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ormation accepted, the Revolution would well to record the amounts which they have been avoided.

occasionally bring. For instance, in the Will she ever perceive this fact? Be last month of May, £71 were paid for a this as it may, the very temperament of letter of Charles I. to the Marquis of Orthe nation has been sobered, if not sad- mond, in which he declares war preferable dened, by its sufferings. The gay cus to a dishonorable peace, and prefers “ the toms of the people linger yet; but they chance of warr then (than] to give my are not themselves gay. Their brilliant consent to any such allowance of popery climate and sparkling language, and, still as must evidently bring destruction." more, their sparkling wines, would almost At the same sale--Mr. Baker's-£40 compel any people, however naturally 10s. were paid for a letter to Lady Strafmelancholic, to be brilliant and gay ; but ford from her husband, then a prisoner in the French are no longer so—they require the Tower, in which he expresses his begreat excitements to make them occasion- lief that there was nothing capital in the ally so. They demand stimulus—the usual charges against him, or that" at the worste, symptoms of discontent and misery. The His Majesty will pardon all.” At the sale government itself would not be safe with of the Macartney library, in January, 1854, out the foreign success of its armies, or two volumes of letters by Andrew Marvel, something new at home. The literature and others, addressed to Sir G. Downing, of the country must be morbidly stimu- British Minister to the States-General in lating, or it cannot be popular. Suicide the time of Charles II., realized £152. is a national characteristic of France; and The last time that the original of Gray's her statistics show that she has a larger Elegy was offered for sale it brought ratio of maniacs than any other continental £131 ; and “Scot's wha hae," by Robert people.

Burns, fetched thirty guineas. But, perBut more on this subject hereafter. haps, the largest sum for a single manu

script, combining historical interest with

the value of a much-prized autograph, was BIBLIOMANIA.

offered in America a few years ago. The E do not wonder at the large sums subject of competition was a paper of eight

expended on the autographs of cel- pages, in the handwriting of George ebrated authors. Any one who has looked Washington, containing his address to the at the first draft of “ Paradise Lost” in people of the United States at the close Trinity College Library, or who has turn- of his second presidentship, in which he ed over the leaves of Luther's “ Isaiah” positively declines a reëlection. We beat Heidelberg, must have found himself lieve that it realized 2300 dollars, and was all but in contact with the great departed. purchased by Mr. Lenox, whose library is There is such a story in every blot; so

remarkable for its treasures illustrative of much of character in every fantasia and American history and its almost unequalflourish of the pen; such meaning in every ed collection of English Bibles. At Mr. word erased or interlined, that such a hol- Dawson Turner's sale, £2000 were paid ograph answers most of the purposes of for four volumes of manuscripts, the real a personal intimacy, and, in the case of attraction being one of the four which dark or disputed passages, it would be the contained letters by Bradford and other best of commentaries.

reformers and martyrs. It was bought Collectors of autographs are

now so by the British Museum. numerous that large prices are paid for However, many of our readers will be the mere signature of such men as Sir more surprised at the prices paid for printThomas More, or Lord Bacon, or Olivered books, especially as most of these books Cromwell; and, were one of the four or have little to recommend them except their five veritable “Will. Shakspeares” in the oldness or their oddity. It sometimes market on one of these dog-days, it is hard happens that a single impression or a very to say where their frenzy would carry the few copies of some costly work are thrown competitors. But manuscripts of intrinsic off on vellum or silk or satin ; and large interest or importance are objects of ra- collections of such useless luxuries have tional ambition; and, as indications of the occasionally been brought together at an value set on the filings and gold-dust of enormous expense.

Some men of wealth history by the present generation, it have taken a fancy for books which have

WE

been privately printed; or which have been thusiastic account of the contest it oc. burned by the hangman ; or which have casioned :in any way brought their authors into

“The rain fell in torrents as we alighted from trouble : and, as in the case of the “Vine the carriage; the room was crowded to excess:

and a sudden darkness which came across gave egar Bible," a typographical error has

rather an additional interest to the scene. Mr. sometimes made the fortune of a book, Evans prefaced the putting up of the article by especially if it is an error which only oc

an appropriate oration, in which he expatiated curred in early impressions and was cor- upon its excessive rarity, and concluded by inrected in later copies of the same edition. forming the company of the excessive regret,

and even 'anguish of heart,' expressed by M. But the two elements which chiefly enhance

Van Praet, that such a treasure was not at that the market price of old books are the in- time to be found in the imperial collection at terest now felt in the history of printing, Paris. Silence followed the address of Mr. and the zeal with which the admirers of

Evans. On his right hand, leaning against the favorite authors collect copies of every and standing at right angles with his lordship;

wall, stood Earl Spencer. A little lower down, known edition.

appeared the Marquis of Blandford. My Lord The first book which Caxton printed Althorp stood a little backward, to the right of with a date was the “ Recuyell of the His- his father, Earl Spencer. Such was the ground toryes of Troye,” 1471 ; and for a copy firing the first shot was due to a gentleman of

taken up by the adverse hosts. The honor of of this work a thousand guineas were paid Shropshire, unused to this species of warfare, and at the famous Roxburghe sale.

who seemed to recoil from the reverberation of But there are certain books deservedly the report himself had made. “One hundred popular, the early and peculiar editions of guineas " he exclaimed. Again a pause ensued;

but anon the biddings rose rapidly to five hunwhich form an interesting collection. In dred guineas. Hitherto, however, it was evithe Town Library of Trieste there are dent that the firing was but masked and desul. seven hundred and seventy-two editions tory. At length all random shots ceased, and of “ Petrarch's Poems," and one hundred

the champions before named stood gallantly up

to each other. “A thousand guineas !' were and twenty-three of the works of Pope bid by Earl Spencer, to which the marquis Pius the Second (Æneas Sylvius Piccolo- added 'ten.' You might have heard a pin drop. mini); and it would need a separate build- All eyes were turned-all breathing well-nigh *ing to hold all the editions of Shakspeare stopped-every sword was put home within its or Bunyan, along with the various litera-pions brandished. “Two thousand pounds are

scabbard, except that which each of these cham. ture which their works have called into offered by the marquis! Then it was that Earl existence. Within the last ten or twelve Spencer, as a prudent general, began to think months a copy of Matthews' Bible, 1537,

of a useless effusion of blood and expenditure

of ammunition, seeing that his adversary was has sold for £150 ; Cranmer's, 1539,

as fresh and resolute as at the onset. for £121 ; Coverdale's, 1535, for £365. quarter of a minute he paused, when my Lord First editions of Shakspeare have repeat- Althorp advanced one step forward, as if to edly sold for sums varying from £160 to supply his father with another spear for the £250.

purpose of renewing the contest. The father

and son for a few seconds converse apart, and In the British Museum is a translation the biddings are resumed. "Two thousand two into Italian verse of the first letter of Co- | hundred and fifty pounds!' said Lord Spencer, lumbus, relating his discovery of the West The spectators are now absolutely electrified. Indies, and of which it is believed that there is an end of the contest. As the hammer

The marquis quietly adds his usual 'ten,' and there is no other copy. It extends to only fell, its echo was heard in the libraries of Rome, four leaves, and was bought for £75 ; of Milan, and St. Mark.”—(Dibdin's "Decamprobably the most costly typographical eron,” vol. iii, p. 61.) fragment in existence. But the glories of It was said that the successful competall similar ities must yield to the famous itor, afterward Duke of Marlborough, was Valdarfer Boccaccio. It was a small fo- prepared to go as far as £5000. lio, in faded yellow morocco, of date 1471, While such rarities are bringing their which had long kept its station in the weight in gold, it is pleasant to know that library of the great book-buying Duke of the most valuable books are also the most Roxburghe, and which was believed to be attainable. The sum expended on a daily the only perfect copy of the famous story- cigar would soon surround the young man teller. At the dispersion of the ducal col- who reads these lines with the best of the lection, it was to be sold on the 17th of British classics ; and the "Book of books" June, 1812 ; and it may amuse our read- may now be obtained for less money than ers to transcribe Dr. Dibdin's most en- a loaf of bread.

For a

MEDICAL SUPERSTITIONS.*

of substances, animal, vegetable, and mineral. But the page of this strange farrago which specially induced me

reverse.

It might perhaps be objected that such a

ers, is that which details the medical uses work, if treated exhaustively, would be of the human skull. It is easy to conceive nothing less than a complete history of the nature of the associations of ideas, and medicine up to Bacon's day. And such

more or less poetical imaginings which objection would not be altogether unrea

generated such superstitions in the minds sonable. But the contribution toward

of men accustomed to seek facts in fancies such a work, which I am about to send you,

as philosophers, rather than fancies in refers to the post-Baconian era ; and is in facts as poets. And in this, as in other teresting, less as a specimen of the work- similar instances, we may safely conclude, ing of the medieval mind, than from the that the simple unsupported superstition date of the volume in which I stumbled

was antecedent to the laborious attempts at on it, - a very curious book in many finding some rationale for it. Of course, respects, of which I will say a few words

the would-be reasoner supposes and repin the first place.

resents the process to have been the Il Medico Poeta (the Physician a Poet)

But the truth is, that such is the title of a folio by Dr. Cammillo essays belong to a time when the nascent Brunori, published at Fabriano in 1726.

ideas of inductive philosophy had obtained The leading object of his work is to prove sufficient strength and currency to conthat there is nothing in the nature of vince students of nature that something things to forbid the banns of marriage be

of the sort was needful, but when they tween poetry and medicine ; that an ex

were not yet strong enough to sweep cellent physician may be an excellent

away the whole baseless fabric. poet, and vice versâ; and the subject

All skulls, Dr. Brunori informs us, are matter they are to deal with the same in

not of equal value. Indeed, those of pereither capacity. And I know no reason

sons who have died a natural death are why it should not be so—there are the good for little or nothing. The reason of examples of Lucretius, Redi, and Fracas- this is, that the disease of which they toro in its favor-except the existence of

died has consumed or dissipated the essenworthy Dr. Brunori's attempt to demon- tial spirit! The skulls of murderers and strate the affirmative of the proposition. bandits are particularly efficacious. And The work consists of a poem in twelve

this is clearly because not only is the cantos, or“Capitoli,” as from the fifteenth

essential spirit of the cranium concentratcentury downward it

an Italian

was

ed therein by the nature of their violent fashion to call them, on the physical poet death, but also the force of it is increased -a sort of medical ars poetica ; and fol- by the long exposure to the atmosphere, lowed by a hundred and seventy-two son occasioned by the heads of such persons nets on all diseases, drugs, parts of the being ordinarily placed on spikes over body, functions of them, and curative the gates of cities ! Such skulls are Each sonnet is printed on one

used in various manners. Preparations page, while that opposite is occupied by a of volatile salt, spirit, gelatine, essence, compendious account in prose of the sub

&c., are made from them, and are very ject in hand. We have a sonnet on the

useful in epilepsy and hemorrhage. The stomach-ache, a sonneton apoplexy, a

notion soldiers have, that drinking out of a sonnet on blisters, and many others on far skull renders them invulnerable in battle, less mentionable subjects. The author's

is a mere superstition; though respectable poetical view of the action of a black

writers do maintain that such a practice dose compares it to that of a tidy and is a proved preventative against scrofula ! active housemaid, who having swept to

These, and many other no less absurdgether all the dirt in the house, throws it ities, may no doubt be met within out of the window.

writers more known to fame than poor Mystic virtues are attributed to a variety Cammillo Brunori. But it is curious to

find science at this point in Italy, at the • A work on this very subject, and under this very title, was published in 1844 by Mr. Petti- time when Mead and Freind were writing grew, in England.

in England, and Boerhaave in Holland.

means.

Tye National Magazine.

storm the Church for funds to save them from wreck. I hesitate not to pronounce this one of the greatest grievances of Methodism. We

need the guiding wisdom of the General ConDECEMBER, 1855.

ference, or at least of our most influential minds,

to extricate us from its perplexities, I was EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE. about to say disgraces. Where, after all our

educational struggles, can we point to a college LETTER TO BISHOP SIMPSON.

occupying financially first-rate rank-shoulder

to shoulder, and eye to eye with Princeton, LITERARY INTERESTS OF METHODISM-NUMBER OF ITS

Union, Yale and Harvard-a rank proportionate COLLEGES AND ACADEMIES-ITS BAD EDUCATIONAL

to our first-rate numerical position among the POLICY-SOPHISMS-Bad ECONOMY-WHAT ARE THE

religious bodies of the land? Some few are out REMEDIES I-TAE GENEBAL CONFERENCE-WILL IT

of serious embarrassments, such as the Indiana ENACT A LAW ON THE SUBJECT?-AN EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION.

Asbury University, and the Ohio Wesleyan Uni

versity. I know of none other that is not still REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,-I propose in one or in a struggle for life, unless it be Dickinson, two letters to review the present literary status whose last agents are, I believe, succeeding of American Methodism, including its educa- well. In the name of our common cause, and tional institutions, the condition and wants of for our common honor, can we not come to our its literature, its publishing agencies, and espe- senses in this respect; can we not sacrifice our cially the advantages which the denomination offers local and petty experiments for the sake of to young men of education.

some grand and substantial educational proSince our last interview, my travels have ex- visions such as shall concentrate our patrontended in almost every direction through the age and the strongest ability of our faculties, Church. They have afforded me a good oppor- and shall commandingly stand out before the tunity of judging of its general condition, and eyes of the whole nation? We could do this of making some inferences respecting its pros- were we disposed—any half-dozen of the older pects. One thing has interested me greatly in conferences could do it and do it easier, I these travels through the denomination—its zeal soberly believe, than they can raise the comfor education. The northern Church alone has paratively smaller endowments of their present now ten colleges. The oldest of these institu- smaller institutions. tions is at Middletown, Connecticut, and it has The “Great North-West" is attempting such not yet seen a quarter of a century. We have An experiment in the neighborhood of Chicago. no less than fifty-seven high academies, or It has had the good sense not to begin till it boarding-schools, the oldest of which is at Wil- should rear a financial defense about it which brahan, Mass., and it has seen but little more shall be invincible to the usual embarrassments than a quarter of a century. Twenty of these that have so much mortified the Church, and seminaries have, at the present writing, five crippled its educational projects in other places. thousand students—an average of two hundred It is, I think, the only instance in which we and fifty each. Individual academies have more have so begun. Already its resources amount, I than five hundred students. New ones are pro- am informed, to three hundred thousand dollars, jected, in various parts of the country, contin- and agents are abroad for a hundred and fifty ually, and at least three new collegiate institu- or two hundred thousand more, though the first tions are now contemplated-one near Chicago, stone of its foundation is not yet laid. I know on a large scale; another under the auspices not that it will ultimately succeed, for, judging of the Church within the Missouri and St. Louis from the past, nothing of the kind is yet certain Conferences, to be " a first-class college;" and among us; but it is the most satisfactory colanother at Troy, which proposes also an endow- | legiate programme yet presented to the Church. ment much above our usual financial standard The Biblical School, in connection with it, has for such institutions.

a single pledge, as I lately stated, of one hunI hardly err in pronouncing the eagerness of dred thousand dollars, besides the above. This the Church in this respect a denominational is the right way to attempt such enterprises among us. mania- most fortunate one, doubtless, in It is the only way in which they should ever many respects, but not without its blunders- again be undertaken in our Church. We could its waste of property, local interferences, and not do so formerly; we should in no instance reacting failures. Academies, female colleges, do otherwise non--for we have institutions and ordinary colleges, and universities are attempt- need be in no haste, and we have resources to ed almost everywhere ; conferences under old do what we please, wherever new ones may pledges for the support of given institutions, really be needed. I wish I could proclaim this wheel about in favor of new ones; complica- sentiment through the whole Church. I would tions, and embarrassments, and failures ensue; say to every man having means, and who is and I fear that a “want of confidence"-a loyal to our common cause, Help no new experipainful sense of the incompetence of the ment, give not a cent except where you have Church, in its present condition, to sustain sub- a clear guarantee of financial success before the stantial literary institutions—is becoming wide- first spade touches the soil. Where the Church spread among that class of our people upon is already committed, help her, "might and which we must mostly depend for funds. The main," out of difficulties and discredit; but for result is, that most of our collegiate, and a large the sake of every consideration of usefulness proportion of our academic institutions, are and honor, let us cease this trifling with great' hardly ever out of embarrassment. Agents must interests, and combine our energies for some ever and anon drive over the conferences, and I thing worthy of our denominational standing.

Let it be understood that any collegiate have objected to it, and have contended that scheme, hereafter to be attempted among us, even feeble institutions, more generally diswill be practicable in proportion as it is grand in tributed, would be more useful. I confess that its dimensions. The time has come in which & my small amount of common-sense has not commanding collegiate institution is a felt want been sufficient to comprehend their logic. of the Church ;-it is felt to be a practical Do they argue that the nearness of a college solecism, a denominational reproach, that we to a given neighborhood will promote its numhave none-that the largest Christian body of ber of students by locally accommodating them? the country should lag in the rear of almost The reply is, that this matter of local accessiall other cardinal sects in the great interest of | bility is rendered a cipher, now-a-days, by the collegiate education—and men who now give new and cheap public conveyances.

What was little, and give it reluctantly, would enter with more than a week's voyage from Baltimore to enthusiasm into a project of the kind, which old Yale, is now scarcely a day's journey. should bear any proportion to our denomina- Is it argued that by many institutions we tional importance and responsibility. We have secure more local interest, and, therefore, more now (not including those which are not "en- support for them? I would ask, in reply, dowed ") eight colleges starving (most of them) whether a large number of languishing and in various parts of the country on an average failing colleges, for which the Church is continproperty of about eighty-two thousand dollars, ually chagrined, can possibly inspire the conincluding their college premises. What a shabby fidence and zeal of the people for such interests ? pretense is this for American Methodism! Is whether a really powerful institution, like Harthere a generous man among us who would not vard, Yale, or Princeton, does not give a mighthelp liberally to redeem us from the reproach ? | ier sway to the cause of education, in a Church

I know the sentiments of our leading men on or nation, than half-a-score of collegiate fledgthis subject, and I know this opinion to be lings whose chief appeal to the public is the correct. There is a general disgust, a denomi- squeaking voice of starvation incessantly callnational chagrin at our past failures; there ing for help? is an impatient desire among our intelligent Is it argued that smaller assemblies of young wealthy brethren to see a commanding univer- men are safer, morally, than large ones; and sity rise somewhere in these United States in that, therefore, what may be lost financially is honor of Methodism. I repeat it; you can com- gained morally? I answer, That facts prove mand more money, and command it with ten- there is no truth in the assertion except where fold more ease, for a great design of the kind, your small number is too small for any college. than for a small and hobbling one. We have Twelve or fifteen youth, together, have moral blundered with the Wesleyan University just advantages doubtless over a larger number ; but here in our late and almost desperate attempt when once you get above that figure—when to endow it. Instead of fifty thousand dollars you reach fifty or a hundred, you might as well in Boston, and fifty thousand in New-York, have five hundred. enough to keep the college about in its old Is it argued that in small institutions more stalus, or slightly advance it, we should have thorough study is practicable? I reply that proposed a sum which with its present endow- facts are here again opposed to the assumption. ments would place it on a platform square with Large institutions can command superior men those of Yale and Harvard. The design of for their faculties, can provide superior appatransforming it into a first-class university, of ratus and libraries, and by the larger and more putting it at once and forever above those har- commanding field of competition, excite more assing contingencies which have beset this and the ambition of students. Individual exceptions all our learned institutions, would have enlisted, can, of course, be quoted by almost any man; in good financial times, the enthusiasm of our but the general fact is unquestionable. people, and brought in five hundred dollars And now set off against all this flimsy reasonwhere we could otherwise get one hundred. ing for scattered, consumptive colleges, the ques

These views will be charged with extrava- tion of economy, and how apparent becomes their gance; but they are just to human nature, and folly? You have ten colleges (omitting from the to the conditions of the Church. They are ex- list such as are not fully under way) starving travagant in the sense that all energetic and (most of them) in various parts of the country. successful movements are to the paltry calcu- Suppose they were reduced to four-one in the lations of croakers. There is not only * Young East, one in the Middle States, and two in the Americanism in them, but genuine "old West—would they not be more effective, while Methodism also. There is not an essential at the same time the endowment of each would attribute of practical Methodism that would be doubled, and two-thirds, or one-half their not have been, a priori, impracticable to the present faculties could do the work now done cautious wisdom of some men. Try this exper- | by all ? You would increase by more than oneiment in suitable financial times, and see if half their endowments; reduce, by nearly oneit does not succeed better than the schemes of half, their faculties; and add, certainly, more men who are always disposed to let their“mod- than one-half to their moral importance in the eration be known among all men," and who community. To make these consumptive colcontrive sufficiently well to make it altoaye leges breathe with any ease whatever—to secure known by their never-ending and never-suc- them even an bumble mediocrity, they must have ceeding experiments.

at least $200,000 each, and correspondently inBut would this policy be the best? Some creased faculties. This will give them an

aggregate of $2,000,000. Now suppose this * This fact I learn from a paragraph recently cur

aggregate were given to four institutions, as rent in our Church papers,

above; they could each have $500,000—a mu

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