Bulletin VIII

Calculus for Jesuits

1. CARELLI, Giuseppe and Giuseppe SORDA. SAGGIO DI CALCOLO differenziale ed integrale che offrono al pubblico i signori Giuseppe de’ Baroni Carelli e Giuseppe Sorda alunni della scuola di analisi sublime nel Coll. della Compagnia di Gesú. In Napoli il di’ Agosto MDCCXXXIX. Napoli, Presso Giuseppe Severino-Boezio, 1839. £235

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 48; light dampstain to gutter of least few leaves, but otherwise clean and fresh throughout; in the original printed yellow wrappers; some very light wear, but an attractive copy.

A good copy of this rare introduction to calculus, written for the mathematically interested public by two students at the Jesuit college in Naples.

Assuming a reasonable knowledge of basic mathematics, the attractively printed guide is divided into two sections, dealing in turn with differential and with integral calculus. Of Carelli, we can find no further information, but a Giuseppe Sorda published a number of works on medicine, including one on cirrhosis of the liver, in Naples in the 1840s and 50s.

Not in OCLC, with SBN listing one copy at the Bib. Vittorio Emanuele III in Naples.



2. [GEOGRAPHICAL CATECHISM]. GÉOGRAPHIE ÉLÉMENTAIRE a l’usage des écoles primaires. Strasbourg, de l’Imprimerie de L.F. le Roux, [1830s]. £285 

FIRST EDITION? 8vo, pp. [ii], 46; some foxing and browning in places; in contemporary sheep-backed patterned boards; some light wear, but still an attractive copy.

As far as we can tell unrecorded, this little geographical catechism for primary schools, after some preliminary remarks on geography, the poles, the equator, the tropics, latitude and longitude, gives an overview of each continent. Unsurprisingly, half of the book is devoted to Europe, detailing its seas and lakes, gulfs, islands and peninsulas, mountains, volcanoes, and rivers, before giving a short account of each country (Britain, we are told, is ‘le pays le plus commerçant du monde’), with details of cities, civic structure, religion, population, and any notable characteristics, such as native birds. This approach is also adopted for Asia, Africa, and the Americas; Australia and New Zealand are not deemed worthy of inclusion. 

Not recorded by OCLC or KVK.


 Adventuremania and other stories

3. GUÉRIN, Léon. SIMPLES LEÇONS. Aux jeunes filles. Paris, Louis Janet, c.1835. £285

FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. [vi], 244; with four engraved plates; some foxing in places, and the exlibris stamp of a M. Hales on half-title and title-page; with a presentation inscription to ‘Amelie’ from her uncle, dated January 1836; attractively bound in green silk, with pink silk endpapers; spine tooled in gilt, and all edges gilt; some wear, especially to extremities.

Uncommon early work by the French historian, poet, and journalist Léon Guérin (1807-1885), with twelve stories written for the improvement of young girls.

The stories themselves do not deal with unexpected themes: we find village tales, the story of a fifteen year old widow, an angel in exile, and one warning about ‘la Manie des aventures’. Of more interest, possibly, are the four engraved plates, each by a different artist. The first (’Une femme selond Dieu’) is by the English painter Eleonora Wood; the second by Eugène Lamy (1800-1890); the third by the lately deceased Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), and the last by Alfred Johannot (1800-1837).

Guérin was the author of numerous works for both children and adults, as well as the founder of the Journal des Enfants. He enjoyed a second career as a naval historian.

OCLC records copies at Lyon and the BNF only.


 A better language

4. MALDANT, Eugène. LA LANGUE NATURELLE Langue internationale. Grammaire aux exercices, et vocubulaires Franco-Naturel et Naturel-Français. Deuxième Édition. Paris,  21, Rue d’Armaillé (au siège social) et chez tous les libraires. 1886. £400

Second Edition. 8vo, pp. [iv], 132, [1] errata, [1] contentx; paper uniformly slightly yellowed, but otherwise clean and fresh througout; in contemporary red cloth; boards with blind-stamped border, title in gilt on spine; spine somewhat faded, but still a good copy.

Second edition (we have been unable to trace a copy of the first) of this attempt to construct a universal, international language by the French engineer and philosopher Eugène Maldant.

Maldant, noting that it was over two centuries since Leibniz had created his characteristica universalis, and that despite its ‘incontestable nécessité’, it had fallen out of use, argues that the diversity of languages was the greatest obstacle to understanding between nations. In order to overcome this, he proposes his new international language, which must be both rational and completely new; that is, with a new grammar, a new alphabet, and a new vocabulary.


Dividing his work into four parts, Maldant first describes the alphabet, along with accents and punctuation, before demonstrating the word forms, grammar, and syntax of the language. The majority of the book is taken up by the final section, which explains the formation of compound words and the ways in which they can be derived from one of 80 basic roots, before offering a number of exercises and, finally, a franco-naturel vocabulary.

The book, Maldant says at the end of his preface, is dedicated to ‘toutes les femmes et à tous les hommes de coeur et de progrès: à tous ceux qui aiment leurs semblables; aux grands et aux petits, aux puissants eu aux déshérités’. Despite this ambition, we are still reduced to writing about it in English, even 130 years later.

OCLC records two copies outside France, at Princeton and the BL, with no copies recorded of the first, even in France.


On seduction

5. [MAUGER, M.]. ESSAY SUR L’ART DE PLAIRE Poeme. [Paris?]  MDCCXLVI [1746]. £275

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 27, [1] blank; vignette on title and engraved headpiece; some light browning in places, but generally clean and fresh; in recent marbled wrappers.

A nice copy of this uncommon extended poem, attributed by the BNF to a ‘Mauger, garde du corps’, who appears to have been, in addition to his other duties, the author of three tragedies, and a verse history of the origins of the royal bodyguard. This poem, on the art of pleasing, reflects over two chants on the pointlessness of amorous complaint, the fears induced by love, and techniques of seduction, concluding with the advice:

Choisissez, s’il se peut, une femme sensible;

Des flatteurs ennemie, au faste inaccessible,

Avare en ses faveurs, lente à les dispenser,

Qui s’honore en secret du bonheur de penser;

Et pour vous enseigner le seul art de lui plaire,

Qu’en tous vos sentimens la raison vous éclaire.

OCLC records just one copy, at the BNF.

Epicurus and Locke

6. MONIGLIA, Tommaso Vincenzo. OSSERVAZIONI CRITICO-FILOSOFICHE contro i Materialisti divise in due trattati ... In Lucca, Per Vincenzo Giuntini, MDCCLX [1760]. £485

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. lxxviii, [ii], 367. [1] blank; some browning in places, but largely clean and crisp, with contemporary ownership signature on title-page; in contemporary sheep; spine gilt in compartments with gilt-lettered label; slight loss to leather at foot of spine, but otherwise, aside from some light wear, an attractive copy.

Uncommon anti-materialist work by the Tuscan philosopher Tommaso Moniglia (1686-1767).

Although the ostensible target of Moniglia’s work is Lucretius, and Epicureanism more generally, the focus is a broader one, taking in the materialism of Locke ‘e simili distruttori’, and drawing on the apologetic strategies of Polignac in his Anti-Lucretius, which had first appeared in 1745. Over two treatises, Moniglia discusses the weakness of Lucretius’ views on the rational soul and its immortality, and on the nature of, and possibility of free will, before presenting a series of speculations on logic and the importance of metaphysics; here Moniglia discusses Cartesian doubt and the systems of Leibniz and Wolff, before going on to praise the Port-Royal logic of the Jansenists, and conclude with an examination of Helvetius’ recently appeared L’Esprit.

Moniglia was professor of philosophy at Pisa; as a student, he spent three years in England, where he encountered the work of Locke, then little known in Italy; his writings include the 1744 Dissertazione contro i fatalisti, in which he sought to temper Lockean empiricism with traditional Catholic teaching.

OCLC records copies at Cambridge and the British Library.


In praise of a doomed Emperor

7. [NAPOLEON]. PETIT CATÉCHISME a l’usage des Napoléonistes.  Rouen, Imprimerie de Bloquel, 1815. £300

FIRST EDITION? 8vo, pp. 8; woodcut headpiece; occasional marking, and light browning, but otherwise clean; unbound as issued; slight fraying to extremities.

To the best of our knowledge unrecorded, this Napoleonist catechism was printed in Rouen in the period between the Emperor’s first exile in Elba and his abdication and final exile to St Helena.

Opening with an account of the duties required of a French citizen (for instance, to be always ready to die in defence of one’s country), the catechism then turns to the qualities of Napoleon. The seat of his power is ‘in Paris or at the head of his armies, depending on the circumstances’. He is Emperor because he is a great general, because he loves the sciences and arts and protects trade and agriculture; he is noble, not in the traditional sense but in the sense of governing ‘en prince juste et non pas en despote’. Any good Napoleonist should wear, in a buttonhole or on a hat, a violet flower, to demonstrate devotion to the Emperor; the catechism also gives prayers to recite each day, plus a version of the Lord’s prayer especially dedicated to Napoleon, a salutation to the ‘vertueuse et auguste Marie-Louise’, and a Napoleonic Creed and confession.

The catechism follows with a litany, beseeching Napoleon to ‘aimez-nous’, in his capacity as ‘puissant monarque, grand législateur, protecteur des sciences, des arts, et du commerce’; and to deliver us from enemies, war, feudality, despotism, tyranny, and ‘tout acte arbirtraire’.

Although one might suspect this to be a provincial reprint of a Parisian text, we have found no other editions.

Not in OCLC or any other database consulted.


Home schooling for girls, with Don Quixote

8. [RUMEGAS, J.F.]. LETTERA FRANCESE E ITALIANA sopra l’educazione delle fanciulle.  Vicenza, Tipografia di Bartolommeo Paroni, MDCCXCV [1795]. £550

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 255, [1] errata; some foxing throughout; in contemporary half green sheep, marbled boards; spine ruled in gilt with gilt-lettered skiver label; some rubbing, but still rather a nice copy.

First edition, in both its original French and, from page 129, in Italian translation, of this letter on the education of girls by the emigré French priest J.F. Rumegas, translated by the Vicenza writer and historian Arnaldo Arnaldi Tornieri (1739-1829).

Rumegas, who was resident in Vicenza, was no educational radical. He weighs up the relative merits of public (i.e. convent) and domestic education. Convent schooling, while it has many merits, by its very nature does not allow an education tailored to the individual talents of the pupil, teaching the girl destined to be a nun in the same way as it would the future wife and mother (these are the only two options suggested). Home schooling, then, is preferable, and should concentrate on the development of the virtues. This is, Rumegas suggests, trickier than it sounds; justice can easily become rigidity, sweetness weakness, thrift avarice, and tact falseness. So a careful examination of the pupil is necessary, to tailor one’s approach. One starts by watching the girl at play, listening to her opinions, and giving her opportunities to demonstrate, and identify, her talents. While a sound religious grounding is necessary, other topics must also be covered: music, criticism, and the reading of Don Quixote.

This is the first edition of the text; it never appeared in a stand-alone French printing.

Not in OCLC; SBN records four copies, one at the Marciana in Venice and three at the Biblioteca Bertoliana in Vicenza.


What you need to know

9. [SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS]. MOECENATIBUS MARIA THERESIA AUGUSTA nec non providis ac nobilissimis dominis agri Aldenardensis moderatoribus programmata a studiosa juventute Collegii Regii Aldenarensis pro tentamine publico proposita. Aldenardae, die 28. Augusti MDCCLXXX. Aldenardae [Oudenaarde], Typis P.J. Vereecken, [1780]. £325

4to, pp. [14], [2] blank; title within decorative border, text in double columns, printed in Latin and French, with decorative column dividers; one gathering detached, but otherwise a good, clean copy; in contemporary marbled wrappers; slight wear to extremities.

A good copy of this programme of school examinations held at the Royal College in Oudenaarde, now in Belgium but at the time part of Habsburg-controlled Austrian Netherlands, on August 28, 1780.

The programme gives an unusual insight into the life of a Habsburg Gymnasium. The entire syllabus on which the pupils are examined is described, in both Latin and French. Most of the candidates are examined on geography (which includes astronomy and cosmography), arithmetic, geometry, and Christian doctrine. The two candidates from the rhetoric class, Ludovicus de Mulié and Ferdninandus Feyerick, are examined on rhetoric, Cicero, the origins of Rome, while three others, from the poetry class, are examined on prose, metre, Ovid, Virgil, and Homer. Six further pupils face examination on syntax and Euclid, while the grammar class is divided into a middle class and a beginners’ class, each of which have to answer appropriate questions on the Latin language, arithmetic, the Old Testament, and the catechism. The final group of pupils, surprisingly, is examined on the Flemish language.

By the late 18th century, Oudenaarde had become a bit of a backwater, certainly in printing terms; OCLC does not record a single item printed in the town.

Not in OCLC or KVK; the University of Ghent has a similar item from the previous year, with somewhat different contents.


 How to build a mill

10. WEINHOLZ, Wilhelm. VOLLSTÄNDIGES, THEORETISCH-PRAKTISCHES HANDBUCH DER MÜHLENBAUKUNST, oder gründliche und allgemein-verständliche Anleitung zur Construction sämmtlicher neu anzulegender und zur richtigen Beurtheilungen bereits vorhandener, durch Wasser, Wind, Dampf und lebendige Kräfte zu betriebenden Mühlwerke, welche durch Mahlen, Schneiden, Stampfen und Hämmern im praktischen Leben von Wichtigkeit sind. nach dem allerneuestern Stande unseres Wissesn zum Selbstunterrichte, besonders für angehende Müller, Mühlenbauer, Technologen, mancherlei Fabrikanten, Cameralisten, &c. &c. &c. Zwei Bänder, Mit einem Atlas von 98 Kupfertafeln. Erster [-Zweiter] Band. Ilmenau, Druck, Verlag, und Lithographie von Bernh. Fr. Voigt, 1832. £385

FIRST EDITION. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. [ii], xiv, 646, [2], 48 folding plates; [ii], viii, 637, [1] advertisement, 50 folding plates, plus one folding table after p. 96; some light foxing in places, and the exlibris stamp of Frederick Rahr to p.1 of each volume; occasional tearing to the folds and margins of plates, but otherwise clean and fresh; in recent calf-backed marbled boards, title in gilt on spine.

First edition of this extensively illustrated guide to the design, construction, and use of mills, published as part of Voigt’s series Neuer Schauplatz der Künste und Handwerke.

The first volume is almost entirely devoted to the theoretical underpinnings of millwrighting; arithmetic, trigonometry, calculus, geometry, and measuring on the mathematical side, and materials and dynamics on the physical side. In the second volume, Weinholz turns to the construction and functioning of mills, addressing everything from the fuel for steam-powered mills to the design of water wheels. He illustrates the differences between Dutch and German windmills, describes Watt’s steam engine, and details mills ranging from pounding mills through tobacco mills to paper mills.

Weinholz was a prolific translator of scientific and medical works, including treatises on papermaking and pharmacology; he also wrote on airships, and published a handbook of physics and chemistry for pharmacists.

OCLC records just one copy outside Continental Europe, at Missouri (St Louis).


© Edmund Brumfitt Rare Books 2017