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Bishop of Oxford. "The labour,' he says, " of translating the whole of the Testament into Latin Hexameters may be easily conceived. The reader may judge of its execution by the following specimen:
“ Capt. 5.
Discipuli eius et ipsum (quando sederet) adibant
Quandoquidem regnum calorum existit eorum.” &c. &c.? With the continuation of this trash, Mr.Beloe fills another page; and the reader may judge' of his knowlege of Latin verse, who could so highly appreciate the labour of composing fifty thousand such Hexameters; or rather sections of incorrect prose, really below the composition of a boy of twelve years of age. — How would Mr. B. be overwhelmed with Dobson's Milton in Latin, and Du Porte's book of Job in Greek! How would the Centos of the Fathers, and Nonnus's Paraphrase of St. John, confound him with astonishment and admiration!
In the catalogue of the Greek books printed before the 15th century, Mr. B. professes himself indebted to Dr. C. Burney's MS. observations on this subject. Doubtless, the greatest value to which Mr. B.'s catalogue can lay claim must be derived from such a source: but he has copied Panzer and other bibliographers, by a reference to whose indices, any reader might with a little trouble form a separate catalogue of this · nature for himself; and, we think, with a more perfect arrangement. At page 158. Mr. B. mentions the Editio Princeps of Homer, printed at Florence, A. D. 1488; and at pages 301, 2, 3, 4, 5, he gives a most minute account of the book. In his list of the possessors of copies, (which, however, he does not profess to be complete,) he omits that which lately belonged to Dr. Heath, and was sold at Jeffery's auction for the enormous price of ninety-six pounds, to a bookseller; although it had been twice washed, and ruled to conceal the flaws. Mr. Edwards had procured a copy on vellum of this superb book, but it was seized by the French in Italy. - This Editio Princeps is described in enthusiastic terms by Gibbon.
Of the Anthologia Planudis, printed at Florence 1494, Mr. Beloe furnishes a very unsatisfactory account at page 161. He refers indeed to Maittaire, from whose account of the Capital-letter Greek books, he adds, some observations are given in another part of the work. We dislike this division of information on the same subject. The subjoined references, also, to numerous other bibliographers on this Editio Princeps, 10
3, amer, prin page is 3.0; we thing
infoanother paGreek boo Maittair
imight have been superseded by a concise account of the work, in this its proper place. The book is a very small quarto, printed in a neat though uncommon type. A fine copy of it was sold at Jeffery's auction, and some time ago a copy was in Mackinlay's shop, marked 12 guineas, but without the preface; which greatly enhances the price.
The Apollonius Rhodius (1496.) was another of the Editiones Principes which occurred in the above sale. This book, and the Anthologias mentioned before it, are becoming rare : but the reader is merely referred to an account of them by Mr. Beloe, who gives scarcely any description himself. He. remarks indeed of the Lucian, (also printed at Florence in 1496) that, notwithstanding its beautiful Greek type, and the large font of letters which the printers of it must have had, those letters were never used in another book; and that this singularity belongs to some other large works of the 15th century, So improbable a fact should be substantiated by the soundest authorities. The great expence of such a font of letters being incurred for only one publication is a circumstance that ought to be established beyond a doubt, before a narration assumes the place of a conjecture on such a point. Mr. Beloe, subjoining the remark to his authorities on the general history of the book, seems to make it solely on his own authority: but this perhaps is no more than an inaccuracy of arrangement. :
The Editio Princeps, of Suidas, mentioned at page 171, is not said to be what it is, a most incorrect and mutilated performance; - and in page 175, after the usual string of references, but without any description of the edition of Galen printed at Venice in the year 1500, we are told that few books are of greater rarity, and that the Bishop of Rochester (now ef Ely) has a copy !
At page 223. we have a splendid account of the second Roman edition of Virgil, from the joint pens of Mr. Beloe and Dr. William Hunter; the latter of whom affixed a note, descriptive of the book, to his copy preserved in Hunter's Museum :- but we, anti-bibliographers as we are, cannot help smiling at the value attached to early editions, when the editors of a Latin poet prefix to their work such verses as the following: “ Conradus suuweynheym : Arnoldus panviartzque magistri
Rome impresserunt talia multa simul.
Huic operi optatan contribuere domum.” page 223. May we not exclaim, with Virgil's own indignation,
Non tu in triviis, indocte; solebas
zd but we hav 1472, Foliera que exia
Of another Virgil, we have at page 230. the following information, conveyed in language as elegant and terse as any which we have lately been accustomed to see: There is a copy of the Virgil I am next about to describe in the King's library at Blenheiin, as well as with Lord Spencer.
Virgilii Maronis opera quæ extant, necnon et alia opuscula cmm Priapeiis, 1472, Fol. This is No. 2664 of De Bure,' &c. -- but we have no room for farther extracts from Mr. Bi's. 3d volume. He should here have informed us, as he does slightly in the 4th volume, in his account of early printed books, that most of the Greek prose authors were printed in Latin translations first, for the purpose of wider diffusion in the western empire: consequently, the Editiones Principes of these authors bear occasionally a price disproportionate to their worth; though, being in some instances translated from MSS. no longer extant, and different from those which the Greek copies followed, they become the surest guides to the restoration of the genuine text.
The frequent expressions of Mr. Beloe, · I am informed,'" I believe,''I have some suspicion,' &c. mark him as tooconjectural and uncertain in his opinions, for a safe director. He takes, indeed, too much on trust; and at all events, if he employs friends at Bristol to examine books for him, he might do the same at the Universities : yet he seems to be very little · acquainted with the Oxford and Cambridge catalogues..
We shall close our account of this 3d volume of . Anecdotes,' &c. with an anecdote which we need not say is untold by Mr.B. of the Editio Princeps of Manilius; – to shew that, even in the present day, when the old collector pathetically laments that « book-stalls are not what they were in his youth !”, and when all the bidders at auctions are almost equally knowing, (thanks to the priced catalogues,) that even now Good Fortune máy attend the indefatigable purchaser. An eminent scholar, returning with a late eminent bookseller in a coach from a sale, dropped out of a lot of books which he had bought for a few shillings, the Editio Princeps of Manilius! -He presented it to the Bishop of Rochester (Ely), in whose collection Mr. B. mentions it as unique.
In Mr. Beloe's progress through his anecdotes of literature, he reminds us of Pope's famous simile of the traveller who
. “ Sees Alps on Alps arise;" — or rather of Goldsmith's description,
" Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
for scarcely have we entered on the introduction to the 4th volume, 'ere we are told of some new and important matter,' which has presented itself. This new and important matter,' as far as Mr. B. has at present chosen to give us any insight into it, consists of the following MSS. in Sir Gore Ouseley's collection : .
No. 1. A Korán in the Cúfi,or Cufic character: said to be written by Ali, the son in law of Mohammed, the Arabian prophet.' - If written by Ali, it must be nearly twelve hundred years old : but at all events must be considered as very ancient, many hundred years having elapsed since the use of the Cufi character has givea · way to the Neskh, Suls, &c. &c. This MS. is still in excellent preservation.
No. 2. Móaz al Ansáb, the most distinguished of genealogies. This rare and curious MS. was compiled and written in the year of the Hejiran 830. It is a genealogical tree of the Tartar Princes, their wives, and children ; and it is illustrated by portraits of the characters there recorded.
· The first portrait in this manuscript is that of Alán Kúwa, the daughter of Jubineh, and wife of Dúyunbayán, from whom all the great Tartar Princes, Chengéz Khan, Tamerlane, &c. are descended. On one side of her portrait, the miraculous account of her giving birth to three children after her husband's death, is related, but in a more concise manner, than it is given by Khándemir, and other Persian historians, from the traditions of the Scythians. It appears, that she was awakened one night by a bright flame or light, which suddenly entered her mouth and pervaded her entrails. Her surprize was further increased in finding herself pregnant, without the intervention of human aid. Possessed of a great character for chastity, and anxious to remove all doubts from the minds of her subjects, she convoked an assembly of her Chiefs, and related to them he particulars of her situation. She moreover insisted on a few of the elders remaining in her bed-chamber at the usual hour of the light's making its appearance, and as they witnessed the phenomenon, and vouched for Alan Kúwa's veracity and chastity, her subjects departed quite satisfied of her pregnancy being a favour from Heaven: At the usual period of gestation she was delivered of three sons, 1st. Buki Kabghan, from whom the tribes of Kabghin and Kapchák are descended ; 2d. Bukaji Sálji, from whom the Seljukian Princes derive their origin; and 3d. Buzanjer, from whom Chengez Khan and Tamerlane boast their descent.
• No. 3. Tarikh i Cashmir. A history of the romantic and de. lightful kingdom of Cashmir, from the earliest times down to the year of the Hejirah, 997.'
No. 4. Beharistan. The garden of spring; a book on Ethics and education,' &c. &c.
Its author was born in the year of the Hejira 817.
No. 5. Diwán i Shahi. A Diwán or collection of Odes by Shahi, transcribed by the famous penman Mir Ali, in Bokharà. In the year of thc Hejira, 940.'
These and a few other MSS. and drawings are enumerated by Mr. Beloe, out of the 1200 volumes in Sir Gore Ouseley's collection. We know not how extensive Mr. Bi's knowlege of oriental literature may be: but so few persons in this country (even yet) are qualified to decide on the subject, that, in his present as well as his future accounts of these MSS. « he must have it all his own way;" and we entreat him, as be is great, to be merciful. - After the preliminary sketch above cited, Mr. B.'s 4th volume contains an account (or rather a bare catalogue) of the editions of historians and geographers of the 15th century; of Latin translations of the Greek historians, geographers &c.; of the Fathers ; of orators and epistolary writers; of writers on natural history and philosophy; of the commentators on Aristotle ; of grammarians; and it concludes with some miscellaneous remarks relating to early topography. -- Mr. Beloe tells us at the end of his 3d volume, that he reserves his additions and corrections to the end of the 5th volume; and they will be accompanied by a general index to the whole worki' -We cannot help thinking that, by forming such a general index to the different bibliographers from whom he has extracted his accounts, (at least to those parts of their works in which the books that he mentions are described,) and by subjoining some short notices and general remarks of his own, Mr. B. might have presented the book-collector with a much more valuable and much cheaper vade mecum, than he has offered to the public in five, and (since Sir Gore's discoveries) perchance, in six octavos, The total want of arrangement in the work at present must greatly diminish its utility, supposing the descriptions of books to be fuller and more correct than they are, for professed anecdotes of literature and scarce books: but in our proposed curtailment of Mr. B.'s performance, we must allow him an appendix of his remarks on Aristotle's commentators. These remarks, we are happy to be able to say, evince industry usefully employed. We extract the introductory paragraphs; and, recommending this part of Mr. B's. compilation to the particular notice of bibliographers, and a careful revision of the whole publication to the author himself, we shall bid him adieu.
• I am now about to undertake a new and arduous task, which I am the rather induced to do, because, as far as my knowlege extends, it exhibits a novel feature in English Literature.
I shall give a concise account of the Commentators on Aristocle in Greek, Arabic, and Latin, in chronological order. It must be brief, for they are so numerous, that an extended life would