Covetousness

description below

An illustrated manuscript leaf in an 18th-century hand. In the upper portion of the recto side is a large vignette of a man in traditional Jewish garb, seated at a table, weighing coins as they spill from two cornucopias, one to each side and held by a cherub whose faces are turned away; the table is covered with coins. The prose text below is captioned “Covetousness” and consists of seven lines beginning: “Every step that a man makes beyond a moderate & reasonable Provision, is taking so much from the worthiness of his own spirit. …” This quote is taken from an popular 18th-century British courtesy book that appeared in many editions but was first published in 1715.: The Gentleman’s Library, containing rules for conduct in all parts of life. The scribe writes using Gothic lettering in pen and brown ink and decorates the perimeter of the the text and image with billowing flourishes. Printed above in a ribbon banner is a saying from Horace, “certum voto pete finem”–“set a definite limit to your desire.” On the verso written in pencil by a contemporary hand : Mind the noblest, he the law of Kings The noble mind distinguishes perfection It aids & strengthens virtue where it meets her ‘Tis not to be sported with.

  • Artist: Castle, William, active 1785, artist.
  • Title: Covetousness : manuscript / Wm. Castle.
  • Production: England, 1785.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss File 152+

Acquired June 2020

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