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[83] library in the common and practical sense of the word, it is hardly to be spoken of at all; and of the twelve or fourteen persons who were using it this morning, not one was occupied with anything but a manuscript. Its size is quite uncertain. From Mezzofanti, from Nibby, from Mai, and two or three other persons, who are, or have been employed as librarians, I have received entirely different accounts, making the manuscripts range from twenty-five thousand to thirty-five thousand, and the printed books from seventy thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand. Indeed, it is difficult to tell, for all its treasures are shut up in low cases, which are kept locked, and give you no means of estimating their contents, but to unlock them all and count them. We were shown at first through all the halls, and the cases that contain curious works in ivory, ebony, amber, and so on, were opened to us. It was not much, almost nothing, compared with the magnificent collection at Dresden, or even the moderate one at Vienna.

Then we saw the manuscripts, which are, of course, precious indeed, since the library is the oldest in Europe, and their collection began as early as 465, and was put into the shape most desirable by Nicholas V. and Leo X., as well as greatly enriched by the last: the Virgil of the fourth or fifth century, with its rude but curious miniatures; the Terence, less old, probably, but very remarkable; the autograph manuscripts of Petrarca and Tasso; the beautiful manuscript of Dante, copied by Boccaccio, and sent as a present to Petrarca; the manuscript of Dante, which claims to have belonged to his son, and the exquisite one which is ornamented with miniatures; the copy of the work of Henry VIII. against Luther, which was given to Leo X. by the King, and brought to the crown of England the title of Defensor Fidei; and two or three autograph letters of Henry VIII. to Anne Boleyn, one of which, at least, was written in French. I saw also two other copies of Henry Eighth's work, signed—as I believe all were—with his own hand; and, from what I read in them, they were bitter enough against Luther. The copy sent to the Pope had on the bottom of the last page this distich—if distich it can be called—autograph:—

Angloru Rex Henricus, Leo decimo, mittit
Hoc opus et fidei teste et amicitie.
Truly royal Latin and royal spelling, worse than Bonaparte's.

Among the incunabula I saw, as it were, everything; parchment copies without end, the princeps editions of Homer, Virgil, Horace, —in short, anything I asked for, except that the poor little subrian


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