Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises. Vol. 2 (1683–84), the first known manual of printing

J. M. begins his book,
Every thought taken up from the block with a roll
Of the ball and inked on the form,
A Craft of the Hand which cannot be taught by Words:
“I thought to have given these Exercises
The title of Doctrine of Handy-Crafts but when I considered
The true meaning of the word I found the Doctrine
Would not bear it, therefore I shall not undertake
That with the bare reading any shall be able to . . . ”
Is it not plain we cannot be taught
Anything but knowledge? he writes, I use to write
With Pen and Ink lest afterwards
I might be troubled with recollections,
But who knows the theory and practice which best please
God as far as words are concerned.

I was a hospitable reader in those days,
And I accepted everything
With providential and enthusiastic resignation.