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Wollstonecraft, trans) Salzmann.

Elements of Morality.


(Wollstonecraft, Mary, translator.) Elements of Morality; for the use of young persons. To which is prefixed, An Address to Parents. From the German of The Rev. C.S. Salzmann. A new and improved edition. Embellished with engravings. Edinburgh: Printed for Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh; G. & W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria Lane; and N. Hailes, Piccadilly, London; By Assignment from the Heirs of the late Joseph Johnson, St. Paul's Church-Yard, London, 1821.
12mo.; illustrated with seven wood engravings; marbled endpapers; full green calf, decoratively stamped in gilt on covers and spine, with an elaborate shield on the upper panel.
Third English edition, "New and Improved Edition" of Wollstonecraft's translation of Salzmann's Moralisches Elementarbuch (Leipzig: 1785), first published in two volumes in 1780. Windle B3o. Contrived as a tutorial volume for children-"to form the minds of young persons to good dispositions, leading them, by lively respresentations of sensible objects, to estimate the real value of every thing, and thereby to excite in them love of virtue and hatred of vice" (Sketch of the Contents)-it is divided into five sections: Duties to Ourselves (the body, the soul, good habits, bad habits, passions); To Others (God, Men); Animals; Things (food, dress); and Events. Also present is her twelve page introductory Address to Parents, offering advice in general parenting as well as in the proper presentation to children of the lessons in this book.
Not dissimilar to Wollstonecraft's own Original Stories, in the 1790 edition she explained that she started the translation merely as an exercise in German, only to discover that
chance had thrown in my way a very rational book, and that the writer coincided with me in opinion respecting the method which ought to be pursued to form the heart and temper, or, in other words, to inculcate the first principles of morality…. All the pictures were drawn from real life, and that I highly approve of this methjod, my having written a book on the same plan is the strongest proof.
Several printings of her translation in both England and America testify to its popularity, and the scarcity of early editions testifies to its use; copies this early in this condition are rare. Our copy was given as a prize in arithmetic from the Lord Provost Magistrates and Town Council of The City of Perth, to a Miss Mary Catherine Johnston, "for proficiency and diligence at Academy [ ] Session 1829-30," according to an elaborately printed label filled out in autograph and affixed to the front pastedown.

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