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West Coast Rare Books

West Coast Rare Books

Westport / Ireland

Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.

Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.

Temple, Sir William / Swift, Jonathan (Biographical Sketch / Editor). The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart. To which is prefixed, The Life and Character of Sir William Temple. Written by a particular Friend [Jonathan Swift]. Two Volumes – Complete. London, Printed for T. Woodward et al., 1750. 35 x 23 cm. Vol.1: Engraved Frontispiece, xivm (2) [TOC], 480 pages. / Vol.2: (8) [Titles and TOC], 585 pages. With small vignettes. Contemporary calf boards. Rebacked with later spines and new brown end papers. Spine labels with gilt title. Gilt decorations. See images.

Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet (25 April 1628 – 27 January 1699) was in English diplomat, statesman and essayist. An important diplomat, he was recalled in 1679, and for a brief period was a leading advisor to Charles II, with whom he then fell out. He retired to the country, and thereafter occupied himself with gardening and writing. He is best remembered today for two aspects of his life after retirement: a passage on the designs of Chinese gardens, written without ever having seen one, and for employing the young Jonathan Swift as his secretary. The first is sometimes given as an early indication of the English landscape garden style, praising irregularity in design.
William Temple was the son of Sir John Temple of Dublin, an Irish judge and Master of the Rolls. Born in London, and educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Temple travelled across Europe, and was for some time a member of the Irish Parliament, employed on various diplomatic missions. During his time as a diplomat, Temple successfully negotiated the Triple Alliance of 1668 and the marriage of the Prince of Orange and Princess Mary of England in 1677. On his return in 1679 he was much consulted by Charles II, but disapproving of the anti-Dutch courses adopted, retired to his house at Sheen.
He was called out of retirement to implement a plan of his design to reform government rule. He was the architect of the Privy Council Ministry of 1679, which, though it failed, was an early effort to establish an executive along the lines of what later came to be understood as Cabinet government. Charles II disapproved of the scheme, which in his view took away too much of the Royal Prerogative, although in the exceptional circumstances of the Exclusion Crisis he was willing to give it a brief trial.
Temple later left Sheen and purchased Compton Hall, Farnham around 1686. He renamed the house Moor Park after Moor Park, Hertfordshire, a house he much admired and which influenced the formal gardens he built at Farnham. Here the later-famous Jonathan Swift was his secretary for most of the period from 1689 onward. It was here that Swift met Esther Johnson, who became his lifelong companion and whom he immortalised as Stella. Despite rumours that she was Temple’s own daughter, the evidence suggests that her widowed mother lived in the house as companion to Temple’s sister Martha. Temple installed his family motto “God has given us these opportunities for tranquility” above the door and took great pleasure from this house in his retirement from public life.
He took no part in the Glorious Revolution, but acquiesced to the new regime, and was offered, but refused, a role as Secretary of State.
Temple died in Moor Park, Surrey, England in 1699. His memorial in Westminster Abbey names also his wife Dorothy, and their daughter Diana; in 1722 the name of his sister Martha was added. He was much loved by his friends; Swift wrote that all that was good and amiable in mankind departed with him. The normally cynical Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland, was deeply grieved by his death, writing to Temple’s sister Martha that “the chief pleasure I proposed to myself was to see him sometimes”.
Temple saw his retirement from political life to his country estate at Moor Park as following the example of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. In his essay of 1685 (first published in 1690), “Upon the Gardens of Epicurus” Temple wrote of “the sweetness and satisfaction of this retreat, where since my resolution taken of never entering again into any public employments, I have passed five years without once going to town”.
Temple died on 27 January 1699. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his heart, by his special wish, was placed in a silver casket under the sundial at Moor Park, near his favourite window seat. Swift recorded, “He died at one o clock in the morning and with him all that was great and good among men”. (Wikipedia).

Our price: EUR 440,-- 

Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.
Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.
Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.
Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.
Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.
Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart.

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