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2020-10-17 20:55:12
Voltaire (Ed.); Friedrich II (Foreword by); Abraham-Nicolas Amelot de La Houssaie (Preface by)
Anti-Machiavel ou essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel
Abram. Vandenhoeck, Gottingen, 1741. Octavo. XVI, 191, 13pp. Original spotted calf with gold ruling along edges of covers. All edges red. Marbled endpapers. Vignette on title page. Decorative initials and head and tailpieces. In 1740, Voltaire helped to publish Frederick's "Anti-Machiavel," a political treatise arguing that the ruler is the first servant of the people. During the year before he came to the throne, Frederick the Great wrote his celebrated book in order to confute Machiavelli's "Prince," a book which, according to Frederick's preface, was one of the most monstrous and most poisonous compositions which had ever been penned. 'Princes,' Frederick writes, 'who look upon their people as the body of which they themselves are the soul, will be sparing of the blood of their subjects'; and ' war is an extreme resource which ought never to be used except in desperate cases.' 'I admit that there are unhappy circumstances in which a prince has no choice but to break his treaties and alliances; but he ought to quit them like an honest man, by giving timely warning to his allies, and above all he should never go to this extreme without being forced to do so by consideration for his people's good or by dire necessity.' 'A prince is like a man playing cards with honest men and sharpers; in order not to be swindled he must know how he is being cheated, without himself having to cheat.' The book, which was originally published in 1740, the year in which Frederick ascended the throne, seemed to be a political pronunciamento of the highest importance and the political programme … [Click Below for Full Description]
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