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Book Ii, ture of every country may be best gathered on its native Thzp soil. And the studies of the learned are everywhere influ'kg^kui°arv enced by peculiarities of government and of religion. In Libeaei. Jtaly you may, therefore, expect to meet with abundance of the works of the Canonists and the Schoolmen ; in Germany with store of writers on the Feudal Laws; in Holland suBSTAjiCK you will find the booksellers' shops swarming with the Johnsons works of the Civilians. Of Canonists a few of the most Advtci On eminent wiH suffice. Of the Schoolmen a liberal supply Tionof wiH be a valuable addition to the King's Library. The
Tmk Kino's 'it in
Libuaey. departments of Feudal and Civu Law you can hardly render too complete. In the Feudal Constitutions we see the origin of our property laws. Of the Civil Law it is not too much to say that it is a regal study.
In respect to standard books generally, continued JohnSon, a Royal Library ought to have the earliest or most curious edition, the most sumptuous edition, and also the most useful one, which will commonly be one of the latest impressions of the book. As to the purchase of entire libraries in bulk, the Doctor inclined to think—even a century ago—that the inconvenience would commonly almost overbalance the advantage, on the score of the excessive accumulation of duplicate copies.
And then he added a remark which (long years afterwards) Sir Richard Colt Hoare profited by, and made a source of profit to our National Museum. 'I am told,' said Johnson, 'that scarcely a village of Italy wants its historian. And it will be of great use to collect, in every place, maps of the adjacent country, and plans of towns, buildings, and gardens. By this care you will form a more valuable body of geography than could otherwise be had.'
On that point—as, indeed, on all the points about which
he gave advice—Johnson's counsel bore excellent fruit. BooitI1. ° . cuiip. iv.
The 'body of geography' contained in the Georgian Library Thk has never, I think, been surpassed in any one Collection Gxoboian' (made by a single Collector) in the world. It laid, sub- LlBBAI11 stantially, the foundation of the noble assemblage of charts and maps which now forms a separate Department of the Museum, under the able superintendence of Mr. Richard Henry Major, who has done much for the advancement of geographical knowledge in many paths, but in none more efficiently than in his Museum labours.
Like good counsel was given to Barnard by the great lexicographer, in relation to the gathering of illustrated books. He told the King's Librarian that he ought to seek diligently for old books adorned with woodcuts, because the designs were often those of great masters.
When to this remark the Doctor added the words: Johnsons 'Those old prints are such as cannot be made by any artist now living/ he asserted what was undoubtedly true, if he limited that high praise to the best class of the works of which he was speaking. But his words carry in them also an indirect testimony of honour to George The Third. If, in the century which has passed since Samuel Johnson discussed with Frederick Barnard the wisest means of forming a Royal Library, a great stride has been made by the arts of design in Britain, a share of the merit belongs to the patriotic old King. He was amongst the earliest in his dominions to encourage British art with an open hand. He was not only the founder of the Royal Academy, but a most liberal patron to artists; and he did not limit his patronage to those men alone who belonged to his own Academy. If for a series of years the Royal Academy did less for Art, and did its work in a more narrow spirit of coterie than it ought to have done, the fault was not in the
Book 11, founder. And, of late years, the Academy itself has, in chap. iv. mmy wavSj nobly vindicated its foundation and the aid it "geobguk' nas received from the Public. Towards the foundation Libkaky. 0f tne Academy, George The Third gave, from his privy purse, more than five thousand pounds. To many of its members he was a genial friend, as well as a liberal patron.
Many other institutions of public education shared his liberality. Some generous benefactions which he gave to the British Museum itself, in the earlier years of his reign, have been mentioned already. But there were a crowd of other gifts, both in the earlier and in the later years, of which the limits of this volume at present forbid me to make detailed mention.
The Continental tour of Mr. Barnard was very successful as to its main object. He obtained such rich accessions for the Library as raised it—especially in the various departments of Continental history and literature — much above all other Libraries in Britain. uMidhcca Within a few years of his return to England the very a1??TM0"" choice Collection which had been formed by Dr. Anthony L-tmcZ„of Askew came into the market. For this Library, in bulk, Eigkhntk the King offered Askew's representatives five thousand
iv, p. 613 pounds. They thought they could make more of the Collection by an auction, but, in the event, obtained less than four thousand pounds. The Askew Library extended only to three thousand five hundred and seventy separate printed works, but it contained a large proportion of rare and choice books. The chief buyers at the sale were the Duke of La Valliere and (through the agency of De Bure) Lewis The Sixteenth. The King of England bought comparatively little, although on this occasion Mr. Barnard could scarcely have withholden his hand on the score of the special injunctions which the King had formerly \^ laid down for his guidance in such public competitions. TllE
° 11 Kino's oa
For it deserves to be remembered that George The 'georcian' Third's conscientious thoughtfulness for other people led him, early in his career as a Collector, to give to his librarian a general instruction such as the servants of wealthy Collectors rarely receive. 'I do not wish you,' he said, ' to bid either against a literary man who wants books for study, or against a known Collector of small means.' He was very free to bid, on the other hand, against a Duke of Roxburghe or an Earl Spencer.
The King's kindness of nature was also shown in the free access which he at all times afforded to scholars and students in his own Library. To this circumstance we owe some of the most interesting notices we have of his opinions of authors and of books.
In the earliest years of the Royal Collectorship part of Tl,£ m"
J J r r LOCALITIES
the Library was kept in the old palace at Kew, which has o»TM«
,. , . .... Georgian
long since disappeared, the site of it being now a gorgeous Library. flower-bed. Afterwards, and on the acquisition for the Queen, of Buckingham House,* the chief part of the Collection was removed to Pimlico, and arranged in the handsome rooms of which a view appears, by way of vignette, on the title-pages of the sumptuously printed catalogue prepared by Barnard. It was at Buckingham House that Johnson's well-known conversation with the King took place, in February, 1767.
When Johnson first began to use the Royal Collection it
* The mansion for which the Trustees of the British Museum had been asked to give £30,000 was sold, five years afterwards, to the King for £20,000. It was purchased for the Queen as a jointure-house in lieu of her proper mansion, Somerset House, then devoted to public purposes. All the royal princes and princesses were bom in Buckingham House, except George IV, and one, perhaps, of the younger children.
Hook li, was still in its infancy. He was surprised both at its
Tin extent and at the number of rare and choice books which •giohoiah' it already included. He had seen Barnard's assiduity, L.bkaey. an(j jja<j helped ]jjm occasionally in his book-researches, long prior to the tour of 1768. But it astonished him to see that the King, within six or seven years, had gathered so fine a Library as that which he saw in 1767. He became a frequent visitor. The King, hearing of the circumstance, desired his librarian to let him know when the literary autocrat came again. Thkinteb- The King's first questions were about the doings at
Bucking- Oxford, whence, he had been told, Johnson had recently
Bctwkkt* returned. The Doctor expressed his inability to bestow
Qeobgk, in much commendation on the diligence then exhibited by the
AMD Da. . 7 .
Johnson, resident scholars of the University in the way of any coni767,rebru. spicuous additions to literature. Presently, the King put to him the question, 'And what are you about yourself?' 'I think,' was the answer—given in a tone more modest than the strict sense of the words may import—'that I have already done my part as a writer.' To which the King rejoined, ' I should think so too, had you not written so well.' After this happy retort, the King turned the conversation on some recent theological controversies. About that between Warburton and Lowth he made another neat though obvious remark—' When it comes to calling names, argument, truly, is pretty well at an end.' They then passed in review many of the periodical publications of the day, in the course of which His Majesty displayed considerable knowledge of the chief books of that class, both English and French. He showed his characteristic and kingly attention to minutiae by an observation which crokef. he made when Johnson had praised an improved arrangeiw-i8«!PP ment of the contents of the Philosophical Transactions—