Milano, Nello Reg. Duc. Corte, perGio. Battista, e Giulio Cesare fratelli Maletesta Stampatori, 1653. Folio. In contemporary full vellum. Title written in contemporary hand to lower edge. A few early leaves reinforced and a 1x1 cm hole in leaf pppp2 with loss of text. Ex-libris stamp (Ghislanzoni) to lower part of title-page. Otherwise a very fine, clean and crisp copy. (56), 792, 76 pp. + the engraved frontispiece by Frederico Agnelli.
First edition thus, being the hugely expanded second version of Cavazzi's famous fiscal analysis of the Duchy of Milan and of Lombardy in general (which had been under Spanish rule since 1559, and was to remain so until 1701), constituting one of the earliest proposals of government bonds in (what is now) Italy. Furthermore, the present work was Manzoni's main source of knowledge about the plague when writing 'Promessi Sposi' (The Betrothed).
A much shorter preliminary work comprising merely 146 pp. appeared in 1647, under the same title. The present work is hugely expanded and is essentially a different work.
Cavazzi here gives a thorough analysis of taxation and the general cost of public administration, which had become an exceedingly important issue for the city of Milan. Over a 25 year period, the debt of Milan had risen to uncontrollable heights and this is the first serious attempt to improve the city's economic status. Cavazzi occupies himself with duties on, among other things, salt, wine, oil, meat, flour, and horses and argues that the tax burden might be reduced through both efficiencies in spending and through raising of funds through the issue of government bonds. His proposal of government bonds predates the actual implementation, which did not happen until 1694 by the Bank of England. He furthermore proposes that the Duchy reduce the number of working licenses granted to foreigners who are not resident and refuse to accept citizenship.
Carlo Girolamo Cavazzi della Somaglia (1604-1672), Italian economist and historian, wrote several other work on Milan the present being the most extensive.
OCLC records just two copies outside Italy (British library and the University of Illinois).