“The Grammarian Must Either Associate with, orSubmit Himself to, theMusician”
Joshua. Prosodia rationalis: Or, an essay towards establishing the
melody and measure of speech, to be expressed and perpetuated by peculiar symbols.
The second edition ... London: Pr. by J. Nichols for T. Payne & Son, B. White,
and H. Payne, 1779. 4to (29.2 cm, 11.5"). vi, , vii–xvii, , 243, [1
(blank)] pp. [SOLD]
Click the images for enlargements.
Second, “amended and enlarged” edition of Steele’s treatise on the rhythm and accent patterns of English speech, comparing spoken language to music. Steele’s innovative, complex system of recording qualities of speech drew much attention in its time: Garrick, who had a snippet of one performance immortalized herein, was among the curious regarding the potential practical uses of Steele’s work in theatre, rhetoric, and other areas. The volume is illustrated with a number of in-text depictions of markings and symbols, as well as brief sections of music.
ESTC T46009; Lowndes, Bibliographer’s Manual, 2505; Deakin, Musical Bibliography, 48; Allibone, Critical Dictionary, 2232. 19th-century half textured cloth with paper-covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title and inked call number; binding worn and breaking, with text block starting to pull away from spine and sewing loosening at inner margins; several signatures separated. Title-page and dedication leaf institutionally pressure-stamped. Untrimmed page edges now brittle and starting to chip, with margins dustsoiled; first and last few leaves lightly foxed. Dried plant matter laid in between two leaves and newspaper clippings between two others, with
offsetting in both cases. Not a pretty copy, but a usable and fascinating book.