Imatges de pàgina
PDF

contains several tracts in English on astrology and astronomy, with tables of stars, &c. The copy of the “Astrolabe’ in this MS. is not a good one. It ends in Part ii. sect. 34, l. 14. The Conclusions are in the right order, and there are a few diagrams. § 9. H.-MS. Sloane 314, British Museum. A late MS. on paper, absurdly said in a note to be in Chaucer's handwriting, whereas it is clearly to be referred to the end of the fifteenth century. § 10. I.-MS. Sloane 261. This is an ‘edited' MS., having been apparently prepared with a view to publication. Mr. Brae has made considerable use of it, and gives, in his preface, a careful and interesting account of it. He concludes that this MS. was written by Walter Stevins in 1555, and dedicated by him to Edward Earl of Devonshire; and that MS. H. was one of those which Stevins especially consulted, because it contains marginal notes in Stevins' handwriting. The contents of this MS. can be so well ascertained from Mr. Brae's edition that it is unnecessary to say more about it here. The Conclusions are arranged in the same order as in other MSS. that are not of the first class. § 11. K.—MS. Rawlinson Misc. 3, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. On vellum, 49 folios, with rich gold capitals, beautifully ornamented; in a large clear handwriting, with red rubrics. Title—“Astralabium.' Begins—‘Lityl lowys my sone,’ &c.— and ends—“For pe mone meuyth the contrarie from other planetys. as yn here epicircle. but in none other maner'; see end of Part ii. sect. 35 ; p. 217. Order of Conclusions in Part ii. as follows; 1–12, 19–21, 13–18, 22–35; as in other late MSS. There are no diagrams, and the MS., though well written, may perhaps be referred to the latter half of the fifteenth century. § 12. L.-MS. Additional 23002, British Museum. A fair MS., on vellum, without diagrams; imperfect. See description of MS. R. in § 17. And see the Note on Part ii. sect. 3 (p. 360). § 13. M.–MS. E. 2 in the Library of St. John's College, Cambridge. Small MS. on vellum, without diagrams. The leaves have been misplaced, and bound up in a wrong order, but nothing is lost. I have printed from this MS. the last five words of sect. 4o ; also 41–43, and 41 a-42 b ; besides collating it for the improvement of the text in sect. 44; sect. 45 is missing. I have also been indebted to it for the Latin rubrics to the Conclusions, which I have not found elsewhere. Several various readings from this MS. appear in the Critical Notes (pp. 233–241). § 14. N.—MS. Digby 72, in the Bodleian Library. From this MS. I have printed the text of sections 44 and 45 (pp. 226–9), but have made little further use of it. § 15. O.-MS. Ashmole 360, in the Bodleian Library. Late MS., on paper; former owner's name, Johan Pekeryng; without diagrams. There are evidently some omissions in it. But it includes sections 44 and 45, and I have given various readings from it in those sections (p. 240). It ends at the end of sect. 43a, with the words—“one to twelfe. & sic finis'; see p. 232. § 16. P.-MS. Dd. 12.51 in the Cambridge University Library. Small MS. on vellum; written in the fifteenth century. The text is by no means a bad one, though the spelling is peculiar. Some of the pages are very much rubbed and defaced. I have taken from it some various readings, recorded in the Critical Notes. One point deserves particular attention. It not only contains the Conclusions of Part ii. in the right order, but continues it without a break to the end of Conclusion 43 (p. 225); at the end of which is the colophon—Explicit tractatus astrolabii. § 17.Q.—MS. Ashmole 393, in the Bodleian Library; on paper. Of little importance. R.—MS. Egerton 2622, in the British Museum. A neat MS., but without diagrams. Contains: Part I. (except 15–23); Part II. §§ 1-12, 19–21, 13-18, 22–35, 41-43, 44, 45; 41 a, 41 b, 42 a, 43a, 42b, 36, 37. Thus it has all the additional sections except 46; but 38–40 are missing. MS. L. contains the same sections in the same order; see Ś 12. S.–MS. Addit. 2925o. A poor MS., but remarkable for containing the scarce section no. 46; of which there is but one other copy, viz. that in MS. E. (§ 6); cf. pp. 240, 241. T.—MS. Phillipps I 1955; at Cheltenham. On vellum; 31 leaves; said to be of the fourteenth century, which is improbable. U.—MS. Bodley 68. Imperfect; ends at Part ii. § 36. W.—MS. E. Museo 116, in the Bodleian Library. A mere fragment. X.—A MS. at Brussels, no. 1591. See F. J. Mone, Quellen und Forschungen, (Aachen, 1830); pp. 549–551. § 18. Of the above MSS., Mr. Brae describes H., I., and L. only, and does not seem to have made use of any others. Mr. Todd, in his Animadversions on Gower and Chaucer, p. 125, enumerates only four MSS., which are plainly A., P., F., and G. The rest seem to have escaped attention. In addition to the MS. authorities, we have one more source of text, viz. the Editio Princeps, which may be thus described. Th—The edition of Chaucer's Works by Wm. Thynne, printed at London by Thomas Godfray in 1532. This is the first edition in which the Treatise on the Astrolabe appeared; it begins at fol. ccxcviii, back. The Conclusions in Part ii. are in the order following, viz. 1-12, 19–21, 13–18, 22–40; after which come 41–43, and 41 a-42 b. This order does not agree precisely with that in any MS. now extant, with the exception of I., which imitates it. It has some corrupt additions and exhibits many grave errors. All later editions, down to Urry's in 1721, contribute no new information. The few slight alterations which appear in them are such as could have been made without reference to MSS. at all. § 19. REMARKs on THE CLASSES of THE MSS. On comparing the MSS., it at once appears that they do not agree as to the order of the Conclusions in Part ii. The MSS. A., B., C. (which are unquestionably the oldest), as well as E., F., G., and P., adopt the order which appears in this edition, but which has never appeared in any previous edition. In all other editions we find the three sections 19–21 made to precede sections 13–18. Now we might here appeal to authority only, and say that the order in the oldest MSS. ought to be preferred. But it so happens that we can appeal to internal evidence as well, and there are two considerations which shew that the oldest MSS. are certainly correct. These are as follows. In the first place, sect. 18 amounts to finding the degree of the zodiac which souths with any star, and begins with the words “Set the centre of the sterre upon the lyne meridional '; whilst sect. 19 amounts to finding the degree of the zodiac that rises with any star, and begins with the words “Set the sentre of the sterre upon the est orisonte.” Clearly, these Conclusions are closely linked together, and one ought to follow the other. But, in all the editions, this continuity is broken. In the second place, the rubric of sect. 21 is—“To knowe for what latitude in any regioun,’ &c.; whilst that of sect. 22 is—“To knowe in special the latitude of oure countray,' &c. Clearly, these Conclusions are closely linked, and in their right order. But, in all the editions, this continuity is again broken; and we have this absurd result, viz. that a proposition headed—“To knowe the degrees of the longitudes of fixe sterres’ is followed by one headed—“To knowe in special the latitude of oure countray.’ Hence we are enabled to draw a line, and to divide the MSS. into two classes; those in which the order of sections is correct, and those in which it has suffered misplacement, the number in each class being much the same. This gives us the following result. First Class. A., B., C., (probably D.,) E., F., G., P. Second Class. H., I, K., L., M., N., O., R.; to which add Th. But this division immediately leads to another very curious result, and that is, a certain lack of authority for sections after the fortieth, which ends on p. 223. A. ends with an incomplete sentence, in sect. 40, with the words—‘howre after howre.” B., C. end exactly at the same place. E. ends sect. 4o with the same words; and, after this, has only one additional section (46), which is, in my opinion, spurious ; especially as it does not appear in Messahala, of which more anon. D., F., and G. all fail at an earlier point. In none of the first-class MSS. (excepting P., which terminates with section 43) is there a word about umbra recta or umbra versa. Even in the second class of MSS., we find H. breaking off at sect. 36, and K. at sect. 35; so that the sections on the umbrae rest only on MSS. I. (obviously an edition, not a transcript), L., M., N., O., P., and R. Putting aside the first of these, as being ‘edited,’ we have but six left; and in the first four and the last of these we find that the additional Conclusions appear in a certain order, viz. they insert 44 and 45 (on the ‘mene mote') between three sections 41–43 on the “umbrae' and five other sections 41 a-42 b on the same. $ 20. THE LAST FIVE SECTIONS SPURIOUS. This at once suggests two results. The first is, that, as this gives two sets of sections on the “umbrae, we can hardly expect both to be genuine; and accordingly, we at once find that the last five of these are mere clumsy repetitions of the first three, for which reason, I unhesitatingly reject the said last five as spurious. This view is strikingly confirmed by MS. P.; for this, the only first-class MS. that is carried on beyond section 4o, contains the first three sections on the “umbrae’ only. The second result is, that if the first three sections on the “umbrae are to be received, there is good reason why we should consider the possible genuineness of sections 44 and 45 on the “mene mote,' which rest very nearly on the same authority. Now the sections on the “mene mote' have in their favour one strong piece of internal evidence; for the date 1397 is mentioned in them more than once as being the “root’ or epoch from which to reckon. In most cases, the mention of a date 1397 would lead us to attribute the writing in which it occurs to that year or to a later year, but a date fixed on for a ‘root' may very well be a prospective one, so that these sections may have been written before 1397; an idea which is supported by the line ‘behold whether thy date be more or lasse than the yere 1397'; sect. 44, l. 5. But I suspect the date to be an error for 1387, since that [see Somer in Tyrwhitt's Glossary] was really the ‘rote” used by Nicholas Lenne. In either case, I think we may connect these sections with the previous sections written in 1391'. Besides which, Chaucer so expressly intimates his acquaintance with the subjects of these sections in the Canterbury Tales”, that we may the more readily admit them to be really his. There is still less difficulty about admitting the first three sections (41–43) on the “umbrae,' because we find similar matter in the treatise of Messahala, from which, as will appear, he derived so much. And hence we may readily conclude that, in the second part, the first forty sections, found in the oldest MSS., are certainly genuine, whilst sections 41–43, as well as 44 and 45, have every claim to be considered genuine also. This need not, however, force us to accept the remaining sections, since they may easily have been added by another hand; a circumstance which is rendered the

* See Part ii. sect. 1, l. 4; sect. 3, 1. 11. ‘Obviously, nobody putting a hypothetical case in that way to a child would go out of his way to name with a past verb [see the second case] a date still in the future."—Morley's Eng. Writers, v. 270. Similarly, the expression ‘I wolde knowe,” in the former case, precludes a date in the past; and hence we are driven to conclude that the date refers to time present. Curiously enough, there is an exactly parallel case. Blundevill's Description of Blagrave's Astralabe, printed at London by William Stansby, is undated. Turning to his Proposition VI, p. 615, we find— “As for example, I would know the Meridian Altitude of the Sun ye first of July, 1592.' The same date, 1592, is again mentioned at pp. 619, 620, 621, 636, and 639, which renders it probable that the book was printed in that year.

* “Neither his collect, ne his expans yeres,
Ne his rotes, ne his othere geres'; F 1275–6.

« AnteriorContinua »