Art. 109, Mundus iste totus quoddam scaccarium est

ART. 109, MUNDUS ISTE TOTUS QUODDAM SCACCARIUM EST: EXPLANATORY NOTES


Abbreviations: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); DOML: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library; FDT: French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages (Sinclair 1979); FDT-1French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages, . . . First Supplement (Sinclair 1982); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

10 familia. A collective term for the chess pieces, which, according to H. J. R. Murray, is “rare except in Latin works from the north of France and England,” and lends an interesting element to allegories that compare chess to human life (pp. 532–34).

17 ferce. The term fers refers to the queen in medieval chess. In French love poetry and Chaucer, where the chess analogy is utilized in a different context, fers may refer to the poet’s lady. See M. Taylor, pp. 303–05; and Peck 1970, p. 83.

22 Pervertisti. “You have perverted.” The Vulgate word is convertisti, “you have turned.”

26–27 exactiones iniustas. “Unjust taxations.” The author shares a concern for the overtaxed poor with John of Wales, and also with interests recorded elsewhere by the Ludlow scribe. Compare Song of the Husbandman and Against the King’s Taxes (arts. 31, 114).

39 fierce. The pawn becomes a queen (fers), perhaps with a French/English wordplay on “fierce.”

43 lyveret. A technical chess term (variant deliveret), which H. J. R. Murray defines as “covered check,” apparently meaning that a player in check is able to move out of check (pp. 532–34). Different versions agree that the word offered here is spoken by the player as he makes an evasive move in response to his opponent’s declaration of “check.” The term is French. Its Middle English equivalent is (according to Murray) neck, a technical usage that does not appear in the MED.


ART. 109, MUNDUS ISTE TOTUS QUODDAM SCACCARIUM EST: TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; : Böddeker; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; Dea: J. M. Dean; Do: Dove 1969; Fl: Flood; : Förster; Fu: Furnivall; HB: Hunt and Bliss; Kem: Kemble; Ken: Kennedy; Mi: Millett; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu1: H. J. R. Murray; Mu2: J. A. H. Murray; NB: Noomen and van den Boogard; Pa: Patterson; Rev: Revard 2005a; Ri: Ritson 1877; Ro: Robbins 1959; SP: Short and Pearcy; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

7 condicio. So MS. Mu1: conditio.

10 contingit. So Mu1. MS: contigit.

20 in linia. MS: cum linia (m abbreviated). Mu1: in linea.

21 obliquari. So Mu1. MS oliquari.

26 exigenciam. So MS (m abbreviated). Mu1: exigentia.
tertium. So MS. Mu1: tercium.
obliquant. So MS (n abbreviated). Mu1: obliquat.

31 latrant. So MS (ra abbreviated). Mu1: latrent.

32 tradant. So MS (ra abbreviated). Mu1: tradunt.

43 lyveret. So MS. Mu1: liqueret.

 
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Art. 109, Mundus iste totus quoddam scaccarium est

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¶ Mundus iste totus quoddam scaccarium est, cuius unus punctus albus est alius
vero niger propter duplicem statum vite et mortis, gratie et culpe. Familia autem
huius scaccarii sunt homines huius mundi, qui de uno sacculo materno
extrahuntur, et collocantur in diversis locis huius mundi, et singuli habent diversa
nomina. Primus enim rex est, alter regina, tertius rocus, quartus miles, quintus
alphinus, sextus pedinus.


Istius autem ioci condicio talis est ut unus alterum capiat, et cum ludum
compleverint, sicut de uno sacculo exierunt, ita iterum reponuntur, nec est
differencia inter regem et peditem pauperem quia simul in unum dives et pauper;
et sepe contingit quod quando familia scaccarii reponitur in sacculum, rex inferius
collocatur et reponitur. Sic fere quique maiores in transitu huius seculi inferius
collocantur, scilicet, in inferno sepeliuntur, pauperes in sinum Habrahe
deportantur.


In isto autem ludo REX vadit ubique et capit undique directe, in signum quod rex
omnia iuste corrigat et in nullo omiss