The old fashion is generally used here in England; but I think for no other reason, than because many Press-men have scarce Reason enough to distinguish between an excellently improved Invention, and a make-shift slovenly contrivance, practiced in the minority of this Art.
Joseph Moxon (1627–1691) was a man of many talents: printer, letter-cutter, globemaker, instrument-maker . . . Hydrographer to Charles II, and Fellow of the Royal Society. Towards the end of his life he put his practical knowledge into print as Mechanick Exercises, or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works.
The process began in 1777–80 with a series of works on Smithing, Joynery, House-Carpentry, and Turning. Publication by installments had its downsides:
Some Gentlemen . . . tell me they will take them when all Trades are finish’t, which cannot reasonably be expected from me (my Years considered) in my life-time; which implies they will be Customers when I’me dead, or perhaps by that time some of themselves.
Understandably enough, Moxon took a break before resuming in 1683 with a comprehensive work on printing and allied trades—the first ever produced in English or, for that matter, any other language. Eventually the whole thing was combined into two volumes, the second of which was entirely about printing.
Query: Where’s Volume 1? Answer: Not here. Although the material on smithing and carpentry is useful in its way, it is the second volume that became important.
Nos. II-III: Sections 2-9
Nos. IV-VI: Sections 10-11
Nos. VII-IX: Sections 12-14
Nos. X-XIII: Sections 15-21
Nos. XIV-XVII: Sections 22-23
(Composing and Correcting)
Full disclosure: Except for the sections on Composing and Correcting , I did not understand one word of this book. Read slowly.
Thus in all particulars [the Author] takes care to deliver his Copy perfect: For then he may expect to have his Book perfectly Printed. For by no means he ought to hope to mend it in the Proof, the Compositer not being obliged to it: And it cannot reasonably be expected he should be so good Natured to take so much pains to mend such Alterations as the second Dictates of an Author may make, unless he be very well paid for it over and above what he agreed for with the Master-Printer.
Punctuation is always called by its English name, “points” or “pointing”. Paragraphs in the modern sense are “Breaks”; Moxon’s “Paragraph” is a higher-level grouping marked with the ¶ symbol.
Points, as a measure of size, hadn’t been invented yet; type sizes are listed by name in §1 ¶2. Using Moxon’s spellings, with approximate point values:
Just to confuse us, the word “English” has two unrelated meanings. When it isn’t a type size, it is a type style, what is now called blackletter.
The frequent word “Scabbord” is explained in Section 8:
Scabbord is that sort of Scale commonly sold by some Iron-mongers in Bundles; And of which, the Scabbords for Swords are made.
Moxon doesn’t seem to approve of eighths (the fraction), giving us measurements like “a quarter and half quarter of an inch” or “half an Inch and half a quarter of an Inch”.
His spelling is very consistent, though it isn’t necessarily the spelling we would use today: Duftail, Furnance, Mortess, Tennant, Volumne, Wyer. After the fifth occurrence of “Runing”, I concluded that it isn’t an error but a free variation for the more common “Running”. He also toggles randomly between “ascend” and “assend”, and sometimes says “least” where “lest” might be expected.
Early in the book he occasionally says “height”, but he soon settles on “heighth” instead. Conversely, he starts out spelling it “Tinpan” but later changes to the now-familiar “Tympan”.
There are also an awful lot of commas where a period (full stop) might be expected; unless otherwise noted, I have left all punctuation as I found it.
The book came out in 1683 and therefore uses long ſ throughout. I have regularized them to modern round s, except when he is talking about specific letterforms.
As might be expected, the typesetting in this book is extremely clean. Now and then he does omit the space after a punctuation mark, especially a comma. I have chosen to pretend that he used a very, very narrow hair space, and have silently filled in the missing space. All other typographical errors are marked with and are listed again at the end of each subsection (marked ¶). The word “invisible” means that the letter or punctuation mark is missing, but there is an appropriately sized blank space.
The first ten full-page plates are shown somewhere near their original locations, allowing for paragraph breaks. Plates 11-17—the ones illustrating letter design—are not individually discussed. They were printed as a group at the end of their installment. Plates 18-33 were printed in a group at the end of the whole work, after the Dictionary; I have moved each one to the most appropriate place.
Where the text talks about a detail, like “Plate 19 at G”, I have put the enlargement next to the text that discusses it. Sometimes the same enlargement may be shown more than once; your browser won’t mind.
The printed book had no table of contents. The best you can hope for is the Dictionary, which generally points you to the section and paragraph where a given topic is discussed.
Here I’ve given all Moxon’s section headings, with his own spelling and capitalization, along with the Number (generally two, sometimes three quires), Signature (eight pages, probably octavo in half-sheets) and Page. Anything shown in [brackets] means that a § Section or ¶ Paragraph continues across two or more quires, sometimes even multiple Numbers.
It is not a mistake: the first two installments’ title pages were exactly the same as the work’s overall title. In Sections XVI-XIX (16-19)—part of the installment on type-founding—Moxon temporarily decided Roman numerals would be swankier, but after that he reverts to Arabic numerals.
|Mechanick Exercises: Or, the Doctrine of Handy-works
Applied to the Art of Printing
|. . . Applied to the Art of Printing|
|II||§ 2.||Of the Office of a Master-Printer.||C||9|
|¶ 2.||Of Letter.||[D]|||
|§ 3.||Of Cases.|
|§ 4.||Of Frames to set the Cases on.||E||23|
|§ 5.||Of the Galley.|
|§ 6.||Of the Correcting-stone.|
|§ 7.||Of Letter-Boards, and Paper-Boards.|
|[III]||§ 8.||Of Furniture, Quoyns, Scabbord, &c.||[F]|||
|§ 9.||¶ 1.||Of the Mallet, Shooting-stick and Dressing-Block, Composing-sticks, Bodkin, and Chase, &c.|
|¶ 2.||Of the Shooting-stick.|
|¶ 3.||Of the Dressing-Block.|
|¶ 4.||Of the Composing-stick.|
|¶ 5.||Of the Bodkin.|
|¶ 6.||Of Chases, marked G on the Correcting-Stone, Plate 2.|
|. . . Applied to the Art of Printing|
|IV||§ 10.||Of the Press.||G||37|
|¶ 1.||Of the Feet.|
|¶ 2.||Of the Cheeks.||[H]|||
|¶ 3.||Of the Cap marked c in Plate 5.|
|¶ 4.||Of the Winter marked d in Plate 5.|
|¶ 5.||Of the Head marked e in Plate 5.|
|¶ 6.||Of the Till, marked f in Plate 5.|
|¶ 7.||Of the Hind-Posts marked a a in Plate 6.|
|[V]||¶ 8.||Of the Ribs marked b in Plate 6.||[I]|||
|¶ 9.||Of the Carriage, Coffin and its Planck, marked a in Plate 7.|
|¶ 10.||Of the Tympan and Inner-Tympan, marked b in Plate 7.|
|¶ 11.||Of the Inck-Block, Slice, Brayer, and Catch of the Bar, marked c d e f in Plate 7.||K||59|
|¶ 12.||Of the Iron-work, and first of the Spindle marked A in Plate 8.|
|§ 11.||Of the Worms of the Spindle.|
|¶ 13.||Of the Bar marked B in Plate 8.|
|¶ 14.||Of the Hose, Garter, and Hose-Hooks.|
|[VI]||¶ 15.||Of the Ribs, and Cramp-Irons.||[L]|||
|¶ 16.||Of the Spindle for the Rounce, described in Plate 9. at a.|
|¶ 17.||Of the Press-Stone.|
|¶ 18.||Of the Plattin marked d in Plate 9.|
|¶ 19.||Of the Points and Point-Screws.|
|¶ 20.||Of the Hammer, described at h, and Sheeps-Foot described at i in Plate 9.|
|¶ 21.||Of the Foot-step, Girts, Stay of the Carriage, Stay of the Frisket, Ball-Stocks, Paper-Bench, Lye-Trough, Lye-Brush, Lye-Kettle, Tray to wet Paper in, Weights to Press Paper, Pelts, or Leather, Wool or Hair, Ball-Nails or Pumping-Nails.||[M]|||
|¶ 22.||Of Racks to Hang Paper on, and of the Peel.|
|¶ 23.||Of Inck.|
|. . . Applied to the Art of Letter-Cutting|
|§ 12.||¶ 1.||Of Letter-Cutters Tools.|
|¶ 2.||Of the Using-File.|
|¶ 3.||Of the Flat-Gage.|
|¶ 4.||Of the Sliding Gage.|
|¶ 5.||Of the Face-Gages, marked C in Plate 10.|
|¶ 6.||Of Italick, and other Standing Gages.||[O]|||
|¶ 7.||Of the Liner.|
|¶ 8.||Of the Flat-Table.|
|¶ 9.||Of the Tach.|
|¶ 10.||Of Furnishing the Work-Bench.|
|[VIII]||§ 13.||¶ 1.||Of Letter-Cutting.||[P]|||
|¶ 2.||Of Counter-Punches.||[Q]|||
|¶ 3.||Of Sinking the Counter-Punches.|
|IX||¶ 4.||Of Graving and Sculping the Insides of Steel Letters.||R|
|¶ 5.||Some Rules he considers in using the Gravers, Sculptors, Small Files, &c.|
|§ 14.||¶ 1.||Some Rules to be observed by the Letter-Cutter, in the Cutting Roman, Italick, and the Black English Letter.|
|¶ 2.||Of Terms relating to the Face of Letters, and their Explanation.|
|. . . Applied to the Art of Mold-Making, Casting and Dressing|
|X||§ 15.||¶ 1.||Of making the Mold.||T||129|
|¶ 2.||Of the Bottom-Plate.|
|¶ 3.||Of the Carriage.|
|¶ 4.||Of the Body.|
|¶ 5.||Of the Male-Gage.|
|¶ 6.||Of the Mouth-Piece.||[U]|||
|¶ 7.||Of the Register.|
|¶ 8.||Of the Nick.|
|¶ 9.||Of the Bow or Spring.|
|¶ 10.||Of the Hooks, or Haggs.|
|¶ 11.||Of the Woods of the Mold.|
|[XI]||Sect. XVI.||Of justifying the Mold.||[X]|||
|§ XVII.||¶ 1.||Of Sinking the Punches into the Matrices.|
|¶ 2.||Justifying the Matrices.||[Y]|||
|[XII]||¶ 3.||Of Botching-Matrices, to make them serve the better.||[Z]|||
|Sect. XVIII.||Of setting up the Furnance.|
|¶ 2.||Of making Mettal.|
|¶ 3.||Of Letter-Ladles.||Aa||169|
|§ XIX.||¶ 1.||Of Casting, Breaking, Rubbing, Kerning, and setting up of Letters.|
|¶ 2.||Some Rules and Circumstances to be observed in Casting.|
|¶ 3.||Of Breaking off Letters.|
|¶ 4.||Of Rubbing of Letters.||[Bb]|||
|¶ 5.||Of Kerning of Letters.|
|¶ 6.||Of Setting up, or Composing Letters.|
|¶ 7.||Some Rules and Circumstances to be observed in Setting up Letters.|
|§ 20.||¶ 1.||Of Dressing of Letters.|
|¶ 2.||Of the Dressing-Sticks.|
|[XIII]||¶ 3.||Of the Block-Grove, and its Appurtenances.||[Cc]|||
|¶ 3.||Of the Dressing-Hook.|
|¶ 4.||Of the Dressing-Knife.|
|¶ 5.||Of the Plow.|
|§ 21.||¶ 1.||Of Dressing of Letters.||[Dd]|||
|¶ 2.||Some Rules and Circumstances to be observed in Dressing of Letters.|
|. . . Applied to the Compositers Trade|
|§ 22.||¶ 1.||Of Papering and Laying the Case.|
|¶ 2.||Of Rincing a Form of Letter, in order to Destributing it.||[Ff]|||
|¶ 3.||Of Destributing.|
|¶ 4.||Of Composing.||[Gg]|||
|[XV]||¶ 5.||Some Circumstances a good Compositer considers and observes in Composing.||[Hh]|||
|¶ 6.||Of tying up a Page.||[Ii]|||
|[XVI]||¶ 7.||Of Imposing.||[Kk]|||
|¶ 8.||Of Correcting.||[Ll]|||
|[XVII]||¶ 9.||Of Counting or Casting off Copy.||[Mm]|||
|¶ 10.||Of Papering up of Pages.|
|§ 23.||Of the Correcter, and his Office.||[Nn]|||
|Advertisement to Authors||265|
|. . . Applied to the Press-Mans Trade|
|§ 24.||¶ 1.||Of the Press-mans Trade.|
|¶ 2.||Of Laying or Bedding the Stone.||[Pp]|||
|¶ 3.||Of Setting the Rounce.|
|¶ 4.||Of Hanging the Plattin.|
|¶ 5.||Of Justifying the Head.|
|¶ 6.||Of Oyling the Iron Work of the Press.|
|¶ 7.||Of Making Register, and Making Ready a Form.||[Qq]|
|¶ 8.||Of Drawing the Tympans and Frisket.|
|¶ 9.||Of Wetting Paper.|
|¶ 10.||Of Knocking up the Balls.||[Tt]|||
|¶ 11.||Of Rubbing out Inck.|
|¶ 12.||Of Destributing the Balls.|
|XXI||¶ 13.||Of Beating.||Uu||317|
|¶ 15.||Of Pulling.||[Xx]|||
|¶ 16.||Of Printing Red, or other Colours with Black.|
|¶ 17.||Of mixing and Grinding Colours with Varnish.|
|[XXII]||¶ 18.||Of Printing with Gold and Silver.||[Yy]|||
|¶ 19.||Rules observed; and Remedies to the Inconveniences the Press-man may meet with in a Train of Work.||[Zz]|||
|§ 25.||The Office of the Warehouse-keeper.|
|¶ 1.||Of Hanging up Paper.|
|¶ 2.||Of Laying the Heaps.|
|¶ 3.||Of Gathering of Books.||[Aaa]|||
|¶ 4.||Of Colationing Books.|
|¶ 5.||Of Setting out Paper, and Culling the Cording Quires.|
|[XXIII]||Ancient Customs used in a Printing-house.||[Bbb]|||
Or, the Doctrine of
Applied to the Art of
The Second VOLUMNE.
By Joseph Moxon, Member of the Royal Society, and Hydrographer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty.
Printed for Joseph Moxon on the West-
side of Fleet-ditch, at the Sign of
Atlas. 1 6 8 3.
To the Right Reverend Father in GOD, JOHN Lord Bishop of Oxford, and Dean of Christ-Church; And to the Right Honourable Sir LEOLINE JENKINS Knight, and Principal Secretary of State; And to the Right Honourable Sir JOSEPH WILLIAMSON Knight; and one of His Majesties most Honourable Privy-Council.
YOur ardent affections to promote Typographie has eminently appeared in the great Charge you have been at to make it famous here in England; whereby this Royal Island stands particularly obliged to your Generous and Publick Spirits, and the whole Common-Wealth of Book-men throughout the World, to your Candid Zeal for the promulgation of good Learning.
Wherefore I humbly Dedicate this Piece of Typographie to your Honours; and ‖ as it is (I think) the first of this nature, so I hope you will favourably excuse small Faults in this Undertaking; for great ones I hope there are none, unless it be in this presumptuous Dedication; for which I humbly beg your Honours pardon: Subscribing my self, My Lord and Gentlemen,
Your Honours most Humble
and Obedient Servant.
Or, the Doctrine of
Applied to the Art of
The Second VOLUMNE.
BEfore I begin with Typographie, I shall say some-what of its Original Invention; I mean here in Europe, not of theirs in China and other Eastern Countries, who (by general assent) have had it for many hundreds of years, though their Invention is very different from ours; they Cutting their Letters upon Blocks in whole Pages or Forms, as among us our Wooden Pictures are Cut; But Printing with single Letters Cast in Mettal, as with us here in Europe, is an Invention scarce above Two hundred and fifteen years old; and yet an undecidable Controversie about the original Contriver or Contrivers remains on foot, 2 between the Harlemers of Holland, and those of Mentz in Germany: But because the difference cannot be determin’d for want of undeniable Authority, I shall only deliver both their Pleas to this Scientifick Invention.
The Harlemers plead that Lawrensz Jansz Koster of Harlem was the first Inventer of Printing, in the year of our Lord 1430. but that in the Infancy of this Invention he used only Wooden Blocks (as in China, &c. aforesaid) but after some time he left off Wood, and Cut single Letters in Steel, which he sunck into Copper Matrices, and fitting them to Iron Molds, Cast single Letters of Mettal in those Matrices. They say also, that his Companion, John Gutenberg, stole his Tools away while he was at Church, and with them went to Mentz in Germany, and there set his Tools to work, and promoted His claim to the first Invention of this Art, before Koster did His.
To prove this, they say that Rabbi Joseph (a Jew) in his Chronicle, mentions a Printed Book that he saw in Venice, in the year 5188. according to the Jewish Account, and by ours the year 1428. as may be read in Pet. Scriverius.
They say much of a Book intituled De Spiegel, Printed at Harlem in Dutch and Latin; which Book is yet there to be seen: and they alledge that Book the first that ever was Printed: But yet say not when this Book was Printed.
Notwithstanding this Plea, I do not find (perhaps because of their imperfect Proofs) but that Gutenberg of Mentz is more generally accepted for the first Inventer of Printing, than Koster of Harlem.
The Learned Dr. Wallis of Oxford, hath made an Inquiry into the original of this Invention, and hath in brief sum’d up the matter in these words.B2
About the year of our Lord 1460. The Art of Printing began to be invented and practised in Germany, whether first at Mentz or first at Harlem it is not agreed: But it seems that those who had it in consideration before it was brought to perfection, disagreeing among themselves, did part Company; and some of them at Harlem, others at Mentz persued the design at the same time.
The Book which is commonly reputed to have been first Printed is, Tullies Offices, of which there be Copies extant (as a Rarity) in many Libraries; which in the close of it is said to be Printed at Mentz, in the year of our Lord 1465. (so says that Copy in the Bodleyan Library) or 1466. (so that in the Library of Corpus Christi.) The words in the close of that in Corpus Christi Colledge Oxon are these,
Præsens Marcij Tullij Clarissimum opus, Johanes Hust, Moguntinus Civis, non Atrimento, plumali canna, neq; ærea, sed Arte quadam perpulchra, Petri manu Petri de Geurshem pueri mei, feliciter effeci, finitum Anno M CCCC LX VI quarto die Mensis Februarij.
The like in the Bodleyan Library; save there the Date is only thus, Finitum Anno M CCCC LX V. In the same Book there are these written Notes subjoyned: Hic est ille Johannes Faustus, coadjutor Johannes Gutenbergij primi Typographiæ inventaris, Alter coadjuto erat Petrus Schæfer, i. Opilio. Quovix.
Cælando promptior alter erat, inquit Johan. Arnoldus in Libello de Chalcographiæ inventione, Scheffer primas finxit quas vocant Matrices. Hi tres exercuerunt artem primo in communi. mox rupto fœdere seorsim sibi quisq; privatim.4
And again (in a later hand) Inventionem artis Typographicæ ad Annum 1453. aut exerciter referunt Sabillicus En. 10. lib. 6. & Monsterus. Alij ad Annum 1460. Vide Polid. Virg. lib. 2. de Invent. Rerum, Theod. Bibland. de Ratione communis linguarum. cap. Chalcographia.
At Harlem and some other places in Holland, they pretend to have Books Printed somewhat ancienter than this; but they are most of them (if not all) done by way of Carving whole Pages in Wood, not by single Letters Cast in Mettal, to be Composed and Distributed as occasion serves, as is now the manner.
The chief Inventer at Harlem is said to be Laurens Jansz Koster.
After these two places (Mentz and Harlem) it seems next of all to have been practised at Oxford: For by the care, and at the charge of King Henry the 6th, and of Thomas Bourchier then Arch-Bishop of Canterbury (and Chancellour of the University of Oxford) Robert Turner Master of the Robe, and William Caxton a Merchant of London were for that purpose sent to Harlem, at the charges partly of the King, partly of the Arch-Bishop, who then (because these of Harlem were very chary of this secret) prevailed privately with one Frederick Corseles an under-Workman, for a sum of Money, to come over hither; who thereupon did at Oxford set up the Art of Printing, before it was exercised any where else in England, or in France, Italy, Venice, Germany, or any other place, except only Mentz and Harlem (aforementioned): And there be several Copies yet extant (as one in the Archives of the University of Oxford, another in the Library of Dr. Tho. Barlow, now Bishop of Lincoln) of a Treatise
5 of St. Jerome (as it is there called (because found among St. Jerom’s Works) or rather Ruffinus upon the Creed, in a broad Octavo) Printed at Oxford in the year 1468. as appears by the words in the close of it.
Explicit expositio Sancti Jeronimi in sembolo Apostolorum ad papam Laurentium Impressi Oxonie & finita Anno Domini M CCCC LX VIII. xvij die Decembris.
Which is but three years later than that of Tullies Offices at Mentz, in 1465. and was perhaps one of the first Books Printed on Paper; (that of Tully being on Vellom.) And there the excercise of Printing hath continued successively to this day.
Soon after William Caxton (the same I suppose who first brought it to Oxford) promoted it to London also, which Baker in his Chronicle (and some others) say to have been about the year 1471. but we have scarce any Copies of Books there Printed remaining (that I have seen) earlier than the year 1480. And by that time, or soon after, it began to be received in Venice, Italy, Germany, and other places, as appears by Books yet extant, Printed at divers places in those Times. Thus far Dr. Wallis.
But whoever were the Inventers of this Art, or (as some Authors will have it) Science; nay, Science of Sciences (say they) certain it is, that in all its Branches it can be deemed little less than a Science: And I hope I say not to much of Typographie: For Dr. Dee, in his Mathematical Preface to Euclids Elements of Geometrie, hath worthily taken pains to make Architecture a Mathematical Science; and as a vertual Proof of his own Learned Plea, quotes two Authentique Authors, viz. 6 Vitruvius and Leo Baptista, who both give their descriptions and applause of Architecture: His Arguments are somewhat copious, and the Original easily procurable in the English Tongue; therefore instead of transcribing it, I shall refer my Reader to the Text it self.
Upon the consideration of what he has said in behalf of Architecture, I find that a Typographer ought to be equally quallified with all the Sciences that becomes an Architect, and then I think no doubt remains that Typographie is not also a Mathematical Science.
For my own part, I weighed it well in my thoughts, and find all the accomplishments, and some more of an Architect necessary in a Typographer: and though my business be not Argumentation, yet my Reader, by perusing the following discourse, may perhaps satisfie himself, that a Typographer ought to be a man of Sciences.
By a Typographer, I do not mean a Printer, as he is Vulgarly accounted, any more than Dr. Dee means a Carpenter or Mason to be an Architect: But by a Typographer, I mean such a one, who by his own judgement, from solid reasoning with himself, can either perform, or direct others to perform from the beginning to the end, all the Handy-works and Physical Operations relating to Typographie.
Such a Scientifick man was doubtless he who was the first Inventer of Typographie; but I think few have succeeded him in Science, though the number of Founders and Printers be grown very many: Insomuch that for the more easie managing of Typographie, the Operators have found it necessary to devide it into several Trades, each of which (in the strictest sence) stand no 7 nearer related to Typographie, than Carpentry or Masonry, &c. are to Architecture. The several devisions that are made, are,
First the Master Printer, who is as the Soul of Printing; and all the Work-men as members of the Body governed by that Soul subserveient to him; for the Letter-Cutter would Cut no Letters, the Founder not sinck the Matrices, or Cast and Dress the Letters, the Smith and Joyner not make the Press and other Utensils for Printing, the Compositer not Compose the Letters, the Correcter not read Proves; the Press-man not work the Forms off at Press, or the Inck-maker make Inck to work them with, but by Orders from the Master-Printer.
|Secondly, The Letter-Cutter,||Founders.|
|Thirdly, The Letter-Caster,|
|Fourthly, The Letter-Dresser.|
But very few Founders exercise, or indeed can perform, all these several Trades; though each of these are indifferently called Letter-Founders.
|Fifthly, The Compositer,||Printers.|
|Sixthly, The Correcter,|
|Seventhly, The Press-man,|
Eighthly, The Inck-maker.
Besides several other Trades they take in to their Assistance; as the Smith, the Joyner, &c.
Throughout this section, all punctuation—including (parentheses)—was set in Roman (non-Italic) type. I have generally assimilated punctuation to the surrounding text, though I did retain the non-Italic numerals.
Dr. Dee, in his Mathematical Preface to Euclids Elements of Geometrie
[Oh, what fun that was! Five sizes of text, an array of sidenotes, a gigantic table—the works. You can find it at Project Gutenberg.]
the Press-man not work the Forms off at the Press,
text has at the / the Press at line break
[This will prove to be a distressingly common typographical error in the course of the book.]
THE continuation of my setting forth Mechanick Exercises having been obstructed by the breaking out of the Plot, which took off the minds of my few Customers from buying them, as formerly; And being of late much importun’d by many worthy Persons to continue them; I have promised to go on again, upon Condition, That a competent number of them may be taken off my hand by Subscribers, soon after the publication of them in the Gazet, or posting up Titles, or by the Mercurius Librarius, &c.
Therefore such Gentlemen or others as are willing to promote the coming forth of these Exercises, are desired to Subscribe their Names and place of abode: That so such Persons as live about this City may have them sent so soon as they come forth: Quick Sale being the best encouragement.
Some Gentlemen (to whom they are very acceptable) tell me they will take them when all Trades are finish’t, which cannot reasonably be expected from me (my Years considered) in my life-time; which implies they will be Customers when I’me dead, or perhaps by that time some of themselves.
The price of these Books will be 2 d. for each Printed Sheet. And 2 d. for every Print taken off of Copper Cuts.
There are three reasons why this price cannot be thought dear.
1. The Writing is all new matter, not Collected, or Translated from any other Authors: and the drafts of the Cuts all drawn from the Tools and Machines used in each respective Trade.
2. I Print but 500 on each Sheet, And those upon good Paper: which makes the charge of Printing dear, proportionable to great numbers.
3. Some Trades are particularly affected by some Customers, (who desire not the rest,) and consequently sooner sold off, which renders the remainder of the un-sold Exercises unperfect, and therefore not acceptable to such as desire all: so that they will remain as waste-Paper on my hands.