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American market.  Christmas books are sold in the States stuffed

with pictures cut out of honest volumes.  Here is a quotation from

an American paper:-

"Another style of Christmas book which deserves to be mentioned,

though it is out of the reach of any but the very rich, is the

historical or literary work enriched with inserted plates.  There

has never, to our knowledge, been anything offered in America so

supremely excellent as the $5000 book on Washington, we think--

exhibited by Boston last year, but not a few fine specimens of books

of this class are at present offered to purchasers.  Scribner has a

beautiful copy of Forster's 'Life of Dickens,' enlarged from three

volumes octavo to nine volumes quarto, by taking to pieces,

remounting, and inlaying.  It contains some eight hundred

engravings, portraits, views, playbills, title-pages, catalogues,

proof illustrations from Dickens's works, a set of the Onwhyn

plates, rare engravings by Cruikshank and 'Phiz,' and autograph

letters.  Though this volume does not compare with Harvey's Dickens,

offered for $1750 two years ago, it is an excellent specimen of

books of this sort, and the veriest tyro in bibliographical affairs

knows how scarce are becoming the early editions of Dickens's works

and the plates illustrating them. {4}  Anything about Dickens in the

beginning of his career is a sound investment from a business point

of view.  Another work of the same sort, valued at $240, is Lady

Trevelyan's edition of Macaulay, illustrated with portraits, many of

them very rare.  Even cheaper, all things considered, is an extra-

illustrated copy of the 'Histoire de la Gravure,' which, besides its

seventy-three reproductions of old engravings, is enriched with two

hundred fine specimens of the early engravers, many of the

impressions being in first and second states.  At $155 such a book

is really a bargain, especially for any one who is forming a

collection of engravings.  Another delightful work is the library

edition of Bray's 'Evelyn,' illustrated with some two hundred and

fifty portraits and views, and valued at $175; and still another is

Boydell's 'Milton,' with plates after Westall, and further

illustrations in the shape of twenty-eight portraits of the painter

and one hundred and eighty-one plates, and many of them before

letter.  The price of this book is $325."

But few book-ghouls are worse than the moral ghoul.  He defaces,

with a pen, the passages, in some precious volume, which do not meet

his idea of moral propriety.  I have a Pine's "Horace," with the

engravings from gems, which has fallen into the hands of a moral

ghoul.  Not only has he obliterated the verses which hurt his

delicate sense, but he has actually scraped away portions of the

classical figures, and "the breasts of the nymphs in the brake."

The soul of Tartuffe had entered into the body of a sinner of the

last century.  The antiquarian ghoul steals title-pages and

colophons.  The aesthetic ghoul cuts illuminated initials out of

manuscripts.  The petty, trivial, and almost idiotic ghoul of our

own days, sponges the fly-leaves and boards of books for the purpose

of cribbing the book-plates.  An old "Complaint of a Book-plate," in

dread of the wet sponge of the enemy, has been discovered by Mr.

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