8vo., pp. 88, including half-title with advertisement for the second edition of Polly on verso; a very good copy in half navy morocco by Edgar H. Wells & Co., New York, spine and edges gilt.
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The Distress’d Wife. A Comedy. By the late Mr. Gay, Author of the Beggar’s Opera.
First edition, the issue with no press figures on pp. 8, 39, press figure p. 56: 3 (no priority). Gay’s comedy of the sexes revolves around Sir Thomas Willit’s attempts to inveigle his wife to leave London for the country, in order to reign-in her expenditure. Lady Willit abhors the idea, ‘Sure nothing can be more shocking than knowing the Day of one’s Death, except knowing the Day one is to be buried in the Country!’, and rails against his hapless ruses to lure her away from town. Confusion ensues as the gentlemen attempt to outwit the ladies and vice versa. Gay populates the cast with stock characters such as Willit’s uncle Barter, a sworn bachelor convinced of the evils of womankind ‘A Wife hath a thousand ways of blinding you … Flattery, Fondness, and Tears’.
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[LONDON ASSURANCE CORPORATION.]
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First edition of the by-laws of the London Assurance Corporation, which, along with The Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, was constituted and granted sole rights, excepting private individuals, to the granting of assurance and bottomry by ‘The Bubble Act’ of 1720. The right to self-govern, reflected in the pamphlet offered here, was also granted in ‘The Bubble Act’ of 1720 which specified that after three years of control by Crown-appointed governors and directors, the members of the corporation would be free to set their own by-laws and elect their own leadership. The by-laws cover use of the company seals, company cash, the price of share transfers, registering probates of wills, making receipts and payments, company elections, absentee directors, directors taking ‘presents, fees, or rewards’, officers or servants taking ‘unwarrantable fees’, procedure for questions asked in general courts, procedure for addressing questions, the penalty for breaking the by-laws, and the yearly salary of governors and directors.
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The Law of Commons and Commoners, or a Treatise shewing the Original and Nature of Common, and several Kinds thereof ...
First edition of an unattributed popular treatise on the law of common land. The text discusses, with reference to and explanations of previous cases, ‘the daily Controversies that arise about the Rights and Titles of Commoning, the Torts and Damages done to Commoners, and the various Prescriptions and Claims which are made to it, and the nicety of Pleading them’, being ‘particular in the matter of Apportionement and Extinguishment of Common, the want of a due Knowledge whereof, has occasioned the loss of many Commons’, so that ‘a Man may know when he fails in his Prescription, or not, upon the Evidence; the Ignorance of such Directions having oftentimes proved fatal to such who might have good Cause of Action’ (Preface).