Page images

Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Dd. 1. 1.

A LONG, narrow folio, principally on parchment and in a tolerable state of preservation, though mutilated here and there to the extent of whole leaves: formerly consisted of 552 pages, each on the average containing 50 lines: handwriting of the same general character throughout, and assignable to the latter half of the xivth century; which is also the approximate date of the language. At p. 544, there is a reference to the year 1345 as then past.

With two exceptions (§§ 6, 7), the pieces are in verse, and all treat of sacred subjects in the vernacular language.

1. Three leaves are wanting at the commencement, but the colophon supplies the title :


[blocks in formation]

This piece wants a leaf after p. 12, and nearly half of pp. 21, 22. There seems also some gap after p. 10, for although the paging is continuous, the language does not tally. The author of the poem is unknown, but as


reasons will appear for attributing other pieces in this volume to Richard of HAMPOLE, we may conjecture that the present is also from his pen.

For perfect copies of this PASSION, see Ff. v. 48. § 5: Gg. 1. 1. § 11 : Gg. v. 31. § 3: Ii. rv. 9. § 1: and cf. Dibdin's Typog. Antiq. 11. 246 sq. Lond.


[ocr errors]


Begins (p. 27):

Ends (p. 42):

Lewid men arn not lerid in lore

As clerkis ben in holi writte

And pouh men preche hem euer more
It wile not wone in hir witte.

Whan pei schul passen pe world al fro
To seen pe peyne þat is in helle.

This poem, as it professes (pp. 27, 42), was based upon a Latin Sermon of St Bernard (col. 156 seqq. Opp. Antv. 1616). The following notice of the translator appears to have been subjoined some time after his death, possibly by the scribe of the present MS. :

This ryme mad an hermyte

And dide it writen in parchemyn;
Barfoot he wente in gray habyte
He werid no cloth pat was of lyn.
Pus on englisch he dide it wryte :
He seyth he drow it of pe latyn:
His mede lord ihū him quyte,

And seynt bernard clerk of deuyn.

The age, style, and character of the piece accord with a conjecture, that the 'hermyte' here mentioned as its author or translator was the famous solitary Richard Rolle, who lived at HAMPOLE, near Doncaster, and died in 1348 (Warton, II. 43, note a, ed. 1840.) It is not, however, mentioned in the ordinary catalogue of his writings, e. g. that of Tanner, Biblioth. s. v. pp. 374, 375.

3. A Poem, without title or colophon, containing the history of our Lord from the Resurrection to the Ascension.

Begins (p. 43):

On Esterne day in pe dawing

Ihu ros fro deth to lyue.

Ends (p. 48):

þat he mote vs so wisse and rede
þat to heuene blisse we mote come.

This piece may be conjecturally assigned to the same author.

4. A course of Metrical Sermons, consisting of paraphrases on the Gospels throughout the year, with scriptural and legendary 'narrations.' A rubric at the end (p. 412) supplies the following title:


The Sermons proceed in the usual course from Advent onwards, excepting those for Corpus Christi and Palm Sunday. The former stands at the commencement (p 48), and the latter almost at the end of the series (p. 402). Appended is a metrical 'Narracio de Petro Toller,' (pp. 407-412), also in English.

Begins, for Advent Sunday (p. 56):

Or pe fulfilling of tyme was come
Sathanas had al pe folk nome,

And mankynde in prisoun he held
Wip out help wipouten beld.

Ends, for the 25th Sunday after Trinity (p. 402):

Now swete ihū pi grace vs sende

pat we may her our lyf amende,
So pat we alle at our ded day
Come to pat blesse pat lastip ay,

pi louesum face in heuene to se
Amen, amen, so mote it be.

Gaps, more or less extensive, occur at the following places, though the paging is mostly continuous: pp. 50, 98, 106, 118, 145, 202, 300, 313, 314, 324, 356. Besides other indications of their date, an allusion at p. 55 confines the composition of the sermons to the middle of the xivth century : Pe laste pope pat was now,

His name John hiht,

Al pis pardoun he grauntip 30w

And doublip it wip his myht.

Moylerus porw goddis grace.

Bischop of ley3 lymme,

He hap amendid al pis cas

porw myht pat god 3af hym.

John XXII. was pope from 1316 to 1334, and Miler le Poer was bishop

of Leighlin (Ireland) from 1321 to 1341 (Cotton's Fasti, II. 384.)

This date, together with a variety of words peculiar to the North of England and of illustrations drawn from incidents of hermit-life, may not unnaturally point to HAMPOLE as the author of the Sermons; much, however, of their substance being borrowed from the Master of the Sentences (cf. pp. 193, 350) and apparently from the Catena Aurea of Aquinas.

At the end of the work, after the rubric, there follows, in black, the signature Quod' Staundone,' implying that he was the transcriber of the MS. His name is again repeated, in red, after the following couplet, of which he was perhaps the author:

Diues diuicias non congregat absque labore,

Non tenet absque metu, nec deserit absque dolore.

This course of Sermons has very much in common with Gg. v. 31, and with the Ashmolean MS. No. 42, (see Mr Black's Catalogue, p. 63).

5. A short Metrical Exposition of Psalm LI. (Miserere'). Each verse is quoted in Latin, and afterwards expounded in eight lines of English.

[blocks in formation]

6. A copious Exposition of Psalm xc1. (Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi').

After reciting the first verse in Latin, (p. 417) the paraphrast proceeds: 'Alle men pat wile lyuen in this world cristenliche, alle pei sufferen perse


Ends (p. 450): Unto pat lyf he bringe vs, our lord god crist ihūs, pat on pe rode tre boughte vs' (adding the Latin doxology).

7. A Treatise without any heading, but described in the colophon as


Begins (p. 453): 'Man and woman pat is in wil for to fle synne and lede clene lyf take hede to pis tretys pat is wreten in englisch tonge for lewid men pat nought vnderstond latyn ne frensch, and is drawen out of holi writte and of holy doctors beforn pis tyme.'

It contains an account of the plagues of Egypt, and the giving of the Law, Expositions of the Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Sins, Penance, Transubstantiation, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Four Cardinal Virtues, the Seven Sacraments, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Seven Works of Mercy, the joys of Heaven, and the pains of Hell. Part of pp. 457, 458, and 485, 486 are wanting. There is also a gap at p. 524.

The author was probably Hampole: see Tanner, p. 375, col. 2.

1 Quod = Quoð.

« PreviousContinue »