Les sept fruits de la tribulation, in French; JACOBUS DE GRUYTRODE (d.1472) or JACOBUS DE JÜTERBORG (1381-1465), Speculum aureum animae peccatricis, in French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[France, c.1475]274 x 175mm, 76 leaves: 18(of 6 + i and ii; i probably cut from between ff.68-9), 2-116, 128(of 6 + vii and viii), COMPLETE catchwords in lower margins of final versos, some signatures, 34 lines written in brown ink in a bâtarde bookhand between two double-ruled verticals and 35 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 180 x 110mm, large initials in blue and red, blue paragraph marks, added leaf with full-page heraldic miniature in gold, silver, red, blue and black (gold slightly rubbed, some offsetting from miniature to opening text page, slight staining in upper margin and into three lines of text ff.68-69, lower margin of f.70 made up). Blue velvet over wooden boards.
1. The added arms on f.2 are those of Grolée and Bressieux, with an unidentified charge, used by the family of de Grolée de Mévouillon, seigneurs of Bressieux in the Dauphiné. A similar heraldic frontispiece with the motto was added to a 14th-century copy of the Hystoire de Galahaus et du roy Artus, now Ms 865 in the Bibliothèque municipale in Grenoble, bound in black velvet over wooden boards. The arms were used by Antoine de Grolée, lieutenant général of the Dauphiné in 1501, and his brother Louis, abbot of Bonnevau, but a more likely commissioner of the frontispiece is Antoine's son, also Antoine, governor of the Dauphiné, who made his will in 1539, see G. de Rivoire de la Batie, Armorial du Dauphiné, 1867, p.409.
2. 18th-century description of contents in French, f.1, with pencilled number 718. Charles Chardin: no. 324, in his sale de Bures Frères, Paris, 9 February - 22 March 1824.
3. Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872): Sir T.P. Middle Hill, lion stamp on flyleaf with number 794; remnant of Phillipps label on spine. Phillipps numbers 762-883 were all ex bibliotheca M. Chardin Parisius. British Library, Loan 36/7.
Les sept fruits de la tribulation, headed 'Un petit traitie de consolation pour ceulx qui sont en tribulation', in seven chapters, ff.3-29v: the Prologue opening f.3 'Si comme dit saint pol lapostre nous ne avons pas en ce monde cite ou habitation...' and ending f.7 '...tu y trouveras aucun confort ou aucune consolation ou aliegement'; the first chapter opening f.7 'Le premier fruit ou utilite que on treuve es tribulations...; the seventh chapter ending f.29v ...en tous noz adversites le pere et le filz et le saint esperit Amen Jhesus maria etc'.
Jacobus de Gruytrode or Jacobus de Jüterborg: Le mireur dor de lame pecheresse tres utile et profitable, French translation of the Speculum aureum animae peccatricis, previously wrongly attributed to Denis the Carthusian, ff.30-76: prologue, opening f.30 'Ce present livre est appelle le mireur dor de lame pecheresse...'; first chapter opening f.30v 'Le prophete Jeremie considerans la fragilite...'; seventh chapter ending f.74v '...jhesus crist qui vit et regne eternelement suz le siecle dez sieclez'; Balade, opening 'Vous qui mirez pas orgueil vostre face...' f.74v, and closing with the refrain 'Cest le mireur de lame pecheresse' f.75; La declaration dez chapitres de ce livre in verse, opening 'Aprenez tous en ce monde vivre...' f.75, and closing '...Tu apprendras a bien mourir et vivre' f.76; colophon 'Cy fine le traitie nomme le mireur de lame pecheresse translate en paris de latin en fransoix et corrige audit lieu ainsy quil appert au commencement diceluy traitie Amen', f.76.
The Sept fruits de la tribulation is a very free French version, probably dating from the 15th century, of the Tractatus de tribulacione, probably composed in the third quarter of the 13th century. The Tractatus is structured in twelve chapters, each dealing with one of the principal ways in which people can benefit from suffering and so find consolation. It was popular, with over twenty manuscripts surviving, and also circulated in England in an abbreviated form as De XII utilitatibis tribulationis, composed in the later 13th century, which was published with Peter of Blois's work by Migne, Patrologia latina, CCVII, p.989; the original long treatise, from which the present text and the other French translations derive, has never been printed. For these texts in Latin and translation, see A. Barrett, 'The Book of Tribulation' edited from MS Bodley 423, Middle English Texts 15, 1983.
In the Prologue of this French version of the Tractatus, the author says that it has been shortened for the convenience of the reader so that the twenty principal profits of tribulation found in Holy Scripture have been reduced to seven, to match the seven days of the week (ff.6v-7). This prologue incorporates a version of an independent text, the opinions of six masters on the value of tribulation, which circulated widely in French and English. Barrett, unaware of the Phillipps copy, lists four manuscripts of the Sept fruits: Paris, BnF, Ms fr. 446, and Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms 385, share the same heading as the present lot and also agree in naming the apostle of the opening quotation as Paul; London, BL, Ms Harley 4331, and BnF, Ms fr. 1031, leave the Apostle anonymous and share a differently worded heading which attributes the work to 'ung religieux de lordre des celestins'. The Sept fruits could have originated in a French Celestine abbey in the 15th century; throughout it is addressed to 'my brother' or 'brothers'.
Despite the assertion that he has worked from the Latin, the author may have drawn on the much earlier and accurate French translation of the Tractatus de tribulatione, made in the late 13th century. This Livre de tribulacion retained its popularity into the 15th century and is preserved in over twenty manuscripts. Two other independent French versions were made in the 15th century, each apparently surviving in a unique copy: Le livre des biens qui fait tribulation, BnF, Ms fr. 9608, and the translation made by Jean Miélot for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in 1451, La consolation des desolez, preserved in Brussels, KBR, MS 3827-8.
The second treatise was widely disseminated in the original Latin, Speculum aureum animae peccatricis, and in translation. Earlier attributed to Denis de Ryckel, otherwise Denis the Carthusian (1402-1471), it was included in Dionysius Cartusianus, Opera omnia, XLII, 1913, pp.765-794. The two men now considered more likely authors were also Carthusians: Jacobus van den Eertwech took his name from his birthplace of Gruytrode near Maaseik and spent much of his life from 1440 as prior of the Charterhouse of Liège. Jacobus de Jüterborg left his birthplace to study in Kracow and spent the last twenty years of his life in the Charterhouse at Erfurt. The popularity of the treatise is shown by the early printed editions of the Latin original, among them Metz in 1482 and Leuven in 1482/3, and by the existence of another French translation, again by Jean Miélot for Philip the Good (Brussels, KBR Ms 11123). The French translation in the present lot is said to have been made in Paris and there corrected by several masters and doctors of theology, f.30. Despite some differences, it is essentially the version printed at Bréhan-Loudéac in 1484/5, with the same description of its origin, although the print does not have the concluding verses, which may be a contribution by this particular scribe. It was this anonymous French version that was used by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, for her English translation published in about 1506.