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Brief (09-09016)

64, GLOUCESTER PLACE

PORTMAN SQUARE,

LONDON, W.

22. November [1893]

Hochgeehrter Herr Professor!

Aufgrund weiterer Nachforschungen, die ich an competentem Orte hinsichtlich des Schicksals der Bonaparteschen Bibliothek angestellt habe, bin ich soweit in der Lage, Ihnen berichten zu können, daß die Angelegenheit nunmehr in ein aussichtsvolleres Stadium eingetreten ist. Der Catalog der Büchersammlung wird jetzt zusammengestellt und I2I Mr. Fortescue[1], mein Gewährsmann, hat mir versprochen, den Verfasser desselben mir nächstens vorzustellen.[2] Die Bestätigung dieser Angabe finden Sie gedruckt in einem Ausschnitte aus der Pall Mall Gazette, welchen ich mir erlaube, hiermit beizulegen.[3] Freilich ist die Versteigerung noch in hoffentlich absehbare Ferne gerückt, doch sind wenigstens Ihre Befürchtungen der Zerstreuung derselben abgelenkt. Es wird mir ein Vergnügen sein, Ihnen den Catalog sofort nach Erscheinen I3I zuzusenden.

Meine altspanischen Glossen[4] bereiten mir sehr viel Schmerzen, trotzdem mir alles zu der Arbeit erforderliche Material (vorzüglich die alten Dokumente und [Hs. di.] die juristische Litteratur) hier zur Verfügung steht. Um wenigstens einen Lichtschimmer in die für die Glosse magacia wichtige Textstelle: … qui femineum abitum gestiunt etc. zu verbreiten, durchsuche ich eifrig die Foliobände von Labbes Concilbeschlüssen vom 4.-10. Jahrh.[5] Vielleicht gelingt es mir, da etwas herauszubekommen.

Dodgson[6], der seiner Stellung in I4I Portugal überdrüssig geworden ist, ist wieder einmal über der Neuherausgabe seines baskischen Druckes in finanzielle Schwierigkeiten geraten. Ich bin leider jetzt nicht imstande, ihn (!) aus der Klemme zu helfen, was ich in Paris gern unter ähnlichen Umständen gethan habe.

Die Julinummer der Romania soll, wie ich aus dem Litteraturblatt (Nov.) entnehme, einen Aufsatz von dem bewährten Morel Fatio über spanische Lexicologie enthalten[7]; bedauere sehr, daß dieselbe, als jüngst erschienen, mir nicht zugänglich ist.

Hoffend, daß Sie, hochverehrter Herr Professor, trotz des herrschenden Sturmwetters bester Gesundheit sich erfreuen, verbleibe ich mit den herzlichsten Grüßen

in aller Hochachtung

Ihr ganz ergebener Josef Priebsch



[1] Vgl. Anm. 8 zu Brief 02-09013.

[2] Victor Collins, Attempt at a catalogue of the library of the late Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, [London]: H. Sotheran & Co, 1894; vgl. dazu Schuchardt, „Anzeige von: V. Collins, Attempt at a Catalogue of the Library of the late Prince L.-L. Bonaparte“, Literaturblatt für germ. u. rom. Philologie 15, 1894, 200f.

Im Katalog heißt es im Vorwort:

„IT will always be a matter of regret to philologists that the late Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte left his library uncatalogued. Throughout a long life the Prince devoted his best energies and talents to the formation of what he hoped would be the finest linguistic collection of works yet gathered together. Many great authorities, well qualified to give an expert opinion, are agreed in thinking that he succeeded in his ambition. He certainly had exceptional advantages for his task, advantages which it is extremely unlikely to find again united in a single individual.

His great philological enthusiasm was well seconded by his high social position and by his extraordinarily rare literary attainments. While yet a young man his fame as a linguist was worldwide, and from all quarters of the globe books poured in upon the cousin of an Emperor who was known to value a rare work above all other treasures. He became the intimate friend of all the great linguists of his day, who delighted in assisting him to the utmost of their power in the accomplishment of his noble desire. His library will be found to contain the best of their works, often enriched with their autographs. Every catalogue of importance came to his hand, so that there was not a book in the market but he knew of it. He valued money only as a means of obtaining books, being lavish in his expenditure on them in the time of his prosperity, and, sometimes actually depriving himself of the bare necessaries of life in order to secure a rare work, when the fall of the Empire had considerably circumscribed his means.

During his travels he visited every bookseller of note ; he entered every shop where he saw books exposed for sale ; he never left any means in his power unemployed to secure a work he fancied. A record of his travels might almost be drawn up from the entries he made in his purchases as to where and when he acquired them. In judging his library it must be remembered that his one object in book-collecting was linguistic ; he valued a specimen of a South Pacific dialect, hitherto unrepresented in his library, more highly than a rare edition of the classics ; and, if a new language or dialect came to his knowledge, he had no peace of mind until he had secured a specimen for himself.

Incidentally, however, he acquired works of the very greatest bibliographical interest and rarity, many of which will be sought in vain in all the published records of the bibliographers. Even, therefore, from the bibliophile's point of view the Prince's library is one of extraordinary merit and value.

His primary object was the acquisition of every language and dialect represented in Europe ; but in the course of years his ambition went further, and he hoped to gather together specimens of every known language which possessed even the most rudimentary literature“ (V-VI).

[3] Der Text liegt nicht bei; in mehreren englischen Zeitungen und Zeitschriften wurde jedoch auf die Versteigerung hingewiesen. Anbei ein „Gedicht“ in Cockney aus dem Punch 105, 25.11.1893, in dem unter Anspielung auf Bonapartes sprachwissenschaftliche Interessen auf die Versteigerung hingewiesen wird:

[We are informed that Prince Lucien Bonaparte's unique library of some 25,000 volumes, included „a complete set of Punch“ preserved presumably by the Prince for the specimens of „Cockney dialect which it contains.“]

Jest fancy a Prince Bonyparty sech nuts upon patter and slang!

Proves a Prince may be fly to wot's wot, and of chat as is chat 'ave the 'ang.

Lor bless yer, this Lucyun, 'e knowed all the cackles as ever was chinned.

I'll wager as 'e wos aweer as a Billingsgit Pheasant is finned!

He'd got Solomon's song in Tyke lingo! A pity 'e didn't know me!

I'd ha' run it off into back slang, and ha' done it most willing and free.

'Cos a Prince and a Frenchy at that, as appreshiates Punch, and my patter,

Is a precious sight smarter than some „Cockney“ criticks, and that's wot's the matter!

So bully for Prince Bonyparty! When weighed in 'e's well hup to scale;

And if them books come to the 'ammer, wy 'Arry means seeing the sale!

[4] Priebsch, „Altspanische Glossen“, ZrP 19, 1895, 1-40.

[5] Der französische Jesuit Philippe Labbé ist Hrsg. der Sancrosancti Oecumenici Tridentini Concilii . . . canones et decreta, Paris 1667-72 (mehrere Folgeauflagen).

[6] Vgl. Anm. 5 zu Brief 03-09015.

[7] „Notes de lexicologie espagnole“, Romania 22, 1893, 482-488.