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22 (a 


^■-r-o-W/;^.9j -V^v 

Tt WHS tlir c'Hnicst wish, cluTislicil for inaiiv Vi'urs, of tin- 



lliat a socoiid ami carefully revised «'{liti(»n (»f iiis 

** Memoirs of Libraries/' 

should b(' issued. Jit* devoted a ^r(?at amount of time 
and mueh industry towards this ol»Ji.M-t : \arioiis shn-is 
w«M'e printed in iS^S'i, and hase now hmi hound to 
;LCelher in the ])resi'nt volume. 

Som(! few subscript ion.s wimt paid to iMlward J'idNvards 
in advanee, and it ])ained him to tlie (juiek, that, owin-: 
to eireiimstanees, for which neither he, nor his printer. 
were respoiisilile, the issue of the book could not In* 
}>roeeedeil with, and the sheets tiien printed could not 
be used. 

The wiM'k rc])r<'sents only a fraeti(»n of thi- labour 
which Mr. Kdwards had giM-n tt» tin* new rdition, l)nt 
all the sheets tiiat wen- finally revised hy him, and 
printed, arc contained in this book. 

All subsi'ribers for the second edition, as far as it is 
possible, at this distant ilate, t^) obtain the nanu's, will 
receixe a copy of the book, antl in this way the enj^ai^e 
ments on behalf of this work, into which the 


cMitered, will hv carried out, Kfteen years :ifter his death. 

The book, in its j)resent form, will not be ollered for 
siile, and it is su^'gested that it b<' not placed in circulati<»n. 

Some prints of his book-])late, and co]>ies of the ]»n)- 
spectus of th<^ n(?w edition of this work, were found anions 
the papers of Mr. Ivlwards. These will be inserted in 
the c(^pies no A' lM»und up to the extent of the numlM-r 
so discoveied. 


(h'sires the recipient nf this eopy to ;ieeept it with lii^ 

Frith Knmrl, 

KL-itrf , /A ,7s, 

Srj,0'nfha\ 1001. 













PEEVENT us, Lord, in aU our doings, 
with Tliy most gracious favour, and further us 
with Thy continual help ; that in all our works, 
begun, continued, and ended, m Thee, we may 
glorify Thy holy Name, and finally by Thy 
mercy obtain everlasting life; through the alone 
merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

IIemoirs op libraries 





(PUBLIC AND private;; 


Pabt n. MODERN:— 



Author of <<Rkmabks on thb Mixistkrial Plan of a Metropolitan 


OF "Thb Lifb of Sir Walter Ralegh," (1868);— 

Editor of *< Liber Monastbrii de Hyda," in the Chronkks and Memorials 

of Oreat Britain, Maoter of the Rolls* Series; Published by order 

OF THE Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury (1866). 

Second Edition^ rcviied, continued to 1885, and (in grtalt part) re-wrUUn, 

Printed by Brannon & Fradd, <* County Press" Offices, St. James's Square. 




" They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. He 
that now goeth on his way, weeping, and beareth 
forth good seed, shall doubtless come again with 
joy, — and bring his sheaves with him." 

"A HUMAN SPIRIT here records 
"The studies of long years of toil; — 

"A human hand hath touched Time's chords; 

"These leaves may seem but fleeting words, 
"And yet— they are 'Life's spoil.*" 

To THE Reverend 


(Fellow, Lkctcrbr, Chaplain, and Lirrarian, 
OP C.C.C., Oxpord); 


(the occaftiofMl but strenuous labour oj many arduous years, — 

several of which have been cheered by frequent acts of kindness 

sheum by him^ in many ways, to its Writer j — J 




! 1 

i I 

Sea- View, Niton, Isle of Wight, 

Queen's Accession Day, 1SS5. 


" Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt 
find it, — ^after many days." — Eccles. xi. 1. 

" I SHALL NOT be offended (as I certamly ought not 
to be) at any due corrections given me by others, 
Great room there is for aToendmenta, as well as addi- 
tions; and either of these, in what dress soever they 
come, — rough or smooth, — will be very heartily 
welcome to me." — Archbishop Nicolson (of Cashel) : 
"Irish Historical Libraiy" Pref., 
p. xxxvi [Edit of 1724.] 

"As FOR the remainder of the Work, all that I can 
say is that it is my design, by (jOd's permission, to 
publish at least another voluma But as for the time, 
I have been so often deceived in the Printing-House, 
and also by wrong calculations m3rself, that I have learnt 
it is vain to fix any time for publication" [otherwise 
than as a hope]. — Edward Lhuyd: Appendix to 

Nicolson, as above, p. 241. 

[Same Edit] 

" He that cannot endure to strive against both wind 
and tide, shall scarcely attain the Port that he maketh 
for."— Sir Walter Ralegh (Circa 1590). 




The Work of which a new Edition is now submitted to 
the Public was published, in its original form, in January, 
1859. It then consisted of three distinct sections, — only 
one of which is, at present, reissued. It comprised (1,) 
A HisTOEY OF THE LIBRARIES of Greek and Roman 
Antiquity, together with — so far as is yet known to me — 
the jivsi and otdy collection, textually complete, of those 
passages of the Greek and Latin writers in which the 
Ancient Libraries are described, referred to, or illustrated. 
That Section I do not propose (at least, for the time,) to 
reprint It comprised (2,) A History of Medijsval and 
Modern Libraries, complete, as far as the sources of 
knowledge available, in 1858, admitted. Of this section, 
a first instalment is now before the Reader. Lapse of 
time has^ made the historical part of the "Memoirs of 
Libraries," of 1859, much in arrear. An enormous 
amount of new information concerning even the oldest 
Libraries of Europe, and concerning those, necessarily so 
recent, of America, is now available. And in addition, 
more than one hundred new Libraries have in our own 
country alone — Colonial as well as Metropolitan,— been 
founded. Four-fifths at least of these (reckoning as well 
the "Free Libraries" of our Colonies as those of the Empire 
at home,) are the results of those "Public Libraries 
Acts" of 1850, and subsequent years, down to the year of 




present publication (as it is hoped), which had their fir^ 
inception, and origin in the labours, during the years 1847/ 
1848, and 1849, of the present Writer, and in his evidenc^ 
before Parliamentary Committees — Acts procured, amidst 
difficulties and against opposition which, in 1885, seem 
scarcely credible, by the strenuous effort and perseveranct' 
of an eminent Member of Parliament whose name will eveil 
be, most deservedly, linked with the " Free Libraries" of \^ 
Her Gracious Majesty's whole Empire, — Mr. William 
EwART, the parliamentaiy author of the Library Legislation 
of 1850 and subsequent years — as will be shewn in due , 
place hereinafter. It comprised (3,) an elaborate Treatise j 
ON THE Legislation, the Economy, the Administration, 
AND THE Practical Working, of Public Libraries, 
This, also, is (at least for the present) omitted from the 
new Edition; though certain portions of those several 
topics must needs be adverted to either in the historical 
part of that "General Introduction " which is prefixed 
to the present volume, or in that review of public 
Legislation concerning or affecting Libraries which follows. 
At the writer's advanced time of life, he could scarcely 
hope that — in addition to the final revision of this volume 
(and of its companion volumes, D.V.) — he might be able to 
give to the economical and administrative section of his 
former work of 1859 that patient and thorough correction, 
and improvement in details, which would alone justify him 
in offering a new edition of it to the learned and able 
Librarians, and to the Lovers of Books, of 1885, and of tlio 
years to come. 



The "General Introduction" on the whole subject- 
matter of "Memoirs of Libraries, 1885," aims at 
tracing in the briefest possible form, consistent with 
clearness (1,) The foundation and growth of important 
Libraries both media3val and modem, up to this date ; — 
(2,) the present geographical distribution, and the statistical 
place of the chief Libraries of the world; — thus shewing, 
in this one particular, the relative position of the several 
States of which Christendom is composed. 

The "Introduction" endeavours, finally, to trace in 
briefest outline the PubUc Legislation bearing (directly or 
indirectly) on the administration of Public Libraries, and 
on the State-distribution of Public Books, — such books, 
namely, of every kind as are printed at the cost of the 
Nation, or produced, in other ways, for governmental 

On the last-named subject the writer has bestowed special 
care and pains. It is a subject, the importance of which 
has greatly increased. Thirty years ago, a Select Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons (presided over by the 
late Mr. Tufnell,) reported its opinion that Libraries 
freely accessible to the Public ought to receive Public 
Books (whether printed for ParUament, or for any of the 
various administrative Departments of State,) free of all 
cost That recommendation remains yet to be carried out. 
The recent inquiries into the system pursued for the Pro- 
mulgation of the Statutes have made it apparent that even 
as regards that most essential "promulgation," very great 
anomalies subsist Substantially, the plan of distribution 



existing \xx 1884 was very nearly what it had been made 
in 1831. The claims of Public Libraries are still practiqally 
ignored; yet there are no books, — unless love of country is 
(under influence of " the modem spirit,") to be regarded as 
a thing only of the days that are no more, — the 
importance of bringing which under the eyes of all men, of 
what rank and condition in life soever, is greater or more 
urgent, than books of a governmental character. Tlio 
Statutes, and the Papers of Parliament excepted, there is 
no class of books in the wide circulation of which tho 
Nation has a deeper interest (especially under recent 
legislation,) than in that of the invaluable several scries 
of publications printed for the Board of Admiralty; — for tho 
Trustees of the British Museum; — for the Master of tho 
Rolls; — for the Department of Education, Science, and 
Art; — for the Commissioners of Patents; — and other like 
Governmental bodies. A more liberal distribution of these, 
as well as of the "blue-books," proper, to our Public 
Libraries, would alike promote National Education (in the 
highest sense of the words), and would do honour to the 
Government that should wisely organise such a distribution. 

It was the writer's strong desire to do somewhat more 
in the treatment of the subject-matter of the "General 
Introduction," by adding as an Appendix to it a corrected 
reproduction, in tabular form, of the "Statistical View 
of Public Libraries in Europe and in America" which 
he wrote in the year 1847 (it was, indeed, begim before 
the Christmas of 1846), arid read to the Statistical Society 


of London in March, 1848, (at a meeting presided over 
by the late lamented Earl Fitzwilliam) with eventual 
results which without vanity or presumption he may say 
have, in their degree, made an epoch in the Annals of 
Libraries, not alone in Britain and on many parts of the 
Continent of Europe, but in most of the British Colonies 
throughout all parts of the world, and in many parts of 
the United States of America. 

The substance of that "Statistical View" was again 
given, verbally, to a Select Committee of the House of 
Commons upon Public Libraries, during the writer's 
five or six several examinations before it in the Sessions 
of 1849 and 1850. That Committee was appointed in the 
first-named Session, on the motion (as I have already 
reminded the Reader, who may honour tliis Preface with 
a perusal,) of Mr. William Ewart^ and at the solicitation 
of the present writer, who drew up in English, 
French, and German, those " Questions on PvMic 
Libraries*' which, through the medium of the Foreign 
Office, were presented at every Covurt throughout 
the world, to which any British Envoy was accredited. 
The results were published in several "Appendices" to the 
various Reports of the Committee from 1849 to 1852 

Finally, the "Statistical View" was itself reprinted in one 
of those Appendices; after it had been already reprinted, 
by the courtesy of Dr. Robert Naumann, in the Leipsic 
journal "Serapeum" — the greatest and most valuable 
repertory of information on Libraries and Public-Record 



Offices ever published in any country. That third and 
Parliamentary edition is hitherto the last. The paper is, I 
believe, worth reprinting once again, even after the able 
labours in the same field, of Messrs. Ernest C. Thomas and 
H. R Tedder (to be mentioned hereinafter more specifically); 
but the needful additions and corrections, requisite in 
1885, would so largely increase its bulk, that the prescribed 
limits of this book preclude the gratification of my desire. 
I the more regret that it is so, because the paper referred 
to led to a long and somewhat caustic literary and statistical 
controversy, in the columns of a journal known to literary 
readers throughout the world — The [London] Athenceum. 
The present writer gave a public pledge in its columns to 
reprint his much-controverted labours, and to establish 
their substantial and essential accuracy. He did more, 
for he pledged himself also to shew that such alleged errors 
as may have been substantiated against him, were errors of 
under-statevient, and therefore, in respect of the argument 
for removing the reproach from Britain of having been, 
in the middle of the 19th century, less well-provided with 
freely accessible Libraries, than were many other States, 
greatly her inferiors, not only commercially, socially, and 
poUtically, but inferiors too in Literature and Science, and 
in the state, generally, of Public Education, strengthened, 
instead of weakening, that contention, which alone — in 
1850 — gave pubUc importance even to the merely numeri- 
cal Statistics of Libraries. 

A writer who chooses his own topic has no right to 

PREFACE. ayl^^, 

allege for deficiencies in its treatment the excuse that 
there was "a lion in the patk" It is his business to 
struggle with difficulties, to overcome them if he may, 
and to avoid talking about them. To every rule however 
there is a possible exception. "Res augnMa domi" should 
be kept to a man's self, usually. But a published 
pledge (however unimportant save to a narrow circle 
of readers) needs a public performance, or a public 
apology. Only circumstances of personal penury prevent 
the Writer from republishing the "Statistical View of 
Libraries in Europe and in America" at his own cost, 
in redemption of his promise. In 1881 it was in his 
contemplation so to do, for in that year he was in 
enjoyment from the University of Oxford, as Calendarer 
of the State Papers and Political Correspondence known 
as the "Carte MSS.," contained in the University's 
Library, of payments which then averaged three hundred 
guineas a year. The lamented death of Mr. Henry 
Octavius CoxE led to a change of "Bodley's Librarian." 
The appointment then made was eminently justified by 
the high attainments of Mr. Coxe's successor, but the 
change was to the writer disastrous. The new "Bodley's 
Librarian" appointed in 1882 new employes in various 
offices and functions, and dismissed the Writer from his 
Calendarer-ship, at the beginning of 1883; giving instantly 
to a new employ^ the duty of collating and arranging 
in Chronological Order the Writer's Calendar-slips pre- 
viously written, — a task requiring more than the labour 
of a year. 


That sudden dismissal utterly deprived the Writer of 
any assured income whatever. After sixth months of 
privation and debt he received from Her Gracious Majesty 
a Literary Pension upon the Civil List of — eighty povmds 
a year} It was well known that he had been labouring 
for many years, at intervals, and for one year, 1876-77, 
wholly and exclusively, upon the book, a volume of which 
is now in the Reader's hands. And he had been asked as 
early as in the month of January, 1870, to apply to the 
then Prime Minister for a Civil List Pension, i. e., thirteen 
years earlier. He refused then, as he refused in 1883> to 
make any such application ; deeming that both the solace 
and the grace of a grant of that sort rested wholly on its 
being conferred, by the Crown, without solicitation on his 

The change of circumstances made it, for very many 
months, an extremely doubtful problem, whether the 
deeply-cherished ambition of a quarter-of-a-century — 
that of removing from the "Memoiks of Libraries," of 
1859, some of their many blemishes and seen imperfections, 
and of leaving the labour of many toilsome years less 
unworthy of the social importance of its subject-matter, — 
must not (whatever the disappointment and regret of 
the writer) be finally given up. 

It seems very possible that, at first impression, many 

1 It dated from July, 1883. A copy of the List of the Pensions of the 
year, as presented to the House of Commons, is added, as an appendix 
to this Preface. 


Readers, — ^glancing at my "Table of Contents," — ^will 
incline to charge me with giving too much space to the 
Monastic Libraries of medisBval and of modem times. 
Indeed, upon occasion of the circulation of my first 
"Prospectus" of this new Edition, a well-known, and 
very able, provincial Journalist made himself a little 
facetious, at my expense, about the Libraries of the 
"Solitaries of Nitria," in combination with the date 
"1884." But if that critic were some day, during his 
vacation, to introduce himself into the Department of 
MSS. at our National Museum, Mr. Maunde Thompson 
could shew him, in a quarter-of-an-hour, very cogent 
proofs of the importance — not historical alone, but pre- 
sently practical — of those far-off Collections of the much- 
contemned Anchorites of the Nitrian desert Nor would 
it be absolutely needful for him to go even so far as to 
the British Museum. Almost any considerable bookseller 
could place in his hands the deeply interesting and 
pregnant volume of the late regretted Lord Zouche, 
entitled "Visits to the Monasteries of the Levant." 
The evidence of that charming book would, in itself, 
suffice. And, were it even otherwise, I should not greatly 
sorrow to err, upon a theme like this, in company with 
Lord ZoucHE, and with my honoured friend of former 
days. Canon Cureton. 

My own long-cherished conviction, indeed, of the 
illustrious part borne by Monks of mediaeval and of 
modem times, as in many other noble and arduous tasks 

of Christian Civilisation^ so also in the erection, the 



furnishing, and the maintenance of those great Arsenals 
of Civilisation and of Christianization — the Public 
Libraries of the World, is somewhat out of harmony 
with certain prevalent ideas. But I am none the less 
confident in the substantial truth of my opinion that to 
Monks we are, in the matter of Libraries, primarily and 
permanently indebted. And that fact is no discovery of 
mine. I began to learn the lesson forty-six years ago 
at the feet (so to speak) of the noble Montalembert. 
I conned it over again, a long time afterwards, at the 
feet of Dr. Maitland, for so many years the honpured 
Librarian at Lambeth Palace; and I rejoice to see that 
a much more recent French author, not so fond or 
so proud of Monasticism as was Montalembert — the 
accomplished and erudite M. Alfred Franklin — has but 
recently shewn, from MSS. preserved in the National 
Library of France^ that it was to French Monks that the 
World was indebted for the first really "Free Public 
Library" ever known to have been opened. When I 
originally published the book now re-edited, I assigned 
that credit to a great French Statesman, though of 
Italian birth, — namely, to Cardinal Mazarin. To 
Mazarin, next after Richelieu, the France of other and 
of (in some respects) better days, owed the consolidation 
of its illustrious Monarchy, and it was, in 1859, my 
belief that to him, also, France, and Europe, owed the 
grand distinction of establishing the first of the now 
many hundreds of " Free Libraries." As an Ecclesiastic, no 
respect whatever is due to Mazarin; as a Statesman (his 


love of money excepted) very high respect is due. As 
a promoter of Learning and of Art, and as the free-handed 
disseminator of both, he stands out as prominently as he 
does in the long roll of the moulders of Modem Europe. 
And though the Mazarine Library cannot, after the 
recent researches of M. Alfred Franklin, take rank as 
first "Free Library," of the world, it still ranges as a very 
early one. The activities of its monastic predecessors 
were necessarily on a very humble scale. The monks 
had good will, but their means were small, and their 
"public" still smaller. The Mazarine Library, on the 
contrary, had a considerable sphere of activity at the 
very outset of its existence. It has now, in 1885, an 
enormous educational influence upon an important part 
of the youth of Paris. Esto perpetual It is to the 
undying honour of our own Lancashire that to a Man- 
chester Merchant the distinction of founding the next, 
in order of time, of our subsisting Free Libraries is due. 

The more the Reader does me the honour of studying 
those amongst the ensuing pages, and the Authorities 
I employ for them, which relate to Monastic Libraries 
(the older as well as the more recent, — and on both 
classes I have spared neither research nor toil,) the more, 
I venture to think, he will be compelled to assent to 
Mont ALEM BERT'S saying: — "As to the 'utility' of 
"Monasticism — passing over, for the present, its Supreme 
"Utility, supreme in the eyes of every Christian man, 
"of Prayer; of the 'life hidden with God,* — ^let us come 


"down to the lower 'utility* which alone is appreciated 
"by those who habitually keep their eyes fixed on earth; 
" — chained to the things that are transient, and to the 
"things that bring lucre; — let us ask such men to point, 
" in the long Annals of the World, to any body of men, — 
"to any institution, — to any organisation whatever, — 
"which, at any period, has rivalled, even approximately, 
"those Monasteries that, for more than ten centuries, 
"were the Schools, the Archives, the Libraries, [some 
" of them, it might have been added, the Museums,] .... 
"the Penitentiaries, the Hospitals, and the Public 
"Gardens and Parks of Christian Society?"^ I think 
that this true and fair statement will sufficiently justify the 
length — not in itself inordinate, or otherwise out of pro- 
portion (and for this assertion I have the express warrant of 
an "Edinburgh Reviewer," ^ not likely to be overweeningly 
fond of the works and ways of Monks,) — at which I 
have ventured to treat of Medieval Libraries, and of 
their Founders. 

In dealing — at much greater length, of course, — with 
the modem Libraries and Museums of London and of 
Oxford, I have used my best endeavours to bring the 
information down to the latest dates; and have, as I 
believe, used the best authorities, in addition to the 
personal knowledge of nearly fifty years, taking the two 
cities together. My intimate knowledge of the Museums, 

1 Lt8 Moines (VOcddeM^ Introd., cxxv. (Edit, of 1860.) 

2 Edinburgh Rtview (1874), Article I. 


Libraries, and Archives of London began (I almost dread 
to remember it) in 1835 ; my acquaintance with those 
of Oxford in 1850 — although, for too many years next 
thereafter, it was but a very slight and incidental 

The "LiBR/U[iY Returns" of 1849-52, referred to above, 
contain, as respects several countries of Europe, — contain, 
that is, in the year 1885,— the latest official and general 
accounts of the progress, and condition, of many Foreign 
Libraries, which have been any where published (in any 
language) or in any form whatsoever. 

Still, in the year 1885 — no " Book of Reference," as yet 
published — in any language — gives systematic and annual 
information on that subject, and on the condition and 
progress of Museums and Archives, — educationally, so 
important, and so pregnant with social results. Inquirers 
and Publicists have to seek it by a multitude of indirect 
channels. Partially, indeed, the excellent " Library Chro- 
nicle*' so ably conducted by Mr. Ernest Thomas, and the 
" Centralblatt fur Bibliothekswesen" not less ably managed 
by Dr. 0. Hartwig and his staff of learned collaborators, 
contribute, from time to time, very important instalments of 
such information. The search for it is, nevertheless, still 
attended by much, and by quite needless, diflSculty. When 
the searcher La, as in the writer's case, a very poor man, 
the difficulty is increased tenfold. 

In relation to matters of mere " Trade," and occasionally 
to inventions, and discoveries bearing upon Trade, the 


Foreign Office, it is well known, systematically confers 
inestimable benefit on the Nation, by instituting and by 
publishing periodical reports from our Secretaries of 
Legation. Is the present writer guilty of an unreasonable 
presumption, if he expresses the hope that, some day or 
other, a public boon which has widely diffused accurate 
knowledge, year by year, about Trade and Trading 
Establishments, may be so enlarged as also to communi- 
cate, annually, and regularly, knowledge about the 
progress and present state, for the time being, of Foreign 
Museums, Foreign Libraries, and Foreign Public 
Archives ? 

Meanwhile, the able authors (Mr. Ernest C. Thomas and 
Mr. H. R Tedder) of the Article "Libraries," in the 
ninth edition of the Encyclopcedia Britannica (now in 
course of publication), have done much towards the supply 
— so far as concerns Public Libraries, and up to the date of 
1881, — of the deficiency of systematic official accounts, 
published annually. The statistical table printed at the 
end of that article is of eminent merit, and I avail myself 
thankfully of the new information it contains. More 
recently, the Library Association of the United 
Kingdom (which in so many ways has largely contri- 
buted to the increased efficiency of our Public Libraries, 
and has conspicuously promoted their interests,) has in 
a variety of forms, issued useful summaries of such 
Library Reports as have lately been printed, as well as 
much like information from other and original sources. 


To all of these I have likewise to acknowledge much 
indebtedness in the preparation of the volume now 
submitted, as well to future pwrchasera, as to my esteemed 
Subscribers, of 1883 and 1884. 

,For, although the announced intention of the writer 
that his new volumes should not become — in the ordinary 
sense of the phrase — a " Trade-book " is strictly adhered 
to, it came to be inevitable that the impression should 
extend to 500 copies, in order to cover the actual outlay, 
as well in preliminary expenses, as in paper and print. 
The Subscribers are still, in 1885, under 200 in number. 
The remainder of the impression will therefore be oflfered 
to purchasers, but only upon the Author's account and 

It has also been found necessary, in order to keep 
within the limits announced in the Prospectus of this 
work, to deal with part of the wide subject, — more 
especially in the Mediaeval Section above referred to, — 
by way of typical and representative examples of the 
more eminent Libraries and Museums of each successive 
age, instead of attempting an exhaustive account of all 
that attained, at one time or other, to any conspicuous 
rank. This modification of the original plan, whilst 
somewhat abridging the text of the book, has necessarily 
increased, in a measure, the extent of the "General 
Introduction" prefixed thereto. 

Of many and great obligations (other than those 


already noticed) which have been conferred on tho 
writer, in the course of his labour, grateful acknowledg- 
ment will (D.V.) will be made hereafter. 


Sea- View, Niton, 

Qw^n^a Accemon-Day, 1885, 



[See Preface, pa^e xtv,] 


M LIST of all Pensions granted during the Year ended £Oth 
June, 1884, o,nd charged upon the Civil List. (Presented 
pursuant to Act 1 Vict c. 2^ s. 6.) 



"23 August 

"23 August 

••15 Dec. 

"So January 

"9 February 

"26 February 



£ s. d. 
80 . . 

250 - 

100 - - 

100 - - 



Mr. Edward Edwards ..... 
In recognition of his valuable services to the cause of 

Mr. Matthew Arnold . .- . - 

In reco^ition of his distinguished literary attainments 
and his eminence as a Poet. 

The Rev. Charles C. Southey . . . . 

In consideration of the great literary merit of his Father, 
Mr. Robert Southey. 

Mrs. Mary Antoinette Moncrieff 

In consideration of the narrow circumstances in which 
she has been left on the death of her husband, Com- 
mander L. N. Moncrieff, ».n^ who was killed in the 
discharge of his duties as Her Mcgesty's Consul at 

Mr. Frederick James Fttrnivall .... 
In recognition of his services to English Philology and 

Sir Richard Owen, k.c.b. ..... 

[In addition to the Pension of 200 I, a year granted to 
him in 1842, in recognition of his eminent services to 

Mr. James Augustus Henry Murray, lld. 

In consideration, and for the promotion, of his vcduable 
services to Philology, especially in connection with his 
work as Editor of the New English Dictionary. 

Mr. William Neilson Hancock, q.c., lld. - 

In recognition of his valuable services as a Statistician. 

Total - 

" Treasury Chambers, \ 
"July, 1884. J 



100 - 

250 - - 


1,200 - 





His Grace the [late and lamented] Duke of MARL- 

BOROUGH, K.G., Blenheim Palace, Woodstock. 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of MACCLESFIELD, Shirbum 

Castle, Tetsworth, 
The Rt. Hon. the Lord "WTLLOUGHBY DE BROKE, 

Compton Vemey, Warwickshire. 
The Very Reverend the DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH, 

Oxford, and Chapter [per the Rev. the Librarian), 

for the Chapter and CoUege Library. 
The Very Reverend the DEAN OF WINCHESTER, 

AND Chapter {for the Cathedral Library: per the 

Rev. F. T. Madge, M.A., Chapter Librarian). 

FRANCE. Ten Copies. 
M. Leopold DELISLE, Member of the Institute of 

France; Director-General of the National Library 

of France. 
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LONDON (for the Library at the Guildhall). 
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of New York. 
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RadcUffe Library {per H. W. D. Acland, Esq., 

M.D., C.B.) 
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The Curators of the TAYLOR INSTITUTION, Oxford. 
The Library of the UNIVERSITY of CAMBRIDGE 

{per H. Bradshaw, Esq., M.A., Librarian). 
Sir WilUam HARDY, F.S.A., Deputy Keeper of Her 

Majesty's Public Records, Rolls House, London. 


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Hon. Secretary of the Libraries Association of the 
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E. Scarse, Esq., Librarian.) 

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The Corporation of the Borough of Cambridge (for the 
Free Town Library; per John Pink, Librarian). 

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(per Rev. John Wordsworth, M.A., Bampton Lecturer). 

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(per Rev. H. Austin Wilson, M.A., College LibraHan). 

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Evelyn Abbott, Esq., MA., Librarian). 

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1). J. Ritchie, Esq., College Librarian). 

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the College Library; per Rev. R. L. Clarke, M.A., 

The London Library, St. James' Square (per Robert 

Harrison, Esq.) 
The Mitchell City Library of Glasgow (per F. T. Barrett, 

The Library of the London Institution, Finsbury Circus 

(per Edward W. Byron Nicholson, Esq., M.A.) 
The Chetham Library, Manchester (per the late James 

Crossley, Esq, F.S.A.) 
Mudie*s Select Library (Limited), New Oxford Street, 



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the " Mayor's Library," New Tovni Hall). 

The Curators of the University of Durham (per Rev. J. T. 
Fowler, M.A., Librarian). 

The Library of King's College, Cambridge {per Rev. Chas. 
K Grant, M.A., Mbrarian). 

The Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (jper Rev. 
S. S. Lewis, M.A., Librarian). 

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W. Boase, M.A., Librarian). 

The Regents of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts (per Justin Winsor, Esq., Librarian of the 

The Regents of the Colombia College, of the State of New 

The Library of the Theological Seminary of Connecticut^ 
Hartford {per K C. Richardson, Esq., Librarian). 

The Library of the Middlesex Mechanics' Association, 
Lowell, Massachusetts {per Miss Mary K Sargent> 

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London, W. {per Major C. C. Clayton, Secretary). 

The Leeds Library {per J. V. W. Macalister, Esq., Librarian). 

The Wigan Free Public Library {per Henry T. Folkard, 

Esq., Librarian). 
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James Evan Adlard, Esq., StockweU Road, Clapham. 

Mr. Edward G. Allen, American Agency, 1^ Tavistock 
Row, London. Six Copies. 

Messrs. Asher and Co., Bedford Street, London. 

John Angus, Esq., National Bank of Scotland, Kirkcud- 

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Francis T. Barrett, Esq., Glasgow. 

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Street, London, W. Three CopiEa 

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British Museum. 

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Henbt Bradshaw, Esq., At A., Principal Librarian of the 

University of Cambridge, Two Copies. 
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Court, London. 
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Lincoln's Inn, London. 
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VoL I. only.) 
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Oxford (per W. Laing, Esq., London), 

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Cromer, Noifolk. 

Thomas G. Law, Esq., Signet Library, Edinburgh. 

The Rev. W. B. Lowther, Holmfiiih, Yorkshire. 

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Tlie Rev. William Dunn Macray, M.A., F.S.A., Rector of 

DiLcklington, Oxon. 
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Librarian of the Bodleian. Two Copies. 

Mr. J. Cooper Morley {care of Cornelius Walford, Esq., 
M.A., SO Belsize Park Gardens, London, N.) 

Charles Edward Mudie, Esq., MusweU Hill, N.W. 

John D. Mullins, Esq., Central Free Library, Birming- 

The Rev. Alexander Napier, M.A., Vicar of Holkham, 

Ad. Neubauer, Esq., MA., Senior Sub-Librarian of the 
Bodleian Library, Oxford. 

Edward W. Byron Nicholson, Esq., KA., Bodley's 
Librarian, Oxford. 

Mens'- Omont, of the National Library of France (De- 
partment of MSS.), 28 Quai de BdhuTie, Paris. 

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Spencer George Perceval, Esq., Severn House, Henbury, 

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Homsey, London, N. 
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Park, Salford. 
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Chajdain, and Librarian of C.C.C, Oxford. Two 



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Street, London, W,C,) 
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Mr. William J. Smith, North Street, Brighton. 
B. Franklin Stevens, Esq., 4 Trafalgar Square, Lon- 

don, TT. 
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The Rev. F. K Warren, M.A. (St John's College, Oxford), 

Rector of Frenchay, Bristol, 
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The Rev. John Crane Wharton, M.A., Vicar of WUlesden, 

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Justin Winsor, Esq., University Librarian, Cambridge, 

James Osborne Wright, Esq., 15 Astor Place, New York 

(per Messrs. Sampson Low & Co., London), 




Part I. — Historical and Chronological Summary of the 
Foundation and Growth of Archives and Libraries 
(Public and Private), from the first formation of those 
of Ancient Assyria (circa B.c. 660), to the Foundation, 
under the "Free Public Libraries Acts,'' of the first 
City Library of Dublin, A.D. 1884. 

Part IL — Geographical Summary, shewing the local 
distribution, and the comparative wealth, of existing 
Libraries in Europe and in America (1885). 

Part III. — Legislative Summary, shewing the relation of 
THE State to Libraries in some of the chief countries 
of Europe and America (1885). 

[*^* Like Summaries concerning Museums of Natural 
History exclusively, and Museums of Art and Anti- 
quities exclusively, will (D.V.) be prefixed to the 
intended continuation of the present Volume.] 




The Libraries of the English Benedictines. 


The Libraries of the German, Flemish, and Swiss Bene- 


The Libraries of the Italian and French Benedictinea 


Notices of some Monastic and other Mediseval Libraries of 
Paris, (of various Communities, Colleges, and Orders); — 
including a Summary View of the subsequent History 
of some MediflBval Collections, which have survived until 
present or recent times; and of their recent Benefactors. 

The Libraries of the Mendicant Orders. 

The Economy of the Monastic Libraries. 


Decline of Learning in the Monasteries; — their Dissolution 
in England; — the Dispersion and Ruin of their Libraries. 


Episcopal, Royal, and Laic Collectors, in various parts of 
Mediseval Europe. 



Book L— The British Museum: Its Founders 
and Its Benefactors. 


Introduetory. — Chronological Epochs in the Formation of 
the British Museum: (I.) Period of Private Benefaction. 



Introductory. — Chronological Epochs m the Formation of 
the British Museum, continued: (IL) The period of 
Liberal Support by Parliament — Contrasts, in this re- 
spect, between the Georgian Reigns and the Reign of 
Queen Victoria (1887-1885). 


The Founder of the Cottonian Library; and the subse- 
quent History of his Collection. 


The Chief Collector, and the successive Augmentors, of 
the old Royal and Public Library at St James', to the 
Reign of King James I. inclusive. The early History 
of the Collection with which that acquired by Prince 
Henry was imited. 


The Royal Library, from the Reign of Charles I. to that 
of Gteorge IL — Notices of the Literary Character, and 
of the Literary and Artistic Collections, of Charles L 

The Collector of the Arundelian Marbles and Manuscripts. 


The Collection and the Collectors of the Harleian Manu- 
scripta— The Public Life of Robert, Earl of Oxford. 


The Founders of the Sloane Museum:— William Courten 
and Sir Hans Sloane. 


The Early History of the British Museum, as organized 
in 1753. 


A Group of Archseologists and of Classical Explorers :— 
Sir William Hamilton; — Charles Towneley of Towneley; 
— ^Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin and of Kincardine; — 
Richard Payne-Knight — ^Antiquities collected by the 
French InstUvie of Egypt, imder Napoleon I. 


A Group of Book-Lovers: — Thomas Birch; — ^Thomas 
Tyrwhitt;— Sir William Musgrave of Hayton; — Clayton 
Mordaunt Cracherode. 


The Collector of the Lansdowne Manuscripts: — ^William 
Petty Fitz-Maurice, Earl of Shelbume, and Marquess of 


Other Maauscript Collectors of the Eighteenth Century: — 
Charles Bumey; — Francis Hargrave; — Francis Henry 
Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater. 

The Library of King George the Third, and its Collector. 


The Banksian Museum of Natural History; — The Banksian 
Library; — their Founder; and their early Curators. 


General View of the History of the British Museum imder 
the Administration, as Principal Librarian, of Joseph 


Growth, Progress, and (General Management of the 
Museum, during the Principal-Librarianship of Sir 
Henry Ellis. 



Growth, Progress, and (General Management of the 
Museum, during the Principal-Librarianship of Sir 
Antonio PanizzL 


Another Group of Archseologists and of Explorers. — ^The 
Spoils of Nitria, of Xanthus, of Babylon, of Nineveh, 
of Halicamassus, and of Carthage. 

The Granville Library, and its Founder. 


A Group of Naturalists: — Growth of the PalsBontological 
Collections: — Gideon Algernon Mantell; Thomas 
Hawkins; and others. — ^The Conchological Cabinet of 
Hugh Cuming, and its Collector. — Progress and Re- 
arrangement of the Zoological Collections under die 
late John Edward Gray. 


Recent Benefactors to the Medal Room ; to the Galleries 
of Miscellaneous. Antiquities ; and to the newly-formed 
Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and 
Ethnography. — ^The Museums of Henry Christy, and of 
James Woodhouse. 


The British Museum during the Principal-Librarianship of 
John Winter Jones. — Growth of its Literary Depart- 
ments. — Later Acquisitions of Printed Books and 


Recent Accessions to the Archa3ological Departments. — 
Progress of Archseological Exploration in various parts 
of the World. 




Miscellaneous Acquisitions of the Literary Department of 
the British Museum, from 1869 to 1885, inclusive. 


Growth and Progress of the Natural History Museum, 
from the date of its removal from Bloomsbury to South 
Kensington, imtil 1885. 


Progress of Archaeological Exploration and Discovery: — 
Cyprus; Ephesus; the Troad.— 1870-1885.— The Ser- 
vices and Researches of Charles Thomas Newton. 

The Stowe and Ashbumham Manuscripta 1884. 


The Coin and Medal Room; and the Print Room. 1870- 

Book II.— The Rolls House; Its Founders and 
Its Organisers. 


History of the English Record Repositories, from the 
earliest times to the end of the Reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. — ^Development of the OflSce of Secretary of 
State, and its influence upon the Records. 


History of the English Record Repositories, and of the 
State Paper OflSce; from the Accession of King 
James I. to the end of the Reign of King William IV. 



Brief Notices of the History of the New Rolls House, or 
General Record Office (as established by 1 and 2 Vict, 
c. 94), during the Reign of Her Majesty. 


A Group of Archivists: — Henry Petrie; — Henry Bicker- 
steth, Lord Langdale; — John, Lord Romilly; — Sir 
Thomas Duffus Hardy; — Sir William Hardy. 


Brief Summary of the Contents and Arrangement of the 
principal existing Public Records of England (June, 


Book III. 

The Trade and Arts Museum at South Kensington. 


The Branches and Loan Collections of the South Kensing- 
ton Museum. 


The Libraries of the South Kensington Museum. 


The Geological Museum. 

The Minor Museums, Archives, and Libraries of London. 


Book IV.— The Bodleian Library, the Radcllffe 
Library, and the Minor • 
Libraries and Museums of Oxford. 


The ancient Library of the University of Oxford, and its 


Sir Thomas Bodley and his Foundation. — His Helpers in 
the Work. — History of the Bodleian, until the addition 
of the Selden Library. 


History of the Bodleian, from the Benefaction of Selden 
to the present time (June, 1885). 


Glances at some of the Special Treasures of the Bodleian. 
— Summary of the chief Contents and Sources. 


The Radcliflfe Library; its Founders, Benefitctors, and 
Augmentors. — ^The New Museum of the Natural 
Sciences, and its Benefactors. — ^The Clarendon 


The Ashmolean Museum, and its Curatora — The Taylorian 
Library and GWleries, and their Founder. — Notices of 
Su- Robert Taylor; of the Rev. Robert Fmch; of F. H. 
Trithen (first Taylor Librarian); and of John Macray. 


Notices of the College Libraries; — of their Founders, 
Benefactors, and Augmentors; — and of some College 
Librarians, of former days. 



t xxxmzt. 



The Manuscript Library of Sir Harry Vemey, at Qaydon 
Hall, near Oxford [See General Intboduction.] 


The Earl of Macclesfield's Library at Shirbum Castle, 
near Oxford ; its Founders, and -its Augmentors. 


The dispersed Library at Whiteknights, and its Collector. 
[See General Introduction.] 


The dispersed Library of the Earl of Sunderland; and the 
Manuscripts, and other Heirlooms in the Palace of 


CIENT ASSYRIA (circa b.c. 660), TO THE 
Libraries Acts," OF THE FIRST CITY LIB- 

[A like Summary concerning Museums of Natural History 
exclusively, and Museums of Art and Antiquities 
exclusively, will (D,V.) be prefixed to the inteiuled 
continuation of the present Volume^ 


The Libraries of Assyria, of Egypt, of Greece, and 
OF Imperial Eome. 

'* In Asia's sea-like plain 
Where slowly, round his isles of sand, 
Euphrates through the lonely land 

Winds towards the pearly main. 
Slumber there is,— but not of rest;— 
There her forlorn and weary nest 

The famished hawk has found; 
The wild-dog howls at fall of night, 
The serpent's rustling coils affright 

The traveller on his round;— 
What shapeless form half-lost on high, 
Half-seen against the evening sky, 

Seems like a ghost to glide? 


Watching from Babel's crumbling heap, 
Whero, in her shadow, fast asleep, 
Lies fallen imperial Pride? 
With half-clos'd eye a lion there 
Is basking, in his noon-tide lair; 




Chapter I— The 
Libraries or 


Egypt, of 
Oreboe, and 
OF Imperial 

Assyrian and 
Archives and 

But whore arc now those eagle wings, 
That sheltered erst a thousand Kings, 

Hiding the glorious sky 
From half the Nations, till they own 
No holier name, no mightier throne?— 

— Tfiat vision is gone by." 

—John Keble: The Christian Tear. 

"A great Library cannot bo constructed : it is the growth of the 
Ages. You may buy books, at any time,— with money; but you 
cannot make a Library, like one that has been for Centuries 
a-growing ; even though you had the whole [amount of our] National 
Debt to do it with."— John HiQ Burton : The Book-HanUr (2nd Ed., 
p. 169). 

1. The most salient fact in the History of the 
Libraries of Antiquity is that we possess, in the nine- 
teenth century of the Cliristian Era, a more real and 
intimate knowledge of tliose of them which were 
founded in remote Assyria, almost seven centuries 
before the Advent of our Blessed Lord, than we have of 
those wliich were establislied in famihar Eome, in the very 
century of that Holy Advent, amidst scenes which are 
as truly present to the imagination of readers of classical 
books, as are tlie palaces or the streets of 17th-century 
London to the minds of the readers of John Evbi.yn or of 
Samuel Pei^ys. The most imaginative of readers cannot, 
indeed, form any idea of the social Ufe of Assyria as 
clear and vivid as a very ordinary reader may form of 
the social Ufe of Eome, in the days of Cicero, or in those 
of Horace. But no existing Library in the world can 
put into its visitor's hand a volume wliich might have 
been actually handled by Cicero or by Horace, al- 
though, to inspect thousands of those inscribed tablets 
which formed the Library of Assurbanipal, " the Great 


King," a student has but to enter the British Museum, "^"*i^^ 
or to pay a visit to tlie Louvre. In the former, he may CHAmri-XMB 
hold in liis hand a letter addressed by certain citizens of ^1*^^'"^' 

J AasTBiA, or 

Dar^ta to Merodach-baiad^vn (III.), Khig of Babylon, ^^^\^ 
the contemporary and the correspondent of Hezekiah. ^^^"^^"^ 
Innumerable phrase books; syllabaries; dispatches; law- 
reports; commercial contracts; official Eeports of pro- 
vincial governors, — of masters-of-the-horse, — of generals, 
— of stewards, — of astronomers-royal ; Treatises on astro- 
logy, on eclipses, on grammar; Collections of astronomical 
observations ; Annals of the several kingdoms of Assyria, 
of Elam, and of Babylonia; and Annals of campaigns in 
Egypt, in Palestine, in Elam, in Media, and in many other 
countries ; — all these are but partial fragments of an enor- 
mous collection of inscribed tablet-books, — exceeding 
10,000 in number, — constituting the "Eoyal Library of 
Assyria," as it existed in the seventh century b.c.^ M. 
Menant has shewn cogent reasons for the beUef that tliis 
Ubrary was made a public one by Assurbanipai., for the 
general use of his subjects.^ That it was classified, me- 
thodized, and catalogued, is certain. The British Museum 
contams, with some other catalogues, one^ that is, sub- 
stantially, a Ust of what Mr. Mudje would call a "Select 
Library;" a collection, namely, not of the best books, 
nor of choice books of any sort; but of those most in 
current and popular demand. And a very curious 
selection of "Standard Works" it is; — as curious at the 

1 Pinches: Assyrian Antiquities in British Museum (1883), 140-181. Comp. 
Oppbrt in Archives des Missions, die., v. 179» aeqq, 

2 Bibliotheque du Palais de Ninive (1880). 

3 It is exhibited in the Tsble-CaBe marked << C, § 2/' tablet No. 9 (in the 
Kouynnjik Gallery). 




or Imperial 

least for B.C. 685, as is Mr. Mudie's list of " Standard 
ch.™i!1the works" for a.d. 1885. 
A^YR^^r' 2- ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^ curious to note that half-a-century 
G^I^E°AND ^o ^^^^ o^^ fragment of this vast library-treasure was 
known, by any one of us, to exist. As recently as in 
the year 1838 tlie most studious of archaeologists knew 
as httle of the hidden treasures of the mounds on the 
Tigris and the Euphrates as was known to Sir Robert 
Kerr Porter, on that earlier day, — towards the close of 
the preceding century, — when he drew rein before 
the mysterious Babylonian mound, at " Birs Nimroud," 
on the Euphrates, and sketched in liis note-book a pass- 
ing incident of travel which the Clxristian muse of Jolm 
Keble has immortahzed. In 1840 Austen Layard, 
almost exactly like Porter, stopped his horse to gaze at 
the neighbouring mounds of Kouyunjik and Nibbi- 
Yunus, on the Tigris. Porter looked at the hke sight 
with the eye of an artist, "in search of the picturesque;" 
Layard (though a clever and true artist also), in the 
thoughtful mood of a Christian archaeologist, familiar 
with his Bible, and accustomed to ponder on that close 
connection of Past with Present, which to a really re- 
flective mind is the most self-evident of truths. Gazing 
on a mere heap, as it seemed, of the accumulated rubbish 
of some thousands of centuries, it flashed on Layard's 
thoughts that beneath the rude heap of earth he was 
glancing at, some deep secrets of a bygone world must 
needs he concealed. The " Kouyunjik Gallery" of our 
National Museum is but one of a multitude of results 
wliich have already accrued — directly and indirectly — 
out of those searchings of heart, of April, 1840. 


Layard's first visit preceded by nearly two years the j^^y^ww 
earliest excavations of M. Botta and of his colleagues, chai^^iIthk 
in the neighbourhood of Kliorsabad. And every year J^^f^'^°' 
that now rolls on adds to the results, already so fruitful, ^^'b**]^^ 
Before that date, all that was really known of Ass}Tian ^i"^^*'''' 
Inscriptions had been drawn from a few casually- 

Beginnings of 

discovered cylinders and slabs, on the decyphering of Aasyrian 
wliich Grotefend, St. Martin, Eask, and Sir Henry 
Eawlinson had successively laboured, with admirable 
zeal, but, as yet, with very slender outcome.^ 

3. There are dim records — rather legendary than ^^SS. 
liistorical — of a great Egyptian Library, that of Osy- 
mandyas (Eamses I?), at the "Eamseseum" near Thebes, 
which preceded that of Assurbanipal at Nineveh by 
more than seven centuries. But in 1885 little more is 
really known of it, even by the pupils of Gardner 
Wilkinson and of Eichard Lepsius, than was known 
(B.C. 50) to Diodorus of Sicily,^ whose record of the 
inscription over its door — "7%^ Sours Dispensary'* — 
will never be forgotten. Lepsius believed that he had 

1 Grotefend was first in the field. He read a memoir on some inscriptions, 
Assyrian and Persian, to the Royal Society of Gottingen, as early as in 1802. 
St. Martin continued Grotefend's ^researches in succeeding years. Rask took 
up the subject in 1826. Rawlinson, when — in 1835 — at Kermanspah, on the 
western frontier of Persia, began to work in the track marked by Grotefend. 
In the following year, his labours on the Behistan inscriptions (which were 
conmiunicated to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1837) marked a new epoch in the 
interpretation of cuneiform literature. Bumoufs labours in this fruitful field 
began in 1836, but most of them were carried on after the discoveries of Layard 
and of Botta. Bumoufs translations were collected and published in 1847. 
Those of Dr. Hincks were partially published in the same year. {Journal of 
Boyal Asiatic Society^ vol. ix. art. 8; x. § 2, passim; and App. 401, seqq. See, 
also, Id., vols. xii. art. 9 (1850); xiv. passim (1854); xv. arts. 1, 2, and 6 (1855); 
xvi. art 8 (1856); xviiL art. 2 (1861); and New Series, i. arts. 6, 8 (1865); iii. 
art 1 (1868); and Trans, of Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxii.) 

2 Wesseling's Edit, of Diod. Sic, i. 58. 


^Jl"^!^^^ discovered the tombs of two successive Librarians of 


chai^^^i-thb ^^^ Eamsesian collection. ^ But of its actual contents 
LiBRABiMor nothing whatever has been truly ascertained. Three 

AfjHYRiA, or O J 

BaypT, OF facts, howcvcr, about Egyptian Libraries are well esta- 

Greecs, and ' ' GJ r 

^iiiu-KRiAL blished: — (1) That they were the constant appendages, 
alike of the temples of the idols, and of the tombs of the 
Kings; — (2) that whereas many public libraries, exist- 
ing in the present day, suffer more from governmental 
taxation than they enjoy by governmental grants and 
encouragements, it was the habitual practice of Egyptian 
governments, much more than two thousand years ago, 
to make free appropriations of land for the support of 
such institutions ;2 — (3) that at the time of the Persian 
conquest of Egypt, the books contained in them were 
so numerous, as to make as conspicuous a feature in the 
spoils which the invaders carried back with them into 
Persia, as were, in the too-well-remembered recent years, 
1870 and 71, those choice art-manufactures of Paris 
and of Lyons, with which the then invaders of France 
loaded its Northern-railway trains for gratuitous transit 
into Prussia. 

4. The Ptolemeian Libraries of Alexandria rank next, 
in historical significance, after the wonderful "tile^-book" 
libraries of Assyria and of Babylonia. Their wealth of 
books was the wonder of ancient times, and their ulti- 
mate fate has turned out to be a pregnant puzzle which 

1 Lkpsius: ChronologU derJSgypter, 39 (EcL of 1849). Comp. Wilkinson: 
The Ancient Egyptians, i. 111-117;— Cham pollion : LeUrea sur VEgypte, 285;— 
and OsBURN, Monum, Hist, of Egypt, ii 459. 

2 OsBURN, as above, i. 277; 310. 

3 '' . . . Son of man, take thee a tile, .... and ponrtray upon it the city, 
even Jerusalem." — Exek, iv. 1. 


has sorely disturbed the repose of many successive ,^^5^o^, 
generations of classical scholiasts and critics in modern cha^Y-the 

times. Libraries or 

uxxxAx^v^. Assyria, or 

5. The rude foundation . of the earUest of the two ^^^^[^^ 
great libraries of Alexandria was laid by PTolemy Soter ; ^o^''''^ 
the real organization of both was the work of his suc- 

Z^ The Ptolemoian 

cessor, r. Piuladelphus, who placed part of the vast Libraries of 

. , Alexandria. 

number of books wliich he had gathered in the Bruchium 
(or "Brucheion") quarter of liis capital; part, in that 
called Serapeum (or " Serapeion"). For a long period 
of time the former was the principal; the latter the 
secondary collection. The best-accredited statement — 
said to rest, originally, on the authority of two successive 
Ubrarians of Alexandria, Caijlimachus and Eratosthenes 
— assign to the Bruchium Library 490,000 volumes (or 
rolls); to the Serapeum 42,800.^ This estimate may be 
attributed to an approximate date of, at latest, B.C. 220. 
The librarian Callimachus (second, in order, of the Jive 
clearly-known Librarians of the Ptolemeian Kings, and 
himself the successor of Zenodotus) is beUeved to have 
prepared classified catalogue-sUps (Pinakes) — arranged, 
it is said, in no fewer than 120 sections— of the Library of 
the ^'Brucheion^' as it stood in his day. These '^Pinakes'' 
included, it is also beUeved by competent scholars, a 
considerable series of writings falsely ascribed to Aris- 
totle — for example, Dialogues entitled ^'NerinthiLs;' 

1 RitBchl has very ably inyebtigated the many confused questions which 
have arisen out of the conflict of authorities concerning these libraries. He 
inclines to accept the numerical estimate given in a scholium of Tzetzes, as 
better authenticated than are the figures (coUectiyely) given by Aulus Oellius 
—700,000 {NoctesAUicce, vi. 17), or those of Seneca— 400,000 (De TranquUlUcUe 
A nhnit 9). But comp. with the excellent essay Die A lexandrinischen Bibliotheken 
(22, seqq.); — Bonamy's much earlier paper in M&m, de VAcad. des Insrip., ix. 
10, 8etjq,;—aad Theodor Birt, Das Antike Buchwesen (1882), 489, seqq. 

OP Imperial 


Antony and Cleopatra; in part by incorporating the j^^u^w. 
plundered Library (containing perhaps 200,000 volumes) cha^'^V-Ithb 
of the Kings of Pergamus. In a.d. 273 it was again, ^Ja^.'^r 
in all probability — there is no direct proof — destroyed, ^^'g^**'^ 
during the invasion of the Emperor Aluelian. The 
thenceforward principal Library of Alexandria, that of 
the Serapeum, survived until about a.d. 390, when it 
also was destroyed, under Tiieodosius. The alleged 
crime of the much-abused " CaUpli Omar" having been, 
in truth, anticipated by Cliristian Vandals exactly two 
centuries and a half earlier. 

7. Half-a-score, or less, of incidental passages in Grook ubrarioe. 
Greek and Latin authors, and of casual allusions in 
aimalists, are the sole survi\dng authorities for our very 
slight knowledge of Greek Librariii^, properly so-called. 
With scarcely an exception, these testimonies are not 
contemporary with the institutions they speak of, but 
are the statements of long-subsequent compilers.^ The 
reader will find the texts of nearly all of them in the 
first edition of the book now, in part, reprinted. The 
sum is but tliis: Pisistratus, Polycrates of Samos, 
Euclid of Athens, Nicocuates of Samos, Euripides, and 
Aristotle, were all — in greater or less degree — notable 
as book-collectors. Of the library of Aristotj^, only, 
is the account circumstantial; and, very probably, 

1 E.g. Strabo, ii., and xiii. 609. Comp. Petr. Victor: Variar. lect., 
XXV. 7;— Plutarchi AntoniuSt 58; jEmilius, 29 (8); Sulla [Indirect allusions 
only]; LucuUus^ 42; — Dion. Cassius, xlii. 38 [Greek Libraries of Alexan- 
dria] ;—ATHKNi«U8 : Deipnowph, i. 4;— Vitruvius, vii. pr€rf.;—A. Gellius, 
as above; — Isidori Grig,, vi. 3. Xenophon, also, has a brief, mention of a 
library formed by Euthydemus. 


or Imperial 



iNT^^oK. intermingled with romantic fable. Bequeathed to Theo- 
cha^VIthb ^^^^®'^^^' and by him to Neleus, it was carried to 
L^BARira OF Scepsis in Asia Minor, and there became, for a hundred 
G^I^^LiD ^^^ ^ig^^ty years, "a buried treasure," that it might not 
be seized as Uterary prey by the book-coveting Kings 
of Pergamus. Sold, so long afterwards, to Apellicon 
of Teos, it wandered to Athens ; after the purchaser's 
death fell into the hands of Syixa, and by liim was 
carried to Eome ; becoming, by that pregnant incident, 
an epoch-mark in the literary history of the world; 
since, when once landed in the then centre of civiliza- 
tion — such as it was — many learned Greeks got an 
access to the collection, which seems to have been 
denied at Athens; Tyrannion, the friend of Cicero, 
classified and catalogued it {drca B.C. 80);^ Andronicus 
of Ehodes obtained from it the precious manuscripts — 
many of them, in all probabiUty, in the hand of the 
Stagyrite liimself — wliich enabled hun to construct a 
recension of Aristotle's writings (ctV. B.C. 60) that be- 
came thenceforth, and is in our own day, the current 
'^ Aristotle'' which has so powerfully helped to mould 
the formative education, the philosophic thought, and 
not a Uttle of the daily hfe, of some sixty generations of 
our race. Under Andronicus' influence and guidance, 
a new " Peripatetic School" arose (the long-prior labours 
of Theophrastus, Eudemus, Straton, and the rest, who 
were the immediate pliilosophic successors of Aristotle, 

1 Compare the elegant and admirable Article, ''Aristotle, " of Sir Alexander 
Grant, in ninth edition of ** Encyclopasdia BritannicOf" one of the many 
articles in that reall}* new edition of a time-honoured work, which reflect credit 
alike on the liberality of the publishers and on the skill and learning of the 
writers. (0 si sic omnia !) 


having fallen almost into oblivion), by the result of 


whose successive labours the previously-current texts of ^^^^'^YIthe 

Libraries of 

^''Aristotle'' were swept out of existence, and a quite AagYRiA,or 
new body of writings made current in their stead, and ^^;]*'^^ 
endued with a perennial vitahty. 

or Imperial 

8. The Libraries of Pergamus rivalled those of 
Alexandria. The one notable name, out of a long line 
of forgotten Librarians, that yet survives is that of 
EuPHOHiON of Chalcis, poet and grammarian. He filled 
the office under Antiochus the Great, circa B.C. 221 
(according to Sum as). The ultimate fate of the cliief 
Pergamean Library I have told already. 

9. Of the Libraries of Eome we have, very naturally, ^^^^ 
far better and fuller accounts than we have of those of 
Greece. For amongst those who collected the choicest 

of them were Cicero and Atticus, and the formation, 
alike of the earUest and of the largest, forms part of the 
annals of Eoman conquests in Macedonia, in Persia, 
and in Greece. JEmilius brought to Eome the 
Library of Perseus, in e.g. 1 67, and it was eventually 
divided between his sons, who seem to have shared 
more of his love of letters than of liis love of arms. 
Exactly a century later, Lucullus founded a pubUc 
library out of the spoils he had won in his Eastern 
campaigns. Asinius Poujo followed the example, by 
founding another, on the Aventine Hill, the cost of 
wliich was defrayed out of the spoils of liis campaign 
in Illyria. J. C-SSAR formed a systematic plan for pubUc 
libraries to be estabUshed in various parts of Eome, but 






Chapter I— The 
Libraries OF bUsliecl 
Assyria, of 
Egypt, of 
Greece, and 
of Imperial 

did not live to see the execution of a project, the cariy- 
mg out of wliich fell to the lot of Augustus, who esta- 
two at least, if not more. The first of these 
(33 B.C.) was dedicated to Octavia, and in forming it 
he seems to have remembered the advice given to 
Terentius Varro by Cicero: Si hortum in bihliotheca 
habes, nihil deerit.^ Its first Ubrarian was C. Melissus. 
The second Augustan Library was built on the Palatine 
Hill, under the Ubrarianship of J. Hyginus, the gram- 
marian. Both had the fate of being destroyed by 
accidental fires, though at distant dates, and both, it 
would seem, were restored by Domthan, who imitated 
the example set by the Ptolemies, and set a stafi of 
copyists to work at Alexandria for the old Libraries of 
Eome, and also established a new one on the Capitoline 
Hill. The Ulpian Library took its foundation and its 
name from Uu^ius Trajanus, and soon outstripped, 
both in extent and in intrinsic value, all the earUer 
collections of the city. Circa a.d. 360-70 the PubUc 
Libraries of Eome are said to have been twenty-eight 
in number. There was also one at Como, another at 
Tibur, and a tliird at Milan.^ Within less than a cen- 
tury the invasions of the hordes of barbarians swept 

1 *' In Books, and Gardens, thou hast placed aright 
(Things, both, which thou dost truly understand, 
And both doet make, with thy accomplished hand,) 
Thy very noble, innocent, deUght. " 

— Abraham Cowley to John Evelyn (1665?) 

2 Cicero: Epp. i. 7, 10; iii. 4;— ad divers., vii. 23, &c.;— Pliny: Hist, 
Nat., vii. 30; xviii. 5, Ac; — A. Gkllius: N.A., xi. 19; xvi. 8; — Jul. Capito- 
LiNUS: Hist. Aug. {Script. Hist. Bom., Ed. 1743;-**Heid," ii. 370;— Flav. 
Vopiscus: Hist. Anrj. (Par. 1620,) 229. A somewhat fuller— though brief— 
and, in some respects, a better summary than my needful limits have per- 
mitted me to give above, will be found in Messrs. E. C. Thomas and H. R. 



away every library, it would seem, of Pagan Eome, 
with the sole exceptions of those buried Ubraries, con- 
cealed amidst the ruins of Herculaneum and of Pompeii, 
which, Uke the buried Aristotelian collection at Scepsis, 
lay liid for centuries, but not, like it, to yield to the 
ultimate discoverers any treasures of learning profitable 
to future ages. Much of what h<as been unearthed in 
the vicinity of Mount Vesuvius has testified, mainly, to 
the decadence and the crapulence of the original col- 
lectors. It has yielded but very little that bears witness 
of their real civiUsation, or that can contribute in any 
way to ours. Fragments of Epicurus, of Pliilodemus, 
of Polystratus, and of other Greek writers of Uke rank, 
are amongst the best results of laborious and long- 
continued endeavours to rescue from the heaps of 
volcanic ashes, of sand, and of lava, the remnants of 
considerable Ubraries, one of which must have con- 
tained nearly two thousand volumes.^ The artistic 
remaifts thence brought to the Museum of Naples are 
far more considerable — as is widely known from the 
Pitture Antiche (TErcolano, and other similar works, — 
but too many of those art-remains are worse than con- 
temptible; they are noxious. 




Chapter I— The 
Libraries or 
Assyria, or 
EoYPT, or 
Greece, and 
or Imperial 

Tedder's Art. "Libraries," in Ency, BrU., Ninth Edit. (1882), xiv. 611, 612. 
(The Art *' Libraries" of the Eighth Edition, and also that on '* Libraries, 
Economy of," were, both of them, from the pen of the present Writer. ) 

1 The best English narrative of the endeavours to recover and unroll the 
Hercolanenaian papyri, &c., is that of Sir Humphrey Davy, printed in PhiL 
Trans, (1821), i. 191-201, seqq. The earlier experiments of 1754-55 are also 
narrated in PhU. Trans., xlix. 113. Eight of the ^'Herculanensium voluminum 
qua supersunt" appeared at Naples, between 1793 and 1844. By the kind- 
ness of the Royal Society's Council, I reproduced, in 1858, (from the original 
plates, now in the Society's library,) most of Davy's illustrations. 



The CiiuiiCH Libraries of Jerusai^m, of C-aESAREA, of 
Constantinople, and of Eome. 

To further the inBtruction given in the Schools, — to provide every 
needful help to the studioiia Clergy, — the Churches [in early times] 
had their Libraries, which were euslirined with the most useful books 

that wore attainable I>>om those early provisions for the 

training of the Clergy made in the Churches came [much 

of] the culture of our Christian teachers. — Andres : DtlC oriffintf 
ile'proffroiif . . . iCogni Lttttraturaj 1. 159 [abridged]. 




Chapter II.— 

Early Church 
Libraries of 

10. TiiE Earliest account we possess of the forma- 
tion of a Library, by Cliristians, is that which Eusebius 
of Cassarea gives^ of the collection made at Jerusalem 
by Alexander, Bishop of that city, circa a.d. 212. In 
Eusebius' time {dr. 330), it contained an important 
collection of the correspondence of eminent ecclesiastics 
of the third century. And of tliis collection the 
liistorian made great use in the compilation of liis 
Ilistoria Ecclesiastica. It is probable that Origen as- 
sisted in its foundation. But Uttle is known concern- 
ing it beyond what is contained in the paragraph in 

Of the more important Church Library at CaBsarea in 
Palestine there is incidental but repeated mention in the 
writinj?s of St. Jerome. One of these reads thus : — "In 
this library [at Csesarea] there was [preserved] 

1 Historia Eccktfiastica, vi. 20. 


' the supposed Hebrew origiial of St. Matthew's Gospel,'^ 



which is probably the book, in the same collection, ^^^^^^^^ 'jj^ 


which he (St. Jerome) elsewhere describes as a ' Gospel 
in Syro-Chaldaic, used by the Nazarenes.'^ In another 
work Jerome says : ' I have been somewhat diUgent in 
'searching for copies .... of the Apology for Origen 
'by In the Library of Eusebius, at Caesarea, 
'I found six volumes. . . .'^ That library contained 
copies of the greater part of the works of Origen, made 
by Pamphilus liimself ^ The originals of the Hexapla 
were there, and Jerome corrected liis copy from tliem.^ 
Before the time of Jerome this Library had fallen more 
or less into decay, but endeavours to restore it were 
made by two successors of Eusebius — by Acacius, a.d. 
340, and by Euzoius, a.d. 366.^ Of Euzoius, Saint 
Jerome says, on the authority of Thespesius Ehetor: 

'He strove with great labour to refurnish the 

'Ubrary of Origen and Pamphilus, wliicli was already 
decayed.' 7 Isidore of Seville (writing in the year 636), 
asserts that the Ubrary of Pamphilus at Caesarea con- 
tained nearly 30,000 volumes."^ 

1 HiERON., dt Vir, lUvst,^ c. 3; as quoted by W. E. Scudamore in the able 
article on Early Ecclesiastical Collections which he has contributed to the 
Dictionary of Christian Antiquitietif 985,seqq. — a most valuable and admirable 
compilation to which I have to acknowledge much indebtedness. 

2 Id., contra Ptla^,, lib. iii. c. 2. 
8 Id., contra Bufin, lib. ii. c. 12. 

4 Id., de Vir. lUtist.. c. 76. 

5 Id., Comment, in Tit,, lib. iii. c. 9. 

6 Id., Ep. 34 ad Marcellam, § 1. 

7 ld.,de Vir. lUust., c, 113. 

8 IsiD., OriyineSf lib. vi. c 6. 








Chaptcr II.— 

Libnu'iefl of 
noplo ; — 

andof tho 

11. The well-known letter of the Emperor Constan- 
TiNE to EusEBius, Concerning the supply of sumptuously 
written copies of select portions of the Holy Bible for 
the libraries of certain newly-founded Clmrches in C!on- 
stantino})le, both imphes the prior existence of hbraries 
as part of the ordinary eciuipment of a Christian Clmrch, 
and suggests that such Uberal gifts would naturally 
become the germ of new libraries. "Let there be 

written," .... says the Emperor, " by calUgraphic 
artists, thoroughly skilled in their art, fifty volumes of. 
the Sacred Writings, such as are most necessary for 
the supply and use of the Church, on well prepared 
parchments, legible and portable for use." ^ 

12. In spite of desolating and almost unceasing wars, 
and of many other calamities, the Libraries of Churches 
were an object of constant care. New collections were 
formed : old ones were augmented or restored. There 
is a long series of evidences — secular as well as eccle- 
siastical — to this effect, which extend over many cen- 
turies, and are full of interest. One or two citations will 
shew the character of tliis testimony concisely and 
sufficiently: — "In 787 a great stimulus was given to the 

formation of Libraries in Cathedral Cliurches witliin 
the dominions of Charlemagne, by an order issued by 
him for the establishment of Schools in connection 
with them.2 Such schools obviously implied a good 
collection of books. A later edict of the same prince, 
after providing that there be set up schools of reading- 

1 EusEBius, De vita Const. , iv. 36. 

2 ThiB Edict ia printed by Labbe, Cowc., v. 1779 ; and ia quoted by 
Scudamore, in Diet, of Christ, Antiq,^ as above. 


boys, adds, 'Let them learn the Psalms^ notes, chants, . °'^*^"'^ 

y ' ' 7 7 7 INTKODUCnoit. 

the art of determining the seasons, and grammar, ii^ cha™ 'ii- 

every monastery and episcopal church. Let them p^'^itivs 

•^ *J r L Church 

also have CathoUc books, well corrected/ "^ libraries. 

13. These laws of Chartjsmagne would certainly 
lead to the foundation of Cathedral Libraries, where 
they had not existed before. It is probable that the 
smaller Ubraries found in connection with many other 
churches owe their origin, in a great measure, to a 
similar edict of Lewis in 816. By tliis, bishops were 
ordered to see " that the Presbyters had a missal, a 
"lectionary, and other books necessary to them."^ 
What some, at least, of these "other books," supposed 
to be necessary, were, we may gather from the following 
list in an ancient Polyptychon, preserved in the Clmrch 
of St. Eemigius, at Eheims: — "A book of the Gospels, 
a psalter, an antiphonary, a breviary [i. ^., a table of 
the Gospels for the year, in which they were indicated 
by their first and last words], a computus, an order 
of baptism, a martyrology, a penitential, a passional, 
a volume of canons, forty homiUes of St. Gregory."^ 
"As soon as such a collection went beyond the require- 
ments of the service," — as in this case it did, — "the 
foundation of a Church Library was already laid."^ 

1 CapU,^ ann. 789, c. 70. 

2 C. 28, CapU, Reg. Franc,, i. 569. 

3 Ibid., u. 1159. 

4 ScxTDAMORB, vbi supra. 



14. At Eome, we have — not, indeed, accounts — but 


cha^b^ II- allusions, many in number, and various in origin, to 



Llbrarioe of 

similar libraries ; as, for example, mention of one by St. 
Hilary as existing in the Lateran Baptistery (a.d. 461); 
of one at St. Peter's (a.d. 649) ;i but there is evidence 
that the Roman collections so often mentioned were 
frequently destroyed, or dispersed, during the constant 
warfare, riot, and plunder which disturbed the empire 
from the fifth to the eighth centuries. "In our regions," 
say the Roman bishops, in reply to an imperial summons 
for their attendance at the tliird Council of Constan- 
tinople (a.d. 680), "war is every day raging. . . . Our 
whole Ufe is full of care. . . . The ancient maintenance 
of the Churches has fallen away."^ On the other hand, 
there is also evidence that repeated attempts were made 
to restore what was so often destroyed. But, for several 
generations, the available collections in the Latin part 
of the Empire were conspicuously inferior to those in 
the Eastern regions. What is said to that effect, over 
and over again, by various writers in the sixth and 
seventh centuries, is still repeated, by our own Beda, in 
the eighth.^ 

1 Contemporary narrative, quoted by Labbs; Concilia^ v. 1884. 

2 Contemporary letter, aUo printed in Labbe, lb., vi. 681. 

3 E. g. Hist, Eccl&iiastica, v. 20. 



Magnitude of the debt we owe to Monks, as in 
Literature generally, so especially in Biblio- 
graphy; IN THE Economy of Libraries; and in the 


Only a few years ago, when professional erudition was exhausting 
itself in Commentaries on Pelasgic or Etruscan ruins, and was falling 
into ecstasies at sight of the fragments of a Roman road, a gross 
ignorance prevailed of the present appropriation, even of the ver}* 
sites, sometimes, of those glorious metropolises of Christian virtue 
and of Christian learning which were once called "Clconi;" 
"CiTKAUx;" Flbury;" " Marmoutier." To learn whore those 
marvellous creations of Faith and Charity once stood, you must 
have recourse to old maps, or old hooks of topography. For, too 
frequently, you would in vain inquire about them of a race bniti- 
fled by sceptical "philosophy," and by rampant materialism. The 
answer wonld bo such an one as a traveller might meet with from 
the Bedouins of the African Desert, should he question them about 
the genealogy of the Pharoahs, or the Annals of the Thebaid.— 
Translated > from Montalkmbkrt, Moines tTOccident^ 
Introd., ccv. (Edit of 1800). 

15. A List of the books composed by Monks, at 
various periods in the grand history of Monachism, 





Chapter III— 

both Eastern and Western, would include several of the magnititde 

^ OK THK debt 

greatest, the most pregnant, and most widely influential we owe to 
books that ever came from uninspired minds. It would 
include some of the noblest commentaries upon Holy 

1 It is from no want of respect to the fair and accomplished authoress 
(Mrs. Margaret OUphant) of the English translation of the Count of Mont- 
alembert's very noble book that I have— here, as everywhere else, — made my 
own translations. They were (many of them) made a year or two anterior 
to the appearance of her work. Mrs. OUphant, I may, perhaps, without 
impertinence, be permitted to add, is to myself a favourite and a beloved 
writer, so that it would be a new pleasure — added to many literary pleasures 
which I owe to her graceful pen — to have, had it been possible, quoted her 
version. But, although I am proud to own a score or two of her books,— her 
••ifanJb» of the Wttst" is not one of them. 





Chapter III— 
of the debt 



ScRHTUiiE that, in any age, have aided the diffusion of 
Christianity and the development of the Christian hfe. 
It would also include a long series of manuals in philo- 
sophy, in the physical sciences, and in the arts, that — 
regard being had to their several dates and to the cir- 
cumstances under which they were respectively com- 
posed — may truly be described as models in their kind. 
The books transcribed by Monks would include a long 
series of the actual MSS. from which the first printers 
worked. And it is to Monks that we owe ahke the first 
foundations of the science of Bibliography, and the first 
systematic regulations for the formation, the classifying, 
the preservation, the cataloguing, and the administering 
of PubUc Libraries. 

16. The few words about books wliich occur in 
the primary "Eule of St. Benedict" (a.d. 530,) are so 
framed as to imply that even at that date the monks 
had access to a considerable collection of the works of 
the Fathers of the Church. Successive revisions of that 
Eule during the same century (a.d. 553, Ferreolus^ c. 19; 
A.D. 595, Isidore^ c. 9 ;) give further and minute details 
which shew the quick growth of the early monastic 
Ubraries, the increasing use made of them, and also 
increasing providence on the part of their keepers for 
careful handling and safe preservation.^ 

17. Cassiodorus, the virtual founder of the monas- 
tery of Vivarium (aV. 562), seems to have united the 

1 Mr. Scudamore, in the article of the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities 
(§ "Libraries;" ii. 985, seqq,), already mentioned, has summed up with great 
clearness and conciseness the chief evidence on these points. I have largely 
and very thankfully profited by that paper, — as well in this chapter, as in 
that which immediately precedes it. 


offices of Abbot and of Librarian. He collected books . "^'''^!' 


from far-distant places; actively promoted the making ^^^^^^^"^ 'jjj_ 
of transcripts in the Scriptorium, and was keen in his J*/^^^^ 
research for books of secular Uterature, as well as for J^^^^™ 
books of divinity. He appears to have possessed, in 
good measure, that love of orderly arrangement which 
is, and must be, the palmaiy quality of a Librarian. 
Without it, the amplest store of learning, the keenest 
love of books, and the ripest power of discriminating 
their respective values, even if combined with those 
qualities of the " man of business," which some writers 
— strongly imbued with what they call ''the modern 
spirit" — are specially fond of exalting, will prove to be 
insufficient. A century later, we liave another example 
of an eminent monastic Ubrarian in Benedict Biscop, 
first Abbot and first Librarian of the Monastery of 

18. Bed A tells us that Benedict made five journeys 
to Eome, and that he brought back with him no mcon- 
siderable number of books, in all branches of sacred 
Uterature ; many of which he had received as gifts ; the 
others he had bought. 'After liis return (about the year 
672) from liis fourth journey he founded two monas- 
teries, — those of Wearmouth and Jarrow, — or, as Simeon 
of Durham records it, to shew how closely they were 
united, one monastery on two sites. He then made yet 
another journey into Italy, whence he returned with a 
new supply of " spiritual merchandise," more abundant 
than before. He brought also, adds Beda, paintings of 
sacred subjects for the adornment of the Cliurch, to the 



PART 1. 

Chapter III— 
OF tub debt 
we owe to 


intent that all comers, however ignorant of letters, 
might contemplate the ever gracious countenance of 
Christ and of his Saints, if only as through a veil, 
darkly. The founder died in 690 — his death beuig 
probably accelerated by the fatigues of his frequent 
journeys amidst many hardships — and on his death-bed 
he gave repeated injunctions for the strict preservation 
of that "most noble and rich Ubrary which he had 
brought from Eome" with so much care and pains. ^ 
One of these precious volumes, however, Ceolfuid, his 
disciple and successor in the Abbacy, was prevailed on 
to reUnquish at the earnest entreaty of King Alfred of 
Northumberland, who is said to have granted to the 
monastery eight hides (according to the glossarists at 
least 800 acres; perhaps not less than 960) of land in 
exchange for it. Ceolfrid, although he yielded tliis 
long-coveted volume to his King, largely added to the 
store, like a faithful disciple. By his zeal, the libraries, 
we are told, were almost doubled in extent. But the 
noblest result of Biscop's foresight, and of liis successor's 
perseverance, is to be seen in the studies and labours of 
their common biographer, Beda, who was born in the 
year (674), from wliich the foundation of Wearmouth 
monastery is usually dated, and was the pupil of its 
founder; wliilst in the neighbouring convent most of his 
Ufe was passed. Wlien we read the pious and vigorous 
pages which are among the best legacies of that age, we 
unconsciously profit by those earUer books, so laboriously 

1 Bedffi Huftaria EccleHaMica OentU Anghrum, lib. iv. c 18 {Engl. Hist, 
Soc., p. 388, § 205); Vita beatorum AbbcUum Bentdicti, etc. [B. H. S. 49, et 
seq.); Simeon Dunelm. aptul Twysden: Scriptortu decern, c. 4; Dodsworth 
and Dugdole: Manasticon, i. 501—503. 





ARCHBISHOP Egbert's library, at york. 23 
obtained by Benedict Biscop, and so relifriouslv preserved ^^^^^^ 


until the ravages of the Danes devastated the wliole ^^^^^^ 'jjj_ 
countryside. We need not go quite so far as to say, magnitude 
with William of Mahnesbury,^ that in Beda's grave all ^«o^««> 
care for Antiquity in England was " buried " for almost 
four CiBnturies. For that would involve forgetfulness of 
the labours of Beda's first and most illustrious translator, 
and of the little band of monks who worked with him, 
and under liim, amid the perils and tlie toils of constant 
warfare. It would also involve forgetfuhiess of Alcuin, 
the beloved friend of a greater than Alfred. Alcuin's 
career began in Yorksliire, and, probably, was continued 
at Canterbury. Be that as it may, there is certainty that 
it was to Canterbury he was journeying when an acci- 
dent of travel made liim known to Ciiarleal\gne, and 
changed all his plans of labour and of Ufe. It is 
certain, too, that at liis death Beda did not leave his 
peer. Nor do we find record of any monk — settled in 
England — so illustrious, iu respect of culture, as was 
Biscop — ^Beda's master, — for several generations there- 

18. The tradition that Alcuin was the pupil of Beda 
lacks, alike, proof and probabiUty. But to an eminent 
contemporary of Beda, Aix;uin owed his first instruction, 
as student and as bibUographer. Archbishop Egbert 
had founded a library immediately on his return from 
Eome and elevation to the Archiepiscopal dignity ; and 
it was admidst that "infinite number of excellent 
books"^ that Alcuin learnt the use of liis noble gifts, 

1 Oesta regum Anghrum, lib. i. § 63. 

2 Such is the expression of Bishop Godwin, De prassulibus, &c. § Egbert. 


and acquired his lifelong devotion to literature. It was 


cha™ III- ^^ York that he looked back so fondly when suffering 
^'"'i'^EOT ^^^^ ^^^^ comparative penury of books in the cloisters 



WE OWE TO Qf g^ Martin at Tours; and in his poetical catalogue of 
its treasures he does not forget to sound the praises of 
Egbert's Library thc bcloved mastcr who had gathered them: — 

at York. 

" Tradidit ast alii caras super omnia gazas 
Librorum nato, Patri qui semper adhaesit, 
Doctrinse sitiens haurire fluenta suetus : 
Cujus si curas proprium cognoscere nomen, 
Fronte sua statim prsesentia carmina prodent, 
His di visit opes diversis sortibus; iili 
Ecclesise regimen, thesauros, rura, talenta: 
Huic sophiae specimen, studium, sederaque, librosque, 
Undique quos clarus coUegerat ante Magistevy 
Egregias condens uno sub culmine gazas. 
Illic invenies veterum vestigia Patrum, 
Quidquid habet pro se Latio Bomanus in orbe, 
Grcecia vel quidquid transmisit clara Latinis: 
Uehrdicus vel quod populus bibit imbre supemo, 
Africa lucifluo vel quidquid lumine sparsit 
Quod Pater HieronymuSy quod sensit HUarius^ atque 
Amhrosius Praesul, simrd Augustinm^ et ipse 
Sanctus Atkanastus^ quod Orosius edit avitus: 
Quidquid Gregorius summus docet, et Leo Papa; 
BomUus quidquid, Fulgentitis atque coruscans, 
Cassiodorus item, Chrysostomus atque Johannes^ 
Quidquid et Althelmus docuit, quid Beda Magister^ 
Quae Victorinus scripsere, Boetius; atque 
Historici veteres, Pompeim^ Plinitis^ ipse 
Acer Aristoteles, Rhetor quoque TtUlius ingens. 
Quid quoque SeduliuSy vel quid canit ipse Juvencus, 
Alcuinus et Clemens, Prosjyer, Paulinus, Arator, 
Quid Fortunatus, vel quid LactantitLs edunt. 
Quae Maro Virgilius, Statim, Lucanus, et Auctor 
Artis grammatical, vel quid scripsere Magistri 
Quid Probus atque Focas, Donatus, Priscianusve, 
Servius, Euticius, PoTripeius, Comminianus, 


Invenies alios per plures, lector, ibidem general 

Egregiofi studns, arte et sermone Magistros, part i. 

Plnrima qui claro scripsere volumina sensu: Chapter hi— 

__ , _ . . , ., , Maonitudb 

Nomina sed quorum prsesenti in carmine scribi of the dkvt 

Longius est visum, quam plectri postulet usus."^ ^' ^"^ "^ 

19. Well might Alcuin, in the early days of that 
exile at Tours — remembering with affectionate regret 
these companions of liis youth, — urge Charlemagne to 
permit him "to send into Britain to procure those books 

wliich we so much need; thus transplanting into 
France the flowers of Britain, that the garden of 
Paradise may not be confined to York, but may send 
some of its scions to Tours; and that we too may 
say, in the 'words of Holy Scripture, Let my beloved 
come into his garden^ and eat his pleasant fruit ''^ 

20. Probably, none of Alcuin's many fruitful labours 
was more really potent, as a factor in the early civiUsa- 
tion of Europe, than was the labour he bestowed, in 
turn, on liis disciple, Eabanus Maurus, who, hke so 
many of the heads of monasteries in the seventh, eighth, 
and ninth centuries, lield the Ul^rarianship of his abbey 
as a sort of "commendam'' — held, however, not for 
increased gain, but for hicreased toil — to its headsliip. 
Before his transfer to the archbishopric of Mentz, lie 
had worked as Abbot, and as Librarian, at Fulda, for 
twenty years. His career is of especial interest to 
EngUshmen, for he was, in a Umited but true sense, 

1 Alcuini: De Pontificibus et Sanciin Ecclessiai EboracemttH poema. Ex 
MSS. Codd. Remensi et Sancti Theodorici prope Remos; apud Gale, Bifttoria: 
Britannicas .... Scriptores XV., iii. 730. 

2 Alcuini : Epvftda ad Car, Mag, {Opp, i. 52). 


GENERAL |.j^^ p^pjj ^f q^j. q^j^ g|. Bqniface (Winfrid of North- 


coArar ni- umbria, the great Apostle of Germany, and the proto- 
maonitude martyr of Frisia.) as well as of our own Alcuin. 

OF THE DEBT "^ '^ 

WE OWE TO Eabanus was the architect and builder of liis library, 
as well as its working administrator. But tlie first 
books he placed in his new building were remnants of 
the books of Boniface, whose murderers (at Doken, in 
East Frisia,) after their bloody deed, ransacked the 
martyr's library; scattered the books, at random, over 
meadow and marsh, whence some of them were soon 
reclaimed by pious liands, and were carried to the 
Church of Fulda, as to a place of safety. Eabanus 
was wont to shew to visitors — as his successors some- 
times shew to them, I beUeve, at this day — as the special 
treasures of his library, a Book of the Gospels^ said to 
have been written with the martyr's own hand; a New 
Testament^ wliich liad been liis dear companion; and a 
volume of tracts of St. Ambrose, containing the treatise 
De bono mortis, and several others. This volume was, 
and is, most justly regarded with veneration. It was in 
the martyr's hand (as it seems) when his murderers 
came to him ; and it is stained with liis life-blood. 

21. Before Eabanus left the librarian's seat at Fulda, 
for the arcliiepiscopal throne at Mentz, he had made liis 
library a model for other monastic collections. And he 
made himself beloved as a prelate ; as he had previously 
made liimself beloved as a monk. In both capacities, 
as in his special function of librarian, he did work 
wliich endured. We shall have occasion to see, here- 
after, that the work of transcription, carried on under 
liis direction at Fulda, proved also to be of fruitful 


example elsewhere. As Librarian, he had eminent , °^!,*i!'„ 


disciples, some of whom became exemplars in their ^jj^^""^^^ 'jjj_ 

turn Magnitude 

OF THE debt 



22. I have ventured to say — in the first paragraph Monkish 
of tins Chapter; and m direct contravention, as 1 am on scripture of 

11 |. t n • • -I theao-called 

too well aware, of very much oi current opinion on that 'Dark a«08." 
subject — that it is to Monks we are indebted for many 
of the noblest Commentaries upon Holy Scripture that 
are, even in this year of Grace, 1885, yet extant. And 
I was rash enough, when I first drew up the " Table of 
Chapters" for my present volume, to hope that I might 
be able to devote at least half-a-score of pages to a 
(necessarily brief and rapid) enumeration of some splen- 
did instances in that kind. But the ahnost oppressive 
wealth of my more immediate and proper subject re- 
strains my hand. I must content myself with but a few 
words upon one, and only one, typical example of such 
Commentaries as I had then in my mind. It is but one 
of a host. And I tlie more readily retain, as such 
typical example, Thomas of Kempen's immortal book, 
" The Imitation of Christ,'' because I have seen {since I 
began to correct the proof-sheets of these pages,) a very 
recent mention, — from the able pen of Archdeacon 
Murray of Connor, — of the '^ Imitation,'' wliich mention 
that learned and estimable writer thought it necessary 
to introduce to liis readers, of 1885, by the verj- charac- 
teristic, and very remarkable, question : " Can any good 
thing come out of the Monasteries?"^ I should, myself, 

1 MuBRAT : The OreaJt Baobt qf Christendom; in Church of Englaml Sutulay 
School Mag,, 1885— (No. for January). 



have humbly thought that the question was a quite 


CBAn^\u- superfluous one (at any date of time); seeing that some 


OF THE debt 




of the best vegetables and the best fruits that form 
part of our "daily bread," and are therefore part of the 
subject-matter of our " daily thanksgiving," came, in- 
strumentally, and in England (or in Ireland), for the 
first time, out of Monastic gardens; — since many of 
the shrubs and of the trees which every day of our Uves 
refresh and deUght our labour-wearied eyes, were first 
planted by Monastic hands; — since many of the best 
contrivances and appliances {pace the worthy "agri- 
cultural-implement makers" of our " Great-Exhibition'' 
days) for that improved agriculture, to wliich, primarily, 
we owe much of the relish and the savour of our daily 
bread, aforesaid, originated in broad Monastic fields, 
and in big Monastic barns. The Imitation of Christy 
too, — so far from being an exceptional instance of a 
noble monkish book, had, — from monkish cells, many 
a worthy predecessor, and many a worthy successor. 
And it would have been strange, indeed, had the fact 
been otherwise. What distinguishes the production of 
the admirable .Canon of Agnetenberg from the pro- 
ductions of a host of worthy congeners, both earlier 
and later, is matter, not of substance, but of form. 
Unusual simpUcity and homeUness of style^ combined 
with the author's soaring elevation of mind, soul, and 
spirit, towards the Source of all good gifts, gave quick 
popularity to his book, which is as truly a "Com- 
mentarj^" on the Holy Bible, and especially on the Holy 
Gospels, as if it had been expressly so entitled. A 
book that is at once passionate hi its aspirations 




towards God the Father, and towards God our °^^^^ 


Blessed Eedeemer, and towards God the Holy Spirit; — cnxwEr in- 
profound, in its philosophic basis and structure; — and ^^^'J^ 
intensely practical in its hortator}- deductions and appU- 
cations, when once it had received the garb of a homely 
and lucid style, must needs become a popular book. 
And the more popular — in earlier and humbler times 
— because pre-eminently devout and reverent in its tone, 
Thomas of Kempen says, in striking opposition to ver)'- 
many sayings that in our days are very current, — 
current, too often, from the lips of men who, like him 
(though in a different branch of Holy Church), have 
taken Holy Orders,^ — (in more than one place), that 
Holy Scripture "should be read in the spirit in wliich 
it was written." 

23. No book — next after the Bibije itself — has been 
so often reprinted ; — none has been translated into so 
many languages ; — none so frequently re-translated for 
wider currency; — none has more commonly proved to 
be a fruitful seed-plot, whence — next after the Bible 
itself — other writers have derived some of their best 
inspirations, and aspirations, for w^riting other books, 
alike congenial and congenital. Tlie very arrangement 
of Thomas Haemmerlein's book is at once instructive 
and suggestive. Beginning with achnonitions to the 
Spiritual Life ; he proceeds to give appUances for 
habitual self-examination. Thence, he passes to the 
consolations, in general, of the devout Christian; and 
winds up his grand theme by a special commentary on 

1 See, e. g,, ^'Bevined Version" of 0,T. (May, 1885), Job xix. 26. 



the institution, and the reverent reception, of the Sacra- 


CHArar ni- ^^^^t o^ ^1^6 Holy Eucharist, wliich is alike admonitory 

of the debt 

wKowETo consolations. 


Joannes do 

in its warning; soothing, inspiriting, and precious, in its 
The mind that could be caught up as if 
" into Paradise," and could " hear words unspeakable," 
could also express in the most lucid and impressive 
form, the blessed excellences of absolute silence. Wliy, 
he asks hi an admirable hortatory passage, — "Why do 
Christians talk so much, wlien they know so well that 
they rarely return into silence without bringing with 
them some hurt of conscience?" I often tliink that 
those words dwelt in John Bunyan's memory when he 
penned liis portrait of "Mr. Talkative" — a personage 
so familiar to all readers of late years. ^ 

24. Another of the many Monastic " Great Books of 
Christendom," — here, of necessity, noticed only by way 
of very scanty sample, — is the ^'Mirror of the Life of 
Christ^'' long ascribed to St. Bonaventura, but more 
probably written by Giovanni da S. Geminiano, a Tuscan 
Friar-Minor, and written, perhaps, about 1370. It is a 
work that was widely circulated for many centuries in 
MS.; was translated from the Latin into most of the 
languages of Europe; by many independent translators 
into our own: — amongst those translators are several 
who came to be illustrious, alike in Church and State. 

1 " Mr. Talkative \b a tall man, somothing more comely at a distance 
than at fiayid," .... [Do you ask the. )*tihjects of hin talk?] ....** Wftal you 
toill, I will talk," says he, **of things Heavenly, or of things Earthly; of 
things Moral, or of things Evangelical; of things Past, or of things to 
Come; of things Foreiyn, or of things at Home; of things Essential, or of 

things Circumstantial; — jtroviiltd all can be done to Our profit." — 

BuNYAN : Pilg, Proij. There is no need, in June, 1885, to add the (throe) 
inittalii of the antetype. 


25. Thomas Haemmmerlein (of the AuOTstinian Con- °'°"^'' 
vent of St. Agnes' Hill, near Utrecht) wrote liis Imitation cnAmn'm^ 
— hi its earliest form — just at tlie eve of the invention maonitudk 

*f or THK DSBT 

of Printing. In all probability, he was still revising it, J*^^*^ 
when other monks were actively encouramncr the intro- 

, . c-r* . . . 1 TA 1 T Thealdglvenby 

auction 01 rnntmg into several Dutch towns, in many Moniu to 

. Printing in its 

parts of Holland, as in many parts of Germany, ofcracue. 
Italy, and (somewhat later) of France, and of Switzer- 
land, the Monks of ahnost all monastic Orders were 
busily active in helping the early printers, who, when 
driven by the scourge of war from Mentz, found their 
best friends in monks and in other ecclesiastics, — in 
Prelates pre-eminently — just as Gutenberg liimself, 
fifteen years earUer, had found Hke assistance from 
the Carthusian monks of that city when he, too, was 
in straits and in peril. 

26. Nor is it unimportant, in this aspect of the 
matter, to note that not only did tlie Carthusians assist 
Gutenberg — perhaps, as early as in tlie year 1445, — at 
which date he was, in all probabihty, still working with 
wooden types — but the Mentz Benedictines gave valuable 
help, a few years later, to Peter Schoeffer (soon to 
become Gutenberg's partner) in his early experiments 
with metal types, when he first laid his plans for pro- 
ducing the noble Mentz Psalter^ although it did not 
actually appear until 1459.^ 

1 The series and sequence of the tentative efforts which led to, and re- 
salted in, the production, before 1450, of the Bible known as the Mazarine 
Bible may be dated, roughly, as follows: — (1) Engravers' work produced by 
a rude press in Holland, dr. 1400;— (2) Application of a like process to en- 
g^ving in relief — ^text with figures, cir, 1425 ; (3) Use of moveable wooden 


GENBRAL 27. TliB Netlierlaiids received the Mentz invention 


PARTI. throucrh the channel of Cologne, and mainly by the 

Chapter HI— » O ' J J 

Magnitude instrumentaUtv of tlic " Brctlireii of the Coinraon Life;" 

or THE DEBT *' 

WE OWE TO Qf |.]^g Benedictines of several Flemish and Dutch 


Abbeys; and other monastic communities; and by 
encouragement sccular pricsts of various Tank. By one of the first- 

givon to the Art iii* •• i i t% ^ • 

of Printing by uamcd Dodics, prmtmg was brought to x>russels in 
1472; — by the Benedictines to Deventer in 1477, and 
into Zealand,^ 1478; — by the Carthusians to Namur in 
1485; — by Augustinian Canons to Schoonhoven,^ 1495; 
— by tlie Franciscans to Scliiedam in 1498. 

28. The Augustinians brought printing to Savona 
in 1474; — thence it spread to Milan. The Benedictines 
brought the art into the Abbey of St. Colgal, near 
Barcelona, in 1489. By Augustinians, presses were set 
up in tlie College of Lerida in the same year. Cister- 
cians established printers at Dijon in 1491; and at 
Zinner, near Wittemberg, in 1492. Franciscans did the 
like at Dinan in 1493. The Nuns of St. James, at Eipoli, 
in Tuscany, in 1482. As early as in 1483, Augustinians 
settled printers at Troyes. More than sixty years 
passed before the need of a press was felt at La Eivoine, 
hard by Troyes; but when one came to be estabhshed 
there, tlie measure was still tlie act of monks — those of 

types by Coster at about the same date; — (4) Use of cast metal types — as in 
4th edition of Speculum, cir, 1433 ; — (5) Gutenberg's experiments at Stras- 
burgh, dr. 1435; and at Mentz, cir. 1445;— (6) Those of Schoeffer with 
improved metal types, 1453. Gutenberg testified his gratitude to the Car- 
thusians by the gift of a considerable series of the productions of his presses. 
(Schwartz: De Origine Typogr,, ii. 4, tteqq,) 

1 At St. Martin's Abbey, near Tholen. 

2 The first Schoonhoven printer was brought from Delft. 


the Order of Citeaux, who set Nicholas Paris to work °!^*^''„ 
in their Abbey. c.;;;;^^,i_ 

29. The Benedictines of the famous Abbey of Mont- «""'^« 


serrat, in Catalonia, were not content with so common a ^■o^"'^ 

piece of monastic duty as that of setting up a printing- 
press in their Abbey. They entered into a formal 
league with eighteen other Communities, dependent or 
related, for the systematic dissemination of the art. . . . 

30. These are fewer than half the instances of which 
I have made notes, as tending to shew how extensively 
.the Monastic Communities gave Uberal encouragement 
to the fathers and disseminators of Printing. U to 
monastic patronage that of Bishops and of Archbishops 
— many of them Monks also — were further to be noted, 
the mere enumeration would indeed become almost in- 
terminable. Had it occurred to the learned querist in 
our recent Church of England Magazine — ""^Can anything 
good come out of ManasteriesV — to glance, in limine^ at 
the "Annals of Printing," he would probably have 
hesitated before suggesting any such inquiry. " Cax- 
tons'' are commonly held to be "good tilings," alike by 
the purchasers who love books, and by the bookselling- 
tradesmen who love money. Assuredly, very many of 
these Caxtons came "out of the Monasteries." In the 
Abbey of St. Albans, the Monks printed many beautiful 
books at a date very httle later than the date of 
Caxton's establishment in the Abbey of Westminster. 
Tlie Benedictines of Tavistock, and the Augustinians of 
Canterbury, did precisely the like. 




Gbaptbr III— 
of tbi dkbt 



31. But — most unhappily for the "query" of Arch- 
deacon Murray — the Holy Scriptures themselves come, 
to us^ "out of the Monasteries." Many of our best sacred 
texts are in the scription of monastic hands ; were writ- 
ten in Monastic Libraries and Scriptoria: were alike 
reverently preserved, and liberally disseminated, by the 
hands of cenobites. The popular outcry against Mona- 
chism, as antagonistic to the circulation of the Bible, has 
but a slender foundation of fact to rest upon; and that 
foundation, sUght as it is, is further restricted to narrow 
periods of time, and to special peculiarities of place 
and circumstance. Much, too, of what was done by 
Monks, in mediaeval times, for spreading Biblical know- 
ledge — with due and needed appliances — was done with 
open-handed generosity, in reverent obedience to the 
Divine injunction: Freely ye have received^ freely give. 
Whereas much of what is done in our own day in the 
like direction is done with a direct view to mercantile 
profit: and in strict obedience to that spirit of rampant 
commercialism which, in other spheres of action, is day 
by day lowering England in the scale of Nations, and im- 
periUing the most precious interests of all Christendom. 



The Monasteries of the Nitrian Desert. 

The Archsaologist cannot, like the [philological] Scholar, carry on 
hiA reeoarches in hiB own Library, independent of outward circiim- 

stances Ue mnst travel, must excavate— collect— transcribe, 

. . . before he can place his subject before his mind. 

—Charles Thomas Nrwton : On the Study of ArehaoU^^ 20. 

32. Monastic History may be said to berin with oEfwut 

*> •^ o nrrRODncTiov. 

tliose communities in the secluded valley of Nitria, the '^•''• 

•^ ' Chapter IV— 

small remains and the lame ruins of whose rocky abodes monabteeim 

7 . . . . **' Nitria. 

have attracted so many visits in quite recent days, with 
results which have become very memorable in literary 
liistory. The foundation of the earliest of those ruined 
Convents is lost in the mists of remote antiquity. But 
it is certain that about the year 330, at latest, there 
already existed rude hermitages in the Nitrian Desert, 
and that ere long that Desert came to be as crowded 
with monks as a liive with bees. For many generations 
the valley so peopled with ascetics appears to have 
excited far-spread curiosity ; shared, in course of time, 
by Mohammedans as well as by Cliristians. The Com- 
munities have long since dwindled into comparative 
insignificance. The few monks that remain are com- 
monly ignorant even of their own liistory. Of their 
most ancient and picturesc^ue abodes the very sites can, 
in many cases, be traced only amidst doubt and difiiculty. 
But for the student, and most especially for the student 
of Theology and of the History of the Church, that 
lonely and barren valley will have an endearing charm, 



CBArm IV— 
or Nrnuju 


as the scene, in primitive days, of the self-denying 
vigils, and of the literary labours, of many pious men, 
who, amidst whatsoever large admixture of corruption, 
or of folly, had a firm grasp on much of vital Christian 
truth; and who were, in some respects, and in their 
degree, the prototypes of the greater "Monk§ of the 
West." It will also have another and scarcely less per- 
manent interest as the long buried mine whence, in far 
subsequent centuries, and in our own, the assiduous and 
patient researches of a series of explorers and of scholars 
— ^notable, in the roll, the Assemanis and Tischendorff; 
our own Huntington; Tatham; Lord Zouche; Lord 
Prudhoe — drew rich treasures. And thus the recent 
acquisitions, the record of which fills some of the most 
salient pages in the annals of Western Libraries, come 
to be closely linked with the pursuits, the studies, and 
the historical incidents, of the pristine monastic life of 
the East, fifteen hundred years ago. 

33. Of the very little that is known of the first 
origin and subsequent growth of those Nitrian Libraries 
which have recently excited so much of renewed literary 
curiosity, the chief source is a series of isolated inscrip- 
tions upon individual manuscripts. They are full of 
interest. But they afibrd no adequate material for the 
annals of the Collections whence they came. The nar- 
rative that is best worth the telling, in pages such as 
these, consists in a brief summary of the researches of 
Travellers. And it may well be restricted to those of 
the last two or three centuries. 


34. Perhaps, the earliest notable allusion to the ^^^^v, 
manuscript wealth of the Levantine monasteries, within ^^^^ \y_ 
those limits, is to be found in the all-embracing corres- J^p'^nIJ^" 
pondence of Peiresc, who in matters of bibUographic 
research has left his mark almost everjnvhere. He 

learnt from Ghxes de Eoche, that a traveller in Eg}^pt 
had then recently seen, in a monastery, a library of 
about eight thousand volumes. 

It is probable, from more than one circumstance of 
the incident, that the Library so visited and so reported 
of, was that of the Monastery of St. Mary Deipara, or 
"of the Syrians," now so famous. 

35. In 1646, we find Jean Magy, a merchant of 
Marseilles, writing to Seguier, Chancellor of France, 
thus: — "My partners, the Merchants of Egypt, now in 
Paris, tell me that your Excellency is desirous to have 
the works of St. Urfrem^ [St. Ephraem Syrus], and a Ust 
of the Manuscripts of the Convent of St. Macaire and of 
other Egyptian Monasteries." And he adds that he had 
written to his factor in Egj^pt to give all possible fur- 
therance to the Chancellor's object.^ 

36. About the year 1680, Eobert Huntington, after- 
wards Bishop of Eaphoe, visited the Monasteries of the 
Nitrian Desert, and made special and eager search for 
the Syriac version of the Epistles of St. Ignatius^ of the 
existence of wliich there had been wide-spread belief 
amongst the learned, since the time of Archbishop 
UssHER. But his quest was fruitless, although, as it is 

1 Correepondence of Seouibr, in S^g. MSS., Bibl, Nat,, printed by 
Delisle : Le Cab. dea MSS,, ii. 87. 


now well known, a SjTiac version of some of those 


PART I. ^ Epistles did really exist in one of the Monasteries which 

Cbaptek IV- 

or NiTBIA. 

Huntington visited. The Monks, then as afterwards, 
were chary of showing their MSS., very small as was 
the care they took of them. Tlie only manuscripts 
mentioned by Huntington, in recording his visits to 
three of the principal communities — St. Mary Deipara, 
St. Macarius, and El Baramous — are an Old Testament 
in the estrangelo character ; two volumes of Chrysostom 
in Coptic and Arabic; a Coptic Lectionary in four 
volumes; and a New Testament in Coptic and Arabic.^ 

37. Towards the close of the following century, 
these Monasteries received the successive visits of 
SoNNiNi de Manoncourt, of William George Browne, and 
of General Count Andreossi. Sonnini says nothing of 
books. Browne says that there were visible but few — 
among them an Arabo-Coptic Lexicon^ the works of St. 
Gregory, and the Old and New Testaments in Arabic — 
although he was told by the Superior that they had 
nearly eight hundred volumes, with none of which they 
would part. General Andreossi, on the other hand, 
speaks slightingly of the books as merely "ascetic works, 

some in Arabic, and some in Coptic, with an 

Arabic translation in the margin;" but adds, "We 
brought away some of the latter class, which appear 
to have a date of six centuries." This was in 1799. 
Browne died in 1814; Sonnini de Manoncourt in 1812; 
Count Andreossi survived until 1828. 

1 ObatrwUions of Travel, as reprinted in John Ray's Collection of Ourioua 


38. Li the year 1827, the late Duke of Northumber- 


land (then Lord Prudhoe) made more elaborate^ ''^"'• 

Chaptkb IV— 


researches. His immediate object was a philological MoNAflTBaiEs 
one, his lordship desiring to further Mr. Tattam's 
labours on a Coptic and Arabic Dictionary. Hearing 
that "Libraries were said to be preserved, both at the 
Baramous and Syrian Convents," he proceeded to El Bara- 
mous, accompanied by Mr. Linart, and encamped 
outside the walls. "The monks in this Convent," says 
its visitor, " about twelve in number, appear poor and 
ignorant." They pretended to be in possession of no 
books, save service-books, kept in their Church. These 
they were quite willing to shew. But a seductive httle 
gift (tending to the araeUoration of the monastic diet) 
led, next day, to an acknowledgment that there was a 
Library, with a goodly number of MSS. in it. These to 
the Duke, were quite as seductive as table* delicacies had 
been to the worthy Monks. He put aside some choice 
ones, and begged that they might be taken, for fuller 
examination, to a neighbouring cell. Tlie cell became 
presently the scene of a lively "haggling of the market." 
The noble book-lover, after long discussion, obtained 
the assent of the Chapter to liis desired acquisition, and 
also to the adding thereto of a transcript (to be made 
by the one member of the community who was a 
penman) of a choice " Selim^'' or Lexicon, To the 
specified number of tempting dollars, another tempting 
supply of rice, coffee, and tobacco, was to be added 
These solitaries of El Baramous, who seemed to the 
Duke so "poor and ignorant," and whose appreciation 
of manuscripts was a purely commercial one, had at all 




events acquired a taste for the pleasures of the 

PABTi. ^ refectory. 

Chapter IV- 


oFNmiiA. gg ^^ ^j^g Convent of St. Mary Deipara the 
illustrious visitor — illustrious not alone as a scholar, but 
as also, in very various ways, a most munificent public 
benefactor ; therein following the footsteps of so many 
noble Percies; — 

'* Renowned in their deeds, as far from home, 
For Christian service and true chivalry, — 
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry 
Of the world's Ransom, Blessed Mary's Son," — 

found things in a far worse state than he had found 
them in at Baramous. He had to descend, by a trap- 
door, into this monastic Ubrary, and when down had to 
stand upon the leaves and fragmentary "gatherings" of 
MSS. — Coptic, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic. "In ap- 
pearance," writes the Duke, "it seemed as if, upon some 
sudden emergency, the whole hbrary had been thrown 
down this trap, and the books had remained undisturbed, 
in their dust and neglect, for centuries." 

40. What he obtained from St. Mary Deipara, the 
Duke gave to his friend Mr. Tattam. His Grace's 
researches were soon taken up, in a like spirit, by the 
late Lord Zouche — at the time the Hon. Eobert Curzon 
— whose most charming Visits to the Monasteries of the 
Levant are, happily, too well known to need more than 
briefest citation here. 

41. Lord Zouche's researches were more productive 
than those of any of his predecessors. He was felicitous 


in his endeavours to win the good graces of the monks, i^^'t^o^. 
and seems often to have made liis visits as pleasant to cuiJ^m 'iv~ 
his hosts, as afterwards to his readers. But only one of oj'^JJJ^"* 
them needs to be noticed in connection with our present 
topic — that, namely, to the Convent of the Syrians, 
mentioned already. "I found," he writes, "several 
Coptic MSS. lying on the floor, but some were placed in 
niches in the stone wall. They were all on paper, 
except tliree or four. One of them was a superb manu- 
script of the Gospels, with a Commentary by one of the 
early Fathers; two others were doing duty as coverings 
to large pots or jars, which had contained preserves, 
long since evaporated (?). On the floor I found a fine 
Coptic and Arabic Dictionary, with wliich they refused 
to part." After a most grapliic account of a conversa- 
tion with the Father Abbot — the talk being enlivened 
with many cups of rosogUo — he proceeds to recount liis 
visit to a small closet, vaulted with stone, wliich was 
filled to the depth of two feet or more with loose leaves 
of Syriac MSS., which now form one of the chief 
treasures of the British Museum. — The collection thus 
"preserved" was that of the Coptic monks; the same 
Monastery contained another, which was that of the 
Abyssinian monks. "The disposition of the manuscripts 
in the library," continues the visitor, "was very original. 
. . . The room was about twenty-six feet long, twenty 
feet wide, and twelve feet high; the roof was formed of 
the trunks of palm-trees. A wooden shelf was carried, 
in the Egyptian style, around the walls, at the height of 
the top of the door ; . . . underneath the shelf various 
long wooden pegs projected from the wall, ... on 


JIT^^^^^ Tattam, like his predecessors, found a noble collection 


chaw"^^ \y- ^^ Liturgical MSS. in a condition of deplorable neglect. 
wN^^J^"^ At Amba-Bisclioi the MSS. were measurable — by 
gauging. Sometimes they lay strewn on the floor, nine 
inches deep. At Micarius the state of tilings was not 
dissimilar; but from thence Mr. Tattam's persuasions 
enabled liim to carry off* about a hundred. 

44. The impression made on the good Archdeacon's 
nund was a lasting one. He returned not long after- 
wards, to liis quest; "and he came back to us," writes 
Miss Platt, "followed by Mahommed, and one of the 
Bedouins, bearing a large sack full of splendid Syriac 
MSS., on vellum; they were safely deposited in the 
tent." At Amba-Bischoi a successful bargain was 
struck for an old Pentateuch in Coptic and Arabic, and 
a beautiful Coptic Evangeliary, On the next day, 
"Mahommed bought from the priests a 'Sorina,' a 
stupendous volume, beautifully written in the Syriac 
characters, with a very old worm-eaten copy of the 
Pentateuch^ from Amba-Bischoi, exceedingly valuable, 
but not quite perfect." The remainder of the story, or 
rather the greater part of what remains, must here be 
more concisely told than in the words of the original 

45. The manuscripts which Mr. Tattam had thus 
obtained, in due time arrived in England. Such of 
them as were in the SjTiac language were disposed of 
to the Trustees of the British Museum; and the 
discoveries to which they led will receive some notice 
in another part of these Memoirs. Forty-nine manu- 
scripts of extreme antiquity, containing some valuable 


works, long since supposed to have perished, and jj^^^^^ 
versions of others written several centuries earUer than ^ '^' »• , 

Chaptkr IV— 

any copies of the orijrinal texts now known to exist monaotebim 

constituted such an addition as has been rarely, if ever, 

made at one time to any Library. The collection of 

Syriac MSS. procured by Mr. Eich liad already made 

the Library of the British Museum conspicuous for this 

class of Uterature; but the treasure of Manuscripts 

from Egypt rendered it superior to any in Europe. 

46. From the accounts which the Duke of Northum- 
BERiAND, Lord ZoucHE, and Mr. Tattam, had given of 
their successive visits to the Monastery of the Syrians, 
it was evident that but few of the manuscripts 
belonging to it had been removed since the time of 
AssEMANi; and probable that no less a number than 
nearly two hundred volumes must be still remaining in 
the hands of the monks. Early notices of the Nitrian 
Libraries show that in one particular year of the tenth 
century, two hundred and fifty MSS. were brought into 
one Convent from Mesopotamia. If the recorded spoils 
made by Assemani, by Lord Zouche, and Archdeacon 
Tattam, were added together — the aggregate number 
of which is less than two hundred and fifty — there 
seemed to be warrant for the conclusion that at St. 
Mary Deipara, alone, there probably remained at least 
one hundred and fifty volumes of a date not later than 
the tenth century. Archdeacon Tatiam was, in the 
year 1842, commissioned by Her Majesty's Treasurj^ ^®"~"** 
upon the urgent representation of the Trustees of our 
National Museum — then, as ever, evincing the utmost 
and the best-directed zeal in the discharge of their 

researches of 

or NiTBIA. 





' * 



••'^ GENBRAL imDortaiit public duties — to resume his researches. He 

• chaw^^ 'iv- displayed all the vigour, and all the tact, of which he 

'•' MoNAOTKRiw Yiaid previously given earnest, under less favourable 

circumstances. Now, he was backed by Government. 

It was full time. Had there, at tliis juncture, been 

renewed delay, treasures wliich adorn our grand 

Museum would, in all probability, once again have 

aggrandized the National Library of our nearest — and, 

in secular matters — our worthiest neighbours. Mr. 

J Tattam's present success was not inconsiderable. But 

f the craft of the Monks was — for the time — too much 

[ for an Englishman to cope with. The upshot will be 

seen presently. 


47. in 1847 (as I remember,) Tischendorff visited 
the Monasteries already explored by Lord Zouche and 
by Archdeacon Tattam. His account reproduces the old 
characteristics: — "Manuscripts heaped indiscriminately 
together, lying on the ground, or thrown into large 
baskets, beneath masses of dust. . . . The excessive 
suspicion of these monks rendered it extremely difficult 
to induce them to produce their MSS., in spite of the 
extreme penury wliich surrounds them. . . . But much 
might yet be found to reward the labour of the searcher." 
Li truth the Monks, poor and simple as they sometimes 
seemed to be, had taken very sufficient care to keep 
enough of Uterary treasures in their hands to reward 
further researches. Nearly half of their collection 
seems to have been witlJield. 

48. A certain Mr. Pacho now entered on the scene, 
as a negotiator for the obtainment or recovery of tlie 


missing "treasures of the tombs." They had been ^^^J;^, 
virtually purchased before, but the Lords of the ^^^^"^^ 'jy^ 
Treasury very wisely re-opened the public purse, and 25^^^™.'" 
at length secured for the Nation an inestimable 
possession. The new accession completed, or went far 
towards completing, many MSS. which before were 
tantalizingly imperfect. It supplied a second ancient 
copy of the famous Ignatian Epistles {to St. Poly carp; to 
the Epkesians; and to the Romans); many fragments of 
palimpsest manuscripts of great antiquity, and among 
them the greater part of St. Luke's Gospel in Greek; 
and about four thousand lines of the Miad^ written in a 
fine square uncial letter, apparently not later than the 
sixth century. The total number of volumes thus 
added to the previous collections from the Monasteries 
of the Nitrian Desert, preserved in our great National 
Library, are' reckoned to amount to nearly a hundred 
and fifty. 


'* The History of almost every Monastic Ck>mmunity— that lived 
long enough to outgrow its cradle— alternates between a period of lax 

discipline, and a period of vigorous Reformation [Not a 

few of the Orders which began their respective careers in the fervid 
piety of a devout and real asceticism, came ere very long to resemble, 
too much, those dwellers] 

. . . . 'In the Island valley of Avilion, 
Where fell nor haU, nor rain, nor any snow. 
Nor ever wind blew loudly ; but it lay 
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair, with onward lawns 
And bowery hollows, crowned with summer sea.* 

[And, in such cases, a stem curbing-hand, in the Head of the Com* 
munity, for the time being, comes to be as much needed,— in the 
days so to speak of Manhood, >— as a libenU and gentle nursing-hand 
was needed, in the days of Infancy.]— 'TAc laU qf Wight Oountp Fre$$" 

(Story of Hyde AbbeyX 
20th June, 1885. 

1 "I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember, 
therefore, from whence thou art fallen ; and repent, and do the first works ; or else I will 
come unto ttiee quickly, and I will remove thy candlestick, exetpt tktm repent."— Rkv, 11. 4, 6. 



St. Columb-Kill, and the Dawn of Literature in the 
Monastic Libraries of Ireland and of Scotland; 
with some passing glances at the libraries of 
LATER Irish Communities — at Home and Abroad, — 


Holy-Island" are yet preserved. 

The few examplee of Writiiig of the sixth to the ninth centuries, 
inclusive, which the Benedictines of St. Maur give [in the Tnuti de 
Diplomatique] from originals in the Monastic Ldbnuries of Corvey, 
Wttrtsburgh, St. Emmeram, Tegemsee, and Salsbuigh,— in addition 
to their many examples from the Libraries of French Monasteries,— 
were, in the main, not written in those German Monasteries them- 
selves, but had been brought thither from England, [akd from 
Irklamd,] and from France, either by the primitive missionaries of 
Christianity, or by its early diffusers and promoters.— J abck : JHt 
Bavuberffiteht Bibliathel't 2r. Th., p. 49. 

A life of honour and of worth 

Has no eternity on earth,— 

Tis but a name; — 

And yet its glory far exceeds 

That base and sensual life, which leads 

To want and shame. 

The Eternal Life, beyond the sky. 

Wealth cannot purchase, nor the high, 

The proud Estate: 

The soul in dalliance laid,— the spirit 

Corrupt with sin,— shall not inherit 

A joy so great. 

But the good Monk, in cloistered cell. 

Shall gain it, by his book and beU, 

His prayers and tears; .... 

« • • • 

Cheered onward by Christ's promise sure;- 
Strong in the FaiUi, entire and pure. 

He doth profess,— 

That better Life, on high, 
He shall possess. 

— Manrique: Ooploi; translated by Lokotellow.i 

49. History, even when put throucrli the sieve of ow«*al 



Chapter V. 


the most searching and most distrustful criticism, still ^^"^ '• 

1 The worda in the closing stanzas slightly altered. 


iNT^uOTmN. preserves many an episode which partakes largely of 
^ ''''*'« fl« the weird elements of Eomance. But in none of the 

Chapter V — Br, 

S^ TOB^"^ many realms of History can this undoubted truth be 
Li'^^^Lor brought, I venture to think, more strongly before the 
o^^^^^j^ mind of an attentive reader, than when he is studying, 
with the appUances of recent inquiry, and of recent 
archaeological discovery, the early Eeligious History of 
Ireland. The more strongly such a reader is impressed 
with the gloom and despondency so naturally inspired 
by secular annals in an almost endless series of self- 
repeating cycles of oppression, — of rapacious spoil, — of 
rebeUion, — of civil war, — of foreign invasion, — and of 
cold-blooded massacres, — the more romantic must ap- 
pear that sliifting and lighting up of the scene which 
presents itself, when he turns from the later story of 
the "Commonwoe^ of Ireland" — during more than the 
last eight centuries — to the bright dawn of Christianity, 
of literature, and of Civilization in Ireland, thirteen 
centuries ago, and to its radiation, thence, in a measure, 
to the then dark Britain. Make the largest allowances 
for the legendary element in the annals of Columb-Kill, 
and of his comrades in Christian arms and Christian arts, 
that the sceptical and hoUow criticism, even of our own 
age, can venture to claim, and the residue is one of the 
noblest chapters which our national — our united — 
History can shew for the honour of those mighty dead, 
who, during their day and generation, wrought in 
humble dependence on other strength than their own ; 
and for the comfort, in aU time to come, of every true- 

1 The phrase is Ralegh*8. It occurs in a letter to Lord Leicester, of Augusti 
1581 (MS. HarL 6993). 


hearted toiler who, in Uke dependence, shall, in liis .J1"J^ 
lowly station and degree, strive, howsoever imperfectly, caAnm\-%t 
to follow in their train. conjMB.Kim 


50. And, surely, the least emotional of men, if he l,*)^^^, 
be a student at all, must feel sometliing more and ^^^^^^^ 
sometliing higher, than a mere momentary glow of the 

, , The Literary 

imagmation, if it be his privilege to be permitted, iuReUceofst. 
the Museum of the Irish Academy at Dubun, to look at 
the ^^CathacK' Psalter of the sixth century, or, when 
visiting the Library of Trinity College, to look at those 
Latin Gospels known as the ''Book of Kells^'' of the same 
date. If he is able to bring at all before liis mind the 
wonderful series of casualties, of perils by flood and 
field, of strangely adventurous changes of guardianship 
and of abode, which those precious relics must have 
gone through, during tliirteen hundred such years as 
Ireland has seen, since their bright pages were written 
and illumined, it is surely a glow of the heart, not of 
the fancy, wliicli the sight of them wiU excite. Such a 
visitor to DubUn will, perhaps, be inclined to ask 
whether the most admiring biographer of St. Columb- 
Kjll, — or of St. Patrick, — ever ascribed to either of 
those Saints a miracle more reaUy wonderful, to a 
Christian mind, than the preservation, to tliis day, of 
that sacred Psalter which was borne before the 
O'DoNNEL, on many a field in Ireland, during successive 
ages ; which was covered by the sliield of the O'Donnel, 
on the bloody day of the Boyne; and tlien, as if itself 
a shield, borne by him on liis heart, through many a 
campaign in Flanders, and in Italy? WiU there be 
more of "superstition" in ascribing its safety to chance, 




or in ascribing it directly to Divine Providence, for 

cha^^vI^. some distinct purpose, by us unseen? 


MoKACTic 5 J rpj^g glorious annals of our English Benedictines 

begin — on this secular side — with agriculture; with 
horticulture ; with vine-dressing. We owe, indeed, our 


Contnata in the 

Early History of first Library on record — that of St. Augustine's Abbey 

theBenedictinM "^ ... 

andthefouowen at Canterbury — to the devoted and heroic Missionaries 

of Columb-KilL "^ 

of St. Gregory the Great; but that collection was, in the 
mam, a Library of Choir-books. We descend some 
ages, before we reach a distinctly and strongly-marked 
activity of the Benedictine writing-room in England. 
It is the special and crowning honour of the early 
Monks of Ireland that it is there that with them, acti\'ity 
of labour begins. Surpassed by none in depth and 
fervour of devotion, in the true spirit of the Cliristian 
missionary, they are pre-eminently (in their more secular 
aspect), Educationists, and Uterary monks. As it is to 
Irish genius that we owe some of our best oratory; 
some of our greatest poUtical classics; some of our best 
songs and (in all paths, except the supreme one,) some 
of our best EngUsh dramatic works; as the bright 
Scenery and the Strange Story of Ireland have stamped 
themselves on much of our standard EngUsh prose, and 
on at least one of our noblest EngUsh Epics; — so it is 
that to Irish Uterary industry, in the earUest ages, we 
must, in all human probabiUty, have owed in several 
districts of Great Britain — though we cannot now 
distinctly trace the channels or the agencies — the 
earUest EngUsh and the earUest Scottish, acquaintance 
with Holy Scripture. 


52. The romantic story of St. Columb-Kill begins as ,_?^'*iJi„ 
a transcriber of portions of the Holy Bible; his rapid ^^^^^^^ 
and sudden wanderings, exiles, and journeys to and fro, ^^^^^^'"^ 
connect themselves with sacred books, at each con- l,^;^/^^, 
spicuous stage. The relics, which to this day keep Ids ^"^^^^^. 
memory green, for EngUshmen as well as for Irishmen, 
are Poems. Ballads, and Gospels. He is a Poet, as well Activities of 

, Cdumb-KllL 

as a BibUographer, and an Apostle.^ He preached a 
short sermon, in the sixth century, on the right treat- 
ment and right diffusion of books, which some Church- 
men, and some College librarians, of the nineteenth 
century would not be the worse if they were to learn by 
heart, and to follow in practice. And he has left a 
deep mark on Irish history as a Statesman. Educated 
in a monastic school at Clonard,^ we find traces of him, 
before he had quite reached the age of twenty-five, at 
Durrow, and at Derry, the first two, and apparently the 
best-loved, of tliirty-seven Monasteries, which claim him 
as their Founder, before his exile. 

The praises of Derry he was never weary of singing. 
It rose amidst the glories of the virgin forest; and 

1 See the early chapters of the History of Ireland, by Moore ; in the 
CaJbin^t CydopoBdia of Lardner. 

2 donard was founded not very long before the days of Columb-Kill. 
Irish Chroniclers have said that under its founder, St. Finnian— Columb-Kill's 
master — ^it attained to be a community of 3,000 monks. But all before Colamb- 
Kill is strongly coloured by legend. Montalembert has observed truly and 
incisively that those worthy and primary chroniclers of Erin know, in their 
Arithmetic, two numbers — three hundred, and three thousand; nothing 
intermediate occurs to them. Within the needful limits of this chapter, I can 
but translate and epitomise, in brief, halting, and meagre, fashion, what 
Montalembert has told in noble French. In borrowing from the Moines d' 
Occident, I borrow from the beloved companion — through his books — ol 
almost fifty years of my life. 


iHT^^oK. forest-scenery had for Columb-Kill an unwearying 

cuAmRV^^. charm to his latest day of Ufe. It is a favourite subject 

^d™'^"^ of his poems,^ wliich, thanks to recent labours of Irish 

LiBR^MOF antiquaries, an EngUslunan may now read and enjoy — 

irs^il^D. as, thanks to those of the ever-to-be-honoured Monta- 

LEMBERT, it is due that every reader of French also, may 

if he please, — in that noble tongue, so famiUar to all of 


53. All the annalists of St. Columb-Kill celebrate his 
passion for books, and his deUght in the labours of 
transcription. The man who from childliood was 
marked by a dominant love for travel, and above all for 
woodland rambles; who responded, in verse, to the 
charms of Nature, as freely as the jEolian harp 
responded, in music, to the gentle breeze of Spring, 
could toil terribly in his ceU. We may safely diminish 
something arithmetically from those "three hundred 
copies" of the Gospel, and of the Psalms, said to have 
been the product of his single hand ; but nothing in his 
biography is better avouched than his laborious and 
far-spread researches for books to copy. It is, on all 
hands, a salient characteristic of the man, as every 
contemporary, every adversary, knew liim to be. In 

] Father Ck)lgan posseesed many pieces of Irish poetry by St. Golamb-Kill, 
and gave specimena of them, 230 years ago. ' ' Diversa poemata St. Colambas," 
writes Golgan, *'patrio idiomate scripta, exstant penes me." Part of his MSS. 
passed from the Franciscan Library at Loavain to the Bargundian Library 
at Brussels, and from those MSS. some of the Irish pieces of St. Ck)lamb-Ki]l 
have been recently published, with an English translation by Dr. Reeves. 
The largest known collection of Irish poems is in the Bodleian. Other poems 
in Latin, occur, I believe, in several libraries. The Irish Historical MSS. 
formerly at Stowe and lately at Ashbumham were collected by Mr. 0*Ck)nor 
of Belaganare, and are briefly described in another part of these MemoirH, 
They now beloog to the British Nation, and are rightly to be preserved in 
the National Library of Ireland, at Dublin. 


that quest, on one early occasion, he journeyed into far 


Ossory, where " white-legged Longarad," a recluse who , '*^*^'* 


Libraries or 
Ireland AifD 


Chaptkr V— St. 

had made himself famous for his collection of books, had ^"^J^^"^ 


long Uved and studied. Columb-Kill begged hard for a 
sight of the treasures, but the applicant was already as 
noted for copying, as Longarad was for collecting. He 
was refused; and the refusal was unchangeable. 
CoLUMB-KiLL lost his temper, and liis self-command. 
His pious biographers do not conceal that he uttered, 
in his anger, words and threats, which he needs must 
afterwards have sorrowed for. 

54. It is to a very similar incident that the change The quarrel of 
in his career may be traced to which it is (humanly and uieyoun^ 
speaking), due that the fame and the civilizing labours Liteiar^'" 
which might otherwise have been kept within a narrow theauth 
neighbourhood, spread, eventually, over many lands. "*" "^' 
His old master. Abbot Finnian, of Clonard, possessed a 
fine Psalter which Columb-Kill was anxious to copy. 
Finnian had, according to the Chroniclers, many 
excellent qualities, but they did not prevent him from 
feeling that jealousy so characteristic of the ordinary 
collector of rarities which esteems a treasure to be 
lessened, not increased, by participation, and of which 
we have seen the good Bishop of Aleria complaining, so 
sensitively, in respect of some of the much-panegyrized 
Eevivalists, almost a thousand years later. Our book- 
loving Monk knew his master's weakness ; and he seems 
to have thought his own aims, in transcription, so good, 
as to justify him in copying clandestinely, under cover 
of night. But a gleam of light, seen at unwonted hours, 
through a church window, betrayed the furtive scribe. 


F39ii:r kjepc ^uisnce. dH the copy was completed, and 
zh^sL :?;tt7ntHl x. j^ lib own. T!ie fmher-book said he, 
izL <xpre!<taTi^ T\£naL!TiIar. e» mine: the auo-book mii^t 
&}ljljw "h.-iT pn.^v«bLiI prfriffpfe oi law, wiudb. makes the 
owner of :l •-•ow. owntsr also oc ins caH^ The pa^ol was 
as» sCurdr. in n^X2<aL ae» die ma;<ter, ia ^mrti^n^ The 
c^Tiesdoa was r^ifiar^ :o Ebi^ I>ES»?Tr. az^ 
argneti ~iz. X±ra*^ halls.** Tbe mjryTm of the popular 
prov-erb was a£mu«ii by die Enur. Bat the pertinacioas 
traoscriber reri:<eil :o yieliL wbat he had contrired 
ro pa: in !?afe(y. The •" OtcAfickJ^ as it seenis^ took its 
came Droci die ^ncce^sril war which SjDowed upoa the 
re^Lstaiice •:>f 0>Lrxa-Kcx go die decree of DnaiaiT, and 
the espoiL?al oi his v^narrel by warfike disciples. And 
the remorse of Coltsq-Kilu at having created a civil 
war, ^eems to have Led to a viral change in character 
and heart. Hidienio^ his aims and his deares had 
centred chiedy round the love of Xatnre, and the love of 
Books. The rimal and roatine dadess and the Charities 
of the Monk had not been neglected, bat they had 
lacked \^as it appear<i\ that -Faith, entire and pare," 
without which the :?ervice of book and bell; — evwi the 
service of prayer? and tears: — Ls still but as the cleansing 
of the outside of the platter. No change^ upon earth, 
could destroy, in this luaiu the love of books, the love of 
Nature, or the love of his fellow men. Thow who had 
espoused his just cause had iviujuered. but they had 
won bv blood-shed. Sorrow at that orv of blood, made 

m m • 

the former pursuits secondary pursuits. The primary 

1 " L« yaek bom a homm^ U. yatX Uahkar a ItahkraaLT 

2 hmbbttiC^amak^L €,, The hook idhaittift. 




CHAPTcn V— St. 


and ruling love was thenceforth the love of Souls, and 
the love of Monastic and Missionary Duty. But, to the 
rude warriors, the ''Cathach'' had won a fame wliicli ^"1"'^'"^ 


it kept during long ages. To carry it through camp JJ^b^^^, 
and clan, on the eve of battle, was, to the thought ^*'it!!!^'"' 

' ' ' O OF SoOTLAIfD. 

of the O'Donnels, a sure omen of victory. 

55. This famous Psalter is of the Vulgate version, ^p^]^^^ 
and is written on fifty-eiglit leaves of vellum, in a hand o'J>o°»«>«- 
confessedly (on closest scrutiny), of the sixth century. 
It has been for some eight hundred years enclosed in a 
chased casket, partly of silver, partly of bra^s ; and the 
casket bears tliis inscription: 

" Pray for Cathhar CDonnel, for wlwm this casket was 
made; for Sitric^ son of Mac-Aedha, who made it; and 
for Donal Ma^robarhaighy Successor of Kells [t. e, Sttcces- 
sor of the Abbot, St, Columh-KilC], in whose House it was 

From Cathbar, it was handed down through successive '^^"^H^^^ 
generations of Cliieftains till it came to the exiled 2^*^^"^°* 
OT)oNNEL of the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
who had kept his faith in it, notwithstanding the defeat 
he had himself shared in at the Boyne; and who, during 
his banishment, carried it (as I have said), in many 
a foreign campaign. Daniel O'Donnel died at St. Ger- 
main, in 1735, directing, by liis Will, that the Psalter 
should be deUvered to the next Head of the Clan, "when 
claimed." But presently it was taken from France into 
Belgium, and, for a time, deposited in a monastery 
there. Eventually, the late Sir Neil O'Donnel of New- 
port (County Mayo) claimed and received it. By him 


LiBRAmisB or 



„,^l^^^^ it was lent to the antiquary, Sir William Betham, who 
cujj^y.-^. ^^ afterwards to answer a Bill, filed against him in the 
^D TO^"' Chancery of Ireland, for opening the casket, to read the 
MS. From Sir Neil it came to the present Sir Bichard 
O'DoNNEL, who has liberally deposited it, both for safety 
and for view, under proper conditions, with the Curators 
of the Eoyal Irish Academy at Dublin.^ 

56. The fame of St. Columb-Kill is linked as closely 
with lona as with Deny, and with many another spot 
in Ireland and in Scotland, whence a stately Abbey, 
or some humble cell, rayed forth civiUsing studies. 

The Exile, and elcvating books, holy teachings, soul-cheering sacra- 
ments, to thousands of Christian converts and 
worshippers. At lona, as at Deny, at Monasterboyce, 
or at Kells, the "proud philosopher" may still very 
usefully call to mind that 

" Fallen though she be, this *Glory of the West,* 
Still on her sons the beams of Mercy shine; 
And hopes, perhaps, more heavenly bright than thine; 
A Grace, by thee unsought, and unpossess'd, 
A Faith more fixed, a rapture more divine. 
Shall gild their passage to Eternal Rest" 

57. How nobly lona, in its turn, sent the blessings 
of Christian civilisation far and wide is among the 
famiUar facts of British History. Columb-Kill had to 
strive hard for its safe and secure possession and 
protection, against many dangerous neighbours. It is 

1 Gilbert: BepoH on MSS. of Sir R, 0*D<mnel; jninied in the Fourth 
Rep. of HuU, MSS. Com.; App. pp. 584-588 (1875). Montalbmbebt: Les 
Moines tV Occid., ilL, 107. t aeqq. 


on record that during a journey, on this errand, to a ^^^''o^. 
powerful Pictish cliieftain established in a rock-bound ^^^^y-ar. 
fortress very near to the site of present Livemess, he ^"^^^'"^ 
was believed to be the first man who steered a skifi* J^b^/^of 
upon its lake. That interview with Brindh had good o^^^iJS^. 
results. It was long remembered, by many a rude 
warrior, and by many an angry Druid, that the Pagan 
King's face stirred with emotion when after his formal 
audience, — Columb-Kill and liis attendant monks left 
the port (followed by King, courtiers, and Druids, in a 
crowd), and grouping themselves on a rock for vespers, 
amidst threats of the idolatrous priests, began A^dth the 
lofty chant ; "3/y heart is inditing a good matter; I will 
speak of the things . . . touching the King'' 

58. According to the National tradition, it was by 
CoLUMB-KiLL that AiDAN was anohited monarcli of 
Scotland at lona, on that famous stone of destiny, 
which after having been successively removed to 
Dunstafnage and to Scone, is now part of the 
Coronation-throne of our -sovereigns in WestmiiLster 
Abbey. Not long afterwards, he exerted dominant coiumb-Kiu at 

. , the Synod of 

influence on a great National Assembly in Ireland ; and Dnunkeith. 
amongst other acliievements wliich shaped future 
history, saved from ruin, both there and in Britain, the 
great band of the Bards, who had fallen into royal dis- 
favour. This Assembly was lield at Drumkeitli {Drum- 
Ceitt^ "Whale-back,") and tliere the counSels of Columb- 
Kill affected, for some ages, the relations between Ireland 
and Scotland. He gave powerful encouragement to 
geographical explorations;, often accompanying the 
adventurous navigators in person. Many a voyage was 




Chaftbr V— St. 


SO made to the Hebrides, and many a germ of civilising 
influences then first planted.^ In the intervals of jour- 
^J;^"'^"^ neys, the labours in the Scriptorium were frequently 
KoifAsnc resumed at lona. He was still busied with a fresh 

lilBRABISB or 

^^^^^ transcript of the loved Psalter, when called to his rest. 
Death came to him, suddenly, at lona, on the ninth of 
and last Juue, 597; (within very few months after the Mission 

St odumb-Kiu. into Keut of St. Augustine). In liis last transcript, 
CoLUMB-KiLL had reached the words ..." They that seek 
theLord shall not want any good thing.'' (Psal. xxxiv., 10,) 
— "Here" (feeling the stroke of mortal sickness,) said 
he, "I must stop. Baithen shall write the rest." 
Batthen was then a sort of Prior at lona, and he 
succeeded to the Abbacy. 

59. The keen interest taken by St. Columb-Kill hi 
public afiairs, — in the later years, — must needs have 
slackened in degree the eager toil of transcription. In 
another characteristic, it was noticed that there was no 
change whatever. The passionate love of trees was as 
strong in the old man, as it had been in the youth. 

1 Some of my readers will be perhaps, reminded, of striking parallelisms 
in a glorious prelatial career which dosed only the other day. One clause 
only excepted,— as will be seen in the text presently, — it was true alike of 
Abbot Columb-Kill, in the sixth century, and of Bishop Selwyn, in the nine 
teenth century, that — 

<*The hand that held the pastoral staff,— 
That traced the Cross on infant's brow, — 
Had hewed the oak, had furled the sail, 
Had reaped the com, had held the plough. 

"The voice that soothed with tender words 
The mourner, and the little child. 
In stern brief accents of command 
Was heard above the tempest wild." 

"His life was work." 



They rose in great plenty around most of his abodes; 


and around most of the Monasteries which he founded ; CHAraTvl-ST 


Libraries or 
Irelamd and 

but he was famed as the planter of many more far 
away. So remote was he from seeking exercise — 
howsoever healthful — in the hewing of trees, that 
those nearest liim noted that he would suffer serious 
domestic inconvenience, rather than permit a monarch 
of the forest to be by any hand cut down, without 
imperative necessity. ^ The glorious charms of the wide- 
spreading and far-shadowing oak are well sung in 
several of his poems, yet extant. 

60. The number of Monasteries in Scotland, and the 
Isles, of which the foundation has sometimes been 

1 Some readers also may here be tempted, in reading of Columb-Kill's 
passion for, and reverend care of, **The brave old oaks," which so adorn 
oar beloved coantry to glance, in thought, at the remarkably well-developed 
taste for, and enjoyment of, their ilMtructiojit which so commonly marks the 
character of a man, of our own day, who is almost as widely-famed now as 
Ck)lamb-Kill was in his remote age. The following incident is narrated in 
the exact words which appear in a conspicuous London newspaper whilst 
these sheets are in the press : — 

"Because of any consistency there is in the act, the [late, D.G.] Prime Minis- 
"ter of England might with as much propriety entertain a crowd gathered in 
'*any London thoroughfare, by perfoiming with white mice, as to amuse a 
"similar audience by performing the part of a woodman in Flintshire. The 
"picture is, without doubt, strange, that of Mr. Gladstone amusing the 
"curious crowd we read of, who on Wednesday watched *The Grand Old 
"'Man,* [!] divent himself of coat, tpaiatcocU, collar , and bracett, and then 
*^ proceed to fell an oaJk, the diameter of the stem being four feet. We won- 
"der if Mr. Gladstone, or his musical son, or the crowd, or all of them in 
"chorus, sang the good old song ** Here's to the OaJc^ the brave old Oak," ere 
"the controller [the late controller, D.G.] of the destinies of England swung 
"the axe. There would be evidently some analogy between the song and the 
"act; and after the felling of the tree, the chips, so eagerly carried away, 
"might be well regarded as trophies of the destruction wrought ; not without 
"significance, as associated with the man who has done so much already, and 
" whose persistent determination is yet directed so vigorously, to destroy the 
"very vitality of the country he assumes to serve— that he may distribute 
"the chips to the members of the Continental Cabinets, who would receive 
"them as evidences of Mr. Gladstone's energetic folly." 


iNT^I^oN. ascribed to St. Columb-Kill is large, — and legendary. 
chaw'^''v-«t. -^^^^ there is nothing in the account, legendary as it is, 
Sd"™^'"^' ®^ marvellous as is the well-authenticated fact that more 
MoiiAOTic |.j^^jj Q^g hundred Monasteries scattered over Scotland, 
w'b^^uI England, France, Lorraine, Alsace, Bavaria, and other 
parts of Germany (Southern and Northern), Switzer- 
land, and Italy, can be directly and historically affiliated 
to the disciples, successors, and followers, of St. Columb- 
KiLL.^ Many, very many, of these came, as time rolled 
on, to be famous for their rich Libraries. Tlie "tish- 
man abroad" has made liimself illustrious on ipany a 
well-fought field ; has planted (as we all know,) in many 
a foreign country, a family teeming with soldiers, 
writers, governing-statesmen.^ But it would task both 
liistorian and arithmetician to reckon up the numbers of 
the faithful Christian CiviUzers whom Ireland sent forth 
in early days, over the length and breadth of Europe. 
The fields watered, and made fruitful, with Irish blood 
are far from behig, all of them, fields of ordinary 

61. Two literary relics of St. Columb-Kill, second 
only in enduring interest, to the Psalter of the Cathach ; 
are preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. 
The first of them is a copy of the Latin Gospels, after 
the Vulgate, written in Irish characters. It is known as 
the ''Book of Durrow" being said, traditionally, to have 
been there written by Columb-Kill. It is extensively 
illuminated with initial letters, and with decorative 

1 Cf. MoNTALEMBEBT : Moines d'OccidaU, iii., 312, seqq, 

2 See for example, The StaUsman's Year-Book, of 1883. 

Irslahd avd 



borders, and other ornaments, tesselated, interlaced, .J?^!!!!!!!^ 
spiral, and circular. The second is also a Copy of the chato v-»r. 
Gospels, in a hand which is by Irish antiquaries confi- ^^^''^"' 
dently ascribed to the sixth century. This volume is l,^^J^of 
said to have belonged to Columb-Kill, but is of some- 
what different scription from the above-mentioned 
volume. It is known as the ''Book of KeUs'' Its 
illuminations are of much richer character than those of 
the Durrow volume. Mr. Westwood speaks of it as 
"unquestionably the most elaborately executed manu- 
script of a date so early," now known to exist. ^ We do 
not know whether Columb-Kill himself possessed the 
illuminator's art as well as that of the Poet and of the 
ready writer. But it is a pleasure to tliink that possibly 
he too may have been able — 

"To embalm the sacred Name 
With all a Painter's art, and all a Minstrel's flame." 

62. Trinity College also possesses a Latin New 
Testament, written in Irish characters by monks who 
were bred in the school of Columb-Kill's successors at 
Howth. This volume is called " The Garland of Ilowth!' 

63. The Franciscan College, now of Dublin, formerly 
of Louvain, is also in possession of fragments of a Latin 
Psalter, in Irish characters, of the seventh century. 
The scription is ascribed to St. Camin, an immediate 
follower of Columb-Kill. Its Library contains two 
fragments of a precious Martyrology, known as the 

1 WiSTWOOD : PaUographia Sacra. A fac-simile is there given ; 
Gilbert : Report on M88, of Trin. Coll., Dublin; App. to Fourth Report of 
Commrs. on Hisior. M88. (1875) 588 wqq. 



^^Book of Leinster" Here, too, also, is a diglott ^^ Liber 

chaito'v^. Hymnorum^'' in Latin and in Old Irish. All of these 
coLUMB-Kn^; ^^g ^^ veUum. 

Li^llli^nor 64. The History of this Louvain community is 
ofs^SSj^. otherwise of interest. It had to pass through many 
afflictions; to suffer many losses and forced changes of 
abode. It is but two hundred and seventy years old, 
but it is already honoured by the memories of several 
generations of faithful men, who worked zealously for 
the History and Antiquities of their Fatherland, as well 
as in the special duties of their Order, according to the 
measure of the Ught vouchsafed to them. 

65. Tliis Franciscan community had been founded at 
Louvain, under the designation, " College of St. Anthony 
of Padua^^' in 1607, by the titular Archbishop of Tuam, 
Father Florence Conroy. It early became a centre of 
the study and diffusion of Irish Histor}\ Here Patrick 
Fleming, Stephen WnriE, Michael 0*Ci-ery, and John 
CoLGAN — with many others — long laboured, in the 
intervals of literary journeys, which they were permitted 
and encouraged to undertake in search of Irish 
records and chronicles. In that quest WnrrE searched 
many of the monastic and other Ubraries of Germany; 
Fleming, many of those in Italy, and in Bohemia. He 
was at Prague during the siege, and was there killed. 
Colgan's Acta Sanctorum Hibemice was mainly produced 
at Louvain. Eventually the College was united — as it 
seems — with that of St. Isidoro at Kome, to be again 
transferred, in recent days, to Dubhn. Part of its con- 
siderable collection of Irish Historical MSS., ibriginals 
and transcripts, went ultimately to enricli /the Bur- 


gundian Library at Brussels. Another portion came ,^^^^1;,^. 
with the College, to Dublin. The gatherings and the ^g^^^^y__Q^ 
labours of O'Clery; of Colgan, and of his continuators, ^om'^'"^ 
are amongst the series preserved in DubUn. They lib^imof 
include (1,) a History of the Irish Franciscans^ written in oF^^iJJL^. 
1617; (2,) a copy of the initiatory portion (viz., to 
A.D. 1169)^ of what subsequently became the Annals of 
the Four Masters; a fragment, probably, of the thir- 
teenth century; (3,) the original text of Sweating's 
History of Ireland (1636); and (4,) an anonymous Life 
of St. Columb'Kill^ written in 1522.^ 

1 This precious MS. is in the autograph of the original compiler. Michel 
0*C*lery was the senior of those "Four Masters," whose joint labours may be 
said to have given a " new departure" to Irish History. 

2 Gilbert: **M88, of the Francutcans of Dublin " in Appendix to Fourth 
Report on HUtorical M8S, Commission, 519-613. Mr. Gilbert prints, in his 
report, some extracts on Irish Afifairs of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, which are not only curious but deeply interesting. 

[66 J 

"The Monastery of Clugny wm destined to exerdso 

«a enormous influence on the Future of the Church. While matters 
at Rome were at their worst, there were silently in training [at 
Clugny], the men who should inavigurate a new state of things. Al- 
ready . . . . [as it was said at the time] ' the wh(de House of 

* the Church was filled with the sweet savour of the ointment thtrt 

* poured out : wherever, in any Religious House, there were . . . 
' aspirations after a higher life, . . . that House <niJUiaUd itself to 
'Clugny:' thus beginning to constitute a 'Congregaticm,' .... 
scattered, it might be, over all Christendom, Irat owning one Rule ; 
acknowledging the superiority of one Mother-House, and receiving 
thence its Abbots, or its Priors. In the Clugnian Congregation, for 
example, there were about two thousand Houses, in the twelfth 
century; the Arch-Abbot .... being, .... for a long 
time, the Pope excepted, quite the most influential Ghuroh'Ruler in 

Christendom. The glory of Monte Gassino was 

eclipsed by the greater glory of Clugny." 

—Archbishop Tbxvch's Leetura <m Mediatal 
Chwrch'HUtwry, pp. 100, 107. 




A Representative Benedictine Ltbrary of the Tenth 
Century. — ^Literary Aspect of Monachism, as seen 
AT Cluny (in Burgundy), a.d. 909-1580. — ^Huguenots 
AND Books. — ^The Dispersion of the Cluny Trea- 
sures; AND SOME Recent Discoveries concerning 
THEM, 1580-1880. 

They usod Books so 

That they might teach to live, as well as know. 

Twas not the language, only, they would see. 

• • • • 

T* adore mere garb of speech had been to have staid 
To lose the Sun, whilst they admir'd the Shade. 
Their aim was nobler far: they knew there sinning 
More worth in Roman virtue, than in Latin tongue. 

—Martin Llewblltit. 

66. A.D. 909. The ever-memorable Benedictine Abbey owbul 


of St. Peter's of Cluny (near to Macon) in Burgundy, parti. 
was the joint undertaking of Gerard, Count of Aurillac, liwubyo» 


and of William, Count of Auvergne. The former laid » bxjbouhdt. 
its foundation. Both contributed to its first endowment. 
It dates from the year 909. Berno, who in that year 
was Abbot of the Monastery of Gigni, in the northern 
part of the Diocese of Lyons, became first Abbot of 
Cluny. The new community very soon became famous, 
alike for the devout zeal of its Monks, for the activity 
with which they carried on the labours of the Scrip- 
torium, for the steady growth of its Library, and for 
the civilizing and ennobling influences which, in various 
channels, it helped to diffuse over a wide extent of 
country. Odo, second Abbot (from 927), whose fame 



has eclipsed that of his predecessor, and whom some 


PABT 1^^^ annahsts speak of as if he had been the founder, accom- 



Clunt Abbst 

panied Berno in his journey from the Lyonese. He had 
iKBuBouKDY. served the Canons of St. Martin's Cathedral at Tours as 
their Precentor, and as the master of their School. He 
had learned to be an ardent book-lover at the paternal 
hearth. " My father," he once told a brother-monk of 
Cluny, who survived him, and became his biographer, 
"was a different sort of person from most men of the 
present day. He had by heart the historical works of 
the ancient writers, and the Novellce of Justinian. And, 
at his table, the Gospels were always read." Odo early 
imbibed the love of reading, under such example. But, 
for a time, the charms of the classic poets won his 
heart. They did not retain it. The sublimities of Holy 
Prophets of a day more ancient still, and the solemn 
verities of the Christian Evangelists, and of those 
Fathers of the Church who expounded and enforced 
them, soon engrossed the affections of one who, being 
come to manhood, put away what, in comparison, and 
in the retrospect, seemed to be but as childish things. 
Long before he accompanied his friend Berno on the 
first journey to Cluny, he had, it is recorded, gathered 
a hundred volumes as his private library. And Odo 
possessed what, for the immediate purpose of his proper 
work in the infant community of Cluny, was even more 
important than was the love of books, — the love, 
namely, of what is best in men, and the faculty of so 
ruling them as to bring it out. But his bookishness 
gave the ply to the Cluniac brotherhood. He lived to 
govern it, himself, only fifteen years after his election. 


Maiolus (afterwards canonized, and known to studious . ^^ ^ 

travellers in some parts of France as the patron-saint of ^j^^^^^'^_ 
several churches of note), who eventually became fourth c^SJI^I^t 
Abbot, grew up under Odo's eye. He even outvied his »b^«»wdt. 
instructor in the way of book-collecting. He made 
many journeys into Italy, to buy fine copies of the Holy 
Scriptures, and of the Fathers; incurred much peril, we 
are told, from " Saracens, and other robbers," on the 
highways, and was occasionally stripped of the books 
which it had cost him such pains to gather, — sometimes, 
however, recovering them in a romantic way ; and not 
infrequently incurring another kind of peril, to Ufe or 
limb, by the inveterate habit he had accpiired of " be- 
guiling the lonesome hour" by reading wliilst in the 
saddle. Sometimes the book suffered, wliilst the reader 
had a narrow escape.^ One of the many choice volumes 
given by Maiolus to his community now adorns the 
National Library of France. It is a beautiful copy of 
St. Ambrose's Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke.^ 
67. Abbot Odilo imitated his predecessor, in a wide- 
spread research after fine books, and in carrying them 
about him, whilst journeying. Hugh I., his immediate 
successor (the two governed the community for the 
extraordinary term, jointly, of 113 years), kept the 
Scriptorium very actively employed, and established 
such a system of diligent reading of the Scriptures in 
pubUc, and also of the best Conunentaries upon them, 

1 Mabillon: Acta Sanctorum Ord. S, Bened., vii. 771-780. 

2 " Fonds de Cluni, 29;" Delisle: Inventaire des MS8,, dfcc. (1884), 44, 46, 
and pref. vi. ** Liber oblattis ad cUtare S, Petri ClunienHs comobii ex voto D. 
.... UbAoM abbatis." 


iMT^S^^oH. — especially during the long evenings of autumn and 
cha^* VI- wi^^r, as must needs have made the Monks of Cluny 
0^1^ eminent "textualists," in the best sense of the word.^ 
m BuBGUHDY. ii ig Qj^g^ oiAjj of iunumerable testimonies to the un- 
truthfulness of some very current opinions concerning 
monastic neglect of the Holy Bible. The vividness and 
pungency of that instructive conversation, held in the 
eleventh century, in the refectory of an Abbey of the 
Black Forest, makes its witness better than that (co- 
gent as that, also, is) of a multitude of the Catalogues 
of Monastic Libraries. 

68. If (for brevity's sake) we pass over a century 
and a half, we reach the rule of Abbot Ives I., and find 
him recorded as the donor of fifty volumes to the 
Library of Cluny. Of these, ten are bibUcal. Nearly 
at the same date we have a Ubrarian's register of books 
lent. It enumerates 128 volumes, of which twenty-two 
are bibUcal.^ 

69. In the next century we have an account of a 
special abbatial Ubrary, formed by Abbot Androuin de 
LA KoCHE (afterwards Cardinal), which includes several 
famous books; and another record of a large donation 
to the Abbey Library by Abbot Jean de CosAisn^ (1383- 
1400). When Printing dawned, it was quickly and 
largely encouraged by the munificent Abbot Jean de 
BouBBON. He established a printer in the Abbey itself, 
— ^Michael Wbnsleb; and appears to have given to the 

1 See Dr. Maitland's translation of Monk Ulrich's discourse (at Hirschau), 
** Quomodo Testamentum legatur tUrumque," in *'The Dark Ag€8," 336-338. 

2 Delislb, tU sup,: App., 375-377 (sub anno 1252). 

3 Chronique (Ua Abb4a de Oluni (MS. du fonds Lat. 942, t 102); and 
Dblislb, vi 


Kbrary, at various times, about twenty-five printed ,j^^J^o^ 
volumes, in addition to neariy eighty manuscript ^^^ '^^ 
volumes. Twelve of the latter are biblical; seven are Library of 
Latin classics. His successor, Jacques d'Amboise, con- "Bumuhdy. 
tinned his patronage of printers, and caused some 
beautiful liturgical books to be executed at Cluny.^ 

70. M. Demsle has adduced evidence for his belief 
that the Monks of Cluny, as early as in the tliirteenth 
century, made their library a lendhig collection, and^^aLg 
sent books, upon due occasion, " to all parts of France," mr^^^tmy. 
and into Switzerland. The great library of Paris pos- 
sesses the original receipt by wliich tlie Council of Basel 
acknowledge the loan to them, for tlie purposes of their 
assembly, of certain tracts of St. Augustine, and at the 

same time desire the transmission of several works of 
other Fathers of the Church.^ But such loans were 
often prejudicial to Libraries. The good Fathers were 
much more ready to borrow books, than careful to 
return them. 

71. The Community were not always themselves as 
duly careful, as they were duly Uberal, in deaUng with 
their books. A volume of the Letters of St. Augustine was 
once left in an outhouse of the Abbey, and had the 
singular fate of being "devoured," or partly devoured, 
" by a bear." The Monks had to confess their careless- 
ness when, having need to refer to a copy, they sought 
its loan from the Prior of the Grande Chartreuse. The 
story is told in a letter of Peter the Venerable.^ 

1 Deusle: vii One of the Cluny books is exhibited to visitors in the 
liazKiine Gallery of the National Library. 

2 D'Achsbt: SpicUegium, 761, 762;— MS. Lat. du Bib. Nat., 11833, § 39. 

3 Bibliothtca Clvniacensis, col. 653. 


72. After the long continuance of great zeal and 
''^"'* [- great prosperity — more than usually prolonged at Cluny 


Chaptcr VI- 

cl^^I^ — came, at length, the time of supineness and of 
IN BURGUNDY, decadeuce— 

"When Churchmen's lives gave laymen leave to fall, 
And did their former humbleness disdain; — 
When shirt of hair tum*d coat of costly palL" 

The punishment came, by the hands of brutal men, 

who, in Burgundy, just hke their congeners — ^Thomas 

Cromwell and the rest — in England, themselves made 

"reformation of reUgion" the cloak of covetousness. 

We may see, from his words, that Beza blushed for his 

fellow-Huguenots, when he wrote (although not quite 

accurately as to the details of their Vandalism) : . . . . 

" Having taken Cluny without resistance, .... its 

Library, in which there was still a great mass of 

ancient MSS.-, was totally destroyed. The books were 

in part torn up; in part, carried off in fragments. 

And thus that treasure was lost by the insolence, and 

ignorance, Q^^ dieiti ' iyito UflW^OUV^ii^ fefeft^^^ihg^QQ^ 

' were aU^^^^Q^ts.' "^ Happily the Archives of tB&^ 

^^^i^8toiity were, in the main, saved. The Count 

~ fflZYhas recently narrated the manner in which 

ey escaped the partial destruction of the Library, in a 

tract printed (1870) at Dijon.^ Happily, also, Beza's 

account is an exaggeration of the fate, disastrous as it 

was which befel the books. They were, in truth, very 

far 'from being totaUy destroyed. Although it was 

1 Histoire . . des Eglista ReJomUs, (1580), 421. 


mainly from the Archives that Andr^ Duchesne drew , °"^[^'i^ 


the materials of his Bibliotheca Cluniacensis (1614), he ^j^^^^^ '•yj_ 
derived some of them from remnants of the Library. ci^I^'Er 
Almost forty years after his researches, came those of ^ B'»«™>^- 
the learned Benedictine, Anselme Le Michel, who spent 
more than five years in a Uterary tour throughout the 
Monasteries of France, of his Order, and took Cluny, 
in its turn, in the summer of 1644. Le Michel made 
his laborious joumies on foot, carrying with him his 
voluminous papers. He found many surviving MSS. of 
the Library, and appears to have made many transcripts 
from the archives. His labours detained him at Cluny 
a long time, and whilst so employed he was overtaken 
by illness. When able to depart, he left in the Abbey 
much that he had written there, and also many papers » 
gathered from other monasteries, believing, he says, that 
they would be sent after him, in consideration of his 
ill health. But delays intervened, and it was not until 
the spring of 1645 that his papers were entrusted to 
another Benedictine, liis agent, for deUvery.^ This monk 
was arrested, whilst passing through CliaroUes, at the 
instance of the Benedictines there, and tlie papers were 
claimed as being the property of the Abbey of Cluny. 
Le Michel appealed to the Prince of Conti, then Abbot 
of Cluny, and Superior of the Clugniac Monasteries 
generally. But the issue of the matter is unknown.^ 
It would seem probable, however, that some of the 
MSS. claimed by Le Michel remained at Cluny in after- 

1 M. Delisle has printed the list of Le Michers MSS., and also, in full, 
his Memoir addressed to the Prince of Conti;— /nren/atrc, <fcc., 394-397 (18S4). 


°"^*!l''w 73. Etienne Baluze, in his turn, made three several 
CHAi^^'Vi- ^sits to Quny— in 1699, in 1701, and again in 1703, 
c"^Imey — working assiduously amongst its charters and other 
IN BuBouHDY. |^j[3g^ an(j making an enormous number of transcripts. 
It seems, too, that by the influence of the Cardinal of 
Bouillon he obtained authority to retain a few originals. 
It is certain that amongst the vast collections — nearly 
1000 volumes of MSS., 700 charters, and a large as- 
semblage, filling seven presses, of unbound transcripts 
and miscellaneous papers^ — purchased for the Eoyal 
Library in 1719, several original charters, which 
originally belonged to Cluny, are now extant. 

74. In 1710, the Benedictines, Edmond Martene, 
and Ursin Durand, followed the example of their pre- 

. decessor, Le Michel, and worked amongst the MSS. of 

Cluny for seventeen days. "Everything," they say, "was 

opened to us. We found a considerable number of 

ancient and fine MSS. stiU in. the Library, but forming 

a very small portion of what it once possessed 

It is said that many were carried by the Huguenots 
to Geneva, and now enrich the pubUc Ubrary of that 
town. The Cluny Muniment Eoom still contains one 
of the finest collections of Charters in the Eaiigdom."^ 

75. Towards the close of that century, the govern- 
ment of Lewis XVI. commissioned ah eminent archaeo- 
logist, M. Lambert de Barive, to make a complete series 
of transcripts, which occupied him for about twenty 
years, and was interrupted only by the Kevolutionary 
excesses of 1790. His transcripts passed to the 

1 Le Cabinet dea MSS,, L 365; — InverUaire at sap., zii 

2 Voyage LUUraire, isc,, i. 227, 228. 


National Library, and form the most important portion 


of "the Moreau Collection."^ When the community ^^^^*'*^_ 

Library ov 
Glukt Abbbt 
in burgukdt. 

was suppressed, some of the remaining Monks took with 
them the MSS. that happened to be, at the time, m their 
hands for study.^ 

76. The official inventory of 1790 specifies 189 
volumes of MSS., and 3,507 volumes of printed books, 
as then remaining in the Library, exclusive of a mass of 
unbound books, which the Commissaries did not give 
themselves the trouble of examining. In the following 
year other Eevolutionary Commissaries made a catalogue 
of printed books, but not of the remaining MSS. In 
1801, a third Commissary, Bauzun, of the town of 
Autun, upon occasion of a proposal to confer the re- 
maining Ubrary of Cluny upon the " Central School " of 
that town, made a catalogue of the MSS. and printed 
books stiU subsisting. He found 910 printed volumes, 
and 295 (two hundred and ninety-jive) MSS. The recent 
discovery oif this Eegister in the departmental archives 
of the " Saone et Loire" has enabled M. Delisle to es- 
tablish, conclusively, that between the year 1800 and 
the year 1881, one hundred and ninety-eight volumes of 
Manuscripts were abstracted from the remnant of the 
noble treasures of Cluny Library, as it yet survived, 
when the worst atrocities of the Eevolutionary horde of 
1793 and the subsequent years were stopped by the 
strong hand of the first Napoleon. Those miserable 
precursors of the still more atrocious Socialist- 
Communists of 1870-71 — men for ever branded with 

1 LtaMnetdesMS8.,i,lS^. 

2 Philibjert Bouohe: Descrip, de Cluny (MS. ii. 77). 


Cbaptb YI— 


infamy as the asssulants of all that was greatest and 
noblest in the France of other days, at the very 
cluvta^ moment when France was trodden under foot by the 
vBuMinnnr. m^j-g brute force of an insolent and predatory foreign 
invader, fighting with enormous odds in his favour — 
met, in 1799, with that much-needed and most effective 
curb which, to their imitators of 1871, could be appUed 
only very partially. 

77. So great, nevertheless, was the devastation, that 
even so laborious and patient an inquirer as was 
BucHON, the historian, beUeved, prior to his personal 
visit in 1829, that what remained was of no ac- 
count. It was only when he searched the municipal 
mansion-house of the town of Cluny that he met with 
a remnant comprising no less than two hundred and 
twenty-five manuscripts — "rescued," he says, "from 
destruction." "I found them," he adds — with a sly 
satirical touch at the Town-C!ounciUors of the day, — 
"scattered on the floor of an alcove; waiting to be 
classijiedj'^ But he had no power to do more than to 
remonstrate. At intervals Theodore Chavot;- Charles 
DES Chizeaulx; M. Peujon,^ made like remonstrances in 
their turn ; but it was left for the eminent and worthy 
historian of French printing, M. Auguste Bernard, to 
add to indignant remonstrance vigorous, though tardy, 
action. Thanks to M. Bernard, the French Govern- 
ment interposed at last (1876). 

1 BucHoy : Rapport sur les Institutions Municipales de Litt^rcUure, d:c,, 42. 

2 Chavot's letter in Niepce'a Archeologie Lyonnaise, 52; also DestnuUion 
de . . . . Cluny (1868-80). 

3 Cluny: la VilU et VAbbayt (1872), 156-159. 


78. The remnant of the fine charters and documents i^^SJ^';^. 
of Cluny were not only arranged, classified, aiid ^^^^^^ '^_ 
efiectually protected: they were put into a course of cI^^I^'et 
publication^ by M. Bruel, in that series of Documents «»b^'«»^»^- 
inidits sur VTIistoire de France^ which is one of the 
innumerable claims of the illustrious historian and 
statesman, Guizot, to the undying gratitude of foreign 
students of history, as well as of Frenchmen. Lord 
RoMiLLY followed, amongst ourselves, Guizot's example. 

Our " Rolls Series of Chronicles" is an imitation of the 
^^ Documents inedits,'' But although the French example 
was followed, in Britain, in respect of pubhcation, it 
has not been followed in respect of wise and Uberal free 

79. The Cluny Charters are scattered far and wide; 
but many of them are not lost to scholars. Our own 
British Museum contains a considerable number. The 
strenuous and admirable researches of M. Leopold 
Delisle, and of his predecessors in office, have re- 
covered for the National library an extensive series. 
These have been obtained by more than sixteen succes- 
sive and independent purchases, ranging over about a 
century. The municipality of Cluny itself, in the year 

1 Two vols, have appeared already (1876 and 1880, 4to.) 

2 I write feelingly on this subject. When I had the honour of editing, 
for the Government, the remarkable and long-lost Chronicle entitled "Liber 
de Hydd" (from a unique MS., discovered by myself , in 1861, at Shirbum 
Castle, in Oxfordshire,) I needed some copies of that book (as gifts to friends 
who had lent some furtherance to my labour). At the time of my perform- 
ance of a toilsome task, I was in broken health, and was very poor ; yet I 
had to pay to Messrs. Longman & Co. six pounds, for my copies. Not one 
shilling of that sum ever returned to my pocket. I am now very old, yet 
hope to live to see a better system established in that small matter — under 
the rule of so true and great a Statesman as is Lord Salisbury. 



Chaptxb VI— 


Clukt Abbey 


1881, sold to the National Library its right and title in 
all that it then retained of Cluny MSS. I think that 
the worthy Mayor, of that recent day, must have called 
to mind, at the time of this transaction, Buchon's 
caustic inuendo of 1829, for he covenanted — with M. 
Lipoid Delisle — that a Catalogue of the Cluny docu- 
ments should be carefully prepared and pubUshed. It 
appeared last year (1884), under editorship which 
makes it surplusage to say that it is admirably done. 

80. I may (not unfitly) add, by way of postscript, 
that when, as I have said already,* the Monks of Cluny, 
in or about the year 1483, brought Michael Wensler 
from Basel, and established him as a printer in their 
time-honoured Abbey, he began business with the pro- 
duction of a fine Missal. From Cluny, printing spread 
to Macon, — a town specially interesting, for all time to 
come, as inseparably connected witli the name and fame 
of a man who was at once a true Poet, and a true 
Statesman, Alphonse de Lamartine. 

81. Soon after the estabUslmaent of Wensler at 
Cluny Abbey, a Cluniac Monk who belonged to Eother- 
munster, in the diocese of Constance, caused to be 
printed an edition of the Fasdcuhis Temporum^ of 1481, 
with important additions from his own pen. It bears 
no imprint of place, but was, I think, produced at 

82. Tlie books that — although strayed far from their 
original abode, and (as respects many of them) their 

♦ Page 70, above. 


birthplace — are extant in known Libraries are not lost „,^^„enoir. 
to literature. But too many treasures, known once ^ CHJil^\i-~ 
have existed at Cluny, have perished totally. Amongst ^^J;^!^ 
these is a Psalter of St. John Chrysostom, written in "B™'^^'- 
letters as golden as was the speech of the owner; — a 
choice collection of tracts of St. Cyprian ; — and a very 
early copy of the Ecclesiastical History of Gregory of 

83. The Benedictine Abbey of St. Mesmin, in the 
diocese of Orleans, seems to have laid, as early as in the 
beginning of the tenth century, the foundation of what 
soon became a fine Ubrary. There are choice MSS. 
which once belonged to it, in the National collection of 
Prance.^ There are others at Avranches; in the public 
library of Berne; and in the University Ubrary at 

84. Nearly at the same period began the formation 
of the still more remarkable collection at Reims, in the 
Abbey of St. Eemi. Its surviving relics are still more 
widely scattered than are those of St. Mesmin. Tliey 
are to be found not only in the vast repertory at Paris 
— ^which possesses more than twenty of them, — ^but also 
at Eome, at WolfenbUttel, at Leyden, at Beme,^ and (in 

the " Phillipps Library") at Cheltenham. 


85. It is also in the tenth century that the Library 
of the Abbey of Fleury-on-the-Loire (diocese of Orleans) 
had attained to conspicuous wealth and eminence. It 

1 Dblisls, %il 9up,, iL 408. 

2 lb., 411 ; Sinneb: Cat, Bibl, Bementis, i. 442, 491, 530. 


Clumt Abbey 
IN Burgundy. 


comprised MSS. of great beauty and worth — of which 
chai^^ VI- ^ multitude still rank among the choice treasures of 
Library OF jj^q^^ (j^g^u half-a-dozcu great Ubraries, in all parts of 
Europe. Fleury was one of the many monastic com- 
munities whicli, like Cluny, were wrecked in the 
Huguenot strife of the sixteenth century. Its fine 
books were widely scattered. A large number fell into 
the liarids of Pierre Daniel, an advocate of Orleans, 
professionally connected with the community; others 
into those of Bongars, of Berne, and other private col- 
lectors. Daniei.'s books, after liis death, were acquired 
by the brothers Paul and Denis Petau, from whom they 
passed, through Queen Christina of Sweden, to the 
Library of the Vatican. Those of Bongars went — or, at 
least, the chiefest part of them — to the town of Berne. 
The great library of Paris possesses about 40 MS. volumes 
whicli, in all probability, had belonged to Fleury. 
Others are at Orleans; at Geneva; and in several other 
cities of Europe. Could the individual books tell their 
story of adventure, in the transit, they would, doubtless, 
be able to narrate many "moving accidents, by flood 
and field." 

Additional Notes to Chaptbr V. 

Page 56.] O'Donnel, in his Life of Si. Columb-KUl printed by Colgan, gives 
a Latin hexameter version of the judgment in "Finnian v. ColumbkiU": — 

*' BucoluB est matris, libris suns esto libellus." 

(Colo an: Trias TkaumcUurgus, p. 409). 

Page 63.] For **a precious Martyrology, 'known as* The Book of Leinster" 
the Reader is requested graciously to read " locally known. " There is a much 
more famous ** Book of LeinsUr^* in the Libraiy of Trinity College ill Dublin, 
which contains a series of heroic and legendary Tales and miscellanies. It is 
on vellum (H. 2. 18.), and has lately been published, in fac-sindle, by the 
Royal Irish Academy. ( 



Three Eepresentative Benedictine Libraries of the 
FiTiKVENTH Century: — (1,) The Library of the 
Abbey (now the Cathedral) of Exeter; — (2,) The 
Library of the Priory of St. Swithun (now the 
Cathedral) of Winchester; — (3,) The Library of 
Hyde Abbey, near Winchester (destroyed). — 
Literary Aspects of Monachism (continued): — 
The partial Dispersion of the Book-Treasures of 

Behold! Ths World or Books is still "the World,** 
And worldlings in it are less merciful 
And more i>uisAant. For the Wicked there 

Are winged like Angels; 

.... The Beautiful seems right 
By force of Beauty; aitd the Feeble wrong 
Because of Weakness. Power is justified, 
Though armed against Saint Michael ! . . . 

In the book -world, 'tis true. 

There is no lack of Ood's leal Saints and Kings; 

Th:it shake the ashes of the grave aside 

From their calm locks, and imdiscomfitcd 

Hold stedfast Truth, against Time's changing mask. 

—Elizabeth Barrett Brownino: Aurora Leigh, 
Book I. 

86. The grand old Cathedral of Exeter dates, 



probably, from about tlie year 900, and the Cathedral ^^^'^^j^_ 

Three Rkprs- 

Library (as respects its first rudiments) is but of little 
more than one century later in its origin. Tlie Cathe- 
dral, formerly the Priory of St. Swithun, at Winchester, 
dates also from the ninth century; and the foundation 
of its noble Library, from tlie latter part of tlie tenth. 
But it sufTered several successive and violent destruc- 
tions, before the ravages of the special days of 




rA«T.. Tudors. 

Chapter VII — 

destruction — ^the days of the rapacious and ruthless 

thbkkr^r.. 37 r^i^Q Library of Exeter Cathedral was the 
^^^^ foulidation of Bishop Leofric, some of whose Service- 
Books, given to his Monks about the year 1040, 
are still among the choicest specimens of liturgical 
palaeography of which our Nation can boast. One par- 
ticular service-book, given to Exeter by Leofric, has 
very recently been made useful and instructive to 
hundreds of scholars, by the able reproduction of it, 
under the learned editorial care of my valued friend 
Mr. F. E. Warren, Eector of Frenchay, near Bristol. 

88. Most, however, of Bishop Leofric's choicest 
and most precious volumes have changed their abode, 
— to the advantage, indeed, of students, but to the dis- 
credit of the Dean and Canons of a distant day. Those 
keimelia belong now, not to Exeter Cathedral, but to 
Oxford University. 

89. Ahke in the varied career, and in the striking 
personaUty, of Sir Thomas Bodley, no feature, perhaps, 
is more sahent than is the wonderful influence which he 
exerted over men of the most diverse character, and of 
the most varied pursuits in Ufe. Divines, like Ussher; 
State-craftsmen, Uke Burghley; Leaders of a Nation, 
Uke Ralegh; Mystics, hke Kenelm Digby; Archaeo- 
logists, Uke Cotton; were wont to hsten patiently to 
Bodley's explanations of the motives which led him, 
after toiUng for years in hope to become Secretary of 
State to Queen Elizabeth, contentedly " to set up his 
"staff, at the Library-door in Oxon," an^d to aid, 
zealously, liis project for making that dof^r the one 



main avenue in all England to an universal collection of 


Books freely accessible to all men who could shew de- ^ha^ 'vn- 


cisively that they were real students. The five men I 
have named above are but the sample of twenty. With 
the one exception of Ralegh, all of them were avowed 
book-coUectors; — each of them was (at the very time 
when BoDLEY talked to them of his own project) intent 
on building up a Library for his own special enjoyment. 
Every one of the five, together with scores of their 
common acquaintances of Uke tastes with themselves, 
gave some of his most precious volumes to Bodley's 
new institution ; and took pains to persuade others to 
do the Uke. Bodley had not in vain been, for the best 
twenty years of his life, a diplomatist. 

90. Out of Exeter Monastic Library (afterwards 
the Library of the Catlied/'al) the very choicest volumes 
were picked to enrich the Bodleian. But the Library 
grew, and its grafts came soon to be as vigorous as had 
been the prime stock. At tliis date (July, 1885) it 
possesses about 8000 printed volumes; a considerable 
number of MBS.; is well catalogued; is liberally acces- 
sible; and is under the intelligent guardianship of t^e 
Eev. H. E. Reynolds, M.A., assisted by Mr. John Kemp. 

91. For a long period the Cathedral Library was 
kept in the Lady-Chapel, where it suffered somewhat 
from damp and neglect. The Printed Books have long 
been preserved in the Chapter-House. The Manu- 
scripts, say the Cathedral Commissioners in their Report^ 
"are kept in deal presses, under lock and key, in an 
"upper chamber — ^where they still suffer from damp — 
"attached to the Cathedral." The necessity of such a 





unS^^ow. separation, in order to the safe keeping of the precious 
chai^^ to- treasures which these manuscript volumes contain, may 
]^^^*^ possibly have existed, but is. far from being obvious 
L^^!^' or probable; and assuredly the practice ought not to 
continue (even if the dampness of the room, be reme- 
died), save for good reason shewn..^ 

92. No other Cathedral in England can produce to 
the visitor a book giv^n to it by its first Bishop. The 
volume of Saxon poetry presented by Bishop Leofric — 
exempted from that exuberant gift to the Bodleian 
Library which I have narrated above — is in excellent 
preservation. It is but one of many Saxon MSS. of the 
highest interest, which may still be examined in Bishop 
Leofric's venerable Catliedral — so replete with interest 
of every kind to the devout English Churchman, as well 
as to the studious English archaeologist. Amongst tiiem 
is a transcript of so much of Domesday Book as relates 
to the counties of Cornwall, Somerset, and Devon, of 
very liigli antiquity, and possibly, as some tliink, strictly 
contemporaneous witii the famous Eecord of the Ex- 
chequer. In support of this opinion, and in proof that 
the Exeter Domesday must have been written from 
actual survey, the fact is adduced that it invariably in- 
cludes entries of the live-stock maintained on the 
various lands described; particulars wliich do not 
appear in the Exchequer Domesday, By a circum- 
stance too fortunate to be of frequent occurrence, a 
leaf which had been abstracted from tlie Exeter book in 

1 It does not appear from Mr. Reynolds' recent paper, read to the Library 
Association, whether or not this is still the practice. It was so when my 
own last visit was paid to Exeter Library, but many years have elapsed 
since then. 


the middle of the sixteenth century, was restored to it 



in the nineteenth. It was found by Mr. Walter Calver- ohai^^'vii^ 

Thbes Rkpbk- 




ley Trevelyan (afterwards Sir Walter), a descendant of 
WiLLOUGHBY, Dean of Exeter in tlie time of Henry 
Viil., amongst his family papers. Amongst the other 
choice manuscripts are EngHsh Chronicles, Psalters, 
Missals, a multitude of small tracts on various subjects, 
and many records connected with the Cliurch of Exeter 
itself. None of these have ever been adequately de- 
scribed. That contribution of Mr. Eeynolds to the 
Proceedings of the Library Association of the United 
Kingdom^ which ^as Ustened to at Oxford with so much 
of interest, and so much of expectation, failed to de- 
scribe the ancient MSS. of Exeter ; — treasures committed 
to his personal custody;^ — the description of which, at 
Oxford^ would have had a special interest, and a special 

93. In addition to a very considerable assemblage of 
theological works, the printed portion of the Library is 
rich in British History, and includes not a few books 
and tracts of much rarity. There is no ancient endow- 
ment for the Library separately, but the Chapter 
annually grants twenty pounds for purchases. General 
access, say the Cathedral Commissioners, is permitted 
" by leave of the Chapter.'*^ And this leave is Uberally 

94. Of late years, the loan of volumes has averaged 
124 annually. The earhest MS. Catalogue of the 
Library is dated 1506. There are printed Catalogues 
dated respectively 1682, 1752, and 1840. The chief 




donors of books are Canon Burscough, Humphrey 

PART I. ^ Smith, and Lord Middleton. 

Chaptkb YU- 



95. At Winchester, both the Old-Minster (or St. 
Swtthun's) and the New-Minster (or St. Peter's; 
afterwards Abbey of Hyde) ; — aUke possessed Libraries 
of some mark. The former was the foundation of men 
conspicuous for asceticism and for industrialism. They 
were, at first, very little conspicuous for love of books. 
The latter was the creation of a Founder pre-eminent, of 
all contemporary men, for Learning, and for the love of 
Literature. He gathered round him, for the special 
purposes of his New-Minster, a whole galaxy of scholars, 
the pick and cream of their period. Yet the Library 
begun in St. Swithun's Abbey in the tenth century 
subsists at the close of the nineteenth century, in noble 
vigour. It gives, under tlie bland auspices of Dean 
KrrcHiN, the hospitaUty of the loan of books to students 
who live far remote from Winchester, whilst providing 
very ample appUances for those who are so happy as to 
live near to Winchester. The Library founded in 
New-Minster, afterwards Hyde, which, for a brief inter- 
val, possessed Monastic craftsmen more renowned for 
calligraphic scription, and taste for illumination and 
rubrication, than their near neighbours, had almost 
perished of inanition, before the inroads of the all- 
devouring satellites of Thomas Cromwell. 

96. SwTTHUN was bom in Winchester {dr. a.d. 805) ; 
became Dean of the old Minster {cir. a.d. 840) ; dis- 
tinguished himself in the promotion of public works, 
even before he succeeded (a.d. 852) to the Bishopric. 

swrrauN, BISHOP of Winchester. 87 

As Bishop, he won universal love and respect. Swtthun 


(says the earliest of his Biographers) " loved not pride, ^^^^ '^_ 


nor to ride on gay horses ; nor to be praised or flattered '^*'" ^ 
of the People. By liis own holy Ufe, he made others to ^^^^J^™ 
live virtuously."/ Another, and metrical, biographer — 
of later date (13th century) — writes thus; 

"Saint Swithnn his Bishopric to all goodness drew; 
The town, also, of Winchester he amended enow, 
For he caused the strong Bridge, without the town, arear. 
And found thereto lime and stone, and the workmen that 
were there." 

97. There seems to be ground for the belief that 
Ethelwulf was influenced by Swithun to make that 
large and princely grant to the Cliurch which ranks the 
King as the virtual Founder of Christian Missions in 
England, and as the initiator of that churcli-building 
impulse, which spread so rapidly far and wide, with 
results so memorable for all Christendom. 

98. Swithun's provident care for Posterity, though 
it stretched so far abroad, always took tliought also for 
the things near at hand. At the moment when he 
initiated the most fruitful of all methods for spreading 
Christian Faith throughout England at large, he built 
strong walls to protect his own Abbey-Cathedral at 
home. Those walls held back the ravaging Danes, 
when all else fell before them. Swithun died in (pro- 
bably) the year 863. For more than a century 
thereafter, his own wish that his remains should he, 

1 life, as printed in William Caxton's OMen Legend (1483). 


jg.^^^on undistinguished, in the common grave-yard was obeyed. 

Thrks Rkprk- 

BBTTATIVE «« rpjj^ g^^ ^J^^ ^^ ^ ^JJ^ 


In his own eyes; who slept like common dust 
Outside the Church; extolled through Power Divine, 
By signs innumerous, and by startling proofs. 
Vouched meet to dwell with Peter and with Paul, 
Into their Church was now in triumph bome."^ 

99. Swithun's special work for his Cathedral was 
vigorously resumed by his successor, Ethelwold, in the 
next century; and by many others as time wore on. 
Amidst good and evil fortunes, the Abbey prospered. 
It was Ethelwold who furnished the Library, as richly 
as circumstances permitted, with books — Latin, French, 
and English. 

100. The separate story of the closely neighbouring 
communities were too long to tell. That of the New- 
Minster in the earlier ages; that of the Cathedral in 
modem days, will best elucidate my special subject. 

101. The Monastic History of the England of our 
Forefathers abounds in romantic incident. But there 
are only a very few English Abbeys that have a history 
quite so romantic, or so varied, as that of New-Minster 
or Hyde Abbey. It stood on Danemead^ very near to 
the beautiful capital-city of Hampshire, — once the 
capital of our Fatherland. Its monks fought in armour 

1 The translation was accomplished with difficulty, on acconnt of unnsual 
rains. Hence the proverbial connection of St. Swithin*s Day with enduring 
rain, upon a contingency. 


for England, on the field of Sanfrlac, or, as we are all o^nmul 
now wont to call it, tlie field of Hastings. The Com- ^^^^^"^ '^^^^ 
munity were bitterly punished by the Conqueror; were ^*",^^™'' 
mulcted of many a fine m.anor in revenge for their ^i^^r"** 
staunch adherence to Enghsh Harold p.gainst Norman 
William. But they survived liis anger; and their suc- 
cessors played a conspicuous part — from time to time — 
in our national annals for many an age. When the 
riches of the Monasteries came to be quite too tempting 
and appetising, in covetous eyes, to be longer respected ; 
when the "52c voh^ sic jiiheo'' of an adulterous, a 
gluttonous, and a murderous king was strong enough to 
override law and honour and true public poUcy, his 
agents (under the mask of Eeformation) destroyed — 
with hundreds of others — the one ^.bbey in all England 
that could boast of its origin from one of the greatest, 
wisest, and most pious of English kings. And Hyde 
Abbey was not only the Creation of Alfred the Great; 
it was also his Tomb. 

102. A recent visit to Winchester — the latest of 
perhaps a score, or more, of visits thither, all of which 
are remembered with interest and pleasure — reminded 
the present writer of his careful exploration, in years 
long bygone, of the now very scanty remnants of what 
was once so eminent a " cynosure of neighbVing eyes" 
in this County. 

103. Hyde Abbey was only for a brief period remark- 
able for its Literature, But — howsoever we may now 
estimate the worth of its stauncli adherence to Harold 
acrainst William — it is certain that the Communitv ren- 
dered good pubhc service, in return for its broad lands 




jj^^^^J'^jj and its well-stocked bams, in many channels of activity 
chaA^^to- (^^^^ ^P^^^ ^ question than was its appearance in battle 
thbkk itePB.. g^^j.j^y jj^ 1066) and on many critical occasions. To give 
one or two examples merely: — ^It strenuously withstood 
the attempt of Cardinal Henry of Blois (Bishop of 
Winchester from a.d. 1129-1171, and brother of King 
Stephen) to withdraw the See of Winchester from its 
allegiance to Canterbury; to obtain from the Pope a 
BuU for converting it into an Archiepiscopate, and for 
increasing its wealth — already abundant — ^by the syste- 
matic plunder of other sees and communities. The 
monks obtained the help of St. Bernard, whose then 
influence at Eome came, it appears, to be the decisive 
means of defeating the Cardinal's skilfully-laid plans. 
The Community suffered more than its average share of 
losses in time of foreign war, of internal strife, of riot, 
and of famine. But in more prosperous times it upheld 
ancient hospitahty and liberal charity. And it helped 
to educate the poor, in fair proportion to its means. 

104. When Alfred ascended the English tlirone 
(a.d. 871) he found his realm devastated by the effects 
of a long succession of wars; the Monasteries (speaking 
generally) in ruins; the Monastic Schools utterly de- 
stroyed. He says himself that it was then scarcely 
possible to find a man south of Thames who cou]d 
translate a Latin letter into EngUsh. His first thought 
was to strike one vigorous blow against our Danish 
invaders. But he was completely outnumbered at 
Wilton, and perforce must conclude a truce. His 
second thought was to bend every effort to the strength- 


ening of our Navy; — the third, to rebuild the de- 



stroyed Monasteries, and to found new ones so planned ^J^ '^_ 


as to have (next to their primary and palmary object of 
the worsliip and service of God) for their special aim lS^^I^* 
the education of tlie EngUsh youth, and, to start with, 
pre-eminently of the youthful Nobles of England, — the 
future rulers of the people in time of Peace, and its 
leaders in time of War. From all parts of the Conti- 
nent he sent for the most learned Monks he could hear of. 
Grimbald — pre-eminent for learning, for energy, for 
public spirit, for devoutness of mind — he destined from 
the first to be the head of his own foundation of New- 
Minster. The King's plans for the new Abbey were 
large, far-sighted, and many-sided. In one particular 
they erred, though the illustrious Founder did not live 
long enough to perceive, still less to rectify, the mistake 
whicli bore painful consequences for two and a quarter 
centuries. Then, at length, a remedy was found. And 
the remedy led to one of the most curious circunLstances 
in the whole chequered story of the Abbey of Hyde. 

105. Invading Danes were still pressing on struggUng 
Saxons and EngUshmen, from all sides, when Alfred 
planned the foundation of New-Minster in the Close of 
Winchester. The protection of strong walls was now 
the primary necessity of all peaceful dwellers. And 
though the Monks of the New-Minster proved them- 
selves valiant and of stout heart for War, Peace un- 
questionably was their vocation and their duty. 

106. To be sheltered from the attack of foes, their 
Founder "penned them in" very closely within the 
precincts of that time-honoured Abbey of St. Swithun, 



which all true Hampshire-men love and venerate de- 
voutly, to this day, as " Winchester Cathedral." 

A glance at this rude sketch will better explain the 

lative position of the new Mod 
than a long description would: — 

L?]^J^^ relative position of the new Monks and the old ones. 


Palace of 

'•William the 


The High Street of Winchester. 


( of 



OP New-Minster. 






— °^ *^ 

St. SwithunV 

Cathedra] Church, or 



107. The Eeader will perceive that this primary 
site of the new Abbey combines every kind of incon- 
venience. The Monks of St. Swithun's could not ring 
their bells, without disturbing the quiet of their 
brethren of St. Grimbald's. Neither of them could 
form "a procession," without encroaching upon the 
territory of their near neighbours. The very singing 
of their respective Choirs became an impediment rather 
than an aid to Devout and Holy Worship. And the 
disadvantage from a sanitary point of view — though 
such matters were less thought of in the days of Alfred 
and of St. Grimbald, than they are in our own days — 
was even then seen to be scarce a whit less serious an 


impediment to well-being, than the over-close neigh- ^°^^^^„ 
bourhood was to the delights and the blessings promised ^j^^^"^' '^j_ 
to those " Bretiiren, who dwell together in Unity." three r«.i«. 



108. The execution of the Founder's plans for ^'»^«- 
that " Newan-Myristre," which lay so near his heart, 
was long held in check by fresh invasions of Danes 
(a.d. 893, 895, 896), whose arrival in our land gave 
encouragement to their kinsmen in East Anglia, and in 
remote Northumbria, to rise again in arms. They had 
now a new chieftain, whose fierce courage vied with the 
valour of Alfred. But the terrible Hastings, though 
equal with Alfred in bravery, was his inferior in 
military skill. The strife, however, lasted long; it 
completely \wve down the King's decUning strength; 
arrested for years the literary studies in which he so 
much delighted; and probably it abridged those con- 
ferences about the rule and organization of the new 
Community, at the head of wliich lie designed to place 
Grimbald, whom he had brouglit over from tlie Monas- 
tery of St. Omer, in France, in order that EngUsh 
monks might, by his saintly example, be won over to 
aim at a higher standard in their learning and Uterature. 
and at a purer discipline in their conventual life. Death 
came (901) before they could confer fully on these far- 
sighted plans. Alfred's son and successor, Edward 
the Elder, both presided at the dedication of the Abbey, 
and gave to the Community their first charter. It bears 
date 900,^ but was unquestionably sealed and issued in 

1 Tho Bame date is also given by Simeon of Durham, and some other 
Chroniclers. Of the various recensions of the Saxon Chronicle, some fall 
into like error; others correctly give 901. 




Three Repre- 


901 ; although it may well have been roughly drafted in 
the former year. Some of its provisions were not defini- 
tively settled until tlie assembling of a Council at 
SS^^' Winchester, called by Edward. In this primary 
Charter the Abbey is said to be dedicated (in anticipa- 
tion of the actual ceremony) to the Holy Trinity. In a 
second and more detailed Charter of 903, it is described 
as the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, of the B. Virgin 
Mary, and of St. Peter. A mark (mancus) of pure 
gold was paid for each foot of the land on which the 
Abbey was built — extending to three acres and three 
virgates.^ The new King was a munificent giver to the 
Community, which he loved for liis father's sake and 
for liis own. Five Hampshire manors^ and three Wilt- 
shire manors were among his gifts. Together they are 
said to have extended to more than 27,000 acres.^ Tliis 
pious and open-handed monarch, after a (on the 
whole) very prosperous reign of twenty-four years, 
was buried at New-Minster beside his father — to shai-e 
with him and with St. Grimbald, the brutal desecration 
of 1793. Edmund the Elder; his brother Eldred; their 
two curiously-contrasted nephews Edwy and Edgar — 
"the thorn," and "the rose," of tlie monkish Chroniclers 

1 . . . . <*pa88ua unioscQJ usque ietius loci emit uno mancuso parga- 
tiBsimi auri." — PropottUio principcUis cawKC quare Novum asd\ficaium eat 

2 Namely, Micheldever; Abbot's Aune; Brown-Candover; Durley; and 
Thorley ; — the three Wilts manors were Cranbourne (now part of the estates 
of our truly illusti-ious Premier — whom may God preserve, — and the manor 
from which he derives his second peerage title); Collingboume; and 

3 Taking the acreage of the '* hide of land " according to the most ac- 
credited estimate. 


— all followed in Edward's steps, in respect of bene- owebal 

ficence to his favourite Abbey. Collectively, they con- ''^'"• 



Chaptkb VII— 

verted his 27,000 acres into, at least, 40,000— spreading ^^^„^^"- 
out into Berkshire on the one hand, into Sussex on the j^^^^^^ 

109. Grdibald governed the Community well and 
wisely under the Augustinian rule, but liis hfe was 
spared for little more than three or (perhaps) four years 
after his arrival in England — and part of that brief span 
was spent (in all probabiUty) at Oxford. His residence 
and influence there have been much questioned. When 
the present writer stood, not long ago, in the venerable 
and beautiful Crypt (beneath the former Church of the 
University — St. Peter's in the East — whence so many 
of the briUiant Kghts, of the best days of our dear 
AngUcan Mother, have shed their soul-enkindling in- 
fluences,) which bears Grimbald's name, he felt most 
strongly, as many wiser men have felt before him, that 
not one iota was there in view which, in any way, 
tended to conflict with the tradition that it was under 
Grimbald's eye, and by his inspiration — or rather that 
of the Almighty Father working in and through His 
humble instrument and creature — that the structure 
rose, long before the Norman Conquest ; the good Monk 
himself intending that when God should be pleased to 
call him hence, his body should rest in that Crypt. 

110. The event, however, was otherwise determined, 
by higher wisdom than that of St. Grimbald. The new 
wine did not suit the old bottles. Men trained in the 
rude and primitive Oxford of King Alfred's days re- 
sented the introduction of foreign Scholars from France, 


nrt-^^oH liowsoever brilliant their reputation and their example. 
chai^^ VII- T^^ . circumstances are .shrouded in much of dim 
Jj™^^™""' obscurity. But the fair probability is that the dis- 
h^^^ sension between old scholars and new at Oxford may 
have been the determining cause of the foundation of 
the New-Minster at Winchester. Proof is quite un- 

111. The history of almost eveiy monastic com- 
munity (tiiat hved long enough to outgrow its cradle) 
alternates between a period of lax discipline, and a 
period of vigorous reform. The first "reformer" of 
New-Minster, was Ethel woli>, Bishop of Winchester — 
the " Father of Monks" of the Chroniclers. He caused 
the Benedictine rule to be substituted for the Augus- 
tinian. The impulse, however, was given by Dunstan. 
And to ^lake the reform really effective needed all the 
influence of King Edgar, backed by a Papal Bull. The 
struggle was hard, and it lasted long. Many of the 

1 The passage in'Asser** ** Life of King Alfred "—of which all the MSS. 
seem now to be lost — and the one book on which this whole question hinges, 
is found in one Edition only,— that, viz., of Twyne. **In consequence," it 
is there said, of the opposition shewn to him and his disciples by the old 
Oxonians, *^ he retired himself to that Winchester Abbey which had been 
icUdy foundtd by Alfred . . . (ad MonoMUrium- Wintoniense, ah Alfredo 
rtcens fundaium^ prqfiHcebatur, . . . qitam qnicitm JScdeMam [D. Petri in 
Oxonia], . . . iilem GRiMBOt.DUS exlmtxerat ab ipso fundameiUo de Saxo 
tnunnui cura perpoiito.f* In the time of Twyne there were still extant MSS. of 
Asser which contained a full account of the building of this church with stone 
brought from a well-known quarry (long since disused) at South Uincksey. 
The crypt, it may be added, is in dimensions 36 feet by nearly 21 feet, and is 
nine feet high. It is weird-like in the solemnity of its asfKict, aJs well as of 
its associations. Very near to St. Peter's stood St. Neot's Hall, the earliest 
of the long list of Oxford halls. . . . See Wise's Edit, of Aaser, Vila 
uElfrida; comp. Iiearne's CoUecfanea^ xxxix. 179; and his note in Lib. Xiq., 
p. 570. Tho Church was the first built of st^^ne in the Midlands, and is said 
to have attracted crowds of people from a great distance to gaze at it. An 
incised figure of a dragon is still to be seen on one of the pillars. 



Augustinian Canons had taken to themselves wives. 


Many were become habitual absentees, and were rarely, c^J^^^i^ 




if ever, in residence at New-Minster. The first successor 
of Grimbald who left any deep mark upon his Com- 
munity was Ethelgar, who came to it from Abingdon 
— possibly in 968, but the date is doubtful, — ^which had 
already won repute for learning and for discipUne. But 
lyrHBLGAR's nurture was drawn from a more famous 
place. He was bred in that 

.... island valley of Avilion, 

Where fell nor hail, nor rain, nor any snow, 

Nor ever wind blew loudly; but it lay 

Deep-meadowed, happy, fair, with orchard lawns 

And bowery hollows, crowned with Summer sea. . . 

When Ethelgar was only a monkish neophyte at Glas- 
tonbury, its Church was still venerated as that sacred 
fane which Joseph of Arimathea had founded; though 
the legends of " the return of King Arthur" had ceased 
to attract popular attention, or to find credulous 
listeners. When he left Glastonbury for Abingdon, the 
favourite abode of Dunstan was already regarded as 
the truest exemplar in all England of perfected Bene- 
dictine holiness. 

112. The training which Dunstan began at Glaston- 
bury was completed, on the same model, by Bishop 
Ethei.wold at Abingdon. Wlien liis preUminary mea- 
sures for the reform of New-Minster seemed to liim ripe 
for the crowning operation, he put Abingdon men into 
the Wintonian stalls; but left to the new Abbot the 
practical working out of liis plans. The good Bishop's 



98 GS^ERAL DnsoDucnos. 

zeal had clothed itself in the very amplest garb of 
cmJ^'riU' Christian firmnef^ and energy; but the Christian meek- 
^J!^J^!^ nes? wa« still lacking. Ethelgab possesised gentleness, 
a.« well as resolution. He had the soft hand, as well as 
the steel glove. The distresses of the expelled Canons, 
and of their long-tolerated families, could touch his 
heart, though thev liad failed to touch the heart of 
Ethelwold. In the firm resolve that performance 
should eventually wait upon profession, they were both 
at one. Ethelgab ruled Xew-ilinster for about thir- 
teen years. Tlie great Beformer — some of whose yet 
remaining, and somewhat legendary, ••memorials'' the 
Writer had, sofne years ago, the pleasure of examining, 
amidst the ruins of the archiepiscopal palace at Mayfield 
— who had taken liim by the hand as a Xovice, at 
Glastonbuiy, lived to consecrate him as a Bishop,^ at 
Selsey; and was liimself succeeded by him, as Primate 
of all England, in the year 988. In the Abbacy of 
Xew-Minster, Ethelgar was followed by Elfsige, who 
continued to hold that oflSce during seventeen years, 
and was in turn succeeded, in 995, by Brigutwold. 
These two incumbencies, together with the next foUow- 
inof one of Bright^iere, covered collectivelv a term of 
about half-a-century — marked by much national cala- 
mity, and by more than one political revolution. But 
during all that time, the days at Xew-Minster — like 
those of the Poet's " Thai^vba" — went peacefully by — 

" In full enjoyment of profound repose." 

1 The " Hyde Annals," in MS. Harl., MDCCLXL, agree vrith some other 
Chronicles, in dating Ethelgar's Episcopate as 977. William of Malmeebury 
dates it (on better evidence) in 980. 

Canute's guts to the abbey. 99 

But the repose was ominous. It was the cahn before nnt^^^oM. 
the storm. cn^l^^Vnl 

113. It was during the Abbacy of Alnoth, or Alf- 


noth, the immediate successor of the last-mentioned BEreDiorunB 
Abbot BurFHMERE, that King Canute, the Dane, gave to 
the Community that famous " Golden Cross of Hyde," 
which figures so conspicuously in several incidents of 
the local histor}", occurring in long subsequent times. 
He was a great friend to the Monks of St. Grimbald, 
and made to them many gifts. His alleged charter, 
granting to them the rich manor of Woodmancote, is 
still occasionally shewn to such visitors of Winchester 
College as may care to look at the College muniments ; 
but its genuineness is very questionable. There is, 
however, as little doubt that the Monks held that 
manor m their day, as there is that it is held by the 
College now. Canute's widow, Emma (Elfgifa-Emma, 
.or Elgiva) followed his liberal example, and among her 
gifts to the Monks was the head of that much-venerated 
saint and martjT, Saint Valentint;.^ His festival is (or 
has been) familiar to all of us; but how it came to pass 
that liis head (which was struck off at Kome in the third 
century) was given by an English Queen, in a.d. 1041, 
to an EncrUsh Abbev, there is no account. Its re- 
ception was the cause of much rejoicing, and its exhibi- 
tion a source of much profit to the possessors. They 
were scarcely less proud of it than of their gorgeous 
processional Cross, with its great images of silver and 

1 lAber de Hyda breaks off abruptly at a.d. 1023, but the gift is recorded 
in the Harleiah MS.,** 1761," Begi^trum Cartamm Abbatiasxle flyda^foh 16. 
It is alBO told in the ATtglo-Saxon Chronicle, under a.d. 1041. 




gold; its numerous precious jewek; and its several 

CHA.;;rvn- sacred reUcs. 

Three Repre- 

114. There is no other notable incident in the Hyde 
annals till we reach the memorable year 1066. The then 
Abbot, AiJFNOTH II., was the brother of Earl Godwin, 
and the uncle of King Harold. His sacred function had 
not, it seems, at all cooled that warlike ardour wliich 
must have been natural to a man who came of such a 
gallant strain. He chose, out of his black-robed flock, 
the twelve Monks who were most notable for strength 
of thew and sinew; made them to exchange the Bene- 
dictine cowl for the Saxon helmet, and to head a sturdy 
troop of men-at-arms on the field of Hastings. The 
whole band shewed that "their limbs were mad^ in 
England;" fought most gallantly; and fell, almostjto a 
man, where they fought. They were very far /from 
being unmarked by the Conqueror, He noted his ap- 
preciation of their prowess by a grim pleasantry, j Such 
an Abbot as Alfnoth, he said, "must be w<i3rth a 
barony, at the least; and twelve such monks, a I manor 
apiece. And that is the penalty I will exact." pE^ ^^ 
not fail to choose the best manors the Communiti :y held. 
Among those which he escheated was what is n^.c3W our 
illustrious Prendier, Lord Salisbury's, manor okf Cran- 
bourne, in Wilts; the manors of Andover, W^itiorwell, 
Lansmere, Up-Warneford, and Popham inic Hants, 
on the mainland; Barton (very near to our (t^tacious 
Queen's favourite summer abode), Bangbou/^^ctve, and 
Merton, — ^all in the Isle of Wight; togetf k:rneT witli 
part of the Isle of Portsea, and with, at leastP* one fine 
Berkshire manor. In sum, the Monfc? of N^^^m-mmf;^'^^^^ 


forfeited for their daring gallantry at Hastings, about 


(at the lowest estimate) seventeen thousand broad ^^^^^**^j_ 

1 Qrk-mo r\^ ilnam amnnrrof i\\a Koaf lanrl in fVia Threk Rbprb- 


acres, 1 some of them amongst the best land in the 
country, in addition to the rich contents of the Monastic 
treasury at New-Minster itself. 

11 5* When William Eufus made up his mind that, 
whereas his father had laden the Monks of St. Peter 
"with a heavy yoke," he would add to that yoke; and 
whereas the Conqueror had "chastised them with 
stripes," he would, in his turn, "chastise them with 
scorpions;" he found a ready instrument in his infamous 
Chancellor, Eadulphus Flambard or Passe-Flambard 
("Ealph Pass-the-Torch"), and also a fit sub-agent in 
BoBEBT de Losinga,^ Bishop of Norwich, who bought 
the Abbacy of New-Minster, by a flagrantly simoniacal 
contract, for his father, Herbert de Losinga. Part of 
the revenues of the Abbacy were also to be given to 
the King. As so often in all days, indignation gave 
birth to poetry — ^rude but incisive: 

1 The Statement and Estimates are very conflicting. Thomas Eudbome 
{HUtoria Major WinUndenHs, pp. 24S, 249) gives an enumeration of lands 
which leads to the estimate cited above. Bat recent editors of Dodsworth 
and Dagdale's Monasftieon Anglicanum, foimding upon a comparison of the 
Domesday current assessments for the year 1086 of the Abbey lands with 
tiiat of the assessment in the Confessor's reign, make such large additions as 
to raise the estimate to twenty-five thousand acres. This seems to me to be 
a somewhat rash conclusion. The rules which governed these assessments 
are involved in much obscurity. On the other hand, William had relented 
towards the Community of St. Peter before the date of the Survey, and may 
well have moderated its incidence. In his closing years he gave to them 
Alton and Kingsdere, and restored to them the beloved Cross of Canute. 
Laverstoke (near Whitchurch) was not a gift from William, as is asserted in 
the last edition of the Monastieon; unless to restore a thing to the owners 
who had been wrongfully deprived of it, for a time, is to make "a gift.'' 
The reign of Rufus was a cruel reign for the Monks of St. Peter (or of « St. 
Grimbald ") as for so many other of Englishmen. But it was happily a brief 


GENERAL " SuTglt ill ecclcsla monstrum, genitore Losinga, 

PARTI. Simoni dum secta, canonum virtute resecta. 

Chapter vii— Petie nimis tardas, nam Simon ad ardua tentat, 

8ENTATIVE Si prsesons esses, non Simon ad alta volaret. 

benbdiotike PpqJj dolor! Ecclesiae nummis venduntur et aire. 

Filius est prsesul, pater abbas: — Simon uterque. 
Quid non speremus si nummos posscdeamus? 
Omnia nummus habet; quid vult facit, addit, et aufert, 
Res nimis ii\justa, nummis jit Prctsul et Alba,'* 

The first year of the reign of Henry I. (Beauclerc) 
brought relief from tliis, as from many other scandals. 
Its tenth year brought to the Monks of New-Minster the 
means of at length exchanging their pent-up abode 
within the crowded city for a capacious and well-built 
edifice in free air, upon its northern side, " beyond the 
walls." They chose part of the spacious plain which 
had long been notable to them, as a Community, for its 
share in a famous incident in the life-career either of 
Athelstan, or else of Ethelred, the darling son of their 
great Founder. That incident has been so overgrown 
with fabulous accretions, that its substantial verity 
came for a long interval to be wholly, or almost wholly, 
disregarded. Often, the nineteenth-century Critic and 
the twelfth-century Monk do much more than ap- 
proach the Disputed Sliield from opposite sides. They 
meet with opposed faiths. The one believes (or affects 
to believe) that everything in earth, or sea, or sky is 
"explainable" and comprehensible. The other humbly 
believes — and truly — that many things can, as this our 
mortal Ufe, be neither explained nor comprehended. 
He beheves, from his heart, that God "resisteth the 
proud," and "giveth grace to the humble." To the 


Monks who, in the year of grace 1100, or thereabout. 


raised upon "Dane-mead," hard by Winchester, ^cha^^u- 

Three Repbe- 


splendid building for the humble service of Almighty 
God, and for the relief of the distresses of their fellow 
men, that meadow was the scene of a very memorable 
and vety pregnant combat between "Dane" and 
"Englishman," in days wliich, by stern necessity of 
events, and under beneficent Providential disi)ensations, 
were marked by a real and essential antagonism in the 
tenth century between races wliich in the nineteenth 
centurj' are united by the happiest of all ix)ssible alli- 
ances, and by the most blessed of all possible auguries. 

116. And, in truth, for that much-derided "legend" 
of Guy and Colbrand, there is evidence quite as con- 
clusive as there is for many the least controverted facts 
of our liistory. No subsequent accretion of legend — 
how large soever — can destroy the historical character 
of the incident itself which gave birth to the legend. 

117. Originally, Danesmead was given to the Monks 
of New-Minster by King Ethelred, in the eleventh 
century, and therefore within twenty years of the most 
probable date of the combat itself. The grant is not 
now extant; but, in a list of benefactors, almost con- 
temporary (and of which there is a copy, made in the 
sixteenth century, in Cotton MS., Vesp., D. ix.), it is 
described as ^'pratum quod vacating Dennemarcke, ad 
quod jacet fiuvius qui vocatur Ithen" [Itchen]. It be- 
came one of the Conqueror's many seizures, above- 
mentioned; but was restored to the community in May, 

1 i?€^rttiii, &G., as above, in Cott. MS., Domit. xil. ff. 43, 44. 


nrr^S^oK. ^^^' ^ simplest fomi the story of Guy of Warwick 
cha^* vii-^ this: Bom at Wallmgford m Berkshire, he early 
^^T^T^ distinguishes himself by his knightly prowess, and gains 
BmsDicrm ^ j^ reward the hand of Feucia, daughter and heiress 
of EouALT, Earl of Warwick. The marriage is happy, 
but a dream soon makes a deep impression on Guy's 
mind, and induces him to make a pilgrimage to the 
Holy Land. He parts from Feucia, carrying with him 
her favourite ring. Nothing is heard of him, in Eng- 
land, and many years elapse. The Danes, under their 
King Anlaf, renew their invasion, and advance towards 
Winchester, bringing with them a Danish Goliah, called 
CoLBRAND. The King looks in vain for his match among 
the warriors of England; but to him also a dream is 
vouchsafed, in which he is told to rise at dawn, and to 
watch for a Palmer who will enter Winchester by its 
northern gate. In that Palmer he will find a David. 
The Palmer appears, — poor, hungry, careworn, and 
wayworn. He accepts the proffered combat, and slays 
the giant with his own axe, which he then dedicates to 
God. He tells the King that he is Guy of Warwick, 
returned from Palestme, but takes a pledge of secrecy. 
From Winchester he goes to Warwick, where he finds 
his wife, but is not recognised. He withdraws to the 
Forest of Arden, and, like " Duke Frederick," — 

There, meeting with an old religious man, 
After some questions with him, is converted — 
Both from his enterprise, and from the world. 

His hermit-life lasted but nine months. Then, feeling 
the approach of death, he sent to Felicia the token 


ring, as proof that his love lasted till death did part D^^^p^onoN 
them. ■ CH^"V,.l 

119. The earliest versions of tliis popular story are I^J^!^^ 
no longer extant. The current stories antedate the f^^^* 
combat at Winchester by throwing it into the reign 

of Athelstan; whereas, in all probability, it really 
occurred in that of Ethelred, the grantor to the 
Monks of New-Minster. The writers confound two 
distinct Anlafs, whose dates differ by almost seventy 
years. The battle and its decorative adjuncts are most 
fully set forth in the French metrical romance Guy de 
Warewike;^ in the French prose romance Guy de 
Warrewik;^ — in Chronicon Abbatice de Evesham; in John 
Lydgate's Gvy de Warwik; . in John Lane's Corrected 
Historie of Sir Gwy, Earle of Warwick^ sumamed the 
Heremite^^ which is the more memorable for having a 
commendatory sonnet by the Elder John Milton, father 
of the author of Paradise Lost, It is told, also, by the 
English Chronicler Knighton (a.d. 1366?), and, also, 
by the anonymous author of the partially-lost Chro- 
nicle, De gestis Regum Westsaxonum^ of which the only 
now known passages occur, as quotations, in Lord 
Macclesfield's MS., Liber de Hyda,^ The English 
metrical romance of Guy is only a recension of the 
French one. 

120. The late Mr. K. B. Woodward, author of the 

1 MS. Harl., 3775, ff. 15-26 (end of 13tb century). 
'2 MS. Royal, 15 E. vL C 227, 9tqq, (15th century). 

3 MS. Lansd., 699, ff. 18-27 (15th century). This MS. formerly belong- 
ing to tiiat charming poet, William Browne, author of Brttanma^s Pastorah. 

4 MS. Barl., 5243. 

5 Published in the Holla series of English Chronicles. 



earlier portion of the most recent ''Ilistory of Hamp- 

cnK^En\u-^^^^^^y'' was so deeply imbued with the "modern spirit," 

r^ATivr" ^ to write thus scornfully of the story of Guy and 

Li^^J^^"" CoLBRAND: — "77*^ (?/^/y/oi^/ic/a^/(;^ for tliis legend . . . 

is the original name of the spot selected [sic] . . . 

• Denemede^ wliich signifies no more than the meadow in 

the valley." . . And he goes on to add, more strangely 

still, . . "In the reign of John, and long afterwards, 

. . [Denemede] . . was a surname in Winchester.'' 

How different, and how much wiser, the well-weighed 

words of a long prior Hampshire liistorian, pious and 

worthy Dr. John Milner (words written about ninety 

years ago): . . . "To reject the groundwork of a 

history, wliich is founded on so many ancient records, 

and supported by immemorial tradition^ . . . and 

by a great number of monuments still existing, or that 

existed until of late, savours of absolute scepticism."^ 

121. It was under the unmediate rule of an Abbot 
Geoffrey I. (1106-1129), and under the episcopal 
government of WiUiam Giffard, thrice Lord Chancellor 
of England, that the Monks of St. Peter and St. Grim- 
bald moved from New-Minster to Hyde. The soil was 
soft and springy. Much of it, indeed, was a natural 
water-meadow. But monkish architects were skilful 
architects. They knew how to build and to plant, as 
well as how to govern and to bless. They brought from 
a great distance a vast mass of clay, and laid it to the 
depth of four feet, over all parts of the site that were 
treacherous or doubtful. And, when they had got a 

1 Milker: Histcry <^ Winchester, i. 145. 


ffocxl foundation, not much inferior to "concrete" — well o^'^*^ 
beaten down — they built sohdly and slowly; as those ^^^^^^ '^n- 

who build TiirmRkpri^ 


"Not for an age, but for all time," Lib 

— if fire and sword (D.Y.) permit. 

122. In the year 1110, they marched in grand pro- 
cession from the old home to the new. They bore with 
them the Cross of Canute, and the remains, far more 
precious, of their great Founder, with their other reUcs. 
Tlie body of King Alfred lay undisturbed, even 
amidst all the desecrations, sacrileges, and the frightful 
scandals, wliich disgraced, under Henry VIII., our 
Eefomiation, — to be at last and most unhappily "rooted 
up," for the better accommodation of Hampshire felons^ 
at the close of the eighteenth century. 

123. The new Abbey itself— so lavislily and so firmly 
built — ^was burnt to the ground in the Civil War be- 
tween the Empress Maud and King Stephen, during the 
famous siege of Winchester (a.d. 1140). Abbot 
Geoffrey, before whom the long file of Monks had 
carried their treasures in 1110, finished liis course, and 
entered into his rest in 1123; — liis immediate successor 
died in 1135. Then followed a long interregnum during 
the stormy times of Stephen. It was marked by a 
curious and eventful episode of quarrel between the 
Monks and their new Bishop, Henry of Blois, the King's 

124. The memorable fire at Westminster, in 1731, 
which destroyed so large a portion of those precious 


™'^.- MSS. collected by Sir Eobert Cotton— the remnant of 
cha^' vii-^^^^ proved to be, in the issue, the real groundwork 
i^tBRM'RE. ^f our National Museum — was, in a special sense, 
Bjwi^oTOiE unfortunate for the materials of Winchester History. 
Of many memorable records which then perished 
(wholly, or in part), although the MSS. themselves 
were unique, their subject-matter was, in many cases, 
abundantly illustrated elsewhere by other original 
documents. The destroyed Cotton MS. Vitellius, 
E. xii., contained, I think, some valuable matter not 
elsewhere on record; but one interesting memorial in 
that volume, entitled Destructio Monasterii de Hidd^ had 
fortunately been transcribed by the careful hand of Sir 
William Dugdale, almost eighty years before the Cot- 
tonian fire. In that contemporary account, an indignant 
member of the Hyde Community expressly charges 
Bishop Henry of Blois as being, individually, the author 
of their own like but more fatal calamity, six hundred 
years earlier (a.d. 1140). Long before it occurred, the 
Monks had been on the worst of terms with their 
Prelate, as, indeed, it had been their ill fortune to live 
very uncomfortably, also, with his immediate and peace- 
loving predecessor. Bishop William Giffasd (1106- 
1129), with whom one cause of quarrel lay in the fact 
that whilst he loved pomp and ceremony better than 
ease and quiet, too many of the Winchester Monks 
of the period seem to have loved e^^se before almost 
aU things else. Bishop Giffard, for an example, 
insisted on being himself attended in Winchester 
Cathedral, at the great Festivals of the Church, 
by the whole Hyde Community, duly robed, as well .as 



by the whole of the St. Swithun's Monks. If any other ^^^ 

Prelate officiated, in his stead, he was content that ^^cnJ^^hi-^ 
Hyde celibates should represent the Fraternity. The 



men of St. Grimbald contented themselves with a strong bknedictikb 

protest against the vanity of so much state in things 
sacred and ecclesiastical. Those of St. Swithun were 
angrier and more demonstrative. Their Bishop had 
diminished their funds, whilst increasing their attend- 
ances. On one occasion they shewed their discontent 
by meeting barefoot, with their processional crosses 
reversed, and by marching round their cloisters from 
West to East, thus reversing the use of the Qiurch. 
Protests of that sort, however, were but as lovers' 
quarrels, compared with the long and bitter conflict 
between the Hyde ecclesiastics and Giffard's proud 
and turbulent successor, Henry of Blois (1129-1171). 

125. That ambitious Prelate had been a powerful 
instrument of his brother Stephen's elevation to the 
throne. But the ties of duty which bound him to the 
Church were far stronger than the ties which bound him 
to King Stephen, who had vainly thought to make him 
subservient in all things. When the new monarch 
attacked Bishop Roger of Salisbury, and Bishop Alex- 
ander of Lincoln, their episcopal brother at Winchester 
shewed unmistakably that to be a Churchman, through 
and through, was his primary sense of his duty to 
God. And he was now a Papal Legate, as well as 
Bishop of Winchester. His loyalty to the Church 
was soon to raise him to the Cardinalate. The imme- 
diate cause of quarrel witli the King was the same as 
Becket's with Stephen's successor. 


iNT^J^wK. ^2^- Bishop Henry, like Archbishop Thomas, 
^ ^'"'"^r.j contended that Prelates must be tried, for alleged 


2'^'^„^^*- offences, by the Pope, not by the King. When 
BENKDionK. ^i^Q Empress Matilda landed in Endand, she was 

Libraries. a O ' 

received by the Bishop of Winchester, — at first as 
the representative of her brother's presumably cliival- 
rous courtesy to a competitor; but soon after — as the 
avowed ally and trusted counsellor of the Empress- 
Queen, against the now by lier imprisoned King. All 
the Monks of the conjoined Winchester Communities, 
and with them the very Nuns — for the first time on 
record — of St. Mary's, escorted Stephen's powerful 
rival into Winchester. " Molde, the good Queen," of 
tlie funeral tablet, was then certainly "Molde, the 
proud " one. But the state of pride and splendour was 
short-lived. Matilda's prosperity lasted but five 
months. Her coronation with great pomp in our 
beautiful Cathedral, was soon followed by her imprison- 
ment, .in turn, at the same hand as that which had 
placed the sceptre of St. Edward in hers, and wliich had 
given her what remained of the treasure of Henry I. 
A peaceful Monk, with keen observant eyes under liis 
cowl, looked on at both incidents, and has left us a 
vivid picture of wliat he saw.^ 

127. The March Coronation was followed by the 
August Siege. Bishop Henry gave a great baiuiuet in 
Wolvesey Castle, and tried hard, when the wine-cup 
had gone round freely, to make his guests declare for 
his brother. A warUke Mayor^ of Winchester helped, 

1 William of Malmesbury, in his famous Chronicle. 

2 Then called " Provost.*' 


mainly, to balk him, by slipping out unobserved, and 


securing Winchester Castle for Matilda. The Prelate ^ha^^ W- 

Threc Rbpbs- 

had already fortified Wolvesey, — for the strengthening 
and reUef of which another Matilda (Stei^hen's French 
wife) sent in an army, chiefly of Flemings. But the 
mercenaries were far more anxious to make booty, than 
to serve the King's cause. They plundered the city, 
whilst its Bishop threw fire-balls into the most populous 
quarter. Hyde Abbey was wholly destroyed ; its famous 
Cross, — with its library, — ^its Scriptorium, — and its (still 
more richly furnished) Sacristy. The Treasury had 
been pretty well depleted, long before the siege. Henry 
had kept the Abbacy in his own episcopal hands, for 
five years and a half before its destniction occurred, and 
he still retained it for a year thereafter. Three hundred 
pounds a year out of its reveimes he had applied to the 
promotion —not, certainly, of personal profit, or of 
luxury in hving, but — of his schemes of ambition, and 
especially of his persistent effort to transfer the Abbacy 
into a (suffragan) Bishopric, and to make the See of 
Winchester Archiepiscopal and Metropohtan. 

128. From twenty to tliirty churches;^ — the vener- 
able Nunnerj' of St. Mary; — many almost palatial 
residences ; — many precious monuments of Anglo-Saxon 
times; — shared in the destruction whicli befel the illus- 
trious foundation of King Alfred, and of his beloved 
friend Grimbaij). It was due to the humane feeUngs 
and the piety of Eobeiit, Earl of Gloucester (Eobert 

1 Some of the Chroniclers go so far as to say that forty churches were 
destroyed ; but it is doubtful if the whole number of Winchester churches 
exceeded forty, in the aggregate; and it is needless to say that some of the 
churches of King Stephen's day exist at this day. 



OBirKRAL ti 



Consul," son of Henry I.) that St, Swithun's Priory 

'^^'' i_ (^0^ ^^^ Cathedral) escaped a like fate. 

Chaftcb vn- 
thbkerkpre. j^29. The last and crowning drop of humiliation in 

benkdiotin. ^y^q bitter cup of the Monks of St. Grimbald — we must 

not say the crowning drop of "sorrow," for the constant 

sight of the "ashes" of their Golden Cross, in their days 

of poverty, would needs have reminded the Monks of 

their Golden Days under King Canute, after his 

penitence — 

Nessun maggior dolore che di ricordarse 

Dal tempo felice, nella miseria^ 

—-came to them when the siege was over.^ When the 
many sufferers by its numerous calamities were groping 
amidst the ruins, for such salvage as they could scrape 
together, the celibates found that their own salvage was 
considerable. Sixty pounds' weight of silver; fifteen 
pounds' weight of gold; three diadems, adorned with 
precious stones; two silver patens, gilt; two golden 
images, of the Blessed Virgin, and of her faithful pro- 
tector St. John; two very gorgeous " Salomonic lavers"^ 
(called "Salomonic," as being fashioned after the pattern 
of the great lavers, in the Holy Temple "on the 
Mount"); a fine silver vase, for holy water, given, like 
the Cross, by King Canute; with censers, crucifixes, 
and relics innumerable, figure, at much greater length 

1 If Henry Knighton's account be accepted, the raising of the sifge was 
hastened by the romantic escape of the Empress Matilda, in a leadeiti coffin, 
out of the Castle. Knighton gives this incident in his De EventHms iAnglic^f 
ii. ; apud Twysdeni Scriptores decern, col. 2387. I 

2 One of these, the Bishop, say his indicters, stripped entirely of fits gold 
and gems. It it fair to remember, throughout this part of our storyL that it 
is told, substantially, upon the faith of his bitter opponents. But 1 there is 
also substantial corroboration from outsiders. I 


than in this epitome, in the long indictment which the 


Hyde Community sent against their Bishop, first to ^^^cnJ^\n-- 

Three Repre- 

King, in his Council; then, to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 
the universal judge of ecclesiastical controversies in the 
twelfth century; finally, to the Pope. Their plaints and 
charges included spoUations of their estates, in respect 
of which they alleged that their losses amounted to the 
enormous sum, for that day, of £4,862 sterling. But 
these suits dragged on wearily during almost twenty 
years. And the losses were embittered by domestic 
quarrel. The dissatisfaction of the Community with 
their Abbot, Hugh de Lens (1142-1151), as well as with 
their Bishop, combined with other incidents in the an- 
nals of that period, make an enquirer to think that, 
probably, the Monks were refractory under a reforming 
Head, who had abundant justification for his endeavour 
to enforce better discipline than he found to exist when 
he entered upon his office. A deputation, however, 
went to Eome, and obtained a Brief for his deposition. 
He was succeeded by Selid, or Salidus, whose rule en- 
dured until 1171. It was under this Abbot that the 
restored Library made progress, and that the Scrip- 
torium (as it seems) became busy. Ten copies of the 
Holy Gospels were written by good scribes. But 
reviving Uterary zeal (on but a slender scale) was 
checked by the poverty induced in the years of poUtical 
strife.^ As late as 1311, proof occurs that part of the 

1 Deatructio MoTicuterii de Hidd /apud MonaMicon Anglicanum, edit. 1682, 
p. 210, col. 2 ; comp. Damwi quce fecit Henricus EpiscoptiH ... in MS. 
Harl. 1761, f. 3. Also, AnncUes EccleMce WirUoniendH, in MS. Cott., Domit. 
A. xiii. fol. 32 (Dr. Luard's admirablo printed Edit., p. 55). Much of this 
account, however, is based on William of Malmesbury's. Comp. Sir Thoxmas 



^,^^^^0^, -A.bbey was still in ruins. At that time Bishop Henry 

cbjJ^\ii-^^^^^^^^^ directed the making of collections for the 

J]^^^**'work of restoration at Hyde, throughout his vast 

BsNEDicmnc dioCCSe.^ 

130. The year 1171 witnessed the death alike of 
Abbot Selid and of Bishop Henry of Blois. There are 
no very notable incidents in the annals of the year im- 
mediately succeeding. John, who had previously, it is 
said, presided over the great Priory of Cluny, ruled 
Hyde for the almost unexampled period of forty-two 
years, and ruled with vigour. Under him (as it became 
a Monk of tlie illustrious Uterary Community of Cluny) 
the Library grew. His rule was peaceful, save for a 
sudden outbreak of violence, at a very unseasonable 
time. Very riotous proceedings disturbed the Com- 
munity on a night — that of "the Seven Holy Sleepers"^ 
which ought to have been specially calm. The fullest 
account is given by a St. Swithun's annalist, who per- 
haps made the most he could of his story — against his 
next neighbours.^ 

131. The thirteenth century was chiefly marked in 
the annals of Hyde by a sharp quarrel between the 
servants of its Abbot and those — chiefly foreigners — 
who came thither in the retinue (an unusually large 
one) of Otho, the Papal Legate, who in 1267 kept his 

Hardy's Edit, of Historia Novella, § 50. There is a fine representation of the 
great Cross in Stnitt's Manners and Customs, vol. I., plate 28. 

1 As to the re-construction of the Abbey Church, see Rudbome, Historia 
Major, p. 302. 

2 Rtgistrum HenriH de Wodelock, &c., MS. in Episc. Registry at Win- 
chester, fo. 165. 

8 July 27th, 1201. 

4 See Cott. MS., Domit A.B., folio 1, verso (Luard, p. 77). 


Christmas with Abbot William, of Worcester. It was 


kept too convivially, and led to the imposition of a ^^^^^"^ ';.jj_ 


Papal interdict for four weeks of 1268. The Abbey 
never recovered thoroughly from the spoUations of the 
preceding century. Exactly in the middle of the four- 
teenth century it sank so greatly into penury, that the 
estates were temporarily surrendered into the hands of 
WilUam de Edingdon, Bishop of Winchester, and Lord 
Cliancellor of England, an able Prelate and Statesman, 
who so administered them as to restore the Community 
to something Uke competent means of UveUhood. But it 
rose from its ruins only slowly; to enjoy a brief period 
of well-being, — quickly followed by the covetousness, 
the rapacities, and the scandalous sacrileges which 
marked the reign of Henry the Eighth. I will venture 
to say, — after no brief term of research amongst the Mo- 
nastic Kecords of the "Court of Augmentations" (now in 
the Eolls House), and amongst the vast correspondence 
of Thomas Cromwell (Earl of Essex) with his sateUites 
of the Dissolution days, that but few Monasteries in all 
England give, by their subsisting records, a more 
striking illustration of the fraud, the crapulence, and 
the reckless violence, by which the Dissolution was 
effected, than do the records, in that day of turmoil, 
of the Abbey of Hyde.^ 

132. Up to this date (1352) the most distinguished 
writer in the younger of the Winchester Communities 
was John, of Hyde, who seems to have exerted a 

1 In the foregoing pages I have abridged portions of my Preface to lAbtr 
dt Hyda^ as edited in 1866. In relation to the story of ** Guy of Warwick," 
I am much indebted to Mr. H. L. D. Ward's excellent Catalogue of MS. 
Romaooee in the British Museum (1883). 





wT^^wN. literary influence upon his brethren, second only to that 
cha^^to-^^ ^^^ learned cluster of Continental monks gathered 
2^"^^™^ together by St. Grimbald, when the Community of the 
Li^^^ New-Minster was in its cradle. And the literary in- 
fluence so exerted at the beginning of the fourteenth 
century seems to have been almost as brief, in its 
duration, as was the like Grimbaldian influence, at the 
beginning of the tenth. John, of Hyde, — one of the 
six Hampshire writers selected by Fuller,^ when sur- 
veying the incidents of a period reaching over seven 
centuries, as pre-eminent over all others — gave a re- 
newed impulse to the growth of the Hyde Library, and 
to the labours of the Scriptorium. He also wrote the 
History of his Abbey.^ But that Community, though 
it did its fair spell of religious, social, and political 
work, in its day, and though it administered a princely 
Christian charity, was not destined to be a specially 
Uterary Community, in the later periods of its existence. 
133. The interval between the temporary surrender 
to Bishop Edingdon, and the final Dissolution of Monas- 
teries in England, is an interval of a hundred and eighty 
eventful years. But the monastic annals at Winchester, 
during that long term, are comparatively quiet. The 
Community recovered a fair measure of temporal pro- 
sperity. In the early days of the great Statesman and 
Prelate, William of Wykeham, it incurred his occasional 
censure for certain minor neglects of duty; in his closing 
days, it won his conspicuous praise; and every member 
of the Hyde Abbey, from highest to lowest, shared in 

1 Worthies (Abridged Edition of 1684) p. 220. 

2 A work loet, apparently, in the turmoil of the Dissolution, 


his testamentary bounty.^ Then, again, there was a 


new period of decadence; soon to be followed ^y ohj,^J\u^ 

Three Repbe> 

punishment which far transcended the fault. 

134. In the long Une of Abbots of Hyde during tliis 
term of a hundred and eighty years — one eighth of 
which term alone, saw six successive Abbots in office, 
so rapid was their mortaUty — two men stand out 
saUently: — ^Nicholas Strode, early in the fifteenth cen- 
tury; John Salcot, early in the sixteenth. 

135. Strode took a conspicuous part in several of 
the ParUaments of the distracted reign of Henry VI. 
He exerted an important influence upon the government 
of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, as Protector of the 
Eealm. He governed his Abbey with skill and firnmess, 
at a critical and trying time. Its recovery from almost 
ruin was necessarily slow; but it would have been 
slower still had not the Winchester Monasteries been 
governed with more wisdom than, in some respects, 
were the Winchester Citizens. For almost a century 
the decay of the town was as though the plague was 
constantly overshadowing it. The annaUsts tell, in that 
century, of the decay of one thousand and seventy 
hcmseholds. Many churches were utterly deserted, and 
fell into ruins. It is a note of the time — and certainly 
not a note of its unwisdom — that the Gty Magistrates 
took special pains to keep up the wonted pageantry, 
upon certain great Festivals. 

136. Salcot was a man of still more conspicuous 

1 See Wykeham's Will as printed by Dr. Lowth, in an Appendix to his 
excellent L{ft of the great Prelate and Benefactor. 




Thrbe Repre- 



parts than was Strode. But he made a far worse use 
of them. His one aim in the world was that he himself 
might "get on" in it. And he had his reward, in his 

Lr;:;:;;^;^" success. 

137. The Chapter in which he was elected as Abbot 
of Hyde was opened in January, 1530. Salcot was 
the candidate of Wolsey, whose faculties like his for- 
tunes were then fast fading — 

"Like a bright exhalation in the evening; 
No man to see him more." 

The great Cardinal, in all probabiUty, knew Salcot but 
sUghtly. Had he known him well, he, with his own 
great plans for posterity still cherished, though 
cherished amidst fears, would not have fostered a man 
engrossed with " Self-Help." 

138. The main cause of Salcot's success was, that 
every kind of Court influence was exerted in his favour. 
Cromwell and Cromwell's satellites supported his can- 
didature. The election excited the town largely. Day 
after day, crowds of Wintonians besieged the cloisters, 
to learn the progress of the contest, which occupied 
almost a month. At last (February 22nd) a monk, 
standing on the steps of the Chapter-House, announced 
to the citizens assembled in the Cloister that John 
Salcot — already Abbot of St. Bennet-Hulme — ^was 
Abbot of Hyde. 

139. The mere fact of such a gathering, and of such 
an announcement, of itself opens a vista into the occa- 
sional falsity — to say the least — of many current stories 
about the state of EngUsh Monachism when it fell. 


Assuredly it was not enmity to townsmen and to their „„^^^o^, 
well-being; or the corruption of worldlings; or ^^^ chjJ^\ii^ 
lustful gratific9,tions of self-love, seen by those ^"^^^■' 
assembled crowds in former Abbots, as their domi- lS^J^' 
nant passions and characteristics, which made the 
Wintonians of 1530 so eager to congratulate a new 
Abbot. They must have found, often, in an Abbot of 
Hyde, a friend and a benefactor. Of Salcot, person- 
ally, they could know nothing, save by hearsay. 

140. Henry Vili;, however, knew the man well. 
Very soon after Salcot's election, the King writes to his 
Ambassador at Eome (by way of enforcing his desire 
that the Pope should commit "to certain abbots" the 
decision of the case of Queen Katharine of Aragon) : — 
"7%^ Abbot of Hyde is a great Clerk, and singularly 
learned in Divinity.'' That famous question of divorce- 
law was to be disposed of differently. But Salcot 
found many occasions of service. Give him a Bishop- 
ric, and he would yield not alone the Abbacy but the 
Abbey. His nature and his conscience were of kin to 
the nature and the conscience of the Thomas Cromwells 
and the Thomas Wriothesleys, of the period. And his 
rise in the world was akin to theirs. 

141. Whilst Salcot still held his Abbacy, Henry 
made him Bishop of Bangor. As Bishop-Abbot, he 
began by relaxing the rule, and by impoverishing the 
Monks, — by degrees. Thomas Wriothesley — eventu- 
ally Lord High Qiancellor of England, and Earl of 
Southampton — took his first share in the plunder of 
Hyde at the very moment when the Abbot of Hyde (in 
commendam) became a Bishop. 


iirral^^w. 1*2. I have seen and read CROBfWELL's first orders 
chato \ii-^*^^ "regulating" the Abbey, written in his own hand.^ 
li^ATivE**^*" They are skilful steps towards its destruction in con- 
lJ^^^"* venient season. They plan systematically the "soften- 
ing" of the Monks by extended leave of absence for 
recreation; they provide for various diversions of the 
Abbey revenues — even to payment of persons residing 
in foreign Universities " for purposes of study." Very 
soon afterwards, Wriothesley^ appears again on the 
Winchester stage, with some colleagues. They set 
speedily to work at the spoUation of the Cathedral- 
Abbey first: "This morning," — so they write to Crom- 
well (Sept., 1538,) — "we made an end of the Shrine, 

here at Winchester Tlie silver thereof 

will amount to near 2000 marks Going 

to our beds-ward, we viewed the Altar, which we 

purpose to bring with us Which 

done, we intend, both at Hyde and at St. Mary's, 
to sweep away all the rotten bones that be called 'Relics^ 
lest it should be thought that we came more for the 
Trea^sure^ than for voiding the abominations of Idolatry !^^ 
This picture, drawn by his own hand, of a man soon to 
be seated in the marble chair of Sir Thomas More as 

1 They are in MS. Cott. '< aeopatra," E. iv. (Brit. MuBeum). 

2 Wiiothesley was of a stock who for several generations were members 
of the Heralds* College. His grandfather had been "Gabtkb" in the reign 
of Edward IV; his father, ** Noriu)y." He himself was bred in that College, 
but left it to seek his foi-tunes in an Inn of Court. He had travelled in Ger- 
many, and there had seen the Princess Anne of Cleves. Her personal charms 
were, in his opinion, few, and he communicated that impression to the King, 
whilst negotiations for the marriage were still immature. Henry, it is said, 
felt a rueful sort of gratitude to Wriothesley — afterwards. 

3 CromweU Corrtsp,, now in the Rolls House, forming "Chapter Howe 
Records, Bundle 'B.'** 


Lord High Chancellor of England, spending the "small 


hours" of morning, along with a miscellaneous band of ^^^^^^\^^ 

Three Repre- 

followers, in furtively hacking and hewing at Altars and 


Shrines, in order to despoil them of their jewels, gold- Benedictine 

smith's work, and silver plate;— /or the better ^^Reforma- 
tion of Religion^" opens another and an instructive vista 
behind the scenes 

143. The Monastic Libraries and Scriptoria fared no 
better than did the Cliurch and the Altar. Some of the 
books — and especially the Biblical ones — in both Ab- 
beys — were splendidly bound. In the Library of St. 
Swithun's there was a copy of the Gospels^ written in 
golden uncials, which was solidly plated with gold. 
This was "presented" to Cromwell. A large portion 
of. both Libraries was utterly destroyed, scattered 
abroad, or wasted. 

144. The buildings of Hyde Abbey, with all their 
appurtenances, were given to Wriothesley, and all the 
ground they covered was granted to liim upon lease. 
He pulled -down the Abbey with great rapidity, and sold 
its materials. Many of its richest manors were granted 
to him in fee. Wlien he had made all he could of the 
Abbatial buildings of Hyde, and had stripped St. 
Swithun's itself of much of its rich furniture and 
fittings, the site of the former passed to Richard 
Bethell. In Elizabeth's reign, the place was visited, 
in company, by WilUam Camden and by Sir Kobert 
Cotton. " In this once stately Church," wrote Camden, 
"was buried the illustrious Alfred, with many more 
Saxon Kings and Bishops. At present^ the bare site 
remainSy deformed with heaps of ruins^ daily dug up 


.J^^^^^ ^0 bum 'into lime.'' After Camden's time, the very fact 
cha™ \ii- ^^^^^ ^^^^ bones of Alfred lay there seems to have passed 
Ji^lJ^i^r^'^ out of memory. Two hundred and fifty years after the 
L^l^ destruction, it was still possible to trace out the main 
foundations of the Abbey, and of the great Church. 
All else was mere guess-work. But it was certain that 
somewhere, within that limit, precious deposits — "pre- 
cious" from quite another point of view than that of 
Lord Chancellor Wriothbsley — still lay buried. In the 
year 1788 the Magistrates of Hampshire purchased, 
from the then representative in title of the Grantee, the 
site of the Abbey wherein was buried King Alfred, to 
make of it a County " Bridewell," for the reception of 
misdemeanants and of felons. The gentle and vener- 
able Milner, the historian and the illustrator of our 
county, stood by, watching this desecration with grief, 
but with no power to intervene: "At almost every 
stroke of the mattock," he has recorded, . . "some 
ancient sepulchre or other was violated, the venerable 
contents of which were treated with marked in- 
dignity." ^ 

145. But there was another bystander,^ who had 
more frequent and more minute opportunities to observe 
what went on from day to day, He has left it on record 
— through Mr. Henry Howard — that many stone coflins 

1 MiLNBK : Hist, qf Winchester, i. 227. 

2 A clerk of the works to the Contractors, who snbseqiiently narrated his 
observations to Mr. Henry Howard of Corby— a sdon of the illustrious House 
of Norfolk and Arundel. What was told to Mr. Howard, some years after 
1788, at Hyde— near to which he was then living in quarters with his Regi- 
ment — ^led him to make extensive researches, the substance of which he 
communicated to hia brethren of the Society of Antiquaries. They were 
afterwards printed in the ArchcBologia (1708), under the title : Enquiries 
concerning the Tomb qf King Alfred at Hyde Abbey (yol. ziiL, pp. 809-312). 



were found as the excavations proceeded — the bones 


within which were tossed into heaps of rubbish; some^^^'^'^jj^ 

Thbu Reprs- 




of the coffins being turned into water-troughs — in ex- 
act anticipatory paralleUsm with the proceedings of 
some of our Eailway Companies when invading con- 
secrated Church-Yards almost a century later. Patens, 
chalices, and rings were also found — to be converted 
into cash as opportunity offered. 

146. A rude diagram will enable the reader to 
understand the matter better than would a host of 
additional words; — 

d d 

and from/ to/ 
extended a mass 
of beaten day, 
oenring as "con- 




of the 


[N.B.— The 
dotted lines < e 
€ € niark,n>iigh- 
hr, the site of 
the Bridewell, 
now remoTed.] 

6 6 6 

b b b b 

Site of 

the Great 





6 appurtenancee. 6 
6 6 6 6 



b b b 




Many Stone 
Coffins found at 
all the spots 
marked 6 6 6 6 

Large Bromtf 


found at (g) (a) 

g Enclosures marked^ p p g 
07 y considerable 

flr THE Monks. L'ti??*®'**" °' 
*' buildings were 

9 9 

„ „ ^ At c many 
y y v fragments of 
marble columns 
were found. 

Dam of the Abbey Mill. 


of St. 






site of the 








London Road. 

Hyde Street 





147. The Eeader, on glancing at this rough diagram, 
cuKmR VII- ^^ perceive that, from the general contour of the clay- 

TiiREE repre. covered space d d d cL which indicates the site of the 


Benedictine Qy^at Cliurcli of Hyde, thc spot marked (a) occupies 
the position where its High Altar might reasonably be 
looked for. Precisely at that spot various fragments of 
marble columns were found. At (a) three coffins 
— and only three — were disinterred. These were of 
a markedly superior kind to the coffins found at 6 6 
b b and elsewhere. Of these, most had been interred 
outside of the Church. It can be matter only of con- 
jecture that the coffins found at (a) were those of King 
Alfred, of Ealswyth, and of King Edward the Elder; 
but the conjecture has all fair presumptions of proba- 
biUty in its favour. The decayed lead of the largest of 
these coffins was sold as "old metal*' for two guineas. 
Probably a record of this sale might be found still in 
the County Finance Books. 

148. Many fragments of sculpture from Hyde Abbey 
may still be seen built into neighbouring walls, ^ — as 
WilUam Cole saw them in 1723, and as they were seen 
by the present writer in 1866; but every passing winter 
helps to deface them. Other fragments were carried 
by Mr. Howard into Cumberland, and are carefully 
preserved at Corby Castle. 

149. The heirs of Eichard Bethbll, reversionary 
grantee of the site, in 1638, received in 1788, a 
certain sum of compensation-money^ out of the County 
Eates. The obtainment of leases of the estates of the 

1 Of Bome of these the Reader may see engravings in John Carter's 
Specimens qfAncierU Sculpture and Pamting in England, 


Church had been raised by Henry VIII., and by 


Elizabeth, to the dignity of a science, requiring close cnxi^tT vii- 

Thkbe Repre- 


attention, but rewarding its students on a princely 
scale. Grafts from that characteristically Tudor tree 
have not yet ceased to bear fruit amongst us. 

160. John Leland, the laborious searcher into the 
remnants of the Monastic Libraries, made his literary 
tour in 1539, and subsequent years. He was at Win- 
chester in the first-named year; the very next year, 
therefore, after the destruction of Hyde and the spolia- 
tion of St. Swithun. So effectually had Wriothesley 
performed his self-chosen task, that the Antiquary had 
nothing to record of the former, save only: "In tliis 
suburb stood the great Abbey of Hyde." He found a 
few torn fragments of its Library. 

161. Of the printed portion of Winchester Cathe- 
dral Library, as we now see it, nearly all came by the 
bequest of George Morley, Bishop of Winchester, in 
the seventeenth century (1662 to 1684), to his Chapter. 
Although he held the See for more than twenty years, 
his liberality and public forethought were so great that 
he almost verified Charles the Second's prophecy to 
him on his elevation: — "You will never be the richer 
for it." The visitor is sometimes shewn, in the original 
manuscript catalogue of the Collection, the record of 
its gift in 1682, two years before the bequest took full 
effect by the testator's death. The volume is described 
as a "Catalogue of all the books in his Lordship's 
"Library, bequeathed by his Will to the Cathedral of 
"the Holy Trinity of Winchester, and which the longer 



Chapteb VII— 
Thbbs Rspbk- 


lie lived, he declared by liis letter, should be the more 
"and not the fewer." The books thus bequeathed 
appear to occupy the same cases — forty in number 
Li^^J^ — wliich contained them in the Bishop's palace. 
The series of Bibles — as respects both texts and 
versions — ^is a very noble one ; and there is a good 
assemblage of works on British History, as well as on 
the General History of the Church. Many, also, of 
Izaak Walton's books are here, and not a few of them 
are enriched with liis notes or autograph. The bulk of 
his Library was bequeathed to his daughter, the wife of 
Prebendary Hawkins, by whose bequest they — in pur- 
suance, I doubt not, of the understanding between 
Testator and Legatee — came eventually to the Chapter. 
The total number of volumes is about 3,800. The 
liberality of access is most exemplary. I have myself 
profited by it very many times during more than 
twenty years. I have been permitted to borrow, as 
well as to read. The like free access I have found in 
several other Cathedral Libraries. 

162. Amongst the manuscripts may be particularized 
a fine Biblical Codex, — the Latin Vulgate, on vellum, — 
with miniatures wliich appear to be of the twelfth 
century. This MS. is in three large foKo volumes; is 
written in two columns, and in a strong minuscule 
letter. The ornamentation is of beautiful design, of 
rich and well graduated colouring, and usually of deli- 
cate execution. Towards the end of the work, the 
pictures are unfinished; and throughout it occur, here 
and there, too many indications of the old Vergers' 
abuse, in the elision of illuminated initials, by way of 

Three Repbk- 


gift to visitors — for a consideration. But the MS. is , °'^™ 


stiU a noble one. ^^^;^^^ 'Vn- 

163. Bishop MoRLEY was in all respects an honour 
to the See, already so illustrious in the rule of Prelates 
such as Wykeham, Wainfleet, Fox, and Andrewes. 
MoRLEY, like Wykeham, was an able Statesman, as well 
as a devout and charitable Prelate. He had endured a 
long term of exile and of stern privation. He endured 
that trial as "seeing Him who is invisible." I have read 
much of his original Correspondence in MS. It well 
merits the press. Of great and special interest is his 
Correspondence with the illustrious Duke of Ormond — 
his intimate friend through a long period of liis Ufe. 
Izaak Walton was another dear friend, and the worthy 
mercer, who had so long inhabited narrow and dingy 
rooms in Fleet Street, passed some of his closing years, 
through Morley's friendship, in the new Palace of 
Wolvesey, and amidst the charjning scenery of Hamp- 
shire. The gift of Walton's books grew out of that 
friendship; and as the owners were united in Ufe, so 
what they prized as amongst Ufe's best enjoyments, was 
also united, after death, for public benefit. 

164. It is my hope that the present worthy Dean of 
Winchester, Dr. Kitchin, and the able Librarian of the 
Chapter, Mr. Madge, will before long see their way to 
obtain for a Cathedral Library which, though exceeded 
by many of its congeners in bare number of volumes, 
is exceeded by very few of them in the Uterary interest 
of its history, a more adequate income for the purchase 
of additional books. The fine old ones 'stand much in 
need of the companionship of some fine new ones. 


When, aome five yean ainco [i. e. eirea 1654?], I visitod [the Cathe- 
dral of] Winchester, it grieved mo at the heart to behold that stately 
structure so far run to ruin; yea, my thoughts then interpreted 
those sad schisms and gaping chinks the heralds of its downfall. . . 
.... But it rejoiced me when coming there this last year to find it 

so well amended I wish all Cathedrals in England .... as 

quick and happy a recovery.— Thomas Fdllkb [1059]. . 



WITH BRIEF Notices of the 
LATER History of some Medieval Libraries 




-" By the exercise of the pens of the scholars of the 
Middle Ages, fresh life has been imparted to intel- 
lectual creations of earlier days; works of great power 
and worth haye been preserred, which still oontinae to 
instruct and to enchant the Worid. We may derive 
some consolation for the loss of much that has poished, 
by the reflection that if all the great works of Antiquity, 
in Literature, in Science, or in Art, had oome down to 
us unimpaired, mankind, sated with their beauty, 
mi^t haye despaired of rlTalling sudi perfection ; and 
that the human race,— satisfled with Its past achiere- 
ments,— would haye foiled or faltered in its onward 
course. Happfly for us, enough remains to stimulate 
the imaginative faculties, as well as to excite our emula^ 
tlon, in every branch of human knowledge, and thus to 
assist us ... in running 'the race which is set before 
us.' The influences derived from these sources are of 
such depth and vitality as to endure through all vicissi- 
tudes; and to convince us that as the minds of the Fast 
have moulded the Present, so those of the Present wHl, 

in like manner, mould the Future. 

The History of Uteratnre, Uke that of Empire, is full 

of Revolutlona. The dust accumulating . . . 

in our Public Libraries upon untouched 

volumes, speaks as forcibly as the grass that waves 
over the ntins of Babylon." 

— Bottield: Ptr^fcUuma et BpUtoUg tditiariinu 

principUnt$ Auctorum FeUrum praporita 

(IMIX pp. IzzL, IxxlL 

*'When there exists— as in the tenth century there 

existed— « Government of qyiritual ordonnanoe 

it follows naturally that sudi a Government should seek 
to rule over tempml ordonnances, that it should say :— 
* Have I ric^t, have I jurisdiction, over what is higliest, 
*ofwtT what is most independent, in man,— over his 
' thoughts, his innermost will, his conscience ; and have 
'no ric^t over his outwurd, material, tran«1tory 
'interests? I am the interpreter of Juistloe and of 
'Truth, yet may not rogulate man's worldly interests 
'according to Justioe and to Truth!' Arguing so. It 
followed naturally that the power spiritual should tend 
towards invading the power temporal. And the more 
so because, then, the qyiritual power overlapped all pea- 
Bible developments of human thouj^t. There was but 
one science— Theology. There was but one spiritual 
ordonnance— the theological ordon nance. All other 
sciences — Rhetoric, Arithmetic, even Music, — were but 
the ancillaries of Theology." 

— GuizoT : nut, qiniraU de la dviUmtiim 
en Europe (Le^ou V.), pp. IM, 1&5. 


The Libraries of the English Benedictinea 

The Libraries of the German, Flemish, and Swiss Bene- 

The Libraries of the Italian and French Benedictines. 

Notices of some Monastic and other Mediaeval Libraries of 
Paris, (of various Communities, Colleges, and Orders); — 
including a Summary View of the subsequent History 
of some Mediaeval Collections. 

The Libraries of the Mendicant Orders. 

The Economy of the Monastic Libraries. 


Decline of Learning in the Monasteries; — their Dissolution 
in England; — the Dispersion and Ruin of their Libraries. 

Episcopal, Royal, and Laic Collectors, in various parts of 
Mediooval Europe. 




The Libraries of the English Benedictines. 

There are grand days at the outset of all great undertakings. But 
the mournful, the inevitable infirmity of hiiman affairs will not let 
them continue. It is of moment to us all that they should neyer bo 
forgotten; never be suffered to lack honourable memoriaL They are 
the flowers of the spring-time of noble lives. During a thousand 
years, the Church of Canterbury has known glories elsewhere un- 
paralleled. No Church in the World, save that of Rome, has been 
governed by a line of greater men ; none has fought the Christian 
fight more nobly. But nothing in those splendid annals wiU ever 
eclipse the sweet and pure light of that hiunble cell, in which a little 
group of foreigners, — of Italian Monks, — ^under shelter of the homely 
hospitality of a gei^-hearted King, and led beneath the auspices of 
the greatest of the Popes, set themiselvee by prayer, by fasting, and 
by toil, to the task of winning over the Ancestors of a great People 
to God, to virtue, and to truth.— Montalembert : Le$ Moinet iTOcei- 

dait, iiL 866 (1866). 

" For ever hallowed be this morning fair. 
Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread. 
And blest the silver cross, which ye, instead 
Of martial banner, in procession bear; 
The cross preceding Him who floats in air, 
The pictured Saviour I— By Augustin led. 
They oome,— and onward travel without dread. 
Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer- 
Sung for themselves, and those whom they would free! 
Rich conquest waits them :— the tempestuous sea 
Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high. 
And heeded not the voice of clashing swords, 
These good men htunble by a few bare words, 
And calm with fear of God's divinity." 

—Wordsworth : BceUnattieal SonneUt Put L xiv. 

cha^I^ L- ^ ^^ accept the authority of the Canterbury Char- 
il^SJIS^' tulary, preserved in Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Pope 
BBfBDicmfB. Gregory the Great must be regarded as the founder of 

Mission of St the first EngKsh Ubrary, in virtue of those nine precious 


A.D. 976. volumes which Augustine is said, either to have brought 

with him on his mission, or, more probably, to have 
received from St. Gregory by the hands of the monk 

Ghapteb I.— 



Peter, four years' later, with the second colony of '*^*^' 
Eoman Missionaries : viz. 1, The Holy Bible, in two 
volumes; 2, the Psalter; 3, the Gospels; 4, another 
Psalter ; 5, another copy of the Gospels ; 6, the [Apoc- 
ryphal] Lives of the Apostles; 7, the Lives of the 
Martyrs; 8, an Exposition of the Gospels and Epistles. 
"ZTcF sunt primitice librorum totius EccUsice Anglicance" 
says the " Canterbury Book."^ 

" In the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 
and in the Bodleian, . . . two ancient MS. Gospels still 
exist which have at least a fair claim to be considered 
the very books which Gregory sent to Augustine as 
marks of his good wishes to the rising Monastery, when 
'Laurence and Peter' returned from Britain to Eome 
to tell him of the success of the Mission, and, from him, 
brought back these presents. They are, if so, the most 

ancient books that ever were read in England." 

These books are, if I may so call them, the mother- 
books of England, the first beginning of Enghsh 
Literature, of English Learning, of English Education. 
But on this interesting point almost all is conjecture. 
No conclusive evidence can now be adduced. 

Whether the books sent by St. Augustine were at 
first placed in the library of Christ Church Monastery 
— now the Cathedral, — or in that of the Monastery of 
SS. Peter and Paul, best known as St. Augustine's, 

1 This MS. is said by Mr. Hunter to have been written between 1490 and 
1450. It was given with other MSS. to Trinity Hall by Robert Hare, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, on condition that if the Monastery should ever be 
restored, the books should return to it. Of. Soames: The Anglo-Saxon 
Church f 45, et seq,; and Oenerai Report qf the ComnUssionera qf the Public 
Records (1837), c. 337. 


Qjj^^^\_, beyond the walls, there is also now no quite clear and 
LiBRABiKBOF conclusivc evidence.^ Tliey cannot be identified in 

THE Bnolibh J™. Henry de Estria's Christ Church Catalogue of the tliir- 
teenth century, entitled Memoriale Henrici Prioris; 
although there are of course many entries there of like 
books. They, or some of them are known to have 
been seen by Leland, in the sixteenth century.* The 
probability would seem to be that they were placed in 
St. Augustine's Library. And tliis is the opinion of the 
best authorities. 
MonaBteiyof The first Important addition to this idemorable 
S^^T^* beginning of our EngUsh Libraries which can tiow be 
traced, accrued, it is probable, to the Monastery of 
Christ Church, when Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus, 
who came from Eome to Canterbury in the year 668, 
brought with him what some of the annalists of Canter- 
bury have ventured to call "an extensive library," 
considerable remains of which, according to Lambarde, 
were visible in Archbishop Parker's time: — "The 
Eeverend Father Matthew, now Archbishop of Canter- 
bury (whose care for the conservation of monuments 
can never be sufficiently commended), shewed me, not 
long since, the Psalter of David, and sundry Homihes in 
Greek, Homer, also, and some other Greek authors. 

1 Dean Stanley, Histor, Mem, of Canterbury, p. 41 (6th Edit., 1872), adopts 
the opinion that they were placed at St. Augustine's, and he adds : '* It was 
thus the Mother-School, the Mother- University of England, at a time when 
Cambridge was a desolation, and Oxford a tangled forest in a wide waste of 
water. They remind us that English power and English religion have, as 
from the very first, so ever since, gone along with knowledge, with learning, 
and especially with that learning and that knowledge which those old manu- 
scripts give, — the knowledge and the learning of the Gospel." (p. 42). Cf. 
Humph. Wanley: CaUd, o/MSS,, printed in Hicke's Themurus, it 172, 173. 


beautifully written on thick paper with the name o{^^^^^\_ 
this Theodore prefixed in the front, to whose library he J^^^^g^' 
reasonably thought (being thereto led by shew of great b«»=»<^»'»»- 
antiquity) that they sometime belonged."^ Three huii- 
dred years later Archbishop /Rt.fric gave large 
encouragement to the transcription of books, but 
bequeathed (a.d. 1006) his own collection to the Abbey 
of St. Albans. Five years after -^Elfric's death came 
the terrible sack of Canterbury by the Danes. Towards 
the end of this century Lanfranc restored the Library, 
and Anselm followed in liis footsteps; as did Archbishop 
Walter at the beginning of the thirteenth century. 
" He gave," says Dugdale, " the Church of Halgast, to 
find books for the Library." ^ Before the century 
closed, the then Prior of Christchurch, Henry Eastry or 
de EsTRiA, was able to enumerate nearly three thousand 
titles in that curious catalogue of the collection which 
forms part of the Cotton MS. (Galba, E. iv.), entitled, 
Memoriale Uenrici Prions Monasterii Christi Cantiuzrice.^ 
As respects the wealth of this collection in Theology, 
and in Patristic and Scholastic lore more especially, few 
words will here suffice. Its series of the Fathers is of 
remarkable extent. Still more notable is it to find that 
the several entries of Bibles, and of separate Books or 
groups of Books of the Bible, amount in the Catalogue 
before me to three hundred and twenty, exclusive of a 

1 Perambulation of Kent (1576), 233. 

2 Monasticm (Edit, of 1847), i. 85. 

3 In the first Edition of Memoirs qf Libraries (1859) I printed (as I have 
mentioned already, in the /'General Introduction" to the present Edition,) 
this Catalogae from the original MS. at fall, as an Appendix. It extends to 
114 pages of small type. 


CHA^Br 'i - ^^^ ^^^S ^^^ ^^ Commentaries unaccompanied by the 
TOrENGUBe' Text. And this fact is but one example of a very large 
Benedictine, ggj-j^g Qf ginulaT Slid couclusive coufutatious of opiiiions 
still far too current amongst us — in many quarters — as 
to alleged monkish neglect of Holy Scripture. Some 
other examples I shall have the duty of adducing 

But having regard to its date and to local circum- 
stances, the Christchurch Library may fairly be charac- 
terized as respectable in Science and rich in History ; 
whilst of classic authors a long array will he found. 
Amongst them appear Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Lucan, 
Suetonius, Seneca, Terence, and Virgil. Cicero and 
Seneca, especially, appear to have been in high esteem, 
both from the number of works, and from the number 
of copies of the same work; some of them, perhaps 
(like the dupUcate devotional books on page 133 of the 
MS.), provided for the free use of the monks in their 
cells, just as Bibles were provided for the special 
service of the Infirmary. 

stA^ttae, ^^ ^^® Library of St. Augustine's Monastery at 
Canterbury. Canterbury we have very little authentic information 
of earlier date than the later part of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. Of that date a Catalogue is still extant, which 
has found its way — probably through Archbishop 
Ussher — to Trinity College, Dublin; but it bears on its 
face no marks of the Library to which it relates, nor 
had anything been discovered as to its origin until the 
late eminent antiquary. Sir Frederick Madden, visited 
Dublin, and identified it with Canterbury. It is, in 

Chaptkr I.— 



many respects, one of tlie most interesting of English ^^^"^ ' 

Monastic Catalogues.^ The arrangement is in classes, 

but there is neither title nor heading. benbdictikes. 

In History the collection is fairly rich. It includes 
the works of Gildas, of John Bever, of Thomas Sprot, 
of Henry of Huntingdon, and of William of Malmes- 
bury ; the Cronica Alhin^ the Cronica Cestrensis^ and the 
Narratio Petri Alfonsi. Of Malmesbury and of Sprot 
there were no less than four copies severally. Of the 
Chester Chronicle there were tliree copies. The works 
of the Eomance writers are also numerous; and, as 
usual, all of them are in French. Tlie Gesta Guidonis 
de Warewyky from its very frequent recurrence, appears 
to have been an especial favourite. 

Some of the St. Augustine books here enumerated 
are still preserved in the Library of Corpus Christi 
CoUege, Cambridge ; others of them may be seen in the 
Library of the British Museum. 

When OswY, King of Northumberland, founded (a.d. MonMtetyoi 

' ^ ' ^ Whitby. 

656) the convent first called " Streoneshalli," and after- 
wards Whitby, he is said to have chosen the Lady 
Hilda for its first Abbess, from the fame of her holy 
life as a nun at Hartlepool. The interminable contro- 
versy about the celebration of Easter led, according to 
the monkish historians, to the introduction of Benedic- 
tine Monks into Streoneshalh; they being the firm 
adherents of the Eoman doctrine, to wliich the Lady 
Abbess — "the best scholar of her age," some of her 

1 Maddbn: Ancient Monastic ZAbrariea; printed in Notes and Queries; 
Second Series, i. 486, 486. 


chaw"!^^ l- admirers have called her, — was as firmly opposed. 
raK^irisn' "^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ power she collected books and 
BncBDiCTMfM. promoted learning, friends and foes are agreed. And 
there is an especial pleasure to an historian of Libraries 
in recording such testimony in honour of a woman, 
from its comparatively rare occurrence in the annals of 
his subject. C^dmon was a monk of Streoneshalh. 
like other. Monasteries, it sufiered all kinds of bar- 
barity and outrage during several generations. The 
horrible story of the Nuns of Coldingham is but an 
example of atrocities which were common in the ninth 
and tenth centuries. Many Monasteries were utterly 
destroyed. Streoneshalh left scarcely a trace of what 
it had been. 

It was by the zeal of the Monks of Evesham in 
Worcestershire^ and by the liberality of William de 
Percy, one of the companions of the Conqueror, that 
Whitby Abbey was restored. The restablished Com- 
munity made quick progress, and became very wealthy.^ 
Of its Library there is a catalogue, which appears to 
have been compiled about the year 1180. Ijn classical 
literature, this catalogue includes Homer, Plato, Virgil, 
Cicero, Juvenal, Persius, Statins, Prudentius, and Se- 
dulius. IJn Theology it includes (taking them in alpha- 
betical order) SS. Ambrose^ Basil, Bernard of Clairvaux, 
CflBsarius of Aries, Ephraem, Gregory the Great, Isi- 
dorus, and Prosper of Aquitaine; together with many 
works of Beda, of Hugh of St. Victor, of Ivo of 

1 The charters and deeds of gift to Whitby fill the greater part of 
Charlton's History (York, 1779, 4**). See also, on the history of the Whitby 
Library, YouNo: Hist, of WhUby and Streoneshalh Abbey (1817), pp. 918-920. 


Chartres, of Origen, of Peter Lombard, and of Eabaiius chawer' l- 

TVfo.irim Libraries OF 

maurus. ^, bnouuh 


Without voucliincf for the Abbacy of St. Joseph of Moiia«toryof 

° "^ , GlaBtonbuiy. 

Anmathea, or even for tlie tomb of King Arthur, we 
may fairly regard the noble Monastery of Glastonbury 
as perhaps the first, and certainly, in some respects, the 
greatest, of the monastic foundations of Britain. But 
there are no such traces of its early possession of books 
as would give it any claim to equality with the Monas- 
teries of Canterbury or of York. The earliest mention 
even of an Evangeliary is, I suppose, that by Wh-llam 
of Malmesbury, when enumerating the plate, jewels, 
and precious ornaments of the Community.^ John of 
Taunton, who was Abbot from 1274 to 1290, appears 
to have been a considerable benefactor to the Library; 
but we see from the list, compiled in 1248 (which 
Hearne has printed in the Appendix to the Chronicle of 
John of Glastonbury), that it was already a considerable 
collection, tliirty years before the rule of tliis Abbot 

The Catalogue commences with no less than seven 
Bibles and Bible-histories, exclusive of Evangeliaries 
and detached Books of Holy Scripture. Then follows 
a large collection of the Fathers and of the mediaeval 
controversialists. Of the chronicles and the romantic 
literature of the Middle Ages there is of course an 
abundant store. Amongst the ancient classics we find 

1 GuL. Malmsb.: Dt antiqmUUe OlasUmiensis EcdetticB, apad Gale, Scrip- 
tores XV. pp. 291 et seq. 




'j _ Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Persius, Juvenal, 

^TeVoTibu "^^y Sallust, and Claudian. 

B««>icnK«. In the gift of Abbot John, Biblical exposition fills a 
very large place. There are also several of those 
curious works of rudimentary physics which are cha- 
racteristic of the age. In another list of works, tran- 
scribed by command of a later Abbot, we have Pliny's 
^^Historia Naturalis^'' Isidore's ^^Etymohgicon;' a large 
addition to the Patristic section of the Library; and 
some books of mediaeval legendary or romantic history 
— Gesta Britonum, Gesta Angloruniy Gesta Francorum ; 
and the like. There are evidences, also, of increased 
beauty of illustration and splendour of binding. 

John of Glastonbury records many other gifts which 
tend to show that for a long period the love of learning 
did not wax cold in this great Community. We can, 
therefore, the better appreciate the unusual fervour 
with which John Leland records his emotions of sur- 
prise and admiration on visiting the Library and ex- 
ploring its treasures, by permission of that unfortunate 
successor of the long hne of mitred Abbots, Eichard 
Whtting — Homo sane candidissimiis et amicus mens 
singvlaris — as our antiquary calls him, not then fore- 
seeing that a great change in Whiting's fortunes (there 
is no evidence of any change of character) would ere 
long prompt him, for his own safety, to draw, his pen 
through the eulogy. 

Scarcely had Leland crossed the threshold of the 
Library, he teUs us, when the sight of so many sacred 
remains of antiquity arrested his footsteps, as if by a 


magical spell. Such a spectacle, he thought, ^^^Id ^^^^"^ '• 
scarcely be seen elsewhere in Britain.^ LiBRARiBor 


Of all the glories of Glastonbury, there have been for benbdictiiib. 
many ages but few and mean vestiges. Eight genera- 
tions have passed since Dbayton,^ addressing "the 
ancient isle of Avalon," lamented that "sad waste": — 

O threetimes famous isle, where is that place that might 
Be with thyself compared for glory and delight, 
Whilst Glastonbury stood, exalted to that pride, 
Whose Monastery seemed all others to deride? 
O, who thy ruin sees, whom wonder doth not fill 
With our great fathers' pomp, devotion, and their skill? 
Thou more than mortal power (this judgment rightly weigh'd). 
Then present to assist, at that foundation lay'd; 
On whom, for this sad waste, should justice lay the crime? 
Is there a power in fate, or doth it yield to time. 
Or was their error such, that thou couldst not protect 
Those buildings which thy hand did with their zeal erect? 
To whom didst thou commit that monument to keep. 
That sufFereth with the dead their memory to sleep? 
When not Great Akthur's tomb, nor Holy Joseph's grave. 
From sacrilege had power their sacred bones to save, — 
He who that GoD-in-man to his sepulchre brought. 
Or he which for the faith twelve famous battles fought. 

1 The passage as it is printed in the Commentaries, dt Scriptorilms Bri- 
tannicis (Hall's Edit., i. 41), runs thus: — . . . " Eram aliquot abhinc annis 
Glessobargi Somurotrigum, ubi antiquissimum simal et famosissimum est 
totius InsulsB nostrse cosnobiam, animumque longo stadioram labore fessum, 
favente Richardo Whitingo ejusdem loci Abbate, .... recreabam; doneo 
novas quidam cum legend! tum discendi ardor me inflammaret. Supervenit 
autem ardor ille citius opinione, itaque statim me contuli ad bibliothecam, 
non omnibus perviam, ut sacrosanctce vetustatis reliquiae, quarum tantus 
ibi numerus, quantus nullo alio facile Britannise loco, diligentissime evol- 
verem. Vix certe limen intraveram, cum antiquissimorum librorum vel 
solus conspectus religionem, nescio an stuporem, animo incuteret meo; 
eaque de causa pedem paululum sistebam/' &c. The deleted passage re- 
specting Wliiting I take from the MS. Bodl. Arch. A., as quoted in the 
Monaaticon, i. 9. 

2 Poly-oUfion, The third song. 


PART I. What! did so many kings do honour to that place 

Chapter 1.— ^ o x- 

L1BRA&1E8OP For avarice, at last, so vilely to deface? 

For reverence to that seat which had asc 
Trees yet in winter bloom and bear their summer*8 green. 

rasKKOLiBH YoT reverence to that seat which had ascribed been, 


cJ^Sd (f. 8th Of^ the Library of the great Monastery at Croyland we 
oonturyx Yi^Lye many particulars in the Chronicle of the pseudo- 
Ingulphus, — a writer so popular, that in addition to his 
intentional readers he has had not a few unconscious 
ones. ArchflBologists, encyclopedists, and epitomizers 
of all kinds, have laid the fictitious Ingulph freely 
under contribution. Whosoever may have been the 
true author of the Croyland Annals, it can liardly be 
matter of question that they embody much authentic 
history. A great deal more may be said for the main 
substance of the narrative than for the charters which 
accompany it. 

Ethelbald is recorded to have founded Croyland 
early in the eighth century. For several generations it 
had as tempestuous a life as any Monastery in England. 
Egelric, the second Abbot of his name, appears to 
have been the first considerable giver of books towards 
a library. About the year 990 he is clironicled to have 
presented forty "integral" volumes (Volumina origi- 
nalia) of various authors, and more than a hundred 
lesser volumes, containing various tracts and compila- 
tions. Within another centurj'' the Librarj^ had so 
increased that it numbered more than three hundred 
volumes, together with about four hundred tracts and 
minor pieces; all of which perished in the disastrous 
fire of 1091. "In our charter room," adds the pseudo- 
nymous chronicler, , ... "we found that although the 


boxes appeared to be safe and uninjured, yet all ^^^ q^JI!^\_ 
muniments contained in them had been shrivelled up librariebof 


and burnt to ashes by the excessive heat. The privi- SKMBDicrurra. 
leges conferred by the Mercian Kings, with their gilded 
pictures, . . . were all burnt, ... in one black night." 

Much energy was shewn in the second restoration of 
the noble edifice of Croyland, but it does not seem to 
have extended to the Library. On this head but little 
is recorded. When Leland made his tour amidst the 
monastic ruins, he noted but these six books: — ^Eogerus 

Dymmoc adversus Wyclejium; Waleys super PsaUe- 

rium; Eobertus Trembley super Cantica Canticorum; 

Fulcherii Historia; Turpini Historia; Historia de Ri- 

cardo Rege^ carmina scripta. 

Of Peterborough there is yet extant one of the best Jf**"^***^^' 
of the Monastic Catalogues wliich have survived. The 
history of this Abbey has many points of resemblance 
with that of Croyland, and it rests on much better 
authority. It suffered as severely from the ravages of 
the Danes ; but when those times were past its fortunes 
were more prosperous. During the tenth and eleventh 
centuries many gifts of precious books are chronicled. 
In the twelfth, we have a list of nearly eighty works 
transcribed for the Library by order of Abbot Benedict, 
formerly Prior of Canterbury, and Secretary to Thomas 
a Becket. It comprises twenty-one Biblical volumes. 
The scientific works and tracts, if reckoned separately, 
would probably be about twenty. The classical authors 
are only four in number. 


chai^'^i- The Catalogue printed by Gunton^ is undated, but 
^KE^'i^i^n ^^y ^® conjectured to be of the end of the fourteenth 
bknbdictines. qj. beginning of the fifteenth century. It commences : 
Matricularium Librarice Monasterii Burgi Sancti Petri^ 
* paucis libris non examinatis. It is not arranged under 
classes, but apparently follows the position of the books 
on their shelves. As is usual in Monastic Catalogues, 
a very large majority of the volumes contain several 
distinct works, and these are bound up with little or 
no regard to the subjects of which they treat. The 
number of these separate works is one thousand six 
hundred and ninety-five, which appear to have been 
bound in three hundred and forty-four volumes. The 
collection is strong in ecclesiastical historJ^ The num- 
ber of books and tracts in verse is unusually large, and 
of these a considerable proportion is in French or other 
modern languages. The chief classic authors that 
occur are: Aristotle, Cicero, Virgil, Seneca, Statins, 
Persius, Sallust, and Ovid. The number of entries 
under Ovid is much larger than that under any other 
classic author; and there are other indications that the 
subjects of which Ovid was more especially a master 
were by no means tabooed in the studies of Peter- 

Monaateryof To thc bibliographical zeal for which the late estim- 
ihiriiam. ^^j^ ^^^ regretted Mr. Beriah Botfield, M.P., was so 

1 JIvAory of the Church qf Peterborough (London, 1686, fol.) The Cata- 
logue was reprinted in the Leipeic Journal Serapeum, 


eminently distinguished,^ we owe the publication o{^^^^\__ 
the very interestin<i[ series of catalot^ues of the great ^ibbaribsof 


Monastery of Durham, wliicli form one of the Surtees bknedictinks. 
volumes. Like too many valuable pu])lications similarly 
issued bv book-clubs, this volume is less known than it 
deserves to be. 

In its first rudiments the Durham Librar}^ is coeval 
with the Community to which it belonged. When the 
Monks who had originally been seated at Lindisfame 
were forced for the second time to seek a new home, 
they brought with them some choice books, and a love 
of learning which was to prove especially characteristic 
of the Durham fraternity at nearly all periods of its 

The Catalogues wliich Mr. Botfield has collected 
may be thus enumerated: (1,) A catalogue of the gene- 
ral collection of the Community, undated; (2,) A cata- 
logue, in two parts, of the books contained in the 
" Spendimentum," or Chancer}^ in the year 1391; (3,) 
A catalogue of the general collection of the Community 
(in Comimmi armariolo Dunelmensi^ in diversis locis in- 
fra claustrum) in 1395; (4,) Lists of books sent, on two 
several occasions, to Durham College, Oxford, in or 
about the year 1409; (5,) A list of books purchased in 
replacement of those thus drafted off; (6,) A list of 
books used in the Eefectory during the hour of dinner; 
(7,) A catalogue of the books in the Chancery, as they 

1 One of his latest and unfulfilled plans of useful labour was that of re- 
printing that remarkable Christ-Church Catalogue, a.d. 1315, (mentioned on 
page 7 of this chapter,) which is in itself so conclusive and so compact a 
refutation of the oft-repeated slander of Monks as enemies to the study 
of the Holy Bible. 


CHAWBR^'i- were in 1416. These are the principal documents, but 
maJousn' ^.ppended to them are notices of various legacies of 
BENEDICTIKE8. ^Qoks madc to the Community at different periods, be- 
tween the year 1093 and the dissolution. 

As usual, Patristic literature is a prominent feature 
of the Durham Library. Of the Greek Fathers (al- 
though none appear save in their Latin versions) there 
is a more than ordinary number. Of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, in the Vulgate, there are several entire copies, 
and a multitude of portions and of separate Books. 
Amongst the ecclesiastical liistorians are Eusebius and 
Beda — (several copies of each are entered) — and even a 
larger array than usual of the monkish chroniclers and 
of the legendary biographers of the Saints. Of canon 
law, and of the casuistical divinity of the Schoolmen, 
there is an extensive collection. 

The chief Classics to be found in the Durham Cata- 
logues are the metaphysical and ethical works of 
Aristotle; the rhetorical treatises and orations of 
Cicero; the Institutes and Declamations of Quintilian; 
the liistorical works of Valerius Maximus, Quintus 
Curtius, Sallust, Eutropius, and Suetonius ; and, of the 
poets, Virgil, Horace, 0\'id, Terence, Juvenal, Claudian, 
Lucan, and Statins. Under "Oratius" there are three 
entries; under "Juvenalis" four; under "Virgilius" 
nine; under " Ovidius" and " Ovidus Magnus" twelve. 

Of the versifiers of the middle ages there was a large 
collection, but not one metrical romance occurs in the 
early catalogues. Two such are mentioned in Eudd's 
Catalogue of 1727 (printed by the Dean and Chapter, 
a century later), both of which have been preserved in 



the Cathedral Library, where may also be seen that^^^'^'^^ 
precious Evangeliary, believed to have been transcribed J^^oum 
by the hand of Beda, and thus entered in the Catalogue 
of 1391: "D. Quatuor Evangelia, de manu BedaB, ii. 
fol., ' Baptizatusy' The priceless "Gospels of St. 
Cuthbert" — one of the volumes brought from lin- 
disfame, amidst the perils so quaintly recounted by 
Simeon of Durham — has long been pre-eminent among 
the show-books of the British Museum. 

Many otlier Benedictine Monasteries of England pos- 
sessed noticeable libraries, of which no mention has here 
been made. Indeed, there is scarcely any recorded 
Community of that Order without some claim to atten- 
tion, at one period or other of its history, for its 
love and care of books. But enough has been 
said for the illustration of this section of a subject, 
which is far too wide to be treated in these pages other- 
wise than by mere examples. The history of English 
Monastic Libraries is so full of instruction, and has so 
keen an interest for the true book-lover, of any period, 
thact he will be tempted to linger over each section of 
it somewhat overweeningly. But this may be said in 
liis extenuation: — To the present day, England pos- 
sesses no worthy history of her Monastic Communi- 
ties. Their mere bibUography is but a small feature 
of a grand retrospect. Their true history, told with 
reasonable fulness, would be also a history of the be- 
ginnings of agriculture, — of horticulture, — of forest- 
craft, — of manufactures, — of practical science, — and of 





Chapter I. 

the plastic arts, amongst us. It would also be the 
to^oush' l^story of much of our early social poUty, — of our 
bknediotinm. nascent civilisation and Christianization. It would be 
the earliest page in the grand history of our English 
Bible. Eobert Southey planned such a work, and 
carried, — well mapped-out in his mind, — its true "form 
and pressure." England gave him three hundred pounds 
a year, — and offered him a baronetcy. Had it given 
five or six hundred, instead of three, — he would have 
been freed from the burden of task-work, and his 
country would have possessed one enduring literary 
glory the more. 



The Libraries of the German, Flemish, and Swiss 

A copy of Ambroee De bono mortis, coverod with tho blood of 
Boniface, was exhibited during many succeeding centuries at 
FuLDA aa a rolia It was contem^ted there by many who regarded 
as superstitious and heretical some of the tenets of Boniface. But 
no Ohristian, whatever might be his own peculiar creed, ever looked 
upon that blood-stained memorial of him without the profoundest 

For, since the Apostolic ago, no greater benefactor of our race has 
arisen among men than the Monk of Nutsall, unless it be that other 
Monk of Wittemberg, who, at the distance of seven centuries, ap- 
* peared to reform and reconstruct the Churches founded by the holy 
Benedictine. To Boniface, the North and West of Germany and 
Holland still look back as their spiritual progenitor ; nor did any 
uninspired man ever add to the permanent dominion of the Gospel 
provinces of such extent and value.— Stephen: Bttayt in BceUtiastieal 

Biography, I. 875. 

To this day the traveller in Northern Germany is part i. 

Chaptbb II. — 

frequently reminded of the good deeds of the Monk librarimof 

, , THE German, 

who, in his remote Hampshire cell, mused on the stories FLEman, 

AKD Swiss 

which were told him of the barbarous condition of the BENEDicrnnB. 
Frisian and Hessian Pagans, until he resolved, withnia^onof 
God's blessing, to be to them the messenger of good ^^JJI^of**"* 
tidings ; and who persisted in his missionary enterprize, 2^^|^. 
though war seemed to close the door against it abroad, 
and an abbacy awaited his acceptance at home. Many 
a ruin is pointed out as all that remains of a noble 
monastery, once the centre of Cliristian civilisation to 
the surrounding district. 

Of the large group of monastic communities which 
owed their foundation to Boniface and to his immediate 
disciples, many became famous in succeeding ages, and 


CHii^* 'ii.- some retained their celebrity for very long periods. 

m^G^w' Fulda was pre-eminent. Before the close of the eighth 

!J^^ century it is said to have contained four hundred 

BKNXDiorniB. julonks, exclusive of novices. It attained distinction as 

Fulda. a scat of Icaming under Eabanus Maurus, who, as we 

have seen already, had studied under Alcuin, and who 

governed Fulda for twenty years with the energy and 

piety which he afterwards displayed more conspicuously 

on the archiepiscopal throne of Mentz. Hirschau was 

an off-shoot of Fulda, and became itself the cradle of 

that restoration of monastic disciplme in Germany, 

which seems to have been almost as urgently needed at 

the close of the eleventh century, as at the close of the 


Lii^of Corvey, too {Corbeia Nova^ in Westphalia; — the old 

About 8«.) and paternal Corbeia was in Picardy, and its Library 
! will receive some notice in the next chapter,) stands 

very saliently out amongst the great Monasteries of 
Northern Germany for its care of learning. Of its 
early history it is enough to say, that it exhibits a civi- 
lizing influence gradually diffused throughout Lower 
Saxony, resembling that which spread from Fulda 
throughout Thuringia. The precise year of its foun- 
dation is uncertain, but may be placed by near ap- 
proximation about the year 820.^ The old Chronicler 
DiTHMAR calls it the " Head and Mother of [the neigh- 
bouring] Communities; the ornament of the fatherland; 

I In 822, according to the authors of the Histoire lAtUrairt de la France, 
iv. 232; oomp. Zizoelbaukb: Histcria ret lUUrarice ordinia 8, Benedidi, ubi 


and a marvel of Saxony and of all Germany." 2 lt^^^\^_ 
was the training-place of men whose names, after the i^^fi^^'MO' 

^ I 7 THB German, 

lapse of SO many centuries, are yet most worthily held J^'^ 
in honour, and some of whom deserve to rank as the b™«>«c™m- 
foremost organizers of the mediaeval Church, not in 
Germany alone, but in the countries round about. 

Amongst the incidental notices of the gradual forma- ^^^fu^, 
tion of the Library that occur in those Annales Antiqui 
Corbeienses which Leibnitz has printed in the second 
volume of his Scriptores rerum Brunsvicerisium^ I find 
commemorations of many gifts bestowed on it, as well 
by the liberality of strangers as by the zeal of the 
Abbots. Those of John of Montorp, and of Albert of 
Hombach, in the eleventh centur}% and of Hildebolt 
of Beven, and the Cbunt of Schaumberg, in the four- 
teenth, are especially noticeable. Of the first named 
donor it is recorded : . . . . libimm in folio Arabicum h 
Pannonia allatum intulit Bibliothevce nostrce\ and of the 

last: Comes de Schaumberg Colloquium suum 

habuerunt in monasterio. Inter alia quisque viilem 
librum donavit Bibliothecce, 

Towards the close of the eleventh century, March- 
wart, then Abbot, enacted that every novice on making 
his profession should give a book {, . , ut quivis novitius 
in die professionis suce etiam librum donaret Bibliothecce 
utilem et aliaijus pretii) ; and it seems that this regula- 
tion may have greatly contributed to that compara- 

2 " Haupt und Mutter aller ubrigen Kloster, des ganzen Vaterlandes 
Zierde, und ein Wunderwerk Sachsens und des ganzen Deutschen Landes." 
— Dithmar, as quoted by Schonemann, Zur Oeschichte der Herzoglichen 
Bibliothek zu Wol/enbiUtd; in the Straptum, xviii. 66. Comp. AnncUea an^t^t 
Corbeiemes, apud Liebnitium, Script, rerum Brunwicenaium, torn. ii. 



Libraries of 
THE Qerman, 
AND Swiss 


'j, _ tively rapid growth of its library, for wliich Corvey 
is conspicuous.^ 

No small portion of the literary fame of Corvey rests 
on the often repeated anecdote, that the first five books 
of the Annals of Tacitus were found there — by Gio- 
vanni Angelo Arcimboldi,2 according to the usual 
account, — and were brought thence to Pope Leo X. 
Of the many extant notices of thi^ incident, that of the 
elder H. Meibomius, which includes the testimony of 
Lipsius, may here suffice: — Imb Corheia Saxonica^ he 
writes, rempublicam literariam digno beneficio affecit 
conservans insigni omnium prcedicatione quinque 
priores Annalium Cornelii Taciti libros^ qud de re hoc 
scribit Justus Lipsius, ad librum secundum Annalium 
Taciti: ^'Quinque hi priores libri inventi sunt Corbeice^ 
qu^d Monasterium ad Visnegrum est^ atque ilium de- 
I promptum vere hinc thesaurum Qucestor quidam Ponti- 

1 Be this as it may, the teetimony as to the existence of the regulation 
in question at Corvey is sufficient to clear it from the objection taken by the 
learned authors of the Hid, Lilt, de la France to a nearly similar allegation 
in respect of the Abbey of Fleury. 

2 Arcimboldi (who afterwaitls became Archbishop of Milan) had been 
sent into Germany in 1514 by Leo X. Leo entrusted the MS. to the 
younger Pliilippus Beroaldus, and in the brief which conferred on him 
an exclusive copyright in it for ten years, he says that the security and ex- 
tension of literary studies "seem chiefly to depend on two circumstances, — 
the number of men of learning, and the ample supply of excellent authors. 
As to the first of these, we hope with the divine blessing to shew still more 
evidently our earnest desire and disposition to reward and to honour their 
merits ; this having been for a long time past our chief delight and pleasure. 
With respect to the acquisition of books, we return our thanks to God, that 
In this also an opiportunity is now afforded us of promoting the advantage of 
mankind." Leonid X, Bulla; TacUi Op, a Beroaldo prsef. (Kom. 1515), as 
quoted by Roscoe, Life qf LeoX,tii, 392, 393. 


Jicius ad Magnum Leonem (nempe X.J detulit donatus ^^J^^^-^^^ 
ab eo aureis quinqentis.^ libraries of 


It has been contended by some estimable writers that ' ^^™"h, 

•^ AMD SWI88 

the MS. did not come from Corvey, in the face of the bb^d'otinb. 

statement wliich occurs in the Briefs addressed by 

Leo X. to Albert, Archbishop of Mentz and of 

Magdeburg, two years after the pubUcation by Bero- 

ALDUS. Those Briefs were issued in the hope that the 

example of the benefit which had accrued to the Monks 

of Coi-vey, would induce certain other Monks, who 

were supposed to possess a complete Livy^ if not to 

part with their precious treasure, at least to lend it 

to the Pope for pubUcation. The Briefs were first 

printed by Bayle,^ to whom they were communicated 

by the Prussian Councillor von Seidel. Whilst they 

thus confirm the ordinary statement, that the Tacitus 

MS. came from Corvey, they correct it very importantly 

as to the manner in wliich the book was obtained. 

Tlie first Brief recites generally the Pope's care for 

the discovery and preservation of ancient authors, ai d 

the absence of any selfish or concealed purpose in the 

pursuit; the second clinches the argument thus: — Tan- 

turn ad commodum et utilitatem virorum eruditarum 

tendimus; de quo etiam dilecti Jilii Abbas et Conventus 

Monasterii Corwiensis Ordinis S. Benedicti Padebor- 

nensis diceceseos nostri locujdetissimi possunt esse testes^ 

ex qnorum bibliotheca cum pnmi quinque libri Ilistorice 

1 Meibomius ('^agens de MSS. Codicibus quibusdam Bibliothecse hujus 
Monasterii"), as quoted by Ziegelbauer, Ilutoria ret liUeraricB OrdiniH S, 
Benedicti, ubi supra. 

2 Dictionnaire, sub voce **L4on X," 





Ghafrb II.— 


Libraries or 





AND Swiss 




Augustce Comelii Taciti qui desiderabantur^ furto sub- 
tract! fuissent, illique per multas maiius ad nostras 
tandem pervenissent, nos recognitos prios eosdem quin- 
que libros et correctos a viris prcedictis in nostra curia 
existentibua^ cum aliis Cornelii prcedicti operibus quce 
extabant nostra sumptu imprimis fecimus. Deinde 
vero, re comperta, unum ex voluminibus dicti Cornelii 
tU prcemittitur, correctum et impressum ac etiam non 
inordinate ligatum, ad dictos Abbatem et Conventum 
Corwiensis remisimus quod in eorem bibliotheca loco 
substracti reponere possent. Et vt cognoscerent ex ea 
substractione potius est commodum quam incommodum 
\ ortum, misimus eisdeni pro Ecclesia Monasterii eorum 

indulgentiam perpetuam. 

However much the modem collector may incline to 
differ from His Holiness as to the amplitude of that 
compensation which substituted for so precious a manu- 
script a fine specimen of printing, and a perpetual in- 
dulgence, the letter shews that the history of the 
volume was keenly enquired into, and that the evidence 
which affiliated it upon Corvey satisfied Leo. Of course, 
the . . per multas manus ad nostras tandem pervenissent 
. . opens a vista of possible mistake, and the conjecture 
that the MS. came from Fulda,^ not from Corvey, may, 
) after all, be well founded. 


Corvey, like its neighbours, suffered severely in the 
wars which accompanied the Eeformation, and some of 
its spoils found refuge in the Library of Wolfenbuttel.^ 

] 1 Massman, in the Jahrbiicher fur wiwensch. Kritik (1841), ii. 701. 

A 2 Hermann, in the Serapewm, iii. 98. 


AND Swiaa 



It continued to subsist, however, and to possess a con- ^^^"^ ' 
siderable library, almost until our own day. Early in 
the present century the Monastery was secularized, and 
it was on that occasion that the transcript of its Cata- 
logue was prepared, to which attention has now to be 
directed. After the peace of Tilsit, all Hesse-Cassel, it 
will be remembered, became part of the Kingdom of 
Westphalia. King Jerome's government, in 1811, made 
a present of what then remained of the Corvey col- 
lection to the University of Marburg, not, according to 
Dr. Hermann, without exciting some displeasure on the 
part of Heyne of Gottingen, who made the Marburg 
men a little sore by expressing his wonder if any use 
could possibly be made of the books there ! 

Of the remnant of the Corvey Library as it was in 
the last century, we have a Catalogue, partly tran- 
scribed, partly drawn up by Dr. Hermann (and printed 
in the years 1838-1841). It is chiefly notable for 
a considerable series of works on physical science 
and on the scholastic philosophy. The theological 
works are also numerous, but there is Uttle of 
earUer date than the beginning of the fourteenth 
century. Amongst the works that possess excep- 
tional antiquity and interest is (1,) an ancient 
Latin Evangeliary^ written in uncials, on vellum, and 
richly illuminated; remarkable also for the elaborate 
carvings on its cover; (2,) A translation of the Gospels 
into German, partly of the eleventh and partly of the 
twelfth century (according to Hermann); (3,) A col- 
lection of the Letters of Pope Nicholas T., apparently 
of contemporaneous scription, or nearly so. There also 




[i CHAwtr n- ^PP63.r in this eighteenth-century Catalogue several 

V , Libraries OK iiigtorfcal works of Tecent date, which are of value for 

I THK German, ' 

5 Flemish, ^j^g ccclesiastical auuals of Germany. The one hundred 

I AND Swiss •^ 

I Benedictines. ^^^ j^q volumcs which are enumerated in the Cata- 

logue contain, it is probable, nearly five hundred sepa- 
rate works ; so large is the number of tract volumes in 
the collection. But of the whole 109 bound volumes, 

i ; only twenty-five reached Marburg, by the gift of the 

Westphalian government.^ 

Of the noble buildings of the Abbey, enough yet 
remains to make the princely family, which has its 
residence there, appear almost buried amidst them. 
But many generations must pass away before the 
memories of Corvey will cease to excite the curiosity 
of every traveller, having intelligence enough to know 
that even the darkest of the "Dark Ages" had their 
enlightened and heroic men, who left the world much 
the better that they had lived in it. 

Library of The Beiicdictine Abbey of Reichenau — finely seated 

(f. 734.) on an island hi that broad part of the Ehine which is 

rather lake than river — dates from the year 724, and 
appears to have possessed the beginnings of a Library 
at an early period in its annals. These, in the course 
of the ninth century, grew into a collection of con- 
I siderable importance, as is shewn by four several cata- 

j . logues, written between the years 820 and 850, all of 

,; ' which have been printed by Neugart.^ The first of 

1 Serapeum, iii. 99-110. 

2 EpiacopatuH ConUaHtiewtiH AlemamiioM, i. 536-544. (Vogel, in Sera- 
peum, Iii. 7.) 


them is a general list of the books wliich were contained cha™ n - 
in the Library in the year 822; the second and third librari«8of 

*/ J ^ THE German, 

are Usts of works transcribed under the rule of two ^^mish, 

AMD Swiss 

successive Abbots; the fourth is a catalogue of addi- b^kwctines. 
tions to the Library, acquired, during a period of fifty- 
five years, partly by transcription and partly by gift. , 
Among the more noticeable books included in these 
lists, are the historical works of Josephus, of Eusebius, 
of Orosius, of Jerome, of Cassiodorus, of Beda, of 
Gregory (of Tours); the Vita et gesta Caroli Imp. 
Augusti; five books Historiarum gentis Winilorum; a 
work entitled, Sex a mundi principio cetates usque hac- 
tenu^^ postea Karoli majoris domus Francorum, Pipini 
senioris acjilii ejtcsdem Karoli, et Pipini et Karle filiorum 
Karoli, deinde postquam Pipinus ad regem elevatus est, 
postea Karoli regis, deinceps gesta Hludoinci regis ac imp, 
ad extremum qucedam decreta adversantia. The chrono- 
logical and geograpliical works are numerous. Of the 
ancient poets we find Virgilii Georgicon libri iii., and 
jEneidos libti vi.; and of the Christian poets a long 
series, including Juvencus, Sedulius, Fortunatus, Dra- 
contius, and Aldhelm. Among the scientific and 
encyclopaedical authors are Pliny, Galen, Vegetius, 
Vitruvius, and Boethius ; and among the grammarians, 
Priscian, Oaper, and Isidorus. Lastly, may be men- 
tioned (in the class "Jurisprudence"), Lex Salica, Lex 
Alemannica, Lex Eipuuria, Lex Longohardica; and the 
Capituhxria Caroli Magni, Pipini, and Lvdovici} Of 

1 I abridge this enumeration from the able essay of Vogel, DU Bibliothek 
der Bened. AbUi Reichenau, founded on Schonhuth's Chrcnik des ehemaligen 
Klosters Reicheiiau: tin Beitrag zur Scktodbuichen Geschichte au8 handschr^ftl, 
QueUen dargeMiUU Freib. 1836, 8% (Serap. iii. 1-14). 


caJ^'k- ^^^ theological department — rich, as were all the great 
ot^^an' Benedictine Libraries, in Patristic works — it can scarcely 
!]S^'^ be necessary to speak in detail. 

BEHKDicriNEs. YoT about a centurj^ and a half the collection seems 
to have been both preserved and increased. But as in 
the year 1006 Eeichenau suffered severely by fire, that 
frequent and terrible foe of monastic possessions; so, 
for several successive generations, its Community fell 
into that too frequent slough of avarice, contention, and 
apathy, which have always, at intervals, been the foes, 
more destructive than fire, of the monastic virtues. 

Until nearly the middle of the fifteenth century, the 
chroniclers of Eeichenau have to tell of little more than 
its accelerating debasement. There is then a temporary 
gleam of prosperity, under the restoring and energetic 
rule of Frederick of Wartenberg, who was Abbot from 
1428 to 1453, and who signalized his government by 
great zeal and liberality towards the Library. But his 
successors did not emulate liis example. Internal and 
prolonged neglect had begun the work of dilapidation, 
long before the atrocities of the Thirty Years' War 
came to assist it. What has survived of this once 
famous collection is to be found, partly in the Uni- 
versity Library of Heidelberg, and partly in the Ducal 
Library of Carlsruhe.^ One solitary missal of the tenth 
century — in company with a ciborium, a cope, and a 

1 CaUdoguH lUfrorum Manw^riptorum quos Frulerictm ah Wartenberg Abbas 
a Dom. Marchwne (le Rotal, fralre Epuieopi Ottonin III, Episcopi Constantiemtis, 
emit, et in Bibliothecam Monasterii Atigiensia repasuU. (Zieoelbaueb : Hiatoria 
rcf lUerari<B Ordinut S, Benetlicti, i. 573; Schoniiuth: Chronik, ut sup., [as 
quotod by Vogd, Strap, iii. 11,] 256-258); Pbtzholdt: Handbfich deutacher 
Bibliotheke7i, 205. 




crozier — ^is still, I believe, shewn to the "Pilgnms of librabiebof 


the Khine" amidst the rums of Eeichenau.^ plkmim, 


At several points of their respective histories, there ^11,,^,^ 
are Unks of connection between Eeichenau and St. Gall, ff^aW82o.) 
of a closer sort than those which unite, more or less 
directly, so many of the Monasteries of mediaeval 
times. The fate of their Libraries, however, has been 
different. There remains very much of the old col- 
lection of St. Gall, to attract and to gratify the student 
of mediaeval literature. 

The Abbot Gozbert may be regarded as the founder 
of one of the few Libraries which can point in their 
annals to the celebration of a millennial jubilee. He 
ruled the Community from 816 to 836, and of his zeal 
for the Library it is recorded: . . Primus earn instruxit, 
neglectam antea ac prope nullum librorum usu habitam. 
... Of about four hundred volumes collected by this 
Abbot, a contemporary catalogue is still extant. It is 
also stated, that he set apart lor the books a room 
above the Scriptorium. The collection thus begun, 
grew rapidly, as well by remarkable industry in tran- 
scription, as by numerous gifts from successive Abbots, 
Monks, and pupils. 

The existing Library possesses a considerable series 

.1 precious Manuscripts written by Irish and Scottish 

Monks, in the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries. They 

include copies of The Gospels^ of great beauty; several 

of the works of Bed a; many tracts on ecclesiastical 

I Mukrat: Northern Germany (Uth Edit.), 555. 


cha^^'il- l^story; and some fragments of Liturgies of the ninth 
^%Q^^^ century. Of the scription and illumination of tlie 
Flemish, bibUcal aud liturgical books, a series of transcripts 

AMD Swiss 

was made (about the year 1835) for the late Mr. 
PuRTON-CoopER. The miniatures possess great value 
for the history of Art ; and may be seen in the appen- 
dices to his very valuable, although unfinished, ^ 
^^ Report on the Fcedera." 

Here, also, are two Eunic^ Alphabets, which Gustav 
Haenel has assigned to the ninth century; Wilhelm 
Grimm to the tenth.^ They are of special interest, as 
being of Anglo-Saxon origin. When first discovered, 
they were almost illegible, through age and neglect. 
The chemical ingenuity of Von Arx^ restored them to 

In the tenth century, the invasion of the Huns neces- 
sitated the hasty removal of the books to Eeichenau (as 
a place of comparative safety, on account of its insular 
position), whence they were not brought back without 
some losses. Even thus early, the Library of St. Gall 
could boast not only of Greek, but even of Hebrew 
MSS.; and it is hinted by the historian of the Com- 
munity, that some of these treasures so sorely tempted 
the brethren at Eeichenau to break at least the tenth 
commandment, as to lead to some mistakes of identity 

1 '* Barbara fraxineis pingata rhuna tabellis ; 

Quodque papyrus agit, virgula plana valet. " 

'Abnina" in early Oerman (corrupted by Tacitus, Oermania, c. viii., into 
'Aurinia") = witch, or female magician. 

2 Grimm: Ueber deutsche Rurwn (Goett. 1821), p. 126. 

3 Pbrtz: BeUeriy p. 462. 

Chapter II.— 
Libraries of 
THE German, 



when the books had to be returned; the number of ^^^'''' 

volumes being right enough, but their contents not in 

exact agreement with the original catalogue. I^sw^m 

Whatever may have been the extent of the injury 
thus occasioned, other and more grievous losses quickly 
followed. For a wliile they were compensated, in some 
degree, by increased activity in the Scriptorium, espe- 
cially under the rule of the Abbot Burchard II., at the 
commencement of the eleventh century, from which 
period are to be dated some of the most precious trea- 
sures which still adorn the Library of St. Gall. Nor 
was transcription the only form taken by the literary 
activity of the Monks in the best days of this famous 
fraternity. They translated many portions of Holy 
Scripture into vernacular dialects. Weidmann, its 
keeper and liistorian, regards the first four centuries 
of its annals (830—1200) as the golden; the fifth (1200 
— 1300) as the iron; and the sixth and part of the 
seventh (1300 — 1463) as the leaden eras. 

In the tliirteenth century the Community had enemies 
enough out of doors, but its worst foes were those of its 
own house. At that time the turbulence of its digni- 
taries was only equalled by their ignorance. Then 
came the famous Council of Constance, with its perilous 
levies on all the Monastic Libraries that were within 
reach; and in the case of St. Gall, it seems not im- 
probable that some of the volumes which it lost, went 
again towards the enrichment of its neighbours. The 
fifteenth century was marked by the memorable re- 
searches of POGGIO BrACCIOLINI. 



cnAi^'ir n.~ "^^^ amiable English biographer of Poggio has ob- 

HiTgTiI^aJ served, that "the expense occasioned by these literary 

Ind'hw^sU excursions was a hea\7' incumbrance" upon one "whose 

Benedictines, property could by uo uieaus bear any extraordinary 


But it seems liighly probable that, in this instance at 
all events, the compassion is a little misplaced. Poggio 
regarded Uterary researches in Monastic Libraries as a 
species of war, which ought, naturally, to be carried on 
at the enemy's cost. His countrymen have loudly cele- 
brated his "discovery" of Quintilian^ but they make no 
mention of the " two waggons " which (if we may trust 
the monkish chronicle) he had to procure, in order to 
carry off his spoils. The incident, and what it involves, 
if true, are of course much more discreditable to the 
Monks than to their visitor. But it gives a different 
colour to PoGGio's account of what he saw, as well as to 
Dr. Shepherd's compassionate and charitable allusion 
to the slenderness of liis resources. There is sufficient 
evidence that he knew how to turn his discoveries to 
profitable account, — in more senses than one. 
d^'iriosin Ii^ a letter addressed to Guarino Veronese (16th Dec, 
^toiS?^''' 1416), he narrates liis visit to St. Gall hi company with 
some friends. They found, he says, a large number of 
MSS., and among them a complete copy of Quintilian, 
"safe and sound, but l)uried in rul)l)isli and dust," in 
the lowest room or dungeon of a tower, " unfit even for 
the residence of condemned criminals." Besides Quin- 
tilian, they found there the first. three books and part of 
the fourth book of the '''' Ar(jo7iautics'' of Vai.erius 
Flaccus, and the Commentary of Asconius Pedianus on 



eight of Cicero's Orations.^ These are all that are^ '*^^*- 

c? Chaptek II. — 

specifically mentioned, but they were probably only a ^^^^J 
small portion of Poggio's windfalls. flemish, 

^ AND Swiss 

With the rule of Abbot Ulrich VIII. (1463-1491) a ^^^^<^^ 
period of renewed Uterary activity dawned upon St. 
Gall.2 It again acquired scholastic fame, and again 
suffered eclipse in the stormy times which followed. 
And it became especially notable for the possession of 
a considerable number of books and tracts in various 
vernacular dialects, both of Eomance and of Teutonic 
famiUes. Some of these may still be identified, and 
they combine linguistic with historic interest. 

The modern liistory of the Library of St. Gall be- 
longs to a subsequent section of these Memoirs, But it 
may here be added that its contents were officially 
reported in 1881 to include about 41,700 volumes of 
printed books, of wliich 1700 are incunabula; and 1800 
Manuscripts. It is made publicly accessible. There is 
a printed Catalogue of the Manuscripts and of the 

1 Poggio's letter is in the Wolfenbuttel Library, and it has been printed in 
Pof/giana (iii. 309), but I cannot now refer to it otherwise than as it is re- 
ported, at second hand, by Tiraboschi : **Trauna grandissima copia di libri 
die' egli che lungo sarebbe Tannoverare trovammo on Qnintiliano, ancor sano e 
salvo, ma pien di polvere e d'immondezza, perciocch^ eran que libri nella 
biblioteca non com' il loro onor richedeva, ma sepolti in una oscura e tetra 
prigione, cio6 nel fondo di una torre in cui non si getterebbon nemmeno idan- 
nati a morte. " — Tiraboschi : Storia del lUeratura Italiana, vi. 121. 

2 Weidmann: Oeschichte der BihliotJiek von St. Oallen, aus den QneUen 
henrheilett auf tntMendjc'lhrige Jul)elfeier. A good epitome of the history of this 
Library, founded on Weidmann's book, will be found in Serapeum^ iii 113. 

3 Tebdkr and Thomas: art ** Libraries," in Encyc. BriUanica, 9th Edit., 
xiv. 64 (1882). 




'jj _ The Library of the Abbey of Sponheim was probably 
toe^germaT founded in 1124, but acquired its chief celebrity under 
Flemish, ^.j^^ goveniment of Joliu Tritheim, who was Abbot from 

AND Swiss d ' 

BeKED.cT.KB. 1433 ^^ 1505^ and whose Chronicle of liis Community 
Library of is widely known, and hi its main substance well authen- 


(founded 1124). ticated. For about a century from the foundation, there 
are frequent records in the Chronicon Sponheimense of 
the care of the Superiors to collect books, and of the 
industry of the brethren in their transcription. But, as 
usual, tills period is followed by one of the opposite 
character, and of longer duration, in which the interests 
of literature, hi common with interests still more im- 
portant, were neglected. An incident that stands 
recorded of a certain Abbot Gobelin — nineteenth in 
succession — throws a gleam of Ught on the corruptions 
of this decadent period, and discloses to us the impunity 
with which a worthless monk, with a lawless baron at 
his back, could flout a general Council. This worthy 
not only preferred to live on the outside of his Monas- 
tery, but for purposes of liis own stripped it of its title 
deeds, and of many other MSS., refusing to restore them 
even at the demand of the Council of Basel. Thirty 
years after his death, some of the charters were re- 
covered from his castle, but the book MSS. had 
vanished. At this time (1469) the contents of the 
Library at Sponheim liad, it is said, dwindled to ten 
^^^!Sty Under circumstances Uke these, Abbot Tritheim, four- 
Trithd^''^ ^ teen years afterwards, began his regenerating labours. 
He had to struggle with a Community which, notwith- 
standing some new and purer blood, transfused into it 

Ohaptkr II.~ 
Libraries of 
THE German, 


from Mentz, was still ignorant and poverty stricken (in **^*^* 
a different sense from that of pristine monachism, for it 
was overburdened witli debt), althougli it may have ][^™w^m 
ceased to be openly dissolute. With the new Abbot, ^^^^^^^^ 
study was the prime necessity of life. His views as to 
the connection between the right cultivation of theo- 
logical science, and the ancillary pursuit of secular 
acquirements, were large and vigorous. The very 
embarrassments of the Community in respect of finance 
became a spur to the labours of the Scriptorium. If 
books could be rarely bought, they must be the more 
assiduously borrowed and transcribed. The new art of 
printing, too, was making rapid strides, and often 
enabled Tritheim to obtain precious but neglected 
manuscripts from other convents, in exchange for 
printed books of a more popular and current sort. In 
this way it sometimes chanced that he saved from im- 
minent risk of destruction choice codices, which are 
now among the prized treasures of our modern Libraries. 
Italy and Greece, as well as aU parts of Gennany, were 
laid under contribution, and scarcely any language then 
known to Uterature was unrepresented in the collection 
which Tritheim had at length amassed. 

From several passages in liis correspondence and ing^^j^'**"" 
liis Nepiachus^^ it appears that before his retirement the ^^"^'y- 
Sponheim Library contained — in place of the fourteen 
volumes he found there — more than two thousand 
volumes, of wliich the majority were MSS. Of Greek 

1 E. g. Ejnstolce familiares, 1. L 420; 502; I. il 508, 513; 548; 556; 659 
(Vogel, in Serapeum, iii 323), and Nepiachua, 1828. 


jj _ MSS. alone, there were upwards of an hundred. Un- 


xnro^RMA^' happily, no catalogue of the collection is now extant. 

r^rswl We know that in the year 1502 the Abbot himself 
benkdictinib. ^j^^gj.|.QQjj. ^^j^g preparation of one, which appears to 

have been classed according to languages, and to have 
comprised 1646 volumes. The contemporary allusions 
to the Library are numerous, and they sometimes 
mention specifically certain works which it contained. 
There is also a fragmentary list of some of the Greek 
codices, but it includes only forty of them in number.^ 
The early celebrity of the Sponheim collection was 
probably enhanced by its reverses. In 1504, when 
William of Hesse carried fire and sword through the 
Palatinate, it had to be hastily removed to Creuznach, 
and scarcely had the restoration of peace permitted its 
return, when internal discord and disafiection towards 
the Abbot began to arise in the Community for which 
he had laboured so assiduously, and were fanned into a 
flame by the ambitious projects of some of its members. 
Illness, and the temporary absence it had occasioned, 
rendered Tritheim less able to cope with his rebellious 
Monks; and eventually he determined to resign his 
dignity, and retire to a small Abbey at WUrzburg. 
This retirement took place in 1506, and lasted until 
Triiheim's death, ten years afterwards.^ To his dying 

1 Busaeas has printed it in the Paralipomena Opusculorum Petri BUsensia 
ei Jo. Triihemii aliorumque, nuper in iypographeo Moguntino edUorum a Jo, 
Buaoeo, 777-794. 

2 How severely these mortifications were felt is abundantly shewn in his 
published correspondence. At one time he is so depressed in mind as to con- 
temn what in his better days had been his glory: — " Magno fateor bibliothecfe 
quondam tenebar amore," he wrote to Johann Bracht, "et cunctiB mundi 


I'AllT 1. 

Chapter II.— 

(lay, in spite of all mortifications and temporary dis- 
couragements, he continued to be really a book-lover ^l^^l"^^ 
and a student. Large and diversified as is the Ust of his J^i'^"^""^ 
published writings, several still remain inedited, and ^"^^^^^^^ 
some have perished. At one time unduly praised, his 
books have since, perhaps, been as unduly depreciated. 
Several of them will yet repay perusal. 

The Library of the famous Abbey of Einsiedeln is einsiedelk. 
probably, in a sense, coeval with the Monastery itself, 
which dates from the tenth century. Of the foundation 
of the Abbey there is a legend of a saintly vigil, when 
the site was about to be chosen, which much resembles 
that told of the Abbey of Westminster. The treasures 
of hterature acquired in its early days were soon de- 
stroyed, or scattered, by calamities — then so frequent — 
of fire and sword. It shared, afterwards, in the usual 
vicissitudes of restoration, of renewed losses, of occa- 
sional neglect, and of new revival. It survived the 
troubles of the Eeformation era, and became the prime 
object of love and care to many successive and worthy 
Abbots. It received, at intervals, several important 
integral collections, sometimes by gift ; more frequently, 
by purchase. During the eighteenth century a new 
building was erected for the reception of the Library. 
Einsiedeln long possessed a printing-press, wliich sent 
forth valuable works, and became, in its day, a worthy 

opibua libros meos anteferebam, sed posteaquam rerum mutationem perpendi 
adesse meanun, omnia quaa prius amaveram stercoris sestiinatione contempsi, 
animoque imperavi meO| nihil pneter so ipeum deincepB auum credere, et quae 
in morte necessario esset relictums, multo magis vivens in came disceret non 
amare," etc.— Epint. f am., 1. ii. 513, 614. (Vogel, in Serapeum, iii 325.) 



CHAi^ErL- substitute as a literary centre for the Scriptorium of 

^Ta^7 63,rlier times. Its commercial profits were applied, 

I^'swiM f^om time to time, to feed tlie Library with new books. 

BENEDICTINK8. g^j- |.jjg sourcc of iiicomc ceased towards the close 

of the last century. 

At a date comparatively early, the Library of Einsie- 
deln became famous for the possession of liistorical 
manuscripts of value. Gerbert,^ Mabillon,^ Hirs- 
CHiNG,^ and others, have recorded their successive visits 
in later times, and have mentioned MSS. well worthy of 
being printed. At the date of Haenel's visit, some of 
the choicest were kept apart from the Library, in the 
abbatial archives, and he did not see them.^ But he 
mentions others which he inspected, and some of which 
dated from the eighth century. 

About the year 1840, the Library here was counted. 
It was found to contain about 20,900 volumes of 
printed books, and 840 volumes of manuscripts, of 
which latter a considerable number were of the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries. Of early printed books 
— reckoning them within Panzer's well-known Umits 
for "cradle books" of the Press — there were about 
nine hundred volumes.^ Shortly after this counting, a 

1 "In magna manuscriptorom copia qusedam sunt inedita." — Gerbert: 
Iter AlemanniciMn, p. 69; cf. Id., p. 72. 

2 <<In bibliotheca multi sunt exquisiti codices." — Mil billon: Iter Oer- 
manicum, printed in Vetera Analecta, p. 5. 

3 "Die Bibliothek daselbst is reich an wictigen alten Handschriften." — 
HiRSCHiNO: SehensioUrdigen Biblioiheken Teutschlands, ivr. Bd., 87. 

4 "Monasterii archivum, in quo permagnus vetustarum membranamm 
numerus . . . servari dicitur, inspicere non potuL" — Haenel: CcUcUogi 
librorum manuacriptorum, &c., p. 660. 

5 Serapeum, iiir- Bd., 351, 352. 



considerable accession of printed books, cliiefly on 
historical subjects, was obtained at the sale of the 
library of the historian Hurteu. In 1881 the number 
of printed volumes was officially reported as about 
40,000, and that of Manuscripts 1200.^ The collection 
is made Uberally accessible for hterary purposes. 

Dr. Petzholdt has printed an interesting document, 
of February, 1332, which records the gift, at that date, 
of ten volumes containing seventeen several works, 
liistorical and chronological; among them the Cronica 
Martini Poloni,^ 

It is still, or until a very recent date it was still, the 
practice at Ehisiedeln, to follow the laudable old 
monastic fasliion of having a reader at dinner-time. 
EngUsh travellers have sometimes Ustened to the read- 
ing, on such occasions, of translations of the works of 
LiNGARD and of the one liistorical work of William 
Cobbett.'^ That book is certainly a most narrow and 
one-sided liistory of the destruction of our Enghsh 
Monasteries, but it embodies, amidst many bitter 
prejudices, not a httle of memorable and too-Uttle 
remembered truth. 


Chaiter I.— 


THK German, 
AN'D Swiss 

1 Tkddkr and Thomas, in Eticyc. Brit,, vt supra. 

2 Petzholdt: Ilandbuch, &c., 419-431. 

3 Handbook for Switzerland (7th Edit), p. 212. 





TuE Libraries of tue IXiVLiAN and Frencu 

Libri, ot maximo AugiiHtiuioni, ut nosti, Hpud noe auro predoHores 
sunt.— Peter of Cluony, Epistlos (BUfliotJuca CluniacentUf p. S65). 

Standing upon the accumulated labours of ages, wo aro apt to bo 
ungnitoful to those who, with weary labour, and often working 
throtigh dark and dreary nights, built up the plutfonn which now 
supiKtrts us. Wo complaiu impatiently of the blindness of many a 
niiw without whom we should not have seen ; and of the inoomj>ltite- 
noHs of many a man's doctrine, who wiis only incomplete because he 
wiis still engaged in searching for some truth which, when found, he 
handed on as a precious heirloom to us who know him not. 

— KiNOSLET : Prtjajcc to the Sermons qf Taulorus, p. xxxiii. 

**'Il€rtif Man nun't }>urdy lives, leu oft doth fall, 
More jrrotnptljf rises, valks with stricUr tued. 
More safely rests, dies ha^qtier, isfntd 
Earlier from cleansing Jires, and gains withal 
A brighter Croicn.* On yon Gistertiau wall 
Tliat confident assurance may bo road. . . . 

The potent call 

Doubtless shall cheat full oft the heart's desires; 

Yet while the rugged Age on pliant knee 

Vows to rapt Fancy humble fealty, 

A gentler life spreads round the holy spires; 

Where'er they rise, the sylvan wiisto retires, 

And aery harvests crown the fertile lea."— Wokwiworth. 

Monte Cassino was the cradle of a group of Monastic 
Communities, whence issued an illustrious band of 
missionaries, both of Eehgion and of Literary Culture, ''^*^' 

whose labours were destined to bear rich fruit over all ^h^^auaT 
Europe. The Benedictine code wliich was thence pro- b^^^ctinL 
mulgated was an elevating, a civiUsing, and a uniting 
code, given amidst wide-spread debasement, ignorance, 
and strife. It struck at the root of that idle, dreamy life 
of mere contemplation, which had been so long the canker 



ri . tuT^auaT di^tine was not merely to pray, to meditate, and to 


PARTI, ^and the opprobrium of Eastern monacliism. The Bene- 


TUK Italian 
AND French 

AND French ^dore. He was to dig, to SOW, to plant, to build, to 

r • write ; to pacify those who were in conflict ; to shelter 

/ the oppressed; to offer sanctuary to the penitent; he 

f ■ was to render to God that most acceptable of all wor- 

^ ship, if offered in the spirit of Christian humility, the 

worsliip of conscientious, prayerful, and unselfish labour. 
What, in the course of successive generations, the 
great Benedictine Community — regarded collectively — 
was enabled to acliieve hi one department of its activi- 
. i • ties, — that, namely, of the keepership of Literature, 

if the expression be a permissible one, — has been 

glanced at, as respects Britain and Germany, wliicli, 

'^^ ' though in this particular neither first nor greatest, he 

I r nearest home. The retrospect turns now towards 

^ j/ .' Italy, the birthplace, and France, the most fruitful 

f' ] seed-plot, of the Benedictine Order. 

; !" Of the Founder's biography, it is enough to say in the 

V pithy words of St. Gregory : " If you seek an epitome of 

j the Ufe of St. Benedict, read liis Eule." Monte Cassino 

^, . had more than its share of the vicissitudes of that 

i ' troubled time. Monks who had seen their illustri- 

I , ous Founder carried to liis grave, Uved to see their 

I ' Monastery ruined by the Lombards. It was in the 

I : restored edifice that the first collection of books was 

\\ slowly gathered, to be for the most part laid waste by 

the Saracens in 884. What was saved, by removal, of 
these early treasures, was almost entirely destroyed by 
fire twenty years afterwards. 

When the Monastery was again rebuilt, it entered on 


a new series of changes and calamities, — in the course of ^^^^ '• 

O ' Chapter III.— 

which earthquake added its rava^fes to those of fire and libraries of 

'■ " THE French 

sword, — but the Library^ continued to make proOTess and Italian 

*' X o Benkdictineh. 

tlirough them all. In the eleventh century the Monks 
of Monte Cassino became famous for the industry with Lib^of 
which they transcribed, not only the theological and ''" ^"*** 
ecclesiastical MSS. they had amassed, but also Homer, 
Virgil, Horace, Terence; the Idyls of Theocritus; the 
Fasti of Ovid; and not a few of the historians of 
Greece and Eome. The copies thus made were widely 

A circumstance which adds special interest to the v*«**»°' 

i mon to t 



Story of the Community, is the number and celebrity of M<?^i?^^ino 
the men who in various ages have visited it, and have 
recorded their impressions of what they saw. Some 
brief notice of those visits will serve to shew both sides 
of the shield. At Monte Cassino, as elsewhere, the 
learned and laborious monk of one generation was 
followed by the faithless guardian, the stupid mutilator, 
and the criminal purloiner, of another. 

Boccaccio's visit appears to have occurred about ]^^^°^" ^^^ 
1360, and has been narrated by his disciple Bknvenuto ^^^"^^^^J^ 
da Imola, from his dictation: Volo ad clariorem 
intellvjentiam hujus littera^ referre illud^ qtiod narrahat 
mihi jocose iienerabilis prceceptor metis Boccadus de 
Certaldo. Dicebat enim^ quod cum esset in Apulia^ 
captusfama loci^ accessit ad nobile monasterium Montis 
Cassini, de quo dictum est. Et avidu^s videndi libra- 
riam^ quam audiverat ibi esse nobilissimam, petivit ab 
uno monacho humiliter, velut ille qui suavissimus erat^ 



Chaptek III.— 


THE Italian 
ant) fuenoii 

^qitod deferat ex gratia sihi apeinre hihliothecam. At 
ille rigide respondit^ ostendens sibi altam scalam: As- 
cemle^ quia anerta est. Ille Uetiis ascend ens ^ invenit 
lonim tanti thesanri^ sine ostio vel dm% ingressiusqrte 
vidit herbam natam per fenestras^ et libros omnes cum 
bands coopertis pidvere alio, Et mirabundns cwpit 
aperire nunc istum librum^ nunc illum^ invenitque ibi 
midta et inria volumina antiqiKwum et peregrinorum 
librorum. Ex quorum aliquibus erant detracti aliqui 
quinterni^ ex aliis recisi margines chartarum^ et sic 
nmltipliciter deformati. Tandem miseratus^ kibores et 
studia tot inclytorum ingeniorum devenisse ad manus 
perditissimortcni hominum^ dolens et illacrymans re- 
cessit. Et occurrens in chiustro^ petiint a monacho 
obvio^ qiuire libri illi pretiosissimi essent ita iurpiter 
detruncati. Qui respondit^ quod aliqui m,onachi vo- 
lentes hicrari duos^ vel quinque solidos^ radebant unum 
quaterfium^ et faciebant psalteriohs^ quos vendebant 
ptieris^ et ita de marginibus faciebant brevia^ qoe vende- 
bant mulieribus. Nunc ergo^ o ? w stmiiose^ frango tibi 
caput pro faciendo libros } 

Witli all due grains of allowance for the Decanieroniaii 
vein so clearly traceable in this anecdote, and in tlie 
appended moral, there is doubtless substantial truth in 
it, which, if need were, might be supported by corrobo- 
rative testimony. But the dawn of a better day was not 

Towards the close of the sixteenth century, Tasso 
spent the last Christmas of his life at Monte Cassino, 

1 La Commedia di Dante, commentaia da B. da Imola (Parad. xii. 74) note. 


but Ilis thoughts were then busy with higher themes cb^^h iil- 
than those of Uterature, and he probably passed more ^l^^^^^^"" 
of his time in the subterranean chapel in wliich the ^J^^^rnKs. 
remains of St. Benedict are supposed to rest, than in 
the twice-restored Library. About a century later 
occurred the visits of Mabillon and his companions of 
the Congregation of St. Maur. 

In one of the frank and gossiping letters addressed ^^j^*^®^ 
by Dom Michel Germain to his friends at home, there ^tT mo^ 
is an amusing account of this visit. After praising the ^^onlnd 
excellent supper at the Abbot's house, wliich had made ti^^^^g'i'^Mtur 
amends for the too lenten fare they had met with on 
their journey, the good Benedictine then proceeds: "The 
next morning we went up the holy mountain on foot, 
by a road wliich in its windings runs for tliree miles 
before one reaches the Monastery. Figure to yourself a 
terrace, whereon stands a castle, the length of which is 
greater than its depth, and in the midst a very beautiful 
and symmetrical church. The buildings are substantial 
and, in spite of their position on the mountain, very 
lofty; with nothing of magnificence about them save 
that derived from the extent of frontage, and the regu- 
larity of the long range of windows ; ... all the cham- 
bers are vaulted, as well as the offices and outbuildings; 
and this is the usual practice in the Congregation of 
Monte Cassino, which has a right to pride itself on its 
abiUty to teach us the art of building wisely, substan- 
tially, and pleasingly The Library is newly 

restored. Printed books and MSS. are bound alike, but 
the former are not of much note. Nor are there more 
than five hundred MSS. These were put entirely at 


^^^"^^^ j-j J _ our disposal (dont nous avons etc les maitres). Some 
toeTtalTan'' Cardinals have carried off the best. Of those thus re- 
AND French ^qi^^j some Were shewn to us in the Vatican!' 

Benedictines. ' 

Dom Michel goes on to express his regret that Baluze 
should have blamed the Monks of Cassino so severely as 
he had done (in liis Nova Collectio Conciliorum)^ for 
withholding a certain MS. relating to the Council of 
Ephesus. This volume "was borrowed a long time ago 
by a certain Cardinal, who would not return it. One 
cannot doubt/' he adds, " that the borrower was Car- 
dinal Casanata, who, far from writing on M. Baluze's 
behalf, as the latter had hoped he would do, kept tlie 
cat in the bag so cleverly, that the worthy Fathers, 
whatever their good will, could be of no service in the 
affair. But be sure you caution M. Baluze against 
writing to Eome about it, since not only would it be of 
no avail, but might obstruct the success of other at- 
tempts to get sight of the MS. The Italians have not 
entrusted this work to a man devoted to the Holy See, 
in order that he may hand it to a Frenchman, already 
known to be a Uttle predisposed against some of their 
pretensions. The best plan is not to say a word. With 
God's help, by hook or by crook, sooner or later, we 
shall get hold of it ; or if not we, our friends who stay 
at Rome. But M. Baluze — to whom I beg my humble 
respects — should take an opportunity of doing justice 
to the Fathers of Monte Cassino, who are really very 
worthy fellows, much more learned and clever than we 
fancied before we had seen them." 

He then praises the exercises, the discipline, and the 
worsliip of the Community, and proceeds: " I return to 


the Library. We have found some good things, and ^^^^' 'j^j _ 
have filled two or three quires of paper. . . . Admission J^^^^^Tan' 
to the muniment-room has been offered us, and we b'^^^^,^ 
mean to profit by it. Besides the deeds, it contains 
some fine MSS,j tvhich are concealed thei^e for fear lest 
the Seculars should take it into their heads to ask for them 
so pressingly as to preclude refusal} 

Despite of perils so numerous and so diversified, and 
after all the vicissitudes of twelve centuries, Monte 
Cassino can yet boast of the possession of an extensive 
series of Manuscripts, mostly of the eleventh and 
.twelfth centuries, . . . and of a wonderful collection of 

charters and records, including an hundred 

diplomas and papal bulls, beginning with the year 744.2 

Thirty-five years ago, the collection was officially 
visited by Messrs. Eenan and Daremberg, at the ^ro^f ^;ian, 
instance of the French Ministry of PubUc Instruction, ^^^' 
and in his Eeport of July, 1850, M. Eenan writes 

thus: "Tliis noble Abbey 

would have sufficed to console us for the inhospi- 
tality and the disappointments which were awaiting us 
at Naples. The eight days which we passed in its ar- 
chives, amidst the kindest attentions, have been perhaps 
the best employed days of our journey, and the most 
fruitful of good results. The discovery which I prize 
most highly is that of some unpubhshed pages of 
Abelard. According to the Catalogue, the volume 

1 Carrespondance irUdiU de Alabillon et de Montfaucon avec Pltalie, &o., 
i. 169172. 

2 CuRZOK : Notices of Italian Libraries^ privately printed in the MiaceUa- 
nies of the Philobiblon Society, vol. 1 (1855). 



CB^'J^'^'iii.. numbered 174 contained the Enchiridion^ the Retracta- 
to^lTaS' ^iones, three books of Theologia Christiana^ by St. 
^^^^^ Augustine; and the Sic et non of Abelakd. The 
authors of the Catalogue had jioted that a ' Christian 
Theology' ascribed to Saint Augustine must needs be 
apocryphal. At the first glance, I imagined that the 
work must be the Theologia Christiana of Abelard, and 
the conjecture was amply verified, when I compared 
the MS. with the text published by Martene and 
DuRAND, in the fifth volume of the Thesaurus Novus 
Anecdotorum. Besides, this work did not consist of 
three books only, as indicated in the Catalogue, but,, 
like the pubUshed text, of Jive books ; except that in- 
stead of the titles of the fourth and fifth, there were 
blanks left for rubrication, ..... and that the fifth 
book contained important variations and additions, 
amounting to five or six pages of enlargement of the 

Benedictine text It will serve also to complete 

the text of that important work in the fine edition of 
M. Cousin, whose judicious counsels had repeatedly 
drawn my attention to Abelard, before I set out." 

M. Eenan proceeds to state that he had also collated 
the Sic et non^ and that although he knew already, from 
Cousin, the fact that extensive varieties existed amongst 
the several MSS., he was nevertheless surprised at the 
amount of those which the Monte Cassino codex pre- 
sented ; and he then continues : 

" The Arcliives contain a large number of MS. works 
of the celebrated pliilosopher Cremonini, some of which 
are unpubhshed; and amongst them an inaugural lec- 
ture on the text Mundus nunqaam est; nascitur semper et 


moritvx^ and two letters, — the one from the Inquisition q^J^ \^^_ 
of Padua to Cremonini, calling upon him to retract his ]^^^^^^j^ 
errors; the other, Cremonini's reply, containing a dis- ^^^^^^^ 
tinct refusal to do so, couched in terms of remarkable 
boldness. Another manuscript which possessed great 
interest for me, on account of its bearings on the me- 
diaeval study of Greek, is a Psalter of the twelfth 
century, written in five volumes, the first of them con- 
taining the Greek text, transcribed in Latin characters. 
.... The collection, too, contains many other docu- 
ments of value for the history of the Greek language in 
the West, especially during the Carlovingian period." ^ 

These Archives are very rich in materials for the 
liistory of Apulia, of Calabria, and of Naples. They 
filled tlu-ee rooms, when seen recently by Eenan ; and if 
it be borne in mind where, up to that time, they had 
been preserved; what events and revolutions their cus- 
todians had witnessed ; what perils and casualties they 
have survived ; they may well be termed a wonderful 
collection of the muniments of Histor)\ 

The most ancient MS. now at Monte Cassino is (ac- 
cording to M. Valery) Origen's Commentary on St. 
PauVs Epistle to the Romxins^ of the year 569. It con- 
tains this curious inscription : Donatvs gratid Dei pres- 
byter^ proprium codiceus Justino Attgusto tertio post 
consulaticm ejus in cedihus B. Petri in Castello LucuUano 
[which occupied the site of Castello delV Uovo'] injirmus 
legi^ legi^ legi. The oldest diploma is one of Ajo, prince 
of Benevento, bearing date 884, and beginning thus: 

1 Archives des MisswM Sdentifiques et LUUraires, L 384-387. 


CHA^'nL-4/^ i?ei providentid Longohardorum gentis princeps} 

i^Tj^jl' The series of Longobardic charters is especially curious 

E^^^^w. ^^^ ^^^ miniatures, as is that of Papal Bulls for the 

extraordinary privileges conferred on Monte Cassino, — 

privileges "of such a nature," says Montfaucon, "that 

the like have scarce ever been granted to Monks." ^ 

There is a Virgil^ transcribed (in the fourteenth cen- 
tury) in the Longobardic character, from a precious 
MS. of the tenth century; a Dante^ of the thirteenth 
century; the Hours of the B. Virgin, with charming 
miniatures, of special interest for the History of Orna- 
mentation, which were painted, in 1469, by Bartolommeo 
Fabio di GandaUo. Here, too, is an extensive collection 
of the MS. Correspondence of the great French and 
Italian Benedictines and Historiographers of the seven- 
teenth century, Mabillon, Muratori, and Montfaucon. 
The book-manuscripts are now (1884) about nine 
hundred in number. The printed volumes amount to 
more than thirty-nine thousand, and include a fine series 
of incunabula. The marvellous series of charters is 
said to number nearly thirty thousand several docu- 
ments. In its kind, it is unrivalled. And access is 
liberally accorded to students. 

M^^^dt" ^ ^^^ Italian Diary of the illustrious Benedictine 
tte^iSSliSry) ^^^ named, there is an interesting letter which contains 
an account and catalogue of the Library of the Monas- 
tery of Pomposia, as it was in the eleventh century. 
This document was found in the Library of the Duke of 

1 Valeey: Voycigea hi^oriques, etc., tU euprcL, L xiv. c. 12. 

2 Montfaucon : Diarium ItaUcum^ o. xxii 


Chapter in.— 
Libraries or 
TKK Italian 


M0DENA5 and was communicated to Montfaucon by 
FoNTANiNi. Its writer was a priest, Henry by name, of 
whom little more is known than that he had been in SlS^^s. 
early Ufe the disciple of Jerome, an Abbot of Pomposia, 
who had first made it famous for the activity of its 
Scriptorium, and the rapid growth of its Library. 

In Patristic Literature, Pomposia seems to have been 
rich beyond all contemporary example. Of works and 
tracts by St. Augustine it possessed about a hundred 
and thirty, besides a large collection of his Epistles^ and 
of letters sent to him; of Jerome, about forty; of St. 
Ambrose, also about forty; of St. John Chrysostom, 
and of Cyprian, a considerable series of books. 

In liistory, ancient and mediaeval, are to be noted 
Ten Books of Livy; Justin's Epitome of Trogus Pom- 
peius; the Chronicle of Eegino; a Clironicle of the 
Popes; 3Xi Historia Africana; aji Historia Alexandrina ; 
an Historia illitstrium virorum; with some minor pieces 
on Ecclesiastical aimals. In mentioning Livy, Henricus 
Clericus is careful to note the anxiety with which his 
master, Abbot Jerome, had sought for the missing 

Of miscellaneous classic authors the most notable are 
Pliny and Seneca. And here the writer anticipates an 
expression of curiosity from his eleventh-century cor- 
respondent: why is a devout Christian Abbot so careful 
to collect Heathen writers, as opportunity offers. " Ee- 
member," says Henry to Stephen, "the words of the holy 
Apostle : ' There are vessels of clay, as well as vessels 
of gold.* Books are destined to allure and to cultivate 
the tastes of all men. And we have," he adds, " more 


chawkb' III.- ^^g^st sanction still. It is our Blessed Lord who hath 
TOB^L*^' ^^^' '-'^ ^y Father's H(mse there are many mansions' 
to^'^^^ These Pagan writers, in their measure, strive to inspire 
us with contempt (in comparison) of the things that are 
of this world only; of the greatness that is merely 
secular. Let the books of Pagans and of Christians 
rest together in peace." Such is his closing reflection. 
"And may the learned Abbot of Pomposia pursue to 
the end his endeavours that books may abound; may 
be preserved for the use of Posterity; may be carefully 
recorded in Catalogues for the service of the times to 

To make even a tolerable approximation towards a 
fair and adequate* account of the Libraries of the great 
Monasteries of Italy, would require much wider limits 
than it is at all practicable to assign to that subject 
here. The reader who desires to pursue it will find 
much information well brought together in the Iter 
Italicum of Blume ; and in consulting that work, would 
do wisely to refer to the careful and valuable supple- 
ments to it which VoGEL contributed to the Serapeum 
at various times. 

Mo^^S"* The great Benedictine Abbey of Fleury (St. Benoit- 
o^Zyi. ^^^ sur-Loire^ held high rank amongst the Monasteries of 
France, and its foundation dated from the 'middle of 
the seventh century. Within two centuries of that 
foundation it had already attained eminence as a 
school of learning. Like aU similar institutions, it had 

.1 J- ^^ . ' JL 


its share in the troubles and losses of that disturbed ^^^^^'''^^ 
period. But it continued^ — after intervals of depression ^^^^^' 
— to thrive and to attract both masters and scholars, ^^^m. 
even from distant lands. According to certain authori- 
ties, it could boast at one time more than five thousand 

There is still extant a Catalogue of the Fleury 
Library, drawn up towards the close of the tenth cen- 
tury. It comprises a hundred and fourteen manu- 
scripts, of which a large proportion are of the Latin 
classical authors. This Catalogue is now in the Town 
Library of Berne. 

Some of the historians or chroniclers of Fleury go on 
to say, that " every student was bound to deposit two 
copies of some work, ancient or modern, in its Library," 
and if so, we can easily conceive that the Community 
must have possessed, even at an early period of its his- 
tory, an extensive collection. But it will be safer to 
conclude, with the learned authors of the Histoire lit- 
Uraire de la France^ that, "without having recourse to 
an assertion which it would be diflScult to vouch for, the 
various departments of literature that we know to have 
been then cultivated at Fleury, and the number of early 
MSS. which survived to later times, are suflScient to 
shew that its Library was well furnished." ^ 

The first salient fact about the Library of Fleury for 

1 Hklyot: Histoire des ordres manastiques, v. 95. 

2 Histoire LitUraire, ut supra, vL 35. In Vogel's opinion (an opinion 
eminently entitled to respect, as that of an indefatigable labourer in this field 
of research,) the implied doubt is superflaoos. The assertion he thinks to be, 
on the face of it, probable and in accordance with known analogy, and he 
instances the case of Corvey, elsewhere noticed. {Die Bibliothek der Bene- 
dictinercUftei Saint Benoil, oder Fleury an der Loire; Serapeum, v. 17-29; 46-49.) 



0^^' jji_ which there is conclusive testimony, seems to be the 
rariTxlTAr 1^^ ^^ ^ ^^^» expressly for its support, on the officers 
to^^?E8.and on the dependant Priories of the Abbey. This im- 
post was originally laid, according to the statement of 
M. CuissARD,^ by the Abbot Simon, in July, 1103. It 
was confirmed and extended by Abbot Macarius in the 
year 1146.^ 

According to Marchand, this enactment of the 
Abbots Simon and Macarius continued in force until 
the year 1562. Several similar regulations for the 
support of the Libraries of French Monasteries are 
on record; as, for instance, in the cases of the Abbey 
of St. Peter at Chartres, and of the Convent of the 
Holy Trinity at Vendome, both of which occur in the 
same century. 

Under the Abbot John, who governed Fleury from 
1235 to 1248, there was much activity in the tran- 
scription of MSS., both in its own Scriptorium, and 
by means of literary missions to other Monasteries. 
Some of the volumes which were written at this 
period may now be seen in the Town Library of 
Orleans, together with a few of later date. But, here 
as elsewhere, a time of relaxed discipline, corrupt man- 
ners, and conspicuous mis-government, prophesied of 
the storm that was approaching. Li the fifteenth cen- 
tury the good monks of Fleury, like their brethren of 

1 CuissARD : InverUaire des Manuacrita de la BibliatfUque (TOrUans; Fonds 
dt Fleury {Orliaru, 1885, 8vo.), p. xvi The MS. authority to which M. 
Oaissard refers is now in the Orleans Town Library, " No. 394 bia," 

2 Bibliotheca FloriacenaiSt L 409-411; as quoted by Vogel, ut supra^ 23-25. 
Helyot {Hist, des ord. mon,, v, 94) refers to this document as of the fourteenth 
century, — misled, as it would seem, by an error of the transcriber. 



St. Gall, had their worst enemies at home. In the six- ^ha^^ in.- 
teenth came the inevitable retribution, by the rude J'^^^tTl'^' 
hands and sharp swords of the Huguenots. Bto^^CTwa. 

The district around Fleury became one of the chief 

^ Devastation of 

theatres of that fierce strife. Some of Condi's troopers Fieurybythe 


tlirew themselves upon the Monastery, plundered it of 
almost everything that was saleable, and destroyed 
much of what they could not remove. The unfortu- 
nate Library suffered almost total dispersion. Many of 
the MSS. were purchased from the soldiers by Pierre 
Daniel, an Advocate of Orleans, and Assessor of the 
Abbey; some were destroyed; some again remained 
amidst the ruins for nearly a quarter of a century, 
when they were found by De Bois, the editor of the 
Bibliotheca Floriacensis. 

The MSS. of Daniel were jointly purchased in 1603 
by Jacques de Bongars (the friend and Councillor of 
Henry IV.) and Paul Petau. The portion wliich fell to subaoquent 

fortunea of the 

the share of the latter came eventually (and by purchase) mss. that were 
to Christina, Queen of Sweden, and is now partly in 
the Vatican, and partly in the Town Library of Geneva. 
Bongars' share was bequeathed to Gravisset, a native 
of Strasburgh. These passed eventually to. the Town 
Library of Berne. They are more than four hundred 
in number. 

Pierre Daniel had not retahied in liis own possession 
all the Fleury Manuscripts which he had purchased. 
He returned a portion of them to the Monastery after 
its restoration. But he kept the most valuable. Paul 
Petau, also, returned to the Community two or three of 

THE Italian 


CHA^^r III.- ^^^ Manuscripts he had acquired. Of the great col- 
TOB*!^^' lection which he sold to Queen Christina, a few 
ahdprwoh volumes, it appears, remained at Stockholm. The 
Bibliotheca Petaviana of the Vatican — mainly derived 
from Fleury — ^is said to contain more than sixteen hun- 
dred manuscripts. 

The Benedictines of Fleury made many efforts to 
increase the small remnant which remained to them of 
their once noble Library. In the year 1658 they 
erected a new library-building. In 1720 a Catalogue 
was made, by Dom Chazal, wliich comprised two hun- 
dred and sixty-six manuscripts. Soon afterwards they 
were called upon to send some of the choicest of these 
survivors to the Abbey of St. Germain-des-Pres in 
Paris, for the use of the Editors of the new Benedictine 
Edition of the Greek and Latin Fathers. Some of the 
volumes so contributed remained at Paris, and are now 
in the National Library. 

The manuscripts still at Fleury were, when the Eevo- 
lutionary confiscation came, about two hundred and 
thirty in number. By the exertions of the Abb6 Carre, 
in his capacity as "Archivist of the District of Orleans," 
they were preserved from injury; were safely trans- 
ferred, for a time, to Gien, and became part of the 
Town Library of Orleans, on the foundation of that 
institution, in the year 1807. They were catalogued in 
the year 1820 by Septier, the then Town Librarian. 
But they sustained serious loss under the "inspector- 
ship" of LiBRi, in 1842. "Ltori," writes M. Leopold 


Delisle, "put to pillage the Orleans Library. He stole ^ 


' GnAFTEii ni.— 

many choice manuscripts, and in their place inserted J^^Yta'ua^' 

volumes of little value (plus ou mains insignifiants). 
He mutilated a still larger number, from which he 
took portions that were capable of being made to 
look like complete MSS. I have found in the ' libri 
Collection' [of the Manuscripts lately at Ashburnham ; 
purchased in 1883 for the National Library of Italy;] 
a score of articles formed at the expense of the col- 
lections belonging to the City of Orleans." ^ 

In spite of these enormous losses, by the ravages of 
the Huguenot soldiers, and by spoliators such as Libri, 
the small remnant of the Fleury MSS. includes many 
volumes of great value and beauty. The whole sub- 
sisting collection has been ably catalogued by M. 
Cuissard in 1885.2 Salient among the more precious 
volumes are (1,) -^ Sacramentarium^ on vellum, of the 
eleventh century. It came from our English Abbey of 
Eamsey in Huntingdonshire. (2,) Portions of the Iloly 
Bible J with illuminated initial letters of great beauty: 
of the thirteenth century; — (3,) Eusebii Csesariensis 
Ecclesiastica Ilistoria^ ... in Latinum versa, of the 
tenth century;-— (4,) Usuardi Martyrologium, of the 
ninth century. 

There are also almost innumerable portions of choice 
Patristic Manuscripts, from the seventh century to the 
tenth, which were partially destroyed by the Huguenots, 

1 Delisle: Notice sur plusieurs MSS. de la Biblioth^que (TOrUaru. 

2 Cuissard: Inventairtt d;c, ut supra. 




CHAi^Kr ni-^^^ of which the remains were recovered and carefully 
i^Xrr arranged. 



How extensive — in many parts of France and Flan- 


Mart^neand ders — those Tavagcs of the Huguenots were, is shewn 

others of fyonch 

ondpicmiah vciy Strikingly in the literary travels of Martene, 


Libraries Mabillon, Euinart, and other eminent Benedictines of 


the Congregation of St. Maur, in the following century. 
Dr. Maitland^ has selected thence some conspicuous 
passages which illustrate the matter concisely and im- 
pressively: — 

"At St. Theudere, near Vienne," reports Martene, 
1 "the Chapter shewed us, with the utmost kindness, such 

I Ravages of the 

Huguenots in fragmcuts of thclr old muniments as had escaped the 

the Idth century 

; fury of the heretics, who in 1562 burnt all their deeds.^ 

L Again, at TarbSj we found little to do, the Cathedral 

\ and all its monuments having been burnt by the Calvin- 

■ ists, who throughout Beam and Bigorre have left fright- 

j ful indications of their fury."^ At St. John's Abbey, 

f Thouars^ "the ravages of the Calvinists have dispersed 

most of the muniments."^ At Grimberg, "the Library 
having been burnt by the heretics, all the MSS. were 
destroyed. There now remain but two Bibles, and the 
ancient synodal statutes of the church of Cambray."^ 
At Eisterbach^ "as all the ancient muniments were 
dispersed in the wars, we found no MSS., save a Bible, 

1 The Dark Ages. No. six.— Destraction of MSS., pp. 222, 239. (3rd 
Edit, 1853.) 

2 Voyage Utt&rahre de deux BenedicttM^ L 252. 

3 Ibid. (2iid part), IZ. 

4 lb., 5. 

5 lb., iL 112 (MaatJand, ut sup.. No. zvii p. 293). 


and the Dialogues and Homilies of Cesarius."^ ^^CHAi^^ni.- 
Dilighen^ again, "this Abbey was ruined by the heretics. ^^!^l^^ 
It is now restored .... and has a tolerable Library, J^to^cti'IL. 
but very few MSS., and those unimportant." ^ Euinart 
gives an almost precisely similar account of the Library 
of a Monastery near FertS-sotcs-Jouarre.^ Of Munster^ Destruction of 
in Luxembourg, Martene narrates that the Abbey twice ub»ri» 
suffered the fortune of war, and was entirely razed . . . warfaw. 
"we could not, therefore, expect to make any dis- 
coveries in its Library. In fact, we found there only 
five or six manuscripts."^ And, again, of St. Arnoul's, 
at Metz: " This Abbey .... was entirely destroyed, 
hke those of St. Clement, St. Symphorien, St. Peter, and 
St. Mary, when Metz was besieged by the Emperor 
Charles V.";^ and of the Chartreuse^ near Lihge: "There 
were formerly many MSS., but, the Monastery having 
been entirely reduced to ashes in the late wars, they 
were all consumed. There remain but a few volumes 
of sermons, by Jacques de VrrRY, which escaped the 

And, finally, as respects many other losses by acci- 
dental fire; as, for example, at Rheims: "The Cathedral 
and the Archiepiscopal Palace having been burnt in the 
twelfth century, all its arcliives were destroyed." ^ At 

1 Voyage lUUraire, <fec., ii 270. 

2 lb., ii. 112. 

3 RuiNART: Iter LUterarium in Alsatiam ei Lotharingiam, 415. (Mait- 
land, ubi supra). 

4 Voy. UU., ut 8upra, ii. 302. 
6 lb., i. (2nd part), 112. 

6 lb., u. 183. 

7 lb., L (2nd part), 79. 

Ohapter III. 


\^_ Gembloux: "We passed the morning in examining such 
^v^lu^ MSS. as had escaped the general destruction of that Mo- 
Bw^^OT*^ nastery by fire."^ At Lihge: " There was formerly, in the 
Jacobius Convent, a tolerably good Library, but all the 
MSS. were destroyed in a fire which, a few years ago, 
entirely consumed the Monastery." ^ At Lucelle^ again: 
"The fire which destroyed the Monastery in 1699 de- 
prived us of the pleasure of seeing a Library, once very 
rich in MSS., the whole of wliich were burnt to ashes, 
as well as a poor Monk who had tried to save them."^ 
At St. Vaast: .... "What we have now stated may 
serve to shew th^t the six fires which have happened 
here have not quite destroyed every tiling, and may 
enable us to form some conception of the immense 
treasures we should have found, but for these destruct- 
ive calamities."^ And, — not further to multiply in- 
stances which are but too sadly monotonous, — at Loroy^ 
where, "the Abbey having been wholly burnt about 
forty years ago, not one of its old Uterary monuments 
has been preserved."^ 

Libwryof lu the fourth volume of D'Achery's Spicilegium there 

is preserved a Catalogue of the Library of the Com- 
munity of St. Eiquier, as it flourished early in the ninth 
century. The Catalogue is derived from a general 
Eetum, made by order of Lewis L, of all the property 
of that Abbey, in the year 831. 

1 Toy. Ul., il 117. 

2 lb., ii. 182. 

3 lb., i. (2nd part), 141. 

4 lb., ii. 66. 

5 Ib.,i.3a. 


In Biblical Literature, the collection is distinctively ^^''^ 

Chapter III.— 



and eminently rich. Tlie expository works of St. 
Jerome and of St. Augustine are especially complete. 
Our own Beda is well represented. Canon Law offers a 
long list of Authors. The Classics present us only with 
parts of Virgil and of Cicero. 

Li his valuable and instructive "Supplemental Notes" ^r. Haiiam't 

-*- critlcifm on the 

to the "View of Europe during the Middle Ages," Mr. stRiquior 
Hallam has quoted a cursory notice of this Library of St. 
Eiquier, given in the third volume of Ampere's Histoire 
littiraire de la France, ("We possess a Catalogue of 
the Library in the Abbey of St. Eiquier, written in 831 ; 
.... Cliristian writers are in great majority; but we 
find also the Eclogues of Virgil; the Ehetoric of Qcero; 
the History of Homer, that is, the works ascribed to 
Dictys and Dares ;"^) and he appends to the quotation 
this question : " Can anything he lower than this^ if no- 
thing is omitted more valuable than what is mentioned?''^ 
The Catalogue so referred to by Mr. Hallam con- 
tains, it may be said, by way of summary, an extensive 
series of the works of St. Jerome, of St. Augustine, of 
St. John Chrysostom, and of St. Gregory the Great; it 
contains several works of St. Hilary and of St. Cyprian. 
It includes a respectable series of Grammarians. May 
it not be compatible with all the respect and esteem so 
eminently due to the excellent Historian of the Litera- 
ture of Europe to ask in one's turn, whether even the 
St. Eiquier Library, with all its obvious deficiencies, did 
not, after all, provide the Monk who had really mastered 

1 HUtoirt UtUrairt de la France avant le xiU sUckf iii. 236. 

2 Hallam: SupplemerUal Notes, 996. 



Chapteb III, 

'^jj _ the stores which it offered, a very fair intellectual equip- 
LiBRARiEsoF mciit foF Ws battlc of life, as it lay before him in that 

THB Italian ' •' 

j;^»:^. old ^i^th century? 
Corbie One of tlic most famous of all French Monasteries, of 

In Picardy. 

distinctively mediaeval days, — in a bibhograpliical point 
of view — is the Abbey of Corbie in Picardy. And here, 
again, we meet with an instance, as it seems, of an ex- 
press conventual regulation wliich as early as in the 
eleventh century made it incumbent on every novice, 
on the day of his "profession," to give to the infant 
Library of Corbie some book. The point, however, has 
been brought into question ; and there may be room for 
doubt. Be that as it may, we possess an unquestionable 
Catalogue of this celebrated Library, as it stood in the 
twelfth century, — in a MS. which passed successively 
from the hands of De Thou, of Du Puy, and of Meer- 
MAN, into those (1824) of the late Sir Thomas Phillipps, 
of Middle Hill (by whom it was shewn to the present 
writer in 1856). The collection of Corbie was already, 
at the date of that Catalogue, of notable extent. Under 
"AuGUSTiNUs" thirty-nine entries appear; under "Beda," 
thirteen; under "Boetius," fifteen; under "Hierony- 
Mus," sixteen; under " Priscianus," four; under "Vir- 
GiLius," seven; under " Cicero," five ; under "Lucanus," 
four. Juvenal, Persius, Martial, Ovid, Statins, Terence, 
all occur, — as single entries, — together with Livy, Pliny, 
and Seneca. There is also a considerable number of 
such works of History as were then attainable.^ 

1 Catalogus librorum in Bibliotheca Corbeiewn insUuSf d'C. (MS. formerly 
at Middle Hill, now in the Phillipps Library at Cheltenham, No. 1825.) 


Fragments of a still earlier Catalogue — but only frag- c^AmT m- 
ments — were discovered by Cardinal Mai, in a Queen J^^^'^^^an' 
Clmstina MS., preserved amongst tlie literary collections ^^^^,^^°^ 
of that Queen, in the Library of the Vatican, and were 

MS. Vatican : 

pubhshed by him in 1841. ^ A third Catalogue was also chrutina, 520. 
found in the same Christina MS.,^ but tliis was attributed 
by Mai, not to Corbie in Picardy, but to Corvey in West- 
phalia, — an opinion opposed by German archseologists 
immediately on its enunciation, and since then amply 
controverted, on independent grounds, by M. Leopold 
Delisle, of the Institute, in the essay which he pub- 
hshed, in 1860, in the Bibliotheque de VEcole des Chartes, 
The Catalogue numbered 3, is of the earher part of the 
twelfth century. 

Corbie was. founded, as early as in the seventh cen- 
tury, by Queen Bathilda, and was probably peopled 
by a colony of Monks from Luxeuil. It soon became 
eminent for the activity of its Scriptorium, in behalf of 
which certain grants for the more effectual purveyance 
of vellum were conferred on the Monks. And a sort of 
rate was levied; partly towards a salary for the Libra- 
rian, and partly towards tlie cost of bookbinding. This 

AmoDgst the works of History, or bearing upon History mentioned in this 
document are "Gaii Cajsaris Historia," "Tiberii Ceesaris Pragmaticum," 
** Victoris Chronica." 

1 Spicilegium Ronvanum^ v. 202. 

2 '* Le texte qu'a public le Cardinal Mai est, en effet, loin de repr^enter 
le manuscrit original." — Dblisle: Le. Cahinet den MSS,, tt-c.^ ii. 108 (1874). 
The variations, it may be added, are chiefly due to an arbitrary division and 
subdivision of integral articles of the original text. These would seem to 
have been made to illustrate a preconceived theory of the illustrious Editor, 
whose splendid discoveries and services may well excuse a passing crotchet 
or two. 


cha^m^ ni-^^^^ had the special sanction of Pope Alexander m. 

™r^ur (1159-81).» 

jto^^OT^. Some of the Italian Monasteries, — and notably those 
of Monte Cassino and of Eome, — contributed to the 
enrichment of the Library of Corbie, which, in its turn, 
contributed — sometimes by gift, but more frequently 
by loan — to the literary wants of other Communities. 
Usually, when books were borrowed, other volumes 
were deposited in pledge. On one such occasion, the 
book pledged was regarded by the Monk who had 
had the care of the Library as so heretical, that he pro- 
posed to the Community that it should be formally 
burnt. In some cases, the deposited books remained 
in the Corbie Library until its dispersion; and, having 
survived, can still be identified as the property, ori- 
ginally, of other Monasteries. 

From the age of Charlemagne to that of St. Lewis, 
the labours of the Corbie Scriptorium seem to have 
been distinguished for zeal and wise productivity. 

The literary zeal of the Corbie Community, like that 
of Monastic Communities elsewhere — but clearly in a 
less degree than was often the case elsewhere, ^ — 
slackened in the fourteenth century. But, as the ton- 
sured scribes became idler, the professional- scribes of 
Paris became more diligent, and were largely employed 

1 Ziegelbauer: HUtoria ret Ikerarice Ordinis 8, Benedicti, i. 471; De- 
lisle : Recherches tnir Vancienne BihliotJUque de Corbie (Bibl. de I'EcoIe des 
Chartee, 5e s^r., torn. i. pp. 393-439, and 498-515). 

2 M. Leopold Delisle has supplied conclusive evidence of the limitation I 
have suggested in the text, as to the comparative extent and degree of the 
period of supineness at Corbie, both in the Essay above quoted, and in his 
later and admirable work : Le Cabinet dea M8S, de la Bibliothique Imp^riale, 
U. 126, 9eqq. 


by various benefactors of Corbie, for the enrichment oi^r^^J\^j_ 
its Library. Eminent for UberaUty of this kind was a J^^^^^' 
certain Etienne de Conti, who long administered the Bw^^l^ra. 
affairs of the Abbey, and was nominated as Abbot, but 

•^ The gifts of 

set aside by the Pope. lie died in 1413, and is me- etienne do 

Conti to tho 

morable as one of the continuators of the MarthiianLibnuyof 
Chronicle. Some of the fine books given by liim to 
Corbie may still be seen, both at Paris and at Amiens. 
For one such work he paid to the transcriber a sum 
equal, perhaps, to some £33 of present English money. 
But the decline of learning in the Convents was not 
effectually arrested, until the date of the Maurist 
reform. Sometimes, the Monks gave away the books ^^^^^^^ 
they had ceased to value; at others, their laxity per- JJ^^jJ^'^ 
mitted them to be stolen. When, long afterwards, they 
roused themselves from their slumbers, they evinced 
their new-born zeal by scattering, broadcast, accusations 
of plunder. Pithou, Brisson, Sirmond, and Andr^ Du 
Chesne, are among the later Scholars whom they charge 
with purloining their books. 

A similar accusation was brought against a far more 
illustrious name, and the circumstances are curious. 
The President De Tiiou has himself recorded— in his2*(3^e^^' 
Memoirs — liis visit to Corbie during the civil wars, in 
the discharge of his official duties ; — his regret at ob- 
serving the gross neglect into which the Library had 
fallen; — and his selection from its remains of some fine 
books, wliich, he says, he " put aside," as worthy of 
being j)rinted, in better and more quiet days. The 
Monks, on the other hand, go the length of asserting — 
and it is assertion merely — that De Thou caused a 



CHAra^ ni.- Diagazine of corn to be established in the Monastery for 
toe'i'ta'ua^' the service of the royal troops, and then took occasion 
to^^CT^ to fill the empty liogsheads in wliich the corn had been 
brought, with the choicest manuscripts he could lay his 
hands on. Certain it is that in De Thou's collection, as 
in many other collections, there were books — still else- 
where identifiable^ — on which one can yet read the 
inscription: ''Liber S, Petri CorbeieJ' 

The fate of the 

Library in the Whatcvcr Its losscs, a Cataloguc, dated in 1621 — now 

"YearofCJorble" o ' 

and afterwards, prcservcd amongst the MSS. of the National Library — 
sliews that the collection was still a fine one. Wlien, in 
1 636, the Spaniards made their memorable inroad, Corbie 
fell into their power. After the re-capture, the Library 
was sealed up by the Bishop of Chartres. The Monks 
petitioned Eichelieu, but in vain, for its continuance 
with them intact. They laid great stress on the free 
access wliich the learned had long enjoyed to the trea- 
sures of Monastic Libraries.^ Tlie Minister, neverthe- 
less, empowered one of the Maurist Benedictines, — 
Jerome Anselme Le Michel, — to select the choicest 
MSS. for the Library of St. Germain-des-Pres. Accord- 
ingly, about four hundred volumes were removed 
tliither, in 1638. Forty years later, these accessions 
appear among the other MSS. of the Abbey of St. 
Germain, catalogued precisely like those of its original 
collection. Until 1791, the four hundred volumes from 
Corbie seem to have been preserved entire. 

1 Amongst them ore works of Livy, of Pliny, of Statins, and of St. 
Gregory of Tours. 

2 Their statement, then submitted to Richelieu, has been printed by M. 
Delisle, Lt Cab, dea M88., il 137. 


In that year, twenty-five choice volumes were stolen. c„Ai^tr 'in- 
These were seen, soon aftei-wards, in the collection of L"»«;*«"''« ^^^ 

' ' THE Italian 

DuBROWSKi. They are, mainly, now amonof the many ahdfkench 

•''•'' o J Benedictineb. 

and splendid acquisitions of the great Library of St. 
Petersburgh.i In 1794, the Library of St. Germain's 
sufiered greatly from fire, but the remaining Corbie 
MSS. escaped. They were removed, about a year 
afterwards, to the National Library of Paris, wliicli 
they still adorn. 

About three hundred MSS. had been left at Corbie in 
1638, when the finest books were transferred to the 
metropolis. Li 1662, they were inventoried, along with 
the printed books. At an early stage of the Eevolution corWeMss. in 
— probably in 1791 — these were carried to Amiens. In Sb^^f 
1793, it was officially certified that all the MSS. entered ^^^ 
in the Inventory of 1662 were duly present, with the 
exception of seven volumes. Seventy-five of the more 
valuable MSS. were transferred to Paris (to rejoin the 
other Corbie MSS.) during the Consulate of Napoleon, 
in the year 1803. 

What then remained, and still remains, at Amiens, 
was put into good order in 1828, but it was then ascer- 
tained that the seven volumes originally missing had 
been increased by other losses which had occurred in 
the interval. Since that date, the Amiens MSS. have 
been admirably catalogued by M. Garnier. The sur- 
vivors, therefore, of the famous collection of Corbie 
must now be sought in the great repositories of Paris 

1 One of the twenty-five is now amongst the Bumey MSS. in the British 
Museum;— how acquired by Dr. Bumey I do not know. 


cha^ III— ^^^ ^^ ^^- Petersburgh, in the Town Library of Amiens, 
ra^TAUA^' and in the British Museum. A few scattered volumes 
to»*^^ occur amongst private collections. 

Leviiier's Catalogue, of the year 1794, describes four 
hundred and five manuscripts — taking the ancient and 
the modern together — as of Corbie origin, and as being 
at that time preserved in the Town Library of Amiens. 
Levrier was an eminent local Magistrate, and to him 
had been committed the execution at Amiens of the 
Eevolutionary law for "destroying the monuments of 
feudality." " I knew," he wrote to Dom Poirier, of St. 
Germain's, at a later date, " how to reconcile my duties 
as an officer of the Eepublic with my tastes as an 

The whole immber of Corbie MSS. now preserved 
in the National Library at Paris amounts to about four 
hundred and fifty. 



Notices of some Monastic and other Medijeval 
Libraries of Paris, (of various Communities, Col- 
leges, AND Orders); — including a Summary View 


Collections, which have survived until present, 
or recent, times ; and of their recent benefactors. 

When one visita a place as a new-comer, in whatever comer of the 
World It may lie, one can scarcely help feeling an anxiety to know 
something of its past History;— to know what sort of men have loft 
their footprints in the houses and the streets;— to know, above all 
else, what Foimdations they left behind them,— whether tower or 

bel^; School or Church. Especially is this feeling excited, 

when one intends to make the place one's abode for a time. 

As soon as that past history has come to shape itself, somewhat, 
in our minds ; we not only enjoy the more whatever the place may 
have of attraction or of charm, but we seem, in a fashion, to get 
possession of it. This must be so, in a pre-eminent degree, when 
the place itself is famous ;— when it can boast Foimdations expressly 
intended to keep alive the memory of great men, and of great 
achievements.— Saiitts Bbuve: Portrait* Littiraire*, iii. 458 (Edit 
of 1852). 

It is one of the standing marvels of Paris that, 
abounding as it so notoriously does with charms of_ ''^^'• 

o •' Chapter IV.— 

every kind for pleasure-seekers, and for woridlings; for 

those who wish to have the toys of life in richest ^^^^r 


variety, and in most exquisite form, there is hardly a coMMUKmEs. 
city in Europe which teems more largely with memories 
of the devoted student, of the absorbed thinker, of the 
recluse, and of the Saint. It has a whole world of 
literary and studious associations for the Scholar, which 
is as thickly peopled with memorials of the great dead, 
as its artistic and rejfined toyshops are lavishly filled 
with every appliance of present pastime, which can 



^\y_dr3w money from the best-guarded purse, and attract 


Li^'IIwor sojourners from the ends of the earth. 

( Pa KIM, or 

j tAUUjcn 


Many centuries ago, Paris abounded in Libraries and 
in Museums, when they were few and far between, even 
in the cities of Italy. The first "Lending LmRARiEs" — 
of which distinct record can be found — ^were estabhshed 
in Paris, and established in Monasteries. The first 
really and absolutely "Free LroiL\RY" of the World 
was opened in Paris. Tlie earliest provision, by traders, 
for the wants of school-boy and student, in the way of a 
" Circulating-Library," was made there, and made in 
mediaeval times, under the patronage of the University 
of Paris. Some of the very earUest "Museums," 
whether of the reUcs of Antiquity or of the wonders of 
Nature, were provided there, and were provided by 
Monks. The greatest Collections, whether of Manu- 
scripts or of Marbles, which now draw crowds of 
students and artists from remotest countries, have a 
mediasval history, of one kind and extent or other. 
And it is harder in Paris than elsewhere, in matters of 
Literary history, — notwithstanding all its revolutions 
and all its transformations — to draw any sharp line be- 
tween the Mediajval and the Modem. 

Take, for example, the Library of the University of 
unwowity France. Under its present laws, and in its present 
form, it is a new creation, although with a history, 
thanks to benefactions, already rich and varied, despite 
its newness. Known long, and cited often, as " Library 
of the Sorbonne," its real connexion with the old Sor- 
bonne of the tliirteenth-century Monk Egbert is very 
little more than a connexion of name, and of abode. It 



occupies the attractive, — the deeply interesting b^ild- ^y^^''^^'' 'j^ _ 
ings of the old College. But it does not possess the medieval 


rich manuscripts of the old College. None the less, it, ^""^'^ **' 

^ O ' ' VARIOC8 

too, has a mediaeval liistory, and one as full of literary coMMUNmia. 
interest, direct or indirect, as is the liistory of the Sor- . 
bonne itself. For the University of our own days is a 
real representative of the ancient University of Paris ; 
and to wrest its mediceval annals from its modern annals 
would be to despoil both. The liistory of the commerce 
of books could be. told or illustrated instructively, in 
almost every one of its chapters, simply from the 
history of the French University, taken in its full scope 
and bearings from early times. 

With the present noble Library of St. Genevieve, it is Librwyof 

^ . StOonevidva 

otherwise. Here we have, indeed, a Monastic founda- 
tion, already ancient when the Sorbonne was begun; 
but a noble Ubrary was twice ruined ; once by barbaric 
invaders, in times almost before the dawn of French 
historj^; again, by corrupted Monks, in the sixteenth 
century. The real liistory of the existing Library 
of St. Genevieve dates only from the re-foundation 
of the Monastery, under the auspices of Cardinal 
EiCHELiEU. And by the labours of a line of eminent 
Librarians, the modern institution which has been built 
upon the old Monastic foundation of, perhaps, the sixth 
century, has become a model, in its kind, for the 
Libraries of the nineteenth century. Li these brief 
" Memoirs of Libraries," I therefore treat St. Genevieve 
as if it had been a modern foundation. But I narrate 
the varied fortunes of the Library of this University, 
and of its component collections, in connection with 
the rich mediajval annals of that of the Sorbonne. 


§ 1. — The Libraries of the Ancient College of 

merly known as '^ Library of the Sorbonne''); wrrH 


Turn your head now, and look at the personage who 

paases with hasty steps. By those expressive and viTacloua features; 
by those eyes, now so proud and anon so meek, you would take him 
for a Poet, and you would not be far wrong. He is the most eloquent 
of our i^iilosophers, a great writer, a talker almost tmrivalled, but, 
before all things else,— he is a Connoisaeur. Nothing escapes his 
passion for ooUecting :— printed books, manuscripts, prints, pictures; 
and whereyer he sets foot he is King. ¥^o knows, as he knows it, 
the age of Lewis XIV. 7 He was there ; he is acquainted with all its 
secrets. If need were, he could help Mazabin to decipher the 
enigmas of the famous "tablets." What do you think it is that, at 
this moment, so wholly absorbs him? It is the little volume which 
he carries in his hand,— « copy of the first edition of Zdirde, on large 
paper,— and bearing the arms of that atrocious Duke c^ La Rocbk* 
FOUOAUUD. ' For to-day, adieu to philosophy. Our soge lives only to 
enjoy his precious windfaU. .... How vain are human praises in 
comparison with the pleasure that small acquisition affords him. 
Only think of it— a unique copy, uncut, and bound in lemon- 
coloured morocoo.— Laboulatk (La mante des Hvirett 1869). 

PART I. The foundation of the College of Sorbomie cannot be 

Chapter IV. O 

§ 1-LiBRARY or precisely fixed upon contemporary evidence. Its cliar- 

THS SORBONMS. A •^ i: r J 

ter from St. Lewis exists, but is now without a date. 
It may, probably, be assigned to the year 1250. It is 
also probable that the Library is coeval with the Col- 
lege. The Founder, Eobert, "of Sorbonne," gave about 
seventy volumes.^ As early as in the year 1271, there 
is record of the bequest by Guerond of Abbeville of 
nearly three hundred volumes. And of these no less 
than a hundred and eighteen have been also identified 
among the MSS. of Sorbonne origin in the same great 
repository.2 Germain of Narbonne gave some books 

1 Dbliblx : Les Manuserits de la Bibliath^que NcUionale, u. 142, seqq, 

2 Ibid. 

—Library or 



at about the same date. So that before the Founder's chI^^'iv. 
death, in 1274, there was a Library of considerable'^ 
extent and value. Fifteen years later, it had received 
considerable accessions and careful organization. There 
exists a code of regulations, of the year 1289-1290, 
which direct the insertion in each volume thereafter 
acquired of the date of reception, and the preparation 
of a complete Catalogue arranged in classes. At this 
date, the Library was already divided into a consulting 
department, and a lending department. At first, the 
borrowers of books must be members of the College, 
but afterwards the privilege was extended to strangers. 
As early as in 1321, M. Delisle has found record that 
an express regulation was made for keeping the re- 
putedly best book on a given subject always in its place. 
In that fact we recognize the anticipation of a rule 
wliich on some of our own old foundations has been 
newly introduced, and which in some others is thought 
by students to be much needed. 

The Catalogue of 1290 is now preserved in the Lib- 
raiy of the Arsenal. It comprises a thousand and 
seventeen volumes. Among the recorded donors of the 
fourteenth century occur the names of several English- 
men, as well as those of Italians, Spaniards, and Poles. 
In a second Catalogue, of 1338, fourteen hundred and 
twenty-two volumes are enumerated, of which three 
hundred and thirty are set apart for consultation, and a 
thousand and ninety are made available to borrowers.^ 
Minute regulations for the use and preservation of the 

1 Dblislb, iL 182. 



Library are made. But many losses are recorded. At 
•^^^^^^^^tlie beginning of the fifteenth century, a Eegister of 
Borrowers was provided (1402), and is still extant. It 
shews that at this time a small fee was paid for the loan 
of books. The practice also obtained of inserting on 
the fly-leaf the estimated value of each book. But no 
stamp was used until a very recent date. 
Introduction of In 1469 occurred one of the most notable incidents 

Printing into 

Franco. in the mediajval history of the Library and of the 

College. The Doctors of Sorbonne invited from Mentz, 
Ulrich Gering, Michael Friburger, and Martin Crantz, 
and installed them within their own buildings. ^ There, 
in 1470, was printed Gasparini Bergamensis Epistolarum 
opus. The printers recorded in laudatory verses their 
sense of favours received, and their hope of favours to 
come — 

"Ut sol lumen, sic doctrinam fundis in orbem, 
Musarum nutrix, regia Parisius; 
Hinc prope divinam tu, quam Qermania novit, 
Artem scribendi suscipe, promerita." 

What the Sorbonne did for these early printers had 
had its difficulties and its perils. The scribes and illu- 
minators of manuscripts looked as jealously upon 

1 Chevillisk: De Vorigine de Vlmprimerie de PariSt 90; Franklin, tU 
mip.t 259. Schoefer and Heinlin established in Paris a rival repository for the 
sale of Mentz impressions in 1474, or perhaps somewhat earlier; and this also 
was within an ecclesiastical precinct. The Brethren of the Holy Cross wel- 
comed a clerk or agent of the Mentz printers, but he died within a short time 
of his arrival, and his remaining stock was seized (**par droit d*aubaine") and 
sold. The Monks, however, obtained from Lewis XI. an ordonnance for the 
payment of the proceeds to Schoeffer. They amounted to no less than 2,425 
crowns. (Franklin: A,B,,i, 330; cf. Chevillier, ut wp.) 


German innovating artisans and their marvellous pro- q^"^^'^ 
ductions, as our English weavers used to look iipon'^^^^^^J^^ 
French or Flemish new-comers, with their improved 
processes, and were ready to shew their dishke almost 
as turbulently. Of w^orkers in one way or other con- 
nected with the production of manuscripts, Paris is said 
to have contained at this time nearly six thousand. But 
the printers were protected, and they prospered. Their 
gratitude was shewn by the gift of books to the Library, , 
and by gifts of money ; as well as by eulogy of the Col- 
lege in flowing verse. Some fine books given by Gering 
are still to be seen in various Parisian collections. At 
his death, in 1510, the Doctors had their choice from 
"a considerable stock of books in sheets," and they in- 
herited the produce of the sale of the printing oflice 
and its plant, in addition to a bequest of 8,500 livres.^ 
The Sorbonne attained celebrity for the choice speci- 
mens of early typography in its Library. 

The eagerness of the Sorbonne to welcome the new 
invention led, in 1481, to the construction of a new 
building for the Library. It was nearly 120 feet long; 
was hghted by tliirty-eight windows ; and was provided 
with twenty-eight desks for readers. The Doctors 
decorated their Librarj^ with the portraits of their 
benefactors; and they were careful to isolate it from 
neighbouring structures.^ 

The fame of the swarming students of the College 
attracted, a few years later, the notice of Luther. 
" The Doctors of Sorbonne," he said, " have obtained 

1 Chbvillibr, p. 90; Franklin, i. 259. 

2 Dblisle, ii. 190, fteqq. 

1 — LlBKABY O 


He undertook the charge of re-building their entire cnlmn] 
edifice — Schools, Library, residences, and dependencies • ^-^^^^'' or 
— on a much enlarged scale. He did not intend that 
they should inherit his own Library, which he had 
aggrandized by acts of spoliation, as well as by wide 
research and Uberal outlay. It was liis ambition that a 
great "Eichelieu Library," augmented from time to 
time, and freely accessible to scholars, should help to 
perpetuate his name and be an heir-loom of his family. 
The collection was therefore bequeathed to the Dukes 
his successors, but with an express provision for super- 
intendence from time to time by visitors chosen by the 
Doctors of Sorbonne.^ 

The Cardinal's heirs did not observe the conditions of 
his bequest, either as to enlargement or publicity. Nor 
did they comply with his directions as to the completion 
of the new buildings of the College. After much liti- 
gation, it was decreed by the Parliament of Paris (1660) 
that the Library should be transferred to the Doctors of 
the Sorbonne, together with an endowment ftom the 
Cardinal's estate for its maintenance in perpetuity. 

The Cardinal's Library included many precious manu- 
scripts, and amongst them a collection of a hundred 
and ten volumes — chiefly Oriental —which had been col- 
lected at Constantinople by the French Ambassador De 
Breves. By him they had been intended for the King's 
Library. Wlien they reached France, they were placed 

1 **M(m deMein est . , , qu*elle [ma dUe bibliothique] puisae servir non seulle' 
ment dmafamille, main encore au Puft/ie^tfe.*'— Richelieu's Will, printed in 
Appendix to Fnmklin, tU tup. 


chTwJr iv. ^^ ^^^ hands of Gabriel Sionita, apparently for arrange- 
*i^^s^^Lr^^^^ ^^^ cataloguing. In 1640, he was imprisoned by 
EiCHELiEu's order; the books were placed in the Car- 
dinal's own Library, and were bound, with liis arms 
emblazoned on the covers. 

When, in obedience to the directions of Richelieu's 
Will, the Sorbonne opened its Library to students, it 
offered them, in addition to a noble collection of printed 
books, nearly two thousand volumes of manuscripts in 
good condition and well arranged. But this was not 
effected until many years after the transfer from the 
EiCHELiEU family. 1 

Richelieu's virtual example had already been fol- 
lowed by one of liis Secretaries, Michel Le Masle des 
Roches, who, like his master, had been a great book- 
lover, — as a rhyming contemporary notes : 

"La Sorbonique est grande, od la Richelienne 
Est entr6e en partie, et toute celle encor 
De Des Roches Le Masle, acquise avec son or."* 

Le Masi^ gave also a hberal endowment.^ By these 
accessions, the Sorbonne collection was raised to the 
first rank amongst French Libraries. 

It had already been honoured by the service, as 

1 Delislb: Le Cabinet des AfSS.y ii. 206; cf. Franklin: Ancienms Billy 
at supra. 

2 Mich, de Marolles: PaiHs, ou description succincte de cdte grande 
ville, 43. 

3 By an act of donation, 16 Mai, 1646. Franklin: La Sorbonne^ ses 
orhjines, <tc. (1875), p. 148. Jacob (Traictd des phis belles Bibl.y 5,37,) says 
that Le Masle made publicity a condition of his gift. But M. Franklin states 
that no such condition appears on the documents. 


Librarian, of many men conspicuous in Literature and chI^'iv. 
in Theology. Amongst them were Marguerin de LA*i^^^^^' 
BiGNE, editor of the Bibliotheca Patrum; Jean Filesac; 
Claude Morel; Claude Hemere, the historian of the 
University of Paris. It was now placed in charge of 
Andr6 Chevillier, the historian of Printing, who filled 
the office thirty-five years. He was one of the many 
men who have added to a keen love of the gentle craft 
of book-collecting, a keener love of sufiering humanity. 
When liis means ran short of his good-will, he was 
known to sell his beloved books, that he might reheve 
the poor with the proceeds. Some of his books he gave 
to the Sorbonne, and amongst them an almost unique 
copy of the xylographic Speculum humance salvationis 
of Laurence Coster. Pierre Eouille, one of the Doc- 
tors of Sorbonne, was also a considerable benefactor at 
this period. 1 

It was estimated that towards the middle of the eigh- 
teenth centuiy the Sorljonne possessed nearly 30,000^^*2^^6 
printed volumes, and about 2000 MSS. But if this''*^^*^* 
estimate (which does not at all agree with some nearly 
contemporary, or with later estimates,) be well founded, 
the losses of the Library during the forty years which 
preceded the Eevolution must have much exceeded the 
accessions. When counted in 1791, the printed vo- 
lumes were officially returned as 28,224. In the pre- 
ceding year, the MSS. had been returned as 2,199.^ 

1 Franklin: La Sorbonne ^ dfcc, 173. 

2 Recensements d^taill^, MSS. in the Nat. Archives, as cited by Franklin, 
Anciennes BibliatJUquea, 299. Comp. La Sorbonne, sea origines, Ac. (1875), 209, 
teqq, M. Franklin adds : "Another official document (other than that of 1790, 



chI^'iv. ^^ August, 1791, the Library was taken possession of 
*raE^s^^ra^^y ^^® Municipality of Paris, "in conformity," says the 
official record, "with the orders of the Directory of the 
Department." In April, 1792, the Sorbonne was sup- 
pressed ; but the Library continued to be kept apart, 
under the care of Hubert Paschal Ameilhon, as Munici- 
pal Librarian and Commissary, until the end of 1795. 
The MSS., with some few exceptions, were then sent to 
the National Library; the printed books were distri- 
buted amongst many libraries. 

The buildings of the Sorbonne escaped both from 
revolutionary destruction and from revolutionary occu- 
pation. Under the Eestoration, the old College was, 
for a short time, made a sort of Parisian Somerset 
House (as Somerset House used to be,) for literature 
and learning. Ultimately, it became the seat of the 
University of France. But the name long adhered. 
The new Library of the new University was, for more 
than a generation, known as "Library of ^ the Sorbonne." 

When, in 1796, the MSS. of the old Sorbonne came 
Btfiyii88.of iQ the National Library, they included no less than 

the Sorbonne. -^ ' ^ 

thirty-nine volumes which were (by long-subsequent 
examination, and comparison of records) identifiable as 
among those of Eobert, the Founder. Probably, there 
were and are other volumes of his, in the same reposi- 
tory, not now distinctly ascertainable. Of fifty-nine 
volumes recorded to have been given by a certain 

which differed from the computation of 1791,) leads to the inference that the 
Doctors retracted their first return, and acknowledged the possession of about 
86,000 volumes.'*— lb., 210. 


Canon Etienne, of Geneva, in the year 1320, forty-five chI^LV 
have been similarly identified (by the unwearying la-'^^^^^^^ 
bour of M. Delisle, who. second to none in tis abihty 
and zeal to meet the needs and requirements of the 
students of to-day; delights, also, to make record, in 
worthy Uke-mindedness with them, of the patient 
scribes and liberal donors, monkish or other, of medi- 
aeval days — to "praise famous men; the literary fathers 
who begat us"); and many other like instances of 
mediaeval gifts to the old Sorbonne which are still 
available for present study, might be noted, if need 

These Sorbonne acquisitions of early date, together 
with the later onfes which the famous College owed 
(though less directly) to the munificence of Eicheueu, 
were classed together as '^Fonds de la Sorbonne" This 
arrangement subsisted until 1868, when (as I have had 
occasion to note before) the new and much improved 
system of a "Latin Series" and a "French Series" 
was established. The sub-division "Latin Series: Sor- 
bonne'' represents, pretty accurately, the mediaeval 
Library of those somewhat rigid and rugged, com- 
bative and explosive old Doctors, who have left their 
deep mark in French History, — the secular as well as 
the literary and ecclesiastical, — and of whom so many 
individual men are still, in this nineteenth century, 
memorable and saUent figures. 




§ 2. — TiiE Library, (founded by Pettit de Montem- 


OF THE University of France and its component 
Collections, of earlier and of later date. 

Juglter hie legere, moditaxi, inquirero poeso, 

Quid nisi cclesti luco dboque frui? 
Nil homini melius quam si divina legondo 

Flgat ibi vitom quo sibi vita venit. 
Lectio jugis alit virtutes, lucida roddit 

Intima, doclinat noxia, vana fugat. 
Librofl quoaquo lego quibus insunt pascua vite, 

Quos tibi sit medicus continot isto locus, 
Hie si profids. hinc ingratus no videaris, 

Exl, sed indo libros, estia claude 

— Geflfroi Du Jardin? [Part of an In$eription 
in the Library of the Abbey qf Bon^<n% 
near Evreux.^ 

PARTI. In the year 176*3, the then Eector of the University 

s 2-LwRARv' of Paris, John Gabriel Petit de Montempuis, bequeathed 
UNivBRfliTY. to the University liis private collection of Books, com- 
oiftof Potttde prising about eight thousand volumes, together with an 
^ruX^e'Jrit^ endowment for its increase, which in the six next fol- 
of Paris. lowing ycars seems to have produced a sum equivalent 
in present EngUsh money to about four hundred and 
eighty pounds. With this sum, a thousand and forty- 
six volumes were purchased.^ 

The buildings of the Jesuit College (at first called 
^^Collhge de Clermont''; afterwards ^^ColUge Louis-le- 
GramV) were given to the University, as a Library, 
immediately after the bequest of Montempuis — on the 
suppression of the Society. With the gift of the build- 
ings, but from another source — namely, by the bene- 
faction of the representative of that Acliilles De 

1 Franklin: Anciennes BibliotJUques de Paris, 303. 
is printed at p. 313. 

The Founder's WiU 


Harlay, to whose bequest the Jesuit College owed the chIwer Vv 

finest part of its Library — came a considerable aug- * ^^he^^^ 

mentation of valuable books. university. 

The first groundwork of the Jesuits' Library had Library of the 

, Jeaviit College 

been laid in 1548 by the bequest of Jerome VARADE;ofciermont. 
increased three years later by that of the inlieritor of 
the mediaeval Library of Guillaume Bude (Budceus)^ 
Pierre de Saint- Andre. It thus came to pass that, long 
before the close of the sixteenth century, the Jesuits of 
the College of Clermont possessed one of the finest and 
largest Libraries then known to scholars. It could not, 
indeed, vie in manuscript wealth with the King's Lib- 
rary; but for University and Collegiate purposes it was 
far superior, as it was, even more conspicuously, in 
extent. In 1594, it had reached 20,000 volumes. 
Sixty years later, the Eoyal Library possessed a lesser 
number, counting MSS. and printed books together. 
Just as the Library of the Jesuits had become a feature 
in scholastic Paris ; and something, perhaps, of a load- 
star to foreign students, came the rude shock of their 
first dispersion. 

In a subsequent address to the Parhament of Paris, 
the Jesuits represented that they "had two Libraries 
filled with the rarest and finest books in the World ; 
they were our Arsenal, our Magazine, our Treasury. 
We were stripped of that wealth of books, to our 
bitter sorrow."^ 

The books were dispersed. Their receptacle was as- 
assigned to the Eoyal Library, but it continued in the 

1 Tr^ humble Bemontrance des PP. J^uitee aux N. SS. da Parlement, &c. 



Chapter IV. 



Benefactiona of 

Jesuit College somewhat less than a quarter of a cen- 
^^toT^"" tury; then to be transferred to another conventual 
building, as I have told elsewhere. 

On the re-estabhshment of the Jesuit Fathers in their 
old College, they obtained, as the basis of a new 
library, part of the collection — then of note — ^which 
had been formed by Phihp Desportes. Six years after- 
p^^t *"* wards, Gabriel Lallemant bequeathed to them a Lib- 
rary, which included precious MSS. ; and nearly at the 
same time, Jacques SmMOND enriched his brethren with 
classical manuscripts, Greek and Latin, which in the 
course of his Uterary rambles on the Paris quais or 
their vicinity, he had been just in time to save from 
destruction for commercial uses. The famous Fouquet 
was also a liberal benefactor to their Library. He gave 
them many books, together with an annuity of a thou- 
sand livres for purchases. 

It is to the honour of the Community, that neither 
the fall of Fouquet, nor the bitterness with which, in 
many ways, his memory was pursued, prevented them 
from keeping before all eyes a conspicuous tribute to 
him as their Benefactor. One of the first things that 
struck the attention of their visitors was the inscription — 

^'LiUustre FouqiLet a Slevd cette Bibliothkque^ 
et Va doUe avec magnificence'' 

They added to their collection a fine Cabinet of 
Medals, which had been, in part, formed by Sirmond, 
and which included, characteristically, a medal of the 
premature " Charles X." And their eminent member 


of the years 1640-1681, Jean Garnier, made the Lib- c^l^iw, 
rary specially notable, in bibliothecal economy, for the * oV^*^"" 
new methodical arrangement which he gave to it, with u»'^"»'^- 
much care and labour. He classed it in seven divisions, oamior's 

Glaaslficatlon of 

curious for the entire separation of orthodox Theology the jeauit 
from heterodox Theology. Theology proper is his first 
class. "Heterodoxy" is his last class. Intermediately 
come the five classes: Philosophy; Medicine; Litera- 
ture; History; Jurisprudence. Father Garnier differs 
from all other Bibhographers, in making his division 
" History" embrace the Classificatory Sciences, together 
with the History of the Church; the History of Litera- 
ture ; and with Political Economy ; together, also, with 
what we now call " Sociology." These two sub-divisions 
he unites under the heading '^Historia Artifidalis'' His 
sub-divisions amount, in all, to four hundred and sixty- 
one. They display (it need scarcely be said) great la- 
bour, thought, and ingenuity. And the System} will 
well repay study to the professional Librarian. The 
Mathematical Sciences he ranged under " Philosophy." 

The Community had not long been in possession of 
Fouquet's benefaction, when the bequest of Achilles 
de Harlay put them in possession of nearly twenty-one 
thousand additional volumes. 

It need scarcely be noted that the French Jesuits of 
that day (as indeed of most days) included in their 
number scholars, — great, laborious, often estimable; 
men who (with whatsoever of alloy) devoted briUiant 
ability and marvellous patience to theological learning, 

i Garnier: SysUma Bibliotheea CM Parisieruia, . . . (1678). It is re- 
printed, at length, in Serapeum, zi App. 105-140. 




^3^]^''jy but were by no means shut up to that choice of their 
* OT^S^^ fi®^^ ^f labour for want, of classical tastes or of classical 
acquisitions. Probably, few Libraries in Paris, or in 
Italy, were more diligently used than was, for a con- 
siderable period, the Library of that College of Cler- 
mont, which, in 1682, changed the name it had made 
famous for that of "College Louis-le-Grand." 

" Their Library grows every day, and they take the 
greatest pains with it," is the passing note of Marolles, 
in his survey of the Paris Libraries of his time. It 
could now boast of about forty-seven thousand volumes 
of printed books, and about eight hundred and sixty of 

When, in 1763, there came a second suppression, the 
representatives of the Harlay family took the same 
course, with respect to the Library of tliis College, that 
was taken by the representatives of Huet, Bishop of 
Avranches, with reference to that of the Librarj^ of 
the Jesuits of the Eue St. Antoine. Tliey claimed a 
return; and obtained it, so far as the Harlay books 
could be identified, by arms, book-plates, or other 
marks of origin. The heirs tlien gave them to the 
University. Some other portions of the Library came 
also, it would seem, with the College buildings, to the 
same body. For we read in a decree of the Parhament 
of Paris, made on the 11th February, 1765 ^i "The 
Library [of the University] being placed in a hall ad- 
jacent to that in which the present Library of the 

1 Cited by Franklin : Anciennes BibL de Paris, iii 310. } 

Tranflferof the 
Collection to 
the Uniyenity 
of FtoriB. 


College is arranged, the union of the two Libraries will chI^ebiv 
be the more easily effected [hereafter], should such an * ^~!|:^"g*^^'^ 
union be found desirable." The second Library here u*''^*»«'^' 
referred to was that of the re-organized College, but it 
seems to have inherited part [very many of the books 
of tlie former collection were certainly dispersed] of the 
Jesuit Library. The Libraries thus united by adjacency 
of place are often referred to collectively as " Library 
of the College Louis-le-Grand"; and they were together 
made public, in 1770, both for Frenchmen and for 

At this date, the conjoint collection comprised only . 
19,483 volumes of printed books, and five hundred and 
nine volumes of manuscripts. The number, it will be 
seen, does not equal that of the single bequest of 
Harlay. The Jesuits, in fact, had anticipated their 
misfortune. On the eve of their suppression, they 
parted with many of their choicest book-treasures to a 
munificent book-lover, the Duke of La Valliere, and 
so, in the event, secured the books for public enjoyment, 
whilst making provision with their proceeds for the 
maintenaijce, in exile, of laborious men, some of whom 
were working, and were to continue to work, usefully 
for Learning, though necessarily involved in the com- 
mon fate of the members of their Fraternity, — of the 
wortliy and of the unworthy alike. Tlieir MSS. also 
came to public use, being added to those of the great 
Benedictine Community of St. Germain-in-the-Fields, — 

1 '*A tons lea honndtes citoyens, tant Franfais qu'Etrangera,'' are the 
words of the Order dated in 1768. 




, and so descending at last to the National Library of 

The University did not imitate the example set by 
the book-loving Jesuits. The Library seems to have 
been almost stationary from 1771^ to the date of the 
Eevolution.2 It was not suppressed, but it suffered 
many transformations, and had to contribute many a 
contingent, in course of time,, to various newly-formed 
lequwit Thus, iu 1800, it was laid under the contribution of a 

wltudM of ' ' 

univenity huudrcd and seventy-five choice volumes, towards the 
formation of the first of the Official Libraries of Napo- 
leon. In 1804-5, two thousand three hundred and 
seventy-one volumes were transferred to the School of 
St. Cyr. Under King Louis-Philippe, it contributed 
nearly twenty thousand volumes towards the Library 
of the re-organized " Normal School " of Paris. 

Following the curious and rapid transformations of 
the Library under Napoleonic legislation, and under 
that of the Bourgeois-Monarcliy, we find the Library 
designated, in 1799, as "Library of the National Pry- 
taneum"; in 1808, as that of " the Four Lyceums"; in 
1812, it is again "Library of the University of France"; 
in 1846, and for sixteen subsequent years, it is called 
"Library of the Sorbonne," and became strictly a 
Public Library; having theretofore been assigned to 

1 It had received, in 176S, a new Catalogae by Bouhours; bat this, I think, 
comprises the College books only; about two thirds of the whole. 

2 The count of 1790 is almost identical with that of 1771. Of. Franklin : 
Tabular View of sappressed and re-organized libraries, in Aneienne9 BibL, nt 




the use of members of the University, or of such other chIweriv. 
institution as for the time being had taken the place of '^"l^*^"^ 
the University. In 1862, it became once again Uni- u*^"«"- 
versity Library, but continued to be public. 

Under all these changes, and notwithstanding its oc- 
casional diminution by transfers, it had grown rapidly. 
In 1847, we find the number of volumes returned ofii- 
cially as 39,451.^ In 1849, the Annuaire of DrooT 
assigns it 42,000 volumes.^ The treatise, nearly con- 
temporaneous, of Macarel and Boulatignier, ^^De la 
Fortune Picbliqite en France,'*^ agrees with the Eetums 
then obtained through our Ambassador at Paris, in 
stating the printed books at about 40,000 volumes, the 
manuscripts about 1000.^ 

And its succession of Librarians, from the Eevolution 
downwards, contains not a few names eminent in Lite- 
rature: — Sereeys (1794); Laromigubbrb (1804); Jouf- 
FROY (1837); BuRNOUF (1840); Planche (1844); Le 
Bas (1846); Leon Eenier (1860). 

The two most notable acquisitions of recent years are 
those of two very notable benefactors — Victor Lb Clerc 
and Victor Cousm. 

Joseph Victor Le Clerc, bom at Paris m 1787, and J^^^ 
educated at the College known under the Empire as 
LycSe Napoleon, there began his public career as Pro- 
fessor of Greek; and, in 1815, succeeded VnmEMAiN as 

1 Philifpk Lebas (Librarian of the Sorbonne) : Rapport au MkUstre de 
V Instruction Publique; printed in Joum, OetL, 7 Apr., 1847. 

2 DiDOT: ilnnuaire, of 1849. 

3 Macarel, &c. : Dela Fortune Publique; L 477» 9eqq. 

4 App. to Report c^ Select CommUke on FubUe LUfraries; printed in 1860. 


Chaptkb IV. 

§ 2— LiBBART 



Professor of Ehetoric at the Lyc^e Charlemagne ; and 
filled several other Chairs with distinction, during the 
successive changes in the organization of Public Educa- 
tion in Paris which followed upon the various revolu- 
tions of government. His first publication was, I 
believe, an Eloge de Montaigne; soon followed by a 
Chrestomathie Grecque (1812), which has gone through 
many editions. His admirable edition of Cicero's com- 
plete works, in Latin and French, appeared between the 
years 1821 and 1825, and has been reprinted. His 
recension of the text of Cicero has become a standard 
for subsequent French editions of the author. The 
treatise Des Joumaux chez les Romains is an exhaustive 
review of a subject full of interest and curiosity; and 
theretofore very imperfectly handled — by testimony of 
competent critics — ^in any country. This work appeared 
in 1838. M. Le Clerc evinced hke abiUty in handling 
classical subjects, whether comparatively novel, as in 
this instance, or hackneyed by a thousand and one prior 
labourers, as in the '^Ilistoire du platonisme,'' wliich, a 
few years earher, he had prefixed to a reprint of his 
Pensees de Platan of 1818. 

M. Le Clerc had, from an early period of liis career, 
begun the formation of a Library, rich, as might be 
expected, in classics, and especially in the apparatus of 
Eoman literature ; well furnished, also, in the Literature 
of France, to the great Benedictine History of which he 
early became an extensive contributor; succeeding, 
eventually (1840), another eminent lover, writer, and 
collector of books, Daunou, in the chief editorship.^ 

1 Vafkreau : Dkt, des CaiUemporaires, § Le Clerc. 


The important volume on the tliirteenth-century litera- chI™ *iv. 
ture, of 1856, is mainly his. He was also an extensive • ^^J;^^^"'' 
contributor, both to the Biographic Universelle of u»^^»«^ 
MiCHAUD, and to the Nouvelle Biographic Gencralc of 


This fine Library amounted, at the date of the col- 
lector's death, to about 12,000, and was bequeathed 
entire to the University. At that time, M. Le Clerc's 
was by far the most considerable gift the University had 
yet received.^ 

It was followed, in 1867, by the noble benefaction of BequMtof th« 

Library of 

Victor Cousin, eminent alike in Philosophy, in History, victor coudn. 
and in Criticism; eminent, not alone as author, 'as 
bibhographer, and as professor, but as publicist and 
senator ; who has left a vast series of works, most of 
which seem likely to retain their liold upon public 
opinion for a long time to come ; several of which mark 
epochs in the study of their several and richly-diversi- 
fied subjects; though, in liis last Willy he was pleased 
to subordinate the wliole of them, viewed as the 
labours of a most industrious and indefatigable hfe, to 
that special labour of love, which he had, indeed, 
known how to interweave with them all — the collection 
of a great Librar5\ Thcrc^ he had found the refresh- 
ment and the renewal of energies which, at one time or 
other, had been tasked in almost every form of literary 
and of pubhc toil, — and that at a period more than 
ordinarily severe, wearing, and exliaustive, even to 

1 Fbakxlin : Anciennes Biblioihtquea de Paris, iu. 312. 



Ghaptbb IV. 
§ 2— Library 



V. Cousin M a 

faculties more than commonly robust: — "I give to the 
Sorbonne," he wrote, not long before his death, "wy 
best Wbrk^ — my Library." 

These pithy and humble words are curiously corro- 
borative of a pen-and-ink portrait, for which their 
writer sat, unconsciously, to a skilled artist, some years 
earher (1859). " The most eloquent of our pliilo- 
sophers, — a great writer, — an unrivalled talker, — is, 
before all things else, a Connoisseur; notliing escapes 
his passion for collecting — Manuscripts, Printed Books, 
Prints, Pictures, — and wherever (in that quest) he sets 

foot, he is King To-day, he has met with a 

wind-fall; and adieu to Philosophy. — He has found 
(only fancy it!) '^Zaydej' in the first edition; on large 
paper; uncut; a copy really unique; — and bound in 
lemon-coloured morocco ! " 

Some famous incidents in the professional career of 
M. Cousm have been made familiar to many readers, 
who do not read Lectures on, or Histories of, Pliilo- 
sophy, by being told in the vivid pages of a 
popular historian, M. Louis Blanc, who, at a more 
recent date, shared Cousm's early democratic enthu- 
siasm, without ever, in the least, sharing his later and 
deeper conservative wisdom. One of those incidents must 
needs have a word or two, because it became an event in 
the History of the Sorbonne,— in the annals of halls which 
had nmg with the glowing words of great speakers and 
teachers, laid in earth five or six centuries before the 
utterance (1827) of that brilliant sketch of a sort of 
universal history, from the point of view of an ardent 
publicist (uttered by way of an " Litroduction to the 


study of Philosophy,") which served as a war-cry to a cnli^'iv. 
band of youthful assailants upon an unpopular Ministry; ' ^J:^^"^ 
and which had an incontestable share in bringing about ^^^™'^- 
ahke the Eevolution of July, and the very needful Con- couain'a 

*' ^ ^ iufluence on the 

servative checks and curbs upon that Eevolution, which Revolution of 

^ 1830. 

placed " 1832 " in such striking contrast with " 1830." 
And there was no inconsistency; unless growth be an 
inconsistency of youth. For that impassioned oration 
of 1827 is in nothing more notable,^ than in its glorifi- 
cation of Monarchy, — of Monarchy guided by prudent 
counsellors, and restrained by real, not seeming, 

A list of the eminent men whose formative period 
was largely influenced by the teachings of Cousin, 
would be a list singularly varied, and would be scarcely 
a less notable tribute to his powers than would be a list 
of liis own writings — were this the place for either. It 
would include men as diversified in their careers, and 
in their own influence on the new generation, as the 
philosopher and historian, Damiron — whose series of 
portraits of men of the eighteenth century makes so 
curious a pendant and contrast to his early master's 
series of women of the seventeenth; — and that famous 
preacher, Abb6 Cceur, whom some have ventured 
to characterize as "the St. Cyprian of the nineteenth 
century." It would also include younger men of great 
promise, cut off* in their prime, but nevertheless influen- 
tial, too, in their measure, such as the young Farcy, 
who fell at the barricades of July; — who received 
from Saintb-Beuve a biographical portrait, which has 
its place in classic French prose; and to whom Cousin 



cnlraRiv. P^^^ ^^^ crowning honour of dedicating to his memory 
•^1^^'''' the best text and the best French version of the 


Dialogues of Plato. Of such a stamp were many of 
the men bred in " the Sorbonne," of the early years of 
this century. 

The Conservative Peer of France (born in 1792) was 
the son of a watchmaker, and was the brilliant student, 
prizeman, and medallist, of the Lyc^e Charlemagne. 
Eeversing the course of his fellow-benefactor of the 
Sorbonne, Le Clerc, the successful scholar of the 
Charlemagne Lyceum became, for a time, the popular 
professor of the Napoleon Lyceum ; and the man who, 
during the " Hundred Days," took his spell of service in 
the Eoyal Volunteers, had presently (1824) the curious 
fate of being imprisoned first at Dresden and afterwards 
at Berlin, for a suspected (but very fictitious) "car- 
bonarism." Like so many other famous men. Cousin 
knew how to pluck the rose "progress" out of the net- 
tle "danger." He acquired at Berhn a more thorough 
knowledge of German pliilosophy than probably would 
have been possible to him, but for that annoying ad- 
venture. Those German studies rendered brilUant 
service to his future career. And I venture to think 
(remembering what I have read, years ago, of docu- 
ments which came from Cousin's pen on PubUc Educa- 
tion) that, even at so early a date, he learned something 
in Prussia on educational subjects, — nothing can rob 
Prussia of its due and large meed of honour in that 
field, — which was not without its influence in procuring 
for liim the later official Mission, and what grew out of 

cousin's literary labours. 97 

that, and so helped to shape the official action of the chI^miv 
future Minister of Public Instruction in France. Prior * ^T^lt*^^'' 


to the eventful journey of 1824, Cousin had had but university. 
a brief ghinpse of Germany. 

The early courses of Philosophy, of 1817 and the 
subsequent years, did not appear in print until 1836, 
when they were pubUshed under the editorship of M. 
Adolphe Garnier. And there is notliing, in its kind, 
more instructive than to compare that work of 1836 
with its new recension, as it came from the author's 
own mind, — ripened, matured, purified. Christianized, 
—in 1853. 

The first actual pubhcations of a man who was to be- Thoutenuy 

labours of 

come as conspicuously a marvel of laboriousness and of victor cou«in. 
erudition, as of intellectual versatility, were those of an 
Editor:— Proc/t^ (1820-27); Plato (1825-40); Descartes 
(1826); appeared in rapid succession, and with admir- 
able apparatus and introductions; though, as respects 
Plato, the illustrative matter of the first intention re- 
mains unfinished. In a like field of labour followed 
Abelard (1836); and the Pensees de Pascal (1842); 
more than once reprinted; and which — although itself 
much improved afterwards in the recension of Faugere 
— may not unfitly be called a Princeps edition of a 
French classic, pubhshed about 200 years after the 
author's death. It is familiar to all students of French 
Literature — but there is never any harm in reiterated 
tribute to weighty and pregnant labours — that the last- 
named pubhcation, preceded, as it had been, by re- 
markable articles in the Journal des Savants — did much 





ohIwmiv. Daore than restore to purity the text of a great French 
*^thT^^ classic. It aroused attention, at once, — as iteration 
from less honoured lips would hardly have done, — to 
the current evils of perfunctory and unfaithful editing 
of the worthies of old time. 

Two other distinctive fields of exertion must have brief 
mention: — ^Tlie official missions into Holland and into 
Germany, under Louis Philippe, had, for their adminis- 
trative result, fruitful labours in political and cabinet 
office; and for literary result, the treatise De V Instruc- 
tion Publique en ffoUande, of 1837; and that De VIn- 
struction Pvblique dans quelques pays de VAllemagne^ et 
particulihrement en Pnisse, of 1840. Very few years 
after the last-named date was begun that long and me- 
morable series of Etudes sur les Femmes et la Sodeti du 
XVIP Siicle^ which are so notable, not alone as instruc- 
tive and dehghtful reading, but as powerful correctives 
to the prevalent depreciation of the old France. This 
latest group of books continued to enlarge itself, al- 
most until the death of a great thinker, a great student, 
and an actor of no small puissance on the stage of 
public afiairs; whose whole life — long, rich, and varied 
as it was — has its ever-recurring points of contact with 
the " Sorbonne," — as he loved to call his University to 
the last, — and whose final act makes him, of itself, 
immortal on the long Eoll of its book-loving Bene- 
factors, extending — under varied collegiate transforma- 
tions — from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth. 


§ 3.— The Library of the Benedictine Abbey of St. 

For almost a hundred and fifty years, the German Public had pro- 
fited by that thorough and comprehensive instruction which the 
Mauristsof Paris had drawn from old MSS., and had imparted in 

several immortal works ; and especially by their i^«teiii of 

Diplomatics (which Adelung and others had made more useful still 
by translating it into Oennan), . . . with its vast series of examples 
of every sort of Writing, extended over a thousand years. Men 
wondered to see so interminable a crowd of acquisitions to know- 
ledge won,— arranged,— methodixed,— illustrated with thousands of 
specimens ;— and all within one generation. 

— Jaeck : nie BainberffUeJu Bibliothek, 2r Th., pp. 47 »eqq. 

As to the Utility of Monasticism passing over— 

here, and for the present, that supreme utility (supreme in the eyes 
of every consistent Christian) of Prayer, of the life hidden with Ood ; 
of that puissant and unceasing intercession by Prayer, always as- 
cending from earth to Heaven, let us come down to that lower level 
which is occupied by those who always keep their eyes fixed upon 
earth ; always chained down to the thhigs that are passing, and the 
things that bring gain. Let us ask all such to point, in the Annals 
of the World, to any body, any Institution, .... which has, at any 
time, rivalled, even remotely, with those Monasteries which were, 
for more than ten centuries, the Schools, the Archives, the Libraries, 
the Hotels, tt^e Workshops, .... of Christian Society. 

— MoNTALKMBERT : Lci Moifies (TOccidtnt, Intr. cxxv. 

The Abbey of St. Germain-in-the-Fields was probably ^^^"^ '• 

•^ ^ , . Chapter IV. 

the oldest Monastic Foundation of Paris. Its first s^-LraR^^^o' 

St. Oermain- 

Church dates from the middle of the sixth century; i»-the.fielob 
having been originally dedicated to St. Vincent the 
Martyr by Childebert I. An eariy Christian poet has 
celebrated the beauty of that infant Church, in verses 
which are still remembered. Towards the close of his, 
reign, Childebert, with the co-operation of his consort 
Ultrogotha, gave the Church to a Community of Bene- 
dictines, established under the headship of St. Germain, 
formerly Abbot of Symphorien at Autun, whose name 
became, in the event, the name of the Abbey. ^ 

1 MONTALEMBKBT: tfl«tt|9., iL 231. 


CHltrL'iv. ^^^ subsisting records give very little information 
* sT.^GKKtTlN-' ^^^^^ ^^^^ origin and growth of the Library, which 
iN-TiiK-FiELDs jj^ust have been of great importance at an early date. 
Tliere is evidence, on the face of a long series of manu- 
scripts wliich are now preserved in the National Library, 
that, at. all events, from the eleventh century down to 
the sixteenth, it had many hberal benefactors; many 
book-loving Abbots; many laborious scribes. These 
scribes and the Abbey-Librarians have made many an 
entry on the fly-leaves of their books, of the sense they 
entertained that the Monk of St. Benedict had no duty, 
next after that supreme duty of wliich Montalembert 
has spoken so weightily, in the few hues I have placed 
at the head of this section, more incumbent on him than 
the duty of study, and of providing and diffusing the 
means of study. ^ The earlier labours (of a secular sort) 
of faithful Benedictines had, before the twelfth century, 
fallen very much into other hands, by change of cir- 
cumstance, and by the very fruitfulness of those labours 
themselves. The labours of the Scriptorium had be- 
come, in course of time, more imperative, more preg- 
nant with good, than the wonted labours of field and 
garden and orchard. 

Often, these new maxims are expressed in verse — 
inartistic, but instructive. And other hke entries often 
commemorate the donation and the transcription of 
books by men elsewhere unregistered. The givers of 
MSS. in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are many. 
And not a few of the gifts are still serviceable to 
readers and students of the nineteenth century. 

1 Delisle: Le Cabinet des MSS. de la Bibl Nationale, ii 41, seqq. 


There is evidence, too, that these Benedictines of St. chI^kh 'iv 
Germain's made their Library a Public one, as early as * ^^0"^"";,,^ 
in the twelfth century. Students had, at that date, '^-^^-^'^^ 
access to it, as well for borrowing as for consultation.^ 

In the fifteenth century came the period — too usual 
in annals such as these — of lassitude, indolence, and 
corruption. When the invading Northmen had come 
to St. Germain's, burning and ravaging, after their 
fashion, seven hundred years before, they found a 
Library and destroyed it. When, in 1513, GuiUaume 
BR19ONNET came to the Abbacy, he had almost to lay 
over again the very foundation of a Library. 

With the remnant of the ancient Collection, and on 
the basis of the improved arrangements introduced by 
BR190NNET, a long hne of laborious and faithful Monks 
worked successively and zealously in its enlargement. Tho Maurist 

_ — T\ T-* /^ t • Roatorers of 

Amongst them : J ean J acques Du Breul, Gregoire Learning at 

St. Oormain'8. 

Sarisse, Jean Dartis, Jean Luc dAchery, Eobert 
Morel, David Placide Porcheron, and Nicolas Ca- 
MUSAT, deserve honourable memory. D'Achery — the 
Father, in the Congregation of St. Maur, of restored 
Monastic studies, as he has been justly called — added 
to other ser\dces a good Catalogue. Porcheron added 
the beginning of a Cabinet of Medals. St. Germain's 
had already shared with its neighbour-Abbeys of St. 
Victor and St. Genevieve the gift of a vast collection of 
Prints, formed by Accart, — so large and so valuable, 
as well to bear sub-division; and it is to this day a 
store-house for students and artists. 

As early as in the year 1557, the Library had been 

1 Dblislb: Le Cab, dea M88,, Ac, iL 43. 


chI^' IV re-arranged in a new edifice, built expressly for its re- 

*^^^^^y ception.^ In 1638 it received, by way of deposit, a 

m^K-FiBLDs series of MSS. from the Abbey of Corbie in Picardy. 

How that collection of Corbie had been formed, has 

been noticed already. 

The closing year of the seventeenth century brought 
ubrary and with it thc bcqucst of a Library, said (on contemporary 
cjouectionaof but, I thiuk, doubtful authoritv) to have contained 

Baudraud. ' ' '^ ' 

nearly eleven thousand volumes,^ collected by the fa- 
mous geographer, Michel Antoine Baudraud, together 
with an unrivalled series of maps and charts, and with 
his manuscripts — original and collected. Baudraud 
had imbibed his ardent love of geography in early 
youth, when employed by a tutor in the task of cor- 
recting the proof-sheets of a certain Parallela Geo- 
graphicB veteris et novce, which the boy-corrector was 
soon to supersede, by compiling a work that remains, 
to this day, the best of its kind. His education com- 
pleted, he made a tour through Germany, Italy, and 
Britain ; gathering, by the way, every accessible atlas, 
map, and topographical plan, of value, that he could 
lay hands upon. This collection became the ground- 
work of his Dictionnaire giographique et historique. 
Gifts of Pascal lu the year 1715, by the gift of Jean Guerrier, the 
tran^pts. Abbcy was enriched with many valuable transcripts of 
the papers of Pascal; specially valuable, because to 
read the originals requires a prehminary education, the 

1 Dsusle: Le Cab, des AfSS,, ttc., ii 43. 

2 It seema to me probable that this was the number, or approximate num- 
ber, of toorks, rather than of volumes. The account given in M. Franklin's 
Anciennea BibHothigues is vague. 


hand of the great mathematician and writer being al- cJ^^^\y 
most equal to Napoleon's in illegibility. Guerrier had • ^^q^^jJ!' 
been entrusted with the originals by Pascal's niece, w-the-pi«ld6 
Marguerite Perier. By the Abb6 Perier, an autograph 
MS. of the Pensies seems to have been given, almost 

The history of Pascal's papers is curiously involved. Hi«toiyof 
Some of them were given by Abb6 Perier to the Ora- ^"**^'" ^*^*^- 
torians of Clermont; and others, at a later date, by 
Marguerite Perier. And some of his own transcripts 
were by Guerrier given also to Clermont, as were 
others of them, by his nephew, after the transcriber's 
death. Most of the Pascal MSS. that came thus to 
Clermont appear to have come, eventually, into the 
possession of M. Ballaigne, and by him were commu- 
nicated to M. Faugere, for the excellent edition of the 
Peiisies which appeared in 1844.^ This recurrence and 
involution of the same names, as donors alike to Cler- 
mont and to St. Germain's, appears to have led M. 
Franklin to state (following, too, an oversight of Dom 
Tassin,^ the learned historian of the Maurists) that 
Guerrier, "having obtained from Mme. Perier the 
autograph MSS. of Pascal, gave them to St. Germain's, 
retaining only, for himself, the autograph of the 
Pensies''^ This is, certainly, a double error. Fau- 
gere's testimony on the point cannot be questioned. 
The transcripts so laboriously made by Guerrier, are 
said to amount to 300 in number. One original MS., 

1 Pascal: Pensies: by Fsng^re; IntrocL, 43, 47, 61. 

2 Tassin: HisL lUUr. de la Cangr. de SL Maur, p. 786. 

3 Fbakklin: Aneknna BibUothiques de Paris^ i. 114. 




Chapter IV. 

at least, of Pascal's is preserved in another Library at 
«^^^«^;;;' Clermont,— that of the Town.i And there is, I oV 
iN-THB-FiBLDB QQjryQ^ ^ Pascal volume in the rich Library of Troyes ; 
but that is probably a transcript. 

Oifto of the 
Library of 

and of that of 
B. Benaudot. 

Li 1718, Jean D'Estrees, Archbishop-elect of Cam- 
bray, gave the Library which he had inherited from his 
uncle, Cardinal C^sar D'Estrees, who had himself been 
Abbot of St. Germain's, and was, at the date of his 
death, the Father of the French Academy. This col- 
lection abounded in works on French History. Its 
acquisition at St. Germain's was speedily followed 
(Sept., 1720) by that of the Library of Eusebe Eenau- 
DOT, the Orientalist, and grandson of the founder of the 
Gazette de France^ which contained about nine thousand 
volumes of printed books, and a large series of manu- 
scripts, — Greek, Latin, and Oriental. Together, these 
accessions made the Library of St. Germain's one of 
the most important in Paris. And it was soon to be 
still further increased by the several collections of the 
Chancellor Seguier (in great part); of the Cardinal 
Louis PoTiER DE Gesvres ; and of Achille de Harlay, 
third of his name. 

The now famous Abbey had already, and had for a 
long time, become the head-quarters of those wide- 
spread researches and labours of the Maurist Bene- 
dictines, which have given fame to their Congregation, 
and have conferred on France, along with many ad- 
mirable works of History, the sources and feeders 

1 Pascal: Peruie^, ut sup. (Fong^ro's Intr., p. 55). 


whence are sure to come many more. To promote chTwJriv 
labours so fruitful, it became, in course of time, the * ^~';i"''^'*'' ^' 

' ' 'St. Oermain- 

practice with other Houses of the St. Maur Congrega- jn-the-fibldb 
tion to send many of their MSS. to St. Germain's, as to 
the place where they would be of most use to Learning. 
The richness of its printed Library enabled the St. 
Germain's Monks to give, in return, useful printed 
books. In tliis way, the Parisian Community drew 
store of MSS. from Bee, and from other provincial 
Abbeys; from the Wliite-Hoods (Blanc-Manteaux) of 
Paris; and from the Priory of St. Martin-in-the- 

The Cliancellor Seguier began to collect MSS. before The ubraiy of 
the year 1630. By 1640, he had got together nearly ^^^^^^^^^^ 
sixteen hundred volumes. Wlien the troubles and 
dangers of the Fronde drove him from Paris, his se- 
verance from his beloved books was anguish to him. 
It is the ever-recurring theme of his letters, and the 
lawyer gets, at length, to write with all a poet's glow. 
Take, for instance, this passage to his Librarian: .... 
" I do not doubt your fidelity. But a lover has always 
somewhat of uneasiness about the object of his passion. 
I am not yet mortified" [in seclusion] "to a degree 
which can lessen my affection for my books. On the 
contrary, my love grows with absence." When peace 
was restored, the Cliancellor's correspondence tells of 
large agencies at home and abroad. For Greek MSS. 
he was especially ardent. And liis attention was (as I 
have had to mention heretofore) early turned to the 


n ^tl^J'rxr Moiiasteries of the Nitrian Desert, as well as to other 

Chapter IV. ' 

«^^^«^^^;; Communities of the Levant.^ 
iNTH..FiELDe Sauval, the Historian of Paris, describes Seguier's 
Library as being placed (charmingly placed, as all 
book-lovers will think who are also of Bacon's 
mind as to the true rank of gardens, among the inno- 
cent deUghts of human life,) between two gardens, 
arranged in long galleries, everjrwhere looking out 
amongst turf, and trees, and flowers.^ One extensive 
gallery was wholly occupied by works of History. The 
other classes of Literature and Science occupied three 
large rooms. The Greek MSS., "bought from the 
Caloyers of Mount Athos," are mentioned by Sauval 
as a conspicuous feature in the contents of another 
large hall, the remaining space of wliich was fiUed with 
MSS. in Arabic, Syriac, Chaldee, and Hebrew, chiefly 
acquired at Alexandria. "All these works," he adds, 
(echoing, no doubt, opinions wliich he had heard fall 
from more learned lips,) "are well-selected, well-con- 
ditioned, and well-bound." 

Another contemporary bears testimony to the Chan- 
cellor's exemplary liberahty in permitting, at that early 
date, the free accessibiUty of his collection: "To the 

1 Magy, a merchant of Marseillee, writes to him (Oct., 1646): ... "I have 
been apprised of Year Excellency's desire to have lists of the manuscripts of 
the Ck>nvent of St. Macaire, and of other Egyptian Monasteries. I am de- 
lighted to have the opportunity of testifying the gratitude of myself and of 
the other poor merchants. I have written by way of Leghorn, to my Factor 
in Egypt, directing him to take all possible means to obtain for yon the said 
works and lists of Manuscripts." — Siguier MS, Corresp, in BibL Nat. Paris 
(printed by Delisle, Cab, des MSS., iL 87). 

2 Sauval: M6m. tur lea HCteU; as cited by Lb Houx ds Linct: Re- 
cherchest 123. 


Chancellor's Library, both rich and poor go to study." ^ cuZ^lniw. 

When it came to be appraised, for testamentary pur- * ^^q^^' 
poses, after the Collector's death (1672), th^ MSS. were ^-^-^^^^ 
estimated at 5fi,557 Uvres;^ equal, I suppose, to some- 
what more than £9000 • of present English money. 
They descended to the Chancellor's grandson, Henri 
Charles de Cambout de Coislin, Archbishop of Metz, 
under whose auspices the work of Montfaucon, so me- 
morable in bibhograpliic annals, Bibliotheca Coisliniana^ 
appeared in 1715. During its progress, Montfaucon 
gives the Archbishop, from time to time, some account 
of those of its contents which were more than usually 
notable as additions to previous knowledge. Amongst 
documents of this class, he signalizes: (1,) A hst of the 
works of Severus of Antioch, of the fifth century; (2,) 
Fragments of the works, themselves, of that Writer, of 
which not one twentieth part, he says, were previously 
extant; (3,) Canons and Minutes of Councils, equally 
new to the learned. 

When the Archbishop bequeathed this noble Library 
to the Maurists of St. Germain's, he might well say 
(May, 1731): "I am assured you will make of it a 
good use, both for the Church and for the State." I 
have told, elsewhere, how it has come to pass that, 
whilst so much of the S^guier-CoisUn collection adorns 
the National Library of France, other and rich portions 
of it have to be sought in London and at St. Peters- 
burgh. The accomplished De Brequigny was astonished 

1 JiiTnaille sur lea Biblioth^quea de Paris, 

2 Of this sum, the Greek MSS., about 400 in namber, are entered for 
12,851 Hvres. 



Chapter IV. 

when, (luring liis visit to London, he saw the Seguier 
*k^GERMMN-'^^l^"^®s of the Harleian Collection, of which, till then, 
iN-THE-FiELDs ^heFe had been no word in Paris. Part of the Chan- 
cellor's correspondence is preserved in the Library of 
the Institute of France, of Which, in his capacity of 
member and protector of the Academy, he may be 
looked upon as a sort of Ancestor. 


The books of the Cardinal de Gesvres, Archbishop 
of Bourges, were, with the liberal spirit so characteristic 
of the great Ecclesiastics of France of all ages, accom- 
panied by an express provision for public access. 
SS/'**"' The strength of the Harlay CoUection of MSS. lay 
^^■°^' in the classes ^'Jurisprudence'' and '^^ History of France ^ 

Its foundation had been laid by the first Achille de 
BLajilay, President of the Parliament of Paris, and 
great-grandfather of the giver; it was increased by 
Christopher de Harlay, who had been Ambassador in 
England, and had, it is probable, made some literary 
acquisitions here. It was also increased by his son, 
AcHiLiJE n. It included MS. collections of the Bel- 
LiEVRE family and of the Attorney-General Servan. 
For the most part, it had been kept in the family seat 
at Gros-bois.^ The Maurist-historian, Dom Tassin, 
dates the gift in 1762; M. Delisle, in 1755. It was 
made by the heir of the long hue of the De Harlays, 
M. De . Chauveun, then Minister of Foreign Afiairs. 
The MSS. were 1559 m number.^ 

1 Delisle : Le Cabinet dea MSS., d:c., ii 100-103. 

2 I think this to be the correct number. It .bo occotb in my snthoritiea 
once, and once as 1659. 


In the year 1767, a collection of MSS. which had chI^eriv. 
belonged to the ecclesiastical historian, Le Nain de • |;^Q^^^^yj|' 
TiLLEMONT, was given to St. Germain's by its then pos- ^»-™«-FiK")e 
sessor, M. de Fremont d'Auneuil. And, nearly at the 
same time, the Library was enriched with a series of 
historical transcripts which had been made, originally, 
for FouQUET, — whose name occurs with such curious 
frequency in bibUothecal annals. 

So that, at this period, a series of gifts, some of them 
so truly prince-like, had put the Benedictines of St. 
Germain's in possession of a Library very large, for the 
time, yet much less notable for its extent, tlian for its 
choiceness, and for the noble uses to which it had been 
turned, both by collectors and by inheritors. 

Of its then forty-five thousand volumes, more than 
five thousand were manuscripts; and of the manu- 
scripts, not a few were almost priceless. According to 
Lerouge, the author of the book entitled Curiosites de 
Paris^ nearly a thousand of them ranged in date from 
tlie sixth century to the ninth. ^ Almost every great 
historical work produced in France during the last 
century, and not a few classical and theological works 
of mark, owe part of their value to the stores of St. 

Wlien these Benedictines came, at length, under the The supprosaion 
sway of Eevolutionists, tliey shared the common fate, community at 
Tlie ruling spirits of the hour respected Historians as 
little as they respected Chemists. A Bouquet, indeed, 
would probably have won even less favour and less 

1 It would be safer, probably, to read tenth ? 


chTwL'iv. ^^ercy than a Lavoisier. For they were on the eve of 
•^^Q^^^^jJI' finding out that Chemists ?i7^r^ wanted.^ History, as 
"'■™'"^"^~ Lacordaire has so truly said, is "much hated." ^ And 
it is hated by none so intensely, — unless they be per- 
mitted to fashion it for themselves, — as by Eevolution- 
. ists and by Sociahsts ; — by the men of blood, and by 
the men of dreams. Tlie Eevolution dispersed the 
Monks. The Library was retained, and was permitted 
to continue open to the Pubhc. But under character- 
istic conditions : A magazine of saltpetre was lodged on 
its basement floor. And a large quantity of charcoal 
was stored up hard by. 

And thus it came to pass, that the Paches^ of that 
day, and their congeners, were presently spared all 
trouble, either (1) in providing tumbrils to remove so 
large a stock of books to the municipal "dep6ts"; or 

1 The Reader will remember the answer given to the representation, made 
by a friend of Lavoisier to his gaolers, that a delay of some days in his execu- 
tion might enable the great Chemist to complete some important experiments. 

2 " There is nothing in the world more cordially hated than is History; 
oppressors of the people and enemies of God strive for nothing more strenu- 
ously than for the destruction of History They surround their victim 

with all the apparatus of intimidation. But Publicity is strongest. "... . 
. . . — (Lacordaire's Conferences d Notre Dame. ) No doubt the germ of 
these striking sentences, which rang through the aisles of Notre Dame, Uee 
in the famous passage of Chateaubriand on "the CaBsar" in the splendour of 
the throne, and the Tacitus in an obscure comer of the Empire; — but they 
bear Lacordaire's own mint- mark, nevertheless; and the spirit of the passage, 
the force of the central truth in it, is now seen more vividly in relation to the 
Communist and Terrorist enemies of the 'Past, the Present, and the Future, 
than ever it can have been seen in relation to Imperialist oppression. No ob- 
servant student, in these days (who looks on things from the Christian point of 
view), can have failed to note that revolutionist oppressors and haters of 
Christianity wield forces more terrible, and have an organization more ramified, 
and far more secret, than were ever wielded by any oppressive monarch upon 
earth; and they use them more unscrupulously. 

3 See, in the next Section, the account of the dealings of the MunicipalB 
with St Victor's Library. 


(2) in providing funds for the maintenance of a Library, cnlt^'iv 
containing books so distasteful; or (3) in the divesting • ^^^^^^^' 
title-pages, dedications, and bindings of tliose armorial '^-^'-P""* 
bearings, mitres, coronets, and other emblems or insig- Partial 

destruction of 

nia, which were more distasteful still. The ma^razine st Germain's 

^ Ldbrary. 

exploded in August, 1794 — the month wliich made so 
deep a mark in the annals of " The Eeign of Terror." 

Only a few days before the occurrence of a catas- 
trophe so strictly consecutive, some worthy precursor 
or other of the Communists of 1871, but, even during 
the Eeign of Terror, somewhat in advance of his own 
Age, had been heard to recommend the burning 
down of a more famous Library. The Library of the 
Eue Eichelieu, said this advanced politician of the 
pavement, has been a very long time "sullied" by its 
name of ^^Bibliothhque du Eoi." ^ Even the Convention 
of '94 was struck by the occurrence of so striking a 
commentary, in August, upon words spoken, perhaps, 
in July. It enacted that, thenceforth, no magazines of 
gunpowder or of saltpetre should be placed close to 
Public Libraries. 

Visitors to St. Petersburgh are wont, at times, ^"^^^ ^^- »* 

^ ' ' St. Peteraburgh. 

to express surprise at the great number of choice p^^^y <i«ri^«i 

, ... from St Oct- 

MSS. bearing the Eoyal arms and insignia of France, mains Library, 
wliich are shewn in its Imperial Library. They see 
there Prayer-Books of Jane of Burgundy, of Lewis XII., 
of Mary Stuart. French Eomances are shewn to them, 

1 I have quoted my authorities at length in Part III., in the Memoir of 
the National Library, and have alluded to the disoussion which ooonrred 
about it, but the other day. 


ckx^^Iriv. "^^^ich once belonged to Louisa of Savoy, or to Anne of 
* |:^' Q^^^^j^°/ Britanny ; and classical MSS., precious alike for their 
iN.THB-FiELDfl contcnts, and for their calligrapliy, wliich Catherine of 
Medicis had brought with her from Tuscany into France. 
They behold, in Kussia, a series of French Charters of 
the twelfth, tliirteenth, and fourteenth centuries ; with a 
multitude of Eoyal Letters and of State Papers of later 
date. Very naturally, they wonder how so many of the 
literary treasures of old France reached St. Petersburgh. 
Some of them passed into Eussian hands on that August 
night of 1794, when Paris was suddenly alarmed by loud 
explosions, and hghted up by the flames of a noble me- 
diaeval Abbey. Others, it is believed, had been already 
stolen from the Library at or about the time of the 
revolutionary inventorizing of '91. 

For, not long before the partial destruction, the con- 
tents of St. Germain's Library had been summarily 
enumerated. Its printed books were then found to be 
49,387 volumes. Its Oriental Manuscripts were six 
hundred and tliirty-four volumes. The Greek Manu- 
scripts were four hundred and fifty-two. The Latin, a 
thousand six hundred and forty-four. Tlie French, two 
thousand seven hundred and eighty-tliree. All these 
numbers of MSS. are exclusive of the Harlay Collec- 
tion, which, in all classes, comprised 1559 volumes 
more; so that the total number of MSS., according to 
the count of 1791, amounted to seven thousand and 

1 E^€U giiUral des Lwres des Maisons EccUs.; MSS. in Archives of France ; 
summarized in Franklin: Anciennes BihL, ut supra, i. 124, aeqq. 


But the real number exceeded eight thousand vo- chI^L'iv. 
lumes; the difference being mainly occasioned by the • ^^q^"'^^^/ 
omission, in the return made by the delegates of the '»-™«-F'«™ 
National Assembly, of those many manuscripts and 
manuscript-collections, chiefly on the History, civil and 
ecclesiastical, of France, wliich were in actual use for 
the literary labours of the Maurist Monks. 

At the fire of 1794 there were, of course, many per- 
sons present, who strove to save the books and other 
contents of the Abbey. Some of the helpers threw a 
large number of volumes into neighbouring cellars. 
These, as it seems, were mostly recovered for France 
by the indefatigable and self-denying labours, for 
months together, amidst dirt, damp, and noisome ex- 
halations, of men like the Benedictine Dom Poirier, 

' ' MSS. from 

and the bibliographer Van Praet. Other volumes, and s^ oermain at 
some of the choicest, fell into the hands of a Secretary 
of the Eussian Embassy, Peter Dubrowski, who had 
already, as appears by conclusive proof, made con- 
siderable collections at the taking of the Bastille, and 
probably on other occasions.^ 

Despite repeated researches, there remains not a Uttle 
mystery about the circumstances of these successive 
depredations. PomiER liimself has left autograph notes 
which point to early and leisurely theft, for they shew 
that, in some cases, the contents of a precious volume 
were taken out, and something comparatively worthless 
inserted into the old binding; so that the loss was un- 

1 Count Hector de La Fbrrikkb: Rapp. sur ks recherclies faites d la Bibl. 
Imp^, de 8(, Petersb.; printed in the Archives des Missions ScierUiJiques, Sdrie 
II., torn, ii., pp. 373, se/jq,; torn, iil, pp. 1, seqq. (1866<^). 




'*iv. Perceived until after close search. Leprince, the his- 
' ^/ge^^';^'*/ torian of the National Library, has also put on record 
1N.THK.F1ELD8 ^jj^ ^ jj^g nQte) a current rumour of the day, that on 
occasion of the fire of '94, some of the choicest MSS. 
of St. Germain's fell into the hands of "Browiski, a 
Pole," who sent them for sale to St. Petersburgh.^ It is 
known, on other evidence, tliat some of them were 
shewn and offered for purchase in London, soon after 
the catastrophe. 

The superb Library had been lodged in a building 
worthy of its contents. It was far from being the only 
collection, for public use, wliich did honour ahke to 
Benedictine learning and to Benedictine munificence, 
and which had become a "cynosure," not to "neigh- 
bouring eyes" only. Here, Bernard de Montfaucon 
had laid the foundation of a Museum of Antiquities, 
which his successors had enriched. Here, other Maur- 
ists had formed a valuable Museum of Natural History. 
Notobte Amonff its Librarians, besides those whom I have 

Ubrarians of ^ 

St Germain, mcutioned already, were Montfaucon himself, Denis de 
St. Marthe, and Martin Bouquet. Many of the liis- 
torical and some of the theological books which have 
done conspicuous honour to France, were written in 
the Library, and in the cells, of St. Germain's. It is 
the crowning distinction of the Benedictines of St. 
Maur, that, illustrious as they are in Literature, they 
are not less illustrious in ReUgion. Nowhere can the 
duties, the charities, and the devotion, of a true Monas- 
tic life, have been more faithfully observed, than they 

1 MSS. in BibL Nat cited by Dblislb: Le Cab. des MS8„ torn. iL, p. 48. 


were by very many of the men whose labours, as Q^l^^\y 
authors and editors, have made them for ever memor- « f^^"^*^ <»' 

' St. Germaik- 

able. If, m some particulars, the ancient Benedictine »-™Ef '«"« 
discipUne came, in a changed world, to be relaxed or 
modified, the best purposes for wliich that discipline 
was established were but the more fully attained. 



§ 4. — ^The Library of the Augustinian Abbey of 

St. Victor. 

" I never enter into a lai^ Library without feeling my mind sur* 
priaed into reverential awe, as if in the presence of a great Assembly 
of Men, renowned for . . . talents and virtue. . 

—Dialoffua in a Library^ p. 2. i 

Men of ordinary literary hardihood look over the dusty and solemn « 

ranks of learned works in a great .... Library, as an invincible 
Terra incognita. They gaae on the letter'd latitude and altitude, as | ' 

they would gaae on the inaccessible shore of some great Island, | 

bounded on all sides with a rocky precipice. L. 

But Bishop HuET gives the example of a man having no such sen* f^ 

sations— submitting and retiring— at sight ol the most formidable 
masses of Literature. There was no point where he had the smallest 
fear of not being able to make an entrance, and a lodgment, and to 
extend his researches and conquests; .... wliile the common tribe 
of scholars . . . stand at distance, gazing and confounded. 

—Foiteriana, p. 81. 

PART I. The library of St. Victor does not connect itseB" so 

§4^m^BT or directly with the literary history of France, sswdoes 
^'""'"^^ that of • St. Germain-in-the-Fields. But few Libraries 
could point to a longer list of the visits of famoi^^ ®^"" 
dents, medifieval and modern; of famous book-l^^^^i 
who delighted to see fine books, finely lodgec^ ^^^ 
richly accompanied. For at St. Victor's, a man could 
see a collection of engraved portraits of the wri ^^ ^^ 
the books he came to consult, scarcely to be eq ualled, 
even in Paris ; and he found himself, even more (i^rectly 
arid literally, in the actual presence of an " Asse'^^v ^* 
renowned men," than the Dialogist of my eP^g^^P^^ 
could well have reaUzed, by dint of abstract*^^ ^^d 
meditation. The visitor to the Library of St. Victor s 
saw not only choice books, in a choice buih^^^g^ but 
above the books he saw in long Une, and ^ artistic 

V ^n 


beauty, both of sculpture, of position, and of adorn- (,g][^JJ*,v 
ment, the busts of the great Authors of all ages. And «t;;L^iBRARYOF 
in those monastic halls, in later days, it was also the 
practice to invite the Parisian pubUc to Usten to an 
annual oration on the advantages of Public Libraries. 

The foundation of the famous Abbey of St. Victor S;;-^];^^^ °' 
dates from the year 1113. It has a connection with^^^'^"^* 
the controversies of KeaUsts and NominaUsts, so event- 
ful in that day, and wliich retain something more than 
a merely historical interest in our own. When the • 
star of William of Champeaux was paUng before the 
meteor-like displays of his great rival, he left the 
cloisters of Notre-Dame, and established himself in 
what was then a Uttle " Chapel of St. Victor," wliich 
he soon expanded into an Abbey of Augustinians. 
Scarcely had he obtained a Charter from Lewis VI. for 
the new foundation, when he was removed to Ch&lons- 
sur-Mame as Bishop; and liis disciple Gilduin became 
first Abbot of St. Victor. The Abbey prospered as a 
great School of Theology. Before the century expired, 
it possessed a Library of note ; it had its offshoots or 
dependant "halls"; it claimed to have educated seven 
cardinals, six bishops, and two archbishops; and to 
have sent to other Communities fifty-four eventual 
abbots. And its Library was already — although in 
only a restricted sense — public. ^^Ad usum fratrum 
et pauperum scholarium'^ is an expression repeatedly 
occurring in connection with books in the Necrology, 
In mentioning this fact, M. Franklin (an exhaustive 
historian of the Monastic Parisian Libraries) adds: 


chIwmiv. "I ha,ve met with no indication of this kind in the 
* ^\'^^^ ^' Necrologies of the two great Abbeys contemporaneous 
with St. Victor, — those of St. Germain-in-the-Fields, 
and of St. Genevieve."^ 

In the following century, the benefactions to the 
growing Library were numerous. Amongst the donors 
are Queen Blanche of Castile, mother of St. Lewis, 

Beginnings at -^ ijit t t n t^ r>t 

ita Library. CATHERINE d Alen9on, and a nephew of rope Gregory 
IX. In the list appears also an Englislunan, Gervase, 
who gave some books, liistorical and bibUcal. The gift 
of a splendid Bible^ in French, is recorded in 1336. By 
the close of the next century, the collection had become 
so large as to need a new building, new classification, 
and new catalogues; for the good Monk, Claude db 
Grandrue, who had then become Librarian, knew 
enougli of liis caUing aud liis duties to make two cata- 
logues: one alphabetical, and the other according to 
subjects. The former may still be seen in the Mazarine 
Library, and the latter in tlie National. 

It is pleasant to note, in the long Ust of acquisitions, 
one of the earUest of printed books, acquired imme- 
diately on its pubhcation, and in its choicest form. 
About 1460, the Monks sent twelve gold crowns to 
Peter Schoeffer and Johann Fust, and received, in 
return, a vellum copy of the Epistolce S. Hieronymi,^ 
Such a beginning seems to have been fairly well fol- 
lowed up. Under Francis L, the Library of St. Victor 

1 FRAifKhiv: Anciennes Bibliothi^fpies de Paris, i, 16S, 

2 Necrologium S, Victaris, as quoted by Fbanklin : Anciennes BibUoikiques 
de Paris, L 148. 

grandrue's arrangement and catalogue. 119 

had acquired the reputation of bemg the best collection chI^er *iv. 
in France. §4-LiBRAKvor 

St. > ICTOR. 

A worthy Prior, Jean Le Masse (who died in 1458,) 
deserves special mention for liis zeal in enriching the 
Library. More than a hundred manuscripts may yet 
be seen in the National Library of France which were 
either transcribed or purchased during his single term 
of office at St. Victor's.^ 

The mediaeval statutes provide for a periodical stock- 
taking, twice in the year. They also provide for a 
special collection for the service of the sick Monks in 
the Lifirmary. And in other particulars they indicate, 
not only a strong love of learning, but a spirit of ear- 
nest devotion, and of Christian charity and tenderness ; 
of care for the Public at large. 

About the beginning of the sixteenth century% theo™^*^®'* 

<-^ *=> *' arrangement 

Canon above-mentioned, Claude de Grandrue, not only ^^ cotaioguo 

' ' *^ 1608-1614. 

catalogued and re-classed the MSS., but also arranged 
nine hundred and ninety of them on fifty-seven desks, 
so that here again the Monastic appUances for devout 
study before the close of the " Dark Ages," considerably 
excel a good many instances of Library-Economy with 
which we are all famiUar in tliis Age. His Catalogue 
is a model in its kind. An eminent palasographer priv 
nounces it to be unquestionably superior, on the whole, 
to many modem Catalogues, which nevertheless, in liis 
judgment, are themselves excellent.^ 

De Grandrue's arrangement subsisted, it seems — in 
the main — until the last century. It is also a notable 

1 DSLISLE: Le Cab, des MSS., torn. iL, pp. 209, aeqq. 

2 Dblisle: torn. iL, pp. 227, Mqq. 


cnlraJiv. feature in the economy of St. Victor's Abbey, that the 
'^^vf^^*"' Librarian sometimes cumulated his office with that of 
Bursar, — much to the advantage of the collection under 
his care. " I was deUghted," writes one such plurahst, 
"to have the charge of the purse, as well as the charge 
of the books. It not only enabled me to augment the 
collection freely, but to adorn our Library with the 
portraits of men illustrious for learning and for piety." ^ 

Among the frequenters of St. Victor's Library, in the 
sixteenth century, was a famous man who there in- 
creased his leaniing and sharpened his wit, and then 
made the Monks, his benefactors, the. objects of his 
satire. Eabelais' would-be pleasantries on tliis subject 
are simply coarse and revolting. They shew — as liis 
successors in Uterature have so often shewn since — with 
how contemptible and narrow a nature, vigorous and 
great faculties may be united. Eabelais (with all his 
genius) is a true precursor of the Voltaires, the 
DiDEROTS, and the D'Holbachs, of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and the meanness of spirit, combined so conspicu- 
ously with greed of money in them all, has, in his case, 
even less of extenuation in attendant circumstances. 

viHitof Peiww; Early in the next century, Peiresc was a visitor here. 

area 1 . jj^ uotlccd amougst the contents a contemporary col- 
lection of the documents connected with the trial of 
Joan of Arc. They had been gathered by Nicaise 
Delorme. Here also were preserved the "tablets" of 

1 €k)nRRBAn: M8. Memoir in Bibl. Nat; cited by Dsusle: torn, ii., 
p. 228. 

Chapter IV. 
— Library of 
8t. Victor. 


Philip the Fair, containing a curious record of his jour- '*^*^ ' 
neys and travelling expenses (1301, 1302). Amongst *g 
other regal curiosities of early date, were a book of 
Hours; and a translation of Aristotle's Problemata^ 
made for King Charles the Fifth of France. Amongst 
the Classical MSS. was a Livy of the twelfth century. 
The BibUcal MSS. were especially notable for their 
antiquity and beauty. The Biblical printed incunabula 
included Fust and Schoeffer's edition of 1462, on 

Much later, when Louis Jacob published that Traicte 
des plus belles BibliothiqtLes (1644) — which I have so 
often to quote in these ''Memoirs^'' — the number of its 
manuscripts amounted to about 1500. Of the printed 
books we have no satisfactory statement, until a sub- 
sequent date. 

Another instance of Uberal participation of their ^ 

treasures by the Canons of St. Victor, is seen in the 
grant of some choice manuscripts to a newly established 
Convent of Jesuits in their own neighbourhood, appa- 
rently as a help to the foundation of a Jesuit Library. 
When the new order came to be suppressed (1760), the 
Canons re-purchased their old possession, and the books 
are still extant.^ 

In 1652, the Library received a large augmentation oift of the 

^ liibrAry of 

by the bequest of Henri du Bouchet, Sieur de Boumon- i>u Bouchet; 
ville. Councillor in the Parliament of Paris, of about 
8000 volumes,^ together with a collection of maps, 

1 Framklik, ut 9up„ 153. 

2 ** £t ae sont troavez sept k huiet mille volumee de toute ordre dont eetoit 


chI^'iv prints, and drawings, on the express stipulation that 
8 ^Library OF gi^^^gjjl^ should be admitted to read in the Library on 

St. Victor. •' 

three days, at least, of each week, and for seven hours on 
each of those days. This condition seems to shew that 
the Library at that time had ceased to be public. Car- 
dinal Mazakin's was then open to all comers. 

The Community honoured their benefactor with a 
solemn funeral; placed his bust in their Library; and 
engraved on marble that part of his Will which con- 
cerned them. Another benefaction came soon after- 
wards, by the gift of Charles Le Tonnelieb. At the 
close of the seventeenth century, the Canons possessed 
about twenty-one thousand volumes, of which nearly 
three thousand were MSS. They are described by a 
contemporary, as in good condition and freely accessible 
to pubhc use. 

The collection of Maps and Prints, of which Du 
Bouchet's bequest had laid the foundation, was en- 
riched by a far more splendid series gathered by Jean 
Nicolas DE Tralage, also a wealthy Councillor in the 
Parhament of Paris. The prints alone were nearly 
thirty-three thousand in number. It was, very pro- 
bably, the finest collection of its kind then (1698) 
and of that of existiug iu the World. 1 Soon afterwards, another 

Louis Cousin; ^ ^ ^ ' 

circa mo. Parisian magistrate, Louis Cousin (a member also of 
the French Academy), bequeathed a fine Library, and 
also an endowment for its perpetual increase, and its 
thorough publicity. That the many examples of zeal 

oompoe^e la ditte biblioth^ue."— Jean dbToulousb: Memorial de VAhbayt 
de St. Victor, u. 57, 58 (Franklin, i. 156). 

1 Fbankun, vl mp.; citing Piganiol de La Fobob: Dwer, de Paris, v. 
285. Gomp. Du Plbssis : La Cabinet des Estampes d la Bibl, Imp6riale^ 13. 


for learning wliich had thus been shewn at St. Victor's chI™*iv 
should bear more fruit, he further instituted an annual *tr^J*'^'''*' 

' OT. ViCTOE. 

oration on the advantages of Pubhc Libraries. By the 
middle of the eighteenth century, the collection of 
Printed Books had increased to nearly thirty-five thou- 
sand volumes, and that of Manuscripts to considerably 
more than three thousand. At this time the Abbacy 
was held by a descendant of the Stuarts, — the Duke of 
Frrz-JAMES. For the second time in its history, the 
Library had now outgrown its receptacle. Yearly sums 
were set apart to accumulate for a building-fund. The 
structure was begun in 1772. Lewis XVI. made a 
grant of £6000, sterUng, in aid of the expenses. But 
when the building — in all senses an ornament of Paris 
— came to be quite completed, the new Vandals were 
at hand. The Library of St. Victor, in its new per- 
fection, had an existence of but three years. 

Tlie accounts of the extent of tliis Library at the 
outbreak of the Eevolution do not at all accord with 
the Inventories taken a little before the suppression of 
the Monastic Communities. But that fact is not pecu- 
liar to St. Victor, nor is its probable explanation hard 
to find. As early as in 1790, there were some indica- 
tions of the perils about to be incurred. The last 
Librarian, Jean Charles Marie BeiInard, was one of the 
victims of the massacres of September, 1792. 

The enumeration of 1790 comprises 34,000 printed 
volumes; 1800 manuscripts; 170 volumes of maps; state of the 

. . . ^ LlbniryofSt 

about 170 boxes contaimng plans and prints. victor in 179a 

The Communist Pache allowed three hours for the 
transfer to some Municipal Eepository (or to any place 


ch^r'iv. ^^ hand,) of these thirty-six thousand volumes; the 
* ^^y^^^ *^' three hours expired, the unreinoved books were to be 
pitched out of window, in order to clear the Abbey for 
other purposes. Ameilhon (Librarian of the City) 
obtained, with difficulty, the modification of the im- 
perious order, by putting days for hours, and then, 
laying hands upon every available cart and carriage 
he could find, efiected their hurried removal to a 
neighbouring Hospital. 

When the MBS. came to be eventually placed in the 
National Library, twelve hundred and seventy had 
escaped destruction or misappropriation, out of the 
eighteen hundred of 1790. Nine hundred and forty- 
four of these are Latin MSS. Many of those entered 
in Grandrue's Catalogue of the fifteenth century were 
wanting. It is said that some of the many missing 
volumes were carried away by Lindenbrog.^ Others, 
I beUeve, may be found in existing French collections. 

It may here be noted that another Augustinian 
Community of Paris — whose Convent was near to the 
Pont Neuf — possessed more than three hundred MSS. 
Of these only fifteen came to the National Library. 

The fine buildings of the Abbey of St. Victor re- 
mained for many years. Then they were destroyed, 
to make room for a wine-market. At the comer of a 
wall there might still, until very lately, have been seen 
a small fountain, with this inscription: — 

" Quse sacros doctrinaB aperit Domus intima fontes, 
Civibus exterior dividit urbis aquas.*' 

1 Dhjslb : ut mtp. 


§ 5. — ^The Librart of the Cathedral of Our Lady. 

still am I btisie bookte aasembUng, 
For to have plenty. It Ib a pleaaaunt thing, 
In my conoeyt, to have them aye at hand ; 
Though what Uiey moan, oft, I not understande. 

But yet I have them in groat reverence 
And honour; saving them from filth and ordure, 
By often bruahing and much diligence. 
Fun goodly bound in pleaaaunt coverture 
Of damesk-oattin, or els of velvet pure, 
I keep them sure;— fearing lest they should be lost; 
For in them is the cunning wherein I do me boast. 

—Alexander Barclay : The Skip i^f FooUi (16Q9). 

The recorded ffifts of Service Books to the Church part i. 

° Chapter IV. 

of Notre-Dame begin as early as in the tenth century. • ^-librart 
All similar gifts down to the year 1160 are either catdbdralof 

^ -^ N. Damk. 

Biblical or Liturgical. In May, 1160, the famous 
Peter Lombard gave all his books to the Church. 
These consist, chiefly, of Biblical Commentaries. A 
century later, Stephen, Archdeacon of Canterbury, 
leaves his books (1271), on the express condition that 
they shall be made "accessible to the poor students in 
theology of the Schools of Paris." This collection also 
is rich in Biblical Literature. In 1297, Pierre de 
JuiGNY bequeathes a larger number of works on various 
subjects, with the same stipulation. A long series of 
donors follow during the next two centuries; but at 
the end of the sixteenth century the Library seems to 
have fallen into decay. 

During a great part of the next century, its Annals 
are almost a blank. Nor can tliis be matter of sur- 
prise if we note the character of the man who, at 


chItobiv. ^^^^ date, bore temporary sway in the Chapter of Notre- 
* ^thT^'''' Dame. Late in that century, an ecclesiastical annalist 
^^^^;^^^^*^ records the death of a Dean (De Contes), who left be- 
hind him a sum of 400,000 livres, one half of which, 
it is said, was found, in coin, in his coffers. And it is 
noted, by the way, that he also left behind him a ward- 
robe which, for its extent and costUness, was the marvel 
of Parisian beholders. But we hear of no books; of 
no legacies to contemporary poor; of no provision for 
the studies of distressed scholars to come.^ 

Immediately, almost, after the death of the Dean 
whose rule seems to mark the nadir of the Library of 
Claude joiy'a Notrc-Damc, its decay was repaired (16S0) by a con- 
aift;ini68o. gj^erable benefaction of Claude Joly, Precentor of the 
Church, and author of a Traite des EcoUs EccUsiastiques, 
Joly's Library was notable in its day, and the gift of 
it — as a testimony, he says, of gratitude to the Church 
which had been his nursing-mother, and his protectress, 
during forty-nine years^ — was accompanied by a col- 
lection of portraits of eminent men. This donation was 
followed in the course of the succeeding century by 
many others. Notre-Dame had come to be possessed 
of a precious series of MSS., some of them of the 
seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. These 
were sold, in 1756, to the King, for the augmentation 
TnmirforofMss of thc Eoyal Library, "in order," say the vendors, 
Lito^^*^ " that they may be made more accessible to the learned, 

1 PoNTCHATEAU: Hiflt. de Port-Royal; MS.; cited by Saint Beuve: 
Port-Royal, iv. 131. 

2 Franklin: AncienJies Biblioth^qites c/e Paris, 1874; i. Z2, seqq, Joly 
had inherited the Library of Antoine Loisel, also an Ecclesiastic of Paris. 


and more useful to the Kepublic of Letters." The cJ^^LV 
overture, it seems, was made to the Chapter by D'Ar- ' ^^^'^^'' 
GENSON, the Secretary of State. 50,000 livres were n^™^°' 
paid by the King; part of which sum was applied to 
the purchase of printed books, and part to the printing 
of a Catalogue. 

Among the earliest and choicest of the MSS. enu- 
merated in the original Catalogue are these: (1,) Codex 
qttatiuyr Evangelium^ of the ninth or tenth century; (2,) 
An ancient Evangeliary^ in uncials and on vellum, with 
many miniatures; the cover ornamented with many 
figures in relief; (3,) A translation of the Gospels into 
old German, of the eleventh century. 

Notwithstanding this aUenation of precious manu- 
scripts, given by former benefactors of the Chapter of 
Notre-Dame, another collection, comprising 159 vo- 
lumes and 68 bundles, illustrative of the Cliurch 
History of France, was bequeathed to the Chapter in 
1762. The donor was Pierre Le Merre, an Advocate 
of Paris. 

In 1787, the Metropolitan Church of Paris possessed 
about 12,000 printed volumes, wliich were soon to 
share the common fate of the ecclesiastical collections. 
They passed, towards the close of 1790, into one or 
other of the great Municipal Repositories of confiscated 
books, to be afterwards in part, probably, scattered far 
and wide; in part, transferred into subsisting Libraries. 
Twenty years later (1811), some of the Municipal 
"Repositories" were still existing under the Empire. 
The Canons of Notre-Dame represented to the then 
Minister of the Home Department that they felt the 


chI^'iv. ^^^^ ^^ books in their Church, and they were em- 
16-LiBRARY powered to make a selection out of the confiscated 


N. Dame. 

Cathedral or j-^jj^j^^j^jg^ as thc beginning of a new Library. 1 

1 **L€Uer qf Paris Clergy," MS., in Nat. Archives; as cited by Frank- 
lin: tUwp.f i. 43. 


§ 6. — Library of the ancient Abbey of St. 

And well tholr outward vcsturo did express 

The bont and habit of their inward mind ; 
Adopting [Bonnet's] antiquated dress, 

His usages, by Time cast far behind. 

Yet under names of venerable sotmd, 

Wide o'er the World they stretched their awful rood ; 
Through all the provinces of Learning own'd 

For teachers of whato'er is wise and good. 

Extending from the hill on every side, 

In circuit vast a verdant valley spread. 
Across whoso uniform flat bosom glide 

A thousand streams, in wondering mazes led. 

—Gilbert West: Riuration, xxiii, xxvii. 

The foundation of the Augustinian Abbey of St. chItorV 
Genevieve may be said to be pre-historic. Early re- ' to^ami^of 
cords tell of its destruction by the invading Normans, ^-^^^^^^ 
but disclose nothing of its origin. The first traces of a 
restored Library occur late in the twelfth centur}^ It 
increased gradually and considerably during the three 
following centuries. Then the laborious acquisitions of 
many generations of pious Monks were scattered by an 
unworthy Abbot and a corrupted Community. 

Wlien KiciiELiEU, in 1 624, induced Cardinal Francois 
de La Eociiefoucauld to undertake a reform of the 
decayed Community, the new Superior, it is said,^ 
found scarcely a single volume, save such service-books 

1 Franklin: AncienncM Bihlioth^qiien de Parin, i. 74; citing, for the early 
annals of this Library, a MS. **HUt, de VAbbayt de S. QenevUve^'* and also 
the early topographers of Paris, Dubreul and Malingre. I cannot cite M. 
Franklin's book, without adding my humble tribute to its conspicuous 


nJ^J'rxr ^ weFG stUl 111 USB 111 the Choir. He sent for a selec- 

Ghaftsb IY. 

le-LiBRABYOF^Qj^ of some six hundred of liis own books, as the 

THs Abbkt or ' 

sr.aMnBvavB foundation of a new Abbey Library. On his death, tlie 
Canons inherited the remainder. As he had taken 
pains to import new Monks as well as new books, the 
collection prospered. 

Fbonteau, one of the most conspicuous members of 
the reformed foundation, divided his energies — which 
were notable — ^between his class of philosophy, and his 
cares for the Library. When he entered St. Genevieve, 
he had found almost empty shelves. His strong sympa- 
thies with the Jansenists of PortrRoyal, (though he was 
never formally enrolled among " nos Messieurs,") made 
him a sharer in their persecution; but before he was 
expelled from St. Genevieve he had trained a book- 
loving successor in P. Lallbmant.^ Their joint labours 
in that disturbed and trying time, speedily brought 
together nearly eight thousand volumes, and put them 
into thorough order. 

The books so gathered were the nucleus, and those 
Augustinian Monks were the virtual founders, of the 
noble Library which, — ^having escaped the Vandals 
of the Eevolution, — now subserves, by day and by 

1 It seems to be not improbable that it was by Lallemant that the above- 
mentioned MS. History qf St, OenevUve, several times cited by M. Franklin, 
was written: — "I cannot but deplore," says this anonymous writer, "the 
loss that was sustained [by the Library] in the time of Abbot de Br^hauteau, 
one of whose servants found precious MSS. lying neglected in a gallery, and 
sold them to booksellers, by weight, as old parchment," in order (it may be 
hoped) to buy service-books for the Choir with the proceeds. Several 
Libraries, he adds, profited by this misconduct. Some books he had 
himself seen in the Library of Cardinal Mazarin. Others he had been 
enabled to re-purchase, from dealers, in order to restore them to their old 


night, the studies or the solace of a vast crowd of chT^L'iv. 
readers. The readers of these days spend little thought * ^^'^^''0' 
on their monkish predecessors; but they include per- st.genevieve 
sons of many callings and professions, and occasionally 
of almost all classes of society; and some amongst them 
will be sure to learn eventually some degree of grati- 
tude for the past, wherewith to leaven and to dignify 
their enjoyment and their admiration of the present. 

Lallemant lived until 1673. He was followed in 
the Ubrarianship by Claude Du Molinet, eminent as an 
antiquarian and numismatist, under whose care a new 
Library-building was constructed, a valuable cabinet of 
antiquities added, and the foundation of a collection of 
prints laid. Du Mounet's term of office was only 
fifteen years, but at his death the number of manu- 
scripts had increased to about four hundred, and that 
of printed books to nearly twenty thousand volumes. 
The medals and coins were already important enough 
to enable the Canons of St. Genevieve to bestow three 
hundred specimens on the King's collection, as a wel- 
come gift. They had partaken of the inheritance of 
the cabinet of Peiresc. 

Their Library was now to be nearly doubled by the The Benefiujtion 
gift of an episcopal collection, described by a contem- ^^^^Jfrno. 
porary as "rich and clioice in what is best in books," ^ 
the fruit of the researches and of the liberal expendi- 
ture, during fifty years, of Charles Maurice Le Tellier, 
Archbishop of Kheims. " It would be a great loss if 
these books were scattered, as they doubtless would be, 

1 PiOANiOL DE La Force: DtacHption de Paris, vi. 82; Fkankun: An- 
cknneH BUUiotJUquM, i, 76. 




Chapter IV. 

after my death," writes the prelate in his last Will. 
§ &-LiBRARy OF u rpj^g conviction," he continues, "makes me tliink it 

THE Abbey or ' ' 

ST.GEKEviEVEjjjy ^^^y ^^ g'^g thcm to Si Commuiuty able to preserve 
them, to use them, and to dispense the use of them to 
the PubUc. I therefore give and bequeath my books 
to the Abbey of St. Gene vie ve-au-Mont."^ This be- 
quest took effect in 1710. It added about sixteen 
thousand volumes to the previous collection. 

Galland, the well-known Orientalist,^, has recorded 
in his MS. Diary (anno 1710) that he was told by 
Sarrebourse, then Librarian of St. Genevieve, that 
when the Archbishop's collection came to be collated 
with its catalogue, only one volume was found to be 
wanting. The missing volume was a book, entitled 
" Teatro Jesuitico^'' printed at Coimbra, of which, at 
that time, no other copy was known to bibUographers. 
Galland adds that his informant attributed the abs- 
traction of the " Teatro " to a near relative of its owner, 
a certain "Abb(^ de L.," by which initial is plainly 
meaut the well-known Abb^ de Louvois, son of the 
Minister, and Keeper of the King's Library.^ 

Another extremely rare Le TeUier volume — much 
prized by lovers of early French literature — entitled 
L'An des sept Dames, disappeared from St. Genevieve's 

1 Will of Archbishop Le TeUier ; preserved in the Archives of France ; 
printed by Franklin, ut sup,, 77. 

2 The Galland known even to English children by his version of ** The 
Thotinand nights and one. night" 

3 Journal MS. de OaUand, § 25 Mai, 1710. I quote it from an article in 
the Journal des Savants, of August, 1876, p. 525. Galland notes in a sub- 
sequent entry of his Diary that he had heard afterwards of a second copy of 
the Teatro Jesuitico, as having been brought to Paris from Lerida, where the 
owner had purchased it from a soldier present at the taking of that town. 


THE Abbey of 


Library for nearly seventy years. Then, tliis coveted 
collection of mediaeval tales figured in the catalogue of gJ;;!!.L*iIuARj 
a sale by auction. It was eagerly purchased (the law S^g^ev^i^b 
now applicable, in France, to such cases being non- 
existent) for the Library, and restored to its place ; but 
only to disappear again within six months. This ad- 
venturous volume again made its appearance at a 
public sale; was again bought by its owners a few 
years since; and special care is now taken of a book 
so dangerously attractive to connoisseurs.^ 

There is contemporary evidence that the Canons gave Lib°^°^m^e 
virtual effect to Archbishop Le Telijer's injunction by^^^'*'- 
making their Library accessible upon appUcation, 
though they did not expressly organize it as a public 
institution until many years afterwards. They had to 
enlarge their buildings. They were art-loving Monks 
accustomed, in externals, to a somewhat stately life. 
They did liberal honour to a liberal benefactor. 

When visitors entered the chief room of the restored 
Library, they were wont, says a contemporary writer, 
to be dazzled by its majestic perspective, its richly- 
painted ceiUng, its long range of the busts of famous 
authors, and by other rich and varied decorations 
which attracted the eye at every step. Extant prints 
fully bear out tliis statement, and shew that the rich- 
ness of the repository was in due subordination to the 
contents. Outwardly, as well as intrinsically, the books 
were worthy of their abode. 

1 De Bouqt : HiH, de la Biblioth^que de S, OenevUve, M. de Bougy has 
given a full account of the contents of this very curious volume. 


c^^'j^^ The Librarian of that day, Pierre Fran9ois Le Cour- 
16-LiBiuEYOF jj^YER, made liimself in later life well-known here in 


8t. OxmyiKvx 

England. He is deservedly honoured for literary and 
controversial labours which, at a pecuUar juncture in 
her history, rendered to our National Church a welcome 
service. Like his early predecessor, Lallemant, he was 
in theology a Jansenist, and like him became for con- 
science sake an exile from the loved Monastery to 
which he had been a benefactor. 
TTie Librarian- Le Courrayer had acquircd for the Library of St. 

ship of Pierre . . 

Le Courrayer. Gcuevi^ve a copy of Eenaudot's MSmoirs sur la validity 
des Ordinations des Anglois; had read it and made some 
notes upon it. He had, as it seems, at the outset no 
purpose of taking any pubUc share in the discussion, 
but the views he had formed, and had talked about, 
met with sympathy. He was asked to reply to Eenau- 
DOT. In due time his dissertation was sent to the offi- 
cial licenser of the press, and by him was sanctioned 
for publication. But it failed to obtain the final ap- 
proval of the Chancellor. In the interval, the writer 
heard that Archbishop Wake was in Paris, and came 
into communication with him. Eventually, the tract 
was pubUshed, in 1723, with the fictitious imprint of 
"Brussels," and without the author's name. It had 
really been printed at Nancy. 

Leoourrayer'B jn 1724, bv au articlc in the Journal des Savants. 

tract upon '' 

£ngii8h Le Courrayer avowed the authorsliip of the treatise, 

(htiinationfl; ^ . 

and what it which had already been attacked with not a little 
bitterness. The controversy now increased in keen- 
ness, and many theologians of note took part in it. 
The author published, in 1726, an elaborate defence 

led to. 


Chaptsr IV. 


of his treatise. He had already, by the advice of his 
superiors, retired from St. Genevieve to the dependant * ^^^^^^/ 
Priory of Hennemont. He was now formally con- 8t.giwevi«ve 
demned and excommunicated by the sentence of a 
Council assembled at the Monastery of St. Germain 
(August, 1727), at which twenty-two prelates were 
present. Whilst still at Hennemont, Lb Courrayeb 
received from the University of Oxford his diploma as 
Doctor of Divinity. With it came assurances that 
if he should cross the Channel, he would find a cordial 
welcome. He arrived in England in January, 1728 

The tasks of the Librarian were now to^-feg^'entirely 
changed for those of the Writer^^Jf'Tong career lay 
yet before him; and he did>fiStTOfier himself, even in 
that controversial ^e.Jj^Q wholly absorbed in theo- 
logical polemics. ^^^ the events which had made him 
an exile colourjgd aU his subsequent life. His first 
publication (jf729) was a Relation historique et apologi- 
tique des sj^^^^ et de la cmduite du Phe Le Cour- 
rayer. ^ ^^ followed by translations from Sletoan 
and frOy^ p^j^^ g^^^j In the preface to Sarpi's 
History A ^j ^^^ Council of Trent, he records in glowing 
terms hijg gratitude for the kindness which he had met 
^th in r^Engiand. Among his later literary labours are 
a Life of y ^e Bossu, and a Life of Du Molinet, his wor- 
thy prea>-^^gggor in the Librarianship of St. Genevieve. 
Notwithi^^gj^^ng the liberal treatment and the warm 
friendshiipg ^^i^h he met with in England, he must 
needs ha.iVe had many fond regrets for the old Parisian 
abode bxv9^ workshop. 

^ ^"^^SS, Lb Courrayer appeared at the Oxford at oxfont 




graceful to the Parliament whicli passed the needful cnl™ iv. 
Bill, from somnolence, as it was to the parishioners^ and • ^^I^*7of 
to the Kector, who originated the Bill, from parsimony, st.gkkevievk 
Those whose better light might have led them to the 
duty of opposing its passing, were craftily taken by 
surprise. Le CJourrayer's was far from being the only 
gift of an estimable benefactor wliich was desecrated 
when Tenison's Librar}^ was sold. And the sale took 
place after the passing of the " Public Libraries Act " 
of 1850. 

In the Ldbrarianship at St. Genevieve, Claude PRE-Libr«riaii«hipof 

1-1 -I 1 T /-. 1 1 «% Claude Prevoet 

vosT had succeeded Le Courrayer, but only for a 
short time as chief. Le Courrayer's own predecessor, 
GiLLET, who had for a time taken the headsliip of a 
dependant Priory, returned to end his days in his old 
office, and the two became joint-librarians. Prevost 
made a book-hunting tour in the Netherlands, with 
good results for the Library of St. Genevieve.^ 

Towards the middle of the century the Abbey re- ^TJ^e^ ^1*0 of 
ceived a princely guest, who was to surpass most of ^^^Jj;^^®"' 
the Canons of the House, so far as respects the volun- 
tary austerities and mortifications to which he subjected 
himself, and to equal the most studious of them in the 
diUgent use of their Library. Lewis, Duke of Orleans, 
(son of the Kegent) seemed bent on exemplifying. once 
again what saUency of contrast might be seen in the 
lives of a father and a son; — a contrast often shewn 
before, but rarely, perhaps, to a like extent. His se- 
clusion was enlivened by much learned conversation, 

1 Jordan : Voyagt LUUrairt, 62. 


chI^m iv. ^^^ ^y ^^^y of the delights of a collector. But the 
* ^^J^^'^^^j^ Duke seems to have spent most of his time in the study 
BT.GKKKv«vKQf |.j^g qJ^ Theologians and CSommentators, and in the 
hard attempt to wrestle, at a mature age, with the 
lexicography and grammar of the Oriental tongues, 
that he might be the better fitted for his biblical read- 
ings, and for the composition of innumerable tracts on 
thorny topics of Divinity and of Ethics. These tracts 
he would not permit to be printed, nor did he leave 
them to his Augustinian hosts. He gave them, testa- 
mentarily, together with his printed books, to a neigh- 
bouring and much poorer Community of Dominicans, 
ttie ub "**^*d ^o ^^- Genevieve, he bequeathed choice collections of 
AWto''"' °' **"* medals and of gems ; and to its Curator in the Abbey, 
his Museum of Natural History. But most of these 
collections — other than books — ^were eventually claimed 
by the heirs-at-law, and became, in the issue, the foun- 
dation of the Museum at the Palais-Royal. 

The death of Duke Lewis, and of the learned 
joint-Librarians, Gillet and Prevost, with whom he 
had held so many a long discussion — suggestive, per- 
haps, of Casaubon's pithy question when told of the 
long ages of debate at the neighbouring Sorbonne: 
"What, then, have they decided?" — came closely 
j^^jjjj^^'^ together. The new Librarians were Alexander Gui 
Merder. PiNGRE, aud Barth616m6 Mercier, who, as is well 
known, made a deep mark in the annals of bibUo- 
graphy. Pingre is better remembered for his devo- 
tion to astronomy, and for his passionate love of 
Horace, than for anything specially belonging to his 


At this period, the Abbey of St. Genevieve became c„^^'',y 
more than ever one of the popular sights of Paris, from * ^^'^^^f' 
the development of its Museum of Antiquities; the ST.GBir«vi«v« 
foundation of which lay in the collections of Peiresc. 
The Museum now occupied nine handsome rooms. All 
the collections of the Abbey were made thorougldy 
available for students. 

When the Eevolution came, with its many perils for 
the best interests of learning and true civiUsation, the 
Library of St. Genevieve had grown to 58,107 printed 
volumes and 2013 manuscripts.^ The cabinet of coins 
and medals contained nearly 17,000 specimens. 

The newly-erected church of St. Genevieve was '"»« i^^*™^ 

^ ^ designated, at 

turned into a "Pantheon of Great Men" — after the esti- *^« R*»^o»"t*o«». 


mate of the day; — subject, of course, to those instruc- ^**'™7-" 
tive revised estimates wliich became necessary when 
the object of last week's adoration turned into the 
object of this week's hatred. The Library therefore 
came to be known as "Library of the Pantheon," and 
this conversion, combined with certain personal in- 
fluences, saved it from sharing in the general suppres- 
sion of Monastic Libraries, and the heaping-up of their 

1 MS. Enumerations of 1790 (p. 99), preserved in the National Archives 
and quoted textually by Franklin: AncUnnes BibliotJiiquea de Paris, ut 
sup. The special historian of St. Genevieve, M. de Bougy, says that in 
1787 the Library contained S0,000 printed volumes ; a statement which 
I was led to adopt in the first Edition of this book. De Bougy adds 
that at the date of the suppression the number of volumes was still the 
same. {Histoire de la BUd, de St, OenevUve, 128). But the documentary 
evidence adduced by M. Franklin is conclusive on this point. On the other 
hand, there is always in regard to the Libraries of 1790-1, the possibility of 
a withdrawal of books by their owners, on the eve of anticipated suppression, 
and in the hope of better times. This may sometimes, and to a certain 
extent, account for prevalent discrepancies of statement. 


CHlraBiv. treasures into chaotic "dep6ts," under the guardianship 
* ™ ISTbbVof ^^ ^^^^ Communists. The subsidiary cabinet of medals 
8T.GENEviEv«^g^ transferred to the National Library. 

The Abb6 Pingre quitted the Augustinian robe in 
1790, and continued to be Librarian until his death in 
1796. Mercier de St. Leger had long ceased to be 
his colleague, but he retained his love for the old Abbey, 
and made frequent visits to its Library. Once, he had 
the shock of meeting in the street one of the tumbrils of 
"the Terror," and of seeing in it a beloved friend and 
comrade. The sight, it was believed, made liis 
remaining years one long malady; but he lingered 
until 1799. 

Pingre was succeeded, for a few months only, by 
The Librarian. GuiUaumc Autoiue Lemonnier. Then^ came the me- 

ship and the 

uteraryand morable Librariauslifp of Pierre Claude Fran9ois 

public career of , . , , . . 

P. Daunou. Daunou, eminent as critic, as orator, as mstorian, as 
legist, and as statesman; not less eminent, too, in the 
humbler, but by him beloved, pursuits of bibliography. 
The man who could withstand the terrorists in their 
heighth of power; who could preside with dignity over 
the National Convention, when the remnant of the 
KoBESPiERRE faction were seeking to regain power by 
violence; who could, for conviction's sake, resist the 
blandishments of Napoleon, when he wore the yet un- 
stained laurels of Italy and of the Consulate ; could also 
employ himself with ardour in the daily tasks of ^^f^^ 

: to 
1 Daunou's nomination is dated 17 Flor^ an V=6th May, ^^ 




Librarian, — could calendar records, or classify books, chItor'iv 
with equal assiduity.^ • t^'i^rvT 

Daunou's life had been already varied and eventful 8t-Q»^'=^'«^« 
when he was appointed to the Librarianship at St. 
Genevieve. Born at Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1761, and 
educated there in the College of the Oratorians, he 
became himself a member of their Order before he was 
seventeen years of age ; induced, it is probable, by the 
perspective of long years of quiet study in the well- 
stored Oratorian Libraries. That pleasant prospect was 
indeed illusive, but the labours in literature of a public, 
turmoiled, and most chequered Ufe, would have done 
honour — as far as literature is concerned — to a lifetime 
spent in a cloister of the Congregation of St. Maur. 
The Oratorians of 1780— like the Oratorians of 1880, 
nearer home — had "many windows open to the busy 
world,"^ and the currents of thought from without must 
have largely modified the teacliings witliin. Daunou 
did not learn all that the Oratorians of the best days 
could have taught him. He learnt the lessons of inde- 
fatigable industry, and of fideUty to conscience. But it 
was the conscience of this world pre-eminentl}^ He 
seems never to have regained the faith of the early 

His earliest tasks were those of a tutor and lecturer 
in many Colleges of liis Order. He had often to make 
long journeys on foot to Paris and elsewhere. It was 

1 See the testimony on this point of an admirable judge, the late 
Marquis de Laborde, which I have cited on a subsequent page. 

2 The expression is Sainte*Beuve*s {Portraits coiUemporaires tt divert, 
iii. 8). 


chI^Jb'iv. ^ot^d of him, thus early, that many a book was mas- 
*^^;,"^;^7tered in a walk.i He taught theology as well as 
ST.GENKviE^Kpij^jlQgQpj^y and hterature. But theology to him was 
never a congenial field of labour. 

Daunou's first publication was a prize-essay written 
for the Academy of Nismes, on the question: ''What 
has been Boileau's injluence on French Literature f" 
(1787). It led to a polemic in which the youthful 
writer shewed powers of fence quite equal to the 
occasion.^ His next appearance was upon a point of 
social law (in 1788) in which the nascent powers of the 
future legislator were already to be recognized. Then 
(1790) came another academical essay ,^ which subse- 
quent events made famous. This essay, which the 
crowding incidents of the day deprived of its expected 
audience, was followed by the first of a long series of 
writings on PubUc Education, varied in form, and many 
ways fruitful in result. 

As an orator, Daunou made liis first appearance at 
a funeral ceremony, in the Church of the Oratorians of 
Paris, for .those who had fallen in the attack on the 
Bastille. It was to be his fortune thereafter to deliver 
the funeral oration for Hoche, in the Champ-de- 
Mars; to preside, and to speak, on many questions 

1 Ibid. 

2 ViLLBNAVK : Vie de Dauium (in Nouv. Biog. Oin., xiii. 186). 

3 On the question, proposed by the Lyons Academy, ** What truths and 
what opinions is it most important to impress on men for their happiness?" 
A question soon to receive some remarkable answers, then quite unantici- 
pated at Lyons or elsewhere. The events of 1791 prevented any adjudication 
by the Academy. See Saintb-Bkuvjb : Portraits Contemp., iii. 19. 


which mark epochs in the History of the Conven- chI^JSIe'iv 
tion,i and of the Council of Five Hundred. He was » •-^'f ^^ ^' 

' THE Abbxt or 

also to deliver the installation-speech of the Institute st.qenkviev. 
(in April, 1796), of which he was to be so conspicuous Daunou's 
a member for forty-four years. But nothing in all the 
brilliant labours of the orator and pubUcist — extended 
over half a century — does more honour to his memory 
than do the courageous and pregnant words which he 
addressed to the Convention in 1794: — "Anarchy has 
contrived to compress into one single year more disas- 
ters and more crimes than human history has, until 
now, recorded for several centuries." 

These words were written in the old Abbey of Port- 
Eoyal, at Paris (then converted into one of the prisons 
of the Terror), an Abbey so teeming with memories of 
great pubUcists connected with the first and best period 
of the "Port-Royal" of history. Whilst fully accepting 
the truth of Daunou's denunciations of the crimes of 
1793-94, one can scarcely — whilst reading it, and think- 
ing of the place where it was written — avoid a retro- 
spect at those atrocities of a bygone day which had not 
even the pck)r extenuation of popular frenzy and popular 
ignorance. The History of the Terror is, in one of its 
aspects, a commentary on the Ecclesiastical history of 
France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and 
very specially a commentary on the annals of the two 
Abbeys of Port-Royal. 

Soon after his appointment (1797) to the librarian- 

1 He was retamed to the National Convention for the department of 
Fas-de-Calaifl, with two most strangely assorted colleagues, Camot and 
Thomas Paine. 





chI™r'iv ^^P ^^ ^^' Genevieve, Daunou was sent into Italy to 
* * to^II^eVof' organize the new Eepublic of the Eoman States. At 

7 s^o«''"^''^Eome, he found the private Library of Pope Pius the 

/ ' HiapurchMeof Sixth, wliich had been seized by the usurpers of the day, 

Plus VI. under offer of sale. He obtained authority from the 


i French Directory to purchase^ the more choice and 

rare books of that collection, in part for the National 
Library ; in part for that of St. Genevieve. Among the 
books selected for St. Genevieve (then, it will be remem- 
bered, designated "Library of the Pantheon,") were a fine 
series of the editions of Sweynheym and Pannartz, and 
of those of other early printers ; with many precious 
copies of the great books of prints on the Vatican col- 
lections and the other art-treasures of Eome. Those of 
Daunou's acquisitions wliich had been allotted to the 
. National Library were restored to Italy in 1815; those 
sent to St. Genevieve's were not claimed. ^ They were 
shewn with some pride to the bibliographer DroDiN in 
1818; and they are to be seen still. One of the revolu- 
tionary depots of the books confiscated in Paris itself 
had been established in the Abbey buildings, and the 
Library shared largely in the spoils. Probably, not less 
than 20,000 volumes were thus added ; the larger por- 
tion of them bein^ taken from the collection of the 
suppressed Cordeliers.^ 

Daunou had been a very prominent member of the 

1 See De Bouoy : Hist, dt la bihl, de St, Oeneviive, ut sup. 

2 DiBDiN: BihliographiccU Tour in France^ <frc., ii. 171. 

3 The Cordeliers of Paris possessed, at the date of their suppression, 
17,614 volumes (Elal^ ctr., cited by F&anklin: AnctenntH Biblioth., i. 207). 
According to M. de Bougy, most of these came to St. Genevieve. 


Council of Five-Hundred. His political course had chI^toiv. 
been marked by moderation, as well as by energy. At* ^'2^^^^^' 
the fall of the Directory he narrowly missed nomination st.gbhevibve 
as one of the three Consuls. He then busied liimself 
as zealously in the task of classifying, arranging, and 
cataloguing! the vast undigested mass of additions to 
his Library, as if all his previous life had been passed in 
the quiet cloister. He drew up a scheme for the 
classification of books,^ which has been regarded by 
competent judges as the best of the many systems of 
arrangement of nearly contemporary date, all of which 
bear upon them the unmistakable stamp of the days of 
the Eevolution. And he found time and energy to turn 
to account in another way, by an incidental labour of 
those busy years, the masses of books heaped together 
in the municipal depot. He laid the foundation of the 
Library of the Legislative Body.^ 

The political intrigues and rivalries of those days 
were sure to have their counterpart in places with 
which poUtics should properly have had no concern. 
Daunou's marked independence of character had given 
offence to Napoleon, against whom, curiously enough, 
he had stood as rival candidate^ for the prize offered to 
essayists in 1792 by the Academy of Lyons, as mentioned 

1 *'J'ai eu bien sou vent dans les mainn, lorsque lee livree dee G^novefaine 
^taient encore dans leur vdn^rable local, len cartes du catalogue de Daunou, 
et les registres sur losquels elles ^taient copides, le tout 4crit de sa main." 
— Dk Labordk : Les Archives de France, 386 (1867.) 

2 Cf. Taillandieb: Documents hiographiques sur Daunou, 70; and De 
Laborde, utsupr,, 158 and 389. 

3 Villenave: Vie de Daunou, in Nouv. Biog, O&ner,, xiii. 186, stqq. 

4 MiONBT: Notices hi»toriques, Daunou, Edit, of 1843, pp. 179, seqq, 



cnl^ERiv. above. But, though he did not Uke Daunou, the 
§(j-LiBRARYOFgj^p^^^^ knew well his sterUng quaUties, liis vast 

THE Abbey of 
St. Genevieve 

acquirements, and liis practical wisdom in the tasks 
of daily life. Opportunity had been presented for a 
petty plot at St. Genevieve wliich caused him great 
disquiet, and at length tlirew liim into severe illness. 
It came at a critical period in human Ufe, and for a 
time the man to whom strenuous labour had been a 
delight, could scarcely write a letter; would even be 
moved to tears by some slight difficulty. But the 
intrigue was defeated, and health returned. Ere long 
he was strong enough to combine, though only for a 
short time, his duties at St. Genevieve,^ with the keleper- 
sliip of the National Arcliives.^ Many admirable con- 
tributions to the Ilistoire litteraire de France^ and some- 
what later, to the Biographie Universelle^ as well as to 
the Memoires de V Institute belong also to this peri [k1 of 
Daunou's Ufe. And one notes, here and thei 
turning over the leaves, tliat the sturdy hidepenj 
of the first years of the Empire has suffered son 
flexion. A little incense is burnt occasionally 
the imperial shrine. 

1 It is by an oversight that the Marquis de Laborde, in spej^l 
Daunou's Librarianship of St. Genevieve, has said (Z^e^ Archivti< de la 
385) : — "// we ctwa ces fonctions que pour devenir Garde pjdn^ral des 1 
en 1804." He continued to be Librarian until 1806, (Cf. Franklin: 
Bibl, , ut supr. ) in cumulation for about two years with the care of the ! 
of the Empire. Not long after his entrance into office at St. Gencf 
endeavoured to resuscitate the Journal dex Savanin which, after an < 
of a hundred and twenty -seven years, had been suspended in 1792. 1 Bat the 
attempt of 1797 was successful for only six months. In 1816 the tt .^ was 
resumed by the same energetic hand, with results which are know\ q there- 
over literature is valued. \ 

2 Of his labours at the Archives I shall have occasion to spenkfcesit ^ wm 
hereafter (D.V.). [See Vol. III., § "The National Abchives of f|. 20j^^.»] 





One of the minor anxieties of his Library administra- chIwIriv. 
tion merits remark. Even in Napoleon's clays, there * ^^'^^'^"J'^/ 
were akeady some ominous mutterings about the S'^^jknevievr 
allecred instabiUty and "dan^^er" of the Abbey buildings The Library. 

° -^ ° . . Buildingsof 

of St. Genevieve. Some ambitious architects seem then st. Gonovi^vo. 
to have thought a Commission to raise a new Library a 
desirable thing. Some neighbouring professors^ seem 
to have looked with longing eyes upon the capaciousness, 
the fine proportions, the paintings, the oak-carvings, 
and the sculptured marbles of the old one. To Daunou 
this was not a small matter. It occasioned sore anxiety. 
He loved the very walls which contained the treasures 
he had so largely increased and improved. He suc- 
ceeded in repeUing the invaders, for the present. But 
he was now — for a time — an administrator with divided 
cares. Hence, probably, the omission to make those 
thorough repairs which might have preserved the fine 
edifice of the Augustinians for generations to come ; — 
just as Uke timely, and duly-limited, cares might, in 
England, have saved many noble old churches, the 
needless removal of which we have so often seen in all 
parts of the country. 

At St. Genevieve, Daunou succeeded in holding the 
destructives in check for his own term of office, and 
even for his hfe-time. liut, as we shall see presently, 
they were delayed, not defeated. The grand old 
Library building, like so many of our churches, was 
"restored" into a new one. 

In the year 1819, the contents of the Library were 

1 See De Bouoy; HpU, de la Biblioth^tpie de St, OenevUve, 160, fteqq, 



chI^eriv. estimated at about 110,000 volumes of Printed Books. ^ 
« tr^flToT The MSS. remained much as they were at the date of 

TOE Abbey op J 

ST.OKNEviEVE^j^g suppressiou, namely about 2000 in number. 
During the tliirty years ending with 1820, the average 
annual increment of printed works was about eleven 
hundred volumes. Up to that date the classes most 
largely represented were Theology, History, and Polite 
Literature. Of late years, and especially since 1830, 
the main additions have been in the Mathematical and 
Physical Sciences, in Medicine, and in Law. It has 
become the Library, pre-eminently, of the ''Qtuirtier- 
nit^^i^im, ^ 1849, according to oflScial returns, received by 
the British Foreign Office from our Ambassador in 
Paris, the average number of printed volumes annually 
added was about five hundred. The total contents had, 
it was then said, grown to about 150,000 printed 
volumes, and to nearly 3500 manuscripts.^ 

But so curiously inaccurate were some of the Paris 
returns so made, at that epoch of political turmoil and of 
street-riot, — that there is now (1884) abundant reason 
to deduct from the figure first-named at least 40,000 
volumes. For at that date the Library was certainly 
growing steadily, with an increment of at least from 300 
to 400 volumes yearly. And a recent official esti- 

1 Petit-Radel : Becherches, ut sup. 

2 Foreign Office Returns, 1849, in supp. to Report on Pub, Libraries, 91- 
93. I take the figures " 180,000" to be a clerical error for 150,000. Cf. 
Franklin: Anc. Bihl, de Paris, i, 88, eeqq. (1867); and De Bougy, ut sup. 
It would seem that there has been even now no recent counting of the books, 
as they actually stand. But the figures in the text are official and, as re- 
spects the MSS., are based on an actual count (1882). The latter were stated 
in 1849 at 3500. 


mate assigns to printed books only 121,000 volumes, chI^kb ' v 
together with 2390 manuscripts. The annual in- § ^library of 

^ ^ THE Abbey of 

come of the Library was stated at £5009. For the st.oknevieve 
year 1884, the grant was £4749. 

[Calculated on the basis of the official returns of 1849, 
the aggregate total of printed books, in 1884, would 
have been about 167,500 volumes — an error of almost 
fifty thousand volumes.] 

It would seem from recent statements, in the 
Annuaire du Bibliophile^ that the returned rate of in- 
crease, supposing that small detail to have been, by 
exception, correctly stated, has scarcely been maintained 
of late years. 

In the year 1838, the Library of St. Genevieve was 
for the first tune opened in the evening (from six o'clock 
until ten, daily), as well as in the mornings. The liis- 
torian of the Library, after nine years' experience of the 
new regulations, wrote thus: "It is, undoubtedly, one of 
the acts which do most honour to the administration of 
M. de Salvandy,"— then the Minister of PubUc Instruc- 
tion. It is pleasant to know that the Minister by whom 
this extension of public faciUties was made, had himself 
passed many of the studious days of his youth in the 
Library of St. Genevieve. Salvandy's excellent inno- 
vation has been maintained amidst all the changes of 
fifty years. And it is profited by to an extent which 
makes an evening visit to St. Genevieve not the least 
interesting sight to be seen in Paris. The privilege is 
highly valued, and it is not, I believe, abused. 



cua^kk'iw- '^^^^ collection is very rich in incunabula; in the 
librarI^^'ok i^odern history of foreign countries; and in periodical 
Paris, or literature.^ 


number of the 
Libraries of 
Paris, at the 
date of the 

These six examples of Libraries, chiefly Monastic, all 
save one of mediaival origin; all attaining conspicuous 
importance and educational influence in remote days, 
must, in these cursory '• Memoirs," suffice as samples of 
a class, wliich, in Paris alone, immbered between fifty 
and sixty several institutions, all founded by ecclesias- 
tics ; most of them by Monks. 

Thirty-nine, alone, of tliis number, including with 
thirty-eight Libraries, strictly Monastic, the Librarj^ 
founded by Eobert of Sorbonne, comprised, at the 
outbreak of the Eevolution, no less than 637,979 (six 
hundred and tliirty-seven thousand nine hundred and 
seventy-nine) volumes of printed books,^ and 18,093 
(eighteen thousand flud ninety-three) volumes of manu- 
scripts.^ A very large proportion of these Libraries 
were available for public use. They had received, as we 
have seen, large benefactions, but in a great measure they 
were supported, for pubHc utility and pubhc enjoy- 
ment, out of ecclesiastical revenues. A large number 
of them conjoined, with priceless mediaeval manuscripts 
(the well-heads and springs of no small portion of that 

1 Thomas and Tedder: Art. "Libraries" in Encyclop, Brttannica^ 
xiv. 525. [Written in 1881.] 

2 Besides these, three only of the Churches of old Paris possessed 
Libraries containing 23,587 volumes. 

3 Franklin : AncieniieH BibliotMques de Paris, passim. 


modern liistoric learning wliicli is best worth tlie study- ^^^'^ '* 

ing), noble collections of marbles; of pictures; of prints; 


of medals; of the marvels of the beneficence and of ^^1"!;'°'' 
the wisdom of God, as shewn in His realms of Nature ^>"u»"'»*- 
— in mineralogy, in botany, in zoology ; — collections in- 
fantine, in comparison with existing Museums, but the 
genns and the beginnings of some of the best of them. 

They contained, too, in the mere adjuncts of their 
Libraries, — over and above the wealth of those Biblical 
Manuscripts, — of those Patristic and later Theological 
Manuscripts; — of those MSS. of Greek and Lathi 
Classics ; — of those Historical and Miscellaneous Medi- 
aeval and Modern Manuscripts ; — which, together with 
their store of printed volumes, make up what we call, 
distinctively, a Library of Books; — great collections of 
the minor documents of History, topograpliical and 

Of the last-named department of a Library, it has 
become somewhat the fasliion, in these days, to speak 
sneeringly — at least, in some popular quarters. But a 
writer, whose fame will surely outlast that of many 
writers whose names just now are, perhaps, much more 
currently bruited and praised, and who has a special 
title to speak of History^ because the fame he won as 
Poet and as Eomancist came to him (in a degree wliicli, 
as yet, ui liis own field, remains without peer or rival,) 
precisely because he knew how to infuse into the frame- 
work, and into the very soul, so to speak, of a tale, or 
of a poem, the kernel of true history ; how to imbue a 
romance with the maimers, the colour, the spirit, and 
the life of bygone generations; how to teach the just 


^^^^'•jy_ appreciation of the times that are past, whilst adding 
Li^^raoF ^®^ charms to the enjoyment of times present, — has 
Paris, OF gg^j^ sometliing on tliis head, which is better worth 


coMMUHiTiM. listening to. Sir Walter Scott wrote (in 1805) some 
words as weighty as they are brief:—" Genealogical 
deductions .... are the Keys of History; and 
they are often its touchstone." ^ 

That these " Keys of History" are still so abundant, 
and that Literary and Historical Collections of every 
kind are still so precious in France, — in spite of the 
Vandals of the Eevolution, and of their emulative suc- 
cessors of recent days, — is very much due to those 
memorable Monks of old Paris, of whose labours I have 
given, even with the help of so many and recent re- 
searches of French archasologists, but a very imperfect 
and poor scantling in these pages. 



1 Sir Walter Scott to the Countess of Moira : 10th Februai ^, 1806. 

[ 153] 


The Libraries of the Mendicant Ordehs. 

Non era ancor molto lontan dall' orto, 
Ch' ei comindo a far sentir la terra 
Delia sua gran virtude alcun conforto; 

Chb per tal donna giovinetto in guerra 
Del padre corse, a cui, com' alia niorto, 
La porta del placer nessun dissora; 

B dinansi alia sua spirital corte, 
St coram patre le si feoe unito ; 
Poflcia di di' in di' 1' am6 piix forte. 

Ma perch' 16 non procedo troppo chiiiso, 
Francesca e Poverty per quest! amanti 
Prendi oramai nel mio parlar diffuso. 

— Dakte : Del ParaditOf Canto Decimoprimo. 

They who live in the World have many other lessons of 

Humili^ than those of Monastic mortification. Qod provides for 
their discipline a multitude of humiliations, suited to their several 
positions in life: — weariiwmo affairs; losses of wealth; domestic 
sorrows; sudden changes of circumstance; the faithlessness of 
friends; tiie ingratitude of those on whom they have conferred 

favours ; undeserved reproach and slander ; In those various 

ways, they may suffer more, at a stroke, than a Monk is likely to 
suffer, in his cell, during a life-time. A Monastery is, in some 

sort, a refuge and a port So that immimity from some 

kinds of misfortune might come to be an evil, if a Monastic Buperior 
did not make special provision to meet the case. 

— Lk Bouthillier de Ramcb : Lettre $ur U tujet du 
HumiliaXuMM de Religion (1677). 

Like their great Founder, the early Franciscans really p^»t«- 

" wedded Poverty," and for a time their Communities 
were characterized by an almost pilgrim-like simplicity mendicant 
of life. But long before the occurrence of those mani- 
fest departures from the primitive strictness of their 
rule, which created such a war of words, and threatened 
the very existence of their Order, they gave indications 
of literary tastes, and of that tendency to amass books 







V _ by which such tastes are commonly accompanied. Per- 
mission to own books occurs amongst the earUest of 
those relaxations of the rigid vow of poverty wliicli 
were accorded by the Popes, and it was not long before 
both the Franciscan cord and the Dominican cowl be- 
came familiar sights to the manuscript-vendors. For 
the new Monks, unUke their predecessors, and despite 
their mendicancy, preferred the purchase of books to 
their transcription; and they evinced such keenness in 
the quest, as to cause formal complaint to be made to the 
Pope,^ that scarcely could other ecclesiastics purchase a 
profitable book either in Divinity or in Arts, in Medicine 
or in Law, "all books bemg bought by Friars, so that 
in every Convent of Friars there is a large and noble 
Library." Very similar (save for its manlier tone) 
fn'^ui" Libroriw is the testimony of the author of the Philobiblon, 
^JSTiS^s KiCHARD of Bur}% Bishop of Durham: "When we hap- 
pened to turn aside to the towns and places where 
the Mendicants had Convents," he says : " we were 
not slack in visiting their . . . books; for there, 
amidst the deepest poverty, we found the most pre- 
cious riches treasured up ; there, in their wallets and 
baskets, we discovered not only the crumbs that fell 
from the Master's table, . . . but indeed the shew- 
bread without leaven, the bread of angels. . . . These 
are the ants that lay up in harvest; the laborious 
bees that are continually fabricating cells of honey. 
. . . And that the truth may be honoured (saving 

1 In the famous oration of Richard Fitzralph (afterwards Archbishop of 
Armagh), entitled De/eimorium curatorum culverms eon qui priviUgkUoH se 
dicurU; habilum Avenione coram D, Papa Innocentio IV.... 5 Julii 1350. 
(Paris, 1633. 8vo.) 


Chapter V.— 




the opinion of any man), although these may have 
lately entered the Lord's vineyard, at the eleventh 
hour, . . . they have nevertheless in that shortest 
hour trained more layers of the sacred books than all 
the rest of the vine-dressers. foUowhig the footsteps 
of Paul, who, being the last in vocation but the first 
in preachhig, most widely spread the Gospel of Clirist. 
Amongst these we had some of two of the Orders, 
namely, preachers (Dominicans) and Minors (Francis- 
cans), who were raised to the Pontifical state, who 
had stood at our elbows, and been the guests of our 
family; men in every way distinguished as well by 
their morals as by their learning, and wlio had ap- 
plied themselves with unwearied industry to the com- 
pilation, correction, explanation, and indexing, of 
various volumes. Indeed," ... he adds, ... "we 
must in justice extol the Preachers with an especial 
commendation, for we found them, above all other 
religious devotees, ungrudging of their most accept- 
able communications, and overflowhig with a cer- 
tain divine liberality; we experienced them not to 
be selfish hoarders, but meet professors of en- 
lightened knowledge."^ 

It does not appear that any very early notices ^^ JJ^,Jf*^ 
Libraries, belonging either to Franciscan or to Domuii- ^^^ "^^ 
can Communities in England, tare now extant. The 
most considerable Franciscan collection seems to have 
been that of the London Monastery (on the site of the 

1 Philobiblon, c. viii. I quote Mr. Inglis's translation, as before, but 
with a few words altered. 





PARTi^^ present Clirist's Hospital, near Newgate Street), for 
which the first stone of a new building was laid with 
much solemnity by Sir Kichard Wiutiington, Lord 
Mayor of London, on the 21st October, 1421. The 
building was covered in before the winter of 1422, 
and within three years was completely finished and fur- 
nished with books. It was a handsome room, one hun- 
dred and twenty-nine feet in length and thirty-one feet 
in breadth; was shelved and wainscotted throughout; 
having "twenty-eight desks and eight double settles." 
The entire cost, in the money of that day, was no less 
than £556 10s. Od., of which sum £400 was defrayed 
by WmTTiNGTON, and the remainder by Thomas 
WiNCHELSEY (probably the collector of various benefac- 
tions), a brother of the Order. It is also recorded, that 
after the completion of the new building one hundred 
marks were expended on the transcription of the 
works of Nicholas de Lyra, to be chained in the 

The Oxford Franciscans had also a considerable Li- 
brary, or rather (according to Anthony Wood) two 
separate collections in the same house; the one the 
Convent Library, the other the Library of the Schools. 
Eobert Greatiiead, Bishop of Lincoln, who had always 
shewn a special regard for the Grey Friars, and, above 
all, for one of their then most famous doctors, Adam 
de Marisco, bequeathed his books to this Community 

1 Stow : Survey, i. (Book iii.), 130 (Strype's edit.) Stevens' Additions to 
Dugdale, in the Monasticon, vi. 1520. 


at his death in 1253.^ They were particularly diligent ^,^^^^^^' ';^ _ 
in collecting the works of writers of their own Order, a ^^»^«'m 

O 'of thb 

complete assemblage of whom would undoubtedly look qrd^^^ 

formidable for its extent, whatever its intrinsic merits. 

Anthony Wood echoes the old cry against the book 

covetousness of the Mendicants, adding something from 

his own observation. "The Friars of all Orders," he 

says, "and chiefly the Franciscans, used so diligently 

to procure all monuments of literature from all 

parts, that wise men looked upon it as an injury to 

laymen, wlio therefore found a difficulty to get any 

books These Friars, as I have 

found by many ancient manuscripts, bought many 
Hebrew books of the Jews, who were disturbed in 
England. In a word, they, to their utmost power 
purchased whatsoever . . . [books] were to be had of 
sinf^ular learninc^.''^ 

Of the Libraries of English Dominicans, tliere are but 
very meagre accounts. At Oxford, they had a collec- 
tion of considerable extent, but no catalogue of it has 
survived. In their pains to gather the works of 
writers of their own Order, they vied with the Francis- 
cans and the CarmeUtes, and they were probably not 
more critical or more severe in testing the pretensions 
of some doubtful authors to figure on their roU. The 
" occult sciences " — if they can rightly be so termed — 

1 ... Prce ceteris etiam familiarem habuit fratrem Adam de Marisco 

ob cujus affectionem libros suoe oranes conventui fratrum minorum 

Oxonia3 in testamento legavit. — Kie. Triveti Ajirudea .... Recensuit 
T. Hog {Ewj, HUt, Soc, 1845), p. 243. 

2 Ant, ^ Wood, MSS. quoted in MonoRticon^ ut supra, pp. 1527-8. 

dHAFTER v.— 



had, it is said, greater charms for Dominicans than the 
toil of transcribing MSS. But, as we have seen, they 
were Uberal buyers, and not mean authors. A very 
eminent French liistorian and critic has, indeed, gone so 
far as to say that, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth cen- 
turies inclusive, literature was cultivated mainly by Do- 
minican Monks. ^ 

Libraiyof 88. The choiccst of the MSS. of the famous old Monas- 

John and Paul 

at Venice. tcry of St. Johu aud St. Paul at Venice, were collected 
by Joachimo della Torre, a Friar of that house, and 
afterwards General of his Order (who died in 1500), 
and by Girolamo Vielmo, Bishop of Citta Nuova. 
MoNTFAUCON visitcd this Library in 1698, in company 
with Apostolo Zeno, and he gives a list of the MSS. 
which especially attracted liis attention. 

Amongst Greek Theological MSS. it includes works 
of St. Basil and of St. Gregory Nazianzen, of the twelfth 
century ; of St. Thomas Aquinas, of the fourteenth. Li 
classics: the Orations of Aristides, transcribed in the 
eleventh century; a Thucydides of the same date, on 
vellum ; a Suidas of the fourteenth, wliich is described 
as being on silk; the Byzantine History of George 
Cedrenus written in 1284; and along series of Greek 
Historians transcribed by Caesar Strategus, thouglit by 

I Daunou, in speaking of the great work of Qu^tif and Echard, Scriptores 
OrdiuU Prmlicaforum. ** Father Qu^tif could not, indeed," says his bio- 
grapher, ** complete this book, but he wrote eight hundred notices, and 
these the most important, since they relate to the Dominican authors of the 
13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, a period when literature was more cultivated 
in the Monasteries than elsewhere, and principally in those of the Preach- 
ing Friars." Daunou, art. Qii^Uj\ in the Biographic UniverneU^f xxxvi, 


MoNTFAUCON to be one of the scribes employed by ^^^''^''^ ';. _ 
Lorenzo at Florence. In Latin occur several Cliro ];l^^^^'^ 
nicies transcribed in the fifteenth century, and an o^^^^'"'''' 
alphabetical Dictionary of Illustrious Men of the same 
date, compiled by Giovanni Colonna, and worthy, notes 
MoNTFAUCON, to be printed. 

This collection continued to be an object of curiosity 
until the dissolution of the Monastery in 1789, when 
most of the MSS. were transferred to the Library of St. 
Mark. It doubtless owed much of its celebrity to the 
circumstance, that it was placed amidst ecclesiastical 
buildings of high antiquity and great magnificence. The 
Library itself was richly and singularly decorated, — 
with carvings in wood by Giacomo Piazetto ; with por- 
traits of eminent Dominicans by De Eochis, Talepietra, 
and Lancetta ; and with rows of Caryatide-like statues 
of famous Churchmen on the one side ; and of famous 
"Heretics" on the other. 

Of the Libraries of the Continental disciples of St. Fvandtcan 

^ Libraries at 

Francis, I can give but very brief notices. The first is Ammbciv. and 
drawn from an undated Catalogue of tlie collection be- 
longing to those of Annaberg, in Saxony. From its 
contents, tlie Catalogue would appear to be of the end of 
the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century. In 
the year 1558, tlie Convent was secularized, and its 
Librarj^ or what then remained of it, bestowed on the 
Public School of Annaberg, where it is still preserved. 

It contains the Biblical Commentaries of De Lyiia, 
and minor expositions of portions of Holy Writ; a 
series of hortatory and expository works in German ; 


cha^^ v.- ^ series of Patristic works ; together with portions only 

o^TOE^"* of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. 

ord^^^ In classics, it includes Virgil,^ Horace, Ovid, Juvenal, 
and TibuUus ; cliiefly in codices of the fifteenth century. 
Homer appears only in Latin, ^^per Pindarum insignem 
orator em de Grceco traductus''\ a metrical jEsop also 
occurs; and a tract De ludo scaccorum. There are 
also some curious entries of mediaeval German poetry. 

Another small Library of Saxon Franciscans, — that 
of the Friars Minors of Oschatz, — of which there is a 
MS. hst or index in the Koyal Archives of Dresden,^ of 
the year 1541, presents a contrast to that of their 
brethren of Annaberg in the entire absence of the 
classic poets, and indeed of everything that does not 
come within the quadruple pale of BibKcal, Patristic. 
Scholastical, or Juridical learning. Scholastic Divinity 
is its dominant feature. 

Its Catalogue, representing a Franciscan Library of 
almost the middle of the sixteenth century will, in most 
respects, compare but poorly with the Benedictine Cata- 
logues of almost any date. Yet the Community was one 
of some celebrity. K, indeed, we are to understand it as 
a list of the MS. portion only, some of its deficiencies 
may have been supphed in printed books.^ The works of 
the great Angelic Doctor abound; and the narrowness 
of the selection is sufficiently obvious. But it may be 

1 One of the Virgils was written at Cracow, in 1467. 

2 It is printed by Dr. Julius Petzholdt, in his Urk&ndliche Nachrichten 
ztir OenchichU der HdchHittchen Biblioiheken (Dresden, 1855, 8vo.), 24. 

3 The title, as ^ven by Petzholdt, leaves the point doubtful : Index 
librorum in Camobio Francucanontm OnchatzienM (vwerveUorum, a. 1541 
deffcriptuH, The Editor supplies not a word of comment. 


well to bear in mind a pregnant remark to be found in ^^^^ %_ 
those Guesses at Truth; by Two Brothers, which have libraries 

' •/ ' OP THK 

more both of depth and of soUdity about them than the JJ^'^»<^^t 

^ J Orders. 

absolute conclusions of many writers : — " Wlien any 
one declaims against the Schoolmen, I would hold up 
the Summa Theologice of St. Thomas Aquinas, and 
desire him to read and to understand it, before he 
presumed to assert that there is nothing in the School- 
men. This argument would knock him down as 
effectually as Johnson's foUo knocked down the poor 
bookseller." 1 

The Franciscans of Bamberg, in much later days, had Pmnci«can 
collected a Library remarkable for the extent to which bIS^** 
modern literature was represented in it, as well as the 
learning of ancient and of mediaeval times. It de- 
scended to the existing Eoyal Library of Bamberg — for 
that collection is at once a Town Library and a Eoyal 
one — so conspicuous even amongst the Libraries of 
Germany on two accounts: — for the ability and zeal 
with which it has been improved and organized (as I 
have occasion to shew, in its place) ; and also for the 
great extent to wliich its treasures have been drawn 
from Monastic sources. But the Franciscan collection 
descended to the town in an impeverislied condition. 
For a time, it had been administered by a Scottish Bene- 
dictine of Eatisbon, Maurus Horn, who, during the last 
decade of the eighteentli centuiy, stripped it of many of 

1 Hare : Owshm at Truth, ii. 64. 



chai™ 'v.- ^^^ secular gems, in order (as it seems, Benedictine 
II^thk'^ though he was) to increase the stores of Scholastic 
^^^"^ theology. Many of the volumes, so parted with, came 
into England.^ 

1 -Jaeck : Die Bambergische Bibliothek, 2r Th., p. ( 



The Economy of the Medleval Church and 
Monastic Libraries. 

Meanwhile along the cloister's painted aide 
The Monks (each bending low upon his book, 
With head on hand reclined) their studios pUed : 
Forbid to parley, or in front to look, 
Lengthways their regulated seats they took. 
The strutting Prior gazed with pompous mien 
And wakeful tongue, prepared with prompt rebuke. 
If Monk asleep in sheltering hood was seen,— 
He, wary, often peeped beneath that russet screen. 

Hard by, against the windows' adverse light, 
Where debks were wont in length of row to stand. 
The gown'd artificers inclined to write ; 
The pen of silver glistened in the hand ; 
Some on their fingers rhyming Latin scann'd ; 
Some textile gold from balls unwinding drew. 
And on strain'd velvet stately portraits plann'd ; 
Hero arms, there faces, shone in embryo view, 
At last to glittering life the total figures grew. 

— Fosbbooke: Briti4h Monaehisnif 629. 

In many of tlie Monastic Communities both the Lib- ^^^ '• 

'' ^ Chaftkr VL— 

rar\^ (Armarium) and its OTeat feeder the writing-room bconomvof 

•^ / ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ THE MOKASTIC 

(Scriptorium) were under the immediate charge of the libraries. 
" Precentor and Armarius." The very usual conjunc- 
tion in one person of these offices of Leader of the 
Choir, and Keeper of the MSS., grew naturally enough 
out of the fact that at first most of tlie books wliich 
had to be taken care of were Breviaries and other 
service-books. Just as naturally, the task of superin- 
tending the transcription of manuscripts was often en- 
trusted to tlie same hands wliich already had the 
general charge of them. But the practice in this 
respect seems to have greatly varied in different 







^'''•y,_ In those Antiquiores Consuetudines Cluniacensis Mo- 
S^^MoKi^Trc ^^^^^'^'^ which, %s we have seen already, were col- 
lected by Monk Ulric for the information of the 
Abbot of Hirschau, occurs a long chapter, De Prce- 
centore et Armario^^ which begins thus: ^^Armarii 
nomen ohtinuit eo quod in ejus manu solet esse 
Bibliotheca^ quce et in alio nominem Armarium 
a2:)pehtur.^ ITcec est obediential quam ex more 

nullus meretur^ nisi nvtritus.'' 

In the strictly bibhothecal part of his functions, the 
Armarius had necessarily a wide discretion, especially 
as respects his methods of working. In the arrange- 
ment of the books, for instance, very much would de- 
pend on the accidents of locality; definite rules are 
therefore scarcely to be expected. In the Consuetudines 
veteres of the Abbey of St. Victor at Paris, there is, 

Duties of tho 



1 Printed in D'Achery's Spicilegium, iv. 185-188. 

2 Comp. Du Cange, § Armaria : "3. Armaria. Bibliotheca. Vetu8 Inter- 
pres Juvenalis, Sat. iii. 219. Armariam nive Bibliothecam. S. Wilhelmi Con- 
stitut. Hirsaug. ii. 16. Prior noviter electun post domnum AhbaUm de omni- 
huH rebuH et cautsis, quce ad Afonasterium pertiiient ae intromittitf nitte de th&*anro 
Eccletiw et de Armaria, qttce in potestaXe Abbaivt connii^unt, Armaritm, 
Eadem notione Latini scriptores usurpant. Gloss. Saxon. JFAfri^A : Bihlio- 

iMctty vel armarium vel Archivumt hoochord ; i, c. librorum thesaurus 

Ita Amaire nostri usurparunt. Le Roman d'Alexandre, MS. : 

Celo ostoire trouvons escrite, 
Quo vous vueil raoonter ot ratraire, 
En iin des livres de VAtnairet 
Monsoignour S. P6ro & Biauvds, 
Do la fu cist livres retrais."— 

OloMarium Medim et Infriux LatinitatiM^ i, 397 (Henschel, 1840). Of less fre- 
quent occurrence are the words Libinria and Ltifn-arium, c. g, Monachus 
Altiosod. Ann. 900 : Clawftntm quoque Canoiiicorum crematum ent^ Librarium- 
que c/ onmmenta ecclenite. Will. Thorn, in Chron. c. 21, § 16 : D, Abbas . . . 
17* tituii Ht Hi»(jiUin annis in pa'petuum in jtriiicijno Quadraf/etfimfe, die qfia 
Librarium defertnr in Capiiulumy vivorum animtB commendentur, et absolvantur 
animof dejnnctorum, 7)€r q^ioH Librarium hujuH Ecdeme fuerit aXiqualUer 
emenilatum. Ibid. iv. 102. 


indeed, a direction that the books should not be too ^^^^^'^ \^_ 
much crowded together ;i but, with this exception, a ^^monactic 
considerable collection of monastic statutes — minute as librarikk. 
it is of their essence to be — might be examined without 
anytliing on this head being met with. As respects 
Catalogues, however, many passages occur in the 
various codes, some of wliicli will merit notice here- 

The regulations respecting the issue and loan of 
books must needs have been stringent when every 
volume represented a formidable amount of labour; 
when many volumes could only be replaced by a special 
embassy to another Monastery; and when some could 
not be replaced at all. But there is abundant evidence 
that, at least in the large and eminent Monasteries, 
these rules were Uberally construed on proper occasion. 
They fall obviously under two heads : the one relating 
to the dehvery of books to the brethren of the Monas- 
tery itself; the other to the loan of books to strangers. 

An express regulation concerning the use of the Regulations 

T'l 1 T-»/rT • 1 joTT concorulng the 

Library by the Monks occurs m the 48th chapter of lasuoof books. 

tlie Eule of St. Benedict, and reads thus: In diebits 
QuadragesimcB accipiant (fratres) omnes singulos codices 
de bibliotheca quos per ordinem ex integro legajit. Qui 
codices in caput Quadragesimce dandi sunt, Tliis regular 

annual dehvery of books at Lent to every member of 

1 "In quo [f. «. in Armario] etiam diversi ordines seorsum ac seorsum 
distincti et convenienter coaptati esse debent, in quibus libri separatum ita 
coUocari poesint et distingui ab invicem, ne vel nimia compressio ipsis libris 
noceat, vel confusio aliqaid specialiter in eis quserenti moram afferat vel 
impedimentum."— Mabtene: Dt anttqvM EccUsioi ritUms, iii. 262, App. 
(Voobl: Einigen fiber Ami und Slellung des AmMrius, etc., Scrap, iv. 40.) 


cha^"^^ 'vi - ^^^ Community became the established practice of 
BooNOMY OF nearly all the Benedictine Monasteries, and continued, 

THE Monastic •' * ^ 

Libraries. i^\\\^ sliglit modificatious, duriug almost the whole of 
the mediaeval period.^ 

The precise day on which this annual partition was 
to be made, depended, at first, on the will of the Abbot 
or other Superior; but, after the Cluniac and Cistercian 
reforms, it was usually fixed by statute. Howsoever 
fixed, it then became the duty of the Armarius to 
spread out, on a carpet in the Chapter-House, the books 
assigned for circulation during the coming year. After 
mass, the Monks were assembled; the appropriate sec- 
tions of the Rule and Constitutions were read; and the 
Armarius then proceeded to call over the names of the 
Monks, each of whom had to answer to his name, and 
to return the book he had borrowed a year before. 
In certain Communities it was the practice for the 
Abbot to put some question on the contents of each 
book so returned, with the view of ascertaining that it 
had been read carefully. If the answer was satis- 
factory, the borrower was then asked what other book 
he desired to have ; if unsatisfactory, the book was re- 
dehvered with an intimation that on the next occasion 
a better result would be expected. The Armarius (or 
his assistant) kept a Brevis librorum or register, an 
example of which may be seen in Herrgott's Vettis dis- 

1 VooEL, ut Hupra, p. 43, (where many references are given to passages on 
this subject in the various Benedictine Constitutions). This Essay, like that 
writer's other papers on such subjects, is characterized by a most painstaking 
comparison of authorities. I am under repeated obligations to his labfours 
in these pages. 

2 Pp. 119, 120; VooKL, iU Hupra, 51. 



ciplina monastica.^ In the Carthusian Houses the issue ^ '''"'^ '• , 


of two books at a time appears to have been permitted: ^^'^^-''^^ 

*^*^ ' r THE Monastic 

Adhuc etiam libros ad legendum accipit (frater) duos libraries. 
quibus omnem diligentiam curamque prcehere juhetur 
ne fumo^ ne pidvere, vel alia quaque sorde macidentur} 
How very far the cautions contained in this last-named 
regulation were from being superfluous is curiously 
illustrated in the 17th chapter of Bishop Eichard 
[d'Aungerville] of Bury's Philobiblon, under the head- 
i^^g- Of handling books in a cleanly manner and keeping 
them in order. But we must charitably hope that, some 
of the grosser examples of the abuse of books, wliich so 
roused the good Bishop's indignation, were but rarely 
seen in Monasteries. 

As respects the loan of books to strangers, there is 
considerable variety in the regulations of different Or- 
ders and Conununities. But the principle most usually 
adopted was that of lending on pledge. We read for 
example in the Antiquce Consuetudines Canonicorum Re- 
gularium S, Victoris Parisiensis: — Nunqvum Armarivs 
libros prcBstare debet, nisi ab eo, cui prcestat, vadi- 
monium accipiat; ita ut si persona ignota fuerit, et 
cequivalens sit ipsum vadimonium et nomen illiiis, 
cui prcestat, et vadimonium, qv^d accipit, in brevi 
annotatum retineat. Majores autem et pretiosores 
libros sine licentia Abbatis prcestare non debet, ^ 
Many regulations on this section of conventual eco- 
nomy occur in the Acts of General Chapters and 
Councils. Usually they tend to restrict the practice, or 

1 StattUoi antique ordiuM Carthusianorum, c. xvi. § 9. 

2 Mabtene : De antique EccUtsiai r%tibu8i torn. iii. App. p. 




\^_ at all events to guard it from abuse, by the multiplica- 
EcoNOMY OF |.j^j^ ^£ conditions and forms ; but sometimes, as at the 


Libraries. Council of Eoueu iu 1214, they aim at the removal of 
subsisting impediments : e. g. Iiiterdicimus inter alia viris 
religiosis ne emittant juramenta de non commodandis 
libris indigentibus^ cum commodare inter prcecipua 
opera reputetur misericardice. Quocirca .... 
alii ad opusfratrum in domo retineantur^ alii secun- 
dum providentiam abbatis^ cum indemnitate domus 
indigentibits commodentur^ ^t.^ 

Sometimes, when books were lent expressly for tran- 
scription, it was stipulated that a copy should accom- 
pany the borrowed MS. on its return. Thus, when St. 
Bernard's Secretary, Nicholas, had sent two volumes of 
liis master's works to Peter of Celle, he wrote to liim : 
"Make haste to copy these quickly, and- send them to 
me ; and, according to my bargain, cause a copy to be 
made for me. And both those whicli I have sent to you, 
and the copies, as I have said, return them to me, and 
take care that I do not lose a single tittle." ^ How ex- 
tensively this " Commercium librorum " was carried on 
by Monks may be readily seen, by way of examples, in 
the many letters on the subject which Pez has gathered 
from the annals (between the years 983 and 1001) of a 
single Monastery, — that of Tegemsee, — and has printed 
in the sixth volume of liis Thesaurus anecdotorum novissi- 
mus. Amongst the books mentioned in this Tegemsee 

1 Bessin : Concilia BotomagenHa, 118, 119. (Vooel : ubi supra,) 

2 BUd, Cluniacetmis, lib. i., as quoted by Maitlakd: The Dark Ages, 448 
(3rd edit.) 


correspondence are the Uistoria Tripartita^ a Horace, ^^^J^^^ \^ _ 
a Statins, a Persius, a Jnvenal, a Boetliius. Maftland ^'^"monv^ic 
has given a good summaiy of it, in liis excellent LiBHAuiEa. 
volume of mediaeval Essays, entitled Tfie Dark Ages. Theiaboumof 

Jiotn Mabillon and Fez have pnnted mterestmg st. Emmeiam's, 
notices of an eminently laborious scribe of St. Emme- 
ram s Monastery at Eatisbon, a certain Othlonus, who 
lived and worked in the eleventh century. These 
notices are based on an autobiograpliical tract of the 
good Monk of St. Emmeram, entitled De ipsius tentatio- 
nibtis^ varia fortuna^ et scriptis. Othlonus began at an 
unusually early age, and at Tegernsee, the training-place 
of not a few of the best of the Monastic transcribers in 
its region. Thence he went into Franconia. At St. 
Emmeram, he was schoolmaster, as well as scribe and 
author. He transcribed many Lectionaries, many Mis- 
sals, various works of Theology, many copies of the 
Gospels. His activity was so great that he suppUed 
many books to Fulda, to Hirschfeld, to Amerbach, to 
Lortsch, to Prigel, to Passau, and to Tegernsee, liis fii'st 
abode, as well as to the beloved Monastery in wliich he 
passed his best years. At one time he had almost made 
himself bhnd with liis unwearied labours. ^ 

Not less conspicuous was the industry, in like labours, andthowof 

^ . 'Diomudisat 

of DiEMUDis, a devout Nun of Wessobrunn in Bavaria, woaflobnum. 
who flourished in the same century. The annahst of 
Wessobrunn describes a long series of Missals; one still 
longer of Gospels, and of Gospel Lessons; two complete 
Bibles, extending to five volumes ; eight volumes of the 

1 Mabillon: Vetera AnaUcta, iv.^ p. 448; Pxz : Themurw Anecdolorum 
Novis9mus, torn, iii., p. x.; Pez: Introd. to Tkea. Anec., torn, i., p. zz. 


PART I. ^ writings of St. Gregory the Great, including liis famous 

Chapter VI, 
Economy oi 
tiik momabtic 

BooNOMYor Commentary on Job; nine volumes of the Works of St. 

Libraries. Augustiue ; a Collectiou of the Letters of St. Jerome ; 
many Lives of the Saints; several Works on the General 
History of the Church ; a Collection of the Homilies of 
various Fathers, in three volumes; together with 
Origen's Commentaries on the Old Testament, a Collection 
of Canons, and a series of tracts on the Holy Eucharist. 
Nearly fifty volumes are recorded as coming from the 
pen of this one labourer in the writing-room of 

Of earnest labourers in this field, not unworthy to 
rank with Othlonus and Diemudis, it would not be 
difficult to make a long Ust. But these will be sufficient 
as specimens of an estimable class; as indications of 
much devout and unobtrusive work, by which directly 
and indirectly succeeding ages have benefited, and which, 
in the aggregate, must needs constitute no mean set-off, 
if I may so speak, against the account of Monastic in- 
dolence and corruption. That such work, when it 
came to be performed rather as routine drudgery than 
as the labour of love, should often have been done care- 
lessly, is natural and certain enough. Two other 
things, however, are at least equally plain: the one, 
that early monastic scribes had a keen sense of the re- 
sponsibiUty which attended the transcriber's task, and 
took pains to impress it on those who should follow 
them ; the other, that such inquirers into this subject as 
have most patiently investigated medisBval literature, 
are uniformly the most charitable in their views of the 
shortcomings of the monkish scribes, and the most ready 


to acknowledge the largeness of that debt of gratitude, cnx^R 'vi - 
which their toils have imposed on all who have " en- ^''^MoNi^ic 
tered into their labours." libraries. 

"I adjure you who shall transcribe this book, by our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and by His glorious coming, who 
will come to judge the quick and the dead, that you 
compare what you transcribe, and diUgently correct 
it by the copy from which you transcribe it, with tliis 
adjuration also, and insert it in your copy."^ Such 
a caution as tliis is not unfrequently met with in books 
which were the staple of the Monastic Scriptorium, and 
injunctions of similar tendency repeatedly occur in the 
Constitutions of various Communities. 

The tasks of the copyists appear in the earlier ages ^^^^J"' 
of Monachism to have been usually carried on in com- ^'^^SS 
pany; but sometimes singly, each Scribe occup3dng his 
scriptoriolum, or httle writing-cell, apart. Such a cell 
was perhaps not unhke that wliich is thus described by 
"Secretary Nicholas," towards the close of the twelfth 
century, as opening into the apartment of the Novices; 
with a cloister close at hand for needful exercise. "My 
tenement," he adds, "is a pleasant place to look upon; 
comfortable for retirement; and filled with choice and 

Divine books Here, I read, write, compose, 

meditate, pray. . . . Here I adore the Lord of Majesty. "^ 

It seems that subsequently to the period to which 

this extract relates, the use of the separate cells for 

writing-purposes increased, probably because it was 

1 Pr^ace to JSifric's Homilies, MS. Lansd. 373 (quoted in Mebbt- 
weather's Bibliomania in the Middle Ages, 22.) 

2 Bibl. Clun,, at supra; quoted by Maitland : The Dark Ages, 404, 405. 

and Cells. 


cuA^^R \i - f*^^^d difficult to enforce obedience in the congregation 
^''^^^^j^ of scribes to that main point of monastic discipline, — 
Libraries, silencc. At a Chapter of the Cistercian Order, held in 
1134, the rule enjoining the observance of silence, as 
strictly in the Scriptorium as in the Cloister, was ex- 
pressly insisted on : — In omnibus scriptoriis ubicunque ex 
consuetudine Monachi scribunt, silentium teneatur, sicut in 

It is neither needful nor practicable here to enter 
minutely into the particular regulations of the Monastic 
Scriptoria. One or two of the more important passages 
may, however, be concisely indicated. Thus in the nine- 
teenth chapter of the Liber Ordinis S, Victoria Parisiensis, 
as quoted by Ducanqe, from the original MS., we read: 
Quicunque defratribus intra claustrum scriptoi^es sunt, 
et quibus ojicium scribendi ab Abbate injunctum est, 
omnibus iis Armarium providere debet, quid scribant, et 
quoi ad scribendum necessaria sunt, prcebere, nee quis- 
quam eorum aliml scribere, quam iUe prceceperit. . . . 
Loca etiam. determinata ad ejusmodi opus seorsum a 
Conventu, tamen intra claustrum, proeparanda sunt, ubi 
sine perturbatione et strepitu Scriptores operi sua 
quietius intendere possint. Ibi autem sedentes et oper- 
antes, silentium diligenter servare debent, nee extra qua- 
quam otiose vagari. Nemo ad eos intrare debet, excepto 
Abbate, et Priore, et Sub-priore, et Armario.^ Again 
in the ancient Constitutions of the Carthusians, c. 36: 
.... Hoc autem esse debet specialiter opus tuum, . . . 

1 Rainardas Abbas Cisterciensis, in Contftitut. cap. ult., as quoted by 
DuGANGE: Oloasarium, etc., vi. 131. 

2 DuoANOE, in vooe Scriptores, ut sup. 


libris scribendis operant diligmter impendas. Hoc siqui- c„^^ 'yi.- 
dem speciale esse debet opus CartiLsiensium inclusorum; ^''noNi^io 
and elsewhere : Porro si ita provident Prior ^ unum est ^'®"^*'"«- 
cui in operatione specialiter intendere debes^ tit videlicet 
et scribere discos^ si tamen addiscere potes^ et si potes^ et 
scis, ut scribas. Hoc quodammodo opics, opiis immortale 
est: opus si dicer e licet, non transiens, sed martens: 
opus itaque, ut sic dicamus, et non opu>s: opus denique, 
quod inter omnia alia opera magis decet viros religiosos 

In many of the Scriptoria the division of labour seems 
to have been carried to a degree wliich has scarcely 
been exceeded even in the workshops of Birmingham in 
our own day. Take, for an example, the instructions of 
Abbot TRriHEiM to the transcribers and artists of the 
Abbey of Sponheim : " Let one Monk transcribe ; another, 
revise; a third, point and rubricate; a fourth, illumine; 
a fifth, prepare boards and leather; a sixth, collate the 
sheets and bind them;" and so on; for the enumeration 
of minute shares of labour extends much further, and 
goes curiously into detail. 

Less minute, but not less interesting, are those early 
verses of admonition which Alcuin wrote on the duties 
of the Scriptorium — or more accurately, perhaps, those 
verses still older than Alcuin's day, which he improved 
and has preserved for us. They have been often quoted, 
but may not unfitly adorn these brief notices of the 
Economy of Monastic Libraries. 

1 Ibid. 




Chapter VL— 
Economy of 
THE Monastic 

description of 
the labours of 
the Scriptorium. 

Hie sedeant sacrad scribentes famina legis 
Nee non sanctorum dicta sacrata Patrum, 

Hie interserere caveant sua frivola verbis, 
Frivola nee propter erret et ipsa manus. 

Correctosque sibi quserant studiose libellos, 
Tramite quo recto penna volantis eat. 

Per cola distinguant proprios, et eommata sensus, 
Et punctos ponant ordine quosque suo. 

Ne vel falsa legat, taceat vel forte repente, 

Ante pios fratres, lector in Ecclesia. 
Est decus egregium sacrorum scribere libros, 

Nee mereede sua scriptor et ipse caret. 

Fodere quam vites, malius est scribere libros, 

Hie suo ventri serviet, iste animse, 
Vel nova, vel Vetera poterk proferre magister 

Plurima, quisque legis dicta sacrata Patrum.^ 

In later times the growth of ornamentation made the 
Monastic writing and illuminating rooms resemble still 
more strongly a great literary Factory. At first, the only 
illuminations were coloured initial-letters, more or less 
elaborate. In the seventh century, the ornamentation 
invades the margins ; then, gradually spreads over the 
pages; at the beginning somewhat formal, it becomes 
rich, beautiful, elaborate; and in many instances, over- 
elaboration leads to wild extravagance. The fanciful, 
the grotesque, comes at length to take the place of the 
graceful. In Paris, controversies about the fitness or 
unfitness of extreme richness of ornamentation for books 
of the cloister had a powerful influence on the beginnings 
of that great secular trade of copyists and miniaturists 

1 Comp. Alcuini Opera, ii. 211, with DxrcANQS, ubi aifpro. 


for which the French capital became eventually ^o ^J^^\^_ 


THE Monastic 

In the economy of Libraries, whether ancient or 


modem, there is nothing more important than the catalogues of 
character of their Catalogues. A poor Library, with a Libraries. 
good Catalogue, will often be of more utiUty to the 
student than a rich Library with a bad or carelessly 
compiled one. We cannot expect that in the very in- 
fancy of bibliography Monastic Catalogues should be 
models. They were of course defective in plan, and not 
unfrequently bear the marks of carelessness in execution. 
Yet on some points they will contrast favourably with 
Catalogues of not inconsiderable collections, printed at 
the cost of wealthy persons in our own days. 

Perhaps the largest collection of early, and especially 
of Monastic Lists of books, that has ever been made, is 
that in the Eoyal Library of Munich. It has accumu- 
lated by the absorption into that vast repository of 
many conventual Collections, and is said to number 
nearly 600 separate Catalogues, including, as may well 
be imagined, specimens of almost all known varieties.^ 

Amongst these is a Catalogue of the Library of the woihenstephan 
Benedictine Abbey of Weihenstephan, compiled in the 
twelfth century, which begins thus: Ilcec est noticia 
librorum Catholicorum Ecclesioe S. Stephanie imprimis qui 
pertinent ad divinum servitium. Then follow alii libri a 
fratrihus in capitolo et ad mensam et ad colla^ legendi^ all 

1 ScHWARZ : Hint, de VImprimerie. Pai'is et «e« HiMoriena (Hist. G^n.) 
pp. 460, 451 (1872). 

2 SonMELLEB : Ueber Buchercai^dogui dex X V. und frUhertr JahrhunderU 
{Serapeum, u. 243). 


PARTI. q£ which are theological, or devotional; these are fol- 

Gbapter VI 
Economy oi 
THE Monastic 

Economy of }owed by scieiitific, poctical, and historical books, indis- 

LiBRARiKs. criminately. Here, the only classification is that re- 
sulting from the different uses to which the books were 
applied, under the Monastic regulations. 

In the Catalogue of the Library of the Monastery of 

Catalogue of the ^ ^ -^ ^ •' 

Library of gt. Emmeram at Eatisbon, the arrangement is that of 

St. Emmeram, *^ 

Ratiibon. the desks or book-cases in which the volumes were 
placed. Of these there were thirty-two. Beginning 
with the text of Holy Scripture, followed by Commen- 
taries, and the Works of the Fathers; the sequence of 
Theological books is interrupted at Press XVI. by 
" History," which is probably a necessity of local con- 
struction ; the numeration of the presses appearing to 
indicate that groups of them, along the main wall, were 
allotted to the more richly provided classes of books, 
and the narrow "end-presses" to the poorer classes. 
"Law," "Arts," "Polygraphy," foUow after Theology. 
Hortatory Divinity and portions of the Bible fill the last 
two presses as numbered ; the position of which brought 
them probably next to the first. 

Another Catalogue of the same collection, apparently 
written about 1460, preserves the same general larrange- 
ment, with certain improvements in details. FoArty years 
later, comes a new arrangement introduced bw Brother 
Dionysius Menger, whose Catalogue divides thje library 
into 0) Vellum MSS.; (2) Paper MSS.; (3f) Printed 
Books. These sections are subdivided into tlhe letters 
of the alphal)et, and these again by figures, lextending 
usually to 20 under each fetter. Tims of tlile 420 vel- 
lum MSS., the first {Papias sive Mater Vermorumy in 


magno volumine et antiqua bona scriptura) is marked cha™ 'Vi.- 
A. 1.; and the last {Tabula notabilis et magistralis^ in ^^^i^c 
pergameno et ajffixa bitumine baculo^ et circumligatur li»r^r»««- 
fane canopeo et dicitur Tabula Itaf^ sive quatuor 
regione^ quattuw elementorum habens in fronte imagi- 
nem monachi et medici depictam^ ^t.) is marked X. 16. 
Similarly, the paper MSS. run from A. 1 to I. 3 ; and 
the printed books from A. 1 to N. 9. Of the latter, 
however, such as were added subsequently to the first 
compilation of the Catalogue are without marks. But 
the whole number of these printed books is less than 
that of the paper MSS., and those again are fewer than 
the MSS. on vellum. Tliis arrangement, and for the most 
part the usual chaining of the books to their desks, con- 
tinued to subsist during some portion at least of the 
seventeenth century.^ 

As I have had occasion to mention already, theT««ern»ae 


Benedictines of Tegernsee were famous for their culti- 
vation of letters during the ninth, tenth, and eleventh 
centuries. In the thirteenth and fourteenth they 
underwent the usual partial eclipse, but emerged 
again in the fifteenth century under the rule, succes 
sively, of the Abbots Caspar and Conrad, which 
extended from 1426 to 1492. Of their Library there 
is preserved (at Munich, Uke the preceding specimens) 
a Catalogue, beginning thus: a.d. 1483, Sub regimine 
. . . Conradi qiuirti de Weilheim ven. Monasteini 
aS. Quirini R. et M, in Tegiinsee^ ord. S. Benedieti 
Finsing, dicec, abbatis dignissimi^ inventi ac recensiti 

\ ScHMBLLBR, ut SKpra, 273, 274. 



cuA^EK VI.- ^^^ *^ Bibliotheca nostra, sequentes doctores egregii 

TOE Mwi^ic ^^ magistri reverendi cum suis libris, tractatibus 

LiBRARiKs. atque aliis variis opusculis, sermonibus et doctrinis 

cum quotis, {i, e. the head-mark, or letter and number 

aflSxed on a strip of parchment to the cover of each 

book,) eorundem, ubi qucerendi sunt, prout infra positi 

sunt cum eorum propriis nominibu^s secundam ordinem 


In addition to the author's name and to the title of 
the book catalogued, his rank, birth-place or dwelling- 
place, and often his date,^ are suppUed. The Christian 
names, or other prcenomina, are taken, and appear of 
course according to the pecuUar though very flexible 
orthography of the period. Thus "WiUielmus" and 
"Wolfgangus" must be searched for under BiUhelmus 
and Bolfgangvs, "Horatius" under Oratius. Cicero 
appears, of course, as Tullius. The B. Virgin Mary 
figures as the author of an Epistola ad S. Ignatium.^ 

1 In thifi excellent particular, the fifteenth-century monk anticipated 
the practice lately revived by the admirable librarian, Mr. Samuel Halkett, 
when cataloguing the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh. 

2 The following may serve as a brief example of the entries in this 
Catalogue : — 

" Franoisci ds. Florencia PsTBABCHiE hermitse et poetae laureati Liber de 

vita solitaria. E, 53. 
Secretum de contemptu mundi per modum dialogi cum S. Augustino 

C. 29. E. 53. 

Epistola ad solitarium quemdam de laude vitsB ejusdem, et Epistola 

ipsius solitarii responsalis ad eundem de dispdsitione vitsB suse. 
E. 15. 

Epistola exhortatoria ad germanum ejus Cartusianum. G. 58. 3. 

(In the margin and in a later hand: J 
Hahem,U8 opera ejus in j^ressura. 


A MS. note in this Catalogue, dated 1494, records 

Chapteb VI. — 

the addition of 635 volumes to the Library during the ^e^moLotic 
ten years, from 1484 to 1493, inclusive, and states the libraeibi. 
then total number of volumes at 1738. These additions 
would necessarily be, for the most part, printed books. 
In the original Catalogue no difference appears to have 
been made between MS. volumes and printed volumes, 
but a similar note to that which occurs in the extract 
— ^^Ilabemus . . . in pressura' — is often met with. A 
succeeding Librarian placed on the last leaf of his pre- 
decessor's Catalogue the cautionary advertisement : 
"Pro Lucretio, lege Eabanum, pro Virgilio Sedulium, 
pro Ovidio, Alanum, pro Propertio Lactantium, pro 
• Statio Aratorem, pro Catullo Prosperum, pro Tihullo 
Juvencum, pro Iloratio Prudentium, pro Martiali 
Epigram mata^ Scintilla}, et Hennannum Buschium, 
pro Lucano Galtherum, pro Juvenale Baptistum 
Mantuanum," &c. But the writer of the admoni- 
tion has left sufficient evidence that for his own part he 
had thought it worth wliile to acquire a very respect- 
able familiarity with those Latin classics, which are the 
subject of his caution. 

** Friderici in. Imperatorii*t DurU Austria Scripta metra aliqua ad 
quendam Papam et o contra metra rosponsalla ojusdem Papse ad 
oundem. N. 19. 2°. 

• • • • 

** Petri Abelardi Philonophi Liber egregius de Sic et non. K. 10. Liber 
cujus titulus Scito te ii)8uin. X. 1. McujUter Abefardus ParibiervtiA 
floruit tempore S. Benedicfe aJbhatin, Ilic in Hivresim cculens ab Innocentio 
comlemnatur. Pretium Redemptionui evacuaint, Capitula «* lihris ejtiM 
rejyrehettiiifAlia S. Benedictwt aiiTiotavil in Epv^tda qnam scripsit cul 
Innocentium Papam Hecundum, Ht videtur," Scumeller, ut supra, 269- 




Decline of Learning in the Monasteries; — ^their 
Dissolution in England; — ^the ruin and dispersion 
OF THEIR Libraries. 

It was a choeen plot of fertile land, 
Amongst wide waves set, like a little nest, 
▲s if it had by nature's cunning hand, 
Been choicely picked out from all the rest. 
And laid forth for onsample of the best : 
No dainty flower or herb that grows on ground, 
No arborot with painted blossoms drest, 
And smelling sweet, but thera it might be found 
To bud out fair, and her sweet smeU thrriw all around. 
No tree whose branches did not brayely spring ; 
No branch whereon a fine bird did not sit ; 
No bird but did her shrill notes sweetly sing ; 
No song but did contain a lovely dit. 
Trees, branches, birds, and songs, were framed fit 
For to allure frail mind to carelem ease. 
C^treless the man soon woxe, and his weak wit 
Was overcome of thing that did him please : 
So pleased, did his (earnest) purpose fair appease. 
< --Spenbkb : The Faerie Queerut Book iL, Canto 6. 

He was, to wit, a stout and sturdy thief. 

Wont to rob Churches of their ornaments. 

And poor men's boxes of their due relief ' 

Which given was to them for good intents. 

The holy Saints of their rich vestiments 

He did disrobe, when all men careless slept ; 

And spoil'd the priests of their habiliments. 

Most wrotohed wight, whom nothing might suffice, 
Whose greedy lust did lack in greatest storo ; 
Whose need had end, but no end covetise ; 
Whose wealth was want, whose plenty made him poor, 
Who had enough, yet wished ever more. 

— Spbnskr : The Faerie Queene, Book L, Cant. 8, 4. 

It is not only in the more obvious sense of the ener- parti. 

T . ^ T . T ^ Chapter VII.— 

vating tendencies of too much prosperity, and of power dbcumbof 
insuflSciently controlled, that the decline of English Mo- wthb 


nachism is bound up with its marvellous growth. When 





chactf^ VII - Monasteries were rapidly founded, widely extended, and 
L^RNmo' lavislily endowed, they could only be filled by lowering 
the standard (so to say) of admissible quaUfication. 
The temptations became more and more powerful; the 
training which alone (humanly speaking) made it 
possible that they might be successfully resisted, became 
less and less careful. In the vigorous words of Bishop 
AuNGEBViLLE (addressed to the Friars of his day, but, in 
one sense or other, far more widely applicable), it was 
Richard of Bury said: "You draw boys into your religion with hooks 
Ituoi^^^ of apples, as the people commonly report, whom 
dS^uS^ having professed, you do not instruct in doctrines by 

compulsion and fear as their age requires, but main- 
tain them to go upon beggarly excursions, and suffer 
them to consume the time in which they might learn, 
in catching at the favours of their friends, to the 
offence of their parents, the danger of the boys, and the 
detriment of the Order." The good Bishop, in another 
portion of his treatise, says, in similar strain: "There 
used to be an anxious and reverential devotion in the 
culture of books, . . . and the clergy deUghted 
in communing with them as their whole wealth; for 
many wrote them out with their own hands in the in- 
tervals of the canonical hours, and gave up the time 
appointed for bodily rest to the fabrication of volumes ; 
those sacred treasuries of whose labours, filled with 
cherubic letters, are at this day resplendent in most 
Monasteries, to give the knowledge of salvation to 
students, and a delectable light to the paths of the 

laity But now (we say it with sorrow), base 

Thersftes handles the arms of Achilles; the choicest 


trappings are thrown away upon lazy asses; blinking ^^^^^^;jj_ 
night-birds lord it in the nests of eagles, and the silly lS^'J^^^' 
kite sits on the perch of the hawk."^ These earnest 5J[™aoterie8 
reproofs were written in 1344; little more than a cen- 
tury after the awakening trumpet-notes of Francis of 
Assisi had been sounded in the ears of all men, and 
especially of Monks, with results so memorable. 

In truth, the whole history of Monachism — Uke thevici«»itudo8of 

"^ Monachiam. 

history of so much else in which there is a large admix- 
ture of the human with the divine — is a perpetual see- 
saw of fall and recovery; of reform and corruption. In 
its early days the cloister was often the sole refuge of 
thoughtful and godly men from the tyranny of power, 
too little restrained by law, and of crime, unchecked by 
fear. In that solitude, the worship of God led men 
to ponder on the providence of God, and on the mys- 
teries of the world within, as well as on the horrors of 
the world without. The earnest prayer, " Lord, what 
will thou have me to do?" led of necessity not alone to 
penitence but to aspiration. The God-fearing man 
learnt that when he had been enabled to bring himself 
under subjection to the divine law, he had but passed 
the threshold of his duty. He became conscious of 
faculties and powers, by the devout culture and exer- 
cise of which he might become the instrument of ex- 
tending that subjection far and wide. In process of 
time. Monks of this stamp fitted themselves for govern- 
ing, and by the working of that great providential law 
which, sooner or later, infallibly places the tools in the 
hand that has the skill to use them, the Monk took his 

1 PhUobtbUmi c. v.; Mt supra, pp. 33, 34. 


chaweT VII.- P^^^^ in the council chamber, — at the seat of justice, — 
L^^^iNo*^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ armies, — he did his work even there, 
Mo7^,». and did it weU. 

But the hard tasks brought splendid reward. Gradu- 
ally, the self-denial of the training gave way to the self- 
indulgence of the triumph. Monkish austerity was re- 
placed by courtly luxury ; Christian humiUty by worldly 
pride. The man who had learned the art of governing 
kingdoms, had lost the grace by which he had been 
enabled to govern himself. And meanwhile not a few 
of the crimes and vices which Monks of one generation 
had fought against in the world, the Monks of another 
generation had sheltered and fostered in the cloister. 
At length that devotion to study, that elaborate cultiva- 
tion of the powers and faculties of the inner man, wliich 
had once made some of the wearers of cowls more than 
equal to the wearers of crowns, came to be matters of 
greater regard beyond the walls of Monasteries than 
within them. As Erasmus expressed it, — on the eve of 
the Eeformation, — "Heretofore the heart of learning 
was amongst such as professed EeUgion; now while 
they, for the most part, give themselves up, ventri luxui 
pecuniceqice, the love of learning is gone from them to 
secular princes, the court, and the nobility." 
S^R^r^^"^ The famous controversy of John Eeuchlin with the 
Dl^Lisof Dominicans of Cologne, affords a striking illustration 
Cologne. Qf iiy^Q statement. Eeuchlin, like so many others who 
were eminent in the revival of learning, owed much of 
his education to- Monks. Of the masters whose instruc- 
tions he has most frequently and gratefully recorded, one 

Chaftxb VII.— 
Dbclimb op 




was a Carthusian, another a Mathurin. With the Do- '*''*^ '• 
minicans of Germany he had an official connection (as 
their Proctor,) during the greater part of his Ufe. Even 
at his death, he bequeathed his Libriary to a Monastery. 
But some of the best years of his layman's life were 
spent in the effort to prevent Monks from burning books 
because they were in Hebrew. The Monks of CJologne 
were afraid that the currency of Jewish literature would 
obstruct the free course of Christianity, and by way of 
warding off this evil they proposed to deprive the Jews 
of all their books, except the Bible, and to commit 
them to the flames. This proposition came from one of 
those Mendicant Orders which a century before had won 
renown for their zeal in collecting Hebrew books for 
their own Libraries. 

It is, however, but bare justice to the Dominicans to 
remember that whatever their ultimate folly in the 
conduct of this controversy, they were led into it 
at first by a pardonable eagerness to proselytize Jews 
into Christians, and by putting too much confidence in 
a very bad specimen of such a proselyte, whom they 
had the misfortune to make at the outset. 

Two other facts must in fairness be borne in mind: — 
The one that the edict of August, 1509, for the burning 
of the Jewish books in Libraries, on which the whole 
matter primarily hinged, was an imperial, not an eccle- 
siastical edict. The other, that in the bosom of the 
Dominican Order itiself, only fifteen years before the 
outbreak of this controversy, a new congregation had 
been formed, at the instance of Savonarola, in the 
statutes of which express provision was made for the 


^^^^^^•jj_ cultivation of the Hebrew and Chaldaic tongues. But 
DiccLiNE OF ij^ order to this Dominican reform, the zealous Florentine 

Lkarninq ' 

i;™^ had to obtain the sanction of an Alexander VI. That 

sanction was granted, but it launched Savonarola upon 
a path very different from the Eoman path, and led him 
eventually to the martyr's stake. And in this fact we 
have an indication of one of the sources of no small part 
of the grosser corruption of the Monastic Orders. The 
Papal supremacy, instead of being the means of refor- 
mation had become, too often, the great obstacle to re- 
formation. Its visitatorial powers, instead of being used 
for the encouragement of good, and the repression of 
bad Monks, were made the instruments of extortion 
and of crime of many kinds. 

Even in better times, the remoteness of the superin- 
tending authority from many of the bodies over which 
it was to be exercised, became a very fruitful source of 
mischief. In England this was especially the case, on 
account of the number of alien Priories whose immediate 
government, as well as ultimate visitation, lay in foreign 
hands. All the Clugniac houses, for example, were 
entirely under foreign jurisdiction, and notwithstanding 
many attempts at partial reform, remained so until 
1457. The Prsemonstratensian houses, again, re- 
mained still longer under the rule of the Abbot of Pre- 
montr^.^ The English Parliament had, indeed, as early 
as 1307, restrained the Monks from carrying money out 
of the kingdom (by what the Act^ describes as diversa 

1 Tannkb : Noiitia Monastica (by Nasmyth), pref. ix. 

2 SUUtUea at large (Tomline'e edit.), i. 175. 


tallagia^ census et impositiones insolitas^ graves et importa- q^J^ yii ~ 
biles) ^ but the evil, as to jurisdiction and visitation, re- ^^2^^^' 
mained without remedy until 1512; or almost until evil ^^^^^™- 
and f emedy were to be swept away together, in that 
sharp and supreme "Visitation" which we have now 
to glance at. 

The first Act for the dissolution of the Monasteries 3!f™„?^*^ , 

First Statute of 

is entitled : An Act that all Religious Ilouses under the i^*«»J"**o°. 

«^ A J>. 1685. 

yearly revenue of £200 shall be dissolved and given to the 
King and his heirs. Its preamble runs thus: "For as 
much as manifest sin, vicious, carnal and abominable 
living is daily used and committed commonly in such 
little and small Abbeys^ Priories^ and other Religious 
Houses of Monks, Canons, and Nuns, where the congre- 
gation of such reUgious persons is under the number of 
twelve persons, ... to the high displeasure of Almighty 
God, .... so that without such small Houses be 
utterly suppressed, and the religious persons therein be 
committed to great and honourable Monasteries of Eeli- 
gion in this Eealm, where they may be compelled to 
live reUgiously, .... there shall else be no redress or 
reformation in that behalf "; and then, after the further 
statement, that there are divers and great solemn Monas- 
teries of this Realm, wherein (thanks be to -God J Religion 
is right well kept and observed "; proceeds to give the 
King all such reUgious Houses as have not in lands or 
other hereditaments "above the clear yearly value of 
£200," and to enact "that also His Highness shall have 
to him and to his heirs all and singular such Monasteries 
. . . which at any time within one year next before the 


cha^"^ vii^ making of this Act hath been given and granted to His 

ra^^i^c Majesty by any Abbot, Prior, Abbess, or Prioress, under 

LiBBARiM. |.|^g-j. Convent seals." It also provides that all persons 

shall enjoy such Abbey lands or interests therein as the 

King may have granted them.^ It makes no provision 

whatever for the preservation of the Libraries. 

Second statute ^hc sccond Act of dissolution is entitled: " An Act 

of DiMulution, 

A.0. 1689. yj^ if^^ disaohuion of all Monasteries and AbbeySj* and it 
commences thus: "Whereas divers and sundry Abbots, 
Priors, Abbesses, Prioresses, and other Ecclesiastical 
govemours and governesses of divers Monasteries, Ab- 
beys, Priories, Nunneries, Colleges, Hospitals, Houses of 
Friars, and other religious and ecclesiastical Houses 

and places within England and Wales, of their 

own free and voluntary mindSy good wills and assents, 
without constraint^ coaction^ or compulsion of any manner 

of person or persons, have severally given, 

granted and . . . confirmed all their said Monasteries, 
Abbeys, .... Manors, Lordships, .... Eights and 

Franchises .... to our said Sovereign Lord, 

Be it therefore enacted," &c. There is here not a 
word of the "vicious, carnal and abominable living" 
alleged (and doubtless, to some extent, truly alleged) 
against the smaller Houses; nor of that "right well 
keeping and observing of religion" in "the great and 
solemn Monasteries of the realm" for which (unques- 
tionably with not less of truth and reason,) homage is 
rendered to the Almighty, in the Act passed four years 
earUer. Here, also, there is an entire absence of care 
or forethought, in respect of their literary treasures. 

I StatuUa cU large (Raithby's edit.), 27^ Hen. VIII., c. 28; U. 134. 

Chapter VII.— 
Diapx&aioK of 
THK MoMAfrric 


And it is notable that the Commissioners employed ''^''' 
were — alike under both statutes, — themselves, in many 
cases, men of grossly immoral lives, — notoriously such, — 
and were also men of the most crass ignorance and 
illiterateness, as well as men of conspicuous greed. ^ 

That the language of neither statute can be adduced 
as, of itself, proving anything whatever, is but too 
obvious. The latter of them asserts in direct and un- 
mistakable terms a falsehood which must have been 
known to be such by every oflScial person, and by every 
member of Parliament who had taken part either in 
directing or in carrying out the Visitation of the Mo- 
nasteries, or who had even resided in the near neigh- 
bourhood of any of those religious houses which are 
alleged to have been yielded to the King, by 'Hhe free 
and voluntary minds^ good wills, and assents'' of their 
respective Superiors. The former statute enacts in one 
section that all "fraudulent assurances" made by the 
Superiors of Religious Houses within one year next 
preceding the passing of the Act shall be void ; and, in 
another section, that all Monasteries or monastic pos- 
sessions given to His Majesty by any Abbot or Prior, 
within the same period, shall l)e confirmed . ..." to 

1 Evidence of this will be found, abundantly, and at first hand, in Cotton 
MS. "Cleop. E. 4, and throughout the ''Augmentation Records," now in 
the Rolls House ; at second hand, in the writings of Archbishop Parker ; in the 
contemporary or nearly contemporary Lives of Cranmer ; in the appendices 
to Burnet; in Strype's EcdefdoHticcU Memoricds; in Fuller's Church Hutory ; 
and in the late Mr. T. Wright's collection of ** Letter a relating to the Suppres- 
sion of the Monasteries," pasftim. The present writer has quoted, from original 
correspondence, some conspicuous proofs of the ignorance, the licentiousness, 
and the venality, both of Thomas Cromwell, and of his " Commissioners," in 
the preface to his edition of Lfiber Monaaterii de Hyila, printed under the 
direction of the Master of the Rolls in 1865 (from the original MS. in Lord 
Macclesfield's noble library at Shirburn Castle, Oxon). 


cha^^vii-^^^ glory of Almighty God," &c. Plainer justification 

rarS^N^^o^^ that pregnant ''Sic volo'' which our English anti- 

LiBRARiBs. quaries placed on the frontispiece of the Mondsticon 

could scarcely be imagined than is oflTered by the mere 

juxtaposition of these two enacting clauses of one and 

the same Act of Parliament. 

In this nineteenth century it ought, surely, to be 
quite superfluous to premise that a condemnation of 
the base means employed for the dissolution of the 
Monasteries, and of the fradulent appropriation of their 
possessions, after the dissolution, is perfectly consistent 
with honest reprobation of the gross abuses which pre- 
vailed in very many of them, and with clear conviction 
that the necessity either for their suppression, or large 
modification, was close at hand. For their conversion 
(in great measure) to purposes of private aggrandize- 
ment no necessity could ever have arisen. It was 
robbery — the robbery of a whole people — ^superadded 
to sacrilege. There is, however, evidence enough that 
plain as is the distinction here indicated, it is oftener 
overlooked than borne in mind. 

That the famous " Black Book of the Monasteries'' 
should have perished, as it seems to have done, is as 
much Jo be regretted by those who believe that, along 
with many lamentable truths, it must have contained a 
very large admixture of corrupt falsehoods ; as by those 
who are boldly confident that even the multifarious 
correspondence of the very miscellaneous agents, both 
high and low, who were employed in the work, " contain 
nothing wliicli is untrue," and tliat " the worst crimes 
laid to the charge of the Monks are but too fully veri- 


fied by the long chain of historical evidence reaching q^J^ ^j _ 
without interruption from the twelfth century to the ^™i^*5' 
sixteenth 1"! librabik. 

But, although the report of these Commissioners has Theinstmctiona 

, (drawn by 

disappeared, the Instructions to them are still extant, cromweu) for 

* * , the ViBltation of 

and are worthy of attention. They will, at least, be tho MoDanteries. 
illustrative of the spirit in which the task was undertaken, 
and on points respecting which they say nothing, their 
silence may sometimes be more eloquent than words. 

These Instructions were drawn up in the form of 
questions — eighty-six in number — which may be grouped 
under three main heads: — {1) Foundation^ possessions^ 
revenues^ and number of Monks in each Community. (2) 
Employment of the revenuss^ and condition of the monastic 
benefices and buildings. (3) Observance of Rule and 
discipline^ and celebration of Divine Worship.'^ Not in 
one of the eighty-six questions will be found the sUghtest 
indication of interest in the inquiry, whether or not 
learning was in any way cultivated in the Monasteries. 
Careful research is directed towards the state of " the 
bedding," and the number of the "utensils" (Quest. 50); 
but not the smallest curiosity is displayed respecting 

1 Wmoht: Three Chapters of Letters relcUing to the mppressUm of Monas- 
teries. Edited from the Originals in the British Museum (Camd. Soc. 1843), 
pref. Mr. Wright rendered good service by the publication of these letters. 
But they would have had tenfold value, and would have borne a very 
different complexion, if he had included in his collection fair samples of the 
correspondence on the same subject, now preserved in the Rolls House, and 
formerly at Westminster. And, assuredly, the Editor's prefatory remarks 
cannot, in this instance, be praised for impartiality, however they may 
deserve praise on the score of ability. 

2 Articuli regies inquisitionis, in monoMicam vitam agentes, exponendi^ etc. 
Cott. MS. CUop. E. 4 f. 13. Printed in Burnet's Collection qfBecords, etc., i. 


OHxrar viiw- ^^® number of the books, or the literateness or illiterate- 
rar^N^w ^^^ ^^ ^^^ fraternity; questions which were not, indeed, 
Libraries. Jj^ ^^j^^ f^j, themselves, of chief importance, but which 
were closely bound up with that most vital question of 
all, — in what spirit and with what aims the work of 
Anglican reformation was to be achieved. Dread of 
the stigma of " sacrilege " might have become the bul- 
wark of superstition, but the instincts which made the 
struggle with superstition a lucrative one^ were not 
therefore the less ignoble. 

Nor is there any allusion to the Uterary aspect of the 
Monastic system, even in those " General Injunctions to 
be given on the King's Highness' behalf^ in all Monasteries 
and other Houses of whatsoever order or religion they be,* 
which are occasionally animated with lofty conceptions 
of the substance of true religion, expressed in language 
which sometimes rises into grandeur, but which ^^^holly 
and everywhere overlook the value of discipline., — the 
value in its due place of austerity, — as the auxiliajpy, the 
aid, and appliance of true religion. Had the sjjfnrit of 
those lofty precepts been the ruUng principle of the 
Visitors and of their Masters, all that was really ^good in 
the Reformation — in so far as it was truly such-, -would 
have been none the less triumphant; the Mar Aan re- 
action, and the Elizabethan renewed sacrilegeS||j— or, at ' 
all events, the worst of them — would have beenjy , impos- 
sible. As it was, the errors of the EeformerSj.j£^^ and of 
those who wore their garb, became the gerrr^^ ^s of the 
persecution in which so many of them perishedi^^j; and of 
the revolting secularisation of things devote^ ^^\ to the 
highest of public services which ensued, jjy . 


Under such auspices, it can scarcely be matter of sur- ^^^^^ v,i _ 
prise that the Monastic Libraries were wantonly plun- THrSoM^xw 
dered and dispersed. To whatever extent these col- L'"^*'""- 
lections may have suffered dilapidation and loss when 
they had the misfortune to belong to unfaithful and 
ignorant Communities, there is entire concurrence of 
testimony as to their enormous aggregate value, even at 
the time of the dissolution. Ardent Protestants agree 
with sturdy Eomanists in lamenting the gross neglect 
which suffered them, for the most part, to perish. 

John Bale, for example, — a man of whom it has been De>tructi<m of 
truly said that he was "sufficiently averse from the^bi^^^**" 
least shadow of Popery," — addressing himself to King 
Edward VI., in 1549, writes thus: "But this is highly 
to be lamented of all them that hath a natural love to 
their country, either yet to learn antiquity, which is 
a most singular beauty to the same, that in turning 
over of the superstitious Monasteries so Uttle respect 
was had to their Libraries, for the safeguard of those 

noble and precious monuments." 

"Yea," he adds, "the Universities of this realm are not 
all clear in tliis detestable fact. But cursed is that belly 
which seeketh to be fed with so ungodly gains, and so 
deeply shameth his natural country. I know a mer- 
chantman, which shall at tliis time be nameless, that 
bought the contents of two noble Libraries for forty 
shillings' price: a shame it is to be spoken. This stuff 
hath he occupied in the stead of grey paper by the 
space of more than these ten years; and yet he hath 
store enough for as many years to come. A prodigious 
example is tliis, and to be abhorred of all men which 



CH^^''g^^yjj_ love their nation as they should do Yea, what 

toe'^na^o ^^y bring our realm to more shame and rebuke than 
LiBRABiKs. ^ YiB,ye it noised abroad that we are despisers of 
learning ?"^ 

Thomas Fuller 
on the Monastic 

Libraries. FuLLER, after haviug quoted a portion of this lamen- 

tation of the reforming Bishop, illustrates, in his quaint 
way, some of the methods by which this destruction 
was wrought. " As brokers in Long Lane," he says, 
"when they buy an old suit, buy the linings together 
with the outside ; so it was conceived meet that such 
as purchased the buildings of Monasteries should in 
the same grant have the Libraries (the stuffing there- 
of) conveyed unto them. And now these ignorant 
owners, so long as they might keep a ledger-book or 
terrier by direction thereof to find such straggling 
acres as belonged unto them, they cared not to pre- 
serve any other monuments. The covers of books, 
with curious brass bosses and clasps, intended to pro- 
tect, proved to betray them, being the baits of 
covetousness. And so, many excellent Authors, 
stripped out of their cases, were left naked to be 

buried or thrown away 

I may say that then holy Divinity was profaned, 
Physic hurt, and a trespass, yea a riot, committed on 
Law itself. And more particularly, the History of 
former times then and there received a dangerous 
wound, whereof it halts at this day, and, without 

1 Preface of J. Bale (afterwards Bishop of Ossory) to The labcryinut 
J<mmey and sercht o/Johon Leylande/or Englandea atUiquUuat geven ofkym. 
as a newe yearea gu/U to kyngt Henry the viii. 

leland's mission to the monasteries. 195 

hope of a perfect cure, must go a cripple to the ^^^^^ '^:jj^_ 
ffrave "^ DispEBsioMor 

D * THE Monastic 


That the losses thus deplored would have been more John Leunds 

mission to tho 

extensive still, but for the famous mission of John Monasteries 
Leland, is very certain. To what extent he was able to 
rescue the fruits of Monkish industry from utter de- 
struction can never, indeed, be accurately known. For- 
getting that it is not given to man to know what a day 
may bring forth, he seems to have deferred the safe- 
placing of liis acquisitions, or of the greater part of 
them, until a "to-morrow," wliich he was never to see. 
And, as if pursued by fatality, the accumulations which 
sad and protracted disease prevented him from making 
adequate use of in his Ufe time, were in great measure 
dispersed after his death. But in two at least of the 
great collections which laid the foundation of the 
British Museum, as well as in the Bodleian, many 
precious volumes, saved by Leland from amidst the 
Monastic ruins, are yet preserved, as we shall see more 
fully hereafter. 

Although Leland's commission as " King's Antiquary " 
dates from 25 Henry VIII. (1533-4), and is therefore an- 
terior by two years to the first Dissolution, there is no 
satisfactory evidence that it had for its direct object the 
preservation of the monastic archives, or that Leland 
had even visited any considerable number of Monas- 
teries before their suppression. Li that '^New Year's 
Gift to King Henry VIII.," which was written in 1546, 
and has been already referred to, he speaks of his 

1 Church Hutory qf Britain, ut supra, iL 247-249. 



PARTI, ^travels as having been made "by the space of these 

Chapter VII. 
Dispersion < 
THE Monastic 

Dispersion OF gj^. years past," SO that, if we are to understand that ex- 

libraries. pression literally, they could scarcely have commenced 
before 1539 or 1540. The notices of libraries scattered 
through the Collectanea shew, almost in every instance, 
that they were written subsequently to the suppression ; 
and even in the case of the great, memorable, and not 
very remote Monastery of Bury St. Edmunds, it is 
evident, from the recommendatory letter printed by 
Hearne, that his visit occcured after the Community 
had ceased to exist. There is, therefore, but slender 
ground for ascribing to the King, on the strength of'his 
commission to Leland, any very praiseworthy solicitude 
for the interests of learning. Nor, indeed, is there a 
scintilla of evidence which would justify the belief that 
Henry was inclined to make any sacrifice, or to impose 
on himself any restraint, for such a purpose. K he 
could have won laudation as a preserver of learning 
with the same ease wherewith he obtained fame as 
archaeologist, or as author; namely, by affixing to the 
Libraries, which other men had saved, "The King's 
Deed"; as he had already affixed to writings which other 
men had composed, "The King's Book"; and as he was 
presently about to affix to the noble Colleges of other 
men's planting, "The King's Foundation"; no doubt it 
would have given him pleasure. But timely and effect- 
ive interference of this kind was incompatible with 
the lavish generosity of a "blind giver," and would 
also have plainly implied the falsehood of some of the 
accusations by means of which the Monks had been 
dragged down. The genial impulsiveness and the good- 


fellowsliip of Henry made him popular,^ as such quali-^^^j^^''{^jj_ 
ties always will do; nor is their possession by an un- ^^''^i^^' 
scrupulous voluptuary a tiling to marvel at. There l»«^^*»- 
were other men of the same sort in liigh places at 
that time, and there have been many of them since. 
But those qualities will serve little towards the re- 
deeming of his character in our memories, even if 
backed by the commendations of the Statute Book, and 
artistically grouped by the eminent abihties of so gra- 
phic a writer as Mr. Froude. 

The havoc which the flatterers of Henry Vlil. had so The renewed 
zealously begun, the crafty politicians who governed Sd^*^"^ 
the realm in the name of Edward VI. very fitly carried ^™^^^- 
on. On the 25th February, 1550, a King's letter 
was sent from the Council Board authorizing certain 
commissioners "to cull out all superstitious books, 
as missals, legends, and such Uke, and to deliver 
the garniture of the books, being either gold or sil- 
ver, to Sir Anthony AuciiEii."^ Tliis was to be done 
at the King's own Library in Westminster, whither 
some fragments of the Monastic Libraries had been 
carried by Leland. In the same year the Oxford 

1 **King Harry loved a Man," waa much in the peoples mouths after ho 
had long been dead. Of his "bonhomie" there are curious and well-known 
illustrations in the letters of Erasmus. 

2 Council book, as quoted by Jeremy Collier, ubi i7\fra. I have read 
these instructions in the original text, at the Privy Council Office, but my 
note is not now at hand. How curious it is to notice at almost every step in 
the history of our own periods of turmoil — whether Reformation, Great Re- 
bellion, Restoration, or '' Glorious Revolution," of 1688, —the parallelisms 
which it presents with the revolutionary history of our great neighbours 
across the Channel. And these striking similarities, I have had many op- 
portunities of observing, come out much more sirongly in studying the 
MS. Records and sources than in our printed Histories — even the best. 


^jy^j^'^^yii^ Libraries were "purged of a great part of the Fathers 
Dispersion or g^j^^ Schoolmeii; and to shcw that the discretion of 

THE Monastic 

some people was much of the same size with their jus- 
tice, and what an antipathy they had to the memory of 
learned men, great heaps of these books were set on 
fire in the market place. This execution, . . . some 
young members, bigoted to ignorance, called Scotus's 

dil^igaiti of the Thus fell the famous old English Monasteries ; leaving, 
Sted^ in the eyes and thoughts of too many of us, nothing be- 
SS^^ffieg. hind them save dull chronicles, tottering ruins, and 
vague, often scandalous, memories. By more patient 
inquirers, however, it will always be borne in mind, 
that on the site of those ruins good and gre3,t men 
fought a gallant and Ufe-long fight against their worst 
enemies and ours; that true Captains of Men lived and 
died there, who, after many a hard struggle, won 
enduring victories against brutish violence, emascu- 
lating ignorance, manifold sin, and decorous mammon- 

The most especially sacred of their sites were wantonly 
profaned: Glastonbury for example ; which St. Dunstan 
had made a model Monastery of Benedictine industry, 
and of Benedictine holiness, and where he had trained 
up Archbishop Ethelgar to be his worthy successor in 
the Government of the English Church, was plundered 
and degraded — 

1 Wood: Hist, etAntiq, UniversiUUis OxonioBf L 271, 272. Collier: EccUs. 
Hut. qf Great Britain, v. 417, 418. 


" When not great Arthur's tomb, nor holy Joseph's grave, '•art i. 

From sacrilege had power their sacred bones to save." dispersion or 

THE Monastic 

The New-Minster of Winchester was despoiled, and Libraries. 
made a heap of ruins. Eventually, its holy and greatest 
altar became the site of a cell in a Bridewell; and the 
remains of "England's darling," King Alfred, were 
shovelled aside, like so much refuse, to make room for 
the prison foundations. 

At Canterbury, St. Agustine's Abbey was turned, in 
part, into a brewery, and in part was put to viler uses.^ 
It was the place where our first English Library was 
founded, and the place which had become the eventual 
home of some of the best of those two bands of pristine 
Missionaries, who, from far Rome, in days marked by 
turbulence and rapuie, of wliich it is now hard to form 
an idea, — 

" Bands of Christian soldiers, 
Marching as to war; — 
With the Cross of Jesus 
Going on before"; — 

had, during long months, traversed Italy and France 
afoot, amidst innumerable hardsliips, toils, and perils, 
to bring the blessings of Christianity to our then bar- 
baric England. 

And these are but samples of hundreds of instances 
of desecration, for mere lucre, which shocked the eyes 

1 In our own day the site has been redeemed, mainly by the admirable 
ezertlonB and the liberality of Mr. Bereeford Hope. Bat there was nothing 
else left to preserve, or to restore. The work of the destroyers had been 
effBctoally done. 


chai^^^vii.-^^^ grieved the hearts of the thoughtful and reverent 
m ™M^o amongst Eeformers, as well as of the pious and faithful 
LiBRAuira. amongst Romanists, for many generations then to 

But there yet remain in England a few of those noble 
Abbey-towers whence the passer-by may still hear 
sweet chimes and solemn dirges, and may call to 
memory that on the selfsame spot bells rang to prayer 
a thousand years ago. Under the shade of those 
towers, Schools and libraries were formed, industry 
was taught by example, blessed and life-giving books 
were transcribed, the holy rites and happy festivals of 
the Christian Church were celebrated, — not, indeed, 
without much of human frailty and human error, but 
yet with that blessing from above, which can turn even 
the foolishness of men to the glory of God. From the 
battlements of such towers peaceful Monks gazed on 
many a bloody fight, in which Kings were detlironed, 
and Dynasties were changed; but from the adjacent 
Cliurch the same voice of prayer and of praise rose at 
the same hours of day and night, century after 
century. Nor will the reflection be a useless one, which 
on such a spot may well cross the mind, almost with 
the force of a revelation, that even for us nineteenth- 
century men, what was there quietly thought, and un- 
assumingly but earnestly done, by obscure and (in our day) 
much contemned Monks, is of more momentous, more 
enduring, concern, and has far more to do with everything 
that makes it life to live, than all the great inventions, 
— the steam engines, and weaving-looms, and reaping 


macliines, and railways, and "gold discoveries," — ^^^ cha^^ vii.- 
all the other marvellous extensions of mere commercial i>wp™»o» «>' 

THE Monastic 

activity (blessings as they are, when duly subordinated, l™*«'»- 
and kept subordinate, — and when rightly used), — which 
have ever been applauded by the toasts, or the shouts, 
of assembled thousands. 

[ 203 ] 


KoYAL, Episcopal, and Lay Collectors, in various 


Diu est quod, et panmtum cura, et meapto dUigontla, Ubrls 
InsueyL Hsbc me voluptu jam indo a pueritla cepit; base iUecebra 
mecum parUibuB adolevlt annis : nam et ita a potre instltiitius eram, 
ut, si ad diversa declinarem atudia, eeset animas dispendium ot 
fam«B perlculum. Quodrca mcmor sententiie " Cupias quodcunque 
necesse est," eztorsi juventuti mese ut libenter vellem quod non 
Telle honeeto non posaem. Et multia quidem lltoriB impend! 
operam, aed alila aUam. Logicam enim, qute armat eloquium, solo 
libavi auditu: physicam, qusa medetur yalitudini corporum, ali- 
quanto preasiuB concepi: jam vero ethicsa partes medullitus rima- 
tus, illius majestati assurgo, quod per se studentibus pateat, et 
animos ad bme vivendiun componat: historiam prsBcipue, qu», 
jocunda quadam gestorum notitia mores condions ad bona so- 

quenda, vel mala cavenda, legentes exemplls irritat 

—Will. Malmsburienbis : Qata Reffum Anglorum 
(Prologua in librum ii). 

For several centuries a few bequests of books in p^^,. 
wills, a few brief entries of them in inventories, and ^°^J^^"^*" 
some scanty allusions in Monkish Chronicles, comprise ^"^^y*^ 
all, or very neariy all, the trustworthy sources of in- ^"'■^"• 
formation respecting the Libraries of individual col- 
lectors. Until we reach almost the close of the medi- 
aeval period, anything that deserves to be called the 
Catalogue of a private Library is rare indeed. Some 
such lists, however, have survived, together with frag- 
ments and traditions of many more. 

In the Letters of Sidonius Apollinaris we have a 
curious account of a fifth-century collector, in the per- 
son of ToNANTius Ferreolus (in whom some hypothetical 
historians have claimed to discover the stem of the 
second race of French Kings), who formed a Library in 


Chapteb VIII.- 


_ his castle of Prusiana, between Nismes and Clermont. 
b^i^'sto'pal. Sidonius goes the length of comparing it to " the most 
famous of the public Museums of Eome or of Alexan- 
dria." It was divided, he says, into three departments, 
the first of which was expressly intended for the use of 
the ladies of the family, to meet whose devout tastes 
the books were chiefly works of piety, so conveniently 
arranged that, although these ladies had at command 
as many as they could wish for, all were within reach 
as they sat in their chairs. The second class was 
especially intended for the men ; comprised works of 
literature rather than of devotion, and such (adds the 
sainted poet, very ungallantly^) as were altogether of a 
higher range. But, as if in compensation for this de- 
preciatory allusion to the literary tastes of the gentle 
sex, we find him proceed to describe a third depart- 
ment, destined for the common use of both sexes, in 
which occur the works of such authors as Augustine 
and Origen, as well as those of Varro, Prudentius, and 
Horace. We learn, finally, that the books thus col- 
lected were not for show, but for use; that it was the 
habitual practice to spend a part of every morning in 
reading, and to discuss the books so read at dinner; 
statements which, if we are to put implicit faith in 
them, would tend to shew that the table-talk of a 
country house in the fifth century might perhaps not 
greatly suffer, if it were brought into comparison with 
that of many country houses in the nineteenth; of 

1 So, at least, he is qnoted by the literary historians of France [Histaire 
UtUfxiire de la France^ iL 41) from whom I borrow these passages of Sidonius, 
with whom I have otherwise no acquaintance. 




which it certainly cannot be said, that the gaiety is 
"always mingled with learning." B^ra^PAL. 

SiDONius also mentions as a notable collection of ^^^^^ 
books, formed at nearly the same period, that which 
belonged to Publius CJonsentius, at his villa called 
Octaviana, not far from Narbonne. This, he says, was 
brought together by the successive care of father, son, 
and grandson, all of whom were eminent for their culti- 
vation of letters. The collection he describes as being 
both choice and numerous.^ 

Florus, a priest of the Church of Lyons in the ninth 
century, is commemorated by his biographer as having 
been fortunate enough to form a Library containing 
none but "select, accurate, and well-written books," 
whence he equipped himself for his controversy with 
ScoTUS concerning the writings of St. Augustine.^ But 
of this period no collection is recorded that is worthy 
to be compared with that which was brought together 
by Everard, Count of Friuli, who died a.d. -874. This 
Library was bequeathed by its owner to a Monastery 
of which he had been the founder, and from a Cata- 
logue yet preserved, the learned authors of the Histoire 
littiraire de la France inform us, that in addition to the 
usual liturgical and devotional books — such as missals, 
gospels, lectionaries, antiphonaries, and the like, some 
of which were written in letters of gold, and most of 
which were adorned with ornaments of gold, silver, or 
ivory, — it contained several Books of Holy Scripture, 
Psalters, Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, 

1 Higt. la France, iL 41. 

2 n>i<L, ▼. 239. 



^ '^"JI:.. collections of Cauons, several works of the Latin 
2^^^ Fathers, and especially of St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, 
St. Augustine, St. Gregory, St. Fulgentius, and St. Isi- 
dorus of Seville; and also a translation of St. Ephraem.^ 
There were also books of ethics, of ecclesiastical history, 
of civil history, of geography, of medicine, and at least 
one treatise on the military art. Amongst the books 
which the French historians mention specifically are 
Liber bestiarum, the Cosmography of the philosopher 
Ethicus, the Physiognomy of the physician Loxus, the 
Ordinal of Princes (perhaps the same as the work else- 
where entitled Ordinal of the Palace\ and a work 
described simply as " Smaragdus," which they take to 
be the Postilla on the^ Epistles and. Gospels of the year. 

At precisely the same period, Charles the Bald, King 
of France, distinguished himself as a collector. To his 
appreciation of beautiful manuscripts, as well as to his 
worthy selection of the books on which he lavished 
adornment, many precious copies of the Bible, and 
several prayer-books, of almost unequalled beauty, yet 
testify. His collection was suflSciently numerous — so 
far as that term can be applied to any Library of that 
age — to induce him to direct by an ordinance which he 
promulgated on the eve of his last journey into Italy, 
that it should be divided into three parts: the first, for 
his son and successor; the second, for the Abbey of St. 
Denis ; the third, for the Abbey of CJompiegne.^ 

1 n)id.,v.447. 

2 The ultimate fate of portions of the Library of Charles the Baldl tffoldi 
an illustration of the remark in another part of tiiis volume, as to the f 
adventures of books. One very splendid Book of Hours was in thfa SwIm 
Abbey of Fraaenmunster, from the pillage of which it was saved by aF 



Chapter VIIL- 

Towards the close of the tenth century, Gerbert of 
Eheims (afterwards Pope Sylvester II.) appears to have ^^p^ 
eclipsed all his contemporaries for zeal and wide-spread ^J^^^l 
research in the amassing of books. He is said to have 
collected the works of Cicero, of Caesar, of PUny, of 
Suetonius, of Statins, of Eugraphius, of Manilius, of 
Victorinus the rhetorician, of a certain Gaulish physi- 
cian called Demosthenes, of Claudianus the dialectician, 
and of many other authors, some of whom have long 
since been forgotten. His exertions to procure books 
extended to Spain, whence he brought treatises on 
arithmetic, on astrology, and on other subjects.^ His 
friend Adso (or Asso), Abbot of Moutier-en-Der, pos- 
sessed similar tastes, collected for his friends as well as 
for himself, and became, so to speak, the Uterary cor- 
respondent-general, or the Peiresc, of his epoch. 

To a period but little later than that of these eminent 
churchmen, belongs a collector, of a different caUing 
but of like spirit, — William HI., Duke of Aquitaine 
and Count of Poitiers. This Prince succeeded his father 
in the government of his hereditary states in the year 
990; displayed eminent quaUties both as statesman and 
as soldier; refused the crown of Italy (offered to him 
on the death of the Emperor Henry EC.) ; and finally, 
following the example of his father and of so many 

Biihop, by whoBe care it was printed at IngolcUtadt in 15S3. The famona 
** Bible of St. Denis" remained in that Monastery until 1505, when it was 
transferred to the Royal Library. President de Thou had it magnificently 
bound, at the (involuntary) expense of the Jesuits, after their expulsion from 
the College of Clennont. (See, hereinafter, under the heading: National 
LiBKABT or Fbancx.) 

1 Hial. lULdela France, vi 25, 536, etc. 


Chapter VIII, 



_ Other princes of that age, retired to a Monastery, where 

he died in the year 1030. Of his marked taste for the 

collection and study of books a contemporary chronicle 

thus testifies: — ^^Fuit dux iste a pueritia doctus Uteris^ et 

satis notitiam scripturarum hahuit; librorum copiam 

in palatio suo servavit; et si forte a frequmtia caus- 

arum et tumvMu vacaret^ lectioni per seipsum operam 

dabaty longiorihus noctihus elucubrans in librisy donee 

somno vinceretur" ^ 

Passing over several collections of which but slight 
traces remain — many of them, too, very similar in their 
character — that of Kichard Chandos, Bishop of Chi- 
chester, who died in 1253, deserves a word of notice. 
We know it only by the Will in which he bequeaths the 
following books: — "To the Friars Minors of Chichester, 
my Psalter, glased; to the Friars Minors at Lewes, 
the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John; to the Friars 
Minors of Winchester, those of St. Matthew and St. 
Mark; to the Friars Preachers at Arundel, the Book 
of Sentences; to those of Canterbury, Hosea, glosed; 
to the Friars Minors of the same city, Isaiah, glosed; 
to the Friars Preachers of London, the Books of Job, 
Acts, and Revelation, with the Canonical Epistles, in 
one volume; to the Friars Minors of London, the 
Epistles of St. Paul, glosed, and to those of Win- 
chester, The twelve Apostles, glosed; to the Friars 
Preachers of Winchester, Summarium; to William of 
de Selsey, my Bible, with a rough cover of skin; to 

1 Recueil de$ hisioriens des Oaulea, z. 155; Art de virifier lea dates (edit, of 
1818), iiL 137; Hallam: SuppUmental Notes to his View of Europe, Ac, 396. 



Fulinus, a Monk, the books of Damascene^ with some c^J^Ym 
others; to William, a Monk of CJolchester, a small ^^^^ 
book of St. Anselnij &c.^ 

AND Lay 


Of the Library of another Prelate of the thirteenth 
century, Eichard de Gravesend, Bishop of London, a 
minute Catalogue exists amongst the arcliives of the 
Dean and Cliapter of St. Paul's, and was privately 
printed by Dean Milman. Li this instance the price of 
each book is affixed to its entry ; the total number of 
volumes being a hundred, and their aggregate value 
£116 145. 6(i., equal, according to Dr. Milman's esti- 
mate, to about £1760 of our present English money. 
Of Bibles and parts of Bibles there are twenty-one 
volumes, valued at nineteen pounds and five shillings. 
The total number of volumes of a theological sort. 
Bibles included, is seventy-one. On the Canon and 
Qvil Law, there are twenty-two volumes; on Ecclesi- 
astical Histor}% four vobv^-<;s; and on what we may, 
perhaps, class under "Sciences and Arts," an equal 
number, — the entries of which run thus: Tractatus fris 
Dei'tKi de proprietatibus rerum; — Libellus instructio- 
num; — Liber Avicennoe; — Liber naturalis. The two 
last-named works are respectively the highest-priced 
and lowest-priced items in the Ust — for books consist- 

1 Nicolas: TestametUa Vetuata, 761-762; and Note xxxix. The late Sir 
Harris Nicolas, with less than his usual acumen, has appended this remark : 
'*The bequests of portions of the Bible translated into Latin, with a para- 
phrase or glosa, in the early part of the thirteenth century, proves how few 
even of the larger Monasteries were provided with them." But that accom- 
plished and estimable antiquarian and jurist would have smiled at any learned 
brother who had ventured to aigue, in his presence, that the bequest of an 
estate to a man " proved " that he had no land before. 




Chapter VIII, 

AND Lay 


__ ing of a single volume only, — the Liber Avicennoe being 
B^rsS'pAL, valued at five pounds, and the Liber Naturalis at three 
sliillings. A Bible, in thirteen volumes, is valued at 
ten pounds, and a "little Bible" at one pound. ^ At 
this time the price of wheat was four shillings a quarter, 
and that of oats two shillings and six pence. It may be 
added that the total valuation of the property of the 
deceased Bishop, scheduled in this document, amounts 
to about three thousand pounds. 

In the year 1355, Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, 
—the foundress of Clare Hall at Cambridge — bequeathed 
to her foundation ^^deiuv bons antiphoners chescun ove un 
grayel [Graduale] en mesme le volume^ i bone legende^ 
i bone messale^ bien note^ i autre messale coverte de 
blank quir, i bone bible coverte de noir quir^ i Ilugucion 
[? Hugh de Vercellis on the Decretals], i legende 
sanctorum, i poire de decretals, i livre des questions, et 
xxii quaires d\m livre appelU De causa Dei contra 

A more important collection of tliis century than any 
yet mentioned, was that which was formed by Guy de 
Beauciiamp, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1315, be- 
queathing it to Bordesley Abbey in Worcestersliire, 
where he had, as it seems, already placed it by way of 
deposit in his Ufe-time. The bequest recites with great 
particularity all the volumes of which this very curious 
collection was composed ^i — "^ tus iceux qe ceste lettre 

1 Miscellanies of the Philobiblon Society (privately printed, 1856). 

2 The document from which this extract is taken is amongst the Liambeth 
MSS.— No. 567, fol. 18 b.— and was first printed in Todd's Illustrations of 

AMD Lay 



verront ou orrount. Guy de Beauchamp^ Comte ^^ OHAi^Viii.. 
Warr.j Saluz en Deu, Nous avoir bayle e en lagarde |^,^; 
U Abbe e le Covent de Bordesleye^ lesse a demorer a 
touz jours touz les Romaunces de souz nomes; ceo est 
assaveyr: — " Then follows a detailed enumeration of 
a Library rich in Komances of Chivalry, and in Lives of 
the Saints. The first book^ in the long list is, probably, 
a French translation of the well-known Tesoretto of 
Brunetto Latini, but the description of it is vague. 
The whole number of volumes is forty, of wliich seven- 
teen are either chivalric or legendary. The Biblical 
works comprise the Gospels; the Revelation of St, John; 
the Book of Genesis; the apocryphal Gospel of the 
Lifancy; and the Legend of Joseph of Arimathea. 
There occurs also, as I suppose, a Psalter in French. 
But tliis, too, is vaguely described. 

But all other early collectors are outshone by Eichard 
d'Aungervili^, or Eichard of Bury, Bishop of Durham, 
whose Philobiblon (a.d. 1344) I have, in these pages, 
repeatedly quoted, chiefly for its allusions to Monastic 
Libraries. Its main interest for us, however, lies far 
less in what it tells of other collections, than in what it 
tells of his own ; of his aims in gathering it ; of the 
opportunities which faciUtated its formation; of his 
exuberant and gushing delight at those wind-falls wliich 
ever and anon cheer the heart of an indefatigable book- 

Oowtr and Chaucer, p. 161. The MS. itself is said to be a transcript bv 
Archbishop Sanoroft from Ashmole's Register of the Earl of Aylesoary^ 
Evidences, f. 110. There is no allusion to this gift in the aocount of Bordesley 
in the Monagticon. 

1 " Un yolom, que est apel^ Tr^aar," 





Chapter VIII. 
AMD Lay 


_ hunter ;i of the liberal sympathy with poorer students 
which dedicated the ultimate disposition of his Library; 
and, above all, of the genial nature, the wide sympathies, 
the energetic character of the man himself. As a book- 
lover — almost a book-idoUzer, he has had (if we take 
into account the relative abundance of books themselves 
at that date and in our own century) very few real 
equals: — ^Eichard Heber, perhaps, in the last generation 
but one; Sir Thomas PnuxiPS in the next following 
generation. Of these two — and especially of the eccen- 
tric owner of Middle Hill, — it might truly be said as 
EiCHARD D'AuNGEiiViLLE's early biographer says of liim : 
"His visitors could scarce stand or move onward, with- 
out striking their feet against books."^ 

As the name by which he is best known indicates, 
EiCHARD d'Aungerville was born at or near Bury St. 
Edmunds. At an early age he became an orphan, and 

1 He says of himself : '* exstatico qaodam libronim amore 


2 William de Chambre : Vita Richardi Dunelmensis — ....** ingre- 
dientes vix stare poteraDt vol incedere nisi librum pedibus conculcarent. " 
The first Edition of the PhUobiblon is of Cologne, 1463 ; the second, of Spires, 
1483 ; the third, of Paris, 1500; the fourth and best, of Oxford, 1599. This 
Edition was the labour of love of Dr. Thomas James (the special honour of 
the Island in which these pages are written, and a native of the town in 
which they are printed). And it is curious to note that James appears to have 
been ignorant of any Edition later than the first. In '* Collections " it has 
been twice reprinted: (1) in Melchior Godart's Collection of Philological 
Tracts, published in 1610 ; (2) in part 2 of John Joachim Mader's Tracts on 
Libraries, published in 1703. Its only English translation, adopted, with 
slight corrections, in these extracts, appeared in London, from the able and 
scholarly hands of Mr. Inglis ; its only French translation in 1856, published 
along with the Latin text — chiefly (as Mr. E. C. Thomas has shewn in his 
able Essay on Richard of Durham in the Library Chronicle, 1884, Sept. and 
Oct.; — an Essay to which I am much indebted) from the very imperfect text 
of Mader, but with "various readings," from three MSS. at Paris, all of them 
of critical value. A new edition, by Mr. Thomas himself, is now in course 
of preparation. 

AND Lay 


was educated by a maternal uncle, of the noble family cuAi^KwVin 
of Willougliby. He was sent to Oxford, and of his pur- ^^^^ 
suits and enjoyments there, he has left a vivid and 
charming picture^: — 

.... "From an early age, led by we know not what 
happy accident, we attached ourselves with present 
soUcitude to the society of masters, scholars, and 
professors of various arts, whom perspicacity of wit 
and celebrity of learning had rendered most con- 
spicuous ; encouraged by whose consolatory conver- 
sation we were most deliciously nourished, sometimes 
with explanatory investigation of arguments, at 
others with recitations of treatises on the progress of 
physics, and of the CathoUc doctors, as it were with 
multiplied and successive dishes of learning. Such 
w^ere the comrades we chose in our boyhood; such 
we entertained as the inmates of our chambers, such 
were the companions of our journeys, the messmates 
of our board, and our associates in all our fortunes." 
The results of these youthful studies pointed liim out as 
a suitable tutor for Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards 
Edward III., whose affection and confidence he won and 
retained.^ His first reward was the treasurersliip of 
Gascony. On the accession of his pupil to the throne, 
he received prebendal stalls in London, Hereford, and 
Chichester, and, in quick succession, the civil offices of 

1 Philobiblojit c. viii. 

2 Edward thus wrote of him to the Pope, on his accession :".... Eo 
quod nostro assidue lateri assistendo, novimus ipsum virum in consiliis provi- 
dum, conversationis et vitte munditia decorum, literarum scientia praxlitum, 
et in agendis quibuslibet circumspectum." — Royal Missive, quoted by Lord 
Chancellor Campbell: Lives qfthe Chancellors^ § R. de Bury, i. 222. 



AND Lay 

, _ CJofferer, Treasurer of the Wardrobe, and Keeper of the 
^i^'s^PAL. ^^^y Seal. In 1333, he was raised to the see of Dur- 
ham, and in the following year he received the Great 

During his tenure of these high and varied offices, 
the good Bishop was repeatedly sent on foreign embas- 
sies — once, at least, to Avignon; thrice to Paris; and 
afterwards to Antwerp and to other cities. Before the 
Pope, he appeared with even more than usual magni- 
ficence, being attended by twenty clerks and thirty-six 
esquires, sumptuously attired. With Paris he had a long 
and intimate acquaintance, and thither, above all places 
in the world, he loved to return. There he found, after 
escaping at intervals "from the inextricable labyrinths 
of public business, an opening for a httle while to 
breathe a milder atmosphere," and (for a Bishop, and, I 
beUeve, a good one,) he almost runs riot in its deUghtful 
reminiscences. "0 blessed God of Gods in SionI" he 
exclaims, " what a rush of the flood of pleasure re- 
joiced our heart as often as we visited Paris the para- 
dise of the world ! There we longed to remain, 
where on account of the greatness of our love the 
days ever appeared to us to be few. There are 
deUghtful Libraries, in cells redolent of aromatics; 
there, flourishing greenhouses of all sorts of volumes ; 
there, academic meads trembling with the earth- 
quake of Athenian Peripatetics, pacing up and down ; 
there, the promontories of Parnassus, and the porticos 

of the Stoicks There, in very deed, with an 

open treasury and untied purse strings we scattered 
money with a hght heart, and redeemed inestimable 

AMD Lay 



books with dirt and dust. Every buyer is apt to ^^J^y^^ 

boast of his great bargains ; but we will add ^^^^ 

a most compendious way by which a great multitude 
of books, as well old as new, came into our hands. 
Never, indeed, having disdained the poverty of 
religious devotees, assumed for Christ, we never held 
them at a distance, but admitted them from all parts 
of the world into the kind embraces of our compas- 
sion to these, under all circumstances, we 

became a refuge; to these we never closed the bosom 
of our favour. Wherefore, we deserved to have . . . 
as well the personal as the mental labours of those 
who, going about by sea and land; surveying the 
whole compass of the earth; inquiring into the 
general studies of the Universities of the various pro- 
vinces; were anxious to administer to our wants, 

under a most certain hope of reward 

Besides the opportunities already touched upon, we 
easily acquired the favour of the stationers and book- 
sellers, not only witliin the provinces of our native land, 
but of those dispersed over the kingdoms of France, 
Germany, and Italy, by the prevailing power of 
money. No distance whatever impeded, no fury of 
the sea deterred these emissaries ; nor was cash ever 
wanting for their expenses when they sent or brought 
us the wished for books ; they knew to a certainty 

that their hopes .... were secure with us 

Moreover, there was always about us, in our houses, 
no small assemblage of antiquaries, scribes, book- 
binders, correctors, illuminators, and generally of all 


_ such persons as were qualified to labour advantage- 
^^^j,^ ously in the service of books."^ 



AND Lay 


By dint of enthusiasm so ardent, and of means so 
varied, the Bishop of Durham amassed what, in that 
day, must have deserved to be called a noble collection 
of books. The keenness of his quest made liim, he tells 
us, very obnoxious to contemporary criticism. Some of 
his traducers accused him of idle curiosity; some, of 
ostentatious vanity; some, again, of "absorption in 
secular affairs"; for Prelates, it seems, were as attentively 
watched, as keenly "reviewed," and often as recklessly 
blamed in those remote days as in these. By one class 
of critics, exception was taken to his bibliomania, as 
if it necessarily diverted him from his episcopal duties. 
By another class of Bishop Kichard's reprovers, the 
pleasures of literature were thought to be of dangerous 
aflSnity with the pleasures of sin. But these animad- 
versions caused him (he says) no more discomposure 
than would the barking of a lap-dog, "being contented 
with the testimony of Him to whom alone it belongs to 
search the reins and heart."^ 

Even by the greatest of his foreign contemporaries — 
Petrarch, with whom his Papal mission had made him 
acquainted, — he seems to have been a little misunder- 
stood. The passage in which Petrarch mentions him 

1 PhUchibUm^ c. viii. The closing words run thus :".... MuUitudo 
fum modica ArUiquariorum, Script4)rum, CoUigtUcrum^ Correetorum, lUumina' 
torutn, tt genercUUer omnium qui poUrani librorum aervitHs lUUiter ifMudare,** 

2 Ibid., c. xviii. 


is noteworthy on several accounts, and is to this effect: — cbJ^yiil- 
"I had much conversation .... with Eichard, for- J^'^pal, 
merly the Chancellor of the King of England, a man ^J^^aa. 
of ardent mind and not ignorant of letters. Having 
been bom and educated in Britain, and from his 
youth unusually curious after subjects Uttle known, 
he seemed to me to be peculiarly fit to elucidate 
questions of this sort [such, namely, as the true mean- 
ing of the term 'Isle of Thule^' and other the like 
antiquarian speculations]. But whether he was 
ashamed to confess his ignorance to me, as many now 
are who are not aware how micch credit it does their 
modesty^ (since no one is bound to know all things) to 
own frankly their ignorance of what they do not know; 
or whether, — which I will not suspect, that he envied 
me the knowledge of the subject; or whether he in- 
deed expressed his real feelings ; he answered that he 
would certainly satisfy me, but not until he returned 
to his books in his own country, of which no man 
had a more abundant supply. He was then, when I 
fell into his acquaintance, at the Apostolical See, 
negociating the affairs of his master. It was at that 
juncture when those first seeds of war were growing 
between King Edward and the King of France, which 
have since produced such a bloody harvest, of which 
the sickles have not yet been laid aside, nor the barns 
closed. But after my promiser went away, — whether 
he found nothing, or became distracted by the heavy 
duties of his episcopal oflSce newly imposed, — he 
never met my wishes, although often urged by my 
letters, otherwise than by an obstinate silence. So 




Thule never became more known to me for my 
toB^'pAL. British friendship."^ 

AND Lay 


No English collector of this age can be placed on a 
par with Eichard of Bury. Nor can his true peer be 
found until we reach a much later period. But here it 
may not be without utiUty to glance, for a moment, 
at some collectors of a very humble order, of whom, 
in that capacity, nothing is known beyond their little 
legacies of books to relations or friends. The character 
of the volumes thus bequeathed, and the conditions of 
bequest, will sometimes curiously illustrate the litera- 
ture and the manners of the epoch. 

Thus, for example, in the year 1370, we find mention 
in the inventory of a chaplain of Bury St. Edmunds, 
Adam de Stanton by name, of four volumes, only one of 
wliich is theological. The first is Portiforium; then Un 
lib. de lege (perhaps Bracton or Fleta) ; then a volume of 
Statutes^ and finally a lib. de Romances (perhaps Sir 

1 Epistoloi/amil. (Ven. 1492), 1. iii. 34. Obviously as the Bishop's silence 
about " Thule " ia explicable, an able and worthy historian of our own, Mr. 
Bhai'on Turner, whilst noticing (in his Hiatory qf England during the Middle 
Ages) thiB most interesting passage in Peti*arch's LeUera, takes occasion to 
endorse the complaint of the Italian Poet, by the following somewhat infeli- 
citous reflection : '*A Statesman with a taste for Literature or the Arts is 
a confessed phenomenon. Mscenas would lose his proverbial fame if it were 
not so; and Petrarch's acquaintance with the busy world ought to have 
diminished his surprise, if not his satire. More congenial minds, however, 
existed in England,*' etc {England during the Middle Ages, viii. 255). Mr. 
Turner, as it seems, was acquainted with Philobiblon^ but did not know that 
Richard of Bury was its author. The author of a History €(f Engiland (and a 
very good one) should have remembered Alfred ; and Wolsey ; and Sunder- 
land; and Harley; — with many others of intermediate as well as of later 
date ; to say nothing of innumerable examples in France and in Italy ; — 
some even in Germany. 

AND Lay 



Tristrem or Mort (TArthury In 1392, John Percyhay, CHA^^Vin. 
of Swinton, in the county of York, bequeaths these five ^^^ 
books, (1) Works of Peter of Blois (Petrus Blesensis); 
(2) Trivet; (3) Brvte Chronicle; (4) Par Decretalium; 
(5) Portifore; and in the same year, John de Clifford, 
Treasurer of the Church of York, bequeaths his "Civil 
Law books to any son of his brother who may choose 
to enter in that study, under an engagement that he 
will not alienate them, but allow them to descend to 
persons of his blood."^ Four years later, Walter de 
Bragqe, Canon of York, bequeaths a '^ Bible bound in 
red leather"; Piers Ploughman; a "book of Tracts"; a 
book "Z>« expositions Evangeliorum, vocatum Unum ex 
qaatuor''; Brito; Speculum Prcelatorum; a Psalter, 
glossed; Catholicon; Summa Summarum; Commune 
alloquium; and Par Decretalium.^ 

Eleanor de Bohun, Duchess of Gloucester, by her will, 
dated 9th August, 1399, bequeathed the following 
books: — "To my son, Humphrey, .... a Chronicle of 
France, in French, with two clasps in silver, enamelled 
with the arms of the Duke of Burgoyne; also a book of 
Giles,* De regimine principum; a book of vices and 
virtues ; and another in verse (un autre rimeie) of the 
History of the Knight of the Swan (Histoire de chivaler a 
eigne), all in French; also a Psalter well and richly 
illumined, with the clasps of gold enamelled with white 

1 Wills and Inventories from the Begister qf the Commissary qf Bury 
(Camden Society), 1. 

2 HuNTEB : Notes qf Wills in the Begisters qf York (Memoirs read at the 
York meeting of the Archaeological InstittUe qfOreat Britain), 11, 12. 

3 Ibid. 

4 t. e. EoiDio CoLdNNA; commonly called iEoiDius Romakus. v. Fob- 
tesoue: On the Oovemance qf England, ed. Plummer, pp. 175-6. 







_ swans, and the arms of my Lord and Father enamelled 
on the clasps, and other bars of gold on the tissues in 
manner of mullets, which Psalter was left me to remain to 
my heirs and from heir to heir; .... and to my 
daughter, Anne (afterwards Countess of Stafford), a 
book well illumined, with the Legenda aurea in French ; 
.... to my daughter, Johanna, a book with the 
Psalter^ Primer ^ and other devotions, with two clasps of 
gold enamelled with my arms (which book I have often 
used), with my blessing; .... to my daughter, Isabel 
(a Minoress), ... a French Bible^ in two volumes, with 
two gold clasps, enamelled with the arms of France ; Item, 
a book of Decretals in French; also a book of Meistre 
ffistoireSj a book de Vitis Patrum; and the Pastor elz^ of 
St. Gregory. Item, a Psalter^ glosez; autre livre novel 
du Psautier^ gloses de la primer . . . . et sount les dites 
livres de Franqois''^ 

These notices of minor English collectors of the four- 
teenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries, may 
conclude with Jolm de Newton, who, in 1418, became 
a Uberal benefactor to the Church of York (of which 
he had long been Treasurer), by bequeathing to the 
Chapter, "in siibsidium et relevamenlibrarice fa^endcBy^ a 
considerable number of volumes; including Bibles, both 
entire and in portions, biblical commentaries and con- 
cordances, works of St. Augustine, St. Gregory, St. 
Bernard, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas; of 
Alcuin, of John Hoveden, of Bichard Hampole, of 

1 t. e. the Cura Pastoralie of St. Gregory. 

2 NioOLAS: Teatamenta Vttusta, 148, 149. 



Chapter VIII.- 



Walter Hilton, of William Eymington, of Alfred of Bever- 
ley, of William of Malmesbury {De pontijicibus), and of ^^p^ 
Holcot; Beda, De Gestis Anghrum^ and Petrarch, De re- 
mediis lUriusque fortuncB. Amongst those which the tes- 
tator gave to St. Peter's College, Cambridge, occur in 
addition to many patristic and other books of a theo- 
logical cast, works of Valerius Maximus, Seneca, Ma- 
crobius, Vegetius, Boethius, Cassiodorus, -ZEgidius,^ and 

If we turn to Italy, we find amongst its earliest collec- 
tors some of its most illustrious authors. The first and 
the last recorded incidents of the life of Petrarch strik- 
ingly indicate his passion for books. He has himself de- 
scribed how rudely his youthful delight in the classic 
orators and poets was disturbed by his father's angry 
committal of his little Ubrary to the flames, from which 
he was but just able to rescue (half burned) Virgil and 
Cicero. And probably scarcely one of his forty bio- 
graphers has omitted to record that he died, with his 
head resting on the book he had been reading. Nor is 
it without interest to remember that the mighty Poet, 
who had (as we have seen) given friendly greeting to 
the protocollector of England, went to Paris to con- 
gratulate, on his liberation from English captivity, that 
King John who himself set the first germ of the National 
Library of France, and was* the father of the three most 
eminent collectors of their age (Charles V., of France; 
John, Duke of Berry; and Phh^ip the Bold, of Burgundy). 

1 t. e. i£gidiu8 Romanus, v. s, 

2 Huntbb, tU supra, 15. 



Chapter VIIL 

AND Lay 


Petrarch aspired, too, to be the founder of a public 
B^i^PAL, Library at Venice, although the neglect of Venetian 
functionaries permitted that fame to rest on Cardinal 
Bessarion, a hundred years later. 

Petrarch's gift was made in 1352. He stipulated 
that the books should neither be separated nor sold, 
and intended to bequeath the remainder of his Library 
to St. Mark.^ But the gift fell into oblivion and the 
intention was not realized. Petrarch's books are widely 
scattered, and but very few are now to be seen in the 
Marciana. A portion of them was seized by Lewis XTT. 
(1499) during his brief campaign, or raid, against the 
Venetian Eepublic. The Petrarch volumes now shewn 
to visitors at Venice appear to have fallen into entire 
obUvion, when in 1635, Tomasini, in the course of his 
researches for the work wliich he was then writing, — 
Petrarcha rediviviis^ Laura comite, — found a clue 
which led to their discovery in some dust-choked upper 
chamber, near to the famous bronze horses. When 
these unfortunate MSS. were thus found, some had been 
petrified into fossils; others were ready to crumble in 
the hands of the discoverers. 

Passing over, of necessity, many collectors of the 
Middle Age epoch, whose Libraries would well deserve 
and repay attention, were that the only period we had 

1 *'I1 tenore della pollizza e qiiesta: Desidera Francesco Petrarca de 
haver herede il B. Mai'co Evangelista si cosi piacer^ k Christo ed a lui, di 
non so quanti libretti i quali egli possiede al presente, 6 che fdrse possedera 
in future," etc. Petrarcha redivivust 70 (Edit, of 1650). Then follows a list of 
the principal MSS. discovered ; but it is too imperfect to give any satisfactory 
idea of the poet's collection. 


here to treat of, we come, towards its close, to three chai^Viil- 
illustrious Princes, who stand out saliently from the rest ^pj^g^p^^ 
of their contemporaries, in this character as well as in ^^^^^ 
others, — Lorenzo de' Medici; Matthias CoRvmus, King 
of Hungary ; and Frederick, Duke of Urbino. 

It is well known that for more than half a century 
before the actual fall of Constantinople, the dread of 
the impending event drove many Greeks distinguished 
for learning into exile, in various parts of Europe. 
Italy, especially, received many of these accomplished 
strangers, and gave them noble welcome. Foremost in 
the exercise of an hospitality which was splendidly re- 
compensed, were the Medicean princes. Cosmo himself 
had set the example. As Gibbon expresses it, he " en- 
nobled liis credit into fame; his riches were dedicated 
to the service of mankind; he corresponded at once 
with Cairo and with London; and a cargo of Indian 
spices and Greek books were often imported in the same 
vessel."^ Boccaccio, Coluccio Salutati (Chancellor of 
Florence), Lodovico Marsiuo, and Niccol6 Nicou were 
all zealous in the pursuit of books. Boccaccio and 
Marsiuo bequeathed their respective collections to the 
Augustinian Monastery of Florence. Part of them still 
survives in the Laurentian Library. Niccol6 (at his 
death in 1436) bequeathed his Library to public use, 
but his debts were considerable, and it was only by the 
interposition of Cosmo that the bequest could be carried 
out. With peculiar infelicity, the collection of Coluccio, 
who in his lifetime had circulated a treatise in which he 
urged the establishment of PubUc Libraries, was sold 

1 Gibbon : Decline and Fall, c. 66. 


after his death br his children. Thus, when Lraxszo 

j^^^^ began the sr.«tematic ibrmatioa of the noUe library 

Ajr& Lax 

wliich bears his name, he had before him not cmhr the 
precedents set bv his father and grandfather, bat also 
the examples of many other iQastrioos Florentine citi- 
zens.^ How zealooslj he porsned the task we see both 
in its Uving results, and in the correspondence, of his 
contemporaries. His messengers, sajrs Lbosiceso, 
writing to PounAXO, "are dispersed to eveiy part of 
the earth, for the purpose of collecting books on every 
science. ... I well remember his glorious expresaon, 
wliich you rej^eated to me, that he wished the diligence 
of Pico and of yourself would afford him such oppor- 
tunities of purchasing books, that, his fortune proving 
insufficient, he might pledge even his furniture to pos- 
sess them."^ And he was as liberal in affording access 
to his treasures as in acquiring them. Both King 
Matthias and Fredebick of XJrbino were permitted to 
keep transcribers fully employed in the library of 
Ijohes/A). Tlie former is said (by Matthias Beejus, the 
liistorian of Hangar}-) to have maintained there and 
elsewhere thirty copjists. 

Tlie splendour of the Corvinian Library is yet pro- 
verbial. It has made its deep mark in the History of 
Art. The King was as little sparing in the decoration 
of his books as in their purchase. Writing, illumina- 
tion, binding, were all as choice and splendid as wealth 

1 Bandini: LetUra Hopra i principi e progrtssi deUi BMioUea Lomt^^ 
(Fir. 1773); Ro8COE: Life of Lorenzo, i. 51, leqq, (EditioD of 1800); Ti&A- 
B08CHI : Storia deila LUteratura Italiana, vi, 98. 

2 PouTiANi : EpUtolcB, ii. 7 ; quoted by Roeooe, ut gupra^ iL 77. 


and cultivated taste could procure. Among the many chaJJ^Viii.- 
accomplished miniaturists whom he employed were the bw8^pal. 
two BoccADiNi; the two Degli Giovanni, Gherardo and ^l^^^ 
Monte; and most famous, perhaps, of them all, Vante 
or Atta VANTE of Florence, son of Gabriello dequ 
Attavanti. At the death of Corvinus, in 1490, the 
collection is said to have amounted to nearly 50,000 
volumes — almost all of them MSS. And the man who 
could (so to speak) "stake himself down" to the enjoy- 
ment of his books, as though his Ufe had been given 
him for study, knew well how to rule a kingdom. At 
his death, the words "Matthias is dead; Justice Ims 
jled^' passed from mouth to mouth. Those words were 
heard again, amidst the cries of battle, during the bit- 
ter conflict of 1849. And more than once again, on 
Magyar lips, during the final conflict on the death-bed 
in exile. It is probable that under the indolent and 
incompetent successor of Corvinus, King Vladislaus, 
the Buda Library, was soon exposed to loss and dila- 
pidation. In the opinion of the eminent historian of 
ItaKan Uterature, Tiraboschi, some portions of the 
Library were publicly offered for sale at Buda, soon 
after the death of the munificent collector. But in the 
particular instance which he cites — that of seven of the 
precious volumes which long adorned the Estense Lib- 
rary at Modena — he is found, upon recent inquiry, to 
be in error. Those volumes had found their way to 
Venice. And it is possible that some of them were 
still in course of preparation at Florence — as is known 
to have been the case with the splendid Breviary of the 
Vatican — at the time of the King's decease. Seventy 




_ years afterwards, they were in the possession of Girona 
^^^^ FALETn, from whom they were bought by order of 
^^j^^ Duke Alfonso EE.^ Thirty-seven years afterwards, at 
all events, it was pillaged and much of it destroyed by 
the Turks, who, after their wont, tore off the precious 
metals and gems which ornamented the books, aiid 
then gave the Library, with the Palace itself, to the 

A considerable number of books, however, escaped 
— ^and amongst them are MSS. still of rare beauty — for 
the enrichment of modem Libraries, and for the in- 
struction of the art-historians of the cinquecentisti. 
To be able to shew a Corvinian book is a triumph even 
to collections rich in treasures. Some of those at 
Vienna — sadly despoiled of their original splendour in 
most cases— were discovered by Busbequius in a neg- 
lected tower at Buda itself, sixty years after the siege. 
Others were purchased, partly from the heirs of Sam- 
Bucus. Tlie Corvinian MSS. in other Libraries have 
been acquired, piece-meal, under various circumstances. 
The following brief epitome^ will shew what these 
rescued books are, and where they may be seen. 
Perhaps, also, it may afford a not uninteresting illustra- 
tion of the singularly wide dispersion which sometimes 
awaits the prized treasures of an enthusiastic and 
princely Collector, even within a comparatively brief 

1 J. W. Bradley: Mtmwr ofAUavanU qf Florence; in The Aeadew^if of 
1876, vol. it, p. 297. 

2 In the first edition of this book, I printed a classified list of Corvinian 
books in tabular form. By an accident (which was unnoticed at the time) part 
of this table was misplaced, so that certain classical works were mixed up with 
the theological, and then repeated under their proper headings. 

AND Lay 



period from their acquisition. In the preparation of ^JJJ^yjjj^ 
my epitome, I am greatly indebted to Vogel's Verzeich- ^^^ 
niss Corvinischer Handschriften, published in 1849; ^^^^ 
and to some more recent and very able articles in The 

The Imperial Library of Vienna possesses two copies 
of the Gospels^^ of Corvinian origin, and a long series 
of Patristic and other theological works,^ amongst 
which those of SS. Augustine, Ambrose, Atlianasius, 
Cyprian, Cyril, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Thomaa 
Aquinas, and Bernard of Clairvaux are conspicuous. 
There are also a service book or two of great beauty.^ 
Among the Greek and Eoman Classics in this Library 
occur works of Aristotle"* and of Plutarch,^ portions of 
the works of Livy^ and of Tacitus,*^ together with the 
Byzantine historians, Nicephorus, Glycas, and Zonaras.® 
Here, also, are the Orations of Cicero^ and the Institutes 
of Quintilian^^ 

Among the poets : Catullus, TibuUus, and Propertius 
(in a beautiful MS., once in the choice Library of Prince 
Eugene) ;^^ Plautus;^^ ^n^ Virgil. The arts of scription 

1 liAMBRCius : Commentaria^ § 9 ; Harlen : IrUrod. ad Historiam LinguoB 
OrcBCCB, Supp., ii 97. 

2 DENTif: Codd, Theol. BibL Pal, I 194, 201, 222, 223, »eqq,; ii 2, 262, 
585, Be<jq. Lambbcius, ut aup., ii 948; iii 123. 

3 Dbmls, iii 827. 

4 Lambbcius, ii 714; Nbssel: iv. 29. 

5 Kollar: Snpp. [to Lamb.], ii 186. 

6 Endlichbr: Cat, Codd. MSS. BibL PalaL, 96. 

7 Orblli : Prctfatio ad Tac. 

8 Endlichbr, 409; Kollar, i. 102; Nbssel, v. 8. 

9 Endlichbr, 16. 

10 lb., 245. 

11 lb., 107. 

12 lb., 122. 





c^J^^i^__ and illumination, as practised by the best artists of the 
K^i^PAL, fift^^iith century might be described from this series of 
Vienna volumes alone; although the finest individual 
specimens from the great Buda Library must be sought 

The Ducal Library of Wolfenbuttel possesses two 
service books, of Corvinian origin; together with a col- 
lection of MappcB Nauticce; a curious tract of Cortesius, 
entitled Laudes bellicce Matthice Corvini; Priscian in 
Theophrastum; the Nodes Atticce and the poems of 
Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius. All these Wolfen- 
buttel books have been carefully described by Pflugk.^ 
But of the fortunes of these books between Buda and 
Wolfenbuttel no satisfactory account is, I beUeve, 

At Ferrara — also in the "Ducal Library" — are to be 
seen Anastasius de vita Christi; Andreas super Apocalyp- 
sim; St. John Chrysostom's Uomilice; Eusebius in Can- 
tica; Nilus super Trinitate; cathena super Trinitate; 
the Dioptra and the Epistolce of Michael Psellus ; the 
historical work of M. Glycas; Martius Galeottus de 

The nine Corvinian books which, until lately, were 
preserved in the Estense Library at Modena, — two of 
which came tliither from Pesth, by direct transfer, — are, 
together with the four biblical and Uturgical books at 
Eome, and at Brussels, among the finest productions of 
those' Italian scribes and miniaturists who found at Buda 

1 Pfluok: De bibliotheca Bud,, 108, seqq, 

2 In the preparation of that table, I was largely indebted to the article 
of Vogel in Scrap, , lOr. Bd., 373-385. But I have done my best to collate 
bis account with other authorities, both earlier and later. 


their most princely patron. The treatise of St. Angus- ^^^^y-jj_ 
tine, contra Faustum et Julianum. is richly illuminated ^^""^ 

' 'J Episcopal, 

by Attavante, and the miniatures are signed. Some of ^^^^ 
them are so placed as to face each other. The pages 
are framed within borders of golden arabesque, and of 
rich tracery or scroll-work from the pen of the scribe, 
and within them appear the usual Corvinian emblems 
and heraldic blazonings. In the illuminated Commentary 
of St. Ambrose in Hexameron^ the initials of each chap- 
ter contain a portrait of the Author, varied as to the 
expression, enframed within rich but always diversified 
borders. The Antiquitates Romance of Dionysius of 
Halicamassus contain a series of portraits of singular 
beauty which, in Mr. Bradley's opinion, were drawn 
from the life. The remaining volumes here comprise 
the Dialogi and the Homilice of St. Gregory the Great; 
the Homilice of Chrysostom; the ^^ Commentaria in Sti. 
Pauli Epistolas^'' of St. Jerome ; the historical work of 
Ammianus Marcellinus, and the Opera varia of Georgius 

The Laurenziana at Florence contains St. Ambrose 
de Virginitate; St. Augustine on Genesis; the Expositio 
Historice Sacrce of St. Isidore; a later version of the 
Historia Romana of Appian; and the treatise of Brun- 
dolini Lippi de comparatione reipublicce et regni. All of 
these have been described by Bandini.^ 

The Library of St. Mark at Venice possesses 
Averitinus de Architectura in the version of Bonfini;^ 

1 Bradley: Attavante, utsupr., 295, seqq. 

2 Bandini: Catalogua Codd, MSS. Lot, Bibl. Laur,, i. 142, 696; it. 846, 

3 MoRSLLi: Bibliolheca MS., tic^ i. 405, seqq. 


f^^J^yln^ an anonymous tract, De Cormnianas domus initiis;^ and 
2^^^^ the treatise of Martianus Capella de nuptiis PhUohgicBj 
AMD Lay 3^(5 bound up with another tract of the same 
author. This fine manuscript is richly illuminated by 
Attavante, one of whose miniatures is signed in a hand 
which recurs throughout the volume. By some, the 
illumination of this volume had been formerly ascribed 
to Sandro Botticelli.^ 

At Erlangen, in the University library, three Cor- 
vinian books are shewn: (1,) BibUa vtUgcOa^ (2,) Xeno- 
phon's Cyropcedia;^ (3,) a treatise de Sanitate^ by 
Joannes de Bosco.^ 

The Corvinian volumes in the Boyal Library at 
Berlin are a Suetonius, transcribed in 1477,^ and the 
treatise of Agathias, De beUo Gothico? Those at 
Brussels include a copy of the Latin Gospels^ written in 
golden letters. It contains the Canons of Eusebius and 
the Prolegomena of St. Jerome. The miniatures are 
from the pencil of Attavante, and are of singular 
beauty. The special interest of this volume for the 
history of art has been well described by Mr. Bradley 
in one of those articles on the illuminators of the 
fifteenth century (contributed to The Academy^ of 1876^) 
to which these pages have been already indebted. It ia 
also described, from a merely bibhographical point of 

1 BuDiK : M^m. printed in tbe Wiener Jahrbuch, IxxzviiL 34. 

2 Bradley, vbi mtpr,, 61. 

3 Ikmischeb: Beachrtibung der McmuscripU . . . der UniveniUUs BibUo* 
thek tu Erl., L 233. 

4 iRMiacHKR, ui 8upra, 217. 

5 VoN Murb: Memombilia, iii. 160. 

6 Oetbichb: Entumr/einer Oesch, der KOnigL Bibl., Ae,^ p. 118. 

7 Archiv/ur aeltere deutsche Gtschichtskunde^ 8r. Bd*» 824» 826. 

AND Lay 



view, by Santander.^ There is also here a fine Missale cha^^Vui. 
Romanum^ of 1485 ;2 hardly less remarkable. ^^^ 

The Vatican possesses two gems of Corvinian taste, 
and of Italian miniature-painting, in a Bible^ and a 
Breviary^ both illuminated by Attavante, and both, it is 
probable, still unfinished, when the King of Hungary 
'died. The first of these contains proof that the text was 
completed about five years before the completion of the 
miniatures. This circumstance is mentioned by Tira- 
Boscm,^ but neither his researches, nor those recently 
made by Mr. Bradley, have discovered more of the 
person who eventually acquired the volume from the 
painter, and became the channel of its transmission to 
the Vatican, than that he was a Cardinal.* 

Paris has the Breviarium in Psalmos of St. Jerome,^ 
which came from the Library of the Duke of La Val- 
LEERB, and a Santorii De re militari^ bound up with 
other tracts.^ The science of war was a subject which 
King Matihlajs had special occasion to study, and liis 
Library possessed many treatises upon it. That of 
Valturius is at Dresden. I do not find it mentioned 
in Ebert's Catalogus Mamiscriptorum Codicum, but it is 
described by GoEfiZE.^ There is also at Dresden a copy 
of the EpistolcB familiares of Cicero.® 

1 M6nu hiH, sur la Bibl. de Bourgognet p. 39. 

2 M^m. de VAcad, de BrtuceUes, torn, iv., pp; 493, seqq, 

3 TmABOSCHi: Storia, d&c, ut rap. 

4 The Academy, 1876, ii. 298. 

5 CcU, des Hvres du Due de la VaUiire, torn, i., p. 444. 

6 Glbt : Art. Corvin, in Biog, Univ, 

7 MerkuHlrdigkeUen der Dresd. Bibl,, i. 41. 

8 Ebxbt: Geach., <^c., 267; No. 115. 




AXD Lay 


_ Thus, it will be seen, Vienna possesses no less than 
ErJi!^rAL, forty-tliree Corvinian MSS., Wolfenbuttel claims twelve, 
Ferrara eleven, Modena nine, and Florence five. Paris 
has two. Each, also, of the Bojal libraries of Brussels, 
Berlin, and Dresden has two. Augsburg,^ Jena,* 
Leipsic,^ Neustadt,* and Thorn,* can each shew one 
Corvinian volume; as also can Open,* Maros-Vasarb^ly,^ 
and Besan^on.® The Monastic Library of Gottweih pos- 
sesses two — Chrysostom's treatise De dignitate sacer- 
dotali,^ and an expository note of Bessarion on St. John 
xxi. 22.10 Several others, heretofore undescribed, are 
said to be in the Library of Count Trivulzio at Milan. 
Exclusive of these, the described MSS. traceable to the 
great Library of Buda are, in the aggregate, about a 
hundred in number. It has been repeatedly said that 
Bilibald Pirckheimer, of Nuremburg, whose Library 
was purchased by Thomas, Earl of Arundel, in 1636, 
and the MS. portion of which is now in the British 
Museum, obtained a considerable number of books 
from the great Buda Library; but not a single MS. in 
that collection can be satisfactorily traced to such an 

1 Reiser: CeU, hibl. Augs., p. 73. 

2 Stbuve: Introd. tn notitiam ret lU, p. 376. 

3 Kaumann: CcU. bibl. Lips, (xii.), 6. 

4 HiBSCHiNO: Beschr, eehensw. hibl., 2r. Bd., 459. 

5 J AENiCHEN : Dt mentis Matth, Corvtni, 7» 8. 

6 Harless: Introd. ad hi«t, ling. OrcBCCB, supp., torn, ii, p. 97. 

7 Kovatz: Art. printed in JenoMche Litt. Zeitung, of 1809, p. 389. 

8 MoNTyAUCoy: Bibl. MS., torn, it, p. 1194. 

9 Denis: Codd. Thtol., Ac, i. 211. 

10 Chmel: Der Ouehiehttforscher, 2r. Bd., zzxvii.