Paris, S. Cramoisy 1640.
4to. 364, p. Etched allegorical title by Claude Mellan, fine etched Cramoisy title device.
Contemporary vellum over stiff paper boards (soiled), manuscript spine title, slightly overlapping edges.
First Edition. This Mirror of Princes concerns not only religion, justice, statecraft, finance, the liberal and mechanical arts, chemistry and science but dance, architecture, painting, navigation, war, swimming, wrestling, weaving, ball games, cards, dice, chess, equestrian skills and (extensively) hunting. As a result of this book, Le Vayer became tutor to both Louis XIV and his younger brother, Philippe d’Orléans. This text established the principles enunciated in the seven subsequent specialized treatises the skeptic and libertine wrote for the two boys. The author’s close friendship with Molière likely inspired much of the playwright’s satire, particularly the savage portrayal of hypocrisy in Tartuffe. Mellan’s engraving shows Athena leading the two-year-old Louis to Learning with the implements of the Arts and War scattered about. A good copy, contemporary German ?institutional ownership inscription on the title, armorial bookplate dated 1883 of baron Édouard de Turckheim (1829-1909).
¶Cioranescu 39724; Arbour, L’Ère baroque 17161; Bourgeois & André, Sources de l’histoire de France XVIIe siècle 6096; Lacour-Gayet, L’Éducation politique de Louis XIV 69-71.