1696 · Brusselle
Witty words from the Abbé of Chalivoy, a lawyer, scholar, and one-time member of the Académie française who was expelled from that organization for daring to compile his own dictionary of the French language at a time when the Academy was claiming exclusive rights to produce such a work. While Furetière's Dictionnaire universel remains his best-known literary accomplishment, he also produced an eclectic range of entertaining literature, highlighted in the present Belgian printing of a collection of epigrams, maxims, poems, anecdotes, satirical remarks, and other bons mots edited by Guy Marais. Foppens's edition was printed in the same year as the Parisian first, following Furetière's death in 1688.
The volume opens with a => copper-engraved frontispiece done by Harrewyn, featuring a satyr and a jester in addition to muses crowning Furetière with a laurel wreath; the title-page is printed in red and black, and the text is ornamented with two woodcut headpieces, two tailpieces, and two decorative capitals. This nicely printed edition is not widely held in the United States; WorldCat locates => only four American institutional holdings and these perhaps unexpected ones, with no holdings added by NUC Pre-1956.
This edition not in Brunet. Contemporary speckled sheep, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and gilt-stamped floral decorations in compartments, board edges with gilt roll; worn and rubbed, leather lost at extremities, front joint cracked and back joint starting (sewing holding). All edges speckled red and brown. Front pastedown and free endpaper with modern collector's inscriptions, front pastedown with early inked numerals and later pencilled annotations; one obscured name in text annotated in pencil in the margin. Pages gently age-toned with occasional tiny spots of foxing. => Externally worn, interior beautifully preserving the author's irrepressible, biting wit. (Inventory #: 36242)