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The combination of formulas in different scripts on page seems to suggest some sort of correspondence or identity. It is difficult, however, to fit the varieties of the combinations into a consistent theory. Possibly this may be due to misprints. Provisionally I would suggest the following theory. Books Nos. I and II seem to show that the formulas of Set IIC, Set IV, and Set V correspond to one another. Now pages 47-50 show formulas IV and Ig in combination; and it may be also noted that these two particular formulas occur most frequently by themselves in book No. III; viz., formula IV, 80 times, and formula Ig, 38 times. Assuming that formula Ig is equal to formula IV, the combination on page 2 (viz., II E and Ifg) would tend to identify formula If with formula II E. Consequently the combination of formulas II A and IIE with formulas If and Ih on page 4, would identify formula Ih with formula IIA; and in corroboration of this equivalence it may be noted that on pages 4 and 163, there are whole columns of II A and Ih corresponding with each other. At the same time this theory does not seem quite consistent with the combination of the formulas If, II A, and IV, on page 93. As formula IV is assumed to be equal to formula Ig, it seems to follow that If=IIA; and with this conclusion agree the two facts that on page 4 the formulas If and Ih are combined with the formulas II A and II E, and that on pages 4 and 163 columns of II A correspond to columns
of If. In fact, these two facts fit in equally well with both theories. The result accordingly would be
This Set comprises six books. The text contained in it consists of seven lines. The dimensions of its block cannot be given, as no traces of any enclosing lines are seen in any of the books. The dimensions of the text itself are about 3 × 33".
With regard to the question what is top and bottom, right and left, beginning and end of the formula, the following circumstances may be noted. In book No. 1, about one-half of the formula, divided horizontally, is occasionally found; similarly in book No. IV, also about one-half of it, but divided vertically, is occasionally met with. The two halves that are thus found are invariably the same. On the assumption that, if only a portion of the formula could be accommodated, the printer would naturally choose to print its initial portion, it follows that the two halves, between them, accurately define the corner which contains the beginning of the formula. This is the upper left corner or the upper right corner, according as one has to read the lines of the formula in the European or the Chinese fashion. In the facsimile on Plate XIV, the formula is represented in the position conforming with the view here explained. The argument, however, is by no means, conclusive, as it pre-supposes that the books were intended for intelligent reading, not merely for the mechanical turning of pages.
Another point that may be worth noticing is that some of the letters of the formula of this Set and of that of the Fourth Set show considerable similarity.
No. I. Book. (Plate XIV, fig. 2.)
Belongs to M. 9. Size, 17 x 6". Number of forms, 20. Paper, variety IIId. Well preserved; no burns; but paper greasy, and print rather indistinct. Bound with three twists of paper.
Text printed in one column on each page, running parallel to the longer side of the book, and containing, as a rule, four impressions of the formula. This arrangement allows a wide margin at the top and bottom of each page; accordingly on a few exceptional pages (about half a dozen) a half-impression is added to fill up the blank space. As this is always the same half-impression (viz., lines 1-3 or 1-4), it may possibly indicate the beginning of the formula; and I have so used it
for the arrangement of the formula on Plate XIV; but the argument only holds good, if the book was intended for reading, which is doubtful. As a curiosity I may note the arrangement on page 1 of form 8; I have not noticed it elsewhere. Between the 3rd and 4th impression of the formula, there is inserted an impression of the first line by itself. This is probably a mere misprint; though it is not quite easy to understand how it happened. For as the uniformity of the intervals of the lines shows, these lines were not printed each by itself; on the other hand, if the block was twice applied to the paper, in different places, the paper should show smudges of ink, which it does not do.
The columns stand regularly, without any exception, upright and reversed on alternate pages.
No. II. Book.
Belongs to M. 8. Found at Kiang Tūz. Size, 14 x 9". Number of forms, 12. Paper, variety IIId. Surfaces greased, and print rather indistinct; otherwise well preserved. Riveted with three nails. Text, printed in two columus on each page, running parallel to the longer side of the book, and standing alternately upright and reversed on the same page, but keeping the same position on alternate pages, as shown in the diagram on the margin. Each column
consists of four impressions (abcdef) of the formula, but as the space is barely sufficient to accommodate them, not unfrequently one or two lines of the formula are omitted at the top or the bottom of the page; and, whenever this occurs, the mutilated portions are arranged so as to make up, between them, a complete
formula. The intention, evidently, seems to be that the left hand columns and the right hand columns respectively should be read consecutively throughout the book, as indicated by the arrows in the marginal diagram. The four impressions are placed so as to keep the corresponding lines as much as possible on a level with one another.
No. III. Book.
Belongs to M. 8. Found at Kiang Tüz. Size, 12 x 8". Number of forms, 20. Paper, variety IIId. Surfaces greased, and print rather
indistinct; otherwise well preserved. Bound with three twists of paper. Printing stops on the penultimate, but begins, as usual, on the fourth page.
The arrangement of the text is exactly the same as in No. II, except that the columns only consist of three impressions of the formula, whence a wide margin is left at the top and bottom of every page. There are, however, four exceptional pages, probably misprints, ou which the columns run in the same direction.
No. IV. BOOK.
Belongs to M. 8. Found at Kiang Tuz. Size, 13 x 8". Number of forms, 20. Paper, variety IIId. Surfaces greasy, and print rather indistinct; otherwise well preserved. Bound with two nails.
Text printed in three columns on each page, running parallel to the narrower side of the book, and consisting each of two impressions (a b c d e f) of the formula. The columns, as a rule, run in the same direction (e.g., pp. 4, 5); but there are many exceptions (e.g., pp. 8, 9), as shown in the subjoined diagram.
The three columns do not fill up the whole available space; there is a wide margin on both sides. Accordingly on 14 pages (out of a total of 74 printed ones) a half-column is added, consisting of two halfimpressions of the formula divided vertically. As a rule, this half-impression stands on the margin of the same side, but on page 16, shown on the margin, it stands once on the left, and once on the right margin. As it is invariably the same half of the formula, this circumstance might be considered to indicate the side with which the formula commences; and I have used it for that purpose in arranging the facsimile on Plate XIV. But, as already observed, the argument is not altogether conclusive.
a b c
No. V. BOOK.
Belongs to G. 10. Size, 17 x 14". Number of forms, uncertain, as they are all cut through, along the folds, into separate leaves; the latter number 41; but possibly one leaf is torn off. One of the existing outside leaves is torn in shreads. Paper, variety IIIb. Surfaces greasy, and print indistinct; otherwise fairly well preserved; no burns. Printing commences on the second, and ends on the penultimate page of the now existing leaves. Riveted with three nails, the guards being round pieces of copper resembling coins, like fig. 4-9 on Plate IV.
Text printed in three columns on each page, running parallel to the longer side of the book, and consisting each of four impressions of the formula, which, accordingly, is repeated 12 times on every page. The columns stand upright or reversed on different pages; but there is no perceptible order in this respect.
Belongs to G. 8. Purchased for Rs. 45. Size, 22 x 13". Number of forms, 43. Paper, variety IlIc. Rather clean, but many leaves torn, on account of large size and flimsiness of paper. Print not very distinct. Riveted with three nails, the guards being regular oblong pieces (1× 1") with rounded corners, showing embossed head and symbols, as seen in fig. 1 of Plate IV.
Text printed in three columns on each page, running parallel to the longer side of the book and consisting each of six impressions of the formula. They stand, as a rule, upright and reversed on alternate pages.
J. I. 18