Good ends in the Audelay manuscript.
This essay raises the question of how far John Audelay, a fifteenth-century poet claiming to be blind and deaf, had a role in the making of the Audelay MS (Bodleian MS Douce 302). The differing responsibilities of two scribes, the ordering of contents, the instructional verses, and the embedded attributions to Audelay suggest his direct involvement. All four sections of the manuscript close decisively, and a farewell poem from Audelay has been appended by the second scribe. These endings match Audelay's dominant concern with preaching penance and living a penitential life. Ending well merges with the priest-poet's avowed petition for a good spiritual end.
The circumstances behind the making of the Audelay Manuscript are something of a puzzle. This book, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 302, holds all the known verse of John Audelay, an ascription one can hardly avoid for the poet signs many pieces by inserting stanzas about himself, old 'blynd Awdelay'. Beyond these signatures, there is a scribal colophon that names Audelay and records a date and place: 1426, Haughmond Abbey (Shropshire). Altogether, the manuscript preserves Audelay's name eighteen times, and many of these namings occur because the chaplain-poet himself adopts a first-person admonitive mode by which to assert that the verses are his 'making'. In a piece copied at the end of the manuscript, he extends the claim by naming the whole book as his product: 'Loke in [thorn]is book; here may ze se | Hwatt ys my wyl and my wrytyng' (W55.33-34; item 85). (1) Without any other considerations, these declarations make MS Douce 302 a volume of singular interest. It is, by all appearances, an early English author collection devised by the author himself. Moreover, the ubiquity of Audelay's signatures forces a reader to be ever aware of his authorial presence and to acknowledge both his name and his infirmities. The puzzle of the book lies in these same facts, for, if we are to believe literally Audelay's own statements, the poet is blind and deaf, old and sick. One can hardly imagine an aged Helen Keller-as-medieval-monastic--that is, a secular priest retired in old age to a cloistered setting and wholly failed in eyesight and hearing--being able to communicate well enough to supervise the gathering of his verse into a book. Yet the verse declares, in its existence and its claims, that a radically handicapped poet composed a large body of poetry in many verse forms, some based closely on models and antecedents, and that he gathered it in a book. How can this have occurred?
What tends to creep into discussions of Audelay is an implicit disbelief that he was incapacitated as fully as his own words attest. (2) My pursuit of this mystery by examination of neglected manuscript clues leads me to agree that Audelay must not have lost both hearing and sight in totality because it seems certain that, besides having written much verse during his affliction, he took an active role in producing MS Douce 302. Beyond being a poet both disabled and prolific, Audelay demonstrates proficiency as the planner of an anthology. While one need not question the poet's own testimony that he suffered the ravages of age, it is important also to recognize that the chaplain gains pious capital from these afflictions as he carves out a distinctive identity in verse as the blind and deaf organ of God, and that the book taken as a whole enacts for Audelay a priestly mission on behalf of his own soul and the souls of his readers. Readers of the book are asked, in a typical petition, 'To pray for hym specialy | That hyt made zour soules to saue, | Jon, [thorn]e blynde Awdelay' (W55.46-48).
Plain and unassuming, MS Douce 302 comprises thirty-five vellum leaves measuring 195 x 267 mm. The manuscript has suffered losses, maybe as many as nineteen leaves before the first folio and five more internally. (3) The book that survives holds a collection of sixty-two Middle English poems mostly on standard religious topics, along with two pieces in prose and nine instructional lyrics to guide the reader. In Latin, additionally, there are five prose prayers, four verse prayers, a devotional accessus, a colophon, and a moral poem. Two scribes worked on the codex: one has copied the texts and the other has provided the rubrics and corrections. (4)
In design the book anthologizes John Audelay's writings and a few outside texts into an overall meditative plan. (5) The contents fall broadly into four sections, discernible by changes in matter and the presence of colophons or marginal notations. These internal groupings are:
1. fols [1.sup.r]-[22.sup.v] Audelay's The Counsel of Conscience (acephalous)
2. fols [22.sup.v]-[27.sup.v] Audelay's Salutations and Prayers
3. fols [27.sup.v]-[32.sup.r] Audelay's Carols
4. fols [32.sup.r]-[35.sup.r] A meditative close (English prose and alliterative verse, Latin verse, Audelay's Conclusion)
Nine signature stanzas appear in The Counsel of Conscience, the other sections also contain two or three ascriptions each, and it appears that the governing concept behind the making of MS Douce 302 was to have Audelay's earlier 'books' compiled and concluded with an appended section.
The dialect of the verse, as represented in the work of both scribes, has been localized to northwest Staffordshire, which suggests that Audelay himself may have originated from the vicinity of Audley outside Stoke-on-Trent. (6) Our knowledge of Audelay's career, however, locates him only in Shropshire and London and spans no more than the period 1417 to 1426. Michael Bennett has unearthed an extraordinary circumstance that must have clouded Audelay's subsequent life: the poet's employment in the household of the feckless Lord Richard Lestrange of Knockin (who held the title 1397-1449) caused Audelay to be involved in what Bennett terms 'the most notorious crime of sacrilege in the kingdom within living memory' (p. 353). The chaplain was at hand during a brawl between his patron and a knight, Sir John Trussell, at the London parish church St Dunstan's-in-the-East on Easter Sunday, 1417, in which a parishioner was killed. This scandal led to adjudication by the authorities: Lestrange was fined and put in the Tower for a time, and then he and his wife were made to do public penance by walking barefoot and in plain shifts from St Paul's to St Dunstan's, accompanied by their retinue, which according to the records included his chaplain John Audelay. (7) Nine years later we find Audelay, as recorded in MS Douce 302, retired to a chantry priesthood at Haughmond, a wellendowed house for Augustinian canons with close ties (dating from the early twelfth century) to the FitzAlans and their one-time vassals the Lestranges. (8)
The verse betrays much of the man's personality. John Audelay was devout, ever-penitent, torn between gratitude and distress over ailments (possibly a mark of God's grace), fearful of death, nostalgic for childhood, reverent in prayer, evocative of Langland's bent for satire and apocalyptic warning, supportive of Henry VI, and emphatically not a Lollard. Lord Lestrange reportedly cried out against Trussell before striking him, 'Thou lewyd hegge knyght!', an obscure insult that may mean 'Lollard!' (9) Audelay was himself wary of lollardy, and he sometimes frets that shows of earnest, orthodox piety can, in his troubled times, lead to unjust accusations. Two twice-signed works offer particular insight into Audelay's self-fashionings as priest-poet. One is the 'Epilogue' to The Counsel of Conscience, which begins 'Here I conclud al my makyng' (W18; item 32). The other is Audelay's Conclusion in section 4, which begins 'Here may ze here now hwat ze be' (W55; item 85). In them Audelay speaks consciously as poet, priest, and book producer. In the former he names The Counsel of Conscience as his book. In the latter he calls the manuscript his own production.
The humiliation of 1417 seems to have had a scarring effect on Audelay. With its element of sacrilege, those caught in it must have felt stung in conscience, and the lord's chaplain, above all, would have felt himself painfully exposed to public shame. Contrition in Audelay's poems seems an earnest and personal cry, even as it carries a conventional note. Audelay repeats the same penitential stanza in five different poems, avowing always that the poetry is divine in origin, not his own invention, and that his physical afflictions signify God's grace, for which he is ever grateful:
Meruel ze nozt of [thorn]is makyng, Fore I me excuse hit is not I Fore [thorn]is of Godis oun wrytyng [THORN]at He send doun fro heuen on hye, Fore I cou[thorn] neuer bot he foly. He ha[thorn] me chastist for my leuyng; I [thorn]onk my God, my Grace treuly, Of His gracious vesetyng. Beware, serys, I zow pray, Fore I made [thorn]is with good entente, Fore hit is Christes comaundement; Prays fore me [thorn]at be[thorn] present, My name hit is [thorn]e blynd Awdlay. (W15.196-208) (10)
These repeated stanzas all occur within The Counsel of Conscience, giving this book a unified thread. The poet explains that his multiple ailments allow him to atone for a reckless life. (11)
The idea that seems to guide Audelay as a 'maker' of verse is that the words are not his, but God's; that he is but a blind seer and a deaf hearer, a mere vessel of conveyance for God's Word to reach the living as a warning before the imminent end arrives. The deferral of true authorship to God is disingenuous, Audelay using his blindness both as a claim to prophetic powers and as a means of pardon for any offensiveness in what he must say. (12) In addition, Audelay represents himself as a lesson for others: the sinful reader ought to think upon the example that he, John Audelay, offers. He is a poor broken wretch, a deaf, blind, sick, and contrite human being, whose utterances and presence serve as an exemplum:
Fore so I hope he [God] ha[thorn] done me And zeuen me wil, wit, tyme, and space, [THORN]roz [thorn]e Hole Gost, blynd, def to be, And say [thorn]is wordis [thorn]roz His gret grace. So synful a wreche, vnwor[thorn]ely Y pray zou, seris, fore Christis sake, Ensampil at me [thorn]at ze wil take. (W18.18-24)
The old poet's pronouncement resembles the literary topos of a moral mirror, which may be invoked by a vivid depiction of death. (13) The warning comes to life in an innovative way, however, in the living example of the dying author. (14)
Although it may be that Audelay deploys a persona he held as public penitent, at least among the residents of Haughmond, the self-referential material that runs as a thread through the poems is not autobiography in a modern sense. The author's intent is at once priestly and petitionary. (15) Audelay writes to save souls. This aim is the primary duty of curates; their responsibility for souls makes them all the more accountable on the last day of divine reckoning:
Fore to curatis say[thorn] Saynt Gregory, [THORN]ai schul onswere treuly Fore mons soule specialy At domusday to-fore Crystis face. (W18.270-73)
Thus, fittingly, Audelay loads his poems with appeals for repentance from his listeners and readers, and then includes petitions that they pray in turn for his own soul. The petitionary passages reveal an author who self-consciously and with evident sincerity fashions himself as both prophet and penitent.
The personal references are interesting, too, for creating a stance vis-a'-vis the manuscript. Because the book represents Audelay's exact intent, the reader should neither remove the book nor excise any of its leaves:
No mon [thorn]is book he take away, Ny kutt owte noo leef, Y say for-why, For hit ys sacrelege, sirus, Y yow say, Be[thorn] acursed in [thorn]e dede truly. zef ze wil haue any copi, Askus leeue and ze shul haue. (W55.40-45)
Instead the reader is to preserve the book intact so that he, addressed as 'ze', can look into it as if in a mirror and heed its admonitions, thereby providing the reader with the sensory experiences that, ironically, the poet lacks in the physical world:
Here may ze here now hwat ze be; Here may ze cnow hwat ys [thorn]is worlde; Here may ze boothe here and se Only in God ys all comforde. (W55.1-4; my italics)
Audelay the blind, Audelay the deaf, fashions his role as the priestly prophet who delivers true spiritual sights and true spiritual sounds to the worldly reader. And he accomplishes this mission by means of recording his words as visible traces in a pious book.
The two scribes together helped Audelay to execute this goal. Their division of labour illuminates the book's manner of production. The first scribe had the job of putting down all the texts in sequence, leaving room for incipits and colophons. It was the correcting scribe's task to fill in the framework by providing the titles and clarifying the breaks from one section to the next. Both scribes undoubtedly recognized the anthologizing purpose of the book: the first redacted nearly all of the signature stanzas, while the second named Audelay in rubrics and copied the last poem, Audelay's Conclusion. In the work of the second scribe one readily perceives a desire to oversee the textual and codicological details. This scribe reviewed the whole book closely, revising and adding some items and making corrections throughout. Henceforth I refer to this person as the 'compiler', in order to use a term indicative of the judgement, planning, and reviewing this hand exhibits on every folio. Section by section, the arrangement of items demonstrates someone's habit of creating sequences that end well, with closure being a decisive feature. In this pattern of endings the compiler's actions match Audelay's own professed preoccupation with how things end.
In section 1, the acephalous Counsel of Conscience (items 1-33), the compiler was clearly at pains to establish the correct order of items. He has provided a marginal rhyming indicator on how, because one poem is out of place, the reader should reorder his perception of the material. The compiler writes that 'the day of dome shuld come in here' (item 2), and he tells the reader to turn back thirteen leaves to find the Doomsday work that ought to have been entered here, between Instructions in Christian Living (item 1) and Counsels to Those in Religious Life (item 3). Nearby, the compiler offers indicators to mark key passages (item 3). This hand thus shows concern for the order of items and the nature of a reader's experience.
The last piece in section 1, the 'Epilogue', demonstrates Audelay's own propensity for a decisive close:
Here I conclud al my makyng, In [thorn]e merce of God, I haue sayd before; God grawnt ham grace of good endyng [THORN]at done [thorn]er-aftir bo[thorn] lasse and more. (W18.1-4; my italics)
These lines reflect the poet's typical way of conflating the 'good endyng' of his works with a benediction bestowed upon the reader, and to this Audelay attaches a more nervous prayer for his own proper end:
To haue my payn, my purgatory, Out of [thorn]is word or [thorn]at I dy; A! gracyus God, gramarsy, To grawnt me grace of good endyng. (W18.478-81; my italics)
The ending imposed by death and the anxieties bred thereof are fears that haunt Audelay's verse: he is caught in the prickly state of petitioning for purgatory (at the least) as he openly wishes to avoid its pains, all the while maintaining gratitude to God for present afflictions.
To this strong sense of Audelaian closure the compiler contributes more ending, a colophon that marks with finality the end of the whole Counsel of Conscience: 'Finito libro [...] Iste liber fuit compositus per Iohannem Awdelay capellanum qui fuit secus et surdus in sua visitacione [...] Cuius anime propicietur Deus' (Appendix, item 33). Stating that the book is finished, the compiler prays, as closing benediction, that God grant favour to Audelay's soul. Richard Firth Green believes that the colophon's closing phrase (which recurs at the end of the manuscript) means that the poet was dead when it was written (p. 565), but this need not be the case (Whiting, pp. viii-ix). The phrase may be no more than another show of Audelay's concern for his own impending demise, a concern that colours MS Douce 302 whenever his name appears. Likewise, previous analysts of the colophon have read it as the book's first end, but this theory also does not hold. The copying on folio [22.sup.v] from section 1 to section 2 is continuous. (16) The colophon seems to indicate, instead, that The Counsel of Conscience was an organized 'book' of Audelay's works that predates the production of MS Douce 302. The date 1426 apparently refers to this earlier, topical 'anthology' and not to MS Douce 302.
In section 2, Audelay's Salutations and Prayers (items 34-51), the compiler's activity remains an intriguing feature of the volume. This section's contents are often sequenced for liturgical or private devotions, with instructions for the reader. (17) Most such instructions are embedded in the verse that is redacted by the first scribe, and consequently they are indisputably by Audelay; but the compiler also seems to have had access to authorial matter. He adds two items, finishes another, and concludes one with a typical Audelaian instruction: 'Wel ys hym [thorn]at wil and may | Say [thorn]is prayere eueryday' (item 37). Moreover, he seems to be responsible for a drawing that is of great significance to the book. As the only illustration, it is eye-catching, but more than that, it is strategically placed and devised. This drawing of the Holy Face upon the Vernicle accompanies the last items in section 2, a salutation and a prayer on the Godhead (see Figure 1). This is a dramatic conclusion, one that is predicated upon a desire for the beatific vision after death:
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Salue! led us to [thorn]at cuntre [thorn]at hole fygur in was, [THORN]at we may se of Ihesu Crist His clene, pured face, Fore euer and fore ay. (W27.16-18)
The section ends with a Latin prayer that we might come face to face with God. The contemporary number for this item, added by the compiler, is thirty-four. This number may participate in a meditative site created by combined illustration and salutation. As the symbolic perfect age, thirty-four represents the goal of achieving oneness with Christ. (18) This moment at the end of section 2 presents the Godhead as exemplary mirror, the endpoint of all individual moral progress, as one seeks to die well.
The next section in Audelay's book consists entirely of carols (section 3, items 52-77). Its opening is marked in the margin by the compiler: 'I pray zow syrus boothe moore and las, | Syng [thorn]ese caroles in Cristemas'. As with his marginal note on the placement of a Doomsday poem, the compiler addresses readers collectively, offering an instruction on how to use the section's items. More importantly, he sounds precisely like the poet himself, who habitually addresses readers as 'sirs' as he instructs them. One such passage closes the last of the twenty-five carols:
I pray zoue, seris, pur charyte, Redis [thorn]is caral reuerently, Fore I mad hit with wepyng eye, zour broder Ion, [thorn]e blynd Awdlay. (W52.52-55; my italics)
Thus, the compiler, working after the carols were all copied into the book, completes by means of the headnote a framed address to 'sirs'. Moreover, the collection itself evinces the concern for closure evident elsewhere as it ends with two fervent carols, both of them signed by Audelay. The last is the carol quoted above; the other is about the fear of dying:
As I lay seke in my langure, With sorow of hert and teere of ye, [THORN]is caral I made with gret doloure; Passio Christi conforta me. (W51.31-34; my italics)
Moved to tears, the penitent poet here claims his verse-'making' as his own, the carols not being attributed (as are the poems of The Counsel of Conscience) to God's direct inspiration, but to the chaplain's own sincere efforts. (19)
After the final carol the copying turns from lyric appeal to the solid moralitee of religious prose (section 4, items 78-85). Rather than offering the religious pragmatism of 'al [thorn]at is nedful to bode and soule' (The Counsel of Conscience, W18.14), this portion of the Audelay MS deals in matters pertaining to readiness for death--the body's 'fruyte', as explained in the compiler's headnote (item 78). The chaplain Audelay counsels a thinking upon last things, and he does so by devising a meditation out of works he himself did not compose. (20) The prose opens with a Richard Rolle analysis of sin, designed to make one 'ryght disposed' to conform to God's will, and proceeds to a short allegorical treatise that readies one to receive the Holy Bridegroom. The two are in proper sequence to enact the purifying process (Doyle, pp. 181-82). The next two pieces of high alliteration complete the solemn mood. The first is the Pater Noster expounded in verse and thereby enacted. This sacred prayer, Audelay explains elsewhere, induces penitence and therefore delivers a soul to purgatory instead of hell, through God's mercy (W2.927-28).21 Last comes the intriguing and important Three Dead Kings, a meditative poem about the living encountering the dead, who are seen as their macabre mirror-images. It is here that the work of the first scribe ends. (22)
After some interval had passed, apparently after he had finished the book's rubrics, the compiler tacked on two more works: a familiar Latin piece on worldly vanity and the Conclusion. Thus it is the compiler who appends the two final works, with the last one offering the poet's parting words. The second hand's second ending draws out, therefore, a long process of concluding that accrues at the end of the Audelay MS. In Audelay's farewell the poet beckons to the reader as if he, Audelay, has already crossed the divide: 'Here may ze here now hwat ze be; | Here may ze cnow hwat ys [thorn]is worlde' (W55.1-2). John Audelay's voice rings with the authority of the dead confronting the living:
Herfore Y haue dyspysed [thorn]is worlde And haue ouercomen alle erthely [thorn]yng; My ryches in heuen with dede and worde I haue y-purchest in my leuyng. (W55.27-30)
To further seal the coffin, the last words inscribed, that is, those appearing in the last column of the last folio, sound as an epitaph:
That hyt made zour soules to saue, Jon, [thorn]e blynde Awdelay. The furst prest to [thorn]e lord Strange he was, Of [thorn]ys chauntre here in [thorn]is place, That made [thorn]is bok by Goddes grace, DeeV, sick, blynd, as he lay, Cuius anime propicietur Deus. (W55.47-53; my italics)
Audelay 'made [thorn]is bok'; it is consummated. It was made 'here in [thorn]is place', a phrase situating the reader in the Haughmond circle and locating the book spatially and temporally even as Audelay's soul apparently advances to heaven. Audelay 'was' the first priest of the Lestrange chantry; he seems no longer among us, yet the final vision leaves him perpetually imaged in supine, suffering repose upon his deathbed, 'Dee., sick, blynd, as he lay'. The words of this 'postmortem' passage resonate with Audelay's own familiar idiom. Audelay is both with us and passed on before us. If, as Anne Middleton suggests, the poet's enactment of his own death is 'ungrammatical' and never truly achievable, it is perhaps Audelay who comes closest of all departing medieval English poets to committing this breach of decorum with both dignity and bravura. (23)
From this modest survey it is apparent that someone, whom I have termed a 'compiler', designed the book upon a plan, one complicitous with Audelay's intent and able to access Audelay's authentic words, including the Conclusion by which Audelay signs o. the book. (24) The ostensible purpose behind MS Douce 302 is the creation of a memorial collection of Audelay's verse, but the volume stretches what we might mean by the term 'author collection' because it records the poet's voice both internally and marginally, letting it resonate with the poet's own 'blynd Awdelay' trademark insistence, in ever-direct address to the reader, and persist even beyond the presumed first ending for the book. Marginal appeals from a 'compiler' augment the many devotional instructions found within lyrics, and all such tags use a distinctive idiom of exhortation to explain how to read the book in the right order and in the right tempers of reverence, contrition, mirth, or remembrance of its author. The volume exceeds the bounds of a single-author anthology, further, by inclusion of non-Audelaian works apparently chosen deliberately for a desired meditative effect.
By his own words, the chaplain conflates the action of bookmaking with his religious conviction, in which the desire of every life is to achieve the 'grace of good endyng' (W18.3), 'for alle ys good [thorn]at hath good ende' (W55.38). God's Word, he states, exists in a heavenly 'bok' that records the names of the redeemed:
But for [thorn]at zour namus wreton [thorn]ay be In [thorn]e bok of lyfe in heuen blys, Ther to haue ioy perpetualy, Al erthely ioy shal sone vanyshe. (W55.18-21; my italics)
To this divine example Audelay implicitly compares his own creation, his volume offered now to the reader:
Loke in [thorn]is book; here may ze se Hwatt ys my wyl and my wrytyng All odur by me war for to be; Be warre, brether, Y zow pray, zowre mysdedes [thorn]at ze amende Owte of thys worlde or [thorn]at ze wende, For alle ys good [thorn]at hath good ende; Thus conseles Jon, the blynde Awdelay. (W55.32-39; my italics)
The poet asserts his 'wyl' and his 'wrytyng' in the book before us. With the aid of two scribes, one who merely copies his prior well-ordered collections and another who provides an ordinatio to the book, Audelay counsels a good ending. The meaning of the whole rests in how the 'bok', or 'lyfe', concludes.
Recent examinations of how the concept 'authorial identity' applies to Middle English verse writers have shown most of all that generalizations are difficult to arrive at amidst a sifting of the surviving single or near single-author manuscripts and signed or ascribed works. (25) On the shelf of evidence the Audelay MS occupies an important spot. In its insistently named poet's multiple signatures, prayers, petitions, and sequences of matter, it demonstrates a contemporary motivation for the anthologizing impulse. Foreign though it is to modern sensibilities, it was a strong motive indeed. To read this book right is to pray for John Audelay's soul. (26) Death brings a closure that is real, for ever, irrevocable. Think on death and think on John Audelay. Use this book as a mirror. See and hear the monitory words of the dead chaplain. Prove his priestly good by reflecting upon your mortal state and your readiness for death. The two scribes are fully complicit in this aim of an orthodox chaplain in fear of death and purgatory, hopeful of the beatific vision, wishful that his infirmities mean grace and not just pain. In anthologizing his works, John Audelay did not seek the immortality of a poet. He sought the immortality that he believed God would grant to a true penitent.
APPENDIX: CONTENTS OF THE AUDELAYMS
The following chart presents the sections, contents, and division of hands in MS Douce 302. Numbers in square brackets indicate the four sections. Numbers prefixed 'W' derive from Whiting's edition. Enlarged boldface initials represent initials that are coloured blue with fine red filigree, while regular boldface initials represent those drawn solely in red. Roman numerals reproduce the original scribal numbering of items that tops columns in which new material appears. (27)
MS Douce 302 is the product of two scribes, probably resident Augustinian canons of Haughmond Abbey, c. 1426-30. Unless otherwise specified, listed items are English works redacted by the first scribe, who copied texts and sometimes sequences of texts in well-defined sections and left gaps. The 'compiler' (i.e., second scribe) contributed the book's ordinatio: incipits, explicits, numerals, coloured initials, paraphs, indicators (item 3), a long colophon (item 33), and probably the drawing (item 49). (28)
The compiler inserted some of many instructions for readers (items 2, 15, 37, 52, 78). Most, however, are written by the first scribe. Occasionally the compiler underlined in red the openings of items redacted by the first scribe, marking them as accessus (items 13, 20, 24, 26), while other instructional verse may be found embedded in poems (e.g., items 7, 9, 15, 20, 21, 26, 28). Some instructions accompany devotional sequences, a common practice in sections 1 and 2. The first scribe ended the book at item 83. Later, when the compiler checked and corrected the manuscript, he extended the ending by two poems.
The following abbreviations are used in bibliographic references:
Brown Carleton Brown, A Register of Middle English Religious and Didactic Verse, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1916, 1920).
CMEP A Check-List of Middle English Prose Writings of Spiritual Guidance, ed. by P. S. Jolliffe (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1974).
Doyle A. I. Doyle, '"Lectulus noster floridus": An Allegory of the Penitent Soul', in Literature and Religion in the Later Middle Ages: Philological Studies in Honor of Siegfried Wenzel, ed. by Richard G. Newhauser and John A. Alford (Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1994), pp. 179-90.
EEC The Early English Carols, ed. by Richard Leighton Greene, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977).
Fein Susanna Greer Fein, 'A Thirteen-Line Alliterative Stanza on the Abuse of Prayer from the Audelay MS', Medium AEvum, 63 (1994), 61-74.
IMEV Carleton Brown and Rossell Hope Robbins, The Index of Middle English Verse (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943).
IPMEP Robert E. Lewis, Norman F. Blake, and A. S. G. Edwards, Index of Printed Middle English Prose (New York: Garland, 1985).
MWME A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050-1500, ed. by J. B. Severs and A. E. Hartung, 10 vols (Hamden: Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1967-98).
Suppl. John L. Cutler and Rossell Hope Robbins, Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965).
Whiting The Poems of John Audelay, ed. by Ella Keats Whiting, EETS OS 184 (1931).
1. John Audelay, The Counsel of Conscience, fols [1.sup.r]-[22.sup.v] 1. (W1) fols [1.sup.r]-[2.sup.r]. Instructions in Christian Living. Begins imperfectly: '... In hel ne purgatore non o[thorn]er plase'. IMEV * 39; Suppl. * 1492.5. 2. fol. [2.sup.r]. Marginal verse, compiler: 'The day of dome shuld come in here | Uer [thorn]e defawte of [thorn]e wrytere | At [thorn]e xiij leef afore hyt ys | Seche hyt [thorn]ere [thorn]ou shalt nott mys'. Not in IMEV. XI 3. (W2) fols [2.sup.r]-[7.sup.v]. Counsels to Those in Religious Life. Incipit, compiler: 'De concordia inter rectores fratres et rectores ecclesie'; ends imperfectly. Signed (line 1008). Begins: 'God ha[thorn] grauntyd grace vnto oure lerny[n]g'. Most stanzas have Latin headings written by the first scribe; the compiler adds two (fol. [6.sup.v]) and marginal indicators at lines 350 (hand), 533 (hand), and 697-700 (horn). IMEV 947; MWME 9.2981 . 4. (W3) fol. [8.sup.r]. On Nine Virtues. Signed (line 102). Begins imperfectly: '... To [thorn]i nezbour fore loue of me'; ends, compiler: 'Explicit de salutare'. IMEV * 71; Suppl. * 3780.5; MWME 7.2537-38 . XVI 5. (W4) fols [8.sup.r]-[9.sup.r]. Prayer on the Blood of Christ. Incipit, compiler: 'De effusione sanguinis Christi in remissione peccatorum'; begins: ' An holy prayer here bygynnes'; ends, compiler: 'Explicit de sanguine Christi'. IMEV 292. XVII 6. (W5) fol. [9.sup.r]. Prayer on Christ's Passion. Incipit, compiler: 'Quomodo Ihesus fuit reprobatus a Iudeis'; begins: 'O God [thorn]e wyche [thorn]ou woldust Lorde'. IMEV 2452. XVIII 7-11. Psalter of the Passion, a sequence of Latin prayers with English instructions. Incipit, compiler: 'De psalterio passionis'. 7. (W6) fol. [9.sup.r]. Instructions for prayer, two couplets. Begins: 'Wele is him [thorn]at wele can'. IMEV 3888. 8. (W6) fol. [9.sup.r]. Latin verse prayer. Begins: 'Anima Christi sanctifica me'; ends: 'Amen'. 9. (W6) fol. [9.sup.r]. Instructions for prayer, three couplets. Begins: 'And say on [thorn]i bedis in [thorn]is manere'. Not in IMEV. 10. (W6) fol. [9.sup.r-v]. Latin verse prayer. Begins 'O Deus qui voluisti'. 11. (W6) fol. [9.sup.v]. Latin prose prayer. Begins: 'Tu Domine per has sanctissimas penas tuas'. XIX 12. (W7) fols [9.sup.v]-[10.sup.r]. Seven Utterances of Christ on the Cross. Incipit, compiler: 'De septem verbis Ihesu Christi pendentis in cruce'; begins: 'O Ihesu Crist hongyng on cros'; ends: 'Explicit septem verba Domini Nostri Ihesu Christi'. IMEV 2468. XX 13-18. Devotions at the Levation, a sequence of prayers and instructions, called a 'salutation'. Incipit, compiler: 'De salutacione corporis Ihesu Christi'; explicit, compiler: 'Explicit Salutacio'. MWME 7.2559-61 . 13. (W8) fol. [10.sup.r]. Instructions for the Salutation to Christ's Body, six lines (aabccb) underlined in red by the compiler. Begins: 'When [thorn]ou seyst [thorn]e sacrement'. IMEV 4052. 14. (W8) fol. [10.sup.r]. Salutation to Christ's Body, seven 8-line stanzas (aaabcccb). Begins: 'Hayle gracious Lord in [thorn]i Godhede'. Not in IMEV. 15. (W8) fol. [10.sup.r]. Instructions for the Prayer at the Levation, eight lines (aaabcccb). Begins: 'He [thorn]at wil say [thorn]is oreson'. IMEV unnumbered (p. 186). 16. (W8) fol. [10.sup.r-v]. Prayer at the Levation, three 6-line stanzas (aabccb). Begins: 'O Lord Ihesu Crist fore [thorn]i hole flesche most wor[thorn]i'. Not in IMEV. 17. (W8) fol. [10.sup.v]. Latin prose prayer. Begins: 'Adoramus te Christe'; ends: 'Amen.' 18. (W8) fol. [10.sup.v]. Latin verse prayer, six lines (aabbaa). Begins: 'Laudes Deo dicam per secula'; ends: 'Amen.' XXI 19. (W9) fols [10.sup.v]-[12.sup.r]. The Virtues of the Mass. Incipit, compiler: 'De meritis misse; quomodo debemus audire missam'; begins: 'Lordis, zif ze wil ly[thorn]e'; ends, compiler: 'Explicit meritis misse'. IMEV 1986; MWME 7.2557 , 9.3265. XXII 20-22. For Remission of Sins, a devotional sequence to obtain a reduction of time in purgatory. Items 20 and 21 end with instructional couplets introducing the next items. 20. (W10) fol. [12.sup.v]. St Gregory's Indulgence, underlined in red by the compiler. Incipit, compiler: 'Quomodo Dominus Ihesus Christus apparuit Sancto Gregorio in tale effugie'; begins: ' Apon a day Saynt Gregore'; ends: '[THORN]en loke [thorn]ou say anon | Dewowtle [thorn]is confession'. Fragmentary marginal note, compiler: 'here within for | [ ]eye afyem'. IMEV 3834. 21. (W10) fol. [12.sup.v]. Prayer of General Confession. Incipit, compiler: 'De confesione generali'; begins: 'Swete Ihesu Crist to [thorn]e'; ends: 'Loke ze say [thorn]is oresoun | Dewoutle with deuocion'. IMEV & Suppl. 3233; Brown 1.114. 22. (W10) fol. [12.sup.v]. Prayer for Forgiveness. Incipit, compiler: 'Quomodo Ihesus in cruce rogabat Patrem pro inimicis. Oracio'; begins: 'O [L]ord Ihesu Crist hongyng on cros'; ends: 'Amen'. IMEV 2489; Brown 1.114. XXIII 23. (W11) fols [12.sup.v]-[14.sup.v]. On Visiting the Sick and Consoling the Needy. Signed (line 390). Incipit, compiler: 'De visitacione infirmorum et consolacione miserorum'; begins: 'Saynt Ancelyne [thorn]at hole bischop'; ends, compiler: 'Explicit visitacio infirmorum et consolacio miserorum'. IMEV 2853; MWME 7.2568 . 24. (W12) fol. [14.sup.v]. Instructions for reading items 25-26 (aabbbb): 'I pray zou serys pur charyte | When ze han red [thorn]is treuly | [THORN]en redis [thorn]is passion | What Cryst sofryd fore synful m[o]n. | Here schul ze here a treu lessoun, | Hou fay[thorn] and charyte away is gon'. Underlined in red by the compiler. IMEV unnumbered (p. 213); Brown 1.114. 25. (W12) fols [14.sup.v]-[15.sup.r]. On the World's Folly. Signed (final line). Begins with Latin aphorisms, 'Multis diebus iam peractis ... Cauete' ('Videte' added by compiler), which introduce English verse translation and expansion: 'Mone days now a-gone'. IMEV 1211 (mistakenly listing line 5 of item 24 as first line). XXIIII 26-28. Devotions on the Passion. 26. (W13) fol. [15.sup.r-v]. Pope John's Passion of Our Lord, a refrain poem in fifteen 8-line stanzas (ababbcbc) with two different refrains (both absent in the last stanza). The first stanza is underlined in red by the compiler. The last line of stanza 11 introduces stanzas 12-14 ('And say [thorn]is prayour with gret pete'), a prayer to Jesus beginning: 'O! Ihesu, [thorn]at bo[thorn]e [thorn]i holy hond' (face drawn in initial; compare items 34 and 47). Incipit, compiler: 'De passione Domini nostri Ihesu Christi et de horis canonicis'. Begins: 'Pope Ion [thorn]e xij at Auyon was'. IMEV 2764; MWME 7.2571-73 . 27. (W13) Audelay's Signature to Pope John's Passion. Signed (line 2). Two couplets: 'Amen Ihesu now I [thorn]e pray | Haue mynd and merce on blynd Audlay | [THORN]at mad in Englesche [thorn]is passion | Fore synful men to haue mynd [thorn]er-on'. Not in IMEV. 28. (W14) fols [15.sup.v]-[16.sup.r]. The Hours of the Cross. Stanzas have Latin headings written by first scribe; the last (instructional) stanza lacks a heading. Incipit: 'Hic incepiunt hore canonice passionis Ihesu Christe'; begins: 'Crist [thorn]at was crucifyd on cros for our synnus sake' (quatrefoil drawn in initial; compare items 45 and 49). IMEV 623. XXV 29. (W15) fols [16.sup.r]-[17.sup.r]. Lord's Epistle on Sunday. Signed (line 208). First incipit, fol. [16.sup.r], col. 1 base: 'Audite hec omnes gentes: ... accepi'; second incipit, compiler, col. 2 top margin: 'De epistola Domini nostri Ihesu Christi de die Dominica'; begins: 'Now here [thorn]is pistil I zou pray'. IMEV 2324. XXVI 30. (W16) fols [17.sup.r]-[18.sup.v]. Vision of St Paul. Signed (line 365). Incipit: 'Incipit narracio quo Michel duxit Paulum ad infernum ... electus'; begins: '[THORN]e Sononday is Godis oun chosyn day'. IMEV 3481; MWME 2.646 [320d]. XXVII 31. (W17) fols [18.sup.v]-[20.sup.r]. An Appeal of God to Men, refrain poem in 8-line stanzas. Imperfect, one folio missing after line 189 (between fols 19 and 20); about half the stanzas have Latin headings written by first scribe. First incipit, fol. 18v, col. 2 base: 'Hec dicit Dominus Deus conuertimini ad me et salui eritis ... docebit vos'; second incipit, compiler, fol. 19r, col. 1 top margin under numeral: 'De misericordia Domini'; begins: ' All Cristyn men Y bid 3ou cum'. IMEV 171. 32. (W18) fols [20.sup.r]-[22.sup.v]. Audelay's 'Epilogue' to The Counsel of Conscience. Signed twice (ll. 6, 507). The piece has neither incipit nor coloured initial to separate it from item 31. The compiler has inserted Latin stanza headings in blank lines on fols [21.sup.r] and [22.sup.r]. Begins: 'Here I conclud al my makyng'. IMEV 1200. 33. fol. [22.sup.v]. Latin prose colophon to The Counsel of Conscience, compiler: 'Finito libro sit laus et gloria Christo | liber vocatur concilium conciencie sic nominatur | Aut scala celi et vita salutis eterni | Iste liber fuit compositus per Iohannem Awdelay | capellanum qui fuit secus et surdus in sua | visitacione ad honorem domini nostri Ihesu Christi | et ad exemplum aliorum in monasterio | de Haghmon Anno domini millesimo ccccmo | visecimo vjto Cuius anime propicietur deus | Amen'. 2. John Audelay, Salutations and Prayers, fols [22.sup.v]-[27.sup.v] XXVIII 34. (W19) fols [22.sup.v]-[23.sup.v]. Salutation to Mary, with embedded salutation to Christ. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipiunt salutaciones beate Marie virginis ... dicit aue'; begins: 'Hayle Mare to [thorn]e I say'. Salutation to Christ (ll. 91-153) begins: 'O Ihesu fore [thorn]ese ioys v' (face drawn in initial; compare items 26 and 47). IMEV 1068. 35. (W19) fol. [23.sup.v]. Prayer rubric in two couplets, compiler: 'I pray [thorn]e Fader omnipotent | Graunt mercy to-fore [thorn]y iugement | And alle [thorn]at don zow here seruyse | [THORN]ou graunt hom part of paradyse'. Not in IMEV. 36. (W19) fol. [23.sup.v]. Prayer, twelve lines (ababbabaabab), compiler. Begins, with red initial: 'O allmyzty God, euer-lastyngle'; ends: 'amen'. Initial 'O' erroneously read by Whiting with preceding line. Not in IMEV. 37. (W19) fol. [23.sup.v]. Instructional Conclusion to Prayer, couplet rubric cramped on one line, compiler: 'Wel ys hym [thorn]at wil and may | Say [thorn]is prayere eueryday'. Not in IMEV. XXIX 38. (W20) fols [23.sup.v]-[24.sup.r]. Salutation to Mary. Incipit, compiler: 'Alia oracio de sancta Maria virgine'; begins: 'Haile [thorn]e fayrst [thorn]er euer God fond'; ends, compiler: 'Explicitur'. IMEV 1083. 39. (W21) fol. [24.sup.r-v]. Gabriel's Salutation to the Virgin. Incipit, compiler: 'Hec salutacio composuit Angelus Gabrielus'; begins: 'The angel to [thorn]e vergyn said'; ends, compiler: 'Explicitur'. The compiler has redacted lines 30-50 (final two stanzas). IMEV & Suppl. 3305. XXX 40. (W22) fols [24.sup.v]-[25.sup.r]. Song of the Magnificat. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipit psalmus de Magnificat'; begins: 'My soule my Lord hit mangnefy[thorn]'; ends, compiler: 'Explicitur'. IMEV & Suppl. 2271. XXXI 41. (W23) fols [25.sup.r]-[26.sup.r]. Salutation to St Bridget. Signed (line 202), and Audelay is named in the incipit. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipit salutacio Sancte Brigitte virginis ... quod Awdelay'; begins: 'Hayle maydyn and wyfe h[ayle] wedow Brygytt'; ends: 'Amen'. IMEV & Suppl. 1058; MWME 9.3123. XXXII 42-45. Devotions to St Winifred. 42. (W24) fol. [26.sup.r-v]. Carol Salutation to St Winifred. Signed (line 120). Burden, compiler: 'Wenefrede [thorn]ou swete may | Thow pray for vs bo[thorn]e nyzt and day'; begins: ' As [thorn]ou were marter and mayd clene'. IMEV 413; EEC 314; MWME 6.1992 . 43. (W25) fols [26.sup.v]-[27.sup.r]. Salutation to St Winifred. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipit salutacio Sancte Wenefrede virginis'; begins: 'Hayle Wenefryd [thorn]at worchipful with [thorn]i vergenete'; ends, compiler: 'Explicitur salutacio'. IMEV 1084. 44. (W25) fol. [27.sup.r]. Latin verse prayer to St Winifred. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipit oracio'; first line: 'Virgo pia Wynfryda pollens in myraculis'. 45. (W25) fol. [27.sup.r]. Latin prose prayer to St Winifred. Incipit written by two hands: 'Oremus' (first scribe) 'collecte' (compiler, in red). Begins: 'Deus qui beatam virgenem tuam Wenfredam' (quatrefoil drawn in initial; compare items 28 and 49); ends: 'Amen'. XXXIII 46-47. Devotions to St Anne. 46. (W26) fol. [27.sup.r]. Salutation to St Anne. Incipit, compiler: 'Quicumque hanc salutacionem in honore Sancte Anne matris Marie ... morietur'; begins: 'Gaude felix Anna [thorn]e moder of Mari'. IMEV 894. 47. (W26) fol. [27.sup.r-v]. Latin prose prayer to St Anne. Incipit: 'Ora pro nobis beata Anna quia de fructu ventris tui est nobis gratia data. Oremus' to which the compiler has added (in red): 'collecte'. Begins: 'Deus qui beatam Annam diu sterilem' (face drawn in initial; compare items 26 and 34); ends: 'Amen'. XXXIIII 48-51. Meditation on the Saviour's Face. 48. (W27) fol. [27.sup.v]. Latin accessus to Salutation to Our Saviour, compiler: 'Quicumque hanc salutacionem in honore saluatoris ... saluatoris'. 49. Drawing of the Holy Face on the Vernicle, ?compiler (see Figure 1). 50. (W27) fol. [27.sup.v]. Salutation to Our Saviour. Begins: 'Salue I say hole face of our Saueour'; ends: 'Signatum est super nos lumen vultis tui domine Dedisti leteciam in corde meo'. IMEV 3073. 51. (W27) fol. [27.sup.v]. Latin prose prayer to the Holy Face. Incipit written by two hands: 'Oremus' (first scribe) 'collecte' (compiler, in red). Begins: 'Deus qui nobis signatum vultis tui memoreali' (quatrefoil drawn in initial; compare items 28 and 45); ends: 'Amen'. 3. John Audelay, Carols, fols [27.sup.v]-[32.sup.r] XXXV 52. fol. [27.sup.v]. Introduction to Carol Collection. Written in upper margin of col. 2 under numeral, compiler: 'I pray zow syrus boothe moore and las | Syng [thorn]ese caroles in Cristemas' (see Figure 1). Not in IMEV. 53. (W28) fol. [27.sup.v]. On the Ten Commandments. Incipit, compiler: 'Hic incipiunt decem precepta in modum cantalene'; burden: ' A mon zif [thorn]ou wold sauyd be'; begins: 'And loue [thorn]i God ouer al [thorn]yng'. IMEV 304; EEC 324; MWME 6.1994 . 54. (W29) fols [27.sup.v]-[28.sup.r]. On the Seven Deadly Sins. Incipit, compiler: 'De septem peccatis mortalibus'; burden: 'In wele be ware ore [thorn]ou be woo'; begins: 'Foresake [thorn]i pride and [thorn]yn enuy'. IMEV 858; EEC 325; MWME 6.1994 . 55. (W30) fol. [28.sup.r]. On the Seven Works of Mercy. Incipit, compiler: 'De septem opera misericordie'; burden: 'Wele is him and wele schal be'; begins: 'Fede [thorn]e hungere [thorn]e [thorn]irste zif drenke'. IMEV 792; EEC 326; MWME 6.1994 . 56. (W31) fol. [28.sup.r]. On the Five Senses. Incipit, compiler: 'De quinque sensus'; burden: 'Thy v wittis loke [thorn]at [thorn]ou wel spende'; begins: '[THORN]e furst hit is [thorn]i heryng'. IMEV 3346; EEC 328; MWME 6.1995 . 57. (W32) fol. [28.sup.r-v]. On the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Incipit, compiler: 'De septem dona spiritus sancti'; burden: 'God ha[thorn] zeuen of myztis most'; begins: 'Mynd, resun, vertu, and grace'. IMEV 2173; EEC 327; MWME 6.1995 . 58. (W33) fol. [28.sup.v]. On the Day of the Nativity. Incipit, compiler: 'In die natalis domini'; burden: 'Welcum zole in good aray'; begins: 'Welcum be [thorn]ou Heuen Kyng'. IMEV & Suppl. 3877; EEC 7A; MWME 6.1945-46 . 59. (W34) fol. [28.sup.v]. On the Day of St Stephen. Incipit, compiler: 'In die Sancti Stephani'; burden: 'In reuerens of oure Lord in heuen'; begins: 'Saynt Steuen [thorn]e first martere'. IMEV 3057; EEC 97; MWME 6.1959 . 60. (W35) fol. [28.sup.v]. On the Day of St John the Evangelist. Incipit, compiler: 'In die Sancti Iohannis appostole et ewangeliste'; burden: 'I pray zoue breder euerechon'; begins: 'Synt Ion is Cristis derlyng dere'. IMEV 2929; EEC 102; MWME 6.1960 . 61. (W36) fols [28.sup.v]-[29.sup.r]. On the Day of the Holy Innocents. Incipit, compiler: 'In die sanctorum Innocencium'; burden: 'With al [thorn]e reuer[en]s [thorn]at we may'; begins: 'Crist crid in cradil moder baba'. IMEV & Suppl. 601; EEC 108; MWME 6.1961 . 62. (W37) fol. [29.sup.r]. On St Thomas of Canterbury. Incipit, compiler: 'De Sancto Thome archiepiscopo cantuarienci'; burden: 'I pra[y] zou sers al in-fere'; begins: 'For on a Tewsday Thomas was borne'. IMEV 838; EEC 113; MWME 6.1961-62 . 63. (W38) fol. [29.sup.r]. On the Day of the Circumcision. Incipit, compiler: 'In die circu[m]cicionis domini'; burden: 'What ty[thorn]yngis bryngst vs messangere'; begins: 'A Babe is borne of hye natewre'. IMEV & Suppl. 21; EEC 117a; MWME 3.843-44 , 6.1962 . 64. (W39) fol. [29.sup.r-v]. On King Henry VI. Signed (line 66). Incipit, compiler: 'De rege nostro Henrico Sexto'; burden: 'A perles Pryns to [thorn]e we pray' (flourish on initial); begins: 'Fore he is ful zong tender of age'. IMEV & Suppl. 822; EEC 428; MWME 6.2011 . 65. (W40) fol. [29.sup.v]. On the Four Estates. Incipit, compiler: 'Fac ad quod venisti'; burden: 'Hit is [thorn]e best erele and late'; begins: 'In wat order or what degre'. IMEV & Suppl. 1588; EEC 347; MWME 6.1997 . 66. (W41) fols [29.sup.v], [31.sup.r]. On Childhood. Incipit, compiler: 'Cantalena de puericia'; burden: 'And God wold graunt me my prayer'; begins: 'Fore pride in herte he hatis all one'. IMEV 840; EEC 412; MWME 6.2007 . 67. (W42) fol. [31.sup.r]. On the Day of the Epiphany. Incipit, compiler: 'In die epephanis etc'; burden: 'Nowel nowel nowel'; begins: '[THORN]er is a Babe born of a may'. IMEV & Suppl. 3526, 20; EEC 122A; MWME 6.1963 . 68. (W43) fol. [31.sup.r-v]. On St Anne. Incipit, compiler: 'De sancta Anna matre Marie'; burden: 'The moder of Mary [thorn]at merciful may'; begins: 'Swete saynt Tanne we [thorn]e beseche'. IMEV 3244; EEC 311; MWME 6.1991 . 69. (W44) fol. [31.sup.v]. On Mary, Flower Sprung of a Tree. Incipit, compiler: 'Alia cantalena de Sancta Maria'; burden: 'There is a Floure spr[u]ng of a tre'; begins: '[THORN]is Flour is fayre and fresche of heue'. IMEV & Suppl. 3603; EEC 172a; MWME 6.1974 . 70. (W45) fols [31.sup.v], [30.sup.r]. On Mary, Mother and Maiden. Incipit, compiler: 'Et alia de Sancta Maria'; burden: 'Aue Maria now say we so'; begins: 'Gaude Maria Cristis moder'. IMEV 895; EEC 230b; MWME 6.1981-82 . 71. (W46) fol. [30.sup.r]. On Mary, Peerless among Women. Incipit, compiler: 'Et de Sancta Maria'; burden: 'Heyle of wymmen flour of alle'; begins: 'Blessid mot [thorn]ou be [thorn]ou berd so bryzt'. IMEV 536; EEC 177; MWME 6.1975-76 . 72. (W47) fol. [30.sup.r]. On Virginity of Saints. Incipit, compiler: 'De virgin[i]tate'; burden, compiler: 'For the loue of a maydon fre'; begins: 'Blessid mot be oure heuen quene'. The compiler supplies almost half of this carol. IMEV & Suppl. 535; EEC 397; MWME 6.2004 . 73. (W48) fol. [30.sup.r-v]. On Virginity of Maidens. Incipit, compiler: 'Cantalena de virginibus'; burden: 'I pray zoue maydys [thorn]at here be'; begins: 'In word in dede in wyl in [thorn]ozt'. IMEV & Suppl. 1595; EEC 398; MWME 6.2004 . 74. (W49) fol. [30.sup.v]. On Chastity in Married Women. Incipit, compiler: 'De matrimonio mulierum'; burden: 'Avyse zoue wemen wom ze trust'; begins: 'Hit is ful heue chastite'. IMEV & Suppl. 1630; EEC 411; MWME 6.2007 . 75. (W50) fol. [30.sup.v]. On Love of God. Incipit, compiler: 'De amore Dei'; burden: 'I haue a loue is heuen Kyng'; begins: 'Fore loue is loue and euer schal be'. IMEV 831; EEC 272; MWME 6.1987 . 76. (W51) fols [30.sup.v], [32.sup.v]. On Dread of Death. Signed (line 43). Incipit, compiler: 'Timor mortis conturbat me'; burden: 'Lade helpe Ihesu merce'; begins: 'Dred of de[thorn] sorow of syn'. IMEV & Suppl. 693; EEC 369; MWME 6.2000 . 77. (W52) fol. [32.sup.r]. On St Francis. Signed (line 55). Incipit, compiler: 'De Sancto Fransisco'; burden: 'Saynt Frances to [thorn]e I say'; begins: 'A hole confessoure [thorn]ou were hone'. IMEV & Suppl. 44; EEC 310; MWME 6.1991 . 4. Meditative Close, fols [32.sup.r]-[35.sup.r] XXXVI 78. fol. [32.sup.r]. Instructions, compiler: 'Rede thys offt butt rede hit soft | And whatt [thorn]ou redust forzeete hit nozt | For here [thorn]e soth [thorn]ou maght se | What fruyte come[thorn] of [thorn]y body'. IMEV & Suppl. 2795. 79. fol. [32.sup.r-v]. The Sins of the Heart (prose extract from Richard Rolle, The Form of Living). Incipit, compiler (written in margin): 'De peccatis cord[is]'; begins: 'These synnys of [thorn]e hert arne [thorn]ese ...'; ends, compiler: '[Q]uicumque inspexerit'. Sections marked by red initials. IPMEP 124-25 . Fein, pp. 65-73. 80. fol. [32.sup.v]. Over-Hippers and Skippers (13-line alliterative stanza, octave written as prose, interpolated with Rolle extract). Begins: 'Ouer- hippers and skippers moterers and mumlers'. Not recorded in IMEV; Suppl. 813.8 (records three lines). Fein, pp. 61-74. 81. fols [32.sup.v]-[33.sup.v]. An Honest Bed (prose allegory). No incipit. Begins: 'Whan [thorn]e chambur of [thorn]i soule is clensid fro al syn'. CMEP 1.35; MWME 7:2542 . Doyle, pp. 179-90. XXXVII 82. (W53) fols [33.sup.v]-[34.sup.r]. Pater Noster (alliterative poem in 11-line stanzas). Incipit, compiler: 'Pater noster qui es in celis'; begins: 'The pater noster to expone may no man hit prise'; ends, compiler: 'Amen'. IMEV 3445. XXXVIII 83. (W54) fol. [34.sup.r-v]. Three Dead Kings (alliterative poem in 13-line stanzas). Incipit, compiler: 'De tribus regibus mortuis'; begins: 'An a byrchyn bonke [thorn]er bous arne bryzt'; ends, compiler: 'Amen'. IMEV 2677; MWME 9.3261 . 84. fol. [34.sup.v]. On Worldly Vanity (Latin poem), compiler. Incipit: 'Non honor set honus assumere nomen honoris'; begins: 'Cur mundus militat sub vana gloria'. A red initial marks each stanza. 85. (W55) fol. [35.sup.r]. Audelay's Conclusion, compiler. Signed twice (ll. 39, 48). Incipit: 'Sapiencia huius mundi stulticia est apud Deum'; begins: 'Here may ze here now hwat ze be'; ends: 'Cuius anime propicietur Deus'. IMEV 1210; MWME 9.3020 .
(1) For item numbers, see Appendix. Citations of text are taken from The Poems of John Audelay, ed. by Ella Keats Whiting, EETS OS 184 (1931), with Whiting's item numbers prefixed 'W'.
(2) See, for example, the scenarios of dictation imagined by Whiting and the investigators she cites (pp. ix-x), in particular, J. ErnstWulfing, 'Der Dichter John Audelay und SeinWerk', Anglia, 18 (1896), 173-217. Among recent scholars, Michael Bennett assumes Audelay to be poet, compiler, and fully disabled without addressing the difficulty in this ('John Audley: Some New Evidence on his Life and Work', Chaucer Review, 16 (1982), 344-55 (pp. 344-45, 348)). Eric Stanley detects errors due to 'imperfect communication' but also notes the improbability of correction by dictation ('The Verse Forms of Jon the Blynde Awdelay', in The Long Fifteenth Century, ed. by Helen Cooper and Sally Mapstone (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), pp. 99-121 (pp. 100, 105)). A. S. G. Edwards notes the handicap of blindness but suggests that dictation accounts for the careful programme of correction ('Fifteenth-Century Middle English Verse Author Collections', in The English Medieval Book: Studies in Memory of Jeremy GriYths, ed. by A. S. G. Edwards, Vincent Gillespie, and Ralph Hanna (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 101-12 (p. 105)). It may be significant that Audelay calls himself 'blynd Awdelay' many times, but writes less often of his deafness. In one passage he asserts that he is 'blynd, def to be' (W18.20; my italics), which may indicate hearing that was failing but not lost.
(3) Collation is uncertain because the leaves have been trimmed and given a modern binding. However, some folios bear traces of the original quire signatures. There are surviving numbers on folios 3r (d iiii), 10r (. iii), 14r (g i), 15r (g ii), 20r (f ii), 21r (f iii); matched catchwords on folios [13.sup.v] and [28.sup.v]; and unmatched ones on folios [7.sup.v] and [19.sup.v]. The marginal verse on folio [2.sup.r] indicates that a minimum of thirteen leaves preceded folio 2. Lacunae occur before folios 1, 8, and 20. These clues suggest that MS Douce 302 originally consisted of sixty parchment leaves in ten gatherings (the now lost a6, b6, and c6, beside d6 (lacking 1-2), e6 (lacking 3-6), f6, g6, h6 (lacking 1; oddly, the scribe labels this gathering 'f '), j6, k6) with significant losses: nineteen leaves before folio 1 (thirteen if gathering a did not exist); four before folio 8; and one before folio 20. Folios 30 and 31 were reversed when the book was bound. The thirty-five leaves of text are preceded by a blank vellum leaf upon which an early owner, Richard Farmer, has written his name; I exclude this leaf from the collation.
(4) A. I. Doyle has corrected the older view that three hands worked on the manuscript: '"Lectulus noster floridus": An Allegory of the Penitent Soul', in Literature and Religion in the Later Middle Ages: Philological Studies in Honor of Siegfried Wenzel, ed. by Richard G. Newhauser and John A. Alford (Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1994), pp. 179-90 (pp. 181-82, n. 15). The second scribe is also responsible for most red and all blue in the manuscript (as detailed in the Appendix). The drawing on folio [27.sup.v] (see Figure 1) may be his work as well.
(5) This design has not been articulated in previous descriptions of MS Douce 302: Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts Bequeathed by Francis Douce, Esq., to the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1840), pp. 50-52; Falconer Madan, A Summary Catalogue ofWestern Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, 7 vols (Oxford, 1897), iv, 585-86 (no. 21876); Carleton Brown, A Register of Middle English Religious and Didactic Verse, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1916-20), i, 113-18; Whiting, pp. vii-xi; The Early English Carols, ed. by Richard Leighton Greene, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), p. 317; and Laurel Braswell, The Index of Middle English Prose, Handlist IV: A Handlist of Douce Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Cambridge: Brewer, 1987), pp. 70-71. The fullest descriptions are those of Whiting and Greene, but in counting fifty-five items, they overlook several instructional verses and the way that some devotional sequences are composed of discrete items. Whiting's edition omits the English prose, scribal numbering, initials, drawing, indicators, and moral poem in Latin.
(6) Angus McIntosh, M. L. Samuels, and Michael Benskin, A Linguistic Atlas of Later Mediaeval English, 4 vols (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1986), i, 148; iii, 454-55; Angus McIntosh, 'Some Notes on the Text of the Middle English Poem De tribus regibus mortuis', RES, n.s. 28 (1977), 385-92 (p. 386, n. 1); Bruce Dickins, 'The Rhymes in MS. Douce 302, 53 and 54', Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society (Literary and Historical Section), 2 (1932), 516-18 (p. 516).
(7) One document cites Audelay in the legal complaint against Lestrange (PRO, King's Bench, Coram Rege Rolls, KB27/624, rot. 76; see Bennett, pp. 348, 354, n. 12). There may be others yet to be discovered. I am particularly indebted to Maureen Jurkowski for information about a writ, dated 20 April 1417, that names Lestrange's chaplain by what is likely an alias of Audelay, 'John Borewell', and recounts that he was detained with others in prison (probably Newgate) but mainprised before the arrival of the writ, although still ordered to appear before the court (PRO, Chancery, Chancery Files: Tower Series, Habeas Corpus Cum Causa, C250/10, no. 24). For printed accounts of the scandal, see The Register of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury 1414-1443, ed. by E. F. Jacobs, 4 vols (Canterbury and York Society, 1937-47), iv, 169-75; Historical Collections of a Citizen of London in the Fifteenth Century, ed. by James Gairdner, Camden Society, n.s. 17 (1876), 115-16; Hamon Le Strange, Le Strange Records: A Chronicle of the Early Le Stranges of Norfolk and the March of Wales, A. D. 1100-1310 (London: Longmans, 1916), pp. 339-43; K. B. McFarlane, Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. 157-59.
(8) On Haughmond, see Marjorie M. Chibnall, 'The Abbey of Haughmond', in A History of Shropshire, ed. by A. T. Gaydon, The Victoria History of the Counties of England, 2 vols (London: Oxford University Press, 1968-73), ii, 62-70. A few records survive to tell us of its library, now lost or scattered (p. 67). The abbot in Audelay's time was Richard Burnell (1422-63). The Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey, ed. by Una Rees (Cardi.: Shropshire Archaeological Society and University of Wales Press, 1985), unfortunately contains no entries from the fifteenth century.
(9) Bennett, pp. 347, 355, n. 24. Audelay betrays concerns about lollardy in two poems (W2.131-33, 500-03, 669-88 and W18.248-60). Richard Firth Green argues on the basis of these remarks that the former poem was composed between 1410 and 1414 and that Audelay was blind before the incident in 1417 ('Marcolf the Fool and Blind John Audelay', in Speaking Images: Essays in Honor of V. A. Kolve, ed. by Robert F. Yeager and Charlotte C. Morse (Asheville, NC: Pegasus Press, 2001), pp. 559-76 (pp. 566-67)). On Lestrange's commission to arrest Lollards, see Le Strange, p. 341.
(10) Variants of this stanza occur in items 4 (without signature), 23, 30, and 32. For other signatures, see Appendix, items 3, 25, 27, 29, 41, 42, 76, 77, and 85.
(11) The discovery of the scandal that touched Audelay's life has helped to answer an earlier suspicion that Audelay needed to repent a foolish, 'goliardic' youth (The Poems of John Audelay, ed. by James Orchard Halliwell, Percy Society, 47 (1844), vii; E. K. Chambers, English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1945), p. 93; Whiting, pp. xv-xx). Green, however, reads Audelay's statements as formulaic (pp. 566, 574, n. 32).
(12) Fashioning himself as prophet, Audelay tells of a dream: a stranger appears to him, shows him a vision of the world in flames, and leaves with an injunction that he warn the people (W18.27-65). Images of blindness and seeing are also favoured by Audelay, and one can imagine that this preoccupation reflects personal experience even as the poet applies it to moral purposes: see, for example, W2.629 (clergy are blind); W2.952 (humanity is blind); W2.993 (reader should avoid blindness); W4.93 and W13.67 (blindness of Longinus); W9.51 (the Mass opens one's eyes); W18.96 (bishops are blind); W18.128 (blindness is a trick by Satan); W18.210 (do not believe what you see); W18.426 (climb a ladder of penance and see); W18.434-38 (one is blind about oneself); W27.17 (the desired sight is God's face). On the personal side, see Audelay's carol on the five senses (W31) and the exceptionally poignant one on death:
Fore blyndnes is a heue [thorn]yng, And to be def [thorn]er-with only, To lese my lyzt and my heryng; Passio Christi conforta me. (W51.7-10)
Although his argument overstates Audelay's diminished authority as author, Tim William Machan notes how Audelay's self-references deploy formulaic metaphor: 'the author of the poems is the prototypical sinner, blind and deaf to his own sins and the salvation of Christ' (Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994), pp. 103-06, 112 (p. 104)). Eric Stanley modifies Machan by emphasizing that 'Audelay is doubly blind and deaf, in body and in spirit' and that the trope underscores the sermonic quality of many poems ('The True Counsel of Conscience or The Ladder of Heaven: In Defense of John Audelay's Unlyrical Lyrics', in Expedition nach der Wahrheit: Poems, Essays, and Papers in Honour of Theo Stemmler, ed. by Stefan Horlacher and Marion Islinger (Heidelberg: Winter, 1996), pp. 131-59 (p. 137)).
(13) In such depictions, the dead or dying 'ensampil' has, like Audelay, 'wil, wit, tyme, and space' (W18.19) by which to utter its warning to the living. The trope appears in Three Dead Kings (W54.120), and in Parlement of the Thre Ages, line 290 (ed. by M. Y. Offord, EETS OS 246 (1959), p. 10).
(14) In the carol on fear of death, for example, Audelay identifies his personal condition with the signs of death (W51.7-14), and in the Conclusion he addresses the reader as if from the grave (W55.27-30).
(15) See John A. Burrow, 'The Poet as Petitioner', in Essays on Medieval Literature (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), pp. 161-76 (p. 166, n. 8); and Douglas Gray, 'Fifteenth-Century Lyrics and Carols', in Nation, Court and Culture: New Essays on Fifteenth-Century English Poetry, ed. by Helen Cooney (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001), pp. 168-83 (pp. 170-71, 183).
(16) On the colophon as a point where MS Douce 302 once ended, see Wulfing, p. 200; Whiting, p. xiv; Chambers, p. 92; Bennett, p. 345; Derek Pearsall, Old and Middle English Poetry (London: Routledge, 1977), p. 250; Ralph Hanna, 'Augustinian Canons and Middle English Literature', in The English Medieval Book, pp. 27-42 (p. 33). There is, however, no interruption in the work of either scribe, as affirmed by Doyle (p. 182, n. 16).
(17) See, for example, the four-part sequence on St Winifred (items 42-46). Audelay's interest in this saint, whose shrine rests in Shrewsbury and whose power lay in healing the blind, is discussed by Melissa Jones, '"Swete May, Soulis Leche": The Winifred Carol of John Audelay', Essays in Medieval Studies, 14 (1997), 1-7 (www.luc.edu/publications/medieval). Eric Stanley finds the instructional verses to be 'pedestrian' and would like to assign them to the scribe (pp. 104-05), but such verses (copied by both scribes) pepper the manuscript and many appear inside longer poems (see the headnote to Appendix).
(18) Christ's years on earth were traditionally numbered at thirty-three and one-third years. See Robert Ernst Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. by William Trask (New York: Harper & Row, 1953), p. 505; Mary Dove, The Perfect Age of Man's Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 17-18, 57-59; J. A. Burrow, The Ages of Man: A Study in Medieval Writing and Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 142-43. On the contemporary numbering, see Appendix. On the desire for the beatific vision, see Audelay's other verse (W2.960, W4.67-69, W18.274, and W18.291); Lucy Freeman Sandler, 'Face to Face with God: A Pictorial Image of the Beatific Vision', in England in the Fourteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. by W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1986), pp. 224-35; Hans Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, trans. by Edmund Jephcott (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 428-30. The image frequently accompanies the Middle English verse Arma Christi, which begins 'O vernacule' (Legends of the Holy Rood, ed. by Richard Morris, EETS OS 46 (1881), pp. 168-69), with at least one manuscript closing on this meditation (MS Cambridge University Ii.6.43; Rosemary Woolf, The English Religious Lyric in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), p. 375).
(19) It is interesting to note how the compiler takes authorial action here in framing the carols as a specific section, an action that shows an awareness of the book in production. One may conjecture that sections 1-3 represent groups of compositions created and used by Audelay in his career as chaplain. There seems no reason to assume that they were composed chronologically in the order in which they appear. They may, however, be ordered here to convey a sequential, devotional logic--1: contrition, 2: worship, 3: mirth, 4: meditation--but this is difficult to determine without the opening leaves. The fourth section, a preparation for death constructed from non-Audelaian material, seems to be the only one designed specifically for this manuscript as a way to end it thoughtfully.
(20) I here make the supposition that Audelay himself was responsible for the contents and order of this section. Even though it is composed largely of writings not his own, the instructional opening and the Audelaian Conclusion frame this section in a seemingly 'signed' manner. Moreover, the unique interpolated stanza (item 80) emanates from the chaplain's professional concerns, triggered in an idiosyncratic way by the Rolle passage. On this point, see my article 'A Thirteen-Line Alliterative Stanza on the Abuse of Prayer from the Audelay MS', Medium AEvum, 63 (1994), 61-74. While the sequence 79-81-82-83 (or even the two sequences 79-81 and 82-83) might have had a prior existence, it is none the less apparent that the compiler has inflected it in Audelay's own manner. On the intriguing quality of the two endings, see note 22 below.
(21) On the Paternoster's power, see Maurice Hussey, 'The Petitions of the Paternoster in MediAEval English Literature', Medium AEvum, 27 (1958), 8-16; F. G. A. M. Aarts, 'The Pater Noster in Medieval English Literature', Papers on Language and Literature, 5 (1969), 3-16; and Avril Henry, '"The Pater Noster in a table ypeynted" and Some Other Presentations of Doctrine in the Vernon Manuscript', in Studies in the Vernon Manuscript, ed. by Derek Pearsall (Cambridge: Brewer, 1990), pp. 89-113.
(22) The positioning of Three Dead Kings at the end of the Audelay MS invites a reader to look upon the book as if in a mirror in which dead author and living reader occupy reciprocal positions; see my essay, 'Life and Death, Reader and Page: Mirrors of Mortality in English Manuscripts', Mosaic, 35 (2002), 69-94 (pp. 87-92). The trope reminds one both to pray for the dead and to think on one's own dying. This first ending for the Audelay MS relies, therefore, on an implicit understanding of the trope's penitential and monitive purpose. The later ending (items 84 and 85) exhibits a more typical Audelaian need to plead openly for the reader's prayers and repentance. I do not accept Stanley's argument that Audelay wrote the alliterative verse of section 4 ('Verse Forms', pp. 99-100, 108-14); this verse is far removed from his demonstrations elsewhere in its manner, metrical form, vocabulary, and dialect. The distinctive self-referential Audelaian voice is, moreover, wholly absent from the narrative stance adopted in Three Dead Kings.
(23) See Anne Middleton, 'Making a Good End: John But as a Reader of Piers Plowman', in Medieval English Studies Presented to George Kane, ed. by Edward Donald Kennedy, Ronald Waldron, and Joseph P. Wittig (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1988), pp. 243-63 (p. 252). The recursive nature of penitence and its essential non-closure underlie her analysis of Langland. Audelay's obsession with the end offers a variation of the 'concluding topos' in medieval verse (an important topic outside the scope of this study).
(24) Audelay's involvement in the making of MS Douce 302 is deduced from straightforward evidence, that is, (1) the presence of the final poem, added late to this manuscript and extending authorial patterns of concluding shown elsewhere, and (2) the uniform, ubiquitous instructional verses, several of which are added by the second hand to clarify sections, give better access to contents, and execute Audelay's wish to conclude on his own name or in reflections of God's visage. Another argument, which I have not pursued here, was made by Bennett: that the missing folios may indicate a contemporary reader's desire to suppress references to the Lestrange scandal, hence, that this is the very manuscript made at Haughmond and available to Lestrange family and associates (pp. 352-53, 355, n. 26). Evidence for a third line of argument is inconclusive but intriguing: some interlinear additions suggest the poet's metrical ear and egoistic voice (for example, 2.754 (I fynd), W19.75 (me), W51.43 (lesson)), and others show the compiler's access to authorial materials (or authorial memory) unused by the first scribe (for example, some stanza headings and indicators, half a salutation, and half a carol (items 3, 39, and 72)). On this point, see also my article 'Thirteen-Line Alliterative Stanza', pp. 62-65, 71, n. 3.
(25) Woolf, pp. 373-79; Machan, pp. 93-135; Edwards, pp. 101-12.
(26) This motive for the production of the Audelay MS, c. 1426-30, provides a quasi-monastic, nonmetropolitan precursor to the 'common profit' book schemes that arose in mid-fifteenth-century London in which testatory charity was expressed by the making and circulation of books specifically to bring prayers for the soul of the benefactor. See Wendy Scase, 'Reginald Pecock, John Carpenter and John Colop's "Common Profit" Books: Aspects of Book Ownership and Circulation in Fifteenth-Century London', Medium AEvum, 61 (1992), 261-74. The earliest of known testators was John Killum, grocer, d. 1416, but the production of such books (even Killum's) appears to have begun in about the 1440s (pp. 261-62, 271, n. 7).
(27) The second scribe inserted these numerals in red and later added blue markings as he painted blue initials in the same columns. The now-lost opening leaves may have contained a table of contents keyed to these numbers.
(28) The red initials were added when he did the rubrics and the numerals. In sections 1 and 2 they signal devotional addresses to God (as in prayer), and they usually contain a face or a cruciform quatrefoil as an aid to worship (as indicated in each listing). In section 3 coloured initials mark carol burdens; only the first two are in blue to decorate the first column of the sequence.
Kent State University
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|Publication:||Yearbook of English Studies|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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