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careful and profound learning, and was deeply interested in Greek

studies, then encouraged by the arrival in Italy of many educated

Greeks and Cretans.  Only four Greek authors had as yet been printed

in Italy, when (1495) Aldus established his press at Venice.

Theocritus, Homer, AEsop, and Isocrates, probably in very limited

editions, were in the hands of students.  The purpose of Aldus was

to put Greek and Latin works, beautifully printed in a convenient

shape, within the reach of all the world.  His reform was the

introduction of books at once cheap, studiously correct, and

convenient in actual use.  It was in 1498 that he first adopted the

small octavo size, and in his "Virgil" of 1501, he introduced the

type called Aldine or Italic.  The letters were united as in

writing, and the type is said to have been cut by Francesco da

Bologna, better known as Francia, in imitation of the hand of

Petrarch.  For full information about Aldus and his descendants and

successors, the work of M. Firmin Didot, ("Alde Manuce et

l'Hellenisme a Venise:  Paris 1875)," and the Aldine annals of

Renouard, must be consulted.  These two works are necessary to the

collector, who will otherwise be deceived by the misleading

assertions of the booksellers.  As a rule, the volumes published in

the lifetime of Aldus Manutius are the most esteemed, and of these

the Aristotle, the first Homer, the Virgil, and the Ovid, are

perhaps most in demand.  The earlier Aldines are consulted almost as

studiously as MSS. by modern editors of the classics.

Just as the house of Aldus waned and expired, that of the great

Dutch printers, the Elzevirs, began obscurely enough at Leyden in

1583.  The Elzevirs were not, like Aldus, ripe scholars and men of

devotion to learning.  Aldus laboured for the love of noble studies;

the Elzevirs were acute, and too often "smart" men of business.  The

founder of the family was Louis (born at Louvain, 1540, died 1617).

But it was in the second and third generations that Bonaventura and

Abraham Elzevir began to publish at Leyden, their editions in small

duodecimo.  Like Aldus, these Elzevirs aimed at producing books at

once handy, cheap, correct, and beautiful in execution.  Their

adventure was a complete success.  The Elzevirs did not, like Aldus,

surround themselves with the most learned scholars of their time.

Their famous literary adviser, Heinsius, was full of literary

jealousies, and kept students of his own calibre at a distance.  The

classical editions of the Elzevirs, beautiful, but too small in type

for modern eyes, are anything but exquisitely correct.  Their

editions of the contemporary.  French authors, now classics

themselves, are lovely examples of skill in practical enterprise.

The Elzevirs treated the French authors much as American publishers

treat Englishmen.  They stole right and left, but no one complained

much in these times of slack copyright; and, at all events, the

piratic larcenous publications of the Dutch printers were pretty,

and so far satisfactory.  They themselves, in turn, were the victims

of fraudulent and untradesmanlike imitations.  It is for this, among

other reasons, that the collector of Elzevirs must make M. Willems's

book ("Les Elzevier," Brussels and Paris, 1880) his constant study.

Differences so minute that they escape the unpractised eye, denote

editions of most various value.  In Elzevirs a line's breadth of

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