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Various Readings: 6 Diogynus A. 7 In A. carnales or tarnales A. V. 1 þi A om. is [thy] presence L. 3 we A om. bot (we] with diligence L. 4 passion A, Passioun L. 6 heirester A. VI. 1 stedyus A, studyus L. 2 seige A. Tirey A, Tyre L. 3 tursalem A. 4 alexanderis A. 6 vane L. 7 cristis A.
Notes: V. 27. Mair pure of gude, poorer in good, sc. in good deeds, or in goodness.
V. 29–31. Laing's emendation is pi presence is probably right, as without the word pi the verse hardly gives a sense. The same may be said with regard to the word we, added by Laing in v. 31.
V. 34, 35. And of thy glory he only shall have the enjoyment, who endeavours here etc.
V. 37. The Seige of Tyre. “This stanza of Kennedy's prologue is interesting as mentioning what was, not indeed the 'popular', but the current literature of his time among persons of education. Lyndsay, in like manner, includes, in his enumeration of ‘antique storeis',
Of Troylus the sorrow and the joy,
For those of Troy and Thebes he was, no doubt, indebted to the favourite and well-known productions Chaucer and Lydgate; and that of Tyre forms the commencement of one or more of the ol metrical romances of Alexander the Great. Milton referred to the more classical sources of ancient learning, when he exclaimed,
Some time let gorgeous Tragedy
V. 38. The life of Tursalem. "Probably a mistake, as no such work or person is known. "There cannot be the smallest doubt that the questionable line in Walter Kennedy's Poem should stand thus: The Sege of Jerusalem', an old metrical romance, not uncommon in MS.” (MS. Note, F. Douce, Esq., according to Laing.)
Notes: V. 46. Himself to keip etc. To kepe himself engaged in such occupation, wherein the spirit takes delight, the soul has profit, his God worship and dread, the heart has comfort, without losing its reward. It does not seem to be doubtful that pi hert, as A reads, is wrong here. We have altered it into pe hert, to bring it into conformity with pe spirit (v. 47) and pe saule (v. 48).
V. 50. We have not adopted the emendation of Laing, who has inserted bot before ignorance, to make the number of syllables of the verse complete. For by this means he has not improved the rhythm of the verse, which reads much better without the word bot, the first unaccented syllable of the verse being wanting, as is not unfrequently to be observed in Middle English Poetry in general, and in this particular poem as well.
V. 53. The word to before mak possibly may be omitted, as it spoils the metre, or it must be slurred over.
V. 58, 59. All curiosite, i. e. all that which is curious or strange, or requires an explanation. His intention is, as he says in v. 59, to spy or to look out with diligence for terms which are as plain as possible.
V. 62. To gan, gayn, v. n. To be fit, ganand fit, proper.
V. 63. That paim till hide. The meaning of this passage, which is not sufficiently clear, seems to be: That to hide them they might the better mingle, i. e. that the terms which are not fit might the better be hidden amongst the plain expressions.
Various Readings: X. 1 MS. gist. 2 he A om. but [he] him L. 4 Throu help L, The help A. The first eigth stanzas of the poem have been printed by Laing. The words Explicit prologus, Incipit passio are written in somewhat larger red letters at the bottom of fol. 7a. The poem itself begins without a heading on fol. 8a, but the first two words are written in capitals. The second (of) is repeated in the next line. I. 1 infinite L. 2 Creatour L. 3 himselife A. [he] L. perifite A, perfite L. 4 godheid A. 5, 6 god A. II. 1 Lucifer L. 3 eue A. appear L.
Notes: V. 65. The word he, inserted by Laing in this line, cannot be missed.
V. 67. ... in caussis in this caiss. There must be a corruption in this passage. We confess ourselves unable, at least, to bring any sense into it as it stands.
V. 68. Bras, braiss, v. a. To embrace.
V. 72. We do not think that creatour has a different meaning here from creatur in v. 74, viz. creature, whereas Laing seems to have taken it in the first place in the sense of creator; but in this case it would be difficult to construe the sentence.
V. 76. To haue stand, to continue; he might have continued.
V. 78. It will be noticed that the first stanza and the second are joined together by iteration (concatenatio): bot he unwislie wrocht. — He wrocht unwise. This is also the case in the following stanzas but only till the fifth stanza, when the poet seems to have found it too difficult or out of purpose to con tinue in this way.
Various Readings: 6 god A. kind A, kend L. III. 2 Angell L. Paradice L. 4 glaidnes A, glaidles L. 7 goddis A. IV. 5, 6 These two verses stand in the reverse order in the MS. Laing already has put them in the right order and printed poweir instead of powstie, as the MS. reads. prince A. 7 prisoner A. V. 1 presonet L. 2 goddis A. 3 piete A. mo or mā in A, moan L.
Notes: V. 85. The end wes war, the end was worse.
V. 91. Put to the horn. A proverbial phrase, explained by E. C. Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, as follows: "To denounce as a rebel, or pronounce a person an outlaw, for not answering to a summons. In Scotland the messenger-at-arms goes to the cross of Edinburgh and gives three blasts with a horn before he heralds the judgment of outlawry.”
V. 92. Silit probably means hidden here, from to sile, to hide, conceil, Old French celer, Lat. celare. V. 93. Quhilk him deput probably means: which destined him.
V. 94. As bandonit knycht, as an abandoned knight. The word bundin is to be read with levelstress to make it rhyme with syn. Rhymes of the kind do not occur unfrequently; cf. King : ofspring v. 107–109, duelling : King v. 211-213, writtin : syn v. 306—308, etc.
V. 95. To thoile reist, v. a. to suffer or endure arrest; syne techit be to hell, as A reads, hardly gives a sense; we have therefore inserted fechit (fetched) instead of techit.
V. 97. Perty, printed party by Laing, seems to mean here opponent.
V. 101. In the Coventry Mysteries Mercy, Justice, and Peace are introduced as pleading before the Almighty in behalf of Adam, after the Fall (cf. our Introduction to this poem, pp. 21, 22).
Various Readings: 5 Hevinnis L. faderis A. 6 for thane L, 7 Man L. VI. 7 Ester A. [King and] L. lord A. 2 Than till his sone to pas gaif A, L. 4 sentiment L. 5 Ane L, ane A. 2 mary A. 4 regin A.
VII. 1 fader A. richtuis VIJI. 1 god A. Angell L.
Notes: V. 102. Tynt, lost; past part. of to tine, tyne, v. a. to lose.
V. 113. We doubt, whether Laing's emendation rightuis [King and] Lord was necessary here. It seems that the thesis is wanting between all and richtuis which, however, may be supplied by the length of the word all and the hiatus originating between the two words all and richtuis in pronouncing them. The next verse, although retained by Laing as it stands in the MS., had to be amended.
V. 124. Rute and ryn seems to mean root and river or origin.
afferit, afraid, terrified.