« ElőzőTovább »
Additions are added, left Antiquity fhould have feemed more worthy of Esteem than Accuracy.
Hiftory has been confidered with the Regard due to that Study by which the Manners are most easily formed, and from which the moft efficacious Inftruction is received ; nor will the most extensive Curiolity fail of Gratification in this Library; from which no Writers have been excluded, that relate either to the religious or civil Affairs of any Nation.
Not only thofe Authors of Ecclefiaftical Hiftory have been procured, that treat of the State of Religion in general, or deliver Accounts of Sects or Na+ tions, but thofe likewife who have confined them. felves to particular Orders of Men in every Church who have related the Original, and the Rules of every Society, or recounted the Lives of its Founder and its Members; those who have deduced in every Country the Succeffion of Bishops, and thofe who have employed their Abilities in celebrating the Piety of particular Saints, or Martyrs, or Monks, or Nuns.
The Civil Hiftory of all Nations has been amaffed together; nor is it eafy to determine which has been thought moft worthy of Curiofity.
Of France, not only the general Hiftories and ancient-Chronicles, the Accounts of celebrated Reigns, and Narratives of remarkable Events, but even the Memorials of fingle Families, the Lives of private Men, the Antiquities of particular Cities, Churches, and Monafteries, the Topography of Provinces, and the Accounts of Laws, Cultoms, and Prescriptions, are here to be found.
The feveral States of Italy have, in this Treafury, their particular Hiftorians, whofe Accouns are, per Haps, generally more exact, by being lefs extenfive; and more interefting, by being more particular..M
Nor has less Regard been paid to the different Nations of the Germanic Empire, of which neither the Bohemians, nor Hungarians, nor Auftrians, nor Ba
varians, have been neglected; nor have their Ante quities, however generally disregarded, been less studioufly fearched, that their prefent State.
The Northern Nations have supplied this Collec tion, not only with Hiftory, but Poetry, with Gothic Antiquities, and Runic Inscriptions; which at leaft have this Claim to Veneration, above the Remains of the Roman Magnificence, that they are the Works of thofe Herocs, by whom the Roman Empire was deftroyed; and which may plead, at least in this Nation, that they ought not to be neglected by those that owe to the Men whofe Memories they preferve, their Constitution, their Properties, and their Liberties.
The Curiofity of thefe Collectors extend equally to all Parts of the World; nor did they forget to add to the Northern the Southern Writers, or to adorn their Collection with Chronicles of Spain, and the Conquest of Mexico.
Even of thofe Nations with which we have lefs Intercourfe, whofe Cuftoms are lefs accurately known, and whose History is lefs diftinctly recounted, there are in this Library repofited fuch, Accounts as the Europeans have been hitherto able to obtain ; nor are the Mogul, the Tartar, the Turk, and the Saracen, without their Hiftorians.
That Perfons fo inquifitive, with Regard to the Tranfactions of other Nations, fhould enquire yet more ardently after the History of their own, may be naturally expected; and, indeed, this Part of the Library is no common Inftance of Diligence and Accuracy. Here are to be found, with the ancient Chronicles, and larger Hiftories of Britain, the Narratives of fingle Reigns, and the Accounts of remarkable Revolutions, the topographical Hiftories of Counties, the Pedigrees of Families, the Antiquities of Churches and Cities, the Proceedings oft Parliaments, the Records of Monafterics, and the
Lives of particular Men, whether eminent in the Church or the State, or remarkable in private Life; whether exemplary for their Virtues, or deteftable for their Crimes; whether perfecuted for Religion, or executed for Rebellion.
"That memorable Period of the English Hiftory, which begins with the Reign of King Charles the Firft, and ends with the Reftoration, will almost furnish a Library alone, fuch is the Number of Volumes, Pamphlets, and Papers, which were publifhed by either Party; and fuch is the Care with which they have been preserved.
Nor is Hiftory without the neceffary Preparatives and Attendants, Geography and Chronology: Of Geography, the beft Writers and Delineators have been procured, and Pomp and Accuracy have both been regarded: The Student of Chronology may here find likewife thofe Authors who fearched the Records of Time, and fixed the Periods of History.
With the Hiftorians and Geographers may be ranked the Writers of Voyages and Travels, which may be read here in the Latin, English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Spanish Languages.
The Laws of different Countries, as they are in themselves equally worthy of Curiofity with their Hiftory, have, in this Collection, been justly regarded; and the Rules by which the various Communities of the World are governed, may be here examined and compared. Here are the ancient Editions of the Papal Decretals, and the Commentators on the Civil Law, the Edicts of Spain, and the Statutes of Venice.
But with particular Induftry have the various Writers on the Laws of our own Country been collected, from the most ancient to the prefent Time, from the Bodies of the Statutes to the minutest Treatife; not only the Reports, Precedents, and Readings of our own Courts, but even the Laws of our VOL. II. с West
Weft-Indian Colonies, will be exhibited in our Catalogue.
But neither History nor Law have been fo far able to engross this Library, as to exclude Phyfic, Philofophy, or Criticism. Thofe have been thought, with Juftice, worthy of a Place, who have examined the different Species of Animals, delineated their Forms, or defcribed their Properties and Inftincts, or who have penetrated the Bowels of the Earth, treated on its different Strata, and analysed its Metals; or who have amused themselves with lefs laborious Speculations, and planted Trees, or cultivated Flowers.
Thofe that have exalted their Thoughts above the minuter Parts of the Creation, who have obferved the Motions of the heavenly Bodies, and attempted Systems of the Univerfe, have not been denied the Honour which they deferved by fo great an Attempt, whatever has been their Succefs. Nor have thofe Mathematicians been rejected, who have applied their Science to the common Purposes of Life; or thofe that have deviated into the kindred Arts, of Tactics, Architecture, and Fortification.
Even Arts of far lefs Importance have found their Authors, nor have thefe Authors been defpifed by the boundless Curiosity of the Proprietors of the Harleian Library. The Writers on Horfemanfhip and Fencing are more numerous, and more bulky, than could be expected by those who reflect how feldom thofe excel in either, whom their Education has qualified to compofe Books.
The Admirer of Greek and Roman Literature will meet, in this Collection, with Editions little known to the most inquifitive Critics, and which have. efcaped the Obfervation of those whofe great Employment has been the Collation of Copies; nor will he find only the most ancient Editions of FauBus, fenfons Spira, Sweynheim, and Pannartz, but
the most accurate likewife and beautiful of Colinæus, the Junta, Plantin, Aldus, the Stephen, and lvir, with the Commentaries and Obfervations of the most learned Editors.
Nor are they accompanied only with the Illuftrations of those who have confined their Attempts to particular Writers, but of thofe likewife who have treated on any Part of the Greek, or Roman Antiquities, their Laws, their Cuftoms, their Drefs, their Buildings, their Wars, their Revenues, or the Rites and Ceremonies of their Worship, and thofe that have endeavoured to explain any of their Authors from their Statues or their Coins.
Next to the Ancients, thofe Writers deferve to be mentioned, who, at the Restoration of Literature, imitated their Language and their Stile with fo great Succefs, or who laboured with fo much Induftry to make them understood: Such were Philelphus and Politian, Scaliger and Buchanan, and the Poets of the Age of Leo the Tenth; thefe are likewife to be found in this Library, together with the Delicia, or Collections of all Nations.
Painting is so nearly allied to Poetry, that it cannot be wondered that those who have fo much esteemed the one, have paid an equal Regard to the other; and therefore it may be easily imagined, that the Collection of Prints is numerous in an uncommon Degree; but furely, the Expectation of every Man will be exceeded, when he his informed that there are more than forty thousand engraven from Raphael, Titian, Guido, the Carraches, and a thousand others by Nauteuil, Hollar, Callet, Edelinck, and Dorigny, and other Engravers of equal Reputation.
There is also a great Collection of original Drawings, of which three feem to deserve a particular Mention; the first exhibits a Representation of the Infide of St. Peter's Church at Rome; the fecond, of that of St. John Lateran; and the third, of the high