MONTAIGNE, Michel Eyquem de (1533-1592). Essais de Messire Seigneur de Montaigne. Bordeaux: S. Millanges, 1580.\n\n2 volumes in one, 8o (159 x 98 mm). Arabesque ornament on title-page of vol. I, device on title-page of vol. II. Jansenist style binding of dark blue morocco, spine gilt-lettered, board edges gilt-ruled, gold tooled red morocco doublures, gilt edges, by Trautz-Bauzonnet (joints rubbed with some color retouched); morocco-backed folding case. Provenance: Marignan (signature mounted on front flyleaf dated 1763); John Pierpont Morgan (morocco bookplate); The Pierpont Morgan Library (bookplate, and typed release label on folding case).\n\nTHE VERY RARE FIRST EDITION OF MONTAIGNE'S CLASSIC. Title-pages in the second state, with the addition of Montaigne's titles. "Montaigne devised the essay form in which to express his personal convictions and private meditations, a form in which he can hardly be said to have been anticipated. The most elaborate essay, the Apologie de Raimond Sebonde, is second to no other modern writing in attacking fanaticism and pleading for tolerance. He finds a place in the present canon, however, chiefly for his consummate representation of the enlightened scepticism of the sixteenth century, to which Bacon, Descartes, and Newton were to provide the answers in the next" (PMM). Brunet III, 1835; Printing and the Mind of Man 95; Sayce & Maskell 1; Tchemerzine VIII:402.