The Council of Dogs. Illustrated with Suitable Engravings. Dogs.

The Council of Dogs. Illustrated with Suitable Engravings.

Philadelphia: Published by Johnson & Warner, 1809 [1821]. Second issue of the first American edition. Original light orange paper over card stock stiff wrappers, 5.25 x 4.19 inches, 16 pages. Frontispiece mounted to the inside front wrapper (as published), 7 plates. Frontispiece just splitting a little along the gutter; plates browned, as is usual; some light wear to the wrappers; a very good copy. Item #19175

“Let no separate claims then this union betray, / For remember the promise, each dog has his day. / ‘Tis our aggregate worth must our merits decide, / Our patience, sagacity, faithfulness tried; / We then shall deserve, if we don’t obtain fame, / And the poets, not we, incur the just blame.” A representative council of dogs convenes to resolve in verse to fight the neglect of the species by poets of the day; ne starving cur who has been abandoned by his owner also casts blame for their condition is also cast on “the hard hearted D***” (the “arch-foe” who is entreated to relent), a reference to Lancaster MP John Dent, who had introduced the bill to tax owners of dogs in 1796—which tax had again been increased in 1808. First published in London by John Harris in 1808, the verses are something of an imitation of Roscoe’s Butterfly’s Ball and Grasshoppers Feast (but these verses are not in fact by Roscoe); this edition is a reissue of the 1809 Johnson & Warner American edition with new engraved plates; the frontispiece includes the new imprint dated 1821. Rosenbach 603; cf. Welch 241.

Price: $250.00

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