DRAKE AND THE SPANIARDS
A Treatise Paraenetical, that is to say: an Exhortation. Wherein is shewed … the right way and true meanes to resist the … Castilian King … by a pilgrim Spaniard.
London: [Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, 1598
FIRST EDITION, 4to. pp. (xvi) 28, 37-160. *⁴, A-V⁴. Roman and Italic letter, table and side notes in Italic. Floriated and grotesque woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments. Boies Penrose armorial bookplate on pastedown, ‘Lord Leconfield’s copy’ in pencil above, cropped contemporary autograph at head of title, contemporary marginal notes in English. Light age yellowing, upper margin cut a bit close just touching a few page numbers at end, a couple of tiny rust holes. A very good copy, crisp and clean in polished C19th calf, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine rebacked, with original spine laid down, gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments richly gilt, red morocco label gilt, edges double gilt ruled, inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g. extremities fractionally rubbed.
First edition in English, the Leconfield-Penrose copy of an important anti-Spanish treatise, presenting the ‘common sort of Castillians’ as ‘maligne & perverse … full of pride, arrogancie, ambition, tyranie, & infidelitie’. It also includes references to Brazil and the West Indies as well as an early account of Sir Francis Drake’s 1589 Lisbon campaign, the largest naval force that had ever left England, that attempted to restore Don Antonio to the Portuguese throne. “This comprehensive plan was plainly far more than a counter-attacking raid: it amounted to a full-scale invasion of part of Portugal and her overseas territories. It was daring and ambitious, and Drake was obviously the man to direct the naval side of the operation, to complete the work of the Armada campaign and win fresh glory for himself and for English seafaring. In the event, the Portugal adventure of 1589 proved to be an unrelieved disaster, which achieved nothing, costs thousands of lives, and dragged Drake’s reputation into the mire” Whitfield. ‘Sir Francis Drake.’ This English translation from the French argues how best to defeat the Spanish threat, giving an account of the habits and character of Philip of Spain and a detailed history of recent dealings between England, Spain and Portugal. The work provides a valuable description of the contemporary states of those last two countries, the conditions of their peoples and especially their towns and cities and sources of national wealth. Incidentally it deals with the vast importance to Spain of its, and Portugal’s, overseas possessions.
“The anonymous tract A Treatise Paraenetical,.. exhorts the monarchs of France and England to attack Philip directly, ‘to restore unto libertie so many peoples and nations, whoe do crie and call for aide under the yoke and burthen of this tyrannie’. In turn this would entail security for the aggressors, delivering ‘your owne subiects from the arms of the enemie’. The likely author of the treatise paraenetical is no Protestant; purporting to be the translation of a treatise by an Aragonese subject of Philip II, the author is almost certainly Pérez. The printed English version is strongly associated with Essex’s circle: dedicated to Essex’s close friend, Fulke Greville, Essex is described as a ‘Prince of the bloud Royall of England .. adorned with many moral vertues’. The treatise was probably translated by Arthur Atye, Essex’s client, who performed similar important works of Spanish translation for Essex.” Alexandra Gajda. ‘The Earl of Essex and Late Elizabethan Political Culture.’
A rare and important work.
ESTC S114641. STC.19838. Palau 328878. Sabin 96752. Alden 598/111. Not in JFB.