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Daunou, who thus expresses himself respecting this divine art: “ We live too near the epoch of the discovery of Printing to judge accurately of its influence, and too far from it to know exactly the circumstances which gave birth to it.

• Of all the discoveries which have been made, we conceive the reflecting mind will acknowledge that none have tended more to the improvements and comforts of society than that of printing; in truth, it would almost be impossible to enumerate the advantages derived by all professions from the streams of this invaluable fountain, this main-spring of all our transactions in life. It has been justly remarked by a celebrated writer, that, were the starry heavens deficient of ore constellation, the vacuum could not be better supplied, than by the introduction of a printing-press.

** The more we reflect, the greater becomes our surprise, till at length we are lost in wonder and astonishment, that the art should have lain dormant for so many generations, (when the principle was so universally known,) without being brought into general use : still we may consider it fortunate in other respects; and was, no doubt, ordered for a wise purpose, because, had it received its birth during the dark ages, before civilization began to dawn, it is not improbable, (considering the opposition it at first met with,) but it would have been strangled in its infancy, and consigned to an early tomb! But Providence has ordained it otherwise. The first printers, as though aware of the consequence of too early an exposure, administered an gath of secresy to their servants; and these deserving individuals cindefatigably laboured for the space of twenty years, until the infant, which they had sedulously rocked in the cradle of Industry, arrived at full maturity: then it was that this noble invention filled Europe with amazement and consternation, the powerful blaze of which has proved too much for the whole phalanx of priests, scribes, and their adherents, to extinguish. On finding all their efforts vain, they artfully pretended to turn in its favour, and reported it to be a divine gift, fit only to be exercised in monasteries, chapels, and religious houses; and the printers were courted to fall into their views, several of whom accepted the invitation : but this narrow policy was of short duration, the art spread with too rapid strides to be confined within such circumscribed linits; for as fast as individuals gained a knowledge of the mystery, they commenced the undertaking in different places; by which means those who had till then remained in ignorance, gained a true sense of religion, and the chicanery of the priests, from that period, gradually became more apparent, and has sunk into comparative insignificance, during the progress of the glorious Reformation.

• Viewing the subject in its proper light, can we too highly prize that art, which has, and ever must continue (in opposition to all attempts to shackle it) not only to amuse and instruct the young ; but also to cheer and console the aged, while journeying to the close of this vale of tears? It is much to be regretted, that many of those on whom Providence has so profusely lavished her bounty, should withhold their assistance to the labourers in this vineyard : in short, VOL. XXII. N.S.

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kave been his first essay. Atkyns's veracity appears to be very questionable, for he had a law-suit depending with the Stationers' Company, at the time of publishing his " Original

and Growth of Printing,” which suit would in some degree be influenced by the agitation of the question. Accordingly, he brought forward a book bearing date at Oxford in 1468, entitled Exposicio Sancti Jeronimi in Simbolum Apostolorum " ad Papum Laurentium;" and he endeavoured to establish this proof of priority, by a document said to have been obtained from the Registry of the See of Canterbury at Lambeth; wherein it was affirmed, that the printer, Frederick Corsellis, had been seduced over to this country through the authority of the king, by whom he was established at Oxford. This argument is refuted by supposing an error to have been made in the date of the “ Exposicio," of 1468 for 1478; blunder by no means uncommon in the infancy of printing: of this mistake, Atkyns is thought to have taken advantage. and to have bolstered up his theory either by forging the document said to have been discovered at Lambeth, or by giving it an existence it never possessed. This part of the controversy remains in doubt, for no such document seems ever to have been seen or heard of by any one save Mr. Atkyns, and his supporters are compelled to assume that it was destroyed in the great fire at London, which, unfortunately for it and then, occurred 'soon after its supposed discovery! Copies of the “ Expositio” which has occasioned all this con=' troversy, are extant, one of which may be seen in the public Library of Cambridge.

The origin and history of copper-plate and wood engraving are detailed, in which investigation the Author has made great use of the valuable works of Mr. Otley and Mr. Dibdin.

The second volume is entitled the Printer's INSTRUC“ TOR.” It contains every species of information necessary for the operative printer, and many of the remarks will be equally useful to those who write for the press. It is, moreover, illustrated by alphabets in all characters and languages. Those denominated Doomsday contractions occur, we believe, for the first time in this work; and they cannot but be con sidered as an acquisition to those who have to decipher old documents ; particularly to writers upon subjects of early topography, wherein these puzzling abbreviations frequently, oc

We shall subjoin an extract or two, to shew the manner in which the Author has accomplished this useful division of his work,

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• POINTS.-Points are not of equal antiquity with printing, though, not long after its invention, the necessity of introducing stops or pauses in sentences, for the guidance of the reader, brought forward: the colon and full-point, the two first invented. In process of time, the comma was added to the infant punctuation, which then had no other figure than a perpendicular line. proportionable to the body of the letter. These three points were the only ones used till the close of the fifteenth century, when Aldus Manutius, a man eminent for the restoration of learning, among other improvements in the art of printing, corrected and enlarged the punctuation, by giving a better shape to the comma, adding the semi-colon, and assigning to the former points a more proper place ; the comma denoting the smaller pause, the semi-colon next, then the colon, and the full point termi. nating the sentence. The notes of interrogation and admiration. were not added till many years after.

* These points are allowed to answer all the purposes of punctuation, though some pedantic persons have suggested the propriety of increasing them, by having one below the comma, and another between the comma and semi-colon. So far are we from imagining that such an introduction will meet with encouragement, that we confidently expect to see the present number diminislied, by the total exclusion of the colon, a point long since considered unnecessary, and now but seldom used.

• Perhaps there never existed on any subject among men of learning, a greater difference of opinion, ihan on the true mode of punctuation, and scarcely can any two people be brought to agree in the same method; some making ihe pause of the semi-colon where the sense will only bear a comma; some contending for what is termed stiff pointing, and others altogether the reverse.

• The want of an established rule in this particular is much to be regretted. The loss of time to a compositor, occasioned often through whim or caprice, in altering points unnecessarily, is one of the greatest hardships he has to complain of in the progress of his profession.

• Scarcely nine works out of ten are sent properly prepared to the press ; either the writing is illegible, the spelling incorrect, or the punctuation defective. The compositor has often to read sentences of his copy more than once before he can ascertain what he conceives the meaning of his author, that he may not deviate from him in the punctuation ; this retards him considerably. But here it does not end-he, and the corrector of the press, though perhaps both intelligent and judicious men, differ in that in which few are found to agree, and the compositor has to follow either bis whim or better opinion. The proof goes to the author-he dissents from them both, and makes those alterations in print, which ought to have rendered his manuscript copy correct.

. Some compositors do not possess so perfect a knowledge of punctuation as others; to such ihe hardship becomes greater; the loss of time to them will be very considerable. The author'should, in the first instance, send his copy properly prepared to the press.

He must be the most competend judge of the length and strength of his own sentence, wbieb the introduction of a point from another might materially alter, a circumstance, not uncommon, as instances have occurred where a siugle point has completely reversed the meaning of a sentence.

ALPIN 51.911 The late Dr. Hunter, in reviewing a work, had occasion to censure it for its improper punctuation. He advises authors to leave the painting entirely to the printers, as from their constant practice, they inust have acquired a uniform mode of punctuation. We are decidedly of this opinion ; for unless the author will take the responsibility of the pointing entirely upon himself, it will be to the advantage of the compositor, and attended with less loss of time, not to meet with a single point in his copy, unless to terminate his sentence, than to have his mind confused by commas and semi-colons placed indiscriminately in the hurry of writing, without any regard to propriety. The author may reserve to himself his particular mode of punctuation, by directing the printer to point his work either loosely or not, and still have the opportunity of detecting in his proofs, whether a misplaced point injures bis sentence. The advantage resulting from this method would ensure unifor-, mity to the work, and remove in part from the compositor a burthen which has created no small degree of contention.'

Vol. II. pp. 546. There is much truth in these observations, though there are doubtless many exceptions to this charge of carelessness in authors. One instance we well remember in the person of the late veteran Cumberland, whose press copy, when nearly at the age of eighty, seldom bore the marks of erasure or cor rection. His page was a perfect picture,-pointed with the truest accuracy, written in: a fine, bold, even hand, which gave his lines all the advantage of being formed upon a mathematical scale, and his return proofs for press were, as far as related to himself, as free as his manuscript was clear. We have often heard compositors declare that they would as soon compose from his manuscript as from any printed copy they ever saw. The advantages and the rarity of this qualification will, however, further appear from the following remarks.

6 CASTING OFF Copy.–To cast off manuscript with accuracy and precision, is a task of a disagreeable nature, which requires great attention and deliberation. The trouble and difficulty is much increased, when the copy is not only irregularly written, (which is too frequently the case,) but also abounds with interlineations, erasures, and variations in the sizes of paper. To surmount these defects, the closest application and attention is required; yet at times, so numerous are ihe alterations and additions, that they not unfrequently baffle the skill and judgement of the most experienced calculators of copy. Such an imperfect and slovenly mode of sending works to

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