Amsterdam: H. du Sauzet, 1738. First edition of Huet’s treatise on the weakness of the human mind in which he discusses the limits of reason. Title-page in black and red, with lovely engraved vignette of a printing press. Joints lightly rubbed. A very good copy. Contemporary mottled calf. Gilt spine with burgundy morocco label, edges stained red, marbled endpapers. xxxviii, , 223 pp. Item #13000
Huet (1630-1721), bishop of Avranches, was the leading French Catholic skeptic and a noted scholar in the areas of mathematics, astronomy, optics and chemistry. He edited Origen, translated the pastorals of Longus, wrote a tale called Diane de Castro, and defended, in a treatise on the origin of romance, the reading of fiction. With the assistance of Madame Dacier, he edited the Delphin Classics, a comprehensive edition of the Latin classics in about sixty volumes. His great library and manuscripts were bequeathed to the Jesuits and were ultimately bought by the king for the royal library.