Springfield: Printed by Edward Gray, 1794. First edition of a moral guide book that serves to impart virtue and advice to readers on a variety of subjects: taste, time management, study, the cultivation of reason, friendship, aging, death, the “different and absurd notions which men entertain of God,” of the duty of parents in education, children, good and evil, business, the omnipresence of God, and much more. Binding extremities have some wear and light scuffing. Lacks front flyleaf. Several pieces removed from upper title-page, but with no loss of text. Some browning, dampstaining, and foxing. Contemporary ink inscriptions on title-page, contemporary ink date on upper margin of p. v. A good copy of a fragile work. Contemporary full sheep. Sixteenmo. 191, [1, blank], [6, table and errata] pp. Item #16515
OCLC identifies the author as “J. Torrey,” but we were unable to find any biographical information, including his or her dates. In the “Advertisement,” the author provides an explanation for withholding his/her name, which is stated as follows: “For as the morals of a divine add no little weight to the doctrine he would inculcate from the pulpit; so the life of a writer equally diminishes, or adds, to the regard the public pay his works” (p.v). In his “To the Reader” section, the author writes: “…my chief aim and design in this composition is to promote the principles of morality and religion, and to render youth vigilant in discharging the social and relative duties in the several stations of life; by instilling into their minds such maxims of virtue and good-breeding, as tend to eradicate local prejudices and rusticity of manners” (p ix).