10 6. Mapping the text
This section looks in detail at the distribution of the tales and links across the quires. It considers how the scribe mapped the text onto the material he had available. The text's distribution across the boundaries of the quires does not suggest any division of the poem into booklets or specific stints (Robinson 1980). However, regularity of quires may hide disruption in the progress of copying. In each quire, I comment on the regularity or irregularity of the watermark sequence, the organization of the incipits and explicits and the changes in the colour of the ink to offer a breakdown of the structural making of the manuscript and further evidence of textual idiosyncrasies. This section can be read in conjunction with section 4.5. 'Diagrammatic representation of the quires' and section 4.6. 'Diagrammatic representation of Dd'.
1 6.1. Quire 1
This quire has several missing folios; it probably was a regular quire of twenty-four folios, of which fifteen folios are missing. A rough calculation of the missing lines confirms this hypothesis, although, of course, it is not possible to be sure about what these missing folios contained.
The layout of the text shows careful planning, which is also demonstrated by the space left for the incipit of KN. The rubric ‘¢ Heere bigynneth , the knyghtes tale’ is written in a 2.5 cm gap left at the end of GP, and one line is left blank before the first line of KN. The Latin quotation ¢ ‘Iamque domos patrias scithice post aspera gentis prelia laurigero et cetera’ is inserted just above the incipit in a smaller script; the script is of the same style as the one used for the incipit of KN.
The text is copied in dark brown ink, which I represent with a dark grey colour. This colour is found also on quires 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The use of this colour is generally uniform in quire 1, except that line 635 in KN fol. 20v was inserted in a lighter shade of ink, suggesting that there was a gap in the text that the scribe filled in later. The rubrics are written with the same ink as the text.
2 6.2. Quire 2
Quire 2 contains the rest of KN (1074-2062 and 2153-2244), L1, MI, L2 and the first 68 lines of RE. KN fits into its space without any apparent problem. L1 and MI are more problematic. L1 is inserted after KN after a small gap, and most of this gap is occupied by the loops of the long ascenders of some of the words of the first line. In making these ascenders the scribe was using up the 3 cm gap left for the rubric that was inserted in the margin in brown ink. The insertion of L1 is marked by a small pricking next to the first line of the prologue, which appears under the illumination and is visible from the verso of fol. 39. The prologue ends on fol. 39v with a gap, which the scribe filled with a long decorated descender.
MI begins on the recto of fol. 40 and is copied with a variable number of lines per page. The last three or four lines of each folio are often crammed together. The compression is striking on fols. 43v, 45r, 45v and 46r. This characteristic of the text suggests that the space available was limited, probably as a whole, but also folio by folio.
On the verso of fol. 40 the last three lines are squeezed into a space of two and a half lines. In the right margin next to Nicholas, line 89, there is a small dot in ink. The following folio is parchment. The reason for the insertion of this folio does not seem to be textual: the folio does not contain an additional link, or any other type of textual boundaries such as the end or the beginning of a tale. It contains 43 lines on the recto and 45 on the verso. As noticed, the number of lines per page is variable, particularly in MI, and it is not possible to say whether any increase or decrease in line-numbers is textually dependent. The tale ends on fol. 47r, and the last three or four lines are again compressed, as if the following folio were already written or the text had been allocated on a folio by folio basis.
L2 begins at the top of fol. 47v. Folio 47 is a bifolium without watermark and does not match the following sheet that is without watermark too. L2 is inserted without leaving any space for its incipit or for the explicit of MI, which terminated on the preceding recto. The first line of L2 starts with a capital in blue and the emphatic ‘Whane’, whose long ascenders extend far above the ruling line of the header. The rubric is a later insertion and was done to accommodate the ascenders in the header, although the colour of the ink is similar to the one used to copy the text. RE begins on fol. 48r with an incipit that introduces the tale. It is accommodated in a gap of 1.5 cm and is written in brown ink.
In quire 2, the text is copied in two different inks. The first is a brownish pigment, very light in appearance; the second one is darker, but not as dark as the ink used in the first quire. The distinction between these two types of ink is not always easy to detect, for many factors can cause ink to fade. Pigments can be absorbed by the paper to different degrees, and are sensitive to light and damp.
In KN, for example, the lighter brown ink is found from fol. 26r. There is a change of ink roughly at line 1209 (fol. 27v) from lighter brown to brown and the brown ink is used until line 1764 (fol. 33v). After this line the ink again becomes lighter brown. The lighter brown is used up to fol. 35v and then the rest of the tale is copied with brown ink. These instances seem to represent examples of change of ink in the tale. However, in MI there are problems in interpreting the colour of inks that I represent in my chart as brown. At line 26 (f. 40r) the scribe interrupted his work for some reasons. The ink is different in the following lines. It is lighter. The ink after the word ‘heng’ at line 64 (fol. 40v) becomes lighter. On these occasions it is difficult to say what precisely happened and whether there was a change in ink or simply some fresh ink from the same recipe was used. The same could apply when a different pen is used. For instance from line 312 (fol. 43v) the ink seems to be the same, but it is likely that the scribe was using a different pen and therefore the colour of ink appears slightly different. This is noticeable also on fol. 44r.
On fol. 40v the first two lines are in lighter ink. It is possible that damp could have caused the ink to fade, as in the top margin there is a stain left by dampness in all the former folios. But several other folios of MI have their first lines written before the rest of the page, fresher ink being used to copy the rest of the page. This could indicate that the scribe was writing out the first lines in the folio so that he would know how the rest of the lines should fit in, and this would explain the squeezing in of the text on so many versos in MI discussed above.
The brown ink stops on fol. 45v in MI and the tale is completed in light brown. Brown is used again from L2 until the end of the quire. This change in ink might indicate a different time of copying, as one tale ends and the other begins.
Overall quire 2 is regular. The discussion, however, also underlines the possibility that L1 and MI were inserted after KN and L2 (and RE 1-68) were copied. It also seems that the extra parchment leaf was probably inserted to cover a mistake in copying some parts of the text which cannot now be detected.
4 6.3. Quire 3
Quire 3 is regular as far as the sequence between watermarked and unmarked leaves is concerned. It contains the final part of RE, L3, CO, L7, ML, and part of WBP.
RE (69-404) is accommodated in the initial part of the manuscript with an average of 45 lines per page, but variable in number from 44 (fol. 49v) to 47 (fol. 50v). At line 197 (fol. 50r), there appears a small pricking in the right margin just above the one made to rule the frame. This pricking is present in L3, CO and ML until fol. 59r, where the pricking ends. From fol. 62r in the other half of the quire, there are two prickings: one is in the same place as in fol. 59r, the other is placed just two lines underneath. This pattern is found until fol. 66r for the upper one and to fol. 67r for the lower one. This last folio is the one that marks the end of ML and beginning of WBP.
L3 follows RE, and its rubric is written in a planned gap of 2 cm, which also accommodates the emphatic of ‘The’ of the first line of the prologue. This rubric is inserted in brown ink, darker than the one used to copy the tale. CO comes afterwards and its rubric ‘¢ The Cookes Tale’ introduces the unfinished tale. CO ends with a gap of about fifteen lines on fol. 53v with no indication that the tale is unfinished. The Dd scribe does not leave any blank folios after the unfinished tale.
The rubric that marks the end of CO and the beginning of L7 appears in the header of fol. 54r, despite the space left on the previous folio that could have contained the explicit and the incipit of the two tales. It is in Latin as opposed to English. This language, structure, and type of script are maintained in the rubrics until the end of SQ, where English is used again for the remaining rubrics.
L7 starts on a new folded folio (fol. 54r) that begins at this point in the quire. L7 is inserted with 42 lines on 54r and 43 on the verso. This is a smaller number of lines to a page as compared to the average 44/45 usually employed by the scribe. Despite the smaller number of lines on the page, the last lines at the end of fol. 54v are written in the usual compressed manner. The three initial lines at the beginning of fol. 55r are likely to have been copied already. There seems to be a pattern emerging from the comments made so far on this question. On the one hand, the scribe crammed lines at the bottom of each verso to make sure he included all the lines; on the other hand, he copied the first two or three lines at the beginning of each folio, probably to confirm to himself how to distribute the text he was writing. This pattern is not regular and the reason for that is not clear.
ML follows L7 and is introduced by the rubric, which is inserted in a 2 cm gap, and is written with the same ink as the text. From line 432 to line 612 ML is defective, as the inner bifolia is missing. It is, however, reasonable to believe that the two folios were written with the missing text that would have been copied as usual in a single column of 45 lines per page. WBP comes afterwards and another gap of 2.5 cm is left for the explicit of ML and incipit of WBP. The part of the quire with WBP (1-510) does not have particular features, despite the numerous discussions about the extra passages in this prologue (Da Rold 2007a). It is worth mentioning that at line 45 a pause in writing or simply a change in ink occurs. The first extra passage of WBP is inserted here. It seems that the ink becomes lighter. Moreover, throughout the whole tale there are numerous crosses both in ink and in dry pen in the margin. These appear in particular next to the added passages, but also elsewhere as if someone were marking the text.
The difficulties in detecting the colour of ink that I pointed out in quire 2 are present also in this quire. There are some features that seem difficult to explain. For example, in RE (fol. 49v) the colour of the ink begins as brown and becomes lighter brown towards the end of the folio. It is not possible to set a precise line as to where the division starts, if there is one at all. But the first two lines appear to have been copied before the rest was included. The ink used to copy the beginning of L7 is darker on fol. 54v than the one used in fols. 53v and 54v. The light brown terminates at fol. 58r. There is a clear division after line 257 in ML, where the ink becomes brown. This ink was used to copy the rest of the quire with the probable exception of fols. 63v and 64r.
WBP begins on the same folio as ML finishes. The colour of the ink of the text copied on this folio (fol. 67r) is lighter brown, if compared to fol. 66v, but both ML and WBP have the same ink. The colour of the paper has also to be taken into account. It is yellowish, and very dirty. The colour of the paper may influence the perception of the colour of the ink. This ink is different from that of CO, and I could describe it as brown.
Finally, in this quire the scribe starts to insert the rubrics in the “right” place, adjusting them in regular gaps left to receive the script. He also seems to be copying his text progressively, probably with the exception of the first folio of L7. The difference in the colour of ink is not easy to explain, because it is not clear whether one ink could have been used before the other. I suspect that the difference between these two shades is dependent on the differing amounts of water the scribe was adding to the ink.
4 6.4. Quire 4
Quire 4 is complete and contains WBP (511-554), WB, L10, FR, L11, SU and the beginning of CL (1-415).
Many crosses in dry point can also be found next to WBP in this quire. For example, at the end of the prologue, the Friar, and then the Summoner interrupt the Wife of Bath to prepare the reader for her tale. This textual part from line 827 to the end of WBP is marked at line 827 (fol. 76r) with a small faint cross in dry point on the left margin. These last lines are inserted in a smaller script that belongs to the main hand. The lines are crammed at the end of this folio and they carry on in the same manner until the next recto to terminate in an untidy way just before the planned gap for the rubric of WB. One may wonder why the scribe had to cram in his lines in this way, if he had not yet copied WB. It seems again that the scribe is working in a limited space between the end of WBT and the beginning of WB. The explicit of the prologue and incipit of the tale are inserted in a 3cm gap.
The following tales and links, L10, FR, L11 and SU, are all organised in such a way that the scribe left a gap of 3cm to 1.5 cm for the rubric to be included at the end/beginning of each textual part. All the rubrics are written with the same ink as the text, as if text and rubrics were copied at the same time. This first part of the quire does not reveal any specific problems; the number of lines to a page is still within the normal range of the scribe from 44 to 49 without any noticeable increase or decrease in his practice.
After the end of SU, CL follows, but the transition between these two tales is not as smooth as those in the first part of the quire. After the end of SU there are approximately eight blank lines between line 585 (the last line in SU) and the explicit. The rubric is written with the same ink as the tale of the Clerk, but it is placed at the bottom of the page and not immediately after the end of SU. It is possible that it was written as a probable direction to the insertion of CL before the last lines of SU were copied. CL starts at the very beginning of fol. 92v and there is a rubric Prologus added in the header in brown ink; the word has a blue paraph mark next to it, but damp has made this word almost illegible. It is likely that the text on this folio was written before the incipit at the bottom of fol. 92r was inserted. The manner of this insertion is similar to that of L2 that started on a verso with the rubric written in the header. In Dd this specific pattern is repeated in another three instances, a technique that is used when the scribe is not sure what precedes a specific textual part and also what constitutes the text he is copying.
Quire 4 is regular in its watermark sequence and ink-colour. The first part from WBP to SU is copied in brown uniformly. CL is written with a lighter variety of brown. These two colours probably indicate two stages in copying the quire.
5 6.5. Quire 5
Quire 5 includes the end of CL (416-1176), L13, L14, L15, ME, L17 and beginning of SQ (1-114).
CL begins the quire and ends on fol. 105r. L13 follows, but there is no gap left between these two textual parts: only a capital marks the beginning of L13, which terminates on the verso of fol. 105. L14 comes next and is accommodated after a 1.5 cm gap at the end of L13. There are two small prickings: one just at the end of L13 and another at the end of L14. Both are in the left margin and indicate where this link was to be inserted.
Fol. 105 lacks a watermark, and does not match the preceding leaf (fol. 104), also without a watermark, or the following one (fol. 106), which is paired with fol. 107. There are several explanations that one could consider for the appearance of a single unmarked bifolium in this position in the quire. Fol. 105 could be inserted (together with its conjugate) for the specific purpose of receiving these sections between fol. 104 and fol. 106. Alternatively fols. 105 and 112 might not be an addition to the sequence, but a sheet folded into quarto with one of the two bifolia cut away, either because a the text written on it proved to be wrongly positioned, or because the following leaf had already been prepared. This second possibility is unlikely because the evidence on fol. 105v indicates that a different bifolium from the one now present (fol. 106) originally completed what must indeed have been a quarto sheet: in the right top margin of fol. 105v, just below the ruling frame next to the gutter, there is an offset of a paraph mark in red. There must consequently have been an opposite page that had a paraph mark in red that had not dried completely when the original two sheets were pressed together. Fol. 106r does not have the red paraph mark, which indicates that the folio was replaced. No extant folios have a paraph mark in the appropriate position to produce the transfer. Later in the quire, on fol. 111v, there is another example of this kind of offset. In this case fol. 112r has the red paraph mark, and the offset duly appears on the verso of fol. 111v. The transfers on fols. 105v and 111v are clear, as are the absence of the paraph mark on fol. 106r and the presence of the nota on fol. 112r.
The missing paraph mark is an intriguing feature, which proves that a bifolium was replaced in quire 5. It supports the likelihood that the disruption in the watermark sequence is a consequence of the scribe having to reorganize his work. A closer examination of fol. 106 may help to explain my supposition.
L15, the Merchant’s Prologue, begins on a new folded sheet on fol. 106r. There is no space planned for the incipit and the link begins with a capital in the manner of MI and L7. It looks like a textual part with no incipit. The explicit of L15 appears on fol. 105v in the centre, 1 cm above the ruling line of the footer. The rubric seems to have been written at two different stages. The explicit of CL is written in Latin up to the ‘Prologus’, but the incipit is completed in English: of the ‘Marchaunt’. It is probably that the reference to the Merchant was added later, using a different pen, shade of ink and language. The rubric is small in size and is likely to be a device to fill in some extra space left on fol. 105v after the insertion of L14. It is inserted in light brown. L15 is one of the disputed links as compared to the one that introduces ME in Hengwrt. Ellesmere agrees with Dd in using this link to introduce ME (Blake 2000).
ME begins on the same folio (fol. 106r) with a planned gap of 2 cm for the rubric, which is inserted in Latin in the same colour of ink as the text: brown. Most folios with this tale have lines crammed in at the end of rectos and versos. The scribe had a planned space that he could use, but he was running out of space so that he had to write line 464 (fol. 111v) above the ruling line of the header.
When ME ends, a gap of 3cm is left before L17 begins. L17 begins on fol. 119r, a watermarked folio that does not have an unmarked half in the quire. Also in this case (fol. 119) one may suggest an insertion to adjust the prologue to the tale. It is possible that this leaf was a substitute to correct a mistake. However, the ink used in the congener does not seem to be the same as the one used to copy the link. If a substitution or a correction in the text occurred, it must have taken place before the text in the conjugate was copied. No evidence similar to that on fol. 105v is available to provide an alternative explanation.
The rubric of the prologue is in Latin, but, like L15, was not completed at one time. ‘Armigeri’ seems to have been added to the rubric later. It is in a slightly bigger script and the hairline of the loop of the anglicana A of ‘Armigeri’ crosses the one of the serif of the small capital at the end of ‘prologus’. SQ starts on the verso of fol. 119 after L17. The rubric of the tale highlights the same problem. ‘Fabula Armigeri’ seems to be a later insertion, as witnessed by the size of the handwriting and the shade of the ink.
This quire shows all three shades of ink that are present in former quires. They do not appear at random, for there is a pattern. CL is copied with light brown ink that occasionally becomes darker. The first part of L15 is written in lighter brown ink than the rest, I suspect from line 21, but it is not clear-cut. It could simply be that some parts were written before the other or that the scribe dipped the pen in the ink less than in the rest of what he wrote. The lighter brown is similar to that on fol. 105v, but I am not sure whether it is the same of that of CO.
In ME, there are some apparent changes of ink, but they are not very clear. However, there is an evident change of ink on fol. 116r; the ink used from here to fol. 118r is very dark in appearance and is of the same kind as that used for GP. The brown ends the tale and is used to copy L17 and the first 24 lines of SQ. The last ink used in the quire is the dark brown, which is used on the parchment and to complete SQ on the following quire.
6 6.6. Quire 6
SQ concludes in the first part of quire 6. The tale is written with an average of 45 lines per folio. On fol. 126v, the scribe crammed in the last line to add up to 47 lines. I assume that this must have been an irregularity of the scribe, unless the beginning of fol. 127r was already copied. SQ ends on fol. 127r at line 662 with the rubric ‘¢ Here endith the Squyeres tale , as meche as Chaucer made’. The rest of the folio, approximately 18 cm, and the verso are left blank. The rubric is written with the same shade of ink, dark brown, used for copying the tale.
FK is inserted after SQ, but there is a folio missing before the tale starts, and it is difficult to say whether there was a prologue to the tale or not, and how the text appeared on the missing folio.
There is another problem at the end of FK. The tale terminates on fol. 138v; a gap of 3 cm follows, in which is written: ‘Here endeth the Frankeleyns tale / & bigynneth the Phisiciens tale , withoute a Prologe’. The rubric is written with the same brown ink as the text, but it is in English and it is rather large in size.
PH starts on the same folio as FK ends. Despite the average of 45 lines per page, PH terminates with only 42 lines on fol. 141v. The rest of the space is used by ‘¢ Here endeth the Phisiciens tale / & bigynneth the prologe of the Pardonere’, which is inserted in the centre of the folio in a 1.5 cm gap just before the ruling line of the footer. There are two crosses in dry point at the end of the folio; one could indicate the rubric. The script is large and the explicit could have been written at a different time. The ink seems to be lighter than the one used for the text; it does not resemble the one used for copying PH or L20. ‘The Pardonere’ is written on the line of the footer.
L21 starts at the very top on the following recto, without space for rubrics at the beginning of the ruling frame. As the prologue consists of only 40 lines, a 2 cm gap at the end of L21 (fol. 142r) accommodated a rubric which leaves approximately a two-line space before the ruling line on the footer. PD begins on the verso, again with no gap to indicate the textual part that was being copied, and in the header the scribe specifies ‘¢ The Pardoners owyn Prologe’. The tale proper begins on fol. 144r with a five-line letter. To indicate the start of the tale of the Pardoner the scribe wrote in the right margin of fol. 143v: ‘Et nunc narrat fabula’. The scribe at the end of fol. 143v crammed in the last four lines, as if again to suggest that fol. 144r was already written. Moreover, this textual part starts on the external parchment bifolium, which is easily detachable. Therefore, it is possible that the prologue of the tale and the tale were written in different stages. In organising L21 and PD, the scribe appears to be confused as to how to label the parts he was copying.
Quire 6 is written with all three types of ink so far encountered. SQ is written in dark brown, which is also used in FK for the first recto (fol. 129r) of the tale and for the inner parchment leaves 132v and 133r. The quality of the parchment is not very good and it is likely that the pigment looks darker for this reason. The light brown is used from fols. 129v to 132r of FK. Finally, the brown ink is used again from fol. 133v and it seems to be the one used for the rest of the quire.
6 6.7. Quire 7
This quire contains final part of PD (225-640), SH, PR, TT, L28 and TM. The composition of the quire is regular as far as the sequence between watermarked and unmarked leaves is concerned. There are, however, some unusual features.
At the end of PD, the Pardoner concludes his tale and starts to talk to the audience. The scene is set after line 591. Between 590 and 591 there is a one-line gap and line 591 starts with a four-line letter. Although the line gap is not extensive, it seems that this piece starting at line 591 is meant to be separate. There is a pricking on the left inside next to ‘But’ (line 591, fol. 149r). The speech of the Pardoner ends after 50 lines on the verso. The rest of fol. 149v (9 cm from the footer) and fol. 150r are left blank.
This pattern is similar to the one discussed for MI. The scribe is inserting the speech of the Pardoner that does not fit into the space he had planned. Either he had allocated too much space, which he could not use, as SH might already have been copied, or the blank folio was left to receive a prologue for SH that never arrived.
SH starts on fol. 150v in the manner already seen for L2 and CL. The rubric of SH ‘Here bigynneth the Shipmans tale , next folwyng the Pardoner’ is inserted in the header of the verso, just before the tale starts, and it seems to reassure the reader that the gap left before the tale is not left to accommodate other text. The incipit is written in brown ink and is inserted in the manner of the incipit of PH.
SH ends on a missing folio, in which the first 22 lines of PR should also have been written. However, there is too much space on the recto and verso of fol. 155. SH ends at line 434 and there are only 41 lines still to be copied. PR has only 22 lines to accommodate. Given the average of 44 lines per page so far used by the scribe, one might assume that there was a gap on this missing folio between the end of SH and the beginning of PR. It is possible that this gap was occupied by L24 that was inserted between SH and PR.
PR is divided by the scribe into prologue and tale, the latter beginning on fol. 156r with the incipit ‘¢ Here bigynneth the Prioresse , hire Tale’. The incipit is inserted in brown ink in a 1.5cm space. PR ends on the congener of the missing folio (155-158), most probably on the verso of fol. 158. It is possible that on this folio the Dd scribe included L25 before the first 34 lines of TT start.
TT finishes on fol. 160r, but the scribe does not seem to have realised that he had to pause between the end of TT and L28. L28 begins on fol. 160r without any incipit or space left to indicate that the Host was interrupting Chaucer’s tale. The scribe evidently thought that TT was to continue until TM started. In the rubric that precedes TM he writes in light brown: ‘¢ Here endeth Chaucers tale of Thopas / & the Prologe of Melibeus And heere bigynneth the Tale of Melibeus’. The reason for this is not clear; it may hide an early decision as to how the text had to be organised and the exemplar the Dd scribe was using may not have had precise directions for a gap between TT and L28.
In quire 7, the brown ink seems to be used from the beginning to fol. 148v, and it was used in the inner bifolia and the beginning of TT. The last part of PD is written with the light brown ink, which is used again for the beginning of SH, the end and the central part of TT-L28. The second part of TM, which concludes the quire, is copied with the dark brown ink.
The most significant feature of the quire in relation to the colour of inks appears in TT on fol. 159r. In this folio TT is copied with two different colours of ink. The brown one is used at the beginning of the folio and the lighter brown is employed at the end of the folio. Towards the end of the folio the scribe left a gap in the lighter ink, which he subsequently filled using the dark ink. This is the disputed line TT 93-1. The rest of the tale is copied with the light brown ink.
9 6.8. Quire 8
The organisation of the text from TM to MO does not present any problems. The rubrics to all these tales are in English, in the style encountered in PH, and they are inserted in gaps left to accommodate them. However, at the end of MO the scribe is again facing the problem of how to label his work.
In Dd the modern instances are inserted at the end of MO, which terminates at the very end of fol. 187r with the explicit in the footer of the folio. The lines at the end of the last two folios in MO look crammed in, as if the scribe was running out of space.
L30 starts at the very beginning of the verso with no space left for rubrication. The rubric ‘Here bigynneth the prologe of the Nonnes prest /’ is inserted later in the header in a dark brown ink. L30 in Dd is the longer version that refers back to the last tragedy of MO, the one of Cresus. There is an inconsistency between these two parts as the modern instances, placed at the end of MO, prevent the last tragedy from being that of Cresus. The scribe does not seem to realise this. It is very likely that L30 was copied before MO was inserted in the same manner as discussed for L2. NP follows L30 in a different colour of ink.
The majority of this quire is copied with the dark brown ink (TM, L29 and MO), but L30 and NP seem to be copied with the brown ink.
9 6.9. Quire 9
The concluding part of NP (420-626), L31, NU, L33 and the beginning of CY occupy what is left of quire 9. The text is written with the brown ink, but from fols. 195v to 200r, L31 and NU are copied with the dark brown.
NP ends on fol. 195r and gaps of 7cm on the recto and 18cm on the verso are left before the scribe copies NU. The scribe was probably waiting for the prologue of NU, but what he received is L31. L31 concludes NP but does not introduce NU. The scribe duly copies L31, but the text is too short for the gap he planned. He then writes the rubric in dark brown ink: ‘Heere endeth the Tale of the Nonnes Preest / & bigynneth the Secund Nonnes Tale of Seynt Cecile / Withoute a prologe;’ just before NU. Like in SU the scribe explains that he received a tale without a prologue. L33 and CY are written in the quire without any visible problems. The scribe leaves space for the rubrics both at the end of NU and at the beginning of L33 and CY. All these rubrics are in English.