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This first edition of Sir Thomas Overbury's “Wife" is of considerable rarity, and the present copy is further remarkable for having the two following original stanzas, in manuscript, prefixed to the volume:

As by a Wife thou liust, soe by a wyfo
Thou wast cut of: thus vice and vertue striue :
It was thy goodnesse which did shorten life :
And yet by death thou longer sbalt suruiue.

Thy wife a speaking tombe thy name retaines,
The heau’ns thy better part, and we thy paines.

G. M.
The earth can not afford thee such a wife
As thou describes : the heau'ns thy marriage then
Shall celebrate; that in another life
The union may be made ; where neuer againe

It shall be cancel’d; how happy was their hate
By whome thou dost enjoy thy wish'd estate.

G. LLL. The popularity of this work was such that it went through sixteen editions before 1638. The poem of the “Wife” was reprinted by Mr. Capel in his Prolusions, London, 1760, 8vo, who has also noticed the different editions. And the reader may consult further, Wood's Ath. Oxon., vol. ii, p. 133; Cens. Liter., vol. ii, p. 372; Collier's Bridgew. Cat., p. 228; Dr. Bliss' edition of Earle's Microcosmography, 1811, Svo, p. 257; Le Neve's Cursory Remarks on Ancient English Poets, 1789, 8vo, p. 27; Drake's Life and Times of Shakespeare, vol. I, p. 509, and p. 694; Biogr. Britan.; and Bibl. Ang. Poet, p. 502.

Bound by Aitken.
In Sage Green Morocco — gilt edges.

OVERBURY, (Sir Thomas.) — Sir Thomas Overbury His Wife.

With Additions of New Characters, and many other Wittie
Conceits neuer before Printed. The eleventh Impression.

London Printed for Lawrence Lisle, and are to be sold by
Henry Seile at the Tigers-head in Pauls Church-yard. 1622.
Sm. 8vo.

In this edition the publisher's address “To the Reader” is followed by “ Elegies of seuerall authors on the vntimely death of Sir Thomas Overburie poysoned in the Tower,” and also by commendatory verses on the Author and his Poem. These Elegies and Poems, nineteen in number (22 pages), have the signatures of D. T., C. B., W. S., W. B. Int. Temp., B. G. medij Temp., Cap. Tho. Gainsford, Jo. Fo., R. Ca., E. G., F. H., R. C., J. F., J. F., D. T., D. T., X. Z., Blank, G. R., and W. Stra. Then follows the poem “On the choyce of a Wife," and some additional Elegies and Verses, nine pages more; next “An Elegie on the late Lord William Howard Baron of Effingham, dead the tenth of December 1615," lines “ Ad Comitissam Rutlandiæ,” and “ An Elegie on the Death of the Lady Rutland,” occupying twenty additional pages. In this edition several alterations are introduced in the Poem — some of them of importance; in the twenty-third stanza for instance, the two last lines are entirely new; the thirty-second and thirty-third stanzas are transposed, and other changes which might be named. The number of characters in the present impression is increased to eighty-one, being sixty more than in the first edition, and the number of the Newes from seventeen to twenty. Between the Characters and the Newes are introduced Sir Henry Wotton's poem, “The Character of a happy life," An Essay on Valour,” and “Certaine Edicts from a Parliament in Eutopia; Written by the Lady Southwell”: and at the end of the volume are the “Wittie Conceits” mentioned in the title, consisting of “ Paradoxes, as they were spoken in a Maske, and presented before his Maiestie at Whitehall,” “The Mountebankes Receiptes,” and three “Mountebankes Songs," of which we present our readers with the first. These Paradoxes, Receipts, and Songs, are all taken from a Masque believed to be written by the well-known satirist John Marston. It was exhibited before the king at Whitehall, and also in Gray's Inn Hall, the scenery and decorations for it being devised by the celebrated Inigo Jones, and is entitled The Mountebank's Masque. It has lately been printed, under the editorship of Mr. Collier, in one of the Shakespeare Society's volumes relating to Inigo Jones, from the original M$. in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire. Mr. Collier, however, does not seem to have been aware that they had been printed before in the present volume. The Song below is the second in the Masque.

The Mountebankes Song.
Is any deafe? Is any blinde ?
Is any bound, or loose behind ?
Is any foule, that would be faire ?
Would any Lady change her haire ?

Do's any dreame? do's any walke?
Or in his sleepe affrighted talke?

I come to cure what ere you feele,

Within, without, from head to heele.
Be drummes or rattles in thy head ?
Are not thy braines well tempered ?
Do's Eolus thy stomacke gnaw ?
Or breede there vermine in thy maw?
Doest thou desire and canst not please ?
Loe here the best Cantharides.

I come to cure what ere you feele,

Within, without, from head to heele.
Even all diseases that arise,
From ill disposed crudities ;
From too much study, too much paine,
From lazinesse, and from a straine ;
From any humour doing harme
Be it dry, or moist, or cold, or warme,

Then come to me, what ere, &c.
Of lazie Gout, I cure the rich,
I rid the beggar of the itch,
I fleame avoid both thicke and thinne,
I dislocated ioynts put in,
I can old age, to youth restore,
And doe a thousand wonders more,

Then come to me, &c.

Along with this work there is bound up in the present volume a copy of John Davies of Hereford's poem, “ A Select Second Husband for Sir Thomas Overburie's Wife, now a matchlesse Widow," sm. 8vo, Lond. 1616, which, having been already described among the works of that writer, will require no further notice here.

Bound by Winstanley.
In Blue Morocco, elegant, gilt leaves.

OVERBURY, (SIR THOMAS.) - Sir Thomas Overbury His Wife.

With Additions of New Characters, and many other Wittie
Conceits never before Printed. The fifteenth Impression.

London, Printed by R. B. for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard. 1632. Sm. 8vo.

With the exception of the orthography, which, as usual in reprints of this century, was continually being modernized, the present edition appears to be merely a copy of the one just noticed. The extreme popularity of the work is readily seen from the large number of editions that appeared during so brief a period, a circumstance of unusual occurrence in respect to all but a comparatively few books of a strictly popular character. It will be unnecessary to extend our remarks further on a production so well known, but often as it has been quoted before, we cannot resist the temptation of offering to our readers part of the pure and beautiful character of “ A faire and happy Milkemaid," one of the most exquisite in the book, than which nothing more truly tender and elegant of the kind was ever written, and the conclusion of which was quoted by Walton in his Complete Angler, in connection with Marlowe's elegant and well-known song, and its almost equally celebrated answer.

A faire and happy Milke-maid Is a Countrey Wench, that is so farre from making her selfe beautifull by Art, that one looke of hers is able to put all face-Physicke out of countenance. She knowes a faire looke is but a Dumbe Orator to commend Vertue; therefore mindes it not. All her excellencies stand in her so silently, as if they had stolne upon her without her knowledge. The lining of her apparell (which is her selfe) is farre better than outsides of Tissew; for though shee be not arrayed in the spoile of the Silke-worme, shee is deckt in Innocency, a far better wearing. Shee doth not, with lying long a bed, spoile both her complexion and conditions; nature hath taught her, too immoderate sleepe is rust to the Soule : shee rises therefore with Chaunticleere her dames Cock, and at night makes the Lambe her Curfew. In milking a Cow, and strayuing the Teats through her fingers, it seemes that so sweet a Milke presse makes the Milke the whiter or sweeter; for neuer came Almond Glove or Aromatique Oyntment of the Palme to taint it. The Golden eares of corne fall and kisse her feet when shee reapes them, as if they wisht to be bound and led prisoners by the same hand that fill’d them. Her breath is her owne, which scents all the yeere long of June, like a new made Haycock. Shee makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pittie: and when winters evenings fall early (sitting at her merry wheele) she sings a defiance to the giddy wheele of Fortune. She doth all things with so sweet a grace, it seemes ignorance will not suffer her to doe ill, beeing her minde is to doe well. She bestowes her yeeres wages at next faire ; and in chusing her garments, counts no bravery in th' world like decency. The Garden and Bee-hive are all her Physicke and Chyrurgerie, and she lives the longer for’t.

Bound in Vellum wrapper.

OVERBURY, (Sir Thomas.) - The Bloody downfall of Adultery,

Murder, Ambition, at the end of which are added Westons, and Mistris Turners last Teares, shed for the Murder of Sir Thomas Overbury poysoned in the Tower; who for the fact, suffered deserued execution at Tiburne the 14 of Nouember last 1615.

Mercy sweet Jesus. Printed at London for R. H. and are to be sold at his shop at the Cardinalls Hat without Newgate. n.d. 4to.

On the title-page of this very scarce tract, above the imprint, and headed “Mercy sweet Jesus,” are woodcut portraits of Mrs. Turner and Weston kneeling in prayer. The cruel and atrocious murder of Sir Thomas Overbury in the Tower by poison on the 13th September 1615, for the commission of which the immediate and subordinate instruments concerned therein lost their miserable lives, while the titled and guilty planners of it escaped and were pardoned through the weakness of King James, gave rise to several pamphlets and tracts upon the subject, among which was the one under our present notice. The prose part of the volume, under the title of The Bloody downfall of Adultery, Murder, and Ambition, presented in a black seane of Gods iust Iudgements in reuenge of the Iñocent blood lately shed in this Kingdome,” occupies seventeen pages, and is a kind of moral discourse upon the three particular vices mentioned in the title, without much immediate allusion to the special case of Sir Thomas Overbury, although the characters are shadowed out under the general description, as witness the following on the rise of the wicked and unprincipled favourite of James I.:

The first that presents him selfe vpon our stage will wee call Ambition, catching at nothing but Starres, climing onely for Greatnesse, this is hee, that cunningly can inuent stratagems to bis owne ouerthrow giuing Pens occasion to write Tragedies, – if hee rise from obscurity (as many baue done) bee laboreth to be skilfull in those things, which are most pleasing to the greater sort, and tolerable among the commons ; His study is for prayse, and not for vertue ; His lookes, like Mausolus toumbe, faire and comely without, but within, nothing but rotten bones, and corrupt practises,his apparell increaseth with his Fortune, and as worldly affaires direct him, so suteth he both fashions and affections ; — in his study he affecteth singularity, and is proud in being author of a new stratagem :- if hee chance to come into the eie of the World, hee then creepes into the fauour of some great Personage, in feeding whose humour (to relieue his wants) makes intrusion into some heritage, and matcheth not


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