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    Gabriel Bonnot de Mably. Remarks Concerning the Government and the Laws of the United States of America... London: Debrett, 1784. First English edition.

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    Gabriel Bonnot de Mably. Remarks Concerning the Government and the Laws of the United States of America: In Four Letters, Addressed to Mr. Adams; Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to those of Holland; and one of the Negociators for the Purpose of Concluding a General Peace, From the French of the Abbé de Mably: With Notes, by the Translator. London: Debrett, 1784. First English edition. Octavo (8 x 5 inches; 203 x 127 mm). [2], 280 pages. Quarter dark blue pebbled morocco over blue marbled boards, gilt red-brown lettering piece, pink-and-blue diagonally striped endpapers. Contemporary owner's signature on title-page. Printed paper bookplate of Ismael Glusman affixed to front pastedown; accession label of the Biblioteca Ismael Glusman affixed to rear. Light toning throughout; occasional light soiling, title-page lightly soiled and foxed. Joint splitting between title-page and first flyleaf but both leaves still holding tight. Overall a very good copy.

    First published in Amsterdam the same year, Sabin writes that the work, which consists of letters written to John Adams, "contains some observations which are the result of good sense and a great knowledge of mankind, yet amid these there are many things which betray the author's country and religious persuasion." While congratulating the Americans on their federal system, and the relative weakness of the national government under the Articles of Confederation, Mably argues that a single national rule could not work over a geographic area so large as the United States; and suggests that popular notion cum fear that in a popular democracy, the people might gain control, with unfortunate results. Gephart 8691. Howes M5. Sabin 42925. Stevens Rare Americana 119.



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