Paris, F. II Morel 1584.
Large 4to (255 x 195 mm.). 34 leaves. A woodcut Morel device on the title.
Contemporary gilt-ruled vellum (soiled, rear panel stained), large gilt wreath in the pnael centers, flat spine gilt, all edges gilt, text-block ruled in red; preserved in a suede-lined dark blue morocco clamshell box with the gilt arms of Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller on the panels and his gilt monogram and the title on the spine.
Pibrac, Gui du Faur, seigneur de.
Præcepta Moralia, Heroicis Expressa Ab Avg. Prevotio. Paris, F. II Morel 1584. 4to. 14 leaves. A different woodcut Morel device on the title.
Ad I-II: Luxury large-paper copies of the First Editions of Pibrac’s beloved moral precepts in verse for children in these translations — the first into Greek and Latin quatrains by Henri IV’s librarian, the second into Latin tristichs by Henri’s secretary. This conduct manual grew from fifty to the present one hundred twenty-six quatrains and was read, memorized, recited and sung in households rich and poor from the late 16th to the mid-19th century.
Ad I: A student of Henri II Estienne, Florent Chrestien (1541-96) prepared his two versions to instruct his son, Claude (b. 1567). Morel presented each stanza as a suite of three, first the French original in italic, then the Latin in roman type, then the Greek. Chrestien’s renderings “gave Pibrac’s text an international calling” (Petris).
Ad II: This is apparently the only publication of Augustin Prévost, who supplemented Pibrac’s educational staple with encomia of four virtuous ancient women: Cornelia, Dido, Lucretia and Porcia. The octavo edition of the same year includes an epitaph for Pibrac (d. 27.V.1584), which is not present in this sumptuous printing nor called for on its title. Accordingly, this large paper printing has priority.
In fine condition, 18th-century pen trials on the rear flyleaf along with the ?contemporary signature of Madame de St. Gery, bookplates of the Chateau de St. Gery (near Toulouse) and Swiss bibliophile J.-P. Barbier-Mueller (1930-2016).
¶Ad I-II: Pibrac, Les Quatrains ed. Petris 33-34; Barbier-Mueller, Inventaire de la bibliothèque poétique d’auteurs français du XVIe siècle 622-23 these copies.
¶Ad I: Kelso, Doctrine for the Lady of the Renaissance 308; Kecskeméti, Fédéric Morel II: éditeur, traducteur et imprimeur 1584,14; USTC 59797.