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- Thomas Hariot - 2/22 -
9. Capt. John Smith's Description of NewEngland, 16l4-15, map. London, 1616, 4°
10. Hariot (Thomas) Briefe and true report of the new foundland of Virginia. London, 1588, 4°
'Mr. Secretary Outis' undertook the task of seeing the reprints of the original texts of these ten volumes through the Press, and almost the whole of this work he actually accomplished.
The co-operative objects of the Association, however, appear never to have been fully inaugurated, although a large number of literary men, collectors, societies and libraries entered their names as Members of the Club. All were willing to give their pecuniary support as subscribers to the Club's publications, but few offered the more valuable aid of their literary assistance; hence practically the whole of the editing also devolved upon Mr. Henry Stevens.
He first took up No. 10 on the above list, Hariot's Virginia. His long and diligent study for the introduction thereto, resulted in the discovery of so much new and important matter relative to Hariot and Raleigh, that it became necessary to embody it in the present separate volume, as the maximum dimensions contemplated for the introduction to each work had been exceeded tenfold or more.
Owing to Mr. Stevens's failing health, the cares of his business, and the continual discovery of fresh material, it was not till 1885 that his investigations were completed, although many sheets of the book had been printed off from time to time as he progressed. The whole of the text was actually printed off during his lifetime, but unfortunately he did not live to witness the publication of his work, perhaps the most historically important of any of his writings. Publication has since been delayed for reasons explained hereinafter.
On the death of my father, on February 28, 1886, I found myself appointed his literary executor, and I have since devoted much time to the arrangement, completion, and publication of his various unfinished works, seeking the help of competent editors where necessary.
Immediately after his decease I published his
_Recollections of Mr. James Lenox of New York, and the formation of his Library,_ a little volume which was most favourably received and ran through several impressions.
In the same year I published _The Dawn of British Trade to the East Indies as recorded in the Court Minutes of the East India Company._ This volume contained an account of the formation of the Company and of Captain Waymouth's voyage to America in search of the North-west passage to the East Indies. The work was printed for the first time from the original manuscript preserved in the India Office, and the introduction was written by Sir George Birdwood.
In 1888 I issued _Johann Schöner, Professor of Mathematics at Nuremberg. A reproduction of his Globe of 1523 long lost, his dedicatory letter to Reymer von Streytperck, and the `De Moluccis' of Maximilianus Transylvanus, with new translations and notes on the Globe by Henry Stevens of Vermont, edited, with an introduction and bibliography, by C. H. Coote, of the British Museum._ This Globe of 1523_,_ now generally known as Schöner's Third Globe, is marked by a line representing the route of Magellan's expedition in the first circumnavigation of the earth; and the facsimile of Maximilianus's interesting account of that voyage, with an English translation, was consequently added to the volume. Mr. Coote, in his introduction, gives a graphic account of many other early globes, several of which are also reproduced in facsimile. The whole volume was most carefully prepared, and exhibits considerable originality both in the printing and binding, Mr. Henry Stevens's own ideas having been faithfully carried out.
In 1893 I issued to the subscribers that elegant folio volume which my father always considered as his _magnum opus._ It was entitled _The New Laws of the Indies for the good treatment and preservation of the Indians, promulgated by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, 1542-1543. A facsimile reprint of the original Spanish edition, together with a literal translation into the English language, to which is prefixed an historical introduction._ Of the long introduction _of_ ninety-four pages, the first thirty-eight are from the pen of Mr. Henry Stevens, the remainder from that of Mr. Fred. W. Lucas, whose diligent researches into American history are amply exemplified in his former work, _Appendiculae Historicae, or shreds of history hung on a horn,_ and in his recent work, _The Annals of the Voyages of the Brothers Zeno._
Ever since 1886 I have from time to time unsuccessfully endeavoured to enlist the services of various editors competent to complete the projected eleven volumes of the Hercules Club publications, but after a lapse of nearly fourteen years I have awakened to the fact that no actual progress has been made, and that I have secured nothing beyond the vague promise of future assistance. The field of editors capable of this class of work being necessarily very limited, and death having recently robbed me in the most promising case of even the slender hope of future help, I determined to ascertain for myself the exact position of the work already done, with the hope of bringing at least some of the volumes to a completion separately, instead of waiting longer in the hope of finishing and issuing them all _en bloc_ as originally proposed and intended. On collating the printed stock I found that the two volumes, _Hariot's Virginia_ and the _Life of Hariot,_ were practically complete, the text of both all printed off, and the titles and preliminary leaves and the Index to _Hariot's Virginia_ actually standing in type at the Chiswick Press just as my father left them fourteen years ago! (Many thanks to Messrs Charles Whittingham and Co. for their patience.) The proofs of these I have corrected and passed for press, and I have added the Index to the present volume. My great regret is that I did not sooner discover the practical completeness of these two volumes, as owing to the nature of the contents of the _Life of Hariot_ it is not just to Hariot's memory, or to that of my father, that such important truths should so long have been withheld from posterity.
These two volumes being thus completed, ít remained to be decided in what manner they should be published. I did not feel myself competent to pick up the fallen reins of the HERCULES CLUB, which, as I have said before, appears never to have been fully inaugurated on the intended co-operative basis.
There being now no constituted association (such having entirely lapsed on the death of Mr. ' Secretary Outis'), and many of the original subscribers, who were ipso facto members, being also no longer with us, it appeared impossible to put forth the volumes as the publications of the HERCULES CLUB. Consequently I resolved to issue them myself (and any future volumes I may be able to bring to completion) simply as privately printed books, and I feel perfectly justified in so doing, as no one but Mr. Henry Stevens had any hand in their design or production either editorially or financially. No money whatever was received from the members, whose subscriptions were only to become payable when the publications were ready for delivery. The surviving members have been offered the first chance of subscribing to these two Hariot volumes and I am grateful for the support received. They and the new subscribers will also be offered the option of taking any subsequent volumes of the series which I may be enabled to complete.
HENRY N. STEVENS,
_Literary Executor of the late Henry Stevens of Vermont. 39, Great Russell Street, _ London, W.C. _ 10th February, 1900._
------------------------------------------------------------------------- THOMAS HARIOT
COLLECTORS OF RARE English books always speak reverently and even mysteriously of the 'quarto Hariot' as they do of the 'first folio.' It is given to but few of them ever to touch or to see it, for not more than seven copies are at present known to exist. Even four of these are locked up in public libraries, whence they are never likely to pass into private hands.
One copy is in the Grenville Library; another is in the Bodleian; a third slumbers in the University of Leyden; a fourth is in the Lenox Library; a fifth in Lord Taunton's; a sixth in the late Henry Huth's; and a seventh produced £300 in 1883 in the Drake sale.
The little quarto volume of Hariot's Virginia is as important as it is rare, and as beautiful as it is important. Few English books of its time, 1588, surpass it either in typographic execution or literary merit. It was not probably thrown into the usual channels of commerce, as it bears the imprint of a privately-printed book, without the name or address of a publisher, and is not found entered in the registers of Stationers' Hall. It bears the arms of Sir Walter Raleigh on the reverse of the title, and is highly commended by Ralfe Lane, the late Governor of the Colony, who testifies, 'I dare boldly auouch It may very well pass with the credit of truth even amongst the most true relations of this age.' It was manifestly put forth somewhat hurriedly to counteract, in influential quarters, certain slanders and aspersions spread abroad in England by some ignorant persons returned from Virginia, who 'woulde seeme to knowe so much as no men more,' and who ' had little vnderstanding, lesse discretion, and more tongue then was needful or requisite.' Hariot's book is dated at the end, February 1588, that is 1589 by present reckoning. Raleigh's assignment is dated the 7th of March following. It is probable therefore that the 'influential quarters' above referred to meant the Assignment of Raleigh's Charter which would have expired by the limitation of six years on the 24th of March, 1590, if no colonists had been shipped or plantation attempted. It is possible also that Theodore De Bry's presence in London, as mentioned below, may have hastened the printing of the volume.
Indeed, the little book professes to be only an epitome of what might be expected, for near the end the author says, ' this is all the fruits of our labours, that I haue thought necessary to aduertise you of at present;' and, further on, ' I haue ready in a discourse by it self in maner of a Chronicle according to the course of times, and when time shall bee thought conuenicnt, shall also be published.' Hariot's 'Chronicle of Virginia ' among things long lost upon earth ! It is to be hoped that some day the historic trumpet of Fame will sound loud enough to awaken it, together with Cabot's lost bundle of maps and journals deposited with William Worthington ; Ferdinand Columbus' lost life of his father in the original Spanish; and Peter Martyr's book on the first circumnavigation of the globe by the fleet of Magalhaens, which he so fussily sent to Pope Adrian to be read and printed, also lost! Hakluyt, in his volume of 1589, dated in his preface the 19th of November, gives something of a chronicle of Virginian events, 1584-1589, with a reprint of this book. But there are reasons for believing that this is not the chronicle which Hariot refers to. As White's original drawings have recently turned up after nearly three centuries, may we not still hope to see also Hariot's Chronicle?
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