ROUSSEAU, Rémi. Les ruses et cautelles de guerre.

Paris, Jean Petit, [1514]


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. 64 unnumbered leaves. A-H⁸. Lettre Bâtarde. Petit’s charming large woodcut device on title with white on black criblé initial above, small woodcut initials, ‘Victoris Carpentaris’ in red ink in a contemporary hand at head of title, bookplate of Henry Benjamin Hanbury Beaufoy (1786-1851), F.R.S., on pastedown. Light age yellowing, occasional minor marginal spotting, title-page a little dusty with closed tear restored on verso without loss, G6 with old repair at upper corner just touching a letter. A very good copy, in fine nineteenth century diced olive morocco, covers bordered with a single gilt rule, spine triple gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt with small tools, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g., extremities fractionally rubbed.

Very rare first edition of this interesting translation into French by Remi Rousseau and Emery de Saint-Rose of extracts from classical military texts focusing particularly on tactics or strategy, inspired by the work of Frontinus. The citations are usually given in the printed marginalia and include Vegetius, Livy, Sallust, Caesar, Lucan and Eutropius. It was reprinted in 1521. “Remy Rousseau n’est guerre que l’éditeur de ce livre. Il se nomme en tête de son épître dédicatoire au duc de bourbon, en date du xxiiii de novembre 1514, et oû il dit qu’il a fait usage de la traduction de Frontin par Emery de Saincte Rose. Le surplus de l’ouvrage est extrait de différents auteurs.” Brunet.
The first chapter is a translation of part of Frontinus’ Strategemata itself a collection of examples of military stratagems from Greek and Roman history, ostensibly for the use of generals. Frontinus is assumed to have written Strategemata towards the end of the first century AD, possibly in connection with a lost work on military theory. Frontinus had a distinguished military career and in his Stratagems he draws partly on his own experience as a general in Germany under Domitian, however he gives many examples that suggest that he also drew on literary sources. Rousseau follows his example in translating further extracts from the classics in the remaining chapters each with a particular theme. Thus the fifth chapter entitled ‘De esmouvoir le cueur de ses gens et les enhardir en bataille’ where he gives examples of how this was achieved in history. The final part deals with examples of how to prevent sedition and desertion from your own troops.
From the extraordinary library of Henry Benjamin Hanbury Beaufoy F.R.S., F.L.S. “was the eldest son of Mark Beaufoy the astronomer .. the owner of a vinegar distillery, Member of Parliament for Hackney Wick, and founder of four scholarships at Cambridge. .. He died on 12 July 1851, in his 66th year. His library contained some 25,000 volumes part of which (2033 lots) was sold at auction by Christie’s of London in June 7-10, 15-17, 1909., and a further portion (644 lots) by Puttick and Simpson, London, 13-14 May 1912. Beaufoy’s copies of the first four folios of Shakespeare were auctioned separately by Christies 16 July 1912. His collection of London traders, tavern, and coffee-house tokens was donated to the Corporation of London” Toronto, ‘British armorial bindings’. He was elected FRS for his experiments on the rifling of gun barrels, and was a pioneering balloonist.

USTC 26293. BP16 102623. Brunet II 336. Moreau. vol. 2 no. 962.
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