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are more numerous, and more bulky, than could be expected by those who reflect how seldom thofe excel in either, whom their education has qualified to compose books.
The admirer of Greek and Roman literature will meet, in this collection, with editions little known to the most inquisitive criticks, and which have escaped the observation of thofe whose great employment has been the collation of copies; nor will he find only the most ancient editions of Fauftus, Jenson, Spira, Sweynheim, and Pannartz, but the most accurate likewise and beautiful of Colinæus, the Junte, Plantin, Aldus, the Stepbens, and Elzevir, with the commentaries and oblervations of the most learned editors.
Nor are they accompanied only with the illustrations of those who have confined their attempts to particular writers, but of thofe likewise who have Created on any part of the Greek or Roman antiquities, their laws, their customs, their dress, their buildings, their wars, their revenues, or the rites and ceremonies of their worship, and those that have endeavoured to explain any of their authors from their statues or their coins.
Next to the ancients, those writers deserve to be mentioned, who, at the restoration of literature, imitated their language and their style with so great success, or who laboured with so much industry to make them understood: fuch were Pbilelpbus and Politian, Scaliger and Buchanan, and the poets of the age of Leo the Tenth; these are likewise to be found in this library, together with the Delicie, or collections of all nations.
Painting is so nearly allied to poetry, that it can not be wondered that those who have so I.uch esteemed the one, have paid an equal regard to e other; and therefore it may be easily imagined, ta the collection of prints is numerous in an unconincs degree; but surely, the expectation of every m: will be exceeded, when he is informed that the are more than forty thousand engraven from Rud: Titian, Guido, the Carraches, and a thousand others by Nauteuil, Hillar, Collet, Edelinck, and Dorizm, and other engravers of equal reputation.
There is also a great collection of original draw. ings, of which three seem to deserve a particular mention; the first exhibits a representation of the inside of St. Peter's church at Rome; the second, of that of St. Yohn Lateran; and the third, of the high altar of St. Ignatius; all painted with the urret accuracy, in their proper colours.
As the value of this great collection may be conceived from this account, however imperfect, as the variety of subjects must engage the curiosity of men of different studies, inclinations, and employments, it may be thought of very little use to mention any Nighter advantages, or to dwell on the decorations and embellishments which the generosity of the proprietors has bestowed upon it; yet, since the compiler of the Thuanian catalogue thought not even that species of elegance below his observation, it may not be improper to observe, that the Isritun library, perhaps, excels all others, not more in the number and excellence, than in the fulendor of its volumes.
We may now surely be allowed to hope, that our catalogue will not be thought unworthy of the publick curiosity; that it will be purchased as a record of this great collection, and preierved as one of the memorials of learning.
The patrons of literature will forgive the purchaser of this library, if he prefumes to assert some claim to their protection and encouragement, as he may have been instrumental in continuing to this nation the advantage of it. The sale of Voffius's collection into a foreign country, is, to this day, regretted by men of letters; and if this effort for the prevention of another loss of the same kind should be disadvantageous to him, no man will hereafter willingly risque his fortune in the cause of learning.
THOUGH the scheme of the following mir
1 cellany is so obvious, that the title alone is fufficient to explain it; and though several colo lections have been formerly attempted upon plans, as to the method, very little, but, as to the capa. city and execution, very different from ours; we, being pofTeffed of the greatest variety for such a work, hope for a more general reception than thoie confined schemes had the fortune to meet with; and, therefore, think it not wholly unnecellary to explain our intentions, to display the treasure of materials out of which this miscellany is to be compiled, and to exhibit a general idea of the picces which we intend to insert in it.
There is, perhaps, no nation in which it is to neceffary, as in our owo, to assemble, from time
to cime, the small tracts and fugitive pieces, which are occasionally published: for, besides the general subjects of enquiry, which are cultivated by us, in common with every other learned nation, our conftitution in church and state naturally gives birth to a multitude of performances, which would either not have been written, or could not have been made publick in any other place.
The form of our government, which gives every man, that has leisure, or curiosity, or vanity, the right of enquiring into the propriety of publick measures, and, by consequence, obligos those who are intrusted with the administration of national affairs, to give an account of their conduct to almost every man who demands it, may be reasona
gined to have occasioned innumerable pamphlets, which would never have appeared under arbitrary governments, where every man lulls him. self in indolence under calamities, of which he cannot promote the redress, or thinks it prudent to conceal the uneasiness, of which he cannot complain without danger.
The multiplicity of religious feets tolerated among us, of which every one has found opponents and vindicators, is another source of unexhaustible publication, almost peculiar to ourselves; for con-, troversies cannot be long continued, nor frequently revived, where an inquisitor has a right to shut up the disputants in dungeons; or where silence can be imposed on either party, by the refusal of a licence.
Not that it should be inferred from hence, that political or religious controversies are the only pro