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would be impossible to give them any kind of collation, and the same

may be said of many other kinds of old service-books, and of the

chronicles, poems, romances, and herbals, in which mediaeval

literature abounded, and which the collector must judge as best he


The name of "missal" is commonly and falsely given to all old

service-books by the booksellers, but the collector will easily

distinguish one when he sees it, from the notes I have given.  In a

Sarum Missal, at Alnwick, there is a colophon quoted by my lamented

friend Dr. Rock in his "Textile Fabrics."  It is appropriate both to

the labours of the old scribes and also to those of their modern


"Librum Scribendo--Jon Whas Monachus laborabat -

Et mane Surgendo--multum corpus macerabat."

It is one of the charms of manuscripts that they illustrate, in

their minute way, all the art, and even the social condition, of the

period in which they were produced.  Apostles, saints, and prophets

wear the contemporary costume, and Jonah, when thrown to the hungry

whale, wears doublet and trunk hose.  The ornaments illustrate the

architectural taste of the day.  The backgrounds change from

diapered patterns to landscapes, as the modern way of looking at

nature penetrates the monasteries and reaches the scriptorium where

the illuminator sits and refreshes his eyes with the sight of the

slender trees and blue distant hills.  Printed books have not such

resources.  They can only show varieties of type, quaint

frontispieces, printers' devices, and fleurons at the heads of

chapters.  These attractions, and even the engravings of a later

day, seem meagre enough compared with the allurements of

manuscripts.  Yet printed books must almost always make the greater

part of a collection, and it may be well to give some rules as to

the features that distinguish the productions of the early press.

But no amount of "rules" is worth six months' practical experience

in bibliography.  That experience the amateur, if he is wise, will

obtain in a public library, like the British Museum or the Bodleian.

Nowhere else is he likely to see much of the earliest of printed

books, which very seldom come into the market.

Those of the first German press are so rare that practically they

never reach the hands of the ordinary collector.  Among them are the

famous Psalters printed by Fust and Schoffer, the earliest of which

is dated 1457; and the bible known as the Mazarine Bible.  Two

copies of this last were in the Perkins sale.  I well remember the

excitement on that occasion.  The first copy put up was the best,

being printed upon vellum.  The bidding commenced at 1000 pounds,

and very speedily rose to 2200 pounds, at which point there was a

long pause; it then rose in hundreds with very little delay to 3400

pounds, at which it was knocked down to a bookseller.  The second

copy was on paper, and there were those present who said it was

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