The Devonshire Manuscript/ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Womans harte vnto no creweltye yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 89v

f. [89v]

1    ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor
2    a man hymselfe accuse thus and diffame
3    ys yt good to confesse hymself a traytour
4    and bryng a woman to sclaundrous name
5    and tell how he her body hath don{_o} shame
6    no worshyppe may he thus to hym conquer
7    but great dysclaunder vnto hym and her

8    To her nay / yet was yt no reprefe
9    for all for vertue was that she wrowght
10    but he that brwed hath all thys myschefe
11    that spake so fayre / & falsely inward thowght
12    hys be the sclawnder as yt by reason ought
13    and vnto her thanke perpatuel
14    that in suche a nede helpe can so well u1

Notes & Glosses[edit]

     1. There is some possibility that the flourishes (which look somewhat like a capital T) can be linked to such other examples as: "Somtyme I fled the fyre that me brent /" (38v) (H4), "Suche Wayn thowght / as wonted to myslede me /" (31r) (H4), "And now my pen alas wyth wyche I wryte" (29v) (TH2), and 1r (various). "yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable" (90r) and "how frendly was medea to Iason" (91r) also contain flourishes.

Commentary[edit]

This excerpt, entered by TH2, comes from Thomas Hoccleve’s The Letter of Cupid (1402) (lines 64-77). Hoccleve adapted his work from Christine de Pizan's Epistre au Dieu d’Amours. Two other excerpts from this Hoccleve text are found in this manuscript: “Womans harte vnto no creweltye” (89v), appears above this excerpt, and “How frendly was medea to Iason” (91r). TH2 transcribed all three excerpts, which he may have copied from Thynne’s edition of Chaucer (c. 1532). This particular selection comments on the male lovers’ responsibility for his lady’s honour.

Other medieval and Chaucerian excerpts in the manuscript, possibly copied from Thynne's edition, include verses from Troilus and Criseyde (see: "And now my pen alas wyth wyche I wryte" (29v(1)), "O very lord / o loue / o god alas" (29v(1)), "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); 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).

Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

T5068.12, T5068.17

Collation[edit]

1 ys] Is T5068.12 ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor] T5068.17 thys] this T5068.12 afayre] a faire T5068.12 avaunte / ys] auaunt/is T5068.12 thys] this T5068.12 honor] honour T5068.12
2 a] A T5068.12 a man hymselfe accuse thus and diffame] T5068.17 hymselfe] him selfe T5068.12
3 ys yt] Is is T5068.12 ys yt good to confesse hymself a traytour] T5068.17 hymself] him selfe T5068.12
4 and] And T5068.12 and bryng a woman to sclaundrous name] T5068.17 bryng] bring T5068.12
5 and] And T5068.12 and tell how he her body hath don shame] T5068.17 tell] tel T5068.12 how] howe T5068.12 don] do T5068.12
6 no] No T5068.12 no worshyppe may he thus to hym conquer] T5068.17 worshyppe] worshipe T5068.12 hym] him T5068.12
7 but] But T5068.12 but great dysclaunder vnto hym and her] T5068.17 dysclaunder] disclaunder T5068.12 hym] him T5068.12
8 To her nay / yet was yt no reprefe] T5068.12 nay /] nay/ T5068.17 yt] it T5068.17 reprefe] represe T5068.17
9 for all for vertue was that she wrowght] T5068.12 for all] For al T5068.17 wrowght] wrought T5068.17
10 but] But T5068.17 but he that brwed hath all thys myschefe] T5068.12 brwed] brewed T5068.17 all] al T5068.17 thys] this T5068.17
11 that] That T5068.17 that spake so fayre / & falsely inward thowght] T5068.12 fayre /] fayre/ T5068.17 thowght] thought T5068.17
12 hys] His T5068.17 hys be the sclawnder as yt by reason ought] T5068.12 sclawnder] sclaunder/ T5068.17 yt] it T5068.17
13 and] And T5068.17 and vnto her thanke perpatuel] T5068.12 perpatuel] perpetuel T5068.17
14 that] That T5068.17 that in suche a nede helpe can so well] T5068.12 well] wel T5068.17