Tracing the Psalms
Summary and chronology of Marot's Psalm project

great parts of chapter 2: "Tracing Marot's Psalm paraphrases", in D. Wursten, Clément Marot and religion (Brill: Leiden, 2010) a simpler version (conclusion) can be read here

Tracing the Psalms, a historical bibliographical survey

 Since not only the text tradition of Marot’s Psalm poems is extremely entangled, but also the number of legends surrounding its provenance by far exceeds the number of established facts, we were compelled to perform a preliminary critical bibliographical research concerning Marot’s Psalm poems, in order to recover the material (texts and facts); a kind of bibliographical and historical cleansweep.[1] Since assigning dates to texts which themselves are not dated is highly susceptible to circular reasoning, we will provide – if the date can not be established with certainty – a twofold dating: firstly a terminus a quo and a terminus ad quem to confine a period, based on "hard" evidence and secondly a probability date based on other indications. In this field one has to work with balanced probabilities and accept that some things are unknowable. The combination of this historical and bibliographical exercise with an inventarisation of contemporary references to his Psalm paraphrasing activity might finally do the tric: clear the field and uncover (recover) the factual and textual material, we can use as a solid basis for our research, i.e. the extraction of theological relevant information from Marot’s Psalm poems, an exercise we will circumscribe in a separate chapter. A certain periodisation enforces itself, since the official publication of Psalm 6 (before 1533) is separated by a long period of silence from the first official printed edition (Paris, Roffet, 1541).[2]  We will use the term "Psalm poems" to refer to Marot's verse translations of the Biblical Psalms, because it seems to be the most neutral and intrinsically correct term available.[3] The straightforward term "Psalm" will be reserved for a general reference to the biblical original. To refer to an edition of Marot's Psalm poems we will use a coded system, not unlike the system of sigla, developed by Pierre Pidoux in his work of reference on the subject: Le Psautier Huguenot,[4]  which consists of a combination of place (capitalized) or publisher (not capitalized) and year of publication (f.i. PA41 refers to Marot’s Trente Pseaulmes printed by Roffet in Paris in 1541 and Do42 to the editon by Etienne Dolet in 1542).



1. 1528-1533: Psalm 6 printed separately as a Plaquette, a 'small booklet'. The full title is Le VI. Pseaulme de David, qui est le premier Pseaulme des sept Pseaulmes, translate en francoys par Clement Marot Varlet de chambre du Roy nostre sire au plus pres de la verite Ebraicque.[5]

Both the way it is printed (beautifully adorned, three engravings, gothic typeface, and the insertion of the Latin incipits preceding Marot’s metrical translation, place this booklet in the tradition of devotional literature. The reference to “la verite Ebraicque” on the other hand links the translation to the humanist approach of the Old Testament.[6] Based on an analysis of the typographical material this edition can be assigned to the printing house of Claude Nourry (Lyon) and the terminus a quo and ad quem can be determined as resp. 1528 and 1533.[7] Who commanded the printing of this booklet is not clear. It was acquired in Lyon in 1535 by the diplomate and bibliophile Fernand Colomb.[8]


2. 1533 (between October and December): Psalm 6, added at the end of the second Augereau edition of Marguerite's Miroir.[9]

The Miroir de l’ame pecheresse (dating back at least to 1531) is a devout meditation of Marguerite (the King's sister) about her sinfulness and Gods grace. As a penitential prayer (traditional aspect) it has a strong biblical coloration, which is caused by the biblical language Marguerite used in formulating her prayer, with a preponderance of idiom and phrasing derived from the Letters of St. Paul. This biblical impression is strengthened by the fact that in margine the references are mentioned and in the first editions even printed in extenso, using the French translation of the Bible by Lefèvre d'Etaples, which had appeared in 1530.[10] It is only in the second Augereau edition of the Miroir, which appeared probably between October and December 1533, that Marot's Psalm poem was added. Since it was probably the first (anonymous) Augereau-edition of the Miroir that was forwarded for censorship by the Faculty of Theology to the Parlement de Paris in October 1533,[11] the presence of Marot's translation of Psalm 6 in the Miroir should not be linked to this debate. It not only is posterior, but also not anonymous anymore. The new title has become: Le miroir de treschrestienne Princesse Marguerite de France, Royne de Navarre, Duchesse D'Alençon & de Berry: auquel elle voit & son neant, & son tout.[12] At the end of this edition, after a theological tract and three prayers, one reads (fol. 35): Le VI. Pseaulme de David, translaté en Françoys selon l'Hebrieu, par Clement Marot Valet de chambre du Roy. Apart from some textual differences (esp. in the second part of the first verse) the text is the same as in the plaquette.[13] The Latin verses are retained, although the layout is higly modernised: Roman characters, careful punctuation and typography, following the Briefve Doctrine pour deuement escripre le Françoys, an orthographic treatise published at the same time by the same printer (Antoine Augereau) and containing Marot’s translation of some christian prayers: L'instruction et foy d'ung chrestien.[14] This Psalm poem remains the only Psalm poem officially printed until 1541. It is incorporated in Marot’s poetical oeuvre, beginning with La Suite de l’Adolescence clementine (Roffet, 1534) and with slight changes in the editions of Les Oeuvres de Clement Marot (1538, Dolet/Gryphius). This long interval doesn’t mean that Marot wasn’t working on Psalm poems. Fragments appear in Marot’s own texts, other people – with or without Marot’s consent – copy and publish (either in manuscript or in print) selections of them and sometimes Marot or someone else refers to his Psalm translating activity in general.




3. 1537-1539 (most likely: 1538) [Saulmes de Clement Marot] with an unknown number of Psalms.[15]

The existence of this edition is only known from a statement of the Genevan printer Jean Girard, as recorded in the "Procès criminels" of the City of Geneva. Girard, being questioned about illegal printing activities, is asked to sum up all his publications since he arrived in Geneva (summer 1536). The interrogation took place on 1 May 1539. One of his issues is recorded by the scribe as: Saulmes de Clement Marot.[16] Since no copy of this edition has ever been found, nothing else can be said with certainty about it, except that it must have existed, because there is no reason why Girard would have lied about it.

Although it is impossible to build theories on the content of this edition, bibliographical research has to take in account the fact that a professional edition by a renowned printer of an unknown number of Psalm poems of Marot existed before May 1539. Reference to this unknown source ("Q") is allowed, if its existence helps to explain certain aspects of the manuscripts and non-official publications before PA41 (group I), which can otherwise not be accounted for. Of course this has to be done with the utmost prudence, i.e. always aware of the hypothetical nature.[17]


4. before 1539-1541, ms. B.N. fr. 2337. This manuscript bears the title: “Pseaulmes translatez par C. Marot”  and contains the first  30 Psalm poems of Marot: Psalms 1 – 15, 19, 22, 24, 32, 37, 38, 51, 103, 104, 113, 114, 115, 130, 137, 143.[18]

The Psalm poems are written by different hands. The remark of Lenselink that the Psalms are set down in an arbitrary order is not entirely accurate.[19] Several longer sequences (numerical order) can be easily distinguished. Since the second of these sequences (starting with Psalm 2) also bears the heading: Pseaulmes translatez par C. Marot, it might well be that the scribes or copiists compiled this manuscript in different rounds.

The manuscript shows lots of corrections and in some passages the original text has been crossed out and replaced by a different reading (scribbled above/below te lines).[20] Since the superimposed reading almost always corresponds to other known editions of Group I, the layer below becomes very interesting. Lenselink has tried to decipher the crossed out passages and published them in (the critical apparatus of) his four-column edition, in which the first column reproduces this manuscript. It is the presence of this crossed out text, which differs from the earliest known and datable editions (ST39, AN41), which causes us to advance the terminus a quo of this manuscript to "before 1539". Since the corrections often correspond to AN41, one can not exclude the possibility that (at least) the last hand might well have had access to an edition or manuscript from Group I . We can conclude with Lenselink, that ms. 2337 probably conserves the oldest version of the Trente Pseaulmes of Marot, available to us.[21] Some other observations:

  • -          The numbering of the Psalms is according to the Hebrew Bible, without any mistake or hesitation.[22]

  • -          No title or summary ("Argument") is present. Just the number of the Psalm is superimposed above the poem ("Le .1." etc.)

  • -          Verse numbering appears in margine of the body text. We observed either one verse per stanza or two verses per stanza.[23]

  • -          The orthography is quite modern, but not consistent. We noticed the presence of cedille, e-aigu, e-barré, z-diacritique, the elimination of mute internal consonants (rare) and final-g in words like "ung" (often).[24]


First remark about the selection of the Trente Pseaulmes.

When looking at the selection it is tempting to think that Marot on the one hand worked systematically on his project, since the first fifteen Psalms are present and from the seven Penitential Psalms six are translated: 6, 32, 38, 51, 130, 143 (only Psalm 102 is missing). In the choice of the remaining Psalms (22, 24, 37, 103, 104, 113, 114, 115, 137) it is hard to find any coherence, which makes it probable that Marot made the choice based on his own (or someone else’s) preference.


5. 1539: First available printed edition known: Aulcuns pseaulmes & cantiques mys en chant, Strasburg, 1539.[25] ST39

This anonymous edition contains 19 Psalms, the Canticle of Simeon, the Ten Commandments and the Creed. Only the Creed is not translated in verses. All texts are meant to be sung, since a melody is printed above the first stanza of every Psalm[26] and the entire Creed. Thirteen of the nineteen verse translations are by Marot (Psalms 1, 2, 3, 15, 19, 32, 51, 103, 114, 115, 130, 137, 143), but no author is mentioned. The redaction of this edition is generally attributed to John Calvin (Pastor of the French Speaking Church) and the printing to the Strasbourg printer Johannes Knobloch, both assessments though remain hypothetical.[27] Some observations:

-          The Numbers of the Psalms of this edition (in Roman numerals) follow partly the Hebrew Psalter, partly the Vulgata. The confusion starts at the Penitential Psalm “Miserere mei” (Psalm 51):

Psalm 51 : Psalme L”  (V)

Psalm 91 : Psalme LXXXX (V)

Psalm 103 : Psalme CIII (H)

Psalm 113 : Psalme CXIII (H)

Psalm 114 : Psalme CXIII ou CXIIII”[28] (V and H)

Psalm 115 : Le. CXV (H). This Psalm has no tune of its own. The influence of the Vulgata is felt, since in the Vulgata Psalms 114 and 115 form one Psalm: CXIII (De exitu). Since Ps. 115 has the same metrical form as Ps. 114 they obviously were meant to be sung on the same tune.

Psalm 130 : Psalme CXIX (V)

Psalm 137 : Psalme CXXXVII (H)

Psalm 138 : CXXXVIII (H) (The word "Psalme" is omitted)

Psalm 143 : Psalme CXLII (V)

Simply noticing this chaos, makes it in my opinion less probable that Calvin really supervised this edition.

-          The imprint is in gothic characters. The absence of accented characters and the presence of only two diacritical signs (the apostrophe and apocope), strongly suggest a German printing house. Nevertheless: the orthography is as modern as possible with this type cast. To eliminate the mute e word-ends are sometimes truncated or the apostrophe/apocope is used (Psalm 142,4,5: "En ceste foss’obscur’et noire"). We noticed the z-diacritique and a non-consistent elimination of mute internal consonants and final-g's in words like "ung".[29]

-          We noticed a difference between the first and the three other signatures, both in layout of the text as in orthography. In the first signature (p. 1-16, comprising the title, ps. 1, 2, 3, 15, 19, 25 (first stanza), only an indent separates the different stanzas: the next three signatures of the booklet have a blank line between each stanza. The first uses slashes (german commas), the other – after some initial hesistation – only commas. From the second signature onwards the use of the apostrophe/apocope diminishes significantly and internal mute consonants appear in abundance. This suggests that more than one hand has been active in the printer shop and/or the type setting was done based on a mixt original. [30]


The idea of singing Psalms in French at worship, and thus the necessity to provide the community with singable verse translations in French, dates back – as far as Calvin is concerned – to 1536. The "articles baillés par les prescheurs", the Genevan ministers (including Calvin), drawn up in October 1536 contain amongst other things a program of liturgical renewal, based on the conviction that singing of Psalms (as a form of common prayer) would seriously improve the quality of worhip.[31] In the second part of 1538 Calvin was appointed Pastor of the recently established French-speaking Community of Refugees in Strasburg, where the habit of singing Psalms in French either already must have been existent, or was almost immediately introduced.[32] The German speaking Church in which Martin Bucer was the most prominent figure, had its own books of common prayer, with liturgical prayers, hymns and Psalms, ever since 1524.[33] Whether community hymn singing already was practised or not, Calvin must have judged that is was time to publish a francophone counterpart to this Hymnbook, as he clearly stated in a letter to Farel, dated 29 December 1538. In this letter he refers to a previous dispatch of French Psalm poems to Farel.:

Psalmos ideo miseramus, ut prius cantarentur apud vos, quam illuc pervenirent quo intelligis. Statuimus enim brevi publicari. Quia magis arridebat melodia germanica, coactus sum experiri quid carmine valerem. Ita Psalmi duo, 46. et  25., prima sunt mea tirocinia; alios postea attexui.[34]

The publication probably was available around mid-1539, since Pierre Toussain asks Calvin to send him the Psalms in June and in October Calvin is already looking for more Psalms and extremely worried why a special delivery to Geneva of 100 copies never has arrived there.[35] Some observations:

-          The thirteen Psalms of Marot are a subset of the Trente Pseaulmes, mentioned supra.

-          No title, no Latin incipit, no "Argument" is present.[36]

-    The stanzas are not numbered, nor are (biblical) verses indicated.

-          The absence in ST39 of the only published Psalm poem of Marot (Psalm 6) is intriguing. It seems unimaginable that the redactor/compiler did not have access to it, or was not aware of its existence, esp. since Calvin himself was in Paris in 1533 and Girard produced a reprint of the The Miroir in 1539. Finding appropriate music might have been a problem, esp. since the solution of using a secular melody seemed to have been no option for the editor of this hymnbook.[37]

-    The non-Marot Psalms are all set to an (adaptation of an) existing melody from the German Psalter of Strasbourg. The origin of the melodies of the Marot Psalms is unknown in ten instances and in two instances it seems to be derived from melodies from the German Psalter of.[38] In the last two cases the adaptation of the existing melodies is so thorough that it would be more corresponding to reality to say that all Marot Psalm poems are provided with a new melody, among which two might be inspired by existing Strasburgian Psalms.[39] The difference between versifying a Psalm into the mould of an existing melody (non-Marot) and creating a Psalm poem independent of any existing tune (Marot) catches the eye.

-          On the final page we read a distich: “Psalme et chanson je chanteray / à un seul Dieu, tant que seray”, followed by: "A Dieu seul soit honneur / & gloyre."

-          The text of the thirteen Psalms of Marot is almost identical with the final version of ms. 2337,[40] which can be interpreted in different ways: either ms. 2337 is corrected according to ST39 (no conclusive argument against this relationship has been brought forward) or ST39 is based on ms. 2337 (the fact that the numbering in ms. 2337 is completely Hebrew and ST39 is confused, is an argument against this relationship), or they are both based on an unknown predecessor, or.... It appears to be wise to content ourselves with the statement: They belong to the same text-family, we provisionally named: Group I.[41]


6a. 1541 (Antwerpen): Psalmes de David, Translatez de plusieurs autheurs, & principallement de Cle. Marot, veu, recogneu et corrigé par les theologiens, nommeement par M.F.Pierre Alexandre, concionateur ordinaire de la Royne de Hongrie. Antwerp, Antoine Des Gois, 1541.[42]  AN41

In this collection 45 Psalm poems are printed, among which the 30 of Marot, we already know from ms. 2337. The title reveals a more or less active role of the the Queens chaplain, friar Pierre Alexandre in the compilation of this edition.[43] The fact that both Des Gois and Alexandre are known for their evangelical sympathies, gives this edition a "reformed" colour. Some observations:

-          The text – apart from writing errors and matters of orthography – is for the greatest part identical with ms. 2337 (final version), and thus with ST39.[44] The two occasions where ST39 differs from ms. 2337, AN41 follows ms. 2337.

-          AN41 shares most of its peculiar readings (where it differs from other manuscripts and printed editions) with ms. 2337. Some of the crossed-out readings of ms. 2337 figure in margine of AN41[45]

-          A peculiar aspect of this edition is the strange order (or better: disorder) in which non-Marot psalms are interjected between Marot Psalms, creating a rather chaotic impression, which is enforced by the total absence of blank lines.[46]

-          The text is entirely printed in an italic typeface, with the exception of the word "Psalme" and its number, which is printed in Roman capitals. The orthography is relatively progressive.[47]

-          On the verso of the final page we read: "Psal. 104. // Psalme & chanson je chanteray // à un seul Dieu, tant que seray”, the same distich as in ST39. At the end of the "Registre du present livre des Psalmes de David" (providing the Hebrew numbers and the Latin incipits linked to the folio where to find the psalm) we read: "A Dieu seul soit honneur // & gloyre.", also present in ST39.

-          In nine cases an indication of a tune to which a Psalm can (or should) be sung is present.[48] Of these nine cases only once a Psalm poem of Marot is concerned: Psalm 10. This Psalm has as title: Psal. X. CL.M. sus, dont vient celà. To find the title of this chanson (from Marot) above this Psalm poem is hardly surprising, since Psalm 10 itself betrayes the mould in which it is made. Chanson and Psalm poem share the incipit: "Dont vient cela". This is one of Marot's most successful chansons. The metrical form is identical. The fact that eight out of fifteen (over 50%) of the non-Marot Psalms are to be sung on a popular tune, is telling in itself. They were probably versified to be sung on the melody of that specific chanson, which is mentioned by referring to its incipit: a very customary technique called parody or contrefacture.[49] The fact that with 30 Psalms of Marot present, only one fits in the mould of (his own) chanson is also telling, esp. for comparison: Marot’s Psalm poems are obviously not conceived as a parody of secular chansons, but are a creation sui generis, Psalm 10 being the exception that confirms the rule.[50]


6b        AN41-bis: Psalmes de David…

This is the twin edition of AN41, containing the same 45 psalms poems, but with some notable changes. The explicit nihil obstat from Alexandre has gone and there are some additions: Marot's dedicatory epistle to the king, a Sermon du bon pasteur and some small anonymous poems.[51]  The presence of the Sermon du bon pasteur is important, since this highly evangelical treatise about the characteristics of "good and bad shepherds of Gods flock" is explicitly attributed to Clément Marot, although he is not the author.[52] In Lyon Etienne Dolet printed the same collection, in the same order, only adding two Psalm poems of Maurice Scève at the end.[53]


7. 1541-1543 The ms. fr. 2336 testifies to a second revison (the text sous rature of ms. 2337 being the oldest available text, the final text of ms. 2337 (ST39) being the first revision and being passed down almost unchanged until the Antwerp-edition of Des Gois (AN41).

 Many of the changes of ms. 2336, which are very often more than occasional retouches, either reappear in the first official edition (Roffet 1541/1542, PA41) or remain unique for this manuscript.[54] This manuscript contains 84 Psalm translations (the first signature is missing, with high probability containing among others the Pss. 1-9 and the first seven stanzas of Ps. 10. Together it is the most complete and extensive Psalm manuscript that is passed down. Next to Marot (with 20 Psalms) we find Pierre Gringoire (25 Psalms under the name Vaudemont). Also the two Psalm poems of Maurice Scève are present, which were published by Dolet in 1542, leaving 37 Psalm poems by other less known to unknown poets, often only referred to by initials.[55] Determination of dating and authorship of this manuscript. appears to be almost impossible. At least two, maybe three, redactors seem to have worked on the manuscript with considerable intervals. The theological background and sympathy of these redactors also might have been quite diverse.[56] Some observations:

-          Two Latin texts are written in the margin of the translations: One text is the Vulgata and the other a latinisation of the Hebrew Psalter by Huldrych Zwingli. The compiler probably copied this Hebraicum from the very popular Enchiridium Psalmorum of  Campensis, Professor Hebrew at Louvain), in which it – in some editions – this Hebraicum appears next to Campensis's paraphrase.

-          The numbering is according to the Hebrew Psalter until Psalm 116 (which indeed is the gordian numbering knot). Then the Vulgata numbering is followed, with two exceptions.[57]

-          The Gringoire Psalms are taken from his Heures de nostre dame, first published in 1525 (with many reprints afterwards). All present here are present there. Vice versa this is also the case, with the exception of Pss. 5, 6, 7, and 8. It seems a safe bet to assume they were also present in the missing section of the manuscript, together with Marot's.[58]

-          If a version of both Marot and Gringoire is present, Marot's version always precedes Gringoire's.[59]

-          All Marot-Psalms are preceded by an Argument, a kind of summary. The arguments are in many cases borrowed from or inspired by Bucer's pseudonymous Psalm commentary, where they figure above his own translation.[60] Conspicuous is that the copiist also reserved a blank space between the Psalmnumber and the first line, when non-Marot Psalms were concerned.[61] Obviously he had the intention to fill in this empty space later. Telling is the fact that in three cases he has done so by using the Argument of the corresponding Psalm of Marot from the 20Pss (1543). This suggests that at least one copiist has worked on this ms. after 1543 and used this new source of Arguments to fill in the empty spaces above Gringoire Psalm poems.[62]

-          At the end of each Argument a short suggestion for the application or use of the Psalm in question can be read: "Pseaulme propre pour...". These suggestions are traditional but the content is original. The example par excellence was Athanasius's Letter to Marcellinus, which was often reprinted in the sixteenth century, mostly in connection to an edition of the Psalms.

-          The Psalm verses are not numbered, but the Argument is followed by an indication of the relation between "versets" and "couplets". All Marot Psalms are preceded by these kind of indications, which makes this manuscript unique.[63]  Three different indications occur:
      1. "à ung verset pour couplet à chanter"
      2. "à deux versets pour couplet à chanter"
      3. "à deux coupletz differentz de chant, chascun couplet d'ung verset"
These subtitles are often understood as directions for singing or musical indications, but when scrutinized, they rather appear to be a way of accounting for the way the sentences (versets - bibleverses) correspond to the poetic form (couplets, stanzas) [64]:  If one stanza renders one bibleverse, indication 1 appears (f.i. Psalm 3). If one stanza renders two bibleverses, indication 2 appears (f.i. Psalm 1). If  one stanza renders one bibleverse but the stanzas differ metrical, indication 3 appears (f.i. Psalm 2). The phrasing "differentz de chant" suggests that the word "chant" primarily refers to poetic recitation as qualified by strophic form, rhythm and rhyme. It goes without saying that this also has its bearing if put to music. The melody for Psalm 2 f.i. had to comprise two stanza's to make one singable stanza.

-          Eleven Psalms in this manuscript are provided with a reference to an existing melody (“sus: ”…).[65] Eight of these references concern the same non-Marot psalms as in AN41. This leaves three references for Psalm poems of Marot: Psalm 13: “urbs beata Hier[usalem].”; Psalm 15: “Sus. L’aultre jour m’y cheminoye” [66]; Psalm 22: “Ut queant laxis”. The first two references are to ancient church hymns, Urbs beata Hierusalem and Ut queant laxis. The melody of Psalm 15 refers to a secular chanson of which the incipit occurs with a lot of variations in French secular songs dating from the early sixteenth century, of which I only managed to find one which provided a possible match[67]. If we try to fit the tunes to the texts[68] the result is quite poor. Even considering the flexibility of a sixteenth-century singer and his skill in making a text fit a melody, he will probably not succeed in singing Psalm 13 on Urbs beata, will have no problem with Psalm 15, if he at least remembers that old song, and finally he will absolutely enjoy singing Psalm 22 on the melody of Ut queant laxis, he of course remembers from solmisation, since this is the hymn that was used to learn to sing the hexachord, ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la (Guido of Arezzo).


Psalm 13:

-          5 lines

-          8 8 8 8 8 

-          AAbbA (8 8 9 9 8)


Urbs beata:

-          6 lines

-          8 8 8 7 8 7


Psalm 15:

-          5  lines

-          8 8 8 8 8

-          (8 9 8 8 9)


L'aultre jour:

-          4 lines

-          7 7 8 7

-          (8 8 8 8)

Psalm 22:

-          4 lines

-          10 10 10 4

-          (10 10 10 5 / 11 11 11 4)[69]

Ut queant laxis:

-          4 lines

-          11 11 11 5



8. 1541 : Three manuscripts, codex Vindobonensis 2644, Arsenal 3632, and. Pierpont Morgan 218 contain the Trente Pseaulmes in a text version which is very close[70] to the first official edition of Roffet in 1541 (PA41).

Lenselink suggests to date them a little bit prior in time, since some changes can be observed in these manuscripts in statu nascendi. Some observations

-          These manuscripts all have "Arguments" above the psalms, just like PA41.

-          The indication of the number of "versets par couplet" are present in ms. PM 218, but missing in Vind. 2644 and Ars. 3632.

-          No verse numbers are present.

-          Ms. Ars. 3632 is the only which also contains the dedicatory "Epistre au Roy."


Based on counting, weighing and comparing of the relatively few differences between these manuscripts, compared with eachother and with PA41, Lenselink suggests that we can place these manuscripts in a chronological order, which we copied above. Since the privilege of the official edition (PA41) is dated on 31 November 1541, we would expect him to have assigned dates to all three around the same period, but this is not the case. Only ms. PM 218 is dated very close to the end of 1541,[71] the dates of the two remaning manuscripts are advanced to the the first half of 1540 (or even 1539).[72] If we ponder the reasons he provides, they appear to be linked to the fact that both manusripts are closely connected to the story related in the Villemadon Letter, according to which Marot must have offered the Trente Pseaulmes to King Francis I in 1539 and a copy of it to the Emperor Charles V in january 1540. Ms. Ars. 3632 is often considered to be the text Marot offered to the king, Marot's dedication letter preceding the texts of the Psalm poems.[73] Comparison with Group I and PA41 shows that it belongs firmly to group II, since "à quelque petites exceptions près le texte d'Arsenal 3632 est identique à celui de Roffet."[74] Since PA41 (Roffet) and PM218 are almost always together when Ars. 3632 is still following group I, this manuscript might be a little anterior to it. We would suggest a date like: Summer 1541.[75]

Ms. Vind 2644 is often associated with the presentation of the Trente Pseaulmes to the Emperor Charles V in January 1540 as reported in the same Villemadon Letter. Comparing the manuscript with Ars. 3632, Lenselink signals five instances in which this text is still conform group I, while Ars 3632 is already in line with PA41.[76] This tiny little detail inspires him to assign anteriority to Vind 2644, but this sounds almost theoretical: So also Summer 1541 would be the only logical date based on text-internal criteria.

In dating these manuscripts in the first half of 1540, with the possibility of going back even a further, Lenselink seemed to have antedated these two manuscripts as much as possible to concord with the then usual view that these manuscripts are the ones mentioned in the Villemadon Letter. Lenselink must have felt the burden of this tradition. His own findings are among the first to question the unquestionability of this idea.[77] Since this story is only found in the Villemadon Letter, in which it serves a propagandistic discours, nothing withholds us now to simply accept the dating which the text itself suggests: 1541, chronologically close to the publication of PA41, the text they closely mirror.[78]





Our inventory thus far has more than ever revealed that 1541 was the crucial year for Marot's Psalm translations. He gathered the material, which he haa produced on different occasions and after a thorough revision, he sent it to Paris, to the King, accompanied with a long dedicatory letter. A copy goes to his privileged printer: Estienne Roffet. Knowing how dangerous the times are, esp. for things that touch translations into the vernacular of the Holy Scripture, Roffet waited with printing until he had procured a royal privilege and a nihil obstat from the Faculty of Theology. This privilege received (dated 31 November 1541), he will have started printing. In the meantime Marot did not keep the manuscript secret, but allowed people to copy it and perhaps made some minor improvements before he sent it to Roffet. Much is possible in this area. Perhaps Marot was in Paris and personally supervised the corrections. The publication of a previous version of the Trente Pseaulmes by Antoine des Gois in Antwerp, the same year (let's say first half 1541), is not incompatible with this procedure. Marot's psalms were already a collector's item and all kinds of amateurs tried to lay hand on copies (or copies of copies) of one or more of them. The publication in Antwerp, might well have been an incentive to Marot to revise them all and publish a better version, since – as we will show in the next chapter – some of the earlier versions hardly surpassed the status of a draft.



9. 1541 : Trente Pseaulmes de David, mis en françoys par Clement Marot, valet de chambre du Roy, édition Roffet 1541/42, Paris.[79] PA41

The official privilege is dated on 31 November 1541. The numbering of the Psalms in this edition is conform the Hebrew Psalter, the Latin incipits follow the Vulgata.[80] A few observations, now followed by a comparison:

-          The Psalms are preceded by Arguments, which are almost identical to the ones in the related manuscripts (13) and sometims a little bit shorter than ms. 2336

o   Arguments in ms. 2336 and group II, Absent in Group I

-          Every Argument concludes with a phrase like "Pseaulme propre pour...", which is occasionally incorporated in the Argument.[81]

o   Also present in ms. 2336 and PM218 (group II). Absent in Group I and Vind. 2644 and Ars. 3632.

-          The verset/couplet instruction is generally printed below the argument, but missing above Psalm 22[82] and absent after psalm 38.

o   in ms. 2336 all psalms carry this instruction

o   in ms. PM218 the instruction is the same, but phrased shorter. When it is absent in PA41 it is also absent in ms. PM218.[83]

-          The verses of the first 8 Psalm poems (except Psalm 3) are indicated in margine by means of roman numbers. Three times (Psalm 4, 5 and 8) the numbering is not consistent with the "verset"-indication above the Psalms.[84]


10a. 1542 La Manyere de faire prieres aux eglises Francoyses. tant devant la predication comme apres, ensemble pseaulmes & cantiques francoys qûon chante aus dictes eglises, [Strasbourg, 1542].[85] ST42.

This is a Book of Common Prayer in the French language. Although Calvin already had returned to Geneva by the time this publication was finished, he is supposed to have been the driving force behind it. The psalterpart builds on the Aulcuns Pseaulmes (ST39) and contains all thirty Psalms by Marot. Sometimes changes are present, which are unique to this edition.[86] Not all Psalms have melodies. The six non-Marot Psalms and the Canticles from ST39 are still there (creating a doublure for Psalm 113). New is the presence of three non-Marot Psalms, which also formed part of AN41: pss. 43, 120 and 142. The final stanzas of ps. 22 and 37 (originally not fit to be sung) are remade into the mould of the preceding stanzas.[87]


10b. 1542 La Forme des prieres et chantz ecclesiastiques, avec le maniere d’administrer les Sacremens, & consacrer le Mariage: selon la coustume de l’Eglise ancienne, ... (Genève, Girard, 1542). GE42.

This is – concerning the Psalms – almost a twin-edition of 15a: it shares a number of unique readings with it (often corrections of AN41), but neverthless they are not entirely the same.[88] A small list of errata can be found at the end of the hymnal part. The most notable difference with ST42 though is the fact that an unmentioned melodist[89] provided all new Psalm poems with a distinct melody, in the meantime revising the melodies from ST39. Five of six non-Marot Psalms from ST39 are present (the exception being ps. 113, which is replaced by the Marot-version), as are the Canticles from the same book. The non-singable final stanzas of ps. 22 and 37 are left untouched. The link between these two editions probably is John Calvin, who had returned to Geneva in 1541. He provided the Genevan edition with a preface, which was enlarged the next year and reprinted in the successive Church editions of the hymnbook.


11. 1542 (Lyon). Dolet prints the Trente Pseaulmes of Marot twice, once copying AN41-bis and once incorporating them in a new edition of Les œuvres de Clement Marot.[90]

In this last mentioned he still uses the edition of Des Gois, but corrects it according to his own ideas.[91] In the same year he published his own translation of the Paraphrasis Campensis and the French translation of the biblical Psalms by Olivétan, which he headed with his own translations of Bucer’s Arguments. In his 1543 edition of Marot’s Oeuvres he omitted the Arguments.


12. 1543 Trente deux pseaulmes de David translatez & composes en rythme Francoiyse par Clement Marot, veuz & visitez oultre les precedentes editions par ledit Marot, & au tres gens scavans, avec argumens sur chascun Pseaulme. Plus vingt autres Pseaulmes nouvellement envoyez au Roy par ledit Marot, Avec privilege du Roy, Paris.[92] PA43.

Contrary to the title,[93] this edition doesn’t contain 32 + 20 = 52 Psalm poems of Marot, but only an unchanged and uncorrected reprint of the first thirty Psalms  Added is a volume with 20 newly translated Psalms, of which the last is the Canticle of Simeon (the "Nunc dimittis"). The royal privilege is dated on October 30, 1543. The fact that it was obtained should be considered as almost a miracle (i.e. personal support from the King must be conjectured: Avec privilege du Roy), because in the meantime the Trente Pseaulmes of Marot had appeared on the first official list of censured books 1542/1543.[94] The Latin incipit from the Vulgata and the Argument are present, but the metrical indications (verset/couplet) and the appropriation­tips ("Pseaulme propre pour....") are not present above the new Psalm poems.[95]  According to Mayer this edition is the final version, since the last official edition, authorized by Marot. Since one of the 50 Psalms is the Canticle of Simeon the total amount of Psalm poems by Marot is confined to 49. To the already available 30 Psalm poems (pss. 1 – 15, 19, 22, 24, 32, 37, 38, 51, 103, 104, 113, 114, 115, 130, 137, 143) nineteen are added: pss. 18, 23, 25, 33, 36, 43, 45, 46, 50, 72, 79, 86, 91, 101, 107, 110, 118, 128, 138.  Observations:

-          Considering the fact that Marot produced this new series, while living in Geneva, it is significant to note that in the second series Ps. 25, 36, 46, 91, 138 are present. Together with Psalm 113, already present in the Trente Pseaulmes, Marot now provides alternatives for all Psalm poems of ST39, which were not by his hand.

-          Marot did not continue one of his – presumed – series: The one remaning (after the Trente Pseaulmes) Penitential Psalm (102) is not present in the second series and the sequence of pss 1-15 got no continuation.

-          The suggestion that Marot choose his Psalms either because of a personal predilection, or on demand or to please someone else, is thus strengthened.

-          This edition provides some addenda not mentioned in the title:
L'oraison de nostre seigneur Iesuchrist – La salutation angelique – Les articles de la foy – Priere devant le repas – [Prière] après le repas, the last two having never been published before.



13a. June 1543 [La Forme des prieres et chantz ecclesiastiques... Genève, Girard], in all likelihood containing the same 50 (49+1) Psalms as PA43 and probably some verse translations and prayers. Edition with melodies. GE43m.

No extant copy of this edition is known, but the Acta from the Council of Geneva leave no doubt that this enlarged version of the Genevan Church Book (GE42) was printed probably in June 1543.[96] Around that period the council urged the cantor of the St. Pierre to “complete” the Psalter and provide the Psalms with a gracious “chant” (16 April) and raised his renumeration several times. The completion of the musical part of this Hymn Book seemed to have been a matter of principal concern and took place in consultation with Calvin.[97] The goal was attained in June, but not to the complete satisfaction of the Council. On 9 June 1543 we read in the Council's Register:

Psalmes de David, lesqueulx sont imprimé avecque la game et les prieres de l’Eglises, mes pour ce qu’il fayct mention en icyeulx de la salutation angelique, resoluz que icelle soyt ostée, et la rest est trouvé bon, et que il ne soyt fayct faulte de cella oster.[98]


Since no one really doubts that the term "Psalmes de David" refers to the Psalm poems of Marot we can safely assume that before 9 June 1543 a new edition of Marot's rhymed Psalter was presented to the Council, incorporated in a Book of Common Prayer, causing a clash between the editors and the Council, because of the presence therein of the Angel’s Salutation. A close reading of the arrest leads to the following observations and questions:

-          "sont imprimé": This suggests that the edition was printed already: but should it be understood as a fait accompli (a complete print run) or a proof presented to the Council to obtain its permission to print?

-          "imprimé avecque la game": It concerns an edition with text and melodies.

-          "et les prieres de l'Eglises": Just like GE42 it concerns a liturgical publication, a book of Common Prayer, containing Psalms to be sung, other Prayers and Ritual Forms. That is why we suggested a similar title for this edition.

-          The "salutation angelique" refers to Marot's metrical translation of the Ave Maria, which first appeared in print in 1533 (Instruction et Foy) and afterwards was incorporated in La Suite (section Oraisons) and Les Oeuvres de Clement Marot (1538), with light retouches. This text only covers the first part of the Ave Maria, i.e. the salutation and the benediction, but not the invocation of Mary ("ora pro nobis"). Dogmatically this prayer was acceptable to the "évangeliques" , as can f.i. be deduced from its presence in the Instruction et Foy of 1533, but probably not to some of the more radical reformers or refugees, living in Geneva. John Calvin apparently did not belong to these radicals, since it is hardly imaginable that he was not aware of the presence of this prayer in “his” Church Book. Apart from its presence no intrinsic motivation for the suppression of the Salutation is given. Considering the fact that the Council in general was not interested in dogmatical issues as such, but only if they interfered with their authority or endangered public order, it seems likely that the Council protested against the presence of the Salutation in the official Church Book because it feared that it might cause upheaval.

-          The phrase " icelle soyt ostée" (that it should be removed), refers to the Salutation alone and the final phrase of the arrest ("et que il ne soyt fayct faulte de cella oster") is a conditional permission to print, the condition being the removal of the Salutation, since the rest of the book is in order ("la rest est trouvé bon").

-          The number of Psalms is not mentioned. The fact that the Salutation Angélique also formed part of the Cinquante Pseaulmes (s.n.s.l, 1543), which is printed the same year, but without music, suggests that the first edition might have had the same contents: 49 Psalms, the Canticle of Simeon, The decalogue, The Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and two prayers (before and after the meal). See see below: 18b, GE43. The Salutation angelique will have been suppressed in this edition.

The conclusion appears to be legitimate that in Spring 1543 an enlarged reprint of the Genevan Church book was ordered by the Council of Geneva, of which the hymn section consisted entirely of Psalm poems of Marot, together with some other verse translations and Prayers also supplied by Marot. The melodies were either revised or supplied by Guillaume Franc. Permission to print was acquired from the Council, under the condition that the Salutation Angélique was removed from its contents. Though no copy is known today, no reason exists why this edition should not have been printed and probably very soon thereafter since the next day (10 June 1543) Calvin signed and dated his augmented preface.[99]


13b. 1543 Cinquante pseaumes en francois par Clement Marot. Item une Epistre par luy nagueres envoyée aux Dames de France, s.n.s.l., 1543.[100] GE43.

Typograhical research has identified the printing material used for this anonymous edition as being identical with material used in the same period by Jean Girard, thus locating this edition in Geneva in a period that Marot probably was still living there.[101] Though it remains an unofficial edition this factual information bestows it with credibility and authority. Defaux takes this edition as reference text for his modern critical edition in Cinquante pseaumes de David, Mayer refuses to accept it. The title of GE43 differs in from PA43 in that it simply announces 50Pss, but if one opens the booklet one discovers that also in GE43 the two collections 30Pss and 20pss are printed separately, with their own title pages, the Huitain au Roy placed in between, i.e. prefacing the 20pss. The verso of the title page is very instructive. With respect to the "trente premiers pseaumes" a revision is proclaimed: "reveuz et corrigez par l'autheur ceste presente annee." With regard to the text a more than superficial revision of the first 30 Psalms indeed has taken place. The twenty new Psalms are introduced with a huitain and the title is analogous to the title in the edition Roffet: "Vingt autres pseaumes par luy nouvellement traduitz et envoyes au roy". The text is almost identical with PA43, be it that Roffet's edition contains more errors, from transcription errors and misprints to two serious mistakes which affect content in Psalm 18.[102]. Incorporated in the Cinquante Pseaumes we find "le cantique de Simeon" as being the 50th Psalm, just like PA43 and after these 50 Psalms follow, as mentioned on the verso of the title page, but without any separate heading or introduction: "les Commandementz de Dieu / les Articles de la Foy / l'Oraison dominicale / la salutation Angelique / deux prieres, l'une avant, l'autre apres le repas." In this section the Decalogue is the novelty of GE43, compared with PA43.[103] Two other novelties are present:[104]

-          Announced on the titlepage is the skoop of GE43, the Epistre aux Dames de France, dated on "Le premier jour d'Aoust. 1543".  This date is the terminus a quo of this edition

-          A huitain, with the title: Clem. Marot au Roy, which is dated "De Geneve, le quinziesme de Mars, 1543". In this quite frank poem Marot claims that he – although in Geneva – is still only doing his job: pleasing the king by obeying his command to continue the translation of the Psalms. The link with the Epistre that introduced the Trente Pseaulmes is not only apparent in the wording but even explicitly claimed in the opening lines:[105]

Puis que voulez que je poursuyve, ô Sire, / L'oeuvre Royal du Psaultier...


The date of the huitain suggests that Marot finished the translation of the Vingt Pseaulmes before 15 March 1543. It can perhaps best be considered as a “tirage à part” of the text of the poetic part of GE43m, destined for exportation to France. The policy of publishing a second but anonymous edition can be observed on other occasions as well, the most close analogy being the edition of the double edition of the New Testament in French (Bible d'Olivétan, revised by John Calvin) in the same year by the same printer (1543, Girard). One edition mentions date, place of print and the printer ("Geneve, I. Girard, M.D. XLIII") and contains the phrase "reveu par M. Iehan Calvin" on the titlepage. The other suppresses the reference to Calvin and appears without mentioning place or printer. Both contain a poem by Marot.[106] The suggestion by A. Cartier that one should discern between literary editions and theological editions is adapted by Defaux in claiming that Girard printed editions for the internal market (Geneva), for which permission was necessary from the Town Council and editions, exclusively for export to France, which – a matter of simple prudency – did not contain the name of the printer or the place of print and for which he did not ask permission, or which were silently allowed.[107] In general this sounds plausible and helps us to understand the differences in content between GE43 and PA43. We can even finetune this theory by introducing the different functions of these editions, because as a matter of fact there are three editions:

  1. Marot and Roffet: Trentes Pseaulmes and Vingt Pseaulmes  (PA43) with privilege du Roy. The Psalm poems are dedicated to the King (PA43, external market, Paris).
  2. Marot, Calvin, Franc, Girard: Hymn and Prayer Book for the Genevan Church. This edition contained music notes and was meant for use in Church and needed the permission of the Council of Geneva (GE43m, internal market, Geneva c.s.).
  3. Marot and Girard: Cinquante Pseaulmes, destined also for the external market, a textual tirage à part of the poems of the Church book (GE43, external market, Lyon?).

Only in the second edition music notes were present, the first and the last being destined for reading, recitation and to be set to music or sung by whoever wanted to do such a thing. For this last target group it didn't matter if a Psalm poem had the form of a Cantique, in which not all stanza's were uniform. The fact that the Psalms in question (Ps. 22 and 37[108]) belonged to the first collection, reveals that Marot did not – originally – intend all his Psalm poems to be sung iso-strophical. If we take this into account the hypothesis of a multiple edition policy might be able to account for almost all differences in the three authorized editions of the same Psalms:

-          The presence of the Salutation Angélique in GE43 is accounted for, because GE43 was not meant for use in the Church. No caution necessary, the reservations of the Council overruled.

-          the Decalogue is present in GE43 and not in PA43. GE43 is the continuation of ST39, in which the Decalogue (in a non-Marot version) was already present. In GE43m (and thus GE43) all non-Marot poems are replaced. Why it is absent in PA43 is hard to say. Most probable: Roffet did not have a copy of it, when he printed his collection.

-          The Nunc Dimittis is present in both, because it is an integral part of the 20Pss. In both editions it is followed by the phrase: "Fin des vingt Pseaumes derniers, traduitz par Clem. Marot: comprins le Cantique de Simeon".[109]
- The Huitain au Roy is absent in PA43. Either because Roffet did not have a copy of it, or if he had one, he shied away from publishing it in Paris because it contains a hardly concealed dig at the Parisian inquisitors, who had censored PA41.

-          The Epistre aux Dames is absent in PA43, because it postdates the shipment of the 20Pss (it is dated August 1543). It’s prominent presence in GE43 also testifies of Marot’s orientation on Paris at that time.

-          Calvin's Preface is absent in both GE43 and PA43, because it only belongs to a Church book (GE43m). The same goes for the Liturgical Forms and the melodies.

This outlook on the different editions also loosen up the question which of the 1543 editions is the final edition (discussion between Mayer (PA43) and Defaux (GE43). The linearity of the editions might be a scholarly construction, which does not correspond to reality. Psalms were circulating and even before they were officially printed, they were sung, f.i. in Strasbourg. "Text-families" originated which semi-independently propagated and adapted themselves, according to own criteria. When Marot published his revised version of the Trente Pseaulmes in 1541 (PA41) this did not immediately affect the churches, which kept singing the Psalm poems of Marot based on (and expanded with other Psalm poems from ) the unofficial edition by Des Gois (AN41 – Group I), probably because this edition was already circulating, belonged to the same familiy and had origins in their own evangelical milieu. This leads to the following characterisation of the successive official (PA41/43) or authoritive (GE43) publications:


(PA41) Marot officially published his Trente Pseaulmes in 1541, after having dispatched them with a preliminary epistle to the King. They are printed with royal privilege by Roffet in Paris.

(PA43) Marot officially published his Vingt Pseaulmes, after having dispatched them from Geneva to the King, accompanied by a huitain. The Psalms are printed with royal privilege by Roffet in Paris, together with an unchanged reprint of the Trente Pseaulmes, three other verse translations and two prayers. Mayer honours this official publication by basing his critical edition on PA43.

(GE43) Girard unofficially prints the texts of Marot’s contribution to the Genevan hymnbook of 1543, in which in a previous edition the Trente Pseaulmes were incorporated in a version version of group I (GE42). They were revised by Marot before they were included in this hymnbook. This book was printed anonymously and contains the Psalms, four verse translations and two prayers. The huitain to the King precedes the Vingt Pseaumes and an epistle to the ladies in France was added. Defaux honours the trustworthyness of this pubication by basing his critical edition on it. This textversion became the standard for all later and posthumous edition.





Summary and chronology of Marot's Psalm project.


1.      On an unknown date and at an unknown occasion Marot began to versify his first Psalm in French (with high probability: Psalm 6), the result of which he did share with his ‘evangelical friends’. This Psalm appears on plaquette in Lyon (s.l.n.d., Nourry).  and in Paris in Le Miroir (2nd ed. Augereau 1533). Under the aegis of Marguerite this verse translation becomes a project, which is continued under the auspices of Renée in Ferrara. After his return from exile he works on the translation in silence, still sharing some results with the same circle.

2.      These Psalms are spread in copies and copies of copies. Perhaps Jean Girard is the first to have printed a collection of them around 1538.

3.      A collection of thirty Psalms is gathered based on different sources in ms. 2337. The most original text is present “sous rature”. Part of this collection appeared in print with music notes in 1539 (Strasbourg).

4.      The Antwerp printer Antoine Des Gois prints a booklet with 45 Psalmtranslations, containing 30 of Marot, the second edition also containing the dedicatory epistle to King Francis.

5.      The collector and editor(s) of Ms. 2336 worked with a slightly revised version of the Trente Pseaulmes, in which Arguments (summary of and info about the Psalm) and applications above the text were added.

6.      Estienne Roffet prints the first official edition of Marot’s thirty Psalmtranslations, end 1541, beginning 1542. The text is a thorough revision of the Antwerp edition along the lines of ms. 2336. Almost always the same (or very similar) Arguments and applications are present.

7.      In 1542, based on the Antwerp edition of 1541, the Strasbourg Psalter is enlarged to a complete church book, containing, amongst others, Marot’s 30 Psalmtranslations. A similar (but not identical) edition appears in print the same year in Geneva. In this edition the melodies from ST39 are revised and melodies are supplied for all new Marot-Psalms, probably composed by Guillaume Franc.

8.      November/december 1542 Marot arrives in Geneva and commits himself to continue the metrical translation of biblical Psalms.

9.      in March 1543 Marot dispatches twenty new Psalm poems (19 Psalms + Nunc dimittis) to the king accompanied by an epigramme. Roffet also receives a copy and tries once more to procure himself with a Royal Privilege and a nihil obstat.

10.  June 1543: in Geneva Jean Girard prints a new Church book, with cinquante pseaumes and some canticles. It appears officially after the removal of the French translation of the first part of the Ave Maria. This edition was printed with music notes, but no copy is known. (GE43m)

11.  In August 1543 Marot finishes his Epistre aux Dames de France and together with a A tirage à part of the cinquante pseaumes including the prayers (Decalog, Creed, Pater, Ave, Prayer before and after the meal). It is published anonymously, but printed by Girard in Geneva, who revised the 30 Psalms for this edition: GE43

12.  Estienne Roffet (Paris) takes the opportunity to reprint the Trente Pseaulmes (unrevised) and enlarges this edition with the Vingt Pseaulmes, nouvellement envoyées au Roy towards the of 1543 (privilege 30 November). He also adds the same prayers, with the exception of the Decalogue: PA43.

13.  By the end of 1543 Marot has left Geneva.




[1] The history of the Marot’s Psalm poems has been studied instensily ever since O. Douen (building on the pioneering work of Félix Bovet, Histoire du psautier des Eglises réformées, Paris 1872) published his monumental two volume study about Clément Marot and the Huguenot Psalter: Clément Marot et le Psautier huguenot. Etude historique, littéraire, musicale et bibliographique, I-II, Paris, 1878-1879. Next to the presentation of lots of facts (many of them new), Douen’s work also contains many conjectures, both regarding bibliography (chronology of the versions), musicologiy (relation between the Psalmmelodies and popular tunes) and thelogy (conflict Marot-Calvin) have long been falsified. These deficiencies were already signalled early in the 20th century, but this did not hinder that many simply continued on the road paved by Douen and put forward all kinds of theories, based on a mixture of facts, presumed facts and interpretations of (presumed) facts. A complicating factor is that the poems at stake are verse translations of a holy text, the biblical Psalms. This means that theologians, liturgists, musicians and musicologists joined in the debates.
[2] Three critical editions of Marot's Psalm poems appeared within 15 years: In chronological order: 1. C.A. Mayer (ed.), Clément Marot, Oeuvres complètes, vol. VI, Les Traductions, Geneva, 1980, p. 309-474. Mayer only acknowledges the authority of the Paris editions by E. Roffet (PA41, PA43). A rich critical apparatus provides different readings both from other editions and from a plethora of manuscripts. 2. G. Defaux (ed.), Clément Marot, Oeuvres Poétiques, vol. II (1992), p. 557-679. Defaux edited Marot's works based on the Lyonnese edition of Marot's Oeuvres by E. Dolet (Lyon, 1543), in which the Psalm poems were included. His notes (p. 1201-1274) are a mixture of textual critique and comment. 3. G. Defaux (ed.), Clément Marot, Cinquante pseaumes de David, Paris, 1995. Defaux edits the 1543 anonymous edition, which is attributed to Jean Girard, Geneva. In opposition to Mayer, he considers this to be final and authorative edition. Defaux’s edition consists of (roughly) 60 pages introduction, 20 pages annotated bibliography, 120 pages edited text and 100 pages notes (once more a mixture of textual critique and comment). A misleading aspect of this edition is that everything suggests this as a faithful edition, but it is a hybrid edition. Defaux felt impelled to improve the edition by correcting inconsequences of the original edition. He “corrects” the title above the 30Pss (making it similar to PA41/43, p. 101, accounted for in the notes: p. 233-234) and adds a title above the section with prayers (p. 207: L’Instruction et foy d’un chrestien, not accounted for in the notes (p. 308). In both editions Defaux principally excluded the manuscripts, because of uncertainty of provenance and probably dependent on the printed editions (a statement being postulated without substantiating). Since the editorial discussion is inextricably bound up with the interpretation of Marot's psalm poems, the objectivity of the introductions (and in the case of Defaux: also the notes) sometimes has dropped down to a worrying level. The complex background of their différend will be dealt with at its proper place.
[3] "Psalm translations" and "Psalm paraphrases " both omit the poetic aspect of it and can be easily misunderstood, because they both have scholarly connotations. "Verse translations of Psalms" would be the most correct way to refer to it, but long-winded.
[4] Pierre Pidoux, Le Psautier Huguenot, vol. I (les mélodies), vol. II (documents et bibliographie), Basel, 1962.
[5] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 8. For this edition see Jean-François Gilmont, William Kemp, ‘La plus ancienne edtion d'un psaume traduit par Clément Marot’, in Jean-François Gilmont (ed.), Le livre évangélique en français avant Calvin: études originales, publications d'inédits, catalogues d'éditions anciennes, Anderlecht, 2003, p. 100-104; fac-simile at p. 105-113. The comma behind “sept Pseaulmes” (omitted by Defaux and Mayer) and the participle singular  “translate” make clear that is not suggested that Marot had already translated all seven Penitential Psalms, but only that this particular Psalm, translated by him, is the first of the seven Penitential Psalms.
[6] The meaning of  this reference to the "Hebrew Truth" will be discussed later.
[7] This terminus a quo (1528) differs from the one provided by Gilmont and Kemp themselves (1529). This difference is caused by the fact that they presuppose a link between the Argument above Marot's Psalm poem and the Argument which appeared in print in Bucer's commentary of 1529 (Sacrorum Psalmorum libri quinque, ad ebraicam veritatem genuina, see bibliography). But the Argument on the Plaquette ("Lafflige de longue maladie (quant a la letre) prie icy ardamment pour sa sante recouvrer, puis tout acoup sesjouyst de la garison, & de la honte de ses ennemys") has its own distinctive elements and might well be of Marot's own making. Hence we felt free to advance the terminus a quo to 1528, the year of the typeface used for this publication, was introduced by Nourry. The terminus ad quem is based on comparison of the texts of the Plaquette and the edition of 1533. See below, note  NOTEREF _Ref174860031 \h 12.
[8] Date (1535) and place (Lyon) of the acquistion are written verso on the last page. By analysing relevant samples of the handwriting of the buyer (Fernand Colomb) Gérard Morisse has conclusively established that the third numeral, which at first sight seems to be a “2”, in fact is an elegant version of  a “3”: Hence not 1525 (as one can read sometimes in older literature), but 1535. (Gérard Morisse, ‘Les psaumes de Marot chez les Huguenots: le texte’ in CC, p. 460-461). Since the Psalm poem on the Plaquette contains a number of unique lessons (not present in the 1533 edition, nor in the later versions), priority of the Plaquette to all known editions can safely be assumed.
[9] The Miroir was published for the first time in 1531 by Simon Dubois (Miroir de l’ame pecheresse) and reprinted several times in 1533 by Dubois and Antoine Augereau, the last being the printer of the edition with Psalm 6.
[10] The full text citation of biblical references is present in the editions of Simon du Bois and in the first (anonymous) reprint by Augereau. The second and third Augereau edition only give the reference, not the text.
[11] The anonimity of the publication plays a crucial role in the debates. It is advanced by the Faculty of Theology to account for their intention to censor this publication (24 October 1533). See William Kemp, ‘Marguerite of Navarre, Clément Marot, and the Augereau Editions of the Miroir’, Journal of the Early Book Society for the study of Manuscripts and Printing History,  vol. 2, 1999, p. 126.
[12] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 240 In F. Higman, Piety and the People, once can find the three successive Augureau editions: M.36-38). About the text of the Psalm poem by Marot: Apart from the already mentioned difference in “la Somme”, the orthography is completely modernised and v. 3-6 from the first stanza of the Plaquette differ from the text in the Miroir, which provides the reading retained in all subsequent editions. Hence the terminus ad quem of 1533 for the Plaquette. Defaux, Cinquante pseaumes, p.  250 (NB. “doublable” must be “doubtable”, correct in Oeuvres II, p. 1226, wrong in 50Ps). Mayer, Traductions, p. 334.
[13] The phrase "au plus pres de la verite Ebraicque" (Plaquette) is shortened to "selon l'Hebrieu", a change which in my opinion has no intrinsic value (contra Kemp: "The change of the title, suppressing "vérité", might be a sign of prudence", a.c., p. 121). The crucial word, the one that might have troubled theologians, is not "vérité" but "Ebraicque" or  "Hebrieu". The most important revision of the text is the orthographic modernisation.
[14] Mayer, Bibliographie,  n° 241.
[15] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 74.
[16] For the full list of Girard's printing activity: Pidoux, Le Psautier huguenot, Vol. II, p. 3. He refers to Archives d'Etat de Geneve, Procès Criminels, 2e Série, n° 450. The contested publication was Girards edition of Epistre Familière de Marie d’Ennetières, in which allegedly allusions to the affair of the banished ministers and their substitutes could be found. Curious is that the book in question was printed by Girard. hiding behind the name of another printer and place: "Anvers, chez Martin Lempereur" it said on the title page. Questioned about this, Girard claimed that this was no cheat, but that he really had had the intention to let it be printed in Antwerp, only the death of Martin Lempereur had forced him to print it himself. Martin De Keyser had died already in 1536, his widow had continued printing and gradually (around 1540?) left the business to Antoine Des Gois (the printer of AN41). About their production: Nijhoff-Kronenberg, Nederlandsche Bibliographie III, III p. 188-195. The fake edition is mentioned as n° 2758. About the importance of Antwerp for francophone evangelical printing see: A.G. Johnston & J.-Fr. Gilmont, 'Anvers,' in: Jean François Gilmont (ed), La Réforme et le livre, Paris, 1990, p. 196, 203 and F. Higman, Piety and the People, p. 20-21 and p. 158-159.
[17] Ever since Théophile Dufour first signalled the existence of this edition (in a handwritten postscriptum to his “notice bibliographique”, 1878) a lot of theories (i.c. legends) has developed or were created around this ghost-edition.  One of the most interesting is a wild idea of Lenselink to simply identify it with ST39. We'll discuss some elements of this proposal later. He mentions this idea in a footnote in his dissertation (1960), but does not refer to it anymore in his study of the Psalm manuscripts and editions in 1966, probably aware of the highly speculative character of it.
[18] This manuscript is described and studied by S.J. Lenselink, who published a comparative edition of the main contemporary manuscripts of Marot's first 30 Psalm poems: Samuel J. Lenselink (éd), Les Psaumes de Clément Marot. Edition critique du plus ancien texte...  Assen, 1969. This book figures in the catalogue of Bärenreiter as volume III of Le Psautier Huguenot. [An extensive and critical assessment can be found with M. Albaric, ‘Le psautier de Clement Marot,’ in Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques, LIV (April 1970), p. 227-243. He recommends this edition because of the edited texts, but criticizes the lack of 1. clarity in the introduction, 2. strictness in the analysis of  the sources (Several scribes worked on ms. 2337 and ms. 2336, but one does not get information what part of the text is by which hand), 3. thoroughness in the comparison of the manuscripts, 4. accuracy and completeness (f.i. Ps. VI-plaquette is omitted) in the critical apparatus. On p. 240-241 Albaric draws up a list of faults, based on "rapides sondages", which can be multiplied by soundings I undertook. Also a sense of arbitrariness in the selection of the edited manuscripts remains.] Ms. 2337 is described on p. 12-14..
[19] Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 12. The order in the manuscript. The sequences are easily discernible: 9, 10, 13, 15, 24, 38, 51, 104, 137 // 2, 3, 5, 6, 32, 103, 113, 114, 115, 130, 143 // 8, 19, 22, 37 // 11, 12, // 7, 1, 4.
[20] Substantial differences affecting one or more verses are present in Ps. 8, 51, 114, 115 and 130.
[21] This is the conclusion of Lenselink after a comparison of the available texts: "Le ms.fr. 2337 présente sous les ratures le plus ancien état connu du texte de certains psaumes." (Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 27, cf. p. 23). A manuscript, not discussed by Lenselink, but present in the critical apparatus of Mayer's edition, ms. B.N.fr. 20025, contains five Psalm poems (i.e. only for these five Psalms Mayer provides the variant readings from this manuscript), all present in the second sequence of ms. 2337: Ps. 2, 3, 114-115 (copied as one Psalm entitled Psalmus CXIII, In exitu Ysrael), 130. Noteworthy is that although the text sligthly differs from ms. 2337 (some different wording) the text sous rature of ms. 2337 is present in this manuscript (this concerns Ps 114-115 and 130), which not only corroborates the thesis of Lenselink that this might well be the oldest text, but also makes ms. 20025 a very interesting text witness.
[22] This is exceptional, if compared with the other manuscripts and even the first printed editions.
[23]  The edition of Lenselink does not show (or tell) whether an edition or a manuscript also discerns stanzas. The two facsimiles (after p. 56) show psalm 8 with distinct stanzas (a blank line between) and Ps. 37 with stanzas, distinguished by the alternation of indents.
[24] Based on the rendering of ms. 2337 in Lenselinks edition. Since he did not indicate which "hand" copied which Psalm, nothing more can be said about the differences in orthography.
[25] Aulcuns pseaulmes & cantiques mys en chant, Strasburg, 1539 (ed. facsimile with an introduction by Jan R.Luth, Brasschaat, 2003). Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 82. Description of the contents, see Pidoux II, p. 3. We wille refer to this edition as ST39.
[26] The exception is Psalm 115, but see below.
[27] Pidoux II, p. 3 (there other references).
[28] A typographical remark about "ou CXIIII": The "C" in "ou CXIIII" is a "C-gothic" in stead of a Latin numeral.
[29] Based on the survey of Baddeley (Orthographe, p. 310), which we adjusted based on our own sample survey. Her conclusion ("g final est supprimé dans le mot un, les consonnes muettes internes l et c sont très souvent éliminées et les y grecs sont peu nombreux...") reflects the orthography of the first signature, but becomes an overstatement if applied to the whole publication.
[30] There are more disturbing orthographical oddities and inconsistencies which we can not treat here. ST39 has to be characterised as a hybrid (mixt) typographical production. Baddeley observed that ST39 contains strikingly few printing mistakes being a French text printed by a German printinghouse. Combining this with the observation that the layout of the titlepage is unstrasburgian austere, she hazards the suggestion that the lost edition of Girard might well have been the printed "Vorlage" used by the Strasburgian printer (Baddeley, L’Orthographe, p. 312). In 1959 Lenselink had suggested that ST39 perhaps is the lost edition printed by Girard, using Strasburgian material, a conjecture which he did not repeat in his critical edition of Marot’s psalms in 1969, but also did not revoke in the 1983 reprint of his dissertation. S.J. Lenselink, De Nederlandse psalmberijmingen van de Souterliedekens tot Datheen, Assen, 1959,  p.131-132 (footnote).
[31] CO 10/1,12. The "articles " were discussed by the council on 16 January 1537. Cf. Cottret, Calvin, p. 137-140 and Pidoux I, p. 1. The authorship of Calvin can be disputed, since Guillaume Farel was the most prominent minister at the time, Calvin having just arrived in Geneva (July 1536). For more details see chapter on Marot and Calvin
[32] April 1538 Calvin was banished from Geneva and after some erring was appointed a minister of the recently constituted French-speaking Church of Strasbourg, mainly consisting of Refugees. His first sermon he delivered on 8 September 1538. About the French speaking Church of Strasburg, see R. Weeda, L'église des français de Strasbourg (1538-1563), rayonnement européen de sa Liturgie et de ses Psautiers, Baden-Baden, 2004. On 09/11/1538 Zwick wrote to Bullinger about the French community of Strasburg: "...et psalmos sua lingua canunt” (CO 10/2,288).
[33] With the publication of Bucers Grund und Ursach and the German book of common prayer, Teutsch Kirchenampt, in 1524 the Strasburgian hymnological tradition started.
[34] CO 10/2,438. Douen translated "miseramus" with "nous regrettons" (praesens of miserare, Douen I, p. 301), making it very hard to understand  the phrase. If translated as we (and many others) did, the phrase gives a perfect sense ("miseramus" as a pqperf of mittere): “We had sent (the) Psalms, in order that they would be sung with you (= Neuchatel), before they would arrive you know where (=Geneva). We have decided to give (them) in print shortly. Because the German melody (or: German way of singing) was more pleasing (or: satisfactory), I was compelled to try what I was worth in verse translation. So the Psalms 46 and 25 are my firstlings; I have added others afterwards. The meaning of "magis arridebat" is a crux interpretum. If translated as a comparative it implicitly refers to an another way of singing Psalms not based on the "melodia germanica". Very often "magis arridebat" is translated as a superlativus (Because the "melodia germanica" was highly appreciated by Calvin, he felt impelled (challenged) to try his poetical skills on the psalms). If understood in this way, which is not evident, but probably acceptable, the phrase about the "melodia germanica" contains no implicit judgment about another way of singing. Whatever interpretation: the authorship of – at least – two of the non-Marot Psalms is established: John Calvin versified Ps. 25 and Ps. 46.
[35] Pierre Toussain to Calvin (28/06/1539): "Mitte quaeso ad me psalmos gallicos." (CO 10/2,357). Calvin to Farel (08/10/1539): "...Corderius rem mihi magnopere gratam faciet, si Psalmos quos habet descriptos mihi curaverit. "(CO 10/2,400) If one translates "descriptos" with "copied", Mathurin Cordier might have been in possession of a manuscript with (Marot's) Psalm poems. Calvin to Farel (Strasburg, 27/10/1539): "... Non potui ad Michaëlem scribere. Velim tamen illi injungas, primo nuncio scribat de psalmis quid actum sit. Mandaveram ut centum exemplaria Genavam mitterentur. Nunc primum intellexi non fuisse id curatum. Certe nimis negligenter tamdiu distulit mihi significare." (CO 10/2,426). This letter is also the basis for the interpretation of "illuc quo intelligis" as referring to Geneva in the letter of Calvin to Farel of 28/12/1538.
[36] After "Psalme premier" the other Psalms are numbered with Roman numerals. For the defects in the actual numbering, see above.
[37] This observation seems to support the translation of “magis arridebat” as a comparative, Calvin expressing his preference for the "melodia germanica" above the other way of singing (i.e. on secular (French?) tunes).
[38] Pidoux, le Psautier huguenot, Vol. I is completely dedicated to the melodies of the Psalter. Jan Luth in the introduction to the fac-simile edition of ST39 gives a schematic overview with Zahn-numbers, if existing  (p.11). The two most important German cantores at Strasbourg were Matthias Greiter and Wolfgang Dachstein. By the time Calvin started to compile his hymnbook a complete German Psalter was available in Strasburg: Psalter. Das seindt alle Psalmen Dauids, mit jren Melodeien, sampt vil Schönen Christlichen liedern, vnnd Kyrchenübungen (1538). The statement that the non-Marot psalms completely fit into the mould of existing melodies is only true for Psalm 36 and 113 (metrical but not rhyming versification). The four other Psalm poems (25, 46, 91, 138) differ both in number of lines per stanza and number of syllables per line if compared with the Strasburgian Vorlage. The melodies thus had to be adapted and not always only superficially (see Lenselink, De Nederlandse Psalmberijmingen, p. 118-122 and Pidoux, Über die Herkunft der Melodien des Hugenotten-Psalters , p. 114). The tune of the canticle of Simeon appears to be newly made. There is another peculiarity, which is telling: None of the melodies used for the French Psalms is borrowed from the corresponding German Psalm. This is strange, because at least in one instance this might well have been possible. The melody of the German Psalm 114 (Greiter) was known to the French community (it is used for Psalm 138). Marot's verse translation of Psalm 114 uses almost the same metrical scheme (Lenselink is even convinced that Marot used Greiter as mould (Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 30). Nevertheless another melody is used, which had to be adapted seriously to make it fit (Pollio’s Vater unser). Finally: The Decalog and the Creed follow the melody of the German examples (Luther, Dies sind die heilgen zehen gebott and an anonymous version of Ich glaub in Gott). In these two occasions the reforming christians of Strasbourg sang the same melody to the same words, be it in German, be it in French. Lenselink, taking stock of the matter, feels compelled to conclude, that Calvin must have poetised “his” Psalms with other melodies in mind and only afterwards went for the “melodia germanica” .(Lenselink, De Nederlandse Psalmberijmingen, p. 122).
[39] Only the “incipit” of Psalm 51 (four breves) links the tune to the suggested melodic Vorlage: “Herr, gott ich traw allein uff dich”, Heinrich Vogtherr (Psalm 71), Psalmen, Gebett und Kirchenübung (1526 and later), fac-simile Pidoux I, p. 237. See also: Chr. Meyer, Les mélodies, n° 110, p. 187. The melody of Marot's Psalm 114 is linked with “Vater unser wir bitten dich” (Symphorian Pollio, ibid, fac-simile Pidoux I, p. 239). See also Chr. Meyer, Les mélodies, n° 85, p. 175. In this case the first two musical lines are similar, but the number and the length of the lines are different.
[40] Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 24 has only found two (significant) different readings between ms. 2337 and Strasbourg 1539. One of these differences (3,4,7: “gueulles ouvertes” i.s.o. “gueulles perverses”) makes the rhyme imperfect (ouvertes-renverses), something Marot detests. In the sixteenth century one very easily took the liberty to make changes in texts.
[41] The family tree will be sketched after the inventory is complete. See note  NOTEREF _Ref174963920 \h 26 for a provisional classification.
[42] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 93. We will refer to this edition as AN41.
[43] E. M. Braekman, "Le psautier Alexandre, Anvers 1541", in Histoire, Humanisme et Hymnologie, Paris, 1997. p. 309-318. Pierre Alexandre was born in Arras, entered a Carmelite Convent, got a Th.D. at the Sorbonne in Paris (1534) and became Court Preacher of Mary of Hungary (sister to Charles V, governess of the Netherlands). Somewhere/sometime he had become evangelical, because in 1544 he was wanted by the inquistion and he fled to Strasburg. On 2 January 1545 he was condemned by default. For the rest of his turbulent life and production see Braekman, a.c., p. 312-313) and J.F. Gilmont, "Un pseudonyme de Pierre Alexandre: Simon Alexius", in Bulletin de la Société Royale d'Histoire du Protestantisme Belge (BSRHPB) V, 6 (1970,1), p. 179-188. About secret evangelical sympathies of Mary of Hungary: B.J. Spruyt, " 'En bruit d'estre bonne luteriene': Mary of Hungary (1505-58) and Religious Reform," in The English Historical Review, vol. 109, n°. 431 (1994), p. 275-307.
[44] Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 24 mentions 12 notable differences (N.B. only in the 13 Psalms which ST39 and AN41 have in common). When weighed these differences reveal only one thing: None of them touches meaning. This means that one can not speak of a revision. This assessment has a certain importance, since Douen (taking the phrase "recongnue et corrigé" on the title page literal) launched the theory that Alexandre, in his evangelical zeal, corrupted the original text (which was only printed in PA41), a theory which has long survived its rebuttal. (the theory: Douen I, p. 315-333, the refutation by Becker, Clement Marots Psalmenübersetzung, 1921, p. 8-9: "In Wirklichkeit liegen die Dinge sehr viel einfacher." After which he expounds the theory of what we called Group I). Whether Alexandre really played an active role in compiling this edition, or only lent his name to deliver a ‘nihil obstat’, remains unknown. Prudently he (or Des Gois) retracted his name from the extented edition with the overtly ‘evangelical’ sermon du bon pasteur, leaving the 'nihil obstat' to an unspecified  number of unidentified theologians.
[45] This is also the case for the entire version (four lines) of Ps. 51,4.  The version which replaces the text sous rature in ms. 2337 is always the same as (or very similar to) AN41.
[46] See: Braekman, "Le Psautier,"  p. 317.
[47] Des Gois, being of French origin, was interested in orthography. One of his first publications was the Introduction des enfans (1540). Part of this book is the orthographical treatise from 1533, the Briefve Doctrine, which Des Gois explicitly attributed to Clément Marot. The typeface of the Psalmes de David is relatively modern, with many orthographic novelties, although the cédille and the e-barré are missing. The presence of an "accent aigu" on the monosyllables (f.i. dés, lés, tés) and some other endings is remarkable, since this is a system stimulated esp. by Jean Girard in Geneva. In Antwerp Steels also used it in printing the French bible of Lefèvre in 1538 (Baddeley, L'Orthographe, p. 312-314).
[48] For a complete list: Douen I, p. 317, n. 2.
[49] Two of this fifteen non-Marot Psalms (Ps. 115 by "Adel" and ps. 130 by "A")  were published before in Noelz Nouveaulx (1533) [Neufchatel, Pierre de Vingle]. The verses which referred to Noel were suppressed.
[50] This is an important assessment, since the idea that Marot's Psalm poems were sung on popular tunes is widespread. It is indeed a fact that metrical Psalms and other christian songs – in general – were sung on popular tunes, but  it is jumping to conclusions that this general habit automatically would imply that Marot’s Psalm poems also were sung on popular tunes. One will certainly have tried to do it, but will have experienced serious difficulties to find chansons, that match Marot's verse forms, which differ considerably from the bulk of contemporary folk songs. See below when ms. 2336 is discussed where some tune indications are present and tested.
[51] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 94. A complete description with Defaux, Cinquante pseaumes, p. 216. If necessary we will refer to this edition as AN41-bis. Since this edition was public, it is not surprsing that manuscripts contain copies of it. Ms. Cod. Vind. 3525 f.i. contains poetry of Marguerite de Navarre and seventeen Psalm poems by Marot. The text shows such a high degree of conformity with AN41, that it might well have been copied from it. (Lenselink, p. 21-22).
[52] Le Sermon tres utile et salutaire du bon pasteur et du mauvais is explicitedly attributed to Marot by Des Gois, but recent research falsified this attribution. In ms. B.N.fr. 12795 the poem is explicitly attributed to Almanque Papillon, a manuscript with otherwise correct attributions. See also Defaux II, p. 830-830, and Mayer, "'Le sermon du bon pasteur', un problème d'attribution," in BHR XXVII (1965), p. 286-303. Both agree on not attributing this Sermon to Marot. The Sermon also figures on the list of censured books, drawn up by the Parisian Faculty of Theology in 1542-1543.
[53] Mayer, Bibliographie, n° 112. The (probably only) extant copy of this edition is first described by J. Pannier, 'Une première édition (?) des psaumes de Marot imprimée par Et. Dolet', in BSHPF 1929, p. 238-240. The copy is kept in the Vatican Library. The two first pages are missing and the name of Clément Marot is systematically crossed out.  In most bibliographies the fact that this concerns an edition almost identical to AN41-bis (including the chaotic order, the numbering mistakes, the misprints and the extras (!), is not mentioned, neither the exception: the addition of two Psalm poems by Maurice Scève (Ps. 26 and  83, both Vulgata-numbering) at the end, also present in ms. 2336. Pannier describes the publication based on a content description provided to him by the librarian of the Vatican. The description is faulty and incomplete, since only Psalm 26 of Scève is mentioned. Claude Longeon, who so to speak rediscovered this edition (from the Scève perspective, thus being able to advance the first publication of the two Psalm poems from 1549 to 1542) mentions and edits the two Psalm poems present: Ps. 26 and 83 (C. Longeon, "Maurice Scève, traducteur des Psaumes", Etudes seiziémistes offertes à Monsieur le Professeur V.-L. Saulnier.... Geneva, 1980, p. 193-204). He suggests that Scève might have made these Psalms even some years before, Dolet being his inspirator. See also C. Longeon, Etienne Dolet, Préfaces françaises, Geneva, 1979, p 106. Not only the numbering, but also the translation follows the Vulgata.
[54] Description and analysis of this important manuscript: H.P. Clive The Psalm poems in Bibliothèque Nationale Manuscript Fr. 2336, in BHR XXVII (1965), p. 80-95 and Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 14-20. Lenselink mentions 189 modifications, compared with AN41, of which 103 can be found in the subsequent edition of Roffet, PA41 (ibid. p. 18). The church editions (ST42 and GE42) generally follow AN41 and don't adapt to the official edition of Roffet (PA41), which might indicate the emergence of a separate text tradition.
[55] The presence of these two Psalms is used by Clive to establish the terminus a quo, but assuming – in conformity with the then state of scholarship – that the first edition of these Psalms took place in 1549 (Clive, The Psalm poems,. p. 89, 92), he of course erroneously assigns it to 1549.
[56] The text of the manuscript is usually good and the corrections mainly affect the Psalms of Gringoire (Clive,. a.c, p. 89). Since the corrections go beyond the last published edition of Gringoire's Psalm poems, and Gringoire probably died in 1539 (p. 92) this scribe must have acted on his own initiative in "amending" texts. Together with the fact that some comments are accompanied by terms like "revue" or "melius" makes it tempting to suggest that it concerns an editor's copy  (as Clive does, a.c., p. 93-94). Concerning the non-Marot Psalms in AN41 there is no change (AN41 = ms 2336). If the Marot Psalms differ, the revision, sometimes comprising entire stanzas, often tends towards the first official publication: PA41, but does not coincide with it. Access to (existence of) an intermediary source must be assumed. The identity of the compilers/copiists/redactors cannot be established. (Lenselink, p. 17-20, Clive, 89-93). The theory of Gastoué (Le Cantique populaire en France, Lyon, 1924, p. 139), based on a note on the manuscript by a librarian, that the manuscript was compiled by Pierre Gringoire (Vaudemont), has become obsolete (Lenselink, p. 18-19, Clive, p. 89-90).
[57] A complete list with Clive, p. 83-84.
[58] Clive, a.c. p. 86. In her article about Pierre Gringoire Cynthia J. Brown (“Les Abus du monde de Pierre Gringoire” in CB', p. 35-58) does not seem to know that the first folios are missing and keeps wondering about the absence of these Psalms of Gringoire and Marot (p. 41, n. 1). She also seems not to be aware of the correction in the dating of Scève's Psalms: not 1549, but 1542 (p. 40, n. 3).
[59] Observation by Cynthia J. Brown. Although Gringoire's religious intentions were quite different from Marot's, if not opposite to Marot's, he also got into trouble with the Sorbonne. His Heures de nostre Dame with the penitential Psalms were censored by the Faculty of Theology in 1525 but printed in Lyon, with royal Privilege and considerable success (Brown, a.c., p. 39).
[60] Bucer's Psalmorum libri quinque... (1529) which appeared pseudonymously was widespread and for a long time not considered to be heretical.
[61] Clive speaks of "several other Psalms" and "the plan was never carried out" (o.c., p. 93-94), whilst Lenselink speaks of "... il a chaque fois ménagé une place en vue de cette adjonction ultérieure.". He also mentions three occassions in which the blank space is filled above non-Marot Psalms: Ps. 23, 25 and 43. (o.c., p. 20). Marot's version (with arguments) of these three psalms appeared in his the Vingt Pseaulmes in 1543, Psalm poems not included in this ms.
[62] The fact that the three non-Marot Psalms, that received this upgrade, are exactly the three Psalms which have a counterpart in Marot's Vingt Pseaulmes (and no other Psalms receive this treatment) forbids to turn the reasoning around and suggest that Marot borrowed the Arguments from the manuscript, as is suggested by Mayer, Les Traductions, p. 28.
[63] In the first official edition PA41 only nineteen out of thirty are preceded by this instruction: 1-15,19,24,37,38. In this series (1-38), Ps. 22 is the only exception and after Ps. 38 the phrase doesn't recur at all. None of the Vingt Pseaulmes has this indication. The phrase appears only in the editions of Roffet and the closely related ms. Pierpont Morgan 218). Ms. 2336 is the only text version in which it is present above all 30 Psalms. The reason why PA41 omitted this indication above Psalm 22 and entirely stopped after Psalm 38, will be discussed below, when PA41 is dealt with.
[64] The librarian's note accompanying ms. PM 218 may serve as an example of the common interpretation: "The text is written in a beautiful, even bookhand. The translation of the Psalms into French verse is annotated and has directions for singing."
[65] Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 16. Lenselink mentions the number of ten in stead of eleven.
[66] Lenselink managed to decipher a second line too: l'aultre jour m'y cheminoye / le loing d'une riviere. (Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 16, 122). Only once AN41 has more information on the tune. This concerns Ps. CXX. In ms. 2336 we read "Adam", by Clive taken to be the name of the melody, but based on the longer description in AN41 "Adam a regress" it is identified as the pseudonym of a Genevan pastor: Jean Menard (Pidoux II, p. 7).
[67] Only with the help of Annie Coeurdevey, responsible for the "base de chansons RICERCAR", who – after in vain having tried all printed songs with similar incipits – finally suggested a song from a Parisian manuscript (B.N.fr. 1597), "Chansonnier des ducs de Lorraine", copied around 1500 as the only possible match she was able to find: "L'autre jour my chevauchoye / Tout du long d'une montaigne, / J'ay trouvé la belle au corps gent / Au plus pres d'une fontaine." She comments: "Date très ancienne, mais comme c'est un répertoire basé sur des monodies populaires, il n'est pas impossible que la mélodie d'un texte de nature aussi populaire se soit conservée assez longtemps."
[68] We added between brackets an alternative counting of metrical feet, in which we also included the syllable of a feminine ending. For the hymns we consulted: J. van  Biezen & J.W. Schulte Nordholt, Hymnen, een bloemlezing met muziek uit de vroeg-christelijke en middeleeuwse gezangen van de Latijnse en Griekse Kerk, Doornik, 1967, there: p. 117, 125.
[69] Marot employs "rime enchainée" (AAAb/bbbC) with alternating masculine and femine rhyme, resulting in "two stanzas with different metre".
[70] Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 20-23 with examples. General conclusions on p. 23, 27. Based on a survey of the critical apparatus of C.A. Mayer, two other manuscripts, not discussed by Lenselink, can be added to this group: ms. 306 (Pembroke College Cambrigde) and ms. Harley 6915 (British Museum). Only minor differences are signalled, often transcription errors (Mayer, Les Traductions, p. 69).
[71] In PM 218 the text from Psalms 1-15 is riddled with writing errors, but from Psalm 19 onwards the text is exactly the same as PA41, as if it is copied from the printed edition. That's why Lenselinkg conludes "qu'il précède immédiatement cette édition." (p. 23). As a matter of fact, based on this assessment of the manuscript, nothing obliges us to make this manuscript pre-date PA41: So let's say: winter 1541-1542.
[72] Lenselink is not completely clear on this point. On p. 21 he suggests 1539 for ms. Ars. 2363 ("ou peut-être même seulement au début de 1540"), on p. 22 he suggests to date Ars. 2363 "du milieu de 1540". Since Lenselink believes ms. Vind 2644 to be anterior to Arsenal 3632, we will never pass mid 1540.
[73] A. Gastoué, Le cantique populaire en France, Lyon, 1924, p. 137-139, 242.
[74] We checked this statement by looking for links between Ars. 3632 and (one or more members of ) Group I. These links could easily be found, but were always marginal: a different wording, a change in word order, never a complete line; never more than a few of these in an entire Psalm, and many psalms with no difference at all. If one realizes the substantial differences in the redaction of some psalms between group I and PA41, these differences become irrelevant.
[75] A complicating aspect of this manuscript is the presence on the first page of an undecipherable signature and some other signs which have long been thought to be a date: mc xxvij (1527). Since the date makes no sense, Lenselink suggests to treat it as a lapsus and corrects it to 1537 (Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 10). A little later (p. 21) he rejects this date because still being far to early, based on internal evidence: the redaction of the text itself. In his review of Lenselink's edition Albaric suggests to read this number not as a date but as a library reference number. "Après avoir examiné sur pièce cette inscription et pris un un avis autorisé, nous pouvons affirmer qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une date, qui de reste ne corresponderait à rien, mais d'une cote (IIIc xxvij)." Albaric, "Le psautier de Clément Marot", p. 229. His argumentation seems conclusive.
[76] We found at least one more (Ps. 3,1,11) and could not find any example of the opposite (Ars. 3632 still being linked with group I and Vind 2644 already begin in line with PA41).
[77] The kernel of Douen's theory was that there must have existed an original Parisian version, authorized by Marot, which was corrupted afterwards by Alexandre. This old original should at least antedate 1540 (when the emperor got it), but usually the date was even further advanced (1538; Gastoué 1537)). It takes some time to cast off all remnants of a dominant idea. One can trace this process in the successive interpretations in the first half of the 20th century, with the studies of J. Plattard and Ph. A. Becker as milestones. Textual analysis and historical critical bibliography did the rest. It is telling that Lenselink several times refers to the story of the offering of the manuscript to the Emperor in 1540, while dealing with Ars 2363 and. Vind. 2644. Lenselink, Psaumes, p. 21, 22 (dating the passage of the emperor erroneously in May 1540).
[78] For a complete discussion see Dick Wursten, ‘Did Clément Marot....’ in Renaissance Studies 22/2 (april 2008), p. 240-250.
[79] Mayer, n° 101.
[80] Some minor errors can be observed. A very intriguing minor slip, which appears in all known editions is the incipit of Ps. X: "Domine ut quid recessisti longe". The Vulgata provides the same words, but in a different order: "Ut quid Domine recessisti longe". The inversion of the word order might be influenced by the edition of the Enchiridion Campensis, in which the abbreviated incipit is written in margine and we find exactly the same inversion, of which I have not found any other case. That this confusion appears at this particular place has some logic. The incipit had to be fabricated by the "Hébraisant", since an official incipit did not exist: in the Vulgata Ps. X is part of Ps. IX. (Ps X, 1 = Vulgata ps IX, 22). Another peculiarity coincides with this observation: In the Marot psalm editions the Vulgata shorttitles are very often abbreviated in the same way as in the Enchiridion Campensis (Lyon, Gryphius, 1532). Some very crude abbreviations appear, which appear to have an typographic logic in the Enchiridion (matter of space in margine), but of which the necessity is absent in the editions of the Psalms of Marot. One example (from the 20Pss): The incipit of Psalm 45: "eructavit cor meum verbum bo." (bo = bonum). The last word ("bo." for "bonum") is shortened because of the typographical alignment in margine in the Enchiridion. PA43 and GE43 have plenty of space.
[81] Ps. 8 (Pseaulme que tout.. devrait scavoir..), 14 (Pseaulme contre), 24 (& est ledict Pseaulme propre..) , 103 (Pseaulme qui enseigne..)
[82] Lenselink does not mention this in his critical apparatus. (Lenselink, Les Psaumes, p. 131). The absence of a phrase like this above Ps. 22 can be seen as an indication of Marot not having intended this particular Psalm for singing or of a sudden awareness that the phrase that is suggested is not adequate, which indeed is the case. The indication in ms. 2336 ("un verset pour couplet") suggests that all stanzas share the same metrical form. This is not the case. First of all the stanzas of ps. 22 are "different de chant" and last but not least the final stanza differs completely. The fact that these indications stop in PA41 after ps. 38 and are completely absent in the Vingt Pseaulmes of 1543, seems to indicate that Marot (or the editor) dropped the idea, perhaps after twice being confronted with irregularity in the strophic form of the final stanza (ps. 22, 37).
[83] According to the Lenselink edition this indication is also absent in ms. PM218 above Psalm 2, 3, 4, 6.
[84] Nor Lenselink (who reproduces the numbering of all manuscripts and editions), nor Mayer, nor Defaux mention the numbering in PA41 and ergo non of them mentions this strange phenomenon, which can only be explained by an attempt of Marot or Roffet to create a numerical concordance of Marot's versification with another versification. Since versification was practised, but not yet standardised, it might be noteworthy that the deviant numbering almost completely parallels the verse-numbering of Lefevre's Psalm editions. Numbers were present in ms. 2337 and AN41, but always concording with the instructions in the heading.
[85] The edition itself is also known as the Pseudoromana, because of the “joke” of the publisher, who put on the title page: “Imprimé a Rome par le commandement du Pape, par Theodore Brüss, Allemant, son imprimeur ordinaire.” Mayer, Bibliographie,  n° 103.
[86] Sometimes appearing to be quite careless concerning the poetic aspects, f.i. in Ps. 37,3,3 "vraye et seure" is changed in "vraye et bonne", thus eliminating the rhyme.
[87] Ps. 22: original scheme of the final stanza: "10 10 10 10 – abab; other stanzas: 10 10 10 4 – aaab. Ps. 37: the original final stanza (7 lines) is stretched to 9 lines, to create a final stanza of three lines the preceding stanzas being 6 lines. Compare footnote  NOTEREF _Ref169021531 \h 128 for another solution of the same problem in GE43.
[88] One example of a unique reading for GE42: Ps. 7,1,2 "sauve asseurance" is replaced by "ferme asseurance".
[89] With high probability this must have been Guillaume Franc, since he is officially charged to do the same for the 1543 edition. See infra.
[90] Mayer, n° 112 (this has the same content as AN41-bis, but two new Psalm poems (by Maurice Scève) are added) and n° 118.
[91].Defaux praises Dolet as an skilful editor. One can read time and again phrases like: "Mais il la corrige très intelligemment chaque fois que le besoin s'en fait sentir." (50Ps, p. 218). Since he clearly did not have access to original manuscripts in the case of the Psalm poems, his editions are not relevant for the establishment of the original texts of the Psalms. The 1543 reprint of Les Oeuvres de Clement Marot contains all fifty Psalms, this time according to GE43 (Mayer, n° 118). The Vingt Pseaumes appear in the appendix. The arguments are left out. His successor (Guillaume Roville) reproduces this version in his edition ‘Constantin’ (Mayer, n° 128). This is the "master" of all sixteenth century editions, but ever since the discovery of the Cinquante Pseaulmes it became a secondhand version.
[92] Mayer, n° 119; Defaux, Siglum J.
[93] Defaux suggests that the mentioning of 32 Psalms is not a fraud nor a mistake but is meant to differentiate this edition from the former in order to attain a new printing privilege, the privilege of the first edition being almost  expired. (Defaux, 50ps, p. 219). Another suggestion is that Roffet wanted to deceive the censors, since the Trente Pseaulmes were on the list of condemned books, which was being drawn up by the Faculty of Theology in 1542. The text of the granted privilege though mentions openly the preceding edition as identical. So the supplier of the royal privilege was not deceived, nor was he impressed by the list of the Faculty.
[94] Mayer, La réligion, p. 45. Pidoux II, p. 13-14. (both references to Du Plessis d'Argentré). J.K. Farge refers to this “Index” as a list of books censured in the period between 23 April 1542 – 2 March 1543, correcting the view of D’Argentré, who maintained that the period started in December 1542. (James. K. Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France. The faculty of theology of Paris, 1500-1543, Leiden, 1985, p. 216.
[95] One very conspicuous error (not mentioned in  loco by Defaux or Mayer: Ps 43). The Vulgata incipit (XLII) is "Iudica me Deus". Marot writes: "Deus, Deus meus, ad te". We find it in alle editions: PA43, GE43 Dolet43/44. This is the incipit of ps 63 (Vulgate LXII). Notice the dyslectic potential of the Roman Numbers.
[96]  The relevant entries from the Registers from the Council are gathered together by Pierre Pidoux, Le Psautier Huguenot, vol. II, p. 19-20.
[97] "Ordonné pour aultant que l’on paracheve les psalmes de David it qu'il est fort nécessaire de composer ung champ gracieulx sur iceulx, que maystre Guillaum, le chantre, est bien propres pour recordé les enfans le jour qu’il sera ordonné ou une heure le jour et que de son gage que l’on an parle az Monsieur Calvin...” (Pidoux II, p. 19). Franc’s renumeration is raised to 50 fl. on 16 April,  80 fl. on 24 April, and even up to 100 fl. on 7 May 1543. The last rise of salary is even juratory sworn by the members of the City Council, betraying a sense of urgency. Guillaume Franc was "chantre" (cantor) of the Eglise St. Pierre. On 17 June 1541 he had obtained permission to open a music school: "donné licence de tenyr eschole de musique" (Pidoux II, p. 5). On 6 June 1542 he is referred to as the person who instructs the children “à chanter les psaulmes de David aul temple" (p. 11). Similar reference on 7.May 1543: “...pour apprendre la note et à chanté les enfans qu’il doybve chanté les psalmes de David à l’eglise..” ( Pidoux II, p. 19).
[98] Pidoux II, p. 23.
[99] Pidoux describes this edition as containing the Salutation (Pidoux II, p. 24), thus suggesting that it was printed before the Council gave its permission (and then destroyed?). More likely seems to be that the Council censored a printed proof and that a censored version (without the Salutation) was printed.
[100] Mayer, n° 116.
[101] Olivier Labarthe, "Jean Gérard, l’imprimeur des Cinquante pseaumes de Marot" in BHR  XXXV (1973), p. 547-561, based on an analysis of the typeset and a comparison between this edition of the Cinquante Pseaumes and some authenticated publications of Girard dating from the same period.
[102] Ps. 18,43-44: inversion; 18,106 insertion of "non" before "faincte", inverting the meaning and introducing an endecasyllable. C.A. Mayer often replaces a deficient reading of PA43 with that of GE43, because he classifies them as "fautes" (f.i. three times in Ps. 36). The repeated suggestion of Defaux (p. 303-305) that Mayer thus implicitly recognises the authority of GE43 is only partly correct, since a pirate edition remains a pirate edition even if the orthography is perfect. Most of the time Mayer mentions the differences between PA43 and GE434 in his critical apparatus (exception: Ps. 25).
[103] These prayers are partly new and partly revisions of earlier versions. They have links both with the section "Oraisons" in Marot's Oeuvres and with the section Cantiques in ST39. "Les Commandements de Dieu" (first publication) is a pendant of a non-Marot version of ST39, "Les Articles de la Foy" (Instruction 1533), "L"Oraison de nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ" (Instruction 1533), "La Salutation Angélique" (Instruction 1533), "Prière devant le repas" (first publication), and "Apres le Repas" (first publication). The last two have precursors in two similar prayers in Instruction 1533. As signalled in note  NOTEREF _Ref196791501 \h 2 (see above) the title L’Instruction et foy d’un chrestien, present above this section in the critical edition of GE43 by Defaux is fabricated by him.
[104] Since Mayer also doubts the authenticity of these addenda, since he doubts the origin of this edition.
[105] Defaux II, p. 630. The prefatory Epistle to the first 30 Psalms: ibid. p. 557-561. Both designate the translation as a "Oeuvre Royal", in which the word "Roy" may refer to three kings: François I-er, David, God. This triple reference is explained and exploited in the first poem. The final lines of the first poem ("Te suppliant les recevoir pour gaige / Du residu, qui jà t'est consacré, / Si les veoir touts il te venoit à gré.") can be seamlessly linked with the opening of the dedicatory huitain introducing the Vingt Pseaulmes: "Puis que voulez que je poursuyve, ô Sire, / L'oeuvre Royal du Psaultier commencé."
[106] Defaux discusses this policy in his edition of the  50PS, p. 35-36. “All changes reflect a caution suggesting that this issue, dissociated from Geneva, was intended for circulation in France.” See: Bettye Thomas Chambers, Bibliography of French Bibles, n° 105,106, p. 134.
[107] If no permission was necessary for export-printing why did Marot then had to ask permission to for the publicaton of L'Enfer (1543), which probably also was destined for the French market ? See Pidoux II, p. 21.
[108] Ps. 22 : 10101010 – AbAb (PA41/43) is brought into line with the other stanzas:  1010104 – AAAb (GE43). Ps. 37:  The stanza is shortened with one line in GE43 (from 7 to 6) to be made conform the other stanzas.
[109] Defaux, 50Pss, p. 206. PA43 on  fol. 35r° ((information supplied by Geoffroy Grassin, librarian of the library of Troyes, where the only surviving copy of PA43 is kept).