8vo., pp. 88; modern boards; a very good copy.
Added to your basket:
The Life and Actions of Lewis Dominique Cartouche: who was broke alive upon the Wheel at Paris, Nov. 28. 1721. N.S. Relating at large his remarkable Adventures, desperate Enterprises, and various Escapes. With an Account of his Behaviour under Sentence, and upon the Scaffold; and the Manner of his Execution. Translated from the French.
First edition in English, published in the same year as the French original. Louis Dominique Bourguignon, alias ‘Cartouche’ (1693-1721), began his life of crime stealing fruit from women at the gates of his Jesuit school and books from his wealthy classmates. To avoid punishment for theft he fled Paris, and a foray among the gypsies taught him ‘all the Cant that the Thieves use among themselves; and how to conceal Thefts after he had committed them’. Once more in Paris he worked as a pick-pocket, marrying into a family of thieves, then as an informant to the Lt.-Gen. of Police, Marc René de Voyer, marquis d’Argenson: ‘None of his old Comrades escaped, who had ever affronted or provoked him’. A brief and accidental career in the army was cut short by the Peace of Utrecht in 1719, and Cartouche recruited from among his newly unemployed companions an underworld ‘Confederacy’ with its own strict ‘Laws’. Its 200 members comprised burglars, pickpockets, fences and prostitutes, and ‘in a little time nothing else was talk’d of in Paris, but Robberies in the Streets, Murders, and Assassinations upon the Pont Neuf.’ Forced into hiding by his increasing notoriety, he slept in a different bed every night, until his final betrayal and arrest in 1721. Ballads were composed, plays improvised, portraits engraved, and all Paris visited him in prison – ‘there was a certain je ne scay quoy, either of Awe or Majesty in his Countenance’ – before he was broken on the wheel.
Published in the same year as Moll Flanders and Col. Jacque, this work exploits a similar ready market for the lives of rogues. A now-discredited attribution of this translation to Defoe was inevitable. On its own merits, the present Life is nevertheless fascinating, highly readable and not without moments worthy of Defoe: among his criminal band, Cartouche is as an ‘Arbitrary Prince’ – ‘he rewarded or punished them according to their deserts. These Acts of Sovereign Authority made him fancy himself a King indeed. He had Mistresses and Flatterers, he had Money and Subjects; he made himself enemies by his Ambition; and like a King, he encamped upon his Enemies lands, that he might not be chargeable to his own Subjects.’
You may also be interested in...
AGNES BEDFORD’S COPY POUND, Ezra.
How to Read …
First edition, a fine association copy. Agnes Bedford (1892-1969) was a lifelong friend of Pound (they first met in 1919 and corresponded until 1963 when he unexpectedly severed contact) and through him of Wyndham Lewis, with whom she had an affair in the 1920s. A vocal coach and accompanist, she provided the music for Pound’s Five Troubadour Songs (1920). After he left for Paris in January 1920, Bedford sublet his flat; she then visited him in Paris the following year, where she was the principal amanuensis for his opera based on Villon’s Le Testament. She was later the rehearsal coach for its first performance in 1931 and her contacts were vital to the casting of singers (Bridson was later involved in the first broadcast of the opera in 1962, for which Bedford was frequently consulted). Laid in here is a copy of a letter of 4 May 1969 from Bedford to Bridson on his retirement – ‘I have been so happy to read all the appreciative things about you on all sides’ – recalling ‘happy times at Studio A’ and Bridson’s ‘kind friendship & affection for Wyndham’.
THE FOUNDATION OF STRUCTURALISM SAUSSURE, Ferdinand de.
Cours de Linguistique générale.
First edition. In general the study of language in the 19th century concerns philology. While great steps were made at the beginning of that century to put the study of language on a scientific basis, the vital distinction was not made between philology and non-historical linguistics. Saussure made this distinction and gave it its classic formulation. Consequently, for all subsequent linguistics, and especially structuralism, that linguistic theory in which freedom from the influence of philology is most enjoyed, Saussure’s position is that of a major thinker and of a founding father.