Imatges de pàgina

collated the best MSS., viz. C., F., Tn., T., A., B., and sometimes P., besides keeping an eye upon Th., i.e. Thynne's edition. I thus was enabled to see the true state of the case, viz. that the MSS. of the first class (C., T., A., P., Addit. 9832, 12524, and 28617) have been practically neglected altogether; whilst, of the MSS. &c. of the second class (F., Tn, B., Th.), only F. and Th. have received sufficient attention. It is now abundantly clear that the best authorities are C. and F., as being of different classes, and that the right plan is to consult these first, and then to see how the other MSS. support them. A long list of important emendations, and an exposure of the extreme inaccuracy of most of the previous editions, will be found in the Introduction to my edition of 1889, and need not be repeated here. § 15. CoNCLUSION. In conclusion, I may mention the Poem in MS. Ashmole 59, entitled ‘The Cronycle made by Chaucier. * Here nowe folowe the names of the nyene worshipfullest Ladyes ... by Chaucier.” It is a poor production, perhaps written by Shirley, and merely gives a short epitome of the contents of the Legend of Good Women. The words “by Chaucier' refer to Chaucer's authorship of the Legend only, and not to the authorship of the epitome, which, though of some interest, is practically worthless. The author makes the odd mistake of confusing the story of Alcestis with that of Ceyx and Alcyone in the Book of the Duchesse (62–230). This ‘Cronycle' was printed by Dr. Furnivall in his Odd-texts of Chaucer's Minor Poems, Part i. I have now only to record my indebtedness to others, especially to Dr. Furnivall for his invaluable prints in the Parallel-Texts; to the excellent essay by M. Bech, in vol. v. of Anglia"; to Mr. Jephson for his notes in “Bell's' edition; and to the notes in the edition by Professor Corson. Also to Professor Ten Brink, the second part of whose second volume of the Geschichte der englischen Litteratur has just appeared (1893).

* This excellent essay investigates Chaucer's sources, and is the best commentary upon the present poem. I had written most of my Notes independently, and had discovered most of his results for myself. This does not diminish my sense of the thoroughness of the essay, and I desire to express fully my acknowledgments to this careful student. I may remark here that Chaucer's obligations to Froissart were long ago pointed out by Tyrwhitt, and that the name Agatho was explained in Cary's Dante. There is very little else that Bech has missed. Perhaps I may put in some claim to the discovery of a sentence taken from Boethius; and to some other points of minor importance.

Note.—If the reader finds the two forms of the Prologue troublesome, he has only to confine his attention to the “B-text,’ in the lower part of pp. 65-105. The text agrees with that usually given, and contains 579 lines. The first line of ‘Cleopatra’ is l. 580, the numbering being continuous. Besides this, the lines of each Legend are given separately, within marks of parenthesis. Thus l. 589 is the Ioth line of ‘Cleopatra’; and so in other cases.

I here subjoin an Additional Note to lines 1896–8. At p. xxxix. above (footnote no. 2), I give Bech's reference to Godfrey of Viterbo. The passage runs thus:—

“De Joue primo rege Atheniensi.

A Ioue nostrorum uenit generatio regum,
A Ione principium recipit descriptio regum,
A Ioue philosophi dogmata prima legunt.
Rex erat ex rege quondam patre natus Athenis,
Indeque quadriuii triuiique scientia uenit;
Legis et artis ibi rex ydioma dedit.'




§ 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE MSS. The existing MSS. of the ‘Astrolabe’ are still numerous. I have been successful in finding no less than twenty-two, which I here describe. It is remarkable that, although many printed editions of the treatise have appeared, no first-class MS. has ever hitherto come under the notice of any one of the various editors. This point will appear more clearly hereafter.

§ 2. A.—MS. Dd. 3. 53 (part 2) in the Cambridge University Library. The ‘Treatise on the Astrolabie” begins at fol. 212 of the MS. considered as a whole, but the folios are now properly renumbered throughout the treatise. The MS. is of vellum, and the writing clear and good, with a great number of neatly drawn diagrams, which appear wherever the words ‘lo here thi figure' occur in the text. This MS. I have made the basis of the text, and it is followed with sufficient exactness, except when notice to the contrary is given in the Critical Notes.

This MS. is of considerable importance. The handwriting exactly resembles that in MS. B., and a comparison of these MSS. leads to the following results. It appears that MSS. A. and B. were written out by the same scribe, nearly at the same time. The peculiarities of spelling, particularly those which are faulty, are the same in both in a great many instances. It is also clear that the said scribe had but a very dim notion of what he was writing, and committed just such blunders as are described in Chaucer's Lines to Adam Scriveyn, and are there attributed to “negligence and rape'.' It is still more interesting to observe that Chaucer tells us that he had to amend his MSS. by “rubbing and scraping’ with his own hand; for MS. A. and B. differ precisely in this point, viz. that while the latter is left uncorrected, the former has been diligently ‘rubbed and scraped' by the hand of a corrector who well knew what he was doing, and the right letters have been inserted in the right places over the erasures. These inserted letters are in the hand of a second scribe who was a better writer than the first, and who was entrusted with the task of drawing the diagrams. The two hands are contemporaneous, as appears from the additions to the diagrams made by the writer of the text. Unfortunately, there are still a good many errors left. This is because the blunders were so numerous as to beguile the corrector into passing over some of them. When, for example, the scribe, having to write ‘lo here thy figure’ at the end of nearly every section, took the trouble to write the last word “vigure’ or ‘vigour’ in nearly every instance, we are not surprised to find that, in a few places, the word has escaped correction. It further appears that some of the later sections, particularly sections 39 and 4o, have not been properly revised; the corrector may very well have become a little tired of his task by the time he arrived at them. It must also be remembered, that such blunders as are made by a scribe who is not clear as to the meaning of his subject-matter are by no means the blunders which are most puzzling or most misleading; they are obvious at once as evident blotches, and the general impression left upon the mind by the perusal of this MS. is—that a careless scribe copied it from some almost perfect original, and that his errors were partially corrected by an intelligent corrector (possibly the author), who grew tired of his task just towards the end. The order of the Conclusions in Part ii. differs from that in all the editions hitherto printed, and the MS. terminates abruptly in the middle of a sentence, at the words “howre after howre' in Conclusion 4o (p. 223). A portion of the page of the MS. below these words is left blank, though the colophon “Explicit tractatus,’ &c. was added at the bottom of the page at a later period.

* I.e. haste, rapidity. Cf. “Rydynge ful rapely;” Piers the Plowman, B. xvii. 49.

Certain allusions in the former part of the MS. render it probable that it was written in London, about the year 14oo. § 3. B.-MS. E. Museo 54, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This is an uncorrected duplicate of the preceding, as has been explained, and ends in the same way, at the words “howre after howre, followed by a blank space. The chief addition is the rubricated title—‘Bred and mylk For childeren,” boldly written at the beginning; in the margin are the following notes in a late hand—‘Sir Jiffray Chaucer’—‘Dominus Gaufredus Chaucerus’— ‘Galfredi Chauceri Tractatus de Ratione et vsu Astrolabij ad Ludouicum filium.’ § 4. C.—MS. Rawlinson, Misc. 1262, otherwise 1370 (leaves 22–42), in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This is a beautifully written MS., on vellum, with 38 pages of text, and 4 blank pages. It has the Conclusions in the same order as the preceding, six well-executed diagrams, and corrections on nearly every page. It is of early date, perhaps about A. D. 1420, and of considerable importance. It agrees closely with the text, and, like it, ends with ‘howre after howre.” Some variations of spelling are to be found in the Critical Notes. In this MS. the Conclusions are numbered in the margin, and the numbers agree with those adopted in this edition. § 5. D.—MS. Ashmole 391, in the Bodleian Library. I have made but little use of this MS., on account of its being very imperfect. § 6. E.-MS. Bodley 619. This MS., like B., has the title— ‘Brede and Milke for children.” Like other good MSS., it ends sect. 4o with ‘houre after houre.' But after this, there occurs an additional section, probably not genuine, but printed here (for the sake of completeness) as section 46; see p. 229. Cf. § 17. At fol. 21 is an additional section, not found elsewhere, which is printed in the Notes; see p. 360. This Conclusion has some claims to our notice, because, whether genuine or not, it is translated from Messahala. § 7. F.—MS. 424, in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Very imperfect, especially at the beginning, where a large portion has been lost. The Conclusions follow the right order, as in the best MSS. § 8. G.-MS. R. 15, 18, in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. This is a curious and interesting volume, as it

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