Critical prefaces of the French Renaissance

By Bernard Weinberg | Go to book overview

JOACHIM DU BELLAY
SECOND PREFACE TO L'Olive 1550

TEXT :

L'Olive avgmentee depvis la premiere edition. La Mvsagnoeomachie& aultres oeuures poëtiques. Auec priuilege pour IIII ans. A Paris. 1550. On les vend au Palais es boutiques de Gilles Corrozet & Arnoul L'angelier. [Princeton University Library.]

[Cf. Brunet, I, 750; Tchemerzine, V, 42.]


COLLATED:

(1554) L'Olive avgmentee depvis la premiere edition. La Mvsagnoemachie & autres œuures poëtiques. ... A Paris. 1554. On les vend au Palais es boutiques de Gilles Corrozet & Arnoul L'angelier. [Harvard College Library.]

(1569) L'Olive, et avtres oevvres poetiqves de Ioachim Dv-Bellay Gentilhomme Angeuin. A Paris, De l'Imprimerie de Federic Morel, rue S. Ian de Beauuais, au Franc Meurier. M.D.LXVIIII. Avec Privilege dv Roy. [Yale University Library.]

[Cf. Brunet, I, 750; Tchemerzine, V, 44.]

Between 1549, when the first edition of L'Olive and the Deffence were published, and 1550, Du Bellay was vigorously attacked both for his practice in the former and his theory in the latter. Among the principal documents in the attack were the Quintil Horatian and Sebillet's preface to his translation of Euripides' Iphigenia. Therefore, in 1550, Du Bellay took the second edition of L'Olive as the occasion for answering these attacks, and wrote the new preface as the medium for his defence. The relationship of this second preface to the two documents mentioned has been studied by Chamard in his Joachim du Bellay ( Lille: 1900, pp. 158-63) and in his notes to the preface in the Œuvres poétiques ( Paris: Cornély, 1908, I, 11-25). Some of my notes are borrowed from the latter edition.


[A iii] AU LECTEUR

Combien que j'aye passé l'aage de mon enfance et la meilleure part de mon adolescence assez inutilement, lecteur, si est-ce que par je ne sçay quelle naturelle inclination j'ay tousjours aimé les bonnes lettres, singulierement nostre poësie Françoise pour m'estre plus familiere, qui vivoy' entre ignorans des langues estrangeres. Depuis, la raison m'a confirmé en cete opinion, considerant que si je vouloy' gaingner quelque nom entre les Grecz et Latins, il y fauldroit employer le reste de ma vie et (peult estre) en vain; etant jà coulé de mon aage le temps le plus apte à l'etude et me trouvant

-153-

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