X hits on this document





19 / 70

"Had I but kenn'd, Tamlane," she says,

"Before ye came frae hame,

I wad ta'en out your heart o' flesh,

Put in a heart o' stane!"

Above the lintel of his library door, Pixerecourt had this couplet

carved -

"Tel est le triste sort de tout livre prete,

Souvent il est perdu, toujours il est gate."

M. Paul Lacroix says he would not have lent a book to his own

daughter.  Once Lacroix asked for the loan of a work of little

value.  Pixerecourt frowned, and led his friend beneath the doorway,

pointing to the motto.  "Yes," said M. Lacroix, "but I thought that

verse applied to every one but me."  So Pixerecourt made him a

present of the volume.

We cannot all imitate this "immense" but unamiable amateur.

Therefore, bibliophiles have consoled themselves with the inventions

of book-plates, quaint representations, perhaps heraldic, perhaps

fanciful, of their claims to the possession of their own dear

volumes.  Mr. Leicester Warren and M. Poulet Malassis have written

the history of these slender works of art, and each bibliophile may

have his own engraved, and may formulate his own anathemas on people

who borrow and restore not again.  The process is futile, but may

comfort the heart, like the curses against thieves which the Greeks

were wont to scratch on leaden tablets, and deposit in the temple of

Demeter.  Each amateur can exercise his own taste in the design of a

book-plate; and for such as love and collect rare editions of

"Homer," I venture to suggest this motto, which may move the heart

of the borrower to send back an Aldine copy of the epic -

[Greek text] {3}

Mr. William Blades, in his pleasant volume, "The Enemies of Books"

(Trubner), makes no account of the book-thief or biblioklept.  "If

they injure the owners," says Mr. Blades, with real tolerance, "they

do no harm to the books themselves, by merely transferring them from

one set of book-shelves to another."  This sentence has naturally

caused us to reflect on the ethical character of the biblioklept.

He is not always a bad man.  In old times, when language had its

delicacies, and moralists were not devoid of sensibility, the French

did not say "un voleur de livres," but "un chipeur de livres;" as

the papers call lady shoplifters "kleptomaniacs."  There are

distinctions.  M. Jules Janin mentions a great Parisian bookseller

who had an amiable weakness.  He was a bibliokleptomaniac.  His

Document info
Document views81
Page views81
Page last viewedSun Oct 23 01:42:59 UTC 2016