A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

Merton College MS. 204

Former shelfmark: N. 2. 1

SPECULUM HUMANAE VITAE &c; 1446–9

Contents

fol. 1 blank; on the verso is an early table of contents.

1. (fols. 2–181v)
‘Speculum humanae uitae’
(fols. 2–4v)
capitula
Rubric: Ad laudem et gloriam domini nostri Iesu Christi ac perpetue gloriose uirginis Marie matris eius inceptus et scriptus est liber iste qui intitulatur Speculum humane uite anno Domini millesimo cccc. quadragesimo sexto ad utilitatem legencium uidelicet incipiencium, proficiencium et perfectorum, qui quidem liber diuiditur in quinque partes in quarum principio docetur per capitula quid in eis continetur
(The capitula of bk. 1 are repeated at the end).
Incipit: Fili ait scriptura accedens ad seruitutem Dei
Explicit: et in itinere securitas et in peruencione felicitas, prestante Domino nostro ... .
Final rubric: Et sic finitur totus liber qui dicitur Speculum uite humane scriptus atque completus per manum domini Iohannis Gisburgh capellani penultimo die Ianuarii anno Domini millesimo quadringentesimo quadragesimo nono.

Incorporates ADAM THE CARTHUSIAN, Speculum Spiritualium, bks 2–6: pr. Paris 1510; Bloomfield 5934; Allen, Richard Rolle, pp. 405–6; Sharpe, Handlist, pp. 8–9.

Language(s): Latin
2. (fols. 182–3v)
JAMES OF MILAN (Ps.-BONAVENTURE), Stimulus Amoris (short version, abbrev.)
Incipit: (c. 1) Primo studeat quisque quantum potest se uilissimum reputare et indignum omni beneficio Dei
Explicit: (c. 21) debes tamen plus orare pro illis quibus magis es obligatus. Explicit.

Ed. Bibl. Francisc. Ascetica Medii Aevi 4 (Quaracchi, 1949), pp. 6–122, but this version varies much from the printed text; Bloomfield 4159.

Language(s): Latin
3. (fols. 183v-5v)
Sermo
Rubric: Ammonicio beati Augustini ad populum suum.
Incipit: Rogo uos f. k. quociens ad ecclesiam Dei conuerteris longe a uobis deicite ociosos sermones
Explicit: in eterna conuiuia cum suis dilectis qui ...
Final rubric: Excerpta ammonicio Augustini ad populum suum.

An adaptation of Caesarius, Serm. 80, common in English MSS; another seven copies are in Römer 1. 383.

Language(s): Latin
4. (fols. 185v-9)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, Liber Meditationum 1–9
Incipit: Quedam deuota meditacio beati Augustini ad Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum. Domine Deus meus da cordi meo te desiderare
Explicit: secundum multitudinem tuarum complaceat miseracionum per ...
Final rubric: Explicit ...

PL 40. 901–9. The copy in CUL Dd. 1. 21 (s. xiv) ends at the same point.

Language(s): Latin
5. (fols. 189v-200)
Narrationes
Rubric: Incipiunt declamaciones Senece cum suis moralibus liber primus.
Incipit: Prima declamacio de Christo et mundo uel de anima et corpore narrat Seneca libro primo declamacione prima
Explicit: claudi ambulant muti loquuntur.

Followed by three notes: ‘De anima peccatrice’, ‘De continua meditatione Christi’, and ‘Nota de cane natante per aquam cum osse quod ore portauit uidens umbram ossis in aqua aperuit os suum ad capiendum umbram sic amisit utrumque. Versus Os canis ore gerit umbram uidit irrita querit | Irritus os aperit os cadit umbra perit. Explicit.’

Language(s): Latin
6. (fols. 200–7)
Ars bene Moriendi
Incipit: (fols. 200–6) Cum de presentis exilii miseria mortis transitus propter moriendi inpericiam
Explicit: ut in pace sit locus et habitacio tua in Ierusalem celesti per eundem Dominum ...
Final rubric: Explicit liber de arte moriendi.
(fols. 206–7)
Rubric: Item incipit alia doctrina siue exemplum de morituris.
Incipit: Fuit quidem papa qui dum ad extrema uenisset interrogabat capellanum suum uirum ydoneum et deuotum .... Salua animam eius in hac hora exitus sui aperi ei ianuam uite et fac eam gaudere cum sanctis tuis in gloria .... Domine Iesu Christe qui redemisti nos precioso sanguine tuo scribe in anima huius famuli tui
Explicit: mors occupet mori discat. Ecce conclusio omnium prescriptorum.
Final rubric: Explicit liber de arte moriendi

Pr. Naples 1476 (GW 592), &c.; Bloomfield 1076, many copies; on the authorship, M. C. O’Connor, The Art of Dying Well (New York, 1942), pp. 48–60.

Language(s): Latin
8. (fol. 207rv)
Meditacio mortis
Rubric: Meditacio mortis
Incipit: Mors est eterna sompnus dissolucio corporis
Explicit: ad glorificandum omnes electos cum quibus nobis glorificari concedat qui sine fine uiuit et regnat amen.
Language(s): Latin
9. (fols. 207v-10v)
HENRY SUSO, Horologium Diuinae Sapientiae II. 2
Rubric: Incipit scientia utilissima hominum que est scire mori et qualiter moriendum sit.
Incipit: Scire autem mori est paratum habere cor
Explicit: ad locum immortalitatis et filicitatis[sic] eterne amen.
Final rubric: Explicit extractio medullita libri autentici qui uocatur orilogium diuine sapientie.

Ed. P. Künzle, Heinrich Seuses Horologium sapientiae, Spicilegium Friburgense 23 (1977), pp. 527 line 15–540 line 11; Bloomfield 5416; Kaeppeli 1852.

Language(s): Latin
10. (fol. 211)
Richard de Castre, Prayer to Jesus
Rubric: Oracio magistri Ricardi Castre quam ipse composuit.
Incipit: Jhesu Lorde that madest me
Explicit: and spare me yt I be no3t spilt.

Lines 1–32, ed. J. Furnivall, EETS o.s. 24 (1867), 15–16; C. Brown, Religious Lyrics of the Fifteenth Century (Oxford, 1939), no. 64 and p. 313; IMEV 1727.

Language(s): English
11. (fol. 211)
Psalterium caritatis fraterne
Rubric: Psalterium caritatis fraterne.
Incipit: Jesu for hem I ye beseche
Explicit: And spare hem yt 3ei have don amys. Explicit.

Part of art. 10, beg. as the copies in Longleat 30, fol. 20, and Huntington Libr., HM 142, fol. 16v. Followed by two paragraphs: 'There was a woman called Veronica which metyng wt our lord goyng toward his passion and swetyng for grete anguysse delyuered him a clothe to clense his face wherin after he had wyped hym remayned the verrey figure of his face which is called the vernycle wher aftir this figure is made’, and ‘Ther beth girdils of saint Rose, which lith hole to this day at Vitarbe and enport special remedy both for wemen laboryng in childe and also agenst the feueres if yᵉ pacient be girde wt oon of hem. J. Gisburgh.’ IMEP, p. 52.

Language(s): English

fols. 211v, 212v blank. On fol. 212 is a short note and an early table of contents.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Decimum septimum
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 213 leaves (i + 212)
Dimensions (leaf): 370 × 250 mm.
Dimensions (written): 250 × 160 mm.
The edges retrimmed and spattered with red.

Collation

A singleton, 1–268, 274(lacks 3–4), a singleton; catchwords framed in red.

Layout

Frame-ruled with pencil in 2 cols; written in c. 50–5 lines.

Hand(s)

Begun in 1446 and completed on 30 Jan. 1449 by John Gisburgh, who writes a proficient bastard secretary hand.

Decoration

Large red and blue initials flourished and with partial borders in both colours; large blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs, red highlighting and underlining. Red running heads with blue paraphs.

Binding

Standard Merton, s. xvii; sewn on seven bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fol. i is a paper binding-leaf from the same printed book as in MS 19. Fols. 1 and 212 were formerly pastedowns in an earlier binding. At the foredge of fol. 1, near the foot, is the mark of a brass chain-staple.

History

Origin: 1446–9 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in England; it is not known when it entered the College prior to s. xvii.

Inside the front board is a table of contents and ‘G. 2, 3’ (canc.), s. xvii, and ‘P. 1. 1. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 2. 1 (CCIV)’ in red; the College bookplate.

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.

Availability

For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.

Bibliography

    Coxe, pp. 79–80; Powicke, no. 1253; Watson, Dated and Datable Oxford, no. 841 and pl. 443.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-31: First online publication