London: William Ponsonby, 1598. First edition. Small quarto (185 x 131mm). Collates , [1, blank], 155, 158-618: complete, with pagination skilling 156-157 as in the British Library copy. With errata leaf, and two leaves with woodcut tree emblems including the author's monogram (with tiny closed tear). Errata and final woodcut leaves misbound toward the front between leaves 3 and 4. Leaf 6 misbound before 5. Engraved head and tail pieces. Engraved title page. Bound in 19th century half calf over marbled boards; spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Outer hinges starting but holding firm. Edges a bit rubbed. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Contemporary owners' annotations scattered throughout the margins. Intermittent dampstaining to rear pages. Tiny paper repair to outer corner of page 616 not affecting text. A rare and important work that laid the foundations for Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and Antony and Cleopatra.
Barckley's work purports to be an ethical treatise on human happiness, consisting of six books. In the first, the author offers to prove that felicity consists not in pleasure; in the second, not in riches; in the third, not in glory; in the fourth, not in moral virtue. In the fifth book he declares his own opinion on happiness in life, while in the sixth he declares what he believes is the objective answer to obtaining happiness.
Jaggard 15. STC 1391. ESTC S100775. (Item #3028)