gradual, or a hymnal, or a processional, or a breviary, or any of
the fifty different kinds of service-books which are occasionally
met with, but which are never twice the same.
To collate one of them, the reader must go carefully through the
book, seeing that the catch-words, if there are any, answer to the
head lines; and if there are "signatures," that is, if the foot of
the leaves of a sheet of parchment has any mark for enabling the
binder to "gather" them correctly, going through them, and seeing
that each signed leaf has its corresponding "blank."
1. To collate a Bible, it will be necessary first to go through the
catch-words, if any, and signatures, as above; then to notice the
contents. The first page should contain the Epistle of St. Jerome
to the reader. It will be observed that there is nothing of the
nature of a title-page, but I have often seen title-pages supplied
by some ignorant imitator in the last century, with the idea that
the book was imperfect without one. The books of the Bible follow
in order--but the order not only differs from ours, but differs in
different copies. The Apocryphal books are always included. The
New Testament usually follows on the Old without any break; and the
book concludes with an index of the Hebrew names and their
signification in Latin, intended to help preachers to the figurative
meaning of the biblical types and parables. The last line of the
Bible itself usually contains a colophon, in which sometimes the
name of the writer is given, sometimes the length of time it has
taken him to write, and sometimes merely the "Explicit. Laus Deo,"
which has found its way into many modern books. This colophon,
which comes as a rule immediately before the index, often contains
curious notes, hexameters giving the names of all the books,
biographical or local memoranda, and should always be looked for by
the collector. One such line occurs to me. It is in a Bible
written in Italy in the thirteenth century -
"Qui scripsit scribat. Vergilius spe domini vivat."
Vergilius was, no doubt, in this case the scribe. The Latin and the
writing are often equally crabbed. In the Bodleian there is a Bible
with this colophon -
"Finito libro referemus gratias Christo m.cc.lxv. indict. viij.
Ego Lafracus de Pacis de Cmoa scriptor scripsi."
This was also written in Italy. English colophons are often very
quaint--"Qui scripsit hunc librum fiat collocatus in Paradisum," is
an example. The following gives us the name of one Master Gerard,
who, in the fourteenth century, thus poetically described his