John Skelton - NOTES TO THE BOOK OF THREE FOOLS

NOTES TO THE BOOK OF THREE FOOLS

1. This piece is a paraphrase of three portions of Brant's Ship of Fools: see the Latin version by Locher, Stultifera Navis, ed. 1497,—Uxorem ducere propter opes, ("To take a wife for wealth") fol. lx., De livore et invidia, (Of bruises and envy") fol. lxi., and De voluptate corporali,(Of the pleasures of the flesh") fol. lviii.: the same sections will be found accompanying Barclay's Ship of Fools, ed. 1570,--fol. 95, fol. 97, and fol. 92.

2. lineage feminative] i.e. female lineage

3. for to gather together the donge . . . grease] In the Latin of Locher;

"Arvinam multi quaerunt sub podice asselli:
Et cumulant trullas: stercora vana petunt."
(He searches for grease under the anuses of donkeys
And collects it in a scoop; he searches the excrement in vain")
fol. lx. ed. 1497.

4. I defend you not to marry] i.e. I do not forbid you from marrying.

5. glauca] Properly glaucus, a kind of fish whose modern name is unknown. See Topsell Four-f. Beasts (1658) 16 "A fish called Glaucus, whereof the male swalloweth up all the young ones when they are endangered and afterwards yieldeth them forth again"—quoted in OED

6. eyen beholding a traverse] i.e. eyes looking cross, awry.

7. Theseus] Should of course be Thyestes, as in Locher's Latin: yet Barclay, in his version of the passage, has,

"Atreus' story and Theseus cruel."
The Ship of Fools, fol. 96. [99], ed. 1570.

8. Ethiocles] So written in Locher's Latin for Eteocles; and so Lydgate,-

"But make your mirror of Ethyocles."
Story of Thebes, Pars Prima, sig. C v. ed. 4to. n.d.

9. collation] Equivalent here, I believe, to comparison.

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