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ing note. De auctore gravis lis est inter Canonicos Regulares, et Benedictinos, necnon et Doctores Parisienses, singulis ut suum vindicantibus, argumentis hinc inde petitis, tam a Manuscriptis Codicibus, quam ab Editionibus antiquis. Quod si hæc sit prima Editio, valde militat pro Parisiensibus, confirmatque opinionem clarissimi Du Pin qui Joannem Gerson Cancellar. Parisien. auctorem vult, modeste tamen et, ut in re dubia, nihil temere asserendo. Ego controversiæ memet non immisceo, nec nostrum est tantas componere lites; videatur Du Pin (Bibliotheque Siecle 15:) qui argumentum istud fere exhausit.
'Liber hic excusus est a Joanne de Westfalia, Lovanii (ut videtur) loco, et homine libero a studio partium. Exercebat autem ille artem impressoriam, an. 1475, aut aliquanto maturius; 'penes me est Liber ab eodem excusus, an. 1475. Incipit liber pagina versa, quæ est una nota antiquitatis; caret numeris in fronte, et literis directionis ad calcem cujusque folii (habet signaturas quas vocant Galli), compingitur autem in unum volumen cum reliquis Tractatibus diversæ naturæ, more in MSS. Codicibus observari solito. In duobus Tractatibus hujus voluminis designatur annus 1485; fac hunc libellum non esse superioris ætatis, vel hoc modesto calculo erit antiquus. Certe tamen antiquior est;
1 'Penes me est Codex alter impressus per Joannem de Westfalia Paderbornen. Dyoc. in alma ac florentissima Universitate Lovanien. resident. anno 1474. N.B. In hoc Volumine continentur duo alii Tractatus, sub Titulo et nomine Johis Gerson uterque.'
vel ipse annus non designatus designat esse antiquiTho. de Kempis obiit an. 1471. Liber hic de Imitatione Christi sub nomine Johannis Gerson impressus erat per Johannem de Westfalia, Impressorem Lovanii an. 1473, aut forte maturius; proinde hæc Editio prope accedit, aut forsitan attingit, ætatem Thomæ de Kempis; nec facile potuit ejus opus (si tamen ejus erat) excudi sub alieno nomine, vero auctore adhuc superstite, aut proxime defuncto. Mirum est hanc Editionem fugisse D. Du Pin, cujus opinionem adstruere videtur; neque enim comperi alicubi ab eo citatam."
Another performance of the Lady Margaret's was,—“The ordinance and reformation of apparell for greate Estates, or Princesses, with other Ladyes and Gentlewomen, for the time of mourninge; made by the right highe mighty and excellent Princesse Margaret Countesse of Richmont, Da: and sole Heir to the noble prince John Duke of Somerset, and mother to the prudent and mighty Prince Kinge Henry the Seventh, in the eight yeir of his Raigne;' [Harl. MS.] relative to which, Sandford (Geneal. Hist. p. 320), observes,―the Countess Margaret (an. 23 H.7.) by the commandment and authority of King Henry VII. her son, made the orders, yet extant, for great Estates of Ladies and noble Women, for their precedence, attires, and wearing of Barbes at Funerals over the chin, upon the chin, and under the same; which noble and good order hath been and is much abused, by every mean and
common Woman, to the great wrong and dishonour of Persons of quality."
She also drew up ordinances for the etiquette to be observed at the accouchement of the Queen of England, and the christening of the royal infants. (Leland's Collect.)
An Account of certain works, which were undertaken and executed at the 'command, exhortation, or enticement,' of the Lady Margaret; and which afford evidence of her zealous patronage of literature in small matters, as well as in those of the greatest moment.
The Hystorye of Kynge Blanchardyne and Queen Eglantyne his Wyfe. Printed by Caxton, fol. The dedication, in modern orthography, is- Unto the right noble puissant and excellent princess, my redoubted lady, my Lady Margaret 'Duchess of Somerset, mother unto our natural and sovereign Lord and most christian King Henry the Seventh, &c. I, William Caxton, his most indign humble subject and little servant, present this little book I late received in French from her good grace, and her commandment withal for to reduce and translate it into our maternal and English tongue; which book I had long tofore sold to my said lady, and knew well that the story of it was honest and joyful
1 This title seems to be only a compliment of Caxton's.
to all virtuous young noble gentlemen and women, for to read therein as for their pastime..... Wherefore, at the instance and request of my said lady, which I repute as for a commandment, I have reduced this said book out of French into English; which book specifieth of the noble acts and feats of war atchieved by a noble and victorious prince named Blanchardin, son unto the king of Ffryse, for the love of a noble princess called Eglantine, otherwise named in French Lorguylleuse Damours, which is as much to say in English, as the proud lady of love-Queen of Tormaday; and of the great adventures, labourous anguishes, and many other great diseases of them both tofore they might attain for to come to the final conclusion of their desired love; as a long, by the grace of God, it shall be shewed in the history of this present book. Beseeching my said lady's bounteous grace to receive this little book in gree of me her humble servant; and to pardon me of the rude and common English, where as shall be found fault; for I confess me not learned, ne knowing the art of rhetorick, ne of such gay terms as now be said in these days and used. But I hope that it shall be understonden of the readers and hearers, and that shall suffice.' [See the description of the Roxburgh Copy, supposed to be unique, in the Typog. Antiq.]
'Scala Perfeccionis: Englyshed: the Ladder of Perfection.' Impressus anno salutis MCCCCLXXXXIIII.
Folio; of which there is a copy in St John's College Library, bequeathed by Tho. Baker in memoriam Pientissimæ Fundatricis.'
The Colophon is as follows, with the subjoined
Thus finyssith this present boke whiche expowneth many notable doctrynes in contemplacyon, whiche as me semyth right exspedyent to those that setten theyr felicyte in ocupyenge theimself specyally for their soule helthe.
'Infynite laude, wyth thankynges manyfolde,
I yelde to God, me socouryng wyth his grace
And Wynkyn de Worde this hath sett in print,
This heuenly boke, more precyous than golde,
For godly plesur thereon to beholde,
Unto the right noble Margaret, as ye see,
Herry the seventh, that Jhesu hym preserue.
Temprynt this boke, her grace for to deserve. finit feliciter liber intitulatus Scala perfeccionis inpressus ano salutis. M.CCCC.lxxxxiiii.'
The Grete Shyppe of Fooles of this Worlde Imprynted at Londod in flete strete by wynkyn de
1 Supposed to have been a Carthusian Monk of Shene, who flourished about the end of the fourteenth century.