4to., pp. 19,  publisher’s advertisements; a few spots, but a good copy, with generous margins; disbound.
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Some Account of the Character of the late Right Honourable Henry Bilson Legge.
First edition. Henry Bilson Legge (1708-1764), three times chancellor of the exchequer between 1754 and 1761, attracted both respect and censure. To Pitt, he was ‘the child, and deservedly the favourite child, of the Whigs’. Horace Walpole, on the other hand, thought him a man ‘of a creeping, underhand nature, [who] aspired to the lion’s place by the manoeuvre of the mole’. Legge had earlier been a favourite of Sir Robert Walpole, who got him into the Commons and then found him a place as Treasury secretary, until, in 1741, he overstepped the mark with a proposal of marriage to Sir Robert’s daughter, Maria.
Here, John Butler, a career clergyman with staunch Whig credentials (and likewise described with similar invective by Horace Walpole), defends Legge’s record as a statesman. They had become friends in the late 1750s, when Butler was chaplain to the princess dowager of Wales.
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LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, François, Duc de.
The Memoirs of the Duke de La Rochefoucault. Containing the private Intrigues for obtaining the Regency after the Death of Louis the Thirteenth, King of France, the Wars of Paris, and Guienne, the Imprisonment of the Princes. Cardinal Mazarin’s Letter to Monsieur de Brienne. Articles agreed upon by His Royal Highness and Monsieur le Prince, for the Expulsion of Cardinal Mazarin. An Apologie for the Duke de Beaufort. Memoirs of Monsieur de la Chastre.
First edition in English, translated from Mémoires de M. D.L.R. sur les brigues à la mort de Louys XIII (1662). At court in his earlier years La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) took an active part in the cabals and rivalries that surrounded Richelieu and Louis XIII, and subsequently in the Fronde rebellion against Mazarin. His political activities came to an end after he was wounded in the fighting in Paris in 1652. Living in retirement he began to write his Mémoires, not so much an autobiography as an account of the court intrigues and a portrait of his fellow aristocrats. Mémoires circulated privately among his friends until its unauthorized printing in 1662 brought the author both fame and trouble.
THE GENTLEMAN HIGHWAYMAN [POPE, Walter].
The Memoires of Monsieur Du Vall: containing the history of his Life and Death. Whereunto are annexed his last Speech and Epitaph …
First(?) edition of partly fictitious and often satirical life of the highwayman Claude Duval, published shortly after his execution in 1670. This is the more substantial of two opportunistic biographies, between them the main sources of information about him, though by no means entirely trustworthy.