12mo., pp. , 151, , [6, advertisements], wanting the terminal leaf (a longitudinal half-title) as often; printed flaw affecting ‘9’ in the date of the imprint on the title-page, last leaf of advertisements adhered to endpaper, else a very good copy in contemporary sheep, rubbed; the Macclesfield copy, with blind-stamp and bookplate.
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Proverbs English, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. All Englished and alphabetically digested …
First and only edition of a scarce collection of idiomatic phrases and proverbs, many translated from other languages, with a selection of 114 ‘Golden sentences’ at the end.
The sources are wide-ranging – we note, for example, ‘A dwarf on a giant’s shoulders sees farther of the two’, an older sentiment but here quoting directly from George Herbert’s Jacula Prudentum, and ‘A rouling stone gathers no Mosse’ (presumably taken from Heywood’s Proverbes). Age-old saws include ‘A chip of the old block’, ‘I will not buy a pig in a poke’, ‘One swallow makes not a summer’, and ‘Ynough is as good as a Feast’. The golden sentences are more substantial, with attributions to Bacon, Plato, Henry Wotton.
ESTC lists eight copies: BL, Bodley; Staatsbibliothek Berlin; Harvard, Huntington, UCLA, Illinois, and Yale.
Wing R 56.
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First edition of a scurrilous account of Elizabeth Wisebourn[e], a famous bawd, and the goings-on in the gilded apartments of her elegant London brothel in Drury-Lane. Born in 1653 and educated in Rome under the tuition of a Lady Abbess to whom ‘she ow’d all that she knew of her Business’, Elizabeth made the acquaintance of ladies of first rank on her return to London, setting up a House where they could consort in private with the greatest variety of gallants. She also maintained a supply of the latest anti-venereal nostrums (a medical theme underlies the main narrative). Although her clients, female and male, are concealed by dashes and invented names, they must have been readily recognized by readers of the day. As her business increased she joined forces with the opera manager John James Heidegger, and together they conceived scandalous masquerades ‘to promote the Trade of her House’.