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At the end is written, "Explycyt tractus de indulgencia romana siue apostolica." 32. The good wyfe wold a pylgremage; in four-line stanzas. fol. 135".
Beg. The good wyf wold a pylgremage
Vnto be holly londe.
A similar poem to the present, intitled, "How the Goode Wif thaught hir Doughter," was edited by me from a MS. in the possession of C. W. Loscombe, Esq., of Pickwick House, Wilts, 8vo. 1838.
33. The Friar and the Boy. fol. 139.
Beg. God pt dyed for vs alle,
And dranke bope eyselle and galle.
A better and fuller copy than that printed by Ritson, in his Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry, p. 35; but it omits all the lines after 1. 397, and concludes with twenty-one different lines instead.
34. A Poem without title; in stanzas of eight lines. fol. 150.
Beg. As I stod in a ryalle haulle.
35. A ludicrous Poem; in couplets. fol. 152.
Beg. Herkons to my tale pt I schalle here schow.
At the conclusion we read "Explycyt trutallys." A similar strange composition is printed by Hartshorne, p. 145.
36. Epistle to a lady; in couplets. fol. 154.
Beg. Honowre wtt alle mannere of heylle.
37. Have my hert; in eight-line stanzas. fol. 154.
38. Poem without title; in stanzas of four lines. fol. 153b.
39. The Sege of Jerusalem; in prose. fol 157.
Beg. Al men pt wylle here of be sege of Jerusaleme.
At the end, "Her enddyth pe sege of Jerusaleme."
40. Terms of Venery, etc., taken from Juliana Barnes. fol. 184.
42. Extracts from Juliana Barnes' Treatise of Hawking. fol. 188.
Beg. When be cocke in pe northe hathe byld his neste.
Printed among the Collection of Ancient Scottish Prophecies, pp. 6-9, reprinted for the Bannatyne Club from Waldegrave's edition, 1603.
44. Letter from Balteser, son of the King "of Sarsyn," to the Duke of "Borgeyne" [Burgundy]. fol. 193b.
Beg. Baltesere, be be grace of Mahounde, sone of pe kynge of Sarsyn.
45. This byne pe presentacyons pt pe lordus of pe cetty of Vennes have present
to oure fader pe pope geneste [agenste] pe Torke. fol. 194.
46. A Poem without title; in stanzas of twelve lines. fol. 195.
A different poem with the same burthen, composed by Lydgate, is in MS. Harl. fol. 128. and Dunbar also adopted the same refrain in his Lament for the Makkaris, vol. i. p. 211, ed. Laing, 8vo, 1834.
This and the three following articles are written by a different hand.
47. Seven moral lines. fol. 198.
Beg. Dysseyte disseyvethe.
48. Carol, or song. fol. 198.
Beg. Mery hit ys in May mornyng.
49. Another. fol. 198b.
Beg. The ster he schynythe bobe nyзte and day.
50. Carol, or religious poem. fol. 200.
Beg. Why, why, what ys pis, why hit ys.
51. A Christmas carol, in Latin and English. fol. 201.
Beg. Christe qui lux est, etc.
A baby ys borne, vs blys to brynge.
52. Carol. fol. 202.
Beg. Hey, hey, hey, hey, be borrys hede is armyd gay.
Probably imperfect. It differs much from the Boars-head Carols printed by Ritson and Sandys.
53. Moral Poem, in the form of a dialogue. fol. 203.
Beg. Be a forrest as I gane walke.
At the end is the colophon, "Explycyt Marcy and Ryžttusnis."
54. The Marchand. fol. 207.
Beg. Lystons, lordyngus, I yow pray.
It is imperfect, ending with 1. 214 of Ritson's edition in Pieces of Popular Poetry, p. 77. It contains many various readings from the printed text.
V. MS. DOUCE. A small quarto volume, ff. 48, written on paper, in the year 1564, and illustrated with rude colored drawings. It contains transcripts of several Romances, apparently taken from editions earlier than Copland's.
1. Here begynneth the hystorye of the valyaunte knyght, Syr Isenbras.
It contains several variations from Copland's edition, but is imperfect, ending with 1. 411.
2. Syr Degore.
The MS. commences at 1. 415 of Copland's edition, as reprinted by Utterson, and is very imperfect. At the end is written, "Here endeth the Tretyse of Syr Degore." In Heber's sale, Lot 556, was an unique copy of an edition by Wynkyn de Worde, from which perhaps this transcript was made.
3. Jeaste of Syr Gawayne.
Printed in the present Volume, Append. No. II. It commences imperfectly, and at the end is drawn a device of a shield bearing three fleurs de lis, supported by two angels. Beneath are the initials E. B., which are probably those of the transcriber. See Notes, p. 348.
4. Syr Eglamoure.
This is also imperfect. Dr. Bliss has in his possession some fragments of an edition earlier than that of Copland's, which perhaps may have served for the text of the present transcript. At the end of this MS. is a device of the letters IHS, and the date 1564, the period of its completion.
VI. THE PERCY MS. Now in the possession of Ambrose Isted, Esq., of Ecton Hall, Northamptonshire. A minute account of the volume, with a list of the first fifty-nine articles in it, is given in Dr. Dibdin's Bibliographical Decameron, vol. iii. pp. 338-344. I had intended to have completed this list, when indulged with a sight of the volume in 1831, but I was unable to accomplish my wish. Four romance-poems are printed from it in the present Volume for the first time.
VII. MS. RAWLINSON, marked C. 86, in the Bodleian Library, and formerly belonging to Knox Ward, Esq., Clarenceux king of Arms. It is a small folio, and consists of two distinct portions.
The first, extending from fol. 1 to fol. 30 inclusive, is written on vellum and paper in a late hand of the fifteenth century. It contains a long English poem on the Passion of Christ. Prefixed is a rude illumination of the crucifixion.
Beg. Off gostly maters I wylle meve.
At the end is: "Explicit Passio Domini nostri Jhesu Christi, composita a quodam sapientissimo in materna lingua, videlicet Anglicorum, hominibus non intelligentibus scripturarum sensus." And below we read: "Iste liber constat... (blot)... Wyllm'us Aylysburrey, monachus Sancti Saluatoris de Bermudesay."
The second portion consists of 159 leaves, and is written on paper in a negligent hand towards the close of Henry the Seventh's reign. The principal contents are as follows.
1. Unconnected moral sentences. fol. 31.
Beg. Vtter thy langage wythe good avisement.
2. Policronica; a prose geographical tract. fol. 31.
Beg. Josephus of Jewes þt nobyl was the firste auctour of the booke of Policronica.
3. The tale of Jak and his Stepdame. fol. 52.
Beg. God that died for vs alle.
Printed by W. de Worde, and thence reprinted by Ritson in Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry, 8vo. 1791. p. 35. Other manuscript copies, all of which differ much from each other, exist in MS. More, Ee. 4. 35. (which was printed by Mr. Wright, in 12mo. Pickering, 1836.) and MS. Porkington, No. 10, f. 139.
4. Four lines of doggerel poetry, in English and Latin. fol. 59.
5. Fabula; a poem of eight stanzas of eight lines each. fol. 59.
The burden of each stanza is, "pulle of her bellys and let her flye." It is probably composed by Lydgate, but is not found in Ritson's list of his writings.
6. A poem without title, by Lydgate; No. 61. of Ritson's list. fol. 61.
Beg. For helthe of body couere for colde thyne hede.
7. A poem by Lydgate; No. 214. of Ritson. fol. 62.
Beg. Beholde, mane, lyfte vp thy eye and se.
8. A Poem consisting of fourteen eight-line stanzas. The subject is an address of Christ to man. fol. 65.
Beg. Late as I wente one myne pleyng.
9. A Poem on the same subject, in eleven stanzas of twelve lines each. fol.
Beg. Thys is Goddis owne compleynte.
Cf. MS. Lambeth. 853. p. 81.
10. A Poem by Lydgate, being a Lamentation of the Virgin on Christ's Passion; No. 201 of Ritson. fol. 69b.
Beg. In a tabernacle of a towre.
11. A Poem in ten eight-line stanzas, the burden of which is "I wite my self myne owne wo." fol. 71.
Beg. In my youthe fulle wylde I was.
Cf. MS. Lamb. 853. p. 226.
12. A Poem containing the Lamentation of our Lady, in twelve eight-line stanzas. fol. 726.
Beg. In a chirche as I gane knele.
13. A Poem in eleven twelve-line stanzas, of which the burden is, "Filius Regis mortuus est." fol 74o.
Beg. As Jhesu rewlithe myne recheles mynde.
Cf. MS. Lamb. 853. p. 74.
14. Fabula; a Poem by Lydgate, on the mutability of human affairs, in twenty-two seven-line stanzas. fol. 77.
Beg. The worlde so wyde, the ayre so remeveabille.
Other copies occur in MSS. Harl. 7333, f. 192, 2251, f. 23o, 2255, f. 14, and Trin. Coll., Cambr., R. 3, 21. On the authority of the first of these, Ritson attributes it to one "squiere Halsam."
15. A Poem by Lydgate, in commendation of virtue; No. 95 of Ritson. fol. 79b.
Beg. As of hony menne gadrene swetnesse.
16. A Poem by Lydgate, against self-love; No. 99 of Ritson. fol. 81.
Beg. Towarde thende of frosty January.
Printed at the end of an edition of Lydgate's "Proverbes;" by W. de Worde. See Collier's Catalogue of the Library at Bridgewater House, p. 179, 4to. 1837.