1615 · Paris
by [Deslauriers; Gracieux, Jean].
Sm. Paris: Jean Millot, 1615. Sm. 8vo, vi, 325, (3) pp. Engraved title page followed by typographic title-page with woodcut vignette; headpieces and initials. Full polished calf gilt c.1900 with ribbon marker and earlier marbled endpapers. Calf a little rubbed, some scattered foxing but generally very good. Ownership inscription of Gershon Legman dated 1951 and his bibliographical notes on front free endpaper. § Rare second edition of these satyrical, nonsensical, and ribald (often all three) prologues by 17th-century actor, Bruscambille, the stage name of Jean Gracieux (1575-1634), who also went by Deslauriers. A copy-fitted reprint of the very rare first edition of 1612; this edition is almost as rare with only 8 copies recorded on WorldCat.Bruscambille was "famous for the prologues which, as was customary at the time, he used to deliver at the theatre of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, before the performance of a play, to induce patience in the audience while the house was filling. The prologues were burlesque satires, imitated from the Italian, describing characters and types and treating of all sorts of subjects (poltroonery, the gout, fleas, cabbage, &c.)." (Oxford Companion to French Literature). Subjects of the harangues in this volume include friendship, love, cuckolds, a hat, nothing, asses, and des parties naturelles des hommes & des femmes.The engraved title page depicts Bruscambille holding forth on the stage of the Hôtel de Bourgogne before an appreciative audience.Provenance: Gershon Legman, the great bibliographer of erotica, erotic folklore, and origami. The verso of the front free endpaper bears his signature dated 1951 and his bibliographical notes. Brunet I:1302. Gay-Lemonnyer 2:236.
(Inventory #: 124164)