17 December 2012

Three Copies

From Richard Heber's obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 155 (January 1834), p. 107:
He has been known seriously to say to his friends, on their remarking on his many duplicates, "Why, you see, Sir, no man can comfortably do without three copies of a book. One he must have for his show copy, and he will probably keep it at his country house. Another he will require for his own use and reference; and unless he is inclined to part with this, which is very inconvenient, or risk the injury of his best copy, he must needs have a third at the service of his friends.
The same obituary quotes from Sir Walter Scott's Christmas-themed introduction to Canto 6 in Marmion:
How just that, at this time of glee,
My thoughts should, Heber, turn to thee!
For many a merry hour we've known,                      
And heard the chimes of midnight's tone.
Cease, then, my friend! a moment cease,
And leave these classic tomes in peace!
Of Roman and of Grecian lore,
Sure mortal brain can hold no more.