COTTON, John Daniel. ~ Lachrymæ elegiacæ, sive querelæ epistolares... Londini, Typis Jacobi Harrison: veneunt autem a Thoma Caslon, Bibliopolâ... 1765.
4to (250 × 208 mm) in half-sheets, pp. , 33, ; light offsetting; disbound.
First edition, dedicated to Thomas Hayward, Warden of New College, Oxford. An English translation, Elegiac Tears, or Plaintive Epistles, by George Itchener, was published at Chelmsford in 1766.
‘These Elegiac Epistles, written by Mr. Cotton, Vicar of Good Easter in Essex, on the death of his wife, are replete with the pure and genuine spirit of the classic muse; and, indeed, we have hardly ever seen any thing of the kind more ingenious. There is a delicacy, a tenderness and a chastity in the expression, the sentiments are just and interesting, and the numbers happily modulated... These epistles are three in number, and are addressed to different friends’ (Monthly Review).
There is a long list of subscribers. Many of them are clergymen, but it is nice to see two future poet laureates among them: Thomas Warton (2 copies) and his successor Henry James Pye, then aged 20 and styled ‘Gentleman Commoner of Magdalen College, Oxford’.