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thing if it does not cost me still more, it is for this purpose that I have pledged my goods and my inheritance.' 'But,' said this witness, holy dolors, if it should not succeed what would you do then ?' To which he replied ; That is impossible, it must succeed ; before another year revolves we will have recovered our capital, and we shall all be happy unless it be God's will to subdue us.'
“ Item, the woman Ennel, wife of Hanns Schultheiss, timber merchant, deposes that Lorenzo Beildeck came at one time to the house of Claus Dritzehen her cousin, and said to him. * Dear Claus Dritzehen, Andrés Dritzehen had iiij pieces concealed in a press, and, Gutenberg requests you will take them from the press, and that you will separate them one from another, in order that they might be unintelligible, as he did not wish any one to understand them :' this witness also deposed that, when at the house of her cousin Andres Dritzehen she assisted in this work night and day.
“Lorenzo Beildeck deposes that Jean Gutenberg sent him on one occasion to the house of Claus Dritzehen after the death of Andres his brother to tell Claus Dritzehen not to show any one the press he had under his care. He told me moreover, that by going to the press and taking the trouble of opening it with two screws, that then the pieces would become detached one from the other. He was then to place these pieces in the press or on the press, and no one after that could understand for what they were intended.
“ Item, Hanns Dunne, goldsmith, deposes that he had, three years before, gotten from Gutenberg nearly 100 forins, for matters belonging to printing alone.
The text, sometimes very vague, of these proces-verbaux have been examined and commented on in a hundred different ways by those who occupy themselves in studying the origin of printing, each seeking to draw from it a text for the system which they have adopted.
There are four questions raised about the type : were they moveable or fixed ? Schapffin sustained the former opinion and Fournier the latter. Were they metallic or xylographic; Schepffin maintained that they of were lead, Fournier and Meerman that they were of wood.
Does the word pressen which is very often used, imply the same meaning as we give to the term press at that present day? This question has been resolved as the preceding, affirmatively by some, negatively by others. It appears nevertheless certain that Gutenberg, according to the report of his cotemporaries, invented at Strasbourg a new species of writing carved on wood with moveable type. It is doubtful for which of his type he employed metal, whether in engraving or in cast fount. " Besides, it is probable," wrote M. de Laborde, " that he composed in moveable letters some leaves of works of which he had the manuscripts beside him; he bad undoubtedly re-printed sonie volume of great importance, and when he offered his device to his associates, they could then undertake works of greatest importance, a bible, for example. We can easily conceive that these four men reunited had undertaken what was altogether above their strength, the impression of a bible iu folio, in double columns; and this supposition has been confirmed by the evidence that the productions of the association ought to have found a quick and enormous saie at Aix-la-Chapelle during the grand reunion of pilgrims in 1440; and that another year of assiduous labour was requisite to produce something beside a bible, or a catholicon, they should also be volumnious and worthy by their title to receive a good price.”*
Gutenberg remained at Strasbourg for several years and returned in 1445 or 1446 to Mayence, where, from 1443, he had rented the house called Zum Jungen, in which he established at a later period his first presses.
The considerable expense he had to undergo in order to accoinplish this attempt, had completely cramped his resources. Fortunately he met with powerful support from his fellowcitizen, Jean Fust or Faust, with whom he became associated in 1450 by a deed, the copy of which has been preserved. Fust engaged to advance to Gutenberg the sum of 800 forins in gold at 6 per cent interest, for the forination of the implements and instruments necessary for printing, and which were to be pledged to Fust; he, besides, giving 300 golden forinis for what we would call at the present day general expenses, such as hiring domestics, rent, fuel, purchasing parchiment, paper, ink, &c., the emoluments to be divided equally between the two associates. In case the society should be dissolved, it was agreed that Gateuberg should release his tools and reimburse Faust his 800 florins.
See Biographie Michaud, t. XLVIII. p. 446.
In the earlier period of their association, Gutenberg and Fust do not appear to have made much advance. It seems even, according to a passage of an author of the time, that they did not at first make use of the moveable type that Gutenberg lad employed at Strasbourg; it was necessary for them to have as many separate blocks as they had pages to print, and the leaves could only be printed on one side. They had probably been disheartened by the enormous expense entailed in engraving moveable type on wood,* as also by the difficulty of giving to these letters and their tails equal dimensions, and of disposing of them in such a manner as that they would not be broken or put out of order whilst in press. Meerman, in his Origines typographicæ, maintains, however, that the tails, which were of box and separated in the centre, could very easily be reunited by a little cord or brass wire. The ancient printers of Mayence preserved, it is said, some of these letters of wood in their workshops, and it was customary to give one to each apprentice who was admitted as freeman in their corporation.
After having printed on the fixed blocks of wood, a small vocabulary and a Donatus Minor, t Gutenberg and Fast detached from these blocks the type which they carved separately to render them moveable; there are a few specimens of this edition in xylography.
About the years 1452 or 1453 they discovered a method of casting the figures of the Latin alphabet, which they called matrices, and in these matrices they formed new type in brass or pewter.
Notwithstanding this very positive testimony the honor of having invented the casting of the type was attributed exclusively to Pierre Schæffer a workman of Fust I who was more likely to have improved on the invention of Gutenberg and his associate. We have here an explanation on this point from Jean Frédéric Faust d’Aschaffenbourg, an extract from his
* Camus carved letters in wood, which, polished and arranged in proper order, brought him a profit of ten sous each. According to M. de Laborde, a letter in wood at the present day would be only value for three sous.
+ The Biblothèque Royale is in possession of two of these blocks, see Chronicon urbis Coloniæ, 1433, folio.
According to the incorrect custom of this period, the name of Schæffer (Shepherd) was to be found translated in latin by Opilio among the historians of the time.
family papers, and translated in Latin in the Monumenta typographiæ of Wolf (vol. 1, p. 468):
* Pierre Schæffer of Gernsheim, having conceived the project of his master Fust, and filled with taste for his art, discovered by divine inspiration the manner of engraving the type which they have called matrices ; and of casting by this means other type, by which they were enabled to increase them and give them the same form without being obliged to do each separately. He made without the privity of his master, a matrice in alphabetical order, and shewed it to Jean Fust with the type which he bad cast by these means. His master was so delightful that in a transport of jos he at once promised his only daughter to Pierre, who espoused her shortly after. But they encountered as many difficulties in this species of type, as they did heretofore in the type engraven on wood, for the substance was too weak to resist the pressure. At length by the almalgamation of several other metals they discovered a substance which susstained the weight of the press."
There is great uncertainty regarding the first works printed by means of the process invented by Schæffer. However, without entering into any of the discussions, we will limit ourselves to the mention of the Letters of Indulgence granted by Pope Nicholas V. in 1454 to the faithful who, by their alms, aided the King of Cyprus, John II, to make war against the Turks : tbese were most likely printed in this type; the bible of three quaternions* of eight hundred and seventy sheets, and attributed to Gutenberg and Fust never existed; but the edition of the bible in six hundred and forty sheets has been acknowledged as the most ancient, having been printed at Mayence between 1453 and 1455 with the type invented by Schæffer.
The royal library posseses four sheets of a Donat printed on parchment with the imprint of Mayence by Pierre Schæffer. These sheets found in Germany covering some books were collected by an inhabitant of Tréves who bestowed them on the library in 1803. Lambinet has given a circumstantial description of them. At the back of the fourth and last leaf, may be read at the top of the page the following inscription in red ink: Explicit Donatus, arie nova imprimendi seu caracterizandi,
• The ancient printers gave the name quaternion to a collection of four leaves forming 16 pages in folio.
per Petrum de Gernsheym, in urbe moguntina cum suis capitalibus absque calarni exaratione effigiatus.
Gutenberg was as unfortunate at Mayence as he had been at Strasbourg. He had to sustain, in this city, a new lawsuit, and on this occasion lost it altogether. The following is the translation of the original German deed relative to this affair.
“Fust summoned Gutenberg to recover the sum of 2,020 golden florins, accruing from the 800 forins he had advanced to Gatenberg, in accordance with the contract they had entered into: also 00 more florins, given at the demand of Gutenberg, to finish the work, besides 36 florins expenses and interest, which he had neglected to pay, not having sufficient funds. Gutenberg replied, that the first 800 florins, had, according to their letter of contract, been all at once employed in preparations for their work; that he had offered to render an account of the last 800 florins, but that he had no idea he was to pay either interest or usury.
The Judge tendered the oath to Fust, whether he had lent him the money, and he having taken it, Gutenberg lost his cause, and was condemned to pay the interest, and that part of the capital which he had employed for bis own particular use. Fust theri demanded and obtained a decree from the notary, Helmasperger, dated the 6th of No. vember, 1455."
This lawsuit caused a dissolution of the partnership, and Gutenberg finding it impossible to satisfy his creditor, was obliged to resign to him all his printing implements. Nevertheless, be found another person willing to advance funds, in Doctor Conrad Humery, syndic of Mayence, and succeeded in establishing a new printing establishment in the same city; but the only typographical memorial that we can attribute to them is a large work in folio, known under the name of Catholicon, bearing the date 1460, and entitled: Summa quæ vocatur Catholicon, edita a Joanne de Janua.
The latter years of Gutenberg were spent very happily. He was, in 1465, received amongst the gentlemen in waiting on tlie Elector of Mayence, Adolphus II., who granted him a pension; he died, however, in 1468.
We have not noted, in this biographical sketch, two writings cited in all the accounts given of printing. The first is a letter addressed from Strasbourg, in March, 1421, by Gutenberg to his sister Bertha, å religijus in a convent at Mayence; the second is a deed executed in 1459, between