1 JANUARY 1898, Page 34

Gesta Typographiea. By Charles T. Jacobi. (Elkin Mathews.) —The compiler

of this little book describes it in his title-page as "a medley for printers and others," and in his opening apology as " a little volume of cuttings and notes which has no pretensions to completeness." Thus he quite effectually disarms criticism which might well have been directed against his volume, on the score of its being almost without form and void. As it stands, and, indeed, as it professes to be, this volume is one to be dipped in at any moment, the reader being quite certain that he will for his pains stumble on a good story, although of course it may prove of the kind which is vulgarly known as a "chestnut." The contents are divided into five chapters bearing the beads, "Memorabilia," " Narrationes," "Errata," and " Facetim." The first explains the meaning of such phrases as " Wayzgoose," "Printer's Devil," and "Long Primer," gives brief accounts of such personages as Wynkin de Worde, and John Bad- tist Badoni, and supplies such odds and ends of important information as : "Newspapers were first printed in Venice, 1550; in England, 1619; United States, at Boston, 1690." The " Nana- tione8 " and "Errata "—the latter declared outright to be cum grano sales—contain a number of comic anecdotes, some of which, such as those, for example, about the handwriting of Dean Stanley and Horace Greeley, are tolerably familiar. This seems fresh : "In a new book, dealing with Roman history, the hero should have said, Bring me my toga,' but the printer brought it up to date by the substitution of a wrong letker, and made him say, 'Bring me my togs.'" It is a pity that Mr. Jacobi should, in addition to his genuine jokes, print such a fourth-rate jocosity as "A contemporary says, The first printers were Titans.' There are a great many tight uns ' among them still." Altogether, this is a very amusing, interesting, and most daintily got-up book. There is a useful giossarium at the end which might, however, have been fuller.