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Paris : the metres or Poesie of this Dance were translated out of French into English by John Lidgate, Monk of Bury.
Warton mentions two editions of Lydgate's Translation,
And ye my Ladie, gentle Dame Abbesse,
Your veile, your wimple passing great riches.
Warton thought-and from all the investigation I have been able to bestow on the subject, his conjecture was well founded —that the Danse Machabray was the original printed source whence most of the other Dances of Death were derived.*
The book from which Hollar copied his cuts is entitled Icones Mortis. Basil. 1554.
Spenser, in whose time the representations of Death's Dance were fashionable and familiar, says,
All Musicke sleeps where Death doth lead the Daunce; and Mr. D’Israeli, who in his second series of the Curiosities of Literature has an entire chapter on the Book of Death and the Skeleton of Death, says,
o the Dance of Death was a favourite pageant or religious mummery performed in Churches, in which the chief characters in society were supported in a sort of masquerade, mixing together in a general dance, in the course of which every one in his-turn vanished from the scene, to shew how one after the other died off.”
* " Simolachri Historia, &c. Lyons, 1549,” with the Inscriptions, &c. n Italian, was the earliest book on the subject Warton had seen.
See an illustration of this, in the article entitled “ A Merie Jest of a Man that was called Howleglas," in the present volume.
Whilst on the subject of Death's Dance, it may not be amiss to mention the
“ Booke of Christian Praiers," usually called Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book. 4to. 1569, 1578, 81, 90, and 1608,
Containing the Portrait of the Queen, each page bordered with spirited and appropriate marginal wood-cuts, and among the rest, the Dance of Death, apparently from Holbein's designs, with the name of the personage whom Death seizes above each cut, and beneath every design a couplet in doggrel rhyme, addressed by Death to his victim.
The edition of 1569, by Jo. Day, is in the Lambeth Library. Mr. Roscoe's copy of the edition of 1581 sold for 101. 108.; Mr. Townley's for 81. 88.; one at Saunders's in 1818 for 41.; and G. Nassau's, 1824, for 71. 78.
The edition of 1590, at Evans's, in 1817, for 41. 58.
A copy of the 1608 edition, at Saunders's, November, 1823, 41. 14s. 6d.
Before I conclude this desultory account of Death's Dance, I must not omit to mention, in reference to Merian's History of its origin, that the Editor of the new edition of Warton's History of English Poetry, in the notes to that work, vol. ii. p. 364, refers to some Paintings on the same subject in public buildings at Minden in Westphalia, as early as 1383, but I do not perceive upon what authority the statement is made.
Arthur (Kynge) and his Knyghtes. A Book of the Noble Hystories of Kynge Arthur and of cet
tayne of his Knyghtes : reduced into Englysshe by Syr Thomas Malory, Knight. Folio. Printed by W. Caxton. 1485.
Earl Spencer purchased a copy of this book at the sale of John Lloyd, Esq. of Wygfair, January, 1816, for £320.
Mr. Southey has edited a reprint from this copy, in 2 vols. 4to. with notes.
There is a copy of the original in the Library at Osterley Park, which has been amply described in Dibdin's Ames, vol.i. p. 241 to 255.
There are also two miniature reprints, one in two and the other in three volumes ; the latter of these, in its prefixed advertisement, contains a notice of the six earliest editions.
T'he Hystorye of Kynge Blanchardyne and Princess Eglan
tyne. Folio. Caxton. 1485. Of this book there is no other than an imperfect copy known, which once belonged to Mr. G. Mason, at whose sale it was bought by John Duke of Roxburghe for 211. and at the Duke's sale in 1812 purchased by Earl Spencer for 2151. 58.
For an account of this volume see Dibdin's Ames, vol. i. p. 346 to 349.
It appears that at Mason's sale, the two noble personages, Earl Spencer and the Duke of Roxburghe, had what in booksellers' and brokers' slang would be called a regular knock out, and then resorted to the elegant amusement of toss up to decide their gains. By the single toss up for the book just named the Duke of Roxburghe's Executors became ultimately gainers of nearly 2001,
Froissart (Jehan) Les Grands Chroniques de France, d'Angle
terre, d' Ecosse, d'Espaigne, de Bretaigne, &c. depuis 1326 -1400, et continuées jusqu'en 1498, par un anonyme. 4 tom. folio. Paris. Anth. Verard.
Original edition, of which well conditioned copies are exceedingly rare.
A copy printed on vellum, with 18 miniatures in gold and colours, sold at Gaignat's for 540 francs, at the Valiere sale for 920 francs, and at Count Mc Carthy's for 4250 francs.
T'he Edition by Michael Le Noir, 4 vols. folio, Paris 1505 et 1513, sometimes bound in 2 vols. is said by some French Bibliographers to be scarcely less rare than that of Anthony Verard. A copy
in Bibliotheca Lansdowniana sold for 81. 13s. Les Mêmes. 4 tom. folio. Paris. G. Eustace.
1514. A fine copy of this edition, printed on vellum, brought 3000 francs, in the Soubise collection; and one sold at M. Paris's sale, 1791, for 1491. 28., bought by Col. Johnes.
Les Mêmes. 4 tom. en 3 vols. folio. Paris. Jehan Petit et F. Regnault, 1518.
La Valliere 52 francs ; 36 francs d’Aguesseau ; 170 francs Thierry.
Ditto. 4 tom. en 2 vol. folio. Paris. J. Petit. 1530. La Valliere 29 francs ; Roxburghe 9). 148.
Copies of Froissart are sometimes met with consisting of volumes belonging to different editions.
According to De Bure, all the Gothic Editions of this Historian were, for a long time, little if at all esteemed, because it was imagined that the Edition by Denys Sauvage,* 4 tom. 2 vols. folio.
Lyon. 1559, 8c. was correct and entire; but as the contrary has been proved, they have since been infinitely more sought after and esteemed, and it is very difficult to find a good and well conditioned copy of the first and original edition, which is most esteemed by the curious. Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain, Portugal,
gc. translated by John Bourchier, Lord Berners. Imprinted London by Richard Pynson. 2 vols. Folio. 1523-25.
Notwithstanding Mr. Utterson's reprint of this translation. of Froissart, 2 vols. 4to. 1812, it still bears a very high price.
At Mason's sale it brought 361. 158.
Ditto. Middleton. 2 vols. Folio. 1525.
Steevens 171. Bibliotheca Lansdownia, a fine copy in russia, 241. 38.; bought by Mr. Digge. Stanley, 381. 178. Lord Peterborough, 1815, 471. 158. 6d.
See Censura Literaria, vol. i. p. 116, 17, and 18, for the distinguishing marks of these editious.
Col. Johnes's Translation. 4 vols. 4to. Hafod. 1803-4.
A copy, at a sale of some of Earl Spencer's duplicates, bound in russia, sold for 351. 38. 6d.
Large paper copies of this edition are rare.
* At the sale of the Merly Library, 1813, a copy of this edition, bound in morocco, sold for 131. 13s.; at the Bibliotheca Lansdowniana, 1804, a copy, 4 vols. in 1, sold for 67. 6s. Roxburghe 71. 2s,