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PREFACE

THE treatise de Nugis Curialium of Walter Map is pre-
served in a single manuscript of the end of the fourteenth
century in the Bodleian Library, MS. Bodley 851. A detailed
description of the contents, which I owe to the great kindness of
Mr. R. L. Poole, Keeper of the Archives, will be given in due
course. It may be prefaced by a few remarks upon the proven-
ance and externals of the volume.

It comes from Ramsey Abbey. On the verso of f. 6, facing
the beginning of the de Nugis, is a finely executed drawing in
delicate stippled work and pale colours of which the central part
consists of the word Wellis in large gothic letters formed out of
ribbons or scrolls and placed on a label. The top of the W is
prolonged to the left and inscribed Iste liber constat ffratri
Iohanni de (Wellis), and the concluding words monacho
Rameseye are written on the tops of the two 's which are
similarly prolonged to L and R. On L is a rock on which sits
a lion, his back turned to R, and his head, twisted round,
looking to R. Round his neck is a chain which passes through
the uprights of the W and is secured in the centre of the R
portion of that letter. Out of a round hole in the rock a spring of
water gushes up and flows to R. On R in the water stands
St. Christopher bearing the Child Christ on his shoulders and

1 Wright, in his earlier volume (Poems of W. Mapes, p. ix, note), speaks of another
MS. of the de Nugis as being at Merton College. I think there is a confusion
here with a copy of the Policraticus.

looking up at Him. The Child bears an orb with cross. The saint is bare legged and has a cap on his head with broad turned-up band; he holds an eel-spear which is threaded through the convolutions of the s of Wellis and passes down into the

water.

Below the picture is pencilled the name Whyttynton.

I

may

add that neither of the fragmentary catalogues of the Ramsey Library which are printed in the Chronicon Ramesiae (Rolls Series) is of late enough date to contain any note of our manuscript.

It belongs no doubt to the last quarter of the fourteenth century. It is in double columns of forty-two and forty-one lines. The hand is not bad, but not of the easiest. In one or two places, most notably on f. 39 b (p. 125), the ink has become seriously blurred owing to the presence of a bad spot in the vellum. There are two main volumes, the second being the Piers Plowman, in which several scripts appear. The text of the de Nugis is not certainly, though it is for the most part, in one hand. The aspect of the first few pages is different from that of the main body of the text on f. 33 a there is a marked irregularity in the script. The rubrics are in a different style from the text. The verses on f. 5, Vernat eques, and the Comedia de Geta, are by a single scribe.

A contemporary of the scribe1 has gone over the text and has inserted in the margin some omitted words and also some various readings. The latter are introduced with an al., for alias or aliter, or perhaps aliud exemplar (v. s. q.). They are most considerable in the Dissuasio Valerii ad Ruffinum (pp. 143 sqq.), which we know to have been current apart from the rest of the treatise. It is reasonable to s pose that in this case the variants came from other copies and were not mere conjectures;

I think the corrector was the scribe of f. 74.

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and the same, I am inclined to think, applies to the bulk of the others.

The scribe has on the whole not dealt badly with the rather difficult text which he had to copy. An inspection of my foot-notes will give a sufficient idea of his proneness to error.

A leaf of our manuscript is gone after f. 7 (see p. 5); and one was wanting in its archetype further on (see p. 102). Possibly, too, another was gone near the end (see p. 218).

The following is Mr. Poole's description of the manuscript:

MS. Bodl. 851. Quarto. 208 folios. Presented by Cuthbert Ridley M.A., in 1601, along with MSS. Bodley 94, 365, and 603.

f. I contains the various press-marks assigned to the MS. at different times. The following is the ascertained order of them, kindly furnished by Mr. H. H. E. Craster, sub-librarian :

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The MS. is numbered 3041 in the Catalogi MSStorum Angliae et Hiberniae of 1697.

f. 1 v. [In a sixteenth-century hand.]

Saepè sub incultis reperitur gemma lapillis,

Saepe cadus vilis nobile nectar habet.

Author iste de seipso

sic loquitur capite. 5.

Distinctionis 4. Nu-
garum curialium

In remotissima posteritate mihi faciet authoritatem

antiquitas, quia tunc, ut nunc, vetustum cuprum praeferetur
auro novello. &c. in eam sententiam. [See p. 158, ll. 17 sqq.]

f. 2. A series of riddles. Inc.:

Si capud est currit / ventrem sibi iunge volabit
Adde pedem comede / vel sine ventre bibe
The last is

Simplex prelatus fuit odo pe gode vocatus
Pro bonitate modo manet in celestibus odo

At the side of the page are some English lines beginning

Be god & seint hillare

an clerk was full sar'.

f. 2 v. Verses, &c., Latin and French, hardly legible neur inc top. e.g. Pauperis et regis communis lex moriendi

These are continued on f. 3, which ends

¶ Pro meritis vite dedit illi laurea nomen.
Detur ei vite laurea pro meritis.

Muscatum

ff. 3 v. and 4 blank.

f. 4 v. Latin and English verses. Pedigree of affinity:

tritavus

tritavia

Ends

trinepos | trineptis.

ff. 5 and 5 v. are filled with hexameters, apparently the Miles gloriosus of Matthew of Vendôme. Inc. Vernat eques iam prima genis lanugo

susurrat.

f. 6 blank.

f. 6 v. Iste liber Constat Fratri Iohanni de WELLIS Monacho Rameseye. f. 7. Inc. In libro magistri Gauteri Mahap [Wright, de Nugis, p. 1.] Above the line .D. pa. and in a modern hand scripsit ista regnante Richardo 1o. ut ipse innuit. cap. 5o. Distinct. 5a.

After f. 7 a leaf is cut out. This was done before the present foliation was made. The work ends on f. 72 v. with iudicabit iusticiam [Wright, p. 243]. Then follows a rubricated table of contents ending on f. 73 v.: Explicit distinctio quinta libri Magistri Gauteri Mahap de nugis curialium.

f. 73 v. Causa Excidii Carthaginensium [in red]. Inc. Narrat Flaccensius in hystoriis. Des. vt patet superius per ordinem. After which there is a blank of more than three lines.

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