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quantity of unpublished matter, of various sorts, which they gave to the world in the year 1717, in five folio volumes, under the title of "Thesaurus Novus Anecdotorum ;" and it is the work which (having explained myself in No. II.) I have since frequently quoted, under the brief reference "Mart.' In the same year that this large work was brought out, Martene published an account of these six journeys, in one volume, quarto, entitled, " Voyage Litteraire de deux Religieux Benedictins de la Congregation de Saint Maur;" and it is to this which I now refer.*
Having published these collections of his journeys, there was nothing, Dom Martene tells us, which he less expected than to set out again on his travels: yet so it was. A new edition of the ancient historians of France was projected; and our two travellers were requested to go and look for materials, to render it as full and correct as possible. They accordingly set out on the 30th of May, 1718, from the neighbourhood of Paris; passed through Soissons, Rheims, Amiens, Brussels, Liege, Aix-la-Chapelle, Dusseldorf, and penetrated as far into Germany as Paderborn-returned by Cologne, Treves, Luxembourgand got back in January 1719. By that time, the scheme of publishing the early historians had been abandoned; but the travellers had accumulated a great quantity of curious matter. Their former labours, and the published fruits of them, had brought them invitations to ransack Germany and Spain; and though they could not accept them, yet literary contributions poured in from those quarters: much, also, that Mabillon had previously collected, but not published, was thrown into the common stock; and when the work came forth in 1724, the editors felt justified in calling the nine folio volumes, "Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum historicorum, dogmaticorum, moralium, amplissima collectio." It is the work which I have quoted by the reference " D. & M.," but at present, our business is with the single quarto volume in which Martene gave an account of this journey. He published it under the same title as the former; but, for the sake of distinction, I shall refer to it as his second literary tour. +
From these sources, it would be easy to shew that there are—or, at least, that there were, a little more than a hundred years ago, which is quite sufficient for the purposes of our inquiry-a good many ancient manuscripts in existence; but for that fact there are better proofs; and it is not my present object to prove it. I quote these literary tourists, not to shew that manuscripts are numerous, but as incidentally furnishing illustrations of the reasons why they are so few, and why we may reasonably wonder that they are not fewer still. It is grievous, for instance, to read such notices as those which both Mabillon and Martene have given of the state of things at Clugni. They found the old catalogue (Mabillon says four, Martene five or six, hundred years old,) written on boards three feet and a half long, and a foot and a half wide, and covered with parchment-grandes tablettes,
qu'on ferme comme un livre-but of the books which it contained, (ex copiosissimo illo numero,) they could find scarcely one hundred. "On dit," says Martene, that the Huguenots carried them to Geneva; but be this as it may, they were gone somehow.* Such was the case, also, at Nonantula, where, of all its former riches, (ex multis quos celeberrima olim illa Abbatia habebat veteres codices,) Mabillon found but two manuscripts. + At Rebais, Martene says, "Il y avoit sans doute autrefois beaucoup de manuscrits dans l'abbaye, mais après des révolutions si étranges, à peine y en reste-t-il quelques-uns;" + and, at the Abbey of Beaupré, "Il y avoit autrefois beaucoup de manuscrits; mais nous n'y en vîmes que deux ou trois."§
But the fact that the manuscripts were gone in places which had possessed considerable collections, will be sufficiently proved incidentally; and my wish is rather, by a brief and superficial enumeration of them, to call up to the reader's mind those causes which may account for it.
I. I hardly know how to arrange these causes; but, as it is of little consequence, I will first advert to one of the most powerful, but one which, through the distinguishing mercy of God, can hardly be appreciated among us. No man has known anything like war in our country; and even in modern Europe generally, the mode of warfare, the circumstances of places taken by siege or by storm, as to their liability to be burned or utterly destroyed, and the fact that most books are now produced by hundreds or thousands at a time, make so great a difference, that we can scarcely institute a comparison. When, however, the word war is mentioned, it will readily occur to the reader, that among the desolations of fire and sword, manuscripts did not escape destruction; but I wish to raise a more particular idea of the dangers to which they were exposed, and the destruction which they actually suffered from certain wars during and since the period with which we are engaged.
Think, in the first place, of the ravages of the Danes and Normans in the ninth century; accounts of their cruel desolations meet us at every turn in monastic history. It may easily be conceived, that at all times,—at least, all early times,-monasteries and churches were likely to form a nucleus, both from their being the places most likely to contain spoil, and from their being (next to those which were regularly fortified) the places of greatest strength. Hence they became peculiarly obnoxious to destruction, and particularly to destruction by fire. As to the desolation of monasteries by these barbarians, however, the shortest way to give some idea of them would be to copy the article "Nortmanni," in the third volume of Mabillon's Annals, in which he gives a list of the monasteries of his own order which were pillaged or destroyed. Even that, however, would be too long to insert here; but it begins, "Nortmanni, monasteria ab eis incensa, eversa, direpta, 11; Amausense, 258; Arulense, 69; Arvernense, 5; Illidii, 405; Autissiodorense Sancti Germani, 242; Bardeniense, 126,'
• It. Burg. 22; I. Voy. Lit. 227.
+ It. Ital. 202. I. Voy. Lit. P. ii., 73. § Ib. 166.
&c.; and so he goes on through the alphabet, naming between seventy and eighty Benedictine monasteries. It is impossible to doubt, and, indeed, in some cases it may be proved, that there was a great loss of books. When, for instance, the Abbey of Peterborough, in Lincolnshire, was burned by the Danes in the year 870, there was a large collection of books destroyed-sanctorum librorum ingens bibliotheca.* The language of Ingulph may provoke a smile; and I assure the reader that I do not want to make mountains of mole-hills, or to catch at a word in any writer of the dark ages. But I cannot consent to sneer away the statement to nothing; and the rather because though it may not be easy to say what the abbot's idea of an "ingens bibliotheca" was, yet, as will presently appear, he uses no such expression in speaking of the library of seven hundred volumes which was burned in his own time-that is, in A.D. 1091.
Again, "when the black swarm of Hungarians first hung over Europe, about nine hundred years after the Christian æra, they were mistaken by fear and superstition for the Gog and Magog of the scriptures, the signs and forerunners of the end of the world.+" There
Ing. ap. Gale. V. Scr. p. 23.
As it is a principal part of my design to draw attention to the misrepresentations of popular writers, I cannot help offering a remark or two on the note which Gibbon adds to this passage (Dec. and Fall, vol. v. p. 548):-" A bishop of Wurtzburg submitted this opinion to a reverend abbot; but he more gravely decided, that Gog and Magog were the spiritual persecutors of the church; since Gog signifies the roof, the pride of the Heresiarchs, and Magog what comes from the roof, the propagation of their sects. Yet these men once commanded the respect of mankind. Fleury, Hist. Eccles., tom. xi. p. 594, &c." I do not know why Gibbon says Wurtzburg, when Fleury, and D'Achery, the only authority to whom Fleury refers, say Verdun; nor do I know how he learned that "these men ever commanded the respect of mankind, for it seems as if there was some doubt who the bishop was-and as to the abbot, I believe no one pretends to guess who he was, or of what country. Could it be shewn, therefore, that these two persons held a foolish opinion on a very obscure point, and maintained it by mere nonsense, yet that would not go far towards shewing that the respect of mankind in the tenth century was misplaced, in so far as it was given to bishops and abbots. The document exists, however, merely as "Epistola cujusdam Abbatis Monasterii S. Germani ad V. Episcopum Virdunensem de Hungris." Neither the bishop nor the abbot seem to have given any credit to the notion of the Hungarians being Gog and Magog. In writing to the abbot, the bishop appears (for I believe his letter is not extant) to have mentioned that it was current in his diocese, and to have desired him to look at the prophecy of Ezekiel, and let him know what he supposed to be its meaning. That he did not express or imply the least belief in the opinion, may be fairly presumed from the terms in which the abbot (who says it was current in his part of the world also) sets it down as mere nonsense-frivolam esse et nihil verum habere-contrasted with the language of deep respect and affection in which he addresses the bishop. But farther-the sarcasm can scarcely be said to touch either of the parties; for the abbot gives the notion about Gog and Magog being the roof, and the heretics, &c. as the exposition of Jerome, without the expression of any opinion as to its correctness; unless indeed we may find something like apology in the language of the single sentence of comment which he bestows on it". quæ quia a B. Hieronymo exposita sunt, et brevitas epistolæ plura de his dicere non permittit." He then goes on to inquire who the Hungarians really were, whence they came, and how it happened that they had not been mentioned in history, considering the extent of the Roman conquests and researches had they been known under some other name, "sicut solent mutari urbium vel locorum sea fluminum nomina. Nam Tiberis quondam Albula dicebatur. Unde Virgilius amisit priscum Albula nomen;' et Italia prius Saturnia
would be no use in detailing such particulars as are handed down to us; it is always the same horrid tale of barbarous outrage and destruction. I will here only refer to one case, partly out of respect to our friend the Abbot Bonus, who was brought up there, though it was before his time, in the days of Abbot Leopard, who presided there from the year 899 to 912; and principally because, as I have just said, Mabillon found only two manuscripts at Nonantula.* In the first or third year of Abbot Leopard, after a great battle on the river Brenta, in which many thousands of Christians were slain, the pagans advanced to Nonantula, killed the monks, burned the monastery, with many books (codices multos concremavere), and ravaged the whole place.
I pass over the irruption of the Saracens into Italy; but, though it is lamentable to carry on the history of desolation as the work of Christians, yet truth requires me to notice what may be called religious, or, more properly and emphatically, irreligious, wars. Happily the books which I have mentioned as furnishing illustrations relate chiefly to France, and we will not at present look elsewhere. The Dean and Chapter of St. Theudere, near Vienne, says Martene, "nous comblerent d'honnêteté, et nous communiquirent, de la meilleure grace du monde, ce qui leur reste d'anciens monumens de la fureur des heretiques. Car ces impies brûlerent en 1562 toutes les chartes."† "Nous fûmes de là à Tarbe, où nous ne trouvâmes pas grand travail, l'église cathédrale et tous les titres ayant été brûlé par les Calvinistes, qui, dans toute le Bearn et dans la Bigorre, ont laissé de funestes marques de leur fureur."-" Pour l'abbaye de St. Jean [à Thouars], elle est beaucoup plus ancienne, mais les ravages qu'y ont fait les Calvinistes le siècle passé, en ont dissipé la plupart des monumens."§ Grimberg I must reserve for another purpose, and here only mention that it had been destroyed and its library burned by the Huguenots; and as I do not wish to repeat the same cases, even for the illustration of different points, I here only mention the neighbouring monastery of Dilighen, of which Martene says-" Cette abbaye a éprouvé le même sort que celle de Grimberg. C'est à dire, qu'elle a été ruïnée par les heretiques. Aujourd'hui on la rétablit, et on lui a rédonné son premier lustre ;" except, of course, in one respect, for he adds, "L'église est fort jolie . . . . . la bibliotheque assez bonne, mais il n'y a que trèspeu de manuscrits qui ne sont pas de consequence."|| At another monastery, (near Ferte sous Jouarre, not far from Meaux,) Ruinart says, "Sperabamus nos ibi in archiviis aliquid forte reperturos . . . . . at monasterii chartas a Calvinianis penitus combustas fuisse nobis supersunt in bibliotheca aliquot codices manu
dicebatur; sicut idem poeta, et nomen posuit Saturnia tellus,'" &c. The letter, on the whole, is such as that I cannot but hope that the writer did command the respect of his age. Fleury refers for it to Dach. Spic. xii. 349, but in the folio edition it is at tom. iii. 368.
Of course I do not mean that they had none in the meantime. I hope under another head to shew that they had many, of whose fate fire and sword were guiltless. + I. Voy. Lit. 252. Ib. P. ii, p, 13. II. Voy. Lit. 112.
§ Ib. p. 5.
scripti;" and, after specifying a good many works, he adds, "quæ non sunt magni momenti."* Much the same injury had been suffered at the monastery of Fleury, where Mabillon found but a few relics of the vast collection which had been destroyed in the religious wars of the preceding century. The effects of war were, indeed, too frequently visible; but not to tire the reader with repetition,-yet without repetition how can I impress on him the extent of the mischief?— some other notices of the destruction produced by what may be termed general or common warfare shall be thrown into a note, and I will proceed to speak of another cause of destruction.‡
II. I need not insist on the liability of manuscripts to be destroyed by fire, especially at a time when so many were kept in wooden buildings. Our travellers, however, continually furnish us with such notices as these, most of which are quite modern. At Rheims, "L'église cathédrale et l'archevêché ayant été brûlez dans le douzième siècle, toutes les archives furent pour lors consumées par le feu."§At Gembloux," Nous passâmes la matinée à voir ce qui restoit de manuscrits de l'incendie generale du monastère."-At the monastery of the Jacobins at Liege, "Il y avoit autrefois une assez bonne bibliotheque; mais il y a quelques années que tous les manuscrits périrent dans un incendie, qui consuma entièrement le monastère."¶—At Lucelle, "L'incendie qui consuma tout le monastère en 1699 nous priva du plaisir d'y voir une très-riche bibliotheque en manuscrits, que les flammes ont reduit en cendre, avec le religieux qui y étoit entré pour tâcher de les sauver."**"Ce que nous venons de rapporter nous fait voir que les six incendies qui sont arrivées à S. Wast, n'ont pas tout consumé, et nous font aisément juger des trésors immenses que nous y trouverions, si nous avions tout ce que les flammes nous ont ravi."+t-The abbey of Loroy, “Qui ayant été entièrement brulée il y a environ quarante ans, n'a conservé aucun de ses anciens monu
It. Alsat. 415.
+ "Penes quos quidam adhuc reliqui sunt ex innumera illa veterum librorum copia, quæ superiori sæculo, furente hæresi, direpta est. It. Burg. 30.
Take the following instances-Of the abbey of Brunwillers, Martene says, "Comme le monastère a beaucoup souffert par les guerres, et qu'il a été sujet comme les autres aux revolutions, on ne doit pas être surpris s'il n'y a plus qu'un manuscrit des lettres de Ciceron." (II. Voy. Lit. 269.) "Le Roi Louis XIV. ayant soûmis Luxembourg à la force invincible de ses armes, l'abbaye de Munster éprouva une seconde fois le sort de la guerre, et fut entièrement rasés.... ..après tant de revolutions on ne pouvoit pas s'attendre à faire des découvertes dans la bibliotheque. En effet, nous n'y avons trouvé que cinq ou six manuscrits." (II. Voy. Lit. 302.) St. Arnoul at Metz, "Cette abbaye. fut entièrement rasée, avec celles de Saint Clement, de Saint Symphorien, de Saint Pierre, et de Saint Marie, au siege de Mets formé par l'empereur Charles-Quint." (I. Voy. Lit. 112.) At Othmersheim, “Cette abbaye, étant exposée au theatre de la guerre, a perdu ses anciens monumens, et nous n'y trouvâmes rien qui dût nous arreter.” (I. Voy. Lit. P. ii. 143.) La Chartreuse, by Liege, "Il y avoit autrefois beaucoup de manuscrits; mais le monastère ayant esté entièrement réduit en cendres dans les dernières guerres, ils ont tous esté consumez dans les flammes. Il n'y a que les sermons de Jacques de Vitry, en quatre on cinq volumes, qui ayent échappé à l'incendie." (II. Voy. Lit. 183.)
§ I. Voy. Lit. P. ii. 79. ** I. Voy. Lit. P. ii. 141.
II. Voy. Lit. 117. tt II. Voy. Lit. 65.
q II. Voy. Lit. 182. #I. Voy. Lit. 36.