Very Good. Item #5794
London: B. Law, 1774. First Thus. Octavo; Vol I xii + 404pp; Vol II xii + 441pp + 2pp of publisher's prospectuses bound in. Contemporary tree calf with gilt lettering and ornaments on spine. Gilt filleting on all board edges, and additional trio of small gilt stamps on spine crowns and feet.
Spines slightly eroded at crowns but feet still show gilt stamps. Bottom of board edges worn and top edges darkened, but gold filleting still visible top and bottom; filleting bright on board fore-edges. Front joint of Vol I shows incipient split at top, but still holding well; all other joints show surface cracking, but still solid. Minor peeled patch (about 1" by 1/2") on Vol I front panel lower right corner. All corners of both volumes scuffed. Textblocks age-toned but clean, unmarked. One spot of minimal worming last 25 pages of Vol II, not affecting text. Front hinge of Vol I weakened but still good. So little foxing that one is tempted to say "none." Small brown spots on textblock fore-edge of both volumes--not intentional speckling.
In London’s “Monthly Review or Literary Journal” for November 1774, the anonymous reviewer (a partisan of a different translation) sniffs at the Englishing of the good Mr. Patsall: "Upon the whole, we can by no means pronounce him to be a good writer, or this to be an elegant or meritorious translation." Quintilian, whose work provides the foundation for all the linguistically oriented philosophy and educational theory of the last 2000 years, has survived the efforts of Mr. Patsall and Mr. Patsall's reviewers handily. And Patsall could revoice Quintilian in English with great clarity: "Indeed, all art and design should be kept concealed, as most things, when once discovered, lose their value."