Miroer Salutaire, Paris, 1486

Latin quotes above the authority.
Guy Marchant, Authority
The four musicians were added in 1486
Guy Marchant, Musicians

Only a year after Guyot Marchant had published the first edition of danse macabre and the extended second version from 1485/86, came the two-volumes version: Miroer Salutaire.

The front page explains how the level of ambition had been raised. The purpose of the book was no longer simply to reproduce the mural from the cemetery of St. Innocents. The new dance, La danse macabre nouuelle, was a "mirror of salvation" for all people of all estates, and of great utility and recreation with teachings in Latin and French: »Ce present liure est appelle Miroer salutaire pour toutes gens: Et de tous estatz. et est de grant vtilite: et recreacion. pour pleuseurs ensegnements tant en latin comme en francoys lesquelx il contient, ainsi compose pour ceulx qui desirent acquerir leur salut : et qui le voudront avoir. La danse macabre nouuelle«.

The two volumes are structured like this:

As one can see, the book contains many different texts. Even if the men's and the women's dances are the two longest of the texts, they are far from the only ones, and the two dances do not in any way form a unified entity.

MS 147: Qui tousiours dure: et qui iamais ne cesse
Qui tousiours dure

It's a bit odd that Guyot Marchant seemingly claims twice to have composed the texts. On the frontpage he writes, »compose pour ceulx qui desirent acquerir leur salut«, and at the end of the first volume, »nouvellement ainsi composee et imprimee par guyot marchant«.

This is obviously wrong: The 30 men had already danced on the wall for 60 years; most of the women appear in old manuscripts like for instance MS 25434; and the legend of the three dead and the three living is to be found in countless variants.(2)

The three ballads are not composed by Marchant either. They can be read in the manuscript MS 147 (picture to the right). Two of the ballads are on the same page as Le miroir des dames et damoiselles, while the third ballad (the one with the refrain, »Homme deffait et a perdicion«) comes a few pages earlier. These three ballads are also included in MS Français 25434, a manuscript that also contains both the men's and the women's danse macabre.

What is meant by "composee" seems to be to edit and expand. Marchant has compiled the many texts, procured the woodcuts, added the four musicians, added legate, duke and the eight other men, added abbess and prioress, added the dead queen, and maybe he has taken the title of the book, "Miroer Salutaire" fra Le miroir des dames et damoiselles.

Guy Marchant 1486: Authority
Guy Marchant 1486: Musicians
Pope and emperor
Guy Marchant 1486: Pope and emperor
Cardinal and king
Guy Marchant 1486: Cardinal and king
Legate and duke
Guy Marchant 1486: Legate and duke
Patriarch and constable
Guy Marchant 1486: Patriarch and constable
Archbishop and knight
Guy Marchant 1486: Archbishop and knight
Bishop and esquire
Guy Marchant 1486: Bishop and esquire
Abbot and bailiff
Guy Marchant 1486: Abbot and bailiff
Astrologer and citizen
Guy Marchant 1486: Astrologer and citizen
Canon and merchant
Guy Marchant 1486: Canon and merchant
Schoolmaster and soldier
Guy Marchant 1486: Schoolmaster and soldier
Carthusian and sergeant
Guy Marchant 1486: Carthusian and sergeant
Monk and usurer
Guy Marchant 1486: Monk and usurer
Physician and suitor
Guy Marchant 1486: Physician and suitor
Lawyer and minstrel
Guy Marchant 1486: Lawyer and minstrel
Parish priest and peasant
Guy Marchant 1486: Parish priest and peasant
Promoter and jailor
Guy Marchant 1486: Promoter and jailor
Pilgrim and shepherd
Guy Marchant 1486: Pilgrim and shepherd
Franciscan monk and child
Guy Marchant 1486: Franciscan monk and child
Clerk and hermit
Guy Marchant 1486: Clerk and hermit
Halberdier and fool
Guy Marchant 1486: Halberdier and fool
Authority and dead king
Guy Marchant 1486: Authority and dead king
Three living
Guy Marchant 1486: Three living
Three dead
Guy Marchant 1486: Three dead
Guy Marchant 1486: Women
Chorea ab Eximio
Guy Marchant 1490: Chorea ab Eximio
Chorea ab Eximio
Guy Marchant 1490: Chorea ab Eximio
Authority 1491
Guy Marchant 1491: Authority 1491
Guy Marchant 1491: Musicians
Authority 1528
Guy Marchant 1491: Authority 1528
Authority 1531
Guy Marchant 1491: Authority 1531
La grant danse
Guy Marchant 1531: La grant danse
La grant danse
Guy Marchant 1531: La grant danse


Further information

Footnotes: (1) (2)

These Latin quotes (and many of the other changes) had already been added to the extended second edition from 1485/86.

Unfortunately a number of pages are lacking from the only existing copy, including the front page, so we don't know what promises were made in the sales blurb on the front page.

On the page about the office of the dead there are several depictions of the legend of the three living and the three dead. Incidentally, there used to be such a statue at the entrance to St. Innocents' Church.

The book L' alphabet de la mort de Hans Holbein contains five variants of the story.