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Humane Understanding…

was the first attempt on a great scale, and

in the Baconian spirit, to estimate critically the certainty and the ade-

quacy of human knowledge” (Fraser).

First issue,

with “printed by Eliz.

Holt” in the imprint on the title page (rather than “sold by Edw. Mory”).

“Peter Nidditch has estimated about 900 copies were published, chiefly

of the Holt issue. But it is possible there were as few as 500” (Yolton,

69–70). PMM 164. Marginal ink notes in an early, neat, and legible hand

on virtually every page of the first three (of four) books, indicating

that this copy was very carefully read and studied. Text generally quite

clean, period-style calf near-fine. An excellent wide-margined copy of

this rarity.

“The great question which, in all

ages, has disturbed mankind, and

brought on them the greatest part

of their mischiefs ... has been, not

whether be power in the world, nor

whence it came, but who should

have it.”

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