Mechanick Exercises
or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works
Applied to the Compositers Trade

by Joseph Moxon

No. Sec. Title
XIV Preface.
§ 22. Of Papering and Laying the Case
. . . of Destributing
. . . of Composing.
§ 23. Of the Correcter, and his Office.
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Or, the Doctrine of


Applied to the

Compositers Trade.

The Second VOLUMNE.


IN a strict sence, a good Compositer need be no more than an English Scholler, or indeed scarce so much; for if he knows but his Letters and Characters he shall meet with in his Printed or Written Copy, and have otherwise a good natural capacity, he may be a better Compositer than another Man whose Education has adorn’d him with Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other Languages, and shall want a good natural Genius: For by the Laws of Printing, a 198 Compositer is strictly to follow his Copy, viz. to observe and do just so much and no more than his Copy will bear him out for; so that his Copy is to be his Rule and Authority: But the carelesness of some good Authors, and the ignorance of other Authors, has forc’d Printers to introduce a Custom, which among them is look’d upon as a task and duty incumbent on the Compositer, viz. to discern and amend the bad Spelling, and Pointing of his Copy, if it be English; But if it be in any Forrain Language, the Author is wholy left to his own Skill and Judgement in Spelling and Pointing, &c. his Copy, and Correcting the Prooves, unless they be Latine, Greek or Hebrew, for to those Languages there is generally a Corrector belongs to the Printing-House: And how well other Forrain Languages are Corrected by the Author, we may perceive by the English that is Printed in Forrain Countries.

Therefore upon consideration of these accidental circumstances that attend Copy, it is necessary that a Compositer be a good English Schollar at least; and that he know the present traditional Spelling of all English Words, and that he have so much Sence and Reason, as to Point his Sentences properly: when to begin a Word with a Capital Letter, when (to render the Sence of the Author more intelligent to the Reader) to Set some Words or Sentences in Italick or English Letters, &c. But of this more at large in ¶. 6.

Thus much of his qualifications: Now to his Task.

The Master-Printer gives him his Copy, and directs him to his standing Place or Case, and orders him Letter to Work withal.

If his Case want Papering, as all New Cases do, and many times old, He must Paper his Case.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. Preface.

he may be a better Compositer than another Man whose Education has adorn’d him with Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other Languages
[Scholars who work with manuscripts prefer ones that were copied by stupid or uneducated scribes, because the mistakes will be obvious. Highly educated, intelligent scribes are more likely to correct apparent errors, or to make changes that look right even if they are not in fact what the original says.]

And how well other Forrain Languages are Corrected by the Author, we may perceive by the English that is Printed in Forrain Countries.
[Ooh, burn.]

Now to his Task.
text has Taask


§. 22. ¶. 1. Of Papering and Laying the CASE.

THE Compositer sends the Boy to the Master-Printer, or to him that attends the Warehouse, for Half a Quire, or a Quire, or so much as he guesses he shall want, of good strong Wast-Paper, and cuts it into so many several Scantlins as the number of each Scantlin of his Boxes in his Case are; but he cuts his Papers so large, as each Paper may ly double in its Box, and have enough besides to fold almost half way towards the middle of each Paper, and also enough to turn up again against the sides of each Box, about the thickness of a Pica, or an English, above the bottom of the Box, and its Paper on all its sides, except the upper side of the Box, which, as near as he can, he leaves no turning up of Paper to, because the tendency the whole Case has downwards by its a‑slope position, the Letter in each Box tends also downwards, and therefore is not so apt to get between the Paper and that side of the Box, as between the Paper and the other sides of each Box: But yet that upper side, and all the other sides of the Box, he Papers so smooth and tight, that he leaves no wrinckles in the turnings up against the sides of the Box; but if there be any, drives them carefully into the corners of the Box, lest his Letter, especially if it be Small, should get into the openings of those 200 Wrinckles, and in time work their way under the Paper.

Having Paper’d his Case, he considers how the rest of the Cases in that House ly, viz. into what Boxes the several Letters are to be disposed; for they are not in every Printing-House disposed alike, and accordingly he applies himself to fill his Case with Letter.

If a Fount of New Letter be brought home from the Founders, the Compositer has no more to do, but to fill each Box in his Case with so many of each sort as each Box will hold, and fall to till he has emptied his Case; which the same way he fills again, and Composes on again till the whole Fount be Set up: But when he has no longer any New Letter to work upon, he must Destribute some former Set Forms to fill his Case withal.

And before I shew you the Rules and Method of Destributing and Composing, it will be necessary I say somewhat of the Case, and Laying it.

Plate 1: Printer’s cases

By the Case is meant, in Printers common dialect, a Pair of Cases, viz. the Upper and the Lower-Case: They are described with the most common way of Laying them, in Plate 2. A the Upper Case, B the Lower Case. The Upper Case is devided into Ninety eight Boxes all of equal size; but the Lower Case is devided into but Fifty six Boxes, and those of four different sizes (as you may see in the Figure) by the Frame and Black streight Lines representing the several Partitions. The manner how the several sorts of Letters are disposed in the several Boxes, is called, Laying of the Case, where in the Upper Case you see Ee3
Capital A Ly in the upper­most Box on the Left hand, B C D E F G succeeding it in that Row to the Right hand, as far as the broad Partition in the middle of the Case; under Capital A lies Capital H, I K L M N O orderly succeeding it to the right hand, as far as the great Partition in the middle of the Case: But the Figure being plain, I refer you to it.

The Lower Case is not devided according to an orderly succession of the Alphabet, in Ranks; for those Letters that are most used are laid in the biggest Boxes, about the middle of the Case, That the Compositers hand may have the quicker access to them. See the Figure.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 1.

THE Compositer sends the Boy to the Master-Printer
text has Composster

in Printers common dialect
text has diolect

They are described with the most common way of Laying them, in Plate 2
text unchanged: error for Plate 1

but the Lower Case is devided into but Fifty six Boxes
text has in devided

But the Figure being plain, I refer you to it.
[There is also a clear diagram of Moxon’s cases in the article “Case” (page 97) in Savage’s Dictionary.]

¶. 2. Of Rincing a Form of Letter, in order to Destributing it.

After the Press-man has Wash’d a Form, he brings it to the Rincing-Trough, and rears it a little a‑slope on one of the ends of the Chase, either against a convenient place of the Frame of the Rincing-Trough, or towards the Wall; for so plac’d, the Face of the Letter runs less hazzard of receiving dammage, and the Form stands in a proper position for the Compositer to rear a Letter-board against the backside of it.

The Compositer therefore brings a Letter board, and puts the Face of it against the back-side of the Form, and draws Form and Letter-board toward him, leaning them against his Knee till he can conveniently grasp about the middle of the sides of the Chase and Letter board between his Fingers under the Board, and his Thumb upon the Chase and Furniture: And 202 if the Form be not too heavy, in this position he lifts it up to the Rincing Trough; but if it be too heavy, as most commonly it is, He lifts it up in this position till he brings the upper edge of one of the long sides of the Letter-board to rest between his Belly and Stomach, and then sets Letter board Form and all in the Rincing-Trough, letting the hither side of the Board rest upon the hither Ledge of the Rincing-Trough, that the Form may tilt downwards.

When it is on the Rincing Trough, he gets the Mallet and Shooting-stick, and holding the Mallet in his Right hand, and the Shooting-stick in his Left, he places the Foot of the Shooting-stick (that is the thin end of it) against the narrow ends of each Quoin, and knocking with the Mallet upon the Head of the Shooting-stick as gently as he can to drive them back, he loosens every Quoin; and this is call’d Opening of the Quoins, Unlocking of the Quoins, Opening of the Form, and Unlocking of the Form.

But in the Unlocking of the Form, he observes these three Circumstances:

First, He begins at the Foot-Quoin of a Quarter, and loosens them; then with his Fingers and Thumb he puts them up again pretty stiff; yet not so stiff, but that he can again with his Fingers and Thumb loosen them.

The Reason why he opens the Foot-Quoins first, is, because the Letter is less subject to Squabble between Line and Line (that is Head and Foot, the length of the Page) than it is between side and side (the breadth of the Page): For all the Letters of a Line being of the same Body, are all of the same size 203 in their parallel bounds; and the two sides of the Letter being generally considerably broader than the Thickness of the Letter, are held by their breadth and flatness faster and closer together in a motion towards the Head or Foot of the Page, than they are a‑thwart the Lines, there being generally many thin Letters and Spaces in a Line, whose thickness is very little considerable to their Body or parallel bounds: So that if the Form be loose, those Thin Letters and Spaces not having a Thickness proportionable to their Body to keep them in their proper Square, their Thin Edges twist them about; and one Letter very seldom twists alone, but forces many others (perhaps in some Lines above and below it, and on each side of it) out of its square position.

But the Foot-Quoin being thrust up again with the Fingers, that the Lines may joyn again after they were knock’d open with the Mallet and Shooting-stick, make the Thin Letters in the Lines less subject to Squabble (as not having the room to twist about) because Opening the Foot-Quoins afterwards with the Fingers, offers less violence than the smart knock of a Mallet.

Secondly, He holds the Shooting-stick much aslant to the Letter-board, so as the Foot of it touch not the Face of the Letter-board, lest with knocking upon the Shooting-stick (it being hard Wood, and the grain running downwards) the Foot should batter and spoil the Face of the Letter-board.

Thirdly, He Unlocks the outermost, viz. the broadest Quoins first, and then with his Fingers thrusts them pretty close up again, unless the Form he Unlock 204 be a great Letter, for then he observes not this Circumstance so nicely; then the other Quoin, or (according to the bigness of the Form) Quoins.

Having Unlock’d the Foot Quoins, he Unlocks the Side Quoins in the same manner and order; and being provided with a Pail, or a great Pan full of fair Water, and a Wooden Dish; he takes a Dish full of fair Water, or more, if the Form require it, and throws it upon the Form, till he have so well wetted it, that the Water may sink between the Letters in the Form, to hold and keep every Letter contiguous to its next.

Then he Opens the Quoins pretty loose, the Foot Quoins first, and in Opening them he considers the Body of the Letter, whether it be Great or Small, and accordingly he Opens them; for at the Foot he Opens them about the thickness of the Body of the Letter: But on the Sides not above half the Body.

By Opening, you must now understand removing the Quoins, till they stand loose, or distant from the Furniture, the Body, or half the Body of the Letter.

He Opens but one Quarter at a time, viz. one of the hithermost Quarters, till he have well Rinc’d that, which when he has done, with his Fingers he thrusts the Quoins of that Quarter stiff up again, aswell that it may be the less subject to Squabble or Break, as that the Water may the better be squeezed out from between the Letter; when he comes to Destribute it.

Having thus Opened the Quoins, He also Opens the Furniture, viz. the Head sticks, and the Inner Side-sticks and Gutter-sticks, if the Form have any, to make himself the more room to Open the Letter: The Balls of the three first Fingers of each Hand he places Ff
near the ends of the Head-stick, and Opens it by taking as good hold as he can of so much of it as stands above the Cross of the Chase, drawing the Head-stick towards him about half the Body of the Letter, And in the like manner he Opens the inner Side-sticks, but draws them towards him about a quarter of the Body of the Letter. Yet sometimes this Office is not perform’d with the three Fore-fingers of each Hand, but with the two Thumbs; and this is when the Quarter of Letter stands between the Head or Side-sticks, and then he places his two Thumbs near the ends of the Sticks, as before he did his Fingers, and thrusts the Sticks, Letter and all, from him.

And having Opened the Quoins and Furniture of one Quarter, he also Opens the Letter, that it may receive the Water more plentifully: He Opens the Letter, by fixing the Balls of his Fingers of both his Hands upon the Face, and so thrusting and joggling it from him, and drawing it towards him from Head to Foot, and from Side to Side, and then throws a good Dish full or two of Water upon it, and with the Balls of his Fingers still rubs upon the Face of the Letter, that by shaking and joggling the Letter, the Water (e’re it sink through the Letter,) may the better Rince away that Ly that by the Press-mans washing soak’d into it: And this joggling the Letter, and throwing on fresh Water he continues till the Water that spurts out from between the Letters by this joggling, be as clear as it was when it was thrown on, and then, and not till then, he knows his Quarter is well Rinc’d: Then with his two Thumbs, one 206 placed on the side of the Foot-stick and the other on the side of the Side-stick, as near as he can, he thrusts both at once towards their opposite Cross, and so thrusts the Letter and Furniture close up again: And that the Letter may not be in danger of Squabbling or Breaking, he thrusts the Quoins loosly up again also.

As he Open’d and Rinc’d this first Quarter, he Opens and Rinces the others.

The reason why he Opens and Rinces the hithermost Quarter first, is, because the Water that descends from the hithermost Quarters does in a degree help to Rince the nethermost also.

Having thus Rinced the whole Form, and with his Fingers shut it up again, he lets it stand a little while to drain; then grasping the two ends of the Letter-board a little beyond the middle, with his Fingers underneath, and the Thumb-balls of his two Hands upon it, he sets one side of the Letter-board against the bottom of his Stomach, and carries Letter-board, Form, and all to the Destributing Frame.

Then he falls to Stripping of one Quarter first: Taking the Quoins quite out, and laying them upon the Face of the Letter, either on the same or another Quarter (if he Strips but one Quarter at once) with their ends standing the same way they stood in the Chase, and in the same order of succession; then he removes the Side and Foot-sticks to their respective sides, close to the inside of the Chase, and again removes the Quoins, laying them in the same order he laid them upon the Face of the Letter, upon the upper sides of the Side and Foot-sticks, and Chase; Ff2
then, as I told you before, how he Opened the Inner Side-sticks, just so again he not only opens them, but by the Side and Head-sticks he draws or slides the Letter from the Crosses, that he easily takes them out if he pleases; or if he have room enough to come at the Letter without, he lets them stay in.

Thus the first Quarter is Stript, and so the other Quarters successively, in order to be Destributed.

¶ 3. Of Destributing.

The Compositer seeks among the Furniture for a Riglet, a little longer (about a Pica or English) than the Line of the Page he is to Destribute: or else he cuts a Riglet to that length (this Riglet is called a Destributing-stick) and coming to his Stript Form, or Quarter of the Form he is to Destribute, he places one flat side of the Riglet against the Head of the Page, and claps the Balls of his two Fore-fingers behind it, and the inner Joints (next his Fore-fingers) of his middle Fingers he claps against the ends of so many Lines as he intends to Take up, supposing it Pica, about Seven; and presses them pretty close to the sides of the Lines: Then with the ends of the Balls of his two Thumbs he parts that number of Lines from the rest of the Page, by pressing gently towards his Riglet or Destributing-stick upon the Face of the Letter of the farthest Line, which, if the Joints of his middle Fingers press pretty hard towards each other at first, easily part, and he may open that number of Lines so far from the rest of the Page, that he may get the Balls of his Thumbs 208 far enough upon the shank of the Letter: So that the pressing the Lines yet a little harder between the Joints of his middle Fingers, and pinching with his Thumbs the Letter hard against the Riglet, with a quick jerk he rears that Taking-up upon his Destributing-stick. See Plate 23. at A.

Plate 23: Taking up Letters

Having it upon his Destributing-stick between both his Hands, with the Face of the Letter from him, he disingages his middle Fingers, and with his fore Fingers and Thumbs holding the Riglet, and now the Top of his Taking-up pretty loosly between them, he turns (as on two moving Axises) the ends of the Lines that were towards his Right Hand, and guides them to the Thumb-ball of his Left Hand: Thus the Face of the Letter is turn’d towards him; then bowing the inner Joynt of the middle Finger of his Left Hand (which before prest the left side of the Line) under the middle of the Riglet he takes the weight of the Taking-up upon it, which yet he eases as he lifts, by mounting the now Right Hand end of the Lines a little above an Horizontal level, and depressing the Left Hand ends a little below; so that now he has his Taking up in his Hand, with the Face of his Letter towards him, and the Notches upwards, he goes with it to his Case, and places himself against the middle of it. See Plate 23. at B.

Then clapping the Ball (or if he will take off more than the length of the Ball) of his middle Finger of his Right Hand, of the second Joint of that Finger, against the bottom of the uppermost Line of his Taking up towards his Right Hand, and his fore Finger about the middle of the shank of the Letter, 209 he slides or draws towards him about an Inch or an Inch and an half of that Line upon the Ball of his Thumb, which is placed at the Face of the Letter to receive it: And as it comes off the Taking up, he with his aforesaid two Fingers and Thumb disposes it so among his Fingers that he gathers the Ball of his fourth Finger under the bottom of the Letter, and then he brings what he has taken off towards his Sight to read; then with a sleight thrusting the Ball of his Thumb outwards, and drawing inwards the Balls of his fore and middle Fingers, he spreads and Squabbles the shanks of the Letters between his Fingers askew; and remembring what Letters he read, he nimbly addresses his Hand with a continued motion to every respective Box, which his Fingers, as they pass by, lets a Letter drop into, till his taking off be quite Destributed.

Having Destributed that Taking off he makes another Taking off as before, and so continues his Takings off till his whole Taking up be Distributed: And thus he Takes up and Destributes till his Case is full.

If the Form were not well Rinc’d, the shanks of the Letters will be more or less slippery, and with long Destributing will make the Balls of the Fingers and Thumb supple, by the wetness of the Letter and sharpness of the Ly; and consequently the grain of the skin will be made clumsie, and those Joints feeble; so that they will not so well fasten upon the sides of the Shank to command the Letter, and draw it askew, or be so nimble at disposing them into their several Boxes.


This happens most if they work upon small Letter, and that old, and the Ly old too, for then the Ly will have much Inck mingled in it: And the Compositer will have much ado to Rince his Form so clean but that the Letter will be slippery, and consequently not spread, as aforesaid. But against it they may use a remedy, which is, to have a piece of Allom about the bigness of a Hasel-nut, lye in one of the Boxes of the Case; for by feeling that now and then, the dilated pores of their Fingers are again contracted, and fit to do their office: For by the greasiness of the Letter, the grain of the Skin of the fingers were so dilated, that the Compositer could not so actively draw the Shanks of the Letters askew, as aforesaid.

The Compositer, if conveniences suit, chuses to Destribute his Letter over Night, that he may have a dry Case (as he calls it) to work at in the Morning, because Wet Letters are not so ready and pleasant to pick up as Dry; and besides are apt to make the Fingers sore, especially if the Ly be not so well Rinc’d from the Letter as it should be. In the Winter, when he Destributes in the Day time, he commonly brings the Lower Case, when full of Letter, to the Fire to dry, rearing the farther side of the Case a little upwards: And when it is well dryed, he sets it again upon the Frame.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 3.

It should surprise nobody to learn that the OCR consistently read “Riglet” as “Piglet”.

so that now he has his Taking up in his Hand
text has now he / he has at line break

the shanks of the Letters will be more or less slippery
text has shanks of / of the at line break


¶ 4. Of Composing.

The Compositer now addresses himself to Composing: And looking a little over his Copy, to see how it pleases him, for he runs different fortunes, either of good or bad Copy, viz. well or ill writ, if it be a Written Copy, or much Italick, Latin or Greek, or Marginal Notes, or few Breaks, &c. for this he likes not in his Copy: But a Printed Copy, or a fair Written Hand, and full of Breaks pleases him well, and is by Compositers call’d Good Copy, Light, Easie Work; when the former they call Bad, Heavy, Hard Work: And if a Price be already made for a whole Book, the Good and Bad is done at the same Price.

If the Measure be already made, that is, if he was already upon that Work before, and his Composing-stick be set to the Measure of that Work, he needs not, or must not alter his Composing-stick: But if his Measure be not made, he must unskrew the Skrew of his Composing-stick, and slide the Cheeks nearer to, or farther off the Head of his Composing-stick, till he have exactly fitted his given Measure.

If it be a Printed Copy he is to Work on, and his Work must run Line for Line with his Copy, he then without more ado, Sets or Composes the fullest Line he finds in his Copy, and slides up the Cheeks of his Composing-stick, and pinches that Line between the Cheeks and the Head, till it stands as stiff or hard in the Stick as he intends to Justifie all the rest of his Lines: Then screws up the Composing-stick.


Justifying (in Compositers Language) is the stiff or loose filling of his Stick, for if it be fill’d very stiff with Letters or Spaces, they say it is hard Justified, if loosly, they say it is loose Justified.

Having the Measure fitted, he places the Galley on his Upper Case on the Right Hand, for those Boxes are seldomest used, because in them are placed only the Latin sorts, or sometimes the Small Capitals, Astronomical Signs, &c.

He places his Galley so, that the Left Hand corner of the bottom of its Frame stands lower upon the Case than any of the other Corners, for in that position the Letters at the end of every Line stand safest from falling, as leaning towards the rest of the Page.

Plate 1i: the Visorum

Some Compositers use Visorums, as is described in Plate 2. at i. Therefore pricking the point of the Visorum most commonly upon the Border or Frame of the Case on the Left Hand about the &-Box, they fold the Leaf of Copy they Compose by, so as the bottom of it may rest upon the Square-Shoulder near the bottom of the Visorum; then with two pieces of Scaboard Tyed together at one end, they clasp both the Copy and Visorum between these two Scaboards, which two Scaboards pinch the Copy and Visorum fast enough to keep the Copy in its place, and at the same time also serves for an Index to direct the Eye to every Line, as the Compositer moves it downward.

After this preparation, the Compositer falls to Composing. But first reads so much of his Copy as he thinks he can retain in his memory till he have Composed it, as commonly is five or six words, or sometimes a longer Sentence. And having read, he Gg
falls a Spelling in his mind; yet so, that his Thoughts run no faster than his Fingers: For as he spells A, he takes up A out of the A Box, as he names n in his thoughts, he takes up n out of the n Box, as he names d in his thoughts he takes up d out of the d Box; which three Letters set together make a Word, viz. And; so that after the d he sets a Space: Then he goes on to the next Word, and so Composes on, Setting a Space after every Word till the Words come to the end of the Line, for then he sets no Space.

When he Composes the Letters he holds the Composing-stick in his Left Hand, placing the Second Joynt of his Thumb over the moving Cheek of the Stick, and the end of the Ball of his Thumb reaches down to the bottom of the Cheek and Stick; so that with the end of the Ball of his Thumb he gently presses the Letter close to the Cheek, and keeps the Letters tight and square together, as he places them in the Stick successively. See Plate 24. at A.

Plate 24: holding the Composing Stick

And as his Eyes are very quick in reading his Copy, and in shifting its Visual Ray to the several Boxes he is to have a Letter out of, so is his choice what Letter to take up very sudden; for though the Box be full of Letters, yet in an instant he resolves and pitches his Fingers upon that one, which for its posture and position his Fancy reckons lyes most commodious for his immediate seizing. For position, he generally chuses that which lies upper most, because it is readiest at Hand to snatch up: And for posture, that which lies with its Face towards his Right Hand, because catching at the Letter near the Face-end of the Shank, he by an accustomed sleight, in his Fingers 214 while it is coming to the Stick, disposes it so, that as the bottom of the Shank goes directly forwards, towards the bottom of the Stick, so the Notch of the Letter shall also be placed upwards.

Most Compositers use a Composing-Rule, which is only a piece of a Brass-Rule cut to the length of the Measure, with a small Ear left at either end, to take it out by when the Line is full, and to lay it upon the Compos’d Line, to Set successively a succession of Lines upon, till the Stick be full.

This Rule is very commodious to Work with, because the Letter slides easier and smoother down to the Back of the Stick, than it will upon a Line of Letters: Besides, the Letters Compos’d on it stand streighter and truer in Line, and are less subject to Hang, than those Compos’d on a Line of Matter; unless with a Riglet (as that they many times do) they rub pretty strongly along the Line they have Compos’d, which is a labour more than needs, and the loss of some time to make the Work more unpleasant.

Having Composed one Line, if it ends with a Word or a Syllable and a Division, and just fill the Measure, it needs no more Justifying; but if the Line conclude not as aforesaid, then he puts a Space more between every Word, or so many Words as will fill up the Measure pretty stiff, viz. Justifie the Line. But if the Line be not yet Justified, he puts another Space between every Word, or between several Words, till the Line be Justified: So that here is now three Spaces, and strictly, good Workmanship will not allow more, unless the Measure be so short, that by Gg2
reason of few Words in a Line, necessity compells him to put more Spaces between the Words. This often happens in Marginal Notes, where the White between Words is often as great or greater than between Line and Line.

These wide Whites are by Compositers (in way of Scandal) call’d Pidgeon-holes, and are by none accounted good Workmanship, unless in such cases of necessity, as aforesaid.

And as Lines may be too much Spaced-out, so may they be too close Set: It may be accounted too close Set when only a Thin-space is set between Words, especially if no Capital Letter follows the Thin-space or Point go before it. Thin-spaces being intended and Cast only that the Compositer may Justifie his Lines the Truer, and not to serve for convenient distinction between Words; yet do some Compositers too often commit this error, rather than put themselves to the trouble of Spacing out a Line, where many Spaces must be used to Space it out.

A good Compositer takes care not to Set too Close, or too Wide; for if he Set too Close, and should happen to leave out a Word or two, it will give him a great deal of trouble to get those Words in; Nay perhaps when he comes to a Break he drives out a Line, for which Line perchance he may be forc’d to Over-run all the Pages that are Set forwards upon that Matter. And if he Sets too Wide, and he chance to Set a Word or two twice over, he may be forc’d to make Pidgeon-holes e’re he come to a Break, and then perhaps his Break is got in too, and his Page a Line too short, and he forc’d to Over-run several 216 Pages e’re he can drive that Line out. As I shall farther shew you when I come to the ¶ of Correcting.

In Justifying his Line he takes great care that it do not Hang: It is an unproper Term, yet grown into Use, for when the Letter stands askew, and not directly Square, they say it Hangs. New Letter is most subject to Hang, especially if not very smoothly Drest; Because the least Bur, or sharpness of its Angles, may catch in the Burs or Angles of the Letters that stand next them, and so make them stand aslope, and one Letter standing aslope is very subject to make all the other Letters in that Line stand aslope too. Therefore if he find his Letter Hang, while his Line is yet loose, viz. Unjustified, he gently with the Ball of the Thumb of his Left Hand, thrusts the top of the shank of the Line where it Hangs, moving the Letter somewhat from him, towards the farther end of the Stick, and with the Balls of the two Fore-fingers of his Right Hand pats upon the Face of the Letter, till he have got them into an upright position. He moves or drives the top of the Shank of the Letter from him, because generally the placing the Ball of his Thumb on the top of the shank of the Letter when he Composes (as was shewn before) is subject to draw the Letter askew towards him, but that his care commonly prevents it: Yet if by chance the Line should Hang from him, then he with the Ball of his Thumb as aforesaid, draws the Letter towards him, to set it upright.


Here is now one Line Compos’d: And as he Compos’d that Line, so he Composes Line upon Line till his Stick be full: When his Stick is full, he Empties thus; He lays his Stick down upon his Lower Case, with the bottom of his Stick against the hither Ledge of the Case, and the Face of the Letter upwards; being provided of a Riglet just the Length of his Line, he lays his Riglet against his last Line, and places the Balls of his two Fore-fingers behind the Riglet, near the middle of it, if the Line be not too long, and then only as near the middle as he can to command it with his Fore-fingers; and he places the Balls of his Thumbs against the first Line in his Stick as far below the Face of the Letter as he can, and he places first the Joints of his middle-fingers against the Sides of the Letter at the two ends of the Line, so as I shewed you he did when he was Taking up his Letter to Destribute it; and in this posture pinching the Letter between his Thumbs and his Fore-fingers, and squeezing his two middle fingers towards each other, he leans the Letter in the Stick almost flat upon the Riglet: But if his Lines were Hard Justified, he cannot perhaps with the first leaning the Letter back get them clear out of the Stick, therefore he again wriggles the Stick of Letter forwards and backwards, till he gets them quite out. See Plate 24. at B.

Having gotten them out, and in this posture fast between his Thumbs and Fingers, and the Letter leaning almost flat upon his Riglet, he directs both his hands together to his Galley, and nimbly claps that Stick of Letter down into the Galley; placing the 218 first Line close and upright against the lower ledge of the Galley, and the beginning of his Lines close and upright against the left hand Ledge of the Galley, and then disingages his Fingers and Thumbs, and leaves his Riglet standing in its place till he have occasion to use it in like manner for the next Stick of Letter.

As he Set this Stick of Letter, so he Sets on till his Page is Out, Remembring after the last Line of every Page to set a Direction: That is, he Sets a Line of Quadrats and at the end of it the first word of the next Page, or if the Word be very long and the Line very short, two Syllables, or sometimes but one of that Word. And if it be the First Page, viz. the first Page of that Sheet, he Sets a Signature about the middle of the Line, or rather a small matter nearer the end than the middle is, (because when the Sheets are wrought off and gather’d, they Collation something quicker: The Collationer not being forced to prick up with his Bodkin the corners of the Sheet so high to see the Signature: which in a long train of work saves time.

If it be the First Page of the first Sheet of a Book the Signature is A, if the first of the second Sheet B, if the first of the third C, and so successively till he come to W, which is always skipt, because the Latin Alphabet has not that Letter in it; but next V follows X Y Z, so that if the Book contain above three and twenty Sheets, the Signature of the four and twentieth Sheet must be A a, if five and twenty B b; till in like manner he run through the Second Alphabet, and comes to the third, fourth, &c. still as he begins a new Alphabet adding an a.


To the second Page, or any other Even Page, he Sets no Signature, but to the Third which is an Odd Page viz. A 2. The Figure of 2 is no part of the Signature, but is only an adjunct to shew the Book-binder the Second Leaf of that Sheet, that he may the surer Fold the Sheet right.

If it be a Folio Sheet he cannot set A 3 in a single Sheet, because it has but two Odd Pages in it; but if they be Quir’d Sheets, that is, two, three, or four Sheets Quir’d together, he must set A 3 in a Folio, though not in the First, but Third Sheet of that Quire. But no wise Compositer, except he work on Printed Copy that runs Sheet for Sheet, will be willing to Compose more Sheets to a Quire than he shall have a Fount of Letter large enough to set out, unless he will take upon him the trouble of Counting off his Copy: because he cannot Impose till he has Set to the last Page of that Quire; all the other Sheets being Quired within the first Sheet, and the last Page of the Quire comes in the first Sheet. But when he Composes Quir’d Work, the Signature of the first Page is A, the Signature of the Sheet Quir’d next within the first Sheet is A 2, the first Page of the next Quir’d-Sheet A 3: So that the Signatures of all the Sheets in the first Quire is A, A 2, A 3, according to the number of Sheets Quired together. The second Quire begins B, B 2, B 3, &c. The Third Sheet C, &c. according to the number of Quires. This is called Printing in Quires. Now to return.

If the Form be Quarto, he Sets under the Fifth Page Signature 3. If Octavo, he sets also under the Fifth Page Signature 3. and under the Seventh Page 220 Signature 4. If Twelves, he sets also under the Fifth Page Signature 3, and under the Seventh Page Signature 4, and under the Ninth Page Signature 5, and under the Eleventh Page Signature 6. The Rule is, that all Odd Pages should have a Signature, if they stand on the Out-side of the Sheet; and the reason for the Rule is, that the Gatherer, Collater and Book-binder may the readier lay Sheets right, if they be turned wrong. This Rule is not among Compositers so well observed as it ought to be: For in Quarto’s they not only leave the Signature 4 out, but rarely put in Signature 3.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 4.

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“Marginal Notes” are now known as sidenotes. Within a century after Moxon, they had largely been superseded by footnotes.

or must not alter his Composing-stick:
text has must nor

Visorums, as is described in Plate 2. at i
text unchanged: error for Plate 1
[This is the second time he has said Plate 2 when he means Plate 1. In the full plate, the Visorum is between A and B to the left of the lower case; it is pointing right at the & (ampersand).]

and squeezing his two middle fingers towards each other
text has and / and at line break
[It would admittedly have been funnier if this duplication—the third in this Number—had come two pages earlier, when he was talking about the perils of Setting too Wide.]

and the beginning of his Lines close and upright
text has begining

after the last Line of every Page to set a Direction . . . And if it be the First Page . . . he Sets a Signature
[What Moxon calls a Direction is more often known as a catchword; see Savage’s Dictionary. It went out of fashion towards the end of the 18th century. Signatures remained in use, but became smaller and less prominent. You can see both of them—including the off-center positioning of the signature—on the previous page:

page image

The signature ends in 3 because it is the fifth page (third leaf) of the quire.]

(because when the Sheets are wrought off and gather’d
[By the time Moxon reaches the end of the sentence, he has forgotten that he needs a closing parenthesis.]

W, which is always skipt, because the Latin Alphabet has not that Letter in it
[J and U are, of course, also skipt. In Moxon’s time these were not distinct letters for alphabetizing purposes, even though the letter­forms in both upper (I:J, U:V) and lower (i:j, u:v) case were fully differentiated. Printers retained the convention even after the English alphabet was canonicalized to 26 letters.]

still as he begins a new Alphabet adding an a
[The present book, for example, runs through signature Fff (23 + 23 + 6).]

If the Form be Quarto
[Seriously, Joseph, this whole paragraph could have been much compressed by simply saying “Quarto or smaller”, “Octavo or smaller” and so on. It’s hard to be sure without seeing the physical book, but I tend to think the present volume is octavo in half-sheets, yielding the same signature count as quarto.]

This Rule is not among Compositers so well observed as it ought to be
[I suspect Moxon was the last person to observe this Rule. Most books that I’ve seen only have signatures on the first half of a quire: A and A2 for a quarto, A through A4 for an octavo and so on.]

¶ 5. Some Circumstances a good Compositer considers and observes in Composing.

A good Compositer is ambitious as well to make the meaning of his Author intelligent to the Reader, as to make his Work shew graceful to the Eye, and pleasant in Reading: Therefore if his Copy be Written in a Language he understands, he reads his Copy with consideration; that so he may get himself into the meaning of the Author, and consequently considers how to order his Work the better both in the Title Page, and in the matter of the Book: As how to make his Indenting, Pointing, Breaking, Italicking, &c. the better sympathize with the Authors Genius, and also with the capacity of the Reader.

Nor does a Compositer the least shew his skill in the well ordering and humouring of a Title Page, which, because it is the first Page of a Book, we shall begin the Compositers Considerations at.


He, as aforesaid, judiciously reads his Title Page, and considers what Word or Words have the greatest Emphasis in it. If many Words precede the Emphasis, he considers whether it be best to make one or two Lines, or more of them, by electing a Body bigger or less to Set the precedent Matter in, and whether any of these Lines ought to be Indented, either at one end or both, viz. Set in the middle of the Line. And what Words of Emphasis come in that precedent Matter; that he may Set them either in Capitals, Roman, Italick, or English; and at last bring the great Emphasis, which is generally the Title or Name of the Book in a Line by it self, and just fill it if he can; which he has some helps to do, by the great Bodied Letters of the Lower Case, or else by Capitals, Roman, Italick or English, of a proper Body, which best pleases his fancy, or is in present mode.

If this Word of great Emphasis be Set in the Lower Case, yet he Sets the first Letter a Capital, and he Sets no Space between Letter and Letter, but between Word and Word he does, if there happens more than one Word in that Line: But if that Word be Set in Capitals, he chuses to Set a Space between every Letter, and sometimes he Sets two Spaces, yet that is rather to drive out the Line.

If he Sets but one Space between the Letters in a Word, he Sets three Spaces between Word and Word: And if he Set two Spaces between Letter and Letter, he Sets four Spaces between Word and Word, as well to give a graceful appearance to the Eye, as to make a Visible and proportionable distinction between Word and Word.


He also considers what Whites to Set between his Lines; as either a Line of Quadrats, and of what Body; or (if his Title Page be large) but a Scaboard: and at last Justifies his Page in Length, either by adding more Whites (where they may be proper) if his Page be too short, or by taking out or diminishing Whites if the Page be too long; And this he does by altering the Body of Whites, for if a White-line be English, he may take it out, and in its room put in Pica, Long-primmer or Brevier, according as he finds he has Run out; yet this he does with Consideration, where more or less White is properest.

But the mode of ordering Titles varies; as may be seen by comparing the Title Pages of every twenty years: Therefore a Lasting Rule cannot be given for the ordering them: only what has been said in general concerning Emphasis, and in particular to humour the Eye, the Compositer has a constant regard to.

When he is to Work upon a continued Series of Matter, he Sets the Title of the Chapter or Section in a bigger Body and different Character than his Matter is Set in; as if the Matter be Set in English Roman, he Sets the Title in Great Primer or Double Pica Italick, but the Words of Emphasis he will Set in Roman, and varies the Character for them as well in the Title, as he does in the Matter.

If his Title be short, he Sets it in the middle of the Line, by Setting Quadrats on both sides: If his Title be long, he Sets the middle Line in the middle: If it make three or more Lines, he Indents the first with an m Quadrat, and the other with two Hh2
m Quadrats. Before his Title he sets a White-line, viz. a Line of Quadrats, and so he does after it; but with regard to what the bigness of the Body of the Letter the Title is Set in, Runs out; for these Whites must be set of such Bodies (bigger or less) as will make the difference of the Body the Title is Set in, a just number of Lines with those of the Body the Matter is Set in, because the length of the Page, as aforesaid, must be Justified. And he always forecasts to put rather more than less White before the Title than after it; because the Title has relation to the Matter of the Chapter or Section it is Set to, and therefore ought not to be so distinct, as from the precedent Chapter or Section.

After his Title, he begins his Chapter or Section with a Two-lin’d Letter, or Three or Four-lin’d Letter, but Indents it not. He begins his Chapter or Section with the first Line in the Stick, unless his Stick be very Deep, or his Two or Three-lin’d Letter small, because it may else reach above the top of the Stick, and so hinder him from filling up Lines to the Body of the Two or Three-lin’d Letter.

After the Two or Three-lin’d Letter, he Sets a Capital Letter of the Body his Matter is of, and Indents all, those Lines that are to fill up the Great Letter with an n Quadrat.

He cannot use his Composing-Rule (mentioned in the foregoing part of this ¶) till he have filled up Lines to the Body of the said Great Letter; because his Composing-Rule is too long to go between the Great Letter and the Head of the Stick: but then he uses the end of a Riglet to rub along the Lines he 224 has Composed to smoothen them, and so Set on till he has filled up the whole Body of the Great Letter, and most times somewhat above it; which Letter he afterwards Justifies with Small Bodied Quadrats, or with Scaboards or Cards, or with any or all of them till the Great-letter stands even with the number of Lines that it Indents, and afterwards uses his Composing Rule, and Sets the succeeding Lines to their full Length.

If it be a great Wooden Letter, he begins his Chapter or Section with, it is most times too Deep for the height of the Cheeks of his Stick; therefore he Justifies his Stick-full just to the breadth of the Wooden Letter with Quadrats or Quotations and Sets on between those Quadrats or Quotations and the Head of his Stick, as I shewed before, till his Stick be full of Lines; which Lines he Empties, leaving the Quadrats or Quotations in his Stick, to serve, as before, for the succeeding Stick or Sticks, till he have Composed Lines enough for the Depth of the Wooden Letter.

As he Sets on, he considers how to Point his Work, viz. when to Set , where ; where : and where . where to make ( ) where [ ] ? ! and when a Break. But the Rules for these having been taught in many School-books, I need say nothing to them here, but refer you to them.

And as he considers how to Point, so he considers what proper Names, either of Persons or Places, he meets within his Copy, as also what Words of great Emphasis, and what Words of smaller Emphasis, what Obsolete Words, and what Foreign, &c.


When he meets with proper Names of Persons or Places he Sets them in Italick, if the Series of his Matter be Set in Roman; or in Roman if the Series of his Matter be Set in Italick, and Sets the first Letter with a Capital, or as the Person or Place he finds the purpose of the Author to dignifie, all Capitals; but then, if conveniently he can, he will Set a Space between every Letter, and two or three before and after that Name, to make it shew more Graceful and Stately. For Capitals express Dignity where-ever they are Set, and Space and distance also implies stateliness.

Words of great Emphasis are also Set in Italick, and sometimes begin with a Capital Letter: If the Emphasis bear hard upon the Word to be exprest as well as the Thing to be exprest, it ought to begin with a Capital. I shall bring for instance an Observation I made above forty years ago on the Word that, viz. that that Word may be reitterated five times, and make good Sense: If it be set thus it will seem nonsense, that that that that that; but if it be Set thus, that that That that that Man would have stand at the beginning of the Line should stand at the end; it will, by toning and laying Emphasis on the middlemost That become good Sense. Now all the thats ought to be Set in Italick, and the middlemost That ought to begin with a Capital, because it is both the Thing and Word.

Words of a smaller Emphasis may be Set in the running Character, viz. Roman, if it be the Series of the Matter; or Italick, if Italick, but begun with a Capital: Instance in the last Sentence, That which expresses both the Thing and Word, &c. Here Thing and Word 226 both bear Emphasis, though not very great, and therefore ought to be dignified more than those Words that precede or follow those Words. Yet I know some Authors are now so nice to mark both the Word Thing and the Word Word in Italick.

After a . though not at the end of a Break he begins with a Capital.

When in Composing he comes near a Break, he for some Lines before he comes to it considers whether that Break will end with some reasonable White; If he finds it will, he is pleas’d, but if he finds he shall have but a little single Word in his Break, he either Sets wide to drive a Word or two more into the Break-line, or else he Sets close to get in that little Word, because a Line with only a little Word in it, shews almost like a White-line, which unless it be properly plac’d, is not pleasing to a curious Eye.

Nor do good Compositers account it good Workmanship to begin a Page with a Break-line, unless it be a very short Break, and cannot be gotten in in the foregoing Page; but if it be a long Break, he will let it be the Direction-line of the fore-going Page, and Set his Direction at the end of it.

Indenting after a Break (unless it be the end of a Chapter or Section) is an m Quadrat, (more or less is not proper) Set at the beginning of the Line: But when Verses are Indented, two, three or four m Quadrats are used, according to the number of the Feet of the Verses, but most times according to the fancy of the Author.

English obsolete Words he Sets in the English Character, 227 the first Letter, if the dignity of the Word require it, as aforesaid, with a Capital.

Foreign Languages he meets with in his Copy, if the Master Printer have them in his House, he Sets them in the proper Character; if not, the Author must write them in the common Character, and the Compositer Sets them as they are written.

That I maybe the less unintelligent to the Reader, I will inform him that in Printers Dialect (as in this last Paragraph it is used) Language is understood Letter: For the Compositer does say, I shall use a Word or two of Greek Letter, or Hebrew Letter, or Saxon Letter, &c. but I shall use a word or two of Greek, a Word or two of Hebrew, Saxon, &c. so that the Word Letter, is in Compositers Dialect, understood by naming the Language.

If Indentures instead of Marginal Notes come in a number of Lines, he Indents his Stick, as I shewed you he did for a Wooden Letter, leaving a convenient White between his Matter and Indenture, and then again Indents his Stick to Set the Matter that comes in those Indentures, allowing a reasonable White between the Top and the Bottom of his Indenture, and then Justifies it up to an exact number of Lines, as he did the Wooden Letter.

If Marginal Notes come down the side (or sides, If the Page have two Columns) he chuses to Set them in on the Stone, rather than in his Galley, because both his Page and Notes stand safer, being cloathed with the Furniture, than they do when they stand Naked in the Galley. Therefore I shall say nothing of Marginal Notes till I come to Imposing.


Some other Circumstances (according as variety of Work does happen) a Compositer may meet with; but by what has been said upon this and several other Trades, the Ingenious (as they occur) may easily consider how they are to be performed.

Nor (as afore was hinted) is a Compositer bound to all these Circumstances and Punctilio’s, because, in a strict sense, the Author is to discharge him of them in his Copy: Yet it is necessary the Compositers Judgment should know where the Author has been deficient, that so his care may not suffer such Work to go out of his Hands as may bring Scandal upon himself, and Scandal and prejudice upon the Master Printer.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 5.

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Number XV begins on page 221, signature Hh.

Capitals, Roman, Italick, or English
[In general, “English” means a type size—66 lines to a foot, or about 13 points—but here he means blackletter.]

If he Sets but one Space between the Letters in a Word
text has Letters n a Word

he Sets four Spaces between Word and Word
text has betwen
[Printer? Are you feeling all right? That’s two typos in a single short paragraph.]

he Sets the Title in Great Primer or Double Pica Italick, but the Words of Emphasis he will Set in Roman
[You can see this in the present book. Section headings have the main words in Roman type, the secondary words in Italic.]

he begins his Chapter or Section with a Two-lin’d Letter, or Three or Four-lin’d Letter
[Cursory research suggests that the term “drop capital” was largely unknown before the year 1900 or so, and didn’t really become common until fairly late in the 20th century.]

that that That that that Man would have stand at the beginning of the Line should stand at the end
[Today, the capitalized “That” would instead be put in quotation marks, to indicate that we’re talking about the word “that”. But it’s still a pretty broad definition of “make sense”.]

but if he finds he shall have but a little single Word in his Break
[The paragraph containing this sentence illustrates the point nicely:

page image

The whole word “curious” (best translated as “careful”, not “inqui­sitive”) could easily have fit onto a single line, but that would leave the short word “Eye” by itself on the last line.]

Indenting after a Break . . . is an m Quadrat
[Today expressed as {text-indent: 1em;} in a web page’s stylesheet.]

For the Compositer does say, I shall use a Word or two
[It seems as if it ought to be “the Compositer does not say”, but perhaps I have missed his point.]

¶ 6. Of tying up a Page.

We may remember the Compositer has yet a Page in his Galley: This Page must be Tyed up with a Packthred Cord, courser or finer according to the bigness of his Letter and Page: For Small Letter, which rarely is used to great Pages, he chuses a fine Packthred, strong and limber; but for great Letter and great Pages a stronger that will better endure hard pulling at: Wherefore he seeks a Cord for his purpose, or else takes so much off the whole Quoil as will serve his turn, and taking the end on’t in his Right Hand, lays that end about an Inch within the Direction-line, and a little lower than the middle of the Shank of the Letter, and holds that end there close with the two Fore-fingers of his Left Hand, then he slides his Right Hand along the Ii
Cord, straining it as stiff as he can along the right side of the Page, and turns it about the Head of the Page as close down to the Ledge of the Galley as he can, and so slides his Hand over the Cord till he draws it about all the sides of the Page: and when he comes to the first end of the Cord, he doubles up that end so as it stand above the Face of the Letter, and whips the Cord over that end, that the end may not slip; then he twists part of the remaining Cord about his Right Hand, and grasping his Left Hand Fingers about the Direction Corner of the Page, as well to hold the end of the Cord from Ripping, as to keep the Page tight in its position, with his Right Hand he pulls the Cord as hard down the side of the Page as he can; and keeping the Cord straining, whips it again about the Head and other sides of the Page, and so again about all the sides of the Page, keeping it still straining; and always as he comes to the Right Hand side of the Page, pulling hard, and taking care that it slip not: Having whipt the Cord twice about the Page, he holding two of his Left Hand Fingers against the Direction-corner upon the Cord, that it slip not, with the Ball of his Thumb of his Right Hand, and the Balls of his Fingers to assist, thrusts against the opposite diagonal corner of the Page, and removes it a little from the Ledges of the Galley, that he may with the Nail of the Thumb of his Right Hand have room to thrust the Cord whipt about the Page, lower down upon the Shank of the Letter, (to make room for succeeding whippings of the Cord,) and then thrusts or draws the Page 230 close to the Ledges of the Galley again; then whips the Cord again about the Page (as before) till he has whipt it four or five times about the Page, taking care that the several whippings lye parallel to each other, not lapping over any of the former whippings.

Having whipt the Cord four or five times about the Page, he with his Bodkin or the corner of a Brass Rule (which lies best at hand) fastens the Cord, by thrusting a noose of it between the several whippings and the Right Hand side of the Page, close up to the Direction-line, then draws the lower part of that Noose close up to the very corner of the Direction-line, that it may be the better fastned between the Page and the Whippings: Then, if his Cord be not of a just length, he cuts it off from the rest of the Quoil, leaving so much length to it as that the end of it may stand upright an Inch or two above the Face of the Letter; the reason will shew it self when we come to Imposing. Then he removes the Page pretty far from the Ledges of the Galley, to see if the Whippings lye about the middle of the Shank of the Letter; if they lye too high, as most commonly they do, he thrusts them lower with the Nail or Nails of his Thumbs. Then (if the Page be not too broad) he places his Fore or Middle Finger, or both, of his Right Hand on the Right Hand Side of the Page, and his Thumb on the Left; and bowing his other Finger or Fingers under the Head of the Page, he rears up the Handle-end of his Galley with his Left Hand almost upright, and so discharges the Galley of the Page, by delivering it upright into his Right Hand. Having his Page Ii2
upright in his Right Hand, at the Head, he claps the Fingers of his Left Hand about the Foot of the Page, upon the ends of the Lines on the Right Hand Side of the Page, and his Thumb on the Left Hand side of the Page, with the Palm of his Hands towards the Face of the Letter, and such Fingers as he can spare bowed under the Foot of the Page, turning the Page with the Face of the Letter from him, and letting it rest upon the inside of his Fingers, under the Right Hand Side of the Page, and so goes with it to the Correcting-stone.

Plate 25: sliding a page off the Slice

But if the Correcting-stone be full of Forms or other Letter, as many times it is, then before he begins to Tye up his Page he provides a Sheet of Waste Paper, supposing it a Quarto Page, and doubles that Sheet in four, and while he has the Page upright, in that Hand (as aforesaid) he takes that doubled Sheet into the Palm of his Left Hand, and claps it against the bottom of the Page, and turning his Left Hand outward, receives the Page flat upon the Paper on the Palm of his Hand: Then with his Right Hand grasps the Sides of the Page and the Sides of the Paper, which turn up again above the bottom of the Page, and sets it on a Letter Board, or some other board in a convenient place under his Case. He places that Page on the Left Hand the Board with the Foot of the Page towards him, that the other Pages that are in like manner set on the Board afterwards, may stand by it in an orderly succession against he comes to Impose them.

Plate 25a: sliding a page off the Slice (close-up)

If it be a large Folio Page, or a Broad-side he has Tyed up, he cannot take that into his Hands, because 232 it is too broad for his Grasp; therefore he carries his Galley, Page and all to the Correcting-stone, and turns the Handle of the Galley towards him, and taking hold of the Handle with his Right Hand, he places his Thumb and Ball of his Thumb on his Left Hand, against the inside the Head-ledge of the Galley, to hold it and keep it steady, and by the Handle draws the Slice with the Page upon it, out of the Galley, letting the Slice rest upon the Correcting-stone: Then he thrusts the Head-end of the Slice so far upon the Correcting-stone, that the Foot of the Page may stand an Inch or two within the outer edge of the Correcting-stone; and placing his Left Hand against the Foot of the Page, in the same posture he last plac’d it against the Head-ledge of the Galley, he draws the Slice from under the bottom of the Page, and leaves it upon the Correcting-stone. See Plate 25. at A.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 6.

(to make room for succeeding whippings of the Cord,)
close-parenthesis ) missing
[This time it was pretty unambiguous where the missing close-parenthesis belongs. (Today it would be placed before the comma, but Moxon’s usage is consistent.)]

See Plate 25. at A.
[I frankly can’t find an A—or indeed any other letter—anywhere in Plate 25. But a rotated close-up seemed warranted, since it is not always as easy to turn a screen as to turn a book sideways.]

Plate 26: Imposing a Folio, Imposing a Quarto

Plate 27: Imposing an Octavo, Imposing a “Twelves” (duodecimo)

Plate 28: Imposing half-sheets of Folio, Quarto, Octavo, “Twelves”

¶ 7. Of Imposing.

Imposing is the placing of the Pages that belong to a Sheet, with the Chase and Furniture about them, in such an order as when the Sheet is wrought off at the Press, all the Pages may be Folded into an orderly succession.

There are four Volumns in use that are differently Imposed, viz. Folio, Quarto, Octavo and Twelves.

The manner of Imposing these Sheets will be plainer represented in a Table than by many words; therefore in Plates 26, 27, 28. I have given you Drafts of each Volumn, both First and Second Form, viz. White Paper and Reteration; as you may see noted over each Form in the Plates. For Example, the two Forms in the Folio Sheet: In the First Form Ii3
you may see 1. on the Left Hand and 4 on the Right, which shews that the First Page must stand on the Correcting-stone on that Hand, and the Fourth on the Right Hand, with the Foots of the Pages towards you; and so for all the other Forms. The number of the Page belonging to each Sheet is marked in what place it is to stand on the Stone in the Chase, and the Figures of those Numbers are placed with their Head and Foot upwards and downwards, as the Heads and Foots of the Pages must stand in the Chase.

The places of Pages for all Volumns the Compositer has always in his memory, yet has he a help if he remember the places of but the first half of the number of Pages of each Volumn: For if he knows the place of the first Page, the Page that stands next it must be that number which makes one more than the number of all the Pages in the Sheet. For Example, in the Folio; next the First Page stands the Fourth Page, 1 and 4 added makes 5, viz. one more than the number of Pages in the whole Sheet. See Plate 26. Again, In the Twelves Volumn next the First Page stands the Twenty Fourth, 1 and 24 added makes 25: Next 2 stands 23, which added makes 25, viz. one more than the number of Pages in the whole Sheet. This is a help, and a certain Rule for placing the Pages of any Volumn, if he knows but by memory the places of the first half number. See Plate 27. Thus you will find an Even and an Odd Page stand together.

The other Volumns, viz. Sixteens, Twenty-fours, Thirty-two’s, are but the Octavo’s and Twelves doubled, or twice doubled and Imposed in Half-Sheets. For Example, The Sixteens is two Octavo’s Imposed 234 on each side the Short Cross; the Twenty-fours is two Twelves Imposed on each side the Long Cross, and a Thirty-two’s is four Octavo’s Imposed in each Quarter of the Chase. And thus they double a Volumn as oft as they think fit. But as was said before, they are Imposed on each side the Cross, or in each Quarter of the Chase, as the Volumn that is doubled or re-doubled is Imposed in the whole Chase.

In Half-sheets, all the Pages belonging to the White Paper and Reteration are Imposed in one Chase, and are plac’d, as you see by the Drafts (in Plate 28.) of Half-sheet Forms. So that when a Sheet of Paper is Printed on both sides with the same Form, that Sheet cut in two in the Short Cross, if Quarto or Octavo, and in the Short and Long Cross, if Twelves, and folded as Octavo or Twelves; the Pages (I say) of each Half-sheet shall follow in an orderly succession.

Having premised thus much, he takes up the Pages he set by on Papers in an orderly succession when he Tyed them up, grasping the edges of the Papers that stick up on both sides the Page tight, that so the bottom of the Paper may stand the stronger against the bottom of the Letter, to keep it from falling out; and bringing it thus to the Correcting-stone, he gets the two last Fingers of his Right Hand under the Head of the Page, but not under the Paper sticking up about the Head of the Page, keeping his other two Fingers and Thumb on the sides of the Page, and slips or slides his Left Hand, so as the Palm of it may turn towards the bottom of the Page; and rearing the Page up on 235 end on his Right Hand, he discharges his Left to take away the Paper behind the Page; then he grasps his Left Hand about the Foot-end of the Page in the same posture that his Right Hand grasps the Head-end. And having the Page thus between his Hands with the bottom of the Letter towards him, he directs both his Hands to the place on the Stone where the Page must stand, and claps it down on the Stone so nimbly, that the whole bottom of the Page comes all at once to the Face of the Stone, lest otherwise he endanger the Breaking, Squabbling, or Hanging, &c. of the Page. And thus he sets down all the Pages of the Form: which having plac’d in order and rank, as before I have shew’d in the Drafts of each respective Volumn, he lays the Chase about them; and (if he have not a Form already Drest) seeks out Inner Side and Head-sticks of such a thickness, as with the Cross may make a Margin between the adjoyning Pages convenient to the Volumn and size of the Paper.

If his Side or Head-sticks be a little too thin, and he cannot find any to his intended thickness, he puts a Scaboard or two between the Head or Side-stick and the Cross, as well to have more Margin as to commode the Press-man (if occasion be) when he makes Register, as I shall further shew when I come to the Section of the Press-man.

Then he seeks outer Side and Foot-sticks, his Side-sticks of the exact length of the Page, or a Scaboard shorter, or he cuts them to that length, that the Foot-stick Bear not against the end of the Side-stick, because then the Letter will not Rise; for the 236 Foot-stick must be a little longer than the breadth of the Page, that it may shoot beyond the end of the Side-stick.

Then he fits the Chase and Furniture at Side and Foot, with Fore and Hind Quoins, and takes off the Cords from the Pages, as shall be shew’d by and by.

But if Marginal Notes come down the Side or Sides of the Pages (for if there be two Columns in a Page, the Marginal Notes may come down both sides) then, before he fits his Foot-sticks he sets a Scaboard the length of the Page, against the side of the Page the Notes come on, and a row of Quotations almost down the length of the Page, or sometimes but one or two in a place at convenient distances, to keep the Letter of the Side of the Page upright, according as he finds his particular Notes stand near or far asunder, and afterwards fits his Foot-stick. Then he Sets his Notes, commonly between the Cheeks of his Stick, which for that purpose are fitted to the Measure of the Quotation: And having Set them, he places them in the proper places where they must come in, and with Quotation Quadrats of proper Bodies, Justifies them up, feeling (at last) carefully and cautiously at the Foot, that they be neither too soft nor too hard Justified to the length of the Page.

Now if he have a Chase, or Form, or Furniture already Drest (these several phrases are used, though they all signifie the same thing.) If he have (I say) a Form Drest, that is, if he or other Workmen have been Working on the same Work, i. e. Book, before he uses one of the Wrought-off Forms, and having it Kk
on a Letter-board, Rinc’d, as was shew’d in ¶ 2. of this Section, he places it on a Bench or Joint-stool, on that Hand that stands most commodious with that end of the Stone he Imposes on, and so as there may be a corresponding position, with the Form Wrought off and that Imposing, viz. that the First Page (and consequently all the rest) of the Wrought off Form stands on the same Hand with the First Page of that Form that is Imposing.

Then taking out and laying the Quoins in their proper places, as I shew’d when he Stript the Form, at the latter end of ¶ 2. he a little wriggles the Chase from one Side to the other, and forward and backwards to Loosen it, and the Cross or Crosses from the close pinching of the Letter and Furniture: then takes it off the Chase, and lays it about those Pages he is Imposing: Then with his two fore-fingers and Thumbs he takes away the Inner Side-stick and the Head-stick at once, and at once removes them to the responding Quarter of the Form Imposing, into the responding places from whence he took them in the Wrought off Form. And as he does by the Inner Side-sticks, so he does by the outer Side-sticks, and by the Quoins; placing them in their respective proper places between the Furniture and Chase, or so many of the foremost Quoins, as will go in before the Cords are unwhipt from the Pages. Thus the Wrought off Form is Stript and Naked; and stands by to Destribute.

Having thus translated the whole Furniture of the Wrought off Form to the Form Imposing, he finds the end of the Cord that he left sticking up above the 238 Face of the Letter (which perhaps by this time is got between the Furniture and the Page) and laying the Ball of his left Thumb, on the Face of the Letter at the Direction corner of the Page, to keep it from Rising, he takes the aforesaid end of the Cord, between the Fore-finger and Thumb of his Right Hand, and pulls gently to loosen the Noose that fastned the Cord when he Tyed up the Page, till he draws the Noose out, and after it successively all the several Whippings; which done, he places the Balls of his Thumbs, one against the middle of the Side-stick, and the other against the middle of the Foot-stick, and at once thrusts the Page close against the Inner-Side and Head-stick, and so makes room to get in all the Quoins. But if there be more than one Page in a Quarter, as in Octavo’s and Twelves, then he unties all the Pages of that Quarter, beginning with the Inner Pages first, before he can put in the Quoins. Then again, thrusting hard with his Thumbs, against the outer Sides of the Side and Foot-sticks of the several Quarters, to thrust the Letter up tight and Square, he looks over the Form as nicely as he can, to see what Letter or Letters may Rise in the Form, (that is, stand higher than the rest) and with the Balls of his Fingers of both his Hands, (the Quoins being close and hard thrust up) pats upon the Face of the Letter to beat them down: But this is not enough to smoothen the Form, but only to smoothen it so as the edges of the Dressing-block (when it comes to smoothen it quite) may not job against them. Then he takes the Dressing-block, described Section 9. ¶ 3. in his left Hand, and lays Kk2
the smooth side of it upon the Face of the Letter, at the bottom of the Quarter next him; or he takes the Shooting stick, or sometimes the lower part of the clutched Fist of his right Hand, and knocks either with the Head of the Shooting-stick (or his Fist, as aforesaid) gently upon the upper Side of the Dressing-block, with quick knocks, removing the Dressing-block in a lineal rank upwards, and knocking still quick upon it, as it goes along and comes down again with the Dressing-block, in another lineal rank parallel to the first: Then in the same order goes up again and down again, till he have run over the whole Form, still knocking with quick knocks upon the Dressing-block, that so he may be sure to press down every Rising Letter in the whole Form, if he see any Spaces or Quadrats stick up, he thrust them down with his Bodkin.

Then to Lock up the Form, he takes the Shooting-stick in his Left Hand and the Mallet in his Right, and placing the Foot of the Shooting-stick against the small Quoin between the Side stick and the Chase, drives that a little gently up, and then removes the Shooting-stick to the next Quoin, and so to the third Quoin (if there be so many) between the Side-stick and the Chase; Then removes his knocking to the thick end of the Foot-stick, and afterwards knocks the Foot Quoins gently up: Then knocks pretty strongly with the Shooting-stick against the thick end of the Side stick, and Drives the Quoins yet harder up: Then to the thick end of the Foot stick, and Drives those Quoins also harder up. Then at last knocking again, against the thick ends of the Side 240 and Foot-sticks, he knocks up the Quoins so hard, as that he thinks the Form may Rise: To try if it will, he draws the hither Side of the long Side of the Chase, about an Inch or two over the edge of the Stone; and putting his two hands under the Chase, Dances the Form three or four times so as it may just Rise off the Face of the Stone: but not so high as that any loose Letters or Spaces may drop out, if there be any in; but only so high as he may see if there be any in or no. If he finds there are many in that do not Rise with the Form, he says the Form Dances, wherefore he looks carefully upon his Pages of Letter, to find out the Cause: For generally, either the Letter Hangs or the Lines, are ill Justified: or else it is not Hard enough Lockt up.

If he finds by his Eye the Letter Hangs: he must Un-lock and Loosen the Form, or that Quarter that Hangs pretty Loose, that the Letter may be set to Right; which he does with patting upon the Face of the Letter where it Hangs, with the Balls of the Fingers of both his Hands, to twist or turn them into a Square Position.

If it be only a Single Letter or two that drops, he thrusts the end of his Bodkin between every Letter of that Word, till he comes to a Space: and then perhaps by forcing those Letters closer, he may have room to put in another Space or a Thin Space; which if he cannot do, and he finds the Space stand Loose in the Form; he with the Point of his Bodkin picks the Space up and bows it a little; which bowing makes the Letters on each side the Space keep their parallel distance; For by its Spring it thrusts the Kk3
Letters that were closed with the end of the Bodkin to their adjunct Letters, that needed no closing. Or sometimes he chews a small bit of Paper, and with the Point of his Bodkin forces that in on one side of the Space: and so fills up the Vacancy between the Space and the Letter. But both these ways are meer present Helps, and (in plain terms) accounted Botches, as being an Argument that his Lines were not well Justified in his Stick.

If he finds the Form or any part of it, was not hard enough Lockt up, he Locks all, or part harder up, as was shew’d before.

But now his Form Rises; Wherefore he draws the Long Side of the Chase (as before) a little over the edge of the Correcting-Stone, and putting two or three of his Fingers into the Vacancy between the Quoins, or else into the Vacancy at the ends of the Chase; he rears the Form upon the farther Side of the Chase, and removing his right Hand to the Short end of the Chase, grasps it near the upper corner, and then discharges his left Hand also; and removes it to the diagonal corner of the Chase; and so slides the long Side of the Chase off the hither Edge of the Correcting- Stone: Then slipping his Hands to the bottom of the Chase, about two or three Inches within the corners, with the insides of his Hands towards the Face of the Letter, and leaning the upper Side of the Chase against the upper part of his Breast, and clutching the Brawn of the inside of the upper Joynt of his Arm over the upper corners of the Chase, he carries the Form so before him to the Press, and lays it upon the Stone, for the Press-man to make a Proof 242 of. The Proof being made, the Press-man brings the Proof, and layes it on the Compositers Case: and he brings the Form again and layes it on the Correcting-Stone, and rubs it over with the Ly-Brush, as shall be shew’d in proper place. And the Compositer gives the Correcter the Proof and his Copy to Correct it by: which being Corrected, the Correcter gives it again to the Compositer to Correct the Form by.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 7.

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Number XVI begins on page 237, signature Kk.

Moxon’s terms “white paper” and “reteration” hark back to the “flesh side” and “hair side” of parchment, implying that there was a notice­able difference between the two sides of a sheet of paper. See Savage’s Dictionary for the full range of imposition charts, covering everything from broadsheets to 128-page quires, including layouts for Hebrew (reversed left/right) and music (horizontal).

with the Foots of the Pages towards you
[If Moxon were alive today, he would agree that the plural of (computer) mouse is “mouses”.]

If his Side or Head-sticks be a little too thin, and he cannot find any to his intended thickness
text has thin, and / and he at line break

But if Marginal Notes come down the Side or Sides of the Pages
text has Side or / or Sides at line break
[The typesetter seems to have had an unusual lot of trouble with Number XV (pages 221-236).]

and lays it about those Pages he is Imposing
text has a bout
[New Number, same typesetter?]

Then to the thick end of the Foot stick, and Drives those Quoins also harder up
text has and / and at line break

¶ 8. Of Correcting.

If there be but few Faults, and those easie ones, the Compositer Gathers the Corrections in his Stick, beginning at the bottom of every Page, and so ascending upwards: Because when he is Correcting, the Corrections of the top of the Page stand then first in the Stick, and therefore are readiest to his Hand. But if there be many Faults he brings the Lower-Case to the Correcting Stone, and takes his Corrections as he uses them.

Then with the Mallet and Shooting-stick he Unlocks the Form, as was shew’d in ¶ 3 of this Section. But keeps the Quoins pretty tight up, to secure the Letter from Squabbling or Hanging.

Then he Folds his Proof so oft double, till all the Pages, except that he intends to Correct first are Folded out of Sight, and he also Folds down the Left Hand Margin of that Page under the Proof, and then lays that Folded Side of the Page along, and close to the same Page in the Mettle: So that the Head-line in the Proof lye in the same range with the Head-line on the Mettle, and the Foot-Line even 243 with the Foot-line on the Mettal, and consequently all the Lines of that Page both on the Proof and Mettal agree, and stand in a mutual range.

Now therefore he looks in the Proof, to see where the Correcter has markt a Fault, and having found it in the Proof, he runs along that Line with his Eye to the same Line on the Mettle, which he easily does, because the Line of Mettle stands in the same range with that in the Proof, and finding the Fault in the Mettle also, he having now his Bodkin in his right Hand, with the Blade of it between his Fore-finger and Thumb, within half an Inch or three quarters of the Point, and the middle of the Bodkin within his clutched Hand to guide and command it, he sticks the Point of his Bodkin into the Neck of the Letter, viz. between the Beard and the Face, and lifts it with the Point of the Bodkin so high up above the Face of the other Letters, that he can lay hold of it with the Fore-finger and Thumb of his left Hand to take it quite out.

I must a little digress, to paraphrase on the posture he holds the Bodkin in: For in the sticking his Bodkin into the Letter, he holds the Blade of it, so that it may make as small an angle with the Face of the Letter in the Form as he can, viz. as flat towards the Face of the Letter as he can, without touching the Face of any of the adjacent Letters with the Blade of the Bodkin; For if he touches the Face though lightly, yet it may more or less Batter and spoil the Face of those Letters it touches, and so he creates himself a fresh trouble to mend them.

The reason why he holds the Blade of the Bodkin 244 as flat to the Form as he can, is, Because a small Horizontalish entrance of the Point of the Bodkin into the Neck of the Letter, will raise the Letter up above the Face of the Form, the Blade of the Bodkin being fastned in the little Hole it makes in the Neck of the Letter: But if he should stick the Point of the Bodkin straight or straightish down upon any part of the Letter, it would indeed make an Hole, but not fasten in the Mettle, to draw it up; for the weight of the Letter would make it slip off the round and smooth Point of the Bodkin. Besides the pressing the Point of the Bodkin with his right Hand against the side of the next Letter on his left Hand, keeps the Point of the Bodkin fast in the little Hole it makes in the Neck of the Letter, and therefore though the Bodkin have but a little entrance, yet it has hold enough to draw it up by. Now to return.

Having taken the Fault out, he puts the Letter that the Correcter markt in the Margin of the Proof in the room of it. Suppose an o were markt and n dasht out, therefore when he has taken the n out he puts an o in the room; These two Letters being of equal thickness, gives him no trouble to Justifie the Line again after the Fault is Corrected; but if they had been of unequal thicknesses, as suppose an m to come out, and an n to be put in; in this case he puts in a Space between two words (where he finds most convenient) to Justifie the Line again: Or suppose an n to come out, and an m to be put in; now he must take out a Space where he finds most convenient to make room for the m, as being thicker by a Space than an n. Thus as he Corrects Ll
he still has a care to keep his Lines true Justified; which he tries by pressing the Balls of his two middle Fingers pretty hard against the ends of three Lines, to make them rise a little above the Face of the Form, whereof the Line he examines is the middlemost; for if that Line is not hard enough Justified, he will between the Balls of his Fingers find it hollow, or it will not Rise with the other two: And if it be too hard Justified, he will find the Balls of his Fingers Bear only or hardest against that Line, and the Line on each side it will not Rise.

If there be a long word or more left out, he cannot expect to Get that in into that Line, wherefore he must now Over-run; that is, he must put so much of the fore-part of the Line into the Line above it, or so much of the hinder part of the Line into the next Line under it, as will make room for what is Left out: Therefore he considers how Wide he has Set, that so by Over-runing the fewer Lines backwards or forwards, or both, (as he finds his help) he may take out so many Spaces, or other Whites as will amount to the Thickness of what he has Left out: Thus if he have Set wide, he may perhaps Get a small Word or a Syllable into the foregoing Line; and perhaps another small Word or Syllable in the following Line, which if his Leaving out is not much, may Get it in: But if he Left out much, he must Over-run many Lines, either backwards or forwards, or both, till he come to a Break: And if when he comes at a Break it be not Gotten in; he Drives out a Line. In this case if he cannot Get in a Line, by Getting in the Words of that Break (as I just now shew’d you 246 how he Gets-in what was left out in the Proof) or by making less White to the Title of a Section or Chapter (if any happen in that Page) he must Over-run the next Page backwards or forwards, till that Line Comes in: Thus sometimes he Over-runs all the succeeding Pages of the Sheet, and at last perhaps Drives out a Line to Come in in the next Sheet.

If he have Set a word or small sentence twice, he must take that out, and Drive-out his Matter. If he be near a Break, and the White of that Break not very long, he may perhaps Drive it Out at the Break by putting in part of the next Line to fill up almost so much as he took out; but not quite so much, unless his Matter was at first so Wide Set that he can Space out no more, or unless the Break-line he comes to have so much White in it that he fears Getting-in that Line: If either of these inconveniences happen, he Drives-out as much as he can backwards in the Matter; that is, he takes out so much as he thinks he cannot Drive-out when he is at the Break: He takes it out at the beginning of the Line, and puts it in at the latter end of the Line before it: But first he takes out almost so much of the beginning of his Second upper Line, to make room for it: I say almost so much, because he intends to Space-out the rest if it were not too Wide Set at first. And thus he runs on from Line to Line, still taking out less and less at the beginning of every former Line, and putting it into the Line above that, that he may Space-out his Matter as he Over-runs, till his Double-Setting is Driven-out.

But if he have Set a Line or Lines twice, and Ll2
cannot Drive it or them Out at a Break or Breaks; or that he cannot Set more Whites at the beginning of a Section or Chapter, he must Over-run the next Page or more, or the whole Sheet till it be Driven-out: And if in Over-runing the whole Sheet it be not Driven-out, he must Set so many Lines, of the following Matter as will make up the last Page.

Many times either for Getting-in or Driving-out, the Compositer will chuse to Over-run in his Stick, and then he Wets the Page he is to Over-run, with the Spunge (that the Letter may the better stick together) and he separates so much of the former part of the Page as he intends to Over-run, from the rest of the Page, and places himself before the Notches of the Letter, and takes up about an Inch and an half or two Inches of the first Separated Line, and brings it to the Stick; and as it is coming along he turns the Notches upwards, and places that Taking up in the Stick. When he Takes-up, he places the Inside of the first Joynt of his middle Finger of his right Hand against the beginning of that Line, and the Ball of his Thumb against the other end of that Taking-up, and the Ball of his Fore-finger behind the Taking-up, about the middle of it, and so pinching it lightly brings it to his Stick, as aforesaid. And having thus by several Takings-up, gotten a Line into his Stick, he looks it over to see what Spaces or other White he can take out or put in, according as he has either Left-out or Set-twice, and then he Justifies the Line again, as was shew’d in ¶ 5. of this Section. And thus he Over-runs Line after Line, 248 till he has Gotten-in or Drove-out his Leaving-out, or his Twice Set Matter.

If the Compositer is not firmly resolv’d to keep himself strictly to the Rules of good Workmanship, he is now tempted to make Botches; viz. Pidgeon-holes, Thin-Spaces, no Space before a Capital, Short &s, Abbreviations or Titled Letters, Abbreviate Words, &c. And if Botching is in any Case excusable, it is in this; for with too great Spacing-out or too Close Setting, he many times may save himself a great deal of Labour, besides the vexation of mind, and other accidental mischiefs that attend Over-running.

It sometimes chances that a Compositer, by having two or more Pages in his Sheet with the same Direction-line, or by mistaking the right place of his Page when he set it by on a Paper under his Case, as was shew’d ¶ 7. of this Section, or by some other accident that may happen; I say it sometimes happens (but seldom through too much care) that he Transposes two Pages, or more, in his Sheet: In this case he Unlocks that Quarter, or those Quarters the Pages are in, and loosning the Cross or Crosses from those Pages and their Furniture, takes the rest off the Correcting-stone with their Furniture about them: And if it be a Folio or Quarto he does not wet the Pages, because those Forms have Furniture about every side of the Page, which will keep up the Letter from falling down; But he only places the Balls of his two Thumbs against the outside of the Furniture, about the middle of the Head and Foot of the Page, and the insides of his two middle Fingers, assisted by his Fourth and Little Fingers, 249 in a parallel position to his middle Fingers, (to strengthen them against the Furniture) about the middle of the Sides of the Page, letting the length of his Fingers reach as far from each corner of the Page towards the middle of it as he can, and so by a steady pressing the Balls of his Thumbs and the Balls of his Fingers on each Hand towards each other, he draws, or as he sees most convenience, thrusts the whole Page out of its wrong place, and sets it by on the Stone, till in the same manner he removes the other Transpos’d Page into the place of the first remov’d Page: And thus if there be more than two Transpos’d Pages in the Sheet, he removes them all, and Sets the right Pages in their right places.

But if it be an Octavo or Twelves, or any other Form that has Gutter-sticks between two Pages, he must Wet those Pages he leaves on the Stone, because when he removes one Page, by the help of the Gutter-stick, one side of the other Page will stand Naked; and consequently with the Shaking, Joggling, or Trembling of the Stone or Floor, the Letters on that side will be in great hazard of falling down, especially if the Face of the Stone happens not to be truly Horizontal: I say, happens not to be truly Horizontal, because the Stone is seldom laid with any caution, but only by guess.

Having placed the Pages in their right places, he again lays the Chase about them, and Locks them up again, as was shew’d in ¶ 7. of this Section: Then he carries the Form to the Press, and lays it on the Stone for a Second Proof and sometimes for 250 a Third Proof; which having Corrected, he at last brings the Form to the Press, and again lays it on the Stone Right, viz. in Folio’s and Octavo’s with the Foot of the First or Third Page (which he easily knows by their Signatures) towards him, and the side of it next the Plattin: And in Quarto’s and Twelves, with the Foot of the First or Third Page next the Tympan.

After all this Correcting a Revise is made, and if any Faults are found in any Quarter of it, or in all the Quarters, he calls to the Press-man to Unlock that Quarter, or the whole Form, that he may Correct those Faults: For when the Form is on the Press it is not the Compositers task to Un-lock the Form; Neither would a good Press-man be content he should make a knocking on his Press, especially if the Press-man have Made-ready his Form, as shall be shewed in the next Section.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 8.

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the Head-line in the Proof lye in the same range with the Head-line on the Mettle, and the Foot-Line even with the Foot-line on the Mettal
[If Moxon were writing a cookbook, he would probably switch freely between “flour” on one page and “flower” on the next.]

If there be a long word or more left out
text unchanged: expected Word

that so by Over-runing the fewer Lines backwards or forwards
spelling unchanged
[If the typesetter had been paying attention, he would have realized that one reason this line needed so much extra white space was that he had left out an “n”:]

page image

If he have Set a word or small sentence twice
[As happened twice in the previous Section.]

But if he have Set a Line or Lines twice, and cannot Drive it or them Out at a Break or Breaks
[Modern books often have pages with one or even two fewer lines than usual, but this doesn’t seem to have been an option with Moxon.]

Set more Whites at the beginning of a Section or Chapter
text has Chapher

And if in Over-runing the whole Sheet it be not Driven-out
[Here, again, he could easily have fit in the missing “n”:

page image

It’s hard not to wonder what this section looked like before correcting.]

and as it is coming along he turns the Notches upwards
text has as it it is

Botches; viz. Pidgeon-holes, Thin-Spaces, no Space before a Capital
[Pidgeon-holes were explained in ¶ 4 of this section.]

places the Balls of his two Thumbs against the outside of the Furniture
text has Fnrniture

¶ 9. Of Counting or Casting off Copy.

Counting or Casting off Copy (for both Phrases are indifferently us’d) is to examine and find how much either of Printed Copy will Come-in into any intended number of Sheets of a different Body or Measure from the Copy; or how much Written Copy will make an intended number of Sheets of any assigned Body and Measure.

The Rule and Method of Counting off either Printed or Written Copy is the same, only Written Copy is more difficult, because subject to be irregularly Writ: Therefore if I shew you how the Compositer 251 Casts off Written Copy, I do at the same time inform you how to Count off Printed Copy.

The Compositer therefore first considers what Bodied Letter his Work is to be wrought on: then he carefully peruses the Copy, considering with himself whether it be evenly Written or unevenly Written, viz. whether it be throughout of an equal siz’d Hand, or whether part be close Written and part wide Written; if it be an equal siz’d Hand, that is, equally close Written in general, as well between Letter and Letter, Word and Word, as between Line and Line, he has scarce more trouble to Count it off than Printed Copy.

Wherefore, the Measure being given, he Composes one Line in his Measure: The Matter he Composes he chuses out of that part of his Copy that in his Judgement he admits is most indifferently Written, between Wide and Close, as being such as his whole Copy, one part with another, will likeliest Come-in alike with. This Line being Compos’d, he considers how much of his Copy it takes up, viz. whether it runs Line for Line, or whether two Lines of his Copy make one Line in his Stick; or whether a Line and an half, or a quarter, or half quarter of his Copy, &c. make one Line in his Stick; or whether a Line of his Copy make two Lines in his Stick, or a Line and a half, or a quarter, or half a quarter, &c. and accordingly calculates what just number of Lines will make another just number of Lines in his Stick. For Example.

If his Copy and Measure run Line for Line, then consequently 10, 20, 30 Lines of the Copy will make 252 10, 20, 30 Lines in the Measure; and accordingly he counts what number of Lines in his Copy will make a Page; and by that, what number of Lines will make two Pages, four Pages, eight Pages, and consequently so many Pages and Sheets as he is to Count off.

If two Lines of Copy make one Line in the Stick, then consequently ten Lines in the Copy will make five Lines in the Stick; twenty Lines in the Copy ten Lines in the Stick, &c.

If a Line and a half of the Copy make one Line in the Stick, then fifteen Lines of Copy makes ten Lines in the Stick, thirty makes twenty, &c.

But a pair of Compasses makes the best expedition in Counting off of Copy, and (by my experience) I have found the surest way. I Compose one Line as aforesaid; if the Line I Compos’d Gets-in part of the next Line, viz. the second Line of the Copy, I place one Foot of a pair of Compasses at the beginning of the First Line, and open the other Foot to what was Got-in of the Second Line, and turn the Compasses about upon the Foot in the Second Line, till the other Foot reach the Third Line of the Copy; then turn about the Foot in the Third Line of the Copy till the other Foot falls in the Fourth Line of the Copy; and so from the Fourth, to the Fifth, Sixth, &c. till the Compasses end with a Line in the Copy, or near the end of a Line, remembring as I go along, how oft I turn’d the Compasses about. Suppose, for Example, seven times: Then I number the Lines of Copy, beginning with the first Line and ending with the last Line, that the Points of Mm
the Compasses were turn’d over, and find them Eight, Nine, Ten, &c. and say Eight, Nine, Ten, &c. Lines of the Copy, makes Seven Lines of the Measure.

As now I have shew’d you how I Count off Copy if it come in more than Line for Line, so I shall shew you how I proceed if a Line in the Copy Drive out in the Measure.

It is but placing one Foot of a pair of Compasses at the farther end of the first Line, and opening the other Foot to the place where the Compos’d Line ended, and by turning about the Compasses, as before, to the Second, Third, Fourth Lines, &c. till they end in the beginning of a Line in the Copy; for then (as before) counting the number of Lines, beginning with the first, and ending with the last; Suppose Eight, Nine, Ten, &c. I say Eight, Nine, Ten, &c. Lines of the Copy makes so many Lines as is the number of times the Feet of the Compasses were turned about, between the first Line and the last Line.

Another way Arithmetically perform’d.

Suppose it be requir’d to know how many Sheets 127 Pages of Written Copy will make? I count the number of Letters contained in an ordinary Written Line of Copy, such a Line as I guess is likely to Run Line for Line with the generality of the rest of the Copy: And (for Example) I find 43 Letters in that Line: Then I count the number of Lines in an whole Page, and find 35 Lines, I Multiply 43 by 254 35, the Product is 1505 for the number of Letters in an whole Page: Then I multiply 1505 by 127, the number of Pages in the whole Written Copy; the Product is 191135, the number of Letters in the whole Written Copy.

If it be now required to know how many Sheets in Quarto, of the English Body this Written Copy will make, agreeable to any Measure already Printed? As for Example, the length of a Page given is 33 Lines, and in one Line is contained 47 Letters: I multiply 47, the number of Letters in one Line, by 33, the number of Lines in a Page, the Product is 1551. With this Product I divide 191135, the number of Letters in the whole Written Copy, and the Product gives 123, that is, 123 Pages in Quarto, which divided by 8, the number of Pages in one Sheet, gives 15 Sheets and 3 Pages.

If it be required to know how many Sheets it will make of Pica in an Octavo, or of Long Primer or Brevier in Twelves, &c. the manner of Working is the same: For Multiplying the number of Letters in one Line by the number of Lines in one Page, and Deviding the number of Letters in the whole Work (suppose, as in the foregoing Operation by 191135) by the number of Letters in one Page, the Product gives the number of Pages in the Quotient: And then at last Deviding the number of Pages by 16 if an Octavo, or 24 if Twelves, &c. you have in the Quotient the number of Sheets, and in the Remain (if any be) the number of Pages.

These two last ways are the surest Rules for Counting off Copy: But yet the Compositer has several Considerations Mm2
upon his Copy before he dares conclude he has truly and exactly Counted off.

For first, a strict regard must be had to the Breaks that come in the Copy: For long Breaks in the Copy are generally likely to be Got-in, and consequently a Line is Got-in; But short Breaks often Drive-out a Line. Therefore though the Compositer has already in general Cast off his Copy, yet he more particularly considers his Breaks; and indeed they serve as so many Regulators to him, to keep him within the bounds of his Counted off Copy: For every Break he examines by the number of Lines from the last Break, by the length of the Break, and by the close or wide Writing of his Copy, whether it will be Got-in or Drove-out, and accordingly marks it in his Copy, before he reckons he has done Counting off.

A Break to be Got-in he marks thus [, and adjoyns in Numerical Figures, the number of Lines the Matter between the last Break and it will make. A Break to be Drove-out he marks thus ---, and (as aforesaid) adjoyns Numerical Figures to remember him what number of Lines he accounted that Matter to make from the last Break.

If Chapters, Sections or Paragraphs happens in the Copy, the Compositer takes room enough to set them and their Titles gracefully in; and marks in Numerical Figures what number of Lines he assigns for it.

If as he Counts off his Copy he finds Abreviated Words, he tells the Abreviated Words to the full number of Letters that spells the Word at length, because in Composing he Sets those Words at length: 256 And should he not consider it in his Counting off, he would in Composing find his Matter Run out from his Copy.

Scarce any Copy is so regularly Written (as hath several times before been hinted) but that some places are Wider, and other places Closer Written, than the generality of the Copy, wherefore he considers both these accidents in his Copy, and accordingly allows for them.

If it happens that much Italick comes in the Copy, as sometimes two or three Lines, or more, or half a Page, an whole Page, or several Pages; the Compositer considers Italick is thinner than Roman, and consequently Gets-in more than Roman does, and therefore in his Counting off will allow accordingly for it.

The proportion that I allow for it is as 9 to 10, or which is all one, as 45 Roman Letters is to 50 Italick Letters: So that if a Measure holds 45 Roman Letters, the same Measure will hold 50 Italick Letters.

As Italick is thinner than Roman, so the English Face is thicker than the Roman; wherefore if he meets with the English Face, he considers that accordingly.

I find the proportion to be as 40 to 43, viz. 40 English Faced Letters fill the same Measure that 43 Roman does; and consequently for every 40 Lines to be Set in English he must Count off 43 Lines; and so proportionably for more or less.

But yet I shall not deliver these my Observations on the Italick and English to hold thus in all Italicks Mm3
and Englishes, nor all Romans of the same Body to be of an equal Thickness, because some are Cut Thicker or Thinner on the Face: And besides, sometimes Letter Cast, though in the same Matrices, are by the Founder Cast Thicker or Thinner, and consequently in either Circumstance Drive-out or Get-in: Wherefore a Compositer will consider what Fount of Letter it is he Works on, and accordingly Count off his Copy.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 9.

Number XVII begins on page 253, signature Mm.

and so proportionably for more or less
text has proportionaply

¶ 10. Of Papering up of Pages.

Papering up of Pages or Papering up of Letter, are two phrases indif­ferently used for the same meaning. Though this Operation seems so sleight and trivial that it may be thought not worth mentioning, yet it being a task incumbent on the Compositer, it becomes mine too to shew how it is performed.

It is thus: When a Book is finisht, and the Compositer is to Work on other Letter afterwards; the Wrought off Letter is to be Papered up. The Press-man therefore having Washt the Wrought-off Forms, the Compositer Rinces them, as was shewed in Section 22. ¶ 3. He Rinces the Letter as well as if it were Rinced for present use, or rather better: for else the Inck that is desolved among the Ly would, with long standing by, harden between the Letter, and make the Letter stick so fast together that when it comes afterwards to be Destributed, the Compositer shall not without great difficulty and trouble get them asunder. This sticking together of the Letter is call’d Baking of the Letter. And Compositers in this Case say, The Letter is Bak’d.


The Compositer having Stript the Form, whips Cords as tight as he can about every Page, not to Tye them up for good and all, but aswell to keep up the Letter on the sides of the Pages that it fall not down, while it stands by for some dayes on the Letter-board to Dry, as to keep the Letter tight together that he may the better with his Hands take an whole Page at once off the Letter-board.

When it is Dry, if the Pages are not too broad for his Grasp, he places his Body against a side of the Pages, and the Balls of his two Thumbs against the side of a Page, one indifferently between the middle and Head of the Page, and the other between the middle and Foot of the Page, and with the three Fore-fingers of each Hand placed on the other side of the Page, grasps the Page between them and his Thumbs; and to keep his Hands the steddier, stretches the insides of his Little-fingers one against the Head the other against the Foot of the Page: And having the Page thus Steddy between his Hands close prest on all the sides of the Page, he with a quick motion nimbly rears one side of the Page upright, and receives the weight of it either on the Balls of his Thumbs or on the Balls of his Fingers, as best likes him; and so carries it to his Galley and Tyes it firmly up; as was shewed ¶ 6. of this Section.

As he took and Tyed up this one Page, so he takes and Tyes up all the Pages. But if a Page be too big for his Grasp, he underlays the Slice of a Galley till it lye within a Scaboard so high as the edge of the Letter-board, and getting some one to hold the Slice steddy against the edge of the Letter-board he slides 259 the Page, with the Head or Foot forwards upon the Slice, and so carries the Page to the Galley and Tyes it up, as aforesaid.

He sends the Boy to the Warehouse-keeper for so much Paper as he finds he shall want; and if the Pages are small, he layes a single Sheet down on the Correcting-Stone or on a Letter-board, and sets a page down on that Sheet of Paper, so as the farther Side of the Page may stand towards one end of the Sheet; and so far on the Sheet, as that the end of it may lap over the Face of the Letter, and about half way down the Shank of the Letter, on the hither side the Page: And smoothing the Paper tight over the Face of the Letter; and half way down the Shank on the hither Side, and quite down the Shank at the Head and Foot of the Page, he folds the loose Paper that hangs over the ends of the Page, from each corner of the Page, to end in an Angle in the middle of the loose Paper, and then folds the other end of the Sheet of Paper tight over the Paper that covers the Face of the Letter; and also folds the loose Paper at the ends of the Page down into Angles, as he did the former loose ends: Then rearing his Page over the further side, lays the Face downwards, still smoothing the Paper tight, and folding in the un-folded corners, to meet in the same Angles with the former folded Angles in the middle of the loose Paper: And thus so long as he has Paper to spare he turns his Page, wrapping it at least twice, or if he can thrice about in Paper, folding and doubling down the Loose Paper into Angles as before: And at last turns up those Angles or Lappets 260 either over the Face or Bottom of the Letter, and turns the Page upon those folded Lappets, that its weight may press and keep them close under the Page.

If the Pages are large, so as one Sheet will not compass them twice or thrice about, to be strong enough to bear the Letter, which generally sinks downwards in the middle of a Page, he lays two, or sometimes three Sheets under the Page: And as he wrapt up the first Lay of Sheets, adds more to lengthen them out, that they may wrap at least three or four times about the great Page.

Having thus Paper’d up the Pages, and folded the Lappets under them, he writes upon the upper side what Letter it is, viz. Long-Primer Roman, Long-Primer Italick, Pica Roman, Pica Italick, Pica English, English Roman, Italick, &c. and sets them by for the Master-Printer to dispose of.

Notes and Corrections: § 22. ¶ 10.

Papering up of Pages or Papering up of Letter, are two phrases indifferently used for the same meaning.
[Also, it would seem, indifferently italicized.]

§. 23. Of the Correcter, and his Office.

A Correcter should (besides the English Tongue) be well skilled in Languages, especially in those that are used to be Printed with us, viz. the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriack, Caldæ, French, Spanish, Italian, High Dutch, Saxon, Low Dutch, Welch, &c. neither ought my innumerating only these be a stint to his skill in the number of them, for many times several other Languages may happen to be Printed, of which the Author has perhaps no more skill than the bare knowledge of the Words and their Pronun­ciations, so that the Nn
Orthography (if the Correcter have no knowledge of the Language) may not only be false to its Native Pronun­ciation, but the Words altered into other Words by a little wrong Spelling, and consequently the Sense made ridiculous, the purpose of it controvertible; and the meaning of the Author irretrievably lost to all that shall read it in After times.

He ought to be very knowing in Derivations and Etymologies of Words, very sagacious in Pointing, skilful in the Compositers whole Task and Obligation, and endowed with a quick Eye to espy the smallest Fault.

But I shall say no more of his Qualifications, but suppose him endowed with all necessary accomplishments for that Office.

The Compositer either carries him a Proof, or sends the Boy with it to his Appartment, which is commonly some little Closet adjoyning to the Composing-room: And the Master-Printer appoints him some one that is well skill’d in true and quick Reading, to Read the Copy to him, whom I shall call the Reader.

This Reader, as I said, Reads the Copy to him, and the Correcter gives attention; and at the same time carefully and vigilantly examines the Proof, and considers the Pointing, Italicking, Capitalling, or any error that may through mistake, or want of Judgement be committed by the Compositer.

If he finds one Letter Set instead of another, as in this Word tho for the, he dashes out the wrong 262 Letter thus thø, and Writes the Letter it should be on the Right Hand Margin of the Page, right against the same Line, and makes a Dash behind it, as you may see in the Margin. e/
If two or three, or more Words in the same Line have Faults in them, as in these Words, correct; where first an o is Set instead of a, e instead of c, t instead of r, and c instead of o: These he marks in an orderly succession towards the Right Hand, against the same Line, as you may see in the Margin. a/ c/ r/ o/
But if one word be Set instead of another, as Scoff instead of Smile, here he marks Scoff out thus Scoff, and writes Smile, as in the Margin. Smile/
If a Word or Words, or Letter, or Point be Left out he makes this mark ^ where it is Left out for a mark of Insertion, and Writes in the Margin what must come in.
If a Space be Left out he makes the former mark of Insertion where it should come in, and makes this mark space in the Margin. space /
If a whole Sentence be Left out, too long to be Writ in the Margin, he makes the mark of Insertion where it is Left out, and only Writes (Out) in the Margin. If the Sentence Left out be not very long, he Writes it under the Page, or on the Left Hand Margin of the Page: But if Nn2
it be too large to be Writ in the Margin, or under the Page, he Writes in the Margin, See the Copy.
(See the Copy)
If a Word or Sentence be Set twice, as Him Him, he marks out one Him thus Him, and makes this mark deleo in the Margin, for Deleo, to take out. deleo /
If a Letter be turned thus backc, he dashes it out as you see, and makes this mark in the Margin. turn /
If Words are Transposed, that is, if one Word stand in another Words place, as, no I love Swearing, and it should be, I love no Swearing; he marks this Fault thus, nolove Swearing, and makes this mark trans in the Margin. The like mark he makes in Matter and Margin if two Letters are Transpos’d. trans /
If a Space or an m or n Quadrat, &c. stick up, and Print Black, as between these|words, he marks in the Margin thus. |
If a Word be Set in Roman Letter instead of Italick or English Letter, he dashes the Word underneath thus, and Writes Ital. or Eng. in the Margin. Ital/ Eng/
In like manner, if a single Letter or more Letters be Set in Roman 264 Letter, and it should be Italick or English Letter; or if in English or Italick, and it should be Roman Letter, he dashes the Letter or Letters thus underneath, and writes Ital. Rom. or Eng. in the Margin; Or if Lower-Case Letters be Set instead of Capitals, he dashes them underneath, and Writes Capt. in the Margin. Ital/ Rom/ Eng/

Having Read the Matter of the Proof he examines again if the Form be right Impos’d, for though he before turn’d the Pages in the Proof as he read them according to their orderly places, yet he will scarce trust to that alone, but again examines them on purpose, and distinctly, which he does not only by the Direction Word, but by examining the whole Sentence the Direction comes in, both at the end of the Page, and the beginning of the next Page.

He examines that all the Signatures are right, and all the Titles and Folio’s.

If the Work be large Forms and small Letter, he has a second, and sometimes a third Proof, which he Reads as the first.

After the Second or Third Proof he has a Revise, which is also a Proof-sheet: He examines in this Revise, Fault by Fault, if all the Faults he markt in the last Proof were carefully mended by the Compositer; if not, he marks them in the Revise.

Thus you see it behoves him to be very careful as well as skilful; and indeed it is his own interest to be both: For if by his neglect an Heap be spoiled, he is obliged to make Reparation.

Notes and Corrections: § 23.

Languages, especially in those that are used to be Printed with us
[Just how much material was printed in Chaldaean in 1683? Or Saxon, or Syriac? (“High Dutch” means German, as in Hoch­deutsch.)]

if a single Letter or more Letters be Set
text has single Let-/ at line break
[This is pretty funny in the circumstances.]

page image


Advertisement to AUTHORS.

ALthough I have in the precedent Exercises shew’d the Accom­plishments of a good Compositer, yet will not a curious Author trust either to his Care or Abilities in Pointing, Italicking, Capitalling, Breaking, &c. Therefore it behoves an Author to examine his Copy very well e’re he deliver it to the Printer, and to Point it, and mark it so as the Compositer may know what Words to Set in Italick, English, Capitals, &c.

For his Italick Words he draws a line under them thus: For English Words he draws two lines under them thus; and for Capitals a line of Pricks ṭḥụṣ, or else draws a line with Red inck.

If his Copy, or any part of it, be Written in any Foreign Language, he is strictly to spell that 266 Foreign Language right: Because the Compositer, as I said in the Preface to this §, takes no notice of any thing therein but the very Letters, Points and Characters he finds in his Copy.

If an Author have not (through haste in Writing) made Breaks in proper places; when he comes to peruse his Copy he may find cause to make several Breaks where he made none: In such a case he makes a Crotchet [ thus, at the Word he would have begin his new Paragraph.

Thus in all particulars he 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.

The next Exercises (God willing) shall be 267 the Press-mans Trade, The Office of the Ware-house-keeper, The Customs of the Chapel, And a Dictionary to explain the hard Words and Phrases used in the whole Practice of Typography: Which will be the Conclusion of this Second Volume.

Notes and Corrections: Advertisement to Authors

Typographic trivia: The catchword (“Direction”) on Page 264, just before this section, reads “AD-”, as if the printer meant to capitalize the whole word “Advertisement” and then changed his mind.

Which will be the Conclusion of this Second Volume
[This makes it sound as if we are near the end. In fact we are only about two-thirds of the way through the volume.]


There is now coming forth a small Book, intituled Enneades Arith­meticæ; the Numbring Nines, or Pythagoras his Table, extended to all Whole Numbers under 10000. And the Numbring Rods of the Right Honourable John Lord Nepeer, enlarged with 9999 Fixt Columns or Rods, of Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Figures, and with a new sort of Double and Movable Rods, for the much more sure, plain and easie performance of Multiplication, Division, and Extraction of Roots. The whole being very useful for most Persons, of whatsoever Calling and Employment, in all Arts and Sciences: All having frequent Occasions of Accompts, Numbring, Measuring, Surveying, Gauging, Weighing, Demonstrating, &c. The Divine Wisdom having from the Beginning Disposed all things in Measure, Number and Weight, Sap. 11. 21.

Printed for Joseph Moxon, at the Sign of Atlas in Ludgate-street. Where also these Numbring Rods, (commonly call’d Napier’s Bones) are made and sold.


Notes and Corrections: Advertisement

commonly call’d Napier’s Bones
[Or Napier’s Rods, if you couldn’t afford the ivory version. Although they look like a very early ancestor of the slide rule, the slide rule was actually invented at almost exactly the same time, immediately after Napier’s development of the logarithm.]

The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.