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A collection of halfpenny ballads and garlands, pasted, in 3 vols. sold for 4781. 15s. A set of the Sessions’ papers, from 1690 to 1803, sold for 3781. One day's sale of the library, produced above 2,800l. The books were early and scarce editions of English poetry. Wednesday June 17, was quite an epoch in bookselling; for at no time, and in no country, did books bring the prices at which they were knocked down by Mr. Evans at Roxburghe House. To enumerate all the rarities sold would exceed the limits that we can spare for the article; but we shall extract from the catalogue, (in Mr. Nicol's own words) the titles of a few of the lots, and add the prices at which they
sold. Romances. No. 6,292. Il Decamerone di Boccaccio, fol. M. C. Edit. Prim. Venet : Valdarfer, 1471. Of the extreme scarcity of this celebrated edition of the Decameron, it will perhaps be sufficient to say, that no other perfect copy is yet known to exist, after all the fruitless researches of more than 300 years. It was bought by the Marquis of Blandford, after a long contest with Earl Spencers, for 2,260l. ; being the largest sum ever given for a single volume. No. 6,348. The Boke of the Fayt of Armes and of Chyvalrye, fol. blue Turkey, gilt leaves, very rare. Caxton, 1479. Bought by Mr. Nornaville for 336l. * No. 6,349. The veray trew History of the valiant Knight Jason. fol. Russia. Andewarpe by Gerard Leea, 1492. Of this very rare edition no other copy is known. Bought by the Duke of Devonshire for 941. 10s. No. 6,350. The Recuyeil of the Histories of Troye, by Raoule le Fevre, translated and printed by William Caxton. fol. B. M. Colen, 1473. This matchless copy of the first book printed in the English Language, belonged to Elizabeth Gray, Queen of Edward IV. Bought by the Duke of Devonshire for 1,060l. 10s. No. 6,353. The most Pytifull History of the Noble Appolyn, King of Thyre, 4to. M. G. L. very rare; W. de Warde, 1519. Bought by Mr. Nornaville, for 1151. 10s. No. 6,360. The History of Blanchardyn, and the Princes Eglantyne. fol. red Mor, Caxton. Of this book there is no other copy known to exist. Unfortunately, imperfect at the end. Bought by Earl Spencer for 2151. 15s. No. 6,361. The right pleasaunt and goodlie Historye of the Four Sonnes of Aimon, fol. red Mor. Caxton, 1554. Bought by Mr. Heber for 55l. No. 6,376. The Lyfe of Vergilius, with wood-cuts, rare, 4to. Bought by Marq. of Blandford for 541. 12s. No. 6,377. The Storye of Frederyke of Jennen, with wood-cuts, 1518. Bought by Mr. Triphook for 65. 2s.
No. 6,378. The Story of Mary of Nemegen, with wood-cuts, 1518. Bought by Mr. Triphook for 671. The day's sale amounted to 5,035l. 7s. It will be curious to learn what these books originally cost the noble duke; and we trust Mr. Nichol will publish a priced catalogue with a detail of the formation of the library. Books to the amount of 40,000l. have been sold by auction within the last two months—to which those now on sale will add 25 or 30,000l. more. The young Duke of Devonshire has also bought the Count Maccarthy's splendid library, in one lot, for 25,000 guineas.
Sir Josefih Banks.-Sir Joseph Banks, observing lately the motion of a snake along the floor, discovered that it was assisted by its ribs, which served the purpose of feet, the points of them touching the ground, and by those means facilitating its motions.
Longevity.—Since the year 1810, 30 persons in Russia have attained the age of 115 years; 24 that of 120; 11 that of 135; and 2 that of 140.
Germany.—The Catalogue of Books which is annually published before the Leipsic fair, announces this year 1609 new works, in German and Latin; 100 new novels; and 50 new theatrical pieces § the number of geographical maps is 82; and new musical compositions about 350.
France.—M. Itard, physician to the School for the Deaf and Dumb in Paris, lately read to the Institute an essay on the construction of the organ of hearing, and the causes and cure of deafness; in which he gave an account of a cure performed by him on a deaf and dumb youth, by perforating the tympanum of the ear, and injecting warm Water.
Automatons.—Three automatons are now exhibiting at Paris: the first writes the names of persons; the second copies drawings; and the third, which is a chef d’aeuvre, speaks and articulates distinctly.
M. D’Audebert.—M. D’Audebert is engaged in a great work upon the relations which the diseases of animals have to those of man.
M. Moyez—M. Noyez, Veterinarian at Mirepoix, has published a memoir upon the good effects which result from the shearing of domestic animals, such as the ox and the horse, in the cure and prevention of certain diseases.
Berkshire—The Reading Mercury says, “There is, within two miles of this town, a young woman, who has lived during the last three years without meat, bread, or any solid articles of food. She subsists entirely on a little wine and milk. It is remarkable that she throws
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up every day a large quantity of blood. She is unable to move, having long lost every particle of flesh; but she appears nearly in the same situation as she was three years ago.”
M. Degen, flying.—M. Degen lately made another experiment with his flying machine, at Trivoli, near Paris. He descended from a scaf. fold erected in the grand walk, and alighted safe in the old park of Sceaux. He was buoyed up by a small balloon, to which wings were attached, made of taffety, 22 feet in length and 8 1-2 in breadth.
Migration of birds.-It has long been disputed, and is still an undecided point in natural history, whether several species of birds, which disappear in winter, actually remove to warmer climates, or lie, during the cold months, torpid and concealed. One undoubted proof that the latter is the fact, is, perhaps, worth remarking. On the 1st of June, on removing some mats of tow in a warehouse belonging to Messrs. Neilson and Co. at Methel, one of the tribe called martin, or swift, was discovered between two of the mats, lying on its belly, with the wings spread, to all appearance dead, and, until closely handled, exhibited no symptoms of animation. By degrees, however, it began to revive, and, opening its languid eyes, expressed with a scream that its repose had been permaturely broken. For a while it refused to fly, but, in about an hour, was fully recovered; and on being offered the gift of liberty, darted through its native element, hailing with joy the dawn of its periodical resurrection. Those birds which feed solely on aerial insects, find no kind of subsistence from the time that the chilling air annihilates its numberless inhabitants, until the beams of summer again call them forth by myriads. The swallow, martin, &c. are therefore compelled to cross oceans, and seek support in warmer regions, most probably those of Africa, from whence they annually return—or, without the dangers of such a flight, they hide themselves in dark recesses and all-provident nature wraps them in the slumber of torpitude, until she has again replenished the atmosphere with their food, and then she awakes them to taste her bounty. Probably some may emigrate; but the foregoing circumstance proves, beyond a doubt, that they can, for many months, undergo a total suspension of every faculty, and are again, in the proper season, charmed, as it were, into cheerful existence.
Singular Cause of Incorrectness in a Watch.-A gentleman put an exquisite watch into the hands of a watch-maker that went irregularly. It was as perfect a piece of work as ever was made. He took it to pieces, and put it together twenty times. No manner of defect was to be discovered, and yet the watch went intolerably. Atlast it struck him the balance-wheel might have been near a magnet. On applying a needle to it, he found his suspicion true. Here was all the mischief. The steel work in the other parts of the watch had a perpetual influ. on its motions, and the watch went as well as possible with a new wheel.
* FROM THE EDINBURGH ANNUAL REGISTER.
ON Rimside Moor a tempest-cloud
“My God! Oh whither shall I turn?
“Why did I seek those hated haunts
“I’ll seek that hut where I was wont
Through well-known paths, though long untrod, . The robber took his way, Until before his eyes the cave All dark and desert lay.
There he, when safe beneath its roof,
Had left pursuit, so wild the paths,
The bolts had still retain’d their place,
A knock comes thundering to the door.
“Now ope thy door nor parley more,
“The elm was dropping on my hair,
“Tempt me no more,” the robber cried
“When for a bribe you gave me up