BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 536
The Netherlands (Leeuwarden), 1601-1605
Iohannes Baers, Lamentationes Ieremiae carmine elegiaco redditae
1. f. 1r [title page:] Lamentationes Ieremiae prophetae carmine elegiaco redditae per Ioannem
Baers Flandrum G(andavensem?). Leowardiae Frisiorum e musaeo suo, 1601. f. 1v blank
2. ff.2r-4v Epistola dedicatoria [running title]. Illustrissimo ac nobilissimo viro d. Roberto
Cecil, Regiae Maiestatis a secretis fidelissimo, equiti aurato, eruditionis ornamentis politissimo et
virtutum splendore praestantissimo s.d.p. Quum de republica perbene consensu omnium, vel certe
probatissimorum, mereantur qui quae a plerisque pro cuiusque commodo ac naturae convenientia
hominum generi non inutila [sic] habentur, in apertum proferant ... Interea Deus optimus
maximus amplificando amplitudine vestra perpetuam suam conservet benignitatem. Valeto.
Vestrae amplitudinis oppide studiosus Ioannes Baers.
Dedicatory epistle to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (c. 1563-1612), secretary of state of
Queen Elizabeth, on whom, cf. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, v. 10 (Oxford, 2004),
pp. 746-759. The author alludes to the sermons his father used to deliver on Lamentations. This
Carmelite monk in Ghent, named Paschasius Baers, became after his conversion minister in Zele
(East Flanders) and from 1580 onwards in various places in the Netherlands; from 1590 to 1603
he was active in Leeuwarden, where his son composed the poem described in article 3. He died
after 1618. See Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, v. 1 (Leiden, 1911), 224.
3. ff. 5r-33r Lamentationes Ieremiae prophetae. Cum miser Israel abductus ab hostibus esset, /
Servitiique iugo colla subacta daret, / Et Solyma infelix etiam vastata iaceret, / Flens Hieremias
sedit ... Nos satis et nimium cladum gravitate repulsos / Implacata tua puniit ira manus.
Lamentationum finis. 1605.
Iohannes Baers (Baersius), born in Ghent 1580, d. 1653, studied theology in Leiden, was
minister in various places in the Northern Netherlands, was 1629 in Pernambuco (Brasil) and in
1632 back in the Netherlands minister in Soest. He is the author of two books in Dutch,
published in 1648 and 1653 respectively, but his poetic paraphrase of Lamentations seems to be
unrecorded. See about him Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, v. 1, 223-224.
Whether this work was finished in 1601 or 1605 is not clear.
Paper, ff. IV + 33 + II, 185 x 140 mm.
I 4 (4 blank leaves), II-IX 4 (ff. 1-32), X 4 (-4, f. 33 + 2 blank leaves). Original pagination "1"-
"63" beginning on f. 2r. "Typographic" signatures in the middle of the lower margin of all recto
pages, from A to H, type "A", "A1", "A2", "A3", starting on f. 2r (so that quire II exceptionally
presents only the signatures "A" to "A2"). Horizontal catchwords on all pages at the right.
Hard-point ruling (type 13, 113 x 89 mm.) for one column of 12 lines below top line (14 traced
lines, of which the bottom line is not used).
Written by a single scribe in careful Humanistica Cursiva. Titles and running titles are in a larger
size of the same script.
Original limp vellum binding, both covers decorated with a simple blind-tooled frame and four
small gilt fleurons in the corners. Remains of two green silk ties. Gold-tooled inscriptions in
capitals, on front cover: ".SERO.SED.SERIO." ; on rear cover "ANNO.1601." Inscription in ink
on the spine: "Lamentationes ***********". Edges gilt.
Some blank pages and ff. 32v-33r are badly damaged by coarse scribbles in ink, seemingly
without any meaning.
Dedicated to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (see above); the motto of the Salisbury family
"Sero sed serio" appears on the binding and is repeated in contemporary Humanistica Cursiva on
the first blank leaf r. On the same page the early inscription "E [£?] 1:20" and the price (s. XX)
"£ 150". Purchased from Quaritch, 30 August 1973, on the Mrs. Lathrop Colgate Harper Fund in
memory of Lathrop Colgate Harper, litt. d.