Recent Acquisitions

  • Reminiscent of Turgot’s work

    (VERRI, P.) Meditazioni sulla economia politica. Prima Edizione Napoletana. Napoli, Nella Stamperia di Giovanni Gravier, 1771. With title-vignette, title printed within engraved border. (8), 212 pp. 8vo. Later boards.

    € 1250

    Kress 6828; Goldsmiths 10722 (edition without place or publisher); not in Einaudi (listing three other editions from 1771); Higgs 5167; Mattioli 3734-36, all different editions, not this one; Kress, Italian Economic Literature, i, 406; Carpenter, Economic Bestsellers before 1850, xxv/2.
    One of four editions from 1771: the Livorno edition is the first, in the listing by Carpenter and in the Italian Economic Literature this Napels edition is given as the second in the sequence and is followed by the other 1771 editions.
    The work was an immediate succes and went through some 6 editions in a short period; Verri’s publishing history outside Italy was remarkable — four French editions, two in German, at least one, perhaps two in Dutch, and a partial Russian translation (Carpenter), and more recently, into English. “Verri’s Meditazioni (Meditations on Political Economy) is a complete treatise on political economy, reminiscent of Turgot’s work (1766) with its tight, logical framework and division into fairly short sections. The work was highly appreciated when it appeared and could be found, for example, in the library of Adam Smith. His work, though now largely ignored, may therefore have exerted greater influence than is generally believed” (New Palgrave, volume iv, p. 807).
    “This work (the Meditazioni) firmly embraces free trade, and anticipates (especially the concept of money as a universal commodity, the theory of value, and the dynamics of the laws of the marketplace) the Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 4, p. 221).
    Pietro Verri (1728-1797) was an Italian economist, administrator and philosopher. His work includes several anti-Physiocratic views: for example on tax issues and on the importance of agriculture. His work contains a number of original contributions. Not only did he do historical research of importance, but he also was a true econometrician. Schumpeter states: “Count Pietro Verri …… would have to be included in any list of the greatest economists.” Verri also belonged to the ‘Illuministi” of Italy and founded the important but short-lived periodical ‘Il Caffé’, together with Beccaria and others. – Somewhat browned and spotted throughout, in a contemporary hand written onto title “del c. verri milanese”, rather thick lettering.

  • This inspired Jefferson when writing the American Declaration of Independence

    PLACCAERT Vande Staten Generael vande Gheunieerde Nederlanden. By den welcken, midts den redenen in’t langhe in’t selfde begrepen, men verklaert den Coninck van Spaegnien vervallen vande Overheyt ende Heerschappije van deze voorsz. Nederlanden, Ende verbiet zijnen Naem ende Zegel inde selve Landen meer te ghebruycken. &c. Nae de Copye Tot Leyden, By Charles Silvius, 1581. 16 pp. Small 4to. Loose, kept in 19th-century paper covered boards.

    € 1250

    The famous Declaration of Independence of the Dutch provinces and founding text of the independent Netherlands.
    The Act of Abjuration (Dutch: Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally ‘placard of abjuration’), was the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from Spain in 1581, during the Dutch Revolt.
    Signed on 26 July 1581 in The Hague, the Act formally confirmed a decision made by the States General of the Netherlands in Antwerp four days earlier. It declared that all magistrates in the provinces making up the Union of Utrecht were freed from their oaths of allegiance to the King of Spain, Philip II. The grounds given were that Philip II had failed in his obligations to his subjects, by oppressing them and violating their ancient rights (an early form of social contract). Philip was therefore considered to have forfeited his thrones as ruler of each of the provinces which signed the Act.
    The Act of Abjuration allowed the newly-independent territories to govern themselves, although they first offered their thrones to alternative candidates. When this failed, they formed the Dutch Republic, the predecessor of the modern state of the Netherlands. The Act also exacerbated the political divisions between the rebellious northern provinces and the southern provinces of the Spanish Netherlands, which did not sign the Act and remained loyal to Philip II.
    The Act was remarkable for its extensive Preamble, which took the form of an ideological justification, phrased as an indictment (a detailed list of grievances) of King Philip. This form, to which the American Declaration of Independence bears striking resemblance, has given rise to speculations that Thomas Jefferson, when he was writing the latter, was at least partly inspired by the Act of Abjuration.
    The Preamble was based on Vindiciae contra tyrannos by Philippe de Mornay, and other works of monarchomachs may have been sources of inspiration also. The rebels, in their appeal to public opinion, may have thought it more important to quote “authoritative” sources and refer to “ancient rights” they wished to defend. By deposing a ruler for having violated the Social Contract with his subjects, they were the first to apply these theoretical ideas: the deposition of a king no longer was a theory, it was a fact.
    There are various issues and/or printings of this text, some with the word “verclaert” in stead of, as in this copy “verklaert”, and these are often also set from different type resulting in different pagination and obviously, different catchwords. This copy has a woodcut with the lion in the Dutch garden on the title-page.

  • 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.

  • The Knight without Fear

    (MAILLES, J. DE.) Histoire du Chevalier Bayard, Lieutenant général pour le Roy au Gouvernement du Dauphiné, et de plusieurs choses mémorables advenues en France, Italie, Espagne, & és Pays bas, Du Regne des Roys CharlesVIII, Louis XII, & François I, depuis l’an 1489, jusques à 1524. A Paris, Chez Abraham Pacard, 1616. Title printed in red & black, printer’s mark and a beautiful engraved portrait of Bayard. xx, 479, (33: index (1-27), errata (p. 28-31), privilege (32-33)) pp. 4to. Contemporary mottled calf, richly gilt spine with raised bands, red label with gilt lettering, sprinkled edges, a few minor imperfections, a very nice copy.

    € 850

    Not in Quérard, La France Littéraire; BMSTC, French Books 1601-1700, D.1310 (listed under Du Terrail).
    First edition of this interesting history of the Chevalier Bayard, Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard, better known as “the knight without fear and beyond reproach” (le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche). He himself however, preferred the name given him by his contemporaries for his gaiety and kindness, “le bon chevalier”, or “the good knight”.
    Bayard fought in a large number of battles in the late 15th and early 16th century: in 1494, he accompanied King Charles VIII of France’s expedition into Italy to seize the Kingdom of Naples. This campaign is now known as the Italian War of 1494-1498; he was knighted after the 1495 Battle of Fornovo, in which he captured a standard. Shortly afterwards, entering Milan alone in pursuit of the enemy, he was taken prisoner, but was set free without a ransom by Ludovico Sforza; Bayard was the hero of a celebrated combat of thirteen French knights against an equal number of Spaniards, and his restless energy and valour were conspicuous throughout the Italian wars of this period. At the Battle of Garigliano in 1503 he single-handedly defended the bridge of the Garigliano against 200 Spaniards, an exploit that brought him such renown that Pope Julius II tried unsuccessfully to entice him into his service; in 1509, the League of Cambrai was formed between France, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and the Papacy; in an effort to wrest from Venice its territorial empire in northeastern Italy. For this campaign, the king commissioned Bayard to raise a company of horse and foot. Up until that time, French infantry had been a despised rabble. Bayard’s company became a model for discipline, high morale, and battlefield effectiveness; and played a key role that year in rescuing the French vanguard at the Battle of Agnadello, on 14 May 1509; against the Venetian forces led by Bartolomeo d’Alviano.
    The Chevalier Bayard died during a campaign in Italy in 1524. As a soldier, Bayard was considered the epitome of chivalry and one of the most skillful commanders of the age. He was noted for the exactitude and completeness of his information on the enemy’s movements, which he obtained by careful reconnaissance and a well-arranged system of espionage. In the long history of mounted warfare, he rates highly as one of the greatest cavalry leaders of all time.
    In the midst of mercenary armies, Bayard remained absolutely disinterested, and to his contemporaries and his successors, he was, with his romantic heroism, piety, and magnanimity, the fearless and faultless knight (le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche). His gaiety and kindness won him, even more frequently, another name bestowed by his contemporaries, le bon chevalier. – Attributed by the BnF (notice FRBNF33992817, this edition) to Jacques de Mailles, secretary of Du Terrail, the dedication has been signed by Theodore Godefroy who was the editor and under whose name the book is also sometimes listed; BMSTC lists it under Du Terrail, Cioranescu 33407 under Godefroy, Hauser (376) claims the book was first published as La Très joyeuse, plaisante et récréative histoire du gentil seigneur de Bayard, composée par Le Serviteur Royal (Paris 1527) and states that the “Serviteur Royal” is probably De Mailles. The dedication is to Louis XIII, the notes are by Etienne Pasquier and De La Valette, the last 33 pages contain the Table, Fautes, Privilege and Achevé d’Imprimer; the printer’s mark is a nice engraving by Léonard Gaultier and shows how an angel interrupts the sacrificing of Isaac by Abraham; a very nice copy from the library Philibert and Jules Germain Cholet and Léon Picard, with bookplate on front paste-down.

  • Dialogues on Utopia and critical of More’s famous Utopia

    ZUCCOLO, L. Dialoghi di Lodovico Zuccolo. De’Saluti. Della eminenza della Pastorale. Della Bellezza. Della Detta, e della Disdetta. Della Vergogna. Della Clemenza. Della Gelofia. Del’fluffo, e risflußo delle Virtu, e de’vitij. Della Città felice. Dell’Amore scambieuole fra’Cittadini. Del Piacere. De’Terrori Panici. Della Republica d’Evandria. Della Republica d’Utopia. De’varij Fini degli huomini. Ne’Quali con varietà di eruditione si scropono nuoui, e vaghi pensieri filosofici, morali, e politici. In Venezia, appresso Marco Ginammi, 1625. Vignette on title, woodcut initials & side-notes. (40), 278, (2, publisher’s catalogue, blank), 2 (blank) pp. Small 4to. Later boards, paper covered spine with handwritten title, blue edges.

    € 1800

    Fortunati & Trousson, Dictionary of Literary Utopias, p. 501 ff.; Trousson, Voyages aux Pays de Nulle Part, p. 68; Negley, Utopian Literature, 1231; not in Vinciana, Autori Italiani del 1600;
    First edition of this interesting collection of moral, philosophical and political dialogues. It contains a number of dialogues concerning Utopia (and more specifically, against Thomas More’s famous Utopia): Porto, o vero della Repubblica d’Evandria; Il Belluzzi, o vero della Città felice; and L’Aromatario, o vero della Repubblica d’Utopia.
    The Republic of Evandria is an interesting attempt to combine the tradition of thought from Aristotle to Machiavelli, which scrutinises the relationships between politics and morality, with the platonic tradition of utopian-contemplative thinking. As he does not accept the decadence of nearly all the Italian states, Zuccolo longs for a revival of classic splendour …… In this mixture of old and new, myth and reality, it is possible to recognise the sign of that disorderly age marked by contrasts and uncertainties, which was rediscovered early in the 20th centry by Benedetto Croce who should be attributed the merit of having first drawn attention to Ludovici Zuccolo’s dramatic “Italian-ness”, whom he generously called the “most profound political philosopher of his time.” More recent scholar accept this judgement with some reservations and point out, instead, the eclecticism of this writer from Faenza and the vagueness of his ethical-political conception. However, they value the absence of any offical religion among the Evandrii, viewed as a clear sign of a modern, heretical and free-thinking attitude.
    The L’Aromatario, o vero della Repubblica d’Utopia is a polemical work in which Zuccolo criticises More’s Utopia as inaccurate and contradictory; in Il Belluzzi, o vero della Città felice the Republic of San Marino functions as a foil to Italy and is characterised by a simple and frugal lifestyle, respect of the laws, the exclusion of foreigners and happy self-restraint reminiscent of Ancient Sparta.
    Zuccolo puts forth the utopia of a moderate and reasonable reform, mourning the current state of affairs in Italy and longing for the Italy that was once a model of civilisation and courage.
    The work is written in a period which showed certain signs of vitality, in the field of economics, philosophy (Bruno and Campanella) and science (Galileo and Torricelli), but still was, on the other hand repressive: it had forced Galileo to recant, exiled Campanella and the punishment of Bruno.
    Ludovico Zuccolo was a Filiponi academic from Faenza and a Papal subject, little about his life is known. He was a humble writer at the Urbino court from 1608 to 1617 at the time of Francesco Maria II della Rovere; he followed the papal Nunzio Innocenzo Massimi of Spain around 1623 and was finally at the service of the legate Cardinal Bernardino Spada in Bologna. – First section with small loss of paper in lower blank margin, ample margins, last quire browned, handwritten note on front blank “donato a me Livio Bonaventura dall’autore.”

  • The Major Work of the Man who, at a certain point, exercised control over half the United States

    LAW, J. Considérations sur le Commerce et sur l’Argent. Par Mr. Law, Controlleur Général des Finances. Traduit de l’Anglois. A La Haye, Chez Jean Neaulme, 1720. With the frontispiece portrait of the author, title printed in red and black. Frontispiece, (8), 189, (misnumbered: 1-168, 167-187), (19, publisher’s catalogue) pp. 12mo. Modern marbled wrapper, held in a cloth clamshell box, label with gilt lettering to spine, a very nice and uncut copy.

    € 7500

    Kress 3235; Goldsmiths 5820; Einaudi 3274; Mattioli 1948; Carpenter, IX, (4); European Americana, 720/139.
    Very rare first edition in French of Law’s major work, Money and Trade Considered …, which is extremely rare in the first English edition of 1705.
    A fugitive from justice in 1694 for killing a man in a duel in England, Law travelled extensively throughout Europe, observing and gaining experience in banking, insurance and finance. He proposed a number of unsuccessful schemes to set up a national bank of issue in Paris (1702), Edinburgh (1705), and Savoy (1712), finally attaining success in France with the establishment in 1718 of the Banque Royale. His monetary strategy included the management of public debt and colonial expansion. In 1717 the French crown created the Compagnie d’Occident, well known as the Compagnie du Mississippi. By converting state notes into its shares, the Company extended its rights over the economic exploitation of Louisiana. In August 1718 it acquired the monopoly over tobacco, and in 1719 it absorbed other French trading companies, obtaining control of mint, payment of the national debt, and receipt of tax revenues. In 1720 the company was united with the Banque Royale, and Law became contrôleur-général, and they had the complete control of colonial trade, currency, banking, and the fiscal system. The Compagnie d’Occident (or Company of the West, as it was also called), owned the trading rights and concessions to half of the land mass of the United States excluding Alaska. It was a territory running from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, bounded by the Spansih held Texas on the West and the English held Carolinas on the East. The development of the company and John Law’s management made him, at a certain point, exercise control over half the United States !
    The present work is his most important work, giving a detailed account of his plan to replace specie with a paper currency based on land and of his proposals for a state bank.
    Law’s theories on money and banking are principally contained in Money and Trade Considered. Like other eighteenth-century writers Law adopted a disequilibrium theory of money, viewing it as a stimulant to trade. In a state of unemployment, Law maintained that an increase in the nation’s money supply would stimulate employment and output without raising prices since the demand for money would rise with the increase in output. Moreover, once full employment was attained the monetary expansion would attract factors of production from abroad, so output would continue to increase.
    According to Law, a paper-money standard was preferable to one based on precious metals. Suitable candidates for the money supply included government fiat, bank notes, stocks and bonds. Since the primary function of money was as a medium of exchange, it could best be served by a commodity (paper) not subject to considerable fluctuation in value and high-resource costs. Thus Law advocated the establishment of note issuing national banks that would extend productive loans (real bills), providing sufficient currency to guarantee prosperity.
    “John Law (1671-1729), I have always felt, is in a class by himself. Financial adventurers –but is it fair so to call that adminitrative genius? -often have a philosophico-economic system of sorts. (…..) But Law’s case is different. He worked out the economics of his projects with a brilliance and, yes, profundity, which places him in the front rank of monetary theorists of all times” (J.A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, p. 295).
    “…..he is in the twenty-first century judged as a theorist of economics and a precursor of schemes of managed money and “Keynesian” full employment policies” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 11, p. 369).
    – The last 19 unnumbered pages contain: Catalogue des livres nouveaux et autres, qui se trouvent à La Haye chez Jean Neaulme.

  • Advice on the management of sexual relations

    (MERAY, CHEVALIER DE.) Les Femmes, ou Lettres du Chevalier de K*****. Au Marquis de ***. I. [-II.] Partie. A La Haye, Aux Dépens de la Compagnie, 1754. Two parts bound in one volume. vi, 118 pp.; (2), 120 pp. 8vo. Nineteenth century half hard grained morocco, corners, marbled boards, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, gilt stamped crowned monogram at foot of spine, corners a bit bumped, top edge gilt, an uncut copy.

    € 600

    Conlon 54:877; Gay, ii, columns 295-296; Barbier, vol. ii, col. 448; Cioranescu 44434.
    First edition, rare.
    The work is an account of sexual relations in mid-eighteenth century France. In a series of fictional letters from an older mentor to a young man the feminine character is dissected, and detailed and intimate advice is offered on the management of sexual relations. The author rejects conventional morality and poses as an optimistic epicurean.
    Gay, which lists a volume with three works, writes: ‘ …. et ils parlent en hommes instruits de ces dangereux et charmants ennemis avec les quels il se sont trouvés souvant aux prises. ….. Le beau sexe n’est pas épargné dans tout le cours d’ouvrage; cependant les auteurs conviennent qu’il y a des femmes estimables, mais l’espèce en est rare. …. car il n’y en a qu’une dont il fasse l’éloge, les autres sont des coquettes, des prudes, des fausses dévotes, des femmes de bel esprit, des femmes de grands sentiments, etc.’

  • A French Citizen to Lord Grenville

    (BARERE DE VIEUZAC, B.) Lettre d’un Citoyen Français en réponse à Lord Grenville. A Paris, chez les Marchands de Nouveautés, an VIII (1800). (2), 64 pp. 8vo. Modern boards, label with gilt lettering.

    € 400

    Monglond, v, col. 45; Martin & Walter, i, 1588.
    First edition of this text directed at the English Secretary of Foreign Affairs by Bertrand Barère, also called Barère de Vieuzac, born and died in Tarbes (1755-1841) and important personality from the French Revolution. There seems to be another edition of 80 pages, the Martin & Walter entry, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris has our 64 pages edition as well as a 80 page edition.
    Barère published a number of violent works against the English, many of which were commissioned by Bonaparte, who needed no help with the sword, but who needed a pen for his political requirements, and of which the current one is one, an open “letter” to Lord William Wyndham Grenville (1759-1834), member of the Whig party and future Prime Minister of Great Britain. Barère here attacks the belligerent tone of a speech by Grenville, held on January 28, 1800, before the Lords in their Chamber. He answers and refutes Grenville point by point, with relevant citing if and when necessary, and attacking the apparent willingness, if not desire, of the English to continue the war with France and their willingness to accept massive debts just to get the House of Bourbon back on the French throne.
    “In this work of pure patriotism, ….. the anonymous author gave his readers a lesson in international relations….” (Leo Gershoy, Bertrand Barere. A Reluctant Terrorist, p. 307).

  • The World Famous Ethica

    (SPINOZA, B. DE). Opera Posthuma. Quorum series post Praefationem exhibitur. (Amsterdam, J. Rieuwertsz), 1677. With some illustrations and diagrams in the text, woodcut vignette on title. (40), 614, (32, index), (2), 112, (8) pp. 4to. Contemporary vellum, blind-stamped ornament in center of both sides, upper joint and endpapers expertly repaired, spine somewhat darkened.

    € 9000

    PMM 153; Van der Linde 22; Kingma-Offenberg 24; Wolf Collection, 378; Knuttel 377. First edition of Spinoza’s posthumous works, including the first edition of the world-famous Ethica, which “have served, then and since, with the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, to immortalize his name” (PMM 153). These posthumous works were published by Jan Rieuwertsz, an Amsterdam bookseller and friend of Spinoza, and edited by him together with the merchant Jarig Jelles, who probably wrote the preface. It contains the first publication of the Ethics. The remainder comprises the Tractatus Politicus- his last, unfinished production, which develops a theory of law and government akin to that of Hobbes; the Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione, also unfinished; a selection of letters- restricted, owing to the dangers of publishing correspondence on questions of politics and theology; and, after an index, a Compendium Grammatices Linguae Hebraeae, paginated separately. Only one day before his death Spinoza arranged that his posthumous works should be sent to Jan Rieuwertsz in Amsterdam, who also published his Principia of Descartes and the Tractatus-theologico-politicus. In the book neither author, nor place nor editor are mentioned. This was no superfluous precaution, for in 1678, hardly one year after Spinoza’s death, the work was already prohibited by the States of Holland as being ‘prophaen, atheistisch ende blasphement’. The Opera Posthuma do not amount to all the previously unpublished works of Spinoza: the Treatise on the Rainbow is missing- it was thought lost, and not published until 1687- as is the early Tractatus de Deo et Homine Eiusque Felicitate, which prefigures the Ethics.’The most conspicuous idea of Spinoza’s philosophy is that there is only one substance, the infinite divine substance which is identified with Nature; Deus sive Natura, God or Nature. And a striking feature of this philosophy as it is presented in the Ethics is the geometrical form of its presentation. This work is divided into five parts in which the following subjects are treated in turn: God, the nature and origin of the mind, the origin and nature of the emotions, the power of the intellect or human freedom’ (Copleston, A History of Philosophy, iv, p. 206).’While he was regarded by his earlier critics as an atheist and by the romantics as a pantheist, the tendency of a number of modern writers is to represent Spinoza as a speculative forerunner of a completely scientific view of the world. For he made a sustained attempt always to give a naturalistic explanation of events without having recourse to explanations in terms either of the supernatural and transcendent or of final causes’ (op. cit., pp. 261-2.) – Name of author handwritten in upper blank margin of title, small blank corner at upper outer margin of title cut away.

  • “Steeped in Machiavelli, Sarpi, and Bayle”

    RADICATI, A., COMTE DE PASSERAN. Recueil de Pieces curieuses sur les Matières les plus interessantes. Par Albert Radicati, Comte de Passeran. A Rotterdam, Chez la Veuve Thomas Johnson et Fils, 1736. x, 14, (2), 15-384 pp. 8vo. Contemporary half calf, spine with raised bands, gilt lettering (faded), corners, marbled boards, red sprinkled edges, spine rubbed.

    € 2000

    Conlon 36:632; Graesse, Trésor des Livres Rares, vi, p. 16; Brunet 4, col. 1086; L’Illuminismo Italiano alla Fondazione Feltrinelli, 436; Peignot, ii, p. 231 (‘Rare’); Le Bûcher Bibliographique, 784.
    The very rare first edition of this important work.
    ‘Alberto Radicate di Passerano is the most surprising and significant political and intellectual product of the age of Victor Emadeus II’ (F. Venturi, Italy and Enlightenment. Studies in a Cosmopolitan Century, chapter 3, which is entirely devoted to Radicati, his exile in England and Holland and his works).
    ‘Radicati di Passerano did not pass through the world unnoticed. From Jean-Baptiste Argens to Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, from Voltaire to Johann Lorenz Mosheim, from Prosper Marchand to Johann Anton Trinius, a multitude of voices attested to the extent to which his troubled and desperate presence, and his radical and extreme reflections were vital to the panorama of Europe’s cultural life’ (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 3, pp. 387-388).
    ‘Steeped in Machiavelli, Sarpi, and Bayle, Radicati also at some point discovered Spinoza, who became the prime influence on the further elaboration and growing radicalism of his ideas on society and politics, as well as in philosophy and religion. He was entirely at one with Spinoza in regarding ‘democratical’ government ‘the most ancient and agreeable to the natural and free condition of men” (Jonathan I. Israel, Radical Enlightenment. Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750, pp. 68-69 among others).
    Radicati died in great poverty in 1737, and was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave in Amsterdam.
    ‘L’auteur écrivit contre la cour de Rome des pamphlets si virulents ….. qu’il fut cité devant l’inquisition et obligé de se sauver en Angleterre. Son procès fut instruit, il fut condamné par contumace et vit ses biens confisqués. Il emporta en Angleterre une haine ardente contre l’Église romaine et se signala par plusieurs écrits qu’il publia dans ce pays, où il se lia avec Collins, Tyndal et autres esprits forts, Ces écrits se trouvent dans le Recueil de Pièces curieuses qu’il publia en 1736 à Rotterdam, en Français’ (Le Bûcher Bibliographique).
    Contains: Douze discours moraux, historiques et politiques; Histoire de la profession sacerdotale, ancienne et moderne; Nazarenus, et Lycurgos mis en parallèle. Epitre à l’Empereur Trajan. Trad. du Latin; Récit fidelle et comique de la religion des cannibales modernes. Trad. de l’Arabe; Projet facile, équitable et modeste, pour rendre utiles à la Nation un grand nombre de pauvres enfans, qui lui sont maintenant port à charge. Trad. de l’Anglois (de J. Swift), the first French translation of Swift’s (in)famous “A Modest Proposal.”