[HAYLEY, William]. ~ Epistle to a Friend, on the Death of John Thornton, Esq. By the Author of “An Epistle to an Eminent Painter.” London: Printed for F. Dodsley... 1780.
4to (269 × 210 mm), pp. –18, plus final blank; without half-title; inscribed ‘from the Aut’ (cropped) at head of title; recent half calf.
First edition, presentation copy. Hayley had met Thornton at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the two remained friends until the latter’s death on 5 January 1780. ‘This little elegant poem might not improperly be called the Tears the Genius of the Urn of Friendship. Since Pope’s Verses to the Memory of an unfortunate Lady, and Lord Lyttelton’s Monody on the Death of his Wife, we have not seen any thing of the kind that could boast of equal merit, or where the powers of poetry have been so happily blended with the genuine simplicity of nature, and the warmth of tender affection. Mr. Hayley’s picture of his departed friend is drawn in such lively colours, that we cannot help sympathising with the poet, and lamenting with him the loss of so excellent a man, and so amiable a companion’ (Critical Review). Barker, ‘Some notes on the bibliography of William Hayley, Part I’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society
Vol. 3, No. 1 (1959), pp. 103-112, 6; Jackson, p. 78.