约翰·弗朗西斯戴维斯爵士 《贤文书》 中英文对照的道德箴言及谚语词典
“One of the first British titles to use Chinese type in innovative ways”
DAVIS, Sir John Francis.
Hien Wun Shoo. Chinese Moral Maxims, with a free and verbal translation; affording examples of the grammatical structure of the language.
London: John Murray; printed at the Honorable Company’s Press, by P. P. Thoms, Macao, 1823
Octavo. Original maroon cloth, spine lettered in gilt, scrollwork panel within triple fillet border blocked to boards in blind, uncut and unopened. Title also printed on title page in Chinese characters. Engraved armorial bookplate of Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe, to front pastedown, small circular label to lower corner of front board. Spine and board edges sunned, ends and extremities bumped, a few negligible marks to boards, endpapers foxed and gathering T foxed along upper gutters; in all a very well preserved copy in the original cloth, the contents crisp and clean.
First edition of the Chinese scholar’s collection of proverbs, “one of the first British titles to use Chinese type in innovative ways” (Keighren, Withers, & Bell, p. 135) and an excellent example of Murray’s experimentation with printing developments of the time. Printed by Peter Perring Thoms at the East India Company’s press in Macao due to the lack of types available in England, it comprises the Chinese text and English translations of some 200 quotations collected by Davis from classical and colloquial literature.
Davis (1795-1890) was the son of a director of the East India Company, and himself was appointed a writer at the Company’s Canton factory in 1813. He “early showed marked linguistic and diplomatic aptitude” (ODNB), and accompanied Amherst’s Embassy to Pekin in 1816. Remaining at Canton throughout his career, in 1844 he was appointed Plenipotentiary and Superintendent of trade at Canton, and became the second Governor and Commander-in-chief of Hong Kong, succeeding Sir Henry Pottinger.