Start Vidios commaris

Vidios commaris

The plague of 1499, which devastated England, and, as we find here, ravaged Scotland as well, was a visitation of the "Sweating Sickness." It was so bad in Scotland that it obstructed the ingathering of the revenue.

But as we cannot say for certain that he did so according to knowledge or any wise cal- culation, let us leave the missing lines out of our con- sideration for the moment, rewarding ourselves, however, for so doing by adding a unit to those that are left, and making the poem out to have contained 20,001 lines in all. Sir Oliver not only certified that the book was his, but read it, as sundry marginal notes in the same bold irregular writing and the same ink remain to testify. William, the next son, succeeded.^ The next evidence of the possession of the book is contained in the signature which it bears on the blank leaf at its beginning, where, across the page in a droop- ing line, beginning with a large untidy capital, runs the legend, " In Domini nomine. Most of his attentions have been devoted to the first part of it — the *Buke of Batailles.' His notes are usually for the purpose of drawing the eye to passages which he thought import- ant, but in one or two cases he makes additions to the text.

On these suppositions the writer must have written on an average 177 lines a-day, Sundays included. Amen, Wellelmus Sin- chler of Rosleng Kny*." We may identify this with much certainty as the writing of Sir Oliver's son and successor, William, second of Roslin. In one place, for example, he fills in the mnemonic verses containing the names of the Seven Electors of the Emperors.

It is then necessary to be able to say if the days contained between " the lusty month of May" and the 21st day of August are enough for the making of a metrical translation of the length of Haye's 'Alexander' or only for the copying of it. One at least of his four or five copies of the *Scoti- ^ His marriage was granted to Bishop Forman of Flodden blame, a Berwickshire man, who married his relative Alison, daughter of Patrick Home of Fast Castle, to the youth in 1526. In another set of his signatures, in red ink, scattered through the book, he omits the word "Knecht." This might be thought to show that they are the earlier signatures, but their other characteristics do not support the assumption, and his writings made in the 'Extracta e Cronicis,* now in the Advocates' Library (MS. Passages there in the black ink of his "Knecht" signatures are enclosed in lines drawn in the red (^.^., fol.