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Despite Mr. Ward's thoroughness in his discussion of Geoffrey's Historia, further consideration throws at least grave doubt on one of his fundamental theories, the theory, namely, that Geoffrey published more than one distinct edition of the Historia.
“The best book that ever was written upon good breeding, Il Cortegiano, by Castiglione, grew up at the little Court of Urbino, and you should read it,” says Dr. Johnson to Boswell, of all places in the world, in the Isle of Skye, “roving among the Hebrides at sixty.” But when, in the Life of Addison, we find the Courtyer classed with Galateo, and compared with the social essays of the Spectator and the Tatler, it becomes clear that the Great Cham was so ignorant of the law he was laying down in this instance, that he took Il Cortegiano for a courtesy-book, a book of etiquette:—
To teach the minuter decencies and inferior duties, to regulate the practice of daily conversation, to correct those depravities which are rather ridiculous than criminal, to remove those grievances which, if they produce no lasting calamities, impress hourly vexation, was first attempted by Casa in his book of manners, and Castiglione in the Courtier.” (Works, VII, 428, Addison.
“The fictitious quarrel,” to borrow the thought of Heine, “which Christianity has cooked up between the body and the soul” formed in mediæval times a literary motif which attained to considerable popularity among both authors and readers. The single Latin poem, for example, with which we are here alone concerned, and the authorship of which has long been one of the debatable questions of literary history, has come down to us in at least fifteen manuscripts, and doubtless others will come to light. Of these mss. Wright, in The Latin Poems Commonly Attributed to Walter Mapes, London, 1841, p. 95, mentions ten, as follows: 1) Harl. 978 fol. 88 v°; 2) Harl. 2851 [fol. omitted]; 3) Cott. Titus A xx. fol. 163 r°; 4) Cott. Calig. A xi. fol. 164 v°; 5) Roy. 8 B vi. fol. 18 v°; 6) Camb. Ee vi. 29 art. 1; 7) Corp. Chr. Coll. 481; 8) Bodl. 110 (Bern. 1963); 9) Douce 54 fol. 36 v°; 10) Univ. Coll. B 14. Wright also refers to the edition of Th. von Karajan (Frühlingsgabe für Freunde älterer Literatur, Wien, 1839, pp. 85–98) from ms. 3121 (formerly Historia Profana 279) in the Wiener Hofbibliothek. Three mss. are mentioned by Du Méril in his Poésies populaires latines antérieures au douzième sièele, p. 217: 1) Bibl. roy., fonds du Saint-Victor 472 fol. 289 r°; 2) Bibl. de Bruxelles 4363, unpaged; 3) Bibl. Mazarine 438, unpaged. Lastly, the fifteenth ms., containing the fragment which is printed below, is now in the President White Library of Cornell University, and may conveniently be called the White ms.
APPENDIX: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Modern Language. Association of America, held at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., December 27, 28, 29, 1900