Twas whispered in heaven & muttered in hell,
And Echo caught softly the sound as it fell.
In the confines of Earth twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest.
Twas seen in the lightning & heard in the thunder,
T’will be found in the sphere when driven asunder.
Twas given to man with his earliest breath.
It assists at his birth and attends him at death.
Presided o’er his happiness, honour, and health,
Tis the prop of his house & the end of his wealth,
It begins every hope every wish it must bound,
And though unassuming with monarchs is found.
In the heaps of the miser tis hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in the prodigal heir,
Without it the soldier & sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch that repels it from home.
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found,
Nor ere in the whirlwind of passion be drowned,
It softens the heart & though deaf to the ear,
Twill make it acutely and instantly hear,
But in the shades let it rest like an elegant flower,
Oh! breathe on it softly it dies in an hour.

"Enigma" - from Poetry and prose [manuscript] / selected by Mary Jane Wynkoop at Miss Gorham’s School, Elizabeth Town, 28th February 1824.
A riddle for Transcribe Tuesday, just right for National Poetry Month - shared with us by smithsonianlibraries

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(via smithsoniantranscriptioncenter)

If you figure it out, do let us know!!

//Belated shout-out to zanmor​ and theauthoryperson​ for solving the riddle!! 

I’m not going to post it here so’s not to spoil it for those still pondering, but if you really want to know

(via smithsonianlibraries)

17th cent. garden literature : etched/engraved plates of a selection of plants, plus a sundial(?) design.

From: ‘Shauplatz [!] des Allgemeinen Haußhalten/ das ist Kurtze/ jedoch klare Unterweisung und Anleitung/ von dem Haußhalten/ Feld- Acker- Wein- Blumen- und Garten-Bau : Wie dan[n] auch Wild-Weydwerck/ Vogelfang/ Fischereyen/ Schäffereyen und Viehzucht/ samt einem Koch- Candier- und Distilier-Buch ; Worinnen zu ersehen/ Wie die Feld- und Blumen-Garten sollen abgetheilet und auch dem Gestirn und Mond/ dem Liecht nach/ zu rechter Zeit gesäet/ gepflanzet/ gepfropffet… ; Für alle/ so wol hohe als nidrige Stands Personen/ insonderheit Hausvätter/ Apothecker und Laboranten/ Ackerleut/ Gärtner/ Viehehändler/ Jäger/ Fischer/ Vogler sehr nutzlich zu gebrauchen’ 1676 by Jacob Agricola [source]

Kurtzer Unterricht mancherley zierlicher schrifften die dann ein ieder durch stethe übung hieraus mit sonnderm vorteil lernen mag’ - Staatsbibliothek Bamberg JH.Msc.Art.89 durch Sebastianum Curtium Rechenmeister zu Nürnberg

[SOURCE: Bamberg State Library].

{This little album has about 8 pages in total, including the frontispiece, which was pasted in. The best images are above.}


Shakespeare Takes Center Stage in the Rare Book World

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven —-William Shakespeare

For some it would be as close to the Holy Grail as one can hope for. A copy of the dictionary Shakespeare himself once owned, annotated!

As you can imagine, the antiquarian book world is in a tizzy. Two of their own, New York booksellers George Koppelman of Cultured Oyster Books and Daniel Wechsler of Sanctuary Books, have claimed to have unearthed a copy of John Baret’s Alvearie, a dictionary printed in 1580, with annotations in Shakespeare’s hand and have just released a book documenting their find, Shakespeare’s Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light

Mind you their are only 6 known fragments of the Bard’s handwriting, making this a potentially HUGE addition to the canon.

But before we claim this as the best gift ever presented to mankind on Shakespeare’s birthday a lot still has to happen.

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Calligraphic works by Iku Nagai (scanned from the 50 Watts hoard)

See more zoomorphic calligraphy.

Imaginative, surreal and detailed potential (and sometimes real) architectures, in drawings and prints © Mathew Borrett via mefi.


Čarodějná mošna: České pohádky. Vypravuje Jiří Horák.
Praha: Statni nakladatelstvi detske knihy, 1958.
Ilustroval  Jiří Trnka. 

Also see this post & links:


Bodoni printing house. Designs for ornaments and non-roman type, ca. 1800.

TypTS 825.18.225

Houghton Library, Harvard University


Saint Livier by Jacques Callot, 1632