4to, pp. , 45,  blank; with 4 large folding tables; engraved agricultural view to title; all pages printed within a two-line border; contemporary ink ownership inscription to the front free endpaper; small wormhole to Table IV, with loss of one character; some light offsetting to the tables, a very good copy in contemporary boards, a little soiled, spine darkened and slightly worn, with a gilt morocco lettering-piece and MS shelflabels to spine.
US $2064 €1688
First and only edition of a rare work of comparative economic theory, in which the author presents tables illustrating four different aspects of a state’s political economy. The tables themselves show the economic situation in terms of population, agriculture, and receipts and expenditure.
The Essai is eminently practical. Heinitz (also Heynitz, 1725–1802), a Saxon by birth, attended the Universities of Dresden and Freiberg, where he studied mining and smelting. Brief appointments in Brunswick and Sweden then led him back to Saxony which, after the Seven Years War, was keen to reform its economic base. In 1765, he was put in charge of mining, smelting, and forestry in Saxony and immediately founded the Bergakademie Freiberg, now the oldest mining school in the world.
Soon his fame, and that of the success of the Saxon mines, had spread, and in 1776 Heinitz transferred to the service of Frederick II of Prussia. He presented the King with a major plan to reform the mines, supporting their production with new taxation and customs policies and an improved infrastructure of roads and canals. He was also keen to replace the smelting practices, a hangover from medieval times, with modern steam-engine technology. Although his plans were rejected by Frederick, Heinitz nevertheless persisted in attempting to improve the economic and social status of miners and foundry workers by means of house-building schemes and a benefit fund for those who had fallen on hard times. In this, Heinitz was a direct forerunner of the great Prussian refomers of the early nineteenth century.
The Essai appeared in a German version, Tabellen über die Staatswirthschaft …, at Leipzig the following year. Heinitz’s only other work was a treatise on mineral production in Prussia, with suggestions for its improvement, which likewise appeared in both French and German, in 1786.
Barbier II, col. 202; not found in Goldsmiths’, Humpert or Kress; OCLC lists microfilm copies only.
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SCIENTIFIC AGRICULTURE [YOUNG, Arthur].
A Six Weeks Tour, through the Southern Counties of England and Wales. Describing, particularly, I. The present state of agriculture and manufactures. II. The different methods of cultivating the soil. III. The success attending some late experiments on various grasses, &c. IV. The various prices of labour and provisions. V. The state of the working poor in those counties, wherein the riots were most remarkable. With descriptions and models of such new invented implements of husbandry as deserve to be generally known: interspersed with accounts of the seats of the nobility and gentry, and other subjects worthy of notice. In several letters to a friend. By the author of the Farmer’s Letters.
First edition. ‘Young’s own estimate of this book is that it is one “in which for the first time, the facts and principles of Norfolk husbandry were laid before the public”, but important as these facts were ... the book is more valuable than Young would have us believe. It laid before the public “the fact and principles” of the husbandry of a line of country from Bradfield to London and from London to South Wales, and the details given were quite all-inclusive. They comprised the crop rotations, the implements used, the cost of labour and provisions, which often varied surprisingly in a few miles, the size of farms, and the horses or oxen employed on holdings of different sizes ... Passing reference is [also] made to local industry, such as the manufacture of Witney blankets, and useful facts and figures about it are mentioned’ (Fussell).
Rerum Belgicarum libri quatuor. In quibus Ferdinandi Albani sexennium, belli Belgici principium. Additur quintus, seorsim anteà excusus, in quo induciarum historia; & eiusdem belli finis.
First edition. The first four books narrate the repressive governorship of the duke of Alva (1567–73), who was sent to the Netherlands to secure Spanish rule after the collapse of the rebellion of 1566–67. An earlier version of the fifth book, which ends with the truce agreed in 1609 between Spain and the United Provinces, had appeared as Rerum Belgicarum liber unus in 1612, but was withdrawn in the face of vehement criticism. The author, a classical scholar and close friend of Grotius, was appointed historiographer to the States General in 1611 and was tutor to Oldenbarnevelt’s sons.