“The world’s most celebrated pub crawl”

Brathwait, Richard (1588?-1673)

Drunken Barnaby’s four journeys to the north of England. In Latin and English verse. Wittily and Merrily (tho’ near One Hundred Years ago) compos’d; found among some old musty Books, that had a long time lain by in a Corner; and now at last made publick. To which is added, Bessy Bell

London: printed for S. Illidge, under Searle’s Gate Lincolns-Inn New-Square: and sold by S. Ballard in Little-Britain, J. Graves in St. James’s-Street, and J. Walthoe over-against the Royal Exchange, 1716


Octavo: 14.2 x 9 cm. [8], 151, [9] p. Engraved frontis. And 1 plate. Collation: A4, B-L8

SECOND EDITION IN ENGLISH. (The rare first edition appeared in 1638).

Bound in modern paneled calf, gilt. A fine copy.

“In Brathwaite’s most famous work, the theme of drunkenness and bawdiness is played out in what perhaps amounts to the world’s most celebrated pub crawl.”(Bowes) The titular character makes his way from town to town engaging in sexual escapades and multi-day benders.

Whether surrounded by thieves or threatened by bears (!), he continues his drunken escapades without fear (“No feare affrights deep drinkers”), with the alcohol providing a false sense of bravery and the alcoholism driving him on recklessly (although the experience with the bears does make him ‘wrong his bretches’). It is when his morality fails him that his instinct for self-preservation does seem to kick in, as when he skips town worried that he has impregnated his most recent sexual conquest.

‘Hence to Mansfield, where I knew one,/ That was comely, and a trew one,/ With her nak’d compact made I,/ Her long lov’d I, with her laid I,/Towne and her I left, being doubtfull/Lest my love had made her fruitful.”

 There is also a bit of Shakespeariana in Barnabee, as he mentions the phrase 'As you like it,' suggesting thereby that it was of common usage, and served as a titular parallel to 'Much Ado About Nothing,' of the bard's pen.

“A shop neighbouring neare Iacco,/ Where Young vends his old Tobacco,/ 'As you like it' sometimes sealed/ Which Impression since repealed,/ 'As you make it,' he will have it/ And in Chart and Front engrave it.”

ESTC T6263; cf. Wither to Prior #78