Chaucer's Works (ed. Skeat) Vol. VI/Manuscripts


The various MSS. and editions collated in this edition (besides others which do not afford much help) are all duly enumerated in their proper places. It is, perhaps, advisable to say expressly, that the same symbol is often used for different MSS.; and that the same MS. is sometimes (not often) denoted by different symbols. But no confusion need arise, as this never happens with respect to the same piece. For example, in the Minor Poems, 'A.' occurs as a symbol for MS. Ashinole 59; whilst in the Legend of Good Women, the same symbol occurs for MS. Arch. Selden B. 24. Again, in the Minor Poems, MS. Arch. Selden B. 24 is denoted by the symbol 'Ar.,' but in the Legend by 'A.,' as above. All that is necessary to fix the meaning of the symbol employed is to consult the 'Introduction' to the piece under consideration. And all that need be given here is a full statement of the references to the various descriptions of the MSS.

Romaunt of the Rose; i. 11.
Minor Poems; i. 48-58.
Boethius; ii. xxxvii-xlvi.
Troilus; ii. lxvii-lxxv.
Hous of Fame; iii. xiii.
Legend of Good Women; iii. xlvii-li.
Astrolabe; iii. lvii-lxii.
Canterbury Tales; iv. viii-xv.

Similar remarks apply to the old editions; the descriptions of them follow the descriptions of the MSS.