Mediaeval Omnibus book including works by Lydgate, Hoccleve, Mandeville and Chaucer 'Book of Mandeville'
Coventry Archives & Research Centre
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m. 15 c. Poems by Hoccleve (arts.1,2) and Lydgate (arts. 3,7), six short poems by Chaucer (art. 4), a verse version of Mandeville's travels (art. 5), and Titus and Vespasian (art.6) The signatures (see below) suggest that there were originally over 180 leaves before art. 1. Probably these leaves were detached to make a separate volume (23 quires, signed a-z).
1. ff. 1-40 Musinge uppon the restles besinesse...Doo bi thi rede his welthis shal witnesse. Explicit liber de Regimine principium.
2. ff.40-70 (a) Et incipit prologus de Incendio Amoris. Affter ye he(r)vest ynned and his sheves...(f.43) and vnto yi mercie and grace I call. Hic finit questus siue planctus Thome Occleve (b) Et incipit quidam Dialogus inter eundem Thoman et quemdam amicum suum etc. And eendid my compleint in yis maner'...(f.49)shall purge as clene. as kercheif doye scope. Explicit dialogus (c) et incipit quedam fabula de quadam bona et nobile Imperatrice Romana Cap iij. In ye Romayn Gestis wreten' is thus...(f.56) also adien shul wee. Here endithe the tale of a good woman which was sometime Emperice of Rome and nowe sueth the Prolog. Mi frende affter I trowe a weke or two... be knytte in feith. Here endeth the Prolog. And bigynnyth the Amoralizinge of ye forsaide tale. The emperour that I spak of bifor'...(f.57) for our redempcioun Amen. Here endithe the Amoralisinge of yis tale. (d) Here beginnethe a processe to lerne to deie. Sethen all' men naturalli desiren... (f.63) the life yt hath none eende. Here beginnethe the prologue of the ixe lesson' on all' hallowen daie. Thoo othir three partes which in ye boke...(f.64) ne tonge expresse. Loo yis is seide... (f64) god graunte vs all' through his merciable grace amen. (e) Here beginnith ye prolog of ye tale Ionathas. This boke to han eendid had I thought...(f.69) that wee do may. Here endith ye tale of Ionathas and of a wicked woman. And biginnyth ye moralizenge ther of. etc. Explicit.
3. ff. 70-74 O yee folkis hardeherted as a stone...her corious meetres in englissh to translate.
4. Chaucer's ABC and five poems each called 'Balade': (a) ff. 75-6 Here biginneth a preiour of our ladia yt Geffreie Chaucer made affter the ordre of the A.B.C. Almyghti and merciable Quene...; (b) f.76 Balade. Mi master boughton..; (c) f.76v Ballade. To you my purs ...; (d) f.76v Balade. The first stokke ...; (e) f.76v Balade. Some time ye world...; (f). 77 Balade de bon counsail. Fle fro the pres...
5. ff. 77-95 Here biginnith the boke of Mawndevile. Almyghti god in trenitie Oo god and persoones thre...Though a man shulde bie hit of his brothere.
6. ff. 98-129 Here biginnith the sege of Ierusalem bi Vaspasian. Listeneth alle that ben a live...And so longe hit forth gloode that xl yere he abode (ends abruptly at the end of the quire: catchword Syn yt he is so meke).
7. ff. 137-67 Whan phebus passid was the ram... And of my tale thus I make an eende. Here endith the Sege of Thebes. God send vs loue and pees. Amen.
8. (added in current hand,15-16c.). ff. 167v-168 Behold we wrecches in this world present... so yt our soules wt no spot be steyned. Twenty-four 4-line stanzas, each, except the last two, under a Latin heading. The first heading is ''Quando senex erunt (sic) sine sensu.''
ff. ii + 168 + i. 320 x 250mm.. Written space c.245 mm. High. Width of ruled space c.190mm.. 2 columns. 40 lines. Pencil ruling. Collation: 1 four (ff. 1-4), 28 wants 1-3 (ff. 5-9: no text missing), 3-128 (ff. 10-89), 13 two (ff. 90-1), 148 (wants 6, 7 blank after f.95), 15-188, 198 (wants 2, ff. 130-6, blanks), 20-238. Quire 1 signed with abbreviation for ''et'' in black. Quires 2-10 signed with ''et''-. ''-con-'', ''est-'' (?) abbreviations,e, s, T, A, m, E in red (the letters forming word ''est'' and three parts of ''amen''). Quires 11-14 not signed. Quires 15, 16 signed aa, bb. Quires 17-23 not signed (signatures perhaps cut off). Two main hands changing at f.98: ff. 5-25 are perhaps in a third hand. The script is anglicana, with some influence from secretary: ''r'' is not a descender: from f.98 onwards ascenders are straight, not looped. A picture on f.1. Initials: (i) gold on coloured grounds patterend in white; (ii) 2-line, blue with red ornament; (iii) f.1., and in art. 4a , 1-line, blue or red. Binding formerly 17c. plain brown leather over pasteboard; rebound in 1968 and 1976 by Coventry City Record Office using a description adapted from N.R. Ker ''Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries''.
Microfilm copy: PA1826
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