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NUMB. 51. SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1752.

tibi erunt artes

VIRC.

These inust be your golden rules. Of all our manufactures there is none at present in a more flourishing condition, or which hath received more considerable improvement of late years, than the manufacture of paper. To such perfection is this brought at present, that it almost promises to rival the great staple commodity of this kingdom.

The two principal branches of this manufacture are carried on by painting and printing. To what a degree of excellence the artists are arrived in the former I need not mention.

Our painted paper is scarcely distinguishable from the finest silk; and there is scarce a modern house which hath not one or more rooms lined with this furniture.

But however valuable this branch may be, it is by no means equal to that which is carried on by printing. Of such consequence indeed to the pubfick may this part of the paper manufacture be made, that I doubt rot but that, with proper care, it would be capable of finding an ample provision

To which purpose it seems better adapted than any other, for a reason which I shall presently assign

Of printing likewise there are two kinds; that of the rolling, and that of the letter press, -or perhaps I shall be better understood by most of my readers by the terms prints and books.

The former (though of infinitely the less consequence) hath been of late much irnproved ; and though it doth not consume a great quantity of paper, doth however employ a great number of handa.

for the poor.

This was formerly an inconsiderable business, and very few got their bread by it; but some ingenious persons have of late so greatly extended it, that there are at present almost as many print-shops as there are bakers in this metropolis.

This improvement hath been owing to a deep penetration into human nature, by which it hath been discovered, that there are two sights which the generality of mankind do hunger after with little less avidity than after their daily bread. The one is, to behold certain parts which are severally common to one half of the species exhibited to view, in the most amiable and inviting manner; the other is, to see certain faces, which belong to individuals, exposed in a ridiculous and contemptible light. By feeding both which appetites, the print-makers have very plentifully fed themselves.

I come now to the second branch of printing, namely, to that which is performed at the letterpress, and which consists of books, pamphlets,

The flourishing state of this manufacture needs no kind of proof. It is indeed certain, that more paper is now consumed this way in a week than was formerly the consumption of a year.

To this notable increase nothing perhaps hath more contributed, than the new invention of writing without the qualifications of any genius or learning. The first printers, possibly misled by an old precept in one Horace, seem to have imagined that both those ingredients were necessary in the writer, and accordingly, we find they employed themselves on such samples only as were produced by men in whom genius and learning concurred ; but modern times have discovered that the trade is very well to be carried on without either; and this by introducing several new kind of wares, the manufacture of which is extremely easy, as well as extremely lucrative. The principal of these are

papers, &c.

blasphemy, treason, bawdry, and scandal. For in the making up of all these, the qualifications abovementioned, together with that modesty which is inseparable from them, would rather be an incumbrance than of any real use.

No sooner were these new-fashioned wares brought to market, than the paper merchants, commonly called booksellers, found so immense a demand for them, that their business was to find hands sufficient to supply the wants of the publick. In this, however, they had no great difficulty, as the work was so extremely easy that no talents whatever (except that of being able to write), not even the capacity of spelling, were requisite.

The methods, however, which have been used by the paper-merchants to make these new-fashioned wares universally known are very ingenious, and worthy our notice.

The first of these methods was for the merchant himself to mount in the most public part of the town into a wooden machine called the pillory, where he stood for the space of an hour, proclaiming his goods to all that passed that way. This was practised with much success by the late Mr. Curll, Mr. Mist, and others, who never failed of selling several large bales of goods in this manner.

Notwithstanding, however, the profits arising from this method of publication, it was not without objections; for several wanton persons among the mob were used on such occasions to divert themselves by pelting the merchant while he stood exposed on the publishing-stool, with rotten eggs and other mischievous implements, by which means he often came off much bedaubed, and sometimes not without bodily hurt.

Some of the more cunning, therefore, among the merchants began to decline this practice themselves, and employed their understrappers, that is to say, their writers for such purposes ; for it was conceived

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a piece of blasphemy, bawdry, &c. would be as well sold by exhibiting the author as by exhibiting the bookseller.

Of this, probably, they received the first hint from the case of one Mr. Richard Savage, an author whose manufactures had long lain uncalled for in the warehouse, till he happened, very fortunately for his bookseller, to be found guilty of a capital crime at the Old Bailey. The merchant instantly took the hint, and the very next day advertised the works of Mr. Savage, now under sentence of death for murder. This device succeeded, and immediately (to use their phrase) carried off the whole impression.

Encouraged by this success, the merchant, not doubting the execution of his author, bad very high for his dying speech, which was accordingly penned and delivered. Savage, however, was, contrary to all expectation, pardoned, and would have returned the money; but the merchant insisted on his bargain, and published the dying speech which Mr. Savage should have made at Tyburn, of which, it is probable, as many were sold as there were people in town who could read.

The gallows being thus found to be a great friend to the press, the merchants, for the future, made it their chief care to provide themselves with such writers as were most likely to call in this assistance; in other words, who were in the fairest way of being hanged: and though they have not always succeeded to their wish, yet whoever is well read in the productions of the last twenty years, will be more inclined perhaps to blame the law than the sagacity of the booksellers.

The whipping-post hath been likewise of eminent use to the same purposes; and though, perhaps, this may raise less curiosity than the gallows, in one instance, at least, it hath visibly the advantage ; for an author, though he may deserve it often, can be

But no

hanged but once, but he may be whipped several times, indeed, six times by one sentence, of which we have lately seen an instance in the person of Stroud *, who is a strong proof of the great profits which the paper-merchants derive from the whipping one of their manufacturers.

Mr. Stroud, in imitation of several eminent persons, thought proper to publish an apology for his life. The publick, however, were less kind to him than they have been to other great apologists, and treated his performance with contempt. sooner was he tied to the cart's tail than the work began to sell in great numbers; and this sale revived with every monthly whipping ; so that if he had been whipped, as some imagined he was to have been, once a month during life, the merchant possibly might have sold as many bales of his works as have been sold of those of Swift himself.

I shall conclude with hoping, that, as the mere chants seem at present to have their eye chiefly on the whipping-post for the advancement of their manufactures, it is to be hoped courts of justice will do all that in them lies to encourage a traile of such wonderful benefit to the kingdom, and wilich seems more likely than any other to provide a maintenance for our poor ; as no qualification is required to the production of these wares besides that of being able to write, nor any tools or stock to set up a manufacture besides pen and ink, and a small quantity of paper; so that an author may indeed be equipped at a cheaper rate than a blacker of shoes.

* A noted swindler, who was ordered to be whipped several times through the streets. C.

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