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"TheOriginalofMrGeorge Herbert'sTemple"* by Amy M. Charles The Bodleian Manuscript At the time of his death, George Herbert had published only orations and memorial verses; his literary fame rests on the works seen into print after his death by Nicholas Ferrar, Barnabas Oley (and perhaps other members of the Ferrar circle), and James Duport. The English poems in the Bodleian manuscript (Tanner MS. 307, referred to as B), now known as The Temple, were the first work that Herbert's friends saw through the press for him. This manuscript of 77?e Temple has generally been understood to represent Herbert's final intention about the text and order of his English poems, although he never saw it, held it in his hands, or made any revisions in it. Along with the first edition of The Temple published at Cambridge in 1633, this manuscript has been considered an authoritative source for the text of Herbert's English poems. Because of the care taken by the Little Gidding copyists in their calligraphy and in the red ink rulings of margins and titles, the manuscript is also one of the most beautiful examples of the work done at the community and in England at that time.' Provenance Canon Hutchinson's account of the provenance of B in his edition of the Works stands unchanged today. As the 'This essay and the following one by Mario A. Di Cesare will, in an expanded form, be included in the Introduction to their facsimile edition of the Bodleian manuscript, forthcoming from Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints. Amy M. Charles manuscript of Herbert's Musae Responsoriae apparently remained in Cambridge and finally fell into the hands of James Duport, who published it in his Ecclesiastes Solomonis in 1 662, so apparently the Little Gidding manuscript remained in Cambridge until William Sancroft added it to his collection of manuscripts. It is instructive to note that Duport received the copy of these Latin epigrams from William Dillingham, Master of Emmanuel, who "had shared chambers as an undergraduate with William Sancroft, the future archbishop, and maintained a close friendship with him for life."2 One gains the impression that Sancroft had developed a particular interest in Herbert that led him to hunt out the two Herbert manuscripts for his own collection. The two main pieces of evidence for the provenance of B are the notes added to the title page and the bequest of Bishop Tanner. On the title page the reader may see Sancroft's signature and note, "The Original of Mr George Herbert's Temple; as it was at first Licensed for the presse," and read the signatures of the four licensers: Benjamin Lany, Master of Pembroke and Vice-Chancellor from Michaelmas of 1 632 until the following Michaelmas; Thomas Bainbrigg, Master of Christ's; Matthew Wren, Master of Peterhouse; and William Beale, Master of Jesus. The other signatory, Thomas Freeman, was probably a secretary or a minor official, says Hutchinson.3 Sancroft's interest and taste in poetry had brought into his collection numerous manuscript volumes. After Sancroft died in 1693, Thomas Tanner, Bishop of St. Asaph, was able to acquire three hundred of Sancroft's manuscripts, which in due time after his own death in 1 735 passed to the Bodleian Library. Nearly a century passed, however, before William Pickering, then editing Herbert's works, first mentioned the existence of MS. Tanner 307; and not until the turn of this century did any editor give serious consideration to its importance as a source for the text of The Temple. Grosart, in 1874, had merely listed variant readings, hardly a page in all; but it remained for George Herbert Palmer, in 1905, to call attention to the significance of this manuscript. Since Palmer's time, the text of 8 has twice been published, first by Francis Meynell in the Nonesuch edition of 1927, and THE BODLEIAN MANUSCRIPT more recently by Barbara K. Lewalski and Andrew J. Sabol in Major Poets ofthe Earlier Seventeenth Century.* The Nonesuch edition, despite some flaws in transcription, is one of the most unusual and handsome editions of Herbert's English poems, with pages ruled in red in imitation of the practice in the original...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-1192
Print ISSN
0161-7435
Pages
pp. 1-14
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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