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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 1544
IMEV 935
NIMEV 935
God almighty save and confirm our king
John Lydgate and Benedict Burgh, Secrees of old Philisoffres — 390 stanzas rhyme royal
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 478; Ringler Jr. (1988), TP 482; for the original Latin MSS of the Secretum Secretorum, see Singer (1928), 1.27-31; for English prose texts compare Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), ff. 1-12v; Ashmole 396, ff. 1-42, Laud Misc. 685, ff. 5-57v, Rawlinson C.83, ff. 1-8; Rawlinson B.490, ff. 28v-72; University College Oxf. 85, pp. 70-135; London, British Library Royal 18 A.VII, ff. 1-26v; London, Lambeth Palace Library 501, ff. 1-42; Singer (1928), 29.
Author(s): John Lydgate; Benedict Burgh
Title(s): Secrees of old Philisoffres
Subjects: alchemy
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 46 (SC 6930), ff. 97-160v
First Lines:
GOd almyghty save and conserve our kyng
In al vertu to his Encrees of glorye
His Rewm and hym by polytyk livyng
With dreed and love to haue memorye…
Last Lines:
…Which the mvt graunte the lord moost Imperial
Above alle hevenys supra celestial
Note: On f. 131: ‘Here deyed this translatour and nobyl poete / And the yonge folwere gan his prologe on this wyse’; the second part of the poem, by Benet de Burgh, starts on the next page, f. 131v.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), f. 134
Transcription:
God allmyghty saue and conserue owre kynge
In all vertue to hys Encrese off glorye
Hys Rewme and hym by polytike levynge
With drede and loue to haue memorye
Of hys enmyes conquest and victory
Note: First five lines (Prayer for Henry VI) only; formerly 936.
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Popular Prayers in Middle English Verse.” Modern Philology 36 (1939): 337-50: 341.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical Poems of the XIV and XV Centuries. New York: Columbia UP, 1959: 196.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 416 (SC 1479), ff. 255-287
First Lines:
god all mighty saue & conferne our kyng
In all vertu to his encrease of glory…
Last Lines:
…Of thyne enemies þou swest as seyne clerkys
ffor werre shuld be last of thy werkys
Attributed Title: This is the book of the gouernaunce of kyngges and prynces (f. 255)
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Popular Prayers in Middle English Verse.” Modern Philology 36 (1939): 337-50: 341.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical Poems of the XIV and XV Centuries. New York: Columbia UP, 1959: 196.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 673 (SC 505), ff. 1-73v
First Lines:
GOd almyghty save & conserme (sic) our kyng
In al vertu to his encrees of glorys…
Last Lines:
…To that entent I do the forth directe
Wheer thow faylest that men shal the correcte
Attributed Title: This is the book of the gouernaunce of kynges and of prynces (f. 1)
5.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 329, ff. 80-126
First Lines:
GOd almyghty saue & conferme owre kyng
In all vertu to hys encrese of glorye…
Last Lines:
…Wyche þe graunte lorde moste ymperyall
A bove all hevyns supra celestyall
Attributed Title: Hic incipit tractus De regimine principum (f. 80); Here endyth þe notable tretyse callyd of Arystotyles regimen principum (f. 126)
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 336/725, ff. 104-124
First Lines:
It is to be titelled how preved with oute obstacle
As olde philosopheris put in remembraunce…
Last Lines:
…As arestotel reherseth by wrytynge
In his pistell to Alisaunder kynge
Note: Fragment; stanzas 328-31, 353-90, 170-91, 193-4, 195-213, 234-7, 228-33, 238-71, 273-89, 64, 43, 65, 68 as noted in Robbins and Cutler (1965), but treated as whole work: illuminated initial ‘I’ on f. 104, border, etc.; includes four-stanza ‘Verba translatoris’ (ff. 123v-124).
Attributed Title: Of the crafte of phisonomye which trete of the qualitees and Condicions of ich membre of man and of the Image of ypocras whiche Arestotele wrote to kynge Alisaunder (f. 104)
7.Source: Cambridge UK, Fitzwilliam Museum McClean 182 [olim Ashburnham 134], ff. 12-49
First Lines:
…Of gentiles with grete reuerence
That he wolde do his deligence
Conceive his menynge and hooly þe matere
Of his epistill which þat folowith here…
Last Lines:
…Whiche þe mote graunte þe lorde moste imperiall
A boue all heuenes supra celestiall
Note: Begins imperfectly at line 65; followed by fragment of 447 used as envoy.
8.Source: Cambridge UK, Fitzwilliam Museum McClean 183, ff. 1-47v
First Lines:
…Bookys recorde an aungel was doun sent
ffro god aboue brought hym this present
That he schulde the book reherse can
ffor his meritys and vertuous dignite…
Last Lines:
…whiche schal cause the haue victory
Enginys to haue is special remedi…
Note: Begins imperfectly at line 83; leaves missing in middle; ends imperfectly; originally part of London, British Library Addit. 39922.
9.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.19 (599), ff. 49-52
First Lines:
What tyme the season of the yere
The hevynly bawm ascendyng from the Rote…
Last Lines:
…To owre iiij ages the season well aplied
Deth all consumythe whiche may not be denyed Explicit
Note: An extract: 26 stanzas beginning with 186.
Attributed Title: A tretis of the iiij seasons of the yere that is t[o] say ver Estas Authumnus & yemps (f. 49, by scribe); copieyd by JohnLydgate as aperyeth in his boke of kþe secretis to alysuander from aristotyll (added)
Facsimiles:
Fletcher, Bradford Y. “Introduction.” Manuscript Trinity R.3.19. A Facsimile. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, 1987.
10.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.40 (1212), ff. 1-44v
First Lines:
This philesofre famous and notable
In al his dedis prudent & right wise…
Last Lines:
…Thi highnesse also for to enhaunce
And thy magnificence lerne this of me
Note: Lacks stanzas 1-30 and ends imperfectly in the section ‘Of a kyngis Secretaries.’
Attributed Author: Lidgate (f. iv)
11.Source: London, British Library Addit. 14408, ff. 1-48v
First Lines:
…hym [ ] lyvyng
[ ]ede and loue to haue memorie
[ ]eue[ ] conquest and victorie
With septyr and swerde betwene bothe to do ryght
aftyr hys lawes to every manere wyght…
Last Lines:
…To þat entent I do þe forthe directe
Where þu faylest þat men schall þe correcte
Note: Lines 1-3 wanting due to damage to first leaf.
12.Source: London, British Library Addit. 34360 [olim Phillipps 9053], ff. 78-116
First Lines:
[G]Od almyghty save and conferme oure kyng
In al vertu to his encrese and glory…
Last Lines:
…Of thyn Enemyes thow owest as seyn the clerkis
ffor werre shuld be last of thy werkis
Attributed Title: Explicit Regimine Principium (f. 116)
13.Source: London, British Library Addit. 39922, ff. 16-16v
First Lines:
Ȝyf thow wilt be hool and kepe þe fro siknesse
and resiste the strook of pestylence…
Last Lines:
…the bryddys syngen in ther armonye
salue that sesoun with sugrid melodie
Note: A single leaf, lines 1268-1309.
Attributed Title: How aleche schal gouerne aprynce slepyng and wakyng (RT, f. 16)
14.Source: London, British Library Addit. 60577 [Winchester Anthology], ff. 24v-37v
First Lines:
[G]Od almyghti save & conserue oure kynge
In all vertue to hys encrees of glorye…
Last Lines:
…Off good reporte shortly determyne
Hys sonne of vertues thorow the world shal shyne…
Note: Stanzas 1-119, ends incomplete due to missing folios.
Attributed Title: [t]his is the boke of the gouernaunce of kynges and princes (f. 24v)
Facsimiles:
Wilson, Edward. “Introduction.” The Winchester Anthology. A Facsimile of British Library Additional Manuscript 60577. With an account of the music by Iain Fenlon. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1981.
15.Source: London, British Library Arundel 59, ff. 90-130v
First Lines:
GOd almyghti save and conferme oure kyng
In al vertu to his encres and glory…
Last Lines:
…Of thyn Enemyes thow owest as seyn clerkis
ffor werre shuld be last of thy workis
Note: In rhyme royal stanzas; the scribe is the so-called ‘Hammond scribe’.
Attributed Title: Explicit Regimine Principum (f. 130v)
16.Source: London, British Library Harley 2251, ff. 188v-224
First Lines:
GOd almyghti save and conferme ouer kyng
In al vertu to his encrese and glory…
Last Lines:
…Of thyn enemyes thow owest as seyn clerkis
ffor werre shuld be last of thy werkis
Note: Explicit Regimine Principium (f. 224)
Attributed Title: This is the book of the / gouernaunce of kinges / and Prynces (f. 52, in rubric)
17.Source: London, British Library Harley 4826, ff. 52-80v
First Lines:
God almyghty save and conferme our kyng
In al vertu to his encrees of glorye…
Last Lines:
…To that Entent I do the do the forth directe
Where thow faylest that men shal the correcte
Attributed Title: This is the book of the gouernance of kynges and Princes (rubricated, f. 52)
18.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 285, ff. 152-162v
First Lines:
God almyghty saue and conferme oure kyng
In all vertu to his encrees of glorie…
Last Lines:
…To that intente I doo the foorth directe
Where þu failist that men shall the correct
Attributed Title: This is the book of governaunce of kynges and Princes (f. 152)
19.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2027, f. 53
20.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2464, ff. 1-65v
First Lines:
GOd almyghty save and conferme our kyng
In al vertu to his encrees of glory…
Last Lines:
…To that entent I do the forth directe
Wher thou fallest that men shal the correcte
Editions:
Steele, Robert, ed. Lydgate and Burgh’s Secrees of Old Philisoffres: A version of the ‘Secreta Secretorum’. EETS e.s. 66 (1894); repr. 1973.
21.Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library M775, ff. 139-195
First Lines:
…Thorow all Grece manyd lorde and sire
And bi conquest holde the hool empire…
Last Lines:
…To that entent I doo the forthe directe
Where thou faylest that men schal the correcte
Note: Begins imperfectly at end of stanza 7, due to lost folio.
22.Source: Philadelphia, Philadelphia Free Library 15/488 [olim Lewis 304], ff. 1-2v
First Lines:
…ffor decrepitus hath his marke set
This worlde schal ende it may not be lette…
Last Lines:
…[ ]e eyen dymme the browis were grete
[Þ]e nosethrillis shrynke the templis done bete…
Note: A single bifolium, not a centerfold, beginning at line 1476; outer third of folio 2 cut away, with some loss of text on f. 2v.
Attributed Author: HEre died this translatoure and noble Poete Jon lidgate and the folower began his prologe on this wise (rubric heading to last stanza on f. 1)
23.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 33 [Christie’s, 8 November 1978, Lot 198], ff. 1-19v
Attributed Title: Of the crafte of Phisonomye whiche doth trete of the qualitees and condicions of the membre of man and of the Image of ypocras whiche Arestotele wrote to kynge Alisaunder (f. 1)



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 17017. Lydgate, John, and Benedict Burgh, The Gouernance of Kynges, Pynson, 1511 (STC 17017; formerly also STC 12140)
Editions:
Starnes, De Witt Talmage. “Introduction.” The Gouernaunce of Kynges and Prynces: the Pynson ed. of 1511: a translation in verse by J. Lydgate an anonymous poet, from the Latin of Secretum secretorum: A Facsimile Reproduction. Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints. Gainsville, FL: 1957.