TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

CHRISTINE DE PIZAN, Les Beaulx dicts et enseignements utiles ... a son filz; JEAN BOUCHET, Balade moralle contre les aveuglez mondains; and ANONYMOUS, Balades, dits, and rondeaux; [Calculation of exchange rates] ANONYMOUS, Calcul de plusieurs especes de monnoye

In French, manuscript on parchment
[France, Chartres, dated 1537]

TM 54
sold

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
88 folios, mostly in gatherings of 8 (collation i-xi8, plus I-II at the beginning), signatures in lower right corners (e.g., ai-iiii, bi-iiii, etc.), vertical catchwords, written in a regular Roman script in imitation of printing in dark brown ink on 16 long lines, ruled in red (justification 65 x 90 mm.), rubrics in red, alternating liquid gold paragraph marks on blue and burnt orange grounds, line endings of the same type, larger 2- to 4-line initials in liquid gold on alternating blue and burnt orange grounds with liquid gold foliate infill, ILLUMINATED BORDER on opening folio, liquid gold architectural surround, title "Remonstrances sur les miseres & abuz de ce monde pour refraire ung chascun de peche" in red in inverted triangle, in very good condition throughout. Bound in nineteenth-century dark blue morocco, double gold filet, floral motifs in the corners, title "Remonstra sur les miseres" on the spine, marbled endleaves, edges gilt (by A. Closs). Dimensions 88 x 134 mm.

Unusual volume containing moralizing French verse by Renaissance writers, including a previously unknown copy of Christine de Pizan's Enseignemens moraux, addressed to her son (only 20 manuscripts recorded), a ballade morale by the rhetorician Jean Bouchet, as well as an unknown, evidently anonymous, work on the values of denominations of coinage in the sixteenth century. Other poems include verses on food, wine, and banqueting, on youth, on young married couples, on death, on flattery, etc.

Provenance

1. Written in Chartres in 1537: on f. 88 "Ce present livre a este escript dún Religieux de Jozaphat nomme frere Jacques chesnart. Le xxvii jour de may mil cinq cens xxxvii. Dieu en ayt lame." Notre-Dame of Josaphat was an abbey in the diocese of Chartres that was burned in 1560 by the Calvinists.

2. On f. II, "Le sire Cardin de lalonde mon pere ma donne ce Livre le XXVIII jour de juing mil cinq cens XLVII, Dieu par sa grace en veuille avoir lame" and on f. 88, "A loys delalonde aoppartient" (name crossed out). Descendants of the de Lalonde family are among the first immigrants to Canada in the later sixteenth century.

3. Pierre Cegard, in the sixteenth century, on f. 88, "A Pierre Cegard appartient"(his name written over that of Loys delalonde).

4. Marie J. Parlot (1742), f. 86 v, her signature.

5. Pierre Desq, his ex-libris, see Cat. des livres rares et precieux, 1866, no. 418.

Text

ff. 1-2, Rubric, Remonstrances sur les miseres & abuz de ce monde pour refaire ung chascun de peche; incipit, "Miserable monde Quest ce que tu penses ..."; explicit, "Pour ton faict comprencre Aduise a la fin."

ff. 2-7v, Rubric, Instruction & doctrine a bien vivre & mourir; incipit, "Qui a bien vivre veult entendre ...; explicit, "Et iamais ainsy que ie croy/ Mortellement ne pecheras";

ff. 7v-10v, Rubric, Dictons de la mort; incipit, "Iesus mourut tout meurt/ & tout mourra"; explicit, "Qui peult dire selon nature/ Ie vivray iusques a demain";

f. 10v, Rubric, Dicton aux ieunes mariez; incipit, "Qui craint que sa femme ne faille"; explicit, "Il convient bien quil les resemble";

ff. 11-29, Christine de Pizan, Enseignemens moraux; Rubric, Ensuyvent plusieurs beaulx dictz & enseignemens utiles & proufitables de la saige christine de pisan [sic] a son filz; incipit, "Filz ie nay mye grand tresor ..."; explicit, Du doulx Iesuschrist en sa gloire/ Ayes les pouvres en memoire. Fin des dictz de la siage christine de pisan";

ff. 29-30v, Rubric, Enseignements utiles et prouffitables; incipit, "Si de granz biens tu veulx iouir/ Il te convient orgueil hayr"; explicit, "Tu ne pourras a biens fuyr";

f. 30, Rubric, Dicton utile & prouffitable; incipit, "En quelque lieu que lhomme abonde ..."; explicit, "Grand fourment en son cueur amasse";

ff. 30-31v, Rubric, Autre dicton; incipit, "Travaillez pour avoir repos ..."; explicit, "Parquoy noter fault que choses humaines/ Muables sont transitoires aussi";

ff. 31v-35v, Rubric, Contre aucuns exces qui se connectent chascun iour a boire & menger. Premierement Des exces de boire; incipit, "Qui de rien ne se veult grever ..."; explicit, "Lors acuit ingenium/ Il aguyse lentendemen";

ff. 35v-42, Rubric, Sensuyt touchant les exces qui se commectent a menger tant a banquetter que aultrement; incipit, "Gens crapuleux qui tousiours gourmandez..."; explicit, "Le banquet nest point prouffitable,'Car il nuyst & corrompt nature";

ff. 42v-43, Rubric, Bon regime fort utile pour le corps & lame dung chascun; incipit, "Lever matin & prendre estabement/ Ouyr la messe a ieun devote ..."; "Font lhommme riche & vivre longuement";

f. 43, Rubric, Destruction du corps humain; incipit, "Le trop disner & trop dormir apres/ Sans appetit fortz vins ..."; explicit, "Tiennent plusieurs que la mort suyt de pres...";

ff. 43-50v, Rubric, Bons enseignemens; incipit, "Premierement mettre peine dacquerre/ On doibt le ciel non pas les biens de terre ..."; explicit, "Quelque chose qui luy vienne au contraire";

ff. 51-53, Jean Bouchot, Ou sont vos yeulx ...;Rubric, Balade moralle contre les aveuglez mondains; incipit, "Ou sont voz yeulx miserables mondains ..."; explicit, "Quant de voz maulx vous fauldra rendre compte";

ff. 53-53v, Rubric, Rondeau double de la misere du monde; incipit, "Ou pensez vous poures humains ..."; explicit, "En paradis avec les sainctz/ Ou pensez vous";

f. 54, Rubric, Dicton contre les mondains abusez; incipit, Que vous vauldra a voir este fringantz ..."; explicit, "A mal faire il ny a point de ieu ...";

f. 54v, Rubric, Dicton contemplatif; incipit, "Qui souvent en dieu penseroit ..."; explicit, "Mourant en mourroit/ dieu tousiours vivroit";

f. 54v, Rubric, Aultre dicton; incipit, "Ie trouve que par raison vive/ Qui bien veult mourir que/ bien vive ..."; explict, "Iamais ne se treuvent dáccord.";

ff. 55-57, Rubric, De la beaulte tresexcellente de nostre seigneur Iesuschrist; incipit, "On trouve es histoires escript ..."; explicit, "Luy plaise nous donner sa gloire. Amen";

ff. 57-58v, Rubric, Ensuyt la voye de paradis; incipit, "Qui veult en paradis aller/ Pour avoir ioye sans finer ..."; explicit, "Et au port de salut venir";

ff. 58v-61, Rubric, Bons enseignemens; incipit, "Amy ne soyes grand parleur ..."; explicit, "Remors de mort retarde de ioye";

ff. 61v-67v, Rubric, Ensuyvent plusieurs devotes contemplations sur les iniures derisions & opprobres faictz a notre seigneur touchant les parolles dictes par pilate. Ecce homo. Le dict pilate parlant a gens de tous estatz. Aux gens deglise ..., A lestat de noblesse ..., Aux marchans ..., Aux gens de labeur ..., Aux bourgeois ..., Aux ingratz ..., Aux mondains ..., Aux obstinez ..., A tous pecheurs ..., A contemplatifz & religieux ..., A ieunes & vieulx ...Le crucifix dict ...; explict, "Il luy sera a la fin cher vendu";

ff. 68-68v, Rubric, Ensuyvent plusieurs bons dictons moraulx; incipit, "Iendure & endurer me fault..."; explicit, "Que sans endurer ne peult estre";

f. 68v, Rubric, Aultre dicton, incipit, "Ia gueres de bien ne scaura"; explict, "Qui ne veult mesaise scavoir";

ff. 68v-69v, Rubric, Dicton de la briefvete de la vie humaine; incipit, "Au bien venir quatre vingtz ans vivons ..."; explicit, "Ou tous biens sont sans/ nombre & sans mesure";

ff. 69v-70, Rubric, Rondeau contre les mal parlans; incipit, "... Entre vivans nest riens tant domaigeable ..."; explicit, "...Entre vivans";

f. 70, Rubric, Ensuyvent les douze vertuz & qualitez cest ascavoir; incipit, "En povre loyaulte ..."; explicit, "En femme contenance";

f. 71-71v, Rubric, Bon dicton; incipit, "Pensant comme le monde se varie ..."; explicit, "Que des enfers cuitons le passaige";

f. 71v, Rubric, Aultre dicton; incipit, "Il nest pas temps de sommeiller ..."; explicit "Na pas son cueur franc ne delivre ...";

ff. 71v-72, Rubric, Aultre dicton; incipit, "Ieunesse bruit en delict & en pompe ..."; explicit, "Il fault partir & ne scaict on comment ...";

ff. 73-84, Calculation of the values of coinage with a further calculation of how much spent per day equals how much per year; Rubric, Calcul de plusieurs especes de monnoye; incipit, "Deniers ..., doubles ..., Liars ..., Blancs ..., Karolus ..., Unzains ..., Douzains ..., Trezains ..., Testons ..., En ung an ya CCCLXV iours. Et par sepmaines il ya LII sepmaines & un iour. Entre vous qui voullez comprendre/ Combien cest que voulez despendre/ Au pris de vivre revenu/ Tout.est cy dedans contenu.../ Deniers ..., Solz ..., Livres ..."; explict "Mille livres par iour font par an ccclxv mille livres tournoys."

f. 85v, Added prayer (seventeenth century?);

f. 87, Added prayer, "Salve regina misericordie ..."

Compilation of French moralizing verse (called "gnomic") by Renaissance writers, many of whom are anonymous or have not yet been identified since they are unnamed in the manuscript itself. Three texts stand out as important.

The first is Christine de Pizan's Enseignemens moraux, written in c. 1400. France's "first woman of letters," Christine (c. 1364-c. 1431) was born in Venice, but grew up in the court of the Valois King Charles V, where her father served as his personal physician-astrologer. She married a royal secretary, who died in 1390, leaving the young widow, then only 26 years old, with three children and no visible means of support. Determined to become a writer, Christine spent ten years studying, during which she wrote love poetry. Toward 1400 she began a career as a professional writer, offering many of her works–penned in her own hand to economize--to persons at the court with whom she was already well acquainted and who were her potential patrons. Some of the most famous works include a biography of Charles V (Livre des fais et bonnes meurs du sage roy Charles V, c1404), an autobiography (Lavision-Christine, 1405), and many political allegories (including the Epistre Othéa, c. 1400; the Livre du Chemin de Long Estude, 1403; etc.). After the English occupied Paris in 1418, forcing the French king to flee, Christine also fled to a monastery, the Abbey of Poissy, in 1419, where she remained until her death in 1431. A nationalist to the end, Christine wrote at the end of her life one last poem, this one in praise of Jeanne dÁrc. A "Collected Works" in London (British Library, Harley MS 4431) brings together many of these writings in a lavishly illuminated volume offered to Isabeau de Bavière, the Queen of France.

Whereas her daughter entered the Abbey of Poissy under royal sponsorship, Christine's son, Jean du Castel, was without a position. Concern with his education must have led her to write the Enseignemens moraux, which begins:

Son, I have no great treasure
To make you rich, but a measure
Of good advice which you may need;
I give it hoping you'll take heed.
(Ed. Roy, III, pp. 27-44).

In the fall of 1398, the English nobleman, Sir John Montagu, Earl of Salisbury offered Jean a position, but the earl was killed in 1400, and even though Henry IV protected Jean Christine made an effort to have her son returned to France. Eventually he was appointed to the duke of Burgundy's household and later in 1409 became a royal secretary like his father before him. The series of quatrains offers advice on virtuous behavior suitable to young men–rulers, soldiers, churchman, merchants, and so forth. The work fits in an entirely new genre of schoolbooks, anticipating the later New England Primer; and Christine makes explicit in it her disapproval of older types of schoolbooks that include texts such as Ovid (see Willard, 1991, online resources). Like many of Christine's other works, there are no incunable editions, nor was it edited before the nineteenth century.

The second is a work by Jean Bouchet (Poitiers, 1475-c. 1558) entitled Balade moralle contre les aveuglez mondainsi>. A friend of Rabelais and Renaissance rhetorician attached to the house of La Trémoille, Bouchet is known for his moralizing as well as historiographic works, He wrote prayers in French for the laity, a satiric work Les Regnards traversans les perilleuses voyes published under the name of Sebastian Brant, the Temple de bonne renommé and moralizing epistles. The present poem fits with a group of moralizing religious works.

The third work, apparently anonymous, the Calcul de plusieurs especes de monnoye, provides a pratical account of how the denominations work–how currency is divided into deniers, blancs, liars, etc. It likewise includes a narrative table of how much will be spent in a year based on a outlay of how many deniers, blancs, liars, etc. each day.

Literature

Roy. Maurice., ed. Oeuvre Poétiques de Christine de Pizan (Société des Anciens textes français), Paris,1886-96, 3 vols..

Willard, Charity Cannon. Christine de Pisan. Her Life and Works, New York, Persea Books, 1984.

Online resources

Works by Jean Bouchet
http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/catalog.php?AU=BOUCHET%20JEAN

Article by Charity Cannon Willard "Christine de Pizan as Teacher" (1991)
http://tell.fll.purdue.edu/RLA-Archive/1991/French-html/Willard%2CCharityCannon.htm

Life and works of Christine de Pizan
http://home.infionline.net/~ddisse/christin.html

Christine de Pizan biography and works (Bibliotheca Augustana)
http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/gallica/Chronologie/15siecle/Christine/chr_src.html

Links to Christine de Pizan sites
http://www.uni-ulm.de/LiLL/3.0/D/frauen/biografien/Jh14/pizan.htm

Electronic Text Research Center Project on Early Modern French Women Writers
http://etrc.lib.umn.edu/frenwom.htm

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