The CASE of Cornelius Bee and his Partners, Richard Royston, William Wells, Samuel Thompson, Thomas Robinson, and William Morden, Booksellers.

THE CRITICI SACRI, being a Collection of divers Eminent Authors, all or the major part of which were out of print, Cornelius Bee and his Partners, by the Advice of divers Learned Divines, did undertake the Printing of them: which Great Work was carrying on (though with as much expedition as possible) about six years, and compleated in Nine Volumes in Folio, An. 1660. The Authors which were before sold for Fifty or sixty pounds severally, being so collected and printed verbatim, the Price was reduc'd to Thirteen pounds ten shillings. The Charges of which said Work in Nine Volumes, by buying several Manuscripts, and preparing and methodizing the Copy fit for the Press, amoun­ted to about a Thousand pounds, besides Paper and Printing.

Upon Consideration whereof the KING's Majesty, upon the Petition of the said Cornelius Bee, was graciously pleased to grant to him and to his Assigns his Royal Privilege in Anno 1660. for the space of Fourteen years from thence next ensuing; thereby prohibiting all and every person and persons to re­print the said Work, or any part or parcell thereof, within His MAJESTIE's Dominions, during the said Term, without the Leave and Consent of the said Cornelius Bee: As by the said Privilege (printed in the First Volume of the said Nine) it doth more fully and at large appear.

Notwithstanding which said Privilege, and likewise Acts of Parliament, which prohibit the reprint­ing of all Books, either in part or whole, without the Consent of him who makes a due Entry of the same in the Register-Book of the Company of Stationers at their Hall, which the said Cornelius Bee had done accordingly at the Cost of about Seven pounds; one Mr. Matthew Pool hath (in the said Corne­lius Bee's Absence in Holland, without his Leave and Consent) undertaken a Work which he calls A Synopsis of the Critical and other Commentators upon the Bible: in pursuance of which Design he hath nominated several Voluminous Commentators, and amongst them the said CRITICKS, of which especially he intends to make an Epitome with the rest. The dealing with which Voluminous Authors the said Cornelius Bee and his Partners shall not at all look upon themselves as concerned in, provided he forbear the Injustice of taking any thing out of the said CRITICI SACRI in Nine Volumes, which they have printed at so vast a Charge. Which nevertheless if he shall pursue to doe, (besides the infringing the Right that the said Cornelius Bee hath in them by his MAJESTIE's said Privilege and the said Acts of Parliament) he will hazard the making the said Books unsailable, and, so much as in him lies, contribute to the Ruine of him the said Cornelius Bee and his Partners: too many men con­sidering what they shall save by the smallness of the Price, rather then what they shall gain by the Goodness of the Book.

To these Considerations the said Cornelius Bee and his Partners are forced to joyn this necessary Addition, viz. That in the late sad and dismal Fire in September 1666. it pleased God that there were burnt and consumed above Thirteen hundred of the said CRITICI SACRI, which, if reckoned but barely as they cost, amount to Twelve or thirteen Thousand pounds; of which Loss the said Cornelius Bee sustains the one half, and his said Partners the other half. (Besides divers other Books belonging to the said Cornelius Bee that were also then burnt and consumed, to the value of Four thou­sand pounds, all which lay at his Warehouse in Sion College near Cripplegate.

Now the said Cornelius Bee (by this sad Accident being frustrated of his hopes and expectations of reaping the Benefit and Advantage of his great Care, Cost and pains) doth intend and hath designed to re-print the said CRITICKS in far better Method then this already done, and hopes and is verily persuaded that no person whatsoever, that's swayed either by Reason, Conscience or Justice, will in­deavour to abridge him of or obstruct him in that lawful and laudable way of Advantage, having al­ready suffered so extreamly in an Ʋndertaking tending so highly to the Glory of God, the Publick Good, the Propagation of Religion, and Credit of our Nation.

And although the said Mr. Poole, to strengthen himself in this his Ʋndertaking, hath gain'd the Subscriptions of divers Reverend and Learned Persons, to testifie the Ʋsefulness of this his Work, of which the sa [...]d Cornelius Bee and his Partners do not pretend to be Judges: yet they have reason to believe, that he never acquainted them with the said Cornelius Bee's Right and Interest therein, who (he doubts not) would else have declared that they had no design to prejudice the just Title o [...] [...]he said Cornelius Bee.

The Premisses rightly considered, they leave it to the Judgment of all prudent and sober persons, to judge how this Design of Mr. Poole's can consist with that Honour, Conscience and common Prudence which he pretends to in his printed Papers.

So that the said Cornelius Bee and his Partners do in reason and common Justice expect that the said Mr. Poole should desist from that part of his Design wherein the aforesaid Nine Volumes are con­cern'd, and likewise leave the Epitomizing or other digesting of the said CRITICI SACRI to the said Cornelius Bee's own discretion and disposal, seeing it evidently appears that they are abso­lutely his own proper Right and Proprietie.

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