Seventeenth-century French translations of the Consolatio Philosophiae of Boethius in New Zealand.
In the fifteenth century, an easy transition was made from manuscripts to printed books in the case of the French translations of the Consolatio Philosophiae. The last of twelve distinct medieval French translations of the work, an anonymous verse--prose translation with commentary, appeared in print in 1477 and 1494, (6) while incunabula editions exist of two earlier translations from the 1480s. (7) Almost a century elapsed before a new French translation is attested: that of Charles Le Ber, Sieur de Malassis de Mente (Paris, 1578 and 1597), followed by that of Jean d'Ennetieres (Tournai, 1628), both dedicated to noble ladies. (8) These translations seem to have had a limited diffusion, with few copies conserved.
The only other known translations of the work in this period are those contained in two seventeenth-century editions. They are both the work of clerics, who also translated works by St Augustine. The first translator, Rene de Ceriziers (1603-62), a Jesuit who left the Order in 1641 to become almoner to the Duke of Orleans and to Louis XIV, was the author of several other literary and theological works. (9) The second is Nicolas Regnier (1634-82), a Regular Canon of the Congregation de France, and Prieur-cure of Briquemaut, diocese of Sens (1676-82). (10) Ceriziers's La Consolation de la Philosophie had multiple editions (1636-63). The copy that will be examined in this article is of the 1663 edition, which also contains Ceriziers's own treatise La Consolation de la Theologie (1639), an imitation of Boethius's work. Regnier's Boece console par la Philosophie (Paris, 1676) had a second edition (1711), and was translated into Polish (1738), (11) marking the diffusion of the work outside of France.
Early modern French imprints are found in New Zealand libraries and private collections. (12) Acquisition has not been systematic, but reflects continuous interest in French literature and thought. Alongside Marguerite de Navarre, L'Heptameron (Paris: Jacques Bessin, 1615) and Francois de Sales, Les Sentimens du bien-heureux Francois de Sales ... touchant la grace (Paris: Toussainct Quinet, 1647), I have in my collection copies of the two seventeenth-century translations mentioned above. The copy of Ceriziers's translation was ordered from a British booksellers catalogue in the 1970s. The copy of Regnier's translation was a chance discovery at a bouquiniste's stall near the Pont Royal, Paris, in September 2006. These acquisitions did not result from deliberate searching, but reflect my long scholarly involvement with Auckland Libraries, Med. MS G. 119 and Massey University Library, MS 1, both containing the most popular medieval French translation of the Consolatio. That interest was extended to early printed editions of French translations. By a process of sale and purchase, migration and collection, two seventeenth-century books have transmitted Boethius's work across the centuries and across the world. The two books exemplify the ways in which manuscripts and early printed books have come to New Zealand, largely, in the first instance, as personal acquisitions.
The Middle Ages had recognised Boethius as an inspirational authority. His work, and notably the Consolatio Philosophiae, was not just considered a necessary part of the cultural baggage of an educated person, but also formed 'a very important link in the chain of philosophical continuity'. (13) Boethius, a well-educated Roman of aristocratic family, not only had knowledge of the Roman tradition but also had direct contact with Greek philosophy, especially the Neoplatonic thinkers Plotinus and Porphyry, and was well read in the Latin Church Fathers, particularly St Augustine. He lived at a time when the pagan culture of the Greek and Roman past was not thought incompatible with Christian faith and doctrine. In some measure, this combination is reflected in seventeenth-century French classicism, where literature derived subject material from Antiquity and integrated it in a Christian worldview in an age when conformity with the dominant Catholic religion prevailed. Authors like the Cardinal de Retz, Pierre Corneille, and Blaise Pascal showed in their writing the impress of Boethian ideas from the Consolatio. In fact, imprisoned in 1652-54, Retz composed, in imitation of Boethius, a Consolation in which he affirmed that every prisoner must try to be 'vinctus in Christo', as St Paul had expressed. (14)
In seventeenth-century France, publishing was subject to authority; censorship could not be avoided. Most leading Parisian printers were, however, protected by the Church. Regulated by the Code Michaux (1629) and the Chancellor's authority, the process of censorship became state controlled. The privilege (licence), giving a printer monopoly of production for a fixed period, became the official seal of approval for publication. (15) In addition, the translations of the Consolatio had an approbation, attesting they contained nothing contrary to the Catholic faith. Centuries after Boethius's lifetime, the Consolatio was thus subject to scrutiny, and not found at fault. Boethius is commemorated near the place of his execution, in the crypt of the church of Saint Pietro-in-Cielo, Pavia. His shrine stands immediately below the high altar, which is dedicated to St Augustine.
Translations in French and other European languages have continued to make the Consolatio Philosophiae available. It is as though the treatise inspires readers to make it fully their own by rendering Boethius's Latin into their own vernacular, thus penetrating more deeply his thought and identifying his imprisonment and suffering with their personal affliction. Sometimes the translation is intended for another person or for a wider audience, not literate in Latin. The challenge the work offers has persisted. In contemporary French, Eric Vanpeteghems translation and Jean-Yves Tilliette's introduction accompany the Latin text in the popular Livre de Poche edition. (16)
Composed in five books, the work has two formal constraints for translators: it is written in alternating verse and prose sections (a prosimetrum), and it consists entirely of a dialogue between Philosophy and Boethius. The verse sections (referred to as 'meters') are intended as a pleasant interlude, a diversion for Boethius from the philosophical discourse, in addition to being Philosophy's soothing means of relieving his suffering. Furthermore, for the author, they are poetic expression of elevated thought with images and classical mythology, sometimes, as in Book III, meter ix, extending the philosophical discourse. The complexity of the verses taxed both the understanding and poetic skills of the translators studied here. They imitated Boethius in using different poetic metres in each verse section, but found it impossible to do full justice to his artistry. They admitted that some omissions and modifications had been necessary.
Boethius's use of dialogue between teacher and learner provided a model for medieval didactic writing. Exposition, questions, responses, and recapitulation show the learner's progressive understanding and enlightenment. (17) Both translators retained the alternation of voices and the close engagement of the two interlocutors, one of whom is, of course, Boethius himself, the author.
I. Rene de Ceriziers,
La Consolation de la Philosophic (1636; 1663)
The translation by Rene de Ceriziers had numerous editions between 1636, when it was first published, and 1663, the date of the 'Nouvelle Edition' described here. The publication history of the editions is complicated as, from 1640 onwards, La Consolation de la Philosophie is combined in some editions with Ceriziers's own treatise La Consolation de la Theologie (1639). Some editions containing both works have a combined title page, along with separate title pages for the individual works; (18) other editions simply consist of the two works, numbered discretely, in one volume, as is the case with the copy described here. (19)
Dated 15 fevrier 1636, the initial privilege, or authority, for the printing of Ceriziers's translation is in favour of Francois Bernard (1591-1650), official printer of the Universite de Reims, in the rue Saint-Etienne, Reims, 'Au Griffon d'Or'. (20) Two approbations (imprimaturs) accompany the translation, both signed in March 1636. Having printed the first edition, (21) Francois Bernard ceded the privilege to Jean Camusat (159?-1639), in the rue Saint-Jacques, Paris, official printer--bookseller of the Academie francaise from its foundation (1634/5), (22) who published the 'Seconde Edition' in 1636. (23) Other printers in Paris, Rouen, and Lyon produced further editions between 1640 and 1657. In editions printed up to and including 1640, the translator is named as 'le P de Ceriziers de la Compagnie de Iesus'. After he left the Order in 1641, he is named as 'Sieur de Ceriziers, Aumosnier du Roy', that is, Kings Almoner.
Ceriziers ceded the royal privilege granted to him in Paris, 25 May 1657, to Charles Angot, a rue Saint-Jacques printer, active between 1655 and 1695, (24) for the 'Nouvelle Edition', the printing of which was completed on 2 January 1663, soon after Cerizierss death in 1662.
II. [Boethius], La Consolation de la Philosophic, trans. Rene de Ceriziers, New Edition (Paris: Charles Angot, 1663)
Monseigneur Pierre Scarron (1579-1668), to whom the translation is dedicated, was bishop of Grenoble (1621-68). Ceriziers praised the Bishop's excellent qualities, developing an image he attributed to Theodoret of Cyr (c. 393-457/8), of bishops being 'Doctors of mankind' ('les Medecins du genre humain). Behind his veiled comment that he has private reasons for the dedication is possibly Cerizierss awareness of the Bishops aloofness towards the Jesuits, present in Grenoble from c. 1623. (25)
The preface praises Boethius, 'the last of the Scholars' ('le dernier des Doctes), and his achievements, partly based on Boethius's self-defence in Book I, prose 4 of the Consolatio. He was put to death because he stood firmly by the truth. The account of his execution at Pavia includes the detail that, like a second St Denis, he picked up his head, carried it to a nearby altar, and offered it to God, whose cause he defended. Although this assertion has been dismissed, the hagiographical precedent is attested. (26) Ceriziers praised Boethius's thought and style, recognising the difficulty in translating the poetry. The work lacks, in his opinion, only a chapter on the Christian God. He cited the classical Greek translation by the Byzantine, Maximus Planoudes (1255-1305), (27) and the French translation by Jean de Meun (c. 1300). He mentioned also the Latin commentary, then incorrectly attributed to Thomas Aquinas. (28) Containing a Christian interpretation, it accompanied the Consolatio Philosophic in its first printed edition (1473), by the Nuremberg printer, Anton Koberger, (29) and was widely available. (30) A resume of the five books of the Consolatio follows, with the advice that Books IV-V require close attention, and that the initials 'P' and 'B.' mark the dialogue.
Both approbations were signed in March 1636. P Dozet, Doctor in Theology and Chancellor of the University of Reims, attested that the work contained nothing not in conformity with the faith and doctrine of the Catholic Church. I. Godinot, Doctor in Theology, praised Boethius's work for its elevated, eloquent style, enhanced by this translation.
The privilege, granted to Ceriziers in Paris on 25 May 1657 and signed 'GVITONNEAU', applied to the printing of both the translation and Ceriziers's own treatise, La Consolation de la Theologie, in one or several volumes, during a period of fifteen years counting from the day when the printing of each of the volumes was complete. A fine of 1500 livres was to be imposed for any other printing or the sale of counterfeit editions. It is further stated that the Sieur de Ceriziers surrendered the privilege to Charles Angot, to use as agreed. At the foot of the page, the date of completion of the printing is given: 'Acheue d'Imprimer le 2. Ianuier 1663.'
La Consolation de la Theologie, with L'Exercice de la Constance Chrestienne, constitutes a discrete second part of the volume, with its own title page in the same style as that of La Consolation de la Philosophie, and with mention of the approbations and privilege, although they are not included. The Consolation de la Theologie is collated separately: 12[degrees]; A--M (12) (M10-12 blank). Dedicated to Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) and modelled on the Consolatio Philosophiae, the work consists of five books in alternating verse and prose sections, a dialogue between Theology and the unhappy Anchorite who became Pope Celestine V for five months in 1294. With 263 pages of text, it is twice the length of Cerizierss translation of the Consolatio.
III. [Boethius], Boece console par la Philosophic, trans. Nicolas Regnier (Paris: Estienne Loyson, 1676)
Nicolas Regnier, whose date of profession is 1655, was a Regular Canon of the abbey of Saint-Victor before joining the Congregation de France ('les genovefains'), which was at the height of its strength during Louis XIV's reign. Known for its wealth, piety, and erudition, the Congregation observed and adapted the rule of St Augustine. Regnier translated Boethius's Consolatio Philosophiae and St Augustine's Soliloquies. (31) In the preface to his translation of the Consolatio, he frequently cited St Augustine's work as the source of Boethius's Christian ideas. Prieur-cure of Briquemaut (1676-82), he died on 14 June 1682 in the Prieure-cure of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois, of which his elder brother, Jean-Francois (c. 1624-88), had charge. Both prieure-cures depended on the abbey of Saint-Jean-de-Sens. (32)
Estienne Loyson, second son of the Paris printer Guillaume Loyson (d. 1651), was registered as a libraire on 21 October 1655, adjoint in 1670. He died c. 1708. His business was in the Palais, 'au Nom de Jesus'. He was a prolific publisher, particularly of classical writers (such as Ovid, Suetonius, and Vergil). (33)
The printer's ornament on the title page consists of an inverted triangle of stylised geometric and floral elements, not Loysons usual device of a child Christ figure standing on the crossbar of the capital 'H' of the inscription 'I H S', relating to the indication 'au Nom de Jesus' of the imprint.
Born into the Noblesse de Robe, the dedicatee is first President 'of the first Senate of the Kingdom' ('du Premier Senat du Royaume). Further identification has not been achieved. He is praised for his Christian and moral virtues, and for his learning and experience, which make him resemble Boethius. The Epistre is signed 'Vostre tres-humble & tres- | obeissant Serviteur, | F. NICOLAS REGNIER, Ch. Reg.'
In the preface, Regnier praised Boethius's thought and work, his virtue, nobility, and learning. A Roman patrician and senator, Boethius embodied the virtues of Antiquity and embraced Plato's ideas, which were not contrary to Christian teaching. Regnier accepted the widely held view that Boethius was married firstly to Elpis, a Sicilian, who was the mother of his sons, and later to Rusticiana, daughter of Q. Aurelius Memmius Symmachus, a wise patrician and his mentor. In fact, he was married only to Rusticiana, who was the mother of his sons. Elpis was the wife of a different Boethius. (34) Like Ceriziers, Regnier evoked the classical Greek translation, Jean de Meuns translation, and the pseudo-Thomas Aquinas commentary, and then summarised the Consolatio. He juxtaposed a series of quotations to demonstrate that in his thought, Boethius was closer to the Church Fathers than to pagan philosophers, and praised him as a disciple of St Augustine, now rightfully resting in the church dedicated to this saint in Pavia. Regnier concluded with comments on the translation process: he had amplified some parts, because of the differences between Latin and French; he aimed to be exact; he found it difficult in some meters to respect the conventions of French poetry; he wanted to write in a manner fitting the subject.
The approbation, dated 2 December 1675, was given by the Superior General of the Regular Canons of the Congregation of France and Abbot of Sainte Genevieve, Paris, to P Nicolas Regnier, priest and canon of the Congregation, to have his book, Boece console par la Philosophie, printed. It was signed 'F. P Beurrier', (35) by 'mon reverendissime Pere Superieur General, F. Du Molinet'. (36)
The royal privilege was granted to Estienne Loyson, Parisian merchant-printer, at Versailles on 4 April 1675, for ten years from the date of completion of the first printing. It was registered on 25 November 1675 and the first printing was completed on 12 December 1675. Publication in 1711 of a 'Nouvelle Edition corrigee' of Regniers translation, with a different title, La Consolation de la Philosophie traduite du latin de Boece, was attributed to Loyson, who had, however, died before 1708. It lacks Regniers dedication and a privilege, but includes the approbation. The title page states that the edition is on sale in Brussels, 'Chez JEAN DE SMEDT, a la Conversion de S. Augustin, 1711'. (37)
IV. Comparison of the Two Translations
For translators, familiarity with the ancient language of the original text and versatility with their own vernacular language are important. Seventeenth-century conceptions of literary translation were complex and different from those of the present. The boundaries between translation, adaptation, and imitation, were then less fixed than now, as current research is ascertaining. (38) As the below tables illustrate, while Regnier remained closer to the original Latin, Ceriziers took liberties, resulting occasionally in belles infideles. Both respected the subject of the Latin text and aimed to enable a wide range of readers to profit from Boethius's thought and experience.
In Rene de Cerizierss translation, the first meter has twenty-six Alexandrine lines in rhyming couplets (aa bb cc, etc.). In Nicolas Regniers translation, the first meter consists of twelve strophes of four verses of alternating twelve and six syllables, rhyming a b a b, c d c d, etc. The divisions in the prose examples correspond to the Latin edition. The English translations of the examples below are my own. The Latin text is taken from Anicii Manlii Severini Boethii Philosophiae Consolatio, ed. L. Bieler (Turnhout: Brepols, 1957), with the English translation from S. J. Tester, The Consolation of Philosophy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973). The subsequent references are to Book, meter (indicated by lower-case Roman numerals, and delineated by line number) or prose (indicated by Arabic numerals and delineated by sections.
The passages quoted above from both translations exemplify the translators' styles and serve as comparison. Chosen at the beginning and the end of the texts--significant points where translators might strive hard to respect the original--they introduce a woeful Boethius, an awesome Philosophie, and give the final uplifting moral injunction. In the initial meter and prose, differences are apparent: Ceriziers
emphasises through images the force of emotion, which Regnier states quite briefly. In the description of Philosophie, both translators omit some details of the original: the silence ('tacitus') and tearfulness ('lacrimabilem'). Cerizierss 'pleine de majeste' ('majestic') corresponds to 'reuerendi ... uultus' ('(her) appearance inspiring veneration), and he has substituted for Boethius's 'inexhausti uigoris' ('inexhaustible strength) a description of Philosophies cheeks. It is to be acknowledged that Boethius's overall meaning is conveyed, but without the eloquence, variety, and density of his Latin style. In the final sentences of the work, the translators begin and end with almost the same words, but differ in the middle. Cerizierss rendering seems more direct and closer to the Latin, until it is noted that he has added 'malicieusement' ('perversely') and 'de l'ignorance' ('ignorance'), interpreting explicitly the sense of the Latin 'dissimulare' ('to feign).
Both Ceriziers and Regnier show in the meters a tendency to simplify the classical names for the sun, stars, and winds. For example, Phoebus is regularly 'le Soleil'. The names of winds have nearly always been omitted. Some paraphrases occur: Arcturus (I. v. 21), the brightest star in the constellation Bootes, has probably been confused by Ceriziers with Arctos, the Great Bear, associated with ploughing, in his paraphrase 'le diligent Laboureur' (p. 14; 'the diligent ploughman); Regnier omits to mention it. However, he paraphrases Phoebus (III. xi. 8) as 'l'Astre le plus grand, & le plus beau des Cieux' (p. 149; 'the largest and most beautiful star in the heavens'), and Ceriziers renders it as 'le Ciel n'a point de plus brillante flame' (p. 72; 'heaven does not have a brighter flame). Metrical features and response to Boethius's text influenced translators' lexical choices.
Perhaps because he was a literary writer with a particular readership in mind, Ceriziers added a few flourishes in the meters and compressed some of the philosophical discourse in the proses. In III. i., where Boethius used a series of four comparisons to express the idea that true happiness is appreciated after experience of adversity, Ceriziers amplifies, by means of an anachronism, Boethius's example of honey tasting sweeter after something bitter: 'Le miel est plus delicieux, | Quand vne liqueur bien amere | Prepare nostre goust a ce boire des Dieux, | Qui surpasse en douceur le sucre de Madere.' (39) The cultivation of sugar cane in Madeira and elsewhere in the Mediterranean region began in the Renaissance, centuries after Boethius's lifetime. Note that Regnier omitted this comparison, reducing the series to three.
In other places, Ceriziers amplifies for the purpose of insistence. For example, in Boethius's 'Fortunae te regendum dedisti: dominae moribus oportet obtempere' (II. 1. [section]18; 'You have committed yourself to the rule of Fortune, you must acquiesce in her ways'), Ceriziers reinforces by restating the essential point: 'Tu t'es donne a la Fortune, c'est a toy de suiure sa conduite, & non pas a elle d'estudier tes inclinations' (p. 23; 'You have committed yourself to Fortune, it is for you to follow her command, not for her to study your inclinations'). His translation also has an occasional mistake, for example at the end of II. 4. [section]29, the negative has been overlooked: 'quae miseros ... non efficit' ('[happiness] which cannot make men unhappy), giving the mistranslation 'elle nous rend miserables' (p. 32; 'it makes us unhappy'). (40)
Regnier's translation is generally clearer and more apposite than Ceriziers's. He separates Boethius's quotations from the exposition by printing them in italics. For example, in IV 6. [section]33, he quotes Lucan exactly: 'Et Lucain ne vous a-t-il pas averty que le Party du Vainqueur avoit este le plus agreable aux Dieux, & celuy du Vaincu a Caton?' (41) Ceriziers here paraphrases and obscures the meaning. Regnier also printed in italics several significant definitions, for example, of Providence and Destiny (IV 6. [section]9-11; pp. 195-97), Man (V 6. [section]4; p. 241), and Eternity (V 6. [section]4; p. 250). Throughout, his erudition and Christian didacticism are clear in his well-ordered translation, which has overall a plainer style than that of Ceriziers.
Although this textual comparison is very limited, it can be perceived that Regniers translation does not correspond to that of Ceriziers. The two are independent. There is no indication in his preface that Regnier was acquainted with Ceriziers's work or with the earlier French printed translations. One point in common, however, is that both translators cited in their prefaces Maxime Panoudes, Jean de Meun, and Thomas Aquinas, probably borrowing from an edition of the Latin text.
Copies of Regniers work were rare in the eighteenth century, when two new translations were produced, one of which, in prose, by Leon Colesse (Paris: Gogue, 1771), had several further editions, the most recent in 1929, when a new wave of translations was about to unfurl.
These translations reflect continuing interest in Boethius's thought and its relevance for a very different age from that of Boethius himself. Besides recognising the intrinsic Christian values in Boethius's thinking, the translators explicitly tried to capture in the idiom and style of their day the meaning of the original, producing what is expected of a translation, that it be 'a fluent equivalent of the original. (42)
V. A Postscript on the Seventeenth-Century French Setting
Order, conformity, and authority--of Church, State, and Monarchy, and the Academie francaise--are the hallmarks of seventeenth-century France. Notwithstanding, there were major controversies. The Catholic Church defended and applied its authority in the face of Protestantism, the Jesuit-Jansenist opposition, and the freedom of thought of the libertins. In the second half of the century, when the personal reign of Louis XIV began in 1661, Classicism, the Age of Reason, reached its height. Its philosophical, aesthetic, and literary principles were by and large in accord with Christian doctrine. By then, censorship had become laicised, although prosecution of a book for its contents, after publication, was still possible.
The translations of Ceriziers and Regnier belong to different periods of the century. First published in 1636, when Cardinal Richelieu was head of the Conseil du roi and working to unify France under the authority of the monarchy, Ceriziers's translation is more or less contemporary with the foundation of the Academie francaise (1634), the establishment of the Jansenists at Port-Royal (1635), and Descartes's affirmation of the supremacy of reason in the Discours de la Methode (1637). It was re-printed at intervals until Cerizierss death in 1662. This popularity might be attributed to his prominence as an author and to his role at court, but it also indicates that the book was sold and available to the general readership comprising court and town. In his preface, 'Au lecteur', Ceriziers does not define a target readership, but envisages that his book will provide consolation for everyone. He regrets that Boethius did not explicitly refer to the Christian faith. This omission on Boethius's part cast a shadow on his work for most translators of the post-medieval period.
When Regniers translation was published in 1675, France was shining in the light of Classicism and the Monarchy, and aspiring to intellectual order and stability. Boileau had published his Art poetique (1674), modelled on Horace's treatise, Racine dominated the theatre with plays on ancient classical subjects (Andromaque (1667); Phedre (1677)), made consonant with a Christian outlook. Like Ceriziers, but more deliberately so, Regnier, in his Preface, described Boethius as a Christian, firm in the Faith, who composed his Consolatio with knowledge of Plato's philosophy and of Christian theology in harmony. Regnier quotes from St Augustine's work explicitly, as evidence of Boethius's conformity to Christian thinking. He emphasises particularly the themes of Good and Evil, the need for Divine Grace, and the notions of Human Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge, significant topics recurring at that time in theological and philosophical debates. Further proof is found in Boethius's defence of Christianity in the Opuscula sacra. Regnier therefore sought discerning readers who would approach the work in a thoroughly Christian manner. (43)
Translations served to widen the potential reading public and extend knowledge of Boethius's ideas at a time when Latin was beginning to be taught and used less, and the French language was gaining status and prestige for political reasons, as well as for recognition of the intrinsic merits of the language. Neither of the translations discussed here was intended for school use or instructive purposes. Completed in different periods of the century, they did not truly compete with one another in alternative renderings. Both supposed a literate public, reading for consolation and moral improvement, in pursuit of ideas to cultivate and edify the mind. It is unknown to what extent these readers followed the progression and dialectic of Boethius's subtle arguments in Books IV and V
The influence of Boethius's Consolatio on seventeenth-century philosophical and religious thought is largely uncharted. In fact, despite many years of extensive scholarship on Boethius's influence on medieval thought, there has been a recent call for more precise study of his influence as an auctoritas on specific medieval authors, in order to establish him as an original thinker and more than a conduit of ancient thought. (44) The post-medieval period poses new and further problems of interpretation yet to be addressed. Of the main philosophical themes in the Consolatio--the personification of Philosophia, Fortune, false and true happiness, the harmony of the universe, etc.--some resound particularly in the seventeenth-century intellectual climate: Good and Evil and the need of Divine Grace, Providence and Fate, Human Free Will and Divine Predestination. It is for specialists in seventeenth-century French thought to investigate affinities between Boethius's thinking on these matters and the controversies preoccupying philosophical and theological minds of that century. Thus it might be determined whether and in what measure these two translations by clerics contribute to the intellectual debates through their interpretation and handling of Boethius's thought as distilled in the Consolatio.
[Boethius], La Consolation de la Philosophie, trans. Rene de Ceriziers, New Edition (Paris: Charles Angot, 1663).
I. Title page
LA CONSOLATION DE LA PHILOSOPHIE TRADVITE DV LATIN DE BOECE. Par le Sieur de CERIZIERS, Aumosnier du Roy. NOVVELLE EDITION. [Printers Emblem--the Lion dor device] A PARIS, Chez CHARLES ANGOT, rue saint Iacques, au Lion dor. M. DC. LXIII. Auec Priuilege &Approbation.
II. Material Characteristics
Dimensions: c. 147 x c. 85 mm; pages: c. 140 x c. 80 mm. Collation: 12o; [A.sup.12] (-A 1) B-[E.sup.12] [F.sup.6]; (8) 1-124 pp. Preliminaries are signed, but not paginated. From the beginning of the text of the translation, all pages are numbered consecutively 1-124. Catchwords appear in the lower right margin of verso pages, signatures in the lower right margin of recto pages. A headpiece ornament and an ornamental initial mark the beginning of each book. A tailpiece ornament appears at the end of all books, except III, where space did not allow it. Running titles are: verso pages, 'LA CONSOLATION DE LA'; recto pages, 'PHILOSOPHIE, LIVRE I.' (etc.). The text of the meters, 'POESIES', is printed in italics. The binding is brown calf, with gilt ornamentation and lettering in five compartments on the spine. The second compartment has the title: 'CONSOLAT[ION] | DE | PHILOSOPHIE'. The final letters are barely distinguishable.
A signature on the front cover pastedown, in faded black ink, 'Fred[eric] Emmery junior', denotes a former owner, who is also named in an inscription on the free flyleaf: 'Emm | Cette signature se rappor | te a celle d'une lettre que | Mlle Septfontaine m'a | remise du 28 s[e]p[tem]bre 1728 | probablement le livre | et la lettre sont de mon | grandpere Emmery'. (45) On the title page, between the lines of the title, are two lines handwritten in faded black ink, of which only the second is distinguishable: 'Fred[eric] Emmery junior', in the same hand as the signature 'Fred[eric] Emmery' on the back cover pastedown.
Aj: absent in this copy.
Aij: recto, title page; verso, blank.
[Aiij.sup.r]--[Aiiij.sup.r]: Dedication: 'A MONSEIGNEVR | PIERRE SCARRON | EVESQVEET PRINCE | DE GRENOBLE, &c.' Running heading:'EPISTRE'.
[Aiiij.sup.v]--[Aix.sup.v]: 'ECLAIRCISSEMENT | necessaire a l'intelligence de | cet Ouurage.' Running heading: 'AV LECTEVR.'
[Ax.sup.v]: 'Extraict du Priuilege du Roy.'
[Axj.sup.r]--[Fvij.sup.v]; pp. 1-124: Translation. The text begins with the drop-title 'LA | CONSOLATION | DE LA | PHILOSOPHIE. | LIVRE PREMIER.'
[Boethius], Boece console par la Philosophie, trans. Nicolas Regnier (Paris: Estienne Loyson, 1676).
I. Title page
BOECE CONSOLE' PAR LA PHILOSOPHIE. TRADUCTION NOUVELLE. PAR LE P NICOLAS REGNIER, Chanoine Regulier de la Congregation de France, &Prieur de Briquemaut. [Printer's ornament]
A PARIS, Chez ESTIENNE LOYSON, au Palais, a lentree de la Gallerie des Prisonniers, au Nom de JESUS. M. DC. LXXVI. AVEC PRIVILEGE DV ROI. (46)
II. Material Characteristics
Dimensions: 155 x 90 mm; pages: 150 x 85 mm. Collation: 12[degrees] in eights and fours: [[pi].sup.2]([pi]1 + [a.sup.6])[e.sup.4][i.sup.6][o.sup.2][A.sup.8][B.sup.4][C.sup.8][D.sup.4]-[V.sup.4][X.sup.8][Y.sup.2]. Preliminaries are signed, but not paginated. The translation text is numbered consecutively 1-259. Illustration: Facing the title page, is a full-page engraved frontispiece of Philosophy visiting Boethius in prison. She stands on the right, a sceptre in her left hand, and with her right arm offering Boethius an open book. He is seated to the left, at a round table, and holds in his left hand a closed book. His head rests on his right arm. In the background, the Muses flee through a doorway. A high window in the wall on the left is barred. One open and two closed books are on the tiled floor at Boethius's feet. (47) A headpiece with a figure and birds is at the top of p. 1. An unframed ornamental initial introduces the text. Small printers' fleurons separate stanzas and sections throughout.
The binding is worn brown calf. The spine has five compartments, with an abbreviated title in the second: 'CONS/DE/BOECE'. Gilt ornamentation is still visible in the other compartments. On the recto of preliminary leaf ii, is a handwritten inscription in black ink: 'Nunc aduce. Igual (?) M(?)eigy 1801'. On the top right-hand corner of the back cover pastedown is written in faded black ink: 'C4'.
[product] [1.sup.v]: frontispiece.
a [j.sup.r]: title page; verso blank.
a i[j.sup.r]-a ii[j.sup.v]: Dedication: 'A MONSEIGNEUR LE PREMIER PRESIDENT'.
a iii[j.sup.r]--o i[j.sup.r]: 'PREFACE.'
o i[j.sup.r]: Approbation of the Congregation des Chanoines reguliers.
[o i[j.sup.v]]: 'Extrait du Privilege du Roy.'
Sigs A--[Y2.sup.r]; pp. 1-259: Translation. The text begins with the drop-title: 'BOECE | CONSOLE' | PAR | LA PHILOSOPHIE. | LIVRE PREMIER.' Sig.Y[2.sup.r]: 'FIN.' The text ends.
Sig.Y[2.sup.v] + i: blank.
(1) ATL, MSR-05; Manion, Vines, and de Hamel, no. 140, pp. 122-24 (p. 123), pl. 2-3; Fiona McAlpine, '" Concorditer Dissonant": From Consonance to Polyphony (Alexander Turnbull Library, MSR-05)', in Migrations, eds Hollis and Barratt, pp. 165-83.
(2) ATL, MSR-19; Manion, Vines, and de Hamel, no. 146, pp. 127-28, figs 145-48; Christine McCarthy, 'Making Significance: Historiated Initials and the Donation of the Sir John Moody Albert Ilott Illuminated Manuscripts to the Alexander Turnbull Library', in Migrations, eds Hollis and Barratt, pp. 123-43 (pp. 129-32, pl. 2-3); Glynnis M. Cropp, 'The Consolatio Philosophiae of Boethius in New Zealand', in ibid., pp. 184-201 (pp. 185-86).
(3) AL, Med. MS G.119; Manion, Vines, and de Hamel, no. 3, pp. 43-44, pl. 8; Palmerston North, Massey University Library, MS 1; Manion, Vines, and de Hamel, no. 132, p. 116, fig. 48; Cropp, 'The Consolatio', pp. 186-88. The text has been edited: Le Livre de Boece de Consolacion. Edition critique, ed. Glynnis M. Cropp (Geneva: Droz, 2006).
(4) AL, Med. MS S.287; Manion, Vines, and de Hamel, no. 36, p. 68; Cropp, 'The Consolatio', pp. 188-97.
(5) Sir George Grey also donated an incunabulum edition of the Latin text De Consolatione philosophiae (Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1476); AL copy: shelfmark 1476 BOET
(6) (Bruges: Colard Mansion, 1477); and (Paris: Antoine Verard, 1494).
(7) J. Keith Atkinson and Glynnis M. Cropp, 'Boece, Consolatio Philosophiae, VIe s.', in Translations medievales (Transmedie). Cinq siecles de traductions en francais au Moyen Age (XIe-XV). Etude et Repertoire, ed. Claude Galderisi, 2 vols (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), II.2: Corpus Transmedie, no. 181, pp. 333-43; Glynnis M. Cropp, 'Boethius in Medieval France: Translations of the De Consolatione Philosophiae and Literary Influence', in A Companion to Boethius in the Middle Ages, eds Noel Harold Kaylor, Jr and Philip Edward Phillips (Leiden: Brill, 2012), pp. 319-55.
(8) A. Van de Vyver, 'Les Traductions du De Consolatione philosophiae de Boece en litterature comparee', Bibliotheque d'humanisme et Renaissance, 6 (1939), 247-73 (p. 262); Brian Donaghey, 'The Post-Medieval English Translations of the De Consolatione Philosophiae of Boethius, 1500-1800', in The Medieval Translator. Traduire au Moyen Age, 5, eds Roger Ellis and Rene Tixier (Turnhout: Brepols, 1996), pp. 302-21 (Appendix, p. 314).
(9) 'Rene de Ceriziers', Larousse, eds Catherine Bruguiere-Colovic, and others, available online at <larousse.fr/encyclopedie/personnage/Ceriziers/182031> [accessed 11 September 2014]; Jacob Schmutz, 'Ceriziers, Rene de', Scholasticon, online at <http:// scholasticon.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/index_fr. php>.
(10) Nicolas Petit, Prosopographie Genovefaine. Repertoire biographique des chanoines reguliers de saint Augustin de la Congregation de France (1624-1789) (Paris: Ecole nationale des chartes, 2008), no. 4579, pp. 323, 393, 462, 510.
(11) Konsolacya philozophyi Boecyusza (A Varsovie: dans l imprimerie Royalle de la Republique, 1738). The French and Polish texts are in parallel columns. See Wladyslaw Witalisz, 'Early Polish Echoes and Translations of Boethius', Carmina Philosophiae: Journal of the International Boethius Society, 11 (2002), 17-26.
(12) Early Imprints in New Zealand Libraries: A Finding List of Books Printed before 1801 Held in Libraries in the Wellington Region (Wellington: Alexander Turnbull Library, 1995). Note, for example, Jean Bodin, Les Six Livres de la Republique (Lyon: Iacques du Puys, 1560), held by the Victoria University of Wellington Library.
(13) John Marenbon, Boethius (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 4.
(14) Cardinal de Retz, Memoires, eds Maurice Allem and Edith Thomas (Paris: Gallimard, 1956), p. 769.
(15) See John Lough, Writer and Public in France: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), pp. 75-79; Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800, trans. David Gerard (London: NLB, 1976; Verso edn, 1984), p. 153; Henry Phillips, Church and Culture in Seventeenth-Century France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 267-70; see also Elizabeth Armstrong, Before Copyright: The French Book-Privilege System 1498-1526 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
(16) Boece, La Consolation de Philosophie (Paris: Librairie Generale Francaise, 2008).
(17) Seth Lerer, Boethius and Dialogue: Literary Method in 'The Consolation of Philosophy' (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985).
(18) For example, the BL copy, Gen. Ref. Coll. 1248.a.29.
(19) Also BnF, shelfmarks R-29374 and R-29375.
(20) Jean-Dominique Mellot and Elisabeth Queval, Repertoire d'imprimeurs/libraires (vers 1510-vers 1810) (Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France, 2004), no. 416.
(21) See BnF, shelfmark R-18101.
(22) Philippe Renouard, Repertoire des imprimeurs parisiens: libraires et fondeurs de caracteres en exercice a Paris au XVII' siecle (Nogent-le-Roi: Librairie des Arts et Metiers-Editions, 1995), p. 68; Mellot and Queval, Repertoire, no. 963.
(23) Two examples of which are BnF, shelfmark R-5924; and Paris, Bibliotheque SainteGenevieve, shelfmark 4 R 504 INV553 FA.
(24) Augustin-Martin Lottin, Catalogue chronologique des libraires et des libraires-imprimeurs de Paris depuis 1470jusqua present (Paris: chez Jean-Roch Lottin de Saint-Germain, 1789; repr. Amsterdam: Gruner, 1969). The volume has one title, but contains two parts, a Catalogue chronologique, and a Catalogue alphabetique, with separate pagination: Catalogue chronologique, pp. 138-39, 141; Catalogue alphabetique, p. 2; Renouard, Repertoire, p. 5.
(25) Alfred Rebelliau, 'La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement de Grenoble', Revue d'histoire de lEglise de France, 5 (1914), 305-27 (pp. 308-09).
(26) Jacques de Voragine, La Legende doree, trans. J.-B. M. Roze, 2 vols (Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1967), II, 277.
(27) See Leslie Taylor, 'Maximos Planudes and his [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy translated into Greek', Carmina Philosophiae: Journal of the International Boethius Society, 13 (2004), 53-60.
(28) Pierre Courcelle, La Consolation de la Philosophie dans la tradition litteraire. Antecedents et posterite de Boece (Paris: Etudes augustiniennes, 1967), pp. 317, 322-23.
(29) See n. 5, above.
(30) Bernd Bastert, 'Boethius unter Druck. Die Consolatio Philosophiae in einer Koberger-Inkunabel von 1473', in Boethius Christianus? Tranformationen der 'Consolatio Philosophiae' in Mittelalter und Fruher Neuzeit, eds Reinhold F. Glei, Nicola Kaminski, and Franz Lebsanft (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), pp. 35-69; see also Donaghey, 'The Post-Medieval English Translations', p. 315.
(31) Les Soliloques, Les Meditations et le Manuel (Paris: P. Le Petit, 1684); BnF, shelfmark C-3048; (Paris: R. Pepie, 1691); BnF, shelfmark C-3049.
(32) Petit, Prosopographie, pp. 7-10, 323, nos 4574, 4579.
(33) Renouard, Repertoire, p. 296; Lottin, Catalogue chronologique, pp. 120, 136-37; Catalogue alphabetique, p. 117; Mellot and Queval, Repertoire, no. 3292; Henri-Jean Martin, Roger Chartier, and Jean-Pierre Vivet, Histoire de l'edition francaise, 4 vols (Paris: Promodis, 1982-86), ii: Le Livre triomphant 1660-1830 (1984), 263.
(34) John R. Martindale, Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, 3 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), II, 537-38; John R. C. Martyn, 'A New Family Tree for Boethius', Parergon, 23.1 (2006), 1-9 (pp. 3-5).
(35) Paul Beurrier (1608-96), Superieur general 1675-81. See Petit, Prosopographie, no. 455, p. 58; see also pp. 382, 464.
(36) Claude Du Molinet (1620-87), Secretary of the Superieur general 1675, Procureur general de la Congregation 1676. See Petit, Prosopographie, no. 1718, pp. 141-42; see also pp. 386, 463.
(37) A digitised copy of this edition (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, A.lat.b. 78c) can be accessed at <http://www.bsb-muenchen-digital.de/~db/1024/bsb10243741/ images/index.html>; cf. BL, Gen. Ref. Coll. 8405.ee.23.
(38) Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat, ed., Traduire en francais a l'age classique: genie national et genie des langues (Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2013); reviewed by Jean-Alexandre Perras, French Studies, 68 (2014), 392.
(39) Ceriziers, p. 46. The translation is: 'Honey is more delicious, when a very bitter liquor prepares our taste for this divine drink, which is sweeter than Madeira sugar.'
(40) Ceriziers might have misread 'non' as 'nos', or might have worked from a Latin text with 'nos' as a variant of 'non'.
(41) Regnier, p. 202; the translation is: 'And did not Lucan warn us that the gods were most pleased by the victor's cause and Cato by that of the vanquished.'
(42) Ruth Morse, Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages: Rhetoric, Representation and Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 186. I am grateful to Roger D. J. Collins, the late Brian S. Donaghey, Wallace Kirsop, and John C. Ross for their advice on early modern printed books.
(43) On Boethius's thought and Christianity, see Courcelle, p. 231; Henry Chadwick, Boethius: The Consolations of Music, Logic, Theology and Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), pp. 247-53; Marenbon, Boethius, pp. 154-59, 162-63; Susanna E. Fischer, 'Boethius Christianus sive Platonicus. Fruhe mittelalterliche Kommentare zu O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas, in Boethius Christianus?, eds Glei, Kaminski, and Lebsanft, pp. 157-77.
(44) Marenbon, Boethius, pp. 176-82; Siobhan Nash-Marshall, 'Boethius's Influence on Theology and Metaphysics to c. 1500', in A Companion, eds Kaylor and Phillips, pp. 163-91 (pp. 166-72).
(45) The translation is: 'Emm[ery]. This signature relates to that of a letter of the 28 September 1728, which Mlle Septfontaine gave me. Probably the book and the letter are my grandfather's.'
(46) Compare with BnF, shelfmark R-18097.
(47) In correspondence, Brian Donaghey identified the engraving as modelled on a frontispiece of the 1656 edition of the Consolatio Philosophiae by Renatus Vallinus, published 'LUGD. BATAVORUM, Apud Franciscum Hackium. Ao. MDCLVI'.
Table 1. Comparison of the Latin text with Ceriziers's and Reorder s translations of Book I, meter i, 1-2, 21-22. Rene de Ceriziers Nicolas Reorder Carmina qui quondam MOY dont les MOY qui fis studio florente premiers Vers n'ont autresfois des Vers peregi, Flebilis, parle que de ioye, si pleins de charmes heu, maestos cogor inire modos.... Ie ne puis euiter En ma prosperite, les pleurs oil ie me noye; Ie vois tous mes Je n'en compose plus plaisirs changez par que baignez de mes ma douleur, larmes Quid me felicem Et si i'escris des En mon adversite. totiens iactastis, vers, ie les dois au ... amici? malheur.... Qui cecedit, stabili non erat ille gradu. Maintenant que le Pourquoy me Ciel commence a flattiez-vous d'un m'affliger, bonheur veritable, En me faisant Favoris dangereux? mourir, tu crains de m'obliger: Pourquoy done Celuy que vous voyez croyoit-on ma aujourd'huy fortune prospere? miserable, Si i'eusse este Ne fut jamais content, ie serois heureux. (pp. 1-3) sans misere. (pp. 1-2) Verses I made once While my first I, who formerly, in glowing with verses evoked only prosperity, wrote content; joy, I cannot such charming Tearful, alas, sad avoid being drenched verses, now in songs must I in tears; I see all adversity can only begin.... Ah why, my my pleasures changed compose tearfully. friends, by my grief, and if I write verses, I owe them to misfortune.... Why did you boast so Why did you flatter often of my me with having true happiness? happiness, dangerous How faltering even Now that Heaven companions? The man then the step begins to afflict me you now see in by bringing misery was never about my death, you happy. Of one now fallen. are afraid to oblige me: Why therefore was my fortune thought to be favourable? If I had been content, I would be without distress. Table 2. Comparison of the Latin text with Ceriziers's and Reamer's translations of Book I, prose 1, [section]1. Rene de Ceriziers Nicolas Reorder Haec dum mecum Comme ie discourois Pendant que je tacitus ipse ainsi a part-moy, & repassois ces choses reputarem que ie tracois mes en mon esprit, & que querimoniamque plaintes auec la je tracois ces lacrimabilem stili plume, il me sembla plaintes sur le officio signarem voir sur ma teste papier; une Femme astitisse mihi supra vne Dame pleine de d'un visage uerticem uisa est majeste, de qui les venerable se vint mulier reuerendi yeux estoient presenter a moy. Ses admodum uultus, beaucoup plus vifs & yeux estoient oculis ardentibus et plus estincelans que extremement ultra communem ceux des hommes brillans, & avoient hominum ualentiam ordinaires. Son quelque chose de perspicacibus, teint estoit frais, plus percant que colore uiuido atque & ses joues avoient ceux du commun des inexhausti uigoris, vn embonpoint qui Hommes. Elle estoit quamuis ita aeui n'estoit aucunement d'une couleur vive, plena foret ut nullo descheu, bien que & qui marquoit une modo nostrae son age fist complexion robuste, crederetur aetatis, paroistre cette quoy qu'elle parust statura discretionis beaute d'vn autre si agee, que l'on ambiguae. siecle que du voyoit bien qu'elle nostre. (p. 2) n'estoit pas de nostre temps, (p. 3) While I was thinking As I was thinking While I was these thoughts to thus to myself and pondering over these myself in silence, writing down my matters in my mind and set my pen to complaint, I seemed and writing down on record this tearful to see above my head paper these complaint, there a majestic Lady complaints, a Woman seemed to stand over whose eyes were much of venerable my head a woman. Her more lively and appearance came look filled me with brighter than those towards me. Her eyes awe: her burning of ordinary men. Her were extremely eyes penetrated more complexion was sparkling, and had deeply than those of fresh, and her something more ordinary men; her cheeks fully round, penetrating than complexion was fresh although her age those of ordinary with an ever-lively made this beauty men. She had a bloom, yet she appear to be of a bright complexion, seemed so ancient different time from denoting a robust that none would our own. constitution, think her of our although she time. It was appeared so aged difficult to say how that one could well tall she might be. see that she was not of our time. Table 3. Comparison of the Latin text with Ceriziers's and Reamer's translations of Book V prose 6, [section]47-48 (end of the final prose). Rene de Ceriziers Nicolas Reorder Auersamini igitur Et partant fui'ez le Fuyez done leVice, uitia, colite vice, aymez la aimez la Vertu; ne uirtutes, ad rectas vertu, releuez vos formez jamais en spes animum pensees a des choses vostre Esprit que subleuate, humiles hautes, abaissez des desirs preces in excelsa seulement vostre equitables; & porrigite. Magna courage a 1'humilite n'offrez au Ciel que uobis est, si des prieres. Vous des Prieres pleines dissimulare non auez vne estroitte d'humilitd. Vous uultis, necessitas obligation de bien avez une etroite indicta probitatis faire (si vous ne obligation d'estre cum ante oculos voulez vertueux, si vous la agitis iudicis malicieusement voulez reconnoistre, cuncta cernentis. feindre de puis que vous faites 1'ignorance) puis vos actions devant que vous faites les yeux d'un luge a toutes vos actions qui rien ne peut deuant les yeux d'vn estre cache. Dieu qui voit tout. FIN (p. 2S9). FIN (p. 124). Turn away then from And, so, flee wee, Therefore turn away vices, cultivate love virtue, lift from vice, cultivate virtues, lift up your thoughts to virtue; form in your your mind to high matters, lower mind only reasonable righteous hopes, only your heart to desires; and offer offer up humble the humility of to Heaven only prayers to heaven. A prayers. You have a prayers of humility. great necessity is strict obligation to You have a strict solemnly ordained do good (if you do obligation to be for you if you do not wish perversely virtuous, if you not want to deceive to feign ignorance), recognise it, as you yourselves, to do since you carry out act before the eyes good, when you act all your actions of a judge from whom before the eyes of a before the eyes of a nothing can be judge who sees all God who sees hidden. things. everything. THE END. THE END.
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|Title Annotation:||Part II: Early Modern Discoveries and Reflections|
|Author:||Cropp, Glynnis M.|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2015|
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