Humane Prudence,or the Art by which a Man may Raise Himself & Fortune to Grandeur.... The Fifth Edition: Very much enlarged, divers new Sections added, and the whole Corrected, by the Author.
London: Printed by J. Rawlins, for R. Sare, 1689. 12mo, contemporary full calf, blind-ruled. [iv], 359, [1 (ads)] pp. Covers thoroughly rubbed, tears to three leaves (with partial loss of a few letters at E12 & I6), but generally clean and sturdy. Fifth Edition (the first in 1680). One would not expect a book that passed through at least thirteen editions between 1680 and 1730, that was first printed in America at Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1806, and that was reprinted as recently as 1897, to have lapsed into utter oblivion. But, while the suave epigrams of Marcus Aurelius and Balthasar Gracian y Morales seem never to go out of print, the homely maxims and anecdotes of William De Britaine are forgotten. The author is overlooked by DNB, EB, and all other general biographical compendia; while his book is an outcast from NCBEL, Lowndes, etc. Perhaps the cause is the general mediocrity of his philosophy; perhaps it is the uncertainty as to whether to list him under 'D' or 'B'(we follow BMC); or perhaps the thought police have condemned him for including such sallies as the following: "A Woman is a Book, and often found / To prove, far better in the Sheets than Bound." [This edition not in Wing, but see B405-407.]
(Item Id: 5924)