Page images


Adapted from Geoffrey Tory by Charlotte Whittingham. Engraved by Mary Byfield, and used in Singer's Shakespeare.

[graphic][merged small]

HARLES Whittingham the Nephew and William Pickering were fast friends for a quarter of a century. During all that time they never

had a disagreement, so far as I can learn, although they had many an argument concerning the fashion of a book. Whittingham's judgment in “make-ups” usually prevailed, as Pickering always acknowledged with the best grace in the world. The two men met frequently for consultation, and whenever the bookseller visited the press, which he often did, there were brave experiments toward. The printer would produce something new in title-pages, or in color-work, or ornament, and the bookseller would propound some new venture in the reproduction of an ancient volume. Each man was ready to receive suggestions from the other, and ready to give them, into the bargain. They made it a point, moreover, to pass their Sundays together, either at the printer's house or at Pickering's, and I dare say planned all manner of hazards even then. But as it was the artistic side of the book-making business, and as the intercourse brought forth a numerous progeny of superb prayer-books, breviaries, and ecclesiastical manuals, I venture to bespeak for our departed friends the pardon of the Lord's Day Observance folk.

The names and the works of Whittingham and Pickering were so long and so intimately associated that it was natural enough for a friend of the printer to ask one day which man had more influenced the other - Pickering Whittingham, or Whittingham Pickering.

“My dear sir,” replied Nephew Charles, “when you tell me which half of a pair of scissors is the more useful I will answer your question!”

William Pickering's bookshop was frequented by “the most distinguished patrons of the day.” It had been so from the first, for Pickering had started in business under fortunate, albeit slightly irregular auspices, due to the romantic, if somewhat secret, circumstances of his birth. He was of noble lineage, although the conventionalities of



From an oil painting by Charlotte Whittingham.

« PreviousContinue »