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WACE. CHRESTIEN DE TROYES. LIVES OF SAINTS. SOMME LE ROY, ETC

MRJ number: 
31
College classmark: 
B.9

    Vellum, 11.5 x 8,  29 x 21 (centim.), ff. 239+ 8, double columns of 40 lines.

Early 14th cent., in a beautiful hand: ink blacker at the beginning of the volume.

Fine ornaments.

    Donor, T. C. S.                                                            2 fo. Cler. temps.

    Collation: 6 flyleaves, 18 - 208 216 | 228 - 308 312 (wants 2), 2 flyleaves.

    An elaborate description of this volume, with extracts, is given by M. Paul Meyer, Romania VIII (1879), pp. 309-324: to this reference should be made: it is printed separately under the title of Les  MSS. Français de Cambridge (pt I).

 

        Contents:

               1.  Wace.  la Conception         .          .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      f.  1

                              Cest de Dieu et de sa mere

                                  Ou non Dieu qui nous doint sa grace            

                                  Oez que nous dist maistre Gace

                                                           . . .

                                  Et pour lamour sainte Marie

                                  Amen amen chascuns an die

                          Expl. de lestoire de Dieu et de sa glorieuse mere.

                   See Romania VI 10.

               2.  The fifteen signs of the end of the world      .         .         .          .         .         .          .      53

                          Li quinze signe

                                  Sil ne uous deuoit esnuier

                                  Ou destourber daucun metier

                                                           . . .

                                  An ioie an solaz an deduit

                                  Dites an Pater noster tuit

                          Expl. des quinze signes.

                   See Romania VI 22.

               3.  Crestien.  Vie de S. Guillaume Roi d'Angleterre   .         .         .         .         .         .          55

                          La vie saint guillaume roy d'angleterre

                                  Crestiens se uiaut antremestre

                                  Sans rien oster et sans riens mestre

                                                           . . .

                                  Uns miens compeins Rogiers li cointes

                                  Qui de meins (sic) preudome iert acointes.

                          Expl. la vie seint Guill. qui fu rois d'angleterre.

                   One other copy is known, Paris Bib. Nat. fr. 375: ed. Franc.

                      Michel 1840, Chroniques Anglo-normandes III.

                   This MS. is to be used by Prof. Wendelin Förster, of Bonn, for

                      his critical edition of Chrestien de Troyes.

               4.  La vie Sainte Paule   .          .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         76

                                  Li proverbes au vilein(s) dist

                                  Que (?ou) lan a trove maint bon dit.

                                                           . . .

                                  Quele a asiegneus deseruie.

                          Expl. de seint paule.

                   No other copy was known to M. Meyer.  It is to be edited by

                      Prof. Wendelin Förster.

               5.  Lives of Saints in prose    .         .         .         .         .        .          .            84

                   Viz., SS. John Evangelist (84a), Andrew (88b), Thomas (90),

                      Paul (97), Jasque de Galice (= James the Great, 100b ),

                      Bartholomew (102b), Macé (=Matthew, 105b), Simon and

                      Jude (109b), Phillip (115), Jasques qui fu freres Saint Symon

                      et saint Jude (116), Peter (116b), Agapitus (131b), Clement

          (133b), Chrysanthus and Daria (136), Cervestre (=Silvester,

                      139b), Agnes (152b), Lucy (156b), Agatha (157), Juliana

                      (160), Mark (163b).

                   M. Meyer gives the opening words of each life and notes

                      coincidences (or differences) with two MSS. in the Bibl. Nat.,

                      viz. 13496 and 23112 of the 'fonds français').

               6.  La Somme le Roi     .         .         .          .         .        .         .         .            167

                    Le prumier comandement que Diex comande cest cestui: tu

                      narras mie diuers Diex, etc.

                   Ends f. 240: mes ci fenira ma matiere a la gloire nostre

                      seignor a cui en soit toute l'onor qui nous maint en la com-

                      peignie la ou est pardurable uie.  Amen.

                   Ce liure compila et fist uns freres de lordre desprescheors a

                      la requeste dou roy de France Phelippe en lan de lincar-

                      nacion Ihesu Crist M. et cc. lxxix. Deo gracias.

 

    The book contains a number of good miniatures: good in colour but rather hasty in execution.  M. Meyer has given a list of those in the first part of the book and has transcribed the directions to the artist which have survived in the margin opposite

to a large number of them.  I here give a somewhat fuller description.

    1.  f. 1.  Initial.  Gold ground (as throughout in the first part).  A man and woman

kneel on L.  On R. the Virgin stands resting a book on an altar.

    In lower margin grotesques.  Goat eating at tree.  Man with crossbow about to shoot at a pig on his hind legs holding a distaff and spindle.

    2.  f. 8.  Lanoncion des pastors (rubric).  Two shepherds, one seated with club, the other with long pipe.  Angel flies down with scroll.

    3.  f. 34b Christ on the cross between the two thieves who are on Tau-crosses with their arms bound behind the cross-beam.  Inscription cut.   ...ou il pent | ...la croiz...

    les ii larrons.

    4.  f. 41.  Noli me tangere.  Magdalene kneels on L., red nimbus.  Tree in C. Christ fully draped on R. with tall cross.  comme il apparut a Magd.

    5.  f. 45b.Group of apostles.  Feet of ascending Christ above.  Si comme il se depart de ses apostres et monte es cieuls.

    6.  f. 47.  Seated and standing Apostles.  Dove above.  Si  comme il enuoie lou saint esperit a ses apostres.

    7.  f. 53 (Fifteen Signs).  Christ as judge on red throne.  Above on R. and L. angels with spears, and crown of thorns and nails:  below on each side men rising.  lou jugement quent dix jugera le monde.

    8.  f. 55 (St William).  King and Queen with staves walk to R.   un Roy et une reine  qui vont empelerinage.

    9.  f. 76 (St Paula).  Two bishops and a black monk bear to R.  a coffin with bluish pall and five candles above: nuns in white follow.  Si comme dui euesque la portent en vne biere en terre e noneins blanches apres.

    10.  (Lives of Saints). f. 84.  King on L. John in caldron on R. : three tormentors.  de s. jehan leuangelistre ou (?) comme en le brust et lempereour le commande.

    11.  f. 84b.  Three people on L. On R. John in mass vestments stands in red coffin  before altar.  Si com. s. jehans touz reuestuz est deuant lautel et genz darrier lui. 

    12.  f. 88.  Andrew vested, bound to cross horizontally by 3 men.  Si com. lan lie en la croiz de trauers S. Andri.

    13.  f. 90b.  Four men on L., one pierces S. Thomas, who stands at altar on R.  Si comme en pierce S. Thomas dun tariere parmi le cuer tout reuetu deuant .i. autel.  Grotesques (boar hunt) in lower margin.

    14.  f. 97.  Paul, beardless, falls from dappled horse: he holds a short spear.  A hand in clouds on L. holds the rein of the horse.  Si com. S. pols trabuche desus I cheual a tout le cheual et une main qui ist dune nue retient le cheual par le frain. 

    15.  f. 100b.  Man with sword on L.  points to R.  In C. another man with sword cuts the throat of St James, who pours water from bottle on the head of one kneeling on R.  Si comme en cope a S. Jasque la teste en bapteant I crestien.

    16.  f. 102b.  Two mailed men with swords; one beheads St Bartholomew, who kneels in linen drawers.  On R.  is a boy wounding him with a knife, and another man with sword.  Si com. len descole s. berchemi e decope a coustiaus.

     17.  f. 105b.  Man with spear pierces S. Matthew in mass vestments holding the

host, at altar, on which is chalice under corporal.  Si com. S. mace chante a lautel et le

le fiert dun glaiue par le cuer en faisant leuacion.

    18.  f. 109b.  Two men stone Simon and Jude kneeling.  A man in C. with sword.  Si comme en lapide S. Symon et S. Jude.

    19.  f.115.  A monk in black girt with rope, and four other men, bear the body of Philip to R.  Above it are seen cross and 4 candles.  Si comme emporte S. Phelipe en terre.

    20.  f. 116.  A robed man smites S. James the Less (on R.) with club on the head.  Si com. len fert S. Jasques dun baston a deus mains par la teste.

    21.  f. 116b.  Christ seated on L. gives a huge key to Peter kneeling.  Si com. nostre sires baillie les cles de paradis a s. pere.

    22.  f. 130b.  Peter bound to cross head downwards by four men.  Si com. lan lie s. pere en la croiz ce desouz desus.

    23.  f. 131b.  Ruler sits on L.  Two men pierce and behead Agapitus kneeling.  Si comme I rois fet

cuper la teste S. agapiste et I tirans li pierce le cuer dun glaiue.

    24.  f. 133b.  Two men hold over the water the body of S. Clement (quite stiff) in peaked tiara and mass vestments with an anchor tied to his neck.  Si comme en giete S. climant. en la mer reuestu comme euesque et une ancre de mer pendue a son col.

    25.  f. 136.  Two men stone Chrysanthus and Daria kneeling.  Si comme en lapide s. crisant et sainte daire.

    26.  f. 139b.  Silvester on L. in peaked tiara and mass vestments.  Jews (5) in peaked caps on R.  Si com. s. ceruestres apostoles despute aus maistre de la loi.

    27.  f. 146.  Above.  On L., Constantine and Helena seated.  Silvester stands facing R.

Two bishops sit before him also facing R.  A Jew facing L. addresses him.  Tonsured men kneel on R.

    Below.  A crowd of seated people, a bishop in the centre.

    Si comme constantins et sa mere et li  euesque dune part desputent au mestres de la loy.  Et li pueples les escote qui se siet desouz.

    28.  f. 152.  Ruler on L.  Man beheads Agnes kneeling.  Si comme li preuos  commande que sainte agnes soit ferue dun glaiue par la gorge.

    29.  f. 155b.  Ruler on L.  Man pierces Lucy standing.  Si com. li preuos fest S. luce ferir dune espee par  le cuer.

    30.  f. 157.  Two men with green bow-shaped instruments twist the breasts of S. Agatha.  Ruler on R.  Si com. li emperere fest teurdre les mamelles Ste. agace.

    31.  f. 160.  Above.  Ruler sits before a building and addresses people on R.  Below.  Juliana, nude, stretched on the tire of a wheel between two columns.  A man on either side turns a handle.  Fire below.  Si comme en rotist Ste Juliene en une roe au feu.

    32.  f. 163b.  Men walk to L. with cord attached to neck of S. Mark, who lies clad in linen drawers on the ground.  Behind, a seated ruler with men about him.  Inscription gone: a bit of vellum is cut out of the lower margin.

 

    Miniatures of the Somme le Roy.  Here there are rubrics only.

    1.  f. 167.  Coment diex donne ses commandements a moyses.  On. L. Moses receives the tables.  On R. he breaks them.

    2.  Coment li ypocrite adorent le veel.  Blue ground patterned.  Two men blow trumpets, others kneel  to the calf.

    Hunting scene in lower margin.       

    3.  f. 168.  Coment li apostre font la credo.  They sit: the dove descends: in C. a desk with book on which is written Credo in deum.

    4.  f. 169b.  Beast with seven heads and ten crowns tramples on a friar:  a man kneels to it.  Ceste beste senefie le deable.

     5.  f.185b.  Three quarters of page.  Three tiers.  Cest li iugemens nostre seignour.

    a.  L.  Angel with spear and crown of thorns.  The Virgin kneeling.  C. Christ as judge, two swords proceeding from His mouth.  R.  Angel with cross and nails.  John Evangelist kneeling.  The ground of C. is lozengy of gold lozenges and white fleur-de-lys on blue.

    b.  Angels with trumpets R. and L.:  more figures kneel and stand: pope, bishop, king, monk, etc.

    c.  Peter with the blessed:  C. and R. souls in caldron in hell-mouth: other souls led by devils (obliterated).

    6.  f. 192b.  Cest li iardins des vertuz, etc.  Seven maidens among seven trees; from the root of each tree flows a stream: each maiden holds a bowl.

    7.  f. 194.  Pentecost: very like no. 5 in part I, f. 47.

    8.  f. 195b.  In four compartments.  Prudence.  Crowned woman at desk addressing audience.  Atemprance.  Crowned woman at table admonishes man seated by her, to whom servant offers cup.  Force.  Crowned woman holds disc with lion.  Justice  crowned, seated with scales and sword.

    9.  f. 198.  Humilite holds obliterated disc with ? angel.  Orgueil.  King (Ahaziah) falls out of tower.  Le pecheeur kneels at altar.  Hypocrite  kneels, but turns away from altar.

    10.  f. 201b.  Amistie crowned, stands on dragon, holds disc with bird.  Hely  stands with hand to face.  Dauid. Jonatas embrace.  Saul et dauid.  David sits playing harp.  Saul throned on R. drops javelin upon him.

    11.  f. 203b.  Equite crowned, stands on wolf? and holds disc with lamb, and plummet.  Felounie.  Cain kills Abel with spade.  Noah's ark seen in section on the water:  birds above, men in C., beasts below.  Moses addresses the two Jews disputing, with clubs.

    12.  f. 206b  207.  Prouesce crowned, stands on ox, holding disc with lion.  Peresce in hat reclines: oxen and plough stand in front.  David . Goulie.  Goliath very large in mail with blue surcoat, stone in forehead.  Labour  sowing in field.

    13.  f. 213.  Misericorde crowned stands on sheep (?), gives garment to kneeling suppliant, and holds disc with doves.  Auarice.  Man by open chest of money.  Devil (defaced) above.  Qui recoit les anges.  Lot leads two angels clad as travellers into house on L.  La bone dame qui depart luile in a house: she pours oil from one vessel into another.

    14.  f. 221.  Chaaste  crowned, stands on unicorn, holds disc with bird.  Luxure holds elliptical white object and chain of wreaths.  Holoferne. Judith.  She beheads him in tent.  Joseph et la fole dame.  She addresses him.

    15.  f. 234b.  Sobriete crowned, stands on ? tiger, holds disc with bird.  Gloutonnie

at table, vomiting.  Below, Dives and wife at table.  Servant with club points them to Lazarus, who stands at door on R. with clapper and bowl; a dog licks his leg.

    Below, Dives in caldron in Hell: defaced.

    On f. ii at beginning, in a hand of the 16th cent. are six six-lined stanzas of English verse:

                                When  slepe had slipt out of my heade

                                and sundrie thowghts  amaisd my brayne

                                me thowght I herd in verey deede

                                a thundryng voice yt cride a mane

                                come tyme before the Lord or kynge

                                and maik accompt of euerie thinge.

    On f. vib  is a 15th cent. list of contents, partly copied from the directions to the artist.

    A rectangular piece has been cut out of the first of the 2 flyleaves at the end.  Lower down is the letter N (in black letter).

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

2.  Cameron Louis, 'Two Middle English Doomsday poems',  Bulletin of the Modern Language Society (of Finland) 1: 92  (1991), 43-6.

3.  A. J. Holden, Chrétien: Guillaume d'Angleterre, edition critique (Genève, 1988).

    Professor Wendelin Förster has published his critical edition as part of Romanische Bibliotek (Halle, 1911).

    M. Wilmotte also has an addition found in the series Les Classiques Français du Moyen Age, no.55 (Paris, 1927), which has a critical discussion of the text. 

Part of f. 116 verso was reproduced in The Council on Library Resources Inc. Sixteenth Annual Report, 1972.

6.  La Somme le Roi, Fourteenth century English translation in, W. N. Francis (ed.),  The book of vices and virtues (1942), Early English Texts Society, vol. 217.  See also   S. 30 (MS 256), no.1.

Janet Ferrier, 'A husband's asides: the use of the second person singular in Le Ménagier de Paris',  French studies vol. 31:3, July 1977, pp. 257-67.

14.  f.  221  J. N. Einhom, Spiritalis Unicornis (Munchen, 1976).

Exhibited at 'A thousand years of French Books', National Book League, A thousand years of French Books (London, 1948), cat. no. 22. 

R.H. and M.A. Rouse, Manuscripts and their makers: commercial book producers in medieval Paris 1200-1500 (Turnhout, 2000) vol. I pp. 168-169, vol. II fig. 83 (f.169v).

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