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and these the finest, Aldine editions were purchased by him, for the same reasons. The Home in Greek, printed by ALDUS in 16°, in 1497, is a volume which, from its language, size, and rarity, is of the greatest importance for the literary and religious history of the time when it was printed. It is therefore in Mr. GRENVILLE’s Library. The Virin of 1501 is not only an elegant book, but it is the first book printed with that peculiar I/alz'c, known as Aldine, and the first volume which ALnus printed, “forma enc/zirz'dz'z',” as he called it, being expressly adapted to give poor scholars the means of purchasing for a small sum the works of the classical writers. This also is, therefore, among Mr. GRENVILLu’s books; and of one of the two editions of Virgil, both dated the same year, 1514, he purchased a large paper copy, because it was the more correct of the two.

‘It was the merit of the work, the elegance of the volume, the “ genuine ” condition of the copy, &c., which together determined Mr. GRENVILLE to purchase books printed on vellum, of which he collected nearly a hundred. He paid a very large sum for a copy of the Furioso of 1532, not because it was “ on ugly vellum,” as he very properly designated it, but because, knowing the importance of such an edition of such a work, and never having succeeded in procuring it on paper, he would rather have it on expensive terms and “ ugly vellum,” than not at all.

‘ By the bequest of Mr. GRENVILLE’S Library, the collection of books printed on vellum now at the Museum,and comprising those formerly presented by GEORGE II, GEORGE III, and Mr. Cmcnnaonn, is believed to surpass that of any other National Library, except the King’s Library at Paris,of which VAN PKAET ustly speakswith pride,and all foreign competent and intelligent judges with envy and admiration. In justice

to the Grenville Library, the list of all its vellum books ought to be here inserted. As this cannot be done, some only of the most remarkable shall be mentioned. These are—the Greek Anthology of 1494 ; the Book of Hawkiny of JULIANA Baannas of 1496 ; the first edition of the Bible, known as the “ Mazarine Bible,” printed at Mentz about 1454 ; the Aldine Dante of 1502 ; the first Rationale of Du_ RANDUS of 1459 ; the first edition of FISHER On the Psalms, of 1 508 ; the Aldine Horace, Juvenal, lllartial, and Pctmrca, of 1501 ; the Livy of 1469 ; the Primer of Salisbury, printed in Paris in 1531 ; the Psalter of 1457, which supplies the place of the one now at Windsor, which belonged to the Royal Collection before it was transferred to the British Museum ; the Sforziaa'a, by SIMONETA, of 1490, a most splendid volume even in so splendid a Library ; the T/teuerdank of 1517 ; the Aulus Gellius and the Vitruvius of Giunta, printed in 1515, &c. &c. Of this identical copy of Vitrivz'as, formerly Mr. Dan'r’s, the author of the Biolz'oyrap/aical Decameron wrote, “ Let the enthusiastic admirers of a genuine vellum Junta—0f the amplest size and in spotless condition—resort to the choice cabinet of Mr. DENT for such a copy of this edition of Vitruvius and Frontinus.” The Aulus Gellz'us is in its original state, exactly as it was when presented to LORENZO DE’ MEDICI, afterwards Duke of Urbino, to whom the edition was dedicated.’

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CHAPTER VI.

OTHER BENEFACTORS OF RECENT DAYS. -— CREATION OF THE NEW DEPARTMENT OF BRITISH AND MEDIEVAL ANTIQUITIES AND ETHNOGRAPHY.

‘ Amidst tablets and stones, inscribed with the straight and angular characters of the Runie alphabet, sud similar articles which the vulgar might have connected with the exercise of the forbidden arts, . . . . . . were disposed, in great order, several of those curious stone axes, formed of green granite, which are often found in these Islands. . . . . . There were, moreover, to be seen amid the strange collection stone sacrificial knives . . . and the brazen implements called Celts, the purpose of which has troubled the repose of so many antiquaries.’—Tlic Pirate, c. xxviii.

‘ A Museum of Antiquities—not of one People or period only, but of all races and all times—exhibits n vast comparative scheme of the material productions of man. We are thus enabled to follow the progress of the Fine and Useful Arts, contemporaneously through a long period of time, tracing their several lines backwards till they canverge at one vanishing point of the unknown Past.'—

‘ C. T. NEWTON (Letter to Cal. More, 1853).

Scanliness of tile Notices of some Contributors lo tlie Natural}[islmy Colleclions, and its cause—Tile Dulce of BLACAS and his Jluseum of Greek and Roman Antignilies.—Huy/i CUMING and his Travels and Collections in Soul/i American—John Rn'rrsa CHORLEY, and Ms Colleclion of Spanish Plays and lSjuanz's/i Poetry.— Georye WITT and [us Collections illustrative of tire History of Olscure Siguerslz'lions.—17w Et/moyrap/zical illusennz of Henry CHRISTY, and its History—Colonial Arc/lwoloyisfs and Britiin Consuls: T/ie Ilz'sfmy 0f the WOODHOUSE Collection, and of £18 transmittal to {lie

British Museum—Lord NAPIER and the acquisition (yf
Me Aoyssinian rllSS. added in 1868.—T/re Travels of
Von SIEBOLD in Japan, and tire yaI/ieriny of Iris
Japanese Library.—Feliw SLADE and his Bequesls,
Artisiic and Arc/recoloyical.

No reader of this volume will, in the course of its perusal, have become more sensible than is its author of a want of due proportion, in those notices which have occasionally been given of some eminent naturalists who have conspicuously contributed to the public collections, as compared with the notices of those many archaeologists and book-gatherers who, in common with the naturalists, have been fellow-workers towards the building up of our National Museum. I feel, too, that my own ignorance of natural history is no excuse at all for so imperfect a filling-out of the plan which the title-page itself of this volume implies. I feel this all the more strongly, because I dissent entirely from those views which tend to depreciate the importance of the scientific collections, in order (very superfluously) to enhance that of the literary and artistic collections. Far from looking at the splendid Galleries of mammals, or of birds, or of plants, as mere collections of ‘book-plates,’ gathered for the ‘illustration’ of the National Library, or from sharing the opinion that the books and the antiquities, alone, are ‘ what may be called the permanent departments of the British Museum’ (to quote, literally, the words of a publication* issued whilst this sheet is going to press, words which seem somewhat rashly—considering whence they come—to prejudge a question of national scope, and one which it assuredly belongs alone to Parliamenz‘ to settle),

‘° A Handy-Book of the British Museum, for Every-day Readers.’ 1870 (Cassell and Co.).

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I regard these scientific collections as possessing, in common with the others, the highest educational value, and as also possessing, even a little beyond some of the others, a special claim, it may be, upon the respect of Englishmen.

That speciality of claim seems to me to accrue from the fact, that two of the early FOUNDERs, and one of the most conspicuous subsequent BENEFACTORS of the Museum, were pro-eminently Naturalists. Such was Covarnu. Such was SLOANE. Such was Sir Joseph BANKS. I shall have erred greatly in my estimate of the regard habitually paid by a British Parliament to the memory of the eminent benefactors of Britain, if, in the issue, it do not become apparent that such a consideration as this will weigh heavily with those who will shortly—and after due deliberation and debate—have to decide pending questions in relation to the enlargement and to the still further improvement of the British Museum.

Be that however as it ultimately shall prove to be, if the Public should honour this volume with a favourable reception, it will be its author’s endeavour (in a second edition) to supplement, by the knowledge and co-operation of others, the ignorance and the deficiencies of which he is very conscious in himself.

In resuming the notices connected with the now truly magnificent Collection of Antiquities, we have to glance at the organizing of a new ‘ Department’ in the Museum. During at least two generations it has been, from time to time, remarked—with some surprise as well as censure—that the ‘British’ Museum contained no ‘British’ Antiquities. Sometimes this criticism has been put much too strongly, as when, for example, one of the recent biographers of Wsncwooo thus wrote (in 1866, but refer

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