BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 219 England, s. XIII 3/4
Pierre de Peckham, La lumiere as lais
ff. 1r-60v //Ore mey dites si ia auerunt./ Plus de ioye en ciel que ore en
dreit vut./ Veyre la sauuacioun de gent./ De lur ioie ert ennoycement
Pour ceo sunt verreyment./ A titles de garder la gent./ Car checun ad
verite./ Vn bon angle a ly assigne./ Pour garder le de mal e de
vice./...[f. 60v:] Ore couient del enfourmement./ Del confessour dire
ensement./ De ceo comeint treiz chosez sauoir:/...Qe vray dez pechez eit
repentaunce./ Qe a qi humblement se confesse:/ Dieu sez pechez ly
Relesse// catchwords: Ceo dit seint bernard.
Manuscript is defective at beginning and end: text begins in Book II,
Chapter xxxvij (as numbered by a later hand, s. xiii/xiv) and concludes in
Book V, distinctio 5, ch. 2 (Del enfourmement del confessour); hence all
of Books I and VI, and part of Books II and V are missing. Bottom of f. 1
and top of f. 36 torn with loss of text. In addition, after the text of
f. 10r was copied it was discovered that the scribe had failed to copy a
section, which was then written on inserted leaves, now ff. 8-9. The
correct order of the text is: f. 7v, f. 10r (col. a), ff. 8r-9v, f. 10r
(col. b). The disrupted text is marked by the scribe with the letters
a and b, in red, to guide the reader.
A. Langfors, Les incipit des poemes francais anterieurs au XVIe
siecle (Paris, ca. 1917) p. 436; P. Meyer reprints portions and discusses
the text in "Les manuscrits francais de Cambridge," Romania 8 (1879) pp.
325-32. See also M. D. Legge, "Pierre de Peckham and his 'Lumiere as
Lais'," Modern Language Review 24 (1929) pp. 37-47, 153-71.
Parchment, ff. 60, 215 x 143 (178 x 113) mm. 2 columns, 34 lines (ff.
8-9 = 27 lines). Single vertical and horizontal bounding lines, full
across; text rulings drawn through space between columns. Ruled in lead.
Prickings prominent in upper, lower, and outer margins.
I 12 [?, only stubs remain], II 13 (structure uncertain, -1, a stub;
ff. 8-9 contemporary bifolium inserted between ff. 7 and 10), III-VI 12.
Catchwords along lower edge under inner column, verso.
Written in gothic bookhand, below top line.
Plain initials, 3- to 2-line, alternate red and blue for each chapter.
Headings in red. Guide letters for decorator.
Many leaves stained, damaged, but with little loss of text.
Binding: England, s. xiii. Original wound, caught up sewing with
heavy thread, on four tawed skin, slit straps laced through tunnels in the
edge to channels on the outside of oak boards and wedged.
The natural color endbands are sewn on leather cores which are
laid in grooves on the outside of the boards and pegged. The spine
is back bevelled.
Covered in tawed skin, originally white, but now dark brown on the
outside. The turn-ins of the upper board are serrated. Two strap-and-pin
fastenings, the pins (traces only) on the lower board, the upper one cut in
for the fabric-reinforced leather straps. Some sewing supports broken, one
board detached, and some covering leather and straps wanting.
Written in England in the third quarter of the 13th century; text still
being read at the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the 14th century
when chapter numbers were added throughout. Erasure on f. 9v of short
text probably dating s. xiv-xv. Partially legible inscription, s. xv-xvi, on
back turn-ins: "Ajourd ***ot of moreson *** morreton of y[?]."
Purchased from H. P. Kraus (Cat. 80, no. 9) in 1959 by Thomas E. Marston
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 89, no. 219.
Barbara A. Shailor