BOCCACCIO, Giovanni (1313-1375). [De casibus illustrium virorum]. The Tragedies, gathered by Jhon Bochas, of all such princes as fell from theyr estates throughe the mutability of Fortune since the creation of Adam. Translated into English by John Lydgate (1370?-1449). London: John Wayland, [1554?].
2° in 6's (332 x 223mm). Black letter in double column. Woodcut title border, the top compartment with the Royal Arms, termini at sides, and below a tablet representing one boy waking another with the motto 'Arise for it is day' [McKerrow and Ferguson 76a]. Woodcut of Adam and Eve, flanked by terminal side-pieces, on A4 recto. Woodcut historiated and floral initials. With a separate title printed on recto of the final leaf, 2G4, reading: A Memorial of such Princes, as since the tyme of king Richard the seconde, haue been unfortunate in the Realme of England, London: John Wayland, [n.d.]. The verso of the final leaf printed with: 'The copy of the quenes Maiesties letters Patentes.' (Title rehinged, with lower margin cut slightly short, and presumably supplied from another copy, small repairs to outer margin of title, preliminaries lightly soiled, A3-5 slightly short at outer margin, closed tear through a few lines of text on 2B6, other minor repairs and occasional paper faults.)
[Roger BIESTON]. The Bayte and Snare of fortune, wherein may be seen that money is not the only cause of mischefe and unfortunat endes: but a necessary mean to mayntayne a vertuous quiet lyfe. Treated in a
dialogue betwene man and money. London: John Wayland, [1556?]. 2°. 10 leaves. Black letter, in verse. Woodcut title border and initials. (Neat repairs to final leaf.) 2 works in one volume, FINELY BOUND BY FRANCIS BEDFORD in citron morocco with red onlays enclosed by a Greek key pattern border, the square onlays at corners tooled with rosettes and the large rectangular onlay at centre gilt-stamped with the ARMS OF WILLIAM HENRY MILLER (1789-1848), spine in seven compartments with raised bands and a band of red morocco at head and foot, the top compartment with a repeated rosette, the bottom with W.H. Miller's monogram within a laurel wreath, other compartments lettered in gilt, gilt edges. Provenance: Britwell Court Library (binding).
Third or fourth edition of Lydgate's translation of Boccaccio's De casibus illustrium virorum, the first having been printed by Richard Pynson in 1494. Pynson printed another edition in 1527. Richard Tottell printed an edition in 1554, and there were two issues of Wayland's edition probably in the same year. Lydgate repeatedly described himself as Chaucer's disciple, and for two centuries after his death was assigned a place in English literature little below Chaucer or Gower. He used a smaller proportion of obsolete words, and is certainly more intelligible to the modern reader. But he was no classicist, and his 36,000 line translation depended on the French translation of Laurent de Premier fait. From the title page found at the end of some copies including the present one, it seems evident that Wayland intended to add William Baldwin's A Memorial of such Princes to this edition. However, as Baldwin himself relates, the printing of this work, which eventually appeared in 1559 as A Myrroure for Magistrates, was suppressed (see the 'Brief Memorial,' recto A-A2 of the 1559 first edition). The woodcut on A4 recto shows scenes from Genesis 1-3, the creation of Eve, the temptation, and the expulsion from the garden. Jackson notes that the terminal side-pieces to this illustration 'formerly belonged to Berthelet and passed from him to Powell who used them in 1556 on the title of Heywood's Spider and Flie.' Pforzheimer 73; STC 3178.
FIRST EDITION of Bieston's verse translation. STC notes that it is 'sometimes bound' with the previous work, and is 'probably from the French version by C. Platin, Le debat de lhomme at de l'argent, of an Italian original.' Bieston's name is an acrostic on B4v. STC 3055.