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Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de; Edward Augustus Kendall, trans.  The Indian cottage ... to which is added, Palaemon, a pastoral tale. Philadelphia: William Spotswood, 1794. 12mo (16.3 cm, 6.41"). Frontis., 79, [1] pp. (lacking 4 final adv. pp.).
$200.00

First U.S. edition: A gently satirical tale in which an English man of letters, tasked by the Royal Society of London with => traveling the world to discover ultimate truth, arrives in India and is first disappointed by the chief Brahmin but then enlightened by a humble pariah living in the woods. This piece from the author of Paul et Virginie was translated from the original French (La Chaumière indienne, published in 1791) by Edward Augustus Kendall and paired here with Jean-François Marmontel's "Palaemon, a Pastoral Tale." Spotswood also issued the two attached to the longer Paul and Mary, and there is some bibliographic overlap in citations; the signatures commencing here with "I" suggest that this shorter, presumably less expensive volume was produced from sheets printed for the longer three-part collection but, given the completely separate title-page, always intended to be able to stand on its own.
        The => delightful copperplate frontispiece was engraved by James Smither, a skilled artisan employed by the Continental Congress to produce currency plates — after which, an outspoken Tory, he was charged with counterfeiting and treason, and transported to Nova Scotia before eventually returning to Philadelphia in 1786. Smither's "Pastoral Scene" features a rustically clad couple, he playing pipe while she holds a book of music, with a child frolicking with the sheep at their feet.
        Provenance: With early inked inscription of Mary Batchelder on rear free endpaper; most recently in the children's book collection of Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.

Welch 1139.1 (cf. 1140.1); Evans 27667; ESTC W27590. Contemporary quarter sheep and marbled paper–covered sides; rubbed and scuffed overall, paper cracked at hinges (inside) but sewing holding strongly. Title-page with upper outer corner excised, with loss of most of an early inked inscription by Batchelder; second inscription on back free endpaper. Two leaves of publisher's advertisements (only) not present here. Pages age-toned with occasional spots of foxing; two pages of second story with areas of more pronounced staining (candle wax?). => A solid and pleasing copy of this interesting, uncommon item.  (41673)   Please RESHELVE This.


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