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composed, as well as from the art and labour bestowed in making them. This value was often, I apprehend, much greater than many of Robertson's readers would imagine; and if they think of a book as nothing but a thing to read, and looking back to the dark ages as only a cramp illegible scrawl on dirty parchment, they will form a very erroneous opinion on the whole matter. Books, and especially those used in the church service, (of which, by the way, general readers are most likely to hear, and to which class, I suspect, this homilary to have belonged,) were frequently written with great care and pains, illuminated and gilded with almost incredible industry, bound in, or covered with, plates of gold, silver, or carved ivory, adorned with gems, and even enriched with relics. Missals of a later date than the period with which we are at present concerned were, some years ago, the objects of eager competition among collectors, and some of them must always be admired for the exquisite beauty of their embellishments. I am not going to compare the graphic ornaments of the ninth and tenth centuries with those of the thirteenth and fourteenth ; in this point of view it may suffice to say, that they were the finest specimens of art which those who purchased them had ever seen, and in all matters of taste and fancy this is saying a good deal. As to the value of books, however, which arose from the costly materials of which they were made, or the labour, industry, and taste, with which they were embellished, I hope I shall find a more proper place to speak; and I feel that for our present purpose it is quite sufficient to make this general reference to it; but there was another species of value attaching to some books in those ages which does not present itself so obviously or forcibly. The multiplication of books, by printing, has not only rendered them much cheaper by reducing the labour required for the production of a large number of copies, but it has provided that each one of that large number should be a fac-simile of all the rest. He who sees one sees all: the edition is dispersed among those wbo can best judge of its value; it receives from their suffrages a certain character; and from that time forth, if we see the title page, we know what are the contents or the errors of every other page in the book. Among those who are likely to want it, it is sufficient to mention the time and place of its publication, and if we admire the correctness and readableness of our own edition of a father or a classic, we recommend our friend to get it, well knowing that as there is one there are many; or that, at least, our own copy is not likely to be unique, or we should infallibly have heard of it from our bookseller. Now, in those days every copy was unique--every one, if I may so speak, stood upon its own individual character; and the correctness of a particular manuscript was no pledge for even those which were copied immediately from it. In fact, the correctness of every

single copy could only be ascertained by minute and laborious collation, and by the same tedious and wearisome labour which is now required from the editor who, with infinitely more ease and better helps, revises the text of an ancient writer. We may, therefore, naturally suppose that if a manuscript was known to be the work of a good and careful scribe, if it came out of the Scriptorium of some well respected monastery, if it had passed through learned hands, and had been found, by the scrutiny which it was then necessary to give to each individual copy, to be an accurate work which might be safely trusted as a copy for future transcripts; if all this was known and attested, it would form another and a very good reason why a book should fetch an extraordinary price.

But to return to Robertson“When any person made a present of a book to a church or a monastery, in which were the only libraries during these ages, it was deemed a donative of such value, that he offered it on the altar pro remedio animæ suæ, in order to obtain the forgiveness of his sins."-Murat., vol. iii. p. 836. Hist. Liter. de France, t. vi. p. 6. Nouv. Traité du Diplomat. par deux Benedictins, 4to. tom. i. p. 481.

Now really if a book was to cost two hundred sheep and fifteen quarters of grain, (to say nothing of furs and money,) I do not see anything very absurd in its being considered a donative of value; at least, I wish that people would make gifts of the same value to churches now-a-days, and I believe they would find that they were not considered quite contemptible. I think I have seen in a parish church a board, (whether gilt or not, I do not remember,) informing the world that Esquire somebody had given “forty shillings a year for ever to the poor of the parishviz., to the vicar, five shillings,” &c., for preaching an annual sermon to commemorate his bounty. But let me say a few words, first, as to the authorities, and then as to the fact.

First, then, as to the authorities, which it will be most convenient to notice in an inverted order. In the part of the Nouv. Traité du Diplom. referred to, I cannot find anything to the purpose, and I can only suppose that there is some mistake in the reference. To the Histoire Literaire de France, I have not at present access; but the passage of Muratori referred to is as follows: - “Rari ergo quum olim forent, multoque ære redimerentur codices MŠti., hinc intelligimus cur tanti fieret eorum donatio, ut siquando vel ipsi Romani Pontifices ejusmodi munera sacris templis offerebant, ad eorum gloriam de iis mentio in historia haberetur. Stephanus V. Papa, ut est in ejus vita, tom. iii. p. 272, Rerum Italicar, circiter annum Christi DCCC LXXXVI., præter alios libros ibi commemoratos 'pro animæ suæ remedio, contulit ecclesiæ Sancti Pauli cantharum exauratam unam (fortasse, cantharum) Lib. Comment. I.; Prophetarum,

Vol. VIII.-July, 1835.


Lib. I.; Gestarum Rerum, Lib. II.” Here it will be obvious that the drift of Muratori's remark is, not that the books given to churches were offered on the altar, or that they were offered pro remedio anima, but that, when given even by popes, it was thought worth while to record the donation in history, (that is, in their lives,) and the instance which he quotes happens to contain the words-pro remedio animæ suæ, to which he undoubtedly attached no importance, as well as knowing, and expecting every body to understand, that this was, in all such cases, implied, if not expressed. Even this remark, however, surprises me as coming from a writer who must have known that the gifts of some of the popes to various churches and monasteries were scrupulously registered, and have been unmercifully detailed by their biographers; and, indeed, some of the books which occur in such lists might well be considered donatives of great value, even by those who could not read. For instance, when Leo III., in the beginning of the ninth century, gave a copy of the Gospels so ornamented with gold and precious stones that it weighed seventeen pounds, four ounces ;* or, when Benedict III. gave one to the church of St. Calistus, adorned with gold and silver of nearly the same weight.f Surely when such books, or even books of less value, were given, it was as natural to record the donation as that of a silver chalice, or a silk vestment. We may also believe that when books especially such books-were formally presented to churches, they were offered on the altar, though I have met with very few instances of it; and, indeed, with scarcely any charter or deed of gift conveying such things as books at all. The reason is plain—for churches and monasteries not merely (as Robertson observes very truly, if not taken strictly,) had the only libraries, but they were the great and almost the only manufactories of books. Still they might be, and sometimes were, presented; and, on such occasions, were likely to be offered on the altar, though neither because they were books, nor because they were peculiarly rare or costly.

*"Hic fecit B. Petro apostolo fautori suo, Evangelia aurea cum gemmis prasinis at que hyacinthinis et albis miræ magnitudinis in circuitu ornata, pensantia libras decem et septem et uncias quatuor." See a list of his donations to various churches, occupying nearly twelve of the large close.printed, double-columned pages of Labbe's Councils, tom, vii. c. 1090.

{"Ad laudem et gloriam ipsius Ecclesiæ fecit Evangelium argento auroque perfusum unum pen. sans libras quindecim .... et in ecclesia beatæ Balbinæ Martyris obtulit evangelium ex argento purissimo . et in titulo beati Cyriaci Martyris obtulit evangelium unum ex argento purissimo ad laudem et gloriam ipsius ecclesiæ.”—Ibid., tom. viii., p. 230.

Mabillon thought it worth while to mention that he found in the library, at Cluny, a copy of St. Ambrose on Luke, at the end of which was written, “ Liber oblatus ad Altare S. Petri Cluniensis Cænobii ex voto Dompi atque Reverentissimi Maioli Abbatis.” Aud he remarks upon it, "Sic libros offerebant veteres ad altare, ct ad sepulcra sanctorum, quemadmodum de Mammone S. Augendi præposito superius vidimus." In this he refers to a book which he had men. tioned as being in the Boherian Library at Dijon; and of which he had said, “Hic codex voto bonæ memoriæ Mammonis, ad sepulchrum Sancti Augendi oblatus est regnante Carolo Calvo, uti et Epistolæ Paschales, quæ ibidem habentur pluresque alii codices, quos in varias Bibliothecas dispersos deprehendimus."--Itinerar. Burgund., pp. 9, 22. That of which such a man as Ma. billon thus spoke, could scarcely have been at any period a general and notorious custom in the church,

The false view which Robertson gives, and which I wish to expose and remove, arises from appropriating to a particular case what was, in principle, and as far as could be in practice, general and universal. Robertson would have spoken more correctly, though not to his purpose, if, instead of saying, “When any person made a present of a book," he had said, “When any person made a present of anything to a church,” he offered it on the altar, &c. That he offered it pro remedio animæ suæ, or for the spiritual benefit of some other person, was always understood, though not always expressed ;* and that he should offer it on the altar was perfectly natural when we consider to whom the donation was made. We, indeed, commonly say that a man gave books or lands “to the monastery of St. Bertin,” or “the monks of St. Martin,” or “the canons of Lille," and he might say the same in his deed of gift for brevity's sake; for, as we have heard often enough, and I pretend not to deny, parchment was expensive in those days. Many charters run in that form-as Hildebert, Bishop of Avignon, in 1006, “ donamus monachis qui in Cænobió S. Andreæ et S. Martini ...... modo famulantur Deo,”+ &c.; but, in fact, the donation was not made to the church or the monastery—the canons or monks had no property in it, and nothing to do with it, except as servants and stewards to provide for its safe keeping—the gift was to God, and the patron saint; and, therefore, it was laid on the altar erected in honour of both. Nothing could be more natural or reasonable as it respects Him who, though he dwelleth not in temples made with hands, was once pleased to dwell between the cherubim, and who, of all that he has framed for man, or given him skill to fashion, reserves only the altar for himself, and sets it over against his mercy-seat as the symbol of that glory which he will not give to another.

Beside this, the superstition of the age supposed the glorified saint to know what was going on in the world; and to feel a deep interest, and possess a considerable power, in the church militant on earth. I believe that they who thought so were altogether mistaken ; and I lament, and abhor, and am amazed at the superstitions, blasphemies, and idolatries which have grown out of that opinion; but as to the notion itself, I do not know that it was wicked ; and I almost envy those whose credulous simplicity so realized the communion of saints, and anticipated the period when “ the whole family in heaven and earth” shall be gathered together in one. Be this as it may, however, they conceived of

This is not, however, to be understood as having conclusive reference to purgatory. Pom. meraye has very well observed—“Le motif plus ordinaire qu'apportoient dans leurs chartres les bien faiteurs, étoit afin que l'aumosne qu'ils faisoient servist au soulagement de leurs ames et de celles de leurs parens et amis : c'étoit aussi quelquefois pour estre associez aux prières et aux bonnes cuvres des monastéres, dont les seigneurs et les personnes de piété recherchoient très soigneusement la participation.”-Hist. de l'Abbaye de s. Cutharine du mont de Rouen, p. 81.

† Dach. Spic., iii., 384.

the saint as a being still conversant among mortals,-hearing their prayers, assisting them in their need, acknowledging their gifts by intercession and protection, and not unfrequently making his presence known, and even visible, among them and his altar was naturally the place where all business relating to his property in this world, or his patronage in another, was transacted.

The form of such deeds of gift naturally varied at different times and in different places; and even according to the taste of individual scribes and notaries. I have already said that the gift was sometimes described as made to the monks,--sometimes, but I think comparatively seldom, to the monastery,—more frequently to God, and the patron saint, and the abbot, -as frequently the abbot was omitted, and still more frequently perhaps the saint only was mentioned, and he was sometimes actually addressed as a party to the conveyance.*

It was very natural that what was thus given to the saint should be offered on his altar, for how else was the donor to present it? It was, I say, general, not meaning that every trivial donation was there offered, but that, when property of any consideration was given, this was the common course of proceeding.

* It may illustrate what I have here said, and perhaps amuse some readers, if I throw together a few specimens of the different forms taken at random from the various charters, the dates of which are indicated by the numbers in parenthesis" Dono ad monasterium sancti Bonifacii" (759)-Schannat, Trad. Fuld., p. 8. “Trado ad sanctum Bonifatiam et ad monasterium quod dicitur Fulda," (759) --Ibid. Tradidit Deo et sanctissimo martiri ejus Bonifacio, necnon et venerando Abbati Eggeberto ceterisque fratribus sanctæ Fuldensis Ecclesiæ,” (1058)-Ibid. p. 255. In these cases the trusteeship was fully understood; but sometimes it was expressed, as by Pon. cius, Count of Gervandan and Forez, in acharter to the church of Brionde, (1010. After saying“Reddo Creatori omnium Domino Regi Regum, et Domino dominantium, necnon et cedo gloriosissimo Martyri Juliano,”' &c., he describes the property, and adds" Omnipotenti Deo reddo, Sanc. toque Juliano, ut, a die præsenti et deinceps, omnes res suprascriptas sub tuitione ac potestate sanctissimi martyris Juliani, et Canonicorum ibidem Christo militantium, sint omni tempore, &c.-Dach. Spicil. iii. 385.–And an early form from the same Chartulary (945) runs, “totum et ad integrum reddo Creatori omnium Domino, et sub dominatione et potestate libenti apimo com. mitto beati Juliani, Canonicorumque sursum.”

."--Ibid.,373. More frequently, however, as I have said, it was to God and the patron saint, as in the donation of Amalric, to the schools of St. Martin's, at Tours (cir. 843)—“Offero Creatori Deo, necnon Sancto Martino Domino meo glo. riosissimo quem toto affectu diligo," &c Mart. i. 33; or, as Gulfrad, the deacon to the same church (cir. 930)—" Offero, dono, trado atque confirmo Omnipotenti Deo necnon Sancto Martino Confessori suo egregio," &c.Ibid., 68. Or, the saint only, as—"In Dei nomine. Ego Theo. thart trado in elemosinam meam ad sanctum Bonifatium Mancipia IIII., id est uxorem Altrati cum tubus filiis et cum omni substantia sua” (824)-Schannat., p. 150. Of this, indume. rable instances might be given; but sometimes the matter was put in a still more business-like form by addressing the saint as a party to the conveyance, as—“Domno sancto et apostolico Patri Bonifatio Episcopo ego Adalberdus ; constat me nulli cogentis imperio, sed proprio voluntatis arbitrio vobis vendidisse et ita vendidi vineam unam,” &c. (754)-Schunnat., p. 1. The emperor, in the year 962, began a diploma thus-—"Ego Otto Dei gratia Imperator Augustus, una cum Ottone glorioso rege filio nostro, spondemus atque promittimus per hoc pactum confirmationis nostræ tibi beato Petro principi Apostolorum et clavigero regni cælorum, et per te vicario tuo Domno Joanni summo Pontifici,” &c.-Conc. ix. (643.) Again, iu 1014, -"Ego Henricus Dei gratia Imperator Augustus spondeo atque promitto per hoc pactum confirmationis nostræ, tibi beato Petro," &c.-Ibid. (813). Leo IX., about 1050, began a diploma by which he granted a tenth of the oblations made at the altar of St. Peter, to the saint himself-(or, as we should

say, set apart that proportion for the repairs of the church,) with the following words, “Beate Petre Apostole, ego Leo Episcopus servus tuus et omnium servorum Dei, de tuis dovis aliquam tibi offero particulam,” &c.-- Ibid. (985). In fact, numberless examples of various forms of speech might be given; and, without them--at least, withont some familiarity with the modes of expression which were perpetually used-it is impossible to form an idea of the real spirit and cha. racter of the times. With this view, I venture to add to this long note one or two phrases from the charters of the Abbey of St. Peter, at Condom—“Ego Amalbinus ... facio chartam de una pecia de vinea ... ad opus sancti Petri.”Dach. Sp., ii. 591. "In alio loco possidet sanctus Pe. trus aliam vineam"-"in villa quæ dicitur Inzlota babet beatus Petrus casalem unum."--Ibid., p. 596. "Quædam nobilissima fæmina .... suprascriptam ecclesiam violenter beato arripuit Petro."-Ibid., 585. “ Muiendinum quod construxit familia bcati Petri,”-Ibid., 596.

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