« 이전계속 »
to avoid an invidious reference to any living author or bookseller, we must suppose a case.
A man of respectable connexions, and considerable capital, wishes to “ devote himself” (as the advertisements have it) “ to the publication of works of the first importance.” portunity is afforded him of making the acquaintance of some highly popular writer,-a sort of incipient Unknown if the reader pleases. The great author is, to be sure, at present engaged with a bookseller, but promises our publishing aspirant the refusal of his next novel or poem. The eclat attendant upon doing business for so distinguished a writer, leads of course to the acceptance of the book ; and if it covers the positive cost of copyright, paper, and print, the ambitious bibliopole considers that he has achieved a bargain; never dreaming that if he gains nothing by its publication, after having to wait eighteen months for its proceeds, he must lose the interest of his own capital, his own time, a portion of his house rent, and the services of his establishment; or, at least, contrive to afford whatever he may consider their value, for a mere empty honour, and a bushel of golden anticipations. He places, it is true, something to the account of the connexion which the sanction of his great author's name and influence may draw around him. We have known instances, however, in which a successful author has endeavoured to repay his own personal obligations to a fry of inferior scribblers, by palming them off upon his compliant bookseller ; who is of course too civil to question the sincerity of recommendations coming from so popular a quarter, and who prints editions proportioned in extent to his reliance on the sagacity and good faith of his adviser. fore these swans turn out to be geese, he has embarked all his disposable capital in his business. This is of small importance : the low rate of interest on funded property having occasioned a glut in the money-market, he is offered discounts to almost any amount, by half a dozen bankers in the metropolis; and as he has little difficulty in thus obtaining money, he parts with it on the same easy terms. Sud, denly a panic, affecting alike all descriptions of tradesmen, closes his accustomed resources against him ; the game is up; and it is not until he finds that he is on the verge of bankruptcy, that he discovers he has been too liberal by half to very distinguished authors; and that it is better to gain two or three hundred pounds by a second-rate poet or novelist, than be duped out of as many thousands by an author of a higher grade, Then follows reflection, remorse, and retrenchment; and the poor devils of authors who give him one half the profits of their works for the honour of his countenance, are ground almost to dust, to stop a gap in the frightful deficiency which soon presents itself. come alone, and to add to his confusion, the price which he is obliged in justice to himself, to put upon his books, and the great scarcity of money among book-buyers in general, preclude his selling half the number of copies he has been accustomed to sell, although his Apollo has gradually increased his price for his copyrights, (and he the quantity of books printed) in the full confidence that his works will advance in popularity in the same ratio. To make confusion more confounded, our bookseller goes to a trade-sale, and, after a tolerable dinner, and a few glasses of bad wine, is so satisfied that matters are going on swimmingly with him, and that he shall soon run the great house in Albemarle Street hard,"
that he cannot resist the temptations offered him by the persuasive Mr. Saunders, and accordingly buys remainders of books he does not want and never will, and thrice as many copies of current gaieties and gravities as he is ever likely to sell. For these purchases he gives bills payable at twelve and eighteen months; and, long before they become due, the identical rubbish which has been thus foisted upon him, is to be bought thirty or forty per cent. below the rate he is to pay for it. What is his next resource? To enable him to meet his acceptances, he sacrifices the valuable portion of his stock, (for in times of scarcity the ephemeral part of it will fetch nothing, or next to nothing), by forcing its sale in all directions; and the natural consequence of this step is an immediate depreciation of his property, which is ticketed in cheap shops all over the country, at from twenty to thirty per cent. less than he affects to charge the London trade for it. When he next produces a splendid and expensive work, people hesitate to purchase it, because they feel satisfied it will in due time share the fate of its predecessors, and decrease proportionably in price. This has been so notoriously the case with subscription books, that John Bull now distrusts prospectuses of all works published upon this principle ; and prefers awaiting their completion before he attempts to possess himself of them. That the case to which we are alluding is by no means uncommon, may be inferred from the fact, that the Delphin Classics, now publishing by Valpy, which held out such extraordinary inducements to subscribers in their prospectuses, are now (although far from being completed) to be purchased for less than half their subscription price. The Thesaurus of Stephens is also in precisely the same predicament; and to adduce a specimen from another class of books, that admirable and most laborious compilation, Watt's Bibliographia Britannica, circulated at eleven guineas, may now be obtained at froni five to six. Nor is the evil limited to works of reference alone. Works of imagination, scarcely dry from the press, are sacrificed on the same imprudent principle ; the author's reputation destroyed; his probabilities of future success diminished; and all because the bookseller chooses to trade very much beyond his capital, and to print on the average, impressions twice as large as the probable demand may warrant. We say nothing of the quantity of bad debts to which the extension of his transactions must of necessity render him liable; nor of his endeavouring to enlarge his means by risking money at a time when he wants a great deal more than he can possibly command. Yet such has been precisely the situation of several wholesale booksellers—men of generous spirit and honourable intentions—who, in consequence of the sensible diminution in the demand for new works, and their having forced the sale of their books so as to have completely inundated the country with them from Auld Reekie to the Land's End, have for some months past scarcely been able to make a single sale worth mentioning. When they find themselves unable to weather the storm, almost the only persons with whom they stand connected, by whom they have been realizing a steady and liberal profit, are such authors as publish with them on commission, or what is commonly called a mutual division of profits. These unlucky dogs, who have already been the victims of every advantage which the custom of the trade allows, (and sometimes a little more), to make amends for the loss which more distinguished litterateurs have occasioned, are
finally made the auto da fés of the body. To shew that if booksellers would abstain from mad and reckless speculations, for the sake of seeing a great name above their own in their title pages, they have as fair opportunities of making money as other tradesmen, we will explain to our readers what portion of the real profits of a small volume, consisting of 224 pages, fall, according to the customs of the trade, to the author, and what to the bookseller; contrasting the gain of the former with what he might realize by publishing the work with the same parties merely on commission.
Gregory Goosequill, Esq.
£. S. d. To printing 750 copies of “ A Voyage to the Moon,” 14 sheets, at 31. 3s.
44 2 0 To corrections, carriage of proofs, postages, &c.
10 0 0 To paper for ditto, at 11. 12s. per ream, 21 reams
33 12 To advertising in various periodical publications, newspapers, and Messrs. F. Q. O. D. and Co.'s printed lists
50 0 0 To ll copies to Stationers' Hall, at 5s. boards
2 15 0 To 25 copies (not as 24) to various magazines and reviews, at 5s. boards 6 5 0 To 83 copies on hand, bds. as 79
19 15 0
By sale of 750 copies, as 711, at 4s. 8d, sheets
166 11 0 Balance of profit on “ A Voyage to the Moon”
0 2 0 Half (viz. one shilling) to Mr. Goosequill's credit. In detailing the above items, we are far from insinuating that there is any charge among them which would be considered by the trade either unwarranted or unjust ; we give them simply as evidence of what is considered fair and legitimate profit of a bookseller, when compared with those of the book-maker, upon this principle of publication. If the author takes upon himself the expense of printing his work, and can either afford cash on the nail, or at six months, he will have no difficulty in getting it done upon the following terms :
£. S. To Messrs. Cannon, English, and Co., for printing 14 sheets, post 8vo. at 21. per sheet
28 0 0 Corrections and incidental expenses
5 0 0 To Messrs. Demy and Post, for 21 reams of paper, at 1l. 6s. per ream 27 6 0 25 copies as 24, to various Magazines, Reviews, &c., at 5s. boards
6 0 0 11 ditto to Stationers' Hall, at 5s, boards
2 15 0 Advertising in various periodicals, (not including Messrs. F. Q. O. D. and Co.'s printed lists),
21 0 To 79 copies on hand, boards
19 15 0
£109 16 0 Bookseller's commission, over and above what is called sale price, viz. 4s. 8d. each, 10 per cent.
10 10 0
£120 60 Balance of profit to Mr. Goosequill
46 5 No great things to be sure; but still better than one shilling, and very fair, considering that no author ever receives for a seven shilling
volume, more, (if we take into account the 25th copy claimed by bookşellers), than 3s. 9d; out of which he is to pay for printing, paper, advertising, and in short all the expenses enumerated above. If, therefore, the situation of booksellers has been occasioned by their not having been able to realise sufficient profit, what becomes of the unfortunate author, who pays all the “ burthens” said to be peculiar to the trade as a body, out of the small pittance they leave him for that purpose. If “the body” are not satisfied with 33 one-third per cent. profit, they must resemble the lion in the fable, when apportioning the four quarters of a stag, respecting the disposal of whose carcase his princely opinion was requested. We know not if our version of the story be correct, but fancy we remember that he appropriated to himself the first quarter, as a consultation fee; the second, because he was unquestionably entitled to it, as a member of the parliament of beasts; the third, because he was the king of animals ; and the fourth and last, because there were none present who would dare to dispute its possession with him.
What will not Woman when she Loves?
Among those nobles who were charged with being the accomplices of Duke John of Suabia, in the assassination of the usurper Albert of Austria in 1308, was the Baron Rodolphus Vonder Wart; and although, as is clear from the concurring testimony of various historians, he had taken no part in the affair; he was seized by Agpes, the surviving daughter of the tyrant, and, after a mock-trial, condemned to be broken alive upon the wheelFor three days and three nights, successively, he endured without shrinking, the cruel torments of this dreadful mode of punishment; during the whole of which period, his wife, a beautiful young woman of the House of Balm, kept watch beside him, regardless of either food or shelter, with the tenderest solicitude and the most heroic firmness. On the evening of the third day his frame became exhausted by the intensity of his agonies, and, after murmuring faintly the words-“Gertrude is fidelity till death!” he expired. His unhappy consort survived her martyred lord only a short time. From the scene of his death she retired to a convent at Basle, where she died a few months afterwards. This romantic portion of the Swiss history, is thus vividly narrated by Planta in his account of the · Helvetic Confederacy' :
“Weary of his stern severity, Duke John of Suabia and several other nobles conspired the death of Albert. These nobles were---Walter, Baron of Eschenbach, who was related to all the principal families in the Argau, Thurgau and Rhætia, but who owed his power and renown much more to his eminent virtues than to his illustrious birth and ample property ; Rudolph Baron of Wart, a cousin of Eschenbach, whose castle was situated in Kyburg ; Rudolph de Balm, from Lenzburg; and Conrad de Tegerfield, from the neighbourhood of Baden. On the first of May, in the tenth year after he had triumphed over and contrived the death of his legitimate sovereign King Adolphus, Albert set out
from the citadel of Baden, on his way to Rheinfelden, accompanied by Landenberg, Everard de Waldsee, on whose account he had forfeited the affection of his Austrian subjects ; Burcard Count of Hohenberg, his cousin; and several other noblemen and attendants. Having arrived at the ferry over the Reuss near Windish, the King was, under the pretence that the boat must not be overhurthened, insensibly led away by the conspirators to some distance from his retinue. He was riding leisurely across some corn-fields bordering on the hills of Hapsburg, and conversing with Walter de Castelen, å knight, when Duke John approaching him on a sudden, exclaimed, "Take this as a reward for thy injustice ! and thrust his spear into the neck of Albert. Balm hereupon rushed in and pierced his body with an arrow, Eschenbach clove his head, Wart stood aghast, and Castelen
fled. The King, streaming with blood, sunk upon the ground; and soon afterwards expired in the arms of a poor woman, who, seeing his deplorable condition, had hastened to his assistance. Duke John and his friends, struck with a sudden panic filed different ways, and met no more after this portentous hour. The Duke escaping into the mountains, lay a few days concealed at Einsiden, and lurked some time, solitary and forlorn, in the adjacent woods : he then assumed the habit of a monk and wandered into Italy. King Henry of Luxembourg saw him at Pisa ; after which he disappeared, and consumed the remainder of his days in profound obscurity. It is not known where and how soon Balm ended his hapless days. Tegerfield was never after heard of. Eschenback fled, with Wart, up the river Aar, to the castle of his uncle at Falckenstein. Wart, who, although he had witnessed, had no ways partici: pated in the bloody deed, was betrayed by some of his relations, into the hands of the friends of Albert, and by them instantly sentenced to death. While with brokeri limbs he lay agonizing on a wheel, he still with manly fortitude declared himself innocent of the crime for which he suffered ; and indeed, (added he), those also who have committed the deed are guiltless of a crime: they have, in fact, destroyed a monster, who, violating all ties of honour and religion, had laid bloody hands on his liege lord and sovereign; and in defiance of all justice and equity, withheld from his nephew his lawful patrimony; and who truly deserved to suffer the torture I now endure. May God take pity on me, and pardon my transgressions ! His wife, (a lady of the House of Balm), after having in vain prostrated herself at the feet of Agnes, daughter of Albert Queen of Hungary, and conjured her, by the mercy she hoped to experience at the day of judgment, to take compassion on the unhappy Baron, attended her husband to the place of execution. She continued three days and three nights at the foot of the wheel, in constant prayer and without sustenance, until he expired; she then went on foot to Basle, where she soon after died oppressed with grief. Rasseling, a servant of the Baron, shared the fate of his unhappy master. Duke Leopold, the son of Albert, having collected his forces, marched against the castle of Rudolph, took and demolished it, and put all the retainers of the Baron, without exception, to the sword.”
I. 'Tis mom ;-o'er Kyburg's castled hill, day's first faint streak appears, Like the ray of Truth through Error's mists, or the smile through woman's tears, With gradual step it glides along, from cloud to cloud, and now Bathes in a flood of living light Mongarten's frowning brow.
But hark, what sounds of wail and woe come wafted on the ear,