WIT AND WISDOM FROM WEST AFRICA; A Book of Proverbial Philosophy, Idioms, Enigmas, and Laconisms: ...

WIT AND WISDOM FROM WEST AFRICA; A Book of Proverbial Philosophy, Idioms, Enigmas, and Laconisms

Burton Richard F., compiler

Published by London Tinsley Brothers 1865, 1865
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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First edition. 8vo, handsomely bound by Frost and Company in three-quarter crimson morocco over cloth covered boards, the spine with blind ruled designed raised bands and gilt lettering, t.e.g. xxxi, 455 pp. A very attractive and well preserved copy, the text block very clean and in a pleasing state of preservation, the binding fine and sturdy with the spine panel gently aged to a very attractive and warmer crimson. A RARE AND IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION OF THIS BOOK by Burton, being a collection of 2268 proverbs and sayings from the Wolof, Kanuri, Oji, Ga or Accra, Yoruba, Efik or Old Calabar, and Mpangwe languages. They offer outstanding evidence of accumulated folk wisdom, many worded with pith and sparkle. Burtonís purpose in making this collection of literary and oral compositions available was to offer "a practical acquaintance with the language[s]" and to introduce "the reader to some extent into the inward world of Negro mind and Negro thoughts; and this is a circumstance of paramount importance, so long as there are any who either flatly negative the question, or, at least, still consider it open, 'Whether the Negroes are a genuine portion of mankind or not'.Such specimens may go a long way towards refuting the old-fashioned doctrine of an essential inequality of the Negroes with the rest of mankind, which now and then shows itself, not only in America, but also in Europe." Just a few of the many delightful sayings found in this volume: "The child looks everywhere and often sees nought; but the old man, sitting on the ground, sees everything. Know thyself better than he does who speaks of thee. A little is better than nothing. Before healing others, heal yourself. The child hates him who gives it all it wants." Burton spent many a night during the rainy season in Africa working on this remarkable collection. Bookseller Inventory # 22523

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: London Tinsley Brothers 1865

Publication Date: 1865

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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