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27, 28, 29 (pp. 2, 3), 30, 35, 36, 38-42, 44 and 45. Recension Ic (A) comes next, on forms 3, 4, 8, 19, 25 (p. 4), 26, 29 (pp. 1, 4), 31-34 and 43. Recension Ie (E) only occurs on the forms 5, 13 (p. 1), and 37.
As a rule, the lines of print run parallel with the narrow side, and accordingly the columns run parallel with the longer side of the page (see Plate VI). There is only one exception in which the lines of print run parallel with the longer side, and accordingly the columns (which in this case are four in number) with the narrow side of the page (see Plate VII); this is the first page of the 33rd leaf. On two pages there is an altogether exceptional arrangement, which may be shown thus:12. Leaf 33, page 3.
Leaf 13, page 1.
These three exceptional pages would seem to have been trial pages, to find out the best way of disposing the impressions on the page.
As a rule the columns of the text are arranged so that they stand turned towards the inside (i.e., the neck-like, peg-hole side of the page), either head to head or foot to foot. There are altogether 86 pairs of printed pages, 43 pairs inside and 43 pairs outside the "forms." Out of these 86 pairs, 78 have the columns of text thus arranged, i.e., head to head or foot to foot. In the remaining eight pairs, the foot of the column on one page adjoins the head of the column on the other page; and the arrangement on these exceptional pairs is clearly due to carelessness on the part of the printer. Again among the 78 pairs which have the normal arrangement, 37 have the heads of their columns turned inside, i.e., towards the peg-hole side, while 41 have the feet of their columns turned inside.18 The pairs are nearly equally
12 ccc denotes recension Ic, and eee denotes recension Ie.
13 In terms of "forms" the distribution stands thus. There are 45 forms. In 2 forms (first and last) only one page is printed. Of the remaining 43 forms, 14 have the head of the text turned inside; 17 have it outside; of 6 others, 2 have the head inside on their interior side, but outside on their exterior side, and 4 have the head outside on the interior, but inside on the exterior; of the remaining 4 forms, 2 have the head inside on the interior and no order on the exterior, while 1 has the head outside on the exterior, but no order on the interior side, and 1 is exactly the reverse of the last-mentioned; (14+17+6+4=41). Obviously the last-mentioned 10 forms (6+4) might be folded the other way, and then would show the exact reverse of their present condition. The remaining two forms have no order, either on the interior or exterior side (41 +2 = 43).
divided between the two systems. But what is puzzling is that the pairs of these two systems, in their present succession, do not follow in any intelligible order (e g., first the 37, and afterwards the 41, or vice versa), but they succeed one another pell-mell. If either system had been followed throughout, or if the whole of the pairs of one system had followed the whole of the pairs of the other system, an intelligible order of reading would have resulted; one might have read first one set of alternate pages, and then turning the book right round, one would have been able to read the other set of alternate pages. As it is, the condition of the book suggests that it was not really intended to be read intelligently, but to have its leaves turned mechanically. As the leaves, however, are not numbered, and their serial succession is not fixed, it is possible that the leaves do not now stand in their original order. The latter might have been (say) first 41, then 37, and the break of uniformity might have been due to a lapsus on the part of the printer.
No. III. Book.
Belongs to M. 6. Acquired from the Rev. Mr. Högberg. Size, 8x5 inches. Number of forms 22. Paper, variety IIIb. One leaf (23rd) damaged by two holes. Extensive fatty stains on many pages. Riveted with three copper pegs.
Contains recension Ia, printed in two columns on each standing upright and reversed on alternate pages; thus upright on pages 4 and 6, but reversed on pages 5 and 7, and so forth.
Belongs to M. 5.
into separate leaves.
No. IV. Book.
Size, 11 x 8". Number of forms, 30, all cut Paper, variety III b. Twenty leaves, more or less damaged by holes, evidently due to singeing. Many pages soiled with extensive fatty stains. Riveted with three copper pegs.
Contains recension Ia, printed in two columns on each page, with a wide interval; each column consisting of two impressions; accordingly the full text, four times on each page; but reversed on alternate pages; see Woodcut No. 11. The arrangement of the columns is similar to that in No. II, Pōthi. As a rule, they stand either head to head, or foot to foot, on any pair of juxtaposed pages. There are altogether 57 such pairs. Taking their present order of succession, on 19 of them the columns stand head to head, and on 29, foot to foot; while on the remaining 9 this arrangement is not observed, the position being head to foot. Seeing, however, that the forms are all cut into separate leaves, those leaves on which the exceptional nine pairs stand, may be easily arranged so as to preserve the
regular arrangement. If this is done, we obtain 22 pairs head to head, and 35 pairs foot to foot (total 57). Each of these two sets may easily be read by observing the principle, previously explained, of reading by alternate pages; and the break of uniformity between the two sets may be due to inadvertence on the part of the printer.
Within the intervals, in the centre of the page, additional small legends are inserted, consisting of 4 to 7 letters, double the size of the text, and running at right angles to the latter. They are not seen on every page, but as a rule only on the two outside pages of each form; thus on pages 5 and 8, 9 and 12, and so forth. On eight forms (viz., 5, 8, 14, 16, 21, 24, 26) they occur on the two inside pages; thus on pages 18 and 19, 30 and 31, and so forth. In one form, the 22nd, they are omitted altogether. In the initial and final forms (on which three pages are blank), of course, they occur only once; viz., on pages 4 and 117.
No. V. Book.
Belongs to M. 3. Purchased in July 1897 from Badruddin, an Afghan merchant in Khotan. Size, 11 by 8 inches. Forms all cut through at the back with a blunt instrument; hence all leaves separate, numbering 39; initial leaf missing. Paper, variety IIIb. Extensive fatty stains on most pages; many damaged by burns. Bound with
three twists of paper.
Contains recension Ia, printed on each page in one horizontal column above and three vertical columns below, making four impressions on each page (see Woodcut No. 12). The three vertical columns always stand in the same position towards one another, but vary in their position towards the horizontal column, having sometimes their head, sometimes their foot towards it. The position of the horizontal column varies in having sometimes its head, sometimes its foot turned to the outer margin of the book. The whole yields a great variety of arrangements, in the choice of which no order is discernible. It is impossible, therefore, to read the book in any intelligent order, and it would seem to be intended for mere mechanical use.
No. VI. Book.
Belongs to M. 4. Brought from Khotan, together with No. II, q. v. Size, 11 x 4". Number of forms, 31. One blank leaf is torn off, and missing; hence only 63 leaves. Total of printed pages 126 instead of 124; because, contrary to the usual order of these books, the print commences on the 3rd page instead of the 4th page; similarly printing continues to the ante-penultimate page, instead of stopping, as usual, on the ante-ante-penultimate page. Paper, variety
J. 1. 14
Illa. Extensively soiled with fatty stains, and damaged by burns. Bound with three twists of paper.
Contains recension Ib; also recensions Ic, Id, le, printed in two columns on every page. The arrangement of the text of these recensions on the pages is of the wildest kind; there is no discernible order whatsoever. The following diagrams of 19 different arrangements, which I have noticed, will give a good idea of the disorder. Recension Ic (formula A) is indicated by aaa, Id (C) by ccc; Ie (E) by eee; and Ib by the corresponding (bracketed) combinations of these three notations. The latter are represented in the same direction in which the recensions are printed in the book.
16 The numbers refer to printed pages. Thus printed page 1 - page 3 of the book.
XIII. (pp. 31, 34.) XIV. (pp. 32, 33.) XV. (p. 83.)
XVI. (p. 113.)
XVII. (p. 114.) XVIII. (p. 115.) XIX. (p. 116.)
Fourteen of these variations occur within the first 36 printed pages alone. It is obvious that with such a planless arrangement of the texts no proper reading of the book is possible. It can have been intended only for mechanical use.
No. VII. Book,
Belongs to M. 7. Acquired by Mr. Macartney, together with eight other books, from Islām Akhún for Rs. 40. Said to have been found in a half-buried house in Aq Talā Tāz, see Introduction, p. xvii. Size, 13 x 11". Number of forms, 39. Paper, variety IIIc. Many leaves bear fatty stains, and a few are damaged by burns. Riveted with three copper pegs; the guards consisting on one side of irregular quadrangular pieces, about 24" square, cut from an ornamented plaque, similar to those shown in Plate IV, fig. 1, on the other side of circular pieces, about 14" diameter, resembling a coin (see Plate IV, figs. 2-9). Printing very carelessly done. The block was not properly inked, the impressions are very faint; moreover they are not properly adjusted; not unfrequently one or two lines of two successive impressions are printed over one another; often the columns are not kept straight.
Contains recension If, i.e., lines 1, 2, 4, 5 of A, printed in four columns on each page, each column (except the second) consisting of seven or eight impressions; but in the second column on each page