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Instructions pour un jeune seigneur

Joachim de La Chétardie, Instructions pour un jeune seigneur

Joachim de la Chétardie wrote numerous titles in French and Latin, many before he took office as curé of Saint-Sulpice in 1696. Unusually for a French author, Chétardie wrote a companion volume for “jeune seigneur” in the form of an Instruction pour une jeune princesse, ou L’Idée d’une honnête femme, produced by the same publisher, T. Girard, two years later in 1684. Both works proved popular and were reprinted many times.
The sense that this is indeed a world for the younger gentlemen is borne out in warnings against raillerie for example, advising that what one might consider good fun could end up being source of alarm or distress for others.
In defense of the “high-spirited” however the author describes it as a “combat d’esprit”. And it is to the popular subject of l’esprit that the author returns on repeated occasions: “La vie d’un Courtisan doit être une continuelle étude de souplesse d’esprit”.