London: R. and W. Leybourn, for William Grantham at the Black Bear in St. Pauls Church-yard, neer the little North Door, 1660. Small octavo, measuring 6 x 3.5 inches: , 90. Twentieth-century three-quarter speckled calf, marbled boards, raised bands ruled in gilt, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, all edges stained red. Woodcut headpieces and initials. Engraved bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield, North Library. Text block cropped close, shaving some page numbers; loss to top corner of D5, affecting a few words; boards lightly rubbed.
First separately issued edition of Thomas Forde’s collection of pointed anecdotes and pithy maxims, also published as one section of his major work of the Restoration, Virtus Rediviva. Forde’s goal was to produce an anthology of the very best examples of ancient and modern wit: “I have laboured to subtract, rather than multiply.” From Socrates and Alexander to John Foxe and Anne Boleyn, the selections deal with every aspect of human experience: “men’s actions were like notes of musick, sometimes in spaces, and sometimes in lines, sometimes above, and sometimes beneath, and never or seldom straight for any long continuance.” Wing F1548A. A near-fine copy, from the famed Macclesfield library.