Against the Enlightenment Philosophers

(MOREAU, J.N.) Nouveau mémoire pour servir à l’histoire des Cacouacs. Amsterdam, 1757. Vignette on title. – (Followed by:) (GIRY DE SAINT-CYR, J.) Catéchisme et Décisions de cas de conscience, à l’usage des Cacouacs; avec un discours du Patriarche des Cacouacs, Pour la Réception d’un nouveau Disciple. A Cacopolis, 1758. – (Followed by:) (GAUCHAT, G.) Catechisme du livre de l’Esprit, ou Elémens de la Philosophie de l’Esprit; mis à la portée de tout le monde. No place, no publisher (Paris, Hérissant), 1758. – (Followed by:) (CHICANEAU DE NEUVILLE, D.-P.) Considérations sur les ouvrages d’esprit. Amsterdam, 1758. Four works bound in one volume. (4), 108 pp.; xlii, 107, (1) pp.; (2), 92 pp.; (4), 164 pp. 12mo. Contemporary marbled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red label with gilt lettering, red edges

€ 950

First work: Conlon 57:1050; INED 3281; L’Illuminismo francese alla Fondazione Feltrinelli, 703; Conlon, Ouvrages Français relatifs à Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1751-1799. Bibliographie Chronologique, 81; Barbier iii, 503.
First edition.
Against the writings of Helvétius, Diderot, the Encyclopedists, Voltaire and, above all, against Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The “Philosophes” were all labelled “Cacouacs.” This Nouveau Mémoire contains, pp. 103-108, his earlier published Premier Mémoire sur les Cacouacs, which was published in the Mercure de France, October 1757.
Second work: Conlon 58:751; INED 2053; L’Illuminismo francese alla Fondazione Feltrinelli, 381; Conlon, Ouvrages Français relatifs à Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1751-1799. Bibliographie Chronologique, 86 (gives as author Moreau): “critique générale de la pensée de Rousseau.”
First edition.
Third work: Conlon 58:734; L’Illuminismo francese alla Fondazione Feltrinelli, 366.
First edition of this rare work against Helvétius’ famous De l’Esprit.
Fourth work: Conlon 58:587; not in L’Illuminismo francese alla Fondazione Feltrinelli.
First edition.
Didier Pierre Chicaneau de Neuville was born into a noble family and had a long and varied career, was among others inspector of the booktrade in Nîmes, and became professor of history at the Collège Royal in Toulouse.
“Likewise highly damaging both among the reading public and at court was a series of three satires pillorying the philosophes as “Cacouacs”. Widely read for their witty style, the first of these diatribes appeared in October 1757 (the Premier Mémoire, see above, note one.) (…..) The derisive epithet “Cacouacs”, echoing the Greek word for “bad men” or mischief-makers, enjoyed a sensational vogue as a means of ridiculing the philosophes modernes as moral and cultural savages wreaking havoc on all sides that remained popular in some quarters until the Revolution. (…..) The succes of the first “Cacouac” lampoon elicited a sequel, the Nouveau Mémoire …. (…..) The Cacouac lampoons culminated with Saint-Cyr’s Catéchisme des Cacouacs. Again, heavy stress was laid on the atheistic intent of Bayle’s thought and its close relationship to Diderot’s, and on the Encyclopédie‘s affinities with d’Argens, La Mettrie, Rousseau’s essay on inequality, and Helvétius De l’Esprit, a newly published work frequently cited in Saint-Cyr’s footnotes (Jonathan I. Israel, Democratic Enlightenment. Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights 1750-1790, pp. 63-4.) Gauchet’s work against Helvétius was equally an important voice in the anti-philosophe movement as the public outcry against Helvétius’ work was a major factor in the suppression of the entire Encyclopédie.
A very nice collection of texts opposing the Enlightenment philosophers and especially Diderot, Rousseau and Helvétius. The collection was brought together at the time by Adrien-Jospeh Havé, with his exlibris on the front paste-down. Havé was secretary to Marin, one of the collaborators of the lieutenant general of police, Sartine. Sartine was the effective ruler of Paris for some 15 years, among other things responsible for censorship and like Malesherbes, with sympathy for Diderot and the Encyclopédie.