First edition in French, translated by father Marin Mersenne.
A presentation copy bound for Edward Herbert of Cherbury’s with his device on both covers (but with slight alteration on the ornaments) of this celebrated book , “the earliest purely metaphysical treatise written by an Englishman,” either of the French edition or of the second Latin edition of 1633 (the first edition, in Latin, is dated 1624). Two of these presentations copies are in the University Library, Cambridge, another in the British Museum. The book is on the index of the Catholic Church.
A previous owner noted on the fly-leaf : “Exemplaire d’Herbert de Cherbury lui-même, comme on le voit à sa devise imprimée sur les plats de la reliure ‘Eustokos’- en droite ligne, droit au but”.
This celebrated book contains Herbert’s doctrine on the divine Human Understanding (La vérité de l’entendement, p. 37), which was subsequently taken on and refuted by John Locke in his Essay on Human Understanding (London 1690).
Provenance : Edward Herbert of Cherbury (presentation copy) — Edward Herbert, Viscount Clive, 2nd Earl of Powis (signature “Clive” on upper right corner of first blank; his sale Sotheby’s London, 16 January 1956, lot 217) – acquired by Robert S. Pieri (with his bookplate)