« PreviousContinue »
MUST EVER REGARD AS THE
CRADLE OF THEIR
THIS VOLUME IS APPROPRIATELY
Extra£t from Het Leven van Emanuel van Meteren kortelijck beschreven door
fijnen ghetrouvven Vriendt Simeon RvYTINCK, folio 672 of Emanuel van
MANUEL van METEREN, die met grooten vlijt ende vernuft desen Boeck by een
Sijn Vader hiet Jacob van Meteren van Breda, Sone van Cornelius van Meteren.
vader was vanden wijdt-beroemden Wereldt-beschrijver, Abrahamus Ortelius.
Sijn Moeder was een Godvreesende ende troostelijcke Joffrouwe, die insghelijcks de kennisse der Waerheyt outfangen hadde, ende met haren Man veel daer voor geleden heeft.
't Is ghebeurt (haren Man om sijnen handel na Engelandt ghereyst zijnde) soose swangher was van desen Soone, datmen van d'Overheyt weghe, haer Huys is komen besoecken, om Leonard Ortels haren Oom, die daer plach thuys te liggen, te vangen, om 't punct vande Religie, ende met eenen to fien offer gheen verboden Boecken te vinden waren; de wreetheyt van dese Ondersoeckers, beweechde de goede Joffrouwe den Heere vyerichlijcken te bidden, op datse de selve niet vonden, 't welck oock alsoo ghebeurt is, al wast datse verscheyden-mael de handen op de Kiste leyden daer de Boecken in waren, Godes genadige hulpe ende bescherminge daer in speurende, heeft belooft (soose een Soone baerde) den selven Emanuel te noemen, dat is, God met ons, welcke belofte sy oock volbrocht. Hier uyt heeft Emanuel oorsake genomen, tot fijn Manlijck verstandt gekomen zijnde, by 't woordt Emanuel, ghemeenlijck te voegen, Quis contra nos? dat is, Is God met ons, wie is tegen ons ? om aen die voorighe weldaet te beter te gedencken, ende in alle gevaer op den Heere te betrouwen.
Sijnen Edelen Vriendt ende Cousijn Daniel Rogersius, heeft daer op dit Latijns vers gedicht.
EMANUELIS DE METERI:
Nobiscum DEVS, quis contra nos?
Emanuel ? Quæ te fuftinet oro salus !
Pelignus verè cuncta Poëta canit.
Crede datis, anceps forma venusta bonum.
Mars equtem Bello, Mars peditemque premit.
Robore, glans mixto sulphure transit ea.
Milite fæpè ipfi desperiêre Duces,
A puero validus dux superante perit.
Non se, non alios sæpe juvare queunt,
Emanuel nomen, fidere perge Deo.
Certior Aufonio vivere rege queas.
HE CAXTON CELEBRATION EXHIBITION WAS OPENED
at South Kensington on the thirtieth of June and
ever, to the intelligent British public to state here frankly in their behalf that only a select few appear to have had any well defined ideas, convictions, notions, sentiments or intelligence, whatever, respecting the origin, development, progress, and present state of this 'Art preservative of all Arts, especially as it exists, and has existed in this country during the last four centuries.
This circumstance is probably owing to the fact that in dear old merrie England reading and writing come by nature, while printing is no more considered an art or invention than breathing or drinking. We know it and that is enough. All these things are so familiar from infancy that one scarcely ever thinks of accounting for them, or looking into their origin.
As pleasure is said to be the absence of pain, darkness the absence of light, so printing may be simply the absence of primitive ignorance. The mind reads the newspapers and the Bible, feels, thinks, and knows intuitively. Like the eye the press sees not itself, yet is the organ by which all other things are seen, known, and organized.
It was therefore a happy thought of Mr J. S. Hodson, Secretary of the Printers' Pension Corporation, to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the introduction, in 1477,
of the art and mystery of printing into England, by a Caxton Celebration ” in the year 1877, just for a moment to hold the mirror up to printing, to let the eye see the eye, and the press the press. The Secretary and his happy thought were particularly lucky in having Mh.
has madrit 4
probarber that the correct date of Cardons fist work in .
the. Eronlia Ilore, a hranicure hree accepted
Mr William Blades, Caxton's eminent biographer, to resort to for the needful historical foundation and literary coping of his proposed edifice.
But it is not intended to give here the history of the Caxton Exhibition of 1877, for it is itself already a matter of history. Suffice it then to say, in passing, that in more meanings than one it was a success, and in no sense a failure. The Caxton Exhibition Catalogue as finally revised and published before the close of the Exhibition, with all its faults (and none knows them better than the writer), is a bibliographical record, taken as a whole and of its kind, that has never been surpassed in any country or period. Much of it is crude, ill-digested, and unfinished, yet the honest, intelligent, painstaking, and sharp-witted bibliographer will find recorded in it, though perhaps a little too hastily, materials for the history of books, printing, and printers, not alone of England, but all foreign countries, from the earliest period to the present time, which he will find no where else so well told and so conveniently packed.
The results of the Caxton Exhibition, therefore, as booked in this Catalogue, are manifold and important, though they may perhaps have to be picked out, like the meat of the hickory-nut, with patience and discretion. At the same time it is to be remembered that by the Campanellan rule, as given by Master Prynne, generally such * Books either miss or hit,
By scale of reader's wit.' If the critic, historian, bibliographer, or simple reader, any of them, lack the capacity or wit to pick out and appreciate the new, true, and important matters recorded in the Caxton Catalogue respecting rare and beautiful books, early and fine printing, eminent printers, and kindred topics, it may be some consolation to somebody to know or to be told that it is not necessarily the fault of the Catalogue.
On the other hand if the capacity or wit of the critic be better adapted to pick out the flaws, errors, mistakes, blunders, omissions, false statements, and ignorances buried in the Catalogue, be its merits never so great, and if he be inclined to smack his lips over them in the Weakly as if he had found the very blue-mould of Stilton, or viewed the centre of decay, God help him and give him a long life, for what we, who are not critics, don't know is immense and immeasurable, in comparison with what we do know and can state correctly.
In making these general and particular remarks, the writer excepts, of course, his own portion of the Caxton Catalogue, that is Class C, Printed Bibles, lest it may be too apparent that he is publicly crying an axe hammered on his own anvil. He is not unmindful, however, of the great interest expressed by many, and the commendations expressed by some, in his treatment of this department of the Catalogue.
Nevertheless, it will be remembered that the department of Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition received more adverse criticism from some of
the intelligent London press, than all the other classes put together. This may be partially owing to the great, general, and blind interest felt in England, above all other countries, in reference to the Bible, the divine book, about which every one presumes to know so much, and of which, really, so few know anything. It is the commonest and most familiar of all our books. Wherever dust can penetrate, there is our Bible, but too many of us are like the swine seeking beechnuts among the fallen leaves of the forest, devouring them with a relish, but seldom looking up to see whence they came, what their origin, or how preserved for us.
The subject of Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition, as a distinct Class, was really an after-thought. It required some stretch of the original plan of a Caxton Exhibition to include Bibles in all languages, though some few editions would naturally have fallen in as specimens of early and fine printing. The Exhibition, however, grew upon the hands of the Executive Committee, as did, also, the various departments of it grow upon the hands of the several Sub-Committees.
Finally, notwithstanding the long list of distinguished names that graced the several committees, the real work, and all the work, by its own gravity, fell into the hands of some half dozen men, who, at first, having volunteered their free services, had not the courage, at last, to back down as many did in the critical moment when it was almost an even balance between uncertain success and certain failure.
All this, I know, is indefinite and gossipy, and was intended to be so, but those who desire to pursue the subject further can.
It is, however, only just and fair to my colleagues and collaborators to say here so much, and to relieve them as far as possible of any personal responsibility for the deficiencies and shortcomings of that department of the Catalogue, which was wholly mine and not theirs. I have, therefore, decided to separate my own portion of the work, as far as it relates to Class C, Printed Bibles, as given in the Catalogue of the Caxton Exhibition, and issue it separately under my own name, so that the work may stand or fall by itself without marring the good work of my colleagues in other departments. I say deliberately 'good work,' for where can the lover of short-cuts to knowledge find in the English or any other language, the information so well arranged and so clearly expressed about Caxton and the typographical productions of himself and his contemporaries in England, as in the first thirty pages by Mr William Blades, under Class A, sections i—v, of the Catalogue of the Caxton Exhibition? The great mass of conjecture of previous writers is abolished, and the whole interesting story of all England's earliest printers, with the titles of their books, and where the books now exist, is briefly and clearly told by Mr Blades, in a masterly and modest manner never excelled. Sections vi and vii upon the subsequent development of printing in England and Scotland, both metropolitan and provincial, are chiefly by Mr