Arte de Furtar, Espelho de Enganos, Theatro de Verdades, Mostrador de horas minguadas, gazua geral dos Reynos de Portugal. Offerecida a ElRey Nosso Senhor D. Joaõ IV. para quer a emende. Composta no anno de 1652. Pelo Padre . . . zeloso da patria. Correcta, e emendada de muitos erros; e assim tambem a verá o curioso leytor com as palavras, e regras, que por inadvertencia faltaraõ na passada impressaõ.
Amsterdam, Na Officia de Martinho Schagen, 1744 (but Lisbon, João Baptista Lerzo)
Small 4to. (12) ff., 409 pp. (with errors in pagination), 3 (blank) pp. With title page in red & black & portrait of Padre António Vieira engraved by G.F.L. Debrie dated 1745. Recent calf, spine gilt. Marginal manuscript annotation on p. 15, later manuscript annotations on blank endpaper. Some very occasional browning and dust staining. Copy washed?
The work presents a “curious and amusing treatise on the noble art of thieving in all kinds, private and official, civil and military. Its anecdotes are racy . . .,” according to Bell (Portuguese literature, p. 265). Although the author’s name is given as Father António Vieira, this authorship has long been disputed and has been definitely attributed to Father Manuel da Costa (1601-1667) (see Serafim Leite, História da Companhia de Jesus no Brasil, IX, p. 322, Francisco Rodrigues, S.J., O autor da Arte de furtar, resolução de um antigo problema, p. 11 and Arte de Furtar, Manuel da Costa; ed. crítica, com introdução e notas de Roger Bismut, p. 16 and ff.).
A reputedly controversial Jesuit priest, da Costa dedicated the work to D. João IV (reigned 1640-1656). The priest had lived in the places mentioned in the text but had antagonised his superiors who had removed him to the Algarve, a safe distance from Lisbon. Father Francisco Rodrigues writes that a document in the Jesuit archives in Rome refers to the Visitor of the Order, Jeronimo Chiaramonti, who in 1660 and 1661 travelled in his official capacity in Portugal and the Algarve, formally stated that "Compos o P. Manuel da Costa hua Arte de Furtar, que deu a El-Rey" (p. 25). According to Roger Bismut (op. cit.), this copy is issue C2; three different editions exist with the date 1744, and two issues have the same pagination but slightly different text settings. Though the place of printing is given as Amsterdam, it has been authoritatively ascribed to João Baptista Lerzo, a Genovese printer living in Lisbon. Provenance J.G. Mazziotti Salema Garção.
Innocêncio I, 292 & XXII, 434. Borba de Moraes (1983) II, 921-22. S. Leite, Hist. da Companhia de Jesus no Brasil, IX, p. 322. Gauz, Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537-1839, 744/2. Pinto de Mattos 562. Rodrigues 2523. Monteverde 5550. De Backer-Sommervogel VIII, 673. Soares, Gravura Artística em Portugal, 1, 527 & 679. Azevedo-Samodães 3508. B ou C. Not in Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek. Roger Bismut (Arte de Furtar, Manuel da Costa) describes this as issue C2.