« PreviousContinue »
57 THE BRUT CHRONICLE. Here may a man heren how Englonde was ffirste callyd Albyon and thurghe whom hit hadde ye name. In ye nobyl lande off Syrrye ther was a nobyl Kyng and a myghty that men callyth Dioclician yat wel and worthely hym gouernyd and rewlyth thurgh his nobyl Cheualrye.. Fol. 126: . . And yan ye kyng entryd into ye town and restyd hym In the Castell tyl ye towne was sett in reule and in gou'nance. Then follows an English poem on the Siege of Rouen of 151 lines (which begins
and ends with
And more yey schulde undyrtake
This ends on the reverse of fol. 128, and is followed by 21 leaves which
Small folio, MS. ON VELLUM AND PAPER MIXED, 38 lines to the page,
58 THE BRUTE CHRONICLE (usually called CAXTON'S
by William of Mecheln in London in 1484-85) 220 0 0 The Spenser-Rylands copy is perfect, but in very poor condition. No other known copy is perfect; and no copy is known which can compare with the one above described, in regard to size and condition. Such it was in Dibdin's time, and such it remains still. The height is 101 inches, the breadth is 718 inches. It may be confidently stated that no such other exists.
Among early English typographical productions there are few which in point of rarity can parallel the Chronicle printed by William Machlinia; and as for this particular copy it is a phenomenal example. Even of the seven or eight imperfect copies which exist most are in the same condition as the two I have had, one of which wanted 35 leaves, and another 43 leaves. The Sunderland copy came nearest to perfection, as it wanted only two leaves. But Dibdin's words may bear quotation here:
"I have seen three copies of this EXCEEDINGLY RARE BOOK, but all slightly imperfect and in a very soiled condition. . . Mr. Barnes' (of Clifton) which commences on sig. a. ii terminates on ee iiii, another copy is in the library at Osterley Park, and a third is in the choice and valuable collection of Mr. Roger Wilbraham (the present copy). The latter, in regard to MARGINAL AMPLITUDE, is much preferable to either of the preceding."
This is the Brut Chronicle, as completed by Caxton.
59 ST. ALBAN'S CHRONICLE. Colophon on the reverse of leaf y 4: Here endeth this present Cronycle of Eng | londe wyth ye fruyte of tymes, compyled in A booke. z also enprynted by one somtyme scole | mayster of saint Albons. vpō whos soule god | haue mercy amen. And newely in the yere of | our lorde god M.CCCCC. z iiii. Enprynted at Tempelbarre by me Iulyane Nottary. Under this the printer's mark.-CAXTON'S DESCRIPTION of England etc. Fol. 1, title: The descripcion of Englonde. Here foloweth a lytell treatyse the Whiche treateth of the descripcion of this londe . . Under this there are woodcuts in compartments within a border. Fol. 17b: . . Fynysshed and enprynted at Templebarre | be me Iulyan Notary Dwellynge in Saynt Clement parysse, the yere of oure lorde a. M. | CCCCC. and .iiii. mensis Augusti. Under this the printer's mark.
£ s. d.
2 vols. in 1, small folio, printed in double columns, fifty lines to the column; with woodcuts; blue morocco gilt 1504 40 00 The signatures are, a-y, and A-C This copy wants the preliminary leaves (three or four ?), leaf a 1, a 3, a 4, b 2-6, c 1-6, and d 1-4, of the Chronicle. The Description is perfect.
probably 151 leaves.
another edition. Fol. la contains woodcuts in compartments, including the arms of England. On the reverse begins a table, which ends on leaf 4. Leaf 2 missing. On the reverse of leaf 4 six woodcuts in compartments. On fol. 5 begins the text. Colophon (on the reverse of leaf X 8): Here endeth this present Cronycle of En | glonde with the fruyte of tymes. compyled in | A booke. And also newely Enprynted in the ye | re of our lorde god. M.CCCCC. z .xv. by me | Iulyan Notary dwellynge in powlys chyrche | yarde besyde ye westedore by my lordes palyes. On leaf (y 1): The dyscrypcyon of Englonde... Leaf 1b, last line: fyrste abbote and gadred monkes. And soo
2 parts in 1 vol. small folio, printed in double columns, 51 lines to the column; with woodcuts; fine copy in old calf with the bookplate of Thomas Bramston (about 1750)
1515 36 0 0
The signatures are 4 leaves, a-v in sixes, x 8 leaves, y and z in sixes, z 4 leaves probably 148 leaves.-This copy wants leaf2, a 6, b 3 and 4, and z 2, 3, 4. It has therefore 141 leaves out of 148 (?).
These contain the Brut Chronicle as it was printed at St. Albans (1484-85),
60 TRANSLATOR OF LANFRANCO (about 1370). Here begynnythe
Roy. 8vo. MS. ON VELLUM; bound in rough calf
About 1460 30 00:
This is a rare and interesting MS. of the Magna et Parva Chirurgia of Lanfranco -one of the greatest physicians of the Middle Ages-in early English form. JOHN BARBOUR, 1316-1395, author of the Actes of Robert Bruce-see post under SCOTLAND
61 GEOFFREY CHAUCER, about 1338-1400. THE CAN-
Small folio, MS. ON VELLUM; in the original oak boards covered with stamped leather and bearing the initials I C and BI E, said to indicate the ownership of the Congreve family in the seventeenth century, from Lord Ashburnham's
About 1440-50 240 0 0
A careful and excellent text; the orthography of which is evidently so close to that of Chaucer's own that the versification runs smoothly, with very few traces of the metrical irregularities which are apparent in other MSS.
62 CHAUCER'S CANTERBURY TALES, sm. folio, MS. on vellum, 214 leaves, 38 lines to the page; wanting beginning and end; with numerous decorative initials; bound in old russia, Harleian gold tooling About 1430 250 0 0
This codex is said to have belonged once to the Austin Canons at Southwick or Porchester in Hampshire. The name of Thomasine, Lady Stourton, is written on a couple of the leaves ("Tomysyne lady Stourton") from which we may infer either that she was a patroness of the monks at Southwick, or that she owned the book (about 1490). She was a daughter of Hugh Wrottesley or Wriothesley, and probably came of the same family as the Earls of Southampton. The MS. belonged to the Worth family in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and there are records in it of the births of Morryse Worthe, Frauncis Worth, Henry Worthe, and John Worthe in 1562, 1565, 1567, 1574.-The name of George Roceter also appears on one of the leaves, written about 1580. After that the book belonged to the Nortons of Southwick, and Richard Norton presented it early in the last century to his brother-in-law John Chicheley.
It is described as the Norton MS. by Urry and Tyrwhitt who used its readings for their editions of the text.
The first lines of the present first page are from the Knight's Tale,
And telleth me şif it may be amended
And whi pat 30 ben clothed pus in blak . ."
And the last words on leaf 214 are from the Parson's section De Gula—
"The valuable Chaucer MS... belongs to what is called the Petworth
63 CHAUCER (GEOFFREY).
£ s. d.
Small folio, a perfect copy (10 1873 inches) having the first and the sixth leaves supplied in facsimile; large and sound, in an old russia binding, enclosed in a red morocco [William Caxton, about 1478] 2500 0 0
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST GREAT ENGLISH POET, PRINTED BY THE FIRST OF ENGLISH PRINTERS. It is not only one of Caxton's earliest and rarest books; it is emphatically the chief production of his press. His edition of Malory's King Arthur was also a great service to English literature, but it is later by at least seven years, and of course there can be no comparison between Malory and Chaucer.
This first edition of Chaucer is put under No. 12 in Mr. Blades' list of Caxton books, but as he considered that the first seven articles in his list were all produced by Colard Mansion at Bruges between 1474 and 1478, and as Caxton returned to England in 1476 and remained at home from that time till his death, our Chaucer would, in Mr. Blades' opinion, be the fifth book printed by Caxton. In any case the first year of Caxton's activity as a Westminster printer is not likely to have begun before the opening of 1477 and may have included a part of 1478. He produced in 1477-78, besides two or three smaller things, the Jason, the Dictes and Sayings, and the Chaucer.
When Mr. Blades wrote his book, he was aware of nine copies : two perfect and seven imperfect. His two perfect copies were, one in
the British Museum, one at Merton College, Oxford. Of his seven
The typographical composition of the book seems to be inexactly
64 CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales, with an essay .. introductory discourse, notes and a Glossary by Thomas Tyrwhitt. 5 vols. post 8vo. frontispiece and portrait; cloth, uncut
65 CHAUCER ON THE ASTROLABE. Fol. 18: ASTRALABIUM [by CHAUCER]: Lytil Lowys my sone I pseyue wele by ctayne euidence thin abilte to lerne science tochyng nombres and pporcons. And as wele consider I thi besy prayer in special to lerne the tretis of the Astralaby. . . Fol. 31a.. But the contrarie pties thu schalt seen be the cowrs of the Ffor the mone mevith ye contrarie from othre planetes as in here epicircle but in none othre maner. Fol. 1: [PETRUS PEREGRINUS] Incipit Tractatus Magnetis. Amicorum intime, quandam magnetis lapidis naturam occultam a te interpellatus rudi narratione tibi reserabo. . Fol. 6a: Explicit tractat' magnetis Incipit tractatus Arsmetrie . . Fol. 18b: . . pporcio que superius dicta est in
£ 8. d.
3 parts in 1 vol. sm. folio, MS. ON VELLUM by an English hand, 31 leaves, 34 lines to the page with rubrications and coloured initials, and a number of finely drawn diagrams; in a fifteenth-century limp parchment wrapper About 1440 36 0 0
This MS. of Chaucer's Astrolabe is Skeat's Codex T, which he knew about and recorded but had not seen. It resembles to some extent his K, a Rawlinson MS. in the Bodleian, which ends like this with the thirty-fifth of the Conclusions of the second part, and which has these conclusions in the order of 1-12, 19-21, 13-18, 22-35.—The fifth leaf is wanting in the text.
Of the Treatise on the Magnet it has to be observed that this is the first work
66 CHAUCER, First Collective Edition of his Works. Title, within a woodcut