knots to play at leap-frog, or at whatever consists of a liberal allowance of good other game may happen to be what is neat’s-foot oil and tallow. technically called in.' A fat, ruddy- As this scene of rest and enjoyment is faced boy wearing a paper-cap is seen to last for a whole hour, we perhaps canvaulting over the back of a young tight- not better employ a small portion of the made devil, while a legion of foul fiends'interim than by a few reflections on the appear gambolling in groups or jumping history of printing. over each other's shoulders.*

The labour attendant upon propagating While this scene is passing in the mid- manuscript copies of volumes has been dle of the street, steady workmen who thus very feelingly described by William are going to their dinners are seen issu- Caxton : ing in a stream out of the great gate, while at the same moment, by a sort of

• Thus end I this book ; and for as moche as in back current, there is entering the yard a hande wery, and myn eyne dimmed with over.

wrytyng of the same my penne is worn, myn troop of little girls with provisions for moche lookyng on the whit paper, and that age those who prefer to dine at their posts. crepeth on me dayly' Most of these children are bearers of one or more sixpenny portions of smoking hot Accordingly fifty years were sometimes meat with penny portions of potatoes or employed in producing a single volume. cabbage, in addition to which some of the At the sale of Sir W. Burrell's books, little girls, with their longing eyes espe- May, 1796, there was displayed a MS. bilittle girls, with their longing eyes esper ble on vellum, beautifully written with a twopenny lumps of apple-pudding, or of pen, and illuminated, which had taken upheavy pieces of a cylindrical composition wards of half a century to perform ; the commonly called 'rolly-polly pudding," writer, Guido de Jars, began it in his forwhich very closely resembles slices of tieth year (the period of life at which Sir the doctor. Besides these eatables, a

Walter Scott began Waverly), and yet man is seen gliding hastily down the de- did not finish it till he was upwards of clivity of the yard, carrying in each hand ninety. a vertical tray glistening with bright pew-operation will be sufficiently explained by

The expense attendant upon the ancient ter pint pots.

A remarkable silence now pervades the the following extract of a translated episestablishment. The halls of the

tle from Antonio Bononia Becatello to

compositors appear to be empty; for while en. Alphonzo, King of Naples :joying their humble meal, sick of standing, they invariably seat themselves un- works of Titus Livius are there to be sold in very

• You lately wrote to me from Florence that the derneath their frames, and thus, like rats handsome books, and that the price of each book in their holes, they can scarcely be dis- is 120 crowns of gold : therefore I entreat your covered. The care-worn reader, in soli- majesty that you cause to be bought for us Livy, tude, is also at his meal; but whatever it whom we used to call the king of books, and may consist of, it would be hard to say mean time procure the money which I am to give

cause it to be sent hither to us. I shall in the which he enjoys most-food for the body for the price of the book. One thing I want to or rest for the mind. The great steam- know of your prudence, whether I or Poggius engine, which works the nineteen print- have done best: he, who, that he might buy a ing presses, is also at its dinner, which country-house near Florence, sold Livy, which he

had writ in a very fair hand; or I, who, to pur* Whenever a printer's devil, in the morning, at Your goodness and modesty have encouraged me

chase Livy, have exposed a piece of land to sale ? noon, or at night, is about to be let loose upon an author, 'the proofs' he is ordered to convey are se.

to ask these things with familiarity of you. Farecured in a leathern bag, strapped round his waist. well

, and triumph.' Some time ago, however, a young, thoughtless imp from Messrs. Clowes's establishment, chose to carry of his friends who had sent to him from

Gaguin, in writing from France to one upon his head a heavy packet, addressed by his em. ployer to · Lieut. Stratford, R. N., Somerset House. Rome to procure a Concordance, says,

You young rascal!' exclaimed a tall thief, who, after having read the inscription, cunningly ran up • I have not to this day found a Concordance, to him, · Lieut. Stratford has been waiting for the except one that is greatly esteemed, which Paslast two hours for this parcel! Give it to me!'chasius the bookseller las told me is to be sold, The devil, conscience-stricken and crest-fallen at and it may be had for a hundred crowns of gold' the recollection that he had twice stopped on his (about 831.) road to play at marbles, delivered up his packet to the conveyancer; who, on opening it in his den,

On the last leaf of a folio manuscript of must have been grievously disappointed to find that it contained nothing but some proofs of The Nau. the Roman de la Rose (the property of the tical Almanac, for 1840.

late Mr. Ames), there is written,

C'est lyuir costa au palas de Parys quarante Unable to read or write, the uncivilized coronnes d'or, sans mentyr.'

orator of the present day has hardly any

materials to build with but his own native About the time of Henry II. the works talent; he has received nothing from his of authors were, it has been said, read forefathers-he can bequeath or promulover for three days successively before gate little or nothing to posterity-whatone of the Universities, or before other ever, therefore, may be his eloquence, and judges appointed for the service, and if whatever may be his intelligence, he is althey met with approbation, copies of them most solely guided by what resembles were then permitted to be taken by monks, brute instinct rather than human reason, scribes, illuminators, and readers, brought which, by the art of writing, transmits exup or trained to that purpose for their perience to posterity. maintenance. But the labours of these Before the invention of printing almost monks, scribes, illuminators, &c., after the whole herd of mankind were in a state all, were only for the benefit of a very of moral degradation, nearly equal to that few individuals, while the great bulk of which we have thus described; for althe community lived in a state of igno- though various manuscripts existed, yet rance closely resembling that which has the expense and trouble of obtaining them ever characterized, and which still cha- were, as we have endeavoured to show, so racterizes savage tribes.

great, that few could possess them in any The heaven-born eloquence of many of quantities, except sovereign princes, or these people has been acknowledged by persons of very great wealth. The intel. almost every traveller who has enjoyed lectual power of mankind was consequentthe opportunity of listening to it with a ly completely undisciplined—there was translator.

no such thing as a combination of moral Nothing, it is said, can be more striking power—the experience of one age was not than the framework of their speech, which, woven into the fabric of another-in short, commencing with an appeal to the Great the intelligence of a nation was a rope of Spirit' that governs the universe, gradu- sand. Now, how wonderful is the conally descends to the very foundation of the trast between this picture of the dark age subject they are discussing. Nothing which preceded the invention of printing more beautiful than the imagery with and the busy establishment which only which they clothe their ideas, or more for a few moments we have just left! imposing than the intellectual coolness The distinction between the chrysalis with which they express them. From and the butterfly but feebly illustrates the sunrise till sunset they can address their alteration which has taken place, since by patient auditors; and, such is the confi- the art of printing science has been enadence these simple people possess in their bled to wing its rapid and unerring course innate powers of speech, that a celebrated to the remotest regions of the globe. Ev. orator was, on a late occasion, heard to ery man's information is now received declare, That had he conceived the and deposited in a common hive, containyoung men of his tribe would have so ing a cell or receptacle for everything that erred in their decision, he would have at can be deemed worth preserving. The tended their council fire, and would have same facility attends the distribution of spoken to them for a fortnight!' information which characterizes its col.

But what has become of all the ora- lection. The power of a man's voice is tions which these denizens of the forest no longer the measured range to which he have pronounced? What moral effect can project his ideas ; for even the very have they produced beyond a momentary opinion we have just uttered, the very senexcitement of admiration, participated tence we are now writing-faulty as they only by a small party of listeners, and may both be-printed by steam, and transwhich, had even millions attended, could ported by steam, will be no sooner pubonly, after all, have extended to the radi- lished than they will be wafted to every us of the speaker's voice.

region of the habitable globe, -to India, From our first discovery of their coun- to America, to China, to every country in try to the present day, their eloquence Europe, to every colony we possess, to has passed away like the loud moaning our friends, and to our foes, wherever noise which the wind makes in passing they may be. In short the hour has at through the vast wilderness they inhabit, last arrived at which the humblest individand which, however it may affect the tra- ual in our community is enabled to say to veller who chances to hear it, dies away those, whoever they may be, who are seen in the universe unrecorded.

Ito wield authority wickedly,

who can


Si vous m'opprimez, si vos grandeurs dédaignent went through Germany, and GUTENBERG ! Les pleurs des innocens que vous faites couler, GUTENBERG !! was toasted in many a Mon vengeur est au ciel : apprenez à trembler !

bumper of Rhenish wine, amidst this corAs railroads have produced traffic, so dial and enthusiastic people.' But while has printing produced learned men ; and Gut! Guten! GUTENBERG ! are thus re'to this art, says Dr. Knox, “we owe the sounding through Germany, the web-footReformation. The cause of religion has ed inhabitants of the city of Harlaem, been most gloriously promoted by it ; for nothing daunted, still paddle through their it has placed the Bible in everybody's streets, with their burgomasters at their hands. Yet, notwithstanding the enor- head, holding annual festivals, and makmous mass of information it has impart- ing public speeches, in commemoration ed, it is, however, a most remarkable fact, of the grand discovery of the art by their that printing is one of those busybodies beloved Coster,' to whom various monu

every man's history but his ments have been erected.

But two o'clock has arrived, and we Although four centuries have not elap- therefore most readily abandon the histosed since the invention of the noble art, ry of printing, to return with Mr. Clowes's yet the origin of this transcendant light, people to his interesting establishment. veiled in darkness, is still a subject of On entering the door of a new departdispute ! No certain record has been ment, a number of workmen, in paper handed down fixing the precise time when caps, and with their shirt sleeves tucked --the person by whom—and the place up, may be seen at a long table, immewhence this art derived its birth. The diately under the windows, as well as at latent reason of this mystery is not very another table in the middle of the room, creditable to mankind; for printing hav- intently occupied at some sort of minute ing been as much the counterfeit as the niggling operation ; but what wholly ensubstitute of writing, from sheer avarice grosses the first attention of the stranger it was kept so completely a secret, that is the extraordinary convulsive attitudes we are told an artist, upon offering for of ten men, who, at equal distances from sale a number of Bibles, which so mirac- each other, are standing with their right ulously resembled each other in every shoulders close to the dead wall opposite particular that they were deemed to sur to the windows. pass human skill, was accused of witch- These men appear as if they were all craft, and tried in the year 1460.

possessed with St. Vitus' Dance, or as if Gutenberg, we all know, is said to have they were performing some Druidical or been the father of printing ; Schoeffer, the Dervishical religious ceremony. Instead, father of letter-founding ; Faust, or Fust, however, of being the servants of idolathe generous patron of the art ; and by trous superstition, they are in fact its Hansard these three are termed the grand most destructive enemies; for grotesque typographical triumvirate.' On the other as may be their attitudes, they are busily hand, Hadrianus Junius, who wrote the fabricating grains of intellectual gunpowhistory of Holland in Latin, published in der to explode it--we mean they are 1578, claims the great art for Harlaem, type-casting. assigning to Laurentius Coster the palm This important operation is performed of being the original inventor. Neither as follows :-In the centre of a three-inch our limits nor our inclination allow us to cube of hard wood, which is split into take any part in the threadbare discussion two halves like the shell of a walnut, of the subject. On the front of the house there is inserted the copper matrix or inhabited by Gutenberg, at Mentz, there form of the letter to be cast. The two is the following inscription >

halves of the cube when put together

are so mathematically adjusted that their • JOVANNI GUTTEMBERGENSI,

separation can scarcely be detected, and Moguntino Qui Primus Omnium Literas Are

accordingly down the line of junction Impriinendas Invenit,

there is pierced, from the outer face of Hac Arte De Orbe Toto Bene Merenti.' this wood, to the copper matrix, a small

hole, into which the liquid metal is to be Besides a fine statue by Thorwals-cast, and from which it can easily be exden, erected in the city, was opened tricated by the opening or bisection of amidst a burst of enthusiasm. 'For three the cube. Besides this piece of wood, days,' says a late writer, the population the type-caster is provided with a little of Mayence was kept in a state of high furnace, and a small cauldron of liquid excitement. The echo of the excitement metal, projecting about a foot from the

[ocr errors]

of sup

wall, on his right. The wall is protected A good rubber can finish about 2000 an by sheet-iron, which is seen shining and hour. glittering in all directions with the metal By a fourth process, the types are, by that in a liquid state has been tossed men or boys, fixed into a sort of composupon it to a great height.

ing stick about a yard long, where they On the floor, close at the feet of each are made to lie in a row with their . nicks' caster,' there is a small heap of coals, all uppermost : 3000 or 4000 per hour while a string or two of onions hanging can be thus arranged. here and there against the wall, suffici. In a fifth process, the bottom extremiently denote that those who, instead of|ties of these types, which had been left leaving the building at one o'clock, dine rough by the second process, are, by the within it, are not totally unacquainted stroke of a plane, made smooth, and the with the culinary art.

letter-ends being then turned uppermost, The ladles are of various denominations, the whole line is carefully examined by a according to the size of the type to be microscope; the faulty type, technically cast. There are some that contain as termed 'fat-faced,' 'lean-faced,' and 'botmuch as a quarter of a pound of metal, tle-bottomed,' are extracted; and the rest but for common-sized type the instrument are then extricated from the stick, and does not hold more than would one-half left in a heap. of the shell of a small hazle-nut.

The last operation is that of 'telling With the mould in the left hand, the them down and papering them up,' to be founder with his right dips his little in- ready for distribution when required. strument into the liquid metal—instantly! By the system we have just described, pours it into the hole of the cube, and Mr. Clowes possesses the power then, in order to force it down to the plying his compositors with a stream of matrix, he jerks up the mould higher than new type, flowing upon them at the rate his head; as suddenly he lowers it, by a of 50,000 per day! quick movement, opens the cube, shakes Type-founding has always been conout the type, closes the box, re-fills it, re. sidered to be a trade of itself, and there jerks it into the air, re.opens it—and, by is not in London, or we believe in the a repetition of these rapid manæuvres, world, any other great printing establisheach workman can create from 400 to ment in which it is comprehended; but 500 types an hour.

the advantages derived from this connecBy the convulsive jerks which we have tion are very great, as types form the lifedescribed the liquid is unavoidably tossed blood of a printing-house, and, therefore, about in various directions; yet, strange whatever facilitates their circulation adds to say, the type-founder, following the to its health and promotes science. general fashion of the establishment, per Small, insignificant, and undecipherable forms this scalding operation with naked as types appear to inexperienced eyes, arms, although in many places they may yet, when we reflect upon the astonishing be observed to have been more or less effects they produce, they forcibly remind burned.

us of that beautiful parable of the grain As soon as there is a sufficient heap of of mustard-seed, which indeed is the type cast, it is placed before an intelligent least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is little boy, (whose pale wan face sufficient- the greatest among herbs, and becometh a ly explains the effect that has been pro- tree, so that the birds of the air come and duced upon it by the antimony in the lodge in the branches thereof. But, castmetal,) to be broken off to a uniform ing theory aside, we will endeavour to length; for, in order to assist in forcing demonstrate the advantages which not the metal down to the matrix, it was ne- only the establishment before us, but the cessary to increase the weight of the type whole literary world, bonâ fide derives by doubling its length. At this operation from a cheap, ready, and never-failing a quick boy can break off from 2000 to supply of type. 3000 types an hour, although, be it ob By possessing an ample store of this served, by handling new type a workman primum mobile of his art, a printer is has been known to lose his thumb and enabled, without waiting for the distribuforefinger from the effect of the antimony. tion or breaking up of the type of the va.

By a third process the types are rubbed rious publications he is printing, to supply on a flat stone, which takes off all rough- his compositors with the means of 'setness or 'bur' from their sides, as well as ting up whatever requires immediate ata adjusts their beards' and their shanks. tention---literary productions, therefore,

of every description are thus relieved ready to admit new information—to refrom unnecessary quarantine, the promul- ceive fresh facts—to so late a moment, gation of knowledge is hastened, the dis- that our eight or ten articles may be sent tance which separates the writer from the to the printer on a Monday with directions reader is reduced to its minimum. to be ready for publication on the Satur

But besides the facility which the pos- day. session of abundance of type gives both But notwithstanding all the examples to the publisher and to the public, the we have given of the present increased printer's range, or in other words the ra- expenditure of type, our readers will prodius, to the extent of which he is enabled bably be surprised when they are informto serve the world, is materially increased; ed of the actual quantity which is required. for with an ample supply he can manage The number of sheets now standing in to keep type in forms until his proofs type in Messrs. Clowes's establishment, from a distance can be returned corrected. each weighing on an average about 100lbs., In a very large printing establishment like are above 1600. The weight of type not that before us, this radius is very nearly in forms amounts to about 100 tons !-the the earth's diameter ; for Messrs. Clowes weight of the stereotype plates in their are not only enabled, by the quantity of possession to about 2000 tons: the cost type they possess, to send proofs to the to the proprietors (without including the East and West Indies, but they are at this original composition of the types from moment engaged in printing a work regu- which they were cast) about 200,0001. larly published in England every month, The number of wood-cuts is about 50,000, the proof-sheets of which are sent by our of which stereotype-casts are taken and steamers to be corrected by the author sent to Germany, France, &c. in America !

Having mentioned the amount of stere. Again, in the case of books that are otype-plates in the establishment, it is pro. likely to run into subsequent editions, a per that we should now visit the foundry printer who has plenty of type to spare in which they are cast. The principal can afford to keep the forms standing un- piece of furniture in this small chamber til the work has been tested; and then, if is an oven, in appearance such as is comother editions are required, they can, on monly used by families for baking bread the whole, be printed infinitely cheaper In front of it there stands a sort of dres. than if the expense of composition were ser; and close to the wall on the right, in each separate edition to be repeated and adjoining the entrance door, a small the publisher, the printer, and the public, table. The • forms' or pages of types, all, therefore, are gainers by this arrange after they have been used by the printer, ment.

and before the stereotype impression can In bye-ways as well as in high-ways, be taken from them, require to be cleaned, literary labourers of the humblest des- in order to remove from them the particles cription are assisted by a printing estab- of ink with which they have been clogged lishment possessing abundance of type. in the process of printing. As soon as For instance, in its juvenile days, the this operation is effected, the types are 'Quarterly Review' (which, by the way, carefully oiled, to prevent the cement is now thirty years old) was no sooner sticking to them, and when they have been published than it was necessary that the thus prepared, they are placed at the bot. first article of the following number should tom of a small wooden frame, where they go to press, in order that the printer lie in appearance like a schoolboy's slate. might be enabled, article by article, to In about a quarter of an hour the plaster. complete the whole in three months. Of of-Paris, which is first dabbed on with a the inconvenience to the editor attendant cloth and then poured upon them, becomes upon this never-ending-still-beginning' | hard, and the mixture, which somewhat system, we deem it proper to say nothing : resembles a common Yorkshire pudding, our readers, however, will at once see the is then put into the oven, where it is baked scorbutic inconvenience which they them- for an hour and a half. It is then put into selves must have suffered by having been a small iron coffin with holes in each core supplied by us with provisions, a consider- ner, and buried in a cauldron of liquid able portion of which had unavoidably metal, heated by a small furnace close to been salted down for nearly three months. the oven—the little vessel containing the Now, under the present system, the con- type gradually sinks from view, until the tents of the whole number lie open to silvery glistening wave rolling over it enfresh air, correction, and conviction-are tirely conceals it from the eye. It remains

« ForrigeFortsett »