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Poggio rescued "Quintilian" from the counter of a wood merchant.

The best time for book-hunting in Paris is the early morning.  "The

take," as anglers say, is "on" from half-past seven to half-past

nine a.m.  At these hours the vendors exhibit their fresh wares, and

the agents of the more wealthy booksellers come and pick up

everything worth having.  These agents quite spoil the sport of the

amateur.  They keep a strict watch on every country dealer's

catalogue, snap up all he has worth selling, and sell it over again,

charging pounds in place of shillings.  But M. de Resbecq vows that

he once picked up a copy of the first edition of La Rochefoucauld's

"Maxims" out of a box which two booksellers had just searched.  The

same collector got together very promptly all the original editions

of La Bruyere, and he even found a copy of the Elzevir "Pastissier

Francais," at the humble price of six sous.  Now the " Pastissier

Francais," an ill-printed little cookery-book of the Elzevirs, has

lately fetched 600 pounds at a sale.  The Antiquary's story of

Snuffy Davy and the "Game of Chess," is dwarfed by the luck of M. de

Resbecq.  Not one amateur in a thousand can expect such good

fortune.  There is, however, a recent instance of a Rugby boy, who

picked up, on a stall, a few fluttering leaves hanging together on a

flimsy thread.  The old woman who kept the stall could hardly be

induced to accept the large sum of a shilling for an original quarto

of Shakespeare's "King John."  These stories are told that none may

despair.  That none may be over confident, an author may recount his

own experience.  The only odd trouvaille that ever fell to me was a

clean copy of "La Journee Chretienne," with the name of Leon

Gambetta, 1844, on its catholic fly-leaf.  Rare books grow rarer

every day, and often 'tis only Hope that remains at the bottom of

the fourpenny boxes.  Yet the Paris book-hunters cleave to the game.

August is their favourite season; for in August there is least

competition.  Very few people are, as a rule, in Paris, and these

are not tempted to loiter.  The bookseller is drowsy, and glad not

to have the trouble of chaffering.  The English go past, and do not

tarry beside a row of dusty boxes of books.  The heat threatens the

amateur with sunstroke.  Then, says M. Octave Uzanne, in a prose

ballade of book-hunters--then, calm, glad, heroic, the bouquineurs

prowl forth, refreshed with hope.  The brown old calf-skin wrinkles

in the sun, the leaves crackle, you could poach an egg on the cover

of a quarto.  The dome of the Institute glitters, the sickly trees

seem to wither, their leaves wax red and grey, a faint warm wind is

walking the streets.  Under his vast umbrella the book-hunter is

secure and content; he enjoys the pleasures of the sport unvexed by

poachers, and thinks less of the heat than does the deer-stalker on

the bare hill-side.

There is plenty of morality, if there are few rare books in the

stalls.  The decay of affection, the breaking of friendship, the

decline of ambition, are all illustrated in these fourpenny

collections.  The presentation volumes are here which the author

gave in the pride of his heart to the poet who was his "Master," to

the critic whom he feared, to the friend with whom he was on terms

of mutual admiration.  The critic has not even cut the leaves, the

poet has brusquely torn three or four apart with his finger and

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