Confucius, The Morals of Confucius a Chinese Philosopher, Who Flourished above Five Hundred Years before the Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Being one of the Most Choicest Pieces of Learning Remaining of That Nation, 1691, Randal Taylor.
 pp 1-142, A8, C-L8. The first edition in English of the most influential figure in Chinese philosophy, Confucius. This is the true 1691 edition, not the quasi-facsimile produced nearly a century later which reproduces a similar text but differs in collation. This volume collates as per Wing C5806 with an eight leaf unpaginated preliminary gathering (A) followed by pages 1-142, (C-L8). The binding is contemporary full calf, speckled edges, with a double blind fillet to front and rear boards, across the spine bands, and a red morocco label with ‘Morals of Confucius’ in gilt on the spine. The spine has been relaid and the corners strengthened giving a pleasing effect overall. Internally the text is complete as called for. There is an old paper repair at the foot of the title page and toning to the paper stock throughout with some old staining to the last third of the book. The text is a translation from the French which comes in turn from the Latin translation of Prospero Intorcetta, Philippe Couplet and others. It represents an important moment of intellectual exchange between east and west. As Chi Ming-Yang of Cornell University puts it: ‘With translations of works like The Morals of Confucius (1691) into English, ancient Chinese wisdom takes its place among the revered canon of Western philosophical antiquity, from Pythagoras to Plato.’ £2250