A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site



337G          Novari, Giovanni Maria & Barbato, Horatio.

Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis, in qvo complvres singvlares materiae ad earum fauorem in vsu forensi quotidianae, & frequentes, tum iuxta iuris communis, quam municipalis regni dispositionem, supremorum totius orbis tribunalium, placita accuratè, exactèq; dilucidantur :opus sane practicabile, curiosum, necessarium, & utile
[bound with]
De Restitutionis incertorum et male ablatorum privilegiis fertilis et praegnans tractatus… Accesserunt in calce nonnullae allegationes V. I. D. Francisci Severini
           [bound with]
De restitutorio interdicto ac de reuocanda possessione liber singularis : ad intellectum reg. pragm. Regni Neap. incipientis, assistentiam sub titulo de assistentia praestanda : in quo praeter huberem tractatum, obligationis bonoru[m], pacti de capiendo constituti, excussionis, ac hypothecariae, nihilum penè desiderari potest in materia, quin luculenter, copiosèq[ue] tractetur

Neapoli: ex Typographia Dominici Maccarani 1637 et Typis Luca & Antonii de Fusco ,1669
Neapoli: ex Typographia Dominici Maccarani 1637 et Typis Luca & Antonii de Fusco ,1669
Neapoli: Per Jacobum Gaffari; 1637 Sumptibus Io.Domenici Bove .   $3,000

π4 (unsigned) A-Y4,Z2,Aa-Cc2

[Bound with] π2,A-K4,L2

[Bound with] π1,A4 (π2 blank) B-Z4, Aa-Bb4,Cc6, a1, ß3,b-c4,d6.

These three folio volumes are bound in 17th century full  green reversed calf, the spine has been eroded, but the binding is strong and solid.
These three books relate in more than a local way,they all deal with ‘material rights’.
The first, Poor-law, the second Wills and the third is on Restitution of property.
Navario 337G Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis
Navario 337G Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis
Novario 337G.  De Restitutionis incertorum et male ablatorum privilegiis.
Novario 337G. De Restitutionis incertorum et male ablatorum privilegiis.
Barbato 337G De restitutorio interdicto ac de reuocanda possessione liber singularis .
Barbato 337G De restitutorio interdicto ac de reuocanda possessione liber singularis .


Tools of the trade

DSC_0001Tonight, I decided to clean up, cataloging old books can be messy, un-packing , reading photographing, researching all leads to lots of stuff lying around. So here is a look at the making of the ‘sausage’. First there is the unpacking: carefully at first, then in a frenzied way I open the box., I use a trusty very sharp knife, then once i get inside the box, I trust only my hands. It is often suprising to see what people wrap books in.

Some Very established Dealers have whole Shipping and Packaging departments, with men wearing smocks who custom fit each book in a custom box, they sometimes even have custom printed tape! Other times I’ve received books wrapped in wash cloths, old t-shirts, once I received a first edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia wrapped in some surgical wipes (Ted).


Once the book is unwrapped I collate it, blind, without looking at other collations, to see what I come up with.

π4 (unsigned) A-Y4,Z2,Aa-Cc2 [Bound with] π2,A-K4,L2 [Bound with] π1,A4 (π2 blank) B-Z4, Aa-Cc4, a1, ß4,b-c4,d6. 

Ok Looks complete, but from here I check, the easiest place for these three books will be Oclc, ‘back in the day’ I’d go to the NUC, but now I can do it sitting down,

I search “Tractatvs de miserabilivm” and I come up with

Title: Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis, in qvo complvres singvlares materiae ad earum fauorem in vsu forensi quotidianae, & frequentes, tum iuxta iuris communis, quam municipalis regni dispositionem, supremorum totius orbis tribunalium, placita accuratè, exactèq; dilucidantur : opus sane practicabile, curiosum, necessarium, & utile Author: Novarius, Joannes Maria Accession Number: 65106265

All Libraries that Own Item: “Tractatvs de miserabilivm…”

Title: Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis, in qvo complvres singvlares materiae ad earum fauorem in vsu forensi quotidianae, & frequentes, tum iuxta iuris communis, quam municipalis regni dispositionem, supremorum totius orbis tribunalium, placita accuratè, exactèq; dilucidantur :
opus sane practicabile, curiosum, necessarium, & utile /
Author(s): Novarius, Joannes Maria, 16XX.
Publication: Neapoli : ex typographia Dominici Maccarani : expensis Stephani Monleverii, 
Edition: Hac secvnda editione diligentivs recognitum, singulis ferè in locis auctum, & quamplurimis nouis priuilegijs lucupletatum, & illustratum.
Year: 1637
Description: [XXVI], 228, [36], 97, [11] p. ; fol.
Language: Latin; In II: Accesserunt in calce nonnullae allegationes Francisci Severini.
Note(s): Bevat ook: Io. Mariae Novarii L.C. Lvcani De relictorvm ex cavsa male ablatorvm privilegiis : practicabilis tractatus./ Met reg.
Other Titles: Tractatus de miserabilium personarum privilegiis, in quo complures …; De relictorum ex causa male ablatorum privilegiis
Damn! this doesn’t match. By the page count method, I have [IV],165, [24] ok, so I look for other copies because there is no apparent lacuna. 

I find an earlier edition, slightly different title, same printer:

Praxis aurea privilegiorum miserabilium personarum : in qua complures materiae in earum favorem in usu forensi quotidianae & frequentes dilucidè breviter, exactèque tractantur ac exornantur … / authore Io. Maria Novario ..

Imprint Neapoli : Ex typographia & expensis Dominici de Ferdinando Maccarani, 1623
Descript. [24], 183, [24] p. ; 21 cm
Note Includes index

No match here either? I look back at Oclc, nothing for 1669 at all>>?



Ok other catalogues, None at Harvard, or Columbia,None at Yale, None In the German KVK catalogue or KIT…

Dang  The Library of Congress has a 1740…

I look at the collation again, It is complete What ever it is.. So now I go thru the same Process with the other two titles.

But first as a breather I’ll take some pictures, I’ll use my stones and antlers to hold the pages open!



The Nikon
The Nikon


337G          Novari, Giovanni Maria & Barbato, Horatio.


Tractatvs de miserabilivm personarvm privilegiis, in qvo complvres singvlares materiae ad earum fauorem in vsu forensi quotidianae, & frequentes, tum iuxta iuris communis, quam municipalis regni dispositionem, supremorum totius orbis tribunalium, placita accuratè, exactèq; dilucidantur :opus sane practicabile, curiosum, necessarium, & utile
[bound with]
De Restitutionis incertorum et male ablatorum privilegiis fertilis et praegnans tractatus… Accesserunt in calce nonnullae allegationes V. I. D. Francisci Severini
       [bound with]
De restitutorio interdicto ac de reuocanda possessione liber singularis : ad intellectum reg. pragm. Regni Neap. incipientis, assistentiam sub titulo de assistentia praestanda : in quo praeter huberem tractatum, obligationis bonoru[m], pacti de capiendo constituti, excussionis, ac hypothecariae, nihilum penè desiderari potest in materia, quin luculenter, copiosèq[ue] tractetur


Neapoli: ex Typographia Dominici Maccarani 1637 et Typis Luca & Antonii de Fusco ,1669
Neapoli: ex Typographia Dominici Maccarani 1637 et Typis Luca & Antonii de Fusco ,1669
Neapoli: Per Jacobum Gaffari; 1637 Sumptibus Io.Domenici Bove .

Now to figure out what these three are…




Praxis Exercitiorum Spiritualium P.S.N. Ignatti.

In my quest for books which are obviously examples and invitations into the Permutatio, I’m searching my bookshelves for ideas and I found one, a  book with images which are in contrast with any known reality. It is a guide for ‘doing” the Spiritual Exercises…

333G Izquierdo Praxis Exercitiorum 1678
333G Izquierdo Praxis Exercitiorum 1678

333G    Izquierdo, Sebastián1601-1681. Ignatius,; of Loyola, Saint,; 1491-1556.

Praxis exercitiorum spiritualium P.N.S. Ignatti. Auctore P. Sebastiano Izquierdo Alcarazense Societatis Jesu.

Romae : Typis Varesii, 1678 Superiorum Permissu                           $3,800  Octavo,

First edition  12 full-page engravings ;each page of the text is printed within an ornamental typographic border.  This is a nice clean copy, unlike the copy which has been digitized which is a mess and terribly browned . The copy offered here is clean and crisp, it is bound in modern marbled paper wrappers.

The Jesuit Sebastián Izquierdo in his Práctica de los ejercicios espirituales, written in 1665 translated in to Italian the same year then in 1678 translated as here into Latin and later published in several translations and versions offers   an illustrated guide to the Ignatian spiritual exercises. The illustrations, 12 of them, are the subject of image meditation  which was a favorite method of the Jesuits who, beginning with the monumental Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (1593) of  Jerónimo Nadal, actively took hold of religious iconography and adjusted and concentrated it for the teaching of  the Societies ( and Ignatius’ ) vision.  The images are not just simple depiction’s instead they are  mnemonic devices. These images are points of departures and give the current 21st century reader a precious examples of images that inspire meditation, direct the reception of the teachings and anchor them in the memory. Particularly memorable is the Image of Hell on page 72, or the Puteus Abyssi (the bottomless pit)  .  The lay-out shows the pedagogical intentions and possibilities of this little book: there are  12 parts consisting of 12 separate quires, numbered from ‘A’ to ‘M’ and paginated each from 1-12,  each with its own full-page illustration , these could have been  meant to be distributed  separately – according to match the educational needs or level of the students.   The Images are in high contrast, with plenty of Bloody and memorable images.
The Puteus Abyssi depicts a  poor man who is naked and sitting in a chair in some sort of oubliette.  He has seven

333G Izquierdo 1678
333G Izquierdo 1678

swords, each with animal head handles, in him  and each is strategically stuck in  various parts of the body.  The swords are labeled for the passions. Most interesting of these might be the sword marked ‘Vengeance’ it is hanging offer the mans head, the Idleness sword is stuck between his legs, Gluttony in his stomach, Lust … Envy in his back, Avarice between his Shoulders and Pride in his heart.

Izquierdo was also the author of  Pharus scientiarum, a treatise on  a methodology  to access knowledge, conceived  as a single science. In this work, he assimilated Aristotelian and Baconian logic,  and  he expressed some original ideas on mathematics and logic that have earned their author a reputation as an outstanding mathematician.  Not just like his Spanish contemporaries John Caramuel or Tomás Vicente Tosca , but also significant foreign mathematicians as Athanasius Kircher , Gaspar Knittel or Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , the latter, in particular, cited with, his Disputatio of Combinatione, in Combinatorial Art (1666).

Sommervogel, IV, 701 (#4); Landwehr:Romantic 412.; Praz,p.382


Mysteriously Meaningful


One of the books I read thirty years ago which I keep reading over and over again is Don Cameron Allen’s DSC_0002Mysteriously Meant: The Rediscovery of Pagan Symbolism and Allegorical Interpretation in the Renaissance.  It is a book I found because I found  Allen’s Image and Meaning Metaphoric tradition in Renaissance poetry so helpful. So for fun I  decided to read Mysteriously, it was in the library and it looked like it would be a quick read….  In the preface Allen  says  than when he wrote Image and Meaning, ” I say through the glass darkly. In the following ten chapters I shall try to clear the glass, but I am afraid it is still fairly cloudy. ”


“Wrest a never meant meaning “


Thomas Nashe Summers Last Will and Testament..


I was right in expecting this book to be more over cast than slightly cloudy, and indeed, my literary adventures have been (and still are) a quest for “Permutatio” a form in which one thing is said by the words, another by the meaning. No genre of books does this more explicitly than Emblem Books, at least to a modern reader. I in fact will look at a subspecies, The Jesuit Emblem Book.  I’m not sure this is a fair distinction, but it is at least a mechanical one.   Richard Dimler, made a Short title listing of Jesuit Emblem books in Emblematica 2, 1, 1987  and then there is  Dimler’s Jesuit Series .(Corpus Librorum Emblematum Series)  In these five volumes  he lists over 500 first editions and another 1200 reprint editions.  I am using the online Google Books version  of this which I am growing to hate.


At present I don’t have any Jesuit Emblem books in my stock, but I’ve been thinking about the biblioevangelism practiced by the Jesuit Presses. I can’t really think of another ‘Organization’ which has such a structure,organized and strategic plan to spread basic ideas. ( Maybe Mao’s little Red Book)  Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, the foundational document , both ecstatic and structured. Reading through Dimler’s great work I see that there exists a few emblematicised editions of the  Exercises. Now what a challenge that must be, not just illustrating such an important book, but Embleizing it.. Meditation upon images and the mnemonic use of images was quite popular with the sixteenth century Jesuits.  Jerónimo Nadal one of the founding generation of Jesuits was coaxed by Ignatius to “compile and distribute an illustrated guide for prayerful meditation on the Gospels, in the tradition of the Spiritual Exercises, although the work was not completed until after both men had died. Nadal selected the biblical scenes to be included, commissioned and directed the layout of the illustrations, and composed notes to accompany each scene. With the cooperation and support of Antwerp publishers Christophe Plantin and Martinus Nutius, 153 engravings were eventually produced by Bernardino Passeri, Marten de Vos, and Jerome and Anton Wierix.


In 1593 these illustrations were published in a volume entitled Example1(“Illustrations of the Gospel Stories”), arranged in chronological order of the life and ministry of Jesus. In 1594 and 1595 they were again published in larger volumes, entitled Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia (“Notes and Meditations on the Gospels”). Like the Virgil Solis: Biblische Figuren deß Alten (und Newen) Testaments I wrote about last month. { } Nadal’s book is a beautiful and extravagant book, but Nadal’s is following the Bible per se, instead it is a teaching device.




Not many years after this, an illustrated Spiritual Exercises was produced, but first about the Exercises.




This work originated in Ignatius’ experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the “Book of Exercises”. The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Borgia. The book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief “Pastoralis Officii” of 1548. “The Spiritual Exercises” are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson’s “Sailing Orders” to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ’s life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called “rules”, “additions”, “notes”) are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius’ idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) they may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called “retreats”, from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called “missions”. The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the “Book of Exercises” are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in “missions” is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.” CE


The autograph manuscript of this “Spiritual Exercises” has unfortunately been lost. What is at present called the “autograph” is only a quarto copy made by a secretary but containing corrections in the author’s handwriting. It is now reproduced by phototypy (Rome, 1908). Two Latin translations were made during the lifetime of St. Ignatius. There now remain:


  • the ancient Latin translation, antiqua versio latina, a literal version probably made by the saint;
  • a free translation by Father Frusius, more elegant and more in accordance with the style of the period, and generally called the “Vulgate”.


The antiqua versio is dated by the copyist “Rome, 9 July, 1541”; the vulgate version is later than 1541, but earlier than 1548,


Exercitia spiritualia
Exercitia spiritualia


when the two versions were together presented to Paul III for approval. The pope appointed three examiners, who praised both versions warmly. The Vulgate, more carefully executed from a literary point of view, was only chosen for printing, and was published at Rome on 11 September, 1548, under the simple title: “Exercitia spiritualia”. This princepsedition was also multiplied by phototypy (Paris, 1910). Besides these two Latin translations there exist two others. One is the still unpublished text left by Bl. Peter Faber to the Carthusians of Cologne before 1546; it holds a middle place between the literal version and the Vulgate. The second is a new literal translation by Father Roothaan, twenty-first general of theSociety of Jesus, who, on account of the differences between the Vulgate and the Spanish autograph, wished to retranslate the “Exercises” into Latin, as accurately as possible, at the same time making use of the versio antiqua. His intention was not to supplant the Vulgate, and he therefore published the work of Frusius along with his own in parallel columns (1835).


The Spanish autograph text was not printed until long after the Vulgate, by Bernard de Angelis, secretary of the Society of Jesus (Rome, 1615); it has often been republished. The most noteworthy English versions are:


  • “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. With Approbation of Superiours. At Saint Omers; Printed by Nicolas Joseph LeFebvre.” This translation bears no date but it can be traced back to 1736; the printer was a lay brother of the Society.
  • “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Translated from the Authorized Latin; with extracts from the literal version and notes of the Rev. Father Rothaan [sic] by Charles Seager, M.A., to which is prefixed a Preface by the Right Rev. Nicholas Wiseman, D.D.bishop of Melipotamus” (London, Dolman, 1847); which was republished by Murphy atBaltimore, about 1850.
  • “The Text of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, translated from the original Spanish”, by Father John Morris, S.J., published by Burns and Gates (London, 1880).


The reader of the “Exercises” need not look for elegance of style. “St. Ignatius”, says F. Astrain, “writes in coarse, incorrect, and laboured Castilian, which only at times arrests the attention by the energetic precision and brevity with whichcertain thoughts are expressed.” There are outpourings of the soul in different colloquies, but their affecting interest does not lie in words; it is wholly in the keen situation, created by the author, of the sinner before the crucifix, the knight before his king, etc.


Composition of the exercises


The book is composed of documents or spiritual exercises, reduced to the order most fitted to move the minds of thefaithful to piety, as was remarked in the Brief of approval. We find in this work documents (instructions, admonitions, warnings), exercises (prayers, meditations examination of conscience, and other practices), and the method according to which they are arranged. The sources of the book are the Sacred Scriptures and the experiences of spiritual life. Ignatiusindeed was little by little prepared by Divine Providence to write his book. From 1521 the thoughts which precede hisconversion, the progress of his repentance, the pious practices which he embraces at Montserrat and at Manresa helped to give him a knowledge of asceticism. His book is a work lived by himself and later on lived by others under his eyes. But a book so lived is not composed all at once; it requires to be retouched, corrected, and added to frequently. These improvements, which neither Polanco nor Bartoli hide, are revealed by a simple examination of the Spanish text, where along with the Castilian there are found Latin or Italian expressions together with Scholastic terms which the writer could not have used before, at least, the beginning of his later studies. Ignatius himself admitted this to Father Luis Gonzales: “I did not compose the Exercises all at once. When anything resulting from my own experience seemed to me likely to be of use to others, I took note of it”. Father Nadal, Ignatius’s friend and contemporary, writes of the final redaction: “After having completed his studies, the author united his first attempts of the Exercises, made many additions, put all in order, and presented his work for the examination and judgment of the Apostolic See“.


It seems probable that the “Exercises” were completed while St. Ignatius was attending lectures at the University of Paris. The copy of Bl. Peter Faber, written undoubtedly about the time when he followed the Exercises under Ignatius’s direction (1533), contains all the essential parts. Moreover, some parts of the book bear their date. Such are: the “Rules for the distribution of alms”, intended for beneficed clergymen, masters, or laureates of the university, in which occurs a citation of the Council of Carthage, thus leading one to suppose that the writer had studied theology; the “Rules for thinking with the Church”, which appear to have been suggested by the measures taken by an assembly of theologians at Valladolid in 1527 against the Erasmists of Spain, or by the Faculty of Paris in 1535, 1542, against the Protestants. The final completion of the “Exercises” may be dated from 1541, when a fair copy of the versio antiqua, which St. Ignatius calls “Todos exerciciosbreviter en latin”, was made. It may be asked how far the work of composition was carried out during the residence of thesaint at Manresa. This spot, where Ignatius arrived in March, 1522, must always be considered as the cradle of the “Exercises”. The substance of the work dates from Manresa. Ignatius found there the precious metal which for a long time he wrought and polished. “A work,” as Fr. Astrain rightly says, ‘which contributes throughout so admirably to realize the fundamental idea set up by the author, is evidently not an invention made by parts, or composed of passages written at various times or under varying circumstances.” The “Exercises” clearly bear the mark of Manresa. The mind of Ignatius, during his retirement there, was full of military memories and of thoughts of the future; hence the double characteristic of his book, the chivalrous note and the march towards the choice of a state of life. The ideas of the knight are those of the service due to a sovereign, of the shame that clings to the treason of a vassal (first week), and in the kingdom, those of thecrusade formed against the infidels, and of the confrontation of the Two Standards (second week). But during his convalescence at the castle, the reading of the lives of the saints gave a mystical turn to his chivalrous ideas; the great deeds to be imitated henceforth are no longer those of a Roland, but of a Dominic or a Francis.


To help him in his outline of evangelical perfection, Ignatius received a special assistance, which Polanco and Ribadeneiracall the unction of the Holy Ghost. Without this grace, the composition of the “Exercises” remains a mystery. How could a rough and ignorant soldier conceive and develop a work so original, so useful for the salvation and the perfection of souls, a book which astonishes one by the originality of its method and the powerful efficacy of its virtue? We ought not, however, to consider this Divine assistance as a complete revelation. What St. Ignatius knew of spiritual ways, he had learned chiefly from personal experience and by the grace of God, Who treated him “as the schoolmaster does a child”. It does not mean that he had not the advice of a confessor to guide him, for he was directed by John Chanones at Montserrat; nor does it mean that he had read nothing himself, as we know that he had books at hand. We must therefore consider the revelationof the “Exercises” not as a completely supernatural manifestation of all the truths contained in the work, but as a kind ofinspiration, or special Divine assistance, which prevented all essential error, and suggested many thoughts useful for the salvation of the author, and of readers at all times. This inspiration is the more admissible as Ignatius was favoured with great light in Divine things. Ribadeneira, writing from Madrid, 18 April, 1607, to Fr. Girón, rector of Salamanca, dwells on the wonderful fruits of the “Exercises”, fruits foreseen and willed by God. Such a result could not be the effect of   reading and study, and he adds:  “This has been the general opinion of all the old fathers of the Society of us all who have lived and conversed with our blessed father”.


Another tradition concerns the part taken by the Blessed Virgin in the composing of the “Exercises” at Manresa. It is not based on any written testimony of the contemporaries of St. Ignatius, though it became universal in the seventeenth century. Possibly it is founded upon earlier oral testimony, and upon a revelation made in 1600 to the Venerable Marina de Escobar and related in the “Life of Father Balthazar Alvarez”. This tradition has often been symbolized by painters, who represent Ignatius writing from the Blessed Virgin’s dictation.


Although Ignatius had been educated  just like the ordinary knights of his time, he was fond of calligraphy and still more of reading; his convalescence at Loyola enabled him to gratify this double inclination. We know that he wrote there, in different coloured inks, a quarto book of 300 folios in which he seems to have gathered together extracts from the only two books to be found in the castle which were “The Flower of the Saints” in Spanish and “The Life of Jesus Christ” by Ludolph of Saxony or the Carthusian, published in Spanish at Alcalá, 1502 to 1503. “The Flower of the Saints” has left no apparent trace in the “Exercises”, except an advice to read something similar after the second week. Ludolph’s influence is more noticeable in expressions, ascetic principles, and methodic details. The part of the “Exercises” treating of the life of Christ, is especially indebted to him.


Ignatius, having recovered his health and determined to lead a hermit’s life, left Loyola for Montserrat and Manresa. He spent the greater part of the year 1522 in the latter town, three leagues distant from Montserrat, under the direction of his confessor, Dom John Chanones. According to a witness in the process of canonization Ignatius went to see Chanones everySaturday. He could moreover have met him or other Benedictines at the priory of Manresa, which was dependent on Montserrat. It is possible that he received from them a copy of the “Imitation of Christ” in Spanish for he certainly had that book at Manresa; they must have given him also the “Ejercitatorio de la vida espiritual”, of Dom Garcia de Cisneros, published at Montserrat in 1500. Ribadeneira in his letter to Fr. Girón thinks it very probable that St. Ignatius was acquainted with this Castilian work, that he availed himself of it for prayer and meditation, that Chanones explained different parts to him, and that the title “Exercises” was suggested to him by the “Ejercitatorio”. The Benedictines made use of this book for the conversion or edification of the pilgrims of Montserrat; in fact the tradition of the monastery relates that Chanones communicated it to his penitent. The “Exercises” borrow very little expressly from the “Imitation of Christ”. There is, however, to be noticed a general concordance of its doctrine and that of the “Exercises”, and an invitation to read it.


Was the “Ejercitatorio” more closely followed? In trying to solve this question it is not sufficient to draw conclusions from the resemblance of the titles, or to establish a parallel with a few details; it is necessary above all to compare the plans and methods of the two works. Whilst the “Exercises” consider the word “week” in its metaphorical sense and give liberty to add or to omit days, the “Ejercitatorio” presents a triple series of seven meditations, one and not several for each day of the real week. The whole series of twenty-one meditations is exhausted in just three weeks, which answer to the three lives: the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive. The author seeks only to raise the “exercitador” gradually to the contemplative life, whereas St. Ignatius leads the exercitant to determine for himself the choice of a state of life amongst those most pleasing to God. The “Ejercitatorio” does not mention anything of the foundation, nor of the kingdom, of the particular examination, of the election, of the discernment of spirits, nor of the rules for rightly regulating one’s food and for thinking with the Orthodox Church, nor of the three methods of praying. Only a few counsels of Cisneros have been adopted by St. Ignatius in the annotations 2, 4,13, 18, 19, 20, and the additions 2, 4. Some of Cisneros’s ideas are to be found in the meditations of the first week. The other weeks of St. Ignatius are entirely different. The similarities are so reduced in fact to a very small number.


But the work of Cisneros itself is only a compilation. Cisneros admits having reproduced passages from Cassian, Bernard,Bonaventure, Gerson etc.; moreover, he does not give the names of the contemporaries from whom he copied. Amongst other books Cisneros read and copied the “De spiritualibus ascensionibus” of Gerard Zerbolt of Zutphen (1367-98) and the “Rosetum exercitiorum spiritualium” of John Mombaer, or Mauburnus (died 1502), who was also indebted to Gerard. Almost all in Cisneros that pertains to the method of spiritual exercises is extracted from the “Rosetum”. The different ways of exercising oneself in the contemplation of the life and passion of Jesus Christ are taken from the “De spiritualibus ascensionibus”. All Cisneros’s borrowings were disclosed by Fr. Watrigant (see bibliography). Zutphen and Mombaer, likeThomas à Kempis, belonged to the Society of the Brothers of Common Life, founded towards the end of the fourteenth century by Gerard de Groote and Florence Radewyns. This society caused a revival of spiritual life by the publication of numerous ascetic treatises, several of which appeared under the title of “Spiritual Exercises”. The Brothers of Common Life, or the Devoti, devoted themselves also to the reform of the clergy and monasteries. The Benedictine Congregation of Valladolid, on which Montserrat was dependent, had been under the influence of Lewis Barbo, who was connected with the brothers. We must therefore conclude that Ignatius may have profited by the result of Zutphen’s and Mauburnus’s labours whilst he read Cisneros or listened to Chanones’s explanations at Manresa. Later, when he understood Latin, during his studies at the Universities of Alcalá and Paris, or while travelling in Flanders he may himself have become acquainted with the works of the Devoti. A greater analogy is to be noticed between Zutphen and Ignatius, two practical minds, than between Loyola and Cisneros.


Originality of the work


We may therefore look upon the question of a supposed plagiarism on the part of St. Ignatius to the detriment of Cisneros, as being definitively settled. This question was raised by Dom Constantine Cajetan, or rather by some one who assumed his name, in a treatise published at Venice in 1641: “De reigiosa S. Ignatii . . . per patres Benedictinos institutione . . .”. TheJesuit John Rho answered him in his “Achates” (Lyons, 1644). Both the attack and reply were put on the Index, no doubt on account of their excessive acrimony. Besides, the general assembly of the Congregation of Monte Cassino which met atRavenna in 1644, by a decree dissociated itself from the aggressor. The quarrel was afterwards renewed on several occasions, chiefly by the heterodox, but always without success. Benedictines and Jesuits agree to acknowledge that if St. Ignatius owes anything to Montserrat, he has retained his entire originality. Whatever may be said about the works he read and what he borrowed, his book is truly his own. A writer is never blamed for having previously searched and studied, if his own work is impressed with his personality, and treats the subject from a new point of view. This has been successfully accomplished by St. Ignatius, and with all the greater merit, as he could not change anything of the traditional truths ofChristianity or pretend to invent mental prayer.


Ignatius’s originality appears at first sight in the selection and co-ordination of his material. To select some of the greattruths of religion, to drive them deeply into the heart, until man thoroughly impressed falls at the Lord’s feet, crying out like another Saul “Domine, quid me vis facere?”, such is the genius, the ascetic character, of St. Ignatius. But to bring about this result it was necessary for the selected truths to be linked together in a logical series and animated by a progressive movement. The methodic order and irresistible deduction of the “Exercises” distinguish them from a large number of spiritual works. Above all the originality of St. Ignatius is displayed in the care with which he combines the subjects of meditation and ascetic principles, and the minute advice that guides and moderates, when necessary, the application of the “Exercises”. We find in the annotations at the beginning, in the notes strewn here and there, in the rules for the discernment of spirits a real system of spiritual training, that makes adequate provision for the different states of soul of the exercitant, and warns him, or rather his director, of what is most fitting, according to the circumstances of the case. Nothing is left to chance. One sees how to adapt the general progress of the retreat to different persons, according to their occupation” the degree of their fervour, and the advantage they derive from the “Exercises”, This art of proportioning spiritual instruction to the powers of the soul and to Divine grace was entirely new, at least under the precise and methodic form given to it by St. Ignatius.”


Debuchy, Paul. “Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 16 May 2013 <;.


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

What is in there? don’t judge a book by its title page?

DSC_0031This is a very common looking book from the outside, it was probably bound in the in the low countries  in the seventeenth century. It doesn’t tell me much more, but that is a start.

Finding and buying books, as a dealer is the most fun part of my day. There are various methods of finding books and these range from being very systematic, to just buying a pile of books that ‘turn up’. There is an old french idiom ” acheter (un) chat en poche”  which becomes the english  don’t “buy a pig in a poke”  Some times it is ok to buy a ‘poche’ of books and it can be fun and  full of good surprizes, other times… not so much. Today I will go through a few books which all reveal the complications of buying books..

The first book I begin with looks promising, it is a sammelbande, always something I like. The first work bound in this Vellum binding is :

Pauli Voet, Gisb. F. Juris in Acad. Ultraject. antecessoris, & Vianensis Cameræ Senatoris, De usu juris civilis et canonici in Belgio unito, deque more promovendi doctores utriusque juris, &c. liber singularis.

Ultrajecti : Ex officina Johannis à Waesberge, anno M D C LVII.

This looks interesting to me, Voet, came from a line of important Jurists and i remember he did something about Private and International law, I’ll look that up later. First I need to see if this book is all there. Collation, this is a process I go through for every book I sell, most books go through the process three times, once before I buy the book, then after i buy the book, and finally when I catalogue the book. I compare ,usually from on line catalogues, the copy in hand to other listed copies, if I am lucky there is a list of the signatures, but most often there is just page counts.

This Voet book collates  *3,A-M8,N6, or by page count [vi], 299 p, I’m assuming the first blank is original. I check with a few copies in google books and internet archives and it is blank indeed.


Which brings us to the next title bound in here, but first a neat little discovery, when I look at the fore edge I see a color change…. maybe these books were bound separately  before this binding?

DSC_0027So now with the next title, Same Author, Different Printer, Different date.

Pauli Voet I. C. Ac Philosophiæ in Academ. Ultraj. Profess. Ordinarii. De Duellis, Licitis & illicitis, Liber singularis.

Ultrajecti [Utrecht] : Ex officina Gisberti à Zyll., MDCXLVI.

So this book was printed 11 years before the  book bound first. , This one looks interesting too Dueling law must have some sort of contemporary applications?


Now for the next collation,  ±4, A-P¹² (lackingQ-Q⁸) R⁴. and page count [6], 384 p. ????

This does not match any copies of this title I can find? The ±4 matches the title  but the rest while on Dueling doesn’t match the collation or page counts of other copies which are [3] Bl., 256 [i.e. 265] S., [2] … So what gives? what book do we have here? The next book bound in here Has no title page…

but  it collates    A-I¹², K-L¹², M³ and the page count is 256 {i.e. 265] [2].  So The title page and 3 preface leaves from the second work goes with the Third book.

So what is book two really? it is on dueling, and I hope by Voet, so lets see if he wrote other books on Duelling.

Yes! he did.

 De Duellis. Ex omni Jure decisis casibus, Liber Singularis, editione iteratâ auctus, & emendatus.

Ultrajecti : Ex officina Johannis à Waesberge, anno M D C LVII

and its page count is [4] Bl., 384. So we are missing a title page it should look like this :

9694833708Where to from here? I need to recap for myself, the first book is ok , complete and , lets see if it is rare?  So about 20 copies world wide.. not rare rare..

The second book  (without the title)

De Duellis. Ex omni Jure decisis casibus, Liber Singularis, editione iteratâ auctus, & emendatus.

also not so rare, and this book is also lacking quire Q.

The third work, of which the title and first 3 leaves  of book two really belong to, is :

Pauli Voet I. C. Ac Philosophiæ in Academ. Ultraj. Profess. Ordinarii. De Duellis, Licitis & illicitis, Liber singularis

Is a little more rare and complete ( though the pages are spread out a bit), none the less it is “(un) chat en poche”

It would make a great teaching example!

324G  Voet, Paul. 1619-1667

Pauli Voet, Gisb. F. Juris in Acad. Ultraject. antecessoris, & Vianensis Cameræ Senatoris, De usu juris civilis et canonici in Belgio unito, deque more promovendi doctores utriusque juris, &c. liber singularis
{Bound with ]
Pauli Voet I. C. Ac Philosophiæ in Academ. Ultraj. Profess. Ordinarii. De Duellis, Licitis & illicitis, Liber singularis1646)
[Bound after ]
 De Duellis. Ex omni Jure decisis casibus, Liber Singularis, editione iteratâ auctus, & emendatus.

Ultrajecti : Ex officina Johannis à Waesberge, anno M D C LVII
Ultrajecti [Utrecht] : Ex officina Gisberti à Zyll., MDCXLVI
Ultrajecti : Ex officina Johannis à Waesberge, anno M D C LVII          $1,900

Three books bound together., .    *3,A-M8,N6
±4, A-P   (lackingQ-Q ) R .
A-I  , K-L  , M   This copy is bound in full contemporary lace cased construction vellum.

Bibliografia del Duello, p. 55.

Virgil Solis: Biblische Figuren deß Alten (und Newen) Testaments

Today uploading Images is taking forever, so I don’t have as many images  as this book deserves, really there are 218 woodcuts in here it is hard to choose and the binding is quite nice too! DSC_0022

Virgil Solis  b. 1514, d. 1562 Nuremberg, Germany

Add to Getty Bookmarks  With an output of over 2,000 prints and drawings, Virgil Solis was one of Nuremberg’s most prolific printmakers and book illustrators. His origins and training are unclear, though his father may have been a painter. He became a master in 1539 and often signed himself as a painter, but no evidence of that career exists.
Solis aimed to produce popular, commercially successful prints on many subjects and regularly borrowed figures and compositions from German and Italian masters. His early drawing style employed strong outlines and simple hatching. He made over two hundred woodcuts illustrating biblical stories plus decorative elements, published in eleven editions between 1562 (see the book listed below) and 1606.

Solis also disseminated contemporary ornamental forms to artisans, who often used his prints as models for furniture decoration, architectural friezes, pitchers, bowls, sword scabbards, and jewelry. His mixtures of animal and vegetable forms on drinking vessel designs helped to break many goldsmiths’ strict adherence to classicalmotifs. Solis’s monogram signature came to mean only that prints originated in his workshop, rather than identifying his own designs. Later owners printed his woodblocks and plates well into the 1650s. []


148g    Solis, Virgil.    1514-1562

Biblische Figuren deß Alten (und Newen) Testaments : gantz künstlich gerissen

Frankfurt am Main;  Durch Johannem Wolffium,,1565         $SOLD

Oblong Quarto, 18 x 24 cm.   A-M4 N6  a-p4. There are woodcuts printed one to a page, with Latin captions above and German legends below each cut.There are 102 plates for the Old Testament and 116 For the New Testament.   This copy is bound in contemporary vellum binding with a stamped coat of arms on the front board.

The inclusion of his images in the bible was a common occurance. Images would often be included in bibles to help those that were illiterate ‘read’ through the stories of the bible. The images were often easily recognizable scenes so the lay people who could not read Latin, before the translations were common, were able to know what the writing was about without needing to read the words. But this is by no means a ‘cheap’ or ‘common” book, it is a lavish artistic production.




DSC_0020 2

A few Really Rare ones, and What is Rare

When I say “really rare” without a modifier, I mean Absolute rarity id est one copy recorded, or no copies listed in  bibliographies, then the modifiers come in, no copy listed in the US, no copy on the Market since 18… et c. Of course there as another category, Unique. While it can be argued (and well) that almost every Early printed book can be unique, The individual divergent qualities of a specific book need fairly obvious, in order for it to be worth duplicating a text.

Recently I have sold a few books with early notes by an early/original owner, whose  notations outnumbered the words in the printed text, in short two books in One!

Today I have a book which (probably at the time of binding), was  augmented by engravings from another book, which fit quite nicely thematically.

But: The physical attributes do not interpret themselves, and thus rely upon comparison, I’ll take us through the steps as I take them.

First, The binding!



DSC_0021 DSC_0022




So; From here i can tell the binding is appropriate for a London book circa 1707, and it doesn’t look as it has been re-backed or re-sewn, that leads me to think we have the book as it came from the first book binder.

Next Opening the book. Provenance!

DSC_0013The easiest decipherable text here on the first endpaper is August 14th 1707 Andrew Vigurs. A quick search finds a will for Andrew Vigurs the younger,of Penzance who died 1748 at 24 years old. NOT Our guy. It is Likely his Father also named Andrew 1660-1731!! Yes  The book passes To Dorinda (his daughter ) January 6th 1731!.[ this is recorded on a rear end page.]



So now into the book. We can see from the title the printer, and the Price, but no Author. A look at the English Short Title Catalogue, gives us a first description of other copie

ESTC System No.
ESTC Citation No.
LinkThe Nature and design of holy-days explained: Or, Short and plain reasons and instructions for the observation of the feasts, and fasts appointed to be kept by the Church of England. Adapted to the meanest capacity.
LinkLondon : Printed by W.B. for Richard Sare at Grays-Inn-Gate in Holborn, 1705.
Physical descr.
[8],102p. ;  12⁰.
General note
Price on title page: Price 6d stitch’d, or 8d Bound.
Microfilm. Woodbridge, Conn. : Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of Gale Group, 2004. 1 reel ; 35 mm. Unit 421. (The Eighteenth Century ; reel 14703, no. 02).
Corporate subject
LinkChurch of England — Customs and practices — Early works to 1800.
Copies – Brit.Isles
LinkNational Library of Scotland 
LinkOxford University Bodleian Library (includes The Vicar’s Library, ST. Mary’s Church, Marlborough) 
LinkOxford University Corpus Christi College 
Copies – N.America
LinkHarvard University Houghton Library 
Electronic location
Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale Group ; 



From here we get a lot of information, one of the primary descriptions is the page count [8],102p. ;  12⁰. , It matches the text of our book, but ours has 19 engravings? Next it tells us it is rare in libraries in this country, only listing Harvard,and three copies in the UK.

No mention of a frontice even?


Harvard describes their copy thus:

Author :
LinkBuchanan, Cha. (Charles), b. 1660 or 61.
Title :
LinkThe nature and design of holy-days explained, or, Short and plain reasons and instructions for theobservation of the feasts and fasts appointed to be kept by the Church of England : adapted to themeanest capacity.
Published :
London : Printed by W.B. for Richard Sare, at Grays-Inn-Gate in Holborn, 1705.
Location :
Houghton EC7.Eℓ874.734c Library Info
Provenance :
Armorial bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield: North Library [with ms. shelfmark “13.A.17”].
Copy information :
Bound with Elwall, Edward, 1676-1744. A declaration against all the kings and temporal powers under heaven (London, 1734) and Beverland, Adriaan, 1654?-1712. De fornicatione cavenda (Augustae [i.e. London], 1697).
Description :
[8],102 p. ; 16 cm. (12mo)
Notes :
Dedication signed: Cha. Buchanan
W.B.=William Bowyer, the elder.
Signatures: A⁴ (-A4, A1+chi1) B-I⁸/⁴ K⁴ (-K4).
References :
ESTC T170660
Subject :
LinkChurch of England — Customs and practices.
Subject :
LinkFasts and feasts — England — Early works to 1800.
HOLLIS Number :

This gives a collation which matches this copy but again excepting the plates, But it does add an Author, this confirms my speculation , so I like it. The ESTC lists this as a first edition, and two more editions, 1708,1722.No us copies of the 1708 and only Harvard of the 1722, none of them list engravings. So It seams safe to say that” none of the copies listed in ESTC have these 19 engraved Plates.

305G   Buchanan, Cha. (Charles).    b. 1660 or 61


The Nature and Design of Holy Days.      


London: printed by W. B. for Richard Sare, at Grays-Inn-Gate, in Holborn, 1705.             $1,900 Octavo, .  First Edition A-I4/8/K3 +19 Full page engravings.

Engraved frontispiece, discolored, and nineteen full-page engravings  extraneous to the tex. Bound in full contemporary calfskin, leather cracked at front joint, some missing leather pieces, largely intact, contents with some browning along the gutters, some leaves becoming loose, endleaves with old tape, contemporary annotations. And Price on title page: Price 6d stitch’d, or 8d Bound.

This book is not only rare but it is probably unique, with the illustrations, the ESTC lists the book as anonmyous, yet is is undoubtedly but Charles Buchanan.
ESTC makes no mention of frontispiece or illustrations.
Three editions listed in ESTC, the first and third editions each only show one U.S. library location: the Houghton Library, the second edition has no North American holdings, see ESTC T170660.





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