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Civility of Behavior in Children [manuscript]

 
Civility of Behavior in Children [manuscript] by ERASMUS , Desiderius [translated by] Ralph Bridges (1720)

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Author: ERASMUS , Desiderius [translated by] Ralph Bridges
Title: Civility of Behavior in Children [manuscript]
 
Year: 1720
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: England
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £2450
 
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[pp] 2, ff71 [lacking ff 31-32 & 53-7; ff 20-1 bound out of order] Unpublished manuscript translation of Erasmus written by a friend of Alexander Pope; an early eighteenth century version of De Civilitate Morum Puerilium. Previously translated into English in 1532 by Robert Whittington and in 1560 by Thomas Paynell, this translation does not appear to derive from either of these and doesn't seem to have been published.

Bound in recent marbled boards with new acid-free end-papers, the small quarto manuscript is housed within a drop-back solander box. Two leaves, ff 21-21, have been bound out of order; leaves 31-32 and 53-7 are wanting which includes the end of the chapter on Behaviour at Table and the first leaf of the chapter on meeting 'Persons in ye Streets of in Publique Company.' This manuscript was sold at Sotheby's in July 1991 (Lot 396) as one of a group of commonplace books from the Trumbull family, being described as 'in the hand of Ralph Bridges, nephew of Sir William Trumbull' (1639-1716, English statesman). His nephew Ralph Bridges (1689-1730) was a young friend of Alexander Pope who served as chaplain to the Bishop of London and later as vicar of Ashwell in Herfordshire. Though written in the hand of Bridges, it's not known whether he was in fact the translator.

Bridges writes in an easily legible hand, beginning with his title: 'A Little Treatise of Erasmus concerning Civility of Behavior in children; being a Latin Letter sent to his Pupil the Emperor Maximilian's Brother. Translated into English' followed by the dedicatory letter. On the verso of this first leaf Bridges has written his contents list comprising the seven chapters and page numbers within this manuscript. The body of the text is written on rectos only, paginated in the writer's hand with catch-words at the foot of each leaf. which includes the end of the Behaviour at Table and the first leaf of the chapter on meeting 'Persons in ye Streets of in Publique Company.' The manuscript is largely uncorrected suggesting a fair copy. The translation is idiomatic and direct, thus Chapter 4 where Erasmus offers advice to a child preparing to eat: 'wash your hands, pure and clean, your nails that you get not the character of a sloven. You may also make water first if reason be, go to stool; and if perchance you are girt or button'd too tight, it will be proper to slacken or unbutton, for tis not within the Rules of good-breeding to do this at Dinner.'
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