Page:A dictionary of printers and printing.djvu/8

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PREFACE. V

and sold like common vare. If in the cooree of the work I have indalged too fireely in quotations on the " liberty of the press," I visit it to be understood that they are meant to convey vhat the press should be, not what it is.

Without detracting in any degree from the works of those who have preceded me, it will be sufficient to remark, that the expense in the purchase of their valuable works, particularly those highly illustrated ones of Dr. T. F. Dibdin, has been the means of prohibiting their circulation among the greater portion of the community, but more so in the profession ; in order, therefore, to render some information on the subject attainable in as cheap a manner as possible, the present work is published. I have been indebted to the works of many British bibliographers ; and though I cannot enumerate them, I must mention Dr. Adam Clarke's BMiographical Dictionary, Robert Watt's Bibliotheca Britatmiea, Beloe' 8 Anecdotes of Literature, Brydges' British Bibliographer and Cen- sura Literaria, Savage's Librarian, Ottley's Enquiry into the Origin and Early History of Engraving, Singers Researches into the History of Play- ing Cards, Dibdin's Bibliographical Decameron and other works. Home's Introduction to Bibliography, Nichols' Anecdotes of Literature and other works, Townley's Illustrations of Biblical Literature, Greswell's Annals of Parisian Typography, and his View of the Early Parisian Greek Press, D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature ; the works of Ames, Herbert, Dibdin, Luckombe, Lemoine, and Stower, on Printing ; and, though last, not least, to the p^es of Mr. Urban, for the notices of modem printers and booksellers. For the account of those curious and interesting subjects, the ancient mysteries and miracle plajs, I am indebted to the works of William Hone, and others ; and i{ it be concluded that a compiler is only a literary thief, I must plead guilty to such a charge, and hope for mercy ; at the same time trusting to be exonerated from having any wish to print one line of another's as being my own.

In a work which contains such a multiplicity of dates, it is to be expected that numerous errors may be detected, occasioned by the contradictory evidences from which they have been taken, and from those inaccuracies which, with the utmost care, will arise in going through the press ; but the most scmtinizing attention has been paid to make the work as perfect as possible, though, it should be taken into consideration, that during the time of compilation and printing, I have not in the least neglected my labours in a printing office ; and the only time I have had in collecting the matter, or of correcting the proof sheets, has been taken from the hours of rest or leisure.

For the assistance which I have received from a few individuals during the ftogtea of the work, it becomes me to return my acknowledgments. To the

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