Man, just as he is
RETZ, Jean François Paul de Gondi de, ~ Memoirs of the Cardinal de Retz. Containing, the particulars of his own life, with the most secret transactions of the French court and the civil wars. Translated from the French. In four volumes… London: for T. Becket, T. Cadell, and T. Evans, 1774.
4 vols., 12mo (172 × 101 mm), pp. [ii], xi, [i], 338, ; [iv], 317, ; [iv], 282, ; [iv], 228,  including half-titles to vols. 2-4 and adverts. Engraved portrait by Bannerman. Very lightly browned throughout, small wax-stain to 167-70 of vol. 1. Contemporary tree calf, gilt spines attractively gilt with urn tools, green morocco lettering and numbering pieces (the latter oval). Slightly rubbed, upper joint of vol. 3 just cracked at head with minor loss, minor chips to headbands, but a very good and attractive set.
The Memoirs were first printed in English in 1723 and were immediately popular. Chesterfield recommended them wholeheartedly. “The best Memoirs that I know of, are those of Cardinal de Retz. --- I hardly know any Book so necessary for a young Man to read and remember; you will there find how great Business is really carried on, very differently from what People who have never been concerned in it imagine. In short you will, in every Page of that Book, see that strange inconsistent Creature, Man, just as he is” (reproduced on the title-page of our edition).