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to be general, are now printed in Dutch and English. The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only German. They begin of late to make all their bonds, and other legal instruments in their own language, which (though, I think, it ought not to be) are allowed good in our courts, where the German business so increases, that there is continued need of interpreters: and, I suppose, in a few years, they will also be necessary in the Assembly to tell one half of our legislators what the other half say. In short, unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so outnumber us, that all the advantages we have, will, in my opinion, be not able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious. The French, who watch all advantages, are now themselves making a German settlement, back of us in the Illinois country, and by means of these Germans they may in time come to an understanding with ours; and, indeed, in the last war, our Germans showed a general disposition that seemed to bode us no good. For when the English, who were not Quakers, alarmed by the danger arising from the defenceless state of our country, entered unanimously into an association, and within this government and the low countries, raised, armed, and disciplined near ten thousand men, the Germans, except a very few in proportion to their number, refused to engage in it: giving out, one amongst another, and even in print, that if they were quiet, the French, should they take the country, would not molest them; at the same time abusing the Philadelphians for fitting out privateers against the enemy: and representing the trouble, hazard, and expense of defending the province, as a greater inconvenience than any that might be expected from a change of government. Yet I am not for refusing to admit them entirely into our Colonies. All that seems to me necessary is, to distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools, where they are now too thick settled : and take some care to prevent the practice lately fallen into by some of the ship-owners of sweeping the German gaols to make up the number of their passengers. I say, I am not against the admission of Germans in general, for they have their virtues;–their industry and frugality is exemplary. They are excellent husbandmen; and contribute greatly to the improvement of a country. “I pray God to preserve long to Great Britain the English laws, manners, liberties, and religion. Notwithstanding the complaints so frequent in your public papers, of the prevailing corruption and degeneracy of the people, I know you have a great deal of virtue still subsisting among you; and I hope the Constitution is not so near a dissolution, as some seem to apprehend. I do not think you are generally become such slaves to your vices as to draw down the justice Milton speaks of, when he says, that"....... [Here most unfortunately at this critical juncture, when the imagination is worked up to the highest pitch, to hear, upon our future destinies, the
apprehensions of Franklin, in the words of Milton, the manuscript breaks off abruptly, nor will the remainder, it is probable, be ever recovered. What is the passage, curiosity eagerly inquires, which Franklin was about to quote? I take it, beyond all question to be this:
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
Franklin, at the date of this letter, must have been in the full vigour of his powers, and forty-seven years old.]
KING'S LIBRARY IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
No monarch of England is known to have been an extensive collector of books (in the modern acceptation of the term) except George the Third : or, if the name of Charles the First should be added, it must be in a secondary rank, and with some uncertainty, because we have not the same evidence of his collection of books as we have of his pictures, in the Catalogue which exists of them. A Royal Library had, indeed, been established in the reign of Henry the Seventh; it was increased, as noticed by Walpole, by many presents from abroad, made to our Monarchs after the restoration of learning and the invention of printing ; and naturally received accessions in every subsequent reign, if it were only from the various presents by which authors desired to show their respect or to solicit patronage, as well as from the custom of making New-Year's Gifts, which were often books. There were also added to it the entire libraries of Lord Lumley (including those of Henry Earl of Arundel and Archbishop Cranmer), of the celebrated Casaubon, of Sir John Morris, and the Oriental MSS. of Sir Thomas Roe. Whilst this collection remained at St. James's Palace, the number of books amassed in each reign could have been easily distinguished, as they were classed and arranged under the names of the respective Sovereigns. In 1759 King George the Second ' transferred the whole, by letters patent, to the then newly-formed establishment of the British Museum; the arrangement under reigns was some time after departed from, and the several royal collections interspersed with the other books obtained from Sir Hans Sloane, Major Edwards, and various other sources. The valuable collection of Manuscripts which accompanied the same Royal donation may still be regarded as distinct, as they are now known by the numbers they bore when in the Royal possession, and are described in a Catalogue of their own, compiled by David Casley, and printed in quarto 1734. They had, however, been kept separately from the printed books, and were at that date, together with the Cottonian MSS. deposited in the old dormitory of Westminster school. George the Third, on his accession to the Crown, thus found the apartments which had formerly contained the library of the Kings of England
Queen Caroline, consort of George the Second, was an ardent collector of books. Her Library was preserved until recently in a building adjoining the Green Park, called the Queen's Library, and latterly the Duke of York's. An interior view of the building will be found in Pyne's Royal Residences.
vacated by their ancient tenants. We are not informed whether he had, whilst Prince of Wales, commenced the formation of any private collection, or whether any such had been formed by his father Prince Frede. rick: but Sir F. A. Barnard states” that “to create an establishment so necessary and important, and to attach it to the Royal residence, was one of the earliest objects which engaged his Majesty's attention at the commencement of his reign;" and he adds that the library of Joseph Smith, Esq. the British Consul at Venice, which was purchased in 1762, “became the foundation of the present Royal Library.” Consul Smith's collection was already well known, from a Catalogue which had been printed at Venice in 1755, to be eminently rich in the earliest editions of the Classics, and in Italian Literature.” Its purchase was effected for about 10,000l. and it was brought direct to some apartments at the Queen's Palace, commonly called Buckingham House. Here the subsequent collections were amassed; and here, after they had outgrown the rooms at first appropriated to them, the King erected two large additional libraries, one of which was a handsome octagon.” Latterly the books occupied no less than seven apartments.
At an early period his Majesty appears to have placed the control of the Library under the superintendence of the late Sir Frederick Augusta Barnard, who is well known to have been his natural brother. This gentleman, who survived the King,” continued to hold the appointment of Librarian until the collection was presented to the public by his late Majesty; and he was the writer of the preface to the Catalogue which was printed in 1820. He states therein that one of the earliest and most zealous promoters of his Majesty's views was Dr. Samuel Johnson. “His visits to the Library were frequent; during which he appeared to take pleasure in instructing youth and inexperience, by friendly advice and useful information. At one of these visits he was surprised by the sudden and unexpected appearance of the King; and his Majesty was pleased to enter into a long conversation with him upon the Library, and various other subjects, which from recollection has been so frequently and even minutely detailed,” that it is only necessary to add that the forcible impression which such a distinguished attention left upon his mind, disposed him readily to embrace any opportunity of manifesting his zeal for the accomplishment of the plan.”
2 Preface to Catalogue, fol. 1820. s The Rev. Charles Godwyn to Rev. John Hutchins, Sept. 22, 1762 –“The King has just purchased a Library, which contains the most valuable private collection of books to be found in Italy. They belonged to Consul Smith, who resided at Venice. Their value consists chiefly in this, that there is among them a great number of the scarce first-printed editions of the Classics. I have seen a Catalogue of them, which makes a volume in 4to.” Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii. p. 230. Consul Smith afterwards formed another valuable Library, which after his death was sold in London in 1773, by Messrs. Baker and Leigh. * Interior views of the octagon and the principal square room will be found in Pyne's Royal Residences, published in 1817 and 1818, and similar views, on a smaller scale, form the head and tail pieces to the Preface of the Catalogue. The octagon room is still preserved in the new Palace, though the walls have been considerably altered if not rebuilt; the upper part is intended for a chapel and the lower part for the kitchen. • He died at St. James's Palace, Jan. 27, 1830, aged 87. He was made a Knight Commander of the Guelphic Order a short time before his death, and was a Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies; and for many yrars a Vice President of the latter. A portrait of him, engraved in mezzotinto by S. W. Reynolds, from a picture by John oist, was attached to those copies of the Catalogue which were dispersed by himself. *. Alluding to the several accounts assembled by Boswell in his Life of Johnson. GENT. MAG. Wol. I. C
However, the formation of the Library does not appear to have been included among the several topics discussed at this much-celebrated interview, which it may be remarked was so highly appreciated by Johnson that it fairly lasted him his life. He did not himself seek another audience; and the King's curiosity was satisfied.” The first great opportunity for acquiring a large number of early-printed English books, was the sale of the library of James West, esq. Pres. R. S. in the spring of 1773. One of the agents employed on this occasion was the late George Nicol, esq. who continued his Majesty's Bookseller to the last. Mr. Nicol told Dr. Dibdin, “with his usual pleasantry and point, that he got abused in the public papers, by Almon and others, for having purchased nearly the whole of the Caxtonian volumes in this collection for his Majesty's library. It was said abroad, that a Scotchman had lavished away the King's money in buying old black-letter books.” . It need not be remarked that this “lavishness” was infinitely below the prices attained by the same articles in the subsequent days of Roxburghe bibliomania. Dr. Dibdin adds, as a circumstance highly honourable to the King, that “his Majesty, in his directions to Mr. Nicol, forbad any competition with those purchasers who wanted books of science and belleslettres for their own professional or literary pursuits; thus using the powers of his purse in a manner at once merciful and wise.” " There seems, however, some latitude required in crediting the particulars of Mr. Nicol's services at the West sale, as here stated. A priced copy of Mr. West's catalogue is in the possession of Mr. Nichols; in which the names of the purchasers are marked, it is true in very few instances; but often enough to show that, whilst Mr. Nicol certainly purchased so much as to attract notice, he by no means monopolized all the Caxtonian books, nor, if the written memoranda are to be trusted, was he the only party by whom some of the most important articles were purchased for the Royal collection. The following are the lots against which the King's name is written : 1868. Catholicon, Moguntiae. Joannis Bali, de Janua, 1460. It contains the following note by Mr. West : “This book was sold at Dr. Mead's auction for 25l. and purchased for the French king, who had given commission to bid 150l. for the same. J. W.” Mr. West's copy was purchased by the King for 35l. 3s. 6d. [The Willett copy sold for 60l. 12s.] 1909. Lewis's Life of Caxton, 1737, Minshull's proposals for an account of Caxton's books, and a manuscript list of the same. 11. 1s. 1915. Various fragments of old Black Letter books, among which are many of the early essays in the art of Printing. 18s. 2274. Chaucer's Works, first edition, stated in the catalogue to be “the only perfect copy known.” One wanting three leaves is in Merton College; the Hon. T. Grenville has one nearly perfect, and Lord Spencer has another in the same condition. It was purchased for the King at 47 l. 15s. 6d ; and a manuscript note is added, that “Mr. West gave 151. for it in 1771.” 2281. Chaucer's Troylus and Creseyde, printed by Caxton, 164. 10s. Towneley wanting one leaf 2521. ; resold, Duke of Marlborough 1621. 15s. 2222. The Dictes and Sayings of the Phylosophers, translated by Earl Rivers. Caxton, 1477. 211. [Hibbert 46l. 4s. Towneley 1291.] 2296. The Game and Playe of Chesse. Caxton, 1474. “Mr. Elmsley for the King, 321. 0s. 6d.” Duke of Marlborough's sale, two leaves M.S. 421.
7 The case of Jacob Bryant, whose name will presently occur in the history of the Library, is remarkably different. “It is much to the honour of the King and Queen, that they both of them were his frequent visitors at Cypenham, and rejoiced in him ; the King sometimes came alone, and passed whole hours with him.” Letter of Mr. George Hardinge, in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii. p. 531. * Bibliomania, p. 508.
2297. Gower de Confessione Amantis. Caxton 1483 . Mr. Elmsley for the King. 91.9s. [The Roxburghe copy sold in 1812 for 3361. ; and the Willet 3151.] 3394. Dictionary of Decisions of the Court of Session of Scotland, 1741. 31. 3.420. Actis and Constitutionnis of Scotland, 1566. 21. 2s. 3514. Madox's Formulare Anglicanum, l. p. 1702. “With MS. notes by a curious and diligent man, says Mr. West.” ll. 1s. 4090. Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. Caxton, 1471. “321. 11s. Payne, for the King.” [Mr. Payne made this book, perfect from a copy which, though many leaves deficient, afterwards sold for 116l. 11s. at the Roxburghe sale in 1812; when a
perfect copy sold for 1068l. 18s.]
Two years after, at the sale of the library of Dr. Anthony Askew, some of its finest specimens were transferred to the Royal collection, among which were Il Teseide,” and Il Forze de Hercole, of Boccacio, both printed at Ferrara in 1475, and both purchased together for 85l. ; and the Editio Princeps of Florence for 171.6s. 6d. A newspaper of the day to states, that the King had previously offered the sum of 5000l. for Dr. Askew's entire library; but it was refused. It sold for about 4000l. ; and the cost of his Majesty's purchases at the sale did not exceed 300l. In 1768 Mr. Barnard was sent to the Continent by the King, in order to make more speedy progress in the collection by personal research. On this occasion, Dr. Johnson addressed to him a letter of instructions, the rules laid down in which were subsequently “pursued with unremitting attention.” This letter (which had been refused to Boswell) was first printed in 1820, in the Preface to the Catalogue, and perhaps might not improperly be inserted in this place, had it not been frequently reprinted since that date. It will be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for April 1823, or in the late edition of Boswell, by Mr. Croker. The dispersion of an unusual number of great libraries, both in this country and on the continent, including the literary stores of the Jesuits, afforded frequent and advantageous opportunities of increasing the Royal collection; which was done without the purchase of any other entire library, at the moderate expense of about 2,000l. annually, but continued during the period of sixty years; for after the King's illness the allowance was not stopped, but latterly increased, on account of the Catalogue. It was no trifling encouragement for expensive works, that his Majesty might always be reckoned as a subscriber for a superior copy. “Considerable also,” says Sir Frederick Barnard, were “the accessions to the library, from many who were desirous, not only of embracing an opportunity of showing their attention and zeal to promote his Majesty's views, but who were also anxious to secure for the articles they highly valued, a safe and permanent asylum ; amongst whom the venerable and learned Jacob Bryant is justly entitled to a particular distinction, as some of the books presented by him, are the most rare specimens of the Art of Printing at its commencement in this country." Some of the greatest curiosities (157 in number) are enumerated in Clarke's Repertorium Bibliographicum, pp. 180–190. Shortly after the collection was presented to the Nation by King George the Fourth, the books were counted (for the first time), when their number was found to be about sixty-five thousand two hundred and fifty, exclusive of a very large quantity of pamphlets, principally contained in 868 cases, and requiring about 140 more to contain the whole. Of
* This book had been in Consul Smith's library when his Catalogue was printed; but was sold by him to Dr. Askew, previously to his selling his library to the King. 1° Craftsman, Sept. 14, 1774.