benefited by cod-liver oil who cannot get it at present because of the price?
A. I think in all those cases in which they would be benefited they get it by hook or by crook when it is prescribed for them.
Q. And in the same way with your books, you think?
A. Yes. For instance, university men have to read them, and they would buy them in any case.
Q. (Chairman). What would have happened to you originally had there been a law giving a copyright only of short duration, under such an arrangement of percentage as that which you have just named?
A. I think it is tolerably obvious, from what I have already said, that I should not have been wholly deterred. I should have gone on losing for many years; but I think it is also clear that I should have stopped short much sooner than I did. Every author is naturally sanguine about his books; he has hopes which nobody else entertains. The result is that he will persevere, in the hope of at some time or other reaping some return, when to other persons there seems to be no probability of the kind. But supposing it becomes manifest to him that the copyright law is such that when his books succeed, if they ever do succeed, he will not get large profits, then the discouragement will be much greater, and he will stop much sooner. If I, for instance, instead of seeing that under the system of commission I should eventually, if I succeeded, repay myself and get a good return, had seen that eventually, if I succeeded, I should receive but small gains, I should have given it up.
Q. Are there other publications which you have undertaken besides those to which you have already referred?
A. Yes. About ten years ago I commenced preparing works now published under the name of "Descriptive Sociology," in large folio parts, and containing tables and classified extracts representing the civilizations of various societies. I employed gentlemen to make these compilations.
Q. Do you wish to state what has been the result of that undertaking so far?
A. Yes. I made up my accounts last Christmas. I had then in the course of those ten years expended £3,958 odd upon eight parts (five published and three in hand), and my net return from sales of the five parts published in England and America was £608 10s.
Q. May I ask whether you ever expect to get back the money that you have expended?A. I may possibly get back the printing expenses on the earliest part, and most popular part, that dealing with the English civilization, in 1880, at the present rate of sale. The printing expenses of the other parts I do not expect to get back for many years longer. The cost of compilation I expect to get back if I live to be over a hundred.