Some insight into the ways in which the French societies of book-lovers influence and promote the manufacture of fine books is given in M. Beraldi's "Bibliotheque d'un Bibliophile." It is not only that they buy up entire limited editions, but they criticise, compare, choose or reject, and, in many cases, make the book over again by culling from half a dozen or more examples the pages freest from faults of impression; by adding prints, drawings, autographs; by engaging artists to fill the blanks at the ends of chapters with tail-pieces in water-colours; and, finally, by putting the work in an appropriate and generally costly binding. Then each man's work - as much his work, perhaps, as the publisher's - is submitted to the criticism of all his bibliophilic acquaintances. Let M. Beraldi tell how they set about it. The scene is in the library of the President of the Societe des Amis des Livres, on a Sunday afternoon: -

"Enter M. de Lacretelle. He comes to see the novelty of the day - a volume just returned from the binder. He takes the book to examine it; what will he say ? He weighs it: has it the specific density peculiar to books well bound, and due to the homogeneity of the 'battage'? He pinches it: will the cover bend under his finger: sign of too great flexibility ? He exerts a traction in opposite directions on the front and rear covers will it show that the book is feebly backed ? He brings the cover down suddenly on the guards: does the volume give a dull, unfavourable sound ? He smells the interior: is the scent of the glue perceptible ? He examines the back, this criterion of a perfect book: shall it be found faulty ? Are the nerves too clumsy or too thin ? are the characters of the title too heavy or too slender ? has the morocco too large a grain ? too small ? too much polish ? not enougn ? He opens the volume to look at the doublure, he makes the gilding of the dentelle shine, he regards the two covers at a time, the better to appreciate the effect. Shall the tooling be found, of a taste short of perfect ? He runs his finger through the pages to judge of the sound of the paper. 'Tis done ! All is for the best ! the judgment is approbative. Anxiety is at an end; there is a treasure the more on the shelves."

Ways Of The Bibliophile 759Ways Of The Bibliophile 760Examples Of Lettering On Metal.

Examples Of Lettering On Metal.

The middle one is Engraved; the other two Repousse. (By courtesy of Mr. Gawthorp.)

Japanese Art Metal - work.