Item #4543 Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country. Walker, Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, Anthony, née Boyle.
Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.
Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.
Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.
Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.
Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.

Eureka, Eureka [Graece]. The virtuous woman found. Her loss bewailed, and character exemplified in a sermon preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the funeral of that most excellent lady the right honourable, and eminently religious and charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most illustrious pattern of sincere piety, and solid goodness this age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the life of that noble lady. To which are annexed some of her ladyships pious and useful meditations. By Anthony Walker, D.D. and rector of Fyfield in the same country.

London: Printed for Nathanael Ranew, at the King's Arms in S. Paul's Church-Yard, 1678.

Price: $6,500.00

Octavo: 17 x 11.3 cm. [14], 213, [11] p. Plus portrait. Collation: A8(-A1) B-P8. A1 is a cancel. Title page is A3. With 10 pp. publisher's catalogue at end.

FIRST EDITION.

Bound in 20th c. brown morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, boards ruled with a single gilt filet. Spine gilt-ruled in compartments with small ornaments, “Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick”, and date tooled in gold. With the engraved portrait of Mary Rich, signed R.White. Title with solid black mourning border. Text in excellent condition, small light stain on leaf E3, another larger but equally light stain on leaf N5. "Occasional meditations upon sundry subjects" by Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, has a separate dated title page on leaf K8r. "Pious reflections upon several scriptures", also by the Countess of Warwick, with divisional title page on N5r. Provenance: James Stevens Cox (1910-1997), bookseller, publisher, writer, archaeologist, historian, and hairdresser (book-label).

THE FIRST EDITION OF ANY WORK BY MARY RICH TO BE PUBLISHED. This volume includes twelve “Meditations” and a series of “Pious Reflections” written by Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick (1624-1678), sister of Robert Boyle. They are appended to a sermon preached at Rich's funeral, together with a life of the Countess, by Anthony Walker, Rich’s chaplain and friend; both the sermon and biography are rich sources for details of the countess’ life and thoughts. Walker had access to Mary Rich's writings -including her diary- from which he provides us with two long entries (pp. 64-68 and 111-114) in the latter of which, written days before her last illness, the countess expresses her thoughts on her impending death.

“Anthony Walker's commemorative life of Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, published in 1678, the year of her death, includes thirteen ‘Occasional Meditations upon Sundry Subjects.’ Four of them are unique to this publication; the rest are among the 182 ‘Ocasionale Meditationes’ the countess wrote in the last fifteen years of her life. While meditations are one of the "modes of piety" that were thought of as ‘feminine concerns,’ Rich's occasional meditations are a form of religious devotion that possibly no other contemporary woman developed as distinctly, if not extensively.

“Many of the meditations written by women [of the period] focus on scriptural passages or religious topics; others tend toward prayers and thanksgivings related to events such as births, illness, and death. In brief, spontaneous responses to daily life, Mary Rich discovers spiritual significance in the commonplace. This sustained body of devotion in the quarto folios of a British Library manuscript gives important dimension to the religious sensibility of an aristocratic woman praised as ‘the most Illustrious Pattern of Sincere Piety, and Solid Goodness this Age hath produced.’

“Rich's occasional meditations are a distinctive part of a seventeenth-century tradition associated most significantly with the writing of Bishop Joseph Hall and developed by, among others, her brother Robert Boyle, the noted natural philosopher. Hall's three editions of his ‘Occasional Meditations’ (1630, 1631, 1633) and his earlier comments on the form in ‘The Art of Divine Meditation’ (1606) delineate a practice he characterizes as ‘extemporal and occasioned by outward occurrences offered to the mind’; other commentaries further emphasize the sudden, quick, and brief nature of these reflections on the meaning of an event or experience. The essence of the occasional meditation is in the words of Boyle ‘to spiritualize all the Objects and Accidents that occur’ to the devout soul. He recognizes, moreover, ‘not onely a Theological and a Moral, but also a Political, an Oeconomical, or even a Physical use.’ The objects of creation and acts of providence are, in effect, limited only by the experience and sensitivity of the beholder…

“Mary Rich's occasional meditations have a religious and personal immediacy that sets them apart from other works in this tradition. While her manuscript includes meditations on some of the same objects found in Hall's editions -reflections on, for example, a sundial, a glowworm, and a blind man- she avoids his emblematic and homiletic tendency. Rich does not limit herself to a narrow reading of nature or display the weighty learning of later writers. Her contributions to this genre are for the most part linked to the events of Essex and London life and are occasioned by extemporal responses to her personal experience. The pattern of Rich's meditations is disarmingly simple. They typically end with a prayer to God. The homely quality of her exercises reflects the immediacy of the occasion in a personal voice seldom heard in seventeenth-century occasional meditations. The many pieces she wrote and reread over a period of fifteen years are rich in detail, a significant expression of a deeply religious woman who achieved a distinct sense of self through her piety and writing. In their deceptive simplicity they complement the spirituality of seventeenth-century devotional poetry that also seeks ‘a personal voice, a subject position for the self from whose perspective the divine is viewed.’”(Anselment, “The Occasional Meditations of Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick”, p. 1-3)

“Mary Rich was on 11 November 1624 at Youghal, co. Cork, Ireland, the thirteenth of fifteen children of Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork, Irish landowner and politician, and his second wife, Catherine (c.1588–1630), only child of Sir Geoffrey Fenton, principal secretary of state for Ireland… With tutorial assistance from two gentlewomen and a Frenchwoman, Mary learned English and French, which facilitated her youthful addiction to plays and romances (she was reading Sidney's Arcadia at twelve). She also learned her catechism and Bible, and fancy needlework…. After refusing a match arranged by her father, Mary married Charles Rich (1616–1673), second son of the second earl of Warwick. Mary bore a daughter (Elizabeth) in 1642, and a son (Charles) in 1643. Worried that they might have too many children for their slender means and that frequent child bearing would spoil Mary's beauty, they stopped having children, though both parents were devoted to their son and daughter.

When Elizabeth died at fifteen months, Mary was very distressed, while Charles was 'pationately so’. In 1647 the sudden illness of four-year-old Charles accelerated Mary’s conversion process, encouraged by the earl's household chaplain Anthony Walker. Before her marriage Mary had been hostile to religion, being 'stedfastly sett against being a Puritan'. Now, vowing she would become a 'new Creature' if her son were restored to health, she transformed herself into a paragon of piety, beginning an all-encompassing devotional routine to which she adhered for the rest of her life. [But] in 1664 young Charles, died of smallpox. On hearing the news the earl 'cryed out so terably that his cry was herd a great way'. But, as Anthony Walker recalled, the earl was even more concerned that the news would kill his wife, 'which was he said more to him than an hundred sons' (Walker, Eureka, 91). Mary confessed she loved her son so dearly she would willingly have died either 'for him, or with him'. Yet aided by religious discipline, the countess survived to nurse her increasingly crippled and irascible husband until he succumbed to his illness on 24 August 1673.

“During the 1660s the countess embarked on various forms of spiritual and autobiographical writings. From about 1663 she wrote intermittent 'Occasional meditations' (BL, Add. MS 27356). In July 1666 she began a diary (now BL, Add. MSS 27351–27355), in which she recorded her devotional routine and daily events until the end of her life, and in February 1672 she set down her autobiographical reminiscences, 'Some specialties in the life of M. Warwicke' (BL, Add. MS 27357).”(Sara Mendelson, ODNB)

Occasional Meditations of Mary Rich:

The countess’ meditations “follow a common formula: Rich observes or notes some-thing in the natural world or her own experience, she addresses a particular interpretation to her soul, then she beseeches God to help her learn from this example. There is pleasure for the modern reader in seeing exactly what lesson Rich will draw from her topic; a meditation on the superstition that drawing the curtain will prevent the sun from quenching the fire becomes a contemplation of how God draws a dark curtain between us and our earthly loves (for example, through death), so that we do not forget our love for Him. In a meditation on a sunflower, Rich notes that God made her heart broad at the top and narrow at the bottom to teach her that her heart should strive after things above and should shun the things of this lower world.”(Victoria Burke)

The Meditations are:

Upon a Damn made to stop the Water; Upon the Consideration of the different manner of the working of a Bee and a Spider; Upon feeding the Poor at the Gate with some broken meat left at a feast; Of my gardeners chusing fine young thriving stocks to graft on; Upon looking out of my Window at Chelsey upon the Thames; Ʋpon seeing a fine Carpet taken off a dusty Table; Ʋpon childrens playing in the streets, and falling to fight, &c.; Ʋpon the lighting many Candles at one; Upon the drawing of the Window-curtains to prevent the Suns putting out the Fire; Ʋpon a person who had great knowledge, and very quick, but unsanctified parts; Upon seeing a Silk-worm spin; Upon desiring a friend to preserve safe for me some pre∣cious things, which were kept for me, till I needed them, and then seasonably produced to help me; Ʋpon my often waking in the night, and presently falling asleep again.

ESTC R233189; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), W301