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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  The instructor: or, young man's best companion. Containing, spelling, reading, writing and arithmetick, in an easier way than any yet published; and how to qualify a person for any business, without the help of a master. ... To which is added, the family's best companion: with instructions for marking on linen, how to pickle and preserve; to make divers sorts of wine; and many excellent plasters and medicines, ... and a compendium of the sciences of geography and astronomy; ... Also some useful interest-tables. By George Fisher, accomptant. The sixteenth edition, corrected and improved.
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FISHER, George
The instructor: or, young man's best companion. Containing, spelling, reading, writing and arithmetick, in an easier way than any yet published; and how to qualify a person for any business, without the help of a master. ... To which is added, the family's best companion: with instructions for marking on linen, how to pickle and preserve; to make divers sorts of wine; and many excellent plasters and medicines, ... and a compendium of the sciences of geography and astronomy; ... Also some useful interest-tables. By George Fisher, accomptant. The sixteenth edition, corrected and improved.
London: printed for C. Hitch and L. Hawes, H. Woodfall, J. Fuller, R. Baldwin, W. Johnston, S. Crowder and Co. B. Law and Co. H. Woodgate and S. Brooks, and C. Ware, 1760.
xii, [2], 384 p., engr. frontis., [3] pl. (1 fold.) : wdcut illus. ; 16.5 cm. (12º)

First published in 1727 (ESTC n8026). Another undated edition appeared probably in 1735 as indicated from internal evidence (Alston IV.358). An enormously popular eighteenth-century handbook of useful instruction and information for a young man about to set out into the world of commerce. Fisher in his preface (p.iii--v) outlines the way to fame and fortune for a youth, indicating the practical steps he should take to profit from his own industry, somewhat in the style of the courtesy books of the preceding century. The first important accomplishment was to write in a 'good, fair, free, commendable hand' followed by a section on writing letters to 'the different ranks and qualities of persons to whom directed'. This is characteristically depicted with a frontispiece of an old man instructing schoolboys in a well-stocked library, having globes and a panel of the orders of architecture and a row of worthy tomes on the chief topics of the companion (including 'Architecture'), and captioned with some moralising verse. There follow chapters on 'that excellent science of Arithmetic' and the 'ingenious art of book-keeping after the Italian Manner'. Attendant to these are practical information of market days, land measurement, geometry, geography, astronomy and an illustrated section with practical information for the construction of sundials and 'Lastly, Some directions relating to the pleasant and delightful art of gardening'. The two single plates are printed recto and verso from four coppers numbered 1--4. ESTC t99263.

Copy Notes Inscribed in ink on recto of frontispiece (with the letter 'e' added to 'Soan' after 1783): J. Soane / 1767 / Susannah Soane, her Book, Given her by / her Brother J. Soane, given / him by his sister Deborah / Soan, who Died July 13, 1766 aged 22yrs. 5mo. . 3w., & was buried / in Upper Church Guildford / in Surry. / July 27, 1767'. Inscribed in ink on frontispiece: John Soane, his Bo[o]k, 1764. Plate 3 inscribed in ink Deborah Soan. Annotations to text in ink, also the word chump inscribed in ink on verso of folded plate and final page. Latin tag inscribed on front pastedown Nomen hic pono, Quia Librum perdere nolo. Inscriptions on the rear pastedown suggest some practice in calligraphy Fear God, etc, as instructed within the text, also the name Thomas Dicken.

Binding C18th sheep, blind double-ruled borders and spine. Illegible inscriptions in ink on both covers, the lower [...] Soan His Book.

Reference Number 244


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