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The manuscripts of the ancients being written on papyrus and parchment, and put upon rollers, were, of course, not in a shape to admit of binding, considering the term in its modern acceptation. By the bye, we may as well mention that the ancients made their manuscripts without even the convenience and comfort of a desk. From many manuscripts and early books, and especially from the Dioscorides published by Lambecius, we have representations of Scribes, whose only desk was their knees. We have, however, our individual doubts as to the universality of this uncomfortable and tedious mode. No doubt the knees were the earliest desk, and probably frequently employed, for a line of Homer's Iliad is, besides the early manuscripts, conclusive proof. But the use of some desk or support cannot have been long delayed, for what Greek or Roman could be so accommodatingly constructed as to write for long periods without possessing sufficient of mortal weakness to feel tired with his back bended double, and his knees up to his chin, or not to have possessed sufficient gumption to find something easier. Doctor Dibdin quietly asks if a desk can satisfactorily be proved to have existed before the VIIth century. So poor antiquity must suffer by default! If this digression on desks be pardoned we shall proceed from the undefined embryonic to the nascent state of the art. Isaac Vossius says that, in his apprehension, King Actalus was the first who ordered books to be squared-in whose time was discovered a more ready process of cleaning skins on both sides, whereas before they were written only upon one side. However (he continues,) although the custom of squaring commenced with Attalus, the previous method of a long roll, continued till the days of Catullus and Cicero, and some time afterwards. Now, it requires no antiquarian ingenuity to ascertain the next natural step, which was the arrangement of these pieces of squared parchment into twos, fours, &c., as folios and quartos and then! book-binding is a tangible thing, for what could follow but that these leaves would be cared for by inclosure in some durable, protecting cover--say of wood, vellum, or leather. The ancients used, in the preparation of these leaves, the Pumex, the Cedrium and Umbilicus, severally the polisher, the antiseptic and moth-destroying cedar oil, and the boss, or piece of wood to which the parchment was attached. The ornamentation and carving of this boss, no doubt, being suggestive to the later decorators of bookbindings.
The ancient diptycha ana triptycha of wood, ivory, metal, &c., enclosing the waxed tab. lets upon which the Greek and Romans wrote with the Stilus, probably gave the form to the modern book. These diptycha were frequently carved and otherwise elaborately ornament: ed. The invention of papyrus naturally resulted in its substitution for the waxed tablets and the sheets of papyrus would receive a protection of the same character as that afforded to the tablets. Some of these diptycha have been preserved to modern times, and resemble in size our ordinary octavos.
Libri Plicatiles and Volumina were ancient terms applied to manuscript parchment, indicative of its form,-consequently the modern term volume is anomalous. The name given to the ancient thing which merely expressed its form has been, regardless of propriety, applied to the modern substitute. The art of sticking or sewing together the leaves in a movable back between two pieces of skin, wood, ivorv, metal, &c., came into usage among the ancients, so soon as they found books of a square or oblong form more convenient and comfortable to read than the primitive roll.
Ornamentation was soon applied to this early binding, at first possessing no other morit than solidity, and having in view no other object than the preservation of the books. This ornamenting was rapidly elevated to an intimate relation with the luxuries of Greek and Roman civilization. Books were laid flat upon the shelves of the library, and the titles were written upon the sides. The wooden covers were not considered sufficient protection to books of value, and a piece of leather was placed upon the board as a protection against dust and the effect of attrition. The book was closed by a leather strap or thong, several times wrapped around it. This thong or strap was replaced at a later period by the clasp. In some cases the volume was enveloped in a thick wrapper, or inclosed in a shield of skin and wood.
that the skins with which the ancients used sometimes to make their books were put together by means of a thread or string only, and not with glue.' Nor must we forget the ‘lora rubra ' of Catullus, in his splendid description of ancient bibliomaniacal luxury, which words (from the note of Vulpius, edit. Catulli, 1737, p.-77) should seem to mean thongs of red leather, to tie up the rolls in a cylindrical form-'majoris elegantiæ causa. Hence the red-tape of the lawyer! And Mabillon (De Re Diplom. p. 32) mentions two vellum-skin bulls of Pope John XIII, which were fastened together in the middle, membraneo vinculo;' but these are somewhat solitary positions and must not be considered as detracting from the reputation of the mighty PhilLATIUS. In Cicero's time (from his IVth letter in the IVth book of his Epistles to Atticus), we have unequivocal attestation of the use of glue. The orator tells his friend to send him some two of his Librarians, who, amongst other things, might conglutinate his books,'&c.—Dibdin.
In the times of Cicero book-binding was not a very widely expanded art. Cicero, in his letters to Atticus, desires of him two of his slaves, skillsul book-binders (Ligatores Librorum.) Some of these early books, with their ponderous wooden covers and huge bosses and clasps (to say nothing of their contents) were weighty enough.* Poor Petrarch pretty nearly got his quietus for being o'er much devoted to heavy reading, for these very Epistolæ ad Atticum fell upon his left leg, and so wounded it, that he was threatened with amputation. Probably the poet gave way to his inclinations to somnolence during some prolonged “small hour” cogitation, and the relaxation of his muscles permitting free action to the gravity of the subject–became a subject of no inconsiderable gravity to the unfortunate poet. This manuscript, once the property of Petrarch, is preserved in the Laurentian Library in Florence. The work is remarkable for its caligraphy and workmanship. The binding is of the VIth century. Its corners and clasps are brass. We give ready credence to the story of Petrarch's accident. We have before us now a folio some four hundred years old, with heavy wooden covers and corners of wrought iron, which could not fail, in falling from a table or shelf, to carry death and destruction to anything in the shape of feet or legs which should unfortunately interpose. Square books, notwithstanding their convenience as to form, had not yet generally supplanted the rolls, except in the Levant, where this accessory art had taken an immense stride. In the notice of the Dignities of the Empire of the Orient (Notitia Dignitatum Imperii), written about 450, it appears that certain officers of the empire carried in the public ceremonies, large square books, containing the administrative instructions of the Emperor. These books were bound in green, red, blue, or yellow leather, shut by leather straps or clasps and ornamented with little lozenge-shaped and horizontal gold lines, with the portrait of the Sovereign painted or gilded on the side of the cover.
From the fifth century, bindings were richly ornamented by the goldsmith and lapidary. These plied their arts in the ornamentation, decoration and enrichment of the furniture of churches and palaces. Glittering gold, shining silver, and sparkling jewels making ostentatious luxuries of books of religion, caused St Jerome to exclaim, “Books are covered with precious stones, whilst Christ dies naked at the gate of his temple.”
It is one of these rich bindings which still covers the Greek prayer-book given to the Basilica de Monza, by Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards, about the year 600. These lavish goldsmiths' bindings were, however, almost exclusively confined to books of a religious character. Though manuscripts adorned with precious metals and stones were kept as reliques in the treasuries of churches, abbers, and palaces, books for ordinary use were simply covered with wood or skin, but not without the bestowing of considerable attention in view of the preservation of the volumes. Many documents still exhibited in monasteries are witness to the minute care with which books were bound and preserved.
After the books had been pressed and bound between two pieces of hard, sound and durable wood, various kinds of skin were employed to cover them. In the North the skins of seals and sharks seem to have been in much use-elsewhere the skin of a sow seems to have had preference.
* Did we repose the same faith in the verity of the statements of the juicy, jolly old author of Pantagruel, as does a late writer on American Antiquities, we should quote, as apropos of weight, books, "the huge pantofled breviary ” of that famous stuffer Gargantua :-"its weight, what in grease, clasps, parchment, and cover, little more or less than eleven hundred and six pounds."
Luxurious bindings have been the cause of the destruction of a multitude of precious manuscripts. At the sacking of cities, covers enriched by the goldsmith's and lapidary's art, were well adapted to excite the cupidity of pillagers, nothing loth to yield to the temptations exposed to them in the riches of monasteries and palaces. Of course, jewels were plucked out and the covers ruthlessly torn up to have the silver and gold broken away and melted. On the other hand, the sumptuous, the magnificent bindings of bibles, prayer-books, missals, &c.. which have been the property of royal or wealthy persons, have certainly secured the preservation of a number of these curious manuscripts, which otherwise would have been mutilated. defaced, or entirely destroyed. Thus is preserved to our times the famous manuscript of Sens. bound in two plates of ivory, sculptured in relief, representing the fetes of Bacchus.
Many of the antique cameos are of considerable interest to the student of Greek and Roman archæology.
The great collections of Europe, whose fortune it is to possess, exhibit with pride, these rare and vencrable bindings, ornamented with gold, silver, or copper, carved or inlaid with precious stones, colored glass, cameos and antique ivories. (See the illustration, a re. presentation of the binding of a prayer-book of the with century, gold, ornamented with precious stones, representing Christ crucified and the Virgin and St. John at the foot of the cross.)*
The richest specimens of binding are traceable to the age of Charlemagne, when such an impulse was given to everything connected with literature that the decoration of manuscripts was carried to a high degree of perfection. Among the books of this period must be promi. nently mentioned the book of Hours, written with letters of gold upon purple parchment, bound with red velvet, given by Charlemagne himself to the city of Toulouse, now preserved in the Louvre ; also the prayer-book given to the Abbey of Saint Riquier, “covered with plates of silver, and ornamented with gold and gems,” and that of St. Maximin de Treves, which belonged to Ada, daughter of Pepin and sister of Charlemagne. An engraven agate set in the binding of this last book represents Ada, the Emperor, and his sons.
History makes mention of a great number of beautiful prayer books, written on purple vellum in letters of gold and silver, and which were no less remarkable for the magnificence of their bindings—the majority belonging to the epoch of Charlemagne and his successors.
* This specimen is preserved in the Museum of the Louvre
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE SHAKESPEARE FOLIOS,
Mr. Daniel's copy of the first folio, before ! post on our hall tables, and that a multitude of his referred to, is thus commented upon in the
pages have “their effect of gravy" may be imputed to
| the various eatables set out every morning on the same sale catalogue of his library, (July, 1864.)
boards. “ Mr. Daniel, whose bibliographical knowledge was It should seem that most of his readers were so most profound in all matter connected with the GREAT chary of their time, that (like Pistol who knows his leck Poet, and who was well acquainted with the condi and swears all the while,) they fed and studied at the tion, quality, and rank of all known copies of the same instant. I have repeatedly met with thin flakes first class, used to speak of the present, as “the first of pie-crust between the leaves of our author. These ToL10," placing especial emphasis on the definite ar unctuous fragments remaining long in close contineticle ; an opinion concurred in by the late Mr. Rodd ment, communicated their grease to several pages and other judges of known repute. It is perfect and deep on each side of them. It is easy enough to conpure from beginning to end, measures 135 inches ceive how such accidents might happen; how Aunt by 8}, so that we feel justified in designating it a mar. Bridget's mastication might be disordered at the sudvelous volume of unrivalled beauty, thus affording a most den entry of the ghost into the Queen's closet, and important guarantee that it is unquestionably the finest that how the half chewed morsel dropped out of the gapcon ever occur for public sale. “THIS COPY WILL, TO
ing Squire's mouth, when the visionary Banqno seated ALL FUTURE TIME, POSSESS A WORLD-WIDE REPUTATION." himself in the chair of Macbeth. Still it is no small
" It was bequeathed ty Daniel Moore, F. R. S., to elogium on Shakespeare, that his claims were more William Henry Booth, Esq., who left it by will to forcible than those of hunger. Most of the folios now John Gage Kokewode, Esq., from whom it passed to extant are known to have belonged to ancient families Mr. Daniel, through the hands of the late Mr. resident in the councry. Since our breakfasts have Pickering, les beauty was first remarked on by Dr. become less gross our favorite authors have escaped Dibdin in his Library Compauion, 1824, when in Mr. with fewer injuries ; not that, (as a very nice friend Moore's possession,
of mine observes,) those who read with a coffe-cup "Interesting letters attesting these facts, are in the in their hands, are to be numbered among the convolume, and another from Mr. Joseph Lilly, offering
tributors to bibliothical purity. I claim the merit of the sum of £300 for it, written before the im perisha being the first commentator on Shakespeare, who ble monument to the genius of the immortal Poet had strove with becoming seriousness, to account for the reached its bibliographical zenith."
frequent stains that disgrace the earliest folio edition of
his Plays, which is now become the most expensive This copy produced the unprecedented single book in our language; for, what other Englisb sum of £716, 25., and was purchased for
volume without plates, and printed since the year
1600, is known to have sold more than once for Miss Burdett Coutts. The book of the
351, 145. highest interest and the highest price in the To the latter part of these observations Mr. Bossale bought for a lady!
well has added the following remarks:
It has become still more expensive. Ipse miserrimas Dibdin thus discourses upon the folios :
gave a much larger sum at Mr. Kemble's sale; but I “ Of early quartos we shall presently speak, and
could not bring myself to a cold calculation of the value alike of folios; but in regard to the first folio edition of a copy which was at once a memorial of Shakeof 1623, it may not be irrelative or unamusive to ill speare and of Kemble; yet another word about early ustrate the advantages of an “UNSOILED ” copy, by quartos and folios of Shakespeare. It is said above the following anecdote from Steevens, in his Va that these “moved the bile" of Prynne; that they riorum edition of 1793, repeated in the two sub- did so is unquestionable; for hear what he says of sequent and enlarged editions by Reed, and in Ma- them in the preface, “to the Christian Reader" of lone's edition, by Boswell, vol. 11., p. 658. The usu- | his Histriomastis, published in 1633, 4to--the year ally soiled condition of this precious folio has been al ensuing the second folio of Shakespeare. Some PLAYluded to, at p. 727, (327) ante. The following is BOOKS, since I first undertook this subject are grown Steven's account of it. Of all the volumes, those of from quarto into folio, which yet bear so good a price popular entertainment are soonest injured. It and sale, that I cannot, but with grief relate ic; they would be difficult to find four folios that are oftener are now new, printed on far better paper than most found in dirty and mutilated condition, than this first octavo or quarto Bibles, which hardly find such vent assemblage of Shakespeare's Plays, God's Revenge as they ; this is accompanied by the two following against Murder, the Gentleman's Recreation and Johnson's marginal annotations; among others, 'SHAKESPEERE'S Lives of the Highwaymen. Though Shakespeare was Plants are printed on the best crowne paper, far better not, like Fox, the Martyrologist, deposited in churches, than most Bibles.' "Above 40,000 Play-bookes have to be thumbed by the congregation, he generally took been printed and vented within these two yeares. If the fact be as Prynne states it, how fruitless the at- In the preface to the Shakespeare folio of 1623, tempt to bibliographise thoroughly, the department of published at 205., the editors say: The Drama!"
Judge, your sixe-pen'orik, your shilling's worth, Dibdin mentions thirty copies of the first folio, which
your five shillings' worth at a time, or higher, so you he separates into three distinct classes, according to
rise to the just rates and welcome; but whatever you condirion. Mr. Moore is counted in the first.
do buy, &c. Garrick's copy cost 11. 16s., and was sold for, in (1823,) 341. 28, 6d. Dr. Wright's copy, in 1787, Does this indicate that a part or play could be brought 1ol. The Duke of Roxburghe's copy costi bought as well as the whole? and has there ever been him 351. 145., and sold for 100l. (See Bibl. Decam.) evidence of such being the case ? Kemble's copy was purchased, in 1822, by Jas. Boswell, for 112l. 73. in 1824, Mr. Thorpe catalogued For the following description of Shakes the four folios for 1001, and Mr. Pickering at 95%. peare Folios, we are indebted to Mr. Lenox. The copy which had belonged to Steevens, and was
Shakespearian students will be grateful and purchased at the sale of his library, by Dr. Burney,
book-men rejoice in the evidence of the riches wanted the title and portrait; the latter being supplied by a fac-simile drawing by Steevens. The verses
of a cis-atlantic library, a library so generouswere from the second edition; many of the leaves | ly to be devoted to the public. have stains and ink marks; it has a MS. note by Steevens, which inform us that the copy was given to bim by Jacob Tonson, in 1765, and that it had passed THE LENOX COLLECTION OF through the hands of Theobald, and Dr. Johnson, the latter not having improved its condition."
SHAKESPEARE FOLIOS. “An old Birmingham second-hand book catalogue of 1793 tempts Mr. Cadby, of that city, to quote some
I have in my possession a very remarkable set of its prices, to show the change in the value of books: a Folio Shakespeare or 1664, by Heminge of the different editions of Shakespeare's plays and Condale, in good preservation, 30s., worth more in folio ; of which I propose to give a descripthan that in pounds now; Heywood's History of tion, so far as they vary from the collation Women,' 25. 6d. (perhaps 31 now;) Dugdale's War
in Lowndes' Bibliographer's Manual, printed wickshire, 31. (now 357.), Penny Histories, at 7d. per
in 1824. Taking his account as a guide, I quire, and Ballads at 2}d, or 35 6d. the ream (turn pence into pounds for the present price, )– The Funny
will note where any additions or corrections Jester, 6d. One book has gone down in price, Cham are to be made. In a few instances, when ber's Dictionary, 5 vols. folio, 10 guineas in 1793; it he is not sufficiently explicit, some further cannot be worth ios, now."-Athenæum.
details will be given in order to distinguish
one edition from another. My copies are Mr. Daniel's copy of the second impres
of large size and in fine condition ;-every sion “The largest example known (138 by
| leaf of them is genuine. 91 in.)" brought £148 ; Mr. Boone was the purchaser.
First Edition, 1623. This third folio, “an unmatchable copy, measuring (131 by 8.5,)” brought but £46. Of this edition I have two copies. One Lilly the buver.
of them belonged originally to John Lichfield, The fourth edition, " a magnificent copy,
Esqr., and is mentioned by Dr. Dibdin in his (143 by 91.) 21l. 105.; bought by Boone.
Library Companion, page 8u. It is also
referred to by Lowndes as the Baker copy. There are copies of the fourth folio, the
He states that it has the title-page with the title pages of which vary in several particulars, Mr. Lenox (a sight of whose folios would
date 1622, and, in addition, two cancelled
leaves in the play of “ As you like it." It drive any Shakespeare collector to some act of
is 12} inches tall, and 83 inches wide. There desperation,) has two copies of the fourth fo. lio with variations.*
are two copies of the leaf with Ben Johnson's
verses; one is a perfect leaf without any Dr. Bliss's second folio, with unique title page, and
watermark--the other has the verses perfect, Lord Stuart de Rothsay's third folio of which the and with the watermark of a crown, but the peculiarity is the large type (Jonson) verses. See verses are inlaid. Bibliop. page 100.
1. The title reads as follows: Mr. WilNotes and Queries in a recent number,
liam | Shakespeares | Comedies, | Hishas the following query :
tories, & | Tragedies. | Published according to the True Originall Copies. I (The
Portrait) — London | Printed by Isaac * Mr. Lenox's collection of the Shakespeare folios, like all his other specialties, is truly remarkable.
Iaggard, and Ed. Blount 1622.