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The announcement that a new edition of the Index of Middle English Verse is to be prepared by Professors Boffey, Edwards, and Meale, is very welcome news to all of us who work in the field of Middle English literature, and the fact that this new Index is to be issued on CD-ROM to enable the computer searching of its contents will make it doubly useful. Towards this new edition, I am pleased to offer a few odd notes of correction and addition to the old IMEV and its published Supplement.
I should make it clear that these notes are simply items which have come to my notice during my researches in the works of John Lydgate: I have not done a systematic search of the IMEV for errors, nor have I done nay sort of systematic checking of manuscripts of Middle English verse. In general, I have gone to the manuscripts when I had a very specific question arising out of my Lydgate work, and while I may have answered one question or resolved one problem, I may very well have failed to notice much more glaring errors to the right or the left of the point upon which I was focused. I should also indicate that, while I have not knowingly duplicated anyone else's list of errors, I have not searched the literature to ensure that all of the points made below have not been mentioned before; I merely wish to ensure that necessary corrections are made in the new edition, and I report what I have noticed in that regard, and I leave it to the editors of the new IMEV to remove any duplication in the lists of corrections that they receive.
First, a general note on the designation of manuscripts from the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen. These are catalogued by format, and the format is an essential part of their designations: Thott 110 (in IMEV 4230), for instance, should be Thott 110 4 [degrees].
Secondly, I have noticed a number of poems in medieval manuscripts which are not listed in the IMEV or its Supplement. In each of these cases, it may have been the opinion of the editors that these poems were composed after 1500, and therefore not within the purview of the Index; but I bring these to the attention of the new editors just in case these were accidentally missed rather than deliberately excluded.
(a) In the Paston Letters, ed. N. Davies, there are seven passages printed as verse, only four of which are listed in the IMEV; Letter 270 contains two verse passages (one beginning 'Wherffor prennes en gree', and the other, 'Neuertheless I am sorye
(b) Cambridge, University Library, MS Ff. 4.9, fos [85.sup.r]-[86.sup.r]: eleven 8-line stanzas, beginning "I complayne sore whan I remembre me.'
(c) British Library, MS Cotton Vespasian A.xxv, fos [178.sup.r]-[179.sup.r] (fo. 179 is damaged, only the first of two columns preserved): 'It befell at martynmas'.
(d) MS Cotton Julius B.xii, fo. [4.sup.r]: in an upper corner, with the beginning of the text cut away, is a rhyme royal stanza with 1 1/2 lines of the end of a preceding stanza. The fragmentary first stanza refers to someone who lies buried in the Abbey of Waltham (presumably King Harold, buried in Waltham Abbey after the Battle of Hastings); the second stanza apologizes for the quality of the verse because 'poet lidgate' was not involved. This is not part of any work known to me, and this acephalous text is not listed in the IMEV.
(e) MS Harley 4826, fos [145.sup.v]-[146.sup.r]: maxims in short stanzas, not included in the IMEV.
(f) 'Erl or Baroun which that thoruh regiouns', not listed in the IMEV, is a single stanza (St. 22) of Lydgate's The Daunce of Machabree, inserted into a copy of the Troy Book (Harvard University MS Eng 752, fo. …