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"Of the things which concern himself." It
would be a good title for a diary.

The stream flowing through the middle of the
valley of Jehoshaphat is called in the Gospel of St.
John "the brook of cedars." In the Septuagint the
word is Ktfpov, darkness, from the Hebrew kiddar,
black, and not KeSpw, of cedars.



Seneca says that Appion, a grammarian of the age
of Caligula, maintained that Homer himself made the
division of the Iliad and Odyssey into books, and
evidences the first word of the Iliad, Mijwr, the MI
of which signifies 48, the number of books in both
poems. Seneca, however, adds "Talia sciat oportet
qui multa vult scire."

Hedelin, a Frenchman, in the beginning of the
eighteenth century, denied that any such person as
Homer ever existed, and supposed the Iliad to be
made up ex tragedies, et variis canticis de trivio men-
dicatorum et circulatorum CL la manikre des chansons
du Portneuf.

There are about one thousand lines identical in the
Iliad and Odyssey.

The shield of Achilles, in Homer, seems to have
been copied from some pharos which the poet had
seen in Egypt. What he describes on the central
part of the shield is a map of the earth and of the
celestial appearances.

Under a portrait of Tiberio Fiurelli who invented
the character of Scaramouch, are these verses,



PINAKIDIA 261

"Cet fllustre Comedien
De son art traca la carriere;
II fut le maitre de Moliere,
Et la Nature fut le sien."

In Gary s "Dante," the following passage:

" And pilgrim newly on his road with love,
Thrills if he hear the vesper bell from far,
That seems to mourn for the expiring day."

Gray has also

" The curfew tolls the knell of parting day."

Marmontel, in the "Encyclopedic" declares that
the Italians did not possess a single comedy worth
reading therein displaying his ignorance. Some
of the greatest names in Italian literature were
writers of comedy. Baretti mentions a collection of
four thousand dramas made by Apostolo Leno, of
which the greater part were comedies, many of a
high order.

A comedy or opera by Andreini was the origin of
"Paradise Lost." Andreini s "Adamo" was the
model of Milton s Adam.

Milton has the expression "Forget thyself to
marble." Pope has the line "I have not yet forgot
myself to stone."

The most particular history of the Deluge, and the
nearest of any to the account given by Moses is to be
found in Lucian (De Dea Syria).

The Greeks had no historian prior to Cadmus
Milesius, nor any public inscription of which we can
be certified before the laws of Draco.



262 EDGAR ALLAN POE

So great is the uncertainty of ancient history
that the epoch of Semiramis cannot be ascertained
within 1535 years; for according to

Syncellus, she lived before Christ 2177
Patavius " " "2060

Helvicus " " " 2248

Eusebius " " " 1984

Mr. Jackson " " 1964

Archbishop Usher " " 1215

Philo Byblius, from Sanchoniathon 1200

Herodotus about 713

An extract from "The Mystery of St. Dennis" is
in the Bibliotheque du Theatre Francais, depuis son
origine," Dresde, 1768. In this serious drama, St.
Dennis, having been tortured and at length decap
itated, rises very quietly, takes his head under his
arm, and walks off the stage in all the dignity of
martyrdom.

The idea of "No light but rather darkness visible "
was perhaps suggested to Milton by Spenser s

"A little glooming light much like a shade."

Francis le Brossano engraved these verses upon a
marble tomb which he erected to Petrarch at Argua.

" Frigida Francisci tegit hie lapis ossa Petrarcae.
Suscipe, virgo parens, animam; sate virgine, parce,
Fessaque jam terris, coeli requiescat in arce."

Bochart derives Elysium from the Phoenician
Elysoth, joy, through the Greek HXv<r>*; Circe from
the Phoenician Kirkar, to corrupt; Siren from the
Phoenician Sir, to sing; Scylla from the Phoenician
Scol, destruction; Charybdis from the Phoenician
Chor-obdam, chasm of ruin.



PINAKIDIA 26.3

Of the ten tragedies which are attributed to
Seneca (the only Roman tragedies extant), nine are
on Greek subjects.

Voltaire s ignorance of antiquity is laughable.
In his Essay on Tragedy, prefixed to "Brutus," he
actually boasts of having introduced the Roman
senate on the stage in red mantles. "The Greeks,"
as he asserts, "font paraitre ses acteurs (tragic) sur
des especes d tchasses, le visage convert d un masque
qui exprime la douleur d un cdte et la joye de I autre"
The only circumstance upon which he could possibly
have founded such an accusation is that in the new
comedy masks were worn with one eyebrow drawn
up and the other down, to denote a busybody or
Inquisitive meddler.

There is a book by a Jesuit, Pere Labbe, entitled
La Bibliotheque des Bibliothtques ; it is a catalogue
of all authors in all nations who have written
catalogues of books.

Lucretius, lib. v. 93, 96, has the words,



-terras



Una dies dabit exitio."

Ovid the lines,

" Carmine sublimis tune sunt peritura Lucreti,
Exitio terras cum dabit una dies."

It is a remarkable fact that during the whole
period of the Middle Ages, the Germans lived in
utter ignorance of the art of writing.

A version of the Psalms in 1564, by Archbishop
Parker, has the following



264 EDGAR ALLAN POE

" Who sticketh to God in stable trust,
As Sion s mount he stands full just,
Which moveth no whit, nor yet can reel,
But standeth for ever as stiff as steel."

A part of the 13 7th Psalm runs thus: "If I
forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget
her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof
of my mouth," which has been thus paraphrased in
a version of the Psalms

" If I forget thee ever,
Then let me prosper never,
But let it cause
My tongue and jaws
To cling and cleave together."

At the bottom of an obelisk which Pius VI. was
erecting at great expense near the entrance of the
Quirinal Palace in 1783, while the people were starv
ing for bread, were found written these words.

" Signore dia questa pietra chi divenga pane."
"* Lord, command that these stones be made bread."



SECRETS OF THE MAGAZINE PRISON 265



SOME SECRETS OF THE MAGAZINE
PRISON-HOUSE



THE want of an International Copyright Law,
by rendering it nearly impossible to obtain
anything from the book-sellers in the way of
remuneration for literary labour, has had the effect
of forcing many of our very best writers into the
service of the Magazines and Reviews, which, with a
pertinacity that does them credit, keep up in a cer
tain or uncertain degree the good old saying that
even in the thankless field of Letters the labourer
is worthy of his hire. How by dint of what dogged
instinct of the honest and proper, these journals have
contrived to persist in their paying practices, in the
very teeth of the opposition got up by the Fosters
and Leonard Scotts, who furnish for eight dollars
any four of the British periodicals for a year, is a
point we have had much difficulty in settling to our
satisfaction, and we have been forced to settle it at
last upon no more reasonable ground than that of a
still lingering esprit de patrie. That Magazines can
live, and not only live but thrive, and not only
thrive but afford to disburse money for original con
tributions, are facts which can only be solved, under
the circumstances, by the really fanciful but still
agreeable supposition that there is somewhere still
existing an ember not altogether quenched among
the fires of good feeling for letters and literary men
that once animated the American bosom.

It would not do (perhaps this is the idea) to let our
poor-devil authors absolutely starve while we grow



266 EDGAR ALLAN POE

fat, in a literary sense, on the good things of which
we unblushingly pick the pocket of all Europe :
it would not be exactly the thing comme il faut to
permit a positive atrocity of this kind; and hence we
have Magazines, and hence we have a portion of the
public who subscribe to these Magazines (through
sheer pity), and hence we have Magazine publishers
(who sometimes take upon themselves the duplicate
title of "editor and proprietor"), publishers, we
say, who, under certain conditions of good conduct,
occasional puffs, and decent subserviency at all
times, make it a point of conscience to encourage
the poor-devil author with a dollar or two, more or
less, as he behaves himself properly and abstains
from the indecent habit of turning up his nose.

We hope, however, that we are not so prejudiced
or so vindictive as to insinuate that what certainly
does look like illiberality on the part of them (the
Magazine publishers) is really an illiberality charge
able to them. In fact, it will be seen at once that
what we have said has a tendency directly the
reverse of any such accusation. These publishers
pay something other publishers nothing at all.
Here certainly is a difference although a mathe
matician might contend that the difference might be
infinitesimally small. Still, these Magazine editors
and proprietors pay (that is the word), and with
your true poor-devil author the smallest favours
are sure to be thankfully received. No : the illib
erality lies at the door of the demagogue-ridden
public, who suffer their anointed delegates (or
perhaps arointed which is it?) to insult the com
mon sense of them (the public) by making orations
in our national halls on the beauty and conveniency
of robbing the Literary Europe on the highway,
and on the gross absurdity in especial of admitting



SECRETS OF THE MAGAZINE PRISON 267

so unprincipled a principle that a man has any right
and title either to his own brains or to the flimsy
material that he chooses to spin out of them, like a
confounded caterpillar as he is. If anything of this
gossamer character stands in need of protection,
why we have our hands full at once with the silk
worms and the morus multicaulis.

But if we cannot, under the circumstances, com
plain of the absolute illiberality of the Magazine
publishers (since pay they do), there is at least one
particular in which we have against them good
grounds of accusation. Why (since pay they must)
do they not pay with a good grace and promptly?
Were we in an ill-humour at this moment we could
a tale unfold which would erect the hair on the head
of Shylock. A young author, struggling with
Despair itself in the shape of a ghastly poverty,
which has no alleviation no sympathy from an
every-day world, that cannot understand his neces
sities, and that would pretend not to understand
them if it comprehended them ever so well this
young author is politely requested to compose an
article, for which he will "be handsomely paid."
Enraptured, he neglects perhaps for a month the sole
employment which affords him the chance of a
livelihood, and having starved through the month
(he and his family) completes at length the month
of starvation and the article, and despatches the
latter (with a broad hint about the former) to the
pursy "editor" and bottle-nosed "proprietor" who
has condescended to honour him (the poor devil)
with his patronage. A month (starving still), and
no reply. Another month still none. Two months
more still none. A second letter, modestly hinting
that the article may not have reached its destination
still no reply. At the expiration of six additional



268 EDGAR ALLAN POE

months, personal application is made at the "editor
and proprietor s" office. Call again. The poor
devil goes out, and does not fail to call again. Still
call again; and call again is the word for three or
four months more. His patience exhausted, the
article is demanded. No he can t have it
(the truth is, it was too good to be given up so
easily) "it is in print," and "contributions of this
character are never paid for (it is a rule we have)
under six months after publication. Call in six
months after the issue of your affair, and your
money is ready for you for we are business men
ourselves prompt." With this the poor devil is
satisfied, and makes up his mind that the "editor
and proprietor" is a gentleman, and that of course
he (the poor devil) will wait as requested. And it is
supposable that he would have waited if he could
but Death in the meantime would not. He dies,
and by the good luck of his decease (which came by
starvation) the fat "editor and proprietor" is fatter
henceforward and for ever to the amount of five and
twenty dollars, very cleverly saved, to be spent
generously in canvas-backs and champagne.

There are two things which we hope the reader
will not do as he runs over this article : first, we hope
that he will not believe that we write from any
personal experience of our own, for we have only
the reports of actual sufferers to depend upon; and
second, that he will not make any personal applica
tion of our remarks to any Magazine publisher now
living, it being well known that they are all as
remarkable for their generosity and urbanity, as for
their intelligence and appreciation of Genius.



ANASTATIC PRINTING 269



ANASTATIC PRINTING



IT is admitted by every one that of late there
has been a rather singular invention, called
Anastatic Printing, and that this invention
may possibly lead, in the course of time, to some
rather remarkable results among which the one
chiefly insisted upon is the abolition of the ordinary
stereotyping process but this seems to be the
amount, in America at least, of distinct under
standing on this subject.

"There is no exquisite beauty," says Bacon,
"without some strangeness in the proportions."
The philosopher had reference, here, to beauty in its
common acceptation but the remark is equally
applicable to all the forms of beauty that is to
say, to everything which arouses profound interest
in the heart or intellect of man. In every such
thing, strangeness in other words novelty will be
found a principal element: and so universal is this
law that it has no exception even in the case of this
principal element itself. Nothing unless it be novel
not even novelty itself will be the source of very
intense excitement among men. Thus the ennuye
who travels in the hope of dissipating his ennui by
the perpetual succession of novelties, will invariably
be disappointed in the end. He receives the im
pression of novelty so continuously that it is at
length no novelty to receive it. And the man, in
general, of the nineteenth century more especially
of our own particular epoch of it is very much in
the predicament of the traveller in question. We



270 EDGAR ALLAN POE

are so habituated to new inventions that we no
longer get from newness the vivid interest which
should appertain to the new and no example could
be adduced more distinctly showing that the mere
importance of a novelty will not suffice to gain for
it universal attention than we find in the invention of
Anastatic Printing. It excites not one fiftieth part
of the comment which was excited by the com
paratively frivolous invention of Sennef elder;
but he lived in the good old days when a novelty
was novel. Nevertheless, while Lithography opened
the way for a very agreeable pastime, it is the
province of Anastatic Printing to revolutionise the
world.

By means of this discovery anything written,
drawn, or printed, can be made to stereotype itself,
with absolute accuracy, in five minutes.

Let us take, for example, a page of this Journal;
supposing only one side of the leaf to have printing
on it. We damp the leaf with a certain acid diluted,
and then place it between two leaves of blotting-
paper to absorb superfluous moisture. We then
place the printed side in contact with a zinc plate
that lies on the table. The acid in the interspaces
between the letters immediately corrodes the zinc,
but the acid on the letters themselves has no such
effect, having been neutralised by the ink. Remov
ing the leaf at the end of five minutes, we find a
reversed copy, in slight relief, of the printing on the
page in other words, we have a stereotype plate,
from which we can print a vast number of absolute
facsimiles of the original printed page which
latter has not been at all injured in the process
that is to say, we can still produce from it (or from
any impression of the stereotype plate) new stereo
type plates ad libitum. Any engraving, or any pen-



ANASTATIC PRINTING 271

and-ink drawing, or any MS. can be stereotyped
in precisely the same manner.

The facts of this invention are established. The
process is in successful operation both in London
and Paris. We have seen several specimens of
printing done from the plates described, and have
now lying before us a leaf (from the London Art-
Union) covered with drawing, MS., letterpress, and
impressions from woodcuts the whole printed
from the Anastatic stereotypes, and warranted by
the Art- Union to be absolute facsimiles of the
originals.

The process can scarcely be regarded as a new
invention and appears to be rather the modification
and successful application of two or three previously
ascertained principles those of etching, electro-
graphy, lithography, etc. It follows from this that
there will be much difficulty in establishing or main
taining a right of patent, and the probability is that
the benefits of the process will soon be thrown open
to the world. As to the secret it can only be a
secret in name.

That the discovery (if we may so call it) has been
made, can excite no surprise in any thinking person
the only matter for surprise is that it has not been
made many years ago. The obviousness of the
process, however, in no degree lessens its importance.
Indeed its inevitable results enkindle the imagi
nation, and embarrass the understanding.

Every one will perceive at once that the ordinary
process of stereotyping will be abolished. Through
this ordinary process a publisher, to be sure, is
enabled to keep on hand the means of producing
edition after edition of any work the certainty of
whose sale will justify the cost of stereotyping
which is trifling in comparison with that of re-setting



272 EDGAR ALLAN POE

the matter. But still, positively, this cost (of
stereotyping) is great. Moreover, there cannot
always be certainty about sales. Publishers fre
quently are forced to re-set works which they have
neglected to stereotype, thinking them unworthy the
expense ; and many excellent works are not published
at all, because small editions do not pay, and the
anticipated sales will not warrant the cost of stereo
type. Some of these difficulties will be at once
remedied by the Anastatic Printing, and all will be
remedied in a brief time. A publisher has only to
print as many copies as are immediately demanded.
He need print no more than a dozen, indeed, unless
he feels perfectly confident of success. Preserving
one copy, he can from this, at no other cost than that
of the zinc, produce with any desirable rapidity,
as many impressions as he may think proper.
Some idea of the advantages thus accruing may be
gleaned from the fact that in several of the London
publishing warehouses there is deposited in ster
eotype plates alone property to the amount of a
million sterling.

The next view of the case, in point of obviousness,
is, that if necessary, a hundred thousand impressions
per hour, or even infinitely more, can be taken of any
newspaper, or similar publication. As many presses
can be put in operation as the occasion may require
indeed there can be no limit to the number of
copies producible, provided we have no limit to the
number of presses.

The tendency of all this to cheapen information,
to diffuse knowledge and amusement, and to bring
before the public the very class of works w r hich are
most valuable, but least in circulation on account of
unsaleability is what need scarcely be suggested
to any one. But benefits such as these are merely



ANASTATIC PRINTING 273

the immediate and most obvious by no means the

most important.

For some years, perhaps, the strong spirit of con
ventionality of conservation will induce authors
in general to have recourse, as usual, to the setting of
type. A printed book now is more sightly, and more
legible than any MS., and for some years the idea
will not be overthrown that this state of things is
one of necessity. But by degrees it will be remem
bered that, while MS. was a necessity, men wrote
after such fashion that no books printed in modern
times have surpassed their MSS. either in accuracy or
in beauty. This consideration will lead to the
cultivation of a neat and distinct style of hand
writing for authors will perceive the immense
advantage of giving their own MSS. directly to the
public without the expensive interference of the
type-setter, and the often ruinous intervention of the
publisher. All that a man of letters need do, will
be to pay some attention to legibility of MS., arrange
his pages to suit himself, and stereotype them
instantaneously, as arranged. He may intersperse
them with his own drawings, or with anything to
please his own fancy, in the certainty of being fairly
brought before his readers with all the freshness of
his original conception about him.

And at this point we are arrested by a consider
ation of infinite moment, although of a seemingly
shadowy character. The cultivation of accuracy in
MS. thus enforced will tend, with an inevitable
impetus, to every species of improvement in style,
more especially in the points of concision and dis
tinctness; and this again, in a degree even more
noticeable, to precision of thought and luminous
arrangement of matter. There is a very peculiar
and easily intelligible reciprocal influence between
VOL. VII i*



274 EDGAR ALLAN POE

the thing written and the manner of writing, but the
latter has the predominant influence of the two.
The more remote effect on philosophy at large, which
will inevitably result from improvement of style
and thought in the points of concision, distinctness,
and accuracy, need only be suggested to be con
ceived.

As a consequence of attention being directed to
neatness and beauty of MS., the antique profession
of the scribe will be revived, affording abundant
employment to women, their delicacy of organization
fitting them peculiarly for such tasks. The female
amanuensis indeed will occupy very nearly the
position of the present male type-setter, whose
industry will be diverted perforce into other
channels.

These considerations are of vital importance, but
there is yet one beyond them all. The value of every
book is a compound of its literary value and its
physical or mechanical value, as the product of
physical labour applied to the physical material.
But at present the latter value immensely predomi
nates even in the works of the most esteemed authors.
It will be seen, however, that the new condi
tion of things will at once give the ascendency to the
literary values, and thus, by their literary values,
will books come to be estimated among men. The
wealthy gentleman of "elegant leisure" will lose the
vantage-ground now afforded him, and will be forced
to tilt on terms of equality with the poor-devil author.
At present the literary world is a species of anoma
lous congress, in which the majority of the members
are constrained to listen in silence while all the
eloquence proceeds from a privileged few. In the
new regime the humblest will speak as often and as
freely as the most exafted. and will be sure of re-



ANASTATIC PRINTING 275

ceiving just that amount of attention which the
intrinsic merit of their speeches may deserve.
From what we have said it will be evident that
the discovery of Anastatic Printing will not only
not obviate the necessity of copyright laws, and of
an international law in especial, but will render
this necessity more imperative and more apparent.
It has been shown that in depressing the value of
the physique of a book the invention will proportion
ally elevate the value of its morale, and since it is
the latter value alone which the copyright laws are
needed to protect, the necessity of the protection will
be only the more urgent and more obvious than ever.



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