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BOOK.

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(Ezek. ii. 9, 10). The term has a similar meaning in English law phraseology. In the Court of Exchequer, a roll was anciently denominated a book, and so continues in some instances till this day. An oath as old as the time of Edward I. runs in this form: And you shall deliver into the Exchequer a book fairly written," etc., but the B. delivered into the court in fulfilment of this oath has always been a roll of parchment.'--Godson and Burke On the Law of Putents and Copyrights (Lond. 1851, p. 323).

The word book is from the Angl.-Sax. boc, and, with some modifications of spelling, is common to all the Teutonic and Scandinavian languages (Ger. buch; Dutch, boek). It is believed to be derived from the same root as deech (Angl.-Sax. boc; Ger. buche; Icel. beyke; Dutch, beuke), the earliest writing among those nations having been executed on the inner bark of the beech-tree, or perhaps carved on beech boards. The Greek word for a book, biblos, or, more commonly, biblion, is derived from the Egyptian appellation for the plant papyrus (q.v.). The Latin word liber, a book, is derived from the name of the cellular tissue of the papyrus, instead of the plant itself. By the Greeks, a collection of books was called bibliotheca, and by the Romans, libraria; hence the French term bibliothèque, and the English word library; hence, also, the librarii, or book-writers, and bibliopola, booksellers, of

the Romans. Properly prepared in long strips, the papyrus was wound round small cylinders, or rollers, which in Latin were styled volumina; hence the English word volume. As the papyrus has also given the term paper to the moderns, it has had an impor. tant part in the naming of what concerns books. Beside papyrus, however, the ancients used parchment and other materials for the fabrication of their books; and when, on the capture of Egypt by the Arabs in the 7th c., the papyrus plant could no longer be procured, parchment was the material generally employed.

Book Scroll.

By the Romans after the Augustan age, the art of fabricating books reached a degree of proficiency, with the advancement in literature. The papyrus was carefully prepared; one side was reserved for the writing, and the other was colored with saffron or cedar oil. The writing was effected by a pen made of a reed (calamus), of which the best kinds were supposed to be found in Egypt. The ink (atramentum) was very durable. In several rolls found at Herculaneum, the Roman ink, after being interred many centuries, is still in good preservation. When a Roman author wished to give his book to the world, a copy was put into the hands of transcribers (librarii), by whom a certain number of copies were produced. From these transcribers, who were equivalent to our modern printers, the copies passed to a class of artists (librarioli), who ornamented

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them with fanciful titles, margins, and terminations. The rolls where finished for use by the bibliopegi, or bookbinders; and last of all, they were offered for sale by the bibliopola, or booksellers. A copy of one of the esteemed productions of a Roman author-as, for example, a copy of Virgil or Horace-was an elegantly done-up roll, about thirteen inches in depth, wound round a cylinder, the two ends of which were decorated with ivory or metal knobs. Outside, it bore various decorations along with the title, and for safety was put in a neat case of parchment or wood, which also bore sundry ornamental devices, including perhaps a portrait of the author. A bookseller's shop in ancient Rome would probably show a collection of scrolls, less or more ornamented, not unlike in appearance to modern small maps mounted on rollers; and in this form books would be handed about and read. Prized for their rarity and costliness, these scroll-books were kept with great care in cases, or round-shaped boxes with lids, made of cedar; the odor of that wood being a preservative against moths and other destructive insects. Romans with a literary taste carried one of these boxes of scrolls with them as a

portable library. A public library comprised a large variety of these boxes, and must have had the appearance of a collection of round canisters. Yet the Romans did not invariably make their books in rolls; in some instances, they used leaves of lead, which had been beaten thin with a hammer, and also leaves of wood covered with wax; these loosely connected at the back with rings, may be viewed as the rude original of the modern book. At Herculaneum, books of this kind, called tablets, have been discovered in perfect preservation.

In producing books during the middle ages, the plan of rolls was disused, and that of leaves sewed together and inclosed in boards came generally into use. The material employed was still parchment, prepared from the skins of goats, sheep, deer, and other animals; for though the art of making paper was known in the 9th c., this new material came slowly into use. The fabricators of the books were for the most part different orders of monks, particularly the Benedictines (q.v.), a learned and industrious body of men, whose peaceful establishments were long the great centres whence literature was dispersed in ages of intellectual darkness and social disorder. At the head of the book-manufacturing department in the monastery was the armarian, who, beside taking charge of the library, gave out books to be copied, along with the pens, ink, and parchment required by the transcribers. Some of the monks were allowed to transcribe in the solitude of their cells, but the business of transcription was conducted chiefly in an apartment called the scriptorium, provided with ranges of desks and forms. There, the scribes or copyists, who were under strict regulations as to keeping silence, carried on their tedious but useful labors. The writing was effected in distinctly formed letters in an old character; regularity in the lines and pages being secured

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by previous ruling. There was an injunction that no one should on any account alter a single letter or word, without the sanction of the superior. With all the care that was bestowed, however, errors crept in, and were repeated from copy to copy, some of which mistakes have sorely puzzled the scholarly inquirers of later times. There was a division of labor in the monasteries. To some of the monks was assigned the duty of throwing in embellishments. With leaf-gold and brilliant water-colors, they adorned the devotional works, lives of saints, and copies of the Scriptures with pictorial illustrations and fancifully illuminated letters at the beginning of chapters. By another class of these monkish artists, the books were bound in styles suitable to the quality of the works. In many instances, the binding was superb. The boards of wood, covered with leather or velvet, were decorated with precious stones and devices in metal; and in front, the volume was held together with clasps of gold or silver-gilt. Skelton, the poetlaureate, in his Garland of Laurel, written about 1510, rapturously alludes to the splendid bindings of those old times:

With that of the boke losende were the claspis:
The margent was illumynid all with golden railles
And byse, enpicturid with gressoppes and waspis,
With butterfly is and fresshe pecoke taylis,
Enflorid with flowris and slymy snaylis;

Envivid [enuiuid] picturis well towchid and quikly;

It would haue made a man hole that had be right sekely,
To beholde how it was garnisshyd and bounde,

Encouerde ouer with golde of tissew fyne;

The claspis and bullyons were worth a thousande pounde;
With balassis* and charbuncles the borders did shyne;
With aurum musicum+ euery other lyne

Was wrytin: .

We

'A book, usually known by the name of Textus Sanctus Cuthberti, preserved in the Cottonian Library, is a fine specimen of Saxon caligraphy and decoration of the 7th c. It was written by Eadfrid, Bishop of Durham; and Ethelwold, his successor, executed the illuminations, the capitals, and other illustrations, with infinite labor and elegance. Bilfrid, a monk of Durham, covered the book, and adorned it with gold and silver plates set with precious stones. find also that Dageus, a monk in Ireland in the early part of the 6th c., was a skilful caligraphist, and manufactured and ornamented binding in gold, silver, and precious stones.'-Hannett's Inquiry into the Books of the Ancients (Lond. 1843). Books of a common quality were plainly bound in parchment, and instead of clasps, they were tied in front with thongs. In order to enable monasteries to sustain the expense incurred by their book-fabricating establishments, they were occasionally endowed with lands by pious laymen, the bequests being expressly for the

* Balassis-rubies.

↑ Aurum musicum-mosaic gold.

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making and mending of books.' Among the works pro duced were copies of the Scriptures, in whole or in part, breviaries, or books of prayers used in the church-services missals, psalters, books in philosophy, and copies of the Greek and Latin classics and fathers; also legends of the saints. Books of history, poetry, romance, etc., were less commonly transcribed; though, from the extent of some of the medieval libraries, it is evident that these and various other subjects were not neglected. Indeed, but for the monks we should have possessed scarcely any chronicles of the middle ages; nor are we less indebted to them for the preservation of those classics now habitually used in our colleges and academies.

The method of dispersing the books was not less remarkable than that of their transcription. Some of the books were sold at exorbitant prices; some were executed to the order of kings, nobles, and church dignitaries; some were exchanged; and some found their way into the hands of the stationarii, or dealers in books, in the principal cities. It was customary to lend books for transcription, under an agreement to receive an additional copy on their return. In all cases of lending books, penalties were stipulated to be paid in the event of their not being restored. Latterly, there sprang up a practice among the stationarii of Paris, and some other cities, of lending out books, at certain rates, on the principle of a circulating library (q. v.), by which means the poorer class of students and others were accommodated. In these later times, also, approaching the period when printing superseded transcription, the process of copying books began to be undertaken by lay scribes for a livelihood, of which there were examples in London. To the monks, however, and also to some orders of nuns, belongs the unspeakable merit of having not only supplied the religious orders with the books which were in daily use, but those which replenished the libraries of the learned and wealthy, until their ingenious craft was supplanted by that of the printer and bookseller. In the higher-class monasteries, there were libraries of from 500 to 1.000 volumes; but many of the poorer conventual establishments could boast of no more than from 20 to 30 books. In the list of effects which belonged to a monastery in Scotland-St. Serf, on an island in Loch Leven-there appear only 16 books; and yet, in this poorly provided insular establishment, the prior, Andrew Wintoun (1420), completed his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, a work in verse, not less valuable as a picture of ancient manners, than as a specimen of the attainments of the old monkish writers. But there are said to have been instances of a greater scarcity of books than in St. Serf's. Often, only two or three breviaries and missals, a psalter, and a copy of the Gospels, were all the books owned by a religious house. The possession of an entire copy of the Scriptures (the Latin version of St. Jerome) gave immense importance to a monastery or church. Nor was this surprising, when the enormous labor of transcribing a Bible, letter by letter, is

Vol. 4.

PLATE 12.

Book
Bookbinding

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Book.-Imprint of Gaspard Philippe, Paris (1500-10)

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