( Originally Published Late 1800's )
Whilst the Bibliomaniacal fever rages, the following description of the Toledo Missal may not be unacceptable to your numerous readers. It is extracted from Osborne's Catalogue of 1751 ; and the price asked for it was 35 pounds.
"Missale Mixtum secundűm Regulam Beati Isidori dictum Mozarabes ; Toleti, 1500."-This is the scarcest Book in the whole World. At the end of it are the following words, which deserve to be inserted here : "Ad Laudem Omnipotentis Dei, necnon Virginis. MariŠ Matris ejus, Omnium Sanctorum Sanctarumque, expletum est Missale Mixtum secundum Regulam Beati Isidori dictum Mozarabes ; Maxima cum Diligentia perlectum & - emendatum, per Reveren dum in utroque Jure Doctorem Dominum Alfonsum Ortiz, Cahonicum Toletanum. Impressum in 'Regal. Civitate Toleti, jussu Reverendissimi in Christo Patris Domini. D.. Francisci Ximenii, ejusdem Civitatis Archiepiscopi. Impensis Nobilis Melchioris Gorricii Novariensis, per Magistrum Petrum Hagembach, Alemanum, Anno Salutis nostra: 1500, Die 29░ Mensis Januarii." This .is supposed to be the antient' Missal amended and purged by St. Isidore, Archbishop of Sevil, and ordered by the Council of Toledo to be used in all churches, every one of which before that time had a Missal peculiar to itself. The Moors afterwards committing great ravages in Spain, destroying the churches, and throwing everything there, both civil and sacred, into confusion, all St. Isidore's Missals, excepting those in the city of Toledo, were lost. But those were' preserved, even after the Moors had made themselves masters of that city ; since they left six of the churches there to the Christians and granted them the free exercise of their religion. Alphonsus VI., many ages afterwards, expelled the Moors from Toledo, and ordered the- Roman Missal to be used in those churches, where St. Isidore's Missal had been in vogue ever since the Council abQv&mentioned. But the people of Toledo, insisting that their Missal was drawn up by the most ancient bishops, revised and corrected by St. Isidore, proved to be the best by the great number of saints-who had followed it, and been preserved during the whole time of the Moorish Govern-ment in Spain, he could not bring his project to bear without great difficulty. In short, the contest between the Roman and Toletan Missals came to- that height, that, according to the genius of the age, it was decided by a single combat, wherein the champion of the Toletan Missal proved victorious. But King Alphonsus, say some of the Spanish writers, not being satisfied with this, which he considered as the effect of chance only, ordered a fast to be proclaimed, and a great fire to be theii made; into which, after the King and people had prayed fervently to God for his assistance in this affair, both the Missals were thrown, but the Toletan only escaped the violence of the flames. This, continue the same authors, made such an impression upon the King, that he permitted the citizens of Toledo to use their own Missal in those churches that had been granted the Christians by the Moors. However, the copies of this Missal, grew afterwards so scarce that Cardinal Ximenes found it extremely difficult to meet with one of them ; which induced him to order this impression, and to build a chapel, in which this service was chanted every day, as it had at first been by the ancient Chtistians. But, notwithstanding this, the copies of the Toletan Missal are become now so exceeding rare, that it is at present almost in as much danger of being buried in oblivion, as it was when committed to the press by Cardinal Ximenes."