BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 223 England, s. XV^^1
Jacobus Mediolanensis, Stimulus amoris, etc.
1. ff. 1r-2v [Table of contents for art. 2:] Here bigynneth a tretys
or a book called Stimulus amoris that is to say the prikke of loue of
oure lorde ihesu crist...And now atte begynnynge be write the chapitres
of all the hool book. How a man or womman oweth gladly to have the
passion of crist ihesu in mynde cap. primum...Of the staat of blessed
soules in heuenly ierusalem. Capitulum xliiij.
2. ff. 2v-106v How a man or womman oweth gladly to haue the passion
of crist ihesu in mynde. Cap. primum. Alle forwondred of oure selfe
augte vs for to be gif we bethougte vs inwardly...and so mut oure
tretys enden in louyng of god so that all blissed spirites mote louen
oure lorde, in the blisse of heuene. Amen. Here endeth the tretys, that
is called the prikke of loue. Made bi a frere menour Bonauenture that
was a Cardynal of the Courte of Rome.
Stimulus amoris, translated into English by Walter Hilton from a Latin
devotional text often attributed to Bonaventure. According to H. Kane,
who is preparing a critical edition of the text and of the 16th century
commentary accompanying it in this manuscript, the Beinecke codex
contains five chapters that are not known in any other manuscript (nos.
6, 9, 10, 26, 32).
3. ff. 106v-108r How a man shal knowe, whiche is the speche of the
flesshe in his herte and which is of the werde...and tempered with
wekenes, it is spekyng of god and not of thi selfe.
P. S. Jolliffe (A Check-list of Middle English Prose Writings of
Spiritual Guidance [Toronto, 1974] p. 82, F. 12) does not list the Yale
copy of this anonymous devotional work. The treatise also follows the
English translation of the Stimulus amoris in Stratton on the Fosse,
Downside Abbey 26542, and Cambridge, Trinity College B. 14. 19. For a
modern version see C. Kirchberger, ed., The Coasts of the Country: An
Anthology of Prayer Drawn from the Early English Spiritual Writers
(London, n. d.) pp. 75-77.
Parchment (thick, furry), ff. iii (paper) + 108 + iii (paper), 226
x 163 (149 x 102) mm. Written in 28 long lines; single vertical and
horizontal bounding lines, full across. Ruled in ink; prickings
(slashes) in all margins except inner.
I-XIII^^8, XIV^^4. Catchwords occur in carefully drawn scrolls,
highlighted with yellow.
Written by a single scribe in bold, upright gothic textura;
commentary added in an inelegant cursive (s. xvi).
One 4-line initial (f. 2v) gold, edged in black, against a blue
and red cusped ground with white filigree, attached to a bar border in
outer margin, gold, blue, and pink, with white highlights and leafy
sprouts at divisions and terminals, orange, blue, red, and gold; the
leaves with black hair-spray vines, both straight and in spirals, with
small gold leaves and touches of green, filling upper, outer, and lower
margins. Six initial I's (ff. 7v, 31v, 36v, 38v, 61v, 83v), 11- to 7-
line, gold against blue and red grounds with white filigree and
straight hair-spray vines, as above. 2-line gold initials, against blue
and/or pink grounds, with white filigree and hair-spray, as above. Gold
or blue paragraph marks with blue or red penwork and flourishes. Gold
and blue line-fillers, straight, zig-zag, and wavy, some up to 3/4 of a
line long. Headings, occasional underlining, and crossing out, in red.
Trimming has affected some marginal commentary; f. 108 badly
mutilated with loss of text. Leaves at beginning and end of codex
stained and repaired.
Binding: s. xix. Red edges. Brown goatskin, blind- and gold-
Written in England at the beginning of the 15th century; owned in
the 16th century by a scholar who frequently added passages of
commentary. Inscription (s. xviii) on f. 96v: "This Book is all damned
nonsence./ Hugh Montgomerie." Belonged to John Borthwick of Crookston
(signature with date "October 1856" on f. 1r); apparently his note on
f. i verso: "Number in Catalogue XIII." Purchased from C. A. Stonehill by
Thomas E. Marston (bookplate) who presented it to Yale in 1956.
secundo folio: [table of contents, f. 2] How a man
[text, f. 3] [py]ne his flesshe
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 42, no. 223.
Barbara A. Shailor