Simplification des langues orientales, ou méthode nouvelle et facile d'apprendre les langues Arabe, Persane et Turque avec des caractères Européens.
8vo. (2), 135, (3) pp. With 3 folding tables and 1 engraved plate. Contemporary wrappers with printed spine-label.
Only edition of this introduction to Arabic, written by the Comte de Volney (1757-1820) as history professor at the newly-founded École normale, immediately after the end of the Terreur and his release from prison following the fall of Robespierre. In spite of its wide-ranging title, the book comprises essentially an Arabic grammar and a collection of Arabic proverbs; the long introductory chapter has been hailed a model of style. Volney had learned Arabic in 1782 in preparation of a long journey through Egypt and Syria. The work displays his ingenious method of simplifying the study of Arabic, Persian and Turkish by transliterating the alphabets into European characters. The tables give the Arabic alphabet, the conjugation of regular verbs, and instructions on how to write Arabic letters by hand, as well as the Arabic alphabet in European characters intended for merchants travelling to Asia and Africa. With a section of Arabian proverbs included as samples.
Untrimmed in the original grey temporary wrappers as issued; a few pages uncut. A good copy of this important work. Provenance: from the collection of the psychoanalyst and bibliophile Jacques Lacan (1901-81).