The Fable of Jotham: to the Borough-Hunters... by [CAMBRIDGE, Richard…

The Fable of Jotham: to the Borough-Hunters... by [CAMBRIDGE, Richard Owen]. < >

~ The Fable of Jotham: to the Borough-Hunters... London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley... and sold by M. Cooper... 1754.

Folio (338 × 213 mm), pp. 7, [1]; unbound, as issued; creased where previously folded, title a little dusty.

First edition: ‘a jaunty little piece’ (Altick) of political satire. ‘Two candidates, the one a retired proprietor of a Leadenhall Street oil-shop, the other a Portugal merchant, “a knight by creation,” have been canvassing Cornwall, and wearily arrive at Exeter. In their inn they call for a book, but the host can supply only a Bible. The travellers, feeling that even reading the Bible is better than staring at each other, accept it, opening it at Judge IX. 8...’ (op. cit., p. 122): ‘The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us’. They duly give up their work.

Cambridge had recently found fame as author of The Scribleriad (1751). Although he wrote much light verse, relatively little of his poetry found its way into print during his long lifetime (1717–1802). Richard D. Altick, Richard Owen Cambridge: belated Augustan (Philadelphia, 1941).

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