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I boast and brag ay with the best
The Seven Deadly Sins in the Speculum Christiani (Quarta Tabula) — seven quatrains
Note: For MSS with an introductory couplet see 6643.
Title(s): Speculum Christiani (Quarta Tabula)
Subjects: sins, deadly
Versification: — four-line — aabb
Bibliographic Ghosts: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 155, f. 161-164v: see 6643; Cambridge UK, Jesus College Q.G.3 (51), ff. 12-14: see 6643; Cambridge UK, Pembroke College 285, ff. 13-15v: see 6643.



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 107 (SC 21681), ff. 49-50v
First Lines:
I bost and bragge ay with þe best
To maynteyne synne I am ful prest…
Last Lines:
…fro synful lust wyl y not fle
þowȝ y for it in helle ay schuld be
Note: Verses are inserted among Latin prose and written in long lines. Names of the deadly sins are written in the margins.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Greaves 54 (SC 3826), ff. 13-15
First Lines:
I boste and brage all with the best
To myntayne synne y am full prest…
Last Lines:
…ffor synful lust y wol noȝt fle
Thogh y for hit yn helle euer be
3.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 4393
First Lines:
I bost & brage ay with þe best
To mayntayn syn I am full prest…
Last Lines:
…From synfull lyst will I not fle
Thowgh I in hell þerfor ay be
Explicit
Note: Latin names of sins, ‘Superbia’, ‘Invidia’, etc. above each stanza.
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 224.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 86.
4.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 132, ff. 173v-178
First Lines:
I Boste and brage with þe best
To mayneteine synne I am full preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull luste I will not flee
Þouȝ for hit yn hell I be
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ff.1.14, ff. 34v-36v
First Lines:
Bost and brage ay with þe beste
To mayntene syn I am full preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfful lust I wyll not fle
Thoȝ I ffor it in hell ay be
Note: Formerly listed under 6643.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Hh.1.13, ff. 21-24v
First Lines:
I boste I bragge ay with þe best
To maynteyn synne I am ful prest…
Last Lines:
…ffor synful luste wol I not flee
þough I in helle for hit ay bee
Note: Formerly listed under 6643.
7.Source: Cambridge UK, Sidney Sussex College 55, ff. 11-13
First Lines:
I boste and bragge ay wt the [beste]
To mantene synne I am ful preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synnfull will I not fle
Thogh I for it in helle ay be
8.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College B.15.40 (376), ff. 101rb-102vb
First Lines:
I boste y bragge euer with þe beste
To maynteyne synne y am ful preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull lust wol y not fle
Þouȝ y for hit in hell euer be
Attributed Title: Superbia (r. margin, f. 101)
9.Source: London, British Library Addit. 21202, ff. 20-23
First Lines:
I am ful sory in my hert
ffor other mennys welfare and quert…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull lust woll I nauȝt fle
Though in helle for hyt ay be
Note: Only six quatrains in this manuscript.
10.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22121, ff. 20v-24
First Lines:
I booste y bragge ay wyth the beste
To maynten synne y am ful preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull luste wol y nat fle
Though þin helle for hit ay be
Note: Rubricated.
11.Source: London, University of London MS 657 [olim Helmingham Hall I.J.I.7], pp. 100-102
First Lines:
[I] bost and bragge euer wit þe best
to maynteyn synne I am ful prest…
Last Lines:
…fro synful lust I wil nowt fle
þow I þerfore in helle ay be
Note: Written in quatrains interspersed in the Latin text.
12.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 351, ff. 25-29v
First Lines:
Boste and bragge ay with the best
To mayntene synne I am full preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull lust I wylnot fle
Thof I in hell for ay shulde be
Note: In Sexta tabula, lectio superbie (f. 24v).
13.Source: Hereford, Hereford Cathedral Library P.7.7, ff. 184ra-185ra
First Lines:
I boste and bragg ay with þe best
To maynten synne I am ful prest…
Last Lines:
…ffro synful lust y wol nouȝt flee
þowȝ I in helle for yt ay be
14.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 124 [olim Sotheby’s Sale, 11 June 1923, lot 89A], f. 21v
First Lines:
Y booste y bragge ay wyth the beste
To maynteine synne y am ful prest
Myne owne wille y wolle haue ay
Though god and goodemen all byd nay…
Last Lines:
…ffro synful lust wille y nauȝt flee
Though y in helle for hit ay bee
Note: Written in rubric, each with name of sin as heading, beginning, ‘Superbia’.
15.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library Osborn fa2 [olim Laurence Witten, Cat. 5, item 51; prior Helmingham Hall LJ. V. 14], ff. 72v-74
First Lines:
I bost & brag ay with þe beste
To maynten synne I am fwll preste…
Last Lines:
…ffro synfull luste I wyll not fle
Þof I in hell for hyt ay be
Note: Rubric indications of speaker to right of stanzas, ‘Superbia’, ‘Invidia’, etc.
16.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 96 [olim Beeleigh Abbey (Foyle)], ff. 11-11v
First Lines:
I bost and bragge ay with þe best
To mayten synne I am ful prest
Myne owne prowede wille I wil haue ay
þow god and goode men alle byd nay…
Last Lines:
… I banne and bakbyte wyckydly
And hyndyr al þat I may sikyrly
Note: With 6643 as introductory couplet; only two quatrains, for Superbia and Invidia.
Attributed Title: Superbia…Invidia (in margin)



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 26012. Wotton, John, Speculum Cristiani, W. de Machlinia ad exp. H. Vrankenburgh, [1486?] , sigs. c.viiv-d.iiiv
First Lines:
I beste I bragge ay with the beste
To meyntene synne I am full preste…
Last Lines:
…Fro sinfull luste I wille nat flee
Though I in helle for hit at bee
Note: CUL Inc. 5.J.3.5 [3607], ff. 22v-26v.
Attributed Title: Incipit liber qui vocatur Speculum Cristiani (sig. a.ii; f. 1); Iste Libellus impressus est in opulentissima Ciuitate Londoniarum per me Willelmum de Machlinia ad instanciam necnon expensas Henrici Vrankenbergh mercatoris (last folio, verso)