Cato Major. by CATHERALL, Samuel (1661?-1723?).

Cicero spun to the utmost - an attempt to improve Denham
CATHERALL, Samuel (1661?-1723?).

Cato Major. A Poem. Upon the Model of Tully’s Essay of Old Age. In Four Books. By Samuel Catherall, M.A. Fellow of Oriel College, in Oxford, and Prebendary of Wells. London, Roberts, 1725.

First Edition. 8vo, (193 x 119mm), pp. xvi, 88, with an engraved frontispiece included in the pagination (as in Foxon), the first and last few leaves a little dusty, in contemporary gilt and blind ruled calf, spine ruled, considerably worn and with the joints split but holding on the cords, head and tail-cap missing, the surface of the boards worn, extremities bumped, with the ownership inscription of ‘Jno. Aspinall’ on the title page, an early catalogue annotation on the front free endpaper and the recent booklabel of Jim Edwards.

A scarce versification of one of Cicero’s most famous essays, printed by Samuel Richardson. The author, fellow of Oriel College and a canon of Wells Cathedral, explains in his preface that he was inspired by Denham’s earlier translation of the same text: ‘About three years ago, lighting on Sir John Denham’s translation of that celebrated piece (Tully’s book De Senectute) and, not without some wonder and pity, seeing that great genius fall so much below the spirit of the Roman orator, in his English metre; I was so vain, as to think a kind of paraphrase of the same essay, would succeed easier and better: and therefore, at my leisure hours, when severer studies became tedious, I undertook to build a poem (if it is worthy to be call’d so) on Tully’s most exquisite model; taking special care to follow his exalted sentiments, as closely as I could, and not presuming to add much of my own, unless where I am fond of spinning out a Ciceronian thought to the utmost’.

ESTC t128149; Foxon C72.

Keywords: English Literature
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