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prices. The Chinese, from early times, had used carved stamps to impress upon paper instead of writing; the Romans likewise used stamps and seals in order to produce impressions; but the idea of forming individual letters or characters, capable of being arranged in every kind of combination, does not appear to have occurred to any of the ancient nations, and was left to be first thought of by the ingenious Guttenberg, in the early part of the fifteenth century.

Having struck out the grand idea of forming letters or types, wherewith to produce any given number of impressions, and upon any subject, he kept the discovery a profound secret, and removed to Strasburg about the year 1424. Unfortunately for Guttenberg, he was poor, and unable, by his own efforts, to render his discovery practically beneficial. By this means he was led into many difficulties, and in some measure robbed of the merit of his invention. In 1435, he entered into partnership with Andrew Drozhennis, or Dritzehen, John Riff, and Andrew Heelman, citizens of Strasburg, binding himself thereby to disclose certain important secrets connected with the art of printing, by which they should attain opulence.

The workshop was in the house of Dritzehen, who dying shortly after the work was commenced, Guttenberg immediately sent his servant, Lawrence Beildich, to Nicholas, the brother of the deceased, and requested that no person might be admitted into the workshop, lest the secret should be discovered, and the forms, or fastened-together types, stolen. But they had already disappeared ; and this fraud, as well as the claims of Nicholas Dritzehen to succeed to his brother's share,

produced a lawsuit among the surviving partners. Five witnesses were examined ; and from the evidence of Beildich, Guttenberg's servant, it was incontrovertibly proved that Guttenberg was the first who practised the art of printing with movable types, and that, on the death of Andrew Dritzehen, he had expressly ordered the forms to be broken up, and the characters dispersed, lest any one should discover his secret. The result of this lawsuit, which occurred in 1439, was a dissolution of partnership; and Guttenberg, after having exhausted his means in the effort, proceeded, in 1445-6, to his native city of Mentz, where he resumed his typographic labors.

Being ambitious of making his extraordinary invention known, and of value to himself, but being at the same time deficient in the means, he opened his mind to a wealthy goldsmith and worker in precious metals, named John Fust, or Faust, and prevailed on him to advance large sums of money, in order to make further and more complete trials of the art. Guttenberg being thus associated with Fust, the first regular printing establishment was begun, and the business of printing carried on in a style corresponding to the infancy of the art. After many smaller essays in trying the capabilities of his press and movable types, Guttenberg had the hardihood to attempt an edition of the Bible, which he succeeded in printing complete, between the years 1450 and 1455. This celebrated Bible, which was the first important specimen of the art of printing, and which, judging from what it has led to, we should certainly esteem as the most extraordinary and praiseworthy of human productions, was executed with cut metal types, on six hundred and thirty-seven leaves; and, from a copy still in existence in the Royal Library of Berlin, some of these appear to have been on vellum. The work was printed in the Latin language.

The execution of this, the first printed Bible, which has justly conferred undying honors on the illustrious Guttenberg, was, most unfortunately, the immediate cause of his ruin. The expenses incident to carrying on a fatiguing and elaborate process of workmanship, for a period of five years, being much more considerable than what were originally contemplated by Fust, he instituted a suit against poor Guttenberg, who, in consequence of the decision against him, was obliged to pay interest, and also a part of the capital that had been advanced. This suit was followed by a dissolution of partnership; and the whole of Guttenberg's apparatus fell into the hands of John Fust, who, from being the ostensible agent in the business of printing, and from the wonder expressed by the vulgar in seeing printed sheets, soon acquired the name of a magician, or one in compact with the devil; and under this character, with the appellation of Dr. Faustus, he has for ages enjoyed an evil notoriety.

Besides the above-mentioned Bible, some other specimens of the work of Guttenberg have been discovered to be in existence. One in particular which is worthy of notice, was found some years ago among a bundle of old papers in the archives of Mayence. It is an almanac for the year 1457, which served as wrapper for a register of accounts that year. This, says Hansard, would most likely be printed towards


the close of 1456, and may consequently be deemed the most ancient specimen of typographic printing extant, with a certain date. That Guttenberg was a person of refined taste in the execution of his works, is sufficiently obvious. Adopting a very ancient custom, common in the written copies of the Scriptures and the missals of the church, he used a large ornamental letter at the commencement of books and chapters, finely embellished, and surrounded with a variety of figures as in a frame. The initial letter of the first psalm thus forms a beautiful specimen of the art of printing in its early progress. It is richly ornamented with foliage, flowers, a bird, and a greyhound, and is still more beautiful from being printed in a pale blue color, while the embellishments are red, and of a transparent appearance. What became of Guttenberg immediately after the unsuccessful termination of his lawsuit with Fust, is not well known. Like the discoverer of the great Western Continent, he seems to have retired almost broken-hearted from the world, and to have spent most of the remainder of his days in obscurity. It is ascertained, however, that in the year 1465, he received an annual pension from the Elector Adolphus, but that he only enjoyed this small compensation for his extraordinary invention during three years, and died in the month of February, 1468.

It long formed a subject of contention amongst antiquaries and bibliomaniacs, by what means Guttenberg formed his types, but it is now pretty clearly ascertained that they were at first all individually cut by the hand. The mode of casting types in moulds has been very generally, and with apparent truth, assigned to Guttenberg's successor, Schæffer. This individual was an industrious young man of inventive genius, an apprentice with Fust, who took him into partnership immediately after his rupture with Guttenberg, and who is supposed to have been initiated into the mysteries of the art by the latter. The first joint publication of Fust and Schæffer was a beautiful edition of the Psalms, which came out only about eighteen months after their going into partnership. Along with it appeared a declaration by them, claiming the merit of inventing the cut-metal types with which it was printed; but this pretension was evidently false; and, in fact, it afterwards appeared that the book had been four years in the press, and must consequently have been chiefly executed by Guttenberg. It is worthy of notice, that the above publication was the very first to which the date, printer's name, and place of publication, were affixed.

To Schaffer, however, as said before, must be awarded the honor of completing Guttenberg's invention, by discovering the method of casting the characters in a matrix. In an account of Schæffer, given by Jo. Frid. Faustus, of Aschaffenburg, from papers preserved in his family, we are informed that the artist privately prepared matrices for the whole alphabet; and when he showed his master, Fust, the letters cast from them, he was so well pleased that he gave his daughter Christina to him in marriage. Fust and Schæffer concealed the new improvement, by administering an oath of secrecy to all whom they entrusted,

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