4to., pp. xxiv, 98, with a 16-page subscribers’ list; ownership inscription of Juliana Maria Bridget Waddington (a subscriber), dated 14 Feb. 1797, with a manuscript poem by her husband Robert Waddington on the last text-leaf and terminal blank (soiled and dusty, laid down); modern boards.
US $636 €515
First edition, a curious collection of occasional verse with a flippant introduction and a contents list with ‘Friendly criticisms’ on the poems: ‘Epistle to Mr. Burke … Long and dull’, ‘The New System … Stupid’, ‘A Doggerel Ode to the Revolution Society … Answers to the title.’
The ‘Epistle’ to Burke (‘Foe to wild anarchy, fair freedom’s friend’) takes the Reflections as its subject and rails against ‘rancourous Paine’. In ‘Damn’d Polite’, Stewart lightly satirises a young lady’s habit of always arriving late, while in the ‘Epilogue for Mrs. Bellamy’, the actress George Anne Bellamy (see Highfill, Burnim and Langhans, II, 6-20) apologises for her wayward drifting between various lovers.
Subscribers to the volume included Burke, Pitt, Fuseli, and Young. Another subscriber, ‘Mrs. Waddington’, has signed this copy, and ‘R W’, presumably her husband, the Rev. R. Waddington, also a subscriber, has provided a manuscript poem ‘To Mr. Stewart, on reading the above Verses to Mr Burke’, in reply to Stewart’s poem ‘To Mr Burke, on the Loss of his Son’.
Jackson, Annals of English Verse p. 216; not in Johnson, Provincial Poetry.
You may also be interested in...
COLLUTHUS, of Lycopolis.
The Rape of Helen. Translated from the Greek ... And illustrated with the Notes of Michael Nicander. To which is prefix’d a Fragment of the Author’s Life, from Suidas.
First and only edition, rare, of this translation of Collothus’s Rape of Helen (Αρπαγη Ελενης), ‘a short and charming miniature epic’ (Cambridge Companion to the Epic) written in the late fifth century in Egypt in 392 hexameters.
The Village Minstrel, and other Poems …
First edition of Clare’s second book of poetry. Published the year after Poems descriptive of rural Life and Scenery (1820), it met with further success, owing in part to public curiosity about the Northamptonshire peasant. A biographical sketch in the Introduction helped to satisfy that curiosity. The title poem is autobiographical, and there are sixty sonnets in volume II.