A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


April 2019

The Life and Errors of John Dunton


294J John Dunton

The life and errors of John Dunton : late citizen of London ; written by himself in solitude. With an idea of a new life ; wherein is shewn how he’d think, speak, and act, might he live over his days again: Intermix’d with the New Discoveries The Author has made In his Travels Abroad, And in his Private Conversation at Home. Together with the Lives and Characters of a Thousand Persons now Living in London, &c. Digested into Seven Stages, with their Respective Ideas.

London : Printed for S(arah) Malthus,[ active 1700?-1706, ; bookseller.]  1705

Octavo  x  inches.  A8b2B-Z8*2A-*2B82D-2I822A-2C822D2; errors in signing: leaves 2D2 and 2D4 missigned 2C2 and 2C4. First Edition.     This copy is Bound in modern calf; lacking preliminary leaf of verse, title page worn with early inscription and inked library release stamp, foxing.

“Eighty-four pages are occupied with the account of his visit to New England, his opening a bookstore in Boston; intercourse with the Mathers, John Cotton, Eliot, Hubbard, Indian sachems, and several ladies of Boston, of some of whom he relates very curious particulars”–Sabin 21344. 

Dunton, who was among other things a bookseller (at the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to Thomas Parkhurst, bookseller, at the sign of the Bible and Three Crowns, Cheapside, London.  Dunton ran away at once,  but was soon brought back and began to love books)  is best known today as a tireless self-promoter whose first person  and experimental work contributed to the development of the novel and autobiography in the eighteenth century. He became a bookseller at the sign of the Raven, near the Royal Exchange, and married Elizabeth Annesley, whose sister married Samuel Wesley. His wife managed his business, so that he was left free in a great measure to follow his own eccentric devices.  he visited New England, where he stayed eight months selling books and observing with interest the new country and its inhabitants. He sailed from Gravesend in October 1685, and reached Boston after a four months’ voyage. He sold his books, and visited Cambridge. In Roxbury he saw the missionary John Eliot and learnt something of Native American customs. He stayed for a time at Salem and Wenham, and returned to England in the autumn of 1686.[2]

Dunton the showman is in plentiful evidence in this text, but he also presents another, more sober and serious-minded version of the self by following accounts of earlier stages of his life with their reformed versions. His coupling of religious-led self-examination with a commitment to literary novelty makes The Life a most unusual form of spiritual autobiography in its early stages.

Yet The Life is a composite text in an even more obvious sense than this. For around half-way through the text Dunton abandons his close focus on the self for hundreds of cursory character sketches of his contemporaries, and in doing so swaps spiritual considerations for indirect comments on his own social activities and commercial concerns.

Parks.   ; Sabin 21344.; Forster,; 2635 Kress,; S.2304; English Short Title Catalog,; T75140

  1. Melanie Ord (2017) Remaking the Self in John Dunton’s The Life and Errors of John Dunton (1705),Prose Studies, 39:2-3, 99-119, DOI: 10.1080/01440357.2018.1433966
  2. Parks, Stephen (1976). John Dunton and the English book trade: a study of his career with a checklist of his publications. Garland reference library of the humanities, v. 40. New York: Garland Pub.
  3.  “Dunton, John” . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.





The Paradoxical Project (or the Athenian Sport)

Some men by fixing on a false Delight

Instruct, and by mistaking set us right.


265J  John   Dunton            1659-1733

IMG_1261Athenian sport: or, two thousand paradoxes merrily argued, to amuse and divert the age: as a Paradox in praise of a Paradox. Corporeal Affections remain after Separation. The Eye beholds as much when it looks on a Shilling, as when it speculates the whole Heaven. Inconstancy is a most commendable Virtue. Every Man is corporally born twice. No Man sees but he that is stark blind. The Restor’d Maidenhead, or a marry’d Woman may be twice a Virgin. Athenian, or Intellectual, Sport is the Recreation of Pre-Existent Spirits. ’tis the Pleasantest Life to be always in Danger. The same numerical Voice of a Preacher is not heard by any two of his Auditors. What we call Life, is Natural Death. Content is the greatest Misery. He is the Happiest Man who has neither Mony nor Friend. Fruition’s nothing, or a Paradox proving there’s no Pleasure in Copulation. To imprison a Debtor is to set him at Liberty. Green come from the Dead, or no Man lives but he that is Hang’d. The Virgin-Paradox, or a Young Lady may Love and Hate the same Person at the same Time. The Loving Shrew, or the Kindest Women are the most Cruel. And so on, to the Defence of 2000 Paradoxes (or Pleasant Theses) which seem Strange, and Contrary to the Common Opinion. With Improvements from the Honourable Mr. Boyle, Lock, Norris Collier, Cowley, Dryden, Garth, Addison, and other Illustrious Wit. By a member of the Athenian Society.

London, printed by B Bragg in Pater-noster-Row: 1707           $1600

Quarto  A8, a8, B-Z8, Aa-Mm8.   First edition.  This copy is bound in full original calf, a very nice copy.



No one would ever suggest that Dunton didn’t write as much as he could but, Dunton was a bit of an exaggerator, this book does not contains   in fact there are only 139.  The subjects here vary from the whimsical to the scatological, and the arrangement is haphazard, with a poem on toothache following an essay on cuckoldry, etc. Eight of the paradoxes are in fact by John Donne, though his name is nowhere mentioned – not even in the list of the title page. Among the paradoxes argued herein  ..”

Nescience: or, a paradox proving we know nothing.IMG_1260

He is the Happiest Man who has neither Mony nor Friend?

Fruition is nothing,

A Paradox proving there’s no Pleasure in Copulation.?

We live in Heaven: ….we are perfectly happy in this world. 

That only Cowards dare die.

If I had more time I would read every book bu Dunton. but in this book he writes in Paradox L. “that the shortest life is best” All of his books  are great, and Dunton’s style is polished, lovely prose which makes for an easily enjoyed read.

Dunton’s mind has, not inaptly, been compared to ‘a table, where the victuals were illsorted and worse dressed.’ He was born at Graffham, in Huntingdonshire, and, at an early age, sent to school, where he passed through the general series of boyish adventures and mishaps — robbing orchards, swallowing bullets, falling into rivers, in short, improving in everything but (book) learning, and not scrupling to tell lies when he could gain any advantage by concealing the truth. His family had been connected with the ministry for three generations; and though he felt prouder of this descent from the house of Levi, than if he had been a duke’s son, yet being of too volatile a disposition to follow in the footsteps of his reverend ancestors, he was apprenticed to Thomas Parkhurst, a noted Presbyterian bookseller of the day, at the sign of the Bible and Three Crowns, Cheapside, London. Dunton and his master seem to have agreed very well together; a young lady, however, coming to visit Mr. Parkhurst’s family, the apprentice made love to her, and they met occasionally in Grocers’ Hall Garden; but the master making a ‘timely discovery,’ sent Miss Susanna back to her friends in the country…

His most fortunate speculation as a publisher, and of which he seems to have been proudest, was the Athenian Mercury, a weekly periodical. This work professed to answer all inquiries on matters of history, divinity, philosophy, love, or marriage. It had a great success, many men of mark were contributors, and it flourished for six years; till the great increase of similar publications of a lighter character caused Dunton to give it up.


Parks, Dunton, 339; Keynes, Donne, 46a; CBEL II, 344; Halkett & Lang I, 156.

This fine book has some interesting book plates in it.

The Holy History ,written by a Jesuit translated by a Recusant. & rare.

I really liked the condition of this book so I bought it , then I discovered it is quite rare.. It is on microfilm and on line (EEBO)., But very rare otherwise. I could only find one that was really a book .The text is not surprising but the story of the authors and the translators is quite interesting, especially the translator the Marquis of Winchester.

John Paulet (1598-1675). 272J.  Nicholas Talon 1605-1691 & Nicholas Caussin, 1583-1651

The holy history containing , and histories of the Old Testament.With a vindication of the verity thereof from the aspersions of atheists and anti-scripturians : Written originally in French by Nicolas Causin and Talon, and elegantly rendred into English out of the seventh and last edition by a person of honour.  

London : Printed by T[homas]. W[arren]. Printed for Jo. Crook and Jo. Baker, and are to be sold at the sign of the ship in St. Paul’s Church-yard. 1653.     $1,100


Quarto  π1,A4,B-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Hhh4.  First Edition This is a beautiful copy, in pristine IMG_1248original condition the boards are at least wrapped in binders waste and most-likely made up of  printed text in English both  the front and rear boards have the text of [Most Probably} Wing G1163.  The divine authority of the Scriptures asserted, or The great charter of the worlds blessednes vindicated. Being a discourse of soveraigne use and service in these times; not only against that king of errours, and heresies anti-scripturisme, who hath already destroyed th faith of many, and hath all the faith in the world yet remaining, in chase, but also against all such inward suggestions and secret underminings of Satan, by which he privily attempteth the ruine of the precious faith and hope, wherewith the saints have built up themselves with much spirituall industry and care. Together with two tables annexed; the former, of the contents, and severall arguments more largely prosecuted in the treatise; the later, of such texts of Scripture unto which some light is given therein. By John Goodvvin a servant unto God and men in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1648  IMG_1255

Over these wonderful boards is  contemporary full blind-ruled sheepskin,  the plain spine chipped at the base, joints are intact, the endpapers  are slight browned and dusty, occasional spot but text is clean. The front end paper is slightly chipped at the bottom corner, the title page creased bottom right corner, with a brown spot to the bottom left. The engraved title is very finely executed and is by Hollar.”


Wing (2e éd.) C155 C1551

ESTC Copies – N.America

1;”>University of California, Los Angeles, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library .




Nicolas Talon (31 August 1605 – 29 March 1691) was a French Jesuit, historian, and ascetical writer. Talon was born at Moulins. Entering the Society of Jesus in 1621, he taught literature for several years. After his ordination he gained some reputation as a preacher, was a worker in the prisons and


hospitals of Paris, and served as army chaplain with the French troops in Flanders, winning the admiration of the men and the lifelong friendship of the Prince de Conde. He assisted the notorious outlaw Aime du Poncet during his painfully protracted execution, and it is said that Poncet died penitent and resigned. This striking conversion made a profound impression. Talon died in Paris. Talon’s portrait was engraved by Heer. Carlos Sommervogel mentions 300 of his letters in the d’Aumale collection at Chantilly.

Nicholas Caussin, (1583-1651) A famous Jesuit preacher and moralist; b. at Troyes in France, in 1583; d. at Paris, 2 July, 1651. His father, a physician of extensive practice, was able from a competent income to aid materially in the development of the remarkable talents that his son early displayed. Young Caussin’s success in oratory, particularly after his entry into the Society of Jesus (1609), was brilliant, and drew to him the attention of the royal family. When the kingdom of Henry IV was fast declining under the impotent sway of the queen-regent, Marie de’ Medici, Louis XIII came to the throne. Richelieu summoned Caussin to court to direct the young king’s conscience. The task was a difficult one in those disturbed times, but Caussin, with scrupulous earnestness, gave his heart and soul to the work. The king, who relied implicitly on him, was made to realize that peace would once more reign in his realm and in his own soul when he recalled the queen-mother and other members of the royal family from the banishment in which they were languishing. Richelieu disliked this advice and accused Caussin of raising false scruples in the king’s mind, and even of holding communications that savoured of treachery or that were at all events disloyal to his sovereign, with another of the royal chaplains. Caussin was at once banished to Quimper-Corentin in Brittany, where he remained until the death of Richelieu in 1643, when he returned to Paris to prepare his works for the press.Many false statement regarding Caussin’s disgrace were current. The Jansenist Arnauld claims that “it was well known from persons intimately connected at the former court of Louis XIII, that Father Caussin considered himself obliged to tell His Majesty that attrition, arising from the fear of hell alone, was not sufficient for justification, as there could be no justification without love of God, and this was what caused his disgrace.” Many more surmises were engaged in by other Jansenists, but the reason given above is admitted by unfriendly biographers of the father. Among his works are: “La Cour Sainte” (5 vols.)—”A comprehensive system of moral maxims, pious reflections and historical examples, forming in itself a complete library of rational entertainment, Catholic devotion, and Christian knowledge.” It was translated into several languages and has done much to perpetuate his fame. The English translation was printed in Dublin in 1815. “Le parallèle de l’éloquence sacree et profane”; “La vie de Sante Isabelle de France, soeur du roi St. Louis”; “Vie du Cardinal du Richelieu”; “Thesaurus Græcæ Poeseos.”

For his other works see De Backer, “Bibl. des écriv. de la c. de J.” (Liège, 1855), and Sommervogel (new ed., Liège), II Feller, Biog. Univ. (Paris 1834); Duhr, Jesuiten Fabelen (4th ed. , 1904), 670 sqq.; Cherot in Dict. de théol. cath., s.v.John J. Cassidy.” src=

Our Translator.     Marquis of Winchester.  John Paulet (1598-1675) Born probably at Basing House, Hampshire  Died: 5th March 1675 at Englefield House, Berkshire.             He was the third, but eldest surviving, son of William, 4th Marquis of Winchester (d. 1629) by Lucy (d. 1614), second daughter of Sir Thomas Cecil, afterwards 2nd Lord Burghley and Earl of Exeter. On 7th December 1620, was elected MP for St. Ives, Cornwall. He was sum­moned to the House of Lords as Baron St. John on 10th February 1624, became Captain of Netley Castle in 1626 and succeeded to the Marquisate on 4th February 1629, becoming also keeper of Pamber Forest, Hampshire. In order to pay off the debts incurred by his father’s lavish hospitality, he passed many years in comparative seclusion.    But on 18th February 1639, he wrote to Secretary Windebank that he would be quite ready to attend the King on his Scottish expedition ‘with alacrity of heart and in the best equipage his fortunes would  permit’. Winchester being a Roman Catholic, Basing House, Hampshire, his chief seat – on every pane of which he had written within a diamond ‘Aimez Loyauté‘ – became, at the outbreak of the Civil War, the great re­sort of the Queen’s friends in South-West England. It occurred to the King’s military advisers that the house might be fortified and garrisoned to much advantage, as it commanded the main road from the Western Counties to London.

The journal of the Siege of Basing House forms one of the most remarkable features of the Civil War. It commenced in August 1643, when the whole force with which Winchester had to defend it, in addition to his own inexperienced people, amounted only to one hundred mus­keteers sent to him from Oxford, on 31st July under the command of   Lieutenant-Colonel Peake. He subsequently received an additional force of 150 men under Colonel Rawdon. In this state of comparative weakness, Basing resisted, for more than three months, the continued attack of the combined Parliamentary troops of Hampshire and Sussex, commanded by five colonels of reputation. The Catholics at Oxford successfully conveyed provisions to Basing under Colonel Gage.

An attempt by Lord Edward Paulet, Winchester’s youngest brother, then serving under him in the house, to betray Basing to the enemy was frustrated and he was turned out of the garrison. On 11th July 1644, Colonel Morley summoned Winchester to surrender. Upon his refusal, the besiegers tried to batter down the water-house. On 13th July, a shot passed through Winchester’s clothes and, on the 22nd, he was struck by a ball. A second summons to surrender was sent by Colonel Norton on 2nd September, but was at once rejected. About 11th September, the garri­son was relieved by Colonel Gage who, being met by Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson by the Grange, routed Morley’s and Norton’s men and entered the house. He left with Winchester one hundred of Colonel Hawkins’ white-coated men and, after taking Basingstoke, sent  provisions  to Basing. Meanwhile, Winchester, with the white-coats and others under Major Cuffaud and Captain Hull, drove the besiegers out of Basing.  On 14th November, Gage again arrived at Basing and, on the 17th, the Siege was raised. Norton was succeeded by a stronger force under the command of Colonel Harvey, which had no better fortune. At length, Sir William Waller advanced against it at the head of seven thousand horse and foot. StillWinchester contrived to hold out. But after the Battle of Naseby, Cromwell marched from Win­chester upon Basing and, after a most obsti­nate conflict, took it by storm on 16th October 1645. Winchester was brought in a prisoner, with his house flaming around him. He broke out and said “that if the king had no more ground in England but Basing House, he would adventure it as he did, and so maintain it to the uttermost,” comforting himself in this matter “that Basing House was called Loyalty”. Thenceforward, he was called the ‘great loyalist.’ What remained of Basing, which Hugh Peters, after its fall, told the House of Commons ‘would have become an emperor to dwell in,’ the Parliamentarians levelled to the ground, after pil­laging it of money, jewels, plate and household stuff to the value, it is said, of £200,000.Winchester was committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason on 18th October 1645 and his estates were ordered to be sequestered. An order was made for allowing him £5 a week out of his property on 15th January 1646. Lady Winchester, who had escaped from Basing two days before its fall, was sent to join her husband in the Tower on 31st January and a weekly sum of £10, afterwards increased to £15, was ordered to be paid her for the support of herself and her children, with the stipulation that the latter were to be educated as Protestants. An ordinance for the sale of Winchester’s land was passed on 30th October and, by the Act of 16th July 1651, a portion was sold by the trustees for the sale of forfeited estates. On 7th Sept 1647, Winchester was allowed  to drink the waters at Epsom and stayed there by permission of Parliament for nearly six months. The House of Lords, on 30th June 1648, urged the Commons to release him on bail in consideration of his bad health. In the propositions sent to the King at the Isle of Wight, on 13th October, it was expressly stipulated that Winchester’s name be excepted from pardon. Ultimately, the Commons resolved, on 14th March 1649, not to proceed against him for high treason; but they ordered him to be detained in prison and excepted from any composition for his estate. In January 1650, he was a prisoner in execution in the upper bench for debts amounting to £2,000 and he petitioned Cromwell for relief. The sale of his lands was discontinued by order of Parliament on 15th March 1660 and, after the Restoration, Winchester received them back. It was proposed, on 3rd August 1660, to recom­pense him for his losses to the amount of £19,000 and damages, subsequently reduced to £10,000. This was agreed to on 2nd July 1661 but, in the event, he was allowed to go unrecompensed. A bill for confirming an award for settling differences between him and his eldest son, Charles, in regard to the estates, was passed in 1663.Winchester retired to his estate at Englefield, Berkshire, which he had acquired by his second marriage, and passed the re­mainder of his life in privacy, dividing his time between agriculture and literature. He greatly enlarged the house, the front of which, says Granger, bore a beautiful resemblance to a church organ, but ‘is now no more’ [1775].Winchester died at Englefield House on 5th March 1675, as Premier Marquis of England, and was buried in the church there. On the monument raised by his wife to his memory are engraved some fine lines by Dryden. He was married three times: first, to Jane (d. 1631), eldest daughter of Thomas, 1st Viscount Savage, by whom he had issue, Charles, his successor, created 1st Duke of Bolton in 1689. Milton wrote an epitaph in 1631 upon Jane, Lady Winchester; and James Howell, who taught her Spanish, has com­memorated her beauty and goodness. Winchester’s second wife was Lady Honora de Burgh (1611-1662), daughter of Richard, 1st Earl of St. Albans and Clanricarde, who brought him four sons – of whom two only, John and Francis, lived to manhood – and threedaughters. By his third wife, Isabella Howard, second daughter of William, 1st Viscount Stafford, he had no children.Clarendon has celebrated   Winchester’s goodness, piety and unselfish loyalty in elo­quent and just language. Three works, translated from the French by Winchester, are extant: 1. ‘Devout Entertainment of a Christian Soule,’ by Jacques Hugues Quarré, Paris, 1648, done during his imprison­ment in the Tower. 2. ‘The Gallery of Heroick Women,’ by Pierre Le Moyne, a Jesuit, London, 1652, in praise of which James Howell wrote some lines. 3. ‘The Holy History’ of Nicholas Talon, London, 1653. To these works Winchester prefixed prefaces, written in simple, unaffected English, and remarkable for their tone of gentle piety. In 1663, Sir Balthazar Gerbier, in dedicating to him a treatise called ‘Counsel and advice to all Builders,’ takes occasion to commend Englefield (or, as he calls it, ‘Henfelde’) House. Winchester’s portrait has been engraved in a small oval by Hollar. There is also a miniature of him by Peter Oliver, which has been engraved by Cooper, and an equestrian portrait by Adams.”


Wing C1551, DeBacker-Sommervogel vol.VII col.1822 no.1

Wing (2e éd.) C1551     ESTC Copies – N.America                                                                 1;”>University of California, Los Angeles, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

And For Spring Mystical Science 1658


295J Alfonso GIANOTTI,  S.J.

Mysticum heliotropium Hoc Est Selectae Industriae Ad Unionem Cum Deo consequendam.

Ingolstadt: Joannes Ostermayr, 1658.        $3,300
16mo ( 3.86 x 2.24 inches), [8] leaves, 267, [5] pp. Two title pages, one engraved, the other IMG_1232letterpress: the former consists of a full-page emblematic design which includes several Latin Biblical quotes. Bound in 19th-century quarter brown morocco, five raised bands on spine, with small gilt design in the compartments; small paper defect in the lower margins of the first quire affecting a portion of the border of the engraved tittle and some letters in the letterpress title, including the last two roman digits of the date.

FIRST LATIN EDITION (see below) of the widely popular spiritual treatise whose title translates “The Mystical Sunflower,” by the Jesuit theologian Alfonso Gianotti (1596- 1649), Rector at Reggio and Bologna. The work’s title is a metaphor expressing that just as the sunflower always faces the sun, so the Christian soul is engaged in the constant pursuit of connecting itself with God.
This Latin translation, attributed in the title to “Another member of the Society of Jesus,” is based on the elusive original Italian version, Il mistico Girasole, believed to have first been published at Bologna in 1641, and reprinted there in 1646; although such Italian editions are mentioned by several sources (e.g., Tiraboschi, Biblioteca Modenese II, p. 403, and G. Melzi, Dizionario di opere anonime … di scrittori Italiani, vol. 1, p. 70),

No copy of any edition appears to have survived: I have been unable to locate an actual copy of any edition in any catalogue, including OCLC, WorldCat, NUC, etc.

The work was also translated into German as Die Geistliche Sonnenwend (Munich 1659).
Of the present first Latin edition a small handful of copies are known in European libraries, and reprints are recorded in 1665 and 1698; of this 1658 first edition and its 1665 reprint no copies may be located in American collections; of the 1698 reprint one copy is located at Harvard.


§ De Backer III, p. 1392, no. 2; VD17 12:102783F.


Quoted from:Annals of Botany 117: 1–8, 2016
doi:10.1093/aob/mcv141, available online at
VIEWPOINT. Phototropic solar tracking in sunflower plants: an integrative perspective Ulrich Kutschera* and Winslow R. Briggs
Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA *For correspondence: E-mail



IMG_1236The most popular misconception is that flowering H. annuusheads (Fig. 1) track the moving sun across the sky. This belief can be traced back to the writings of the German Jesuit poly- math Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680), who has been described as ‘the last man who knew everything’ (Breidbach and Ghiselin, 2006). In a monograph published in 1643, Kircher de- picted a ‘sunflower clock’, which purported to inform humans about the time of day via continuous movements of the mature, flowering head, driven by a mysterious cosmic magnetic force (Fig. 2A). Today, we no longer take this example of early 17th century natural magic seriously, but in Kircher’s time the stan- dards were different. In a subsequent book of 1667 entitledRegnum Naturae Magneticum, Kircher depicted a more realistic version of his ‘sunflower clock’, which is reproduced here. This drawing shows a mature sunflower plant the East head of which tracks the sun during the day, from 0600h (6 am), through 1200 h (noon), to 1800 h (6 pm).


In a classic monograph on Asteraceae of the genus Helianthus, Heiser (1976) summarized quotations from poets in which Kircher’s ‘sunflower dogma’ had been praised. He referred to the English botanist John Gerard (1545–1611), who was the first to dispute the old misconception of the ‘moving sunflower heads’ (Gerard, 1597), as depicted by Kircher in 1667. Heiser argued that ‘green plants are phototropic and respond by growing toward the source of light. Thus many plants, particularly at early stages, bend toward the east in the morning and toward the west in the evening. The common sun- flower shows this tendency more strikingly than most plants, but, once the flower head opens, it no longer bends toward the source of light. Interestingly enough, in my gardens the heads of the giant sunflowers always end up facing the east’ (Heiser, 1976, p. 28).

Fascicle XIX {W-O-W} How lucky we have been! So many wonderful books .


As a person who has  dedicated their adult life to  the rare book world, I truly never anticipated ever being  be able to offer such such  important  and beautiful books. I have been selling rare & early (pre seventeen  hundred  books since 1991) Here is a link to the catalogue, but please enjoy the wonderful images!

fXIX winter 191


IMG_0975IMG_0864 2IMG_0931IMG_0299118burleyIMG_0975IMG_0976IMG_0958IMG_0861 2IMG_0848IMG_0879Untitled 9Untitled 8284JtDSC_0079 2Untitled 6Untitled 7118burleyIMG_0881IMG_0299IMG_0873IMG_0865IMG_0879IMG_0864IMG_0868IMG_0869IMG_0880IMG_0863IMG_0874IMG_0878IMG_0857IMG_0866IMG_0867IMG_0861IMG_0802IMG_0816IMG_0819IMG_0816IMG_0814IMG_0749IMG_0747IMG_0746IMG_0743IMG_0744IMG_0745IMG_0741IMG_0740IMG_0739IMG_0734IMG_0735IMG_0736IMG_0737IMG_0733IMG_0729IMG_0725IMG_0723IMG_0724IMG_0722IMG_0721IMG_0720IMG_0719IMG_0718

Arbor Porphyriana, “Expanding on Aristotle’s Categories and visually alluding to a tree’s trunk, Porphyry’s structure reveals the idea of a layered assembly in logic. It is made of three columns of words, where the central column contains a series of dichomatous divisions between genus and species, whcih derive from the supreme genus, Substance.


Rear Board


Aristotelian hexagon a conceptual model of the relationships between the truth values of six statements. It is an extension of Aristotle’s square of opposition.
Front Board
Aristotelian diagrams have a long and rich history in philosophical logic. Today, they are widely used in nearly all disciplines dealing with logical reasoning.


[Cologne : Ulrich Zel, about 1466].

De pollutione nocturna — [Cologne: Ulrich Zel, about 1467]

Experimental Sale of a Complete Incunabulum!

In my “Fiery Hunt” to find out what I need to do, I some times feel as though there is little left to do but the unreasonable>. Well today is one of those days, and so I have listed a very nice book on e-bay.: 

So let’s see what happens.

First here is the link: Complete Incunable 1496 Original binding! Carcano’s Sermonarium de poenitentia.

Here is the book:

9) 942G Michæl (Michaelis Mediolanensis) Carcano ( 1427-1484)

Sermonarium de poenitentia per adventum et per quadragesimam fratris Michaelis Mediolanensis.

Venice : Georgius Arrivabenus, 28 Sept. 1496


Large Octavo a-z8 [et]8 [con]8 [rum]8 A-E8 F10.

IMG_1149This copy is bound in bind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards.Highly impressed with blind tool rool stamps of thistles Strawberries and various other flowers.



Carcano was one of the greatest Franciscan preachers of the 15th-century .

In this book there are 92 sermons for Advent and Lent, that amount to a systematic treatment of penitence. Carcano’s preaching was much admired by Bernardino da Feltre, who called him ‘alter sanctus apostolus Paulus et ChristiTuba’.

He is known for his part in founding the montes pietatis banking system, with Bernardine of Feltre, and for the marked anti-Semitism of his attacks on usury . His sermons were later printed as Sermones quadragesimales fratris Michaelis de Mediolano de decem preceptis (1492). They include arguments in favour of religious art.(see Geraldine A. Johnson, Renaissance Art: A Very Short Introduction (2005), p. 37)



The wording of the colophon suggests that the archetype of this edition is that of Nicholas de Frankfordia,1487


Quadragesimale seu sermonarium de penitentia duplicatum per aduentu[m] videlicet & quadragesima[m] a venerabili viro fratre Michaele Mediolanensi ordinis fratrum IMG_1143minorum de obseruantia editum: qui tum sanctimonia vite, tu[m] ferue[n]tissima verbi dei p[re]dicatione a deo inumeris meruit corruscare miraculis felici numine explicitum est. Impressu[m] V enetijs optimaq[ue] castigatione eme[n]datu[m]: per Georgiu[m] de Arriuabenis Ma[n]tuanum. Anno d[omi]ni .M.cccclxxxxvj. die .xxviij. Septembris./

Goff C197; H 4507*;; W alsh 2140; B MC V 386

(HEHL,Harvard, CL,LC,St Bonaventure Univ ,Univ . of Kentucky , Univ . of Minnesota)

Characters of Distinction between true and pretending Prophets are laid down. 1665

Todays book is as much fun to read as Brown’s Pseudoxia Epidemica , Like Brown Spencer is battling against superstition, with reason and natural history as his weapon and defense. 

940G     John Spencer, Dean of Ely             1630-1693

A Discourse concerning Prodigies: Wherein The Vanity of Presages by them is reprehended, and their true and proper Ends asserted and vindicated.

[bound with]

A Discourse Concerning Vulgar Prophecies. Wherein The Vanity of receiving them as the certain Indications of any future Event is discovered; And some Characters of Distinction between true and pretending Prophets are laid down.           


London: Printed by J. Field for Will. Graves over against Great S. Maries Church in Cambridge, 1665; London: Printed by J. Field for Timothy Garthwait at the Kings head in S. Pauls Church-yard, 1665           $1,450



Octavo  6 ½ X 4 ½ . A8, a8, B-Z8, Aa-Cc8, Dd4; A-I8, K4.   Second edition of the first book, first edition of the second book. Bound in contemporary calf.

The remarkable nature of Spencer’s achievement is enhanced when it is remembered that oriental studies were then in their infancy and that he was compelled to derive nearly all his data from classical writers of Greece and Rome, from the Christian fathers, the works of Josephus, or from the Bible itself. Spencer professed that his object was ‘to clear Deity from arbitrary and fantastic humor, “A greatly extended editon of Spencer’s refutation of omens and apparitions and the first to include his new publication, a “Discourse Concerning Vulgar Prophecies.” The book examines a copious assemblage of superstitions and auguries, such as comets, eclipses, the turning of ponds to blood and the moving of mountains, tracing the history of the Old Testament and classical mythology and commending the study of Natural Philosophy. Spencer examines superstitious beliefs surrounding comets and eclipses, as well as the beliefs held by some on the turning of ponds to blood and the moving of mountains and many more interpretations of bizarre natural phenomena.                                                              

“I Shall descend now to a close and distinct discourse concerning the (forementioned) Prodigies Signal; and amongst them, first con∣cerning those which more immediately resolve into causes Natural.”

 Spencer disapproved of the interpreting natural phenomena as superstitious prognostication and rather tricot to come up with, what we would call, a  scientific explanation.                

                         ” in which the vanity of receiving them as the certain indications of any future event is discovered, and some characters of distinction between true and pretended prophets are laid down.”

This attempt to bring the public to reason and sobriety was not less timely than the the first book, published  in response to the “Annus Mirabilis,”  Some enthusiasts  brought to notice a number of pretended prodigies, as portending future changes in the state, Spencer conceiving it to be of dangerous consequence thus to unsettle the minds of the people,,

And it might Be usefully renewed in current instances and at  THIS much later periods

Spencer writes :”That Nature in its production of the several kinds of crea∣tures, should (as if they were all stampt with one common seal) give them forth in such equal and similar figures and proportions, is a more just object of wonder, then to see the natural Archeus sometimes to play the bungler, and to leave its work (in some parts thereof) rude and mishapen. That the Earth should generally be delivered of the many vapours and winds within its bowels, without the pangs and throws of an earthquake; and that all the host of Heaven should marchJoel 2. 7, 8.every one on his way, and not break their ranks, neither thrust one another, but walk every one on his path (to borrow the language of the Prophet)Excedit profectò omnia miracula, ul∣lum diem fu isse in quo non cuncta confla∣grarent. Plin. Hist. Nat. l. 2. c. 107. are prodigies beyond an Earthquake, New star, or monster sometime discovered to the world, and therefore more justly chosen to be the constant instances of the divine Wisdom and Power; and to see some strange fires breaking forth (sometimes) from the caverns of the earth, is so much beneath wonder, that Pliny tells us, it exceeds all wonder, that there should be any day wherein all the things in the world (so pregnant with fiery principles) do not break forth into one mighty flame, and lay the world in ashes.Now then what sober Reason can warrant us to conclude any necessary and natural occurrences the prophetick signs of Events”

“John Spencer, master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and author of ‘De Legibus DSC_0118Hebraeorum,’ was a native of Bocton, near Bleane, Kent, where he was baptized on 31 October 1630. He was educated at the King’s School, Canterbury, became king’s scholar there, and was admitted to a scholarship of Archbishop Parker’s foundation in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, on 25 March 1645. He graduated B.A. in 1648, M.A. in 1652, B.D. in 1659, and D.D. in 1665. After taking holy orders he became a university preacher, served the cures first of Saint Giles and then of Saint Benedict, Cambridge, and on 23 July 1667 was instituted to the rectory of Landbeach, Cambridgeshire, which he resigned in 1683 in favor of his nephew and curate, William Spencer. On 3 August 1667 he was unanimously elected master of Corpus Christi College, and he governed that society for twenty-six years. He contributed verses to the Cambridge university Collection on the death of Henrietta Maria, queen dowager, in 1669. He was appointed a prebendary to the first stall at Ely in February 1671/2, and served the office of vice-chancellor of the university in the academic year 1673, during which he delivered a speech addressed to the Duke of Monmouth on his installation as chancellor of the university. He was admitted on the presentation of the king, to the archdeaconry of Sudbury in the church of Norwich on 5 September 1677; and was instituted to the deanery of Ely on 9 September 1677. He died on 27 May 1693, and was buried in the college chapel, where a monument with a Latin inscription was erected to his memory. He married Hannah, daughter of Isaac Puller, and sister of Timothy Puller. She died leaving one daughter (Elizabeth) and one son (John).
“Spencer was an erudite theologian and Hebraist, and to him belongs the honor of being the first to trace the connection between the rites of the Hebrew religion and those practiced by kindred Semitic races. In 1669 he published a ‘Dissertatio de Urim & Thummin,’ in which he referred those mystic emblems to an Egyptian origin. […] In 1685 appeared Spencer’s chief publication, his ‘De Legibus Hebraeorum ritualibus et earum rationibus libri tres.’ In this work, which included the earlier treatise on Urim and Thummin, Spencer deserted the time honored paths traced by commentators, and ‘may justly be said to have laid the foundations of the science of comparative religion. In its special subject, in spite of certain aspects, it still remains by far the most important book on the religious antiquities of the Hebrews.’ (Robertson Smith, Religions of the Semites, 1894) .’” (DNB)

Wing S-4948; CH, CLC, CN, IU, PL, WF, Y; Wing S-4949; CH, CLC, IU, MIU, NU, TO, TU, WF, Y.


 CHAP. II. Concerning Prodigies, Signal, Natural.I Shall descend now to a close and distinct discourse concerning the (forementioned) Prodigies Signal; and amongst them, first con∣cerning those which more immediately resolve into causes Natural. Concerning all which, I offer this general Thesis to proof. Prodigies Natural are not intended, nor to be expounded the Prognosticks of judge∣ments, suddenly to ensue upon whole Nations or particular persons. It is (especially) ignorance of their causes and ends which hath prefer∣redIsa. 44. 15. some of these Natural Prodigies to so great a veneration and re∣gard in many mens minds. As Ethnicism of old made the gods it worshipt, so ignorance oft makes the Furies it dreads.This Thesis I shall endeavour to perswade,1. By some general Reasons and Arguments.2. By a particular Induction and Survey of such as seem most plau∣sibly pretended the silent Monitours of some approaching venge∣ance.First, By some general Reasons.SECT. I. Reasons to prove Prodigies Natural no Signs of a future judgement.The first Argument taken from their doubtfull and uncertain indication; That proved from the confessions of their ablest Expositours; From their different Expositions in all times. The Interpreters of them banisht the Iewish Common-wealth of old, upon this account, Philo. Thuanus. The Argument further urged from Tully. God’s Signs express; The use∣lesness of those which are not.2. From a consideration of the times wherein most attended to. The rea∣son why a regard is to be had to the times and seasons; When Laws or U∣sages first obtained, noted from K. James. The times noted especially for gross ignorance in matters of Religion and Philosophy. Some Obser∣vations upon the remaining Registers of such accidents yet extant: The times remarked also for the publick fears and distractions happening in them. Livy. Seneca.3. From the natural and necessary Causes of these things. More of Na∣ture observable in a Prodigy, then common Occurrences.4. From the Nature and temper of the Oeconomy we are now under.THe Argument which I shall first offer to reprehend the commonArg. 1. vanity of receiving them as a kinde of indications in bodies Po∣litick, is this: Their (pretended) indications are so hugely perplext, doubt∣full and uncertain, that it cannot be concluded what judgement they portend, or when to ensue, or whether private persons or whole Nations be alam’d by them.If God do write Fata hominum in these mystick characters, there is none on earth found able to reade the writing, and (with any certainty) to make known the interpretation thereof. Most of their Expositours (like those upon Aristotle) are rather Vates quàm Interpretes. Concerning that prodigious Comet which shone in our Hemisphere, Ann. 1618▪ one that pretended himself as much Coelo à Conciliis as other men, yet thus freely delivers himself, Deum immortalem! quantò ille plurs de sese fermè Opiniones quàm crines sparsit. To a like purpose Tycho Brahe (discoursing de Nova stella Cygni, Ann. 1600.)

Gregory the Great. Moralia in Job 1496

Saint Gregory has exercised in many respects a momentous influence on the doctrine, the organization, and the discipline of the Catholic Church.   To him we must look for an explanation of the religious situation of the Middle Ages; indeed, if no account were taken of his work, the evolution of the form of medieval Christianity would be almost inexplicable.  (F.H. Dudden, “Gregory the Great”, 1, p. v).


289J Saint Gregory the Great (540-604)

Moralia Sancti Gregorii. [Sive Expositio Moralia in Job.]     

Basel: Nicolaus Kesler, 1496.                   $14,000

Ryan_Moralia_title_page-e1533734943432 2

Folio 12 ½  x 8 ¼ inches. [1]-[3]6, a-z6, A-P6, Q-R8, S-Z6, AA-GG6, HH8, II-KK6, LL4. 364 of 364 leaves. [The last leaf of the preliminaries, [3]6, the first leaf before the text, a1, and the last leaf before the table, HH8, are all blank]

Pope Gregory’s massive works on the epic suffering of Job was completed before he became Pope in 590. His analysis addresses the story of Job from every conceivable angle. Moralia in Job, or moral homilies on Job, one of his greatest works, before his election to the See of Peter. Sent as papal envoy to Constantinople, he gathered there a community of ascetics to whom he preached these homilies. While he was in Constantinople, the reflections on the Book of Job had been the object of friendly conversations with the young monks who had accompanied the pontiff. In Gregory’s reflections, Job is a figure of Christ, who suffered innocently—not for his sins but for the increase of his merits and the salvation of others by love. These homilies are a summa of Christian doctrine, from Creation to final Judgment, from the height of angelic hierarchies to the innermost depths of the human soul. Confident that the Holy Spirit has not idly chosen the words of Scripture, Gregory finds a depth of allegory out of which he draws a brilliant picture of Christ, whose humanity must mark our own and whose Cross is our path to eternal rest. A beautiful meditation on suffering, on the path from fear to love, and on the healing and glorification of the individual soul which, as a member of Christ’s body, comes to participate in the life of the holy Trinity. When Gregory was elected bishop of Rome just a few years later, he would continue to draw on and to develop the teaching herein, to guide the spiritual lives of his flock amidst the terror-filled final dissolution of the Western Empire. The teaching of the Moralia became a source for the doctors of the middle ages, including Hugh of St. Victor, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and many others It consists of 35 chapters in which he employs an analytical approach inspired by Augustine and Origen. Bible stories are often inherently confusing for many readers, and at times seem self-contradictory. The story of Job, with its strong themes of suffering and divine intervention, required special notice for the medieval Christian reader. In this valuable work, Gregory seeks to illuminate the ‘Biblical Truth’ residing and yet obscure in the text.
Gregory’s Moralia on Job was first published in 1470, and was so popular with medieval readers that it passed through nine Latin editions before 1501. The printer of this edition, Nicholaus Kesler of Bottwar, took his bachelor’s degree at the University of Basel in 1471. He seems to have worked for the printer Bernhard Richel for a time, before establishing his own press. The city records list Kesler as a “Buchtruker” in July of 1483, about a year after Richel’s death. Kesler’s earliest fully dated book was the Liber Sententiarum of Peter Lombard, finished on 2 March 1486. Kesler was still printing in 1510, and was alive as late as 1519.


This is a fine incunabulum in a lovely contemporary binding. The fifteenth-century alum-tawed pigskin is tooled in blind over both boards. The wooden boards have been fitted with brass catches but missing the clasps, all original corner and center pieces are still present, with only minor repairs.


The decorative tools stamped in blind on both boards are Ernst Kyriss’s 106.01, 106.02, 106.03, and 106.04. These four tools are used in combination on approximately 88 printed books found in European libraries. These books were all printed between 1483 and 1509. The most up-to-date information can be found on the Einband Datenbank, found on the web at: The four tools used on this volume are also used to decorate two other bindings illustrated in this online catalogue. Gerhard Loh’s essay, “Die Leipziger Buchbinder im 15. Jahrhundert,” and Ilse Schunke’s “Die Schwenke-Sammlung,” both associate these tools with a binder who worked in Leipzig in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries. The binding is somewhat wormed. Alternating red and blue initials and paragraph marks throughout the text were inscribed by the hand of a professional rubricator in the fifteenth century. The xylographic title is stunning.


Goff G432; HC 7934*; Pell 5381; Polain(B) 1717; IGI 4444; IBP 2494; CCIR G-51; Sajó-Soltész 1475; IDL 2099; IBE 2718; IJL2 189; SI 1736; Coll(S) 482; Coll(U) 635; Sallander 1744; Madsen 1791; Sack(Freiburg) 1632; Finger 468; Voull(B) 538; Voull(Trier) 234; Günt(L) 358a; Leuze(Isny) 23; Hummel-Wilhelmi 265; Pad-Ink 289; Wilhelmi 264; Kind(Göttingen) 2167; Walsh 1218; Bod-inc G-221; Sheppard 2490; Pr 7690; BMC III 772; BSB-Ink G-320; GW 11434


Goff G432                 U.S. Copies

Harvard Library, Duke Univ. , Grand Valley State Univ.,Henry B. Fernald, Upper Montclair NJ,Library of Congress, New York Historical Society,Huntington Library,St John’s Univ.,The Newberry Library (-table),Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ,Univ. of Texas at Austin, Yale University.

Augsburg Confession 1530

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