Critical prefaces of the French Renaissance

By Bernard Weinberg | Go to book overview

HUGUES SALEL DEDICATORY EPISTLE TO HOMER'S Iliad 1545

TEXT:

Les Dix Premiers Livres de l'Iliade d'Homere, Prince des poetes: Traduictz en vers Francois, par M. Hugues Salel, de la chambre du Roy,& Abbé de S. Cheron. Avec privilege dv Roy. On les vent à Paris, au Palais en la Gallerie, pres la Chancellerie, en la boutique de Vincent Sertenas. 1545. [ Pierpont Morgan Library.]

[Cf. Brunet, III, 289, and Fairfax Murray, I, 261-62, No. 260.]

Although the first two books of Salel's translation of the Iliad appeared in Lyon in 1542, the "Epistre de Dame Poésie" did not appear until the publication of the first ten books in 1545. Subsequently it preceded all the many editions of the work which, through the century, was frequently revised and augmented; the "Epistre" itself was unchanged, and the edition of Paris: Gautier, 1574, shows no significant differences from the first edition. Salel's contemporaries admired his work wholeheartedly, and his name frequently appears in lists of the great littérateurs of the century. The history of the editions is given by Brunet (loc. cit.) and by Bergounioux in his Un Précurseur de la Pléiade: Hugues Salel de Cazals-en-Quercy (1504- 1553) (Paris et Toulouse: Editions Occitania, 1929, pp. 122-25). Bergounioux also prints the prefatory epistle (pp. 279-93). Philipp August Becker , in an article on "Hugues Salel (1503-1553)," Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Litteratur, LV ( 1932), 475-512, indicates Salel's use of Quintilian and the anonymous Vita Homeri as sources.


[a iij] EPISTRE DE DAME POESIE AU TRÈS CHRESTIEN ROY FRANÇOIS, PREMIER DE CE NOM, SUR LA TRADUCTION D'HOMERE, PAR SALEL

Veu le grand faix que sur tes bras soubstiens,
Roy très puissant, le plus grand des Chrestiens,
Tant pour la guerre, à bon droict coremencée,
Contre celuy qui t'a la foy faulsée
,a
Que pour le soing où ton esprit s'applique5A gouverner ce beau peuple Gallique
Qui s'esjouyst et tient à bien bon heur
D'avoir de Dieu tel roy, tel gouverneur;
Si j'entreprens te faire la lecture

De quelque basse et legere escripture, 10

____________________
a
In 1545, Francis I was at war with Henry VIII of England, who had been allied with Charles V.

-117-

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