Those who may be desirous of studying and comparing these various attempts at identification, will find all the evidence and arguments of any value set forth in the writings of M. Frank, M. de Montaiglon and Miss Robinson, which are specified in the Bibliography annexed to this appendix.—Ed.
Fourteen MS. copies of the Heptameron are known to exist. Twelve of these are at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, one is at the town library of Orleans, and one in the Vatican library. We also have some record of four other copies which were in private libraries at the end of the last century.
The twelve MSS. at the Bibliotheque Nationale are the following:—
I. (No. 1511 in the catalogue). A folio volume bound in red morocco, bearing the Bethune arms. This MS. is on ruled paper, and only one leaf, the last, is missing.
II. (No. 1512). A small folio, calf gilt, 350 leaves, from Colbert’s library. The handwriting is that of the middle of the sixteeenth century, and is the same throughout; the last page bearing the signature “Doulcet.” This supplied the text followed in the present translation.
III. (No. 1513). A small folio, half-bound in red morocco, stamped with King Louis Philippe’s monogram. It contains only twenty-eight of the tales.
IV. (No. 1514). A large quarto, calf, from the De Mesmes library. Contains only thirty-four of the tales.
V. (No. 1515). A small folio from Colbert’s library, bound in calf, in Groslier’s style. The text is complete, but there are numerous interlinear and marginal corrections and additions, in the same handwriting as MS. VII.
VI. (Nos. 1516 to 1519). Four quarto vols., red morocco, Bethune arms. The first prologue is deficient, as is also the last leaf of tale lxxi.
VII. (No. 1520). A folio vol., calf and red morocco, stamped with fleurs-de-lys and the monogram of Louis XVIII. This MS. on stout ruled paper, in a beautiful italic handwriting of the end of the sixteenth century, is complete. Unfortunately Queen Margaret’s phraseology has been considerably modified, though, on the other hand, the copyist has inserted a large number of different readings, as marginal notes, which render his work of great value. It is frequently quoted in the present translation.
VIII. (No. 1523). A folio vol., calf, from the De La Marre library. The first two leaves are deficient, and the text ends with the fifth tale of Day IV.
IX. (No. 1522). A small folio, bound in parchment, from the De La Marre library. Only the tales of the first four days are complete, and on folio 259 begins a long poem called Les Prisons, the work probably of William Filandrier, whom Queen Margaret protected. On the first folio of the volume is the inscription, in sixteenth-century handwriting: Pour ma sour Marie Philander. The poem Les Prisons is quoted on pp. xxxviii.-ix. vol. i. of the present work. It concludes with an epitaph on Margaret, dated 1549.