Paris: chez Pierre Rocolet, 1634.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #002625
3 parts in 1 volume. 4to (220 x 164 mm). , 131 ; , 17 ; , 112 pp. Woodcut headbands and initials, separate half titles to all parts. Contemporary calf, boards paneled in gilt, spine with 5 raised bands richly gilt in compartments and with gilt-lettered label, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers (boards heavily scratched, corners repaired, foot of spine chipped). Text very little browned, occasional minor spotting, title-page torn affecting two letters restored and laid down on old paper, first two preliminary leaves repaired at gutter, small worm track to inner blank margin of final leaves, light dampstains mainly to upper corner, a few text corrections in ink. Provenance: Verdeil (inscribed on title-page). Still a fine, wide-margined copy. ----
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION. Marin Cureau de La Chambre (1594-1669), largly known for his work in physiognomy, was personal physician to the Chancelier Seguier, who was his patron, and then to the King. He was consulted by Louis XIV as to questions of physiognomy, when new employees were being considered. The present work, a philosophical mixture about the causes of light, the flooding of the Nile, and the love of inclination is Le Chambre's earliest publication. Although this work is questionably from a scientific standpoint (Le Chambre considered light as a quality and attributed the Nile floods to the fermentation of nitre), it is nevertheless remarkable as it was written in French vernacular at a time when textbooks were written in Latin. It thus precedes Descarte's Discours de la Méthode by a few years.
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