Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Marginalia: An Early Modern Annotator of "Piers Plowman"

British Library Additional 35157. I've only included a small fraction of the annotations-- this manuscript is more marked up than my undergrad copy of The Four Quartets ("SYMBOLISM," "IRONY," "like the Fool [tarot card]"). So I'm highlighting my favorite (= most interesting) annotations, which are highlighting the annotator's favorite (= most interesting) passages of the poem. Am I postmodern or what?

  • "will the catt ye king and the kittines destroy" (I)
  • "harlottes are sonnest hole"
  • “against bawdy Jesters”
  • "famous Kinge Henvry Viij fulfilled in his time"
  • "Reson always ruleth in beast but not in Man for man surfeteth [surfeits] in meate, drynke in women, aparel and in wordes"
  • "no muritt [merit] in any works instisinige faith only working" (I)
  • "Meed a durtie common Strumpit both in siuill [civil] laws and common" (I)
  • “Meed ye Pops Darlinge” (I)
  • "Peers liued in Henri the sixt his daies who lost his heritage in Fraunce which his father had wonne"
  • "If men of holye Church wold do nought but right then Wold Lordes, Lawyers, and merchauntes, do lyke"
  • "henri the 6 was a simpel Religious man, which was the loose of his fathers heritage in Fraunce
  • "peres became a protestant  and loued his lyke" (on the following: Thus y awaked . . . clothed as a lollard . . . among lollards of londone and lewwde Ermytes)
  • "no basterds"
  • "basterds fitt for slauerye" 
  • "the pore haue right to parte of Christes treasure in prestes handes"
  • “ye dronken roge”
  • "Lecherye loveth not the pore"
  • "A wench ought to be A virgine butt hardly in this wickitt age"
  • "truth is directly against purgatory and limbo"
  • “pastors muste do as they teche”
  • “ye Purpill whore of Rome”
  • “not Wytte but ye grace of god”
  • “England harboreth more theues and beggers then any countrie”
  • "women can kepe no counsell"
  • “fryers & theire orders wiped out of gods booke”
  • “Doo well is better than ye Popps [Pope's] bulles”
  • “bisshopes should haue no more lands then Christe hadd”
  • "Aynest Monkes and Chanons"
  • “nota the riche are comonly the enimies to rigt [righteousness] and truthe”
  • “sterringe [stirring] the simple pepell to almes for there owne profitt”
  • “theologye is no Scyeunce [Science] but a sothfast beleofe [true belief]
  • "Justyce in hell Mercye in heven"
  • “mercye above all godes workes”
  • "Saloman and Aristotell in wysdom & workes both good yet dyed evelly"
  • “the pore is euer redye to please ye Riche” (2nd annotator)
  • “but ye rich hateth ye poore” (3rd annotation)
  • "an Vnsownd opynion"
  • “propertie bredeth singularitie & pride”
  • Charitie seldom sene in ye freres [friars]"
  • "an Vnsownd opynion"

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