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"What the PRINTING-PRESS did for the instruction of the masses in the fifteenth century, the PRINTING-MACHINE is doing in the nineteenth. Each represents an æra in the diffusion of knowledge; and each may be taken as a symbol of the intellectual character of the age of its employment."-Penny Magazine.

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Notice.-The separate articles which compose this First Number of our "Review for the Many," are calculated chiefly for the development of the principles and modes of thought upon which we intend to conduct this little work. There may probably, therefore, appear somewhat of sameness in the common end which each article has in view. This is an objection incidental to a First Number. We have preferred making our declaration of faith as regards the diffusion of intellectual wealth, in separate papers which refer to some of the great branches into which knowledge and taste are divided,

rather than crowd our opinions into one long introduction.

THE MARKET OF LITERATURE. THERE was an ingenious gentleman in the seventeenth century who was greatly alarmed lest the breed of horses should be annihilated in England, by the introduction of public conveyances. The people that were accustomed to ride their good pad-nags' wickedly preferred, he says, the smaller cost of making their journeys in the stage-coaches that go to almost every town within twenty or twentyfive miles of London, at very low rates; so that,' he adds, by computation, there are not so many horses, by 10,000, kept now in these parts, as there were before stage-coaches set up.'

It would be very easy now, by computation, to show that the establishment of public carriages has multiplied the breed of horses fifty-fold more than it would have multiplied, had the rich only continued to use horses. But that is not our present business. What the worthy encourager of travelling maintained would happen, and, indeed, had happened, by the extension of the advantages of travelling from the few to the many, a considerable number of the worthy encouragers of knowledge maintain will happen, and, indeed, has happened, by a similar extension of the benefits of knowledge. They show, by computation, that the breed of books has deteriorated-that the market for books is narrowed-and that there are not so many books, by 10,000, used now in these parts, as there were before books for all, at very low rates, were set up.' The complaint may be just; but we shall take the liberty of investigating its correctness with a care proportioned to the alleged magnitude of the evil.

To conduct this investigation upon data that may be satisfactory to ourselves and our readers, we must open a very wide field of inquiry. It embraces the literary history, not only of England, but of every other country where books are printed. The subject is a most interesting one; but its facts are to be sought for in barren and thorny places. In the present paper we can only bring together some of the more striking results which lie upon the surface. It is possible that we may occasionally devote some other papers to particular branches of the inquiry. In


the mean time this preliminary view will, if we mistake not, establish one great truth-that at every step of the diffusion of knowledge, from the first slow efforts of the the Printing Machine of 1833, the foundations of the prorude Printing Press of 1460, to the last rapid workings of sperity, the independence, and the consequent excellence of literature, have been deepened and widened; and the condition of every labourer and chapman in the market of literature successively ameliorated. If we do not show this by computation, we shall be content to believe, for the rest of our lives, that good horses and good books will never appear again in England; and that, as the Bristol mail is the destruction of travelling, so the 'Penny Cyclopædia' is the destruction of literature. We are not obstinate.

We may probably simplify this large subject, by determining to confine this introductory paper to the progress of printing in England, and by dividing this progress into five periods, viz.:

I. From 1471 (the introduction of printing by Caxton) to the accession of James I., 1603.

II. From 1603 to the Revolution, 1688.
III. From 1688 to the accession of George III., 1760.
IV. From 1760 to 1800.

V. From 1800 to 1833.

I. It is a remarkable characteristic of the first century of printing, not only in this country but wherever a press was erected, that the highest and most constant efforts of the new art were addressed to the diffusion of the old stores of knowledge, rather than to an enlargement of the stores. The early professors of the art on the continent,-in Germany, Italy, and France,-were scholars who knew the importance of securing the world's inheritance of the knowledge of Greece and Rome from any further destruction, such as the scattered manuscripts of the ancient poets, and orators, and historians had experienced, through neglect and ignorance. The press would put them fairly beyond the reach of any new waste. But after the first half century of printing, when these manuscripts had been copied in type, and the public libraries and the princes and nobles of Europe had been supplied, a fresh want arose out of the satisfaction of the former want. Men of letters, who did not belong to the class of the rich, anxiously demanded copies of the ancient classics, and their demands were not made in vain. The Alduses, and Stephenses, and Plantins, did not hold it good to keep books dear for the advancement of letters; they anxiously desired to make them cheap; and they produced, therefore, not expensive folios only, as their predecessors had done, but neat and compactly printed octavos and duodecimos, for the general market. The instant that they did this,

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the foundations of literature were widened and deepened. | however, were only single sheets; but, on the other hand, They probably at first overrated the demand; indeed, we there are, doubtless, many not here registered. Dividing know they did so-and they suffered in consequence. But the the total number of books printed during these 130 years, time was sure to come when their labours would be rewarded; we find that the average number of distinct works proand, at any rate, they were at once placed beyond a servile duced each year was 75. dependence upon patrons. When they had their customers in every great city and university, they did not wait for the approving nod of a pope or a cardinal before they began to print.

A new demand very soon followed upon the first demand for cheap copies of the ancient classics; and this was even more completely the demand of the people. The doctrines of the Reformation had proclaimed the Bible as the best spiritual guide and teacher, and the people would have Bibles. The first English Bible, was bought up and burnt; those who bought the Bibles contributed capital for making new Bibles, and those who burnt the Bibles advertised them. The first printers of the Bible were, however, cautious-they did not see the number of readers upon which they were to rely for a sale. In 1540 Grafton printed but 500 copies of his complete edition of the Scriptures; and yet, so great was the rush to this new supply of the most important knowledge, that we have existing 326 editions of the English Bible, or parts of the Bible, printed between 1526 and 1600.

The early English printers did not attempt what the continental ones were doing for the ancient classies. Down to 1540 no Greek book had appeared from an English press. Oxford had only printed a part of Cicero's Epistles; Cambridge, no ancient writer whatever:-only three or four old Roman writers had been reprinted, at that period, throughout England. But a great deal was done for public instruction by the course which our early printers took; for, as one of them says--Divers famous clerks and learned men translated and made many noble works into our English tongue, whereby there was much more plenty and abundance of English used than there was in times past. The English nobility were, probably, for more than the first half century of English printing, the great encouragers of our press: they required translations and abridgments of the classics-versions of French and Italian romances-old chronicles, and helps to devout exercises. Caxton and his successors abundantly supplied these wants; and the impulse to most of their exertions was given by the growing demand for literary amusement on the part of the great. Caxton, speaking of his Boke of Eneydos,' says - This present book is not for a rude uplandish man' to labour therein, nor read it; but only.for a clerk and a noble gentleman, that feeleth and understandeth in feats of arms, in love, and in noble chivalry.' But a great change was working in Europe; the rude uplandish man, if he gave promise of talent, was sent to school. The priests strove with the laity for the education of the people; and not only in Protestant, but in Catholic countries were schools and universities everywhere founded. Here, again, was a new source of employment for the press-A, B, C's, or Absies, Primers, Catechisms, Grammars, Dictionaries, were multiplied in every direction. Books became, also, during this period, the fools of professional men. There were not many works of medicine, but a great many of law. The people, too, required instruction in the ordinances they were called upon to obey; -and thus the Statutes, mostly written in French, were translated and abridged by Rastell, our first law-printer. After all this rush of the press of England towards the diffusion of existing knowledge, it began to assist in the production of new works, but in very different directions. Much of the poetry of the sixteenth century, which our press spread around, will last for ever: its controversial divinity has, in great part, perished. Each, however, was a natural supply, arising out of the demand of the people; as much as the chronicles, and romances, and grammars were a natural supply; and as the almanacs, and mysteries, and ballads, which the people also then had, were a natural supply. Taken altogether, the activity of the press of England, during the first period of our inquiry, was very remarkable. Ames and Herbert have recorded the names of 350 printers in England and Scotland, or of foreign printers engaged in producing books for England, that flourished between 1471 and 1600. The same authors have recorded the titles (we have counted with sufficient accuracy to make the assertion) of nearly 10,000 distinct works printed amongst us during the same period. Many of these works,

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When Leo X. gave a privilege, in 1553, to the second Aldus for printing Varro,' the Pope required that the book should be sold cheap. Cheapness in books is a relative term: it must depend upon the probable number of purchasers. If Varro' were likely to be extensively read, Aldus could afford to sell it cheaply: if he counted only upon a small impression, it must of necessity have been dear. The principle that chiefly determines price, in the commerce of books, is the number of the purchasers. It is sufficiently evident that, long after the invention of printing, and its introduction into England, books were dear. In the Privy Purse Accounts of Elizabeth of York,' published by Sir H. Nicolas, we find that, in 1505, twenty pence were paid for a 'Primer' and a 'Psalter.' In 1505, twenty pence would have bought half a load of barley, and were equal to six days' work of a labourer. In 1516, Fitzherbert's Abridgment,' a large folio law-book, then first published, was sold for forty shillings. At that time, forty shillings would have bought three fat oxen. Books gradually became cheaper, as the printers ventured to rely upon a larger number of purchasers. The exclusive privileges that were given to individuals for printing all sorts of books, during the reigns of Henry VIII., Mary, and Elizabeth,-although they were in accordance with the spirit of monopoly which characterized that age, and were often granted to prevent the spread of books,-offer a proof that the market was not large enough to enable the producers to incur the risk of competition. One with another, 200 copies may be estimated to have been printed of each book during the period we have been noticing; we think that proportion would have been quite adequate to the supply of the limited number of readers,-to many of whom the power of reading was a novelty, unsanctioned by the practice of their forefathers.

II. The second period of the English press, from the accession of James I. to the Revolution, is, perhaps, all circumstances considered, the least favourable to the diffusion of knowledge of any period in our whole literary history. In the reign of the first Stuart came an inundation of pedantry, which surrounded the court with verbal criticism and solemn quibble ;-the people, indeed, had their glorious dramatists, but Bacon was looked upon as an impracticable dreamer. Controversy, too, began to be rife in England; and the spirit at last exploded in such a torrent of civil and ecclesiastical violence in the reign of James's successor, as left the many little leisure for the cultivation of their understandings. The press was absorbed by the productions of this furious spirit. There is, in the British Museum, a collection of 2000 volumes of Tracts issued between the years 1640 and 1660, the whole number of which several publications amounts to the enormous quantity of 30,000. This most curious collection was made by a bookseller of the name of Tomlinson, in the times when the tracts were printed;-was bargained for, but not bought, by Charles II.;-and was eventually bought by George III., and presented by him to the British Museum. The number of impressions of new books unconnected with controversial subjects, printed during these stormy days, must have been very small. Dr. Johnson has well remarked that the nation, from 1623 to 1664, was satisfied with two editions of Shakspeare's Plays, which, probably, together did not amount to a thousand copies.

At the Restoration our national literature, with a very few grand exceptions, put on the lowest garb in which literature can be arrayed; it was the toy of the king and his courtezans. Charles II. and his followers brought hither the spirit of the literary parasites of Louis XIV., with whom the great were everything, the people nothing. Small, indeed, must have been the consumption of books amongst those who

'Hated not learning worse than asp or toad,' looking upon men of letters as the old monarchs looked upon their jesters. Under such a state of things, Milton received fifteen pounds for the copy of Paradise Lost ;' and an Act of Parliament was passed that only twenty printers should practise their art in the kingdom. We see by a petition to Parliament in 1666, that there were only


"Pamphlet of News." Before the Revolution, there were several London papers, regulated, however, by privileges and surveyors of the Press. Scon after the beginning of the eighteenth century, (1709,) London had one daily paper, fifteen three times a week, and one twice a week: this was before a stamp-duty was imposed on papers. After the stamp-duty in 1724, there were three daily papers, six weekly, and ten three times a week. Provincial newspapers had been established in several places at this period. The reign of Anne also saw a new and most successful species of literature-the issue of a periodical paper, which should contain something less exciting and more conducive to a healthy state of the public intellect, than the mere rumours of foreign wars or domestic scandals. The Tatler,' Spectator,' Guardian,' and other popular works, were, to the middle classes of those days, what the young of all classes, at the present day. We never heard that the remnant of the old literary court-tinkers of the Stuarts ventured to predict the downfall of English literature, because the Spectator' was published at a penny; or that the Tonsons and Lintots maintained that Pope could not produce them a translation of Homer, because he had written in a penny Guardian. They were wiser in their generation; and believed, as an old French bookseller believed, or is said to have believed," Plus on lit, plus on lira-plus il faut, plus il faudra des livres*."

working printers' in London. They were quite enough to produce the gimcracks of literature for the court.* Burton, who lived near these days, has drawn a fearful picture of the abject condition of men of learning, before they had a public to rely upon :-Rhetoric only serves them to curse their bad fortunes; and many of them, for want of means, are driven to hard shifts. From grasshoppers they turn humble-bees and wasps, plain parasites, and make the Muses mules, to satisfy their hunger-starved paunches, and get a meal's meat." This is the high and palmy state of men of genius, which some amongst us are desirous of bringing back, by redeeming literature from the contaminating touch of the multitude. These persons must be ignorant that nearly all that is glorious and enduring in our literature has been built upon the demands of the people. Our dramatists were essentially the ministers of taste, ay, and of knowledge, to the peo-Penny Knowledge' is to the humbler classes, and the ple; and so were our fine old divines. Who have perished -the verbal pedants (we forget even their names), who were doing homage to the first James as the Solomon of his age, or the Beaumonts and Jonsons, who were living upon the breath of the mob's applause at the Globe Theatre? Who are banished to utter oblivion,-the Sedleys and Rochesters, who were exciting the gross passions of the second Charles; or the Taylors and Souths, who were pouring forth their fervid eloquence and their poignant wit upon the vulgar many?

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At the fire of London, in 1666, the booksellers dwelling The creation of another new species of literature in this about St. Paul's lost an immense stock of books in quires, period, is to be ascribed to the strong good sense of a amounting, according to Evelyn, to 200,0007., which they printer, who saw that, even with their daily and weekly were accustomed to stow in the vaults of the metropolitan papers, the middle classes were ill-supplied with miscelcathedral, and of other neighbouring churches. At that time laneous information. Cave, in this spirit, projected the the people were beginning to read again, and to think;- 'Gentleman's Magazine.' He offered a share in it to half and as new capital naturally rushed in to replace the con- the booksellers in London; they one and all rejected the sumed stock of books, there was considerable activity once project as absurd. They had not learnt, even by the more in printing. The laws regulating the number of prin- success of the Essayists, to rely upon a large number of ters soon after fell into disuse, as they had long fallen into con- purchasers. In 1731, Cave, at his own risk, produced the tempt. We have before us a catalogue (the first compiled first Magazine printed in England-the 'Gentleman's. Its in this country) of all the books printed in England since success was so great, that in the following year the bookthe dreadful fire, 1666, to the end of Trinity Term, 1680,' sellers, who could not understand Cave's project till they which catalogue is continued to 1685, year by year. A knew its value by experiment, set up a rival magazine, great many-we may fairly say one-half-of these books, The London.' In 1749, the first Review, The Monthly," are single sermons and tracts. The whole number of books was started; and in a few years was followed by The printed during the fourteen years from 1666 to 1680, we Critical.' It is not our purpose to trace the history of our ascertain, by counting, was 3550, of which 947 were divi- monthly reviews and magazines. They did an immense deal nity, 420 law, and 153 physic, so that two-fifths of the for literature and the literary character. They took the whole were professional books; 397 were school books, and patronage of men of letters out of the hands of the great 253 on subjects of geography and navigation, including and the fashionable, and confided it to the people. They maps. Taking the average of these fourteen years, the total might not create poets and philosophers, but they prenumber of works produced yearly was 253; but deducting vented kings and lords pretending to create them. the reprints, pamphlets, single sermons, and maps, we may fairly assume that the yearly average of new books was much under 100. Of the number of copies constituting an edition we have no record; we apprehend it must have been small, for the price of a book, as far as we can ascertain it, was considerable. Roger North, speaking of those booksellers of his day who had the knack of getting up volumes on temporary matters, says, They crack their brains to find out selling subjects, and keep hirelings in garrets, on hard meat, to write and correct by the grate; so puff up an octavo to a sufficient thickness, and there is six shillings current for an hour and a half's reading.' In a catalogue, with prices, printed twenty-two years after the one we have just noticed, we find that the ordinary cost of an octavo was five shillings.

III. We have arrived at the third stage of our rapid and imperfect sketch-from the Revolution to the accession of George III.

This period will be ever memorable in our literary history for the creation, in great part, of periodical literature. Till newspapers, and magazines, and reviews, and cyclopædias were established, the people, even the middle classes, could not fairly be said to have possessed themselves of the keys of knowledge.

The publication of intelligence began, as many of our readers know, during the wars of Charles I. and his Parliament. But the Mercuries of those days were little more than occasional pamphlets. Burton speaks of a

La letteratura era una chingaglieria per la corte.'-See an able dissertation, by Count Pecchio, on the application of the general laws of production to literary and scientific productions.Lugano, 1832,

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Un Auguste peut aisément faire un Virgile,' looked like a truism in the court of Louis XIV.; it became a bad joke when, relying upon the humble printer of the Gentleman's Magazine, Johnson dared to describe the patron and the gaol' as the common curses of the scholar. Johnson learnt in the school of the people to depend upon the people, through their interpreters, the booksellers, as the only patrons whose resources would last beyond the hour of sunshine. He was in the transition state from the patronage of the few to the patronage of the many, and he therefore endured great privations. But he clearly saw the time was coming, when the literary man would find, in the extension of the demand for knowledge, the broadest and surest foundation for his own reward as a labourer in the vineyard of knowledge.

The periodical literature of the era we are speaking of, swallowed up a vast number of the pamphlets through which writers used to communicate their thoughts to the world. Disputants in a little circle found in the magazines a vent for their opinions, theological, moral, political, and antiquarian. This circumstance, of course, greatly reduced the number of merely temporary books; and it had thus the advantage of imparting to our literature a more solid character. Making a proportionate deduction for the pamphlets inserted in the catalogues we have already referred to, it appears to us, however, that the great influx of periodical literature, although constituting a most important branch of literary commerce, had, in some degree, the effect of narrowing the pub

*The more people read the more they will read-the more the world wants books the more they will want."-Histoire des Français des divers états, vol. vi., p. 121.

lication of new books; and perhaps wholesomely so. That the growth of periodical literature would produce the incontestible effect of general knowledge, that of causing the appetite to grow by what it feeds upon, we cannot doubt; but the new body of readers that periodical literature had won from the middle classes, might rather desire the old solid dishes, than crave after hastily-produced novelties. Be this as it may, the number of new books published in this period was not large. We have before us a Complete Catalogue of Modern Books published from the beginning of the century to 1756;'-from which all pamphlets and other tracts' are excluded. We find that in these fifty-seven years, 5280 new works appeared, which exhibits only an average of ninety-three new works each year.

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We are inclined to think that the numbers of an edition printed had been increased; for, however strange it may appear, the general prices of the works in this catalogue are as low, if not lower, than in a priced catalogue we also have of books printed in the years 1702 and 1703. A quarto published in the first half of the last century seems to have averaged from 108. to 128. per volume; an octavo, from 58. to 68.; and a duodecimo from 2s. 6d. to 3s. In the earlier catalogue we have mentioned, pretty much the same prices exist: and yet an excise had been laid upon paper; the prices of authorship, even for the humblest labours, were raised, at least, two hundred per cent. above the prices of the time of John Dunton, who says his great talent lies at collection, and he will do it for you at six shillings a sheet ;'* and, more than all, the cost of the necessaries of life was much advanced. We can only account for this upon the principle, that the publishers of the first half of the eighteenth century knew their trade, and, printing larger numbers, adapted their prices to the extension of the market. They also, in many cases, lessened their risk by publishing by subscription-a practice now almost disreputable, but possessing great advantages for the production of costly books. This was, in many respects, the golden age for publishers, when large and certain fortunes were made, -when there was not a great deal of a gambling spirit in the business. Perhaps much of this proceeded from the publishers aiming less to produce novelty than excellence-selling large impressions of few books, and not distracting the public with their noisy competition in the manufacture of new wares for the market of the hour. Publishers thus grew into higher influence in society. They had long ceased to carry their books to Bristol or Stourbridge fairs, or to hawk them about the country in auctions for the unwary. The trade of books had gone into regular commercial channels.

IV. The period from the accession of George III. to the close of the eighteenth century, is marked by the rapid increase of the demand for popular literature, rather than by any prominent features of originality in literary production. Periodical literature spread on every side; newspapers, magazines, reviews, were multiplied; and the old system of selling books by hawkers was extended to the rural districts, and small provincial towns. Of the number books thus produced, the quality was indifferent, with a few exceptions; and the cost of these works was considerable. The principle, however, was then first developed, of extending the market, by coming into it at regular intervals with fractions of a book, so that the humblest customer might lay by each week in a savings-bank of knowledge. This was an important step, which has produced great effects, but which is even now capable of a much more universal application than it has ever yet received. Smollett's History of England' was one of the most successful number-books; it sold to the extent of 20,000 copies.

We may exhibit the rapid growth of the publication of new books, by examining the catalogues of the latter part of the eighteenth century, passing over the earlier years of the reign of George III. In the Modern Čatalogue of Books,' from 1792 to the end of 1802, eleven years, we find that 4096 new works were published, exclusive of reprints not altered in price, and also exclusive of pamphlets: deducting one-fifth for reprints, we have an average of 372 new books per year. This is a prodigious stride beyond the average of 93 per year of the previous period. But we are not sure that our literature was in a more healthy condition. From some cause or other, the selling price of books

• Life and Errors, vol. i. p. 181.

had increased, in most cases 50 per cent., in others, 100 per cent. The 2s. 6d. duodecimo had become 4s.; the 68. octavo, 10s. 6d. ; and the 12s. quarto 1. 1s. It would appear from this that the exclusive market was principally sought for new books; that the publishers of novelties did not rely upon the increasing number of readers; and that the periodical works constituted the principal supply of the many. The aggregate increase of the commerce in books must, however, have become enormous, when compared with the previous fifty years; and the effect was highly beneficial to the literary character. The age of patronage was gone.

V. The last period is still more remarkably a period of extended commerce in books. We may at once go to the proof of this position.

The number of new publications issued from 1800 to 1827, including reprints altered in size or price, but exclusive of pamphlets, was, according to the London Catalogue, 19,860. Deducting one-fifth for the reprints, we have 15,888 new books in twenty-seven years,-shewing an average of 588 new books per year,-being an increase of 216 per year over the last eleven years of the previous century. Books, however, were still rising in price. The 4s. duodecimo of the former period became 6s., or was converted into a small 8vo. at 10s. 6d.; the 10s. 6d. octavo became 12s. or 14s., and the guinea quarto very commonly two guineas. Here, we think, was still an evidence that the new books were for an exclusive market, whether of individual customers or circulating libraries. Circulating libraries and reading societies did a vast deal for literary production; they rendered the demand to a considerable degree certain; but they would have done a great deal more if prices had not been so extravagantly raised. The libraries would have taken duplicates and triplicates instead of single copies; the publisher and author would have been paid as well, and the public would have been better supplied. The publishers of new books did not rely for a demand upon a great body of purchasers. For the many, however, the periodical works went on largely increasing, and their quality was decidedly improved.

In the year 1827, 'Constable's Miscellany' was first published, and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge commenced its operations. The aim of each was to produce books at the old rate of cheapness, without any diminution of excellence, so that the duodecimo might again be purchased by the home reader for 38. or 4s., and the octavo for 68. or 7s. The example was followed by many publishers of eminence,-by Messrs. Longman, Mr. Murray, Messrs. Oliver and Boyd, in Scotland, and others. Series of great value, whether regarded as works of useful instruction or innoxious entertainment, were produced;and some of the best writers of the country assisted in their production. In the year 1832, however, the demand of the great masses of the people for cheap information became so manifest, and that demand was so imperfectly supplied, that a new mode of publication in our times required to be created. The penny sheet of the reign of Queen Anne was to be revived in the reign of William IV. The success of the experiment has produced already a visible influence upon the condition of society. The public feel the benefit that they have received; a few of the dealers in dear books say that literature is ruined. Let us examine this by figures.

The following Table exhibits the number of new publications, without pamphlets or reprints, of each year, from 1828 to 1833, with the number of volumes, the aggregate price of a single copy of each new work, the price of 500 copies, and the average price per volume.

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therefore, that the publishers of new books are beginning cognizant of what is taking place in some of the most imto rely upon the principle of numbers co-operating to pur-portant departments of knowledge. chase, and will make up in increased returns what they may lose in diminished profits. The fact of the regular increase of new publications since the era of cheapness, is a sufficient answer to those who maintain that cheapness has ruined our current literature.

The present state of the Periodical market of English literature is, however, one of the most remarkable proofs of the influence of cheapness upon the commerce of books, that can be offered. At the end of 1831, before the publication of the Penny Magazine,' the great offender in the eyes of those who will not look beyond their own narrow circles, there were 177 monthly periodical works, a single copy of each of which cost 177. 12s. 6d. At the end of 1833, when the Penny Magazine' and its allies had done their wicked work of driving all competitors from the field, as some maintain, there were 236 monthly periodical works, a single copy of which cost 237. 38. 6d.

We subjoin to these melancholy details of the decay of the commerce of literature, the following estimate, which we have formed upon tolerably accurate data:

Per Annum.

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When we look back only two centuries, we find that works upon the higher branches of science were uniformly written in Latin. This was a great convenience to all men of education; it saved them from the necessity of acquiring several modern languages, since a knowledge of Latin was the portion of a very much larger part of the reading community than at present. But after the gradual abolition of the learned language, comes more than a century, during which it has been usual to employ our common idiom in works of every degree of difficulty. Has the public, during that century, profited to the extent which might have been predicted by older speculators, who might reasonably imagine that the learned tongue, in which all scientific knowledge was communicated, was the main obstacle to its general diffusion? The universal ignorance upon such subjects seems to attest the contrary; but there were several difficulties in the way, independent of the language of communication.

In the first place, the only road to accurate and independent knowledge of most of the sciences lies through the study of mathematics, which appears in most eyes divested of everything that can please the imagination or interest curiosity. And while its outward form and preliminary £415,300 difficulties will always prevent the number of mathema200,000 ticians from becoming very large, the study itself renders popular explanation difficult to those who have acquired it. The mathematician treats a question of mechanics in a way of which any other person cannot form an idea; and as he 100,000 overcomes all difficulties in a manner perfectly incompre150,600 hensible to the general reader, he is naturally very little 150,000 prone to stop to consider (if indeed after a certain time it 75,000 were easy for him to do so) how the latter would view the 30,000 question upon which he is engaged. We could name several 50,000 splendid exceptions; one in particular ought to suggest itself 1,000,000 to every reader.



Such want of communion with the many has naturally led men of science to associate together, and to give the results of their inquiries more to one another than to the The busy intercourse which takes place between the several public, in the shape of the transactions of learned societies. suspected by the world in general; in which it is the most clans of the different capitals and large towns is almost unthat can be expected of an individual, that he knows there Memoirs of the Institute," &c., and has all due respect for are such works as the "Philosophical Transactions," books which he neither has seen, nor could have read if he had.


The literary returns of the United Kingdom, in 1733, were, unquestionably, little more than 100,000l. per annum. What has multipled them twenty-fold? Is it the contraction or the widening of the market-the exclusion or the diffusion of knowledge? We leave the enemies of the instruction of the people to answer. They will tell us that literature is a luxury, and that it can only be supported by luxurious prices. They cannot see that the whole course of our literature has been that of a gradual and certain spread from the few to the many-from a luxury to a necessaryIn the second place, the scientific classes have not, as a as much so as the spread of the cotton or the silk trade. pable negligence, which so long attached to all the educated body, so acted as to claim exception from the charge of culHenry VIII. paid 12s. a yard for a silk gown for Anne classes of this country, as to matters connected with the Boleyn a sum equal to five guineas a yard of our day. spread of information. Upon whom do the silk mercers now rely-upon the few respect, we hope and believe; and that the followers of phiThat we are improving in this Anne Boleyns, or the thousands who can buy a silk gown losophy are likely to take the post in which their attainments at 2s. 6d. a yard? But these reasoners will also maintain that the quality of popular literature must be low. To naturally place them, we do not doubt. They ought to do that we have already replied; but there is one triumphant so in self-defence, as we shall immediately show. analogy which they will infallibly use. Whatever may be the fate of individuals, the good and They will tell us wholesome rule of trying to cultivate private talent for that literature is a stream-to be deep it must be narrow; general benefit is not violated by classes with impunity. If if the stream is diffused it must be shallow. Well then, there be gout in store for the epicure, and apoplexy for the we will call literature, a SEA. We leave them to their drunkard, pestilence for the unswept city, and insurrection conceits. In the mean time, with no unpatriotic wish, we exclaim," SPEED the PRINTING MACHINE!" for the tyrant, there is no less certainly a moral evil in store for any body of inquirers after truth, which shall place its end in improving the mechanical results of science, and neglect the task of putting the sound maxims of thinking,

DIFFUSION OF THE RESULTS OF SCIENTIFIC and good habits of observation, derivable from it, among the


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propelling causes of moral civilization. It is the public itself, which, thus negatively injured, takes its own revenge. First, it does so by the indifference with which it regards the pursuit in question-no great wonder, when there are so few who can see the channel through which science benefits the world.

the advancement of science, when an object is to be gained This leads it to refuse all succour, in order to promote too expensive for private societies to attempt. So that those who really know how our government is situated with respect to pecuniary matters, and what they do for science, are rather inclined to wonder how they do so much, seeing their judges care so little about the matter, than to join in the cry which has been before now raised against them; and instead of asking why the "Nautical Almanac" was

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