The Venerable Bede. Single leaf containing parts of Bede’s Homily 35 on the Feast of St. John, decorated manuscript on parchment, in Latin, possibly Germany, 13th century, text block 325mm x 200mm double column, each 28 lines, written in an early northern gothic hand, headings in red, recto with three-line elaborate penwork oinitial ‘C’ (opening ‘Contemplativa vita est cum longo’) in blue and red, with extension to the half page, four-line initial ‘I’ (opening ‘In enim estenim quod ait Petro’). painted in red, verso with three-line penwork initial ‘S’ (opening ‘Speculativa felicits quae hic inchoatur’) with extension, rather faded, capitals touched in red, recovered from a binding and possibly folded in half, small losses affecting a few letters, some lines rather erased, staining mostly to verso c. 431mm x 301mm, possibly Germany, 13th century. The penwork initial on the recto is especially handsome and quite well preserved.
“viam veritatis ostendendo, ac caeteris se mancipando fraternae dilectionis obsequiis, insuper et usque ad mortem pro iustitia certando [Al., decertando]. Contemplativa autem vita est, cum longo quis bonae actionis exercitio edoctus, diutinae orationis dulcedine instructus, crebra lacrymarum compunctione assuefactus, a cunctis mundi negotiis vacare, et in sola dilectione oculum mentis intendere didicerit, gaudiumque perpetuae beatitudinis quod in futuro percepturus est, vita etiam in praesenti coeperit ardenter desiderando praegustare, et aliquando etiam, in quantum mortalibus fas est…”