"DETERMINED THE FORM AND MATTER OF THE EPIGRAM FOR MODERN EUROPE": MARTIAL HIS EPIGRAMS, 1656 FIRST EDITION OF ROBERT FLETCHER'S ENGLISH TRANSLATION
MARTIAL (FLETCHER, R[obert], translator). Ex Otio Negotium. Or, Martiall His Epigrams Translated. With Sundry Poems and Fancies. London: Printed by T. Mabb, for William Shears, 1656. Small octavo, early 20th-century full plum crushed morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $1600.
First edition of Robert Fletcher's English translation of Martial's epigrams, together with the translator's own poems, with engraved frontispiece portrait of Martial by Vaughan, handsomely bound in full morocco by Riviere & Son.
"It is Martial who has determined the form and matter of the epigram for modern Europe" (Harris, 101). Pages 1-128 are Fletcher's translation of Martial's epigrams; pages 129-259 are Fletcher's own poems and "fancies," the "scattered papers of my youth." First translated into English in 1577 by Timothy Kendall; Thomas May's translation appeared in 1629. Wing M-831. Brueggemann, 687. Lowndes, 1488. CBEL I, 476. Bookplates, including that of Boston banker and bibliophile Frank Brewer Bemis (1861-1935).
Two very short closed marginal tears to title page; title and frontispiece with expert paper repair to lower inner margin, not affecting image or letterpress. Front joint lightly rubbed. A near-fine, handsome copy.