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present we can buy a volume cheaper than formerly we would pay for binding."*

To conclude all we have written on the price and value of books before the discovery of printing, we do not consider it irrelevant to shew by the following catalogue that in 1521 a small classic library could be formed at bat trifling expense. We copy it textually from an unpublished inventory taken at Paris the 22nd of March, 1523, after the death of M. Pot, who whilst living had been the king's councillor, president of inquiry, treasurer and canon of La Sainte Chapelle of the Palace :

Sols. Deniers

Turnois Aulus Gellius

. 6 Ariani prefacio de res gestas (sic) Alexandri

8 Cicero de officiis cum commento. 1 vol. 12 -de Natura Deorum, textus avec Sallustus cum commento

12 Tusculanes Ciceronis cum Commento

6 Retorica Ciceronis cum Commento

6 Plura Ciceronis

2 Commentaria Cesarii (sic), Venize

6 Diogenes Laercius

2 Opera Dyonisii

12 Herodiani bistorie

16 Isidoria sinonima, escript à la maim en parchemin

6 Titus Livius, 3 vol. Lucianus cum interpretatione Erasmi

4 Philostratus de vita Apoloni (Apollonii)

12 Opera Platonis

18 Plinius, 2 vols.

16 Priscianus cum Commento

3 Sallustius, impression d'Alde

2 Opera Senesce, 1 vol.

20 Suetonius cum commento, impression de Venize.

18 Cornelius Tacitus

6 Thucides (Thucydides) de Bello

6 Pelomponesaaco (Peloponesiaco)




Dedication of the “ Epistles and Treatises of Saint Jerome.”

The mannscript from which we have extracted these details forins a volume in quarto on parchment, and belongs to the archives of Bourges. We are indebted for this communication to an enterprising and learned antiquary, M. le Baron de Girardot Prefect at Bourges. Chevillier's Origenes de l’Imprimierie de Paris, quarto, 1694, p. 319, may also be consulted.

Our remarks have hitherto applied to the monastic scribes alone ; however, it is necessary here to speak of the secular copyists, who were an important class during the middle ages, and supplied the functions of the bibliopole of the ancients. But the transcribing trade numbered three or four distinct branches. There were the Librarii Antiquarii, Notarii, and the Illuminators--occasionally these professions were all united in onewhere perserverance or talent had accquired a knowledge of these various arts. There appears to have been considerable competition between these contending bodies. The notarii were jealous of the librarii, and the librarii in their turn were envious of the antiquarii, who devoted their ingenuity to the transcription and repairing of old books especially, rewriting such parts as were defective or erased, and restoring the dilapidations of the binding. Being learned in old writings they corrected and revised the copies of ancient codices; of this class we find mention as far back as the time of Cassiodorus and Isidore.* “ They deprived,” says Astle, “the poor librarii, or common scriptores, of great part of their business, so that they found it difficult to gain a subsistence for themselves and their families. This put them about finding out more expeditious methods of transcribing books. They formed the letter smaller, and made use of more conjugations and abbreviations than had been usual. They proceeded in this manner till the letters became exceedingly small and extremely difficult to be read.”+ The fact of there existing a class of men, whose fixed employ

a ment or profession was solely confined to the transcription of ancient writings and to the repairing of tattered copies, in contradistinction to the common scribes, and depending entirely upon the exercise of their art as a means of obtaining a subsistence, leads us to the conclusion that ancient manuscripts were

* Muratori Dissert. Quadragesima tertiả, vol. iii. column 849.

† Astle's Origin of Writing, p. 193.- See also Montfaucon Palæo. graphia Græca, lib. iv. p. 263 et 319.

by no means so very scarce in those days ; for how absurd and useless it would have been for men to qualify themselves for transcribing these antiquated and venerable codices, if there had been no probability of obtaining them to transcribe. The fact too of its becoming the subject of so much competition proves how great was the demand for their labour.*

We are unable, with any positive result, to discover the exact origin of the secular scribes, though their existence may probably be referred to a very remote period. The monks seem to have monopolized for some ages the" Commercium Librorum,"+ and sold and bartered copies to a considerable extent among each other. We may with some reasonable grounds, however, conjecture that the profession was flourishing in Saxon times; for we find several eminent names in the seventh and eighth centuries who, in their epistolary correspondence, beg their friends to procure transcripts for them. Benedict, Biscop of Wearmouth, purchased most of his book treasures at Rome, which was even at that early period probably a famous mart for such luxuries, as he appears to have journied there for that express purpose.

Some of the books which he collected were presents from his foreign friends; but most of them, as Bede tells us, were bought by himself, or in accordance with his instructions, by his friends. I Boniface, the Saxon missionary, continually writes for books to his associates in all parts of Europe. At a subsequent period the extent and importance of the profession grew amazingly; and in Italy its followers were particularly numerous in the tenth century, as we learn from the letters of Gerbert, afterwards Silvester II., who constantly writes, with the cravings of a bibliomanac, to his friends for books, and begs them to get the scribes, who, he adds, in one of his letters, may be found in all parts of Italy, both in town and in the country, to make transcripts of certain books for

• In the year 1300 the pay of a common scribe was about one halfpenny a-day, see Stevenson's Supple. to Bentham's Hist. of the Church of Ely, p. 51.

† In some orders the monks were not allowed to sell their books without the express permission of their superiors. According to a statute of the year 1264 the Dominicans were strictly prohibited from selling their books or the rules of their order.-Martene Thesaur. Nov. Anecdot. tom. iv. col. 1741, et col, 1918.

Vita Abbat. Wear. Ed. Ware, p. 26. His fine copy of the Cosmographers he bought at Roine.-Roma Benedictus emerat.

him, and he promises to reimburse his correspondent all that he expends for the same.*

These public scribes derived their principal employment from the monks and the lawyers ; from the former in transcribing their manuscripts, and by the latter in drawing up their legal instruments. They carried on their avocation at their own homes, like other artizans ; but sometimes when employed by the monks executed their transcripts within the cloister, where they were boarded, lodged, and received their wages till their work was done. This was especially the case when some great book was to be copied, of rarity and price ; thus we read of Paulinus, of St. Albans, sending into distant parts to obtain proficient workmen, who were paid so much per diem for their labour; their wages were generously supplied by the Lord of Redburn.+

The increase of knowledge and the foundation of the univerșities, gave birth to the booksellers. Their occupation as a distinct trade originated at a period coeval with the foundation of these public seminaries, although the first mention that we are aware of is made by Peter of Blois, about the year 1170, We shall have occasion to speak more hereafter of this celebrated scholar, but we may be excused for giving the ancedote here, as it is so applicable to our subject. It appears, then, that whilst remaining in Paris to transact some important matter for the King of England, he entered the shop of a public dealer in books”- for be it known that the archdeacon was always on the search, and seldom missed an opportunity of adding to bis library--the bookseller, Peter tells us, offered him a tempting collection on Jurisprudence ; but although bis knowledge of such matters was so great that he did not require them for his own use, lie thought they might be serviceable to his nephew, and after bargaining a little about the price he counted down the money agreed upon, and left the stall; but no sooner was his back turned than the Provost of Sexeburgh came in, to look over the literary stores of the stationer, and his eye meeting the recently sold volume, he became inspired with a wish to possess it ; nor could he, on hearing that it was

• Nosti quot Scriptores in Urbibus aut in Agris Italiæ passim habeantur.-Ep. cxxx. See also Ep. xliv. where he speaks of having purchased books in Italy, Germany and Belgium, at considerable cost. It is the most interesting Bibliomanical letter in the whole collection.

† Cottonian MS. in the Brit. Mus.- Claudius, E. iv. fo. 105, b.

bought and paid for by another, suppress his anxiety to obtain the treasure ; but offering more money, actually took the volume away by force. As may be supposed, Archdeacon Peter was sorely annoyed at this behaviour; and “ To his dearest companion and friend Master Arnold of Blois, Peter of Blois Archdeacon of Bath sent greeting a long and learned letter, displaying his great knowledge of civil law, and maintaining the illegality of the provost's conduct.* The casual way in which this is mentioned makes it evident that the publico mangone Librorumwas no unusual personage in those days, but belonged to a common and recognized profession.

The vast number of students who, by the foundation of universities, were congregated together, generated of course a proportionate demand for books, which necessity or luxur prompted them eagerly to purchase : but there were poor as well as rich students educated in these great seminaries of learning, whose pecuniary means debarred them from the acquisition of such costly luxúries; and for this and other cogent reasons the universities deemed it advantageous, and perhaps expedient, to frame a code of laws and regulations to provide alike for the literary wants of all classes and degrees.' To effect this they obtained royal sanction to take the trade entirely under their protection, and eventually monopolized a sole legislative power over the Librarii.

In the college of Navarre a great quantity of ancient documents are preserved, many of which relate to this curious subject. They were deposited there by M. Jean Aubert in 1623, accompanied by an inventory of them, divided into four parts by the first four letters of the alphabet. In the fourth, under D. 18, there is a chapter entitled “Des Libraires, Appretiateurs, Jurez et Enlumineurs," which contains much interesting matter relating to the early history of bookselling.+ These ancient statutes, collected and printed by the University in the year

Epist. lxxi. p. 124, Edit. 4to. His words are—“ Cum Dominus Rex Anglorum me nuper ad Dominum Regum Francorum nuntium distinasset, libri Legum venales Parisius oblati sunt mihi ab illo B. publico mangone librorum : qui cum ad opus cujusdam mei nepotis idoner viderentur conveni cum eo de pretio et eos abud venditorem dismittens, ei pretium numeravi ; superveniente vero C. Sexburgensi Præposito sicut audini, plus oblulit et licitatione vincens libros de domo venditories per violentiam absportauit."

† Chevillier Origines de l'Imprimerie de Paris, 4to. 1694, p. 301.

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