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The last of our categories of books much sought by the collector

includes all volumes valued for their ancient bindings, for the mark

and stamp of famous amateurs.  The French, who have supplied the

world with so many eminent binders,--as Eve, Padeloup, Duseuil, Le

Gascon, Derome, Simier, Bozerian, Thouvenin, Trautz-Bauzonnet, and

Lortic--are the chief patrons of books in historical bindings.  In

England an historical binding, a book of Laud's, or James's, or

Garrick's, or even of Queen Elizabeth's, does not seem to derive

much added charm from its associations.  But, in France, peculiar

bindings are now the objects most in demand among collectors.  The

series of books thus rendered precious begins with those of Maioli

and of Grolier (1479-1565), remarkable for their mottoes and the

geometrical patterns on the covers.  Then comes De Thou (who had

three sets of arms), with his blazon, the bees stamped on the

morocco.  The volumes of Marguerite of Angouleme are sprinkled with

golden daisies.  Diane de Poictiers had her crescents and her bow,

and the initial of her royal lover was intertwined with her own.

The three daughters of Louis XV. had each their favourite colour,

and their books wear liveries of citron, red, and olive morocco.

The Abbe Cotin, the original of Moliere's Trissotin, stamped his

books with intertwined C's.  Henri III. preferred religious emblems,

and sepulchral mottoes--skulls, crossbones, tears, and the insignia

of the Passion.  Mort m'est vie is a favourite device of the

effeminate and voluptuous prince.  Moliere himself was a collector,

il n'es pas de bouquin qui s'echappe de ses mains,--"never an old

book escapes him," says the author of "La Guerre Comique," the last

of the pamphlets which flew from side to side in the great literary

squabble about "L'Ecole des Femmes."  M. Soulie has found a rough

catalogue of Moliere's library, but the books, except a little

Elzevir, have disappeared. {7}  Madame de Maintenon was fond of

bindings.  Mr. Toovey possesses a copy of a devotional work in red

morocco, tooled and gilt, which she presented to a friendly abbess.

The books at Saint-Cyr were stamped with a crowned cross, besprent

with fleurs-de-lys.  The books of the later collectors--Longepierre,

the translator of Bion and Moschus; D'Hoym the diplomatist;

McCarthy, and La Valliere, are all valued at a rate which seems fair

game for satire.

Among the most interesting bibliophiles of the eighteenth century is

Madame Du Barry.  In 1771, this notorious beauty could scarcely read

or write.  She had rooms, however, in the Chateau de Versailles,

thanks to the kindness of a monarch who admired those native

qualities which education may polish, but which it can never confer.

At Versailles, Madame Du Barry heard of the literary genius of

Madame de Pompadour.  The Pompadour was a person of taste.  Her

large library of some four thousand works of the lightest sort of

light literature was bound by Biziaux.  Mr. Toovey possesses the

Brantome of this dame galante.  Madame herself had published

etchings by her own fair hands; and to hear of these things excited

the emulation of Madame Du Barry.  She might not be CLEVER, but she

could have a library like another, if libraries were in fashion.

One day Madame Du Barry astonished the Court by announcing that her

collection of books would presently arrive at Versailles.  Meantime

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