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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/250

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242


NOTES ANE QUERIES. [9 th S. XI. MARCH 28, 1903.


I find that the " Golden Legend of the Lives of Saints (with Mr. R. S. Observations on the Edi. MS.)," 1527, was sold for ll. Us. There is a group of histories, both original and translated, and I shall select one, as it stands highest in price, which in these latter days has much fallen away in monetary appreciation. To quote the catalogue : 14 History of the Civil Wars of France, by Davila, first and best Edition," 1647, realized I/. 5s., while the second edition of 1678 is appraised at the handsome figure of 17s. 6d In this catalogue I have been much taken with the assuring and alluring ascription (it is repeated a good many times) "first and best edition." I always understood that this phrase was of modern coinage ; but I see, however, I have been mistaken.

I come now to a book deserving wider recog- nition than, perhaps, it has received in these latter days, I mean Dr. George Hakewill's 'Apologie.' This is how it appears in the catalogue: " Hakewill's (G.) Apologie of the Power and Providence of God, &c., best Edition," 1635, and the purchaser paid 13s. for it. Before 1635 there were two editions of this work, one in 1627, and the other in 1630 ; but the first-named 1635 is, as the compiler accurately states, the best edition. As a variant on Sir Henry Taylor's famous line, I might say that the best books are not always the best known ; and from a pretty intimate acquaintance with the 'Apologie' I have no hesitation in calling it a great and noble work. Those who come to read it for the first time will be astonished at the wealth and variety of illustration the author brings forward in support of his proposition. Hake- will has given us a list of his authorities (in number extending to over eight hundred) in every conceivable branch of learning, both ancient and modern. Before passing on, I may mention that he has references in the text, for example, to Chaucer, Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, George Buchanan, Ronsard, Du Bartas, Ariosto, and Tasso ; but I cannot trace any reference to Shakespeare. Let me, however, quote the following passage C Apologie,' p. 127) :

" Whence it comes to passe that unseasonable weather, and the like crosse accidents are printed in our memories, as it were with red letters in an Almanacke : but for seasonable and faire, there stands nothing but a blanke : the one is graven in brasse, the other written in water."

These concluding words recall the well- known passage in Shakespeare's ' Hen. VIII.' (IV. ii.):-

Noble madam,

Men's evil manners live in brass ; their virtues

We write in water.


One would like to assume that Hakewill was not altogether unacquainted with the works of our great dramatist, and that in the present instance he found his words a very apposite close to his reflection.

As if the one item was not sufficient in itself to take the market without the other, we have Lydgate's 'Translation of Boccace's fall of Princes,' 1554, and Gower's 'De Confessione Amantis,' 1554, bracketed to- gether as one lot, and bringing no more than 6s. 8d. Higden's ' Polychronicon,' 1527, is knocked down at ll. Os. 2d : we ought to note the odd coppers, as if each bid was limited to that sum, or even penny pieces. A Dr. Sampson he was a considerable buyer was the purchaser of Cawood's edition, 1570, of the " Stultifera Naves, or the ship of Fools, with other small works," for 6s. Gd. Spenser's

  • Faery Queen,' 1609, went for 6s. Alderman

Tench he too bought considerably was the purchaser of "Coryat's Crudities, or the Travels of Tho. Coryat, with his Curious Observations on things Remarkable ; with Pictures of the Clock at Strasb. Gt. Tun. at Heidelb., &c.," 1611, for 9s. The " &c." would, no doubt, be meant to embrace the curious plate of Coryat's visit to the Venetian cour- tesan. Dr. Donne is well represented in his prose works, but excepting the two folios 1640-49, the prices obtained ruled low. A copy of his 'Letters,' published by his son John in 1651, is entered at Is. Id. ; while his metrical 'Anato. of the World, or Anniver. on the Death of Mrs. Eliza. Drury," 1612, goes for 2d John Derrick's "Image of Ire- land, with a discovery of Wood karne, &c.," 1581 a reproduction in facsimile appeared not many years ago went for the miserable sum of Id. ; and Sir Tho. Chaloner's transla- tion of Erasmus's ' Praise of Folly,' 1549, for Is. 80?. A Dr. Lock became the possessor of Guevara's "golden and familiar Epistles Englished by Edw. Hellowes/' 1584, for Is. lOd The same gentleman was the pur- chaser of Milton's 'Paradice Lost,' 1669, for 3s. 2d ; and also the first edition of "Paradise regain'd a Poem in 4 Books, with Samson Agonistes," 1671, for 2s. 9d. 'Aulicus Coquin- arise,' 1650, realized only lid; while SirEd ward Peyton's ' Divine Catastrophe of the Kingly Family of the House of Stuarts,' 1652, fetched the very substantial sum of 6s. 2d The

Barchaser of this last-named book was a r. Sampson. These two pieces were re- Srinted by Sir- Walter Scott in his ' Secret istory of the Court of James I.,' 1811. John Bale is largely represented, but his books do not appear to have been held in much esteem, to judge from the prices realized, the highest