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Un manuscrit peu connu de N.-J. Foucault conservé à Leyde (Ltk 575)

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The fifteenth-century MS. discussed in the present article once formed part of the famous collection of Nicolas-Joseph Foucault. Nowadays it is preserved in the University Library of Leiden under shelf-mark Ltk 575. As early as 1707 Antoine Galland called attention to its interesting contents; since then, however, the MS. seemed to have disappeared. Even today a scholar like Mario Roques failed to trace it (cf. Histoire littéraire de la France 37 (1938), pp. 471-2). Apart from fols. i, i bis, 2 and 3, the MS. consist of two parts, which were originally two different MSS. The first part comprises four quaternions, with, on fols. 4 r. to 35 r., a verse translation of the Consolatio philosophiae, done by the Dominican friar Renaud de Louhans in 1336. This text is not only acephalous and mutilated, but so drastically abridged as to make us suspect that it is the result of a careful but radical rewriting of the original version. This part also contains, on fo. 35 r. and v., the first 128 verses of the Roman de Fauvel by Gervais du Bus, which appear not as a new text, however, but as a continuation of book 5 of the Consolatio philosophiae (in the Leiden MS. reduced to 26 verses only). On the basis of A. LÅngfors's classification of the Roman de Fauvel MSS. the fragment preserved in the Leiden MS. seems attributable to the so-called 'y family'. The second part of the MS., comprising six quaternions and a final quinternion, contains, on fols. 36 r. to 92 v., Le livre de bonnes meurs, written by the Augustinian friar Jacques Legrand in c. 1410. It is the only text in the MS. that has been properly identified in the catalogues. The presence of the initial fragment of the Roman de Fauvel, on fo. 35 r. and v., has always been ignored, and the version of the Consolatio philosophiae, contained in fols. 4 r. to 35 r., has always erroneously been attributed to Jean de Meun.


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