Publisher: London: Printed by R. D. and are to be sold by Tho. Johnson, 1655.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Wing C-812; NCBEL I, 2333.
Condition: Bound a little tightly in spots, but text completely legible; a few running heads trimmed a bit; paper a little browned; very good copy.
Book ID: 22514
Description8vo, modern brown half calf, brown cloth sides, black leather labels, gilt rules and lettering.
CommentsA treatise by the adopted Englishman, scholar and divine, Meric Florence Estienne Casaubon (1599-1671) on enthusiasm in its traditional sense - a “possession by a god, supernatural inspiration, prophetic or poetic frenzy; an occasion or manifestation of these” (OED). The text is divided into six chapters that deal with enthusiasm as it manifest itself in general, in divinity, philosophy, rhetoric, poetry and precatory, and refers repeatedly to ancient and scholarly works of philosophy, theology, medicine, poetry and rhetoric. In the chapter on poetics, Casaubon writes about the important influence of wine on poets and poetry: “But is wine nothing towards the making of a Poet? Not toward the making, as to the faculty it self: but toward the making of a Poem, I think it may conduce not a little . . . ” Casaubon concludes that it may be possible to write a good poem by just drinking water, but not likely. This was the most widely read book of the many Casaubon wrote. Interesting contemporary ownership annotations on the blanks, title-page and verso of the title-page. One William Marriott has written out the titles of other works by Casaubon in Latin and English on the front blank and verso of the title; a Wm. Griffith, M.A., has written in the upper margin of the title-page that he bought this book in Cambridge in 1693 and notes its cost; and on the rear blank are annotations about Casaubon's classical references, etc.