The Devonshire Manuscript/Womans harte vnto no creweltye

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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now that ye be assemblled heer ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 89v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 88v 88-1r 88-2v 88-3r 88-3v 88-4r 88-4v 88-5r 88-5v 88-6r 88-6v 88-7r 88-7v 88-8r 88-8v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 89r

 f. [88v] 
f. [88.1r] 
f. [88.1v] 
f. [88.2r] 
f. [88.2v] 
f. [88.3r] 
f. [88.3v] 
f. [88.4r] 
f. [88.4v] 
f. [88.5r] 
f. [88.5v] 
f. [88.6r] 
f. [88.6v] 
f. [88.7r] 
f. [88.7v] 
f. [88.8r] 
f. [88.8v] 
f. [89r] 
f. [89v] 

1    Womans harte vnto no creweltye
2    enclynyd ys /. but they be charytable
3    pytuous deuoute ful off humylyte
4    shamefast debonayre /1 a and amyable
5    dredeful / and off wordes measurable
6    what women these haue not parauenture
7    folowyth not the way off her nature

Notes & Glosses

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     1. The virgule is a vertical line.


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This excerpt, entered by TH2, comes from Thomas Hoccleve’s The Letter of Cupid (1402). 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: “Ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor” (89v), which appears below 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 praises woman’s nature as charitable, compassionate, devout, and humble. TH2 distinguished this excerpt from other verses on the page with distinct flourishes. TH2's transcription of Chaucer’s The Remedy of Love, recorded in this edition as “Yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable” (90r), features a similar theme.

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

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Texts Collated

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1 harte] herte T5068.19 creweltye] cruelte T5068.19
2 enclynyd ys / . but] Enclyned is / But T5068.19
3 pytuous] Pytous/ T5068.19 deuoute] deuoute/ T5068.19 off] of T5068.19 humylyte] humylite T5068.19
4 shamefast] Shamefaste/ T5068.19 debonayre /] debonayre/ T5068.19
5 dredeful] Dredeful T5068.19 off] of T5068.19
6 what] What T5068.19
7 folowyth] Foloweth T5068.19 off] of T5068.19