12mo., pp. , 159, ; a very good copy in eighteenth-century calf, rubbed, spine label wanting; clear-cut armorial bookplate to front pastedown of Edward Blount of Blagdon (d. 1726).
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Aristippus, or, Monsieur de Balsac’s Masterpiece, being a Discourse concerning the Court … Englished by R.W.
First edition in English of Aristippe (1657), a treatise on wisdom in political administration dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, who was an admirer. Balzac was particularly reputed for the quality of his prose, seen as raising it to the same perfection as Malherbe did for French verse. At the end is an apposite extract from an earlier work, The elegant Combat (1634), comprising his conversations with Pierre du Moulin. Wing B 612.
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La vérité defendue pour la religion catholique. En la cause des Iesuites, contre le Plaidoyé d’Antoine Arnaud, par François des Montaignes.
First edition of Richeome’s vindication of the Jesuits against the charges made by Antoine Arnaud in his famous defence of the University of Paris in 1594. Richeome (1544-1625), known as the ‘French Cicero’, was one of the leading French Catholic controversialists of his age and played a crucial role in overcoming prohibitions against the Jesuit order in France. In La vérité defendue he constructs a history of the Society of Jesus from its foundation, highlighting its achievements in education and the work of Jesuit missions in Japan, the Far East, America, and Brazil. The work was translated into Latin the following year.
Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus, bannis du royaume de France. Contre l’arrest de Parlement, donné contre eux a Paris, le 29 Decembre, 1594. Diuisée en cinq parties. Par François de Verone Constantin.
First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against Henry III and Henry IV, refusing to accept the latter’s conversion to Catholicism. The Apologie was written during his exile in the Netherlands. On 27 December 1594, the nineteen-year-old Châtel attacked Henri IV with a knife in the chamber of his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées, cutting the king’s lip and breaking a tooth. While Châtel was publicly tortured and dismembered, an enquiry discovered that he had studied with the Jesuits at the Collège de Clermont. The Jesuits were quickly accused of supporting Châtel’s attempted regicide; Père Guignard, the Jesuits’ librarian in Paris, was publicly executed and the Jesuits were expelled from France by parliamentary decree. In addition to defending Châtel, Boucher deplores the actions against the Jesuits and encourages a new attempt on Henri’s life.