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reprint of Calepinus, he became editor of an improved and revised edition. In the final stage, the edition of 1543, in 3 vols. folio, the Latinæ Linguæ Thesaurus' has become an entirely new work, of which Robert Stephens has the full right to consider himself author. The merits of this Thesaurus must not be judged by its present value in the market—the best edition, that of Basle, 1740, has been bought in our time for ten shillings—but by the fact that for more than two centuries it satisfied the demands of learners, if not of scholars. Twenty years after this edition (1559) • Stephens' Latin Thesaurus' became . Gesner's Thesaurus,' by the same process by which Robert Stephens had first occupied and then annexed' Calepinus. Finally, Gesner's book in its turn became, through a new transmigration and by the labours of Forcellini (Padua, 1771), that comprehensive dictionary which still holds its own against its more modern rivals, under the title of · Facciolati's Lexicon.' It may be observed that the stages of transition from publisher of Calepin to author of a new Thesaurus are marked by Robert himself. He calls the edition of 1543 in the title-page 'ed. 2a.' This led the accurate Hallam to say (* Lit. of Europe,' i. 306), that the Thesaurus was ‘first published in 1535. Really, the edition of 1543 is only the full-grown form of the original Dictionarium of 1531. It is true that Robert had assistance in this huge labour of compilation, and it is characteristic of him that he is scrupulous in acknowledging how much he owes to this coadjutor, Thierry of Beauvais. Of himself he modestly says, • Ingenue fateor nihil hic inesse de meo, præter laborem et diligentiam.'
The Thesaurus would have been a good life's work for most men. In the total of Robert Stephens' labours it was but a single item. The whole number of publications, great and small, which have been traced to his press is 527. Many of these, certainly, are pamphlets, school-books, or occasional verses of a few lines. On the other hand, many are in massive folios, and more than one volume; many, besides the Thesaurus, works of immense labour, e. g. Greek texts, collated by himself. School-books largely occupied the presses of every printer, and were too profitable in their quick and certain sale to be neglected by the most ambitious publisher. As showing the learned direction taken by education in France at that time, we may give the following numbers of classical grammars printed by Robert. These are: three editions of Priscian; fourteen of Donat; ten of Colet, with Rabirius' additions; about twenty of Despautière's various introductions; thirteen of Pelisson ; twelve of Melancthon, and as many of Linacre. These are Grammars from one age?
press only. Add all the other numerous elementary books, and those of all the printers of Paris and Lyons, and we may form some notion of what must have been the whole annual consumption of Latin and Greek in the schools. At what period, we may ask, did these classical schools disappear from the soil of France ? And to what is it owing that a people, who seized upon Greek with so much avidity in the second century of its importation into the West, so entirely threw it up in the next
Besides his school editions-Horaces and Virgils innumerable; of Terence he gave fourteen editions--Robert Stephens brought out a few of the higher authors. These, though brilliant in execution, are not many in number, at least if compared with the fertility of the Aldine press.
This marks the fact that the enthusiasm for the new learning had begun in France, but that a generation had not yet grown up capable of absorbing whole editions of Greek authors which were not used at school. Yet Robert gave seven first editions of Greek. These are:-1. Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History; 2. Evangelic Preparation; 3. Dionysius of Halicarnassus ; 4. Justin Martyr; 5. Dion Cassius; 6. Appian; 7. Alexander of Tralles. It was not till 1544, and therefore at an advanced period of his printer's career, that Robert turned his attention to Greek. Though a few unimportant Greek books had previously appeared from other French presses, the Paris Greek Press may be said to date its commencement from the Eusebius of 1544. What is extraordinary about this début is, that as a typographical achievement these volumes have never been surpassed by any Greek which has appeared in France since.
To understand the direction given to the press in France at this period, we must remember that two principal influences operated upon it simultaneously, but not in the same way. These two influences were the demand of the public, and the patronage of the Court. The patronage of the sovereign was exerted, and successfully exerted, to develop the material beauty and splendour of books. Grolier was encouraged to bind, and Robert Stephens to print. A magnificent Greek type was cast at the cost of the royal treasury. When a sumptuary law prohibited gilding in houses and furniture, bookbinding was, by a special clause, exempted from its operation. All that promoted that exterior lure which the French Librairie has always courted, the expanse of margin, the thick-wove paper, and the brilliant type-that was the idea which the master of Rosso and Cellini formed of his patronate of letters. His often-quoted saying to Benvenuto
Cellini, 'Je t'étoufferai dans l'or,' expresses the materialist direction of the taste of Francis I. And so in books: the magnificence of the Revival has left its mark behind it in the Greek editions which issued from the press of Robert Stephens, printer to the
' King. On the other hand, the spirit of curiosity which had arisen among the public made far other demands upon the press. It wanted to learn. It desired books, not to place in a cabinet, but to read, in order to know. First and foremost, to know the truth in the matter of religion: next, to know the cause and remedies of the evils, moral and material, by which the people felt themselves crushed; how to struggle with nature—to wrest from her more comforts, more enjoyment. But the press as the medium of knowledge—as an arena for debating spiritual and social problems—was not the press which the government of Francis I. would encourage. This is the explanation of the apparent inconsistency in the public acts of that monarch, which has caused him to be represented in such different lights. While Francis I. is invoked by some historians as the Father of Letters, the Mæcenas of the Arts, by others his memory is branded as that of a bigot and persecutor, whose jealous despotism would not tolerate the least dissent, the most gentle criticism, of the acts of his ministers. The truth is, that Francis I. was both these at once. He was the munificent patron of art and artists-a patron also of letters and learned men. This flattered that enormous appetite for personal glory which possessed Francis I., like a true Frenchman. He was also the author of a series of edicts, each rising above its predecessor in the comprehensiveness of its clauses and the rigour of its penalties, for restraining the freedom of the press—the liberté d'imprimer. Emulous of the credit which the Italian princes had acquired by their patronage of Art, Francis I. imitated the splendours of Florence at Fontainebleau and the Louvre. He would have his own printer, a Typographus Regius, and his own type, which should give editions that should eclipse anything that had been done in Italy. But the propagation of opinion, the formation of a body of knowledge, an independent bar of judgment which might call before it State and Church-this was subversive of all known principles of Government.
A strong ruler such as Francis I. would annihilate the art of printing sooner than allow it to become a vehicle of opinion. Hence the senseless ferocity of the edict of 13th January, 1534, by which the Protector of Letters forbids any printer from printing anything whatever without the royal licence, under pain of death. True the Parlement of Paris had the courage to refuse its sanction to this blind decree. But the consequence of its resistance was only
that, as no law on the press existed, the Government and its agents were enabled to deal as they liked with every unhappy publisher who incurred their displeasure.
Had Robert Stephens' inclination led him to enrich himself by school-books, or to ruin himself by magnificent classics, he might have pursued either path in peace. But though he prospered, lucre was never an object with him, as his contemporaries unanimously testify. His zeal for religious truth, as he believed it, was with him a motive paramount to every other. There can be no doubt that he had early imbibed in secret the new sentiments in the matter of religion. We are not to suppose that he was a concealed Lutheran. For a long time it was not clear that the new opinions were to lead to a schism. It was a sentiment diffused through society, a desire from within the Church of a reform of doctrine and discipline. Robert Stephens, while he neglected no precaution which prudence dictated, devoted all the resources of his art to further this movement. This he could best do by the reproduction of the Scriptures in every variety of form. His steady persistency in this path of self-sacrifice could not be overcome by twenty-five years of persecution, and he finally relinquished a thriving establishment and left his home to begin the world again in a foreign soil, and in declining years, sooner than forfeit the liberty of his press in this respect.
The feeling with which the Catholic clergy view the circulation of the Scriptures among the uneducated in their mothertongue at the present day is sufficiently understood by Protestants. We have, therefore, no difficulty in conceiving the vehement opposition with which the practice was denounced by the Church in the sixteenth century. Had Robert Stephens printed cheap French Bibles, his persecution by the clergy would have required no explanation. But as he confined himself to the Hebrew and Greek originals, and to Latin versions, it is natural to ask, Why was it that he became so obnoxious to the theologians that they should have striven with all their might for many years to crush him ?
Immediately upon the invention of printing, the reproduction of Greek Classics became one of the first occupations of the Press. From the
From the space which Theology occupied in the attention of the educated world, it might have been thought that the Fathers, and especially the New Testament, would have been among the first and most frequently repeated products of the new art. We find that this was not the case. The Hebrew original of the Old Testament was brought out in type both earlier and oftener than the Greek of the New. But this was not for the service of Catholic, or even of Christian, readers. It
was for the account of the Jews-a numerous, wealthy, and educated body in all parts of Europe, who constituted by themselves a body of readers and purchasers. Similarly the clergy and the religious houses created a demand for the Latin Vulgate, copies of which were accordingly multiplied by the press without stint. But the Humanists and the party of progress, who were the patrons of Greek books, showed, at first, no interest in the Greek Testament. They sought out most diligently poets, orators, historians, and even philosophers, but made no inquiry after MSS. of the Greek Testament. The whole Greek Bible, not the LXX Version of the Old Testament only, but the original text of the New Testament, was regarded as the Bible of the schismatical Eastern Church. The Bible of the Jews was in Hebrew, of the Greeks in Greek; the Latin Bible was the Scripture of the orthodox Catholic Church. The Vulgate, having for its author St. Jerome, and for its sanction the usage of the Catholic Church, was clothed with a majesty and authority which could not be transferred to the Greek Text, till now unheard of in the West. The difference, however, between .
, an original and a translation, was an idea which, when once presented to the world, required only time to establish itself. At first the Greek took its place by the side of the Latin. In the *Complutensian Polyglot' the Vulgate is placed between the Hebrew on one side, and the LXX Version on the other. This the orthodox editors, apologising for its introduction at all, compare to the crucifixion of Christ between two thieves. At length Erasmus, in whom the Humanist and Reformer were pretty equally mixed, perceived what a powerful weapon the Greek original might be made. Erasmus's Greek Testament, the · Editio Princeps,' appeared in 1516, and before his death, in 1536, it had gone through five editions. The only other edition of the Greek Testament at that date was that contained in the ‘Polyglott' printed at Alcala in Spain. As this was only · one tome of a voluminous Bible, and as the whole impression was limited to six hundred copies, this edition could never be anything more than a curiosity in the libraries of rich religious houses. The Complutensian Polyglott' had been the scheme of a Spanish Prelate. Erasmus had got the sanction of a Pope for his work. But the Prelate was Ximenes, a man of genius, and the Pope was Leo X. Twenty years made a great difference. The Catholic reaction began to set in, not only against Luther, but against learning. The party of orthodoxy took their stand upon the Vulgate translation. The Catholic world refused to open its ears to the truth that a translation is a translation, and must needs be controlled by the original. They were jealous of