394G Saint Augustine tr. John Floyd 1572 – 1649
The meditations, soliloquia, and manual of the glorious doctor St. Augustine. Translated into English.
London : printed for Matthew Turner at the Lamb in High-Holbourn, 1686. $1,100
Octavo A-T12 5 3/4 X 3 1/4 inches. This is the second edition of the Floyd translation. This copy is bound full original calf beautifully rebacked.
John Floyd was an English Jesuit, known as a controversialist. He was known both as a preacher and teacher, and was frequently arrested in England. He was born in Cambridgeshire in 1572. After studying in the school of the English Jesuits at Eu, Normandy, he was admitted on 17 March 1588 to the English College, Reims, where he studied humanities and philosophy. Next he went to the English College, Rome, admitted there 9 October 1590, and joined the Society of Jesus on 1 November 1592. On 18 August 1593 Floyd received minor orders at Reims or Douai, and on the 22nd of the same month he was sent back to the English College at Rome with nine companions, where he taught philosophy and theology, and became known as a preacher. In 1609 he became a professed father of the Jesuit order. He worked for a long time on the English mission. Having visited Edward Olscorne in Worcester gaol in 1606, he was detained, and he was unable either by entreaties or bribes to escape Sir John Popham. After a year’s imprisonment he was sent into exile with forty-six other priests, and he went to St. Omer where he composing controversial works. Then he returned to England, where he was often captured, and frequently contrived to pay off the pursuivants.
This selection of extracts from Saint Augustine’s Meditations and his Manual, the two together are considered a single work. It is a hand-sized devotional work, meant for pious reflection and inspiration. “A dialogic monologue, the Soliloquia are usually read as representing Augustine’s personal testimony, a more intimate witness than the dialogues to his state of mind between conversion and baptism. That they are a personal witness is patent, but the first book in particular should also be read as programmatic, reflecting Augustine’s mind at the beginning of his country retreat, as he set out not only to analyze his spiritual and intellectual aspirations but to begin to fulfill them. Recalling the one constant of the last decade, during which all had been in flux except the desire for intellectual integrity, Soliloquia 1 sets the agenda for the dialogues but does not anticipate their conclusions.
See also Allison & Rogers #306; Clancy 43; deBacker-Sommervogel III col 814 no 8