Of my earliest ancestry neither history nor relics remain. The wedge-shaped symbols impressed in plastic clay by Babylonian builders in the dim past foreshadowed me: from them, on through the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians, down to the beautiful manuscript letters of the mediaeval scribes, I was in the making.
With the golden vision of the ingenious Gutenberg, who first applied the principle of casting me in metal, the profound art of printing with movable types was born.
Cold, rigid and implacable I may be, yet the first impress of my face brought the Divine Word to countless thousands. I bring into the light of day the precious stores of knowledge and wisdom long hidden in the grave of ignorance. I coin for you the enchanting tale, the philosopher’s moralising and the poet’s fantasies; I enable you to exchange the irksome hours that come, at times, to everyone, for sweet and happy hours with books – golden urns filled with all the manna of the past.
In books, I present to you a portion of the eternal mind caught in its progress through the world, stamped in an instant and preserved for eternity. Through me, Socrates and Plato, Chaucer and Bards become your faithful friends who ever surround you and minister to you.
I am the leaden army that conquers the world. I am type.