HOSPITAL HELPERS CLOSER TO HEAVEN

Considerations sur les devoirs des personnes qui sont engagées par leur état à servir les malades dans les hôpitaux.  Avec des exhortations aux malades et aux mourans. 

Paris, chez Edme Couterot, 1695. 

12mo, pp. [32], 327, [1 (advertisement)]; woodcut ornament to title; occasional light marginal dampstaining to upper inner corner, slight browning; very good in contemporary calf, spine gilt in compartments with gilt red morocco lettering-piece; small areas of loss to spine and joints, corners worn, some rubbing to covers; ink inscription to title ‘de la Misericorde’.

£450

Approximately:
US $501€511

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Considerations sur les devoirs des personnes qui sont engagées par leur état à servir les malades dans les hôpitaux.  Avec des exhortations aux malades et aux mourans. 

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Rare first edition of this religious manual of instruction aimed at those caring for the sick in hospitals, exhorting carers to look after the bodily and spiritual needs of their charges ‘with charity, gentleness, compassion, patience, diligence, zeal, respect and humility’. 

‘The service of the poor, and especially of the sick in hospitals,’ opens the preface, ‘is one of the most holy occupations one can practice, and through which one can be deserving of heaven.’ The first part of the text comprises twelve ‘considerations’ directing carers, inter alia, not to regard their services as favours; not to be embarrassed by worldly matters; to do nothing to scandalise the sick; to not neglect themselves in their zeal for charitable works; and to be ready to have death ‘always before one’s eyes in hospitals’.  Eight ‘exhortations’ follow, including for the consolation of the sick and dying. 

The work is attributed to Antoine-François Chartonnet (d. 1729), canon regular of the Congregation of France, who served as master of novices at the Abbey of St Genevieve in Paris (the Congregation’s motherhouse) and as prior of the Abbey of St Vincent at Senlis. 

No copies traced in the UK.  OCLC records only one copy in the US, at San Diego State University Library. 

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