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gambling is not absent from the auction-room, and people "bid

jealous" as they sometimes "ride jealous" in the hunting-field.

Yet, the neophyte, if he strolls by chance into a sale-room, will be

surprised at the spectacle.  The chamber has the look of a rather

seedy "hell."  The crowd round the auctioneer's box contains many

persons so dingy and Semitic, that at Monte Carlo they would be

refused admittance; while, in Germany, they would be persecuted by

Herr von Treitschke with Christian ardour.  Bidding is languid, and

valuable books are knocked down for trifling sums.  Let the neophyte

try his luck, however, and prices will rise wonderfully.  The fact

is that the sale is a "knock out."  The bidders are professionals,

in a league to let the volumes go cheap, and to distribute them

afterwards among themselves.  Thus an amateur can have a good deal

of sport by bidding for a book till it reaches its proper value, and

by then leaving in the lurch the professionals who combine to "run

him up."  The amusement has its obvious perils, but the presence of

gentlemen in an auction-room is a relief to the auctioneer and to

the owner of the books.  A bidder must be able to command his

temper, both that he may be able to keep his head cool when tempted

to bid recklessly, and that he may disregard the not very carefully

concealed sneers of the professionals.

In book-hunting the nature of the quarry varies with the taste of

the collector.  One man is for bibles, another for ballads.  Some

pursue plays, others look for play bills.  "He was not," says Mr.

Hill Burton, speaking of Kirkpatrick Sharpe, "he was not a black-

letter man, or a tall copyist, or an uncut man, or a rough-edge man,

or an early-English dramatist, or an Elzevirian, or a broadsider, or

a pasquinader, or an old brown calf man, or a Grangerite, {1} or a

tawny moroccoite, or a gilt topper, or a marbled insider, or an

editio princeps man."  These nicknames briefly dispose into

categories a good many species of collectors.  But there are plenty

of others.  You may be a historical-bindings man, and hunt for books

that were bound by the great artists of the past and belonged to

illustrious collectors.  Or you may be a Jametist, and try to gather

up the volumes on which Jamet, the friend of Louis Racine, scribbled

his cynical "Marginalia."  Or you may covet the earliest editions of

modern poets--Shelley, Keats, or Tennyson, or even Ebenezer Jones.

Or the object of your desires may be the books of the French

romanticists, who flourished so freely in 1830.  Or, being a person

of large fortune and landed estate, you may collect country

histories.  Again, your heart may be set on the books illustrated by

Eisen, Cochin, and Gravelot, or Stothard and Blake, in the last

century.  Or you may be so old-fashioned as to care for Aldine

classics, and for the books of the Giunta press.  In fact, as many

as are the species of rare and beautiful books, so many are the

species of collectors.  There is one sort of men, modest but not

unwise in their generations, who buy up the pretty books published

in very limited editions by French booksellers, like MM. Lemerre and

Jouaust.  Already their reprints of Rochefoucauld's first edition,

of Beaumarchais, of La Fontaine, of the lyrics attributed to

Moliere, and other volumes, are exhausted, and fetch high prices in

the market.  By a singular caprice, the little volumes of Mr.

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