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light of print. In the course of an interview with The late Henry Stevens had the true Verthe correspondent of a Boston paper in the sum monter's instinct for scenting a bargain. In his mer of 1892, he said:
"Recollections of Mr. James Lenox," he narrates The Graphic has now a story of mine, the last I
how he acquired for a few shillings a fine copy of have written, in which I have taken more interest the Bay Psalm Book-a rarity that has since been than in any of my stories. Of course I do not sold for more than a thousand dollars: know how the public will take to it.
"Only an experienced collector can judge of It was owing to a happy coincidence connected
my surprise and in ward satisfaction, when, on the with the name of his second book that Hardy ob.
12th January, 1855, at Sotheby's, at one of the tained almost his earliest encouragement. "Under sales of Pickering's stock, after untying parcel the Greenwood Tree" was lying neglected on a
after parcel to see what I might chance to see, and second-hand bookstall when Frederick Green. keeping ahead of the auctioneer, Mr. Wilkinson, wood, at that time editor of the Cornhill, chanced
on resolving to prospect in one parcel more before to see it, and, attracted by the sight of his own
he overtook me, my eye rested for a moment only name, picked it up, saw its worth, and gave its
on the long-lost Benjamin, clean and unspotted. author an order which resulted in “Far From the
I instantly closed the parcel (which was described Madding Crowd."
in the catalogue as lot '531, Psalmes, other EdiThis same Frederick Greenwood first stood
tions, 1630 to 1675, black letter, a parcel'), and sponsor for still another light in the firmament of
tightened the string, just as Alfred came to lay it contemporary fiction. It was his keen judgment
on the table. A cold blooded coolness seized me, that detected the genius in "An Auld Licht Com
and advancing towards the table behind Mr. Lilly, munity,” submitted to the St. James Gazette, and
I quietly bid in a perfectly neutral tone ‘sixtbus launched J. M. Barrie on the sea of glory.
pence,' and so the bids went on by sixpences until Barrie, by the way, was the most indolent of
half a crown was reached, and Mr. Lilly had loosschoolboys, and one of his first effusions to see the
ened the string. Taking up this very volume, lie light of type was a letter to a Dumfries paper
turned to me and remarked that “This looks a rare signed “Paterfamilias,” urging the wisdom of edition, Mr. Stevens; don't you think so? I do pupils having longer holidays.
not remember liaving seen it before,' and raised the bidding to five shillings. I replied that I had little doubt of its rarity, though comparatively
a late edition of the Psalms, and at the same time RARE BOOKS FOR A SONG.
gave Mr. Wilkinson a six-penny nod. Thence
forward a 'spirited competition arose between A CHAPTER OF STORIES FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF Mr. Lilly and myself, until finally the lot was BOOK COLLECTORS.
knocked down to 'Stevens' for nineteen shil“Bargains, real bargains!” observes Andrew lings! I then called out with perhaps more enLang in his letter of advice to a young American
ergy than discretion, Delivered! On pocketing book-hunter, "are so rare that you may hunt for
tbis volume, leaving the other seven to take the a lifetime and never meet one.”
usual course, Mr. Lilly and others inquired with Yet most book-hunters like to tell of a trouvaille some curiosity, 'What rarity have you got now?' or two within the ken of their own experiences. “Oh, nothing,' said I, but the first English book Mr. William Carew Hazlitt, according to his printed in America.' There was
a pause in the “Confessions of a Collector,” could seldom cross
sale, while all had a good look at the little the doorstep of a book shop without stumbling stranger." on a bargain. The following is merely a sample instance:
The auction value of the four Shakespeare “But the most signal acquisition on my part folios is about $1,200. Percy Fitzgerald, in The was the series of the Somers Tracts in thirty folio Book-Fancier, unblushingly tells how he secured volumes, which had belonged to the famous chan
the four precious folios for £30. By way of incellor, and had passed through several hands, but troduction, he gives the high prices brought by were still in the original calf binding This set of
similar sets at English sales, and adds that he debooks and tracts comprised some of the rarest termined to show that a man need not necessarily Americana, especially the “Laws of New York,” bankrupt himself to acquire the precious volumes, printed there in 1693-4, and probably one of the if he only knows how to wait: earliest specimens of local typography. I forget “In this spirit I determined to watch and wait what I left with the auctioneers; but the price at
patiently, and secure not only a folio, but the which the hammer fell was £61. A single item four, and in less than two years success crowned was worth double that sum, and there were hun
I began with a second folio, and found an dreds and hundreds. What a lottery!"
honest, respectable copy, lacking, of course, por
trait, title and the last two leaves, which could be 1857.” The contents are in the form of letters ‘supplied in fac-simile.' For him I paid 2£ ios. from an indefatigable hunter of the bookstalls Next came a damaged fourth folio, secured for a
along the Seine to a fellow-bibliophile in the prov'song,' but which, exchanged, brought a perfect inces. Daily, through summer's sun and winter's one at a cost of £7. Next followed a first folio cold, he continues the chase, scenting the spoils of for £12, wanting a play at the end and the title, the stalls like a harrier beating the ground for but having all the 'prefatory matter. Lastly game, chatting with the bookdealers and philosocame the third, for £8. The total was under £30. phizing as he scans the volumes. Among the These will soon be put in order. I picked up many prizes which persistent foragings secured also some fine russia bindings, discarded by the was a copy of that rarest of the Elzevirs, the late Mr. Bedford for some folios he was treating, “Pastissier Francois.” The volume had been deand had them reclothed. Now here was a modest nuded of its covers, but had the engraved title outlay, attended by prickings of conscience, page, the celebrated scene de cuisine, with the and the quartette, as they stand, are worth a range, the tables, the cook, and the fowls entirely goodly sum."
intact. The box in which this jewel reposed, its
interior in perfect preservation, contained no priceEugene Field has included the following story mark. in bis “Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac,” concern “How much ?' said I to the merchant. ing a lucky find in a bookdealer's stall by John A. "Well, for you, six sous. Is it too dear?' Rice of Chicago, whose library realized $42,000 in "A copy of the 'Pastissier Francois,' bound by 1870:
Frantz, was purchased not long since by a French "The spirit of the collector cropped out early amateur for 4,100 francs. In 1883 a copy sold for in Rice. I remember to have heard him tell how 3,100 francs at the sale of M. Delestre-Corman, one time, when he was a young man, he was Paris. This broche copy, uncut (extremely rare in shuffling over a lot of tracts in a bin in front of a
this condition). cost its owner 10,000 francs; it has Boston bookstall. His eyes suddenly fell upon a suffered a justifiable reduction. Despite the enlittle pamphlet entitled “The Cow-Chace. He tire absence of interest it presents, this volume picked it up and read it. It was a poem founded being the least known of the Elzevir collection, upon the defeat of Generals Wayne, Irving and it has often obtained enornious prices, but they Proctor. The last stanza ran in this wise:
are not sustained; it has been recognized that its “And now I've closed my epic strain,
rarity has been exaggerated.”
And still another story may be cited to prove “Rice noticed that the pamphlet bore the im
that even in these days of book-hunting there are print of 'James Rivington, New York, 1770.' It
opportunities for those who are keen. The occurred to him that some time this modest tract
authority is William Harris Arnold and the story of eighteen pages might be valuable; at any rate, he paid the fifteen cents demanded for it, and at
finds a place in his “First Report of a Book Col
lector": the same time he purchased for ten cents another
“In December, 1890, a sale was held at the pamphlet entitled 'The American Tories, a Sat
auction rooms of Thomas Birch's Sons, Philadelire.'
phia, of many of the personal effects of Wash“Twenty years later, having learned the value of these exceedingly rare tracts, Mr. Rice sent ington and his family. One of the items was the
Bible of Martha Washington, which, though them to London and had them bound in Francis
mentioned in the announcement of the sale, was Bedford's best style--'crimson crushed levant
inadvertently omitted from the items in the catamorocco, finished to a Grolier pattern. Bedford's charges amounted to $75, which, with the logue. Because of this omission the book had not
attracted much attention, and it was thought best original cost of the pamphlets, represented an
to make a reserve price of $750, so that the negexpenditure of $75.25 upon Mr. Rice's part. At
lect could not result in a sale at an insignificant the sale of the Rice library in 1870, however, this
sum; that is, it would not be sold unless some one curious, rare and beautiful little book brought the
should bid more than $750. Mr. Bowden offered extraordinary sum of $750!"
$760, and there were no other bids. The other
dealers present laughed at what they regarded as Here is a tale told by George H. Ellwanger in an absurdly high price. Full accounts of the sale “The Story of My House":
were published in the press, and letters of inquiry "I know of no more fascinating volume of its poured in on the firm of which Mr. Bowden was class, however, than De Resbecq's "Voyages Lit a member; and when one of the most merry of teraires sur les Quais de Paris ; Paris, A. Durand, those who had been present offered $1,800 for the
volume, it was Mr. Bowden's turn to laugh. The “The eagle's force subdues eache byrd that flyes, firm soon issued a catalogue in which the Bible
What metal can resyst the flaminge fyre?
Dothe not the sunne dazle the cleareste eyes, was fully described, with particular mention of
And melte the ice, and make the frost retyre ? the autographs of its former owners, of which there
The hardest stones are peircede thro' wyth tools; are three in the book. The price fixed upon was The wysest are, with princes, made but fools.” $5,000, and for this sum the Bible was bought by It is an unusual way of wooing to tell the fair Mr. C. F. Gunther, the well-known Chicago collec one that she is the fool; but perhaps some depart. tor."
ure is necessary from the usual formula when the
swain is a crowned head hampered by laws against ROYAL POETS.
Probably King Hal is also the author of “The A big volume might be made of the poems
Kyng's Balade,” which begins: written by kings and queens of Great Britain.
“Passetyme with good cumpanye These are, of course, mostly fugitive pieces; and
I love, and shall unto I dye ; it is curious to notice that they deal not with war
Gruche so wylle,* but uone deny, nor empire, but with love and sorrow and the
So God by plecyd, so lyf woll I. other plaintive themes to which the most lowly
For my pastaunce poets have also thrummed their lyres. King
Hunte, syng, and daunce,
My hert is sett: James I. of Scotland was perbaps the only mon
All go iely sport arch who cultivated the Muse with professional
To my comfort, assiduity. Other kings merely coquetted with
Who shall me lett ?" her, and one can only lament that all their Airta Probably King Henry would not have believed tions were not so innocent. There is, I think, it, but his verses are exceedingly inferior stuff good internal evidence that if one or two of the when compared with the poem of the poor girl English sovereigns had, by some Gilbertian revo whom he wrote poems to and then beheaded. lution, been forced to change places with their Among the lines which Ann Bulleyn is supposed own Laureates, Poetry would not have been the to have written after her condemnation are these: loser.
“O death! rocke me on sleepe, We need not spend much time over the very
Bring me on quiet reste; earliest productions of the Royal Muse. For one
Let passe ny verye guiltless goste thing, they are scanty and not very well authen
Out of my carefull brest.
Toll on the passing bell, ticated. For another, they are written in a
Ringe out the doleful knell, tongue which is not familiar to modern ears.
Let the suorde my dethe tell. may, therefore, suffice to say that Richard Caur
For I wust dyede Lion is believed to be the first English king
There is no remedy,
For now I dye." who dabbled in verse, and that some stanzas writ
Edward VI. died at the age of sixteen, or probten during his captivity have come down to us. Richard the Second followed his example, but his
ably his only poetical “remains” would not be
some verses concerning the meaning of the verses have gone into Time's waste-paper basket.
Eucharist. Theology then occupied a leading
find the young king confuting the error of Transuit well the temper of the king whom Shake
substantiation : speare drew:
“Yet whoso eateth that lively foode,
And hath a perfect faith,
Receiveth Christe's flesh and bloode,
For Christe Himselfe so saith.
Not with our teeth His flesh to teare,
Nor take bloode for our drinke:
Too great an absurdity it were
So grossly for to thinke.
For we must eat Him spiritually
If we be spirituall,
And whioso eats Him carnally
Thereby shall have a fall.”
It is surprisicg to find that King Edward had
also composed "a most elegant comedy, the title an adept in amorous poetry, but the fragment of of which was The Whore of Babylon." Though bis skill that remains to us is more blatant than
one need not regret the demise of that particular sentimental. It is a “sonnet” addressed to Ann
work, so precocious a talent ought in after life to Bulleyn :
* Grudge who will.
have made considerative additions to the slender
To poll the toppes, that seeke such change, library of Royal Poetry.
Or gape for such like joy. Queen Mary was religious but not poetical ;
Another distich which has been preserved is rebut Elizabeth was herself one of the Elizabethan ferred to by Puttenham as “that which our sovbards. Her first girlish Aight must not be too eraign Lady wrote in defiance of fortune": severely criticised. It was written with a diamond “Never thinke you, Fortune can bear the sway
Where Vertue's force can cause her to obay.” on a window of her room—which was really her prison-at Woodstock:
That was the spirit which routed Armadas and “Much suspected, of me
boxed the ears of Burleigh. It is sincerely to be Nothing proven can be,'
regretted that Queen Elizabeth did not, like her Quoth Elizabeth, prisoner.”
learned relation (whom foreign rulers styled She also, like King Edward, expounded her “Queen James," as they had called his predecessor faith in rhyme. Queen Mary was importuning “King Elizabeth "), publish a collected edition of her to subscribe to Transubstantiation, and Eliza her works. It would have been a book for Carbeth, with an adroitness worthy of her best days, lyle to edit. Her Majesty did much in translation; replied:
and these stanzas, which are an imitation of Pe“Christ was the Word that spake it,
trarch, written on the departure of the Duke of He took the bread and brake it ;
Anjou after his unsuccessful courtship, throw an And what His Word did make it,
interesting light on the susceptibilities of the That I believe and take it."
Virgin Queen: In spite of these examples, Queen Elizabeth
I grieve, yet dare not show my discontent; was a poet of accomplishments. Puttenham, who
I love, and yet am forced to seem to hate; wrote in 1589 on “The Arte of English Poesie,” I dote, but dare not what I ever meant. says: “But last in recitall, and first in degree, is
I seem stark mute, yet inwardly doe prate;
I am, and am not-freeze, and yet I burn, the quene, our sovereign lady, wbose learned,
Since from myself my other self I turn. delicate, noble muse easily surmounteth all the
My care is like a shadow in the sunrest that have been written before her time or
Follows me flying-Aies when I pursue it, since, for sence, sweetnesse, or subtillitie, be it in
Stands and lives by me-does what I have done; ode, elegie, epigrani, or any other kinde of poems, This too familiar care doth make me rue it. wherein it shall please her Majestie to employ her No means I find to rid him from my breast, penne, even by as many oddes, as her owne excel
Till by the end of things it be suppressed. lent estate and degree exceedeth all the rest of Some gentler passion steal into my mind, ber most humble vassalls." The same courtly
(For I am soft and made of melting snow);
Or be nuore cruel, Love, or be more kind, critic goes on to quote her Majesty in illustration
Or let me float or sink, be high or low; of the figure of speech which he calls “Exar
Or let me live with some more sweet content, gasia, or, the Gorgious.” May we suggest that Or die, and so forget what love e'er meant. that figure of speech would not have been in
Mary Queen of Scots, who was Elizabeth's rival vented had not Queen Bess had a soft side for in other directions, made ro exception in respect flatterers ? At all events, here is the royal ef of poetry. She also wrote with a diamond on a jusion:
window, in Fotheringay Castle. The distich was The doubt of future foes
From the top of all my trust
Mishap hes laid me in the dust.
Her other efforts seem to have been in foreign
languages. The most interesting are a series of For falsehood now doth flow,
French sonpets to Bothwell, whom she married a
few days after the murder of Darnley. They are If wisdome wove the webbe.
couched in a very passionate strain. The first
one ends: The daughter of debate*
Pour luy, tous mes amis c'estime moins que rien,
J'ay hazarde pour luy et nom et conscience;
Je veux pour luy au monde renoncer,
Je veux mourir pour luy avancer.
In the Stuarts the poetic faculty was hereditary.
James the First of Scotland was the best poet, as Our realme it brookes no stranger's force,
he was the best king, of the seven who bore the Let them elsewhere resort.
name. His “King Quhair" has been compared Our rusty sworde with reste Shall first his edge employe
to Chaucer, and readers of it may easily come to
the conclusion that posterity has unfairly appor* Mary Queen of Scots
tioned the fame between the prince and the ple
beian. James was himself an ardent admirer of The royal bard even took his muse with him to Chaucer, as the concluding stanza of his best work country houses, for when, towards the close of his shows:
life, he visited the Marquis of Buckingham at Unto the impris* of my maisteris dere,
Bushey, he penned these lines: Gowere and Chaucer, that on the steppis satt,
The heavens, that wept perpetually before, Of rethorik qubill thai were lyvand here,
Since wee came bither, show theyr smilinge cleere; Superlative as poetis laureate,
This goodly house it smiles, and all this store In moralitee and eloquence ornate,
Of huge provision smiles upon us heere. I recommend my buk in lynis gevin,
The Buckes and Stagges in fatt they seem to smile, And eke thair saulis into the blisse of herin
God send a smilinge boy within a while.
It will be observed that his Majesty, for all his
intimate association with the Almighty, was not honor of the lady who afterwards became his wife, and whose “beautee eneuch to mak a world
above a pun. This monarch also made a translato dote,” fist caught his eye as he looked forth
tion of the Psalms, not very unlike that which is
still sung in Scottish churches: from his captivity in the tower of Windsor. Since James' reputation as a poet is well enough estab
Charles the First's sole contribution to poetic lished by this and his other works further quota
literature is entitled "Majesty in Misery," and tions are unnecessary in an article which pro
was written during his captivity at Carlsbrooke
Castle. It contains twenty-four verses, of wbichi poses to deal rather with the lesser lights of royal literature.
these may serve as samples : James V. was also a poet, but to what extent is
Nature and Law, by thy Divine Decree,
(The only root of Righteous Royalty), not quite clear. He has been suspected of an
With this dim Diadem invested me. association with the Scottish ballads known as
With it, the Sacred Scepter, Purple Robe, "The Gaberlunzie Man” and “The Jollie Beg.
The Holy Uuction, and the Royal Globe; gar”; but even those achievements would not
Yet I am level'd with the life of Job. have justified Sir David Lindsay in alluding to
The fit rcest Furies, that do daily tread him as "the prince of poetry.”
Upon my Grief, my Gray Discrowned Head, More prose than poetry came from the pedantic Are those, that own my Bounty for my Bread. pen of the British Solomon--James I. of England.
They raise a War and christen it The Cause. In the preface to "His Majesty's Poeticall Exer Whilst sacrilegious hands have best applause, cises at Vacant Houres" he apologizes for the Plunder and Murder are the kingdom's Laws. contents on the ground that they were the efforts Tyranny bears the Title of Taxation, of his youth, and that in his manhood he had Revenge and Robbery are Reformation, “scarslie but at stollen moments had the leisure Oppression gains the name of Sequestration.
* to blank upon any paper.” His Majesty was fond of the sonnet form. Here is a specimen:
But, Sacred Saviour, with Thy words I woo God gives not kings the stile of gods iu vaine,
Thee to forgive, and not be bitter to For on His throne His sceptre do they sway,
Such, as Thou know'st, do not know what they do. And as their subjects ought them to obey;
For since they from their Lord are so disjointed, So kings should feare and serve their God againe.
As to contemn those Edicts he appointed, If then ye would enjoy a bappie reigne,
How can they prize the Power of His Anointed ? Observe the statutes of our Heavenly King, And from His law make all your laws to spring.
Augment my Patience, nullifie my Hate,
Preserve my Issue, and inspire my Mate, Since His lieutenant here ye should remain,
Yet, tho' We perish, bless this Church and State. Reward the juste, be stedfast, true and plaine;
The poem shows some facility of rhyme as well Repress the proud, maintayning aye the right, Wake always so as ever in His sight
as a Christian charity. The pity is that the King Who guards the godly, plaguing the profane
did not display either at an earlier period of his And so ye shall in princely vertues shine;
career. Resembling right your mightie King divine.
Charles II., also, wooed the Muse only once; That (which was addressed to his son) is very perhaps he was too fickle to do it twice. Laurefair, but King James could be exceedingly bad on ates have done worse: occasion. He liked to harp on the Divine Right. “I pass all my hours in a shady old grove, These modest lines are printed beneath the por But I live not the day when I see not my love: trait which prefaced the first folio edition of his I survey every walk now niy Phyllis is gone, Majesty's works:
And sigh when I think we were there all alone.
( then 'tis I think there's no hell Crowns have their compass, length of days their date,
Like loving too well.”
We shall omit the next two verses. This is the But knowledge makes the king most like his Maker. last: * Hymas,
“But when I consider the truth of her heart,