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lency and utility of books. As to modes of application, I would advise the bibliographical student not todistress himself about devoting a certain number of hours every day. Nothing, in my humble opinion, is more ridiculous than this mechanical method of acquiring knowledge. Our fitness for reading should never be forced: if too much Madeira have not stupified the brain the preceding evening, and the faculties seem quite au-fait, 1 presume few literary men would quit their books because the 4th or 5th hour of reading had transpired. Old Castell, the immortal editor of the Lexicon Heptaglotton, used to consider that day as having becn unproductive, or almost devoted to idleness, in which he had not toiled sixteen or eighteen hours at his Polyglot labours.'
To be sure, few modern gentlemen may have such good eyes or strong heads as this said Castell ; and few, perhaps, would like to entangle themselves so completely in the Syriac and Arabic lan
guages as he did - from an apprehension that they might not escape so successfully: but surely two, or three, or four hours, are sufficient for the common purposes of literature-if the perception be quick, and the judgment clear.
Father LE Long, the author of the Bibliotheca Sacra, of which Masch has given us such an excellent edition in four quarto volumes *, most certainly hastened his end by too intense an application to books ; as did also, I fear, our great scholar KUSTER. The former more particularly by rising too soon after dinner of; and the latter by not having a proper reading desk from his upholsterer 1. If I were to select three men above
* Halle, 1778-90.
+'E mensa ad libros evolabat, 'says his biographer.
Kuster was in the habit of reading and writing upon a square table, across which he was continually leaning, to examine books: his chest in consequence became affected, and a consumptive disorder ensued. It is related of him, that, in the midst of
others, for variety of erudition, and intensity of application, they would be, Barthius, editor of Statius, Father Papebroch, editor of the “Acta Sanctorum (in 50 volumes folio), and Fabricius, the well known author of the Bibliotheca Græca, &c. Compared with these men, who may be called by Scaliger's phrase, “homines centenarii,' I consider MAGLIABECHI himself, lolling in his cradle*, a mere infant in application.
his editing Suidas's LEXICON, he was awaked one night by thunder and lightning, and seized with so dreadful an apprehension for the safety of this work, that he rose immediately, and carried it to bed with him, with all the affection of a father for an only child.
* Of MAGLIABECH honourable mention was made in the last number of the Director. In his manner of living,' says Spence, 'he affected the character of Diogenes; three hard eggs, and a draught or two of water, was his usual repast. When any one wanted to see him, they most usually found him lolling in a sort of fired wooden cradle, in the middle of his study, with a multitude of books around him; some thrown in heaps, and others scattered about the floor, on which he used occasionally to sleep; and this his cradle, or bed, was attached to the nearest piles of books by a number of cobwebs. On the entrance of any one, he commonly used to call out, • not to hurt his spiders!'
Having descanted thus much on the advantages of books, black letter, and a well regulated application to study, I purpose bringing the subject of bibliography more particularly under review, by saying a few words on the prevalence of knowledge, or rather, perhaps, the circulation of books, in this COUNTRY at the present time : and in so doing I shall consider the METROPOLIS as the fittest place for forming a criterion of the progress of intellectual refinement.
Fashions in dress, in houses, plate, linen and books, all take their rise in London ; and it were well if, in our account of the fashions prevailing there, the most absurd or indecorous were confined to the foregoing articles only: it were well, if the misery resulting from injudicious habits and customs were exclusively the effect of Egyptian patterns, and large paper copies ; and that subscription houses and masquerades of were entirely out of the question.
* A modern phrase for gaming houses. + A recent masquerade-advertisement specifies
But to return. The minute detail of booksales which has chiefly occupied the former pages of • Bibliographiana, may impress the reader with a notion that the love of reading and of collecting was known only to our forefathers, half a century and upwards ago -I mean on the contrary to convince him, that the present is the epoch of literature: and for this purpose, shall lay before him a statement of the principal booksales in this metropolis, from November last to the present month inclusive. In this statement I shall confine myself to the sales of Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby, Messrs. King and Lochée, and of Mr. Stewart only. The minor ones, carried on under Covent Garden Piazza, at Tom's Coffee House, 8c. are unnecessary to be noticed.
that the ladies' tickets are two Guineas; the gentlemen's, three Guineas !! This will have a comical appearance 150 years hence, and be considered rastly reasonable. Fortunately for those who repent of obtaining them, the tickets are transferable !