CONSETT, England (AP) -- The self-described "dilettante" pulled up to the courthouse in a stretch limo on Tuesday, dressed in white and holding a cigar and a cup of instant noodles as he faced down charges of stealing a rare First Folio of Shakespeare's plays.

Eccentric British book dealer Raymond Scott, 51, is accused of stealing the book and six other centuries-old books and manuscripts, from Durham University's library in northern England in 1998.

Before entering court, he read aloud from Shakespeare's "Richard III."

"Like Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, I have had to suffer not only the whips and scorns of time but also the law's delay," he told reporters, complaining about the slow pace of his decade-old case.

Police say the 1623 Folio is worth about 3 million pounds ($4.5 million). The First Folio marked the first time Shakespeare's plays were collected and published together. About 242 are believed to be in existence.

The stolen copy was recovered after a man calling himself an "international businessman" walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington in June, carrying the book, and asked for its authenticity to be checked. Library staff contacted police, who traced the man and arrested Scott.

Scott has previously denied charges of theft and handling stolen goods, saying he bought the book in Cuba.

He did not enter a plea Tuesday. He was released on bail until his next hearing April 14.