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Art. 101, Quy velt que Dieu sovyegne de ly: Introduction

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).

MS Harley 2253 holds three articles that advise one regarding what psalms are the most helpful to recite as prayers for particular needs. See also arts. 110 and 111. This anonymous work in Anglo-Norman prose is the first and most succinct of the psalm lists. It fills the lower portion of fol. 134r below Occasions for Angels (art. 100). Appearing as a matched pair, these articles open quire 15 and define it as a didactic booklet of practical religion, recording prayers and lists for their occasions. One may note that the Ludlow scribe’s French psalter survives in MS Harley 273, fols. 8r–52v.

A cognate version exists in a Cambridge manuscript. The scribe marks off each listed item with a red paraph. In addition, each initial letter and psalm initial (except Psalm 53, in line 8) are marked in red. The sixteen psalms are in sequential order, generally speaking, with Psalm 30 listed twice. Psalms that recur in the later lists are noted in the explanatory notes. To match Latin titles to Douay-Rheims translations, I have expanded the scribe’s Latin as needed, setting added words in brackets. For helpful commentary on the uses of the Book of Psalms in the Middle Ages, see Kuczynski 1995 and the essays edited by van Deusen.

[Fol. 134r. ANL 455(2), 986. Vising §320. Scribe: B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 15. Layout: No columns, written as a vertical list. Edition: Hunt and Bliss, pp. 240–43. Analogue: Cambridge, Trinity College MS O.2.45, p. 4 (ed. Meyer, p. 109). Translation: Hunt and Bliss, pp. 240–43.]

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