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Art. 99, Quy chescun jour de bon cuer cest oreisoun dirra: 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).

A long Latin prayer with a lengthy French prose introduction, this item provides both the words to say and the occasions for their use. The writer explains that the prayer will provide protection in bad or risky situations, for example, during long trips by land, in bad weather at sea, before entering battle, and in the event of bewitchment. The prayer has prescribed parts: (1) an invocation of the Trinity, with “amen”; (2) recitation of three psalms (Psalms 66, 129, and 141); (3) a long petition, with “amen,” for victory over enemies, in which the worshiper names himself; (4) another petition to God who has protected many, with heavy reference to events in the Book of Daniel; and (5) a reiteration of Psalm 141. The specificity of the instructions implies that the prayer will hold a binding effect if performed correctly. Another version of the Latin prayer appears in the fifteenth-century Thornton manuscript, where cross-signs are inserted to indicate gestures to be made as the prayer is recited.

In MS Harley 2253 this text closes both quire 14 and booklet 6. It anticipates the numerous prayers, hymns, and occasions for psalms and angels that comprise much of booklet 7. Prayer for Protection has not previously been printed. The translation of the Latin is by Jan Ziolkowski, prepared for this edition.

[Fol. 133v. ANL 949, 985. Compare FDT 3507. Scribe: B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 14. Layout: Prose written with no columns. Editions: None. Other MSS: Similar items appear in Cambridge, Emmanuel College MS 106 (I.4.31), fol.27r–v; New York, Pierpont Morgan Library MS M 700, fol. 145r–v; Cambridge, Pembroke College MS 193, fol. 127v; Thornton MS (Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral MS 91), fol. 177r (ed. Horstmann 1895, 1:376–77). Translations: None.]

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