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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
IF the title of this paper had substituted the word Authorship for the word Formation, it would have contained the ambiguity which it is the object of the Inquiry to clear away. There are not many words in our language that describe a greater variety of operations than the word Author. From the first step in production, even from the mandate to produce a work of any kind, to the perfect completion of the work, there are many relations to it, and at times several contributions to it, which may make more persons than one authors of it, in different senses, with equal justice and exclusiveness. And only something short of this is the word Authorship; which, though it signifies the quality of being an author, and therefore may comprehend that quality in regard to any property of any subject, yet seems to be generally confined to literary works or compositions in writing, and to admit of nothing being truly predicated of it, except in this relation. The word Authorship is large enough, however, in this limited application, to include more than one person as possessing this quality in regard to the same thing; and in the rather jealous domain of literature, if different persons have contributed to the same written composition, it sometimes happens that the application of the word in honor of one rather than another of them, is the occasion of very lively disputes, where there is perhaps little or no difference of opinion about the respective contributions of the parties, or no previous analysis to ascertain what the respective contributions were. This word has therefore been care