Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod
LYTLE BIBELL OF KNYGHTHOD: FOOTNOTES
1 Out of true, merited correctness, may be compared
2 And wishes to follow the perfect path of moral rectitude
3 Lines 138–39: Wherein, I, lacking eloquence, intend to undertake it — / Which should cause men to think shamefully of me
4 Thus, I beg you, one who aims to acquire physical or moral strength
1.58 peymyngs, pagans.
1.60 seigneoriez, kingdoms.
1.64 paynyms, pagans.
1.69 sad, prudent.
1.84 prowes, excellence.
1.86 habondeth, flourishes.
1.93 wele, well-being.
1.100 enpeched and letted, impeded and hindered; sotell, cunning; aweytes and assautes, ambushes and assaults.
1.104 sythe, since.
1.109 spryte, spirit (character).
1.111 dyte, composition.
1.112 cundytour, guide.
1.115 Freelté, Fragility.
1.116 lyghtly, easily.
1.119–21 [Proverbs 2:10–11]. “If wisdom shall enter into thy heart, and knowledge please thy soul: counsel shall keep thee, and prudence shall preserve thee.”
5 My full sister who loves to dance next to me
2.25 meveth, urges.
2.26 prowes, valor.
2.27 modereth, regulates.
2.29 superfluytes, excesses.
2.32 refreyne and appese, restrain and placate.
2.33 weyle, well-being.
2.35–37 [1 Peter 2:11]. “I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul.”
3.45 poletyke, prudent.
3.49 allegeth Hercules, offers Hercules as an exemplar; ententes, purposes.
3.51–52 full convenient and accordyng, suitable and appropriate.
3.54 prouessez, brave feats.
3.55 viages, adventures.
3.63 vaylable, beneficial.
3.66 pryse, renown.
3.71 brused, broken.
3.73 ryghtwyssnes, justice.
3.74 desteyned, dishonored; hardy, fearless; perelx, perils; boystoys, sturdy (powerful).
3.76–77 [1 John 2:14]. “I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, [and] you have overcome the wicked one.”
4.8 rowe, company.
4.22 streyghte, strict.
4.30 yeld, give.
4.32 egall, equal.
4.35 kepying, protection.
4.36 kepe, protect.
4.38–39 [Proverbs 21:12, 15]. “The just considereth seriously the house of the wicked, that he may withdraw the wicked from evil; it is joy to the just to do judgment.”
5.20 eyre, air.
5.23 discomfetyd, overcame.
5.27 socour, assist.
5.36 mene, means.
5.45–46 [Ecclesiasticus 41:15]. “Take care of a good name: for it shall continue with thee, more than a thousand precious treasures.”
6.12 alcamystes, alchemists.
6.20 chere, countenance.
6.22 gentle, noble.
6.27 praers, people who pray; intercessors.
6.28 unhard, unanswered.
6.29 [Matthew 5:7]. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
7.9 dies veneris, day of venus.
7.10 clepyd, called; copure, copper.
7.12 deletacioun, sensual pleasure.
7.19 nother, neither.
7.21 qwenchescht, quenches.
7.24 Cassiodre, Cassiodorus.
7.25 Sawtere, Psalter.
7.29 [Psalms 30:7]. “Thou hast hated them that regard vanities, to no purpose.”
8.8 alconomy, alchemy.
8.10 lou taryinge, sadnes, and wysedom, humble slowness, seriousness, and wisdom.
8.13 privey membrez, genitals.
8.14 poyare, power; chaced, chased.
8.16 peyse sadly, consider seriously.
8.17 or, before.
8.18 price of armys, martial prowess.
8.20 Peyse and bethynke thee well, Contemplate and think carefully.
8.24 long, are suitable.
8.27 freelnes, frailty.
8.30 ryghtwyse, just.
8.31–32 [Psalms 18:10]. “The fear of the Lord is holy, enduring for ever and ever: the judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves.”
9.20 geynsayers, opposition.
9.24 [Ecclesiasticus 27:12]. “A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun.”
10.10 luna, moon.
10.11 owre, hour.
10.16–17 Phebe . . . by whom is understand chaungeableness, oweth mannys soule especially nott to have nor use, Phoebe . . . signfies instability, which man’s soul ought especially not to have or practice.
10.20 brosed, broken.
10.25–26 [Ecclesiasticus 27:12]. “A holy man continueth in wisdom: but a fool is changed as the moon.”
11.11 haunt armes, practice chivalry.
11.24 without-furthe, outside; privey, secret.
11.28–30 [Ephesians 6:12]. “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.”
12.9 dies mercurii, the day of Mercury.
12.11 pontificall prelacye, ecclesiastical power.
12.27 [Luke 10:16]. “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me.”
13.9 harneyse, personal fighting equipment.
13.10 cuyrboyle, protective gear made by boiling and softening leather, then fitting it to a form and dried; sothen ledder, boiled leather.
13.25 [Hebrews 11:6]. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
14.11 yle, island.
14.13 conyng, wisdom.
14.15 that that, those whom.
14.24 traveyl, toil.
14.26 smert, harm.
14.27–28 [Hebrews 6:18–19]. “We may have the strongest comfort, who have fled for refuge to hold fast the hope set before us, which we have as a sure anchor of the soul.”
15.10 est, east.
15.15 mykyll, significant.
15.24 prime-temps, wyche stylleth the droupes of verteus, springtime, which pours out the drops of virtues.
15.25 fructefyeth, flourishes.
15.26 waker, vigilant (see note).
15.28–29 [1 Corinthians 13:4–5]. “Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; is not ambitious, seeketh not her own.”
16.8 had, held.
16.9 dispyte, contempt.
16.10 afonned and assotted in, infatuated and besotted with.
16.23 dyped, dipped.
16.24 condutes, conduits.
16.25–26 [Job 20:6–7]. “If his pride mount up even to heaven, and his head touch the clouds: in the end he shall be destroyed like a dunghill.”
17.8 sodeyn, boiled.
17.16 wyllyng, wishing.
17.18 heeres, hairs.
17.27 rooche, cliff.
17.28 diverse, hostile.
17.33 tasted, experienced.
17.39 mistournyth, distorts.
17.42 vyneegre, vinegar.
17.44 [Ephesians 4:26]. “Let not the sun go down upon your anger.”
18.11 avaunced, elevated (in rank).
18.14 sate uppon the thresschewold, sat at the doorway.
18.16 suffre, allow.
18.19 grete estate, person of high rank.
18.20 languesched, worn out.
18.21 displeser, displeasure.
18.26 defendyth, forbids.
18.29 egall or felous, equals or peers.
18.32 [Ecclesiasticus 14:8]. “The eye of the envious is wicked; and he turneth away his face.”
19.13 be hys, by his; engynes, tricks.
19.15 wele, well-being.
19.16 fortune, occur; inconveniences, misfortunes.
19.17–18 convenient besynes, appropriate activity.
19.27 [Proverbs 21:5]. “The thoughts of the industrious always bring forth abundance: but every sluggard will be in want.”
20.10 with2, by (that is, “fathered by”).
20.15 freyd, frightened.
20.16 wend, hoped.
20.18 myschyeff, misfortune.
20.21 crepyng and breyng and criyng, crawling and braying and crying out.
20.22 kynd, nature.
20.32 prased and allowed, praised and commended.
20.38 saciate, filled.
20.44 [Ecclesiasticus 14:9]. “The eye of the covetous man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity: he will not be satisfied.
21.12 withdrawe hys conceyt from the god Bachus, disapprove of the god Bacchus (lit. “withdraw his approval from the god Bacchus”).
21.14 Superfluités, Excesses.
21.19 abstened, restrained.
21.21–22 [Philippians 3:19]. “Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.”
22.9 sotyll, skillful.
22.10 Sydoun, Sidon; disprased, disparagaed.
22.15 seyng, seeing.
22.17 fyr bround, torch.
22.19 chawfyd, warmed it [with his embrace].
22.29 to1, until.
22.32 fonne nor soute, become infatuated or be deluded in love.
22.35 inconvenient, inappropriate.
22.39 sparcles be wurdes of rebaudy, sparks are obscene speech.
22.41–42 [2 Peter 2:13]. “Counting for a pleasure the delights: stains and spots, sporting themselves to excess, rioting in their feasts.”
6 Lines 23.6–7: To fall, which would be loathsome to me should it happen to you. / Therefore commit to Diana the guiding of yourself
23.17 prophetyth nott, gains no benefit.
23.19 ordurable, filthy.
23.21 crystined, christened.
23.22–23 “I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
24.8 eyryng, plowing.
24.9 tylthe, tilling [the soil].
24.11 tofore, before.
24.13 largely, generously.
24.22 “And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.”
25.8 gryffes, grafts [i.e., the cuttings of plants used for grafting].
25.21–22 Seint Jamys the More, Saint James the Greater [a term used to distinguish this from Saint James the Lesser].
25.22 “Who is conceived by the Holy Ghost, is born of the Virgin Mary.”
26.8 rude, foolish.
26.10 swetter and more to be allowed, sweeter and more to be praised.
26.17 dispyte of, disdain for.
26.25 molle, mole.
26.27 werto the good knyght oweth nott to stand nor geve, to which the good knight should neither be liable nor hand down.
26.34 “He passed before Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.”
27.10–11 had stand in hard and streyte caas, would have been in a difficult and perilous state.
27.11 affreyd, attacked.
27.15 dowte, fear.
27.24 furyall, furious.
27.28 “He descended into hell.”
28.13 or, before.
28.15–16 correctour or a meyster, disciplinarian or schoolmaster.
28.19 clergye, study.
28.22 gate, got (won).
28.27 “On the third day, he rose from the dead.”
29.9 lettres, letters of the alphabet.
29.15 dowcet, sweet.
29.20 scriptures, authoritative writings.
29.22 oftesythe, frequently.
29.24 enforceth, exerts.
29.33 “He ascended to heaven and sat at the right hand of God, the Father almighty.”
30.10 paramour, lover.
30.17 doute of suspeccioun, fear of suspicion; netherd, cowherd.
30.18 een, eyes.
30.19–20 streyte wache and ware kepyng of Argus, Argus’s strict surveillance and watchful guarding.
30.27–28 privey wache, secret surveillance.
30.30 makyth so hys meanz, makes his intervention.
30.36 therby, by that.
30.47 qwyk, living.
30.49 “Whence he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
31.18 deyté, divinity.
31.21 qui et frater enim erat, who for he was also his brother.
31.21–22 “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
32.13 on, a single.
32.14 repreved, condemned.
32.17 halow, honor.
32.24 awter, altar.
32.25–26 “One holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints.”
33.9–10 halowe hys feste that he mey be comfortable to hym, honor Neptune’s feast so that Neptune may be agreeable (helpful) to Hector.
33.11 traveyle in viagez, travel in voyages.
33.14 orysoun, prayer.
33.22 surely, steadfastly.
33.23 “The remission of sins.”
34.11 xall, shall.
34.23 “The resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”
35.8 bewteuz, attractive.
35.9 of unlefull love, out of sinful affection [that is, lust].
35.10 dampned, condemned.
35.11 chase, chose.
35.13 dowte, fear.
35.21 defendyd, forbidden.
35.22–23 [Matthew 4:10]. “The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
36.9 herd schoures of werre, hard storms of battle.
36.11 presse, throng of combatants.
36.12 treasoun, treachery.
36.27–28 more abhusion, greater perversion (abuse).
36.31 [Exodus 20:7]. “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of God in vain.”
37.12 avoyde, depart from.
37.14 trete, interaction.
37.18 peyse, contemplate (weigh); or, before.
37.19 soden manacez, rash threats.
37.20 refreygn, restrain.
37.24 Sabott, Sabbath; haly, holy.
37.28 [Isaias 1:16–17]. “Cease to do perversely. Learn to do well.”
38.9 smete, struck.
38.11 felauschyp, companionship.
38.13 schett, imprisoned.
38.21 wall departyng, dividing wall; crased thoro with a gret craves, cracked through with a large opening.
38.23 bocle of her gyrdle, buckle of her belt.
38.25 assemblez, meetings.
38.27 were accorded, agreed.
38.29 wont, accustomed.
38.33 wyte wymple, white headdress (veil); boysche, bush.
38.36 fyled, befouled.
38.39 stand, stayed.
38.41–42 hard the swoyhes and soule draughtes, heard the groans and soulful complaints.
38.43 to hereward, upon herself.
38.44 swone, a faint (swoon).
38.47 eerste, before.
38.50 to2, until.
38.51 proffe, proof; sad, learned.
38.53 in dowte to, uncertain until.
38.54 noncertenté, lack of assurance.
38.61 necessaryes, necessities of life.
38.62 [Ecclesiasticus 7:29]. “Honor thy father, and forget not the groanings of thy mother.”
39.9 physyke, medical science.
39.16 defendyd, forbidden.
39.19 proved, proven in practice.
39.24 justifye, bring to justice.
39.25 in caas, in the event.
39.27 hymselffe defendaunt, defending himself.
39.28 [Apocalypse 13:10]. “He that shall kill by the sword, must be killed by the sword.” (see note)
40.15 Appolyn, Apollo.
40.20 ware and dowte, be mindful of and fear.
40.22–23 fornicacioun, avowtrye, and all other spyces of lecherye, fornication, adultery, and all other types (species) of lechery.
40.25 unlefull, sinful.
40.26 privey membrez of generacioun, genitals.
40.27 [Leviticus 20:10]. “Let them be put to death, both the adulterer and the adulteress.”
41.9 them, his victims.
41.14 modered and peesed, regulated and balanced.
41.15 kynd, nature.
41.18 as sacralege, ravyn, extorcioun, as stealing items appropriated to the service of a deity, robbery, taking money by force.
41.19–20 [Ephesians 4:28]. “He that stole, let him now steal no more.”
42.9 an arme of the see, a strait; maner, manor house.
42.13 rage flode, raging (violent) flood.
42.16 constreyned, compelled.
42.17 wontte, accustomed.
42.19 wawes, waves.
42.20 hevynes and pensyfnes, sorrow and anxiety; fletyng, floating.
42.28 purveance, provision.
42.35 deposyng, making a statement under oath.
42.36–37 [Proverbs 19:5]. “A false witness shall not be unpunished: and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.”
43.11 or, before.
43.15 nold doo, would not do.
43.19 or, before.
43.23 to, until.
43.29–30 [Matthew 5:28]. “Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her in his heart.”
44.8 mourow, dawn.
44.15 in the mowrootyde, at daybreak.
44.25 ravyn, robbery; defendyd, forbidden.
44.27 [Psalms 61:11]. “Trust not in iniquity; covet not robberies.”
45.8 viciose, licentious (immoral).
45.9 boole, bull.
45.14 combrous, troublesome.
45.17 ylle and viciosely disposed, sinfully and licentiously disposed.
45.21 heer, their (that is, the herbs’).
45.26 slow or discomfeted, slew or vanquished.
45.27 manly, bravely.
45.28 breeres, briars.
45.30–31 [Jeremias 36:3]. “They may return every man from his wicked way: and I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin.”
46.9 knyghtes aventurose, knights errant.
46.11 chalenged the logyng, claimed the lodging.
46.14 nusaunz and werenes, annoyance and physical exhaustion.
46.15 departed, separated.
46.19 made them grett chere, treated them very kindly.
46.27 therbye, as a result of that.
46.34 th’expouner, the interpreter.
46.35 aventure, experience.
46.42 symple, meek; deboneyr, mild.
46.44–45 [Psalms 118:47]. “I meditated on thy commandments, which I loved.”
47.9 unsittyng, inappropriate.
47.9–10 to the behove of, for the sake of.
47.11 contrariaunt, opposed.
47.23 nott, nothing.
47.24 bye, purchase; then, than.
47.26–28 [1 Peter 1:18–19]. “You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.”
48.18 grett estate, person of high rank.
48.19 t’avoyde, to shun.
48.20 importable, unbearable.
48.24 outher, either.
48.27 suerly, securely.
48.28 cofre, chest (coffer).
48.31 schyttyng, shutting.
48.32 withdrawyng fro the delectacioun of the five wyttes, man’s withdrawal from the pleasures of the five senses [i.e., sensual pleasures].
48.33 huschers, ushers; yardes, scepters of office.
48.34 prees, throng.
48.38 discrescioun, judgment.
48.41 [Proverbs 4:23]. “With all watchfulness keep thy heart, because life issueth out from it.”
49.20 wyche be nother verey duryng ne verrely yours, which are neither truly enduring nor truly yours.
49.21 weyther, whether.
49.22 lyghtlyer, more easily.
49.24 boosse of his bake to lett, hump on his back to hinder.
49.27 butt yf, unless; in hys lyffyng, while he is alive.
49.28–29 [Matthew 19:24]. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
50.11 journee, siege.
50.13 he kept furth, Adrastus continued.
50.30 mete, food.
50.31 brouke, retain.
50.35 [Matthew 4:4]. “Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”
51.11 rakle, impetuous.
51.18 discrescioun, moral judgment.
51.19 keveryng, covering (lid).
51.20 governoure, captain; slypper, slippery.
51.21 thyrleth, pierces.
51.24 pourer, power.
51.25–26 [Psalms 33:13–14]. “Who is the man that desireth life: who loveth to see good days? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”
52.11 voyded, discharged.
52.12 avaunced, successful.
52.16 jangler, gossip.
52.19 wurthe, worthy.
52.22–23 [Proverbs 2:10–11]. “If wisdom shall enter into thy heart, counsel shall keep thee, and prudence shall preserve thee.”
53.9 stroyffe togeyder for kestyng of the berre, competed together in the casting of the iron bar.
53.14 inconvenience, misfortune.
53.20 discrete, prudent.
53.22 symple, uneducated (that is, a layperson).
53.24–25 [Proverbs 24:6]. “Where there are many counsels, there shall be safety.”
53.25 “Work all things by counsel, and afterwards you will not repent.” (see note)
54.15 coude, knew.
54.16 synguler, exceptional.
54.20 sovereygnly bewteose, extremely beautiful.
54.24 weyther, whichever.
54.32 lesser, weakener; leysere, destroyer.
54.34–35 [Wisdom 16:29]. “For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter’s ice, and shall run off as unprofitable water.”
55.20 reprove, shame.
55.23 merchyng, adjacent.
55.24 pylled, plundered; peraventure, perhaps; streytly, strictly.
55.29 myschyefus, malicious.
55.30 lyvers, people.
55.44 compunccioun, contrition.
55.48–49 [Psalms 125:5]. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
56.12 ferrour, blacksmith.
56.16 loughe, laughed.
56.16–17 wyche wold have vouchesafe with good wyll to have be take with that defaute, who would have consented gladly to have been caught in the same offense.
56.21 Unethes, Rarely.
56.24 aweyte, ambush (snare, trap).
56.31 seketh and ransekyth, searches and investigates.
56.32 affecciounat, partial.
56.33–34 [1 Peter 5:8]. “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.”
57.12 to2, until.
57.13 feyn, content.
57.14 boyschementes, ambushes.
57.15 stregte, narrow.
57.19 ne saciate of, nor sated with.
57.21 discomfetyd, overcome.
57.24 Disprase, Disregard; thof, although.
57.27 mekenes, meekness.
57.29 stand, remain; but yf, unless.
57.32–33 [Ecclesiasticus 3:20]. “The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God.”
58.10 suffred, allowed.
58.13 rewarded hyr ageyn full evyll, rewarded her very poorly.
58.16 lyght, fickle.
58.21 selfwyl, willfulness; despoyleth, plunders.
58.22 stuffeth, populates; suggett, bound.
58.23–25 [Proverbs 29:15]. “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but the child that is left to his own will bringeth his mother to shame.”
59.10 ageyn, in return.
59.11 in a cravers of a rokke of the see, in a cave in a large rock by the sea.
59.14 pourer, power.
59.16 awetyth, lies in wait for.
59.17 goven, given.
59.19 ymaginacioun, fantasy.
59.23–24 [Wisdom 5:9]. “All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a [messenger] that runneth on.”
60.11 boden, invited.
60.13 kest, threw.
60.15 susteyned, argued.
60.21 supposyng, seeming.
60.22 condyghted, escorted.
60.26 unsyttyng, inappropriate.
60.26–27 debatose and discordyng, inappropriate to honor to be quarrelsome and disagreeable.
60.32 suffreynly, especially; strive1, discord.
60.33 wodenes, madness.
60.34 sugget, subject (inferior); [Romans 13:13]. “Not in contention and envy . . . .”
61.12 dispurveyd, unprepared. 61.23 [Joel 3:4]. “I will return you a recompense upon your own head.”
62.8 paramour, passionately.
62.11 sche, Semele; avaunted hereselfe, boasted.
62.14 require hym of a boone, request of him a favor.
62.15 clyppe and to enbrase, clasp and embrace.
62.18 beed, urged.
62.20 call ageyn, take back.
62.32–33 as fer as our frelnes of nature wyl geve us to be, as far as our natural moral instability will allow us to.
62.34–35 [Titus 2:7]. “In all things, show thyself an example of good works.”
7 Therefore, above everything else, love that (chivalry) in the highest degree
63.12 inconveniences, misfortunes.
63.18 [Proverbs 31:27]. “She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle.”
64.10 avaunted hereselfe, comparying, boasted, comparing (herself).
64.13 poyer, power.
64.19 avauntour or boostere, braggart or boaster.
64.25 froward, willful.
64.27 [Wisdom 5:8]. “What hath pride profited us? Or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us?”
65.9 dowted, feared.
65.12 al torent hym asondre, completely tore him to pieces.
65.17 doo hym be taught and be enformed, have him be taught and trained.
65.23–24 [Apocalypse 13:7]. “Power was given to the beast over every tribe and people.”
66.10 agen them., towards the Greeks.
66.12 seyng, seeing.
66.13 buschement, ambush.
66.17 th’aweyte, the ambush.
66.22 do not off, do not take off.
66.26 [Luke 11:21]. “A strong man armed keepeth his court.”
8 Lines 67.6–7: The man who wishes to advance himself has little need to give attention to any such instruments
67.9 rynnyng waters stynted of her cours, running waters stopped in their courses.
67.14 fonne in mer, become infatuated in sheer enjoyment.
67.18 meyte, food (see note).
67.19 bounde, in bondage (dominated); villeyn, low-born person; bondman of body, slave.
67.22 lyver, person.
67.27 [Psalms 101:8]. “I have watched, and am become as a sparrow all alone on the housetop.”
68.11 poyer, power.
68.17 providyd before, made provision for in advance.
68.21 ascriveth, attributes.
68.24–25 avauntyth hymselfe, boasts.
68.27–28 [Proverbs 8:13]. “I hate arrogance, and pride, and a mouth with a double tongue.
69.8 mycle, too much.
69.10 or hys meyné wyste therof, before his company knew of it.
69.11 none, 3 p.m.
69.17 oftesythes avaunte, often brag.
69.19 werthoro, whereby.
69.24 how be hyt, however.
69.26 or, before.
69.29 expendyth, spends.
69.39 charge, burden.
69.43 [Matthew 3:2]. “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
70.20 conyng, understanding.
70.24 covnaunte, covenant (promise).
70.39 foulo of, occur as a result.
70.40 [James 4:3]. “You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss.”
71.10 meyde, young woman.
71.11 noone, nun.
71.14 lottez, predictions.
71.16–17 wymplez, owches, headdresses, brooches.
71.22–23 new devysez or unkyth, straung conceytez wyche long to ladyes, new ornaments or foreign (unseemly?), unfamiliar concepts that are suitable for ladies.
71.27 or, before.
71.34–35 [2 Paralipomenon 15:7]. “Take courage, and let not your hands be weakened: for there shall be a reward for your work.”
72.8 grett estate, men of high rank.
72.9 but yf, unless.
72.20 gruche, complain.
72.25 [1 John 2:15]. “If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him.”
73.14 departed, distributed.
73.21 puyschaunz, power.
73.26 symple, foolish.
73.38–39 [Matthew 7:1–2]. “Judge not, that you shall not be judged; for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.”
74.13 discomfort hym, become dejected.
74.14 ingyne made to take fysche, snare made to catch fish.
74.18 pleyn, complete.
74.21 [Isaias 3:12]. “O my people, they that call thee blessed, the same deceive thee.”
75.10 chefteyn, commander.
75.12 constable, general; chivalrye, host of knights.
75.20 taast the savoure, experience the delights.
75.21–22 [Luke 10:42]. “Mary hath chosen the best part for herself, which shall not be taken away from her.”
76.11 tooke, struck; wont, accustomed.
76.13 mowroo, morning.
76.14 booes, branches.
76.15 stere, stir.
76.26 defawtz, defects.
76.29–30 [Matthew 7:3 and Luke 6:41]. “Why seest thou the mote in thy brother’s eye; but considerest not the beam in thy own eye?”
77.19–20 he is so feble that he mey non overcome but only hym that wyl yeld hym to hym, the devil is so weak that he may overcome only the man who will yield himself to him.
77.20–22 [1 Corinthians 10:13]. “God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to resist it.”
78.8 soone, son.
78.11 expoun, interpret.
78.19 smert, pain.
78.26–27 [Ecclesiasticus 2:4]. “Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in sorrow endure, and in humiliation keep patience.” (see note)
79.15 boystosely, violently.
79.20 seemews, sea gulls.
79.27 differre, postpone (defer).
79.29 encombred, burdened.
79.37–38 [Proverbs 3:21–22]. “Keep my law and counsel; and there shall be life to thy soul.”
80.10 Exiona, Hesione.
80.13 meyné, family.
80.16 hold, followed.
80.18 lyght, insignificant.
80.21–22 prophetable to hys heele, profitable to his well-being.
80.26–27 [Wisdom 10:8]. “Regarding not wisdom, they did not only slip in this, that they were ignorant of good things, but they left also unto men a memorial of their folly.”
81.14 letted, hindered.
81.18 wantyng, lacking.
81.21 disceyvable, deceitful.
81.24–25 [2 Timothy 3:2, 4]. “Men shall be covetous, haughty, proud, traitors, stubborn, fearful.”
82.12 dyd off, took off.
82.16 rudely, violently; mollefye, soften.
82.24 feyned, composed.
82.25 rude, uneducated.
82.26 uske, husk (see note).
82.27 jewse and lycour, juice and liquid.
82.28 that sowneth, what leads.
82.37 on yren . . . on, one iron . . . one; but yf, unless.
82.38 chafed, heated.
82.40 [Isaias 35:3]. “Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak knees.”
83.10 found, invented.
83.11 fond, invented; tablez, backgammon.
83.16 wery, weary.
83.22–23 [John 5:39]. “Search the scriptures, in which you think to have life everlasting.”
84.9 well drawen and well nortred, well brought up and well nurtured.
84.18 lyght, fickle.
84.20 varyaunt, inconstant.
84.24 poyer, power; passyng, exceedingly.
84.29 [2 Corinthians 10:17]. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
85.11 dowted, feared.
85.12 discoverte of hys armure, unarmed (lit. “undressed of his armor”); unwarly to take hym at avauntage, unsuspectingly to take him (Hector) at a disadvantage.
85.25–26 [Galatians 4:26]. “That Jerusalem, which is above, is free: which is our mother.”
86.9 janglere, chatterbox.
86.10 aweyted, spied on (him out of jealousy).
86.13 deyned not to love her ageyn, would not condescend to love her in return.
86.20 besyd, beside.
86.26 rygorous, severe.
86.32 holpen of, helped by.
86.34 [Proverbs 22:9]. “He that is inclined to mercy shall be blessed.”
87.11 required, entreated.
87.28 surté, certainly.
87.30 [Psalms 86:3]. “Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God.”
88.10 sykyng, sighing.
88.11 advertyzed and conceyled, advised and counseled.
88.12 journey, battle.
88.17 symple, lacking authority.
88.24 [1 Thessalonians 5:19]. “Extinguish not the spirit.”
9 That you are unprepared regarding military equipment
89.18–19 in the daunger of, at the mercy of.
89.19 envyround, surrounded.
89.20 brennyng, burning; laughe, look favorably upon.
89.21 [Psalms 117:8]. “It is good to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man.”
90.10 lett, keep.
90.12 whose, Andromache’s.
90.13 advertyse, advise.
90.14 privey posterne, secret passage.
90.26 aweyte, in wait.
90.26–27 [Ecclesiasticus 14:12]. “Remember that death will not delay.”
10 Although you may think the reverse, yet do not treat it disdainfully
91.8 discoverte of hys armure, unarmed (lit. “bare of his armor”).
91.10 polecye, course of action.
91.15 wavyng, wandering.
91.16 jogler, itinerant entertainer.
91.20 [Matthew 6:6]. “Having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret.”
92.9 aventurous, brave; journey, battle.
92.22 oftesyth, often.
92.23 [1 Timothy 6:10]. “The desire of money is the root of all evils.”
93.14 weered Achilles non harneys, Achilles wore no body armor.
93.16 poyar, power.
93.24 kepe, protect.
93.27 expownyng, interpreting.
93.30–31 [1 John 2:15]. “Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world.”
94.9 on arme, one arm.
94.10 werthoro, whereby.
94.21–22 [2 Corinthians 3:4–5]. “Such confidence we have, through Christ, towards God; not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves.”
11 Anyone who would save one such (as Antenor) would be worthy of death
95.18 besy, occupied.
95.21 glew, birdlime [a glue used to snare birds].
95.23 he fyll in that inconvenience that he denyed hys mester, he fell into that misfortune which he denied his master.
95.24 [Proverbs 4:15]. “Flee from the way of evil men, pass not by it.”
96.11 but as, unless.
96.17 engynes, tricks; and he, if he.
96.24 [Psalms 21:26]. “With thee is my praise in a great church.”
97.8 mester, main.
97.19–20 [Apocalypse 18:7]. “As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her.”
98.9 coude, knew.
98.12 wedder, weather.
98.13 wytt weder, know whether; saff, safely.
98.20 excytyng, encouragement.
98.24 ypocresye, hypocrisy.
98.29–30 [Matthew 23:27]. “Woe to you hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones.”
99.8 sodeyn, boiled.
99.10 selfwyll, willfulness. advertezed, advised.
99.12 awtoretez, authoritative statements.
99.14 symple, unsophisticated.
99.19 frell, frail.
99.20 rather, more easily.
99.21 other, either.
99.23 [1 Corinthians 14:38]. “If any man know not, he shall not be known.”
100.10 leued, ignorant.
100.13 hym, Augustus.
100.15 of noght, out of nothing.
100.24 nobleth, ennobles.
100.30 indifferently, impartially.
100.31–32 how myche he can but how myche he can nott, how much he knows but how much he does not know.
100.33 [Ecclesiasticus 3:31]. “A good ear will hear wisdom with all desire.”
LYTLE BIBELL OF KNYGHTHOD: EXPLANATORY NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: A: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 848; AI (Mombello’s AI1): Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 604; Assembly: Assembly of Gods, ed. Chance; B: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 606; B1: London, British Library, MS Harley 4431; BI: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud misc. 570; CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis, ed. Peck; CFW: Boccaccio, Concerning Famous Women, trans. Guarino; CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Benson; CV: Chapelet des vertus, in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 572; D: London, British Library, MS Harley 219; DI: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 1187; DI7: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, naf. 10059; Dicts: Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers, ed. Bühler; DMF: Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330–1500); EA: Evrart de Conty, Le Livre des eschez amoureuz moralisés, ed. Guichard-Tesson and Roy; Epistle: Scrope, Epistle of Othea, ed. Bühler; FA: Machaut, The Fountain of Love (La Fonteinne amoureuse) and Two Other Dream Vision Poems, ed. and trans. Palmer; FP: Lydgate, Fall of Princes, ed. Bergen; GD: Boccaccio, Genealogie deorum gentilium libri, ed. Romano; GDE: Boccaccio, Geneology of the Pagan Gods, trans. Solomon; Gordon: The Epistle of Othea to Hector: A ‘Lytil Bibell of Knyghthod’, ed. Gordon; HA1: Histoire Ancienne, in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 301; HA2: Histoire Ancienne, in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 246; HF: Chaucer, House of Fame, ed. Benson; Larke: Boke of Wysdome, trans. Larke (1532); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MF: Manipulus florum (1483, cited by entry name, followed by the quire letter, folio number, recto or verso page, and column a or b); MP: Lydgate, Minor Poems, ed. MacCracken; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OFD: Old French-English Dictionary, ed. Hindley, Langley, and Levy; OLH: Christine de Pizan, Othea’s Letter to Hector, ed. Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Richards; OM: Ovide moralisé, ed. de Boer; Parussa: Christine de Pizan, Epistre Othea, ed. Parussa; RM: Pierre Bersuire, Reductorium morale, liber XV, in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 16787; RR: Romance of the Rose, trans. Dahlberg; RT: Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Le Roman de Troie, ed. Constans; TB: Lydgate, Troy Book, ed. Bergen; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Benson; TDP: Guillaume de Tignonville, Les Ditz moraulx des philosophes, ed. Eder; TM: Mombello, La tradizione manoscritta dell’ Epistre Othea di Christine de Pizan; Whiting: Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases.
NB: Families of consulted manuscripts are referenced with A/AI, B/BI (B, B1, and BI), and D/DI (D, DI, DI7). Other manuscripts, like BI2, are cited occasionally to provide more detailed information.
Regarding manuscript sources: One purpose of these notes is to clarify the extent to which the Bibell transmits a DI-manuscript version of the Othea. If I have not noted that the Bibell’s variants derive from the DI manuscript tradition, then the manuscript evidence is inconclusive (e.g., we cannot be sure whether minor omissions were intentional or the result of a flawed exemplar) or the variation is original (without precedent in the manuscripts or early printed editions that I have consulted); these latter original variants likely owe to the translator’s innovations, editing choices, or glosses and interpretations for his English audience.
All chapter titles are editorial and identify the exemplar(s) and/or narrative content to help readers distinguish chapters, especially when the same classical figures appear multiple times.
Except in cases where the Bibell diverges significantly, the majority of notes relating to sources shared by Christine, Scrope, and the Bibell translator are located in the Explanatory Notes to Scrope’s Epistle of Othea, keyed to the corresponding line number for Scrope’s translation.
1–14 The hye divyne . . . . man hath dominacioun. The opening establishes the heavens and earth as governed by divinely ordained and natural trinitarian hierarchies. The tripartite structure of the Othea thereby becomes one of many natural, necessary trinities.
3 Nine ordrez angelyke in ierarches thre. This refers to the classification of angels into three hierarchies of three orders each. The organization and number of orders varied in medieval authors, though Pseudo-Dionysius, The Celestial Hierarchy (trans. Luibheid, pp. 160–74); Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 108, Article 6 (pp. 533–35); and Dante’s Paradiso, 28.98–126, all divide them as follows: the first (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), second (dominions, virtues, powers), and third (principalities, archangels, angels).
18 Vegetatyffe, sensatyve, and intellictive. The three divisions of the soul — vegetative, sensitive, and rational — derive from Aristotle and were also transmitted by Giles of Rome. See Aristotle, De Anima 2.3, ed. Lawson-Tancred, pp. 162–64; Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 1.13.9–20, ed. Rackham, pp. 23–24; and Trevisa, De regimine principum, ed. Fowler, Briggs, and Remley, pp. 35–36. See also Rigby, “Aristotle for Aristocrats,” p. 270, on the hierarchical position of the souls and of humans in relation to beasts.
29–75 In wyche ordre . . . . the superlative degré. The Bibell translator’s evocation of natural and divinely-ordained hierarchies to justify human distinctions in social status (the three estates of clergy, knights, and laborers) recalls Giles of Rome’s use of Aristotle; see Rigby, “Aristotle for Aristocrats,” pp. 273–76. On the estates system, see Mann, Medieval Estates Satire, p. 3.
39 comoun profyght. The notion of common profit, popular in mirrors for princes, asserts that if each member of society fulfills his role, all members of society mutually will benefit. See Peck, Kingship and Common Profit, pp. xxi–xxiii.
81–83 Wyche in a mene . . . . the other tweyne. In employing the phrases “in a mene” and “mene estat,” the translator evokes the Aristotelian mean, the midpoint of ideal behavior situated between extreme vice and extreme virtue (see also Chapter 2). Knighthood occupies the middle status between the laborers and clergy and therefore functions as a social ideal for secular citizens. On knighthood more generally as a social ideal, see Kipling, Triumph of Honour, pp. 11–30, 169–72.
99–119 In as myche . . . . the’evangelyk documentes. The Bibell translator ties the trinitarian view of the world outlined above to Christine’s tripartite form and explains the structure of each chapter: the poetic texte, which offers an example; the glose, which offers a moral reading of the text, supported by citations of philosophical authorities; and the moralité (in the Othea, the allegorie), which applies a spiritual interpretation and quotes scriptural authorities and the Bible. Line 113 suggests that the moralité has the most authority; the translator occasionally expands Christine’s allegories, but the majority of his alterations appear in the texte and glose.
On the design of Christine’s chapters (replicated by both translators), see Tuve, Allegorical Imagery, pp. 38–39; Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Reading Myth, pp. 188–93; and Brown-Grant, Moral Defence, pp. 56–64.
105 lytle bibell. Gordon presumably draws his editorial subtitle from this line; I use the phrase as title to distinguish this text from Scrope’s Epistle and Christine’s Othea.
106–09 The fyrst . . . I yow ensure. On “covert,” see Scrope Explanatory Note 4.15.
121–26 Of this trine wey . . . of this lecture. The Bibell translator purports to arm the reader with “prudent polecye” — essentially, to create a practical guide on moral behavior — which theoretically guarantees success in this life and the next. This is the second occurrence of the phrase “prudent polecye” (Proh.103). For late fifteenth-century writers, prudence becomes an important secular virtue for aristocrats and rulers, and “polecye” takes on meanings that denote not only good political behavior but also savvy self-interest or self-protection. See Strohm, Politique, pp. 5, 124–26. Compare Lydgate’s FP 6.253–59, on how a man “enarmed in vertu” — specifically the four Cardinal virtues — “hath a saufconduit ageyn [Fortune’s] variaunce.”
127–47 Of this mysty mater . . . . for certeyn. As part of a conventional modesty topos, the Bibell translator laments his inability to complete the task before him, blaming his lack of intelligence and eloquence. Compare Proh.141–47 with Chaucer’s Parson (CT X[I] 56–60) where his simple wit is put to others’ “correccioun.” In the fifteenth century in particular, such topoi often are found in texts that address difficult political and social impasses, where the poet presents himself as plain or inadequate in order to enable him to speak frankly. See D. Lawton, “Dullness and the Fifteenth Century.” In the case of our translator, who makes a number of changes to his source, including the choice of an elaborate verse form, there may also be some truth to his anxieties.
160 In balad ryme. “balad ryme” or the rime royal stanza form (ababbcc) was introduced and popularized by Chaucer and frequently used by his fifteenth-century successors, including Lydgate, Hoccleve, Osbem Bokenham, and many others.
162–68 And to declare . . . . I now begynne. The Bibell translator repeatedly emphasizes the desire to convey lessons “oppynly,” “pleyn to understondynge,” and “pleynly.” N. Watson, “Theories of Translation,” p. 85, argues that for Lydgate, “plain” indicates “full” or “complete,” instead of “clear.” The Bibell translator’s usage suggests a combination of the two strategies, for his practice aims for both clarity and completeness.
163–65 Unto the wlgar . . . . the suppreme wonnyng. The term “wlgar” may refer to the Bibell translator’s audience as common people. It can also refer to the translation of a work into the vernacular, but the translator has not elsewhere acknowledged that his work is a translation. A non-aristocratic (or not exclusively aristocratic audience) is also suggested by the assertion that the book’s content will allow every reader to halt the wheel of Fortune at its highest point. This bold claim places Christine’s work within the context of late medieval mirrors for princes that argued that the practice of virtue could suspend or delay the turning of Fortune’s wheel and extends the notion to all readers (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 169–70). On the broader fifteenth-century context for such claims, see Paul Strohm, Politique, pp. 1–5; see also Introduction, pp. 27–28.
165 whele of Fortune. The goddess Fortune (see also Chapter 74) was a well-known and widespread figure in medieval literature, one used to address the apparently random ups and downs of life. She was often depicted blindfolded, and human figures are set upon her wheel, which she turns capriciously, raising figures up or casting them down without regard for merit or fairness. Fortune becomes a symbol for the instability of the world (contrasted with the stability of Heaven). The most influential sources treating Fortune are Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy (translated by Chaucer as Boece) and Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium [On the Falls of Famous Men] (translated by John Lydgate as The Fall of Princes), but by the late fourteenth century, references to the goddess as responsible for someone’s misfortune were common, without necessarily indicating a direct familiarity with specific literary texts. The Bibell translator, like Lydgate, participates in a fifteenth-century development that began to attribute more causality to the turning of Fortune’s wheel, imagining that humans had some agency or deserved their fortunes or misfortunes (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 167–70). Here, the translator imagines that the wise advice contained within his work could allow the reader to stop Fortune’s wheel’s turning, preserving the reader’s position at the top. On Fortune more generally and in the fifteenth century, see also, Patch, The Goddess Fortuna; Mortimer, Narrative Tragedy in its Literary and Political Contexts; Strohm, Politique; and Nolan, “The Fortunes of Piers Plowman.”
1 Othea. There is no classical source for Christine’s invention Othea, the goddess of prudence. See Scrope Explanatory Note 1.1.
3 prince Ector. Hector was the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. See Scrope Explanatory Note 1.3.
5–6 Son to god Mars . . . . And of Mynerve. On Hector’s symbolic lineage, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.5–7.
7 noble dedes bloweth the trompe of fame. This image does not appear in Christine’s Othea; perhaps the Bibell translator is mindful of Chaucer’s House of Fame where Eolus’s “trumpe” so famously proclaims deeds for both good and ill before the Temple of Fame. See HF 3.1763–1810.
23 Pegasus. For more on the mythological winged horse, see Scrope Explantory Note 1.27.
25 beyreth the bell. Proverbial: see Whiting B230 and MED, belle (n.1), sense 9a.
40–42 For I am sche . . . . mey them overthrowe. Christine’s Othea presents herself as a teacher and counselor (Parussa 1.55–58). The Bibell is more specific in depicting her as the knight’s protector from distress. The Bibell also introduces the threat of the reader’s being “overthrowe,” with the implication that such a fall comes from a person’s own folly (not Fortune’s whims or other actors).
50–56 And suche thynges . . . . to thynke. On the importance of Othea’s power of prophecy, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.50–55. The Bibell translator adds the warning in 1.55–56 that the reader could lose honor by not taking Othea’s advice seriously.
57 womans wisdom. On the subject of gendered wisdom as an important theme throughout Christine’s career and in the translations of the Othea, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.59.
57–65 Othea in Greke . . . . mey be made. On Christine’s treatment of belief in multiple gods and goddesses as the result of pagan ignorance, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.60–67.
74 Gallathé. As Parussa, p. 385n1d, notes, Hector’s horse Galathée appears in both the HA2 and Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Roman de Troie, as a gift from a fairy named either Morgan or Orva (RT, lines 8023–33 and 8024n; for English, see Roman de Troie, trans. Burgess and Kelly, p. 141). The horse should not be confused with the nymph Galatea (Chapter 59).
77–78 wherof the same Othea was replete and fulfilled. The Bibell translator alone identifies Othea as full of wisdom and prudence; Christine’s original leaves open the possibility of reading Othea as the embodiment of Hector’s wisdom (see, for example, Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Reading Myth, pp. 188–90; Forhan, Political Theory, pp. 101–05). Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 173–74, argues that the Bibell’s reading resists personification, and depicts Othea as a human model for readers and the translator himself.
78 the four Cardinalle Verteus. The first four chapters exemplify the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice. For more, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.78.
87–89 Because that wysedom . . . . and commendable maner. TDP, p. 966; Dicts, pp. 150.29–30 and 151.33–35.
90 To leed . . . moralized. For Christine’s allegorie, the Bibell translator uses moralité, an English term for moral and spiritual matters. On the function of this prologue, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.88–103.
115–18 as seyth Sent Austyn . . . dominacioun and governauns. “Austeyn” or “Austin” is the Middle English spelling for Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430), one of the most prolific and influential Church Fathers (considered one of the most significant theologians of the early Church) and one of the first Doctors of the Church (a title given to indicate his major theological contributions, from the Latin “doctor” [teacher]). On the source in question as authored by Pseudo- Cyprian, see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.106–09.
115–16 Freelté of Clerkys. This mistranslation of “la Singularité des clercs” (Parussa, 1.151) may derive from a corrupt source manuscript or misreading of a scribal abbreviation. The Bibell correctly translates “synguler” elsewhere (for example, 1.15, 32.20). DI7 correctly records “singularité.”
7 Temperaunce. Of the four Cardinal Virtues, Christine’s Temperance more closely resembles an allegorical personification, because she is not associated with a mythological figure or an individualizing name (like Othea), but she remains tied to the human realm by Christine’s euhemerism and by her association with her “sister” Othea (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 149–51).
9 in a meen. The phrase evokes the Aristotelian mean, identifying Temperance as exemplifying the ideal midpoint between vice and virtue (see Proh.81–83). See also Whiting M439.
16 peyse. On weighing and the importance of the clock imagery, see Scrope Explanatory Note 2.17.
27–28 seyt the noble phosophre Democritus . . . verteus perfyght. Democritus (ca.460–ca.370 BCE) was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher.
2–3 Strenght . . . . sche. The four Cardinal Virtues are typically feminine, which the Bibell translator (or Babyngton) anticipates, but in Christine’s Othea, Fortitude and Justice are exemplified by men. See Hindman, Painting and Politics, p. 53, and Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 146–48.
5 Hercules. Medieval thinkers often viewed Hercules as an allegorical “type” of Christ, prefiguring, for instance, Christ’s victory over sin and harrowing of Hell (see Chapter 27). Hercules appears in OM 7.1681–2003. See also Chapter 27.
6–12 Though he in Grece . . . . of hys renoune. The Bibell translator’s mention of recurring conflicts between Greece and Troy contextualize Othea’s assertion that although Hercules was Greek, he may still offer a worthy example to a Trojan. The same could be said of all the pagan exemplars for Christian readers.
13–14 How he the gate . . . . the myghty fortres. The idea that Hercules opened the gates of prowess comes from Christine (Parussa, 3.11), but the Bibell translator adds the epithet that follows, presumably interpreting and extending Christine’s idea as a metaphor for conquering a castle. See Whiting G40.
20–21 Whom Pluto ravysched . . . . avenged thought be. Both “ravysched” and “rape” carry the sense of forceful abduction for the purpose of sexual assault (MED, ravishen [v.], sense 2b, and rape [n.2], sense b).
23 traveyll. The modern sense of “travel” is also relevant (MED, travailen [v.], sense 5a), but the French indicates that Hercules makes his journey for the purpose of fighting: “Aux infernaulx guerre faire” [To make war upon the inhabitants of hell] (Parussa, 3.15; see also OLH, p. 40). MED, travailen, sense 3b notes that the usage “to make an assault” is “for a dog,” but it makes the most sense here, and this phrasing need not be a dog-specific usage.
26 Cerberose. Christine attributes to Hercules the breaking of Cerberus’s chain, a deed performed by Theseus in the OM, although Hercules captures Cerberus (Parussa, pp. 387–88n3b). The Bibell translator more generally states that Hercules fought Cerberus.
28 Pyrotheus and Theseus. Pirithous is another mythological hero and friend of the more well-known hero Theseus; they had multiple adventures together but became trapped in Hell when Pirithous, with Theseus’s aid, attempted to kidnap (or rescue) Proserpine. Hercules rescued them both, as the Othea relays in Chapter 27.
35 wyld beste. The B/B1 manuscripts, and all modern editions, transmit “serpentines” [snakes], while A/AI, BI, and DI read “sauvagines” [savage beasts], leading to Bibell’s translation.
40 thy strenght with temperate prudence. The Bibell translator explicitly asserts that the knight must combine the enumerated virtues to acquire victory and glory.
56–61 spake under coverture . . . . noble dedes. In other words, Hercules did not actually travel to hell, but poets invented that story to underscore the great deeds that he did accomplish. On the medieval practice of rationalizing the impossible feats of pagan myths, see Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Reading Myth, p. 191.
69 victoris. B1 uniquely omits the French “victorieux” (as do modern editions based on it); however, the term appears in A/AI, B, BI, and the DI versions consulted.
70–75 Sent Ambrose . . . fleschly desyres. Aurelius Ambrosius (ca. 340–397), a bishop of Milan and one of the four original Doctors of the Church (with St. Gregory, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome). The text comes not from Ambrose’s De officiis ministrorum [On the Duties of the Clergy], often known simply as De officiis [On Offices], but instead from a letter to Simplician, another bishop of Milan; see Lemmens in OLH, p. 133.
73–74 makyth . . . labours. Although B/B1 omit this text, it appears in BI and Scrope (and in A/AI and D/DI copies, and thus the Bibell). Mombello, TM, pp. 297–98 no. 18, p. 314 no. 15, identifies the phrase as a key feature of A and D manuscripts; eyeskip may be to blame for its absence in the B and B1 copies.
3 Mynos, the justice of hell. Minos king of Crete was judge of the dead in classical mythology. He also appears as “juge of hell desperate” in the Assembly, line 1639, a direct echo of the Bibell’s unique phrasing.
15–19 Mynos . . . turnyth hys tayll aboute hym. Christine draws on Dante’s depiction of Minos twirling his tail to indicate his judgment (Inferno, ed. Singleton, 5.4–15).
21 Grece. French Othea manuscripts frequently conflate Crete and Greece, due to easy confusion of scribal C/G and t/c; BI correctly identifies Crete, but DI7 reads “Grece.” Both Scrope and the Bibell present Greece.
29–37 seyth Seynt Bernherd . . . hathe don ylle. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), an important Doctor of the Church, and a French abbot instrumental in the reform of the Benedictine Order of monks that led to the establishment of the Cistercian Order.
3–5 Perseus . . . . saved Andromed. For Perseus, see OM 4.5637–5891. See also Chapter 55, and Scrope Explanatory Note 5.4–6.
8–14 Thys noble dede . . . . the wey sure. The Bibell translator embraces the mirroring aspect of exemplary literature: he not only emphasizes the importance of Perseus’s mirrored shield (used to defeat Medusa) and of taking up his blade, as Christine did, but he also effectively asks the reader to clothe himself, metaphorically, as if he were Perseus.
18 Perce. The HA1 or GD 12.25 could have provided the link between Perseus and Persia (Parussa, p. 389–90n5a).
20–21 Pegasus . . . in all partyes. On Pegusas/reputation as something the good knight can master, see Scrope Explanatory Note 5.29–32.
21–25 in all partyes . . . . monstre of the see. Elements of the Bibell translation’s derive from DI readings: a French equivalent for “in all partyes” appears in A and the DI manuscripts consulted, but AI and B/BI omit it; conversely, the identification of Andromeda as a king’s daughter appears in B/BI (and thus Scrope) but not A/AI or the DI manuscripts consulted.
33–45 Gode name . . . . desyre goode name. Many mirrors for princes express apprehension about ambition, but the Othea uses the desire for reputation to motivate the reader to acquire virtues. As the moralité clarifies, this desire is good so long as it does not turn into vainglory.
45–46 Curam habe . . . mille thesaury presiosi. See Scrope Explanatory Note 5.44–45 for the Biblical source. Here as elsewhere, the Bibell translator exhibits the common medieval conflation of Solomon with Jesus son of Sirach, which leads him to insert Solomon’s name where the French texts often read “le sage” [the wise man] and cite Ecclesiasticus.
Chapters 6–12 outline the seven planets, their correlations to names of the days of the week, their alchemical properties, and their spiritual significances. Christine’s revisions in B and B1 add opening paragraphs for Chapters 6–12 that explain the connection of the planets and gods; for or this extra material, see Chapters 6–12 in Parussa and OLH, pp. 45–52. A/AI, BI, and DI versions lack those clarifying paragraphs. Christine combines information from a number of sources, including the OM, Pierre Bersuire’s Reductorium morale, glosses to Evrart de Conty’s Eschez amoureux, and alchemical treatises (Parussa, pp. 391–94). Because Scrope follows Christine but the Bibell translator alters alchemical references (see Bibell Explanatory Note 6.14), it may be useful to review the English predecessors: Chaucer briefly presents associations of the gods with metals in the Canon Yeoman’s Tale (CT VIII [G] 826–29) and HF, lines 1419–512; and Gower, CA 7.721–954, discusses the planets’ influences on certain behavioral characteristics. On representations of the planets as deities more generally, see Panofsky and Saxl, “Classical Mythology,” pp. 241–48, and Shamos, “Astrology as a Social Framework”; and on Christine’s usage, see Hindman, Painting and Politics, pp. 77–89; Tuve, Allegorical Imagery, pp. 296–99; and Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 41–45. For introductions to alchemy, see Roberts, Mirror of Alchemy, and Taylor, Founders of Modern Chemistry.
2 Jupiter. Jupiter appears, for instance, in the OM 1.722–26; EA, pp. 76–77; and RM fol. 5r.
8 paynyms. Like A/AI and DI manuscripts, the Bibell refers to pagans; the B/BI versions and Scrope instead mention “poetis,” though, as Parussa, pp. 391–92n6a, argues, Christine surely intends pagan poets.
10 Thei honoured . . . Jupiter. The Othea and Scrope’s Epistle acknowledge the alternate name Jove, but the Bibell translator does not and excises the explanation that “jeudi” [Thursday] was named for Jove, plausibly because it does not apply to English Thursday.
11 zodiak. The Bibell translator uses the term to translate Christine’s reference to the highest sphere of the planets (Parussa, 6.25), presumably from his own knowledge, because it does not appear in the Othea except in the headnote to Chapter 6, which his source would have lacked (see headnote above). The translator’s omission of Jupiter’s specific location in relation to Saturn, by contrast, does occur because A/AI and DI copies lack that information (though DI7 contains an interlinear addition).
13 seven planettes to the seven metals. On medieval pairings of the known planets with corresponding metals based on supposed shared qualities, see Scrope Explanatory Note 6.10.
Gebar. On Gebar, the Arabic alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan, and on the Bibell translator’s omission of a possible reference to Nicholas Flamel, see Scrope Explanatory Note 6.11.
14 tynne. Christine reverses the typical associations of Jupiter with tin and Venus with copper, and her associations remain intact across all the Othea manuscripts and early printed books consulted, but the Bibell translator restores the traditional view, as does Robert Wyer’s 1549 translation. As Parussa, pp. 392–94n6b, points out, Christine’s reversal is not unheard of in alchemical texts (see, for example, Constantine of Pisa, Secrets of Alchemy, ed. and trans. Obrist, pp. 70, 77–78, 106; and Pseudo-Geber, Pseudo-Geber, ed. Newman, pp. 658, 675–76, for the more common associations). For other English literary presentations, see Chaucer’s Canon Yeoman’s Tale (CT VIII [G] 828–29) and HF, line 1487; Gower, CA 4.2472–75 (Jupiter: bronze); Assembly, lines 269–71.
16 sangueyn complexioun. On sanguinity as one of the humors that influences a person’s temperament, see Scrope Explanatory Note 6.13.
18–21 seyth the famose man Pictagoras . . . desyryng prowes. Pythagoras (ca. 580–ca. 507 BCE) refers to the Greek mathematician and philosopher.
The transmission of this saying follows an interesting trajectory: the TDP advises the king to converse graciously with his people but not to become too familiar; the Othea does not mention familiarity (Parussa, 6.39–40); and the Bibell translator encourages the king to be familiar with his people, but he may have simply chosen a synonym for “courteous” to use in a doublet (MED, familier [adj.], sense 4).
24–28 as seyth Sent Gregorye . . . praers to be unhard. St. Gregory the Great (ca. 540–604) was also known as Pope Gregory I. For the misattribution, see Scrope Explanatory Note 6.23–26.
1 Venus. See headnote to Chapter 6 above and Chapters 56 and 73.
6 hyr daunce. Venus’s dance is a euphemism for lecherous activities, akin to the “olde daunce” Chaucer refers to in TC 3.695 and CT I (A) 476; Gower’s parliament of exemplary lovers also features those who “springe and dance, / And do to love her entendance [service] / After the lust of youthes heste” (CA 8.2487–89).
8–9 Frydey . . . dies veneris. Christine attributes the French “vendredi” [Friday] to Venus, but the Bibell translator substitutes the Latin instead. See Scrope 7.5.
10 copure. See note 6.14 above.
3 Saturne. On Saturn, see Scrope Explanatory Note 8.2 and Chapter 51.
8–9 in alconomy . . . leed is called saturne. The Bibell adds the reference to alchemy; in Middle English alchemical texts, “saturne” was used interchangeably with or instead of lead (MED, Saturne [n.], sense 1d).
26–30 thus Seint Gregorye in his Moralyse. The title of the work refers to St. Gregory’s Moralia in Job [Morals on the Book of Job], a commentary on the Biblical Book of Job.
4 Appollo. On Appollo or Phoebus, see Scrope Explanatory Note 9.2 and Chapters 48 and 87.
13–14 verteu oweth to be in the hert. See TDP, p. 912; Dicts, pp. 12.6 and 13.6–7. Christine includes both mouth (as in TDP) and heart (Parussa, 9.22). The Bibell translator omits the mouth (DI7 has both terms).
15 Love God and . . . geve trewe concelle. TDP, p. 913; Dicts, pp. 14.15–16 and 15.15.
17–18 that mannis soule . . . trouthe withinne hytt. Christine again locates truth in the mouth of the knight, but the Bibell translator (or his source) does not (DI7 has a jumbled version of Christine’s sentiment and also omits reference to the knight’s mouth); compare Scrope, 9.11–12; Parussa, 9.28.
19–23 seyth Seynt Jhon Cristome . . . groweth hytt. The title of the work refers to a sermon by the Greek Church Father John Chrysostom (ca. 347–ca. 407), which praises St. Paul (Lemmens in OLH, p. 135). A/AI and almost all D Othea copies, and thus the Bibell, attribute this material to Chrysostom. All B family manuscripts except one erroneously cite Cassiodorus (TM, p. 298 no. 20 and p. 314 no. 17).
24 Homo sanctus . . . manet sicut soll. Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 27:12 and CV, fol. 80r; Larke, fol. 11r. The Bibell translator copies half the verse Christine used for Chapter 10 instead of recording 3 Esdras 3:12, as do Christine and other consulted manuscripts (see Scrope Explanatory Note 9.16–17). He may have accidentally skipped ahead, his exemplar may have been erroneous (though DI7 contains the correct verse), or he may be forging a deliberate contrast between Apollo’s solar truth (wisdom?) and Phoebe’s lunar foolishness.
1 Phebe. On Phoebe’s association with the moon and inconstancy, see Scrope Explanatory Note 10.1.
8–10 Phebe is . . . luna. The association of Phoebe or the moon with silver is common; the Bibell translator adds the English name “lune” and Latin name (see also note 8.8–9, above).
17–24 And seyth Seynt Ambrose . . . of Jhesu Cryst. The reference is to St. Ambrose’s letter to Simplician, a bishop of Milan.
25–26 Homo sanctus . . . sicut luna mutatur. The Bibell quotation omits “sicut sol” [as the sun] but used it in the previous chapter. Compare Scrope 10.18.
1 thy fader Mars. For the symbolic lineage Christine creates for Hector, see Scrope Explanatory Note 11.1.
3–7 Thy manly corage . . . . the worldes eend. This is one example of many additions in which the Bibell translator promises the reader that the practice of virtues will lead to his renown (See also, for example, 25.1–7, 32.1–7, 37.1–7, 55.1–7).
8 Tewsdey. See Scrope Explanatory Note 11.5–6.
9–17 This planett Mars . . . . hys naturell inclinaciouns. There are two major clarifications by the Bibell translator: “and thereto puttyth hys good wyll and full entent and labour to gett prowes” (11.11–12), and “is to be understand that every good knyght desyryng prowes oweth to foulo werres and love dedys of chivalry” (11.15–16). The translator also inserts two references to what is “natural” (11.10, 17).
21–28 seyth Sent Ambrose . . . desyres of hymselffe. The extract occurs in Gregory’s Moralia, not Ambrose’s De officiis [On the Duties of the Clergy]; see Scrope Explanatory Note 11.14–20.
1 Marcurius take ey thy langage. On Mercury, see Scrope Explanatory Note 12.3. See also Chapters 18 and 30.
8–9 Wedunsdey . . . dies mercurii. The Bibell translator substitutes the English and Latin terms for Christine’s French “mercredi” (see note 7.8–9, above). See also Scrope Explanatory Note 12.5.
15–16 For Diogenes seyth . . . is muche commendyd. Diogenes (ca. 412–ca. 323 BCE) was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of the Cynic school, which believed that man should live a simple, virtuous life and reject desires for wealth, power, and fame; Diogenes lived as a beggar and is known for his extreme asceticism and unconventional behaviors.
The Bibell’s unique rendering may result from a corrupted exemplar. The DI7 scribe also struggles with this quotation, erasing and striking some phrases including “belle eloquence bien aournee et apere de paroles” [fair eloquence well adorned and made clear in words], and it is unclear if his correction to the expected “de toutes vertus le plus est le meilleur, excepté de paroles” [of all virtues, more is better, except of words] occurs at the time of copying or later. It is possible that a faulty exemplar influenced the DI7 initial reading, given the similarities to the Bibell’s “feyr eloquent langage” and “muche commendyd” (if “aournee” [adorned] were read as “aouree” [worshiped/praised]).
18–19 the knyght of Jhesu . . . example of Jhesu Cryste. The Bibell clarifies that the “knyght of Jhesu Cryst” signifies “mannys soule” and explicitly encourages following Christ’s example.
20–26 as seyth Seynt Gregorie in hys Omelyes . . . . in mannys understandyng. The Middle English title Omelyes refers to St. Gregory’s Homilae in Evangelia [Homilies on the Gospels].
In Chapters 13–15, Christine represents the Catholic tradition’s three primary theological virtues — Faith, Hope, and Charity — as women warriors Minerva, Pallas, and Penthesilea. On Christine’s insertion of women into theological roles, see Birk, Biblical Wisdom, pp. 65–88, especially 80–81.
4 Mynerve. On Minerva, see Scrope Explanatory Note 13.4 and Chapter 14.
8–15 Mynerve was a lady . . . . wyffe to Kyng Pryamus. The Bibell translator provides glosses on iron armor, “cuyrboyle,” and Hecuba’s identity not found in the Othea manuscripts consulted. He also expands on Hector’s “natural” disposition towards arms.
10 cuyrboyle. See Scrope Explanatory Note 13.6.
14 sone of Mynerve. On Hector’s symbolic lineage, see Chapter 11.
16–17 seyth autorité . . . be subgett therto. Unknown source. Although the Bibell translator identifies the source as the “autorite of scripture,” which need not necessarily evoke the Vulgate, the French Othea manuscripts consulted simply refer to “autorité” [Scrope: an auctor]. Bühler, Epistle, p. 139n24/2, proposes a basis in Matthew 26:52, “all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
19–20 the vertew of . . . the theologyen verteus. See Scrope Explanatory Note 13.13–14.
21–24 For as seyth Cassiodre . . . plese almyghty God. The name Cassiodorus appears in error for Chrysostom. See Scrope Explanatory Note 13.15–17.
1 Mynerve . . . Pallas. Boccaccio explains the dual names Minerva and Pallas in GDE 2.3 and 4.63–64 (Parussa, p. 399n14b). See also Chapter 13 and Scrope Explanatory Note 13.4.
5–7 Where els by infortune . . . . owt of joynt. The Bibell translator invents this warning that Othea will be disappointed with Hector or separate from him (like a dislocated body part, or as one’s nose might be out of joint) if he fails her. Lydgate, TB 4.2828, also refers to Hector as “pleinly oute of Ioynt” just before Achilles ambushes him; see also Whiting J54. Read against the previous chapter’s admonition that Minerva’s armor will protect Hector except against “necligens” (13.2), this chapter urging him to practice wisdom contributes to the sense that the hero’s moral failure led to his death, which is treated in Chapters 90–92. Similar warnings appear throughout the work (for example, 42.1–4, 84.6–7).
11 Paulence. The island that supposedly gave Pallas her name, Pallene, was located in Thrace, according to Isidore of Seville, Etymologies, trans. Barney et al., Book VIII, Chapter xi, line 75.
15–17 Therfore prudence byddeth . . . wysedam to chivalry. See Scrope Explanatory Note 14.12–13.
18–19 Knytte the love . . . wysedam of knyghthood. TDP, p. 913; Dicts, pp. 14.5–6 and 15.5. The Bibell adds “of knyghthood.”
23–26 Orygene seyth . . . of her woundes. Origen of Alexandria (ca. 184–ca. 253) was a Greek Church Father and prolific early Christian theologian who wrote over two thousand treatises on various religious topics, including over 200 sermons and a homily on the Bible’s book of Exodus, which is the source for this material (see also Lemmens, in OLH, p. 136).
1 Pantazele. On Penthesilea, see Scrope Explanatory note 15.1.
17 all wymen. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts consulted emphasize women alone, instead of the more general reference to all virtuous people in B/BI manuscripts and Scrope.
21 Pantasile mey be . . . verteu of charité. See Scrope Explanatory Note 15.19.
23–28 seyth Cassiodre uppon the Sawter . . . . of hyr goodes. The Bibell translator and D/DI tradition ascribes the extract to Cassiodorus’s Exposition of the Psalms, but see also Scrope Explanatory Note 15.21–25.
26 waker. The Bibell translator (or his source) confuses “bien vueillant” [well-wishing; from the verb vouloir] with “bien veillant” [quite vigilant; from the verb veiller], which leads to the use of a term indicating literal or spiritual vigilance (MED, waker [adj.], sense c).
27 liberall. See Scrope Explanatory Note 15.25.
Chapters 16–22 allegorize the Seven Deadly Sins.
8 Narcisus was a meyd. Perhaps identifying Narcissus with antifeminist assumptions about women and pride, the Bibell translator renders the French, “ung damoisel,” a masculine term for a bachelor knight, as “a meyd,” typically a term used to refer to women (MED, maide [n. and adj.], all definitions except senses 2d and 4). He correctly represents Narcissus as the male object of Echo’s affection in 86.13.
14–15 he be blynd . . . sett at noght. The Bibell translator adds the reference to blindness (an ironic reading of a story of visual self-obsession) and the warning that one’s achievements might be “sett at noght” if one exercises pride.
18 By Narcissus mey . . . synne of pride. The Bibell translator omits the introductory statement in all French manuscripts consulted that announces the allegorization of the seven deadly sins (compare Parussa, 16.20–21; OLH, p. 55; Scrope, 16.13–14).
1 Kyng Athamas. On Athamas and this narrative, see Scrope Explanatory Note 17.1. See also Chapter 99.
9 stepdoughters. Traditionally, the children are male; the French “fillastre” is used for both masculine and feminine children. The Bibell translator imagines a wicked stepmother targeting daughters.
15 colour of fable. The Bibell translator typically uses “coverture” or “in maner of fable,” although MED, colour (n.), sense 4, attests to the term’s use as “a stylistic device, figure, or embellishment,” for example, “colours of rethorik” (Lydgate, FP 8.193). Since the translator does not elsewhere use “colour” for “couverture,” the reading may result from a copying error.
23–24 scharpyd hyre tonges. The phrase mistranslates “es girons leur lance” (Parussa, 17.27–28), which Scrope more accurately renders “keste [the serpents] in theire lappes.” The Bibell translator’s error can be explained only by a serious misunderstanding of the phrase and certain letter forms (or a severely corrupted source) that would allow the confusion of “lance” with “langue” [tongue] and “girons” with a form of “aiguiser” or “aguiser” [to sharpen].
26 hys two chyldren. These two children are Athamas’s and Ino’s shared offspring, not the ones exiled earlier.
3–4 envye . . . green. Whiting E134 cites the Bibell as the first proverbial association of green with envy in English (see note 18.12, below).
4 can chaunge. This is a grammatical construction in which “gan” (or “con,” or “can,” depending on dialect) followed by an infinitive is the equivalent of a past tense verb; it is found almost exclusively in verse, likely for purposes of rhyme and meter. See Brinton, “ME Gan Reconsidered.” See also 19.7.
5 graunge. Describing hate as a farmer/caretaker of envy seems the more likely interpretation of the translator’s original addition (MED, graunger [n.], sense a); this forms a more proverbial image than the image of hate as envy’s storehouse (MED, graunge [n.], senses a and c).
8–11 Poetes sey that . . . . to a god. The Bibell translator rearranges information for a more streamlined introduction to the characters and story.
12 greene. The Bibell differs from Scrope’s “grene as an ivi leef” due to manuscript variants: although B/BI manuscripts read “vert comme fueille d’yerre,” the A/AI and DI manuscripts simply read “vert comme yerre” [green as ivy]. Confusion or a corrupt source may have led to the Bibell translator’s omission of the ivy itself.
16–18 wex wrathe with her and gave his sentence . . . by the same sentence. For the first terms, the French manuscripts consulted read “se courroussa et dit” [became angry and said] and lack any equivalent for the second; the Bibell translator’s use of “sentence” may suggest that he interprets this moment in the legal sense of delivering a verdict.
24–25 seyth the philosophre Socrates . . . perpetuall peyne. CV, fol. 83v; Larke, fol. 22v–23r. Bühler, “Saying Attributed to Socrates,” proposes that the Bibell translator had access to Larke’s translation (or knew the CV or an earlier translation), because both works use “vessel” to translate the French “faissel” [burden] found in B1. However, the circumstances are more complex because the term varies greatly among French copies of the Othea, with some reading “faissel” (for example, A, DI, BI) and others reading “vaissel” (for example, AI, DI7) — perhaps influenced by the “vaissel” in the previous allegory. Yet even the BNF fr. 572 copy of the CV reads “vaisseau,” suggesting a broader issue with copying the term. Therefore, such a commonly miscopied word alone cannot be used effectively to date the Bibell or establish its manuscript kinship.
27 synne. The Bibell’s term synne translates the A/AI and DI reading “pechie,” as opposed to the B/BI reading “vice” replicated by Scrope.
7 can hye. Grammatically, “can”or “gan” followed by an infinitive constructs the past tense, which can be poetically useful for rhyme and meter (MED, ginnen [v.], sense 3b).
14–15 his land, his ryght. The phrase “sa terre” [his land] occurs in A/AI and D/DI manuscripts of the Othea, but not in B/BI manuscripts. There is no French source for “his ryght.”
20–25 seyth wurschypfull Beede . . . gostely enemye. St. Bede the Venerable (ca. 672/3–735) was an English historian, translator, and Doctor of the Church, best known for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This material is taken from his writings on the Biblical book of Proverbs.
The Bibell translator’s original glosses “that is to sey, trew soulys” and “that is to sey, ageyn hys gostely enemye” underscore the correlation between knighthood and spiritual achievement.
1 venemouse frossches. The association of frogs with venom appears in Trevisa’s translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus 18.91 (ed. Seymour, 2:1242–43).
19–20 gave hyr jugement . . . throwghe this jugement. As in Chapter 18, the translator imparts a sense of legal verdict to the French “dist” [said].
in the same state and lyknes. The phrase does not capture precisely the Othea’s “ou palu” [in the filth/swamp/mire] (Parussa, 20.19), but it shows the translator’s understanding of the curse. This may be an intentional variation, because the Bibell correctly translates “ou palu” (Parussa, 20.27) as “in the fylthe” in 20.26.
29–30 vilanose of vicez and in especiall of vileyn speche. The Bibell follows the A/AI and DI manuscript reading “villaine de vices et de parler villain” instead of the B/BI “villaine de meurs ne de parler oultrageux” [Scrope: vilonous of condicions, ne to speke outragiousli].
30–34 He that joyneth . . . wurschypffull nor noble. On sources and analogues, see Scrope Explanatory Note 20.22–25. The Bibell specifies “gentle blode” to translate the Othea’s “gentillece” (Parussa, 20.34), foregrounding the distinction between nobility of lineage and true nobility of action.
36–39 for as the froysches . . . laboryng therfore. The Bibell previews how St. Augustine’s words can be applied to the frogs of the narrative, without French manuscript precedent.
5 hys bowe. The association of Bacchus with a bow seems to be the Bibell translator’s invention, for it does not appear in the Othea or elsewhere that I can ascertain. Even if it derives from a misreading (perhaps “art” for “arc” [bow], in a different text?), the choice creates the vivid notion that one can be struck easily with drunkenness.
11–13 dronkenes . . . man to use. The Bibell follows the A/AI and DI manuscripts, which have an additional clause lacking in B/BI (and Scrope), likely due to scribal eyeskip from one instance of “yvrece” [drunkenness] to the next, rather than intentional authorial revision. A/AI and DI manuscripts also refer to an “impartinent vice” [unseemly vice], while B/BI expand to “impartinent chose et grant vice” [unseemly thing and great vice]. This section distinguishes all D manuscripts as closer to A/AI than B/BI in this particular reading (TM, pp. 294 no.8 and 312 no.8).
14–15 Wherfore seythe . . . verteus of man. Hippocrates (ca. 460–ca. 370 BCE) was a Greek physician widely considered the father of Western medicine and constructed by later writers as an ideal physician. The Hippocratic Oath, which concerns the ethics of practicing medicine, is attributed to him.
3 Pygmalyonys. For Pygmalion of Cyprus (not Sidon, 22.10), see Scrope Explanatory Note 22.1.
10 Sydoun. Pygmalion was king of Cyprus, not Sidon.
14 the ymage that was made of stone. On Christine’s unusual choice of stone for the statue, see Scrope Explanatory Note 22.11.
25 comon wymen. This term for promiscuous women translates the B/BI and D/DI shared reading of “femmes folieuses” [wanton women]; A/AI transmit “femme communes,” but the similarity to the Bibell translation is coincidental.
28–30 hys intent . . . hys intent. See Scrope Explanatory Note 22.25.
34–35 the philosophre Aptalyn. On this unidentified figure, see Scrope Explanatory Note 22.29–30. The Bibell is the only text to identify him as a philosopher, perhaps to confer authority on an unrecognized figure (compare 85.21 and note, below).
38–40 sekyth thus Seint Jherome . . . everlastyng torment. Christine follows the MF in attributing the saying to Jerome, but see Scrope Explanatory Note 22.33–35.
39 mouth. Here, “mouth” is a mistranslation of the ambiguously spelled French “buche.” The Bibell translator takes it for “bouche” [mouth] instead of “busche” [firewood]. Larke, fol. 33v, makes the same error in translating the corresponding term in the CV.
In Chapters 23–34, Christine participates in the tradition that ascribes each line of the Apostles’ Creed — also known as the “twelve articles of the faith” — to one of the twelve apostles (Parussa, p. 406n23c). These twelve men were Christ’s closest disciples and teachers of his message. On varying traditions in the ordering of the Creed, see Bühler, “Apostles and the Creed,” and Epistle, pp. 145–46n36/3–5; and Gordon, “Articles of the Creed.”
Additionally, in Chapters 23–25, Christine allegorizes the classical goddesses as the figures of the Christian Holy Trinity: Diana (God the Father), Ceres (Jesus Christ), and Isis (the Holy Ghost). On this topic, see Birk, Biblical Wisdom, pp. 79–80.
For all twelve chapters, the Bibell translator stresses that every “trew Cristen,” “every Crysten soule,” or a similar term ought to believe in the articles, an injunction present in some, but not all, of the Othea’s chapters. The Bibell also numbers each article, which Christine begins but does not complete.
1 Dyane. On Diana, see Scrope Explanatory Note 23.1; see also Chapters 63 and 69.
8–9 sche varyaunt and chaungeable be. The Bibell’s more specific statement of the moon’s flaws replaces the general claim that there exists nothing so evil that it lacks some good property.
16 twelve articles of the feyth. See headnote to Chapter 23, above.
18–20 Fader of hevyn . . . agreable. Despite the fact that A/AI and D/DI copies lack specific reference to sin, the Bibell’s loose translation carries the sense better than Scrope’s rendering, which confuses God as lover of cleanness with “unclene love.”
21 beleve to every creature. The Bibell translator expands the usual sense of “le bon esperit” [the good spirit] to include every christened creature.
22 Sent Petre. St. Peter was one of the first apostles and first leaders of the early Christian Church; he is traditionally considered to be the first Pope. He is sometimes called “Simon Peter” and is not to be confused with the Apostle Simon (see 32.25).
8–16 Ceres . . . . gete freindes. The Bibell’s glose clarifies his French source with added glosses and streamlining. The translator omits the naming of the land after Ceres and explicitly marks Ceres (whose art improves the earth’s yield) as the model for the good knight, even though the Othea shifts to suggest that the knight must be like the land that gives plentifully.
9 in tylthe. This specification is original to the Bibell translator; the Assembly, line 1710, similarly describes Ceres’ “craft of tylthe.”
16 Be liberall . . . gete freindes. On this maxim, see Scrope Explanatory Note 24.11. The Bibell renders the French found in A/AI and D/DI manuscripts, “acquerras” [acquire, or get], rather than the B reading “aras” [have] found in Scrope 24.11.
21 Seint Andrew . . . Dominum nostrum. St. Andrew, or Andrew the Apostle, was one of the first apostles and brother to St. Peter. The French Othea manuscripts attribute this line of the Creed to John and the fourth article in Chapter 26 to Andrew. There do not appear to be manuscript variants that would produce the Bibell’s reversal (see TM, pp. 297–301, 314). The Bibell translator’s choice may indicate his participation in an alternate tradition of the Creed; see Bühler, “Apostles and the Creed.” Compare Scrope 24.15; Parussa, 24.22.
1 Isis. On Isis’s associations with fertility and agriculture, see Scrope Explanatory Note 25.2.
4 graffe. The Bibell translator makes explicit the chapter’s central metaphor: Christine compares the concept of grafting, the agricultural practice of transplanting a cut twig from one tree into a slit in another, with the knight’s acquisition of virtuous behavior (Parussa, 25.5 and 25.22: “ediffier” and “entee”); see also Hindman, Painting and Politics, pp. 91–93, on the illuminated miniature. By contrast, Scrope chooses the direct cognate “edifie,” which in English does not carry the twinned sense both of instruction and of grafting (OFD, edefiier; MED, edifien [v.]).
8 gryffes. Both Scrope and the Bibell translator take the French “cultivemens” (Parussa, 25.8) as a term for grafting, though the DMF, OFD, Godefroy (Dictionnaire de L’ancienne Langue Française) and Cotgrave (Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues) do not acknowledge this specific denotation for the French term, which more generally indicates the cultivation and care of plants.
11 cast hys loke to hyreward. This phrase may represent the Bibell translator’s attempt to capture “dit au bon chevalier et donne comparaison” [it is said to the good knight and given the comparison], a phrase found in A/AI and DI manuscripts, but curtailed in B/BI (compare Parussa, 25.9–10). The Bibell’s original texte stanza enjoins the reader to cast his “loke” toward Isis (25.2), plausibly to tie texte and glose together.
18 preyse. The Bibell illustrates the A/AI and D/DI readings of “louenges” [praise] over “bontez” [good deeds] in B/BI (Parussa, 25.19).
21–22 Seint Jamys the More. The designation “the more” distinguishes the Apostle St. James the Greater (brother of John) from the Apostle St. James “the Less;” these are distinctions in age or height, not importance.
10–11 hornepype . . . baggepype. The Bibell uniquely translates “lire” [harp] and “fretel ou . . . flajol” [flute or rustic flute] (Parussa, 26.10–11) as “hornepype . . . baggepype.” Scrope translates as “harp . . . pipe or . . . floyte” and Wyer “harpe . . . frestell or pype.” Illuminated miniatures in B and B1 clearly depict a harp and flute, as does the woodcut in Pigouchet (Le Noir’s petitioners lack instruments; Wyer depicts a radiant Phoebus with a harp).
The Assembly, also influenced by some form of the Othea, depicts Pan playing the “lewde bagpype” (line 403), potentially evidence that the author knew the Bibell rather than Scrope’s translation. Generally, the instrument was associated with shepherds or other rustics, but I have not located another combination of Pan and the bagpipes elsewhere in Middle English. Chaucer’s Miller plays the bagpipes (CT I [A] 565); and Gower, CA 8.2476–83, mentions Pan piping and some lines later lists a reed instrument, a trumpet, the “cornemuse” (an early form of the bagpipe), and an early form of the clarinet. For a survey of the bagpipe’s history as a rustic, rural instrument, particularly in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, see Jones, “Medieval Bagpipe.”
16 he juged . . . moore to prase. Midas’s judgment in the Bibell follows the A/AI and D/DI manuscripts, which simply say “mieulx valoit le son du fretel” [the sound of the flute was better], without the additions of the B/BI manuscripts, “mieulx valoit et plus plaisoit le son du fretel que cellui de la harpe” [the sound of the flute was better and more pleasing than that of the harp] (Parussa, 26.15–16).
17–19 rude jugement . . . so rude a jugement. The Bibell and Scrope vary in this statement because the Bibell follows A/AI and D/DI manuscripts that emphasize rude judgment, whereas Scrope’s BI source criticizes first a rude judgment and then a foolish one.
20–21 sum myghty prince. The A/AI and D/DI manuscripts simply note “un prince”; B/BI adds “ou poissant homme” [Scrope: or a myghti man].
23 schold nott putt hys jugement in a foole. The Bibell translator may have had a corrupted manuscript or may have muddled the translation (the consulted Othea copies, including DI7, warn against following a foolish judgement); he also moves to the moralité the clarification that a foolish judgment is one not grounded in reason (see Parussa, 26.24–26).
27–31 The jugement . . . owte of reson. On Christine’s comparison of Midas to Pilate, see Scrope Explanatory Note 26.22–24. The Bibell translator emphasizes Pilate’s poor judgment as rude and unreasonable, in part by moving material from Christine’s glose to the moralité (see note 26.23, above).
33–34 Seynt Jhon made . . . mortuus et sepultus. St. John is the apostle and brother of St. James the Greater; he is often identified as John the Evangelist, author of multiple books of the Bible, though this is disputed by modern scholars. The Bibell swaps the lines attributed to John and Andrew in Chapters 24 and 26 of the French manuscripts; see note 24.21 above.
5 Hercules. The source for both the narrative and the allegorization of Hercules as Christ derive from the OM 7.1681–951 and 7.1952–2068. See also Chapter 3.
7 Where trew love is, hytt scheweth. Proverbial: see Whiting L560 (with this citation alone).
8–13 Poetes tell . . . porter of hell. The Bibell includes some expansions (for example, identifying Proserpina as Ceres’s daughter) which do not have precedent in the French manuscripts consulted. Only the specification of Cerberus as the porter “of hell” stems from A and D/DI manuscripts (AI and B manuscripts lack “d’enfer”; BI contains it, but Scrope does not).
18 trew felowes. The A/AI and D/DI manuscripts consulted lack the term “d’armes” [Scrope: in armys] that appears in the B/BI copies; Pigouchet and Le Noir do contain “d’armes.”
22–27 ther abydyng . . . beleve feythfully. The Bibell translator’s original expansion underscores how Christ’s Harrowing of Hell resembles Hercules’s rescue of his friends, drawing clear correspondence between the narrative content and the interpretation. The OM 7.2004–68 provides Christine with the connection between Hercules and the fifth article of the Creed (Parussa, p. 408n27b).
28 Seint Phylypp. St. Phillip was an apostle of Christ.
2 And hys disciples be holden to thee dere. This line directly translates the A/AI reading found in all D manuscripts, “Et ses disciples chiers tenus” [And his disciples held dear] (TM, p. 311 no.1). B/BI copies offer, “Et si disciple autorisiez” [And his disciple granted authority; OLH, p. 65: “and his disciples empowered”]. French “disciple” tends to refer to a student, but Scrope 28.2–3 interprets it to refer to Cadmus’s teachings.
18–19 Arestotle, takyng Alexandre . . . by clergye. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE) served as tutor to Alexander the Great (356–323 BCE); Aristotle supposedly authored an advice text for Alexander, known as the Secret of Secrets, that circulated widely in the Middle Ages (but cannot be traced to his writings). Aristotle’s reputation was so strong that he is often referred to by medieval writers as simply “the philosopher.”
26 Seint Thomas. St. Thomas was one of Christ’s apostles, often called “Doubting Thomas” because he initially doubted the news of Christ’s resurrection.
1, 6 fresche floures, tho floures. The term “floures” [flowers] evokes the Latin “florilegia,” literally a “gathering of flowers,” a term for books that compile selections from authoritative sources like the Church Fathers or pagan philosophers — for example, the Manipulus florum [Handful of Flowers], Fiore di virtú [Flowers of Virtue], Fleurs de toutes vertus [Flowers of All Virtues], etc. Christine’s sources, the CV, TDP and MF, are examples of florilegia.
2 Yo. On the goddess Io, see Scrope Explanatory Note 29.2; see also Chapter 25 on Isis, an alternate name for Io.
6 daunte. The verb “daunten” tends to be transitive and mean to subdue, control, or train someone or something; there is no intransitive version recorded (MED, daunten); “daunce,” as in “dance among those flowers” (that is, florilegia, collections of sayings or lessons from other authoritative books) could be a viable figurative reading but does not rhyme with “graunt” in 29.7.
11 comon woman. The phrase translates Christine’s “femme commune,” and both the French and English play on the sense of a “common woman” as a promiscuous woman, or as a woman whose talents benefit her entire community (MED, commune [adj.], senses 4 and 9b). The latter is the sense Christine stresses in the glose. Christine invents Io’s transformation into a “femme commune” to reinterpret the term and demonstrate how one can recuperate ancient stories by imposing an interpretive framework in which all fiction must be read on multiple levels (Parussa, p. 409n29b). On Christine’s interpretation of a prostitute as having a positive value, see OLH, pp. 66–67n42.
12 have schewed the troythe. The Othea’s “ayent mucié verité” (Parussa, 29.12) should be translated “had hidden the truth.” The Bibell translator renders “mucié” as “hidden” elsewhere (for example, 9.11 and 70.12); perhaps he instead intends to call attention to the ability of poetry to reveal the truth.
20–23 kunnyng of Yo . . . bodely and gostely. Christine’s glose aligns Io with exemplary literature and affirms the importance of the Othea as a collection of exempla (see Parussa, 29.21–25; OLH p. 66–67). The Bibell translator adds two original expansions: he addresses a broad audience beyond knights and insists that the lessons must be remembered to be morally and spiritually efficacious, perhaps building on Christine’s allegorie, which advises the good knight to have the examples “escriptes en sa pensee” [written in his thoughts] (Parussa, 29.32–33).
26–33 Yo . . . dei Patris omnipotentis. The Bibell contains several original expansions and makes Io an exemplar of man’s soul, rationalizing that both should delight in Holy Scripture, rather than identifying Io as the writing that man’s soul ought to enjoy.
32 Sent Bartholeme. St. Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles.
2 Marcurius. For sources for the story of Mercury’s theft of Io (the cow) from Argus (who has a hundred eyes), see Chapter 29; see also Chapter 25 on Isis, another name for Io.
8–34 The fable . . . . by feyr langage. The Bibell translation offers various original clarifications. One type identifies characters or interpretations clearly: Juno’s status as Jupiter’s wife (30.9), and Io as his concubine (30.11); and “that is to sey,” or “wyche is to understand,” followed by an explicit statement of what the narrative means on an interpretive level (30.29–33). Another type, in lines 13 and 18, reminds readers that the source is a fable and, therefore, these events are not historically true. Other lines seek to forge coherence in the story and chapter: 30.19–22 explain in greater detail the narrative jump from Argus watching the cow to Mercury’s arrival to deceive him; and 30.35–36 echo the texte to create broader overall coherence. The addition of “wherof the good knyght oweth to beware” in the opening of the moralyté similarly ties it to the glose.
28 mey not have hys entent and desyre. The French for this section in A/AI, B/BI, and D/DI indicates the wife’s attempt to prevent her husband access to his mistress (Parussa, 30.24–26; OLH, pp. 67–68), with the key verb being “adeser,” which has a sexual connotation (DMF, adeser [v.], sense I.A.3). If the Bibell translator’s source shared its reading with DI7 “aler et atouchier (acouchier?)” [go to and touch (have sex with?)], the verb may have been more explicit. Scrope mistakes the verb for one indicating deceit (30.15). Both medieval translators seem rather prudish, and even Pigouchet and Le Noir record a bowdlerized “advenir” [approach]. See also Schieberle, “The Problem with Authorial Manuscripts,” p. 116.
41–46 By the pype . . . the last jugement. The Bibell translator expands on his original to emphasize that man must believe in the articles of the faith, lest the devil accuse him at the Last Judgment.
46 hye . . . Cryst. The Bibell translator’s source almost certainly read simply “il” [he], as do A/AI and D/DI manuscripts; B/BI and thus Scrope replace the pronoun with “Dieu” [God]; Pigouchet and Le Noir replace the pronoun with “nostre seigneur” [Our Lord].
48–49 Sent Mathew. St. Matthew was one of Christ’s apostles; he is believed to be one of the Four Evangelists and author of the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew.
21 James the Lesse, qui et frater enim erat. This Apostle James is referred to as “the Lesser” to distinguish him from James the Greater (see note 25.21–22, above). The Bibell translator inserts an additional distinction in Latin, which shows an awareness of the practice, begun by St. Jerome, of referring to James, son of Alphaeus, as “the brother of the Lord” (meaning “cousin”), a figure often identified with James the Lesser.
6 Cassandra. On Hector’s sister, see Scrope Explanatory Note 32.3.
12 therfore seyth prudence. Although A/AI, B/BI, and the D/DI copies consulted all mention Cassandra’s wisdom just before advising the knight to resemble her, the Bibell translator (or his source) does not.
13–14 on fals worde . . . in a knyghtes mouthe. The Bibell translates the A/AI and D/DI reading that condemns lies specifically from a knight’s mouth; by contrast, B/BI (and thus Scrope) prohibit knights from exhibiting foolish customs and lies.
23–24 Sacrament of the awter . . . in forme of breed. In an original expansion, the Bibell translator foregrounds communion and the Eucharist.
32.25 Sent Symon. This figure is the Apostle St. Simon the Canaanite (not to be confused with Simon Peter or St. Peter; see 23.22).
9–10 wurschep and solemply halowe . . . peryll of the see. While B/BI manuscripts simply say the knight should serve Neptune, A/AI and D/DI manuscripts clarify why: so that he may be helpful to him upon the sea. The Bibell translation shows influence of the latter, and the translator may have found in his source the recommendation to both serve and honor Neptune [DI7: servir et honourer].
15 praere of mouth. Like A/AI and D/DI Othea manuscripts, the Bibell refers to prayers of the mouth, not the B/BI prayers of the heart. The proverbial concern about whether mouth and heart always agree may have prompted Christine’s alteration (for example, Whiting M774 and M775).
19–22 By Neptunus . . . he axe hytt. The translator elaborates on his source, adding emphasis on the wretchedness of the world, its troubles and temptations, and the repentant soul’s assurance of God’s forgiveness if he only asks for it.
22 Sent Thadee. All French Othea copies consulted name St. Jude, and Mombello, TM, pp. 298–301, 311–14, does not mention Thaddeus as a variant, even though its use was common in the Middle Ages (see Scrope Explanatory Note 33.18). On variants in the Creed, see Bühler, “Apostles and the Creed,” and J. Gordon, “Articles of the Creed.”
1 Attropos. On the Fate Atropos as Death and as misgendered as male in both Scrope and the Bibell, see Scrope Explanatory Note 34.2. See also Bibell Chapters 90 and 91.
6 He spareth nother hye nor lowe degré. Proverbial: see Whiting D101.
13 vycez. A/AI and D/DI copies of the Othea warn against bodily vices, while B/BI admonish carnal delights (compare Scrope 34.8).
15–16 As oure begynnyng . . . toward god. TDP, p. 928; Dicts, pp. 52.9–11 and 53.10–12.
17–21 As the good knyght . . . dey of jugement. While the Bibell translator preserves Christine’s allegorical association of Atropos and death with eternal salvation (see Scrope Explanatory Note 34.12–17), he also uses the threat of Atropos in Chapters 90 and 91 to encourage moral actions in the world that will preserve the reader’s life on earth (while also securing his place in Heaven).
22 Sent Mathye. This refers to St. Matthias, the apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot (whose betrayal led to Christ’s Crucifixion and to Judas Iscariot’s own suicide), though the biblical Book of the Acts of the Apostles suggests that Matthias had followed Christ from Christ’s baptism through His Ascension to Heaven after the Crucifixion.
Chapters 35–44 allegorize the Ten Commandments. Campbell, Epître, p. 164, suggests that the citations of the Church Fathers may derive from a treatise on the Ten Commandments that has yet to be identified; Lemmens in OLH, p. 138 proposes Augustine’s Sermon 250 as Christine’s major source, but this sermon only lists the Ten Commandments (in a different order from Christine; see Augustine, Sermons on the Liturgical Seasons, pp. 123–24), without the elaborations on them that Christine attributes to Augustine. Cooper, “Fit For A Prince,” argues that Christine adapts and problematizes the commandments for aristocratic readers for whom activities like killing might be necessary to serve justice or their country’s needs.
The Bibell also includes in each moralité an emphasis on the behavior of the “trew” Christian.
12–13 Wherfore seyth prudence . . . nor assent therto. The appearance of this sentence in A/AI but not in B/BI, due to eyeskip, is one of the distinguishing variants among A and B copies of the Othea (TM, p. 294 no. 9). The sentence appears in some D/DI copies such as D, DI7, and Pigouchet and Le Noir, but eyeskip is a common copying error, and DI lacks it. See also Scrope 35.9 and Explanatory Note.
15 By Bellorophoun. Prior to this sentence, other consulted copies include a prefatory statement that announces the link of the allegories to the Ten Commandments (compare Scrope 35.11–12); the Bibell omits it, but each moralité lists the number corresponding to the commandment under discussion.
18–21 as seyth Seynt Augustyn . . . dew to God. Lemmens in OLH, p. 138, suggests Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologica as the source for the specific content attributed to Augustine. In the preface to Book 6 and in Book 10.1 of The City of God (trans. McCracken et al.), Augustine discusses the divine worship due only to God. Christine’s term “latrie” (from Latin latria) stems from Augustine’s discussion and seems to have posed problems for English translators. The Bibell translation “devocioun of the hert” (35.19) seems to carry significant force and to grasp the sense of worship (though Gordon, pp. xliv–xlv, criticizes it); Scrope chooses “decré,” which carries a sense of legal force; Wyer simply opts for the cognate “latria.” The English cognate was used in religious texts of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (MED, latria [n.]).
9 strong, herd schoures of werre. The Bibell’s unusual phrase likely results from the A influence on D/DI copies, which record “fors estours et batailles” [intense combat and battles]. The Middle English “shour” can be used for military attacks and figurative storms of battle (MED, shour [n.], senses 3b and 5).
14 love and cherysch. The Bibell translator frequently uses doublets, but this one may have been in his source manuscript. DI7 records the unique French variant “amer et tenir chier” [love and hold dear], which is remarkably close to the Bibell. The rearrangement of Christine’s content that follows seems to be the translator’s own contribution.
18–19 seyth thus the philisophre Rabyoun . . . unto thee. For the source of the attribution, see Scrope Explanatory Note 36.15–17. In fact, the philosopher’s name is Zenon, and he is most likely identifiable with “Zeno of Elea (ca. 490–ca. 430 BCE), a member of the Eleatic School, whose members questioned everyday perceptions of reality” (ed. Sutton, Dicts and Sayings, p. 123n7.1).
7 Lamedon. For sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 37.4.
10 Cholchos. Colchis was located in the western area of the modern-day country of Georgia; it is Medea’s homeland and where Jason won the golden fleece.
16 fyrst Troye. The city of Troy was twice destroyed by the Greeks, and this refers to its first destruction; the altercation that leads to the second destruction occurs during Hector’s lifetime after his brother Paris kidnaps Helen of Sparta, and these narrative events are treated in later chapters (e.g., 73, 75, 85, 97, etc.).
20 tonge. This term is an A/AI and D/DI variant; compare Scrope 37.14, “mouth” (and see Scrope Explanatory Note 37.14 on sources).
21–26 As the good knyght . . . . the feste. The idea of keeping Sunday holy was a commonplace of Christian tradition by the Middle Ages. For Christine, Laomedon exemplifies arrogance, which she links to the arrogance of disregarding God’s commandments, a lesson that could apply to all Ten Commandments (Parussa, p. 414n37d). The Bibell simplifies and rearranges Christine’s allegorie to assert that the narrative signifies the need for self-restraint against all sin, especially on the Sabbath. The Bibell translator (or his source) also omits the citation of Augustine, without precedent in DI copies.
18–21 Neverthelesse . . . gret craves. The Bibell translator expands slightly, with more detail and the reference to what “fortuned.”
29 walles. The Bibell translator confuses Christine’s “morier/mûre” [mulberry (tree)] with “mur” [wall], here and at 38.47, but he understands that the meeting place and symbol of the lovers’ unhappiness should be the same thing. Compare Scrope 38.20, 33, and Explanatory Notes.
30–41 When Thesbe . . . . hys swerd. The Bibell translator expands on and rearranges the events. Christine’s narration of Pyramus’s discovery of the soiled wimple explains the lion’s role; the Bibell translator offers a linear narrative.
48 of a lytle hast comyth ofte gret myscheff. Proverbial: see Whiting H170. The French texts read “par petite occasion” (B/BI) or “par petite achoison” (A/AI, D/DI), synonyms for little reason or justification (Scrope, 38.34, chooses the direct Middle English cognate). The Bibell translator’s choice of “haste” indicates his interpretation of Pyramus’s overly hasty action. Gower, CA 3.1430 and 1447, offers another example of Pyramus as “folhaste.”
1, 3 Esculapyoun, Cyrses. Christine uses the medical authority and mythological enchantress to stand in for conflicts between medicine and sorcery; see Scrope Explanatory Note 39.2 and Chapter 98.
9, 12 cunnyng, medycynes. The Bibell translation reflects the A/AI and D/DI readings of “la science” and “medecins” instead of B/BI “l’art” and “phisiciens” (Parussa, 39.7, and 39.11).
11–12 bodely helth . . . bodely sykenes. The Bibell translator inserts both instances of “bodely,” perhaps to emphasize the distinction between the physical and the spiritual that appears only once in Christine’s allegorie (Parussa, 39.27).
24 temporell. Another insertion by the Bibell translator, perhaps to call attention to spiritual versus corporeal and worldly matters.
24–25 and execute dewly ageyn hem the law after that thei deserve. Like some of the Bibell translator’s other additions, this insertion focuses on legal issues.
27–28 the holy Gospell . . . gladio peribit. Apocalypse 13:10, with the Bibell translator’s unique modification resembling Matthew 26:52. All French manuscripts copies that I have consulted ascribe the biblical citation to Luke (possibly a mistake for John, the author of Apocalypse). The Bibell’s citation more closely resembles Matthew, perhaps indicating the translator’s awareness of the Vulgate and his assumption that “Luke” was an error for another Gospel source that required correction.
7 deth of Achyllez. See Scrope Explanatory Note 40.4 and also Chapter 93.
21–23 wyche comyth . . . forboden. This material is the Bibell translator’s original insertion.
24 doo no lecherye. B1 and BI both read: “Tu ne feras point de mechié” (Parussa, 40.24–25). Parussa, pp. 415–16n40b, attributes to Christine the neologism “mechié” from the Latin “moechari” [to commit adultery]. The term seems to have caused confusion for copyists and translators. Some manuscripts read “meschie” (A, B), or “meschief” (AI). D has “mechie,” but DI copies might have “meschie” (DI) or “meschief” (DI7, Pigouchet, Le Noir). Scrope translates as “do no myschef” (40.17–18); the Bibell’s rendering suggests the translator’s familiarity with Latin root. See also Scrope Explanatory Note 40.18.
24–26 Ysodre seyth . . . membrez of generacioun. Isidore of Seville (ca. 560–636), one of the Church Fathers and an influential theologian and historian, is best known today for his encyclopedic reference work Etymologiae [Etymologies]. For the source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 40.19. The Othea manuscripts only mention fornication outside marriage; the warning against “unlefull” sexual activity “bothe inne and owte of maryage” is the Bibell translator’s addition.
5 fals naturall, froward inclinacioun. Christine’s glose and allegorie discuss the inhuman level of Busiris’s cruelty, and the Bibell translator inserts similar reference to it as unnatural in his texte, as if identifying a central theme to bind together the tripartite chapter. The Prohemye’s focus on the natural order of the world suggests that the translator constructs ideal behaviors as “natural” and undesirable ones as unnatural to dissuade readers (for example, Proh.8–14, 26–30).
10 sacrafice. The French texts, including the DI copies, specify that Busiris killed his sacrifices “de couteaulx” [with knives] (Parussa, 41.9).
12 ageyn all bounteose prowes of chivalrye. This is the Bibell’s gloss on Christine’s “contre toute bonté” [against all goodness] (Parussa, 41.13).
7 lewd Leandre. Although “lewd” can mean foolish or misguided, the translator’s addition of references to bodily pleasures in 42.25–26 and 42.29–30 suggest that “lewd” should here be read as lascivious, or driven by fleshly desires; see MED, leued (adj.), senses 2a and 2e.
25–26 delyte of bodely lust . . . hys body. The Bibell translator inserts these references the body (anticipating the explicit “delyte” in the philosophical citation).
36–37 Testis falsus . . . non effugiet. Proverbs 19:5.
7 Then long wrong to meyntene and after hyt repent. On the difference in Scrope’s BI source and the Bibell’s DI source as resulting in their alternate translations, see Scrope Explanatory Note 43.4.
28 sixte. Although all major manuscripts (A/AI, B/BI, and D/DI) record this as the sixth commandment, the content reflects the ninth.
14–15 when the dew falleth in the mowrootyde. A/AI and almost all D manuscripts contain the equivalent French phrase, which is omitted from B/BI and thus Scrope’s translation, likely due to an eyeskip error (TM, pp. 294–95 no. 10, 312 no. 9; Parussa, p. 418n44b).
16–18 Wherfor seyth Othea . . . the world owtward. The Bibell translation is slightly convoluted: the text should convey that because others rejoice in his virtues, the good knight must not show sadness but must maintain a joyful countenance (and, implicitly, be a good example); see Parussa, 44.17–19.
2 lust innaturall. The Bibell translator reinserts a common antifeminist view of Pasiphaë’s desires as unnatural (for example, OM 8.718).
10 Mynotaurus, wyche was halfe man and halfe boole. The name and description of the Minotaur appear in A/AI and consulted D/DI copies but not in B/BI, perhaps due to eyeskip (see Parussa, 45.9–10). Bühler, Epistle, p. 158n56/30–57/1, calls the details an expansion, attempting to situate the Bibell within the later print tradition, because Pigouchet, Le Noir, and Wyer all contain the text. However, the details are simply evidence of a shared reading in D/DI manuscript sources.
17 ylle and viciosely disposed. The A/AI and D/DI manuscripts read “vile condicion” [lower-class/contemptible condition] rather than the B/BI “tele condicion” [such condition]; compare Scrope 45.11.
19–20 Galyeen . . . Clempare. Instead of an authoritative citation, Christine counters Pasiphaë’s negative example with one of an intellectually accomplished woman. The Greek physician Galen (ca.129–ca.200), was considered the most authoritative medical writer throughout the Middle Ages; Cleopatra has not been identified. For more detail on sources and spelling variants for “Clempare,” see Scrope Explanatory Notes 45.13–15 and 45.14.
45.30 prophete Jeremye. The Bibell adds the detail “in the spryte of God.”
7 Kyng Adrastus. On the king of Argos, see Scrope Explanatory Note 46.4. The Bibell imports to the texte the notion articulated first in Christine’s glose that the good knight should mirror his behavior according to this exemplum; the translator’s glose more specifically clarifies what to remember and avoid doing.
9 knyghtes aventurose. A/AI, BI, DI manuscripts, and French and English early printed editions consulted read “chevaliers errans” [knights errant], contrasting overwhelmingly with the B manuscripts B1 and B, which omit “errans” (Parussa, 46.8).
15 asondre. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts and early printed editions consulted stop the sentence here, but B/BI continue to add “et entre eulx mist bonne paix” [and between them made a good peace].
17–28 And when . . . . of hys doughters. The Bibell makes several expansions and clarifications. Compare Parussa 46.18–31; OLH, p. 81; Scrope, 46.13–23.
23–24 the kyng ded, Polynytes and Thydeus sleyn. The expected French is “les .ii. gendres du roy mors” [the king’s two sons-in-law dead] (Parussa, 46.25–26; OLH, p. 81). The translator clearly understood that both of Adrastus’s sons-in-law died and that Adrastus survived (46.25–26); it is unclear what “the kyng ded” is meant to convey, unless it refers to Etiocles, who is reported dead in the Bibell’s next sentence. Christine does not provide the men’s names, so the translator is adding glosses, and he or the scribe may have introduced errors here.
25–26 ther remeyned . . . butt thre. On the survivors and scribal confusion, see Scrope Explanatory Note 46.19.
29–30 in the begynning he remembre the end therof. Proverbial: see Whiting E84. The Bibell translator substitutes this commonplace wisdom for the more general French manuscripts’ advice to the knight to take counsel.
41 good and holy meditaciounz. The Bibell translator uses a doublet to translate the reading in the majority of Othea copies consulted: “saintes meditaciouns.” Of the manuscripts consulted, only B1 reads “en Dieu et en saintes meditacions”; the similarity of “good” and “God” is purely coincidental.
1–7 Of god Cupide . . . . be nott feynt. The idea that love ennobles the man and spurs him to good, chivalrous deeds is a commonplace of courtly poetry. The Bibell translator alters the texte to emphasize loving within measure (suggested in Christine’s glose, Parussa 47.10, but not in his own), and he uses Mars’s name, though Christine only refers to him as “dieu de bataille” in the texte (Parussa 47.5) and then allegorizes him as Christ (Bibell 47.19). See also Scrope Explanatory Notes 47.1–4, and see Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 181–82, on the Bibell translator’s view of masculinity.
20–21 redempcioun of mannes soule . . . uppon the Crosse. The Bibell expands the discussion of Christ’s redemption of mankind.
22–25 Seynt Barnard . . . by me. Christine cites Bernard of Clairvaux, but see Scrope Explanatory Note 47.14–19 for the actual source. The Bibell manuscript shifts some material: Christine’s God the Father tells the sinner to let Christ take his place, and then Christ speaks the line attributed to “all mighty God” in the Bibell (compare Parussa, 47.26–27), possibly due to eyeskip by scribe or translator.
26–28 Non corruptibilibus . . . Jhesu Crysti. Copies of Christine’s Othea, including DI7, read “incontaminati et immaculati Jhesu Cristi,” an alteration of the Vulgate word order “immaculati Christi et incontaminati” (Parussa, 47.31–32). The Bibell restores the Vulgate ordering of the adjectives.
2 Of the ravyne, sodenly Corinis to slee. On narrative sources and interpretations, see Scrope Explanatory Note 48.1; on the important distinction between the raven and the crow (Chapter 52), see Scrope Explanatory Note 48.3.
7 For an hasty man wanteth never woo. The claim sounds proverbial; compare Whiting H159, H161, and H166.
21–23 therfore seyth prudence . . . for flaterye. The Bibell’s translation follows A/AI and D/DI readings that focus on the ill that comes from delivering bad news, without the discussion found in B/BI manuscripts (and thus Scrope 48.16–17) on the topic of the prince’s ire, an additional warning against flattery, and the notion of the small rewards for one’s efforts (Parussa, 48.23–25).
28–39 seyth Seynt Austyn . . . . hys operaciouns owtward. The association of the senses with gates, doors, and entryways of the soul is widespread in the Church Fathers and religious writings; it seems to have been commonplace by the fourteenth century. For more, see Scrope Explanatory Note 48.22–33.
The Bibell rearranges the ordering of the commentary.
41 Omni. Most D/DI copies consulted contain the Vulgate reading “Omni”; DI7 — the copy generally closest to the Bibell — reads “Cum” instead, but the variant does not affect the Bibell (see also Scrope Explanatory Note 48.34–35).
6 better is the kernell then shyll. Proverbial: see Whiting N190. The Bibell translator adds to the texte material from Christine’s glose (translated in Bibell, 49.12); see also Scrope Explanatory Note 49.8.
7 Ryght soo excedyth honour all havour. Proverbial: see Whiting H447 and R122.
9 worldly. The Bibell translator inserts “worldly,” perhaps to parallel the moralité’s arguments.
13 felicité. B/BI manuscripts read “pensee et felicité” (thought and felicity), but the Bibell follows the A/AI and D/DI copies that simply offer “felicité.” The Bibell translator adds that this felicity refers specifically to the acquisition of riches.
15–16 Better is poverté . . . ryches transitorye. On the variants between Scrope and the Bibell here, see Scrope Explanatory Note 49.10–12.
17–18 Juno . . . schold specially dispise. The different phrasing of the Bibell and Scrope in the first lines can be traced to the shorter A/AI manuscript readings that occur in DI manuscripts, whereas B/BI feature a slight expansion. The emphasis on “werldly” goods is the Bibell translator’s own, highlighting an element of St. Bernard’s statement (for the source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 49.15–17).
19–22 O ye chyldren . . . when you dye. The Bibell translator chooses the gender-neutral plural of “chyldren” for “filz” [son] and inserts the sense of durability (49.19–20).
22 lyghtlyer. The Bibell’s adverb “lyghtlyer” reflects “plus aisiement” [more easily] which appears in the A/AI and D/DI manuscripts consulted. Compare Scrope 49.18 and Explanatory Note.
1 Amphoras. On sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 50.1; see also Chapter 46.
6–7 Better . . . . to late. Proverbial: see Whiting C448, R84.
19–20 philosophe Solin . . . not use hytt. On the source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 50.10–11. Due to an eyeskip error, the printed editions omit the text between the first “le conseil” to the second (Parussa, 50.14–15), including the attribution to Solin. DI7 also is unlikely to be the direct source: the scribe first writes that a wise man’s counsel is profitable to the man who will hear it, and, without striking the error, then adds the correct phrasing. None of these alterations influence the Bibell.
22–24 hooly doctrine . . . in no wyse. The Bibell translator rearranges word order to underscore the links between counsel and holy doctrine, the good knight and man’s soul.
1 Saturne. See Chapter 8. On Saturn and speech, see Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 60–63.
5–7 Overmykle speche . . . . know a foole. The Bibell translator expands on Christine’s warning against speaking too much, in part by adding a proverb similar to the one cited in the glose. See also Whiting H193 and F401.
8–9 slow . . . sadde and stable. The triplet may be the result of the poet’s DI source; the A/AI and D/DI shared reading is “lente, tardive et saige” [lethargic, slow, and prudent], instead of the B/BI reading “lente et tardive” [slow and unhurried]; compare Scrope 51.5.
12–13 sage phillosophre . . . the foole knowen. For the maxim and manuscript differences, see Scrope Explanatory Note 51.8–9.
14–17 Whereas . . . reason askyth. The Bibell translator inserts the warning against backbiting and slander; Christine’s only suggestion of such topics is her glose admonition against misspeaking, which the Bibell translator omits (Parussa, 51.10).
17–23 seyth the doctour Hew of Seynt Victour . . . . sleeth many persons. Christine attributes this saying to the Didascalicon, which was written by Hugh of Saint-Victor (1096–1141), a scholastic theologian and Augustinian canon at the Abbey of Saint-Victor in Paris. For the actual source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 51.11–16.
20 governoure. The Bibell translator’s “governoure” [captain] mistranslates the French “gouvernail” [rudder].
1 the crowe. See Chapter 48 and Scrope Explanatory Note 52.1.
6 cranke. The word is not attested in the MED, but OED, crank (adj.1), sense 2 provides the definitions “in high spirits,” and “disposed to exult or triumph,” which seems a good fit for the raven in the present moment.
8 crow . . . raven. The Bibell strives to distinguish raven from crow throughout the glose, whereas Scrope relies on pronouns that lead to confusion (see Scrope Explanatory Note 52.1).
2 in ernest nor in game. This phrase, meaning “seriously or lightheartedly (playfully)” (MED, ernest [n.], sense 1b), is a common trope and a prominent critical paradigm in fourteenth-century literature after Chaucer’s usage in the Canterbury Tales. The Chaucerian narrator, prior to telling the bawdy Miller’s Tale, excuses himself from blame for the content if the reader chooses to continue reading by noting that one should expect ribaldry from the churlish Miller narrator and that “men shal nat make ernest of game” [people should not take seriously a lighthearted joke] (CT I[A] 3186). Similar juxtapositions of “ernest” and “game” appear elsewhere in the CT, in Gower’s CA, and Lydgate’s TB. Of course, the terms are not mutually exclusive, and all of these texts frequently transmit serious messages through entertaining or comedic narratives. The appearance of the phrase in the Bibell may indicate that the translator views his project within the same English literary context.
6 Ganymedes. Christine confuses the fates of Ganymede and Hyacinthus; see Scrope Explanatory Note 53.4.
9 berre of yren. See Scrope Explanatory Note 53.6.
22–23 no symple persoun . . . penaunce. The Bibell follows the A/AI and D/DI reading “nulle simple personne . . . penitence”; B/BI contain “nulle povre personne,” and lack mention of “penitence” (in B1, “povre” seems scored for removal, but the word is visible and not stricken thoroughly).
24–25 Ubi multa . . . . non penitebis. The Bibell records two separate Latin quotations, a practice indicative of A/AI, B1, and D/DI manuscripts; by contrast B/BI and Scrope combine the two. For the Latin sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 53.15–19.
5–6 A good dede . . . . doon ageyn therfore. Proverbial: see Whiting T533.
15 coude. The Bibell omits a description of Medea’s mastery of enchantment: Scrope and the other manuscripts and early printed editions consulted, including DI7, call her “souveraine maistresse” [Scrope 54.11: sovereyne maistres].
21, 23 unkynd and forgetefull. The Bibell translation does not adhere to any French texts consulted, which use terms for ingratitude, disloyalty, and a lack of appreciation (Parussa, 54.24–27). The translator instead represents Jason’s ingratitude as “unkynd” or unnatural, in both glose and moralité.
28 unkynd. Again, the Bibell translator renders Christine’s “ingrat” [ungrateful] as unnatural.
31–34 For as seyth . . . ryver of mercy. The Bibell leaves a space for the translation of “ruissel” [river], perhaps indicating his difficulty translating the word, which does not appear elsewhere in the Othea.
1 Gorgoun. Another name for Medusa; see Scrope Explanatory Note 55.1.
22–33 rewlers . . . . as thei dyd before. The Bibell translator significantly expands this section to focus not on the impersonal city becoming a serpent (or negative model), but rather on the city’s rulers leading the community astray. He also establishes Perseus as a competing “kyng or sum other prynce or grett estat of good condicioun,” who drives out the “fals rewlers,” “myschevous lyvers,” and “viciose guyders” of the city. More explicitly than Christine or Scrope, the Bibell emphasizes ruling a city properly.
41, 42 worldly. The Bibell translator’s additions explicitly juxtapose worldly delights with spiritual perfection.
5 Tyme overslept. This may be a variant on Whiting T325, on misspent or lost time that cannot be recovered.
6 thi fader Mars. The Bibell translator retains Christine’s fictionalized genealogy that presents Hector as the son of Mars (for example, Chapter 1.5), even though Christine does not emphasize this lineage beyond Chapters 1 and 11.
56.9 on a tyme. The Bibell’s text may derive from the unique variant witnessed in DI7, which originally read “une ffois” [one time]; the term appears at the beginning of a line, and at the end of the previous line, the scribe has added the typical reading “une nuyt” [one night] as a correction but without excising “une ffois” (fol. 90r).
12–17 chyeff ferrour . . . . that defaute. This section marks a common variant in arrangement and content in which the A family differs from the B family of Othea manuscripts (TM, p. 313 no. 11), and the D/DI manuscripts follow A readings. A/AI and D/DI identify Vulcan in the middle of the sentence, and they both refer to him as “fevre des dieux” [smith of the gods] and note that he forges “fouldres,” a term typically used for lightning that can also mean a thunderbolt (Godefroy, Dictionnaire de L’ancienne Langue Française, foudrer). By contrast B/BI name Vulcan after the capture of Mars and Venus, and they describe him as “fevre de cieulx” [smith of the heavens]. Additionally, B/BI copies add reference to the lovers’ shame at being caught.
16 loughe and had a gret disport. The Bibell captures the sense of Christine’s “s’en rioit” [laughed] more accurately than Scrope, who mistakenly refers to “such rioterys” (see OLH, p. 90; compare Scrope 56.11 and Explanatory Note).
17 defaute. After this sentence ends, B/BI manuscripts note an interpretation based on “arquemie” [alchemy], and DI copies mention both “arquemie” and “l’science d’astronomie” [the science of astronomy]. The Bibell translator (or his exemplar) omitted the interpretation in question, but it does appear in DI7. By coincidence, D also lacks the reference.
23 the knyght schold beware of espying. The Bibell translator replaces Christine’s more poetic image with a direct statement; no French manuscript consulted contains a similar reading.
25–32 seyth Seynt Leon the Pope . . . . diligently inclynyng. Pope Leo I (ca. 400–461), also called Leo the Great, was a Doctor of the Church.
32 diligently. The word appears in the Bibell because A/AI and D/DI manuscripts contain “plus diligement encline” [most diligently inclined], but B/BI manuscripts, and thus Scrope, omit “diligement” (Parussa, 56.37–38; Scrope 56.25).
8–9 Thamaris . . . of werre. While some manuscript readings account for the divergent word order used by Scrope and the Bibell translator, no French source consulted specifies “of werre.”
18 byfore hym. A/AI and D/DI copies read “devant lui” [in front of him], while B/BI read “en sa presence” [in his presence] (Parussa, 57.22; Scrope, 57.16), showing that even seemingly minor differences affect the Scrope and Bibell translations.
20 myghty. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts record “puissant” [powerful], while B/BI read “gran” [great] (compare Scrope 57.18).
22 he disprase . . . lesse then he is. The Bibell loosely translates the French “que ja ne soit si oultrecuidez qu’il n’ait doubte que mescheoir lui puist par aucune fortune et par mendre de soy” [that he never be so presumptuous that he not have fear that he could come to grief by some misfortune and by (someone) lesser than himself] (Parussa, 57.26–29). Although the translator does not proceed word for word, his sense is more accurate than Scrope’s 57.20–21 (see also OLH, p. 91).
28–31 seyth Seynt Jhon Cassyan . . . stand and endur. John Cassian (ca. 360–c. 435) was a Christian monk, ascetic, mystic, and theologian.
1, 15–16 Lett never thi wyll overcome thi wytte. Proverbial: see Whiting W268 and W419.
5 Medee. On Jason and Medea, see Chapters 37 and 54 (and notes above), and Scrope Explanatory Note 58.4.
8–16 Medee . . . . overcome hys wytte. The Bibell translator introduces a number of glosses: identifying Medea as the daughter of the king of Colchos, identifying Jason again as Greek, and mentioning elements of the broader story of the Golden Fleece and Jason’s betrayal of Medea. The translator also shifts the contrast between reason and “fol delit” [foolish pleasures] (Parussa, 58.3, 58.15) to oppose the more general force of will with reason, perhaps in anticipation of the moralité’s focus on the will, which he alone specifies as the will of the flesh versus the wit of the soul (58.19–20).
20–23 for the wyll . . . of the devell. On the source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 58.15–20. The Bibell translator inserts an attribution to Scripture and significantly abridges Christine’s statement; he also focuses on man’s relationship to God the creator, rather than to Christ’s sacrifice, as put at risk by willfulness (compare Parussa, 58.22–29; OLH, p. 92; Scrope 58.15–20).
23–25 Virga atque . . . . matrem suam. The major French manuscripts of A, AI, B, and B1 contain the error “dimitum,” which renders the phrase unintelligible (Parussa, p. 427n58e). Some copies correct the error: the Bibell, DI7, Pigouchet, Le Noir, and Scrope’s MS S; D leaves a space.
9 grett geaunt. The conflicting representation of the giant as “grett” in the Bibell versus of “foul stature” in Scrope (59.6) occurs because of the DI manuscript variant: DI contains “grant estature” [large stature], and DI7 “merveilleuse estature” [astonishing stature], while A/AI, B/BI, D, and Pigouchet and Le Noir have “laide estature” [foul stature].
10 grett jelousye. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts contain details not in B/BI or in Pigouchet and Le Noir, namely “en grant jalouzie fut le geant d’Axis et de Galatee” [the giant was in a state of great jealousy over Acis and Galatea]. The text in B/BI and the printed editions do not match exactly and thus likely occurred due to different errors of eyeskip.
15–16 he bewar . . . aweytyth hym. Unknown source; Whiting W45 is a broadly similar proverb. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts, and the Bibell, warn the knight to guard against being surprised by someone who has the power to do it (surprise him); in contrast, B/BI warn about someone who has the power and desire to grieve him.
22 lyff everlastyng. This is a clear example that the Bibell translator did not consult the sixteenth-century editions, which transmit an error for “le eternité pardurable” [the everlasting eternity]. Pigouchet and Le Noir read “la trinité de paradis” [the Trinity of Paradise], a corruption that may originate from a copying error like DI’s “latrenité pardurable” [the everlasting Trinity].
23 sicut. The Bibell’s use of “sicut” instead of the Vulgate’s “velut” is not attested in the consulted manuscripts or printed editions. Compare Scrope 59.19.
1 Discord. On this narrative and its sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 60.1; see also Chapters 68, 73, and 75.
24–27 of wyche jugement . . . . he flee discorde. Some differences between the Bibell and Scrope 60.20–23 are due to the Bibell’s following A and D/DI readings: lacking B/BI “poetique” [Scrope: poetikly]; advising the reader to “fuyr” [flee] Discord rather than B/BI “se . . . garder” [guard himself] against her; and omitting the B/BI warning not to “mouveur des riotes” [Scrope: to meve riotis]. The Bibell’s repetition in 60.24–25 that the judgment of Paris precipitated the fall of Troy seems to be his addition of a commonplace observation.
31–34 seyth thus Cassyodre . . . schame. MF Discordia q, fol. g2r b, attributed to Cassiodorus but actually a combination of quotations, including Seneca’s De Ira [On Ire]. CV, fol. 85r, attributed to Sidrac; Larke, fol. 27v. Similar warnings appear in Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee (CT VII 1480–87), including an attribution to Seneca but also one to a “comune sawe.”
In warning that striving against one’s “felow” is madness, the Bibell translator corrects an error that appears in nearly all consulted Othea copies. The MF records “parem” [peer, equal] and the CV “pareil” [equal], but Christine warns about striving against “paix” [peace] (only the Chantilly AI manuscript, cited in Parussa, p. 364n60/41, correctly has “pareil”). Rouse and Rouse, “Prudence,” p. 197, posit that Christine used both the CV and MF and that her MF manuscript read “pacem” instead of “parem.” It is worth noting that the quotation appears in the CV under the heading “paix.”
31 blemesch. The term translates empeschemens [obstacle, hindrance]. The Bibell translator elsewhere renders the verb form “empesché” as “enpeched and letted” (1.100) and “encombred” (79.29), so he is familiar with the root meaning. Perhaps he considered “blemesch” a suitable noun translation (MED, blemishen [v.], sense 1a, can mean to “impair” sight or the mind).
9–10 barons of Grece . . . ile of Cholcos. The Bibell expands to identify the Greeks and situate the events of this chapter after the search for the Golden Fleece.
20–22 seyth Seynt Gregore . . . here intent. Christine attributes this statement to Gregory, but see Scrope Explanatory Note 61.16–18 for further discussion.
23 Cito . . . capud vestrum. Christine’s Othea and Scrope’s Epistle both quote Joel 2:13 but misattribute it to Joel 3. The Bibell uniquely replaces that quotation with Joel 3:4.
7 Semele. On Christine’s source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 62.4. DI7 has a unique variant texte that does not affect the Bibell translation: it warns against embracing love without protecting one’s secrets — either evidence of the scribe’s confusion or his wry sense of humor, given that Semele dies in Jupiter’s fiery embrace (see TM, p. 99, for the text).
11 for pure joye. The Bibell’s unusual variant describing Semele’s reason for bragging plausibly stems from its DI source; DI7 alone states that she bragged because she was well loved “et comme joyeuse” [and like a joyful person].
12–13 hyt was but disceyte . . . hertely love. This line offers an example of how the English translators differently interpret the same complex French line. With no major variants, the French B/BI and D/DI present this reading: “Adont la deesse dist a celle qui garde ne s’en prenoit de la decevance que de rien ne s’estoit ancore apperceue de l’amour” [Then the goddess (Juno) said to her (Semele), who did not anticipate the deception, that she still knew nothing about love] (Parussa, 62.13–15; see also OLH, p. 96). In other words, Semele is unaware that Juno is tricking her and implying Semele knows nothing about love (in order to get Semele to invite her own death). Both translators struggle with Christine’s complex grammar: Scrope (62.9–10) expresses Semele’s lack of awareness of the deception but misses Juno’s dismissal of her boasting (you know nothing) to convince Semele to follow her advice; the Bibell translator focuses on the deceit but translates as if Jupiter is deceiving his lover, giving Semele a different motivation to heed Juno’s advice.
23 Many exposiciouns. The Bibell translator reduces the “many exposiciouns” by omitting the reference to astronomy and streamlining the lesson to focus on how unrestrained love causes deceit to multiply, a different lesson than Christine’s warning that a mistress might be deceived by her lover’s wife in such a way that the lover inadvertently causes the death of his mistress (see Parussa, 62.30–33).
29 counceyll. The Bibell translator’s choice of “counceyll” seems his interpretation; A, AI, and D/DI have “ses bonnes pensees” [his good thoughts] (Scrope 62.29), while B/BI have “ses pensees” [his thoughts] (Parussa, 62.42).
31–34 We owe not . . . mey come. The Bibell translator omits Christine’s citation of Augustine’s Livre des brebis [Book of Sheep], and he also omits “diligence,” the misreading for the MF “vigilantia,” even though both appear in D/DI copies. See Scrope Explanatory Note 62.31–34.
1 Dianes. On Diana’s association with the hunt, see Scrope Explanatory Note 63.1. See also Chapters 23 and 69.
63.5 wold not geve a straw. Proverbial: see Whiting S810.
17–18 wyse man Salomon . . . non comedit. Christine clearly notes that this statement is uttered about a wise woman. The Bibell translator takes it to have been said by Solomon about a wise man; Scrope assumes the wise man himself to be speaking.
12 yreygn. Both the Bibell translator and Scrope choose a cognate for the French “yraigne” [spider]; by contrast, Wyer opts for “attercoppe,” of Old English origin.
13–14 gave her . . . no valew. A/AI and D/DI copies, like the Bibell, report narrative events, but B/BI and Scrope provide direct speech from Pallas, a distinguishing feature of the divergent manuscript traditions (TM, pp. 295 no. 12, 313 no. 12; compare Parussa, 64.11–13; Scrope, 64.9–10).
23–24 as seyth Seynt Austyn. The Bibell (or its source) neglects to name the source text as Book 12 of Augustine’s The City of God, cited in all other consulted versions of the Othea.
25 froward soule. This term indicates that the Bibell clearly was not working from Pigouchet or Le Noir, whose editions erroneously refer to the “ame parfait” [perfect soul] instead of the reading in all consulted manuscripts of the “ame perverse” [willful/perverse soul].
3–4 Remembre of Adonius . . . . hert aslake. The Bibell gives a more detailed account of Adonis’s death, emphasizing the rending of his body. The term “inconveniences” (65.12) carries the sense of “harm, damage,” or “harmful incident” (MED, inconvenience [n.], sense 1a). In the injunctions to remember this story (65.3 and 65.13–14), the Bibell translator also insists that readers must reflect on the exempla and be prepared to apply lessons to their own life choices, a sentiment that Christine does not make explicit here.
3 Adonius. On sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 65.3; see also Chapters 63 and 69 on dangers of hunting.
4–5 And that . . . . all to-schake. Gordon, p. 101n4, flips these lines, noting that they are “transposed in the MS” by comparison to Harley 4431 (B1). Gordon’s ordering would follow Christine’s texte more closely, but the translator is clearly adapting his source throughout the Bibell translation, and he does not always feel obligated to imitate the French precisely.
15–16 Sedechye the prophete. Parussa, p. 494, and Sutton, Dicts, p. 117n1, identify the figure as either Seth, Adam’s third son, or the Egyptian god Set. The label “prophet” is due to an error in B/BI and D/DI manuscripts; see Scrope Explanatory Note 65.11–13.
19–21 That Adonius . . . leve hyt. The Bibell gets more directly than Christine to the point that the sinful soul must reflect and choose not to persist in sin, rather than focusing on a wayward good individual. Compare Parussa, 65.22–24, and Scrope 65.14–16.
21–23 as seyth Seynt Peter . . . pouer over hym. The Bibell streamlines the repetition of the devil’s power over sinners.
23–24 Data est . . . tribum et populum. Apocalypse 13:7, modified by Christine (see also Scrope Explanatory Note 65.19–20). The Bibell translator adds the attribution to St. John, who was the author of Apocalypse.
1 Troye. See Chapters 37 and 61.
1 grett arme. French sources, including DI7 (the manuscript closest to the Bibell) indicate that the army is Greek, but the translator does not follow suit.
11–12 he left the cytté destitute and voyd of people. The Bibell transmits the expected manuscript reading, a translation (with doublet) of the French “fu la cité remese de gent vuidee” [the city was left void of people] (Parussa, 66.12). Pigouchet and Le Noir were clearly not the Bibell’s source, for they transmit an error for “remese”: “reverse de gent vuidee” [turned upside down and emptied of people; Wyer: reversed and voyde of people].
21–25 For Seynt Austeyn seyth . . . fyndyth unarmed. The analogy of earthly war and arms with spiritual war and virtues was fairly common but has not been found in Augustine’s works. See Scrope Explanatory Note 66.15–16.
2 Orpheus. See Scrope Explanatory Note 67.2 and Chapter 70.
9–11 wyld serpentes . . . of the harpe. In listing the creatures affected by Orpheus’s music, the Bibell translator rearranges the ordering, separates the birds, beasts, and serpents (and omits beasts), inserts the reference to the serpents’ nature, and adds additional detail.
11 harped. The choice of “harped” instead of simply “played” may be due to influence of the translator’s French manuscript source. While most manuscripts record a form of “jouer” [to play], DI7 witnesses “savoit lirer” [knew how to play the harp]. The Bibell translates a form of “jouer” as simply to play an instrument in 26.15, as Midas judges the musical abilities of Pan and Phoebus.
13 many tymez. Even little differences in source manuscript families can filter into close translations: A/AI and D/DI texts read “souventesfois” [literally: many times] while B/BI read “souvent” [often] (Scrope 67.10).
17–18 as scripture seyth . . . meyte of the devel. The term “scripture” in Middle English could refer to Biblical texts or any written document, including literature. See Scrope Explanatory Note 67.13 on a possible source.
All the French copies consulted contain “le las du serpent” [the snare of the snake]. Clearly, the Bibell translator interprets the serpent to represent the devil; the error for “las” is a copying mistake for the English translation “aweyte,” a term the translator uses elsewhere for “agait” [trap], a synonym for “las.” This error indicates that MS Harley 838 is not the first copy of the Bibell and that the translation likely read “thaweyte” as at 66.17, but our copyist misread it and confused w and m to produce “the meyte” (rather than “th’aweyte”).
20–21 By the harpe . . . not gretly delyte. The Bibell omits the French text’s repetition that the knightly spirit should not be assotted with the harp (see Parussa, 67.24; OLH, p. 100).
22–26 seyth Seynt Austyn . . . werldly ryches. The Bibell omits the title of Augustine’s The Singularity of Clerks, a work now attributed to Pseudo-Cyprian (see Scrope Explanatory Note 1.106–09).
26–27 the prophete David . . . in tecto. Psalms 101:8. The Bibell identifies David as “the prophete,” a term lacking in the consulted French texts. The attribution to the psalter occasionally appears in French copies, and it does appear in DI7 (and AI, but not B/BI, D, DI, or Pigouchet or Le Noir).
68.5 Parys. For sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 68.4. See also Chapters 60, 73, and 75 for more on Paris of Troy.
11–12 poyer of Grece . . . Achilles. The Bibell (or its source) omits the discussion of provinces in southern Italy controlled by Greece, which follows “Greece” in Christine; see Parussa, p. 433n68b. The Bibell also lacks reference after “Achilles” to his elite warriors, the Myrmidons, a term that gave copyists and translators significant trouble — BI contains “Mirundois” (leading to Scrope’s “Myrundois” [S], “Mirondois” [M], or “Mirmedewes” [L]); and DI7 initially writes “les liij rois,” but strikes it and inserts “Mirmindonnois” interlinearly. Pigouchet and Le Noir print “Mirmindonnois,” which is corrupted by Wyer to “Myrrondonnes.” Only the B/BI texts and Scrope identify the Myrmidons as valiant fighters (A/AI and D/DI manuscripts and printed editions do not). Compare Parussa, 68.10–15; Scrope 68.8–11.
19–20 arrogaunce of pride. The addition “of pride” may derive from the DI manuscript source; DI7 warns the reader “ne soy orgueillir ne eslever en arrogance” [not to become proud or elevate oneself into arrogance], and no other consulted text contains “orgueillir.”
2 Antheon. On sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 69.2. The Bibell focuses on Actaeon’s idleness and excessive spending on pleasurable activities, omitting references to Diana’s chastity and Diana as goddess of the forest. See also Chapters 23, 63, and 65.
12–13 sche was all nakyd . . . served here. In the account of Diana’s bathing, the Bibell follows A/AI and D/DI copies in lacking that she was “en la fontaine” [in the fountain], a detail included in B/BI (Parussa, 69.15; Scrope 69.11).
17 men oftesythes avaunte and sumtyme lye of ladyes. The Bibell translates the A/AI and D/DI doublet that men “se vantent et gabent” [boast about and brag about/deceive] women. The B/BI version that influences Scrope’s “gentilmen wul vaunte them of ladies” only mentions the male habit of boasting about women (Parussa, 69.20–21; Scrope 69.15).
19 in her angre. The Bibell translator adds this detail; Christine does not explicitly refer to Diana’s anger, though it is implied by the verb “maudist” [curse].
20 wyld hert. Both Scrope and the Bibell translate “cerf ramage” [antlered stag] as “wyld hert,” perhaps misreading as “cerf sauvage.”
27 fyrst wepyng at deth. The Bibell (or its source) generalizes while other texts specifically claim that deer weep at their deaths. Bühler, Epistle, p. 174n84/11–12, points out that a similar claim about deer appears in Bartholomaeus Anglicus (Trevisa, On the Properties of Things, ed. Seymour, 2:1178). In this instance, A/AI, BI, and D/DI manuscripts agree against B and B1, which both omit “à la mort” [at death].
32–33 as ofte . . . and foly. Although the Bibell translator eliminates the recap of Actaeon’s death and Diana’s chastity as motivation for her punishment, he expands on the moral warning. Curiously, although the texts are not identical, the copyist of DI7 also expands on similar topics: after noting that Actaeon was destroyed by his own men, the scribe elaborates “c’est adire par prodiguete et oysivete” [that is to say, by prodigality and idleness].
41 eyre. The Bibell’s use of “eyre” may be due to its source: DI7 specifies that the birds’ wings “les pourtent en l’air contre le ciel” [carry them in the air toward heaven], instead of “les pourtent ou ciel” [carry them to heaven] in other copies.
1 Labour not nor traveyle. The Bibell translator inserts the sense of hard work required for this journey; the French simply says “Ne va pas aux portes denfert” [Do not go to the gates of hell] (DI7), so I have translated “traveyle” here as “travel,” though it can also be synonymous with working or laboring.
2 Erudice. On Orpheus and Eurydice, see Scrope Explanatory Note 70.2; see also Chapter 67.
12 in the toe. A/AI and D/DI note that Eurydice was stung “ou talon” [on the heel]; B/BI, and thus Scrope lack that specification. Whiting S153 notes the proverbial snake in the grass.
18 grett pyté. The effect of the Bibell translator’s omission — of text in which Pluto, Lucifer, Cerberus, and Acharon see the officers of hell cease their torments and are moved to return Eurydice to Orpheus — is that Proserpina exercises the primary agency responsible for the return of Eurydice. Of course, the Bibell (or its source) may have skipped the line accidentally. DI7 includes the male named personages but offers a unique reading in which Proserpina also receives credit through the insertion of the verb “appella” before the men’s names, indicating that she calls their attention to the effect of Orpheus’s harping. Compare Scrope 70.14–15 and for the named figures, see Scrope Explanatory Note 70.15.
20 uppon this conyng. Of the consulted Othea copies, the majority read “par tel,” but AI has “par tel couvent” [through such promise], D has “par tiele condicion” [through such condition], and DI7 has “par tel couvenant” [through such an agreement]. The English translations require a noun to make sense of the French, but none appears in the A, B/BI, or other DI copies.
Parussa, p. 436n70d, explains that “tel” could function grammatically to indicate “tel” plus a generic noun, so no noun was required, though she acknowledges the difficulty of this reading. She further proposes that an AI copyist inserted “couvent” to match the second “couvent” explicitly mentioned some lines later, in Parussa, 70.28. However, this appears to be a rare error by Parussa. As her own variants indicate (p. 368), and my collation with AI confirms, this latter proposition is unlikely, because A/AI manuscripts omit Parussa, 70.28–29, where the second “couvent” appears in B/BI manuscripts.
24 forgate hys covnaunte. The forgotten agreement seems to be the translator’s addition.
26 Many exposiciouns. At this point, all consulted French copies offer two additional interpretations of the narrative, which the Bibell translator omits; he also omits, after “thyng impossible” (70.27–28), the reminder not to be sad or wroth if one cannot recover the lost item (compare Parussa, 70.34–39; Scrope 70.23–27). Curiously, given his penchant for streamlining, the translator repeats the lesson in 70.27–28 in 70.29–30, presumably to maintain the structure in which each chapter explicitly relays a lesson to the good knight.
30–31 wyse man Saloman . . . impossible to have. On the source and on confusion of Solomon and the philosopher Solon, see Scrope Explanatory Note 70.27–29.
3–5 Achilles . . . Ulixes. See Scrope Explanatory Note 71.3; see also Chapters 40, 85, and 93.
7 He gynneth soone to prykke that wyll be a thorne. Proverbial: see Whiting T222.
11 unespyed. The source for this variant is likely the shared source with DI7, which reads “ne fut apparceuz” [was not perceived] instead of the correct “fu parcreus” [was grown], the reading in the other consulted copies, including BI (see Parussa, 71.12–13). Scrope’s “parceyved” is a mistranslation of “parcreus” (Scrope 71.9). The translations should read that Achilles was hidden until he was nearly grown.
13 Questrus. Perhaps the Bibell translator misread “Ystrus” (as the name is spelled in DI7) as a scribal abbreviation for “que.” B and BI, and thus Scrope, omit the name.
15 sotyll Ulixes. Christine represents Ulysses as not only clever but also malicious, twice using the term “malice” to describe him (Parussa, 71.19, 71.21). See Scrope Explanatory Note 71.13.
25–26 Leguroun . . . hys armes. The Arabian fabulist Loqman is associated with proverbial wisdom, and his name is variantly spelled “Leginon,” “Loginon,” “Legmon,” or “Logmon” in medieval texts (see also 71.23; the Bibell offers the variant “Leguroun” at 71.25). On Loqman, see Kassis, Arabic Proverbial Works, pp. 51–54; and Sutton, Dicts and Sayings, p. 138n17.1.
30–34 seythe Seynt Jerome . . . . everlastyng joye. The idea that all good deeds will be rewarded and all bad deeds punished seems to have been commonplace.
11 therfore. After this line in the B/BI copies, the French texts extol Atalanta’s “merveilleuse isnelleté” [marvelous swiftness], but A/AI and D/DI omit that praise, accounting for the difference between Scrope and the Bibell. Mombello, TM, pp. 296–97 no. 15, identifies this as a characteristic difference between A and B manuscripts; compare Parussa, 72.13; Scrope, 72.10.
15–16 Wherfor seyth Othea . . . suyche stryve. The Bibell translator streamlines a wordy citation (source unknown) but also removes language that might be pejorative toward Atalanta or women in general: as in Scrope, all French manuscripts advise against striving against “choses inutiles” [useless things] that do not matter to a knight’s honor (Parussa, 72.23–26; Scrope 72.15–18).
16 Thesaly. Thesaly refers to Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea (Parussa, p. 493), who was a distinguished fourth-century theologian.
21–24 The world . . . to dispyse hytt. See Scrope Explanatory Note 72.22–25, on the translation of these lines.
12 apple. Compare Parussa, 73.13–15; Scrope, 73.10–11. A/AI, B/BI, D, Pigouchet, and Le Noir report Paris’s diligent evaluation of the goddesses’ strength. However, other DI copies omit that content, including DI and DI7 (initially), which means the Bibell’s omission is plausibly due to its source. The scribe of DI7, however, marginally inserts the omitted material, one of several indications that this manuscript in its corrected state was not the direct source for the Bibell.
25–27 And for as myche . . . in hys jugement. Compare Parussa, 73.35–39, and Scrope, 73.23–26. The Bibell reorients the glose to focus not on Paris’s character but on the results of his “symple and unavysed jugement” (Troy’s destruction), and he explicitly warns against imitating Paris.
32–37 seyth Seynt Austyn . . . good or ylle. The Bibell omits Christine’s attribution to Augustine’s writings against the Manicheans, a term that clearly gave scribes trouble and may have been omitted or altered in the Bibell’s source (see Scrope Explanatory Note 73.29). The Bibell also adds details including “or feblenes,” “that we schall geve our jugement on,” “neclegently,” “alwey in our conscience,” and “deed or quarell.”
1 Fortune. See Scrope Explanatory Note 74.1. See also Proh.162–65, Explanatory Notes Proh.165 and 163–65 above, and the Introduction, pp. 27–28.
7 slypper eele. On the proverbial slipperiness of the eel, see Whiting E45.
14 ingyne made to take fysche. The origin of Christine’s comparison of Fortune’s wheel to an “ingyne” or trap is unknown. The seemingly bizarre addition of “made to take fysche” appears in the French A/AI and D/DI copies but not B/BI (TM, p. 297 no. 16). It may be proverbial (see Whiting F237). The image also recalls Chaucer’s discussion, in TC 3.35, in which Venus knows all the secrets of things, such as why one person loves another or “whi this fissh, and naught that, comth to were” (a device for catching fish in a pond or stream); Venus and Fortune are often iconographically similar, and the translator may have known Chaucer’s image (I am grateful to Jill Mann for this reference).
17 Contemplacioun. The error of “Contemplacioun” for “Consolacioun” occurs in D/DI, though a savvy scribe might easily correct it (which may explain why Pigouchet and Le Noir have the correct title; even Harley 219 has the error). The DI7 scribe partially corrects the text to “Dit Boece de consolacion ou tiers livre de contemplacion” [Boethius says of consolation in the third book of contemplation].
17–18 worldly felicité. All consulted French copies except DI7 refer to the “felicité des Epicuriens” [Epicureans’ happiness]. The Bibell’s substitution can be explained by DI7’s unique variant: “felicité des euvres et choses mondaines” [happiness of worldly works and things]. See Parussa, 74.20–21; Scrope, 74.13 and Explanatory Note.
2 Pares. See Chapters 60 and 73, and Scrope Explanatory Note 75.2.
10 chefteyn nor governour. A, AI, B, BI, and DI read “chevetaine,” though DI7, Pigouchet, and Le Noir contain “capitaine” [captain]; D effectively translates, reading “chieftain.”
20 Marye Mawdelyn. For the conflation of Mary Magdalen with Mary, the sister of Martha, see Scrope Explanatory Note 75.17–18.
21 figured. The manuscript lacks the term “figured,” which I have supplied from the French “figuree” [signified] (DI7; Parussa, 75.25).
1–7 Sett nother wache . . . . in jelowsye. Compare Scrope 76.1–4, which follows Christine, Parussa, 76.2–5, and introduces both Cephalus and Lot’s wife; the Bibell translator omits reference to Lot’s wife in both texte and glose (see note 76.17, below).
12 deer. The French texts record sauvagine for this word, which can simply mean a wild beast (as Scrope translates at 76.9), but it can also refer to “venison” specifically (OFD). By 1611, Cotgrave’s French to English dictionary records venison as the primary definition.
12–13 jelousye . . . woman. A/AI and D/DI copies note that Cephalus’s wife was jealous that he was amorous with someone else; B, BI, and Scrope say that she was jealous and also that she feared that he was amorous with another (B1 records that she was jealous out of fear); see Scrope 76.9–10 and Explanatory Note; Parussa, 76.13–15; OLH, p. 109.
17 remedye. Compare Scrope 76.14–16. At this point the Bibell omits Christine’s reference to Lot’s wife, presumably to streamline the chapter and focus on Cephalus’s wife.
29–30 Ut quid vides . . . non consideras. Matthew 7:3, which also appears in CV, fol. 98v (Larke, fol. 67r), is Christine’s source. The Bibell is closer to Luke 6:41, which has “consideras” as the final verb instead of Matthew’s “vides.”
8 Helenus. The DI7 scribe miscopies the allegorie introduction of Helenus as advising against war before identifying him as Hector’s brother; the Bibell is unaffected by the error.
13 beleve oold and sad conceyle. The Bibell translator adds “oold and sad.” Similar advice was commonplace; see, for example, TDP, pp. 959–60; Dicts, pp. 136.5 and 137.6; Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee (CT VII 1256, 1335, 1341–43); Whiting C452.
20–22 Fidelis Deus . . . possitis resistere. For the final Latin word, the Vulgate and all consulted copies read “sustinere,” except for DI7 which, like the Bibell, also records “resistere.”
4 To trust myche in dremes is ful gret abusioun. Proverbial: see Whiting D387.
12 discomfort. Here and in the moralité, the Bibell translator focuses on not being too troubled by visions, omitting Christine’s balanced warning to not be too joyful, either.
20 compleyn. A/AI and D/DI versions contain the verb “plains” [complain, lament], not the B/BI “pleures” [weep] that influences Scrope (78.19).
26–27 Omne . . . pacienciam habe. Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 2:4. In beginning with “Omne,” the Bibell and DI7 match the Vulgate, while the majority of other manuscripts consulted and the early printed editions begin with “Esse” (see also Scrope Explanatory Note 78.25–26).
4–5 And beleve . . . . never feyle. The translator has added emphasis on Alcyone’s counsel and an echo of Ecclesiasticus 32:24, suggesting that like Christine, he classifies Alcyone among the wise women foreseeing danger (see Hindman, Painting and Politics, p. 130). See also Bibell, 50.6–7, 53.25, and Whiting C448 and C470.
6 Selfewyl moost comonly dothe mor harme then good. Proverbial: see Whiting S144.
9–10 of devocioun . . . perilose viage. The Bibell’s source must have shared its reading with the source for DI7, which reads, “Devocion print au roy d’aler en pelerinnage ung voyaige molt perilleux . . .” [Devotion compelled the king to go on pilgrimage a very perilous voyage]. “Pelerinnage” is marked for cancellation, but this is the only extant manuscript to provide precedent for the Bibell translator’s term “pilgrimage.” Additionally, Mombello, TM, p. 99n1, observes that no other French manuscript contains “voyage” (the Bibell translator’s “viage”) over “passage” [passage] in this line.
19 thei two bryddes. DI7 shares the reading “les deux oiseaulx,” whereas other manuscripts consulted record “les oyseaulx” [the birds].
20 seemews. The Bibell translator specifically identifies the white-feathered sea birds in question as seagulls. The modern term “halcyon” refers to types of kingfishers.
23 the seyd bryddes. The Bibell reading derives from “dis oyseaulx” [said birds], found in A and DI copies. AI, B/BI, and D instead read “.ii. oisiaulx” or “deux oyseaulx” [two birds].
23–24 fore . . . myschyef. The Bibell poet adds this phrase to clarify the lesson. B/BI texts conclude “et fu leur cas et leur aventure telle” [“and such was their fate and their fortune”] (Parussa, 76.31–32; OLH, p. 112), but A/AI and D/DI copies lack such a statement; compare Scrope 79.21.
24–26 seyth prudence . . . hys freindes. The reference to believing Alcyone’s counsel appears to be the Bibell translator’s attempt to link texte and glose (compare 79.4); it does not appear in French copies.
26 philosophre Assaron. Assaron has not been identified; the name may be a corruption of Fatima Az-Zahra, daughter of Mohammed (ed. Sutton, Dicts and Sayings, p. 138n16.1). The Bibell translator adds “philosophre” as an identifier, perhaps to grant authority to a potentially unfamiliar figure.
31–36 He is wode . . . not repent thee. The Bibell erroneously cites the first book of De officiis [On the Duties of the Clergy], though all consulted copies of the Othea cite the second.
34 five. The Bibell, like A/AI and D/DI copies, notes five years of famine, but Scrope, following B/BI, records seven; see Scrope Explanatory Note 79.28–32.
1–6 All chyldly counceyle . . . . in werre. See Whiting C452 and Chapter 77.
1 chyldly. Here, the term means immature, not fully thought out. See Scrope Explanatory Note 80.17–18.
8–9 When Kyng Priamus . . . to know. The Bibell translator streamlines the backstory, omitting the details of the first destruction of Troy and Priam’s desire for vengeance.
11 old, sadde, and wyse men. The Bibell translator expands from the French “sages” [wise men]. See also 77.13.
13 meyné. The expected French reads “li mainsnez des enfans Priant” [the youngest of Priam’s children] (Parussa, 80.18–19), where “mainsnez” means “youngest” (DMF, moinsné [adj.], sense A). The MED gives no attestation of an equivalent meaning, but the Bibell translator may be using “meyné”to indicate a young child, akin to the modern sense of a minor (MED, meiné [n.], sense 1b).
15 rest and pees. The majority of French copies record simply “repos” [rest]. Only DI7 shares the reading “repos et paix” [rest and peace].
al the contrarye. The Bibell’s reading derives from the A/AI and D/DI “conseilla tout l’opposite” [counseled completely the opposite]; Scrope’s translation mirrors BI: “conseilla que on y alast” [counseled that they should go there] (Scrope 80.15); both B1 and B contain the error “n’y alast,” accidentally negating Troilus’s advice.
16 caused Troye to be utterly destroyed. The Bibell explicitly references Troy’s destruction, whereas French Othea copies generalize that great harm followed; compare Parussa, 80.23; Scrope, 80.16.
80.19 The lond . . . is a chyld. For sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 80.18–19. Christine uses “prince,” which Scrope translates as “kinge” in contrast to the Bibell translator’s broader rendering “governour.”
22–25 Ignoraunce is . . . qweynched by wysedam. The Bibell translator chooses the gender-neutral “chyldre” for French “filles” [daughters].
1 Calcas. On the Trojan traitor and father of Briseida/Criseyde, see Scrope Explanatory Note 81.1. The Bibell translator criticizes Calchas even more harshly than Christine had; see also Lydgate’s condemnation of Calchas in TB 2.5976–6204, 3.3718–41, and 4.6023–51.
10 Delphos. Delphos (now known as Delos) was the mythological birthplace of Apollo and the high priestess of the temple to Apollo there was believed to be an oracle who could deliver answers from the god to petitioners.
14 letted. On A/AI and D/DI vs. B/BI readings, see Scrope Explanatory Note 81.11.
23 cheer. The French term used is “priveté,” meaning friendship, intimacy, or familiarity (see DMF, priveté 1 and privauté; Cotgrave, Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, privauté).
3 adamaunt. The stone was believed to be indestructible, and the term was often used for diamonds. The Bibell translator may be punning on the medieval Latin for “loving deeply” (MED, adama(u)nt [n.], etymology), or evoking the stone’s proverbial association with hard-heartedness (Whiting A40).
8–9 hye corage . . . hye parage. The Bibell adds the detail of Hermaphroditus’s “hye corage” and transforms the French “nimphe” [nymph/fairy] to a “grett ladye of hye parage,” perhaps to emphasize nobility and status.
9 surprised in her love. The Bibell translator confuses the French claim that the nymph was “esprise de son amour” [inflamed by her love] (Parussa, 82.8; see DMF, esprendre [v.], sense A.2).
17–20 And when sche saw he wold not be conquered by love . . . to remembre her hertely love . . . . and beholdyng her gret love . . . . These phrases are the Bibell translator’s additions.
22 diverse maners. After this phrase, the Bibell translator omits Christine’s discussion of couverture, astronomy, and alchemy. See Parussa, 82.25–30; OLH, p. 114; Scrope 82.17–20; and Explanatory Note 82.19.
26–27 the uske . . . jewse and lycour. See Scrope Explanatory Note 82.22–23.
39 in distres. The Bibell translation reflects the A/AI and D/DI readings, which note that without compassion we may not relieve someone “de sa tristesse” [in his sadness] (some manuscripts omit “sa”); B/BI and Scrope (82.32) lack the phrase (see Parussa 82.51; OLH, p. 115).
3 games. On the association of games, and chess in particular, with Ulysses, see Scrope Explanatory Note 83.1–2.
11 tablez. The Othea copies consulted allude more generally to “telz semblables” [other similar games] (Parussa, 83.12–13; Scrope 83.8).
13 not contrarius to verteu. The Bibell translator adds this specification.
13–14 Al thyng . . . doo. Unidentified source.
The Bibell translator’s use of “the ydle” is unique; the majority of the French manuscripts consulted contain “loisible” [permitted, allowed, lawful; Scrope, 83.10: “leeful”]. It is possible that the Bibell poet mistook “loisible” as a form of “loisir” [free time, leisure; idleness, inactivity]. However, he introduces “leful” into the texte (83.2), glose (83.12), and moralité (83.16), where French copies do not use any related term. The concept of “leful” ties all three parts of the chapter together, so it seems unlikely that the Bibell translator did not grasp the sense of “loisible.” Perhaps his translation here indicates his interpretation of the chapter as an opportunity to argue against idleness.
B1 and modern editions based on it record a different unique variant of “loyalle” instead of “loisible” (Parussa, 83.15); Pigouchet and Le Noir have “louable” [suitable, laudable].
17–18 disport . . . holsom storyes. The Bibell translator adds that one may “disport in vertuose and honest ocupacioun,” and he includes “other holsom storyes” in addition to Holy Scripture, emphasizing educational reading more broadly.
19–20 our soule. The Bibell, like all the manuscript copies consulted, transmits “nostre ame” [our soul]; Pigouchet and Le Noir print the variant “nostre Seigneur” [our Lord].
20 Ther mey we see our bewté. The Bibell’s source apparently contained the text “la pouons nous veoir nostre bel” [There may we see our beauty]. This statement appears in A/AI, B, D, and DI. However, due to eyeskip, it is lacking in BI (and likewise Scrope), DI7 (which thus cannot be the Bibell’s immediate source), Pigouchet, and Le Noir. Compare Parussa, 83.24–25, OLH, p. 115; Scrope, 83.15.
1–2 naturall inclinacioun . . . not absteyne. The Bibell translator emphasizes Troilus’s agency and responsibility for his fate even more forcefully than Christine (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 178–82; see Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 93–97).
3 Cupido. The term can either refer to Cupid or to sexual desire (MED, Cupide [n.]).
4 Cresida. On Criseyde/Briseida, see Scrope Explanatory Note 84.3.
9 well drawen and well noortred. On Christine’s B/BI description of Briseida and its ambiguity, see Scrope Explanatory Note 84.5–6. A/AI and D/DI copies read “plus cointe et de vague attrait,” which I translate as “very proud and of fickle charms” (though “cointe” could have flattering meanings, the evocation of fickleness here undercuts those possibilities; “proud” also suits the allegorization of Briseida as vainglory). The Bibell translator softens the adjectives, even though he knows that “vague” has a negative connotation: he elsewhere translates the adjective “vagues” as “wavyng” when it implies inconsistency (Parussa, 91.15, 91.20; Bibell, 91.15, 91.18) and the noun “vagueté” as “ylle disposicioun” when applied to Circe (Parussa, 98.23; Bibell, 98.18). The Bibell more closely resembles Chaucer’s sympathetic treatment by refusing to characterize Criseyde/Briseida as flawed at the outset, as many medieval writers, including Christine, did. His phrase “well noortred” echoes Chaucer’s praise that Criseyde was not only a beautiful woman but also “the beste ynorisshed” (TC 5.821).
10 brother unto Ectour. The Bibell translator identifies Troilus with respect to Hector, not their father Priam.
13 by the answere of the god Appollo. The Bibell translator adds this information (see Chapter 81).
15–16 cytté . . . departyng. A/AI and D/DI copies mention Criseyde/Briseida’s return to her father and the lovers’ sorrow, but they lack references to other details in B/BI: the explicit reference to the Greek camp and the lovers’ complaints (compare Parussa, 84.14–17; Scrope, 84.11–12).
2 Beware of Achilles. In traditional narratives, Hector is unaware of the events leading up to his death. By giving Othea prophetic abilities, Christine creates a fiction in which Hector is essentially warned of the immoral or bad decisions that will lead to his demise; in theory, Christine’s fictional Hector, so warned, could avoid them. For more, see the Introduction, pp. 3–5.
21–25 as seyth the doctour Solin . . . ageyn it. Job 7:1. On the erroneous attribution, which is common in Othea manuscripts, see Scrope Explanatory Note 85.18–21.The Bibell translator alone inserts the title of “doctour” [theologian, authority] before Solin’s name, presumably to grant the figure the authority to appear in the moralité. DI7 originally recorded “Solin,” but the scribe corrected it to “Job.”
25–26 Illa que . . . mater nostra. Galatians 4.26 — a curious alteration made by the Bibell translator that evokes Jerusalem as mother in a chapter that focuses on a male relationship. All French manuscripts and printed editions consulted quote Ephesians 6:11 (compare Scrope 85.21–22).
4–6 Yett . . . . Pyté must he have. The Bibell translator uses Christine’s exhortations toward pity in the glose and allegorie to unify the chapter by introducing the concept in the texte (see also Brown-Grant, Moral Defence, pp. 81–82). For a similar link between pity, courtesy, and love of subjects, see Gower’s CA 7.3120–36.
24–26 Werfore seyth Zaqualkyn . . . vices and schame. Zaqualquin is likely another name for Aesculapius (Parussa, p. 494; ed. Sutton, Dicts and Sayings, p. 121n4.1).
26 rygorous. The French specifically advises the reader not to deny justice to enemies (compare Parussa, 86.34–35; Scrope, 86.23).
27 hyd nor refused. In translating Christine’s “escondite” [refused, rejected] (Parussa, 86.38), the Bibell translator seems to hedge his bets between “escondire” [to refuse] and “escondre” [to hide].
28 have and ministre and use. The French manuscripts consulted simply advise the reader to have the capacity for mercy; the Bibell translator makes explicit the need to use it.
1 purchace. The Bibell translator’s rendering of the French “avoir” is nuanced to acknowledge the sense that the verb can carry the sense of acquiring or obtaining, not just possessing (see DMF, avoir [v.], sense A.2; MED, purchasen [v.], senses 1, 2, and 4b).
11 she required the goddes. Only DI7 contains the reading “elle requist a la deesse” [she asked the goddess]. The French “requerre” means “asked” or “petitioned” (DMF, requérir [v.], sense B), much like the Middle English term (MED, requeren [v.], sense 1a). All other consulted French copies instead note that Daphne “sa priere fist a la deesse” [made her prayer to the goddess]. On the importance of the prayer to Diana, see Scrope Explanatory Note 87.9.
16 fable. Amsler, “Rape and Silence,” p. 83, asserts that the Bibell translator “prudishly omitted” lines that might be sexually suggestive by limiting himself to one interpretation (compare Parussa, 87.21–27; Scrope 87.14–18). Yet the omission of multiple interpretations has been typical of the translator’s process, and he does not always shy from the suggestion of sex (for example, 55.9, 56.8; but see also 30.27–28).
19–20 the noble poete Omere. The Bibell translator’s addition plausibly stems from his own knowledge. Of the consulted French manuscripts and printed editions, only B1, which has no relation to the Bibell, refers to Homer as “le poete” [the poet].
22 everlastyng lyff. The Bibell translator interprets rather than translates the French “victoire glorieuse” [glorious victory] (Parussa, 87.37).
28 glorious face . . . incomparable. The Bibell translator either errs or interprets his French text in rendering “present visage” [present face] as the “glorious face” and “incirconscriptible” [limitless] as “incomparable” (Parussa, 87.45–46; compare Scrope 87.29).
6 conceyll. The Bibell translator underscores Andromache’s actions as counsel in all three chapter sections; Christine uses “avision” [vision/dream] in all three, but “conseil” only in the glose.
11 schewed hym her visioun and advertyzed and conceyled hym. The translator interprets the vague French claim that Andromache “fist son pouoir” [exercised her power] (Parussa, 88.10–11). His terms describe her intervention as counsel, and his emphasis on “the secrete/s of her hert/e” (88.2, 88.14) may evoke the queenly intercession that blurs the line between a wife’s desire to persuade her husband out of love and her desire to offer moral advice, a concept exploited by late medieval authors of mirrors for princes (see Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 1–17). For Andromache as a mouthpiece for Christine and Othea, with historical relevance to the French monarchy, see Hindman, Painting and Politics, pp. 55–60, 130–32. See also Chapter 90, where the Bibell translator uses the same verbs “advertyze” and “conceyl” for Priam’s attempted intervention in 90.13.
17 a wyse symple persoun. Almost all French copies consulted read “petite personne sage” [wise person of little importance; DMF, petit (adj.), sense I.B.1]; DI7 contains “personne petite sage” [person of little wisdom]. It is difficult to say definitively which sense the Bibell translator intended, because “symple persoun” could indicate a lowly person lacking authority or an unintelligent person (MED, simple [adj.], senses 3 and 5). Either interpretation nevertheless presents wise counsel coming from an unexpected source.
21 sett at noght. All French copies consulted continue to advise the knight essentially to enact that good purpose completely, according to his power (Parussa, 88.25–26; OLH, p. 120).
21–23 as seyth Seynt Gregore . . . techeth our understandyng. The Bibell translator (or his source) omits the second half of the citation found in all consulted French copies; see Scrope 88.17–22.
7 Who in strenthe put al his trust is soone confounde. Proverbial: see Whiting S834. The Bibell translator’s texte mirrors Christine’s glose.
8 Nembroth. Nimrod appears in Genesis 10:9–10 as a stout hunter and the founder of Babylon; Christine uses the appellation “le geant” [the giant] (Parussa, 89.7), which the Bibell translator does not translate, though the term appears in the consulted French copies.
20 Put no trust in the world, though it laughe on thee. The sentiment seems to be Christine’s addition to Augustine, probably from a proverb or Boethius. The Bibell omits surrounding text without precedent in French copies.
1 thou schall dye. On Christine’s imaginative chronology and her sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 90.1. Although Christine’s Othea seems moved by the thought of Hector’s death, the Bibell translator’s Othea does not seem to change tone.
On Lydgate’s use of the Othea, Chapters 90–92, in the TB’s account of Hector, see Benson, The History of Troy, pp. 127–29.
3 Atrops . . . hys hand. The Bibell translator uniquely inserts Atropos into Christine’s chapter (see Chapter 34), perhaps influenced by Lydgate’s Troy Book. Lydgate generally imagines the death of Trojan princes, “[w]han Antropos to-brak hir lyves thred” (TB 2.142); and he includes her as part of Andromache’s dream and blames the Fates and Atropos specifically for Hector’s demise (TB 3.4923–28). See Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 185–86. Although Atropos is female in Christine and a number of other sources, including Lydgate (for example, TB 3.4925), the figure is gendered male in Bibell 34.4–9, Scrope’s Epistle (34.2), and Assembly, lines 419–501.
11 Mars the god of bateyll. B/BI manuscripts include Minerva as well (compare Parussa, 90.12; Scrope, 90.8). The Bibell’s omission of Minerva is shared with D/DI manuscripts and printed editions.
14 privey posterne. The Bibell translates the French reading “une faulse poterne” [a secret gate/door], which is only found in AI manuscripts and DI7; almost all other manuscripts record that Hector left via a “soubzterraine” [underground passage] (TM, p. 313 no. 14). Campbell, Epître, pp. 106–07, suggests that the AI reading may have derived from the prose OM, but that version is too late (ca. 1466–1467). Parussa, p. 448n90a, posits OM 12.3868–71 as Christine’s source for the “soubzterraine,” perhaps conjured from her memory, since the HA2 was her primary source.
17 hys freindes. See Scrope Explanatory Note 90.14.
19 victoriously. A/AI and D/DI copies record “victoreusement,” while B/BI read “glorieusement” [gloriously] (Parussa, 90.25; Scrope, 90.16).
2 Atrops. The Bibell translator adds Atropos to emphasize the well-advised man’s ability to forestall death through moral action. On the ignominious depiction of Hector’s death in Chapters 91–92, see Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 184–89.
7 He never is disceyved that warned is beforne. Proverbial: see Whiting W49 (see also CA 7.2344–45).
9 the Booke of Troye. While the Bibell’s original reference might indicate any Trojan story, coupled with details and similar readings, it may suggest the translator’s knowledge of Lydgate’s Troy Book. See note 90.3, above.
10–11 a prudent polecye . . . knyght to do. The Bibell translator inserts the commentary that following Othea’s advice is “a prudent polecye and a gret wysedam” for the “chivalrous knyght.” All consulted French manuscripts, like Scrope 90.6–7, simply advise the knight to avoid being unarmed in battle.
11–12 The lyff . . . an arow. The Bibell condenses the saying somewhat; compare Scrope 91.7–8 (and Explanatory Note), Parussa, 91.10–11; OLH, p. 122.
15 as seyth Seynt Gregor in hys Moralyes. The source is unknown, and the attribution to Gregory’s Morals is a feature of A/AI and some D/DI manuscripts (see Scrope Explanatory Note 91.10–15).
17 soule. A/AI and D/DI manuscripts refer to “l’ame” [the soul], but B/BI, Pigouchet, and Le Noir offer “l’omme” [the man].
1 Poliphetes. On Polibetes, see Scrope Explanatory Note 92.1; see also Chapters 90 and 91.
12–13 in that naked place. The Bibell translator refers to the gap in Hector’s armor, but there is no manuscript precedent, even in DI7, for his word choices or for his omission of the praise of Hector following the account of his death (compare Scrope 92.10–11; Parussa, 92.15–17; OLH, p. 123).
14–15 prudence . . . covetyse. The Bibell translator adds this claim, presumably to offer explicit advice to parallel other chapters.
15 As seyth Democritus . . . to deth. Only the Bibell translator assigns this saying to Democritus. His attribution may stem from some version of the saying attributed to Democritus that “No riches are good, if they are not profitable in this world and in the other” (TDP, p. 1010; Dicts, pp. 266.28–30 and 267.31–33). The dismissal of worldly goods in favor of spiritual ones captures the message of the chapter, if not to the precise glose citation. The attempt to name the source demonstrates the Bibell translator’s engagement with both Christine’s Othea and advice literature more broadly. See also Scrope 92.12–13 and Explanatory Note.
21 he hath. After this phrase, the Bibell translator omits Christine’s reference to “sancsues” [literally: leeches; figuratively: one who enriches himself at the expense of others], perhaps due to confusion about its meaning (Parussa, 92.32). Compare Scrope, 92.20.
1 truste. The Bibell translator uses “trust,” here and in 93.21, for the French “assotter” [become besotted/foolish], but he correctly translates “assotter” elsewhere (for example, 16.10, 22.2, 93.9–10). Rather than a mistranslation, this marks a deliberate shift in the chapter’s focus to trust instead of love.
3 Owte of a cankred sweerd is hard to rubbe the ruste. Proverbial: see Whiting R254, with the Bibell as the sole example.
4 Fooles take rosen ofte for frankensense. Proverbial: see Whiting F419, with the Bibell as the only citation. The sense seems to be that fools mistake common resin for the more valuable frankincense.
8–10 Achilles went . . . restreyn hyt. The A/AI and D/DI manuscripts lack reference to the richness of the city and funeral, which Christine added to B/BI (compare Parussa, 93.11–14; Scrope, 93.7–9). The Bibell translator misrepresents Achilles falling in love at the funeral (“burying”) instead of the memorial celebration held a year later.
See Scrope Explanatory Notes for sources.
1 Anthenore. On sources treating Antenor as a traitor, see Scrope Explanatory Note 95.1. The Bibell’s denunciation of Antenor emphasizes the literal punishment of traitors far more than Christine does (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 180–81).
5–7 Geyn Troye . . . Priamus, beware. The Bibell translator takes particular issue with Antenor’s betrayal of his country, and he seems to address Priam directly, not Hector.
13–15 he was a tratour . . . put to deth. The French versions consulted focus on the act of treason that should be punished with exile and hatred of Antenor, but the Bibell translator, in both texte and glose, attacks Antenor personally as the epitome of the traitor and stresses the reward he deserves, including the original addition of capital punishment. Compare Scrope 95.11–12; Parussa, 95.16–17; OLH, p. 126.
3 not wurthe a leek. Proverbial: see Whiting L185.
10 a hors of mervelous gretnes. Christine follows HA1 and HA2 in depicting a wooden horse (see Scrope Explanatory Note 96.3); the Bibell translator does not specify the material.
17 engynes. The Bibell shows evidence of the A/AI and D/DI reading “engins” [schemes] over the B/BI reading “agais” [traps], since the translator has chosen a direct cognate of “engins” over the other terms he typically uses to translate “agais” (for example, 1.100, 40.18, 56.24, 66.17, 76.22).
1–7 Trow thou . . . . he schall. The Bibell removes Christine’s references to Tunis and Fortune from the texte. See note 97.10, below. Compare Scrope 97.1–4; Parussa, 97.2–5; OLH, p. 127.
6–7 Whoo put . . . . he schall. Proverbial: see Whiting C79.
10 and the cytté alsoe. Bühler, Epistle, p. 193n116/20–3, suggests that the Bibell translator misread Christine’s “Thune” as “Troye” and abridged. However, the translator also omits it from the texte, where Christine rhymes “Thune” and “Fortune,” making confusion with “Troye” improbable. The omission more likely results from the translator’s impulse to increase cohesion by removing Christine’s additional examples (on this impulse, see Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, p. 171).
13 Tholome seyth . . . hys fall. Ptolemy (ca. 100–ca. 170) was an influential Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographer.
16–19 It is impossible . . . worldly delytes. See Scrope Explanatory Note 97.15–19 for Christine’s source. The Bibell translator further abridges Christine’s rendering.
2 Cyrces. On sources and analogues, see Scrope Explanatory Note 98.1; see also Chapter 39.
15 swete in the drynkyng and bytter in the wyrkyng. Perhaps a modification of the proverb “After sweet the sour comes” (Whiting S942). The idea of strong drink turning men to swine also appears in Othea’s description of Bacchus’s effects on men (Parussa, 21.5; OLH, p. 59); like all consulted French manuscripts, including DI7, the Bibell’s source almost certainly contained that description, but the translator opts not to replicate it (see Bibell, 21.1–7).
17–22 Many exposiciouns . . . no mysgovernauns. The Bibell translator omits Christine’s interpretation that Circe might represent a land or country, and he instead depicts a wholly negative Circe and innocent Greek soldiers, whom he advises to avoid Circe’s port, which he interprets as “mysgovernauns.” Arguably, Christine’s Othea and Scrope’s translation both displace blame from Circe and redirect attention to the Greek soldiers’ failings, but the Bibell translator restores a misogynist view of Circe (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 163–65, 176–77; see also Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 143–45).
5–6 Perles . . . . Before swyn. Matthew 7:6; Proverbial: see Whiting P89.
7 Wysedam pleseth not a fool so wel as his bable. Proverbial: see Whiting F394, F403.
9–12 And for as myche . . . taught. Christine deflects attention and blame from Ino (Desmond and Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, & Visuality, pp. 209–11). By contrast, the Bibell translator invents this criticism, oversimplifying Christine’s message and restoring the antifeminist stereotype of an ignorant and willful woman (Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 174–76). See also Whiting S144 (used in 79.6).
12–14 oold awtoretez . . . but lost. The Bibell Proh.92–98 expresses similar advice. For sources, see Scrope Explanatory Note 99.6–8.
18–22 seyth Sent Barnard . . . non excuse. On Christine’s source, see Scrope Explanatory Note 99.13–18. The Bibell omits Christine’s reference to a book of fifteen (sic) degrees of humility (which does appear in the French manuscripts consulted, including DI7).
5–6 Augustus . . . . a woman. See Scrope Explanatory Note 100.3.
8 emperour of Rome. Even small manuscript differences affect the translations: the Bibell follows the A/AI and D/DI reading “empereur de Romme,” while Scrope 100.5 follows B/BI, “empereur des Rommains” [emperor of the Romans].
14 Sybylle the prophetisse. On Christine’s use of the Cumaean Sibyl, see Scrope Explanatory Note 100.10. Neither English translator names the Sibyl as the Cumaean Sibyl; the Bibell translator adds the identification of the Sibyl as a prophetess.
18 that chyld. The use of this noun suggests influence of the reading contained in DI7, which is the only consulted manuscript that inserts “enfant” [child] at this point (see Parussa, 100.22).
20–23 therfor seyth Othea . . . wyse woman. On the implications of the Bibell translator inserting this additional, explicit defense of women’s wisdom, see Schieberle, Feminized Counsel, pp. 188–89.
LYTLE BIBELL OF KNYGHTHOD: TEXTUAL NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: B1: London, British Library, Harley 4431; Bühler: Scrope, Epistle of Othea, ed. Bühler; Gordon: The Epistle of Othea to Hector: A ‘Lytil Bibell of Knughthod’, ed. Gordon; MS: British Library Harley 838 [base manuscript]; Parussa: Christine de Pizan, Epistre Othea, ed. Parussa; V: Vulgate Bible (from drbo.org).
1 The. There is space for an initial capital, with guide letter t, the height of four lines.
2 myght. MS, Gordon: mygh.
5 world. MS, Gordon: word.
6 governans. So MS. Gordon: governauns.
8 were. MS, Gordon: where.
17 liffly. So MS. Gordon: liff by.
18 Vegetatyffe. So Gordon. MS: Vegllatyffe (?). Gordon, p. 2n18, observes that the readings for this line and the beginning of the next are “doubtful” due to MS damage.
19 whiche thre. So Gordon. MS: whice (?) followed by indistinct letters.
preserveth. MS, Gordon: preserves.
20 him. So Gordon. MS: hi, followed by blurring.
22 By vegetative. So Gordon. MS: B . . . retative visible. As Gordon, p. 2n1, notes, “A defect in the MS obliterates this part of three lines. g before the visible e, doubtful.” The scribe misspells vegetative in Prol. 18, above, too.
23 sensative. So Gordon. MS: –ative.
24 But. So Gordon. MS: B–.
sole. So MS. Go: soule.
27 every thyng is in ordre. MS, Gordon: every thy . . . ordre. This section is about ordering, so the supplied text seems logical given the small amount of damaged space and the context.
28 schold be byfore. So Gordon. MS: sch . . . fore. Gordon’s conjecture suits the context and manuscript space.
30 degres. So MS. Gordon: degrees.
32 comparacioun. So MS. Gordon: comparicoun.
39 comoun. So MS. Gordon: comen.
45 mey. So MS. Gordon: mey.
46 surmontyth. MS, Gordon: surmontyht.
47 In. MS:
Jn, with In inserted above the line.
51 comparasoun. MS: comparacoun.
54 schold. So MS. Gordon: shold.
58, 59 in heven, Divers. As Gordon, p. 3n15 and n16, notes, these words are “written over imperfect erasure.”
63 ordred. So MS. Gordon: ordered.
67 wherby. So MS. Gordon: whereby.
68 shew. So MS. Gordon: schew.
70 comparasoun. MS, Gordon: comparacoun.
74 hys. So MS. Gordon: hye.
84 purpose. MS, Gordon: purpoosse.
91 he. So MS. Gordon: omits.
97 wey. So MS. Gordon: way.
101 are. So Gordon. MS: as.
109 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
110 wey. So MS. Gordon: way.
113 thyrd. So Gordon. MS: thyd.
122 knyghthod. So Gordon. MS: knghthod.
134 reproche. MS: the c appears to be written over an r or y.
142 moralyse. So Gordon. MS: moralye.
147 for certeyn. So Gordon. MS: fo . . . c . . . teyn, blurred.
149 manheed. Gordon is silent. MS blurred, with h and plausible e visible. My conjecture suits the context and the rhyme scheme in which an –ed ending is barely visible in Proh.152. This stanza and the first line of the next are substantially damaged.
150 mater found. So G, Gordon. MS blurred, with –ter fo- visible. Gordon’s conjecture suits the context and rhymes with ground, Proh. 148.
151 chivalrye, the chyef of manheed. MS, Gordon: . . . –ef of ma . . . My conjecture is not certain, but it is plausible, given the context and other typical poetic praises of manhood, plus there is a barely visible descending stroke before –ef.
152 whose fame ferr hath sprede. Gordon: wh . . . reed. MS: wh . . . ferr ?a(e?)th sprede. Line 152 is the most obscured by damage to the manuscript, and the letters between wh and ferr in particular are irrecoverable. My conjecture is based on the few discernible letter forms and the immediate context of praising Hector, plus the work’s broader interest in renown. Gordon’s proposed line ends in reed, anticipating content aligned with the booke of the next line, but it neglects other clearly visible letter forms and the typical construction of Babyngton’s d’s and e’s.
153 whom. MS: whoum, with the w written over an h.
knyghthod. So Gordon. MS: k . . . hod.
155 age. Gordon: age . . . MS: damaged, with a visible and the remainder of the line illegible.
156 the goddes. So Gordon. MS: damaged, þ and a lower loop for the g barely visible.
158 corage. So MS. Gordon: courage.
1 Othea. MS: Space left for an initial, with guide letter o, the height of two lines of text.
13 feynyng. MS: the e is written over a y or r.
24 eyre. So Gordon. MS: eyse.
40 I. MS: followed by
42 overthrowe. MS: w written over a blurred letter.
52 myghte. MS: e written over a y.
57 Othea. MS: Space left for an initial, with guide letter o.
59 the gretest. So Gordon. MS: & gretest.
60 seigneoriez. MS, Gordon: seignorize.
world. MS, Gordon: word.
61 Alysaundre. So Gordon. MS: the last three letters are overwritten and indistinct.
63 we. MS, Gordon: whe.
65 wheropon. So Gordon. MS: wheopon.
wer. MS, Gordon: wher.
67 ladies. MS, Gordon: lades.
68 mencioun. MS:
un at the end of a line.
69 whyll. MS, Gordon: wyll.
71 florysched. So MS. Gordon: floryshed.
72 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
75 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
wer. MS, Gordon: wher.
we. MS, Gordon: whe.
77 wherof. MS: werheroff. Gordon: whereoff.
78 Othea. So Gordon. MS: Othe.
79 hereafter. So Gordon. MS: heafter.
81 story. So Gordon. MS: sory.
86–87 philosophre Arystotle. MS: philosophre
87 hyt. So MS. Gordon: hytt.
90 To1. MS: space left for initial, with guide letter t.
95 plesur. So MS. Gordon: plesure.
96 wyche. So MS. Gordon: whyche.
made. MS: d written over k.
97 to. MS, Gordon: omit.
98–99 wherthoro hytt mey. So Gordon. MS: wherthoro hytt mey wherthoro hytt mey.
100 wych. So MS. Gordon: wyche.
102 of. MS: two letters crossed out at the end of the line.
103 world. MS: l written over a d.
104 ar. MS: r written over an s.
106 wych. So MS. Gordon: wyche.
108 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
comparisoun. So Gordon. MS: compariosoun.
109 therfore. So MS. Gordon: therefore.
111 heer. MS, Gordon: her.
112 cundytour. MS, Gordon: cundyth.
116 lyghtly. So Gordon. MS: lyghty, with t written over an l.
120 te. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler, V. MS: omits.
121 etc. MS: et cetera, indicated by an et symbol and a c with suspension mark. Gordon: &c.
capitulo iio. MS, Gordon: capitlo iio.
9 stans. Gordon: stanþ. MS: stanþ with þ’s loop blotted (corrected?). Gordon reads it as a thorn, but the scribe has not used thorn at the end of a word elsewhere.
12 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
13 wo. MS, Gordon: who.
29 hathe. So MS. Gordon: hath.
31 Chyrche. MS: the second c is written over an l.
34 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
2 werre. MS:
20 Grekes. MS: word after beginning with s, crossed out.
33 rampant. Gordon: raumpaunt. MS: ramp . . . t, with blotted letters, likely an a and suspension mark for n.
42 Whyle. MS, Gordon: Wyle.
48 to1. MS: after this term, the scribe miscopies a word, ending in –blez, and crosses it out.
50 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
52 an. So Gordon. MS: aa.
knyght. MS, Gordon: knytgh.
54 prouessez. MS, Gordon: prouessz.
world. MS, Gordon: word.
58 stronge. Gordon: strong.
59 entreprysys. Gordon, p. 18n7, calls this reading “doubtful.”
to. MS: letter crossed out afterwards.
64 prowes. MS: proauess, with e written over the first s.
66 and. MS: & written over or.
67 withoute. So MS. Gordon: withowte.
69 vertew. So MS. Gordon: verteu.
71 wyche. MS, Gordon: omit.
77 vobis vicistis. So MS, B1. Gordon: vobis, et vicistis.
9 people. So MS. Gordon: peopde.
19 of synne. MS:
þer of synne.
20 spekyth. So MS. Gordon: speketh.
poetez. So MS. Gordon: poetz.
22 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
ryghtwysnes. So Gordon. MS: ryghwysnes.
27 allmyghty. MS, Gordon: allmyght.
34 help. MS: followed by an h.
4 continuelly. So MS. Gordon: contynuelly.
5 perisched. MS: written above
10 opteygne. MS:
15 reson. MS:
16 boke. So Gordon. MS: bole.
17 was. So Gordon. MS: omits.
21 knyghthod. So MS. Gordon: knyghthood.
23 discomfetyd. So MS. Gordon: discomfeytd.
30 londys. So MS. Gordon: landys.
31 world. MS, Gordon: word.
35 moralizacioun. MS: last two letters blotted.
resembled to. MS: resembled by to.
38 throne. MS, Gordon: trone.
40 goode. So MS. Gordon: good.
44 trustyth. MS, Gordon: trustytht.
45 Salomoun. So MS, Gordon. Parussa: le sage. Scrope: the wiseman.
9 thei. So Gordon. MS: þe.
10 fore. Gordon: for.
15 therfore. Gordon: therfor.
25 he sent. So Gordon. MS: he se sent.
28 Gospell. So Gordon. MS: golpell.
5 schamful povert. So Gordon. MS: schamul povert.
10 metall. So MS. Gordon: matall.
16 bycause. MS, Gordon: by.
17 goddes. So MS. Gordon: goodes.
23 sey. So MS. Gordon: say.
24 hyttself. So Gordon. MS: hyttsell.
11 was2. MS, Gordon: whas.
15 for as myche. MS, Gordon: for myche.
28 we. MS, Gordon: whe.
29 mende. So Gordon. MS: mede.
32 iudicia. So MS. Gordon: iudcia.
14 knyght. So MS. Gordon: hnyght.
15 trewe. So MS. Gordon: trew.
16 we. MS, Gordon: whe.
21 butt. So MS. Gordon: but.
of trouth. So Gordon, Bühler. MS: omits. Parussa: de verité.
22 stedfast. MS: ste written over tr.
10 name. MS:
13 knyght. MS, Gordon: knytgh.
18 he sent. So Gordon. MS: sey sent.
20 nott. MS: a macron over the o is cancelled.
10 lovyth. So MS. Gordon: loveth.
18 oure. So MS. Gordon: our.
28 Wherfore. So MS. Gordon: Wherfor.
30 spiritualia. So V. MS, Gordon: spiritalia.
2 us. MS, Gordon: hus.
8 Wedunsdey. So MS. Gordon: Wedensday.
12 wherfore. So MS. Gordon: wherfor.
15 langage. MS: langage
helpyth myche toward honour so þat.
17 is. So Gordon. MS: omits.
24 prechoure. So MS. Gordon: prechour.
1 that. So Gordon. MS: thar.
8 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
werthorow. So MS. Gordon: wherthorow.
19 knyght. MS, Gordon: knytgh.
23 helthe. MS:
25 Paule. So MS. Gordon: omits.
inpossibile. So MS. V, Gordon: inpossible.
1 knytt. MS, Gordon: knett.
8 Pallas. MS, Gordon: Paulas.
15 good. So Gordon. MS: godd.
18 of the. MS: þe inserted above the line.
19 wysedam. So MS. Gordon: wysedom.
20 sey. So MS. Gordon: say.
22 withowt. So Gordon. MS: with.
11 whyll. MS, Gordon: wyll.
14 vygorosly. MS: s written over an o.
15, 17 vertuose. So MS. Gordon: vertouse.
16 knyght. MS: followed by an h.
20 prowes. MS: s written over an r.
where. So MS. Gordon: wher.
28 Charitas. MS: –as written over –es.
4 daungere. So MS. Gordon: daunger.
9 fore. So MS. Gordon: for.
butt. So MS. Gordon: but.
hyreselfe. MS: hereselfe. Gordon: hyrselfe.
10 hereselffe. So MS. Gordon: hyr-selffe.
14 victoryose. MS, Gordon: victorye.
15 be sett. MS, Gordon: & sett.
20 asches. MS: afterward, be inserted above the line and cancelled.
21 hymselfe. So Gordon. MS: in selfe.
arrogauncye. So MS. Gordon: arrogaunce.
25 Job. MS:
1 Athamas. So MS. Gordon: Athames.
3 Was. MS, Gordon: Whas.
8 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
Yno. MS, Gordon: Yvo.
14 myche. So MS. Gordon: muche.
15 were. MS, Gordon: where.
19 hyr. So Gordon. MS: hys.
23 her. So Gordon. MS: here.
24 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
28 diverse. So MS. Gordon: deverse.
30 dishereted. So Gordon. MS: disheted.
42 wherin. So MS. Gordon: wherein.
43 yf hytt. So Gordon. MS: hytt omitted.
10 envye. So Gordon. MS: enye.
15 entred. So MS. Gordon: entered.
16 her. So Gordon. MS: here.
17 his. MS, Gordon: hiis.
as hard. So Gordon. MS: as as hard.
18 became. MS, Gordon: become.
29 wurschyp. MS: s inserted. Gordon: wurshyp, with s written over c.
30 he be. MS: he he. Gordon: he.
9 his. MS, Gordon: hiis.
11 his forhed . . . his sotelté. MS, Gordon: hiis forhed . . . hiis eye.
was. MS, Gordon: whas.
12 his eye. MS, Gordon: hiis eye.
14–15 his eye . . . his wurschypp, his land, his ryght. MS, Gordon: hiis eye . . . hiis wurschypp, hiis land, hiis ryght.
17 hys. So MS. Gordon: hiis.
20 mans soule. MS, Gordon: man soule.
21 not. MS: inserted above the line.
24 to2. So Gordon. MS: omits.
12 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
30 Plato. MS: Plato Plato.
30–31 He that. So Gordon. MS: that omitted.
38 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
wery. MS, Gordon: where.
42 worlde were. MS, Gordon: worde where.
covetose. So Gordon. MS: coveose.
43 therfor. So Gordon. MS: þerfo.
5 hys. MS, Gordon: hiis.
13 resonable. So MS. Gordon: reasonable.
21 interitus. So MS, Parussa, Bühler, V. Gordon: interituss.
3 ymages. MS: m written over ga.
9 fylthe. MS: y written over e.
15 and. So Gordon. MS: omits.
17 stode by. MS: stode he by.
18 he. MS, Gordon: omit.
23 significaciouns. MS, Gordon: signicaciouns.
26 petuose. MS: p written over m.
30 hym. MS, Gordon: her.
33 armes. MS:
39 flame. So Gordon. MS: fame.
10 lady. MS:
the. MS, Gordon: omit.
12 her in. So MS. Gordon: herein.
21 crystined. So MS. Gordon: crystmed.
8 lady. MS:
15–16 Moralyté. MS: e written over y.
12 eschew. MS: escew. Gordon: estew.
9 were. MS, Gordon: where.
20 th’entent. So MS. Gordon: thenent.
30 allthowgh. MS, Gordon: allþowth.
31 owte. MS:
6 hys1. MS, Gordon: hiis.
7 nott. So Gordon. MS: nost, with the descender of the tall s crossed out.
18 felowes. MS: es written over s and a portion of the w.
13 that. MS, Gordon: at. As Gordon, p. 51n22, notes, “the MS shows some evidence of the loss of initial þ in þat.” See also the notes to 46.42, 70.31, 80.21, 85.13, 92.21.
16 gode. So Gordon. MS: gade.
23 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
23–24 He had. So Gordon. MS: he he had.
13 hys verteus. MS, Gordon: hiis verteus.
20 Yo. So Gordon. MS: þe.
26 lettres. So Gordon. MS: suspension mark over lres.
30 Hys. MS, Gordon: hiis.
31 artycle. So Gordon. MS: artytle.
32 Bartholeme. MS: Bartholom. Gordon: Bartholomew.
7 Wherfore. So MS. Gordon: Wherfor.
16–17 her . . . her1. MS, Gordon: here . . . here.
23 thorow. So MS. Gordon: thoro.
28 not. So MS. Gordon: nott.
29 lovere. So MS. Gordon: lover.
32 hyr. So Gordon. MS: hys.
45 ground to. MS, Gordon: ground off to.
8 strengthe. MS, Gordon: strenghthe.
19 specialy. So MS. Gordon: specially.
3 enchaunte. So Gordon. MS: enchaunce.
32.11, 12 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
11 butt. So MS. Gordon: but.
12 was. MS, Gordon: whas.
14 mouthe. MS: mouhhe, with t written over the first h.
15 Chyrch. So MS. Gordon: chyrche.
16 ministrez. MS, Gordon: ministrz.
7 hys. MS: y written over jj (?). Gordon: hijs.
12 god. MS: d written over another letter.
13 syngulere. So MS. Gordon: synguler.
14 devoute. So MS. Gordon: devowte.
mey. So MS. Gordon: may.
15 praere. MS: praeres, with final s struck out.
20 beyng. So MS. Gordon: beyyng.
21 world. MS, Gordon: word.
22 Thadee. So MS. Gordon: Thadde.
1 hede. So MS. Gordon: heed.
11 world. MS, Gordon: word.
13 vycez. MS: vycz. Gordon: vicz.
15 oure. So MS. Gordon: our.
10 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
11 rathure. So MS. Gordon: rathur.
16 almyghty. So MS. Gordon: almyght.
heven. So Gordon. MS: hebrew or hebren.
3 the. So Gordon. MS: þou.
4 feythfull. MS, Gordon: feytfull.
6 suyche a freinde. So MS. Gordon: suche a friende.
12 wounded. So Gordon. MS: wonded.
14 he. So MS. Gordon: is.
15 persoun. So Gordon. MS: psoun.
16 helpyth. So Gordon. MS: helpylth.
hyt. So MS. Gordon: hytt.
18 Rabyoun. So MS. Gordon: Sabyon.
28 the. So Gordon. MS: þat.
30 in. So MS. Gordon: is.
3 manace. So MS. Gordon: menace.
8 was2. MS, Gordon: whas.
13 that yf. MS, Gordon: yf.
25 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
7 the storye. So MS. Gordon: þou forþe (Gordon has mistaken þe for þou, an st ligature that bleeds into the o for an f, and the subsequent y for a þ).
21 wyche was. So Gordon. MS: wyche was wyche was.
25 at. So Gordon. MS:
made. MS: d written over a y or þ.
29 withoute. MS:
under, with withoute inserted above the line. Gordon: withowte.
42, 44 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
45–46 hyre . . . hyreselfe. So MS. Gordon: hyr . . . hyr-selfe.
50 thynk. So Gordon. MS: thynghy, with k written over the g.
52 thynge. So Gordon. MS: thynges.
55 whyll. MS, Gordon: wyll.
2 ey. MS: ff ey.
3, 5 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
13 an. MS, Gordon: a.
17 owethe. So MS. Gordon: oweth.
18 done. MS: do written over another letter and a y.
21 slee. MS: Gordon, p. 66n25, notes that the last letter is “not clear.” It appears to have been written over a u or w.
26 the. MS: the scribe has crossed out a vertical stroke following the.
28 Qui gladio percutit, gladio peribit. So MS, Gordon. Parussa, Bühler, V: Qui in gladio occiderit oportet eum gladio occidi.
1 Putte. So MS. Gordon: Putt.
3 nott. So MS. Gordon: not.
5 For. MS: Ffor h.
11 Qwene Eccuba. So MS. Gordon: qween Eccuba.
13 and. So Gordon. MS: omits.
17 with. MS:
27 Morte. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler. MS: Non.
5 froward. So MS. Gordon: forward.
9 himselfe. MS, Gordon: in selfe. Parussa: lui meismes.
11 manslaughtere. So MS. Gordon: manslaughter.
16 thefte. MS: theffe, with a t written over the second f.
1 plesaunz. So MS. Gordon: pleasaunz.
4 aryse. MS:
7 And. So MS. Gordon: omits.
11 Leandre. So MS. Gordon: Leander.
acustomed. So MS. Gordon: accustomed.
16 Leandere. So MS. Gordon: Leander.
22 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
29 that. MS: þ written over h.
30 seyd. MS: under seyd. The scribe wrote an s over the u, in an attempt to correct his error before apparently giving up and writing seyd afresh. This gives evidence that at least some corrections were made as the scribe was copying.
31, 35 neyboure. So MS. Gordon: neybour.
35 thrydly. So MS. Gordon: thyrdly.
9 Priamus. So Gordon. MS: Priaus.
11 camp. So MS. Gordon: cam. The p is atypical, and the loop does not connect to the descender, as if hastily added.
14 don. MS: do, followed by a u with a canceled suspension mark.
don to the havyng.
15 and yf. So MS. Gordon: any yf.
the Grekys. So Gordon. MS: þei Grekys.
22 nott. So MS. Gordon: not.
23 make. MS, Gordon: made.
4 grett gladnes. So MS. Gordon: grete gladness.
8 schewyng. So MS. Gordon: schewing.
14 Cygnus. MS: the c appears written over another letter, or as Gordon, p. 72n24, suggests, “blotted.”
20 people. MS: pepple, with the descender of the middle p crossed out.
22 in us. MS, Gordon: in hus.
cause us. MS: cause hys. Gordon: cause hus.
26 by. MS: y by.
27 Psaulter. MS, Gordon: phsaulter.
7 women. So MS, with e written over another letter. Gordon: woman.
10 is. So MS. Gordon: omits.
15 contré. MS: the first letter is blotted and indistinct.
this. So MS. Gordon: the.
18 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
18–19 the contrarie. So MS. Gordon: the omitted.
19 phesicioun. MS, Gordon: phicician. I have adopted the spelling from 39.8.
27 schewed. MS: dyd schewed.
28 the lande. So Gordon, Bühler. MS: omits. Parussa: la terre.
3 world. MS, Gordon: word.
9 that. MS, Gordon: omit.
knyghtes. So Gordon. MS: kngghtes.
22 brother. MS: a descending stroke before brother is crossed out.
25 that. MS, Gordon: omit.
27 myschyeff. So MS. Gordon: myscheff.
38 every. So Gordon. MS: ever.
42 that be. MS, Gordon: at be.
43 meditacioun and. MS: & written over f.
1 whyll. MS, Gordon: wyll.
6 thee. MS: he, with likely attempt to write t before the h. Gordon: he.
9 unsittyng. So MS. Gordon: unfittyng.
13 to understand. So MS. Gordon: to omitted.
15 of1. MS: gof.
18 and. MS, Gordon: omit.
19 oure. So MS. Gordon: our.
21 Werfore. So MS. Gordon: Wherfore.
22 What. So MS. Gordon: Whatt.
23 synnere. So MS. Gordon: synner.
25 thus. So Gordon. MS: þis.
26 et. So MS, Gordon. V: vel.
27–28 immaculati et incontaminati Jhesu Crysti. So MS, Gordon [Gordon: incontaminato]. V: immaculati Christi, et incontaminati.
6 glade. So Gordon. MS: glade nott.
7 wanteth. So Gordon. MS: wantheth.
11 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
17 schewere. So MS. Gordon: schewer.
21 afture. So MS. Gordon: aftur.
26 mannes. MS, Gordon: man.
27 throughe. So MS. Gordon: through.
8 fore. So MS. Gordon: for.
9 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
10 sekyng. So MS. Gordon: seking.
11 prowes. So Gordon. MS: prorowes, due to a pro abbreviation.
15 is. MS, Gordon: hys.
17, 20 werldly. MS, Gordon: werdly.
22 lyghtlyer. So Gordon. MS: lyghtlyere.
23 eye. MS: yee eye.
24 butt. So MS. Gordon: but.
25 werldly. MS, Gordon: werdly.
28 camelum. So Gordon, V. MS: calmelum.
12 goe. So MS. Gordon: goo.
13 he kept. MS, Gordon: kept.
17 ooste. MS:
22 prechoure. So MS. Gordon: prechour.
27 eere. MS:
29 a. MS: a descender before a is crossed out.
seke. So Gordon. MS: sele.
stomake. So MS. Gordon: stomacke.
30 by. MS:
1 Lete. So MS. Gordon: Let.
6 meyst. MS: neyst meyst.
12 phillosophre. MS: –re written over e.
18 Victour. So MS. Gordon: Vctour.
19 withowte1. So MS. Gordon: withowt.
2 messangeere. So MS. Gordon: messaugeere.
9, 12 kestyng . . . . kest. So MS. Gordon reads bestyng . . . . best in the MS, but one can just distinguish the loop of the k in each instance that distinguishes the letter form from the b.
9, 11 berre. So MS. Gordon: berr.
10 the strengthe. So Gordon. MS: the strenghhe.
11 Wherfore. So MS. Gordon: Wherfor.
16 pride. MS: d written over a g, the lower portion of which is crossed out.
24 Salamon. So MS, Gordon. There is no parallel in Parussa or Bühler.
25 salus. So MS, Parussa, V. Bühler: omits. Gordon: ealus.
And alsoe. So MS. Gordon: And alsoe the commune prouerb. Gordon inserts a translation of Christine’s le proverb commun.
11 in. MS, Gordon: en.
12 lyff. So MS. Gordon: lyffe.
15 as. MS:
coude. So MS. Gordon: koude.
17 hys. So MS. Gordon: hiis.
18 lovere. So MS. Gordon: lover.
19 another. So Gordon. MS: anoþ.
20 Werfore . . . Ectour. So MS. Gordon: Wherfore . . . Echour.
25 ageyn. MS:
34 ryver. So Gordon, Bühler. MS: omits. Parussa: ruissel.
7 foule, and man. So MS. Gordon: best & felow man. Gordon mistakes foule [bird] for foulo, which he takes to be a corruption of felow, and emends.
15 therof. MS:
off h þerof.
19 throughe. MS: u written over an o or a; the scribe also uncharacteristically uses a small r here.
20 reprove. So MS, with a pro– symbol. Gordon: repreve.
21 by. So MS. Gordon: be.
24 withoute. So MS. Gordon: withowte.
35 put. MS: p written over an h or b.
Werfor. So MS. Gordon: Wherfor.
41,42 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
42 scheld. So Gordon. MS: schell.
47 werldly. MS, Gordon: werdly.
restreyneth. So Gordon. MS: restreyn.
48 enlarge. MS:
14 whyll. MS, Gordon: wyll.
16 goddessez. So MS. Gordon: goddesses.
21 Unethes. So Gordon. MS: Anetes, mistaken for the name of the philosopher. Parussa: a peine. Bühler: unnethe.
3 syttyng. So MS. Gordon: fyttyng.
5 hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
8 Femynye. MS, Gordon: Femynyne.
10 conquered. MS: con– written over previous strokes.
host. So Gordon. MS: bost.
11 werof. MS: e written over a thorn, o written over an f.
15 Cyrus. MS: sl Cyrus.
17 barell. So MS. Gordon: barrell.
19 Cyrus. MS: the scribe has written and canceled a stroke before Cyrus.
21 discomfetyd. So MS. Gordon: discomfeted.
24 strengthe. So Gordon. MS: strenghhe.
26 knyght. So Gordon. MS: knygh.
dispyse. MS: s struck out before dispyse.
29 or. So MS. Gordon: omits.
2 woo. MS, Gordon: whoo.
5 Medee. MS, Gordon: Mede.
6 wyl byyond hyr wytte. MS, Gordon: wytte byyond hyr wyl.
9 were. MS, Gordon: where.
hyre. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
13 therfore. MS: þer þerfore.
14 an. MS, Gordon: a.
her. So MS. Gordon: hyr.
15 example. MS: x written over another letter.
18 not. MS, Gordon: omit.
19 not. So MS. Gordon: nott.
22 world. MS, Gordon: word.
2, 6 Cupydo. So MS. Gordon: Cupyde.
7 Behoveth. MS:
Bhe behoveth. Gordon: She behoveth.
8 woman. MS: wo inserted above the line.
10 her. So Gordon. MS: here.
14 And therfor. So Gordon. MS: syfor.
19, 20 worldly . . . worldly . . . werdly. MS, Gordon: wordly . . . wordly . . . werdly.
21 we. MS, Gordon: whe. MS: whe written over my.
mey. MS: written over nor.
15, 22 goddessez. MS, Gordon: goddessz.
26 unsyttyng. So MS. Gordon: unfyttyng.
30 be. So Gordon. MS: omits.
32 Psalter. MS: s written over an l or h.
34 Non in contencione. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler, V. MS: In in contencione.
etc. MS: et cetera, indicated by an et symbol and a c with a suspension mark. Gordon: &c.
11 toke. So MS. Gordon: take.
12 slow and. So MS. Gordon: so thei. Gordon, p. 96n16, notes a “defect in the MS” here, but the words are visible.
19 that. So Gordon. MS: omits.
11 hereself. So MS. Gordon: herself.
12, 14 here. So MS. Gordon: her.
13 he2. So Gordon. MS: sche.
17 Juno to Semell. MS: Semell to Juno. Gordon: Juno to Semelle.
Jupyter. So MS. Gordon: Jupiter.
19 had graunted. So Gordon. MS: & graunted.
24 dyd. MS, Gordon: ded.
30 whatso. MS, Gordon: watso.
bee. So MS. Gordon: be.
31 Austyn. So MS. Gordon: Austeyn.
not. So MS. Gordon: nott.
31, 33 We . . . we . . . we. MS, Gordon: Whe . . . whe . . . whe.
8 Prudence. So Gordon. MS: Dyane.
9 delyte not. MS:
desyre not delyte not.
11 Therfor. MS: þ with abbreviation mark written over another letter.
13 knyght. So Gordon. MS: knght.
17 wyse2. MS: y written over an s.
18 ociosum. So MS, Gordon. V: otiosa.
2 strengthe. So Gordon. MS: strenghhe.
parage. Gordon: perage. MS uses the p with crossed descender, a suspension mark for par or per.
6 wyche. So MS. Gordon: omits.
14 came afterward. So Gordon. MS: came afterward come.
26 Salomon. So MS. Gordon: Saloman.
4–5 And that . . . . all to-schake. So MS. Gordon flips these lines. Gordon, p. 101n4, notes that “lines 4 and 5 are transposed in the MS.” Gordon’s ordering would follow Christine’s four-line texte more closely, but it assumes that the Bibell translator would have done so.
8 wych. So MS. Gordon: wyche.
15 Sedechye. So MS. Gordon: Sedechre.
16 sone. So MS. Gordon: soone.
23 saying. So Gordon. MS: sayeng, with the e blotted and possibly marked for removal.
24 bestie. So MS, Gordon, Parussa, Bühler. V: ei.
15 was. MS, Gordon: swas.
23, 25 werre. So MS. Gordon: werr.
24 verteus. So MS. Gordon: vertues.
25 enemy. So MS. Gordon: enemye.
26 Lord. So Gordon. MS: omits.
3 sodeynly. So MS. Gordon: sodenly.
10 fowles. So MS. Gordon: foules.
12 harpyng. So MS. Gordon: harypng.
17 ocupacioun. So MS. Gordon: occupacioun.
19 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
delytes. So Gordon. MS: tes (the scribe has apparently confused the dly of the previous words with those required for delytes). Parussa: delices charnelles. Bühler: fleishli delites.
23 fleschly. So MS. Gordon: fleshly.
25 world. So MS. Gordon: word.
No Textual Notes.
12 by the forest. MS, Gordon: by in the forest.
13 nakyd. So MS. Gordon: naked.
goddessez. MS: ez written over z.
17 yonge. So MS. Gordon: yong.
20 transformed. So MS. Gordon: transfformed.
25 towounded. So Gordon. MS: towonded.
35 ygnoraunce. So MS. Gordon: ignoraunce.
41 eyre. So MS. Gordon: eyr.
42 we. MS, Gordon: whe.
11 when sche. So Gordon. MS: when he sche.
19 and. MS, Gordon: omit.
22 recover. MS:
27 generally. So Gordon. MS: gnerally.
30 folye. So MS. Gordon: foyle.
31 as. MS: Gordon, p. 108n22, observes “as, written over at,” but it seems equally possible that at is written over as, in another instance of the loss of þ before þat.
23 straung. So MS. Gordon: staung.
29 knyght. So Gordon. MS: knghht, with yg written over gh.
33 thynk. MS: k corrected over a g.
whyl. MS, Gordon: wyl.
10 and. So MS. Gordon: omits.
10, 23 goddessez. MS, Gordon: goddessz.
26 cam. MS, Gordon: omit. This clause is original, so there are no parallels in other versions of the Epistre Othea, but a verb is needed.
32, 35, 36 we . . . we . . . . we. MS, Gordon: whe . . . whe . . . . whe.
33 whatt. MS, Gordon: watt.
1 Truste. So MS. Gordon: Trust.
7 slypper. So MS. Gordon: slipper.
9 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
15 knyght. So Gordon. MS: knygh.
17 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
1 make. MS: w make.
4 better. MS: –er symbol written over an –es symbol.
20 whos. So Gordon. MS: whom.
20–21 whom contemplacioun is figured. MS: whom contemplacion is. Gordon: whos contemplacioun.
22 auferretur. MS: au, written over af.
1 Sett. So Gordon. MS: Lett.
4 Wherfor. So MS. Gordon: Wherfor.
9 mervelosely. MS:
all h mervelosely.
10 slew. So Gordon. MS: slow.
11 myche. MS: myches, with final s struck out.
19 t’aweyte. MS, Gordon: th’aweyte. Parussa: gaiter. Bühler: to aspie.
nott. MS: a macron over the o is crossed out.
26 smal. MS: inserted above the line.
28 own dedes. MS, Gordon: oun dedes.
30 in oculo tuo. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler, V. MS: in tuo.
7 brought. So Gordon. MS: brough.
8 brother to. So MS. Gordon: broþer of.
14 Whoo. MS:
Wurschyppeth wysed men & v Whoo.
16 conceylled. MS, Gordon: conceyll. Parussa: desconseilloit. Bühler: counceiled.
20 Poule, “Fidelis. So MS. Gordon: Paule: Fedelis.
21 come. So MS. Gordon: com.
beware. So MS. Gordon: before.
26–27 dolore . . . humilitate. So V. MS, Parussa, Bühler: dolorem . . . humilitatem. Gordon emends to dolorem . . . humilitate.
13 nor. MS: for, with nor inserted above the line.
comforted. So MS (by abbreviation). Gordon: conforted.
23 fore as myche as. MS: fore as myche
& as. Gordon: for as myche as.
30 or. So MS. Gordon: of.
conceyle. So Gordon. MS: –ce– blotted. Parussa: conseil. Bühler: counceil.
33 hys . . . hys. MS, Gordon: hiis.
worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
7 Priamus. MS: an ri abbreviation is barely distinct from the p.
11 men. So Gordon. MS: omits.
20 All. So MS. Gordon: Al.
hyt. So Gordon. MS: cyt.
21 that that is. MS, Gordon: þat at is.
23 is to. MS: is se to.
26 Sapienciam. So Gordon. MS: Spienciam.
2 malicius. So MS. Gordon: malicious.
16 that he. MS, Gordon: þat sche.
24 Poule. So MS. Gordon: Paule.
2 not. So Gordon. MS: omits. Parussa: Ne soyes dur a ottroyer / Ce que tu peus bien emploier [Do not be hard in granting / That which you may well bestow]. Bühler: Be þou nat hard for to graunt.
12 ponde. MS, Gordon: pounde.
13 nakyd. So MS. Gordon: naked.
15 her2. Gordon: her. MS: her with suspension mark or otiose stroke.
35–38 hevye and sory . . . fyrst chafed. In this section, the ink is faded and some words are more difficult to read.
8 whyle. MS, Gordon: wyle.
11 fond. So MS. Gordon: fand.
13 not. So MS. Gordon: nott.
7 thi . . . thi. MS: þat . . . þe. Gordon: þi . . . þe.
9 noortred. So MS. Gordon: nortred.
13 answere. So MS. Gordon: answer.
18 lovere. So MS. Gordon: lover.
Criseyda. So MS. Gordon: Criseyde.
21 therfore. So MS, by suspension mark. Gordon: therfor.
22 nott. So MS. Gordon: not.
27 especialy. So MS. Gordon: especially.
28 hard. MS:
perfyght to overcome hard.
5 Yf. MS, Gordon: Yeff.
7 Werfore. So MS. Gordon: Wherfore.
9 brethers. MS, Gordon: breþer. Parussa: freres. Bühler: brethir.
10 the. MS: þe written over s.
11 manhood. So MS. Gordon: manhod.
13 that that. MS, Gordon: þat at.
18 strengar. Gordon: stronger. The MS reading is indistinct; the scribe prefers strengar at 89.6.
19 it. MS: it s.
26 que. So MS, Gordon. V: est que.
8 fable. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler. MS: omits.
9 used. MS, Gordon: omit.
accused. So Gordon. MS: accussed.
19 pytuose. MS: priytuose, through a misplaced ri abbreviation. Gordon: piytuose.
24 Werfore. So MS. Gordon: werfor.
24–25 kepe well. MS: kepe well kepe well.
27 refused. MS:
28 the. So Gordon. MS: omits.
29 sermon. So MS. Gordon: sermoun.
32 holpen. So MS. Gordon: holpe. The macron over the e is obscured by the underlining of a previous line.
33 thei are. MS, Gordon: he is.
1 lawrer. So MS. Gordon: lawyer.
8, 10 whom. Gordon: whoum. MS: whoum or whon, with otiose stroke.
8 Phebus. MS: P written over s.
as. MS, Gordon: omit.
10 fouloed. MS, Gordon: fouled.
when. So Gordon. MS: omits.
17 that. MS: y and tall s, likely in anticipation of yf, corrected to þat.
18 desyre Dannes. Gordon: desyre Danne. MS: desyrez Danne.
sey. MS: a stroke after sey is crossed out. Gordon, p. 130n12, suggests a t or s.
20 Omere. MS: an initial capital h is crossed out at the beginning of the line.
cometh. MS, Gordon: comet.
22 everlastyng. MS: everhlastyng. Gordon mistakenly places the h before lyff.
24 joy. So MS. Gordon: joye.
Gregore. So MS. Gordon: Gregory.
28 see. MS, Gordon: se.
in verrey surté. So Gordon. MS: to be verrey soree. Parussa: estre assuer [to be sure]. Bühler: to be in suerte.
7 knowest. MS: a stroke with a descender before the k is crossed out.
18 a chyld. MS, Gordon: chyld.
to teche. MS, Gordon: teche. Parussa: aviser. Bühler: may advise.
20 cometh. MS, Gordon: comet.
22 draw us. MS, Gordon: draw hus.
24 Paule. So MS. Gordon: Poule.
5 were. So MS. Gordon: wer.
6 towre. So MS. Gordon: toure.
on. So MS. Gordon: of.
7 his. MS, Gordon: is.
8 strengthe. MS: strenghhe. Gordon: srengthe.
13 strengthe. So Gordon. MS: strenghhe, with t written over the first h.
16 is. MS, Gordon: is it.
20 world. MS, Gordon: word.
though. MS: þ written over l.
2 tyme I. So MS. Gordon: tymez.
11 bateyll. MS: t written over y or þ. Gordon: batteyll.
13 myght. So Gordon. MS: mygh.
17 freindes. So MS. Gordon: freyndes (reading a loop from an l in the next line as y).
18 Whyle. MS, Gordon: Wyle.
the. So Gordon. MS: þou.
22 nor. So Gordon. MS: þen. Parussa: ne moins certain [nor less certain]. Bühler: omits.
23 uncerteyn. So MS. Gordon: uncertyn.
9 And therfore. So Gordon. MS: & þerfore & þerfore.
Othea. So Gordon. MS: Othe.
12 arow. Gordon: arew. The MS reading is debatably arow or arew.
18 cloos alwey. MS, Gordon: close is alwey.
19 hall. So Gordon. MS: ha written over other letters. Bühler: halle. Gordon, p. 135n8, notes, “Reading doubtful,” but each letter form is visible, and oppen hall plausibly translates the French hale ouverte [open room].
every wey. MS: ever wey. Gordon: everwey. The MED does not attest everwey or ever as an adjective.
10 plesaunt. So MS. Gordon: pleasant.
12 smote. MS, Gordon: smete.
13 And for. So MS. Gordon: And omitted.
17 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
18 fyer. MS, Gordon: feer.
20 desireth, yet. So MS. Gordon: desyreth, yet.
21 that that. MS, Gordon: þat at.
22–23 Sent Paule th’Appostle. So MS. Gordon: Seynt Paule thapostle.
2 where. So MS. Gordon: wher.
3 ruste. So MS. Gordon: rust.
8 see. So MS. Gordon: se.
16 Achillez. So MS. Gordon: Achilles.
19 whose. MS, Gordon: wose.
22 love. MS: lofe or lefe crossed out before love.
Achylles. So MS. Gordon: Achilles.
23 an old. MS, Gordon: a old.
29 Whether. MS, Gordon: Weþer.
1 of. MS:
5 thought. So Gordon. MS: though.
11 weyre. MS, Gordon: werre.
13 whatt. MS, Gordon: watt.
16 sermone. MS, Gordon: sarmone.
20 adversitees. So MS. Gordon: adversites.
21 Poule. So MS. Gordon: Paule.
ad. So Gordon, Parussa, Bühler, V. MS: omits.
non quod sumus. So MS, Parussa, Bühler. MS: non written over. Gordon, V: non quod simus.
22 cogitare ex nobis. MS: –re and no– are indistinct, and written over other letters.
4 in. MS: written over & .
myschyef. So MS. Gordon: myscheyf.
12 counseyll. MS: s and e compressed. Gordon: counsyll.
16 Feygnyng. MS, Gordon: Fyghtyng. Parussa: Barat [deceit]. Bühler: Deceit. I have adopted Gordon’s suggestion, p. 139n16, that “Perhaps [fyghtyng is] a scribal error for feygnyng.”
17 inconvenience. Gordon: inconvenienc. MS: inconvenient (?).
18 that is nott besy. So Gordon. MS: not omitted. Parussa: qui n’est songneux [who is not careful].
20 fyere tyll. MS: feere tyll. Gordon: feer tyl.
6 any. So MS. Gordon: my.
9 to1. MS: two letters crossed out (possibly by), and to written above the line.
11 knyghtes. So Gordon. MS: kyyghes.
14 brent. MS: brenth.
16 devocioun. MS: v written over r.
19 where. MS, Gordon: wyche. Parussa: ou. Bühler: where.
23 Chyrche. MS: second ch written over h.
6 Whoo. So MS. Gordon: Who.
8 mester. So MS. Gordon: master.
10 strengthe. So Gordon. MS: strenghhe, likely t written over first h.
11 fortune. So Gordon. MS: forgune.
15 regard. So Gordon. MS: regare.
worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
16 dampnacioun. MS:
delytz of heven dampnacioun.
17–18 hys belye her and hys soule ther. So Gordon. MS: hys belye þer & hys soule her. Parussa: ycy remplisse son ventre et yla son ame [fill the belly here and the soul there]. Bühler: þe wombe here and the soule þere.
19 worldly. MS, Gordon: wordly.
th’apocalypse. So MS. Gordon: thopocalypse.
20 tantum. So Gordon, Bühler, Parussa, V. MS omits.
9 sorserese. So Gordon. MS: sorserere.
8–10 Cyrces was . . . by the see. MS: the first three lines of the glose vary in quality, and some readings, such as ageyn toward Grece by the see are barely legible. The right side of the folio is light in some places throughout the first five lines.
17 Cyrces. So MS. Gordon: Cyces.
19 be her. So MS. Gordon: by her.
21 knyght. So Gordon. MS: knygt.
22 seyt. MS, Gordon: seyt.
24 Cyrces. So MS. Gordon: Cyces.
25 oweth. So Gordon. MS: omits.
Werfor. So MS. Gordon: Werfore.
doctour. So MS. Gordon: dectour.
29 quia. So Gordon, V. MS, Parussa, Bühler: qui.
que a foris. So Gordon, Bühler, Parussa. V: quae a foris. MS: que foris.
4 ynogh. So MS. Gordon: ynough.
7 wel as his. MS: wel as is. Gordon: well as is.
9 not. So MS. Gordon: omits.
11 comonly. So MS. Gordon: comenly.
19 excusest. So Gordon. MS: excusiest.
23 Poule. So MS. Gordon: Paule.
3 with. So MS. Gordon: in, but with an acknowledgment, p. 144n21, that in is “doubtful; perhaps with.”
6 his. MS, Gordon: is.
9 world. Gordon: werld. MS: world or werld is plausible.
10 leued mysbelevyng. MS: leued mysbelyng. Gordon: lewed mysbelevyng.
14 prophetisse. So MS. Gordon: porphetesse.
16 withowte. MS: with
inne, with owte inserted above the line.
24 that. So Gordon. MS: omits.
29 sekyth. MS: settyth. Parussa: il quiert [he seeks]. Bühler: he seekith.
30 considereth. MS, Gordon: consideret.
31 whatt it. MS: watt
he is it. Gordon: watt it.
33 concupiscencia. MS: concupiscenciam. The scribe has crossed out a suspension mark for an m. Gordon: concupiscenciam.