(Note: This is taken from W. Roberts' The Book-Hunter in London.)
In few phases of human action are the foibles and preferences of individuals more completely imbricated than in that of book-collecting. Widely different as were the book-hunters' fancies at the beginning and at the end of the eighteenth century, yet it would not be possible to draw a hard and fast line. For the greater part of that time the classics of every description and of every degree of unimportance held their own. Reluctant, therefore, to abandon the chief stimulant of their earlier book-hunting careers, many collectors still took a keen interest in their primi pensieri. But their real passion found a vent in other and less beaten directions. In addition to this, during the eighteenth century a large number of small working libraries were formed by men who used books. Henry Fielding, Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson, David Hume, Smollett, Gibbon, Pope, and many others, are essentially figures in the history of book-hunting in London, but they had neither the means nor, so far as we are aware, the inclination to indulge in book-collecting as a mere fashionable hobby. Mr. Austin Dobson has lately published an interesting account of Fielding's library, in which he proves not only that Fielding had been a fervent student of the classics in his youth and that he remained a voracious reader through life, but that he made good use of a large collection of Greek and Latin authors, which was sold at his death.
The eighteenth century may be regarded as the Augustan age so far as book-hunting in London is concerned. A large percentage of the most famous collections were either formed, or the collectors themselves were either born or died, in that period. The Beckford and Hamilton, the Heber, the Sunderland, the Althorp, and the King's Library, all had their origins prior to 1800.
Richard Heber (1773-1833), with all his vast knowledge, learning, and accomplishments, was a bibliomaniac in the more unpleasant sense of the word. No confirmed drunkard, no incurable opium-eater, ever had less self-control than Heber had. To him, to see a book was to possess it. Cicero has said that the heart into which the love of gold has entered is shut to every other feeling. Heber was very wealthy, so that with him the love of books blinded him to almost everything else. He began to collect when at Oxford, chiefly classics for the purpose of study. He is said to have caught the disease from Bindley, the veteran collector, who began book-hunting early in the last century. Having one day accidentally met with a copy of Henry Peacham's 'Valley of Varietie,' 1638, which professed to give 'rare passages out of antiquity,' etc., he showed it to Bindley, who described it as 'rather a curious book.' Why such an incident should have set Heber on his terrible career history telleth not. Under the name of 'Atticus,' Dibdin, who knew Heber well, has described him in this fashion: 'Atticus unites all the activity of De Witt and Lomenie, with the retentiveness of Magliabechi, and the learning of Le Long. . . . Yet Atticus doth sometimes sadly err. He has now and then an ungovernable passion to possess more copies of a book than there were ever parties to a deed or stamina to a plant; and therefore, I cannot call him a "duplicate" or a triplicate collector. . . . But he atones for this by being liberal in the loan of his volumes. The learned and curious, whether rich or poor, have always free access to his library.' Heber's own explanation of this plurality of purchase was cast somewhat in this fashion: 'Why, you see, sir, no man can comfortably do without three copies of a book. One he must have for his show copy, and he will probably keep it at his country house. Another he will require for his own use and reference; and unless he is inclined to part with this, which is very inconvenient, or risk the injury of his best copy, he must needs have a third at the service of his friends.' The late Mr. Edward Solly was also a pluralist in the matter of books, and had even six or seven copies of a large number of works. He justified himself on the plea that he liked to have one to read, one to make notes in, another with notes by a previous owner, one in a choice binding, a 'tall' copy, a short ditto, and so forth. So far, however, as Heber is concerned, no one could be more generous than he in lending books. This might be proved from a dozen different sources, including the lengthy introduction 'To Richard Heber, Esq.,' to the sixth canto of Scott's 'Marmion':
Hoards, not like theirs whose volumes rest
Like treasures in the Franch'mont chest,
While gripple owners still refuse
To others what they cannot use:
Give them the priest's whole century,
They shall not spell you letters three;
Their pleasure in the books the same
The magpie takes in pilfer'd gem.
Thy volumes, open as thy heart,
Delight, amusement, science, art,
To every ear and eye impart;
Yet who of all who thus employ them,
Can, like their owner's self, enjoy them?'
In addition to this reference, Scott, in one of his letters, speaks of 'Heber the magnificent, whose library and cellar are so superior to all others in the world.' Frequent mention is made of Heber in the notes to the Waverley novels. At one period of his life Heber was a Member of Parliament, and throughout his career it seems that he found recreation from the sport of collecting in the sport of the fields. He has been known to take a journey of four or five hundred miles to obtain a rare volume, 'fearful to trust to a mere commission.' He bought by all methods, in all places, and at all times, a single purchase on one occasion being an entire library of 30,000 volumes. Curiously enough, he disliked large-paper copies, on account of the space they filled. When he died, he had eight houses full of books—two in London, one in Oxford, and others at Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent, besides smaller collections in Germany. When sold, the number of lots was 52,000, and of volumes about 147,000, and the total amount realized £57,000, or about two-thirds of the original expenditure. The sale, which commenced in 1834, lasted over several years, and the catalogue alone comprises six thick octavo volumes. He is described as a tall, strong, well-made man.
Writing to Sir Egerton Brydges, the Rev. A. Dyce observes concerning Heber's death: 'Poor man! He expired at Pimlico, in the midst of his rare property, without a friend to close his eyes, and from all I have heard I am led to believe that he died broken-hearted. He had been ailing some time, but took no care of himself, and seemed, indeed, to court death. Yet his ruling passion was strong to the last. The morning he died he wrote out some memoranda for Thorpe about books which he wished to be purchased for him'.
In noticing Scott's edition of Dryden, and in alluding to the help which Scott obtained from Heber and Bindley, the Edinburgh Review speaks of the two as 'gentlemen in whom the love of collecting, which is an amusement to others, assumes the dignity of a virtue, because it gives ampler scope to the exercise of friendship, and of a generous sympathy with the common cause of literature.'
William Beckford (1761-1844) and the tenth Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852), for several reasons, may be bracketed together as book-collectors. Each was a remarkable man in several respects. William Beckford, the author of 'Vathek' and the owner of Fonthill, was a universal collector. No less enthusiastic in amassing pictures and objects of art than books, he never scrupled to sell anything and everything except his books, which he dearly loved. A man who could draw eulogy from Byron could not have been an ordinary person. Fonthill and its treasures were announced for sale in September, 1822, the auctioneer being James Christie, the catalogue being in quarto size, and comprising ninety-five pages. The auction, however, did not take place, but the collection was sold en masse to a Mr. John Farquhar for £330,000, Beckford reserving, however, some of his choicest books, pictures, and curiosities. In the following year the whole collection was dispersed by Phillips, the auctioneer, the sale occupying thirty-seven days. With the money he received from Farquhar, Beckford purchased annuities and land near Bath. He united two houses in the Royal Crescent by a flying gallery extending over the road, and his dwelling became one vast library. He added to his collection up to his last days, and obtained many books at Charles Nodier's sale. Beckford was one of the greatest book-enthusiasts that ever lived. His passion was more particularly for Aldines, and other early books bearing the insignia of celebrities, such as Frances I., Henri et Diane, and De Thou, and especially of choice old morocco bindings by Desseuil, Padeloup, and Derome. He was especially strong in old French and Italian books, generically classified as facetiæ. Beckford would read for days and weeks at a stretch, with no more recreation than an occasional ride. That he read his books there is ample testimony, for at his sale one lot comprised seven folio volumes of transcripts from the autograph notes written by him on the fly-leaves of the various works in his library. For example, to the copy of Peter Beckford's 'Familiar Letters from Italy,' 1805, he concludes five pages of notes with, 'This book has at least some merit. The language is simple; an ill-natured person might add, and the thoughts not less so.' In Brasbridge's 'Fruits of Experience,' 1824, he writes: 'They who like hog-wash—and there are amateurs for anything—will not turn away disappointed or disgusted with this book, but relish the stale, trashy anecdotes it contains, and gobble them up with avidity.' After Beckford's death, Henry G. Bohn offered £30,000 for the whole library; but Beckford's second daughter, who married the Duke of Hamilton, refused to sanction the sale. It, however, came under the hammer at Sotheby's, 1881-1884, in four parts of twelve days each, the net result being £73,551 18s.
The tenth Duke of Hamilton was one of the most distinguished bibliophiles of his time, and commenced purchasing whilst yet Marquis of Douglas. A large portion of his library was collected in Italy and various parts of the Continent, whilst the collection of Greek and Latin manuscripts which he obtained when on a diplomatic mission to Russia formed an unrivalled series of monuments of early art. In 1810 he married Susanna Beckford, and at her father's death the whole of his splendid library came into his possession. The two collections, however, were kept quite distinct. The Hamilton collection of printed books was sold at Sotheby's in May, 1884, the eight days realizing £12,892 12s. 6d. The most important feature of the library, however, was the magnificent collection of MSS. which the Prussian Government secured by private treaty—through the intermediary, it is understood, of the Empress Frederick—for £70,000. In May, 1889, those which the authorities decided not to retain for the Royal Museum at Berlin were transferred to Messrs. Sotheby's, and ninety-one lots realized the total of £15,189 15s. 6d. The gems of the collection were a magnificent volume of the Golden Gospels in Latin of the eighth century, formerly a gift to Henry VIII., which sold for £1,500—a London bookseller once offered £5,000 for this book—and a magnificent MS. of Boccaccio, 'Les Illustres Malheureux,' on vellum, 321 leaves, decorated with eighty-four exquisite miniatures, which sold for £1,700. It may be mentioned that a large number of the Beckford and Hamilton books were purchased through the late H. G. Bohn.
The Althorp Library, now in the possession of Mrs. Rylands, of Manchester, was formed by George John, Earl Spencer (1758-1834), between 1790 and 1820. Until its recent removal from Althorp it was the finest private library in existence. In 1790 Lord Spencer acquired the very fine and select library of Count Rewiczki, the Emperor Joseph's Ambassador in London, for about £2,500, and for the next thirty years the Earl was continually hunting after books in the sale-rooms and booksellers' shops. The story of the Althorp Library has been so repeatedly told, from the time of its first librarian, the devil-hunting Thomas Frognall Dibdin—whose flatulent and sycophantic records are not to be taken as mirroring the infinitely superior intellect and taste of his employer—down to the present day, that any further description is almost superfluous. Besides this, the library is one which will soon be open to all. We may, however, mention a point which is of great interest in the study of books as an investment. It may reasonably be doubted whether the Althorp Library cost its founder much over £100,000; it is generally understood that the price paid for it in 1892 was not far short of £250,000.
Contemporaneously with the formation of the Althorp Collection, the Duke of Roxburghe built a library, which was one of the finest and most perfect ever got together. The Duke turned book-hunter through a love affair, it is said. He was to have been married to the eldest daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; but when this lady's sister was selected as a wife for George III., the proposed marriage was deemed impolitic, and consequently the Duke remained single. The Duke himself is said to have traced his passion for books to the famous dinner given by his father, the second Duke, at which Lords Oxford and Sunderland were present, and at which the celebrated copy of the Valdarfer Boccaccio was produced. The history of this incident is told in our chapter on Book-sales, and need not be here more specifically referred to. The Duke was a mighty hunter, not only of books, but of deer and wild swans. So far as books are concerned, his great specialities were Old English literature, Italian poetry, and romances of the Round Table; and as the first and last of these have increased in value as years have gone by, it will be seen that the Duke was wise in his generation. Indeed, we have it on the best authority that the aggregate outlay on the Roxburghe Library did not exceed £4,000, whilst in the course of little more than twenty years it produced over £23,397, the sale taking place in June, 1812. The Duke of Roxburghe and Lord Spencer were not averse to a little understanding of the nature of a 'knock-out,' for in one of the Althorp Caxtons Lord Spencer has written: 'The Duke and I had agreed not to oppose one another at the [George Mason] sale, but after the book [a Caxton] was bought, to toss up who should win it, when I lost it. I bought it at the Roxburghe sale on the 17 of June, 1812, for £215 5s.'
Yet another distinguished book-collector of the same period calls for notice. George III. formed a splendid library out of his own private purse and at a cost of £130,000. This library is now a part of the British Museum. A library such as that of George III. gives very little idea of a man's real tastes for books. The King availed himself of the accumulated wisdom, not only of Barnard (who was his librarian for nearly half a century), but of three or four other experts, among whom was Dr. Johnson. The King's everyday tastes, however, may be gathered from the subjoined list of books, which he wished to have on his visit to Weymouth in 1795. He desired what he called 'a closet library' for a watering-place; he wrote to his bookseller for the following works: the Bible; the 'Whole Duty of Man'; the 'Annual Register,' 25 volumes; Rapin's 'History of England,' 21 volumes, 1757; Millot's 'Elémens de l'Histoire de France,' 1770; Voltaire's 'Siècles' of Louis XIV. and Louis XV.; Blackstone's 'Commentaries,' 4 volumes; R. Burn's 'Justice of Peace and Parish Officer,' 4 volumes; an abridgment of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary; Boyer's 'Dictionnaire François et Anglais'; Johnson's 'Poets,' 68 volumes; Dodsley's 'Poems,' 11 volumes; Nichols' 'Poems,' 8 volumes; Steevens' 'Shakespeare'; 'Œuvres' of Destouches, 5 volumes; and the 'Works' of Sir William Temple, 4 volumes; of Addison, 4 volumes, and Swift, 24 volumes. These books can scarcely be regarded as light literature, and, if anything, calculated to add to the deadly dulness of a seaside retreat at the end of the last century. However, the selection is George III.'s, and must be respected as such.
The number of men who were prowling about London during the middle and latter part of the last century after books is only less great than the variety of tastes which they evinced. We have, for example, two such turbulent spirits as John Horne Tooke and John Wilkes, M.P. Parson Horne's (he subsequently assumed the name of his patron, William Tooke) collection did not, as Dibdin has observed, contain a single edition of the Bible; but it included seven examples of Wynkyn de Worde's press and many other rare books. Eight hundred and thirteen lots realized the then high amount of £1,250 when sold at King and Lochée's in 1813. John Wilkes' books were sold at Sotheby's in 1802. If less notorious, many equally enthusiastic book-collectors were hunting the highways and byways of London. Here, for example, is a little anecdote relative to one of these:
When the splendid folio edition of Cæsar's 'Commentaries,' by Clarke, published for the express purpose of being presented to the great Duke of Marlborough, came under the hammer at the sale (in 1781) of Topham Beauclerk's library for £44, it was accompanied by an anecdote relating to the method in which it had been acquired. Upon the death of an officer to whom the book belonged, his mother, being informed that it was of some value, wished to dispose of it, and, being told that Mr. Topham Beauclerk (who is said to have but once departed from his inflexible rule of never lending a book) was a proper person to offer it to, she waited on him for that purpose. He asked what she required for it, and, being answered £4 4s., took it without hesitation, though unacquainted with the real value of the book. Being desirous, however, of information with respect to the nature of the purchase he had made, he went to an eminent bookseller's, and inquired what he would give for such a book. The bookseller replied £17 17s. Mr. Beauclerk went immediately to the person who sold him the book, and, telling her that she had been mistaken in its value, not only gave her the additional 13 guineas, but also generously bestowed a further gratuity on her. Few bargain-hunters would have felt called upon to act as Beauclerk did. Here is another anecdote of a contemporary book-hunter:
Nichols states that Mr. David Papillon (who died in 1762), a gentleman of fortune and literary taste, as well as a good antiquary, contracted with Osborne to furnish him with £100 worth of books, at 3d. apiece. The only conditions were, that they should be perfect, and that there should be no duplicate. Osborne was highly pleased with his bargain, and the first great purchase he made, he sent Mr. Papillon a large quantity; but in the next purchase he found he could send but few, and the next still fewer. Not willing, however, to give up, he sent books worth 5s. apiece, and at last was forced to go and beg to be let off the contract. Eight thousand books would have been wanted!
An interesting collector, at once the type of a country gentleman and of a true bibliophile, was Sir John Englis Dolben (1750-1837), of Finedon Hall, Northamptonshire. He was educated at Westminster School, proceeding thence to Christ Church in 1768. Previously to his final retirement into the country, he lingered with much affection about the haunts of his youthful studies. He carried so many volumes about with him in his numerous and capacious pockets that he appeared like a walking library, and his memory, particularly in classical quotations, was equally richly stored. This is one side of the picture. This is the other side, in which we get a view of the man-about-town collector in the person of Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808), the hydrographer to the Admiralty and to the East India Company: 'His yellow antiquarian chariot seemed to be immovably fixed in the street, just opposite the entrance-door of the long passage leading to the sale-room of Messrs. King and Lochée, in King Street, Covent Garden; and towards the bottom of the table, in the sale-room, Mr. Dalrymple used to sit, a cane in his hand, his hat always upon his head, a thin, slightly-twisted queue, and silver hairs that hardly shaded his temple. . . . His biddings were usually silent, accompanied by the elevation and fall of his cane, or by an abrupt nod of the head.'
The Osterley Park Library, sold by order of the seventh Earl of Jersey at Sotheby's in 1885, was commenced in the last century, the original founder being Bryan Fairfax, who died in 1747. His books came into the hands of Alderman Child, who was not only a book-collector, but inherited Lord Mavor Child's books. The fifth Earl of Jersey married Mr. Child's grand-daughter in 1804. Two mighty hunters of the old school may be here briefly mentioned—John Towneley and Michael Wodhull, the poet, both of whose collections were dispersed in several portions, partly at the beginning of the present century, and partly within quite recent times. The founder of the 'Bibliotheca Towneleiana' was for a long period of years an ardent collector, his favourite studies being English history, topography, and portraits. The great gem of his collection was the splendid 'Vita Christi,' gorgeously ornamented with full-page paintings, and with miniatures superbly executed in colours, heightened with gold, by Giulio Clovio, in the finest style of Italian art. This MS. was executed for Alexander, Cardinal Farnese, and presented to Pope Paul III. It was purchased abroad by a Mr. Champernoun for an inconsiderable sum, and cost Mr. Towneley 400 guineas. At its sale in 1883 it realized £2,050. Two portions of the Towneley Library were dispersed by Evans in 1814-15 (seventeen days), and realized over £8,597, and other portions were sold in 1816 and 1817. Towneley himself died in May, 1813, aged eighty-two. The remainder of his extensive collection was sold at Sotheby's in 1883 (ten days). Wodhull, who died November 10, 1816, aged seventy-six, had two sales during his lifetime, first in 1801 (chiefly duplicates), and secondly in 1803 (chiefly Greek and Roman classics). He, however, reserved for himself a library of about 4,000, which, passing into the possession of Mr. F. E. Severne, M.P., was sold at Sotheby's in January, 1886, and realized a total of £11,973 4s. 6d. He is the Orlando of Dibdin's 'Bibliomania.' The Greek and Roman classics formed the chief attraction of this post-mortem sale, which is generally regarded as one of the most important of its kind held during recent years. Most of the prizes were picked up in France after 1803, and it was during one of his book-hunting expeditions in Paris that Wodhull was detained by Napoleon.
Two other 'fashionable' or titled collectors may be here grouped together. The fine library formed by William, Marquis of Lansdowne was dispersed by Leigh and Sotheby in thirty-one days, beginning with January 6, 1806, the 6,530 lots realizing £6,701 2s. 6d. The highest amount paid for a single lot was for a very rare collection of tracts, documents, and pamphlets, in over 280 volumes, illustrating the history of the French Revolution, together with forty-nine volumes relative to the transactions in the Low Countries between the years 1787 and 1792, and their separation from the House of Austria. Wynkyn de Worde's 'Rycharde Cure de Lyon,' 1528, sold for £47 5s.; and a curious collection of 'Masks' and 'Triumphs,' of the early seventeenth century, mostly by Ben Jonson, realized £40. As a book-collector Sir Mark Masterman Sykes is a much better remembered figure in the annals of book-hunting than that of the Marquis of Lansdowne. The Sykes library contained a number of the editiones principes of the classics, some on vellum, and also a number of Aldines in the most perfect condition. There were also many highly curious and very rare pieces of early English poetry. The collection was sold at Evans's in 1824, and the gems of the collection were a copy of the Mazarin Bible, and the Latin Psalter, 1459, to which full reference is made in a subsequent chapter.
The history of literature, it is said, teaches us to consider its decline only as the development of a great principle of succession by which the treasures of the mind are circulated and equalized; as shoots by which the stream of improvement is forcibly directed into new channels, to fertilize new soils and awaken new capabilities. The history of book-collecting teaches us a similar lesson. The love which so often amounted to a positive passion for the exquisite productions of the Age of Illuminated Manuscripts, all but died with the introduction of the printing-press, which in reality was but a continuation of the old art in a new form. And so on, down through the successive decades and generations of the past four centuries, the decline—but not the death, for such a term cannot be applied to any phase of book-collecting—of one particular aspect of the hobby has synchronized with the birth of several others, sometimes more worthy, and at others less. An exhaustive inquiry into the various and manifold changes through which the human mind passed alone might account for these various developments, which it is not the intention of the present writer on this occasion to analyze.
The rise and progress of what Sir Egerton Brydges calls 'the black-letter mania' gave the death-blow to the long-cherished school of poetry of which Pope may be taken as the most distinguished exponent. 'Men of loftier taste and bolder fancy early remonstrated against this chilling confinement of the noblest, the most aspiring, and most expansive of all the Arts. . . . It was not till the commotion of Europe broke the chain of indolence and insipid effeminacy that the stronger passions of readers required again to be stimulated and exercised and soothed, and that the minor charms of correctness were sacrificed to the ardent efforts of uncontrolled and unfearing genius. The authors of this class began to look back for their materials to an age of hazardous freedom, and copious and untutored eloquence: an age in which the world of words and free and native ideas was not contracted and blighted by technical critics and cold and fastidious scholars.' To abandon the abstract for the more matter-of-fact details of sober history, the mania to which Brydges alludes may be said to date itself from the spring of 1773. The occasion was the sale in London of the library of James West, President of the Royal Society. George Nicol, the bookseller, was an extensive purchaser at this sale for the King, for whom, indeed, he acted in a similar capacity up to the last. Nicol told Dibdin 'with his usual pleasantry and point, that he got abused in the public papers, by Almon and others, for having purchased nearly the whole of the Caxtonian volumes in this collection for his Majesty's library. It was said abroad that a Scotchman had lavished away the King's money in buying old black-letter books.' The absurdity of this report was soon proved at subsequent sales. Dibdin adds, as a circumstance highly honourable to the King, that 'his Majesty, in his directions to Mr. Nicol, forbade any competition with those purchasers who wanted books of science and belles lettres for their own progressive or literary pursuits; thus using the power of his purse in a manner at once merciful and wise.'
The impetus which book-collecting, and more particularly the section to which we have just referred, received by the dispersal of the West Library gathered in force as time went on, reaching its climax with the Roxburghe sale thirty-nine years afterwards. The enthusiasm culminated in a club—the Roxburghe, which still flourishes. The warfare (at Roxburghe House, St. James's Square), as Mr. Silvanus Urban has recorded, was equalled only by the courage and gallantry displayed on the plains of Salamanca about the same period. 'As a pillar, or other similar memorial, could not be conveniently erected to mark the spot where so many bibliographical champions fought and conquered, another method was adopted to record their fame, and perpetuate this brilliant epoch in literary annals. Accordingly, a phalanx of the most hardy veterans has been enrolled under the banner of the far-famed Valdarfer's Boccaccio of 1471. . . . The first anniversary meeting of this noble band was celebrated at the St. Alban's Tavern [St. Alban's Street, now Waterloo Place] on Thursday, June 17, 1813, being the memorable day on which the before-mentioned Boccaccio was sold for £2,260. The chair was taken by Earl Spencer (perpetual president of the club), supported by Lords Morpeth and Gower, and the following gentlemen, viz., Sir E. Brydges, Messrs. W. Bentham, W. Bolland, J. Dent, T. F. Dibdin (vice-president), Francis Freeling, Henry Freeling, Joseph Hazlewood, Richard Heber, Thomas C. Heber, G. Isted, R. Lang, J. H. Markland, J. D. Phelps, T. Ponton, junior, J. Towneley, E. V. Utterson, and R. Wilbraham. Upon the cloth being removed, the following appropriate toasts were delivered from the chair:
|1.||The cause of Bibliomania all over the world.|
|2.||The immortal memory of Christopher Valdarfer, the printer of the Boccaccio of 1471.|
|3.||The immortal memory of William Caxton, first English printer.|
|4.||The immortal memory of Wynkyn de Worde.|
|5.||The immortal memory of Richard Pynson.|
|6.||The immortal memory of Julian Notary.|
|7.||The immortal memory of William Faques.|
|8.||The immortal memory of the Aldine family.|
|9.||The immortal memory of the Stephenses.|
|10.||The immortal memory of John, Duke of Roxburghe.|
'After these the health of the noble president was proposed, and received by the company standing, with three times three. Then followed the health of the worthy vice-president (proposed by Mr. Heber), which, it is scarcely necessary to observe, was drunk with similar honours. . . . The president was succeeded in the chair by Lord Gower, who, at midnight, yielded to Mr. Dent; and that gentleman gave way to the Prince of Bibliomaniacs, Mr. Heber. Though the night, or rather the morning, wore apace, it was not likely that a seat so occupied would be speedily deserted; accordingly, the "regal purple stream" ceased not to flow till "Morning oped her golden gates," or, in plain terms, till past four o'clock.' Such is a brief account of the Roxburghe Club, which is limited to thirty-one members, one black ball being fatal to the candidate who offers himself for a vacancy, and each member in his annual turn has to print a book or pamphlet, and to present to his fellow-members a copy. Before making any further reference to the personnel of the Roxburghe Club, we quote, from a literary journal of 1823, the following trenchant paragraph, à propos of a similar club in Scotland:
'Bibliomania.—This most ridiculous of all the affectations of the day has lately exhibited another instance of its diffusion, in the establishment of a Roxburghe Club in Edinburgh. Its object, we are told, "is the republication of scarce and valuable tracts, especially poetry."—"Republication!" In what manner? Commonsense forbid that the system of the London Roxburghe Club be adopted. Of this there are some four-and-twenty members or so, who dine together a certain number of times in the year, and each member in his turn republishes some old tract at his own expense. There are just so many copies printed as there are members of the club, and one copy is presented to each. It is evident that no sort of good can be effected by this system, and, indeed, there has not yet resulted any benefit to the literature of the country from the Roxburghe Club. They have not published a single book of any conceivable merit. The truth is that the members, for the most part, are a set of persons of no true taste, of no proper notion of learning and its uses—very considerable persons in point of wealth, but very so-so in point of intellect.'
The primary aim and object of the Roxburghe Club were clearly enough indicated in the first list of members, for the association of men with kindred tastes is at all times a highly commendable one. The Roxburghe Club might have sustained its raison d'être, if it had drawn the line at such men as Thomas Frognall Dibdin and Joseph Hazlewood. The foregoing extract from the Museum of 1823 exactly indicates the position which the club at that time held in public estimation. It had degenerated into a mere drinking and gormandizing association, alike a disgrace to its more respectable members and an insult to the nobleman whose name it was dragging through the mire. Those who have an opportunity of consulting the Athenæum for 1834 will find, in the first four issues of January, one of the most scathing exposures to which any institution has ever been subjected. Hazlewood had died, and his books came into the sale-room. Never had the adage of 'Dead men tell no tales' been more completely falsified. Hazlewood, who does not seem to have been unpleasantly particular in telling the truth when living, told it with a vengeance after his death; for among his papers there was a bundle entitled 'Roxburghe Revels,' which Thorpe purchased for £40, the editor of the Athenæum being the under-bidder. A few days afterwards, and for the weighty consideration of a £10 note profit, the lot passed into the hands of Mr. Dilke, and the articles to which we have referred followed. If anything could have made the deceased Joseph turn in his grave, it would have been the attention which he received at the unsparing hands of Mr. Dilke. The excellent Mr. Dibdin survived the exposure several years. The castigation proved beneficial to the club; and if its revelries were no less boisterous than heretofore, it at all events circulated among its members books worthy of the name of Roxburghe, and edited in a scholarly manner. The club still flourishes, with the Marquis of Salisbury as its president, and the list of its members will be found in our chapter on 'Modern Collectors.'
One of the mighty book-hunters of the last century was the Rev. Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (whose father went out as a commander of marines in Anson's ship, and whose share in the prize-money made him a wealthy man), who died on April 6, 1799, in his seventieth year. His splendid library now forms a part of the British Museum. It contains the most choice copies in classical and Biblical literature, and many of these are on vellum. His collection of editions of the fifteenth century Mr. Cracherode used modestly to call a 'specimen' one; 'they form perhaps the most perfect collana or necklace ever strung by one man.' Several of the books formerly belonged to Grolier. His library was valued at £10,000 at or about the time of his death; it would probably now realize considerably over ten times that amount if submitted to auction. The value of his prints was placed at £5,000. Cracherode was an excellent scholar, and an amiable; his passion for collecting was strong even in death, for whilst he was at the last extremity his agent was making purchases for him. He was one of the most constant habitués of Tom Payne's, and at his final visit he put an Edinburgh Terence in one pocket and a large-paper Cebes in the other. His house was in Queen Square, Westminster, overlooking St. James's Park.
Reverting once more to the change which had been effected in the fancies of book-collectors, James Bindley, whose library was sold after his decease in 1819, and James Perry, who died in 1821, may be regarded as typical collectors of the transition period. Both are essentially London book-hunters—the former was an official in the Stamp Office, and the latter was, inter alia, the editor of the Morning Chronicle. Bindley, to whom John Nichols dedicated his 'Literary Anecdotes,' was a book-hunter who made very practical use of his scholarly tastes and ample means. He haunted the bookstalls and shops with the pertinacity of a tax-gatherer, and if his original expenditure were placed by the side of the total which his collection of books brought after his death, no more convincing arguments in favour of book-hunting could possibly be needed. Bindley is the 'Leontes' of Dibdin's 'Bibliographical Decameron,' and his collection of poetical rarities of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was one of the most remarkable which had ever been got together. Not many of the items had cost him more than a few shillings each, and they realized almost as many pounds as he had paid shillings. Perry was a journalist first and a book-collector afterwards, but in many respects there was a great similarity in the tastes of the two rival bibliophiles. Perry's was the more extensive collection—it was sold in four parts, 1822-23—and perhaps on the whole much more generally interesting. Evans, the auctioneer, described it as 'an extraordinary assemblage of curious books, Early English poetry, old tracts and miscellaneous literature.' The cheval de bataille of the fourth part consisted of 'a most Curious, Interesting and Extraordinarily Extensive Assemblage of Political and Historical Pamphlets of the Last and Present Century.' This collection was comprised in thirty-five bundles. Perry made a speciality of facetiæ, pamphlets on the French Revolution, and Defoe's works, but the two cornerstones of his library were a copy of the Mazarin Bible and a First Folio Shakespeare.
Among the many book-collectors whose careers link the past century with the present, few are more worthy of notice than Francis Douce, who died in the spring of 1834, aged seventy-seven. He was for a short time Keeper of the MSS. in the British Museum. His fortune was much increased by being left one of the residuary legatees of Nollekens, the sculptor—to the extent, in fact, of £50,000. Dibdin, who was for many years a near neighbour and intimate friend at Kensington, describes Douce's library as 'eminently rich and curious . . . not a book but what had its fly-leaf written upon. In short, no man ever lived so much with, and so entirely for, his books as did he.' Douce is the Prospero of the 'Bibliomania.' His books he bequeathed to the Bodleian, and his MSS. to the British Museum, the stipulation in the latter case being that they are not to be opened until 1900! In manners and appearance Douce was singular and strange, rough to strangers, but gentle and kind to those who knew him intimately. He was of the old school as regards dress, wearing as he did a little flaxen wig, an old-fashioned square-cut coat, with what M. Jacob calls 'quarto pockets.' Several of his letters are printed in Dibdin's 'Literary Recollections.'
Two other distinguished book-collectors, contemporary with Douce, and, like him, benefactors to the Bodleian, may be mentioned here—Richard Gough (1739-1809), the antiquary; and Edmond Malone (1741-1812), the Shakespearian scholar. Gough's gift consisted of the topographical portion of his library; the remainder, comprising 4,373 lots, realizing the total of £3,552, came under the hammer at Leigh and Sotheby's in 1810, realizing what were then considered very fancy prices (a selection of which are given in the Gentleman's Magazine, lxxx., part ii.). The Malone collection, which became the property of the Bodleian through the influence of Lord Sunderlin in 1815, comprised what the collector himself describes as 'the most curious, valuable, and extensive collection ever assembled of ancient English plays and poetry.' It would probably be impossible now to form another such collection. Malone told Caldwell, who repeats the remarkable fact, that he had procured every dramatic piece mentioned by Langbaine, excepting four or five—the advantage, observes that gentleman, of living in London. The number of volumes amounts to about 3,200. As his biographer, Sir James Prior, has pointed out, his collection in the Bodleian remains distinct, and is creditable 'alike to the industry, taste, and patience by which it was brought together.' And further: 'None of his predecessors have attempted what he accomplished. Few of his successors have, on most points, added materially to our knowledge.' Yet a third benefactor to the Bodleian may be conveniently mentioned here. Thomas Caldecott, who was born in 1744, and died in 1833, was a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and afterwards a Bencher of the Middle Temple. He resided chiefly at Dartford, and formed a choice library of black-letter books, and the productions of the Elizabethan period. He attacked with considerable asperity and ability Shakespearian commentators, such as Steevens and Malone; and his rivals did not spare his edition of two of Shakespeare's plays when they came out. He presented the gems of his library, the Shakespeare quartos, to the Bodleian; but the remainder of his books, including many excessively rare and several unique pieces, came up for sale at Sotheby's in 1833, and realized a total of £1,210 6s. 6d.
The splendid library of John Dent, of Hertford Street, sold by Evans in 1827, producing the sum of £15,040, had a curious history. The nucleus of it was formed towards the close of the last century by Haughton James, who, in a moment of conviviality, and without a due consideration of its true value, transferred it to Robert Heathcote, who made several additions, and from whose possession it passed about 1807 into that of John Dent. The sale of the Dent library is described by Dibdin as exhibiting the 'first grand melancholy symptoms of the decay of the Bibliomania.' The chief attraction was the Sweynheym and Pannartz Livy, 1469, on vellum, which fell (in more senses than one) under the hammer for £262, Dent having paid £903 for it at Sir Mark Sykes' sale. Both the purchasers, Payne and Foss, and Dibdin, made strenuous efforts to persuade the Earl of Spencer to purchase it, but unsuccessfully; it subsequently became the property of Grenville, and passed with his collection into the British Museum. Dent is the Pontevallo of the 'Bibliomania,' and Baroccio of the 'Bibliographical Decameron,' and does not seem to have been an altogether amiable specimen of the fraternity. Canning used to say that he once found Dent deep in the study of an open book which was upside down!
A much more genial bibliomaniac, Sir William Bolland, calls for notice; he was one of the original members of the Roxburghe Club, which, in fact, was first suggested at a dinner-party at his house, June 4, 1812. He died May 14, 1840, aged sixty-eight, and his library, which comprised 2,940 lots, and realized £3,019, was sold by Evans, and included many choice books. One of the greatest bargains which this distinguished collector secured during his career became his property through the medium of Benjamin Wheatley, who purchased a bundle of poetical tracts from the Chapter Library at Lincoln for 80 guineas. When the inevitable sale came, one of these trifles, 'The Rape of Lucrece,' alone realized 100 guineas.
George Chalmers (1742-1825), who is described as 'the most learned and the most celebrated of all the antiquaries and historians of Scotland,' was also one of the giant book-collectors of the present century, and differed from the majority of collectors in being a prolific and versatile author. At his death his nephew became the possessor of his extensive library, but on the death of the nephew the books were placed in the hands of Evans, who sold them in two parts, September, 1841, and February, 1842, and realized over £4,100. The second part was very rich in Shakespeariana, and included the 'Sonnets,' 1609, £105; 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' 1600 (second edition), £105; and many other important items. In the first part of the sale, Marlowe's 'Tragedie of Richard, Duke of York,' 1595 (believed to be unique), sold for £131; and the only perfect copy then known of Patrick Hannay's 'Nightingale,' 1622, from the libraries of Bindley, Perry, Sykes and Rice, £13 5s. The third part of Chalmers' library, which consisted for the most part of works relative to Scotland, particularly in illustration of the History of Printing in that Country, was also sold by Evans in 1842. Among other book-collectors of this period we may mention particularly the Rev. Henry Joseph Thomas Drury, whose library was rich in classics, all for the most part finely bound; it came under the hammer at Evans's in 1827 (4,729 lots); Dr. Isaac Gosset, who died in 1812, in his sixty-eighth year, and whose library, comprising 5,740 lots, realized £3,141 7s. 6d. at Leigh and Sotheby's in 1813; the Rev. Jonathan Boucher (1738-1804), Vicar of Epsom, who, like George Chalmers, for many years resided in America, was, also like him, an inveterate book-collector to whom everything in the shape of a book was welcome: his sale occupied Leigh and Sotheby thirty-nine days, in 1806, the total being over £4,510.
The history of the second and third quarters of the present century makes mention of very few collectors of the first rank. Among the more important of those whose libraries came under the hammer within that period, we may specially refer to the following: William Upcott, who started early in life as an assistant to R. H. Evans, but who in 1806 became sub-librarian of the London Institution. He was one of the first to take up autograph-collecting, of which, indeed, he has been termed the pioneer. He certainly collected with great advantage and knowledge, and his vast accumulations were sold at Sotheby's in four batches during 1846, he having died in September, 1845; John Hugh Smyth Piggott, whose library, in three portions, was sold at the same place, 1847-54; W. Y. Ottley, the prolific writer of books on art, 1849; W. Holgate, of the Post Office, whose library included a number of Shakespeariana, June, 1846; Hanrott, 1857; Sir Thomas Bernard, 1855; Isaac D'Israeli, the author of 'Curiosities of Literature,' in 1849, and his unsparing critic, Bolton Corney, in 1871; S. W. Singer, in four parts, 1860; J. Orchard Halliwell (afterwards Halliwell-Phillipps), in 1856, 1857, and 1859; and the Rev. Dr. Hawtrey, part of whose books were sold, far below their worth, in 1853, and the rest nine years later. Many of the foregoing were literary men, who aimed rather at getting together a useful library than one of rarities. The sale of all such libraries makes a very sorry show beside that of the more ostentatious collections. For instance, the books which Macaulay used with such brilliant effect, and including among them an extraordinary number of tracts, many excessively rare, only realized £426 15s. 6d., when sold in 1863 in 1,011 lots. Douglas Jerrold's little library, sold in August, 1859, in 307 lots, only fetched £173 3s. In very strong contrast to these is the remarkable little library, formed between 1820 and 1830 by Henry Perkins, of Hanworth Park, Feltham, a member of the brewing firm. This collection comprised only 865 lots, but when sold at Sotheby's in June, 1873, the total was found to be close on £26,000! There was a copy each of the 42-line and 40-line Gutenberg Bible—the former is now in the Huth Library, and the latter in the Ashburnham Library; several other very early printed Bibles, including Coverdale's, Matthews', and Cranmer's, two works printed by Caxton, with many other important books were sold.
The late George Daniel (who was born about 1790) may be regarded as the connecting link between the collectors of the early part of the present century and those of to-day. When, for example, Perry and Bindley left off, Daniel commenced. There was no great rush after Shakespeare quartos in the earlier part of the present century, and book-collecting for a time ceased to be the pet hobby of wealthy members of the peerage. When George Daniel, a critic and bibliographer of exceptional abilities, began to collect, he soon made Shakespeare, as well as the earlier English poets, objects of solicitude. He resided for many years in the historic old red-brick tower at Canonbury. The sale of Daniel's extraordinary collection was held at Sotheby's in July, 1864, when a First Folio, one of the finest in the world—now in the possession of Baroness Burdett-Coutts—sold for £716 2s., and when twenty of the Shakespeare quartos realized a total of about £3,000.
George Daniel is now remembered by but few book-collectors. Mr. W. Carew Hazlitt knew him very well, and describes him as a retired accountant, whose idiosyncrasy consisted of rares morçeaux, bonnes bouches, uniques—copies of books with a provenance, or in jackets made for them by Roger Payne—nay, in the original parchment or paper wrapper, or in a bit of real mutton which certain men call sheep. He was a person of literary tastes, and had written books in his day. But his chief celebrity was as an acquirer of those of others, provided always that they were old enough or rare enough. An item never passed into his possession without at once ipso facto gaining new attributes, almost invariably worded in a holograph memorandum on the fly-leaf. Daniel was in the market at a fortunate and peculiar juncture, just when prices were depressed, about the time of the great Heber sale. His marvellous gleanings came to the hammer precisely when the quarto Shakespeare, the black-letter romance, the unique book of Elizabethan verse, had grown worth ten times their weight in sovereigns. Sir William Tite, J. O. Halliwell, and Henry Huth were to the front. It was in 1864. What a wonderful sight it was! No living man had ever witnessed the like. Copies of Shakespeare, printed from the prompters' MSS. and published at fourpence, fetched £300 or £400. I remember old Joseph Lilly, when he had secured the famous Ballads, which came from the Tollemaches of Helmingham Hall, holding up the folio volume in which they were contained in triumph as someone whom he knew entered the room. Poor Daniel! he had no mean estimate of his treasures—what he had was always better than what you had. Books, prints, autographs—it was all the same. I met him one morning in Long Acre. I had bought a very fine copy of Taylor, the Water Poet. "Oh, yes, sir," he said, "I saw it; but not quite so fine as mine." He went up to Highgate to look through the engravings of Charles Matthews the elder. They were all duplicates—of course inferior ones. "Damn him, sir!" cried Matthews afterwards to a friend; "I should like him to have had a duplicate of my wooden leg."
John Payne Collier, who was born a year before Daniel, but who lived until 1883, was a collector with very similar tastes. He had been a reporter on the Morning Chronicle, and in all probability imbibed some of his book-collecting zeal from Perry. His book-buying and literary career commenced, according to his own account, in 1804 or 1805, when his father took him into the shop of Thomas Rodd, senior, on which occasion he purchased his 'first Old English book of any value,' namely, Wilson's 'Art of Logic,' printed by Grafton, 1551; from this he ascertained that 'Ralf Roister Doister' was an older play than 'Gammer Gurton's Needle,' and also that it was by Nicholas Udal, Master of Eton School. When in Holland, in the winter of 1813-14, Collier purchased among other books an imperfect copy of Tyndale's 'Gospel of St. Matthew,' to which, as he says in his 'Diary,' 'the date of 1526  has been assigned, and which seems to be the very earliest translation into English of any portion of the New Testament. Many years afterwards—I think in the spring of 1832—I happened to show it to Rodd, the learned bookseller. I was at that time ignorant on the subject, and Rodd offered me books to the value of two or three pounds for it. I gladly accepted them.' This fragment, for which Collier paid a florin, was sold to Mr. Grenville by Rodd for £50, and is now in the British Museum. Writing in the Athenæum, January 31, 1852, he gives an account of the origin of events which led to one of the fiercest literary quarrels of modern times: 'A short time before the death of the late Mr. Rodd, of Newport Street [i.e. early in 1849], I happened to be in his shop when a considerable parcel of books arrived from the country. He told me that they had been bought for him at an auction—I think in Bedfordshire. . . . He unpacked them in my presence . . . and there were two which attracted my attention, one being a fine copy of Florio's "Italian Dictionary," of the edition of 1611, and the other a much-thumbed, abused, and imperfect copy of the Second Folio of Shakespeare, 1632. The first I did not possess, and the last I was willing to buy, inasmuch as I apprehended it would add some missing leaves to a copy of the same impression which I had had for some time on my shelves. As was his usual course, Mr. Rodd required a very reasonable price for both; for the first I remember I gave 12s. and for the last only £1 10s. . . . On the outside of one of the covers was inscribed, "Tho. Perkins, his booke."' Collier was vexed at finding that the volume contained no leaves which would help him in completing the volume he already had. He had employed another person to do the collating, and it was not until some considerable time after, and on examining thoroughly the volume himself, that he discovered it to contain a large series of emendations, which Collier included in his 'Notes and Emendations to the Text of Shakespeare's Plays,' 1853, which set the whole town by the ears. Collier's library was dispersed at Sotheby's in 1884; it was an unusually interesting sale, and included many very rare and curious books.
Southey, Coleridge, Charles Lamb, Wordsworth, and William Hazlitt were book-collectors of a type which deserves a niche to itself. Writing to Coleridge in 1797, Lamb says: 'I have had thoughts of turning Quaker, and have been reading, or am, rather, just beginning to read, a most capital book, good thoughts in good language, William Penn's "No Cross, no Crown." I like it immensely.' Lamb's ideas of book-marking are to be found in his correspondence with Coleridge, in which he states that a book reads the better when the topography of its plots and notes is thoroughly mastered, and when we 'can trace the dirt in it, to having read it at tea with buttered muffins, or over a pipe.' Lamb's library consisted for the most part of tattered volumes in a dreadful state of repair. Lamb, like Young, the poet, dog-eared his books to such an extent that many of them would hardly close at all. From the correspondence of Bernard Barton we get a glimpse at Lamb's cottage in Colebrook Row, Islington—a white house with six good rooms. 'You enter without passage into a cheerful dining-room, all studded over and rough with old books.' Barton also writes: 'What chiefly attracted me was a large old book-case full of books. I could but think how many long walks must have been taken to bring them home, for there were but few that did not bear the mark of having been bought at many a bookstall—brown, dark-looking books, distinguished by those white tickets which told how much their owner had given for each.'
In an edition of Donne [? 1669] which belonged to Lamb, Coleridge scrawled: 'I shall die soon, my dear Charles Lamb, and then you will not be vexed that I have be-scribbled your book. S. T. C., 2nd May, 1811.' Lamb was too good-natured to be a book-collector. On one occasion William Hazlitt sent Martin Burney to Lamb to borrow Wordsworth's 'Excursion,' and Lamb being out, Burney took it, a high-handed proceeding which involved the borrower in a blowing-up. Coleridge at another time helped himself to Luther's 'Table-Talk,' and this also called forth a great outcry. A copy of Chapman's Homer, which passed through the hands of Wordsworth and S. T. Coleridge, eventually turned up in one of Lilly's catalogues. This identical copy is noticed in an account of Rydal Mount which appeared in the first volume of Once a Week. Coleridge, of course, has made a number of notes in it, and in one of these he describes the translation as 'an exquisite poem, spite of its frequent and perverse quaintness and harshnesses, which are, however, amply repaid by almost unexampled sweetness and beauty of language.'
The difference between a bibliophile and a bibliomaniac has been described as between one who adorns his mind, and the other his book-cases. Of the bibliomaniac as here characterized, we can suggest no better type than Thomas Hill, the original of Poole's 'Paul Pry,' and of Hull in Hook's novel, 'Gilbert Gurney.' Devoid as Hill was of intellectual endowments, he managed to obtain and secure the friendship of many eminent men—of Thomas Campbell, the poet, Matthews and Liston, the comedians, Hook, Dubois, John and Leigh Hunt, James and Horace Smith, John Taylor, editor of the Sun, Horace Twiss, Baron Field, Sir George Rose, Barnes, subsequently editor of the Times, Cyrus Redding, and many others. That he was kind-hearted and hospitable nearly everyone has testified, and his literary parties at his Sydenham Tusculum were quite important events, in spite of the ponderosity of his well-worn stories. During the more acute stages of bibliomania in this country at the latter part of the last century and the beginning of this, 'when the Archaica, Heliconia, and Roxburghe Clubs were outbidding each other for old black-letter works . . . when books, in short, which had only become scarce because they were always worthless, were purchased upon the same principle as that costly and valueless coin, a Queen Anne's farthing,' Hill had been a constant collector of rare and other books which were in demand. That he knew nothing of the insides of his books is very certain; but he knew how much each copy would bring at an auction, and how much it had brought at all previous sales. When the bibliomania had reached its height, Messrs. Longman and Co. determined upon embarking in such a lucrative branch of the trade; they applied to Hill for advice and assistance, offering to begin by the purchase of his entire collection, a proposition which he embraced with alacrity. He drew up a catalogue raisonné of his books, affixing his price for each volume. The collection was despatched in three or four trunks to Paternoster Row, and he received in payment the acceptances of the firm for as many thousand pounds. From some cause or other, the purchasers soon repented of their bargain, but the only terms which Horace Smith could obtain for the Longmans was an extension in the term of payment. Hill declared that the collection was worth double the price he had been paid for it. For many years Hill assisted Perry, of the Morning Chronicle, in making selections of rare books for his fine library at Tavistock House, particularly in the department of facetiæ. After leaving Sydenham, Hill took chambers in James Street, Adelphi, where he resided until his death. The walls of his rooms were completely hidden by books, and his couch was 'enclosed in a lofty circumvallation of volumes piled up from the carpet.' He was never married, had no relations, and even his age was a source of mystery to his friends. James Smith once said to him: 'The fact is, Hill, the register of your birth was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and you take advantage of the accident to conceal your real age.' Hook went further by suggesting that he might originally have been one of the little hills recorded as skipping in the Psalms. Hill died in 1840, his age being placed at eighty-three years. Horace Smith said 'he could not believe that Hill was dead, and he could not insult a man he had known so long; Hill would reappear.'
Samuel Rogers, the banker poet, was also a book-collector, but not in the sense of one who aims at number. His house at 22, St. James's Place, overlooking Green Park, was for over half a century—he had removed here from the Temple about 1803—one of the most celebrated meeting-places of literature and art in London. Byron, in his 'Diary,' says, 'If you enter his house—his drawing-room, his library—you of yourself say, This is not the dwelling of a common mind. There is not a gem, a coin, a book, thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofa, his table, that does not bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor.' A writer in the Athenæum of December 29, 1855, a few days after the poet's death, describes the library as 'lined with bookcases surmounted by Greek vases, each one remarkable for its exquisite beauty of form. Upon the gilt lattice-work of the bookcases are lightly hung in frames some of the finest original sketches by Raphael, Michelangelo, and Andrea del Sarto; and finished paintings by Angelico da Fiesole, and Fouquet of Tours.' Among the treasures of the library were the MSS. of Gray, in their perfect, and the famous agreement between Milton and the publisher Simmonds, for the copyright of 'Paradise Lost.'
Tom Moore the poet, and his friend and fellow-countryman, Thomas Crofton Croker, were both book-collectors. The library of the former was, in 1855, presented by his widow to the Royal Irish Academy, 'as a memorial of her husband's taste and erudition.' Croker's books, which were dispersed after his death, contain an exceedingly curious book-plate, either indicating the possessor's residence, 'Rosamond's Bower, Fulham,' or '3, Gloucester Road, Old Brompton,' the various learned societies to which he belonged, with the additional information that he was founder and president (1828-1848) of the Society of Novimagus. Charles Dickens, Thackeray, W. Harrison Ainsworth (the collection of the last was sold at Sotheby's in 1882, and realized £469 19s. 6d.), and Charles Lever were not book-collectors in the usual sense of the word.
Among the more notable literary men who were also book-collectors of this period, whose libraries are still preserved intact, are Alexander Dyce and John Forster. Their collections, now at South Kensington, are perhaps more particularly notable for the extraordinary number of books which were once the property of famous men. Mr. Dyce, who was born in Edinburgh, June, 1798, and died in 1869, bequeathed to the Museum 14,000 books, whilst the library of his friend and executor, John Forster (1812-1876), contained upwards of 18,000 books, in addition to a number of autographs, pictures, etc. The more interesting books of a 'personal' nature in these two libraries are the following: Drayton's 'Battaile of Agincourt,' 1627, a presentation copy to Sir Henry Willoughby, with inscription in Drayton's autograph; a French cookery-book, with Gray's autograph on the title; Ben Jonson's copy (with his autograph) of the first collected edition of Marston's plays, 1633; a copy of Steele's 'Christian Hero,' with some verses in his autograph addressed to Dr. Ellis, Head-master of the Charterhouse when Steele was at school. Sheridan's plays include a presentation copy of 'The Rivals,' with an inscription to David Garrick. The foregoing are all in the Dyce Collection.
That of John Forster includes a copy of Addison's 'Travels in Italy,' with an autograph inscription by the author: 'To Dr. Jonathan Swift, the most Agreeable Companion, the Truest Friend, and the Greatest Genius of his age, this Book is presented by his most Humble Servant the Author.' Among the many books on America, there is one with John Locke's autograph. The copy of the fourth edition of Byron's 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,' 1811, is that which was given by the author to Leigh Hunt, and contains the poet's autograph and many corrections; a presentation copy of Flatman's 'Poems and Songs,' 1682, to Izaak Walton, who has inscribed his autograph in it; Gay's copy of Horace; some proof-sheets of Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets;' a copy of Keats's 'Lamia,' 1820, with an autograph inscription and a sonnet 'On the Grasshopper and the Cricket,' also in the poet's handwriting; Gray's copy of Locke's 'Essay concerning Human Understanding,' a copy of the 'Dunciad,' 1729, with the inscription 'Jonath: Swift, 1729, amicissimi autoris donum'; and Isaac Newton's copy of Wheare's 'Method and Order of Reading Histories,' 1685.
Apropos of books of distinguished ownership, the collecting of them sometimes takes an eccentric turn; for example, the third Lord Holland brought together all the various copies (now at Holland House) upon which he could lay hands of Fox's 'History of the Reign of James II.,' which belonged to distinguished people, and amongst these former owners were Sir James Mackintosh, Sir Philip Francis, C. E. Jerningham, Rogers, and General Fitzpatrick; and as many of the copies contained MS. notes, the interest of the collection will be readily understood.
A brief review of the principal book-collectors whose libraries—formed for the most part by men who lived in London—have been dispersed during the past dozen years will not be without interest; those which have been already referred to are, of course, omitted here. James Comerford, F.S.A., by profession a notary public, who inherited from his father a love of books, and also a considerable collection, had an exceedingly fine library, which consisted for the most part of topographical works, many of them on large paper with proof-plates. He was in his seventy-sixth year when he died, and his books, which were sold at Sotheby's in November, 1882 (thirteen days), realized a total of £8,327 13s. Frederic Ouvry, who died in June, 1881, was partner in the firm of Farrer, Ouvry, and Co., of Lincoln's Inn; he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1848, and for twenty years was the society's treasurer, and succeeded Earl Stanhope as president. He was a man of considerable means, and formed one of the most interesting and most choice of modern libraries. Many of his books fetched far higher sums than he had paid for them; for example, Drummond of Hawthornden's 'Forth Fasting,' 1617, cost him in 1858 £8 15s.—at his sale it fetched £60; and Lodge's 'Rosalynd,' 1598, advanced from £5 10s. to £63. Mr. Ouvry was an intimate friend of both Mr. Gladstone and Charles Dickens; a copy of the former's 'Gleanings of Past Years' was a presentation one from the author, and had the following inscription, 'Frederic Ouvry, Esq., from W. E. G., in memory of the work we have done together for fourteen years in full harmony of thought and act.' There were 177 autograph letters from Dickens, which sold for £150. The four folio Shakespeares sold for £420, £46, £116, £28; a copy of the first edition of Spenser's 'Faërie Queene,' 1590-96, £33; a copy of Daniel's 'Delia,' 1592, with corrections, supposed to be by the author, £88. The total of the six days' sale was £6,169 2s.
A very remarkable library came under the hammer at Sotheby's on March 21-25, 1884, when the unique collection of the late Francis Bedford, the eminent binder, was sold. The beauty of the bindings was naturally the most striking feature of the library, but there were many books which were rare or historically interesting apart from their coverings. For example, there was the identical Prayer-Book that was found in the pocket of Charles I. immediately after his execution; a copy of the Breeches Bible printed in Scotland, 1579; one of the Pearl Bible, 1653; a very fine copy of the 'Chronicon Nurembergense,' 1493. Bedford's own chef d'œuvre, a magnificent copy of Rogers' 'Italy' and 'Poems,' in olive morocco, super extra, realized £116, whilst the total of the five days' sale was £4,867 6s. 6d.
Among the more notable collections sold during 1885-7, that of the late Leonard Laurie Hartley, at Puttick's, may be mentioned, containing as it did some important books. Mr. Hartley has been described as a voracious collector, and would buy almost anything the dealers offered him, and almost at any price; hence he speedily became known as a good client, and doubtless paid 'through the nose' for very many articles. The extraordinarily extensive collection of books and manuscripts formed by the late Sir Thomas Phillipps (who died in 1867), of Middle Hill, Worcestershire, and Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, commenced selling at Sotheby's in 1886, and the supply is not yet by any means exhausted. Up to March, 1895, seven portions had been dispersed, the total being £15,766. Perhaps the most interesting item in this vast collection was the original autograph manuscript of Sir Walter Scott's 'Life of Swift,' which realized £230 in June, 1893.
During 1886 and 1887 the collections of two of the most genuine book-hunters that ever lived came under the hammer. Professor Edward Solly's extensive library of about 40,000 volumes, and comprising many rare books on Defoe, Pope, Swift, Dryden, Samuel Butler, Johnson, Gray, Cobbett, Paine, and also books of topography, biography, history, travel, antiquities, bibliography, etc., only realized the total of £1,544 13s. 6d. (November, 1886). The equally interesting library of the late W. J. Thoms, founder of Notes and Queries, and Deputy-Librarian of the House of Lords, realized two months after Mr. Solly's sale £1,094 9s. Mr. Thoms' library was considerably smaller than that of his friend Mr. Solly, but they ran on very similar lines, Mr. Thoms' being particularly strong in quaint and out-of-the-way books relating to Pope, Junius, George IV., Queen Caroline, Princess Olive of Cumberland, Reynard the Fox, and Longevity. The first part of the library of another indefatigable book-hunter, Cornelius Walford, came under the hammer at the same place (Sotheby's) in February, 1887. Some interesting books were included in the four days' sale of the library of Sir William Hardy, F.S.A., late Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records (December, 1886), but the books were chiefly first editions of modern authors.
But the two great collections of books, equally celebrated in their way, with, however, little in common, which give to the year 1887 a most special importance, were those of the Earl of Crawford, and the first portion of the late James T. Gibson Craig's (of Edinburgh), both of which were dispersed in June, each occupying Messrs. Sotheby ten days in the dispersal. The Crawford sale of 2,146 lots realized a total of £19,073 9s. 6d., or an average of over £8 17s. per lot, whilst the Gibson Craig sale of 2,927 lots produced only £6,803 8s., or an average of a little over £2 6s. The former included, however, a perfect copy of the Mazarin or Gutenberg Bible, which realized £2,650, and a copy of Fust and Schoeffer's Bible, 1462, which sold for £1,025. Coverdale's Bible realized £226, and Tyndale's Bible £255, whilst Tyndale's New Testament, printed at Antwerp by Emperour, brought £230. The celebrated block-book, the Apocalypse of St. John, generally regarded as the second attempt in xylographic printing, realized £500. Sir Philip Sidney's 'Arcadia,' 1590, first edition, sold for £93. (It may be here mentioned that the second portion of the Crawford library was sold in June, 1889, when 1,105 lots realized £7,324 4s. 6d.—three Caxtons produced a total of £588; Cicero, 'Old Age,' 1481, etc., £320; Higden's 'Policronicon,' 1482, £33; and 'Christine of Pisa,' 1489, £235.) The Gibson Craig collection was essentially a modern one, and included a number of finely illustrated books. One of the chief rarities was a copy of the first edition of 'Robinson Crusoe,' which fetched £50. There were also a number of autograph letters and MSS. of Sir Walter Scott, the most important of which was the MS. of the 'Chronicles of the Canongate,' £141. The second and third portions of the Gibson Craig library were sold in March and November, 1888, the total of the three sales being £15,509 4s. 6d. The library of the Earl of Aylesford was sold at Christie's, March 6-16, 1888; and in June and November of the same year, the extensive collection of the late R. S. Turner, of the Albany, occupied Messrs. Sotheby twenty-eight days, 7,568 lots realizing a total of over £16,000. A previous sale of 774 items of his books occurred in France in 1878, and realized 319,100 francs. Turner's books included many exceedingly choice volumes bound by the most eminent craftsmen, such as Clovis Eve, Deseuil, Bozet, Derome, Padeloup, Capé, Trautz-Bauzonnet, Roger Payne, Bedford, and Rivière. Turner was born in 1819, and died in June, 1887. Perhaps the great book sensation of 1888 occurred in the sale at Christie's when a portion of the library of the late Lord Chancellor Hardwicke ('The Wimpole Library') was sold, and when a dozen tracts relating to America, bound together in a quarto volume, realized the unheard-of sum of £555. In the same sale also there were three Caxtons: the 'Game and Play of Chesse,' 1475-76, first edition, but not quite perfect, £260; and 'The Myrrour of the Worlde;' and Tullius 'De Amicitia,' both imperfect, in one volume, £60.
We can only briefly allude here to some of the more important collections which have been sold in London during the past six years. In the majority of instances they were the possession of deceased individuals, who for the most part lived out of London. In February, 1889, the Hopetoun House Library, the property of the Right Hon. the Earl of Hopetoun, was sold at Sotheby's, 1,263 lots realizing £6,117 6s., the most important items in the sale being a copy of the Gutenberg-Fust Latin Bible, 1450-55, £2,000, and the editio princeps Virgil, 1469, £590. The library of Mr. John Mansfield Mackenzie, of Edinburgh, sold at the same place in the following March (2,368 lots = £7,072), was one of the most important collections dispersed in recent years; it was especially rich in first editions of modern writers, in curious books, and in literature relating to the drama; it included an exceedingly extensive series of Cruikshankiana, many of which realized prices which have not since been maintained. The most important lots in the sale of a selection from the library of the Duke of Buccleuch, at Sotheby's, March 25-27, 1889, were five Caxtons, viz.: 'Dictes and Sayengis of the Philosophirs,' 1477, first edition, £650; 'The Chronicles of England,' first edition, 1480, £470; the same, second edition, 1482, £45; Higden's 'Descripcion of Britayne,' 1480, £195; and the 'Royal Book, or Book for a King', £365.
Many interesting items occurred in the sale (July, 1889) of the library of the late J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps (one of the most distinguished of London book-hunters), which occurred a few months after the venerable owner's death. The amount realized for 1,291 lots was £2,298 10s. 6d.; and among them were several Shakespeare quartos, in all instances slightly imperfect. By far the most important feature of the Shakespearian rarities, drawings and engravings, preserved at Hollingbury Copse, near Brighton—'that quaint wigwam on the Sussex Downs which had the honour of sheltering more record and artistic evidences connected with the personal history of the great dramatist than are to be found in any other of the world's libraries'—still remains intact, according to the late owner's direction. It was offered to the Corporation of Birmingham for £7,000, but without avail. The collection comprises early engraved portraits of Shakespeare, authentic personal relics, documentary evidences respecting his estates and individuals connected with his biography, and artistic illustrations of localities connected with his personal history. The most important of the several hundred items is perhaps the unique early proof of the famous Droeshout portrait, for which Halliwell-Phillipps gave £100, and for which an American collector offered him £1,000. A calendar of this extraordinary assembly was very carefully edited by Mr. E. E. Baker, F.S.A., in 1891, and the collection is still intact. Writing in June, 1887, Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps himself tells us that for nearly half a century he had been an ardent Shakespearian collector, 'being most likely the only survivor of the little band who attended the sale of the library of George Chalmers somewhere about the year 1840. But for a long time, attempting too much in several directions with insufficient means, and harassed, moreover, by a succession of lawsuits, including two in the Court of Torture—I mean Chancery—I was unable to retain my accumulations; and thus it came to pass that bookcase full after bookcase full were disposed of, some by private contract, many under the vibrations of the auctioneer's hammer. This state of affairs continued till February, 1872, but since that period, by a strict limitation of my competitive resources to one subject—the Life of Shakespeare—I have managed to jog along without parting with a single article of any description.'
A much more important collection of Shakespeariana than that which appeared in the Halliwell-Phillipps sale came under the hammer at the same place a few days afterwards, when the late Frederick Perkins's library was dispersed (2,086 lots realized £8,222 7s.). The sale, in fact, was the most important in this respect since that of George Daniel in 1864, to which, however, the Perkins Collection was considerably inferior. Mr. Perkins had spent many years of search and a large sum of money in collecting early editions of Shakespeare, but during the past thirty years not only has their value gone up in an appalling degree, but they are for the most part positively unprocurable. Under these depressing conditions, Mr. Perkins managed nevertheless to obtain eighteen first or very early quarto editions of Shakespeare's plays; and poor as is this show when compared with that of George Daniel, it is doubtful whether a sale so extensive from the particular point of view under consideration as that of Mr. Perkins can be expected until well into the next century. The highest price was paid for 'The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth,' 1600, £225; 'Romeo and Juliet,' 1599, fetched £164; the 'Merchant of Venice,' 1600 (printed by J. Roberts), £121; 'Henry V.,' 1608, third edition, £99. The First Folio fetched £415.
The dispersals of book-collections in 1890 included a few of considerable note. The exceedingly extensive one, for example, of the late Sir Edward Sullivan, Bart., Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was highly interesting as illustrating a phase of book-collecting which is now all but obsolete. It was rich in the classics, which three-quarters of a century ago would have created the greatest excitement. It occupied twenty-one days (May-June), when 6,919 lots realized a total of £10,982 3s.—a highly satisfactory result, when the general depreciation in the market value of the classics is considered. The extensive library of Mr. Thomas Gaisford (2,218 lots, £9,182 15s. 6d.), which was sold in April, 1890, included not only some fine editions of the classics, but a remarkable series of Blake's works, first editions of Keats, Byron, Shelley, Swinburne, the four folio editions of Shakespeare, and a few quartos, notably the 'Merry Wives of Windsor,' 1602, £385; 'Love's Labour Lost,' 1598, £140; and 'Much Adoe about Nothing,' 1600, £130, all first editions. Some very interesting and rare Shakespeare items occurred also in the sale of the library of the late Frederick William Cosens, 1890, e.g., 'Merchant of Venice,' 1600, £270; and the 'Poems,' 1640, £61. The dramatic library of the late Frank Marshall (Sotheby's, June, 1890, £2,187 14s. 6d.), and the angling books of the late Francis Francis (Puttick's, July, 1890), were interesting collections in the way of special books.
The most noteworthy collections dispersed in 1891 included the Walton Hall library of the late Edward Hailstone, who was D.L. of the West Riding, Yorkshire (sold in February and April, 5,622 lots, £8,991 5s. 6d.), among which were many books of an exceedingly curious character; and the 'Lakelands' library of the late W. H. Crawford, of Lakelands, co. Cork (3,428 lots, £21,255 19s. 6d.), remarkable on account of its copy of the Valdarfer Boccaccio, 1471, £230; a copy (? unique) of Caviceo, 'Dialogue treselegant intitule le Peregrin,' 1527, on vellum, with the arms of France, £355; the Landino edition of Dante, 1481, with the engravings by Bacio Baldini from the designs by Botticelli, £360; Shakespeare's 'Lucrece,' 1594, £250, and 'Merchant of Venice,' 1600, £111; and the 'Legenda Aurea,' printed by Caxton, 1483, £465. The topographical and general library of the late Lord Brabourne was sold in May, 1891, also at Sotheby's; whilst the remainder of this library was sold at Puttick's in June, 1893. The collections scattered in 1892 included few of note, but we may mention those of the late Joshua H. Hutchinson, G. B. Anderson, and R. F. Cooke (a partner in the firm of John Murray, the eminent publisher) as including many first editions of modern authors; whilst those of John Wingfield Larking and Edwin Henry Lawrence, F.S.A., included a number of rare books, as may be gathered from the fact that the library of the former comprised 946 lots, which realized £3,925 13s., and that of the latter, 860 lots, £7,409 3s. The most interesting collection sold in 1893 was the selected portions from the books, MSS., and letters collected by William Hazlitt, his son, and his grandson; of the first importance in another direction was the sale of the Bateman heirlooms (books and MSS.).
The late Rev. W. E. Buckley, M.A., formerly Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford, and late Rector of Middleton-Cheney, Banbury, and vice-president of the Roxburghe Club, was a veritable Heber in a small way. Besides the enormous quantity of books sold in two portions (twenty-two days in all) in February, 1893, and April, 1894, several vanloads were disposed of locally, as not being worth the cost of carriage to London. His library must have comprised nearly 100,000 volumes, of which only a small proportion had any commercial importance. He managed, however, in his long career, to pick up a few bargains, notably the Columbus 'Letter' ('Epistola Christofori Colom.,' four leaves, 1493, with which was bound up Vespucci, 'Mundus novus Albericus Vesputius,' etc., 1503, also four leaves), which cost him less than £5, and which realized £315; he also possessed a first edition of Goldsmith's 'Vicar of Wakefield,' 1766, £39 10s.; Keats's 'Poems,' first edition, 1817, in the original boards, £23 10s.; Fielding's 'Tom Jones,' 1749, first edition, uncut, in the original boards, £69. The two portions of the Buckley library sold at Sotheby's realized £9,420 9s. 6d. The smallest, as well as the choicest, library sold in 1894 (June 11) comprised the most select books from the collection of Mr. Birket Foster, the distinguished artist. The first, second, third, and fourth folio Shakespeares sold for £255, £56, £130, and £25 respectively; the quarto editions of the great dramatist included 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' 1600, large copy, £122; 'Merchant of Venice,' 1600, £146; 'King Lear,' 1608, £100. Mr. Foster also possessed John Milton's copy of 'Lycophronis Alexandra,' which realized £90; an incomplete copy of Caxton's 'Myrrour of the World,' 1491, £77. The valuable and interesting dramatic and miscellaneous library of the late Frederick Burgess, of the Moore and Burgess minstrels, was sold at Sotheby's, in May-June, 1894, and included many choice editions of modern authors.
The late Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte was a giant among book-collectors, but his books were almost exclusively philological. Mr. Victor Collins, who has compiled an 'Attempt' at a catalogue, in which there are no less than 13,699 entries, states that 'as a young man the Prince was fond of chemistry, and on one occasion he was desirous of reading a chemical work that happened to exist only in Swedish. He learned Swedish for the purpose, and this gave him a taste for languages, very many of which he studied. His object in forming the library was to discover, rather perhaps to show, the relationship of all languages to each other. Nor was it only distinct languages he included in his plan, but their dialects, their corruptions, even slang, thieves' slang—slang of all kinds. In carrying out his idea the Prince had of course the advantages of exceptional abilities, and, until the fall of the Empire, of unlimited money. Some of the bindings are very beautiful. As to the printing, the Prince for long had a fully-fitted printing-office on the basement floor of his house in Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater. The Prince being a Senator of France, a cousin of Louis Napoleon, and a well-known philologist, people brought him all sorts of interesting books. Therefore it is not surprising to find that the library includes rare works not present, for instance, in the British Museum. There are three early German Bibles which Mr. Gladstone, visiting the Prince once, thought should be presented to the British Museum. To the best of Mr. Gladstone's knowledge, one of the three did not exist anywhere else, and either of the three would be worth about £500. They are remarkable specimens of early German printing, and are profusely illustrated.' Mr. Collins calculates that there are at least 25,000 volumes in the collection, and that fully thirty alphabets are spread through them. This extraordinary collection, like the Shakespearian one formed by Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, is still awaiting a purchaser (see the Times, July 25, 1895).
The collection, also a special one, of a recently-deceased book-collector may be mentioned here, and for the following particulars we are indebted to Mr. Elliot Stock: 'Edmund Waterton, the son of Charles Waterton, the naturalist, lived at first at Walton Hall, his father's residence. He sold this, and bought a house at Deeping, Waterton, where his ancestors formerly lived. He had a large old library, a great part of which he inherited from his father. His great pleasure was in his "Imitatio Christi" collection. He succeeded in gathering together some 1,500 different editions, printed and MS. He had given commissions to booksellers all over Europe to send him any edition they might meet with, and one of the pleasures of his life was to see the foreign packets come by post. I sent him a seventeenth-century edition which I came across accidentally for his acceptance on "spec." It turned out it was one he had been looking for for a long time, and his letter describing his glee when it was brought up to his bedroom in the morning with his breakfast was very comic. He kept an oblong volume like a washing-book, with all the editions he knew of, some thousands in all, and his delight in ticking one more off the lengthy desiderata was like that of a schoolboy marking off the "days to the holidays." Edmund Waterton had a number of rare books besides those in his "Imitation" collection; notably a very tall First Folio Shakespeare, with contemporary comments made by some ancestor, who had also made good some of the missing pages in MS. He was a lineal descendant of Sir Thomas More, on his mother's side, and possessed Sir T. More's clock, which still went when I stayed with him. It was apparently the same clock that hangs on the wall at the back of Holbein's celebrated picture of Sir Thomas More and his family. Waterton had one of the longest and clearest pedigrees in the country, tracing back to Saxon times without break; his family were Catholics, and seem to have lost most of their property in the troublous times of the Reformation. Anyone who was interested in the "Imitation," whether as a collector or not, always met with kindness, and almost affection, from him. The first time I met him—which arose from my making the facsimile of the Brussels MS.—he showed his confidence and goodwill by lending me, for several days, his oblong record of editions to look over.'
Mr. Waterton's collection of the 'Imitation' came under the hammer at Sotheby's in January, 1895, in two lots. The first comprised six manuscripts and 762 printed editions, ancient and modern, in various languages, of this celebrated devotional work, arranged in languages in chronological order. It realized £101. The second lot comprised a collection of 437 printed editions, a few of which were not included in the former, and sold for the equally absurd amount of £43. The British Museum had the first pick of this collection, and the authorities were enabled to fill up a large number of gaps in their already extensive series of editions. The six MSS. and over 250 printed editions passed into the possession of Dr. Copinger, of Manchester, through Messrs. Sotheran, of the Strand, who, indeed, purchased the two 'lots' when offered at Sotheby's.
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