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Andrea Alciato's Emblemes,
Macé Bonhomme
for Guillaume Rouille, 1549

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This description is based on Entry F.026 in Alison Adams, Stephen Rawles, Alison Saunders, A Bibliography of French Emblem Books (Geneva: Droz, 1999-2002).

Reproduced by kind permission of Librarie Droz.

GUL sm33-a1r. Actual page height: 186mm.
GUL sm33-a1r. Actual page height: 186mm.


8o: A-R8 [$5 (-A1) signed] 136 leaves, pages numbered [1] 2-267 [5]. [Misnumbering 224 as 124]


s,e- s-o- i.e? QuDo 3 1549.


A1ro: title; A1vo: privilege: to Rouille and Bonhomme, dated 9 August 1548; A2ro: dedication: Barthélemy Aneau to James, Count of Arran, ends A2vo, dated 3 January 1549; A3ro: ‘Praeface’, ends A7ro; A7vo: dedication: Alciato to Conrad Peutinger (in French);  A8ro: emblems begin, and end R6ro; R6vo: contents, ends R8vo; R8vo: colophon.


201 emblems (as in the 1548 Latin editions (F.020-021)), but with the 3 emblems concerning Alciato himself here at the beginning. 165 emblems have woodcuts, using the basic Rouille/Bonhomme design with frames; 7 woodcuts (D031 and 6 ‘Trees’) are not yet those of the definitive corpus. A further 7 emblems use woodcuts normally associated with other emblems; 7 further emblems, presumably because the definitive woodcut is not yet available, appear with duplicate cuts which also appear in their ‘proper’ places. Short prose commentary beneath the verse. Text in roman, 82mm for 20 lines.

GUL SM33: L4v-L5ro. Actual page height: 186mm.
GUL SM33: L4v-L5ro. Actual page height: 186mm.


This is the first edition of Alciato to include commentary.

One privilege served to protect the translations into French, Italian and Spanish, which can thus be seen to constitute a concerted publishing venture. Breakage to the woodcut for ‘Secours jamais ne defaillant’ (D162) in the Italian and Spanish translations indicates that this edition and the other French edition (F.027) are both earlier than the Italian and Spanish translations.

There are different states of the title for Rouille and Bonhomme, with variation even between the Rouille copies. It may be that the whole of gathering A was reset.

Within this edition, there are other important variants, dealt with in various ways: these are indicated with sigla as noted below in the list of copies. [The absence of sigla denotes that the particular detail has not been noted in the copy concerned.]

On A8ro, where the first lines of the verse below the woodcut begin either: ‘L’enfant...’ (*) or ‘Ta noblesse...’ (**).

On M1vo the original text () (beginning ‘La main d’ung Prince à tout prendre alongée...’) of the verse of ‘Ce que ne prent l’Eglise, le Fisc ravit’ is changed in some copies by the addition of a cancellans slip (), and in others by a complete resetting (). The revised text begins: ‘La main d’ung Prince avare, et alongée...’

Variations of typesetting in gathering N have also been noted between two of the Fra BN copies, where there is evidence of partial resetting.

This is a completely different setting, with frames, from the other 1549 French edition (F.027) which adopts the reading ‘L’enfant...’ on A8vo and ‘La main d’ung Prince avare’ on M1vo. These readings and the whole pattern of correction indicate that the present edition is the earlier.


Not in Praz; Landwehr, 42-44.; see Green, 38-39; see Tung, 27-28.

Copies located

A List of Library symbols can be found here.

Aus *VOENB (Rouille [*])
Bel *BBRKB (Bonhomme [])
Fra *BN (4 copies: 3 Rouille [*], [**]), [not noted], 1 Bonhomme [*])
Fra *BeaBM
Fra *BeBM (Bonhomme)
Fra *DoMM
Fra *GBM (2 copies: both Rouille [*] and [*])
Fra *LBM (2 copies, both Rouille)
Fra NîBM
Fra *PBArs (Bonhomme [*])
Fra *PBMa (Rouille [**])
Fra RodMM
FRG *MSB (Rouille [*])
FRG *WHAB (Rouille [**])
UKi *BL (2 copies: 1 Bonhomme [*], 1 Rouille [**])
UKi *CTC (Bonhomme [*])
UKi *GU (Bonhomme)
UKi *OB (Bonhomme [*])
USA *CMalG (Rouille []
USA *DFo (Rouille [*])
USA *MH (Rouille[])
USA *NjP (Bonhomme [*])
USA *NN (Rouille [*])
USA *ViU (Rouille [*])

Other copies

Copies of Rouille/Bonhomme 1549 French copies not assigned to either edition are recorded at:
Fra ArrBM
Fra OrBM
Fra RouBM
Fra TrBM
Ita MiBA
Por LiBN
Spa EscRB
Swi BnStUB


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