His eagerness to possess all the instruments for the work in which he was engaged naturally grew with rapid strides, and although the love for collecting never became simply a bibliomaniac's passion, but was always ruled by the literary element from which it sprang, yet it was a fervent enthusiasm, and the accessions to his Spanish library between 1846 and 1852 were greater than in any other years. He says to Perthes, Besser, and Mauke,1 February 24, 1846, when sending them a catalogue marked for purchases: ‘I am willing to pay high prices for them,—not des prix fous, as the French say,—but I am willing to pay high prices decidedly, rather than lose them;’ and to Mr. O. Rich, in June of the same year: ‘I wish to give you carte blanche, and feel sure that with my letter of January 27, and this list of my books, you cannot mistake my wants; which, you know, have always been confined to Spanish belles-lettres, and whatever is necessary to understand the history of Spanish elegant literature. From time to time I pray you to send Mr. Gayangos a note of your purchases, as he has a similar carte blanche from me, and I will desire him to do the same with you.’
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