All the vvorkes of Iohn Taylor the water-poet.

London, J. B[eale, Elizabeth Allde, Bernard Allsop, Thomas Fawcet] for James Boler 1630.


FIRST EDITION thus folio pp. [xiv] 148 [ii] 1-93, 92-200, 225-343, [i] 1-14, 13-146 (lacking initial blank), [A-N⁶, O², 2A-2Q⁶, 2R⁴, 2S², 3A-3K⁶; ²3A-3L⁶, ²3M⁸.] Roman and italic letter, double column. Floriated and grotesque woodcut initials, large grotesque tail-pieces, woodcut and typographical head-pieces and text decorations, 25 column-width woodcut portraits of monarchs, William I to Charles I, 155 small woodcut heads of British rulers, two woodcut text illustrations, two t-p’s; the first engraved “by Thomas Cockson, architectural, surrounded by nautical instruments, vignette at top showing Taylor entertaining a passenger, another, below, containing his portrait; inscription on title reading roughly as the title to the imprint; reproduced Johnson” (Pforzheimer), the second t-p with woodcut compartment above (McKerrow and Ferguson 229) and headpiece at bottom (Plomer 49), “Ex Dono Authoris” in contemporary hand at foot of engraved additional title, engraved bookplate of the Inglis family with motto “Recte faciendo securus” cut to margins and laid down on front pastedown. Light age-yellowing, very minor occasional spotting and light stain, small tear restored to lower outer corner and fore-edge of Oo1 affecting a few letters recto and verso, fore-edge of Gg3-6 remargined, just touching a woodcut, engraved title restored at gutter. A good copy, in attractive early 19th century straight-grained red morocco, covers with wide blind interlacing scroll in a geometric design, spine with blind worked raised double bands, gilt lettered and numbered in two compartments, blind stamped fleurons to remaining, edges gilt hatched at corners, turn ins gilt ruled, a.e.g. spine a little faded, light rubbing to extremities.

First collected edition of Taylor’s works, containing pieces previously unpublished, a presentation copy form the author. Taylor was a self-made celebrity of early Stuart London, ex-navy, he was a collector of wine dues from Thames cargo before his dismissal for refusing to buy his position (here described in ‘Taylor’s Farewell, to the Tower Bottles’). He turned to versifying, producing heavily subscribed pamphlets and attracting great patrons: Thomas Dekker provides a commendatory poem and Ben Jonson was friendly. In 1616 he was commissioned to produce the water festival for Princess Elisabeth’s marriage to the Elector Palatine, and for this was rewarded with a trip to Bohemia (all described with commendatory verses). Taylor enjoys talk of foreign parts: there are references to Virginia and Powhatan, and satires are made on the Persian, Bermudan and native American languages (the latter a praise for tobacco consisting of coughing and spluttering noises). Serious accounts from interviews are offered of sea battles against the Spaniards, Turks and Portuguese, in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, in 1616 and 1624, as well as an imaginary audience between ‘The Great Mogoll of Agra’ and Taylor’s enemy the poet Thomas Coryate. Taylor’s literary satires stretch to Shakespeare (“If we offend, it is with our good will, we came with no intent, but to offend, and show our simple skill”, cf. Bottom’s speech in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’). He also carried out and described water-related stunts, e.g. sailing from London in a paper-boat (and of course sinking).

“John Taylor chronicled his adventurous life and passed judgement on his age in a stream of shrewd and witty pamphlets, poems, and essays. His writings allow us to piece together the world of a London waterman over the space of forty years, from the reign of James I to the aftermath of the civil war. His ready wit, restless ambition, and bonhomie soon made him a well-known figure in the Jacobean literary world and at the royal court. Claiming the fictitious office of ‘the King’s Water-Poet’, he fashioned a way of life that straddled the elite and popular worlds. Taylor published his thoughts—always trenchant—on everything from politics to needlework, from poetry to inland navigation, from religion and social criticism to bawdy jests. He was a more complex and contradictory figure than is often assumed: both hedonist and moralist, a cavalier and staunch Anglican with a puritanical taste for sermons and for armed struggle against the popish antichrist.”  Bernard Capp ‘The World of John Taylor the Water-Poet 1578–1653.’

ESTC S117734. STC 23725. Alden 630/178. Pforzheimer 1006 “Not all the pieces here included have survived in earlier separate form. Neither are all of Taylor’s works issued prior to this date of collection contained in it. The selection is, nevertheless, a comprehensive one and copies in sound, clean condition … are uncommon”. Lowndes VII 2587 “This volume contains many pieces of which no separate editions are known to be extant”. Grolier ‘Wither to Prior’ 862.


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Rome, ex typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, 1637.


4to. pp. (xx) 231 (i). Roman letter, occasional Italic and Greek. Engraved arms of Maffeo Barberini to t-p; two engraved headpieces (David playing the harp and another surrounded by a floral branch with bees); four engraved tailpieces (two with sun surrounded by wreath with bees, two with rising sun and motto ‘ALIVSQ ET IDEM’); decorated woodcut initials and tailpieces. Light browning to outer margin of t-p and last, slight foxing, small faint water stain to upper margin of first few ll., very light browning to a few ll., wear to a couple of letters on one leaf. A very good, crisp, well-margined copy in contemporary Roman olive morocco, gilt to a triple-ruled panel design, small gilt rosettes to corners, outer border with gilt rhombus-shaped arabesques including small fleurons and central oval with a vertical row of small fleurons, centre panel with large gilt fleurons to each corner, edges sprinkled red.
Spine in five compartments, gilt triple-ruled border and large gilt fleuron to each, minor rubbing at head, foot and joints. Bookplates of William O’Brien to front pastedown and Milltown Park S.J. Library to fly, ‘C’ and Milltown Park stamp to t-p, the odd early annotation.

The beautifully gilt binding appears to borrow, with plainer intentions, the design and rhombus-shaped decorations on BL C108h12, produced c.1630s by the Rospigliosi bindery (i.e., Gregorio and Giovanni Andreoli) in Rome. Very good, crisp copy, in fine impression, of Maffeo Barberini’s ‘Poemata’. Born in Florence, Barberini (1568-1644) was educated by the Society of Jesus in Rome and earned a doctorate in law at Pisa. Thanks to his uncle, Pope Clement VIII, he was appointed papal legate at the French court. In 1623, he was elected Pope with the name of Urban VIII; during his pontificate, Galileo was called to Rome to disown his cosmological theories. A great patron of scholars and artists like Athanasius Kircher and Claude Lorraine, Barberini was himself a talented poet. First printed in Venice in 1628, ‘Poemata’ gathers his most important compositions in Latin and Greek, from biblical paraphrases to reflections on virtues and vices, poems addressed to scholarly friends and relatives, odes to saints and even musings elicited by the sight of beautiful statues. The collection blends the versatile erudition of late humanism, the jovial nature of ‘alba amicorum’ and the darker undertones of international politics. Three poems are devoted to the seminal studies on the ‘marvels’ of the animal and botanical world written by Ulisse Aldrovandi, ‘guardian of Nature’. Another celebrates the saintly death of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, beheaded in 1587; the darkness which has covered the earth is lit up not by the burning torches at her funeral but by the stars in the heavens. ‘De sole et ape’ provides a key to the typographical iconography of the volume, decorated with shining suns and the bees of the Barberini. The explanation of the emblematic motifs is that bees’ wax can survive the heat of fire, be used to make torches and, like the sun, can chase darkness away. This edition—the second to be printed by the ‘Typographia Camerae Apostolicae’ which had retained the privilege since 1631—was advertised as revised and re-set with new and more elegant types.

Only Harvard and BYU copies recorded in the US.BL STC It. C17, p. 927. Not in Brunet.


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Diacosio-martyrion. id est ducentorum virorum testimonium, de veritate corporis, et sanguinis Christi, in eucharistia,

Londin, in aedibus Roberti Cali, typographi, mense Decembri. Anno 1553.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. [vii], 75, 78-102, 101-102, [ii]. A⁴, B², B⁴, C-O⁸, P⁴. variant with imprint reading “Typographus” and “Decembris”. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Historiated and floriated woodcut initials, bookplate of Milltown Park with William O’Brien’s ex legato label below, some early underlining in ink. Light age yellowing, title very slightly dusty, minor water-stain in upper margin of a few leaves, orange endleaves a bit soiled. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in fine English early C19th straight grained dark blue morocco rather in the style of Charles Smith, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, stopped at corners with blind fleurons, elaborate gilt corner-pieces, linked with gilt rules and gauges, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, title and date gilt lettered direct, large blind fleurons to compartments, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g. fractionally rubbed at extremities.

Exceptionally rare first edition of this Catholic work by the bishop John White, written against Peter Martyr. It is made up of over two hundred poems, a lengthy sequel of episodes illustrating eucharistic history, remarkable for including many humanists such as Thomas More, John Fisher and Erasmus; it also includes Luther and Melanchton. White had intended to have the book printed in Louvian three years before it was eventually published, but his arrest caused the publication to be halted until the accession of Mary to the throne. “On the back (of the title) ‘Tyogaphus Lectori’ wherin we learn that the copy above three years before had been sent to Louvain to be printed, but on the knowledge thereof the author was committed to prison. The dedication in verse designed for it then is retained, being addressed ‘Ad Serenissim Illustrissim que principen Mariam, Edourdi sexti Angliae &c. sororem’. Ames.

“John White, headmaster of Winchester College and later Bishop of Winchester, dedicated one of the first books that Mary received as Queen. Dated December 1553 and printed by Robert Caly, ‘Diacosio-martyrion.’ .. is a tract in which White challenged Peter Martyr’s idea that there was no real presence in the eucharist. Both the dedication and the body of the text are in Latin. The dedication is brief, but what is interesting about it is, like the dedications to Mary when she was a princess, it mentions one of her male relatives. White called her sister to Edward VI. This is interesting because White’s book defended the real presence of Christ, a Catholic and Lutheran idea, which the Edwardian church rejected. White had nothing to gain by making the connection, but probably did so just to establish Mary within the line of Kings of England. White may also have been trying to remind Mary of his loyal service to the crown, as he had previously written verses supporting royal supremacy. Mary must have been satisfied with the dedication because on March 18, 1554, John White was absolved of his sins (he was excommunicated in 1551 by archdeacon John Philpot for being too conservative) and on April 1, 1554 was made Bishop of Lincoln.” Valerie Schutte. Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power, and Persuasion.

A rare work.

ESTC S102753. STC 25388. Ames 2669


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CATULLUS, Gaius Valerius, TIBULLUS, Albius, PROPERTIUS, Sextus


Catullus. Tibullus. Propertius.

Venice, in aedibus Aldo Manuzio, 1502.


8vo. Three works in one, first issue with ‘Propetius’ uncorrected on t-p, replacement t-p, corrected, at rear. 44 unnumbered ll., A-F8 F4 + 36 unnumbered ll., A-D8 E4 + 72 unnumbered ll., a-i8. Italic letter, occasional Roman. Very occasional slight foxing, very faint water stain to upper outer corner of first few gatherings, t-p a little bit dusty, autograph show through from t-p to verso. A very good, crisp, well-margined copy in French calf c.1700, marbled paper pastedowns, triple-ruled border gilt, gilt rosettes to each corner, gilt armorial (Lambert de Thorigny) centrepiece, gilt inner dentelles, spine richly gilt, edges speckled red, joints rubbed. Printed label ‘Bibliotheca Lamoniana Y’ and in ink ‘125’, autograph ‘F. Wulff Lund, 5 Mars 1895 17 francs’ on front pastedown, early price ‘£1-5s’ and shelfmarks ‘3’, ‘M’, ‘129’ and ‘132’ to fep, autograph of Robert Dalrymple 1746, another faded beneath, stamp of coroneted ‘L’ [Lamoignon] to t-p, early inscription ‘25ii’ (binding cost?) to rear ep.

The attractive, gilt armorial binding was produced c. 1700 for Nicolas Lambert, seigneur of Thorigny and Vermont.

Very good, crisp copy of this Aldine first edition, edited by Hieronymo Avantio, of the immortal poems of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius—the three most important elegiac authors of the late Roman republic and early imperial era. First printed by Wendelin of Speyer in Venice in 1472, Catullus, Propertius and Tibullus’s poems revealed a new poetic feeling rejecting the heroic character of the epic tradition in favour of a more familiar tone and intimate subjects like love, erotic desire, rejection and mourning. Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54BC) spent most of his life in Rome where he was acquainted with important authors and politicians. His most famous ‘carmina’, 116 of which are extant, include verse on his love and desire for ‘Lesbia’, and lampoons against public figures like Julius Caesar. Albius Tibullus (55-19BC) was part of the circle of the Roman orator and politician Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. His verse survives in four books, only the first two of which are of safe attribution, and is mostly devoted to his intense and star-crossed love for the married ‘Delia’. Sextus Propertius (c.50-15BC) enjoyed the protection of Maecenas and Augustus and is most famous for his four books of poems, many written for his beloved ‘Cynthia’. This ‘elegiac collection’ format was successfully republished in Europe throughout the century; in the 1590s, several editions appeared in which the texts were ‘castigati’ and ‘expurgati’ of their most obvious sexual references.

This copy was once part of the Bibliotheca Lamoniana. First acquired by Guillaume de Lamoignon in 1650, the library was augmented from 2500 to over 6000 volumes in the following century, especially by Chrétien François II de Lamoignon. Upon his death in 1789, it was sold to the English bookseller Thomas Payne.

Nicolas Lambert (1659-1729) de Thorigny and Vermont was a French politician and bibliophile. Like several members of the Lamoignon family, he held office as a Parliamentary councillor and then president of one of the chambers.

Robert Dalrymple (also Hamilton) (b. 1716) was probably the third son of Sir Robert of Castleton (d. 1734) and grandson of Sir Hew Dalrymple, 1st Baronet of North Berwick.

Fredrik Wulff (1845-1930) was professor of philology at Lund. 

USTC 821181; BM STC It. p. 160; Renouard 39:16; Brunet I, 1677: ‘Édition dont les beaux exemplaires sont rares et recherchés’; Dibdin I, 374.


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SANDYS, George


A paraphrase upon the divine poems.

London, [Printed by John Legatt, sold] at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-yard [i.e. the shop of Andrew Hebb], 1638.


FIRST EDITION thus Folio pp. [xxii], 55, [xiii], 171, [i], 15, [iii], 33, [i]. Variant 2 “‘A paraphrase upon the Lamentations of Ieremiah’ has separate pagination, and divisional title on 3A1r. Variant 2: with the latter divisional title cancelled.” ESTC. Divisional title here from another edition mounted in place of the cancel. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device on first title, woodcut musical notation in text. Very light age yellowing, rare marginal spot or mark. A fine, large paper copy, crisp and clean, in excellent contemporary English calf over boards, covers double blind and single gilt ruled to a panel design, large fleurons gilt to outer corners, fine large olive branch wreath gilt to centres, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt lettered red morocco label, remains of ties. a.e.r., covers a little scratched, upper joint repaired, extremities a little rubbed.

A beautiful, large paper copy of the enlarged second edition of this important work of poetry by Sandys, that first appeared in 1636, but without Lawes’ music, and several other parts.

“Sandys turned to versifying the Book of Psalms in the early 1630s probably shortly after the publication of the great 1632 edition of the Ovid. His full psalter was first published in 1636; in 1638 a considerably expanded edition appeared, adding paraphrases of the Book of Job and the other ‘poetical’ parts of the Bible, as well as musical settings by Henry Lawes. This edition was a considerable event in the annals of Caroline poetry, carrying tributes to Sandys from brother-poets Thomas Carew, Edmund Waller, Henry King, and Sidney Godolphin, among others, as well as musical settings of the psalms by Henry Lawes, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. It is a complex and fascinating work; in many ways it is the most important example we have of a ’Laudian’ style in English religious poetry, but it also includes covert criticisms of the powerful prelate and the ecclesiastical polices of the Caroline government. … When Sandys was preparing his Psalter, the Church of England was going through a period of drastic upheaval. Charles I and Laud, working as a team were engaged in an active program of Church reform .. The most immediately obvious feature of the Laudian changes was a new emphasis on visual splendour .. The Laudian pursuit of ‘the beauty of holiness’ was no shallow aestheticism, but a vital part of a coherent theological system. Sandy’s Psalms revel in the freedom which this new religious style encouraged. The magnificence of Old Testament worship was used as a justification for this new, and -to the iconophobic puritan – deeply shocking policy, and the sensuous appeal of the Old Testament temples is repeatedly emphasized in Sandys psalms… Sandys’s version contrasts sharply with the more conventionally Protestant values enshrined in Sir Philp Sidney’s version ..Nothing like this had been done to the holy text in Englsih before Sandys: the Protestant versions of Sir Philip Sidney or George Wither are spartan by comparison.” James Ellison. ‘George Sandys: Travel, Colonialism, and Tolerance in the Seventeenth Century’.

Sandys was also deeply interested in America. He was one of the undertakers named in the third charter of the Virginia company and later treasurer and member of its Council. His celebrated translation of Ovid was actually completed in America. A beautiful large paper copy of this important work of English poetry.

STC 212725. ESTC S116693. Pforzheimer 852. “The divisional title to the Lamentations of Ieremiah appears to be cancelled in all other recorded copies except the large paper presentation copy in the Huntington Library.” Lowndes 2189. Not in Grolier.


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PULCI, Luigi

S’ensuit l’histoire de Morgant le geant.

Paris, Alain Lotrian, [c. 1536]


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. ff [clx]. ā4, a-­z4, cum4, rum4, A-­O4. Lettre Bâtarde. Title in red and black with three­ quarter page woodcut of a tournament and large floriated white on black criblé initial, 14 woodcuts in text of various sizes, full­-page on verso of title, woodcut floriated and grotesque white on black criblé initials in two or four lines, early shelf­marks on verso of front flyleaf, French ownership inscription on rear pastedown ‘Ce presendte libre appartin a moy Jhan Jaques demourant a annecy 1548. 2 Julliett’ small ink stamp ‘bibliotheca’ on verso of title. Light age yellowing, pale water­ stain on a few leaves, the rare mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean in contemporary vellum wallet binding, recased, tie preserved, inked title to upper cover in an early hand, some stains to covers, repairs to head and tail of spine.

Rare, very charmingly illustrated, early edition of the French translation of the Morgante, a narrative account of the adventures of Orlando and the giant Morgante by Luigi Pulci in the form of a chivalric and ‘carnivalesque’ poem, composed in its final version of 28 cantos in octava rima, first published in Italian in 1478 in 23 cantos. Pulci returned to his poem, and the last five cantos appeared in 1483, including the narrative of the ‘Rotta di Roncisvalle’. The work met with great success and was translated into French prose in 1517 and published at Paris in 1519. The present edition (dated to about 1536) contains three added chapters, chapter 1, and after the end of the narrative, chapters 134 and 135. These added parts constitute a historical framework, relating to Charlemagne, added either by the translator or possibly the printers. The translator is anonymous but indicates the date of completion of his work at the end of the story: August 31, 1517. His work was more an adaptation of the comic narrative of the adventures of Morgan, Roland and Renaud in the time of Charlemagne than a direct translation (see Montorsi, 2011), suppressing for example the episode of Morgant and Margutte, the incredulous demi-giant (a passage judged undoubtedly too heterodox, whereas in Italy it was often reprinted separately). The prologue and the epilogue that he adds to the Italian narrative is made up of histories drawn from the legendary life of Charlemagne presented in quasi-narrative form without mentioning the Italian source. The name of Pulci does not appear on the title page either. The translation, which transposes the hendecasyllabic octaves of the twenty-eight songs into prose and divides the text into chapters, was a great success in France, with eleven editions in the sixteenth century and three in the seventeenth century.

“After enjoying considerable renown in the literary circles of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Morgante, almost totally forgotten in the following century, was harshly criticized by the men of letters of the eighteenth, who considered it to be an inferior burlesque poem, and accused its author of an immoderate lack of respect for religion. Pulci’s masterpiece was well known outside Italy long before the end of the eighteenth century. The florentine poet’s work is credited, in fact, with having influenced Rabelais and Goethe, as well as several English writers. In the introduction to his verse translation of canto I of Morgante ..Lord Byron not only states that Morgante ‘divides with Orlando Innamorato the honour of having informed and suggested the style of Ariosto’ but also recognises Pulci as the ‘founder’ of the new style of Poetry which was flourishing in England in his time.” Edoardo Lebano. Introduction ‘Morgante: The Epic Adventures of Orlando and His Giant Friend Morgante’.

Brunet. 974 ‘Cette edition est imprimée a longues lignes’ Not in BM STC Fr. C16th, Mortimer or Fairfax Murray.


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LE FLUX DISSENTERIQUE des bourses financieres, ou, La dissenterie des financiers : ensemble le Salué regine desdits financiers à la royne mere.

[Paris?] np., npr., 1624.

RESPONSORIUM au Salve Regina des financiers

Paris [npr., nd. 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


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MAROT, Clément


Les Oeuvres de Clement Marot, de Cahors… [with] Les Cinquante Deux Psalmes.

Paris, De l’Imprimerie de Guillaume Thibout. 1558


16mo. ff. 336, 16. [xii], 79 [i] (last blank). sig. a-z8, A-T8, aa-bb8, A8, B4. A-K8. Psalms with a separate title page. Italic letter, some Roman. Small floriated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, the rare marginal mark or insignificant stain. A very good copy in a stunning contemporary French ‘a la cire’ binding, covers bordered with a double gilt rule filled in black, large central gilt oval with ornate strapwork design, surrounded by scrolled floral tools painted in black, green and yellow, over a gilt pointillé ground, spine double gilt ruled in long, filled with repeated gilt scrolled tools, edges with gilt rule, inner dentelles gilt, all edges richly gilt and gauffered, joints and corners probably (invisibly) restored, later end-papers.

A rare edition of the works of Clement Marot in a stunning contemporary ‘A La cire’ binding of the highest quality. The binding is particularly finely and richly worked for such a small book; it is made up of a large gilt central architectural motif against a background of a semé of pointillé tools. The model for this type of ornamentation may well have been the title-pages with scrolled ornaments which occurred chiefly in Paris and Lyons printing from about 1540. The flat spine is finely worked in an unusual fashion using a ground of scrolled tools. The overall effect is most charming and striking, of very high quality, and in excellent state of preservation. It is very similar in style with the same gilt pointillé ground and coloured floral tools as two binding in the BL database of bookbindings, BL Shelfmark c18a4 and Shelfmark c18a5. Originally part of the Italian desire to recapture the decorative splendour of ancient Rome, such reliures à la cire quickly came to typify the elegance of the French Renaissance. In the middle of the C16 the use of enamelled onlays was the height of French bibliophilic fashion, espoused with enthusiasm by the grandest patrons and practised only by a handful of ‘doreurs sur cire’. “These great artistic creations …. are the highest achievements in the art of bookbinding in the Renaissance period…. and some must be counted among the greatest works of art in the French Renaissance”, (Goldschmidt I p. 104).

Marot is the first distinctively modern French poet and in the madrigal, rondeau, ballad and above all the epigram, is distinctive for his grace and wit. In light verse he is second to none, except perhaps La Fontaine, who acknowledged him as one of his masters, and his style was imitated by Rousseau. His verse is still perfectly intelligible and he is probably the earliest French poet still read with more pleasure than effort. “The one fact that biographical research has placed beyond question is Marot’s stature as the foremost French poet of his time” Robert Griffin. Clément Marot and the Inflections of Poetic Voice.

“What would we give for an English Clement Marot! What would we give for a Renaissance poet of real talent, charm and power who was as fluent and readable as Marot! Such a poet would have shared as closely in the intimacies of the religious life of the English court as Marot did in the life of the courts of the most Christian King and of his sister, Margaret of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre.  .. Marot is a good poet and a most influential one; he was renowned for his fine banter. Some of his most enjoyable poems were marked by a sense of fun.. Marot can be enjoyable when he is most profound.” M. A. Screech, ‘Clément Marot: a Renaissance Poet Discovers the Gospel.’

Brunet III 1457. Graesse IV 441. Not in BM STC Fr. C16th, or Tchmerzine. USTC 41578 and 79411.


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SCOT, Sir John


Delitiae poetarum Scotorum hujus aevi illustrium.

Amsterdam, Iohannem Blaeu, 1637.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo. Two volumes. pp. 1) 1-12, (ii), 13-699, (i): 2) pp. 573, (iii). Roman letter some Italic. Blaeu’s woodcut printer’s device on both titles, small woodcut initials “Bought at Amsterdam Sept. 25 1877, H. A. B.” on front fly. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal spot or mark. Very good copies, crisp and clean; volume I in contemporary vellum over boards, nearly matching vellum, titles inked on spines in same C17th hand.

First edition of the largest anthology of Scottish neo-Latin poetry ever produced, edited by the Fife laird Sir John Scot of Scotstarvit and the Aberdonian poet Arthur Johnstone. The two volumes were printed at the sole cost of Scot and preserved the last fruits of Scottish latinity. Scottish neo-Latinists saw themselves first and foremost as part of an international community of renaissance humanists fascinated by the Classical past. Despite James VI’s accession to the English throne in 1603, and subsequent negotiations over closer Anglo-Scottish Union, the majority of the Scots featured in the Delitiae poetarum Scotorum identified much more closely with the cultural and intellectual life of Continental Europe than they did with that of England.

“The Delitiae Poetarum ltalorum opened the floodgates to a series of national anthologies, all in Latin, all entitled Delitiae, all printed in Frankfurt. Along came collections for France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Denmark. (…) There was a strange irony in all this. Neo-Latin was, of course, the international language par excellence, transcending national boundaries. (…) Yet the collections clearly had competitive, nationalistic ambitions. It was as if the new chauvinism and confidence of the Renaissance vernacular languages had been diverted into Neo-Latin. (…) (John Scot of Scotstarvet) had the time, motivation and, most importantly, the money to undertake the Herculean labor. John Scot of Scotstarvet, a Fife laird and a dilettante poet himself, had the education and finances to win friends and influence people, particularly in Europe. What makes the subsequent enterprise of special interest is the fact that we have a detailed account of its progress, for Scot scrupulously preserved all incoming mail. The correspondence, now in the National Library of Scotland, reveals a great deal: how Scot accumulated and edited the material and why it took almost twenty years before the Delitiae found its way into print. (…)

From about 1619, Scotstarvet had been collecting and receiving specimens of Scottish latinity. (…) Work by thirty-seven poets was finally chosen. Many of those included had made a name for themselves abroad: James Crichton in Italy, George Crichton in Paris, Thomas Dempster almost everywhere; John Barclay’s Latin novels were widely read in Europe; John Johnston used European presses almost exclusively; Andrew Melville was well-known among Continental Calvinists; James Halkerston wrote witty epigrams on the Pope and Henri III. (…) The work avoided overt antiquarianism which by this time would probably have lacked popular appeal. Still Scotstarvet could be proud of his labours; the text was sound and Blaeu did it justice. In the next century, Samuel Johnson would call it “a collection to grace any nation.” Perhaps the greatest satisfaction to those who produced it was that the English never had the like.” Christopher A. Upton. ‘National Internationalism: Scottish Literature and the European Audience in the Seventeenth Century’.

Very good copy of this important national anthology.

Shaaber S83/J238.


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Rime degli Accademici Timidi … per fregio della laurea … dell’una, e l’altra Legge.

Mantua, Alberto Pazzoni, 1731.


8vo., pp. 36. Roman and Italic letter; a few damp stains, small rust spot to middle of gutter. Good copy in elegant contemporary gilt paper embossed with flowers; minor loss; several contemporary autographs, presumably of fellow members to pastedowns. In folding box.

An interesting collection of rhymes written by the members of the Academy of the Shy Men, celebrating the graduation in law of one of their fellows. This important intellectual academy was active in Mantua from the beginning of seventeenth century.


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