Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 150

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GOWER, VOX CLAMANTIS; etc.
England, s. XV1
1. ff. 1-3v: [blank, except for title of manuscript, s. XVIII/XIX, and verses, s. XV, on f. 1:] Si decies quinque cum quinque velis numerare/ ysak adde caput caput et ter nominum [?] illud [political prophecy? see Ward, Cat. of Romances 1:311]. 2. ff. 4-183v: [Gower, Vox Clamantis, chapter list:] In huius opusculi principio intendit compositor discribere…, Capitula libri primi, Hic declarat in primis sub cuius regis imperio…, [Quatrain, f. 13v:] Ad mundum mitto mea iacula dumque sagitto…[followed by picture of Gower shooting at the world, f. 13v; text, f. 14:] Incipit Cronica que Vox clamantis dicitur, In huius opusculi principio intendit compositor describere…, Incipit prologus libri primi, Scripture veteris capiunt exempla futuri…Que meruit fata sunt sibi fine data. Explicit libellus qui intitulatur Vox clamantis.
G. C. Macaulay, ed., The Complete Works of John Gower (Oxford 1902) “Latin Works” 4:3-313; this manuscript described on pp. lxv-lxvi where it is said to be related to London, Brit. Lib., Cotton Tiberius A.iv in text and spelling; see also J. H. Fisher, John Gower, Moral Philosopher and Friend of Chaucer (New York 1964) 101-02, where HM 150 is placed in the C Version, and dated on the basis of textual evidence between ca. 1392 and 1399; ff. 119-120 reversed in binding.
3. ff. 184-188v: [Carmen super multiplici Viciorum Pestilencia] Contra demonis astuciam in causa lollardie, Quod patet ad limen instanti tempore crimen…Cultor in ecclesiis ne rosa forte cadat; Contra mentis seviciam in causa superbie, Deficit in verbo sensus quo cuncta superbo…Sic laus vel labes pectore pondus habes; Contra mundi fallaciam in causa avaricie et periurii, Sunt duo cognati viciorum consociati…Pacificet primo iura tenenda iura tenenda deo; Contra carnis lasciviam in causa concupiscencie, O Sexus fragilis ex quo natura virilis…Pax manet absque dolo longaque vita datur. Explicit.
Macaulay, 346-48; 348-50; 352-54; 350-52.
4. ff. 188v-190v: Incipit tractatus de lucis scrutinio quam a diu viciorum tenebre prothdolor suffocarunt…, Heu quia per crebras humus est viciata tenebras…Lucis solamen det sibi christus Amen. Explicit tractatus de lucis scrutineo.
Macaulay, 355-57.
5. ff. 190v-192v: Incipit carmen quod Iohannes Gower tempore regis Ricardi secundi dum vixit ultimo composuit, O Deus inmense sub quo dominantur in ense…Namque sue legi res nequit ulla tegi; Cultor in ecclesia qui deficiente sophia…Symon oves ducit quas christo raro reducit; Unanimes esse qui secula duxit adesse…Ex meritis fidei dirigat acta rei; Dicunt scripture memorare novissima vite…Aufert hoc nemo quod dabis ipse deo. Explicit. [ff. 193-194v, ruled, but blank]
Macaulay, 362-64; 368; 367; 368.
Parchment (trimmed), ff. 194; 230 × 158 (162-164 × 103-105) mm. 14 2-258(first leaf of quire 1 and last leaf of quire 25 are stubs and appear to have been used as pastedowns); inner bifolium of quire 16 has been reversed, transposing ff. 119-120. Catchwords in center lower margin, enclosed in brown ink frames on quires 2-5, and in a blue and red ink frame on quire 22 (f. 171v). Quire 2, the first text quire, signed with a plus sign and roman numerals; other quires with a letter and roman numerals. 32 lines of verse, ruled in ink with top and bottom 2 lines full across; slash prick marks in upper, lower and outer margin; double pricking in the outer margin at the penultimate line. Written in a textura script. On f. 13v, a 3/4 page miniature, 135 × 105 mm., depicting Gower as an archer in aristocratic dress, shooting an arrow at the world, which is divided into sections representing water, earth and sky, and surmounted by a cross and banner; iconographically related to Glasgow, University Library, Hunterian T.2.17 (59), f. 6v; London, Brit. Lib., Cotton Tiberius A. iv, f. 9v; and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud misc. 719, f. 21, all 3 being copies of the Vox Clamantis.1 5- and 4-line parted red and blue initials, infilled with leaf designs, with red, blue and pale olive flourishing on cascade borders; 3- and 2-line blue initials with red pen flourishing; 1-line initials alternating in red and blue, unornamented. Running headlines across the opening through f. 183v, in red, each preceded by a blue paragraph mark; rubrics in red; chapter numbers for art. 2 and marginal notes for art. 5 in red, each preceded by a blue paragraph mark; red and blue jigsaw line fillers in many designs in the chapter list. Bound, s. XVIII, in tan calf by Thomas Elliott, blind tooled in a panel pattern with a carnation at each corner of the panel. See H. Nixon, “Harleian Bindings,” Studies in the Book Trade in Honour of Graham Pollard. Oxford Bibliographical Society Publications n.s. 18 (1975), 153-94, and especially plate 15, no. 8; for variant forms of the carnation tool, see J. B. Oldham, Shrewsbury School Library Bindings (Oxford 1943) 115 n. 2; rebacked; original spine laid down. The same binding is on HM 143 and Lawrence, University of Kansas, Spencer Library, MS B.61, a mid-fifteenth century register of writs. Written in England in the first half of the fifteenth century. Earl of Ailesbury sale, London, 21 November 1687, p. 85 n. 91 to James Sotheby, who signed his name on f. 4; also on f. 4 “I 4 2200[?].” Armorial bookplate of C. W. H. Sotheby on the front pastedown, with the note “Bought at Lord Burgleys sale 1702 for L. 1-2.” Col. H. G. Sotheby sale, Sotheby’s, 24 July 1924, lot 96 with plate of f. 13v to A. S. W. Rosenbach for Henry E. Huntington.
Secundo folio: [f. 5, Chapter list] Hic plangit; [f. 15, Text] Adde recolectis
Bibliography: De Ricci, 59-60. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming).
Notes
1 We thank Kathleen L. Scott for this information.

Abbreviations
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)
Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts
K. L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming vol. 6 in A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, ed. J. J. G. Alexander; London)
Ward, Cat. of Romances
H. L. D. Ward, vol. 3 by J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London 1883-1910)

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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