The Centaur Not Fabulous. In Six Letters to a Friend on the Life in Vogue. A New Edition.

The Centaur Not Fabulous. In Six Letters to a Friend on the Life in Vogue. A New Edition.
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London: Printed by A. Mallard, J. Durfey..., MDCCLXXXIII [1783]. 12mo., 195 pp. Contemporary calf, backstrip unlettered and ruled in gilt, covers quite worn, hinges weak but holding. Ownership inscription on front pastedown “W Acton Moseley § 1783 at Auction”, with Moseley’s annotations, manicules and crossings out throughout. A later edition of Young’s prose satire with interesting annotations by a contemporary reader, Walter Acton Moseley, Esq. of the Mere and of Glashampton in Worcester, (d. 1793 in Staffordshire). In legible handwriting Moseley questions points of style and theology while elsewhere energetically striking through passages he deems “not worth reading”. To Young’s statement on p.50 that “Heaven infatuates, when it determines to destroy”, Moseley appends the note “1791: comp. the miraculous Revolu.[tion] of France, whilst we are blaspheming the Xtian name under Cornwallis in the E. Indies , tho we have lost America by this “infatuation from heaven” & by the very same General too” (thus dating his annotations to somewhere between 1791 and his death in 1793). The Centaur Not Fabulous was first published in 1755. “This prose satire and homily was directed at licentious and irreligious contemporaries who, misguided by ‘infidel’ philosophers like Lord Bolingbroke, resembled the fabled beasts. Here as elsewhere Young stressed human dignity as a bulwark against hedonism and atheism.” (DNB) The five letters are addressed to “a friend”, Samuel Richardson. ESTC T28982 (Item Id: 105656)

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