SEARCH RECORDS
SEARCH MSS
PRINTED BOOKS
INSCRIPTIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
GLOSSARY
DIMEV HOME
The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
DIMEV 4879
IMEV 3121
NIMEV 3121
Sith all men naturally desire
Thomas Hoccleve, ‘Ars Sciendi Mori’ — 134 stanzas rhyme royal
Author(s): Thomas Hoccleve
Title(s): Ars Sciendi Mori
Subjects: death
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc
Bibliographic Ghosts: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 144 [olim Huth 7], f. 55: actually in HM 744.



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Selden Supra 53 (SC 3441), ff. 117-133
First Lines:
Nowe herkene a doctrine substancial
ffirste howe lerne to die telle wole I…
Last Lines:
…That for to comprehende þat gladnesse
Verrely no wit may ne tounge expresse
Note: Missing stanzas 1-3.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 221 (SC 27627), ff. 30-42v
First Lines:
Sethen all men naturally desireth
To knowe O eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…That for to comprehende þat gladnesse
Verreyly ne wit may ne tunge expresse
Attributed Title: Here endith þe moralisyng of my tale and begynneth þe moste profitabill and holsom crafte that is to kun lern to dye (f. 30); Here endith to lern to dye and begynneth a prolog of þe ix lesson þat is red on all halow day. At the end: Here endith þe prolog and begynnyth þe lesson (f. 42v)
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 735 (SC 1504), ff. 29-41
First Lines:
SEthen all men naturely desyre
To kunne O eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…That for to comprehende þat gladnesse
Verrili not wit may ne tung expresse
Note: Followed by a ‘lesson’ in prose.
Attributed Title: Here endeth þe moralisyng of my tale And begynneth þe moost profitable and holsomest crafte that is to cvnne Lerne to dye (f. 29), Here endith to lerne to dye and begynnyth A prologue of þe ix lessoun þat is red on all halow day (before the last two stanzas)
4.Source: London, British Library Harley 172, ff. 73-88
First Lines:
sythen al men naturally desyre
To konne & knowe O eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…Se to thy soule soo or thou hens wende
That hit may haue þe lyf whiche hathe non ende
Note: Followed on f. 88 by motto, ‘Soli deo honor et gloria’, written by scribe
Attributed Author: Thomas hoccleve (f. 73, added by a hand of sixteenth century, possibly John Stow); Thomas hoccleve (f. 88, added by a hand of 16th century, possibly John Stow)
Attributed Title: Here endythe the moste profytable and holsummyste crafte that ys oonlye lerne to dye
5.Source: London, British Library Royal 17 D.VI, f. 120v
6.Source: Coventry, Coventry Archives Acc. 325/1, ff. 57rb-63va
First Lines:
Sethen all men naturalli desiren
To knowe O Eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…See to thi soule or thou hens weende
That it mai haue the life þat hath none eende
Attributed Title: Here beginnethe a processe to lerne to deie (f. 57rb)
7.Source: Durham, Durham University Library Cosin V.iii.9, ff. 52v-74v
First Lines:
Syn all men naturelly desyre
To konne o eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…That for to comprehende þat gladnesse
Verraily no wit may ne tonge expresse
Attributed Title: …incipit ars vtillissima sciendi mori Cum omnes homines naturaliter scire desiderant (f. 52v); Explicit illa pars per quam sciendum est mori (f. 74v)
Facsimiles:
Burrow, John, and A. I. Doyle, eds. Thomas Hoccleve: A Facsimile of the Autograph Verse Manuscripts. EETS s.s. 19 (2002).
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Hoccleve’s Works: The Minor Poems. vol. 1. EETS e.s. 61 (1892); repr. with Gollancz (1925) 73; rev. J. Mitchell and A. Ian Doyle, 1970: 178-212.
8.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 744 [olim Ashburnham 133; olim Gollancz], ff. 53-68v
First Lines:
Syn alle men naturelly desyre
To konne o eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…Horrible freendes and innumerable
Awayten on my soule miserable…
Note: After imperfect ending, catchwords, ‘The blake faced’; wrongly listed as in San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 744 [olim Ashburnham 133; olim Gollancz] in Brown and Robbins (1943).
Attributed Title: Hic incipit Ars vtilissima sciendi mori Cum omnes homines et cetera (f. 53)
Facsimiles:
Burrow, John, and A. I. Doyle, eds. Thomas Hoccleve: A Facsimile of the Autograph Verse Manuscripts. EETS s.s. 19 (2002).
9.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library 493 [olim Phillipps 8267; Robinson (July 1952); Bodmer], ff. 30-41
First Lines:
SEthen all men naturely desyre
To kunne O eterne sapience…
Last Lines:
…Þat for to comprehende þat gladnesse
Verrily no wit may ne tong expresse
Note: Treatise proper ends f. 41: ‘…Se to þi soule soo or þow hens wende / That it may have the lyf þat hath non ende’ and is followed by the ‘prolog of þe ix lesson þat is redd on all halow day’ (f. 41): ‘Tho othere thre parties which in þe booke / Off þe tretice of deth expressid be…’, followed by prose lesson beginning f. 41v.
Attributed Title: Here…begynneth the most profitable and holsomest crafte that is to kune lerne to dye (f. 30); Here endith to lerne to dye (f. 41)