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what it can teach him.  When he has, so to speak, burnt his fingers

once or twice, he will find himself able to distinguish at sight

what no amount of teaching by word of mouth or by writing could ever

possibly impart to any advantage.

One thing I should like if possible to impress very strongly upon

the reader.  That is the fact that a MS. which is not absolutely

perfect, if it is in a genuine state, is of much more value than one

which has been made perfect by the skill of a modern restorer.  The

more skilful he is, that is to say the better he can forge the style

of the original, the more worthless he renders the volume.

Printing seems to have superseded the art of the illuminator more

promptly and completely in England than on the Continent.  The dames

galantes of Brantome's memoirs took pleasure in illuminated Books of

Hours, suited to the nature of their devotions.  As late as the time

of Louis XIV., Bussy Rabutin had a volume of the same kind,

illuminated with portraits of "saints," of his own canonisation.

The most famous of these modern examples of costly MSS. was "La

Guirlande de Julie," a collection of madrigals by various courtly

hands, presented to the illustrious Julie, daughter of the Marquise

de Rambouillet, most distinguished of the Precieuses, and wife of

the Duc de Montausier, the supposed original of Moliere's Alceste.

The MS. was copied on vellum by Nicholas Jarry, the great calligraph

of his time.  The flowers on the margin were painted by Robert.  Not

long ago a French amateur was so lucky as to discover the MS. book

of prayers of Julie's noble mother, the Marquise de Rambouillet.

The Marquise wrote these prayers for her own devotions, and Jarry,

the illuminator, declared that he found them most edifying, and

delightful to study.  The manuscript is written on vellum by the

famous Jarry, contains a portrait of the fair Julie herself, and is

bound in morocco by Le Gascon.  The happy collector who possesses

the volume now, heard vaguely that a manuscript of some interest was

being exposed for sale at a trifling price in the shop of a country

bookseller.  The description of the book, casual as it was, made

mention of the monogram on the cover.  This was enough for the

amateur.  He rushed to a railway station, travelled some three

hundred miles, reached the country town, hastened to the

bookseller's shop, and found that the book had been withdrawn by its

owner.  Happily the possessor, unconscious of his bliss, was at

home.  The amateur sought him out, paid the small sum demanded, and

returned to Paris in triumph.  Thus, even in the region of

manuscript-collecting, there are extraordinary prizes for the

intelligent collector.


If the manuscript is of English or French writing of the twelfth,

thirteenth, fourteenth, or fifteenth centuries, it is probably

either--(1) a Bible, (2) a Psalter, (3) a book of Hours, or (4), but

rarely, a Missal.  It is not worth while to give the collation of a

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