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The Blenheim Library.


Mr. Bryant' shewed me the Library with great civility. Durandi Rationale, 1459. Lascaris' Grammar of the first edition, well printed, but much less than later editions'. The first Batrachomyomachia'.

The Duke sent Mr. Thrale partridges and fruit.
At night we came to Oxford.

"My friend the late Lord Grosvenor had a house at Salt Hill, where I usually spent a part of the summer, and thus became acquainted with that great and good man, Jacob Bryant. Here the conversation turned one morning on a Greek criticism by Dr. Johnson in some volume lying on the table, which I ventured (for I was then young) to deem incorrect, and pointed it out to him. I could not help thinking that he was somewhat of my opinion, but he was cautious and reserved. “ But, sir,” said I, willing to overcome his scruples, “ Dr. Johnson himself admitted that he was not a good Greek scholar.” “Sir," he replied, with a serious and impressive air, “it is not easy for us to say what such a man as Johnson would call a good Greek scholar." I hope that I profited by that lesson-certainly I never forgot it. Gifford's Works of Ford, vol. i. p. Ixii. Croker's Boswell, p. 794.

• So notorious is Mr. Bryant's great fondness for studying and proving the truths of the creation according to Moses, that he told me himself, and with much quaint humour, a pleasantry of one of his friends in giving a character of him :-“ Bryant,” said he,“ is a very good scholar, and knows all things whatever up to Noah, but not a single thing in the world beyond the Deluge." Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, iii. 229.

* This is a work written by William Durand, Bishop of Mende, and printed on vellum, in folio, by Fust and Schoeffer, in Mentz, 1459. It is the third book that is known to be printed with a date. DUPPA. It is perhaps the first book with a date printed in movable metal type. Brunet, ed. 1861, ii. 904. See ante, ii. 455.

- Dr. Johnson, in another column of his Diary, has put down, in a note, · First printed book in Greek, Lascaris's Grammar, 4to, Mediolani, 1476.' The irnprint of this book is, Mediolani Impressum per Magistrum Dionysium Paravisinum. M.CCCC.LXXVI. Die xxx Januarii. The first book printed in the English language was the Historyes of Troye, printed in 1471. DUPPA. A copy of the Historyes of Troye is exhibited in the Bodleian Library with the following superscription :— Lefevre's Recuyell of the historyes of Troye. The first book printed in the English language. Issued by Caxton at Bruges about 1474.'

* The Battle of the Frogs and Mice. The first edition was printed by Laonicus Cretensis, 1486. DUPPA.


At Burke's.


SEPTEMBER 23. We visited Mr. Coulson'. The Ladies wandered about the University.


We dine with Mr. Coulson.
Vansittart’ told me his distemper.

Afterwards we were at Burke's, where we heard of the dissolution of the Parliament. We went home'.

· Mr. Coulson was a Senior Fellow of University College. Lord Stowell informed me that he was very eccentric. He would on a fine day hang out of the college windows his various pieces of apparel to air, which used to be universally answered by the young men hanging out from all the other windows, quilts, carpets, rags, and every kind of trash, and this was called an illumination. His notions of the eminence and importance of his academic situation were so peculiar, that, when he afterwards accepted a college living, he expressed to Lord Stowell his doubts whether, after living so long in the great world, he might not grow weary of the comparative retirement of a country parish. CROKER. See ante, ii. 437, note i.

· Dr. Robert Vansittart, Fellow of All Souls, and Regius Professor of Law. DUPPA. Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on Nov. 3, 1773 * Poor V-! There are not so many reasons as he thinks why he should envy me, but there are some; he wants what I have, a kind and careful mistress; and wants likewise what I shall want at my return. He is a good man, and when his mind is composed a man of parts.' Piozzi Letters, i. 197. See ante, i. 402.

* See ante, ii. 326, note 3.


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