Paleographical Challenge #61

April 22, 2020

By Kathryn James

Today’s guest manuscript comes courtesy of Heather Wolfe (Curator of Manuscripts) and Elizabeth Debold (Assistant Curator of Collections) at the beloved Folger Shakespeare Library.  To confirm your hunch on its identity and transcription, come back to the Paleographical Challenge tomorrow.  

A suggested transcription for yesterday’s guest manuscript below:

The prologue.

ffirst helth and successe w[i]t[h] many agood newe yeare.
wissed vnto all this moste noble presence heare.
I have more tentreacte [i.e. to entreat] youe of gentle Sufferaunce.
That this our matier may have quyet vtteraunce.
we that are thactours have o[u]rselves dedicate.
w[i]th some Christmas devise yo[u]r spirites to recreate
And our poete trusteth the thinge we shall recyte
maye w[i]thowte offence the hearers myndes delyte

A merye enterlude entitled Respublica made in the yeare of oure Lorde 1553 and the first yeare of the moost prosperous reigne of oure moste gracious sovereigne Queene Mary the first. England, 1553. Harry Ransom Center, Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of English Manuscripts, Box 3, Folder 12.