[ Nineteenth-century Boston children's book with hand-coloured illustrations by Chandler and Duran. ] The Delectable Historie of the Cat and the Rabbits.

'G. W. Cottrell, Publisher, Bookseller, Stationer, and Valentine Dealer, No. 36 Cornhill, Boston' [ Chandler and Duran, Massachussetts ]
Publication details: 
Boston: G. W. Cottrell, Publisher. ('Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by CHANDLER & DURAN, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachussetts.')
SKU: 20777

29pp., small 4to. Stitched into card covers. Internally in fair condition, in aged and worn covers repaired along the spine with brown tape. There are eleven hand-coloured engravings: one on the cover, a frontispiece, two vignettes (at the beginning and end of the poem) and seven full-page illustrations in the body of the poem (six of them with blank reverses). The cover illustration, frontispiece, and all but two of the full-page engravings are attributed to Chandler and Duran. The hand-coloured engraving on the front cover is of a cat pouncing on a rabbit in foliage, while other rabbits scatter, together with the publisher's details and the title 'The Delectable Historie of the Cat and the Rabbits'. (This illustration also features, without the lettering included within it, on p.21 of the poem.) The back cover carries an advertisement for Cottrell's business. The pagination includes the covers, and on the reverse of the front cover, paginated as p.2, is an attractive full-page frontispiece engraving of the cat in question. The poem begins on p.3, under the drophead title: 'Ye Delectable Historie of | YE CAT AND YE RABBITS.' It is in 52 four-line stanzas, numbered in Roman numerals, and begins: 'Once on a time, by the side of a wood, | Dwelt a populous burrow of Rabbits, | Happy, contented, moral and good, - | A people of excellent habits.' The poem ends with the rabbit, having eaten a number of rabbits, being shot with an arrow by a shepherd: 'Then sighing, repenting, and breathing his last, | He uttered the moral which follows: | “A rogue is a fool, and soon is caught fast | In the trap he has set for his fellows.”' Excessively scarce: the only two copies on OCLC WorldCat at Dartmouth Library and Brown University, and no copies on COPAC.