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I wish to acknowledge the help provided to me by Svato Schutzner, Juris Lidaka, Josephine Tarvers, and Stephen Hayes in response to queries posted to Medtextl and Chaucernet. I am also grateful to Dr. Richard Luckett, Pepys Librarian and Keeper of the Old Library (Magdalene College), and Aude Fitzsimons, Assistant Pepys Librarian, for allowing me to examine Pepys MS 2006 on several occasions, to the British Library and the staff of the Students' Room for making the three manuscripts described in this essay available to me, to Julia Boffey for answering several questions about the identification of some of the texts contained in these MSS, and to George R. Keiser for his suggestions on the description of Harley MS 2382. I have also benefitted from the thorough and detailed comments provided by the editor of this volume.


The sigla provided here in brackets are those used by John M. Manly and Edith Rickert (editors of The Text of the Canterbury Tales, hereafter “Manly-Rickert”) and are in standard use in Chaucer studies.


On the subject of the use of booklets in fifteenth-century book production, see especially Robinson and Hanna. Hanna defines the booklet in this context as “a group of leaves forming at least one quire, but more likely several, and presenting a self-contained group of texts” (100-101).


The abbreviations “IMEV,” “SIMEV,” and “IPMEP” refer to The Index of Middle English Verse, the Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse, and the Index of Printed Middle English Prose, respectively.


References to the works of Chaucer follow the lineations of the Riverside Chaucer (ed. Benson).


The “independence” of the two parts of the volume are attested to by the differences in paper stocks, formats, and scribal hands and dialects.


There is no reason not to characterize the first five folios as part of a fragmentary gathering (probably a twelve; fols. 2, 4, and 5 bear watermarks), but so as not to make my references here unnecessarily confusing, I will maintain Seymour's quire numbering, referring to these folios as “π1-5.” The two added fragments in Quire 10, which are misbound, are foliated as “165.1” and “165.2.” The second gathering in Part 2 was, given the losses of text at the beginning and end of the gathering, at least a gathering of eight.


Lewis and McIntosh note the following omissions of text: “(1) two leaves between ff. 51 and 52 containing ll. 856-1011; (2) one leaf between ff. 76 and 77 containing ll. 2965- 3034; (3) two leaves between ff. 88 and 89 containing ll. 3976-4140; (4) two leaves between ff. 106 and 107 containing ll. 5674-841; (5) two leaves between ff. 114 and 115 containing ll. 6475-636; (6) two leaves between ff. 144 and 145 containing ll. 9304-467, but they remain as scraps and are bound between ff. 143 and 144” (1982, pp. 57-58).


See Brunner, p. 37. The Ar text of Seuen Sages begins “Hys comaundement þei dide belyue,” and ends “ʒef I wyll late þe wtowte oþe.”


The two fragmentary leaves signified by “χ2” are misbound in Q 15 following fol. 164.


Seymour's suggestion that the first folio is missing in the first gathering of Part 2 (despite there being no loss of text) is an inference based perhaps on the traces of “signatures” on fols. 167v (“c”), 169v (“e”), 170v (“f”), and 171v (“g”?). If these were accurate indications of the original structure (and their placement on the versos is itself odd), then it is conceivable that the first gathering in this section was one of fourteen leaves, with unknown material on the first folio, and with the final folio containing part of the text missing between fols. 177 and 178. The following gathering would still require at least seven folios to complete the text of Melibee.


Fol. 61 is now fol. 88 of British Library MS Sloane 297.


At the foot of fol. 96v, the scribe writes “Quere plus inxijo folio post,” picks up copying at the foot of 108r (following Second Nun's Tale), fills the verso, writes “Quere plus in xxo folio post,” resumes the “Testament” on fol. 128v, and completes the text of the “Testament” on fol. 129v. I am very grateful to George R. Keiser for suggesting several corrections in the description and analysis of Harley 2382 (personal communication). I accept and follow his analysis of the scribe's progress of copying.


Although there is an explicit on p. 183, the material that follows, through p. 189, is the concluding section of The Three Kings of Cologne (see Edwards, p. xix).


Note that “XX12” should include pp. 345-368.


Sewing, through the side of the pages rather than through the center fold, can be seen, e.g., between pp. 4/5, 16/17, 30/31, 44/45, 68/69, 89/91, 98/99, 130/131, 146/147, 218/ 219, 256/257, 288/289, 304/305, 328/329, 340/341, 358/359, 372/373, 382/383.


The jagged edge of the lower half of the mark can barely be seen. Approximately 6.3 mm of the ascender shows on pp. 3/4. By comparison, on pp. 13/14, approximately 6 mm of the ascender are visible, and the corresponding portion of the conjugate lower half that is visible on pp. 27/28 is approximately 3 mm. The expected portion on pp. 37/38, then, could be predicted to be right at the edge of the gutter, where the edge is indeed just visible.


A blank quarter of a sheet is glued or pasted to what would have been p. 190 and is itself numbered “190.” Whether this was done for structural reinforcement or to obscure what has been written on the back of the folio (originally left blank) is not clear. Since the same procedure has been carried out on p. 210, at the end of the following gathering, and there is also writing on the blank space left there, I suspect the latter possibility.


Kengen: “[The text] corresponds to MS. O [Bodley MS Tanner 201] ff.66r/6-87r/15; 88v/6-89r/4, and 90r/18-97r/18, i.e. the section on Penance, Tribulation, Temptation, the Divine Virtues, the Cardinal Virtues, Meditation, and part of the section on Contemplation, omitting the last degree of contemplation and ending with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. Even in these shared sections there are occasional omissions and additions.... There is at least one leaf missing corresponding to MS. O ff.70r/12-71v/18, from `dedly' to `purgatorye'” (10).


Hayes characterizes the text as “an abridged Middle English paraphrase translation of Richard of St. Victor's Benjamin minor” (p. 185).


Not the Speculum sacerdotis (Title 1 of Book III of the Decretals of Gregory IX), as the rubric might suggest, but “a sermon, or perhaps a treatise in the form of sermon, by somebody used to preaching. It is pretty obviously a sermon by a man working in canon law, and probably addressed to other people enamored with that lore. Oxford would not be an unlikely place.... It sounds Wycliffite, very much so. It seems to belong to the genre `University sermons.' In this case, the preacher is taking a rubric as his theme, rather than a verse from the Bible. [It is] an unrelenting attack on the established clergy. The text is continuous, no gaps found between end of one leaf and beginning of another” (Svato Schutzner, e-mail communication 8 February 1997).


The text in Sloane 1009 begins with “Penaunce is the seconde medycyne of sy[n]ne after Noes flode.” While this could be the intended beginning of an extract, it omits an amount of text equivalent to 59 folios in Bodley MS Tanner 201 [= “O” in Kengen]. The watermark structure suggests that this gathering is fragmentary at the beginning and end. See Kengen, p. 10: “There is a least one leaf missing corresponding to MS. O ff.70r/12-71v/18, from `dedly' to `purgatory'.”