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Title: Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering - 8 pp. Examples in Red & Black and 24 pp. of Collotypes.
Author: Johnston, Edward
Language: English
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 [Illustration: _Frontispiece._


 _This drawing (about two-fifths of the linear size of the original)
 is made from a photograph of a miniature painted in an old MS.
 (written in 1456 at the Hague by Jean Mielot, Secretary to Philip
 the Good, Duke of Burgundy), now in the Paris National Library (MS.
 Fonds français 9,198)._

 _It depicts Jean Mielot himself, writing his collection of Miracles
 of Our Lady in French. His parchment appears to be held steady by a
 weight and also by (? the knife or filler in) his left hand—compare
 fig. 41 in this book. Above there is a sort of reading desk, holding
 MSS. for copying or reference._]


 LONDON 1906



In issuing these volumes of a series of Handbooks on the Artistic
Crafts, it will be well to state what are our general aims.

In the first place, we wish to provide trustworthy text-books of
workshop practice, from the points of view of experts who have
critically examined the methods current in the shops, and putting
aside vain survivals, are prepared to say what is good workmanship,
and to set up a standard of quality in the crafts which are more
especially associated with design. Secondly, in doing this, we hope
to treat design itself as an essential part of good workmanship.
During the last century most of the arts, save painting and sculpture
of an academic kind, were little considered, and there was a
tendency to look on “design” as a mere matter of _appearance_. Such
“ornamentation” as there was was usually obtained by following in a
mechanical way a drawing provided by an artist who often knew little
of the technical processes involved in production. With the critical
attention given to the crafts by [p-viii] Ruskin and Morris, it came
to be seen that it was impossible to detach design from craft in this
way, and that, in the widest sense, true design is an inseparable
element of good quality, involving as it does the selection of good
and suitable material, contrivance for special purpose, expert
workmanship, proper finish, and so on, far more than mere ornament,
and indeed, that ornamentation itself was rather an exuberance of
fine workmanship than a matter of merely abstract lines. Workmanship
when separated by too wide a gulf from fresh thought—that is, from
design—inevitably decays, and, on the other hand, ornamentation,
divorced from workmanship, is necessarily unreal, and quickly falls
into affectation. Proper ornamentation may be defined as a language
addressed to the eye; it is pleasant thought expressed in the speech
of the tool.

In the third place, we would have this series put artistic
craftsmanship before people as furnishing reasonable occupations for
those who would gain a livelihood. Although within the bounds of
academic art, the competition, of its kind, is so acute that only
a very few per cent. can fairly hope to succeed as painters and
sculptors; yet, as artistic craftsmen, there is every probability
that nearly every one who would pass through a sufficient period of
apprenticeship to workmanship and design would reach a measure of

In the blending of handwork and thought in [p-ix] such arts as we
propose to deal with, happy careers may be found as far removed from
the dreary routine of hack labour as from the terrible uncertainty
of academic art. It is desirable in every way that men of good
education should be brought back into the productive crafts: there
are more than enough of us “in the city,” and it is probable that
more consideration will be given in this century than in the last to
Design and Workmanship.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of all the Arts, writing, perhaps, shows most clearly the formative
force of the instruments used. In the analysis which Mr. Johnston
gives us in this volume, nearly all seems to be explained by the two
factors, utility and masterly use of tools. No one has ever invented
a form of script, and herein lies the wonderful interest of the
subject; the forms used have always formed themselves by a continuous
process of development.

The curious assemblages of wedge-shaped indentations which make up
Assyrian writing are a direct outcome of the clay cake, and the
stylus used to imprint little marks on it. The forms of Chinese
characters, it is evident, were made by quickly representing with a
brush earlier pictorial signs. The Roman characters, which are our
letters to-day, although their earlier forms have only come down to
us cut in stone, must have been formed by incessant practice with a
flat, stiff [p-x] brush, or some such tool. The disposition of the
thicks and thins, and the exact shape of the curves, must have been
settled by an instrument used rapidly; I suppose, indeed, that most
of the great monumental inscriptions were designed _in situ_ by a
master writer, and only cut in by the mason, the cutting being merely
a fixing, as it were, of the writing, and the cut inscriptions must
always have been intended to be completed by painting.

The “Rustic letters” found in stone inscriptions of the fourth
century are still more obviously cursive, and in the Catacombs some
painted inscriptions of this kind remain which perfectly show that
they were rapidly _written_. The ordinary “lower case” type with
which this page is printed is, in its turn, a simplified cursive form
of the Capital letters. The Italic is a still more swiftly written
hand, and comes near to the standard for ordinary handwriting.

All fine monumental inscriptions and types are but forms of writing
modified according to the materials to which they are applied. The
Italian type-founders of the fifteenth century sought out fine
examples of old writing as models, and for their capitals studied the
monumental Roman inscriptions. Roman letters were first introduced
into English inscriptions by Italian artists. Torrigiano, on the
tombs he made for [p-xi] Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey and for
Dr. Young at the Rolls Chapel, designed probably the most beautiful
inscriptions of this kind to be found in England.

This volume is remarkable for the way in which its subject seems to
be developed inevitably. There is here no collection of all sorts
of lettering, some sensible and many eccentric, for us to choose
from, but we are shown the essentials of form and spacing, and the
way is opened out to all who will devote practice to it to form an
individual style by imperceptible variations from a fine standard.

Writing is for us the most universal of the Arts, and most craftsmen
have to deal with lettering of a more formal kind. It is a
commonplace of historical criticism to point out how much the Italian
artists owed to the general practice amongst them of goldsmith’s
work, a craft which required accuracy and delicacy of hand. We cannot
go back to that, but we do need a basis of training in a demonstrably
useful art, and I doubt if any is so generally fitted for the purpose
of educating the hand, the eye, and the mind as this one of ‹WRITING›.


 _October 1906._ [p-xii]

 “_We must set up the strong present tense against all the rumours
 of wrath, past or to come. So many things are unsettled which it is
 of the first importance to settle,—and, pending their settlement,
 we will do as we do. . . . Expediency of literature, reason of
 literature, lawfulness of writing down a thought, is questioned;
 much is to say on both sides, and, while the fight waxes hot, thou,
 dearest scholar, stick to thy foolish task, add a line every hour,
 and between whiles add a line. Right to hold land, right of property
 is disputed, and the conventions convene, and before the vote is
 taken, dig away in your garden, and spend your earnings as a waif
 or godsend to all serene and beautiful purposes. Life itself is a
 bubble and a scepticism, and a sleep within a sleep. Grant it, and
 as much more as they will,—but thou, God’s darling! heed thy private
 dream: thou wilt not be missed in the scorning and scepticism: there
 are enough of them: stay there in thy closet, and toil, until the
 rest are agreed what to do about it. Thy sickness, they say, and thy
 puny habit, require that thou do this or avoid that, but know that
 thy life is a flitting state, a tent for a night, and do thou, sick
 or well, finish that stint. Thou art sick, but shall not be worse,
 and the universe, which holds thee dear, shall be the better._”


 “_I began to think that if I should discover how to make enamels, I
 could make earthen vessels and other things very prettily, because
 God had gifted me with some knowledge of drawing. And thereafter,
 regardless of the fact that I had no knowledge of drugs, I began to
 seek for the enamels as a man gropes in the dark._”


 “_. . . in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the
 mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but
 realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and
 bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of
 God and be immortal, if mortal man may._”





The arts of WRITING, ILLUMINATING, & LETTERING offer a wide field
for the ingenious and careful craftsman and open the way to a number
of delightful occupations. Beyond their many uses—some of which are
referred to below—they have a very great educational value. This has
long been recognized in the teaching of elementary design, and the
practice of designing Alphabets and Inscriptions is now common in
most Schools of Art. Much would be gained by substituting, generally,
‹WRITING› for _designing_, because _writing_ being the medium by
which nearly all our letters have been evolved from the Roman
Capital (see p. 35), the use of the pen—essentially a letter-making
tool—gives a practical insight into the construction of letters
attainable in no other way. The most important use of letters is
in the making of books, and the foundations of typography and book
decoration may be mastered—_as they were laid_—by the planning,
writing, and illuminating of MSS. in book form. Of this a modern
printer (see also p. 368) says:

  “In the making of the Written Book, . . . . . . the adjustment of
 letter to letter, of word to word, of picture to text and of text
 to picture, and of the whole to the subject matter and to the page,
 admits of great nicety and perfection. The type is fluid, and the
 letters and words, picture, text, and page are conceived of as one
 and are all executed by one hand, or by several hands all working
 together without intermediation on one identical page and [p-xiv]
 with a view to one identical effect. In the Printed Book this
 adjustment is more difficult. . . . . . . Yet in the making of the
 printed book, as in the making of the written book, this adjustment
 is essential, and should be specially borne in mind, and Calligraphy
 and immediate decoration by hand and the unity which should be
 inseparably associated therewith would serve as an admirable
 discipline to that end.”

And though calligraphy is a means to many ends, a fine MS. has a
beauty of its own that—if two arts may be compared—surpasses that of
the finest printing. This in itself would justify the transcribing
and preservation of much good literature in this beautiful form
(besides the preparation of “Illuminated Addresses,” Service Books,
Heraldic and other MSS.) and make the practice of formal writing
desirable. And furthermore as the old-fashioned notion _that a
legible hand is a mark of bad breeding_ dies out, it may be that
our current handwriting will take legibility and beauty from such
practice. And even the strict utilitarian could not fail to value
the benefits that might some day come to men, if children learnt to
appreciate beauty of form in their letters and in their writing the
beauty of carefulness.


Of the practice of ‹ILLUMINATING›—properly associated with writing—it
may be observed that, among various ways of acquiring _a knowledge
of the elements of design & decoration_ it is one of the most simple
and complete. Moreover, a fine illumination or miniature has a beauty
of its own that may surpass the finest printed book-decoration. And
pictures in books may be as desirable as pictures on the wall—even
though like the beautiful household gods of the Japanese they are
kept in safe hiding and displayed only now and then. [p-xv]


Magnificent as are the dreams of a fine Decoration based on
lettering, the innumerable practical applications of ‹LETTERING›
itself (see Chap. XVI.) make the study of _Letter-Craft_ not only
desirable but imperative. And perhaps I may here be permitted to
quote from _The Athenæum_ of Feb. 3, 1906, which says of “the new
school of scribes and designers of inscriptions”

 “These have attacked the problem of applied design in one of its
 simplest and most universal applications, and they have already done
 a great deal to establish a standard by which we shall be bound to
 revise all printed and written lettering. If once the principles
 they have established could gain currency, what a load of ugliness
 would be lifted from modern civilization! If once the names of
 streets and houses, and, let us hope, even the announcements of
 advertisers, were executed in beautifully designed and well-spaced
 letters, the eye would become so accustomed to good proportion in
 these simple and obvious things that it would insist on a similar
 gratification in more complex and difficult matters.”

Yet _Ordinary Writing_ and even scribbling has had, and still might
have, a good influence on the art of the Letter maker, and at least
the common use of pen, ink, & paper makes it a simple matter for any
one to essay a formal or ‘book’ hand. A broad nib cut to give clean
thick and thin strokes (without appreciable variation of pressure)
will teach any one who cares to learn, very clearly and certainly.
And though much practice goes to the making of a perfect MS., it is
easier than people suppose to make really beautiful things by taking
a little pains. As “copy book” hands simple, primitive pen-forms—such
as the Uncial & Half-Uncial (pp. 38, 70)—afford the best training and
permit [p-xvi] the cultivation of the freedom which is essential in
writing: they prepare the way for the mastery of the most practical
characters—the ROMAN CAPITAL, roman small-letter, & _Italic_—and the
ultimate development of a lively and personal penmanship.


Developing, or rather _re_-developing, an art involves _the
tracing in one’s own experience of a process resembling its past
development_. And it is by such a course that we, who wish to revive
Writing & Illuminating, may _renew_ them, evolving new methods and
traditions for ourselves, till at length we attain a modern and
beautiful technique. And if we would be more than amateurs, we must
study and practise _the making of beautiful ‹THINGS›_ and thereby
gain experience of Tools, Materials, and Methods. For it is certain
that we must teach ourselves how to make beautiful things, and must
have some notion of the aim and bent of our work, _of what we seek
and what we do_.

Early illuminated MSS. and printed books with woodcuts (or
good facsimiles) may be studied with advantage by the would-be
Illuminator, and he should if possible learn to draw from hedgerows
and from country gardens. In his practice he should begin as a scribe
making MS. books and then decorating them with simple pen & colour
work. We may pass most naturally from writing to the decoration of
writing, by the making and placing of _initial letters_. For in
seeking first a fine _effectiveness_ we may put readableness before
“looks” and, generally, make a text to read smoothly, broken only by
its natural division into paragraphs, chapters, and the like. But
these divisions, suggesting that a pause in reading is desirable,
suggest also that [p-xvii] a mark is required—as in music—indicating
the “rest”: this a large capital does most effectively.

A technical division of illumination into _Colour-work_, _Pen-work_,
and _Draughtsmanship_ is convenient (see Chap. XI.). Though these
are properly combined in practice, it is suggested that, at first,
it will be helpful to think of their effects as distinct so that we
may attain quite definitely some mastery of pure, bright, colours
& simple colour effects, of pen flourishing and ornament, and of
drawing—whether plain or coloured, that will go decoratively with
writing or printing. This distinction makes it easier to devise
definite schemes of illumination that will be within our power to
carry out at any stage of our development. And while the penman
inevitably gains some power of pen decoration it is well for him
as an illuminator to practise in bright colours and gold; for
illumination may be as brilliant and splendid in its own way as
stained glass, enamels, and jewellery are in theirs.[1] At first,
at any rate, hues that have the least suspicion of being dull or
weak are to be avoided as though they were plainly “muddy” or
“washed-out.” The more definite we make our work the more definitely
will our materials instruct us; and such service must precede mastery.


Referring again to good ‹LETTERING›: the second part of this book
deals with some of its _Qualities_, _Forms_—the Roman Capitals &
their important pen-derivatives—and _Uses_. It is written [p-xviii]
largely from the penman’s point of view,[2] but a chapter on
inscriptions in stone has been added and various types and modes of
letter making are discussed. The essential qualities of Lettering
are _legibility, beauty, and character_, and these are to be found
in numberless inscriptions and writings of the last two thousand
years. But since the traditions of the early scribes and printers
and carvers have decayed, we have become so used to inferior forms
and arrangements that we hardly realize how poor the bulk of modern
lettering really is. In the recent “revival” of printing and book
decoration, many attempts have been made to design fine alphabets
and beautiful books—in a number of cases with notable success. But
the study of Palæography and Typography has hitherto been confined
to a few specialists, and these attempts to make “decorative” books
often shew a vagueness of intention, which weakens their interest
and an ignorance of _Letter-craft_ which makes the poorest, ordinary
printing seem pleasant by comparison. The development of Letters
was a purely natural process in the course of which distinct and
characteristic types were evolved and some knowledge of how these
came into being will help us in understanding their anatomy and
distinguishing good and bad forms. A comparatively little study of
old manuscripts and inscriptions will make clear much of the beauty
and method of the early work. And we may accustom ourselves to good
lettering by carefully studying such examples as we can find, and
acquire a practical knowledge [p-xix] of it by copying from them
with a pen or chisel or other letter-making tool. A conscientious
endeavour to make our lettering readable, and models[3] and methods
chosen to that end, will keep our work straight: and after all
the problem before us is fairly simple—_To make good letters and
to arrange them well._ To make good letters is not necessarily to
“design” them—they have been designed long ago—but it is to take the
best letters we can find, and to acquire them _and make them our
own_. To arrange letters well requires no great art, but it requires
a practical knowledge of letter-forms and of the rational methods of
grouping these forms to suit every circumstance.


Generally this book has been planned as a sort of “guide” to models
and methods for Letter-craftsmen and Students—more particularly for
those who cannot see the actual processes of Writing, Illuminating,
&c. carried out, and who may not have access to collections of
MSS. Much of, if not all, the explanation is of the most obvious,
but that, I hope, gives it more nearly the value of a practical
demonstration. In describing methods and processes I have generally
used the present tense—saying that they “_are_—”: this is to be taken
as meaning that they _are_ so in early MSS. and inscriptions, and in
the practice of the modern school of scribes who found their work on

Regarding the copying of early work (see pp. 195, 323, &c.) it
is contended that to revive an art [p-xx] one must begin at the
beginning, and that, in an honest attempt to achieve a simple end,
one may lawfully follow a method[4] without imitating a style. We
have an excellent precedent in the Italian scribes who went back 300
years for a model and gave us the Roman small-letter as a result
(see p. 47). The beginners attitude is largely, and necessarily,
imitative, and at this time we should have much to hope from a school
of Artist-Beginners who would make good construction the only novelty
in their work. We have almost as much—or as _little_—to be afraid
of in Originality as in imitation, and our best attitude towards
this problem is that of the Irishman with a difficulty—“to look it
boldly in the face and pass on”—_making an honest attempt to achieve
a simple end_. Perhaps we trouble too much about what we “ought to
do” & “do”: it is of greater moment _to know what we are doing &
trying to do_. In so far as tradition fails to bound or guide us we
must think for ourselves and in practice make methods and rules for
ourselves: endeavouring that our work should _be effective_ rather
than have “a fine effect”—or _be_, rather than appear, good—and
following our craft rather than making it follow us. For all
things—materials, tools, methods—are waiting to serve us and [p-xxi]
we have only to find the “spell” that will set the whole universe
a-making for us.

Endeavouring to attain this freedom we may make Rules and Methods
serve us (see p. 221), knowing that Rules are only _Guides_ and that
Methods are suggested by the work itself: from first to last our
necessary equipment consists in good models, good tools, & a good
will. Within the limits of our craft we cannot have too much freedom;
for too much fitting & planning makes the work lifeless, and it is
conceivable that in the finest work the Rules are concealed, and
that, for example, a MS. might be most beautiful without ruled lines
and methodical arrangement (see p. 343). But the more clearly we
realize our limitations the more practical our work. And it is rather
as a stimulus to definite thought—not as an embodiment of hard and
fast rules—that various methodical plans & tables of comparison &
analysis are given in this book. It is well to recognize at once, the
fact that mere taking to pieces, or analysing, followed by “putting
together,” is only a means of becoming acquainted with the mechanism
of construction, and will not reproduce the original beauty of a
thing: it is an education for work, but all work which is honest and
straightforward has a beauty and freshness of its own.

The commercial prospects of the student of Writing & Illuminating—or,
indeed, of any Art or Craft—are somewhat problematical, depending
largely on his efficiency & opportunities. There is a fairly steady
demand for Illuminated Addresses; but the independent craftsman
would have to establish himself by _useful_ practice, and by seizing
opportunities, and by doing his work well. Only an attempt [p-xxii]
to do practical work will raise practical problems, and therefore
_useful practice is the making of real or definite things_. In
the special conditions attaching to work which the craftsman is
commissioned to do for another person, there is a great advantage.
And the beginner by setting himself specific tasks (for example:
making a MS. book for a specific purpose—see p. 100) should give
reality to his work. As a craftsman in Lettering he might get work in
some of the directions mentioned in pp. 337–341.

Although the demand for good work is at present limited, the
production of good work will inevitably create a demand; and,
finally, the value of Quality is always recognized—sooner or later,
but inevitably—and whatever “practical” reasons we may hear urged in
favour of _Quantity_, the value of Quality is gaining recognition
every day in commerce and even in art, and there or here, sooner or
later we shall know that _we can afford the best_.

 _October 1906._

 My thanks are due to Mr. T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, to Mr. Emery
 Walker, and to Mr. George Allen for quotations: to Mr. Graily
 Hewitt, to Mr. Douglas Cockerell, to Mr. A. E. R. Gill, to Mr. C. M.
 Firth, and to Mr. G. Loumyer, for special contributions on gilding,
 binding, and inscription-cutting: to Mr. S. C. Cockerell for several
 of the plates: to Mr. W. H. Cowlishaw, to the Rev. Dr. T. K. Abbott,
 to Dr. F. S. Kenyon of the New Palæographical Society, to the Vicar
 of Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, to the Secretary of the Board of
 Education, S. Kensington, to Mr. H. Yates-Thompson, to Mr. G. H.
 Powell, and to others, for permission to reproduce photographs,
 &c.: and to Mr. Noel Rooke and G. J. H. for assistance with the
 illustrations and many other matters: I should like, moreover, to
 acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. W. R. Lethaby and Mr. S. C.
 Cockerell for encouragement and advice in years past.

 E. J.


[1] See Chap. XVI. “Of Colour” in “Stained Glass Work” by C. W.
Whall, in this Series, and the illuminator might profit by the
suggestion (_ibid._, p. 232) of playing with a home-made kaleidoscope.

[2] Dealing with the practical and theoretical knowledge of
letter-making and arrangement which may be gained most effectually by
the use of the pen.

[3] In making choice of a model we seek an essentially legible
character, remembering that our personal view of legibility is apt to
favour custom and use unduly, for a quite bad, familiar writing may
seem to us more readable than one that is far clearer in itself but

[4] Much remains to be found out and done in the matter of improving
tools & materials & processes, and it would be preferable that the
rediscovery of simple, old methods should precede new & complex
inventions. We still find the Quill—for its substance & for shaping
it and keeping it sharp—is a better tool than a modern gold or
metal pen (see p. 60). The old parchment, paper, ink, gilding-size
& colours are all much better than those now obtainable (see pp.
51, 167, 173, 178–179). I should greatly appreciate any advice from
illuminators and letter-craftsmen as to materials and methods, and
should endeavour to make such information available to others.—E. J.



 P. 51. Beginners practising _large_ writing may more easily use a
 _thin, or diluted, ink_: in _small_ writing this does not show up
 the faults with sufficient clearness.

 P. 59. Quills often have a sort of _skin_ (which tends to make a
 ragged nib), this should be scraped off the back.

 P. 63. Until the simple pen-stroke forms are mastered, the pen
 should be used without appreciable pressure. With practice one gains
 _sleight of hand_ (pp. 85, 311), and slightly changing pressures &
 quick movements on to the _corners_, or points, of the nib are used.
 The forms in the best MSS. shew such variations; _e.g._ the Uncials
 in fig. 5 appear to have been made with varying pressure (perhaps
 with a soft reed) & their fine finishing-strokes with the nib-point
 (_comp._ forms in fig. 146). _Versals_ likewise shew varying, and
 sometimes uncertain, structures that suggest a form consisting of
 strokes other than definite pen strokes. [p-xxv]

 [Illustration: ‹Figs.› _a_ to _n_, illustrating Addenda &

 P. 64. A nib may be _sharpened_ several times, before it is re-cut,
 by paring it underneath (fig. _a_).

 Pp. 73 & 81. The thin finishing-strokes of j, & F, G, J, N, are made
 with the point of the nib—see note p. 63 above.

 P. 99. The plan of a paper scale is shewn in fig. _b_.

 P. 109. The dots for lines were often pricked through the edges of
 the book-sheets which were cut off after ruling (fig. _c_).

 P. 118. The spread or _wedge-shaped_ thin stroke, sometimes very
 strongly marked, is common in early forms (fig. _d_).

 P. 144. [/V] & ℞: better (pen) forms of these are shewn in fig. _e_.

 P. 208. Ornamental Letter forms may _consist of_ flourishes,
 patterns, leaves, flowers, &c. (see fig. _f_).

 Pp. 215–217. _Diapering_ generally means the variegation, figuring,
 or flowering, of a plain or patterned surface, with a finer pattern
 (see fig. 191_a_). Some diagrams of simple patterns (_g_–_g_^2 from
 modern _cantagalli_ ware) are shewn in fig. _g_. Note: the more
 solid penwork line-fillings in figs. 87, 126, make effective framing
 borders (see fig. _h_).

 Pp. 219–220. Note: the principle of breaking straight or long lines,
 mentioned in regard to background edges (p. 190), and illustrated in
 the line-finishings (fig. 126) and flourishes (fig. 79), is related
 to _branching out_ and is re-creative, whereas the prolonged line is
 tiresome (see figs. _k_, _k_^1, & _comp. k_^2).

 P. 249. The B & D should be _round-shouldered_—see note p. 280
 below. [p-xxvi]

 P. 260. It is sometimes better to make narrow forms than to combine
 wide ones—example fig. _l_.

 Pp. 270–275.    The large types—“Old Face”
 Pp. 280–288.    (founded on Caslon Type) and
                 “Old French” (modern) respectively
                 —are used in these pages as reference
                 or index letters (not as models).

 P. 280. Generally _round-shouldered_ letters have finer and more
 stable forms than square-shouldered, and generally emphasis should
 be laid on the _strong, thick stroke running obliquely down from
 left to right_ (@), while the weak, thin stroke (/) is rather to be
 avoided (see fig. _m_). The writing used in the diagrams in this
 book, considered as a formal hand, shews a little too much of the
 thin stroke (see p. 485).

 P. 324. Commonly letters are made more slender in proportion as they
 are made larger, and it is generally not desirable (or possible)
 in practical work to have exactly similar proportions in large and
 small lettering.

 P. 325. g from fig. 173 inaccurate—_comp._ fig. 173 & see fig. _n_.

 P. 331. Ornamental letters—see note p. 208 above.

 P. 481. A small writing is often the most practical—in the matter
 of speed in reading and less bulk in the MS., besides speed in the
 writing of it—but it is more difficult for the beginner to write it
 well and it is apt to lose some of the virtues of formal penmanship
 (see Fine-pen writing pp. 59, 86, 311, 324, 482).

 P. 485. Oblique thin stroke—see note p. 280 above. [p-xxvii]


 ‹Editor’s Preface›    vii

 ‹Author’s Preface›    xiii

 ‹Addenda & Corrigenda›    xxiii



     Acquiring a Formal Hand: Tools, &c. — The Desk — Paper &
     Ink — Pens: _The Reed_: _The Quill_ — Of Quills generally —
     Pen-knife, Cutting-slab, &c.    48

     Position of the Desk — The Writing Level — Use of the Pen —
     Holding the Pen — Filling the Pen, &c.    61

     Models — Notes on Construction: Script I. — Coupling the
     Letters — Spacing: Letters, Words, & Lines — Uncial Capitals:
     Script II. — Numerals & Punctuation Marks — Of _Copying_ MSS.
     Generally    70

     Practice — Scripts I. & II. — Arranging & Ruling a Single
     Sheet — Problem I. (a Sheet of Prose) — Problem II. (a Sheet
     of Poetry) — Spacing & Planning Manuscript    85

     MS. Books: Tools & Materials — Methods & Proportions — The
     Size & Shape of the Book — The Widths of the Margins — The
     Size of the Writing, &c. — Ruling — MS. Books: General
     Remarks    98

     Development of Versals — General Analysis of Versals —
     Notes on Construction of Versals — Spacing & Arrangement of
     Versals    112

     Rubricating — Initial Pages or Title Pages — Prefaces &
     Notes in Colour — Pages with Coloured Headings — Page or
     Column Heading & Initial — Versals in Column or Marginal
     Bands — Stanzas or Verses marked by Versals — Music with Red
     Staves — Tail-Pieces, Colophons, &c. — Rubricating: General
     Remarks    127

     Tools & Materials — Laying the Ground — Laying the Gold-Leaf
     — Burnishing the Gold — Remedying Faults in Gilding — Gold
     Writing — Other Methods & Recipes for Gilding — Appendix on
     Gilding (by _Graily Hewitt_)    145

     Tools & Materials for Simple Illumination — Parchment,
     “Vellum,” & Pounce — Colours — Simple Colour Effects — Matt
     Gold — Burnished Gold — Burnished Gold Forms, & Outlines —
     Background Capitals — Applying the Background — Ornament of
     Backgrounds    172

     Illumination — “Barbaric, or Colour-Work, Illumination” —
     “Filigree, or Pen-Work, Illumination” — “Natural, or Limner’s,
     Illumination”    193

     The Development of Illumination — Line-Finishings — Initial
     Letters — Borders & Backgrounds    204

     “Design” — Elementary Patterns in Decoration — Scale & Scope
     of Decoration — Of “Designing” Manuscripts, Generally    214


     Good Models — The Qualities of Good Lettering — Simplicity
     — Distinctiveness — Proportion — Beauty of Form — Beauty of
     Uniformity — Right Arrangement — Setting Out & Fitting In —
     “Massed Writing” & “Fine Writing” — Even Spacing — Theory &
     Practice    237

     The Roman Alphabet — Proportions of Letters: Widths — Upper &
     Lower Parts — Essential or Structural Forms — Characterisation
     of Forms — Built-Up Forms — Simple-Written Capitals — Uncials
     — Capitals & Small-Letters — Early, Round, Upright, Formal
     Hands — Slanted-Pen Small-Letters — Roman Small-Letters —
     Italics — Semi-Formal Hands — Of Formal Writing Generally —
     Decorative Contrasts — Ornamental Letters    268


     Divers Uses of Lettering — MS. Books, &c. — Binding MSS (_with
     Note by Douglas Cockerell_) — Broadsides, Wall Inscriptions,
     &c. — Illuminated Addresses, &c. — Monograms & Devices — Title
     Pages — Lettering for Reproduction — Printing — Inscriptions
     on Metal, Stone, Wood, &c. — Of Inscriptions Generally —
     Bibliography, &c.    337


     Treatment & Arrangement — The Three Alphabets — Size & Spacing
     — The Material — Setting Out — Tools — A Right Use of the
     Chisel — Incised Letters & Letters in Relief — The Sections of
     Letters — Working _in situ_    389

 ‹Notes on the Collotype Plates›    407

 ‹The Collotype Plates›    431

 ‹Index›    489


 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 1.›]




Nearly every type of letter with which we are familiar is derived
from the Roman Capitals, and has come to us through the medium, or
been modified by the influence, of the pen. And, therefore, in trying
to revive good Lettering, we cannot do better than make a practical
study of the best pen-forms, and learn at the same time to appreciate
the forms of their magnificent archetypes as preserved in the
monumental Roman inscriptions.

The development and the relations of the principal types of letters
are briefly set out in the accompanying “family tree”—fig. 1. When
the student has learnt to cut and handle a pen, he can trace this
development practically by trying to copy a few words from each
example given below. [p036]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 2.›]

_THE ROMAN ALPHABET._—The Alphabet, as we know it, begins with the
ROMAN CAPITALS[5] (see fig. 2). Their fine monumental forms were
evolved by the use of the chisel—probably under the influence of
writing—and had reached full development about 2000 years ago (see
Plates I., II., and Chapter XV.).

_FORMAL WRITING_—the “_book-hand_” or professional writing of the
scribes—comes of the careful writing of the Roman Capitals (see also
_footnote_, p. 38, on the beginnings of fine penmanship). It was the—

 “_literary hand_, used in the production of exactly written MSS.,
 and therefore a hand of comparatively limited use. By its side, and
 of course of far more extensive and general use, was the _cursive
 hand_ of the time”[6] [p037]

In early _cursive writing_—the running-hand or ordinary writing of
the people—

 “The Letters are nothing more than the old Roman letters written
 with speed, and thus undergoing certain modifications in their
 forms, which eventually developed into the _minuscule hand_.”[7]
 (See fig. 3.)

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 3.›]

Here it is sufficient to trace the history of the _formal_ Latin
“hands,” but the continual, modifying influence exerted on them by
the ordinary _cursive_ writing should be borne in mind. Notable
results of this influence are seen in _Half-Uncials_ and _Italics_.

_SQUARE CAPITALS_ were formal, pen-made Roman Capitals, of the
monumental type: they were used (perhaps from the _second_) till
about the [p038] end of the _fifth_ century for important books (see
Plate III.).

_RUSTIC CAPITALS_ were probably a variety of the “Square Capitals,”
and were in use till about the end of the _fifth_ century (fig. 4;
see also p. 297).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 4.›—Æneid, on vellum, third or fourth century.]

_ROMAN UNCIALS_ were fully developed by the fourth century, and were
used from the fifth till the eighth century for the finest books
(fig. 5).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 5.›—Psalter, fifth century.]

Uncials are true pen-forms[8]—more quickly written than the “Square,”
and clearer than the “Rustic” Capitals—having the characteristic,
simple strokes and beautiful, rounded shapes which flow from the
rightly handled reed or quill. The [p039] typical Uncial letters
are the round D, E, H, M, U (or V), and A and Q (see p. 300).

_ROMAN HALF-UNCIALS_—or _Semi-Uncials_—(fig. 6) were mixed _Uncial_
and _Cursive_ forms adopted by the scribes for ease and quickness in
writing. Their evolution marks the formal change from _Capitals_ to

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 6.›—S. Augustine: probably French sixth century.]

They were first used as a book-hand for the less important books
about the beginning of the sixth century.

_IRISH HALF-UNCIALS_ were founded on the Roman Half-Uncials (probably
brought to Ireland by Roman missionaries in the sixth century). As a
beautiful writing, they attained in the seventh century a degree of
perfection since unrivalled (see Plate VI.).

They developed in the eighth and ninth centuries into a “pointed”
writing, which became the Irish national hand.

_ENGLISH HALF-UNCIALS_ (fig. 7) were modelled on the Irish
Half-Uncials in the seventh [p041] century. They also developed in
the eighth and ninth centuries into a “pointed” writing.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 7.›—“Durham Book”: Lindisfarne, about ‹A.D.›
 700. (See also Plate VII.)]

_CAROLINE_ (_or CARLOVINGIAN_) _WRITING_.—While English and Irish
writing thus came from Roman Half-Uncial, the Continental hands were
much influenced by the rougher Roman Cursive, and were, till near the
end of the eighth century, comparatively poor.

 “The period of Charlemagne is an epoch in the history of the
 handwritings of Western Europe. With the revival of learning
 naturally came a reform of the writing in which the works of
 literature were to be made known. A decree of the year 789 called
 for the revision of church books; and this work naturally brought
 with it a great activity in the writing schools of the chief
 monastic centres of France. And in none was there greater activity
 than at Tours, where, under the rule of Alcuin of York, who was
 abbot of St. Martin’s from 796 to 804, was specially developed
 the exact hand which has received the name of the Caroline
 Minuscule.”[9] [p042]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 8.›—British Museum: Harl. MS. 2790. Caroline
 MS. _first half of_ 9th century. (See also fig. 171 & p. 305.)]


The influence of the Caroline hands (see fig. 8) presently spread
throughout Europe. The letters in our modern copy-books may be
regarded as their direct, though degenerate, descendants.

_SLANTED-PEN or TILTED WRITING._—The forms of the letters in early
writing indicate an easily held pen—slanted away from the right
shoulder. The slanted pen naturally produced _oblique_ thick strokes
and thin strokes, and the letters were “tilted” (see fig. 9).

In the highly finished hands—used from the sixth to the eighth
centuries—such as the later Uncials and the Roman, Irish, and English
Half-Uncials, the pen was manipulated or cut so that the thin strokes
were approximately horizontal, and the thick strokes vertical (fig.
10). The earlier and easier practice came into fashion again in the
eighth and ninth centuries, and the round Irish and English hands
became “pointed” as a result of slanting the pen.

The alteration in widths and directions of pen strokes, due to the
use of the “slanted pen,” had these effects on the half-uncial forms
(see fig. 11):—

1. _The thin strokes taking an oblique_ (_upward_) _direction_
(_a_) (giving a sharp angle with the verticals (_d_, _a_)) led to
angularity and narrower forms (_a_^1), and a marked contrast between
thick and thin strokes—due to the abrupt change from one to the other

2. _The thick strokes becoming oblique_ (_b_) caused a thickening of
the curves below on the left (_b_^1), and above on the right (_b_^2),
which gave heavy shoulders and feet.

3. _The horizontal strokes becoming thicker_ (_c_) gave stronger and
less elegant forms. [p044]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 9.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 10.›]


4. _The vertical strokes becoming thinner_ (_d_) (with oblique or
pointed ends—not square ended) increased the tendency to narrow

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 11.›]

It is to be noted that the Caroline letters—though written with a
“slanted pen”—kept the open, round appearance of the earlier forms.

the slanted pen, and the lateral compression of the letters which
naturally followed, resulted in a valuable economy of time and space
in the making of books. This lateral compression is strongly marked
in the tenth century (see fig. 12), and in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries it caused curves to give place to angles, and writing to
become “_Gothic_” in character (see Plate XI.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 12.›—Psalter: English tenth century. (See also
 Plate VIII.)]

to compression continued, and a further economy of space was effected
in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries by the general use of much
smaller writing (see fig. 13). In the fifteenth century writing grew
larger and taller again, but the letters had steadily become [p047]
narrower, more angular, and stiffer, till the written page consisted
of rows of perpendicular thick strokes with heads and feet connected
by oblique hair-lines—which often look as if they had been dashed in
after with a fine pen—all made with an almost mechanical precision
(see Plate XVII.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 13.›—_Colophon_ of English MS., dated 1254.]

_ITALIAN WRITING._—In Italy alone the roundness of the earlier
hands was preserved, and though in course of time the letters were
affected by the “Gothic” tendency, they never lost the curved forms
or acquired the extreme angularity which is seen in the writings of
Northern Europe (compare Plates X. and XI.).

At the time of the Renaissance the Italian scribes remodelled their
“hands” on the beautiful Italian writing of the eleventh and twelfth
centuries (see Plates X. and XVIII., XIX., XX.). The early Italian
printers followed after the scribes and modelled their types on these
round clear letters. And thus the fifteenth century Italian formal
writing became the foundation of the “_Roman_” _small letters_, which
have superseded all others for the printing of books. [p048]

_ITALICS._—The Roman Letters, together with the cursive hand of the
time, gave rise to “_Italic_” letters (see fig. 1, & pp. 311, 316,

_ORNAMENTAL LETTERS_ originated in the simple written forms, which
were developed for special purposes, and were made larger or written
in colour (see ‹Versals›, &c., figs. 1, 189).

Their first object was to mark important words, or the beginnings
of verses, chapters, or books. As _Initial Letters_ they were
much modified and embellished, and so gave rise to the art of
_Illumination_ (see pp. 113, 114).


 Acquiring a Formal Hand: Tools, &c. — The Desk — Paper & Ink —
 Pens: _The Reed: The Quill_ — Of Quills generally — Pen-knife,
 Cutting-slab, &c.


The simplest way of learning how to make letters is to acquire a fine
formal hand. To this end a legible and beautiful writing (see p. 70)
should be chosen, and be carefully copied with a properly cut pen.

_For learning to write_, the following tools and materials are

 Ink and _filler_.
 Pens (Reed and Quill) with “_springs_.” [p049]
 Pen-knife, sharpening-stone, and _cutting-slab_.
 Magnifying glass.
 Two-foot (preferably _three-foot_) rule, and pencil.
 Linen pen-wiper.


 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 14.›]

An ordinary desk or drawing-board can be used, but the best desk is
made by hinging a drawing-board (“Imperial” size) to the edge of a
table. The board may be raised and supported at any desired angle by
a hinged support, or by a _round_ tin set under it (fig. 14). For a
more portable [p050] desk two drawing-boards may be similarly hinged
together and placed on a table (fig. 15).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 15.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 16.›]

A tape or string is tightly stretched—horizontally—across the desk
to hold the writing-paper (which, as a rule, is not pinned on).
The lower part of the writing-paper is held and protected by a
piece of stout paper or vellum fixed tightly, with drawing-pins,
across and over it (fig. 16). Under the writing-paper there should
be a “_writing-pad_,” consisting of one or two [p051] sheets of
blotting-paper, or some other suitable substance.[10]

It is a good plan to have the lower, front edge of the desk bevelled
or rounded, so that the tail part of a deep sheet, which may hang
below the table, does not become accidentally creased by being
pressed against it. A curved piece of cardboard fixed on the edge
will answer the same purpose.


For “practice” any smooth—not glazed—paper will do. For careful work
a smooth _hand-made_ paper is best (pp. 103, 111).

A good, prepared, liquid (carbon) ink is best. It should be as black
as possible, without being too thick. A jet-black ink will test the
quality of the writing by “showing up” all the faults; “pale” or
“tinted” inks rather conceal the faults, and lend a false appearance
of excellence (p. 322). A thin ink greatly adds to the ease of
writing (see _Addenda_, p. 23). Waterproof inks, as a rule, are too
thick or gummy, and do not flow freely enough.

The ink-bottle is kept corked when not in use, to keep the ink clean
and prevent evaporation. Thick or muddy ink should be put away: it is
not worth while trying to use it.

A small brush is used for filling the pen.


A Reed or Cane pen is best for very large writing—over half an inch
in height—and therefore [p052] it is of great use in studying pen
strokes and forms.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 17.›]

A Quill is best for smaller writing, and is used for all ordinary MS.
work (pp. 54–60).

_The REED_[11] pen should be about 8 inches long.

I. One end is cut off obliquely (fig. 17).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 18.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 19.›]

II. The soft inside part is shaved away by means of a knife laid flat
against it, leaving the hard outer shell (fig. 18).

III. The nib is laid, back up, on the slab (p. 61), and—the
knife-blade being vertical—the tip is cut off at right angles to the
shaft (fig. 19).

IV. A short longitudinal slit (_a_–_b_) is made by [p053] inserting
the knife-blade in the middle of the tip (fig. 20).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 20.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 21.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 22.›]

V. A pencil or brush-handle is held under the nib, and is gently
twitched upwards to lengthen the slit (fig. 21). An ordinary reed
should have a slit about 3/4 inch long. A very stiff pen may have in
addition a slit on either side of the centre.

The left thumb nail is pressed against the back of the pen—about 1
inch from the tip—to prevent it splitting too far up (see also fig.

VI. The nib is laid, back up, on the slab, and—the knife-blade being
vertical—the tip is cut off at an angle of about 70° to the shaft,
removing the first rough slit _a_–_b_ (fig. 22). [p054]

VII. A strip of thin metal (very thin tin, or clock spring with the
“temper” taken out by heating and slowly cooling) is cut the width
of the nib and about 2 inches long. This is folded into a “_spring_”
(fig. 23).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 23.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 24.›]

VIII. The _spring_ is inserted into the pen (fig. 24).

The loop _a b c_ is “sprung” into place, and holds the spring in the
right position. The loop _c d_, which should be rather flat, holds
the ink in the pen. The point _d_ should be about 1/8 inch from the
end of the nib.

_THE QUILL._—_A Turkey’s Quill_ is strong, and suitable for general
writing. As supplied by the stationers it consists of a complete
wing-feather, about 12 inches long, having the quill part cut for
ordinary use. For careful writing it should be re-made thus:—

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 25.›]

I. The quill should be cut down to 7 or 8 inches (fig. 25); the long
feather if left is apt to be in the way.

II. The “barbs” or filaments of the feather are stripped off the
shaft (fig. 26). [p055]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 26.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 27.›]

III. The nib already has a slit usually about 1/4 inch long. This is
sufficient in a fairly pliant pen; in a very stiff pen (see p. 60)
the slit may be lengthened to 3/8 inch. This may be done with care
by holding a _half-nib_ between the forefinger [p056] and thumb of
each hand, but the safest way is to _twitch_ the slit open (fig. 27),
using the end of another pen (or a brush-handle) as explained under
_Reed_, V. (see p. 53).

IV. The sides of the nib are pared till the width across the tip is
rather less than the width desired[12] (fig. 28).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 28.›]

V. The nib is laid, back up, on the glass slab, and the extreme tip
is cut off obliquely to the slit, the knife blade being slightly
sloped, and its edge forming an angle of about 70° with the line of
the shaft (fig. 29; see also fig. 36). [p057]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 29.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 30.›]

The shaft rests lightly in the left hand (not _gripped_ and not
pressed down on slab at all), and the knife blade is entered with a
steady pressure.

If the nib is then not wide enough it may be cut again; if too wide,
the sides may be pared down.

Cut very little at a time off the tip of the nib; a heavy cut is apt
to force the pen out of shape and spoil the edge of the nib.

VI. The nib should then be examined with the magnifying glass. Hold
the pen, back down, over a sheet of white paper, and see that the
ends of the two half-nibs are in the same straight line _a_–_b_ (fig.

The nib should have an oblique chisel-shaped tip, very sharply cut
(fig. 31).

A magnifying glass is necessary for examining a fine pen; a coarse
pen may be held up against [p058] the light from a window—a
finger-tip being held just over the nib to direct the eye (fig. 32).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 31.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 32.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 33.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 34.›]

A nib in which the slit does not quite close may be bent down to
bring the two parts together (fig. 33). [p059]

Uneven or blunt nibs (fig. 34) must be carefully re-cut.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 35.›]

VII. The _Spring_ (see _Reed_, VII.) (about 3/32 inch by 1-1/2 inch)
is placed so that the point is about 1/16 inch from the end of the
nib. The long loop should be made rather flat to hold plenty of ink
(A, fig. 35)—neither too much curved (B: this holds only a drop), nor
quite flat (C: this draws the ink up and away from the nib).


For ordinary use the nib may be cut with a fairly steep angle, as
shown (magnified) at (_a_) (fig. 36).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 36.›]

But it is better for fine, sharp writing that the angle be made very
sharp: the knife blade is laid back (much flatter than is shown in
fig. 29) and the quill is cut quite thin; the knife blade is then
held vertical and the extreme tip of the nib is cut off sharp and
true (_b_, fig. 36).

For large writing, the curved inside of the quill is pared _flat_
(_c_, _d_, fig. 36) [p060] to give full strokes. If the nib be left
curved and hollow underneath (_e_), it is apt to make hollow strokes.

The pen may be made more _pliant_ by scraping it till it is thinner,
or by cutting the “shoulder” (_a_–_b_, fig. 29) longer, or _stiffer_
by cutting the nib back until the “shoulder” is short.

Goose and Crow Quills (see p. 172).

The main advantages of a quill over a metal pen are, that the former
may be shaped exactly as the writer desires, and be re-cut when it
becomes blunt.

A metal pen may be sharpened on an oilstone, but the process takes so
much longer that there is no saving in time: it is not easily cut to
the exact shape, and it lacks the pleasant elasticity of the quill.

A gold pen is probably the best substitute for a quill, and if it
were possible to have a sharp, “chisel-edged” _iridium_ tip on
the gold nib, it would be an extremely convenient form of pen. A
“fountain pen” might be used with thin ink.


 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 37.›]

_THE KNIFE._—Quill makers use a special knife. A surgical scalpel
makes an excellent pen-knife. The blade should be fairly stout, as
the edge of a thin blade is easily damaged. It should be ground
almost entirely on the right side of the blade (fig. 37) and kept
very sharp. [p061]

_THE SLAB._—A piece of glass (preferably white) may be used for fine
quills; hard wood, bone, or celluloid for reed and cane pens.

_SHARPENING STONE._—A “Turkey” (fine) or “Washita” (fine or coarse
grained) stone.

_MAGNIFYING GLASS._—A magnifying glass (about 1 inch in diameter)
is necessary for examining fine pen nibs to see if they are “true.”
A “pocket” glass is the most suitable for general use, and for the
analysis of small writing, &c.

_RULE._—A 2, or 3-foot wood rule having brass strips let in to
protect the edges, or a metal rule.

_LINEN PEN-WIPER._—A piece of an old linen handkerchief may be used
to keep the pen clean.


 Position of the Desk — The Writing Level — Use of the Pen — Holding
 the Pen — Filling the Pen, &c.


_Always write at a slope._ This enables you to sit up comfortably
at your work, and to see the MS. clearly as though it were on an
easel—and, by the resulting horizontal position of the pen, the ink
is kept under control. It may be seen from ancient pictures that
this was the method of the scribes (see _Frontispiece_). Never write
on a flat table; it causes the writer to stoop, the MS. is seen
foreshortened, and the ink flows out of the pen too rapidly. [p062]

The slope of the desk may be about, or rather less than, 45° to begin
with: as the hand becomes accustomed to it, it may be raised to about
60° (fig. 38).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 38.›]

The “heel” of the right hand may be tired at first, but it soon grows
used to the position. A rest for the left arm, if necessary, can be
attached to the left side of the board.

_Lighting._ The desk is placed very near to a window, so that a
strong light falls on it from the left. Direct sunlight may be cut
off by fixing a sheet of thin white paper in the window. _Careful
work should be done by daylight._ Work done by artificial light
always appears faulty and unsatisfactory when viewed by day.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 39.›]


Each penman will find for himself the _writing level_ along which his
pen will move most naturally and conveniently (see figs. 39 and 16).
The _paper guard_ should be pinned on about 1 inch below the [p063]
writing level: the _tape_ is fixed across about 3 inches above the
guard. In the case of very large writing the space between the tape
and the guard is greater, and in the case of a very small MS. it is

_The writing level is kept constant._ When one line has been written,
the writing paper—which is placed behind the tape and the guard—is
pulled up for another line.


For the practical study of pen-forms use a cane or a reed pen—or a
quill cut very broad—giving a broad, firm, thick stroke. It is the
chisel edge (p. 57) of the nib which gives the “clean cut” thick and
thin strokes and the graduated curved strokes characteristic of good
writing (fig. 40).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 40.›]

Therefore, _let the nib glide about on the surface with the least
possible pressure_, making natural pen-strokes the thickness of which
is only varied [p064] by the different directions in which the nib
moves (see _Addenda_, p. 23).

It is very important that the nib be cut “sharp,” and as often as its
edge wears blunt it must be resharpened. It is impossible to make
“clean cut” strokes with a blunt pen (see _Addenda_, p. 25).

When the nib is cut back, the “shoulder” should be cut back to
preserve the elasticity of the pen (p. 60).


_The hand holds the pen lightly and easily._ A good method is to loop
the thumb and forefinger over, and slightly gripping, the shaft of
the pen, and support the shaft from below with the second finger. The
third and fourth fingers are tucked, out of the way, into the palm
(figs. 41, 45).

The pen should be so lightly held that _the act of writing should
draw the edge of the nib into perfect contact with the paper,
both the half-nibs touching the surface_. (To make sure that the
contact is perfect, make experimental thick strokes on a scrap of
paper—pinned at the right-hand side of the desk—and see that they
are “true,” _i.e._ that they are of even width, with “clean cut”
edges and ends.) The writer should be able to feel what the nib is
doing. If the pen be gripped stiffly the edge of the nib cannot be
felt on the paper; and it will inevitably be forced out of shape and
prematurely blunted.

A thin slip of bone—a “folder” or the handle of the pen-knife will
do—is commonly held in the left hand to keep the paper flat and
steady (see fig. 41). [p065]

_THE CUSTOMARY MANNER._—The ancient scribe probably held his pen in
the manner most convenient to himself; and we, in order to write
with freedom, should hold the pen in the way to which, by long use,
we have been accustomed; _provided that, for writing an upright
round-hand, the pen be so manipulated and cut as to make fine
horizontal thin strokes and clean vertical thick strokes_ (see fig.
40, & _footnote_, p. 304).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 41.›]

_SLANTED SHAFT, &c._—Most people are accustomed to holding a pen
slanted away from the right shoulder. The nib therefore is cut at
[p066] an oblique angle[13] to the shaft, so that, while the shaft
is slanted, _the edge of the nib is parallel with the horizontal
line of the paper_, and will therefore produce a horizontal thin
stroke and a vertical thick stroke. For example: if the shaft is held
slanted at an angle of 70° with the horizontal, the nib is cut at an
angle of 70° with the shaft (fig. 42). The angle of the nib with the
shaft may vary from 90° (at right angles) to about 70°, according to
the slant at which the shaft is held (fig. 43).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 42.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 43.›]

If the writer prefers an extremely slanted shaft, to cut the nib
correspondingly obliquely would weaken it, so it is better to
counteract the slant by slightly tilting the paper (fig. 44).

To produce the _horizontal thin stroke_, therefore:

  _The slant at which the shaft is held_,
  _The angle at which the nib is cut_, and
  _The tilt which may be given to the paper_: [p067]

must be so adjusted, one to another, that the chisel edge of the nib
is parallel to the horizontal line of the paper. Before writing,
make trial strokes on a scrap of paper to see that this is so: the
vertical thick strokes should be square ended and the full width of
the nib, the horizontal strokes as fine as possible.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 44.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 45.›]

_HORIZONTAL SHAFT, &c._—_The pen shaft is held approximately
horizontal._ This will be found the natural position for it when the
slope [p068] of the desk is about 50° or 60°. It gives complete
control of the ink in the pen, which can be made to run faster or
slower by slightly elevating or depressing the shaft (fig. 45).

_The writing-board may be slightly lowered or raised_ with the object
of elevating or depressing the pen shaft (fig. 46 & p. 118).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 46.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 47.›]

_The pen makes a considerable angle with the writing surface_, so
that the ink, which is held in the hollow of the nib, comes in
contact with the paper at the very extremity of the nib, making very
fine strokes (_a_, fig. 47).

_The spring is adjusted carefully_, the tip being approximately 1/16
inch from the tip of the nib. The nearer the spring is to the end of
the nib, the faster the ink flows. The loop must be kept flattish in
order to hold the ink well (see fig. 35). [p069]

It is convenient to stand the ink, &c., beside the desk on the left,
and for this purpose a little cup-shaped bracket or clip may be
attached to the edge of the writing-board. The filling-brush stands
in the ink-bottle (p. 51) or pot of colour (p. 176), and is taken up
in the left hand; the pen, retained in the right hand, being brought
over to the left to be filled.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 48.›]

_The back of the nib is kept dry_ (_a_, fig. 48). A very convenient
and perfectly clean method, when care is taken, of removing any ink
on the back of the pen is to draw it across the back of the left

In careful work the pen should be tried, on a [p070] scrap of paper,
almost every time it is filled (to see that it is not too full and
that the ink is flowing rightly).

_The nib is kept clean._ A carbon ink (p. 51), through gradual
evaporation, is apt to clog the nib (especially in hot weather);
therefore every now and then, while the nib is in use, the spring is
taken out and the whole thoroughly cleaned. It is impossible to write
well with a dirty pen.


 Models — Notes on Construction: Script I. — Coupling the Letters —
 Spacing: Letters, Words, & Lines — Uncial Capitals: Script II. —
 Numerals & Punctuation Marks — Of _Copying_ MSS. Generally.


The best training is found in the practice of an _upright round-hand_
(p. 302). Having mastered such a writing, the penman can acquire any
other hands—sloping or angular—with comparative ease (p. 323).

The English Half-Uncial writing in Plate VII. is an excellent model.
Those who have sufficient time to spare for the careful study of
this, or any other legible and beautiful round-hand, should obtain
access to the MSS. in a museum, or procure good _facsimiles_ (see
Plates at end of Book, & p. 388).

Those who have not sufficient time for a careful and thorough
study of an early MS. will find it [p071] easier to begin with a
simplified and modernised writing, such as Script I. (fig. 49).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 49.›]

Before copying a hand it is well to examine carefully the manuscript
from which it is taken: observe its general appearance: note the
character and mode of the ruling, and the sizes and relative
proportions of page, text, margins, and ornaments. With regard to the
actual forms of the letters and the mode of their arrangement, such a
method of analysis as the following will be found useful, as an aid
to accuracy in copying, and definiteness in self-criticism. [p072]

 _A METHOD OF ANALYSIS._               ‹Example›: Analysis of Script I.
                                         (as in fig. 50).

 1. THE WRITING—general character:     _Modernised Half-Uncial._

   (Ruling)—Double or single lines,    _Double lines_
     &c. (see pp. 304, 305):             (_see figs._ 59, 65).

   Letters—round or angular:           _round._
   upright or sloping:                 _upright._
   coupled or separate:                _coupled._

 2. THIN STROKES: horizontal or        _horizontal._
   oblique (see figs. 10, 9):

 3. THICK STROKES: heavy, medium,      _medium._
   or light (see fig. 183):

 4. “HEADS” & “FEET”: character        _solid, triangular, &c._
   (see fig. 145):

 5. STEMS (_ascending_ &               _medium._
   _descending_): short, medium,
   or long (see fig. 183):

 6. SPACING (_Letters, Words,_         _fairly close_
   _Lines_): close or wide (see          (_see figs._ 54, 55).
   fig. 154):

 7. ARRANGEMENT: in mass (of equal     _in mass of equal lines_
   lines), or in column (of              (_see fig._ 66).
   unequal lines) (see fig. 154):

 8. MEASUREMENTS (& _proportions_
   _see pp._ 324, 327):
 width of thick stroke (see p. 83):    _l = about 3/32″ wide._
 height of _o_ and _d_ (see pp.        _o = about 3/8″ high._
   82, 84):                            _d = about 11/16″ high._
 writing lines, distance apart         _Lines 1″ apart._
   (see p. 82):

 9. COMPONENT PARTS: number and        _a has 3 strokes._
   forms (see pp. 75, 81, 84):         _b has 3 strokes._
                                       _c has 2 strokes._
                                       _and so on_ (_see fig. 51_).


The pen generally is held so as to give approximately horizontal thin
strokes (see p. 66), but in making «v» («w», «y») and «x», parts of
«z», &c., it is “slanted.” In figs. 51 and 57 these forms are marked
with a small diagonal cross × (see also p. 25).

Most of the strokes begin as _down-strokes_, but at the _end_ of a
_down-stroke_, when the ink is flowing freely, the stroke may be
continued in an upward direction (as in _coupling-strokes_, &c., the
_feet_ of letters, the thin stroke of «x», and, if preferred, in
making the last stroke of «g», «s», and «y»).

While the ink is still wet in a _down-stroke_, the nib may be
replaced on it and be pushed _up_ward and outward to form the round
arch in «b», «h», «m», «n», «p», and «r». This stroke, reversed, is
also used for the top of «t».

The making of these UP-strokes is shown diagrammatically in fig. 51.

‹Note.›—The forms +«oin»× in fig. 51 contain all the principal
strokes in this alphabet, and are therefore useful for early practice.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 50.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 51.›]


The letters are joined together by means of their _coupling-strokes_,
which for this purpose may be slightly drawn out, and forward, from
the naturally round forms of the letters (see «c», «e», &c., fig. 52
& fig. 59).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 52.›]

The _coupling-strokes_ are finishing strokes—and as such are akin
to _serifs_ (p. 244)—growing out of or added to such stems as need

Coupling enables one to write faster and with [p076] more freedom,
the concluding or “coupling” stroke not being _slowed down_, but
written with a dash, which is covered by the first stroke of the
succeeding [p077] letter. It keeps the individual words more
distinct, and therefore permits closer spacing of the text. Coupling
is for convenience _and_ legibility, and where it tends to interfere
with legibility, we must be careful. The freer and more _cursive_ the
hand, the greater is the tendency to join and run letters together,
as in ordinary writing.

It is preferable to couple letters below, if possible. Couplings
above are sometimes apt to confuse the reading; for example, the
cross-bar of «t» (though the most natural coupling for the scribe to
use—see _petatis_, Plate VII.) should generally be made to pass over
or fall short of the succeeding letter (see fig. 52).


The letters of a word are fitted together so that there is a general
effect of evenness. This evenness is only to be attained by practice:
it is characteristic of rapid skilful writing, and cannot be produced
satisfactorily by any system of measurement while the writer’s hand
is still slow and uncertain. It is worth noting, however, that the
white interspaces vary slightly, while the actual distances between
the letters vary considerably, according to whether the adjacent
strokes curve (or slant) away or are perpendicular (figs. 53, 152).

It is sufficient for the beginner to take care that two curved
letters are made very near each other, and that two straight strokes
are spaced well apart.

If the curves are too far apart there will be spots of light, and
where several heavy stems are made too close together, “blots” of
dark, marring the evenness of the page. [p078]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 53.›]

_Words_ are kept as close as is compatible with legibility. The
average space between two words is the width of the letter «o» (fig.
54). [p079]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 54.›]

_The Lines_ in _massed writing_ (see p. 262) are kept as close
together as is compatible with legibility. The usual distance apart
of the _writing-lines_ is _about_ three times the height of the
letter «o» (see also p. 327).

The _descending strokes_ of the upper line must “clear” the
_ascending strokes_ of the lower line. _Interlocking_ of these
strokes may be avoided by the experimental placing of «p» over «d»
(fig. 55).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 55.›]


These _modernised Uncials_ (see fig. 56, & p. 300) are intended to
go with Script I., and their analysis and mode of construction are
almost identical with those of Script I. (see pp. 72, 73). [p082]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 56.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 57.›]

_Grouping_: Uncials have no _coupling-strokes_; when several are used
together, they are not joined, but evenly grouped, allowing as before
for curves and straight strokes (see p. 77).

 _Spacing_: (a) _When used with Script I._, Uncials are written on
 the same lines, and have to follow the same spacing (in spite of
 their longer stems).

 (b) _When Uncials are used by themselves_, their spacing may be
 wider (p. 297).

‹Note.›—The height of _Uncial_ «o» is about equal to the height of
the _Half-Uncial_ «d».

 (See fig. 57.)

These are best made with a “slanted” pen (fig. 9).

When writing “Arabic numerals,” «1» and «0» may be made _on the
line_, «2468» _ascending_, and «3579» _descending_.


When copying a MS. it is best to choose a complete page—or part of a
page—to be copied in facsimile.

Two or three lines are copied to begin with; then the composition of
the individual letters and words is studied by means of a large pen;
and finally the whole page is copied in facsimile. (Of _practising_,
see pp. 85, 86).

Make a general examination and analysis as suggested at p. 71.
Accurate measurements will be found helpful.

Take the heights of the «o» and the «d», and the distance apart of
the writing-lines with dividers [p083] The width of the thick stroke
is best found by making experimental thick strokes—the _full width_
of the pen nib—on a scrap of paper: cut the paper in half across the
thick strokes, and place the cut edge on the _thickest_ strokes in
the original MS., you will then find whether the pen nib should be
cut wider or narrower.

The direction of the _thickest_ strokes is approximately at right
angles to the direction of the thin strokes; which commonly
approaches the horizontal in early round hands, and is oblique in
other hands (see figs. 9 and 10). The positions both of these strokes
in the model, and of your pen, determine the angle of the nib.
Therefore, _cut the nib across at such an angle to the shaft of the
pen that, when you hold the pen naturally, the direction of the thin
strokes which it makes on the writing paper will coincide with the
direction of the thin strokes in the model_; but

 (_a_) The way in which the shaft is held,
 (_b_) The angle at which the nib is cut,
 (_c_) The position of the writing paper,

may all be slightly varied, so that the direction of the thin strokes
can be followed exactly (see p. 66).

The writing paper is cut and ruled exactly in accordance with the
model; and the heights of the letters and the widths of the thick
strokes in the copy agree as nearly as possible with those in the
original. It is therefore a good test for accuracy—_when a few lines
of writing have been copied_—to measure and compare their lengths. If
they correspond with their originals, it goes far to prove the copy a
good one.

Before copying more of the page, the construction of the letters
should be carefully studied. The number and the forms of pen-strokes
in each letter [p084] are found by examination—with a magnifying
glass if necessary—and by the experimental putting together of
strokes, to form a similar letter. For this a large pen, such as a
reed, is useful, and it is a good plan to write individual letters
and words exactly two, three, or four times their _height_ in
the model: both the pen nib and the individual letters are made
correspondingly two, three, or four times as _wide_ as in the

It is particularly important, in copying, to preserve accurately
the proportion of the _thick stroke_ to the _height and width_ of a
letter (see p. 324). These are conveniently measured by the pen nib
itself, or by the estimated width of the thick stroke; thus, in the
writing shown in fig. 50, the _width_ of the «o» is approximately
_five_, and the _height_ approximately _four_, times the width of the
thick stroke.

Not only must the copier ascertain what the forms are like and what
are their proportions, but he must try to find out _how they were
made_. This is of the greatest importance, for the manner of making
a letter, or even a single stroke, affects its form and character
with a definite tendency (see p. 416 & fig. 172). And this becomes
more marked the faster the writing. An apparently right form may yet
be wrongly—if slowly—made; but in rapid writing, a wrong manner of
handling the pen will inevitably produce wrong forms. As the real
virtue of penmanship is attained only when we can write quickly, it
is well worth training the hand from the beginning in the proper

Patient and careful examination should be made of the changing
pen-strokes, and of the mode in which they join—to form letters—and
begin and end—to form “heads” and “feet.” This, accompanied [p085]
by practical experiments in cutting and handling the pen, will
bring out details of the utmost technical value. A certain amount
of legitimate “faking” (p. 246), play of the pen, and sleight of
hand (p. 311), may be found, but, in the main, the regular, natural,
_thick_ and _thin_ strokes of the pen, and the orderly arrangement of
the writing, give to a manuscript its beauty and character.

Then having cut the nib rightly, you may, in a sense, _let the pen
do the writing_, while you merely follow the strokes of the model,
and you will, in course of time, have the pleasure of seeing the same
beautiful writing—in the very manner of the ancient scribes—growing
under your own hand.


 Practice — Scripts I. & II. — Arranging & Ruling a Single Sheet —
 Problem I. (a Sheet of Prose) — Problem II. (a Sheet of Poetry) —
 Spacing & Planning Manuscript.


In acquiring a formal writing the penman should have two paper books
constantly in hand: one for the study of the forms of letters, the
other for both the letters and their arrangement. The first should
contain large and very carefully made writing—with perhaps only one
word to the line; the second [p086] should have smaller and quicker
writing, neatly arranged on the pages, with four or five words to the
line. (See MS. Books, Chap. VI.)

A broad nib is used in preference to a narrow one, so that the
characteristics of true pen-work are brought out and the faults made
clear. A fine, light handwriting is often very pretty, but it is
certain to mislead the novice in penmanship (see p. 324).

Having acquired a formal hand the penman may modify and alter it,
taking care that the changes are compatible, and that they do not
impair its legibility or beauty. Such letters as are obsolete he
replaces by legible forms akin to them in feeling, and, the style of
the selected type becoming very naturally and almost unconsciously
modified by personal use, he at length attains an appropriate and
modern Formal-Handwriting. The process of “forming” a hand requires
time and practice: it resembles the passage of “Copy-book” into
“Running” hand, familiar to us all (see p. 323).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 58.›]


Having cut the nib of a reed or large quill to the exact width
required for the thick stroke, copy the component strokes of the
letter @ (Script I.), and [p087] immediately make the complete
letter: go through the whole alphabet in this way several times (fig.
58). Next join the letters together (see p. 73) [p088] to form
words—writing always between ruled lines (fig. 59 & p. 414).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 59.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 60.›]

Script II. is similarly practised: the letters are _grouped_ (p. 82)
to form words (fig. 60).

Next make a neat page of large writing, and, if possible, write such
a page every day. The more definite and methodical practice is, the
better. “Practising” _anyhow_, on scraps of paper, does more harm
than good.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 61.›]


The _size_ of an inscription is commonly settled before the
arrangement of the text is planned out, being determined by
considerations of its future position and office, or by custom and
use (see pp. 100–103 & 351). [p089]

The proportions of the writing, spacing, and margins will likewise
properly _settle themselves_ (see pp. 265, 103, 107), but where the
size of the sheet only is fixed, we have, broadly speaking, to decide
between “large” writing with “small” margins (fig. 61), and “small”
writing with “large” margins (fig. 62).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 62.›]

Generally a compromise is arrived at and the proportions are more
evenly balanced (fig. 63).

_Ruling_ (see also pp. 258, 99).—The mode of ruling _marginal
lines_ and _writing lines_ is shown in fig. 65. The ruling should
be light, but firm and accurate. A fine pen, or hard pencil, or a
blunt point may be used. Where the _writing lines_ are double (as
for _round_ hands, p. 304), it is best to have a double ruling point
(see fig. 77). Two hard pencils firmly [p090] lashed together make
a convenient tool for large work: the distance between the points is
easily adjusted by means of a small wedge.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 63.›]


_To write out the Pater noster_ (50 _words_) _in a formal round-hand
(arranged in “mass” of equal lines) on a sheet of “foolscap”_ (i.e.
17 _inches high and_ 13-1/2 _inches wide_).

If the size of the writing be considered of the first importance, a
few words are written out in a script chosen to suit the subject, the
space, &c., and these are measured to find the area which the whole
text so written would occupy (fig. 64). The size of the script is
then modified, if necessary, to suit the available area. [p091]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 64.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 65.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 66.›]


Frequently it is desirable first to determine the sizes of the
margins. These depend on various considerations of the position and
office of the MS., but more particularly on the size of the sheet and
the character of its future environment[14] (see p. 351).

The _top_ and _side margins_ may be of equal width—or the _top_ may
be a little less (see _a_, fig. 70). Ample space should be allowed
for the _foot margin_, which is generally about twice the width of
the _top_, but may vary in different cases, according as the text
falls short of or encroaches upon it (see pp. 352, 342). For a plain
_foolscap_ sheet: _sides_ (each) 2-1/2 inches, _top_ (approx.) 2
inches, and _foot_ (approx.) 4 inches, may be taken as suitable
margins (fig. 65).

The _width of the sheet_ (13-1/2 inches) less the two _side margins_
(2-1/2 inches each) gives _the length of the writing lines_ (13-1/2 –
5 = 8-1/2 inches). One or two such lines are written experimentally
in a suitable script (say, 5/16 inch), and _the average number of
words per line_ (four) is found.

The number of words in the complete text (fifty) will determine the
number of lines: an extra line or so may be allowed for safety (50/4
= 12-1/2, say, _thirteen_). The spacing of these is calculated—

 5/16 in. writing requires about 7/8 in. (close) spacing (p. 79):
 _Thirteen_ lines at 7/8 in. gives 11-3/8 in. = _depth of text_:
 11-3/8 in. from 17 in. leaves 5-5/8 in.[15] for _head_ and _foot

—and if the space is not sufficient, the writing is made a little
smaller. If, on the other hand, the [p095] marginal depth left over
were excessive, the writing _might_ be made a little larger in order
to fill up the space.


_To write out_ “_He that is down, needs fear no fall_,” _in a formal
round-hand on a sheet of foolscap_ (i.e. 17 _inches high_ × 13 1/2
_inches wide_).

Here there are three verses of four lines each: these with two space
lines, left between the verses, give a total of fourteen lines (fig.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 67.›]

A poem has a given number of lines of various lengths, and only very
strong reason or necessity can justify our altering its proper form
(_e.g._ by breaking up the lines) in order to make a mass of equal
lines. Such theoretical margins as are possible in the treatment of
prose can therefore seldom be observed in writing out a poem, and,
unless the height or the width of the sheet can be altered, there is
apt to be an excess of margin in one or the other direction. When
such excess margin is obviously unavoidable, no objection can be
made to its appearance. _Poetry may conveniently be treated as “fine
writing”_ (see p. 263).

If the size of the writing be considered of the first importance,
several of the _longer lines_ (_e.g._ the first and the eleventh
in the poem given) are written on a piece of paper in the size of
writing preferred (say, 1/4 inch). By laying this paper on the given
sheet, it is seen whether such lines would allow of sufficient _side
margins_. (If they would not, the writing may be made smaller.)

The height of the writing (1/4 inch) must allow of the full number
of lines (fourteen) being properly [p097] spaced on the sheet (17
inches) with sufficient _head_ and _foot margins_. This is calculated—

 1/4 in. writing requires approximately 3/4 in. spacing (p. 79):
 _Fourteen_ lines at 3/4 in. gives 10-1/2 in. = _depth of text_:
 10-1/2 in. from 17 in. leaves 6-1/2 in. for _head_ and _foot margins_

—and if the space were not sufficient, the lines might be made a
little closer, or the writing a little smaller (or, if necessary, the
blank lines might be left out between the verses; p. 123).

_The Sizes of the Margins._—It will be seen that the above method
is primarily for settling _a length of line_ which will allow of
sufficient side margins. The process can be reversed; if necessary,
the side margins are made of a given width, thus determining the
exact length of the line, _the size of writing_ which this line
allows being found experimentally.

‹Note.›—The _extra_ long lines may slightly encroach on the
right-hand margin: the effect of this is balanced by the falling
short of other lines.


In penmanship great nicety of spacing and arrangement is possible.
The _ascending_ and _descending_ strokes may be shortened or drawn
out, the spaces between letters and words may be slightly increased
or decreased, the lines may be written near or far apart, and the
letters may be written with a broader or narrower nib.

Elaborate spacing and planning, however, should not be attempted at
first, and straightforward, undesigned work is often the best. The
student is apt to waste time writing out an elaborate draft [p098]
in order to ascertain how to space the matter. This is a mistake,
because if written well, it is a waste of good writing on a mere
draft; if written ill, it is bad practice. The briefer experiments
and calculations are, the better, though the simplest problem always
requires for its solution a calculation or _process of guess and
trial_ (such as suggested in the preceding pages). Practice will make
people very good _guessers_, and the best work of all is done when
the worker guesses rightly, and follows his guesses with the actual
work, itself the trial and proof of accuracy.


 MS. Books: Tools & Materials — Methods & Proportions — The Size &
 Shape of the Book — The Widths of the Margins — The Size of the
 Writing, &c. — Ruling — MS. Books: General Remarks.


_The making of manuscript books_, based on a study of the early MSS.,
offers the best training to the scribe and illuminator in _writing_,
_lettering_, _rubricating_, _gilding_, _illuminating initials
and borders_, _and miniature painting_, and is the best means of
mastering the foundations of Book Typography and Decoration.

_Materials, &c. for MS. Books_; _Paper_ (see pp. 51, 103, 111, 317);
_Vellum and Parchment_ and _Pounce_ [p099] (see pp. 110, 167,
173–5).—Cut a small sheet the size of a page of the book, and clip
the long edge between two flat pieces of wood (holding it as it would
be if bound). If the page will bend over and stay down by its own
weight, it is thin enough («R» fig. 68); if it stands up («W»), it is
too stiff.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 68.›]

_Cutting Sheets._—A frame or template (the size of the sheet desired)
is used by parchment makers. It is useful for cutting out the sheets
for a common size of parchment book. They are cut on the end-grain of
wood, or on card or glass.

_Folding._—A _Folder_, as used by bookbinders (or a bone
paper-knife), is useful, and also a _Set or T-Square_ for testing
right angles, &c. The fold and the top edge of each book-sheet are
commonly squared by proper folding.

_Ruling_, _&c._ (see p. 343).—For marking distances of lines, a
carefully prepared paper[17] scale or pattern (p. 25) and an awl (p.
109), or a [p100] “_star-wheel_”—having regular intervals between
the spikes—may be used. Or the ruling—of the writing lines—may be
simplified by using a stout card frame (internally the size of the
text-column) with strips glued across it: for a common size of
book this might be made in stout tin or other metal. The lines are
commonly ruled with a _ruling stylus_ (see figs. 72, 77), or a sort
of “_rake_” may be made to rule six lines at once.

_Writing_, _Colouring_, _Gilding_, _Binding_ (Chaps. II., X., IX.,


Having to make a manuscript book for a specific purpose, the scribe
formulates in his mind a general plan of the work, and decides
approximately the respective sizes of page and of writing which seem
most suitable.

He endeavours to fashion the book in accord with its use, and
therefore allows the (most suitable) material, the subject-matter
and the office of the book, and the way in which it will be read and
handled, to determine as far as is possible the proportions of its
parts, and its treatment as a whole.

Its _material_ may be vellum, parchment, or paper, on which a variety
of pens, brushes, and other tools, with inks, colours, and metal
foils, may be employed. Its _office_ may be “useful” or “ornamental”;
its contents may be long or short, weighty or light, and of greater
or less worth; it may be for public or for private use; and the book
may be intended to be placed on a lectern, to be held in the hand, or
to be carried in a coat pocket.

In following out such natural indications, the [p101] practised
craftsman relies greatly on his working methods, preferring a
direct mode of treatment to one which is too ingenious or subtle.
In deciding a doubtful point, a common-sense of proportion is a
sufficient guide, and one may generally assume that great works are
best “writ large,” and that large letters look best on an ample page,
and _vice versâ_.

The main proportions which have to be considered are interdependent,
and follow one another in their natural order (see p. 256), thus—

 1. _The size and shape of the book._
 2. _The widths of the margins._
 3. _The size of the writing_, &c.

And the methodical scribe makes his books of certain definite and
regular sizes, each size having corresponding and regular proportions
of margins and writing. Though these may greatly depend on individual
taste and experience, it is suggested that—like all good designs—they
should be allowed as far as possible to _settle and arrange


A book is thought of by the scribe chiefly as an open book, and
the width and height of its pages are chosen with a view to its
convenient shape and pleasant appearance when open. The most
economical sizes into which a suitable sheet of paper can be folded
(or a skin of parchment can be cut) may commonly be allowed to decide
these proportions.

When a printer is about to print a book he chooses a sheet of paper
which will fold into a suitable shape and size. If the sheet be
folded [p102] once to form two leaves, the book is called a _folio_
(fig. 69); folded again to form a “_section_” of four leaves—a
_quarto_ (4to); or folded a third time to form a _section_ of eight
leaves—an _octavo_ (8vo).[18] [p103] The book is made up of a number
of sections sewn on to strings or tapes (see p. 347).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 69.›]

The penman will find that, besides saving time and labour, it
conduces to good work if he keep to certain regular sizes for
“large,” “medium,” and “small” books; and, if the ordinary sheets of
paper which he uses will fold in convenient _folio_, _quarto_, and
_octavo_ sizes, it is well that he make these his standards for paper

Paper being made in sheets of various dimensions, by folding a large
or a small sheet, a “large” or “small” folio—4to, 8vo—can be obtained.

It may be noted that the length and the width of sheets of paper[19]
are very commonly _about as 9 is to 7_. And therefore, when the sheet
is folded for _folio_ or _octavo_, the proportions are roughly about
7: 4-1/2, which are very good proportions for a page of a book. It is
obvious that a narrow (“_upright_”) book is easier to handle and more
pleasant in appearance (when open) than an album or “_oblong_” shape
of book (_b_ and _c_, fig. 70).


Margins are necessary in order to isolate and frame a text: thus
they contribute to its legibility and beauty. It is better that
they be wide rather than narrow (see p. 106, & ‹Note›, p. 265); but
_excessively_ wide margins are often neither convenient nor pleasing
(see p. 222).

The “page” or column of text should be in such proportion to the page
of the book, and be placed on it in such a way as to leave adequate
[p104] margins on every side. A narrow column of text is generally
best, for short lines are easiest to write and to read, and do not
tire the hand, _or the eye_, in passing from one line to the next.
For this reason the text is often divided into two or more columns
when the page is wide, or the writing is very small _in comparison_.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 70.›]

The exact proportion of margin to text in a given page depends
on circumstances, and is largely a matter of taste (ex. fig. 71
& note 2, _b_, p. 256). But just as it is advantageous generally
to keep to certain [p106] sizes of pages, it is well to keep to
certain—_corresponding_—sizes of margins for regular use.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 71.›—Diagram showing the ruling of a (_Recto_)
 page 4-3/4 inches × 7-1/4 inches as for a manuscript book (allowing
 five or six words to the _Writing-line_). There are fifteen
 Writing-lines, the _Line-space_ being 5/16 inch.

 The proportions of large CAPITALS, shown above, are set by the
 Line-space (_footnote_, p. 221).

 The Foot margin is 1-7/8 inch.]

_The proportions of the margins to each other_ follow a sort of
tradition (see fig. 70), the foot margin (4) usually being twice
as wide as that at the top (2), the side margins generally greater
than the top and less than the foot. The two pages of an _opening_
may be viewed as one sheet having two columns of text; and the two
inner margins, which combine to form an interspace, are therefore
made narrow (about 1-1/2 each), so that together they are about equal
to one side margin (fig. 70). These proportions (1-1/2: 2: 3: 4)
approximate to the proportions common in early MSS.

Sufficient and proportional margins add greatly to the usefulness
and beauty of a book. That the writers and illuminators used them
when books were read and valued in a way we can scarcely realise now,
shows that such things are not, as some might suppose, a matter of
affectation. Besides the natural fitness of the common proportions
commends them: a deep foot margin is a foundation to the whole, and
gives a spare piece for the reader to hold,[20] and wide side margins
rest the eyes and keep the text from “_running off the page_” at the
end of each line; and (the _two_) narrow inner margins combine to
separate the pages sufficiently, but not too far, so that they form
two “columns” together, _framed_ by the outer margins of the open

When books are meant to be bound, from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch extra
margin should be allowed _all round_ the page for the cutting down
and binding. The [p107] binding is apt to encroach on the inner
margins, especially in vellum books, which do not open fully; in
order, therefore, that the inner margins may keep their proper width,
an extra width of 1/8 to 1/4 inch (according to the stiffness of the
material) is allowed.


The shape, size, and margins of the page (already settled) together
determine the length of the _writing-line_ (see fig. 71); and the
_size of the writing_ should be such as will allow a reasonable
number of words to that line.[21]

Eight or nine words to the line is a common proportion in ordinary
printed books, and may be taken by the scribe as his ordinary
_maximum_. Lines having very many words are difficult to read.

On the other hand, lines of only two or three words each are
generally tiresome, though they may be allowed in special cases of
_fine writing_ (see p. 262), where it is less necessary to economise
space or time, and the effect of an even mass is not desired. But in
any case where there is an attempt to make the right-hand edge of the
text approximately even, at least four or five words to the line are
necessary; the scribe may therefore take four words per line as his
ordinary _minimum_.

We may say generally, then, that _an ordinary manuscript book
should contain between four and eight words (or between 25 and 50
letter-spaces) to the line_. [p108]

The exact size of the writing allowed in a given case may be found by
a process of guess and trial, but this is seldom necessary for the
practical scribe who uses regular sizes for regular occasions.

_The line spacing._—The size of the letter determines approximately
the distance apart of the writing-lines (see pp. 79, 327). Much
depends on whether the _ascending_ and _descending_ letters are long
or short (see fig. 154).

_The number of writing-lines to the page_ equals the number of times
that the _line-space_ is contained in the _text-column_ (_i.e._ the
height of the page less the top and foot margins)—allowing for the
top line not requiring a full space (see fig. 71). Any fractional
space left over may be added to the foot margin, or, if nearly equal
to one line-space, a little may be taken from the margins to complete

_The Large Capitals_ are commonly _one_, _two_, or _more_ of the
line-spaces in height (fig. 71, & p. 128).


Having folded and cut the large sheet of paper into small (book)
sheets of the size determined on, take one of these as a pattern and
rule it throughout as if it were to be used in the book.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 72.›]

The ruling stylus has a blunt point, which indents the paper, but
does not scratch it. A stout pin bent to a claw shape and held in a
piece of wood does very well (fig. 72). [p109]

Under the writing paper there should be a “pad” of ordinary paper (or
blotting paper).

The marginal lines are ruled from head to foot of each leaf (_a_,
fig. 73). Besides being a guide for the writing, they give an
appearance of straightness and strength to the written page.[22]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 73.›]

The writing lines are ruled across, between the marginal lines, their
places having been indicated by equidistant dots (_b_, fig. 73).

A dozen or more of the small sheets of the book are piled together on
a board _with their top edges exactly coinciding_, and the pattern
sheet is accurately placed on the top of the pile. The pile of sheets
may be fixed by a narrow piece of wood placed across and screwed down
(fig. 74). (See _Addenda_, p. 25.)

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 74.›]

The writing line dots are [p110] pricked through all the sheets by
means of a fine awl or needle set in a wooden handle (fig. 75).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 75.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 76.›]

The writing lines are ruled as in fig. 76 (sometimes across the
narrow inner margins).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 77.›]

For double writing lines a double-ruling stylus may be made of two
pins fixed in a wooden handle at the exact width of the _writing
gauge_ (fig. 77).


_Sections_ (p. 102).—A _section_, or “_gathering_,” commonly consists
of four book-sheets, folded in half into eight leaves (_i.e._ sixteen
_pages_), but _three_ or even _two_ sheets are sufficient when they
are extra thick, and _five_ or _six_ may be used when extra thin.
Parchment sheets should have their smooth sides so placed together
that each “opening” of the book has both its pages rough or both
smooth and the pages are _pounced_ after they are ruled (see p. 174).

Before the writing is begun the pages of the section are numbered
on the inner marginal line, [p111] about 1/2 inch or so below the
footline. This will prevent mistakes.

_Fly-leaves._—One or more leaves of the first and last sections in
a book are left blank (besides the extra sheet or section (p. 346)
which is used in the binding—attached to the cover). A book of any
size or importance ought to have at least three fly-leaves at the
beginning, and three or four at the end. These extra leaves protect
the manuscript, and, in a sense, constitute _margins_ for the whole
body of the text. They may also be used to make thin books thicker,
for the sake of the binding. At the end of Service books, or other
books likely to be of permanent interest, additional fly-leaves
should be provided for notes and annotations (see pp. 344, 346).

_Rough or Smooth Edges._—The rough “_Deckle_” edges of hand-made
paper are inconvenient in a book of any thickness, and should be
trimmed off after folding, though they may be left in the case of
very thin books. The deckle edge should not occur at the top of
the page, as it would there be a trap for dust, and because it is
important that the tops of pages should all be level. The top edge
or head of a book is often cut and gilt in order to keep out the
dust—this is called “_Library gilt_.” It is more suitable, however,
that _all_ the edges be gilt.

_The Top Margins_ throughout the book are kept quite level. Any
irregularity at the top of a page catches the eye at once, while
slight differences at the side, or considerable differences at the
foot, may occur without spoiling the appearance of the margins. All
measurements for marginal and writing lines, &c., are therefore made
from the [p112] _fold_ of the book-sheet and from the top edge,
which is cut at right angles to the fold.

_Regular Writing._—In writing one page it is a good plan to have its
fellow page, or a similarly written one, fixed on the desk beside
it as a pattern. This will save the beginner from a very common
error—writing larger or smaller (which of course spoils the look of
the pages).

_Initial Page._—The text of a book commonly begins on a _recto_, or
right hand, page (see p. 365).


 Development of Versals — General Analysis of Versals — Notes on
 Construction of Versals — Spacing & Arrangement of Versals.


The earliest books consisted of a number of lines of continuous
writing in capital letters. There were seldom any divisions of the
text—into paragraphs, chapters, or the like—or even of one word from
another; nor were important words distinguished by larger initials.
The first division of paragraphs was made by a slight break in the
text and a mark; later, the first letter of the first complete line
of the new paragraph was placed in the margin and written larger.
When “small-letters” were evolved, capitals ceased to be used for the
body of the text, and became distinguishing letters for headings and
important words. [p113]

The capitals written at the beginnings of books, chapters, and
paragraphs grew larger and more ornamental, and at length were made
in colour and decorated with pen flourishes. Such letters, used
to mark the beginnings of verses, paragraphs, &c., were called

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 78.›]

In modern printing and ordinary writing the first line of a paragraph
is generally _indented_ (_a_, fig. 78), but the earlier method of
employing a special mark or letter (_b_ or _c_) is more effective,
and it might very well be used, even in modern printed books, for
fine editions. Affording a legitimate opening for illumination and
book-ornament, it was (and _is_) the natural method for the penman,
who, starting with these useful capitals, by flourishing them—in
their [p114] own colour, or by dotting, outlining, or ornamenting
them, with a contrasting colour (see fig. 79, from an old MS.),
evolved the _Illuminated Initial_.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 79› (_13th century_).]

_Types of Versal Letters_ (examples: Plates IX., X., XI., XII., and
figs. 1, 78 to 94, 150, 161, 165, 166, 189).—The earlier Versals had
very simple and beautiful pen shapes, and are the best models for the
modern penman to follow. After the fourteenth century they were often
fattened and vulgarised and overdone with ornament. In this way they
not only lost their typical forms; but their “essential forms”—as
letters derived from the Roman Alphabet—became much disguised and
confounded (see fig. 128). [p115]


 1. THE LETTERS           (Pen-made), Built-up, Ornamental
                            (coloured), “Gothic” Capitals
                            (Round and Square forms).

     _STRAIGHT:_          Medium—commonly the width of the nib.

     _CURVED:_            Thin—the thin stroke of the pen.

 3. PERPENDICULARS:       Built-up, slightly curved in on
                            either side.

 4. SERIFS:               Long, thin, slightly curved.

 5. LONG STEMS:           Various (see p. 119, & figs. 84, 90).

     _Letters & Words:_   Various (see figs. 89, 92, 166).
     _Lines:_             Usually one or more of the _line-spaces_
                            apart (see pp. 126, 128).

 7. ARRANGEMENT:          _Singly:_ set in text or margin, or
                            part in both (fig. 86).
                          _Grouped:_ after large initials (fig. 92).
                          _In Lines:_ wide or close, often one
                            word to the line (fig. 89).

 8. MEASUREMENTS:         _Stem width:_ commonly two or
                            three widths-of-nib across thinnest
                            part (fig. 165).
                          «O» _height:_ commonly one, two, or
                            more of the line-spaces.

 9. COMPONENT PARTS:      «A» has approx. 10 strokes & filling.
                          «B» has approx.  8 strokes & filling.
                          «C» has approx.  7 strokes & filling.
                            and so on (see fig. 81).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 80.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 81.›]


 (See figs. 80, 81, 85, 165)

_Versal Letters_ are properly _built-up_ (p. 291) with true
pen-strokes (_b_, fig. 81). Drawn or painted, they acquire a
different character (p. 292). Their office being to mark important
parts of the text, they are generally distinguished by colour and
freedom of form—tending to curves and flourishes.

The pen has an extra long slit (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch), and the
_writing-board_ may be lowered (see fig. 46, _b_) to permit of the
thick, liquid colour running out freely. The nib is of the ordinary
shape (but not too oblique), and generally rather less in width than
the nib used for the accompanying text (_a_, fig. 81).

The outlining strokes are quickly written and immediately filled in,
each letter being loaded well with the colour, which thereafter dries
evenly, with a slightly raised “flat” surface. The liquid colour
should be fairly thick (see _colour_, p. 176).

“_Gothic lettering_” is a term used for “Black-letter” and related
types, as distinguished from “Roman” types. “Gothic” capitals tend to
roundness, the small-letters to angularity, but in each the abrupt
change from thick to thin strokes, and the resulting contrast of
stroke, are characteristics—the result of pen work.[24] In Versals
this contrast is marked; _the ends of the thinner strokes spread_
(see _Addenda_, p. 25, & cross-bar of «A», fig. 71), _and the heavy
parts are crossed by thin serifs_. Versals may retain their pen
character and yet approach [p119] the “Roman Letter” (p. 294), or
be changed into the ornate “Lombardic” (p. 34). They are capable of
great variety, and the “round” or “square” «D», «E», «H», «M», and
«W» may be used at pleasure.

_The Stems_ curve in slightly on either side. When they are very tall
the mid part may be quite straight, imperceptibly curving out towards
the ends (_b_, fig. 82). This gives an effect of curvature throughout
the length, while keeping the letter graceful and straight. The head
of a stem (especially of an _ascender_) should be slightly wider than
the foot (fig. 83). _This applies generally to every sort of built-up

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 82.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 83.›]

The _stem width_ may be nearly the same in Versals of different
heights (_a_, fig. 84): generally the letters tend to become _more
slender in proportion_ as the letters grow taller (_b_). Very large
Versals (or initials) are often made with a hollow stem to avoid a
heavy appearance («L», fig. 84). [p120]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 84.›]

_The Serifs_ are long and slightly curved in ornamental forms (fig.
79): shorter, and nearly straight in stiffer forms (fig. 166). In
many cases the serifs appear to have been written _first_, the stems
being added between them (_f_, fig. 81)—in old MSS. the stems often
show ragged ends crossing the serifs. Sometimes the serif appears
to have been _added to the stem in two pieces_, half on either side
springing from the corners of the stem (_g_). The safest way seems to
be the _complete finishing stroke added to, and forming sharp angles
with, the stem_ (_h_).

_Arms or Branches._—Width of nib at start, and built-up at free end.
(Pen horizontal, figs. 81, 165). [p121]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 85.›]

_The Bows or Curves of Versals_ (and of _built-up_ letters generally)
are begun with the _inside stroke_—a rather flat curve: and finished
with the outer stroke—a pronounced curve (_a_, fig. 85). This
preserves [p122] the continuity of the interior curve, together
with the clean contrast of the thick and thin strokes (see _inside
shapes_, p. 253). The normal form may be flattened or curved a little
(_b_), but _exaggeration_ in either direction produces a degraded
form. Part round letters, as «D», «P», and «q», may be begun with _a
complete inner oval_, or _a nearly completed_ «O» (to which the stem
is added); this preserves their interior symmetry (_c_).

The beauty and quality of Versal letters depends very much on their
freedom; _touching-up_ or trimming after they are made is apt to
spoil them; and when good letters are made with a free hand, minute
roughnesses, which are due to their quick construction, may be
regarded as shewing a _good_ rather than a bad form of _care-less_
workmanship (see (_c_) fig. 164).


 (Allowing for the special treatment of Versals called for by the
 extreme freedom and elasticity of their pen forms, the following
 remarks apply _generally to the spacing and arrangement of coloured
 capitals in written pages_)

_Versals accompanying Small Text_ are generally _dropped_ below the
writing-line, so that their tops are level with the tops of the small
letters (fig. 86).

_Sizes of Versals._—Letters which are of the same importance—_i.e._
serve the same purpose—are usually of like size and form throughout;
and the more important a letter, the more it tends to be elaborated
and decorated (see figs. 90, 92).

_Special words in Text marked by Versals._—Where coloured capitals
are used throughout the text (fig. 92), the colours are usually
varied (pp. 134, 185). [p123]

_Line beginnings marked by Versals._—Where every line on a page
begins with a coloured capital, the majority of the forms are kept
rather plain (see (5) p. 136). They may be effectively treated as
a _band_ of simple or variegated colour (p. 136). This is a common
treatment for a list of names or a poem; sometimes, especially if
there are many lines, _simple-written_ capitals (p. 297) may be used
instead of Versals.

_Verses or Paragraphs_ may be marked by Versals _set in the text_
(_a_), or _part in margin, part in text_ (_b_), or _wholly in the
margin_ (_c_, fig. 86). The marginal capital is the simplest, and
it has the advantage of leaving the page of text entire; it may,
however, sometimes be desirable _to break the continuity_ by an inset
capital, especially in cases of closely written text, or of _stanzas
not spaced apart_ (see p. 138).

The first word of a paragraph, which is begun with a Versal, is often
completed in _simple-written_ capitals of the same colour as the text
(_a_, fig. 86).

_Various ways of marking Paragraphs._—(_a_) The paragraph marks @, ¶,
preferably coloured, may be used instead of (or even _with_) Versals
(_comp._ fig. 95); (_b_) by one word or line (or several words or
lines) of _simple-written_ (or built-up) capitals in black or colour
(see fig. 93); (_c_) by some suitable _ornament_ (see fig. 87); (_d_)
in many cases it is well to have spaces between the paragraphs or
verses (see p. 138).

_Line-Finishings at the ends of Verses, &c._ (pp. 205, 425), _may be
made with the Versal pens and colours._ [p124]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 86.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 87.›]


_To mark Chapters_ (or even Books), extra large Versals (fig. 88) may
be used, in lieu of more elaborate initials. Smaller Versals may be
grouped round about, beside or inside initials (p. 208 & fig. 92).

_Headings and Pages in Capitals_ (see also pp. 128, 132).—Each line
of capitals is generally kept uniform throughout its length,[25]
though different lines vary in size and colour (see fig. 89). If it
be possible it is well to keep the individual word entire [p126] and
to let the heading or page contain the complete _initial phrase or
sentence_ (see fig. 91).

Generally the greater the number of capitals the _plainer_ their
forms are kept, and the closer their spacing. It is best to keep
to the regular method of _spacing the lines of Versals one of the
writing-line spaces (or more) apart_—though in special cases the
Versals may be independent of the writing-lines.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 88.›]

_Spacing Out._—Coloured letters and ornaments are usually put in
after the plain MS. has been written. A very little practice enables
the scribe accurately to guess the amount of space which he should
leave for the Versals, &c., whether it is designed to have several
lines of them, or a single letter only on the page. A few pencil
marks may be used to settle a doubtful point, but an elaborate
sketching or setting out in pencil spoils the freedom of the work.


 Rubricating — Initial Pages or Title Pages — Prefaces & Notes in
 Colour — Pages with Coloured Headings — Page or Column Heading &
 Initial — Versals in Column or Marginal Bands — Stanzas or Verses
 marked by Versals — Music with Red Staves — Tail-Pieces, Colophons,
 &c. — Rubricating: General Remarks.


“_Red, either in the form of a pigment or fluid ink, is of very
ancient and common use. It is seen on the early Egyptian papyri;
and it appears in the earliest extant vellum MSS., either in titles
or the first lines of columns or chapters. The Greek term was_
μελάνιον κόκκινον; _Latin_ minium,[26] rubrica.”—(Thompson’s “G. & L.
Palæography,” p. 51.)

_Rubricating_, or the adding of Red, _or other coloured_, letters,
line-finishings, or signs, to a MS. or Book, in which the main body
of the text is already completed in black, constitutes in itself
a very useful and effective form of decoration. It is, moreover,
a connecting link between plain writing and illumination proper;
and we may safely assume that the artists who made the beautiful
illuminations of the Middle Ages were trained as _scribes_ and


Fig. 89 represents an _Initial Page_ in Red Capitals. (The same
arrangement may of course be used [p128] with a variety of colours
and with gold: see Note (4) below). Such a page is, as it were, an
“illumination” to _all_ the pages, following it in black text.

Title Pages came into fashion after printing was introduced. Early
MSS. commonly began with the _opening words_ written in large,
decorated capitals, the _title_ sometimes being written quite small,
near the top of the page: other details were commonly put in the
_colophon_ in early books (see p. 142).

When the title is more important, in a literary sense, than the
opening sentence, it may be well to follow the modern fashion. But
when there is a finely worded opening sentence—perhaps the key-note
to the rest of the text—while the title is merely for reference, it
seems reasonable to magnify and illuminate the actual beginning of
the book rather than the mere name of it (see p. 365).

‹Note› (1).—In fig. 89 the title—(JESU CHRISTI) _Evangelium Secundum
Joannem_—is written in as a decoration of the initial word; the old
form “IH[=V] XP[=I]” is used for “Jesu Christi” (these letters, it
will be noticed, are here employed to lighten the large capitals, see
p. 208).

(2) Where IN is an initial word, to enforce narrow initial I, both
letters may be magnified.

(3) The scale of the lettering corresponds with that of the ruled
lines (these do not show in the figure): the letters and the
interlinear spaces are each one line high; the initial word is four
lines high. Such a mode of spacing is very simple and effective,
and will save the rubricator much unnecessary trouble and fruitless
planning (see _footnote_, p. 221).

(4) _Other Colour Schemes._—All _Burnished Gold_ (or with Title in
_red_); or IN gold, with smaller capitals _Red_ (or in _Blue_ and
_Red_ lines alternately—or _Blue_, _Red_, _Green_, _Red_: see p.
181). [p129]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 89.›]



Fig. 90 represents a preface, or note, written in red.

It was a frequent practice in old MSS., where there were prefaces,
or prologues, or notes—not actually part of the text—to keep
these distinct by writing them in red. A somewhat similar usage
still exists in modern typography, where such parts are sometimes
distinguished by Italic type (see p. 315).

The distinction of a preface, “rubric,” or note from the main body
of the text makes a book more readable, and, as a page of red (or
blue) writing is very pleasant and effective, we may certainly take
advantage of such a reasonable excuse for introducing it. Entire
books have been written in red, but this is a questionable mode, as
too much red text would tire the eye.

‹Note› (1).—The writing is founded on the tenth-century English hand
given in Plate VIII.

(2) The flourishes on «s» and «e» fill gaps at the ends of the lines,
and the spread out _A M E N_ fills the last line.

(3) The Headline is in simple written capitals.

(4) The effect of colour contrast of the built-up Ps with the simple
writing: the solid Ps (though really the same colour) appear to
be a much deeper red than the writing, which is lightened by the
intermingled white of the paper.

(5) _Other Colour Schemes._—_The Versals_ («Pp») in burnished gold;
the rest in red or blue. [p131]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 90.›]



Fig. 91 represents the first page of a chapter (or a book) with a
_Heading_ in red capitals.

It is convenient in practice clearly to distinguish between the two
modes of beginning—

(_a_) with an illuminated Initial-_Page_ (see fig. 89), or,

(_b_) with an illuminated _Heading_ (see fig. 91).

The former may be treated as though it were a decoration to the
_whole_ book. The latter is intended more particularly to decorate
_its own page_.

The _Heading_ should therefore be proportionate to the body of the
text below it. About _one-third_ Heading and two-thirds text make a
good proportion. A “Heading” occupying half, or more than half, of
the page is apt to look disproportionate, and it would be preferable
to this to have a complete, or nearly complete,[27] _Page_ of
coloured capitals.

‹Note› (1).—The full effect of black and red is obtained by an
arrangement of the two colours in marked contrast.

(2) The lines are used as a scale for the Heading, the red capitals
and interspaces each being one line high. If a Heading so spaced
appear too close to the first line of black writing, another line
space may be left.

(3) The round Es are used to fill out the second line, and the
square, narrow E to relieve the crowded third line.

(4) _Other Colour Schemes._—The entire _heading_, or the letters W,
H, B, O, R, in burnished gold; or the whole variegated (see p. 180).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 91.›]



Fig. 92 represents the first page of a book or chapter in two
columns, beginning with a rather ornate Heading, in which the Initial
is made the principal feature, and having coloured Versals and
_line-finishings_ throughout the text.

It is more difficult to get a good effect in this way than by means
of a marked colour contrast (see p. 144), _or variegated colour, and
gold_ (see Note 7).

‹Note› (1).—The lines bounding the text would naturally be indented,
or pale (not black as in the block), and ruled from head to foot of
the page (see Note (2) on the next figure).

(2) The red ornamental line-finishings (see p. 205) would be more
effective if variegated.

(3) The Versals in the text are made about a line high, but are
dropped below the line (p. 122).

(4) The Versals in the Heading are made one line high, with one-line
spacing—between O and D increased to two lines (partly filled by
a flourish from the D), in order to fit the U, O, and D in evenly
beside the Initial.

(5) The Initial Q should project slightly up and out—beyond the
bounding lines—to mark the top, left corner more strongly (see
_footnote_, p. 211).

(6) _All_ the rubricating on this page is done with the same pen (see
pp. 205, 218).

(7) _Other Colour Schemes._ “‹Quod fuit ab initio›,” the _filigree
ornament_ and the V V in burnished gold (or the Q and VV in gold),
the rest of the Versals and line-finishings in _Red and Blue_, or
_Red and Green_, or _Red, Blue, and Green_ (see pp. 181, 185). [p135]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 92.›]



Fig. 93 represents two columns of black text, consisting of short
verses, &c., which are marked by coloured capitals—forming bands of
colour—in the margins.

‹Note› (1).—The coloured capitals in the figure are made rather
larger than usual, to enforce the effect of the two lines of red and
mark their contrast with the columns of black text. In practice,
however, they would be better and more distinct if rather smaller.

(2) The lines bounding the text would naturally be faint, or
_grooved_ (p. 343); but, ruled from head to foot of the page, they
would be sufficiently apparent to add materially to the general
effect of orderly arrangement. (Lines are printed here to show
clearly the way the two columns are ruled and to _suggest_ this
effect, though the process block necessarily gives a false impression
in making them appear too short and too heavy).

(3) Extra width between the columns (and also in the margin) may be
allowed for the coloured capitals (compare fig. 92).

(4) Words in simple written capitals are used to mark slight
divisions, or changes of sense, in the text.

(5) A stiff Versal of a rather “Roman” type is used, partly because
of the number of the capitals (see p. 126).

(6) _Other Colour Schemes._—The larger capitals might be in burnished
gold, the rest in red (or in _red_, _blue_, and _green_); or all
might be in _red_, _blue_, and _green_. [p137]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 93.›]



Fig. 94 represents a poem in two verses which are distinguished
by interspaces and by coloured capitals—a brief introductory line
also being in colour. (It is supposed that the poem occurs in a
book—mainly in prose—written in Roman small-letters.)

It is generally best to distinguish the verses of poems by one-line
interspaces. When this is done, coloured initials are not so
necessary, and their value become chiefly decorative (see 123).

‹Note› (1).—The writing is founded on “Italic” (see Plate XXI.),
and (it is supposed that) it would be used here wherever the songs
occurred; firstly, to distinguish them from the rest of the text, and
secondly, to keep the lines of the poem entire—_Italics occupying
less room than ordinary, round Small-Letters_ (see p. 315).

(2) The story opens with the first line, which may in this case be
regarded either as a _Title_ or as a prefatory note in red.

(3) The two red capitals are made of a rather “Roman” type to match
the Italic (and the small Roman text of the book). The difference
in height made between the W and the S is intended to balance the
difference in width, and to give them an appearance of equal weight.
This may be permitted where there are only a few capitals; where
there are many, their heights are generally kept more uniform.

(4) _Another Colour Scheme._—W and S would look better in burnished
gold. [p139]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 94.›]



Fig. 95 is a reproduction, in facsimile, showing quarter of a page of
a folio Service Book (probably French, early sixteenth century). The
page consists of two columns of ten staves each, and is headed @ _In
vigi_ (lia), _natiuitatis dnī_. The book is printed on vellum in red
and black; the columns of music have faint red bounding lines ruled
by hand (not shown in the figure).

The red stave is very effective, and it was commonly used in early
MSS. and printed books. There appears to be some doubt, however,
as to its practical value, and I have been advised that it is not
so legible as the black line stave, and also that, in _Church
Service Books_ (see p. 345), in order to make an absolutely clear
distinction, red should be reserved entirely for the _rubrics_.

The “plain-song” chant, with its four-line stave, has a simpler
and finer appearance than the more modern and elaborate five-lined
stave and tailed notes. The latter, however, may yet be treated very

‹Note 1.›—The mark @ and the capitals @, @ and @ were blotted—it can
scarcely be called “painted”—with yellow. Yellow or red were often
used in this way to mark the small black capitals in printed books
(p. 428, & _comp._ p. 302). It is a questionable method. (These blots
have been removed from the figure—except, by an oversight, in the
case of @).

(2) _Other Colour Schemes._—(_a_) The title, or (_b_) the text and
the notes, might be in burnished gold (the other parts in either case
remaining in _red_ and _black_). [p141]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 95.›]



Fig. 96 represents a coloured Tail-piece or decorative finish at the
end of a book (or chapter).

_The Colophon_ (see p. 128 & figs. 13, 191), generally distinguished
from the text by a smaller or different hand, and—especially in early
printed books—by _colour_ or other decorative treatment, occurs at
the end of a book, where it is the traditional right of the penman
and the printer to add a statement or a symbolical device. The _Name_
(of craftsman and assistants), _Time_, and _Place_ are commonly
stated—preferably quite simply—_e.g._ “_This book, written out by me,
A.B., in LONDON, was finished on the 31st day of DECEMBER 1900._” Any
reasonable matter of interest concerning the _text_, the _materials_,
_methods_, _lettering_, or _ornament_, and an account of the _number
of leaves and their size, &c._, may be added. But the craftsman,
properly and modestly keeping his name off the title-page, is at
liberty to exercise his right, marking the end of, and _signing_ his
work in any way he chooses—even in a speech or a sentiment—provided
the form of the colophon be unobtrusive and its language natural.
_Printer’s devices_ or _book-marks_, consisting of symbols,
monograms, &c. (p. 362), were likewise used.

 The  opportunity  generally  provided  by the final
 margin, and the natural wish to close the book with
 a fitting  ornament,  also led to the use of colour
 or capitals in the  concluding lines; and sometimes
 the “tail” of the text was given a triangular form,
 the lines becoming shorter and shorter
 till they ended in a single
 word, or even one

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 96.›]



_Contrast of Red and Black._—The most effective arrangement of red
lettering with black text involves a sharp contrast, and, as a rule,
the concentration of the red in a line or mass (see figs. 91, 93, and
96, where the red lettering is massed at the head, side, and foot
of the black). Too many red capitals scattered through a page lose
their effect, and appear as though they were _brown_-red rather than
bright red (see pp. 134, 185). Printed title-pages, &c., may be seen
with promiscuous lines of black and red, in which the fine effects
obtainable by the use of bright colour is dispersed and lost; while
the same, or even a less, amount of red, massed in one or two places
in the page, would show to great advantage.

_Notes in Red in Margins._—Red lettering, and particularly small red
writing, may be used freely in the margins; being much lighter than
black, it appears there as a _marginal decoration_, not interfering
with the regular look of the page. Indeed, red may be used more
freely, and I think its decorative effect is greater, in the form
of rubrics, than in any other simple form of ornament (see _Red
in Church Service Books_ (pp. 140, 345) and _Red substituted for
Italics_ (p. 315)).

_Paragraph and other Marks._—Various symbols, numerals, and marks
(such as ☛ ¶ @ * † ‡ § @ [/V] ℞—_Addenda_, p. 25) may be made in red.

_Red Lines._—Lines made to divide, or outline, pages (“rules” or
“rule borders”) should be sparingly used, and then rather in black
than in red (see p. 364). If in red, particularly between lines of
writing, these should be “ruled feint” with diluted colour. [p145]

_Red for Ornaments._—Red may be used pretty freely _with_ other
colours (blue, green, and gold), but by itself more sparingly.

_OTHER COLOURS._—The foregoing remarks refer mainly to contrasts of
black and red, but apply, to a certain extent, to black with any
bright colour (or gold) (see “_Other Colour Schemes_” given above,
and p. 180).


 Tools & Materials — Laying the Ground — Laying the Gold-Leaf —
 Burnishing the Gold — Remedying Faults in Gilding — Gold Writing
 — Other Methods & Recipes for Gilding — Appendix on Gilding (by
 _Graily Hewitt_).


These should be kept together in a convenient box, as it is important
that the process should not be interrupted by a search for a missing

  _Tools and Materials._           _Summary of Process._

 HARD LEAD PENCIL.                For drawing forms if necessary.
 POUNCE.                          For preparing surface: “pouncing.”
 “SIZE” OR RAISING PREPARATION.   For raising and backing leaf.
 SMALL SAUCER.                    For mixing size in.
 NEEDLE SET IN HANDLE.            For bursting bubbles, &c.
 QUILL PEN.                       For “laying” the size.
 KNIFE.                           For trimming size, &c.
 GOLD-LEAF.                       For gilding. [p146]
 SCISSORS.                        For cutting gold-leaf.
 BURNISHING-SLAB.                 For backing the parchment or paper
                                    while under pressure.
 BREATHING-TUBE.                  For damping size.
 RUBBING-PAPER.                   For pressing leaf on to size.
 CHALK OR SOFT LEAD PENCIL.       For marking form on rubbing-paper.
 BURNISHER, TOOTH SHAPE.          For (1) pressing down, and (2)
                                    burnishing gold-leaf.
 FEATHER (Brush, &c.).            For dusting off the pounce.
 BRUSH.                           For brushing off waste leaf.
 (HARD INDIARUBBER.)              (For removing gold from parchment.)
 (POWDER GOLD & FINE BRUSH.)      (For “mending” in certain cases.)


_Drawing the Form._—Elaborate letters or ornaments may be drawn
with a hard pencil, which will leave slight indentations in the
surface of the page when the marks of the lead have been removed with
indiarubber. In the case of free lettering or gold writing, however,
the forms should be made directly with the pen (see pp. 148, 164).

_Preparing the Surface: Pouncing._—The surface is thoroughly cleaned
and prepared with powdered pumice stone, or other suitable “pounce”
(see pp. 167, 174). This being rubbed well into the actual part
which is to take the size absorbs grease and slightly roughens[28]
the surface. The surrounding parts are also pounced to prevent the
gold-leaf from sticking to them later.

_Composition of the Ground or Size._ The chief [p147] substance in
a “size” or raising preparation is generally some kind of earthy
matter, to give it body. Other substances, having toughness and
stickiness, are used to bind the earthy matter and prevent its
breaking when the page is turned over or bent, and also to make the
size adhere to the page and the gold-leaf stick to the size. Yellow
or red colouring matter is often added. A preservative, such as oil
of cloves—in a minute quantity—may be present: this will permit of
the size being kept in a semi-liquid condition, in a closed jar.

The following recipe was given to me by Mr. G. Loumyer:—

 “_Chalk (Whiting)._
 _Oxide of Iron—1/2 grain._
 _Glue (Carpenter’s)—4 grains._
 _Gum Arabic—2 grains._
 _Water—50 grains._

 _Melt the gum and the glue together in the water, then add the oxide
 of iron, and lastly put in enough chalk to make the whole a rather
 liquid paste. Apply to the parchment, which you have previously
 well rubbed with whiting, and, when dry, apply the gold-leaf with

_Mixing the Size with Water._—A little of the size, taken from the
jar (see above), is put in the saucer with a few drops of water to
soak for an hour or two. It is then rubbed down with a finger-tip,
care being taken to mix it very thoroughly and to avoid making
bubbles. The right consistency is judged by experience—it should be
thick rather than thin.

It is essential that all the ingredients be present in their right
proportions, and the mixture should be stirred every now and then.
Otherwise the earthy [p148] matter settles down, and the sticky
parts, remaining in solution above, are liable to be used up. What
is left in the saucer after use is apt to be deficient in its sticky
parts, and it is best thrown away. Take out of the jar only what is
required at the time, and mix a fresh lot the next time.

_Bubbles_, formed in the mixture, may be burst by a needle, or by
adding a minute drop of oil of cloves.

_Methods of Laying the Size._—The parchment or paper is laid _flat_
on a table; if on a slope, the size would run down and lie unevenly.
A quill pen with a finely cut nib and an extra long slit (about 5/8
inch) is used for laying the size. It is filled pretty full by means
of a quill or a brush; if by the latter, special care must be taken
to avoid bubbles.

Experiments should be made in various methods.

I. Perhaps the best way of laying the size, so that it may set
properly and that the burnish may retain its brilliance, is to put
on a thin coat with a pen—in the direct manner in which coloured
Versals are made (_q.v._)—and afterwards add two or three thin coats,
allowing each coat to dry thoroughly. This requires considerable
patience and skill, as it takes a long time, and there is a danger,
in adding several coats, of spoiling the form by going over the edges.

II. The simplest method for ordinary gold letters is to make them
with _one extra thick coat_[29] of size, exactly like coloured
Versals—first a natural pen outline, and then the filling in (see
fig. 81). This requires some practice to do well, as the thicker size
is more difficult to manage than the [p149] colour.[30] Very narrow
parts—such as the thin strokes—are apt to be deficient in size, and
therefore, while they are still wet, the pen—held nearly vertical
with the nib in contact with the surface of the size—is moved slowly
along it until the stroke has received sufficient size and is
properly filled out.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 97.›]

III. A method that may be found more convenient for heavy forms, is
to hold the pen across the form to be gilded (which has previously
been marked on the parchment) with its nib resting on the further
outline (_a_, fig. 97). The nib being moved along that line, by
contact with the parchment restrains the size from passing beyond it,
while allowing it to flow out freely behind and below (_a_, 2). The
opposite side is similarly treated, and, if the form be narrow, the
size as it flows out blends with that already laid (_b_). The ends of
the form are finished in like manner (_c_). [p150]

The angle of the pen with the parchment is less for a wider form
(_b_, fig. 98).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 98.›]

As a general rule the size should stand pretty high when wet; it
shrinks in drying, and, if it forms too thin a coat, it will neither
hold the gold-leaf fast nor burnish well. While the size is still wet
it is easy to raise it to any height desired by running more size
into the form in the manner described above. It is well, however, not
to raise the size too high, as burnished gold too much raised looks
out of place on a page and has a heavy and vulgar appearance (p.
184). Very high raising also does not dry so well, and when dry it is
more liable to chip.

The work of laying the size should be carried out as quickly as
possible. If one part of the form is left any appreciable time before
the remaining parts are sized, the first part will begin to settle
and dry, and the different layings will not blend or lie evenly.
Though the size is thick and awkward to use at first, a little skill
will coax it quickly and evenly out of the pen, and it will all blend
and dry with an even surface.

When it is sized, put the work away to dry in a [p151] drawer or
safe place where it cannot be smudged or get dusty.

_Drying the Size._—The average time allowed is twenty-four hours, but
it varies with the weather and the temperature; damp weather may make
a longer time necessary, and dry weather or heat will shorten the
time. The thickness of the raising affects the time very much; a very
thin coat will dry in an hour or two, while an extra thick coat may
take several days. Size not dry enough is too sticky to burnish; if
too dry, it is so absorbent that it sucks up all the moisture which
is breathed on it. To ensure the gold-leaf’s sticking thoroughly, it
is safer on the whole to gild the size while it is still slightly
damp, and delay the burnishing till it is drier.

The time to allow and the right condition of the size for gilding can
only be accurately judged by experience.


‹Note.›—_In illuminated MSS., in order to avoid risk of injury to the
gold it may be laid last of all (see pp. 170–1). The inexperienced
illuminator, however, may find it better to follow the easier method
of finishing the gold before applying the colours._

The process of gold-laying must be carried out steadily and quickly;
all the necessary tools, &c., should be ready to hand (see p. 145).

_The Gold-Leaf._—This is sold in books of twenty-five leaves. The
ordinary leaf, about 3-1/4 inches square, consisting of gold and
alloy, is said to be beaten out to less than 1/200,000 inch in
thickness. As gold sticks readily to gold, especially when very thin
and liable to wrinkle and fold over, or to paper, red [p152] bole
or ochre is scattered between the leaves of the ordinary book. This
powder will come off on the work and give it an ugly colour, when
burnishing, unless it is dusted off very carefully.

It is better to get gold “double” (or “quadruple”) the ordinary
thickness, specially prepared for fine work such as illuminating,
quite pure, and put up in white books (without bole).

_Cutting the Leaf._—With the scissors, which must be quite clean and
sharp (or else the gold will stick to them and tear), cut a whole or
half leaf of gold, together with the paper leaf on which it lies, out
of the book.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 99.›]

The gold is cut on one paper (fig. 99) (not between papers, for then
it would stick and tear), and the cut edges of the paper and the gold
stick together slightly. If the edge of the gold is anywhere loose
and apt to flap about, it and the corresponding paper edge can be
nicked together with the scissors (fig. 100). The gold-leaf being
lightly held to the paper in this way is easily handled.

A piece of gold, about 1/8 inch larger all round than the form to
be gilded, is cut from the leaf in the manner described above (_a_,
_b_, fig. 100). Except in the case of a very large form, it is not
worth trying [p153] to save gold by cutting it out in the same
shape. Square, oblong, and triangular shaped pieces are suitable for
ordinary use; these are laid in a convenient place—the edge of a book
cover will do very well (fig. 101)—ready to be picked up at the right

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 100.›]

The burnishing slab (a flat piece of vulcanite, celluloid, or metal)
is placed under the page to give it a hard, firm back, which will
make the pushing and rubbing of the burnisher effective.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 101.›]

_Preparing the Size._—If the size has dried rough, it may be lightly
scraped with the pen-knife—removing as little as possible of the
surface, in which the essential _stickiness_ frequently seems to be
concentrated. [p154]

Ordinarily a form should not require trimming, though if its edges
have accidental roughnesses, these may be trimmed a _little_ with the

_Damping the Size._—The breathing tube is about 1/2 inch (or less)
in diameter, and 6 inches or more in length; it may be made of paper
or cane. One end of the tube being lightly held between the lips,
the other is moved about over the size, which is gently breathed
upon (fig. 102). The breath condensing on the surface of the size,
moistens it and renders it sticky. The amount of moistening required
depends on the condition of the size.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 102.›]

Care has to be taken that the breath does not condense in the tube
and drop on to the work.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 103.›]

_Laying the Gold-Leaf._—Immediately that the size has been
sufficiently breathed upon, the piece of paper with gold-leaf
adhering (held ready in the right [p155] hand) is placed upon it,
gold-leaf downwards, care being taken to place it steadily down, and
not drag it across the size (fig. 103).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 104.›]

The Rubbing Paper—a convenient piece of thin but tough paper (held
ready in the left hand)—is immediately laid above the gold-leaf
paper, and is then rubbed over firmly with the finger-tip, in order
at once to attach the leaf to the size (fig. 104). It is then quickly
rubbed with the soft pencil [p156] or chalk till the raised form
underneath is indicated on the surface of the paper (fig. 105).

These two operations may be combined by having a little blue chalk
either on the finger-tip or on the upper surface of the rubbing paper.

Round the outline of this form the point of the burnisher[31] is
worked, pressing the gold-leaf firmly—through both the papers—against
the size, in the angle formed by the size and the surface of the
parchment (fig. 106).

The fore part of the burnisher is then passed rapidly all over the
rubbing paper with a firm pressure (fig. 107).

The rubbing paper and the other paper are picked off, and an
experienced eye can usually tell if the gold is sticking properly by
a peculiar, smooth appearance which it then has.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 105.›]

_Several Letters or Forms_ which are close together may be gilded
simultaneously—with one piece of gold-leaf—as if they were one
complex form. This saves time, but if too many forms are gilded
together, some of them are liable to be less thoroughly and
effectually treated.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 106.›]

_Small Scattered Forms_ (dots, &c.).—For these the gold-leaf may be
cut into a sufficient number of little pieces, which are allowed
to fall (_gold side downwards_) on a sheet placed to receive them.
[p157] They are picked up separately by means of a needle stuck into
their backing-paper.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 107.›]

_Additional Coats of Gold-Leaf._—A second leaf of gold may be laid
on immediately on the top of the first; this will ensure richness
and facilitate burnishing. Additional leaves may be laid after
burnishing, but, unless the first gilding is absolutely clean, there
is a risk of the second leaf peeling off when re-burnished. [p158]


_The Burnisher._—A tooth-shaped agate burnisher (fig. 108) is
commonly used.

The _point_ is used for pushing the leaf into angles and for
burnishing angles (_a_).

The _fore-part_ for general burnishing (_b_).

The _bend_ for cross-burnishing and for angles (_c_).

The _side_ for very gentle and light burnishing (_d_).

The burnisher is kept scrupulously clean, and to ensure this it is
frequently rubbed on a cloth.

_Dusting off the Pounce._—The edge of the parchment may be tapped
smartly on the desk to shake off the pounce, and a feather or a soft
handkerchief may be used, care being taken not to brush the pounce
over the gold. [p159]

_Brushing off Waste Leaf._—The superfluous gold round the edge of the
gilded form may be lightly brushed off with the tip of the brush.
This may be done after or before the burnishing—preferably _after_
(see p. 170).

Any gold which may have stuck to the surrounding parchment, in spite
of the pouncing, may be removed with the knife or with the hard
indiarubber point, _great care being taken not to touch the gilded

_Burnishing the Gold._—The gold-leaf may be burnished immediately
after laying when the size is _very dry_, but it is safer to wait
for a quarter of an hour—or longer, if the size is at all damp (see
_Drying_, p. 151).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 108.›]

The slab is again put under the work, and the burnishing is begun
very gently and cautiously: should the burnisher stick in the very
least, it is instantly stopped (or else the gold will be scratched
off), examined, and cleaned.

The first strokes of the burnisher are generally carried all over the
work, very lightly and with a [p160] circular movement (fig. 109),
till the gold begins to _feel smooth_, and the matt surface gives
place to a dull polish.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 109.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 110.›]

As the gold gets smoother a little more pressure is used, and the
burnisher is moved in straight lines in every direction across the
gold (fig. 110). At this point the gold should have a peculiar and
agreeable feeling of smoothness under the burnisher, an unmistakable
sign that all is going well.

A rapid light polish with the bend of the burnisher across a gold
stem will give a very good finish (_c_, fig. 108).

Properly burnished gold in a right light is at first as bright as a
mirror, and in some lights may look [p161] quite dark by reason of
its smoothness. A piece of white paper may be held at such an angle
that the white light from it is reflected by the gold; this will show
the quality of the burnish, and also show up any brown spots which
the leaf may have failed to cover. It is helpful, moreover, during
the actual process of burnishing to have a reflecting paper folded
and standing beside the work (fig. 111).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 111.›]

At first the size under the burnished gold is not thoroughly
hardened, and great care should be taken of it (not to breathe on nor
finger the gold in any way, nor allow it to lie about and get dusty).
It is best to put it away safely in a drawer for a week or two.

After a week or fortnight, when the size has set a little more, it
may be very gently re-burnished, and this may be done again at the
end of another [p162] fortnight. This final burnishing, when the
size is nearly hard, will give it a very lasting polish. It is well,
however, to take every care of burnished gold, and to secure it from
risk of damage as soon as may be. Illuminated miniatures were often
protected by a piece of silk between the leaves—and this should be
done now, in the case of fine work. That a bound volume protects the
burnished gold within it is proved by the large number of MSS. in
which the gold, laid and burnished 500 years ago, is in perfect and
brilliant preservation.


To lay and burnish gold satisfactorily requires considerable
experience. Careful practice with a good “size” will overcome the
chief difficulties: these, and their probable causes, are here

 _To make the Size stick to the_    _Probable Causes of Size_
   _Surface._                         _not sticking to Parchment_
                                      _or Paper._

 Clean and pounce thoroughly:       Dirty Surface.
   roughen if necessary (pp.        Greasy Surface.
   146, 167).                       Horny Surface or
                                    Non-porous Surface.

 Procure or make a proper           Size not sticky enough
   composition, mix thoroughly
   always, and stir frequently      Size not tough enough (and
   when in use. If composition is     crumbling off)
   at fault, add—
     _a._ Sticky matter.            both causes due to faulty
     _b._ Toughening matter           composition, or mixing. [p163]
   (pp. 147, 166, and Appendix).

 _To make the Gold-leaf stick_      _Probable Causes of Gold-leaf_
   _to the Size._                     _not sticking to Size._

 Breathe on thoroughly and          Size not damped enough
   avoid delay in laying the gold     due to insufficient breathing
   (p. 154).                          on, or too absorbent nature or
 Do not allow size to dry too         condition of, size.
   long (p. 151).

 More, and more careful,            Not sufficient rubbing and
   rubbing and pressure               pressing on of gold.
   (p. 156).

 (See above.)                       Size not sticky enough.

 Raise the size sufficiently        Not enough size, particularly
   (p. 150). If not enough when       in thin lines and edges.
   dry, roughen surface and add
   another coat.

 Try re-gilding (p. 157), or,       The gold may refuse to stick
   if spots persist, scrape them      in _spots_ with no apparent
   gently and try again: failing      reason, but probably from one
   that, gently scrape off all        or other of the above causes.
   the gold and try white of          Or the size may have been
   egg (dilute), or a slight          touched accidentally and have
   re-sizing (as above).              become greasy or dirty.

 If the spots are very small
   and there is not time to spare
   for re-gilding, they may be
   touched with powder gold and
   dilute white of egg, and
   burnished when dry.

 _To make the Gold-leaf smooth_     _Probable Causes of Gold-leaf’s_
   _and bright._                      _not burnishing properly._

 _a._ Allow longer time (p. 151).   Size too sticky.
 _b._ Allow longer time (p. 151).     Due to—
 _c._ Remove size and re-size with      _a._ Damp weather.
   proper composition.                  _b._ Insufficient time
                                          allowed for drying.
 Sometimes this difficulty may be       _c._ Too much sticky matter
   overcome by using several coats         in size.
   of gold-leaf (p. 157).

 Scrape smooth with sharp knife.    Size rough surfaced.
   (Sometimes the size itself is
   burnished before the gold-leaf
   is laid.)

 Clean burnisher frequently.        Burnisher becoming dirty.


Both paper and parchment when much wet with size are apt to cockle.
Generally it is not possible, or desirable (see p. 174), to guard
against this by first stretching the material, but the size may be
used with less water, so that it will dry sooner. In cases where
there is a gold background it may often be divided into small parts
(to be sized at different times) by the pattern (see p. 191). For
large unbroken patches of gold several thin coats may be put on, one
after the other.

Some sizes have a tendency to crack: this is difficult to guard
against. But, if the cracks are very minute—such as may be seen
in many instances in the best early MSS.—they do not constitute a
serious blemish.

Burnished gold is often damaged by careless handling or insufficient


The page (having been ruled as for ordinary writing) is thoroughly
pounced all over.

The pen has an extra long slit, and the size is made a little more
fluid than usual to allow of its flowing freely and making true
pen-strokes (p. 63).

The desk is lowered (fig. 46, _b_), or flat, so that the size may
flow freely.

The nib sometimes makes only a wet down-stroke on the parchment, but,
by lightly pushing the pen up again, the stroke will be filled by the
size which flows out from under the nib. Simple pen-strokes in small
writing hold but little, and so ought to be filled as full of size as
possible (pp. 150, 184). They will be found to dry much more [p165]
quickly than larger forms, and may be gilded within a few hours of
writing. Half-a-dozen or more letters are gilded together (see p.


Gold-leaf may be cut with a “_gilder’s knife_” on a “_gilder’s
cushion_,” and picked up with a “_gilder’s tip_.”

Water, white of egg, or alcohol may be used to make the gold-leaf
adhere to the size.

“_Transfer gold-leaf_” is convenient, but the _greasiness_ of the
transfer paper is apt to dim the gilding.

_Gold-leaf_ is made in many shades, from “red” (gold + copper) to
“green” (gold + silver); though these may be used very effectively,
they are liable to tarnish, and it is best to begin with pure gold
(see pp. 152, 169).

_Silver-leaf_ oxidises and turns black; platinum (a good substitute)
costs about 2s. 6d., and _aluminium_ (not so good) about 6d. per book.

“_Gold Ink_” has been made with powdered gold: its effect is inferior
to _raised and burnished_ writing.

The following is from “The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini”
(written about the beginning of the fifteenth Century): Translated by
Christiana J. Herringham, 1899:—

 “Chap. 157.—_How you must do miniature-painting and put gold on

 “First, if you would paint miniatures you must draw with a leaden
 style figures, foliage, letters, or whatever you please, on
 parchment, that is to say, in books: then with a pen you must make
 the delicate permanent [p166] outline of what you have designed.
 Then you must have a paint that is a sort of gesso, called asiso,
 and it is made in this manner; namely, a little gesso sottile [see
 chap. 116, below], and a little biacca [whitelead], never more of
 this than equals a third part of the gesso; then take a little
 candy, less than the biacca; grind these ingredients very finely
 with clear water, collect them together, and let them dry without
 sun. When you wish to use some to put on gold, cut off a piece as
 large as you have need of, and temper it with the white of an egg,
 well beaten, as I have taught you. [_The froth is allowed to stand
 for one night to clear itself._] Temper this mixture with it; let
 it dry; then take your gold, and either breathing on it or not, as
 you please, you can put it on; and the gold being laid on, take
 the tooth or burnishing-stone and burnish it, but hold under the
 parchment a firm tablet of good wood, very smooth. And you must
 know that you may write letters with a pen and this asiso, or lay
 a ground of it, or whatever you please—it is most excellent. But
 before you lay the gold on it, see whether it is needful to scrape
 or level it with the point of a knife, or clean it in any way, for
 your brush sometimes puts more on in one place than in another.
 Always beware of this.”

 “Chap. 116.—_How to prepare gesso sottile (slaked plaster of Paris)
 for grounding panels._

 “You must now prepare a plaster for fine grounds, called gesso
 sottile. This is made from the same plaster [plaster of Paris] as
 the last, but it must be well purified (purgata), and kept moist in
 a large tub for at least a month; renew the water every day until it
 almost rots, and is completely slaked, and all fiery heat goes out
 of it, and it becomes as soft as silk. Throw away the water, make it
 into cakes, and let it dry; and this gesso is sold by the druggists
 to our painters. It is used for grounding, for gilding, for working
 in relief, and other fine works.” [p167]

 (_By Graily Hewitt_)

Success with raised gilding can only be expected when practice has
rendered attention to the details of the process automatic and there
is no need to pause and think. Even then the results must be somewhat
uncertain and experimental. For our own preparations of size are
usually unsatisfactory, and the ingredients of the best we can buy
are unknown to us. And our vellum is certainly not of the quality we
find in the old books. Some one is badly wanted to investigate the
chemistry of the one and an appropriate preparation of the other. But
we can take as much care as our time allows, passing nothing as “good
enough” which we have not well examined, and bringing to the business
all the patience and deftness available.

Vellum is too stiff, or too dry, or too greasy. When stiff, it is
too thick for books; when dry, too apt to crack or cockle; when too
greasy, exasperating. And yet the soft and rather greasy sort can
be rendered more agreeable than the rest with labour. It should
be rubbed by the flat of the hand with powdered pumice (or even
fine sandpaper on the rough side) and French chalk, especially on
its split (or rougher) side, until it is serviceable. A few trials
will teach how long to give to this. Five minutes for one side of
a lamb’s skin would not be too much. It can then be beaten with a
silk handkerchief, but not rubbed with this until the size has been
laid. It may be rubbed cleaner between the laying of the size and the
gilding. Especially must those parts of pages be thoroughly rubbed
clean which in the book, when made up, will lie upon and be pressed
against gold letters on the page opposite; or the pumice left behind
will scratch them. On the other hand, if the vellum has not been
thoroughly pumiced on both pages, the greasiness in [p168] it will
dim the gold in time, both from above and below; or even make the
size flake off altogether. The size is often blamed for faults of the
vellum and its want of preparation.

Again size, or “raising preparation,” is too sticky or too dry. If
the former, the gold will not burnish well; if the latter, it will
burnish, but will not stick at the edges, and will crack sooner or
later. And though the essential quality of gilding is brightness, one
may be content to fail of this rather than have letters ragged in
outline or broken on the surface.

The size in use should be just liquid enough to flow evenly from the
pen. More water makes it dry too brittle, and tends to cockle the
vellum also; less tends to blobbiness and unevenness. Even when it is
put on fairly an uncomfortable groove is apt to form as it dries down
the centre of letters; but this can be either filled up as soon as
the first layer is dryish, or the sides of the groove can be scraped
(when the letter is quite dry) down to the level of the groove itself
with a sharp knife. The knife must be sharp. As this scraping does
not affect the extreme edges the power of the size there to hold the
leaf is not impaired by it; and certainly a well-scraped surface
is extremely even and pleasant to gild. If the surface, however,
be burnished and not scraped before laying the leaf, it will not
hold the size well, and remains lumpy also where lumps were there
originally; while scraping gets rid of these. During use the size
should be kept thoroughly mixed; and a small sable brush serves well
for this purpose, as soon as it can be used so carefully as not to
cause bubbles.

To know the exact time to allow between laying and gilding one had
need to be a meteorologist, so much “depends on the weather.” Very
dry and very wet weather are equally unkind. Generally an interval
of about twenty-four hours is right; but it is better to gild too
soon than too late, provided one can be content, on testing the naked
surface of the gilded letter with a [p169] burnisher, and noting
that the glitter is reluctant to come, to leave the burnishing for a
while, and only lay the leaf, pressing it well home to the outline
of the letters. The burnishing can then be done in a few more hours.
But if the size be too dry, the difficulty will be to make the leaf
stick to it at all. In this case the leaf adhering can be scraped
off, the size scraped down further, and another thin coat added and
gilded after a shorter interval. If the letter be so fouled that such
repairs are difficult, it should be entirely scraped away and the
size relaid altogether. In doing this care is needed that the vellum
be not injured round the letter.

The best gold-leaf for ordinary work costs about 3s. for twenty-five
pages. More expensive leaf, being thicker, does not stick so well
to the edges; cheaper is too thin to burnish well. Two kinds may be
used together with good results, the finer leaf being put on next
the size, and the thicker at once on to the top of that. The letter
is then pressed and outlined as usual through paper, and the thin
leaf will be found of considerable assistance towards the making of a
clean cut edge. Generally, however, the piling on of several leaves
is inadvisable, as bits are liable to flake away as the letter goes
on drying, leaving dim specks where they have been. Yet if, after
the outlining through the paper, the leaf is seen to be very dull or
speckled with the colour of the size, this means that the size has
been partly pressed through the leaf; and another laid immediately
will have enough to stick to, and will burnish well. The best result
comes of one moderately thick leaf laid and burnished at the right
time as quickly as possible. Thicker leaves need only be used for
large surfaces, where the edge can be scraped even and clean, or
where a black outline is to be added.

As soon as the leaf is laid, and from that point onward, the breath
must be kept from the letter with a shield (of cardboard or tin) held
in the left hand or otherwise. Inattention to this is responsible
for many failures. Not [p170] only should the actual letters under
operation be so protected, but where a quantity are sized ready for
gilding on the page these should be protected also, as well as any
parts already finished; for breath not only moistens but warms,
and on warm size moisture condenses less easily. If the work to be
done presently is so warmed, it will be found more difficult to
deal with when its time comes. The first work done in the day is
often the best, and for this reason, that the size for it is cool;
but in gilding this portion one almost necessarily warms that to be
done later. Two pages, where possible, should therefore be gilded
alternately, one cooling while a portion of the other is gilded.
Or thin plates of metal, or even cardboard, may be placed about as
shields to protect all surfaces not under actual operation.

Superfluous gold is best removed by dusting lightly with an old and
very clean and dry silk handkerchief. Indiarubber will certainly
remove gold from the vellum, but it will as certainly dim any part of
the gilding it touches. If the vellum was properly pounced to start
with the silk will easily remove all the leaf unstuck, except little
odds and ends, and these are safeliest taken away with the point of a

As the pressure of burnishing helps the leaf to stick, it is best to
wait till the letter has been burnished before this dusting. Such
spots as are visible ungilded may be afterwards treated with a slight
breath and transfer gold-leaf, or gold dust, may be painted on them.
In the latter case the spots must be most carefully burnished, if
burnished at all, or their surroundings will be scratched.

When a gold letter is to be set on a coloured background, or in
the neighbourhood of colour, it is best put on after the colour;
as may be observed was the method occasionally with the old books.
If the gold is put on first, it will certainly be dimmed by warmth
and breath during the colouring. On the other hand, if it is put on
last, great care must be taken that the gold-leaf shall not stick to
the coloured portions. Where possible, a stencil [p171] pattern of
the parts to be gilded should be cut out of paper. This is easily
made from a pencil rubbing taken after the size is laid, the raised
pattern being of course cut out carefully a trifle larger than the
outline so obtained. The paper is then laid over all the work, and
the sized portions showing through the cuttings can be gilded without
injury to the colour.

All gilded work should be retained, if possible, for a week or more,
and then re-burnished. And in burnishing generally the burnisher
should not be used, even when the size is hard, with any great force
or pressure at first. For the size in drying sets as if moulded,
and this mould cannot be squeezed about or actually crushed without
being loosened or cracked. Throughout the whole process a gentle and
vigilant alacrity is required. Success will come easily if it means
to come. It cannot be forced to come.

The binder of a book with gilding in it should be warned to press the
sheets as little as possible, and to use all his care in handling
it, so as to keep moisture, warmth, and fingering from the gold. The
folding of the sheets, when left to him, should also be done rather
differently from usual, for all gilded pages need to be kept as flat
as possible. None of the sizes in use seem capable of resisting
bending of their surfaces without crimping or cracking. Where there
is much gilding, the book will be the better for being sewn with a
zigzag[32] through the sections, as this helps to “guard” the gilded
work. [p172]


 Tools & Materials for Simple Illumination — Parchment, “Vellum,” &
 Pounce — Colours — Simple Colour Effects — Matt Gold — Burnished
 Gold — Burnished Gold Forms, & Outlines — Background Capitals —
 Applying the Background — Ornament of Backgrounds.


_TOOLS, &c., FOR GILDING._—See Chapter IX. (pp. 145–6).

_IVORY TRACING POINT._—This is useful for various purposes, and for
indenting patterns in burnished gold (see p. 191).

_BRUSHES._—Red Sables are very good. A separate brush should be kept
for each colour—or at least one brush each for _Reds_, _Blues_,
_Greens_, _White_, and _gold “paint”_—and it is convenient to have a
medium and a fine brush for each.

_PENS FOR COLOUR._—Quill pens are used: “Turkey” or “Goose.” The
latter is softer, and is sometimes preferred for colour work. For
very fine work (real) Crow Quills may be tried. A separate pen should
be used for each colour.

_COLOURED INKS._—Brown ink (tempered with black if desired) may be
used for fine outlines: if the outlined forms are to be coloured
afterwards, it is convenient if the ink be _waterproof_. [p173]
Coloured inks seldom have as good a colour as the best paint colours
(see _Colours for Penwork_, p. 176).

_COLOURS._—(p. 175). ‹MATT GOLD› (see p. 183).

_PAINT-BOX._—The little chests of drawers, sold by stationers for 2s.
6d., make very convenient “paint-boxes”: pens, &c., may be kept in
one drawer; gilding, tools, &c., in another; and colours and brushes
in another.

_PAPER_ (see pp. 51, 98, 103).—_PARCHMENT_, _VELLUM_, _& POUNCE_ (see

 (_See also Appendix on Gilding, p. 167 and pp. 98, 356_)

The name “Vellum” (strictly applicable only to calf-skin) is
generally given to any moderately good skin prepared for writing
or printing on. All the modern skins are apt to be too stiff and
_horny_: chemical action (substituted for patient handling),
followed by liberal sizing and “dressing,” is perhaps responsible.
The old skins have much more life and character, and are commonly
much softer. Their surface is generally very smooth—not necessarily
_glazed_—often with a delicate velvety _nap_, which forms a perfect
writing surface.

_Parchment_ (sheep-skin), as supplied by law-stationers, though
rather hard, still retains the character of a skin, and is in every
way preferable to the Vellum[33] which is specially prepared for
illuminators. A piece of parchment about 26 inches by 22 inches costs
about 2s. 6d. Lambskin is still better.

“_Roman Vellum_” is a fine quality of sheep or [p174] _“lamb” skin_,
made in imitation of the Vellum used in the Vatican.

The surface of a modern skin may be greatly improved by “_pouncing_”
but there seems to be a danger of its becoming rough or porous.

_Pounce._—Fine _powdered pumice_ (as supplied by drysalters) is
very good. It is rubbed on with the hand (p. 167), or with a pad
or a piece of rag. Law-stationers use a pounce in which the main
constituents are chalk (or “whiting”) and powdered resin. The latter,
when used before gilding, is apt to make the gold-leaf stick to the
surrounding parchment. (_Before Writing_, see Note 7, p. 359.)

_Chalk_, “_Whiting_” “_French Chalk_,” and _Powdered Cuttlefish
Bone_ might be used as substitutes for pumice, or as ingredients
in preparing a pounce. _Sandarach_ (a resin) rubbed on an erasure
appears to prevent ink spreading when the surface is written over.

A skin of parchment has a smooth (whiter) side—the original flesh
side—and a rougher, yellower side—the original hair side. The penman
will find the _smooth_ side preferable for writing on (though, of
course, both sides must be used in a book: see p. 110). This side is
more easily damaged, and erasures have to be very carefully made with
a _sharp_ knife, or by gentle rubbing with indiarubber. On the rough
side, erasures cause little or no damage to the surface. A piece of
rubber—or a paper stump—dipped in pounce may be used. It is better—as
it is more straightforward—to avoid erasures if possible, and to
correct mistakes frankly, as in ordinary writing (see p. 344).

For ordinary purposes parchment should be cut to the size desired,
and be held on the desk by the [p175] tape, guard, &c. (see p. 50).
It is generally a mistake to pin it down, or to damp and stretch it
on the drawing-board (see p. 356).

_Parchment is stained a fine purple_ with “Brazil-wood”: this may be
obtained from a “store chemist.” Three teacups full of Brazil-wood
are stewed in about two pints of water, with two teaspoonsful
of alum (which acts as a mordant). The colour of this liquid is
brownish-red, and to make it purple, carbonate of potash is added
(_very carefully_, or it will become too blue). The liquid is poured
into a tray, and the parchment skin is placed in it for half a day or
a couple of days. The colour dries lighter, so it should be prepared
rather dark, and diluted if necessary: strips of parchment should be
used to test it; they are taken out and dried at the fire.

The parchment skin is stretched on a frame, the edges being caught up
over little buttons or pegs, and tied at these points with string. It
is allowed to dry slowly.


_POWDER COLOURS_ are the purest: they may be mixed with gum arabic
and water. Yolk of egg and water is sometimes used as a medium (or
white of egg) (see pp. 166, 179). It is more convenient for the
beginner to use prepared colours, which are ready and dependable.

_CAKE COLOURS_ rank next to powder colours for purity: they seem to
need tempering with a little gum or honey or glycerine (or egg—see
above) for use on ordinary parchment.[34] Used [p176] plain with
water, they are apt to flake off when dry.

_PAN COLOURS_ are very safe for ordinary use.

_TUBE COLOURS_ sometimes seem to have too much glycerine; they are,
however, very convenient for preparing mixed colours in any quantity,
because of their semi-fluid condition, and because the amount of each
colour in the mixture may be judged with considerable accuracy by the
_length_ which is squeezed out of the tube (p. 178).

_COLOURS FOR PENWORK, &c._—For simple letters or decoration it is
well to use a pure

_RED_—_neither crimson nor orange tinged_:

_BLUE_—_neither greenish nor purplish_:

_GREEN_—_neither bluish nor “mossy._”

A little “body colour” is generally used with _blues_ and _greens_ to
keep them “flat” (p. 118). These colours should be mixed as required,
and be diluted to the right consistency with water (see p. 118).
Colour which has been mixed and in use for some time—especially if it
has been allowed to dry—is best thrown away (see _mixing size_, p.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 112.›]

If there is much rubricating to be done, a quantity of each colour
sufficient to last several days may be mixed, and kept in a _covered_
pot. A little pomatum pot is convenient—the smaller the better, as it
keeps the colour together, and does not allow it to dry so quickly.

The filling-brush (a rough brush kept for filling the pen) may rest
in the pot (see fig. 112), being given a stir round every time
it is [p177] used to prevent the settling of the heavy parts of
the colour. A drop of water is added occasionally as the liquid
evaporates and becomes too thick.[35]

_TINTS FEW AND CONSTANT._—_Red_, _Blue_, and _Green_ (and perhaps
_purple_) with _Gold_, _White_, and _Black_, are sufficient for
everything but the most advanced type of Illumination. And it is in
every way desirable that, until he has become a _Master_ Limner,
the Writer and Illuminator should strictly limit the number of his
colours (see p. 215).

It is one of the “secrets” of good “design” to use a limited number
of _elements_—forms or colours or materials—and to produce _variety_
by skilful and charming manipulation of these.

It is well to follow the early Illuminators in this also: that these
few colours be kept constant. When you have chosen a _Red_, a _Blue_,
and a _Green_—as pure and bright as you can make them—keep those
particular tints as _fixed_ colours to be used for ordinary purposes.
For _special purposes_ (pp. 182, 202) paler tints may be made by
adding white, and varied tints may be mixed, but even when your work
has advanced so that you require a more complex “palette,” you should
stick to the principle of _constant tints and modes of treatment for
regular occasions_: this is the secret of method.

_RED._—Vermilion is prepared in three forms: “_Vermilion_,” “_Scarlet
Vermilion_,” and “_Orange Vermilion_.” For ordinary use “_Scarlet
Vermilion_” is the best (it may be tempered with a minute quantity
of white). “_Vermilion_” is not quite so bright, and tends more to
crimson, but, mixed with [p178] “_Orange Vermilion_” it gives the
“scarlet” form. The _pan_ colour is generally most convenient.

Where scarlet is in juxtaposition with gold, their effect may be
harmonised by having a large proportion of blue in the neighbourhood:
sometimes a more crimson colour than vermilion may be used.

_Chinese Vermilion_ is a fine colour, but difficult to obtain; it
is even said that the genuine pigment is reserved exclusively for
the Chinese Emperor (whose edicts are written with “The Vermilion

_GREEN._—Verdigris is a very fine colour, closely resembling, and
possibly the same pigment as, the green in early MSS., but I believe
that it has not been rendered permanent in modern use.

_Green Oxide of Chromium_ (_transparent_) (or “Veridian”) is a very
good permanent green. It is rather a thin colour, and requires body,
which may be given with _lemon yellow_, or with _white and yellow
ochre_; being a rather bluish green, it is the better for a little
yellow. This (mixed) green is most conveniently prepared from tube

_BLUE._—_Ultramarine Ash_ (whole tube about 4s.) is a very beautiful
colour. It is rather pale and transparent (and a little “slimy” to
work) when used alone. A mixture (preferably made with tube colours)
consisting of _Ultramarine Ash and Chinese White and (a very little)
Prussian Blue_ makes an extremely fine, pure blue. A similar mixture
with _cobalt_ as a base makes a very good blue.

_Ultramarine or Powdered Lapis Lazuli_ (unfortunately known as
“Genuine Ultramarine”[36]) is a fine colour; it may have a slightly
purplish tint and need [p179] tempering with green to make a pure
blue (whole cake about 18s.).

The Blue in common use in early MSS. (before Ultramarine came into
use) has a fine, pure colour, and considerable _body_: it is more
raised than any other colour; it is often seen to be full of little
sparkles, as though there were powdered glass in it. It is supposed
to have been prepared from a copper ore.

The following note on this blue has been given to me by Mr. C. M.

 “The blue is Native Carbonate of Copper finely powdered and tempered
 with white of egg (Vermilion is tempered with the Yolk).”

 “The ore is of two kinds, a crystalline of a medium hardness found
 in France at Chessy, and hence called Chessylite, and a soft earthy
 kind which is obtained in Hungary, and largely now from Australia.
 The latter is from its ease of manipulation the best for paint
 making. It should be ground dry till it is no longer gritty and is
 of a sky blue (pale) colour.”

 “The Blue in MSS. was liable to wash off, but the oil in the Yolk
 prevented a similar result with the Vermilion. The Blue is identical
 with the Azzuro della magna (for d’allemaigne) of the Middle Ages.
 The frequently advanced hypothesis that the blue was due to a glass
 is based on the accounts of (I.) The Vestorian blue copper ‘frit’
 for enamels probably; (II.) on the accounts in sixteenth century of
 the Manufacture of Smalt, which owes its colour to a glass tinted
 with Cobalt. This Azzuro is the oldest known Western blue, and was
 probably employed on Egyptian walls, where it has gone green, as
 also in Italian Frescoes.”

 “The Green tint of the chemical change in the Copper is seen in
 initials in books too much exposed to the damp. These exhibit a
 bright green tint in places where the colour was thinly applied.”

It appears that Yolk, besides being unsuited in colour for tempering
this blue, changes it to a greenish colour (the effect of the oil,
which forms about 30 per cent. of Yolk of Egg).

_WHITE._—The tube _Chinese White_[37] is the most convenient to use
when tempering colours.

“_White Line or Hair Finishing_” (see p. 183). Various tools have
been recommended for this. A sable pencil with the outer hairs cut
away, “the smallest brush” made, and even a fine steel pen. I am
inclined to believe that some of the early Illuminators used a fine
quill—such as a crow quill, or a goose quill scraped thin and sharply

_PURPLE_ is seldom used in simple pen-work, lettering, &c., but
largely and with very fine effect in complex illumination. A
_reddish-purple_ is to be preferred. A good colour can be made from
the purple _stain_ described on p. 175, or from Ruby madder and a
little Rose madder, with a very little Ultramarine.


_Simple “Rubrication”_ (see p. 127).—Red letters were most commonly
contrasted with _blue_ (the “warmest” and “coldest” colours),[38]
in some MSS. with _green_ alone, but more commonly the three [p181]
colours were used together, the alterations being generally—

                ┐                           ┐
 «R»_ed cap._   │   in columns      «RED»   │   in lines of Caps.
 «B»_lue cap._  │   of Versal       «BLUE»  │
 «R»_ed cap._   │   letters         «RED»   │
 «G»_reen cap._ │   (see fig. 93)   «GREEN» │   (see fig. 89).
  &c.           │                    &c.    │
                ┘                           ┘

_Repetition and Limitation of Simple Colours (and Forms)._—The
uniform treatment of a MS. necessitates that no colour (or form) in
it should be quite singular, or even isolated if it can possibly be
repeated. If, for example, there be a Red capital on the “Verso”
page, the “_opening_” is improved by some Red—a capital, a rubric,
or even a line-finishing—on the “Recto” page. Very often the one
piece of colour is very small, and, as it were, an echo of the
other (compare Line-finishings and Initials, pp. 205, 193). While
it is not always possible or desirable so to treat both pages of an
opening, yet, in the book taken as a whole, _every colour used should
be repeated as often as there is a reasonable opportunity_. And,
therefore, where the opportunities for colour in a book are few and
far between, it is well to limit the “colours” used to two, or even

This necessity for repetition applies to _simple_ rather than to
complex “Illuminated” Forms—_e.g._ a book need not have more than
one Illuminated Initial—but within such complex forms themselves
[p182] _repetition_ is recognised as one of the first principles of
“decorative design” (see p. 215).

_Proportions of Colours._—In Harmonious Illumination, Blue very
commonly is the predominating colour; but no exact proportions can
be laid down, for the combined colour effect depends so much on the
arrangement of the colours.

_Effects of Neighbouring Colours._[39]—When blue and red are in
juxtaposition, the blue appears bluër and greener; the red appears
brighter and more scarlet. With Red and Green, the Red appears more
crimson, and the green, greener and bluër. A greenish blue will
appear _plain blue_ beside a pure green; a blue with a purplish tinge
will appear more purple. Experiments might profitably be made with
simple arrangements of Red, Blue, Green, Black, White, and Gold in
combinations of two or more.

_Tempering Colours with White._—Forms such as flower petals, &c., may
be painted in Blue or Red, paled with White, and then be shaded with
the pure colour; this gives considerable richness, and the effect may
be heightened by very careful white line work (_q.v._). Green leaves,
&c., may be made very pale and then touched with _Yellow_—this gives
a brilliant effect.

_Black Outlines._—The effect of these is to make a bright colour
appear brighter and richer, to define, and, to a certain extent,
_harmonise_, neighbouring colours and shapes, and to keep the design
flat [p183] (see p. 186). For one or more of these reasons, all
coloured forms—patterns, charges, &c.—in a compound colour scheme
have an outline—strong or delicate, according to the strength or
delicacy of the work (see pp. 188, 187, 202, 221, 165).

_White Lining._—A black outline is often separated from the colour
by a fine white line (see fig. 129). White lines also are used to
harmonise colours, one or more commonly being painted (or “penned”)
upon the colours. This tends to make the colours appear paler and
lighter—brightening them if they are dark. Care must be taken not
to overdo the white lining, or it will make the colours chalky and
cold. White is also used in groups of dots, and in fine patterns on
backgrounds (see pp. 213, 430).

_Gold_ is even more effective than white or black for harmonising
colours. It is commonly _Burnished_ in bars or frames (see p. 481),
and in spots (pp. 481, 187), or in large masses (p. 191). _Matt Gold_
(see below).


Matt gold, or gold “paint”—the pure gold powder with white of egg
is best—is generally _painted upon colour_. It was much used in old
miniatures for “hatching” and lighting landscapes, houses, costumes,
&c.; and stars, rays of light, and outlines of clouds were painted
in delicate gold lines upon the blue of the skies. Such gold lining
has a very mellowing and pleasant effect upon colour, but it can
easily be _overdone_. Matt gold may be used besides, for letters,
ornament, and patterns _painted upon colour_. Such forms have either
no outline, or a very faint one: their effect depends upon their
lightness, and they are not made to appear _solid_. [p184]

A very pretty effect may be obtained in a small and not very formal
manuscript by painting into the spaces left for the capitals little
squares of red and blue, and painting upon these the letters and
ornament—all in gold powder—very freely and quickly. The kind of
treatment is rather crudely suggested by fig. 113. The pleasant
appearance of the pages—as though they were scattered over with
tiny squares of cloth of gold and red and blue—is produced with
comparative ease, while the use of leaf gold might entail an
expenditure of more time and pains than the book was worth. In the
finest class of manuscripts, however, these matt gold letters would
be somewhat informal and out of place.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 113.›]


Gold is always raised and burnished as bright as possible, unless
there is a special reason for using matt gold.

The height to which it is raised varies, according to the effect
desired, from a considerable thickness to the thinnest possible
coat of “size.” Extremely thin and extremely thick raising are both
objectionable (see p. 150): roughly speaking, a suitable height for
any ordinary purpose is between 1/100 and 1/32 of an inch.

The surface, in the case of large forms, is generally made as smooth
and perfect as possible, so that, as Cennino Cennini says, the
burnished gold “_will appear almost dark from its own brightness_”;
and its [p185] brightness is only seen when the light falls on it at
a particular angle. The gilding of a manuscript, however, is slightly
flexible, and a large gilded surface is likely to be bent, so that
some part of it is sure to catch the light.

Small surfaces highly burnished very often do not show the effect
of, or “tell” as, gold, unless they catch the light by accident. It
is well, therefore, where the forms are small to have several on the
page, so that one or another will always shine out and explain the
rest. And while the proper craftsman tries always to get the best
finish which he reasonably can, the natural, slight unevennesses or
varying planes of small gilded forms may be of advantage to the whole
effect. The pleasant effect of such natural variations may be seen
in thirteenth-century Initials, where numbers of little gold pieces
are fitted into the backgrounds, and their changing surfaces cause
the whole to be lit up with little sparkles of light. A parallel
to this may be found in the hand-tooling of a book-cover, which
sparkles with gold, because the binder could not press in each piece
of gold-leaf absolutely level. On the other hand, the “deadness” of
a machine-stamped cover is largely due to the _dead level_ of its

_Black and Gold._—One of the finest effects in calligraphy can be
obtained by the simple contrast of gold capitals with black writing
(see p. 299).

While, as in the case of _black and red_, the strongest effects are
obtained by a marked contrast, gold may yet be very effectively used
for small capitals throughout the black text. It does not lose or
blend its brilliance with the black of the writing as colour is apt
to do, but lights up and illuminates the page. For this reason gold
will [p186] “help out” and make agreeable a black and colour effect
which, by itself, would have been a failure (see p. 134).


_Plain gold letters, symbols, and other detached forms, not having
backgrounds, are usually not outlined._ An outline cheapens their
effect, making them darker and heavier, and, if the line be at all
thick, concealing the true form of the letter, and giving it a clumsy

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 114.›]

It is an instructive experiment to make a gold (or plain white)
letter with a thick outline (_a_, fig. 114), and then paint a
background round it. The effect is quite altered, and greatly
improved (_b_, fig. 114). The outline no longer tells as the outer
line of the form, but partakes more of the nature of the background,
in which it cuts out, as one might say, a little _niche_ for the
letter to rest in.

_Gold-leaf forms on coloured backgrounds_ are [p187]
outlined—generally in black—in order that letter and background may
together form a flat design, stable and at rest in the page.

The distinction between the use of gold “_paint_” and the treatment
of a leaf gold form should be carefully observed: the _matt gold
powder_ lies upon colour, and may appear to blend with it (p. 183);
the _bright gold-leaf_ constitutes a distinct form, which either
lies upon the surface of _a page_, or is, as it were, _set in_ a

_Gold (leaf) Floral Ornament, &c._—If the stalk and leaves are both
gold: they are commonly not outlined, unless on a background.

If there be a thin stalk in black or colour with gold leaves: the
leaves are outlined with the stalk-colour (they were commonly
_furred_: _c_, fig. 115).

If there be a _thick_ coloured stalk with gold leaves: both stalk
and leaves commonly have a black outline, the “leaves” often being
treated as spots of gold (below).

_Gold Spots or Dots_ are usually outlined and furred with black
(fig. 115). The effect produced is of a bright gold form on a _grey_

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 115.›]

A simple “leaf” or detached spot of gold has a formless look, much as
a small _blot_ of colour or ink would have. The black outline and the
grey background-effect seem in this case to give form and interest to
the spot; at least they give it a place to _rest_ in—a nest to hold
the small golden egg. [p188]

Even a stalk and tendril (_d_, fig. 115) has the same effect of
giving intention and meaning to what might otherwise be a mere blot.

When several spots of gold (or colour) are arranged in a simple
design, together they constitute a simple form which does not require
a background. Thus the _line-finishing_ @ (a, fig. 126) has a formal
and intentional arrangement in itself, and therefore need not be


_Background Capitals or Initials_ frequently employ burnished gold,
either for the letters or the ground. All the parts (including
“solid” patterns) are generally outlined in black, or dark colour.

The commonest colours for grounds are Reds and Blues. The grounds are
frequently countercharged, or made one colour _inside_ and another
_outside_ the initial (p. 190). Sometimes little or no gold is used,
and many fine white lines are employed to separate and harmonise the
colours of the Initial and the ground. It is well, however, for the
beginner to keep the letter and the ground distinct, by observing the
Herald’s maxim, and using “Metal on colour, _or_ colour on metal.”

_The forms of the letters_ vary from those of ordinary capitals
in being thicker in proportion to their height, and frequently in
having no serifs. A very thin line or serif is apt to be lost in the

A very good form of background initial may be [p189] made out of the
ROMAN CAPITAL (_a_, fig. 116) by thickening all its parts; in place
of the serifs, curving out and shaping the ends of the stems (_b_,
_d_) to a sort of “_blunderbuss_” pattern (_g_).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 116.›]


It is well first to make the letter,[40] and then to _apply_ the
background to it (as though it were a sort of mosaic). The background
is packed tightly round the letter, and the letter occupies the
background, [p190] so that they appear to be in the same plane (_a_,
fig. 117).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 117.›]

Such “flatness” is secured even more certainly and effectively by
using two colours (_e.g._ red and blue) in the background—one inside
and one outside the letter (see Plate XII.).

The curves of the gold letter may with advantage slightly project,
and so break the hard, square outline of the background.

The letter should not have the appearance of being “stuck on,” as it
is apt to if the background is large and empty, or if the ornament
passes behind the letter (_b_, fig. 117).

In the case of letters with projecting stems or tails: the tail may
be outside the background (_a_, [p191] fig. 118), or the background
may be prolonged on one or both sides of the tail (_b_ and _c_), or
the whole “field” may be enlarged to take in the complete letter

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 118.›]

There is no limit to the variety of shapes which backgrounds may
take—symmetrical or asymmetrical, regular or irregular—provided they
fit the initial or the ornament (which may _itself_ partially, or
entirely, bound them), are properly balanced (see Plate XII., and p.
419), and take their right place on the page.


The ornament, as a rule, covers the background evenly, and is closely
packed or fitted into its place.

_Gold grounds_ are generally plain, sometimes bearing patterns in
dots. These are indented in the surface by means of a point (p. 172)
which is not too sharp. It presses the gold-leaf into tiny pits, but
does not pierce it. Gold grounds may be broken up into small parts by
coloured chequers (p. 215) or floral patterns. [p192]

_Coloured grounds_ are, as a rule, more or less evenly covered with
some form of decoration in thin white or matt gold lines, or in
“solid” patterns in various colours (see pp. 202, 212). A simple and
pretty diaper pattern may be made by diagonal lines of matt gold,
cutting up the colour into small “lozenges,” each alternate lozenge
having a fleur-de-lis or little cross, or other simple ornament (fig.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 119.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 120.›]

A bolder design, in a broad white or coloured line, may be, as it
were, woven through _counterfeited slits_ in the letter (fig. 120).
This helps to preserve the general flatness of the letter, [p193]
background, and ornament, and gives additional interest.

The mimic slits are made by black lines drawn on the burnished gold
of the letter. Where the stem of the ornament comes over the gold,
the size is cut away with a pen-knife; the part hollowed out is
painted with white to cover any blemishes, and then painted with the
stem colour, and outlined.

A plain or pale stem may have a faint or brown outline, and be
“shaded” at the sides (with _greys_, _browns_, or _yellows_) to
give an effect of solidity; a stem that is painted in strong colour
(_e.g._ red or blue) may have a central white line painted upon it.

Note that where the initials have backgrounds, the line-finishings
are commonly made with backgrounds to match, though their treatment
is naturally much simpler (see Plates XV., XVII.).


 Illumination — “Barbaric, or Colour-Work, Illumination” — “Filigree,
 or Pen-Work, Illumination” — “Natural, or Limner’s, Illumination.”


It is convenient to give a wide meaning to the word when we speak
of an “_illuminated_ manuscript,” for the scribe works with a very
free hand, and when he wishes to decorate his pages he can [p194]
write the words themselves in red, green, or blue, as easily as he
could have written them in black. He can take a clean pen and a new
colour and initial and “flourish” any part of the work to his heart’s
content. He may acquire the art of laying and burnishing gold, and no
possible brilliance of effect is denied him—within the limits of his
skill as an illuminator (see also pp. 298–299).

A limited number of specially prepared printed books can likewise be
illuminated. But the greater the number of copies, the less labour
may be spent on each one, and the more their illumination tends to be
simple “rubrication”—adding coloured capitals, flourishes, and the
like (see p. 127). And, if a large edition is to be decorated, the
printer must be content to use black, or black and red, in woodcut or
“process” work (see pp. 365, 372).

Illumination proper may be defined as the decoration by hand, in
bright gold or colours, of writing or printing.

There are three broad types of illumination, which for want of better
terms I distinguish as “_Barbaric_” (or colour-work), “_Filigree_”
(or pen-work), and “_Natural_” (or limner’s). These types run
naturally one into another, and they may be blended or combined in
every possible way, but it is convenient to consider them and the
distinctive treatments which they involve separately.

 (_See also pp._ 203, 208, 209, 215–18, 414, 421, 422)

This is mainly a colour treatment in which forms seem to be regarded
chiefly as vehicles for [p195] colour. Its effect appeals to the
senses, rather than to the imagination; and such interest as the
forms have lies greatly in their skilful disposal or intricate
arrangement. Sometimes in their fantasy—where organic forms are
introduced—as the “great fish” in the act of swallowing Jonah (in
order to make the _T_ of ET), Plate XII. This type of illumination
appears to have reached its climax of barbaric splendour in the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Though its revival nowadays might seem a little out of keeping
with the more sedate and grown-up point of view of modern life, we
cannot doubt that it is still _lawful_ to decorate our work with
the brilliance and splendour of gold and colours. Whether it is
_expedient_ or not depends upon how it is done: to justify our work,
it must succeed; it must be bright and splendid, and really gladden
our eyes. And we must really take pleasure in the making of it, for
if we do not, we can hardly expect that it will give pleasure to

_Simple and Complex Forms._—Between _simple forms_—which are in a
sense permanent—and _complex forms_—which are always changing—it is
necessary to make a careful distinction.

An _equilateral triangle_ drawn by “Euclid” and one drawn by a modern
Senior Wrangler are, or ought to be, practically the same thing. If
the ancients made an ornamental band of geometrical forms, that is
no bar to us; we also are at liberty to make decorative bands of
circles, lozenges, or triangles.

The ancient Romans made a capital A—its _essential form_ (see fig.
142) two strokes sloped together and joined by a cross-bar (very like
the [p196] “_Pons Asinorum_”), it could hardly be simpler—they used
chisels and pens, which gave it its more characteristic and finished
form. If we use chisels and pens properly we shall get a similar
result—not absolutely the same—for no two chisels or two hands can
be quite the same—but closely resembling it and belonging to our own
time as much as to any other.

The essential form of the “Roman” A is a purely abstract form, the
common property of every rational age and country,[41] and its
characterisation is mainly the product of tools and materials not
peculiar to the ancient Romans.

But when there is any real _complexity_ of form and arrangement, or
sentiment, we may reasonably suppose that it is peculiar to its time,
and that the life and virtue of it cannot be restored.

It was common enough in the Middle Ages to make an initial A of two
_dragons_ firmly locked together by claws and teeth. Such forms
fitted the humour of the time, and were part of the then natural
“scheme of things.” But _we_ should beware of using such antique
fantasies and “organisms”; for medieval humour, together with its
fauna and flora, belong to the past. And our own work is only honest
when made in our own humour, time, and place.

There are, however, an infinite variety of simple abstract forms and
symbols, such as circles, crosses, squares, lozenges, triangles, and
a number of Alphabets, such as Square and Round Capitals, [p197]
Small Letters—upright and sloping—which—weeded of archaisms—we may
use freely. And all these forms can be diversified by the tools with
which they are made, and the manner in which the tools are used, and
be glorified by the addition of bright colours and silver and gold.
Very effective “designs” can be made with “chequers” and diaper
patterns, and with the very letters themselves. And I have little
doubt that an excellent _modern_ style of illumination is quite
feasible, in which the greatest possible richness of colour effect is
achieved together with extreme simplicity of form.

 (_See also pp._ 205–208, 209, 218–20, 425, 428–29; figs. 79, 92,
 125–26, 150, 188–89; Plates XI., XIII., XIV., XVII.)

This is a type of illumination which can safely be attempted by one
who, having learnt to write, is desirous of illuminating his writing;
for it is the direct outcome of penmanship (see p. 204), and consists
mainly of pen flourishes, or semi-formal lines and shapes which can
be made with a pen, suitably applied to the part to be decorated.
Its effect may be very charming and restful: no colour standing out
as in a positive colour scheme, no individual form catching the eye;
but the whole having a richness of simple detail and smooth colouring
more or less intricate and agreeably _bewildering_.

It may be compared to the _tooling_ of a book-cover, both in the
method of producing it, and in its effect. A book-binder has a number
of stamps which bear the simplest forms and symbols, such as [p198]
little circles and “leaves” and stars and curved lines, and with
these simple _elements_ he builds up a pleasant “design,” which he
tools, usually in gold-leaf, upon the cover.

The scribe can vary the forms which his pen produces, and the colours
which he gives them, with a freedom that the set form and the method
of using the binder’s tools do not allow. But the skilled penman
will find that his pen (or, at any rate, his _penmanship_) largely
determines the forms of his freest flourishes and strokes, and that
the semi-formal nature of such ornament demands a certain simplicity
and repetition of form and colour, which do not unduly tax his skill
as a craftsman.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 121.›]

Suppose, for example, that the scribe wishes to illuminate the border
of a page of writing. He may choose a limited number of simple,
pen-made forms for the elements of his design; say, a circle, a
“leaf,” and a “tendril,” and a few curved flourishes and strokes
(fig. 121), and with these cover the allotted space evenly and
agreeably. [p199]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 122.›]

The ornament being treated as though it were a sort of floral growth,
requires a starting point or “root.” The initial letter is the
natural origin of the border ornament, the stalk of which generally
springs from the side or from one of the extremities of the letter.
The main stem and branches are first made with a very free pen,
forming a _skeleton pattern_ (fig. 122).

 ‹Note.›—The numbers in the diagram indicate the order in which
 the strokes were made. The _main stem_ (111) sweeps over and
 occupies most of the ground; the _secondary_ stem (222) occupies
 the remainder; the main _branches_ (333, &c.) make the occupation
 secure. [p200]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 123.›]

Next the minor branches are added to cover the space evenly, and then
the _flowers_, _fruit_, and _buds_—made up of combinations of the
“leaves,” circles, &c.—are more or less evenly disposed in the spaces
formed by the large, round curves at the ends of the branches (fig.
123). [p201]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 124.›]

The “leaves” are placed all over, wherever there is convenient room
for them (just as the leaves of a real plant are). Then the stalks of
the leaves are added, and, lastly, the interspaces are filled with
“tendrils,” which greatly contribute to the pleasant intricacy of the
design (fig. 124). [p202]

 _Colour Schemes._—The safest treatment of such a “design” is in
 black and gold (see p. 187). The leaves, which are kept rather flat,
 may be outlined _after_ gilding. The flowers, &c., may be made up in
 red and blue (tempered with white: see p. 182). This is the colour
 treatment of the example, Plate XVII.

 If the leaves are green, the stem and outline may be more delicately
 drawn in pale or grey-brown ink, and the green may be a delicate
 pale olive or grey-green. (A strong, black stem with bright green
 leaves is apt to look crude and hard.) In such a delicate green
 plant border, delicate blue and red flowers, and one or two rather
 flat gold “berries” (single, or in threes) may be placed.

 A very effective colour decoration of a much simpler type may be
 made in red and green (or blue) pen-work—using the pen and the
 colours with which the Versal letters and line-finishings are made.
 A red flourished stem with red leaves or tendrils, and green berries
 (or leaves), or a green stem with green leaves and red berries.

 A floral pattern may also be made in plain burnished gold—both stem
 and leaves—not outlined (p. 187 & Plate XXII.).

A more complex decoration resembling the “floral filigree” has a
“solid” stem in light or dark colour on a dark or light ground (or on
a gold ground), as suggested in the rough diagram, fig. 120.

The examples of Italian fifteenth-century work in Plates XVIII. and
XIX. show a related type of illumination, known as the “white vine
pattern.” Very carefully and beautifully drawn, it strongly suggests
natural form.

 (_See also pp._ 212, 219–21, 227, 423–24, 426–28, 486; figs.
 131a–141; Plates XV., XVI., XXIII.)

This, the finest type of illumination, has very great possibilities;
and it is to be hoped that some craftsmen, who have the necessary
skill, will find an opening for their work in this direction. [p203]

Plate XV. is a thirteenth-century example of the transition from
the “barbaric” to the “natural.” The dragon-tailed initial with
its wonderful scroll-work and “ivy-leaf” being the perfection of
barbaric form, carrying brilliant colour and serving to support and
frame the delicate and beautiful drawing which it contains.[43] But
in the drawing itself the skill of a fine illuminator combines with
the fancy of a cunning draughtsman to satisfy an æsthetic taste and
appeal to the imagination.

Plate XVI. shows a rare, and singularly beautiful, treatment of an
Italian fourteenth-century MS. decorated with plant and insect forms
(p. 427).

Plate XXIII. (_modern_) show a border of wild roses and climbing
plants: the colour treatment in the original is very brilliant (see
p. 486).

The “natural” type depends very much on the beauty and interest of
its form; and a draughtsman before he had become an illuminator,
might be content to decorate MSS. and printed books with pen drawings
only faintly coloured or tinted; but when he had mastered the
limitations which the craft would impose on his drawing for pure and
bright colour, there is no degree of brilliance, even unto “barbaric
splendour,” which he might not lay upon his trained and delicate
forms. [p204]


 The Development of Illumination — Line-Finishings — Initial Letters
 — Borders & Backgrounds.


An art or craft is so largely dependent on the tools and materials
which are used by the craftsman, that we may reasonably say that
it begins with the tools and materials, through which it has been
produced. Now, “illumination” can be traced back step by step to
simple penmanship. And its true development is most graphically
sketched by Ruskin (“Lectures on Art,” No. V.) when he says—

 “_The pen . . . is not only the great instrument for the finest
 sketching, but its right use is the foundation of the art of
 illumination. . . . Perfect illumination is only writing made
 lovely; . . . But to make writing itself beautiful—to make the sweep
 of the pen lovely—is the true art of illumination;_” And also that
 those who have acquired “_a habit of deliberate, legible and lovely
 penmanship in their daily use of the pen, . . . may next discipline
 their hands into the control of lines of any length, and, finally,
 add the beauty of colour and form to the flowing of these perfect
 lines._” [p205]


Line-finishings are used to preserve the evenness of the text when
lines of writing fall short. When the space left is small, or occurs
_in the middle of a sentence_, a quick stroke of the pen—often a
continuation of the last letter, or springing from it—is sufficient
(fig. 125); but where there are many and long gaps (as, for example,
in a psalter at the ends of the verses), they may be filled in with
dots (see Plate VIII.) or flourishes (_a_, _b_, _c_, fig. 126) either
made in black with the script pen, or with another pen, in colour or

Line-finishings commonly echo the treatment of the initials (see p.
181). In twelfth-century MSS. long delicate flourishes are commonly
found, in red, blue, or green—matching the colours of the Versals,
and probably _made with the same pen_. The latter being rather finer
than the text pen keeps these flourishes from appearing too prominent
(see _e_, _f_, fig. 126).

Such work should be simple and characteristic pen-work, showing the
thicks and thins and crisp curves, the result of the position of the
pen, which is usually “slanted” (see p. 43).

Bands of pen-made “geometrical” patterns—used with rather close
writing—may be very simple and direct, though appearing pleasantly
elaborate (see figs. 87 and (g) 126, Plate XIV., and pp. 215 & 25).

 (_See also_ pp. 16, 48, 112–14, 124, 134, 181, 188–193,
 193–99, 211–15, _and the Collotype Plates_)

The development of Illumination proper was—and still is—bound up with
the growth and decoration of the Initial Letter.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 125.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 126.›]


The first step in this development is the mastery of the pen-made
Versal letter, and the right treatment of simple coloured capitals
(see chapters VII., VIII., and X.). The next step is their
elaboration. The simplest ornamental treatment is found in the
flourishing of a terminal of the initial letter (fig. 150), or the
arrangement of the _remaining letters of the word_ inside or beside
it. Pen flourishes may consist of the simplest curved and zigzag
strokes (sometimes springing from the actual letter: see p. 251),
ending with a “twirl” of the pen in a loop or a “bud” (figs. 150,
79); or they may strike out a sort of formal floral pattern, filling
or surrounding the initial (fig. 92), and such a pattern in its turn
may spring from the letter into the margin, and grow into a complete
“illuminated border” (see p. 199).

_Hollow Letters._—A large capital is often made hollow, primarily
with a view to lightening its appearance, which might be rather heavy
if the letter were made solid (p. 119). The hollow—which is commonly
left plain (_i.e._ the colour of the paper or parchment)—may be a
mere line, straight or curved or zigzag (fig. 189), or a pattern, or
lettering (fig. 89). Sometimes it is made large and filled in with a
contrasting colour, leaving a white line, however, between the two
colours. And sometimes half the letter is made in one colour, and the
other half (on the opposite side of the hollow centre) is made in
a contrasting colour. A “hollow” letter (especially if very large)
may be strengthened and improved by a filling of colour or ornament.
(_Addenda_, p. 25.)

_“Woven” Forms._—A simple form of ornament (related to “Basket
work”) which effectually strengthens the construction of a hollow
letter—without impairing its lightness—consists in a crossing [p209]
and “weaving” or knotting of its actual parts (fig. 127).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 127.›]

The elaborated @ (in fig. 127) is from a 10th or 11th century MS.
(Brit. Museum, Egerton, 608). The Initial and its inwoven ornament
cut up the background into a number of distinct parts (distinctly
coloured). Note also that the entire background is contained by the

The “knot” (fig. 127), or a basket-work ornament, is sometimes used
as an arbitrary starting-point for a filigree border (see p. 428)
where an initial is lacking.

_Variety in Initials._—The _sizes_ and _styles_ of the initials
which are used _for the same purpose_ throughout the book vary very
slightly or not at all. Generally, the more important the division
which the [p210] initial marks, the larger the initial and the more
ornate (p. 298). A slight complexity in the opening letter or word of
a book does not seriously interfere with the readableness of the book
as a whole. The general rule is followed that _the greater the number
of (decorative) forms the plainer they are kept_ (see p. 126), and
if a book contained an “initial” on every page, it would be both an
artistic and a working economy (if there were many pages) to make the
majority of them rather plain.

But however simple the treatment of the initials may be, there is
still room for considerable variety of _form_ or _ornament_ or
_type_—as “round” or “square” letters (see fig. 80, and especially
Plate XI.). Such variety is found in the best work; it adds a
liveliness and charm which are quite lacking where there is
unnecessary or mechanical repetition.

“_Lombardic_” versus _Roman Capitals_.—The round, fat letters which
are known as “Lombardic” (see fig. 1, and Plates XV., XVII.) have
been generally used for “illuminated initials” in Northern Europe
since the thirteenth century. But—though they are capable of very
beautiful treatment—they are rather doubtful models for us to follow.
The fact that such letters will always pack neatly into a square
niche or background—though an obvious convenience—is not an unmixed
advantage. And the majority of examples show a debased type of
Letters—often so unlike their originals, and so like one another,
as to be scarcely readable. For the sake of readableness the stems
should be made longer (fig. 128). The more slender “Roman” type of
initial, commonly used in Italy (Plate XVIII.), is in every way a
more legible letter. The Roman Alphabet still remains the finest
[p211] model, and it is better that fine lettering should be almost
too slender and delicate, than that it should be at all heavy or

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 128.›]


_The illuminated border_ was originally an extension or branching
out of the initial decoration. It commonly occupied the greater
part of the left-hand margin, and from thence it extended into the
_head_[45] or _foot_ margin (or into both), or completely surrounded
the text, and even the eight margins of a [p213] complete _opening_
are sometimes covered with illumination. In late and modern usage
the border is frequently separated from the initial, constituting a
“framing border.”[46]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 129.›]

 ‹Note.›—This diagram suggests a simple treatment of an initial
 word in colours and gold. The graphic method employed by heralds
 for indicating these—by lines and dots—is here discarded for the
 stronger contrasts of black, white, and “grey.”

 The letters contained inside the initial P are kept distinct—(1)
 _crimson_ (“grey” in diagram) being used solely for the patches of
 ground adjoining the (_gold_) letters, and for filling the hollow
 part of the (_gold_) P, the whole word stands out in _crimson and
 gold_; (2) the floral pattern is also in _gold_, but it does not
 cover or hide any part of the word.

 The remaining ground is _green_ inside and _blue_ outside the P. The
 dots @ @ are in _red_ on the green ground, in cream with a _red_
 centre dot on the blue.

 The gold throughout is outlined _black_, and the blue ground has a
 _black_ outline, separated from it by a _white_ line.

In some MSS. there are _two_ side-borders on a page, one springing
from the Initials on the left, the other sending branches into the
gaps on the right (see Plates XVII., XVI.). In some cases the two
pages of an opening are balanced by a side-border in each of the wide
side margins (p. 428).

_Backgrounds_ of Initials (see pp. 188–193, 421–23) and borders are
treated very similarly. It may be noted that, where a _solid-stem_
pattern cuts up the ground into small pieces, these are often
painted in different colours—commonly red, and green, and blue (see
pp. 209, 430). And the _groups of dots_ (fig. 129)—in white or
other colours—may fill the interstices of a background, putting the
finishing touch to the even covering and pleasant intricacy of the
decoration (_comp._ p. 201). Or little flowers and leaves may be
used instead—growing from a thin (white) stem which appears to twine
throughout the main pattern—just as the smaller plants in a hedge
creep and twine among the larger stems. There is no better model in
nature for the illuminator than a country hedgerow. [p214]


 “Design” — Elementary Patterns in Decoration — Scale & Scope of
 Decoration — Of “Designing” Manuscripts, Generally.


Perhaps the nearest right definition of “design” is
“_contrivance_”—applied to the actual doing of the work, rather
than to the work when done: “_decoration_” (when that is the sense
intended) is a safer word,[47] because it implies “_of something_.”
And generally that “something” lies at the root of the matter.
For example: “illuminated initials” and “illuminated borders,” so
called, are really illuminat_ing_: they are properly _a decoration of
manuscript or print_.

To consider a “piece-of-decoration” as a thing existing apart from
that which it decorates, as something drawn or copied, and, so to
speak, _stuck on_ to the finished work, is as _un_natural as it would
be to contemplate the flame-of-a-candle as a thing apart from the
candle. [p215]

The finest decoration is really part of the work itself, and may be
described as _the finishing touches given directly to the work by the
tools which are properly employed on it_.

The illuminator has, as a rule, to decorate a given manuscript with
pen or brush work—it may be with the simplest pen flourishes, or with
the most elaborate figure “design.” _How_ to make that illumination
part of the work, he can learn only by patient practice and by
careful handling of his tools.


Nearly all simple Decoration consists of a comparatively limited
number of _elements_—simple forms and pure colours—which are built up
into more complex forms to occupy an allotted space. A primitive type
of such built-up decoration is seen in the dotted patterns, which are
found in every age—in the remains of the most ancient art, and in the
shell decorations which children make on the sands at the present
day. Examples of dotted “backgrounds” in the “Durham Book” are shown
in fig. 130 (_a_ and _b_). Chequers and Diapers—in which two or more
elements are employed—are related patterns.[48] (_See also Addenda,
p. 25 & fig. 191a._)

A simple way of filling a band (or long narrow [p216] space) is
to run a zigzag line along it (_c_). This may be treated either as
a line or wavy stem, which may send out buds, leaves, or flowers
into the spaces (_g_), or as two series of triangles which may be
“_countercharged_” (_f_).[49] A second zigzag, cutting the first,
would produce two series of triangles and a central row of lozenges
(_d_). And it is not a very great step from this to the “twist” where
the two lines pass over and under, the lines being made “solid” in
white or gold on a coloured background (_e_, fig. 130). The main
difference appears to be that while the one is of the nature of an
abstract form, the other suggests a concrete form, such as might be
made with twisted cords or rods.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 130.›]

These primitive patterns never become antiquated; they are still the
root forms of “design,” and the pleasant even covering of a given
space by simple elements—which is their _métier_—accounts for much
of the unconscious pleasure which we take in good _bricklaying_ or
_sewing_ or _writing_, and in a thousand things, where “_many littles
make a mickle_.”

For their decorative possibilities in Illumination we can experiment
in the most delightful way—framing our writing with bands of
countercharged triangles in burnished gold, and blue and white, or
with golden zigzags on a blue ground, or chequering backgrounds with
scarlet and blue, and trying a hundred and one other ways (p. 197).
Such patterns have been made the most of in Heraldry, [p218] an art
which in itself would form a foundation for a splendid and complete
scheme of Illumination.


_Penmanship._—Many of the most beautiful MSS. were made in pen-work
throughout.[50] And it is well that the penman should stick to his
pen as much as is possible. Not only does it train his hand to make
pen ornaments, the forms of which are in keeping with the writing,
but it helps to keep the decoration proportionate in every way. It is
an excellent plan for the beginner to use the writing-pen for plain
black capitals or flourishes, and to make _all_ other decoration with
similar or slightly finer pens than the one used for the writing.

Again, the direct use of the pen will prevent much mischievous
“sketching.” Sketching is right in its proper place, and, _where you
know exactly what you wish to do_, it is useful to sketch in lightly
the main parts of a complex “design” so that each part may receive
a fair portion of the available space. But do not spoil your MS. by
experimental pencilling in trying to find out what you want to do.
Experiments are best made roughly with a pen or brush on a piece of
paper laid on the available space in the MS., or by colouring a piece
of paper and cutting it out to the pattern desired and laying it on.
Such means are also used to settle small doubts which may arise in
the actual [p219] illuminating—as to whether—and where—some form or
some colour should be placed on the page.

_Filigree, Floral, & other Decoration._—The acquired skill of the
penman leads very naturally to a pen flourishing and decoration
of his work, and this again to many different types of filigree
decoration more or less resembling floral growths (see figs. 125,
126; pp. 197–202; Plates XI., XVII.).

Now all right decoration in a sense _arranges itself_, and we may
compare the right action of the “designer’s” mind to that necessary
vibration or “directive” motion which permeates the universe and,
being communicated to the elements, enables the various particles to
fall into their right places: as when iron filings are shaken near a
magnet they arrange themselves in the natural curves of the magnetic
field, or as a cello bow, drawn over the edge of a sand-sprinkled
plate, gathers the sand into beautiful “musical patterns.”

And to most natural growths, whether of plants or ornament, this
principle of self-arrangement seems common, that they _spread out
evenly and occupy to the greatest extent possible their allotted
space_. Branches and leaves most naturally _grow away from the
stem and from each other_, and oppose elbows and points in every
direction. In this way the growth fits its place, looking secure and
at rest—while in disconnected parallels, or branches following their
stem, there is often insecurity and unrest.[51] (_See also Addenda,
p. 25._)

For example: a circular space is filled more [p220] decoratively
by a cross (_a_, fig. 131) than by a contained circle; a square is
better filled by a “lozenge” or a circle (_b_ and _c_) than by a
smaller square set square and parallel (compare the diapering of the
chequers in fig. 191 _a_). A circular or square space might be filled
on this principle with a filigree arrangement such as is suggested by
(_d_, fig. 131). _Note._—In the case of two curves in the ornament
touching (either internally or externally) they may be linked at this
point by a (gold) band or circle or lozenge (_e_, fig. 131, _see
also_ Plate XVII.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 131.›]

_Miniatures and Drawing._—In drawing and painting, the difficulty
which is apt to beset the illuminator is how to strike a balance
between “Naturalism” and “Conventionalism,” so called. While the
only criterion is good taste, we may be guided by certain general

To limit the number of elements in a “design”—whether of form or
colour—is nearly always an [p221] advantage (pp. 177, 181, 198).
And the miniaturist, while depicting the nature of a plant, usually
_limits the number of its branches and leaves and shades of colour_.
Every part of a “design” should be drawn clearly and distinctly,
and in proportion to the whole. The miniaturist, therefore, usually
_draws in careful outline every branch and leaf, making the whole
proportional with the MS. which it decorates_.

In fact, the qualities of good illumination are the same as _the
qualities of good writing—Simplicity, Distinctiveness, Proportion,
&c._ (see p. 239). And the “convention” (here literally a _coming
together_) required is only such as will make the drawing and
colouring of the illumination and the form and colour of the writing
_go well together_.

 ‹Note.›—Figs. 135 to 141 (woodcuts—with part of the text—from a
 Herbal printed at Venice in 1571 [p. 369]) and figs. 132, 133,
 and 134_a_ (wood engravings by T. Bewick, printed 1791) are
 suggested as examples of drawing—of plants and animals—suitable for
 book-decoration (see also figs. 134_b_, _c_, _d_; Plates XV., XVI.,
 XXIII., and notes on “limner’s illumination,” p. 203).


Cultivate the simplest and most direct methods, and make “rules of
thumb”[52] for work-a-day use, to carry you successfully through all
routine or ordinary difficulties, so that your hand will be trained
and your mind free and ready to deal with the harder problems when
they arise. [p222]

Use a limited number of pure, bright colours, and keep your work
clean, neat, and definite.

Go straight ahead, trusting to workman-like methods, and not
calculating overmuch. Do the work in a regular order, settling,
first, the general scheme, the size of the book, the writing, and the
margins; then when you are ready—

 1. Prepare the sheets (see pp. 99, 110, 167).

 2. Write the text—leaving spaces for decoration.

 3. Write in—
    (_a_) The coloured writing.
    (_b_) The coloured capitals.
    (_c_) The line-finishings.

 4. Illuminate—
    (_a_) The Initials.      Following a regular
    (_b_) Line-finishings.     order in the various
    (_c_) The Borders.         processes involved.

 5. Bind the book (p. 346), or have it bound, in order to make a
    real and finished piece of work.

Practise an artistic economy of time and space: usually the quicker
you write the MS. the better it is. Allow sufficient margins to make
the book readable and handsome, but not so wide as to make it appear
fanciful. Allow sufficient ornament, not overloading the book with
it. Let the ornament be of a type suited to the book and to the
subject—not _too painstaking_ or elaborate in an ordinary MS.; not
too hasty and slight in an important work.

Endeavour to strike a balance between what may be called “practical”
and “ornamental” considerations: an illuminated MS. is not meant to
be entirely “practical,” but it is a greater failure if made entirely
“ornamental.” Let the text be _readable_ in every sense, and let the
ornament _beautify_ it: there should be give and take, as it were,
and that most desirable quality—“sweet reasonableness.” [p223]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 132.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 133.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 134.› _Part of Fig. 133. Enlarged twice

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 134›_a_.]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 134›_b_.]


 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 134›_c_.

 (_This and fig. 134 d are copies from a thirteenth century MS. in
 the possession of Mr. Yates-Thompson._)]

 “The intricacies of a natural scene (fig. 134 _a_—after Bewick)
 may be simplified when rendered in such a simple medium as the pen
 drawings of a MS. (comp. fig. 134 _b_). Figs. 134 _c_ & _d_ are
 old examples of strong, simple drawing. Students should practise
 themselves by translating figs. 132, 133 into fine, Quill-pen
 drawings.”—(N. R.)

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 134›_d_.]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 135.—The Reed.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 136.—Asparagus.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 137.—The Lentil.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 138.—The Vine.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 139.—The Carnation.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 140.—The Peony.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 141.—The Peach.›]


[5] “The alphabet which we use at the present day has been traced
back, in all its essential forms, to the ancient hieratic writing
of Egypt of about the twenty-fifth century before Christ. It is
directly derived from the Roman alphabet; the Roman, from a local
form of the Greek; the Greek, from the Phœnician; the Phœnician,
from the Egyptian hieratic. . . . We may without exaggeration . . .
carry back the invention of Egyptian writing to six or seven thousand
years before Christ.”—_Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, “Greek and Latin
Palæography,”_ pp. 1–2.

[6] Ibid., p. 196.

[7] “G. & L. Palæography,” p. 204. (Minuscules = “small letters.”
_Half-Uncials are sometimes distinguished, as “round minuscules”_—p.

[8] It is possible that their forms were influenced by the use of the
brush in painting up public notices and the like. The introduction
of the use of vellum—a perfect writing material—in the making of
books, led to such a great advance in the formality and finish of the
book-hands (especially of the Uncial character) that, practically, it
may be said to mark the beginning of _penmanship_ as a “fine” art.
This change may be assigned to any time between the first and the
third centuries (palæographical dates before the fifth century must
generally be regarded as approximate).

[9] “Greek and Latin Palæography,” p. 233.

[10] Some Eastern scribes use a “pad” of _fur_. This, or a piece of
springy cloth, or other elastic substance, would probably be helpful,
and experiments should be made in this direction.

[11] The ordinary “Reed pen” of the artists’ colourman is rather soft
and weak for formal writing. The reeds used by the native scribes in
India and Egypt, and some of the harder English reeds, are excellent.
A fine, hollow cane also makes a very good pen.

[12] The width of the cut nib corresponds exactly with the width of
the thickest stroke which the pen will make in writing.

[13] If the edge of the nib were cut at right angles to the shaft,
obviously the horizontal stroke would not be thin, and the true
thick and thin strokes would be oblique (see “_slanted pen_”
_writing_—figs. 9 & 11).

[14] For example, a _framed_ sheet does not require such wide margins
as a similar sheet _un_framed.

[15] Really about 6 inches, because the top line of writing will not
occupy its full 7/8 inch, the unused part of which adds to the top
margin (see fig. 65).

[16] MS. Books are further considered in Chap. XVI.

[17] The _direct_ use of a thick wood or metal scale may lead to

[18] The two, four, eight (or more) pages are printed on both sides
of the sheet before it is folded. Two or more sheets are generally
folded and put together to form a folio “_section_.”

[19] Such as _Foolscap_ (17″ x 13-1/2″), _Crown_ (20″ x 15″), _Demy_
(22-1/2″ x 17-1/2″), _Royal_ (25″ x 20″), &c.

[20] In Oriental books, which are sometimes held by their top
margins, the _top_ is deepest.

[21] If the average number of words be previously fixed—as in a poem
(see p. 95)—that will practically determine the size of the writing.

[22] They are often ruled double (see p. 343), and sometimes the top
and foot lines are ruled from edge to edge of the sheet.

[23] Though Versals may generally be regarded as _paragraph marking
letters_, it is convenient to apply the term to the Versal type of
letter—_e.g._ “a heading in Versal letters” (see fig. 91).

[24] In “Roman” letters the thicks and thins are not necessarily
strongly marked, though their pen-forms have often a natural “Gothic”

[25] The mediæval scribes often made the first line of a chapter
or book in uniform capitals (excepting the initial letter). The
succeeding line generally was smaller, and of a different colour and
type—even when a divided word was carried over into it.

[26] _Minium_ = red-lead, used in early times for “rubrics” and
drawings, hence is derived the word “_Miniature_.”

[27] An illuminated _Page_ will allow of a few lines of black text at
the foot (an arrangement very common in the elaborate Initial Pages
of the fifteenth century), but these should be quite subordinate to
the “Illumination.”

[28] The surface of horny or greasy parchment may be slightly
roughened with a pen-knife till little hairs are raised which will
hold the size, care being taken that this roughening does not extend
beyond the actual parts which are to be covered with size. (Oxgall:
see _footnote_, p. 175.)

[29] As this is usually allowed to dry for twenty-four hours, make
sure, before laying the size, that you will be able to lay the
gold-leaf on it _at or near the same time on the next day_.

[30] Should a drop fall on the page it can be removed quickly with
the knife, but it is safer to allow it to dry and then to pick it off
carefully. Size which has flowed beyond the bounds of the form may be
trimmed away when it has set.

[31] A finer metal or ivory point may also be used.

[32] _Vide_ D. Cockerell, “Bookbinding and the Care of Books,” p. 81.

[33] The very costly, specially prepared calf-skin is too highly
“finished,” and has much the appearance of superior cardboard. It is
stiff and shiny, and its surface is objectionable to work on.

[34] _OXGALL_ may be used for a greasy surface; painted on it, or
mixed with the colour.

[35] And the nib is cleaned out now and then (with the filling
brush), or wiped, to prevent the colour clogging it (see p. 70).

[36] “_French Ultramarine_” is an artificial compound, and a poor

[37] For white lining, &c.—if in constant use—the Chinese White in
bottle is said to be the best; a little Spirits of Wine should be
poured into it, to keep it moist and make it work better. It should
be stirred well, and a sufficient quantity for immediate use is taken
out and mixed in a small saucer. The bottle is kept tightly corked.

[38] And single forms were often parti-coloured, as III., IV.,
_Blue_, with _red_ serifs, or _vice versâ_ (see also pp. 208, 216).

[39] In “white light” three rays (known as the “_Primary
Colour-Sensations_”) have been distinguished—Red, Green, and Blue;
any two of these are complementary to the remaining colour, and
appear to be induced optically in its neighbourhood.

(Yellow light is combined of Red and Green rays, and this may partly
explain the particular fitness of Blue and Gold Illumination.)

[40] In the case of a burnished gold letter, the _gilding_ may be
deferred until the adjacent coloured parts are finished (see p. 170).

[41] It has even been supposed that we might make the inhabitants
of _Mars_ aware of the existence of rational _Terrestrials_, by
exhibiting a vast illumination—in lamp-light—consisting of a somewhat
similar form—_the first Proposition in Euclid_.

[42] ‹Note.›—_Limning_ strictly means _Illuminating_, but has come to
imply drawing and painting, especially of portraits and miniatures.
Here, _all_ its senses are intended.

[43] The modern illuminator, having no tradition for making such
scroll-work, would find that natural or organic forms—as of trees or
plants (see p. 221)—would serve the same end and have more “sweet
reasonableness” in modern eyes. Excellent scroll-work, moreover,
might be formed out of ornamental Capitals—if sufficient excuse could
be found for introducing them: a large flourished «L», for example,
could be made exactly on the same lines as the pendant and scroll in
Plate XV. Narrow gold rods also may be used in a border to support a
floral growth, or as frames if necessary (compare _rules_, p. 364).

[44] The _steps in the development_ sketched very briefly in this
chapter, refer both to the past history of the art of illumination
and to its possible revival (see Author’s preface, p. 16).

[45] Where it is possible it is desirable to mark the top left-hand
corner of the “page” (and also the lower corner) by a branch,
flourish, bud, or flower (see Plates XIX., XXII.). A top left-hand
corner appearing vacant or rounded off is apt to weaken the whole
effect (see p. 134).

[46] _Framing borders_, or borders which surround the text, may be
allowed nearly to fill the entire marginal space.

[47] “Design” has been associated so much with bad cleverness in the
artist, or clever badness in the natural man, that if we use the word
in a good sense it is apt to be misunderstood.

Decoration is derived from _decus_, _decor_ = comeliness or grace.

[48] Chequers in colours and gold were largely used in the
fourteenth-century MSS. for backgrounds in miniatures. There is an
example of very beautiful heraldic diapering (in enamel) on the
shield of William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, in Westminster Abbey
(‹A.D.› 1296). On p. 336 of this book there is a diagram of a very
fine shield bearing a diapered chequer.

[49] If the triangles were countercharged in colour and colour—_e.g._
red and blue—the zigzag would be made _white_, _black_, or _gold_, to
separate and harmonise the colours (see pp. 182–83).

[50] A most beautiful twelfth-century MS., known as the “Golden
Psalter,” has many gold (decorated) Initials, Red, Blue, and Green
(plain) Versals and Line-Finishings, every part being pen-made
throughout the book.

[51] In a _spiral_ the stem, following _itself_, may be tied by an
interlacing spiral, or the turns of the spiral may be held at rest by
the interlocking of the leaves (see G, Plate XXII.).

[52] As an example of a good “rule of thumb,” _use the ruled
lines of a manuscript as a scale for other measurements and
proportions_, leaving one, two, three, or more of the line-spaces for
capitals, ornaments, &c.: you have this scale—as it were, a “ready
reckoner”—present on every page, and following it enables you more
easily to make the decoration agree and harmonise with the written
text and with the book as a whole (see p. 128 & figs. 89, 91, 71).




 Good Models — The Qualities of Good Lettering — Simplicity —
 Distinctiveness — Proportion — Beauty of Form — Beauty of Uniformity
 — Right Arrangement — Setting Out & Fitting In — “Massed Writing” &
 “Fine Writing” — Even Spacing — Theory & Practice.


«If» lettering is to be rightly constructed and arranged, the study
of good models is essential. Some of the writing and lettering in the
old MSS., and the letters used on various old tombstones and brasses,
weeded of archaisms, will be found almost perfect models. Yet to
select one of these from the many which are “more or less” good,
requires much discrimination.

It is suggested below that the essential virtues of good lettering
are _readableness_, _beauty_, and _character_. If, then, we can
discover some of the underlying qualities which make for these, our
choice will at least be better considered, and instead of [p238]
forming our “style” on the first type of letter that pleases, we
shall found our work on a good model, full of possibilities of

_The Roman Capital_ (Chap. XV.).—The ancestor of all our letters
is in undisputed possession of the first place: but it is open to
comparatively few to make a practical study of its monumental forms
by means of cutting inscriptions in stone with a chisel.

_The Pen-formed letters_ are more easily practised, and the mastery
of the pen acquired in the practice of a root form—such as the
half-uncial—is the key to the majority of alphabets (which are pen
developed) and to those principles underlying the right construction
and arrangement of lettering, which it is our business to discover.

Doubtless a “school” of lettering might be founded on any fine type,
and a beautiful alphabet or fine hand might be founded on any fine
inscription: but the practical student of penmanship may be sure
of acquiring a knowledge of lettering which would be useful to any
craftsman concerned with letters, be he printer, book-illustrator,
engraver, or even inscription carver.


The first general virtue of lettering is _readableness_, the second,
_fitness_ for a given Use. And the rational basis of the following
summary is the assumption that such _fitness_ is comprised in
_beauty_ and _character_, and that a given piece of lettering having
_readableness_, _beauty_, _and character_ has the essential virtues
of good lettering.

The qualities on which these virtues seem chiefly to depend, and
their special significations in the case of plain writing, may be set
forth as follows:— [p239]




       1. _Simplicity:_ As having no unnecessary parts (and as
       being _simply_ arranged: see 6).

       2. _Distinctiveness:_ As having the distinguishing
       characteristics of each letter strongly marked (and the
       words _distinctly_ arranged: see 6).

       3. _Proportion:_ As having no part of a letter wrongly
       exaggerated or dwarfed (and as the lettering being
       _proportionally_ arranged: see 6).


       4. _Beauty of Form:_ As having beautiful shapes and
       constructions, so that each letter is an individual and
       living whole (not a mere collection of parts) fitted for the
       position, office, and material of the object bearing the

       5. _Beauty of Uniformity:_ As the assimilation of the
       corresponding parts—“bodies,” “limbs,” “heads”—and as the
       “family likeness” of the different letters, so that they go
       well together.



       6. _Beauty of Arrangement:_ As having a general fitness in
       the placing, connecting, and spacing of letters, words, and
       lines, in the disposal of the lettering in the given space,
       and in the proportioning of every part of the lettering and
       its margins.



       7. _Essential qualities of (Hand and Pen) work:_ As being
       genuine calligraphy, the direct outcome of a rightly made
       and rightly handled _pen_. (_See_ p. 278.)

       8. _Freedom:_ As having skilled and unaffected boldness.
       (_See_ pp. 122, 327, 323, 369.)

       9. _Personality:_ As having the characteristics which
       distinguish one person’s hand from another’s. (_See also_
       pp. 278, 323.)


This summary, while not presuming to define the _Virtues_, or achieve
_Beauty_ by a formula, does indicate some guiding principles for
the letter-maker, and does suggest a definite meaning which may be
given to the terms “Right Form,” “Right Arrangement,” and “Right
Expression” in a particular craft.

It is true that “Readableness” and “Character” are comprised in
_Beauty_, in the widest sense; but it is useful here to distinguish
them: _Readableness_ as the only sound basis for a practical theory
of lettering, and _Character_ as the product of a particular hand &
tool at work in a particular craft.

The above table, therefore, may be used as a test of the qualities
of any piece of lettering—whether Manuscript, Printing, or
Engraving—provided that the significations of those qualities on
which “Character” depends be modified and adapted to each particular
instance. It is however a test for general qualities only—such as may
help us in choosing a model: for as to its particular virtue each
work stands alone—judged by its merits—in spite of all rules.

 (_As having no unnecessary parts_)

_Essential Forms and their Characterisation._—The “Essential Forms”
may be defined briefly as the _necessary parts_ (see p. 275). They
constitute the skeleton or structural plan of an alphabet; and _One
of the finest things the letter-craftsman can do, is to make the
Essential Forms of letters beautiful in themselves, giving them the
character and finish which come naturally from a rightly handled
tool_. [p241]

If we take the “Roman” types—the letters with which we are most
familiar—and draw them in single pencil strokes (as a child does when
it “learns its letters”), we get a rough representation of their
Essential Forms (see diagram, fig. 142).

Such letters might be scratched with a point in wax or clay, and
if so used in practice would give rise to fresh and characteristic
developments,[53] but if we take a “square cut” pen which will give a
thin horizontal stroke and a thick vertical stroke (figs. 10 and 40),
it will give us the “_straight-pen_,” or simple written, essential
forms of these letters (fig. 143).

These essential forms of straight-pen letters when compared with
the plain line forms show a remarkable degree of interest, brought
about by the introduction of the thin and thick strokes and gradated
curves, characteristic of pen work.

Certain letters (A, K, M, N, V, W, X, Y, and k, v, w, x, y) in fig.
143 being composed chiefly of oblique strokes, appear rather heavy.
They are lightened by using a naturally “slanted” pen which produces
thin as well as thick oblique strokes. And the verticals in M and N
are made thin by further slanting the pen (fig. 144).

To our eyes, accustomed to a traditional finish, all these forms—in
figs. 143 and 144, but particularly the slanted pen forms—look
incomplete and unfinished; and it is obvious that the thin strokes,
at least, require marked terminals or _serifs_. [p242]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 142.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 143.›]


 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 144.›]

_Finishing-Strokes._—The pen naturally produces a variety of
finishing-strokes—“heads,” “feet,” serifs, &c.—each type of which
strongly characterises the alphabet in which it is employed.

The main types (fig. 145) are—

(a) _Hooks or beaks._

(b) _Straight (or curved) strokes_, thick or thin according to the
direction of the pen.

(c) _Triangular “heads”_ (and “feet”), straight or slanted, and more
or less curved and sharpened.

(d) _Thin finishing-curves_, horizontal or oblique.

To give uniformity to the various letters of an alphabet it is
necessary to treat similar parts as consistently as possible
throughout (see No. 5, p. 239). And the remarkable way in which
“heads” impart a “family likeness” to letters closely resembles the
same phenomenon among human beings (see pp. 324, 254).

If we consider the four types of serif, _as applicable to
straight-pen writing_, we find— [p245]

 (a) _Hooks or Beaks_              Suitable only _for certain_
                                     _parts of certain letters_
 (d) _Thin Finishing-Curves_         (and for informal writing).

 (b) _Straight (or Curved) THIN_   Informal (or Ornamental).

 (c) _Triangular “Heads”_          Formal and capable of imparting
                                     great elegance and finish.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 145.›]

For a formal, straight-pen writing, therefore, we may assume that a
form of triangular head is, on the whole, the most suitable, while
some of the letters may be allowed to end naturally in finishing
hooks and curves. [p246]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 146.›]

Heads are easily built up at the ends of thick strokes, but some
practice is required to enable a penman to make them on the thin
strokes properly and skilfully. On the thin horizontals they are made
with an almost continuous movement of the point of the nib from the
thin stroke itself (see (_a_) to (_h_) fig. 146) closely resembling
the termination of some of the thin strokes in the Irish half-uncial
(Plate VI.). On the thin oblique or vertical stems a thin crossing
stroke is first made, and then shaped [p247] with the pen point to
meet the stem (see (_i_) and (_k_) fig. 146).

We may write out the letters now with their suitable serifs, and
we see that the Pen character and finish, given to the “Essential,
or Skeleton, Forms” (fig. 142) result in a very formal and highly
finished alphabet (fig. 147).

 _Slanted-pen characters and serifs_ (see fig. 145)—

 (a) _Hooks or Beaks_              Suitable for most of the
                                    letters, but tending to
 (d) _Thin Finishing-Curves_         be informal.

 (b) _Straight (or Curved)_        Formal and strong.
   _THICK Strokes_

 (c) _Triangular Heads_            Formal and suitable for
                                     small-letters, and free
                                     capitals (see fig. 168).

The alphabets (fig. 148), produced from the skeleton forms (fig. 142)
by the _slanted pen_, while not having such a conscious air of finish
as the straight-pen letters, are much easier to write, and have in a
greater degree the virtues of strong,[54] legible, natural penmanship.

They are eminently suitable for general MS. work (see p. 305) when
the beginner has mastered an early form of round-hand (see pp. 70,

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 147.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 148.›]

 (_As having the distinguishing characteristics of each letter
 strongly marked_)

The “_Characteristic Parts_” are those parts which most particularly
serve to distinguish one letter from [p250] another (fig. 149). We
should therefore, when constructing letters, give special attention
to their preservation, and sometimes they may even be accentuated
with advantage—always with an eye to the life-history, or evolution,
of the letter in question, and allowing for the influence of the
special tool with which it is to be made (see _Proportion_, below).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 149.›]


 (_As having no part of a letter wrongly exaggerated or dwarfed_—see
 pp. 274, 277–78)

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 150.›]

The right proportioning of letters entails the preservation of
their Essential Forms and their Characteristic Parts, and, provided
these are not [p252] seriously interfered with, a certain amount
of exaggeration (and dwarfing)[55] is allowable in special cases;
particularly in ornamental writings, and Pen-flourished capitals or
terminal letters (see figs. 79 and 125).

Rational exaggeration usually amounts to the drawing out or
flourishing of tails or free stems, or branches—very often to the
magnifying of a _characteristic part_ (see fig. 150, & pp. 250,
331). It is a special form of decoration, and very effective if used

 (_As having beautiful shapes and constructions, so that each letter
 is an individual and living whole (not a mere collection of parts)
 fitted for the position, office, and material of the object bearing
 the inscription_)

To choose or construct beautiful forms requires good taste, and that
in its turn requires cultivation, which comes from the observation
of beautiful forms. Those who are not accustomed to seeing beautiful
things are, in consequence, often uncertain whether they think a
thing beautiful or not. Some—perhaps all of us—have an intuition for
what is beautiful; but most of us have to achieve beauty by taking

At the least we are apt to be misled if we label abstract forms
as _essentially beautiful_ or _essentially ugly_—as by a mistaken
_recipe_ for beauty. For us as craftsmen “achieving beauty by taking
pains,” means acquiring skill in a special craft and [p253] adapting
that skill to a special piece of work. And perhaps the surest way to
learn, is to let our tools and materials teach us and, as it were,
make beautiful shapes for us.

“_Inside Shapes._”—The beauty of a letter depends very much on its
inside shape—_i.e._ the shape of the space enclosed by the letter
form. As this is often overlooked, it may be briefly referred to.
Frequently when it seems difficult to say what is wrong with a piece
of bad lettering, a glance at the inside shapes will reveal the
fault. In _simple writing_, if the pen be properly cut and properly
held, these shapes will generally take care of themselves, and
internal angles or asymmetrical lines which occur are characteristic
of that particular form of penmanship, and not accidental (_b_, fig.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 151.›]


In making _Built-up_ letters—which have both outer and inner
strokes—the inner strokes should generally be made first (see p. 121).

_Plain and Ornamental Forms._—Not only for the sake of readableness,
but to promote a beautiful and dignified effect, the forms of letters
are kept simple when the text is long. And, generally, the less
frequent the type, the more ornamental may be its form (see pp. 126,
210, 298, 330).

 (_As the assimilation of the corresponding parts—“bodies,” “limbs,”
 “heads”—and as the “family likeness,” of the different letters, so
 that they go well together_)

Right uniformity makes for readableness and beauty, and is the result
of good craftsmanship.

_Readableness._—Where the text letters are uniform, the reader is
free to give his attention to the sense of the words, whereas the
variations in an irregular or changing text are distracting.[56]

_Beauty._—The abstract beauty-of-uniformity may be said to lie in
this, that the different letters, or individual elements, “_go well
together_.” The beautiful effect of uniform lettering is thus caused
by the united forces, as it were, of all the letters.

_Good Craftsmanship._—A pen, or other letter-making tool, being
handled freely and regularly, the uniform movements of the tool in
similar cases will produce uniform strokes, &c. (On the other hand,
the interruption and loss of freedom to the [p255] writer who
is irregular, or who forces an unnatural variety,[57] results in
inferior work.)

   _BEAUTY OF ARRANGEMENT_ (_As having a general fitness in the
   placing, connecting, and spacing of letters, words, and lines,
   in the disposal of the lettering in the given space, and in the
   proportioning of every part of the lettering and its margins_)

The particular fitness of a given inscription depends upon
considerations of its particular _office_, _position_, _material_,
&c. (see pp. 100, 351). For general use, however, the craftsman has
certain regular modes of disposing and spacing the lettering, and
proportioning the whole. And, as in constructing individual letters,
so in treating lettering as a whole, he endeavours to give his
work the qualities that make for readableness: viz. _simplicity_,
_distinctiveness_, _and proportion_.

_Simplicity in the Disposal of the Lettering._—For convenience
of construction, reading, or handling, the simple, traditional
arrangement of lettering is generally followed in dealing with flat
surfaces (paper, vellum, &c.):[58]—



_Distinctiveness in the Spacing of the Lettering_ necessitates
sufficient interspaces: the following common spacing of Letters,
Words, Lines, &c., may be modified to suit special circumstances.

 _Letters_, as a rule, are not equidistant, but their interspaces are
 approximately equal (_a_, fig. 152).

 _Words_, commonly one letter-space apart (_b_ and _c_).

 _Lines_ of Capitals, frequently _half_ (_d_) or _whole_ (_e_)
 letter-height apart. Lines of Small-Letters, commonly _ascenders_
 and _descenders_ just clearing (_f_).

 _Divisions of Text_ a clear line apart, or marked by a difference in
 colour or size (see figs. 94, 96, 186, &c.).

_Proportion in the Treatment of the Whole Inscription._—The
spacing-proportions referred to above apply to lettering generally,
but the proportions of an _inscription as a whole_ involve the
consideration of a special case. Example:—

 The Proportions to be Considered in the Case of a
 ‹Manuscript Book› (see pp. 100–108, 341, &c.).

 (1) Size and shape of the Book   (Set by custom, use of Book,
   and its page (proportion of       size of material, &c.) (see figs.
   width to height) (see p.          69, 70, and pp. 101, &c.).

 (2) Width of _Margins_—
   Proportions—                  (_a_) (Commonly about 1-1/2:2:3:4)
    (_a_) to each other.            (see fig. 70, and pp. 103–7).
    (_b_) to size of page.        (_b_) (Frequently about, or more
    (_c_) to the lettering.         than, _half the area of the page_).

 (3) Size of _Writing_—          (Set by page, and margin, and
   Proportion of height of          number of words in the line;
   letter to length of line.        usually more than _four_ words
                                    to the line) (see pp. 107–8).

 (4) Number of _lines_—          (Set by page, margin, and
   Proportion of text to page.      height-of-letter, and modified
                                    by treatment of _spacing_) (see
                                    pp. 108, 262).

 (5) Size of _Large Capitals_,    (Set by Small-Letter; commonly
   _Initials_, _&c._                one, two, three, or more
                                    of the writing-line-spaces
                                    high) (see _footnote_, p. 221).

 (6) Size of Decorative           (Set by page, &c.; usually such
   _Divisions_ of the Text          Division is relatively small
   (marked by different             or large—as a definite “heading,”
   treatment, colour, ornament,     or a whole page) (see p. 132).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 152.›]



_Ruling._—The approximate sizes of margins and letters, and the
number of lines of text, having been estimated, guiding lines are
ruled on the surface (see p. 343)—a right and a left vertical
marginal line, with the necessary number of horizontals between
them. (In the case of a manuscript, these lines are ruled faintly
(or _grooved_), and are left to form a feature of the page; for
inscriptions on other materials than paper, parchment, &c., they are
generally removed after setting-out.)

_Setting-out._—An inscription of any size, or one requiring complex
or very nice arrangement, is set-out in faint, sketchy outline of
lead pencil or chalk. _Simple writing_ is not set-out, but such
slight calculation or planning as is necessary is carried out
mentally, or on a scrap of paper. By practice the scribe, like the
compositor, can fit his lettering to the given space with ease and
accuracy. For _writing_ and (to a large extent) _printing_, both
_combine setting-out and the act of “lettering” in one operation_.
And this shows how practice gives foreknowledge of the “mechanical”
part of the work, leaving the mind free to take pleasure in its
performance; and also how slight—if necessary at all—is the
experimental _setting-out_ of simple forms required by the practised

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 153.›]

_Dividing Monosyllables._—In simple writing—the beauty of which
depends on freedom rather than on precision—I think that even such
an awkward word as “through” should not be broken. If the space at
the end of a line is insufficient, it should be left blank, or be
filled in with a dash of the pen. But in the case of words in LARGE
CAPITALS, especially in title-pages and the like, where spacing
[p259] is more difficult, and smooth reading less essential, any
word may be divided at any point if the necessity is sufficiently
obvious. But (even when the division is syllabic) breaking words,
as interfering with the ease of reading, may often be avoided with
advantage, and divisions which give accidental words, especially when
they are objectionable, as [p260] “‹TH-ROUGH›,” or “‹NEIGH-BOUR›,”
should not be allowed. Among other ways of dealing with small spaces,
without breaking words, are the following:—

_Ending with Smaller Letters._—The scribe is always at liberty to
compress his writing _slightly_, provided he does not spoil its
readableness or beauty. Occasionally, without harming either of
these, a marked difference in size of letter may be allowed; one or
more words, or a part of one, or a single letter, being made smaller
(_a_, _b_, fig. 153; see also Plate V.).

_Monogrammatic Forms_, &c.—In any kind of lettering, but more
particularly in the case of capitals, where the given space is
insufficient for the given capitals, monogrammatic forms resembling
the ordinary diphthong Æ may be used; or the stem of one letter may
be drawn out, above or below, and formed into another (_c_, fig. 153).

_Linking._—Letters which are large enough may be linked or looped
together, or one letter may be set inside another, or free-stem
letters may be drawn up above the line (_d_, fig. 153, but see p. 26).

_Tying up._—One or more words at the end of a line of
writing—particularly in poetry (see p. 95)—may be “tied up,” _i.e._
be written above or below the line, with a pen stroke to connect them
to it (fig. 67).

Care must be taken that none of these methods lead to confusion in
the reading. Their “Quaintness”—as it is sometimes called—is only
pleasing when their contrivance is obviously made necessary.


We may distinguish two characteristic modes of treating an
inscription, in which the treatment of the letter is bound up with
the treatment of the spacing (fig. 154). [p262]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 154.›]

“_Massed Writing_” (_Close Spacing_).—The written or printed page is
very commonly _set close_, or “massed,” so that the letters support
and enforce one another, their individual beauty being merged in and
giving beauty to the whole. The closeness of the _letters_ in each
word keeps the _words_ distinct, so that but little space is required
between them,[59] and _the lines of writing are made close together_
(ascending and descending stems being shortened, if necessary, for
this purpose).

“_Fine Writing_” (_Wide Spacing_).—An inscription in “Fine Writing”
may be spaced widely to display the finished beauty of the letters,
or to give free play to the penman (or letter-craftsman). It consists
generally of a number of _distinct lines of Writing_ (or other

The two modes may be contrasted broadly, thus—

 MASSED WRITING (Lines near        FINE WRITING (Lines spaced
      together.)                           and separated.)

 Has an effect of richness,        Has an effect of elegance, depending
   depending on tone of mass and     on form of letters and distinct
   close, even spacing.              arrangement of lines.

 Simple method (for ordinary       Refined method (for special use);
   use); saving of time and          lavish of space and time, ∴
   space, ∴ suited for long          suited for large spaces or short
   inscriptions or small spaces.     inscriptions.

 Lines generally of equal          Lines may be of unequal length,
   length, or if some fall           giving irregular, right-hand edge,
   short, end-fillings may be        as in poetry (see p. 263)—gaps
   used—gaps are avoided if         allowed on either side. [p263]

 Ascending and descending          Stems—medium or long: long stems
   stems—medium or short:           often a marked feature, ending in
   serifs simple, and not            carefully made heads and feed,
   strongly marked.                  or flourishes.

 Suited for slanted-pen forms      Suited for _straight and slanted_
   of “gothic” tendency, and         pen forms of “roman” tendency,
   heavy, black writing              and slender, light writing
   (example, “black letter”).^*      (example, “Italic”).^*

 Requires generally contrasts      Allows variety in size of Letters
   of colour or weight (p.           (see pp. 298, 328): its typical
   330), and will bear more          treatment is as plain, fine
   and heavier illumination          lettering—better without
   (Line-fillings, Initials,         heavy Borders, &c. (p. 299).
   Borders, &c.).

* ‹Note.›—Both modes are suited for _Roman Capitals and Small-Letters_.

These two modes may not have been recognised by the ancient
letter-craftsmen: their comparison here is intended chiefly as a
stimulus to definite thought, _not_ as a hard-and-fast division of
two “styles”; for there may be any number of possible compromises
between them. In practice, however, it will be found convenient
to distinguish them as _two modes of treating_ ‹LINES OF WRITING›
_which produce markedly different effects, the one, as it were, of_
‹COLOUR›, _the other of_ ‹FORM›.

Plates XI., XIII., XIV., XV., XVII. may be taken as examples of
“Massed Writing,” Plates IV., V., VI., VII., IX., (XXI.) of “Fine
Writing”; the other plates suggest compromises between the two.

_Poetry_ (see p. 95), or any text consisting of, or which is
conveniently broken up into _unequal lines_, may be treated as “Fine
Writing.” There is no objection to a _straight left-hand edge_
with an _irregular right-hand edge_,[60] where the cause of the
irregularity [p264] is natural and obvious, and no fault of the
scribe’s. Such an arrangement, or rather, _straightforward writing_,
of poetry is often the best by virtue of its freedom and simplicity
(see p. 371).

In many cases, however, a more formal and finished treatment of an
irregular line text is to be preferred (especially in inscriptions
on stone, metal, &c.), and the most natural arrangement is then
an approximately symmetrical one, inclining to “Fine Writing”
in treatment. This is easily obtained in inscriptions which are
previously set-out, but a good plan—certainly the best for MSS.—is to
sort the lines of the text into _longs_ and _shorts_ (and sometimes
_medium_ lines), and to set-in or indent the short lines two,
three, or more letters. The indentations on the _left_ balance the
accidental irregularities on the _right_ (fig. 154, and Plate IV.),
and give an appearance of symmetry to the page (see _Phrasing_, p.

Either mode of spacing (_close_ or _wide_) may be carried to an
unwise or ridiculous extreme. “Leading” the lines of type was much in
vogue a hundred years ago, in what was then regarded as “high-class”
printing. Too often the wide-spaced line and “grand” manner of the
eighteenth-century printer was pretentious rather than effective:
this was partly due to the degraded type which he used, but form,
arrangement, and expression all tended to be artificial. Of late
years a rich, closely massed page has again become fashionable.
Doubtless there has been a reaction in this from the eighteenth
century to an earlier and better manner, but the effect is sometimes
overdone, and the real ease and comfort of the reader has been
sacrificed to his rather imaginary æstheticism.

By attaching supreme importance to readableness, [p265] the
letter-craftsman gains at least a rational basis for his work, and is
saved from the snares which lurk in all, even in the best, modes and


In the spacing of a given inscription on a limited surface, where
a comparatively large size of letter is required, what little
space there is to spare should generally be distributed evenly and
consistently (_a_, fig. 155). Lavish expenditure of space on the
margins would necessitate an undue crowding[61] of the lettering
(_b_), and wide interspacing[62] would allow insufficient margins
(_c_)—either arrangement suggesting inconsistency (but see p. 352).

‹Note.›—_A given margin looks larger the heavier the mass of the
text_,[63] and _smaller the lighter the mass of the text_. And,
therefore, if lettering be spread out, as in “Fine Writing,” the
margins should be extra wide to have their true comparative value.
The space available for a given inscription may in this way largely
determine the arrangement of the lettering, comparatively _small_ and
_large_ spaces suggesting respectively “_Massed Writing_” and “_Fine
Writing_” (see p. 262).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 155.›]

In _certain decorative inscriptions_, where letters are merely
treated as decorative forms—readableness [p267] being a matter of
little or no moment—the treatment of the spacing is adapted to a
particular surface; and, for example:—

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 156.›]


The above discussion of theories and “rules” for the construction
and arrangement of good lettering is intended to suggest some useful
methods—not to provoke excessive fitting or planning, but rather to
avoid it. Straightforwardness is perhaps the greatest virtue in a
craft, and whatever “rules” it may break through, it is refreshing
and charming.

An excellent example for the scribe or inscription maker is the
method of an early printer, who had only four or five sorts of
type—say, “Small-Letters” and “Capitals” (Roman and Italic) and
“Large Capitals,” and who, without any elaborate “design,” simply put
his types into their proper [p268] places, and then pulled off his
pleasant sheets of “commonplace” printing.

The scribe should choose the best and simplest forms and
arrangements, and master them before going further; he should have
a few definite types “at his finger tips,” and, for everyday use, a
matter-of-course way of putting them down on paper.

Ambiguity is one of the greatest faults in a craft. It comes often
from vague ambitions. One may be inspired by good ambitions, but the
immediate concern of the craftsman is to know what he is capable of
doing at the present, and to do it.

Let the meaning of your work be obvious unless it is designed purely
for your own amusement. A good craftsman seeks out the _commonplace_
and tries to master it, knowing that “originality” comes of
necessity, and not of searching.


 The Roman Alphabet — Proportions of Letters: Widths — Upper & Lower
 Parts—Essential or Structural Forms — Characterisation of Forms —
 Built-Up Forms — Simple-Written Capitals — Uncials — Capitals &
 Small-Letters — Early, Round, Upright, Formal Hands — Slanted-Pen
 Small-Letters — Roman Small-Letters — Italics — Semi-Formal Hands
 — Of Formal Writing Generally — Decorative Contrasts — Ornamental

 ‹The Roman Alphabet›

The Roman Alphabet is the foundation of all our alphabets (see
Chapter I.). And since the full [p269] development of their
monumental forms about 2000 years ago, the Roman Capitals have held
the supreme place among letters for readableness and beauty. They
are the best forms for the grandest and most important inscriptions,
and, in regard to lettering generally, a very good rule to follow is:
_When in doubt, use Roman Capitals_.

The penman may with advantage devote some study to a fine monumental
type of Roman Capital (such as that of the Trajan Column Inscription:
Plates I. and II.), and endeavour to embody its virtues in a
_built-up pen form_ for use in MSS. (p. 294).


The marked distinction between the “Square” and the “Round”
forms, and the varying widths of the letters—as seen in the early
inscriptions,[64] are _characteristic_ of the Roman Alphabet. We may
broadly distinguish _Wide_ and _Narrow_ letters thus—

 _WIDE_        O Q C G D        “_Round._”
 _WIDE_          M W            “_Square._”
 _WIDE_     H (U) A N V T (Z)   “_Square._”
 _NARROW_    B E F R S Y (X)
 _NARROW_        I J
 _NARROW_       K L P


_The “Round” Wide Letters—O, Q, C, G, D._—

O may be regarded as the Key letter of an alphabet. Given an O and an
I of any alphabet, we can make a very good guess at the forms of the
other letters.

In fine Inscriptions the external line of O is commonly an almost
perfect circle (see Plate II.)—_i.e._ its height and width are equal.
This may be regarded as the ideal shape, though a slight widening or
narrowing of the letter (fig. 157) is quite permissible.[65]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 157.›]

Q, C, G, and D follow the proportions of O [p271] very nearly, and,
though C, G, D are a little narrower, they have the same effect of
roundness and width.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 158.›]

_The “Square” Wide Letters—M, W, and H, (U), A, N, V, T, (Z)_—

M & W Their mean width is properly _about_ equal to their height.

H Width equal to, or a little less than, height (fig. 158), but if
made too narrow it would look heavy, being _double-stemmed_.

U (see pp. 287, 284) resembles H.

A, N, & V are _double-stemmed_, and have internal angles, moreover,
which would become too sharp—and tend to close [p272] up—if they
were made too narrow (fig. 158).

T The cross-bar—the _characteristic part_ of T—projects a fair way on
either side of the stem.

Z Either _wide_ or (moderately) _narrow_ (fig. 158).

_The Narrow Letters, B, E, F, R, S, Y (X)_ (see fig. 159).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 159.›]

There is a point of division in these letters about the middle of the
stem or a little above (see p. 273), and we may argue that each being
composed, as it were, of two little letters—which are _half-height_,
they are proportionately _half-width_: and this will be found
approximately correct. B may be said to consist of one little D on
the top of another, averaging respectively _half_ the height and
width of a full-sized D.

E, F, & R follow the proportions of B (see also E, 4, p. 282). [p273]

S may be made of one little _tilted_ O on the top of another—joined
together and having the superfluous parts removed.

Y is like a little V upon a little I.

X Either _narrow_ or _wide_ (fig. 159).

_The Narrow letters, K, L, and P_—

These forms are related to the B, E forms, but it is permissible to
make them a little wider to give clearance to the angles of the K and
force to the single _arm_ and _loop_—the characteristic parts (see
fig. 149)—of L and P.


In the letters B, E, H, K, X (A), F, R, P (S), Y there is generally a
tendency to enlarge the lower part, the cross-bar—or division—being
set above mid-height. This tendency may reasonably be accounted for
as follows:—

The natural division of B, E, H, K, & X, regarded as abstract forms,
would be symmetrical—_i.e._ at the centre of the stem.[66] In
order that its _apparent position_ may be central, however, it is
necessary, for optical reasons, to make [p274] its actual position
above the centre.[67] And further, by a reasonable enlargement of the
lower part, these letters acquire a greater appearance of stability.

It would be well, I think, for the letter-craftsman to begin by
making such divisions at the _apparent centre_ (_i.e._ very slightly
above mid-height; see E, F, X, Plate II.), so keeping most nearly
to the _essential forms_ (see p. 275). Later he might consider the
question of stability (see B, Plate II.). The exaggerated raising
(or lowering) of the division associated with “Art Lettering” is
illegible and ridiculous.

«A» The lower part is essentially bigger, and the cross-bar is not
raised, as that would make the top part disproportionately small.

«F» usually follows E, but being asymmetrical and open below it may,
if desired, be made with the bar at—or even slightly below—the actual

«R» In early forms the bow was frequently rather large (see Plate
II.), but it is safer to make the tail—the characteristic part—more
pronounced (see Plates III., XXIV.).

«P» The characteristic part of P is the bow, which may therefore be a
little larger than the bow of R (see Plate III.).

«S» In the best types of this letter the upper and lower parts are
approximately equal; there is a tendency slightly to enlarge the
lower [p275] part. (In Uncial and early round-hands the _top_ part
was larger: see Plates IV. to VII.)

Y varies: the upper part may be less than that of X, or somewhat


_The essential or structural forms_ (see p. 240) _are the simplest
forms which preserve the characteristic structure, distinctiveness,
and proportions of each individual letter_.

The letter-craftsman must have a clear idea of the _skeletons_ of his
letters. While in every case the precise form which commends itself
to him is matter for his individual choice, it is suggested in the
following discussion of a typical form—the Roman B—that the rationale
of his selection (whether conscious or unconscious) is in brief _to
determine what is_ ‹ABSOLUTELY› _essential to a form, and then how
far this may be amplified in the direction of the_ ‹PRACTICALLY›

 The letter B reduced to its simplest (_curved-bow_) form—_i.e._
 to the bare necessity of its distinctive structure—comprises _a
 perpendicular stem spanned by two equal, circular bows_ (_a_, fig.

 In amplifying such a form for practical or æsthetic reasons, it is
 well as a rule not to exceed one’s object—in this case to determine
 a reasonable (though arbitrary) standard essential form of B,
 having a distinctive and proportionate (_f_) structure. We may
 increase the arcs of the bows till their width is nearly equal to
 their height (_b_), make their outer ends meet the ends of the stem
 (_c_), and their inner ends coincide (_d_). Raising the division
 till its apparent position is at or about the middle of the stem
 entails a _proportionate increase_ of width in the lower part, and a
 corresponding decrease in the upper part (_e_).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 160.›]

The very idea of an essential form excludes the _un_necessary, and
its further amplification is apt to take from its _distinctiveness_
and legibility. Where no limits are set, modification is apt
to become [p276] exaggeration. And, though special forms and
_ornamental letters_ may be produced by “reasonable exaggeration”
(_k_, _l_, _m_, fig. 161), if the tool be kept [p278] under proper
control, yet, generally, such _structural_ changes do not improve the
appearance of the plain letter forms.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 161.›]

 We may test our “Standard” (_a_, fig. 161) by considering the
 effects of further amplification.

 (1) _Raising the division_[68] slightly is permissible (_b_, fig
 161)—too much makes the top part disproportionately small (_c_).

 (2) _Widening both bows_, or _separating their junction from the
 stem_, tends to dissociate the bows from the stem, making the letter
 less distinctive (_g_ and _i_, fig. 161).

Widening and narrowing are both allowable and occasionally desirable,
but assuming that a standard or ideal width can be approximately
determined, it is well to keep to it for common and ordinary use.

 (_See also Built-Up Forms, pp. 291–6, and pp. 240, 253_)

That the tool[69] gives character and finish to the Essential Forms
of letters, can easily be proved by a little practical experience of
the natural action of a properly cut pen (see figs. 142 to 148, and
162). And the penman—or indeed any other letter-maker—is advised to
allow the pen to train his hand to [p280] make the proper strokes
automatically: then he may begin to master and control the pen,
making it conform to his hand and so produce Letters which have every
possible virtue of penmanship and are as much his own as his common

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 162.›]

Most of the letters in a good alphabet have specially interesting
or _characteristic parts_ (p. 250), or they exhibit some general
principles in letter making, which are worth noting, with a view to
making good letters, and in order to understand better the manner in
which the tool—whether pen, chisel, or brush—should be used.

_The characterisation of the Roman Capital Form._ ‹Note.›—_The large
types below are_ indices—_not models_.

«A» 1. A pointed form of A, M, and N (see Plate II.) may be suitable
for inscriptions in stone, &c., but in pen work the top is preferably
_hooked_ (fig. 167), _beaked_ (fig. 147), or _broken_ (fig. 158), or
specially marked in some way, as this part (both in Capital A and
small a) has generally been (fig. 189).

2. The oblique strokes in A, K, M, N, R, V, W, X, Y, whether thick or
thin, are naturally finished with a short point _inside_ the letter
and a long, sharp point, or _beak_, _outside_ (see serifs of oblique
strokes, p. 289).

3. The thin stem may be drawn out below for an occasional form (see
F, 3).

«B» 1. B, D, R, and P are generally best made _round-shouldered_
(fig. 162 & _Addenda_, p. 26).

2. B, D, E, F, P, R (and T) have generally an _angle_ between the
stem and the top horizontal, while [p281]

3. _below_ in B, D, E (and L) the stem curves or blends with the

4. See O, 2.

«C» 1. C, G, and S; the top horizontals or ‘arms’ may be straighter
than the lower arms, or _vice versâ_ (see figs. 167 and 206).

2. C, G, and S; the _inside_ curve is best continuous—from the ‘bow’
to the ends of the ‘arms’—not being broken by the serifs, and

3. it is best to preserve an unbroken inside curve at the termination
of all free arms and stems in built-up Roman Capitals. In C, G, S, E,
F, L, T, and Z the upper and lower arms are curved on the _inside_,
and squared or slightly pointed outside (the vertical stems curve on
either side) (fig. 163).

4. ‘Arms’ are best shaped and curved rather gradually out to the
terminal or serif, which then is an actual part of the letter, not an
added lump (p. 289).

5. See O, 2.

«D» 1. See B, 1.

2. See B, 2 and 3.

3. The curve may be considered as springing from the foot of the
stem, and may therefore for an occasional form be separated from the
stem at the _top_ (_D_, fig. 177).

4. See O, 2.

«E» 1. See B, 2 and 3.

2. See C, 3 and 4.

3. The lower limb in E, L (and Z) is often drawn out: these, however,
are properly to be regarded as _occasional_ or _special_ [p282]
forms: the lower serif of this type commonly points out (see figs.
206, 188).

4. E’s _three arms_ (& F’s two) are approximately _equal in length_
in the best early forms (Plate II., &c.).

«F» 1. See B, 2.

2. See C, 3 and 4 (and E, 4 _above_).

3. One or more (the development of the letter and tradition may
decide which) of the free stems of A, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, P,
R, T, V, W, X, Y may be drawn out for occasional forms (see fig. 188).

4. The elongated stems of F, I, J, P, T, Y may hang below the line,
or they may (occasionally) stand on the line and overtop the other

«G» 1. See C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

2. The stem may be drawn out below the line (F, 3).

3. The stem sometimes forms an angle with the lower ‘arm’ (this is
safest: see fig. 148), sometimes they blend (fig. 147).

4. The point of the lower ‘arm’ may project a _very little_ beyond
the stem to mark the _outer_ angle.

5. The wholly curved “gothic” @ (and also the other _round_ letters:
see p. 119) may be introduced _occasionally_ among Roman Capitals.

6. See O, 2.

«H» 1. The _left-hand_ stem is occasionally drawn out above (F, 3 &
_comp._ fig. 3), and

2. this form is sometimes associated with an ornamental cross-bar
(fig. 189).

3. H and N may slightly widen out _above_. [p283]

«I» 1. The stem may be drawn out above or below (F, 3 and 4).

2. See J, 2.

«J» 1. The stem or tail may be drawn out (F, 3 and 4).

2. ‹Note.›—With regard to the use of I for J (and V for U): this
is associated so much with the Latin usage, that it is perhaps
permissible still in Latin.[70] But for modern English, in which
these letters are strongly differentiated, the tailed J and the
round U are to be preferred. Besides the suspicion of affectation
attaching to the other mode, its strangeness gives an appearance of
awkwardness—almost amounting to illegibility—to common words, such as
“A QVAINT IVG” or “IAM IAR.” And, at the least, very careful [p284]
discrimination is desirable: “IVBILATE” may pass, but “IVIVBE” is
not really readable.

3. The tail of the J may be slight, provided it be distinct, and the
second stem of the U may match the first (fig. 158); the ugly J and U
in common use need not be copied.

4. See also _Tails_, pp. 289–291.

«K» 1. The stem is sometimes drawn out above (F, 3).

2. Both arms are occasionally lengthened, and the width of the letter
increased, by joining the thin arm to the stem lower down; the thick
arm, or tail, then springs from the side of the thin arm (_compare_
«R»). This tends away from the essential, and is therefore a less
safe form.

3. The tail may be curved or drawn out occasionally (see _Tails_, pp.

4. Serifs on _arms_. See A, 2.

«L» 1. See B, 3.

2. See C, 3 and 4.

3. See E, 3.

4. See F, 3.

«M» 1. The stems are commonly slightly spread out to give greater
clearance for the inner angles. An occasional form is much spread out

2. ‹Note.›—There are inscriptional forms of M [p285] and N without
the top serif (Plate II.). But the pen forms and others have top
serifs, and these commonly extend _outward_—tending to _beaks_ (see
A, 1 and 2)—rather than _in_. (V, W, X, Y (and N) show a similar
tendency—see p. 289.)

3. The thin stem of M is occasionally drawn out (F, 3).

«N» 1. Sec C, 3 and 4.

2. See H, 3.

3. See M, 2, and A, 1 and 2.

4. The first stem is drawn out below the line for an occasional form
(most suitable for an Initial Letter): the right-hand stem is very
occasionally raised (when a final letter) (F, 3).

5. ‹Note.›—The stems of N (the only vertical _thins_—not counting
M’s—in the Roman Capitals) tend sometimes to be thicker: see Plate II.

«O» 1. O is the key letter of the curved forms and, in a sense, of
the whole alphabet (p. 270). The upright form—«O»—may be regarded as
the ideal simple letter.

2. Very commonly, however, O is tilted—@—(see fig. 163), and when
this is the case, all the curved letters—B, C, D, G, P, Q, R, S,
U—_are correspondingly tilted_ (see Plate II.). The tilted form is
more easily made, but both are good forms.

«P» 1. See B, 1 and 2.

2. See O, 2.

3. (P with stem below line (see Plate IV.) must not be allowed to
confuse with D) (see F, 3 and 4). [p286]

4. The bow of P appears to be attached (to the stem) _above_: in
certain forms it is slightly separated from the stem _below_: see
Plate II.

«Q» 1. Q resembles O with a tail: see O.

2. There are many characteristic varieties of the tail: see _Tails_
(pp. 289–291).

3. ‹Note.›—Q being always followed by U, it is convenient often to
deal with the two letters together. (See Plate II.)

«R» 1. See B, 1 and 2.

2. See O, 2.

3. In the form nearest the essential, the junction of the Bow and
the Tail touches the stem. If the tail springs from the curve of the
bow (Plate II.) greater care in construction is necessary (compare
K). The treatment of the tail is very important. It may end in a
serif (see A, 2), or it may be curved and pointed (see _Tails_, pp.
289–291). It may be drawn out (see fig. 50).

4. See F, 3 (& _comp._ fig. 169).

«S» 1. See C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

2. See O, 2 (and p. 273).

3. S very often leans slightly forward.

«T» 1. See B, 2.

2. See C, 3 and 4.

3. Drawing out of stem: see F, 3 and 4.

4. ‹Note.›—The _right arm_ is occasionally extended—to fill a
line—when T is a terminal letter (in this case it is generally made
lighter, and the left arm heavier—somewhat as in the Uncial T, figs.
56 & 188). [p287]

«U» 1. ‹Note.›—The curve—if it be modelled on the common tilted O
(see O, 2)—is thin where it meets the second stem.

2. (V for U). See J, 2, 3, and footnote.

3. The _foot_ of the second stem projects on the right only, and
gives clearance to the angle of the curve on the left. Sometimes the
second stem ends in a _hook_ or _beak_, which (very occasionally) is
drawn out below.

«V» 1. See M, 2, and A, 2.

2. The _thick_ stem may be drawn up (F, 3), in which case the _thin_
commonly curves over for strength (see figs. 89, 95).

3. (See note on V for U, under J.)

«W» 1. See M, 2, and A, 2.

2. The best form is of two V’s crossed, @.

3. The first or both the _thick_ stems may be drawn up and the thins
curved over (see V, 2).

«X» 1. See M, 2, and A, 2.

2. There is sometimes a slight curving in of the stems, especially
the thin stem (see fig. 80).

3. The thin stem is sometimes drawn out below (F, 3), and commonly

«Y» 1. See M, 2, and A, 2.

2. See F, 3 and 4. (Y with stem below line (see Plate V.) must not be
allowed to confuse with V.)

3. An occasional rather interesting form [p288] of Y has the arms
curving out and ending in points (see fig. 167).

«Z» 1. See C, 3 and 4.

2. The lower arm of Z is sometimes drawn out (see E, 3): it may be
curved and pointed (or flourished).

       *       *       *       *       *

_General Remarks on the characterisation of the Roman Capitals and
related forms_ (see fig. 163).[71]

_VERTICAL STEMS._—(_a_, fig. 163) _Thick_ (excepting in the thin
stemmed N (and M)).

(_b_) _Slightly curved_ in on either side (see fig. 116), or
appearing so because of the outward curve of the serifs (see figs.
204, 206).

(_c_) A fine effect is obtained when the stem is made _wider above_
than below (see p. 119).

(_d_) Free stems occasionally are _drawn out_ (see above, F, 3 and 4,
and pp. 251, 260, 332).

_OBLIQUE STROKES or STEMS._—_Thick_, to the left @, _thin_, to the
right @ (see A, K, &c.), otherwise like _vertical stems_ (above)—(see
also ‹_SERIFS_› (_e_) below).

_HORIZONTALS, ARMS, BRANCHES, or BARS._—_Thin_: free ends sometimes
drawn out and flourished (see figs. 125, 188).

_BOWS and CURVES._—Gradated, and following the O (see pp. 44, 121,
270, 285).

_SERIFS or FINISHING STROKES._—(_a_) ‹Note.›—_Serifs_ of some sort
are practically essential to the proper characterisation of an
alphabet (see figs. 147, 148, 162), and should generally have a
certain uniformity (p. 324). [p289]

(_b_) The serifs, &c., of simple-written forms are treated at p. 244
(see fig. 145).

(_c_) In _Versals_ and certain other forms the mode of making
requires the serif to be a distinct addition to the letter (see figs.
116, 166).

(_d_, fig. 163) In the finest _built-up_ A B Cs serifs are treated
as the actual finishing and shaping of the ends of the _stems and
branches_, rather than as added parts (see C, 3 & 4, p. 281 and p.
240). This particularly affects the construction of the thin strokes
(see figs. 165, 167).

(_e_) _The serifs of the oblique strokes_ in A, K, M, N, R, V, W, X,
Y are commonly not placed centrally, but projecting in the direction
of the stroke (_i.e._ away from the letter, thus: @), branching out
from the parent stem (see _tails_, below), and avoiding an acute
angle (as @). This has tended to produce _hooks_ and _beaks_ (see
fig. 163), which are often used for the oblique strokes, particularly
of A and N (see figs. 189, 158), and the tails of K and R (see below).

(_f_) There is a similar natural tendency to _hook_ or _flourish_
the terminals of _vertical stems_ on the left, particularly of B,
D, I, J, K, L, P, R; less often of E, F, H. A very interesting and
beautiful effect may be obtained by delicately curving down the upper
serifs on _the left_ (like thin _beaks_). Such serifs are sometimes
very slightly _turned up on the right_, and it may be noted that this
tendency of the “horizontals” to _curve up and forward_ @ is natural
and characteristic of freely made, vigorous lettering (see Uncial T,
pen dashes, &c., figs. 169, 125, &c.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 163.›]

_TAILS._—(_a_) The tails of K, Q, R [p291] (and J)—and the strokes
in A, F, G, I, M, N, P, Y, &c., which may be drawn out tail-wise—play
an important part in the right construction, and the occasional
decoration, of plain lettering. They may end either in _serifs_ or in
_curves_ (see _SERIFS_ (_e_), above, and fig. 188).

(_b_) ‹Note.›—It is a characteristic of vigorous forms that
_branches, &c., stand out well from their stems_ (pp. 219, (_e_) 289,
(N) 271), and a good tail should stand out well from the letter (K,
Q, fig. 167).

(_c_) An excellent form of tail for ordinary use, combining strength
and grace, consists of a (strong) _straight stroke_ ending more or
less abruptly in a (graceful) _finishing curve_.

(_d_) An extraordinarily long tail requires a slight double curve to
take off its stiffness.

(_e_) A good tail may be made by the addition of a double curved
stroke on the under side of a straight tail (or of a single curve

(_f_) In treating the tail of J, or the drawn-out stems of A, F, G,
I, M, N, P, Y, it is important to preserve the essential straightness
of the stems. Therefore, if a _finishing curve_ be used, its size
is related to the length of the straight stroke, and, unless this
be extraordinarily long, the curve is usually made rather small and
abrupt. A curve which is too large is apt to weaken the form and
“pull it out of the straight” (_g_, fig. 163).


_Built-up Letters_ are composed of compound strokes (_c_, _d_, fig.
164); _Simple-written Letters_ of simple strokes (_a_, _b_).

The Pen being _an instrument which produces_ [p292] _definite thick
and thin strokes on a smooth surface_, is perfectly adapted to the
construction of either simple or compound forms; _other tools_, such
as the stylus, needle, graver, &c., _produce various scratches,
stitches, or cuts, generally of the nature of rather varying thin
strokes_, and to produce thick strokes a _building-up_ process is

In making built-up forms the control exerted by the tool is less
obvious, and more depends upon the craftsman, who must therefore
use greater care and judgment. Not only is it possible, but,
occasionally, it may be desirable to depart from the more obvious
tool-forms; though generally the more simply and naturally
_tool-made_ a form is, the better it is.

The fine early inscriptions are supposed to have been first _drawn_
or _painted_ (in outline) and then cut into the stone. The _chisel
forms_ were doubtless affected in this way by _brush_ (and indirectly
by _pen_) _forms_, but these were of the simplest—nothing was
sketched in that was unfitted for the chisel to make into a natural
and true _chisel-form_.

The action of the brush or “pencil” to a certain extent resembles
that of the pen, but their effects are really distinct. In
contrasting pen-made and brush-made letters, we may observe that _a
pen form tends to abrupt changes from thin to thick: a brush form to
gradation_ (fig. 164). The pen particularly affects curved strokes
(_comp. a_ & _b_), generally making them more quick and abrupt (or
even _broken_, see * * _c_), than brush curves. The brush will give
more graceful and finished but less uniform letters (see p. 376).

The character of a pen-letter depends greatly on the _nib-width_ (p.
324), and _narrow_, _medium_, or _broad_ nibs are used according to
the type of letter required. [p293]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 164.›]

A narrow nib may be used for special (built-up) Initials and
Capitals, which are _drawn_ rather than _written_ (_a_, fig. 165).
The horizontal arms (made by the pen held horizontally) are markedly
affected, and if a very fine nib were used, the necessity of
strengthening and thickening them would tend further to reduce the
pen character.

A broad nib gives strong, uniform pen-letters (_b_).

For ordinary use letters are perhaps best made with a “medium” nib
(_c_). The width of the ordinary writing-pen, or rather narrower,
gives a good proportion for initials, &c. (see pp. 118, 218).

In MS. books the early built-up Capitals were [p294] commonly of
a rather severe type—approaching the Roman Capital, but having the
sharp contrast between the _thicks_ and the _thins_ characteristic of
pen-letters (fig. 166). They make very simple and effective “Versals.”

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 165.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 166.›—Pen-capitals from a tenth-century MS.
 (_writing-lines dotted in fig. to show spacing method_).]

A more highly finished type of pen-made Roman Capital may be made
by blending the serifs and stems (_d_, p. 289): it is nearer to the
inscriptional form, but it exhibits a more curved and supple [p296]
outline, which comes of natural pen-strokes (fig. 167).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 167.›]

The remarks in Chapter VII. on the treatment of the more elastic
“Gothic” Versal (a free variety [p297] of the Roman) may be taken
as applying generally to (Coloured) Built-up Capitals—due allowance
being made for the characteristic differences of the various types.


“_Rustic Capitals_” (fig. 4) may be referred to here as typical,
simple-written capitals. Though not a very practical form,[72] they
are full of suggestions for a semi-ornamental lettering in which
the pronounced treatment of the _heads and feet_ might be a feature
(_comp._ fig. 203). They were used as ornamental letters for titles
and the like (see Plates VIII., IX., &c.) for centuries after they
had gone out of ordinary use.

_Simple-written Roman Capitals._—(Examples: Plates III., XVIII.,
XIX., XXI., figs. 147, 148, 168, 175, 179. See also pp. 247, 429.)

_Uncials._—(Examples: see p. 300.)

_Simple-written Capitals_ ordinarily conform to the writing line—as
set by the small text (p. 82). This applies even where several
_words_ in capitals have to be inserted in the small text, though in
special cases where these might look too crowded such capitals might
be written on alternate lines.

Used for _Initial Words_, _headings_, _whole pages_, or _books_, in
black or colour, they are written with greater freedom and accorded
more special treatment (see pp. 298, 299).

Simple-written Capitals are best composed of sharp, clean,
pen-strokes: they may be quite plain [p298] or more or less
decorative (fig. 168), subject to the general rule that _the fewer
the number of letters or the more ornamental their office, the more
elaborate and fanciful may be the forms employed_ (see p. 294).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 168.›]

A freely used pen naturally produces occasional varieties for
special or ornamental purposes: these tend to elegance and drawn
out flourished strokes (p. 331); they vary chiefly in being extra
large.[73] [p299] Several of these may be used with fine effect in a
page of plain Capitals, their “_weight_” (and generally their colour)
being the same as that of the text (see Plate V., and p. 328).

_Whole Books or Pages written in Capitals._—A very grand effect
may be produced by these at the expense of a little more time and
material than a Small-letter MS. entails. The lines of writing are
commonly made one-letter-height apart: this requires ordinary simple
ruling—the capitals being written between every alternate pair of
lines (see p. 412).

Such writing may conveniently be treated as “_Fine_ Writing” (p.
262). It justifies the use of wider margins. It is generally more
difficult (and less necessary) to keep the right-hand edge as
straight as a small text permits. The irregularities of this edge may
be balanced by setting out in the _left_ margin the first letters
of sentences, verses, and the like (see p. 264). Such initials may
be written larger or more ornamentally as suggested above; or, if
built-up Letters are required, plain, rather slender Roman Capitals
are the most suitable: these look best in burnished gold.

Perhaps the finest and most beautiful work which the penman can
produce, is a book written entirely in _gold_[74] _capitals_[75] _on
purple vellum_ (see pp. 164, 175). This is only possible in special
cases, but a book rightly so made being illuminated from within,
has an incomparable simplicity and grandeur, surpassing that of the
finest post-decorated and illuminated manuscripts. [p300]


Examples: Plates IV., V.; figs. 5, 169 (enlarged); (modified, fig.

Uncials are typical pen-capitals.[76] Though not of such practical
use as the simple-written Roman Capitals, their great possibilities
and their beauty make them worth practising. (See _Round_, _Upright_,
_Formal Hands_, p. 304.)

Their use is limited by two considerations—

_First_: that while the round @, @, @, @, @ are essentially legible
(p. 239), people generally are not accustomed to them, and may find
them hard to read; and

_Secondly_: that @, @, @, @, @, @, @, @, @, @ have ascending and
descending strokes which are apt to become too pronounced and give an
unpleasant appearance of “_tailiness_” to a page of Uncial Writing
(in _English_, see _footnote_, p. 326).

The first difficulty may be met by keeping Uncials for special
MSS.—for private use—and introducing them sparingly or not at all in
Service Books, Placards, &c., where ease and quickness of reading are

The appearance of “_tailiness_” (not so obvious in Latin) may be
avoided by making the tails shorter and keeping the lines of writing
well apart. Or freely made Roman Capitals without _tails_ (see D,
_tail-less_, fig. 57) may be substituted for one or more of the chief
offenders. [p302]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 169.›—_Part of Plate V._ (_q.v._), _enlarged
 three times linear_.]

Uncials may be “round” (see Plate IV., fig. 5, and p. 304), or
“pointed” (see fig. 169, and p. 413).


During the development of Small-Letters from Capitals but little
distinction was made in their use, and such capital forms as ‹N›
and ‹R› were freely and promiscuously used in the _round minuscule_
writings, together with the small-letters «n» and «r» (see Plates
VI., VII.). On the other hand, Small-Letter forms were frequently
written larger and used as initials. In Irish and Anglo-Irish MSS.
these were filled inside with green, yellow, or red, and surrounded
outside with red dots, or otherwise decorated with colour (see fig.
7, and Plate VI.).

In early MSS., therefore, one does not find an alphabet of
Simple-Written Capitals, which is peculiar to a given small
text. But we may employ a kindred capital—such as the round
_Uncial_ for the round _Half-Uncial_. And a fitting alphabet
may always be constructed, from the “Roman” or “Uncial” types
of Capitals (_footnote_, p. 300), by taking the same pen with
which the small-letters have been made and using it in a similar
manner: “straight” for “straight-pen” writing, and “slanted” for
“slanted-pen” writing (see figs. 147, 148).

When in doubt as to the type of Capital—for any purpose—use Roman


Examples: _Half-Uncials_—fig. 6 (Roman); Plate VI. (Irish), Plate
VII. (English) fig. 170 _later_; see also pp. 40, 44, 413–415.
_Uncials_ (Plate IV. and p. 38). [p304]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 170.›—_Part of an English eight-century MS._
 (_British Museum, Case C, No. 68), enlarged three times linear._]

The main types are the “round” Uncial and Half-Uncial, commonly
written with an approximately “_straight pen_.”[77] They are
generally treated as _fine writing_ (p. 262), and _written between
ruled lines_: this has a marked effect in preserving their roundness
(see p. 414).

They are very useful as _copy-book_ hands (see p. 70), for though
the smooth gradation of their curves, their thin strokes, and their
general elegance unfit them for many practical purposes, yet their
essential _roundness_, _uprightness_, and _formality_ afford the
finest training to the penman, and prevent him from falling into an
angular, slanting, or lax hand. Their very great beauty, moreover,
makes them well worth practising, and even justifies their use (in a
modernised form) for special MSS., for the more romantic books—such
as poetry and “fairy tales”—and generally where speed in writing _or
reading_ is not essential.

With an eye trained and a hand disciplined by the practice of an
Irish or English Half-Uncial, or a modified type, such as is given
in fig. 50, the penman may easily acquire some of the more practical
later “slanted-pen” types.


_Typical Examples_:—

_Carlovingian ninth-century MS._—_Fig. 8_ (_enlarged, fig. 171_):

_English tenth-century MS.—Plate VIII._ (_enlarged, fig. 172_):

_English eleventh-century MS.—Plate IX._ (_enlarged, fig. 173_):

_Italian twelfth-century MS.—Plate X._ (_enlarged, fig. 174_).

The use of the “slanted pen” generally produced _stronger_,
_narrower_, and _stiffer_ letters. Its effects are detailed in pp.
43–47, and fig. 11, and may best be studied in the tenth-century
example (fig. 172—the letter forms are described on p. 416).

In the Carlovingian MS.—which does not show these effects in any
marked degree—we may note the wide letter forms, the wide spacing,
the long stems (thickened above by additional strokes), the slight
slope of the letters, and the general effect of gracefulness and
freedom (see fig. 171). Carlovingian MSS. may be said to represent a
sort of mediæval _copy-books_, and their far-reaching influence on
writing makes them of great interest to the modern penman, who would,
moreover, find one of these hands an excellent model for a free
“formal hand.”

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 171.›—_Part of fig. 8, enlarged three times
 linear (see p. 305)._]

For practical purposes the “slanted-pen” letter is generally superior
to the “straight-pen” letter. The “slanted-pen” letters have greater
strength and legibility, due mainly to the presence of the _thick
horizontals_—often equal in width to the verticals. Their use saves
both space and time, as they are narrower, and more easily and freely
written[78] than the straight-pen forms.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 172.›—_Fig. 12, enlarged twice linear (see p.
 305 & Plate VIII.). Note: top line is cut down._]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 173.›—_Part of Plate IX. (Charter of CNUT),
 enlarged three times linear (see p. 416)._]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 174.›—_Part of Plate X., enlarged three times
 linear_ (_see pp. 417–419_).]

The real importance to us of these early types [p310] lies, I
think, in their relation to the Roman Small-Letter (pp. 418–19 &
429–83), and their great possibilities of development into modern
formal hands approaching the “Roman” type.


Ex.: (Italian) Plates XIX., XX. (15th century); figs. 175, 176 (16th
century): figs. 147, 148 (_modern MS._).

The _Roman Small-Letter_ is the universally recognised type in which
the majority of books and papers are printed. Its form has been in
use for over 400 years (without essential alteration) and as far as
we are concerned it may be regarded as permanent.

And it is the object of the scribe or letter-maker gradually to
attain a fine, personal formal hand, assimilating to the Roman
Small-Letter; a hand against the familiar and present form of which
no allegations of unreadableness can be raised, and a hand having a
beauty and character now absent or _un_familiar. The related _Italic_
will be mastered for formal MS. work (p. 315), and the ordinary
handwriting improved (p. 323). These three hands point the advance of
the practical, modern scribe.

The Roman Small-Letter is essentially a pen form (and preferably
a “slanted-pen” form; p. 305), and we would do well to follow its
natural development _from the Roman Capital_—_through Round Letters
and Slanted-Pen forms_—so that we may arrive at a truly developed and
characteristic type, suitable for any formal manuscript work and full
of suggestions for printers and letter-craftsmen generally.

A finished form, such as that in Plate XX.—or even that of fig.
175—would present many [p311] difficulties to the unpractised
scribe, and one who so began would be apt to remain a mere copyist,
more or less unconscious of the vitality and character of the letter.
An earlier type of letter—such as that in Plate VIII.—enables the
scribe to combine speed with accuracy, and fits him at length to
deal with the letters that represent the latest and most formal
development of penmanship.

And in this connection, beware of practising with a fine nib, which
tends to inaccuracy and the substitution of prettiness for character.
Stick to definite pen strokes, and preserve the definite shapes and
the uniformity of the serifs (p. 324): if these be made clumsily,
they become clumsy lumps. It may be impossible always to ascertain
the exact forms—especially of terminals and finishing strokes—for the
practised scribe has attained a great uniformity and some _sleight
of hand_ which cannot be deliberately copied. But—whatever the exact
forms—we may be sure that in the best hands they are produced by
uniform and proper pen strokes.


Ex.: Plate XXI., and figs. 94, 177, 178 (enlarged).

_Italics_[79] closely resemble the Roman Small-Letters, but are
slightly narrowed, slightly sloped to the [p314] right, and
very freely written (commonly with a “_slanted pen_”). The serifs
generally consist of slight natural terminal hooks, &c.—though in
_p_ and _q_ a finishing stroke is sometimes _added_. _Ascending_ and
_descending_ strokes (in _b_, _d_, _f_, _h_, _k_, _l_, _g_, _j_,
_p_, _q_, _y_) are commonly rather long, and often end in curves,
sometimes in flourishes (fig. 177).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 175.›—_Italian Prayer Book_: 16_th century_
 (_see opp. p. & p. 345_).]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 176.›—(_From same MS. as fig. 175, enlarged
 three times linear._)]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 177.›]

The lines of writing are generally widely spaced—allowing for the
long stems: the _bodies_ of the letters being narrow are generally
rather closely packed, and frequently the lines of writing appear
[p315] as almost continuous light but compact writing, while the
_ascenders_ and _descenders_ and parts of the Capitals may be
flourished freely in the spaces between the lines—sometimes filling
them with ornamental pen work, which contrasts strongly with the
extreme plainness and regularity of the _bodies_.

_Italic Capitals_ are a variety of the Roman Capitals, slightly
sloped (frequently less sloped than the accompanying small-letters),
and sometimes much flourished (fig. 177). The types modelled on the
latter were called by printers in the seventeenth century, “Swash

_Use of Italics._—In printing they served at first to mark such
portions of the text as—


and subsequently were used for

 _Words not part of the Text_
   (_e.g._ Chapter headings in the Bible, &c.).

In MSS. when it is not desirable to alter the character, Red Writing
(see p. 130) may be substituted for italics. Italics—either in black
or red—go best with “Roman” characters.

Like the Roman Small-Letter, the Italic is a generally recognised
and accepted form: this and other considerations, such as the
peculiar elegance and charm of the letters, their formal relation
to modern handwriting, their compactness and economy of space in
the line, and the fact that they may be written easily and with
extreme regularity—_being indeed the most rapid of formal hands_—are
practical reasons for a careful study of the type, and justify the
writing of certain MS. books entirely in Italics. [p317]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 178.›—_Part of Plate XXI._, enlarged,
 (_approx._) _four times linear_ (_see p. 483_).]


Figs. 179, 180, and 181 are taken from a sixteenth-century Italian
MS.[80] written in a semi-formal cursive hand in dark brown and
red-brown inks (probably originally nearer _black_ and _red_), on 150
leaves of fine paper.

_The proportions of the Book_,[81] together with the good writing,
have a very agreeable effect, and are interesting as being used by a
writer over 300 years ago. The extra width of the side margins may
have been allowed for annotations—some notes were written in by the
scribe himself.

   = 11-1/8 inches high, 8 inches wide.

   _Inner_ (7/8 inch + 3/8 inch allowed for Small Capitals)
           = 1-1/4 inch (approximate).
   _Top_   = 1-3/8 inch (constant).
   _Side_  = 2-3/4 inch (approximate).
   _Foot_  = 3 inch (approximate).

 _Writing-Line Space_
   nearly 5/16 inch high: length (varies), average 4 inches.

 _Text Column_
   nearly 6-3/4 inches high, consisting of 22 lines of MS.

_Character of the Writing._—The good shapes of the letters, their
great uniformity, and their easy yet formal arrangement, mark this
MS. as the work of a skilful penman. But, while pen character of
a sort is very evident, the writing approaches the _stylographic_
(apparently a rather narrow blunt nib was used), and the absence
of definite _thicks_ and thins distinguishes it from all the
formal hands hitherto discussed: it may conveniently be termed

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 179.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 180.›]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 181.›]


_Construction._—The rapidity and uniformity of this writing are
largely due to an extremely easy zigzag movement of the pen, such as
is natural in writing _m_, _n_, and _u_—the final upstroke usually
running on into the next letter. Note particularly that the round
letters _c_, _d_, _e_, _g_, _o_, _q_ generally begin with a nearly
straight down stroke—like the first part of _u_—to which tops are
_added_ (see fig. 182). In the case of _a_, the first stroke curves
forward to meet the second. [p322]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 182.›]

In the straight-stemmed capitals B, D, E, F, H, I, L, M, N, P, R, and
T, the first stroke is made rather like an @ (showing the tendency to
a zigzag) the foot of which is generally crossed horizontally by a
second stroke making a form resembling @—on this as a base, the rest
of the letter is formed (see fig. 182). This tends to preserve the
uniformity of the letters: and gives a fine constructive effect, as,
for example, in the letter @.

_General Remarks._—The semi-formal nature of such a MS. would seem
to permit of a good quill—not necessarily sharp—being used with the
utmost freedom and all reasonable personal _sleight of hand_; of soft
tinted inks—such as browns and brown-reds; of an _un_-ruled page
(_a pattern page ruled dark, being laid under the writing paper,
will, by showing through, keep the writing sufficiently straight_),
and of a minimum of precision in the arrangement of the text. And
in this freedom and informality lie the reasons for and against the
use of such a hand. There is a danger of its becoming more informal
and degenerating because it lacks the effect of the true pen in
preserving form.[82] But, on the other hand, it combines great
rapidity and freedom with beauty and legibility: few printed books
could compete in charm with this old “catalogue,” which took the
scribe but little longer to write than we might take in _scribbling_

Many uses for such a hand will suggest themselves. Semi-formal
documents which require to [p323] be neatly written out, and Books
and Records of which only one or two copies are required, and even
Books which are worthy to be—but never are—printed, might, at a
comparatively low cost, be preserved in this legible and beautiful

It suggests possibilities for an improvement in the ordinary
present-day handwriting—a thing much to be desired, and one of the
most practical benefits of the study of calligraphy. The practical
scribe, at any rate, will prove the advantages of being a good
all-round penman.


_On Copying a Hand._—Our intentions being right (viz. to make our
work essentially readable) and our actions being expedient (viz. to
select and copy the simple forms which have remained essentially
the same, leaving the complex forms which have passed out of
use—see pp. 195–6), we need not vex ourselves with the question of

Where beautiful character is the natural product of a tool, any
person may at any time give such character to a useful form, and as
at this time a properly cut and handled pen will produce letters
resembling those of the early MSS., we may take as models _such
early, simple pen-forms as have remained essentially the same_,[84]
and copy them as closely as we _can_ while keeping them exact and

Finally, _personal quality_ is essential to perfect workmanship,
but that is the natural and gradual—sometimes [p324] scarcely
visible—departure from a model, that comes of practice and time.

_Forms of Letters: component pen-strokes._—In a good hand the
chief component strokes—stems, bows, and serifs—are repeated again
and again (see pp. 244, 254)—this is essential to the uniform
character and the quickness of the writing. When substituting a
_new_ for an _old_ letter a naturally used pen will produce such
common pen-strokes, giving the desired “family likeness” to the new
letter[85] (_b_, fig. 183).

_Proportion[86] of Thick Strokes._—The broader the thick stroke is in
proportion to the height of a letter, the more the form of the letter
is controlled and affected by the pen (_c_, fig. 183). For training
and practice, therefore, the wide nib is the most useful. A narrower
nib (_d_ or _e_) allows of more freedom and variety, and there is a
great charm in slender lettering—this the trained scribe may essay
(see Plate XX., and p. 482).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 183.›]

_Proportion[86] of Stem Height._—The character of a writing depends
very much on whether the stems are _short_, _medium_, or _long_. The
stems of «b» and «p» may be as short as half the height of the bodies
(_f_, fig. 183); a _medium_ stem for ordinary use might be two-thirds
of, or equal to, the height of the body (_g_). Stems may be drawn
out to almost any [p326] length, and may constitute a decorative
feature of the writing, as in the Anglo-Saxon[87] MS., Plate IX. (See
p. 331, and fig. 188.)

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 184.›]

_Distinct Lines of Writing._—The line—especially in MS. books—is
really a more important unit than [p327] the page; and the
whole question of the arrangement of Lettering hinges on the
right treatment of the lines. One is particularly struck by the
distinctness of the lines of writing in the old MSS., due mainly to—

(a) _The binding together of the letters in the line_—_commonly by
strong serifs or heavy “shoulders” and “feet”_ (see figs. 11, 184,
and p. 414).

(b) _Packing the letters well together_ (see pp. 77, 262).

(c) _Spacing the lines sufficiently apart_ (see pp. 262–265).

It is a good rule (especially when practising) to space the lines
fairly widely. Really fine writing shows generally to greater
advantage if not too much crowded, and there is more danger of making
reading hard by crowding the lines, than by crowding the words (see
fig. 156).

Whatever mode of treatment be followed, each line should be written
with as much freedom as possible, the simplest straightforward
writing being preferable to that which is over-arranged.


The decorative treatment of lettering generally involves contrasts of
_size_, _weight_, _colour_, or _form_—that is, of large and small,
heavy and light, variously coloured, or variously shaped letters.
As a general rule, marked contrasts are best; a slight contrast may
fail of its effect and yet be sufficiently noticeable to give an
unpleasant appearance of irregularity.

_Contrasts of Colour_ (see pp. 144, 180).—Note that, while it is
convenient to distinguish “colour”—as _red_, _blue_, _green_,
&c.—weight strictly involves [p328] _colour_: built-up or heavy
letters in black show extra _black_ beside lighter writing, while
the latter appears _grey_ in comparison (see figs. 197, 186); in red
writing the heavy letters appear _red_, the lighter letters, _pink_
(see fig. 90).

_Contrast of Size._—The simplest decorative contrast is that of
LARGE[88] letters with ‹smaller› letters (fig. 185); the strokes
being of equal, or nearly equal, weight, there is an harmonious
evenness of tone throughout. Where the large letters are very
much larger, their parts are made somewhat heavier to keep their
_apparent_ “weight” approximately equal (see p. 486). This is one of
the most effective treatments for inscriptions generally (see p. 299,
and Plates V. and XXIV.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 185.›]

_Contrasts of “weight” and size._—In simple writing these are
obtained by using two sizes of pen—the small, light letters being
used for the bulk of the [p329] text, the larger heavier letters
being used for occasional words or lines (or _vice versâ_). This is a
very effective simple treatment for MSS. (fig. 186).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 186.›—(_See also fig. 191._)]

The occasional letters may be more decoratively treated (see
_Responses and Rubrics_, p. 345) by introducing the further contrasts
of _colour_ (p. 144) or form (p. 336). [p330]

_Contrasts of form, “weight,” and size._—These are generally obtained
by the use of large built-up Capitals, together with a simple-written
(or ordinarily printed) text (fig. 187).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 187.›]

A marked contrast usually being desirable, the built-up capitals
(especially if black) are kept quite distinct from the rest of
the text (see fig. 197): if they are scattered among the other
letters they are apt to show like _blots_ and give an appearance of
irregularity to the whole. As a rule, the effect is improved by the
use of red or another colour (see figs. 91, 93).

_Contrast of form_—for decorative purposes—is usually combined with
contrast of weight (_e.g._ “Gothic,” _heavier_, p. 336) or size
(_e.g._ Capitals, _larger_, p. 371).


(_See Chaps. VII._, _VIII._, _X._, _XII._, _& pp._ 34, 251, 26)

To give ornament its true value we must _distinguish between ordinary
occasions when simplicity and directness are required, and special
occasions when elaboration is desirable or necessary._

The best way to make ornamental letters is to [p331] develop them
from the simpler forms. Any plain type may be decoratively treated
for special purposes—some part or parts of the letters usually being
rationally “exaggerated” (p. 252). Free _stems_, “_branches_,”
_tails_, &c., may be drawn out, and terminals or serifs may be
decorated or flourished (fig. 203).

_Built-Up Forms._—Even greater license (see fig. 161) is allowed
in Built-Up Letters—as they are less under the control of the
tool (p. 292)—and their natural decorative development tends to
produce a subordinate simple line decoration beside or _upon_ their
thicker parts (fig. 189 & p. 26). In MSS. the typical built-up,
ornamental form is the “Versal” (see Chap. VII.), which developed—or
degenerated—into the “Lombardic” (fig. 1). Here again it is
preferable to keep to the simpler form and to develop a natural
decorative treatment of it for ourselves.

“_Black Letter_” _or_ “_Gothic_,” still in use as an ornamental
letter (fig. 190), is descended from the fifteenth-century writing
of Northern Europe (Plate XVII.). A better model may be found in
the earlier and more lively forms of twelfth and thirteenth century
writing (fig. 191).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 188.›—(_See also figs._ 125 _and_ 150.)]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 189.›—(_See also Plates VI._, _XI._, _XXII._,
 _figs. 79 and 84_, _and p. 420_.)]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 190.›—_Ordinary Modern “Black Letter” Type_
 (_see p. 331_).]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 191.›—_MS. written by an English Scribe, in
 1269, at Mons, in Hainault_—_Part of Colophon in large text._ (_B.
 M. Egerton, MS. 2569. Reduced five-sixths Scale._)]

Rightly made, and used, it is one of the most picturesque forms of
lettering—and therefore of ornament—and besides its ornamental value,
there is still in the popular fancy a halo of romance about “black
letter,” which may fairly be taken into account. Its comparative
illegibility, however,—due mainly to the substitution of straight for
curved strokes—debars it from ordinary use.[89] Though its [p336]
distinction in form and _colour_ (p. 327) from ordinary small
lettering, make it useful in arresting attention; as in a legal
document, where the clauses are marked by

whereas &c.

Its most effective use, however, is as pure ornament—when it does not
matter whether the words are easily read or not. For mottoes, &c.,
painted or carved on walls or furniture, and for ornamental borders
round tapestry hangings, tombs, book-covers, bowls, flagons, plates,
&c., bands of such ornamental lettering are extremely decorative (see
_footnote_ (2), p. 255, & also p. 364).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig.› 191_a._—_Shield of Arms of Earl de
 Warrenne, Castle Acre Priory, Norfolk_ (_Gold and blue chequers,
 diapered_—_see p. 215_): _reproduced, by permission, from Boutell’s
 “English Heraldry,” No. 68._]


[53] In fact, our “small-letters” are the formalised result of the
rapidly scratched _Square Capitals_ of the Roman era (p. 37 & fig. 3).

[54] Their _greater strength_ may not at first be apparent in fig.
148, as the nib used therefor is narrower, in proportion to the
height of letter, than that used for fig. 147 (see also fig. 151).

[55] The exaggeration of one part may be said _relatively_ to dwarf
the other parts of a letter; but it is seldom advantageous, and often
not permissible, to dwarf part of a letter absolutely.

[56] As when the construction of a part of some letter is peculiar
(all the «y» or «g» _tails_, for example, catching the eye, and
standing out on the page), or, as when promiscuous types are used,
giving the impression of a confused crowd of letters.

[57] _Variety._—There is a variety both readable and beautiful (see
pp. 210, 369), but it is founded on uniformity (and sincerity).

[58] “_Bands_” and symmetrical or asymmetrical _groups_ of lettering
adapted to the available space are used—usually as ornament—upon
friezes, furniture, chests, book covers, flagons, dishes, and the
like (see fig. 156 & p. 336). The special treatment of such things is
a matter for the craftsman who makes them.

[59] By closing up the letters and the words one may generally avoid
“_rivers_,” or accidental spaces straggling through the text. The
presence of “rivers” is at once made evident by slanting the page and
looking along its surface, across the lines. Note, that whether the
_lines_ be close or wide, the interspacing of the _Small-Letters_
does not vary very much.

[60] The gaps on the right may be filled with line-finishings to
preserve a “Massed” effect, but for many purposes this would be apt
to look too ornamental (see pp. 205, 423).

[61] In (_b_) fig. 155, the letters have been unintentionally
narrowed. The natural tendency to do this forms another objection to
such undue crowding.

[62] In (_c_) the letters have been unintentionally widened.

[63] _Experiment._—Cut out a piece of dark brown paper the exact
size of the body of the text in an entire page of this Handbook,
viz. 5-1/16 inches by 3 inches, and lay it on the text: the tone of
the brown paper being much darker than that of the print makes the
margins appear wider.

[64] Such inscriptions contrast favourably with that Nineteenth
Century style in which it was customary to make every letter occupy
the same space and look as much like its neighbour as possible.

[65] ‹Note.›—There is less danger of spoiling letters by narrowing
them than by widening, because the limits to the _possible_ narrowing
of a letter are more obvious than the limits to its _possible_
widening. Further, when letters are widened there is a tendency to
thicken their parts and make them heavy and vulgar.

[66] The primitive forms of these letters were vertically
symmetrical, I believe.

[67] It is interesting to note in this connection that the eye seems
to prefer looking upon the _tops_ of things, and in reading, is
accustomed to run along the _tops_ of the letters—not down one stroke
and up the next. This may suggest a further reason for smaller upper
parts, viz. the _concentration_ of as much of the letter as possible
in the upper half.

[68] The extremely beautiful and finished B in the “Trajan Alphabet”
(Plate II.) has the division a little higher, and a marked
enlargement of the lower part; until the letter-craftsman can
approach the perfection of its execution he will find a simpler form
more suitable for his “standard.” A curious form, in which the top
lobe has nearly or quite disappeared (_comp. c_, fig. 161), is found
in early Roman inscriptions. This form (which may have helped to give
us the useful small b) is not suitable for a modern Capital, and
would lack the _distinctiveness_ of B.

[69] _Chisel-made_ Roman Capitals (possibly influenced by _brush_,
&c., pp. 292, 391), Plates I., II.: (modern), XXIV. _Pen-made_,
Plates III., XVIII.: (modern), figs. 147, 148, 167, 168, &c.

[70] J. C. Egbert in an “Introduction to the Study of Latin
Inscriptions” says, “_J was not specialised as a letter until the
15th Century_.” It would seem that in early inscriptions a tall I was
frequently used for J _between_ vowels, and for I at the _beginnings_
of words: later, while the medial I remained straight, the initial
form was curved to the left and used for both I and J; this _curved
initial form_, J, at length became identified with the letter J.

Similarly, it appears that V was used for an initial, and U for a
medial; and later, the V form became identified with the consonant.

In the words In vigi, natiu in fig. 95, the _initial_ I is
curved like a J, while the medial i’s are straight; the _initial_ V
has a v form, while the medial V in _nativ(itatis)_ has a u form.

[71] The more _ornamental_ treatment of _Stems_, _Bows_, _Serifs_,
_Tails_, &c., is referred to at p. 331, and in figs. 188, 189.

[72] Their thin _stems_ and heavy _branches_ may tend to weakness and
illegibility—_e.g._ such letters as E, F, I, L, and T (see fig. 4)
are not always easily distinguishable.

[73] _Increasing the size of letter_ affects the form as though the
_nib were narrowed_ (see p. 324).

[74] Some may be in “silver” (p. 165).

[75] In a very short book these might even be _built-up_ capitals.

[76] Palæographers call them “majuscules” (= “large letters”), but
distinguish them from “Capitals.” For the purposes of the modern
penman, however, they may be regarded as _Round Capitals_. (For their
treatment, see pp. 297–299, and 304.)

[77] The writing in fig. 170 shows a slightly _slanted pen_. To make
_quite_ horizontal _thins_ is difficult, and was probably never done,
but it is worth attempting them _nearly_ horizontal for the sake of
training the hand.

[78] ‹Note.›—_Single_-line ruling is commonly used—the writing being
on, or a little _above_ or _below_, the line: this allows of greater
freedom than the double line (see p. 304).

[79] It is convenient to use the term “_Italics_” for both the
cursive formal writing and the printing resembling it. _Italic type_
was first used in a “Virgil” printed by Aldus Manutius of Venice
in 1500. The type was then called “Venetian” or “Aldine.” It was
counterfeited almost immediately (in Germany and Holland it was
called “cursive”); Wynkin de Worde used it in 1524. It seems to
have been originally intended for printing entire Classics, but was
afterwards used to _distinguish_ portions of the text (_see also_ p.

[80] The Book is a catalogue of early Roman inscriptions: apparently
a written copy of a printed book.

[81] With a sheet of paper 11-1/8 inches by 16 inches the student
might reconstruct these.

[82] Practising a more formal hand as a _corrective_ would prevent

[83] The Law fulfils itself: that which we must not copy is that
which we _cannot_ copy.

[84] _E.g._ the letters in the tenth-century English hand—Plate
VIII.: excepting the archaic long @ and round @ (_b_, fig. 183).

[85] The propriety of the actual form of the new letter will
largely depend on the scribe’s knowledge of the development of that
particular letter and its component parts (_comp._ the interesting
development of «g», sketched in figs. 3 & 183, but note correction of
Ex. 173 in _Addenda_, p. 26).

[86] The proportions of the _thick strokes_, _stem heights_, _&c._,
in a given hand need not be exactly followed, but it should be
recognised that any alteration in these _will inevitably alter the
forms and the character of the letters_ (fig. 183, and pp. 84 & 26).

[87] In English so many _ascending_ and _descending_ letters are
used, that it might be the best and most natural treatment of
these to make them a marked feature of the writing (see also “Fine
Writing,” pp. 261–63). Note, in this connection, that our «a b c» has
been developed as a Latin alphabet, and that the evenness of Latin
MS. is largely due to the infrequence of tailed letters.

[88] Where there is only a slight difference in size, the effect is
improved by using a different _form_ or _colour_ (see pp. 130, 345).

[89] Compare monotone and monotone. For general purposes,
therefore, and particularly for forming a good hand, the earlier
scripts are to be preferred (or the late _Italian_): even
twelfth-century “Gothic” writing is hardly readable enough for
“practical” purposes.




 Divers Uses of Lettering — MS. Books, &c. — Binding MSS. (_with
 Note by Douglas Cockerell_) — Broadsides, Wall Inscriptions, &c.
 — Illuminated Addresses, &c. — Monograms & Devices — Title Pages
 — Lettering for Reproduction — Printing — Inscriptions on Metal,
 Stone, Wood, &c. — Of Inscriptions Generally — Bibliography, &c.


The following list of some of the uses of hand-made lettering, though
necessarily very brief, will perhaps suggest possibilities both to
the student and the craftsman:—

_MS. BOOKS, &c.:_

    (see pp. 98, 341, & _Author’s Preface_).

  _Fine Literature:_

    (1) Preferably “the best.”

    (2) That which is worthy of calligraphy.

    (3) That which is the “favourite” of the owner of the book.

    _Poetry_ is differently treated from prose (see pp. 95, 263,
    371, 138), and should have extra wide _side_ margins when
    possible (p. 483).

  _Single Poems, &c.:_

    Poems, cards, hymns, &c. (see pp. 137–139, & _Poetry_, above),
    preferably in the form of small _books_.

  _Tracts or Treatises:_

    Copies might be preserved (p. 323) in good writing (_instead of

  _Church Services:_

    Prayers, Communion, Marriage, &c. (pp. 140, 144, 345).

  _Gospels & Psalters:_

    ‹Note.›—The Psalms, &c., may be treated as poetry (as
    in the “Revised Version”) or as prose (as in the “Authorised
    Version”), see _Fine Literature_ above.


    These may be very varied; containing vacations, terms,
    sessions; public, church, or family festivals, personal
    memoranda or topical quotations. They offer great opportunities
    for heraldic or symbolic ornament (such as coats-of-arms,
    astronomical signs, &c.).

  _Dedications, &c., in Books: (Lettering on Architects’ Plans:
  see_ ‹Maps & Plans›, p. 339)

    These may be on a parchment leaf inserted and securely glued
    into the beginning (preferably bound up with book), or be
    written on a fly-leaf. Annotations, extracts, &c., may be
    written in colour in printed books (p. 144).


    (see below).


    Sheets printed (or written) on one side: see p. 350.


    (Posters, Placards, Hand-bills, &c.).


    (Texts, Mottoes, &c.) (see p. 336).

  _Church Texts, &c.:_

    (The Creed, Commandments, &c.).

  _Family Trees & Pedigrees:_

    These may be very decorative—in plain black and red, or with
    coats-of-arms or other ornament. They might also be made in
    book form.


    Carved or painted: see pp. 350, 375–385, & Chapter XVII.

  _Public Notices:_
  _Lettering in Churches, &c.:_
  _Lettering in & upon public buildings:_

    Note: on walls, plastered, or unsuited for carving, _sgraffito_
    might be used with fine effect.

    Letters may also be painted upon cemented into the wall (p.


    (Petitions, &c.) (see p. 353).


    (see p. 361. These are frequently designed for stencilling or
    other mechanical reproduction).


    (see p. 365).
    See also BROADSIDES, above.

  _Printer’s types and Ornamental letters:_

    (in woodcut and metal: pp. 365, 367).

  _Title Pages:_

    (see p. 363).

  _Paper and other Book covers:_

    (Magazines, Newspaper-Headings, Music, Catalogues, &c.).

  _Maps & Plans:_

    good, clear lettering may be used in these with fine effect.

  _Book Plates:_

    (preferably simple, with Arms, Crest, or Symbol, and suitable

  _Letter-paper Headings, Cards, &c.:_

    (preferably in copper-plate “Roman” and “Italic”).

  _Bill Heads, Receipt Forms, &c.:_

    (preferably in copper-plate or type: see p. 365).


    (Testimonials, &c.) The plainer these are made, the better.

  _Programmes, Menus, Cards, &c.:_

    (Christmas cards, &c.).


    (see above).

  _MS. Books and “copy-books”:_

    Possibly might be reproduced by copper-plate if written well
    enough (p. 367).

  _Advertisements, &c.:_

    Better lettering in these would not only mitigate many
    eyesores, but would probably attract by its novelty (see p.


    (see pp. 364, 365, 375).

  _Brasses, &c.:_

    (“Brasses,” Name-plates, Door-plates, &c.).


    (for naming, numbering, &c.).


    (Bowls, flagons, plates, &c.).


    (Jewellery, &c.).

  _Die Sinking:_

    (for coins, medals, &c., and for embossed letter-paper
    headings, &c.).


    (see pp. 375–385, & Chap. XVII.).

  _On Monuments & Buildings:_

    Also on mile-stones, boundary stones, bridges, &c.


  _Foundation Stones:_

  _Memorial Tablets:_


    (see pp. 350, 376).


    (for stations, inns, shops, &c.).

  _Shop Fascias, &c.:_

  _Names, &c.:_

    (on doors & on carts, _coaches_, &c.).

  _Notice Boards:_

  _“Ticket Writing”:_


    see remarks on _built-up forms_, p. 292: and Chapter XII. [on
    Lettering, &c.] of “Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving,” by Mrs.
    A. H. Christie, in this Series.

  _Decoration for hangings_, (p. 336)_:_

  _Marking clothes, &c._ [p341]

All the arts employ lettering directly or indirectly, in fine
decoration or for simple service.

The following list of ancient uses is interesting:[90]—


 1. Dedicatory and Votive Inscriptions (_Tituli Sacri_).
 2. Sepulchral Inscriptions (_Tituli Sepulchrales_).
 3. Honorary Inscriptions (_Tituli Honorarii_).
 4. Inscriptions on Public Works (_Tituli Operum Publicorum_).
 5. Inscriptions on Movable Objects (_Instrumentum_).


 1. Laws (_Leges et Plebi Scita_).
 2. Decrees of the Senate (_Senatus Consulta_).
 3. Imperial Documents (_Instrumenta Imperatorum_).
 4. Decrees of Magistrates (_Decreta Magistratuum_).
 5. Sacred and Public Documents (_Acta Sacra et Publica_).
 6. Private Documents (_Acta Privata_).
 7. Wall Inscriptions (Inscriptiones Parietariae).
 8. Consular Diptychs (_Diptycha Consularia_).”


 Books in the making—as compared with ordinary inscriptions—are
 capable of great compression or expansion, and may be said to have a
 quality of _elasticity_. Nearly all other ordinary inscriptions are
 _set inscriptions_ (p. 350), requiring a given number of words to be
 set out in a given space. But in books, while it is convenient that
 the treatment of the text should conform generally to a chosen size
 of page (p. 103), the contents of the page may vary according to the
 letter-form and the spacing (pp. 107, 262), and the number of the
 pages is not definitely limited, so that another page, or a [p342]
 number of additional pages, may always be taken to complete the

 The size of page, margin, and writing having been settled (see Chap.
 VI.)—and the pages ruled—the penman writes out the text with the
 utmost freedom, not stopping to make fine calculations, but leaving
 such spaces and lines, for Initials, Headings, &c., as his fancy and
 common-sense dictate, and letting the text—or its divisions—smoothly
 flow on from page to page till a natural termination is reached.
 And if the terminal page has only one or two lines on it, it is not
 necessary to attempt a balance with the previous page—the book or
 chapter[91] ends just there, for the good reason _that there is no
 more of it_.

 _Colophons, Tail-pieces, &c._ (see p. 142), make a pleasant finish,
 and may complete the page or not as convenient.

 _Planning: Sections and Pages._—Calculations of the amount of text,
 of the number of sections or pages required, and so on, are useful,
 and planning the pages may be convenient—for example, one or more of
 the verses of a poem, or a given number of words, may be allotted
 to the page—provided always that the scribe preserves his freedom,
 and treats each case on its merits. If he think it most suitable to
 devote a complete page to each paragraph, he may do so in spite of
 its resulting in the pages all being of different lengths.

 The one general limitation which it is proper to [p343] observe is
 that of the _Writing-line_—its length[92] and spacing—and to this
 may be added the desirability of beginning the text of every page on
 the first or _head_ line.[93] For most of us it is not practically
 possible to do without the _aid_ of the writing-lines—which really
 lead, through uniformity, to greater freedom—though a book written
 without them[94] might be as beautiful as any ruled manuscript.

 _Marginal Lines._—These, the terminals of the writing-lines, are
 frequently made double, with about 1/4 inch between (see Plates XX.
 and XV.). On the left this space is utilised for marginal capitals,
 or is left blank; on the right the _first_ line acts as a warning
 mark and the normal termination of the text, the _second_ as a
 barrier beyond which the writing should not go. The double lines,
 in being more obvious than single lines, are also more effective in
 “straightening” the page (p. 109): presumably for this reason the
 two upper and two lower _writing-lines_ were often ruled from edge
 to edge of the page (see Plate XI.).

 _Ruling._—Marginal and writing-lines, once ruled, are to be left
 intact, and may be regarded as actual component parts of the
 finished pages. They are best made with a hard blunt point (p.
 108)—the _furrows_ so made give an interesting character, almost
 a “texture,” to the smooth surface of the page. But they may be
 ruled with a fine lead pencil, or with a fine pen and faint black
 or [p344] coloured inks. Inked or coloured lines, however, are not
 generally written _upon_ (see _footnote_, p. 305), but _between_
 (see Plates XIII., XVII., XX., &c.).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 192.›]

 _Correcting Mistakes._—A neatly made rather small letter above and a
 “carat” below (as in ordinary writing) may be used for an omission
 (fig. 192). A superfluous letter may be neatly struck out. Erasures
 are usually unsatisfactory, and a simple, unostentatious correction,
 besides disarming criticism, is in accordance with the proper
 freedom of the craft (see p. 174).

 _Annotations, &c._, preferably in smaller _coloured_ writing, are
 very decorative in the broader margins (pp. 144, 315).

 _Special Books._—A MS. book is necessarily unique, and some special
 or personal interest—either of the craftsman (see p. 142) or his
 “client”—inevitably attaches to it. This may affect its size and
 form, the treatment of the text, and the decoration and construction
 generally (see p. 100). Every legitimate opportunity of adding
 to its individual character should be taken by the scribe and
 illuminator. [p345]

 Fig. 175 and Plate XX. are both taken from private prayer books or
 psalters; in each the name of the owner (e.g. “_Euanzelista famulo
 tuo_,” Plate XX.) is frequently inserted. Plates XV. and XXII. are
 also taken from specially commissioned MSS., and many evidences of
 their ownership, such as portraits or coats-of-arms, form part of
 the decoration of such books.

 _Church Services, &c._—(For a special church or person.) Church
 uses are so varied, that it is most important to ascertain the
 custom, use, or taste of the persons concerned—especially as to
 the order of, and the introduction or omission of, certain words,
 paragraphs, or parts, the colours used in the text, the notation of
 the music—and the manner in which the book will be used.

 A service book for the use of a priest gives prominence to the
 parts in which he is concerned—the responses[95] may be smaller,
 and different in form or colour. The rubrics—in red (see pp. 140,
 144)—are kept quite distinct, and may form a very decorative
 feature. For a private person the other parts—such as are said
 by the congregation—might be specially marked. In either case a
 certain amount of planning—_e.g._ completing prayers, &c., in an
 _opening_, to avoid turning over—may be justified by its convenience
 to the reader. Should very careful planning ever be required, a
 _pattern-book_ may be made, having the contents of each page roughly
 indicated in it.

 _Wedding Service Books, &c._—The interest and [p346] value is
 enhanced if the book is specially prepared—containing the proper
 names and dates, and only the special psalms, hymns, prayers,
 homilies, &c., which will be used. Dated pages may be provided
 at the end of the book for the signatures of the “friends and
 neighbours” of the principals.


 MSS. should be bound without delay in order to complete and protect

 To bind books in stiff boards, in leather, requires considerable
 practice and skill, but a very effective _limp vellum cover_ can
 be made by the scribe himself, who, in binding his own books, will
 learn to think of the binding _as a part of the book_, and to allow
 for it in the writing and planning (see p. 106).

 The following note[96] on covering books in limp vellum is specially
 contributed by Mr. Douglas Cockerell:—

 “_How to cover a book in a limp vellum cover without using special

 “Cut four strips of stiff vellum 3/8 inch wide and about four inches
 long. On these slips you will sew the sections of your book.

 “Add to your book a plain section at either end;[97] vellum for
 a vellum book, paper for a paper book. Knock up the backs of the
 sections squarely, keeping the heads level, and across the back mark
 with a soft pencil guided by a square, lines to show the position of
 the slips. The positions of the four slips should leave the space
 between the slips the same as that between the [p347] top slip and
 the head of the book; the space between the bottom slip and the tail
 should be a little longer than the spaces between the slips. At
 about 1/2 inch from either end make an additional line across the
 back for the “kettle” or catch stitch. These lines will show as dots
 on the back of single sections. Each individual section should now
 have at the back a dot at either end for the kettle stitches, and
 four pairs of dots 3/8 inch apart to show the position of the slips,
 ten dots in all.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 193.›]

 “To sew the book, fold the vellum slips about 1-1/2 inch from one
 end and bend to a right angle. Place your front end-paper outside
 downwards, with the back even with the edge of a table or board,
 and place your folded slips with their shorter ends under it. Then
 insert your needle from the outside, at the head “kettle stitch”
 mark, into the centre of the section and bring it out at the first
 band mark; put the slip in position and reinsert your needle at the
 mark on the other side of the slip, and so on to the end of the
 section, coming out at the tail kettle stitch. This should leave
 your section with a thread,[98] passing alternately along the centre
 fold inside and across the slips outside, with a loose end hanging
 from the kettle stitch mark where you began, and a thread with the
 needle hanging from the other kettle stitch mark (fig. 193). [p348]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 194.›]

 “Lay on your next section and sew it in the same way but in the
 reverse direction, tying up with the first loose end when you come
 to it. Sew the whole book in the same way, tying on a new needleful
 of thread as each is exhausted, making practically a continuous
 thread going backwards and forwards inside the sections and across
 the slips from end to end of the book. Each succeeding kettle stitch
 should be caught up by a loop (fig. 194), and it is well to catch
 together the loose threads crossing the slips.

 “When the book is sewn, the back may be covered with thin glue and
 lined with a piece of leather, but as this is a little difficult to
 manage neatly, and as the book will hold together without it, for a
 temporary binding the sections may be left without glue.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 195.›]

 “For the cover cut a piece of covering vellum[99] (vellum with a
 surface) large enough to cover the book and to leave a margin of
 1-1/2 inches all round. Mark this with a _folder_ on the underside,
 as shown at A, fig. 195. Spaces (1) and (2) are the size of the
 sides of the book with the surrounding “squares,”[100] space (3)
 is the width of the back, and space (4) the width for the overlaps
 on the foredge.[101] Cut the corners as shown at (5), and fold the
 edges over as at B, and then fold over the overlaps [p349] and back
 as at C. Be sure to make all folds sharp and true.

 “To avoid mistakes it is well to make a cover of stiff [p350] paper
 first, and then, when that fits exactly, to mark up the vellum from

 “On the inside of the vellum cover, mark faint lines about 3/4 inch
 from, and parallel to, the creases of the back, and further lines
 about 1/4 inch from these. Place your book in the cover and mark the
 places where the slips cross these lines. Make slits in the cover
 there, and lace the slips through them (fig. 196), first putting a
 piece of loose, toned paper inside the cover to prevent any marks
 on the book from showing through the vellum. Then lace pieces of
 silk ribbon of good quality[102] through the cover and end-papers,
 leaving the ends long enough to tie.”

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 196.›]


_Set Inscriptions._—Ordinary inscriptions generally consist of a
given number of words to be set out in [p351] a given space. Careful
planning may sometimes be required to fit in the words suitably, or
to adapt the lettering to the space. But setting-out (p. 258) becomes
much simpler after a little practice, and the good craftsman avoids

_The Place of the Inscription._—The actual space for a wall
inscription is commonly suggested by an architectural feature—a
stone, a panel, or a niche—of the wall; but in choosing a suitable
space for a given inscription, or suitable lettering for a given
space, we must take into account—

 1. _The office of the inscription._
 2. _How it is to be read_—
     (_a_) _“At a glance,” or_
     (_b_) _by close inspection_.
 3. _The distance from the reader._
 4. _The lighting of the space._
 5. _The character of the surroundings._
 6. _Any special features._

_The Size of the Letters._—The all-important question of readableness
may be settled thus: the inscription having been planned suitably to
fill the space, one or two words are written or painted (the exact
size) on paper—smoked or otherwise coloured if necessary to resemble
the background. This is stuck upon the chosen part of the wall,
and then viewed from the ordinary position of a reader. When the
inscription is high up, the _thin_ parts—especially the horizontals
of the letters—must be made extra thick to be seen properly from

_Margins._—_Wide margins are only required for comparatively
small lettering which demands the close [p352] attention of the
reader_,[103] and generally a set inscription looks best if the
lettering be comparatively large—covering most of the given surface,
and leaving comparatively narrow margins. The frame or moulding, or
the natural _edge_ or environment of the circumscribed space, is very
often sufficient “margin” (see Plate XXIV.).

The margins vary, however, according to circumstances; especially the
foot margin, which may be very narrow if all the space is required
for the lettering (see fig. 211), or very large[104] if there is
plenty of space (see fig. 210). And, as in special pages or _terminal
pages_ of books, so in _single sheets_, _panels_, &c., the “foot
margin” may show—as it really is—as _the space which did not require
to be filled_, and was therefore “_left over_.”

_Number of Different Types._—While in a book of many pages
considerable diversity is allowed, it is essential to the strength
and dignity of a single sheet or set inscription to limit the number
of types employed in it. Three or four ordinary types will generally
give sufficient variety, and if it be necessary—as in notices and
placards—that ‹Important Words› be put in _special_ types to catch
the eye, let two—or at most three—special types suffice, and let the
remainder of the text be as quiet and reserved as possible. “Display
Types” commonly defeat their object by being _overdone_. A simple
contrast is the most effective (fig. 197). [p353]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 197.›]


_Forms of Addresses, &c._—The writer should be prepared to advise his
“clients” on the form which the address may take, on special features
in its writing and illuminating, and on its general treatment.

Ordinarily an Illuminated Address is prepared either as a _Framed
Parchment_ (p. 356), a _Parchment Scroll_, or sheet (p. 356), or a
_small bound MS._ (_i.e._ in book form: p. 357).[105]

The wording commonly consists of three parts: the ‹Heading› (usually
the name of the addressee), the ‹Text› (usually divided into
paragraphs), the ‹Signatures› (or a list of names) of the subscribers.

An address is commonly in the 1st or 3rd person, and in case of any
confusion of these, any slip of the pen, or other oversight in the
draft, the penman [p354] should, if possible, call attention to it
before the document is put into permanent form.

A very convenient and agreeable style of “address” is a formal
letter, beginning “_Dear Mr. A———— B————_,” and ending in the
ordinary way. This is a form which may be drawn up more simply, and
which reads more naturally, than the ordinary 1st or 3rd personal

An “address” is sometimes in the form of a resolution passed by
a public or private body or committee. For municipal or other
important corporations, such an extract from their minutes, neatly
and “clerkly” written out on parchment, and duly attested by the
signatures of their “head” and their secretary, and without ornament
save their seal—on a dependent ribbon—or their coat-of-arms, or
badge, would not only be the most natural, but possibly the most
dignified and effective shape which might be given to the formal
presentation of their compliments.

An “address” accompanying a present is frequently little more than a
list of names with a brief complimentary or explanatory statement.
If possible such an inscription should be written or engraved on
the article itself, or be specially designed to accompany it. In
some cases this is very simple: when a volume, or set of volumes, is
given, the inscription may be written in the first volume—or on a
parchment which may be inserted—or it may be prepared in book form,
in a binding to match. A silver or other ornament sometimes has a
little drawer provided to hold a narrow scroll of names. A portrait
may have an inscription on the frame—or even in a corner of the
picture—or be accompanied by a simple, framed parchment. [p355]

_Signatures._—A neatly written out list of subscribers—especially
when their number is large—is very convenient: it does not require
individual personal appointments, nor involve risks of damage to
the address. The actual signatures of subscribers, however, are of
greater interest and sentimental value, and on such grounds are
preferable to a mere list of names.

To avoid risks (or with a view to incorporating the signatures in the
decorative scheme) the decoration, gilding, &c., may sometimes be
deferred until _after the signing of the address_.

When the exact number and the names of the subscribers are known
beforehand, lines may be provided for their signatures, marked with
letters in alphabetical order (the proper number of lines under
each). This method solves any difficulty in regard to _precedence_ in

‹Note.›—Ordinary signatures require about 1/2 inch by 3 inches space
each. If there are many they may be conveniently arranged in two or
more columns, according to the space available.

  _Directions for Signing_[106]—

    _Edges of parchment not to project beyond desk or table, lest
    they be creased._

    _Paper to be provided to cover the address, with_
    ‹FLAPS› _to raise when signing._

    _When lines for signatures are grooved (p. 108), signatories to
    face the light (this makes the lines more evident)._

    _Ink of one colour to be used if possible._

    _Clean_, ‹ORDINARY› _pens to be provided, and pieces of
    paper for trying them on._ [p356]

_Framed Parchments._—The parchment may have—beyond the top and foot
margins—spare pieces which (after the writing and illuminating is
finished) are bent over the ends, and glued to the back, of a stout,
white card, or millboard—covered with white or light coloured paper.
Or—extra margin being allowed all round—the edges of the parchment
are cut into tags or “scallops,” and folded over an ordinary canvas
stretcher, and well tacked at the back with small brads. The wedges
are carefully adjusted till the parchment lies flat.

A parchment glued to the surface of a millboard is more convenient
for framing, but has a less natural surface, and is not so easily
managed by the penman as the plain, flexible parchment.

_Frames_ should be gold, black, or white; very plain, and generally
without mounts. The parchment, however, must be framed so that there
is no danger of any part of it coming into contact with the glass (as
that, being damp, would lead to cockling).

_Parchment Scroll._—The foot edge of the parchment may be folded
over twice,[107] a strong, silk ribbon (see _footnote_, p. 350) is
laced along through slits in the folded part (_a_, fig. 198), so that
the two ends come out again at the centre—where they may be knotted
together—and are ready to tie round the scroll when it is rolled up
(_b_). A rather narrow, “_upright_” parchment is most convenient
(_c_). An “_oblong_” parchment may be very effectively arranged in
long lines of writing (_d_). If a special casket or case is not
provided, a neat [p357] japanned tin case may be obtained for a few

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 198.›]

_A small Bound MS._ is certainly the most easily handled form in
which an address may be prepared—its convenience to the penman,
the signatories, the reader, and the addressee, is strongly in its
favour. A lengthy address, or a very large number of names, may be
contained in a comparatively small book.

_Method of Planning out Addresses, &c._—If in the [p358] _book
form_, the address is treated much as an ordinary book (see Chap.
VI., and _Binding_, p. 346). The _framed_ or _scroll_ address is
planned similarly to a single sheet (p. 90). The following notes of a
working method were made during the planning out of an address:—

 (1) Decide approximately the general _form_, shape, and
 decorative treatment of address.

 (2) Count words in TEXT (leaving out
 HEADING and SIGNATURES)                        = 130

   Count paragraphs                             =   3

   (Decide whether first or last paragraph is
   to be in a different form or colour.)

   Decide approximate width                     =  12 inches.

   Decide approximate side margins (2-1/2
   inches each)                                 =   5   ”

   Hence _length of writing-line_               =   7   ”

   Allow 1/2 inch lines, and approximately
   _eight_ words to the line.                  ‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗‗

 (3) 130 words TEXT, approx.            16 lines =   8     in. deep.

   Allow extra (on account paragraphs)   1 line  =   1/2    ”   ”

   (Roughly sketch out HEADING
   on lines each 1/2 inch by 7
   inches.) Allow for HEADING            6 lines =   3      ”   ”

   Allow for two SIGNATURES, &c.         3 lines =   1-1/2  ”   ”
   _Total depth of Writing, &c._        26 lines =  13 inches.

   Allow for Top margin                              2   ”

   Allow for Foot margin                             3   ”

   (‹Note.›—_This was a “scroll,” and the
   foot margin was folded up to within an inch
   of the SIGNATURES. A plain sheet would have
   required about 4 inches foot margin._)
                    Length of Parchment             18 inches.

 (4) Cut a paper pattern, 12 inches by 18 inches. Rule (in
 pencil) _Side margins_ (2-1/2 inches and 2-1/2 inches),
 and _Top margin_ (2 inches), and 26 (1/2 inch) lines.
 On this write out the address in ordinary handwriting,
 using ordinary  black and red (or coloured) inks: make
 approximately eight words to the line, and _write as fast
 as possible_; this helps to keep the spacing uniform.

 This written pattern should not take more than twenty
 minutes for its entire preparation: it is intended to be
 used as a check on the previous calculation (not as an
 exact _plan_), and as a _copy_, it being easier to copy
 from your own, than from another’s, handwriting.

 If the original draft is typewritten, it is hardly
 necessary to make such a pattern.

 (5) Check this _copy_ very carefully with the original to
 see that the words, &c., are correct.

 (6) Cut, rule, and pounce the _parchment_ (pp. 343, 174).

 (7) On some _scraps_ of parchment, ruled with a few
 similar lines, and pounced, try one or two lines of
 writing, both in vermilion and black, to see that all
 goes well. This enables you to get the pens and inks into
 working order, and will very likely save the carefully
 prepared _parchment_ from being spoilt.

 (8) Write out the address, leaving suitable gaps for
 _gold_ or special letters.

 (9) Put in special letters, decorative capitals, and any
 other decoration.

 (10) Check the finished _address_ very carefully with
 the original draft (see (5) above) and look it over for
 mistakes, dotting i’s, and putting in commas, &c., if
 left out. It is important that such a formal document
 should be accurate.

_General Remarks._—The above simple mode of planning out can be
further simplified in custom and practice. By the penman _keeping to
regular shapes, proportions,[108] and modes of treatment for regular
[p360] occasions_, the addresses, &c., will practically “plan
themselves” (p. 101), and better workmanship is the natural result.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 199.›]

Generally the simpler the form and the treatment of an Illuminated
Address, the better the effect. The most effective decoration is
the plain coloured or gold capital, and the finest ornament is a
coat-of-arms (see “_Heraldry_,” below; and for general, [p361]
simple Illumination, see Chapters VII. to XIII.). A symbolical
mark, such as a crest, badge, monogram, cypher, or other device (p.
362), boldly and decoratively treated, may be used in place of a

There is too much “Illumination” in the conventional “Address,”
which looks like a “_piece of decoration_” _with a little writing_.
A really reasonable and effective Illuminated Address is _a piece of
writing suitably decorated_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Heraldry._—A reliable handbook must be consulted, for accurate
“_blazoning_” is essential. Early examples should be studied (see p.
387). The diagram, fig. 199, is given as an example of how a charge
was evenly arranged on the shield (see _balanced_ background, p.
419). Another example—showing a diapered chequer—is given on p. 336.

Shields in _Illuminated_ borders may be coloured before the border,
lest the brilliant mass of colour of the shield clash with the
border. The shield, if large, may with advantage set the tone of the
whole colour scheme.


A _Monogram_ consists of two or more letters combined in one form, as
the diphthong «Æ», and the amperzand[109] @ for @@: its legibility
may be helped by compound colouring. A _Cypher_ consists of linked or
interlaced letters, as @, [p362] and may be repeated and reversed if
desired (see fig. 200).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 200.›]

Monograms and cyphers may be very decoratively employed as ornaments,
and may be used to mark a man’s goods, or as a _signature_ on
his work: something easily recognized—either very legible or
characteristic—is therefore desirable. The two modes may be combined,
and there is no limit to [p363] the effective devices and ornaments
which may be composed of letters. Simple and straightforward devices,
however, are generally preferable to very ornate or intricate designs.

_Chronograms._—A chronogram consists of a word or words in which the
numerical letters indicate a date. The following is from a very fine
memorial inscription at Rye (see fig. 207):—

 I_oannes Three_L_e_ M_e_DI_o_ L_ætæ ætat_I_s f_L_ore ob_II_t_.

It expresses the date I + L + M + D + I + L + I + L + I + I (or 1 +
50 + 1000 + 500 + 1 + 50 + 1 + 50 + 1 + 1) = 1655. As every letter
having a numerical value (_i.e._ C, D, I, (J), L, M, (U), V, (W), X)
may be counted, a proper chronogram is not easily composed.

The letter-craftsman will discover many ways of “playing” with
letters, and of expressing—or concealing—names and numbers in other
words, and he may take every liberty he chooses in his private
pleasure, provided it does not clash with public convenience.


If large capitals be used, the _Name of the Book_, _the Author_,
_&c._, above; the _Name of the Publisher_, _the Date_, _&c._,
below,[110] may together fill the page. Ordinary capitals (as used in
the text) leave a space in the centre (see Title Page of this book):
often pleasantly filled by a small woodcut—a symbolical device,
monogram, or printer’s mark.

Generally, the fewer and simpler the types, the better: though
contrasts of size, form, or colour [p364] (see p. 327)—such as
printing one or two words in large «CAPITALS», or in Black
Letter (p. 331), or part in red—may sometimes be used with good
effect. When the types are rather varied, single or double _framing
lines_ (called “_rules_”) placed round the page have the effect of
binding the whole together. The page may also be divided into parts
by transverse “rules”—these further solidify it. Black rules are
preferable to red (p. 144): if they are double, the outer line may be
thicker than the inner.[111]

_Relation of Title Pages, &c., to the Text._—Generally the practical
part of the book is to be considered and settled before the
ornamental and the decorated Title page conforms to the treatment
of the text pages, and should be clearly related to them by the
character of its letters or its ornaments. Its margins (especially
the top margin) should be approximately the same as those of the text
pages, though framing borders may occupy part of, or nearly all, the
marginal space. Without doubt the artless, ordinarily printed title
page is preferable to those specially designed “title pages” that
have little or no relation to the rest of the book.

_Wood Engraving_ (see pp. 365, 371).—Of all the “processes,” wood
engraving agrees best with printing. The splendid effect of Title
and Initial pages engraved in wood may be seen in the books of the
Kelmscott Press. In early printing, woodcut ornaments or borders were
commonly used to [p365] decorate the printed title page. An example
of this combined method—of which unfortunately the greater part of
the borders have to be left out—is shown in fig. 201 (from a 16th
century book).[112]

_Initial Pages and Openings._—The claim of these to decorative
treatment should be considered (p. 128). We generally look at the
outside of a book for the _title_—which should be clearly stamped
on the cover. But inside the book we look rather for its _actual
beginning_ than for its name, and, while something in the nature of
the “sub-title” might be used, it would be quite reasonable to revive
the ancient fashion—especially in the case of MS. Books—of making
the actual beginning the most decorative part of the book. Or a very
fine effect may be obtained by the decoration of the entire _initial
opening_—the title on the _verso_ (left page), the beginning of the
first chapter on the _recto_ (right page).


Where it is possible, it is generally best to make use of ordinary
typography. A good fount of type and a natural _setting-up_ or
arrangement of it, are more effective than many special designs (see
pp. 364, 267).

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 201› (_see footnote_, p. 365)]

_Wood and Metal Engraving._—If special forms or arrangements of
letters are required, for which type is lacking or unsuited, they are
best cut in wood or [p367] metal. The engraver leaves the mark of
his tool and hand upon, and so gives character to, such lettering;
while, if he has some knowledge of letters, he may give fresh beauty
to their forms.

_The Zincotype Process_ reproduces, either in _facsimile_ or on a
reduced scale, the “design” made by the craftsman in “black and
white.” This it does more or less exactly according to the pains
taken by the zincographer, the quality of the paper employed, &c.
The literalness and facility of this process, however, seem to
have had a prejudicial effect on the work of the designer. Unless
he conscientiously determines that his design shall stand without
“touching-up,” the knowledge that he may blot out or trim a faulty
line with white, that he may fill out or finish a deficient stroke
with black, that he may work _large_ and zincograph _small_, is apt
to result in carelessness combined with over-finishing—or a sort of
_perfection without character_.

If zincography be used, a strong, rather type-like letter, or a
built-up letter—arranged to give a general effect of richness of
mass, would appear more natural than the doubtful “reproduction” of
delicate writing or fine pen-lettering.[113]

_Etching._—Calligraphy might be reproduced with very fine effect,
retaining its natural delicacy and on a plane surface, if a process
of etching writing in facsimile were possible.


The general question of fine printing and its relation to calligraphy
can only be briefly referred [p368] to here. A proper study of the
art of typography necessitates practice with a printing press, and
probably the help of a trained assistant.

To would-be printers, printers, and all interested in typography,
the easily acquired art of writing may be commended as a practical
introduction to a better knowledge of letter forms and their
decorative possibilities.

In this connection I have quoted in the preface (p. 13) some remarks
on _Calligraphy_ by Mr. Cobden-Sanderson, who, again, referring to
typography, says—[114]

 “The passage from the Written Book to the Printed Book was sudden
 and complete. Nor is it wonderful that the earliest productions of
 the printing press are the most beautiful, and that the history
 of its subsequent career is but the history of its decadence. The
 Printer carried on into Type the tradition of the Calligrapher
 and of the Calligrapher at his best. As this tradition died out
 in the distance, the craft of the Printer declined. It is the
 function of the Calligrapher to revive and restore the craft of the
 Printer to its original purity of intention and accomplishment.
 The Printer must at the same time be a Calligrapher, or in touch
 with him, and there must be in association with the Printing Press
 a Scriptorium where beautiful writing may be practised and the art
 of letter-designing kept alive. And there is this further evidence
 of the dependence of printing upon writing: the great revival in
 printing which is taking place under our own eyes, is the work of
 a Printer who before he was a Printer was a Calligrapher and an
 Illuminator, WILLIAM MORRIS.

 “The whole duty of Typography, as of Calligraphy, is to communicate
 to the imagination, without loss by the [p369] way, the thought
 or image intended to be communicated by the Author. And the whole
 duty of beautiful typography is not to substitute for the beauty or
 interest of the thing thought and intended to be conveyed by the
 symbol, a beauty or interest of its own, but, on the one hand, to
 win access for that communication by the clearness and beauty of the
 vehicle, and on the other hand, to take advantage of every pause or
 stage in that communication to interpose some characteristic and
 restful beauty in its own art.”

_Early Printing_ was in some points inferior in technical excellence
to the best modern typography. But the best early printers used finer
founts of type and better proportions in the arrangement and spacing
of their printed pages; and it is now generally agreed that early
printed books are the most beautiful. It would repay a modern printer
to endeavour to find out the real grounds for this opinion, _the
underlying principles_ of the early work, and, where possible, to put
them into practice.

_Freedom._—The treatment or “planning” of early printing—and
generally of all pieces of lettering which are most pleasing—is
strongly marked by _freedom_. This freedom of former times is
frequently referred to now as “spontaneity”—sometimes it would seem
to be implied that there was a lawless irresponsibility in the early
craftsman, incompatible with modern conditions. True spontaneity,
however, seems to come from _working by rule, but not being bound by

For example, the old Herbal from which figs. 135 to 141 are taken
contains many woodcuts of plants, &c., devoting a complete page to
each. When a long explanation of a cut is required, _a smaller type
is used_ (comp. figs. 135 & 138); when [p370] the explanation is
very short, _it does not fill the page_. This is a free and natural
treatment of the greatest convenience to the reader, for illustration
and text are always in juxtaposition. And though the size of the type
and the amount of the text are varied, yet the uniform top margins,
and the uniform treatment and arrangement of the woodcuts, harmonise
the pages, and give to the whole book an agreeable effect of freedom
combined with method.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 202.›

 _Diagram shewing arrangement of pages (about 1/7 size). Note: Inner
 columns of Commentary narrow (Text cols equal)_]

An old way of treating a text and its commentary is indicated by
the diagram (fig. 202). The text is printed in large type, the
commentary, in smaller type, surrounds it; such portion of the text
being printed on each page as will allow sufficient surrounding
space for the accompanying [p371] commentary on that portion.
The proportions and treatment of every page are uniform (note,
particularly, the uniformity of the upper parts of the pages, five
lines of commentary being allowed to enclose the text, or bound it
above, on every page) with the exception that the height of the
text-column varies—one page having as few as three lines of text to
the column, another having fifty-nine lines. This free treatment of
the text gives a charming variety to the pages.

_Poetry._—A broader and freer treatment is desirable in the printing
of poetry. The original lines and the arrangement of the verses
should be more generally preserved. And though the opening lines of
a poem may sometimes be magnified by printing them in capitals—which
necessitate their division—to sacrifice the naturally varying line to
the “even page” is questionable, and to destroy the form of a poem
_in order to compress it_ is a “typographical impertinence” (see p.


For special letters or ornaments, woodcuts are best (see p. 364).
The early printers generally had little, simple blocks of ornamental
devices which might be used separately, or be built up into a frame
border for a whole page—a simple method and effective, if used
reasonably. [p372]

The judicious use of colour, especially of _red_ (see pp. 127, 144),
is very effective. The extra printings required for additional
colours may make it worth while (in the case of limited editions) to
put in simple initials, paragraph marks, notes, &c., _by hand_ (see
pp. 194, 113). The earliest printed books, being modelled on the MS.
books, employed such rubrication freely, in spaces specially left in
the text or in the margins. There are still great possibilities in
the hand decoration of printed books.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following note on printing, reproduced here by the permission
of Mr. Emery Walker, appeared in the _Introductory Notes_ of the
Catalogue of the first exhibition of _The Arts and Crafts Exhibition
Society_, in 1888.


 “Printing, in the only sense with which we are at present
 concerned, differs from most if not from all the arts and crafts
 represented in the Exhibition in being comparatively modern. For
 although the Chinese took impressions from wood blocks engraved in
 relief for centuries before the wood-cutters of the Netherlands,
 by a similar process, produced the block books, which were the
 immediate predecessors of the true printed book, the invention
 of movable metal letters in the middle of the fifteenth century
 may justly be considered as the invention of the art of printing.
 And it is worth mention in passing that, as an example of fine
 typography, the earliest dated[115] book, the Gutenberg Bible
 of 1455, has never [p373] been surpassed. Printing, then, for
 our purpose, may be considered as the art of making books by
 means of movable types. Now, as all books not primarily intended
 as picture-books consist principally of types composed to form
 letterpress, it is of the first importance that the letter used
 should be fine in form; especially, as no more time is occupied,
 or cost incurred, in casting, setting, or printing beautiful
 letters, than in the same operations with ugly ones. So we find
 the fifteenth and early sixteenth century printers, who were
 generally their own type-founders, gave great attention to the
 forms of their types. The designers of the letters used in the
 earliest books were probably the scribes whose manuscripts the
 fifteenth-century printed books so much resemble. Aldus of Venice
 employed Francesco Francia of Bologna, goldsmith and painter, to
 cut the punches for his celebrated italic letter. Froben, the great
 Basle printer, got Holbein to design ornaments for his press, and
 it is not unreasonable to suppose that the painter may have drawn
 the models for the noble Roman types we find in Froben’s books.
 With the decadence in handwriting which became marked in the
 sixteenth century, a corresponding change took place in the types;
 the designers, no longer having beautiful writing as a model and
 reference, introduced variations arbitrarily. The types of the
 Elzevirs are regular and neat, and in this respect modern, but they
 altogether lack the spirit and originality that distinguish the
 early Roman founts of Italy and Germany: Gothic characteristics
 inherited from their mediæval predecessors. In the seventeenth
 century type-founding began to be carried on as a craft apart from
 that of the printer, and although in this and the succeeding century
 many attempts were made to improve the “face” (as the printing
 surface of type is called), such examples as a rule reflect only
 too clearly the growing debasement of the crafts of design. Notable
 among these attempts were the founts cut by William Caslon, who
 started in business in London as a letter-founder in 1720, taking
 for his models the Elzevir [p374] types. From this time until the
 end of the century he and his successors turned out many founts
 relatively admirable. But at the end of the eighteenth century
 a revolution was made, and the founders entirely abandoned the
 traditional forms of their predecessors, and evolved the tasteless
 letters with which nearly all the books published during the first
 sixty years of the present century are printed, and which are
 still almost universally used for newspapers and for Government
 publications. Particularly objectionable forms are in everyday use
 in all continental countries requiring Roman letter. (The last two
 sentences are set in a type of this character.)

 “In 1844 the Chiswick Press printed for Messrs. Longmans ‘The Diary
 of Lady Willoughby,’ and revived for this purpose one of Caslon’s
 founts. This was an important step in the right direction, and its
 success induced Messrs. Miller & Richard of Edinburgh to engrave
 a series of ‘old style’ founts, with one of which this catalogue
 is printed. Most other type-founders now cast similar type, and
 without doubt if their customers, the printers, demanded it, they
 would expend some of the energy and talent which now goes in cutting
 Japanese-American and sham seventeenth-century monstrosities in
 endeavouring to produce once more the restrained and beautiful forms
 of the early printers, until the day when the current handwriting
 may be elegant enough to be again used as a model for the type-punch

 “Next in importance to the type are the ornaments, initial letters,
 and other decorations which can be printed along with it. These,
 it is obvious, should always be designed and engraved so as to
 harmonise with the printed page regarded as a whole. Hence,
 illustrations drawn only with reference to purely pictorial effects
 are entirely out of place in a book, that is, if we desire seriously
 to make it beautiful.




As the material naturally modifies the shapes of the letters cut or
formed on its surface, and as the object bearing the inscription
affects their arrangement, it is essential that the inscription
cutter make himself familiar with various stones, metals, woods, &c.,
with the various chisels and gravers which are properly employed
on them, and with fine inscriptions or examples of good pieces of
lettering (see pp. 388, 237).

A knowledge of penmanship will be found useful, and the pen may
be appealed to to decide questions of abstract form in regard to
letters which have come from pen forms (_e.g._ Roman Small-Letters,
Italics, &c.). And in this connection it may be noted again that the
“slanted-pen forms” (pp. 305, 43) are generally the most practical.

_Engraving on Metal._—Letters incised in metal may most nearly
approach pen forms, as the fine grain of the metal and the
comparatively small scale of the work allow of fine “thin strokes.”
The engraver, however, while following generally the “thicks” and
“thins” of the penman, allows the metal and the tool and, to a large
extent, his own hand, to decide and characterise the precise forms
and their proportions.

_Inscriptions in Stone_ (see Chap. XVII., Plates I., II., and XXIV.,
and pp. 292, 36).—The grain of stone does not generally allow of very
fine thin strokes, and the “thicks” and “thins” therefore tend to
differ much less than in pen-work. Their origin, moreover, is much
less easily traced to the _tool_—_i.e._ the chisel—and the difference
was less in the [p376] early inscriptions (see Plate II.) than we
are now accustomed to (see Plate XXIV.): perhaps it may be explained
as a fashion set by penmanship (see p. 241).

_Inscriptions on Wood_ are frequently in relief (see raised letters,
p. 377), matching the carved ornament. Incised letters may be painted
or gilded to make them show more clearly.

_Sign-Writing and Brush-Work._—Inscriptions, such as shop signs,
notices, &c., painted on wood or stone, require—besides a practical
knowledge of materials—a considerable facility with the brush
or “pencil.” Directness and freedom of workmanship are most

A suitable brush will make letters closely resembling pen letters.
But the pen _automatically_ makes letters with a uniform precision,
which it is neither desirable nor possible for the brush to
_imitate:_ and greater skill is required to control the brush, which
in the hand of a good “Writer” will be permitted to give its own
distinct character to the lettering (see also p. 292, and fig. 164).

The brush is properly used for temporary inscriptions, especially on
the surface of painted wood or stone, but, for more important work,
_incising_ or _carving_ (painted if desired) are to be preferred
as [p377] being more permanent[117] and preserving the original
form[118] of the lettering.

 (_See also Chapter XIV. and pp. 350–353_)

_Alphabets._—For practical purposes the best letters are the
_Roman Capitals_, _Roman Small-Letters_, _and Italics_. These are
susceptible of very decorative treatment without loss of legibility.
And there are many varieties of the pure Roman Capital (see figs.
203–207), besides the “Gothicised” Roman and the simple “Gothic”
Capitals, which are all essentially readable.

_Different Sizes of Capitals_ in inscriptions in wood, stone, metal,
&c., are generally kept approximately equal in “weight” (see p. 328).
‹Note.›—A downward decrease in height of the letters is common in
early inscriptions (p. 410).

_Incising_ is generally the most simple, and therefore the most
natural, method for making an ordinary inscription. The letters
should be large rather than small, and be deeply cut. Note, however,
an _incised_ stamp or die produces an impression in _relief_ on clay,
&c. This may be seen in the lettering on Roman pottery.

_Raised Letters._—From the earliest times letters in relief (or
_litteræ prominentes_) have been used for special purposes. They
are generally rather more legible than the incised letters, and the
difference between “thicks” and “thins” tends to disappear. [p378]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 203.›—Hübner’s _Exempla_, No. 187 (1/4 scale
 of inscription), “_Rustic Capitals_” (see p. 297) _between_ ‹A.D.›

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 204.›—Hübner’s _Exempla_, No. 384 (one-fifth
 scale of inscription). 1st or 2nd Century, ‹A.D.›]

 [Illustraton: ‹Fig. 205.›—Hübner’s _Exempla_, No. 1084 (one-fourth
 scale of inscription). 2nd Century, ‹A.D.›]

 [Illlustration: ‹Fig. 206.›—(_Two portions_) From a Rubbing of a
 Florentine marble dated ‹MCCCCLXVII.›, slightly reduced (scale
 twelve-thirteenths). Note the interlinear spaces are 1-3/4 inch.]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 207.›—From a Rubbing of a Slate at Rye, dated
 1655 (see p. 363). Exact size.]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 208.›—From a Rubbing of a Stone at Oxford (by
 A. E. R. Gill, 1905). Reduced, two-thirds scale.]


It is quite possible to make a beautiful and characteristic alphabet
of equal-stroke letters, on the lines of the so-called “Block Letter”
but properly proportioned and finished (such letters may be _Raised_,
or _Incised_ or _Painted:_ see _incised form_, p. 391).

Raised letters, if exposed to wear or damage, may be protected by
being on a sunk panel or having a raised frame or ornament. The
background also may be left in raised strips flush with the letters,
between the lines of the inscription.

_Punctuation._—In early inscriptions the words were separated by
points; in the more ancient they are square shaped @, @, @, in the
more elaborate, triangular @, @, @, sometimes with curved-in sides @
(Plate I.). These developed later into the ivy leaf @ @, or “_hederæ
distinguentes_.” Such points may be used occasionally in modern work
with fine effect, but should seldom be used between every word,
unless the words are _necessarily_ so close that distinguishing marks
are required.

_Phrasing and Arrangement._—An inscription may be arranged in
sentences or phrases, and occasionally, by the use of larger letters,
greater prominence is given to a word or phrase (see figs. 197, 204,
211). This method is particularly adapted to the nature of a _set
inscription_ (p. 264), and may help both its readableness and its
appearance, but it must be borne in mind that to lay stress on any
one statement or word may pervert its meaning or attract too much
attention to it.

Any confusion of sense, or accidental word (p. 259) or phrase,
_appearing in the setting-out_ is [p385] avoided, if possible, by
a slight rearrangement of the part, or, if necessary, of the whole
inscription. Great care is taken that the spelling is accurate: a
pocket dictionary should be carried.

Reading is further facilitated by avoiding, where possible, the
dividing of words at the ends of lines. It may be observed that in
the more ancient inscriptions words were generally kept _entire_.

_Exercises in letter form and arrangement_, more profitable than mere
paper “designing,” might be devised by the craftsman. Inscriptions
might be cut—on a small scale—in gesso or chalk, or inscriptions
might be variously spaced and arranged on a properly coloured
surface—such as a drawing-board covered with light or dark cloth—in
letters cut out of sheet-lead or card.


The few books and pamphlets given below are generally, of recent
date, practical, and inexpensive. The prices quoted are, I believe,
those at which the books are generally sold (not necessarily their
published prices). They are all illustrated, except Nos. *9, 10, 11,
and 19.

 _WRITING, &c._ (See also Nos. 8, 12, 14, 19, 28, 29, and 31.)

   1. The Story of the Alphabet: Edward Clodd, 1900. 9d.

   2. Greek and Latin Palæography: Edward Maunde Thompson. 3s. 9d.
   (The extracts in these pp. 36, 41, 416, &c., are from the 2nd
   edition, 1894.)

   3. The Journal of the Society of Arts, No. 2726, Feb. 17, 1905;
   Papers on [p386] _Calligraphy and Illumination_: Edward Johnston
   and Graily Hewitt. 6d.

   4. Fac-similés de Manuscrits Grecs, Latins et Français du V^e
   au XIV^e Siècle exposés dans la Galerie Mazarine: Bibliothèque
   Nationale Département des Manuscrits. 5s.

   5. “A Guide to the Manuscripts” in the British Museum, 1906 (30
   plates). 6d.

   6. Bible Illustrations: _Oxford University Press_, 1896. About 2s.

 _ILLUMINATION, &c._ (See also Nos. 3, 4, 5, 12, 14, 29, and 31.)

   7. Illuminated Letters and Borders: John W. Bradley, 1901 (19
   plates). (Price at South Kensington Museum) 1s. 8d.

   8. English Illuminated Manuscripts: Sir E. M. Thompson, 1895.
   (_Now out of print._)

   *9. The Journal of the Society of Arts, No. 2368, April 8, 1898;
   a Paper on _English Art in Illuminated Manuscripts_: Sir E. M.
   Thompson. 6d.

   *10. The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini (a contemporary
   practical treatise on 14th-century Italian painting): Translated
   by Christiana J. Herringham, 1899. 6s.

   *11. Some Hints on Pattern Designing: (lecture, 1881), William
   Morris, 1899. 2s. 6d.

   (11_a_. “Books for the Bairns.—No. 50,” contains 55 reproductions
   of _Bewick’s Birds_. 1d.)

 _BOOKS—MANUSCRIPT & PRINTING._ (See also Nos. 2 to 9, and 29 and

   12. Books in Manuscript: Falconer Madan, 1893. 6s. (_Frontispiece
   drawn from this by permission._)

   13. The Story of Books: Gertrude Burford Rawlings, 1901. 9d.

   14. The Old Service-Books of the English Church: Christopher
   Wordsworth and Henry Littlehales, 1904. 7s. 6d.

   15. Early Illustrated Books: Alfred W. Pollard, 1893. 6s.

   16. Facsimiles [in colour] from Early Printed Books in the British
   Museum, 1897. 7s. 6d.

   17. A Guide to the Exhibition in the King’s Library (illustrating
   the History of Printing, Music Printing, and Bookbinding): British
   Museum, 1901 (36 illustrations). 6d.

   18. “Arts and Crafts Essays by Members of the Arts and Crafts
   Exhibition Society”—_Printing_: William Morris and Emery
   Walker—(1st pub. 1893), 1899. 2s. 6d.

   *19. “Ecce Mundus,” containing _The Book Beautiful_: T. J.
   Cobden-Sanderson, 1902. 2s. 6d.

   20. Printing (a technological handbook): Charles Thomas Jacobi,
   1898. 3s. 9d.

   21. Bookbinding and the Care of Books (_The Artistic Crafts Series
   of Technical Handbooks_), 1901: Douglas Cockerell. 5s.

   22. A Note on Bookbinding: Douglas Cockerell, 1904. 1d.

 _HERALDRY, SYMBOLISM, &c._ (See also Nos. 1, 12, 15, 29, and 31.)

   23. The Journal of the Society of Arts, No. 2309, Feb. 19, 1897;
   A Paper on The Artistic Treatment of Heraldry: by W. H. St. John
   Hope. 6d.

   24. English Heraldry: Charles Boutell, 1867. 6th ed. 1899, about
   3s. 9d.

   25. The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Garter, 1348–1485: W.
   H. St. John Hope (90 coloured plates, Imp. 8vo). About £3. [p388]

   26. Didron’s Christian Iconography (or the History of Christian
   Art in the Middle Ages): 2 vols. 3s. 9d. (each).

 _LETTERING, &c._ (See also Nos. 1 to 8, and 12 to 20.)

   27. Lettering in Ornament: Lewis F. Day, 1902. 5s.

   28. Alphabets: Edward F. Strange (1st ed. 1895). 4th ed., 3s. 9d.

   29. _The Palæographical Society’s Publications_ (out of print),
   containing hundreds of facsimiles (chiefly of MSS.), are of
   great interest. They may of course be seen in the British Museum
   Library. _The New Palæographical Society_ publishes a selection of
   facsimiles annually.

   30. Hübner’s _Exempla Scripturae Epigraphicae Latinae a Caesaris
   dictatoris morte ad aetatem Justiniani_ (Berlin, 1885, price 46s.)
   contains many fine outline drawings of ancient Roman inscriptions
   (see figs. 203–5). It is kept with the books of reference in the
   Reading Room at the British Museum.

   31. Photographs of fine pieces of lettering may be obtained at the
   Book Stall in South Kensington Museum (see _footnote_, p. 409).

Original MSS. or Inscriptions—from which we can learn much more
than from photographs or drawings—may be found in most parts of
the country, and in London especially in the British Museum, South
Kensington Museum (see p. 391), the Record Office (_Rolls Chapel_,
see p. 11), and Westminster Abbey (MSS. in the Chapter-House).


[90] p. 224, J. C. Egbert’s “Introduction to the Study of Latin

[91] If there is sufficient room left on the terminal page _for a
clearly marked beginning_ (such as a decorative initial), the _next_
chapter may begin there, and so fill the page—but generally there is
no objection to leaving blank what the text has failed to fill.

[92] The line need not always be _filled_ by the writing (p. 425).

[93] It would not be necessary for the first page of a chapter to
have the ordinary _dropped head_ and blank upper space if a fine
initial or decorative heading were used to mark it.

[94] Some of the books _engraved_ by William Blake suggest
possibilities of such _un_-conventional treatment, both of writing
and “illumination” (see also p. 21).

[95] The distinction in the Prayer Book between “Amen” and
“_Amen_”—used as a response—is best marked by the sign @ (for
Responsum) in red, placed before the _latter_, as: @ Amen (see pp.
144, 25).

[96] Figs. 195 and 196 are from Mr. Cockerell’s “Bookbinding and the
Care of Books,” in this Series.

[97] These form the fly-leaves (p. 111).

[98] _Thread_ should be unbleached. Silk of the best quality is
better than thread.

[99] _Forrel_ may be used as a cheap substitute for vellum.

[100] “_Squares_” = “_the portion of the boards projecting beyond the
edges of the book_.”

[101] “_Foredge_” = “(fore edge) _the front edge of the leaves_.”

[102] A good, rather dark green ribbon looks well—such as that known
as “Church lace,” used for the “tyers” in some of the Kelmscott
books. Very good ribbons may be obtained from a bookbinder, at 6d. to
1s. 6d. a yard.

[103] _E.g._ all ordinary written and printed matter intended to be
read _at a short distance_ (see pp. 103–106).

[104] As much as two-thirds, or more, of the whole space.

[105] The addressee’s taste and convenience ought to be considered:
_e.g._ to one the framed inscription might be an embarrassment, while
by another it might be preferred.

[106] To be given to the person in charge of the address.

[107] The original intention of this fold, in deeds, was to provide
for the attachment of the seal, and, perhaps, to prevent any addition
being made. If the folded part be fairly wide, say, 3/4 to 1 inch,
little or no foot margin need be allowed.

[108] _E.g._ to keep to 1/2 inch writing-line spaces (except for
extra small addresses, or small books). This being approximately
the right space for ordinary SIGNATURES, results in further
simplification of ruling and arrangement.

[109] In the common form «&», the letters @ @ (see Plate VI.) are now
barely traceable.

[110] Other particulars may be put in the colophon (p. 142).

[111] The use of “rules,” though quite legitimate, will be found
misleading if it be depended on to “doctor” and “pull together” any
weak arrangement of lettering.

[112] More, Sir Thomas: “_Utopia, et Mori et Erasmi Epigrammata”:_
4to, Froben, Basle, 1518. Woodcut borders and Title pages by
Holbein. (The reproduction is from the title page to the Epigrams.)
‹Note.›—The exceptionally fine type of capitals (see p. 373) here
shown is used throughout the book for headings, &c.

[113] _Doubtful_, because, unless unusual care be taken, its delicate
quality may be lost in the process, and also because of the type-like
impress of the block on the paper.

[114] “_Ecce Mundus_ (_The Book Beautiful_),” 1902.

[115] _It was dated 1456 by a rubricator, not by the printer._—_E.W._

[116] This is recognised in the Sign-writing profession, where, I
understand, an applicant for work is sometimes given a blackboard or
a piece of American cloth, on which he writes out a short inscription
in “sharp white.” It is not necessary to watch the writer; good,
direct workmanship shows itself, and also every hesitating stroke or
fault, every patch or “touching-up” or “going over,” is made evident.

[117] Brush lettering may be used very effectively on Tiles and
China, &c. (see p. 339), when it is of course rendered permanent by

[118] The original form of a painted inscription (not carved) is
inevitably spoilt by re-painting.



 (_By A. E. R. Gill_)

 Treatment & Arrangement — The Three Alphabets — Size & Spacing — The
 Material — Setting Out — Tools — A Right Use of the Chisel — Incised
 Letters & Letters in Relief — The Sections of Letters — Working _in


_Treatment._—Inscriptions are carved in stone for many uses:
for Foundation Stones and Public Inscriptions, for Tombstones
and Memorial Inscriptions, for Mottos and Texts, for Names and
Advertisements, and each subject suggests its own treatment.

Names and Advertisements should be easily read, and usually entirely
unornamental. The Treatment of Texts, Memorial Inscriptions,
Foundation Stones, &c., may, according to the needs of the case or
the opportunities of the carver, be either simple or elaborate.

Colour and Gold may be used both for the beauty of them and, in
places where there is little light, to increase legibility.

_Arrangement._—There are two methods of arranging Inscriptions: the
“_Massed_” and the [p390] “_Symmetrical_.” In the former the lines
are very close together, and approximately equal in length, and form
a mass. Absolute equality is quite unnecessary. Where the lines are
very long it is easy to make them equal; but with lines of few words
it is very difficult, besides being derogatory to the appearance of
the Inscription. In the “_Symmetrical_” Inscription the length of
the lines may vary considerably, and each line (often comprising
a distinct phrase or statement) is placed in the centre of the
Inscription space.

Short Inscriptions,such as those usually on Tombstones or Foundation
Stones, may well be arranged in the “_Symmetrical_” way, but long
Inscriptions are better arranged in the “_Massed_” way, though,
sometimes, the two methods may be combined in the same Inscription.


_The Roman Alphabet_, the alphabet chiefly in use to-day, reached its
highest development in Inscriptions incised in stone (see Plate I.),
and it became absolutely suited to the material.

Besides ROMAN CAPITALS, it is necessary that the letter-cutter should
know how to carve Roman small-letters[119] (or “Lower case”) and
_Italics_, either of which may be more suitable than Capitals for
some Inscriptions.

Where great magnificence combined with great legibility[120] is
required, use large Roman Capitals, [p391] Incised or in Relief,
with plenty of space between the letters and the lines.

Where great legibility but less magnificence is required, use “Roman
Small-Letters” or “Italics,” or Roman Capitals, either small, or
close together, or both.

All three Alphabets may be used together, as, for instance, on a
Tombstone, one might carve the Name in Capitals and the rest of the
Inscription in Small-Letters, using Italics for difference.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 209.›]

_Beauty of Form_ may safely be left to a right use of the chisel,
combined with a well-advised study of the best examples of
Inscriptions: such as that on the Trajan Column (see Plates I., II.)
and other Roman Inscriptions in the South Kensington and British
Museums, for Roman CAPITALS; and sixteenth and seventeenth century
tombstones, for Roman small-letters and _Italics_.[121] If the simple
[p392] elementary form of the letter be cut firmly and directly, it
will be found that the chisel will suggest how that form may be made
beautiful. This may be shown, for example, by an attempt to carve a
quite simple Incised letter with no Serifs and with all the strokes
equally thick. In making the ends of the strokes nice and clean it
will be found that there is a tendency to spread them into Serifs,
and the letter is at once, in some sort, beautified (see fig. 209).


_Drawing out._—Take paper and pencil, or what you will, and write out
the words of the Inscription in Capitals, or small-letters (or both),
without any regard to scale or the shape of the space the Inscription
is to go in. The carver will then see easily of what letters and
words his Inscription is composed. Next draw the shape of the
Inscription space (say to 1 inch or 1-1/2 inch scale), and in that
space set out the Inscription, either “_Massed_” or “_Symmetrical_,”
as has been decided. The drawing should be neither scribbled nor
elaborated. A good plan is to cut the lead of the pencil to a chisel
shape. The natural _thicks and thins_ of the letters (see p. 44) may
then be produced easily and quickly. The carver will thus be able,
after a little experience, to calculate quite easily what size he
will be able to carve his letters, what space he will be able to
leave between the lines, and what margins he can afford.[122] [p393]

_The Size of Lettering_ depends on where it is to go (_i.e._
outdoors or indoors, far away or near), the material to be used, and
the space at the carver’s disposal.

_Out of Doors_ letters should not, as a rule, be less than 1-1/4 inch
high, more if possible.[123]

_Indoors_ smaller lettering may be carved, but even then 1 inch is
quite small enough, and that only in marble, slate, or the finest

In such stones as _Ancaster_ or _Ham-Hill_ it is not possible to
carve good letters less than 3 inches high.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 210.›]

More than one size of letter may be used in the same Inscription to
give emphasis to certain words, thus: on a Foundation Stone the Date
(see fig. 210), [p394] and on a Tombstone the Name (see fig. 211),
may be made larger than the rest.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 211.›]

_Spacing._—Proper spacing is essential to a good Inscription. As a
general rule, Roman letters should not be crowded together. Space
should be left between each, varying according to the letters—a
narrower space between two O’s, for example, and, generally, a wider
space between two straight letters. The lines may be about the height
of the lettering apart (see Plate I.) or pretty close together (see
Plate XXIV.).

_Margins._—If the Inscription is to be carved in a panel, the
surrounding mouldings take the place of margins, and the lettering
may fill the panel (see fig. 211). If any space be left, let it come,
as it [p395] naturally will, at the bottom. If the lettering is not
to be in a panel, the margins depend primarily on what the carver
can afford, and where the Inscription is to go. Every case must be
treated on its own merits, but as a general rule one may say that the
bottom margin should be the widest and the top margin the narrowest.


The best quality a stone can have, from a letter-cutter’s point of
view, is fineness or closeness of texture, combined with freedom from
holes and flints or occasional shells, and the letter-cutter will do
well to choose the stone himself, if possible, having regard to this

The following is a list of a few of the best stones for outdoor and
indoor use:—

 _Outdoors or Indoors._

   Portland.—Especially good for lettering on account of its
   fineness and its excellent weathering qualities, for it not only
   hardens on the surface, but also becomes quite white if exposed to
   wind and rain, thus showing very clearly any differences of light
   and shade.

   Hoptonwood Slate
     Fine and hard: good weathering qualities. Great delicacy may be
     attained in these.

   Ancaster Ham-Hill Ketton
     Only suitable for large lettering.

 _Indoors only._

   Clunch Chalk
     Very fine and delicate work may be done in these.

   Bath.—A cheap stone, and easily carved; but unsuitable for small

   Marbles and Alabasters.—Excellent for Inscriptions indoors, but
   much colour or veining tends to confuse lettering.



The stone being ready for the setting out, _i.e._ smoothed and
cleaned, lines are ruled on it for the lines of lettering and
margins with a pencil or point. If the Inscription is to be arranged
“_Symmetrically_,” a centre line is ruled from top to bottom.

The carver should rule and set out one line and carve that before
ruling another, as pencil marks are liable to be rubbed off by the
hand in carving.[124]

In “_Setting Out_,” the spacing of the letters is thought of rather
than their forms. And though the beginner may find careful drawing
helpful, the forms which may best be produced with the chisel are
found only by practice and experience (p. 399).


_The chisels_ needed for simple work are flat chisels of the
following sizes:—

 1/16 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch.

The shanks should be about 7 inches long.

It will be found useful to keep a few “_Bull-nosed_” chisels (see 7,
fig. 212) for use in cutting curves, and a few “_skewed_” chisels (8,
fig. 212) for use in cutting the background of Raised letters, as a
chisel of that shape is more easily used in a corner.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 212.›]

The chisels are either _Hammer-headed_ or _Mallet-headed_, or they
may have wooden handles [p397] (see fig. 212, and pp. 401–2).
The Hammer-headed are the most used, and a good number should be
procured. The best are made with _cupped_ ends, to prevent them from
slipping on the hammer (see 5, fig. 212). [p398]

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 213.›]

_Temper and Sharpness._—Above all things the chisels must be of the
right temper, and sharp.[125] They may be tempered by a smith or
tool-maker—if the craftsman can do it for himself, so much the [p399]
better. They are sharpened on a piece of _Grit-stone_ (hard York
stone, for instance) with water. The Temper of a chisel may be seen
by the colour (blue shows a soft or low-temper, straw colour a hard
or high temper), and felt by the way it rubs on the Grit-stone (a
hard tool will slide easily over the stone, while a soft one will
seem to stick or cling).[126]

_Mallets._—A wooden mallet or _Mell_, a Zinc mallet or _Dummy_, and
an iron or steel hammer are required (fig. 213).

_The Mell_ is made wholly of wood, and should, for letter cutting, be
about 5-1/2 inches in diameter.

_The Dummy_ has a head of zinc and a wooden handle. It should be
about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.

_The hammer_ should be about the same size and weight as the Dummy.


The workman must find out, for himself, how best to use his tools. In
the ordinary way, it is best to hold the chisel at an angle of about
45° with the surface of the stone—in the manner shown in fig. 214—in
cutting both straight stems and curves. The chisel is held firmly
(usually in the left hand, with the little finger about an inch from
the cutting end of the chisel) and tapped rather than banged, and
lightly rather than heavily.

The best way to cut a letter is to start at the extreme left-hand
point of the bottom Serif, and, working upwards, to cut the left side
of the stroke first. Then start similarly at the extreme right-hand
point of the bottom Serif, and cut the right side of the stroke. Then
finish the Serifs. [p400]

When cutting a curve, cut the inside first (fig. 214), and start as
near the narrowest part of the curve as possible.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 214.›]

In Incised letters unnecessary junctions of the parts may be avoided
(see fig. 215). Where they are necessary, as in a capital E, or in
a small «y», cut [p401] away from the junction or down on to it,
rather than towards it.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 215.›]

The Mallet-headed and wooden-handled chisels are used with the Mell
for large work and for cutting surfaces. [p402]

The Hammer-headed chisels are used with the hammer for ordinary work,
and with the Dummy for small and delicate work.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 216.›]

A Mallet or Dummy is not used in carving chalk, but the chisel is
pushed; the right hand doing the pushing, and the left hand guiding
and steadying the chisel (see fig. 216). If the chisel [p403] were
struck, the surface of the chalk would flake off.

In cutting an Incised Inscription with the ordinary “V” section (see
fig. 217), use one size of chisel throughout. The width of the chisel
should generally be about the width of the letter stem required. More
elaborate sections necessitate the use of several sizes of chisels.


Inscriptions may be _Incised_ or in _Relief_, that is, sunk or
raised.[127] The _modus operandi_ and the time spent in carving the
actual letters are the same in either case, but whereas when the
Incised letter is carved there is nothing more to be done, after the
carving of the Raised letter there is still the stone surrounding
it (_i.e._ the background) to be dealt with, and this may simply be
carved smooth,[128] or, if our imagination be strong enough, and our
hand have the cunning, it may become under the tool a field of roses
and lilies in which the letters are set.

Other things being equal, it becomes a question of economy which
form of lettering one will carve, as the necessity of dealing with
the background of a Raised Inscription, while more than doubling
the opportunities of the carver, at least doubles the time spent in

Raised lettering will show out more clearly than Incised lettering
where there is little light. [p404]

Roman Capitals are more adapted for carving in Relief than are Roman
small-letters or Italics, which are directly derived from the pen.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 217.›]

Raised lettering is more allied to ordinary carving, while Incised
lettering may be thought of as writing in stone. [p405]


_For Incised letters_, a “V” section (1, fig. 217) of about 60° is
best for regular use; deeper rather than shallower. The letters may
with advantage be cut a little deeper towards the Serifs (see fig.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 218.›]

Although the simple “V” section is the most useful, other sections
may be used for large letters (_i.e._ letters more than 6 inches
high), or letters in a very fine material (2 & 3, fig. 217).

If the lettering is to be gilded, and the stone will permit of it,
Section 4 (fig. 217) is a good one to use. Only the curved part is to
be Gilded, and not the small bevelled sides.

_For Raised letters_, the best and most useful section is No. 5; the
slightly bevelled sides tell as part of the letter. Experience, and
the weathering conditions, will suggest the amount of Relief to be
given. For letters 1-1/2 inch high, out of doors, 3/16 inch of relief
is ample, and if there be good light 1/8 inch is enough. Excessive
relief looks clumsy.

Sections Nos. 6 and 7 are suitable only for large letters; and
elaborate sections should as a rule be used only for letters standing


If possible the carver should work _in situ_. When that is
impracticable,[129] he should consider most carefully where his
Inscription is to go. [p406]

In an Inscription which is much above the eye level, the letters may
be narrower in proportion to their height, and the horizontal strokes
extra thick to allow for foreshortening. (See also pp. 351, 270.)

The advantages of working _in situ_ are great, for by so doing the
carver sees his job as he works under the same conditions of light
and environment that it will finally be seen under, and the work is
more likely to become a part of the place because it has grown there.

And it is good to carve an Inscription on the actual wall of a fine
building, and better still to work in the inspiriting atmosphere of
building in progress, or to work in the open air where the artificial
notions of workshop or studio are dissipated and the feeling of life
and freedom gained.


[119] With which we may include Arabic numerals.

[120] It should be clearly understood that legibility by no means
excludes either beauty or ornament. The ugly form of “_Block_”
_letter_ so much in use is no more legible than the beautiful Roman
lettering on the Trajan Column (see Plates I., II.).

[121] Roman small-letters and Italics, being originally pen letters,
are still better understood if the carver knows how to use a pen, or,
at least, has studied good examples of manuscripts in which those
letters are used.

[122] Some advice from the letter-cutter might be useful to the
client as to _the number of words_ and _the space they will occupy_
in cases where it is possible to adapt the one to the other.

[123] Small lettering is less convenient to read out of doors, and is
apt to get filled with dirt or moss.

[124] Whenever it is possible the carver should not be bound
to follow a drawing strictly, but should do his work in the
straightforward manner described above. Unfortunately he is often
obliged to set out the whole Inscription exactly before carving it,
and in such a case it is usual to carve the bottom line of letters
first and to work upwards, cutting the first line last.

[125] Really sharp, _i.e._ sharp enough to cut a piece of paper
without tearing it.

[126] The harder the stone to be carved, the more highly tempered
will the chisels need to be.

[127] In learning to cut Inscriptions one would naturally begin with
Incised letters.

[128] Where the ground between the letters is left plain, an absolute
flatness and evenness is not necessary. The common method of jabbing
or “pecking” the background is objectionable.

[129] _E.g._ Tombstones and Memorial Slabs are not usually fixed
until finished.



 (‹Note.›—_In order to make the illustrations [whether of facsimiles
 or enlargements] as large and as full as possible, I have sacrificed
 “appearance” to use and allowed most of the collotype plates, and
 many of the diagrams in the book, to encroach on the margins.—E. J._)

_GENERAL NOTE._—All the plates are in _facsimile_ as to size (or
_nearly so_, allowing for errors in reproduction) except I., II.,
XXII., and XXIV., which had to be _reduced_, and therefore only
_portions_ of the MSS. can be shown. ‹Note.›—All the MSS. are on
“Vellum” (see p. 173). In order to get a better impression of the
size and general proportion of a MS., the student might reconstruct
it—or at least mark off the margins, text, &c.—on paper, from the
measurements given. Or a sheet of paper might be cut to the size of
the given page or _opening_, with an aperture (in its proper place)
through which the plate might be viewed.

The plates are arranged in chronological order as nearly as
possible. They are intended briefly to illustrate the _Development
of the Formal Book Hands from the Roman Capital_ and _the General
Development of the Illuminated MS._: I hope, moreover, that,
fragmentary as they are, they will prove usefully suggestive in
regard to _the Arrangement of Text and Lettering and Ornament_. The
wonderful effect of the colouring cannot be given here, but, in any
case, the illuminator should look at some original MSS. Several of
the MSS. from which the plates are taken are exhibited in the British

 _PLATE I.—Portion of Inscription on base of Trajan Column,^* Rome,
 circa 114 ‹A.D.› Scale approx. 1/9th linear._

THE STONE (within the internal line of the moulding): 3 feet 9 inches
high, and 9 feet 3/4 inch long. [p410]

THE BORDERS.—The lettering practically fills the panel (see p. 352):
the surrounding moulding is approx. 4 inches wide.

 THE LETTERS (_for their forms_ see next note).

 Approximate heights
   First two lines:  4-1/2 inches high.
   Second two lines: 4-3/8   ”     ”
   Fifth line:       4-1/8   ”     ”
   Last line:        3-7/8   ”     ”

THE SPACES (between Lines) decrease from 3 inches to 2-3/4 inches. A
decrease in the height of the letters from the top to the foot line
is common in early inscriptions (see figs. 203–205). Several reasons
for this suggest themselves: (_a_) (Sometimes the beginning words,
being farther from the reader, may require to be larger). (_b_) The
architectural beauty of a large heading (comp. _stem heads_, p. 288).
(_c_) The importance of _beginnings_ generally (there is very often a
marked difference between the upper lines containing important words
and the rest of the inscription: comp. figs. 197, 91).

‹Note.›—The WORDS are separated by triangular points (p. 384).

* There is a cast (No. 1864–128) in the Victoria and Albert Museum,
South Kensington, where also the photograph of the inscription is
obtainable, from portions of which Plates I. and II. are reproduced.

 PLATE II.—_Alphabet from Trajan Inscription._ (_Circa_ 114 ‹A.D.›)
 _Scale approx. 1/6th linear._ (See note above.)

THE “TRAJAN” ALPHABET.— Very fine letters for inscriptions in stone:
possibly painted before incision (see p. 292); see also remarks on
Roman Capitals, pp. 268–296, and note:—

SERIFS.—Small and carefully curved.

THIN PARTS about half the width of the _thick stems_ (pp. 375, 285).

 A (M and N), _pointed_ (p. 280).

 B—a very beautiful form, with large lower _bow_ (p. 278).

 C, G, and (D)—Upper parts rather straight (p. 281).

 E and F—_mid arm_ slightly shorter than upper arm.

 E and L—_lower serif_ pointed out (p. 282). [p411]

 LO (shown sideways in collotype) and LT show L’s _arm_ projecting
 under next letter.

 M—_pointed_: slightly spread (p. 284), distance apart of points
 above equal to _inside_ distance of stems below.

 N—_pointed_: practically no difference in thickness of vertical and
 oblique parts (p. 285).

 O—very beautiful: _width slightly less than height_ (p. 270);
 slightly _tilted_ (as are all the other curved letters: see p. 285).

 P—_Bow_ not joined to stem below (first P rounder topped).

 Q—_tail_ carried under V (U).

 R—_large bow_: straight tail, with finishing-curve (p. 291).

 S—leans forward slightly (p. 286).

 _Proportions of widths to heights_ (comp. with pp. 269–273)
   OCDGMNQ  width slightly _less_ than height.
   ARTV     width approx. 1/6th _less_ than height.
   BX       width rather more than _half_ height.
   P        width approx. equal _half_ height.
   LS       width slightly _less_ than half height.
   EF       width approx. 3/7ths of height.

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 219.›]

H, (J), K, (U), W, Y, Z are not present in the inscription. A rough
diagram (fig. 219) is given below showing approximately suitable
forms for these (_Re junction of_ «U» _in stone;_ see p. 400, & fig.
215). [p412]

 PLATE III.—_Written Roman Capitals, Fourth or Fifth Century._
 (_Virgil’s “Æneid”_).

(From a facsimile in the Palæographical Society’s Publications,
1st Series, Vol. II., Pl. 208, of a MS. in the library of S. Gall,
Switzerland. See also “Greek and Latin Palæography,” p. 185.)

LETTERS.—Simple-written (slanted-pen) Roman “Square Capitals.”

WORDS in early MSS. were not separated (p. 112).

LINES ruled with a hard point (p. 343). The letters appear to have
been written between every alternate pair (p. 299), but slightly over
the line.

A very handsome writing which might still be used for special MSS.
(see pp. 304, 300, 299).

 PLATE IV.—_Uncial Writing, probably Italian Sixth or Seventh
 Century. (Latin Gospels). Brit. Museum, Harl. MS. 1775._

(Shown in Brit. Mus. Department of MSS., Case G, No. 11.)

THE VOLUME contains 468 leaves (7 inches by 4-3/4 inches).

MARGINS, Approx.: _Inner_ 5/8 inch, _Head_ 7/8 inch, _Side_ 9/8 inch,
_Foot_ 8/8 inch. (They may have been cut down by the binder.)

WRITING.—A fine _round_ Uncial MS. (pp. 38, 302), arranged in long
and short lines.

‹Note.›—On many of the letters there are fine hair-line curved
_tails_ and _flourishes_, which are scarcely visible in the
photograph. (These tails were also used in the earlier Uncial shown
in fig. 5—see also _Addenda_, p. 23.)

SECTIONS.—Marked by built-up letters of an Uncial type, and numbered,
m‹R› cxxiiii to m‹R› cxxvi (with references to “Harmonies”). The
passage is S. Mark xi. 21–25. [p413]

 PLATE V.—_Uncial Writing, probably Continental Seventh Century.
 (Gospel of S. John). Ex libris Stonyhurst College. (See also
 enlargement, fig. 169.)_

(From a facsimile in the Palæographical Society’s Publications, 1st
Series, Vol. II., Pl. 17.)

THE VOLUME contains 90 leaves, approx. 5-3/8 inches by 3-5/8 inches.
The _Inner margin_ is approximately 1/2 inch wide.

WRITING.—A very beautiful pointed (slanted-pen) Uncial. The “pointed”
character of the letters, which yet retain their typical roundness,
give this writing a peculiar charm. Note the top of the P has a
marked angle, and the M and H, and even the O, have this slightly or

RULING.—Single lines, rather wide (p. 305).

ARRANGEMENT.—Certain of the lines are _indented_ one letter (p. 264).

LARGE LETTERS.—On _verso_ Col marking a “Chapter” is built-up in
_red_, on _recto_ the three large letters (marking sections) are
simply written with the text pen (p. 299). (The passage is S. John
xi. 46–56.)

 _PLATE VI.—Half-Uncial (Irish), Seventh Century. “Book of Kells”
 (Latin Gospels). Ex libris Trinity College, Dublin._

(From a facsimile—part of Pl. XLVII.—in “Celtic Ornaments from the
Book of Kells,” by the Rev. Dr. T. K. Abbott.)

THE LEAVES—which are cut down and much damaged—measure 13 inches by
10 inches.

WRITING.—A beautiful and highly finished (approx. straight pen)
Half-Uncial (pp. 40, 304), tending to ornamental and fanciful forms
whenever opportunity offered. (Note the treatment of inde.)

ARRANGEMENT.—Long and short lines: wide spacing. [p414]

THE LETTERS combine extreme gracefulness with an unusual appearance
of strength. This is mainly due to the ends of _all_ the strokes
being finished; the thick strokes have large, triangular heads (p.
327) on the left, and bases broadened by an additional stroke below
on the right (thus @). And the horizontal thin strokes are either
finished with a triangular terminal (p. 246), or run on into the next
letter—_joining the letters together_.

The extreme _roundness_ of the letters is contributed to by their
being written between DOUBLE LINES (pp. 304, 88), the upper line of
which tends to flatten the tops.

The pen not being quite “straight” (see _footnote_, p. 304),
together with a tendency to _pull_ the left hand curves, gives a
characteristic shape to the letters @. @. @. @. @. @.

THE ILLUMINATION throughout the book is most elaborate and beautiful.
Each division has an entire Initial page occupied with the first
few letters. The COLOURS were “_paled green_, _red_, _violet_,
_and yellow_, _intense black_, _and white_, _but no gold_”: see
description of Celtic MSS., p. 40, Bradley’s “Illuminated Letters and
Borders,” and also the Palæographical Society’s 1st Series, Vol. II.,
Pl. 55–58, 88, 89.

This notable book may be taken as an example of the marvellous
possibilities of pen-work and complex colour-work (see p. 216).

In considering the value of the writing as a model, it may be noted
that its highly finished nature demands practised skill on the part
of the copyist, and that though modern _Irish writing_ (for which it
would be an excellent model) still employs @. @. @. @. @. @. @. these
letters would be apt to look peculiar in English. The Kells MS. @.
@. @. @. @. @. @. @. @. @. @. @. however, might be used, and a very
beautiful ornamental hand (p. 304) might be founded on this writing.

 _PLATE VII.—Half-Uncial (English), circa 700_ ‹A.D.› _“Durham Book”
 (Latin Gospels). Brit. Mus., Cotton MSS. Nero D. IV._

THE VOLUME contains 258 leaves (13-1/2 inches by 9-7/8 inches).

THE WRITING is an English—or rather _Anglo-Irish_—Half-Uncial,
written at Lindisfarne (_Holy I._) under Irish influence (p. 40).
ARRANGEMENT—two columns of 24 lines—long and short—to the page (note
how «eis» is got into the fifth line): wide spacing.

The writing bears a strong resemblance to that of the “Book of
Kells,” but is generally much plainer; it is also less graceful,
being _heavier_ and _wider_ in proportion. The “Book of Kells” O is
a _circle_, while the “Durham Book” O is considerably wider than
its height, and all the other letters are correspondingly wide. The
RULING in both books consists of double lines, ruled with a hard
point _on both sides of each leaf_.

THE ILLUMINATION also resembles that of the “Book of Kells” (see
_opposite_), but a small amount of _gold_ is employed in it. (See
also Palæographical Society’s 1st Series, Vol. II., Pl. 3–6, 22.)

‹Note.›—The “Gloss,” or interlinear translation, is in the
Northumbrian dialect, and was put in in the tenth century, more than
200 years after the book was written.

A hand founded to some extent on the “Durham Book” hand is given in
Chap. IV. as an easy copy: see figs. 49, 50.

 _PLATE VIII.—English Tenth-century Writing. (Psalter). Brit. Mus.,
 Harl. MS. 2904._ (_See enlargement, fig. 172_). (Shown B. M.
 Grenville Lib. Case 2, No. 9.)

THE VOLUME contains 214 leaves (13-1/4 inches by 10 inches), 18 lines
to the page; probably written at Winchester in late tenth century.
(_Pl. reduced scale 8/9ths._)

WRITING.—An extremely good, formal, “slanted-pen” writing, having
great freedom (note the very slight [p416] slope forward) and
simplicity. This type of letter may be regarded as a link between the
Half-Uncial and the Roman Small-Letter (see p. 310).

THE RULING: _single_ lines (see _footnote_, p. 305).

THE LETTERS show very strongly the effects of the “slanted pen” (see
pp. 43, 305). Note the heavy shoulders and feet in «n», «b», &c., and
the thick horizontals in @@. The curved tops or _arches_ are flattish
and strong: the thick strokes end in points and are hooked below,
thin strokes scarcely appear except as the _finishing strokes_ of
«a», «c», «e», «l», @, while «d», («h»), «i», «m», «n», «u» end in
small heavy _hooks_. Note generally the tendency to _internal angles_
and _external roundness_ (examples, @ and «o»).

Note particularly the junctions and accidental crossings of the
strokes (seen best in the enlargement, fig. 172) as bearing on the
mode of construction of the letters (see p. 84).

Note the fine shape of the _amperzand_ («&»: 3rd line).

THE ILLUMINATION (see _Characteristics of Winchester Illumination,
or “Opus Anglicum,”_ pp. 82, 83, Bradley: “Illuminated Letters and
Borders”). _All_ the CAPITALS beginning the verses are in raised,
burnished gold, in the margin. The titles are in _red_ in fancy
“Rustic Capitals” (p. 297). The Line-Fillings consist of groups of
red dots, in threes (@ @ @).

This extremely legible MS. would form an almost perfect model for
a modern formal hand («s» being substituted for long «ſ», and the
straight «t» for the curved @ (see fig. 183): the removal of the «e»
_flourish_ would also help readableness). And though it is somewhat
large and heavy for ordinary use, it is good for practising, and
might be developed into a form resembling any of the more difficult
later forms (Plates IX., X., XX.).

 _PLATE IX.—English Writing, dated 1018. Two portions of a Charter
 of CNUT. Brit. Museum._ (_See also enlargement, fig._ 173.) [_Pl.
 reduced scale_ 11/12_ths._]

(Shown in Brit. Mus., Department of MSS., Case V., No. 3.)

THE WRITING resembles that in Plate VIII. [p417] (see above), but
is more slender and rounder—the pen being a little less slanted, and
the _arches_ more curved, and showing more of the _thin_ stroke. The
ascenders and descenders are longer, the heads are more marked, and
there is a general elegance and distinction, due perhaps to the MS.
being a charter. Charter-hands are generally more showy and less
legible than Book-hands, but in this hand there is great legibility,
and a very few changes (similar to those suggested above) would
make it quite suitable for modern use. Its relation to the Roman
Small-Letter is obvious.

‹Notes.›—The (black) @ «V» and «u» were probably built-up with the
writing pen.

The forms of «a», «e», «g», («h»), «r», may be noted as differing
considerably from the tenth-century hand.

The combined «ra» (in the 4th line) is curious; and the «r» in
_Anglorum_—this «r» (which represents the Bow and Tail of R) commonly
follows the round letters «b», «o», «p», in “Gothic” writing: there
is another curious form in the linked «rt» in _cartula_ (last line).

The word CNUT and several other names are in ornamental “Rustic”
Capitals (see p. 297).

The two lines of English from another part of the charter have very
long stems and ornamental serifs, giving a very decorative effect
(see _footnote_, p. 326).

 _PLATE X.—Italian (first half of) Twelfth-century Writing. (Homilies
 and Lessons). Brit. Mus., Harl. MS. 7183._ (_See also enlargement,
 fig. 174._)

 (Shown in Brit. Mus., Department of MSS., Case C [lower part], No.

THE VOLUME.—Homilies and Lessons for Sundays and Festivals from
Advent to Easter Eve—contains 317 leaves (approximately 21-1/2 inches
by 15 inches); two columns, each of 50 lines, to the page. The
MARGINS are, approximately, _Inner_ 1-1/4 inch, _Head_ [p418] 1-1/4
inch, _Side_ 3-1/4 inches, _Foot_ 4-1/4 inches (_between columns_
1-1/8 inch: see Plate). The portion of a page, shown in Plate X.,
consists of the last eleven lines, second column, of folio 78.

WRITING.—This has all the qualities of good writing (p. 239) in a
marked degree, and I consider it, taken all round, the most perfect
and satisfactory penmanship which I have seen.

Its simplicity and distinctiveness are very marked, so also are
its character and freedom. There is an almost entire absence of
artificial finish—the terminals are natural hooks, beaks and “feet”
made with a fine sleight of hand (p. 311)—and its very great beauty
of form is the natural outcome of good traditions and eminently
satisfactory craftsmanship.

‹Notes.›—The letters are very wide, and the _inside shapes_ differ
considerably from those of the tenth-century MS. (above)—with which,
however, there is a considerable affinity (see p. 416).

The «f» is longer than the «ſ», the «g» has a very fine form with a
_closed_ loop, the «r» is sharpened, the «t» _straight_.

Small (Uncial) CAPITALS «um» follow the Versal; the serifs on the
S and E are made with dexterous movements of the nib (p. 246),
and resemble those on the Versal C. V and U are both used for the
consonant (V).

There are very few VERSALS in this book: the C shown is in red (which
has been smudged).

The large “ILLUMINATED INITIALS” in the book are in yellow, blue, and
red, and appear to me to be comparatively poor, at least, to fall
short of the perfection of the MS.

Of this writing, Sir Edward Maunde Thompson (“Greek and Latin
Palæography,” pp. 271–2) says:—

 “The sense of grace of form which we perceive in the Lombardic
 writing of Italy is maintained in that country in the later writing
 of the new minuscule type, which assumes under the pens of the most
 expert Italian scribes a very beautiful and round even style. This
 style, though peculiarly Italian, extended [p419] its influence
 abroad, especially to the south of France, and became the model
 of Spanish writing at a later time. We select a specimen from
 a very handsome MS. of Homilies of the first half of the 12th
 century (_Pal. Soc._ ii. pl. 55), written in bold letters of the
 best type, to which we shall find the scribes of the fifteenth
 century reverting in order to obtain a model for their MSS. of the
 Renaissance. The exactness with which the writing is here executed
 is truly marvellous, and was only rivalled, not surpassed, by the
 finished handiwork of its later imitators.

 “It will of course be understood that this was not the only style
 of hand that prevailed in Italy. Others of a much rougher cast were
 also employed. But as a typical book-hand, which was the parent of
 the hands in which the greater proportion of carefully written MSS.
 of succeeding periods were written in Italy, it is to be specially

 (P. 284)—“we give a specimen of a hand of the Italian Renaissance, a
 revival of the style of the eleventh or twelfth century, and a very
 successful imitation of a MS. of that period. It was this practice,
 followed by the scribes of the Renaissance, of reverting to that
 fine period of Italian writing (see p. 272) to find models for the
 exquisitely finished MSS. which they were compelled to produce in
 order to satisfy the refined taste of their day, that influenced the
 early printers of Italy in the choice of their form of type.”^*

 (P. 285)—“in the comparatively small number of extant literary
 MSS. of a later date than the close of the [fifteenth] century
 it is noticeable that a large proportion of them are written in
 the style of the book-hand of the Italian Renaissance—the style
 which eventually superseded all others in the printing press. The
 scribes of these late examples only followed the taste of the day in
 preferring those clear and simple characters to the rough letters of
 the native hands.”

* The specimen hand given is of date 1466. Plate XVIII. may here be
taken as an example of the Renaissance revival; Plate XX. and fig.
175 as examples of later MSS.

 _PLATE XI.—English (late) Twelfth-century Writing, with flourished
 Capitals. (Breviary). Brit. Mus., Royal MS. 2. A. x._

 (Shown in Brit. Mus., Department of MSS., Case D, No. 111.)

THE VOLUME—sometimes called the St. Albans or _Albanus_
Psalter—contains 200 leaves (6-7/8 inches by [p420] 4-7/8 inches);
twenty-seven lines to the page, some pages have two columns. MARGINS,
approximately, _Inner_ 5/8 inch, _Head_ under 1/2 inch (see Plate),
_Side_ 1-1/4 inch (part occupied by Versals), _Foot_ 1-1/8 inch.

THE WRITING is fairly legible, but approaches Black Letter (p.
331) too nearly to be of use to us for ordinary purposes. Note the
ornamental Semi-Rustic Capitals in text. Note the RULING of the two
head lines and of the foot line is carried into the margin.

THE VERSALS.—The main interest lies in the varied forms of the
Versals, which are most beautifully made in _red_ and _green_
alternately. There is one elaborate _gold_ initial in the book, and
several Versals in blue and white (_hollow_: see p. 208).

The five @’s—and the «D» in the text—on this page (folio 85b) by no
means exhaust the varieties of «D» alone, and there are very many
varieties of the forms of the other letters. On some pages each line
begins with a small Versal, while the more important Initials are
much larger, varying in size and ornament.

THE CONSTRUCTION of the Versals is unusually slender, curved, and
gradated. A rather fine pen seems to have been used (p. 292), and
though the letters are upright, the natural tendency to slant the pen
can be detected in the thickening of the thin parts—_above_, on the
right, and _below_, on the left—giving the suspicion of a _tilt_ to
the O.

The «O»-part of each @ was made first, and the tail @ added. This is
very obvious in the «D» in the text, where a stem @ was added to «O»
to make «D».

Note the _dots_ inside the Versals, one above and one below.
Originally these may have been intended to effect—or hide—the
junction of the thin strokes, by a twirl of the pen at the end of
the first stroke and the beginning of the second, thus @ @. Their
use is very common in Versal forms (see fig. 189), and besides
being decorative in the ordinary sense, they may be said to [p421]
strengthen the thin parts (much as the weakest part of the loop in
an old key was thickened for strength).

       *       *       *       *       *

Note the right-hand Bows of the @’s are made thinner, as though the
Rubricator had been afraid of running into the text in making their
last curves—such an expert, however, may well have had a better
reason for it.

 _PLATE XII.—Illuminated Initial in a Flemish MS. ‹A.D.› 1148. (Latin
 Bible). Brit. Museum, Addl. MS. 14790._

 (Shown in Brit. Museum, Department of MSS., Case C, No. 91.)

THE VOLUME—the _third_, and most interesting, of this MS. Bible
(Numbered 14788–89–90)—contains 223 leaves (17 inches by 11-7/8
inches). MARGINS, approximately, _Inner_ 1-1/8 inch, _Head_ (_cut_)
1 inch, _Side_ 2-3/8 inches, _Foot_ 3-1/2 inches. (Between columns
15/16 inch.)

THE WRITING is a not very legible “Gothic.” The _zigzag_ tendency
exhibited, especially by the word _niniuen_ (Niniveh), second line,
is unsuited for such _formal_ writing (see p. 484). The rapid placing
of the Heads of the letters is such that they appear broken and
partly detached from the _stems_. The VERSALS are of a good type.

THE INITIAL is a monogrammatic ET. The arms of the round @ terminate
in leaves folded back, its form is _hollow_ and _inwoven_ (p. 208),
and gives rise to foliage, which fills the interior—passing over
the fish and behind Jonah. Note also how the jaws of the fish are
interlaced, and how compactly _all_ the parts are put together.

The close application of the background to the _curves_ adds to
the general compactness, and together with its spacing from the
_straight_ front _balances_ the masses (p. 424): it may be compared
to the even spacing of curved and straight strokes (see fig. 53).
There is an extension of the background to hold the fish’s tail.


   Initial, Foliage, Fish:   red: outlined & lined;
                             _Parchment left plain_.

   Jonah:                    black: outlined & lined;
                             _Parchment left plain_.

   Bands on Initial,         _gold_, outlined _red_.
   Hollows in Initial,       _gold_, outlined _red_.
   Backs of folded leaves:   _gold_, outlined _red_.

   Outer background:         _paled green._

   Dots on outer ground:     _red._

   Inner background:         _paled blue._

 [Illustration: ‹Fig. 220.›]

We may not, I think, attempt to imitate the complex 12th-century
decoration of this initial (see p. 196), but the treatment of the
_elements_ of form and colour is very suggestive, and the whole piece
of lettering is characteristic of the grand style in which a book was
at that time begun. The ARRANGEMENT of the letters themselves is very
simple, and might be made good use of (fig. 220). [p423]

 _PLATE XIII.—English (2nd half) Thirteenth-century Writing and
 Illumination. (Latin Bible). Ex libris S. C. Cockerell._

THE VOLUME—probably written at York—contains 427 leaves (8 inches by
5-1/2 inches): two columns to the page: MARGINS, approx.: Inner 5/8
inch, _Head_ 5/8 inch, _Side_ 7/8 inch, _Foot_ 1-7/16 inch. (Between
the columns 3/8 inch.) The pages have been cut down.

THE WRITING is very small, and there are many contractions.^* In the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the whole Bible, written in this
fashion, was often small enough to be carried in the pocket. Note
the closed @ and the 7 form of &. The page is RULED with 50 lines;
the 49 lines of writing lie between these, so that in each case the
_ascenders_ touch the line above, and the _descenders_, the line
below. Note the double lines in the Foot margin (see p. 343).

VERSALS.—A very narrow type is used in the narrow margins: the
example shown is in red, flourished blue; it begins the second
chapter (_‹Et› angelo ephesi, &c._), which is also marked by coloured
Roman Numerals at the side (II). The page heading is “APOCA” in small
red and blue Versals.

THE ILLUMINATED INITIAL is “historiated”—_i.e._ it contains a picture
illustrating the text, viz. a representation of S. John writing to
the Seven Churches—purely conventional forms, or rather symbols, for
the most part, are used and beautifully fitted into the available
space. The greater size and more careful drawing of the human figure
(the centre of interest) is characteristic of a fine convention. The
slope of the vellum page on which S. John is writing, and even the
manner in which the quill is held, are such as would naturally be
employed by a scribe (see _frontispiece_, & p. 67). [p424]

The _capitals_ of the pillars mark the position of the cross-bar of
A. The top serif is carried up and forms a bud, which gives rise
to leaf-like flourishes; the free thin stem runs down forming a
grotesque, which gives out a leaf-like tongue. In either case the
object—in every sense _recreative_—is a renewal of interest in the
designed, elongated, growth of the forms.

Note the curved thickening of A’s left stem ends nearly level with
the foot of the right stem. This gives balance to the letter (see R,
fig. 81 & A, fig. 189), and preserves the _essential form_, which
suffers no distortion by the thinner continuation below.

Note the balancing of the background mass on the _straight_ and
_curved_ sides of the Initial (as in Plate XII., see above); also
the extension and shape of the background accompanying the drawn out
parts of the letter.

 COLOURS of Initial—

 Right stem:                  _red_ with _white_ lines and patterns.

 Left stem and serif:         _blue_ with _white_ lines and patterns.

 L. stem, lower half, &
 dragon:                      _pale “lake.”_

 The background (_counter-
   outer:                     _pale “lake.”_
   inner:                     _blue_.
   lower extension:           _blue_.
   final flourish:            _pale “lake.”_

 Band (dark) down left side,
 dragon’s wings, 6 “berries,”
 halo, seat, tops of pillar
 caps:                        _burnished gold._

 Leaves (dark) & pillar
 caps:                        _red._

 Small stems & leaves:        _green._

Here again no natural work would come of a modern attempt to
imitate so complex a “design”—natural and even inevitable _600
years ago_. But the spirit of delicacy and fantasy, the ingenious
contrivance, and the balancing and disposal of form and colour shown
by the antique art, may well be matter for imitation by the modern
draughtsman-illuminator, and even by the mere penman.

* The Apocalypse here begins “APocalipſis i@u x^i” (for I@U X@I,
derived from the Greek and used as a mediæval Latin contraction for
_Jesu Christi_). [p425]

 _PLATE XIV.—Thirteenth-century Line-finishings: Pen-work. (Psalter).
 Brit. Museum, Royal MS. 1. D. x._

THE LINE-FINISHINGS (see p. 205), of which there are very many
throughout the book, all in red or blue pen-work, are very varied.
Nine kinds are shown in the plate (which represents about a quarter
of a page), and three others from the same MS. are given in figs. 87
(_b_) and 126 (_f_, _g_).

The directions of the thick and thin strokes indicate a pen held at
right angles to its usual position (almost “upside down,” in fact:
see fig. 126, _g_), and the penmanship exhibits great speed and
lightness of hand—the rapidity and skill are indeed quite remarkable
(_e.g._ in the Lion in the eighth line).

Note that, though the writing occasionally runs into the margin, the
line-finishings stop at the marginal-line.

The photograph shows red _dark_ and blue _light_: _e.g._ the Bird
is red, the Lion and the Fish are blue. The fifth Line-finishing is
a red filigree with blue “berries”—it can hardly be described as
a “floral growth,” as the “branching” is reversed: the rubricator
gained speed and uniformity by the simple repetition of the
whorls all along the line—the upper branches were probably put in
afterwards, and the “berries” were added later when he was making the
_blue_ Line-finishings.

The more complex decoration (not shown in the plate) in this MS. is
inferior to the penmanship: the small _background_ Capitals with
which the verses begin—presumably put in by a different hand—are more
pretentious, and do not match the Line-finishings.

_General Note._—When a space occurs at the end of a line of writing,
it is often best to leave it, and in a plain MS., if it be “well and
truly” written, there is no objection to varying lengths of line
(see pp. 263, 371). But a book, such as a _Psalter_, divided into
many short verses—in which the last line usually falls short of
the marginal [p426] line—offers a fair field for such simple and
effective decoration. (See also pp. 428, 486, fig. 130, and Plate

 _PLATE XV.—English Writing and Illumination, circa 1284 ‹A.D.›
 (Psalter). Brit. Museum, Addl. MS. 24686._

THE WRITING is a fine, freely formed, “Gothic” (p. 331). Note, the
i’s are “dotted.” Note the double MARGINAL LINES (p. 343).

THE SMALL INITIALS are of the “Lombardic” type (p. 210), in which the
Serifs are much thickened and ornamented. Note the tails of the Q’s
are turned to the left to clear the writing. The LINE-FILLINGS match
the small initials (p. 193).

THE LARGE INITIAL, &c.—The plate shows the end of the fourteenth
and beginning of the fifteenth Psalm (@omine quis habitabit). Note
“_Arabic_” numerals (15) in margin.

The tail of the Initial @ is formed of a dragon, the head of which
rests on the O-part: its wings project into the inner margin (and
these in the plate, which shows a fragment of a _verso_ page, run
into the fold between the pages): the tail (together with the
background) descends till a convenient point is reached from which
the lower scroll-work springs. The tail, wing, and claws above,
belong to a magpie which is perched on the initial.

 THE DRAWING: see reference to this at p. 203, and below.

Sir Edward Maunde Thompson (p. 39, “English Illuminated MSS.”) says
of this—

 “—the Additional MS. 24686 in the British Museum, known as the
 Tenison Psalter, from its having once formed part of the library
 of Archbishop Tenison. This psalter is one of the most beautiful
 illuminated English manuscripts of its time, but unfortunately
 only in part, for it was not finished in the perfect [p427] style
 in which it was begun . . . in the first quire of the text the
 ornamentation is of peculiar beauty. . . .”^*

 “—the progress of the art [since the earlier part of the thirteenth
 century] . . . is . . . manifest. There is more freedom in the
 drawing, the stiffness of the earlier examples is in great measure
 overcome; and the pendant has thrown out a branch which has already
 put forth leaves. A great variety of colours, blue, rose, vermilion,
 lake, green, brown, as well as burnished gold, is employed in the
 composition of the large initial and its accompanying pendant and
 border, and the small initials are of gold laid on a ground of blue
 or lake, and filled with lake or blue; while the ribbons which fill
 up the spaces at the ends of the verses are alternately of the same
 colours and are decorated with patterns in silver on the blue and in
 gold on the lake.”

 “The group of the dismounted knight despatching^† a gryphon, which
 has proved too much for the horse, upon whose dying body the
 expectant raven has already perched, is tinted in lighter colours.
 It is an instance of the use to which marginal space was put,
 particularly by English artists, for the introduction of little
 scenes, such as episodes in romances or stories, games, grotesque
 combats, social scenes, &c., often drawn with a light free hand and
 most artistic touch. Without these little sketches, much of the
 manners and customs, dress, and daily life of our ancestors would
 have remained for ever unknown to us.”

* It is supposed that the book was at first intended as a marriage
gift for Alphonso, son of Edward I.

† The characteristic _over and under_ arrangement of the gryphon’s
upper and lower bill, makes this doubtful.

 _PLATE XVI.—Italian Fourteenth-century MS., Brit. Mus., Addl. MS.

THE VOLUME: one of two (the other numbered 27695), a _Latin_ treatise
on the Virtues and Vices (The miniatures, drawings, &c., probably by
“the Monk of Hyères,” Genoa). The vellum leaves have been separated,
and are now preserved in paper books. The leaf illustrated shows a
margin of vellum of less than 3/16 inch all round (the plate).

The decorative borders are much more naturalistic in [p428] form
and colouring than any other old illumination that I have seen (see
reference to Plate XVI., p. 203).

The foliage is a delicate green, the berries are dark purple, the
single fruits plain and pale orange-red; the two beetles in _crimson_
and _brown_ are made darker and too prominent in the photograph. The
bands of small “Lombardic” Capitals are in burnished gold.

Note how skilfully and naturally the upper corners of the border are
managed, and also the beautiful way in which the branches run into
and among the text (see p. 213).

 _PLATE XVII.—French Fifteenth-century Writing, with Illuminated
 Borders. Ex libris E. Johnston._

THE PAGE 9-1/2 inches by 6-1/8 inches: MARGINS, approx.: _Inner_
1-1/8 inch, _Head_ 1-3/8 inch, _Side_ 2-3/8 inches, _Foot_ 2-7/8
inches (the edges have been slightly cut down). The marginal lines
(from head to foot of the page) and the writing lines are RULED in
faint red.

THE WRITING is a late formal “Gothic”—the thin strokes have evidently
been added (p. 47). The written Capitals are blotted with yellow
(see p. 140). The ILLUMINATED INITIAL Q is in blue, white lined, on
a gold ground, contains a blue flower and five ornaments in “lake.”
The LINE-FILLINGS are in blue and “lake,” separated by a gold circle,
triangle, or lozenge.

THE FILIGREE ILLUMINATION springs from the initial in the narrow
margin, and from a _centre_ ornament (see “knot,” fig. 127) in
the wide side margin. The side margins are treated similarly on
either page (see p. 213); the inner margins are generally plain.
This repetition gives to the pages a certain sameness—which is a
_characteristic_ rather than a fault of the treatment.

The border on the _recto_ of the vellum leaf shows through on the
_verso_ or back of the leaf. The main lines of the first border,
however, are freely traced and [p429] followed on the _verso_ (and
so nearly hidden) by the second border. This is also suggestive of
the more rapid methods of book production in the 15th century.


   Stems, tendrils, &c.:

     ivy-shaped lanceolate:
     _burnished gold_, outlined black (p. 187).
     _plain. furred._

   Flowers, buds, centre ornaments, &c.: (See p. 182.)
     _blue_, “_lake_,” or _green_ tempered with white, and shaded
     with pure colour; white markings; the forms not outlined.

This type of illumination is discussed in pp. 197–202. Its chief
points are its simplicity and rapidity. A penman or a novice in
illuminating can, by taking a little pains, beautify his MSS. easily
and quickly; and he may perhaps pass on from this to “higher” types
of illumination.

 _PLATE XVIII.—Italian Fifteenth-century Writing and Illumination.
 (Perotti’s translation of Polybius). Ex libris H. Yates-Thompson._

THE VOLUME consists of 174 leaves (13-1/8 inches by 9 inches); 35
lines to the page. The plate shows a portion of the upper part of the
Initial (_recto_) page.

THE WRITING.—The Capitals are simple-written, slanted-pen
“Roman”—slightly ornamental—forms. They are freely copied on a
large scale in fig. 168: see p. 297. The Small-letters match the
Capitals—they are “Roman” forms with a slight “Gothic” tendency. Both
these and the Capitals would make very good models for free Roman

THE INITIAL is a “Roman” A in burnished gold. Note the exceedingly
graceful shaping of the limbs, the ornamental, V-shaped cross-bar,
and the absence of serifs (see fig. 116). [p430]

The “_White Vine Pattern_” (see p. 202), most delicately and
beautifully drawn, interlaces with the letter and itself, and covers
the BACKGROUND very evenly. The interstices of the background are
painted in blue, red, and green, and its edge is adapted to the
slightly projecting flowers and leaves. There are groups (@ and …) of
white dots on the blue parts of the background.

THE BORDER (of which a small part is shown) is approximately 1/2 inch
wide in the narrow margin at the side of the text—it is separate from
the Initial. It extends above and below the text, where its depth is
greater, matching the greater depth of the margins. Its treatment is
similar to, though perhaps a little simpler than, that of the Initial

 _PLATE XIX.—Italian MS., dated 1481. Ex libris S. C. Cockerell._

“Part of a [verso] page from a book containing the Psalter of St.
Jerome and various Prayers, written and decorated by Joachinus de
Gigantibus of Rotenberg in 1481 for Pope Sixtus IV. Joachinus was
employed at Naples by Ferdinand I., and there are other fine examples
of his work at the British Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale,
Paris. In each of these, as well as in the present book, he states
that he was both scribe and illuminator.”—[S. C. C.]

THE VOLUME contains 31 leaves (6-1/2 inches by 4-3/4 inches):
MARGINS, approx.: _Inner_ 7/8 inch, _Head_ 7/8 inch, _Side_ 1-1/2
inch, _Foot_ 1-3/4 inch. (The head margin, together with the edge of
the book-cover, is shown in the plate.)

THE WRITING.—Very clear, slightly slanted-pen “Roman.” Note the
blending of «b» and «p» with «e» and «o» (see fig. 76, & p. 77). The
CAPITALS are quite simple and plain, made (in _(A)NIMA CHRISTI_ and
in text) in black with the text pen. Note the long, waved serifs
(see p. 289). The last two lines of the preceding prayer are made in
burnished gold with a larger pen.

 [_Continued on p. 481_



  [Illustration: Plate I.—Portion of Inscription on base of Trajan
 Column, Rome, _circa_ 114 A.D. Scale approx. 1/9th linear. (_See
 also Plate II._)]

 [Illustration: Plate II.—Alphabet from Trajan Inscription (_Circa_
 114 A.D.) Scale approx. 1/6 linear. (_See also Plate I_). _Note.—L
 and O are shown sideways in the 2nd line._]

 [Illustration: Plate III.—Written Roman Capitals, Fourth or Fifth
 Century. (Virgil’s “Æneid”).]

 [Illustration: Plate IV.—Uncial Writing, probably Italian Sixth or
 Seventh Century. (Latin Gospels). Brit. Museum, Harl. MS. 1775.]

 [Illustration: Plate V.—Uncial Writing, probably Continental Seventh
 Century (Gospel of S. John). Ex Libris Stonyhurst College. (See also
 enlargement, fig. 169.)]

 [Illustration: Plate VI.—Half Uncial (Irish), Seventh Century, “Book
 of Kells” (Latin Gospels). Ex Libris Trinity College, Dublin.]

 [Illustration: Plate VII.—Half Uncial (English), _circa_ 700 A.D.
 “Durham Book” (Latin Gospels). Brit. Mus., Cotton MSS. Nero D. IV.]

 [Illustration: Plate VIII.—English Tenth-century Writing. (Psalter).
 Brit. Mus., Harl. MS. 2904. (See enlargement fig. 172.)]

 [Illustration: Plate IX.—English Writing, dated 1018. Two portions
 of a Charter of CNUT. Brit. Museum. (See also enlargement, fig.

 [Illustration: Plate X.—Italian (first half of) Twelfth-century
 Writing. (Homilies and Lessons). Brit. Mus., Harl. MS. 7183. (See
 also enlargement, fig. 174).]

 [Illustration: Plate XI.—English (late) Twelfth-century Writing,
 with flourished Capitals. (Breviary). Brit. Mus., Royal MS. 2.

 [Illustration: Plate XII.—Illuminated Initial in a Flemish MS. A.D.
 1148 (Latin Bible). Brit. Museum, Addl. MS. 14790.]

 [Illustration: Plate XIII.—English (2nd half) Thirteenth-century
 Writing and Illumination (Latin Bible). Ex. Libris S. C.

 [Illustration: Plate XIV.—Thirteenth-century Line-finishings:
 Penwork. (Psalter). Brit. Museum, Royal MS. 1, D.X.]

 [Illustration: Plate XV.—English Writing and Illumination, _circa_
 1284 A.D. (Psalter). Brit. Museum, Addl. MS. 24686.]

 [Illustration: Plate XVI.—Italian Fourteenth-century MS., Brit.
 Mus., Addl. MS. 28841.]

 [Illustration: Plate XVII.—French Fifteenth-century Writing, with
 Illuminated Borders. Ex. Libris E. Johnston.]

 [Illustration: Plate XVIII.—Italian Fifteenth-century Writing and
 Illumination (Perotti’s translation of Polybius). Ex libris H.

 [Illustration: Plate XIX.—Italian MS. dated 1481. Ex libris S. C.

 [Illustration: Plate XX.—One page of an Italian (late)
 Fifteenth-century MS. Ex. libris S. C. Cockerell.]

 [Illustration: Plate XXI.—Italian (early) Sixteenth-century
 “cursive” or “Italic” MS. Ex. libris S. C. Cockerell. (See
 enlargement, fig. 178.)]

 [Illustration: Plate XXII.—“Communion Service” written and
 illuminated by E. Johnston, 1902 A.D. (“Office Book,” Holy Trinity
 Church, Hastings). Reduced (nearly 3/4 scale).]

 [Illustration: Plate XXIII.—The story of Aucassin and Nicolette,
 written and illuminated by W. H. Cowlishaw, 1898 A.D.]

 [Illustration: Plate XXIV.—Inscription cut in Stone by A. E. R.
 Gill, 1903 A.D. Reduced (3/16 scale). _Note._—To view these incised
 letters have the light on the left of the plate (_or cover with thin
 tissue paper_).]


THE INITIAL A, its frame, the frame of the border, and the “furred”
_berries_ (@) are all in burnished gold, outlined black. The “white
vine pattern” is rather simpler, and has a rather thicker stalk
(in proportion) than that in the previous plate (see above). Its
treatment is very similar, but it may be noted that the border is
in this case attached to the Initial, and the pattern has almost
an appearance of springing from the Initial. The pattern—save
one escaped leaf—is straitly confined, by gold bars, throughout
the length of the text, but at the ends it is branched out and
beautifully flourished in the free margins above and below. These
terminals of the pattern having a broad blue outline (dotted white)
may be said to carry their background with them.

The (recto) page opposite that shown in the plate has an initial
D and a border similarly treated, and each one of the Psalms and
Prayers throughout the book is begun in like manner.

 _PLATE XX.—One page of an Italian (late) Fifteenth-century MS. Ex
 libris S. C. Cockerell._

“From a book containing the Penitential Psalms in Italian, the
Psalter of St. Jerome, and various prayers. Written with great
delicacy by Mark of Vicenza for some one named Evangelista [see 11th
line] in the last quarter of the fifteenth century. Other works of
this accomplished scribe are known.”—[S. C. C.]

THE VOLUME—of which a complete (recto) page is shown—contains 60
leaves (5-1/2 inches by 3-3/4 inches): MARGINS, approx.: _Inner_ 1/2
inch, _Head_ 7/8 inch, _Side_ 1-3/16 inch, _Foot_ 1-13/16 inch.

This very fine WRITING is typical of the practical style and
beautiful workmanship which should be the aim of a modern scribe (see
pp. 47, 310).

It is written with a very narrow nib, hence the pen-forms [p482] are
not so obvious as in some early formal hands; and for this reason
alone it would be better to practise such a hand as the tenth-century
MS. (Plate VIII.) before seriously attempting to model a hand on the
above (see pp. 416, 311, 324).

The use of a fine pen is apt to flatter the unskilled penman, and he
finds it hard to distinguish between delicate pen-work which has much
character, and that which has little or none. And he will find, after
some knowledge of penmanship gained in practice with a broad nib,
that the copying of this fine Italian writing—while in reality made
much more feasible—may even _appear_ more difficult than before.

CONSTRUCTION.—The pen has a moderate slant—see thin stroke in «e».
The letters are very square, the tops flat (especially in «m», «n»,
and «r»), and the lower parts flat (as in «u»). This shows the same
tendency that there is in the tenth century and other hands _to avoid
thin or high arches in the letters_.

The feet in some of the letters (in «i», for example) are in the
nature of stroke-serifs, but the pen probably made these with an
almost continuous movement—from the stem.

 _Note_—the fine form of the «a»;

   that «b» and «l» have an angle where the stem joins the
   lower part;

   that «f» was made something like «t», and the upper
   part was added: this was a common mode—see fig. 180 (the
   «f» shown in plate is unfortunately not a good specimen);

   that «g»—a very graceful letter—lacks the coupling serif;

   that «i», «p», «u» have _triangular heads_, and
   «m», «n», «r» _hooks_;

   that the _ascenders_ have triangular heads, and the _descenders_
   «p» and «q», stroke-serifs;

   that the ascending and descending stems are longer than the
   bodies, and the writing is in consequence fairly widely spaced.

Like most of the finest writings, this bears evidences of considerable
speed (see pp. 84, 311). Besides the great uniformity of the letters,
the _coupling strokes_ are occasionally carried over the succeeding
stroke, the _arches_ of «b», «h», «m», «n», «p», «r» (and the _heads_
of the ascenders) frequently are separated from the stems, and the
«o» and «b» occasionally fail to join below. These broken forms are
the _results of speed_, and are not to be imitated except as to that
which is both a cause and a result—their _uniformity_ (p. 254).

The RULING is in faint ink: there are _two_ vertical marginal lines
on the left and _one_ on the right of every page.

The DECORATION of the MS. is very simple. The Initial (here shown) is
in green and powder-gold, on a lake ground, with white pattern: there
is a very fine brownish outline, probably drawn first. The two upper
lines of writing and ‖o[=r]ō are in red.

 _PLATE XXI.—Italian (early) Sixteenth-century “cursive” or “Italic”
 MS. Ex libris S. C. Cockerell._ (_See enlargement, fig. 178._)

“From the Poems of Cardinal Bembo, a fine example of the cursive
writing perfected in Italy in the first half of the sixteenth
century. The book measures 8-1/2 by 5-1/4 inches, and contains 79
leaves.”—[S. C. C.]

THE MARGINS of the page from which the plate is taken are
approximately: _Inner_ 5/8 inch, _Head_ 3/4 inch, _Side_ 2 inches,
_Foot_ 1-1/2 inch. _Note._—The lines of writing begin as usual at the
left margin, but do not extend to the (true) margin on the _right_,
hence the latter (the _side_ margin on the recto, and the _inner_
margin on the verso) would appear unnaturally wide, but the effect is
carried off by the (true) side margins being already exceptionally
wide (and by the writing on the backs of the leaves showing through
the semi-transparent vellum and so marking the true margins). [p484]

This mode is very suitable for a book of poems, in which the
lengths of the lines of writing may vary considerably, because the
_writing-line_ being longer than the _ordinary_ line of writing
allows room for extraordinarily long lines, and any appearance of
irregularity is carried off by the extra wide side margins.

THE WRITING is very beautiful, clear, and rapid—made with a “slanted
pen” (see “Italics,” p. 311, and fig. 178). Note the _slightness_ of
the slope of the letters (especially of the Capitals), and the length
of the stems and the wide spacing.

Note, also, the flatness of the curves in _a c d e g o q_ and the
horizontal top stroke in _a d g q_, oblique in _e c_ (giving angular
tops). The branching away from the stem of the first part of the
arch in _b h m n p r_ (seen also reversed in _a d g q u_), and the
pointed, almost angular, quality of the _arch_. This, which is apt
to become a fault in a more formal upright hand (see note on Plate
XXII.) is helpful in a more rapid running hand, and gives _clearance_
to the junctions of the strokes (@ @)—see fig. 182.

The _heads_, simple or built-up, _hooks_ tending to become triangular.

The letters in this MS. are rarely coupled.

The very graceful _g_ has a large pear-shaped lower loop touching the
upper part.

 _PLATE XXII.—“Communion Service” written and illuminated by
 E. Johnston, 1902 ‹A.D.› (“Office Book,” Holy Trinity Church,
 Hastings). Reduced (nearly 3/4 scale)._

The MS. on 160 leaves (15 inches by 10 inches) of fine parchment
(“Roman Vellum,” see p. 173), contains the Communion Service and many
collects, epistles, and gospels for special festivals, &c. MARGINS:
_Inner_ 1-1/8 inch, _Head_ 1-3/4 inch, _Side_ 2-3/4 inches, _Foot_
3-3/4 inches. [p485]

THE WRITING—after tenth century model (see Plate VIII.)—has the fault
(referred to at p. 421) of showing too much _thin_ line (running up
obliquely), the upper and lower parts of the letters are not flat
enough. The tail of the «g» is inadequate, and the lines of writing
are too near together. The writing is readable, however, and fairly
regular. The CAPITALS are Uncials (after Plate V.) and occasional

The RUBRIC (“¶ _Then shall be said or sung_”) is in red, fitted in
beside the round initial and marking the top left-hand corner of the
page (see _footnote_, p. 211).

The word “GLORY” (and decoration)—and also the F and T, showing in
recto page—are in raised burnished gold, which, it will be seen, has
cracked considerably in the G (see p. 164).

The STAVES are in red (p. 140), the _notes_ above GLORY in raised
_gold_, those in the lower stave, _black_.

The BOOK was of a special nature (see pp. 344–5), being intended for
use in a certain church and on certain special festivals: hence a
considerable degree of ornament and a generally decorative treatment
was permitted (p. 330). The Prayer of Consecration, together with a
miniature, occupied a complete _opening_, the eight margins of which
were filled with solid, framing borders (p. 213) in red, blue, green,
and gold. Coats-of-arms and other special symbols and devices were
introduced on the Title page and in other places.

 _PLATE XXIII.—The Story of Aucassin and Nicolette, written and
 illuminated by W. H. Cowlishaw, 1898 ‹A.D.›_

THE VOLUME consists of 50 + leaves of “Roman Vellum” (7-1/2 inches by
5-1/2 inches).

MARGINS, approx.: _Inner_ 3/4 inch, _Head_ 15/16 inch, _Side_ 1-3/8
inch, _Foot_ 2 inches.

THE WRITING, very legible, rather “Gothic-Roman.” [p486]

THE CAPITALS are illuminated throughout the text in _gold_ on blue
and red grounds. The backgrounds are square, with edges pointed or
indented, outlined _black_, and lined inside _white_. The INITIAL
«n» is in gold on blue: the moon and stars are in white and gold and

THE LINE-FINISHINGS, mostly in black pen-work, consist of little
groups (sometimes of sprays) of flowers, &c. Sprays from the border
separate the “Song” from the “Tale.”

THE MUSIC.—_Staves_ black; _Clefs_, gold; _Notes_, red.

THE BORDERS (in the opening from which the plate is taken) frame
the text on both pages—nearly filling the margins (see p. 213): the
side and foot edges of the (verso) page are shown in the plate. The
main pattern is a wild rose, flowers and all, outlined with a rather
broad blue line: the stalks and leaves (lined white) are apple-green,
the flowers are _painted_ white with raised gold hearts, the thorns
are red. Through the wild rose is twined _honeysuckle and woody
nightshade_: stalks—(_h_) red, (_wn_) black; and flowers—(_h_) red
with yellow spots, (_wn_) purplish red with gold centres.

The whole effect is very brilliant and charming. The freedom and
naturalness of the “design” remind one of a country hedgerow (p.
213), and show that vital beauty which is the essence of true

 _PLATE XXIV.—Inscription cut in Stone by A. E. R. Gill, 1903 ‹A.D.›
 Reduced (3/16 scale). ‹Note.›—To view these incised letters have
 light on the left of plate (or cover with thin tissue-paper)._

The STONE—a slab of “Hopton Wood” (p. 395), 30 inches by 18 inches by
2 inches, is intended to go over a lintel. It has a simple moulding.
Note how the INSCRIPTION occupies the space (pp. 352, 394): the
LETTERS have approximately the same _apparent weight_ (p. 328)—the
large stems are more than twice the _height_ of the small; they are
only 1/3 _wider_. [p487]

Note the strongly marked and elegantly curved serifs; the
straight-tailed R; the I drawn out (marking the word IN); the
_beaked_ A, M, and N; the Capital form of «U».

The letters DEO would be rather wide for ordinary use (p. 270), but
as _special_ letters, occupying a wide space,^* are permissible.

Even in the collotype, I think this inscription shows to what a high
level modern inscription cutting might be raised by the use of good
models and right and simple methods.

* Letters in early inscriptions separated as these are indicated
_each_ a word (contracted), as S. P. Q. R. (_Senatus Populus Que



 A, 189, 271, 274, 280, 410–11

 A, Ancient & Modern, 195–196

 Abbott, Rev. Dr. T. K., 413

 Accidental words, 259, 384

 Acquiring a Formal Hand:
   (1) Tools, 48
   (2) Methods, 61
   (3) Models, 70
   (4) Practice, 85

 Addenda & Corrigenda, 23

 Addresses, Illuminated, 353

 Advertisements, &c., 340, 352, 389

 Alabaster & Marbles, 395

 Alcuin of York, 41

 Aldus, 311, 373

 Alphabet, derivation of the, 36

 Alphabets, useful kinds of, 267, 377, 390

 Aluminium leaf, 165

 Amperzand (&), 361, 416

 (Amperzand; _Examples._—Figs. 50, 79, 148, 172, 173, 208 & Plates)

 Analysis of Versals, 115

 Analysis of Writing, 72

 Ancaster (stone), 393, 395

 Angles in Writing, 43, 46, 118, 253, 416

 Anglo-Saxon writing, 326

 Annotations, &c., 144, 315, 317, 344

 “Arabic Numerals,” 82, 426

 _Arms_ or _branches_, 120 (v. _Letters_)

 Arrangement of Lettering, 88, 122, 239, 255–268, 389

 “_Ascenders_” and _Ascending strokes_, 79, 97, 119, 300, 314

 _Asiso_ (gesso), 166

 _Azzuro della magna_, 179

 B, 189, 272, 273, 275–279, 280, 410–11

 Backgrounds, 184, 186, 188–193, 211–213

 Bands of lettering, 123, 136, 267

 “Barbaric” illumination, 194

 “Basket work,” 208, 209

 Bath (stone), 395

 Beauty, 237–240, (12)

 Beauty of Arrangement, 255

 Beauty of Form, 252

 Beauty of Uniformity, 254

 Bibliography, &c., 385

 Binding books, 346, 103, 106, 110, 111, 171, 185, 197

 Black and Gold, 185, 202

 Black and Red, 127, 328

 “Black letter,” 118, 141, 263, 331, 364

 Black outlines, 182, 188, 212

 Blake, William, (_footnote_) 343

 “Block letter,” 384, 390

 Blue, 176–180, 181, 182

 Book-hands, 36

 Book Marks, 142

 Books, binding, 346, 103, 106, 110, 111, 171, 185, 197

 Books, Manuscript, 98, 341, &c.

 Books, size and shape of, 100–101

 Books, size of writing in, 101, 107

 Book typography, foundations of, 13, 98

 Borders, Illuminated, 98, 198–203, 211, 214, 427–430

 Borders, penwork, 25

 Bows & Curves, 121

 Brasses, 237, 340, 375

 Brazil-Wood, 175

 British Museum, MSS. in, 386, 409, &c.

 _Broadsides_, 338, 350

 Brushes, 172

 Brush-made (painted) letters, 376, 280, (118), 292, 384

 Bubbles, in size, 148

 “Built-up” letters, 291, 118–119, 254, 289, 331

 Burnished gold, 160, 184 (see also _Gold_)

 Burnisher, the, 158, 166, 171

 Burnishing slab, 146, 153

 C, 270, 281, 410–11

 Cake colours, 175

 Calligraphy, 14, 368

 Cane, or Reed pens, 52

 Capitals (see also _Letters_)

 Capitals, arrangement of, 256, 258;
   (in Lines, Headings & Pages) 125–126, 128–136, 299, 422

 Capitals, coloured, 113, 118, 122, 123, 134, 185

 Capitals & _Small letters_, 40, 112, 122, 302

 Capitals, severe type of, 294

 Capitals, _simple-written_, 123, 297, 302

 Capitals, sizes of, 108, 119, 122

 Carbonate of Copper (blue), 179

 Caroline (or Carlovingian) Writing, 41–43, 45, 305

 Caslon, William, 373, (26)

 Cennino Cennini, 165, 184, 386

 Chalk, 395, 402

 Chapters, beginnings of, 125, (_footnote_ 1) 342, (2) 343

 Character, 237–240, 323

 “_Characteristic Parts_,” 247, 252, 280

 Characterization of letters, 278

 Charlemagne, 41

 Charter hands, 417

 Chequers, 191, 197, 215–217

 Chinese printing, 372

 Chinese Vermilion, 178

 Chinese White, 180

 Chisel-made letters, 36, 196, 278, 280, 292, 375, 391, 396, 410

 Chisel-shape of nib, 57, 63

 Chiswick Press, the, 374

 _Chronograms_, 363

 Church Services, &c., 140, 345, 387, 484

 Close spacing, 262–267

 CNUT, charter of, 416

 Cobden-Sanderson, T. J., (13), 368, 387

 Cockerell, Douglas, 171, (on limp vellum bindings) 346, 387

 Cockerell, S. C., 423, 430–483

 Collotype plates, the, 407, 431

 _Colophons_, 142, 342

 Coloured “Inks,” 172, 322

 Coloured Letters (_see Capitals, & Contrasts_)

 Colour, cake & powder, 175

 Colour, pan & tube, 176

 Colour, preparations, 175–180

 Colour, for Penwork, 176

 Colour, proportions of, 182

 Colour, Repetition & Limitation of, 181

 Colours, Tints few & constant, 177

 Colours, Use of, 195, 202, 203, 216, 422, 424, (389)

 Colour-work Illumination, 17, 194

 Columns, double, 104, 134, 136, 370

 _Commonplace_, the, 268

 Complex and simple forms, 195

 Construction of writings, 73, 83–85, 118, 292, 311
   (see also _the Notes on the Collotypes_)

 Continental Writing, 41, 413

 Contrasts, Decorative, 327, 363

 Contrasts, Decorative, of Colour, 327, 336

 Contrasts, Decorative, of Form, 330, 336, 352

 Contrasts, Decorative, of Red & Black, 144

 “Conventionalism,” 220

 “Copy book” hands, 304, 305

 Copying a hand, 71, 82, 311, 323

 Copying early work, 83, 114, 195, 323, 414–417, 422–424, 482

 Correcting mistakes, 174, 344

 Countercharging, 188, 216, 424

 Coupling-strokes, joining letters, 73

 Cowlishaw, W. H., 485

 _Cursive_ Writing, 37, 317, 483

 Cutting sheets, 99

 Cutting-slab, 61

 Cutting the Pen, 52–60

 “Cyphers” & Monograms, 361

 D, 270, 281, 410–11

 “_Deckle_” edge, 111

 Decoration of Print, 194, 364, 371, 374

 Decorative Contrasts, 327, 363

 Decorative use of Red, 144

 “_Descenders_,” and _Descending strokes_, 79, 97, 300, 314

 “Design,” Decorative, 177, (183), 201, 210, 214–222

 “Design” in illumination, 214

 Designing in type, 365, 371

 Desk, the, 49

 Desk, Position of, 61

 Desk, Writing level on, 62

 Desk, Different slopes of, 68

 Desk, Slope _for colour_, 118

 Development of g, 325

 Development of illumination, 16, 127, 204, 409

 Development of illuminated initial, 48, 114, 205, 423

 Development of Versals, 112

 Development of Writing, the, 35, 409, & _Author’s Preface_

 Devices in Letters, 362

 Diaper patterns, 192, 215–217

 “Display types,” 352

 Distinct lines of writing, 326

 Distinctiveness, 221, 247, 256

 Divisions of the text, 123, 138, 256

 Dividing Words, 258, 385

 Dots, groups of, 188, 213

 Drawing, 165, 203, 220, 227

 Drawing letters, 118, 126, 146, 292, 293

 “Durham Book,” 41, 71, 215, 415

 E, 272, 273, 281, 410–11

 Edges of Books, rough, or smooth and gilt, 111

 Egg, white of, 163, 165, 166, 175, 179, 183

 Egg, yolk of, 175, 179, 180

 Egypt, Hieratic writing of, 36

 Eleventh Century Writing, 46, 47, 305, 416

 Elzevirs, the, 373

 English Half-Uncials, 40

 English, Writing, 40, 46, 47, 303, 305, (335), 415–417, 419, 423, 426

 English, modern, writing in, 300, 326, 484, 485

 Engraving, Metal, 365, 375

 “_Essential Forms_,” 240, 275

 Even Spacing, 265, 219

 “Expression,” 240

 F, 272, 274, 282, 410–11

 “Face,” of type, 373, (26)

 Fifteenth Century Writing, 46, 47, (326), 331, 428–483

 “Filigree” Illumination, 197, 428

 Filling the Pen, 51, 69

 “Fine Writing” and “Massed Writing,” 260, 265, 299

 Fine Pen Writing, 59, 86, 311, 324, 482, 26

 Firth, C. M., 179

 Flemish MS., 421

 Floral Ornaments & Decoration, 182, 187, 191, 192, 198–203, 219

 Fly-leaves, 111, 346

 “Folder,” 64, 99, 348

 Folding sheets for books, 99, 101–103, 111

 _Folio_, 102

 _Foot margin_, 106, 352, &c.

 Formal Hand, acquiring a—
   (1) Tools, 48
   (2) Methods, 61
   (3) Models, 70
   (4) Practice, 85

 Formal Writing, 36, 317, 323

 Formal Writing, Modern, 71, 86, 114, 310, 315, 323, 414–417, 481

 Foundation Stones, 393

 Fourteenth Century Writing, 46, (114), 423, (427)

 Framed parchments, 356

 Framing borders, 25, 213, 371

 Freedom, 122, 126, 239, 258, 264, 324, 327, 342, 369, 21

 “French chalk,” 167, 174

 French Writing, 41, 305, 428

 Froben, (_footnote_) 365, 373

 G, 270, 282, 410–11

 g, Development of, 325

 “Geometrical” patterns, 205

 _Gesso Sottile_, 166

 Gilding (see _Gold_)

 Gill, A. E. R., 383, 486, (on Inscriptions in Stone) 389

 Gilt edges, 111

 Gold-leaf, 151, 165, 169

 Gold-leaf, Laying & Burnishing, 145–171, 184

 “Gold Ink,” 165

 Gold letters, 148, 166, 168, 186, 188, 299, 416, (405)

 Gold powder, “paint,” or matt gold, 163, 183, 187

 Gold, spots, bars, frames, 183

 Gold, use of, 183–193
   (see also _Other Colour Schemes_, 127–145)

 Gold Writing, 164, 299

 “Golden Psalter,” the, 218

 “_Gothic lettering_,” 46, 118, 282, 331, 336, 373

 Greek Writing, 36, 320

 Green, 176–178, 181, 182, (202)

 Gum arabic, 147, 175

 Gutenberg, 372

 H, 271, 273, 282, 411

 Half-Uncials, 37, 40, 71, 238, 302, 413–415

 Ham-Hill (stone), 393, 395

 Hand-made paper, 111, 51

 Handwriting, ordinary, 14, 15, 77, 280, 315, 323, 374

 Headings in Capitals and Colour, 125, 132, 134, 297, (_footnote_ 2)
   343, 353

 _Heads, feet, serifs_, 84, 244, 311, 414, 416, 418, 482

 Heraldry, 216, 360, 361, 336

 Herbal, A, 221, 369

 Herringham, Christiana J., 165, 386

 Hewitt, Graily, 386, (Appendix: On Gilding) 167

 _Historiated_ Initial, 423

 Holding the Pen, 64–68

 Holding the Horizontal shaft, 61, 67

 Hollow letters, 119, 208

 Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, Office Book, 484

 _Hooks_, or _beaks_, 244, 280, 289

 Hoptonwood (Stone), 395, 486

 Horizontal thin strokes, 65, 66, 72, 73, (_footnote_) 304

 Hübner’s _Exempla_, 378–380, 388

 I, 189, 283

 I for J., use of, 283

 Illuminated Addresses, 353

 Illuminated borders, 199, 211, 214

 Illuminated Initials, 214
   (see _Initial_, also _Collotype Notes_)

 Illumination, 14, 486, 98

 Illumination, a definition of, 193, 194

 Illumination, a theory of, 193

 Illumination, heavy, 263

 Illumination, origin & development of, 48, 127, 204, 409, 16

 Illumination, tools for, 172

 Illustrations in MS. books, 13, 14, 221, (374)

 Incised Letters, 377–384, 403–405, 392

 _Indented_ (set in) lines, 113, 264

 Initial, illuminated, development of, 48, 114, (134), 205, 330, 333,

 Initials, round or square, 210

 _Initial Pages, &c._, 112, 128, 365

 Initial word (‹IN›), 128

 Inks, 51, 70
   (see also _Coloured_ “inks” and _Gold_)

 _Inner margin_, 106

 Inscription, modern, 487

 Inscriptions, size & arrangement of, 88, 265, 351, 392

 Inscriptions in stone, 389

 Inscriptions on metal, stone, wood, &c., 375, 377, 264

 “_Inside Shapes_,” 253, 281 (C)

 Irish Half-Uncials, 40

 Irish Writing, 34, 40, 302, 413-(415)

 Italian Writing, 47, 305, 312, 317, 412, 417–419, 429–484

 Italics, 311, 48, 130, 263

 Italic Capitals, 315

 “Italic” Writing, 138, 483

 J, 283, 411

 Joachinus de Gigantibus, 430

 Jonah & fish, 195, 421

 K, 273, 284, 401, 411

 Ketton (stone), 395

 Kells, Book of, 413, 40

 Kelmscott Press, the, 364

 Knife for pen cutting, 60

 L, 273, 284, 410–11

 Lamb’s skin, 167, 173–74

 _Lapis Lazuli_, 178

 Learning to Write, 48

 Legibility, 86, 390 (see _Readableness_)

 Lettering, arrangement of, 88, 122, 239, 255–268, 389

 Lettering, construction & arrangement of, 237, 17–19

 Lettering, contrasts of size, weight, &c., 327–328, 353

 Lettering, divers uses of, 337

 Lettering for Reproduction, 365

 Letters in Bands, 123, 136, 267

 Letters, Brush-made, (118), 292, 376

 Letters, “Built-up,” 291, 254, 289, 331, 118–119

 Letters, Characterization of, 278

 Letters, Characterization of, “Arms & Branches,” 281 (C), 288, 331

 Letters, Characterization of, Stems, 288 (drawn out), 282, 324, 331

 Letters, Characterization of, Bows & Curves, 288

 Letters, Characterization of, Serifs, 288

 Letters, Characterization of, Tails, 289, 251, 331

 Letters, drawn, 292–93, 146, 118

 Letters, gold (see _Gold_)

 Letters, “Hollow,” 119, 208, 333

 Letters, incised & raised, 377–384, 403

 Letters in inscriptions, size of, 351, 393

 Letters, “Lombardic,” 119

 Letters, monogrammatic, 260

 Letters in outline, (294), 378–380

 Letters, round (see _Round or Square types_)

 Letters, Upper & Lower Parts, 273

 Letters, Varied types of, 114, 119, 209, 377;
   (on one page), 352

 Letters, Wide & narrow, 270, 278

 “_Library gilt_,” 111

 Lighting, 62

 Limitation in decoration, 177, 181, 198, 215, 220, 352

 “Limner’s” Illumination, 202

 _Line-Finishings_, 205, 123, 134, 193, 263, 425, 486

 Lines of Writing, 262, 326, 343

 Lines, red, 144

 Line-spaces in text, 123, 138, 256

 Linked letters, 260, 361

 “Lombardic” Capitals, 119, 210

 Loumyer, G., 147

 M, 271, 284, 410–11

 Magnifying glass, use of, 57, 61, 84

 _Majuscules_, (_footnote_) 300

 Marbles & Alabasters, 395

 Marginal lines, 109, 111, 136, 343

 Margin, the Foot, 352, (106)

 Margins, proportions of, 256, 89, 94, 95, 97, 103, 265, 394

 Margins, wide, 89, 103, 213, 222, 265, 299, 317, 351, 483

 “Massed writing,” 79, 260

 Matt gold, 183, 187

 Methods and Proportions, 100, 221, 256, 267

 Middle Ages, the, 196

 Miniatures, 98, 127, 165, 203, 220

 _Minuscule_, 37, 302

 Models of lettering, 70, 114, 237

 Modern Handwriting, 315–323
   (see also _Formal Writing & Handwriting, Ordinary_)

 Monograms & Devices, 361, 260

 Morris, William, 368, 386-7

 MS. Books, 98, 256, 341

 Music with red staves, 140, 345

 N, 271, 285, 410–11

 Narrow letters, 269–273, 278

 “Natural” illumination, 202

 Nib (see _Pen_)

 Notes in red, &c., 130, 144

 Numbering pages, 110, 142, 144, 342

 Numerals, “Arabic,” 82

 O, 270, 285, 411

 “_Oblong_” shaped book, 103

 Obsolete letters, &c., 86, 323

 _Octavo_, 102

 _Openings_, 101, 106, 213, 365

 “Originality,” 268, 20

 Ornament of backgrounds, 191

 Ornament of backgrounds, use of, 123, 222, 254, 330

 Ornament, “woven,” 208

 Ornaments (see also _Design & Decoration_)

 Ornamental Letters, 330, 48, 114, 208, 276, 298, 364, 25

 Outlines, 186, &c.

 Outlines, in black, 182

 Oxgall, 175

 P, 273–274, 285, 411

 Page, proportions of a, 317

 Pages in Capitals, 125, 128, 132, 299, 363–365

 Pages, thickness of, 99

 Painted (brush-made) letters, 376, 280, (118), 292, 384

 Palæographical Society’s Publications, The, 388, 412, 413

 Pan colours, 176

 Paper, hand-made, 51, 111

 Paper Sheets, sizes of, 103

 Paragraphs & Paragraph marks, 112, 113, 123, 141, 144

 Parchment & “Vellum,” 173, 38, 107, 110, 167

 Parchment, framing of, 356

 Patterns, elementary, 215, 205

 Patterns, indented in gold, 191

 Pens, for colour, 172, 180

 Pens, metal, 60 (_footnote_, 20)

 Pens, Quill, 52, 54, 59, 172, 20 23

 Pens, Reed or Cane, 51, 52, 63, 84

 Pen, cutting the, 52–60

 Pen, holding the, 64–68

 Pen, Nibs shape of, 56, 118

 Pen, Nibs, width of, 84, 118, 292, 324

 Pen, Pressure on, 63, 23

 Pen-knife, 60

 Pen-wiper, 61

 Pen-work illumination, 197

 Penmanship (or use of the pen), 35–38, 84–85, 118, 197, 198, 204,
   218, 238, 239, 241–247, 254, 262, 278, 291, 311, 317, 375, 414,
   418, & _Author’s Preface_

 Personality, 239, 323

 Phrasing, 384

 “Plain song,” 140

 Planning MS., Spacing, &c., 97, 100, 358
   (see also _Scribes’ Methods_)

 Planning sections & pages, 342

 Plaster of Paris, 166

 Platinum leaf, 165

 Poetry, long lines in, 95, 97, 138, 484

 Poetry, general treatment of, 95, 123, 138, 263, 337, 338, 371

 “Pointed” Writing, 40, 41

 _Pounce_, 145, 146, 167, 174

 Portland Stone, 395

 Powder Colours, 175

 Powder gold or “gold paint,” 146, 163, 170,
   (see _Matt Gold_, 183, 187)

 Practice (in _Lettering_), 21–22, 385

 Practice, acquiring a formal hand, 85, 327

 Practice & theory, 267

 Prayer Book, 345

 Prefaces in colour, &c., 130, 315

 “Primary Colour Sensations,” 182

 Printed books, Decoration of, 194, 369–372, 374

 Printers’ marks, 142

 Printers’ methods, 101, 113, 258, 264, 267, 363–374

 Printing, 367

 Proportion, 221, 251

 Proportions and Methods, 100, 221, 256, 267, 358

 Pumice, powdered, 146

 Punctuation marks, 82, 384

 Purple, 175, 177, 180

 Purple Vellum, 299

 Q, 270, 286, 411

 Qualities of good Writing, 239

 _Quarto_, 102

 Quill pens, 52, 54, 59, 172, 20, 23

 R, 272, 274, 286, 401, 411

 Raised Letters in stone, &c., 377, 384, 403

 Raising preparation (or “Size”), 145, 146, 166, 168

 Readableness, 237–240, 254, 259, 260, 264, 265

 _Recto_ (right-hand page), 105, 112, 181, 365

 Red (paint), 176–78, 181, 182

 Red & Black, 127, 328, 364, 372

 Red lines, 144

 Red writing, 130, 144, 194, 315, 328, 345

 Reed or Cane pens, 51, 52, 63, 84

 Renaissance, the, and writing, 47, 419

 Repetition in decoration, 181, 215, 185, & see _Limitation_

 “Rivers,” (_footnote_) 262

 Roman Alphabet, the, 36, 114, 268, 390

 Roman Capitals, 189, 210, 238, 294, 297, 299, 302, 377, 390–391,

 Roman Capitals, _Written_, 297, 302

 “Roman” characters, 118, 241, 263, 278

 _Roman Small Letters_, 310, 47

 Roman Uncials, 38

 “_Roman Vellum_,” 173

 Roman Writing, 36–40, 297, 412

 Rooke, Noel, 227, 5

 “Round” and “Square” letters, 269

 Round or Square types of D, E, H, M, U, &c., 40, 119, 132, 210, 282,

 Round, Upright, Formal Hands, 65, 302

 Roundness in Writing, 38, 44, 45, 47, 304, 414

 Rubricating, 127, 98, 130, 144, 180, 194, 344, 345, 372

 “_Rules_,” 144, 364

 Ruling, double, 88, 304, 414

 Ruling pages, &c., 89, 99, 108, 258, 299, 343

 Ruling stylus, 89, 100, 108, 110, 343

 _Rustic Capitals_, 38, 297

 Rustic Capital in Stone, 378

 Rye, Slate at, 363, 382

 S, 273, 274, 286, 411

 “St. Albans Psalter,” the, 419

 _Sandarach_ (resin), 174

 Scale for ruling, 99, 25

 Scalpel for pen-knife, 60

 Scribes’, methods, 65, 88, 101, 103, 113, 128, 130, 221, 258, 268

 _Scriptorium_, 4, 368

 Scroll work, 203

 “_Section_,” “_Gathering_”, (or “_Quire_”), 102, 110, 346

 Sections of Letters in stone, 405, 403

 Semi-formal Writing, 317

 Semi-Uncials, see _Half-Uncials_

 _Serifs_, 73, 84, 120, 241, 244–247, 288, 311, 314, 392

 Service Books, 140, 345, 387, 484

 _Set Inscriptions_, 350

 Setting out & spacing, 126, 128, 221, 258, 351, 384–5, 396

 Sgraffito, lettering in, 339

 Sharpening stones, 61, 399

 Sheets, cutting, folding & ruling, 99

 Sign Writing & Brush-Work, 376

 Silver leaf, 165, 299

 Simple and complex forms, 195, 323

 _Simple Written_ Capitals, 123, 297, 302

 _Simple-Written Letters_, 291

 Simplicity, 240, 255

 “Size” or Raising preparation, 145, 146, 166, 168

 Size & arrangement of inscriptions, 88, 265, 351, 392

 Size & Shape of book, 100–101

 Sizes of Capitals, 119, 122, 256

 Sizes of paper sheets, 103

 Skeleton forms, 240, 247, 275

 “Sketching,” 126, 218, 258, 292

 “_Slanted-Pen_” or _Tilted Writing_, 43, 73, 241, 247, 304, 310, 415

 Slate, 382, 395

 Sleight of hand, 23, 85, 311, 322

 _Small-letters_ and Capitals, 40, 112, 122, 302

 Small or Fine-pen Writing, 59, 86, 311, 324, 482, 26

 Spacing close, 262–67

 Spacing evenly, 265, 219

 Spacing letters, words & lines, 77, 128, 256, 394: _see also_—

 Spacing & planning MS., 89, 97

 Spacing & setting out, 126, 128, 221–22, 258, 351, 385, 396

 Spacing wide, 262–67, 314, 327

 Special Books, 300, 304, 344–346, 412, 485, 299

 Special words and letters, 123, 352

 Speed in writing, 84, 305, 311, 315, 322, 324, 483

 _Spots_, in “design,” 187–88

 “_Spring_” for pens, 54, 59

 “_Square Capitals_,” 37, 412

 “Square and Round” letters, 269

 Square or round types of D, E, H, M, U, &c., 40, 119, 132, 210, 282,

 Stanzas or Verses, 123, 138 (see also _Poetry_)

 Stones, best kinds of, for inscriptions, 395

 Stones, Foundation, 393

 Stonyhurst College, Gospel of S. John, in Uncials, 413

 Straightforwardness, 97, 101, 221–22, 258, 264, 267, 327, 342, 344,
   351, 396

 “_Straight pen_,” 44, 241, 304

 _Stylographic_ writing, 317

 “_Swash Letters_,” 315

 Symbolical devices, 142

 “Symmetrical” arrangement, 264, 389

 T, 272, 286, 411

 Tail-pieces, 142, 342

 “_Tailiness_,” 300

 Tenison Psalter, the, 426

 Tenth Century Writing, 46, 130, 295, 305, 325, (326), 415, 482, 485

 Theory & practice, 267

 _Thicks & Thins_, 43, 63, 83–85, 118, 292, 317, 375, 377, 392

 Thin strokes, horizontal, 65, 66, 72, 304

 Thirteenth Century Illumination, 185, 114, 195, 203, 210, 423–427

 Thirteenth Century Writing, 46, 114, (116), 331, 423, 425, 426

 Thompson, H. Yates-, 227, 429

 Thompson, Sir E. M., 385 (quotations from), 36, 37, 41, 127, 418, 426

 “Tilted” letters (O, &c.), 285, 44, 290

 Title pages, 128, 142, 258, 363

 Tombstones, 237, 394

 Tool-forms, 278, 292, 323, 392

 Tools and Materials for acquiring a formal hand, 48

 Tools & Materials for illumination, 172, 20

 Tools & Materials for laying & burnishing gold, 145

 Tools for inscriptions in stone—
   Chisels, 396–403
   Mallets, &c., 399–402

 _Top margin_ (or _Head_), 106, 111, 343

 Trajan Column, Inscription on, 409–411

 Turkey’s Quill, a, 54

 Twelfth Century Illumination, 195, 205, 218, 420–422

 Twelfth Century Writing, 46, 47, (116), 305, 331, 417–422

 “_Tying up_,” 260

 Typography, book, foundations of, 13, 98

 U, 271, 287, 411

 Ultramarine Ash, 178

 Uncials (Examples, &c.), 300

 Uncials, Roman, 38

 Uncials, Script II., 79

 Uniformity, 244, 254, 311, 324, 181

 Upright Round-hand, 44, 65, 70, 302–304, 412, 413–415

 “_Upright_” shaped book, 103

 V, 271, 287, 411

 V for U, use of, 283

 Variety, 177, 255, 352

 Variety in initials, 209

 Varied types of letters, 114, 119, 209, 377;
   (on one page) 352

 “Vellum” & Parchment, 173, 38, 107, 110, 167:
   framing of, 356

 Vellum for bindings, 348

 Verdigris, 178

 Vermilion, 177

 _Versal Letters_, 34, 112–126, 205, 208, 218, 294, 296, 331, 420, 423
   (see also Chapter VIII.)

 _Versal Letters_, Examples of, 114 (and Plates)

 Verses, see _Versals_, _Paragraphs_, _Stanzas_, &c.

 Vicenza, Mark of, 481

 W, 287, 411

 Walker, Emery, 372, 387

 Wall Inscriptions, 350, 406

 Waterproof Ink, 51, 172

 “Weight” of lettering, 327–328, 353, 377

 Whall, C. W., 17

 White, Chinese, 180

 White, use of, 180, 182, 183, 212

 “Whiting,” 147, 174

 Whitelead (_biacca_), 166

 White-of-egg, 163, 165, 166, 175, 179, 183

 “White vine pattern,” 202, 430, 481

 Wide Margins, 89, 103, 213, 222, 265, 299, 317, 351, 483

 Wide spacing, 262–67, 314, 327

 Wood Engraving, 364, 365, 371, (221)

 Words in Capitals, 126, 136, 297
   (see also _Headings & Spacing_)

 Words to the line, number of, 85, 107

 Working _in situ_, 405

 Writing, 1st to 5th century, 36–39, 412

 Writing, 6th to 9th century, 40–45, 303, 305, (326), 412–415

 Writing, 10th century, 46, 130, (295), 305, 325, (326), 415, 482, 485

 Writing, 11th century, 46, 47, 305, 416

 Writing, 12th century, 46, 47, (116), 305, 331, 417–422

 Writing, 13th century, 46, 114, (116), 331, 423, 425, 426

 Writing, 14th century, 46,  (114), 423, (427)

 Writing, 15th century, 46, 47, (326), 331, 428–483

 Writing, 16th century, 310–323, (326), 483

 Writing, Analysis of, 72, (115)

 Writing, Anglo-Saxon, 326

 Writing, Fine & Massed, 260, 299

 Writing, ordinary Hand, 14, 15, 77, 280, 315, 323, 374

 Writing, size of, &c., 101, 107

 Writing, the Development of, 35, 409, & _Author’s Preface_

 Writings, construction of, 73, 83–85, 118, 292, 311
   (see also _Collotype Notes_)

 _Writing-Level_, the, 62

 Writing-line, length of, 105, 107, 109, 262, 343

 “_Writing-Pad_,” 50, (fur or cloth for) 51

 X, 273, 287, 411

 Y, 273, 275, 287, 411

 Yolk of egg, 175, 179, 180

 Z, 272, 288, 411

 Zincotype process, the, 367


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Original spelling and grammar has been generally retained, with
some exceptions noted below. Illustrations are moved from inside
paragraphs to between paragraphs. Original printed page numbers are
shown like these: "[p-xiv]" or "[p052]". Original small caps ‹LOOKS
Like This›. Italics look _like this_. Original bolded text «Looks
like this». The code "abc xyz" means that the text "abc xyz"
was printed in a special font or style not available in this edition.
The code "@" denotes a special symbol not available in this edition.
The html edition contains images or characters for all of these.

Most of the footnotes are renumbered into a single sequence and
moved from the ends of pages to the ends of major sections, which
are: the Author’s Preface, Part I, Part II, Appendix A, and Appendix
B. Footnotes in the section "Notes on the Collotype Plates" are not
renumbered, but are relocated to the end of each Plate description.

Ditto marks are generally deleted, and replaced with repeated text
if necessary. Large curly brackets, "{" or "}", used to indicate
combination or grouping of information on two or more lines, have
been eliminated from this ebook. Such information has been recast
if necessary, preferring minimal changes, to retain the original
meaning. The complex tables on page 72 and pages 162–3 are examples
of such recasting.

Page viii: "ornamention" was changed to "ornamentation".

Pages xxv, 144, etc.: the symbol {U+A75E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER V WITH
DIAGONAL STROKE} is coded "[/V]" herein. Elsewhere, a code like this:
"[=V]" indicates a Capital V with Macron.

Page 214: "illluminated borders" changed to "illuminated borders".

Page 227: The Figure originally marked "Fig. 134_a_" on this page
was changed to "Fig. 134_d_."

Page 239: The complex table was recast as a nested list.

Page 271: In the fifth paragraph, the enlarged U has been rendered
herein as a capital letter, although the original looked more like an
enlarged typical modern "u".

Page 284: "occasionly" changed to "occasionally".

Page 430. The section "NOTES ON THE COLLOTYPE PLATES" was broken off
in the midst of a paragraph on page 430, and continued on page 481,
after the section "THE COLLOTYPE PLATES". Herein, this structure was
retained, but the broken paragraph was closed, with all of it on page

Index, "Black outlines": "88" changed to "188".

Index, "Proportions and Methods": this entry was repeated, once
between "Letters in Bands" and "Letters, Brush-made", and once in its
proper alphabetical order. The first entry was deleted.

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