In this letter, Osler mentions some Christmas visitors, and reflects on the chances of getting some of Dr. J. F. Payne's
splendid rare book collection for the Johns Hopkins Library. Payne, a good friend of Osler's who died earlier in 1910,
was a pathologist, medical historian, and avid rare book collector; from 1899, he was Harveian Librarian at the Royal College
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1910-12-24 (December 24, 1910)
[Jacobs, Henry Barton]
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. William Osler Collection
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Osler, Medical History, and Medical Libraries
Xmas Eve. 1910
From the Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford.
I wish I could look in at no. 11 this eve. Could you return the call you would find a festive scene, a dance! - R. and his
young friends. We have a niece & her children with us & Palmer Wright from Ottawa. R. has grown so much -- just my
height. He is an awful duffer at his books, but he is a dear good fellow & not the slightest trouble. I suppose Welch
has told you that W.A. Marburg will make an offer for Payne's Library. I went to New Barnet the other day to look over
the collection. I am afraid we cannot get all for the sum M. names, but it will
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cover, I hope, the medical books without the 15th century herbals, which nowadays bring fancy prices on account of its old
wood cuts. They could be sold separately & after all have only a typographical interest. 'Tis a choice assortment
-- many books of the greatest rarity, and many not in the College of Phys. or the S.G. Library. He has also a splendid Milton
collection -- the best in England after the British Museum. He has been buying with great care for 45 years.
Many thanks for the book, I like C. so much. Also for the Shelley, when it comes. I may go to Egypt for six weeks. My brother,
E.B. starts from Cairo with a boat party, to be on the river for about a month. 'Tis too good an opportunity to miss.
He wants Mrs. Osler too but she
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does not care to go so far from the boy. Miss Woolly may come over while I am away. By the way, Payne left me the Restitutio
Christianismi of Servetus, the 1791 reprint now almost impossible to get. I have the Calvin -- a lovely copy. It, too, is
scarce -- my copy sold in Paris about ten years ago for 1500 francs. I shall be glad of the Harvard Journal. Jim Putnam's
article on James in the Atlantic Monthly is most interesting. So glad to hear Mrs. Jacobs keeps well.