LE FLUX DISSENTERIQUE
BANKERS ON THE RUN(S)
Le flux dissenterique des bourses financieres, ou, La dissenterie des financiers : ensemble le Salué regine desdits financiers à la royne mere [and] Responsorium au Salve Regina des financiers[Paris?] np., npr., 1624 [and] Paris [npr., n.d. 1624?]
FIRST EDITIONS. 8vo. Two works. 8vo. 1) pp 16. A-B8. 2) pp. 8. A4. Roman and Italic letter. Light age yellowing, title of first a little dusty. Both works mounted as pamphlets within larger sheets of paper.
Exceptionally rare and interesting polemical pamphlets concerning financiers, one in the form a allegorical medical satire, and the other a direct response to a previous pamphlet issued on behalf on financiers calling for help from the Queen after they had incurred heavy losses to their investments. The financiers plight was also closely linked to the extraordinary struggle for power taking place in France that culminated in Cardinal Richelieu becoming de facto ruler of France. Richelieu had supported the Marquis de la Vieuville to a place on the council and obtained a position for him as ‘Surintendent des Finances’. De Vieuville had the support of the major financiers of France, and headed “the first government of the financial plutocracy in the History of France”.A. D. Lublinskaya ‘French Absolutism: The Crucial Phase, 1620-1629’. His position on the council lasted less that a year, Richelieu joining the council himself in April 1624, within three months ousteding La Vieuville, and taking the role as head of the council in August. It is possible that these pamphlets were also written as part of a propaganda campaign against the financiers organised by Richelieu.
The first work takes the form of an allegorical medical satire in which the Financiers, suffering from terrible indigestion having gorged themselves excessively, find a cure thanks to the intervention of the “grand Operateur’, the reparation of the abuses they have committed, and the intercession of “Marie” (the Queen Mother) to whom they address a Salve Regina. “Apres avoir mangé tant de raisins & de figues durnat les vendanges dernieres que la dissenterie si est mise á la malheure, ce ne sont pas figues d’Esope, mais bien d’autres en plus grande quantité dont la fieuvre leas en a pris , d’une tel facon que la pluspart avec de grans efforts vomissent les grappes de raisin & les figues encore toutes entieres”. The pamphlet goes on to state that the cure for such an illness does not require much medical intervention, simply the adoption of a reasonable and healthy diet, that does not over abuse. The work ends with a the poem “La prierre ou Salve Regine des Financiers” in which the financiers admit their fault and demand pardon for their crimes, that merit either hanging or imprisonment, but hope for clemency from the Queen.
The second work is a direct rebuttal of the clemency and bailout demanded by the financiers in the “Salve Regina” stating that that financiers themselves showed no mercy for the orphans, widows and the people of France that they bled dry. In it an adversary of Tax collectors declares “Vous demandez qu’on aye compassion de vos misseres, & des calamitez qui vous pendent sur le Chef: Et que seront donc les clameurs de tant de pauvres Orphelins, desquels vous avez succé la substance? A quoy les plainctes de tant de Veufues que vous avez rongez iusques aux os? & les cris de tout le peuple qui gemit soubs le faix pesant de vos extorsions & pilleries? Non, non n’esperez aucune misericorde du Roy, ny de la Reyne Mere; il ne vous peut pardonner sans faire une injustice à toute la France, qui veut voir le fonds de vos bourses, puis que vous avez voulu voir le fonds de ses coffres”.
Both these pamphlets are exceptionally rare. We have found only one copy of the second at the BNF and two of the first at Newberry and Yale. Most interesting and most topical works.1) Lindsay & Neu. French political pamphlets, 5104. Alain Mercier. ‘La littérature facétieuse sous Louis XIII: 1610-1643 : une blibiographie.’ 298 2) Alain Mercier. ‘La littérature facétieuse sous Louis XIII: 1610-1643 : une blibiographie.’ 298