Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 78

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CATO, DISTICHS, in English
England, ca. 1600
ff. 3-13v: [ff. 1-2v, blank]: The first booke of Catoes Distichons concerninge manners, in English. 1, If God be life unto us all as learned Poetts tell/ Him may we then in hart and minde adore & serve full well…49, Admire not much though plainest terms affect my regged verse/ Briefenes a freind to memory thus forc’d me to rehearse. The end of Catoes Distichons. [ff. 14-16v, blank]
Many English translations of the Distichs of “Dionysius Cato” exist, from that of Benet Burgh (printed by Caxton ca. 1477) to that of W. J. Chase (in University of Wisconsin Studies in the Social Sciences and History 7, 1922); this translation apparently unpublished; does not appear in M. Crum, ed., First-Line Index of English Poetry 1500-1800 in Manuscripts of the Bodleian Library Oxford (Oxford 1969). It lacks the prose introduction, the short prose proverbs and the verse prefaces to Books 2, 3 and 4; the Books contain the normal number of couplets (40, 31, 23, 49); the couplets of Book 1 are summarized by brief, often one-word titles added in a noting hand.
Paper (Pot similar to Heawood 3581, England 1618 and another pot, unidentified), ff. iv (modern paper) + 16 + iv (modern paper); 179 × 134 (148-154 × 120) mm. 1-44. 14 long lines ruled in lead. Written in an italic script. Bound by Riviere and Son in brown morocco. Written in England in the early years of the seventeenth century. On f. 1, following an erased note, the date 1608; at the bottom of the page, upside down and partially cropped, the name of Mr. Newdigate of Arbury Hall, Warwickshire; Newdigate library catalogued for sale, Sotheby’s, 22 January 1920, this item as lot 53; the collection was sold privately to G. D. Smith, from whom certain lots passed to Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: De Ricci, 49.
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)
Heawood
E. Heawood, Watermarks mainly of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Monumenta chartae papyraceae historiam illustrantia 1 (Hilversum 1950)

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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