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

MS. Laud Misc. 570

Summary Catalogue no.: 1492

Quatre vertus cardinales; Christine de Pisan, Épître d’Othéa


Language(s): Middle French

1. (fols. 1r–23v)
Quatre vertus cardinales
(fol. 1r–v)

List of contents

Rubric: Cy commence la table des rubriches du liure des quatre vertus Cardinaulx. Lequel liure est deuise en quatre parties ¶ La premiere est justice ¶ La seconde est prudence ¶ La tierce attrempance. ¶ Et la quatre est force.
Final rubric: Cy commence le liure appelle les quatre vertus Cardinaulx.
(fols. 2r–23v)
Incipit: ||premierement il me semble que nous pouons dire et clerement affermer que Justice
Explicit: par les beaulx exemples cy dessus racontez et dis. Et ainsi fault cy et finiat ce petit traittie des quatre vertus cardinaulx en lonneur de dieu et louengre du doulx Jhesus qui nous vueille garder de tous maulx Amen.
Final rubric: Explicit ce petit traittie | Ou quel tres briefment est traittie | Des quatre vertus Cardinaulx | Qui sont les quatre principaulx | Et sont Justice et prudence | Auec force et attemprance.
Colophon: A ma plaisance R. F.

The original second leaf with the opening of the text was removed before the volume was foliated (presumably for its minuature) and has been replaced by a blank modern leaf.

2. (fols. 24r–92v)
Christine de Pisan, Épître d’Othéa
(fols. 24r–25r)
Incipit: Louenge a dieu soit au commencement | De tous mes diz et apres ensement
Explicit: Le poure effect de mon petit degre
(fol. 25v–)
Rubric: Cy commence lepistre de Othea la deesse que elle enuoya a gector de troye quant il estoit en laage de .xv. ans.
Incipit: Othea deesse de prudence | Qui adrece les bons cuers en vaillance | A toy hector noble prince poissant | Qui en armes es ades flourissant
Explicit: mais combien il ne scet mie. A ce propos dit le sage.
Final rubric: Auris bona audiet cum omni concupiscencia sapienciam⸝ ecclesiastici .vi.º capitulo.
(fol. 93r)
Colophon: Honny Soit Qui Mal. y. Pense. Me Fault. Faire 1450

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i (modern parchment) + 1 (contents leaf) + i (modern parchment replacement) + 92 + ii (modern parchment) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 268 × 195 mm.
Foliation: Modern foliation in pencil and ink.


18–1 (2nd excised, replaced with unfoliated modern blank leaf; fols. 1–7), 2–118 (fols. 8–87), 128–2 (fols. 88–93; 7th–8th excised, presumably blank). Catchwords at the end of each gathering in black or red.


Written in long lines, 28 per page, ruled space 153 × 105 mm.


Gothic hybrida written by Ricardus Franciscus: inscribed, fol. 23v. He was also involved in MS. Ashmole 764; MS. Ashmole 789; Oxford, University College, MS. 85; and San Marino, Huntington Library, MS. 932.


Fine miniatures, borders, initials. By the Master of Sir John Fastolf, who also decorated MS. Auct. D. inf. 2. 11 and MS. Hatton 45. (Pächt and Alexander i. 695, pl. LIII). Miniatures:

  • fol. 9v ‘Prudence’
  • fol. 16r ‘Temperance’
  • fol. 21v ‘Force’ (strength)
  • fol. 24r Christine presenting her book to Jean, Duc de Berry
  • fol. 25v Othea offering a book to Hector
  • fol. 28v ‘Attrempance’ (Temperance) regulating the works of a large clock, surrounded by three seated women.
  • fol. 30r Strength
  • fol. 32r Minos seated in judgement
  • fol. 33v Perseus rescuing Andromeda

Written with calligraphic flourishes.


Bound in parchment, later 17th or 18th century, likely strengthened with card and new endleaves in the late 19th or early 20th century.


Origin: 1450 ; French (cf. inscription, fol. 93r)

Provenance and Acquisition

Written for Sir John Fastolf: his motto, ‘me fault faire’ (fol. 93r).

William Laud, 1633.

Part of Laud’s first donation, 1635.

Record Sources

Description by Andrew Dunning (March 2022). Previously described in the Quarto Catalogue (H. O. Coxe, Laudian Manuscripts, Quarto Catalogues II, repr. with corrections, 1969, from the original ed. of 1858–1885). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1966).


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Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (30 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2022-03-02: Andrew Dunning Revised with consultation of original.