Boston: Manning & Loring, 1797. 30, [2 blanks] pp, with the half title. Bound in modern marbled wrappers. Half title foxed, minor repair to blank base of title leaf, Very Good.
A discourse on "the dangers and evils, to which large towns and cities are particularly exposed." These include "the calamities of war": enemies, seeking an adversary's weakness, will attend to its centers of wealth, population, and commerce. Political life is more violent in cities: "men of restless temper and seditious spirits can have frequent communications; and having devised mischief, they can with more expedition and effect execute their purposes." "Infectious and pestilential diseases" abound, for cities' "noxious vapors" breed illness. "Incendiaries and robbers" find cities hospitable, as do "abandoned characters" and "the basest of mankind."
Lathrop reports on "the late devastations by fire, in several of the southern States," and in particular the fires which "have found the way to Boston." The recent Boston fire was "occasioned by some wicked persons, who have come among us." One, seized in the act, has been tried, convicted, and is awaiting execution. An Appendix lists recent cases of arson and robbery. Despite the dangers of cities, he does not counsel their abandonment. "There are evils in society, and there are evils in a state of nature." With proper social organization [Lathrop offers a number of ideas for reform] and a religious spirit, risks can be minimized and advantages enhanced.
Evans 32358. ESTC W20382. Item #17976