Page:A history of booksellers, the old and the new.djvu/15

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THE BOOKSELLERS OF OLDEN TIMES.

almost as indispensable as cooks and scullions. At first we find that these slaves were employed in making copies of celebrated books for their masters but gradually the natural division of labour produced a separate class of publishers. Atticus, the Moxon of the period, and an author of similar calibre, saw an opening for his energies in the production of copies of favourite authors upon a large scale. He employed a number of slaves to copy from dictation simultaneously, and was thus able to multiply books as quickly as they were demanded. His success speedily finding imitators, among whom were Tryphon and Dorus, publishing became a recognized trade. The public they appealed to was not a small one. Martial, Ovid, and Propcrtius speak of their works as being known all the world over; that young and old, women and girls, in Rome and in the provinces, in Britain and in Gaul, read their verses. "Every one," says Martial, "has me in his pocket, every one has me in his hands."

"Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos: Meque sinus omnis, me manus omnis habet."

Horace speaks of the repugnance he felt at seeing his works in the hands of the vulgar. And Pliny writes that Regulus is mourning ostentatiously for the loss of his son, and no one weeps like him—luget ut nemo. "He composes an oration which he is not content with publicly reciting in Rome, but must needs enrich the provinces with a thousand copies of it."

School-books, too, an important item in publishing eyes, were in demand at Rome: Juvenal says that "the verses which the boy has just conned over at his desk

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