Anglo-Norman Political Songs
Edited by I. S. T. Aspin
Oxford, Anglo-Norman Text Society 1953
AND Bibliography: Pol Songs
Original work © 1953 The Anglo Norman Text Society, which has granted permission for it to be digitised, browsed and searched on this site. Any other use, including making copies of this electronic version, requires the prior written permission of the copyright holders, who may be contacted via Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HX, UK
The title Anglo-Norman political songs, chosen for the poems brought together in the present collection, is meant to indicate both the character of the contents and the underlying unity of its parts.
As will be seen from the accompanying tabulation, the sixteen poems are found in nineteen different manuscripts; thirteen are preserved in unique copies only. The originals were all written at different dates. With the exception of No. IX reputed to be by King Edward II, none of the authors is known; and so far as it is possible to ascertain, no two poems are to be attributed to the same writer. It is quite accidental that Nos. III, VII, X and XII are all contained in MS. Harley 2253: in date, the earliest original is separated from the latest by about seventy years, and they are so unlike in style, that the two which could be contemporary, VII and XII, cannot conceivably be the work of one man. MS. Cotton, Caligula A. XVIII, which contains Nos. V and XVI, is made up of two originally separate MSS., each of which contributes one item. None of the MSS. appears to be the original.
The poems are as varied in length and form as they are in date. The shortest has 24, the longest 248 lines. Four are in rhyming couplets; seven are in isometric stanzas; four are in heterometric stanzas, and one is in stanzas of varying length. Two have refrains.
In this diversity, unity is to be sought in the political flavour of the subjects treated. Political is to be understood as including social in addition to political history. The scene of all the poems, specifically or by implication, is England; the period covered the middle of the thirteenth to the middle of the fourteenth century. The language used is either wholly or largely the French of England: Anglo-Norman. Nos. II-X were occasioned by important historical events, to which they can be exactly related. No. I seems to be connected with an event of a more private character. Nos. XI-XVI belong to the domain of social history; they satirize the clergy – especially the higher clergy – and the rich, or expatiate upon the evil of the times.
BASIS OF THE PRESENT EDITION
All, except No. XIII, have been published before, ten in Thomas Wright's Political songs of England, two in the publications of Francisque Michel, all before 1840, the others more recently by Paul Meyer, Paul Studer and Carleton Brown.
From the point of view of modern scholarship Wright's and Michel's editions leave much to be desired. It therefore seemed worth while to prepare a new collection, the starting point of which was Wright's book, but excluding all the poems wholly or mainly in Latin or English. Five poems have been included in which Latin or English is combined with French, in roughly equal proportions: in Nos. I and XIV the combination takes the form of parallel versions; in VI, two French lines alternate with two English lines; in X, the first half of the line is French, the second Latin; in XV, Latin, French and English are jumbled haphazard, except in the rhyme words, where Latin rhymes only with Latin, English with English.
The whole field of Anglo-Norman literature was surveyed to see how much material, not in Wright's collection, could be classified as political songs. All pieces in verse, concerned with historical subjects, which were not chronicles were considered, including one border-line case. Out of a total of nine such pieces, three were rejected for reasons to be stated presently. The remaining six combined with the ten published by Wright to make a collection of convenient size, in which it was possible to include all known political songs, wholly or mainly in Anglo-Norman. The border-line case seemed to fall within the definition of political songs, although it is a narrative in chronicle style. This is No. V, the treason of Thomas Turberville. It is included because it is a short self-contained work, and the concluding passage is in the spirit of nationalistic propaganda more akin to political songs than to chronicles.
PLAN OF THE EDITION
The poems are numbered in a single sequence, within which they fall into two groups; Nos. I-X are concerned with political history, XI-XVI with social history. The arrangement within each group is chronological. The titles given to the poems are those used by previous editors. Each poem is treated separately, with introduction, text, modern English translation and critical notes. In the introduction the manuscripts, editions, date, author and source of each poem are described and discussed. Details of the establishment of the individual text are included at the end of each introduction, in so far as they are peculiar to the manuscript concerned. A selective glossary and an index of proper names conclude the edition.
In all texts i and j, u and v are normalized. This also applies to passages in Middle English. Editors of English texts do not as a rule modernize these letters. But it was thought confusing to adopt two different editorial traditions. Capitals and punctuation are supplied in accordance with modern practice. In Nos. V and XII, where a long text is not broken up by stanza form, new paragraphs are indicated by indentation, for convenience of reference.
In the texts, letters in square brackets have been supplied; those in round brackets are to be suppressed. No emendations are made on metrical grounds. Since the three texts found in more than one MS. are all short, it was practicable to give all versions in full and thus dispense with lists of variants.
The acute accent is placed on final tonic e, to distinguish it from feminine e. The cedilla has been placed under c before a, o or u wherever it has the assibilated pronunciation. In view of the uncertainty of Anglo-Norman pronunciation, a sparing use has been made of diæresis, for example to distinguish païs country from pais peace. In the translations square brackets are used to enclose words not represented in the original.
LIST OF AUTHORITIES QUOTED WITH SHORT TITLES
Annals of Dunstable = Annales monastici. vol. III. Annales prioratus de Dunstaplia . . . ed. H. R. Luard. London, 1866. (Rolls series 36 c).
Baxter & Johnson = J. H. Baxter and Charles Johnson, Medieval Latin word-list from British and Irish sources. London, 1934.
Bémont = Charles Bémont, Simon de Montfort. Paris, 1884.
Boeve = Der anglonormannische Boeve de Haumtone . . . herausgegeben von A. Stimming. Halle, 1899. (Bibliotheca Normannica VII).
Chronicle of Melrose = Chronica de Mailros . . . ed. J. Stevenson. Edinburgh, 1835. (Bannatyne Club).
Cotton = Bartholomaei de Cotton . . . Historia anglicana; (A.D. 449-1298) . . . ed. H. R. Luard. London, 1859. (Rolls series 16).
D.N.B. = Dictionary of national biography ed. L. Stephen and S. Lee, 21 vols. and supplements. London, 1908-49.
Ducange = Glossarium mediæ et infimæ Latinitatis conditum a Carolo du Fresne Domino du Cange . . . editio nova . . . a Leopold Favre. 10 vols. Niort, 1883-87.
Flores historiarum = Flores historiarum ed. H. R. Luard. 3 vols. London, 1890. (Rolls series 95).
Foss = Edward Foss, The judges of England . . . 1066-1864. 9 vols. London, 1848-64. Gervase of Canterbury = The historical works of Gervase of Canterbury. ed. W. Stubbs. 2 vols. London, 1879-80. (Rolls series 73).
Godefroy = Frédéric Godefroy, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française . . . 10 vols. Paris, 1881-1902.
Hemingburgh = Chronicon Domini Walteri de Hemingburgh . . . ed. H. C. Hamilton. 2 vols. London, 1848-9. (English Historical Society).
Hist. litt. = Histoire littéraire de la France ouvrage . . . commencé par des religieux bénédictins . . . et continué par les membres de l'Institut 38 vols. Paris, 1733-1949. [in progress].
Knighton = Chronicon Henrici Knighton . . . ed. J. R. Lumby. 2 vols. London, 1889-95. (Rolls series 92).
Langtoft = The chronicle of Pierre de Langtoft . . . ed. T. Wright. 2 vols. London, 1866-8. (Rolls series 47).
Lewis & Short = C. T. Lewis and C. Short, A Latin dictionary . . . Oxford, 1879.
Opus chronicorum = Chronica monasterii S. Albani. Johannis de Trokelowe . . . ed. H. T. Riley. London, 1866. (Rolls series 28 (3) ).
Robert of Gloucester = The metrical chronicle of Robert of Gloucester ed. W. A. Wright. 2 vols. London, 1887. (Rolls series 86).
Rymer = Thomas Rymer, Foedera . . . 20 vols. London, 1704-34.
Summary catalogue = F. Madan and others, A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford . . . 6 vols. Oxford, 1897- ) [in progress].
Tanquerey, Evolution = F. J. Tanquerey, L'évolution du verbe en anglo-français (XIIe-XIVe siècles). Paris, 1915.
Trivet = F. Nicholai Triveti . . . Annales sex regum Angliae . . . ed. T. Hog. London, 1845. (English Historical Society).
Vising = Johan Vising, Anglo-Norman language and literature. London, 1923.
Walsingham = Chronica monasterii S. Albani. Thomas Walsingham . . . Historia anglicana ed. H. T. Riley. 2 vols. London, 1863-4. (Rolls series 28 (1) ).
Wright = Thomas Wright, The political songs of England . . . London, 1839. (Camden Society 6).
Wykes = Annales monastici. vol. IV. Chronicon vulgo dictum chronicon Thomas Wykes . . . ed. H. R. Luard. London, 1869. (Rolls series 36 d).
ANGLO-NORMAN POLITICAL SONGS
THE PRISONER'S PRAYER
The Guildhall MS., Liber de antiquis legibus, is known for its interesting chronicle of the mayors and sheriffs of London, 1189-1274, fols. 63v-143r. 1  Printed by Thomas Stapleton, De antiquis legibus liber. Cronica maiorum et vicecomitum Londoniarum . . . (London, 1846) (Camden Society 34) An English translation, which includes the later insertions and an introduction, is by H. T. Riley, Chronicles of the mayors and sheriffs of London . . . (London, 1863).2. It also contains miscellaneous historical matter, extracts from William of Malmesbury, biographical notes on a certain Arnald Thedmar, all in Latin, and two short pieces with music: a song known as the Prisoner's Prayer in French and English (fols. 160v-161v) and a hymn for the translation of Thomas of Canterbury in Latin (fol. 162v). The latest date to which the original material of the book refers is 1274; later additions belong to the reign of Edward II, and the most recent, on fol. 158v, is circa 1328. The binding is medieval.
The book now contains 167 leaves. The first two are unnumbered, thereafter leaves are foliated from 1 to 76 and from 78 to 159 by a medieval hand, and from 160 to 166 by a modern hand. Previous editors have referred to leaves by this foliation, and to avoid confusion this practice has been continued.
It is hard to say whether the Prisoner's Prayer was part of the original contents. It is in a carefully written book hand, the only example of this hand in the volume. The arrangement of quires does not throw much light on the question. From fol. 152 they consist of the debris of four quires of four leaves, the first and third of which (fols. 152-4 and 160-62) now lack their fourth leaf, with two single leaves (fols. 159 and 163) inserted on either side of the
Page 2quire (fols. 160-62) containing the two pieces with music. Folios 152-62 at least always formed part of the original MS., because one of the hands, seen on many earlier leaves, appears on some page or pages of all the three quires in question and on the single leaf (fol. 159).
The pages containing the Prisoner's Prayer are ruled for seven four-line musical staves, with a space for two lines of text below each stave. The music is in black square notation. Immediately below the music is the French text, and underneath it the English text, which overruns in a number of places the space filled by music and French words. But the lay-out was evidently planned, so that the right amount of space should be left for the English. The last few words have been copied, without music, at the top of fol. 161v; but as the melody for the second half of each stanza is a repeat of that for the first half, it is likely that the missing music was the same as for the corresponding lines of the first half of the stanza.
The song is written as prose, but a paragraph mark and simple, large initial, in the ink of the text, indicate the beginning of new stanzas, which are of varying length.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are few. The conjunction and is written out once et 30; elsewhere the contraction is rendered by et. In the English text th is always written out, except in sod 7 where the sound is represented by d; ʒ is not used by the scribe.
Passages in the English version, which differ markedly from the French, are mentioned in the Notes.
1 Eyns ne soy ke pleynte fu;
Ore pleyn d'angusse tressu.
Trop ai mal et contreyre,
4 Sanz decerte en prisun sui.
Car m'aydez tres puis, Jhesu,
Duz Deus et deboneyre!
Jhesu Crist, veirs Deu, veirs hom,
8 Prenge vus de mei pité!
Jetez mei de la prisun
U je sui a tort geté.
Jo e mi autre compaignun–
12 Deus en set la verité–
Tut pur autri mesprisun
Sumes a hunte liveré.
16 Ky as mortels
Es de pardun veine,
20 Nus de ceste peine.
Icels, gentil Sire,L23 [L23] Icels icel'8
24 Si te plest,
Par ki forfet [f.161r]
Nus suffrum | tel martire.
Fous est ke se afie
28 En ceste morteu vie,
Ke tant nus contralie
Et u n'ad fors boydie.
Ore est hoem en lëesse,
32 Et ore est en tristesce;
Ore le garist, ore blesce
Fortune ke le guie.
Virgne et mere au Soverein,
36 Ke nus jeta de la mayn
Al maufé, ki par Evayn
Nus out trestuz en sun heim
A grant dolur [et] peine,L39 [L39] A space in the MS. between dolur and peine contains an erasure which was doubtless et.7
40 Requerez icel Seignur,
Ke il, par sa grant dulcur,
Nus get de ceste dolur [f.161v]
U nus sumus nuyt | et jor,
44 Et doint joye certeyne.
1 Ar ne kuthe ich sorghe non;
Nu ich mot manen min mon.L2 [L2] English text; Now I must make my moan.9
Karful wel sore ich syche,
4 Geltles ich tholye muchele schame.L4 [L4] tholye. The manuscript reading, sholye, is rejected on the ground that it is not a known form of any Middle English word. It appears to be an error for tholye suffer, although it is hard to understand how a scribe could read s for t, unless perhaps he was writing from dictation and was unfamiliar with the English word.9
Help, God, for thin swete name,
Kyng of hevene-riche!L6 [L6] of os or an incomplete f9
Jesu Crist, sod God, sod man,
8 Loverd, thu rew upon me.
Of prisun thar ich in am
Bring me ut and makye fre.
Ich and mine feren sume–
12 God wot, ich ne lyghe noct–
For othre habbet misnome,L13 [L13] English text: For others we have been mistaken.9
Ben in thys prisun ibroct.
16 That wel lictli
Of bale is hale and bote,
Of this woning
20 Ut us bringe mote.
The wykke men,
God, yhef it is thi wille,
24 For wos gelt [f.161r]
We bed | ipelt
In thos prisun hille.
Ne hope non to his live,
28 Her ne mai he bilive,
Heghe thegh he stighe
Ded him felled to grunde.L28 [L28] English text: Here he cannot remain, high though he rise, death lays him low.12
Nu had man wele and blisce,
32 Rathe he shal tharof misse;
Worldes wele mid ywisse
Ne lasted buten on stunde.L33 [L33] English text: Worldly happiness, assuredly, does not last outside an hour.12
Maiden that bare the heven King,
36 Bisech thin sone, that swete thing,
That he habbe of hus rewsing,
And bring hus of this woning,L36 [L36] The English text of these lines is the equivalent of French lines 40-42.12
For his muchele milse;
40 He bring hus ut of this wo,
And hus tache werchen swo
In thos live, go wu s' it go, [f.161v]
That | we moten ey and o
44 Habben the eche blisce.
SONG OF THE BARONS
The Song of the Barons, or Against Montfort's enemies as Vising called it, 1  Anglo-Norman language and literature (London, 1923), p. 65.13 is preserved in the British Museum MS. Additional 23986, a roll, 556 × 77 mm., dating from the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century 2  Catalogue of additions to the manuscripts in the British Museum. MDCCCLIV-MDCCCLX (1875), pp. 926-7.13. The poem consists of 13 stanzas, lacking both beginning and end. On the reverse of the roll, in a different and later hand, is a Middle-English poem, Interludium de clerico et puella, which lacks the end. As a few letters, in the original hand, are visible above the first remaining line of the Song of the barons, it may be that the Song was already mutilated at the beginning, when the Interludium was copied, since this latter is complete at the beginning. G. H. McKnight has said that the Interludium was copied in the first part of the fourteenth century, that the dialect is north Lincolnshire or south Yorkshire, and that it goes back to a Lincolnshire original. 3  Middle English humorous tales in verse (Boston and London, 1913), pp. xxxix, xli-xliii.13 This opinion is repeated by Bruce Dickins and R. M. Wilson 4  Early Middle English texts (Cambridge, 1951), p. 132.13.
The Song is written in a neat, formal hand, dating probably from the late thirteenth century. Each stanza begins with a simple red initial. A strip of vellum at the head of the roll is modern. Several small holes, in the margin and in the written area of the first two stanzas, have been repaired. A series of vertical slits, across the foot of the roll, suggest that another membrane was attached here. On the reverse, above the incipit of the Interludium, is what appears to be a medieval ownership mark, casually scribbled in faded red, and almost illegible: isste liber cōstat tomas $$ p. . . .; two or three other words are undecipherable. Above this is a large, red R-like
Page 13symbol 1  A special photograph has not succeeded in making the writing much more legible than it is to the unaided eye.16. Pen trials, in a hand similar to that of the ownership note, occur opposite lines 27, 48-9, 51, 57 and 76 of the Song; one of them reads: fuit homo a deo mis [?] mō erat Jhēs.
The MS. belonged to the Rev. Dr. Richard Yerburgh (1774-1851), vicar of New Sleaford from 1809 till his death. The family was an old-established Lincolnshire one, and can be traced as far back as 1160 2  E. R. Yerburgh, Some notes on our family history (London, 1912), p. 221.16. The MS. passed from the Yerburgh family to the Rev. Edward Trollope (1817-93) 3  D.N.B. under Trollope, Rev. Edward.16, later bishop of Nottingham, who became rector of Leasingham, Sleaford, in 1843. As he must have been personally known to Yerburgh, it seems likely that the latter gave or bequeathed the MS. to him, knowing him to be interested in antiquities. Trollope exhibited it at the Archaeological Institute in January 1860 4  Archaeol. Jnl. XVII (1860), 66-7.16, and sold it to the British Museum in October of the same year.
From the history and contents of the MS. it seems likely that it was in Lincolnshire by the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century, that is to say some thirty to fifty years after the events to which the Song of the Barons refers. But although its format suggests an original, one or two lines (e.g. 30, 40) appear to be corrupt, and an unintelligent correction occurs in line 9. Hence it is probably not the author's own copy.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are few. The conjunction et at the beginning of a line is written out et or e; within the line it is always abbreviated, and the abbreviation has been rendered by et.
1 Mes de Warenne ly [bo]ns quens,
Que tant ad richesse et biens,L2 [L2] biens read by ultra violet lamp17
Si ad apris d[e] guere,
4 En Norrfolk, en cel pais,
Vint conquerrant ses enemis;
Mes ore ne ad que fere.L3 [L3] If this is a reference to a specific incident, historical data supporting it have not so far come to light. The passage may be taken in a general sense as sketching the Earl's pugnacious disposition, and hence his sense of frustration when there was no occasion for fighting. See Burke's Genealogical history of the dormant . . . and extinct peerages . . . new edition (London, 1883), p. 569, under Warren for illustrations of his violent temper.17
Sire Jon Giffard deit bien nomer,L7 [L7] deit bien nomer. Perhaps a middle voice, equivalent to doit bien se nomer? Or a mistake for fait bien . . . or perhaps for the first person singular? In this context deveir is almost the equivalent of comporter to portend.17
8 Qe n'out gu[er]es conpain ne per
En cele chivachee;L9 [L9] chivachee chivacheaunt the a of -aunt perhaps written over an original (second) e17L9 [L9] chivacheaunt is a clear case of a copyist's error, induced by the rhyme in -ant of the following line.17
E si fu touz jors a devant,L10 [L10] pernant. Perhaps an error for enpernant. Metrically the line is a syllable short according to continental canons.17
Prus et sages et pernant,
12 E de grant renomee.L7 [L7] Giffard's reputation is corroborated by Robert of Gloucester, cp. Chronicle II, pp. 740-1 for the story of Giffard's entry into Gloucester disguised as a merchant, and his subsequent capture of the town for the barons.17
Et sire Jon d'Ayvile,L13 [L13] D'Ayville is scarcely mentioned in other historical sources until after the date of this poem.17
Que onques ni ama trayson ne gile,L14 [L14] ni possibly = ne, or more doubtfully n'i. This is one of the only two lines hypermetric by more than one syllable.17
Fu en lur conpanie.
16 Et sire Peres de MonfortL16 [L16] Peter de Montfort is noteworthy, in a company characterized by the frequency with which they changed sides, for having consistently supported the baronial party. A kinsman of Simon, he was killed with him at Evesham in 1265. See Wykes, p. 174, and Bémont, p. 242.17
Si tint bien a lur acord,
Si out grant seignurie.
Et de Cliffort ly bon RogerL19 [L19] Et Eet the second e is a guide for the rubricator18
20 Se contint cum noble ber,
Si fu de grant justice;
Ne suffri pas petit ne grant,
Ne arere ne par devant,L20 [L20] the first word of each line read by ultra violet lamp18
24 Fere nule mesprise.L19 [L19] The portrait of Roger Clifford is in keeping with his character as revealed in later life. According to Foss, vol. III, p. 76, His last office of trust . . . was justice of North Wales . . . and his severity in the execution of its duties is said to have induced David, the son of the Prince of Wales, to break out into open hostility.18
Et sire Roger de Leyburne,
Que sa et la souvent se torne,
Mout ala conquerrant.
28 Assez mist paine de gainer,
Pur ses pertes restorer,
Que sire Edward le fist avant.L25 [L25] The events referred to in this stanza are as follows. Leyburne was steward to the Lord Edward. About 1262 an account of his stewardship was required; he was declared £1,000 in arrears and writs were issued for the seizure of his goods. Leyburne, to recoup himself, took to marauding all over the south of England. See D.N.B. under Leyburne, Roger de. The description Que sa et la souvent se torne is particularly apposite to his movements in the summer of 1263. It might also be translated: who is always turning this way and that, like a weathercock. This would be consistent with his character, and the double meaning may have been deliberately intended.18
Mout furent bons les barons;
32 Mes touz ne sai nomer lur nons,
Tant est grant la some.
Pur ce revenk al quens Simon,
Pur dire interpretison,
36 Coment hom le nome.L36 [L36] hom read by ultra violet lamp18
Il est apelé de Monfort:
Il est el mond et si est fort,L37 [L37] For another popular etymology of Montfort's name see Opus chronicorum–probably written about 1307–p. 17: Mons erat immobilis, constans, et fortis: quapropter juste appellatur, Simon de Monte Forti.18
Si ad grant chevalerie;L39 [L39] It is not obvious whether the sense requires a comma or a longer pause at the end of the line. The latter seems more likely, since most stanzas have a clear break between the third and fourth lines.18
40 Ce [est] voir et je m'acort:L40 [L40] Ce [est] voir. If no emendation is made it would be necessary to take Ce as equivalent to Ce est or C'e. The line, if meant to be octosyllabic, is two syllables short as it stands.18
Il eime dreit et het le tort,
Si avera la mestrie.
El mond est vereement,
44 La ou la comun a ly concentL44 [L44] la ou. Perhaps equivalent to while, as long as.18
De la terre loee;L45 [L45] terre loee. Godefroy, V, pp. 13-14 gives examples of the use of the verb loer in a legal context: cest escheinge je lou et conferme (1248) and toutes les choses devant dite […] je vueil, loi, gree et otroi (1279). In a poem which takes pleasure in the misfortunes of foreigners, the author may have felt some distinction must be made between these and the foreign-born Simon de Montfort. Thus terre loee may imply consciousness of Montfort's foreign origin, in that his earldom was granted to him, not inherited. But it is the acknowledgment of the people which entitles him to take pride in his position. On this point see The Song of Lewes ed. C. L. Kingsford (Oxford, 1890), pp. 78-9, note to line 311, where references to chronicles are given showing that Simon was never recognized as fully an Englishman.18
C'est ly quens de Leycestre,
Que baut et joius se puet estreL47 [L47] se puet estre. Perhaps a middle voice, or else an error for ce puet estre.19
48 De cele renomee.
Ly eveske de Herefort
Sout bien que ly quens fu fort
Kant il prist l'affere;L51 [L51] il prist l'affere. The context requires a meaning such as to take part in, to meddle with. Alternatively prist may be a slip for emprist, cp. note on line 10.19
52 Devant ce esteit mult fer:
Les Engleis quida touz manger;
Mes ore ne set que fere.L54 [L54] According to the Continuation of Gervase of Canterbury II, p. 221, the bishop was taken and held prisoner by Clifford, Giffard and others shortly after June 11, 1263; hence the impediment to his freedom of action. A dramatic account of his capture is given in Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle II, pp. 738-9.19
Et ly pastors de Norwis,
56 Qui devoure ses berbis,
Assez sout de ce conte.L57 [L57] conte. Perhaps story but more likely earl. Elsewhere in the poem quens is used for earl, whether in nominative or oblique case, see lines 1, 34, 46, 50. The form conte here is in rhyme, and this might account for it.19
Mout en perdi de ses biens.
Mal eit que ly lessa riens,
60 Ke trop en saveit de honte!L55 [L55] The bishop of Norwich, Simon Wauton or Walton, was better known as a justice than as an ecclesiastic. He, the archbishop of Canterbury and John Mansell were charged with maintaining the papal bull, absolving Henry III from his oath to observe the Provisions of Oxford. This may be the shameful business with which he is taxed here. Wykes, p. 135, records the plundering of his and Mansell's goods, after the attack on the bishop of Hereford.19
Et sire Jon de Langelé,
Souwe chose fu gainé.
Deheez eit que l'en pleine!
64 Tot le soen en fist porter
De Cliffort mi sire Roger;
Ne vout que rien remeine.L61 [L61] John de Langelé is perhaps to be identified with Galfridus de Langeleia, Grand Forester previous to 1253, who made many enemies on account of his exactions (cp. Flores Historiarum II, pp. 367, 379, 386). In the Annals of Dunstable III, p. 222, is found a mention of G. de Langele, whose property was despoiled at the time of the capture of the bishop of Hereford.19
Ne a sire Mathi de Besile
68 Ne lesserent une bile,
En champ n'en vile.
Tot le soen fu besiléL70 [L70] The name Besile lends itself to a play on words too good to be missed. The earliest use of the derivative embezzle in English is 1469.19
E cointement fu detrussé
72 Par un treget sanz gile.
Mes mi sire Jon de Gray
Vint a Lundres, si ne say quoi
Que must une destanceL75 [L75] must. An analogical form, see Tanquerey, Evolution . . ., p. 114.24
76 Par entre Lundries et ly,
Que tot son hernois en perdi;L75 [L75] The Annals of Dunstable III, pp. 222-3, contains the following account of this incident, which is chronicled immediately after an event dated June 29, 1263: . . . cives Londoniarum . . . hospitium Johannis de Grey extra Ludgate invaserunt, et equos ejus xxxii et alia quaecunque ibidem inventa abduxerunt; ipso J[ohanne] cum difficultate maxima ultra alveum de Flete fugam arripiente. The Chronicle of the mayors and sheriffs of London, in the Guildhall MS., Liber de antiquis legibus, whose compiler was a royalist (see No. I, p. 3), tells of the situation in the capital between June 24 and July 20; Et tunc Cives fecerunt excubias, equitantes de nocti per Civitatem cum equis et armis, inter quos innumerabilis populus peditum se intrusit; quorum quidam maliciosi, sub colore querendi alienigenas, fregerunt plures domos aliorum et bona ibi inventa asportaverunt. See Thomas Stapleton, Cronica maiorum et vicecomitum Londoniarum [1178-1274] (London, 1846), p. 55 (Camden Society 34). This is just the kind of malicious attack suffered by Sir John de Grey.24
Ce fu sa meschance.
Et sire Willem le LatimerL79 [L79] Latimer is passed over in silence by most of the chroniclers, and no mention of his visit to London has been found. He was Escheator-general north of the Trent in 1257, and one of the signatories of the agreement to abide by the award of Louis IX in December 1263, see D.N.B. under Latimer, William. In 1267 the king pardoned him a debt on account of his laudable services, see E. F. Jacob, Studies in the period of baronial reform and rebellion, 1258-1267, in Oxford Studies in social and legal history VIII (Oxford, 1925), p. 261.24
80 Vint a Lundres pur juer […]
LAMENT FOR SIMON DE MONTFORT
MS. Harley 2253, in the British Museum, has long been known for its collection of Middle English lyrics. The MS. consists of two distinct parts: the first, folios 1-48, in a thirteenth-century book hand, contains religious pieces in French; the second, folios 49-140, in a fourteenth-century current hand, contains religious, secular and political lyrics, prose tracts, and miscellaneous pieces in English, Latin and French. Political Songs Nos. III, VII, X and XII are preserved in the second part of this MS.
The MS. now consists of 144 leaves, foliated 1*, 1-67, 67*-142; folios 1* and 141v-142v contain matter not part of the original MS. Thomas Wright argued that it might have been written by a clerk connected with Leominster, because of the legends of Saints Ethelbert, Edfrid and Wistan found in it, besides local allusions in two of the poems 1  Specimens of lyric poetry (London, 1842), pp. v-vii (Percy Society IV).25. The editors of the New Palæographical Society publications say that the first and last medieval flyleaves contain a list of the household expenses of a great lord in Ireland, on the back of which is part of the consuetudinary of a cathedral [Hereford?] where St. Ethelbert was specially honoured: The combination seems to point to someone connected with Thomas de Charlton, Bishop of Hereford . . . and afterwards Justice of Ireland in 1337-1340 2  New Palæographical Society (first series), II, part 10 (London, 1912), plate 241.25. G. L. Brook concludes: On the whole it is safe to say that the manuscript is from the West Midlands and may be from Leominster or Hereford, but the ascription to Leominster Priory, which has been accepted as a fact . . . rests on no certain evidence. 3  The Harley lyrics (Manchester, 1948), p. 3.25
The generally accepted date of the MS. is circa 1310-25. But if the arguments for dating the poem Against the king's taxes (No. X), the second last item of the second part of the MS., are correct, this is too early. That poem apparently refers to events of the years
Page 251336-38 1  See pp. 105-107.27. Although the collection of lyrics may well have been made over a period of years, it is unlikely to have been in progress from 1310 to 1340, if it is really the work of one scribe, as seems to be the case. It would not be surprising if the association with Thomas de Charlton's household proved to be a decisive clue to the origin and date of the MS.: a link with Hereford would be substantiated, and the year 1340 as terminus ad quem, which is not paleographically impossible, would fall into line with the dating of the poem, Against the king's taxes.
Formerly the book belonged to John Batteley, archdeacon of Canterbury from 1688 to 1708; his nephew, John Batteley, sold it to the Earl of Oxford in 1723.
The Lament for Simon de Montfort begins, without a title, on the fifth line of fol. 59r of the MS. and fills the remaining thirty-two lines of the page and the first eight lines of fol. 59v. It is written in a single column; but one line of MS. contains three lines of text. The refrain is only copied in full at the end of the first and seventh stanzas; elsewhere the first few words are written to the right of the column of text, following the bracket which links the first and last lines of each stanza. The Lament is preceded by a song, in English, against Richard of Almain after the battle of Lewes (1264); it is followed by two quatrains, one in French on worldly love, the other in English from Erthe upon erthe, and a song in English, on the execution of Simon Fraser (1306).
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are rare. The conjunction e is always written out, so is the relative pronoun and conjunction qe. qar is expanded quar 84; qii is expanded qui in conquist 39, quidom 84, on the model of conquist written out in line 30.
Mon cuer le voit,
En un dure langage;
4 Tut en ploraunt
Fust fet le chaunt
De nostre duz baronage,
Qe pur la pees
8 Si loynz aprésL7 [L7] The reference is probably to the final pacification, which may be dated from the Parliament of Marlborough, November 1267. See Introduction, pp. 25-61.29
Se lesserent detrere,
Lur cors trencher
12 Pur salver Engletere.
Ore est ocys
La flur de pris,
Qe taunt savoit de guere,
16 Ly quens Mountfort;
Sa dure mort
Molt enplorra la terre.
Si com je qui,
20 Par un mardi
Firent la bataile;
Tot a cheval
Fust le mal,
24 Sauntz nulle pedaile;
De le espie forbie,
28 Qe la part
Conquist la mestrie.L19 [L19] The details of the battle are only moderately accurate. Welsh infantry was present but fled; Roger Mortimer, who played quite as conspicuous a part as the Earl of Gloucester, is not mentioned, although he was associated with the mutilation of Montfort's body.29
Ore est ocis etc.
Mes par sa mort
Le cuens Mountfort
Conquist la victorie;
40 Come ly martyr
Finist sa vie.
Ne voleit pas
44 Li bon Thomas
Qe perist seinte eglise;
Ly cuens auxi
48 E morust sauntz feyntise.L40 [L40] Compare this passage with the following from the Chronicle of Melrose, p. 212: Unde habebant talem rationem pro se dum talia confabularentur, quod non minus occubuit Simon pro justa ratione legitimarum possessionum Anglie, quam Thomas pro legitima ratione ecclesiarum Anglie olim occubuerat.30
Ore est ocys etc.
Sire Hue le fer,
56 Ly Despencer,
Tres noble justice,
Ore est a tort
Lyvré a mort,
60 A trop male guise,
Pur veir le dy–
Fitz le cuens de Leycestre,
64 Autres assez,
Come vus orrez,
Par le cuens de Gloucestre.L55 [L55] Contemporary chroniclers give lists of the notable slain and wounded, the former amounting to about a dozen, of whom the two mentioned here were the chief. It does not seem that the poet intended to single out others by name: the allusion in line 65 would refer to the general carnage. In his animosity against the earl of Gloucester, he gives the impression that he, not the Lord Edward, was in command of the royalist forces.30
Ore est ocis etc.
Qe voleint moryrL73 [L73] voleint. Imperfect indicative 6, a spelling also found in Boeve, line 947 MS. D, or possibly a present indicative imperfectly rendered by the scribe, cp. velt ind. pr. 3, line 79. The syntax of the stanza is involved and the meaning obscure. It may be paraphrased either as: Those of us who were willing to die with Simon (but have in fact survived) . . . or: Those of us who are still ready to die for his ideals . . .31
La pees e la dreyture,
76 Le seint martir
Lur fra joyr
Sa conscience pure,
Qe velt moryr
80 E sustenir
Les houmes de la terre;
Son bon desir
84 Quar bien le quidom fere.
Ore est etc.
Pres de son cors,
92 Le bon tresors,
Une heyre troverent.L93 [L93] heyre. The Chronicle of Melrose, pp. 208, 210-11 relates at length how Simon wore a hair shirt, in which he resembled Thomas à Becket.31
Les faus ribaus,L94 [L94] ribaus. Godefroy VII, p. 183a calls attention to the wide denotation of this term, in which the sense of faus is implicit. Wright, Political songs . . ., pp. 369-70, has a long note on the associations of the word.31
Tant furent maus,
96 E ceux qe le tuerent.
Molt fust pyr
Qe demenbryrL98 [L98] demenbryr. A change from the first to the second conjugation, noticed by Tanquerey (Evolution . . ., p. 426), who thinks it a genuine acquisition to verbs in ir and not just a bad rhyme.31
Firent le prodhoume,
100 Qe de guerrer
E fei tener
Si bien savoit la soume,
Ore est etc.
Mes amis douz,
Le fitz seinte Marie,
112 Qe l'enfant,L112 [L112] l'enfant. Montfort's youngest son, Amaury, seems to be implied; in 1265 he was between fifteen and twenty years of age, and was destined for holy orders, having just been appointed canon and treasurer of York. On the other hand, it is difficult to reconcile the description of him as heir, with the fact that he had two older surviving brothers. The writer may have believed the older sons were still in the royalists' power–as they were early in 1266–and could only expect death. If the reference is to Amaury, the significance of the request for prayers for the clergy becomes obvious.32
Meigne en bone vie.
Ne vueil nomer
116 Li escoler,
Ne vueil qe l'em die.
Mes pur l'amour
120 Priez pur la clergie.
Ore est ocys etc.
Ne say trover rien
128 Qu'il firent bien,
Ne baroun ne counte;
132 Touz sunt mys a hounte.
Pur lur lealté
Que tut est anentie,
136 Le losengerL136 [L136] Le losenger . . . le fol. No particular individuals seem to be indicated. The phrase may be meant to emphasize the contrast between the honest bluntness and strict respect for the law, attributed to Montfort and his supporters, and the insincerity imputed to the royalist victors.32
Le fol pur sa folie.
Ore est ocis etc.
E sa compagnie
148 En joie vont
En ciel amount,
En pardurable vie.
Mes Jhesu Crist
152 Qe en croyz se mist,
Dieu, enprenge cure
Qe sunt remis
E detenuzL154 [L154] remis: detenuz. An incorrect rhyme. Tanquerey (Evolution . . . p. 487) states that it is more common to find past participles, which regularly take i, passing into the u class than vice versa. By this reasoning one would expect remus: detenuz rather than remis: deteniz. Since both are compounds of common verbs either form is surprising. A more likely explanation is that it is an imperfect rhyme of rounded ü with unrounded i.36
156 En prisone dure.
Ore est ocys etc.
SONG OF THE CHURCH
The Song of the Church takes its title from the rubric preceding it in MS. Cotton, Julius D. VII, which reads: Istud canticum factum fuit anno gracie Mo CCo LVo super desolacione ecclesie anglicane. In this MS. the poem of five stanzas fills fourteen long lines, in the middle of the second last leaf in the book. In MS. Douce 137 a version in six stanzas occupies fourteen long lines in the middle of the last leaf. 1  This leaf is foliated 112, though it is in fact the 115th; but all references to leaves follow the numbering of the foliation.37 In the following pages the Cotton MS. is referred to as N and Douce 137 as O. It will also be necessary to mention MS. Douce 132, on account of its connection with Douce 137.
N is written throughout in a small book hand. The contents are miscellaneous and are all in Latin, except for the poem; they include the chronicle of John of Wallingford, entries to 1231 relating to St. Albans, and drawings of John of Wallingford (fol. 42v), Christ enthroned (fol. 62v), and an elephant dated 1255 (fol. 114r). 2  J. Planta, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Cottonian library . . . (1802), pp. 15-16.37 M. R. James attributes the former two drawings to the school of Matthew Paris, and thinks the portrait of John of Wallingford may have been done from life; 3  The drawings of Matthew Paris, Walpole Society XIV (1925-6), pp. 2, 26, and pl. XXX.37 John became a monk of St. Albans in 1231, and died in 1258. 4  D.N.B. under Wallingford, John of.37 There are several ownership notes in the book: constat Johanni conyngesby ex dono magistri Kyngesbury, fol. 1r; the name J conyngesby appears again on fol. 61r; another signature at the top of fol. 1r is practically illegible; on fol. 1v are the names Ro Cotton, Joan Wallnigh. Kyngesbury may be Thomas, 26th provincial minister of the Friars Minor in England about 1380 to 1392 5  D.N.B. under Kyngesbury, Thomas, and Engl. Hist. Rev. VI (1891), 747-8, and A. G. Little, Franciscan papers, lists, and documents (Manchester, 1943), pp. 197-8.37; the hand of the note is consonant with a late fourteenth-century date.
The Song of the Church occupies lines 11-24 of fol. 133v; it is preceded by five stanzas of the poem Licet eger cum egrotis, No. LXXI of Carmina burana (ed. Schmeller), a satire on the conduct of the higher clergy, and followed by short Latin maxims.
O belonged to an ancient library in a house at Edwardstone, near Sudbury, according to a note in the hand of Francis Douce on the second (modern) flyleaf. MS. Douce 132 likewise came from this source. 1  See Summary catalogue Nos. 21706 and 21711. A more detailed description of the Douce MSS. is found in Catalogue of the printed books and manuscripts bequeathed by Francis Douce . . . (Oxford, 1840).38
The original contents of O occupy fols. 5r-94v and 98r-109v; they are legal, in Latin and French. Additions, fols. 94v-97v, 110r-112v and in blank spaces passim, are by several hands; they are legal and miscellaneous, including two Anglo-Norman poems 2  Vising, Nos. 159 and 234, pp. 57 and 62.38 besides the Song of the Church. Folio 112v is written in a distinctive current hand; it contains prophecies relating to 1350-65 headed Prophetie Joachim in quinquagesimo libro de Concordantiis (lines 1-8), 3  i.e. the Concordantia of Joachim of Floris.38 the Song of the Church without a title (lines 9-22), and a computation of the ages of man and animals (lines 23-29). In the lower margin another current hand has added a letter dated 1290. The former hand made entries elsewhere in the volume, including one dated 1262 relating to Berkshire (fol. 97v), and most of a table of contents (fol. 4v) corresponding to O, fols. 5-90 and the whole of Douce 132. Thus the scribe of the Song of the Church had both MSS. in his possession, and he must have been writing after 1262 and probably not later than 1290. His hand does not appear anywhere in Douce 132, however. The thirteenth-century note, in that MS., of books–including O–lent by the owner, does not seem to be by any of the hands seen in O.
Documents in O referring to Berkshire and Oxfordshire, some by original, some by later hands, may point to the place of origin of the MS. Abingdon, on the borders of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, was the mother house of the short-lived priory of Edwardstone, afterwards removed to Colne, a neighbouring cell of Abingdon; and though it may be no more than a coincidence that O was found at Edwardstone, it is tempting to look for a causal relationship between the two facts.
FILIATION OF MANUSCRIPTS
The first five stanzas of O are virtually identical with the five stanzas of N, apart from one significant passage (lines 41-2). The sixth stanza, peculiar to O, is in general terms, and could have belonged to the original version which, for some unknown reason, was truncated in N.
N cannot therefore be a copy of O; it is probably earlier in date, and the rhyme scheme in stanza 2 is corrupt whereas in O it is correct. Conversely the rhyme in O line 21 is bad, whereas in N it is correct. O can scarcely be a direct copy of N, unless one assumes that the scribe corrected his source and added a stanza of his own composition.
Two conclusions seem equally tenable: either N and O are independent, or if O is a copy of N, the scribe has edited his source freely. As in the case of No. VI, it appears preferable to treat the two MSS. as different editions of the poem, and to give both in full.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
N has few abbreviations; ∸̡ for est occurs in lines 25, 28; $$ is expanded pur.
In O the abbreviation $$ has been rendered ke throughout; ky written out occurs in line 54. The usual abbreviation for er represents e only in verrayment 20, but er in certaynement 47. The conjunction and is always e when written out, and et has been used to indicate the abbreviation in lines 22, 23.
To indicate correspondance of lines in stanza 2, where the order in the two versions is dissimilar, the parallel line numbers of the other version are printed in brackets, to the right of each text.
MS. Cotton Julius D. VII [N][f.133v11]
Istud canticum factum fuit anno gracie Mo CCo LVIo super desolacione ecclesie anglicane.
1 Or est acumplie,
A men acient,
La pleinte Jeremie
4 Ke oi avez suvent,
Ke dit cument set sule
Cité, pleine de fule,
8 Ore est sanz mariage,
E mis en tailage,
La dame de la gent.
Cest est seint' eglise (11)
12 Trestut apertement, (12)
Ke est ja hunie (13)
E tut mis a nent, (–)L14 [L14] mis a nent N. The phrase could equally well be read as mis a vent, which is paralleled in Beroul's Tristan, lines 1702-3, p. 51, of the edition by A. Ewert (Oxford, 1939);
Dit mex veut estre mis au vent
Que il de lui n'ait la venjance44
E si est maumise (13)
16 Nus veum ben cument. (14)
Ele gent e plure; (15)
Ne ad nul ke sucure (16)L18 [L18] Ne Na44
De sun marement. (17)
20 […] (18-20)
Ja fu cleregie
Franche e a desus,
Amee e cherie,
24 Nule ren pot plus.L24 [L24] pot inserted above the line44
Ore est enservie,
E trop envilie,
E abatu jus.
28 Par iceus est hunie
Dunt dut aver aïe;
Jo n'os dire plus.
Li rois ne l'apostoloie
32 Ne pensent altrement,
Mes coment au clers tolent
Lur or e lur argent.
Ço est tute la summe
36 Ke la pape de Rume
Al rei trop consent:
Pur aider sa curune
La dime de clers li dune;
40 De ço en fet sun talent.
Jo ne quid pas
Ke li rois face sagement,
Ke il vit de roberie
44 Ke il de la clergie prent.
Ja ne fra bone prise
Pur rober seinte eglise,
Jo la say verament.
48 Ke vot aver semblance
Regarde le rois de France
E sun achevement.
MS. Douce 137 [O]
1 Ore est acumplie,
Par myen escient,
La plente Jeremie
4 Ke oi avum suvent,
Ke dist cum set sule
Cyté, plene de fule,
8 Ore est sanz mariage,
E mis sur grief truage,
La dame de la gent.
Ceo est saynt' eglise (11)
12 Trestut apertement, (12)
Ke est hunye e maumise, (13, 15)
Chescun veyt byen cument. (16)
Ele se gient e plure; (17)
16 N'est nul ke la sucure (18)
De sun marrement. (19)
Mes chescun la defule (–)
E tire cum nel sule. (–)L19 [L19] tire cum nel sule O. The interpretation of this phrase offers much difficulty. The word sule, attested by the rhyme defule, is the crux. It is proposed to read sule as a late Anglo-Norman form of the third person present indicative of suloir, to which atonic e has been added. Tanquerey (Evolution . . ., pp. 136-40) cites numerous examples of this phenomenon in the fourteenth century for verbs of the second, third and fourth conjugations, especially those with stem ending in a dental. suloir is not among them: but voile from §21 of Bozon's Contes is listed (p. 138). Hence cum nel sule would be equivalent to as it is not wont or as she is not wont, and tirer must be understood as to manhandle or ill-use someone. Unfortunately the passage is not in N. It puzzled Paul Meyer who noted (sic) at the end of the line.45
20 Çoe est duel verrayment. (–)
Jadis fu saynt' egliseL21 [L21] eglise O. The rhyme is incorrect. Probably it is a scribal slip for clergie, attested in N, induced by eglise, the rhyme word in the first line of the preceding stanza.45
Franche et desus,
Amee et cherie,
24 Nule rien plus.
Mes ore est enservie,
E tant avilie,
E abatu jus.
28 Par eus est hunie
Dunt dust aver aye;
Jo n'os dire plus.
Le rei ne l'apostoille
32 Ne pensent autrement,
Fors ke il nus toillent
Nos biens e nostre argent.
Çoe est tute la summe
36 Ke la pape de Rume
Au rei se consent:
Pur ayder sa curune
La disme a clers li dune;
40 Si fet sun talent.
Le rei vet a Surie
Par bon entendement;
Vivera de rubberie
44 Ke la clergie li rent.
Ja ne fra bone emprise
Pur reyndre saynt' eglise,
Jo quid certaynement.
48 Ke veot aver ensample
Regarde le rei de France
E sun achiefement.
Grevus est li tallage
52 Mes y nus cuveynt suffrir.
Mes ceous nus funt damage
Ky le deyvent cuillir.
Mes que ke nus die,
56 Chescun en sun quer prie,
Si Deu le veut oyr,
Ke Dampnedeu les maudie
Tut ceous ke mettent aye
60 Pur nostre tolir. Amen.
MS. Cotton, Caligula A. XVIII consists of two originally separate tracts bound together; the first of these, folios 1-22, is described in the introduction to No. XVI. The second, folios 23-31, is written in a largish bookhand, which would seem to date from the first half of the fourteenth century. It contains a poem in French on the treason of Thomas Turberville, fols. 23r-23v, and the Siege of Carlaverock also in French verse, fols. 23v-30v; fol. 31 is blank except for the ownership note of William le Vere, who must have owned both tracts, since his name also appears on fol. 1v. Judging from a note in the same hand, signed Willyam le Vere, which is preserved in MS. Tanner 69, 1  See note 2 on p. 169.51 le Vere seems to have been a 17th century book-collector and to have had some connection with Norwich.
The poem on Turberville has no title in the MS. Two lines of text occupy one of manuscript. A space for a large initial at the beginning is blank, except for a small guide letter. The whole of the poem is over-ruled by diagonal crosslines, in ink paler than that of the text, as if to cancel it.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are rare; ' is expanded er in Engletere 19, floterent 73, premist 83; $$e is rendered pre in premis 5 on the model of premist written out in line 9.[f.23r]
1 Seignurs e dames escutez,
De un fort tretur orrez
Ke aveit purveu une treson;
4 Thomas Turbelvile ot a non.
A Charlys aveit premis,L5 [L5] Charlys. Apparently the king of France, who was actually Philippe le Bel, is meant. His younger brother, Charles of Valois, took a leading part in hostilities against England in 1294 and 1301; this may have led the poet to confuse their identities, or perhaps it is implied that Turberville in fact negotiated with Charles, as commander of the invading force.52
E juré par Seint Denys,
Ke il li freit tute Engletere
8 Par quentise e treson conquere.
E Charles li premist grant don,
Teres e bon garison.
Li treitre a Charlis dit
12 Ke il aparillast sanz respit
De bone nefs grande navie,
E de gent forte conpaignie,
E il le freit par tens garner
16 Ou il dussent ariver
En Engleter sodeinement.
Li traiture sanz targement
En Engletere tot se mit.
20 Au rei sire Edewars vint e dist
Ke si aprés li vodera fere
Tutes les choses deust conquer
Ke sire Charlis li aveit
24 A force e a tort tollet.L21 [L21] In reality Charles did not succeed in taking any of Edward's French possessions, unless the poet is thinking of the defeat of Edward's army in Gascony in 1296, and the refusal of the barons in 1297 to go on an expedition to repair that defeat. Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou had been lost in John's reign, and Henry III had renounced his claim to them by the Treaty of Paris, 1259.53
Issi ke li losengur
De ambe part fu tratur.
Sire Edeward n'entendi mie
28 Del treitre sa tricherie
Ke il aveit issi purveu.
A grant honur le ad receu,
E en sa curt fut grant mestre.
32 Quant ot espié tut son estre
E le conseil de Engleter,
Li treitre feseit un bref fere
A sire Charlis privement,
36 Ou ariver deuissent sa gent
En Engletere e li païs prendre.
A sire Edeward fu fet entendre,
Cum Deu le out destiné,
40 E le bref ly fut mustré,
E tout ensemble la treson.
Li rei fit prendir cel felon,L42 [L42] prendir. Tanquerey, Evolution. . ., p. 432, records this as an acquisition to second conjugation infinitives, which may have gone through the stage prendre > prender > prendir. But as the word is not in rhyme, the scribe may be responsible for the spelling.53
Thomas le treitur devant dit,
44 Ke fist fere cel escrit.
A Lundres, par mie la citee,
Treigner le fist, en une coree
De une tor envolupé;
48 Nul autrement ne fut armé,
Haume n'out ne habergun.
Cillante pierres a grant fusiun
Aveit il entur son flanc
52 Ke li raerent le sanc.L52 [L52] raerent. Usually an intransitive verb, meaning to stream, flow, etc., here used transitively with the sense of to cause to flow.53
Aprés fu li traiture pendu
E le alme ala a Belzebub rendu.
Ne aveit autre gareson.L55 [L55] gareson. It is not clear which of the alternative meanings of this word is intended. If it refers back to le alme, it would be translated provision. If it refers forward to felon, the meaning remedy, defence [against traitors] would be more appropriate.53
56 Issi deit l'en servir felon.
En furches pent li malurez,
Des chenes e de fer liez;
Nul home ne'l deit enterrer.
60 Tant cum son cors porra durerL60 [L60] This is virtually a quotation from the terms of the sentence pronounced on Turberville, see note 3 on p. 50.56
Iloec pendra cel trichur;
Teu garison ad pur son labour.
Ore purra Charles pur ver
64 Aprés li longement garder,
Einz k'il venge pur la treison
Demander de li garison.
Sire Edeward pur la grant navye
68 De France ne dona une aylle;L68 [L68] aylle. Cp. ayle VII 51. These forms may correspond to ail (cp. Villon, Testament 1488, 1648). The rhyme here however suggests emendation to ayll[i]e.56
De vaillante gent fist la mer
De tut part mut ben garder. [f.23v]
De Engleter sunt failliz
72 Ly Franceys e sunt honiz.
En la mer grant tens floterent;
Li pors plusurs de eus tuerent:
A Dovere firent sodoinement
76 Une assaut, e de lur gent
Plus de .V. sent y perdirent;L75 [L75] The French burned part of Dover about August 1, 1295, see Annals of Dunstable, p. 398.56
Unkes plus de prou ne firent.
Ore sunt tuz, jeo quide, neëz
80 Ou en lur teris retornez
E penduz pur lur servise,
Ke Engleter n'aveyent prise;
E ceo Charles lour premist
84 Si nul de eus revenist.
Sire Charles, bon chevaler,
Lessez ester ton guerrer,
Acordez a ton cosin
88 E purpensez de la fin.L85 [L85] A truce was concluded between Edward and Philippe in 1298, and later converted into a lasting peace.56
Si Engleter guerirez,
Jammés ben n'espleyterez.
Ne ne firent voz ancestres
92 Ke se tindrent si grant mestres:
Ly Ducs Lowys, ton parent,L93 [L93] Ducs Lowys = Louis, son and successor of Philippe-Auguste. He was proclaimed king of England by the barons opposed to King John, and made a landing, but was defeated and returned to France in 1217. He ascended the throne of France in 1223, hence the title Ducs in alluding to events prior to his accession.56
Estace le Moyne ensementL94 [L94] Estace le Moyne. A Frenchman of noble birth, who took to piracy. He was killed in a sea fight in 1217. See Introduction to Wistasse le Moine . . . herausgegeben von W. Foerster und J. Trost (Halle-a.-S., 1891).56
E autres Franceys asseez
96 Ke ne sunt pas ici nomez.
Vous doynt bon acordement. Amen.
ON THE KING'S BREAKING HIS CONFIRMATION OF THE MAGNA CHARTA
This short poem is preserved in two MSS.: J Cambridge, St. John's College 112 (or E.9), containing Veritas theologica, Distinctiones Gorham and miscellaneous notes in Latin, and A Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS. 19.2.1, an anthology of Middle English literature–the well-known Auchinleck MS.
In J, the poem occupies the first twelve lines of fol. 400r, where it is headed De provisione Oxonie. It occurs in the collection of Latin notes, entered by the original scribe on the last seven leaves of the MS., following without a gap Gorham's Distinctiones. One line of manuscript contains two lines of text; a point or semicolon at mid-line is used for punctuation. The script is a small, expert current hand, dating from the late thirteenth century, according to M. R. James. 1  A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts . . . of St. John's College, Cambridge (Cambridge 1913), pp. 145-6.57 A red paragraph mark indicates the beginning of the poem. Some line-ends are filled out with red, and a red bracket joins the ends of the first and last lines.
J belonged to Durham priory; the monastic ex-libris is seen on fol. 1r, and the book is listed in the catalogue compiled in 1395. 2  Catalogi veteres librorum ecclesiae cathedralis Dunelm. (London, 1838), p. 68 (Surtees Society 7).57 A sixteenth-century owner, R. Benet, entered his name on fol. 1r.
In A the poem is written on the present fol. 105r (foliated 109); it occupies the first ten lines of col. a, and is followed, without a break, by the Middle English sermon of the four wise men which exists in many versions, both English and Latin. Originally it was the twenty-seventh item in the volume; the numeral xxvij, in the upper margin, has been partially cropped. But owing to the loss of the leaves containing items 1-5 and 20-21, it now occupies the
Page 57twentieth place. The piece begins with a blue initial crudely flourished with red hair lines. The script is a smallish book hand.
The Auchinleck MS. has been the subject of many articles; the two most recent, by H. M. Smyser, summarize earlier essays. 1  (a) Charlemagne and Roland and the Auchinleck MS. Speculum XXI (1946), pp. 275-88; and (b) The list of Norman names in the Auchinleck MS. Medieval studies in honor of J. D. M. Ford (Harvard, 1948), pp. 257-87.58 Evidence has been produced that the volume was probably written by five scribes, working simultaneously, in a London bookshop or commercial scriptorium, between 1330 and 1340. Two of the scribes were Londoners; but there is no evidence of origin for the scribe who copied the present poem, the list of Norman names immediately following it, and possibly Speculum Gy and the Evil times of Edward II. Smyser suspects some of the sentiments and allusions and also some of the linguistic forms of the manuscript of being a trifle modern for 1330-1340, but has found no sound reason for challenging the conventional dates. 2  loc. cit., (b) 283-4.58
FILIATION OF MANUSCRIPTS
Allusions in the version in J, which cannot be earlier than 1305-06 (see section on Date), give reason to think that James's dating, late thirteenth century, must be altered to early fourteenth century. Even so, J is certainly earlier than A. Whether A is directly dependent on J it is well-nigh impossible to judge in a text in which only sixteen lines are common to both versions. A omits lines 5-8 and 13-16 of J, and adds at the end four lines not in J. Three other variations seem to be deliberate: line 1 (J) Rome poet fere (A) L'en puet fere; line 4 (J) For þi is holy cherche ysend (A) þerfore Engelond is shent; line 11 (J) Wolde a nywe laghe arere (A) At Westminster after the feire. From what is known of the way the scribes of A handled their sources, these divergences look characteristic; 3  See L. H. Loomis The Auchinleck MS. and a possible London bookshop of 1330-1350 P.M.L.A. LVII (1942), 595-627.58 and the omission of lines 5-8, with their mention of a bishop consecrated in 1305, is intelligible if one postulates a copyist writing some thirty years later, when the allusion may no longer have been understood. The four lines peculiar to A seem to serve merely as a transition from the bilingual poem to the well-known Middle English sayings of the four wise men, which are found both independently and incor
Page 58porated in the Latin Gesta Romanorum and the English Speculum Christiani. 1  Holmstedt, Speculum Christiani (E.E.T.S. (original series) LXXXII, 1933), pp. clxxxiii-clxxxv, discusses the origin and date of these sayings, and the relation between the different versions.64
In no other MS. are these sayings prefaced by the bilingual lines, there is nothing to suggest that MS. J ever included them, and it looks as if the scribe of A were responsible for amalgamating two hitherto separate works. Consequently it is proposed to treat the bilingual lines as an entity in itself, and ignore the Middle English sermon, on the ground that it is a later adjunct.
Although A may be a free adaptation of J, one hesitates to suggest that the scribe of A saw this very MS., because J was at Durham not later than 1395. Was the London bookshop acting as a retailer already in the fourteenth century? The presence of non-northern dialectal spellings in the English lines of J, lends colour to this possibility. If J was copied in the south, one has to account for it reaching Durham; if it was copied in Durham, either a southern Englishman writing in the north, or a southern examplar, now lost, must be postulated. But whatever its origin, the balance is in favour of it representing the earlier recension of the poem.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
i and j, u and v are normalized in both French and English lines; but the English symbol þ has been retained wherever it occurs; ʒ is used in naʒt, neʒ, J 7, 19, although in neʒ the symbol in the MS. is z as in French Tuz 13. The abbreviation sign which would be expanded er in a Latin text, has been rendered by e in Engletere, arere, J 9, 11 and by er in þerfore, A 4. q̄ is expanded que in A 21.
De provisione Oxonie[f.400r]
1 Rome poet fere e defere,
Si fet ele trop sovent;
þat nis noþer wel ne veyre;
4 For þi is holy cherche ysend.
Merewele est de Deu vykere,L5 [L5] Merewele J. Henry Woodlock, born at Harwell in Hampshire probably about 1250, was elected prior of St. Swithin's in 1295 and Bishop of Winchester in January 1305. He died on June 29, 1316. Cf. Introduction.63
Ki a tel conseil consent.
þe man nis naʒt worþ þre eyreL7 [L7] þre eyre J. The New English Dictionary gives examples of several proverbial expressions illustrating the low value of eggs; e.g. to take eggs for money to be put off with something worthless, five eggs a penny and four of them addle. The phrase is meant to give the sense of something of very little value indeed. See also section on English spellings in the Introduction.63
8 þat wel doþ and suþþe went.
Nostre roy de Engletere,
Par le conseil de sa gent,
Wolde a nywe laghe arere,
12 And makede a muchel parlement.
Tuz y vindrent, les evekesL13 [L13] The rhyme in J is barely an assonance, but would be correct if vykeres (cf. line 5) were substituted for evekes.63
E le baruns ensement,
And alle iswore þat þer were,L15 [L15] alle s interlinear above caret mark63
16 And hulde taperes ytent.
La purveance est de cyre,
Jo l'enteng e byn le say,
And is yholde to neʒ þe fyreL19 [L19] yholde to neʒ hyolde to nez63
20 And is ymolten al away.
Joe ne say mes ke dyre,
Mes tot y va tribolay
Curt and laghe, hundred a[nd] syre;
24 Al it god a duvele vay.
1 L'en puet fere et defere,
Ceo fait il trop sovent;
It nis nouþer wel ne faire,
4 þerfore Engelond is shent.
Nostre prince de Engletere,
Par le consail de sa gent,
At Westminster, after þe feire,
12 Maden a gret parlement.
La chartre [est] fet de cyre,
Jeo l'enteink et bien le crey;
It was holde to neih þe fire
20 And is molten al awey.
Ore ne say mes que dire,
Tout i va a tripolay,
Hundred, chapitel, court an shire,L23 [L23] chapitel A. See New English Dictionary under chapitle 2. A chapter or assembly of canons, monks, etc.67
24 Al hit goþ a devel wey.
Des plu sages de la tere
Ore escotez un sarmoun,
Of iiij wise men þat þer were,
28 Whi Engelond is brouht adoun.
A French poem in twenty-five four-line stanzas, on the Articles of Trailbaston, is found in MS. Harley 2253. 1  Stanza 16 lacks two lines.68 This MS. is described in the introduction to No. III.
The poem begins without a title, after a blank space equivalent to four lines of writing, on the ninth line of col. b of fol. 113v, and continues in a single column to the twenty-sixth line of fol. 114v. It is preceded by Urbain le courtois in French verse, and followed by The man in the moon in English verse.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are rare. The conjunction and is written out e; the abbreviated form in line 33 has been rendered et. The relative
Page 69pronoun and conjunction are written out qe or que; q̄ is expanded as qe 4, but qar as quar 8 etc.; p̱ stands for per or par; p̒che is expanded peche 43. e and o, c and t can sometimes only be distinguished by the context.
1 Talent me prent de rymer e de geste fere
D'une purveaunce qe purveu est en la terre.
Mieux valsit uncore que la chose fust a fere;
4 Si Dieu ne prenge garde, je quy qe sourdra guere.
Ce sunt les articles de Trayllebastoun.L5 [L5] The first commission of Trailbaston (see Hemingburgh II, pp. 235-7, and Calendar of Fine Rolls I (London, 1911), 33 Ed. I m. 20 schedule, pp. 504-5) is dated November 23, 1304, and is confined to York, Lincoln, Nottingham and Derby; another dated January 9, 1305, is for Norfolk and Suffolk (see F. M. Nichols, Original documents illustrative of the administration of the criminal law in the time of Edward I, in Archaeologia XL (1866), p. 95). According to Foss (vol. III, p. 28), a new arrangement was made on April 6, 1305, when four commissions were set up for the whole kingdom, except Cheshire, Durham, and the home counties. The full text of this commission, given by Rymer (vol. II, pp. 960-61), is for the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hereford, Worcester, Salop, Stafford, Wiltshire, and Southampton, and is addressed to William Martyn, Henry de Spigurnel, William de Knovill, Roger de Belafago, and Thomas de la Hyde, the first four of whom are mentioned in lines 33-6. Detailed instructions in French, describing the offences punishable are extant in several MSS.: the text of Cambridge University MS. Dd. VII. 6, where they are styled Articuli Lincolnie, is printed by Nichols, loc. cit. pp. 102-4. In February 1307 the four commissions of 1305 were renewed, with some changes of personnel, and a fifth, for the counties previously omitted was added. From the first there was some inconsistency in the use of the name Trailbaston. In Langtoft (Chronicle II, p. 360) it designates the offenders:
Parmy Engletere gentz de graunz resouns
Assignez sunt justizes sur les traylbastouns In Trivet (p. 404) it seems to mean the justices: Hoc anno ordinati sunt justitiarii . . . ab hominibus popularibus vocati sunt de Traylebastoun quod sonat trahe baculum. In Hemingburgh (II, p. 235) and Flores historiarum (III, p. 122) it is the title of the writ. In the following, taken from the commission of 1307; Nous vous mandons, que les Justices qui sont ordenez pur entendre a les busoignes de Traillebaston facez enveer avant hastivement . . . (Rotuli Parliamentorum I, p. 218), the term implies the offence. Foss (III, pp. 32-6) concludes that since the offence was chiefly beating, robbing and intimidating the people, the offenders may be supposed to have been armed with clubs, from whence the offence obtained its name.70
Salve le roi meismes, de Dieu eit maleysoun
Qe a de primes graunta tiel commissioun:L7 [L7] a de primes. The expressions a primes and de primes for at first are common. This phrase is probably a combination of the two. The alternative would be to take ade, in one word, for adés, which does not seem convincing.70
8 Quar en ascuns des pointz n'est mie resoun.
Sire, si je voderoi mon garsoun chastier
De une buffe ou de deus, pur ly amender,
Sur moi betera bille, e me frad atachier,L11 [L11] betera bille. Apparently a technical expression. Lockhart (see note 4 on p. 67) translates; This rascal . . . his bill doth file. The usual meaning of beter is to bait (an animal), pursue, harry, incite. betera may represent botera, used in a general sense for to lay before. See R. Kelham, Dictionary of the Norman or Old French language (London, 1779), p. 31: Botez devant le Roy, laid before the king. In the MS. it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between e and o, but in this case the word seems to be written betera. The sense is to take out an injunction or to lay information against.70
12 E avant qe isse de prisone raunsoun grant doner.
Quaraunte souz pernent pur ma raunsoun,
E le viscounte vint a son guerdoun,
Qu'il ne me mette en parfounde prisoun.
16 Ore agardez seigneurs, est ce resoun?
Pur ce me tendroi antre bois, suz le jolyf umbray;L17 [L17] suz sur70L17 [L17] suz. The MS. reads sur. But in some scripts, though not in this one, round r and z look alike. Presumably the scribe misread his exemplar.70
La n'y a fauceté ne nulle male lay,
En le bois de Belregard, ou vole le jayL19 [L19] Belregard. A fancy name, no doubt, chosen to support the alleged attractions of a life under the greenwood tree.70
20 E chaunte russinole touz jours santz delay.
Mes le male deseynes, dount Dieu n'eit ja pieté,L21 [L21] deseynes. Godefroy II, 648 b: dessaignier dépouiller d'un signe, and II, 599 b: desinné qui a bonne mine, mal desinné mal en point. The latter is the nearest approach that can be found to a word of suitable meaning which may be cognate with deseynes.71
Parmi lur fauce bouches me ount enditee
De male robberies e autre mavestee,
24 Que je n'os entre mes amis estre receptee.
J'ai servi my sire le roy en pees e en guere,
En Flaundres, Escoce, en Gascoyne sa terre;
Mes ore ne me sai je point chevisaunce fere;
28 Tot mon temps ay mis en veyn pur tiel houme plere.
Si ces mavois jurours ne se vueillent amender,L29 [L29] jurours may mean either judge, or witness in the sense of one qui témoigne non de l'affaire en litige mais de la probité de la partie (Godefroy IV, 674 b).71
Que je pus a mon païs chevalcher e aler,
Si je les pus ateindre la teste lur froi voler.
32 De touz lur manaces ne dorroi un dener.
Ly Martyn et ly Knoville sunt gent de pieté,L33 [L33] Martyn . . . Knoville. William Martin held lordships in Pembroke, Devon and Somerset. He headed the list of justices of Trailbaston for the south-western counties in 1305 and 1307. Gilbert de Knovill was sheriff of Devon from 1292 to 1299 and justice in 1305 and 1307. (See Foss, III, pp. 127-8 and 112-13.)71
E prient pur les povres qu'il eyent sauveté.
Spigurnel e Belflour sunt gent de cruelté;L35 [L35] Spigurnel . . . Belflour. Henry Spigurnel had property in Northampton, Leicester, Bedford, Oxford, Buckingham, and Essex, and lived at Kenilworth. He was a judge of the King's Bench by 1302, and was appointed justice of Trailbaston in 1305, but not in 1307. Belflour has been identified with Roger de Bella Fago, who lived in Oxfordshire, was justice of assize for Warwickshire in 1305 and justice of Trailbaston in 1305 and 1307. (See Foss, III, pp. 301-3 and 55.) It is doubtful whether any reliance is to be placed in the poet's comments on the character of the four justices. A fifth, Thomas de la Hyde, appointed in 1305, is not mentioned, although he had lands in Cornwall and was sheriff of the county from 1301 to 1313.71
36 Si(l) il fuissent en ma baylie ne serreynt retornee.
Je lur apre[n]droy le giw de Traylebastoun,
E lur bruseroy l'eschyne e le cropoun,
Les bras e les jaunbes, ce serreit resoun;
40 La lange lur toudroy e la bouche ensoun.
Qy cestes choses primes comença
Ja jour de sa vie amendé ne serra.
Je vus di pur veyr trop graunt peché en a,
44 Quar pur doute de prisone meint laroun serra.
Ytel devendra leres que ne fust unque mes,
Que pur doute de prisone ne ose venir a pes;
Vivre covient avoir chescum jour adés.
48 Qy ceste chose comença yl emprist grant fes.
Bien devoient marchaunz e moygnes doner maliçoun
A tous iceux que ordinerent le Traillebastoun;
Ne lur vaudra un ayle le royal proteccioun,
52 Que il ne rendrount les deners sauntz regerdoun.L49 [L49] This seems to imply, as do lines 14-15, that sufferers could not obtain justice except by bribery. Section 8 of the Articuli Lincolnie (see note to line 5) is expressly concerned with officers who accept gifts not to proceed against malefactors.72
Vus qy estes endité, je lou, venez a moy,
Al vert bois de Belregard, la n'y a nul ployL54 [L54] ploy. The usual meaning is situation, sometimes with the sense of predicament.72
Forque beste savage e jolyf umbroy;
56 Car trop est doteuse la commune loy.
Si tu sachez de lettrure e estes coronee,
Devaunt les justices serrez appellee.
Uncore poez estre a prisone retornee,
60 En garde de le evesque jesque seiez purgee.L60 [L60] Those tonsured, i.e. clerks, came under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, hence the transfer into the care of the bishop.72
E soffryr messayse e trop dure penaunce,
64 E par cas n'averez james delyveraunce.L61 [L61] For some reason, not now discoverable, the scribe appears to have omitted two lines of what was originally stanza 16.72
Pur ce valt plus ov moi a bois demorer,
Q'en prisone le evesque fyergé gyser.
Trop est la penaunce e dure a soffrer.
68 Quy le mieux puet eslyre, fol est qe ne velt choyser.
Avant savoy poy de bien, ore su je meins sage;
Ce me fount les male leis par mout grant outrage,
Qe n'os a la pes venyr entre mon lignage.
72 Les riches sunt a raunsoun, povres a escolage.L72 [L72] escolage. Not in Godefroy or Tobler-Lommatzsch. Perhaps a noun formed from escoler (modern French écouler) to fail, vanish, cease to be. Cp. Tobler-Lommatzsch III, 944-5, escoler, especially the example from Sone de Nansay 20642;
La povre gent seroit foulee
Et la baronnie escoulee.73
Fort serroit engager ce qe ne puet estre aquytee,
C'est la vie de houme que taunt est cher amee; [f.114v]
E je n'ay mye le chatel de estre rechatee.
76 Mes si je fusse en lur baundoun a mort serroi lyveree.
Uncore attendroy grace e orroi gent parler.
Tiels me dient le mal que me ne osent aprochier,
E volenters verroient mon corps ledenger;
80 Mes entre myl debles Dieu puet un houme sauver.
Cely me pust salver que est le fitz Marie,
Car je ne fu coupable, endité su par envye;
Qy en cesti lu me mist, Dieu lur maldie.
84 Le siecle est si variant, fous est qe s'affye.
Si je sei compagnoun e sache de archerye,L85 [L85] compagnoun. Perhaps used in a special sense as one who is a member of a sworn band. Cf. the modern use of the word in titles of honour.73
Mon veisyn irra disaunt: 'Cesti est de compagnie
De aler bercer a bois e fere autre folie.
88 Que ore vueille vivre come pork merra sa vye.'
Si je sache plus de ley qe ne sevent eux,
Yl dirrount: 'Cesti conspyratour comence de estre faus.'
E le heyre n'aprocheroy de .x. lywes ou deus.L91 [L91] heyre. Probably = aire < atrium, meaning threshing floor, yard, and by extension home. The homonym aire nest of the hawk, eyrie has associations which might have influenced such a development of meaning.73
92 De tous veysinages hony seient ceux.
Je pri tote bone gent qe pur moi vueillent prier
Qe je pus a mon païs aler e chyvaucher;
Unqe ne fu homicide, certes a moun voler,
96 Ne mal robberes pur gent damager.
Cest rym fust fet al bois, desouz un lorer,
La chaunte merle, russinole e eyre l'esperver;L98 [L98] eyre = erre wander, travel, hence, when the subject is a bird, hover.79
Escrit estoit en perchemyn pur mout remenbrer
100 E gitté en haut chemyn qe um le dust trover.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF EDWARD I
This poem occupies fols. 489r, col. b, line 5-489v, col. b, line 10 of Cambridge University Library MS. Gg. I. 1. 1  Catalogue of the manuscripts . . . in the library of the University of Cambridge, III (Cambridge, 1858), pp. 1-8.80 The MS., which Paul Meyer described as a library in itself, 2  P. Meyer, Les manuscrits français de Cambridge, in Romania XV (1886), 236-357, item No. 38, pp. 337-8.80 contains a miscellaneous collection of poetry and prose, mostly in French. The poem forms the last section of a brief French prose chronicle, fols. 484v-489r, which ends with the death of Edward I (1307). The chronicle is item No. 50 in the printed catalogue, where the poem is mentioned as a pendant to it; it is listed in Vising's manual under No. 378b, while the poem appears there as No. 358. 3  Vising, pp. 74 and 72.80
MS. Gg. I. 1 belonged to John Moore (1646-1714), Bishop of Ely. The verso of the first flyleaf bears the inscription, in a seventeenth-century hand (Moore's own?): Bought of Mr Washington. Moore's collection was purchased by George I, who presented it to Cambridge University. 4  D.N.B. under Moore, John.80 Nothing else is known of the history of the volume.
According to Meyer the MS. was written in the early years of the fourteenth century, but after 1307. 5  loc. cit. p. 283.80 The whole MS. contains 533 folios, written throughout in a clear but not very calligraphic bookhand. On fol. 6r is a table of contents, in which the prose chronicle is the thirty-seventh item; the thirty-sixth is De les fauntesces nostre seignur; the thirty-eighth Descripcioun del teste kom coment il est assis. The chronicle begins with an incipit in red: Ici commence le Brute d'Engletere abregé, followed by a large ornamented initial on a gold ground. No such initial marks the beginning of the Elegy, but only a small blue initial with red-hair
Page 80lines, like other initials at the beginning of sections in the chronicle. There is therefore nothing to show that the scribe conceived of the Elegy as an independent work distinct from the chronicle.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Abbreviations are few. p is expanded par in pardoun, par, but per in desperaunce, perdu. The relative pronoun and conjunction, when written out, are always qe except in line 80 where qui occurs; q̱̄ lines 35, 40, and q̱e line 64 are expanded qe. e and is not abbreviated.
1 Seignurs oiez, pur Dieu le grant,
Chançonete de dure pité,
De la mort un rei vaillaunt;
4 Homme fu de grant bounté,
E que par sa leauté
Mut grant encuntre ad sustenue,L6 [L6] encuntre. The evidence in the text is too slight to show whether one particular encounter is meant. Throughout his life Edward sustained many such, as against Simon de Montfort, the Welsh, the Scots, and the king of France.84
Ceste chose est bien prové,
8 De sa tere n'ad rien perdue.L8 [L8] Perhaps Gascony is implied. Edward ceded it to Philippe le Bel in 1293, on the understanding that it would be restored to him, as the dowry of Philippe's sister, Blanche. Philippe, however, dealt falsely with him; the marriage did not take place, and Edward only regained Gascony in 1303, four years after his marriage with Margaret, Blanche's sister.84
Priom Dieu en devocioun
Qe de ses pecchez le face pardoun.
De Engletere il fu sire,
12 E rey qe mut savoit de guere.
En nule livre puet home lire
De rei qe mieuz sustint sa tere.
Toutes les choses qu'il vodreit fere
16 Sagement les mist a fine.
Ore si gist soun cors en tere,
Si va le siecle en decline.
Le rei de Fraunce grant pecché fist
20 Le passage a desturber,
Qe rei Edward pur Dieu enprist
Sur Sarazins l'ewe passer.
Sun tresour fust outre la mer(e),
24 E ordiné sa purveaunce,
Seint' eglise pur sustenir(e).L19 [L19] Of Edward's intention to undertake a crusade, there is abundant evidence: in a letter from pope Clement V dated December 22, 1306 (Rymer II, 1036), as well as in Trivet (pp. 413-14) and elsewhere. In 1291 Nicholas IV had granted him a tenth of church revenue for six years, for crusading purposes (Rymer II, 509). This stanza recalls in particular a paragraph in Opus chronicorum, written about 1307-08, where Edward appeals to pope Boniface VIII, in 1295, to prevail on Philippe of France to observe his undertakings towards Edward, and promises to go on a crusade against the Saracens if peace is established. But, according to Walsingham (pp. 114-15), who was writing about 1394, Edward himself blamed the Scottish wars, not the king of France, for preventing him from going to the Holy Land. On the other hand, Philippe is known to have professed interest in a crusade merely to cloak personal ambitions. Hence he could have had reasons for hindering Edward's project, although no specific incident can be quoted to confirm the allusion in lines 19-20.85
Ore est la tere en desperaunce.L26 [L26] la terre. Doubtless Palestine is meant, not England.85
Jerusalem tu as perdu
28 La flour de ta chivalerie,
Rey Edward, le viel chanu,
Qe tant ama ta seignurie.
Ore est il mort, jeo ne sai mie
32 Toun baner [q]i le meintindra.L32 [L32] the bow of q has been erased85
Sun duz quor, par grant druerie,
Outre la mer(e) vous mandera.L33 [L33] Trivet (pp. 413-14) records that Edward bequeathed his heart to the Holy Land, and directed that 100 knights should go there for one year to fight for the Cross. Walsingham (pp. 114-15) reports him as leaving £32,000 to pay for 140 knights to transport his heart thither. There is an apparent contradiction in the use of the future tense in mandera, line 34. Edward II disregarded his father's wishes and had him buried in Westminster Abbey on October 27, 1307. The poem was written after his own coronation on February 25, 1308 (cp. lines 67-8). Did the poet still think, more than five months after the late king's funeral, that his wishes would be respected, or was he not well informed, or is mandera a scribal corruption? Even a rhymester as mediocre as this one cannot have failed to see that the choice between mandera (future) and manda (preterite) would not affect the rhyme. The line as it stands contains eight syllables (excluding the inorganic atonic e of mere (sea); but arguments from scansion are dubious.85
Un jour avant qe mort li prist,
36 Od son barnage voleit parler;
Ses ch[i]valers devant li vist,
Durement commenca de plurer.
'Jeo murrai', dist, 'par estover;
40 Jeo vei ma mort qe me vent qere.
Fetes mon fiz rey corouner.
Qe Dampnedieu li don bien fere!'L35 [L35] This stanza may refer to the occasion when Edward summoned his son to give him his last commands, probably in the spring or early summer of 1307 (see Walsingham loc. cit.). It would hardly be applicable to the Parliament of January 1307, when the main business was the betrothal of Prince Edward to Isabella of France.85
A Peiters, a l'apostoile,
44 Une messager la mort li dist;
E la pape vesti l'estole,
A dure lermes les lettres prist.
'A las', ceo dist, 'comment? Morist
48 A qi Dieu douna tant honur?
A l'alme en face Dieu mercist!
De seint' eglise il fu la flour.'
L' apostoile en sa chambre entra,
52 A pein se poeit sustenir;
E les cardinals trestuz manda.
Durement commenca de plurir;L54 [L54] This is a verbal repetition of line 38, with plurir (rhyming with sustenir) as a second conjugation infinitive, in place of plurer. A writer lacking in originality, as the present one was, may well have repeated himself. It is hardly likely to be a scribal error of homoeotelenton.86
Les cardinals li funt teisir.
56 En haut commencent lur servise;
Par my la cité funt sonir,
E servir Dieu en seint eglise.
L'apostoile meimes vint a la messe
60 Ove mult grant sollempnité.
L'alme pur soudre souvent se dresse,
E dist par grant humilité:
'Place a Dieu en trinité
64 Qe vostre fiz en pust conquere
Jerusalem, la digne cité,L65 [L65] Jerusalem had been taken by Saladin in 1187, and passed into the possession of the sultans of Egypt in 1244. It was never regained for Christendom.86
E passer en la seinte tere!'
Le jeofne Edward d'Engletere
68 Rey est enoint e corouné.L68 [L68] Edward II was crowned at Westminster on February 25, 1308. In the absence of the archbishop of Canterbury, Winchelsea, not yet returned from exile, the crown was placed on his head by Henry Woodlock, bishop of Winchester.86
Dieu li doint tele conseil trere
Ki le païs seit gouverné,
E la coroune si garder
72 Qe la tere seit entere, [f.489vb]
E lui crestre en bounté;
Car prodhome i fust son pere.
Si Aristotle fust en vie,
76 E Virgile qe savoit l'art,
Les valurs ne dirrent mie
Del prodhome la disme part.
Ore est mort le rei Edward
80 Pur qui mon quor est en trafon
L'alme Dieu la salvegarde
Pur sa seintime passioun! Amen.
1 Alle þat beoþ of huerte trewe
a stounde herkneþ to my song
of duel, þat deþ haþ diht vs newe
4 (þat makeþ me syke and sorewe among!)
of a knyht, þat was so strong,
of wham god haþ don ys wille;
me þuncheþ þat deþ haþ don vs wrong,
8 þat he so sone shal ligge stille.
al englond ahte forte knowe
of wham þat song is, þat y synge;
of edward kyng, þat liþ so lowe,
12 ʒent al þis world is nome con springe;
trewest mon of alle þinge.
and in werre war and wys,
for him we ahte oure honden wrynge,
16 of cristendome he ber þe pris.
byfore þat oure kyng was ded
he spek ase mon þat wes in care;
"Clerkes, knyhtes, barouns," he sayde,
20 "y charge ou by oure sware,
þat ʒe to engelonde be trewe.
y de ʒe, y ne may lyuen namore;
helpeþ mi sone, & crouneþ him newe,
24 for he is nest to buen ycore.
Ich biqueþe myn herte aryht,
þat hit be write at mi deuys,
ouer þe see þat hue be diht,
28 wiþ fourscore knyhtes, al of pris,
In werre þat buen war & wys,
aʒein þe heþene forte fyhte,
to wynne þe croiz þat lowe lys;
32 my self ycholde ʒef þat y myhte."
kyng of fraunce, þou heuedest sunne,
þat þou þe counsail woldest fonde,
to latte þe wille of kyng edward,
36 to wende to þe holy londe,
þat oure kyng hede take on honde,
al engolond to ʒeme & wysse,
to wenden in to þe holy londe
40 to wynnen vs heueriche blisse.
þe messager to þe pope com
& seyde þat oure kyng wes ded;
ys oune hond þe lettre he nom,
44 ywis, is herte wes ful gret.
þe pope him self þe lettre redde,
ant spec a word of gret honour:
"alas!" he seide, "is Edward ded?
48 of cristendome he ber þe flour!"
þe pope to is chaumbre wende,
for del ne mihte he speke namore,
and after cardinals he sende,
52 þat muche couþen of cristes lore,
boþe þe lasse ant eke þe more,
bed hem boþe rede & synge:
gret deol me myhte se þore,
56 mony mon is honde wrynge.
þe pope of peyters stod at is masse
wiþ ful gret solempnete,
þer me con þe soule blesse:
60 "kyng edward, honoured þou be
god leue, þi sone come after þe,
bringe to ende þat þou hast bygonne;
þe holy croiz ymad of tre,
64 so fain þou woldest hit han ywonne!
Jerusalem, þou hast ilore
þe flour of al chiualerie;
Nou kyng edward liueþ namore:
68 alas! þat he ʒet shulde deye!
he wolde ha rered vp ful heyʒe
oure baners, þat bueþ broht to grounde;
wel longe we mowe clepe & crie,
72 er we a such kyng han yfounde!"
Nou is Edward of Carnaruan
kyng of engelond al aplyht;
god lete him ner be worse man
76 þen is fader, ne lasse of myht,
to holden is poremen to rhyt,
ant vnderstonde good consail,
al engelond forte wisse ant diht;
80 of gode knyhtes darht him nout fail.
þah mi tonge were mad of stel,
ant min herte yʒote of bras,
þe godnesse myht y neuer telle,
þat wiþ kyng edward was:
kyng, as þou art cleped conquerour,
86 in vch bataille þou hadest pris
god brings þi soule to þe honour
þat euer wes & euer ys,
þat leste ay wiþouten ende!
90 bidde we god ant oure ledy,
to þilke blisse iesus vs sende. Amen.
LAMENT OF EDWARD II
Manuscript 26 in the collection of the Marquess of Bath, at Longleat House, is an unpretentious volume of 170 leaves, containing Latin sermons and theological matter, in several thirteenth-century bookhands. Several later, current hands have added Anglo-Norman items on blank pages. 1  The manuscript has been described by Paul Studer in Modern Language Review XVI (1921), 34-46.96 Folios 76v and 77r are occupied by a poem headed De le roi Edward le fiz roi Edward, le chanson qe il fist mesmes. The first of these pages contains thirty-two and the second twenty-eight long lines respectively, and the poem is disposed as if in stanzas of four lines; but a vertical hair stroke, at mid-line, serves to show that one line of manuscript contains two lines of text. The beginning of each stanza is marked by a neat, a-like sign. The hand is somewhat similar to that of MS. Royal 12 C. XII, fol. 7r. 2  The Royal MS. as a whole is dated 1320-40. See Warner, Sir G. F., and Gilson, J. P., Catalogue of western manuscripts in the old Royal and King's Collections II (1921), p.27.96 Anglo-Norman recipes fol. 8 recto and verso, Chastel d'amurs fols. 77v-78r, and La Diffinission de Amurs fol. 79v and lower margin of 80r, of the Longleat MS., appear to be in the same hand as the song of King Edward.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
The contraction t and has been rendered et; when written out the word is always e. q̄ is expanded as qe, qii as qui, etc. c and t, e and o are sometimes alike and a few doubtful readings are mentioned in footnotes.
De le roi Edward le fiz roi Edward, le chanson qe il fist mesmes.
1 En tenps de iver me survynt damage,
Fortune trop m'ad traversé,L2 [L2] traverse truverse suprascript u over t probably a scribal error for a97
Eure m'est faili tut mon age.
4 Bien sovent l'ay esprové:
En mond n'ad si bel ne si sage,
Si curtois ne si preysé,
Si eure ne lui court de avantage,
8 Qe il ne serra pur fol clamé.
Ma clamour face, mes rien n'ataint;
A celuy qe grace ne puit trover
Terrien amur tost esteint;
12 Ne me deveroye trop affier.
Les grans honurs ay fest a meynt
Qe ore me queront encumbrer;
Poy sui amé et meins pleint;
16 En fort prison me font pener.
Pener me funt cruelement,
E duint qe bien l'ai deservi.
Lour faus fai en parlement
20 De haut en bas me descendi.
Hay sire de salu jeo me repent
Et de toutz mes mals vus cri merci!
Ceo qe le corps soufre de torment
24 Soit a l'alme joie et merci.
Merci me ert si come je croy
Les honurs et les bontez
Qe a mon poair sovent fesoy
28 A mes amys et mes privez.
Si je eye mesfet ceo poise moy,
A lor consayl estoie jurez.
Ceo qe ai mesfet encontre ma foy
32 Beu sire Dieu vus le savez.
Vus le savetz apertement,
Car nul n'est si bien covery
Qe ne le voyetz tut clerementL35 [L35] clerement chement98
36 Le bien le mal tut altresi;
Solom ceo freetz jugement.
Mes melles la mene ove ta merci;L38 [L38] Mes melles la mene. The interpretation of mene offers some difficulty. The context requires a meaning like deal with, behave towards or even, by extension, judge. The problem could be resolved if mene were taken as an Anglo-Norman spelling of the third singular present indicative of manier. Godefroy V, p. 148, col. c gives examples of manier = to judge. Melles is possibly also an Anglo-Norman spelling, for mailles spot, stain, used in a figurative sense. La presents a further problem: there is no feminine substantive in the stanza to which it can refer; nor is there a satisfactory grammatical antecedent to account for its presence as an adverb of place. The line is hypermetric by continental canons. But on principle emendations have not been made on metrical grounds. The poet has just spoken of God's judgement, easily associated with the idea of the Last Judgement; in his chain of thought maybe la implies à ce Jugement-là, i.e. the Last Judgement.98
E de moy facez vostre talent,
40 Car quoer et corps a vous otroy.L40 [L40] otroy. The rhyme requires a form such as otri. In Boeve l. 3254 otriz ind. pr. 1, occurs in rhyme with -is (z).98
A vus me ottroy, sire Jhesu,
Pardon et grace requerant.
Jeo solay estre tant cremu,
44 Ore me vont toutz despisant;
L'em m'apele rois abatu,
Et tut le secle me veet gabant;
Mes plus privetz me unt desu,
48 Trop tart le ay aperceivant.L48 [L48] ay aperceivant. Studer reads apertemant and emends ay to vey, thus obtaining correct syllable count and linking of this stanza with the following, which seems to require apertement as the first word. t and c are not always clearly distinguished in the manuscript; but the word in question is not exactly like apertement in l. 33, where it is unmistakable. Moreover, Studer's reading means admitting ent in rhyme with ant, which are carefully distinguished elsewhere.99
Apertement me unt defyL49 [L49] Apertement Aperteynant99L49 [L49] Apertement. The scribe has written aperteynant, or perhaps aperceyvant, where syntax calls for an adverb, and strict linking with the previous stanza demands aperceivant. Possibly apertement was sufficiently like aperceivant to satisfy the author, who does not invariably make the first word of one stanza identical with the last word of the preceding, cp. stanzas 1-2, 14-15.99
Les quels me unt issi tray;
Moud lur quidai estre ami,L51 [L51] ami amez99
52 Ore me ount tutz degerpi.
Je lur donay meint juel de pris,
Qe ensi le me ount mery;
Je ay le plur et eaux le rys,
56 M'est avys le ju est mal parti.
Parti me ount un ju santz joye.
Par tiele tristour mi quoer se pleynt
De cele en qi trover quidoye
60 Fine lealté; vers moy se feint.
[Isa]beux tant amay la bloye,L61 [L61] [Isa]beux. The emendation is adopted from Studer's edition. The initial letter of the line in the MS. has not the usual form of capital B, and unfortunately it is the unique example of its kind by the hand of the scribe of this poem. C, D and V, the most likely alternatives, do occur and are quite unlike it. For want of a more plausible interpretation, Beux is taken to be a misunderstanding of the queen's name. It is strange that the scribe should have bungled the name of anyone as well known as Isabella must have been, especially since she was almost certainly still alive at the time when the MS. was written–she died in 1358.99
Mes ore l'estencele est esteint
De fyn amur; pur ceo ma joie
64 S'en est alé com est de meint.
Meintenant santz delay
Bien serroit tenps de morir;
A moy cheitif qe perdu ay
68 Tutz honurs sanz recuverir!
Allas, dolent, pur qei m'emay?L69 [L69] dolent dolont (?)99
Puis q'il est a Dieu pleyssir,
Mult bonement le suffrai;
72 De tout me durray a luy servir.
De luy servir mettray m'entente;L73 [L73] m'entente. The rhyme requires the addition of e to the rhyme words in lines 75, 77, 79. This would result in morphologically correct present subjunctive forms for dement[e] 75 and repent[e] 79, but an incorrect feminine past participle present[e] 77 agreeing with masculine quoer.100
Mult me desplet qe ensi ne fis.
N'est pas mervoyle si me dement[e],
76 Si terrien honur m'est faylliz.
Mon quoer contrite soy present
A cely q'en croys pur nous fu mys;
Mes voyl bien qe me repent[e]
80 De mes mals q'ay fest tut dis.
Tut dis enfeblé en fermery[e]L81 [L81] Tut dis enfeble en Mys enfeble fermery100L81 [L81] fermery[e]. For fermery = infirmary see New English Dictionary.100
Sui par ceaux qe felons sunt;L81 [L81] The MS. reading does not make good sense here. This and the principle of linking stanzas justifies the emendation proposed by Studer for line 81. On the other hand, it seems unnecessary to suppress sui in line 82, as he does, if enfeblé is taken as the past participle of a first conjugation verb. Enfebler (infinitive) is attested in Boeve, line 1056.100
Par lur ruste reverie
84 Troys roys eslu en ount.
Le plus jofne par mestrie
Coroune de oor porter en fount.
Jhesu luy garde, le fiz Marie,
88 De treson qe Dieu confund!
Deux confund ses enemys,
E lui faceo un roy moud sage,
Enpernant et poystifs
92 De meyntenir pris e barnage;
E qe toutz ceaux soyent jus mys
Q'ennoy luy querount ou en damage.
E si moy serroit acomplis
96 Le greingnur desir de mon corage.
Mon corage pas ne se pleint
De terrien honur regreter(e).
Mais douce Jhesu qe nous ad reint
100 Par son saunk preciouse et chier(e),
Par la priere de toutz ly seins
Q'en sa glorie sount parcener(e),L102 [L102] parcenere partenere (?)100
A cele joie tost nous meintL103 [L103] cele tele (?)100
104 Q'en nule tenps peust finer(e).
Finer m'estut, ne voyl plus dire.
Va t'en chaunson ignelement
A la Bise du par Kenire,L107 [L107] du par Kenire. Palæographically it is possible to read instead du parke Vire or du park en Ire, assuming wrong word division on the part of the scribe. Benedetti proposed the latter, which was discussed and turned down by Studer on linguistic grounds (see Nuovi studi medievali I (1923-4), 283-94, and II (1925-6), 131-5). On the authority of Vising, Studer takes Kenire as an Anglo-Norman spelling for Chinewrde = Kenilworth; he argues that du par is a provençalism for de part, i.e. au delà, and thinks the passage is addressed to a lady who might have lived near Kenilworth. His interpretation may be right, although it is difficult to see why an Anglo-Norman poet, copying Provençal verse forms, should also introduce Provençal locutions.105
108 Si la ditez brefment
Qe quant le serf se saut de ire
Et ove ses perches bestes purfent,
Garde soy q'ele n'eyt mester de mire
112 Tant se porte sagement.
Sages et fouz, trestouz vus pri,
Pur moy priez communement
A Marie la mere de mercy,
116 Qe Jhesu norist, omnipotent;
Qe pur les joyes q'ele uist de ly,
Q'ele luy prie devoutement,
Qe de touz trays eyt mercy
120 Et de touz forjugés falcement.
AGAINST THE KING'S TAXES
This poem of seventeen five-line stanzas is known only in MS. Harley 2253, where it occupies the lower half of fol. 137v, fol. 138r, and the upper half of fol. 138v. The MS. is described in the introduction to No. III. A short Latin tract, De interrogandis moribundis, attributed in the MS. to St. Anselm, precedes the poem, which is followed by Contemplacioun de la Passioun in French prose. The latter is the last of the original contents of that portion of the MS. (fols. 49r-142v) renowned for its collection of lyrics.
The prose items are written in long lines, the poem stichically. But as one line of verse does not fill the whole of a long line, the last line of every stanza is written in the space left blank to the right of the page in two or three lines. The poem has no title, but a red paragraph mark indicates the beginning. A crude bracket links the first four lines of every stanza.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
The conjunction et is only abbreviated in the Latin text. In the French text the relative pronoun and conjunction are written out q̱ue, q̱uy, q̱e or q̱y and twice abbreviated q̱ 33, 82, which is expanded as q̱ue. The resemblance between c and t gives rise to ambiguity in the Latin victu 73 and 75.
1 Dieu, roy de magesté, ob personas trinas,
Nostre roy e sa meyné ne perire sinas.
Grantz mals ly fist aver gravesque ruinas
4 Celi qe ly fist passer partes transmarinas.
Rex ut salvetur falsis maledictio detur.
Roy ne doit a feore de gere extra regnum ire
For si la commune de sa terre velint consentire.L7 [L7] la commune. It is not clear whether the word is used in a technical or a general sense. It can scarcely be equivalent to the commons in parliament, i.e. the knights and burgesses, because the king was under no obligation to obtain their consent to go abroad. It may imply the community of the realm, i.e. the earls and barons, or the commonality as opposed to those in authority, or the whole nation. There is possibly a hint of the increasing influence of parliament over external policy; questions of peace and war became . . . dependent on its parliament's granting or withholding supplies . . . (W. Longman, The history of . . . Edward the third (London, 1869), p. 3). The crisis of 1338-41 was specifically on the issue that taxation required the consent of parliament.110
8 Par tresoun voit houme sovent quam plures perire;
A quy en fier seurement nemo potest scire.
Non est ex regno rex sine consilio.
Ore court en Engletere de anno in annum
12 Le quinzyme dener, pur fere sic commune dampnum;
E fet avaler que soleyent sedere super scannum,L13 [L13] The idea expressed recalls the verse, Luke i. 52; He hath put down the mighty from their seats.110
E vendre fet commune gent vaccas, vas et pannum.
Non placet ad summum quindenum sic dare nummum.
16 Une chose est countre foy, unde gens gravatur,
Que la meyté ne vient al roy in regno quod levatur.
Pur ce qu'il n'ad tot l'enter prout sibi datur,
Le pueple doit le plus doner et sic sincopatur.L19 [L19] sincopatur = to be cut short, hence by extension to be reduced to poverty.110
20 Nam que taxantur regi non omnia dantur.
Unquore plus greve a simple gent collectio lanarum,L21 [L21] collectio lanarum, probably the same as the collecta, the system by which the produce of peasant farmers, always carefully distinguished from abbey wool, was marketed. See E. Power, The wool trade in English medieval history (Oxford, 1941), p. 44 (Ford Lectures).110
Que vendre fet communement divicias earum. [f.138r]
Ne puet estre que tiel consail constat Deo carum
24 Issi destrure le poverail pondus per amarum.
Non est lex sana quod regi sit mea lana.
Uncore est plus outre peis, ut testantur gentes,L26 [L26] outre peis. This phrase, together with haut juggement 53 and grosse veritée 59, are perhaps signs of the author's familiarity with the vocabulary of the law.110
En le sac deus pers ou treis per vim retinentes.L27 [L27] pers. Selections from MSS. dealing with medieval weights are published by H. Hall and F. J. Nicholas, Select tracts . . . relating to English weights & measures, Camden Miscellany XV (1929). On p. 11 the White Book of Peterborough Abbey (MS. Egerton 2733), circa 1253, is quoted as follows: Fet asauer ke la charge de plum est de XXX fotmaux, et checun fotmal est de vi pers, ii lib. meyns; checun pere est de xii lib. . . . MS. Royal 9 A. II of the time of Edward I has: Saccus lane debet ponderare viginti et octo petras (see p. 9). A sixteenth-century MS., Harley 369, contributes a mnemonic device (see p. 40); In lane sacco libre tot sunt quot dies anno Et sunt tot petre quot sunt in anno quindene . . . Hence pers were stones of twelve pounds, and the average sack of wool should have contained twenty-eight stone.110
28 A quy remeindra cele leyne? Quidam respondentes
Que ja n'avera roy ne reygne set tantum colligentes.L29 [L29] reygne. Possibly queen, but more probably kingdom.110
Pondus lanarum tam falsum constat amarum.
Depus que le roy vodera tam multum cepisse,
32 Entre les riches si purra satis invenisse.
E plus a ce que m'est avys et melius fecisse
Des grantz partie aver pris et parvis pepercisse.
Qui capit argentum sine causa peccat egentum.
36 Houme ne doit a roy retter talem pravitatem
Mes al maveis consiler per ferocitatem.L37 [L37] maveis consiler. Edward III's chief advisor at this period was John Stratford, archbishop of Canterbury. He was not in favour of the king going abroad in 1338, and does not seem to have had any responsibility for oppressing the poor. But a hostile party was active against him, and this remark–perhaps also the covert allusion in line 4–may be part of a campaign of slander directed against him. See D.N.B. under Stratford, John de, and G. T. Lapsley in English Historical Review XXX (1915), 6-18, 193-215.111
Le roy est jeovene bachiler, nec habet etatem
Nulle malice compasser set omnem probitatem.
40 Consilium tale dampnum confert generale.
Rien greve les grants graunter regi sic tributum;
Les simples deyvent tot doner, contra Dei nutum.
Cest consail n'est mye bien sed viciis pollutum.
44 Ceux que grauntent ne paient ren est male constitutum.
Nam concedentes nil dant regi set egentes.
Coment fra houme bon espleit ex pauperum sudore
Que les riches esparnyer doit dono vel favore?
48 Des grantz um le dust lever, Dei pro timore,
Le pueple plus esparnyer qui vivit in dolore.
Qui satis es dives non sic ex paupere vives.
Je voy en siecle qu'ore court gentes superbire,
52 D'autre biens tenir grant court, quod cito vult transire.L52 [L52] autre. The context requires autre to have the force of autri, which is unusual, especially as autrui occurs correctly in line 79. In the MS. the word is written aute, which might be a scribal lapse for autii.111
Quant vendra le haut juggement, magna dies ire,
S'il ne facent amendement tunc debent perire.
Rex dicit reprobis 'ite', 'venite' probis.
56 Dieu que fustes coronee cum acuta spina,
De vostre pueple eiez pitee, gracia divina,
Que le siecle soit aleggee de tali ruina;
A dire grosse veritee est quasi rapina.L59 [L59] dire grosse veritee, a legal expression meaning to state the substance or whole truth of a case. Examples in a legal context can be studied in Borough Customs II (London, 1906), pp. 1-3, 7 (Selden Society XXI).111
60 Res inopum capita nisi gratis est quasi rapta.
Tel tribut a nul feor diu nequit durare.
De voyde qy puet doner vel manibus tractare?L62 [L62] manibus tractare, literally to touch, take in hand, or possibly to drag violently. The expression seems to be telescoped, unless it is used in a special sense. Taking the first part of the line as completing the sense, one may translate: who can touch what is not there.111
Gentz sunt a tiel meschief quod nequeunt plus dare.
64 Je me doute s'ils ussent chief quod vellent levare.
Sepe facit stultas gentes vacuata facultas.L65 [L65] Perhaps a proverbial expression, akin to the English: poverty breeds discontent. Villon (Testament lines 150-52) wrote: Et saiche qu'en grant povreté, Ce mot se dit communement, Ne gist pas grande loyauté.111
Yl y a tant escarceté monete inter gentes
Qe houme puet en marché, quam parci sunt ementes,
68 Tot eyt houme drap ou blee, porcos vel bidentes,
Rien lever en verité, tam multi sunt egentes.
Gens non est leta cum sit tam parca moneta.
Si le roy freyt moun consail, tunc vellem laudare,
72 D'argent prendre le vessel monetamque parare.L72 [L72] prendre . . . parare. The construction is to be understood by taking the two infinitives as dependent on an unexpressed verb to be, thus: Si le roy freyt moun consail [qui est de] prendre le vessel. . . .116
Mieu valdreit de fust ma[n]ger, pro victu nummos dare,
Qe d'argent le cors servyr et lignum pacare.
Est vicii signum pro victu solvere lignum.L74 [L74] lignum. The wooden tallies or notched sticks given as receipts.116
76 Lur commissiouns sunt tro chiers qui sunt ultra mare;
Ore lur terres n'ount povers eosdem sustentare.
Je ne say coment purrount animas salvare
Que d'autrui vivre voderount et propria servare.
80 Non dubitant penas cupientes res alienas.
Dieu pur soun seintime noun confundat errores,
E ceux que pensent fere tresoun et pacis turbatores;
E vengaunce en facez ad tales vexatores,
84 E confermez e grantez inter reges amores.L84 [L84] reges. Edward III and Philippe VI of France? Two cardinals were sent to England in 1337 to effect a reconciliation between the kings, but the mission was fruitless.116
Perdat solamen qui pacem destruit. Amen.
SUR LES ÉTATS DU MONDE
Gonville and Caius College MS. 435 is composed of five originally separate tracts. The fourth, pages 129-44, a single gathering of eight leaves, contains four pieces in French verse: the sermon Grant mal fist Adam, the vision of St. Paul, the fifteen signs of judgement, and the present poem which breaks off incomplete in the middle of the twenty-fifth stanza.
There are ninety-six leaves (excluding flyleaves) in the whole MS., paginated by a modern hand from 1 to 191 on the rectos only. In the upper margin of page 1 is: de librar scī Augustī distne viija go iijo Sermones in a fourteenth-century bookhand. This is the press mark of St. Augustine's, Canterbury. But one should not assume that the whole MS., as now constituted, came from St. Augustine's, because it is uncertain when the separate parts were first united. 1  See M. R. James, A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in . . . Gonville and Caius College II (Cambridge, 1908), pp. 505-6. In James's Ancient libraries of Canterbury and Dover (Cambridge, 1903), p. 270, No. 697 in the St. Augustine's catalogue: Sermones vtiles T. Abbatis 2o fo. est qui D.8 G.3., is without doubt the MS. under consideration, although the dictio probatoria of the second leaf is actually est ei.117 The MS. came to Caius College as part of the bequest of William Moore (1590-1659), graduate of the college and university librarian.
The leaves containing the poem on the different orders of society are written in a tiny book hand. L'écriture de ce cahier m'a paru appartenir au milieu du xiiie siecle. Elle est extrêmement fine. . . . De plus l'encre est pâle, de sorte que la transcription . . . a été pour moi un exercice paléographique salutaire, mais pénible, wrote Paul Meyer. 2  Romania IV (1875), 385.117 Simple red initials of crude workmanship occur as far as page 143; thereafter spaces left for initials, one in the wrong place at line 93 instead of 91, are blank. Tiny guide letters for initials of the inner column of page 144 are written close to the text of the
Page 117outer column; guide letters for initials of the outer column have presumably been dropped. Red zigzags fill out some line ends.
The poem begins on line 17 of column a of page 143 and breaks off incomplete with the end of the quire (page 144). Five stanzas on page 143 (the first, fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth) begin with a large initial; the blanks left for initials on page 144 are at stanzas 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21. With the possible exception of stanza 16, these initials (or blanks) mark changes in the orientation of the contents. The scribe did his work carelessly; he omitted a line in stanza 23, single words elsewhere, and overlooked impossible rhymes in lines 12 and 24. Abbreviations are numerous and are not used consistently. Moreover, the ink has run in places. These features, combined with the obscurity of some passages, make the interpretation of this text a matter of difficulty.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
The conjunction and, when written out, is always e; et has been used to indicate the abbreviation. p̱ is expanded par or per. Que and qui occur written out in lines 33, 64; the abbreviations q̄ and q$$ have been expanded as que, qi as qui.
1 Mult est diables curteis;
Les plus riches suprent ançois
De ces que Deus parti en troisL3 [L3] The three estates or classes into which mankind was divided has a long tradition, going back at least to the tenth century, according to Meyer.119
4 Pur tenir la tere et les laisL4 [L4] lais. Although the spelling is the same as lais laymen in line 12, the rhyme shows that this word must be lois laws.119
En leauté,L5 [L5] leauté = according to law, rather than in loyalty.119
Pur alever partut sainte Cristienté.
Ben vus sai dire queus ço sunt
8 Qui deivent guverner le mond:
Li clers qui les corunes unt.
Quant le ben sevent e nel funt
Mar furent né.
12 Queque seit des lais, li clerc sunt perdut.L12 [L12] perdut. The rhyme is incorrect; Meyer proposed instead damné.119
Car il devoient preier pur les lais,
Pur la terre et pur le pais,L14 [L14] le pais. The rhyme requires la pais peace, not le païs country.120
Et enprendre charges e fes
16 Pur çous qui sunt verai confés.
Deivent doner al pople esample de bonté.
Aprés clers sunt chevalers
20 Pur [garder] terres et mustersL20 [L20] The sense shows that a verb is missing, and garder proposed by Meyer is adopted.120
De Sarazins et d'aversers,
Qui Deu ne ses sainz n'unt chers;
24 N'aient sur nus li mescreant ne li malfé(itur).L24 [L24] The rhyme is incorrect; Meyer's suggestion malfé is no doubt the right one.120
Puis [Deus] establi le vilainL25 [L25] Le vers est trop court et establi manque de sujet. Fautil restituer [deus]?, wrote Meyer. This is accepted.120
Pur gaainer as altres pain; [f.143b]
Cum plus labure de sa main
28 Tant est plus halegre et sain;
Ja n'ert lassé.
En un jur pert quanque ad amé.L30 [L30] amé. Meyer proposed to emend to aüné, which does give a satisfactory sense: the villein earns so little, he could spend it all in a day. Neither amé, past participle of amer, nor a[s]mé, past participle of asmer (=esmer) satisfies the sense. An easily explicable scribal error would account for the mistake: the copyist may have written three minims instead of four, perhaps influenced by the last word, amer, in the following line. Line 30 may be corrupt; it has eight syllables in place of the correct twelve, a considerable error even for Anglo-Norman. A tentative reconstruction might read: En un jur pert quanque [en un an] ad aüné.120
Nul ne deit le diable amer;
32 Mais de tant fet il a loerL32 [L32] de tant fet il a loer = in so far he is to be praised that, evidently meant ironically. Compare a similar construction in Renaut de Montauban: . . . Richart l'enfant qui tant fait a loër (quoted from K. Bartsch, Chrestomathie de l'ancien Français 11e édition (Leipzig, 1913), pièce 20, l. 49, p. 62).120
Que çous qui plus veient cler
Fait mult malement errer;
Ben est pruvé;
36 Et qui nel creit, jo l'en dirai la verité.
Veez l'apostolie de Rume,
Plus est cuvoitus que altre hume;
Qui cinc cenz mars d'argent li nume,
40 Tost li charra del los grant sume.
Ja n'ert grevez
Pur nul forfet qui des diners dune a plenté.
Quanque il dist tut est raisun;
44 Legat pot faire d'un clerjun,
U arcevesques; voille u nunL45 [L45] The semicolon after arcevesques was proposed by Boucherie (Rev. lang. rom. 2e série I (1876), 231) in his review of Meyer's edition of the poem.121
Mult li vent chier le palliun;L46 [L46] palliun. The liturgical vestment signifying the fulness of pontifical power, worn by popes and archbishops.121
N'est pas emblé,
48 Ja nel avra si quitement qu'il n'ait custé.L48 [L48] The conjunction que is interpreted as introducing a concessive clause.121
Mar vit cel or et cel argent,
E les livres que il prent.L50 [L50] livres. Meyer notes: livres n'est pas impossible; toutefois on préférérait, en admettant un changement qui en paléographie est presque nul, luiers.121
Quant voit que de la povre gent
52 Morent li milier et li centL51 [L51] The reference to scarcity of grain, in lines 141-3, coupled with this allusion to what seems to be a famine or pestilence, may point to a particular occasion. Lecompte, in his edition of Le roman des romans (Princeton, 1923), p. xxxi, draws attention to a severe famine in England and France from 1193 to 1196. But this is perhaps too early to be the one implied here. Walford, in Famines of the World (London, 1879), pp. 8-9, lists 1235, 1252, 1257 and 1258 as years in which there was famine or plague or scarcity of grain in England. But since he does not give the sources of his information it is impossible to decide for or against any of these dates.121
El cler esté,
Mielz li venist que cel tresor ne fust entamé.
Quant li arcevesques est a sun sé
56 Si adonc delivre evesqué;
Unques de rien ne fu si lé.
Car il i frunt itel marché,
Tut en privé,
60 Cher conpara la croce et le chapel quarré.L60 [L60] The crozier was peculiar to bishops and abbots, but the square hat was worn by all clerics, with differentiation of colour: red for cardinals, purple for bishops, black for others.121
La croce, la mitre cornue,
L'un et l'autre ert chier vendue;
Ço est grant descuvenue.
64 Qui digneté vent a veue
Mult est osez;
Qui si bargaine il devreit estre depesez.L66 [L66] bargaine . . . depesez. Meyer reads barganie . . . deposez. Palæographically it is impossible to choose between bargaine and barganie; the spelling apostolie 37, perhaps, supports the latter. The ink has run in depesez but all the vowels seem alike; the spelling e for o occurs in denques 68.121
Quant il est evesques esliz [f.144a]
68 Denques esl[e]ve filies et fiz,L68 [L68] esl[e]ve, correction proposed by Meyer. The form eslue would be very peculiar and nothing like it is recorded by Tanquerey.121
Et ses parenz e ses norriz;
E si nel fait mie a enviz,
Mes a sun gré
72 Les met al puint la u il set qu'il sunt danné.L67 [L67] Stanza 116 of Le Roman des romans is very similar: Quant uns evesques depart ses dignetez, Ja nus sains hom n'i sera apelez: A ses parenz et a ses clers privez Dune provendes et arcidiacrez.121
As arcevesques puis bosuine
Que chascons sa main li uigne;
E qui l'eschive et esloigne
76 Il li fra tute vergoig[n]e,
Et tele vilté,
Que tard li ert que a sa merci seit acordé.
[Q]uant l'arcediaquene a fait(e) sa fin,
80 Li daien sunt a lui enclin;
Ja n'avront beu de cel vin,
Que il i aportent faus bacin
Qui seit soné,
84 Mes bons denier, tuz vielz musiz d'antiquité.L81 [L81] The meaning is obscure. Faus bacin, for which Meyer proposed sans bacin, cannot be explained satisfactorily whichever way it is read. The author may have intended a play on bacin bowl and bacin gong. The New English Dictionary under basin I. 4 has: The beating of metal basins was formerly part of the mocking accompaniment when infamous persons were condemned to be publicly carted. Musiz d'antiquité might mean music. But an article by P. Grierson in the English historical review LXV (1951), 75-81, suggests that it may rather be certain gold coins, which he identifies with the Almohade dinar. These were struck from the middle of the twelfth to the middle of the thirteenth century. The earliest mention of them in English records is 1190, and the Close and Liberate Rolls, from 1238 onwards, record purchase after purchase of . . . deniers de musc', usually in connection with some festival of the Church. Their especial use for reckoning ecclesiastical payments fits the present context. But if the dating of the poem is right, it is roughly contemporary with the currency of the coins in England, which makes it hard to explain why they should be described as vielz and d'antiquité, unless the author means one to understand a coin which no longer existed or a purely imaginary one. Latin forms of the name include muscze, muscia, muscii; the vernacular maille de muz is recorded in 1240-45 (see loc. cit., p. 75, note 2). But musc' is regularly found combined with obol or denier and not alone, as here.122
Quant cil unt duné a lur maistresL85 [L85] duné i.e. greased the palm of.122
Adonques curent sure as prestres.
Tant vunt enquerant de lur estres,
88 Que par espies, que par fenestres,
Qu'il ont trové
Alcun chaitif qui sur defens avra chanté.L90 [L90] chanté = sung Mass. Le roman des romans stanzas 129-30 contains a very similar account of the parish priests' sufferings at the hands of archdeacons and rural deans.122
Al daien durra queque seit
92 Pur ço que le mainteg[n]e a droit.
[O]re poez oir, qui bien voit,
Cume li diables les deceit:
Tut unt turné
96 Al cuvoiter plus que Deus ne lor a presté.
Car l'autrui volent et le lur,
E rien ne funt pur Deu amur;
Li grant manjue le menur.L99 [L99] Li grant manjue. Owing to a misreading of manjue, which he thought was written maīne but is in fact māiue, Meyer proposed to correct grant to graindre, on account of the metre. This is the sense of the passage, though the correction is misplaced.122
100 Mult est suffranz nostre Seignur
Qui tut done, s'il en unt tel averté.L102 [L102] tel is interlinear122
[L]i plus haut clerc e li plus sage
104 Pernent de ceus de bas parage
Luier pur gesir en putage,
Dunt seinte iglise a tel damage
Que restoree [f.144b]
108 Ne purra estre | mes a nul jor en nostre eé.
Car il donent les benefices
As beiesses et as nurrices,
As dames manteals et pelices;
112 Ço est mult mal as autres vices.
Trop unt usé
Lur tens en ço que plus lor deust estre veié.
[R]iches chanuines seculers,L115 [L115] Guide letter R is given but rubricator has failed to add the coloured initial123
116 Qui vers les mes Deu sunt advers,L116 [L116] mes Deu. Meyer quotes a passage from Pseudo-Turpin in which Charlemagne is said to have described the poor as nuntii Domini.123
Il dunent chainses et souders
As putains et a lur pers.
S'il sunt sauvé
120 Dunc ne sui pas perdu ne mesalé.
[S]il sermonur qui nus sermonent,L121 [L121] Guide letter S is given but rubricator has failed to add the coloured initial123
E qui nos pechez nus perdunent,
Tel ure est quant se reponent
124 Unt les tusetes qui les tastunent
A lur costé;
N'en partira desi que ele ait partut graté.L123 [L123] Meyer gives examples of tastoner = to massage, as part of the essentials of medieval hospitality preparatory to sleep. Mais on conçoit que dans une société, à certains égards beaucoup plus libre que la nôtre . . . ce qui était à l'origine un traitement purement hygiénique, ait conduit à des abus (loc. cit., p. 394).123
Li truanz fet vers lui sun plait
128 Pur l'offrende et l'argent frait;L128 [L128] argent frait = money broken into, i.e. small change, or perhaps a technical expression. One example given by Godefroy VIII, p. 179b, seems to support the latter view: Son mari luy va dire qu'elle n'avoit nulle occasion de se fascher, veu . . . que pour avoir de l'argent frais et une autre femme, il faudrait bien . . .. Godefroy interprets as money newly received; but the context suggests that this explanation is too simple; frais here might be a variant spelling for frait past participle of fraindre, and not the adjective. No other examples of the phrase have been found.123
Cil qui plus simple se fait,
Juste la fertre u il estait,
A tost visé
132 As reliques cele dunt il ert escuté.
Qui cheut que li lecheur face?
Ja ne perdrum ne gré ne graceL134 [L134] perdrum. The MS. has p̱dum which is a normal abbreviation for perdrum, though one cannot be certain the scribe may not have meant it for perdum; the present indicative and the future are equally good in the context.130
Pur une putein s'il la trace
N'est preu senéL137 [L137] preu. The negative participle in any way.130
Qui quide perdre ço que il fait pur amur Deu.
[M]ult sunt prudom li Templer,L139 [L139] Guide letter M is given but rubricator has failed to add the coloured initial130
140 E bien se sevent purchacer,
Mes trop par aiment le diner.
Quant li tens est alques chiers
Si vendent blé
144 Plus volentiers que il nel prestrent a lur menie.
Ne li seignur del Ospital
N'unt cure de femme venal,
S'il unt palefrei ne cheval;
148 Jo nel di mie pur nul mal […]
ORDRE DE BEL AYSE
L'ordre de bel ayse, a satire on various religious orders, is preserved only in MS. Harley 2253. This MS. is described in the introduction to No. III.
The poem begins, without incipit or title, after a blank space equivalent to six lines of writing, in col. a of fol. 121r, and continues, in two columns of thirty-five to forty lines per page, to the foot of col. a of fol. 122v. It is preceded by an English poem on the interpretation of dreams, and followed by a fabliau in French verse, Le chevalier qui faisait parler, a remaniement of a tale by Guerin (or Gwaryn). 1  See Vising p. 61, No. 219.132
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
The conjunction and is not abbreviated. Both que and qe occur written out and are used indiscriminately. qi is expanded as qui in esquiers 19, qant as quant 24, etc., qar as quar 16, etc.; mlt̅ as molt 72 on the model of molt written out in line 124; ch̅lrs as chevalers 72. Other abbreviations are the customary ones and are sparingly used.[f.121ra7]
1 Qui vodra a moi entendre
Oyr purra e aprendre
L'estoyre de un ordre novel,
4 Qe mout est delitous e bel.
Je le vus dirroi come l'ay apris
Des freres de mon pays.
L'ordre est si foundé adroit
8 Qe de tous ordres un point estroit;
N'i ad ordre en cest mound
Dont si n'i ad ascun point.
Le noun de l'ordre vus vueil dyre,
12 Qe um ne me pust blamer de lire;L12 [L12] lire. This is translated with hesitation as read. In this context the word seems to be used in a special sense. Godefroy IV. 794c under lire, liron, quotes Cotgrave for the meaning the burthen of a song. Perhaps, by extension, the expression could imply to sing an old song or to crack an old chestnut. It would be preferable to emend eslire.133
Qy oyr velt si se teyse:
C'est le ordre de bel eyse.
De l'ordre vus dirroi la soume,
16 Quar en l'ordre est meint prodoume
E meinte bele e bone dame;
En cel ordre sunt sanz blame
Esquiers, vadletz e serjauntz.L19 [L19] esquiers, vadletz e serjauntz. These terms are to be understood in the feudal sense, as follows: squire, a young man of good birth attendant upon a knight and next in rank to him; page, an attendant upon a knight, lower than the squire in the feudal hierarchy; man-at-arms, a serving man or common soldier, or possibly a tenant by military service, below the rank of knight.133
20 Mes a ribaldz e a pesauntz
Est l'ordre del tot defendu;
Qe ja nul ne soit resçu,
Quar il frount a l'ordre hounte. [f.121rb]
24 Quant rybaud ou vyleyn mounte
En hautesse ou baylie,
La ou il puet aver mestrie,
N'i ad plus de mesure en eux
28 Qe al le luop qe devoure aigneux.
De cele gent lerrei a taunt
E de le ordre dirroi avaunt.
En cel ordre dount je vus dy,
32 Est primes issi estably
Que ceux qe a l'ordre serrount
De Sympringham averountL34 [L34] Sympringham. The Gilbertines, a community of nuns, lay brothers and sisters with priests to act as chaplains. In the first half-century of their existence their reputation stood high. But it is easy to see how houses for monks and nuns together could become the subject of scurrilous talk.134
Un point qe bien pleysant serra,
36 Come l'abbeie de Sympringham a:
Freres e sueres ensemble.
C'est bon ordre, come me semble.
Mes de tant ert changié, pur veyr,
40 Q'a Sympringham doit aver
Entre les freres e les sorours,
Qe desplest a plusours,
Fosses e murs de haute teyse.
44 Mes en cet ordre de bel eyse
Ne doit fosse ne mur aver,
Ne nul autre destourber,
Qe les freres a lur pleysyr
48 Ne pussent a lor sueres venyr;
E qu'il n'eit point de chalaunge.
Ja n'i avera ne lyn ne launge
Entre eux, e si le peil y a,
52 Ja pur ce ne remeindra.
De yleoque est ensi purveu
Qe cil q'al ordre serrount rendu
De l'abbé deyvent bien estre,
56 E ce comaund nostre mestre,
Pur bien manger e a talent
Trei foiz le jour, e plus sovent.
E s'il le fount pur compagnye [f.121va]
60 Le ordre pur ce ne remeindra mie.
De Beverleye ont un point treitL61 [L61] Beverleye. It is not clear whether the secular canons serving the minster are meant, or the friars of the Dominican convent.134
Qe serra tenu bien e dreit:
Pur beyvre bien a mangier,
64 E pus apres desqu'a soper,
E apres al collatioun,
Deit chescun aver un copoun
De chandelle long desqu'al coute;
68 E tant come remeindra goute
De la chandelle a arder
Deivent les freres a beyvre ser.
Un point unt tret de Hospitlers
72 Qe sunt molt corteis chevalers,
E ount robes bien avenauntz,
Longes desqu'al pié traynantz,
Soudlers e chauses bien seantz
76 E gros palefrois bien amblantz.
Si deyvent en nostre ordre aver
Les freres e sueres pur veyr.
De chanoynes ont un point prisL79 [L79] chanoynes. Presumably the Augustinian or regular canons. They lived a quasi-monastic life, and their establishments varied from that of a group of priests serving a church, to a centre of education or a place of strict solitude.135
80 Qu'en l'ordre ert bien assis;
Quar chanoygnes pur grant peyne
Mangent en la symeygne
Char en le refreitour treis jours.
84 Auxi deyvent nos sorours
E nos freres chescun jour
Char mangier en refreitour,
Fors le vendredi soulement
88 E le samadi ensement.
E si issint avenist
Q'al samadi hoste fust,
E l'em ne ust plenté de pesshon,
92 L'estor qe fust en la mesoun
Purreint il par congié prendre;
Ja l'ordre ne serra le meindre.
Un point ont tret de moyne neirs,L95 [L95] moyne neirs. Often used, for instance by Gerald of Wales, to mean the Cluniac monks, though strictly speaking it should include all Benedictines.135
96 Que volenters beyvent, pur veyrs, [f.121vb]
E fount cheschun jour yvre,
Quar ne sevent autre vivre;
Mes il le fount pur compagnie
100 E ne mie pur glotonie.
Auxi est il purveu
Que chescun frere soit enbu
De jour en jour tot ades,
104 Devant manger e aprés.
E si il avenist ensi
Qe a frere venist amy,
Dount se deyvent enforcer,
108 Pur les freres solacer,
Qui savera bien juer le seyr–L109 [L109] Does this mean to entertain the brothers with music, or something less innocuous like playing at dice, gambling or the like? At all events it provides the entertainer with a plausible excuse for lying long abed.136
Ce vus di je de veir–
Yl dormira grant matinee,
112 Desque la male fumee
Seit de la teste issue,
Pur grant peril de la vewe.
Des chanoynes seculers,L115 [L115] MS. chanoyners with r expunged136L115 [L115] chanoynes seculers. The clergy serving cathedrals and important churches; they were subject to a semi-monastic discipline.136
116 Qe dames servent volenters,
Ont nos mestres un point treit,
E vueillent qe cel point seit
Bien tenuz e bien useez;
120 Quar c'est le point, bien sachez,
Que pluz ad en l'ordre mester.
Pur les sueres solacer
Si est, sur eschumygement,
124 Comaundé molt estroitement
Que chescun frere a sa sorour
Deit fere le giw d'amour
Devant matines adescement,
128 E aprés matines ensement.
E s'il le fet avant son departyr
Troiz foiz a soun pleysyr,
Ja le frere blame ne avera,
132 Ne le ordre enpeyré serra.
Gris moignes sunt dure gent,L133 [L133] gris moignes. The Cistercians, also known as white monks in contrast with the black monks.136
E de lur ordre nequedent [f.122ra]
Vueillent nos mestres pur grever
136 L'ordre un des lur poyntz aver.
E si n'est geres corteis,
Quar a matines vont sanz breys;
Auxi deyvent nos freres fere
140 Pur estre prest a lur affere.
E quant il fount nul oreysoun
Si deyvent estre a genulloun,
Pur aver greindre devocioun
144 A fere lur executioun.
E ov un seyn sonnent santz plus,
C'est lur ordre e lur us;
Mes nos freres pur doublerL147 [L147] doubler. Knowles, The monastic order in England (Cambridge, 1949), 544, writes: . . . the ringing of bells, singly or in combination, was a feature both of the daily horarium and of certain special occasions. Such ringing was regulated by authority. The word may be used with a double meaning in this context; Godefroy II. 756b gives: doubler, avec un rég. de personne, rouler en renversant.137
148 Ov deus seynz deyvent soner.
De taunt est nostre ordre dyvers
Qe nos sueres deyvent envers
Gysyr e orer countre mount,
152 Par grant devocioun le fount.
Issi pernent en pacience,
Cest point de l'ordre de cilence.L154 [L154] l'ordre de cilence. Presumably the Carthusians. This rule seems to refer forward to the section on the monks of the Charterhouse.137
Charthous est bon ordre sanz faile,L155 [L155] Charthous. The Carthusians, characterized by their asceticism and solitary life. Their cells were complete houses in miniature.137
156 N'est nul des autres qe taunt vayle;
Pur ce vueillent ascun point trere
De cel ordre a nostre affere.
Chescun est en sa celle enclos
160 Pur estre soul en repos;
Auxi deyvent nos freres estre.
Si doit chescun a sa fenestre
Del herber aver, pur solas,
164 E la suere entre ces bras,
E estre enclos privement
Pur survenue de la gent.
Ne devomz pas entreoblier,
168 Si nostre ordre deit durer,
Les frere menours a nul fuer
Qe Dieu servent de bon cuer.
Si devomz ascun point aver
172 De lur ordre pur mieux valer.
Lur ordre est fondé en poverte, [f.122rb]
Pur quei yl vont la voie apierte
En ciel tot plenerement;
176 Si vus dirroi bien coment
Yl querent poverte tot dis.
Quaunt il vont par le pays
Al chief baroun ou chivaler
180 Se lerrount il herberger,
Ou a chief persone ou prestre,
La ou il purrount a oese estre.L182 [L182] oese. It is almost impossible to decide whether the scribe wrote oese or eese.137
Mes par Seint Piere de Roume,
184 Ne se herbigerount ov povre houme!
Taunt come plus riches serrount
Ostiel plustost demanderount.
Ne ne deyvent nos freres fere
188 Ostiel en autre lyu quere
Fors la ou il sevent plenté.
E la deyvent en charité
Char mangier e ce qu'il ount,
192 Auxi come les menours fount.
Pus qe avomz des menours,
Auxi averomz des prechours.
Ne vont come les autres nuyz peez
196 Eynz vont precher tot chauceez.
E s'il avient ascune feez
Qu'il seient malades as pies,
Yl purrount, s'il ount talent,
200 Chevalcher tot plenerement
Tote la jornee entiere.
Mes tot en autre manere
Deyvent nos freres fere,
204 Quant il prechent par la terre.
Car il deyvent tot adés
Tot dis chevalcher loinz e pres.
E quant il fount nul sermoun
208 Si deyvent estre dedenz mesoun.
E tote foiz apres manger
Deyvent il de dreit precher;
Quar meint houme est de tiele manere
212 Qu'il ad le cuer pluz dur qe piere,
Mes quant il avera aukes bu, [f.112va]
Tost avera le ordre entendu,
E les cuers serront enmoistez;
216 De plus leger serrount oyez,
Qe al ordre se rendrount
Quant le sermon oy averont.
Ensi est nostre ordre foundé
220 E si ount nos freres enpensee
Qe chescun counté doit aver
Un abbé, qe eit poer
A receyvre sueres e freres
224 E fere e tenyr ordres pleneres.
E qe les pointz seient tenuz
Qe nos mestres ount purveuz,
Un provyncial en la terre
228 Doit aler e enquere
Pur saver qy l'ordre tendra.
E cely qe le enfreindra
Serra privement chastié
232 E de son meffet reprové.
E ceux qe serront trovez
Qe l'ordre averount bien usez,
Si deyvent, pur lur humilité,
236 Estre mis en digneté
E serrount abbés ou priours
A tenyr l'ordre en honeurs.
Issi fount les Augustyns,
240 Qe tant sevent de devyns,
Par tot enquergent pleynement
Qy tienent l'ordre lealment.
E ceux qe l'ordre tendrount
244 Par tot loé serrount.
Atant fine nostre ordre
Q'a touz bons ordres se acorde;
E c'est l'ordre de bel eyse,
248 Qe a plusours tro bien pleyse.
LETTRE DU PRINCE DES ENVIEUX
Lettre du prince des envieux is known only in the British Museum MS. Additional 46919, formerly Phillipps 8336.
The MS. now contains 211 leaves. The poem occupies the last eight lines of fol. 116r, col. b, and the first forty-six lines of fol. 116v, col. a. This leaf is part of the tenth quire, fols. 107-19, 1  Originally seven bifolia, the last leaf is now missing.144 and is written in a formal book hand. Simund de Freine's Roman de Philosophie fills fols. 107r-116r, and is followed immediately by the poem. A paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer, a short pious poem of a dozen lines and a salutation to the Virgin, all in French verse, make up the contents of the quire. None of these items has a title in the MS. The Lettre du prince des envieux begins with a large red initial, and lines 27 and 35, where there is a pause in the sense, are preceded by a red paragraph mark. At the top of the first leaf of this quire, a hand judged by Paul Meyer to be very little later than the presumed date of the MS. itself, added: . . . Priez pur le alme frere Jon de Kyngtone pur li duz Jhesu Crist. 2  A certain Jordan of Kingston (fl. 1325) friar minor at Southampton, owned M.S. Ste. Geneviève 2899; see M. D. Legge in Medium Ævum XI (1942), 77 ff. But Miss Legge states that the inscriptions in the two MSS. are by different hands, and therefore the two names are presumably different individuals.144
The MS. is believed to have originated as a number of separate tracts which were put together by William Herbert, reader in divinity to the Franciscans at Oxford. 3  See Catalogue No. 79 of W. H. Robinson, 16 Pall Mall, London, 1950, pp. v-vi.144 Evidence in favour of this view is substantial: the book contains three Latin sermons preached by Herbert at Oxford, and English versions of eighteen Latin hymns stated, on fol. 205r, to have been translated by Herbert and written in his own hand. Eight other items are written in this hand, which added short notes passim. Paul Meyer, who described the French contents in detail, 4  Romania XIII (1884), 479-541.144 distinguished seven or eight different
Page 144hands in fols. 2-154, all dating from the first half of the fourteenth century. W. H. Robinson's catalogue distinguishes a total of twelve different scribes, all fourteenth century except scribe VI, dated thirteenth century, who wrote the quire containing the present Lettre. Meyer however characterized this hand as écriture qui a première vue paraît plus ancienne que les précédentes, mais c'est surement une illusion puisqu'elle continue (du fol. 139 au fol. 153) les contes de Bozon commencés par une autre main. 1  loc. cit. p. 500.146 Little is known of Herbert. He was in Paris in 1290, and is thought to have been connected with the Franciscans of Hereford. The date of his death, variously given as 1333 or 1337, is uncertain. 2  D.N.B. under Herbert, William.146
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
The conjunction et, when written out, is always e; the form et has been used to indicate where the abbreviation occurs.
The sign $$ is expanded ur, although this results in demure (line 6), but purrunt (line 7); $$ is expanded ke; ke also occurs written out.[f.116rb40]
1 Sacent trestuz ke ove may sunt,
E ceus ke a moy a venir sunt,
Ke jeo, prince de coveitus,
4 De orguil[us] e d'envius,L4 [L4] orguil[us]. The emendation is suggested by the forms coveitus, envius, adjectival substantives in the oblique plural, meaning the covetous . . . envious people. The scribal error, if it is one, could be explained either by failure to notice the abbreviation $$ = us in the exemplar, or careless omission of the abbreviation sign from the copy. The line, if meant to be octosyllabic, is two syllables short as it stands; but syllable-count is irregular.147
As riches(ces) ay doné et granté,
Ke en chef sunt ove moy demuré,
Ke il purrunt tut a lur devise,
8 Par force et fause cointise,L8 [L8] force over erasure147 [f.116va]
A tort, par toute et par rançoun,
Par prises et par fause enchesun,
Par enprent et par tallage,
12 Par privelege et par utrage,
On cume puent penser autrement,
Deceivre la commune gent
E fere lur grevances et damage.
16 Pur lur servises et lur humage
Rendant a moy tut sulement,
Encuntre Deu et bone gent,
As trestouz les jurs de lur vie,
20 Covetise, orgoyl et envie,
Pur tute manire de servise,
Sauve la sentence de seinte eglise,
Ke encuntre ceo ne put estre
24 Ke escume[n]gé ne seyent del prestre,
Quatre foyz par an generaument,
Chescun ke de autre acord prent.
¶ E jeo le prince dit devant
28 De ces fez lur serrai garant,
Encuntre lur bien fez pleinement
E encuntre la priere de bone gent,
E ausi encontre le deservise
32 Ke l'em fet en seinte eglise,
Ke ja bien ne lur fra
Taunt cume Deu le suffra.
¶ E c'est a saver verraiment
36 Ke la devantdite riche gent,
Pur mun dun et pur mun grant,
E pur ma chartre et mun garant,
M'unt duné lur almes al departir
40 Del cors, kant il devent murir,
A mettre en peyne et en turment
En enfern pardurablement.
E ke afermé seit ceste covine
44 Mun sel j'ai mis de fausime
Par unt jeo lur conferm et grant
Ke ja ne tient covenant
A nul, pur escrit ne serment,
48 Mes tuz dis decevent la gent.
Par ices tesmoynes ke sunt mis,
Ke en ciel furent jadis,
Belzebub et Asteroth,
52 Beel, Baal et Bemoth,
Belphegor, Baalym et Berith,L51 [L51] For witnesses the author has drawn on Old Testament names of false gods, without being aware that Beel and Baal, plural Baalym, are variant forms of the same word. The principal Biblical references to these gods are:
Belzebub: 2 Kings i. 2, 3, 6, 16; in the New Testament the name is used for the prince of the devils: Matthew x. 25; Mark iii. 22; Luke xi. 15.
Asteroth: Judges ii. 13, and x. 6; 1 Kings xi. 5 and 33.
Beel, Baal, Baalym: Judges ii. 13 and x. 6; 1 Kings xviii. 21-40.
Bemoth: Job xl. 15. The introduction of this name into a list of devils is due to the misconception, propagated by saints Jerome, Augustine and others, that Behemoth personified Satan. From St. Thomas onwards it was recognized as an animal.
Belphegor: Numbers xxv. 5; Deuteronomy iv. 3; Psalms cvi. 28.
Berith: Judges viii. 33 and ix. 4 and 46.149
E autres assez sanz contredit.
The poem, known by its opening words as Vulneratur karitas, is in alternate stanzas of Latin and French, the one a translation of the other. It is known only in MS. Harley 746, fols. 103v, col. b-104r, middle of col. b, and is the sole text of its kind in the MS.
The original contents (fols. 4r-104v) are a collection of texts, in Latin and French, relating to the laws of England, from William the Conqueror to Edward I. The arrangement is roughly chronological: the items numbered 24-6 in the Harley catalogue, 1  A catalogue of the Harleian manuscripts . . . I (1808), pp. 430-31.150 viz. the Statute of Marlborough, the first Statute of Westminster, and the first Statute de Judaismo of King Edward, can be dated 1267, 1275, and circa 1279. These are followed by a comparison of the assize of novel disseisin with mort d'ancestor, and the poem, the last of the original contents. There is no mention of the important second Statute of Westminster, 1285, which suggests that this collection of texts was compiled before that date.
Later additions (fols. 1r-3v and 104v-107r) cannot be dated precisely. One on fol. 105v concerns the Earl of Angus and may refer to Gilbert d'Umfraville (†1307), the first holder of the title. Another at the top of fol. 107r, gives the king's style as Edwardus . . . Rex Anglie et Francie . . . and must therefore be later than 1339; it consists of pen trials, and mentions a debt owed by one Hugh Obthorp de Gaston', whose name also appears in a note by a different hand on fol. 104v.
The script of the original contents is a careful thirteenth-century bookhand; curious in the poem is the letter-combination vu (in vulneratur, vunt) which resembles a capital W with the inner strokes crossed. It is hard to say whether it is all the work of one scribe. The additions are by current hands, all probably fourteenth century.
The poem is written as prose, but three lines have been left blank
Page 150between the lines of text of the first stanza. This suggests that music was to be added; and, in fact, on fol. 107r, between the fifth and sixth lines of the pen trials already mentioned, a line of music is scribbled in plummet. Traces of the words . . . karitas . . . et perfidia, below the musical notes, leave no room for doubt that this melody was meant to accompany the poem. It is written on a four-line stave, in white notation; the script of the text looks later than that of the poem. 1  Professor J. A. Westrup is of the opinion that the notation is fifteenth century; but the present editor is not convinced that it is meant to be white. A scribe writing with anything as impermanent as plummet might not have troubled to black in the notes.152 But it may have been written down before the pen trials, because the space occupied by the music is wide enough for three lines of pen trials, and why should such a space have been left unless it was already filled? Unfortunately the music corresponds to the first line and a half of a stanza only, and part of this, including the key signature, has been erased, which renders any attempt at reconstruction problematic. It does at least seem unlikely, on palæographical grounds, that the music was noted by the scribe of the poem or a contemporary; but it could have been inserted between sixty and ninety years later.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
In the Latin lines the conjunction and is never written out; in the French it is abbreviated and also written out e; to indicate the use of the abbreviation it has been expanded et everywhere. In the Latin ḣ is rendered by hoc 19, ē by est 59. In the French qantant is expanded quant 22, 62, and t're terre 30.
The translation represents the French version. It has not been thought necessary to indicate deviations from the Latin, since these are due to the different idiom.
1 Vulneratur karitas, amor egrotatur,
Regnat et perfidia, livor generatur,
Fraus primatum optinet, pax subpeditatur,
4 Fides vincta carcere nimis desolatur.
Amur gist en maladie, charité est nafré,
Ore regne tricherie, hayne est engendré,
Boidie ad seignurie, pes est mise suz pé,
8 Fei n'ad ki lui guie, en prisun est lié.
In presenti tempore non valet scriptura,
Sed sopita veluti latent legis jura,
Et nephandi generis excecata cura,
12 Nullo sensu previo formidat futura.
Ne lerray ke ne vus die ne vaut ore escripture,
Mes cum fust endormie e tapist dreiture,
De la gent hay[n]e avugle est la cure,L15 [L15] hay[n]e. The slip is perhaps due to omission of titulus over y, which is dotted here as elsewhere.154
16 Ke el ne dute mie venjance a venir dure.
Resistentes subruunt iniquitatis nati,
Perit pax ecclesie, regnant et elati,
Hoc silendo sustinent improbi prelati,
20 Mortem pro justicia recusantes pati.
Les contre estanz abatent li fiz de felonie,L21 [L21] The inverted word order: object - verb - subject, is substantiated by comparison with the Latin line 17. Noteworthy are the correct morphological forms of the two definite articles, but fiz oblique plural for nominative.154
Lors perit seinte eglise quant orgoil la mestrie,
Ceo sustenent li prelaz ki se ne peinent mie,
24 Pur dreitur sustenir ne volent perdre vieL24 [L24] ne volent nolent154L24 [L24] ne volent. The emendation is required by the sense; it also corrects a hemistich which is one syllable short. It is possible that the scribe wrote volent and not nolent; u and n are sometimes hard to distinguish.154
Strata pace penitus, amor refrigescit,
Tota tellus Anglie merore madescit,
Omnisque dileccio dulcis evanescit,
28 Cuncti consolacium querunt quo quiescit.
Pes est acravanté e amur refreidie,
La terre est desconforté e de plur enmoistie,
Amur et amisté tut est ane[e]ntie,
32 N'i ad nul ki ne quert confort et aye.
Patre carent parvuli pupilli plangentes,
Atque matre orphani fame jam deflentes,
Qui in primis penitus fuerunt potentes,
36 Nunc subcumbunt gladio plorant et parentes.
Asez i ad des orphanins grant doel demenanz
Ke lur parenz sunt mis a fin(s), dunt il en sunt dolenz,
Cil ki en comenc[me]nt furent mult pussanz,L39 [L39] comence[me]nt. The meaning required and the Latin line 35 support this correction. Possibly the scribe misread an original comēcem̄t, and took the last two letters for nt.155
40 Sunt suzmis a le espeye e plorent li parenz.
Ecce pravi pueri pauperes predantur,
Ecce donis divites dolose ditantur,
Omnes pene proceres mala machinantur,
44 Insani satellites livore letantur.
Li enfanz felons s'en vunt la povere gent preer,
Li riches a tort enrichiz sunt de autri aver,
A peyne i ad haute home ki cesse mal penser, [f.104rb]
48 De hayne sunt haitez | li felons esquier.
Ecce viri confluunt undique raptores,
Ecce pacis pereunt legisque latores,
Dogmata despiciunt truces hii tortores,
52 Et prodesse nequeunt sancti confessores.
De tote parz venent li bers ravisanz,L53 [L53] bers. Whether or not final s is due to the copyist, the form is curious for a nominative plural.155
Ore perissent de pes e de la ley li sustenanz,
Enseignement refusent ces cruels tormentanz,
56 Espleyt ne poent fere cil ki vunt prechanz.
Hii converti respuunt virtute sermonum,
Neque curam capiunt de vita virronum,L58 [L58] virronum. Thomas Wright prints vironum, and refers in a note (Political songs . . . p. 371) to Ducange as the authority for stating that varo and viro are forms of baro. The double r could possibly be a confusion of viro, genitive plural vironum, with verres (or verris), genitive plural verrium, a boar or male swine, but also used contemptuously of a man. The context indicates that a contemptuous meaning may have been intended. Baxter and Johnson list a word vero = fish or minnow, of which the genitive plural would presumably be veronum; but this meaning is not satisfactory. The exactness of the poet's rhymes forbids the reading virorum (: predonum).156
Omnes simul rapiunt, ut mos est predonum.
60 Hiis vindictam ingere, Deus ulcionum!
Si il se ne volent amender pur dit ne pur fesance,
Mes pur tuer quant ont poer ben ont la voillance,
Trestuz en funt ravine, de Deu n'en ont dotance.
64 Cels metez a declin, sire Deu de venjance!L64 [L64] declin. It looks as if an internal rhyme ravine: declin[e[e] were intended. A form of the word ending in e is listed in Tobler-Lommatzsch II, 1255, from Renart le Contrefait 6194, attested by the rhyme s'enracine: Ainsi Raison va a decline The effect of adding a final e to declin would be to correct a line one syllable short.156
ON THE TIMES OR PROVERBIA TRIFARIA
The proverbs, in couplets of mixed Latin, French and English, are extant in three MSS.: R, British Museum, Royal 12 C. XII, fol. 7r; S, Oxford, Bodleian, Rawlinson A. 273, fols. 96r-96v; T, Trinity College, Oxford, MS. 7, fols. 37r-37v. Two other MSS. contain two and four lines respectively: Merton College, Oxford, MS. 248, fol. 166v, lines 13-14, and British Museum, MS. Royal 17 B. XVII, fol. 99r, lines 13-16.
R is dated circa 1320-40 by Warner and Gilson. 1  Catalogue of western manuscripts in the Old Royal and King's collections, II (London, 1921), pp. 26-9.158 S is assigned to the third quarter of the fourteenth century for the following reasons: (1) a list of kings of England, fol. 82r, ends with Edward II, who is stated to have reigned nineteen years and seven months; (2) the latest in date of a series of royal and papal letters, fols. 102r-129v, is dated April 30, 1346; thus the MS. was presumably written between 1346 and 1377 (the year of Edward III's death). T is dated fifteenth century by Coxe 2  H. O. Coxe, Catalogus codicum MSS. Collegii S. Trinitatis (Oxford, 1852), pp. 3-4.158; it is certainly later than 1389, the date of an item on fols. 47v-49r, but perhaps not more recent than the early fifteenth century.
R belonged to John, Lord Lumley (1534?-1609) and is in the nature of a scrapbook, with miscellaneous items in prose and verse, in Latin, French and English, written by various hands. It contains, inter alia, Fouke Fitz Warin in French prose and the oldest extant version of the Short English Metrical Chronicle. The editors of these two works have localized the originals in Shropshire and Warwickshire respectively, and attributed the redactions found in R to perhaps Shropshire and the west midlands. 3  L. Brandin, Fouke Fitz Warin (Paris, 1930), p. viii (Classiques français du moyen âge 63); E. Zettl, An anonymous short English metrical chronicle (London, 1935), pp. ci-cvi, cvii-cx (Early English Text Society (orig. ser.) 196).158 But it is not known whether the book as a whole was written in that region.
In R the proverbs are written in a single column of thirty-six lines. The script is a current hand, in which abbreviations are numerous, especially in the Latin passages. The quire to which fol. 7 belongs contains matter relating to 1280-1322.
S too is a scrap-book, mainly of a historical and theological character, in Latin and French. The script is a current hand, apparently the same throughout, in which abbreviations are fairly numerous. The proverbs, in a single column of forty-eight lines to the page, occupy the last nineteen lines of fol. 96r and the first sixteen of fol. 96v. They begin with the title Proverbia trifaria in large, sprawling letters similar to those of the text. The medieval binding has been preserved; a rectangular mark and two nail holes half-way down the fore edge of the front board suggest a clamp for chaining the volume. The name Thomas Southwell (sixteenth century?) is scribbled on the back paste-down. Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755) owned the MS. before it came to the Bodleian.
The contents of T are theological and moral, in Latin, French and English. The prominence given to the life of St. Etheldreda, and the fact that the item dated 1389 is a miracle worked by her, 1  Henry Wharton's Anglia Sacra I (London, 1691), pp. 653-5, records two miracles worked by St. Etheldreda in 1349 and 1355, but not the one in T.159 point to Ely. 2  N. R. Ker, Medieval libraries . . . (London, 1941), p. 43, supports the Ely connection.159 Several rather current hands can be distinguished; the numerous spaces left blank, the various series of quiremarks, and some items obviously incomplete suggest several scribes working simultaneously and not knowing how much space each will need for his text. Abbreviations are very numerous, due probably to the small format. The proverbs occupy the last twelve lines of fol. 37r and the first twenty of fol. 37v.
Merton College MS. 248 is dated end of fourteenth century and thirteenth century. 3  H. O. Coxe, Catalogus codicum MSS. Collegii Mertonensis (Oxford, 1852), pp. 96-7; and F. M. Powicke, The medieval books of Merton College (Oxford, 1931), p. 171.159 It was given to the College by William Rede, bishop of Chichester (†1385), who bought it from the executors of John Sheppey, bishop of Rochester (†1360). One couplet from the proverbs, lines 38-40 of col. b on the verso of the leaf foliated 166 (but actually 167) has a title in the right margin De mundo, and reads: Lex lyis done ofver al, quia fallax fallit ubique; And love es bot smal, quia gens se gestat inique. 4  Two words between bot and smal and two letters after smal are expunged.159
MS. Royal 17 C. XVII is dated late fourteenth century. It contains theological works chiefly in northern English, and belonged to John, Lord Lumley. 1  Warner and Gilson, loc. cit. pp. 228-30.160 The four lines from the proverbs, lines 7-10 on fol. 99r read: Lex is layde over al, fraus fallax regnat ubique; Love is bot smal, quia gens se gestat inique. Woo walkis wyde, quia commovet ira potentes; Right may not ride, nec valet, ad insipientes.
FILIATION OF MSS.
The two partial MSS. may be disregarded. The other three appear to be independent of one another. T gives twenty-nine lines; the text resembles R rather than S, but sometimes agrees with S against R. The scribe has made careless mistakes in lines 2, 10, 25, 30, and omitted the line which should rhyme with the first line copied on fol. 37v–line 12 of the basic text. T also omits lines 19-22 and 33-34 of R, and 35-38 of S, and reverses the order of the two couplets, R 23-4, 25-6.
S has 34 lines, six of which are peculiar to this MS., viz. 31-2, 35-8, all against women.
R has thirty-six lines; it contains six lines not in S, 17-18, 23-26, and replaces S 31-2 by a different text which agrees with T.
All three texts are given in full; lines are numbered so that couplets which correspond have the same numbers in all versions.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
English þ and ʒ are retained where they occur, but i and j, u and v are everywhere normalized. In R n and u are indistinguishable; q̄ line 21 is expanded que; p̰ is expanded por in tempore 32, but elsewhere per. In S long r and þ are alike and beþeuche 38 could possibly be read berenche; the similarity of long s and f also results in ambiguity
Page 161over lefman 20; the same abbreviation sign represents both er and re. In T p̰ = par, per or por, st = sit 24; þt = þatat and þu = þouou; vr = ver (verba 1); wt = wit (witthymne 3); noteworthy is the titulus with a dot below it for omitted n in non 10, stabunt 32, though not elsewhere; plr̄ima 29 is no doubt a titulus carelessly placed over r instead of l.
1 Quant houme deit parleir, videat que verba loquatur;
Sen covent aver, ne stulcior inveniatur.
Quando quis loquitur, bote resoun reste þerynne,
4 Derisum patitur, and lutel so shal he wynne.
En seynt' eglise sunt multi sepe priores;
Summe beoþ wyse, multi sunt inferiores.
When mon may mest do, tunc velle suum manifestat;
8 In donis also, si vult, tibi premia prestat.
Ingrato benefac, post hec a peyne te verra;
Pur bon vin tibi lac non dat, nec rem tibi rendra.
Sensum custodi, quar mieu valt sen qe ta mesoun;
12 þah þou be mody, robur nichil est sine resoun.
Lex lyth doun over al, fallax fraus fallit ubique;
Ant love nys bote smal, quia gens se gestat inique.
Wo walkeþ wyde, quoniam movet ira potentes;
16 Ryht con nout ryde, quia vadit ad insipientes.
Dummodo fraus superest, lex nul nout leven y londe;
Et quia sic res est, ryth may nout radlyche stonde.
Fals mon freynt covenaunt; quamvis tibi dicat 'habebis',
20 Vix dabit un veu gaunt; leve lefmon postea flebis.L20 [L20] lefmon lesmon162
Myn ant þyn duo sunt, qui frangunt plebis amorem,
Ce deus pur nus sunt facientia sepe dolorem.L22 [L22] facientia facienda162
Tresoun dampnificat, et paucis est data resoun;
24 Resoun certificat, confundit et omnia tresoun.
Pees may nout wel be, dum stat per nomina bina.
Lord Crist, þat þou se, per te sit in hiis medicina!
Infimus moritur, þah lechcraft ligge bysyde;
28 Dives decipitur, nis non þat her shal abyde.
Tels plusours troverez qui de te plurima prendrount,
Au dreyn bien verrez quod nullam rem tibi rendrount.
Esto pacificus, so myh þou welde þy wylle,
32 Also veridicus ant stond pro tempore stille.
Pees seit en tere, per te, Deus, alma potestas!
Defendez guere, ne nos invadat egestas!
God, Lord almyhty, da pacem, Christe benigne!
40 þou const al dyhty, fac ne pereamus in igne!
1 Quant homme doit parler, videat que verba loquatur;
Reison doit aver, ne stultus inveniatur.
Quando quis loquitur, but reison reste þerynne,
4 Derisum patitur, and litel so schal he wynne.
En seinte eglise sunt multi sepe priores;
Sum men ben wyse, quidam sunt inferiores.L6 [L6] quidam is followed by sunt erased and then sunt163
Whan man may most do, tunc velle suum manifestat;
8 ʒif owt com þe to, si vult, tibi premia prestat.
Ingrato benefac, post hec a peyne te verra;
Pur bon vin tibi lac nec dat, nec rem tibi rendra.
Sensum custodi, qar plus vaut sen qe ta maison;
12 þogh men ben modi, robur nichil est sine raison.
Law lyth doun over al, fallax fraus fallit ubique;
And love ne is but smal, quia gens se gerit inique.
Wo walket wyde, quando movet ira potentes;
16 Ryght may noght bide, nec vadit ad insipientes.
Li faus freynt covenant; quamvis michi dicat, 'habebis',
20 Vix dabitur un gaunt; lef lefman postea flebis.
21 þyn and myn duo sunt, que frangunt plebis amorem,
Ceux deux pronouns sunt causancia sepe dolorem.
Infirmus moritur, þogh lechecraft ligge beside;
28 Dives decipitur, mai no man deth away chide.
Tiels plusours troverez qui de te plurima prendront;
A dreyn bien verrez qe poi vel nil tibi rendrount
Tant com tu dorras mulier te vult adamare;
32 Quant ceo ne porras, tibi se non vult sociare.
Pes soit en tere, per te, Deus, alma potestas!
Defendez guere, ne nos invadat egestas!
Wyth wyves war þe, species quare fallit iniqua;
36 Ja pur sa beauté meretrix tibi non sit amica.
Oscula si tibi dat, war þe fro wommenes wrenche;
Ne te decipia[t], mani wyles wyl be beþenche.
God, Lord almyghten, da pacem, Christe benigne!
40 þou myght al fresten, fac ne pereamus in igne!
1 Kaunt homme deyt parler, videat que verba loquatur;
Sen covent aver, ne stult[us] inveniatur.L2 [L2] stult[us] T. The error is no doubt due to the omission of the abbreviation sign for us.164
Quando quis loquitur, bote reson rest witthynne,
4 Derisum patitur, lytil þan schal he wynne.
En seynt[e] eglise sunt multi sepe priores;
Dum men beþ wyse, quidam sunt inferiores.
Wan man may most do, tunc velle suum manifestat;
8 In donis also, si vult, tibi premia prestat.
Ingrato benefac, post hec a peyne vous verra;
Pur bon vin et lac non dat, sed rem tibi rendra. [f.37v]
Reson custodi, kar plus vaut que trayson;
Lex lyþ doun over al, fallax fraus fallit ubique;
And love nys bote smal, quia gens se gestat inique.
Wo walkyth wyde, quoniam movet ira potentes;
16 Ryʒt can nouʒt ryde, nec vadit ad insipientes.
Dummodo fraus superest, lex wyl noʒt leven in londe;
Et quia res sic est ryʒt may nouʒt redely stonde.
Pes may noʒt wel be, dum stat per nomina bina.
24 Lord God, þat þou seo, per te sit in hiis medicina!
Treson dampnificat, et pauc[i]s est data reson;
Reson certificat confundit et omnia treson.
Infirmus moritur, þey lechecraft lygge bysyde;
28 Dives decipitur, nys noʒt þat here schal abyde.
Teus plusours verres qui de te plurima prendren[t];
Al dreyn ben troveres quod noʒt vel nil tibi rendrent.
Esto pacificus, so myʒt þou so do þy wylle,
32 Also verideus, stabis pro tempore stylle.L32 [L32] stabis stabunt169
God, Lord almyʒty, da pacem, Christe benigne!
40 þow conste al dyʒte, fac sic ne simus in igne! Amen.
INGRATITUDE OF THE GREAT
MS. Cotton, Caligula A XVIII is a volume of thirty-one folios. In common with other Cotton MSS. it consists of originally separate tracts bound together. There are two parts to this MS.; the first, fols. 1-22, is by at least three current hands of the fourteenth century–probably the first third of the century; the second, fols. 23-31, is in a largish book hand of about the same date. 1  For further details on fols. 23-31 see No. V.170
Fols. 1 and 31 are blank except for the ownership notes, in a seventeenth-century hand: Ce livre appartient a Guillaume le Vere, fol. 1v, and: willm Le Vere / Virtus vera nobilitas, fol. 31r. 2  To judge from the signature, this is the same man a scrap of whose writing is in the Bodleian MS. Tanner 69 (fol. 190v), a collection of letters dated 1608-59. The scrap bears no date or address; for want of other information it is quoted: Sir, I pray lett me request you to lett yor man bring these Bookes to Norwch on Satherday next. Willyam le Vere.170
Fol. 2r is blank; the verso contains a list of the contents of fols. 3-19. Fols. 3r-21v and 22v are by a second hand and contain Les noms e les armes a banerez de Engletere, fols. 3r-21v, and three short poems without titles, written as prose, fol. 22v, all in French. 3  The third poem is incomplete.170 The first-mentioned is a copy of the Parliamentary Roll of Arms, believed to have been made soon after the compilation of the original, late in the reign of Edward I or early in that of Edward II. 4  Genealogist (orig. ser.) V (1881), 14-18; and (new ser.) XI (1894-5) and XII (1895-6) passim.170 Fol. 22r contains a Latin prayer to the Virgin by a third scribe.
The poem to which Francisque Michel gave the title of Plainte sur l'ingratitude des seigneurs occupies the first twenty-eight lines of col. a of fol. 22v; the last eight lines of the column are blank. This is the only page ruled for two columns. A red $$-shaped hair line marks the beginning of the poem, and a short red wavy line the
Page 170end of the first, second, and fourth stanzas. A paragraph mark, in the ink of the text, at the beginning of lines 5, 12 and 19, and in the middle of line 8, seems wholly mysterious.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEXT
Only five words are abbreviated: grant, mult, kant (three times). For the latter the spelling without u has been adopted, on the model of qe, qi which occur written out.
1 J'ai veu l'eure qe par servise
Conquist hom riche garisoun.
Ore est li tens si a devise,L3 [L3] a devise. The usual meaning of the phrase is at discretion, exactly, completely. But the verb deviser is to allot, arrange; and the context here requires a translation such as fashioned according to a plan, so arranged, so designed.172
4 Qi mieuz sert meins ad gerdon.
Ce font mauveyse gent felon,
Qe sunt plein de coveitise:
Pur nule gise
8 Ne dorront ce qe il averont promiseL8 [L8] promise should be masculine promis, but this would result in a weak rhyme with gise.172
A ceus qe bien servi les ount.
Li grant seignur, par lour cointise,L10 [L10] cointise commonly translated skill, prudence, wisdom implies in this passage skill in a bad sense, consequently cunning.172
Si beau promettent lour sergans;
12 Dient, par fause feintise:
'Amis, mult estes bien servant.
Serves moy a mon talent.
Joe vous dorray, par Sein Denise,L15 [L15] Sein Denise. Other examples of this spelling of the name occur in Audefroi le Bâtard's Chanson Bele Isabiauz, pucele bien aprise . . . line 50, in rhyme with franchise; in Roland line 973, assonating with enclinet etc. The form is learned.172
16 De ma manantise
Taunt qe, kant vous averez eu la prise,
Riches serrez e manant.'
Il s'en joïst en esperaunce
20 De la premesse sun seignur;
Ne quide aver defailaunce
Dunt ja ne avera bien ne honur.
Mes qant vendra a chef de tour,
24 Pur une petite d(e)estaunce,
Par le mentir de un escusour,
Si avera il perdu de enfaunce
Sun servise e sun labour.
28 Deu qe fra la haute justise,L28 [L28] fra added above the line9999L28 [L28] haute justise. The Middle Ages distinguished between haute, moyenne and basse justice. The two latter had jurisdiction over minor offences; the former alone could take cognisance of all causes and pass sentence of death. See A. Chéruel, Dictionnaire historique des institutions . . . de la France, 6e édition (Paris, 1884), p. 638. The phrase implies a conception of God as the highest judicial authority.9999
Dreiturel, plein de vertu,
Kant vendra au jour de juise
Qe touz meffés serront rendus,L28 [L28] The syntax of these lines is problematic, in that there is no principal sentence of which Deu can be the subject, unless one were to supply est at the beginning of line 29. This would correct a line one syllable short by Continental standards. The passage may be corrupt: fra, which is of doubtful legibility, has been inserted above the line and runs into the loop of the following l.9999
32 En enfern serrunt ressuz;
La tendrunt lour manantise.
Coveitise lour ad desseu.
Par lour fole mauveise enprise
36 La joie du ciel averont perdu.
Original work © 1953 The Anglo Norman Text Society, which has granted permission for it to be digitised, browsed and searched on this site. Any other use, including making copies of this electronic version, requires the prior written permission of the copyright holders, who may be contacted via Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HX, UK