(Oxford: At the Theatre, 1702). 191 x 121 mm. (7 1/2 x 4 3/4"). 8 p.l., 224 pp. Sixth Impression.
Pleasing contemporary black morocco, covers gilt in an intricate panel design with floral sidepiece adornments and oblique floral spray cornerpieces, raised bands, spine compartments gilt with either filigree lozenge or fleuron at center, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With engraved allegorical frontispiece. Front flyleaf with contemporary ownership inscription of Ann Clarke. Spine a bit faded, lower cover with a half dozen small patches of patina loss, title page lightly soiled, other trivial imperfections, but a really excellent copy, the text clean and quite fresh, and the unrestored contemporary binding entirely solid and with nothing approaching significant wear.
This is a very attractively bound copy of one of a series of popular moral works by (or attributed to) the well-known clergyman and author Allestree (1619-81), professor of divinity at Oxford and provost of Eton College. The text warns against criticizing, complaining, and lying, and condemns flattery, boasting, and obscenities. As DNB notes, "Allestree's influence on the late seventeenth-century church may owe less to his preaching or his university lectures than to the series of moral and devotional works" containing "sober, orthodox, common-sense advice pitched at the level of ordinary Anglican parishioners." (ST12677)