robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Sat Feb 13 04:30:09 UTC 2010
A little more on ff and the Scottish Connection.
[CAVEAT: The following is based on the upper-case transcripts available from the Oxford Text Archives, not facsimiles of the texts.]
In the Chepman and Myllar prints of c. 1508 (printed texts based pretty directly on [no longer extant] manuscripts, but set up in type), there are only two instances in the entire surviving work of these printers of an initial "FF", in both cases a proper name: (the goddess) FFLORA (Flora) and FFLORAIS (Flora's).
As a point of contrast, we can juxtapose William Dunbar's "Tretis of the Twa Merrit Wemen and the Wedo", reproduced by Chepman and Myllar (with the first few lines missing) and also found in the Maitland Folio manuscript (dated between 1570 and 1586).
It emerges that the later Maitland Folio text contains "FF" forms not present in the earlier print, but whether this is an earlier vs. later distinction, or because Chepman and Myllar normalised their manuscript original to conform with the exigencies of an early sixteenth century Scottish typeface (they do employ the characteristic Scottish printing convention of "z" for yogh), I couldn 't say.
Whatever is the case, the three 1ate(ish) sixteenth century Scottish manuscripts, Bannatyne, Maitland, and Asloan, contain a plethora of "ff" forms in a variety of words and positions, while this isn't the case in the early sixteenth century printed text.
Here are the relevant comparison-lines in Chepman and Myllar, and the Maitland Folio:
C&M -- Dunbar's Tretis
I SCHRENK FOR THE SCHARP STOUND BOT SCHOUT DAR I NOUGHT
FOR SCHORE OF THAT AULD SCHREW SCHAME HIM BETIDE
I DAR NOUGHT LUKE TO MY LUF FOR THAT LENE GIB
FOR HE IS WISTIT ET WORNE FRA VENUS WERKIS
AND MAY NOUGHT BEIT WORGHT A BENE IN BED OF MY MYSTIRS
HE TROWIS THAT ZOUNG FOLK I ZERNE ZEILD FOR HE GANE IS
FOR OR HE CLYME ONE MY CORSE THAT CARYBALD FORLANE
I SCHRENK FOR THAT SCHARP STOUND BOT SCHOUT DAR I NOCHT
FFOR SCHORE OF THAT AULD SCHREW SCHAME HIM BETYDE
<L 120> I DAR NOCHT LUIK TO MY LUIF FOR THAT LENE GIB
FFOR HE IS WAISTIT AND WORNE FRA VENUS WERKIS
AND MAY NOCHT BEIT WOURTH ANE BEIN IN BED OF MY MISTERIS
HE TROWIS THAT ZOUNG FOLK I WARNE ZEILD QUHAIR HE GANE IS
HE WIL MY CORSE ALL BECLIP AND CLAP ME TO HIS BREIST
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