(MILITARY MANUSCRIPT). C[HASTELET, Paul Hay, Marquis de.] ~ Traité de la Guerre, ou Politique Militaire. “Paris: Girard”, n.d. [c.1668.]
Small 8vo (165 × 105 mm), pp. [vi], 276, , perhaps wanting a frontispiece drawing before title. Attractive calligraphic title, headings and tailpiece, neat manuscript (in French) in brown ink on paper. A few later (but early) underlinings. Contemporary mottled calf, plain spine with 5 raised bands. Head and foot of spine chipped. Slightly later ownership inscriptions (de Schwartz) and 19th-century bibliographical notes, modern bookplate of Armand Gritton.
An attractive seventeenth-century military manuscript, a very early copy of Chastelet’s Traité de la Guerre, neatly executed, and conforming to the pagination of the first printed edition quite precisely - the printed version containing 277 pages. A later bibliographical note to the endpaper asserts that this must “sans aucune doute” be Giard’s manuscript for his edition. This is perhaps unlikely: early manuscript copies of hard-to-come-by imprints are an important (if under-appreciated) aspect of the contemporary circulation of new books.
Chastelet’s treatise (dedicated to the King) covers all aspects of war: types of troops, garrisons, ranks, invasion, battle, morale, treatment of casualties, defence, sieges, sea warfare, civil wars, discipline, military law, espionage and treaties.