Galateo: by DELLA CASA, Giovanni (1503-1556).

DELLA CASA, Giovanni (1503-1556).

Galateo: or, a Treatise on Politeness and Delicacy of Manners. Addressed to a young nobleman. From the Italian of Monsig. Giovanni de la Casa, Archbishop of Benevento. London, Dodsley, 1774.

12mo (152 x 90 mm), pp. xxiii, [i], 192, internally clean with very occasional staining, in contemporary calf, covers detached, spine missing, text block coming apart, with the contemporary ownership inscription of E. Morgan on the title-page.

An exhausted copy of this English translation of the famous Italian courtesy book. It is essentially a treatise on good manners and how to conduct oneself in society, but it is far more wide-ranging than that, acting also as a compendium of moral teachings derived from the author’s wide experience and refined culture. There are also long passages on dress, deportment, table manners, conversation, jokes (particularly what words and jokes to avoid) and drunkenness. It was first published in Bologna in 1560. It became so popular that its title 'Galateo' passed into the Italian language as a synonym for etiquette. The first edition to be printed in English was 1576 and it was still being printed into the nineteenth century. Often quoted is the advice against the ‘extremely indecent’ habit of examining the contents of a handkerchief after blowing one’s nose, ‘as if you expected pearls or rubies to distil from your brain’. This is a strictly working copy, in need of a considerable restoration.

ESTC t133329.

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