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LONDON, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1868.
MSS. of Langland's "Piers Plowman," 433Sir Thomas Overbury's "Wife": Collation of an Early MS., 43 Archbishop Parker's Consecration as recorded in Machyn's Diary, 435 - William Fraser, &c., 436 "Euphues and his Ephoebus" - Old Book Announcements" Nine Tailors make a Man": Norfolk Howard -Ancient Songs, &c.: a Hiut-Dowling Money, 437. QUERIES: Anonymous James Barry -Mr. Buckle's MSS.-"Crom a Boo -Anecdote of the French Revolution John Galt-Godfrey Family-Ann Lady Halkett, 1622-1699- Haris 'Chandra - Jordan's "Parochial History of Enstone"- Latin MS. Autobiography of Dr. King,
4. MS. No. 45 in University College, Oxford. It contains the prologue, the first eleven passus, and eighteen lines of a twelfth. Some of the contents is misplaced, and a portion is missing. Collated. 5. MS. IIarl. 6041 (B. M.). This is, prac
Archbishop of Dublin - Early Post Stamps-Quotations tically, an inferior duplicate of No. 2, exhibiting
Sir Andrew Chadwick
6. MS. Douce 323 (Oxford). Contains the prologue and first eleven passus. Partly collated. 7. MS. Ashmole 1468 (Oxford). Imperfect; but contains the prologue and first eleven passus, with omissions.
William Beale Beyle, otherwise Stendal - German En-
8. MS. in the Library of Lincoln's Inn. It contains the prologue, seven passus, and the greater part of the eighth, but is imperfect at the end.
Castle - Les Échelles - Mother of Anthony Grey-Eng
9. MS. Harl. 3954. This exhibits a mixture of the A and B versions, beginning like the latter, but ending like the former. It contains the pro
glish Records in the Patent Rolls- Scottish Local Histories-Eschines on Demosthenes - The " Myroure of our
Lady" Deadly Jingo-ring-Shoe-throwing at Wed-logue and eleven passus.
dings St. Woolos, &c., 448. Notes on Books, &c.
MSS. OF LANGLAND'S "PIERS PLOWMAN." As some account has lately been given of the MSS. of Chaucer in the pages of "N. & Q.," perhaps it may be useful to give a fuller and better enumeration of the numerous MSS. of Piers Plowman than has hitherto appeared in print.
The MSS. are of three classes (which I call A, B, and C), exhibiting three distinct versions of the poem, all executed, as the internal evidence shows, by the same author, whose Christian name was certainly William, and whose surname, according to a tradition which there is nothing to contradict, was Langland.
The A version was written about A.D. 1362; the B version about A.D. 1376; and the C version somewhat later, probably about A. D. 1380. To assign the date 1362 (as is often done) to any of the versions indiscriminately, is to introduce much unnecessary confusion.
The MSS. of the A class are the following: 1. The Vernon MS. in the Bodleian Library. From this, Text A of my edition was printed. It contains the prologue, ten complete passus, and part of the eleventh; being imperfect at the end.
2. MS. Harl. 875 (B. M.). One leaf is lost, and it is imperfect at the end. It terminates at 1. 144 of the eighth passus. It has been collated throughout.
3. MS. Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 14. This exhibits a mixture of the earliest and the latest versions; it contains the prologue and eleven passus of Text A, supplemented by a portion of Text C. The early portion has been collated. It supplied the part of the eleventh Passus which was missing in the Vernon MS.
10. MS. Digby 145 (Oxford). Resembles MSS.
3 and 5.
11. MS. Rawl. Poet. 137 (Oxford). Of great importance, as it is the only complete copy of the early version. It contains the prologue and all the twelve passus. The first eighteen lines of this twelfth passus resemble those in No. 4. The remaining eighty-two lines are not known (by me at least) to exist elsewhere. The twelfth passus has been copied out and printed, but is not yet published.
The MSS. of the B class are the following:
1. Laud 581 (Oxford). Perfect. From this, Text B of my edition is being printed.
2. Trin. Coll. Cam. B. 15. 17. An excellent
MS., and the one printed at length by Mr.Wright.
3. Camb. Univ. Lib. Dd. 1. 17. This resembles
No. 1 very closely indeed, but exhibits many traces of a more northern dialect. It is being collated.
4. Lansdowne 398 (B. M.); and Rawl. Poet. 38 (Oxford). The latter is a very good MS.,_but has lost about eight leaves at the beginning. Four of these leaves are still preserved in MS. Lansdowne 398. It is now being collated.
5. Oriel No. 79, Oxford. Nearly perfect, and exhibiting a good text. Collated throughout.
6. Camb. Univ. Lib. Ll. 4. 14. Nearly perfect, and followed by the unique copy of the alliterative poem on the deposition of Richard II. Practically, it is an inferior duplicate of No. 5.
7. One in the possession of Lord Ashburnham, and numbered 129. Said to be of the B type.
8. A second one in the possession of Lord
Ashburnham, and numbered 130. Of less value. Said to be of the B type. Formerly No. 129 in the collection of Dr. Adam Clarke.
9. One in the possession of II. Yates Thompson, Esq., of Liverpool.
10. One in Trinity College, Dublin. (D. 4. 12.) A late copy.
3. Camb. Univ. Lib. Dd. 3. 13. Imperfect. 4. Harl. 2376 (B. M.).
5. Laud 656 (Oxford).
6. Digby 102 (Oxford).
9. Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff. 5. 35.
10. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; No. 293. 11. Douce 104 (Oxford).
11. Bodley 814 (Oxford). An early copy, but (like the two following) exhibiting a mixture of texts. The prologue, passus 1, and part of passus 2, 12. Bibl. Reg. 18 B. xvii. (B. M.) This also stand the same as in MSS. of the C type: the contains a copy of Pierce the Ploughman's Crede. rest (with a few variations) is of the B type, and To these should be added MSS. Trin. Coll. in many long passages follows MS. Laud 581 very Cam. R. 3. 14, Harl. 6041, and Digby 145, already closely. The latter portion is now being collated. mentioned as containing a portion of the A text. 12. MS. Additional 10574 (B. M.), formerly | See Nos. 3, 5, and 10, of the set first mentioned. No. 102 in the collection of Dr. Adam Clarke. To the above forty I must add a forty-first, of The last leaf is missing, but the lost lines are the contents of which I know nothing. It was supplied in Dr. Clarke's handwriting. This agrees formerly called Heber 974, afterwards Thorpe so closely with No. 11 in date, handwriting, and 1003, and at present is MS. Phillipps 9056. I spelling, that it can hardly be doubted that the have lately heard a rumour of another one, and I one is a duplicate of the other, written by the am far from feeling sure that this catalogue is same scribe at nearly the same time. exhaustive. To any one who can add to the list I shall be very grateful. WALTER W. SKEAT. 1, Cintra Terrace, Cambridge.
13. Cotton; Caligula A. xi. (B. M.) A later copy than the two preceding, but agreeing with them so minutely that it would seem to have been copied from one or other of them.
14. Corpus Christi College, Oxford, No. 201. This exhibits so many variations from the rest that it would seem to have been written out from memory, and it can hardly be supposed to represent the genuine work of the author.
SIR THOMAS OVERBURY'S "WIFE":
MR. COLLIER (Bibl. Cat. ii. 66 et seqq.) drew attention some time ago to the corrupt state of the text of Overbury's Wife in the printed copies, 15. A copy (numbered 8252) in the possession and to the existence of MSS. of the poem capable of of Sir Thos. Phillipps. This formerly belonged restoring the true readings. I have one now before successively to Sir H. Spelman, Dr. Taylor, Mr. me, and propose to exhibit the result of a careful Gough, and Heber. Formerly called Heber 1088. comparison between it and the printed copy of A specimen from it is printed at p. xxxiv. of 1616 (ninth impression augmented). It is to be Whitaker's preface to his edition of Piers Plow-regretted that the MS. begins imperfectly. Stanzas man, which sufficiently proves it to consist of a 1-10 are missing. The readings of the MS. are mixture of B and C texts, and to be of inferior in brackets. value.
16. Camb. Univ. Lib. Gg. 4. 31. A faulty copy and of late date.
17. Caius College, Cambridge; No. 201. A transcript of Owen Rogers' edition of 1561.
The text printed by Crowley in 1550 agrees most nearly with No. 2.
The MSS. of the C class are the following:1. Cotton; Vespasian, B. xvi. (B. M.) Numerous extracts from this are given in the notes to Mr. Wright's edition of Piers Plowman.
2. A copy formerly called Heber 973, which belonged, before it came into Heber's possession, to Sir R. Smyth. It is now MS. Phillipps 8231. It was printed by Whitaker in A.D. 1813. If he printed it as incorrectly (which is probable) as he has done his extract from the Oriel MS., the number of serious errors in his edition can hardly be less than two or three thousand. Every page abounds with obvious mistakes.
St. 14, 1. 1.
St. 15, 1. 4,
St. 19, 1. 5.
But Phisicke [Not phisicke].
Tis but twixt Dust, and Dust, life's
The woorth of it is nothing that is seen,
But only that it holds a Soule within.
['Tis but 'twixt dust & dust the middle
St. 20, 1. 6.
[ye title or the name].
St. 23, 1. 3.
That's not still one, &c.
[That still hir owne, not put on with the light].
Nor glasse [Not glass].
St. 25, 1. 2.
That's watcht by her owne conscience
St. 30, 1. 2. not Learned by much Art