8vo., pp. xii, ; a very good, crisp copy in contemporary quarter calf and marbled boards (rubbed), competently rebacked.
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Clavis anglica Linguæ botanicæ; or, a botanical Lexicon; in which the Terms of Botany, particularly those occurring in the Works of Linnæus, and other modern Writers, are applied, derived, explained, contrasted, and exemplified …
First edition, dedicated to John Hope of the University of Edinburgh, and written with the assistance of Arthur Lee of Virginia, winner of the Hope Medal in 1763.
The physician and miscellanous writer John Berkenhout (1726-1791) served in the Prussian and English infantry before commencing the study of medicine at Edinburgh in 1760. His Clavis was published while he was a student, and a second edition appeared in 1789. He practised in Isleworth, Bury St. Edmunds, Winchester and Bath, and spent some time in America from 1778. ‘Berkenhout was a versatile man. His deep knowledge of natural history, botany, and chemistry was coupled with an extensive acquaintance with classical and modern literature. He was familiar with the French, German, Swedish, Dutch, and Italian languages, was a good mathematician, and is said to have been skilled in music and painting’ (Oxford DNB).
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‘THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH OSSIAN COMPOSED’ MACFARLANE, Patrick.
A new and copious English and Gaelic Vocabulary, with the different Parts of Speech; in alphabetical Order. By P. Macfarlane, Translator of Dodderidge’s Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, Blair’s Sermons, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, &c. &c.
The English-Gaelic Vocabulary was published alone, as here, at 5s.6d., or together with the Gaelic-English part at 12s.6d. The Gaelic scholar complied it because the ‘want of an English and Gaelic Vocabulary has long been a desideratum with those who wish to be acquainted wth the language in which Ossian, the son of Fingal, composed and sung’. The work begins with a guide to reading and the rules of pronunciation, ‘chiefly taken from those prefixed to the Gaelic Bible’. Macfarlane had corrected the proofs of the Gaelic New Testament of 1813 and of MacLeod and Dewar’s Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (1831).
PIOZZI, Hester Lynch.
British Synonymy; or, an Attempt at regulating the Choice of Words in familiar Conversation. Inscribed, with Sentiments of Gratitude and Respect, to such of her foreign Friends as have made English Literature their peculiar Study … In two Volumes …
First edition of a fascinating collection of short essays on synonyms, intended as a help to her husband and his foreign friends. Mrs. Piozzi began work on her Synonymy in early 1792, and by August was hard at the grindstone: ‘ten pages o’ Day copying, besides a little Composition now and then to stretch and swell … I should like to make it two thin Octavos like Brown’s Estimate and sell it like Merlin as dear as I can’ (letter to Queeney of 22 August). Through her friend Arthur Murphy, the Robinsons eventually offered £300 for the manuscript, requiring 400 pages per volume, and the work, delayed by Mr. Piozzi’s gout, appeared in April 1794 (and was devoured by Horace Walpole by the 16th of that month – Hazen 3254).