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SYLVESTER, Josuah.

Lachrimae lachrimarum.

or The Distillation of Teares Shede For the untymely Death of The incomparable prince Panaretus. [Bound with:] — Lachrymae Lachryma or The Spirit of Teares Distilled ... The third Edition, with Addition of His Owne.

Published: [London: Printed by Humphrey Lownes, 1612 & 1613]

Stock code: 80160

Price: £12,500

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Second and third editions of these funerary verses, the sombre theme echoed in the design, the text predominately set in deep black woodcut borders with funerary ornaments either side. The promising life of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594–1612), eldest son of James VI of Scotland and I of England, was publically celebrated from the beginning. Nativity poems, banquets, tilts, and masques attended his birth; in his life, he inspired the praise of authors such as George Chapman, John Davies, Michael Drayton, Henry Peacham, and Francis Bacon, who dedicated the second edition of the Essays (1612) to him; and his sudden death from fever (now thought to be typhoid) was mourned in print by Thomas Campion, Joseph Hall, George Herbert, and Walter Ralegh, among others. Sylvester (1563–1618), who had depended on Prince Henry as his chief patron, was particularly effusive in his grief. The first edition also includes elegies in English, French, Latin, and Italian by the royal tutor, Walter Quin. The third edition is in two parts: the second part has a letterpress divisional title, “Sundry Funeral Elegies …” dated 1613, and contains poems by John Donne (“Look to Me, Faith; and look to my Faith, God”), Sir William Cornwallis, Sir Edward Herbert, Sir Henry Goodyere, and Henry Burton. Both editions are bibliographically complicated, the first edition appearing in various combinations of sheets which “may exist in reimpositions which have not yet been adequately studied” (ESTC). STC designates this variant “Anr. ed.”, two of the three copies cited matching this in having A3r line 4 “Cædars” and B3r line 10 “Hee”. In this variant the colophon is omitted from D4r (this leaf lacking in this copy), though it retains the frame of woodcuts.

2 works in one volume, small quarto (179 140 mm). Nineteenth-century green straight-grain morocco by Thomson of Edinburgh (with ticket), lately rebacked to style, covers with blind decorative roll border and gilt ornaments inside corners, wide turn-ins gilt all round, gilt edges. Bookplate of Sir Thomas Brooke (1830–1908), of Armitage Bridge House, near Huddersfield. First work: white-line woodcut title with Prince Henry’s arms, text within woodcut borders throughout, collates A-D4 (lacks final sig. D4, which has the woodcut border on recto but no text). Second work: white-line woodcut title with royal arms, text within woodcut borders on first 12 leaves, the remainder mostly letterpress save 2 leaves printed with white-line royal arms on black, collates A-B4, C8 (-C8, as issued), D-G4. Both works somewhat eccentrically collated, but textually complete. Somewhat closely trimmed, the second work neatly extended with plain paper at fore and lower edge margins to match the page size of the first, printed headlines and signatures in second work shaved. Overall, very good copies of two rare editions.

Bibliography: STC 23577 & 23578 ; Keynes, Donne, 72 (3rd ed.)

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