The Devonshire Manuscript/And now my pen alas wyth wyche I wryte

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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To yowr gentyll letters an answere to resyte O very lord / o loue / o god alas
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 29v

 f. [29v] 

1    And now my pen alas / wyth wyche I wryte
2    quaketh for drede / off that I muste endyte

Commentary[edit]

These two lines, entered by TH2, are excerpted from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, 13-14.[1] TH2 may have copied the lines from Thynne’s edition of Chaucer (c. 1532). Chaucer’s narrator expresses his dread of having to convey Troilus’ fall from Fortune’s Wheel, Diomede’s rising favour and Criseyde’s unfaithfulness. The Devonshire Manuscript contains others verses from Troilus and Criseyde: see "O very lord / o loue / o god alas" (29v(2)), "O ye louers that hygh vpon the whele" (30r), "for thylke grownde that bearyth the wedes wycke" (59v), "yff yt be so that ye so creuel be" (91r(2)), "Wo worthe the fayre gemme vertulesse" (91v(1)), "for loue ys yet the moste stormy lyfe" (91v(2)), "Also wyckyd tonges byn so prest" (91v(3)), "And who that sayth that for to love ys vyce" (92r), and "but now helpe god to quenche all thys sorow" (93r). Other medieval and Chaucerian excerpts in the manuscript, possibly copied from Thynne's edition, include selections from Hoccleve "Womans harte vnto no creweltye" (89v(1)) and "ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor" (89v(2)); Richard Roos' La Belle Dame Sans Merci, "O marble herte and yet more harde perde" (90r(1)) and "Alas what shuld yt be to yow preiudyce" (90r(2)); the Chaucerian "Remedy of Love" first printed in Thynne's edition "yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable" (90r); and Chaucer's Anelida and Arcite, "for thowgh I had yow to morow agayne" (91r).

Works Cited[edit]

  1. Raymond Southall identified this Chaucerian couplet in his study of the manuscript. See Raymond Southall, "The Devonshire Manuscript Collection of Early Tudor Poetry, 1532-41," Review of English Studies 15.58 (1964): 143.


Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

STC 5068

Collation[edit]

1      now] nowe T5068.03     alas /] alas/ T5068.03     wyth] with T5068.03     wyche] whiche T5068.03     wryte] write T5068.03 
2      quaketh] Quaketh T5068.03     drede / off] drede/of T5068.03