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nation, and in order to satisfy this desire as far as my resources reached, I the more readily refused admission to the scientific works that had appeared in Germany since the middle of the last century, and the more so as in addition to Heinsius's alphabetical nomenclature we also possess an excellent work on the subject in Ersch's manual of German literature; yet I considered it proper to admit, besides whatever related to bibliography and the sciences connected with it, the more ancient and modern classics of Germany, the editions, translations, and explanatory works of the Greek and Roman classics, the most important works of engravings, and some of the more important and voluminous journals. The literature of the sciences without the circuit of the faculties has been more fully given on account of its more general interest. I have devoted especial industry to the Greek and Roman classics. Brunet was content, conformably with his object, to mention those editions only which are merely sought after, or stand at some price. I, on the contrary, paying a due regard to such editions, have also sought to combine with them such as I considered to be peculiarly indebted to the scholar, and have therefore admitted all the editions which deserved to be mentioned in the history of the text or the commentaries. The short descriptions which I have appended are immediately derived from comparison and collation of the prefaces of the different editors, but in no instance are they taken from manuals. I have described the editiones principes after the most careful examination and collation of the best descriptions of them, in part also from my own inspection, with such conscientiousness, accuracy, and completeness, that I think I have satisfied all reasonable demands on this head. I would willingly have omitted some editions, which either contain mere impressions of the text, or are destitute of any peculiar intrinsic value, had they not been prized and sought after in foreign countries, either on account of their external qualities, or because they belong to some series; and others I have admitted, which had hitherto been either generally unknown or incorrectly described, and have filled up by a more accurate account of them the lacunæ of other bibliographical works. For this last reason I have also pointed out critical and exegetical observations respecting the ancient classics in the Classical Journal, and similar more modern collections, although I have paid little or no regard to the notices occurring in older collections, because the limits of my book did not permit me to enter into a complete detail. I hope that this may not be misapprehended and censured as incompleteness, inasmuch as it might fairly be reckoned unnecessary. The translations of the ancient classics, particularly in foreign languages, having been carefully considered by me, offer similar completions and corrections to earlier works.
In the Spanish and Portuguese literature, the riches of the Royal li
brary and kind contributions of new catalogues from those countries, particularly of the extremely scarce list of the word-standard works respecting the Portuguese language, published by the academy of Lisbon (see under Catalogo in this Dictionary), have given occasion for peculiar diligence. I have expressly mentioned the editions cited by the Lisbon academy with the same carefulness, as those cited by the academy della Crusca have been hitherto alone thought worthy of, and have also collected all the information in my power respecting the more ancient editions of the romances of chivalry in the Spanish literature with indefatigable industry, and with the strictest examination into the dependence to be placed on my sources of information; but I feel that at best, notwithstanding all I have done, my work is still far removed from even a reasonable completeness in the literature of these two countries. Appropriate sources of information as to their typographical productions prior to 1500, were particularly wanting. Machado and Antonio are far too little to be depended upon in their bibliographical data; Santander has some useful information, but not much; I could not obtain a copy of Caballero's work, who also appears to be very unsatisfactory, judging from what is quoted from him in Panzer. Will there never be found one person, among those who have the good fortune to pass those richly blessed frontiers, who, instead of the thousand and first description of the bull-fights, will employ himself during his abode in that country in inquiries by which he may become a real benefactor to one of the most interesting branches of bibliography? May this wish be some time or other regarded with the same ardour and earnestness with which it is here expressed! Brunet has made far too negligent use of his excellent sources of information with respect to the rich literature of Italy. Whilst I have executed this department entirely afresh, I have at the same time paid especial attention to the popular dialects, and particularly to the literary productions of Sicily. In the French literature my predecessor left me less to do, yet my articles relative to old French romances will be found in many respects more complete than his, and I have also bestowed a greater degree of attention on the popular dialects. With respect to the literature of Great Britain a disproportionate copiousness was more to be guarded against than an unsatisfactory scantiness, both on account of the present excessive enthusiasm of the British for the more ancient typographical productions of their country, and also on account of the numerous sources of information; although I greatly regret not having been able to make use of some principal works on the subject, and among these, Dibdin's edition of Ames. In the German literature, (in which, besides the limitations above specified, I invariably considered it most proper to pass over living authors,) suitable attention has been paid to its older productions. Nor was I without good materials for the Swedish litera
ture; which however, on the other hand, were wanting to me in the oldest Dutch literature, inasmuch as little more has been done for the knowledge of the first Dutch typographical productions than there has for the Spanish. With regard to the more modern Dutch literature, since the 17th century, the valuable catalogues of private collections and the excellent Naamlyst afforded me notices equally copious and trustworthy. In the Danish, Polish, and Russian literature the want of sources of information and my ignorance of those languages opposed such obstacles as, notwithstanding all my efforts, I could not overcome, and have occasioned these departments of my book to be the most scanty and unsatisfactory. Oriental literature is treated less fully on account of its more confined interest, and Rabbinical works are almost entirely passed over for the same reason. I have moreover enlarged the peculiar plan of Brunet, in having paid an equal attention to the bibliomaniac fancies of all nations, as far as they came to my knowledge; and in having always kept in view, with a stricter pursuit of the object, what he has sometimes attended to and sometimes neglected. Thus I have endeavoured to give as complete an account as possible of all the typographical productions on vellum which I could discover, and have also used on other accounts Renouard's catalogue, Dibdin's, and various other works, with a detail, into which Brunet has not entered. What, on the other hand, I have omitted, is generally so inconsiderable and unessential, that it would scarcely be missed by any collector, and least of all by a German.
In the working up of the materials acquired in this manner, the strictest accuracy was my first rule, in observing which to the highest possible degree, I even ran the hazard of being considered too attentive to trifles. I have subjected all my predecessors, independently of every previous opinion respecting them, to the strictest scrutiny, collated them anew with the sources from whence they derived their information, and compared them, wherever it was possible, with the works they describe; nor have I admitted a single line, which has not become my own property, from the nature of my previous investigation. I dare therefore with security challenge a comparison with Brunet's work. The titles, which Brunet often treated very arbitrarily, are faithfully copied, retaining all that is important, and in order to be able to effect this with respect to books which I had not at hand, I have often been occupied an hour or more with a single title. Whether it should be et, atque, or ac, historia, istoria, or storia in the title, has in many instances been laboriously verified. I have been equally industrious in the case of collations. Those which I could make from copies in the Royal library may be entirely relied on, because this library for the most part contains such copies as have been carefully selected
from several others in the course of purchases of entire and important collections, and I have so strictly followed the principle of collating whatever came under my own eye, as even to have collated the Aldines afresh, notwithstanding Renouard's extremely correct descriptions. Where I could not undertake the thing myself, I have at least carefully collated the different collations of others, and selected those the correctness of which appeared to be best vouched for; but I have at the same time annexed the variations of other statements. In the original editions, as far as my own inspection or resources reached, I have noted the number of lines in each page or column, because this is often the shortest way to distinguish such editions, which in other respects have much resemblance to each other (for example, the first undated editions of the Latin Bible, or of the ancient classics), and because it is at the same time a very useful means for recognising defective copies, and such as want the colophon. In doing this, I have followed the principle already adopted by my predecessors, of only reckoning the lines of the actual text, leaving out the column-title and line of signatures, and my statements are always taken from an enumeration of lines in several full pages and uninterrupted by any breaks, in different parts of the book.
The greatest possible completeness in each article was the second object which I considered myself bound to regard. I have consequently more fully expatiated on works, which not only from their connexion with others, and from their reference to science, but also from their own peculiar value were the object of particular interest (for example, the ancient and more modern classics), I have given in part their histories (Epistolæ obscurorum virorum, De imitatione Christi, De tribus impostoribus, old romances), I have carefully noticed the first editions of important works of more modern times, and have added further references, and sometimes my own opinions, or those of others; my own however more sparingly, and the more so as I was obliged to have regard to space, and it was my object before every thing else to procure suitable and useful matter. My opinions only extend to such works as belong to the more confined compass of my own studies, and with which I was more accurately acquainted, from a longer examination. With respect to some of them I have to observe, that Lessing's principle was mine; "Equity regulates itself strictly according to the desert of what is presented to it, and gives to every one its due." Lastly, I have been, as far as possible, attentive to a convenient and easy use of the work, and to arrangement. Not only in the longer, but also in the shorter articles, I have endeavoured to bring it to such a condition, that whatever was sought for, might every where be easily presented to the eye. If a regard to such a circumstance be a matter of duty towards literary persons, who are so much occupied, it is still more
towards the casual user of the dictionary; and by the arrangement, by printing in a different type, by the omission of unimportant additions, by a rigid selection, and a sparing use of citations, I have endeavoured to do all that I could to facilitate a quick supervision of the whole.
From the letter I onwards I have worked by the last or third edition of Brunet, and have even added its more important augmentations in letter H in the revising. The peculiar materials which it contains in letters A-G will be given by way of supplement at the end of the second volume. The period at which I closed my collections was the end of the year 1819, yet I have been at the trouble, as my work proceeded, to add at least the most important works that have recently appeared. And lastly, in order to perform my part, that the work might be adapted by a moderate price for a more general circulation, and thereby accomplish the utility that has been aimed at, I voluntarily undertook its composition under conditions, which approach the nearer to self-denial, the greater was the expense occasioned by the extensive correspondence in which I was inevitably involved, and by the purchase of a considerable number of necessary and indispensable bibliographical works (among which were Dibdin's Bibliotheca Spenceriana, Renouard's Catalogue, Longman's Bibliotheca Anglo-poetica, and the last editions of Haym's Biblioteca Italiana, and Gamba's Serie de' testi). Thus have I, free from every petty secondary consideration, with the purest and most honest love for the science done every thing that was in my power: but notwithstanding this just consciousness, I conceal neither from myself nor from the public the various deficiencies of my labour. The more general deficiencies I have specified above; and with respect to those which may possibly have slipt into some of the articles, notwithstanding all my carefulness, I must quote Renouard's words (Catal. III. 326.) as my apology; Il faudroit savoir bien des choses, et certainement bien plus, que ne vaut cette science, pour ne pas se tromper souvent en bibliographie.
The author and publisher can confidently pledge themselves for the uninterrupted continuation of the work. After its termination an additional one on general literature will follow as a third part, which will specify from the combined departments of scientific and polite, ancient and modern, foreign and domestic, literature, whatever is best, most select, and historically most important in a perspicuous classification, and such as will be easy for every one to inspect. As the dictionary regards what is externally interesting in a bibliographical point of view, so will this latter work note what is intrinsically valuable, and will at the same time, by suitable references, easy to be understood, be placed in such a connection with the dictionary, that, besides its ́ori