The Hartlib Papers

Title:Proposals About Double Writing, Anon
Dating:undated
Ref:71/7/2A-B: 2B BLANK
[71/7/2A]

   The nature & uses of the double writing Instrument
The double writing Instruments are of two sorts, the one fitted for the merchants Imployment for the writing of all duplicats of Letters or bills, the other for the scriveners uses in parchments for Indentures & all the larger sort of Deedes.
1    That for the Merchants is the smaller and easily portable & of no great charge.
2    It writes with ordinary goose quills pennes.
3    It writes in 2 sheetes of paper or a book & a sheet of paper.
4    What it writes it writes exactly in both, line for line, letter for letter, title for title, and by this meanes prevents all kind of forgerie, for by comparing it with the other twin coppie any such deceipt is easily perceived, if both Coppies agree not in every letter.
5    The writing by this Instrument is not difficult neither depends upon an Artificiall long excercised hand, but any one of a common capacity that can but write, (at the very utmost) in half a dayes practise, shall bee able perfectly to use it, and write in it his owne usuall hand doubled.
6    The writing by it is not at all tedious, nor requires any longer time then the writing of a single Coppie, after the papers are once fixt and the Instrument in readinesse.
7    It is not apt to weare out by using or stand in much need of repaire unlesse it bee casually hurt by outward violence which is not easy neither.
      Concerning the other Instrument for Scriveners.
1    It is bigger by farr then the other because 'tis fitted for all sizes of parchments, although it will write as well in sheetes of papers, but not in bookes.
2    It writes with ordinary penns and Inke as the other doth.
3    It makes an exact twin copie as the other doth, which in Indentures were of it selfe alone of admirable use (although it wrote slower then the writing of two severally) because it is of an infallible security beyond either signing or sealing or witnesses, the two first being subiect to forgerie, the other to mortality, but no Act of man can after the writing of the first twin copies imitate them againe title for title, which unlesse they doe it is easily discoverable at the first sight.
4    The writing by this Instrument is rather easier attainable then by the other though neither of them haue any thing of difficulty.
5    The writing is as soone dispatcht as a single Copie, after the setting of the Instruments and fixing of the papers or parchments, provided (as I said) that the scribe haue lesse then halfe a dayes practise, with one or two easy directions.
6    It is more apt to bee hurt or out of tune then the other.
The time for setting the Merchants Instrument (least that perchance should bee scrupled at) is not so long after the scribe hath once beene shew'd as while a man would fould up a letter in hast & seale it, and in the scriveners Instrument not longer then while a man would divide and rule his parchments, which in these hee neede not to doe at all for both Instruments guide the hand from running awry without any ruling so that the setting is inconsiderable, because it takes away as great a labour.
     This the Inventor is very ready to make good to the utmost to any ingenious man that is willing to contribute to his modest & reasonable desires, for the making of it of publique vse.
     Besides these two Instruments the same author hath a third which as it is of more excellent artifice, so it is much more costly then either of these, which for that reason hee hath not hitherto so much as proposed abroad, thinking the other would prove more acceptable to the publique because more parable & cheape, it is in its owne nature and manner of using quite differing from either of the former neither doth the knowledge of those or any thing yet knowne afford any hint at all for comprehending this: yet any man that shall goe to the price, cannot but say himselfe upon the first minute of handling it that he never wrote with single pen more easy, neither doth the thing need any considerable kind of preparing before hand.
     Nor is this the onely use of it, but it serves excellently for diverse other Intents in Limming Surveighing, Copying either from Art or nature, Perspectiue & other Mathematicall uses.