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bookbinder's, where he had a copy of Rousseau's works, with a

facsimile of his handwriting.  As he walked, M. de Latour read in

his book, and found notes of Rousseau's on the margin.  The

facsimile proved that the inscription was genuine.  The happy de

Latour now made for the public office in which he was a functionary,

and rushed into the bureau of his friend the Marquis de V.  The

Marquis, a man of great strength of character, recognised the

signature of Rousseau with but little display of emotion.  M. de

Latour now noticed some withered flowers among the sacred pages; but

it was reserved for a friend to discover in the faded petals

Rousseau's favourite flower, the periwinkle.  Like a true Frenchman,

like Rousseau himself in his younger days, M. de Latour had not

recognised the periwinkle when he saw it.  That night, so excited

was M. de Latour, he never closed an eye!  What puzzled him was that

he could not remember, in all Rousseau's works, a single allusion to

the "Imitatio Christi."  Time went on, the old book was not rebound,

but kept piously in a case of Russia leather.  M. de Latour did not

suppose that "dans ce bas monde it fut permis aux joies du

bibliophile d'aller encore plus loin."  He imagined that the

delights of the amateur could only go further, in heaven.  It

chanced, however, one day that he was turning over the "Oeuvres

Inedites" of Rousseau, when he found a letter, in which Jean

Jacques, writing in 1763, asked Motiers-Travers to send him the

"Imitatio Christi."  Now the date 1764 is memorable, in Rousseau's

"Confessions," for a burst of sentiment over a periwinkle, the first

he had noticed particularly since his residence at Les Charmettes,

where the flower had been remarked by Madame de Warens.  Thus M.

Tenant de Latour had recovered the very identical periwinkle, which

caused the tear of sensibility to moisten the fine eyes of Jean

Jacques Rousseau.

We cannot all be adorers of Rousseau.  But M. de Latour was an

enthusiast, and this little anecdote of his explains the sentimental

side of the bibliophile's pursuit.  Yes, it is SENTIMENT that makes

us feel a lively affection for the books that seem to connect us

with great poets and students long ago dead.  Their hands grasp ours

across the ages.  I never see the first edition of Homer, that

monument of typography and of enthusiasm for letters, printed at

Florence (1488) at the expense of young Bernardo and Nerio Nerli,

and of their friend Giovanni Acciajuoli, but I feel moved to cry

with Heyne, "salvete juvenes, nobiles et generosi; [Greek text]."

Such is our apology for book-collecting.  But the best defence of

the taste would be a list of the names of great collectors, a

"vision of mighty book-hunters."  Let us say nothing of Seth and

Noah, for their reputation as amateurs is only based on the

authority of the tract De Bibliothecis Antediluvianis.  The library

of Assurbanipal I pass over, for its volumes were made, as Pliny

says, of coctiles laterculi, of baked tiles, which have been

deciphered by the late Mr. George Smith.  Philosophers as well as

immemorial kings, Pharaohs and Ptolemys, are on our side.  It was

objected to Plato, by persons answering to the cheap scribblers of

to-day, that he, though a sage, gave a hundred minae (360 pounds)

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