The Art of Being Easy At All Times, and In All Places, Written chiefly for the Use of a Lady of Quality. Made English from the French Original by Edward Combe, A.B. of Merton Coll. Oxon.
[ Deslandes, André François Boureau ].

London: Printed for C. Rivington at the Bible in Crown in St. Paul’s Church Yard, 1724. First English edition. It was first published in 1715 (L’art de ne point s’ennuyer) in both Paris and Amsterdam. Engraved initial letters, borders, and vignettes. A bit of darkstaining to gutter margins of first few gatherings and very faint intermittent dampstaining to lower margins, neither affecting legibility. A very good copy Modern quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt lettered spine with raised bands in five compartments Twelvemo. [22], 163, [1, blank], [ (Item ID: 16631)


André François Deslandes (1689-1757) was a French philosopher, Commissioner of the Port of Brest in 1716, a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and a corresponding member of La Rochelle of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. He was born into a prolific family in Pondichéry; his father was diplomat André Boreau-Delandes and his grandfather was François Martin (1634-1706), the founder and governor of Pondichéry. The Art of Being Easy At All Times is a guide for social conduct, specifically aimed at women. Some of the topics it explores include whether or not studious persons are more subject to “uneasiness” than others, conversing tactfully with women, women being less subject to uneasiness than men, the exile of Ovid (that is, prizing moments that are spent alone), how to enlighten conversation (“sweetness,” “light jesting” and a good sense of humor are more important than wit, especially in polite company), the importance of reading in between business and pleasure, etc.

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