« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
• Points.-Points are not of equal antiquity with printing, though, not long after its invention, the necessity of introducing stops of pauses in sentences, for the guidance of the reader, brought forward the colon and full-point, the two first invented. In process of time, the comma was added to the infant punctuation, which then had no other figure than a perpendicular line proportionable to the body of the letter. These three points were the only ones used' till the close of the fifteenth century, when Aldus Manutius, a man eminent for the restoration of learning, among other improvements in the art of printing, corrected and enlarged the punctuation, by giving a better shape to the comma, adding the semi-colon, and assigning to the former points a more proper place ; the comma denoting the smaller pause, the semi-colon next, then the colon, and the full-point terni. nating the sentence. The notes of interrogation and admiration were not added till many years after. * These points are allowed to answer all the purposes
of punctua. tion, though some pedantic persons have suggested the propriety of increasing them, by having one below the comma, and another between the comma and semi-colon. So far are we from imagining that such an introduction will meet with encouragement, that we confidently expect to see the present number diminished, by the total exclusion of the colon, a point long since considered unnecessary, and now but seldom used.
• Perhaps there never existed on any subject among men of learning, a greater difference of opinion, ihan on the true mode of punctuation, and scarcely can any two people be brought to agree in the same method ; some making the pause of the semi-colon where the sense will only bear a comma ; some contending for what is termed stiff pointing, and others altogether the reverse.
• The want of an established rule in this particular is much to be regretted. The loss of time to a compositor, occasioned often through whim or caprice, in altering points unnecessarily, is one of the greatest hardships he has to complain of in the progress of his profession.
• Scarcely nine works out of ten are sent properly prepared to the press ; either the writing is illegible, the spelling incorrect, or the punctuation defective. The compositor has often to read sentences of his copy more than once before he can ascertain what he conceives the meaning of his author, that he may not deviate from him in the punctuation ; this retards him considerably. But here it does not end-he, and the corrector of the press, though perhaps both intelligent and judiciouş men, differ in that in which few are found
agree, and the compositor has to follow either his whim or better opinion. The proof goes to the author-he dissents from them both, and makes those alterations in print, which ought to have readered his manuscript copy correct.
Some compositors do not possess so perfect a knowledge of punctuation as others; to such ihe hardship becomes greater the Toss of time to them will be very considerable. The author should, in the first instance, send his copy properly prepared to the press.
He must be the most competent judge of the length and strength of his own sentence, which the introduction of a point from another might materially alter, a circumstance. not uncommon, as instances have occurred where a single point has completely reversed the meaning of a sentence.
• The late Dr. Hunter, in reviewing a work, had occasion to censure it for its improper punctuation. He advises authors to leave the painting entirely to the printers, as from their constant practice, they inust have acquired a uniform mode of punctuation." We are decidedly of this opinion; for unless the author will take the responsibility of the pointing entirely upon himself, it will be to the advantage of the compositor, and attended with less loss of time, not to meet with a single point in his copy, unless to terminate his sentence, than to have his mind confused by commas and semi-colons placed indiscriminately in the hurry of writing, without any regard to propriety. The author may reserve to himself his particular mode of punctuation, by directing the printer to point his work either loosely or pot, and still have the opportunity of detecting in his proofs, whether a misplaced point injures his sentence. The advantage resulting from this method would ensure uniformity to the work, and remove in part from the compositor a burthen which has created no small degree of contention.'
Vol. II. pp. 546. There is much truth in these observations, though there are doubtless many exceptions to this charge of carelessness in authors. One instance we well remember in the person of the late veteran Cumberland, whose press copy, when nearly at the age of eighty, seldom bore the marks of erasure or correction. His page was a perfect picture,-pointed with the truest accuracy, written in a fine, bold, even hand, which gave his lines all the advantage of being formed upon a ma thematical scale, and his return proofs for press were, as far as related to himself, as free as his manuscript was clear. We have often beard compositors declare that they would as soon compose from his manuscript as from any printed copy they ever saw. The advantages and the rarity of this qualification will, however, further appear from the following remarks.
· CASTING OFF Copy.—To cast off manuscript with accuracy and precision, is a task of a disagreeable nature, which requires great attention and deliberation. The trouble and difficulty is much increased, when the copy is not only irregularly written, (which is too frequently the case, but also abounds with interlineations, erasures, and variations in the sizes of paper. To surmount these defects, the closest application and attention is required; yet at times, so numerous are the alterations and additions, that they not unfrequently baffle the skill and judgement of the most experienced calculators of copy. Such an imperfect and slovenly mode of sending works to
the press (which is generally attended with unpleasant consequences to all parties) cannot be too strongly deprecated by all admirers of the art:' V. II. p: 90.
Upon illegible writing, it is remarked : 1
Among men of learning there are some who write after such a manner, that even those who'live by transcribing, rather shun than crave to be einployed by them: no wonder, therefore, if compositors express not the best wishes to such promoters of printing. But it is not always the capacious genius that ought to be excused for writing in too great a hurry; for sometimes those of no exuberant brains'affect'unicouth writing, on purpose to strengthen the commod notion that the more learned the man, the worse is his hand writing; which shews that writing well, or bad, is but a habit with those who can write.' V. II. p. 95. Fewer mistakes would be made, were authors to endeavour to render their copy more legible, before they place it in the hands of the priater. It can hardly be expected that the corrector, under whose inspection such a variety of subjects are continually passing, should be able to enter thoroughly into every one of them, and to guess so nicely at the author's meaning when the copy is obscure and unable to afford! him any assistance. Vol. II.
CORRECTING. By correcting, we understand the rectifying of such faults, omissions, and repetitions, as are made by the compositor either through inadvertency or carelessness. And though the term of corrections is equally given to the alterations that are made by authors, it would be more proper to distinguish them by the name of emendations ; notwithstanding it often happens, that after repeatedly mending the matter, the first conceptions are at last res called for the truth thereof none can be better vouchers than compositors, wlio often suffer by fickle authors that know no end to making alterations, and at last doubt whether they are right or wrong ; whereby the work is retarded, and the compositor greatly prejudiced in his endeavours; especially where he is not sufficiently satisfied for spending his time in humouring such whimsical gentlemen.' Vol. II. p. 221.
Under the head of 'ANTIENT CHARACTERS AND Huero• GLYPHICS, the Author gives a full account of the Rosetta stone, the Sarcophagus of Alexander, and other curious inscriptions. These are illustrated by specimens of the characters; but, without these specimens, a transcription of the pages would be incomplete. We can therefore only refer to page 319 of Vol II. for an elucidation of this very interesting part of the subject.
The properties of the var. nresses are detailed, and representations of them are
to their most minute parts; also, the nature ar
Art. VIII. The Bible Teacher's Manual : being the Substance of Holy
Scripture, in Questions on every Chapter thereof. By Mrs. Sherwood. Part III. Leviticus and Numbers. 24mo. Map. pp. 96.
Price 1s. London. 1824. The
"he first part of this very useful manual was noticed in a
former volume,* with the commendation which it deserved. Its author was a clergyman, whose name there can no longer be any propriety in concealing, since he has ceased to be numbered with the living ---the late Rev. Cornelius Neale, formerly Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. His name is known to the public chiefly as the author of a very elegant volume of lyrical poems, which appeared in 1819, and a tragedy entitled Mustapha, printed in 1814, which possessed no ordinary merit. He was a man, indeed, of a highly cultivated taste and true poetical feeling ; his mind was richly stored with the treasures of classical erudition, and he combined, in himself the scholar, the poet, and the gentleman. Of his critical taste and acumen the pages of this Journal would furnish abundant specimens, did we feel at liberty to specify his contributions. A few years before his death, Mr. Neale took orders; after which his literary pursuits, if they did not lose their attractions, were niade to hold a subordinate place, while he conscientiously addressed himself to the exemplary discharge of his clerical fuuctions. In this point of view, the portion of the present work which he lived to complete, forms an interesting memorial of his zealous and amiable solicitude for the religious improvement more especially of the young, of his sound judgement and unaffected piety.
No person could have been selected better qualified to complete Mr. Neale's plan, than the popular Author of " Little
Henry and his Bearer” and “ The Fairchild Family.”
• It is remarkable,' says Mrs. Sherwood,' that although unknown to the Author of Questions on enesis, and not having received the slightest intimation of his purposes, the Writer of this little volume had formerly commenced an undertaking of the kind, not with a view to publication, but solely for the use of her own family, and had desisted from the work merely from the pressure of other business. It is, however, very probable, that she might have allowed these other and more secular occupations to have entirely diverted her from this more important concern, had not a voice as it were from the grave, urged her to proceed with the work.
There are many persons,' it is added in concluding the preface,
* Vol. XIX. N. S. p. 188.