Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
HILTON, SCALE OF PERFECTIONf. 13: //þawȝ þe þink þiself reccheles & negligent…[f. 10v] and oftentymes þurȝ here gostly presence//
England, s. XVmed
Walter Hilton, Scale of Perfection, beginning and ending defectively and with loss of text due to missing leaves; the volume is misbound and should be read as follows, the numbers in parentheses giving the page numbers in E. Underhill, ed., The Scale of Perfection by Walter Hilton (London 1923): f. 13r-v (75-77), f. 14r-v (84-87), f. 3r-v (136-38), f. 4r-v (164-67), f. 2r-v (167-69), f. 1r-v (170-71), ff. 16-20v (169-85), ff. 21-36v (189-245), ff. 43-84v (280-377), ff. 37-38v (377-82), f. 41r-v (382-84), ff. 7-8v (384-89), f. 42r-v (389-90), ff. 39-40v (390-96), ff. 11-12v (415-20), f. 15r-v (443-45), ff. 5-6v (451-55), ff. 9-10v (455-60). The text contains Books 1 and 2 in an apparently deliberate abridgment and thus the chapters do not always coincide with those in the Underhill edition; many of the expanded “Christo-centric” passages are present (that on the Holy Name not verifiable due to missing leaves). For list of manuscripts, see H. L. Gardner, “The Text of the Scale of Perfection,” Medium Aevum 5 (1936) 11-30; S. S. Hussey, “The Text of the Scale of Perfection: Book II,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 65 (1967) 75-92; T. Takamiya, “Luttrell Wynne MS of Walter Hilton,” Reports of the Keio Institute 7 (1975) 171-91. See also R. Hanna, “The Archaeology of a Manuscript: Huntington Library HM 266,” Scriptorium 36 (1982) 99-102. Parchment, ff. iii (modern paper) + i (limp vellum cover of an earlier binding) + 84 + i (limp vellum cover of an earlier binding) + iii (modern paper); 219 × 150 (148 × 100) mm. Tentative collation based on the surviving signatures (no catchwords) and the amount of missing text: quire 1 and 2 missing 38(of which only 3 and 6, conjunct, remain as ff. 13-14) quire 4 missing 58(a single leaf remains, probably in position 2 or 3, now as f. 3) 68(- the first leaf, + a leaf in the fourth position, now f. 1; the leaves are ff. 4, 2, 1, 16-20; none of them now conjunct) 78(ff. 21-28) 88(ff. 29-36) quire 9 missing (probably this or the next quire originally of 4 leaves given the amount of text missing) 108(only 7 and 8 remain as ff. 43-44) 118(ff. 45-52) 128(ff. 53-60) 138(ff. 61-68) 148(69-76) 158(ff. 77-84) 168(ff. 37, 38, 41, 7, 8, 42, 39, 40, of which 41 and 42 are now singletons, the others still bifolia) quire 17 missing 188(of which 1 and 2 remain as ff. 11 and 12) 198(only f. 15 remains, either from the fourth or fifth position) 204(ff. 5, 6, 9, 10, all now singletons) 21 missing (probably only a bifolium, necessary to complete the text); the volume, when complete, thus presumably contained 159 leaves. The quires are signed in roman numerals in the right corner of the first leaf recto; extant leaf signatures are “c” and “d” on ff. 23 and 24 (the third and fourth leaves in quire 7) and a series of dots, two on f. 46, and three on f. 47, representing the second and third leaves of quire 11. 23-30 long lines frame ruled in ink; pricking occasionally visible in the upper and lower margins. Written in a mixed, predominantly anglicana script with some secretary forms; biblical citations in a textura script; the scribe may be identified as the John Clerk, monk of Hinton Charterhouse, who copied, and perhaps compiled, Cambridge, St. John’s College MS E.22. The added leaf, f. 1, possibly by the same hand in a slightly rounder script. 3- and 2-line red initials, those on ff. 29v-30 with flourishing in the ink of the text, the rest unornamented; 1-line initials in the text colored in red; red paragraph marks and tie marks (e.g. Greek crosses on ff. 1, 10, 16). Sources of the biblical citations, chapter numbers, and chapter subdivision letters in the outer margins; running headlines in the upper margins, placed flush left and right; corrections in the hand of the scribe and in another contemporary hand; marginalia in later hands scattered throughout. Bound, s. XVIII, in parchment over pasteboards; on the spine: “Treatise on Contemplation MS” and an eighteenth or nineteenth century circular label “739.” A previous limp parchment binding now serves as flyleaves, with “304” and “MS Saeculi xiv” on what was the front cover, and with “MS <?> in Old English on Vellum” on the remainder of the former spine. On the leaves of the volume, stab holes from an earlier binding. Written in England in the middle of the fifteenth century by John Clerk (d. 1472). Sold by Taylor to Sir Thomas Phillipps; his MS 2180 and Middle Hill stamp on f. i. Acquired privately by Henry E. Huntington through A. S. W. Rosenbach in 1923. Bibliography: De Ricci, 65.
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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