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John Whalley

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John Whalley

In 1700, Whalley printed an advertisement detailing his intention to publish an English translation of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. He was looking for advance orders to help pay for the project. The advert appeared his almanack for the year 1701. I transcribed it from a copy which exists in the Early Manuscripts section at the main library in Trinity College Dublin, and have maintained the original punctuation and capitalisation.

Advertisement to the lovers of genuine astrology

Necessity knows no law; and very often Impositions and extremities prove the parents of many inventions, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse.

And such were the hardships and abuses for many years put upon me in this Kingdom about printing my almanacks and other matters; that to do myself justice I was forced to procure a printing house of my own; by which I hope to be something more serviceable to my generation; and as an Essay there unto (by the advantage there of) have in my Treatise of Eclipses, presented the world with the true method of Calculating Nativities according to the Doctrine of the Great Ptolemy: and that the whole British world may be the better judge of my justice in the matter: I intend (for the better information of such as understand not the Latin, by, or before Easter term this year) to present the world with Ptolemy printed in English; Duely translated from the Latin and diligently compared with and corrected by the best of the Greek copies. And for the better understanding of both the one and the other, am with all possible speed now preparing (and hope before the expiration of this year to have printed) a compleat Introduction to that Most Primitive, Pure and truely Natural Astrology; Demonstrated and Fitted to the meanest capacity.

But for want of Encouragement to things of this kind, the whole (if at all) must be done at my own cost and charges; and tho' I have a Printing house of my own, yet the burthen will be too weighty for one pair of shoulders. I therefore propose it (for the greater ease to every body) to be done by subscriptions; and that every subscriber take off at least two books of each sort; for which one moyety to be paid in Hand, and the other moyety at the delivery of the books at my House. and for as much as I have taken the pains to bring the matter to this Perfection (that it may not now have any delay) I desire all such as are resolved to partake of the benefit there of, with all possible speed to hasten to me their subscriptions. To the subscribers (in Quires) Ptolemy will be five shillings each book, & the Introduction eight shillings, & whosoever takes off six books of a sort shall have one gratis.

from my House in St.Nicholas St. Oct 1 1701 John Whalley