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(counting from the outer margin of the page) one impression, being the fifth of the series of eight, is omitted, leaving a square blank. To this rule there are only very few exceptions: on one page (form 23, page 1) I have observed only three columns; and on four pages (f. 21, p. 4; f. 30, p. 4; f. 33, p. 3; f. 37, p. 4) there is no blank space; and on one page (f. 13, p. 4) the blank space takes the place of the third impression of the series of eight. On each page the four columns stand in the same position towards one another, either all four upright, or all four reversed; but there is no order whatever with regard to different pages; on one page, all four columns may be upright, on the next page they may again be all upright or they may be all reversed. No. VII in Woodcut No. 12 will give some idea of the arrangement of the text on the pages of this book. In five places an altogether different text is printed in the blank space, and the print of this text, with one exception (on form 22, p. 1), always runs at right angles with the proper text of the book. These five places are form 4, pp. 2, 3; f. 22, pp. 1, 4; f. 23, p. 4; f. 27, pp. 2, 3; f. 29, pp. 2, 3. The text, thus introduced, is formula A of the Second Set.
No. VIII. Book.
Belongs to M. 7. Found and acquired in the same way as No. VII, q.v. Size, 10x61", but elliptical in form, as shown in Woodcut No. 12. Number of forms, 44. The usual three blank pages are wanting at one end of the book; on the other hand there is in the middle of the book one form with three blank pages, from which it would seem that in binding the book the final form has been misplaced. Paper, variety IIIc. Numerous fatty stains, and a few burns. Riveted with two copper pegs only, the guards being small elliptical (about 1x") pieces, cut from a plaque, similar to the round pieces shown in Plate IV, figs. 4-9.
Contains recension Ig, i.e., lines 9, 11, 13, 14 of formula C, printed in five columns on each page, each column consisting as a rule of two impressions; therefore ten impressions of the text on each page. Exceptionally 2 impressions are found on a few pages. As a rule the columns are turned head to head on two adjoining pages; out of a total of 84 pairs of such pages, that arrangement is found in 58 pairs. In 6 other pairs the columns are turned foot to foot. In the remaining 20 pairs, the foot of the columns on one page is turned towards the head of the columns on the adjoining page.
SECOND SET. (Plates IX, X, XIII and XIV.)
This set comprises six books. Some portions of the text are also found in the three books of the Sixth Set, and in book VII of the First Set. A detailed description of this second set, illustrated by two Plates (Nos. I and II), was published by me in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for April, 1898 (pp. 124131). I shall, therefore, here content myself with a briefer account, but correcting some errors and adding such information as I have been able to glean in the meantime.
The text, occurs in two different recensions, a shorter one of 12 lines and a longer of 13 lines, which I shall denote respectively by IIa and IIb. The shorter recension IIa (see Plates IX, fig. 2 and X, fig. 1) has its text arranged in two columns, with a wide interval, running vertically, while another wide interval intersects the two columns horizontally between the 7th and 9th lines. The two intervals thus present the shape of a cross. The longer recension IIb (Plate X, fig, 2) fills up these cross-shaped intervals with additional texts. It consists, therefore, of three columns, the additional column being placed in the vertical interval, and of thirteen lines, the additional line occupying the horizontal interval. It will be noticed that there are a few differences in the type of the two recensions, e.g., in the first letter of lines 6 and 7; but this may be, merely due to imperfect inking. Recension IIa is found in books I-III and recension IIb in books IV-VI.
The shorter text IIa which is common to both recensions, consists of six portions or formulas, which I shall distinguish as A, B, C, D, E and F. The formulas A, B, C comprise lines 1, 2, 3—5, 6, 7—9, 10, 11, 12, 13 of column I respectively, while formulas D, E, F are made up of the corresponding lines of column II. The 4th line appears to be an additional one, inserted into what must have been originally an interval, similar to the additional line inserted, in the longer recension IIb, into the still existing horizontal interval. It would seem that a third recension must have existed, which possessed two horizontal intervals, between lines 3, 5 and 7, 9 respectively. I have not, however, met with this third recension in any book. Of the six formulas, C (i.e., lines 9-13 of column I) is found in books Nos. I and II of the Sixth Set (see Plate XIV), while formulas A, B, D, E (each consisting of three lines) are found in book No. III of the Sixth Set, and formula A is also found in book VII of the First Set (see Plate XIII). As yet the formula F has not been found by me separately in any book.
For printing these several texts seven different blocks must have been in use: one for recension IIa, another for recension IIb, and five more for the five formulas A,B,C,D,E. This is clearly shown by the enclos
ing lines which still exist. These lines, e.g., are seen running right round the two columns of recensions IIa and IIb, see Plates IX and X. They are also seen enclosing each of the five formulas A, B, C, D, E, see Plates XIII and XIV. As shown by these lines, the dimensious of the blocks must have been about 1 x 13" for A, 2 x 13" for C, 2 x 14" for D, and 1x1" for E. The additional portions, viz., the middle column III of recension IIb, line 4 of recensions IIa and IIb, and line 8 of recension IIb, do not appear to have been printed separately; nor is there any evidence to show that separate blocks existed for printing them.
It is probable that once there existed three blocks: (1) a block holding a text of 11 lines, omitting line 4 of recension IIa, and therefore showing two blank intervals and presenting the shape of a double cross; I may call this recension IIc; (2) a block holding a text of 12 lines, with one blank interval, in the shape of a single cross, being recensiou IIa; (3) a block holding a text of 13 lines, with no blank interval, being recension IIb. No book, exhibiting recension IIc, has come to light. The block for it, therefore, cannot have been found by the treasure-seekers. If it had been found, it is morally certain (on the assumption of forgery) that books would have been printed with it and brought into the market. But, the block for recension IIc not having been found, it is difficult to understand, on the one hand, how the existence of recension IIa, should have suggested to a forger to omit line 4 and manufacture blocks for A, B, D, E; or, on the other haud, how the separate existence of A, B, C, D and E should have suggested to a forger to combine them into one text IIa, and manufacture a block for it, containing the intermediate line 4 and a blank interval between lines 7 and 9; or again, to combine them into an alternative text IIb and manufacture for it another block containing the two intermediate lines 4 and 8. One can imagine a forger omitting extant lines, but not inventing new lines for which he has no pattern. Add to this that the formula F has never been found printed separately; so that the forger would have had to invent, for the recensions IIa and IIb, not only the intermediate lines, but also the whole formula F. The improbabilities of such a theory are overwhelming. It follows, therefore, in the alternative, that either the books are genuineor that at least the orginal blocks must have been found for the recensions IIa and IIb as well as for the formulas A, B, C, D and E. From these original blocks, of course, books might have been printed; but the forgery could have extended no further.
With regard to the question of the beginning and end of the text, book No. III affords a similar test to that in book No. I of the First Set. In that book one end of the text is always turned towards its upper and lower edges, whence it may be concluded that that end
holds the beginning or the top-line of the text. On the Plates the text is represented in the position thus indicated.
One book, No. III, of this Set, as will be shown below, is provided with additional small legends, similar to those in Book IV of the First Set.
No. I. Book.
Same as "Block-print ẞ" in Proceedings. Belongs to M. 3. Size, 6×4". Number of forms, 38. Riveted with three copper pegs, which are held in position by two copper slips, running in front and at the back of the book, along its longer side, and measuring 6x inches. Paper, variety IIIa. Fatty stains on many leaves; no marks of burning or singeing.
Contains recension IIa, printed once on every page, and standing upright and reversed on every second or third form; thus upright on forms 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 38; reversed on forms 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 29, 30, 33, 34, 37.
No. II. Book. (Plate IX, fig. 2.) Same as "Block-print a" in Proceedings. Belongs to G. 7. Size, 11x7". Number of forms, 32. Peculiar in having covers of pasteboard, made of four ordinary leaves pasted together. Paper, variety IIIb. Most pages stained, and singed or burned. Bound with three copper nails.
Contains recension IIa, printed in three columns on each page; each column consisting of one impression; accordingly the text three times on each page, but reversed on alternate pages, i.e., turned foot to foot, similar to the arrangement of book No. IV of the First Set (Woodcut No. 11). With the exception of one form, the columns of the text are printed parallel to the narrower side of the book, so as to turn their foot towards the inner margin of the book, and so close together that their edges touch, and sometimes overlap one another. The exceptional form is the 22nd. It bears on page 1-3 also impressions of recension la of the First Set; and the impressions of the two different texts, indicated in the subjoined diagrams by the letters dc ba and the numerals 321 respectively, are arranged as follows; the inner margin of the page being indicated by parallel lines.
This would seem to have been the trial-form, employed to discover by ༄*which arrangement the largest number of impressions could be crowded on to one page. The usual arrange
ment is shown in the margin.
No. III. Book. (Plate X, fig. 1.)
Same as "Block-print y" in Proceedings. Belongs to M. 3. Size, 11x4 inches. Number of forms, 40. Bound with three twists of paper. Paper, variety IIIa. A few fatty stains and burns; on the whole fairly clean. Printing ends on the penultimate page of the last form, instead of the ante-ante-penultimate page as usual.
Contains recension IIa; there being two impressions of it on each page, placed foot to foot, the upper one being complete (12 lines), the lower more or less incomplete (as a rule 10 lines), the arrangement being similar to that in Book No. I of the First Set. There are only four exceptional forms, on which the impressions are placed head to foot; viz., forms 6, 12, 17 (1st, 2nd, 4th pp.), and 31 (2nd and 4th pp.). Seeing that there are 40 forms (or 156 printed pages), these few exceptions (13 pages) are evidently accidental misprints. As in the case of book No. I of the First Set, this "foot-to-foot" arrangement of the text, seems to be a clear indication as to which is to be taken as its top-line. Within the horizontal intervals, in the middle of the page, additional small legends (similar to those of No. IV of the First Set), consisting of 4 to 6 letters, are inserted, running in the same direction as the text, but of somewhat larger size, and apparently written by hand. They are all shown on Plate II of the Proceedings for 1898. As in the case of Book No. IV of the First set, they do not occur on every page, but only on the two outside pages of a form. Moreover, in nearly one-half of the forms (viz., 19 out of 40) they do not occur at all.
No. IV. Book.
Same as "Block-print &" in Proceedings. Belongs to M. 3. Size, 8×5 inches. Number of forms, 40. Riveted with three copper pegs, the guards being small oblongs, 1 or 14" Paper, variety IIIa; on the whole fairly clean, no burns. Printing rather indistinct, owing to the inferior quality of the paper, on which the ink has a tendency to run, so that the imprint occasionally shows on the other side, in which case sometimes the reverse page is not printed at all.