The Northern Passion

The Northern Passion

The Northern Passion

The Northern Passion

Excerpt

Two manuscripts of the Northern Passion were taken in hand for the Society by Dr. Wilhelm Heuser in 1904, namely, Cambridge University MS. Gg. 1. 1 (first third of the fourteenth century) and Rawlinson MS. Poetry 175 (about 1350). The poems were already in proof, and side-notes had been added as far as page 105 when the work was laid aside. It was not known to me during the time I worked on the Passion for volumes 145 and 147 of the Original Series. At the suggestion of Sir Israel Gollancz, the texts are now printed with as little change as possible from the plan of Dr. Heuser. Proofs have been read with the manuscripts, pointing and side-notes revised, and the rest of the side-notes added. The volume thus brings together the earliest text of the original poem and the earliest of the expanded version. Neither has previously been printed in extenso: the Oxford MS. because it was not known to me till too late to include among the parallel texts; and the Cambridge MS. because in spite of its early date the readings are often corrupt. Certainly there is an interest in perusing these texts as they are here printed without the distractions of parallel columns and foot-notes of variant readings.

For this edition the two texts have not been treated alike. In the Cambridge MS. contractions have been expanded. and pointing included according to Dr. Heuser's plan; but since any attempt at systematic emendation would bring in a mass of changes, many of them mere repetition of matter in volume 145, the errors have been left as they stand. Scholars who wish to study what a French scribe, familiar with Southern English . . .

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