Paris, Denys Thierry, 1675.
12mo [157 x 90 mm] of (8) ll. (title, dedication to Colbert, letter from Perrot d’Ablancourt, privilege & table), 478 pp. misnumbered 476, (21) ll., entirely ruled text. Red morocco, double frame of triple gilt fillet with corner fleurons on the covers, spine ribbed and decorated, inner border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
The best French translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, dedicated to Colbert, owed to Cassandre, Boileau’s friend whom he drew under the pseudonym of Damon in his first satire.
The Rethoric was one of the most read text and the most used of Aristotle’s works thanks to its central role in the humanist formation.
The present translation is “the best we have among the Greek philosopher’s work” (Dictionnaire historique ou histoire abrégée des Hommes qui se sont fait un nom…, 1821, p. 337)
“…Eloquence is classified by the author into two kinds (popular and judiciary) and into seven sorts, the first six ones are formed of contradictory couples aiming to persuade and dissuade, accuse and defend, look after the motives and examine the consequences of the facts. The author studies the internal and external means suited to proving the affirmation of the orator, the formal characters of eloquence, the essential principles of composition, and the speech divisions […]. This work which takes its sources from the Attic orators, presents a few commons points with the Aristotelian logic; its goal is to teach and persuade by all means.”
“When in 1703 the company decides to admit in the colleges of Europe, the vernacular languages near by the old languages, the ‘Ratio discendi et docendi’ of P. Joseph de Jouvancy, dedicated to young Jesuits who were getting on with higher education meanwhile starting to teach in colleges, has included in his bibliography ‘Aristotle’s Rhetoric in French’ by François Cassandre, of which the 1675 edition revised and corrected stands out as a master-piece”. (G. Dahan, La Rhétorique d’Aristote, traditions et commentaires…, p. 333)
A superb copy entirely ruled, bound in a contemporary red morocco binding.
Le Normand du Coudray’s copy (1712-1789), great collector of prints, books and paintings, with the cipher on the title and at the end manuscript notes on the last endpaper. The work belonged later on to Henri Burton, with his green pasted ex-libris on the paste-down.