Jonathan Swift Rarity
[Swiftiana]. [Arbuthnot, John (1667-1735)]. It cannot rain but it pours: or, London strow'd with Rarities. Being, An Account of the Arrival of a White Bear, at the House of Mr. Ratcliff in Bishopsgate-Street: As also of the Faustina, the celebrated Italian Singing Woman; And of the Copper-Farthing Dean from Ireland. And Lastly, Of the wonderful Wild Man that was nursed in the Woods of Germany by a Wild Beast. London: J. Roberts, 1726. Quarto. (191 x 153mm). Pagination: 10,. (Some browning.) Disbound.
FIRST EDITION, one of two issues by Roberts. This Scriblerian account of the wonderful Wild Man, the Yahoo-like boy named Peter who expresseth his joy most commonly by Neighing and takes vast pleasure in conversation with horses, came out in the same year as Gulliver's Travels. Swift wrote to Thomas Tickell in Dublin, 16 April 1726, reporting: This Night I saw the wild Boy, whose arrival here hath been the subject of half our Talk this fortnight. He is in the keeping of Dr. Arbuthnot, but the King and Court were so entertained with him, that the Princess could not get him till now. I can hardly think him wild in the Sense they reports him (Corr. ii. 637). This anonymous tract on his peculiarities appeared in the third volume of Miscellanies (1732) [Teerink 25 (4)], sanctioned by Pope. In a later edition of the same volume, published under Pope's supervision by Charles Bathurst in 1742 [Teerink 66], it was listed with other works in the contents as by Dr. Arbuthnot. Lester Beattie takes the view that Arbuthnot began a sketch which was later completed or rewritten by another hand (John Arbuthnot (Cambridge, Mass., 1935), 305-06). However, David Woolley observes that the tumbling succession of ideas in this eight-page account is characteristic of Arbuthnot, and very likely incorporates some hearsay about the contents of Swift's unpublished Travels (Corr. ii. 638n). Alexander Pettit assigns the authorship to Arbuthnot et al. in his note on the authorship of items in the Swift-Pope Miscellanies (Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2002) vol. 1, p. xxvi). Disappointingly, the other Rarities promised on the title-page receive no mention in the text. A tract which is ALMOST UNKNOWN ON THE OPEN MARKET. No auction sale in on-line records since 1980. (#kfk880) US$5,000.00