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$ 26, I. 8. Nearly all the MSS. omit from Fertherover down to right orisonte. The missing clause appears in MS. Bodley 619; I have not found it elsewhere. It is obviously correct, and agrees sufficiently closely with the conjectural addition by Mr. Brae, in his edition of Chaucer's Astrolabe, p. 48.
$ 27, 1. 2. second the] supplied from BCPM; A om.
23. ende] heed A; heued C. In fact, heed, heued, or hed seems to be the reading of all the MSS. and printed copies, and may have been a slip of the pen in the first instance. The reading ende is, however, amply justified by its previous occurrence, four times over, lines 10, 13, 16, 18. We thus have
Şix Northern signs. From head of Aries to end of Virgo.
Opposite 'sagittare' is written 'sagittarie' in the margin of A, probably as a correction; but it is left uncorrected in 1. 27.
$ 29, 1. 3. Turne thanne] Turne þan C; turne the thanne AB.
§ 30. 1. 11. wey A; place C. After zodiak C inserts—for on be morowe wol þe sonne be in a-noper degte ban þan, et cetera; P inserts—For yn þe morowe wol be sonne be yn an ober gree, & norþer or souper par aventure. Noth can be plainer than that 'the way of the sun' in this passage means the small circle formed by the sun's apparent path during a day; the text says expressly—the wey wher as the sonne wente thilke day. We need not argue about the impossibility of a planet being found in the way of the Sun' at midnight at the time of the Summer solstice, because Chaucer makes no assertion whatever here about the relative positions of the sun and planet; indeed, he carefully repeats ‘if' three times. He is only concerned with defining the phrase—the latitude of a planet from the way of the sun'; and in every possible case, it is clear that a planet can be either (1) situate in the small circle called in the Latin rubric cursus solis, or (2) to the north of such a circle, or (3) to the south of such a circle. About this there need be no difficulty at all. It is all copied from Messa hala.
$ 31, 1. 7. azimut) azymutz ABC ; cf. sect. 32, 1. 8.
§ 33, 1. 2. Azimut) Azymutz ABC; minutis P; the same error as in sect. 31, 1. 7; but see sect, 32, 1. 8.
3. second in) yn P; ABC omit.
$ 35, 1. 15. After west side, AB add & yf he be on the est syde, a mere superfluous repetition ; see l. 11.
17. sothly) soply CP; miswritten he settes (!) AB.
18. hir Episicle) so in CP; by an odd mistake, AB put hire after manere, instead of before Episicle.
$ 37, 1. 10. than] þan C; AB omit. is) AB omit; but it is obviously wanted ; C varies here.
12. 12 house next] 12 hous next C; howses nex (sic) AB.
8. fro the centre; i. e. above the centre. The length of the pin, measured from the centre in which it is inserted, is to be not more than a quarter of the diameter, or half the radius. This would make the ratio of the gnomon to the shadow (or radius) to be one-half, corresponding to an altitude a, where tan a = }; i.e. to an altitude of about 261. As Chaucer talks about the sun's altitude being 251° at about 9 o'clock, at the time of the equinoxes (sect. 3), there is nothing that is particularly absurd in the text of this section. For Mr. Brae's conjectural emendations, see p. 56 of his edition.
16. tak thanne] so in P; tak me thanne AB; take me ban C. But there seems no sufficient reason for thus inserting me here.
$ 39. At this point MS. A, which has so far, in spite of occasional errors of the scribe, afforded a very fair text, begins to break down; probably because the corrector's hand has not touched the two concluding sections, although section 40 is much less corrupt. The result is worth recording, as it shews what we may expect to find, even in good MSS. of the Astrolabe. The section commences thus (the obvious misreadings being printed in italics) :
* This lyne Meridional ys but a Maner descripcion or the ymagined, that passeth vpon the pooles of þis the world And by the cenyth of owre heued / And hit is the same lyne Meridional / for in what place þat any maner man [omission) any tyme of the yer / whan that the sonne schyneth ony thing of the firmament cometh to his verrey Middel lyne of the place / than is hit verrey Midday, þat we clepen owre noon,' &c.
It seems clear that this apparent trash was produced by a careless scribe, who had a good copy before him; it is therefore not necessary to reject it all as unworthy of consideration, but it is very necessary to correct it by collation with other copies. And this is what I have done.
MS. B has almost exactly the same words; but the section is considerably better, in general sense, in MSS. C and P, for which reason I here quote from the former the whole section.
[Rawl. MS. Misc. 1370, fol. 40 b.) Descripcioun of þe meridional lyne, of þe longitudes and latitudes
of Citees and townes, as wel as of a (sic) clymatz. 39. conclusio. This lyne meridional is but a maner discripcion or lyne ymagyned, þat passeß upon be pooles of his worlde, and by be Cenith of oure heued. And yt is cleped be lyne meridional, for in what place þat any man ys at any time of pe zere, whan þat þe sonne by meuynge of be firmament come to his uerrey meridian place / þan is it be uerrey mydday þat we clepe none, as to bilke man. And þerefore is yt cleped pe lyne of mydday. And nota, þat euermo of any.2. citees or of a townes, of which þat oo towne a-procheb neer þe est þan dop be oper towne, trust wel þat þilke townes han diuerse meridians. Nota also, þat þe arche of be equinoxial, þat is contened or bownded by-twise be two meridians, is cleped be longitude of þe towne. 1 & zif so be /
þat two townes haue I-like meridian or one merydian, I Than ys be distaance of hem bobe I-like fer from be est, & þe contrarye. And in bis maner bei chaunge not her meridyan, but soply, bei chaungen her almykanteras, For þe enhaunsynge of be pool / and be distaunce of pe sonne. I The longitude of a clymate ys a lyne ymagyned fro be est to be west, I-like distaunte fro be equinoxial. The latitude of a clymat may be cleped pe space of je erbe fro be by-gynnynge of be first clymat unto be ende of þe same clymat / euene-directe a-zens pe pool artyke. ( Thus seyn somme auctours / and somme clerkes seyn / þat zif men clepen þe latitude of a contrey', pe arche mer[i]dian þat is con. tened or intercept by-twixe be Cenyth & pe equinoxial; þan sey bei þat þe distaunce fro be equinoxial unto be ende of a clymat, euene’ a-gaynes þe pool artik, is be latitude off þat climat? forsope.
The corrections made in this section are here fully described.
5. by moeving] by meuynge C; by mevyng PI; schyneth ony thing (sic) A ; schyned eny thing B; for the spelling moeving, see sect. 35, 1. 5.
6. meridian CP; meridianale I; Middel lyne of the (sic) AB.
11. conteyned I; conteynyd P; contened C; consideered (sic) A; contined B.
13. yf P; zif C; if it I; AB omit. N.B. It is best to use the spelling yif, as the word is commonly so spelt in A.
22. same CPI ; seconde AB. The reading same is right; for the latitude of a climate' means the breadth of a zone of the earth, and the latitude of the first climate (here chosen by way of example) is the breadth as measured along a great circle perpendicular to the equator, from the beginning of the said first climate to the end of the same. The words 'evene-directe agayns the poole Artik' mean in the direction of the North pole; i. e. the latitude of a climate is reckoned from its beginning, or southernmost boundary-line, towards the end of the same, viz. its northern boundary-line.
22. Þe poo Artik P; be pool artyke C; the pole artike I; from north to south AB. Observe that this singular error in A, 'euene directe agayns from north to soath,' probably arose from a confusion of the text euene directe agayns þe poole Artik' with a gloss upon it, which was ' from north to south.' It is important as throwing light on the meaning of the phrase, and proving that the interpretation of it given above (note to l. 22) is correct.
24. intercept CP; intercepte I; except (over an erasure) AB.
The only reading about which there is any doubt is that in line 18, which may be either ‘illike distant by-twene them alle' (A), or ' I-like distaunte fro Þe equinoxial' (C). But it is immaterial which reading be adopted, since Illike-distant is here used merely in the sense of parallel, and the boundaries of the climates are parallel both to one another, and to the equinoctial. The climates themselves were of different breadths.
1 Here insert_[they mene)—which CP omit.
$ 40, 1. 4. this samples AB; þese ensamples C.
5. for sothe) miswritten for sonne AB; in general C; yn special P; the reading sonne points to sothe, and makes it very probable that for sothe is the true reading
6. the longitude] be longitude C; latitude AB (absurdly); see l. 11.
7. planete ; miswritten that A, but corrected to planete in the margin ; C has planete, correctly. The figure 6 is omitted in C; so are all the other figures further on. him) hir C.
8. I tok] Than toke I C. 8, 16. 2 degrees A; 3 degrees B.
10. Than tok I] Than toke I C; for tok AB wrongly have stykke, after. wards altered to stokke in A. second the) supplied from C, which has þe; AB omit.
23. the] Þe C; AB omit.
31. in alle) in al C; A has septentrionalle, an obvious mistake for septentrional in alle, by confusion of the syllable 'al' in the former with 'al' in the latter word; B has septentrional, omitting in alle.
34. signes C] tymes AB (wrongly); see 1. 32.
46. Perhaps evene before of should be omitted, as in C. AB have in the ende euene ouer of thee, where euene ouer is repeated from the former part of the line.
47. F endlang] F endlonge C; A enene AB; but see 11. 23, 24.
A omits of and degrees, yet both are required; BC omit of 3 degrees altogether.
49. til) tyl þat C; tho AB (absurdly).
57. At the word houre four of the best MSS. break off, viz. MSS. ABCE, although E adds one more section, viz. sect. 46; others come to a sudden end even sooner, viz. MSS. DFGHK. But MS. P carries us on to the end of sect. 43, and supplies the words—þu shalt do wel ynow, as in the old editions.
§ 41. 7. betwixe] be M (wrongly); betwixe R; by-twyx L. M inserts & before to be altitude; a mere slip. For; miswritten Fro M. 8. thridde ; miswritten ridde M; þrydde R. 13. LM wrongly place of after the heyzt instead of before it. § 42, 1. 2. see] so in LR ; miswritten sette M; see sect. 41, 1. 4. 3. second I] so L; y R; M omits. 8. M omits as, above, and is þe; L has 12 passethe 6 the. 11. seest] so in LR; miswritten settest M. 12. 60) so in LNR; sexe M. 13. M omits from 10 is to 10 feet, which is supplied from NLPR. 14. For] so in LNR; fro M. 15. For 2, M has 6; so also R. For 3, M has 4.
16. For 2, M has 6 ; for 6, M has 2; and the words and 3 is 4 partyes of 12 are omitted, though L has—& 4 is the thrid partye of 12.
17. betwen R] by-twene L ; bitwixe P; miswritten be M; cf. sect. 41, 7. 19. thre R] 3 LP; miswritten pe M.
$ 43. Rubric in M, Umbra Versa ; obviously a mistake for Recta. The error is repeated in l. 1. LPR rightly read Recta.
3. M omits 1, which is supplied from LPR; see 1. 5.
11. After heythe (as in M), LNR add to thyn eye. In place of lines 9-11, P has—& so of alle oper, &c.
§ 44. From MS. Digby 72 (N). Also in LMOR.
11, 2. NM omit from or what to or ; supplied from O, which has—or qwat nombre pat euere it be, tyl þe tyme þat þou come to 20, or 40, or 60. I have merely turned qwat into what, as in L, which also has this insertion.
13. wreten N; the alteration to wryte is my own ; see l. 23. under) so in L; yndirnepe M.
14. to-geder) too-geder M; miswritten to a degreis N; to the 2 degrees L.
15. hast M; miswritten laste N; last L. 16. that (1); supplied from M; LN omit. For 1 (as in M) LN have 10. 21. to-gedere M; to the degreis N; 2 grees O; to degrees L. 22. that (2); supplied from M; LNO omit.
lasse] passid LNO; M omits. Of course passid is wrong, and equally of course lasse is right; see 11. 5, 6 above, and l. 25 below.
25. that] so in L; þat MO; if hit N.
27. entringe) entre M; entre L. ther) so in M; miswritten the zere N; the zeer L.
30. merydie LM; merdie N.
6. wrytoun 0; Iwyton N. But L has I wold wyttyn; read—I wolde witen precise my rote ; cf. 11. 19, 30.
8. 1397] miswritten 1391 LN; O has 1391, corrected to 1397 ; see l. 3.
20, 1. oper in any oper tyme or monyth N; or any oder tymys or monthys 0; or in eny other moneth L.
27. adde] supplied from L; NO omit. There is no doubt about it, for see 1. 16.
31. wete the] so in 0; wete thi L; miswritten with thy N ; see l. 19.