Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New

Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New

Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New

Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New

Excerpt

It was said by Dean Swift that "many a Writer is capable of managing the profoundest, and most universal Subject: . . . though his Head be empty provided his Common-place Book be full." Indeed it was a habit of many English writers in the eighteenth century to quote largely from ancient authors, often in Latin, sometimes in Greek. Although this custom has now fallen into disuse, I venture to avail myself of it by utilizing an ancient tag to describe how these papers were composed--carptim inter operarum susurros. In point of fact the use of quotations--the less familiar the better--is a short and easy method of composing a preface, if one can but find enough passages expressing his ideas written by an author whose style is better than his own. Having a retentive memory I am generally able to effect this, thereby impressing the reader with my wide acquaintance with literature and at the same time camouflaging the poverty of my own powers of expression. Lest anyone should take me at my word, I hasten to avail myself of Sainte- Beuve's phrase "Il y a de ces reproches qu'on ne prend bien que de soi seul, parce que seul on y sait mettre l'accent."

These papers owe their origin chiefly to an invitation from Mr. Philip Hofer, head of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Harvard University, to address the Friends of the Harvard Library in Cambridge. At the suggestion of Dr. Max Farrand they were later delivered in modified form in Pasadena under the joint auspices of the California Institute of Technology . . .

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