The Chinese discovered about this time, too, a way to repeat designs and pictures on this newpaper. First they carved the design on a block of wood, then they "inked" it and pressed it on the paper, or the paper on it. This was real printing, as far as the principle is concerned, and the first of the kind that weknow of, although even before that the Babylonians and other Near Eastern peoples had known how tomake impressions on wax and other surfaces with carved seals and rings. The Chinese, however, took thenext logical step, and we know scrolls were being printed in Chinese characters from wood blocks by theseventh century. Printing from separate "types" carved from wood followed; it may have been as early as theeleventh century, but certainly by the fourteenth. A book printed in 1337 in Korea (then a part of China) frommovable blocks is now in the British Museum. Thus the credit for the invention of printing really belongs tothe Chinese. This art might have developed further and more rapidly if it hadn't been impractical to makemovable type for an alphabet of 6,000 characters for everyday use and a possible 40,000 for the completewritten language!It seems strange that Marco Polo, the great Venetian adventurer who in the thirteenth century spentseventeen years in the realm of Cathay, as China was then called, should have had nothing to say in hisfamous Travels about such an important invention. He visited all the provinces of China and paid hisrespects to the emperor, Kublai Khan, near Peking. He had his eyes open for many strange customs; butapparently he did not see, or at least he did not bring back to Europe any information concerning, a printingprocess. All that was learned about printing in Europe in the fifteenth century was worked out independently,without knowledge of what the Chinese had done. European printing type was a separate invention, and itwent far beyond anything that had been done before anywhere.The making of paper, however, did find its way to Europe from the Orient by a long and roundaboutway. In the eigth century the Arabs conquered Samarkand, a remote land in central Asia, and among their prisoners were two Chinese paper makers. By the twelfth century those Arabs, known as Moors, carried theart of paper-making to Spain, and later in that century it was known in France. But much of the early printingin Europe was done on parchment, for paper was not thought strong enough. Soon, however, the rapidgrowth of printing forced the use of paper. There was not enough parchment to feed the printing presses,each of which could turn out a hundred sheets while a scribe was copying three or four. More and moreattention began to be given to the manufacture of paper. Queen Elizabeth in 1589 gave, as a specialprivilege, a kind of monopoly to her jeweler, Sir John Spilman. He was authorized to make for ten years "allmanner of paper from rags, old fishing nets, odds and ends of used parchments."Now we come back to Johann Gutenberg. We know so little about him that many people have beentempted to complete the story of his life and work with some pretty far-flung guesses based on very slightevidence and much speculation. We shall try here to stick to known facts as far as possible. Beyond thateach may use his own imagination as he chooses.