This is a song book entitled "Recueil de chansons choisies depuis 1656 jusques à present 1736", France, 1736. It contains a collection of selected popular songs covering 80 years of French satire and current affairs. The book features some 135 songs, and there are 73 tunes written with musical notation. The songs are helpfully annotated with names and explanations to margins, and indexed by the names mentioned. When a tune is to be used in another song, the compiler puts in a cross-reference - so much of the words can be put in one way or another to music.
The book opens with a preface entitled "avertissement", that can be translated as follows: "this collection volume contains the elite of the best anecdotical songs from the ministry of the Cardinal de Richelieu until now: attention was paid to the accuracy of the names; to the order and faithfulness of periods, and of interesting facts; to the correctness of the marginalia [...]."
The collection covers mostly the reign of Louis XIV (King of France from 1643 to 1715) and the beginning of the reign of Louis XV (king from 1715 to 1774). The songs seem to mock a wide range of subjects, but focus on the aristocracy, the court, the government, and the clergy, and refer to many current scandals, military events, and political affairs. Many songs are quite bawdy, especially the songs relating to ladies of the court - the three mistresses of Louis XIV (Louise de La Vallière [spelt "Valière" in the book], Madame de Montespan, and Madame de Maintenon) are well represented there. At pp. 510-515 there is also a song entitled "Autres Mirlitons", with marginal notes explaining that it is "about the young lords of the court strongly given to sodomy", and giving the names of eight courtiers described in this song, who are not otherwise easily identifiable. In 18th century France, the term "sodomy" meant male homosexuality.
Some other noteworthy songs include:
- songs about John Law (1671-1729), the Scottish economist who was a minister under Louis XV; the annotator notes how he was apparently hanged in effigy in London after he was condemned for murder.
- a song at pp. 525-531 that has a reference to Mississipi, and one at pp. 381-388 to the Goa Inquisition (the Portuguese Inquisition in India).
- a song at pp. 553-554 about the philosopher Voltaire relating to his altercation with the Chevalier de Rohan in 1726.
- songs about Jansenism, and (at pp. 557-559, 565-567, 579-582) on the recent Cadière affair (1730-31), the scandalous case of a Jesuit confessor who was accused of sexually abusing a young female penitent, whom he in retaliation accused of witchcraft.
Manuscript, one volume, 29.5 cms. x 24.2 cms., pp.  602. Includes 73 song tunes (airs) with musical notation. Light age-yellowing, occasional light spotting, bound in tan polished calf, gilt sides, dentelles and borders to covers, spine decorated in gilt, and with red morocco gilt label, marbled pastedowns and endpapers, all edges red (slight wear and scratching, rubbing and staining, a small loss at tail of spine). Blind embossments of Château de Houtain de Val, Brabant, armorial bookplate from the same.