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meet with a word you do not comprehend the precise meaning of. This may at first seem troublesome and interrupting; but it is a trouble that will daily diminish, as you will daily find less and less occasion for your dictionary, as you become more acquainted with the terms; and in the mean time you will read with more satisfaction, because with more understanding. When any point occurs, in which you would be glad to have farther information than your book affords you, I beg you would not in the least apprehend that I should think it a trouble to receive and answer your questions. It will be a pleasure, and no trouble. For though I may not be able, out of my own little stock of knowledge, to afford you what you require, I can easily direct you to the books where it may most readily be found. Adieu, and believe me ever, my dear friend,

Yours affectionately,




(The Printer.)

Craven Street, London, 1760. Let me give you a pleasant instance of the prejudice some have entertained against your work.

* JOHN BASKERVILLE, the celebrated type-founder and printer, was born in 1706, at Wolverley, in the county of Worcester. Having a small estate of about sixty pounds a-year, he was not bred to any profession; but in 1726 he became a schoolmaster at Birmingham, which he continued many years. Afterwards he entered upon the japanning business, which succeeded so well as to enable him to purchase a country-house and set up his carriage; each pannel of which was a distinct picture, and the whole might be considered as a pattern-card of his trade. In 1750 he began business as a type-founder, on which he spent many hundreds before he could produce a letter to please himself. By per

Soon after I returned, discoursing with a gentleman concerning the artists of Birmingham, he said you would be a means of blinding all the readers in the nation; for the strokes of your letters being too thin and narrow, hurt the eye, and he could never read a line of them without pain. "I thought," said I, "you were going to complain of the gloss of the paper, some object to." "No, no," said he, "I have heard that mentioned, but it is not that; it is in the form and cut of the letters themselves: they have not that height and thickness of the stroke which makes the common printing so much the more comfortable to the eye."-You see this gentleman was a connoisseur. In vain I endeavored to support your character against the charge: he knew what he felt, and could see the reason of it, and several other gentlemen among his friends had made the same observation, &c. Yesterday he called to visit me, when, mischievously bent to try his judgment, I stepped into my closet, tore off the top of Mr. Caslon's* specimen, and produced it to him as yours, brought with me from Birmingham, saying I had been examining it since he spoke to me, and could not for my

severance he overcame all obstacles, and in 1756 published an edition of Virgil in quarto, which was followed by Paradise Lost, the Bible, Common Prayer, and several other works. In 1765 he applied to Dr. Franklin, then at Paris, to sound the literati there respecting the purchase of his types, but the proposal was not accepted. They were many years after purchased by the celebrated M. De Beaumarchais, and employed in the printing his edition of the works of Voltaire. Baskerville died at Birmingham, in 1775; and as he had an aversion to church-yards, he was by his own direction buried in a mausoleum erected on his own grounds.

* An eminent type-engraver and letter-founder in London.

life perceive the disproportion he mentioned, desiring him to point it out to me. He readily undertook it, and went over the several founts, showing me every where what he thought instances of that disproportion; and declared, that he could not then read the specimen without feeling very strongly the pain he had mentioned to me. I spared him that time, the confusion of being told that these were the types he had been reading all his life with so much ease to his eyes; the types his adored Newton is printed with, on which he has pored not a little; nay, the very types his own book is printed with (for he is himself an author); and yet never discovered this painful disproportion in them till he thought they were yours.


I am, &c.



Craven Street, August 9, 1768.


You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been made by numerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather inclined to think that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in life they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and

elder friends of
young married persons are generally
at hand to afford their advice, which amply supplies
that defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner
formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some
of those accidents or connexions, that might have
injured the constitution, or reputation, or both, are
thereby happily prevented. Particular circumstan-
ces of particular persons may possibly sometimes
make it prudent to delay entering into that state;
but in general, when nature has rendered our bodies
fit for it, the presumption is in nature's favor, that
she has not judged amiss in making us desire it.
Late marriages are often attended, too, with that in-
convenience, that there is not the same chance that
the parents shall live to see their offspring educated.
"Late children," says the Spanish proverb, "are
early orphans." A melancholy reflection to those
whose case it may be. With us in America, mar-
riages are generally in the morning of life; our
children are therefore educated and settled in the
world by noon; and thus, our business being done,
we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful lei-
sure to ourselves: such as our friend at present en-

By these early marriages we are blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life-the fate of many here, who never intended it, but who having too long post


poned the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value. An odd volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion to the set: what think you of the odd half of a pair of scissors? it can't well cut any thing; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.


Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in person. shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. tuous, and you will be happy. by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences. I pray God to bless you both; being ever your affectionate friend,

Be in general virAt least you will,



DEAR SIR, [No date.] (supposed to be in 1768 or 1769.) Understanding that an account of our dear departed friend, Mr. Peter Collinson,* is intended to be given to the public, I cannot omit expressing my

* Peter Collinson, F.R.S., a very celebrated botanist, was descended from a family of ancient standing in the county of Westmoreland, but born himself in 1693, in Clement's Lane, Lombard Street. His parents realised a handsome fortune by trade in Grace

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