A Chinese model for the future Tsar
Yu le Grand et Confucius,
histoire Chinoise. Soissons Ponce Courtois, Imprimeur du Roi 1769
First edition. Four parts bound in one, 4to (26 x 20.5 cm), pp.xviii, 701, [9, table, approbation, privilege, & errata], 8 large folding tables. A very good copy bound in contemporary cat's paw calf, spine gilt in compartments. All edges red. One corner bumped, edges rubbed, narrow abrasion on lower board. Small, neat repair to top of spine.
Cordier BS 604; Löwendahl 549; Lust 1275
A popular history of the legendary Chinese emperor, Yu, and Confucius, written by Nicolas-Gabriel Clerc (1726-1728) for the young Grand Duke of Russia, later Tsar Paul I, extolling the Chinese model of rule as an example of virtuous monarchy. Clerc presents a general description of China, a history of Confucius and Confucian philosophy, and a history of Emperor Yu, in which he deliberately conflates the deeds of several legendary Chinese rulers. Several sections compare Russia and China as vast empires; Clerc uses the Chinese model as an exemplar for a future tsar of how best to rule. The folding tables are largely concerned with trade between the two countries.