Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller
Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel. Voltaire, Friedrich II, Abraham-Nicolas Amelot de La Houssaie.
Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel
Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel
Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel

Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel

Gottingen: Abram. Vandenhoeck, 1741. Later printing. Hardcover. Octavo. XVI, 191, 13pp. Original spotted calf with gold ruling along edges of covers. All edges red. Marbled endpapers. Vignette on title page. Decorative initials and head and tailpieces. In 1740, Voltaire helped to publish Frederick's "Anti-Machiavel," a political treatise arguing that the ruler is the first servant of the people. During the year before he came to the throne, Frederick the Great wrote his celebrated book in order to confute Machiavelli's "Prince," a book which, according to Frederick's preface, was one of the most monstrous and most poisonous compositions which had ever been penned. 'Princes,' Frederick writes, 'who look upon their people as the body of which they themselves are the soul, will be sparing of the blood of their subjects'; and ' war is an extreme resource which ought never to be used except in desperate cases.' 'I admit that there are unhappy circumstances in which a prince has no choice but to break his treaties and alliances; but he ought to quit them like an honest man, by giving timely warning to his allies, and above all he should never go to this extreme without being forced to do so by consideration for his people's good or by dire necessity.' 'A prince is like a man playing cards with honest men and sharpers; in order not to be swindled he must know how he is being cheated, without himself having to cheat.' The book, which was originally published in 1740, the year in which Frederick ascended the throne, seemed to be a political pronunciamento of the highest importance and the political programme of the King, and very likely was meant to impress foreign rulers with Frederick's love of peace. It is interesting to note that Frederick violated every one of the moral maxims of his "Anti-Machiavel" the moment he was in a position to put them in practice. Indeed, in December of the very year during which the "Anti-Machiavel" had appeared, the King, under the shallowest of pretexts and without a declaration of war, invaded Silesia and wrested it from Austria, 'because,' as he frankly confesses in his "Memoirs," 'that act brought prestige and added strength to Prussia. Age wear on binding with spine missing, but boards still firmly attached. Moderate abrasion on leather along edges of covers. Previous owner's name (B von Stempell) dated 1907 on fly leaf. Moderate sunning and sporadic foxing along margin of pages. Text in French. Binding in overall poor to fair, interior in good+ condition. fair to g. Item #37022

Price: $575.00