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MANDEVILLE, Bernard (1670--1733)
The fable of the bees: or, private vices, publick benefits. With an essay on charity and charity-schools. And a search into the nature of society. The sixth edition. To which is added, a vindication of the book from the aspersions contain'd in a presentment of the grand-jury of Middlesex, and an abusive letter to Lord C.
London: printed for J. Tonson, 1732.
[16], 477, [1] p. ; 19.1 cm. (8º)

This anonymous work by Bernard Mandeville [or de Mandeville], originally published in 1714 with a second enlarged edition in 1723, achieved notoriety for its paradoxical defence of private human vices and self-interest as contributing to the public good by encouraging wealth and the benefits of civilization. The first edition consisted of an earlier poem of 1705, The Grumbling Hive, an Enquiry into the origin of moral virtue, and twenty Remarks; the second edition developed the argument further with the expansion of the Remarks and the addition of the Essay on Charity and A Search into the Nature of Society, sparking a controversy which led to the work's presentation by a Middlesex grand jury for denigrating virtue and religion and recommending vice. The Vindication was first published in the London Journal for 10 August 1723 and incorporated in the third edition of the Fable in the following year. A second part - in fact an entirely new work on human development from savagery to civilization in the form of dialogues - first appeared in 1729 (1755 ed., q.v.). ESTC n8073.

Copy Notes Inscribed on verso of front free-endpaper in ink To John Soane Esq. / as a tribute of respect / esteem and regard from / his obliged and sincere / friend / John Taylor. / Jany 13. 1820, i.e. Soane's friend, the writer and editor John Taylor, who also presented him with a copy of 'Part II' (q.v.) the following year. Inscribed in ink on front pastedown as The gift of / Dr. Monsey / August 5th. 1781 / Aged 86 years / 10 months / and 3 days. / J Taylor Junr. / Hatton Street. Laid down on the recto of the front free-endpaper is a brief biographical note in ink dated M: Monsey / 1733 / with a list of publications by the author and some page references. Messenger Monsey held the appointment of physician to Chelsea Hospital until his death in 1788, and was known as a freethinker and an eccentric. Although Soane's appointment as clerk of works to the Hospital did not take place until nine years later, a portrait of Monsey hangs in the Picture Room at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Binding C18th calf, gilt-ruled spine, maroon leather spine label.

Reference Number 4591


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