First separately issued edition of this anthology of maxims and aphorisms, printed in the first year of the Restoration.
A THEATRE OF WITS
"Isocrates, of a Scholar full of words, asked a double Fee, One, he said, to learn him to speak well, another to teach him to hold his peace."
In keeping the selections short, Forde's collection has a distinct echo of Twitter, with clever anecdotes and pithy wisdom doled out in only a few lines each. Yet it also captures the spirit of the Restoration, simultaneously looking back on the best of the ancient Greek and Roman authors and looking forward to new contributions by English writers, from Socrates and Alexander the Great to John Foxe and Anne Boleyn. Of particular interest are the typographical choices of the printer: the "punchlines" of each anecdote are set in italics, while the setups are in roman type. Also published as one section of his major work of the Restoration, VIRTUS REDIVIVA, this edition with its own 1660 title page shows only 5 OCLC holdings. This copy from the famed Macclesfield library.
Read more: Wing F1548A.
London: Printed by R. and W. Leybourn, for William Grantham, 1660. Full title: A theatre of wits, Ancient and Modern. Represented in a Collection of Apothegmes. Pleasant and Profitable. By Tho. Forde. 16mo. 6'' x 3.75''. Twentieth-century half speckled calf, marbled boards, raised bands ruled in gilt, red goatskin spine label. All edges stained red. Woodcut headpieces and initials. , 90 pages. Engraved bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield, North Library. Text block cropped close, shaving some page numbers; loss to top corner of D5, affecting a few words.
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