A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site

Elizabeth Cellier , English Catholic Midwife 1680

741G Elizabeth Cellier
741G Elizabeth Cellier

741G   Elizabeth Cellier fl 1668-1688

Malice defeated, or, A brief relation of the accusation and deliverance of Elizabeth Cellier wherein her proceedings both before and during her confinement are particularly related and the Mystery of the meal-tub fully discovered : together with an abstract of her arraignment and tryal, written by her self, for the satisfaction of all lovers of undisguised truth.

London: Printed for Elizabeth Cellier, 1680          $Sold

Folio   A-N2, M2 (m2 is the begining of Wing C-1663)   First edition. Bound in modern blue cloth., Text in very good condition, with a few contemporary manuscript side notes.

Cellier, who was know as the “Popish Midwife” first came into prominence through the pretended “Meal-Tub Plot” of 1680.   Nothing seems known of her life till her marriage with Peter Cellier, a Frenchman, and her conversion from Anglicanism. In 1678 the prisons were filled with Catholics in consequence of the national alarm caused by the fabricated plots of Titus Oates. Mrs. Cellier’s charity led her to visit and relieve these prisoners, and as her profession procured for her the acquaintance of many leading Catholic ladies, she often became the channel of their charity towards the prisoners. Among these ladies was the Countess of Powis, whose kindness was shown to, among others, a clever impostor, Thomas Dangerfield. Becoming aware of this man’s true character, Lady Powis ceased to assist him further, and he, in revenge, decided to denounce her to the Government as concerned in a new popish plot. His story was that he had been released from prison through the good offices of Lady Powis and Mrs. Cellier, on condition that he would assassinate the king, Lord Shaftesbury, and others. He further pretended that he was to be engaged in manufacturing false plots to be foisted on those who were known to be unfavorable to the Catholic cause. One of these shams was to be based on a document which, he alleged, was hidden in a meal-tub in Mrs. Cellier’s house. Search was made, and in a meal-tub the paper in question was found. This document charged with treason most of the leading Protestants, including the king’s natural son, the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and Sir Thomas Waller, who was the very official who conducted the search. In consequence of Dangerfield’s accusation founded on this document, Lady Powis and Mrs. Cellier were arrested, as well as some other Catholics, among them the Earl of Castlemain.  Mrs. Cellier’s trial took place on 11 June, 1680. She was charged with high treason, but practically the only evidence against her was that of Dangerfield himself, and she had little difficulty in proving him a witness entirely unworthy of credence. She was found not guilty, and Dangerfield himself was arrested on account of a felony, for which he had been previously outlawed. After her acquittal she published a this brief relation of the whole affair, under the title of “Malice Defeated”. This led not only to a long series of pamphlets for and against her, but also to her second prosecution. The charge this time was that of libel against the King and ministry, because she alleged that two witnesses in the Edmundbury Godfrey case had been tortured. But the real object of this prosecution, according to Roger North, was to prevent her from giving evidence in favor of the imprisoned Catholic peers.  For this she was sentenced to pay a fine of £1,000 and to stand three times in the pillory. During the reign of James II she planned the foundation of a corporation of skilled midwives and a foundling hospital. It is stated that she is buried in Great Missenden Church, Buckinghamshire. She wrote: (1) “Malice Defeated; or a brief relation of the Accusation and Deliverance of Elizabeth Cellier” (London, 1680); (2) “A scheme for the Foundation of a Royal Hospital and raising a revenue of £5000 or £6000 a year by and for the maintenance of a Corporation of skillful midwives” (London, 1687), printed in the “Harleian Miscellany” (IV, 142) and in the “Somers Tracts” (II, 243); (3) “To Dr. ______, An answer to his Queries concerning the College of Midwives” (London, 1687-88). This book was burnt by the authorities after Cellier was found guilty.

Includes “The matchless picaro” (caption title), two leaves at end (quire N), which was also published separately in the same year as “The matchless rogue” (Wing C1662). It is a reply to “Tho. Dangerfield’s answer to a certain scandalous lying pamphlet entituled, Malice defeated, or, The deliverance of Elizabeth Cellier” and is Mrs. Cellier’s satirical account of Dangerfield’s career.

Wing C-1661.


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It seems to me as I look back at the books I’ve bought in the past few months I’ve become interested in Lexica , Alphabetum, Dictionaris and Thesauri..

I’ve bought Legal Lexica by Melonius 1654, Reyger 1697, and König 1695.   A mechanical lexia by Johann Georgius Mertz 1683. Two Aristotelian Lexica, by Saint Fleur 1565, and Bouchereau 1585, Two dictionaries of English Poets, Blount 1694 and Winstanley 1687. And now I have a Jesuit Alphabetum of the devil!  This one holds much Promise.

It is complied by the Bavarian Jesuit Johannes Niess. He authored about half a dozen  other books, mostly addressed to students, children and adolescents, .  His most popular work was the “Alphabetum Christi seu virtutes praecipuae quae adolescents” First published in 1618 and illustrated going through many editions.. Also in 1618 he wrote its Evil companion the: “Alphabetum Diaboli”  

    This books makes me think of a book I bought for my adolescent daughter for her birthday, Creative Cursing, a mix ‘n’ match profanity generator. Running Press 2009. We can be sure it was used this way.

Quite an interesting Image of Hell

$T2eC16JHJGQE9noMZM4rBRN,p-rE,!~~60_57Alphabetum diaboli seu vitia praecipua, quae adolescentem christianum perdunt. Juventuti in Gymnasiis Soc. Jesuversanti dicatum, et ad cautelam ac detestionem vitiorum propositum. Una cum appendice seu ode de aeternis inferorum suppliciis. Autore Joanne Niess Soc. Jesu. Editio sexta.

330G Niess, Johann.     1584-1634

Alphabetum diaboli seu vitia praecipua, quae adolescentem christianum perdunt. Juventuti in Gymnasiis Soc. Jesu versanti dicatum, et ad cautelam ac detestionem vitiorum propositum. Una cum appendice seu ode de aeternis inferorum suppliciis. Autore Joanne Niefs Soc. Jesu. Editio sexta.

Dilingae : Dillingen : formis academicis apud Joannem Federle(IS), Federle, Johann 1670         $3,400

Duodecimo, 13 cm.  A Sixth edition maybe?  A-X12

Bound in full original vellum, with two working clasps.

Niess was admitted to the Jesuits at the age of 20. He was a professor of Rhetoric at Dillngen and Munich as well as traveling to other German universities. His works are : Adolescens Europaeus ab Indo moribus christ. informatus. – 1629 ,Alphabetum Christi,  Alphabetum Diaboli. – 1618, De ortu et occasu linguae latinae. – 1627,Quatuor Hominis ultima. – 1626. despite this interesting output there is little written on Niess.
This Alphabetum, begins with a letter to the “Discipulos Societatis Jesu” in a typically flowery and scholarly  tone expounding the value of knowing the enemy> Next is a very interesting list of Authors used in the complation of the book, it is a who’s who of historical writers on the subject (11 pages) Then next is the Index
six pages alphabetically arranged of course of every where the Devil shows his head! :

Amor Mundi ,Blasphmia,Curiositas,Divitiarum ,Exemplum malum,Fausstus,Gastrimargia,Hypocrysis, Ingratus animus,Levitas, Mendacium, Negligentia,Otium,Pertinacia,Querimonia,Securitas,Temeritas,Voluptas, Zoiphilia

{yes Zoiphilia}

Time now for the “Programa Ad Christianum Adolscentem”after these two pages Niess dives in. for 467 pages then there is an “Appendix seu aeterna inferorum supplicia”

Caillet 8005 ;See De Backer/Sommervogel V, 1768  and DeBackerBibliothèque des écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus: ou, Notices  Volume 2 page 439$(KGrHqZHJBQFEzSJqspSBRN,qWRyyg~~60_57

R.P.Joanne Niess Alphabetum diaboli

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Very Rare English John Fisher!!

822G John Fisher (saint) 1469-1535.

A treatise of prayer, and of the fruits and manner of prayer. By the most Reuerend Father in God Iohn Fisher Bishop of Rochestre, Preist and most eminent Cardinall of the most holy Catholike Church, of the title of S. Vitalis. Translated into English by R.A.B.


Printed at Paris : by Will: Baudry, M. DC. XXXX [1640] $5,500

Duodecimo á A-G H . The fourth edition of Fisher, John. A godlie treatisse declaryng the benefites, fruites, and great commodities of prayer.

This copy has had heavy stainging and chipping repaired. bound in contemporary full calf in need of rebinding.

Written in latin “Tractatus de orando Deum : et de fructibus precum, modo [ue] orandi, numquam antehac Latiné editus”. ; First published in English in 1560/3 as A Godlie treatisse declaryng the benefites, fruites, and great commodities of prayer and also the true vse therof. Written in Latin, fourtie yeres past, by an Englyshe man, of great vertue [and] learnyng. And lately translated into Englyshe. Only one copy in the US at Williams College, then in, 1577 ,no US copies then 1600 only one copy listed St. Mary’s Seminary, New Oscott NO U.S. Copies, and Then this edition Estc shows only folger in the US Oclc adda Catholic University of America. Prayer for Holy Bishops by Saint John Fisher Lord, according to Thy promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost. So, good Lord, do now in like manner with Thy Church militant, change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stones. Set in the Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labors–watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat–which also shall not fear the threatenings of princes, persecution, neither death, but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church. Amen

STC (2nd ed.), 10890 (showing only Folger add Catholic Univ of America,

Allison & Rogers. Catholic books, 305

Gesners History of Quadrupeds 1551

862G Conrad Gesner 1516-1565 Conradi Gesneri medici Tigurini Historiae Animalium Lib. I. de Quadrupedibus viviparis. Opus Philosophis, Medicis, Grammatical, Philologis, Poetis, & omnibus rerum …

Source: Gesners History of Quadrupeds 1551

Martin Luther 1483-1546 Two important pamphlets!

872G Martin Luther 1483-1546 Vermanung zum Sacrament des Leibs vnd Bluts vnsers Herrn Wittemberg : [ Joseph Klug],1530 (Colophon: Gedruckt zu wittemberg durch Joseph Klug. M.D. XXX)                …

Source: Martin Luther 1483-1546 Two important pamphlets!

Gesners History of Quadrupeds 1551

862G Conrad Gesner 1516-1565 Conradi Gesneri medici Tigurini Historiae Animalium Lib. I. de Quadrupedibus viviparis. Opus Philosophis, Medicis, Grammatical, Philologis, Poetis, & omnibus rerum …

Source: Gesners History of Quadrupeds 1551

Gesners History of Quadrupeds 1551

dsc_0056dsc_0053dsc_0050dsc_0049dsc_0048resize862G Conrad Gesner 1516-1565

Conradi Gesneri medici Tigurini Historiae Animalium Lib. I. de Quadrupedibus viviparis. Opus Philosophis, Medicis, Grammatical, Philologis, Poetis, & omnibus rerum linguarum quae variorum studiosis, utilissimum simul iucundissimumquae futurum. Ad Lectorem. Habebis in hoc Volumine, optime Lector, non solum simplicem animalium historiam, sed etiam veluti commentarios copiosos, & castigations plurimas om veterum ac recentiorum de animalibus scripta quae videre hactenus nobis licuit omnia: praecipue vero in Aristotelis, Plinii, Aelinai, Oppiani, authorum rei rusticate, Alberti Magni, &c. de animalibus lucubrationes. Tuum erit, candied Lector, diligentissimum & laboriosissimum Opus, quod non minori tempore quam quidam de elephantis fabulantur, conceptum efformatumque; nobis, divino auxilio nunc tandem in lucem aedimus, non modo boni consulere, sed etiam tantis conatibus (ut alterum quoque; Tomum vitius & alacrius absolvamus) ex animo favere ac bene precari: & Domino Deo bonorum omnium authori servatorique; qui tot tantasque; red ad Universi ornatum, & varios hominum usus creavit, ac nobis ut ea contempoaremur, vitam, valetudinem, otium & ingenium donavit, gratias agree maximas.

Tiguri Apud Christ. Froschoverum, Anno M. D. LI [1551].                                 $ Sold




Folio [alpha]-[beta]6 [gamma]8 a-3a6. This copy is bound in 18th century quarter calf over marbled boards.

Gesner, who is best known for his groundbreaking work in bibliography, was at heart a natural historian. His contemporaries knew him best as a botanist despite lectureships in Greek and physics and a degree in medicine. Even Cuvier referred to Gesner as “the German Pliny.” Gesner’s interest in what we would today call zoology focused on “animal physiology and pathology, and he is considered by some the founder of veterinary science.” (DSB) The present book is a his work on quadrupeds, which was the first volume of his seminal “Historia Animalium” that appeared in four volumes from 1551-1558. The “Historia Animalium” has been called the “starting-point of modern zoology.” (EB)“”The most authoritative zoological book beween Aristotle and the publication of Ray`s classification of fauna in 1693, it remained the standard reference book even as late as Linné.” (PMM 77)


Two more Rare incunabula !

835G   Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint (1090 or 1091-1153).

Florum S. Bernardi nobiliorum libri X (auctore Guillelmo, S. Martini Tornacensis monacho). De quibusdam sermonibus venerabilis patris Bernardi.

Cologne : Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, 1482 (In this copy and in many copies, the arabic figures 82 have been added to the printed date ‘M.cccc.’, probably in the printing-shop ) $11,000



Folio 11 1/4 x 8 inches {j.6} a2-q8, r-s6, t-v8 v8 blank(.j.1, a1,blank ).This copy lacks 5 leaves of index and 2 blanks. Second edition, the  first  was printed in 1470.

4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

This is a very nicely rubricated copy with many large lombard initials in red and the capital stroked in red and each chapter has a leather tab, This copy is bound in original quarter dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled from the works of Saint Bernard by Guilelmus Tornacensis, Benedictine monk.

It’s hard to know how to characterize Bernard of Clairvaux. On the one hand, he is called the “honey-tongued doctor” for his eloquent writings on the love of God. On the other hand, he rallied soldiers to kill Muslims. He wrote eloquently on humility; then again, he loved being close to the seat of power and was an adviser to five popes. What Bernard is remembered for today, more than his reforming zeal and crusade preaching, is his mystical writings. His best known work is On Loving God, in which he states his purpose at the beginning: “You wish me to tell you why and how God should be loved. My answer is that God himself is the reason he is to be loved.”

dsc_0068His other great literary legacy is Sermons on the Song of Songs, 86 sermons on the spiritual life that, in fact, only tangentially touch on the biblical text. One passage in particular speaks aptly to Bernard’s lifelong passion to know God (and, likely, the temptations that troubled him):dsc_0066dsc_0067

Goff B389 ; Bod-inc,; B-178; GW; 3929; Hain-Copinger; 2926*; ISTC,; ib00389000; O


____________________________) )( (_________________________________

836G   Menghus   Blanchellus, (Bianchelli, Mengo) 1440-1520

Super logicam Pauli Veneti expositio et quaestiones (Menghi Fauentini viri clarissimi in Pauli Veneti logicam commentum cu[m] questionibus quibusdam.)


Impressu[m] Venetiis :[Per] Antoniu[m] [et] strata de Cremona.1483       $18,000

Quarto a-t8 u6. U.S.A: San Marino CA, The Huntington Library

This copy is bound in Quarter reverse calf over quarter sawn wooden boards. This copy has spaces for capitals and  a bout half a dozen pages with marginal nots. The  title is from dsc_0073incipit on a2 recto./ Colophon reads: Me[n]ghi faue[n]tini viri clarissimii Pauli veneti logica[m] Co[m]e[n]tu[m] cu[m] q[uesti]onib[us] no[n]nullis feliciter finit. Impressu[m] Venetiis Su[m]ma cu[m] dilige[n]tia [per] Antoniu[m] & strata de Cremona. Anno ab i[n]carnat[i]o[n]e d[omin]ni. Mcccclxxxiii. vi calendas Septe[m]bris. Joha[n]ne mocenico iclito veneto[rum] duce./ Text printed in 2 columns; 46 lines. With initial spaces; without foliation and catchwords. Register at end.
Rare philosophical treatise by the philosopher and physician M. Blanchellus (about 1440-1520), giving an explanation of the work of Paul of Venice, the important logician and realist of the Middle Ages.
Blanchellus took part in a “disputation” with Pico della Mirandola in Florence

Goff B693; HR 3228; IBE 1072; IGI 1751; BSB-Ink B-545; GW 4406


Martin Luther 1483-1546 Two important pamphlets!

872G Martin Luther 1483-1546

Vermanung zum Sacrament des Leibs vnd Bluts vnsers Herrn

Wittemberg : [ Joseph Klug],1530 (Colophon: Gedruckt zu wittemberg durch Joseph Klug. M.D. XXX)                                                $3,750

Quarto A-H4 third printing same year as First printing. This copy is bound in modern vellum binding. The title from this copy suffers from weak (worn?) printing? {last year Emma Huber and Henrike La hnemannat at Oxford, MT 2015/16 did a “Show and Tell Session in the Taylorian Institute” compairing two versions of this book with the “Extra Task: Try to sort prints with the same title woodcut by their wear & tear marks” So I’m willing to make a guess that the type for this was wearing out fast.

At the end of the year 1519, Luther still maintained the doctrine of transubstantiation intact. In his Ein Sermon von dem hocwurdigen Sakrament des heiligen wahren Leichnams Christi und von den Bruderschaften, he teaches that there is a change of the substance of the bread and wine but emphasizes that it is symbolical of our union with the spiritual body of Christ. Luther on the body and Blood of our lord, ,held that “It is not the doctrine of transubstantiation which is to be believed, but simply that Christ really is present at the Eucharist. this of course was first formally addressed in the Babylonian Captivity pamphlet of 1520, In his “On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church” (published on 6 October 1520) Luther wrote:Therefore it is an absurd and unheard-of juggling with words, to understand “bread” to mean “the form, or accidents of bread,” and “wine” to mean “the form, or accidents of wine.” Why do they not also understand all other things to mean their forms, or accidents? Even if this might be done with all other things, it would yet not be right thus to emasculate the words of God and arbitrarily to empty them of their meaning.Moreover, the Church had the true faith for more than twelve hundred years, during which time the holy Fathers never once mentioned this transubstantiation — certainly, a monstrous word for a monstrous idea — until the pseudo-philosophy of Aristotle became rampant in the Church these last three hundred years. During these centuries many other things have been wrongly defined, for example, that the Divine essence neither is begotten nor begets, that the soul is the substantial form of the human body, and the like assertions, which are made without reason or sense, as the Cardinal of Cambray himself admitsIn his 1523 treatise The Adoration of the Sacrament, he defended adoration of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.Here1530 in we get a more final point of view : explicitly reject transubstantiation believing that the bread and wine remain fully bread and fully wine while also being truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Luther instead emphasize the sacramental union and believes that within the Eucharistic celebration the body and blood of Jesus Christ are objectively present “in, with, and under the forms” of bread and wine There is great stress on Jesus’ instructions to “take and eat”, and “take and drink”, holding that this is the proper, divinely ordained use of the sacrament, and, while giving it due reverence, scrupulously avoid any actions that might indicate or lead to superstition or unworthy fear of the sacrament.

see: Burckhardt Neunheuser, “Transsubstantiation.” Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, vol. 10, cols. 311-14.

Benzing, Lutherbibliographie; 2829: Kuczynski, A. Thesaurus,; 3358



869G Martin Luther 1483-1546

Eyn Sermon vber Das Euangelium Johan. 4. Es war ein konigischer des son lag kranck zu Capernaum etc.

(Hans Lufft)., Wyttem. (Wittenberg)., 1523 [Printer from Benzing]              $2,900

Quarto A-B4 (B4 blank) First Edition Bound in modern wrappers.

First edition of a sermon preached November 9, 1522, on John 4:46ff. (Healing of nobleman’s son at Capernaum). Here we have an example, in which you see how imperfect faith increases, even when we do not cease to pray. When we are delivered from temptation, our faith is increased, to the end that we may more strongly withstand future temptations and persecutions. A beautiful example of faith is presented in this Gospel, exhibiting, as it does, the nature and character of faith, namely, that it is to increase and become perfect; and it portrays faith in a way as to show that it is not a quiet and idle, but a living, restless thing, that either retrogrades or advances, lives and moves; and where this does not occur, faith does notexist, but only a lifeless notion of the heart concerning God. For true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit pours into the heart, cannot be inactive. This I say for the purpose that no one may be sure, even if he has attained faith, that he now has everything; with this it shall not stop, for it is not sufficient to begin, but one must constantly grow and increase, and continue learning to know God better.

Benzing, Lutherbibliographie; 1497.











First Edition of Descartes’ Letters 1682

“Thus, all Philosophy is like a tree, of which Metaphysics is the root, Physics the trunk, and all the other sciences the branches that grow out of this trunk, which are reduced to three prin…

Source: First Edition of Descartes’ Letters 1682

Early books by English Catholics.

716G John Fisher 1469-1535 Defesio Regie asser=tionis cotra Babylonica captiuitate, per Reuerendum patre & D.D. Joha- nem Roffensem Episcopu. In qua re- spondet pro illustrissimo,…

Source: Early books by English Catholics.

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