The Enemies of Books

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: I; the latter library drew from the poet Cowper j two short and weak poems. The poet first f deplores the destruction of the valuable printed books, and then the irretrievable loss to history by the burning of his Lordship's J; many personal manuscripts and contemporary documents, " Their pages mangled, burnt and torn, f The loss was his alone; But ages yet to come shall mourn Mf" ' The burning of his own." I The second poem commences with the following doggerel:— " When Wit and Genius meet their doom In all-devouring Flame, . 5". They tell us of the Fate of Rome || T And bid us fear the same." The much finer and more extensive library of Dr. Priestley was left unnoticed and unlamented by the orthodox poet, who probably felt a complacent satisfaction at the I the Destruction of heterodox books, the owner i dng an Unitarian Minister. The magnificent library of Strasbourg was burnt by the shells of the German Army in 1870. Then disappeared forever, together with other unique documents, the original records of the famous law-suits between Gutenberg, one of the first Printers, and his lurtners, upon the right understanding of which depends the claim of Gutenberg to the invention of the Art. The flames raged between high brick walls, roaring louder than a blast furnace. Seldom, indeed, have Mars and Pluto had so dainty a sacrifice offered at their shrines; for over all the din of battle, and the reverberation of monster artillery, the burning leaves of the first printed Bible and many another priceless volume were wafted into the sky, the ashes floating for miles on the heated air, and carrying to the astonished countryman the first news of the devastation of his Capital. When the Offor Collection was put to the hammer by Messrs. S...
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