(AUGER.) Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire du droit public de la France en matière d’impôts, ou Recueil de ce qui s’est passé de plus intéressant à la Cour des Aides, depuis 1756 jusqu’au mois de Juin 1775; Avec une Table générale des Matières. A Bruxelles, 1779. xiv, 776, (2, errata, blank), 10 pp. 4to. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with raised bands, red label with gilt lettering, marbled edges, some minor blemishes to binding.
Kress B.175; Goldsmiths 11860; Einaudi 207; INED 137; Quérard, La France Littéraire, i, p. 126; Dupin/Camus 954bis, pointing to the fact that this work is only complete with the 10 pages supplement, as is the case here; Le Bucher bibliographique, 114.
Very rare only edition and suppressed by the Cour des Aides in February 1779 because it was considered contrary to the authority of the Court, it lacked respect for its decisions and it violated the confidentiality of the decisions.
This precious and scarce volume, which was not available on the market and which was suppressed in 1779, contains the work of Malesherbes during his tenure in office at the Cour des Aides, that is, the work of 25 years: the reports of the sessions of the Cour des Aides and the remonstrances. It was published with tacit permission and did not contain, in the first instance, those pleas in which Malerherbes addressed the king in quite frank language. These withheld texts were shortly thereafter nevertheless printed and inserted and they form the indispensible 10 page supplement at the end of the volume.
The Court des Aides was suppressed, together with the Parliaments, by Maupeou in his attempt at reform; it played, under Malesherbes, a significient role of opposition to what the Court considered to be “royal arbitrariness” and basically shared the “constitutionalist” ideology common to most members of the Grande Robe. The Court was suppressed in 1771 and re-instated in 1774: Malesherbes was recalled to Paris with the reconstituted Cour des Aides on the accession of Louis XVI; it was at this point that he spearheaded the famous 1775 Remontrances of the cour des aides, which detailed the problems facing the regime and envisioned a total overhaul of fiscal policy. Louis XVI was so impressed with the plan -and fearful for the future of his government- that Malesherbes was appointed minister of the maison du roi in 1775. He held office as a royal minister only nine months; the Court proved intransigent in its opposition to his proposals for fiscal restraint and other reforms, including curtailing the arbitrary issuance of lettres de cachet, and he soon found himself bereft of political support. He resigned together with Turgot in 1776.
– Pages 71-72 bound between pages 66-67, and with the pages 71-72 bis present, 457-8 omitted in numbering, numbers 465-66 used twice, but text complete.