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ther valuable for the pomp and beauty of the inpreffion, or for the notes with which the text is accompanied, or for any controverfy or perfecution that it produced, or for the peculiarity of any fingle paffage. With the fame care have the various editions of the book of common-prayer been feleed, from which all the alterations which have been maje in it may be easily remarked.

Amongst a great number of Roman minais ard breviaries, remarkable for the beauty of their cus and illuminations, will be found the Moran miffal and breviary, that raifed fuch commotions in the kingdom of Spain.

The controverfial treatifes written in England, about the time of the Reformation, have been d:ligently collected, with a multitude of remarkable tracts, fingle fermons, and finall treatifes; which, however worthy to be preferved, are, perhaps, to be found in no other place.

The regard which was always paid, by the co!lectors of this library, to that remarkable period of time, in which the art of printing was invented, determined them to accumulate the ancient impreffions of the fathers of the church; to which the later additions are added, left antiquity fhould have feemed more worthy of efteem than accuracy.

- Hiftory has been confidered with the regard due to that ftudy by which the manners are moit eafily formed, and from which the most ethicacious inftruction is received; nor will the most extenfive curiofity fail of gratification in this library; from which no writers have been excluded, that relate either to the religious or civil affairs of any nation.

Not

Not only thofe authors of ecclefiaftical history have been procured, that treat of the ftate of religion in general, or deliver accounts of fects or nations, but thofe likewife who have confined themfelves to particular orders of men in every church; who have related the original, and the rules of every fociety, or recounted the lives of its founder and its members; thofe who have deduced in every country the fucceffion of bifhops, and thofe who have employed their abilities in celebrating the piety of particular faints, or martyrs, or monks, or

nuns.

The civil history of all nations has been amaffed together; nor is it eafy to determine which has been thought most worthy of curiofity.

Of France, not only the general hiftories and ancient chronicles, the accounts of celebrated reigns, and narratives of remarkable events, but even the memorials of fingle families, the lives of private men, the antiquities of particular cities, churches, and monafteries, the topography of provinces, and the accounts of laws, customs, and prescriptions, are here to be found.

The several states of Italy have, in this treafury, their particular hiftorians, whofe accounts are, perhaps, generally more exact, by being less extenfive; and more interesting, by being more particular.

Nor has less regard been paid to the different nations of the Germanic empire, of which neither the Bohemians, nor Hungarians, nor Auftrians, nor Bavarians, have been neglected; nor have their antiquities, however generally disregarded, been lefs ftudiously searched, than their present state.

The northern nations have fupplied this collection, not only with hiftory, but poetry, wil Gothic antiquities, and Runic infcriptions; which at leaft have this claim to veneration, above the remains of the Roman magnificence, that they are the works of thofe heroes by whom the Roman empire was deftroyed; and which may plead, at least in this nation, that they ought not to be neglected by thofe that owe to the men whofe memories they preferve, their conftitution, their properties, and the.r liberties.

The curiofity of these collectors extend equally to all parts of the world; nor did they forget to add to the northern the fouthern writers, or to adora their collection with chronicles of Spain, and the conqueft of Mexico.

Even of thofe nations with which we have lefs intercourse, whofe cuftoms are lefs accurately known, and whofe history is lefs diftinctly recounted, there are in this library repofited fuch accounts as the Europeans have been hitherto able to obtain; nor are the Mogul, the Tartar, the Turk, and the Saracen, without their historians.

That perfons fo inquifitive with regard to the tranfactions of other nations, fhould enquire yet more ardently after the hiftory of their own, may be naturally expected; and, indeed, this part of the library is no common inftance of diligence and accuracy. Here are to be found, with the ancient chronicles, and larger hiftories of Britain, the narratives of fingle reigns, and the accounts of remarkable revolutions, the topographical histories of counties, the pedigrees of families, the antiquities of

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of churches and cities, the proceedings of parlia ments, the records of monafteries, and the lives of particular men, whether eminent in the church or the state, or remarkable in private life; whether exemplary for their virtues, or deteftable for their crimes; whether perfecuted for religion, or executed for rebellion.

That memorable period of the English hiftory, which begins with the reign of king Charles the First, and ends with the Reftoration, will almost furnish a library alone, fuch is the number of voJumes, pamphlets, and papers, which were publifhed by either party; and fuch is the care with which they have been preferved.

Nor is history without the neceffary preparatives and attendants, geography and chronology: of geography, the beft writers and delineators have been procured, and pomp and accuracy have both been regarded the student of chronology may here find likewife thofe authors who fearched the records of time, and fixed the periods of hiftory.

With the hiftorians and geographers may be ranked the writers of voyages and travels, which may be read here in the Latin, English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Spanish languages.

The laws of different countries, as they are in themselves equally worthy of curiofity with their history, have, in this collection, been justly regarded; and the rules by which the various communities of the world are governed, may be here examined and compared. Here are the ancient editions of the papal decretals, and the com

mentators

mentators on the civil law, the edicts of Spain, and

the statutes of Venice.

But with particular induftry have the various writers on the laws of our own country been collected, from the most ancient to the present time, from the bodies of the ftatutes to the minutest treatife; not only the reports, precedents, and readings of our own courts, but even the laws of our WetIndian colonies, will be exhibited in our catalogue.

But neither hiftory nor law have been fo far able to engross this library, as to exclude phyfic, philofophy, or criticifin. Those have been thought, with justice, worthy of a place, who have examined the different fpecies of animals, delineated their forms, or described their properties and instincts; or who have penetrated the bowels of the earth, treated on its different ftrata, and analysed its metals; or who have amused themfelves with less laborious fpeculations, and planted trees, or cultivated flowers.

Thofe that have exalted their thoughts above the minuter parts of the creation, who have obferved the motions of the heavenly bodies, and attempted fyftems of the universe, have not been denied the honour which they deferved by so great an attempt, whatever has been their fuccefs. Nor have thofe mathematicians been rejected, who have applied their science to the common purposes of life; or those that have deviated into the kindred arts, of tactics, architecture, and fortification.

Even arts of far lefs importance have found their authors, nor have these authors been defpifed by the boundless curiofity of the proprietors of the Harleiaa library. The writers on horfemanship and fencing

are

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