SALUSTE DU BARTAS, Guillaume de

His devine weekes and workes translated

London, Humfrey Lownes, 1613.

£1,950

4to., pp. (xxxii) 819 (xlvii) 87 (ix). Roman letter. Engraved title page by William Hole after C. Swytzer (Johnson 26:4), title within arch, Royal arms above supported by two pairs of pillars on which are resting terrestrial and celestial globes, medallion depicting the creation of woman, surmounted by pediment inscribed with the Hebrew name of God, angels at either side, further biblical panels at foot. Verses within arch made up of printers rules on next two pages, woodcut portrait of author on third. Eleven pages with printed central column containing the name of a Muse, printed title pages with astronomical diagrams, dedicatory verse to Philip Sidney in the form of a pyramid with his armorial hedgehog at head, each section of text commencing with woodcut headpiece and ‘Argument’ within typographical border, woodcut tailpieces, full page woodcut of the Garden of Eden on p. 214, white on black ‘memento mori’ on p. 669, full page woodcut of the Resurrection on p. 671; ‘History of Judith’ with separate title page with device, woodcut monogram of James I after dedication, large woodcut printer’s device on recto of last, contemporary ex-libris “George Parkins”on fly, “Mich: Constable; – 1620” at head of title, Light age yellowing, very occasional marginal soiling, and minor marginal water stains. A very good, clean copy in contemporary calf, covers bordered with triple blind rule, expertly re-backed, raised bands ruled in gilt and red morocco label, a.e.r.

A handsome copy of the fourth edition, corrected and augmented of Joshua Sylvester’s first English translation of Du Bartas’ (1544-1590) principal works, his great ‘La Sepmaine’ on the creation of the world, ‘La Seconde Sepmaine’ on the deeds of the early heroes, ‘Urania’- a poem in praise of poetry which James VI of Scotland personally translated, an epic of the history of Judith and a very extensive collection of diverse poems. In his day Du Bartas’ works were enormously popular; La Croix de Maine recorded thirty six eds. in six years apart from translations into English, Latin, Italian, German and Spanish. Nowhere was the Hugenot Du Bartas more appreciated than England where his religious tone and fanciful style earned the author the epithet ‘divine’ and he was placed an equal of Ariosto. Spenser, Hall and Johnson all speak of Du Bartas in the highest terms and Milton was clearly in his considerable debt. To a great extent this was due to Sylvester whose very free translation (almost a paraphrase) in rhymed decasyllabic couplets was so successful that Southey describes him as the most popular poet of the reign of James I.

To the modern reader a particular point of interest are the numerous references to the New World. The 22 page chapter ‘The Colonies’ mentions Drake, Newfoundland, Columbus, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Patagonia, Magellan, as well as the places’ notable physical features, distinctive animals and plants and most important produce. This is not just a list of names, but descriptive eg. “And Plate’s flat Plains, Where flowers another Nile”. The ‘Index of the hardest words’ (an admirable feature) explains Vespucci as America’s first discoverer, the habits of South American ‘cannibals’ and ‘Americans’ and ‘the French disease’, brought first from the Indies etc. There are also many references and descriptions relating to the East Indies and elsewhere.

STC 21652. Lowndes II 679. Grolier I 244 (3rd edn., which has the same collation but not identical composition). Alden 613/51.

L1951

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RALEIGH, Walter

EXCEEDINGLY RARE FIRST EDITION OF THE EXPLORER’S LAST MERCANTILIST EXPEDITION TO THE AMERICAS

A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, as Well in his Voyage as in, and sihence his Returne

London, Bonham Norton, 1618.

£3,250

FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE. 4to.pp (ii) 63 (i) (lacks initial signed blank). Roman letter, the Royal commission in Italic, woodcut printer’s device (Mckerrow 248) on title, woodcut Royal arms on verso, woodcut initial and headpiece, autograph “Geo. Mair 1838” on pastedown. Title and verso of last a little dusty, blank lower outer corner of title and H3 torn, light yellowing occasional marginal mark. A good, clean, well margined copy in C19th half calf over marbled paper boards.

The exceedingly rare first edition, first issue, of the official apologia for Raleigh’s execution, detailing, just months after the events described, his conduct during his last voyage to America in 1618. It was composed by the commissioners, including Bacon, who tried and condemned Raleigh. After Raleigh failed to locate the source of Spanish treasure he had promised the ever avaricious King James, he captured the island of St. Thomas killing the Spanish governor. On his return Raleigh was tried for this attack, with Bacon as prosecutor. However, because Raleigh was already under sentence of death for his 1603 conviction for supposed treason, he could not be tried for his misdeeds in St. Thomas. James, under pressure from the Spanish Ambassador Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, Count Gondomar, ordered Raleigh executed under the 1603 verdict.

This volume attempts to justify the execution in the face of public indignation. In a letter to a friend, Bacon wrote: “we have put the Declaration touching Raleigh to press, with his Majesty’s additions which were very material and fit to proceed from his Majesty.” In the account of his final moments, Raleigh’s biographer John Shirley notes that as he took his leave of Lord Arundel he “intreated him to desire the King, that no scandalous Writing to defame him might be published after his Death.” Raleigh’s courageous conduct at the scaffold and popular indignation immediately provoked defences by those responsible. The first issue of this work was rushed through the press (resulting in several variants) by the Government, as James attempted to face down the public outcry (According to a letter of Sir Robert Naunton’s [Fortesque papers Camden Soc. ..] ‘in theyr haste, [the printer’s] were faine to watche 2 nights and sett 20 presses aworke at once’. Phorzheimer.)

Bacon began by maintaining it was not the duty of a Sovereign to justify himself to the people, but because of Raleigh’s final speech it was necessary to explain why he deserved execution. The King’s part in Raleigh’s disastrous expedition to Guiana was reconfigured as a magnanimous gesture. He didn’t believe that there was such a ‘City of Gold,’ but because of the popularity of Raleigh and his influence with the people it was deemed necessary to indulge him. The work then publishes the commission given to Raleigh for his Voyage in full, and alleges he betrayed it: “it appeareth plainely, by the whole sequell of his actions, that he went his owne way, and had his owne ends: first, to procure his libertie, and then to make new fortunes for himself, casting abroad onely this tale of the Mine as a lure to get adventurers and followers; having in his eye the Mexico fleete.” Then follows a short account of the voyage and further supposed misdeeds and ends with a detailed account of Raleigh’s return and purported attempts to escape.

A hugely interesting and rare contemporary account of Raleigh’s last voyage to the Americas and its fatal consequences.

STC 20652.5; Pforzheimer 819 (second issue). Sabin 67548. Not in Alden.

L986

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MASTRILLI DURAN, Nicola and RANÇONIER, Jean

LETTERS FROM PARAGUAY BY ONE OF THE PREACHERS CLOSEST TO THE LOCAL PEOPLE

Litterae annuae provinciae Paraquariae Societatis Jesu

Antwerp, Jean van Meurs, 1636.

£4,850

FIRST EDITION. 8vo., pp. 168. Roman letter; few decorated initials; one blank corner of repair to title page, some age browning, occasional lateral underlining in red pencil. A good copy in contemporary vellum, early title inscription on spine and shelfmark on front cover, all edges red; lightly worn joints; front pastedown and endpaper from eighteenth-century Spanish manuscript letter; on title, two nineteen- and twenty-century library stamps and contemporary inscription ‘Del P.re Diacceti Mon…bro’, probably member of the Florentine noble family; early account note on rear end paper verso.

First edition of this remarkable report from the Jesuit missions in Paraguay. Nicola Mastrilli (1568-1653), from Naples, was a prominent churchman of the New World. After joining the Jesuit order, he was sent to Peru, where he changed his surname into Durán and graduated at the University of Lima. He distinguished himself as a zealous preacher, directing in Juli (Bolivia) the first Jesuit mission deeply engaged with the evangelisation of the local population. In 1623, he was elected supervisor of the province of Paraguay and then of the whole Peru. His care for the Indians was all but common among the Spanish establishment and was questioned even by some members of his order.

These letters, addressed to the general of the Society, Muzio Vitelleschi, recorded the fast expansion of Jesuit activities in the southern region of the Spanish Viceroyalty, mainly between 1626 and 1627. They were written on Mastrilli’s behalf by his confrere and collaborator, the Belgian Jean Rançonier. As other contemporary reports from the Americas and the Levant, the letters met immediate success and were translated into French two years later.

Alden, 636/37; Medina, BHA 953; Sabin, 21407; Palau, 77442.

L1966

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JESUIT LETTERS. RAGUENEAU, Paul

THE JESUIT MISSIONS IN CURRENT-DAY CANADA

Relation de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable és missions des Peres de la Compagnie de Iesus, en la Nouuelle France, es annees 1650 & 1651

Paris, Sebastien Cramoisy, et Gabriel Cramoisy, ruë S. Iacques, aux Cicognes, 1652.

£15,950

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. (iv) 146, (ii). π² A-H⁸ I-K⁴ L². Roman letter, some Italic. Cramoisy’s woodcut device on title, woodcut initials and headpieces, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, some light browning and spotting. A very good clean, entirely unsophisticated copy in contemporary limp vellum.

Important and extremely rare first edition of this account by the Jesuit missionary Paul Ragueneau of the mission in Canada, including a highly important description of the mission and travels of Father Buteaux. After having been the subordinate of Jean de Brébeuf and Jérôme Lalemant for eight years, Father Ragueneau became superior of the Huron mission in 1645. We owe to him the “Relations des Hurons” for 1646, 1647, 1648, that of 1649 which recounts the destruction of the mission and the martyrdom of Fathers Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant, and that of 1650 which describes the ardours of the winter spent at Île Saint-Joseph (Christian Island) and the emigration and resettlement of the Hurons under the protection of the fort at Quebec.

This work is of particular importance as it records the state of the missions in New France after the defeat of the mission by the Iroquois nation. The second part is the journal of the travels of Father Buteaux to the Attikamegues. Buteaux was a French-born Jesuit who came to Canada in 1634 and was assigned to Trois-Rivières, where he ministered until his death in 1652. “The annihilation of the Huron missions in 1649 induced the missionary to reply to the pressing invitations extended by the Attikamegues who were established in the upper St. Maurice basin. “In all these regions,” wrote Buteux, “there are many other Tribes, – more than we can baptize, even if we had still forty years to live; and those people have no intercourse with us. It is from them that the Hurons, before their own country was desolated, obtained nearly all their Beavers, – the supply of which, being no longer diverted elsewhere, will now come to our French settlements, if the Iroquois do not disturb our repose.”

On 27 March 1651 Father Buteux, accompanied by two Frenchmen and some 40 Attikamegues, undertook the journey northward. The expedition lasted three months. The travellers reached regions inhabited by tribes who had had no contact with white men. Wishing to go as far as Hudson Bay the following year, Father Buteux had presents sent “to the Captains of some Tribes further to the North.” On 18 June 1651 he was back at Trois-Rivières. During July he set out on a mission in the direction of Tadoussac and Gaspé. At the end of the account of his journey to the source of the St. Maurice, the missionary had expressed his desire to push on further with his evangelizing explorations: “I hope next Spring to make the same journey, and to push still further toward the North Sea, to find there new tribes and entire new Nations wherein the light of the faith has never yet penetrated. Since that journey, the Iroquois have entered that country which seemed almost inaccessible” (Lake Kisagami). In a letter to Father Ragueneau he added: “I would never have thought that they could have found or reached that lake with their canoes. On the journey that I made to these regions, we walked about twenty days on the snow, before coming to it.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography. He died a few months after this account during his following mission journey. His party was attacked by a troop of Iroquois lying in ambush. He was shot and tomahawked.

An excellent copy of an exceptionally rare and important work.

BM STC Fr. C17th p. 269, J213. Sabin 67498 JFB. R13.

K21

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BRESSANI, Francesco Giuseppe

THE JESUIT STORY IN CANADA

Breue relatione d’alcune missioni de’ PP. della Compagnia di Giesù nella Nuoua Francia del P. Francesco Gioseppe Bressani

Macerata, Per gli heredi d’Agostino Grisei, 1653.

£13,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (iv), 8, ff. 9-10, pp. 11-127, (i). π², A⁴, χB² B⁴, (-B1) C-Q⁴. Roman letter, with some Italic. Large woodcut printer’s device on title page, floriated woodcut initials, modern bookplate of J. A. Freilich on pastedown. Age yellowing, light browning and spotting in places. A very good copy entirely unsophisticated in contemporary vellum over thin boards.

Exceptionally rare and important first edition of this work by the Jesuit Bressiani giving the first general description in Italian of the Jesuit missions in Canada among the Huron and Iroquois tribes. “Francesco Giuseppe Bressani published his Breve Relatione in Italian in 1653. It is the only part of the voluminous Jesuit Relations or Relations des Jésuites that is in Italian. It is a factual account of the years Bressani spent in New France as a missionary among the settlers and Native people. At the same time it is a vision of the possibilities of future Italian settlement in the New World. As a result Bressani’s chronicle may be examined as a testament to his religious faith and to his imagination in constructing the image of a martyr.” Joseph J. Pivato.

Bressani was born in Rome in 1612 and in 1626 joined the Society of Jesus. In 1642 Bressani was in Canada where he first worked in the French settlement of Quebec and the following year was sent to Trois Rivières to the Algonquin mission. In April, 1644, on his way west to the Huron missions he was captured by the Iroquois who killed one of his Huron companions and then took Bressani, a French boy, and five other Huron captives south into the territory which is now New York State. They tortured him for two months, before he was ransomed by Dutch settlers at Fort Orange and sent back to France in November, 1644. The following year he was back in Canada working at the Huron Missions until their destruction by Iroquois attacks four years later. In 1649 a war-party of some twelve hundred warriors attacked Huronia. By this time many Iroquois had firearms which they had procured from the Dutch on the Hudson River, the Jesuits were forced to retreat east to the territory of Quebec. Bressani, however, continued to work with the scattered and fugitive Hurons for some months back in the original Quebec settlements. Only his failing health forced him to return to Italy in 1650.

He opens his description with reference to Pope Urban VIII letter of 1638 that forbade the enslavement of Natives in the New World. As subjects of the missions the natives were recognised as human beings with souls that needed to be saved. It is clear that Bressani shared these ideals and enthusiastically followed them in his mission work. The Breve Relatione is organised into three parts. The first presents a very positive image of the missions: Bressani describes the geography and vegetation of Canada, and then deals with the Native people. The second describes the conversion of the Native people and the many difficulties encountered by the Jesuits who arrived to convert them. The third gives us graphic details about the suffering, torture, and martyrdom of the missionaries including the author. Bressani goes into great detail describing the society of the Hurons. He lists their food and feast celebrations, their communal singing and dances, explains marriage practices and compares them to those of the ancient Jews. He points out that in their system of government tribal chiefs are determined by succession by way of the mother’s line. In their system of justice crimes of theft and murder are dealt with through fines and gift giving for reparation. It is clear that he admires these people for their honesty, hospitality, and inherent sense of right and wrong.

He also describes the many obstacles the Jesuits encountered: the harsh climate, river rapids and waterfalls, the dangers of the journeys due to Iroquois attacks, the problems with the different Indian languages, conflict with the Indian medicine men, and the plagues which killed large groups of Natives. In the second part he includes his letter to his superior in which he recounts his capture by the Iroquois, his tortures, forced travels, beatings, starvation, mutilations, and final rescue. The third and final part of the Breve Relatione deals with the sufferings of the missionaries at the hands of the Iroquois in which Bressani gives several accounts of torture and martyrdom, reproduced from other volumes of the Jesuit Relations written in French, including the martyrdom of Father Isaac Jogues, Father Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel. He also recounts the fate of Father Anne de Noue who died of cold when he got lost in the snow.

“In the Italian we can almost hear Bressani’s voice as he argues that their (the Hurons’) intellectual capabilities and skills are as good as those of any bright Europeans. They are capable of learning and knowledge and of showing faith. What we find in the first chapters of Breve Relatione is an image of the noble savage, long before this idea was expressed by Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1778.” Joseph J. Pivato.

An excellent copy of this exceptionally rare work.

Not in BM STC It. C16th. Church 524. Sabin 7734 “very rare” JFB B493.

K20

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BORDONE, Benedetto

FIRST ACCOUNT OF PIZARRO IN PERU

Isolario

Venice, Paolo Manuzio for Federico Torresani, 1547.

£20,000

Folio, ff. (10), 74. Roman letter; title in black and red with printer’s device within elegant floral border with dolphins; few decorated and historiated initials; 120 woodcut maps, of which two full-page, eight double-page, one printed upside-down at f. xliir; tiny minor worm hole to title and first two leaves, a few spots at head of first double-page map, light water stain towards outer margin of one leaf. A very good, well-margined copy in early pasteboard; all edges mottled; two early ms shelf marks to title and price inscription to rear pastedown.

Third, most correct and complete edition of this curious and informative atlas of islands, first published in Venice in 1528. This is the first and only Aldine edition, issued at the expense of Federico Torresani, Aldus’s brother-in-law and younger son of Aldus’s partner Andrea Torresani. Despite not being presented as a product of the main branch of the Aldine press, it retains the accuracy and the typically elegant layout of the familial output. Unusually for Aldine books, it also enriched by numerous illustrations taken directly from the blocks used in the first edition, but appear particularly bright and neat in this copy. It may well be one of the last collaborations between Federico and Aldus’s main heir, Paolo, who remained in touch with his uncle even after the family quarrel and the consequent split of the partnership between the Manuzio and the Torresani about 1540.

Benedetto Bordone (c.1460-1530) was an eclectic Italian artist of the Venetian Renaissance. Born in Padua, he was a skilled miniaturist, editor and cartographer. He is very likely to be the artist behind the exquisite and ground-breaking illustrations of the Aldine Hypnerotomachia. One of his two sons was the famous scholar Giulio Cesare Scaligero, who later made up his surname claiming to be affiliated with the noble Italian family of Della Scala.

His most famous work was the Isolario, accomplished a few year before his death. It consists of a broad illustrated survey of the world’s islands and peninsulas as they were known in the early sixteenth century, including learned mythical and historical remarks, drawn especially from Greek and Roman authorities. The book opens with Bordone’s dedication to his nephew, who had travelled the world on board the Venetian and Spanish fleets, probably acting as a military physician. Isolario is an intriguing mix of pioneering intuition and folkloristic belief. In it, Bordone provides the first printed map of Japan, as an island named ‘Ciampagu’, and the earliest depiction of the globe as an oval (this was later developed by Karl Mollweide into the model familiar to us). The final Copia delle Lettere de Perfetto della India la Nova Spagna detta alla Cesarea Maesta rescritte offers the earliest printed account of Pizzarro’s arrival in Peru and it is not included in the princeps.

Twelve of the illustrations relate to America, including a rather distorted New World with the Northern portion of South America and the North America as a huge island named as ‘Land of the worker,’ probably hinting at the growing slave trading in the area. Alongside the maps of Western Europe, Eastern Mediterranean Sea, British Isles and Sicily, Bordone also drew detailed plans of Venice and some of its lagoon islands, as well as of the lavish capital city of the Aztec empire (Tenochtitlan, modern Mexico City) before Cortez razed it to the ground in 1521. Finally, one can find sketchy depictions of: the Canaries; Madagascar and Zanzibar; Java and Sumatra (as ‘Iava minore’); Ceylon (‘Taprobana’); Cuba, Guadalupe, Jamaica, Venezuela and Brazil; Thailanda, mistakenly thought to be an island called Lochac. Far east, Bordone includes, for the first time in print, two legendary isles, one exclusively inhabited by women (‘Imangla’), the other by men (‘Inebila’).

Not in Brunet or Graesse. BM STC It., 120. Adams, B 2485; Renouard, 141:9; Mortimer It., 82; Harrisse, 221; Phillips 164; Alden, 547/2; Sabin, 6421.

L2033

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BOILEAU DE BOUILLON, Gilles

FINE MAP OF THE AMERICAS

La Sphere des deux mondes, composee en Francois, par Darinel, pasteur des Amadis

Antwerp, Iehan Richard, au Soleil d’Or, 1555.

£18,950

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. ff. (iv) 57 (i.e. 58), (ii) . π⁴ A-M⁴, N4(N2 folding+’N3′), O-P⁴ last blank. Roman and Italic letter. Woodcut printer’s device on title, another on verso of last, woodcut initials, historiated woodcut tailpiece, typographical ornaments, 28 small woodcut illustrations in text, 19 full page maps, one folding. Age yellowing, t-p slightly dusty, two small tears in lower margin just touching imprint with no loss, some marginal soiling in places, the odd ink splash or mark, outer upper corner torn to map of Tunis with minor loss, tiny single worm hole in first four quires. A good copy in modern limp vellum antique, yapp edges remains of ties, spine with morocco label gilt.

A most interesting and unusual cosmography, exceptionally rare and beautifully illustrated with 19 important early maps including a fine world map and the most important Bellère map of the New World. Boileau de Bouillon was savant polymath who had extensive knowledge of various languages, principally French, Flemish, Latin, German and Spanish. He seems to have lived for many years in Liege and Antwerp before joining the service of Charles V with whose forces he travelled to Germany, France, Hungary and Italy. He was named ‘Commissaire et Controleur’ of the town of Cambrai for his services, but fell in disgrace shortly afterwards and had to take refuge in Paris, where he was taken in by Nicolas de Herberay, ‘Seigneur des Essarts’ who was also famous for his translations. He made his living with the pen as a poet and translator, but also with a particular interest in geographies and map-making. Apart from the fine series of maps in this work he published two very important original maps of Burgundy and Belgium.

This work is composed, curiously, of both text and poetry. The maps are not of his creation but are most judiciously chosen as the most up to date and accurate of the period. The 19 woodcut maps include a beautiful cordiform map of the world: “Universalis Cosmographia” and a very rare map of the Americas: Jean Bellère “Peru, brevis exactaque totius Novi Orbis ejusque Insularum descriptio recens a Joan Bellero edita.” This map “was popular during the middle of the sixteenth century and had great influence in showing more accurately the size and shape of the great South American continent” ‘World’. It is a particularly important and influential map, illustrating the south of the US, Central America, the Antilles, Bermuda and the Azores, and South America down to Magellan’s Strait. Apart from ‘Cuzco’ ‘Xaquixaguana’ and ‘Quito’, only coastal towns are covered, although the mountains of the southern USA, the Andes and the river Amazon are shown. Each map is accompanied by a curious cosmographical stanza. This is a particularly rare work and according to American Book Prices Current, no copy sold at auction in the past 35 years.

BM STC Dutch C16th p. 59 (under Darinel.) Alden & Landis 555/4. ‘Contains also the Bellère map of the New World found in edns of Cieza de Leon & Gomara of 1554’. Church 101. Sabin 18576. “A poetical volume of some rarity” see ‘The World Encompassed’ 201. JCB I:185.

K22

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MEXICAN CHURCH

LAWS OF THE EARLY CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CENTRAL AMERICA

Sanctum Provinciale Concilium Mexici.

México, Juan Ruiz, 1622.

£9,500

FIRST EDITION. Folio, ff. (6), 102, (1), 38, (1), missing final blank. Neat Roman letter; title with full-page engraved architectural border (outer edges frayed), secondary title within large woodcut frame, large decorated initials and elaborate hand- and tail-pieces in Spanish colonial style; light mostly marginal foxing to few leaves, light damp stain to lower gutter and foot of last gathering. A very good copy in contemporary limp vellum; a bit stained, reglued long since, spine holed; early shelf mark to front cover; unusual early monogram ‘AE LC OC’ branded on upper and lower edges; small “MM” ink stamps on verso of title and f. 52r; eighteenth-century handwritten monogram [RHPB?] at foot of first five leaves, the same hand annotating in Spanish in margins of gathering Hh and Kk; earlier extensive marginal annotations in Latin on first two leaves.

Extremely rare first edition of the decrees issued by the third Mexican Council of 1585 and approved by the papacy four years later. Gathered by the Viceroy and Archbishop Pedro Moya de Contreras, this highly influential assembly brought the decrees of the Council of Trent into the religious and social life of the New World, drawing up a legislation in use until the early twentieth century. Bishops attending the Council focused mainly on doctrine, the internal organization of the Mexican province, missionary activities and the rights of local people.

Their decisions were first recorded in Spanish and later translated into Latin, so as to be confirmed by the pope. Yet, the Roman cardinals’ committee in charge of approval rewrote a large part of the decrees, strictly sticking to those of the Tridentine Council. As a result, the final official text came out only in 1622. The printed marginalia of the volume refers constantly to the sources of the Mexican decrees. Along with canon law and papal bulls, they comprise the deliberations of the Council of Trent, of the five Synods held in Milan under Carlo Borromeo, as well as assemblies of the American and Spanish Church in Lima, Quiroga, Guadix and Granada. The final part of the book, and perhaps the most important, is devoted to the statutes of the recently-established Mexican Church.

The beautiful engraving of the title shows the personification of Faith and Church in a classical architectural frame. It is signed at the bottom by the Dutch artist Samuel Stradanus. Stradanus worked in New Spain from about 1604. His most prominent patron was the promoter of this belated first edition, Archbishop Juan Pérez de la Serna (1573-1627), whose arms appear at the head of the title.

Graesse, II, 245; Medina, México 343; Palau, 293978; Sabin, 48373. Not in JFB or Alden.

L1925

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ACOSTA, José de

AN ENLIGHTENED DESCRIPTION OF SOUTH AMERICAN NATIVE SOCIETIES

De natura novi orbis … et de promulgatione Evangelii apud babaros.

Cologne, officina Birckmannica, 1596.

£2,750

8vo., pp. (16), 581, (3). Roman letter, little italic. Jesuit device on title; slightly yellowed, occasional oil mark in margins; tiny burn mark affecting one letter on p. 1 and 373; few unprinted words completed in contemporary manuscript and later pencil at bottom of pp. 126 and 274. A good copy, in an early seventeenth-century English brown calf, blind-tooled plain style, probably Cambridge, multiple ruled borders with saw tooth edge, double fillet, central undecorated frame with fleurons at corners; a bit scratched and worn; rebacked, spine part remounted, all edges red; pastedowns from an early Roman letter edition of the King James Bible (2nd Maccabees, III, 1-21 and III, 25-40; IV, 1-2).

Third unaugmented edition of these pioneering treatises on the geography, anthropology and evangelisation of South America, previously published in Salamanca in 1588/ 1589 and 1595. José de Acosta (1540 – 1600) was among the first Jesuit missionaries to embark for the Spanish New World. He spent much of his life in Peru. The main settlement of the order was at that time in the village of Juli, on Lake Titicaca. Here, a college was set up to study the languages of the natives, while the newly-funded Jesuit printing press issued the first printed book of the Americas in 1577. Later, Acosta moved to Lima and taught theology at the university.

In the Third Council of Lima (1582 – 1583) reorganising the American church, Acosta took a very active part and became its official historian. Following an adventurous journey through Mexico, in 1587 he head back to Spain, where he was appointed head of the Jesuit college in Valladolid and later Salamanca. A prolific writer, he is mostly famous for his very successful Historia natural y moral de las Indias. This knowledgeable, realistic and detailed description of the New World was sought after and soon translated into Italian, French, German, Dutch and English. The Natura novi orbis opening this edition represents the early draft of the Historia. In it, Acosta provided the first account of altitude sickness, which affected him while crossing the Andes. He also divided the Amerindians into three categories, acknowledging the Incas and Aztecs as fairly advanced societies in the civilisation process.

The second part comprises a very innovative essay on evangelisation. Acosta struggles to demonstrate to his contemporaries that Amerindians were part of the original God’s plan for mankind and thus were not inferior creatures undeserved of being Christianised and saved. In grounding his argument, the idea that the first inhabitants of America migrated from the biblical world (specifically from Asia), played a crucial role. Indeed, he was the first writer to postulate the existence of a land bridge at the northern or southern extremities of the two continents, long before the discovery of the Bering Strait. In his missionary zeal, Acosta was much concerned with the preparation and morality of priests, who he encouraged to study the aboriginal languages as an essential part of their duties.

‘One of the earliest writers who have treated philosophically of America and its production.’ J. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Related to America, I, p. 17.

BM STC Ger., p. 2; Adams, A 124; Brunet, I, 41; Graesse, I, 15; Leclerc, 4; Palau y Dulcet, I, 1979; Sabin, I, 120. Not in JFB nor in Alden.

L1787

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GYSIUS, Johannes and LAS CASAS, Bartolomé

THE CRUELTIES COMMITTED BY AN EMPIRE

Le miroir de la cruelle, & horrible tyrannie espagnole perpetree au Pays Bas, par le tyran duc de Albe, & aultres co[m]mandeurs de par le roy Philippe le deuxiesme: on a adjoinct la deuxiesme partie de les tyrannies commises aux Indes occidentales par les Espagnols.

Amsterdam, Ian Evertss. Cloppenburg, 1620.

£4,850

FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. Two parts in one volume. ff. (iv), 87 (i.e. 88); ff. 68, (:)4 A-Y4 ; A-R4. Roman letter. Both titles with fine historiated engraved borders signed DVB [David Vinckeboons] in[cidit], DEL [Dirck Eversen Lons] fe[cit], scenes of torture and executions at corners, Philip above the Archdukes of the Netherlands at sides 37 half page engravings in text, floriated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, occasional minor marginal water stain or spot, a little ink offsetting from the engravings, very outer upper corner of first title with small repair, first title page just trimmed to plate mark. A very good copy with good impression of the engravings, in slightly later speckled calf, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine with raised bands gilt ruled in compartments central fleurons gilt, expertly re-backed with original spine laid down, corners restored, all edges gilt.

First edition of the of these two important works published in the Netherlands in 1620, containing French translations of two earlier works detailing Spanish crimes and atrocities in both Europe and the New World. The first part is an abridged version of ‘Oorsprong en voortgang der Nederlandtscher beroerten’ (Origin and progress of the disturbances in the Netherlands) by Johannes Gysius (died 1652), first published anonymously in 1616. The second part is a translation of Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A short account of the destruction of the Indies), written by Bartolomé de las Casas (1474 – 1566) in 1542 and first published in 1552.

These histories were published together under a new title by Jan Evertszoon Cloppenburch (1571 – 1648), an Amsterdam bookbinder and publisher of Bibles and patriotic and religious books and tracts associated with the Dutch Reformed Church. Gysius was a minister, whose book is a history of the Dutch revolt against Spain in 1555 – 98, containing accounts of such events as the sieges of Haarlem, Leiden, and other cities and the execution by the Spanish of Count Egmont in Brussels in 1568. “Las Casas was reprinted in 1620 and 1630. The first of these editions appeared in Amsterdam without any prefatory matter, not even the author’s, relying largely on copperplates to tell a pictorial story of torture and cruelty on the title page and throughout the text.

The publisher, Jan Evertz Cloppenburg, presented a typology of Spanish cruelty. He included two title pages set up in identical ways with the same pictures. The first was on the Low countries and the second was about the New World and preceded Las Casas’ account. The first title page included writing surrounded by pictures of men, women and children being tortured. Philip of Spain presided at the top and centre above the title, his vassals “Don Jan” and the “Duke of Alva” are shown facing the title: the Spanish cruelty in the Netherlands was mirroring that in the New World. This symbolic correspondence was a central typology of the Old World and New. Cloppenburg was asking the readers to see the Old World through the New.

Here the publisher says that the Spaniards brought war and tyranny to the Low countries under the same religious pretext that they used to tyrannise the Natives in the New World a hundred years before. The heretics and the Lutherans in the Netherlands had taken the place of the pagans an Idolaters of the New World. In some of the engravings in Cloppenburg’s edition, the inhabitants of the Netherlands are naked like the Natives. The translation, which is from the Dutch, sometimes elaborates beyond Las Casas’ original to make the Spaniards seem even crueler. The engravings of the Flemish artist Theodore de Bry, which had been in the Frankfurt Latin edition of Las Casas in 1598, constituted part of this edition, where they reinforced visually the worst atrocities in the text.” Jonathan Hart ‘Literature, Theory, History.’ A good copy of this important reinterpretation of both works.

Simoni BM STC Low Countries 1601-1621 p. 255 G197. Alden 620/37 and 620/74; Sabin 11270. Palau 172663, 46962.

L1795

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