Epistles to the Great, from Aristippus in Retirement. by (MISCELLANY).…

~ Epistles to the Great, from Aristippus in Retirement. London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley... 1757.

pp. 48, engraved half-title bound last. First edition;

[bound with:] ------. The Tomb of Shakespear. A Vision... the Second Edition, Corrected; with Considerable Alterations. London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley... 1755. pp. 11, [1];

[and:] ------ The Call of Aristippus. Epistle IV. To Mark Akenside, M.D. By the Author of the three former Epistles of Aristippus. London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1758. pp. [3]-16, lacking half-title. First edition.

[and:] MASON, William. Odes by Mr. Mason. The Second Edition. Cambridge: Printed by J. Bentham, printer to the University; and sold by William Thurlbourn... at Cambridge, and R. & J. Dodsley... London. 1756. pp. 31, [1];

4 works bound in one, 4to (250 × 188 mm); recent blue boards.

A collection including first editions of two innovative works ‘in a French metre introduced into English by Gilbert Cooper, in which octosyllabic couplets are interspersed irregularly among octosyllabic lines rhyming on different patterns’ (Oxford DNB). Both works have attractive engraved vignettes: the first a charming allegory by Charles Grignion after a design by Samuel Wale (who also provided a vignette for Cooper’s 1755, Letters concerning Taste); the second a whimsical calligraphic half-title (unsigned, and bound last here). Apart from several influential (and often controversial) independent poetical and critical works Cooper was a regular contributor to The Museum (1746–7), the periodical published by Robert Dodsley and edited by Akenside; his contributions usually signed Philaretes. The first edition of The Tomb of Shakespear had appeared earlier in 1755.

Though preserved in a modern binding, these four works have apparently long been bound together.

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