sharpe and Hailes, are among the most elegant, as well as accurate, publications of our old popular writers.
The Alcove at a distance, had the appearance of a rustic temple.425 The form, though a little capricious, was picturesque; and it stood so completely embosomed in rich and variegated foliage, and commanded so fine a swell of landscape, that the visitor must be cold indeed who could approach it with the compass of Palladio in one hand, and the square of Inigo Jones in the other. We entered and looked around us.
425 Lorenzo was not unmindful that it had been observed by Lipsius (Syntag. de Bibliothecis) and, after him, by Thomasinus (de Donar. et Tabell-votiv. c. 3. p. 37.) that the ancients generally built their libraries near to, or adjoining their Temples; "ut veram seram sedem sacratorum ingenii fætuum loca sacra esse ostenderent:" Bibliothecas (inquit) procul abesse (sc. a Templis) noluerunt veteres, ut ex præclaris ingeniorum monumentis dependens mortalium, gloria, in Deorum tutela esset. This I gather from Spizolius's Infelix Literatus: p. 462.
Those who have relished the mild beauties of Wynants' pictures would be pleased with the view from the Alcove of Lorenzo. The country before was varied, undulating, and the greater part, highly cultivated. Some broad-spreading oaks here and there threw their protecting arms round the humble saplings; and some aspiring elms frequently reared their lofty heads, as land-marks across the county. The copses skirted the higher grounds, and a fine park-wood covered the middle part of the landscape in one broad umbrageous tone of colouring. It was not the close rusticity of Hobbima — or the expansive, and sometimes complicated, scenery of Berghem — or the heat-oppressive and magnificent views of Both — that we contemplated; but, as has been before observed, the mild and gentle scenery of Wynants; and if a cascade or dimpling brook had been near us, I could have called to my aid the transparent pencil of Rysdael, in order to impress upon the reader a proper notion of the scenery. But it is high time to make mention of the conversation which ensued among the tenants of this Alcove.
Loren. I am heartily glad we are met under such propitious circumstances. What a glorious day!
Alman. Have you recovered, Sir, the immense fatigue you must have sustained from the exertions of yesterday? My brother has no mercy upon a thoroughly-versed book guest!
Lysand. I am indeed quite hearty: yet, if any thing heavy and indigested hung about me, would not the contemplation of such a landscape, and such a day, restore every thing to its wonted ardour?! You cannot conceive how such a scene affects me: even to shedding tears of pleasure — from the reflections to which it gives rise.
Belin. How strangely and how cruelly has the character of a bibliographer been aspersed! Last night you convinced me of the ardour of your enthusiasm, and of the eloquence of your expression, in regard to your favourite subject of discussion! — but, this morning, I find that you can talk in an equally impassioned manner respecting garden and woodland scenery?
Lysand. Yes, Madam: and if I possessed such a domain as does your brother, I think I could even improve it a little — especially the interior of the Alcove! I don't know that I could attach to the house a more appropriate library than he has done; even if I adopted the octagonal form of the Hafod Library;426 which, considered with reference to its local situation, is, I think, almost unequalled:— but it strikes me that the interior of this Alcove might be somewhat improved.
426 Hafod, in Cardiganshire, South Wales, is the residence of Thomas Johnes, Esq., M.P., and Lord Lieutenant of the county. Mr. Malkin, in his Scenery, Antiquities, and Biography, of South Wales, 1804, 4to., and Dr. Smith, in his Tour to Hafod, 1810, folio, have made us pretty well acquainted with the local scenery of Hafod:— yet can any pen or pencil do this
— Paradise, open'd in the wild,
perfect justice! I have seen Mr. Stothard's numerous little sketches of the pleasure-grounds and surrounding country, which are at once faithful and picturesque. But what were this "Paridise" of rocks, waterfalls, streams, woods, copses, dells, grottos, and mountains, without the hospitable spirit of the owner — which seems to preside in, and to animate, every summer-house and alcove. The book-loving world is well acquainted with the Chronicles of Froissart, Joinville, De Brocquiere, and Monstrelet, which have issued from the Hafod Press; and have long deplored the loss, from fire, which their author, Mr. Johnes, experienced in the demolition of the greater part of his house and library. The former has been rebuilt, and the latter replenished: yet no Phœnix spirit can revivify the ashes of those volumes which contained the romances notified by the renowned Don Quixote! But I am rambling too wildly among the Hafod rocks — I hasten, therefore to return and take the reader with me into the interior of Mr. Johnes's largest library, which is terminated by a Conservatory of upwards of 150 feet. As the ancient little books for children [hight Lac Puerorum!] used to express it —"Look, here it is."
Loren. What defects do you discover here, Lysander?
Lysand. They are rather omissions to be supplied than errors to be corrected. You have warmed the interior by a Grecian-shaped stove, and you do right; but I think a few small busts in yonder recesses would not be out of character. Milton, Shakespeare, and Locke, would produce a sort of inspiration which might accord with that degree of feeling excited by the contemplation of these external objects.
Loren. You are right. 'Ere you revisit this spot, those inspiring gentlemen shall surround me.
Belin. And pray add to them the busts of Thomson and Cowper: for these latter, in my opinion, are our best poets in the description of rural life. You remember what Cowper says —
God made the country, and Man made the town?
Alman. This may be very well — but we forget the purpose for which we are convened.
Lis. True: so I entreat you, Master Lysander, to open — not the debate — but the discussion.
Lysand. You wish to know what are the symptoms of the bibliomania? — what are the badges or livery marks, in a library, of the owner of the collection being a bibliomaniac?
Alman. Even so. My question, yesterday evening, was — if I remember well — whether a mere collector of books was necessarily a bibliomaniac?
Lysand. Yes: and to which — if I also recollect rightly — I replied that the symptoms of the disease, and the character of a bibliomaniac, were discoverable in the very books themselves!
Lis. How is this?
Alman & Belin. Do pray let us hear.
Phil. At the outset, I entreat you, Lysander, not to overcharge the colouring of your picture. Respect the character of your auditors; and, above all things, have mercy upon the phlogistic imagination of Lisardo!
Lysand. I will endeavour to discharge the important office of a bibliomaniacal Mentor, or, perhaps, Æsculapius, to the utmost of my power: and at all events, with the best possible intentions.
Before we touch upon the Symptoms, it may be as well to say a few words respecting the General Character of the Book Disease. The ingenious Peignot427 defines the bibliomania to be "a passion for possessing books; not so much to be instructed by them, as to gratify the eye by looking on them." This subject has amused the pens of foreigners; although we have had nothing in our own language, written expressly upon it, 'till the ingenious and elegantly-composed poem of Dr. Ferriar appeared; after which, as you well know, our friend put forth his whimsical brochure.428
427 "La Birliomanie est la fureur de posséder des livres, non pas tant pour s'instruire, que pour les avoir et pour en repaître sa vue. Le bibliomane ne connait ordinairement les livres que par leur titre, leur frontispice, et leur date; il s'attache aux bonnes editiones et les poursuit à quelque titre que ce soit; la relieure le seduit aussi, soit par son ancienneté, soit par sa beauté," &c. Dictionnaire de Bibliologie. vol. i. p. 51. This is sufficiently severe: see also the extracts from the Memoires de l'Institut: p. 25, ante. The more ancient foreign writers have not scrupled to call the bibliomania by every caustic and merciless terms: thus speaks the hard-hearted Geyler: "Tertia nola est, multos libros coacervare propter animi voluptatem curiosam. Fastidientis stomachi est multa degustare, ait Seneca. Isti per multos libros vagant legentes assidue: nimirum similles fatuis illis, qui in urbe cicumeunt domos singulas, et earum picturas dissutis malis contuentur: sicque curiositate trahuntur, &c. Contenti in hâc animi voluptate, quam pascunt per volumina varia devagando et liguriendo. Itaque gaudent hic de larga librorum copia, operosa utique sed delectabilis sarcina, et animi jucunda distractio: imo est hæc ingens librorum copia ingens simul et laboris copia, et quietis inopia — huc illucque circum agendum ingenium: his atque illis pregravanda memoria."—Navicula sive Sæculum Fatuorum, 1511, 4to. sign B. iiij rev. Thus speaks Sebastian Brandt upon the subject, through the medium of our old translation:
Styll am I besy bokes assemblynge
For to have plenty it is a pleasaunte thynge
In my conceyt, and to have them ay in honde;
But what they mene do I nat understonde.
Shyp of Folys: see p. 206, ante.
There is a short, but smart and interesting, article on this head in Mr. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature: vol. i. 10. "Bruyere has touched on this mania with humour; of such a collector (one who is fond of superb bindings only), says he, as soon as I enter his house, I am ready to faint on the stair-case from a strong smell of Russia and Morocco leather. In vain he shews me fine editions, gold leaves, Etruscan bindings, &c. — naming them one after another, as if he were shewing a gallery of pictures!" Lucian has composed a biting invective against an ignorant possessor of a vast library. "One who opens his eyes with an hideous stare at an old book; and after turning over the pages, chiefly admires the date of its publication." But all this, it may be said, is only general declamation, and means nothing!
428 The first work, I believe, written expressly upon the subject above discussed was a French publication, entitled La Bibliomanie. Of the earliest edition I am uninformed; but one was published at the Hague in 1762, 8vo. Dr. Ferriar's poem upon the subject, being an epistle to Richard Heber, Esq. — and which is rightly called by Lysander 'ingenious and elegant'— was published in 1809, 4to.: pp. 14: but not before an equally ingenious, and greatly more interesting, performance, by the same able pen, had appeared in the Trans. of the Manchester Literary Society, vol. iv., p. 45-87 — entitled Comments upon Sterne; which may be fairly classed among the species of bibliomaniacal composition; inasmuch as it shews the author to be well read in old books; and, of these, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy in particular. Look for half a minute at p. 286, ante. In the same year of Dr. Ferriar's publication of the Bibliomania, appeared the Voyage autour de ma bibliothèque Roman Bibliographique: by Ant. Caillot; in three small duodecimo volumes. There is little ingenuity and less knowledge in these meagre volumes. My own superficial work, entitled, Bibliomania, or Book-Madness: containing some account of the History, Symptoms and Cure of this fatal Disease; in an epistle addressed to Richard Heber, Esq., quickly followed Dr. Ferriar's publication. It contained 82 pages, with a tolerably copious sprinkling of notes: but it had many errors and omissions, which it has been my endeavour to correct and supply in the present new edition, or rather newly-constructed work. Vide preface. Early in the ensuing year (namely, in 1810) appeared Bibliosophia, or Book-Wisdom: containing some account of the Pride, Pleasure, and Privileges of that glorious Vocation, Book-Collecting. By an Aspirant. Also, The Twelve Labours of an Editor, separately pitted against those of Hercules, 12mo. This is a good-humoured and tersely written composition: being a sort of Commentary upon my own performance. In the ensuing pages will be found some amusing poetical extracts from it. And thus take we leave of Publications upon the Bibliomania!
Whether Peignot's definition be just or not, I will not stop to determine: but when I have described to you the various symptoms, you will be better able to judge of its propriety.
Lis. Describe them seriatim, as we were observing yesterday.
Lysand. I will; but let me put them in battle array, and select them according to their appearances. There is, first, a passion for Large Paper Copies; secondly, for Uncut Copies; thirdly, for Illustrated Copies; fourthly, for Unique Copies; fifthly, for Copies printed upon Vellum; sixthly, for First Editions; seventhly, for True Editions; and eighthly, for Books printed in the Black-Letter.
Belin. I have put these symptoms down in my pocket-book; and shall proceed to catechise you according to your own method. First, therefore, what is meant by Large Paper Copies?
Lysand. A certain set, or limited number of the work, is printed upon paper of a larger dimension, and superior quality, than the ordinary copies. The press-work and ink are, always, proportionably better in these copies: and the price of them is enhanced according to their beauty and rarity.
This Symptom of the Bibliomania is, at the present day, both general and violent. Indeed, there is a set of collectors, the shelves of whose libraries are always made proportionably stout, and placed at a due distance from each other, in order that they may not break down beneath the weight of such ponderous volumes.
Belin. Can these things be?
Phil. Yes; but you should draw a distinction, and not confound the Grolliers, De Thous, and Colberts of modern times, with "a set of collectors," as you call them, who are equally without taste and knowledge.
Lis. We have heard of De Thou and Colbert, but who is Grollier?429
429 The reader may be better pleased with the ensuing soberly-written account of this great man than with Philemon's rapturous eulogy. John Grollier was born at Lyons, in 1479; and very early displayed a propensity towards those elegant and solid pursuits which afterwards secured to him the admiration and esteem of his contemporaries. His address was easy, his manners were frank, yet polished; his demeanour was engaging, and his liberality knew no bounds. As he advanced in years, he advanced in reputation; enjoying a princely fortune, the result, in some measure, of a faithful and honourable discharge of the important diplomatic situations which he filled. He was Grand Treasurer to Francis I., and was sent by that monarch as ambassador to Pope Clement VII. During his abode at Rome, he did not fail to gratify his favourite passion of book-collecting; and employed the Alduses to print for him an edition of Terence in 8vo., 1521: of which a copy upon vellum, was in the Imperial library at Vienna; See L'Imp. des Alde; vol. i., 159. He also caused to be published, by the same printers, an edition of his friend Budæus's work, De Asse et partibus ejus, 1522, 4to.; which, as well as the Terence, is dedicated to himself, and of which the presentation copy, upon vellum, is now in the Library of Count M'Carthy, at Toulouse: it having been formerly in the Soubise collection: vide p. 96, ante — and no. 8010 of the Bibl. Soubise. It was during Grollier's stay at Rome, that the anecdote, related by Egnatio, took place. 'I dined (says the latter) along with Aldus, his son, Manutius, and other learned men, at Grollier's table. After dinner, and just as the dessert had been placed on the table, our host presented each of his guests with a pair of gloves filled with ducats.' But no man had a higher opinion of Grollier, or had reason to express himself in more grateful terms of him, than De Thou. This illustrious author speaks of him as "a man of equal elegance of manners, and spotlessness of character. His books seemed to be the counterpart of himself, for neatness and splendour; not being inferior to the glory attributed to the library of Asinius Pollio, the first who made a collection of books at Rome. It is surprising, notwithstanding the number of presents which he made to his friends, and the accidents which followed on the dispersion of his library, how many of his volumes yet adorn the most distinguished libraries of Paris, whose chief boast consists in having an Exemplar Grollerianum!" The fact was Grollier returned to Paris with an immense fortune. During his travels he had secured, from Basil, Venice, and Rome, the most precious copies of books which could be purchased: and which he took care to have bound in a singular manner, indicative at once of his generosity and taste. The title of the book was marked in gilt letters upon one side, and the words — of which the annexed wood-cut is a fac-simile — upon the other; surrounded with similar ornaments to the extremities of the sides, whether in folio or duodecimo.
PORTIO MEA DO
MINE SIT IN
Beneath the title of the book: 'Io: Grollerii et Amicorum.'
This extraordinary man, whom France may consider the first Bibliomaniac of the sixteenth century, died at Paris in the year 1565, and in the 86th of his age. Let us close this account of him with an extract from Marville's Melanges d'Histoire et de Litérature; "La Bibliothèque de M. Grollier s'est conservée dans l'Hôtel de Vic jusqu'à ces annêes dernieres qu'elle a été venduë à l'encan. Elle meritoit bien, étant une des premieres et des plus accomplies qu'aucun particulier se soit avisé de faire à Paris, de trouver, comme celle de M. de Thou, un acheteur qui en conservât le lustre. La plûpart des curieux de Paris ont profité de ses débris. J'en ai eu à ma part quelques volumes à qui rien ne manque: ni pour la bonté des editions de ce tems là, ni pour la beauté du papier et la propreté de la relieure. Il semble, à les voir, que les Muses qui ont contribué à la composition du dedans, se soient aussi appliquées à les approprier au dehors, tant il paroît d'art et d'esprit dans leurs ornemens. Ils sont tous dorez avec une delicatesse inconnuë aux doreurs d'aujourd'hui. Les compartemens sont pients de diverses couleurs, parfaitemente bien dessinez, et tous de differentes figures, &c.:" vol. i., p. 187, edit. 1725. Then follows a description, of which the reader has just had ocular demonstration. After such an account, what bibliomaniac can enjoy perfect tranquillity of mind unless he possess a Grollier copy of some work or other? My own, from which the preceding fac-simile was taken, is a folio edition (1531) of Rhenanus, de rebus Germanicis; in the finest preservation.
Phil. Lysander will best observe upon him.
Lysand. Nay; his character cannot be in better hands.
Phil. Grollier was both the friend and the treasurer of Francis the First; the bosom companion of De Thou, and a patron of the Aldine family. He had learning, industry, and inflexible integrity. His notions of Virtû were vast, but not wild. There was a magnificence about every thing which he did or projected; and his liberality was without bounds. He was the unrivalled Mecænas of book-lovers and scholars; and a more insatiable bibliomaniacal appetite was never, perhaps, possessed by any of his class of character.
Lis. I thank you for this Grollieriana. Proceed, Lysander with your large paper copies.
Alman. But first tell us — why are these copies so much coveted? Do they contain more than the ordinary ones?
Lysand. Not in the least. Sometimes, however, an extra embellishment is thrown into the volume — but this, again, belongs to the fourth class of symptoms, called Unique Copies— and I must keep strictly to order; otherwise I shall make sad confusion.
Belin. Keep to your large paper, exclusively.430
430 Let us first hear Dr. Ferriar's smooth numbers upon this tremendous symptom of the Bibliomania:
But devious oft, from ev'ry classic Muse,
The keen collector meaner paths will choose:
And first the Margin's breadth his soul employs,
Pure, snowy, broad, the type of nobler joys.
In vain might Homer roll the tide of song,
Or Horace smile, or Tully charm the throng;
If crost by Pallas' ire, the trenchant blade
Or too oblique, or near, the edge invade,
The Bibliomane exclaims, with haggard eye,
'No Margin!'— turns in haste, and scorns to buy.
The Bibliomania; v. 34-43.
Next come the rivals strains of 'An Aspirant.'
Who slaves the monkish folio through,
With lore or science in his view,
Him . . . visions black, or devils blue,
Shall haunt at his expiring taper —
Yet, 'tis a weakness of the wise,
To chuse the volume by the size,
And riot in the pond'rous prize —
Dear Copies —printed on Large Paper!
Bibliosophia; p. iv.
After these saucy attacks, can I venture upon discoursing, in a sober note-like strain — upon those large and magnificent volumes concerning which Lysander, above, pours forth such a torrent of eloquence? Yes — gentle reader — I will even venture! — and will lay a silver penny to boot (See Peacham's 'Worth of a Penny'—) that neither Dr. Ferriar nor the 'Aspirant' could withhold their ejaculations of rapture upon seeing any one of the following volumes walk majestically into their libraries. Mark well, therefore, a few scarce
Lord Bacon's Essays; 1798, 8vo. There were only six copies of this edition struck off upon royal folio paper: one copy is in the Cracherode collection, in the British Museum; and another is in the library of Earl Spencer. Mr. Leigh, the book-auctioneer, a long time ago observed that, if ever one of these copies were to be sold at an auction, it would probably bring -00l.—! I will not insert the first figure; but two noughts followed it. ——Twenty Plays of Shakspeare from the old quarto editions; 1766, 8vo., 6 vols. Only twelve copies printed upon large paper. See Bibl. Steevens: no. 1312; and p. 581, ante. ——Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays; 1780, 8vo., 12 vols. Only six copies struck off upon large paper. Bibl. Woodhouse, no. 698. ——The Grenville Homer; 1800, 4to., 4 vols. Fifty copies of this magnificent work are said to have been printed upon large paper; which have embellishments of plates. Mr. Dent possesses the copy which was Professor Porson's, and which was bought at the sale of the Professor's library, in boards, for 87l., see p. 459, ante. Seven years ago I saw a sumptuous copy in morocco, knocked down for 99l. 15s.——Mathæi Paris, Monachi Albanenses, &c.; Historia Major; a Wats; Lond. 1640; folio. This is a rare and magnificent work upon large paper; and is usually bound in two volumes. ——Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X; a Twysden; 1652, folio. Of equal rarity and magnificence are copies of this inestimable production. ——Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores Veteres, a Gale; 1684, 91; folio, 3 volumes. There were but few copies of this, now generally coveted, work printed upon large paper. The difference between the small and the large, for amplitude of margin and lustre of ink, is inconceivable. ——Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores Varii, a Sparke; Lond. 1723, folio. The preface to this work shews that there are copies of it, like those of Dr. Clarke's edition of Cæsar's Commentaries, upon paper of three different sizes. The 'charta maxima' is worthy of a conspicuous place upon the collector's shelf; though in any shape the book has a creditable aspect. ——Recueil des Historiens des Gaules, &c., par Boucquet; 1738, 1786; folio, 13 vols. It is hardly possible for the eye to gaze upon a more intrinsically valuable work, or a finer set of volumes, than are these, as now exhibited in Mr. Evans's shop, and bound in fine old red morocco by the best binders of France. They were once in my possession; but the 'res angusta domi' compelled me to part with them, and to seek for a copy not so tall by head and shoulders. Since the year 1786, two additional volumes have been published.
Scott's Discoverie of Whitcraft; 1584, 4to. Of this work, which has recently become popular from Mr. Douce's frequent mention of it (Illustrations of Shakspeare, &c., 1806, 2 vols., 8vo.), my friend, Mr. Utterson, possesses a very beautiful copy upon large paper. It is rarely one meets with books printed in this country, before the year 1600, struck off in such a manner. This copy, which is secured from 'winter and rough weather' by a stout coat of skilfully-tool'd morocco, is probably unique. ——Weever's Funeral Monuments; 1631, folio. Mr. Samuel Lysons informs me that he has a copy of this work upon large paper. I never saw, or heard of, another similar one. ——Sanford's Genealogical History; 1707, folio. At the sale of Baron Smyth's books, in 1809, Messrs. J. and A. Arch purchased a copy of this work upon large paper for 46l. A monstrous price! A similar copy is in the library of Mr. Grenville, which was obtained from Mr. Evans of Pall-Mall. The curious should purchase the anterior edition (of 1677) for the sake of better impressions of the plates; which, however, in any condition, are neither tasteful nor well engraved. What is called 'a good Hollar' would weigh down the whole set of them! ——Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials; 1721, Folio, 3 vols. ——Annals of the Reformation; 1725, Folio, 4 vols. Happy the collector who can regale himself by viewing large paper copies of these inestimable works! In any shape or condition, they are now rare. The latter is the scarcer of the two; and upon large paper brings, what the French bibliographers call, 'un prix enorme.' There is one of this kind in the beautiful library of Mr. Thomas Grenville. ——Hearne's Works—'till Mr. Bagster issued his first reprints of Robert of Gloucester and Peter Langtoft, upon paper of three different sizes —(of which the largest, in quarto, has hardly been equalled in modern printing)— used to bring extravagant sums at book-auctions. At a late sale in Pall-Mall, were the books in general were sold at extraordinary prices, the large paper Hearnes absolutely 'hung fire'— as the sportsman's phrase is. ——Hudibras, with Dr. Grey's Annotations, and Hogarth's cuts; 1744, 2 vols. There were but twelve copies of this first and best edition of Dr. Grey's labours upon Hudibras (which Warburton strangely abuses —) printed upon large paper: and a noble book it is in this form! ——Milner's History of Winchester; 1798, 4to., 2 vols. Of this edition there were, I believe, either twelve or twenty-four copies printed upon large paper; which brings serious sums in the present general rage for books of this description. ——Kennet's (Bp.) Parochial Antiquities; Oxford, 1695, 4to. The only known copy of this work upon large paper is in the fine library of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. This copy was probably in the collection of 'that well-known collector, Joseph Browne, Esq., of Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire:' as a similar one 'in Russia, gilt leaves,' was sold in Pt. II. of his collection, no. 279, for 7l. 17s. 6d. and purchased in the name of Thornton. ——The Chronicles of Froissart and Monstrelet: translated by Thomas Johnes, Esq. Hafod, 1803, 1810, quarto, 9 vols.: including a volume of plates to Monstrelet. Of these beautiful and intrinsically valuable works, there were only 25 copies struck off upon folio; which bring tremendous prices. ——History of the Town of Cheltenham, and its Environs; 1802, 8vo. There were a few copies of this superficial work printed upon large paper in royal octavo, and a unique copy upon paper of a quarto size; which latter is in the possession of my friend Mr. Thomas Pruen, of the same place. A part of this volume was written by myself; according to instructions which I received to make it 'light and pleasant.' An author, like a barrister, is bound in most cases to follow his instructions! As I have thus awkwardly introduced myself, I may be permitted to observe, at the foot of this note, that all the large paper copies of my own humble lucubrations have been attended with an unexpectedly successful sale. Of the Introduction to the Classics, edit. 1804, 8vo., there were fifty copies, with extra plates, struck off in royal octavo, and published at 2l. 2s.: these now sell for 5l. 5s.: the portrait of Bishop Fell making them snapped at, with a perch-like spirit, by all true Grangerites. Of the Typographical Antiquities of our own country there were 66 printed in a superb style, upon imperial paper, in 4to.; these were published at 6l. 6s. a copy. The following anecdote shews how they are 'looking up'— as the book-market phrase is. My friend —— parted with his copy; but finding that his slumbers were broken, and his dreams frightful, in consequence, he sought to regain possession of it; and cheerfully gave 10l. 10s.! for what, but a few months before, he had possessed for little more than one half the sum! The same friend subscribes for a large paper of the present work, of which there are only eighteen copies printed: and of which my hard-hearted printer and myself seize each upon a copy. Will the same friend display equal fickleness in regard to this volume? If he does, he must smart acutely for it: nor will 15l. 15s. redeem it! It is justly observed, in the first edition of this work, that, 'analogous to large paper, are tall copies: that is, copies of the work published on the ordinary size paper, and barely cut down by the binder,' p. 45. To dwarfise a volume is a 'grievous fault' on the part of any binder; but more particularly is it an unpardonable one on the part of him who has had a long intercourse with professed bibliomaniacs! To a person who knows anything of typographical arrangement, the distinction between tall and large paper copies is sufficiently obvious. For this reason, I am quite decided that the supposed large paper copy of Scapula's Lexicon, possessed by Mr. —— of Caversham, near Reading, is only a tall copy of the work, as usually printed: nor is this copy more stately than another which I have seen. The owner of the volume will suppress all feelings which he may entertain against my heretical opinions (as I fear he will call them), when he considers that he may dispose of his Scapula for a sum three times beyond what he gave for it. Let him put it by the side of his neighbour Dr. Valpy's numerous large paper copies of the old folio classics, and he will in a moment be convinced of the accuracy of the foregoing remark. Fine paper copies of a work should be here noticed; as they are sought after with avidity. The most beautiful work of this kind which I ever saw, was Rapin's History of England, in nine folio volumes, bound in red morocco, and illustrated with Houbraken's Heads; which Sir M.M. Sykes recently purchased of Mr. Evans, the bookseller — for a comparatively moderate sum. A similar copy (exclusively of the illustrations) of Rapin's History of England, which was once in the library of the Royal Institution, was burnt in the fire that destroyed Covent-Garden Theatre; it having been sent to Mr. Mackinlay, the book-binder, who lived near the Theatre.
Lysand. I have little to add to what has been already said of this symptom. That a volume, so published, has a more pleasing aspect, cannot be denied. It is the oak, in its full growth, compared with the same tree in its sapling state: or, if you please, it is the same picture a little more brilliant in its colouring, and put into a handsomer frame. My friend Marcus is a very dragon in this department of book-collecting: nothing being too formidable for his attack. Let the volume assume what shape it may, and let the price be ever so unconscionable — he hesitates not to become a purchaser. In consequence, exclusively of all the Dugdales and Montfaucons, upon large paper, and in the finest bindings, he possesses the Grand Folio Classics, the Benedictine Editions of the Fathers, the County Histories, and all works, of a recent date, upon History and the Belles Lettres. In short, nothing can be more magnificent than the interior of his library; as nothing but giants, arrayed in the most splendid attire, are seen to keep guard from one extremity of the room to the other.
Lis. Who is this Marcus? I'll rival him in due time! — But proceed.
Belin. Thus much, I presume, for the first symptom of the Bibliomania. Now pray, Sir, inform us what is meant by that strange term, Uncut Copies?
Lysand. Of all the symptoms of the Bibliomania, this is probably the most extraordinary.431 It may be defined a passion to possess books of which the edges have never been sheared by the binder's tools. And here I find myself walking upon doubtful ground:— your friend [turning towards me] Atticus's uncut Hearnes rise up in "rough majesty" before me, and almost "push me from my stool." Indeed, when I look around in your book-lined tub, I cannot but acknowledge that this symptom of the disorder has reached your own threshold; but when it is known that a few of your bibliographical books are left with the edges uncut merely to please your friends (as one must sometimes study their tastes as well as one's own), I trust that no very serious conclusions will be drawn about the fatality of your own case.
431 As before, let us borrow the strains of 'An Aspirant:'
Who, with fantastic pruning-hook,
Dresses the borders of his book,
Merely to ornament its look —
Amongst philosophers a fop is:
What if, perchance, he thence discover
Facilities in turning over?
The Virtuoso is a Lover
Of coyer charms in "Uncut Copies."
Bibliosophia; p. v.
I have very little to add in illustration of Lysander's well-pointed sarcasms relating to this second symptom of Book-Madness. I think I once heard of an uncut Cranmer's Bible; but have actually seen a similar conditioned copy of Purchas's Pilgrimes and Pilgrimage, which is now in the beautiful library of the Honourable T. Grenville.
As to uncut copies, although their inconvenience [an uncut Lexicon to wit!] and deformity must be acknowledged, and although a rational man can wish for nothing better than a book once well bound, yet we find that the extraordinary passion for collecting them not only obtains with full force, but is attended with very serious consequences to those "que n'out point des pistoles" (to borrow the idea of Clement; vol. vi. p. 36). I dare say an uncut first Shakspeare, as well as an uncut vellum Aldus432 would produce a little annuity!
432 I doubt of the existence of an uncut first Shakspeare; although we have recently had evidence of an uncut first Homer; for thus speaks Peignot: "A superb copy of this Editio Princeps was sold at the sale of M. de Cotte's books, in 1804, for 3601 livres: but it must be remarked that this copy was in the most exquisite preservation, as if it had just come from the press. Moreover, it is probably the only one the margins of which have never been either 'shaven or shorn.'" Curiosités Bibliographiques, p. lxv. vi.; see also p. 79, ante. Dr. Harwood, at page 338, of his View of the Editions of the Classics, speaks of an uncut vellum Aldus, of 1504, 8vo. "Mr. Quin shewed me a fine copy of it printed in vellum with the leaves uncut, which he bought of Mr. Egerton at a very moderate price. It is, perhaps (adds he), the only uncut vellum Aldus in the world." From the joyous strain of this extract, the Doctor may be fairly suspected of having strongly exhibited this second symptom of the Bibliomania!
Belin. 'Tis very strange'— as Hamlet says at the walking of his father's ghost! But now for your Illustrated Copies!
Lysand. You have touched a vibrating string indeed! — but I will suppress my own feelings, and spare those of my friend. A passion for books illustrated, or adorned with numerous Prints433 representing characters, or circumstances, mentioned in the work, is a very general and violent symptom of the Bibliomania. The origin, or first appearance, of this symptom, has been traced by some to the publication of the Rev. —— Granger's "Biographical History of England;" but whoever will be at the pains of reading the preface of that work will see that Granger shelters himself under the authorities of Evelyn, Ashmole, and others; and that he alone is not to be considered as responsible for all the mischief which this passion for collecting prints has occasioned. Granger, however, was the first who introduced it in the form of a history; and surely "in an evil hour" was that history published; although its amiable author must be acquitted of "malice prepense."
433 This third symptom has not escaped the discerning eye of the Manchester physician; for thus sings Dr. Ferriar:
He pastes, from injur'd volumes snipt away,
His English Heads in chronicled array,
Torn from their destin'd page (unworthy meed
Of Knightly counsel, and heroic deed),
Not Faithorne's stroke, nor Field's own types can save
The gallant Veres, and one-eyed Ogle brave.
Indignant readers seek the image fled,
And curse the busy fool who wants a head.
Proudly he shews, with many a smile elate,
The scrambling subjects of the private plate
While Time their actions and their names bereaves,
They grin for ever in the guarded leaves.
The Bibliomania; v. 119-130.
These are happy thoughts, happily expressed. In illustration of v. 123, the author observes — "three fine heads, for the sake of which, the beautiful and interesting commentaries of Sir Francis Vere have been mutilated by collectors of English portraits." Dr. Ferriar might have added that, when a Grangerian bibliomaniac commences his illustrating career, he does not fail to make a desperate onset upon Speed, Boissard, and the Heroologia. Even the lovely prints of Houbraken (in Dr. Birch's account of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain) escape not the ravages of his passion for illustration. The plates which adorn these books are considered among the foundation materials of a Grangerian building. But it is time, according to my plan, to introduce other sarcastic strains of poetry.
Who, swearing not a line to miss,
Doats on the leaf his fingers kiss,
Thanking the words for all his bliss —
Shall rue, at last, his passion frustrate:
We love the page that draws its flavour
From Draftsman, Etcher, and Engraver
And hint the booby (by his favour)
His gloomy copy to "Illustrate."
Bibliosophia; p. v.
At this stage of our inquiries, let me submit a new remedy as an acquisition to the Materia Medica, of which many first-rate physicians may not be aware — by proposing a
Take any passage from any author — to wit: the following (which I have done, quite at random) from Speed: 'Henry le Spenser, the warlike Bishop of Norwich, being drawn on by Pope Vrban to preach the Crusade, and to be General against Clement (whom sundry Cardinals and great Prelates had also elected Pope) having a fifteenth granted to him, for that purpose, by parliament,' &c. Historie of Great Britaine, p. 721, edit. 1632. Now, let the reader observe, here are only four lines; but which, to be properly illustrated, should be treated thus: 1st, procure all the portraits, at all periods of his life, of Henry le Spencer; 2dly, obtain every view, ancient and modern, like or unlike, of the city of Norwich; and, if fortune favour you, of every Bishop of the same see; 3dly, every portrait of Pope Vrban must be procured; and as many prints and drawings as can give some notion of the Crusade— together with a few etchings (if there be any) of Peter the Hermit and Richard I., who took such active parts in the Crusade; 4thly, you must search high and low, early and late, for every print of Clement; 5thly, procure, or you will be wretched, as many fine prints of Cardinals and Prelates, singly or in groups, as will impress you with a proper idea of the Conclave; and 6thly, see whether you may not obtain, at some of our most distinguished old-print sellers, views of the house of Parliament at the period (A.D. 1383.) here described!!! The result, gentle reader, will be this: you will have work enough cut out to occupy you for one whole month at least, from rise to set of sun — in parading the streets of our metropolis: nor will the expense in coach hire, or shoe leather, be the least which you will have to encounter! The prints themselves may cost something! Lest any fastidious and cynical critic should accuse me, and with apparent justice, of gross exaggeration or ignorance in this recipe, I will inform him, on good authority, that a late distinguished and highly respectable female collector, who had commenced an illustrated bible, procured not fewer than seven hundred prints for the illustration of the 20th, 21st, 22d, 23d, 24th, and 25th verses of the 1st chapter of Genesis! The illustrated copy of Mr. Fox's Historical work, mentioned in the first edition of this work, p. 63, is now in the possession of Lord Mountjoy. The similar copy of Walter Scott's edition of Dryden's works, which has upwards of 650 portraits, is yet in the possession of Mr. Miller, the bookseller.
Granger's work seems to have sounded the tocsin for a general rummage after, and plunder of, old prints. Venerable philosophers, and veteran heroes, who had long reposed in unmolested dignity within the magnificent folio volumes which recorded their achievements, were instantly dragged forth from their peaceful abodes, to be inlaid by the side of some clumsy modern engraving, within an Illustrated Granger!
Nor did the madness stop here. Illustration was the order of the day; and Shakspeare434 and Clarendon became the next objects of its attack. From these it has glanced off, in a variety of directions, to adorn the pages of humbler wights; and the passion, or rather this symptom of the Bibliomania, yet rages with undiminished force. If judiciously treated, it is, of all the symptoms, the least liable to mischief. To possess a series of well-executed portraits of illustrious men, at different periods of their lives, from blooming boyhood to phlegmatic old age, is sufficiently amusing; but to possess every portrait, bad, indifferent, and unlike, betrays such a dangerous and alarming symptom as to render the case almost incurable!
434 Lysander would not have run on in this declamatory strain, if it had been his good fortune, as it has been mine, to witness the extraordinary copy of an illustrated Shakspeare in the possession of Earl Spencer; which owes its magic to the perseverance and taste of the Dowager Lady Lucan, mother to the present Countess Spencer. For sixteen years did this accomplished Lady pursue the pleasurable toil of illustration; having commenced it in her 50th, and finished it in her 66th year. Whatever of taste, beauty, and judgment in decoration — by means of portraits, landscapes, houses, and tombs — flowers, birds, insects, heraldic ornaments, and devices — could dress our immortal bard in a yet more fascinating form, has been accomplished by the noble hand which undertook so Herculean a task — and with a truth, delicacy, and finish of execution, which have been rarely equalled! These magnificent volumes (being the folio edition printed by Bulmer) are at once beautiful and secured by green velvet binding, with embossed clasps and corners of solid silver, washed with gold. Each volume is preserved in a silken cover — and the whole is kept inviolate from the impurities of bibliomaniacal miasmata, in a sarcophagus-shaped piece of furniture of cedar and mahogany. What is the pleasure experienced by the most resolute antiquary, when he has obtained a peep at the inmost sarcophagus of the largest pyramid of Egypt, compared with that which a tasteful bibliomaniac enjoys upon contemplating this illustrated Shakespeare, now reposing in all the classical magnificence and congenial retirement of its possessor? — But why do I surpass Lysander in the warmth and vehemence of narration! And yet, let me not forget that the same noble owner has another illustrated copy of the same bard, on a smaller scale, of which mention has already been made in my account of the donor of it, the late George Steevens. Turn, gentle reader, for one moment, to page 428, ante. The illustrated Clarendon, above hinted at by Lysander, is in the possession of Mr. H.A. Sutherland; and is, perhaps, a matchless copy of the author: every siege, battle, town, and house-view — as well as portrait — being introduced within the leaves. I will not even hazard a conjecture for how many thousand pounds its owner might dispose of it, if the inclination of parting with it should ever possess him. The British Museum has recently been enriched with a similar copy of Pennant's London, on large paper. Prints and drawings of all descriptions, which could throw light upon the antiquities of our metropolis, are inserted in this extraordinary copy, which belonged to the late Mr. Crowles; who expended 2000l. upon the same, and who bequeathed it, in the true spirit of virtû, to the Museum. Let Cracherode and Crowles be held in respectful remembrance!
There is another mode of illustrating copies by which this symptom of the Bibliomania may be known; it consists in bringing together, from different works, [including newspapers and magazines, and by means of the scissars, or otherwise by transcription] every page or paragraph which has any connexion with the character or subject under discussion. This is a useful435 and entertaining mode of illustrating a favourite author; and copies of works of this nature, when executed by skilful hands, should be deposited in public libraries; as many a biographical anecdote of eminent literary characters is preserved in consequence. I almost ridiculed the idea of an Illustrated Chatterton, 'till the sight of your friend Bernardo's copy, in eighteen volumes, made me a convert to the utility that may be derived from a judicious treatment of this symptom of the Bibliomania: and indeed, of a rainy day, the same bibliomaniac's similar copy of Walton's Complete Angler affords abundant amusement in the perusal.
435 Numerous are the instances of the peculiar use and value of copies of this kind; especially to those who are engaged in publications of a similar nature. Oldys's interleaved Langbaine (of Mr. Reed's transcript of which a copy is in the possession of Mr. Heber) is re-echoed in almost every recent work connected with the belles-lettres of our country. Oldys himself was unrivalled in this method of illustration; if, exclusively of Langbaine, his copy of Fuller's Worthies [once Mr. Steevens', now Mr. Malone's. See Bibl. Steevens, no. 1799] be alone considered! This Oldys was the oddest mortal that ever wrote. Grose, in his Olio, gives an amusing account of his having "a number of small parchment bags inscribed with the names of the persons whose lives he intended to write; into which he put every circumstance and anecdote he could collect, and from thence drew up his history." See Noble's College of Arms, p. 420. Thus far the first edition of this work; p. 64. It remains to add that, whatever were the singularities and capriciousness of Oldys, his talents were far beyond mediocrity; as his publication of the Harleian Miscellany, and Raleigh's History of the World, abundantly prove. To the latter, a life of Raleigh is prefixed; and the number of pithy, pleasant, and profitable notes subjoined shew that Oldys's bibliographical talents were not eclipsed by those of any contemporary. His British Librarian has been more than once noticed in the preceding pages: vide p. 51, 468. There is a portrait of him, in a full-dressed suit and bag-wig, in one of the numbers of the European Magazine; which has the complete air of a fine gentleman. Let me just observe, in elucidation of what Lysander above means by this latter mode of illustrating copies, that in the Bodleian library there is a copy of Kuster's edition of Suidas filled, from beginning to end, with MS. notes and excerpts of various kinds, by the famous D'Orville, tending to illustrate the ancient lexicographer.
Lis. Forgive me, if I digress a little. But is not the knowledge of rare, curious, and beautiful Prints— so necessary, it would seem, towards the perfecting of illustrated copies— is not this knowledge of long and difficult attainment?
Lysand. Unquestionably, this knowledge is very requisite towards becoming a complete pupil in the school of Granger.436 Nor is it, as you very properly suppose, of short or easy acquirement.
436 Granger's Biographical History of England was first published, I believe, in 1769, 4to., 2 vols. It has since undergone four impressions; the last being in 1804, 8vo., 4 vols. A Continuation of the same, by the Rev. Mark Noble, was published in 1807, 8vo., 3 vols.: so that if the lover of rare and curious prints get possession of these volumes, with Ames's Catalogue of English Heads, 1748, 8vo.; and Walpole's Catalogue of Engravers, 1775, 8vo.; Bromley's Catalogue of Engraved Portraits, 1793, 4to.; together with Catalogues of English Portraits, being the collections of Mr. Barnard, Sir W. Musgrave, Mr. Tyssen, Sir James-Winter Lake; and many other similar catalogues put forth by Mr. Richardson and Mr. Grave; he may be said to be in a fair way to become master of the whole arcana of Print-collecting. But let him take heed to the severe warning-voice uttered by Rowe Mores, in his criticism upon the Catalogue of English Heads, published by Ames: 'This performance (says the splenetic and too prophetic critic) is not to be despised: judiciously executed, a work of this sort would be an appendage entertaining and useful to the readers of English biography; and it ought to be done at the common labour, expense, and charges of these Iconoclasts— because their depredations are a grand impediment to another who should attempt it: and if this goût for prints and thieving continues, let private owners and public libraries look well to their books, for there will not remain a valuable book ungarbled by their connoisseuring villany: for neither honesty nor oaths restrain them. Yet these fanciers, if prints themselves are to be collected, instead of being injurious to every body, might make themselves serviceable to posterity, and become a kind of medalists (who, by the bye, are almost as great thieves as themselves, though the hurt they do is not so extensive, as it lies chiefly among themselves, who all hold this doctrine, that "exchange is no robbery;" but, if they could filch without exchanging, no scruple of conscience would prevent them): we say they might render themselves useful to posterity, by gathering together the historical, political, satyrical, anecdotal and temporal pieces, with which the age abounds; adding an explanation of the intent and meaning for the instruction and amusement of times to come. The misfortune is, they must buy the one, but they can steal the other; and steal they will, although watched with the eyes of Argus: unless the valuables, like some other jocalia, are shewn to them through a grate; and even then, the keeper must be vigilant!' Of English Founders and Foundries; p. 85. This extract is curious on account of the tart, but just, sentiments which prevail in it; but, to the bibliomaniac, it is doubly curious, when he is informed that only eighty copies of this Typographical Treatise (of 100 pages — including the Appendix) were printed. The author was a testy, but sagacious, bibliomaniac, and should have been introduced among his brethren in Part V. It is not, however, too late to subjoin the following: Bibliotheca Moresiana. A Catalogue of the Large and Valuable Library of Printed Books, rare old tracts, Manuscripts, Prints, and Drawings, Copper Plates, sundry Antiquities, Philosophical Instruments, and other Curiosities, of that eminent British Antiquary, the late Rev. and learned Edward Rowe Mores, F.A.S., deceased, &c. Sold by auction by Mr. Patterson, August 1779. This collection exhibited, like its owner, a strange mixture of what was curious, whimsical, and ingenious in human nature. There were 2838 lots of printed books. The rare old black-letter books and tracts, begin at p. 52.
Alman. How so? A very little care, with a tolerably good taste, is only required to know when a print is well engraved.
Lysand. Alas, Madam! the excellence of engraving is oftentimes but a secondary consideration!
Belin. Do pray explain.
Lysand. I will, and as briefly and perspicuously as possible.
There are, first, all the varieties of the same print437 to be considered! — whether it have the name of the character, or artist, omitted or subjoined: whether the head of the print be without the body, or the body without the head — and whether this latter be finished, or in the outline, or ghostly white! Then you must go to the dress of this supposed portrait:— whether full or plain; court or country-fashioned: whether it have a hat, or no hat; feather, or no feather; gloves, or no gloves; sword, or no sword; and many other such momentous points.
437 The reader, by means of the preceding note, having been put in possession of some of the principal works from which information, relating to Print-Collecting may be successfully gleaned, it remains for me — who have been described as sitting in a corner to compile notes for Lysander's text-discourse — to add something by way of illustration to the above sweeping satire. One or the other of the points touched upon in the text will be found here more particularly elucidated.
|47.||Sir Thos. Isham de Lamport, by Loggan and Valck; before the names of the artists, very fine.||5||5||0|
|68.||King Charles I. on horseback, with the page, by Lombard; very fine and scarce.||1||14||0|
|69.||The same plate; with Cromwell's head substituted for the King's — variation in the drapery.||3||6||0|
|70.||The same: a curious proof —the face blank and no inscription at bottom — drapery of the page different— and other variations.||1||2||0|
|90.||Catharine, queen of K. Charles II.; in the dress in which she arrived: very scarce. By Faithorne.||4||16||0|
|97.||Queen Elizabeth; habited in the superb court dress in which she went to St. Paul's to return thanks for the defeat of the Spanish Armada — by Passe; from a painting of Isaac Oliver.||6||12||6|
|[I have known from 14l. to 20l. given for a fine impression of this curious print: but I am as well pleased with Mr. Turner's recently published, and admirably executed, facsimile mezzotint engraving of it; a proof of which costs 1l. 1s. Every member of the two Houses — and every land and sea Captain — ought to hang up this print in his sitting-room.]|
|6.||Esther before Ahasuerus: engraved by Hollar; first impression; with the portraits at top; curious and extremely rare.||16||0||0|
|199.||Jo. Banfi Hunniades; proof; very fine and rare. By the same.||2||7||0|
|200.||The same print, with variations. By the same.||3||15||0|
|202.||The Stone-eater; with his history below. By the same. Very rare.||4||4||0|
|248.||Sir Thomas Chaloner; by the same. A proof impression. One of the scarcest prints in existence.||59||17||0|
|[A similar print has been since sold for 74l.; which is in the collection of Mr. John Townley; whose Hollars are unrivalled!]|
|256.||Herbert, Earl of Pembroke; before the alteration. By the same.||2||10||0|
|257.||Devereux, Earl of Essex; on horseback. By the same.||4||5||0|
|258.||Devereux, Earl of Essex: standing on foot; whole length. By the same.||4||4||0|
|259.||Algernon, Earl of Northumberland; on horseback. By the same.||14||0||0|
|266.||Lady Elizabeth Shirley; an unfinished proof, the chaplet round her head being only traced; curious and extremely rare. By the same.||10||10||0|
|267.||A reverse of the proof; very fine. By the same.||5||5||0|
|29.||George, Earl of Berkeley; oval, in his robes, 1679; extra fie and rare.||10||5||0|
|45.||George, Duke of Buckingham; oval; cloak over his left arm, hand on sword, nine lines expressive of his titles, &c. Sold by P. Stent: fine and extra rare.||4||12||0|
|109.||George, Earl of Cumberland; whole length, dressed for a tournament. By R. White.||11||0||0|
|94.||The Newcastle Family, in a room, after Diepenbeke, by Clowet; a beautiful proof, before the verses, extra rare.||39||18||0|
|[There is a very indifferent copy of this print. The original may be seen in the collection of the Marquis of Stafford and Sir M.M. Sykes, Bart. Nothing can exceed the tenderness and delicacy of Clowet's engraving of this naturally conceived and well-managed picture.]|
|82.||Richard Smith; virtuoso and literary character. By W. Sherwin; extra rare and fine. [See my account of this distinguished bibliomaniac at p. 302, ante. Sir M.M. Sykes is in possession of Sir William Musgrave's copy of the portrait.]||7||17||0|
|30.||Sir Francis Willoughby; with a view of Wollaton Hall; mezzotint by T. Man, extra rare.||13||2||6|
|43.||Sir Francis Wortley; 1652, folio: with trophies, books, &c., by A. Hertochs: extra rare and fine.||29||10||0|
|78.||Dr. Francis Bernard; a touched proof; very rare. [The reader may recollect this sagacious bibliomaniac, as noticed at page 316, ante.]||4||14||6|
|85.||Sir Matthew Lister; M.D. 1646; by P. Van Somer; fine proof, extra rare.||14||14||0|
|86.||Humphrey Lloyd, of Denbigh, Antiquary, ætat. 34, 1651. By Faber, 1717, extra rare and fine.||4||7||0|
|9.||Sir John Marsham; ætat. 80. By R. White, extra rare and fine.||6||6||0|
|19.||Martin Master; ætat. 53. 1607. By R. Gaywood, extra rare and fine.||8||8||0|
|80.||Lady Paston, wife of Sir William Paston, by W. Faithorne; extra rare and fine.||31||0||0|
|82.||Mary, Countess of Pembroke, by Simon Passe, 1618. Fine and rare.||10||0||0|
|83.||Penelope, Countess of Pembroke, in an oval, by W. Hollar. Rare.||3||6||0|
|84.||Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, by R. White: extra rare and fine.||7||17||6|
|[The prints at this sale — the catalogue containing 323 pages — were sold for 4987l. 17s.]|
|58.||Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector, in a square. "This portrait was etched by Hollar, but he was afraid to put his name to it; and the plate was destroyed as soon as Richard resigned his pretensions to the Protectorship." Note by Mr. Hillier. Very rare.||1||10||0|
|61.||Lord Digby, in armour; after Vander Borcht. Extra rare and fine.||9||9||0|
|64.||Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, standing, whole length: army in the distance, 1644, fine and rare.||5||5||0|
|65.||The same, on horseback: under the horse a map of England; 1643: first state of the plate; extra fine and rare.||9||0||0|
|73.||Hollar's own portrait, in an oval, ætat. 40, 1647: with variations in the arms.||3||3||0|
|53.||Sir William Paston, 1659: esteemed Faithorne's finest portrait: extra rare.||10||15||0|
|56.||Carew Reynell, from the Fothergill collection: extra fine and rare.||16||5||6|
|62.||Prince Rupert, in armour, right hand on the breast: after Vandyck. Sold by Robert Peake. Extra fine and rare.||9||0||0|
|54.||King and Queen of Bohemia, and five children, by Wm. Passe, with thirty-two Englishes [qu?]; 1621: extra fine and rare, The same plate; with the addition of five children; the youngest in a cradle.||4||11||0|
|55.||The same, sitting under a tree; with four children; the youngest playing with a rabbit: fine and rare.||6||6||0|
|92.||James, Duke of York: with the anchor, proof; very fine and rare. (16th day's sale.)||5||2||6|
|72.||Sir Francis Winderbank and Lord Finch; with Finch's wings flying to Winderbank; extra rare. (19th day.)||25||0||0|
|34.||Princess Augusta Maria, daughter of Charles I. in hat and feather, ætat. 15, 1646: by Henry Danckers, 1640. Fine and rare.||3||3||0|
|57.||Anne, Queen of James I. with her daughter Anne; curiously dressed, whole length. By J. Visscher: extra fine and rare.||6||0||0|
|41.||Mary, Queen of Scotts: "Scotorumque nunc Regina"—in an oval: cap adorned with jewels, feather-fan in her hand, &c. By Peter Mynginus: extra fine and rare.||6||12||0|
|53.||Prince Frederick, Count Palatine, with Princess Elizabeth, whole length, superbly dressed: By R. Elstracke: extra fine and rare.||14||0||0|
|74.||Henry the Eighth, with hat and feather, large fur tippet: by C. M(atsis); very fine, and supposed unique.||10||10||0|
|79.||Mary, Queen of Scots: veil'd cross at her breast: ætat. 44, 1583: extra fine and rare.||9||2||6|
|80.||Queen Elizabeth; superbly dressed, between two pillars: extra fine and rare.||15||15||0|
A Catalogue of a valuable and genuine Collection of Prints, Drawings, and elegantly illustrated Books, &c., sold by auction by Mr. Richardson; March, 1800.
|143.||Henry, Lord Darnley, by Passe; fine and very rare.||16||0||0|
|186.||Sir Philip Sidney, by Elstracke; extremely fine.||3||1||0|
|263.||Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, by ditto, extra fine and rare.||13||0||0|
|264.||Edward Somerset, Earl of Worcester, by Simon Passe: rare and fine.||7||15||0|
|265.||Henry Vere, Earl of Oxford, sold by Compton Holland; very rare and fine.||9||0||0|
|273.||Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, by Simon Passe; most brilliant impression, extra rare.||13||5||0|
|278.||Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, by the same; rare and very fine.||5||0||0|
|279.||Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, by the same; extra fine and rare—(with a copy by Thane).||3||0||0|
|280.||John Digby, Earl of Bristol; rare and fine: from the Fothergill Collection.||13||0||0|
|281.||Robert Sidney, Viscount Lisle, by Simon Passe; rare and very fine.||5||2||6|
|284.||Edmund, Baron Sheffield: by Elstracke; very fine.||14||10||0|
|286.||James, Lord Hay, by Simon Passe; brilliant impression, fine and rare.||9||0||0|
|294.||George Mountaine, Bishop of London; G.Y. sculpsit; very fine and rare.||5||10||0|
|330.||Sir Julius Cæsar, by Elstracke; extra fine and rare.||23||12||6|
|335.||Arthurus Severus Nonesuch O'Toole, by Delaram; most brilliant impression, and very rare (with the copy).||11||11||0|
|367.||Sir John Wynn de Gwedir, by Vaughan; very rare.||6||6||0|
|472.||Prince Frederic Henry, by Delaram: very fine and rare.||5||7||6|
|479.||Prince Rupert, by Faithorne; very fine and rare.||7||5||0|
|567.||Sir John Hotham, Governor of Hull; whole length; extremely rare and fine.||43||1||0|
|812.||Edward Mascall, by Gammon.||7||3||0|
|946.||Edward Wetenhall, Bishop of Corke and Ross; mezzotint, by Becket; fine.||5||0||0|
|960.||Andrew Lortie, by Van Somer.||13||5||0|
|979.||Thomas Cole, large mezzotint.||4||10||0|
|997.||Sir William Portman, mezzotint.||7||10||0|
|1001.||Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury, by Blooteling; exceeding fine impression.||6||0||0|
|1013.||Sir Patrick Lyon, of Carse, by White.||5||5||0|
|1033.||Sir Greville Verney, by Loggan.||5||10||0|
|1045.||Marmaduke Rawdon, by White; fine.||14||0||0|
|1048.||Slingsby Bethel, whole length, by W. Sherwin (with small copy).||17||5||0|
|1054.||Samuel Malines, by Lombart; very fine.||12||0||0|
|1057.||Thomas Killegrew, as sitting with the dog: by Faithorne.||16||0||0|
A Catalogue of a very choice assemblage of English Portraits, and of Foreigners who have visited England: serving to illustrate Granger's Biographical History; the property of an eminent Collector, &c., Sold by auction, by Messrs. King and Lochée, April, 1810.
But it is time to pause. The present note may have completely served to shew, not only that Lysander was right in drawing such bold conclusions respecting the consequences resulting from the publication of Granger's Biographical History, and the capriciousness of print-fanciers respecting impressions in their various stages, and with all their varieties — but, that the pursuit of print-collecting is both costly and endless. For one 'fine and rare' print, by Hollar, Faithorne, Elstracke, the Passes, Delaram, or White, how many truly precious and useful volumes may be collected? "All this is vastly fine reasoning"— methinks I hear a Grangerite exclaim —"but compare the comfort afforded by your 'precious and useful volumes' with that arising from the contemplation of eminent and extraordinary characters, executed by the burin of some of those graphic heroes before-mentioned — and how despicable will the dry unadorned volume appear!! On a dull, or rainy day, look at an illustrated Shakespeare, or Hume, and then find it in your heart, if you can, to depreciate the Grangerian Passion!!" I answer, the Grangerite is madder than the Bibliomaniac:— and so let the matter rest.
Next let us discuss the serious subject of the background! — whether it be square or oval; dark or light; put in or put out; stippled or stroked; and sundry other similar, but most important, considerations. Again; there are engravings of different sizes, and at different periods, of the same individual, or object: and of these, the varieties are as infinite as of any of those attached to the vegetable system. I will not attempt even an outline of them. But I had nearly forgotten to warn you, in your Rembrandt Prints, to look sharply after the Burr!
Alman. Mercy on us — what is this Burr?!
Lysand. A slight imperfection only; which, as it rarely occurs, makes the impression more valuable. It is only a sombre tinge attached to the copper, before the plate is sufficiently polished by being worked; and it gives a smeared effect, like smut upon a lady's face, to the impression! But I am becoming satirical. Which is the next symptom that you have written down for me to discourse upon?
Lis. I am quite attentive to this delineation of a Print Connoisseur; and will not fail to mark all the Rembrandt438 varieties, and take heed to the Burr!
438 All the book and print world have heard of Daulby's Descriptive Catalogue of the works of Rembrandt, &c. Liverpool, 1796, 8vo. The author's collection of Rembrandt's prints (according to a MS. note prefixed to my copy of it, which is upon large paper in 4to. — of which only fifty impressions were struck off) was sold at Liverpool, in 1799, in one lot; and purchased by Messrs. Colnaghi, Manson, and Vernon, for 610l. It was sold in 1800, in separate lots, for 650l., exclusively of every expense; after the purchasers had been offered 800l. for the same. Some of these prints came into the possession of the late Mr. Woodhouse (vide p. 441, ante); and it is from the Catalogue of his Collection of prints that I present the reader with the following
beseeching him to take due heed to what Lysander has above alluded to by all the Varieties and the Burr!
|5||30.||Abraham entertaining the three angels; very fine, with the burr, on India paper.||2||18||0|
|10||43.||The Angel appearing to the Shepherds; very fine, presque unique.||6||0||0|
|14||56.||The flight into Egypt, in the style of Elsheimer; on India paper, the 1st impression, extremely rare.||4||16||0|
|22||75.||The Hundred Guilder Piece. This impression on India paper, with the burr, is acknowledged by the greatest connoisseurs in this kingdom to be the most brilliant extant.||42||0||0|
|23||75.||Ditto, restored plate, by Capt. Baillie, likewise on India paper, and very fine.||2||12||6|
|25||77.||The Good Samaritan; the 1st impression with the white tail, most beautifully finished, with a light point, and fine hand; very fine and rare.||6||6||0|
|27||79.||Our Lord before Pilate, second impression on India paper, fine and scarce.||5||15||6|
|28||79.||Same subject, third impression, with the mask, extremely rare: from the collection of the Burgomaster Six.||4||4||0|
|30||84.||The Descent from the Cross. This print is beautifully executed, the composition is grand, and the head full of character; 1st and most brilliant impression.||15||15||0|
|39||117.||The Rat-killer; a most beautiful impression.||3||3||0|
|42||126.||The Marriage of Jason and Creusa; a 1st impression, without the crown, on India paper, very brilliant.||4||10||0|
|45||152.||The Hog; a remarkably fine impression, from Houbraken's collection: scarce.||1||14||0|
|46||154.||The Shell. This piece is finely executed, and this impression, with the white ground, may be regarded as presque unique.||9||10||0|
|47||178.||Ledikant, or French Bed. This is the entire plate, and is a very great rarity.||4||14||6|
|56||194.||The Woman with the Arrow: very scarce.||2||15||0|
|61||204.||The Three Trees; as fine as possible.||6||10||0|
|63||209.||A Village near a high road, arched: 1st impression on India paper, before the cross hatchings: scarce.||4||14||6|
|67||213.||A landscape of an irregular form; 1st impression, with the burr, very scarce.||5||0||0|
|82||232.||Blement de Jonge; 1st impression, the upper bar of the chair is left white, extremely rare.||2||7||0|
|83||252.||Ditto, second impression, very scarce.||1||7||0|
|84||252.||Ditto, third impression, very fine.||2||10||0|
|85||253.||Abraham France, with the curtain, on India paper.||5||5||0|
|86||353.||Ditto: with the chair.||3||18||0|
|87||254.||Ditto; with the figures on the paper which he holds in his wands. All these impressions are rare and fine.||5||10||0|
|88||254.||Old Haaring or Haring, the Burgo-master; beautiful impression on India paper, with the burr, extremely rare.||7||7||0|
|89||255.||Young Haaring, beautiful impression from Houbraken's collection; scarce.||6||6||0|
|90||256.||John Lutma; 1st impression before the window, &c. extremely rare.||4||10||3|
|93||257.||John Aselyn; 1st impression, with the easel, extremely rare.||9||2||0|
|97||259.||Wtenbogardus, the Dutch Minister; a most beautiful and brilliant impression, oval, on a square plate; proof, before the pillar, arch, verses, or any inscription: presque unique.||9||19||6|
|99||261.||The Gold Weigher; 1st impression, with the face blank, extremely rare.||10||10||0|
|100||261.||Ditto; a most beautiful and brilliant impression; and esteemed the finest extant. From the collection of Capt. Baillie.||21||0||0|
|101||262.||The Little Coppenol, with the picture; the second and rarest impression, generally esteemed the 1st; from the Earl of Bute's collection.||7||7||0|
|102||262.||Ditto; without the picture, very fine.||1||13||0|
|103||263.||The great Coppenol, remarkably fine.||4||14||6|
|104||265.||The Advocate Tol; a superb impression, extremely rare with the copy.||54||12||0|
|145||265.||The Burgo-master Six; a most extraordinary impression, the name and age of the Burgo-master are wanting, and the two middle figures in the date are reversed: a very great rarity.||36||15||0|
Perhaps the finest collection of Rembrandt's prints, in great Britain, is that in the possession of Lord Viscount Fitzwilliam, at Richmond; a nobleman of extremely retired habits, and equally distinguished for his taste, candour, and erudition. His Paintings and Books are of the very first class.
Lysand. Do so; and attend the shops of Mr. Richardson, Mr. Woodburn, and Mr. Grave, and you may soon have a chance of gratifying your appetite in these strange particulars. But beware of a Hogarth rage!
Lis. Is that so formidable?
Lysand. The longest life were hardly able to make the collection of Hogarth's prints complete! The late Mr. Ireland has been the Linnæus to whom we are indebted for the most minute and amusing classification of the almost innumerable varieties of the impressions of Hogarth's plates.439
439 The Marquis of Bute has, I believe, the most extraordinary and complete collection of Hogarth's Prints that is known. Of the Election Dinner there are six or seven varieties; gloves, and no gloves; hats, from one to the usual number; lemon, and no lemon; punch bowl, and no punch bowl. But of these varying prints, the most curious is the one known by the name of Evening: with a little boy and girl, crying, in the back-ground. At first, Hogarth did not paint the girl, and struck off very few impressions of the plate in this state of the picture. A friend observing to him that the boy was crying with no apparent cause of provocation, Hogarth put in the little girl tantalizing him. But — happy he! who has the print of the 'Evening' without the little girl: fifteen golden guineas (rare things now to meet with!) ought not to induce him to part with it. Of the copper-plate portraits by Hogarth, the original of 'Sarah Malcolm, executed 1732,' is among the very rarest; a copy of this selling for 7l. 17s. 6d. at Barnard's sale. The reader has only to procure that most interesting of all illustrative works, Hogarth Illustrated by John Ireland, 1793, (2d edit.) 3 vols., 8vo.; and, for a comparatively trifling sum, he may be initiated into all the mysteries of Hogarthian virtû. The late Right Hon. W. Wyndham's collection of Hogarth's prints, bequeathed to him by Mr. George Steevens, was bought in for little more than 300 guineas.
Lis. I will stick to Rembrandt and leave Hogarth at rest. But surely, this rage for Portrait Collecting cannot be of long duration. It seems too preposterous for men of sober sense and matured judgment to yield to.
Lysand. So think you— who are no Collector! But had you accompanied me to Mr. Christie's on Friday440 last, you would have had convincing evidence to the contrary. A little folio volume, filled with one hundred and fifty-two prints, produced —
440 If the reader casts his eye upon pages 505-6 he will find that the ardour of print and portrait collecting has not abated since the time of Sir W. Musgrave. As a corroboration of the truth of Lysander's remark, I subjoin a specimen (being only four articles) of the present rage for 'curious and rare' productions of the burin— as the aforesaid Grangerite (p. 507) terms it.
|54.||The Right Honourable and truly generous Henry Veere, Earl of Oxford, Viscount Bulbeck, &c. Lord High Chamberlain of England. J. Payne sculp. With a large hat and feather, small, in a border with many figures. Will. Passo, sculp. Tho. Jenner exc. On distinct plates. The most brilliant impression of a print of the greatest rarity.||30||9||0|
|63.||Generall (Edward) Cecyll son to the Right Honourable the Earle of Exeter, &c. In an oval; in armour. Simmon Passæs, sculp. Anno 1618. Sould in Pope's Head Alley, also by John Sudbury and George Humble. Most brilliant impression of a print of the greatest rarity.||34||2||6|
|90.||The true Portraicture of Richard Whitington, thrise Lord Mayor of London, a vertuous and godly man, full of good workes (and those famous) &c. R. Elstracke sculp. Are to be sold by Compton Holland over against the Exchange: First impression with the hand on a skull. Extra fine and rare.||10||10||0|
|152.||Mull'd Sack; a fantastic and humourous Chimney-Sweeper, so called: with cap, feather, and lace band: cloak tuck'd up; coat ragged; scarf on his arm; left leg in a fashionable boot, with a spur; on his right foot a shoe with a rose; sword by his side, and a holly bush and pole on his shoulder; in his left hand, another pole with a horn on it; a pipe, out of which issues smoke, is in his right hand; at the bottom are eight verses (as given in Granger, vol. ii., p. 61). Are to be sold by Compton Holland over against the Exchange, with further manuscript account by a provost of Eton. Considered Unique [but not so].||42||10||6|
Lis. Perhaps, Three Hundred Guineas?
Lysand. Just double the sum, I believe.
Lis. O rare James Granger— thy immortality is secured! But we forget our symptoms of the Bibliomania.
Belin. As I am the examiner, I here demand of you, Sir, what may be the meaning of the fourth symptom of the bibliomaniacal disease, which you call Unique Copies?
Lysand. A passion for a book of which only one copy was printed, or which has any peculiarity about it441 by either, or both, of the foregoing methods of illustration — or which is remarkable for its size, beauty, and condition — or has any embellishment, rare, precious and invaluable — which the researches of the most sedulous bibliomaniac, for three and thirty long years, would not be able to produce — is indicative of a rage for unique copies; and is unquestionably a strong prevailing symptom of the Bibliomania. Let me therefore urge every sober and cautious collector not to be fascinated by the terms "Curious and rare;" which 'in slim italics' (to copy Dr. Ferriar's happy expression442) are studiously introduced into Booksellers' catalogues to lead the unwary astray. Such a Collector may fancy himself proof against the temptation; and will, in consequence, call only to look at this unique book, or set of books; but — led away by the passion which inflamed Berryer and Caillard443— when he views the morocco binding, silk water-tabby lining, blazing gilt edges; when he turns over the white and unspotted leaves; gazes on the amplitude of margin; on a rare and lovely print introduced; and is charmed with the soft and coaxing manner in which, by the skill of Herring, Mackinlay, Rodwell, Lewis, or Faulkener, "leaf succeeds to leaf"— he can no longer bear up against the temptation; and, confessing himself vanquished, purchases, and retreats — exclaiming with Virgil's shepherd ——
Ut vidi, ut perii — ut me malus abstulit error!
441 Let us again quote a stanza from the 'Aspirant:'
Who in all copies finds delight —
The wrong not scenting from the right —
And, with a choiceless appetite,
Just comes to feed, . . . like Soph, or Templar,
Out on his iron stomach! —we
Have rarities we merely see,
Nor taste our Phœnix though it be . . .
Serv'd up in the "Unique Exemplar,"
Bibliosophia, p. v.
One of the most curious proofs of the seductive popularity of unique copies may be drawn from the following excerpt from a catalogue of a Library sold at Utrecht in 1776; which was furnished me by Mr. H. Ellis from a copy of the catalogue in the possession of Mr. Cayley of the Augmentation Office.
NO. 6870. Les Avantures de Telemaque, 8o. Rotterd. av. fig. en cart. 'Cet exemplaire est tout barbouillé. Mais il est de la main de la jeune Princesse Wilhelmine Auguste de Saxe-Weimar, qui y a appris le François en 1701!!!'
I will mention a unique copy of a somewhat different cast of character. Of the magnificent and matchless edition of Shakspeare, printed by Mr. Bulmer and published by Mr. Nicols, between the years 1790 and 1805, there were one hundred copies, of the first six plays only, struck off upon imperial folio, or Colombier paper; in which the large engravings, published at the Shakspeare Gallery (now the British Institution) might be incorporated and bound up. The late George Steevens undertook the revision of the text, intending to complete the entire plays in a similar form; but the trouble and expense attending this part of the undertaking were so great that the further prosecution of it was abandoned. Mr. Bulmer preserved the whole of the proof-sheets of this partial Colombier impression; and to form a 'unique edition' (these are his own words) he bound them up in the exact order in which the plays were printed. On the margins of many of the sheets, besides the various corrections, emendations, and notes to the printer, by Mr. Steevens, there are some original sonnets, a scene for a burlesque tragedy, and other happy effusions from the pen of the same elegant and learned editor. Need I ask the reader, whether he would have the barbouillé (unique) copy of Telemaque of the young Princesse Wilhelmine Auguste de Saxe-Weimar (like the Vicar of Wakefield, I like to give the full name) or Mr. Bulmer's similar copy of Shakspeare? The difference would soon be found in King Street or the Strand! I must mention one more example — of a nature different from both the preceding — of what Lysander has above, elaborately, and perhaps, a little confusedly, described as unique copies. It is Colonel Stanley's copy of De Bry (see a superb one before noticed) which is bound in seven folio volumes, in blue morocco, by Padaloup, and is considered superior to every known copy. It contains all the maps and prints, with their variations, according to the Bibliographie Instructive, no. 4230, Cat. de Paris de Meyzieu, 1790; no. 486, Cat. de Santander, no. 3690; and Camus sur les Collections des Grands et Petits Voyages, 1802, 4to.: with both editions of the first nine parts of the West Indies, and duplicates of parts x. and xi. It has also a considerable number of duplicate plates, where a superior impression could be procured at any expense. The owner of this unique copy, of a work unrivalled for its utility and elegance, is distinguished for a noble collection, bound by our choicest binders, in whatever is splendid and precious in the Belles Lettres, Voyages, and Travels. Take two more illustrations, kind-hearted reader! ——Goldsmith's Deserted Village, 1802. Mr. Bulmer printed a single copy of this beautiful poem, in quarto, upon satin— picked and prepared in a very curious manner. It was purchased by a foreigner. His impressions upon vellum are noticed, post. ——Falconer's Shipwreck, 1804, 8vo. Mr. Miller caused two copies only (is is almost unique!) of this beautiful edition, printed by Bensley, to be struck off upon satin, in imperial 8vo. One of these copies now remains with him for sale.
442 The passage, above alluded to, is as follows:
At ev'ry auction, bent on fresh supplies,
He cons his catalogue with anxious eyes:
Where'er the slim Italics mark the page,
Curious and rare his ardent mind engage.
The Bibliomania; v. 54.
443 A slight mention of Mons. Berryer, the father-in-law of Lamoignon, is made at p. 84, ante. The reader is here presented with a more finished portrait of this extraordinary bibliomaniac: a portrait, which will excite his unbounded admiration, if not envy! — for such a careful and voluptuous collector, in regard to binding, was, I believe, never before known; nor has he been since eclipsed. 'M. Berryer, successivement Secrétaire d'Etat au Département de la Marìne, Ministre, puis Garde des Sceaux de France, s'étoit occupé pendant près de quarante années à se former un cabinet des plus beaux livres grecs et latins, anciennes éditions, soit de France, soit des pays étrangers, &c. Par un soin et une patience infatigables, à l'aide de plusieurs coopérateurs éclairés, savans même en Bibliographie, qui connoissoient ses études, délassement de ses places, il avoit recueilli les plus belles éditions; de telle sorte qu'il a toujours su se procurer un exemplaire parfait de chaque édition par un moyen simple quoique dispendieux. Si les Catalogues des ventes publiques lui apprenoient qu'il existoit un exemplaire plus beau, plus grand de marge, mieux conservé, de tout auteur, &c., que celui qu'il possédoit, il le fasoit acquérir sans s'embarrasser du prix, et il se défaisoit à perte de l'exemplaire moins beau. La majeure partie des auteurs anciens et modernes de son cabinet a été changée huit ou dix fois de cette manière. Il ne s'arrêtoit qu'après s'être assuré qu'il avoit le plus bel exemplaire connu, soit pour la marge, soit pour la force du papier, soit pour la magnificence de la conservation et de la relieure.' 'A l'égard des ouvrages d'editions modernes, même celles faites en pays étranger, M. Berryer vouloit les avoir en feuilles: il en faisoit choisir, dans plusieurs exemplaires, un parfait, et il le faisoit relier en maroquin de choix; le Ministere de la Marìne qu'il avoit rempli, lui ayant donné toutes les facilités d'en être abondamment et fidèlement pourvu dans toutes les Echelles du Levant. On collationnoit ensuite pour vérifier s' il n'y avoit ni transposition, ni omission de feuilles ou de pages?!!' Cat. M. Lamoignon, 1791. pref. p. ij. iij. Berryer was slightly copied by Caillard (of whom see p. 76, ante) in the luxury of book-binding. 'M. Caillard avoit le soin de faire satiner presque tous livres qu'il faisoit relier, et principalement les grands ouvrages; qu'il est difficile d'avoir parfaitement reliés sans ce precedé.' Cat. de Caillard; p. x. (avertisement.) But I know not whether Caillard did not catch the phrensy from the elder Mirabeau. In the catalogue of his books, p. ii., we are thus told of him:—'l'acquisition d'un beau livre lui causoit des transports de joie inexprimables: il l'examinoit, l'admiriot: il vouloit que chacun partagêat avec lui le même enthousiasme.' His biographer properly adds: 'De quelle surprise n'auroit-on pas été, si l'on eût su que c'etoit la le même homme qui, du haut de la tribune, faisoit trembler les despotes et les factieux!' Ponder here, gentle reader, upon the effects of a beautiful book! Let no one, however, imagine that we grave Englishmen are averse or indifferent to 'le luxe de la relieure'!! No: at this present moment, we have the best bookbinders in Europe; nor do we want good authority for the encouragement of this fascinating department relating to the Bibliomania. Read here what Mr. Roscoe hath so eloquently written in commendation of it: 'A taste for the exterior decoration of books has lately arisen in this country, in the gratification of which no small share of ingenuity has been displayed; but if we are to judge of the present predilection for learning by the degree of expense thus incurred, we must consider it as greatly inferior to that of the Romans during the times of the first Emperors, or of the Italians at the 15th century. And yet it is, perhaps, difficult to discover why a favourite book should not be as proper an object of elegant ornament as the head of a cane, the hilt of a sword, or the latchet of a shoe.' Lorenzo de Medici; vol. ii., 79, 8vo. edition. Did Geyler allude to such bibliomaniacs in the following sentence? Sunt qui libros inaurant et serica tegimenta apponunt preciosa et superba. Grandis hæc fatuitas! Navicula, sive Speculum Fatuorum; (Navis Stultifera) sign. B. v. rev.
Belin. For the benefit — not of the 'Country Gentlemen,' but — of the 'Country Ladies,' do pray translate these Latin words. We are always interested about the pastoral life.
Lis. It only means, Belinda, that this said shepherd was blockhead enough to keep gazing upon his beloved fair, although every glance shot him through the heart, and killed him a hundred times. Still he caressed the cause of his ruin. And so bibliomaniacs hug the very volumes of which they oftentimes know they cannot afford the purchase money! I have not forgotten your account of Dr. Dee:444 but the ladies were then absent.
Belin. Well, let us now go on to the explanation of the fifth symptom of the Bibliomania; which you have called, Copies printed upon vellum!
Lysand. A desire for books printed in this manner445 is an equally strong and general symptom of the Biblomania; but, as these works are rarely to be obtained of modern date, the collector is obliged to have recourse to specimens executed, three centuries ago, in the printing offices of Aldus, Verard, or the Giunti. Although the Bibliotheque Imperiale, at Paris, and the library of Count M'Carthy, at Toulouse, are said to contain the greatest number of books, printed upon vellum, yet, those who have been fortunate enough to see copies of this kind in the libraries of his Majesty, the Duke of Marlborough, Earl Spencer, Mr. Johnes, and the late Mr. Cracherode (which latter is now in the British Museum) need not travel on the Continent for the sake of being convinced of their exquisite beauty and splendour. An unique copy of the first Livy, upon vellum, (of which the owner has excited the envy of foreigners) is a library of itself! — and the existence of vellum copies of Wynkyn De Worde's reprint of Juliana Barnes's Book of Hawking, &c., complete in every respect, (to say nothing of his Majesty's similar copy of Caxton's Doctrinal of Sapience, in the finest preservation) are sufficient demonstrations of the prevalance of this symptoms of the Bibliomania in the times of our forefathers; so that it cannot be said, as some have asserted, to have appeared entirely within the last half century.
445 William Horman, who was head master of Eton school at the opening of the sixteenth century, was, I apprehend, the earliest writer in this country who propagated those symptoms of the Bibliomania indicative of a passion for large paper and vellum copies; for thus writes the said Horman, in his Vulgaria, printed by Pynson, in folio, 1519: a book, curious and interesting upon every account. 'The greatest and highest of price, is paper imperial. (Herbert, vol i., p. 265.) Parchment leaves be wont to be ruled, that there may be a comely margent: also, strait lines of equal distance be draw[en] within, that the writing may shew fair,' fol. 82. From these two sentences (without quoting Horman's praise of the presses of Froben and Aldus; fol. 87) I think it may be fairly inferred that a love of large paper and vellum copies was beginning to display itself in the period just mentioned. That this love or passion is now eagerly and generally evinced, I shall proceed to give abundant proof; but first let me not forget our bibliomaniacal satirist:
Who blindly take the book display'd
By pettifoggers in the trade.
Nor ask of what the leaf was made,
That seems like paper— I can tell 'em,
That though 'tis possible to squint
Through any page with letters in't,
No copy, though an angel print,
Reads elegantly — but "on vellum."
Bibliosophia, p. vi.
I proceed to give evidence of the present passion which prevails, respecting books of the description of which we are now speaking, by extracting a few articles from the library of which such honourable mention was made at p. 448-9, ante. They are all
|241.||Epistolæ Beati Jeronimi. Impressio Moguntinæ facta per Virum famatum in hæc arte Petrum Schoiffer de Gernsheym, 2 vols., 1470. A fine specimen of a grand book, superbly bound in blue turkey. Folio.||28||7||0|
|242.||Sexti Decretalium Opus præclarum Bonifacii vii., Pont. Max. In Nobili Urbe Moguncia non Atramento è plumali ereâque Pennâ Cannâve per Petrum Schoiffer de Gernsheym consummatum. A.D. 1476. A most beautiful work, superbly bound in blue turkey.||19||19||0|
|253.||Constitutiones Clementis Papæ Quinti, unà cum apparatu Domini Joannis Andreæ. Venetiis impress. Ere atque Industriâ Nicolai Jenson Gallici, 1476. A most beautiful specimen of clean vellum, with a fine illumination, bound in purple velvet. Folio.||21||10||0|
|244.||Leonora, from the German of Burgher, by Mr. Spencer, with the designs of Lady Diana Beauclerc, 1796. Folio.||25||4||0|
|A beautiful unique copy, with the plates worked on satin, superbly bound in blue turkey.|
|245.||Dryden's Fables, with engravings from the pencil of Lady Beauclerc. A beautiful unique copy, splendidly bound in morocco, with the plates worked on satin.||34||13||0|
|246.||Missale Monasticum secundum Ritum et consuetudinem Ordinis Gallæ Umbrosæ. Venetiis, per Ant. de Giunta Florentinum, 1503. A most beautiful copy of a very rare book, with plates and illuminations, bound in morocco. Folio.||13||3||6|
|247.||Postilla super Libros N. Testamenti Fratris Nicolai de Lyra. Venet. per Joan. de Colonia et Nic. Jenson, 1481. A fine specimen of beautiful vellum, with illuminations, bound in blue turkey. Folio.||17||17||0|
|248.||The German Bible, by Martin Luther, 2 vols. Augspurg, 1535, folio. A most fair, and beautiful copy, with coloured plates, in the finest preservation, and bound in crimson velvet, with two cases.—'The copies on vellum of this fine edition were printed at the charges of John Frederick, Elector of Saxony, (vide Panzer).' Folio.||52||10||0|
|249.||Le Livre de Jehan Bocasse de la Louenge et Vertu des nobles et Cleres Dames. Paris, par Ant. Verard, 1493. A beautiful work, with curious illuminations, finely bound in blue turkey. Folio.||14||14||0|
|250.||Virgilii Opera curâ Brunck. Argentorati, 1789. An unique copy, bound in morocco, with a case. Quarto.||33||12||0|
|251.||Somervile's Chace, a Poem, with fine plates on wood, by Bewick. Printed by Bulmer, 1796. Quarto. A beautiful unique copy, splendidly bound in green, morocco.||15||4||6|
|252.||Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell, with fine plates on wood by Bewick. Printed by Bulmer, 1795. A beautiful unique copy, superbly bound in green morocco.||15||15||0|
|253.||The Gardens, a poem, by the Abbe de Lisle, with fine plates by Bartolozzi, coloured. Printed by Bensley, 1798. A fine book, and bound in green morocco. Quarto.||14||3||6|
|254.||The Castle of Otranto, by the Earl of Oxford. Printed at Parma, 1791. A fine copy elegantly bound in blue morocco. Quarto.||13||2||6|
|255.||Coustumes du Pais de Normandie. Rouen, 1588. A beautiful unique copy, on fine white vellum, the presentation copy to the Duke de Joyeuse; in old morocco.||14||3||6|
|256.||P. Virgilii Maronis Codex antiquissimus in Bibliotheca Mediceo-Laurentiana. Florent. 1741. A curious facsimile of the old MS. bound in yellow morocco, 4to.||17||17||0|
|257.||Junius's Letters, 4 vols., 8vo. Printed by Bensley, 1796. A beautiful unique copy, with the plates also worked on vellum, bound in morocco.||25||4||0|
|258.||Il Castello di Otranto, storia Gotica, Lond. 1795. Beautifully printed, with fine cuts, illuminated, bound in morocco.||4||16||0|
|259.||Milton's Paradise Regained, Poems, and Sonnets, and Latin Poems, with notes, 3 vols. Printed by Bensley, 1796, 8vo. A unique and beautiful copy, bound in blue turkey.||17||6||6|
|260.||La Guirlande de Julie offerte a Mademoiselle de Rambouillet, par le Marq. de Montausier. Paris de l'Imprim. de Monsieur, 1784, 8vo. 'This matchless book is embellished with exquisite miniatures, paintings of flowers, and wreaths of flowers, to illustrate the work, and is one of the most exquisite performances ever produced;' superbly bound in green morocco.|
|[30 guineas were bidden; but the book was passed on and not sold.]|
|261.||La Vedova, Commedia facetissima di Nic. Buonaparte Cittadino Florentino. Paris, 1803, 8vo. A curious work by an ancestor of the First Consul; a beautiful unique copy, superbly bound in red morocco.||4||4||0|
|262.||The Old English Baron, a Gothic story, by Clara Reeve, 1794, 8vo. Richly bound in blue turkey.||2||2||0|
|263.||The Œconomy of Human Life, with fine plates, 1795. A beautiful unique copy, with the plates finely tinted in colours and superbly bound in morocco, 8vo.||15||15||0|
|264.||Dr. Benjamin Franklin's Works. Paris, 1795, 8vo. A beautiful unique copy, and bound in crimson velvet.||5||0||0|
|265.||The Dance of Death. Painted by Holbein, and engraved by Hollar, a beautiful unique copy, with the plates exquisitely painted, and very richly bound in red morocco.||17||17||0|
|266.||La Gerusalemme liberata di Torquato Tasso, 4 vols. Parigi Presso Molini, 1783, 8vo. A beautiful copy, bound in green morocco.||9||19||6|
|267.||Catullus, Tibullus, et Propertius, 3 vols. Par. ap. Coustelier, 1743, 8vo. A singularly beautiful copy, and bound in old blue turkey.||14||14||0|
|268.||Opere Toscane di Luigi Alamanni. Leoni. ap. Gryphia, 1552. A most beautiful copy, presented to King Francis I. of France: old morocco.||6||6||0|
|269.||A New Testament in German. Augsburg, 1535, 12mo. A fine copy, with illuminations, of a very rare edition.||2||7||0|
Lysander has above noticed the collection of Count M'Carthy of Toulouse. By the kindness of Mr. Roche, banker, at Cork, I learn that this collection 'is a truly splendid one.' The possessor's talents are not confined to the partial walk of bibliography: in his younger years, he was considered one of the first gentlemen-violin players in Europe. He quitted Ireland forty years ago, and now resides at Toulouse, in his 70th year, surrounded by a numerous and respectable family. His leading passion, in book-collecting, (like his countryman's, poor Mr. Quin — who gave 170 guineas for the Spira Virgil of 1470, in membranis!) is marked by a fondness for works printed upon vellum. From Mr. Roche, Mr. Edwards, and other quarters, I am enabled to present the reader with a list of a few of
|Psalmorum Codex;||Mogunt.||Fust and Schoiffer.||Folio, 1457.|
|————||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1459.|
|Durandi Rationale;||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1459.|
|Clementis Papæ V. Constitutiones;||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1460.|
|————————||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1467.|
|Catholicon;||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1460.|
|Biblia Sacra Latina;||ibid.||apud eosdem.||Folio, 1462.|
|[His Majesty and Earl Spencer possess similar copies of these works.]|
|Franciscus de Retras Comment. Vitiorum;||Nuremb.||Folio, 1470.|
|Hieronimi Epistolæ;||Mogunt.||Fust and Schoiffer.||Folio, 1470.|
|(Another copy: very large thick paper.)|
|Priscianus de Art. Grammat.||Venet.||Vin. Spira.||Folio, 1470.|
|(See p. 407, ante.)|
|Liber Sextus Decretalium Bonif. Papæ VIII.||Mogunt.||Folio, 1470.|
|Guarini Regulæ;||Quarto, 1470.|
|Quintiliani Institutiones;||Jenson,||Folio, 1471.|
|Baptista de Alberti de Amore;||Quarto, 1471.|
|—————— de Amoris Remedio:||Quarto, 1471.|
|Biblia in Ling. Volg.||Folio, 1471, 2 vols.|
|Historia Natur. de Plinio tradotto da Landino;||Jenson,||Venet.||1476.|
|(A similar copy is in Mr. Coke's library at Holkam; illuminated, and in magnificent condition.)|
|Biblia Sacra Polyglotta; Ximenis;||Complut.||Folio, 1516, &c., 6 vols.|
|(See page 407, ante; for a brief account of this extraordinary copy.)|
|Plutarchi Vitæ (Lat.);||Venet.||N. Jenson.||Folio, 1478. vol. 1.|
|Aristotelis Opera Varia (Lat.);||Venet.||Folio, 1483. 3 vols.|
|(This was the Pinelli copy, and was purchased for 73l. 10s.)|
|Statii Achilles;||Brixiæ.||Folio, 1485.|
|Chroniques de France, dictes de St. Denys;||Paris.||Folio, 1493. vol. 2 & 3.|
|Anthologia Græca;||Florent.||Quarto, 1494.|
|Lancelot du Lac;||Paris.||Verard,||Folio, 1494. vol. 2.|
|Boccace des nobles Malheureux;||ibid.||Folio, 1494.|
|Appollonius Rhodius;||Florent.||Quarto, 1496.|
|Destruction de Troy le Grant;||Paris.||Folio, 1498.|
|Poliphili Hyperonotomachia;||Venet.||Folio, 1499.|
|Mer des Histores;||Paris.||Folio, (no date) 2 vols.|
|Monstrelet Chronique de;||Paris.||Folio, (no date) 3 vols.|
|Roman de la Rose;||Paris.||Verard.||Folio, (no date)|
|—— de Tristan;||ibid.||id.||(no date)|
|—— d' Ogier le Danois;||ibid.||id.||(no date)|
|—— de Melis et Lenin;||ibid.||id.||(no date)|
I have heard that Count M'Carthy's books do not exceed 4000 in number; and of these, perhaps, no private collector in Europe has an equal number printed upon vellum. In our own country, however, the finest vellum library in the world might be composed from the collections of His Majesty, the Duke of Marlborough, Earl Spencer, Sir M.M. Sykes, Bart., Mr. Johnes, Mr. Coke, and the Quin collection. Yet let us not forget the finest vellum copy in the world of the first edition of Aristotle's works (wanting one volume) which may be seen in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Of Mr. Edward's similar copy of the first Livy, Lysander and myself (vide Part iii.) have spoken like honest bibliomaniacs. Earl Spencer possesses the rival volume, printed by the same printers, (Sweynheym and Pannartz) and upon the same material, in his Pliny Senior of 1470 — But let all quiet bibliomaniacs wait with patience till the work of Mons. Praet upon this subject, alluded to at p. 68, ante, shall have made its appearance! and then — let us see whether we can prevail upon some Gnome to transport to us, through the 'thin air,' Pynson's 'Ship of Fools' upon vellum!!
Lis. Are we as successful in printing upon vellum as were our forefathers?
Lysand. Certainly not; if we except some of the works from the press of Bodoni — which are oftentimes truly brilliant. But the fault, in general, is rather in the preparation of the vellum than in the execution of the press-work.
Loren. You have seen, Lisardo, my small volumes of 'Heures,' or 'Missals,' as they are called; some of them in MS. and others in print — and what can be more delicate than the texture of the vellum leaves, or more perfect than the execution of penmanship and printing?
Alman. I have often set whole hours, my dear brother, in contemplating with rapture the sparkling radiance of these little volumes; and wish in my heart I had a few favourite authors executed in a similar manner! I should like to employ Bodoni446 for life.
446 It is not because Bodoni printed better than our popular printers — that his books upon vellum are more beautiful than those produced by the London presses — but that the Italian vellum (made of the abortive calf) is, in general, more white and delicate. There is not, perhaps, a lovelier little vellum book in existence than the Castle of Otranto, printed by Bodoni in 1796, 8vo. A copy of this, with the plates worked on white satin, was in the collection of Mr. G.G. Mills; and sold at the sale of his books in 1800; no. 181; see p. 447, ante. From the former authority it would appear that only six copies were printed in this manner. By the kindness of Mr. Edwards, I am in possession of a 'Lettera Pastorale' of Fr. Adeodato Turchi — a small tract of 38 pages — printed upon paper, by Bodoni, in a style of uncommon delicacy: having all the finish and picturesque effect of copper-plate execution. But the chef d'œuvre of Bodoni seems to be an edition of Homer, in three great folio volumes, each consisting of 370 pages, with the text only. The artist employed six years in the preparations, and the printing occupied eighteen months. One hundred and forty copies only were struck off. The copy presented to Bonaparte was upon vellum, of a size and brilliancy altogether unparalleled. American Review, no. 1., p. 171. January, 1811. In our admiration of Bodoni, let us not forget Didot: who printed a single copy of Voltaire's Henriade upon vellum, in quarto, with a brilliancy of execution, and perfection of vellum, which can never be suppassed. This copy formerly belonged to a Farmer General, one of Didot's most intimate friends, who perished in the Revolution. Didot also printed a number of copies of French translations of English works, upon the same material: so correct, beautiful, and tasteful, that Mr. Bulmer assures me nothing could exceed it. All these small richly-feathered birds were once here, but have now taken their flight to a warmer climate. Our modern books upon vellum are little short of being downright wretched. I saw the Life of Nelson, in two large quartos, printed in this manner; and it would have been the first work which I should have recommended a first-rate collector to have thrown out of his library.* Many of the leaves were afflicted with the jaundice beyond hope of cure. The censure which is here thrown out upon others reaches my own doors: for I attempted to execute a single copy of my Typographical Antiquities upon vellum, with every possible attention to printing and to the material upon which it was to be executed. But I failed in every point: and this single wretchedly-looking book, had I presevered in executing my design, would have cost me about seventy-five guineas!
* This book was printed at Bolt Court during the apprenticeship of the printer of this edit. of Biblio., who speaking from remembrance, ventures to suggest that the above remark is rather too strong — although there was confessedly a great deal of trouble in procuring good vellum. He believes only one copy was done; it was the property of Alexander Davidson, Esq. Banker, and, being in his library in Ireland, when the mansion was burned down, it was destroyed. He had insured it for £600 — the Insurance office disputed his claim, and a trial at Dublin took place. The late Mr. Bensley was subpœnaed to give evidence of its value, but, being reluctant to go, he persuaded the parties that Warwick, one of his pressmen, who worked it off, was a better witness; he accordingly went, his evidence succeeding in establishing Mr. Davidson's claim. This same Warwick worked off many of the splendid specimens of typography mentioned in Bibliomania, being one of the very best workmen in the Printing business — particularly in wood-cuts. He afterwards became private printer to the late Sir Egerton Bridges, Bart., at Lee Priory — and is long since dead.
Lis. I could go on, 'till midnight, indulging my wishes of having favourite books printed upon vellum leaves; and at the head of these I would put Crammer's Bible for I want scholarship sufficient to understand the Complutensian Polyglott of Cardinal Ximenes.447
Berlin. So much for the Vellum Symptom. Proceed we now to the sixth: which upon looking at my memoranda, I find to be the First Editions. What is the meaning of this odd symptom?
Lysand. From the time of Ancillon to Askew, there has been a very strong desire expressed for the possesssion of original or first published editions448 of works; as they are in general superintended and corrected by the author himself, and, like the first impressions of prints are considered more valuable. Whoever is possessed with a passion for collecting books of this kind, may unquestionably be said to exhibit a strong symptom of the Bibliomania: but such a case is not quite hopeless, nor is it deserving of severe treatment or censure. All bibliographers have dwelt on the importance of these editions449 for the sake of collation with subsequent ones; and of detecting, as is frequently the case, the carelessness displayed by future editors. Of such importance is the first edition Shakspeare450 considered, on the score of correctness, that a fac-simile reprint of it has been recently published. In regard to the Greek and Latin Classics, the possession of these original editions is of the first consequence to editors who are anxious to republish the legitimate text of an author. Wakefield, I believe, always regretted that the first edition of Lucretius had not been earlier inspected by him. When he began his edition, the Editio Princeps was not (as I have understood) in that storehouse of almost every thing which is exquisite and rare in ancient and modern classical literature — need I add the library of Earl Spencer?451
448 All German and French bibliographers class these first editions among rare books; and nothing is more apt to seduce a noviciate in bibliography into error than the tempting manner in which, by aid of capital or italic types, these Editiones Primariæ or Editiones Principes are set forth in the most respectable catalogues published abroad as well as at home. But before we enter into particulars, we must not forget that this sixth sympton of the Bibliomania has been thus pungently described in the poetical strains of an "aspirant!"
Who of Editions recks the least,
But, when that hog, his mind would feast
Fattens the intellectual beast
With old, or new, without ambition —
I'll teach the pig to soar on high,
(If pigs had pinions, by the bye)
How'er the last may satisfy,
The bonne bouche is the "First Edition."
Bibliosophia; p. vi.
These first editions are generally, with respect to foreign works, printed in the fifteenth or in the early part of the sixteenth century: and indeed we have a pretty rich sprinkling of a similar description of first editions executed in our own country. It is not, therefore, without justice that we are described, by foreign bibliographers, as being much addicted to this class of books: "With what avidity, and at what great prices, this character of books is obtained by the Dutch, and especially by the English, the very illustrious Zach. Conrad ab Uffenbach shews, in the preface to the second volume of his catalogue." Vogt; p. xx., edit. 1793. There is a curious and amusing article in Bayle (English edition, vol i., 672, &c.) about the elder Ancillon, who frankly confessed that he "was troubled with the Bibliomania, or disease of buying books." Mr. D'Israeli says that he "always purchased first editions, and never waited for second ones," but I find it, in the English Bayle, note D, "he chose the best editions." The manner in which Ancillon's library was pillaged by the Ecclesiastics of Metz (where it was considered as the most valuable curiosity in the town) is thus told by Bayle: "Ancillon was obliged to leave Metz: a company of Ecclesiastics, of all orders, came from every part, to lay hands on this fine and copious library, which had been collected with the utmost care during forty years. They took away a great number of the books together; and gave a little money, as they went out, to a young girl, of twelve or thirteen years of age, who looked after them, that they might have it to say they had paid for them. Thus Ancillon saw that valuable collection dispersed, in which, as he was wont to say, his chief pleasure and even his heart was placed!"— Edit. 1734. A pleasant circumstance, connected with our present subject, occurred to the Rev. Dr. Charles Burney. At a small sale of books which took place at Messrs. King and Lochée's, some few years ago, the Doctor sent a commission, for some old grammatical treatises; and calling with Mr. Edwards to see the success of the commission, the latter, in the true spirit of bibliomaniacism, pounced upon an anciently-bound book, in the lot, which turned out to be — nothing less than the first edition of Manilius by Regiomontanus: one of the very scarcest books in the class of those of which we are treating! By the liberality of the purchaser, this primary bijou now adorns the noble library of the Bishop of Ely.
449 An instance of this kind may be adduced from the first edition of Fabian, printed in 1516; of which Chronicle Messrs. Longman, Hurst, and Co. have just published a new edition, superintended by Mr. H. Ellis, and containing various readings from all the editions at the foot of the text. "The antiquary," says the late Mr. Brand, "is desired to consult the edition of Fabian, printed by Pynson, in 1516, because there are others, and I remember to have seen one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, with a continuation to the end of Queen Mary, 1559, in which the language is much modernized." Shakspeare, edit. 1803, vol. xviii., pp. 85, 86. See also what has been before said (p. 233.) of an after edition of Speed.
450 A singular story is "extant" about the purchase of the late Duke of Roxburgh's copy of the first edition of Shakspeare. A friend was bidding for him in the sale-room: his Grace had retired to one end of the room, coolly to view the issue of the contest. The biddings rose quickly to 20 guineas; a great sum in former times: but the Duke was not to be daunted or defeated. A slip of paper was handed to him, upon which the propriety of continuing the contest was suggested. His Grace took out his pencil; and, with a coolness which would have done credit to Prince Eugene, he wrote on the same slip of paper, by way of reply —
lay on Macduff!
And d —— d be he who first cries "Hold, enough!"
Such a spirit was irresistible, and bore down all opposition. The Duke was of course declared victor, and he marched off, triumphantly, with the volume under his arm. Lord Spencer has a fine copy of this first edition of Shakspeare, collated by Steevens himself.
451 We raise the column to the hero who has fought our battles by sea or land; and we teach our children to look up with admiration and reverence towards an object so well calculated to excite the best sympathies of the human heart. All this is well; and may it never be neglected! But there are other characters not less noble, and of equal glory to a great nation like our own; and they are those who, to the adventitious splendour of hereditary rank, add all the worth and talent of a private condition, less exposed to temptation, and suited to the cultivation of peaceful and literary pursuits. Such a character is George John Earl Spencer! A nobleman, not less upright and weighty in the senate than polished and amiable in private life; who, cool and respected amidst the violence of party, has filled two of the most important offices of state in a manner at once popular and effective; and who, to his general love of the fine arts, and acquaintance with classical literature, has superadded the noble achievement of having collected the finest private library in Europe! The reader has already met with sufficient mention of this collection to justify what is here said in commendation of it. . . . In the deepest recess of Althorpe Park — where the larch and laurustinus throw their dark yet pleasing shade — and where
—— pinus ingens, albaque populus
Umbram hospitalem consociare amant
let the Doric Temple be raised, with its white-marbled columns, sacred to the memory of this illustrious nobleman! Let his bust, in basso-relievo, with appropriate embellishments, adorn the most conspicuous compartment within: and peace and virtue, and filial affection, will, I am sure, be the guardians of so cherished a spot!
It must not, however, be forgotten that, if first editions are, in some instances, of great importance, they are in many respects superfluous, and only incumber the shelves of a collector; inasmuch as the labours of subsequent editors have corrected the errors of their predecessors, and superseded, by a great fund of additional matter, the necessity of consulting them. Thus, not to mention other instances (which present themselves while noticing the present one), all the fine things which Colomiés and Reimannus have said about the rarity of La Croix du Maine's Bibliothéque, published in 1584, are now unnecessary to be attended to, since the publication of the ample and excellent edition of this work by De La Monnoye and Juvigny, in six quarto volumes, 1772.
Lis. Upon the whole, I should prefer the best to the first edition; and you, Lorenzo, may revel in the possession of your first Shakespeare— but give me the last Variorum edition in twenty-one volumes.
Loren. "Chacun a son gout," yet it may be as well to possess them both. Indeed, I not only have these editions, but a great number of the early plays printed in quarto;452 which are considered the ne plus ultra of Shakspearian bibliomaniacism.
Belin. Much good may these wretchedly printed volumes do you! Now let me proceed with my pupil. Tell us, good Lysander, what can you possibly mean by the seventh symptom of the Bibliomania, called True Editions?
Lysand. My definition of this strange symptom will excite your mirth.453 Some copies of a work are struck off with deviations from the usually received ones, and although these deviations have generally neither sense nor beauty to recommend them (and indeed are principally defects!), yet copies of this description are eagerly sought after by collectors of a certain class. What think you of such a ridiculous passion in the book-way?
453 Observing the usual order of notification, we will first borrow the poetical aid of "an aspirant:"
Who dares to "write me down an ass,"
When, spying through the curious mass,
I rub my hands, and wipe my glass,
If, chance, an error bless my notice —
Will prize when drill'd into his duty,
These lovely warts of ugly beauty;
For books, when false (it may be new t'ye),
Are "True Editions:"— odd — but so 'tis.
Let us proceed to see whether this biting satire be founded upon truth, or not. Accidental variations from the common impressions of a work form what are called true editions: and as copies, with such variations (upon the same principle as that of Prints; vide p. 501-2, ante) are rare, they are of course sought after with avidity by knowing bibliomaniacs. Thus speaks Ameilhon upon the subject:—"pendant l'impression d'un ouvrage il est arrivé un accident qui, à telle page et à telle ligne, a occasioné un renversement dans les lettres d'un mot, et que ce désordre n'a été rétabli qu'apres le tirage de six ou sept exemplaires; ce qui rend ces exemplaires défectueux presque uniques, et leur donne, â les entendre, une valeur inappréciable; car voila un des grands secrets de cet art, qui, au reste, s'acquiert aisément avec de la memoire." Mem. de l'Institut: vol. ii., p. 485. The author of these words then goes on to abuse the purchasers and venders of these strange books; but I will not quote his saucy tirade in defamation of this noble department of bibliomaniacism. I subjoin a few examples in illustration of Lysander's definition:—Cæsar. Lug. Bat. 1636, 12mo. Printed by Elzevir. In the Bibliotheca Revickzkiana we are informed that the true Elzevir edition is known by having the plate of a buffalo's head at the beginning of the preface and body of the work: also by having the page numbered 153, which ought to have been numbered 149. A further account is given in my Introduction to the Classics, vol. i., p. 228. —Horace, Londini, 1733, 8vo., 2 vols. Published by Pine. The true edition is distinguished by having at page 108, vol. ii., the incorrect reading "Post Est."— for "Protest."—Virgil. Lug. Bat., 1636, 12mo. Printed by Elzevir. The true edition is known, by having at plate 1, before the Bucolics, the following Latin passage printed in red ink. "Ego vero frequentes a te literas accepi." Consul de Bure, no. 2684. —Idem. Birmingh. 1763, 4to. Printed by Baskerville. A particular account of the true edition will be found in the second volume of my "Introduction to the Classics," p. 337 — too long to be here inserted. —Bocaccio. Il Decamerone, Venet. 1527, 4to. Consult De Bure no. 3667; Bandini, vol. ii. 105, 211; (who, however, is extremely laconic upon this edition, but copious upon the anterior one of 1516) and Haym, vol. iii., p. 8, edit. 1803. Bibl. Paris., no. 408. Clement. (vol. iv. 352,) has abundance of reference, as usual, to strengthen his assertion in calling the edition "fort rare." The reprint, or spurious edition, has always struck me as the prettier book of the two. These examples appeared in the first edition of this work. I add to them what of course I was not enabled to do before. In the second edition of The Bibliomania, there are some variations in the copies of the small paper; and one or two decided ones between the small and large. In the small, at page 13, line 2, we read
"beat with perpetual forms."
in the large, it is properly
"beat with perpetual storms."
Which of these is indicative of the true edition? Again: in the small paper, p. 275, line 20, we read properly
"Claudite jam rivos pueri, sat prata biberunt."
in the large paper,
"Claudite jam rivos pueri, sat parta biberunt."
It was in my power to have cancelled the leaf in the large paper as well as in the small; but I thought it might thereby have taken from the former the air of a true edition; and so the blunder (a mere transposition of the letters ar) will go down to a future generation in the large paper. There is yet another slight variation between the small and large. At p. 111, in the account of the catalogue of Krohn's books, the concluding sentence wholly varies: but I believe there is not an error in either, to entitle one to the rank of Truism more than another.*
* During the youth of the printer of this book, a curious mistake occurred: a splendid folio work was going on for Dr. Bonnell Thornton; in a certain page, as printers technically say, a space stood up; the Dr. (not understanding printers' marks) wrote on a head page "take out horizontal line at p. so and so"— the compositor inserted these words as a displayed line in the head-page whereon they were written — the reader passed it in the revise — and it was so worked off! Being eventually detected — the leaf was of course cancelled.
Alman. It seems to me to be downright idiotism. But I suspect you exaggerate?
Lysand. In sober truth, I tell you only what every day's experience in the book-market will corroborate.
Belin. Well! — what strange animals are you bibliomaniacs. Have we any other symptom to notice? Yes, I think Lysander made mention of an eighth; called a passion for the Black-Letter. Can any eyes be so jaundiced as to prefer volumes printed in this crabbed, rough, and dismal manner?
Loren. Treason — downright treason! Lisardo shall draw up a bill of indictment against you, and Lysander shall be your judge.
Belin. My case would then be desperate; and execution must necessarily follow.
Lis. I shall be better able to form an opinion of the expediency of such a measure after Lysander has given us his definition of this eighth and last symptom. Proceed, my friend.
Lysand. Of all symptoms of the Bibliomania, this eighth symptom is at present the most powerful and prevailing. Whether it was imported into this country, from Holland, by the subtlety of Schelhorn454 (a knowing writer upon rare and curious books) may be a point worthy of consideration. But whatever be its origin, certain is that books printed in the black-letter, are now coveted with an eagerness unknown to our collectors in the last century. If the spirits of West, Ratcliffe, Farmer, and Brand, have as yet held any intercourse with each other, in that place "from whose bourne no traveller returns," which must be the surprise of the three former, on being told, by the latter, of the prices given for some of the books at the sale of his library!
454 His words are as follows: "Ipsa typorum ruditas, ipsa illa atra crassaque literarum facies belle tangit sensus," &c. Was ever the black-letter more eloquently described: see his Amœnitates Literariæ, vol. i., p. 5. But for the last time, let us listen to the concluding symptomatic stanza of an "aspirant;"
Who dreams the Type should please us all,
That's not too thin, and not too tall,
Nor much awry, nor over small,
And, if but Roman, asks no better —
May die in darkness:— I, for one,
Disdain to tell the barb'rous Hun
That Persians but adore the sun
Till taught to know our God —Black-Letter.
Bibliosophia: p. vii.
However cruel may be the notes of one poet, it seems pretty clear that the glorious subject, or bibliomaniacal symptom, of which we are treating, excited numbers of a softer character in the muse of Dr. Ferriar: for thus sings he — inspired by the possession of black-letter tomes:
In red morocco drest, he loves to boast
The bloody murder, or the yelling ghost;
Or dismal ballads, sung to crowds of old,
Now cheaply bought for thrice their weight in gold.
Ev'n I, debarr'd of ease and studious hours,
Confess, mid' anxious toil, its lurking pow'rs.
How pure the joy, when first my hands unfold
The small, rare volume, black with tarnished gold!
The Bibliomania, l. 135-8.
But let us attend to a more scientific illustration of this eighth symptom. 'Black-Letter, which is used in England, descends from the Gothic characters; and is therefore called Gothic by some, old English by others; but printers give it the name of Black-Letter, because its face taking in a larger compass than Roman or Italic of the same body, the full and spreading strokes thereof appear more black upon paper than common.' Smith's Printer's Grammar; edit. 1755, p. 18. The same definition is given in a recent similar work; with the addition that 'black-letter is more expensive than Roman or Italic, its broad face requiring an extraordinary quantity of ink, which always gives the best coloured paper a yellow cast, unless worked upon that of a superior quality. It has a good effect in a title-page, if disposed with taste.' Stower's Printer's Grammar; 1808, p. 41. To these authorities we may add, from Rowe Mores, that 'Wynkyn de Worde's letter was of The Square English or Black face, and has been the pattern for his successors in the art.' Of English Founders and Foundries; 1778, 8vo. p. 4, 5. 'The same black-letter printer,' says Palmer or Psalmanaazar, 'gave a greater scope to his fancy, and formed such a variety of sorts and sizes of letter that, for several years after him, none of his successors attempted to imitate him therein.' General History of Printing; p. 343. It is not necessary to collect, in formal array, the authorities of foreigners upon this important subject; although it may be as well to notice the strange manner in which Momoro, in his Traité elémentaire de L'Imprimerie, p. 185, refers us to an elucidation of the Gothic letter ('appelé du nom de certains peuples qui vinrent s'établir dans la Gothie, plus de quatre cens ans avant J.C.') in one of the plates of Fournier's Dictionnaire Typographique: vol. ii. p. 205 — which, in truth, resembles anything but the Gothic type, as understood by modern readers. — Smith and Mr. Stower have the hardihood to rejoice at the present general extinction of the black-letter. They were not, probably, aware of Hearne's eulogy upon it —'As it is a reproach to us (says this renowned antiquary) that the Saxon language should be so forgot as to have but few (comparatively speaking) that are able to read it; so 'tis a greater reproach that the Black-Letter, which was the character so much in use in our grandfathers' days, should be now (as it were) disused and rejected; especially when we know the best editions of our English Bible and Common-Prayer (to say nothing of other books) are printed in it.' Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle: vol. i., p. lxxxv. I presume the editor and publisher of the forth-coming fac-simile re-impression of Juliana Barnes's Book of Hawking, Hunting, &c., are of the same opinion with Hearne: and are resolved upon eclipsing even the black-letter reputation of the afore-named Wynkyn De Worde. — A pleasant black-letter anecdote is told by Chevillier, of his having picked up, on a bookseller's stall, the first edition of the Speculum Salutis sive Humanæ Salvationis (one of the rarest volumes in the class of those printed in the middle of the fifteenth century) for the small sum of four livres! L'Origine de l'Imprimerie; p. 281. This extraordinary event soon spread abroad, and was circulated in every bibliographical journal. Schelhorn noticed it in his Amœnitates Literariæ: vol. iv. 295-6: and so did Maichelius in his Introd. ad Hist. Lit. et Præcip. Bibl. Paris, p. 122. Nor has it escaped the notice of a more recent foreign bibliographer. Ameilhon makes mention of Chevillier's good fortune; adding that the work was 'un de ces livres rares au premièr degré, qu' un bon Bibliomane ne peut voir sans trépigner de joie, si j'ose m'exprimer ainsi.' Mem. de l'Institut. vol. ii. 485-6. This very copy, which was in the Sorbonne, is now in the Imperial, library at Paris. Ibid. A similar, though less important, anecdote is here laid before the reader from a communication sent to me by Mr. Wm. Hamper of Birmingham. '"Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, black-letter, sewed," was valued at sixpence, in a catalogue of a small Collection of Books on the sale at the shop of Mr. William Adams, Loughborough, in the year 1804: and, after in vain suing the coy collector at this humble price, remained unsold to the present year, 1809, when (thanks to your Bibliomania!) it brought a Golden Guinea.'— I have myself been accused of 'an admiration to excess' of black-letter lore; and of recommending it in every shape, and by every means, directly and indirectly. Yet I have surely not said or done any thing half so decisive in recommendation of it as did our great moralist, Dr. Johnson: who thus introduces the subject in one of his periodical papers. —'The eldest and most venerable of this society, was Hirsutus: who, after the first civilities of my reception, found means to introduce the mention of his favourite studies, by a severe censure of those who want the due regard for their native country. He informed me that he had early withdrawn his attention from foreign trifles, and that since he begun to addict his mind to serious and manly studies, he had very carefully amassed all the English books that were printed in the Black-Letter. This search he had pursued so diligently that he was able to show the deficiencies of the best catalogues. He had long since completed his Caxton, had three sheets of Treveris, unknown to antiquaries, and wanted to a perfect [collection of] Pynson but two volumes: of which one was promised him as a legacy by its present possessor, and the other he was resolved to buy at whatever price, when Quisquilius' library should be sold. Hirsutus had no other reason for the valuing or slighting a book than that it was printed in the Roman or the Gothick letter, nor any ideas but such as his favourite volumes had supplied: when he was serious, he expatiated on the narratives of Johan de Trevisa, and, when he was merry, regaled us with a quotation from the Shippe of Fools.' Rambler, no. 177. — Nor was the Doctor himself quite easy and happy 'till he had sold, in the character of a bookseller, a few volumes — probably of black-letter celebrity. Mr. Boswell relates that 'During the last visit which the Doctor made to Litchfield, the friends, with whom he was staying missed him one morning at the breakfast table. On inquiring after him of the servants, they understood that he had set off from Litchfield at a very early hour, without mentioning to any of the family whither he was going. The day passed without the return of the illustrious guest, and the party began to be very uneasy on his account, when, just before the supper hour, the door opened, and the Doctor stalked into the room. A solemn silence of a few minutes ensued; nobody daring to enquire the cause of his absence, which was at length relieved by Johnson addressing the lady of the house as follows: "Madam, I beg your pardon for the abruptness of my departure this morning, but I was constrained to it by my conscience. Fifty years ago, Madam, on this day, I committed a breach of filial piety, which has ever since lain heavy on my mind, and has not until this day been expiated. My father, you recollect, was a bookseller, and had long been in the habit of attending Walsall Market; and opening a stall for the sale of his books during that day. Confined to his bed by indisposition, he requested of me, this time fifty years ago, to visit the market, and attend the stall in his place. But, Madam, my pride prevented me from doing my duty, and I gave my father a refusal. To do away the sin of this disobedience, I this day went in a post-chaise to Walsall, and going into the market at the time of high business, uncovered my head, and stood with it bare an hour before the stall which my father had formerly used, exposed to the sneers of the by-standers, and the inclemency of the weather: a penance, by which I have propitiated Heaven for this only instance, I believe, of contumacy towards my father."'— Is it not probable that Dr. Johnson himself might have sold for sixpence, a Tusser, which now would have brought a 'golden guinea?'
A perusal of these prices may probably not impress the reader with any lofty notions of the superiority of the black-letter; but this symptom of the Bibliomania is, nevertheless, not to be considered as incurable, or wholly unproductive of good. Under a proper spirit of modification, it has done, and will continue to do, essential service to the cause of English literature. It guided the taste, and strengthened the judgment, of Tyrwhitt in his researches after Chaucerian lore. It stimulated the studies of Farmer and Steevens, and enabled them to twine many a beauteous flower round the brow of their beloved Shakspeare.
It has since operated, to the same effect, in the labour of Mr. Douce,455 the Porson of old English and French Literature; and in the editions of Milton and Spenser, by my amiable and excellent friend Mr. Todd, the public have had a specimen of what the Black-Letter may perform, when temperately and skilfully exercised.
455 In the criticisms which have passed upon Mr. Douce's "Illustrations of Shakspeare and Ancient Manners," it has not, I think, been generally noticed that this work is distinguished for the singular diffidence and urbanity of criticism, as well as depth of learning, which it evinces; and for the happy illustrations of the subjects discussed by means of fac-simile wood-cuts.
I could bring to your recollection other instances; but your own memories will better furnish you with them. Let me not, however, omit remarking that the beautiful pages of the 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border' and 'Sir Tristrem' exhibit, in the notes, (now and then thickly studded with black-letter references) a proof that the author of 'The Lay,' 'Marmion,' and 'The Lady of the Lake,' has not disdained to enrich his stores with such intelligence as black-letter books impart. In short, although this be a strong and general symptom of the Bibliomania, it is certainly not attended with injurious effects when regulated by prudence and discretion. An undistinguishable voracious appetite to swallow every thing, because printed in the black-letter, must necessarily bring on an incurable disease, and, consequently, premature dissolution.
There is yet one other, and a somewhat generally prevailing, symptom, indicative of the prevalence of the Bibliomania; and this consists in a fondness for books which have been printed for Private Distribution456 only, or at a private press. What is executed for a few, will be coveted by many; because the edge of curiosity is whetted, from a supposition that something very extraordinary, or very curious, or very uncommon, is propagated in this said book, so partially distributed. As to works printed at a Private Press, we have had a very recent testimony of the avidity with which certain volumes, executed in this manner, and of which the impression has been comparatively limited, have been sought after by book Cognoscenti.
456 The reader may not object to be made acquainted with a few distinguished productions, printed for private distribution. The reader is indebted to Mr. Bulmer, at whose elegant press these works were printed, for the information which follows:—Museum Worsleyanum; by Sir Richard Worsley; 1798, 1802, Atlas Folio, 2 vols. The first volume of this work, of which 200 copies were printed, was finished in May, 1798, and circulated, with the plates only of vol. ii., amongst the chosen friends of Sir Richard Worsley, the author; who was, at that time, the diplomatic Resident at Venice from our Court. The second volume, with the letter-press complete, of which only 100 copies were printed, was finished in 1802. The entire expense attending this rare and sumptuous publication (of which a copy is in the library of the Royal Institution) amounted to the enormous sum of 27,000l. and from the irregularity of delivering the second volume of plates, in the first instance, without the letter-press, many of the copies are incomplete. ——The Father's Revenge; by the Earl of Carlisle, K.G. &c., 1800, 4to. A limited impression of this very beautiful volume, decorated with engravings from the pencil of Westall, was circulated by the noble author among his friends. I saw a copy of it, bound in green morocco, with the original letter of the donor, in the library of Earl Spencer at Althorp. ——Mount St. Gothard: By the late Duchess of Devonshire, folio. Only fifty copies of this brilliant volume were printed; to a few of which, it is said, Lady Diana Beauclerc lent the aid of her ornamental pencil, in some beautiful drawings of the wild and romantic scenery in the neighbourhood of Mount St. Gothard. ——Dissertation on Etruscan Vases; by Mr. Christie. Imperial 4to. With elegant Engravings. Only 100 copies of this truly classical volume were printed. From the death of one or two of the parties, who became originally possessed of it, as a present from the author, it has fallen to the lot of Mr. Christie to become, professionally, the vender of a work which he himself never meant to be sold. A copy was very lately disposed of, in this manner, for 14l.——Bentleii Epistolæ; Edited by [the Rev.] Dr. Charles Burney: 1807, 4to. This is one of the most beautiful productions of the Shakspeare press; nor are the intrinsic merits of the volume inferior to its external splendour. The scarcer copies of it are those in medium quarto; of which only 50 were printed: of the imperial quarto, there were 150 executed. — I add two more similar examples, which were not printed at the Shakspeare press:—Lord Baltimore's Gaudia Poetica; Lat. Angl. et Gall. with plates. (No date). Large quarto. Only ten copies of this rare volume were printed, and those distributed among the author's friends: a copy of it was sold for 6l. 10s. at the sale of Mr. Reed's books: see Bibl. Reed, no. 6682. It was inserted for sale in the catalogue of Mr. Burnham, bookseller at Northampton, A.D. 1796 — with a note of its rarity subjoined. ——Views in Orkney and on the North-Eastern Coast of Scotland. Taken in 1805. Etched 1807. Folio. By the Marchioness of Stafford.— The letter-press consists of twenty-seven pages: the first of which bears this unassuming designation; "Some Account of the Orkney Islands, extracted from Dr. Barry's History, and Wallace's and Brand's Descriptions of Orkney." To this chapter or division is prefixed a vignette of Stroma; and the chapter ends at p. 5. Then follow four views of the Orkney Islands. — The next chapter is entitled "The Cathedral of Kirkwall," which at the beginning exhibits a vignette of the Cathedral of St. Magnus, and at the close, at p. 9, a vignette of a Tomb in the Cathedral. To these succeed two plates, presenting Views of the Inside of the Cathedral, and an Arch in the Cathedral. — The third chapter commences at p. 11, with "The Earl of Orkney's Palace," to which a vignette of a Street in Kirkwall is prefixed. It ends at p. 12, and is followed by a plate exhibiting a view of the Door-way of the Earl's Palace; by another of the Hall of the Earl's Palace; and by a third containing two Views, namely, the Inside of the Hall, and, upon a larger scale, the Chimney in the Hall. —"The Bay of the Frith" is the subject of the fourth chapter; which exhibits at the beginning a vignette of the Hills of Hoy. It closes at p. 14, with a vignette of The Dwarfy Stone. Then follow six plates, containing a view of the Bay of Frith, a View from Hoy, two views of the Eastern and Western Circles of the Stones of Stennis, and two views of Stromness. — The next chapter is entitled "Duncansbay or Dungsby-head," which bears in front a vignette of Wick, and at the end, in p. 16, a vignette of the Castle of Freswick. Three plates follow: the first presenting a view of Duncansbay-Head: the second, Views of the Stacks of Hemprigs and the Hills of Schrabiner or Schuraben; the third, a View of The Ord. —"The Castle of Helmsdale" is the title of the succeeding chapter, to which is prefixed a vignette of Helmsdale Castle. It ends at p. 19, with a vignette of the Bridge of Brora. Then follow two plates, presenting Views of Helmsdale Castle, and the Coast of Sutherland. — The subject of the next chapter is "Dunrobin Castle," (the ancient seat of her Ladyship's ancestors, and now a residence of her Ladyship,) which presents, at the beginning, a vignette of Dunrobin Castle, and after the close of the chapter, at p. 23, four plates; the first of which is a View of Dunrobin Castle and the surrounding scenery; the second, a smaller View of the Castle: the third, a View of Druid Stones, with another of Battle Stones in Strathflete: and the fourth, Dornoch, with the Thane's Cross. — The last chapter is entitled "The Chapel of Rosslyn," to which is prefixed a vignette of Rosslyn Chapel. It is followed by four plates; the first exhibiting a View of a Column in Rosslyn Chapel; the second, a Door-way in the Chapel; the third, the Tomb of Sir William St. Clair; and the fourth, Hawthornden, the residence of the elegant and plaintive Drummond; with whose beautiful Sonnet, to this his romantic habitation, the volume closes:
"Dear wood! and you, sweet solitary place,
Where I estranged from the vulgar live," &c.
Of the volume which had been thus described, only 120 copies were printed. The Views were all drawn and etched by her Ladyship: and are executed with a spirit and correctness which would have done credit to the most successful disciple of Rembrandt. A copy of the work, which had been presented to the late Right Hon. C.F. Greville, produced, at the sale of his books, the sum of sixteen guineas.
Lis. You allude to the Strawberry Hill Press?457
457 For the gratification of such desperately-smitten bibliomaniacs, who leave no stone unturned for the possession of what are called Strawberry Hill Pieces, I subjoin the following list of books, printed at the celebrated seat of Sir Horace Walpole (afterwards Lord Orford) at Strawberry Hill: situated between Richmond and Twickenham, on the banks of the Thames. This list, and the occasional bibliographical memoranda introduced, are taken from the collection of Strawberry Hill books in the library of the Marquis of Bute, at Luton; all of them being elegantly bound by Kalthoeber, in red morocco. ——i. Two Odes by Mr. Gray. "φωναντα συνετοισι," Pindar Olymp. ii. Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1757, 4to., 19 pages, 1000 copies. In these copies there is sometimes (but very rarely) prefixed a short poem of six stanzas, in alternate rhyme, "To Mr. Gray, on his Poems." As there were only six copies of these verses printed, I subjoin them:
Repine not, Gray, that our weak dazzled eyes
Thy daring heights and brightness shun,
How few can track the eagle to the skies,
Or, like him, gaze upon the sun!
The gentle reader loves the gentle muse,
That little dares, and little means,
Who humbly sips her learning from Reviews,
Or flutters in the Magazines.
No longer now from learning's sacred store,
Our minds their health and vigour draw;
Homer and Pindar are revered no more,
No more the Stagyrite is law.
Though nurst by these, in vain thy muse appears
To breathe her ardours in our souls;
In vain to sightless eyes, and deaden'd ears,
Thy lightning gleams, and thunder rolls!
Yet droop not Gray, nor quit thy heav'n-born art:
Again thy wondrous powers reveal,
Wake slumb'ring virtue in the Briton's heart.
And rouse us to reflect and feel!
With antient deeds our long-chill'd bosoms fire,
Those deeds which mark'd Eliza's reign!
Make Britons Greeks again. — Then strike the lyre,
And Pindar shall not sing in vain.
——ii. A journey into England, originally written in Latin, by Paul Hentzner. In the year 1598. Printed 1757. Advertisement of 10 pages in a fine large beautiful type, printed on paper of great delicacy. The body of the work, which is printed in a smaller type, occupies 126 double pages; on account of the Latin and English being on the opposite pages, each page is marked with the same number. Only 220 copies of this curious and elegant work were printed. —iii. Fugitive Pieces in Verse and Prose. Pereunt et Imputantur. mdcclviii. 8vo. Two pages of dedication "To the Honourable Major General Henry Seymour Conway:" two pages of a table of contents, body of the work 219 pages. Printed with the small type: and only 200 copies struck off. —iv. An account of Russia as it was in the year 1710. By Charles Lord Whitworth. Printed at S.H. mdcclviii, 8vo. Advertisement 24 pages, body of this work 158 — with a page of errata, 700 copies printed. This is an interesting and elegantly printed little volume. —v. A parallel, in the manner of Plutarch, between a most celebrated man of Florence, and one scarce ever heard of in England. By the Reverend Mr. Spence, 1758, 8vo. This is the beautiful and curious little volume, of which mention has already been made at p. 86, ante. Seven hundred copies of it were printed; and from a copy, originally in the possession of the late Mr. John Mann, of Durham, I learnt that "the clear profits arising from the sale of it being about 300l., were applied for the benefit of Mr. Hill and his family." (Magliabechi was "the man of Florence;" and Hill "the one scarce ever heard of in England.") A copy of this edition, with MS. notes by Mr. Cole, was purchased by Mr. Waldron, at the sale of George Steevens's books, for 3l.6s. It was reprinted by Dodsley: but the curious seek only the present edition. ——vi. Lucani Pharsalia, mdcclx, 4to. This is the most beautiful volume, in point of printing, which the Strawberry Hill press ever produced. A tolerably copious account of it will be found in my Introduction to the Classics, vol. ii., p. 53. Kirgate the printer (recently deceased) told me that uncommon pains were taken with its typographical execution. ——vii. Anecdotes of Painting in England; mdcclxi. four volumes; Catalogue of Engravers, 4to., one volume. This is the first, and, on account of having the earliest impressions of the plates, the best edition of this amusing, and once popular work. It was reprinted in quarto, in 1765; of which edition I believe 600 copies were struck off. Again, in 1786, crown 8vo., five volumes, without the plates. ——viii. The Life of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, written by himself. Printed in the year mdcclxix, 4to. Dedication of two pages to Lord Powis. Advertisement six pages, not numbered. After this, there should be a "Genealogical Table of the family of Herbert," which is very scarce, on account of its being suppressed by Mr. Walpole, for its inaccuracy. The life occupied 171 pages. "Mr. Walpole," says the late Mr. Cole, "when I was with him in the autumn of 1763, at which time the book was partly printed, told me that either one or two hundred copies were to be printed; half to be sent to the Earl of Powis, and the other half he was to reserve for himself, as presents to his friends; so that, except the book is reprinted by some bookseller, privately, as probably it will, it will be a curiosity. It was not published till the end of June, 1764, when the honourable editor sent it to me. ——ix. Poems by Anna Chambers, Countess Temple. mdcclxiv, 4to. This volume, containing 13 poems on various subjects, is printed in 34 pages, with a large, but not very elegant type. Only 100 copies were struck off. ——x. The Mysterious Mother. A Tragedy, by Mr. Horace Walpole. Sit mihi fas audita loqui. Virg. Printed at S.H., mdcclxviii. 8vo. No vignette on the back. First leaf, errata, and "persons" [of the play.] Printed with the small type on 120 pages; after which follows a "postscript" of 10 pages. Only 50 copies printed. An uncut copy was recently sold for 6l. 15s.——xi. Cornélie vestale. Tragédie. Imprimée à S.H. mdcclxviii, 8vo., 200 copies. The title-page is followed by a letter "a Mons. Horace Walpole." A page of the names of the actors forms the commencement of the work, which contains 91 pages, neatly printed. Only 200 copies printed, of which 150 were sent to Paris. ——xii. Poems by the Reverend Mr. Hoyland, mdcclxix, 8vo. The advertisement ends at p. iv.; the odes occupy 19 pages. Although this little volume is not printed with the usual elegance of the S.H. press, it is valuable from its scarcity, on account of its never having been re-printed. Only 300 copies were struck off. ——xiii. Original Letters from K. Edward VI. to Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 1772, 4to. I am not acquainted with any circumstance, intrinsic or extrinsic, that renders this small volume sought after. ——xiv. Miscellaneous Antiquities, or a collection of curious papers: either republished from scarce tracts, or now first printed from original MSS. Two numbers printed by Thomas Kirgate, mdcclxxii, 4to. No. I. Advertisement of two pages, ending p. iv. The number contains besides: Contents. Chap. I. "An account of some Tournaments and other martial Diversions." This was reprinted from a work written by Sir William Segar, Norroy; and is called by the author, Honour, Military and Ceuill, printed at London in 1602. Chap. II. Of "Justs and Tournaments," &c., from the same. Chap. III. "A Triumph in the Reigne of King Richard the Second, 1390," from the same. Chap. IV. "A Militarie Triumph at Brussels, Anno 1549," from the same. Chap. V. "Of Justs and Tourneaments," &c., from the same. Chap. VI. "Triumphes Military, for honour and loue of Ladies: brought before the Kings of England," from the same. Chap. VII. "Of the life and actions in Armes since the reigne of Queene Elizabeth," from the same. Chap. VIII. "The original occasions of the yeerely Triumph in England." All these tracts are taken from the above work. No. II. Second leaf, a plate of a head from the original wood-cut by Hans Holbein. Contents. This number is almost entirely occupied by the "Life of Sir Thomas Wyat, the elder," copied by Mr. Gray from the originals in the Harleian Collection, now in the British Museum. This extends to p. 54, after which is an Appendix of eight pages on a few miscellaneous subjects. Five hundred copies were printed. ——xv. Memoirs du Comte de Grammont, par Monsieur le Comte Antoine Hamilton. Nouvelle edition, Augumentée denotes et eclaircissemens necessaires. Par M. Horace Walpole. mdcclxxii, 4to. The title-page is succeeded by a dedication "à Madame —— " in six lines and a half, printed in a very large type. Then follows an "Avis de L'Editour," and "Avertissement," occupying three pages. An "Epitre à Monsieur le Comte de Grammont,' continues to p. xxi: then a "Table des Chapitres," to p. xxiii., on the back of which are the errata. The body of the work extends to 290 pages; which are succeeded by "Table des Personnes," or index, in three pages. These memoirs are printed with the middle size type; but neither the type nor paper are so beautiful as are those of Hentzner's Travels, or the comparison between Magliabechi and Hill. Portraits. 1. Le Comte Antoine Hamilton, faces the title page. 2. Philibert, Comte de Grammont, opposite the "Epitre:" badly executed. 3. A portrait of Miss Warminster, opposite p. 85, in the style of Worlidge's gems. 4. Mademoiselle d'Hamilton, Comtesse de Grammont, faces p. 92. This engraving, by G. Powle, is executed in a style of beauty and spirit that has seldom been surpassed. 5. Lord Chesterfield, second Earl, in the style of the preceding; very beautiful. There were only 100 copies of this edition printed, of which 30 were sent as presents to Paris. ——xvi. The Sleep Walker, a Comedy: in two acts. Translated [by Lady Craven] from the French, in March. Printed by T. Kirgate, mdcclxxviii, 8vo. It is printed in the small type on 56 pages, exclusively of viii. introductory ones, of "prologues" and "persons," &c. Only 75 copies were printed: and of these, one was sold for 4l. in the year 1804, at a public auction. ——xvii. A Letter to the Editor of the Miscellanies of Thomas Chatterton. Printed by T. Kirgate. mdcclxxix, 8vo. This title is preceded by what is called a bastard title: and is followed by 55 pages of the work, not very elegantly printed. Only 200 copies. ——xviii. The Muse Recalled, an ode occasioned by the nuptials of Lord Viscount Althorp (the late Earl Spencer) and Miss Lavinia Bingham, eldest daughter of Charles, Lord Lucan, March vi., mdcclxxxi. By William Jones, Esq. Printed by Thomas Kirgate, mdcclxxxi. 4to. Eight pages, exclusively of the title-page. Printed in the middle size type; but neither the paper nor typographical execution are in the best style of the S.H. press. Only 250 copies printed. ——xix. A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole, youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford, at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham, Middlesex. With an inventory of the Furniture, Pictures, Curiosities, &c. Printed by Thomas Kirgate, mcclxxxiv, 4to. This book contains 96 pages in the whole. It was preceded by a small quarto impression of mdcclxxiv: which is scarce; and of which there are large paper copies. The work entitled Ædes Walpolianæ was printed in mdcclxvii.
The following may amuse the curious reader:
"Mr. Walpole is very ready to oblige any curious persons with the sight of his house and collection; but as it is situated so near to London, and in so populous a neighbourhood, and as he refuses a ticket to nobody that sends for one, it is but reasonable that such persons as send should comply with the rules he has been obliged to lay down for shewing it:— Any person, sending a day or two before may have a ticket for four persons for a day certain — No Ticket will serve but on the day for which it is given. If more than four persons come with a ticket, the housekeeper has positive orders to admit none of them — Every ticket will admit the company only between the hours of twelve and three before dinner, and only one company will be admitted on the same day — The house will never be shewn after dinner, nor at all but from the first of May to the first of October — As Mr. Walpole has given offence by sometimes enlarging the number o four, and refusing that latitude to others, he flatters himself that for the future nobody will take it ill that he strictly confines the number; as whoever desires him to break his rule does in effect expect him to disoblige others, which is what nobody has a right to desire of him — Persons desiring a ticket may apply either to Strawberry Hill, or to Mr. Walpole's, in Berkeley Square, London. If any person does not make use of the ticket, Mr. Walpole hopes he shall have notice: otherwise he is prevented from obliging others on that day, and thence is put to great inconvenience — They who have tickets are desired not to bring children."——xx. A copy of all the Works of Mr. Walpole that were printed by him before his death, 1784, 4to. This brochure, which has been called "rare" in book-auction catalogues, has been sold for upwards of two guineas. ——xxi. Postscript to the Royal and Noble Authors. mdccxxxvi, 8vo. There should be, before the title-page, an outline etching of "Reason, Rectitude, and Justice, appearing to Christin de Pisan, &c., from an illumination in the library of the King of France," which is exceedingly well engraved. The work contains only 18 pages: and there were but 40 copies printed. The Royal and Noble Authors were first printed in 1759, 8vo. 2 vols. ——xxii. Essai sur l'Art des Jardins Modernes, par M. Horace Walpole. Traduit en François, par M. Le Duc de Nivernois, en mdcclxxxiv. Imprimé à S.H. par T. Kirgate, mdcclxxxv. With an opposite title in English, 4to. It contains 94 double pages, and every page of French has an opposite one of English. Not printed in the best manner of S.H. A copy of this book was sold for 3l.; at a sale in 1804. ——xxiii. Bishop Banner's Ghost. Printed by T.K. mdlccxxxix, 4to. On the first leaf is the following "Argument." "In the gardens of the palace of Fulham is a dark recess: at the end of this stands a chair, which once belonged to Bishop Bonner. A certain Bishop of London (the late Beilby Porteus) more than 200 years after the death of the aforesaid Bonner, just as the clock of the gothic chapel had struck six, undertook to cut, with his own hand, a narrow walk through this thicket, which is since called the Monk's walk. He had no sooner begun to clear the way, than lo! suddenly up started from the chair, the ghost of Bishop Bonner, who, in a tone of just and bitter indignation, uttered the following verses." This curious publication contains only four pages of stanzas, written in alternate rhyme, of 8 and 6 feet metre. ——xxiv. The Magpie and her Brood; a fable, from the tales of Bonaventure de Periers, valet de chambre to the Queen of Navarre; addressed to Miss Hotham. This is a very scarce poetical tract of four pages only; subscribed H.W. ——xxv. Fourteen different pieces, printed at Strawberry Hill, of verses, cards, &c. This title I borrow from a book-auction catalogue. At a sale in 1804, these detached pieces were sold for 2l. 2s.; but it is not in my power to identify them. Whether they be the same "parcel of scraps, and loose leaves of poetry, epigrams," &c. which, according to a daily newspaper, were sold at the commencement of this year "for 16 pounds," I am also equally ignorant. See Kirgate's Catalogue, 1810, no. 420. ——xxvi. Hieroglyphic Tales, 8vo. Only seven copies printed; idem, no. 380. From newspaper authority, I learn that these tales formed "a small pamphlet of two sheets, crown 8vo.," which were sold for 16l.; and I understand that the late Mr. G. Baker was the purchaser. N.B. They are incorporated in the author's printed works; but this is not having the first and true edition! There is nothing like the comfort of bleeding smartly for exhibiting these fourth and fifth symptoms of the Bibliomania! Vide pp. 521, 525, ante. ——xxvii. Additions to First Editions of Walpole's Lives of the Painters, sewed.——xxviii. The Press at Strawberry Hill to his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, a Poem.——xxix. The Master of Otranto in durance.——xxx. Air, a Poem.——xxxi. A Poetical Epistle to Mrs. Crewe.——xxxii. A Poetical Epistle to Lady Horatio Waldegrave, on the Death of the Duke of Ancaster.——xxxiii. The Press at Strawberry Hill to Miss Mary and Miss Agnes Berry, a Poetical Epistle. [These last seven articles are taken from Mr. Cuthell's catalogue of 1811.] I should add that a much more copious and complete list, though not possessing all the intelligence here communicated, was prepared by the late Mr. George Baker for press; and printed, since his decease, for donations to his particular friends. Only twenty copies of this bibliographical brochure are said to have been executed. We will now take leave of the Prelum Walpolianum by subjoining a copy of the most elegant title-page vignette which ever issued from it.
Before the reader's eyes are finally turned from a contemplation of this elegant device — and as connected with the subject of Private Presses— let me inform him that the Marquis of Bute is in possession of a thin folio volume, exhibiting paintings, upon vellum, of the various devices used by Pope Sixtus V., in the frontispieces of the several works which issued from the Apostolical Press, while he filled the Papal Chair. To a tasteful bibliomaniac, few volumes would afford so much delight as a contemplation of the present one. It is quite a keimelion in its way!
Lysand. I do; but I have not so ardent an admiration of these volumes, as the generality of collectors. On the contrary, I think that the Hafod Press has, by one single production only, outweighed the whole of the Walpolian lucubrations; at least on the score of utility.
I might here add, to the foregoing symptoms, a passion to possess works which have been suppressed, condemned, or burnt; but all these things rank under the head of causes of the rarity of books; and as an entire volume might be written upon this symptom alone, I can here only allude to to the subject; hoping some diligent bibliographer will one day do for us what foreigners have done for other nations.
Thus have I, rather slightly, discussed the Symptoms of the Disease, called The Bibliomania. During this discussion, I see our friend has been busy, as he was yesterday evening, in making sketches of notes; and if you examine the finished pictures of which such outlines may be made productive, you will probably have a better notion of the accuracy of my classification of these symptoms.
It is much to be wished, whatever may be the whims of desperate book-collectors, that, in some of those volumes which are constantly circulating in the bibliomaniacal market, we had a more clear and satisfactory account of the rise and progress of arts and sciences. However strong may be my attachment to the profession of the cloth, I could readily exchange a great number of old volumes of polemical and hortatory divinity for interesting disquisitions upon the manners, customs, and general history of the times. Over what a dark and troublesome ocean must we sail, before we get even a glimpse at the progressive improvement of our ancestors in civilised life! Oh, that some judicious and faithful reporter had lived three hundred and odd years ago! — we might then have had a more satisfactory account of the origin of printing with metal types.
Lis. Pray give us your sentiments upon this latter subject. We have almost the whole day before us:— the sun has hardly begun to decline from his highest point.
Lysand. A very pretty and smooth subject to discuss, truly! The longest day and the most effectually-renovated powers of body and mind, are hardly sufficient to come to any satisfactory conclusion, upon the subject. How can I, therefore, after the fatigues of the whole of yesterday, and with barely seven hours of daylight yet to follow, pretend to enter upon it? No: I will here only barely mention Trithemius458— who might have been numbered among the patriarchal bibliographers we noticed when discoursing in our friend's Cabinet— as an author from whom considerable assistance has been received respecting early typographical researches. Indeed, Trithemius merits a more marked distinction in the annals of Literature than many are supposed to grant him: at any rate, I wish his labours were better known to our own countrymen.
458 We are indebted to the Abbé Trithemius, who was a diligent chronicler and indefatigable visitor of old Libraries, for a good deal of curious and interesting intelligence; and however Scioppius (De Orig. Domûs Austriac.), Brower (Vit. Fortunat. Pictav., p. 18.), and Possevinus (Apparant sacr. p. 945), may carp at his simplicity and want of judgment, yet, as Baillet (from whom I have borrowed the foregoing authorities) has justly remarked —"since the time of Trithemius there have been many libraries, particularly in Germany, which have been pillaged or burnt in the destruction of monasteries; so that the books which he describes as having seen in many places, purposely visited by him for inspection, may have been destroyed in the conflagration of religious houses." Jugemens des Savans; vol. ii., pt. i., p. 71, edit. 12mo. It is from Trithemius, after all, that we have the only direct evidence concerning the origin of printing with metal types: and the bibliographical world is much indebted to Chevelier (L'Origine de l'Imprimerie de Paris, 1691, 4to., pp. 3-6.) for having been the first to adduce the positive evidence of this writer; who tells us, in his valuable Chronicon Hirsaugiens (1690, 2 vols. folio), that he received his testimony from the mouth of Fust's son-in-law —"ex ore Petri Opilionis audivi,"— that Guttenburg was the author of the invention. The historical works of Trithemius were collected and published in 1601, in folio, two parts, and his other works are minutely detailed in the 9th volume of the Dictionnarie Historique, published at Caen, in 1789. Of these, one of the most curious is his Polygraphia: being first printed at Paris, in 1518, in a beautiful folio volume; and presenting us, in the frontispiece, with a portrait of the abbé; which is probably the first, if not the only legitimate, print of him extant. Whether it be copied from a figure on his tomb — as it has a good deal of the monumental character — I have no means of ascertaining. For the gratification of all tasteful bibliomaniacs, an admirable facsimile is here annexed. The Polygraphia of Trithemius was translated into French, and published in 1601, folio. His work De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis, Colon, 1546, 4to., with two appendices, contains much valuable matter. The author died in his 55th year, A.D. 1516: according to the inscription upon his tomb in the monastery of the Benedictines at Wirtzburg. His life has been written by Busæus, a Jesuit. See La Monnoye's note in the Jugemens des Savans; ibid.
Lis. I will set his works down among my literary desiderata. But proceed.
Lysand. With what? Am I to talk for ever?
Belin. While you discourse so much to the purpose, you may surely not object to a continuance of this conversation. I wish only to be informed whether bibliomaniacs are indisputably known by the prevalence of all, or of any, of the symptoms which you have just described.
Alman. Is there any other passion, or fancy, in the book-way, from which we may judge of Bibliomaniacism?
Lysand. Let me consider. Yes; there is one other characteristic of the book-madman that may as well be noticed. It is an ardent desire to collect all the editions of a work which have been published. Not only the first— whether uncut, upon large paper, in the black-letter, unique, tall, or illustrated— but all the editions.459
459 I frankly confess that I was, myself, once desperately afflicted with this eleventh symptom of The Bibliomania; having collected not fewer than seventy-five editions of the Greek Testament— but time has cooled my ardour, and mended my judgment. I have discarded seventy, and retain only five: which are R. Steevens's of 1550, The Elzevir of 1624, Mill's of 1707, Westein's of 1751, and Griesbach's of 1810 — as beautifully and accurately reprinted at Oxford.
Belin. Strange — but true, I warrant!
Lysand. Most true; but, in my humble opinion, most ridiculous; for what can a sensible man desire beyond the earliest and best editions of a work?
Be it also noticed that these works are sometimes very capricious and extroardinary. Thus, Baptista is wretched unless he possess every edition of our early grammarians, Holt, Stanbridge, and Whittinton: a reimpression, or a new edition, is a matter of almost equal indifference: for his slumbers are broken and oppressive unless all the dear Wynkyns and Pynsons are found within his closet! — Up starts Florizel, and blows his bugle, at the annunciation of any work, new or old, upon the diversions of Hawking, Hunting, or Fishing!460 Carry him through Camillo's cabinet of Dutch pictures, and you will see how instinctively, as it were, his eyes are fixed upon a sporting piece by Wouvermans. The hooded hawk, in his estimation, hath more charms than Guido's Madonna:— how he envies every rider upon his white horse! — how he burns to bestride the foremost steed, and to mingle in the fair throng, who turn their blue eyes to the scarcely bluer expanse of heaven! Here he recognises Gervase Markham, spurring his courser; and there he fancies himself lifting Dame Juliana from her horse! Happy deception! dear fiction! says Florizel — while he throws his eyes in an opposite direction, and views every printed book upon the subject, from Barnes to Thornton.
460 Some superficial notes, accompanied by an interesting wood-cut of a man carrying hawks for sale, in my edition of Robinson's translation of More's Utopia, kindled, in the breast of Mr. Joseph Haslewood, a prodigious ardour to pursue the subjects above-mentioned to their farthest possible limits. Not Eolus himself excited greater commotion in the Mediterranean waves than did my bibliomaniacal friend in agitating the black-letter ocean —'a sedibus imis'— for the discovering of every volume which had been published upon these delectable pursuits. Accordingly there appeared in due time —'[post] magni procedere menses'— some very ingenious and elaborate disquisitions upon Hunting and Hawking and Fishing, in the ninth and tenth volumes of The Censura Literaria; which, with such additions as his enlarged experience has subsequently obtained, might be thought an interesting work if reprinted in a duodecimo volume. But Mr. Haslewood's mind, as was to be expected, could not rest satisfied with what he considered as mere nuclei productions: accordingly, it became clothed with larger wings, and meditated a bolder flight; and after soaring in a hawk-like manner, to mark the object of its prey, it pounced upon the book of Hawking, Hunting, Fishing, &c., which had been reprinted by W. de Worde, from the original edition published in the abbey of St. Albans. Prefixed to the republication of this curious volume, the reader will discover a great deal of laborious and successful research connected with the book and its author. And yet I question whether, in the midst of all the wood-cuts with which it abounds, there be found any thing more suitable to the 'high and mounting spirit' (see Braithwait's amusing discourse upon Hawking, in his English Gentleman, p. 200-1.) of the editor's taste, than the ensuing representation of a pilgrim Hawker?! — taken from one of the frontispieces of L'Acadamia Peregrina del Doni; 1552, 4to., fol. 73.
We will conclude this Hawking note with the following excerpt from one of the earliest editions of the abridgment of our statutes:—'nul home pringe les oves dascu[n] faucon, goshawke, lan, ou swan hors de le nyst sur peyn de inprison p[our] vn an et vn iour et de faire fyn all volunte le roy et que nul home puis le fest de paque p[ro]chyn auenpart ascun hawke de le brode dengl' appell vne nyesse, goshawke, lan, ou laneret sur sa mayn, sur peyn de forfaiture son hawke, et que null enchasse ascun hawke hors de c[ou]uerte sur peyne de forfaiture x li. lun moyte al roy et lauter a celuy que voet sur.' Anno xi. H. vij. ca. xvij. Abbreviamentum Statutorum; printed by Pynson, 1499, 8vo., fol. lxxvij.
There are other tastes of an equally strange, but more sombre, character. Dion will possess every work which has any connexion, intimate or remote, with Latimer and Swedenborg;461 while Antigonus is resolved upon securing every lucubration of Withers or Warburton; whether grave or gay, lively or severe.
461 As I could not consistently give Emanuel Swedenborg a niche among the bibliomaniacal heroes noticed towards the conclusion of Part V. of this work, I have reserved, for the present place, a few extracts of the titles of his works, from a catalogue of the same, published in 1785; which I strenuously advise the curious to get possession of — and for two reasons: first, if he be a Swedenborgian, his happiness will be nearly complete, and he will thank me for having pointed out such a source of comfort to him: secondly, if he be not a disciple of the same master, he may be amused by meditating upon the strange whims and fancies which possess certain individuals, and which have sufficient attractions yet to make proselytes and converts!! Written March 10, A.D. 1811. Now for the extracts. 'A Catalogue of the printed and unprinted Works of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, in chronological order. To which are added some observations, recommending the perusal of his Theological Writings. Together with a compendious view of the Faith of a new Heaven and a new Church, in its Universal and Particular Forms. London, printed by Robert Hindmarsh, No. 32, Clerkenwell Close, mdcclxxxv. Those marked thus (*) are translated into English.'
|18.||Regnum Animale, or the Animal Kingdom in three parts. The first treats of the Viscera of the Abdomen, or the lower Region. The second, of the Viscera of the Breast, or of the Organs of the superior Region. The third, of the Skin, the Touch, and the Taste, and of organical forms in general. Part printed at the Hague, and part in London, 1744, 1745, in 4to.|
|19.||De Cultu et Amore Dei, or of the Worship and Love of God. The first part treats of the Origin of the Earth, of Paradise, of the Birth, Infancy, and Love of the first Man, or Adam. London, 1744, in 4to. The second part treats of the Marriage of the first man, of the Soul, of the intellectual Spirit, of the State of Integrity, and of the Image of God. London, 1745, 4to.|
|20.||Arcana Cœlestia, or Heavenly Mysteries contained in the Sacred Scriptures or Word of the Lord, manifested and laid open, in an Explanation of the Books of Genesis and Exodus, interspersed with relations of wonderful things seen in the World of Spirits, and the Heaven of Angels. London, from 1747 to 1758, in eight volumes, 4to. "In this work the reader is taught to regard the letter of the Scriptures as the Repository of Holy and Divine Things within; as a Cabinet containing the infinite Treasures and bright Gems of spiritual and celestial Wisdom; &c."(*). . . .|
|21.||De Cœlo et Inferno; or A Treatise concerning Heaven and Hell, and of the wonderful Things therein heard and seen. London, 1758, 4to. "By this work the reader may attain to some conception of the heavenly kingdom, and may learn therein that all social virtues, and all the tender affections that give consistence and harmony to society, and do honour to humanity, find place and exercise in the utmost purity in those delectable abodes; where every thing that can delight the eye, or rejoice the heart, entertain the imagination, or exalt the understanding, conspire with Innocence, Love, Joy, and Peace, to bless the spirits of just men made perfect, and to make glad the city of our God," &c.(*)|
Loren. I suspect that, like many dashing artists, you are painting for effect?
Phil. On the part of Lysander, I may safely affirm that the preceding has been no caricatured description. I know more than one Baptista, and Florizel, and Dion, and Antigonus.
Lis. I hope I shall shortly add to the number of such an enthusiastic class of book-collectors — I'm for Natural History; and, in this department, for birds and beasts —Gesner and Bewick!462
462 The works upon Natural History by Gesner, and especially the large tomes published about the middle of the sixteenth century, are, some of them, well worth procuring; on account of the fidelity and execution of the wood-cuts of birds and animals. Bewick's earliest editions of Birds and Beasts should be in the cabinet of every choice collector.
Phil. Restrain your wild feelings — listen to the sober satire of Lysander. Have you nothing else, in closing this symptomatic subject, to discourse upon?
Lysand. There is certainly another point not very remotely connected with the two preceding; and it is this: a passion to possess large and voluminous works, and to estimate the treasures of our libraries rather by their extent and splendour than by their intrinsic worth: forgetting how prettily Ronsard463 has illustrated this subject by the utility and beauty of small rivers in comparison with those which overflow their banks and spread destruction around. "Oh combien (says Cailleau, in his Roman Bibliographique) un petit livre bien pensé, bien plein, et bien écrit, est plus agréable, plus utile à lire, que ces vastes compilations à la formation desquelles l'intérêt a présidé plus souvent que le bon-goût!"
Ie te confesse bien que le fleuve de Seine
A le cours grand et long, mais tousiours il attraine
Avec soy de la fange, et ses plis recourbrez,
Sans estre iamais nets, sont tousiours embourbez:
Vn petit ruisselet a tousiours l'onde nette,
Aussi le papillon et la gentille auette
Y vont puiser de l'eau, et non en ces torrens
Qui tonnent d'vn grand bruit pas les roches courant:
Petit Sonnets bien faits, belles chansons petites,
Petits discourds gentils, sont les fleurs des Charites,
Des Sœurs et d'Apollon, qui ne daignent aymer
Ceux qui chantent une œuvre aussi grand que la mer,
Sans riue ny sans fond, de tempestes armée
Et qui iamais ne dort tranquille ny calmée.
Poems de Ronsard; fol. 171. Paris 1660. 12mo.
These are pretty lines, and have a melodious flow; but Ronsard, in his 8 and 9 feet metres, is one of the most fascinating of the old French poets. The subject, above alluded to by Lysander, may be yet more strongly illustrated: for thus speaks Spizelius upon it. 'Solent viri multijugæ lectionis, qui avidè, quos possunt versant libros, ut in mentis ventrem trajicere eos velle, totosque devorare videantur, elegantis proverbii salivâ Librorum Helluones nuncupari; ipso quidem Tullio prælucente, qui avidos lectores librorum, ac propemodum insiatiables Helluones dixit, siquidem vastissima volumina percurrant, et quicquid boni succi exprimere possunt, propriis et alienis impendant emolumentis." Again: "Maxima cum sit eorum Literarum stoliditas, qui, quod nocte somniarunt, continuo edunt in lucem, neque ipsa virium imbecillitate suarum, ab arduo scribendi munere et onere, sese revocari patiuntur," &c. Infelix Literatus; pp. 295, 447. Morof is worth our notice upon this subject: "Veniamus ad Bibliothecas ipsas, quales vel privatæ sunt, vel publicæ. Illæ, quanquam in molem tantam non excrescant ut publicæ; sunt tamen etiam inter privatos viri illustres et opulenti qui in libris omnis generis coemendis nullis parcunt sumptibus. Quorum βιβλιομανίαν reprehendit Seneca Ep. 2. 45, et de Tranquil. animi c. 9, ridet Lucianus in libello πρὸς ἀπαίδευτον και πὁλλὰ βιβλἰα ᾽ωνουμενον; et Auson. epigr. 43. Sunt ita animati nonnulli, ut
magno de flumine malint
Quam de fonticulo tantundem sumere;
cum vastioris Bibliothecæ minor interdum usus sit, quam ejus quæ selectis paucioribus libris constat." Polyhist. Literar. vol. i., p. 21. He goes on in a very amusing manner; but this note may be thought already too long.
Belin. Well; we live in a marvellous book-collecting and book-reading age — yet a word more:
Alman. I crave your pardon, Belinda; but I have a thought which must be now imparted, or the consequence may be serious.
Lysand. I wait both your commands.
Alman. My thought — or rather the subject which now occupies my mind — is this: You have told us of the symptoms of the Disease of Book-Madness, now pray inform us, as a tender-hearted physician, what are the means of its cure?
Belin. The very question I was about to put to our bibliomaniacal physician. Pray inform us what are the means of cure in this disorder?
Lysand. You should say Probable Means of Cure, as I verily believe there are no certain and correct remedies.
Belin. Well, Sir, probable means — if it must be so. Discourse largely and distinctly upon these.
Lysand. Briefly and perspicuously, if you please: and thus we begin.
In the first place, the disease of the Bibliomania is materially softened, or rendered mild, by directing our studies to useful and profitable works; whether these be printed upon small or large paper, in the gothic, roman, or italic type. To consider merely the intrinsic excellence, and not the exterior splendour, or adventitious value, of any production will keep us perhaps wholly free from this disease. Let the midnight lamp be burnt to illuminate the stores of antiquity — whether they be romances, or chronicles, or legends, and whether they be printed by Aldus or Caxton— if a brighter lustre can thence be thrown upon the pages of modern learning! To trace genius to its source, or to see how she has been influenced or modified by the lore of past times, is both a pleasing and profitable pursuit. To see how Shakspeare, here and there, has plucked a flower from some old ballad or popular tale, to enrich his own unperishable garland — to follow Spenser and Milton in their delightful labyrinths 'midst the splendour of Italian literature; are studies which stamp a dignity upon our intellectual characters! But, in such a pursuit, let us not overlook the wisdom of modern times, nor fancy that what is only ancient can be excellent. We must remember that Bacon, Boyle, Locke, Taylor, Chillingworth, Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, and Paley, are names which always command attention from the wise, and remind us of the improved state of reason and acquired knowledge during the two last centuries.
Alman. There seems at least sound sense, with the prospect of much future good, in this first recipe. What is your second.
Lysand. In the second place, the reprinting of scarce and intrinsically valuable works is another means of preventing the propagation of this disorder. Amidst all our present sufferings under the Bibliomania, it is some consolation to find discerning and spirited booksellers republishing the ancient Chroniclers; and the collections known by the names of "The Harleian Miscellany" and "Lord Somers' Tracts," and "The Voyages of Hakluyt."464 These are noble efforts, and richly deserve the public patronage.
464 In the Quarterly Review for August, 1810, this my second remedy for curing the disease of the Bibliomania is considered as inefficient. I have a great respect for this Review, but I understand neither the premises nor conclusions therein laid down concerning the subject in discussion. If "those who cannot afford to purchase original publications must be content with entire reprints of them" (I give the very words, though not the entire sentence), it surely tends to lessen the degree of competition for "the original publication." A sober reader, or an economical book-buyer, wants a certain tract on the ground of its utility:— but take my own case — who have very few hundreds per annum to procure food for the body as well as the mind. I wish to consult Roy's tract of "Rede me and be not wroth," (vide p. 226, ante)— or the "Expedition into Scotland" of 1544 (see Mr. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books, vol. ii., p. 345), because these are really interesting, as well as rare, volumes. There is at present no reprint of either; and can I afford to bid ten or twelve guineas for each of them at a public book-sale? But — let them be faithfully reprinted, and even a golden guinea (if such a coin be now in the pocket of a poor bibliomaniac like myself) would be considered by me as dear terms upon which to purchase the original edition! The reviewer has illustrated his position by a model of the Pigot diamond; and intimates that this model does not "lessen the public desire to possess the original." Lord Mansfield once observed that nothing more frequently tended to perplex an argument than a simile —(the remark is somewhere in Burrows's Reports); and the judge's dictum seems here a little verified. If the glass or crystal model could reflect all the lustre of the original, it would be of equal utility; but it cannot. Now the reprint does impart all the intelligence and intrinsic worth of the original (for "the ugliness of the types" cannot be thought worthy of aiding the argument one way or another) therefore the reprint of Roy's poetical tract is not illustrated by the model of the Pigot diamond: which latter cannot impart the intrinsic value of the original. Let us now say a word about the Reprints above commended by Lysander. When Mr. Harding went to press with the first volume of the Harleian Miscellany, his zeal struggled with his prudence about the number of copies to be printed of so voluminous a work. Accordingly, he ventured upon only 250 copies. As the work advanced, (and, I would hope, as the recommendation of it, in the last edition of the Bibliomania, promoted its sale) he took courage, and struck off another 250 copies of the earlier volumes: and thus this magnificent reprint (which will be followed up by two volumes of additional matter collected by Mr. Park, its editor) may be pronounced a profitable, as well as generally serviceable, publication to the cause of Literature. The original edition of Lord Somers' Tracts having become exceedingly scarce, and the arrangement of them being equally confused, three spirited booksellers, under the editorial inspection of Mr. Walter Scott, are putting forth a correct, well arranged, and beautiful reprint of the same invaluable work. Five volumes are already published. The Voyages of Hakluyt are republishing by Mr. Evans, of Pall Mall. Four volumes are already before the public; of which only 250 copies of the small, and 75 of the large, are printed. The reprint will contain the whole of Hakluyt, with the addition of several scarce voyages and travels.
Loren. I fully coincide with these sentiments; and, as a proof of it, regularly order my London bookseller to transmit to me every volume of the reprint of these excellent works as it is published.
Belin. Can you find it in your heart, dear brother, to part with your black-letter Chronicles, and Hakluyt's Voyages, for these new publications?
Loren. I keep the best editions of the ancient Chronicles; but the new Fabian, the Harleian Miscellany, Lord Somers' Tracts, and the Voyages, are unquestionably to be preferred; since they are more full and complete. But proceed with your other probable means of cure.
Lysand. In the third place, the editing of our best ancient authors, whether in prose or poetry,465 is another means of effectually counteracting the mischievous effects arising from the bibliomaniacal disease; and, on this score, I do think this country stands pre-eminently conspicuous; for we are indefatigable in our attentions towards restoring the corrupted texts of our poets.
465 The last new editions of our standard belles-lettres writers are the following: which should be found in every gentleman's library. Shakspeare, 1793, 15 vols., or 1803, 21 vols. (vide p. 427, ante); Pope, by Jos. Warton; 1795, 8 vols. 8vo.; or by Lisle Bowles, 1806, 9 vols. 8vo.; Spenser, by H.J. Todd, 1805, 8 vols. 8vo.; Milton, by the Same, 7 vols., 8vo.; Massinger, by W. Gifford, 1806, 4 vols. 8vo.; Sir David Lyndsay, by George Chalmers, 1806, 3 vols. 8vo.; Dryden, by Walter Scott, 1808, 18 vols. 8vo.; Churchill, by —— 1805, 2 vols. 8vo.; Hudibras, by Dr. Grey, 1744, or 1809, 2 vols. 8vo.; Ben. Jonson, by W. Gifford (sub prelo); and Bishop Corbett's Poems, by Octavius Gilchrist, 1807, 8vo.
Phil. Yet forgive me if I avow that this same country, whose editorial labours you are thus commending, is shamefully deficient in the cultivation of Ancient English History! I speak my sentiments roundly upon this subject: because you know, Lysander, how vigilantly I have cultivated it, and how long and keenly I have expressed my regret at the almost total apathy which prevails respecting it. There is no country upon earth which has a more plentiful or faithful stock of historians than our own; and if it were only to discover how superficially some of our recent and popular historians have written upon it, it were surely worth the labour of investigation to examine the yet existing records of past ages.
Loren. To effect this completely, you should have a National Press.
Lis. And why not? Have we here no patriotic spirit similar to that which influenced the Francises, Richlieus, Colberts, and Louises of France?
Alman. You are getting into bibliographical politics! Proceed, good Lysander, with your other probable means of cure.
Lysand. In the fourth place, the erection of Public Institutions466 is of great service in diffusing a love of books for their intrinsic utility, and is of very general advantage to scholars and authors who cannot purchase every book which they find it necessary to consult.
466 The Royal, London, Surrey, and Russel Institutions, have been the means of concentrating, in divers parts of the metropolis, large libraries of useful books; which, it is to be hoped, will eventually bring into disgrace and contempt what are called Circulating Libraries— vehicles, too often, of insufferable nonsense, and irremediable mischief!
Phil. You are right. These Institutions are of recent growth, but of general utility. They are a sort of intellectual Hospitals— according to your mode of treating the Bibliomania. Yet I dare venture to affirm that the News-Paper Room is always better attended than the Library!
Lysand. Let us have no sarcasms. I will now give you the fifth and last probable means of cure of the Bibliomania; and that is the Study of Bibliography.467
467 "Unne bonne Bibliographie," says Marchand, "soit générale soit particuliére, soit profane soit écclésiastique, soit nationale, provinciale, ou locale, soit simplement personelle, en un mot de quelque autre genre que ce puisse être, n'est pas un ouvrage aussi facile que beaucoup de gens se le pourroient imaginer; mais, elles ne doivent néanmoins nullement prévenir contre celle-ci. Telle qu'elle est, elle ne laisse pas d'être bonne, utile, et digne d'être recherchée par les amateurs de l'Histoire Litteraire." Diction. Historique, vol. i. p. 109.
Peignot, in his Dictionnaire de Bibliologie, vol. i. 50, has given a very pompous account of what ought to be the talents and duties of a bibliographer. It would be difficult indeed to find such qualifications, as he describes, united in one person! De Bure, in the eighth volume of his Bibliographie Instructive, has prefixed a "Discourse upon the Science of Bibliography, and the Duties of a Bibliographer," which is worth consulting: but I know of nothing which better describes, in few words, such a character, than the following: "In eo sit multijuga materiarum librorumque notitia, ut saltem potiores eligat et inquirat: fida et sedula apud exteras gentes procuratio, ut eos arcessat; summa patientia ut rarè venalis expectet; peculium semper præsens et paratum, ne, si quando occurrunt, emendi, occasio intercidat: prudens denique auri argentique contemptus, ut pecuniis sponte careat quæ in bibliothecam formandam et nutriendam sunt insumendæ. Si forte vir literatus eo felicitatis pervenit ut talem thesaurum coacervaverit, nec solus illo invidiose fruatur, sed usam cum eruditis qui virgilias suas utilitati publicæ devoverunt, liberaliter communicet;" &c. —Bibliotheca Hulsiana, vol. i. Præfat. p. 3, 4. Morhof abounds with sagacious reflections upon this important subject: but are there fifty men in Great Britain who love to read the Polyhistor Literarius? The observations of Ameilhon and Camus, in the Memoires de l'Institut, are also well worth consultation; as are those of Le Long, and his editor, prefixed to the last edition of the Bibliotheca Sacra.
Lis. Excellent! — Treat copiously upon this my darling subject.
Belin. You speak with the enthusiasm of a young convert; but I should think the study of Bibliography a sure means of increasing the violence of the book-disease.
Lysand. The encouragement of the Study of Bibliography, in its legitimate sense, and towards its true object, may be numbered among the most efficacious cures for this destructive malady. To place competent Librarians over the several departments of a large public Library; or to submit a library, on a more confined scale, to one diligent, enthusiastic, well-informed, and well-bred Bibliographer or Librarian (of which in this metropolis we have so many examples), is doing a vast deal towards directing the channels of literature to flow in their proper courses. And thus I close the account of my recipes for the cure of the Bibliomania. A few words more and I have done.
It is, my friends, in the erection of Libraries as in literary compositions, the task is difficult, and will generally meet with opposition from some fastidious quarter,468 which is always betraying a fretful anxiety to bring every thing to its own ideal standard of perfection. To counteract the unpleasant effect which such an impression must necessarily produce, be diligent and faithful, to your utmost ability, in whatsoever you undertake. You need not evince the fecundity of a German469 author; but only exert your best endeavours, and leave the issue to a future generation. Posterity will weigh, in even scales, your merits and demerits, when all present animosities and personal prejudices shall have subsided; and when the utility of our labours, whether in promoting wisdom or virtue, shall be unreservedly acknowledged. You may sleep in peace before this decision take place; but your children may live to witness it; and your name, in consequence, become a passport for them into circles of learning and worth. Let us now retreat; or, rather, walk round Lorenzo's grounds. We have had Book-Discussion enough to last us to the end of the year.470 I begin to be wearied of conversing.
468 My favourite author, Morhof, has spoken 'comme un brave homme' upon the difficulty of literary enterprizes, and the facility and venom of detraction: I support his assertion 'totis viribus'; and to beg to speak in the same person with himself. 'Non ignotum mihi est, quantæ molis opus humeris meis incumbat. Oceanum enim ingressus sum, in quo portum invenire difficile est, naufragii periculum à syrtibus et scopulis imminet. Quis enim in tanta multitudine rerum et librorum omnia exhauriret? Quis non alicubi impingeret? Quis salvum ab invidia caput retraheret, ac malignitatis dentes in liberiore censura evitaret? Præterea ut palato et gustu differunt convivæ, ita judiciis dissident lectores, neque omnium idem de rebus sensus est, hoc præsertim tempore, quo plures sunt librorum judices, quam lectores, et è lectoribus in lictores, ubique virgas et secures expedituros, multi degenerant.' Præf. Morhof.— Even the great Lambecius (of whom see p. 41, ante) was compelled to deliver his sentiments thus:—'laborem hunc meum non periculosum minus et maglignis liventium Zoilorum dentibus obnoxium, quam prolixum foro et difficilem.' Prod. Hist. Lit. Proleg. One of the Roman philosophers (I think it was Seneca) said, in his last moments, 'Whether or not the Gods will be pleased with what I have done, I cannot take upon me to pronounce: but, this I know — it has been my invariable object to please them.' For 'the Gods' read 'the Public'— and then I beg leave, in a literary point of view, to repeat the words of Seneca.
469 'From the last catalogue of the fair of Lepisic, it would appear that there are now in Germany ten thousand two hundred and forty three authors, full of health and spirit, and each of whom publishes at least once a year!' American Review, Jan. 1811, p. 172.
470 Through the favour of Dr. Drury, the Editor is enabled to present the reader with an original letter, enclosing a list of books directed to be purchased by Benjamin Heath, Esq.; also his portrait. This document would have been better inserted, in point of chronological order, in part V., but, as the Editor did not receive it till long after that part was printed, he trusts it will be thought better late than never.
Mr John Mann
at the Hand in Hand
Fire Office in Angel Court
on Snow Hill
Exeter, 21st March, 1738.
I take the liberty presuming upon the Intimacy of our Acquaintance to employ you in a pretty troublesome Affair. Fletcher Gyles, Bookseller in Holbourn, with whom I had some Dealings about two years ago, has lately sent me Down a Catalogue of a Library which will begin to be sold by Auction at his house next Monday Evening. As I have scarce laid out any Money in Books for these two years past, the great number of Valuable Books contained in this Collection, together with the tempting prospect of getting them cheaper in an Auction than they are to be had in a Sale, or in any other way whatsoever, has induced me to lay out a Sum of mony this way, at present, which will probably content my Curiosity in this kind, for several years to come. Mr. Gyles has offered himself to act for me, but as I think 'tis too great a Trial of his Honesty to make him at the same time both Buyer & Seller, & as Books are quite out of my Brother's Way, I have been able to think of no Friend I could throw this trouble upon but you. I propose to lay out about £60 or £70, and have drawn up a List of the Books I am inclined to, which you have in the First Leaf, with the Price to each Book, which I would by no means exceed, but as far as which, with respect to each single Book, I would venture to go; though I am persuaded upon the whole they are vastly overvalued. For my Valuation is founded in proportion upon what I have been charged for Books of this kind, when I have sent for them on purpose from London, and I have had too many proofs that the Booksellers make it a Rule to charge near double for an uncommon Book, when sent for on purpose, of what they would take for it in their own Shops, or at a Sale. So that, though the Amount of the Inclosed List is above £120, yet, when Deductions are made for the Savings by the Chance of the Auction, & for the full rate of such Books as I may be over bid in, I am satisfied it will come within the sum I propose. Now, Sir, the Favour which I would beg of you is to get some Trusty Person (& if you should not be able readily to think of a proper Person yourself, Mr. Hinchcliffe or Mr. Peele may probably be able to recommend one) to attend this Auction, in my behalf, from the beginning to the end, & to bid for me agreeably to the inclosed List & (as the Additional Trouble of it over and above the Attendance would not be great) to mark in the Catalogue, which you may have of Mr. Gyles for a shilling, the price Every Book contained in the Catalogue is sold at, for my future Direction in these Matters. For this Service I would willingly allow 3 Guineas, which, the Auction continuing 24 Days, is 3 shillings over and above half a Crown a Day; or, if that is not sufficient, whatever more shall be thought necessary to get my Commission well Executed. It may be necessary to observe to you that the Auction requires the Attendance of the whole day, beginning at Eleven in the Morning, and ending at two and at five in the Afternoon, and Ending at Eight. It may also be proper to inform the Person you shall Employ that he is not to govern his first bidding by the valuation in my list for many of the Books will very probably be sold for less than half what I have marked them at; he is therefore, in every Instance, to bid Low at first, and afterwards to continue advancing just beyond the other Bidders, till he has either bought the Book, or the price I have fixed it at is exceeded. There are many Books in the List which have several numbers before them; the meaning of which is that the very same Book is in several places of the Catalogue; and in that Case, I would have the first of them bought, if it be in very good condition, otherwise let the person Employed wait till the other comes up. I would desire him also not to buy any book at all that is both Dirty & ragged; but, though the Binding should not be in very good Order, that would be no Objection with me, provided the Book was clean. I would also desire him not to bid for any Number in the Catalogue that is not expressly mentioned in my List, upon a supposition that it may be the same Book with some that are mentioned in it; nor to omitt any Book that is actually upon the List, upon an Imagination, from the Title, that it may be there more than once; for I have drawn it up upon an Exact consideration of the Editions of the Books, insomuch that there is no Book twice upon the List, but where there is a very great difference in the Editions; nor is any of the Books in my List oftener in the Catalogue than is expressly specified in it. By the Conditions of Sale, the Auction is constantly adjourned from Fryday night to Monday Morning, the Saturday being appointed for fetching away, at the Expence of the buyer, the Books bought the week before, & for payment of the Mony. This part of the trouble I must beg you to charge yourself with; &, in order to enable you, as to the payment, I shall send you up, either by the next Post, or, however, time enough for the Saturday following, Fifty Pounds. I would beg the Favour of you to let me hear from you, if possible, by the Return of the Post; & also to give me an Account by every Saturday night's post what Books are bought for me, and at what price. As to which you need only mention the Numbers without the Titles, since I have a Catalogue by me. When the Auction is Ended, I shall take the Liberty of giving you farther Directions about Packing up the Books, & the way I would have them sent down. When I drew up my List, I had not observed one of the Conditions of Sale, which imports that no Person is to advance less than a shilling after twenty shillings is bid for any book. Now you will find a pretty many Books which I have valued at more than twenty shillings marked at an Odd Sixpence; in all which Cases, I would have the Bidder add Sixpence more to the Price I have fixed, in order to make it Even Money, & conformable to the Conditions of the Auction. And now, Dear Sir, another Person would make a thousand Apologies for giving you all this trouble; all which superfluous tediousness I shall spare you, being persuaded I shall do you a great pleasure in giving you an Opportunity of being serviceable to me, as I am sure it would be a very sensible one to me, if I ever had it in my power to be of any use to you. Mine and my Wive's humble respects wait upon Mrs. Mann, and you will be so good to present my hearty services to all our Friends.
I am most sincerely, Dear Sir,
Your Faithful & Affectionate
|Octavo||5||Pet. Angeli Bargæi Poemata||0||5||6|
|40||Hieron. Fracastorij Poemata||0||7||6|
|47||or 455, or 1546, Joan. Leonis Africæ Desc.||0||3||6|
|68||Christ. Longolij Orationes et Epistolæ||0||6||6|
|78||Pierij Valeriani Hexametri||0||4||6|
|Octavo||164||or 624, Scaligerana||0||2||6|
|201||or 1280, Car. Ogerij Iter Danicum||0||3||0|
|Octavo||282||Hen. Lornenij Itinerarium||0||3||0|
|Quarto||132||Marcus Antonius de Dominis||0||2||6|
|143||Hen. Stephani Dialogus||0||4||6|
|178||Anacreon and Sappho||0||8||6|
|180||Excerpta ex Polybio||0||8||6|
|181||Sophocles and Eschylus||1||2||6|
|Octavo||405||or 2413, or 2953, Historia Gothorum||0||6||6|
|435||or 1488, or 1688, Lucretius Gifanij||0||5||6|
|436||Is Casaubon de Satyrica Poesi||0||3||6|
|Quarto||198||or 344, Iamblicus de Vita Pythag.||0||11||6|
|275||Aulus Gellius Gronovij||0||18||6|
|280||Statij quæ Extant Barthij||0||18||6|
|Octavo||700||or 1093, Martial Scriverij||0||6||6|
|Folio||170||Fam. Strada da Bello Belgico||1||13||6|
|752||Paulli Manutij Epistolæ||0||3||0|
|Folio||206||or 235, or 590, Io. Leunclavij Annales||1||2||6|
|Octavo||989||Senecæ Tragediæ Scriverij||0||4||6|
|Folio||264||Demosthenis et Æschinis Opera||2||17||6|
|Quarto||503||Pauli Collomesij Opera||0||9||0|
|543||566||Bern. Pensini Vita Baronij||0||3||0|
|Octavo||1239||or 2831, Poesis Philosophica||0||3||6|
|376||Historiæ Romanæ Scriptores||1||11||6|
|1608||or 2705, Virgilius Hiensij||0||3||6|
|Folio||426||Geo. Buchanani Opera||1||11||6|
|448||Horatius Turnebi et Lambini||0||18||6|
|Octavo||1650||Dom. Baudij Amores||0||3||0|
|Octavo||1814||Lud. Kusterus de vero Usu, &c.||0||3||6|
|Quarto||871||Gab. Faerni Fabulæ Centum||0||6||6|
|479||Dionis Cassij Historia||1||12||6|
|491||Palladius de Gentibus Indiæ||0||5||6|
|Quarto||908||Papin. Statij Opera||0||9||6|
|921||Claudian Cum Animad. Barthij||0||11||6|
|Folio||529||Maffæi Historia Indica||0||8||6|
|509||546||Saxonis Grammatici Historia||0||17||6|
|Quarto||1018||And. Nangerij Opera||0||9||6|
|1023||Tho. Hyde Historia Relig. Vett. Pers.||0||18||6|
|1047||Claud. Salmasij Epistolæ||0||3||6|
|1088||Theocriti Moschi Bionis||0||16||6|
|Folio||627||Rerum Moscoviticarum Coment.||0||11||6|
|638||Angeli Politiani Opera||0||18||6|
|Octavo||2481||Fabricij Bibliotheca Latina||0||11||6|
|2578||Is Casauboni Comment.||0||3||0|
|2597||Maximi Tyrij Dissertationes||0||4||0|
|Folio||698||Nic. Antonij Bibliotheca Hispan.||2||4||6|
|Folio||765||Nic. Antonij Bibliotheca Hisp. Vetus||1||7||6|
|Octavo||2891||Pet. Dan. Huetij Comentarius||0||2||6|
|3098||Sir John Suckling's Plays, &c.||0||3||6|
|3099||Dr. Downe's Poems||0||4||0|
|Quarto||1498||Lord's Discovery of the Banian Religion||0||5||6|
|Folio||857||or 896, Burnet's Theory of ye Earth||0||9||6|
|3374||King's British Merchant||0||12||6|
|3379||Milton's Paradise Regained||0||2||6|
|Folio||912||Wheeler's Journey into Greece||0||13||0|
|Octavo||3463||or 3473, Grevil's Life Of Sir P. Sidney||0||3||0|
|3466||Jobson Debes's Description of Feroe||0||2||0|
|3529||Terry's Voyage to the East Indies||0||3||6|
|Quarto||1672||Description de l'Egypte||0||13||6|
|1692||Apologie de M. Castar||0||4||0|
|1694||Replique de M. Girac||0||3||6|
|Octavo||3538||Geddes's History of the Church, &c.||0||3||0|
|3600||Songs by the Earl Of Surrey||0||3||6|
|3741||or 4112, Oeuvres de Sarasin||0||4||0|
|3854||or 3859, Scaligerana||0||2||6|
|Quarto||1873||Viaggi di Pietro della Valli||1||5||0|
|1875||Opera di Annibale Caro||0||8||0|
|1879||or 2070, Pastor Fido||0||12||6|
|1884||or 1977, Morgante Maggiore||0||9||0|
|1920||or 1965, La Gerusalemme Liberata||1||2||6|
|1957||Historia della Guerre Civili||0||17||6|
|1967||Scritti nella Causa Veniziana||0||4||6|
|1980||Historia della Sacra Inquisitione||0||5||6|
|1983||Examinatione sopra la Rhetorica||0||5||6|
|1990||or 2037, Istoria Diplomatica||0||11||6|
|1995||Fasti Consolari di Salvini||0||9||6|
|1998||Satire del Menzini||0||7||6|
|Folio||1109||Bibliotheca Napolitana di Toppi||1||1||6|
|Quarto||2005||or 2039, Dialoghi del Speroni||0||7||6|
|2015||Poetica di Aristotele Volgarizzata||0||6||6|
|2024||Poetica di Aristotele di Piccolomini||0||4||6|
|2031||Della Difesa della Comedia di Dante||0||13||0|
|2033||Squittinio della Liberta Veneta||0||5||6|
|2049||Il Goffredo col. Comento di Beni||0||9||6|
|2050||Dante di Daniello||0||9||6|
|Folio||1129||Historia del Regno di Napoli||0||14||6|
|1132||Historia del Consilio Tridentino||2||13||6|
|1137||Vocabularia della Crusca||8||4||6|
|Octavo||4268||Voyage de Bachanmont, &c.||0||2||6|
|4295||or 4330, or 4339, or 4511, Ragionamenti del Aretino||0||11||6|
|4321||Gravina della Ragione Poetica||0||5||6|
|4322||Battaglie di Mugio||0||3||6|
|4331||or 4527, La Comedia di Dante||0||11||6|
|Quarto||2053||Degli Raguagli di Parnaso||0||8||6|
|2067||Il Decameron di Boccaccio||2||5||6|
|2076||or 2168, Lezioni di Varchi||0||8||6|
|2098||L'Amadigi di Tasso||0||8||6|
|Folio||1154||L'Adone del Marino||0||11||6|
|1154||Il Libro del Cortegiano||0||13||6|
|1162||Istoria del Concilio di Trento||2||4||6|
|1164||La Historia di Italia di Guicciardini||0||17||6|
|Octavo||4354||Rime Diverse del Mutio||0||4||6|
|4371||Compendio del Historie di Nap.||0||5||6|
|4379||Opere di Guilio Cammillo||0||4||6|
|4384||L'Aminta di Tasso||0||6||6|
|4385||L'Opere Poetiche di Guarin||0||5||6|
|4387||Comedie di M. Agnolo Firenz.||0||5||6|
|4415||Notize de Libri Rari||0||4||6|
|4416||Satire e Rime di Aristo||0||5||6|
|4417||Delle Eloquenza Italiana||0||6||6|
|4438||Labarinto d'Amore di Boccac.||0||4||6|
|4443||Opere di Redi||1||1||0|
|Quarto||2100||Lettere di Vincenzio Martelli||0||8||6|
|2103||or 2154, Ameto di Boccaccio||0||4||6|
|2104||or 2161, Le Rime di Petrarca||0||8||6|
|2114||Ragionamento dell' Academico||0||8||6|
|2124||Poesie Liriche del Testi||0||8||6|
|4456||or 4550, Lettre di Paolo Sarpi||0||3||6|
|4460||Opere Burleschi di Berni||0||6||6|
|4464||or 4485, Prose di M. Agnolo Firenz.||0||3||6|
|4471||Commento di Ser Agresto||0||3||6|
|4475||L'Aminta di Tasso||0||6||6|
|4483||La Secchia Rapita||0||5||6|
|4486||or 4627, Comedie di Aretino||0||5||6|
|4496||Trattato delle Materie Benef.||0||4||6|
|4531||Il 2do Libro delle Opere Burlesch.||0||6||6|
|Quarto||2149||Annotationi e Discorsi||0||16||6|
|2159||Gyrone il Cortese||0||9||6|
|2164||Il Decamerone di Boccaccio||0||14||6|
|2169||Historia della Cose passate||0||5||6|
|2171||Apologia degli Academia||0||9||6|
|2176||Della Guerra di Fiandra||2||2||6|
|2178||Rime e Prose di Maffei||0||13||6|
|Octavo||4561||La Libreria del Doni||0||4||6|
|4614||La Divina Comedia di Dante||1||1||6|
|4615||La Rime di Angelo di Cestanzo||0||7||6|
|4625||Tutte le Opere di Bernia||0||6||6|
Lysander concluded; when Lorenzo rose from his seat, and begged of us to walk round his grounds. It was now high noon; and, after a pleasant stroll, we retreated again to the alcove, where we found a cold collation prepared for our reception. The same day we all dined at Lisardo's; and a discussion upon the pleasures and comparative excellences of Music and Painting succeeded to the conversation which the foregoing pages have detailed. A small concert in the evening recreated the exhausted state of Lysander's mimd.
The next day, my friends left me for their respective places of destination. Lorenzo and his sisters were gathered round my outer gate; and Lisardo leapt into the chaise with Lysander and Philemon; resolved to equal, if not eclipse, his bibliographical tutor in the ardour of book researches. "Adieu," said Lysander, putting his hand out of the chaise —"remember, in defence of my bibliomaniacal gossipping, that Similis never knew happiness till he became acquainted with books."471 The postillion smacked his whip; and the chaise, following the direction of the road to the left, quickly disappeared. The servant of Lysander followed gently after, with his Master's and Philemon's horses: taking a near direction towards Lysander's home.
471 'It is reported that a certain man, of the name of Similis, who fought under the Emperor Hadrian, became so wearied and disgusted with the number of troublesome events which he met with in that mode of life, that he retired and devoted himself wholly to leisure and reading, and to meditations upon divine and human affairs, after the manner of Pythagoras. In this retirement, Similis was wont frequently to exclaim that 'now he began to live:' at his death, he desired the following inscription to be placed upon his tomb.
ΕΝ ΤΑΥΘΑ ΚΕΙΤΑΙ
ΒΙΟΥΕ ΜΕΝ ΕΤΗ ΕΒΔΟΜΗΚΟΝΤΑ
ΖΗΣΑΣ ΔΕ ΕΤΗ ΕΠΤΑ
Here lies Similis;
In the seventieth year of his age
But only the seventh of his Life.
This story is related by Dion Cassius; and from him told by Spizelius in his Infelix Literarius; p. 167.
Lorenzo and his sisters returned with me to the Cabinet. A gloom was visible upon all our countenances; and the Ladies confessed that the company and conversation of my departed guests, especially of Lysander, were such as to leave a void which could not easily be supplied. For my part, from some little warmth each sister betrayed in balancing the solid instruction of Lysander and the humorous vivacity of Lisardo, against each other, I thought the former had made a powerful impression upon the mind of Belinda, and the latter upon that of Almansa: for when the probability of a speedy revisit from both of them was mentioned the sisters betrayed unusual marks of sensibility; and upon Lorenzo's frankly confessing, though in a playful mood, that such brothers-in-law would make him "as happy as the day was long"— they both turned their faces towards the garden, and appeared as awkward as it was possible for well-bred ladies to appear.
It was in vain that I turned to my library and opened a large paper, illustrated, copy of Daulby's Catalogue of Rembrandt's Prints, or Mr. Miller's new edition of the Memoirs of Count Grammont, or even the Roman de la Rose, printed by Galliot du Pré, upon vellum. . . . Nothing produced a kind look or a gracious word from them. Silence, sorrow, and indifference, succeeded to loquacity, joy, and enthusiasm. I clearly perceived that some other symptom, wholly different from any thing connected with the Bibliomania, had taken possession of their gentle minds.
But what has a Bibliographical Romance to do with Love
and Marriage? Reader Adieu! — When thou hast nothing
better deserving of perusal before thee, take up these
pages; and class the author of them, if thou wilt,
with the Bostons, or Smiths, or Norths, of
"other times;" with those who have never
wished to disturb the peaceful haunts
of intellectual retirement; and whose
estate, moreover, like Joseph
Scaliger's, lies chiefly
p. 57. To the list of useful bibliographical works, published about the period here designated, I might have added the Lexicon Literarium of Theophilus Georgius; cum Suppl. ad an. 1750. Leips. 1742-50, folio; two thick and closely printed volumes, with an excellent chronological arrangement. It is not common in this country.
p. 69. The Abbé Rive was also the author of — 1. Notice d'un Roman d'Artus Comte de Bretagne: Paris, 1779, 4to. pp. 20. 2. Etrennes aux Joueurs de cartes, ou Eclaircissemens historiques et critiques sur l'invention des cartes à jouer; Paris, 1780, 12mo. pp. 43. These works are slightly commended in the "Advertissement" to the Vallière Catalogue, 1783, pp. xxv-vj. They are reviewed by a rival author.
p. 216. Since writing the first note, concerning the "Assertio Septem Sacramentorum," &c., I have seen a magnificent copy of the same, printed upon vellum, in the library of Earl Spencer; which redeems the coldness of my opinion in regard to books printed by Pynson upon vellum. The painted ornaments, in Lord Spencer's copy, were, in all probability, executed abroad. The art, in our own country, was then too rude for such elegance of decoration.
p. 404. I was right in my prediction about these Garlands being swallowed up by some "hungry book-fish!" I saw them, a few days after, in the well-furnished library of Atticus: who exhibited them to me in triumph — grasping the whole of them between his finger and thumb! They are marvellous well-looking little volumes — clean, bright, and "rejoicing to the eye!"— many of them, moreover, are first editions! The severest winter cannot tarnish the foliage of such "Garlands!"
p. 328. Among the Illustrated Grangers I forgot to notice the ample and magnificent copies belonging to the Marquis of Bute and Mr. John Towneley.
Dr. Benjamin Heath.
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