Bulletin V

The dangers of bad marriages

1. MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò. LE DÉMON MARIÉ ou le Malheur de ceux qui épousent les méchantes femmes, avec leur charactère vicieux. La Haye,chez Jean Neaulme, MDCCXLVIII [1748].

[bound with:] PATIN, Catherine Charlotte. LA DÉMONE MARIÉ, ou Le malheur de ceux qui violent les précéptes de leurs parens. Nouvelle Hébraïque morale. Traduite par Mlle. Patin.  A La Haye, Chez Jean Neaulme, MDCCXLVIII [1748]. £400

IMG 20160912 151655951 HDR

Two parts in one volume, 12mo, pp. [20], 147; [12], 168; with engraved title to each part; some light browning, mainly marginal, and an additional handwritten letter I added to the date on each title-page; in contemporary calf, boards bordered in gilt, spine with gilt tooling and title; some bumping to extremities.

Uncommon edition of this collection of translations of, and works inspired by, Machiavelli’s Belfagor archidiavolo.

The first work, dedicated ‘aux dames de Cologne’, is an anonymous translation (although posisbly by Catherine Charlotte Patin) of Belfagor, under the title Rodéric, ou le démon marié. This tale, warning men about the dangers of marriages to bad women, is accompanied by a verse abridgement by la Fontaine, a little conte en prose in imitation of Rabelais entitled Les Fruits du Mariage, and a fragment of rules for a happy marriage. The second work is more definitely by Patin, whose name appears on the title, and continues the same themes. The dedication, signed by Patin, is dated 1688, but both works were first published in 1705, and again in 1745.  

OCLC records two copies of this edition, at Berkeley and the BNF.

A posthumous defence

2. [VOLTAIRE?]. BING au peuple anglois. Héroïde.   MDCCLX [1760]. £300

Second Edition? 8vo, pp. 16; occasional spotting but generally clean; in recent wrappers.


Second issue, the year after the first, of this poem supposedly addressed by Admiral John Byng to the English people, often attributed to Voltaire. 

Byng (1704-1757) was British naval officer who was court-martialed and executed for his failure to prevent the fall of Minorca to the French in 1756. Although there is little evidence to support the notion that this Héroide is the work of Voltaire, it is certainly the case, as attested to in his correspondence, that he had attempted to intercede on Byng’s behalf before his execution. Bing au peuple anglois reads then as an apologia, telling of the circumstances of his defeat, but also of his persecution by his countrymen.

OCLC records copies of this edition at the Society of the Cincinnati and the BNF, with the 1759 at the BNF only.

Novels get your hopes up

3. [BENOIST, Françoise-Albine]. CELIANNE, ou les amans seduits par leurs vertus. A Paris aux aux dépens de la compagnie, MDCCLXVIII [1768]. £385

Second Edition. 12mo, pp. 126; some browning and spotting, and occasional marginal staining;  in contemporary boards, later paper label on spine; covers soiled and worn.


Second edition, rare, of this novel by the prolific French writer, playwright, and journalist Françoise-Albine Puzin de la Martinière (1724-1809), best known for her Les Aveux d'une jolie femme. Célianne ou les amans seduits first appeared in 1766, and is, after the first 40-odd pages, an epistolary novel, telling the tale of the beautiful and virtuous Célianne, who, encouraged by the reading of novels, wanted to be loved by “un esprit pur”. We find here Benoist’s customary themes: the roles of women, the notion of female virtue, and the expectations of men. We also find a reference, in passing, to the character of Candide; Voltaire’s work had appeared less than a decade earlier.

The author was, in her editorship of the Journal en forme de lettres (1757) a staunch advocate of female authors; “her production of novels is notable both for its quantity and its variety of tone and form” (Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature).   

Barbier, I, 682; OCLC records no copies in North America of this edition, with copies of the first at Berkeley, Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan.

On this mountain, let us sing songs of devotion

4. [VIRGIN OF MONSERRAT]. GOZOS EN ALABANZA DE LA SAGRADA IMAGEN de nuestra señora de Monserrate. Manresa, Por Ignacio Abadal, late 1700s?. £280

Folio, pp. [1], [2] blank, [1]; woodcut vignettes and border on first page, full page woodcut of Our Lady of Monserrat on final page; wormhole on upper leaf, not affecting text, with matching repair to lower leaf; unbound.


Uncommon devotional poem, adorned with a rather splendid woodcut, in praise of the Virgin of Monserrat.

The poem, in Castilian rather than Catalan, is printed in three columns, and its themes are echoed in the image on the back page; the mountain setting of the statue of the Virgin has always lent itself to rather splendid depictions, and here we find the Virgin being seranaded by singers and instumentalists. The poem, whose author remains anonymous, is accompanied by the Latin text of the collect for the feast of Our Lady of Monserrat, on April 27th.  

OCLC records copies at Valencia, the Biblioteca de Catalunya, and Berkeley.

Economical building

5. [TOUCHY, Ferdinand Christian]. ANWEISUNG WIE LANDGEBÄUDE BEQUEM, dauerhaft und mit den wenigsten Kosten zu erbauen, auch ohne Ziegel mit Feuersichern, warmen und sehr wohlfeilen Dächern zu belegen. Als Handbuch für Landwirthe, Maurer und Zimmerleute. Herausgegeben von C.F. Bär. Mit Kupfern. Leipzig, bey Friedrich Leopold Supprian, 1796. £450


FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. xx, 144, with three folding engraved plates; some slight browning in places, but generally clean and fresh throughout, with oval collector’s stamp on verso of title, cancelled; in contemporary half calf, marbled boards; spine ruled in gilt with gilt-lettered skiver label; slight rubbing, and boards sunned at head, but still a good copy.

Uncommon first edition of the practical guide to the design and construction of farm buildings at low cost, by the economist and official Ferdinand Christian Touchy (1736-1808).

Touchy (under the pseudonym C.F. Bär), gives advice on the construction of economic buildings out of wood, stone, tiles, brick, and clay, describes the best designs for farm buildings, dealing with doors, windows, stoves, and staircases, and discusses the design and build of essential buildings including pig stalls, stables, and brewing houses. He is especially concerned with fire safety, particularly in the context of roofing materials, recommending the use of clay tiles rather than thatch. Touchy also takes note of building regulations, and demonstrates using examples the low cost of his designs.

Among Touchy’s other works were Der Hausvater als sein eigner Vieharzt and Der Sächsische Landwirth.  

See Holzmann, Deutsche Pseudonymen, p. 24 for author; OCLC records no copies outside Continental Europe.

Punishment fitting the crime

6. SARRESTE, Charles-Joseph. EXAMEN DE LA LÉGISLATION Romaine, Anglaise et Française, en matière criminelle; Et moyen de proportionner la peine au délit. A Paris, Chez Garnery, Rondonneau, Veuve Richard.  An XI [1802]. £425

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [iv], 192; first few leaves slightly frayed at edges, and some occasional spotting, but largely clean and crisp throughout; uncut and partly unopened in contemporary blue wrappers, which are somewhat cropped; very light dampstaining to foot of half-title.

First edition of this uncommon comparative study of Roman, French, and English criminal law, and in particular the various approaches to proportionality with regard to punishment, by the French lawyer Charles-Joseph Sarreste (1745-?).


Sarreste sketches a history of the debates surrounding sentencing that occured around the time of the Revolution, drawing on similar debates that the English had had, and noting the influence of thinkers such as Beccaria. He discusses the types of act that might be classified as crimes, the areas in which the criminal law might overlap with civil law, the nature of punishment, and the circumstances under which criminal liability can be established, quoting examples from Blackstone about the age of criminal responsibility. Sarreste goes on to examine the penalties in England and France for various categories of crime, noting the excess severity of the death penalty for fraud,  the differing approaches to lèze-majesté, the over-zealous criminalising of the mere acceptance of a duel, and the absurdity of treating rape differently according to the age of the victim.

This appears to be Sarreste’s only published work.

Outside Continental Europe, OCLC records just one copy, at Berkeley.

The brief flowering of a Fife printer

7. GOLDSMITH, Oliver. THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD: A Tale. Cupar; Printed by John Arnot. 1810. £175


ONLY CUPAR EDITION. 12mo, pp. [ii], vii, [i] blank, 305, [1] blank; with engraved frontispiece and title-page; somewhat browned and dust-soiled throughout, with marginal dampstain to frontispiece; in contemporary sheep, spine ruled in gilt with morocco label; binding rather worn and slighly shaken, lower hinge cracked, but still sound; with the book-label of George Thomson of Newburgh on front paste-down

One of very few books printed by the Cupar printer and bookseller John Arnot, who seems to have been active only for a couple of years. The slightly crude illustrations (Scott and Burnet) may be new for this edition.

Little is known of Arnot; he also published Zimmerman’s Solitude, a collection of sacred songs and hymns, Chesterfield’s Advice to his Son, and Gregory’s Legacy to his Daughters, all in 1810 and 1811.   

OCLC records copies at Harvard, Oxford, Florida, and the National Library of Scotland.

Philosophy and “philosophy"

8. SURE, Abbé de. ESSAI HISTORIQUE SUR LE PROGRÈS DES LUMIÈRES dans le Royaume des Pays-Bas, et en particulier sur la liberté des opinions religieuses. Première partie [all published]. Gand,  1816. £325

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [iv], 176, [8]; some browning in places; crude old paper repair to title (loss of ownership signature?), foot of contents page cropped, with no loss of text; uncut in contemporary blue wrappers; some loss to spine, and extremities frayed.

First edition, uncommon, of this polemical survey of the reach of enlightenment ideas, and their baleful consequences, in the Netherlands (and in Europe more broadly) throughout the eighteenth century. 


De Sure’s principal focus is the link between enlightenment philosophy and political revolution; from the opening sentence onwards, he emphasises the centrality of philosophy to the modern age, but he then draws a distinction between ‘la véritable philosophie moderne’, such as that of Descartes and Newton, with its eighteenth century equivalent (than which there is these days ‘rien de si commun’). De Sure quotes extensively from La Harpe’s writings on the causes of the Revolution, notes that the intolerance of the philosophes was now having the same effect on the Netherlands, and quotes at length the ‘horrible correspondence’ between Voltaire and d’Alembert throughout the 1760s to illustrate the hostility of modern thinkers to religion.

This seems to be the only work of the Abbé de Sure, of whom little appears known.

OCLC records copies at Chicago and the Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek only.

“Let me rejoice more to be a child of your Church than Duchess of so many subjects”


9. [MARIE-LOUISE, Duchess of Parma]. ANDACHTSBUCH enthaltend Morgen- Abend- Beicht- Communion- und Mess-Gebethe nebst anderen Übungen der Frömmigkeit. [s.l. (Italy?), s.n.]   c. 1820. £850

8vo, pp. 172; with engraved frontispiece by Giovanni Cagnola after Raphael and engraved title vignette; in Roman type on pale green paper; some light soiling in places, but generally clean and fresh; in contemporary blue morocco, boards tooled in blind with gilt border, spine tooled in gilt; some wear, especially to spine, which is chipped at foot, corners bumped, and upper hinge weak internally; but still a good copy.


This unrecorded German language prayer book, containing prayers for matins, vespers, confession, and the mass, was printed for the use of Napoleon’s second wife, the Austrian-born Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, some time after Napoleon’s abdication in 1814, when she became Duchess. Finely printed in Roman type, with manuscript notes inserted with the text of the Salve Regina and, in French and Italian, statements that it was used by Marie Louise; while the bulk of the text would not be out of place in any prayer book, the prayer “für sich selbst” clearly shows that this book was a bespoke printing, including the line ‘Lass mich, nach dem Beyspiele heilger Fürsten und Fürstinnen, mich weit mehr über das Glück erfreuen, ein Kind deiner Kirche, als eine Fürstinn so vieler Unterthanen zu seyn’.

Not in OCLC, KVK, or ICCU.

Land law, with the author’s revisions

10. PAGART D'HERMANSART, Gaspard Joseph. DE L’ORGANISATION DES ADMINISTRATION FINANCIÈRES et leur existence politique … Paris, Durand Libraire-Éditeur … Mai, 1848, pp. 61,  [3] blank.

[with:] DE L'INALIÉNABILITE ET DE L'IMPRESCRIPTIBILITÉ DU SOL FORESTIER DOMANIAL … [Imprint] Extrait de la Revue de Droit français et étranger, publiée à Paris par MM. Foelix, Duvergier et Valette, Tome Ier, 1844, pp. 19, [1] imprint.

[with:] OBSERVATIONS SUR LA DOMANIALITÉ DES BIENS DES HOSPICES ET DES ÉSTABLISSEMENTS DE CHARITÉ OU DE BIENFAISANCE … [Imprint] Extrait du tome II de la Revue de Droit français et étranger, publiée à Paris par MM. Foelix, Duvergier et Valette … [Jauv. 1845], pp. 20.

[with:] OBSERVATIONS SUR LA DOMANIALITÉ DES BIENS DES RELIIONNAIRES FUGITIFS, et sur un cotract particulier appelé bail á rente perpétuelle sous condition résolutoire … [Imprint] Extrait de la Revue de Droit français et étranger, publiée à Paris par MM. Foelix, Duvergier et Valette … Tome VI … [ Fev. 1848], pp. 81-98.

[with:] OBSERVATIONS SUR L’ADMINISTRATION DES BIENS DOMANIAUX dans les état Romains pendant la période de la domination française et Impériale … Paris, Jourbert, Libraire de la Cour de Cassation … 1849, pp. 28

[with:] DES SYSTÈMES HYPOTHÉCAIRES EN FRANCE … Paris, Au Bureau de l’Administration de Législation française … Avril 1850., pp. [iv] , 96. £950

FIRST EDITIONS, Author's Copies. Five works bound in one volume with numerous marginal notes corrections and emendations together with inserted manuscript leaves of text; some spotting and browning in places; in contemporary red morocco backed marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt, with the amorial bookplate of the author on front paste-down.

An interesting collection of essays on the history and practice of state-owned property in France, and the laws regulating them heavily interleaved and annotated with corrections by the author.

Pagart (c.1805-1872) was a high ranking offical in the central administration of the domaines, or state-owned property, and, in addition to his professional duties, took a lively interest in their history; he assembled the most important collection of documents relating to both the domaine extraordinaire and the domain privé since 1804, now found in the Archives nationales in Paris. The works collected here cover financial administration from before the revolution up to 1848, the inalienability of state forest land and the changes, the system of hypothecs in French law, and other matters. Throughout, but especially in the first few works, we find extensive annotations, corrections, notes, and additions in the author’s hand.

© Edmund Brumfitt Rare Books 2017