The Vanity of the Arts and Sciences. By Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Knight .... [ De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum ].
London: Printed by R. Everingham for R. Bentley at the Post House in Covent-Garden, and Dan. Brown at the Bible without Temple-Bar, 1694. Early English Language Reprint. Hardcover. Small octavo. [xviii] + 368pp. Late twentieth century full-leather binding: brown calf with 5 raised bands and 2 gilt-stamped brown leather title labels to spine. Fresh endpapers. Engraved frontis-piece portrait of Agrippa. One decorative capital, and several head-pieces. An attractive early English language edition of Agrippa's "De incertitudine et vanitate scientarium declamatio inuectiua", a work which was first published in English in 1676. It was widely recognised as an important and controversial work in which he mocked the presumption and pretensions of many of the learned of the time, including astrologers, magicians, and practitioners of all the sciences, and argued the futility of the quest for knowledge. It stands in stark contrast to his later work, De Occulta Philosophia (The Occult Philosophy) in which he expounds his own philosophies about the nature of life and existence. The text is prefaced by an address "To the Reader," an essay "The life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa"; "His epitaph"; and a short verse "On the learned author ..."- with the printed initials "S.S." Boards and spine slightly discolored and lightly chafed. Frontis mounted, and both it and title page darkened and fragile, with a few small tears at the edges. The binding is bright and clean and shows just a hint of shelf-wear, there is an intriguing elaborate owner's monogram on the verso of the frontispiece, and an owner's name and acquisition date (June 19th, 1745) in the upper margin of the title-pages. The pages are generously margined, and the pages fresh and supple. A few ancient insect nibbles to the margins of the last 4 leaves (nowhere near the text) and a couple of faint tide-marks to those same leaves. Still overall, a tight, clean, attractive copy in VG+ antiquarian condtion. Item #70388