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for three treatises of Philolaus, while Aristotle paid nearly thrice

the sum for a few books that had been in the library of Speusippus.

Did not a Latin philosopher go great lengths in a laudable anxiety

to purchase an Odyssey "as old as Homer," and what would not Cicero,

that great collector, have given for the Ascraean editio princeps of

Hesiod, scratched on mouldy old plates of lead?  Perhaps Dr.

Schliemann may find an original edition of the "Iliad" at

Orchomenos; but of all early copies none seems so attractive as that

engraved on the leaden plates which Pausanias saw at Ascra.  Then,

in modern times, what "great allies" has the collector, what

brethren in book-hunting?  The names are like the catalogue with

which Villon fills his "Ballade des Seigneurs du Temps Jadis."  A

collector was "le preux Charlemaigne" and our English Alfred.  The

Kings of Hungary, as Mathias Corvinus; the Kings of France, and

their queens, and their mistresses, and their lords, were all

amateurs.  So was our Henry VIII., and James I., who "wished he

could be chained to a shelf in the Bodleian."  The middle age gives

us Richard de Bury, among ecclesiastics, and the Renaissance boasts

Sir Thomas More, with that "pretty fardle of books, in the small

type of Aldus," which he carried for a freight to the people of

Utopia.  Men of the world, like Bussy Rabutin, queens like our

Elizabeth; popes like Innocent X.; financiers like Colbert (who made

the Grand Turk send him Levant morocco for bindings); men of letters

like Scott and Southey, Janin and Nodier, and Paul Lacroix; warriors

like Junot and Prince Eugene; these are only leaders of companies in

the great army of lovers of books, in which it is honourable enough

to be a private soldier.


The Library which is to be spoken of in these pages, is all unlike

the halls which a Spencer or a Huth fills with treasure beyond

price.  The age of great libraries has gone by, and where a

collector of the old school survives, he is usually a man of

enormous wealth, who might, if he pleased, be distinguished in

parliament, in society, on the turf itself, or in any of the

pursuits where unlimited supplies of money are strictly necessary.

The old amateurs, whom La Bruyere was wont to sneer at, were not

satisfied unless they possessed many thousands of books.  For a

collector like Cardinal Mazarin, Naude bought up the whole stock of

many a bookseller, and left great towns as bare of printed paper as

if a tornado had passed, and blown the leaves away.  In our modern

times, as the industrious Bibliophile Jacob, says, the fashion of

book-collecting has changed; "from the vast hall that it was, the

library of the amateur has shrunk to a closet, to a mere book-case.

Nothing but a neat article of furniture is needed now, where a great

gallery or a long suite of rooms was once required.  The book has

become, as it were, a jewel, and is kept in a kind of jewel-case."

It is not quantity of pages, nor lofty piles of ordinary binding,

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