Henry Benjamin Wheatley.

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epics were to embrace Homer, Lucan, Tasso,
Telemachus, and the Henriade. In the
dramatic portion Corneille and Racine
were of course to be included, but of
Corneille, said Napoleon, you shall print
for me ' only what is vital ' (ce qui est reste"),
and from Racine you shall omit * Les Frercs
enncmts, the Alexandre, and Les Plaideurs.
Of Cr6billon, he would have only Rhadamiste
and A tree et Thyeste. Voltaire was to be sub-
ject to the same limitation as Corneille.'" 1
In prose fiction Napoleon specifies the
Nonvelle Heloise and Rousseau's Confessions,
the masterpieces of Fielding, Richardson
and Le Sage, and Voltaire's tales. Soon
after this Napoleon proposed a much larger
scheme for a camp library, in which history
alone would occupy three thousand volumes.

1 Edwards, Libraries and Founders, p. 133.

48 How to Form a Library.

History was to be divided into these sec-
tions I. Chronology and Universal History.
II. Ancient History (a. by ancient writers,
b. by modern writers). III. History of the
Lower Empire (in like subdivisions). IV.
History, both general and particular. V.
The Modern History of the different States
of Europe. The celebrated bibliographer
Barbier drew up, according to the Emperor's
orders, a detailed catalogue of the works
which should form such a library. " He
calculated that by employing a hundred
and twenty compositors and twenty-five
editors, the three thousand volumes could
be produced, in satisfactory shape, and with-
in six ^years, at a total cost of ^'163,200,
supposing fifty copies of each book to be
printed." 1 The printing was begun, but
little was actually done, and in six years
Napoleon was in St. Helena.

In his last island home Napoleon had
a library, and he read largely, often aloud,
with good effect. It is an interesting fact

1 Edwards, Libraries and Founders, p. 135.

How Men have Formed Libraries. 49

that among Napoleon's papers were found
some notes on Geography written when a
boy, and these close with the words
" Sainte-Helene -petite He? '

In recapitulating here the names of a
few of the famous men who have formed
libraries it will be necessary to divide them
into two classes, i, those whose fame arises
from their habit of collecting, and 2, those
authors in whose lives we are so much
interested that the names of the books they
possessed are welcomed by us as indications
of their characters. What can be said of
the libraries of the Duke of Roxburghe, Earl
Spencer, Thomas Grenville, and Richard
Heber that has not been said often before ?
Two of these have been dispersed over the
world, and two remain, one the glory of a
noble family, and the other of the nation,
or perhaps it would be more proper to say
both are the glory of the nation, for every
Englishman must be proud that the Spencer
Library still remains intact.

1 Edwards, Libraries and Founders, p. 142.


5O How to Form a Library.

Heber left behind him over 100,000
volumes, in eight houses, four in England
and four on the Continent, and no record
remains of this immense library but the
volumes of the sale catalogues. Such whole-
sale collection appears to be allied to mad-
ness, but Heber was no selfish collector,
and his practice was as liberal as Grolier's
motto. His name is enshrined in lasting
verse by Scott :

" Thy volumes, open as thy heart,
Delight, amusement, science, art,
To every ear and eye impart ;
Yet who of all that thus employ them,
Can like the owner's self enjoy them ?
But hark ! I hear the distant drum :
The day of Flodden Field is come
Adieu, dear Heber ! life and health,
And store of literary wealth. "
M ARM ION, Introduction to the Sixth Canto.

The Duke of Sussex was a worthy suc-
cessor of his father, George III., in the
ranks of book-collectors, and his library
is kept in memory by Pettigrew's fine

How Men have Formed Libraries. 5 1

Douce and Malone the critics, and Gough
the antiquary, left their libraries to the
Bodleian, and thus many valuable books
are available to students in that much-
loved resort of his at Oxford. Anthony
Morris Storer, who is said to have excelled
in everything he set his heart on and hand
to, collected a beautiful library, which he
bequeathed to Eton College, where it still
remains, a joy to look at from the elegance
of the bindings. His friend Lord Carlisle
wrote of him

"Whether I Storer sing in hours of joy,
When every look bespeaks the inward boy ;
Or when no more mirth wantons in his breast,
And all the man in him appears confest ;
In mirth, in sadness, sing him how I will,
Sense and good nature must attend him still."

Jacob Bryant the antiquary left his
library to King's College, Cambridge. At
one time he intended to have followed
Storer's example, and have left it to Eton
College, but the Provost offended him, and
he changed the object of his bequest. It
is said that when he was discussing the

52 How to Form a Library.

matter, the Provost asked whether he would
not arrange for the payment of the carriage
of the books from his house to Eton. He
thought this grasping, and King's gained
the benefit of his change of mind.

Among great authors two of the chief
collectors were Scott and Southey. Scott's
library still remains at Abbotsford, and no
one who has ever entered that embodiment
of the great man's soul can ever forget it.
The library, with the entire contents of
the house, were restored to Scott in 1830
by his trustees and creditors, " As the best
means the creditors have of expressing
their very high sense of his most honour-
able conduct, and in grateful acknowledg-
ment of the unparalleled and most successful
exertions he has made, and continues to
make for them." The library is rich in
the subjects which the great author loved,
such as Demonology and Witchcraft. In
a volume of a collection of Ballads and
Chapbooks is this note written by Scott in
1810: "This little collection of stall tracts
and ballads was formed by me, when a boy,

How Men have Formed Libraries. 53

from the baskets of the travelling pedlars.
Until put into its present decent binding,
it had such charms for the servants, that it
was repeatedly, and with difficulty, recovered
from their clutches. It contains most of
the pieces that were popular about thirty
years since, and I dare say many that could
not now be procured for any price."

It is odd to contrast the book-loving
tastes of celebrated authors. Southey cared
for his books, but Coleridge would cut the
leaves of a book with a butter knife, and
De Quincey's extraordinary treatment of
books is well described by Mr. Burton in
the Book Hunter. Charles Lamb's loving
appreciation of his books is known to all
readers of the delightful Elia.

Southey collected more than 14,000
volumes, which sold in 1844 f r nearly
/^ooo. He began collecting as a boy,
for his father had but few books. Mr.
Edwards enumerates these as follows :
The Spectator, three or four volumes of
the Oxford Magazine, one volume of the
Freeholder's Magazine^ and one of the Town

54 Plow to Form a Library.

and Country Magazine, Pomfret's Poems,
the Death of Abel, nine plays (including
fulius CcBsar, The Indian Queen, and a
translation of Merope], and a pamphlet. 1

Southey was probably one of the most
representative of literary men. His feelings
in his library are those of all book-lovers,
although he could express these feelings
in !anguage which few of them have at
command :

My days among the dead are passed ;

Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old :
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe ;
And while I understand and feel

How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedewed
\\ ith tears of thoughtful gratitude.

1 Libraries and Founders oj Libraries, p. 95.

How Men have Formed Libraries. 55

My thoughts are with the dead ; with them

I live in long-past years ;
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with a humble mind.

My hopes are with the dead ; anon

My place with them will be
And I with them shall travel on

Through all futurity ;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

Mr. Henry Stevens read a paper or rather
delivered an address at the meeting of the
Library Association held at Liverpool in
1883, containing his recollections of Mr.
James Lenox, the great American book
collector. I had the pleasure of listening
to that address, but I have read it in its
finished form with even greater delight.
It is not often that he who pleases you
as a speaker also pleases you as writer, but
Mr. Stevens succeeds in both. If more
bibliographers could write their reminis-
cences with the same spirit that he does, we

56 How to Form a Library.

should hear less of the dullness of biblio-
graphy. I strongly recommend my readers
to take an early opportunity of perusing
this paper in the Liverpool volume of the
Transactions of the Library Association.

Mr. Stevens, among his anecdotes of Mr.
Lenox, records that he "often bought dupli-
cates for immediate use, or to lend, rather
than grope for the copies he knew to be
in the stocks in some of his store rooms
or chambers, notably Stirling's Artists of
Spain, a high-priced book."

This is a common trouble to large book
collectors, who cannot find the books they
know they possess. The late Mr. Crossley
had his books stacked away in heaps, and
he was often unable to lay his hands upon
books of which he had several copies.


DISCUSSION has arisen lately in
bibliographical journals as to
how best to supply libraries
with their books, the main principle agreed
upon being that it is the duty of the
librarian to buy his books as cheaply as
possible. Some of these views are stated
by Mr. H. R. Tedder in a letter printed in
the Library Chronicle for July, 1884 (vol. i.
p. 120). It appears that Professor Dziatzko
contends that the books should always be
bought as cheaply as possible, but that Dr.
Julius Petzholdt holds the opinion that the
chief object of the librarian should be to
get his books as early as possible and not
to wait until they can be had at second-
hand. Mr. Tedder thinks that the two

58 How to Form a Library.

plans of rapidity of supply and cheapness
of cost can in some respect be united. Of
course there can be no difference of opinion
in respect to the duty of the librarian to
get as much for his money as he can, but
there are other points which require to be
considered besides those brought forward
before a satisfactory answer to the question
How to Buy ? can be obtained. There
are three points which seem to have been
very much overlooked in the discussion,
which may be stated here. i. Is the
librarian's valuable time well occupied by
looking after cheap copies of books? 2.
Will not the proposed action on the part
of librarians go far to abolish the intelligent
second-hand bookseller in the same way
as the new bookseller has been well-nigh
abolished in consequence of large dis-
counts ? 3. Will not such action prevent
the publication of excellent books on
subjects little likely to be popular ?

i. Most librarians find their time pretty
well occupied by the ordinary duties of buy-
ing, arranging, cataloguing, and finding the

How to Buy. 59

books under their charge, and it will be
generally allowed that the librarian's first
duty is to be in his library, ready to attend to
those who wish to consult him. Now the
value of his time can be roughly estimated for
this purpose in money, and the value of the
time spent in doing work which could be
as well or better done by a bookseller
should fairly be added to the cost of the

2. It has hitherto been thought advisable
to have one or more second-hand book-
sellers attached to an important library,
from whom the librarian may naturally
expect to obtain such books as he requires.
Of course a man of knowledge and ex-
perience must be paid for the exercise of
these qualities, but the price of books is
so variable that it is quite possible that the
bookseller, from his knowledge, may buy the
required books cheaper than the librarian
himself would pay for them. As far as it is
possible to judge from the information given
us respecting the collection of libraries,
bookbuyers have little to complain of as to

60 How to Form a Library.

the price paid by them to such respectable
booksellers as have acted as their agents.
Perhaps too little stress has been laid upon
that characteristic which is happily so
common among honest men, viz. that the
agent is as pleased to get wares cheap for
a good customer as for himself. Mr. Tedder
says in his letter, " For rarer books I still
consider it safer and cheaper in the long
run to cultivate business relations with one
or more second-hand booksellers, and pay
them for their knowledge and experience."
But is this quite fair, and is it not likely
that the rarer books will be supplied cheaper
if the bookseller is allowed to pay himself
partly out of the sale of the commoner
books, which it is now proposed the libra-
rian shall buy himself? My contention is
that it is for the advantage of libraries that
intelligent booksellers, ready to place their
knowledge at the service of the librarians,
should exist, and it is unwise and un-
economic to do that which may cause
this class to cease to exist. Sellers of
books must always exist, bat it is possible

How to Buy. 6 1

to drive out of the trade those who do
it the most honour. We see what has
occurred in the new book trade, and
there can be little doubt that the book-
buyer loses much more than he gains by
the present system of discount. When the
bookseller could obtain sufficient profit by
the sale of new books to keep his shop
open, it was worth his while to take some
trouble in finding the book required ; but
now that the customer expects to buy a
book at trade price, he cannot be surprised
if he does not give full particulars as to
the publisher of the book he requires if it
is reported to him as "not known." Those
only who, by taking a large quantity of
copies, obtain an extra discount, can make
new bookselling pay.

3. There are a large number of books
which, although real additions to literature,
can only be expected to obtain a small
number of readers and buyers. Some of these
are not taken by the circulating libraries,
and publishers, in making their calculations,
naturally count upon supplying some of the

62 How to Form a Library.

chief libraries of the country. If these
libraries wait till the book is second-hand,
the number of sales is likely to be so much
reduced that it is not worth while to publish
the book at all, to the evident damage of
the cause of learning.

It has been often suggested that an
arrangement should be made by libraries
in close proximity, so that the same ex-
pensive book should not be bought by more
than one of the libraries. No doubt this
is advantageous in certain circumstances,
but in the case of books with a limited sale
it would have the same consequence as
stated above, and the book would not be
published at all, or be published at a loss.

Selden wrote in his Table Talk: "The
giving a bookseller his price for his books
has this advantage ; he that will do so, shall
have the refusal of whatsoever comes to his
hand, and so by that means get many things
which otherwise he never should have seen."
And the dictum is as true now as it was in
his time.

Many special points arise for consideration

How to Buy. 63

when we deal with the question How
to buy at sales ? and Mr. Edward Edwards
gives the following four rules for the guid-
ance of the young book-buyer (Memoirs of
Libraries, vol. ii. p. 645):

i . The examination of books before the
sale, not during it. 2. A steady unin-
termittent bidding up to his predetermined
limit, for all the books which he wants,
from the first lot to the last ; and if there
be any signs of a "combination" for a
few others which he may not want. 3. Care-
ful avoidance of all interruptions and con-
versation ; with especial watchfulness of
the hammer immediately after the disposal
of those especially seductive lots, which
may have excited a keen and spirited
competition. (There is usually on such
occasions a sort of "lull," very favourable
to the acquisition of good bargains.) 4.
The uniform preservation and storing up
of priced catalogues of all important sales
for future reference.

A case of conscience arises as to whether
it is fit and proper for two buyers to agree

64 How to Form a Library.

not to oppose each other at a public sale.
Mr. Edwards says, "At the sales Lord
Spencer was a liberal opponent as well as
a liberal bidder. When Mason's books
were sold, for example, in 1798, Lord
Spencer agreed with the Duke of Roxburghe
that they would not oppose each other, in
bidding for some books of excessive rarity,
but when both were very earnest in their
longings, "toss up, after the book was
bought, to see who should win it." Thus
it was that the Duke obtained his unique,
but imperfect, copy of Caxton's Historye
of Kynge Blanchardyn and Prince Eglantyne,
which, however, came safely to Althorp
fourteen years later, at a cost of two
hundred and fifteen pounds; the Duke
having given but twenty guineas." *

It is easy to understand the inducement
which made these two giants agree not to
oppose each other, but the agreement was
dangerously like a "knock-out." Mr. Henry
Stevens (in his Recollections of Mr. James

1 Libraries and Founders of Libraries, 1864, p. 404.

How to Buy. 65

Lenox] boldly deals with this question, and
condemns any such agreement. He writes,
"Shortly after, in 1850, there occurred for
sale at the same auction rooms a copy of
'Aratus, Phaenomena? Paris, 1559, in 4, with
a few manuscript notes, and this autograph
signature on the title, ' Jo. Milton, Pre.
2s. bd. 1631.' This I thought would be
a desirable acquisition for Mr. Lenox, and
accordingly I ventured to bid for it as far
as ^40, against my late opponent for the
Drake Map, but he secured it at ^Q IGJ.,
remarking that ' Mr. Panizzi will not thank
you for thus running the British Museum/
' That remark,' I replied, ' is apparently
one of your gratuities. Mr. Panizzi is,
I think, too much a man of the world to
grumble at a fair fight. He has won this
time, though at considerable cost, and I
am sure Mr. Lenox will be the first to con-
gratulate him on securing such a prize for
the British Museum.' ' I did not know
you were bidding for Mr. Lenox.' ' It
was not necessary that you should.'
* Perhaps at another time,' said he, 'we


66 How to Form a Library.

may arrange the matter beforehand, so
as not to oppose each other.' 'Very
well/ I replied, ' if you will bring me a
note from Mr. Panizzi something to this
effect : ' Mr. Stevens, please have a knock-
out with the bearer, the agent of the British
Museum, on lot * *, and greatly oblige Mr.
John Bull and your obdt. servant, A. P./
I will consider the proposition, and if Mr.
Lenox, or any other of my interested cor-
respondents, is not unwilling to combine
or conspire to rob or cheat the proprietors,
the 'thing' may possibly be done. Mean-
while, until this arrangement is concluded,
let us hold our tongues and pursue an
honest course.' That man never again
suggested to me to join him in a ' knock-
out.' "

In another place Mr. Stevens relates his
own experience as to holding two com-
missions, and the necessity of buying the
book above the amount of the lowest of the
two. The circumstance relates to a copy
of the small octavo Latin edition of the
Columbus Letttr, in eight leaves, at the first

How to Buy. 67

Libri sale, Feb. 19, 1849. Mr. Stevens
writes, "Mr. Brown ordered this lot with
a limit of 25 guineas, and Mr. Lenox of
^f 25. Now as my chief correspondents had
been indulged with a good deal of liberty,
scarcely ever considering their orders com-
pletely executed till they had received the
books and decided whether or not they
would keep them, I grew into the habit
of considering all purchases my own until
accepted and paid for. Consequently when
positive orders were given, which was very
seldom, I grew likewise into the habit of
buying the lot as cheaply as possible, and
then awarding it to the correspondent who
gave the highest limit. This is not always
quite fair to the owner ; but in my case it
would have been unfair to myself to make
my clients compete, as not unfrequently the
awarded lot was declined and had to go to
another. Well, in the case of this Columbus
Letter, though I had five or six orderr, I
purchased it for^~i6 10$., and, accordingly,
as had been done many times before within
the last five or six years without a grumble,

68 How to Form a Library.

I awarded it to the highest limit, and sent
the little book to Mr. John Carter Brown.
Hitherto, in cases of importance, Mr. Lenox
had generally been successful, because he
usually gave the highest limit. But in this
case he rebelled. He wrote that the book
had gone tinder his commission of ^25,
that he knew nobody else in the transaction,
and that he insisted on having it, or he
should at once transfer his orders to some
one else. I endeavoured to vindicate my
conduct by stating our long-continued
practice, with which he was perfectly well
acquainted, but without success. He grew
more and more peremptory, insisting on
having the book solely on the ground that
it went under his limit. At length, after
some months of negotiation, Mr. Brown,
on being made acquainted with the whole
correspondence, very kindly, to relieve me
of the dilemma, sent the book to Mr. Lenox
without a word of comment or explanation,
except that, though it went also below his
higher limit, he yielded it to Mr. Lenox
for peace From that time I

How to Buy. 69

resorted, in cases of duplicate orders from
them, to the expedient of always putting
the lot in at one bid above the lower limit,
which, after all, I believe is the fairer way
in the case of positive orders. This some-
times cost one of them a good deal more
money, but it abated the chafing and
generally gave satisfaction. Both thought
the old method the fairest when they got
the prize. But I was obliged, on the new
system of bidding, to insist on the purchaser
keeping the book without the option of re-
turning it." There can be no doubt that
the latter plan was the most satisfactory.

Some persons appear to be under the im-
pression that whatever a book fetches at
a public sale must be its true value, and
that, as the encounter is open and public,
too much is not likely to be paid by the
buyer ; but this is a great mistake, and prices
are often realized at a good sale which are
greatly in advance of those at which the
same books are standing unsold in second-
hand booksellers' shops.

Much knowledge is required by those who

70 How to Form a Library.

wish to buy with success at sales. Books
vary greatly in price at different periods,
and it is a mistake to suppose, from the
high prices realized at celebrated sales,
which are quoted in all the papers, that
books are constantly advancing in price.
Although many have gone up, many others
have gone down, and at no time probably
were good and useful books to be bought
so cheap as now. If we look at old sale
catalogues we shall find early printed books,
specimens of old English poetry and the
drama, fetching merely a fraction of what
would have to be given for them now ; but,
on the other hand, we shall find pounds then
given for standard books which would not
now realize the same number of shillings ;
this is specially the case with classics.

The following passage from Hearne's
Diaries on the fluctuations in prices is of
interest in this connection: "The editions
of Classicks of the first print (commonly
called editones principes] that used to go
at prodigious prices are now strangely
lowered; occasioned in good measure by

How to Buy. 71

Mr. Thomas Rawlinson, my friend, being
forced to sell many of his books, in whose
auction these books went cheap, tho'
English history and antiquities went dear:
and yet this gentleman was the chief man
that raised many curious and classical books
so high, by his generous and courageous
way of bidding." 1

These first editions, however, realize large
prices at the present time, as has been seen

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