Page images

the instances of Phoroneus, Marius and Metellus, Lucilia and Livia, Deianira, Valentinian, Canius, Pacuvius), but we know that the Dissuasio was current before and apart from the de Nugis. A perusal of Peter's letters leaves me with the impression that he had never seen the whole treatise.

It would be absurd to generalize from so very fragmentary a knowledge of English mediaeval literature as I possess. All I can say is that I can adduce no single instance of use of the treatise before the seventeenth century. Higden in the Polychronicon no doubt includes Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, in his list of authorities, but there is nothing from the de Nugis in his text. Possibly he regarded Map as the author of the versified Itinerarium Cambriae, which he quotes almost in extenso.

No English mediaeval library catalogue contains an entry identifiable with the de Nugis. Neither Leland nor Bale had ever seen it. In short, its appearance in 1601 in the Bodleian Library seems to have been practically its first introduction to anything that could be called a public. It must soon have attracted some attention. Richard James made extracts from it and a transcript of it, now contained in Bodley MSS. James 14, 31, 39.1 Camden makes a few quotations from it in the

1 MS. James 14 contains the extracts, on ff. 81-136. They begin with Dolendum nobis est (37)... multiplicatus (411), continuing with Hos Hugo (51o)... non deleuit (528). Non dico quin (63)... aciem (6"). Mittit etiam (615)... tenere nequeo (82). James sometimes epitomizes in a very few words the portions he omits: very occasionally he gives an illustration, e. g. on 'French of Marlborough (246) he writes in the margin 'And french she spoke moste fetously / After the scoole of Stratford at Bow. Chaucer in descriptione priorissae'. His last extract ends p. 136 et insaniorem partem (2542). It is followed by extracts from the Apocalypsis Goliae and other Goliardic poems.

MS. James 39 contains the first part of a full transcript of the text, prefaced by the note of ownership of John de Wellis and a brief description of the pictorial device accompanying it. This volume goes as far as Dist. IV. i (1405) linx penetrans.'

MS. James 31 contains the remainder of the text, beginning: omnia exicio propriae

Britannia, e.g. ed. Gough, 1806, i. 166, 267, 382: the last is borrowed from him by Burton (Anatomy, Part III, Sec. 2, Mem. 3, Subs. 4). Archbishop Ussher printed, in his book de christianarum ecclesiarum successione et statu (Opp. ii, p. 244), a portion of Dist. I. xxxi (pp. 60, 61) on the Waldenses. Several notes in the same work show that he had read a good deal of the manuscript. The interesting letters of Sir Roger Twysden in 1666 and 1669, mentioned first in Notes and Queries (1849, i. 76), and subsequently printed by Wright in his Preface, show that some scholars were alive to the interest of the text: 'they say there is many stories of good worth, fit to bee made publick, in it.'

I have no doubt that between Twysden's date and the publication of Wright's edition in 1850, a number of references to the de Nugis would be discoverable: I have as a matter of fact found none, even in the works of Thomas Hearne.

In 1850, as has been said, the editio princeps was produced for the Camden Society by Thomas Wright. It will, I think, be worth while to quote from his Preface what little he says about the manuscript and about the preparation of his edition.

The manuscript is written in a very crabbed hand, and is filled with unusual contractions, which are often by no means easy to understand. In producing the present, edition, I have had to contend with many disadvantages; the practice of the Bodleian Library, which does not allow its manuscripts to be lent out on any conditions, has rendered it impossible for me to collate the text myself with the original, and

gentis, down to the end. It is followed by the capitula. Then follow: Improperium cuiusdam in monachos ex MS. Bibl. Bodl. Turstano . . Ebor. Archiep. T. Stampensis-et vivat de communi quod deus est. and: Fragmentum narrationum ex MS. Bibl. C.C.C. Oxon., namely the stories in MS. C.C.C. Oxon. 130, of which two are printed in this volume, p. 261. Hardy (Materials, ii. 485) mentions another manuscript, Olim Clarendon 78,' but this is a mistake. From Cat. MSS. Angl. et Hib. (iii. 14) we see that the book only contained a Mapesian poem.


it has not always been in my power to consult, in cases of difficulty, scholars on the spot in whose opinion I could confide. In the latter portion of the work I have been more fortunate, and I have to acknowledge the kind attention and service in this respect which I have received from the Rev. H. O. Coxe, one of the librarians of the Bodleian Library, and the Rev. W. D. Macray, of New College. The difficulty I found previously in obtaining a satisfactory collation, combined with some other circumstances, has been the cause of a very considerable delay in the publication of the present volume, which was commenced several years ago.

To the delay just alluded to must be attributed any slight difference in the system of editing the text which may chance to be discovered between the earlier and latter parts of this volume. My principle has been to correct all those accidental corruptions of Latin orthography which arose merely from the ignorance or carelessness of monkish transcribers, but to retain most of those which were strictly mediaeval forms; and I think that perhaps in the latter part I have carried this process of purifying a little further than at first was intended. The business of an editor is to present his text, while he preserves its correctness, in a form as intelligible as possible to the general reader. With this principle in view, I have not hesitated to correct the corruptions of the manuscript, when that correction appeared evident, and I have added a few notes for the purpose of making the text somewhat more intelligible to those who may not have the advantage of an extensive acquaintance with the Latin literature of the middle ages. These notes might perhaps have been made more numerous; but for this deficiency, and for any errors of the text which may have escaped me, I must throw myself upon the indulgence of the reader.


Brompton, Nov. 1850.

It is certainly the case that Wright's text is perceptibly more correct towards the end of the Work. The earlier portion is disfigured by a number of what seem easily avoidable blunders. Yet I think that, considering the conditions under which he

worked, he deserves praise and not blame for the sum of his achievement. It would be ridiculous for me to pretend that I do not think my own text is better than his; but if I had had to depend upon even the best of transcripts, I am certain that many errors and faults-of which I hope there are now but few -would have survived in my pages.

As a matter of fact I have had the very great advantage of using a complete 'rotograph' of the treatise which has been procured for me by the kindness of the Delegates of the Clarendon Press; and by its help, coupled of course with personal consultation of the manuscript, I have been able to eliminate a great many errors from the old text. I believe that the student now has before him a record, complete in all essentials, of what the manuscript presents. I say, in all essentials, because I have not, except in the fewest possible cases, recorded the abbreviations. These are copious, as is usual in manuscripts of the date of this one. To have indicated the expansion of them by any typographical device would have entailed producing a quite unreadable page, and would have been a piece of pedantry in which, I hope, no scholar would have acquiesced.

In the matter of spelling I have implicitly followed the manuscript, with its tricky use of u and v, its disregard of diphthongs, and all the other features which it is reasonable to expect in a fourteenth-century copy of a twelfth-century text. I believe it will be found that I have not been quite perfectly consistent in my expansions of abbreviations, in that I have sometimes written quod and sometimes quia; I have also sometimes expanded ma as mihi (not michi), and have possibly treated nichil in a similar fashion. I hope confession of these shortcomings (the only ones of the kind of which I am conscious) will be taken as sufficient to condone them.

The punctuation, on the other hand, is my own.



The manu

script has a system, and a very elaborate one, which may be best indicated by a transcript of a few lines:

(p. 202) Domine/nos rei ueritatem scimus/Sed tu nobis tam austerus es/et tam hispidum nobis dans supercilium ut que vera scimus' pre timore tuo dissimulare oporteat / Mansio tua / et biblis quam hic queris? est rauenne / Si vobis non displicet? eamus ut illic inuenias? quod te credis hic uidisse/

I do not suppose that any one who wishes to make a study of the text would have welcomed the preservation of these highly confusing marks.

I have not hesitated to emend, or to introduce my emendations into the body of the text, when I felt confident of their correctness. The reading of the manuscript is, of course, always recorded in the foot-notes. I think it allowable, at this point, to put together a selection of passages in which I think that I have, either by recovering the reading of the manuscript, or by emendation, materially improved the text.

The punctuation of cc. i (fin.)-v differs much from that

of W.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

modicitate. W. non dimidiatae.



iusticiis... immiciores.

W. inscitiis. . . immunitiores.

modici numeri. W. modici verni.

29 quin. W. quidem.

I me. W. vis.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »