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PÉRAU, Gabriel-Louis Calabre (1700--1767)
[Le secret des francs-maçons. 17--?]
L'ordre des francs-maçons trahi, et leur secret révélé.
A Amsterdam et se débite à Toulouse, chez les vrais Amis réunis, [178-?].
144, [2] p. : wdcut illus. ; 16.7 cm. (12º)

Anonymous. By the abbé Pérau who signs the dedication in Masonic cypher (p. 15). The text ends on p. 144, followed by a final leaf bearing a letterpress diagram captioned 'Le chiffre des Francs-Maçons rendu public' on the recto, and the 'Table Des Pieces Contenues Dans Ce Livre' with pagination '(203)' on the verso. There were at least three editions of this work published in 'Amsterdam' in 1745. Two of these editions have the title-page reading L'ordre des francs-maçons trahi, et les secrets des Mopses révélé, and contain, in addition to the text in the present undated edition beginning with the 'Preface Nécessaire' and concluding with 'Remarques sur divers usages de la Maçonnerie', two further sections with divisional titles reading 'Le Secret Des Mopses Revelé' and 'Chansons De La Très-Venerable Confrerie Des Francs-Maçons, ...', the latter with separate pagination and register. The third of these editions has title-pages reading Les secrets de l'ordre des francs-maçons, dévoilés & mis au jour par M. P*** [Latin motto] Premiere (Seconde) partie and contains the same material with a 20-pp. 'Catalogue des Livres qui se trouvent à Francfort ... Chez les Freres Van Duren Imprimeurs & Libraires de Sa Majesté Imperiale' following the 'Chansons', unpaginated but with continuous register. All three allude to the original 'Edition de Paris' at the end of the 'Epitre', presumably the edition recorded in the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale titled Le secret des francs-maçons with the dedication signed 'Abbé Pérau' dated 1742. Also included in these editions are plates numbered I--VIII and A--F, including an engraved version of the diagram of 'Le chiffre des Francs-Maçons rendu public'. The work went through several more 'Amsterdam' editions in 1752, 1763, 1766, 1771 and 1778. The Soane copy as described here appears to be a late edition omitting 'Le Secret Des Mopses' and the 'Chansons ...' and is similar to copies held by the Bodleian Library, Amsterdam University Library, and the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives, National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Massachusetts, but it has not been possible to compare these copies in detail. The title-page has a woodcut vignette of Masonic symbols within a double-bordered equilateral triangle; p. 90 has a woodcut tail-piece of Masonic symbols with a skull and crossbones within an equilateral triangle.

Copy Notes All after 'Amsterdam' in the imprint has been scored through. Bought from T. & W. Boone for 3s. 6d., 7 April 1831. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.7.18). Inscribed in pencil on verso of the front free end-paper: Rare. The Secret of the Free Masons dis-/covered, and on the front pastedown in another hand, Collated.

Binding C18th mottled calf, gilt-tooled spine compartments with thistle ornament, brown morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 315


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