S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
I have quoted M. Baillet, who shows the value of it [the index to Antonios Bibliotheca Hispana] particularly. He had good reason for recommending even the Indexes, for they are well formed and useful. The Author has added a short preface to them, which shows his excellent taste and judgment; he has quoted there the thought of a Spanish writer, Indicem Libri ab Autore, Librum ipsum a quovis alio conficiendum esse. An Author ought to make the Index to his book, whereas the book itself may be written by any person else. The contrary method is generally taken: Authors refer to others the pains of making alphabetical Indexes: and it must be owned, that those gentlemen who are not patient of labour, and whose talent consists only in the fire and vivacity of imagination, had much better let others make the Index to their works; but a man of judgment and application will succeed incomparably better in composing the Tables to his own writings than a stranger can. There might be a variety of good directions given for the composition of these Tables, which may be justly called the soul of books.
Though troubled with a great pain in his legs, which sometimes grew very violent, and notwithstanding the many visits he [Baillet] received, which continually interrupted his labours, he applied himself with so much diligence to the drawing up of an Index of all the subjects treated of in the books in M. De Lamoignons library, that he finished it in August, 1682 [about two years labour]. The Index grew to such a length by the additions he continued to make to it that it contains thirty-five volumes in folio, all written by M. Baillet himself. When he had finished that laborious but useful work, he wrote a Latin preface to it, which he published. We find there an account of the manner in which he drew up that Index. He promised in the same place to write an index, or Catalogue, of all the authors whose books were in M. De Lamoignons library.
The writer who drew up the Index to Delechamps Athenæus, who says that Euripides lost in one day his wife, two sons, and a daughter, and refers us to p. 61, that Euripides going to Icaria wrote an epigram on a disaster that happened at a peasants house, where a woman with her two sons and a daughter died by eating of mushrooms. Judge from this instance what hazards those run who rely on Index-makers.