Stated in a Dialogue betwixt a Prude and a Coquet, last Masquerade Night, the 12th of May …

London: Printed for J. Roberts … 1724.

Folio, pp. [2], 8; a good copy, disbound.


US $2844€2525

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Stated in a Dialogue betwixt a Prude and a Coquet, last Masquerade Night, the 12th of May …

Checkout now

First edition, rare, of an amusing verse dialogue between two women preparing to attend one of the popular masquerade balls staged by the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger. Hilaria, a coquette, is effusive about the pleasures of the imminent party and she offers a tempting vision of the delights of the masquerade: ‘so vast the crowds, so num’rous are the lights / … I Chat, – I Laugh, – I Dance, – with Coquet’s Art, / Play over all my Tricks; – yet keep my heart.’ Her friend Lucretia, a prude, is sceptical, though her warnings are somewhat undermined by the crude sexual puns in which she frames her advice:

The Fort of Chastity does shew some Strength,
Its Fossè too of goodly Depth and Length;
But then if Man produces one Great Gun,
The Fort’s demolish’d, and our Sex undone.

The conversation ends with a comic twist: the prudish Lucretia, now converted by Hilaria, departs for the Ball to meet Philander (who, inconstant wretch, is sworn to Hilaria).

John James Heidegger played a notable role in the introduction of Italian opera to London. His masked balls were hugely popular among the upper classes at the beginning of the eighteenth century, in part because of their notoreity for licentious behavour, and tickets were sold for as much as a guinea and a half each. Success brought less welcome attention too, and Heidegger, who was also famed for his ugliness, was satirised in prints by Hogarth, in verse by Pope, and as ‘Count Ugly’ by Swift.

ESTC shows six copies: BL (2 copies), Manchester Central Library; Harvard, Texas, and Yale.

Foxon B 20, Ashley Library, IX, 80.

You may also be interested in...


An Essay on the Genius and Writings of Shakespear: with some Letters of Criticism to the Spectator … London: Printed for Bernard Lintott … 1712. [Bound with:]
DENNIS, John. The Grounds of Criticism in Poetry, contain’d in some new Discoveries never made before, requisite for the Writing and Judging of Poems surely. Being a Preliminary to a larger Work design’d to be publish’d in Folio, and entituled A Criticism upon our most celebrated English Poets deceas’d … London: Printed for Geo. Strahan … and Bernard Lintott … 1704. [And with:]
SEWELL, George. A Vindication of the English Stage, exemplified in the Cato of Mr. Addison. In a Letter to a Nobleman … London, Printed for W. Mears … and sold by R. Burleigh … 1716. [And with:]
GAY, John. The Shepherd’s Week in six Pastorals … London, Printed: and sold by R. Burleigh … 1714.

First editions of Dennis and Sewell, later edition of Gay with cancel title-page.

Read more

MILTON, John. Paolo ROLLI, translator.

Del Paradiso perduto Poema inglese.

First edition of the first complete Italian translation of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the second issue, with a cancel title-page dated 1736 and further enumerating Rolli’s academic titles. Rolli started to work on this translation in 1719, publishing the first six books in London in 1729. Still incomplete, Rolli’s work was placed on the Index librorum prohibitorum in January 1732. The complete translation was finally published in 1735 by Charles Bennet (‘Despite the change in imprint to Charles Bennet, Samuel Aris [who had printed the first six books] probably printed the entire poem, for his signed ornaments appear on sheets throughout the work’, Coleridge, p. 207), and then often reprinted throughout the eighteenth century.

Read more