BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 493 England, s. XV^^3/4
Thomas Hoccleve; John Lydgate
According to M. S. Marzec and A. S. G. Edwards (bibliographical citation in art. 10),
the manuscripts Beinecke 493 (Ya), Oxford Bodl. Lib.
Bodley 221 (Bo), Laud. Misc. 735 (La), and Selden Supra 53 (Se) constitute
a distinct group among the 43 extant manuscripts of Hoccleve's Regiment of
Princes. They are distinguished not only by common variant readings
but also by the contents and arrangement of the codices. All four contain the
same works as listed below (arts. 1-10) in the same order except that in Se
the Regiment occurs first rather than last in the volume. It appears that
BoLaYa were produced at approximately the same time, perhaps in the same
scriptorium, but by different scribes.
1. ff. 1r-6v [Prologue:] Affter th^^t hervest ynned had his sheves/ And
th^^t th^^e broune sesoun of mighelmesse/...Her endith my Prolog. And ffolwith
my compleynt. [text, f. 1v:] Almyghty god as liketh his goodnes/ visitith
folk all day as men may se/...ffor thy gefftys, and thy benefices all/ And vn
to thy mercy and grace I call. Here endith my compleynt and beginneth a
Thomas Hoccleve, Complaint; J. Mitchell and A. I. Doyle, eds., The
Minor Poems EETS (1970): the revised edition of EETS Extra series 61 (1892),
73 (1925) ed. by F. J. Furnivall and I. Gollancz, pp. 96-110.
2. ff. 6v-16v And endid my compleynt in this maner/ One knokkid at my
chaumbre dore sore/...Wole I translate and th^^t my gilt I hoope/ Schall purge
as clene as kercheses doth soop. Explicit dialogus et incipit quedam fabula
de quadam et nobile imperatrice Romana. Ca.^^o iij^^o.
Thomas Hoccleve, Dialogue with a Friend; Mitchell and Doyle, op.
cit., pp. 110-39.
3. ff. 16v-28v In the roman actus wryttyn is this/ Sometyme an emperour in
the Citee/...Wich th^^t no wight eshewe may ne flee/ And whan god lift also dye
shull wee. Here endith th^^e [changed from my] tale of a good woman
which was In tyme Emprice of Rome and now fewyth a prologg th^^e moralizasion of
th^^e same tale.
Thomas Hoccleve, Tale of Jereslaus' Wife; Mitchell and Doyle, op.
cit., pp. 140-73.
4. ff. 28v-30r [Prologue:] My frende affter th. [sic] trow a wook or.
twoo/ That th^^is tale endid was hoom to me cam/...[prose text, f. 29r:] The
emperour th^^t I spak of beforne is our lord ihesu crist. his wife is th^^e
sawle the emperour brother is man...to th^^e Ioy of paradyse to th^^e wich he vs
bring th^^t starf for our redemcioun. Amen. Her endith th^^e moralizing of my
tale and begynneth the most profitable and holsomest crafte that is to kune
lerne to dye.
Prose moralization of the text in art. 3, preceded by a prologue
in verse; Mitchell and Doyle, op. cit., pp. 174-78.
5. ff. 30r-41r Sethen all men naturely desyre/ To kunne O eterne sapience/...
Se to th^^i soule soo or thow hens wende/ That it may have the lyf th^^t hath non
ende. Here endith to lerne to dye and begynnyght a prolog of th^^e ix. lesson
th^^t is redd on all halow day.
Thomas Hoccleve, How to Learn to Die; Mitchell and Doyle, op. cit.,
6. ff. 41r-42r [Prologue:] Tho other thre parties which in th^^e booke/
Off th^^e tretice of deth expressid be/...Her endith th^^e prolog and
begynnyth the lesson. [text, in prose, f. 41v:] Lo thus is seid of
th^^t cite in a place in it is no sorow hevenesse ne wamentyng...th^^e better
parte which parte god graunt vs all to chese thurgh his mercyable grace.
Thomas Hoccleve, The Joys of Heaven, in prose, preceded by a prologue,
in verse; Mitchell and Doyle, op. cit., pp. 212-213.
7. ff. 42r-51r Here begynnyth th^^e prologg of th^^e tale of Ionathas.
This book to have endid had I thoght/ But my frende made me chaunge my cast/...
[text, f. 43r:] Some tyme an Emperour prudent and wise/ Regnyd in Rome and had
sounes thre/...His lyff he lede vn to his dying day/ And so god vs graunt th^^t
we do may. Her endith my tale of Ionathas and of a wikkid woman and begynnyth
Thomas Hoccleve, Tale of Jonathas, preceded by prologue; Mitchell and
Doyle, op. cit., pp. 215-40.
8. f. 51r-v Tthis [sic] Emperour above expressid is our lord god th^^t hath. iij.
sones. By th^^e ferst sone we shull vndurstand aungeles...to sey th^^e kyngdome
of heven to which bryng vs all. Amen.
Prose moralization of the tale in art. 7; Mitchell and Doyle, op. cit.,
9. ff. 51v-60v O ge folkes hard hertid as a stone/ Which to th^^e world
have all gour aduertence/...Off her tonge I have no suffisaunce/ Her corious
metres in Englisshe to translate. Laus tibi sit christe etc. Finis.
John Lydgate, Dance of Macabre, in the following sequence: Verba
translatoris (5 stanzas); Verba auctoris (2 stanzas); pope, emprour,
cardinall, kyng, patriarke, constable, archbysshopp, baroun, lady of grete
astate, bysshopp, sqwyer, abbot, abbess, baly, astronomyer, burges, chanon,
merchaunt, chartereux, sargeaunt, monke, vsurer, poor man (with rubric: Deth
to th^^e poor man, and text: Vsure to god...; below, the rubric: The poor
man aswerith, with no corresponding text), ffisicion, amorus sqwyer,
gentilwoman amorous, man of law, jurour, mynstrall, tregetour, parson, laborer,
frere minoner [?], chylde, clerke, Ermett (and armytt), agen to th^^e Ermytt
(with rubric: th^^e armytt answerith, but no corresponding text), th^^e
kyng liggyng ded and eten w^^t wormes, Macabre th^^e doctor (2 stanzas), Lenvoy
de translatour. F. Warren, ed., EETS Orig. ser. 181 (1931).
10. ff. 61r-133v Mvsyng upon th^^e restles bysynes/ Which th^^t th^^is troubly
World hath ay on hand/...To thee th^^t all seist of loves fervence/ That knawith
he th^^t nothing is hid ffroo. Explicit Egidius de regimine principum Amen.
f. 134r-v ruled, but blank; one leaf missing between ff. 133-134
Thomas Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes, missing vv. 3976-4049 between ff.
114-115; F. J. Furnivall, ed., EETS Ex. ser. 72 (1897) pp. 1-197; A. S. G.
Edwards, "Hoccleve's Regiment of Princes: A Further Manuscript,"
Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions 5 (Edinburgh, 1978) p. 32.
Paper (with parchment leaves for inner and outer bifolios for each
gathering; watermarks: unusual bull's or goat's head not located in Piccard,
Briquet, or E. Heawood, "Sources of Early English Paper-Supply," Library
4th ser. v. 10  pp. 282-307), ff. i (parchment) + i (contemporary
parchment) + 134 + i (parchment), 288 x 208 (210 x 108) mm. Written in ca. 40
long lines or lines of verse. Frame-ruled in ink; prickings for bounding lines
in all margins except inner.
I-IV^^14, V^^14 (-11, after f. 66; no loss of text), VI-VIII^^14,
IX^^14 (-4; text loss between ff. 114-115), X^^14 (-12, 14; both blank).
in plain brown and/or red scrolls, at lower edge of page near inner vertical
ruling, verso; quire and leaf signatures (e.g., c.j., c.ij., etc.) in
lower right corner, recto.
Written in a current mixed hand, Anglicana with Secretary forms, by a
single scribe who wrote in a more cursive and compressed style of script
for the prose sections of text.
Blue initials, 6- to 2-line, for major text divisions, with several distinct
styles of red flourishing. Compare, for example, initials on ff. 1v, 41v, 77v.
Headings and marginal notes in red; paragraph or stanza marks alternate red and
Binding: s. xx. Tan pigskin, blind-tooled, with title, in gold, on
spine: "Hoccleve/ Manuscript/ XV Cent." Edges spattered red.
Written in England in the third quarter of the 15th century (we thank M. B.
Parkes for his assistance in dating the manuscript) by a scribe who paid careful
attention to the presentation of the text: stanzas are divided by red lines
that extend width of written space; metrical arrangements are marked by brackets
in red; notes are added, in red, in outer margins and preceded by blue paragraph
marks that are often joined together to form a vertical wavy line. In addition,
the scribe has also paid attention to minor ornamental features: decorative
flourishes, mostly in red, have been added to many lower margins; ornamental
ascenders in top line of text extend into upper margin and are often decorated
with red. Scribe added the number of folios in the manuscript at conclusion of
text, f. 133v: "vj score xij" but seems to have miscounted. Notes, s. xviii,
on front of original vellum binding or on recto of original
front flyleaf (upper line partially trimmed): "Reynolds/ a^^o 1713./
Staff:"; on verso of same leaf, probably in the same hand, is a table of
contents, in English, followed by a brief life of Thomas Hoccleve, in Latin,
and a list of his works, also in Latin. Modern provenance unknown.
Apparently acquired by Robinson's in July 1952 (pencil note inside back cover).
Formerly in the collection of Martin Bodmer of Geneva; purchased from him by H. P.
Krauss. Acquired from Kraus in 1970 as the gift of Edwin J. Beinecke.
secundo folio: ffor ofte
Barbara A. Shailor