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abandoned as a hopeless task, to a small class of
men whose talent has been shown to a far greater CONTENTS.-No 43.
extent in abusing one another, than in their suc
cess in elucidating the truth, and who have conNOTES:- Observations upon Early Engraving and Printing, Part III., 385 - The Graves at Senafé, 388 - The cluded their labours by leaving the question in Virgin Queen, 389-Value of a General in Battle--Typhoon
far greater obscurity than they found it. If this - Original Poem, Latin and English, from a MS. written about 1630 - Thomas Baker of St. John's College, Cam.
sweeping censure be considered by any to be bridge - Confusion of Names - Pope and Molière - either unmerited or too severe, let him read Wooden Churches - First Book printed in Green, 389.
Meerman's Origines Typographicæ, 1765; HeiQUERIES :- Allegories and Parables - Mary Bateman
necken's Idée Générale, 1771; Santander's DicThomas Carew - An Eminent Carthusian - Ceremonial at Induction -“Commatice" - Cross-legged Effigies and tionnaire Bibliographique choisi du Quinzième the Crusades - Lady Anne Hamilton and Mr. Fitzstra
Siècle, 1805 ; Köning's Disseriation sur l'Origine, thern (or Fitzclarence) - Hertfordshire Wills -"Holed. stone" and Wayside Cross near Bolleit, Cornwall - In
l’Invention et le Perfectionnement de l' Imprimerie, dian Civil Service Examination, 1857 - "Journal of a | 1819; and wind up with Ottley's Inquiry into the Soldier:" its Author - Francis Junius - John Monins.
Origin and Early History of Printing: and I will Lieutenant of Dover Castle-Roll of Montrose's Adherents - Pluscardine Abbey: its “ History of Scotland” - Rush venture to predict he will, on the conclusion of worth's MSS., &c., 391.
his task, find his intellect landed in an imQUERIES WITH ANSWERS: - Thomas Earl of Coningsby -
penetrable fog, from which his ingenuity will Mrs. Pritchard's Epitaph - Saint Fillan - Quotations Island mentioned by Ptolemy - Bible Index - Essington,
altogether fail to emancipate him; and yet all &c. - Old Paper, 394.
this while the truth has been within their reach REPLIES:- Fons Bandusiæ, 396 - Chaucer's Chronology, at any moment they chose to grasp it, through 398 - Four-aisled Churches, 399 - Robert Burns, 16. –
the simple medium of common sense, and a New Application and Change of Terms, Words, &c., 400 — William Tans'ur. 401 - Flower Badges - Dovecot, or
| trifling knowledge of the first principles which Columbarium - Sir James Wilsford - Herder - Daniel
govern humanity. As the readiest means of Defoe, a Plagiarist - Noble of Edward III.- Hannah Lightfoot and George Rex - Joshua Sylvester and “The
arriving at this desirable result, the whole Soule's Errand” – "Not lost but gone before" - Hylton fable as to Laurence Coster, of Haarlem, having Castle, Durham - Napoleon I. - Oporinus the Printer Hale – Quotations : "Thoughts upon Thoughts,” &c., 402.
| had anything whatever to do with the invention
of printing must be absolutely discarded. To Notes on Books, &c.
enter upon the minutiæ of the reasoning which
justifies my altogether denying him the honour Notes.
claimed for him, would necessarily occupy more
| space than I think myself privileged to request in OBSERVATIONS UPON EARLY ENGRAVING
the columns of “N. & Q." I must therefore conAND PRINTING.
tent myself with incorporating in these observaPART III.
tions my previous remarks on the "Block Books,"
as well as the arguments I have adduced in It has been a favourite expression with all support of my declaration that they were not writers upon Early Printing that “the origin of known for many years after the "invention of the art which has given light to all others has printing with moveable types ; " and, inasmuch itself remained in obscurity, and hidden its own as Coster died in 1440, it necessarily follows that head in darkness.” The only sense in which I he could not have had anything to do with them, admit this statement to be true is, that the authors and consequently with printing. As tests within who ventured to make such a proclamation have the comprehension of every reader of “N, & Q." themselves assisted in creating the obscurity com- I will submit two among many which might plained of, by their senseless mistakes and squab- be readily suggested. 1st. That supposing the bles, so amply evinced in their partisan efforts invention of printing to have been a criminal to attribute the invention first to one and then offence according to the laws of England, the to another. In like manner, the only darkness in evidence which could by any possibility be raked which the origin of printing has hitherto been together against Coster, as such inventor, would hidden, has been that produced by the silly mys- altogether fail to secure a conviction, 2nd. That tery into which they have contrived to plunge it. had Coster brought an action against Guten
That, however, which appears to me to be far burg for damages, for pirating his invention, more astonishing, is that, in an age which may he would not have recovered a single farthing. justly pride itself on the power of steam, rail- | This way of putting the question may be someroads, and electric telegraphs, the invention of what singular, but it is eminently practical, and that art which has so materially promoted each of affords a fair criterion by which to arrive at the those wonders should, in the nineteenth century, | true state of the case between the two persons on still be concealed by the rust of ignorance in whose behalf the invention has in turns been which it has hitherto been smothered; and that claimed. To attempt, in the present advanced the important subject should have been utterly state of knowledge, to seriously contend for the honour on behalf of Mentelin of Strasburg would mode by which it appears to me such a result be time and patience thrown away to no purpose ; | might have been brought about is, that Gutenburg although, if desired, I shall be prepared to show having a MS. in his hand, by accident caught that no real grounds exist which can in any de- sight of its reflection in one of his own lookinggree justify the supposition. Under such circum- glasses, and that the idea at once suggested itself; stances I approach the man whom I venture to “Oh that I could but express upon vellum, that believe posterity will henceforth acknowledge as which I see in this glass !" "That, once imthe true and only inventor of printing in the broadest pressed with such notion, he devoted his thoughts sense of the word—viz. Gutenburg of Mayence. to it, matured it, finally satisfied himself that With his name we fortunately emerge from the it was practicable, and thereupon devoted his life region of romance, and are at length refreshed to its development. The intention that his diswith a tangible fact which can be dealt with— covery should be made available for the common viz. the publication of the Psalmorum Codex at purposes of every-day life assuredly could not have Mayence in 1457, which still retains its lead then entered his mind, or he would not have acted as a marvel in the art of printing. Here, then, as he did. In his enthusiasm, the ruling idea was we have fair grounds for speculation, and to that he would successfully rival the finest manuconsider, under what circunstances the idea script which could be found. Impressed with that of printing first suggested itself to Gutenburg, feeling, he selected a MS. of the Biblia Sacra as and when? Upon making the discovery, to his standard of comparison, and resolved to prowhat use did he attempt to apply it? Why duce a printed book which, when placed side by did he aim at instant perfection in the art, to side with the MS., should be identical with it in attain which must have cost him so much time every respect. Any thing short of this must have and labour, and involved him in so many disap- appeared to him in the light of a failure, and under pointments and discouragements, to say nothing that belief he proceeded. In this hypothesis a of the great and, at first sight, needless expense it
| sufficient and satisfactory reason may be readily occasioned ? All these, and many other questions found for the years of toil and labour which had to of interest suggest themselves, which might be be endured ere victory could be gained. “Aut Cæsar mentioned with advantage, did space but permit. aut nullus " was his motto, and he ultimately conThat which is known to bibliopolists as the quered by the production of that printed Bible in “Strasburg process of 1439," has introduced Gut- | two volumes which is now commonly known as enburg to us as a member of a firm then engaged the Mazarine Bible. Much has been written at in that city in the manufacture of looking-glasses rious times as to the secrecy in which the inyenfor the market of Aix-la-Chapelle. Whether, as tion was nursed in its infancy; but on the hypoUlric Zell has declared, Gutenburg made his dis- thesis I have advanced, the imperative necessity covery in 1440, or a few years later, certain it is for such secrecy becomes clear. The Church at that in 1444 he abandoned his business at Stras that period comprised the greater portion of learnburg, and removed to Mayence, the place of his | ing, and to it Gutenburg looked as his principal birth, and almost immediately after, entered into source of remuneration. The discovery was to be relations with Fust, in connection with his in launched, as it were, under false pretences. The vention. Thirteen years later, the first printed volumes were to be introduced to the clergy as book with a date was published, the honour of MSS., and at least for a time that position was which may be fairly divided between Gutenburg, to be maintained. . Any premature discovery, Fust, and Schoeffer. Shortly before that period therefore, of what was going on, would not only the Biblia Sacra, in two vols., was produced from have necessarily defeated the very object sought the press of Gutenburg and his associates. It, to be attained, but have enabled other persons however, bore no date, which circumstance adds to have forestalled the inventor by printing inanother interesting query to those I have already ferior works. These reasons are in themselves mentioned, and for which absence, a substantive sufficient to account for the belief that but few and powerful reason must have existed. As the hands, if any, but those of Gutenburg, Fust, and field of conjecture is open to all who desire to | Schæffer, were engaged in the production of the search for the nascent idea which gave rise to work, or permitted to have any insight as to what printing, I will now attempt to unravel the was in progress, and at the same time, they fully mystery, and submit my views on the question, explain the lengthened period the preparation of quantum valeant.
the work required ere it could be ready for publiMy firm belief is, that, like many other great cation. This train of reasoning I venture to subinventions, the art of printing presented itself mit as being in every manner more feasible and to the mind of its inventor in a moment—that it probable than the absurd notion that Laurence flashed through his brain with the rapidity of Coster, of Haarlem, discovered the art, circa 1410, thought and that he divined its purpose in its by cutting a letter on the bark of a birch tree, esentirety, on the instant. If that be so, the readiest pecially when it is borne in mind that it was not
until 1483 that the first book with a date was introduce it into France. Jenson was the person printed at Haarlem.
so recommended (Willett's “Observations on Early The publication of the Biblia Sacra may be Printing,” Archæologia, vol. viii. p. 240). From fixed circa 1454–5, and it realised to the full the the same authority we learn, that “all the first hopes and expectations of the inventor. The task printers in the various parts of Europe were Gerof introducing it to the clergy was entrusted to mans, and the art seems to have been dispersed Fust (otherwise Faustus), and the success was im- | everywhere by them." mediate and decisive. The sale of several copies | The practice of casting metal types was diof the books did not suffice to disclose the fact of vulged by the workmen of Mentz in 1462, shortly their having been produced by printing. On the before the death of Fust, whose last work, “ Tully's contrary, each copy was deemed a genuine MS., | Offices," was published by him in 1465. and the only means by which the repetitions were | I now resume my remarks on the “Block Books," accounted for was, that Fust had been aided by which have yet to be accounted for, and assigned his Satanic Majesty, which idea gave rise to the to their proper place in the “ History of Early popular story of “The Devil and Doctor Faus | Printing and Engraving.” En passant, however, I
may observe that the only two substantial addiThus, according to D'Israeli (Curiosities of Lite- tions to the discovery of Gutenburg which have rature," p. 27), "a considerable number of copies | hitherto been developed, are those inventions of the Bible were printed to imitate MSS., and which relate to the Printing Press and Stereothe sale of them in Paris entrusted to Fust, as typing. Profound as the darkness has hitherto MSS. Consequent upon his selling them at sixty been relating to the invention of printing, it crowns per copy, whilst the other scribes de exists in full force as to the discoverers of the art manded five hundred, universal astonishment of stereotyping. That invention has been errowas created, and still more when he produced co- neously declared by some writers to have origipies as fast as they were wanted, and even lowered | nated with a Dutch printer, one Van der Mey, his price. The uniformity of the copies increased who, in the commencement of the 18th century, the wonder. Informations were given in to the published an edition of the Bible with fixed type, magistrates against him as a magician, and on his process consisting in soldering all the types searching his lodgings a great number of copies together in a page, and thereby permanently fixing were found. The red ink-and Fust's red ink is them. This first essay was not, however, found peculiarly brilliant—which embellished his copies to answer; hence the poor Dutchman's name was said to be his blood, and it was solemnly ad- slipped off the “rail of time," and is all but forjudged that he was in league with the infernals. gotten. In 1725, William Ged, a goldsmith in Fust at length was obliged to save himself from Edinburgh, renewed the attempt, and in 1739 a bonfire—to reveal his art to the parliament of produced some volumes of the classics, of a small Paris, who discharged him from all prosecution, size, for the use of schools ; and added a colophon, in consideration of the wonderful invention." I which announced that they were “not executed
The truth having thus been avowed, and the by moveable types, but by tablets of fixed metal.” marvellous power of the art acknowledged, then Ged, however, got more honour than profit, and it was that printing was openly proclaimed, died in very straitened circumstances in 1749, and the celebrated Psalmorum Codex produced, but is still recognised as the inventor of stereoproudly bearing its date “1457.” In England the typing. . joyful news was at once noticed in the Register of Strange as it may grate upon the senses of the Garter, wherein, under date 35 Henry VI. some of my readers, I shall be compelled to anno 1457, it is said, “In this year of our most dispute the right either of Van der Mey, or Ged, to pious king, the art of printing books first began claim the honour of being the inventor of this at Mentz, a famous city of Germany" (History of branch of the art, and thus add another link to the Garter, vol. ii. p. 161). In like manner, Fabian, in chain of my objections to all preconceived notions his Chronicle, states, “ This yere (35 Henry VI.) upon “ early printing and engraving." begain in a citie of Almaine, named Mogunce, “As a matter of course, the style of printing of the the crafte of empryntying bokys, which sen that Biblia Sacra, and Psalmorum Codex of 1457 could tyme hath had wonderful encreace.”
not possibly be maintained, and indeed it was France was not behindhand in her appreciation wholly unnecessary for any practical purpose. In of the advantages to be derived from the astound- | the first urgency of the demand for printing, cost ing discovery, as in 1458 Charles VII. directed became altogether a secondary consideration. A the officery of his mint to recommend a proper universal thirst existed, and great was the struggle person to him who might be sent privately to to assuage it. Books! books! was the general Mentz to inquire into an art that then made so cry, and under their benign influence the expanmuch noise, and was practised by Gutenburg in sion of knowledge first became firmly planted, that city, with a view to learn it if possible, and education began to flourish, and its blessings to