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work, complete, finished, and all but perfect-the envy of modern printers. Says Hallam in a fine passage: "It is a very striking circumstance that the high-minded inventors of this great art tried at the very outset so bold a flight as the printing of an entire Bible, and executed it with astonishing success. It was Minerva leaping on earth in her divine strength and radiant armor. The Mazarin Bible is printed with strong black ink and tolerably handsome, but with some want of uniformity, which has led to a doubt whether the letters were cast. We may in imagination see this venerable and splendid volume, leading up the crowded myriads of its followers and imploring as it were a blessing on the new art by dedicating its first-fruits to Heaven." What was the secret of this marvellous success all at once it is hard to say, but the course of printing displays many such miracles. It is noteworthy that the Bible, as it is the most universally read, should have been the first of all the books. By an odd coincidence, the writer of these lines was giving a lecture, the very night of the sale of this Bible, before the Historical Research Society, and almost came from the auction room to tell the tale of the First book. The bibliographers cannot quite agree as to what should be the correct number of pages in the volumes. Panzer counts 321 and 316 in vols. i. and ii., Van Praet 312 in vol. ii. In the Vienna National Library, and also at Munich, are copies which have four folios at the beginning containing a summary of all the chapters. These are wanting in in other copies. There is a good deal of caprice about the lines in each page. We also hear of the "42-line Bible," and later of the 36-line Bible. In the first nine pages we find forty lines in each page, in the tenth forty-one, and in each of the rest fortytwo lines per page. There are two columns in each page; there are 641 leaves in the book, which makes 1,282 pages in all-a stupendous business. This change of the number of lines from forty-two to forty and forty-one lines is accounted for by the fact that the type was recast with the same “face,” though the "body" was made smaller, so that more letters could be accommodated in the page. Thus forty-two lines were fitted in the space which had before held only forty or forty-one.
The type is of the "missal" kind-that is, tall, narrow, German text letters, put very closely together, to be contrasted with the coarse and burly "Gothic" letter later in fashion. This German or Gothic letter was in vogue for some twenty years, and was naturally adopted in imitation of the common manuscript letter. With it were also adopted the confusing "contractions" of handwriting-the stroke over the consonant to signify a vowel, &c. It was not until 1468 or 1469 that the Venetian printers introduced the elegant Roman letter now universal, which they saw on the inscribed tablets and Roman arches about them. The ink is of a rich
lustrous ebony tint. There is also red ink used, which involved two printings-always a nice matter in such operations.
It is to be noted that a portion of the work was deliberately left to be completed by hand and filled up in manuscript. We can understand the reason for leaving spaces for the capitals; but the headlines, titles of chapters, and "explicits" at end of each division are all written in. It might seem just as easy to put these in print. Printers declare that nothing can surpass the exactness of the "register"
that is, the mathematical precision with which the lines on both sides of the page correspond. There are no "signs," "catch words" or "numerals." The lines of red printing are found in the body of the work. The Prologue to Genesis-"Incipit plogus"
is thus ushered in; and at the conclusion of the Prologue comes the title to Genesis, also in red, There is no more red-ink printing, but in most copies the other titles are put in with the pen in red. It is wonderful, by the way, what an effect of color and variety was produced in these old tomes by the use of "illumination," as it was called. The artist went over the whole with his stylus-dashing in a flowery letter in red, now one in blue, now a curved line, now a flourish-the whole being regulated to produce an artistic effect. The "punctuation," if it can be so called, is of an elementary kind, stops seeming to be put down capriciously here and there, as presbyterum. de omnibus divine. historie. The dot on the "i" is denoted by a little crook like the letter "c" placed on its side; divided words are linked by a couple of slanting dashes. De Bure thinks that he recognizes the same type that is used in the great later "monuments," the "Speculum" and the Psalter, but it is believed that this is not the
The wonder of wonders is that we should actually find the watermarks in the fine stout paper, and there are four kinds: the bull's head surmounted by a stick, in the form of a cross; a simple head; a small bull, his feet forward, and placed between columns; and a bunch of grapes.
The most careless study of the letters-the fac simile of which is given by Dr. Dibdin-will show that they were printed from cut metal types, not There is clearly the attempt to make each letter (of the same kind) uniform, but each varies more or less, exactly as one would expect in the case of a carved letter. Here a bit more of the metal is taken away than was intended, and there the line is not quite straight, the tool having slipped. One might feel a conviction as to all this, and be certain that the Mazarin Bible was made with cut or carvedout letters.
There can be no question but that Schaeffer's plan of casting the letters from moulds was an all-important idea, without which little or nothing could have been done with printing. Nay, one might almost
go further, that it was the really essential element in printing. With the letters carved, one might as well have gone back to manuscript writing. You could change them; but they were so few, and the progress of manufacture was so slow and costly, that very few books could have appeared. Schaeffer's ideas set no limit to the number. You might have scores of A's and B's as fast as the melted lead would run into the mould, while to cut one single letter became a long and laborious operation. Very lately some American inventors have contrived what they call a logotype machine. The principle is that distribution being slow and costly, it would be cheaper to melt down the letters, and by one act recast them anew and put them in their places. This is actually done. The question, therefore, may be fairly discussed whether a really important share of the credit of the discovery should not be allotted to the ingenius Schaeffer, who, beyond question, brought the invention "into circulation," as it were. And this suggestion goes far to explain the constant claims the Schaeffers put forward during generations to the credit of having discovered the most important part of the process.
Some of the more important copies which have appeared for sale of late years are the Perkins (1875), on vellum, which brought £3,400; that on paper, £2,690. The Syston Park copy, belonging to Sir John Thorold, was sold in 1884 for £3,900, and resold at the Makellar sale, 1898, for £2,950. Lord Crawford's copy, in 1887, brought £2,650; and Lord Hopetoun's, in 1889, £2,000. In 1897-8 Mr. Quaritch was offering the "Perkins" for salea well-known copy which passed, at the sale of 1873, to Lord Ashburnham for £3,400, and was now or lately tendered for £5,000. (The difference in price would not pay for the accrued interest). Apart from its typographical merits, this is richly set off and adorned by 123 richly colored miniature initials and decorative borderings, with birds, flowers, fruits, monkeys, grotesques, &c. It has an early binding (circa 1500) of thick wooden boards (real board), covered with stamped leather, having metal bosses-"bullet defying," Dibdin says-put on by the original binder. It is surprising what beautiful artistic effects were produced by this mixture of type and pictures. The blank compartment, where the initial was to be put, seemed to be a challenge to the artist; the black rows of type seemed a foil to the rest; and he filled the spaces with some elegant little pictures of extraordinary effect, considering their size. With the borders, &c., he "let himself go," dashing down the margins with flourishings, often straying it on the type itself. The letter was often in gold burnished, as in the Venetian "Pliny." This gold is as bright, fresh, and dazzling as it was four hundred years ago. It reads, "ater Ambrosius," of course, for "Pater Ambrosius," space being left for a capital "P,"
which was to be put in by the scribe or miniaturist, whose profession was not extinguished by the invention. This was part of the typographers' system, who, it was said, tried to pass off their work as manuscript. And the purchasers were thought to favor the notion, as they could not believe that the prodigy of printing could be wrought save by magic.
There is no date of publication or name of printer or place. Both the place and date of publication and publisher's name are after all by no means essential to a book where matter is presumed to suffice for itself. The date or place does not increase the interest, though it might be the author's business to announce the date. Though the Schaeffers were precise in giving date and place, it is curious to find what a large number of their early "fifteeners" are marked "s. a. et 1.," that is, sine anno et loco, in the catalogues. Many of Mentelin's and Zell's and A. Sorg's are thus undistinguished.
The art of "collation" of books has become quite scientific in the hands of the bibliographers. Ordinary folk imagine that to collate it is necessary to put the two works side by side, and thus ascertain if they correspond but by the rules of collation the terms of description may become so strict and accurate as not to need the actual presence of the original work. The owner has only to compare the description with his copy.
No one can conceive the amount of learning and of regular scientific exploration that has been applied to the point of settling the priority in date of these early volumes. For the first of all the book is dateless, and after the first four or five monuments," which are regularly dated, the early German printers did not care to date their volumes. Fust first and the Schaeffers later were always scrupulous in this matter. But the ingenuity of tests, the research displayed by the Hessels, Bradleys, and other moderns in actually tracing the types from one book to the other, and thus establishing a connection, is wonderful.
It is a disastrous thing to have to record that after this triumphant success we find the unlucky inventor at once engaged in a lawsuit with his partner who wished to recover his advances-in which poor Gutenberg was cast in damages. All the papers of this process have been preserved, with the names and testimony of the witnesses, and the decree of the judges. We may indeed speculate how it was that Fust, if he were partner in the venture, could make a claim for reimbursement; but the fact was, the sums were advanced, not to print the book, but to help Gutenberg to make his researches. The total demand was for about 2,000 florins or guilders. A decree was given in November, 1455-apparently the year in which the Bible "came out "—that Gutenberg should furnish an account of all payments and receipts for their joint interests, and that further sums owing must be repaid with interest.
It proved that there was a large balance against him, to meet which his stock-types, presses, &c.were taken possession of by Fust, and Gutenberg was ejected from his Franciscan Street office.
Gutenberg's record of work is not a long one, consisting of the first Bible, the "Catholicon" aforesaid, and some three tracts, one of which, "Mathæus de Cracovia," was lately in Mr. Quaritch's hands. It is a small quarto tract of some 40 pp., and closes in a devotional way, praying "that there may be no evil or scandalous habit for ever and ever. Amen." The last words are a descriptive treatise of "Reason and Conscience," "on the taking of the healthful food of the Body of our Lord Jhesu Christi. Finit." Again the same self-denying modesty. The text is is in dialogue form, between Reason and Conscience. But spaces are left at the beginning of each speech for the names "Reason," &c., which are filled in with pen and ink. The identical type of the "Catholicon" is used, and the handwriting is the same as in that work. And thus the book is brought into connection with the printer. This "Catholicon" suggests yet another problem, which I have not seen touched upon. Gutenberg having lost all his stock of types, where did he get his new stock for this bulky book; and how was it fashioned? He could not have produced it by his old method of "cutting out" or "punching" he had no money; nor was he likely to have helped himself to Schaeffer's new device of lead castings. The latter would assuredly have secured himself by a "privilege" or patent. This seems a little perplexing.
What time Gutenberg closed his agitated and disappointing life is not certain. It is known that he enjoyed the patronage of the Prince-Bishop, and received from him some honor and emolument. Dr. Humery, Syndic of Mentz at the time, on February 24, 1468, gave a receipt to the Archbishop for various "formes" of types and other materials that had been the property of Gutenberg; which furnishes fair proof that he had died a little before.
The new firm of Fust & Shaeffer was "pushful," and the partners found their way to Paris, bringing with them a stock of their second Bible of 1462, the first with a date, which they offered for forty crowns a copy. One of the legends is that they tried to pass them as manuscript; but a glance at the Colophon completely disproves this, as it states that the work was not "done by either pen, reed, or stylus, but with metal letters." Some years before this visit King Charles VII. had heard of "the new invention for stamping off books made by one. Messire Gutenberg, Chevalier, residing at Mentz," and despatched Jenson, the famous printer of Venice, to Germany, to inquire into the matter. This was about 1458.
They had an agent in Paris, one Statthoen, who died in 1475, when by the laws all their property,
they being foreigners, passed to the King. This King, however, was Louis IX., who very generously restored the money, for their stock had been sold for over 2,000 crowns. In it he talks of their invention as "stamped writing," a very good definition, for the word "printing" is very ambiguous; and describes them as having made plusieurs baulx livers singuliers et exquiz.
At the end of most of Schaeffer & Fust's tomes we find the escutcheon of the firm in red: a quaint device, two shields together with some mysterious devices in white. Some have thought that these were their coats-of-arms, and one Fabricius has compared them with the heraldic records at Frankfort, and says they correspond. He interprets the first device as a St. Andrew's Cross, and the second, a chevron, as a Greek "lambra." It is curious that even in such early books we should find a printers' device; evidence certainly of the pride they felt in executing so prodigious and novel a task, for which they claimed the admiration of the world.
It has been mentioned that Fust was a printer himself. That he took the business seriously is evident from his Colophon to the edition of Cicero's "Offices," issued in 1465, where he declared that he, John Fust, by means of this most lovely art, “and the hand of my boy (puer) Peter, had happily accomplished the work." There is a rather lofty tone here, as coming from the head of the firm; but it is clear from this that Fust was an equitable man, and gave credit where it was due, as he would have done in the case of Gutenberg had he thought him entitled to the credit.
Some two years after the partners separated, in 1457, Fust and Peter Schaeffer, we may presume, brought out their second work, which is considered the most stupenduous effort of the press, allowing for its then resources. This was the "Grand Psalter," or Chaunt Book, which in every department excites astonishment and admiration. It is the rarest and most costly of these "prehistoric books, and turns up for sale perhaps once in half a century. The all-conquering Quaritch had of course a copy, which was valued at £6,000. "This fine book of decretals, issued in the noble city of Mentz, on which the ever-glorious Almighty has deigned to prefer and to exalt beyond all other nations of the earth with the gracious gift of the art of printingnot done with a metal pen and ink, but fashioned by the splendid invention of that venerated man Peter Schaeffer." Thus the Colophon.
One of the miracles connected with it which has never yet been solved was how the large florid initials, each some inches square, were contrived to be printed in two colors. A suggestion has been made that this was contrived by making the block in two pieces an outer and an inner-the latter being dropped in later. dropped in later. I believe the real solution is the
simplest, that the two portions were inked simul
taneously, there being only one printing. On the other hand, it must be said that a portion of the block has been found to be used in another book. The fine flowing lines in this initial, their closeness together, the absence of clogging, add to the perplexity.
These decorated "capitals" were of extraordinary size-three inches and a half in height. Mr. Bulmer, the eminent English printer, offered an ingenious suggestion as to how they were printed, namely, by stencilling; and there is present, certainly, something of the "stiff" look of that process.
One would have thought that the types fashioned at such cost and trouble would have done further service in the successive volumes. Both Gutenberg and Fust printed fresh books; but the fact is, these types practically disappeared with the year 1480, when portions are to be recognised in certain books.
It will be interesting to see how the Schaeffer firm gradually arrived at the conviction that they were the sole inventors. We find at the end of their earlier books what is called "the Colophon," a method devised by the printers for getting credit for their share of the work; and it was by the aid of this machinery that Schaeffer and his successors contrived to register their claims. Thus I have now before me, in my own collection, a noble volume of "decretals," dated 1484, matchless in execution, which has this passage at the end:
"This chronicle was printed and finished in the year of our Lord 1515, on the Vigil of S. Margaret the Virgin, in the noble and famous city of Mentz, where was first discovered this art of printing. It is printed by John Schaeffer, descendant of that distinguished man John Fusth, citizen of Mentz, and the first author of the famous art. He it was who, at length, by his own proper genius, began to work out the plan in the year 1450, under the rule of the Emperor Frederic and that of the most Rev. the Prince-Bishop of Mentz. In the year 1452, helped In the year 1452, helped by the Divine grace, he brought it into practical form" (then, in parenthesis) "much helped by many minor subsidiary inventions of Peter Schaeffer, his assistant and adopted son, to whom he even gave his daughter, Christina Fusthina, as a fit reward for his many labors and devices."
Here is not a word of Gutenberg, and the whole credit is claimed for Schaeffer. As years passed by, and others of the family succeeded, the same claim was even more strongly urged. Thus, in a sort of Chronicle published by them in 1515, we read at the end :
The Colophon to their second Bible of 1462, always spoken of as the "first Bible with a date,' is in very guarded terms. Gutenberg's name is of course passed over. They here certainly make no claim to anything except making use of the invention. "This present work, by the means of the invention of printing, or character marking, without
any strokes of the pen ; and being thus designed in the city of Mentz, to the glory of God, and by the labors of John Fust, of the same city, also of Peter Schoeffer, clerk, of the same diocese, was finished on the Vigil of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary." As we have seen, Trithemius, the monk, tells us that he knew Peter Schaeffer, and was told by him the whole story of the invention, "some thirty years ago," i.e. in 1484, so that he must have been a very young fellow at the time. It is clear that he altogether accepted Schaeffer's view, and was firmly persuaded that he was the real and only inventor. Schaeffer, too, was Trithemius's printer and publisher. We are not, therefore, surprised to find in another work of Trithemius, a "Compendium Brevium," in 1505, this deliberate claim put forward by the Schaeffer firm:
"Printed and completed is this present Book of Chronicles in the year 1515, on the Vigil of Margaret the Virgin. In the great and famous city of Mentz, the first discoverer of this art of printing. By John Schoeffer, grandson of that erst distinguished man John Fusth, citizen of Mentz, first introducer of this famous art, who once began, out of his own genius, to devise the art of printing, in the year of our Lord's nativity 1450; in the reign of Frederick III., during the Bishopric of Theodore of Erspach, Prince. About the year 1452, with the aid of Divine grace, he succeeded in perfecting it" (still Fusth).
It will be noticed that Gutenberg is utterly ignored and put aside, I believe in good faith, on the ground that Schaeffer had made the art what it was. Further, at the end of the Breviary, issued in 1505, we have the firm announcing that it was printed at the "cost and labour of the worthy and vigilant John Schoeffer, whose grandsire was the first who discov ered or invented the art of printing."
We find, however, with an odd caprice, one of the Schaeffers, in 1505, in his "Livy," actually giving Gutenberg his full share of credit, and speaking of "the wondrous typographical art discovered by the gifted John Gutenberg, and later improved and brought into practical form for those coming after by John Fust and Peter Schaeffer."
These measured words seem to allot to each partner his proper share in the invention: to Gutenberg the idea, to Fust the cost and labor, to Schaeffer the study and development. It may seem inconsistent with the ignoring, in the same year, of Gutenberg's claim. But it may be that this very declaration had brought out corrections from survivors, who might have suggested that they were giving too much credit to Gutenberg. At all events, it will be seen that they allow him no more than the bare "invention," while they take to themselves all the glory of the labor, cost, investigation, study, and elaboration which was brought to the affair.
Schaeffer obtained from the Emperor Maximilian a sort of "privilege" for publishing this edition of "Livy," a handsome illustrated book, and in the privilege the Emperor is made to say that "he has learned and been advised, on the faith of worthy testimonies," that the invention was made by his (Schaeffer's) grandfather.
Gutenberg, it is plain, was a very devout man, and was certainly chastened by his many trials. In his few works we find the Colophon, which in its. tone offers a wonderful contrast to the exulting and self-laudatory tone of Fust and Schaeffer. When he issued his " Catholicon," a bulky work of over seven hundred pages, which will not compare with the magnificent Psalter of his rivals, he added this modest epigraph:
"Under the guardianship of the Most High, at whose nod infants' tongues become eloquent, and who reveals to the humble what He hides from the wise, this noble book, after some 1,460 years of our Lord's incarnation, and in the city of Mentz of the glorious German people, a city which the bounty of God has deigned to make famous and set above all other nations of the earth, has been printed and completed, not by reed, pen or quill, but with wondrous harmony of 'forms' and patterns. Hence to Thee, O Holy Father, and to the Trinity be all praise, also to the Blessed Mary. Deo gracias."
It will be noted that he suppresses his own name, probably because he is addressing a solemn prayer to the Almighty. Schaeffer and his partner really "swagger" a good deal, and merely take note of its being a saint's day or festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Such is a full and faithful history of the first printed book, and of how and by whom it was fashioned.
PERCY FITZGERALD in Gentleman's Magazine.
A LITERARY DINNER.
[The following is hopefully offered as being the worst of a too numerous class. Its source we know not. Repeat the offence we will not.]
"Janice Meredith" of "No. 5 John Street," "In Old New York," sent out invitations for a dinner in honor of "Ione March," "The Jessamy Bride," who had recently married "David Harum."
It was a farewell party, as the young couple purposed taking an extended trip "Following the Equator," as their bright friend, "Jennie Baxter, Journalist," expressed it.
The guests included old and young. As they are seated around the table we observe "Father Goose" ("Santa Claus' Partner") talking to "The Enchanted Typewriter," "Manders," "Concerning Isabel Carnaby."
Other Wise Man," drove over from "Black Rock" and was telling his lady, "Spanish Peggy," about the drifts "In Hampton Roads" being so high that the horse, "Penelope's Progress," was sadly impeded. This reminded "Richard Carvel," "The Town Traveler," of old times and he related some "Tales of the Telegraph" and train experiences; that one time during a severe storm what appeared to the engineer to be "Snow on the Headlight" turned out to be "The Ragged Lady," "A Bondwoman," who was one of "The Children of the Ghetto." As the train employees worked over her frozen limbs she gradually revived, but suffered as if she were "In Satan's Realm," the pain being so intense. It was a "Battle of the Strong," her fine constitution coming to the rescue. Later she was cared for by "Eleanor," ward of "Knight Conrad," a "Vizier of the Two-Horned Alexander," who lived in the "House of the Wizard," so called from its crest of "The Lion and the Unicorn" over the door.
"Kit Kennedy," "The Prowler," who was quite a sportsman, living on "The Island," told some anecdotes of his dogs, "Garm," "Loveliness" and "Bob, Son of Battle," the latter resembling "Black Wolf's Breed,"
Then "Pretty Michel" from "The Market Place " asked for a tale of chivalry, of the days "When Knighthood Was in Flower." So "Doc Horne," "The Gentleman from Indiana," gave a delightful account of "Hugh Wynne," "a Gentleman Player's" adventures "In the Court of Boyville." He also stated that "The Chronicles of Aunt Minerva Ann" contained a recital of Hugh's wanderings and that his ill-luck dated from the time he slyly combed his hair before "The King's Mirror."
"The Little Minister," noted "In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim," that was recently before Congress, arose, saying, "You are simply talking 'Fabels in Slang;' with aid I propose to drink a toast to the guests of honor; that the "Light of Scarthey" may illuminate not only their "Young Lives," but the lives of all "They (excuse grammar) Who Walk in Darkness;" that "The Sorrows of Satan" may not encompass them, but that they be brought safely home, so that in "The Phantom Future," "I, Thou and the Other One" may eat together "The Greatest Thing Ever Known," a mess of "Red Pottage."
Seven years ago, Bernard Brewster, of Grafton, W. Va., established a library in that town, and equipped it with one thousand books, and in order to make them more durable the owner had the volumes bound in thin sheet iron covers. The latest report of the librarian shows that all of the books are still in good condition, notwithstanding the fact that each has passed through the hands of three hundred and fifty readers and not one cent has been spent for repairing the bindings.