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the tithes never belonged to the state. The documents are innumerable which still exist, with the very names of the individuals by whom they were allotted to the Church, many hundred years before the land from which they accrue came into the possession of the ancestors of any person now alive. The property of the Church, whatever its amount may be, is as sacredly her own as the property of any individual in the world, and if the time should ever come when it shall fall a prey to rapacity, all other property beside ecclesiastical will have to look around for protection.
All we ask, then, is that our opponents would meet us upon fair and honourable terms :—that they would read before they write, and think before they speak. We are tired of continual contest with misrepresentation, but fear no assaults that will bear the broad light of day.
NOTES UPON BOOKS.-No. 1.
The Chinese have an aphorism importing that something is learned every time a book is opened. We hope our readers will, with some degree of pleasure, admit the truth of this aphorism, though the good people of Mentmore, in Buckinghamshire appear to have held a different opinion, for so recently as within the present century-yea, but a few years since, having a small antient library of intrinsically good and pecuniarily valuable works, they suffered the Lord of the Manor to claim and take possession of it, “because it had been disregarded for years !” Can it then be a matter of surprise that Buckinghamshire should so long have borne the unenvied distinction of being the most ignorant county in England ? It is to be hoped that this fact is without parallel in the country-certainly in a county which has for 80 many centuries borne the high honour of possessing one of the chief seminaries of learning in the Kingdom.
But the neglect of knowledge is not a subject upon which we are inclined, at present, to dilate: our object is merely to interest our readers by a few facts in connection with the history of books themselves. The contents of books will furnish
many subsequent papers from various pens. We invite the favours of correspondents, by the cheerful offer of our pages to their criticisms.
The earliest mentioned library in history is that founded in Egypt by King Osymandyas 2000 years before the Christian era, and which was appropriately inscribed “The office or Treasury of remedies for the diseases of the Soul.”
The most antient library in this kingdom is at Merton College, Oxford, founded by Rede, Bishop of Chichester, in 1376; and the most extensive is that belonging to the Nation-accessible to all the British Museum.
A recent American author, comparing the literature of his own country with that of the kingdoms of the old world, says: “It is uncertain what is the number of books now extant in all languages. I have used a library of 250,000 volumes which contained no duplicate, and it was so perfect that it was difficult to ask for an author not to be found in it. The largest library in Europe contains near 400,000 volumes, duplicates not included ; and perhaps it may be about right to estimate
the whole number of printed books in the world at 500,000. This being the case, America furnishes about one-seventeenth of the means necessary for extending learning to the utmost, and about one-thirteenth of what the city of Paris alone affords. Another comparison will shew her poverty in a manner equally striking. Germany contains 30,000,000 of people, who have 2,000,000 of books in public libraries for their instruction, exclusive of those of the sovereign princes which are always accessible to scholars. America contains 10,000,000 of people, who have 150,000 for the same purpose ; but the 2,000,000 in Germany are not more read than the 150,000 in America."
The collective number of volumes in the five great libraries of Paris is 1,000,978, and those for public use in the eighty-six departments approach to four millions. The Vatican, the Imperial of Vienna, and the Royal Libraries of Munich, succeed to that of the Royal Library at Paris in relative value ; while that of the British Museum holds a comparatively subordinate place in the great collections of Europe.
The library of the late Earl Spencer, at Althorp, in Northamptonshire, contained nearly 35,000 volumes. The books are the choicest copies of the choicest editions of the choicest authors, in the choicest bindings, and “ as the acquirement of an individual the collection far exceeds any other ever formed.”
The library of Sir Walter Scott, contained near 30,000 volumes, most of which were “presentation copies” from authors desirous of gaining his good opinion, or from friends anxious to testify their respeot and admiration.
The Harleian library, it is said, cost its collector, the Earl of Oxford, more than 18,0001. to bind; but the library itself was sold to Osborne, the bookseller, for only 13,0001.
The first library ever sold by auction, was that of the Reverend Lazarus Seaman, nonconforming minister, at Leicester, who died in 1675. It produced the sum of 7001.
In 1810 the Duke of Devonshire offered 25,0001. for the library of Count M'Carthy, of Toulouse, if landed in England. Napoleon prohibited the deportation of the collection, and it was sold by auction in Paris, and realized only 16,0001. It was particularly rich in vellum copies of printed books, which exceeded that of any other private collection. They amounted to 601; while those in the Royal Parisian Library, by far the richest in the world, did not exceed 1500.
The sale of the library of the late Mr. Heber, in 1834-6, occupied nearly 200 days, and realized between 50,0001. and 60,0001. They were all collected by himself and were for the most part the choicest editions. He appropriated a large house in Westminster entirely to their reception. To this depot they were taken immediately on being purchased, and there he used to spend the principal part of his time in arranging them. They were then sent to his residence in Pimlico, or taken under his own personal care to his seat at Hodnet, in Shropshire. The latter library was distinguished for its extraordinary assemblage of early English Poetry.
Previous to the fifteenth century, books were all in Manuscript, and were so scarce and expensive that none but the wealthy could become possessed of them. At Bologna and Milan the copying of books was a regular occupation, at fixed prices. The price for copying a bible about the year 1300, was 80 Bolognese livres ;
three of which were equal to two gold florins. In this country at an earlier date, 1274, the price of a small bible was 301., a sum equal to at least 3001. of our money.
The Bible supposed to have been written by the learned Alchuine, a native of York, and Abbot of Tours, for the Emperor Charlemagne, to whom it was presented at his Coronation, in 800, is now in the British Museum, by the trustees of which establishment it was purchased for 7501. of M. de Speyr Passavant, whose first demand, it is understood, was 12,0002! It was originally bound in gold and silver ; but re-bound in the tenth century in wood and ornamented with six copper bosses representing the Lamb, the Crucifixion, and the four Evangelists. At the close of the 16th Century it was again bound in wood and ten other bosses added. It is now in a modern binding covered with black velvet, which is ornamented at the corners and middle with bosses of brass or copper of a modern date. It is enclosed in a box cased with iron, and lined with crimson velvet, the lid of which is embroidered with fleur-de-lis in gold, with a crucifix in silver foil in the middle, resting on an imperial crown in gold.
A beautiful vellum copy of “the Complutensian Polyglott," or Ximene's Polyglott, which exhibited the first printed text of the Greek Septuagint and new Testament, “the most precious of existing volumes,” formed part of a library bequeathed with a valuable collection of paintings, a short time since, to the King of the French, by the late Mr. Frank Hull Standish, It was the only one, of three originally struck off, that ever was exposed to sale, and is known to have formed part of the Pinelli library, and to have been purchased by the late Count Mc Carthy of Toulouse. It cost the Count 4831. the largest sum ever paid, up to that period, for any printed work, and at his sale in 1817 was purchased by Mr. Hibbert for about 6501., when the late royal librarian of France, M. Van Praet, in vain solicited Louis XVIII. to add it at any price to the royal collection. When Mr. Hibbert's library was dispersed by auction, it passed, through the medium of Messrs. Payne and Foss, into the hands of Mr. Standish, whose bequest of his collection to France is in every way a reproach to this country.
An imperfect copy of Mathews' translation of the Bible, folio, printed in 1537 was sold by auction, in 1845, for 105 guineas.
A copy of the New Testament (the vulgate) written before the year 700, is in the library of Durham Cathedral, where is also another copy in the hand writing of the Venerable Bede. The price of one of Wickliffe's New Testaments, in 1429, was four marks and forty pence, as much as would now purchase nearly 150 copies of the New Testament.
In 1174, the Homilies of Bede with St. Augustine's Psalter, were bought by a prior in Winchester for twelve measures (five quarters) of barley and a pall richly embroided in silver. And it is recorded that Grecia, wife of Geoffroi Martel, sovereign Count of Anjou, who was a great book collector in the middle ages, gave for a copy of the Homilies of Haimon, Bishop of Halberdstadt, “ 200 sheep, twelve measures of wheat, a similar quantity of rye, and as much millet; several marten skins, and eight marcs of silver.” Great as this may appear, it is trifling in comparison with the Missal of the Monks of St. Florent, the price of which it is said was large enough to build a Monastery with !
The purchase of a book was an affair of the highest importance; and was usually transacted in the presence of witnesses of high rank and character, who made a formal record of their being present on the occasion. The borrowing of a book, too, was a very different kind of thing in those days. The Bishop of Winchester, who borrowed a Bible in two volumes folio, in the year 1299, gave to the Convent to which it belonged, a solemnly indited bond for its safe return.
AN ADDRESS TO THE TEACHERS IN A NATIONAL OR SUNDAY
BY DAVID GUNTON,
Continued from page 103. Pedagogical demeanour and attire had their value in olden times, and the measured step, stately gait, and pompous voice, bespoke the great man, whose words were oracular, and whose dogmas disclaimed controversy. But so altered is general opinion now, that men gain little by wise looks or distinctive habiliments, being rather valued for what they really are, than what they seem to be, hence, the schoolmaster is no longer
Like to heaven's glorious sun,
That may not be gazed on with saucy looks. and instead of throwing into his childrens' mind, from a remote and studied distance, a few thwarted rays of intelligence, he courts them to his influence, and rules and commands his pupils, more by the respect they bear him, than by any towering authority he was wont to establish. Waving, however, any reflection on this point, we may say, that like the priestly office to which yours is only second, if you only keep in lively remembrance the dignity of your business, there will never be lacking an earnest mien, and a rightful conservatism of character, for, let the teacher only lose his self-respect, and no gifts, however exalted, and no voice, however stentorian, will give him authority over his scholars. I will hold no combat with the notions of some men, but I will fearlessly propound my own, by saying, that to be thoroughly efficient for your position, you ought to be seriously and savingly acquainted with the verities of our holy religion. Let it not be enough for you to be charmed with the ethics and morals of saored truth ; to hear the deep-toned voice of heaven in its prophecies ; to see the fire of inspiration in its poetry, and infinite wisdom in all its pages, but seek to possess and live out its amiable and practical spirit.
Most of you, we believe, have had the advantage of christian parentage, were early inducted into the visible church by baptism, have heard impressive sermons, and have vocally breathed out, at least, the beautiful and godly formularies of the sanctuary. We have good hopes on your account, yet, to-day, on your advancing to a post of momentous trust, we wish to impress you with a double responsibility. Aforetime you lived more to yourself than you can now. Here you will begin, more or less, to make these little ones, unconsciously what you yourselves are, for children are never in a disposition to be taught, until they can believe their Educator next to infallible, and since the Almighty has wisely given them this trusting confidence, in those who are placed over them as instructors, I beseech you to tremble for your situation, and to see to it, that you are not only able thoroughly to instruct the head, but soundly to impress the mind, with the importance of youthful religion.
And here, if it were granted me, I would ask what sight under heaven is so lovely as educated and pious youth? What adornment so becoming their years as “the ornament of a meek and gentle spirit,” which is, in the sight of God, of great price.
Then there is a peculiar interest in educating the children of the poor, since they are left implicitly to you, and because the poor, shall not only never cease from among us, but will always have a numerical preponderance in the nation.
Parents who possess some imperfect smattering of education, and who have gathered their notions of it, from peripatetic lectures and penny publications, are great annoyers to the teacher, constantly expressing their vulgar wonder, that as during their time, locomotion has at once gone from the pack horse to the steamengine, there should be no royal road to learning, no vapoury mental vehicle, to
carry the rude dullard from the slough of ignorance, to the apex of science, in a few months. Many of the poor feel their want of learning, and in proportion to this are they anxious for their children to be educated. They hold no pecuniary restraint over you, and they not only very readily defer the whole task of instruction to your hands by necessity, but we believe also, in most instances, with feelings of gratitude,
My young friends, Archimedes might boast of his ability to raise the world, if he could only have a resting place for his mechanical power, and a modern statesman might exclaim, “Let me write the national songs, I care not who makes the laws.” But you are the humble directors of a force more stupendous than lever, fulcrum, pulley, or screw, and possess an enchantment that, better than Orpheus, and more brilliant than the Muses, will lead through the paths of conscious enlightenment to the very summits of happiness. Yes, we shall have to mourn over degeneracy of manners, instability of charaoter, overspreading wickedness, and calendars of youthful depravity, until those who hold the young world, the next generation in their hands, mould them, by God's grace, into the form of virtuous promise. He helping us then, “let us set our mark on the rising generation.” Let not our boys grow up, and receive their very initial of instruction, in the arena of a Mechanics’ Institution, and matured men, thumb out the lessons of puerility.-This is the season of labour, that, of culture, and succeeding years, of satisfaction and delight, whereas adult instruction is like sowing in July. The whole process is inverted, unnatural, and productive of nothing, but a few stray ears, forced into hasty life, with the form and figure, but not the durability or use of spring corn.
Besides, we would spare the lungs and labour of the dictator at the Athenæum, who begins at the second floor, to raise a solid superstructure, when the foundation of the building itself, rests on a shifting sand.
And to you, in whose interests I have intense sympathy, and for whose welfare, I would rather work than talk, to you, who are to be thus educated, I leave a few lines of affectionate advice.
Be regular in your attendance at school.
Remember what Quintilian says “ He who loves not his Schoolmaster, must be suspected of a lack of Parental affection, for the teacher, is a sort of second father,”
Speak the truth-Avoid impure language-Observe general good conduct -Love the Bible Fear God, and make frequent prayer to Him.
To Thee Almighty God to Thee
Our childhood we resign;
That our whole lives were Thine. And now my young friends, I beg you to respect these observations, because they arise out of long experience and observation. They are not difficult of practice, nor ephemeral in result, for they challenge your attention on their own open reasonableness, and the assurance that they inoulcate, and will as certainly convey, blessing to yourselves, and those upon whom, whatever be your future position, you must undoubtedly exercise influence. I look for the regeneration of the whole world on the promise of Holy Writ, and I gather confidence in asserting, that whenever the blessed time shall arrive, and come it must, when “Righteousness shall cover the earth,” the Schoolmaster, under God, will be rendered one of the mightiest instruments, in the universal mental and moral re-creation. The Latin writer said, nullus spiritus, nulla vita; we exclaim, more oracularly, and moved by livelier inspiration, No EDUCATION, NO LIFE.
Soham Classical School, August 1847.