The Devonshire Manuscript/yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor O marble herte and yet more harde perde
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 90r

 f. [90r] 

1    yff all the erthe were parchment scrybable
2    spedy for the hande / and all maner wode
3    were hewed and proporcyoned to pennes able
4    al water ynke / in damme or in flode
5    euery man beyng a parfyte scribe & goode
6    the faythfulnes yet and prayse of women
7    cowde not be shewyd by the meane off penne


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Transcribed by TH2, this excerpt of the Chaucerian poem The Remedy of Love (lines 239-45) was probably taken from Thynne’s edition of Chaucer (c. 1532)[1] and represents the only excerpt of this particular Chaucerian poem in the manuscript. This selection is in praise of women. TH2's transcribed excerpt from Hoccleve, “Womans harte vnto no creweltye” (89v), features a similar theme.

Other medieval and Chaucerian excerpts in the manuscript, possibly copied from Thynne's edition, include selections from Hoccleve “Womans harte vnto no creweltye” (89v) and "ys thys afayre avaunte / ys thys honor" (89v(2)); 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)); and Chaucer's Anelida and Arcite "for thowgh I had yow to morow agayne" (91r).

TH2 separates the passages on this page with flourishes.

Works Cited

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  1. Thynne was the first publisher to print The Remedy of Love in his edition of Chaucer's works. Skeat omitted the poem from Chaucer's canon in 1905; see: Walter William Skeat, ed. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and Others. Facsimile of Thynne 1532. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1905.

Textual Notes

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Texts Collated

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1 yff all] If al T5068.10 parchment] parchement T5068.10 scrybable] scribable T5068.10
2 spedy] Spedy T5068.10 hande / and] hande/and T5068.10 all maner wode] al maner wode T5068.10
3 were] Were T5068.10 hewed] hewed T5068.10 proporcyoned] proporcioned T5068.10 pennes able] pennes able T5068.10
4 al water] Al water T5068.10 ynke / in] ynke/in T5068.10
5 euery] Euery T5068.10 goode] good T5068.10
6 the faythfulnes] The cursydnesse T5068.10 prayse] disceyte T5068.10 women] women T5068.10
7 cowde] Coude T5068.10 shewyd] shewed T5068.10 meane off penne] meane of penne T5068.10